Saturday, 30 August 2014

Fiction: The Sun's Dark Love (Chapter 3)



      I'm really excited to share Chapter 3 because after setting up the story, we are finally starting the wheel rolling. Xi Yang's story has a stronger fantasy bent than Little Moon since the two main characters are either a god or an immortal. This gives me a lot of room to play with and I hope you will enjoy where the story is heading!


Chapter 3: Prey

(i)

  At the Town of Zui, Wang Huan was surprised to see that a stage had been set up outside Zui Town’s most famous drunken chicken restaurant. The stage was surrounded with people and it was hard to see what was happening.

  Wang Huan turned to Ri, “We need to squeeze into the crowd!”

    Ri’s face immediately darkened but Wang Huan didn’t wait for Ri to agree before plunging into the crowd. She knew that Ri was unlikely to agree, and her best chance was that Ri would reluctantly follow her since he wanted a promise from her.

  Wang Huan with her strong sense of curiosity and lack of shame, happily squeezed through the crowd to make it to the first row. She turned to an old man standing next to her and asked, “Why is there a stage outside the drunken chicken restaurant today?”

  The old man’s eyes twinkled with laughter, “You must be a foreigner. Today is the twentieth anniversary of the famous drunken chicken restaurant. They are having a special competition to celebrate.”

  “A competition?” Wang Huan’s ears pricked up in eagerness.

 The old man nodded as he stroke his long beard, “The owner of the famous drunken chicken restaurant was a student of the famous drunken pugilist known for his ‘Drunken Fists’. His shi fu (master) always thought he had more talent for cooking dishes with alcohol than practising his martial arts skill, which is why he decided to set up this shop instead but he has never lost his love for martial arts. The competition today is to celebrate the owner’s love for martial arts.”

  Wang Huan’s heart fell slightly in disappointment, this was not a competition she could take part in. She felt a flick on her forehead and turned to her right in annoyance, only to realize that it was Ri.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 17.2: A Line Separates Good from Evil)



    I really want to update The Sun's Dark Love, but I haven't been feeling too well and it's harder to write than translate haha. So, here's another translation of Heavy Sweetness! Did you guess correctly who was in the room waiting for Jin Mi?

   Something deep, dark and fiery...


Chapter 17: A Line Separates Good From Evil (Part 2 of 4)


   "Jin Mi Immortal, you have made me wait for very long..." The voice came from upwards, looking down at me from her proud upturned chin.

  Ah ah ah, I have been cheated, cheated.

  I climbed up from the floor, flicked my robes and hit my forehead, "Ah? I had came to meet Tai Shan Grand Immortal to see him make his pills, but the immortal attendant must have gotten lost and mistakenly brought me here. I have disturbed your Majesty. I truly shouldn't be here, Jin Mi shall make her leave," I bowed and quickly headed for the exit. Who knew that there was a golden lit boundary at the door and it immediately threw me back.

  "It's true that pills will be made today," The Heavenly Empress gave out a cold laugh, "Except it isn't one made by Tai Shan Grand Immortal..." She dragged her robes on the floor and slowly took two steps forward, "I have always been curious, what exactly is Jin Mi Immortal's true self? Why don't we take the opportunity to test this today? It will be an eye-opening experience for me."



  I suddenly realised that I had been placed on a Ba Gua wheel, on this wheel there was the extremes of Yin and Yang*. The Heavenly Empress was positioned on the Yang side of the wheel, and I was locked by a boundary on the Yin side. Surrounding the wheel was a circle of water, and in that water were two or three fiery red carps swimming in a carefree manner.

  I touched my hairpin, my heart became alarmed when I felt a rough texture. I realised that because Daddy had told me to keep Phoenix's Great Phoenix Feather Treasure, I had changed my hairpin to a normal grape stem. With nothing to protect me, how could I battle the Heavenly Empress?

  "The Heavenly Empress must be joking. The previous time in the Nine Mist Clouds Palace, didn't Water God Daddy already announce to all the gods that Jin Mi's real self was a six petalled frost flower?"

  The Heavenly Empress gave a snort of derision, "Zi Fen, that demoness, based on her few good looks she was able to seduce the Heavenly Emperor and the Water God, who can really know who your father is? Even the Water God can not truly be certain in his heart. Rather than just believing in words, I prefer to ascertain it with my own eyes. Since no one has seen your demonic real self, today I shall test it out for myself."


Monday, 25 August 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 17.1: A Line Separates Good from Evil)



   What I like about Heavy Sweetness is that all acts have consequences. In Chapter 17, some of the earlier causes will finally have their effects - with this, everyone will have to quickly figure out where they really stand. Most of all, where do you stand, Jin Mi?




Chapter 17: A Line Separates Good From Evil (Part 1 of 4)

   In Daddy's backyard, I took a few traces of clouds, opened an empty space and placed a few banana leaves at the moist and cool parts. In just a while, in the mist of the stream and false mountain, there grew two banana trees. No matter how I looked at it, I was happy. My current skills at planting flowers and grasses did not let down my title as the Flower Goddess' daughter. I placed a bamboo seat under the coverage of the leaves and with a cup of fresh water, I was prepared to fall asleep. 

   "Jin Mi Immortal, his Fire God Highness is requesting to see you at the entrance," Just as I sat down, an immortal child that guards the Luo Xiang Manor reported to me. 

  I closed my eyes and waved my hands, "I will not see him." Thinking of how my divine energy seemed to have deteriorated instead of improving, no matter how easy-going my personality was, I could not help feeling slightly despondent. 

   As the little immortal attendant went to reject Phoenix, I listened to the soothing sounds of the stream and started to fall asleep. In a short while, the immortal child returned, "His Fire God Highness says that he must see Jin Mi Immortal today, if not he will stand guard outside the Luo Xiang Manor."

  This Phoenix... why after a night he has fallen from the proud and almighty to someone so shameless? These words are really not his usual style. Today, Buddha Grandfather was giving a sermon in the West, the gods and immortals of the six realms have gone to attend. Daddy went, Night went, even the Moon God went. In fact, all the gods including the Heavenly Emperor had went, but why didn't Phoenix go as well?

  "Tell him that no matter what I will not see him today," I told the little immortal attendant. As I stabilised my breathing and saw that the immortal child did not return, my heart started to relax because Phoenix must have left. Just as I was about to close my eyes entirely, I was shocked to see Phoenix before me. The little child was holding his fist respectfully and not sure which side he should go to, "His Fire God Highness... Jin Mi Immortal..."

  Phoenix waved his hands indicating that the little immortal attendant could retreat. Immediately, the immortal child gave a bow and quickly left. I grind my back teeth and thought that authority was definitely something that needed to be supported by divine strength. Phoenix exchanged glances with me, his gaze was determined as if he could see through something, I felt emotional and immediately turned away my gaze. He suddenly stretched out his hand and held my shoulder, I turned my head in surprise, and became even more surprised at the hesitant expression in his face.


Friday, 22 August 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 16: I Do Not Mind Even If It's Shallow)



   This is my favourite Night chapter of the whole book. This was also a large part of why I started reading this book. I decided that this chapter will be best read as a whole and so translated both parts to make one whole chapter 16.

    I have been translating for almost eight months now and time has made me realised how much of myself I do put into translating. Translating is not just "changing" or "transforming" one language into another, just like how one adapts a book into a television drama, the medium is not totally alike - you have to feel the story in your heart, and try to re-create it with different tools. 

   Since so much effort is placed into each chapter, I realised that I must love all the characters of the novel. For example, I cannot just like Phoenix - write him in all his fiery, masochistic, angsty, intense glory. There is also Night - with the cold metallic scales, the quiet moonlight, the nervous and loving Nightmare beasts, the eternal loneliness. 

   I try my best, but as the story continues, I realise Dian Xian moves so much beyond the literal, into poetic dream-like sequences that I start to add flourishes here and there to try and express what is being said. I don't always know if it works, but I hope some part of this is passed onto you. 



Chapter 16: I Do Not Mind Even If It's Shallow

*Kuang lang!* [sound syllables]


   The sound was sharp and crisp, a pair of eyes opened at once, as if having been woken from a dream in alarm. 

  In the light mist of the morning, Night's long figure led one to think of a branch of the Bodhi Tree in the West, carrying the whiff of clean, distant zen philosophy. He sat with his back straight at a table, in one hand was the broken fragments of a porcelain plate, the Nightmare Beast timidly cowered at the side of his feet on the ground, a ball of light was slowly dissolving*.

   Rubbing the eyes, one sat up from the wisteria lounge chair, and realised that one had fallen asleep unconsciously while waiting for Night in the Flower Hall. Innocent and muddled, one felt like one had made a very long dream, and yet also had the feeling that one did not dream at all...

  I have gotten used to eating breakfast at Night's Four Stars palace, and today was no different. It was just that last night's mutual cultivation had taken too much physical energy, who knew that during the time Night was preparing breakfast one would have fallen asleep. I wondered how much had my divine strength increased and decided that I must test it out when no one was around later. 

  "Awake?" Night's voice was deep and low, his straight back was upright till it seemed a bit stiff.


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Fiction: The Sun's Dark Love (Chapter 2)






    Since I was asked which actress I would cast as Wang Huan, I thought I would share someone that crossed my mind when I created Wang Huan - the actress, Jiang Xin. I was also a bit surprised when some readers thought Wang Huan might not be pretty or looked like a man, because she was described as looking like her father and "more handsome than pretty" by Xi Yang. Haha. Guys, it's Xi Yang! I don't think he has ever described anyone as pretty, and only when Yue got married, did he concede in his heart a little that she has grown into a beautiful woman. 

  Wang Huan's father, the Dark Lord, is very good looking and Wang Huan has inherited his strong features. She's not a soft or gentle beauty, and she has a striking face that would be more in the mode of warrior princess Bai Ying, except ironically she has very low divine powers of her own (haha). 


Chapter 2: The Strangest Princess

(i)

   “Xiao Mi! Xiao Mi!” Wang Huan called and Xiao Mi ran into the courtyard. Xiao Mi gave a look of surprise at Xi Yang’s presence.

  Wang Huan picked up the metal axe and placed it in Xiao Mi’s hands, “Keep this metal axe with you and show it to the Dark Lord if he comes. I will be heading off now and will be back in three months before the official ceremony.”

  Xiao Mi first gasped in surprise at the metallic touch of the metal axe that was placed in her palms and then quickly gave a cry of alarm, “Princess, are you going to head off with this stranger?!”

  Wang Huan gave Xiao Mi a reassured nod, “If I don’t leave now, who knows if I will ever be able to leave? Don’t worry, if you give the Dark Lord this metal axe, I guarantee he will only laugh and not harm you.”

  With that, Wang Huan turned to Xi Yang, “Let’s go.”

  Xi Yang paused for a moment at Wang Huan’s bare hands and then asked extremely unwillingly, “You are not going to bring anything with you?”

  Wang Huan looked confused for a moment before her eyes lit up in understanding, “Ah, don’t worry.” She patted her robes, “I brought money.”

    Xi Yang decided that of all the princesses in the Dark Realms that could be chosen to be his wife, his father must have chosen the strangest. Before he arrived, he had thought Princess Wang Huan would be in the same mould of her half sister, Princess Mei Yan (美艳 – dazzling beauty). The first time he saw Princess Mei Yan, he felt goosepimples pop out of his skin. Although Princess Mei Yan was often praised as a beauty, just thinking of how she had slithered and cooed towards him gave Xi Yang shivers all over his body. To Xi Yang, Princess Mei Yan was more snake than woman.

  In comparison, Princess Wang Huan dressed so simply that he had first mistook her for a servant. She wore no make-up, no perfume and Xi Yang was quite certain, possessed no feminine wiles. In fact, Xi Yang himself would have doubted if she was indeed the Princess Wang Huan he was engaged to if not for her aristocratic bone structure that resembled her father.

  “Where would you like to head to first?” Xi Yang finally asked.

   Wang Huan took out a brown-coloured slightly tattered book from her robes. She flipped a few pages and asked, “Do you know where is the Zi Town? It’s said to be one of the richest towns in the Yan Kingdom.”

   “Take my hand,” Xi Yang said.

    Almost instinctively, Wang Huan took Xi Yang’s out-stretched hand, and before she could even speak, both of them were already on a traveling cloud. Before she could even react to her suddenly changed surroundings, Xi Yang shrugged off her hand and Wang Huan fell backwards into the puff of cloud.


Monday, 18 August 2014

Fiction: Little Moon's Matchmaking Mission (The Moon God's Epilogue: Waiting)



   The last of the Little Moon epilogues! The Moon God is quite possibly my most favourite character of the Little Moon series. I like to think that every end is only another start. 


The Moon God's Epilogue: Waiting


(i)

The Moon God 

   I looked at the message sent by the Destiny Lord, the ruler of the Wheel of Destiny that governed the lives of all living things in the universe. Today was the last day of Ye Liu's reincarnation on earth. 

  When the Destiny Lord informed me that Ye Liu was reincarnated on earth, I had avoided visiting her reincarnation in the mortal realms. I had wondered if I had affected her previous life on earth, but it turned out that again, she did not marry, was a mid-wife and had many god-children. 

  "Uncle," I heard Yue cry and I lifted my head up from the message. It was Little Moon's first day as a Moon Maiden, my heart felt like it was being torn in two directions. 

  I turned to Yue, "I have to go somewhere first. Just watch the figurines and threads, do not connect anything."

  Perhaps, this was all fated.


(ii)

  It has been almost a hundred years since I last visited Golden Carp Village. I stood under the big oak tree by the river that streamed through Golden Carp Village. The place still looked the same. Perhaps, it was the places that remained while the people went away. 

  Very slowly, I watched a white-haired old lady hobbled over to the river. In her hand, she held a small wooden stool. I went forward to help her carry the stool and brought her under the big oak tree. 

  "Thank you, young man," She said as I carefully helped her sit on the stool.

  "You are welcome," I replied. 

  "Are you waiting for someone?" She asked. 

  "Yes," I smiled. "And you?"


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Fiction: The Sun's Dark Love (Chapter 1)



    I'm really excited to share Xi Yang's story, which I have titled, "The Sun's Dark Love". I have mapped out the plot and it will probably be the same length as Little Moon's Matchmaking Mission. However, this time I will let the story maybe breathe a little more, and allow it to grow and mature as I write it. 

  This story will share a similar vibe with Little Moon, with fantasy, romance, comedy and hopefully a lot of heart. You don't actually have to read Little Moon or Xi Yang's epilogue to be able to follow this story. So, hold on to your hearts and plunge in! 


Chapter 1: A Promise is Given

(i)

    The Heavenly Realms was the highest of all the realms, but when we say highest, we are not necessarily saying the highest status, but actually referring to the fact that it is physically highest.

   Out of all the realms, the most powerful realms were the Heavenly Realms, the Dark Realms and the Realm of Life and Death. The first rulers of these three realms were borne out of the elements and called each other brothers. The first rulers have long returned to the elements, and the current rulers were their descendants.

   The ruler of the Heavenly Realms was called the Jade Emperor, the ruler of the Dark Realms was called the Dark Lord, and the ruler of the Realm of Life and Death was called the Destiny Lord. The source of the three realms’ power was the Mortal Realm.

  The gods in the Heavenly Realms were bestowed powers over the natural elements of the universe but a great source of their powers was also the belief and prayers of the mortals. If the gods in the Heavenly Realm were the “yang”, the light positive powers of the universe, then the dark immortals in the Dark Realms were the “yin”, their negative inverse. In the centre of it all, was the Destiny Lord, a neutral immortal who stone-facedly guarded and governed the wheel of destinies of all living things in the universe.

   The Dark Realms preyed on the Seven Mortal Sins: lust, greed, sloth, apathy, envy, wrath and pride*. Unlike, the gods who chose the path of cultivation to remove themselves of human feelings and frailties, the dark immortals reveled in these human weaknesses and sought mastery over them. Thus, the Dark Realms consisted of seven tribes – every dark one was born with an affinity for one sin and the tradition of the Dark Lord was merely the strongest conqueror.

   The current Dark Lord of the Dark Realms belonged to the lust tribe. He had royal consorts from all seven tribes and more children than one could count. But, he only had three daughters. In the first place, females were rare in the Dark Realms because females usually do not even survive the fetus stage and usually succumbed to the darkness of the energies. As per, the tradition of the Dark Realms, only the fittest survived – there was no right or wrong to it.

  If anyone had dared to ask the Dark Lord if he loved his consorts too little since he had so many, he would actually say his sin was in loving too much. But, even the Dark Lord would confess to having a great love, and that was Princess Wang Huan’s mother. Princess Wang Huan’s mother was a simple kitchen maiden in the Dark Lord’s palace, of no great merit nor power. To describe her as a great beauty would also be an exaggeration, but there was a softness, sweetness and slenderness about her that tickled the Dark Lord’s heart.

  Perhaps it was because she was not meant for greatness, Princess Wang Huan’s mother passed as swiftly as greatness fell upon her. Wang Huan, was a royal of the greed tribe, but the only potential she seemed to show was for gluttony. Like her mother, she showed no great powers. But unfortunately for Wang Huan, she looked like her father.

  Thus, the Dark Lord did not favour Wang Huan, although in his own way, he protected her by never favouring her and that kept her away from the political battles between the tribes. Wang Huan, without any real dark powers of her own or family backing, was given a quiet courtyard in the countryside of the Greed Tribe.

   Her life remained quiet and undisturbed, until now.


Friday, 15 August 2014

Once Promised 曾许诺 by Tong Hua 桐华 : Translation for Chapter 10 (Part 3/3)

by Moonblossom

The Yan Emperor thanked Shao Hao once more and bid Yu Wang and Chi You to send him off.  The group set off with Yu Wang and Shao Hao in front, Mu Jin and Chi You behind.  Mu Jin was accustomed to Chi You’s indifference which can be seen from the way she happily carried on a one-sided conversation with him at the Peach Banquet.

When they were out of the valley, they saw Ah Heng gazing into the distance with a white bird perched on her shoulder.  When she turned around at their voices, her sorrow could be felt even across the distance. Chi You quickly walked to her and Lie Yang flew to perch on his shoulder.  Mu Jin has never seen such a majestic white bird and tried to stroke its feathers but the bird pecked at her viciously. Although she was quick, she was not quick enough and she got stung.  Angered, she tried to hit Lie Yang but Chi You warned her. “Do not provoke him.”


As Yu Wang bid farewell to Shao Hao, Ah Heng walked over and said to Shao Hao. “Her Highness has asked me to convey her thanks.  Before you leave, could I have a word with Your Highness?” 

Yu Wang stepped aside to give them some privacy while Chi You glared at the two. Ah Heng ignored him and handed a bamboo slip to Shao Hao to pass to General Nuo Nai.  Shao Hao assured that he would do so personally and when Ah Heng curtsied her thanks, Shao Yao stared at her for a moment before shaking his head.  “Strange, I keep getting this feeling that we have met before.”

Before Ah Heng could get more nervous, Shao Hao mounted his crane and sent the group a charming smile and waved, “Ladies and gentlemen, until we meet again.”

Yu Wang sighed in admiration at his departing back. “No wonder father praised him and Qing Yang!  When I met Qing Yang a few hundred years ago, I had wondered if there was another god who can match him?  But seeing Shao Hao today, I can see that Gao Xing and Xuan Yuan are truly fortunate to have such outstanding sons!”

Indignant, Mu Jin chimed in.  “So what? Shen Nong has Chi You!”


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 15.3: Under the Faint Purplish Red Moon)


 
   After translating the last of Chapter 15, I couldn't help being impressed by the delicacy of Dian Xian's writing - the moon light, the ripples in the water, the red phoenix flowers, the incinerating gaze, the feeling that teeters between pain and pleasure. So, this is love?

Chapter 15: Under the Faint Purplish Red Moon (Part 3 of 3) 

   After I finished speaking, I turned around angrily, and forgot to say a water incantation to remove the water droplets from my soaking wet body. But just as I took a step forward, my upper arm was grabbed back by a sudden force, that strong force pulled me back and my body was pressed onto the trunk of the Phoenix Tree next to the pond. 

  Because of the sudden strong pressure onto the Phoenix Tree, all the flowers on the tree started to fall onto the floor, these brilliantly red petals descended silently onto the ground. In the midst of the rain of petals, Phoenix stood tall in a robe of white, his robes were half opened, his brows and hair were wet and the droplets of water fell from his head. One drop by one drop these water crystals slid down his chest and into his robes, into somewhere far away, a place that one could no longer find. 

   With my back against the rough bark of the trunk, my wet clothes caused my body to be more sensitive, and I could only feel the fiery hot pain searing through my back. I tried to struggle but froze under Phoenix's murderous killing gaze and aura. 

  "You...you... what do you want...?" Finally I managed to force some words out of my throat but these words were torn apart by the touch of Phoenix's cold hands. 

   "What do I want? Naturally, I want to find out how you will make it so I will no longer be able to use this part? Hmmm...?" The lift at the end of his tone was like the sharp edge of the blade that cut through a tight string in my brain, I couldn't help but shudder. He remained unmoved, he released my upper arms which had been so forcefully pressed until they had became numb, inch by inch, his hands moved towards my neck. His movements were almost gentle, but his expression was the complete opposite. It made one think of a predator before it attacked its prey, bloodthirsty and cruel. 

  The moon was in the sky, the evening wind was chilly. The bright clean light of the moon shone down and fell into the pond, lighting it up with its silvery beams. The water reflected the sky, it was so clear and bright that there was nowhere to hide. 

  Under the moonlight, Phoenix slowly moved closer, his gentle but strong fingers slowly tightened around my throat. I had no strength and tried to struggle, but my breath became weaker and weaker, shorter and shorter. I finally realised that I had became Mr Dong Guo*, kindly saving someone, but now he wanted to sentence me to death. Just as I was about to suffocate, I decided to catch my last trace of breath and choked out, "Ph....Pho...Phoenix."


Saturday, 9 August 2014

#talk 21: My first onesecondspring banner!




    I'm so touched because sutekii asked if I wanted a banner when she was making one for her blog. I just needed to give her a picture, text and measurements. And, she made five different versions for me! Oh gosh, I love them all, but I especially love the one I posted :). So, yesterday, mainly consisted of me looking at my banner and giggling. Haha. I'm really happy because I have loved that picture for a long time but it wasn't wide enough to be a banner, so I am grateful as always for having wonderful online friends. 

  Additionally, Moonblossom has set up her own blog at Cloud Manor. It's still relatively new and she uses it to post Melanie's wuxia (sword fighting) fiction, book reviews and possibly her own projects/fiction in future. It's a lovely blog and I plan to write a review for one of Melanie's stories one day. Both of them are uncompleted but they will definitely be of interest to you if you prefer stories with more swordfighting and a dash of romance. 

  Finally, to my fellow Singaporeans, Happy National Day! :) 

Friday, 8 August 2014

Fiction: Little Moon's Matchmaking Mission (Xi Yang's Epilogue: Something Golden)





    Xi Yang's epilogue is not so much an epilogue, as it is a bridge towards a new future.


Xi Yang’s Epilogue: Something Golden



Xi Yang

(i)

   Today is Yu An’s twelfth birthday. Sometimes when I thought about how fast time flew, I would think one hundred years were not enough. No, not even a thousand years. I had Yue for a hundred years, but you will have her forevermore Hsiao.

  I still remembered when you asked the Moon God for an opportunity to meet me. It was during Yue’s lost years. I had rejected you but you declared to the Moon God that you needed to meet me in order to bring Yue back again. So, I did.

  The Emperor of the Yan Kingdom. A golden boy just like me. But, you knelt down before me and asked me to help you. You said I had once told you that you had a golden light surrounding you – destined to become the Emperor, your life was so hard, that the small poison won’t be able to kill you. You asked me to go to the Wu Kingdom to find the same person with a golden light – to find the next Wu Emperor.

  You could see it then – the future crisis ahead, the bridge you had to cross, the tower you had to built to become the greatest Yan Emperor. Sometimes, I wondered, if I had chosen not to help you – would you have married that Wu Princess who so adored you? Would Yue then belong to me?

  But I helped you. Found that unlikely person who was to ascend the throne of the Wu Kingdom in that not too far away future. In some ways, even if she was no longer around to call me Xi Yang Ge Ge, a part of me still wanted to live up to that name.
   
   Ten years passed – in the span of our infinite days, ten years was actually short. But, your absence weighed down everything. 

  That day, that very day, when the red thread Yue had become due to karmic retribution, floated before the Moon God in Heaven again and was re-born into Yue. I knew – it was all worth it.

  I had rushed to the Moon God’s Heavenly Temple of Matrimonial Bliss as I watched Yue dance up and down in delight. “I’m back,” Yue cried, and when she saw me her face lit up and then fell, as if not knowing how to greet me.

  “Mei (younger sister),” I smiled and Yue rushed into my arms.

  “Xi Yang Ge Ge,” Yue teared as I embraced her.

   “Xi Yang Ge Ge,” she smiled as she wore the red bridal gown, put on the golden phoenix crown and sat in the red sedan chair.

  “Xi Yang Ge Ge,” I heard her say as her red sedan flew down towards the Yan Kingdom, once and for all.

  The mortals thought there were two moons that night, but no, that was only the sun without light. Then again, if there were two moons, then why is there only one of you, Yue?


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Love Can Do Miracles (景年知几时) by Fei Wo Si Cun (匪我思存) - Review & Scene Translation (HE) (3 stars)




     I never thought I would read a Fei Wo Si Cun novel, because she is the famous "stepmother" of c-novels - so called because she "mistreats" her "children", the lead characters of the novels. She is famous for having tragic endings in her novels, the characters will love each other literally to death. Love Can Do Miracles is interesting because it's a rare happy ending from Fei Wo Si Cun. Still, I wasn't too interested until I read the wonderfully hilarious chapter 1 translation by sutekii (yes! I am finally reviewing a book which also has ongoing english translations haha). Since I  was helping sutekii post this book on SSB, I decided to also write a review and a favourite scenes translation for this book. 

  I was surprised to find a very interesting female lead and a set-up that I enjoy - female lead divorces the male lead, despite still loving him. It is also clear to all the characters who have eyes that the male lead loves the female lead - so why does she think he does not love her? 


The summary I posted on SSB

  All my life I longed to be kept carefully by someone, to be safely placed, to be tenderly looked after. To protect me from fear, to protect me from suffering, to protect me from being lost, to protect me from being alone and helpless. But this person, I knew, I always knew, he would never come. 

  After wrecking her brains and exerting all the efforts in her body and heart, she could finally be with him, the lover of her deceased sister. But, Ye Jing, who is as wild, unreasonable and fierce as Ah Ci*, how could she bear the poisonous tongue of her "brother-in-law" as he wrongs her true heart time and time again? After finally successfully divorcing him, she starts being chased by another gentle "brother-in-law" who used to love her sister. To protect the "Little Yellow Bean" in her stomach, Ye Jing could not help but start her long battle with the two undefeatable "brother-in-laws". 

  Love is difficult and confusing, as the misunderstandings increased and deepened, fate suddenly gave Ye Jing a cruel strong punch! Will love be able to create a miracle for Ye Jing so that she will be able to unite with her true match? May you also believe that love can create miracles!

*Ah Ci is a famous character in one of Jin Yong's classic novels, Demi Gods and Semi Devils. She famously fell for one of the heroes, Qiao Feng. However, Qiao Feng was deeply in love with Ah Ci's older sister, and it was Qiao Feng's love for her older sister which caused Ah Ci to fall for Qiao Feng because she wanted that same deep love.


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 15.2: Under The Faint Purplish Red Moon)



   I think everyone pretty much has been waiting for Chapter 15 - there will come a time in a relationship where there is no more teasing, no more words, and only actions. What can I say? That it is hopefully worth the wait? 

  To be honest, this was probably the most awkward thing I ever had to translate. Parental Guidance is advised! 


Chapter 15: Under the Faint Purplish Red Moon (Part 2 of 3) 

  There were many rules in the Heavenly Realms. One of which was that every forty nine days, all the gods must gather at the Nine Mist Clouds Palace and discuss the important matters of the six realms. There is also another additional rule - the sky beasts and immortal birds cannot be taken into the main hall of the Nine Mist Clouds Palace and have to stay outside at the cloud steps. 

  I looked at the creatures that were flying in the sky, all these immortal beasts appeared fierce and cruel, and not at all easy to get along with. After some deliberation, I placed the Nightmare Beast next to Er Lang God's sky dog. At least I knew that the sky dog only liked to eat the moon and had no interest in deer meat.

  Although it was the meeting of the gods, I did not know why a few days before the meeting, the Heavenly Emperor sent sixteen male and sixteen female immortal attendants to Daddy's Luo Xiang Manor. They had brought a shiny golden invitation to invite me, a small sprite, to attend this gathering. When this grand procession arrived, Daddy was practising his calligraphy in his study, he only lightly lifted up his head to look at this invitation. Although he did not look at it, he appeared to have already realised its contents. 

  After I settled the Nightmare Beast, I followed the immortal child to the main hall and sat besides Daddy. Opposite me was Night, who was sitting in the seat just before the Heavenly Emperor. Night gave me a warm smile. I looked around the surroundings and realised that the fiery bird Phoenix was not around today. My back couldn't help relaxing and my mouth released a comfortable puff of air.

  The Heavenly Emperor and Heavenly Empress sat grandly on the highest positions in the hall. Today,  unusually, the Heavenly Empress did not give me any look of disdain. Daddy elegantly sat beside me, and did not greet the Heavenly Emperor and Heavenly Empress. There were gods who would come up to greet Daddy and Daddy only lightly nodded in reply. After a while, the hall was filled with gods who had came from all parts of the four seas and six realms. The Heavenly Emperor sternly lifted his hand and the gods who were whispering to each other immediately stopped. The Heavenly Emperor solemnly declared, "All the gods here know that I have an agreement with the Water God that my oldest son will marry his oldest daughter. Now that the Water God's precious daughter has returned, naturally this wedding will take place like the water flowing towards the river. Today I invited everyone to this gathering to discuss with the Water God a prosperous date for Night to marry Jin Mi Immortal. May all the gods here act as witness."

  Although I had always known I would marry Night in the end, when I heard the Heavenly Emperor so solemnly announced this, it gave me a strange unreal feeling in my heart. I lifted up my head and saw that Night's distinguished gaze brushed by me and then looked far away. The faint green vein lines in his neck turned a light pink, as if all the stars in the night sky had fallen into his dark pupils and caused it to glitter.


Friday, 1 August 2014

Drama Recaps & Commentary: Marriage Not Dating (Episode 3)




      If anyone is curious, the series is broadcast every Friday and Saturday. We are currently around episode 8 (episode 9 after Friday Night). :) Hui'er and I are obsessed with this show and will be trying to catch up with the live broadcast while providing our obsessive commentary! 

    Bed hijinks! The best part of contract marriages is watching the couple unconsciously (and grudgingly) fall in love. In my opinion, Ki Tae was merely intrigued by Jang Mi (and her usefulness) in the first two episodes, but in Episode 3, his heart starts to unravel. 


All screenshots from Marriage Not Dating


Episode 3: What does it mean to be lonely? 



 
   At the end of Episode 2, Jang Mi was about to say yes to dinner with Yeo Reum when she receives a call. It is from her mother! Ki Tae also receives a phone call from his mother. His mother went to visit Jang Mi's mother. Ki Tae's mother was "apologising" to Jang Mi's mother for her son leading on her daughter since he has no intentions of marrying her, and pleading with Jang Mi's mother to "free" her daughter from her son's evil clutches. Ki Tae and Jang Mi arrive and Jang Mi's mother is happy to hear from Ki Tae that he plans to become her son-in-law. Ki Tae's mother is foiled for now.

  Jang Mi's mother is so happy that Jang Mi is dating a plastic surgeon that she *gasp* speaks to her husband (their relationship is frosty and they usually communicate through phone or a whiteboard). Jang Mi sees her parents so happy and conversing in real life about her relationship that she realises that this contract dating could become messier than she expected.