Monday, 29 September 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 18.1: The Constellations are Moving)




   I changed the original title of Chapter 18 and will only reveal it at the end of Chapter 18 because the title itself is a huge spoiler and I think most readers will enjoy the story much more without knowing the title beforehand. A favourite character of mine appears and he spills a rather big secret, but who knows if Jin Mi will get it? 

   We are now at chapter 52 of 68 internet chapters and chapter 18 of 24 book chapters. 


Chapter 18: The Constellations are Moving (Part 1 of 2)

   "How many female goddesses has Night had physical relations?" I sat on the bamboo bed, bit my lips, and seriously looked at the half kneeling Night before me. 

   Night's hand paused, his cheeks flushed red, he turned aside to cough, then returned a gentle gaze at me, "To have physical relations is not child's play. Since I have a marriage agreement with Jin Mi, why would I have any physical relationships with other female goddesses? I only anticipate marrying Jin Mi on the 8th of the next month, we will then be husband and wife for ten thousands of years."

  I paused, from what Night had said, only men and women who are going to get married should mutually cultivate? But, Master Pu Chi said that as long as one is a man and one is a woman, then one can mutually cultivate, and the Moon God said that mutual cultivation harmonises the yin and yang. Since both of them had such different views, I could not help being a little confused. 

  Night carefully looked at me and said calmly, "Why does Jin Mi ask this? Has Night done anything wrong?"

  Phoenix and Sui He did not have any marriage engagement, I suddenly remembered the scene I had seen in Qi Wu's palace, I furrowed my brow and looked into Night's clear gaze, "You are very good, even better than very good. I had came to accompany you to watch the moonlight, and had only asked the question for fun."

  Night gave an elegant and gentle smile. He got up and sat next to me. He held my back and bent down to kiss me, it was soft and smooth like maple syrup dissolving on my lips, after a long while, he finally moved away. His forehead leaned on my forehead, the tip of his nose brushed the tip of my nose, he gave out a sigh with deep feeling, and then placed his hand on my shoulder and sat next to me. He lifted up his head to face the moon in the sky, he smiled, "The moon looks less lonely tonight."

   The night was cold like water, the small fireflies flew around us, my eye lids started to grow heavier and I yawned, I leaned onto Night's arm and safely fell asleep...

  When the dawn broke and Night's shift was over, I had awoke and Night sent me back to Luo Xiang manor. Just as I stepped into the manor, I saw a group of immortal attendants looking helpless as they surrounded a figure in green who cried, "Ah Jin Mi! Ah Jin Mi! I have waited for days and nights just to see you. But, who knew I could only see your dead body? No one can stop me! I will chase Jin Mi in death!" As he cried, he appeared to want to hit the pillar with his head and his voice rose passionately. 

  I saw that this was Master Pu Chi. 

  "Who said Jin Mi is dead?" Water God Daddy sternly said as he stepped into the hallway and looked at Master Pu Chi, his brows were furrowed tight as if his head was in great pain. 

  "If she is not dead, why doesn't the great god let me see her?" Master Pu Chi hugged the pillar and refused to let go, but his tears immediately stopped. 

  "Jin Mi is already betrothed to Night. I hope Gentleman Yan You can speak carefully and not harm Jin Mi's reputation," Daddy coldly spoke, he sounded a bit angry.

  "The great Water God's words are too cold. Although Jin Mi has the right to be engaged, I also have the right to have unrequited love," Master Pu Chi said boldly.


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 17.4: A Line Separates Good from Evil)



   I think I used this picture before, but it's too perfect not to use for this particular chapter, which is both swoony and perfect in so many ways. All of the men Jin Mi loves appear in this chapter and some appear in finer form than others. But most of all, it is clear that Jin Mi's heart can no longer remain unmoved...


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



   "Jin Mi..."

   "Jin Mi."

  "Jin Mi?"

  "Jin Mi!"

   As the ink brush dips into the water, the thick black blobs that could not dissolve, there was always one figure's silhouette that would not disappear away from my eyes - so many changes of expressions like the continuous passing on of the baron lamp. Sometimes cold and proud, sometimes between crying and laughter, sometimes biting one's teeth in hate, sometimes sad and distant. Although the tone of voice changed, the words never changed, from start to end there was only the calling of my name, Jin Mi. Everytime when I look clearly at this person's face, those shadowy images would quickly disappear without a trace...



  "Jin Mi, Jin Mi." Someone lightly patted my cheeks and I slowly opened my eyes. I woke up in hot sweat, my back was sticky, and my chest rose up and down, my breathing was not stable. 

  "Another nightmare?" Water God Daddy's cool hand brushed my forehead and brought a light wind, the sticky hot feeling I felt earlier disappeared. 

  "Don't worry, Daddy is by your side," Daddy sat at the side of my bed and hugged my shoulders and back, as if cajoling a three year old child. He lightly patted my back, the actions were simple, but they comforted my unease. 

  Ever since the Heavenly Empress used her flames to hurt my internal organs and I faked my death, Daddy had been at my side to take care of me - personally boiling my medicine... whenever I woke up in the middle of my dreams, it was Daddy who comforted me and never felt tired or annoyed. When my energy became slightly better, Daddy allowed Night to accompany me. Whenever Night came, he would gently hold my hand and transfer his internal energy to me. He could not hide the pain in his eyes, and whenever he left, he would turn back longingly with every three steps. The Twenty Four Flower Leaders also visited me a few times, their expressions were very bad. There was even once when the immortal attendants announced that the Heavenly Emperor and the Moon God wanted to see me, but Daddy rejected saying I lacked energy.

   All these were a completely different and foreign experience for me. In the Water Boundary, I would sometimes fall sick for a few days when I over cultivated my energy. The old Carrot Immortal would also only realised that I had fallen sick from my yellow pallor a few days after I recovered and then send some sleeping herbs to me. And when most recently when I over cultivated my energy, it was when I was staying at the Moon God's residence. When the Moon God saw my dark heavy eyebags, he had rejoiced, "Jin Mi, did not sleep well yesterday? Was your heart distracted by the Spring Palace pictures* I gave you?" The Moon God smiled widely and told me, "Having amorous dreams is good for lengthening one's life." At that point, I did not see his precious collections of pictures yet, but I did not want to stop his rejoicing so I did not correct him and silently concurred. 

  Thus, I had grew up alone in these four thousand plus years - alone to survive, alone to die. I was used to it already, but suddenly I had a Water God Daddy, I had a fiance, who so simply put me in the palm of their hands to protect. This fresh feeling caused me to think that to die is also not bad, I would not mind dying to experience this a few more times. 

  As my body became better by the day, my nightmare did not stop. Whenever I fell asleep, I would see that silhouette that I could not see clearly - I did not know the reason why. 

  Today, when Daddy fed me my medicine, he gave me a sharp weapon - it was shaped like the leaves of the willow tree, long, thin and sharp, it brimmed with icy energy, and when you looked at it closely it was as clear as a crystal.


Monday, 22 September 2014

Once Promised 曾许诺 by Tong Hua 桐华 : Translation for Chapter 11 (Part 3/3)

Remember Thus, Your Solemn Promise (Part 3/3)


Qing Yang did not dare let their mother see Ah Heng in her injured state so he brought her to his quarters to recuperate.  With his powers, aided by Shao Hao’s Jade, Ah Heng recovered quickly. 

“Look at the state you are in!  And you are still refusing to marry Shao Hao?”

Ah Heng pursed her lips and remained silent.

“Is he Chi You?  Do you believe I will kill that boy from Jiu Li?”

Ah Heng looked at him steadily.

Qing Yang’s anger left as quickly as it came.  Although his siblings are each different in terms of character, they all share the same stubborn streak, so he tried to think of another approach.  Finally he asked after a long time “Who is Royal Father’s favourite woman?”

Although her voice was a little hoarse, Ah Heng did not need to think hard to answer this question “His third Concubine, Madam Tong Yu.”

“Do you think given mother’s character, will Royal Father favour our mother?”

“Of course not!”  Mother was stubborn and had refused to maintain a youthful appearance.  For as long as she could remember, Royal Father has never spent the night at Chao Yun Palace.

“Five hundred years ago, Madam Yu Tong has tried to move in to Chao Yun Palace”

Ah Heng finally got what he was trying to say.  “You mean she wanted Royal Father to make her his Empress?”

Qing Yang nodded.

“How come I did not know about this?”

“Chang Yi did not want you to know and begged me to keep it from you.  Both he and mother did not want you to be worried but you need to grow up one day,  and things that will happen will not go away.”
“Ah Heng, do you really believe that the sons in our family are all filial, or that there is brotherly love among us?”
Ah Heng remained silent; she had sensed the undercurrents a long time ago.

Qing Yang continued “Do you know why Madam Yu Tong finally gave up telling Father how much she love the views of Chao Yun Palace?”

“Is it because of Big Brother?”

Qing Yang shook his head and laughed coldly.  “If it is because of me, all the more she will want to move into Chao Yun Palace because that is the only way her son will become the legal son of the Empress and contend openly with me for the throne.  The real reason is because of you.”

“Me?” Ah Heng found that hard to believe.  She was only a child at that time, how could she have made a difference?

“Because you are betroth to Shao Hao and there is a great possibility that Shao Hao will become the next Jun Emperor.  Given Gao Xing’s emphasis on lineage and that you are Royal Father’s only daughter, he will not want to take away your status as the daughter of Xuan Yuan Empress (as opposed to the daughter of a concubine).”

Ignoring her look of shock, Qing Yang continued.  “Ah Heng, Mother has done her best to provide you with a carefree childhood.  Do you know how precious five hundred years of freedom is to a Royal?  You have seen with your own eyes how Mother lives.  Have you ever thought about our sacrifices?  Would you bear to see your Mother humiliated?  If you do not marry Shao Hao, there is a high chance Mother will have to move out from Chao Yun Palace and Chang Yi will become the son of a concubine.  Chang Yi has always protected you since young.  Do you think he will be able to deal with all the traps that others will lay for him with his character, once he becomes the son of a concubine?”

It had never crossed Ah Heng’s mind that her refusal to marry Shao Hao would implicate her Mother and Third Brother.


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Little Moon's Matchmaking Mission & The Sun's Dark Love: Synopsis & Detailed Character Chart



     My husband advised me to create a character chart for Little Moon's Matchmaking Mission and The Sun's Dark Love because he can't keep track of all the characters - do you think it's because there are too many characters or it's just a guy thing? Haha. But, I thought it was a good idea so here's a character chart of most of the important characters in both stories - to make it fun I have also included my thoughts on who I think the characters might resemble in "real life" whenever relevant. 

  I would like to thank sutekii who did a beautiful review and introduction of Little Moon when it first started out. When she asked me to write short character introductions for the main characters, that was the first time I actually sat down and thought about how to introduce them without also completely giving the entire story away. 

  If you don't want to spoil yourself, please read Little Moon before you read The Sun's Dark Love. Though, both stories can be read on their own! :) 


Little Moon's Matchmaking Mission (小月要做媒) (HE)



   Synopsis: Little Moon's Matchmaking Mission is a xianxia novel that dreams of ancient chinese fairytales and legends about love and gods. Little Moon (Yue Er) is the niece of the Moon God and a probationary Moon Maiden. All she wanted her whole life (a mere hundred years of existence) was to be a Moon Maiden who connects the loves of mortals with a divine red thread. However, on the first day of the probation, she accidentally ruins the three golden threads of love for the future Yan Emperor?!

  She is then tasked to go down to earth to re-connect the future Yan Emperor's fate with the three women or suffer divine karma and disappear from existence. But, what if Little Moon loses her heart along the way as she tries to make the future Yan Emperor fall in love?


Friday, 19 September 2014

#talk 27: It's Okay It's Love Series Thoughts & Petition



   I disappeared this mid-week as my husband and I finally went on a staycation that was given to us as a wedding gift by some dear friends. I think it nicely syncs with my series thoughts on "It's Okay It's Love" which turned out not to be a mental illness drama about love, but a romantic comedy about mental illness. There is a difference - because the drama never pretends to be realistic about what mental illness really is, instead it goes right down to the basics - what does it mean to be human, what does it mean to feel, what does it mean to hurt? And Noh Hee Kyung's answer is, it's ok, it's love.

  As a romantic drama viewer, we love to watch people overcome odds, we love to watch people fall in love despite the odds. Suave playboy Jang Jae-yeol who is both a radio dj and a best-selling writer, could anyone be more intelligent and self aware? Then, at the other end, we have Hae Soo, successful independent psychiatrist at a reputable hospital. Except, Jang Jae-yeol who can see through everyone, is blind to what lies inside himself. And, Hae Soo, why she has her own obsessive compulsiveness about touching and love. Jang Jae-yeol pursues Hae Soo like a dog that can only see one bone, and prescribes her endless skinship lessons to "cure" her, while the happiness that Hae Soo begrudgingly gives Jae-yeol surprisingly causes his life to start turning topsy-turvy...


   I don't think it's too much of a *SPOILER* to say that Jae-yeol turns out to have a mental illness too, and potentially the most serious one *END SPOILER*. I loved the start of the drama and enjoyed the end - I kind of checked out in the middle because Hae Soo started to get irrationally prickly and it took a little too long for Jae-yeol's issues to come to the forefront. But, I like how clear the writer was with her drama, she really knew where she wanted to take her characters and she certainly went all the way. There are minor quibbles along the way - like, do we ever find out if Jae-yeol's medicine affects his writing skills? What really is Hae Soo's issue? 

  But, I suppose it doesn't really matter at the end of the day. Because, life really just goes on --- as long as you don't give up. No matter how lonely you feel, there are candles out there being lit for you in love and hope. 




Jae Yeol: “Like that, due to many people’s help, at that convent in a cave, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, there is a candle that is continually lit without burning out day or night. There is only one reason why the candle is lit. It’s for all the lonely people in the world outside of the cave. For those of you who are lonely because you’re alone, there is someone who is praying for you 24 hours a day. Remember that. You are not alone, not even for a second.”

source: dramapenchant's awesome finale recap





  If you love this drama, you will love dramapenchant's petition to get the It's Okay It's Love scripts in English! The scripts are already published in Korean, and dramapenchant is spearheading the move for it to be published in English for all the international fans. Click here to find out more

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 17.3: A Line Separates Good from Evil)


   In terms of consequences, this is one of the best chapters in Heavy Sweetness. When push come to shove, what would you choose, love or family? Is there ever a real choice?


Chapter 17: A Line Separates Good From Evil (Part 3 of 4)

   In the middle of the Heavenly Empress' palm, the red lotus fire blazed angrily. She lifted up her right hand and was about to hit the top of my head. 

  In the very last moment, I heard a sharp cry, "Jin Mi!"

  I lifted up my head but only saw someone dashing through the wall of fire as if it was nothing. I was losing my five senses and could only blearily see a distinguished looking figure, he was crying for me with such loss and alarm it was as if he had lost his own soul.

  The Heavenly Empress quickly retreated, "Phoe..." before she could finish, a ray of light flashed across and hit her straight in the back. There was an anguished sound of pain, as if she was hit by a huge force, she held her chest and spat out a mouthful of fresh blood. 

  As she instinctively kept her palm to protect her own pulse, the red lotus fire that was pressing down on my head disappeared - I could finally take in a breath of air again, I narrowed my eyes and saw a pair of long and thin coquettish eyes looking back at me, I gradually recognised the person and my heartbeat that was calming down started to rise again, this person had told me this morning, "Jin Mi, I think, there will finally be a day when I will kill you."

   Looks like I was fated to die at the hands of this pair of mother and son... I tolerated the pain in my chest and sealed my meridians, stopping myself from breathing, I forcefully bit down on my tongue, in a moment, warm and hot blood gushed out of my mouth. I furrowed my brows, my arm that was holding onto the floor lost its last strength, my body finally completely collapsed to fulfill both of their wishes. 

  Dead. 

  For a very long while, the silence was eerie.

  "Jin Mi?" Phoenix lightly asked - as if his breath was caught in his throat, it was so light and wispy, like his pulse was blocked, his heart had stopped, hanging on a thread. After a moment of silence, I heard him say in a manner that could not be more calm and simple, "You killed her."

  He spoke in a manner that carried no fierceness or strength, but it contained a coldness that would seep into the marrows of your bone and chilled your very insides. Even me, who was pretending to be dead, started to have a bit of goosebumps.

  The Heavenly Empress coughed, it was not clear if it was due to her injury or a little sense of guilt, but the sound was not stable. In a moment, she regained her consciousness and scolded, "For this demoness, you hit your own mother?!"


Monday, 15 September 2014

#talk 25: TvN remaking Liar Game into a Korean Drama





   I generally have a wait and see attitude to korean drama remakes of famous tv productions - after all, you never really know if something succeeds or fails until you see it right? In the end, I found that the korean dramas, "The Witch's Romance" (the adaptation of Taiwan's My Queen) and "Fated to Love You" (the adaptation of the taiwan drama of the same name) provided their own flavour and was fun to watch. It's pretty funny that both of them were Ethan Ruan productions - Park Seo Joon actually did channel some of that Ethan Ruan boyish-type charm in The Witch's Romance but Jang Hyuk in Fated to Love You completely made the male lead role his own. 

  There has been more brickbats than bouquets for the upcoming korean drama remake of the Japanese manga, Nodame Cantabile. Most specifically, for the fact, that it has added a love rival for Chiaki, some completely new character, a Korean American cellist - who seems to be some korean remake of the manga character, the oboe player, Kuroki, who had a crush on Nodame in the manga the first time he saw her but was never a love rival in any remote sense in the manga. To be honest, I was pretty horrified by this change because any fan of the manga will know that the cast of characters in the manga is huge enough and one of the best things about Nodame Cantabile is that it was never a typical shoujo manga - both the female and male lead had to save each other in order to be the best versions of themselves - it wasn't a case of true love saves the day or Chiaki being the perfect prince (because he wasn't), but music being such a powerful force that brought two completely different people together. 

 I am starting to wonder if k drama remakes only succeed when the original story already has a love triangle built into the plot. Second case in point - TvN is remaking Liar Game (which I love love love) and its casting not only seems problematic but seemed to suggest a love triangle - and with the most ridiculous possibility...


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Once Promised 曾许诺 by Tong Hua 桐华 : Translation for Chapter 11 (Part 2)


I felt a bit like Fei Wo Si Chun when I was translating today's post. For those who do not know her, chinese netizens call her "Stepmom" for writing love stories with screwup characters that go through tons of heartbreak before losing their true love anyway.  Having said so, there is nothing too scary today save for some waiting and toaster treatment. : ) I have some other thoughts but I will pen them at the end of the post 
- Moonblossom -



 

Chapter 11: Remember Thus, Your Solemn Promise (Part 2/3)

The next evening, Ah Heng reached the mountains of Jiu Li.

The peach blossoms were in full bloom and covered the mountains like a fiery blanket.  Deep in the valley, there was no altar, no witch doctor.  There were only scores of young men and women who had gathered beneath the flowers to sing and dance.  Their clothing were spun from coarse cotton and their lyrics were unrefined, but their steps were lively and their faces were aglow from their laughter.

Ah Heng could feel none of the festivities.  As she waited anxiously beneath the peach blossom tree where Chi You would meet her every year, she felt a sense of helplessness which she has never encountered before her life.  Since young, she had believed that her father doted on her and that her mother was strong enough to protect her from anything.  But now, she understood that her father had given in to her requests because they have never conflicted with his interests and that her mother was not as strong as she has imagined her to be.

They were still her family but things were no longer the same.  She felt anxious, afraid, and wished desperately that Chi You was here so that she could rest her forehead on his shoulder and hear him say in his cocky manner “Don’t worry.  I’m still here for you.” 

With his support, she knew she would be able to face all her trials bravely.  She wanted so much to tell him that she did not wish to marry Shao Hao.  She has studied hard to be a doctor in the last few years, so she was not totally unprepared to face her father’s objection.

Gradually, the songs faded away as young maidens found their partners and left.  Her surface calm faded as the night got longer but she kept staring at the direction of Shen Nong Mountain.

By the time the last person has gone, she was hurting badly. Still she believed. Maybe he was delayed by something?  Perhaps he was already on his way?

In the quiet of the night, she wished once again that Chi You would appear.  He would be wearing his red robe, and she would see his rakish smile, hear the laughter that would escape him whenever he saw her, the way he would quickly dismount and rush to her… When finally he appears, she thought, she was going to ignore him and let him beg for her forgiveness for making her wait.

But as the night got deeper, her hurt turned into anger.  Why did he make a promise if he did not intend to keep it?   But if he appeared, she knew she would still forgive him.


Friday, 12 September 2014

#talk 25: Da Mo Yao/Sound of the Desert to broadcast on 1st Oct 2014!




  It's official (for now), Da Mo Yao retitled as Legend of the Sun and Moon and then re-named again with its official english title as Sound of the Desert (风中奇缘 - literally means miraculous fate in the wind) will be broadcast on 1 Oct 2014 on Hunan TV station, every wednesday and thursday from 10 to 12 pm. 

 Can I just say how good Liu Shi Shi and Hu Ge look together? 




Thursday, 11 September 2014

Fiction: The Sun's Dark Love (Chapter 6)





    Woohoo, so we have reached the palace! I plan to write a few more chapters while my writing mojo is intact before I continue to translate Heavy Sweetness (though translation fans will get a treat this weekend :)). So, will Wang Huan finally learn what almost every single reader knows already? Haha.

     I hope this chapter is satisfying because it's probably the longest so far as well :).



Chapter 6: The First Meeting 

(i)

   In Wang Huan's notebook, her mother had written about the Royal Palace of the Yan Kingdom. She had called it the Forbidden City - so-called because people were forbidden to enter or exit the Royal Palace without the Emperor's permission. It was a sacred place of power that ordinary mortals could only dream of. In the shadow of the night, the Dark Lord and her mother had snuck into the royal kitchens and did some secret feasting of the ingredients in the kitchen. Her mother had declined the Dark Lord's request to pay an "official" visit to the Emperor - for she knew that there were lines that could not be crossed between realms and it would cause more trouble than it was worth.

  However, Wang Huan was following Xi Yang now into the Royal Palace in broad daylight, with an ease and formality that boggled her mind. Xi Yang had shown a pass at the Royal Palace gates and they were now taking a small royal carriage towards the Inner Palace. The inner palace!

  "If you frown any deeper, you are going to have permanent lines on your forehead," Xi Yang remarked mildly as he calmly watched the carriage ride pass the rows of guards. 

  "I'm related to the Empress," Xi Yang decided to say as Wang Huan watched the carriage move deeper into the Royal Palace with increasing alarm. Xi Yang had sent a letter to Yue beforehand to inform her of his arrival with Wang Huan and warned her not to call him by his real name and to warn the children of this too. He was not too concerned about Yu An, though he did not put too much faith in Hsiao Yang's ability to keep anything a secret. 

  Wang Huan seemed to relax at this information and started to enjoy the beautiful blossoms on the trees as the carriage strolled towards the Inner Palace. 



   Xi Yang watched as the carriage stopped before the familiar entrance of the Empress' Residence. And yet this familiarity had its own sense of strangeness, as he helped Wang Huan down the carriage and realised that this was the first time he had brought someone to Yue's residence.

    Xi Yang did not travel by travelling cloud to the Inner Palace because while Yu An and Hsiao Yang were aware on some level that the Moon God and Xi Yang were not ordinary mortals, they did not actually know that they were gods. They did not shy away from using some forms of magic before Yue's children, but the Moon God and Xi Yang always avoided arriving in the palace by travelling cloud. 

   Before Xi Yang could even introduce the palace to Wang Huan, he felt a small figure grab the end of his robes. 

   "Uncle! Uncle!" The chubby face of Hsiao Yang looked adoringly towards Xi Yang as he pulled at Xi Yang's robes, as if asking to be carried.


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

#talk 24: Legend of the Sun and Moon changes drama title to 'Miraculous Fate in the Wind' (风中奇缘)



    Unbelievably, even before it is going to be broadcast on 8 Oct 2014 on Hunan Television, the drama "Da Mo Yao" which was re-titled as "Legend of the Sun and Moon" has changed its drama name again! It is now called 'Miraculous Fate in the Wind' (风中奇缘) which is the chinese name for the Disney movie, Pocahontas.





Monday, 8 September 2014

Fiction: The Sun's Dark Love (Chapter 5)



    Chapter 5 is my favourite chapter for so many reasons! I think we are about halfway through the first arc. I'm really excited to share Chapter 5, because we are going to reach Chapter 6 which I have been dying to write since I started this story :). Also, I edited the grammar/flow of Chapter 4, so readers might want to re-read Chapter 4 before Chapter 5. Thank you so much for the support *does little head bow*. 


Chapter 5: Wang Huan Takes Things Into Her Own Hands

(i)

    After a week in Zui Town, Wang Huan had finished learning how to cook the side dishes and they headed to the Town of Yuan. However, at the bustling Red Inn of Yuan Town, Wang Huan's face fell in disappointment when she learnt from the lady boss that the original chef of the Red Hot Spicy Pork Dish had already left Yuan Town more than twelve years ago.

  The lady boss beamed as she informed Wang Huan that the original chef was her daughter, Hong Meng, but she is now the personal maidservant of the Empress of the Yan Kingdom and married to the Head Royal Guard, Hu Jun. Still, the lady boss assured Wang Huan of the deliciousness of their Red Hot Spicy Pork Dish before she left to deal with the other customers.

  "One would think that the world has just collapsed from your face," Xi Yang scoffed as he tried the red hot spicy pork dish. Indeed, Hong Meng's version was much better. 

 "It does not taste the same," Wang Huan said as she studied her brown notebook, "There is a taste my mother describes which is missing in this dish... something like an almost warm nostalgia..."

  Xi Yang could not fathom how a dish could taste like warm nostalgia considering Wang Huan has never tried the dish before. He hid a smile as Wang Huan ate another piece of the pork and shook her head as she studied the notebook.

  "Well, we could always taste the original in the Royal Palace," Xi Yang said nonchalantly as he sipped a cup of tea.

  Wang Huan's head immediately spun towards Xi Yang, "What did you say?"

  Xi Yang flicked off an imaginary speck of dust off his robe sleeves and replied, "We could always taste the original in the Royal Palace."

 Wang Huan's eyes widened, "But, Hong Meng is now the Empress' personal servant!"

  "Details," Xi Yang waved his hand.

  Wang Huan scrutinised Xi Yang carefully. She was not certain if Xi Yang was being way over his head, but he certainly seemed to be speaking the truth.

   And, so that was how Xi Yang and Wang Huan started to head towards the Royal Palace... and little did Wang Huan knew then that what awaited her was more than a red hot spicy pork dish.


 (ii)



  Wang Huan 


    I had often told myself - do not get curious. Do not get curious about Ri. Growing up, I did not have many conversations with the Dark Lord, but I remembered one very vividly. It was the first year anniversary since Mother passed away and the Dark Lord had came to my courtyard. He carried an enormous jug of wine and insisted we drank it together under the full moon.

     His face seemed paler than usual under the whitish sheen of the moon. "Wang Huan, I have little to give to you," He said then smiled, "But, I have a word of advice for you."

      "Be careful when you get curious about someone," He chuckled, "Don't get curious unless you want to take responsibility for that person." Then he closed his eyes as if savouring a memory, "Because curiosity always leads to something else..."


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Fiction: The Sun's Dark Love (Chapter 4)




    Slowly but surely, I am feeling much better. I shall be writing and translating more in the month of September! So, what awaits Xi Yang in Chapter 4? 

  P.S. I really recommend for readers to read Moonblossom's translation for Chapter 11 of Once Promised. It's so beautiful and elegant... there is no pain and heartbreak (yet) if anyone is worried about Once Promised - just passion and the fragile passing of time. 


Chapter 4: Secrets 

(i)

Wang Huan


   I was woken up by a sharp stab of pain. 

 When I opened my eyes, I realised that I was inside a dark cavern. Each of my hands was tied with a thick rope onto a separate boulder. There were several tiny stab wounds at my wrists and a sharp slash at my right wrist - I was bleeding profusely. 

  I uncomfortably lifted up my head in the direction of cold laughter and saw a young looking woman in shimmery, almost translucent purple robes. 

  


   She was heavily made up and over perfumed, she could be considered beautiful, but her features were hard and cruel. She leaned down towards me and placed her hand on my face - I winced from the prickling of her long talon-like nails. 

  "You look so much like the Dark Lord that a part of me is hesitant to kill you,"She drawled as she pulled my face up towards her. 

  I gave her a questioning look, and she laughed. "You are so ignorant, little pretty one. You have no idea how many women your father have scorned and how many women want to kill you?"
   
  She gripped my wrist tightly, "It was interesting to see that the rumours are true... you cannot be poisoned. I had jabbed you with my poison a while ago and there has been no effect on you at all, although the average immortal would have became completely immobile and turned purple in the face by now."

  "It was hard to capture you," She laughed, "The Dark Lord placed a protective boundary over your small deserted courtyard that wards away demons of a certain strength and demons with intentions to harm you. It's a very strong spell and he must have invested a lot of his own divine essence in it."

   My heart skipped in surprise - I never knew that there was a protective spell over the courtyard. I saw her sigh, her eyes filed with a mixture between jealousy.. and affection? Her face turned completely dark as she scowled, "I may not have been able to hurt you in the Dark Realms, but you are chicken feed here, little one. That bodyguard of yours... his powers are very strong... and I was wondering how I could immobilise you to carry you away since you are immune to poison... but the fates favoured me, he stepped away from a moment and I quickly carted the drunk you away."

  She laughed heartily at that as she watched the blood slowly seep out of my wrist, "So many people have wanted to kill your mother and you - that dirty kitchen wench who stole the Dark Lord's heart. Funnily enough, your mother died of poison but you survived."

  Even though my whole body felt weak, I spat at the woman, "Don't you dare insult my mother!" My heart twisted at the allegation that my mother died of poison... that was not what the Dark Lord had told me...

  She gave me a tight slap on the face, "I show you a little kindness and you overestimate yourself!"

  I started to laugh, "You call this a little kindness? You plan to eat me, don't you?"

 A wide smile grew on her face, "They say your mother drank your blood to become more beautiful and gain the Dark Love's love."


Friday, 5 September 2014

#talk 23: 9 Top Chinese Beauties




    I came across an article last week about the ten most beautiful actresses in China and I thought it was quite interesting and reflective of the range of Chinese Beauties. No list can be completely comprehensive but I think this list provides a pretty good list of some of the most famous faces in China (although it provided some really awful pictures of these pretty actresses!). 

    I'm often struck by how international my readers are and I thought it would be good to share 9 of the 10 actresses named in this article to showcase some chinese actresses that may not be as internationally known (I'm not sharing about #10 Zhang Jingchu since I have no thoughts or knowledge on her haha). I think in the c-novel blogging circles - we focus more on the younger batch of actresses, such as Liu Yi Fei, Liu Shi Shi, Ady An, Ariel Lin, Yang Mi, who are currently acting in the ancient television dramas. 

   But, if you ask an average person in the street of China who they think will be representative of the Chinese Beauty - I frankly think it will be unlikely that they will name most of these young actresses (except for Liu Yi Fei). 

   Top of the list is the Empress Gong Li...





 #1 Gong Li - the article calls her "the most Chinese face". I love Gong Li's face - I saw her in an ancient chinese movie when I was young and thought she looked like a perfect goddess. Someone once told me that Gong Li's features are very plain - if you look at each of them individually, they are ordinary. But, somehow, the combination of them all is extraordinary. 

    You can't look away from her gaze - there is an innate power in them that she seems to have cultivated over the years. She's nearing fifty, but she still has the aura of always being the most good looking woman in the room. 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Once Promised 曾许诺 by Tong Hua 桐华 : Translation for Chapter 11 (Part 1)


Chapter 11: Remember Thus, Your Solemn Promise

Howdy!  I'm Moonblossom and I'm doing chapter 11 for Once Promise. Readers of OP will like this chapter.  Firstly, it is long.  Secondly, Shao Hao and Qing Yang both made an appearance!  Although they are not the main leads, there is something about them that is just... awesome? Even though I like Chi You, I can't help but be captivated by the aura of the two men.

 

Before I delve into the chapter, I would like to mention the title of this chapter.  It was taken from a prose - Song of Golden Tower. Gift to Liang Fen - by Qing Dynasty poet Na Lan Xing De (纳兰性德) as an ode to his good friend.  Since most of this chapter is about love and not friendship, these six words are more a poetic expression of an important promise, but what a nice, poetic ring especially when you get to the end of this post!  Here is the original prose and translation.

金缕曲·赠梁汾

德也狂生耳。
偶然间、缁尘京国,乌衣门第。
有酒惟浇赵州土,谁会成生此意?
不信道、遂成知己。
青眼高歌俱未老,向尊前、拭尽英雄泪。
君不见,月如水。
共君此夜须沉醉,且由他、蛾眉谣诼,古今同忌。
身世悠悠何足问,冷笑置之而已。
寻思起、从头翻悔。 一日心期千劫在,
后身缘、恐结他生里。
然诺重,君须记 !

It roughly translates to:

Song of Golden Tower. Gift to Liang Fen

I am once an arrogant youth. 
My involvement in court affairs was but a result of my noble birth. 
I once have dreams to lead capable men to contribute to our country, but no one understands. 
I do not believe in fate until we become good friends today.

While we are still not too old, let us wipe away our tears.
Lift our wine cups; lift our spirits; drink our fill. 
Since ancient times, it is not uncommon for leaders to be surrounded unkind rumours or be hurt by them.

Let this trouble not our hearts and let us let go of the hurt with a smile.
By chance today we meet and become good friends. 
Even if we are to meet a thousand trials, let our friendship remain firm.
Our friendship in the future will likely take place in our next lives.
A heavy promise like this, my friend must remember!

- Moonblossom -
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Monday, 1 September 2014

#talk 22: Legend of the Sun and Moon & The Journey of Flower (Legend of Hua Qian Gu) Trailer & Dramas Synopsis!



    I'm really excited that Legend of the Sun and Moon (星月传奇) (original title: Song of the Desert) starring Liu Shi Shi, Hu Ge and Eddie Peng is finally going to be broadcast. The broadcast date is 8 October 2014! Finally, my friends! Here's the link to the theme song video I translated previously. The drama is also gearing up its promotion again! Click behind the entry break for the latest drama stills and my translated drama synopsis for The Journey of Flower/ Legend of Hua Qian Gu (花千骨) starring Wallace Huo, Zhao Li Ying and Jiang Xin.