Friday, 31 October 2014

Fiction: The Sun's Dark Love (Chapter 12)



   Hello readers, thanks for the really warm response to Chapter 11! It motivated me so greatly that I finished Chapter 12 early and I'm excited to share this with you. I have been planning this story for such a long time that it's almost with great relief that we have finally reached this stage. I feel terribly excited and shall squeal with you when you finish this! 


Chapter 12: Weakness

(i)

Wang Huan 


   Crown Prince Sun faced the crowd and asked, "So, who made this dish?"

    The previously raucous crowd fell silent.

   I watched as Crown Prince Sun's eyes slowly scanned the faces in the crowd, one by one, until his eyes fell on me. I felt like a rabbit ensnared by the sharp talons of an eagle - you might think he was not looking for you, but he was only taking his own sweet time to get to his prey.




  I never had the opportunity to escape.

  I stood up, my head held high, and announced, "It was me."

  I watched as the edge of his lips rose up. He came forward and gave a gentlemanly bow to me, "I am Crown Prince Sun, pleased to meet you."

  I heard the Heavenly Empress voice sweetly from behind, "The Royal Princess Wang Huan, your royal fiancee."

  "Is this fate?" Crown Prince Sun smiled widely at me.

  I looked coolly back, "I don't believe in fate."

  "How coincidental, neither do I," Crown Prince Sun declared and swiftly grabbed my hand in his. He pulled me towards him and he quickly whispered, "If you don't follow me, I will carry you out of here."

  He lifted his head at his parents with a earnest nod, "Since we have found each other, we shall make our grand exit now."

  With that, Crown Prince Sun pulled me out of the Grand Palace Hall under the startled eyes of all the gods and goddesses. 

  When we reached a secluded hallway beyond the eyes and ears of the hall, I immediately retracted my hand, but as if he was expecting it, his grip had already tightened over my hand.

  "That hurts," I said and blinked back hot tears.

  He quickly let go of my hand. He leaned his head sideways to look at my face carefully but I bowed my head down. 

  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, to be mad or happy. Previously, I couldn't like Ri because I was engaged to Crown Prince Sun. Now, I can't like him even more because he is... Crown Prince Sun. 

  Thinking of it, I felt a fresh bolt of rage heat up in my heart. I raised my fists and started to hit Crown Prince Sun's chest forcefully. He did not defend himself. He just stood there and received my beatings.

  After a while, I stopped and laughed bitterly, "Even when I try and hit you, I'm the one who gets hurt instead." I felt my knuckles ache.

  He held the back of my hands and transferred his divine energy. 

  "Let me go," I barked.

  Crown Prince Sun sighed, "You are wrong, because I hurt, Wang Huan, I hurt too... I'm sorry. I never meant to lie to you. When I first visited your courtyard, I had gone there with the intent to get you to break the royal engagement, but... you struck up my curiosity, and slowly... I didn't know how to tell you who I was."

  He pulled out a silk parchment from his robes and unfolded it before me, "When you said you hated Crown Prince Sun because he killed your childhood friend, even more I could not open my mouth to reveal the truth."

  "Since then, I had asked Yao Feng to check on the Spider Demon Tribe... you should already know that they have gotten their just retribution, they breached the laws of the Heavenly Realms and the Dark Realms by elevating their powers by taking the divine heartstone of minor gods and immortals --- thereby completely extinguishing these beings from the cycle of life and death, " Crown Prince Sun continued, "To commit such a cardinal sin, the whole tribe must be punished. Those who were directly involved were exterminated and those that had no direct part were banished... your childhood friend, the son of the leader of the Spider Demon Tribe was spared. He is still alive."

  Yan Zun, my eyes brimmed wet with unshed tears.

  "Wang Huan, I'm going to ask both our fathers to give a royal pardon to the Spider Demon Tribe to celebrate our royal engagement. If you don't like me, you don't have to marry me... just maintain the engagement until the Spider Demon Tribe returns. I will make sure that the Spider Demon Tribe settle safely back in the Dark Realms again."

  I finally returned Crown Prince Sun's gaze. I looked at him in confusion, "But why are you doing this? Don't you know how much they hate you?"

  He returned a sad smile, "Because I don't want you to hate me."


Thursday, 30 October 2014

Fiction: The Sun's Dark Love (Chapter 11)





     I love the above picture of Li Bing Bing. Although I imagine Wang Huan looking like the actress Jiang Xin, I think the above picture captures perfectly the warrior princess mode that Wang Huan is transforming into. She’s going into battle – a battle of food. Haha.

  I would also like to thank my readers for their support. I get really happy when people tell me that they have been following the story since Little Moon. My greatest fear when starting The Sun’s Dark Love is that this would be a disappointment after Little Moon – because I think it’s very hard to write a true standalone story for a ‘second’ male lead. I don’t think I would have attempted it if not for the fact that when I planned Xi Yang’s character for Little Moon, I always imagined him ending up in a ‘contract’ marriage with a foreign princess! 


Chapter 11: The Crown Prince Has a Picky Tongue


(i)

    Ri thought that Wang Huan was like a rabbit – all wide-eyed excitement and nervousness, she did not seem to know where to look.

    Finally, when Wang Huan’s eyes stayed in line with his, he replied, “I am under no one’s orders.” Her eyes brightened, “But it’s true that I guarded you for Crown Prince Sun.”

   Ri watched as Wang Huan blinked back what seemed like disappointment. But, quickly, she raised her eyes into his again, “What is the promise you wanted?”

  Ri leaned back with an arrogant smile, “A promise you can only give if you win the challenge.”

  Wang Huan gave a soft dry laugh, “So, you have heard about the challenge too.”

   “You will win, won’t you?” Ri asked with a slight hint of teasing in his voice.

  Wang Huan turned away to look at the stars, “That is what they all tell me.”

   No one bothered to ask if she wanted to win, only that she will win, Wang Huan thought to herself as she watched the faint glimmer of the stars. She willed herself then to close her heart – willing any heat she had felt earlier to disappear like the diminishing twinkle of the stars with the rising of the dawn.

  Ri watched as Wang Huan turned her head away and he hid a smile and quickened the pace of his winged horse. Due to the abrupt change in speed, Wang Huan was startled and she felt her body fall back onto Ri.

  Ri laughed, “You didn’t think that this was all?”

   Wang Huan unwillingly grabbed onto Ri’s robes as the horse made a steep ascent downwards. She did not want to fly off Ri’s horse and she did not have the confidence that Ri would not let her fall. 

  Ri swiftly guided the winged horse to a clean landing and Wang Huan curiously lifted up her head. She let out a small gasp of air, because dozens and dozens of stars were spinning above her in spirals of lights and colour. She turned around and saw that they had landed on top of a palace wall. It seemed like they were no longer in the Heavenly Realms.


Monday, 27 October 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 19.2: The Emotional Threads are Deep and Mysterious)



     I took a short break to Hong Kong this week and am rather sad that the small respite is already over. Ah, it is always wonderful to take time away from the bustle and habit of the everyday, and have some time to wonder and wander!

     Speaking of habits, funnily enough, translating Heavy Sweetness has become a habit for the year. I am rather happy that the end, though still some distance away, is finally in sight. You can really feel the story moving and Dian Xian is really putting effort in the chapters - not only in length (gosh, each part of the chapters that I break into smaller parts would equal the length of two full chapters of other internet novels) and the ever increasing complexity. 

   Although the events in Heavy Sweetness are extremely dramatic, these events always swiftly and lightly move by due to Jin Mi's handicap in assessing emotions. But, chapter 19 slowly shows us that even if everyone thinks Jin Mi's heart is a rock, that does not free it from becoming emotionally tied. 


Chapter 19: The Emotional Threads are Deep and Mysterious (Part 2 of 4)

    Night slowly became more and more busy. Although he did not say anything, I was able to decipher this from the space between his brows. However, his visits to me also steadily increased, often he would guard at the head of my bed the whole night. 

  Before I closed my eyes to sleep, I would see him sitting elegantly and pure as the clear moonlight on a bamboo chair, sipping tea. When I opened my eyes and awoke from a dream, he would still be sitting on a bamboo chair, untainted, pure as the clear moonlight, but in his hand was no longer a teacup but a poetry book. He lifted his head and gave me a smile, his smile was always just nice - just the right amount of warmth to make my whole body relax in comfort. 

  One or two nights, I was not able to sleep and we talked about the art of magic. At the break of dawn, I felt my whole body feeling lethargic and uncomfortable, as if I had drank too much alcohol. I was full of admiration for how Night could stay awake the whole night, always rushing to visit me in the Flower World after hanging the stars in the night. He gave a soft smile, "Why would I be tired? Seeing you sleep sweetly is my best rest, more effective than ten days of sleep."

  No matter how many tasks Night was busy with, he was still able to be gentle and considerate to everything - every flower, every grass, every person, every animal. 

  Old Carrot Immortal was afraid of rabbits, so Night borrowed a thunder drum from the Thunder God. The thunder drum was only the size of a palm and could be carried at the waist. When Old Carrot Immortal met a rabbit, he only needed to lightly pat this drum and there would be the rumbling sounds of thunder. Rabbits were not brave and would be frightened by any disturbances, so they would always run away in fear. The Old Carrot Immortal was so happy that he praised Night to the skies and sighed that he had mistaken him previously.

   Lian Qiao had low divine energy and was often sad at being restrained in the Water Margin. She always wanted to see living creatures besides flowers and grass. So, Night gave her a mirror that allowed her to see all kinds of creatures and living things. This satisfied Lian Qiao's curiosity and she chased after me to ask if Night would like a concubine, she wanted to recommend herself.


   Inevitably, the Head Flower Leader and all the other twenty three other Flower Leaders were also won over by Night's thoughtfulness and ability to discreetly and perfectly handle everything. In a short time, all the grass immortals, flower sprites, butterflies and bugs, even the bugs the size of a rice grain, knew that the most elegant and harmonious god in the six realms was Night.

  Night soon became the hot topic of the sprites in the Flower World. For example, even now as I was strolling along the tombstones, I heard a grasshopper sprite and a Jasmine Flower sprite gossiping.

  "Ah.... how shall I describe the Night Deity? Yesterday night, outside the window, I saw Night covering Tao Tao (this is Jin Mi's nickname and a pun on grape in chinese) with a blanket, that action, that gaze, ah... that gaze will make anyone willingly evaporate.." The grasshopper sprite said in a reminiscing tone.


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Fiction: The Sun's Dark Love (Chapter 10)



     Thank you readers for the lovely support for Chapter 9. Chapter 10 is Wang Huan-centric and I think it is finally in this chapter that the walls start to get torn down in her heart. Ah, I really enjoyed writing this chapter and I hope you will enjoy reading it! 


Chapter 10: Midnight at Moonlight

(i)

Wang Huan 

    I was starting to wonder if the days were longer in the Heavenly Realms - for my bad day never seemed to end. When I finally reached back to the Water Lily Palace, I saw Xiao Mi anxiously come towards me with a letter. It was sent by the Dark Lord. 

  I quickly opened the letter and saw two words in his characteristic bold calligraphy, To victory!

  My hand holding the letter trembled slightly. Other goddesses had fathers who would raise a royal complaint for a bruise on their cheek, my father, my all-knowing father, would send a letter hinting that I could not lose. 

  I sat down on a chair Xiao Mi brought forth to me and I shook my head. No, that was not fair of me. I thought back to the Scorpion Demoness' words, "It was hard to capture you... 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."

  I closed my eyes and rested the back of my head on the chair. Was this a trait of dark immortals? We say so little and hold in so much. 

  Images of Ri taunting me, calling me a medicinal pig and trying to find out my secrets slowly flew across my brain. A small smile played on my lips, Ri, I think I ran away from you, because I was afraid. Afraid that once one thing came out, everything else would follow... and who, who would close the door to my heart once it opens?

(ii)

Xi Yang 

      After I commanded Yao Feng to arrange for Wang Huan to meet me as Ri, my heart immediately felt better. That constricted feeling, that constant sense of unease, all these discomforts disappeared. I believed the mortal saying was true - it is bad for the heart to suppress anger. Since Wang Huan was the cause of this anger, the most logical thing was to confront her.

   And, the events of the day only improved. When Yao Feng and I returned to my palace, Zhao Feng, one of the younger officers in my personal army, quickly came up to report to me. 

   "Your Highness, when you were away, a lot of things happened at the Jade Emperor's palace!" Zhao Feng cried excitedly.

  "Speak," I ordered, slightly curious. 

  Just as Zhao Feng was about to finish summarising the dramatic events of the day, I had already started laughing. That medicinal pig! She really is setting herself up to be roasted.

   Yao Feng arched his brow slightly at me. He bent forward and said, "Your Highness, judging from today's events, it may be better to arrange a meeting tomorrow night instead."

  I smiled, "I have an idea." 


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Fiction: The Sun's Dark Love (Chapter 9)


   In Chapter 9, Wang Huan really starts to come into her own in the Heavenly Realms. And, Xi Yang decides that instead of incinerating all the heavenly trees, perhaps he should incinerate something else...... 


Chapter 9: Challenge

   (i) 

       Yao Feng had been sent to the Heavenly Empress' palace by Crown Prince Sun to deliver a present - a box of Blue Hydrangea tea leaves Xi Yang had gotten from the Mortal Realms. Xi Yang had informed the Jade Emperor upon his return that after eliminating the wild beasts from the Eastern Regions, he had made a short stop in the Mortal Realms before returning to the Heavenly Realms. 

      Xi Yang had actually wanted to visit his mother and personally pass the gift himself, but the Heavenly Empress had sent a messenger to Crown Prince Sun's palace upon his return and informed him that he was not allowed to go to her palace because she had heard how his bad temper was causing the heavenly trees to incinerate to ashes. Xi Yang knew his mother, being a camellia flower sprite, had a strong affinity with plants, and did not question such a strange order. 

   Little did Xi Yang know that his mother did not want him coming to her palace because she did not want him to meet the Royal Princess Wang Huan. And, little did the Heavenly Empress know, Xi Yang's trusty lieutenant, Yao Feng, would pass the group of goddesses exiting the Heavenly Empress' palace while he was leaving and heard them gleefully discuss how Yi Mei would give the Royal Princess Wang Huan her "just desserts". 

  So, by a strange confluence of coincidences, Yao Feng had met Wang Huan. And, she was now before him, her eyes looking straight into Yao Feng, her heart beating furiously in her chest, "Do you know Ri?"

  It was only then that it hit Yao Feng that Xi Yang must have had a reason for not revealing his real name to Wang Huan. So, Yao Feng smiled, "Yes, I do. I belong to Crown Prince Sun's personal elite army, and so does Ri."

 Yao Feng watched curiously as Wang Huan's face fell slightly, as if it confirmed something that she rather not know. 

   Yao Feng heard footsteps from afar and decided that he had best made his exit since it was not proper for a male god to stay at the Heavenly Empress' palace without the Heavenly Empress' permission. 

   "You can find me at Crown Prince Sun's palace," Yao Feng said hastily as he made a swift exit. 

   So, that was how the Heavenly Empress found Wang Huan when she returned. Sitting alone in the room, in the midst of her own deep thoughts. 

   "Wang Huan?" The Heavenly Empress asked concernedly and her question jotted Wang Huan's consciousness back. 

    The Heavenly Empress signalled for her personal maidservants to leave the room and they closed the door behind them. The Heavenly Empress sat down next to Wang Huan and smiled kindly, "I hope the goddesses were not too much of a rude shock."

  Wang Huan shook her head, "I understand your Highness' intentions. Yi Mei has also explained it to me."

   "It is the burden of the Crown," The Heavenly Empress pressed her hand onto Wang Huan's palm. 

   Wang Huan liked the Heavenly Empress the moment she met her, it was hard not to - the Heavenly Empress had a natural soft comforting presence like the warm clean aroma of a bright summer's day. She could not help wanting to be liked by the Heavenly Empress too, but a part of her couldn't help thinking that the Heavenly Empress was misplacing her hopes and expectations in the wrong girl. A girl who had no intentions of loving the Crown Prince. 

  "I'm afraid I will disappoint your Highness," Wang Huan bowed her head down, "If I could be quite frank, I have no talents. I am just a princess in name who lives at the edge of the Dark Realms."

  The Heavenly Empress laughed, "When I was young, Wang Huan, I was but a mere camellia flower, so low, so low, that anyone could stomp on me."

   "Wang Huan, our titles are what people call us, but they are not what we are," The Heavenly Empress gave a reassuring squeeze to Wang Huan's hand.

    Before Wang Huan could respond, a maidservant knocked on the door. The Heavenly Empress voiced her approval for the maidservant to enter.  

   "Your Highness, bad news! Bad news! I heard from the guards that the Prosperity God has gone to complain to the Jade Emperor claiming the Royal Princess Wang Huan had practised dark magic on his daughter, Jin Mei!"

  The Heavenly Empress' eyes had a faint ripple. This time, Wang Huan gently gripped the Heavenly Empress' hand, "If this is what I must bear, then let me face it head on."

  (ii) 

      As Yao Feng returned to Crown Prince Sun's palace, he could not help smiling to himself. He imagined how Xi Yang would react when he told Xi Yang the news about the Royal Princess Wang Huan. Yao Feng momentarily paused as he thought, could Xi Yang's recent dark mood be caused by Princess Wang Huan's sudden disappearance from the Mortal Realms? Yao Feng started to laugh. 


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 19.1: The Emotional Threads are Deep and Mysterious)




  Both Night and Phoenix appear in this chapter, both perfectly showcasing their best traits --- one is the Lover and the other is the Companion. Can you tell who is which?




Chapter 19: The Emotional Threads are Deep and Mysterious (Part 1 of 4)

    Nothing is more beautiful than an April's day. When it's April in the mortal realms, the cherry blossoms are in bloom, the sweet floral fragrance permeates the air, the mortals think that this is the epitome of beauty. But, such a sight is ordinary in the Flower World. Every day is an April's day, every season is spring. One doesn't remember when a flower blooms for it never withers. 

  The warm wind made one drowsy, filled one with a sense of laziness. During the first few days when I first returned to the Flower World, I could hardly rise awake... whenever the Twenty Four Flower Leaders visited, I would be sleeping. This evening when I was playing chess with Night, I could barely last until half a set when I leaned down on the stone table and started to dream. Half dreaming and half awake, I thought I heard the Head Flower Leader talked to Night. 

   "This child, Jin Mi... ah, her life is tough. Do I dare ask if Night is sincere towards her - without any ill intent?"

  "This is my real heart, the Head Flower Leader does not need to suspect."

  "But if one gives real feelings, then one will wish that one's feelings are also reciprocated with real feelings. Jin Mi is like barren ground, no matter what fertiliser you give, no matter how carefully you water and protect it, you would not be able to grow a single petal. To speak of love with her is to throw a stone in the big ocean, you would not receive an echo back. Is Night afraid of wasting time and effort?"

  "Ah... what is there to fear? If time is meant to be spent, I am willing to waste my life with her... but, for what reason does the Head Flower Leader speak so pessimistically about Jin Mi?"

  "(cough).... Jin Mi grew up under my watch, her basic nature is kind, only she has always been cold and ruthless with her feelings. Besides wanting to become god, she has no other desires, no person, no thing comes into her eyes - not to even mention her heart. When the Water God passed on, did Night see Jin Mi shed a single tear?"

  "Now that you mention it, she did not. But, a great love leaves no traces, a huge sorrow has no tears. How will the Head Flower Leader know if Jin Mi is not actually grieving in her heart? Please don't speak badly of Jin Er, if I may be so blunt, I do not like to listen of such words."

  "Ah... then I will stop here, one's nature is not easily changed, I can only hope that the efforts Night put in can crack metal and stone."

  Night stroke my loose hairs on my back, I comfortably laid down on his arm and fell into a deep sleep. 

  I did not know how much time had passed but I suddenly realised that I was no longer sleeping on an arm but a silk pillow. Night must have left and I could only blearily hear the Head Flower Leader sigh, "I do not know if the Unfeeling Pill is a blessing or burden to you..."

  When I awoke again, the sky has lit and so the night had passed without any trace. 

  Next to the previous Flower God's tomb was a stone pavilion  In the day, I would read the books that the Moon God had passed to me. The books talked about emotions and entanglements, I did not understand what was written, but I was forcing myself to read it from start to end to figure out its secret.


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 18.2: The Constellations are Moving)



   In the final part of chapter 18, we find out why Jin Mi did not marry Night on the fated day...... as Jin Mi slowly learns, sometimes getting what you thought you wanted does not actually make you happy.


Chapter 18.2: The Constellations are Moving (Part 2 of 2)

   The third day of the third month is when Spring returns to the land. As all the creatures awoke from their winter slumber, what they look forward to the most was the wet spring rain. But, all of them were destined to be disappointed this year. 

   With the passing of the Water God, where will the rain come from?

  "The Heavenly Emperor has given an edict!" A proud immortal attendant announced himself in a hall full of gods crying their lungs and hearts out, "Jin Mi Immortal to receive the edict!"

  I gave out an affirming sound and knelt down to receive the imperial command. 

  "The Water God's passing has caused the whole world to cry. The Water God had always loved all creatures in the realms and used his divine energy to help many living things. He will be given the title of Benevolent Holy God. Jin Mi is the Water God's only child and will have to fulfill her filial duties and guard his tomb for three years. Her wedding with Night will be delayed for three years. Finally, Jin Mi will be treated as a god from henceforth and inherit the title of the Water God!"

  
  "Jin Mi receives the edict!" I received the holy edict.... although I had finally fulfilled my dream of becoming a god, but my heart felt strangely empty.

  In one night, I gained a Water God Daddy.

  In one night, Water God Daddy's soul disappeared from existence.

  It was like the thin spring rain in April, before you could even touch it, it would disappear in the glow of spring, it caused one to doubt if what you saw was real. 

  Once again, I returned to being an orphan.

  I held the willow ice blade in my palm, the wintry coolness seeped into my bones, the hall was filled with sesame yellow and plain white, the colours of mourning. Facing the many gods who had came to mourn for my father, I was in a daze and said numbly, "If Daddy did not use half of his divine energy to make this willow ice blade to protect my body, will his soul not disappear when he was struck by a poisonous blow? If I only knew earlier... if I only knew earlier..."

  Night held me in his arms and lightly stroke my back, it was exactly like how my Dad used to comfort me, "Even a thousand gold taels cannot buy foresight. Jin Mi shouldn't be upset, I am still here, the Water God will also not want Jin Mi to break her heart over him."

  I looked at him dazedly, "break my heart?" What is heartbreak? My chest only felt a little heavy, as if a big rock had hit my chest. I think my body is only a bit tired... and I will feel better after a rest.

   At the side, the Wind Goddess was in the mourning clothes of hemp, her gaze was calm as she lit three incense sticks and kowtow three times. She then silently sat at the side to receive the condolences of the various gods.

   Although the Wind Goddess was Daddy's matrimonial partner, I actually hardly saw her. She did not stay at Luo Xiang manor and although she was married to Daddy, in truth, they were actually forced to be married by the Heavenly Emperor and were only partners in name. Both of their personalities were cold and distant and they hardly met except for important events in the Heavenly Realms. If I did not see her today, I would have almost forgotten her existence.

   The young immortal child at the door was announcing the gods that had entered to give their condolences when he paused... it was not clear who he saw, but he increased the pitch of his voice and cried, "His Fire God Highness has come to pay his respects!"

  I turned back and my eyes hit Phoenix's gaze which did not have its usual arrogance. Phoenix was in a full robe of white, his hair tied up, no adornments or accessories on him, he took the incense sticks and walked to the centre, finally stopping before Daddy's clothes and bowing down to give his respect. His expression was solemn and sincere. I saw his thin long fingers holding the three incense sticks... I knew that in the middle of his right hand was a callus* from where he held his writing brush, and another callus from how he held the sword... Night lightly kneaded my palm, and I felt my body stir slightly and my mind regained awareness.


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

#talk 26: The Sunshine Award! *UPDATED with suteki's questions*





  Dramapenchant was so sweet to nominate me for The Sunshine Award, an award I think fellow bloggers give each other as a thank you for brightening up my day! It made me also realise that time has passed quickly and my blog is about ten months old now! There are still so many more things I want to write and I look forward to continue to grow with this blog.

  Now, my answers to dramapenchant's 8 questions:

  1. Favourite kdrama trope? Contract dating/marriages and when the girl dresses up as a boy! Coffee Prince combines both ;).


  2. Your least favourite kdrama trope (as in the one you despise)? Terminal illness.

 3.  You are the heroine of a show, who is your leading man? No particular favourites to be honest!

  4. Top 3 dramas and why? I will restrict this to korean dramas. For korean dramas, I think the three dramas that are most memorable for me will be Full House (my first romantic korean drama), Dae Jang Guem and My Name is Kim Sam Soon (love Hyun Bin and Kim Sun-ah!).

  5. If you can travel to any country (all expenses paid), where would it be and what would be the first thing you'll eat there? I have actually been lucky enough to travel to my favourite places in the world. For now, I can't wait to go to Japan because my husband has banned me from going to Japan again (because of the radiation) until I give birth to two babies. UNI!

6. Your ideal kdrama cast would include...? Not a specific fan of any actress or actor. 

7. You have travelled into the past, what era are you hoping it is? Somewhere with a functioning toilet!

8. Your favourite past time activity(s) (other than watching dramas and blogging)? I'm a total bookworm - so reading is my number one hobby. I love all kinds of books and manga. I also love eating and theatre. 

   For my nominations, I'm going to nominate Sutekii and Moonblossom! Sutekii is not just an amazing blogger, most of all, she's a really sweet reader who leaves comments that really encourages people to write. Moonblossom is also the perfect co-blogger and I feel very honoured to have been part of her Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud translations. 

 I'm also grateful to peanuts and Hui'er, but it's harder to nominate their blog since it's more of a group blog. 

  My questions: 
  1) What inspired you to start your blog? 
  2) Your favourite c-novel?
  3)  If you could lead a completely alternate life, what would it be? 


  Don't feel obliged to participate! The fun is just in the nomination. Thank you everyone! 


*UPDATED at 10.22 pm*
sutekii nominated me back and gave me three questions which I shall answer here:

What inspired you to write your own fiction? This was a really fun question for me haha. I'm not sure if I wrote this before but I enjoy light-hearted humorous fiction and am always on the lookout for romantic comedies. I also really like the xianxia genre (immortals and gods) but after reading a few good ones (see my recommendations page), I had problems finding short funny xianxia stories. There were many good ones but they were all with a heavier emotional bent and quite a few were bittersweet (reincarnations, open-ended reunion in the next life, etc). So, I started writing Little Moon's Matchmaking Mission as a kind of lark, a little joke for myself, and then the idea took a life of its own and with everyone's support, I managed to finish it! I had so much fun and support, I started on Xi Yang's own story, The Sun's Dark Love. 

Name your favourite male and female character from any novel, what makes him/her so special? This is such a hard question! In truth, I have many favourite characters and it's so hard to choose. I think my all time favourite female character is Ju Mu Er from Three Marriages and I swear that I am going to translate that novel one day even if it kills me. She's so special because she's blind but she never allows that to handicap her - she is warm, courageous, intelligent and loving, and everything I could wish for in a heroine! I also love Xiao Yao from Lost You Forever and the female lead from The King is Here. 

For male characters, I don't think I have an all favourite, though the male lead in Three Thousand Crows Killing was a very memorable one. I have to confess that currently, my favourite male character is The Moon God from my own Little Moon's Matchmaking Mission (and sometimes An Hun from The Sun's Dark Love).

If you could have one super power, what would it be? And why? To travel back in time. Because, nostalgia is a powerful thing. 

Thank you, sutekii for the nomination and the questions! :) 

Monday, 6 October 2014

Once Promised 曾许诺 by Tong Hua 桐华 : Translation for Chapter 12 (Part 1/5)




   I must give my sincere thanks to Moonblossom for helping me translate Chapter 10 and 11. :) Her translations were beautiful and brought us to the grand stage of Shao Hao and A'Heng's wedding. A'Heng is getting married but the groom is not Chi You. Will the wedding be successful? 

   Chapter 12 is actually the chapter when I fell for A'Heng and really understood her as a strong and soft female lead. It's quite a long chapter so I have split it into 5 parts. 

   The title of the chapter is a line from the poem, 《虞美人 秋夕信步》 by a famous poet, Na Ling Xing De from the Qing Dynasty. The literal translation of the title would be, "Beauty Yu - Walking Aimlessly in an Autumn Night" - the poet is walking aimlessly in the night and thinking about his past with a beautiful woman. 

  The chapter's title comes from the first half of this famous line, 薄情转是多情累,曲曲柔肠碎. It is supposed to describe the poet's feelings of being burdened and troubled by love - how someone deeper in love will be more troubled than someone who has less feelings. But, somehow that meaning did not capture the whole line for me. I felt it seemed to be describing how when someone's feelings start to grow, it starts to entangle you - perhaps, a feeling that you thought was shallow somehow starts to grow depth and layers the more you reminisce and will forever enrapture you, causing your insides to want to break.


Chapter 12: As the Feelings Grow Deeper, the Heart Grows Tired (Part 1 of 5)


     The fifth day of the fifth moon is Gao Xing's May festival. It's an extremely auspicious day suitable for weddings. Thus, the grand wedding of Gao Xing's Shao Hao and Xuan Yuan Ba was fixed on this day. 

   The citizens of Xuan Yuan prized talent and admired heroes. Since Gao Xing's Shao Hao was the top male hero in the lands, the dream husband of all the females, they were very happy for their only princess to marry Shao Hao. The citizens of Gao Xing prized status and bloodline. Xuan Yuan Ba was born from the Yellow Emperor's royal wife Lei Zu, and although the Yellow Emperor's bloodline was a little low, however Lei Zu was from the famous tribe of Xi Ling, her bloodline was respected and even once produced a Yan Empress. Xuan Yuan Ba was worthy of their first prince. 

   Although the culture of both countries were different, undoubtably, both sides were happy for this marriage alliance. The upcoming wedding of Gao Xing's Shao Hao and Xuan Yuan Ba became the happy news of all the households. Ever since they left Xuan Yuan mountain, everywhere the Xuan Yuan wedding troop went as they sent off Xuan Yuan Ba to Gao Xing, they were met with celebrating citizens. 

   Chang Yi knocked on the bridal sedan and happily told Xuan Yuan Ba who was inside, "Did you see that? The people are singing and dancing everywhere!"


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Fiction: The Sun's Dark Love (Chapter 8)




    It's the start of the 2nd arc, and I'm getting rather giddy with excitement writing the first three chapters of the 2nd arc. So many things to share! Can't wait to squeal with all you readers!

  Above is Sun Li, the actress I would pick for the Heavenly Empress. A regal beauty. 


Chapter 8: Admirers


(i)

      There were so many things Wang Huan still wanted to tell An Hun, but by the time the Dark Lord left An Hun to wait with Wang Huan for the Royal Carriage, there was not much time left for the two siblings. 

      "An Hun, did you know that... that... my mother could have been poisoned to death?" Wang Huan asked shakily, one of the things that had weighed heavily in her mind during her time in the mortal realms. 

     An Hun placed a hand on the top of Wang Huan's head. An Hun's touch was cold, but Wang Huan always thought An Hun's touch was like the cold rain falling on one's skin. Lonely yet comforting. 

  Wang Huan looked into An Hun's eyes, "Is it really true?"

  "You know that in the Dark Realms, it is the law of the fittest - if you don't kill me today, I may kill you tomorrow," An Hun said, "I don't know for a fact if your mother was poisoned, but I do know that your mother won't want you to become darkened by any thoughts of hate or revenge."

   Wang Huan could hear the sounds of the winged horse carriage from afar. An Hun pulled Wang Huan's head to his chest and he said sincerely, "Wang Huan, if your mother was really poisoned, I'm sure the Dark Lord would have settled it --- if he never told you, it is because he has tried his best to let you live a life without darkness. So, go, Wang Huan, don't stay here. Leave the darkness here for me. I promise you, whatever is still owed to us, will be paid off in the future."

  Wang Huan lifted up her head and faced An Hun, "Your mother won't have wanted you to live in the darkness either. Come with me, An Hun."

  An Hun laughed, "We are different, Wang Huan. We, mermaids, are cold blooded."

(ii)



  The Jade Emperor looked dotingly upon his beaming wife who had excitedly came into his study. They had been together for at least ten thousand years and yet she did not seem to have aged, still as pure and beautiful like when they had just met. The beautiful camellia flower sprite that naively asked him for the way to the Heavenly Palace to attend the Royal Flower Festival before the Flower Goddess, and somehow entered into his heart.


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Fiction: The Sun's Dark Love (Chapter 7)



    Thank you for the lovely support in Chapter 6! The response to An Hun and Yu An still makes me a little swoony. I'm really happy and blessed to have readers who genuinely love and are interested in the Universe of Little Moon. I find that the more I write, the more I discover.

  This will be the last chapter of the first arc. More author's comments at the end of this chapter... 


Chapter 7: Bittersweet

Yue 


(i)


   I looked thoughtfully as Xi Yang watched Wang Huan being pulled away by Yu An. 

   Curiously, I could not see any thread linking Xi Yang and Wang Huan's heart together. Uncle did say once that the marriage thread between the gods is not something a mortal could see......

  Or was it because their fate has not begun?


Wang Huan 


(ii)


     I watched the wind languidly breeze past the leaves of the willow tree, and I tossed my own troubled longings into the wind. Take them away for they are of no use to me. 

     Before I could clear all my thoughts, I heard a beautiful melody. It was a song played on a flute. I recognised this song, my mother had sang this before: 

           Through the fog and the rain, 
           The willow tree sits next to the bridge by the river. 
           Accompanied by the apricot and peach tree, 
           The willow longs for those that have left. 
           The thousand tangled strands of the willow intoxicates one in the spring wind*. 

    It was a man resplendent in white. I thought then that this man must be a god. 

    "I was inspired to play this tune by your gazing at the Willow Tree," He gave a small nod and smiled, "You must be waiting for Yu An?"

    I awkwardly stood up as he smoothly came to my side, "Let me bring you to her room. My daughter's mind moves so fast sometimes that she gets caught up in the next thing before she finishes the first."

  I felt my body slightly freeze - my daughter? So, that would make this man...

  He gave a gentle smile, "This way, please." He elegantly pointed to a direction in front and waited for me to go forward first. 

  I may have been a princess in the Dark Realms but no one had ever treated me so gentlemanly before. And he was the Emperor!

  I sheepishly went forward and the Emperor gently led the way. I curiously observed him from the side, so this was Ri's rival. A man no less extraordinary than Ri.

   I watched as the Emperor stopped in front of a door and knocked gently. In a short moment, Princess Yu An opened the door with an excited expression. 

   "Daddy!" Princess Yu An cried and raised a triton shell towards the Emperor, "Can you hear two voices?"

   The Emperor patiently leaned his ear into the shell, paused and then shook his head. I leaned forward and Princess Yu An placed the shell at my ear. I was surprised to hear an almost luxuriant melodic voice... like a hypnotic siren to make one forget everything..... I blearily shook my head at Princess Yu An as well. 

  She had a deep thoughtful look in her eyes as if she decided on something, then she smiled brightly at the Emperor and me, "Dad, how did you meet Wang Huan?"

  The Emperor stroke Princess Yu An's head and I felt my heart twinged slightly at this simple act of fatherly affection. "Your mother sent me to find both of you. The red spicy pork dish is ready."

  I felt my cheeks flush. In what universe, is the Emperor sent as an errand boy to announce that a red spicy pork dish is ready?!