Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost : Translation (Epilogue 1: When Jin Mi was a Book Boy (Part 1))



Dear readers,

Thanks for all the Heavy Sweetness love. Most of all for the well wishes and prayers for my illness. I'm still rather sick but I was so touched that I cleaned up the translation for the epilogue. There are actually only four epilogues - counted five, because one of the epilogues are in two parts. 

This is reminiscent of the earlier pure funny times between Phoenix and Jin Mi!

love,
decembi


Epilogue 1 - When Jin Mi was a Book Boy (Part 1)

Time: In the hundred years when Jin Mi first went to the Heavenly Realms and was Phoenix's book boy

  "What is that?"

  "Ah?" I had fallen asleep while grinding the ink slab when I immediately opened my eyes wide at Phoenix's sudden question. I gave an impression full of energy as I looked at him but I saw that his brows were slightly furrowed as he looked at the lower right. Following his gaze, I saw a small book being squashed by one leg of the table, its weak and thin appearance radiated a pitiful feeling. Of course, it was a little familiar. 


  
I suddenly remembered that I had tried to transform the book table this morning and originally wanted to turn it into a turtle... but who knew that after I chanted the incantation, not only did the book table fail to transform, it leaned on one side and became lame in one leg! Luckily, the limp was not too bad so I placed a few books under its leg such that it immediately returned to its usual straight stable self. Who knew that Phoenix's eyes would be so sharp and he would immediately spot it from one glance......

  A thief need not have a guilty heart. A guilty heart need not necessarily be a thief. So, I very boldly said, "Naturally, it's a book. It's more stable with it."

  Phoenix looked at me with a raised brow and with a lift of his finger, the books flew out from below into his hands. I saw the brushes and ink slab immediately fell down from the book table as it slanted to one side - luckily my eyes and hands were fast and I quickly caught the table to stabilise it.

   Although seeing this heavy book table was about to break my slim wrist, the poisonous bird Phoenix did not care. He flipped one of the books and read out loud, "A Courtyard Full of Amorous Spirit?" His face darkened and he lifted his head to look at me, flipping a few more pages in the book, his expression continued to become heavier... finally, he slammed the book on the table and stood up, "You used such a book to support my table?"


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Sick!


  Sorry! I had planned to update The Princess Who Cannot Marry and a Heavy Sweetness epilogue this week but I'm really too sick. The worsening Haze in Singapore is also not helping a single bit! Will rest well and try to update next week.

love,
decembi

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Fiction: The Princess Who Cannot Marry (Chapter 11)



   The above picture is how I imagined Dark Prince An Hun's palace to look like! 

  I hope the perspectives are not too confusing but when we are in An Hun's head, Yu An will be written as Yin Hua as that is how he sees her. When we return to Yu An's perspective, I write her as Yu An. 

Chapter 11: Secrets


(i)

   "Dark Lord," An Hun knelt and greeted his father who had comfortably settled himself in the main seat in his main hall.

   As An Hun rose, a light smile played on his lips, "Father's visit is unexpected. What wind has blown Father here?"

  "Curiosity," The Dark Lord replied as he ordered the servants to bring out more wine, "Curiousity to meet the maiden in the eye of the storm."

  "Storm?" An Hun echoed in a tone of jest, "Only a gift from the Crocodile Prince Xie."

  One of the servants bowed low towards the Dark Lord and Dark Prince An Hun, and announced the arrival of Lady Yin Hua. With a brief nod from the Dark Prince, two other servants entered first and set up a guzheng in the middle of the hall. 

  When she entered, in robes of pure white and a translucent silk veil over the bottom half of her face, An Hun noted again her poise. An Hun had participated in Crocodile Prince Xie's birthday banquet with an agenda - although An Hun was said to be in close contest with Prince Liehun, his victory over Liehun was largely inevitable after several strategic and costly mistakes made by Liehun. Crocodile Prince Xie, previously an ally of Liehun, had thus been making advances towards An Hun in order to avoid a full fall-out in the event An Hun gained entire control of the Wrath Tribe. 

  An Hun appreciated Crocodile Prince Xie's flexibility to maintain his tribe's strategic interest in the Dark Realms, but also disdained such blatant disloyalty. He was waiting throughout the banquet for the opportune moment to cut Crocodile Prince Xie down - not completely such as to sever ties, but enough to display that he would not be a a kind merciful lord. 

  He toyed with the idea of usurping the specially prepared courtesans at Crocodile Prince Xie's banquet by bestowing them to his men instead. However, when the earlier two courtesans performed, he disdained them as being too inferior for even him to look at. He decided that leaving halfway through the banquet would be insult enough, when she arrived.

  As a dark prince born in one of the seven royal tribes in the Dark Realms, he was destined to fight with his blood brothers for the throne. Weaker men may fall apart, but An Hun thrived - he would tell you that he ate fear for breakfast. Still, her fear - was completely different.

  She was no beauty, An Hun had judged her harshly based on his own standard of perfection. He could tell, with slight amusement, that she was scared. However, she held it all within her and walked elegantly onto the stage as if the guzheng was both her shield and weapon. He thought then, yes, maybe I will pick her. Give her to Hei Xing.

  He was troubled by her song. The way her fingers flew over the musical instrument as if the battle in her song were her very own thrusts of the sword. The abrupt staccatos that didn't seem possible from the guzheng as they slowly dissolved into a landscape of peace and beauty - why? Why at this moment did he remember the ocean? The sound of his mother's voice? The music that abandoned - no he abandoned?

  And yet, when the last note was struck, An Hun stood up and said, "Xie, this girl - I will take her." Even he had forgotten, till much later, his original goal of giving her away. 

  

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Fiction: The Princess Who Cannot Marry (Chapter 10)




Dear readers,

  Thank you for all the love you have given me in the last two chapters. It made me so happy! This work week has been so overwhelming and I have perennial headaches. But, everytime I read a comment, I feel really revitalised. Thank you. 

  I really hope you enjoy the second arc! 

love, decembi


Chapter 10: New Beginnings


(i)

   "Xie, this girl - I will take her." 

  The moment the beautiful man spoke those words, Yu An felt like her heart may burst at the hope that was filling inside of her.

  Suddenly, everyone else fell down on their knees at the sight of the man standing. They called him, "Your Highness". Except of course, another figure with a strong presence, sitting on a raised throne-like chair, was still in his seat.

  Glances were exchanged between these two powerful figures and Yu An was mildly horrified at how her life hung in the balance as two men looked at each other. Could she be more pathetic?

  But, suddenly, the figure on the chair stood up as well, a false smile on his lips as he raised a goblet of wine at her, "Come and serve a toast to his Highness."

  Yu An guessed this must be Prince Xie of the Crocodile Tribe. There was a bloodthirsty edge in his eyes as if he wanted to suck her blood dry at this very moment. 

  Yu An took in a deep breath and stood up from the guzheng.  She slowly and carefully walked through the still kneeling audience towards the man who said he would take her. 

  Very gently, she controlled the expression in her face as she took the goblet of wine from Prince Xie. She bowed down towards the man they called your Highness. It was as if her mouth knew what to say when her mind didn't, "Your humble servant pays her respects to his Highness."

  "Rise," He said calmly and repeated it in a deeper tone permitting for everyone to rise. 

  When he took the goblet, Yu An's deliberately calm exterior almost broke. His eyes, she thought, they were so dark, as if they could never be lit by any light or warmth. 

  Suddenly, Yu An did not know if she had picked the wrong side - which was safer? The crocodile or the abyss?


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Fiction: The Princess Who Cannot Marry (Synopsis/Character Chart/Casting)


    Dear readers, I've been asked here and there on who I would cast as the characters, and I honestly don't write the characters with actors/actresses in mind. However, sometimes I do come across actors/actresses that really do look like how I envisioned the characters!

   So, I thought I would share some thoughts (feel free to share yours):



The Princess Who Cannot Marry

The first daughter of the Great Yan Emperor, Princess Yu An, was prophesied by the oracle to never be able to be married if she did not marry by the time she was nineteen. Since Princess Yu An's mother, Empress Yue, prided herself as the Royal Matchmaker of the Yan Kingdom, she never thought that would be a problem... but who would have thought that her daughter, beautiful, intelligent and talented, would be impossible to matchmake? 

Undaunted, Princess Yu An sets out on a journey of self-discovery to learn more about her true love, music, but along the way, she realises that there are three special men in her life and love is far more complicated than she could ever imagine...... 

Comment: Yu An takes after Yue but she has Hsiao's eyes and I think a more matured air. Haven't came across any actress that reminds me of her yet!

The order of the characters below are not in order of importance! 
SPOILER WARNING: Please don't read Drifter/Bai Wu's character description (after the page cut) until at least after Chapter 8.

Hu Zi

Hu Zi (护子 - the Hu meaning protector) is the son of Hong Meng and Hu Jun (Head of the Yan Emperor's private guards).  However, rather than rising up the ranks of the private elite guards, Hu Zi surprised everyone by joining the military instead. He was one of the most outstanding young officers and is currently the youngest Captain and most likely to be promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. From young, he has been silently accompanying Princess Yu An as both protector and childhood friend. As Yu An and Hu Zi grew older, their relationship has grown more complicated. 





Comment: This was rather surreal because I didn't even know who the Korean Actor Kang Dong Won was! But, I came across his photoshoot with Song Hye Kyo and I was like, eh, he looks like Hu Zi. Or should I say Hu Zi looks like him? Haha. 

An Hun


An Hun (暗魂 literally translated as dark soul) is one of the royal princes in the Dark Realms. He belongs to the Wraith Tribe. However, since princes are a dime a dozen in the Dark Realms and the rule is survival of the fittest to claim the throne, his life is fraught with conflict and internal killings. 

His mother was a mermaid who left the ocean for the Dark Lord. But a mermaid who leaves the ocean will soon die. An Hun has inherited the beautiful looks of his mother and is said to be so beautiful that the flowers will hide their faces from him. However, his eyes are ferocious and his energy so dark that even his closest kin, Wang Huan, gets afraid of him. 









Comment: From the previous character chart, I already listed Matsuda Sho as looking like An Hun. I find his looks rather versatile with the inclination towards darkness.


[SPOILER WARNING - Do not continue if you haven't read until Chapter 8.]


Monday, 5 October 2015

Fiction: The Princess Who Cannot Marry (Chapter 9)



Dear readers,

Sorry about those who saw the post get published before it was ready! I had "scheduled" it for Sunday posting but hadn't finished getting it in order. 

This week has been overwhelmingly busy and exhausting in the physical and emotional sense. But, I do get a surge of positive feelings whenever I see a supportive comment. It reminds me that this journey I want to go on has fellow travelers!

Unfortunately, my mental state is not as well-rested and happy as I wish I could be in whenever I am writing or translating (I do believe that a writer's own inner state does have some kind of effect on the product). But, I think life is also not always perfect and sometimes you can't wait for everything to be in order, to pursue something. Sometimes, you have to pursue it and hope that things fall in place.

So, I have been working really hard to reach the end of the first arc. And, it really took me effort to reach this point. I think every new project I embark on, I try to find something that is a little bit further out of my comfort zone - hoping that with each project, I will learn something new. Sometimes, I wonder if I have been too ambitious with this story, but I suppose I can only try and find out?

I hope you enjoy the first arc! The last chapter is especially long as I combined chapter 9 and 10 for what I hope is an exciting end to the first arc! 

love, decembi

Chapter 9: Change

(i)

   With a few quick brush strokes, a beautiful figure had came alive on the parchment. It was a maiden with a heart shaped face with startling clear eyes. But, when Drifter's eyes fell upon the figure, he immediately thought, it did not look like her. A silent figure did not look like her.

  Drifter recalled Princess Yu An with a mixture of amusement and irritation. From the start, he knew that she was the first daughter of Empress Yue, the sworn sister of his mother, and originally meant to be betrothed to him... and when he had first seen this poorly disguised maiden in gentleman's clothing, her eyes that could not stop drinking in the world and a mouth that could not stop talking, he was relieved that he had long abandoned his identity as the First Prince. 

  When Master Lang rather gleefully informed him at the tea house that he was waiting for Princess Yu An to join their journey, his defenses had immediately heightened. He knew his Master too well. He was more cunning than anyone he has ever met in the jianghu (pugilist world). Master Lang had extremely reluctantly taken him in as a disciple due to a debt Master Lang owe his father, General Tie, but Drifter only knew too carefully that Master Lang loved making things difficult for his disciples. One need only look at the conundrum Master Lang had put even the great Yan Emperor, his first disciple, in. 

  So for all intents and purposes, Drifter had seen Princess Yu An as a trap. 

  Every time she tried to come nearer, he would move back. 

  Drifter closed his eyes as if in memory of a song. But, he would admit that she played a nice tune. He remembered how she would sometimes improvise a song based on the sounds in nature or an imaginary duet based on the clashing sounds of Master Lang and Hu Zi's swords. And, sometimes, she remained in silence.

  The silence was what he liked best.

   There was once he wanted to tell her, Don't get entangled with me. But, even that, he thought, might be too much of an entanglement.

  Let's keep this distance, he thought, let's be two points that pass each other, too swift to leave any traces.

  Still, as if to resolve any residual guilt he might have in his past, he sent out an order to men under his command in the jianghu to get a copy of the scroll of the Heartbreak Song for her. The one thing he hated the most was a debt.

  Drifter moved away from the table and indicated for Bai Yan to follow him, "Come. Let's see how much your skills have increased."

  Bai Yan groaned, "All you think about is martial arts!"