Use the translation feature to translate novels into different languages

Blade-dance of the Two Lovers Chapter 3

Chapter 3

The girl was sitting in a small room of Ganting’s Fen An inn, on the table stood a small wine pot filled with a world famous Fen wine. This Ganting town, located between Linfen county and Hongtong county in southern Shanxi, is exactly the place of origin of Fen wine. But she only drank one sip, it was spicy and soon afterwards in her mouth she felt numbness and pain; this wine in reality was not at all tasty. Why is Daddy so fond of it? Daddy used to say: "Girls should not drink alcohol." If I listened to Dad at home, after having sneaked out, I wouldn’t drink a pot of Fen wine. To drink wine can be really difficult. She drank a big mouthful and had an impression that her face became hot, she touched her face with hand; it was really hot. In the room next door there are armed escorts drinking their wine, one cup after another, are they not afraid of hot?

A coarse voice called out: "Boy, bring three more catties!" The girl listened and shook her head. Another voice said: "Brother Zhang, this is good principle to take a few small cups and drink little! There is a saying in Jianghu: „With steady hand and steady mouth, there is a good hiding everywhere.” Wait till we finally arrive in Beijing and drink with me then." The first man smiled and replied: "Chief Escort, I see you also need to be more steady. You were scared by the wild boasting of those Four Heroes of the Grand Mountain... hey, hey... waiter, quickly bring some more wine!"

When the girl heard "Four Heroes of the Grand Mountain" mentioned, she could not help but to laugh, she assumed that these escorts also fought with them. She heard Chief Escort say: "What am I afraid of? You know that I carry extremely heavy burden. This ten thousand liang of salt money doesn’t permit my mind to be at ease.” He snorted: “Well, this time I won’t explain it to you in detail, once we arrive in Beijing, you will know." Escort Zhang smiled and said: "Yes, yes! I do not know, I do not know. Hey, the Twin Sabres, ah the Twin Sabres!”

When the girl heard the words "Twin Sabres" her heart jumped, she put the ear to the wall wanting to hear more clearly, but no sound came from the other room. The girl slipped out of the room and silently stepped to escorts’ window. She heard Zhou questioning all of the escorts: "How do you know? Who leaked the rumour? Brother Zhang, this is a serious business." He lowered his voice, but his tone was extremely serious. Escort Zhang observed lightly: "Who of the brothers does not know? See for yourself, if it is much of a big secret.” Chief Escort's voice trembled when he hurriedly asked: "Who said about it?" Escort Zhang said: "Ha, ha! Who else? It was you."

More pressingly Chief Escort asked: "When did I say it? Brother Zhang, if you don’t state everything clearly, I will not be able to figure it out. I, Zhou Weixin never treat you in a cold manner... ah..." Then another voice was heard: "Chief Escort, don’t be so agitated. Brother Zhang’s words are not wrong, it was you” Chief Escort Zhou: "I? I? How is it possible?" That other voice: "From the time when we left Xi'an, every night when you fall asleep, you are talking in your sleep, over and over again repeating: „Yuanyang Dao, Twin Sabres... they should be delivered to Beijing, the slightest trouble should not occur... the one who gets Yuanyang Dao would be matchless in the whole world..."

Zhou Weixin was alarmed and ashamed. He wanted so desperately to keep the big secret for himself and all the time he was thinking of nothing else. Just because there was no other idea in his mind apart from "Yuanyang Dao", because he was thinking about it during the day and dreaming about it during the night, it happened that in his sleep he said it. He greeted all the escorts by raising clasped hands and whispered: "You can’t mention the word “Twin Sabres”. Starting from tonight, I will sleep with my mouth covered with a cloth."

The girl outside the window listening to these words and feeling happy in her heart, thought: "I traveled far and wide looking for the Twin Sabres, only to find it easily. This pair of sabres unexpectedly being in this escorts’ hands, I will steal them. Let’s see what daddy will say?"

Actually this girl’s surname was Xiao, given name Zhonghui, her dad was precisely the hero called Xiao Banhe. Xiao Banhe’s martial arts fame was reverberating far, his name was well known to every hero in Jianghu. Last month he received the information, that The Twin Sabres, that had been lost for many years, have reappeared in Jianghu, more precisely they were obtained by the Governor of the Sichuan-Shaanxi Province, Liu Yuyi. Xiao Banhe calculated in his mind that Liu Yuyi is likely to sent the precious sabres to the capital to be presented to the Emperor, and decided that rather than attempt to seize it in Xi'an with its heavy military presence, he would rob it on the way. How would he know, that Liu Yuyi was very cunning and wise and prepared a diversion? He was repeatedly sending official squadrons with fake gifts, fooling in succession many of the Jianghu great heroes, who passionately desired to possess the Twin Sabres, but losing a lot of his men.

Xiao Banhe, thinking of his approaching 50 birthday, sent invitation cards, asking numerous heroes from Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei and Shandong provinces to drink a glass of wine at his birthday’s celebrations, but some of the invitation carts had the postscript, urging the recipient to make every effort to rob the precious sabres. Of course, if Xiao Banhe was not very well acquainted with the person’s character, the invitation sent to him had no postscript, otherwise rumors would leak out and would inadvertently alert the enemy, making it impossible to rob the precious sabres, and his action would only endanger his good friends' lives.

Xiao Zhonghui, hearing her father mention the precious sabres, was immediately eager to try herself in action. When Xiao send his disciples everywhere to invite heroes, she wanted to go, when Xiao Banhe sent his men to prepare an ambush Shaanxi, she wanted to go even more. But Xiao Banhe shaking his head said: "No!". When she insisted, Xiao Banhe: "Ask your aunt to ask your mother." Xiao Banhe had two wives; first madam’s family name was Yuan, second’s – Yang. Zhonghui’s mother was Ms Yang, but Ms Yuan loved her very much, as if she was her biological daughter. Ms Yuan was very kind to her and treated her like her own daughter, but she was a dignified looking person and Zhonghui from early childhood never dared to disobey her aunt. But grabbing the precious sabres, ah, both dangerous and wonderful, this matter was very amusing.

Xiao Zhonghui thought about it until she was unable to hold

back, and finally in the middle of the night, leaving a note to dad, aunt and mother, she secretly took a horse and left Jinyang.

After encountering with Four Heroes of the Grand Mountain going to her dad’s birthday celebration she was persuaded that the martial arts of other heroes in this world are also only mediocre; hearing escort’s dialogue, she fought that robbing The Twin Sabres is nothing difficult. She turned back and wanted to returned to her room and then slowly decide how to handle the escorts, but after two steps, suddenly, she heard the sound coming from the room across the courtyard. This sound was familiar to her from her childhood; it was the sound of clashing weapons.

Alarmed, she thought: "Ah, not good! People will see me!" Someone was shouting: "Do you really want to fight?" The voice of a woman cried: "Does politeness still mean anything to you?" Uninterrupted sound “Ping, ping, pang, pang” was heard; strikes were very fierce. This sound was mixed with a cry of a baby. In the window of the room two shadows were visible; a man and a woman, each armed with a sabre, were making quick moves, attacking with all their might.

The inn was at once in the chaos. As soon as Chief Escort Zhou heard it he shouted: "Do not go out, be alert, guard the cart carefully, it might be bandits stratagem to lure us out." Xiao Zhonghui thought: "So it’s not for real, they are only trying to move the tiger from the mountain [1] by a fake fight? It’s a pity he didn’t come out to have a look, or else is would be indeed a good opportunity to steal the sabres." Looking at that two shadows again, she noticed that the woman was already short of power, continuously retreating, and the men was advancing step by step, not at all relaxing. Her chivalrous heart surged, she thought: “This vicious thief is exceedingly rude, rushing late at night into the women's room, acting perverse and violent; who would not fight against injustice?" She wanted to rush in to assist the woman, but then she thought: "Oh no! If I put my hand to it, I will inevitably reveal my abilities, if those escorts see it, then stealing the sabres will not be easy." Immediately she fought back her anger, only to hear the striking of weapons gradually slowing down. Both men and women continued to shout the abuses, but they used southern Shandong dialect, and Xiao Zhonghui was unable to understand more than half of it. She listened for a while, jittery, and was just about to return to her room, when suddenly she heard a sound, the doors of a room in eastern part of the courtyard were pushed open and a young scholar came out. He stated in a clear voice: "What is it they are quarrelling about? One can use words to solve a problem, why use a sword or a spear?" He walked to the windows of the room occupied by that men and women, apparently intending to mediate. Xiao Zhonghui thought: "That bad guy who is bullying others in this vicious way, would he reason with you?"

The striking of weapons in the room rose once again, the child was crying louder and louder. Suddenly a projectile flew out from the window and making a loud sound hit the scholar's hat and made it fell to the ground. The scholar cried: "Ah yo, no good!" Then to himself: "A fire in the city gates is also a calamity for the fish in the moat[2].

Gentlemen do not have to stay in dangerous place, protecting one’s life is still a wise thing to do". Saying this he slowly returned to the room. Xiao Zhonghui was both amused, but also worried about the woman; considering how vicious and fearless this criminal was, the woman will inevitably suffer a great defeat. But at that moment the sound of fight in the room ceased, the inn was at once silent.

Xiao Zhonghui pondered: "Daddy always says, one should deal with important matters first; at present steeling the Twin Sabres is the most important, I have to let that vicious person go." She immediately returned to her room, shut the door and lying on the kang was wondering how to rob the precious sabres: "This escorts are many, how am I to deal with them alone? Before the night is over I should hurry back to Jinyang, to tell dad what I know and let him sent his people to carry this task. But if I use the stratagem to steal the sabres, and offer them to daddy, isn’t it even better?" She felt very happy, anticipating how she would be proud of herself. But what stratagem should be employed? From her childhood she was thought by her father and her martial arts really wasn’t weak, but when it came to planning, Miss Xiao was not an expert. Although five or six ideas came to her mind, yet after a careful consideration she decided that none of them was actually useful. Her vision was blurred and her eyelids got heavy, outside, the night was still.

Suddenly a “Tuk”, “Tuk”, “Tuk” was heard... the sound seemed to come from far and near; it seemed that someone was hitting the street’s slabs with an iron stick; evidently the person was blind. The sound arrived before the inn, where it stopped, and then the sound of iron stick knocking the inn’s door was heard, followed by the sound of waiter opening the inn’s door and scolding a visitor. The old voice asked for a room and the waiter requested him to pay in advance. The elderly blind man took out all his money, but it was not enough to pay for a room. Thereupon the sound of pushing and earnestly imploring voice were heard; the waiter was cursing using foul language, one rude sentence after another passed through Xiao Zhonghui's ears. The more she heard, the more she felt for that poor blind man.

[1] to lure an opponent out by a stratagem

[2] the bystander will also suffer

The girl rode away holding Xiaoyaozi by the back of his neck. His whole body was paralysed, his limbs numb, feeling like if he was tied and unable to do anything about it. The remaining Heroes of the Grand Mountain shouted: "Things are tense!" Wanting to sell their lives dearly, they chased with all their might after her. Soon the horse went many lis [1] away. Xiaoyaozi’s both feet were dragging along the ground and got severely scratched, so now they were dripping with blood. He said: "You grabbed my fēng chí[2]acupoint, which is the meeting point of the Yang Motility and Yang Linking Vessels, it is not surprising that I am unable to move. A fight is not a crime, although I’m defeated, it’s still a glorious defeat." The girl giggled, reined the horse and throwing him to the ground, said: "You must admit, that your acupoints technique failed!" Then she suddenly sneered and drawing a sword to his neck, shouted: "You are rude towards women, you have to be killed!" Xiaoyaozi sighed and said: "All right! But you better pierce my tiānzhù[3]acupoint with your sword, kill me with the sword and spare me much pain!"

The girl could not help but laugh, thinking that this ghost even when facing death is still studying acupoints. She decided: “I will scare him to see what kind of person he is”, thus she pressed with swords’ blade the point at his neck, between the tiānzhù and fēng chí acupoints, and said: "It’s here." Xiaoyaozi shouted: "No, no, Miss is wrong, it’s still half an inch up..."At this moment there came three flustered men, shouting: "Miss, kill the three of us as well..." It was Chang Changfeng and the other two heroes. The girl asked: “Why did you deliver yourselves to be killed?” Gai Yiming replied: “Although The Four Heroes of the Grand Mountain were not born the same day of the same year, we hope to die the same day of the same year. If Miss kills my elder brother, we three brothers are unwilling to live alone, so please, Miss, kill us together. If anyone of us bats an eyelid, he will not be considered a hero!" While talking he walked beside Xiaoyaozi, were he stopped, stretching his neck to be killed. The girl hold her sword in midair, as if intending to cut down, Gai Yiming smiled, not trying to sidestep. The girl said: "Good! The martial arts skills of you four people are ordinary, but your spirit of loyalty is great, be regarded as a good guys, I spare you." She put the sword in sheath.

Four heroes were pleasantly surprised and very grateful. Gai Yiming asked: "Miss, may I ask your name? We, Four Heroes of the Grand Mountain, will certainly never forget your kindness and will try to repay it in the future." The girl, hearing that he was still referring to themselves "The Four Heroes of the Grand Mountain" without the slightest degree of shame, could not help but smiled again and said: "Do not ask my name. However, I must ask you, why did you try to rob my horse?" Gai Yiming said: "Tenth day in March this year, is the 50 birthday of Jinyang’s [4] hero Xiao Banhe..." When the girl heard the name of Xiao Banhe, she asked startled: "You know old hero Xiao?" Gai Yiming explained: "We do not know old hero Xiao, but we have always admired his fame, therefore we went to take part in his 50 birthday celebration. I am ashamed to say, we four brothers have no gift to present, so it ... by ... this ... " The girl laughed: "So you wanted to take my horse to be a gift. Ah, it’s easy." She took a golden hairpin from her head and said: "In this golden hairpin there is a very expensive pearl; take it as a gift for birthday celebration, old hero Xiao will surely like it." She loosened horse’s rein and in an instant was far gone.

Gai Yiming held the hairpin in his hand; there was a big round pearl on top of it, glistening with a rare bright lustre. Although four heroes didn’t know much about jewellery, but they were aware, that it was a rare treasure. Four heroes staring blankly at the pearl were endlessly happy. Xiaoyaozi said: "I like this bold and generous girl." Gai Yiming said: "Eldest Brother, you have divine insight and your words are reasonable."

[1] li=500 meters [2] on the lateral aspect of the neck (towards the back) [3]at the back of the neck (the upper part of it)

[4]Jinyang, present day Taiyuan, a city in Shanxi province, near Fen river.

Post a Comment