Treasured Sword, Golden Hairpin Chapter 2 Part2
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Treasured Sword, Golden Hairpin, Chapter 2, Part 2.
from w.a.n.g Dulu's Baojian Jinchai.
It was now evening and Sun Zhengli was polis.h.i.+ng his saber under lamplight. Third Cui had drank until he was half-drunk and was now dozing on the kang. Before long, old escort Yu came into the room and chatted a bit with Sun Zhengli.
In recent years, Sun Zhengli had come to know some friends in Jianghu. He spoke of Qiu Guangchao in Beijing, whom people called the Silver-speared General, and another named Huang Jibei, called the Slender Amitabha, who did business outside of the city, and yet more: Miao Zhenshan the Boat-swallowing Fish of Henan and Feng Mao the Golden Saber of Shenzhou. These were at present all heroes of renown in Jianghu and he wanted to meet with them a bit.
In days past, if the old escort Yu had heard the names of these heroes, he would definitely have lit up and asked for more details about them. He may even have set off immediately to compare martial arts with them. But now, when he heard Sun Zhengli's words, he simply twirled his whiskers and smiled, as if he not only wasn't very interested, but he also didn't think much of them.
Sun Zhengli spoke again of old escort Yu's past heroic deeds, hoping to use them as a way to rouse his compet.i.tive spirit. However, upon hearing of them, he was not expecting the old escort Yu to just smile and say, “I was quite the troublemaker back then. It is fortunate I had luck on my side and didn't step on any nails, else it would have been the end of me long ago.” He listened for a bit longer but when the night watchman's clapper rang out three times, old escort Yu said, “Go close the door up and go to sleep!”
Sun Zhengli felt frustration in his belly as he followed old escort Yu out to lock the front door. Old escort Yu took a careful look around, as if he was afraid some petty thief had hidden themselves somewhere. Sun Zhengli was now no longer angry, but rather felt a bit bad for the old escort, sighing to himself, “One must never get old! Such a great hero, famous across Jianghu, the Iron-winged Eagle has now been reduced to this because his beard's gone white! He's become so careful and frightful, he's almost like an old woman!” Once the old escort Yu had checked the outer quarters enough to rea.s.sure himself, he retired to the inner quarters.
Sun Zhengli the Five-taloned Hawk returned to the room to sleep. He had been unhappy, but seeing that nothing had happened these few days, he thought the old escort's mind was playing tricks on itself, that there was already no one actually coming after him, so he fell asleep with his heart at ease. He didn't know how long he had been asleep when he was suddenly roused awake by an unusual sound. He could hear the clatter of footsteps across the tiles on the roof and the clanging of blades. Sun Zhengli jolted up and crawled out of bed, reaching for his saber. Just as he opened the door, he heard a crash as someone fell from the roof. Sun Zhengli asked, “Who goes there?” But this person sprung up without an answer and swung his sword at Sun Zhengli. The young lady Xiulian's voice rang from the roof, “Step aside, Brother Sun. Let me get him!”
So saying, the young lady jumped down from the roof while brandis.h.i.+ng her twin sabers and held back the swordsman together with Sun Zhengli. After a dozen or so exchanges, how could the swordsman keep up? He ran to the wall and said, “Stop! Stop attacking! I yield!” Sun Zhengli cursed, “Yielding will not do. I will have your life today, you cur!” So saying, he spun his saber and bounded forward, bringing his saber down for a chop, but someone pulled his arm back from behind. Old escort Yu urged him, “Zhengli, do not harm him!”
At this time, Third Cui the Underground Ghost brought a lantern out of the room and s.h.i.+ned it over at the young man with a sword, pitifully cowering against the wall. Sun Zhengli could see that it was the one who had come by during the day, Liang Wenjin. He hollered at him, “Oh, I see! The magnificent young master of the wealthy Liang family of Nangong has skittered over to ours to play thief, eh? What are you doing still holding that sword?”
Liang Wenjin tossed his sword onto the ground with a clatter. Sun Zhengli approached, raised his large palm leaf-sized hand and showered his head with blows until Liang Wenjin's face was covered in welts and blood trickled out of his nose, but he did not say a word. Old escort Yu had been furious, but then he thought, The Liangs were a prominent family in Nangong and were running businesses in various places, so they had more than a few security escort friends. If they injured a member of their family, they would surely sow enmity and cause endless trouble to come. Furthermore, he has come to my house in the dead of night like a criminal. He's a young master with a lot of money. No one would believe he's come to my house to steal my things. He must be here to sully my daughter's reputation. Wouldn't it be hard for him to deny that?
The old escort handed his saber over to Third Cui and told the young lady Xiulian to go back inside. Then he pulled Sun Zhengli the Five-taloned Hawk aside and approached Liang Wenjin, asking, “Young master Liang, What's your intention, coming to my house in the middle of the night with a sword in hand?” Liang Wenjin hung his head, afraid to speak.
Old escort Yu yelled angrily, “You young people dare to do something like this just because you've learned a little bit of martial arts? What tricks did you think you could pull against me, the Iron-winged Eagle, when you are but a rat? If I did not regard your Liang family as decent merchants, I would have chopped you up into little pieces. Now get the h.e.l.l out of here!” So saying, he smacked Liang Wenjin across the face. This blow from old escort Yu was much stronger than any that Sun Zhengli had given, hitting Liang Wenjin so hard he nearly pa.s.sed out.
Old escort Yu told Third Cui to open the door. Sun Zhengli dragged Liang Wenjin to the door by his ear, sent him outside with a kick, and then closed the door.
Having been booted out the door, Liang Wenjin took some time before he was able to get up. His face hurt like it had been cut. Feeling it, it was both swollen and wet and sticky. Liang Wenjin was the scion of a wealthy family in Nangong. He was scholarly and had learned a set of martial skills. He usually considered himself well-rounded in both literary and martial arts, a distinguished and n.o.ble young man. This time he had traveled to Julu with his granduncle Mou Zichun and his cla.s.smate Xi Zhongxiao, first to review the books of account and second to have a bit of fun here. He wasn't expecting to see the young lady Yu Xiulian and become utterly enchanted. He especially admired Xiulian's martial skill and wanted to engage her in a contest. He was confident that his own martial skill would be enough to draw Xiulian's affection and envy, and thus allow this remarkable beauty to land in his hands. That was why he had come by during the day to pay old escort Yu a call. He had planned to use that as an excuse to get to know her and afterward pop by the Yu house daily. However, he was not expecting to receive the cold shoulder from the old escort Yu.
Liang Wenjin was overcome with bitterness, saying to himself, “Even with my character and my family's business, I'm unable to curry favor with the young miss. You're just an elderly security escort with a pretty daughter who knows a little bit of martial arts. Do you think that raises you above me!? You will see. I will make it my purpose to befoul her.” It was thus that a wicked heart arose in Liang Wenjin. At the wine hall, Mou Zichun and Xi Zhongxiao had mocked him. This was because Mou Zichun knew that Yu Xiongyuan the Iron-winged Eagle was not easily pushed around. There was no way that Liang Wenjin would be able to beat the old man in a duel. Xi Zhongxiao was another wealthy son from Nangong who spent his days frequenting brothels. He usually tried to do all things before Liang Wenjin could, but in regards to Yu the Old Eagle's daughter, he didn't even dare think about it. He knew perfectly well that she was a rose: pretty to look at, fragrant to smell, but one touch and you'll catch thorn. He did not believe that Liang Wenjin would be able to take any advantage here.
Who would have thought Liang Wenjin would dare sneak into the Yu house in the black of night? He thought at the very least he'd be able to steal away one or two of the young lady Yu's personal items and flaunt them at Mou Zichun and Xi Zhongxiao. He did not expect Yu Xiulian to detect him as soon as he crawled onto the roof and jump up there herself to fight him. He had no way to resist her twin sabers, and as a result young lady Yu kicked him off the roof just as Sun Zhengli came outside. He dared not try to show off then, suffering several blows to the face and a kick as he was thrown from the house. At this moment, he really wished he could crawl into a hole and die, thinking, How can I return like this? Tomorrow my face will be even more swollen. How can I face anyone then? But there was nothing he could do except head back to his shop.
The night was still very dark and no one was around. Just as Liang Wenjin exited the alley, he saw several figures approaching with a couple lanterns. Liang Wenjin was about hide but saw that they had already drawn near. One of them raised the lantern and s.h.i.+ned it at Liang Wenjin's face, before turning to the others and laughing, “I told you you'd surely be able to find your young master if you came here. Your master has the luck of peach blossoms in love. Just look, the peach blossoms are blooming all over his face!”
The one speaking was none other than Xi Zhongxiao. Liang Wenjin flew into a humiliated rage, swinging his fists to hit Xi Zhongxiao, yelling, “b.a.s.t.a.r.d! How dare you sneer at the great sir Liang? From this day forward you are no friend of mine!” Mou Zichun along with the two or three attendants quickly held him back, saying, “You're drunk if you've stumbled to look like this! He's kindly come to look for you and you return it by being hostile!” Liang Wenjin continued to curse, but Xi Zhongxiao simply scoffed, “I won't respond to your cursing me. Just wait until tomorrow when we return home and I see uncle.”
These few bickered a bit more on this street in the dead of night before returning to the Taidehe grain shop. Mou Zichun ordered an attendant to bring over water for Liang Wenjin to wash his face with. He did so and then laid on a wooden kang and took a puff of opium. The pain in his face and body were still hard to bear, but more than that he was a little frightened as he thought back, saying to himself, “I took too big a risk today. If I had been killed by the twin sabers of the young miss of the Yu house, or beaten to death by that large man, it would be all over for me. If the old man had tied me up and taken me to court, even though our family would have enough for the bribe, I would still have lost so much face! I am fortunate young miss Yu showed me mercy. The old man also had a benevolent heart to let me go. Alright, let us consider this a lesson learned.”
He thought further, Only Mou Zichun and Xi Zhongxiao know about this. Mou Zichun is my granduncle and he would never say anything to others that would shame me. But I'm not able to similarly rely on Xi Zhongxiao. If he says anything about this, I wouldn't just lose what little reputation I have, but I wouldn't be able to leave the house and face people. Thus, he hurried to bow and apologize to Xi Zhongxiao. At first Xi Zhongxiao pretended not to accept his apology, but after inquiring into the full details of Liang Wenjin's beating at the Yu house, he laughed, “Alright, brother. I won't hold what you yelled against you, but know that I have this in my pocket now. In the future, if you don't listen to me, we'll tell everyone about it and see what face you'll have left!”
Liang Wenjin felt both shame and anger, but he could do nothing about it. After easily placating Xi Zhongxiao, he laid on the bed but his face hurt so much he was unable to sleep at all. At dawn the next day, he sent for a wagon, and he and Mou Zichun and Xi Zhongxiao headed back to Nangong. When he returned that same day to the Liang manor in Nangong and saw his parents, he told them he had suffered these injuries after a drunken stumble in the street. His parents reprimanded him. It was fortunate his granduncle had been present to corroborate the story that he had fallen down, never revealing that he had actually received a beating at the Yu house for attempting to engage in an illicit affair.
Because Liang Wenjin's face was swollen like an eggplant and his left hip was sore, he dared not go outside. He spent his days sleeping inside and often dreaming of Yu Xiulian. However, when he dreamed of the young lady Xiulian, it was not of her bright eyes and dimples, but her as a fierceyaksha holding twin sabers. In short, Liang Wenjin had completely given up on Yu Xiulian and lacked the face to ever return to Julu.
Liang Wenjin's martial arts had never been very strong, but his master was in fact an eminent old xia of Zhili. That old xia was named Ji Guangjie and he had come from an ill.u.s.trious background. He spent a life unrestrained upon Jianghu bringing righteousness to every corner of the world, never once encountering a match for his sword. It wasn't until he turned sixty that he secluded himself in Nangong and made a living taking in disciples. Before much time pa.s.sed, those who came to study under him became a mult.i.tude. Liang Wenjin and Xi Zhongxiao were both sons of wealthy families, young and looking for trouble, so they asked the old xia Ji to be their master.
The way that the old xia Ji instructed his disciples was quite particular—every day, he would perform a set of fists or run through a course of swordwork, and it was up to you to learn it and practice yourself. Liang Wenjin and Xi Zhongxiao were youths coddled in luxury. How would they know how to work hard and train to improve their skills? Thus after about three years, though Liang and Xi had both acquired some ability in unarmed combat, swordwork, and das.h.i.+ng acrobatics that they both thought were quite spectacular, the truth was that their technique was sloppy and mediocre. The old xia Ji never bothered to give their martial arts a proper look. The old xia Ji lived in Nangong for four or five years before he died of illness there. In his life, he accepted no less than thirty disciples, but of those who were truly able to acquire his teachings, there was only one, and this person was a man of Nangong named Li Mubai.
Treasured Sword, Golden Hairpin Chapter 2 Part2
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Treasured Sword, Golden Hairpin Chapter 2 Part2 summary
You're reading Treasured Sword, Golden Hairpin Chapter 2 Part2. This novel has been translated by Updating. Author: Wang Dulu, 王度庐 already has 340 views.
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