Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Chapter 118 - TianShui Stockade


Nobody knew if the southern border sky had always been so hazy in that season, after emerging from that small mountain top, with Xiao Bai’s guidance, two humans and one monkey headed towards northwest of FenXiang Valley.

The night of the volcano eruption in FenXiang Valley Inferno Altar, the Heaven and Earth countenance changed, its might extremely powerful. Although it already could not be seen in the vicinity of a hundred miles but an extremely big piece of cloud hung above FenXiang Valley, a crimson yellow color, extremely abnormal.

This degree of phenomenal change was already conspicuous and now that it happened in the low-profile mysterious FenXiang Valley, with FenXiang Valley status in the Good Faction cultivators, it attracted even more attention from the world and immediately rumours circulated, all speculating what exactly happened in FenXiang Valley?

Just within several days, in the peaceful southern border wildlands, many unfamiliar faces started to gather, numerous either openly or discreetly power factions, in the open or dark enquiring what had indeed happened.

This kind of situation, naturally was not something that FenXiang Valley wanted, on the contrary, because of some undisclosed secret, FenXiang Valley sect was extremely indignant over it.

On one hand, FenXiang Valley was cordial to the disciples sent by various powerful sects in the Good Faction like Qing Yun Sect, Tian Yin Temple etc  Faction to enquire, hosting them with good tea or water, using natural catastrophe as a perfunctory explanation, on the other hand, secret inquiries made by the three great Evil sects, FenXiang Valley would never be merciful in their turf, momentarily in the vast expanse of southern border lands with FenXiang Valley as the core, glints of swords and shadows frequently flashed.

Just that no matter whether the Good Faction or the Evil Sect, all sensed that under the mysterious atmosphere of the FenXiang Valley, indistinctly revealed an abnormality, this time FenXiang Valley seemed to receive an extremely big shock, the valley disciples almost were all mobilized, day and night unceasingly searching in different parts of the southern border, as for searching for who and what, they avoided and covered up, keeping it a secret.

Several days later, the hazy southern border sky became a much bustling place, dazzling beautiful light beams could be seen flashing in the sky frequently, they were all FenXiang Valley outstanding disciples whom were pursuing onto something.

Rumours, also began to spread.

Birth of some strange beast or mysterious rare treasure bursting into the sky from the volcano eruption, different kinds of rumours, numerous.

And even more ridiculous was that some even vividly spread rumours about internal disorder within FenXiang Valley and some disciples had betrayed and killed the valley master, Yun YiLan. And to further corroborate it, FenXiang Valley valley master Yun YiLan really did not appear for several days until the rumours began to turn into a frenzy and in the days that followed, alarmed Qing Yun Sect Reverend DaoXuan and Tian Yin Temple PuHong Master. Both of them sent out disciples together to hurry over to FenXiang Valley to enquire and FenXiang Valley, did not know whether to laugh or cry, explained that the valley master was in seclusion and was unable to make an appearance.

Once the verified news were relayed, Qing Yun Sect and Tian Yin Temple then felt relieved but these two great sects leaders were not simple people, how would they not detect that there must be something odd in all of these and therefore secretly ordered their disciples not to hurry back and instead secretly investigate.

Often reiterating on the chaos in the world, rogues of all kinds running wild, FenXiang Valley at the same time had always remained mysterious and equivocal. During the Qing Yun battle, they happened to excuse themselves and that led one to make conjectures, hence the action of Ghost Li unintentionally rescuing the nine-tailed celestial fox who was incarcerated for three hundred years, triggered the world’s powers covert struggles, the stormy gathering of the southern border.

Because FenXiang Valley sent out numerous disciples, making trips, tracking and interrogating, with Ghost Li and Xiao Bai’s cultivated skills, naturally they did not fear these disciples but the thought of the possibility of revealing their tracks and incurring countless troubles, and if the FenXiang Valley powerful figures were to be alerted and come in force, then they might not be able to fight them off, after all FenXiang Valley was a thousand year great sect with unfathomable depth of power.
Ghost Li, considering the on-hand important matter, decided that it was more important to search for the Black Shaman Tribe that could save BiYao. Therefore ever since coming down from that small mountain, heading Xiao Bai’s advice, Ghost Li found a secluded village, bought two sets of clothes with money, one male and one female, and both Xiao Bai and him changed into it.

The far distant southern border land, naturally its custom was different from Central Plains, even the casual clothes wore daily, compared to the robes worn by Central Plains commoners, had their own distinctive style.

Because the clothes were bought from a secluded village, therefore the coarse handiwork was expected, wearing them, the greatest difference from Central Plains clothes was that other than the designs were different, the colours were brightly coloured, the male clothes had dark blue as base, the female’s colours were complicated and colourful, rich and beautiful.
Because they had to avoid detection by FenXiang Valley, they were unable to travel by air, although Ghost Li was anxious but after being advised by Xiao Bai who said that since he could wait for ten years, how could it be at the critical moment, he could not even wait for a few more days? If for a moment of anxiousness and aroused FenXiang Valley pursuing men, most likely when the situation became chaotic, instead by then he would not be able to know how long more he had to wait!

Although Ghost Li was impatient but he could not not agree with what Xiao Bai said, both of them unhurriedly traveled, wearing southern border’s attire, while travelling, they met a few batches of FenXiang Valley disciples but were not recognized by them, at most because Xiao Hui looked unusual and attracted a few more glances.

The most important point was that at that night, Ghost Li and Xiao Hui never once revealed themselves therefore FenXiang Valley men did not know how they look like and could only questioned suspicious strangers, which instead missed them out.

Right now Ghost Li and Xiao Bai were already on an ancient pathway three hundred miles away from FenXiang Valley, it was in the open wildlands and not a human in sight, just an hour ago they had walked confidently past a group of FenXiang Valley disciples.

The hazy sky, dark clouds moving slightly, with a slight frown while walking ahead, contrasting him, Xiao Bai perpetually had a smile on her face, in good spirits and peering around while travelling, gazing into the southern border scenery, even though it was a desolated wild ancient path, in her eyes, it seemed to also be the most beautiful sight.

Ghost Li glanced sideways, the monkey Xiao Hui sat on Xiao Bai’s shoulder, composed. Maybe because they were both rare intelligent spiritual animals on earth, Xiao Hui was very close to the nine-tailed-celestial-fox-transformed Xiao Bai, the past few days it had spent more time with Xiao Bai.

Watching Xiao Hui and Xiao Bai laughing and playing at times, making [zhi zhi] delightful expressions, Ghost Li suddenly recalled, if his old friend Zeng ShuShu from Qing Yun Sect saw that, most likely he would be very envious!

Xiao Bai was wearing the common clothes of the southern border girls, the design nothing different from the styles of the common people, just that this common clothing, against her unmatched beauty, instantly like radiating light and heat, revealed even more of her unseen svelte figure, as if this girl was born to fit into these clothes, exuding the southern border women unique graceful bearing from head to top.

Xiao Bai noticed Ghost Li’s look, turned and smiled, said, “What is it, me wearing these clothes, does it still look nice?”

Ghost Li smiled faintly, with his character, naturally he would not wish to answer these type of flippant questions so he changed the topic and said, “Seems like you are quite familiar with the southern border’s custom and surroundings, not to mention the others, just this ancient and secluded small village deep inside the FenXiang Valley vicinity mountains and you can actually find it, unless you came here before?”

Xiao Bai pursed her lips, looked away into the distance, the topography of the mountains in the distance joined together, endless and infinite, it was the unique characteristic of the southern border, the ancient path ahead, meandered and stretched out ahead, at the sides of the path, either near or far, all had peculiar lofty rock hills. Far ahead, the mountain summits and horizon, joining in the far distance, the overcast dark clouds hung around the summits, drifting with the wind.

She slowly walked, after a long time sighed softly and spoke, “I have not only come here before…”

Ghost Li was surprised, asked, “What happened?”

Xiao Bai let out a long sigh, shook and smile, as if trying to shake off the past, said, “You don’t know right! Our fox spirit clan, the place of our origin is this southern border, I grew up among these inhospitable mountains and rivers.”

Ghost Li was astonished, said, “Then why is it for the past one thousand years, the folktales in Central Plains always have your fox spirits presences?”

Xiao Bai replied, “That is because a thousand years ago, I brought my fox spirit clan away from here and headed to the Central Plains, eventually we settled down at the Majestic Fox Mountain located in the southwest.”

Ghost Li was greatly surprised, for a moment unable to speak, after a long while his voice rough, said, “What, you…”

Xiao Bao looked at him with interest, smiled, a gleam flashed in her eyes, as if sentimental, as if the vicissitudes of life, “Didn’t expected it right, it is where your Ghost King Sect headquarter is now situated, so to speak, the name, Majestic Fox Mountain, is most probably because of our fox spirit clan!”

Ghost Li was silent for a long while, quietly said, “Then perhaps your clan and Ghost King Sect…”

Xiao Bai, without waiting for his sentence to complete, immediately shook her head and said, “This you can be assured, our fox spirit clan has been neighbours with Ghost King Sect for several hundred years and always coexisted in harmony, not even that, these several hundred years, there were also a few human and spirits relationships, so therefore, other than repaying you for rescuing me out from the Inferno Altar, after knowing you are Ghost King Sect disciple, that is also one of the reasons why I am helping you.”

Ghost Li then felt relieved and then thought of something, said, “Then after this affair, will you still be going back to Majestic Fox Mountain to visit your clan members?”

“Clan members?” Xiao Bai’s face slowly turned downcast, raised her head and looked at the sky, after a while, softly said, “My clan members, were all dead because of me.”

Ghost Li was again stunned, Xiao Bai gave a bitter laugh, her expression getting more melancholy but also did not wish to continue on.

Ghost Li was quiet for a while, avoided the topic and said, “We have already been walking for three days, how long more to the ‘Seven Mile Cave’ that you said?”

Xiao Bai glanced at him, her gaze like water swept past his face, said, “Seven Mile Cave is the southern border Miao tribe’s largest inhabitation, according to my memory, twenty miles from here is a bustling place where different tribes cohabitate, called ‘TianShui Stockade’, from there a perilous narrow path to the south leads towards the Miao people’s Seven Mile Cave.” Then she gave a soft wry laugh, said, “But I do not know, for the past three hundred years, whether there are any changes in the southern border situation.”

Ghost Li silently nodded, subconsciously quickened his steps.

Xiao Bai followed behind him, her eyes lingering on him for a while, then looking ahead again, the stretch of mountain veins linking together, towering aloft, majestic and precipitous, like a giant human, watching between the Heaven and Earth, on the ancient path, these few tiny humans…

Ghost Li in these ten years, came numerous times to the southern border for BiYao, more or less knew a few things about the local people here.

The southern border was a vast territory, a vast but sparsely populated, other than the barbaric tribes in the extreme south ten thousand great mountains stretching continuously for thousand of miles, the generations of people living on the southern border fringe, mostly consisted of five main tribes, namely: Miao, Tu, Zhuang, Li, GaoShan.

Ordering by population, Zhuang tribe had the most and made up almost forty percent of the total southern border population. Going by territory, Miao tribe was the most powerful, the land that they occupied was the largest and most fertile, comparing folkways, the least populated GaoShan tribe was the most agile and brave.

These five big tribes, lived at the southern border fringe for generations and generations, each of the tribes had their own language but on the whole, they used a language similar to Central Plains when communicating between tribes, just that more or less it contained the ethnic tribes ‘characteristics‘.

For so many years, naturally there were times where they communicated and held each other hands with delight but there was no lack of scheming, contention and conflicts among them. Over a long time, gradually the tribes occupied their own area but there were also situations where territories interlaced and resulted in fights.   

And where each tribe’s lands met each other, there would be villages, towns, stockade where several tribes’ people cohabitated, the maximum would even contained people from the five tribes residing together.

And the TianShui Stockade that Xiao Bai mentioned, was where Miao, Zhuang, Tu and GaoShan tribes bordered on, it was also on the southern border fringe and quite a well-known bustling place.

The sky slowly got dark, when it was nearing evening time, Ghost Li, Xiao Bai, Xiao Hui, two humans and one monkey finally walked into TianShui Stockade.

Although there was a stockade word in the name but it was totally different from the mountain stronghold built commonly on the mountain tops, TianShu Stockade was built on a wide, flat land, paths leading out from the stockade in north, south, east and west directions, according to what Xiao Bai had explained on the way here, this place was originally built by the Tu tribe and the initial location was not here, instead it was on a mountain located near southwest, because there was a clear spring at the top of the mountain so it was named TianShu Stockade.
[Translator’s note: TianShu means Heaven water]

Just that later on when the four tribes lands borders met each other and as the population grew, it became the place where different tribes cohabitated. And as the trading merchants gradually increased and stayed on the mountaintop, firstly the place was cramped and inconvenient, secondly, it was also difficult travelling in and out, even though the southern border commoners were much healthier and fitter than Central Plains people but no one would be willing to climb up the mountain everyday to train their bodies.

As such, slowly people started to relocate to the foot of the mountain and as the days went, the number of people increased and the entire mountain stronghold’s population gradually migrated down. Following the flourishing trades between the four tribes, the merchants and traders travelling to the place increased, the scale of the trades also expanded, as for the original mountain stronghold, overtime fell into disrepair, only the name, TianShui Stockade, still remained.

The sky had just turned dim, the streets were still crowded with people, travelling to and fro, a hubbub of voices, at times different tribes’ languages could be heard loudly, very much different from the deserted ancient path that they had came on, Xiao Hui sitting on Xiao Bai’s shoulder felt very intrigued, its monkey head turning left and right, peering everywhere, [zhi zhi] calling unceasingly.

The three-eyed monkey was after all unusual and very soon attracted the stares of the people on the streets, and a few children wearing southern border tribes apparel even followed behind them  merrily, sparing no effort in making funny faces at Xiao Hui, teasing it.

Xiao Hui was by nature mischievous and immediately got excited, its tail swished to and fro and looked as if it was about to jump down and play too, luckily Ghost Li humphed once, pulled it over with one swing of his arm and held it in his hands. Xiao Hui, helpless and knew it would not be able to run off, climbed up to Ghost Li’s shoulder, making [zhi zhi] noises at the children behind and also imitating their funny faces, the children were even more excited, jabbering and laughing loudly, looked like they felt very intrigued too.

Ghost Li frowned, felt slightly peeved but not because Xiao Hui was playful but because he had other concerns.

He turned his head and looked slightly to the side, Xiao Bai’s lips had a faint smile and was happily watching those children and Xiao Hui laughing and frolicking, the coarse fabric garment, how could it conceal her skin-deep lovable beauty.

Not to say at this southern border fringe, the severe wind and snow, most of the women looked ordinary, their skin dark, even at the Central Plains, with this several thousand years of cultivation transformed into human Xiao Bai, the lovely and gentle demeanor indistinctly giving off underneath that exquisite elegant appearance, every frown and every smile, invariably made one experience a feeling of being drunk.

And as expected, after a moment, in the hubbub of children’s laughter and jesting, more and more people looked over and those adults’ stares, very naturally and very quickly, from the monkey shifted to that lady whose beauty was unable to be concealed by the coarse garment.

Immediately, as if an invisible sound wave extending out, the crowd felt astonished by the sight and that lady under the numerous stares, seemed not to have any slightest embarrassment, looking at her slight smile, as if she liked that kind of feeling.

Ghost Li felt very vexed, with that kind of attention, it was definitely not his intention and was just thinking if he should remind this lady beside him, to quickly find a place to stay and get up early in the morning the next day and head for that Seven Mile Cave, which was then the important matter to do.

Just that, as if his intention was destined not to be realized, a character that definitely always appeared in the innumerable stories around the world, right now had shown up.

The hooligan in the folktales, at this southern border fringe, in the sparsely populated tribes, actually also existed.

Three men walked out from the crowd, almost looking similar, tall, burly, with tiger-like back and bear-like waist, speaking half unfamiliar language mixed with the local’s unique slang, started to take liberties with Xiao Bai.

Hooligan A: “Oh, that...this woman is really beautiful!”

Xiao Bai smiled sweetly, her hand gently brushed past her face, with unspeakable loveliness, said, “Is it?”

In that instant, the crowd was in an uproar.

The three hooligans were extremely delighted, Hooligan B opened his shirt, revealing his good spirits, “Little sister, follow me! I will let you eat something hot...and drink something nice!”
[Translator’s note: A Chinese idiom, meaning to eat delicious food and drink hard liquor drinks]

The onlookers crowding around immediately laughed out loud, Xiao Bai glanced at Ghost Li beside her, her face still smiling.

Hooligan C mocked Hooligan B, “Do you even know what is to eat spicy and drink something nice, that is called eat tasty and drink spicy!” after speaking, he turned to Xiao Bai, “Little sister, my family has good farmlands and ten thousands fields, if you follow me, guarantee you…”

Speaking halfway, he was unable to continue, Xiao Bai smiled even more sweetly, as if the tenderness was emanating straight from her heart, a pair of moving eyes like water, as if about to spill out.

Just that her body instead stepped back and stood beside Ghost Li, gently said, “I am already someone with a husband.”

The onlookers, again another commotion, Xiao Hui who was on Ghost Li’s shoulder, [sou] a sound, dropped down from Ghost Li’s shoulder and landed on the ground.

After a moment, for some reason, Xiao Hui actually lay on the ground, using its monkey hands to pound on the ground intensely, grinning and [zhi zhi] laughing out loud.

Ghost Li’s face was somber, silently stood there, felt the three hooligans in front of him, six pairs of vicious eyes, filled with enmity at him.

After a moment, the hooligans charged over, seemed like the southern border proverb, wife from fists, was still full of vitality after thousands and hundreds of years, serving the southern border people.

[Peng! Peng! Peng!]

Three sounds, three human figures flew out, crashed onto the walls by the street and then heavily fell down, groaning loudly.

The crowd was speechless, Ghost Li indifferently said, “Let’s find a place to rest, we will leave early tomorrow morning.” After speaking he walked ahead, Xiao Hui laying on the ground, caught up with two or three leaps, scurried up to his shoulder, its mouth [zhi zhu] unceasingly, turned and made a funny face at XIao Bai.

Xiao Bai smiled, followed up, walking to Ghost Li, she suddenly quietly said, “You see I was locked up for three hundred years and yet I’m still not considered old right?”

Ghost Li, not a word, only quickened his steps.

6 comments:

  1. thanks for the chapter !

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  2. Thank for thevauthor and thé translation.

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  3. Lol I love this fox <3 also *SPOILER* I seem to remember that in the forum you released a glossary with bilu the girl in a coma as deceased. Was that a unintended spoiler or simply a mistake? Btw ty for chapter this is like a drug to me.

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  4. Thks guys!

    lol MrDarkwizard22, I just followed the glossary in the book but technically, BiYao was considered dead since she only left with one part of her soul, that's my guess ;)

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  5. thanks owlhoot!

    :)

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