“Gratitude – Knowing and Repayment”
The epilogues are an integral part of the story and form a mini-story by themselves with interlinking titles. The first story is about Ting Wei, Xu Zhi’s supposed enemy in court, but who let her through the City Gates when the Emperor has ordered her arrest. After reading this, I think there is a high possibility that Xu Zhi is really telling the truth when she claims that his letter to her (to release her prisoners to the court) is merely a way to let her admire his calligraphy.
If you are wondering why Ting Wei sounds like a different person than Gong Sun Ling, it is because ancient Chinese have several names – the name they are given before they come of age, the name which is officially recorded in the ancestral records when they marry and come of age, and for the rich and influential, another name upon burial. I could have missed something as I summarize this long epilogue into something that is only 3,400 words, but Ting Wei is likely an official title while Gong Sun Ling is likely his name before he comes of age.
Just a heads up – due to some work contingencies, I will upload the next installment of “Pursuit of Murderer” in another 2 weeks time, and after that, I’ll come back with the remaining 2 epilogues of “A Straight Road” on a weekly basis. In the meantime, stay well, and stay happy.
Yey! We have reached the end of the “Straight Road” and after I condense the epilogues – 1 on Ting Wei, 1 on Jiang Jiu and 1 on Zhou Wen Wu, we will be done with the whole story where all loose ends including the interest on ZXC’s ending, will be tied up. The only question mark is probably the part about the coin bank which I never did understand but from what I gather, the story goes like this: A long time ago, Xu Hui came across some old coin banks and sent them to Xu Zhi. Xu Zhi kept them in her library and noticed that the images on one of the containers actually changed overnight so she started keeping track on what appeared on the coin bank every day.
There seems to be a spirit residing in the coin bank which gives it such “life” and it is how Xu Zhi got to know about Sun Shi Yang somehow. The spirit has no form, and is neither malicious nor helpful. But it is obviously unhappy that Xu Zhi manage to learn things from it that it rather keep hidden and its unhappiness can be manifested in falling ladders that nearly crushed Xu Zhi in the library.
Xu Zhi has not reached a conclusion on the coin bank but Zhou Wen Wu – being the suspicious sort – is convinced that there is something strange about it and he would rather get rid of all possible dangers before it harm the woman he loves. Ok, that is about the coin bank for the moment. Enjoy the chapter and see you again next week.
Dear readers, it feels like it has been quite a while so hope you are keeping cool in this hot summer. I just returned from a remote mountain minsu (B&B) in Taiwan and I must say, Taiwan remains my favourite holiday destination after I first visited the island in 2010. Lala mountain may not be as majestic or cooling like Alishan but it is good enough a place to take a break and trek along its streams and trails. I was lucky to ran into the harvest season for peaches and it was fun to be plucking peaches instead of being an OL for a change.
Back to ‘Straight Road’, we pick off where Xu Zhi goes for her head operation. Operation or no, that woman is a weird one although I quite enjoy her rather unusual brand of romance. If I were her boyfriend, I’ll probably dump her for someone more romantic woman but too bad, Zhou Wen Wu is hers for life. Well I guess, that is what we say in chinese一个愿打，一个愿挨 (one beats willingly and the other willing gets beaten) for you,
Zhao Zi Huan brings Xu Zhi to his holiday home not too far from the Capital and gives her the master bedroom being his honored guest. It is where Zai Lin finds her, sitting on a bed so big that 3 people can lie on it with plenty of room to spare.
Zai Lin has shaved and is dressed simply like a commoner. However, his movements and mannerisms are unmistakably elegant and belie his noble heritage. “Da Gu Niang, you will be fine. You are not suitable for any long-distance travel so I have arranged for Sun Shi Yang to operate on you in this house as soon as possible.” He looks at her expectantly. “Da Gu Niang, are you not going to ask where I found Sun Shi Yang?”
“Where did you find Sun Shi Yang?”
If there is a title for today’s post, it will be “Hong Men Yan” (literally translate to Banquet at Big Gate) a famous banquet in ancient China where The West Conqueror invited Liu Bang to dinner. Liu Bang is the less-powerful of the 2 during that time and The West Conqueror wants to assess and murder him on the spot – if the meeting can prove that the latter is a threat.
In Liao Yue’s capital, Lou Chen and Jian Yan Heng may have the silent backing of the ex-Prime Minister and a stoic general to ward off assassins from the pugilist world and lesser evil. But in face of the biggest chess piece on the board – the Emperor – they provide little protection.
Those who read Mistaken Marriages 1: Record of Washed Grievance may remember Bai Yi, a sneaky Liao Yue prince who was thwarted by Lou Xi Yan. Well, Bai Yi has been promoted to Emperor now and he has never forgotten the insult in his youth (he is so petty!!), so he has arranged a nice Hong Men Yan for Lou Chen today. Let’s see how she fares…
The story continues at a break-neck pace with even more unexpected turns and I think you will like the developments. For readers who like “Pursuit of a Murderer”, rest assured that I have not forgotten it and will put up a new chapter in my next post. It is just that the plot of a “Straight Road” has reached its boiling point and I thought to settle the most intense part of the story at one go, before anyone falls of the “cliffs” as in cliffhanger of the past few posts. If the book was interesting up to now, the past few chapters are simply intriguing and I can’t wait to get to the last page!
First and foremost, thank you Melanie for helping me to flesh out the fighting scenes today. I only use a bit of what you wrote to suit the pace of the story but the your kungfu scenes are simply amazing. Thank you for your peerless sword of valor again.
The happenings at opening ceremony of the Hunting Festival is totally unexpected and catches everyone off guard. The sudden re-appearance and usage of the Soul Snatching bell is a surprise as it causes chaos, bloodshed, but it also reveal heart and loyalty. I personally enjoyed crafting this chapter for it is fast paced and gripping, so be warned, take a deep breath readers, and here we go….
We move on to the last arc of the story and for all the readers who are still around; it is payback time as all the loose pieces fall into place. I remember feeling surprised – the nice kind – when I first read this story and hope that you like the following development as well.
For now, I just want to reiterate that Xu Zhi is a nerd. Sometimes, she say things that sounds unfeeling but she meant it factually with no ill-will. And despite what the 2 Zhou brothers think, she does not always say the truth so don’t take her too literally. Continue reading
Sounds of labored breathing floated from behind the bed curtains as 2 bodies twine together like vines of a tree. Zhou Wen Wu is loath to move away from her lips as his lips earnestly seek out their mate. After a long time, he finally feels her response and pulls back slightly to observe her pale face. A watery sheen clouds her eyes as he kisses a particularly sensitive spot. “Ah Wu…”
Her reaction seems more like she is having a headache instead of being aroused. He pulls her chemise over her shoulder as he presses her head against his chest. “Have I been conned?”
“Huh?” Continue reading
As popular as Zhou Wen Wu is, today’s post is about the other “people around Xu Zhi” and I have found 3 cute characters that remind me of Jiang Jiu, Bai Hua and Tong Mo. it is no accident that the author wrote a flashback on Zai Lin’s death and Xu Zhi’s “cold-bloodedness” when she did not express sadness at his passing. How did this incident impact Jiang Jiu? What kind of impression did she leave on Tong Mo, who is Zai Lin’s widow? From what we have seen so far, Jiang Jiu and Tong Mo seems to genuinely cares for Xu Zhi but does such a heartless person deserve their concern? The story gets a bit darker at this point but I like the darkness because it add layers to the book and gels well with the ending.
Happy midweek everyone!