That’s it! Here is the last installment of A Straight Road, which mark the completion my third translation project. Yey!!
This is one very likable chapter, with my favorite quip in the book – the men, the sea, they are all waiting for you. As for who is waiting for who, I’ll leave it to you to read and find out.
In epilogues 1 & 2, we learn about Gong Sun Ling, Jiang Jiu, and how Xu Zhi inadvertently rescued their souls by providing a physical and emotional haven for them. In this last epilogue, it is time for Zhou Wen Wu’s redemption and he has truly come a long way from the proud, violent, angry man at the start of the book.
To all my readers, thank you for following the story. I have not expected to take 7 months to complete this when I first started so it may be pretty frustrating for a reader. Still, I hope that you have enjoyed the story and its characters because they are not your garden-variety kind of crazy, I mean romantic heros and heroines. If you have friends who may like the story, do let them know about my website for it feels nice when I still see new readers for “Rice Pot Next Door” or “Gentleman Free Float Cloud”.
Until the next post, take care.
Jiang Jiu actually has quite a number of appearances in the story which I have removed in order to keep my recap ‘short’. He is an enigma who seems totally loyal to Xu Zhi until we find out that he reports to the Emperor. He looks after Xu Zhi very well but yet he has no qualms trying to kill her when he is under the spell of the Soul Snatching Bell.
This put him in a really bad light compared to Zhou Wen Wu when caught in a similar situation and I was ready to write him off as a likeable character until I learn more about him in this epilogue. I like this epilogue because it is finally answers the question that has appeared on-and-off the story – is Xu Zhi a cold and heartless person? I also like this epilogue because we finally see the bottom-most layer of the plot. Xu Zhi could have ended up romantically with Zai Lin or Jiang Jiu, had not been for Gong Sun Ling. Zhou Wen Wu’s luck is truly amazing that he managed to get his woman with so many outstanding men surrounding her but I am glad, that he is the one.
“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?”
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