Thursday, 6 March 2014

Once Promised (曾许诺)by Tong Hua(桐华): Translation for Chapter 4 (Part 1)



   When I read a novel, I always wait for that chapter in which that all hell breaks loose feeling kicks in - and you know you are already hooked. This chapter was it for me.

   I've decided to translate it because I love it so much, it's split into two parts. Also, I've skipped/condensed some of the descriptions so it's easier to translate and for smoother reading. 

   P.S. Also my favourite Chi You A'Heng picture <3.


Chapter 4: If You Have The Intention, Please Admire The Beauty (Part 1)

   In the west, there is a grand beautiful mountain called Jade (Yu) Mountain. The Jade Mountain is a sacred place since ancient time with especially strong divine essence, any divine weapon brought into the Jade Mountain will lose its powers - it is a special place where war can never happen. Thus, all the women who ruled Jade Mountain must be neutral and recluse herself from the affairs of the world. The Jade Mountain has protected many gods and demons during the wars - even the Sheng Nong and Gao Xing Tribes both owe a debt of gratitude to the Jade Mountain, hence even the Three Emperors will give latitude to the Jade Mountain.

   The woman who rule the Jade Mountain is the Emperor Mother (Wang Mu). Every thirty years, she will hold a peach banquet and invite the heroes of the world to gather. It is again the time for such a banquet and the Jade Mountain is particularly busy with all the guests who came from afar.

     The red-robed Chi You briskly walked from the mountain spring, his expression cold, his gaze sharp. 

   There were many peach blossom trees next to the mountain spring, they blossom for thousands of years without falling. 

   A gush of wind flew by and the peach blossom flowers starts to fall rapidly, lightly brushing Chi You's eye brows, cheeks, shoulder, his pace began to slowed down, as he watched the rain of flowers, he appeared to be in a trance, his aura one of unending sadness.

   His gaze followed the flower petals as they danced in the wind... from far away, a girl in green robes was sitting down and playing with a stalk of peach blossom flower in her hand. Her head was lowered as she slowly plucked the petals and teased the fishes in the mountain spring.

   Chi You's heart beat hastened and rapidly walked towards the girl while gazing steadfastly at her, but there were many flowers blocking his view and he could not see clearly. When he finally reached, he could no longer see the girl in green robes.

   He anxiously surveyed the place and a clear laughter came from inside the Peach Blossom Forest. Chi You flew towards the laughter and saw a group of girls playing. Chi You quickly reached out to grab the girl in green, "A'Heng!" The girl laughed and turned her head. 

   Chi You's hand stopped in mid air, it wasn't her!

   Their silhouettes were almost identical, in one moment, he had been confused and thought it was A'Heng. But A'Heng had already died for two years, the skip in his heart was only an illusion in the rain of flowers.




   His expression darkened and he turned to leave. The red blossoms by the mountain spring were dazzling but in his eyes, there were no more colour, only an inexpressible loneliness.

   In the middle of the Peach Blossom Forest, two women were walking with each other, from their looks, they did not appear to differ much in age, but it was clear that there was a seniority gap. One was the eldest princess of Sheng Nong country Yun Sang, the other was the Jade Emperor's Emperor Mother.

   It was rumoured that the Jade Mountain contained many treasures, Yun Sang curiously asked what precious treasures laid in the Jade Mountain.

   The Emperor Mother started to describe each item.

   As Yun Sang was born from an ancient God tribe and was extremely well-learned, she has heard before of the treasures the Emperor Mother described, but the greatest of the god weapon was something she had never heard of before - it turned out to be a bow without an arrow.

   Yun Sang asked, "I have only heard of the Pan Gu Axe which the Great Emperor Pan Gu used to create the lands, but is there really no arrow that can be used with this bow? Since there is no arrow, how can the bow be used?"

   The Jade Emperor's personality was serious and hardly smiled, but she was gentle to Yun Sang, "This bow is not used for killing, but used for searching. In my ancestor's manual, it is recorded that after the Great Emperor Pan Gu created the lands, he was so busy governing it that he lost the love of his life. To see her again, he thought deep and hard, and thus created this bow. It is said that if you can pull the bow fully and your heart thinks of the other, no matter the distance, no matter a god or demon, no matter dead or alive, you will meet again."

  "How to meet? Can this bow show the direction?"

  "I don't know. After the Great Fu Xi King passed away, the Great Nu Wa King once came up to the Jade Mountain to borrow the bow, but even after using all her powers to pull the bow fully, it could not sense any presence of the Great Fu Xi King at all, much less a reunion."

  Although Yun Sang was matured, she still possessed a young girl's heart and she sighed, "So it turns out that the Great Nu Wa King was also once a normal girl, who will because of a heart's yearning try everything possible. But if the Great Emperor Pan Gu is so omniscient and omnipotent, how can he not be able to find the girl he love?"

  "I don't know."

   "Did the Great Emperor Pan Gu reunite with the girl he love?"

    The Emperor Mother laughed, "How would I know? All these were recorded in the ancient records and whether it is real or false, no one can know now."

    At this point, Chi You separated the branches of the peach blossom tree and walked over, "I want the Pan Gu Bow."

   The Emperor Mother's heart was alarmed, she did not sense his presence nearby, her tone remained gentle, "That is the most important divine treasure here and cannot be given to you."

   Before Chi You could speak again, Yun Sang quickly added, "What treasure will be given at the Peach Banquet this time?" And said to Chi You, "If you want a divine weapon, you may fight for this treasure."

   "It is not the Pan Gu Bow, but it is also a rare treasure," The Emperor Mother was planning to leave, "The Princess of the Xuan Yuan Tribe is visiting the Jade Mountain for the first time, I have to go see her now."

   Yun Sang had once learned how to cultivate silk worms to make silk from the Empress of the Xuan Yuan Tribe and had played with the Xuan Yuan Princess for ten years. She said happily, "So little sister is also here, I have not seen her in years, I shall find her later."

  As Yun Sang watched the Emperor Mother walked away, she half cautioned and half begged Chi You, "I know you don't care for rules and are rebellious, but this is not Sheng Nong, please don't create trouble here or no one will be able to save you."

  "I know," Chi You smiled, as he surveyed the Peach Blossom Forest.

  [Yun Sang warns Chi You to be careful again as her father, the Yan Emperor, had asked her to bring Chi You to come here to understand the politics of the Great Wilderness. She tells Chi You that he also cannot offend the Princess of the Xuan Yuan Tribe. Although the Yellow Emperor has four concubines and nine sons, he has only one princess who is born from the Empress. Furthermore, from young, she has already been engaged to the Gao Xing tribe and her fiance is Gao Xing's Shao Hao, who is likely to inherit the throne of Gao Xing one day.

   Afterwards, Yun Sang goes to visit the Princess of the Xuan Yuan Tribe and gets amused by the special Ao Tu inn, Ao Tu is like the chinese words (凹凸) - meaning sticking out and sticking in, uneven. There is a trick to the water which causes the reflection of the person to be fatter or thinner than the person actually is - Yun Sang laughs at it, and also realises the trick. I won't go a lot into this but this is where she meets a handsome young man and starts her fate with him - this man was the one who designed the Ao Tu inn. The handsome young man is one of the generals of Shao Hao and had came to give medicine to who he believes is the fiancee of Shao Hao, he mistakes Yun Sang for the Princess of Xuan Yuan Tribe.

   The Princess of Xuan Yuan Tribe says she got injured and Shao Hao saved her, but she complains that she never got a a chance to see Shao Hao's face. Yun Sang and the Princess of the Xuan Yuan Tribe part.]

     The Peach Blossom Garden appeared to be covered by a light red haze. 

   Chi You flew across, standing in the middle of the garden, he took a red cloth and covered his eyes. In the day, he already realised that the Jade Mountain and Peach Blossom Forest was a big formation, if you did not want to be confused by illusions, you will have to cover your eyes and use your sense to feel the minute differences of the divine essence.

   After going forward and back, turning here and there, he finally broke the formation and entered the Jade Mountain's palace. Even though it appeared easy, but once you entered, you will immediately die if you took a wrong step. In the tens of thousands of years, he was the only one who successfully entered. 

   Chi You ignored all the other divine weapons and immediately charged to the bow. The bow's body was black, but it was inscribed with red flower patterns. As if it sensed that Chi You wanted it, the bow started to glow, it became big then small, when it was big it was taller than a person, when it was small, it was not bigger than an inch. Chi You finally understood what the Emperor Mother meant when she said no arrow could fit the bow - if it could change its size constantly, which arrow in the world could fit?

  Chi You gazed at it for a moment, used full divine power, and quickly grabbed the bow. Not knowing what sensor it set off, the whole palace started to tremble and sharp dragon rocks started to fall down. Chi You quickly dodged and quickly dispersed the peach leaves he had prepared earlier - these leaves were naturally part of the Jade Mountain and could provide a perfect camouflage. 

   As Chi You clumsily escaped from the palace, he had injuries all over his body and was incredibly worn down. The soldiers had already arrived and he ignored his exhaustion and started to run. 

   There was nowhere to hide in the forest, he could only run towards the mountain spring. 

    A full moon hung in the sky and gently shone over the mountain spring and peach blossom forest. 

     A girl in green robes was holding up her skirt, her naked feet kicking the water. 

    In that moment, there was no noise left, in Chi You's eyes was only the green robed girl under the moon light, under the shadow of the flowers, every single action became incredibly clear and slow in his eyes. Chi You half suspected it was only a dream, but as he ran and stared at her, his eyes unblinking, he was scared that if he blinked, she will disappear.

   Shouts rang across and broke the silence, the green robed girl laughed and turned around, Chi You's body froze, and he stopped. 

   Under the full moon light, the girl's face was clear, it was the one he had been constantly searching, the one he thought was dead - Xi Ling Heng.

   "Chi You? Why are you here?" Xi Ling Heng jumped, her face full of surprise, although she appeared fierce, her eyes could not hide her pleasure.

   Chi You was dazed for a moment then quickly flew towards her, grabbing her and staring at her intently - he realised this was real, "Then why are you here?"

   Xi Ling Heng did not bother to answer and pointed at the soldiers, "Why are they chasing you? Did you steal something?"


  Chi You shrugged his shoulders, "I took a bow from the Jade Mountain, but I have no use for it anymore, I can return it to them.


  Xi Ling Heng's expression quickly changed, "You, You, you are looking for death! This is the sacred Jade Mountain, even the Yellow Emperor, Yan Emperor, Jun Emperor have to follow the rules here." Xi Ling Heng was incredibly anxious but Chi You was very calm as he watched and smiled at Xi Ling Heng's anxiety.

   Seeing the soldiers near, Xi Ling Heng kicked Chi You into the water, "Quick escape! I will block the soldiers. Run away from the Jade Mountain and throw away the bow! No matter what happens, don't ever reveal that you stole something from the Jade Mountain or you will definitely die."

  
Comments: Squeal! Reckless but ridiculously romantic Chi You. Did anyone squeal like me when Chi You said he has no use for the bow anymore? :) 

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing.

    ;X So, she is already engaged to Shao Hao. Indeed, Chi You when he want something, didn't care with the rest huh. >_< Other kick from A'Heng ha ha.

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    1. Thanks for reading :). It's going to be a kick-ass fight b/w Shao Hao and Chi You, but perhaps the man who wants it most will win? heehee

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  2. Decembi, you should check out the Wikipedia entry for Chi You if you haven't already. XD Let's just say that his portrait there isn't nearly as hot as the one above.

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    1. Haha i had to check out Chi You's wikipedia entry after reading this. And indeed he's definitely not as handsome :p

      The picture Decembi chose looks abit like Nicholas Tse (Xie Ting Feng) and Yuan Hong mixed together.

      Ah Heng and Chi You are really so cute together... Sigh...

      Did Tong Hua ever described Chi You's eyes in Once Promised? Because Xiao Yao is supposed to have similar eyes to him, I am wondering what kind of 眼神he has.

      It seems so strange seeing Ah Heng as a young girl after reading about her in 长相思. So innocent and carefree, with all that life has to offer. Before that kind of tragic end. It seems at this point of time she still has that girlish excitement to meet the person she's engaged to, Shao Hao, and although she likes Chi You, it's not in the romantic way yet.

      I wonder why Shao Hao would chose to not have a real marriage with Ah Heng unless he doesn't have a choice? I can't reconcile the Shao Hao of Once Promised with the Jun Di of Lost You Forever - he chooses the jiang'shan but afterwards he doesn't want to marry anyone else except someone who looks like her and doesn't have any heirs (except Ah Nian).

      Thanks for explaining to me about Chi You and the five elements. So far I'm liking what I see so far - there's something very primal and lawless about him but underneath it a soft tenderness - just like him transforming into a peach blossom forest and accompanying Ah Heng all those years.

      - May

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    2. Mei, Hahaha. I burst out laughing when I read your comment. I read the wikipedia before, and I was like.... what kind of picture is that. Haha, well I guess beast king is taken pretty literally.

      May, I totally agree! It does look like Nicholas Tse and Yuan Hong mixed together. It' never occurred to me, but once you mentioned it, I can't stop seeing it haha.

      What I like about A'Heng and Chi You's first few meetings is that even though they were't honest about each other's identities, they have always gave to each other without wanting anything in return. <3

      I think she did! And indeed, I think she used the same kind of description for Chi You and Xiao Yao's eyes... Chi You is not described as traditionally handsome in the novel, but he has this gaze that arrests you.

      I think that is the brilliance of Tong Hua--- because after all, everyone is young once. A'Heng actually grew up in a very loving household despite being royalty, and this was remarked upon in the novel... because the Xuan Yuan tribe was quite unique, they were a normal family first before becoming royals.

      *Spoiler* Well, Shao Hao didn't love her yet then! Hahaha. On another note, Shao Hao could simply be the kind of man who love his empire more than a woman - it's how he grew up with. The only thing he learned to trust - power. *end spoiler*

      Primal and lawless are perfect descriptors indeed! Chi You is always mentioned as being barbaric and cruel in Lost You Forever, but he isn't entirely like that --- history is always written by the winners after all.

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  3. Conflicted feelings because of Lost you forever!

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    1. I know what you mean! But, I do think if one reads Once Promised and ends with Lost You Forever, everything ends quite perfectly.

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  4. You were not alone, I totally squealed when QY said he had no need for the bow anymore!! Uh I'm such a sucker for tough guys who the entire world thinks is dangerous, reckless, and bad but is in fact a very loving and devoted man in front of the woman he loves!

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    1. Yay! *Double Squeals* Heehee, I find QY very manly, which is very different from the normal c-novel kind of guys i like who are gentlemanly but scheming inside.

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