Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud (闲云公子) Chapter 1 – Part 2 of 2


Chapter 1 (2/2)

“What!”

 The exclamation of a male voice jolted her back to consciousness.

“Miss and I will stay in the same room.  Young Master need not send anyone to take care of us.” She recognized the second voice as He Zai’s.

She has to struggle before she managed to open her eyes a crack.  The surroundings were unfamiliar – unfamiliar bed, unfamiliar house.  Through the half-open door, she could see that it was now night time.  There were two men outside the room; one is He Zai, and the other…. is it the disease-stricken He Rong Hua?

“Are you husband and wife?” He Rong Hua sounded alarmed.

“No.”

“Since you are not, it is inappropriate for an unmarried man and woman to spend the night together in the same room…”

“If someone else were to look after Miss, it will be even more inappropriate.  Miss was poisoned while she was in the manor.  Unless Young Master can find the culprit, He Zai would not dare to let anyone else get close to Miss.”

“That is impossible!  No one in Tian He Manor would do such a despicable thing.”

“It is a fact that Miss was poisoned.  Your doctor has confirmed this; the poison has been found in the tea.  Or does Young Master believe that your people could not have done this so it must have been Miss who poisoned herself?”

“No, that is not what I mean…” The protest sound weak and even placatory.

“I hope Young Master finds the culprit soon.”  He Zai did not speak more and proceeded to close the door in He Rong Hua’s face.  He came to the bedside and frowned as he met her eyes. “Miss has been poisoned and has been sleeping for several hours.  It is night time now.”

She struggled to sit up despite feeling weak all over. “I know.”

He Zai steadied her gently. “It is lucky that Fifth Gentleman of Cloud Manor is here.  He is well-versed in the arts of healing and he is the one who found that Miss has been poisoned.  I have fed you the medicine but you will need to rest for a few days.”

She shot him a look.  Ignoring her aching body, she moved to the table and snuffed the candle.  As the room plunged into darkness, she ordered: “He Zai, come to bed.”

Outside, someone sighed.

“Yes… Miss.” He Zai did not move a muscle.

She closed her eyes and after a while, she heard a set of footsteps stomping away.

“Although your vital organs are not harmed, you will need to rest.  It is best not to exert your qi (energy) in the next few days.” 

She did not open her eyes and fingered her jade flute.  Her breathing was unsteady and her lips were white.

“Miss?”

“He Zai, how long have you been with me?”  

“It has been ten years exactly.”




“So it has been ten years… tell me, have I been poisoned in these ten years?”

“Missy is more intelligent than most, and has not fallen into anyone’s trap.”

She opened her eyes slowly: “Wrong. It is because I am lucky.”  Across the darkness, she locked eyes with him. “He Zai, I have something to ask you. Come here.”

He Zai has never disobeyed when she used this tone and he came to her.

She looked at his mane of long hair, the prominent muscles on his chest and back.  Just a blow and he could have killed her easily.  Thinking back, although He Zai used to have flower-boy looks, the same could no longer be said about him now.  This was one of her regrets and was something that would haunt her dreams from time to time. Speaking of good looks –

“What do you think of Gentleman Xian Yun?”

Surprise flickered across his eyes and she sighed:“Who is the one who started the rumor that his looks is out of this world?”  Although his looks were above average and he was indeed refined and elegant, he was too cool and aloof when talking with people.  

And his looks…. unless her eyes were blind, the outstanding air the descend-from-nine-heavens thingy was utter rubbish!  Although he was pleasing to the eyes, he was definitely not a diamond of the first water.  She was utterly disappointed and has proven to herself once again that rumors cannot be trusted.

“Is Miss asking me on the looks of Gong Sun Yun?”  Has she gone off tangent?

She asked with meaning: “What else should I be asking?”

He did not meet her eyes and replied in low tones. “When I left the Central Plains ten years ago, Gong Sun Yun has already achieved the title of “Gentleman”.  In the Cloud Family, the historians are called “Gentleman” while ones who excelled in martial arts are called “Master”.  Together, both title holders will run the family.  But ever since Master Fu passed away many years ago, the title of “Master” has been left vacant.  Because Gong Sun Yun is both skilled and knowledgeable, everyone views him as the only leader of the clan.  For this alone, he can be considered to be one of the most successful person in this generation.”

She said half in jest: “From what you said, you and him are poles apart.  Ten years ago, you were at least a promising young hero. Now, you are only a Sky Slave whom anyone can trample upon.”

He did not get angry. “What Miss said is true.”

“Famous people would often get elevated to god-like statuses. What we can tell from this is that there are very few new talents in the past twenty years, in order for the rumors to make Gong Sun Yun sound so outstanding.  If this carries on, I bet Gong Sun Yun would have become an actual Deity from the Nine Heavens in another forty years.”  She found it funny just thinking of the possibility.

Although he knew she has exaggerated, he went along with her. “It is quite possible. Of every ten young heroes back then, seven or eight would have either ended up like me or they would prove to be only mediocre when they grow up....  Miss, although you are feeling fine now, it is best not to over exert yourself.  Let me carry you to the bed.”

She was silent for a long time.  Finally when the watchman's clapper sounded, she gave a small nod and He Zai picked her up carefully and placed her on the bed.  She closed her eyes and let him pull the blankets over her.

“Miss.”  The word was whispered into her ears.

“Hmm?”

“The body in the coffin did not belong to the Old Master”

She did not open her eyes.

He continued: “Someone swapped the body and changed the face to make it appear like the Old Master.”

“Is that so?”

“Could Miss guess what happened?”

“If I am able to guess correctly with so little information, I would have beaten Gong Sun Yun to become a god from heaven.”

He Zai fell silent and asked no more.  He moved a stool to the bedside and closed his eyes to rest for the night.  Just when he thought she has fallen asleep, he heard her speak: ”He Zai, it is not that I do not wish to think from your point of view.  But look at me – I already have white hair despite my age. If a person does not have the intellect and yet persists in over-thinking, this is what happens. Do take pity on me and let me keep my black locks for a few more years.”

“…I should not have let Miss over-exert.”

“It is just as well that I am poisoned and need to recuperate for a few days.  You can take this opportunity to stay in Tian He Manor and find out what happened.”

For some reason, he got the feeling her ‘just as well’ contained a second meaning.  He replied softly: “We can talk more about this tomorrow.  Please rest early Miss.” They have been together for ten years, with one never far from the other. He has not noticed this earlier but over the last two years, he realized that woman are indeed weaker than man in some aspects.  Although she has been treated immediately when she was poisoned, her core was injured and she needed to rest.

She gave a snort. “He Zai, do you know why I always say that it is thanks to pure luck that I am still alive today?”

No, he knew she was not lucky, she was…
She did not need to look at him to be able to see through his thoughts.  She smiled. “It is true.  I am lucky.  But my luck is built on the pretext of my beliefs and habits.  The better-tasting something is, the more problem it contains and cannot be consumed.  The more attractive something is, the more likely it is to conceal poison and cannot be touched.  The more addictive a feeling is, the more it must be avoided to prevent falling into a trap.  The closer a person is to you, the more important it is to keep a distance so that one do not end up died.  These are my beliefs that have kept me alive till now. Who would have guessed that I would still have fallen into a trap despite all this?”
* * * * *


“They are sharing a room!” He Rong Hua clenched his hands tightly into fists.  The night was cool as water but the flames of his anger could have easily reached the sky.

Gong Sun Yun leaned against the wall.  He lowered his eyes and did not reply.

“I have not thought… I have assumed…. but they were not husband and wife… Xian Yun, do you think that person…”

“Which person? Him, or her?” In the night, Gong Sun Yun sounded even colder than normal. 

He Rong Hua swallowed his anger and bit out: “Of course I am referring to Wang Yun!  She is utterly shameless to be sharing room with a man!”

“Sons and daughters of the pugilist world are less particular over such matters.  There were similar cases of sharing arrangements before this, so Rong Hua should not take it to heart.”  Gong Sun Yun glance remained downcast, his heart clearly not on the subject matter at hand.

“So you are saying the two did not…. did not…”

“I would think not.” 

“But such situations are still best to be avoided.  I have only expected one to show up but now there were two… And who on earth is the culprit? Only Wang Yun was poisoned when there were five, six cups on the tray.  Who would know that she would definitely get the cup with the poison? And why would someone want to poison a Sky Slave who is a nobody? Xian Yun, have you guessed the answer?” 

Gong Sun Yun tore a small branch off a nearby tree and started toying with it.  “Fifth Brother, will the poison leave any residual effects?” 

Gong Sun Zhi (Fifth Gentleman) replied: “Although this is a fast-acting poison, it is also quick to remove.  The person who administered the poison must have known that I am well-verse in the healing arts and that I could save her in time.  Plus, Miss Wang has a good foundation, so if she rests well over the next few days, there should not be any residual effects.”

Gong Sun Yun snapped the branch into two. “Rong Hua, the answer is out.”

He Rong Hua was still confused. “I only know that it is not you, and definitely not me.”

“Young Master, Xian Yun is referring to He Zai.”  said Gong Sun Zhi.

He Rong Hua could not believe what he has just heard: “You are saying… Impossible!  Even if it is him, it must have been the two of them in it together….”

Gong Sun Yun’s voice was like jade hitting on rock and he did not mince his words. “You can choose what you want to believe.  The closer someone is to you, the easier it is for the person to strike.  She has raised a tiger and this tiger could turn on her anytime.”

“Xian Yun, should we drop a hint to Miss Wang?” asked Gong Sun Zhi.

“She will know who poisoned her when she wakes up.  We need not interfere.”  Gong Sun Yun threw the broken branch on the ground. When he raised his eyes, his expression was normal again. “Rong Hua, you have to be mentally prepared.  Fifth Brother has conducted some experiments and found that the snake tattoo on a Sky Slave’s face cannot be removed.  If you wish to retain this person, Tian He Manor would have to face unspeakable pressure in future.”

“I know.  Even if Tian He Manor was to revert to its humble beginnings or become ousted from the pugilist world, I will still insist on keeping He Zai.  But Wang Yun is a problem.  If she tried to stop him or sought help from Huang Fu… Xian Yun, do you think we should strike first?”  At Gong Sun Yun’s icy stare, he backpedaled. “If not, what do you think?”

“If you wish He Zai to stay, leave her alone.” Gong Sun Yun could only say so much.  His clear eyes took on an unreadable expression as he looked towards the room where Wang Yun and He Zai were spending the night.   

Comments by Moonblossom:
Although He Zai is the one who poisoned Wang Yun, he is really quite sweet to her.  Is this considered Stockholm syndrome?  I also feel sorry for the way Wang Yun has to grow up.  If longevity is her goal, than I really wish she gets her what she wants and sees lots of "green mountains and charming streams."


Chapter links:


22 comments:

  1. Yeheeey!!!

    - samie

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  2. ah decembi, thank you for this.
    i dont't know why he zai poison wang yun? what is his motive?
    my heart ache for wang yun. she's a strong girl with such a bitter life.

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    1. This is my guess - correct me if I am wrong - ...HZ poisoned WY to delay time - he wants to investigate where is the actual Old Master and there is another reason he needs more time - it is relating to his "origin". Remembered the last few paragraph of this chapter - HRH wants to keep HZ in the Tian He Manor.... (hint hint) ...

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    2. No, you are not wrong. V clever : )

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    3. moonblossom, i'm so sorry. i forgot that it's you who translate this:(
      thank you so much :)
      i try to translate this novel via with google translate and i give up. it's too confusing.
      i'll wait patiently for your translation. thank you for giving us such a quick update :D
      you're awesome!

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    4. Hi Redhazel, no worries about it. I tried google translate for some words too, and the result totally boggles the mind.

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  3. "These are my beliefs that have kept me alive till now. Who would have guessed that I would still have fallen into a trap despite all this?"

    I'm guessing Wang Yun already suspect He Zai was the one that poisoned her? Poor girl always on guard, but the moment she decides to let it down.. she's face with life threatening situations..

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    1. Contrarily to what Xian Yun thinks, she actually knew who poisoned her the moment she felt dizzy. That is why she "did not bother to hold back" and threw up all over He Zai "as an outlet for her anger"

      It seems like she is very clever, but when i read further, I realised that she is really average as she claims to be. She can figure out who poisoned her because of design - she has always been careful and only He Zai has the chance to get close enough to poison her. The mystery is actually more a question for the readers, than to her.

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  4. My earlier post got lost?

    I like GSY. I cant understand why HZ needs to poison and hurt WY instead of just asking to stay more days? I guess, GSY figured WY as the girl who helped him 6yrs ago....he kept on staring at her bracelet. He is already very much protective of our dear Wang Yun * swoon *

    - samie

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    1. Yeah, I have this problem too. After some tries, I think the best way is to choose "Google" in the "Reply as" but that would require you to login to gmail next. The next best way is to choose "Annoymous" because that won't require any login.

      I think he recognized her at first sight too. It must have been crushing on his ego she did not acknowledge him... and maybe frustrating to see her share room with another guy? *swoon*

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  5. Hi Moonblossom,

    Thank you for translating this book! I'm enjoying your translations :)

    I like how Wang Yun wasn't too impressed by the appearance of Master Cloud (Gong Sun Yun) - it's a sly attempt of humour on the author's part because usually the male leads are described in superlative terms of gorgeousness :)

    I feel sorry for both Wang Yun and He Qian for having to grow up in such surroundings. It's quite natural for He Qian to develop feelings for Wang Yun because although he was forced to be her Sky Slave, it wasn't because of her will. And also even though they have master-servant status, she is quite kind to him. However, from this scene it seems impossible that they will ever have a relationship since he betrayed her trust by poisoning her even though he knew that she could be saved on time.

    Cheers! May

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  6. Hi May, so far I am making good progress so hopefully I can continue with 2 postings a week so that it is less frustrating for you readers.

    It is the stupid title, if Yu Qing called the book "He Zai something-something" and then he would have got the girl.

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    1. Are you on the He Qian - Wang Yun ship ? :)


      - May

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    2. I usually don't board a ship so fast to prevent disappointment; furthermore the title of the book leans towards Xian Yun as the OTP. But at this point, I rather like He Zai - big, brooding, protective... maybe it is because he didn't poison me : )

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  7. love you for doing this i've been checking your site ++ 2 postings a week thats awesome..

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  8. poor Gong SUN Yun...he must be very jealous WY and HZ sharing a room. i hate u HZ for whar u have done to WY but i feel sweetness in my heart that you are so sweet to WY..hayyyy what is this.....

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  9. Its good this book is only 10 chapters *sigh* else, the.wait.will kill of us *thud*

    hi 5 moonblossom for the swoon *mwah*

    - samie in lala land :)

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  10. Hi everyone!

    Thanks Moonblossom for continuing with this translation project and thanks to Decembi for introducing us to this gem of a story. So far, so good! Am really enjoying it and would want to thank you in advance for the two-a-week posting you have in mind. I have never made a comment on any sites before and would silently lurk in Koala's, hui3r & drambeans blog.

    I never knew that I would become a fan of chinese novels but all these wonderful translations you're all doing surely made me so intrigued and impressed knowing that it takes so much work to do it. You've dedicated time and effort to make one reader like me (who can't read nor understand the chinese language) really happy!!! It's a delight to know how one's culture is so different! Other than Greek mythology, I never knew that chinese people have their own version as well (^_^).

    Anyways, just want to say my heartfelt thanks for doing a good job that not even myself would dare to try. It's a time-consuming hobby but I bet there are countless silent lurkers like me.
    Indeed, I let my voice be heard to show my sincerest appreciation to the hard work that you both do.

    Peachie



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    1. Thank you peachie! That's really a very sweet and heart-warming comment. Just like how Moonblossom remarked she must be crazy for starting a translation project, I have often questioned my sanity as well. But, every time I receive a sweet comment, it makes me happy and reaffirms my decision to share my love for c-novels. Thanks for your appreciation and I hope you continue to enjoy the translations here :)

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    2. I definitely won't be going anywhere and will continuously support your site as long as it exists! (^_^)

      On a lighter note, our story gets really exciting now. I wonder what the motive was for the disappearance of the Old Master's body? Where does He Zai's loyalty lie? The plot thickens and I'd be a good rabbit and wait patiently for my carrot :)

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  11. Dearest moonblossom :) thank u very much.for *mwah*

    Ya, i do.agree....what was the motive of dissapearance of old master's body? Hope is not a plan to lure out Wang Yun and HZ to central plains....by GYS ? *swoon?* :)

    - samie

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  12. Dear moonblossom,

    Thank you for the translation! Finding a new C-novel to follow is a truly wonderful feeling. (Pity, I discover this during exam period. *sigh*)

    Oh. Does she really have white hair? If so, why?

    I have only read Xian xia novels and some historical ones. For a wu xia, would I be right to assume that an average human has a normal lifespan and characteristics?

    -Lia

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