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Janger, Ysabel, Jaya, Spy, Chua, HPC, you are welcome. Xiaohu, thanks for the enlightenment. Akolaw, Xie Di it is, although I am going to keep 'Demonic Emperor Relic', just because I also translate the other 'treasures' like 'Secret to Long Life', 'Duke Yang Treasure', 'Jade Annulus of He Clan', etc. Hungry, I am glad. Xu Xiong, 1. I said I would find a good place to stop; i.e. not right away, and no cliffhanger. 2. I have no problem with the story; it's his style that I find annoying. Paona you summed it all very well, I'm just glad that I am not the only one. I read the link you provided; the review can be applied to Huang Yi. No, I have never heard about Robert Jordan. Speaking about difficulty, I still think Jin Yong is the hardest, just because he loved to use poetry/classical Chinese literature, which is way above my head. To me, Gu Long is 'light reading', something that I don't have to think too much.

PS: How about I translate Chu Liuxiang? It's light, short, and one of the more popular stories.

Book 20 Chapter 7 - Mutual Deception[1]

Xu Ziling, disguised as Yue Shan, swaggered up the mountain road leading toward the temple, with his hands behind his back.

The narrow road suddenly opened; under the glow of the setting sun, a winding creek, gurgling softly as it meandered into the tightly packed tall and straight, thick and solid forest of Chinese giant redwood. The most touching thing was that there were three wooden bridges, all different from each other in terms of shape and size, each one served as a lining to the other, each one started when the other ended, forming a triangular space in the middle of the combination of the small bridges, encompassing the only passage among the trees leading toward the temple.

By now Xu Ziling could be considered at least half an expert in architecture; his heart was full of praise, knowing that this design must have come from the hand of a master.

His mind had already forgotten that he was about to face danger very soon, replaced by a comfort and leisure feeling of seeking serenity exploring beautiful scenery, following the forest path and the small bridge, roaming among the trees.

The mountain road curved, and surprisingly there was another small pavilion ahead, built on the edge of a dangerous cliff, overlooking the vast, endless empty space and the beautiful scenery of the majestic setting sun beyond the mountain, bringing his vision from the serene and hidden in the depth of the forest to the expansive universe that seemed to be running in parallel without any hindrance.

This drastic change made Xu Ziling shook incessantly, so that he stood inside the pavilion, staring blankly at the distance, and it was quite a while later that he was finally able to regain his composure, and continued climbing the mountain.

The mountain path was sloping steeper as he went deeper into the mountain. After passing through another forest, he came to a nearly a hundred stone steps, which led straight toward the gate of the temple.

This no-name ancient temple was built on a plateau leaning against the mountain, the stone steps were in disrepair, full of weeds and wild vine; apparently it has been abandoned for quite a long time. Under the fading light of the dusk, it looked even gloomier.

Xu Ziling took a deep breath and started to climb step by step.

The appearance of those vicious people of the four extremely demonic schools has truly made him understand the real meaning of the saying 'in the wider world, there are people more talented than himself'. But it has also given him a feeling of pleasant change.

Someday, if he could roam around the world to widen his experience, to meet warriors and scholars of extraordinary talent, that would definitely be very interesting, something that would make his life more colorful.

Were it not for his decision to choose this remote wilderness, this time he could not possibly enjoy such a peculiar encounter.

He was not too worried over Shi Qingxuan; since she had the courage to play her flute to provoke these four vicious people, naturally she would have at least a bit confidence that she would be able to deal with them. Otherwise, if she ever fell into the hands of any one of those four, it would be better if she died rather than alive.

The stone steps under his feet have ended, ahead was the pitch-black opening of the temple gate, emitting a stench of decay.

Without the slightest hesitation Xu Ziling stepped over the threshold and entered the temple.

There was a sudden flash of light.

Xu Ziling focused his eyes to look, and saw a woman, her long hair hanging to her waist, was sitting with her back facing him, in front of a single oil lamp on the sacrificial table in front of a Bodhisattva image.

The Bodhisattva was dilapidated, with its paint peeling off, covered in dust and cobwebs; a picture of bleak, cold and desolate atmosphere.

Xu Ziling's eyes swept around; while he was feeling surprised to find not a single one of You Niaojuan and the others was to be seen, Shi Qingxuan's clear and melodious, sweet voice rang softly in his ears, "Excuse me, may I ask which martial art master the Senior is?"

Seeing she was still sitting with her back toward him, Xu Ziling spoke indifferently, "If Miss turn around to look, won't you immediately see who Laofu is?"

Shi Qingxuan's soft voice said, "Although Qianbei [Senior] possesses superior martial art skill, you are not the person I am waiting for. If you are just passing by incidentally, hearing the flute and coming to see, then let Wanbei [junior] offer a bit of advice for Qianbei to leave immediately. Otherwise you might be drawn into a completely unnecessary Jianghu's gratitude and grudges."

Letting out a weird-sounding laughter, Xu Ziling said, "I don't believe in demon, so I want to see it with my own eyes. Miss needs not worry about Laofu's life or death."

Finished speaking, he walked over toward the corner near the door, and sat down against the wall.

Shi Qingxuan was still sitting with her back facing the door, with her eyes fixed on the flickering flame of the lantern. Her silhouette seemed to be fused into the glow of the oil lamp. Not only it emphasized her cloud-like beautiful hair lightly and softly hanging on her back, it also accentuated her fragrant shoulders and her graceful, beautiful and wonderful outline, which looked as distinct as if she was carved with a knife.

Simply her slender and elegant figure seen from behind was enough to make people feel that she was an enigma; an outstandingly exotic beauty that seemed to appear out of the dust.

All along she did not turn around, she was only sighing faintly, as if she had no interest in Xu Ziling's whereabouts.

The afterglow of the sunset finally disappeared beyond the distant horizon outside the temple. The oil lamp on the sacrificial table in front of the Bodhisattva became the only light in the dark world, reflecting Shi Qingxuan's solitary high and outstanding, hard-to-measure personality.

Cicadas were started to sing, the insects were starting to buzz, filling the air outside the temple with rich and ethereal noises. In the cacophony of noise, there was some kind of hard-to-describe rhythm, making the deathly still wilderness suddenly brimming with life.

An unusual sound was suddenly heard outside the temple.

At first it sounded like the cry of a baby, but then it turned into the miserable wailing of a woman. Even with Xu Ziling's self-cultivation, and his knowledge that someone was playing ghost, he could not stop his hair from standing up, and involuntarily recalled Zhu Yuyan's demonic skill of confusing the enemy using sound.

Yet Shi Qingxuan seemed to turn a deaf ear to the noise; she maintained her elegant and serene attitude.

At first Xu Ziling did not understand why although he could not see her facial expression, yet he was able to clearly, unmistakably sense her state of mind. Upon further reflection and self-introspection, he began to realize that he was able to grasp her innermost feeling from the subtle movements of her back. Including the movements and reaction of her flesh and blood vessels under her clothes that ordinary people would find it hard to detect.

Regarding this kind of insight, Xu Ziling himself was shocked; this was indeed a progress that even in his dream he had never expected.

The demonic sound outside rose again and changed; from the front suddenly it moved to the back, from the left it rose, suddenly it fell on the right, continuously moving, indeterminately, becoming concentrated on the open area in front of the temple. It grew more and more hurried, loud and nasty; becoming ghost's wailing and demon's roar. If his inner strength was insufficient, it would be strange indeed if he did not cover his ears and tremble in fear.

It felt as if you were suddenly thrown into the Asura's hell, where thousands and tens of thousands ghosts who died tragically all came to demand your life. Phantoms were flickering, the air was thick with gloomy murderous aura.


The mournful cries resonated in Xu Ziling's eardrums.

Inwardly, Xu Ziling shivered in fear, thinking that wasn't it Susu's voice, calling for him? He was shocked; knowing that the demonic noise nearly entered his mind. Hastily he drove away ten thousand thoughts, and guard his heart.

Shi Qingxuan sighed faintly again. Like magic, a bamboo flute appeared in her hand, which she put on her lips, but she did not blow it. It did not make any sound.

While Xu Ziling was feeling something was strange, a single clear tone seemed to slowly appear from the distant plain, and slowly continued from that far, unreachable place, leaping and moving, brimming with vitality. No matter how the ghostly wail twisting terrifyingly, ear-piercing, harsh, covering the heaven, shrouding the earth, seemingly able to drown anybody in suffocating perilous situation, Shi Qingxuan's note was like an unsinkable small boat. Although every now and then it seemed to be tossed around by gigantic waves, in the end it was always able to float safely.

Xi Ziling's heart was also tossed around by a thousand layers of giant waves, because this was the first time that he personally experienced the extraordinary feat sound breaking sound. The huge benefit he gained was surely hard to describe.

He finally grasped the possibility to contend against Zhu Yuyan's demonic sound. A possibility that would play a significant, as well as decisive, role in Kou Zhong and his struggle against Yin Gui Pai.

Once again he was completely intoxicated by Shi Qingxuan's touching flute sound.

[1] Chapter title: you hoodwink me, I cheat you [same as Book 2 Chapter 2].

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