Sunday, November 29, 2015

Great Merchant - Dao Ming (Chapter 1 - Cursed Child, Beloved Child 1)

I was supposed to finish EC first... but this one is just so easy, literally half the length. Although Ishman swears it's more like 1/8th or something >.>
I will try to get EC up tomorrow or the day after, without further ado, enjoy~

A youth dressed in a beige, monastic robe lazily lies sideways on a large, flat boulder next to a quietly murmuring, magnificent river, with his left leg casually crossing over his right. His head is propped up by his right hand, his elbow providing elevation, his left hand draping down the side of his body, the very depiction of relaxation as the figure sleeps under the shade of a willow tree, with the sun blazing at its zenith in the sky.

An idyllic village near the edge of the forest

“Come on! One! Two! Pull! One! Two! Pull!”

A slightly taller child shouts loudly as he leads a handful of children in pulling a rope, causing the pulley over the well to rattle.

“Almost there! One! Two! Pull! One! Two! Pull! Alright!”

At the side of the well, there are several pails that are slightly smaller than the children, all filled with water. Woven basket and other containers can also be seen, stacked slightly out of the way.

[T/N: Damn you buggers, damn Ishman T.T Okay, the bucket includes the handle, so the kids aren’t superhuman with crazy strength okay? If any of you visited Mong Cai in vietnam or Suchou in China, you will see these kind of pails for drawing well water. The handles make up the top third of the bucket.]

“““Thank you, Big Brother Tong!”””

The child called Tong nods, “Hurry home and come back, we still have to cook the congee.”


The children split into 3 pairs leaving the youngest one behind, before sticking a pair of sticks into the handles of the buckets and lifting it between them. Normally, a person would use a single stick as a carrying pole to carry two buckets of water, but since the children are small and weak, they have to use two sticks to keep a single bucket from rocking back and forth and spill all the hard earned water as they carry a bucket to each of their homes. The children carefully waddle their way, careful to not spill a drop of the water.

“Little Ming, what’s next?” The oldest child looks at the youngest, asking for direction.

The scrawny kid turns and looks up at the overcast sky before turning his head towards the forest, an endless rattling of the leaves can be heard as he stares at them with his clear, bright eyes. “There will be rain tomorrow.”

“Is it going to be a storm?”

The kid, whose head barely reaches the torso of the other, shakes his head. “Heavy shower.”

“Good, we will get some buckets and bowls out and catch some rainwater then.”

Little Ming turns his head toward one of the numerous fruit trees before looking at the grass. He has always been a child of few words, some of the villagers -including his parents- thought that he was retarded. He would often stare at the clouds, the trees, the grass and even the livestock, ignoring the people around him for the most part. Other children, even the adults, mocked him, calling him names and occasionally throwing filth at him; Tong was amongst them when he was younger. But after getting lost in the forest with his friends, something that can easily be a death sentence due to the various predators, he was located by Ming who was riding on his father’s shoulder at the time. It was the first time Ming talked so much, that’s also why his father humoured him and followed his instructions. It was only after the incident that his parents and a handful of villagers understood the fearsome wisdom within that quiet, small body. Ming was merely five years old when all this happened.

The young child had repaid enmity with kindness, the realization of the truth made the Tong at that time feel insignificant. He was the second son of the chief, yet with all the privileges he had over the other kids, all he had to show for it was his pointless pride and his ability to lord over and bully others. It was a lesson that even his parents hadn’t taught him, and it shook him to his core. He soon realized that the kid was probably the brightest one in the village, perhaps even smarter than the elders. There were no teachers in the village, he himself only learned various things because his father taught him along with the occasional tutors that showed up every winter. He then recalls the lonely looking child staring intently at the clouds and the plants, if… just if… he wasn’t daydreaming, then that means he’s observing the minute details of nature. This would be the so called ‘Heaven is the teacher, the entirety of Nature is the guide’ that his tutors would say offhandedly to praise some eccentric geniuses of the past.

To Tong, Ming is already a genius. The current epidemic with the Scarlet Hive further expounded this view within his heart, if it wasn’t for Little Ming’s unusual actions last year, the infected villagers and their children would’ve probably died a week ago. He asked his parents to start rationing food, to save enough extra food to last an extra two months in the winter. At first, the parents ignored him as he was still growing, without adequate food, he will not grow up healthy. With no other option, he cut down on the amount of food he himself consumed, eating nothing more than a handful every meal, saving even his parents’ share. After persisting for about a month, his parents yielded and started rationing their food. At the same time, Ming warned others to save up food as well, but he gave that warning only once.

Prior to the emergence of the Scarlet Hive, stories told by the elders states the epidemic will run its course after four week’s time, with most of the death occurring within the first two weeks. This is an illness that is something that appears once every few decades, it has an 80% mortality rate amongst the population, regardless if it’s commoners or nobility, there is no known cure for this disease. The unique feature about this disease is that it always appeared during early Spring, just after Winter has ended. The disease primarily targets adults only, with children merely developing nothing more than a cold. But the timing of the disease is also what causes it to be so lethal. Without the adults, the children will simply starve to death as each region will be quarantined when a breakout occurs. The lack of food is the most severe during this period of time, without the adults to hunt and forage for food, it would be a slow, agonizing death for the young survivors.

“Right, we will prepare some food for tomorrow, since we shouldn’t come out in the rain. I’m going to let the other teams know, are you going to be alright by yourself?”

The small child nods, walking forward to pick up a branch and starts to carefully dig into the grass before using it like lever, causing the soil to turn. Small purplish bulbs peek out from the soil, Ming drops the branch after spotting them, then squats down and carefully removes the dirt, extracting the entire plants without damaging them.

Tong turns and leaves as he sees the kid already starting his work. He bites down hard on his teeth, repeating “Three more days. Three more days. Three more days.” like a mantra as he walks toward another part of the quarantined village, letting the others know of the impending weather.

Three Days Later, Village Square

“Wi-Will this really save my dad?” One of the children asks Tong as his father is lowered into a large, ceramic vat that was used to hold rice wine in the past. The vat is lined with a yellow-ish brown, grainy paste with a poignant smell.

Tong in turn looks at Ming who replies. “One in Two chance.” He pauses for a moment as he removes a medicinal clay pot from the fire, carefully tilting the pot so the liquid slowly flows out of the elongated, tilted handle into a bowl. “Make him drink it.”

“AUURRRRGGGHHHHH!!” The man screams and writhes within the vat, trying to get out. The red splotches on his skin audibly crackles as scabs form over them.

“Keep him in there.” The child says indifferently as he prepares the next batch of herbs to be boiled.

“NO! Let him out! Let him out!” The man’s child pulls everyone around the vat away, dragging his father out of the vat with tears in his eyes.

“Waste of effort.” Ming retrieves the prepared bowl and puts it next to the fire to keep it warm. “Those who don’t want their parents to be treated, don’t bring them here.”

Numerous children start to bawl as the decision weighs on them like a mountain, some of the children clench their teeth in determination, a few others are asking others to help them bring their parents here quickly. The other children who are bearing crude stretchers with the ailing adults on them hear the message and react similarly. Ming walks up to the latest arrival, which contains his mom and dad.

“Father, drink this.” He carefully feeds the medicine into the burly man’s mouth, the man’s face twisting in disgust as he tries to spit it out, but Ming tightly wraps his hand around his father’s mouth and head, forcing it down. “I know it tastes horrible, but it’s medicine. Please, drink it.” He resumes feeding the medicine, the man once again makes a disgusted face, but he no longer struggles as he swallows it down. Afterward, with the help of Tong and another older kid, they carry the man into the vat.

“URRGGH!!” The man lets out a grunt of pain and writhes in pain.

“This is going to hurt, but it’s to seal all the hives.” The small child explains as he reaches into the vat and starts smearing the paste underneath his father’s clothing. The man claws at the wall of the vat until he finds the rim, gripping it with white knuckles.

It was at this time that a monk with a full body robe and muslin face veil approaches from the distance, a Monk’s Spade on his shoulder with a small wrapped package dangling off the back end. In his left hand, a prayer bead is continuously being rolled by his thumb. ‘Na Mo Em It Tuo Fo’ being repeated as he walks. The mantra stops as his eyes refocus from their dullness, staring at the odd spectacle in the supposedly dying village.

[T/N: 南無阿彌陀佛 -> Na Mo Em It Tuo Fo, it’s a mantra used in buddhism to drive out idle thoughts, also used as an opening phrased used in popular culture for addressing crisis, ward off disaster and to give ones condolences depending on what they add to the mantra.]


  1. thanks for this chapter.
    hoping more.

  2. All hail the great efforts of editors/translators!!! It is a great pain in the arse to convey nuances across culture barries, We applaud thine brave efforts!! *clapping
    By the way, could you be situated in Indonesia since you're using a .id wordpress account?

    1. I... don't have an wordpress account o.o
      blogger/blogspot work in a way that's always "local" to the reader in question. We are based in North America though, definitely not Indonesia :3

    2. For me it appears as so my guess is that the ending depends on where you access the internet from.

      Other than that, I really enjoyed this chapter as it had depth yet weren't heavy to read and with good character development, so kudos to both author for content and the translators for the excelent work.

    3. Oh, why the heck did I put wordpress there... I must have been daydreaming. Hahaha. I guess blogspot does depend on the country it's accessed from, rather strange for me anyway. Keep up the TLing!


Due to a certain user that keep posting links to sites that directly ripped from wuxiaworld, comments are being moderated and need approval for the time being.