Thursday, November 12, 2015

Great Merchant - Dao Ming (Prologue 1)

Remember how I said I was going to be working on something with a friend months ago and then he disappeared on me? Well, he's back, sorta, he's still stuck in the boonies somewhere in China-Not-China, but he finally got internet and is alive, so I'll be doing this original series on the side with EC as the main. This seems to be a LOT easier to deal with since it's strictly traditional chinese unlike the triple whammy that is EC, also a lot less headache and way less research required (at least I hope so, everything I read so far I knew right away without needing to look it up, so \o\ \o/ /o/ huzzah!). Now if only I can somehow get him to do the web design with his potato over there >.>

Without further ado, here's 財神 - 道明 / Great Merchant - Dao Ming

“No! Let me go! I’m innocent, it’s all those peasants’ fault! I’M INNNOOOCCCEEEEEENNNNNTTTTTT!”

A deep voice screams for an appeal, to no avail as it’s dragged into one of the numerous passages to the left of the stern-looking man sitting cross-legged on an elevated pedestal behind a low-rising table. On top of the pedestal sat a man with eyes closed, his headpiece standing erect, with its two rounded rectangle winglets in perfect position.


[T/N: The “elevated pedestal” is referring to that raise platform where the judge sits at with his table and is above everyone else in the court. It LITERALLY doesn’t have an English word to describe it despite our efforts in trying to search for one. The English Architectural term is Chancel, sadly, it’s only used in religious (namely, Christian churches) floor plans. Just think of it as a little stage with steps where the judge works on, for those that watched Bao Zheng or period dramas that features magistrates, it’s that part where the servants step up onto to give something to the judge.]


Amidst the droning hum of the guards and the rhythmic pounding of their rods against the ancient stone floor court, a scholar holding a golden scroll and an elegant brush pen calls out “Next!”, bringing in the next person to be judged.

A handsome figure dressed in an immaculate green and gold robe is pushed into the court, just before the pedestal where the steel-faced judge sits - who finally opens his eyes to stare down at the new arrival.

“Name?” The scholar asks without looking up from the scroll as he crosses out the previous name.

“High King Illanis (Ye’lan’lik’si).” The tall man with long, pointed ears answers in an aloof tone.


“Are you deaf? I said I’m High King Illanis, Leader of the Great Elves of Plamor’an (Pa’lam’or’an), Protector of the Hundred Million Li Forest.” The man extrudes a domineering demeanor at the judge-secretary before him.

The judge-secretary sighs softly while shaking his head, slowly lifting his right hand before dropping it. Immediately, four guards armed with lacquered rods step forward from the side of the court, their space immediately filled in by their comrades. Without the need for further command, one strikes the tall man in the guts, the second strikes him behind the knees, the last two cross their rods from behind the man’s head and pin him to the floor in a kowtow position. The entire series of action took less than two seconds as though it’s routine to them.

“Alika’na Mosa (A’lai’ca’na Mo’Sa), is that correct?” The judge-secretary reads from the scroll indifferently, causing the man to scowl.

“How do you know my name?! Is this some sort of human sorcery?!” The man’s scowl turns into suspicion as he struggles to get up, only to be mercilessly pinned by the guards.

“This is the Afterlife, you’ve died and are awaiting judgment by King Yanlou.” The judge-secretary folds the scroll before placing it into the same hand that’s grasping the brush pen, cupping his hands and bowing slightly towards the man sitting silently on the pedestal.

“Afterlife…? But I was… my bedroom… isn’t the Afterlife in the Ethereal Forest?” The man stammers while his eyes shift back and forth.

“Ah, the Ethereal Forest, amazing place, I went there for a work-vacation, that place is nothing short of a paradise. If you qualify, I’m sure King Yanlou,” he cups his hands and bows once more, “will surely accommodate you.” Shifting his shoulder a bit, the man unfurls the scroll once more before reading from it.

“Alika’na Mosa, lifespan eight hundred seventy nine years plus fifty seven years… Ruled his people impartially, allowing for unprecedented expansion of the Plamor’an Duchy into an unrivaled Empire that controls 3/5th of the Osiris (Ao’sai’li’si) star. Oh my… this doesn’t look good.” The judge-secretary shakes his head slowly. “Responsible for the death of 129,788,877,183 souls… oops, make that seven hundred and fourteen.”

[T/N: Since it isn’t quite clear and people have asked, and even our editor didn’t know, I’ll make a note here. The XXX year +/- YYY years means. XXX = actually lived years, YYY = years different from the pre-ordained date of natural death.]

King Yanlou’s facial expression turns even more stern, questioning the elf without saying a word.

“There’s no way I… wait… you mean you include those damned humans and lizard savages?!”

The judge-secretary nods once, “those are included in the figure.”

“I killed the humans in the name of justice! They enslaved our kind and treat them as livestocks!”

“Even those that came to offer your people succour while being hunted? Including the allies that fought with you and your men shoulder-to-shoulder?”

“They are traitors to their own kind, it’s merely a matter of time before they stab us in the bah-!” The elf’s words slurs near the end, as his tongue feels numb all of a sudden.

[T/N: This is a two part reference to King Yanlou, in folklores within the CJK region, King Yanlou hate liars. Children are told that King Yanlou will come remove their tongue if they keep lying.

“You know that wasn’t the case, you were just too lazy to deal with an Allied Kingdom and wanted a Vassal State after the war.”

“Pah! So what if I did, they would do the same as me given the same position!” The elf shifts his eyes away and looks to the side.

King Yanlou closes his eyes without saying a word.

“Then what about the Lizardmen?”

“What about them?! They are just savages wrecking our precious forest! Their overpopulation was turning the forests back into filthy swamps, wetlands and plains.” The kneeling man turns his head and stares at the unmoving judge with hatred in his eyes. “By what right do you judge me by, huh?! You lot should be thanking me for saving you additional work! I saved millions of lives by annexing those lands and reforesting them!”

King Yanlou’s hand picks up the commandment tablet and slams it onto the table, his stern face turning into a scowl. Soon after, trails of blood drip from the elf’s mouth.

[T/N: And here’s part two of that reference.]

“Oh, by the way, King Yanlou rreeeeeeeaaaaaaalllllllllllyyy hates liars, especially unrepentant ones. Those lizardmen were simply returning the landscape to its natural state as was determined by their shamans. You, on the other hand, just wanted increased living space and food production at the cost of everything else. You know that hundred billion plus number? A third of that is elves that are dead and dying because of the ecological disasters your willful policy has made. Aside from your ongoing massacre against the landkeepers, you are killing your own people.”

[T/N: This is why I need an editor, seems like this part needs a T/N since it gave him a wtf moment. Forcefully converting land into forests can indeed cause ecological disasters. You are literally changing the water cycle, the biomass make up, providing fuel for uncontrollable fires, etc… When a disaster strike, it will strike HARD. You don’t have the natural barriers that would otherwise be there. Ie. With swamps, wetland and barren plains, they act as natural fire buffering zones. Natural watersheds and so forth.

“Wait, what?” The anger in the man’s face is replaced by confusion, then shock as he recalls the numerous reports that were trickling in. His eyes are shifting left and right, panic starts to seep in as he looks at King Yanlou’s face. “That isn’t my fault, how was I to know this would happen?!”

“WILLFUL IGNORANCE DOES NOT EXCUSE YOU FROM YOUR ACTIONS, BEGONE! 14TH CYCLE, 3 DEMERITS.” King Yanlou’s booming voice reverberates within the hall of the court.

“Wait! 3 demerits? What did I do wrong?! What’s the 14th cycle?!” The man struggles and asks while the guards are dragging him up.

“You should have asked yourself what you did wrong before. You could’ve also asked when I asked for your name and read out your deeds. Here’s a hint, not that it would help you, King Yanlou hates liars, especially ones that can even lie to themselves to justify their actions.” The judge-secretary shakes his head softly. “The 14th cycle is the samsara of domestic beasts, you will either be a beast of burden or something raised to be consumed. Complete your lot in the next life, I hope you can achieve some merits in the life after that.” The man tilts his head forward slightly to the side.

The four guards starts dragging the once mighty elf king toward the 14th passage on King Yanlou’s left, the elf’s screaming appeal echoing continuously before finally fading away.

The court resets itself as though nothing has happened.




A scrawny, yet scholarly white-haired man steps forward into the court, his lean figure is obvious as his rough, hempen robe dangles off of him. He cups his hands and bows to both the sitting judge and the judge-secretary respectively, his demeanor neither servile or arrogant, just a sincere, unadulterated respect to one’s equal. His body emits a sort of quiet dignity.


“Surname Li, secular name, Fang Sing.”

“Li Fang Sing, lifespan… Nineteen minus eighty-two…? Responsible for…” The judge-secretary’s voice drops off as he quickly expands the scroll endlessly, wordlessly reading the text in a trancelike state.

“Ah… this must be the Afterlife then. Guess I failed…" The young man gives a wry, bitter smile as he looks slightly downcast. "I will lessen the trouble for you various magistrates. You can just send me straight to Hell.” He cups his hands once more, resignedly bowing his head in deference.


Translator's Note: King Yanlou is probably better known as King Enma by those of you that read Japanese series (also known as the King of Hell).
Translator's Note 2: I will be stealing borrowing RWX's method of translating names as in English (+original chinese phonetics in these brackets) for the first time it appears.


  1. The next EC chapter is about 2/3 done, dw, I didn't forget about it :P

    As for the more astute amongst you (those that either grabbed a dictionary or know how to read chinese), you will notice the title name doesn't match, specifically 財神 which literally translates into "God of Wealth". But chinese tends to be... colourful(?) with its meanings, in this case, its intended meaning is actually "Great Merchant".

    See you folks when the next EC chapter is out o7

  2. "On top of the man’s eyes are closed, his headpiece standing erect, without its two rounded rectangle winglets in perfect position."

    I guess the beginning should be more like "On top of that, the man's eyes are closed, his headpiece standing erect,".

    Sounds like an interesting story so far.

    1. Thanks for pointing it out, will rewrite that section after looking at it again.

  3. Replies
    1. Unless either I or him puts it up, it doesn't exist. His chinese is flawed at parts (he writes in chinese with occasional chinglish thrown in when he doesn't know the exact term), so I'm the TLer cum editor for this, and I don't need more pointless work :P (well, unless we put the series onto the chinese web, but that isn't in our current plan).

  4. What does he mean when he says 19 minus 82 for his age?

    1. His expected age for natural death is 101, but he died at the age of 19, thus losing 82 years of his life.

  5. " [T/N: The “elevated pedestal” is referring to that raise platform where the judge sits at with his table and is above everyone else in the court. It LITERALLY doesn’t have an English word to describe it despite our efforts in trying to search for one. The English Architectural term is Chancel, sadly, it’s only used in religious (namely, Christian churches) floor plans. Just think of it as a little stage with steps where the judge works on, for those that watched Bao Zheng or period dramas that features magistrates, it’s that part where the servants step up onto to give something to the judge.]"

    The judge presides over court proceedings from the "bench," which is usually an elevated platform. - See more at:

    1. Ishman (zeee editor) also brought that up, until I showed up him an example. It isn't the same. The pedestal referred here is an entire platform, think of a raised ground or a stout pyramid (just the first few levels of the base) with a decent size area where the judge's table/bench is actually set on top of.

  6. Maybe "Dais" is the word you're looking for? (The elevated platform bit)

    Thanks for translating.


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