Friday, January 8, 2016

Great Merchant - Dao Ming (Chapter 3 - Cursed Child, Beloved Child 3)

Silence fills the air.

The villagers stare at the magnificently dressed father and son pair.

The chief and his eldest son stare at the numerous surviving villagers.

“Father! Welc… come back…” Tong’s excited voice drops quickly as he looks at the clothing on his father and brother. The Clear Sky Green Forest Village is a relatively poor pioneer village situated outside the White Jade Forest, there’s no way for his father to afford such clothing normally, let alone getting a set for his brother as well.

[T/N: A little hidden wordplay, 清空青森村, notice 清 and 青, the first is pretty much the latter with the water radical added to it, obviously they sound identical.]

“““Welc… ome back, Chief…?””” Ming, his parents, and the other villagers act in similar way to Tong, unsure of the situation.

The monk dips his head towards the silent pair, before finding a spot under a nearby tree. He silently sit in the lotus position, slowly shifting the prayer beads, bead by bead, as he quietly chants a sutra.

“Ahahahahaha! Wow, so many survivors! Your village must be bigger than you claimed, eh Chief Gwai.” A fat, sweaty man laughs loudly, as he makes his way to the Village Square, escorted by a rank of warriors and a pair of courtesans.

“Mister Gwai, please, wait at the Guesthouse.” The Chief gesture at his eldest son. “Go entertain them.”

The youth looks around with unease before nodding his head curtly, putting on a smile as he leads the group away. “Right this way, Mr. Gwai.”

“Ahahaha! Certainly, certainly!”

[T/N: The chief is named 季 meaning season. While the laughing guy is named 貴, meaning expensive. They are both pronouced Gwai.]

The man and his entourage follow the youth, exiting from the Village Square.

“What is the meaning of this, father?!” Tong recognized the fat man the moment he appeared. “Why the hell is the slave merchant here?!”

The gathered crowd murmurs, as some of them quickly caught on, making the connection between their clothing, the timing of their return and the appearance of a slave merchant.

“Chief Gwai! Explain yourself!”
“Yeah!”
“Explain!”

The situation is like a fuse being lit, just waiting for it to reach the powder keg.

“I-It was for the village! We could have revitalized the village and gotten rid of the extra mouths we would’ve needed to feed!” The Chief, seeing the ruse is unraveled, tries to justify himself.

[T/N: For ‘revitalized’ - The kanji used means “rebuild”, but the meaning is “restoring the population and the buildings”, old timey peasant houses breaks down fast, regardless of culture, but this can be seen in old chinese farmhouses, or thatchroof mudhouses in europe. So aside from population, infrastructures had to be rebuilt too due to lack of usage and someone living in them.]

“Did you consult us?! Did you even consult the Elders?!” One of the more hot-blooded men screams while swinging his white-knuckled fist upward, the star-shaped scars still visible on his exposed arm, looking in the direction of the Elders.

“I… I…” The Chief sweats profusely, unable to speak coherently.

The Elders shake their heads.

“YOU WHAT?!” The man starts walking toward the Chief aggressively, causing him to take a few steps back.

“I AM STILL YOUR CHIEF!” The slightly balding, sweat covered man bellows back.

PLAT

A slap echoes through the air, followed by complete silence.

“You still have the face to say you are the Chief? What were you doing when we were waiting to die, huh? Living it up, waiting to see which one of our kids you can sell off when you come back?!”

“Yeah! Where the hell were you?! If it wasn’t for Ming and the kids, we’d be dead!”
“PEI! Remove him!”
“Yeah, remove him as Chief!”
“Let me at him too, that shameless beast is not fit to be either pig or dog!”

[T/N: Pei is the spitting sound people imitate, it could also be meant as “fart”, meaning the thing they are looking at/talking about is complete bullshit.]

“STOP!” Tang inserts himself between the growing mob and his father, who’s crawling backward on his butt, tears streaming down his eyes. “Please! Give my father a chance to explain!” Turning his head back to his father, a sorrowful look in his eyes. “You can explain… right, father?”

The elders sigh, before one of them makes their way into the crowd. “Let’s just stop it at that. We will hold a Referendum in two nights time, we still need to go gather food, so let’s stop wasting time, we still have lives to protect.” The elderly man shakes his head as he walks out of the mob.

The gathered adults snort coldly at the Chief that’s still on the floor before going back to work.

“I’m just giving face to Little Tang there, you damn bastard (turtle egg).”
“You are spared for two nights, you scumbag (turtle egg).”
“Why the hell did we elect you as Chief?! Pei!”
“Damn coward (head-shrinking turtle), hiding behind a kid. I’m sorry for you Tang. Sigh.”
“If you can’t explain yourself, watch someone chop your turtle head and crush your turtle eggs.”

[T/N: Welcome to Sumguy’s Turtle Soup and Omelette House, today we will be serving a load of insults featuring turtles and eggs! First up 龜蛋 = turtle egg, which means “bastard”, been around since confucius’ time apparently! 王八蛋, same as the previous, intentional miswriting of turtle, that still means turtle - and actually accepted as meaning turtle now. It means “son of a bitch”, but it was original used by people to call someone a literal pimp - a male that runs or manages a brothel, its meaning has changed, but it’s still as derogatory. Then we have 縮頭烏龜, which is “head shrinking turtle”, meaning a coward. As for the last dialogue line, you have 龜頭 = turtle head, which can mean “coward’s head” or “penis”. Or in this case, probably both, cause following that is 龜蛋 again, but in this context, it means his testes. That’s it for our menu, if you want the soup, wait until we crack some turtle eggs!]

The leaving villagers repeatedly curse at the Chief before leaving to forage or to take care of the still recovering villagers. Ming is hugged protectively by his mother, his father’s upperbody heaves up and down, anger brewing silently in his body.


Night Time - Village Guesthouse

“Gwai Daiyea, please help me out.”

“Hmph! Gentleman’s word, eight sentences are worth a thousand tael of gold. You promised me that there would be slaves that I can pick left and right, that’s why I was willing to give you an advance payment! Don’t tell me you are going back on your words now?” The fat man scoffs at the kneeling Chief while sitting on the host’s chair, one leg up on the seat while being massaged by the courtesans.

“Don’t go too far! At most, we will just pay it all back!” The chief’s eldest son bolts up from his servile position, standing straight up.

“Hmph!” The slave merchant scoffs once more, nodding his head to the courtesan massaging his shoulders. The woman gives him a servile nod, retrieving a scroll from a clothed box before tossing it onto the floor, sneering at the father and son pair with disdain.

The youth picks it up off the floor and reads it, his father getting up timidly and looking over his shoulders. The two of them shudder visibly as they finish reading the contract. “This is highway robbery!”

“Let’s bring it to the Magistrate and see if it’s robbery or not. Little kid, I have to praise you, had the epidemic taken its tolls, you two would’ve indeed made a fortune with your little schemes. Too bad that didn’t happen, so better pay up in three days time, otherwise… I won’t be polite, AHAHAHAHAHAHA.”

The father and son can only smile weakly as they retreat, exiting the Guesthouse.


Night Time, one day after - Gwai Manor’s Courtyard

“Father! Father! What are we going to do?!” The Chief’s eldest son shakes his father in a frenzy.

“What to do, what to do. It’s your damn fault, Kwan! If you didn’t suggest we sell off the orphans after the epidemic, this wouldn’t have happened!” The Chief repeatedly stabs his finger at his son’s temple, pushing him and chasing him at the same time.

“Bu-bu-but you agreed that it was a good idea!” Kwan knocks his father’s hand away, placing the blame back on him.

“So you are saying it’s my fault now?!” The angry, balding man flicks his sleeves, before pulling one sleeve back, readying to strike.

“No, no, of course not!”

“Hmph! So did you managed to borrow the monies from your friends?”

“None of them would even talk to me, I even got chased by the Long family’s hounds when I went to knock on their doors.” The youth’s voice trails off as he gets to the latter part of the sentence, dropping his head.

“Pei! This is what you get for befriending pigs and dogs.” The balding man snorts, sneering as his eyes shift left and right, thinking rapidly.

“How about esteemed father?! You certainly wouldn’t have pigs and dogs for friends right?”

PLAT

A loud slap flashes across Kwan’s face, his father making an ugly expression. “Don’t mention those ungrateful bastards in front of me again!” The Chief flicks his sleeves again. “Since you are so good with your little schemes, help me think of a way out of this!”

The youth covers one side of his face, nursing the red palm print, wincing slightly. He opens his eyes wide, shaking his index finger. “That damned Ming is the one that stopped the epidemic according to the villagers that were cursing at us… Then wouldn’t he be worth more than 20, nay, 30 slaves? With his intelligence, he can be trained to be some Noble’s boytoy.”

[T/N: The word used meant prostitute, but in asian culture, especially older times, it isn’t limited to sex. As “skills”/”arts” can be sold as well. The modern version can be seen in the japanese geisha that’s based on late first millennium dynasties’ brothels where prostitute only/also sold their arts/skills (be it ‘piano’ which was more like a harp, qi/go/baduk, dance, tea making, etc…)]

“Good! Good idea! But… his parents are still around…”

“So what?! We will sell them too!”

“Good! Good! Ahahahaha!”

“Ahahahahaha!”

Inside the shed, a lone boy pulls his knees to his chest, tears running down his face as he bites his lower lips with blood running down his chin. After his father and older brother left the courtyard to get a good night's sleep, he walks out the shed with an expressionless face and determined eyes.

“Sorry mother, but I can’t stay under the same roof as these beasts. From now on, my surname is Li.” Tang resolutely walks out the courtyard, leaving through the manor’s side door, not looking back once.

[T/N: His surname is 季, by removing the stroke at the top, removing the “roof”, it becomes 李, which is Li.]

7 comments:

  1. This looks very promising. Can't wait for more. Thank you!

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  2. Sorry, Misgav Avraham Hazan, didn't want to delete your comment, it sadly got hit with 高价收站's comment. The site he linked is literally stealing Thyeria's work and putting it on that side, I'll go check with Thyeria to see if he gave permission, but I will be removing it first lest it steals traffic from WW.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Who the duck is ming and tang in getting lost are they the same people?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, Ming is the smart little guy (most likely our reincarnated MC, even if it wasn't said). Tang is the 2nd son of the village chief who see Ming as a genius and is awed by Ming's behaviour. So Tang (the 2nd son of the village chief) became one of Ming's biggest supporter in the previous chapters.

      Delete

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.