by Qing Lu
Translated by Grenn
Chapter 17 – Only to go into the wolf’s lair
The smell of blood stimulated the bearded man who was already on the verge of going mad from despair. Suddenly, on his forehead, veins were swelling. His scarlet red eyes were watching attentively the young man. He clamored, “You’re the one who force me! You forced me!” As he was shouting, the big knife in his hand move around Zhuo Qing’s delicate neck.
‘Darn it!’ Zhuo Qing’s heart tightened. From the beginning to up until now, the bearded man was holding Zhuo Qing’s shoulder with one of his hand. Zhuo Qing was unable to move and, soon, the edge of the blade was closing on her as she could only wait for death.
In the brief instant the bearded man raised the knife to slash down, the blue clothed man slightly narrowed his phoenix eyes and grabbed that moment to lift his hand. As light as a cicada’s wings and as big as a tree leaves, a flying knife rapidly shot out from his fingers. Zhuo Qing only felt a strong gale sweeping on her neck and then, a sudden heat. That heat came from blood splashing on her.
“AH!” Following a scream that sound like that of a slaughtered pig, the big knife held by the bearded man fell on the ground, but his other hand was still firmly holding Zhuo Qing without letting her go.
Without the threat of the knife, Zhuo Qing took this opportunity to…
…Grabbed the right arm holding her shoulder with her left hand while she simultaneously lowered her center of gravity with a horse stance. As her attacker became slightly unsteady from the suddenness of his right arm lowering while he was still grabbing her, she twisted her left side and, at the same time, made use of her steady horse stance to spring up and threw him on the ground with a perfect “One Arm Shoulder Throw”.
In her mind, she recalled Gu Yun’s instructions on the shoulder throw. She shut her eyes from exhausting all her strength to ruthlessly throw the bearded man to the ground.
Bang! After being thrown by a beautiful shoulder throw, the bearded man strongly felt that his body became lighter as the sky spun and the earth flipped around. He was unable to make head or tail on how he fell on the ground. His back ruthlessly slammed on the limestone paved road and he kept feeling a sharp pain.
Zhuo Qing also didn’t have it much better. If it wasn’t for the power born from the unwillingness to die, as if she would twist her waist like that. Now, she was grimacing in pain and, with great difficulty, she broke off her pincer hold. At the apex of her pain, she staggered as she went towards the man in blue garment to escape.
The man shrugged his shoulder and lightly shook his head. On his face, an extremely fake and exaggerate expression could be seen. He clicked his tongue as he muttered, “The Jiang Hu is dangerous. The Jiang Hu is vicious…”
‘Abnormal! It’s no wonder that the old man said that the Jiang Hu is the most dangerous and the most formidable ones are women! Just take her for example, with her slender arms and legs and small body, surprisingly, she could grab a man that was nearly twice her size and threw him! The old man is truly too insightful.’
‘This person is pretending again!’ Zhuo Qing gave him a ferocious glance.
At this instant, the bearded man crawled up from the ground with difficulty. He cut a sorry figure as he tried to escape, leaving behind a thin trail of blood. It could clearly be seen that the flying knife from earlier had hit the the nail on the head.
“You want to escape?!” The man in blue garment loudly shouted as he pulled out an hemp rope as thick as his thumb from his waist and made a noose. He effortless used it to lasso the bearded man and, then, pulled on it. The bearded man was once again knocked down on the ground. Perhaps, it might be because the bearded man was repeatedly injured, he was groaning in pain on the ground and didn’t attempt to crawl back up.
The man in blue garment tied the other end of the rope to his waist and spoke with a complacent smile. “This time, let’s see if you can still run anywhere!”
He pulled the bearded man to return back. Then, he caught sight of Zhuo Qing who was still leaning her back on the stone wall while looking extremely out of breath. He walked until he was next to her and asked with embarrassment, “Hey! Are you all right?”
“I’m busy.” Zhuo Qing was still massaging the muscle cramp on her waist while her brows beaded with sweat from the pain. Her complexion was abnormally pale making the traces of blood on her neck particularly conspicuous.
She was after all a woman and he was also the reason why she sustained these injuries. He somewhat had a bit to be blame. In any case, could he let her go without a care? He tried to find numerous reason to convince himself, but, in the end, he appeared as if he made some kind of enormous resolution. From his chest, he took out a small bottle very carefully. He fiddled with it for a long time before he turned back and said, “Here, this is for you.”
Zhuo Qing lifted her head as the man pulled out her hand and drop with reluctance a black pill the size of a peanut in her hand.
Zhuo Qing was puzzled. “What is that?”
The man answered in high spirit, “Let me tell you, this is a Blood Clotting pill, a restorative immortal medicinal pill , that will help you recuperate! Quickly eat it.”
“Immortal medicinal pill…?” Zhuo Qing lowered her head to look at the extremely black pill in her hand that was emitting a strange odor. ‘Doesn’t that thing look like a third-rate product?!’ She definitively would not eating this curio.
Zhuo Qing snorted disdainfully. The man was in a bad mood and tried to snatch it back while cursing, “If you’re not eating, then return it to me. If it wasn’t because you’re a woman, I will not give you this. You can’t even differentiate good from bad! The value of just one of those medicine is 50 taels of silver!”
Although, she absolutely won’t eat it, but seeing how that man loved money like it was his own life, she suddenly closed her hand tightly and hid it behind her back as the man wanted to advance further. An evil smile perked up as she made a beautiful motion and threw the medicinal pill among the debris.
‘She, she, she went as far as to throw it away?!’ The man glared at Zhuo Qing. His juvenile face was completely fill with distress. ‘Ah! 50 taels of silver! 50 taels… I have to keep in mind not to come close to this person!’
Her complexion was already no longer pale, except for the cut on her neck that was still oozing with some blood, there was nothing too serious. Furthermore, he had the thought of helping and even made the special effort of doing so. He absolutely shouldn’t meddle further by taking care of her.
He walked back to the bearded man and vented his anger on him by ruthlessly kicking both his legs. Then, he pulled and dragged the bearded man away while whistling as he walked out of the alley without looking back once at Zhuo Qing.
This person really was somewhat interesting. Slowly, she opened her other hand. The pitch-black pill was in it Earlier, when she hid her hand behind her back, in a split of second, she had already conveniently hid the pill in her belt. She turned her head and watched the wobbling figure and asked in a loud voice, “Hey! What are you called?”
“Qian Jing…” Inside the complicated alley, the shout of the man came to her ear as a distant echo.
“Qian Jing?!” Zhuo Qing was astonished, with black lines on her head, at this much love for money…
As she remembered how his mouth kept repeating over and over again about money this and money that, Zhuo Qing couldn’t help but sighed. His parents really had acute foresight…!
She sat at the corner for a moment as her strength slowly recovered. Supporting herself with the stone wall, she slowly walked inside the alley. She only could walk for a moment as her waist once again started to ache dully and she had to lean her back on the stone wall. She bitterly laughed. She was extremely unlucky! She lived for more than 20 years and these past two days were the most exciting!
As she supported her waist, step by step, she went toward the exit of the alley. Suddenly, in front of her, there was a pure black carriage in the narrow alley. The wide carriage nearly obstruct all the road. It was a simple and refine vehicle pulled by dark colored and very tall horses which displayed the value of the carriage.
Zhuo Qing looked at her surrounding and didn’t catch sight of the coachman nor anyone else. In either case, the carriage was parked on the road. She only walked as it was difficult to endure the pain on her waist. She intended to rest a bit in the carriage. As she stretched her lower back, she properly walk a little bit again.
Immediately, Zhuo Qing was determined to put in action her plan. She held her long skirt and rearrange it at her waist. Then, with one hand she grabbed onto the frame and with the other, she held onto the shaft and used her foot to pushed herself up. With great difficulty she was able to climb up. As she lifted the curtain and went inside, immediately, she encountered of a pair of laughing eyes.
Unexpectedly, there was already someone inside the carriage? When she clearly saw the appearance of that person, she deeply regret going inside!
Those slender eyes which were unpleasant to her kept staring straight at her with a look that seemed like a smile and yet not a smile.
Lou Xiyan was the man she had impatiently extricate herself from. At this moment, he was calm and unruffled in the midst of chaos. He was leisurely and comfortably watching her as opposed to her. She ran in a big circle. She was able to get out of a situation and cut a sorry figure, just to unexpectedly walked right into a trap…
“Such a coincidence! We meet again.” The clear and smooth voice of a man which contained a difficult to repress laughing tone echoed out.
Zhuo Qing wanted to cry, but there was no tears. This was really not fun…
 It was quite confusing in the original text, so I took the liberty to add more details that will help make the fighting scene more logical. I also watched lots of judo’s videos to be able to picture better Zhuo Qing’s movements. As for the One Arm Shoulder throw, that’s the only technique that was the most similar to the description in the raws text.
 Jiang Hu (江湖) is a term that is use to mention the underworld of the Chinese society be it in ancient times or in modern times. For more details, click here and, if you can read french, click here for more details on when that term start in real history. (I’m quite surprise there was no english wikipedia page for Jiang Hu.)
 xiāndān liángyào(仙丹良药) is the pinyin term of the translated term restorative immortal medicinal pill. I’m sure there is a lot of different ways to translate this, but after going around and comparing the different translations used for medicinal pill in different translated Xianxia novels, I decided to go with immortal medicinal pill which would fit with Zhuo Qing’s sceptism towards that pill. Besides, my heart couldn’t accept using elixir, which was the suggested term in dictionary, since I have the image of something liquid not a pill.
 As you might have suspected, this is a word play on Qian Jing’s name. In chinese, the character for his name is 乾荆 which used the character Qian that referred to the normal Qian surname or the character symbolizing Heaven in the eight trigram and the character Jing for chaste tree. Zhuo Qing heard 钱精 which used the character Qian of money and the character Jing for essence. What’s more, the two Qian Jing used the same tone for pronunciation. (That’s one of the reason why I have more difficult learning chinese conversation. Too much words that use the same pronunciation. My brain is always confuse.)