When you guys read this, I bet you guys are thinking that I am either translating some really boring scenes or the story is really boring. So yes – nothing much special happens in this scene. But I wanted to translate it because it introduces one of my favourite side characters, Mu Yi. I will be translating a scene between A’Fu and Mu Yi later (finally, a scene where it’s not all about the OTP) where A’Fu basically “checks out the competition”.
If you guys have not gone to read Chenguang’s awesome translation, please make your way to her site now. She has just posted the first half of Chapter 1. And because she’s reached where I’ve last left off, I am going to stop translating the rest of the first meeting. 😛
Speaking of the Chenguang’s translation, we had an interesting discussion on how to translate 浮生尽, which is the title of Song Ning’s story arc. After a little digging around, I concluded that it most likely references one of Li Bai’s On a Banquet with my Cousins on a Spring Night in the Peach Garden, which I feel I must share with all HXY fans:
“Now the heavens and earth are the hostels of creation
And time has seen a full hundred generations
Ah, this floating life, like a dream
True happiness is so rare!”
[Introductory Remarks: So they both meet in the mountains again, where they first met. A’Fu was travelling alone and Mu Yan saves her from some wolves.]
And this was how I met Mu Yan once again. Although my heart was filled with all sorts of romantic feelings, I understood that his sudden appearance at this random place is cannot be simply be attributed to the phrase, “if fate permits, you will meet even if you are separated by a thousand miles.”
A few men in black appeared in front of us suddenly. I thought to myself, this is really deja vu; they must be here to kill Mu Yan again. Without a word, I took a step back. Another step. And yet another step. Before I can retreat behind Mu Yan, the men knelt before us and said in unison, “Master, we have arrived late.”
All of their faces wore expressions of shame. I turned to look at Mu Yan in surprise. He ignored the men, and asked me, “Can you move?” I stared at him, and the corners of his mouth quirked, “Aren’t you so afraid that your knees are shaking?”
“My knees are not shaking!”
He shook his head, “You’re lying with your eyes wide open.”
“I am not lying with my eyes open!”
“Then take a few steps for me to see.”
Mu Yan was right – I was lying with my eyes open. My knees were actually still shaking. Everyone has their weaknesses, and mine are snakes and wolves. But for Mu Yan to point this out so bluntly, I could not help but feel a bit hurt. I did not want to appear weak in front of him as I did not want him to look down on me. If it was Jun Wei asking me, I would surely have replied loudly, “So what if my knees are shaking – what can you do about it?”
But it is different with Mu Yan. I only want to show him the best side of me. It is akin to not wanting to let the person you like know that you also need to go to the toilet. But, in my case, I really do not need to go to the toilet anymore.
Suddenly, Mu Yan said quietly, “Excuse me,” before bodily picking me up in his arms. Someone sighed. I could only see the moon when I lifted my head. My weight did not seem to impede Mu Yan’s movements at all. He only paused in his steps when he passed the men in black. The men bow their heads.
“Do you know what are bodyguards?” Mu Yan’s voice echoed in the valley. “Your swords must be placed in front of me. That is what it takes to be my bodyguards.” Their heads dropped even lower. This is the aura of royalty, of someone who is used to being in command and obeyed. Even my Royal Father, who is not a very able ruler, is able to use this aura to control his wives.
Suddenly, one of the men in the middle of the group jumped up and peeled of his face. “What is he doing?” “What do you think?” I answered my own question, “he looks like he’s peeling of a facial disguise!”
Just as we were conversing, that person pulled of a thin mask that looked like a facial disguise and cried, “I was almost suffocated by this.” I looked harder and realised that under the disguise, it was actually the face of a pretty young girl.
Mu Yan’s eyebrow twitched and said, “I was wondering why they were so useless today. They were suppose arrive here covertly, but spooked the birds. Now I know it is because you were hampering them!”
The girl ignored his words, and laughed, “You can’t blame me! If one must be able to place his sword in front of Brother before can he be your bodyguard, then there aren’t that many people in the world who qualify to be your bodyguard! Let me look at the person in your arms. I thought you were still obsessed with Qin Ziyan. Is this going to be my future sister in law? Have you finally let go of Ziyan? Eh – sister – are you my sister in law? My name is Mu Yi. What is your name?”
I could only stare at her and pursed my lips. Mu Yan interrupted her, “A’Fu is only a young girl.”
Mu Yi asked immediately, “Then, you and Ziyan…”
I listened to their conversation and my heart sank. But from my close proximity to Mu Yan in his arms, I did not detect any reaction in him when this Ziyan’s name was brought up. It could be that he had reacted without me realising it; after all, my senses are not what they used to be.
This is definitely not a verbatim translation. Chenguang and I have a chat and I think we’ve come to the realisation that well – verbatim translations don’t really work in English sometimes because they just become long and rambly. So the translation above summarizes some of the description and omits some unimportant parts. But the gist of it is there.