I posted this last year but I just found a very nice fan-made MV which can sum up the story better than the two I posted previously. I tried to translate it into English but sadly it is very lacking as the Chinese is just too advanced for my understanding:( Yet, I still gonna repost this because it is my favourite wuxia novel and the four fan-made MVs are also my favourite so you must watch all of them 😛
This is the 50th post of this blog and I’ve done a summary on my favourite book. Surprise, peanuts doesn’t only read funny junk books? I should have written this long ago when I translated some snippets but I am such a slacker:P Sorry for confusing my readers but with this summary you can understand my snippets better. No doubt the extremely good quality audio book is a substantial influence but I do feel it is a rather well-written book. For more information click here. If you do not want to read spoilers, stop here.
The Dong Dynasty consists of 7 states and uses a seal to command them. In its twilight years, it is ruled by a successive of incompetent and weak emperors. Thus, the states are in uproar with discontent and each state is building up their own power. In addition the seal is missing so the dynasty is experiencing chaos and instability. This is kind of similar to the Era of Warring States in ancient China history before unification under the Qin dynasty.
Bai Feng Xi (BFX – Bai means white) is dressed in a simple white robe like the snowy moon, praised as having “unsurpassable grace,” also happens to be one who acts and speaks freely, wild like the wind, and is respected by people in the martial arts world (wulin). Hei Feng Xi (HFX – Hei means black) is completely opposite, dressed by the dark moon. He is graceful and honorable, kind and tolerant, the kind of person that the martial arts world admires and submits to. They are highly skilled in martial arts. Although their names sound similar, they are written differently in Chinese. It can be said they are destinated to be together.
They’ve known each other for a decade. They have always ridiculed, teased and bickered with each other. Sometimes they will also assist and help each other, but they are not clear what kind of relationship they have. Friends seldom behave like them, mocking and jeering each other, yet friends may not be as close with each other as them. But they have never crossed the hurdle to be more than just friends, their relationship has always been blurry. She calls him ‘black fox’ because she knows in reality he is a sly and ruthless man who is more than meets the eye. She gets to see the real him because he allows her to see it. Whereas he calls her ‘woman’ to remind her of her gender because of her lack of femininity as she loves to fight, sleep & eat.
Both of them are embroiled in the search for the missing seal against an evil secret sect resulting in many deaths, injuries and a broken family. Their investigations lead them to meet Hua Chun Ran (HCR), a noble princess who is known as the most beautiful and glamorous woman in the world, with an ambitious and calculating heart. Her dad, the King is in the midst of searching for a husband for her and she is interested in HFX. He also wants to marry her with an ulterior motive. Thus, he warns BFX not to meddle in his affair. You can read my translated snippet here.
Ultimately, the seal falls into the hand of Huang Chao (HC), a prince born into exaltedness. His martial arts skill is matchless, he is proud and strong, ambitious and said to have the “arrogance of a King”. He likes BFX and proposed to her twice but was rejected because he cannot promise to have only one wife although he said he’ll only love her. To achieve his ambition to dominate the world, he also wants to marry HCR, to make Hua state his ally.
When HCR is about to officially declare that she has chosen HFX as her marriage partner, he suddenly leave the ‘husband picking’ event. This is because at that very moment, he realises he loves only BFX and cannot marry anyone else. Hence, to avoid further embarrassment and with no better choice, she chooses to marry HC. Actually she is a rather ambitious woman who doesn’t really care who she marries as long as she gets to be queen. Unfortunately for her father, he wants to make use of HC to get the world but in the end loses his state to his son-in-law. BFX is oblivious to what had happened and teases HFX on his failure to secure HCR’s hand in marriage. Read my translated snippet here.
Actually BFX is Princess Feng Xi Yun (FXY) who is very capable and intelligent, being well versed in poems at a young age and having trained a strong army for her state. After the death of her father, she decides to give up the martial arts world and becomes the reluctant ruler of White Feng state since she is his only child. King Hua tries to seize this opportunity to attack and conquer her state. She succeeds in defending her state even though King Hua has a bigger army and more weapons including the cannons. This is because FXY uses some military strategies competently as well as her martial arts skill. Yet her state is still weakened by the war as HC belatedly comes to his father-in-law rescue.
Similarly, HFX is actually Prince Feng Lan Xi (FLX), a reclusive and mysterious prince who is well loved by his people. He follows FXY to White Feng state and helps her to defend her state against King Hua invasion. FXY doesn’t really care who gets the world but she loves her people very much and doesn’t want them to suffer the hardships of many wars in such troubled times. Thus, she decides to form an alliance with Black Feng state to help FLX get and rule the world to end the turmoil, to enable her people to live peacefully. They sealed their alliance with their political marriage. He is so sweet to her, taking 8 years to plant a rare orchid called ‘Lan Yin Bi Yue’.
Beneath his graceful and elegant exterior, FLX is actually a rather cunning and calculative man. Unlike HC, he doesn’t show his ambition openly and plot his plans secretly without soiling his clean hands with blood. This is because he is a lonely man growing up in a complex environment. His mother died when he was very young. She was poisoned by the current queen and his father condoned such action. His many siblings try hard to get rid of him but he is smart and wise enough to ascend the throne after the death of his father.
It is impractical and impossible to have two equal standing rulers to be in charge of the army so the alliance as well as their relationship encounter many difficulties as some of their subordinates cannot get along with each other and are mutually suspicious. Also, both of them are too proud and distrust each other to reveal their true feelings and talk openly about their problems. The situation is worsened when FLX hesitates to send reinforcement army promptly resulting in the death of two of FXY’s beloved generals. She is deeply saddened by this but hides her tears and personal feelings to maintain the morale of the army and help FLX gets the world as promised for the sake of her subjects.
FXY helps FLX to successfully conquer other states and manage to get half the world. In opposition is HC who has now become king and have the other half of the world. Thus, they are evenly matched. In order to secure victory in a crucial battle and to break the deadlock, FXY ventures into the enemy camp. HC seizes this opportunity and uses all his strength to shoot an arrow to seriously wound her. This is from someone who had professed to love her yet will not hesitate to kill her to achieve his ambition. Normally FXY will not suffer such life threatening injury but because of the fatigue of continuous wars, her body is greatly weakened. FLX rushes like crazy to her side to save her.
He realises he loves her very much and will not be able to live without her. Hence, he utilises all her energy by practising an old martial arts skill where it can revive anyone at death door to save her. She is saved but he has aged 30 years and is on the brink of death, with his skin all wrinkled and his hair turning white overnight. Fortunately, this is reversible and he recovers his good health and look. They decide to give up everything and roam the martial arts world, living a peaceful and carefree life. Ultimately he chooses his beauty, FXY over the ‘world’. Whereas HC gets the world but a lonely man, peerless and with a loveless marriage.
Lidge uses a fan-made MV to do the summary of Fei Wo Si Cun’s ancient novel, Cold Moon – Like Frost. I think it is a very good idea and want to do likewise for this book. Haha, yes I am a copycat (come on, if I am original, I won’t be doing translations). Unfortunately I can’t find a MV good enough to summarise the whole story. I guess the story is just too epic and complex. My summary only touches the surface of the book as there are a lot more characters and happenings in the book. If you understand Chinese, do read or listen to the book. I’ve chosen four MVs to enhance your visual experience while reading my summary. The songs are very nice.
One of the best fan-made MV with Chinese dubbing:
Liu Yi Fei – Bai Feng Xi/Princess Feng Xi Yun
Hu Ge – Hei Feng Xi/Prince Feng Lan Xi
Wallace Huo – Huang Chao
Liu Tao – Hua Chun Ran
Qiao Zhen Yu – Yu Wu Yuan
Wallace Chung – Jiu Wei
0.26: Legend has it that two experts left a half-finished chess game on the hilltop of eastern dynasty’s number one mountain called “King Mountain”. A few sentences are left on the board at a time when the eastern dynasty is experiencing turmoil, chaos and instability.
1.03: A woman dressed in a simple white robe like the snowy moon, praised as having “unsurpassable grace”. She also happens to be one who acts and speaks freely, wild like the wind.
“Come on, I have a name and surname. Don’t always simply call me ‘woman’. People may misunderstand I am your woman. Being associated with you is already a misfortune. If there is anything else to tie in with a sly fox like you, it will be the most pitiful thing in the world!”
1.39 A man dressed by the dark moon, a very distinguished and handsome man. He is graceful and honorable, kind and tolerant.
“I have never said I am a hero but people all want to think I am a benevolent hero. They even think Hei Feng Xi is more heroic than Bai Feng Xi. Do you think it is because I am too successful or someone is such a failure?”
2.05: A prince, born into exaltedness. He is proud and ambitious to rule the world. In this ever chaotic world, how will he accomplish his dominancy?
“Rule the world? Haha…..This seal cannot rule the world, only a person can rule the world! The seal is only symbolic. Since the seal is in my hand, this means I am the chosen one. Thus, the one who really can rule the world is me, Huang Chao!”
2.48: A noble princess who is beautiful and glamorous. With an ambitious and calculating heart, how she manoeuvres her way to reign supreme in the dangerous palace harem?
“Please bring this handkerchief to my father, the King. Just tell him, I am regretful that I cannot be filial to him. I personally sew this handkerchief to convey my filialness.”
3.33: A man knowned as the ‘son of heaven’. He is virtuous and compassionate but how to have mercy in such troubled times where deaths is part of everyday life?
“Since the seal is not in the Bai state, call back the troop to end the war. I think the Bai troop also does not want to continue with the war. No matter what, I Yu Wu Yuan will only consider you as the ruler of the world.”
4.16: A world well-known intelligent princess who is good at martial arts. How in the face of national crisis, she guards her country and people in this turbulent times?
“In a month time, as the female ruler of White Feng state, I will announce to the world that White Feng state will enter into an alliance with Black Feng state as one! At that time I will hand over the control of my army to you so that we can get the world together!”
“My two army generals, since both of you have such high ambition, I will tell you this. We must ensure the ten thousands troop of Hua state will not be able to return home! at all cost!”
5.07: A reclusive and mysterious prince who is well loved by his people. In such troubled times, will he live in seclusion or step out?
“Father lord, I will not be like you. In your whole life, you also do not know what you want so in the end did not manage to grab anything. However, I know what I want. I want the world and also that person who will accompany me to get the world together. These two things, I will definitely get them!”
5.55: Home and country, how to counterbalance?
5.59: The phoenix (Feng) clan will only have one successor for each generation. Although a bit lonely, there will not be bloodbath.
We always treausre our hard to come by peer.
Even after he leaves us, the love and warm feeling will always stay with us.
6.28: The lonely phoenix clan is also blissful. At least, I have not seen it in my phoenix’s clan.
6.43: Love and hate, how to define clearly?
6.47: Yes, I killed a man who has crawled out from the grave with my own hands.
Black fox, we’ve known each other for ten long years. No matter how you treat others, you’ve never lied to me or concealed anything from me.
Are you blaming me? Also….. is there hate?
7.16: Yan Ying Zhou…..are you dead?
I am heartless but when have you been compassionate?
7.26: Gratitude and revenge, how to repay?
7.34: I hate! I hate that person from the Yu family! I hate that ‘son of heaven’ beautiful name.
That Yu family person who led to the massacre of my whole tribe.
7.46: God has always been fair to all people.
Although we may have everything that people envy, none of us have long life so this is God’s punishment to us!
Although we didn’t kill people with our own hand, getting the world involves getting people killed?
This is the Yu family’s fate…….its sad fate.
8.16: Can the ‘son of heaven’ get what he wishes?
If possible, I also want to see your coronation with my own eyes. See how you rule over a peaceful world.
But……..my life is getting shorter!
My time has come to an end!
When I become king, there is nothing I cannot do!
Wu Yuan, stay by my side.
I will search for all the medicine in the world, find capable people from all over the world to help the Yu family to break the blood curse!
Wu Yuan, you must believe me!
8.59: Huang Chao. In the past, Emperor Xi as well as my ancestors also tried to find a way for 300 plus years but to no avail.
Although I, Yu Wu Yuan will not be able to change the fate of the Yu family, I do not want to go against the fate of heaven so I will ensure the fate of the Yu family ends with me!
After I left, you …….
But, loneliness is what an emperor and also a hero needs to endure!
9.47: We are able to see through many people’s hearts but we failed to understand ourselves or see through each other.
Only until it will be destroyed, then we only become clear-headed!
We’ve known each other for ten years. But we have not treated each other frankly.
Mutual distrust, mutual suspicion, mutual protection.
Also, mutual entanglements.
In these days, I have been thinking. We should have a lot to say and explain to each other.
But at this moment I feel there is no need to say them.
10.41: In this troubled times, there are many talented men. The chess game on the hilltop is between two people but to rule supreme in the world, only one person is needed!
10.58: Woman, don’t think I don’t know about you and Yu Wu Yuan!
Let us bring to you this tale of love and hate entanglements…….an epic wuxia love story Who Gets the World.
An animated version of the fan-made MV:
0.13: Huang Yu. Yes?
0.18: Although the world is settled, unfortunately Wu Yuan has left.
Older brother, the king’s illness is getting worse.
I am really afraid that you will die, although you normally always make me angry and is hateful.
I am also afraid if the war is gonna continue, you bad woman also cannot protect yourself.
At times, I am rather envious of King Feng and King Xi. When they can get the world yet they can leave the world behind so easily.
Hey, do you think the phrase ‘to ruin and overturn the country and state’ is talking about the two of them?
If you have not study before, don’t simply say it!
1.18: I am not a hero. I am a king!
I only have one chance. I want to become the one and only ruler of the world.
1.40: Chun Ran will put the fate for the rest of her life in your hand. You and I are husband and wife in one body.
So, whatever that is mine, will naturally also be yours.
1.53: I am heartless.
But you…..when have you been loving?
2.35: We are able to see through many people’s hearts but we failed to understand ourselves or see through each other.
Only until it will be destroyed, then we only become clear-headed!
Your open-mindedness, even those who are used to seeing life and death like doctors also cannot do it.
2.50: You have always known what you want. In order to achieve your ambition, you gave up a lot of things.
Including………….the woman you love deeply.
As you say, everyone has their own love fate.
The queen is the most suitable woman for you.
Everyone is a unique being.
3.23: Gao Shan (High Mountain) Liu Shui (Flowing Water)……..
Gao Shan’s zither music, only Liu Shui can understand.
3.39: In this life, she is the only thing I want to capture. But in the end, I still let her go.
3.51: Bai Feng Hei Xi are destinated to be together?
I am just a blurry shadow in his life. To avoid him having to choose, it is best I give up everything and live a carefree life.
4.28: In this chaotic time, people have many reasons to take out their swords but I, Xiu Jiu Rong is fighting for you!
That ‘son of heaven’ with the beautiful name, that person who caused my whole tribe to be massacred!
Jiu Rong! When you come back, you must give me your sword. When you come back, you definitely must gift your sword to me.
I……In this life, I only want a person who loves and cherishes me and who will not abandon me.
A fan-made MV focus exclusively on the male & female leads:
Liu Shi Shi – Bai Feng Xi/Princess Feng Xi Yun
Wallace Chung – Hei Feng Xi/Prince Feng Lan Xi
1.20 – Princess Feng Xi Yun says “In a month time, as the female ruler of White Feng state, I will announce to the world that White Feng state will enter into an alliance with Black Feng state. At that time I will hand over the control of my army to you.”
A fan-made MV with plenty of characters:
This brilliant book is a hybrid with the wuxia and imperial worlds as the setting. The purists might not like it. What a relief there is no scheming women vying for the affection of the emperor/prince or power. It is also not about the power struggles in the palace or revenge. It is a lot bigger and epic than that. We have the futility of war and its devastating effects on the people, placing the country interest ahead of personal interest, trust, friendship, true love and many other themes.
The female lead is simply too awesome for words and is equally matched with the male lead, no damsel in distress or flower vase. Think Huang Rong in Legend of the Condor Heroes. In fact, I like her even more as she is direct, humourous, helpful and powerful when she is a wuxia heroine. Her carefree character in the wuxia world and interactions with her adopted brother bring many laughters to the readers. When she is a ruler, she is compassionate and loving to her subjects, intelligent and sacrificial to protect them. She is willing to enter into a political marriage for the sake of her people. She even accidentally killed a guy who she likes during a war to protect her state.
As for the male lead, he is rather flawed but my kind of man nonetheless (rather ‘fu hei’ – belly black meaning sarcastic in a funny way). He is ruthless to his enemies but he makes no pretense about it as he says he is not a hero. In view of the complex environment he grew up in and also in order to successfully get the throne as well as the world, he cannot be weak or compassionate to survive until this day. He may be cold, calculating and cunning but he is willing to give up everything including his life, his ambition to get the world for the sake of the female lead. For an ancient book it is rare to find a male lead who is willing to give up his ‘jiangshan'(world) for a ‘meiren’ (beauty).
Of course. it is not perfect as I feel there are just too many interesting characters but not given enough book time for me to care deeply about them. They also confuse me till I’ve to prepare a characters chart. Also, my Chinese is not good enough to understand a lot of the poems and bombastic ancient words used. Hence, don’t request me to translate it unless you want to kill me 😛 To some people, this novel can be verbose, slow or boring so you really need the time and patient to think and appreciate what have been written. There is also complain there is not enough interactions and romance between the two leads which is accurate since this book is also about wars between states.
Why such a great book has not been filmed into a drama yet? Maybe, too costly to film the battle scenes or cannot find anyone good enough to do the job well. On second thought, it is better to let sleeping dogs lie. I don’t want to see my favourite book being butchered on the screen. Worse still, if they find someone I don’t fancy as the leads. I am satisfied to listen repeatedly to the best audio book. On the other hand if done well, it could be an interesting and good drama especially for those who can’t understand Chinese to enjoy.