Peanuts: The troublemaker lidge has decided to make it on her own & has set up her own blog so go there to continue reading the translation 🙂
lidge: To celebrate the release of the trailer for The Journey Of Flower, I’ve translated chapter 1 of the novel from which the drama is based on. Thanks to Peanuts for finding the cute pics below. I approve!! 😀
Peanuts: I better put a word of warning here that there is high probability that this translation will not get finished so don’t come and complain to me as lidge is independent from me, as well as the blog :P. Anyway, do support lidge & her quest to conquer Wallace Huo, lol.
lidge: Yes, I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of time to work on this project because I’m busy trying to get Wallace Huo to marry me 😛 :D.
Chapter 1 – Water Ghost Blocking The Way
“Namo Amitabha, Namo Amitabha……” A girl about twelve years old walked quickly on the road, her right hand held prayer beads while she chanted continuously, her left hand held a lantern made out of oil paper.
Her walking was more like running, the things following her did not get too close because of the prayer beads. It was complete darkness, only a small light from the lantern visibly floating above the ground. Everywhere was eerily silence, even the sounds of water flowing or insects chirping could not be heard.
The village was near, the child kept chanting to herself that she would be safe once she could be in the village even though her face was pale white and her body covered in cold sweats. Her right hand constantly pulled the cloak made from the skins of eight black dogs a bit more tightly to prevent the fragrance of her body from seeping out.
But at the stone bridge in front of the village, the child froze. A woman holding a paper umbrella stood on the bridge facing her, embroidered on the umbrella was a bright red peach blossom, likewise on her white gown. The umbrella was held low so the face was hidden. It was hot because there was not even a little breeze, yet the skirt kept whipping back and forth.
The child was scared and could not move, her legs trembling. It was over, the evil spirits finally appeared.
“Namo Amitabha……” She continued chanting in a low voice, her body twisted away as she moved to the other side of the bridge, looking down and pretending not to see the woman. However, in the blink of an eye, the woman appeared in front of her. The white shoes embroidered with delicate flowers were covered with mud, next to her feet was a puddle of water as well as green algae and seashells. The child saw clearly now, on the woman’s skirt was not a peach blossom, it was blood.
Suddenly, the soft yellow light in the lantern mysteriously turned blue and then red, as if filled with blood. The atmosphere was filled with the pungent smell of rotten flesh and blood.
“Namo Amitabha……” Firmly pushing the prayer beads forward, the female apparition fell back two steps, the child walked forward two steps. When she almost reached the other side of the bridge, a horrifying laugh rang out.
The face of the female apparition cracked apart, her body fell apart into pieces as if abruptly sliced, the ground filling with blood and maggots.
The child was scared, she almost threw away the prayer beads and the lantern to run away, her legs shaking violently.
Suddenly, she saw something round quickly rolling out from under the umbrella, it was wrapped in black hair, upon closer look it was the head of the female apparition. Her body felt as if encased in ice, she could not move. The voice in her head kept shouting, run away run away, but her legs could not move even a little.
That head was like a ball, rolling around and around aimlessly, bouncing back if it hit the parapets of the bridge. It promptly rolled to the child’s feet, scaring her to the point she almost fell to the ground.
Staying still for a moment, the child looked at the head that suddenly laid next to her feet, her heart almost jumping out of her throat. Unexpectedly, the head rolled nearer, now the child could see the woman’s face. On her face, there were two large dark holes, her eyes already ripped out, who knew what happened to one eye, the other eye was stuck to blood vessels, nerves and tissues covering half of the face, dangling, the eyeball quickly swiveled to stare at her. The woman’s lips were mutilated as if eaten by the fish in the river, quivering as if wanting to say something to the child but could only make rattling sounds like wind passing through wooden doors.
The child held back the urge to vomit, running forward across the bridge, ignoring the arms on the ground she just stepped on. Suddenly, her leg was caught, it was half of the right hand, the fingers too long submerged in water were swollen, rotting and white. At the cutoff of the hand, bones were seen sticking out.
In her horror, the child quickly discovered that the head had bounced her way, it opened its mouth to bite her right leg. Pain mixed with the bitter cold instantly spread all over her body.
The child waved her prayer beads hitting out at the female apparition, then hearing hissing sounds like raw meat frying on a red hot iron, it took a long time before the head reluctantly rolled away. The child began to run but heard something being crushed, feeling her feet had stepped on something. When the child lifted up one foot to look, it was the other eye of the female apparition she had inadvertently stepped on, it burst open full of pus and maggots.
The child heaved dryly while running swiftly off of the bridge, surprisingly one hand still held onto her ankle, the head still rolled around on the bridge, the top and bottom teeth knocked against each other, crying out: “My hand, my hand, my hand……” The wailing sounded miserable and horrible, but the female apparition could not get off the bridge nor could she give chase. People who died in the water, their souls would be trapped there forever.
The child struggled to pull the other hand away from her leg and threw it back towards the bridge. Then, she turned and ran forward. Her scared face did not have any colors left.
The people in the village were sleeping at this time, it was so silent that even the the sounds of chickens and dogs could not be heard. The child ran wildly to an apothecary and pounded on the door, but it seemed as if everyone had died in their sleep, there were no reactions, not even a light could be seen. The child continued pounding on the door until someone answered some time later.
“Who is it……”
“Physician Zhang, physician Zhang, I’m Xiao Gu! Quickly come save my father, he’s dying!” Xiao Gu cried out anxiously.
“Oh, Xiao Gu, don’t worry, let me dress and pack my things. It’ll be quick, it’ll be quick……”
Soon, an old man with his head half covered with grey hair carrying a medicine box walked out, he rushed to her side.
“How could you have come out at night! Did you encounter anything?”
“Just now on the bridge…… There’s no other way, my father suddenly felt very sick……” Xiao Gu took a hold of physician Zhang’s clothes, hiding behind him, limping along, her body still trembling. When nearing the bridge, she stuck out her head, the rotten body and crushed eye were gone. It was as if nothing had happened.
Her bazi was rare, her yin qi too strong, her constellation would harm everyone close to her, this combination could not be seen in hundreds of years. When she was born, her mother died from complications of childbirth, a mystical fragrance covered the village, it was obviously a beautiful spring but flowers withered in a moment, thus she was called Hua Qian Gu.
Her father was a scholar who failed the examination many times, his life was hard because he tried to care for her up to now. However, she easily attracted evil spirits, often bringing trouble to the village so they had to live in a wooden hut near a river that passed by the village.
Her father had invited a wandering monk to come for exorcism and change Hua Qian Gu’s fate, but the monk just shook his head, he gave Hua Qian Gu the prayer beads he carried for many years and used the skins of eight black dogs to make a coat to cover the mystical fragrance that only evil spirits can smell on her body. He also said after sunset, Hua Qian Gu could not go outside, because of this, she managed to live to the age of twelve.
Physician Zhang pitied her young age, filled with so much fear and suffering. He especially took care of the father and daughter. He was a physician, whose hands determined the lives of many people, contaminated with the survivals and deaths of many people, his energy was somewhat heavy so evil spirits usually did not provoke him. Physician Zhang held Hua Qian Gu’s hand to go to the hut, on the way trouble never appeared.
Scholar Hua was very sick, spending these years with Hua Qian Gu, he could not escape the various side effects associated with evil spirits, he was less than forty years old but looked about fifty or sixty. Physician Zhang kept shaking his head, it was doubtful he would survive tonight.
Hua Qian Gu ran in and out to boil water, simmering medicine, wiping sweats for Scholar Hua. She was afraid to sit down and rest, probably she already guessed so she felt fearful. In this world, her father was her only family.
Scholar Hua could not make it until morning, even while dying, he still worried after his death what Hua Qian Gu would do. Physician Zhang comforted him that he would care for Hua Qian Gu, but Scholar Hua did not want to bother him and was also afraid he could not protect Hua Qian Gu for the long term. As a result, he told Hua Qian Gu to go to Mt. Mao to study with a master. Once successful, she would not be afraid of evil spirits.
Hua Qian Gu held tightly onto her father’s hand, which gradually grew cold, and felt desolate, even her father was gone, she was alone in the world, what was the point of living? She forced herself not to cry, from the time she was little to now, the only thing her father was stern about was not letting her cry. She knew that if she cried, strange things would happen, and also her father could not be with her forever, this was why he forced her to be independent and strong.
Physician Zhang helped her treat the injury on her leg, wiped away the blacken blood, sprinkled a bit of ash, applied cream made out of animal fat then bandaged the leg. It was a bit of poison from a corpse, nothing serious.
The next day, physician Zhang and a few willing villagers helped her organize a simple funeral. Physician Zhang thought she was too young, she could not wander out by herself, he wanted to adopt her, at least until the injury on her leg healed. However, she was determined to leave immediately, obeying her father’s wish to study at Mt. Mao. Physician Zhang could not persuade her, he helped her sell the valuables in the house and also gave her some of his own money.
The next evening, Hua Qian Gu wore the dog cloak, listening to the wind blowing and howling violently, laying on a wooden board in the empty hut with her eyes wide open all through the night. Her head was filled with sadness and confusion about her future. Early the next day, she said goodbye to the villagers to journey towards Mt. Mao.