Ode to Gallantry
Last update: Monday 05 March 2007
aka: OTG, Xia Ke Xing [侠客行], Hap Haak Haang [俠客行], Hiệp Khách Hành, Hiep Khach Hanh, Medali Wasiat, Kisah Para Pendekar.
Translated by Huang Yushi.
With Chapter 1 by Ian Liew and Laviathan.
Work-in-progress (approx 43%).
- I personally rate Xia Ke Xing as the most delightful of JY's novels ... just warms the heart. - Ian Liew, spcnet.tv/forums.
- This is a marvellous book, the descriptions are so lovely and easy to imagine. And of course [Yushi's] translation really does it justice. I also love the footnotes. - Eliza Bennet, spcnet.tv/forums.
- I really appreciate the obvious hard work you [have placed] into the translation, providing the readers with some background information and pictures... It really helps since I've had little exposure to complementary/oriental medicine and Chinese history. - patricia n, spcnet.tv/forums.
- I would like to compliment you very highly on the fantastic translation of Xia Ke Xing!!! The language is very good ... and the quality is extremely high ... much better than some of the other translations out there!!! - se-lang, wuxiamania.phorumz.com (via PM).
Now, you can post your feedback and comments!
Check out the OTG Scribbles for Yushi's work.
A plaque of command that is found and lost
A flash of a sabre that reflects upon a sword
A song of good and evil that resounds with rhythm
A melody of emotions that includes affection and enmity
A drama of sorrow and joy that includes separation and reunion
A matter of clarity that is black and white
A place of dreams and illusions that colour life and death
A spirit of nobility that marks the 'Ways of Heroes'.
The isolated Heroes' Isle sends the Twin Emissaries of Rewards and Punishments to the Central Region once every ten years. These emissaries then employ the use of force in inviting the leaders of the various clans and schools in the martial arts circle to a feast of Laba Porridge on their island home. Those who do not accept their invitation are killed immediately, while those who do, seem to disappear without a trace.
Amidst all this, a young beggar-boy named Mongrel inadvertantly picks up a plaque of command known in the jianghu as "The Black Steel Symbol", and ends up being forced to live with an eccentric pugilist named Xie Yanke on the top of a high and precarious cliff. Nine years later, the grown-up Mongrel finds himself unexpectedly feted by the members of the Clan of Eternal Happiness as their Clan-Leader. The puzzle deepens when the Snow Mountain School demands for Mongrel's head in exchange for a terrible crime he had committed in his youth. Then, a couple, Shi Qing and Min Rou, show up and claim that Mongrel is their son. Finally, the Twin Emissaries come knocking and invites Mongrel to the porridge feast on Heroes' Isle.
Who is Mongrel? Why does everyone want a piece of him?
Find out here...
This translation comes from the 2nd Edition text.
More comments from readers:
- I've been following [the] translation ever since [it] started and love the plot and twist of the book. - machiavelli, spcnet.tv/forums
- This novel exceeded my expectations. The fight scenes and weapons are exciting too! - Eliza Bennet, spcnet.tv/forums
- Xie Yanke's thoughts alone were worth the weight of the entire book in gold. - Ian Liew, spcnet.tv/forums
- This story is great. I really like the interaction between the boy and [Xie Yanke] , it's good for quite a few laughs. - SevenFortunes, spcnet.tv/forums
- I have checked [the] translation...and it's bloody damn good! I've not found a single error yet! - Hanky Panky, spcnet.tv/forums
People, Places, Organisations, Martial Arts, Weapons, Objects ... and other details about "Ode to Gallantry". Entries are added in alphabetical order (unless indicated otherwise) as the story progresses.
The little beggar had only taken one bite of the fried cake when the corpse suddenly stood up, with the two silver hooks still pierced into its abdomen. Shocked, the little beggar did not dare to move at all. The corpse bent its legs and began feeling the ground with its hands until they touched a fried cake.
Suddenly, a horse-whip came flying out of the sedan chair and curled itself around Wang Wanren's left leg, before casting the man aside and seizing the Inky Sword in his hand. Hua Wanzi drew the White Sword out of its sheath and pushed it towards the horse-whip in an upward movement. Just then, a small object struck her on the wrist.
By and by, Xie Yanke saw three jujube (zao3, or Chinese date) trees along the road that were laden with big red fruit. "The jujubes here are very good," he said, pointing to them.
"Big Good Man, you want to eat some jujubes, do you not?" asked the little beggar.
"What 'Big Good Man'?" asked a surprised Xie Yanke in return.
The girl took the spoon, scooped some birds' nest from the bowl and sent the spoon towards his mouth. The young man opened his mouth and ate the birds' nest offered. It was sweet, fragrant and thoroughly enjoyable. The girl fed him three more spoonfuls without uttering a single word, while standing as far away from the side of the bed as she could manage.
The poplars and the willows grew so densely by the water's edge that they almost hid the small bridge from view. The little boat stopped under the bridge, which seemed like a small house that Nature built. Ding Dang went into the cabin, and brought out two sets of cups and chopsticks as well as a pot of wine. Then, she brought out a few plates of peanuts, broadbeans and dried meat, before placing everything in front of Shi Potian.
Both of Shi Potian's sleeves swept out towards the sword. A loud *ke-chi* was heard, followed by a *hu*. Suddenly, Wang Wangren flew backwards and crashed heavily into the main door.
Shi Potian smiled and said, "You are short of one person, so you cannot compete with your swords. Let me join hands with Master Bai just for the fun of it. But I do not know what to do, so please give me some pointers."
The wind and water currents were so swift in the middle of the Long River that the two boats were already more than ten zhang (33.33 metres) apart in a twinkling. Hence, regardless of how highly skilled Ding Busan was in qinggong, he could not jump across the expanse that separated the two vessels. Meanwhile, the smaller and lighter boat sailed further and further away, until it could no longer be caught up with.
In a flash of inspiration, Ding Busi raised both his hands and sent the force of his palms into the sky. Shi Potian did the same, hitting upwards with both his palms in a loud *hu*. Then, with their palms still facing the sky, the men looked at each other.
A'Xiu picked up the battered woodsman's cleaver and slowly executed a pose. Then, she brought the cleaver into a horizontal position before pushing it outwards. Finally, she sent the blade sweeping towards the left, drew it back and sent it stabbing diagonally into the right.
Specially created to enable readers to convert the character names used in the translation into another Asian language/dialect that they may be more familiar with.
Ode to Gallantry was written in 1965 and revised several years later in the 1970s.
Jin Yong published the 3rd edition of Ode to Gallantry in 2005. Here are the changes.