Great Merchant – Dao Ming Chapter 8
Great Merchant - Dao Ming (Chapter 8 - Disciple of Parvati, Disciple of Bhaisajyaguru 3)
Previously on Dao Ming
Tong and his physician master treats a commoner girl and finds out that the ones that poisoned her were likely the same people that poisoned the physician’s wife at some point in the past, whose status we aren’t sure of.
Southstop City, Stone Moon Pavilion - Inn’s register
“Owner Yang, here’s our rent. A tael of silver and 52 bronze coin as agreed upon.” The scholarly man places the currency on the counter after checking the total twice over.
“Honoured Guest, Honoured Guest, we can’t accept your money.” The owner shakes his large, calloused hands in front of his chest.
The scholarly man narrows his eyes. “Are you saying my money is no good here?”
“Aiyah! Of course not, Physician Li! It’s just… I’m afraid the Heavens will smite me with lightning if I were to take the money of my benefactor!” The yellow-faced looking man explains with exasperation before pointing toward the clear, blue sky beyond the entrance of his inn.
[T/N: Yellowface has a dual meaning, it is used to indicate someone not feeling well, as well as an indication of liver diseases, had it as sickly, then pale, then finally went back to transliteration of it to keep the nuance due to the hints of his illness mentioned below]
I was thinking, Business and Pleasure don’t mix, but this isn’t exactly pleasure.
“‘Personal relations are Personal, Business relations are Business’, your wife paid for your treatment, this and that are different transactions, there’s no need to drag them together, you still have your business to tend to.” Physician Li flatly refuses the excuse and pushes the currency to the center of the counter, right in front of the owner.
[T/N: 數還數,路還路 translates to ‘Bills are Bills, Ways are Ways’ is an idiom that means social capital and business shouldn’t mix, everything should be clear cut.]
“Haaa, then this Little Brother will just have to treat you to a meal the next time you visit!”
“There’s no need, just stay healthy. Farewell.” The physician dips his head into a nod before picking up a large medicine case cum backpack and wearing it on his back, leaving through one of the three pairs of wooden doors that serve as the entrance to the modest inn.
“Take care, Owner Yang. Remember, no overworking, and stay away from fatty food for at least 6 months.”
The owner looks at the physician that has already started walking down the street, then back towards Tong. “Little Benefactor, please accept these provisions for your voyage.”
“There’s no need, Ow-”
“Didn’t you hear what your master said, ‘Personal relations are Personal, Business relations are Business’? This is just a token of appreciation for saving me and my son’s life, had we waited like the other doctors suggested, we would be cripples by now.”
Tong makes a difficult face as he tries to refuse the gift.
“Hey, this is a life debt, no, two life debts, if you can’t even accept this much, there’s no way our conscience will let us have a night of sound sleep.” The owner pats Tong on the shoulders before adding a cloth bundle to the other luggage that Tong is carrying at the end of a bamboo rod.
“Then on behalf of my Master, I thank the owner. Please take care of everyone’s health.”
“No need to be polite, by the time you two come back, we will be ‘the picture of health’.” The owner smiles while waving towards the teenager that’s exiting the inn, who turns and bows lightly once before chasing after his master with quick steps.
[T/N: 龍精虎猛 translates to ‘Dragon’s Spirit Tiger’s Might’, meaning someone that’s vigorous and healthy.]
“Haaiiii, a pity they aren’t officials. Fair and righteous, with their skills, they can easily enter the Court or one of the Noble houses.” The owner drops his sincere smile and replaces it with a business one as a customer comes over to settle his bills.
Mount Southswan, southern edge of Extreme Harmony province, Jade Wing Sect’s main hall
“Godfather Li! Big Brother Tong!” A happy little boy limps his way toward the sitting duo with hopping, uneven steps, a wide smile plastered on his face.
“““Young Master!””” The disciples cum servants greet the boy by saluting. Two dozens or so are stationed around the rectangular perimeter of hall, which sinks into the floor, 3 steps deep, as the main hall is also used as an arena for sparring. There are small ramps on each side of the sunken rectangle for ease of movement and transportation. Supporting the main hall, which is a fine structure of wood and masonry, stand large pillars, with motifs of various birds in flight and birds of prey engaging in hunting or combat.
“Ahahaha, Chunye, slow down, slow down.” The scholarly man laughs while getting out of the fine teak chair he’s sitting on to receive the 8-9 year old boy. Likewise, Tong stands up to offer his greetings.
““Ha!”” As soon as the boy gets within reach of Tong, he suddenly launches a lunge punch with a yell. From the side of the main hall behind Tong, a similar yell by a feminine voice came at the same time alongside a flying kick.
“Hup!” Tong takes a step back from the pincer attack and cranes his right wrist, raising it towards the leg aiming for his head. His left hand sweeps out from his chest, colliding against the boy’s wrist with the outside of his palm. Upon their impact, he twists both his hands and pulls both of them towards himself using their existing force while taking another step back, causing them to lose their balance and collide into one another, resulting in a pile of limbs.
““Omph!”” The voices let out groans as they try to untangle themselves on the floor.
“HAHAHAHAHA!” A booming laughter comes from the back entrance of the main hall. “See, Chunye, Chunlai, our Little Friend isn’t that easy to take down.”
“Hmph!” The teenager girl helps the boy up before turning her head to the side with her nose facing upward, away from Tong’s view.
“““Greetings, Sect Master!””” The disciples salute as the man walks out of the passage leading to the inner section of the sect, the bead curtain rattling softly as the burly man, dressed in a jade studded black robe embroidered with silver threads, walks through them into the main hall.
“Big Brother’s really good at martial arts, as always!” The young boy pats the dust off his pants while beaming. Physician Li smoothly starts checking the boy’s condition, by first diagnosing with palpitation before moving onto reflexology.
“Ah, please don’t make fun of me, ‘my skills are still half-baked’.” Tong turns and bows slightly towards the approaching figure.
[T/N: 三腳貓功夫 translates to “3 legged cat kung fu”. In this context, he’s saying his skill is only superficial.]
“Hmph! If your skills are half-baked, then what does that make ours?” The girl pouts, obviously dissatisfied.
“Chunlai, mind your manners!”
“No but! Your Brother Tong had traveled with Physician Li for two years now! In the meantime, you were too busy playing around in the back mountains to practice properly. Yet, you think you are better just because you inherit our sect’s exclusive arts?” The burly man’s deep voice gets more baritone towards the end of his scolding, causing the girl to lower her chin to her chest. “Also, did you greet Physician Li yet?”
“Chunlai greets Physician Li!” The girl obediently greets the scholar that is busy doing an examination of her younger brother. He nods in acknowledgment with a smile, while tilting the boy’s head back gently.
[T/N: Yes, she just referred herself in third person. Supposedly the ‘cutesy’ way to talk for girls.]
“Little Tong! When are you going to join us? With your foundation, you can easily become an Inner Disciple within a year!” The other disciples surrounding the hall share a silent look before shuffling their legs to regain their composure.
“I thank Sect Master Hong(洪), but I will have to decline as I wish to focus on the internal arts.”
“Old Hong, don’t try to steal our disciple every time.” Physician Li finishes up his examination and lets the boy go, who immediately starts asking Tong questions.
“He isn’t strictly your disciple, what’s the harm of having one more master?”
“Haaa, I’m only half his master, go ask Old Ye if you seriously want him to learn from you.”
“You said it!” The man turns back towards the direction he came from and gives a small shout. “Steward, release the pigeon!”
“Yes, Sect Master!” An old man, with faded gray robes, who stood unnoticed near the bead curtain appears like a ghost, before quickly and silently disappearing out the back entrance.
“You…!” The scholarly man points at the Sect Master with a stern look before sighing. “I don’t know whether to scold you or to praise you.”
“Ahahahaha! ‘A gentleman’s words are golden’! It’s too late for regret now.” The burly man laughs once more, heavily slapping onto the scholar’s back.
[T/N: 君子一言，快馬一鞭 translates to “Gentleman’s one word, fast horse one whip”, meaning ‘a gentleman’s word is as good as gold’]
“Che, I’ll let Old Ye deal with you!” The scholar’s eye narrows a little. “Did you manage to…?”
The Sect Master discreetly lifts his index finger before shifting his eyes towards the back of the hall. “Chunye, why don’t you show your Brother Tong how much you’ve progressed at the training hall?”
“.. like this?” The little boy poses into a strike after asking Tong for his opinion, before his father’s voice interrupts him. “Yes, father!” Without a pause, the boy pulls Tong by the sleeve towards one of the side entrances. The scholar looks at him and gives him a nod to indicate he should go with Chunye.
“Chunlai, you want to join them or listen to us old geezers talk?”
“Tong, xiao Ye, wait for me!” The teenage girl starts chasing the boys, who had a headstart.
Jade Wing Sect, Sect Master’s private office
“Steward, make sure no one comes disturb us.”
“Yes, Sect Master.” The old man closes the double door on the way out, then makes his way into the middle of the herb garden in front of the office. He takes a deep breath before breathing out slowly, his leg tensing in sync with his breathing, by the end of his exhalation, the soil underneath his feet sends up a small cloud of dust. Without further motion, the old man stands still in that one spot, with his senses sharpened in every direction, letting nothing escape his notice.
““Hmmm…”” The two men inside the office enjoy their cup of tea for a moment, savouring the light, sweet, bitter flavour.
After putting the bowl of tea and saucer onto the table, the burly man gets straight to the point. “It was hard smuggling this in, those dog Officials have been trying to swallow up the whole production region.”
[T/N: He’s calling the official bitches for a lack of a better word, due to incompetency, corruption, abuses their powers, arrogant, etc… This terms comes up a lot, but dogs have a pretty low standing in chinese culture historically, on the same level as livestocks. So the disdain is pretty obvious :3]
“Sorry for the trouble, Brother Hong.” The scholar interlocks his fingers before saluting.
“Nonsense, when I was having trouble, no one but you and our band of brothers gave a damn.” The man waves one of his hands dismissively, before showing a smirk. “By the way, the Pure Wood Sect tried to claim credit for suppressing the recent Scarlet Hive outbreak, Big Brother Ye’s juniors caught wind of it and revoked the sect’s tax and toll exemption status.”
Li just shakes his head. “This just goes to show you, the Righteous Sects and Deviant Sects are the same.”
“Ahahaha, I wouldn’t say that, Brother Li. At least the Deviant Sects aren’t hypocrites about it… Speaking of which, the Blood Moon Cult went all out in spreading the cure in the Red Water province, they even sent men into the White Jade Forest where Tong is from.”
“Seems like Tong’s friend is a wanted man... So I guess there’s still no word about him?”
“Sadly, no, White Jade Forest is filled with wild beasts and monsters, the edge of the forest has been surrounded, so there’s no way they left the forest. It’s a surprise his whole family is still alive in there somewhere.”
Physician Li nods in agreement, well aware of the various different Diviners that staked their lives on their claims. “Old Hong, I’m planning on wiping out the Poison Hand group.”
This causes the Sect Master to stand up abruptly. “You’ve located them?”
“Not quite, I know the area where they are working, so I just need to make some preparation to locate them.”
“I’m going to have to leave Tong here until either Medic Officer Ye comes pick him up or I do.”
“Will Tong accept that…?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll tell him it’s for further training. And I wouldn’t be lying, Chunye’s rehabilitation plan will need someone to keep an eye on after I make some changes.”
A hopeful expression appears on the burly man’s face. “Rehabilitation?! Not recover?!”
[T/N: Yeah, rehab is slightly different from recover/heal. Rehab means working towards full functioning prior to the illness/injury. Recover means that the wound/illness is gone and no longer actively affects you.]
“Your son must have worked hard, his muscles are reforming at a rapid pace, combine that with his young age, I’m pretty sure I can get him to have at least 80% of his original mobility, if not a full cure.”
“Hahaha! Good! Good!” The burly man spreads out his arm while laughing, his face tilting backwards, making him face the ceiling.
“Don’t worry, Brother Li! I will make sure to take good care of Tong.”
The scholar narrows his eyes. “Just don’t teach him anything weird.”