(translated by anniaxx)
(edited by xia0xiao1mei)
Art by: 眠狼SevniLock
Second Generation Sang Chan
Commoner Wang Gang has been a storyteller for the greater half of his life, and never did he think, one day his fantastic skill of storytelling would cause him to be beaten unconscious and kidnapped.
So when he semi-consciously opens his eyes and finds himself tied to a column, he is so perplexed.
“You’re awake?” He suddenly hears a girl’s voice.
Wang Gang looks in the direction of that voice and sees a pretty oval-shaped face.
“La-la-lady, wh-what do you want?” He swallows some saliva——the girl standing in front of him is no more than fifteen or sixteen years old, with clear black almond eyes, blushing cheeks with baby fat, looks like a pampered rich girl, not a bandit or a robber!
“I heard your name is Wang Gang, I ask you, how old are you? How long have you been storytelling?” The girl smiles at him.
“This little person has just past thirty years of age, have been telling stories for more than ten years.” Wang Gang answers anxiously. Even though this lady looks kind, he can’t judge someone by their appearance; he needs to treat her with caution.
“Having been telling stories for so many years, you must know a lot.” The girl slightly nods, then says, “The story you told in the restaurant today, how much of it is true?”
Wang Gang doubts whether she wants to get information from him, so he immediately answers, “All of it is true, all of it is true.”
But the girl drops her head and sighs for some reason, looking really melancholic.
Wang Gang is a little bedazzled.
“I ask you, have you ever seen Fairy Sang Chan with your own eyes?”
The girl lifts her head up and looks at him with a resolute and determined face, as if she just made a huge decision in her heart.
“This little person has never seen her myself.” Wang Gang shakes his head: Someone like Fairy Sang Chan, must surely make acquaintances with masters in the Wu Lin; how can a commoner like himself encounter her?
The girl seems very disappointed.
“…but this little person’s friend has!” Wang Gang sees her disappointment and becomes so intimidated that she will hurt him, so he quickly adds, “Storytellers often share what we see and hear, so about Fairy Sang Chan, what this little person knows is only a lot, not little!”
The girl contemplates for a while, then nods her head, showing that she thinks his words are trustworthy.
Wang Gang relaxes a little bit; he knows, his life is has been secured.
The second day, the girl gives Wang Gang one hundred pieces of silver, this is much more than he can ever earn in ten years of storytelling. Henceforth, Wang Gang is to temporarily stay by her side.
The girl orders him to call her “Little Master”, and he takes care of her errands every day, sometimes telling her about interesting stories in the Jiang Hu. She really loves to hear about Sang Chan, always asking him about the finest details, such as: what kind of hairstyles does Sang Chan like, what colour of clothing, what kind of speaking tone…etc.
Wang Gang says Sang Chan wears white clothing, so on the second day, the girl starts to wear white.
Wang Gang says Sang Chan does not like hairpins, so on the second day, the girl starts to use ribbons for her hair.
Wang Gang says Sang Chan eats more vegetables than meat, so there is only one meat dish on the dinner table every half a month.
Wang Gang says Sang Chan never loses her temper——but when he annoys the Little Master, he still gets beaten.
But he is never angry. When Little Master beats him, she uses the slim whip that is usually wrapped around her waist. It gently hits his skin, soft and numb with no pain at all. Looking at his Little Master’s cheeks turning red due to anger, Wang Gang even feels happy sometimes, hoping she will whip him again.
Of course, Wang Gang’s Little Master is Pang Wan. Bai Yue Sect’s Sheng Gu sees that the most popular girl is not her but Fairy Sang Chan, so she ponders and makes an important decision—— she will use five years to become the second generation Sang Chan.
She cannot compare with that female lead for anything, but at least she has an advantage in age. She is still young, she can still train and grow. If in the future, her training is completed perfectly, then maybe she will even surpass the original version and directly rise above the ranks.
Those two spend more than half a month in the town. Every day, Pang Wan does nothing but practice the “Sang Chan Poise” in front of the mirror. Wang Gang assumes she must be a crazy fan of Fairy Sang Chan, so he just goes along with her.
He thought these kind of days would last for a long time, until this rainy day, Wang Gang goes out to buy baozi (stuffed buns), and someone suddenly blocks him in the alley.
“That ‘Little Master’ of yours, what is her name? How old is she?”
With a shining blade placed near Wang Gang’s neck, a man who is intentionally wearing a mask asks Wang Gang with a hoarse voice and malicious eyes.
“This-this little one, doesn’t know.” Wang Gang tries his best to stay calm, yet his legs starts to shake. There are drops of liquid rolling down his face, blurring his vision, unable to tell if they are raindrops or his sweat.
“You sure have a backbone, don’t you?” The masked man comes forward one step, that steel blade already cutting into his skin.
“This little one truly doesn’t know, truly doesn’t know! Please have mercy on me!” wails Wang Gang, both his collar and crotch area wet.
The masked man acts as if he does not hear anything, the steel blade cuts a little deeper. Wang Gang is crying so hard that he is losing his breath; suddenly with a sound of “ao!”, he chokes on his phlegm and passes out.
The masked man freezes: he has seen many cowardly men, but has never seen any man cowardly to this extent. He looks back at the eaves of the alley.
“Young Master?” He calls out to the darkness, seeming like he is waiting for a command.
The pitter-pattering rain finally stops. From under the eaves, a pair of jade-coloured soft boots slowly walks out, not touching a single trace of dirt, not catching a single drop of rain; that gentle and beautiful colour is like the cloudless sky immediately after the rain.
Footsteps sound behind her, Pang Wan throws away the bronze mirror in her hand and quickly turns around to look at the approaching man.
“What took you so long?” Her voice still has a pampered childish tone, “I only asked you to buy some baozi, not to bring back a pig to kill!”
Wang Gang lowers his head, “The little one is too slow. Little Master, please spare my life.”
“Your life?” Pang Wan frowns, widening her eyes, and twitches her mouth, “Regarding what happened today, only if I cut off your head and eat it with wine, will my anger be soothed!”
Wang Gang does not say a thing. His back stiffens; his hands hidden in his sleeves quietly clenches into fists.
“Give it to me.” She puts out one of her fair and slim palms in front of him.
Wang Gang looks up bewilderedly.
“Give it!” As Pang Wan frowns and raises her voice, two emerald jade bracelets on her wrist collide, making jingling sounds.
“Baozi! My baozi!” She angrily reminds him.
Wang Gang now finally remembers about the baozi, he bows his body even lower, “Little Master, please spare my life! This little one was hurrying back, and had accidentally dropped them into a ditch!”
Pang Wan ordered him to buy food early this morning. Now, she has been waiting hungrily for four whole hours, only to hear this answer. She is so furious that she bursts into a smile.
“Wang Gang, you are too outstanding.” She uses her fingers to lift Wang Gang’s chin up and stares at him with the most tender, most sweet smile.
Wang Gang sees her smiling like a flower, so his mind becomes lost for a moment.
But the very next second, a whip lands on his body, “Pia!”
“Don’t you know you could have gone back to buy the mantou (white bun) again?” He lifts his head to see Pang Wan viciously looking at him with her golden whip grasped in hand.
Wang Gang’s body shakes for once, but he does not speak.
Today, Pang Wan used the same amount of energy on the whip as usual, but Wang Gang’s face does not exhibit his usual “painful yet somewhat enjoyable” expression, his face instead distorts a little bit.
“Are you sick?” Pang Wan feels strange, so she stretches out her hand to touch his forehead, but Wang Gang moves away.
“You got dumped? Poisoned? Infected by a parasite? You’re acting so bizarre!” Pang Wan gives him a glance, too lazy to care about his abnormality, she turns around and leaves.
Pang Wan ends up ordering dinner herself at a restaurant. She tells the waiter to bring several featured dishes accompanying plum wine to her private chamber.
“…isn’t Little Master only eating vegetables?” Wang Gang is shocked by the whole table of delicious meat cuisine.
“Your Little Master, I, almost died of hunger today. Shouldn’t I take this opportunity to give myself a feast?” Pang Wan is annoyed by him mentioning what she does not want to talk about.
Wang Gang obediently silences himself.
“Sit! Eat!” Without even looking at him, Pang Wan spits out only two words, then throws a pair of chopsticks to him.
Wang Gang is surprised; he remains standing.
“What? Are you mad at me?” Pang Wan widely opens her almond eyes and gnashes her teeth, “You want to get whipped more?”
Wang Gang finally sits his butt down on the seat.
Moonlight illuminates the entire sky; the scenery is as beautiful as a painting; these two people devour their big feast.
After being full and drunk, the blushing Pang Wan suddenly grabs a lotus plate and begins to express her sorrow.
“Wang Gang, do you think white lotus flowers are pretty?” She burps with a smell of wine.
Wang Gang does not know the deeper meaning behind her sudden question, so he carefully answers, “Not bad.”
Pang Wan looks enraged, yet also seems unsatisfied; she purses her lips, “Do all of you people here love white lotus flowers?”
Wang Gang sees her looking tipsy, guessing she is probably drunk, so he calmly says, “Lotus is always noble and unsullied, washed by ripples yet not voluptuous, came out of mud yet not contaminated. White Lotus is also the most flawless and purest kind of all lotus flowers, of course no one dislikes it.”
He did not expect, right after he says the last word, for her to immediately smash the plate on the ground.
“Why? Why?!” Big drops of tears flow out of Pang Wan’s eyes. Her face is red, nose is red, her whole body is red inside out, like a shrimp fresh out of boiling water.
“Wang Gang!” She suddenly yells and extends her arms to grab his sleeves, scaring Wang Gang to spring up from his chair.
“Wang Gang!” She yells again. Her lips cannot be more shrivelled, appearing to feel extremely wronged and pitiful.
“Why not me? It should have been mine! All should have been mine! Mine!” Her tears continuously flow out like waterfalls on her cheeks, down her neck, wetting a big area of her clothes, “Why am I her? Why is she not me?”
Her gibberish becomes louder and louder. Some curious individuals were already stretching their necks to look in her direction.
Wang Gang couldn’t endure it anymore. He reaches out to grab her collar.
But Pang Wan snatches the perfect chance to grab his sleeve, blows her nose and cleans her tears with it, constantly murmuring, “Wang Gang, your Little Master, I, am so bitter! So bitter!”
Wang Gang stares at his dirty sleeve, clenches his teeth in anger and reminds her, “Little Master, let’s talk about it when we go back……”
But Pang Wan shakes her head repeatedly, “That won’t help! Going back won’t help! The bitterness in my heart, all of you do not understand……”
Wang Gang has reached the limit of his forbearance. He lifts his hand and knocks down on her head, then carries the unconscious Pang Wan out of the restaurant.
Translator’s note: I think this is one of the cutest chapters in the entire novel. Wang Gang’s masochistic behaviours made both xiaoxiaomei and me laugh so hard!! He is one of my favorite characters now. Pang Wan acting like a master is also really funny to me. Hint: there are actually some hidden things in this chapter. I think if you come back and reread this chapter after you finish the book, you will feel (“~_~), (@~@), and #>_<#… Hope you have enjoyed reading and tell me what you think so far in the comments. —Annie ^_^*
 This little person 小人/Xiǎo rén and this little one 小的/Xiǎo de: in ancient Chinese, people often use some appellations to address themselves in conversations to show superiority or inferiority. Servants, maids, or commoners often use “this little person” or “this little one” to replace “I” when speaking to people in higher positions. In the contrary, for those who are superior: emperors always use “Zhèn/朕” to replace “I”; young masters use “this young master/本少爷” to replace “I”, etc.
 Just like how there is the English term ‘spineless’, to have a backbone or to have gǔ qì / 骨气 is the opposite meaning, it is a term used to describe a man of character, someone who strong-willed with moral integrity.
 Infected by a parasite/蛊/gǔ: in historical or wuxia novels, there is often the presence of 蛊, some special kinds of parasites that can be intentionally put into people’s bodies to control or exterminate them. The impressive power of 蛊 is considered witchcraft. It is rumored that girls of Miao, a minor ethnic group in China, raise a kind of 蛊 and put them into their bodies and their husbands’ bodies. If one is unfaithful to the other, the 蛊 will fly out and cause him or her death. Other kinds of 蛊 can link two people’s lives together, control one’s actions and speech, etc. Whether 蛊 still exists now, it is a mystery.
 Mentioning what she does not want to talk about is 哪壶不开提哪壶/Nǎ hú bù kāi tí nǎ hú, which literally means “purposely lifting the teapot that is not boiling”. It comes from a funny story: Back in Song dynasty, there was a tea house. The city governor often came in to drink and never gave money, but the owner of the tea house was too afraid to make him unhappy. So he decided to intentionally serve tea from the teapot that has not been fully boiled (the tea does not have enough flavor) to the city governor. Eventually, the governor stopped coming in. This phrase now means “mentioning the things that are not ready to be discussed“.
washed by ripples yet not voluptuous, came out of mud yet not contaminated/濯清涟而不妖，出淤泥而不染/Zhuó qīng lián ér bù yāo, chū yūní ér bù rǎn comes from a classic short essay, On the Love of the Lotus/爱莲说/Ài lián shuō by Zhou Dun Yi in Song dynasty.