Da Mo Yao Chapter 19: Pigeon Souls

This was a hard chapter to translate, because it was a hard chapter to read. Lest we forget, Da Mo Yao is set during a period of the Han dynasty where the empire was expanding and engaged in bitter warfare with their main rivals the Xiong Nu tribe. In volume 1, Huo Qu Bing went off to war while Yu Er stayed in Chang An, and since DMY is narrated in her first person perspective, she never got a personal understanding of the ravages of warfare aside from her vast consumption of military manuals. Now that she is with the Han army, she’s thrust immediately into large scale military warfare. She learns that life and death may be outside of people’s control, but choosing how to live life and face death is a choice everyone had a right to make. Huo Qu Bing is a General born into a military family, but Yu Er is just an orphan, wolf and Xiong Nu-raised, who still can’t find her destiny in life. But she’s getting there, though the price will likely be steep.

Chapter 19: Pigeon Souls

The army is leaving after resting for two days. Huo Qu Bing and Gong Xun Aou discuss how to attack the Xiong Nu from both sides in tandem, while General Li Guang’s army brings up the rear. In the blue black sky, there isn’t a single star, just a crescent moon shining coldly on the earth. Under the sound of horse hoofs, with thousands of armor glittering, there is only unending dust before and behind me. I feel a sense of inexplicable uncertainty.

Huo Qu Bing looked at me and reached out to grab my hand “Don’t worry, I won’t let the Xiong Nu hurt you.” I bit my lip “I’m worried about Li Cheng. Was I wrong? I don’t know the cruel dangers of the battlefield. The moment he gets on that horse is life and death. It’s not like having good fighting skills means survival.”

Huo Qu Bing’s hand is around his horse whip, his eyes look straight ahead with a coldness like the shiniest moon “If killing the Xiong Nu is his greatest wish in life, then even if he dies, it’s doing something he wanted. There will be no regret. Does he want to live an ordinary life? No one can guarantee whether they will survive in a battle.”

I smirked at him “That was contradictory. Didn’t you just promise nothing would happen to me?” He turned and smiled at me “That is because I am Huo Qu Bing, and you are the exception.”

I wrinkled my nose at him but still smiled, the worries of moments ago having dissipated. After traveling for a day and a night, the army finally sets up camp. I tried to prepare myself, but after such a long time on a horse, my hips and waist feel like it doesn’t belong to me. When I heard Huo Qu Bing call for rest, my body slid off the horse and I laid down on the ground. Huo Qu Bing sat down next to me “Now you now how hard I work to earn my money? In the future don’t spend it so easily.”

Chen Kang An suddenly walks up and with a somber expression announces that there has been no communications with the armies led by the other generals. Huo Qu Bing asks him to keep trying to reach them, and especially not to reveal word that we have not been able to reach General Gong Xun Aou.

I thought about it, and based on my extensive reading of military texts, I know the proper response is to retreat. If the army you are coordinating an attack with suddenly disappears, plus the rear flank is also unreachable, then this battle is a mess before it has even started. Huo Qu Bing paced a few times and told me to get some rest and not think too much. He actually laid down and went to sleep.

That confused me so. He wasn’t thinking of what to do under these circumstances. But then I thought about it some more and decided that if he wasn’t freaking out, I shouldn’t be either. If the sky fell he would be the first person hit. I curled up and went to sleep.

Before the sun even rises the army is ready to leave. There is still no word from Li Guang or Gong Xun Aou. Huo Qu Bing laughs that Li Guang has gotten lost in the past, but now it appears Gong Xun Aou has also gotten lost. I ask what to do, and he points to the distant Qi Lian Mountain “We’re going there.”

I immediately let out my pent up breath and stare at the Qi Lian Mountains. My emotions calmed down. He’s not new to fighting alone. The first time he took eight hundred troops and sneaked into the Xiong Nu army base. Next he took ten thousand troops and with the speed of the wind destroyed five Xiong Nu tribes in six days. Even though the plan had changed, he can handle fighting alone.

Qi Lian Mountain is rich and fertile, the place where the Xiong Nu herd their livestock. It is also one of their pride and joys. This battle will not be easy, but if we win, Papa will surely be very happy. Papa….

He saw me staring at the mountains, apologizing “I thought this battle would be easier, who knew we’d be rushing yet again.” I gather myself, not wanting him to worry, acting casual “I won’t let you make us wolves seem useless.””

He smiled and nodded his head, then flew off towards the front of the army. The rising sun reflected off his back, with the armor giving off a thousand beams of light. It was like a flying sun, breathtaking to behold in its majesty.

Huo Qu Bing’s forces were already the most fierce, but after he threw some fuel in the fire, they were even more revved up to go. Ten thousand fearless men marched behind him, traversing this great North Western territory.

After we traveled for awhile, I asked Chen An Kang why we appeared to be heading back. He looked around, unable to confirm because this Gobi Desert looks all the same to him. I tell him to go ask the General if he knows he’s walking backwards. Otherwise he can laugh about General Gong Xun getting lost and then he ends up getting lost himself.

After a few moments Huo Qu Bing returns to my side and explains that the Xiong Nu have gotten word of where the army is expected to move, so he needs to change directions otherwise they will lay in wait for us. I look at the circling falcons above and remain silent. He continues “I’ve been around the desert many times with Uncle since I was a kid. I can walk around here without getting lost. And with you here, I can relax and let us wander aimlessly. If we get the Xiong Nu confused, then it will be better for the attack.”

I turn and ask the person holding the cage to be careful and not let Xiao Tao and Xiao Qian out, but I can see they are frustrated with being cooped up.

From morning until evening we rushed around, and Huo Qu Bing’s expression grew more and more concerned. After turning in the Gobi Desert a few times, the Xiong Nu ought not to be able to track us, yet they are still able to know where the army is. There is still a tracker following a distance behind the army.

During dinner, he doesn’t eat and I ask what he is thinking about. “With our speed, and this random moving around, the Xiong Nu shouldn’t know our every move. This has never happened before. Usually we attack the Xiong Nu, but this time they are chasing us.” He furrowed his brows and looked perplexed.

I point to the sky and he looks upward. In the sky are two tiny black specks. He startled and then asked “Are you saying those two furry beasts are the Xiong Nu’s tracking agents?”

I laugh and nod “Those guys are the most annoying. In the past when we would capture a prey, they would circle overhead and try to steal our prey. Sometimes they would even fight with the wolves for it. Because they can fly, the wolves can’t do much except chase them away. But they would fly away and then dive back down to fight. Since I’ve tangled with these guys in the past, I can tell that those two above are behaving unusually. Instead of looking for prey, they continue to follow us and stay above our heads.”

Huo Qu Bing smiled bitterly “I had heard the rumor that pigeons can pass word for their owners, but now this other legend has come true. Just my luck to run into it. I wonder how many the Xiong Nu have trained?”

I respond “Their nests are always in hard to reach places so it’s hard to capture a young one. They are arrogant and love freedom, so unless they were raised from infancy, they won’t listen to human commands. For the Xiong Nu to have two is rare enough, otherwise this wouldn’t just be a legend. Also, you wouldn’t have been able to sneak into the Xiong Nu base with your eight hundred men.”

He laughed and slapped his legs “Just two? That’s easy! Tomorrow I’ll serve it each an arrow and we’ll dine on roasted bird tomorrow night.”

Shooting down birds is not a hard task, but those two have been well trained, so all morning they circled just above the reach of any flying arrow. There remains no opportunity to shoot them down, and I’m beginning to get impatient and go check on them. Huo Qu Bing doesn’t have his usual impetuousness, and instead looks calm and determined. Right now he’s like an experienced wolf, laying in wait for his prey. No matter how many days, no rush and no worries, just scouting the prey and waiting for the right moment to give it a deadly blow.

Suddenly there was a roar and I looked up to see a black spot hurtling towards the ground. At that time, there was a cry and the other falcon follows it down. But an arrow just barely misses it, and it immediately pulls back up and circles once again outside the reach of the arrows. The other archer kneels and begs forgiveness for his failure, while Huo Qu Bing just looks solemnly at the remaining falcon in the sky. I worriedly look towards Huo Qu Bing, knowing this is not good.

These two falcons have been trained and have better instincts than wild ones. With this fright, it will not give us another chance to shoot at it. The Xiong Nu will clearly be enraged by the death of their valuable agents, meaning we might soon be engaged in a battle, one in which the enemy knows us but we do not know the enemy.

Huo Qu Bing suddenly looked at me and his face broke into a wide smile, full of confidence. He was just like the noon sun over the Gobi Desert, shining his light over everything and leaving no shadow. I’m affected by his attitude and I can’t help but smile a little. Even I’m influenced by his confidence, much less his troops who trained under him and fought with him. In two battles, he has had an overwhelming victory, so his Yu Lin Army brothers trust him implicitly. It’s like as long as they are following Huo Qu Bing, no matter the enemy ahead, they will prevail. That is the confidence he instills in every soldier.

Because the army needs a lot of water, Huo Qu Bing asks me where the nearest water source is. We decide to head to the Ju Yen Sea, the name comes from the Xiong Nu language to mean weak water in flowing sands. It is situated within Xiong Nu territory.

The lone falcon continues to follow us and Huo Qu Bing would occasionally look up at it, though he never looked concerned. As we neared the Ju Yen Sea, Chen An Kang and another young man named Zhao Puo Nu came over and gave me a strange look. Zhao Puo Nu spoke up “The Xiong Nu must know now that we are headed to the Ju Yen Sea, so this upcoming battle is unavoidable. But having the Xiong Nu aware of our moves puts us always at a disadvantage. Your servant I have an idea for killing that falcon.”

I knew what he was getting at and huffed coldly before turning away. Huo Qu Bing told them to never mention this again. Zhao Puo Nu kneeled down “General, using the pigeons as bait, as long as we shoot the falcon first, the pigeons won’t be harmed. And even if the pigeons are sacrificed, it is for the greater good of the army. When we return to Chang An I will personally buy the Brother here two pigeons.”

I glared at Zhao Puo Nu and stalked away with the slash of my whip. I grabbed the pigeon cage and refused to let anyone handle it. Only next to me do I feel safe. Chen An Kang rode next to me for some time and asked me not to be mad anymore. The General didn’t agree with their proposal, right? I kept staring ahead and he had no choice but to be quiet. I tell him to bring Li Cheng over here, I’m worried about him.

The lake is clear and surrounded by verdant greenery. The sky and the clouds reflect on the surface, and with a wind blowing through, small ripples sway and dance. Near the lake are some cranes dancing in the water and ducks taking flight. Li Cheng gaped at this beauty, that the Xiong Nu have such beautiful lands. I was about to explain how I played here as a kid, but I stopped talking.

When suddenly a thousand water fowls loudly cried out in fright and then took flight, Huo Qu Bing was the first to raise his bow and arrow. It’s not like I haven’t experienced a life and death struggle before, but being in the middle of a battle of tens of thousand is the first time I realized that what I experienced before was comparatively child’s play.

The horses wail and the people roar. The swords slash in the air, the beauty of the lake marred with one cold slash after another. The red of the blood splatters everywhere, almost like a red flower blooming for just a moment before immediately wilting. I can’t see what is happening, everywhere around me is just blood and fighting. Chen An Kang shook me “The first time on the battlefield I almost peed my pants, you’re doing better than me, your face is just ghostly white.” I know he’s trying to distract me but I am speechless.

I suddenly look around for Li Cheng, and Chen An Kang thinks the kid probably ran to the front. I was so angry I wanted to slap myself. I jumped on a horse and want to take off but Chen An Kang refuses to let go “You cannot go to the front line, these are the General’s orders. And even if you go now you can’t do anything, you won’t be able to find Li Cheng. You haven’t practiced with the army before so you don’t know how to fight in tandem, so you’ll just distract the soldiers. You need to wait here until the fighting is done.”

I tightly grasp the horse reins and stare straight ahead at the violent battle. Chen An Kang softly said “Once on the battlefield, life and death is but a moment’s difference. What was yesterday’s drinking buddy might be fallen before you tomorrow.”

My heart suddenly wrenched into a tight knot, my body still as can be. I calmly asked “Then….the General….he will be fine?”

Chen An Kang was silent for a moment “There are no guarantees on the battlefield. But the General has been training with the Yu Lin Army since he was a child. He also learned directly from the Great General Weil. With his experience, he will be fine.”

The blood of the Xiong Nu, the blood of the Han, I cannot tell why my heart is shaking. I look skyward, making certain that the blue sky and the white clouds still remain unchanged.

The Xiong Nu army is defeated and retreats, leaving the Ju Yen Sea returned to it’s normal tranquility. Except for the smell of blood and a sea of dead bodies littering the area. I see eagles circling overhead, waiting to feast. I looked around and Huo Qu Bing rode up to me “Are you alright?” I force a smile and nod, but my eyes are still searching through the crowd. Chen An Kang pointed “Isn’t that Li Cheng?” and there Li Cheng stood holding a sword and waving to me. I finally relaxed and waved back. He was so excited, yelling “I finally avenged my family, I helped defeat the Xiong Nu…..”

Suddenly an injured Xiong Nu soldier heaved himself up and threw a dagger at Li Cheng. “Watch out!” I cried as I rushed towards him, but I was too far away and couldn’t use my gold bells to deflect the dagger. I could only watch it embed itself in Li Cheng’s chest. An arrow flew past me and pinned the injured Xiong Nu soldier dead to the ground.

Li Cheng stared at the dagger in his chest and then looked at me, confused as to what was happening. I held him in my arms and tried to stop the bleeding as Chen An Kang called for a medic. Huo Qu Bing walked over and took a look, indicating to me that it was a clean stab right into the heart.

Li Cheng asked if he was about to die, and then told me not to be sad. He had killed Xiong Nu and was now going to see his parents and his sister. He missed them so much…. His hands grew cold and I watched as the blood drained out of him. My heart felt cold, knowing this was all my fault, my fault…..

Huo Qu Bing quietly stood next to me and looked out over the Sea. I gently laid Li Cheng down and walked over to the edge of the water to wash the blood of my hands. Huo Qu Bing looked at me, and then ordered Li Cheng’s body to be cremated. He walked over to me and bent down to wash his hands “After the war is over, I’ll have his ashes sent back to be cremated with his family, so he’s not lonely.”

I raised my head to look at the circling eagles, and I can’t differentiate the tracking falcon anymore.

The horses are thundering forward and I remain silent. Huo Qu Bing continues to silently ride beside me. I occasionally raise my head to look at the falcon and then resume riding. As I looked towards the sky once again, Huo Qu Bing spoke up “It’s not your fault, so stop blaming yourself. There will be deaths in battle, and this is something Li Cheng knew when he joined the army.” I stare at the sky “If I didn’t promise he could go to battle, he might still be alive.”

Huo Qu Bing was exasperated “You’re so obstinate. Without you Li Cheng would find a way onto the battlefield. As a man he needs to stand up for what he believes in. Between revenge and going on with his life, if you let Li Cheng choose again, he would still choose to go to battle.”

I looked at Huo Qu Bing “If we don’t shoot down that damn bird, we won’t be able to arrive safely at Qi Lian Mountain.” He tells me to be patient, that falcon can’t be alert all the time.

I look at Xiao Tao and Xiao Qian “The armies have been split into three routes, but now General Li Guang and General Gong Xun Aou are nowhere to be found. We are in the middle of Xiong Nu territory, and our advantage is a sneak attack. If we keep waiting, we might all end up dead at the base of the Qi Lian Mountains.

I touched the cage and slowly opened the door. Xiao Tao and Xiao Qian, having been cooped up for so long, happily jump on my arm. I tell Huo Qu Bing “Prepare your bow and arrow.” I lightly stroked their head and whispered “I’m sorry, sending you to do such a dangerous mission. Don’t get close to the falcon, just lure it lower. You have to do your best to fly as fast as you can.”

Huo Qu Bing called “Yu Er!” indicating that he was ready. I waved my arm, sending Xiao Qian and Xiao Tao into the air. I pick up the whistle around my neck and begin to blow into it, ordering Xiao Qian and Xiao Tao to lure the falcon lower. Xiao Qian circles overhead, still uncertain, but Xiao Tao has already dived straight for the falcon. Xiao Qian has no choice but to quickly fly behind Xiao Tao.

That falcon is well trained, because with food so near it remains uninterested and continues to circle high overhead. Xiao Qian and Xiao Tao try to lure it from a distance for quite some time but cannot tempt it. Xiao Tao suddenly rushes the falcon, ignoring my shock and attempts to summon her back, flapping her wings right in front of it a few times before flying away.

Falcons are one of the most vicious predators in the animal kingdom, and this one has likely never seen a bird so disrespect it. It becomes enraged and lets out a piercing cry and swoops with its sharp claws straight for Xiao Tao. I desperately blow my whistle to summon them back. Xiao Tao tries to descend but a pigeon is no match for a falcon’s speed and soon she is right under the grasp of the falcon’s claws.

To save Xiao Tao, Xiao Qian ignores my whistles to descend and instead swoops in to peck at the falcon’s eyes. The falcon spreads its wings and Xiao Qian is swept aside. Xiao Qian’s body falls from the sky and the falcon zooms down to grab him when suddenly an arrow pierces its chest and it falls straight to the ground.

Xiao Qian descends in a shaky fashion and I rush over to catch him. Before he lands on my hands a few drops of blood hit me first. When Xiao Qian lands on my arm, he cannot even stand. His head lolls to one side and he falls on the ground. I catch him before he hits the ground, but his eyes are closed. One wing and an entire side of his chest is covered in blood. My hands shake uncontrollably. Xiao Tao cries out and uses her head to butt Xiao Qian’s head. Xiao Qian opens his eyes to look at Xiao Tao, and with one final shudder his eyes shut for good.

The medic touches Xiao Qian and then turns to shake his head at Huo Qu Bing. I’m cradling Xiao Qian in my hands, like knives slicing into my heart. Xiao Tao uses her beak to fix Xiao Qian’s feathers and coo’d pitifully a few times. I have never seen Xiao Tao so patient or gentle before. I can’t control my tears anymore and drops start to fall on Xiao Qian. I keep saying over and over “I’m….sorry…..I’m…..sorry….”

Xiao Tao turned to look at me and rubbed her head on my hand, comforting me. She used her beak to fix Xiao Qian’s feathers one more time and then suddenly took flight. I look up at Xiao Tao as she flies higher and higher. I suddenly react and start blowing my whistle. Come back. Come back now.

Xiao Tao continues to fly higher and higher. I start screaming “Xiao Tao, come back! Come back! You’re not allowed to leave me all alone! You’re not allowed to leave me!” Before I finish speaking, a black dot comes hurtling from the sky and Xiao Tao slams into the ground. The army has been watching in silent shock at the pigeon and falcon battle, and now with Xiao Tao’s passionate act, everyone gasps. My voice is stuck inside my throat and I can’t make any sound. My eyes are wide open and can only stare at Xiao Tao’s body laying far away. I slowly sink to the ground.

Huo Qu Bing covered my eyes “Don’t look anymore.”

I violently jerked his hand off but he grabbed my arm. I started to hit him “This is all your fault, all your fault! Why did you make me follow you…..”

“It’s all my fault, it’s all my fault. I will make sure the Xiong Nu pays for this.” Huo Qu Bing gently said to me as he took a wet cloth from the army medic and placed it over my nose. I smelled a fragrant scent of flowers and my strength in hitting him decreases. My mind clouds and I lay on his shoulder, passing out.


Da Mo Yao Chapter 19: Pigeon Souls — 85 Comments

  1. Finally marathoned the book. This chapter for some reason was the most tragic for me, even compared to a few of the other ones. I think it’s because the birds had so much personality they seemed like people to me. I’m sure it did to Yuer too. On top of that, they were gifts from JiuYe so that kind of cuts another connection between them. RIP little ones.

  2. Wow, even without any lovey dovey between HQB and YE I really liked this chapter. Totally shocked that girl bird’s devotion to boy bird was that deep. Doesn’t it make you think that’s how much HQB loves YE too?

    • I’m only hoping that the deaths of the pigeons are not a foreshadowing of the deaths of HQB and YE…

      If you look at it Xiao Tao can be seen as YE with their fiery personalities and Xiao Qian can be viewed as HQB due to their undying love for the female.

      I just sincerely hope that HQB won’t die fighting against the enemy and then have YE commit suicide over his death like the pigeons.


      • Oh no… it better be…. don’t think I can read this book if that happens! Unless XQ is Jiu Ye who sacrifices for JY and then JY, please don’t kill yourself! There is still HBQ!

  3. Thank You! (sobs, blows nose) Each chapter feels like Christmas morning to me. My heart speeds up and I go running around the house hollering(mind you I’m 23) πŸ™‚

  4. Whoa…..Interesting. The writer got rid of the birds that Jiu Ye gave with finality after their heroic life saving efforts.

    Since HQB could not make the suggestion to her a subordinate did it for him. Hmmmm.

  5. The first time around… I cried.
    Now, the second time around, I sobbed.
    To make me cry because of just two pigeons’ spirit…
    Ms. Koala, thank you for keeping the soul of the text as it is.

  6. Sniff, sniff, crying rivers here, I don’t know why but always these kind of love touch my heart.
    Thank you Mrs. Koala for your hard work. Love this book. This chapter make me cry.

  7. Oh my gosh!

    This is such a sad chapter, but as they were gifts from Jiu Ye, it also cuts off another remnant of him and she can continue to focus her attention on HQB. I find that their sacrificial deaths were necessary in order for the main character to move on with her life/love away from Jie Ye.

  8. Poor Xiao Tao and Xiao Qian…. and poor Li Cheng! Sigh, there are so many deaths. I read a spoiler about the pigeons dying but I did not expect that to happen so soon until I read the title of the chapter. Suddenly, I am scared about the remainder of the book… it seems to be making the downward heartbreaking track like BBJX…

  9. Oh the pigeons just had to die. God why are birds dying in a battle, I don’t care about the falcons but why the pigeons. I loved them, I wanted them to have a family of their own. I think because both the pigeons are similar to Yu er and jie yu so they have to die. Why is yu er losing everyone she cares for. In the past two years all the people she cares for might die in the end. I hope these three deaths are not foreshadowing her pain in the future, because it will become harder to read. Thank you koala bear for the update.

  10. πŸ™ such a moving chapter. soooo much pain for yu er. and its hard on hqb to see this happening with him around. aaaaaaaaaaah am i crying now? ms. koala. thank you! such a speedy translation and yet can’t wait for the next one…:(

  11. It wasn’t until I read this chapter of Vol 2 that I realized how dangerous it was for Yu Er to be following Huo Qu Bing out to war. She could’ve been attacked too if the Xiong Nu decided to ambush them with an army of 10000. I know he promised to protect her and whatnot, but in war you’re never 100% sure of your life, let alone your lover/comrade. It felt a bit too too immature on Huo Qu Bing’s part and he does seem to be wiser for his age so I was disappointed.

    • I agree! I love this interaction between them, but I kinda wished he’d just let her be on her own for a while instead of chasing her down- I wanted her to have some time to learn things by herself. Also, he tries his hardest to protect her, but instead of Li Cheng, the person who died could have easily been her- just because she doesn’t fight in the front row, doesn’t mean one of the injured soldiers won’t get to her. Ah well, at least the story is more interesting while they’re together.. Anoher thing- I had expected JY to be diffiult to find, but it had only taken 3 days for HQB to track her down… that was a bit disappointing πŸ™ and, it felt like she had been so easily captured and tamed πŸ™

      • but u have to understand how hard for a man like him to found someone he loves and he cannot let her go anymore… wat if she just vanished and he has lost a person whom he can give his heart to? if i love a person, i would follow him wherever he goes… I would be disappointed if he just let her go and didnt chase after her… sorry no offence… maybe its my romantic heart but not my head talking here…

      • @Angie Would you put the one you love in harm’s way? Isn’t it better to have her safe and sound than to perish from an arrow?

      • Well the thing is, he doesnt have the time to send her back to Chang An and Chang An will only give her sadness becos Jiu Ye is there… so I guess he has no choice to keep her with him… Yu Er isnt exactly made of taofoo hehe

  12. Did HQB just drug her…??

    With the pigeons gone, there is literally nothing that connects Jin Yu and Jiu Ye together, making me a very sad girl. Now I understand how the 8th Prince and Ruoxi shippers felt in BBJX.

  13. I’ve been a lurker for about 1.5 years and I had to respond to this entry. I am typing while in tears. I can’t believe that this chapter would make me cry more so than when Yu Er broke the flute. I feel so sad and marvel at the depth of love that Xiao Tao felt for Xiao Qao. Thank you for your beautiful translation because the way you have written has taken me straight to the battle field to see this last act of love.

    Thank you Koala for a wonderful translation.

  14. After reading this post for the nth time, am still marvelling at how the death of pigeons make me cry. I am so into this story. Thanks for the wonderful translation, captain.

  15. Poor pigeons! πŸ™ It’s amazing how much a part of the narrative (and YE’s life) they were. And how sad was it for Li Cheng to survive the initial battle, only to be shot by a dying enemy’s arrow.

    This was a difficult chapter, indeed.

  16. Oh my word. I am sitting here bawling my eyes out at the heroic acts of Xiao Tao and Xiao Qian. I feel like Ji Yu has lost part of her family. My fiance is kinda shocked am crying over pigeons. It is interesting that their deaths had more of an impact than Li Cheng as I knew he would die anyway.

    Must. Not. Hate or Blame HQB (whispers to self) This is the price for war and many lives saved! *still kinda resent him*

    I guess this means one more cord between Jiu Ye and Yu Er is broken *sniff*
    Thanks Koala for translating a difficult chapter.

  17. Thank you.
    This is such a sad chapter–death of friends is the hardest to deal with. War suks but I hope the next chapter is much happier than this one.

  18. This is really a sad chapter. I really felt bad about the pigeons and feel awful that Yu Er lost what I consider to be the best connection between her Jiu Ye. *sniff*

    I can’t help but think that if it was Jiu Ye, he wouldn’t have allowed Yu Er there right in the middle of battle. But still, HQB promising to keep Yu Er safe is sweet and sigh-worthy.

    Looking forward to read the next chapters.

  19. Tangren has decided to mindscrew me. T___T Someone talk me off a ledge. I’m so traumatized I can’t translate anymore. Actually, if this casting for DMY gets upended for whatever reason, I’m breaking up with TR and the drama adaptation.

    The DMY official weibo just open and GeShi is confirmed as the leads, but the other male lead hasn’t been revealed yet. But weibo is flying with TR insiders saying that the other lead is Eddie Peng (which I’ve been hearing whispers about all week), AND he’s playing Huo Qu Bing. WHAT. THE. F*CK.

    Seriously, until this casting is locked down and rumors stopped flying, I’m boycotting this story. I can’t afford to get my innards jerked around like this. If Eddie is HQB and Hu Ge ends up as 9Ye, then I might as well go find another book to moon over.

    *is ranting and raving pissed*

    On the upside, I won’t be the most pissed off person on the planet. GeShi baidu bar will collectively shit a brick and go to town on Ladyboss’ ass.

    • Whaaatt!!! Eddie Peng as HQB, the doesn’t make sense wwwhhhaaaa!!! I don’t think he has the ability as of yet to play HQB…sorry to all EP fans out there…he’s ok but not HQB standard…

    • What? What?

      Pls don’t stop translating the novel! I am so intangled with the brilliant characters and plot that it’s part of my daily life refreshing your blog!!!! pls no!!!

      I don’t know much abt the agency but why are the playing coy? is it a ploy to stir it the drama? well it is alrdy….stop playing the guessing names for goodness sake and just come out with the cast alrdy.

      Is it becas of the competition of the sequel book 2? Is it becas the director/agency is too arrogant? Is it becas of internal perference ?
      Let’s get it over with and start the drama alrdy.

      thanks Ms. Koala for your dedication anyways….i will wonder how wonderful the end of the book 2 is.

      • Yes, please Koala, don’t stop translating! If this stupid casting is true, we’ll just have to NOT watch the drama adaptation. If you were to stop translating, I’ll really cry and become so devastated!
        Please, Koala unnie!!

    • omg r they blind or stupid or screwed? Pls give me Hu Ge as HQB!!! Who the heck is Eddie Peng!!!!??? Crap!!! I am going to boycott the movie if its Eddie Peng as HQB!!!

    • I have no clue what the hell is going on. HG has been cast as HQB since late last year. Unless this is all happening because Eddie won’t get onboard unless he’s HQB, so TR is going to force HG to play 9Ye.

      BBJX also had a last minute leading man swap. Kevin Cheng was originally 4th Prince, but when Nicky was cast at the last minute, Kevin turned to 8th Prince because Director Li felt that Nicky was better suited to play 4.

      In the case I totally can’t support the decision to get a star like Eddie onboard and jack their own leading man. If that happens. And Eddie as 9Ye wouldn’t work at all, unless he’s playing against type.

      I refuse to accept HG not as HQB, the least of which all my perfect HQB screenshots vaporize into the ether. *sobs*

      I hope this is some alterna-universe musings and the final casting comes out ASAP, because I can literally lose sleep over this.

      • there were rumors though that HuGe “supposedly” wants to play Meng Jiu πŸ™
        But again, it’s all JUST rumors and I hope they’re not true

      • Thank you so very much Ms. Koala for all your hard work in translating. This is a great story and with my limited Chinese, if it weren’t for your dedication and hard work I won’t be able to read this story.

        The whole time I read your chapter translations I was picturing Hu Ge as HQB. I REALLY hope the rumors aren’t true and that Hu Ge is still playing HQB because if he gets bumped down to 9Ye I will cry and cry and cry… πŸ™

      • This is devastating news. I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight either. I want to throw a tantrum!

      • O no:(( like most everyone else here I have been thinking of HG face during HQB’s interactions with YJ. I dont knw who eddie peng is so went and googled. He so doesnt LOOK like how HQB is supposed to b in the novel….

    • GeShi baidu bar will collectively shit a brick and go to town on Ladyboss’ ass.

      I laughed uncontrollably for a few minutes at this perfect comment. LOL

    • I don’t even know who Eddie Peng is but I’m already boycotting him as HQB. Nooooo!!! All this time I’ve been picturing Hu Ge as HQB, they can’t do this to us!!! Plus, if Hu Ge been casted as HQB since last year, can’t he or his manager complain if they do a last minute casting change? That doesn’t seem right to me, especially if he’s already made preparations for the role.

      And again, forgive my ignorance about C-ent, is Eddie Peng a big star than Hu Ge and that’s the reason why they’re giving him the lead character?

      • I have no idea if Eddie is a big star or not but IMHO I think casting should be more about if the actor fits the role or not. I just can’t picture Hu Ge as not HQB… πŸ™

      • Eddie Peng is taiwanese. I’m not really a fan of EP but I don’t really see him as bigger star than HuGe.
        Also, HuGe is handled by TangRen. TangRen will produce Da Mo Yao. So I guess I can say, it was his manager/s who changed their minds about the casting.

      • I see. Thanks @anonfan, @fangirlcravings. So if the casting change happens, then its his own management company that’s screwing him over?! *shakes head* That just not right!

    • Like a chorus in Rihanna’s song, “Please don’t stop the music….”

      Ockoala dear, “Get off that damn ledge and finish what you started.” There, how’s that? πŸ™‚

      I am only familiar with Shi Shi so I cannot feel the pain, but you should work through the pain to heal and not think about the crazy antics by some entertainment company. πŸ˜‰

      • please don’t stop translating. Don’t worry about the future and who’s going to be HBQ but think of how amazing the novel in itself is. Everyone is going to be so disappointed if you stopped. To be honest, everytime i get on the internet, literally the first thing i do is check your website for a new chapter before i do anything else. I honestly check the site every hour or so. The book is so brillient! please don’t stop πŸ™‚

  20. Please please please keep on translating for us!!! I don’t care about the series anymore! I’ve vested and I (along with your other adoring readers) will be utterly broken if this is the end of Da Mo Yao for us πŸ™ I seriously fist-pump every time a new chapter comes up…please take pity?

  21. Ms. K, please don’t ever think of giving up translating the second volume when it’s started sizzling and giving us readers such a marvelous read. While reading your translation work, I let my imagination create all the scenes vividly and I doubt any actor/actress can re-create what’s been done in my mind based on the lively description you give of the characters, the panoramic background and the naughty goings-on between Huo and Jin Yu. While reading and visualizing the images in my mind, I even thought the actual drama may fail to reach the emotional heights that I’ve reached while devouring the scenes you’ve been able to bring to my mind through your sheer writing skills. So, let me continue bawling over such scenes as the adorable pair of pigeons who may be more faithful than most human beings, and let me snicker and giggles over the sexual tensions between Huo and Jin You and openly laugh at the snarky comments of the feisty girl when she can’t win in her spats with Huo. I hope you’ll think of of the plight we non-Chinese readers/speakers will face if you really decide to call it quits on giving up on your labor of love. You’ve already done such a tremendous job translating an entire volume in just a matter of a week or two. Please, please don’t desert your fans all over the world, Ms. K, and just continue with your generous work once you get over your disappointment with the miscasting plans. I’m ready to add my signature to any worldwide petition against replacing Hu Ge with Peter (who?) if you want to pressure the agency!

  22. Echoing most of the readers’ plea …pls. don’t stop translating this novel ..I have just finished marathoning the whole thing for 3 days ….and I’m re-reading this again later …my eyes hurt , but my heart is filled with joy ….very good novel ….the first translated novel I have ever read in the internet …. pls. don’t give up on us ….
    Ps… poor pigeons πŸ™

  23. I know you might not want to hear this right now..but please don’t give up on this! πŸ™ It’s fine if you spend some time apart from it, but please don’t drop it completely D: We non-Chinese readers are really desperate for these since we have no idea where else to continue this story after we’ve become so attached to it! πŸ™

    The casting situation is really a hell pit, but I’m really crossing my fingers and hoping that this is just another one of TR’s publicity stunts and that HG will be HQB so that all will be alright again in the dramaverse!

    We’ll all hope together, but please don’t drop the DMY translations! πŸ™

  24. Hello,

    Would someone please tell me how the female pigeon, Xiao Tao, died? She just flied higher in the sky and fell down on the ground?

  25. Yes I have the same puzzling question as JJ. I read the chinese novel for this chapter and read the translation but I couldn’t understand why Xiao Tao died. That paragraph states that the army bystanders were shocked by the battle between the falcon and Xiao Tao but didn’t explained what causes Xiao Tao to die? Did it committed suicide?
    Btw I feel Eddie Peng is such a great pick for Huo Qu Bing/Wei Wu Ji. πŸ™‚

    • Wow, didn’t expect anyone to be reading this translation after its been done so long ago. I read the Chinese version two years ago … thanks to Ockoala’s introduction and have been watching the drama online currently. (It completed production long ago, but only aired recently.)

      Initially was also unhappy about HuGe not being HQB but after watching the drama, I think the casting is surprisingly apt and logical HuGe as JY and Eddie Pang as HQB. HuGe’s portrayal of JY is haunting while Eddie’s HQB is cool, confident and distant when without YR and teasing, cute, warm and sunshine when with YR. Chemistry between shishi and Eddie is sparkling *** and fun!

      HQB is really an intelligent, deep, brave, diligent, faithful and solid as a mountain kind of guy (plus a great sense of humor). His arrogance and disinterest is shown outwardly to others (except of YR) on purpose to distant himself from court politics and as a means of fulfilling his aspiration of being a protector of the people. His reading of undercurrents and ability to defuse dicey circumstances are not below that of JY. His childhood of growing up under someone else’s (uncle and princess aunty with their 3 sons) roof must not have been easy too. Yet he manages to emerge positive, strong and victorious, that takes skill and intuition.

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