GOR Chapter 73: Five De
These words from Miao Yan were uttered with an indifferent voice, as though it was something of no concern for her. However, the words contained an extreme amount of self-confidence!
It was as though killing off those few people before her was something she viewed as something easy that required very little effort.
Naturally, hearing those harsh words caused the faces of the two companions beside Nangong to change. Within their expressions were traces of indignation.
Nangong on the other hand, suddenly laughed out. He slowly said. “Since we will be cooperating, honesty will be of the utmost importance. I, Nangong swear upon my honour, should I conceal anything, I will not be able to leave this instance dungeon alive!”
After saying that, he lowered his voice. “We are all in the same boat. People in the same boat must help one another. This is something that I am well aware of. So, please be at ease.”
Seeing his sincere way of speaking, Miao Yan’s face no longer seemed so cold.
Chen Xiaolian however, had been feeling tense despite putting on a straight face. In his heart, he thought: According to Qiu Yun, Guild Leader Nangong is quite the renowned person within the Awakened ones circle. Although Miao Yan’s words were harsh, he is able to swallow those insults. En, this person is someone who can adapt to the situation, a formidable character!
“As a show of goodwill, allow us to lead the way. We have some rudimentary understanding of the interior of this palace. The three of us will walk in front to lead the way and go find a safe place to further discuss matters. How does that sound?”
Neither Chen Xiaolian nor Miao Yan has any objection towards Nangong’s proposal.
Thus, Nangong led his two companions and walked in the van. He also personally went to help prop the injured fellow known as Lun Tai.
The few of them moved past the arch bridge until they reached the other side of the palace. They then walked through a wide corridor for around 2 minutes. Nangong suddenly whispered out. “There is one here!”
At the end of the corridor, there was a palace side door. Nangong stood before the doors, and raised his head to glance at it. A stone tablet with inscription characters written upon it could be seen hanging next to the palace side door. Nangong smiled and opened the door before walking in.
Chen Xiaolian, too noted the stone tablet hanging at the side. He stared at it for a little while and committed the two inscription characters into memory. He lightly smiled before walking into the room.
After everyone had entered, Nangong immediately closed up the doors. Then, he let out a long breath of relief.
“This place is safe,” Nangong sighed before laughing out. “Monsters will not step foot into this room. Even if those terracotta soldiers patrol about, they will never set even one foot into this room.”
After entering through the door, Chen Xiaolian inspected around.
The area afforded by this side room was not small. It was at least as big as a classroom, shaped in a square.
Within the room were benches, desks, incense burners and other wares.
The one evident difference was that everything within was painted with a deep black colour. In the entire room, there was no other colour except black.
By then, Nangong had already retrieved out 2 candlesticks and lit them up. Then, the side hall became much brighter.
Chen Xiaolian noted that a stone tablet was erected above the front area of this side hall. Two big characters were written on its surface – the characters were similar to the ones written on the stone tablet outside.
“Why will the monsters not attack when we are in this area?” Miao Yan furrowed her brows. “Could it be that this instance dungeon also provides a safety zone?”
“I do not know either. At any rate, the monsters will not enter this place,” Nangong gave a light smile. “Earlier on, we encountered some monsters. We were chased all over the place. However, as long as we run into this room, the monsters will immediately give up their chase. Even though we were right in front of their eyes, those terracotta soldiers would ignore us, turning around to leave. In short… these rooms with stone tablets on them are safe.”
Miao Yan reflected on it and turned to look at Chen Xiaolian. “Do you recognize the words on the stone tablets?”
Before Chen Xiaolian could speak up, one of Nangong’s companions, the one who were not injured spoke out with a trace of pride. “There is nothing difficult with that, these two characters are seal scripts . They form the words ‘De Water’. ”
Pausing for a moment, the companion swayed his head and said. “As for what De Water means, I too know of it. It is the Buddhist word for the Virtue of Water. Apparently, these rooms must have received the Buddha’s merciful power of protection. Thus, those monsters were unable to enter.”
Hearing those words, Chen Xiaolian could not restrain himself and laughed out.
The man frowned and said with dissatisfaction. “Are my words that funny?”
Chen Xiaolian had originally not wanted to say anything. However, Miao Yan became displeased and coldly said. “If what you say is correct, then others will naturally not laugh. But if what you say is wrong, can others not laugh?”
Nangong turned to Chen Xiaolian. “Brother, do you have any information on it? There is no need to hold back. We are here to discuss things honestly with each other after all.”
Chen Xiaolian hesitated slightly but was urged by Miao Yan. “Xiaolian, no need to be afraid. Just say it out!”
Chen Xiaolian sighed. He then pointed towards the stone tablet on the walls and forced out a smile. “The words are correct, however the order is wrong. If you read it from the left to the right, then it is naturally ‘De Water’. But the correct order of reading for people of ancient times is from the right. Thus, the correct way of reading it is ‘Water De’.”
The earlier fellow’s expression suddenly turned red.
Miao Yan turned curious. “Water De? Xiaolian, what does that mean?”
Nangong too, stared at Chen Xiaolian.
Chen Xiaolian slowly spoke. “The dynasties of ancient times have a teaching regarding the Five De. It conforms to the teachings of the Five Elements of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. The Spring and Autumn Period  uses the teachings of the School of Yin Yang to calculate out the Five De of the ancient dynasties. The time of the Yellow Emperor is of the Earth De, the successive Xia Dynasty is of the Wood De, Shang Dynasty is of the Metal De and Zhou Dynasty is of the Fire De .
It is the principle of the mutual overcoming of the Five Elements .
Thus, Xia replacing the Yellow Emperor represents Wood overcoming Earth. Shang replacing Xia represents Metal overcoming Wood. King Wu of Zhou defeating Shang Dynasty represents Fire overcoming Metal.
Next comes the Qin Dynasty. Although it is said that Qin Shi Huang united the other six states, he actually wrested the world from Zhou. Thus, it can also be said that Qin ended the Zhou Dynasty, which represents Water overcoming Fire.
Therefore, Qin claimed to be the Water De of the Five Elements. Water overcomes Fire, thus, Qin extinguished Zhou. This action gave them a form of legitimacy. It meant that we who reside under the Heavens must conform to the cycle of the Heavenly Dao. Since the Heavens destined it to be so, then we can only abide by them.”
Pausing, Chen Xiaolian laughed out. “The ‘Annals of Qin Shi Huang’ states: Shi Huang advocates the Teachings of Five De. Since Zhou is of the Fire De, Qin replacing Zhou’s De was something that would surely succeed. Thus, begins the Water De.”
Chen Xiaolian pointed towards the arrangements of the room. “Qin considers itself to be of the Water De, thus they promote black as things of beauty and value. The colour black represents the Water De. Thus, all valuable items would be created using the colour black. Even the clothes of Qin Shi Huang were black in colour.”
“Shouldn’t Imperial robes be yellow?” The fellow that Chen Xiaolian had refuted could not resist asking out.
“Using the colour yellow for Imperial robes is a practice started by the later generations. During the Qin Dynasty, the clothes worn by the Emperor is black in colour,” Chen Xiaolian quickly replied. However, he then frowned. “I still do not understand. Why is it that by hanging up a Water De sign, the monsters will not enter this room? En, Guild Leader Nangong, how many rooms within Epang Palace has a Water De sign on it?”
Guild Leader Nangong shook his head. “I do not know the exact number. We were unable to go everywhere within this palace. However, the number of such rooms we encountered on the way, inclusive of this one amounts to 3.”
Chen Xiaolian frowned and pondered upon it.
Guild Leader Nangong looked at Chen Xiaolian. “Brother, you are so young. How could you know so much? Judging by your looks, you do not appear to be a scholar. Could it be you are a History major college student? That is not right. Your age do not match. With your age, I think you should still be in high school, right?”
Chen Xiaolian has a delicate face. Even though he was already 18-years-old, he appeared slightly younger.
Chen Xiaolian shook his head and let out a bitter smile. “Naturally, I am no scholar. En, I write online novels. Thus, I would read up more on these miscellaneous subjects. I only have a superficial knowledge of things. If we have to go deeper into it, I can only stare stupidly.”
After saying that, Chen Xiaolian took the initiative and moved towards the injured fellow’s side. He retrieved a first aid kit from his pocket and went on to bandage the other fellow.
The one known as Lun Tai did not speak up much. His eyes showed gratitude and he said in a low voice. “Thanks.”
Chen Xiaolian helped tear off his clothes and saw a gashing line of wound on his shoulders. The incision was sharp.
“How did this happen?”
“That is a slash from a terracotta soldier,” Lun Tai forced out a smile.
Chen Xiaolian opened the first aid kit and applied some medicine on it. He then used bandages to wrap it up, stopping the bleeding.
The other person looked at Chen Xiaolian with a more courteous expression. “You are quite a good hearted person. En, earlier on, you mentioned that you write online novels? I do like to read them as well. What novels did you write? Perhaps I have read them before.”
Chen Xiaolian smiled and softly said. “I am just a poor guy writer. It is likely that you have never heard of me.”
“En, looking at your young age, you are probably not a Great God. I usually like to read the novels written by a fellow called Fatty Wu. Detestably, that fellow have a tendency to leave his novels without updating them. It really vexes people. Before I entered this instance dungeon, I found that his novel have not been updated for days now.”
Chen Xiaolian chuckled inwardly.
I am standing right before you ah. However, I have been too occupied since returning. It is only natural that I have no time to type anything to update. I had stumbled into this northwest area and entered this instance dungeon.
However, after realizing that this fellow was also his reader, Chen Xiaolian had a better impression of him. He further asked. “Brother, may I ask how I should address you?”
“That is easy!” The person pointed at Lun Tai. “This is my brother, he is the elder brother while I am the second brother. The two of us originally run an auto repair shop that specializes in tire repairs and others. After becoming Awakened ones, we gave ourselves nicknames. My brother’s name is Lun Tai (wheel tire).”
“And you?” Chen Xiaolian stared with wide opened eyes. He suddenly had this subtle feeling…
“My name is Bei Tai (spare tire)!”
Chen Xiaolian held back his desire to laugh out and raised a thumbs up. “Good names!”
‘轮胎’, pinyin: ‘lún tāi’. Lún = Wheel, Tāi = Tire.
‘备胎’, pinyin: ‘bèi tāi’. Bèi = Spare, Tāi = Tire.
1 Seal script is an ancient style of writing Chinese characters throughout the latter half of first millennium BC.↩
2 ‘德’, pinyin: ‘dé’. The word ‘De’ is a key concept in Chinese philosophy, usually translated as virtue/ inherent character/ inner power/ integrity. However, it has nearly 20 meanings. Thus, I decided to stick with De for its introduction.↩
3 The Spring and Autumn Period is another name for the Warring States Era.↩
4 Recorded dynasties in China began with: Yellow Emperor > Xia Dynasty > Shang Dynasty > Zhou Dynasty > Qin Dynasty and so on… Also, in the Five Elements theory, De refers to ‘seasonally productive air/energy (qi)’.↩
5 Overcoming (others might call it control or restrain):
- Earth dams Water
- Wood parts Earth (roots, trees can prevent erosion)
- Metal chops Wood
- Fire melts Metal
- Water extinguishes Fire