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  3. [Lets Read] "Huang Liang San Guo"

User Info: GreyCells

GreyCells
1 year ago#1
This is a follow-up of the below topic that was started last week:

https://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/1221-three-kingdoms-and-ancient-china/75997263

As described in the other thread, the story apparently started as an online fanfic, but has since been published as a book, at least in certain countries. It's a fantasy story about how a modern unemployed guy signed up to be a guinea pig in a science experiment that resulted in his soul being sent back to the Three Kingdoms era into the mind of a newborn child. Growing up as the youngest son of Wang Yun, the protagonist proceeded to use his advantage of modern knowledge and historical foresight to eventually conquer China by acquiring the greatest talent pool he can muster.

Another popular book of the time-travel/historical genre was brought in another thread: A Step into the Past by Huang Yi. The marked difference between the 2 is that although both are fantasy fiction, Huang Yi generally tries to make sure that the his stories ultimately reconcile with actual China history at the end, so his is a more "serious" work. In contrast, Huang Liang San Guo is more of a wish-fulfillment fantasy where history is actually changed at he end and the protagonist established a completely new dynasty.

For me, this is a re-read of the book, as I first read it in hard copy borrowed from the National Library. Sadly, translated copies do not seem to be available, although I may be wrong on this.

Anyway, I decided to do a "Let's Read" topic about this for the benefit of those who may be interested in the story but are hampered by the language barrier. As I said before, I generally won't be doing detailed line-by-line translation. Even though I understand both English and Chinese, translation is a specialized skill in which I've not been trained in, so it'll mostly be general summaries.

I usually visit gamefaqs only on weekends or the day immediately after, so my updates will probably be weekly. And I'll probably be doing 1-2 chapters per week most of the time.

Comments are welcome from anyone interested. If you have any inquiries about something that you think I might have missed out, feel free to ask as well. :)
All Hail Stevie Richards: He showed us! We saw!

User Info: GreyCells

GreyCells
1 year ago#2
Prologue:

The prologue is very short, less than a page long. The scene actually opens first in the late Eastern Han Dyanasy, in the "3rd Year of Xiping". Since many of you are (I presume) well-read on China history, you may already know that the Chinese, when writing about history, frequently refer to the "era name" of each dynasty. A new era is always declared when a new emperor ascends the throne, but eras may also change during the ongoing reign of an emperor. The Xiping era lasted from 172-178 AD, during the reign of Emperor Ling, so this means the story starts in the year 174 AD.

At his home in the capital of Luoyang, Wang Yun is shown pacing anxiously out in the corridor. It is soon revealed that his youngest son was sick, and the doctor had been in the room seeing to the sick child. Unfortunately, the doctor brings bad news: the baby had been born weak, and has unfortunately contacted a very bad cold. The doctor fears that the baby may not survive this. He gives a medical prescription to Wang Yun, but tells him to be mentally prepared for the worst....
All Hail Stevie Richards: He showed us! We saw!
(edited 1 year ago)

User Info: GreyCells

GreyCells
1 year ago#3
Chapter One: Mad Scientist:

Cut to the modern era, we are now introduced to the main character of the book, Wang Qi. Yes, that's the guy's actual name, and (whether by coincidence or not), it would also end up being the name that Wang Yun would decide to give his younger son. But he's not there yet. Right now, Wang Qi is simply an unemployed young man wandering aimlessly in the streets. His actual age is not stated, although it's said that he's finished his college education. Having not shown particular talent/forte in any area, no strong connections, and seemingly lacking in ambition as well (although that last part would change when he was sent back to the Three Kingdoms era), Wang Qi seem to be finding it hard to find a job......although he doesn't seem particularly eager at trying to find one at the moment.

Idly reciting some old poetry, Wang Qi comes across a small advertisement on the wall, apparently seeking "test staff" for an experiment involving some "wish-fulfilling dream machine". Little detail is given other than the contacting address. Wang Qi decided to answer the advert, figuring that even if it's a scam, he doesn't really have anything worth scamming for.

With the address provided, Wang Qi finds his way to a house of around 500 square metres, which doesn't look to him at all like a working area. Nevertheless, Wang Qi presses the doorbell, which is answered by what sounded to him like a shriek of agony from within the house. When the door opens, Wang Qi finds himself looking at a "strange-looking old man" wearing slippers, the classic scientist white coat, and hair that seem to be standing straight up on end on his head.

The scientist was delighted to have found his guinea pig, and was eager to start the experiment immediately. Wang Qi inquired about the signing of legal documents for the proceedings, and was told that it wasn't necessary. The scientist was also quick to assure him that the experiment is perfectly safe - all he'll be doing is fall asleep and dream! Wang Qi was led (through a sea of clutter and garbage) to a bed attached to a device that looks like an old-fashioned hair-perming helmet, and was soon lying on the bed with his head inside the device. Tellow-coloured gas is released into the helmet-like device through tubes, and Wang Qi is quickly put to sleep. The machine soon reports that the "test object" has enter deep sleep, and then entered "subconscious level".

At this point, the alarm sounded, and the machine reports the energy is insufficient. It turns out that the old scientist had been in the process of connecting the wires when he was surprised by the doorbell being sounded, and ended up forgetting to finish the work. In a panic, he grabbed the wires.......by the wrong end, and gets electrocuted (and it's explained here why his hair had been standing up, if you've not already guessed). The last thing he hears before he collapses is the final report from the machine:

"Target's consciousness separated from physical body...."

****

A few days later, the police discovered the two corpses in the house (Wang Qi and the scientist). The old man is described in the news report as "the weird doctor researching on creating the helmet device for the next generation of internet games".........

****

Notes: this is actually slightly different from what I remember of the hard copy book. In the book, Wang Qi specifically requested to "dream" about the Three Kingdoms era, and the scientist tweaked the machine to make it so. But in the online version, although Wang Qi is said to be a fan of the 3K era, he doesn't communicate this to the scientist, it looks like the machine just sent him according to his subconscious wish. Seems like an editorial change.
All Hail Stevie Richards: He showed us! We saw!

User Info: Ilishe

Ilishe
1 year ago#4
Interesting. Looking forward to more.
~Phoenix Nine~
~Victory needs no explanation; defeat allows none.~

User Info: Raiko-3_9

Raiko-3_9
1 year ago#5
Ilishe posted...
Interesting. Looking forward to more.
Is it that I wronged the world, rather than the world wronged me?
Wished I could read Chinese myself.

Raiko-3_9 posted...
Ilishe posted...
Interesting. Looking forward to more.
"There aren't going to be clones. DW6 was a lesson that'll come back to bite them if they do this again." - ifnsman

User Info: GreyCells

GreyCells
1 year ago#7
I'll be away with no internet access this weekend, so here's a short early update:

Chapter Two: Awakening at the End of Han

As you can already expect, Wang Qi wakes up and finds himself in the body of Wang Yun's sick baby. Even though he still has his old memories, he has lost his ability to speak while in this new body (probably a good thing, because in that superstitious age a newborn baby talking like an adult might have well been executed as a demon). His attempts to talk come out just as plain wails, and his "mother" and a maid are busy trying to shove bitter medicine into his mouth. After some futile attempts to resist, Wang Qi finally swallowed the concoction and fell asleep, hoping that he will be out of this "weird dream" when he wakes up.

****

Of course, that's not going to happen. The next scene cuts to the "1st year of Guanghe" (178 AD). Now between 4-5 years of age, Wang Qi has more or less given up on the idea of "waking up" back in his own time. If nothing else, the fact that he dreams normally while being asleep in this world pretty much implies that this is not a dream.

Wang Qi's health continues to be frail, possibly due to the fact that his parents had conceived him at a pretty old age, and is constantly being fed tonics to improve his condition. A brief introduction is given of Wang Yun's family. It is mentioned that Wang Qi now has 3 elder brothers, all studying at the School of Yingchuan (this will be a very important place later for Wang Qi, where a fair number of talents are gathered). In a way, Wang Yun grudgingly considers himself lucky that he had at least been born in a family of good wealth and strong social status, so he doesn't have to work and toil in the fields for a living.

Having been born with the mind of an adult, it's not surprising that Wang Qi doesn't play well woth other kids. However, he has gained reputation of being a child genius, learning to read and write at the age of 3, and able to recite poetry by the age of 5.

Wang Qi is interrupted in his musings by a maid, who's been told to fetch him to meet a guest. Apparently, he's been asked to "entertain" guests very often lately, ever since he'd recited the famous Tang poetry (which obviously hadn't been written yet at the time) "Ode to the Goose" by Luo Binwan at flock of geese. Of course, now everybody assumes that the little genius had composed he poem himself.

For those of you who hasn't read about this poem before, here's a link for the English translation:

http://www.chinese-poems.com/lbw1.html

As Wang Qi follows the maid, he inquires about the name of the new guest. The maid doesn't quite know, but says that he's apparently a former court official that's recently been dismissed from service. There's apparently been a lot of dismissals lately. Natural disasters and unnatural phenomenons have plagued the country (locusts, storms, and apparently sex-changing chickens!) and some of the officials have been claiming these as a sign that Heaven is displeased with how the Emperor and the 10 Eunuchs have been running things. Of course, those who say so are promptly dismissed, or worse, jailed.

Who is this mysterious guests? We'll find out in the next chapter.
All Hail Stevie Richards: He showed us! We saw!
#8
(message deleted)

User Info: GreyCells

GreyCells
1 year ago#9
Damn, I clicked on the wrong thing and accidentally deleted my own update! >_< Should have saved that eslewhere first. Now I'll have to re-type everything. :(

Chapter 3: Consultant Cai Yong

As the title pretty much gives away, the visitor turns our to be Cai Yong. famous historian, scholar and musician. Wang Yun instructed Wang Qi to pay his respect to the former court consultant. Wang Qi gladly obliges as he has a lot of respect for the old scholar's talent and integrity.

More guests arrive, 5 in total: Yan Ci, Ma Midi, Zhang Xun, Han Yue and Shan Yang. Some of you may know about these guys. They were all court officials, and had joined Cai Yong in successfully petitioning for the editing, collation, annotation and engraving of the '6 Classics' back in 175 AD.

(The '6 Classics' of the Han Dynasty are Shi Jing (Book of Poetry), Shang Shu (Book of Documents), Li Ji, (Book of Rites), Yue Jing (Classic of Music), Yi Jing (Book of Changes) and Chun Qiu (Spring & Autumn Annals).)

Having anticipated Cai Yong's visit to Wang Yun, the 5 officials had come to offer their condolences to Cai for his dismissal from court. They spent some time lamenting over the state of the country and how corrupt officials and the Eunuchs dominate the court. To lighten up the mood, Wang Yun tells Wang Qi to perform his "new composition" to the guests. Although getting rather tired of this performance (as mentioned previously, Wang Qi has had to entertain guests often with the recital of his "work" ever since news of his composition had gotten out), Wang Qi proceeded to recite the "Ode to the Goose" to the new guests. As expected, he was showered with praise and applause for his "literary talent". It is mentioned here that the 5-word meter poetic structure, while not entirely new, was still something of a rarity during the Han Dynasty (in fact, Cao Zhi was said to be somewhat of a pioneer for further developing that structure, and he wasn't even born yet at this time), which only makes Wang Qi's new "composition" stand out even more than it would have in a later era.

This time, however, the guests' 'appetites' are not quite satiated by this great work, and they want to hear more. Ma Midi asked if Wang Qi can compose anther masterpiece on the spot.

Will Wang Qi be able to rise to his expectations? Find out in the next chapter. (Ok, not much of a mystery here.....after all, the guy has several centuries' worth of great poets to plagiarise from.)
All Hail Stevie Richards: He showed us! We saw!
(edited 1 year ago)

User Info: Ilishe

Ilishe
1 year ago#10
This is great so far, but I want to see him do more than recite poetry.
~Phoenix Nine~
~Victory needs no explanation; defeat allows none.~
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