ZTJ – Editor Recruitment – Greatest of an Era – Chapter 1

You should send the edited version to brbkgs, the account is on gmail. This means the format of the email is: username@gmail.com

I will go through this next week; so there is a soft-deadline of 19/06/2016 for people sending in their edited versions (this means I can’t guarantee I will look through stuff sent after that date).

Note that I am very busy next week, so ZTJ might only end up with 1-2 chapters released.

Some basic requirements for editing:
Google account (for access to Google Drive)
Telegram messaging app.
Email.

Legend:
‘+’ signs mean something needs to be looked at, a single ‘+’ generally means I think there is a better word that can be used. I would usually look through a thesaurus for some alternatives. This doesn’t mean you can’t change words that don’t have the ‘+’ sign, it just means I personally think the word needs attention.

‘++’ signs mean something definitely need to be looked at and will more than likely require changing.

‘+++’ would mean I’m not sure if something is correct, you can try and correct it if you see this.

‘#’ means something needs rephrasing.

‘##’ means I need to double check something later, ‘xxx’ means the same. You can check these sections out in the raws if you know Chinese and leave a comment in square brackets ‘[]’.

Comments that are not a part of the text should use square brackets ‘[]’

Things that are added for clarity in the text and will remain in the final edit should be in round brackets ‘()’

Parts left in Chinese need to be translated, you should use a dictionary or something similar (i.e. Google) to find out what it is. Sometimes an image search might be appropriate.

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The endless+ cerulean skies above were akin to having been washed clean+; azure blue, pure and clear, without a single white cloud in sight.

The weather really was good… after Meng Qi opened his eyes, what came into his view+ was this beautiful scene.

Immediately feeling the sense of having just woken from a deep dream; that the bed was soft+ and hard to depart+ from. #

As melancholic emotions just began to well from within, Meng Qi felt his body getting violently shaken+, from the side of his ear a rushed and nervous voice of a man drifted+ in, “Young second-master, you’re awake?”

Young master? Meng Qi involuntarily+ turned his head around to look, he saw a middle-aged man with a face full of anxiety, the man also had an extremely eye-catching horse face.

Five tufts of hair that resembled the beard of a mountain goat, but these were not the most discerning features+, the most discerning was the 巾帻 on top of his head, the broad robes and wide sleeves.

What kind of situation was this?

“Young second-master, are you alright+?” the middle-aged man groped around Meng Qi’s body up and down, scaring him as he thought he had met a disgusting pervert; he rushed to turn around and sit up, shrinking and retreating backwards, alas, the opponent’s hands flew out.

Akin to a pair of 铁钳, this made his struggling completely useless, and he felt a warm flow moving within his body that dissipated all his discomfort; the warmth resembled being bathed within a hot spring.

The middle-aged man saw that Meng Qi was looking up, he lightly nodded his head and said, “You should be fine now.”

After he made his own judgement, he once again became slightly worried and asked Meng Qi, “Young second-master, do you have anything else causing discomfort?”

The feelings of concern were evident in his speech.

Meng Qi completely couldn’t understand his current situation; it was like as if his brain had become a muddle. He woodenly said, “No.”

The horse-faced man’s expression immediately relaxed, it then burst out in a smile that was even more garish than crying, “Young second-master, the Marquis didn’t have any choice; being at Shaolin will be better than being at home, please give it some consideration.”

He continued, “Ah! Even though that place is old and lonely, Shaolin is the centre of martial arts for the world; there’s the possibility that you will have the chance to train a Golden Arhat body in the future, stunning the world; transcending the pain+ of mortals…”

Speaking up to this point, it seems he felt that the possibility of this was remote, feeling pangs of guilt and shame, his voice gradually became low and his mouth twitched a few times. He changed his words and said, “Even if a golden body is hard to realise, the 72 supreme arts of Shaolin are also all heavenly+, if you were able to learn a few, sweeping across Jianghu, with hot-blooded affairs++, wouldn’t that be a joy?”

As he spoke, his voice became increasingly faint, akin to the buzz of a mosquito, until finally, he just raised his left hand and covered his face, then turned and left, leaving behind a trailing long sigh.

Seeing the horse-faced man’s image fade into the mountains and dense forest in but a short moment, Meng Qi, who had been utterly confused by the man’s long winded prattling, said, “Uncle, who the f*ck are you?”

Completely baffling!

At this moment, it seems Meng Qi had already realised that he was no longer in a familiar place, but was in an extremely strange area.

A place that resembled our nation’s ancient past!

Didn’t this old fart (himself) only stay up all night to watch the world cup? Would that lead to this? Being transported after only sleeping and waking up?

Meng Qi did not suspect that this was someone’s prank, neither did he believe this was a film setting for some period drama, this was because when that horse-faced uncle had left, though his steps were rushed and chaotic, akin to being chased by an evil spirit, the speed was comparable to that of a startled horse; it definitely wasn’t something achievable by a regular person!

“With just a glance you can tell they’re an expert!” Meng Qi made a “judgement”+ based upon his experience with novels and television dramas.

“Namo Amitābha, follow me into the monastery,” just as Meng Qi’s imagination had started go wildly, a low and deep mantra++ could be heard behind him, scaring him to the point where he almost let out a shriek.

When did someone appear behind me?

I actually couldn’t detect it at all!

After almost twisting his neck in turning around, Meng Qi saw a monk wearing yellow-brown+ robes. That monk’s stature was extremely tall, but was also skinny to the point of resembling a bamboo pole, his facial features were ordinary, with only his eyes carrying a listlessness that couldn’t be discarded+, making his age hard to discern.

Forty-fifty would be a possibility; just over thirty was also possible.

Seeing that Meng Qi had noticed him, the yellow robed monk didn’t say anything else, using his gaze to give some indication+, then he turned and headed for the main entrance to the monastery.

Yellow walls and black roof tiles, dark red doors, the front of this monastery was no different from the ones Meng Qi had gone to in the past, only being bigger, wider and 虚度
# [check if raw is correct]

What stunned Meng Qi was that above the main entrance, were three words etched upon a gold-plated name plate in a style resembling regular+ script:

“Shaolin Monastery!”

It really was “Shaolin Monastery!”

The words here were actually pretty much the same+ as the regular script of ancient times!

Having only just arrived at an unfamiliar and strange place, Meng Qi didn’t dare to ask, he supressed his shock and doubt, and closely followed the yellow-robed monk.

It was at this time that Meng Qi finally noticed that his arms and legs were short, upon closer inspection, unknown as to whether if he should be joyful or worried, he thought to himself: “An unconventional age regression.”

From the size of his palm and its paleness, alongside the jade pendant worn upon his waist, this body was around 14 years of age and under; having lived a life of luxury.

“I wonder how this body is, only those who are good-looking would be youthful.”

“Within Shaolin, it is old and simple, what use is there for youth!”

“I wonder if I can refuse to enter the monastery, but this little body; it won’t be able to survive after leaving Shaolin. This is a world with martial arts, who knows if it’ll have monsters and spirits… aaah, there are a lot of records that it was common for those large clans and wealthy households to rear lover boys like property…”

“According to horse-faced uncle, even if this “Shaolin” doesn’t match Shaolin, it’s still a centre of martial arts and also has 72 supreme arts. I wonder if they have the Classic of Yijin (Muscle/Tendon Transformation).”

“I used to imagine myself becoming a hero, experiencing adventure++, now I have the hope for it, but why am I still unhappy? Computer, mobiles, the web, manga, and also family…”

“Learning a bit martial arts doesn’t seem like much; uh, what’s the Golden Arhat body?”

Meng Qi looked quiet as he followed behind the yellow-robed monk, passing many grey or yellow robed monks, yet, who could have guessed that his mind was currently in the chaotic midst of imagining many confusing things incessantly.

No matter how fleeting his thoughts were, Meng Qi could only accept reality in the end. With the age of his current body and the situation of how he was abandoned, he could only obediently stay within Shaolin for a time and learn martial arts.

“I wonder if I’m allowed to keep my skills and revoke my vows in the future? Alcohol can be given up on, but meat definitely can’t!” Meng Qi felt that he was really far-sighted, being able to take a single step but visualise a hundred, he also began pondering over what would happen once he had completed his training.

As they travelled, the yellow-robed monk had yet to cross a hall that venerates Buddha statues, but had detoured along the two sides+, after crossing several courtyards, he pushed opened the doors to a hall for the first time.

The doors opened with a creak, Meng Qi 极目远眺, finding dozens of children that were under the age of 15, with the youngest being probably around the age of 8 or 9. They all sat with crossed legs on prayer mats, their gazes focused upon a broad faced and big eared monk that was above them. That monk looked at the yellow-robed monk with a stern expression, a punishment rod in hand.

“Namo Amitābha, senior brother Xuan Cang, what hast thou come for?” that broad-faced monk had a deep sounding voice.

Meng Qi clicked his tongue, that monk could completely go and sing bel canto. The more nervous Meng Qi became, the wilder his thoughts became, at the same time, he came to know that the bamboo pole monk that took him into the monastery had the dharma name of Xuan Cang.

After uttering a name of Buddha, Xuan Cang said, “Junior brother Xuan Ku, this is the child I mentioned before.”

He was plain and honest, without a hint of wanting to express anything personal, alas, his voice was hoarse, grating to the ears, vastly different from that of Xuan Ku’s.

Xuan Ku gave a glance towards Meng Qi, then said, without any hint of smiling, “Enter as such.”

Meng Qi looked at him, not quite understanding, Xuan Cang that was beside him, pointed at an empty prayer mat and said, “Await questioning.”

“Yes,” Meng Qi was in the end, someone that had words for many years, under these circumstances he could still understand from sight, therefore he swiftly copied the other children and sat upon the prayer mat.

Xuan Ku no longer paid Meng Qi any attention. With a punishment rod/cane in hand, he began to question one of the children, “What is thy original++ (俗家) name? Whyfor hast thou entered mine Shaolin?”

The child was around 10 years of age, their lips crimson and teeth white. A charming visage, yet their expression was somewhat wooden, “I’m called Fang A’Qi. Because I of starvation, I was sold to a monk.”

Several sounds of laughter spluttered out from some children; they were all from the somewhat older group.
This answer from Fang A’Qi was pretty much an insult to the face of the monk! It seems there was something wrong with his brain.

Xuan Ku frowned, his face became somewhat dark and he said, slightly reprimandingly++, “In the future, thou art not to use thy original name. Thy dharma name is ‘Zhen Hui, entrance to the Hall of Errands.”

Several light gasps came from the older children that understood matters better. Their expressions informed Meng Qi that the Hallf of Errands seemed to be a rather bad place to go to.

“Fang A’Qi is Zhen Hui; Zhen Hui is Fang A’Qi…” Fang A’Qi, who had already become Zhen Hui recited this in a low voice.

Xuan Ku’s gaze shifted and moved towards a child that was somewhat older, “What is thy original name? Whyfor hast thou entered mine Shaolin?”

The child should be around 13-14 years of age, their expression was rather nervous, but they still smoothly replied, “Replying to 大师, this disciple is surnamed Liu and named Zhi, due to my family venerating Buddhism, and revering martial arts, I have been sent to Shaolin.”

They were all children that had passed selections, their physique++ (根骨) was not bad++.

Xuan Ku lightly nodded, “Still somewhat honest, if thy words were just of veneration for Buddhism, thou would hath entered the Hall of Errands. From today onwards, thy dharma name is ‘Zhen De’, entrance to the Hall of Martial Monks!”

“I thank junior uncle Xuan Cang,” said Zhen De as he pressed his palms together.

As far as he knew, once he was given a dharma name, according to the ordering of “Xin, Kong, Wu, Xuan, Zhen, Qing, Jing, Zhi, Hui, Shen” [my heart has no profundity; purified wisdom does run deep], before he had an actual master, he could directly refer to Xuan Ku as junior uncle.

Xuan Ku did not nod his head for this display of minor smarts, he directly crossed him and began to question another child.

Zhen De felt xxx, it seems junior uncle Xuan Ku really was as the rumours said, and was an exceedingly upright person and couldn’t be swayed by sweet talk or flatter.

For Xuan Ku’s questioning, Meng Qi had originally had the mentality of observing a show, but suddenly, his expression became stern++.

“What am I called?”

“What is the name of this body?”

Meng Qi racked his brains in frustration, but still couldn’t think of what this body’s name is, he hadn’t inherited a single memory.

“I can’t possibly just call myself Meng Qi, Xuan Cang is still observing from behind!”

“He definitely knows the background and name of this body!”

“I need to think of a plan to carry++ myself through!”

Before Xuan Ku that seemed exceedingly stern and strict, he didn’t dare to secretly probe Xuan Cang, neither did he dare to feign memory loss, all he could do was to quietly think of some other method. Something to avoid revealing the truth of his transportation, it seems Arhats really do exist here!

“What is thy original name? Whyfor hast thou entered mine Shaolin?” before Meng Qi could think of a good plan, Xuan Ku had come to stand in front of him with punishment rod in hand.

Meng Qi opened his mouth, then a flash of insight suddenly came, jumping out of his mouth, “As with Shaolin, that name has been forgotten.”

After replying, Meng Qi internally clapped for himself, this was far too clever, far too fitting for the ideal of Buddhism!

Xuan Ku looked at Meng Qi closely, the punishment rod in his hand waved a few times. He didn’t continue seeking the answer to the remaining question and instead, directly said in a stern voice, “Far too conniving; entering the Hall of Errands, dharma name, ‘Zhen Ding’ (True/Forthright Order/Decision).”

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