|This Food Soul has not been released yet! More details will be added once it has.|
|“||I will carry out this belief until the end.||”|
Though he may seem mild and gentle, in reality he is firm and resolute, ambitious yet excessively idealistic. He is a little impulsive and stubborn, but after experiencing personal sacrifice, he has become calmer and more realistic - yet he has always retained that bit of stubbornness. After deciding his beliefs, he will follow them through to the end.
Steamed Wuchang Fish is a traditional dish in Hubei. When preparing it, a fresh and live Wuchang fish is usually choosen as the main ingredient, followed by adding shiitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots. After that, clear chicken soup is used as seasoning to complete it. Wuchang steamed fish has a smooth and soft texture and is aromatic, fresh and appetising.
How to Acquire
blue = lvl 1red = max lvl
|Contract||Nice to meet you, Master Attendant. I am your most reliable and trusted comrade, Wuchang Steamed Fish.|
|Log In||Was today's mission successful, Master Attendant?|
|Ice Arena||I would rather go winter swimming than waste my time here.|
|Skills||No one can stop my Master Attendant's advance!|
|Ascend||One will always encounter growth.|
|Fatigue||I can still last for little while longer...|
|Recovering||I feel much better...... don't worry, I won't be a burden.|
|Team Formation||Outflank the enemy and attack. Listen to my commands.|
|Knockout||Sacrifice is inevitable...|
|Notice||The dishes are ready, do you want to check them?|
|Idle 1||We may not be remembered by history, but our deeds will be carved into it.|
|Idle 2||The hardest thing is to remain true to yourself.|
|Idle 3||Buddha's Temptation is very different compared to when I first met them, did someone change him?|
|Interaction 1||Is this your dream?|
|Interaction 2||If you don't do something for fear of defeat, you will never be successful.|
|Interaction 3||One can never be too careful.|
|Pledge||Are you still indecisive, Master Attendant? It's okay, I will forever be by your side, your dreams are my convictions, I will not hesitate even against the wildest storms.|
|Intimacy 1||I am not as pure as you think. At least...... I am selfish for you.|
|Intimacy 2||The work isn't done yet, would you like to spend some time here, Master Attendant?|
|Intimacy 3||Your back, your progress and your ideals. I'll protect them.|
|Victory||As long as I'm here, no one can steal the fruits of victory.|
|Defeat||It was all for nothing.|
|Feeding||I appreciate your kindness... I will treasure it, thank you.|
The normal skills name， 鱼游釜中， can be literally translated as fishes swimming in a pot. It is also a Chinese proverb that is used to describe someone in extreme danger and is on the verge of being annihilated.
The energy skills name, 鱼游釜中，can be literally translated as the way fishes move in water. It is also a chinese proverb that means 'to continue moving forward.'
|Contents of this page has been fan-translated by ff secret garden as a gift for Sniper C. and may not be completely accurate.|
Official translations will be added whenever it's available.
tl note on chapter names.
"Wu Chang, you've been with me three years already, haven't you?" The black go stone he held hung suspended mid-air; a complex expression flickered deep in his eyes.
"Three years, one month, and twenty days." I glanced over the board. The game's outcome was as decided as his fate - the old fox was cornered at death's door, pushed past the point of no return.
"Ha, you remember it so clearly. Perhaps I've been playing your game ever since we met." The black stone tapped onto the board with what seemed to be the last of the strength in his wizened hand; his eyebrows furrowed together into an expression of reluctance.
"Perhaps." The white stone in my hand hit the board, and the black formation crumbled.
If you have not yet resigned yourself to your fate, then I will take, take, take until you are.
Elder Ye's expression was rigid as he looked at the board. Nothing more needed to be said.
Mercy does not suit me. Miracles did not suit him.
"...so young, and yet you have such foresight. It's no wonder I lost." There was no strength in his words, not any more.
He did not turn his attention back to that board with its foregone conclusion; instead, he stared at me. Between the wrinkles on his face, thoughts and emotions flitted madly.
Maybe they were guesses about this game. Maybe they were guesses about me.
But his thoughts were no longer any business of mine.
This was the last game of go I would play with him. There was no room for error or hesitation now - or I would lose the final match.
"Is what you're after... the position?" He stared me dead in the eye, his voice hoarse. This was his last stand, his last-ditch effort to put up a fight.
"Is that what you think?" His eyes were like those of a demon from the underworld, yet in that moment they no longer held any power.
Leaning forward slightly, he sighed; a moment later, he had given up the fight. Slowly, tremblingly, he stood up.
Shortly afterwards, someone opened the door and a handsome-looking young man entered, followed by a number of black-cled men who filed in like a school of fish, one after another.
"Elder Ye, you've been working hard. Was it a good game?" When he saw the old man, the youth smoothed out his clothing and planted an expression of utmost respect on his face. He held out a hand to assist, but the old man ignored his action - and the mockery implied by it.
He looked me over, hands clasped behind his back, and passed through the door, surrounded by men in black.
The young man watched with a smile as the old man was escorted out. Then, he peeled off the respectful expression plastered to his face and sat in front of me, pouring two cups of tea.
"Brother Wu, what an amazing plan! You bided your time for three years just to deal with this old fox - and then you took him out in one hit! Beautiful."
His smile was as warm as spring, and in it was writ large his ambitions, his greed, his smug satisfaction at winning a zero-sum game.
Just like when that person joined the Heaven Society.
"You speak too highly of me," I said. I cast a glance at him as I cleaned the wreckage off the board. This game had been won - now the pieces for the next must be put into play…
"You've turned the Ye Faction into a toothless tiger. Who's going to oppose us now? Ha! Sooner or later, the entire Heaven Society will fall under the control of the two of us!"
"I assume you've already planned out our next move, brother."
The Heaven Society was like some gargantuan machine that moved on well-oiled gears - it was rare for anything to disrupt it. No wonder, then, that he felt like the time was right.
But this game could only be played out when he had this kind of misconception. After all, I had no stone better suited to the job.
"Brother Wu, I would like you to take over the Sky Bureau." Ambitious as always. He wanted to start with the Sky Bureau.
That was a core group that encompassed half the military might of the Heaven Society; it had always been commanded by elites personally selected by the nobility. Since its leadership consisted only of the direct descendants of the most powerful families, it guaranteed that the Heaven Society would securely be in the hands of the aristocracy. After all, in this hectic time, military might was the only might that mattered.
The amount of power and influence the Sky Bureau had within the Heaven Society only proved how difficult it would be to take them over. In my current position, it was almost impossible for me to be offered leadership over them. He knew this as well as I did.
But, there was an opportunity here, and it seemed he had realized it as well...
"It sounds like the Sky Bureau is already within your grasp, brother." I placed the board back onto the table, while he poured two cups of wine and handed one to me.
"The Ye Faction was originally one of the cornerstones that supported the nobility, but then they staged a rebellion. In their moment of weakness, Brother Wu sprung up as the hero who suppressed the rebellion and single-handedly restored peace and stability. No one will refuse you if you take over the Sky Bureau with this feat under your belt."
"And if someone does, then of course, I have my ways to deal with them. Brother Wu, all you have to do is wait."
"So, Brother Wu, what do you think of my plan?"
I took the wine glass from him, knowing the stage was already set. The two glasses clinked against each other with a crisp sound.
"Then I will wait for your good news, brother."
"You really made a spectacle of the Ye Faction, didn't you? But that's not your usual style," he said, half-serious and half-joking, as he absently flipped through a newspaper that excitedly announced the demise of the Ye Faction. After a while, he put down the newspaper and turned his attention onto me.
"The goal is the Sky Bureau." If there were people in the world that I didn't have to be on guard around, then Jinhua Ham would definitely be one of them.
When he heard that, a look of astonishment flashed across his face. "And since you came to find me in such a hurry, I assume that means it's almost in your hands. So, now what?"
"The net has been laid. Inform Shattered Sky - it's time to reel in the catch."
"You don't want to wait? I'm sure you've already noticed that the Heaven Society is more troublesome than we expected."
"There's no need to wait." I picked up the glass of red wine from the table and downed it in one gulp.
I had plotted in the shadows for so many years. I had set up this opening for so many years. Each step was like walking on thin ice; each step forward was paid for by the sacrifices of those around me.
I could not forget how my Master Attendant died. I could not forget my brothers in Shattered Sky who had died for this.
Even if this was a road to hell, I had to walk it to its very end.
The stage was set; all I had to do was follow the script.
I would accept leadership over the Sky Bureau. Step by step, I would pull out all the thorns in my way and infiltrate it with those loyal to me, until this great prize quietly became a pawn in the palm of my hand.
That way, I could give Shattered Sky enough time to prepare; that way, they could finally crush the fierce tiger of the Heaven Society into dust.
As I considered the next pieces to play, a scorching voice sounded in my ears. "One day, I will command the entirety of the Heaven Society, and then even the divine spirits of Light Kingdom will merely be the subject of idle conversation between us two brothers!"
I looked at his blazing eyes, and in them I saw the world trampled under his feet.
But I knew, too, that this was merely his delusional dream.
"Wu Chang! You betrayed me? You actually betrayed me?!"
"Don't you know who's responsible for your success? Don't you know who gave you the chance to climb up there? Me! It was me! Are you insane? How dare you betray me?"
"Tell me, what are you going to fight them with? All you have is the Sky Bureau! Just the Sky Bureau! Do you really think that's possible?"
"What can you do without me? If you keep going, you're just going to force all those old geezers to ally with each other! There's only death waiting for you at the end of this road!"
I watched his eyes calmly - full of confusion, full of an angry refusal to give up. He had lost his dignity as a man; he was like a dying beast.
A while later, he quieted down and coughed, then regained his composure. "Elder Ye misjudged you, as did I."
"You..." A milieu of emotions twisted across his face, and finally, he sighed. His next words were soft. "They say men will die for riches, just as birds die for food. I don't find it strange that we ended up like this - but I don't understand, Wu Chang. You're a smart man. Why would you do something so reckless? It's unlike you."
"You know who backs me. Without me, you can't ascend to the top. So - think. Think long and hard about this. Those old geezers finally started fighting amongst themselves - we waited so long for that! But if you make a move now, they'll join together again to fight their common enemy. The only card you have to play is the Sky Bureau, so how are you going to fight them?"
"This is just a waste of the board we so carefully arranged, Wu Chang."
Even though he looked haggard and defeated, a flame still burned in his eyes - a flame just as dazzling and bright as it was before. Even at the end of his rope, with everything crashing and burning around him, he still couldn't give up his ambitions.
But laughably, his ambition was exactly what made him a sacrificial pawn.
"...let me go."
"Let me go, and I'll forget everything that happened today. We'll still be sworn brothers. We'll shuffle our hand again, and once we kick those old geezers off the stage, Heaven Society will be ours, the imperial capital will be ours, and even the whole of the Light Kingdom will be nothing before us!"
"Wu Chang! If the two of us join forces, there's nothing we can't do!"
His expression was earnest, as earnest as it was when he had poured me that cup of wine and raised his glass for a toast. Yet cold sweat slid down his chin; the water droplet landed on the ground and shattered like his composure.
I watched him in silence - my last farewell to him before sending him off.
Enough years had passed that we'd built a bond between us. I couldn't say that I was entirely unmoved - but it was his time to die.
I took one last look at him and turned to leave. In the corner of my eye, I saw his smile slide from his face, replaced by the same crazed expression I had seen in him before.
"One day, I will kill you! Wu Chang!"
"You lunatic! You crazy bastard!"
He screamed out - confused, unwilling, angry. But his voice was cut off by the thick iron doors, never to be heard again.
Some days later, at Shattered Sky --
Jinhua Ham had arrived before I did; he was sitting on the sofa, legs crossed. When he saw me push the door open, he smiled and greeted me - it seemed he was in a good mood. "G'morning, Wuchang Fish. Nice job out there! Looks like it's all over for the Heaven Society! So finally, your revenge is--"
"It's not just for him." I interrupted him. I did resent the Heaven Society for my Master Attendant's death, but it wasn't all for revenge.
"Sure, sure. I know you're going to say it's all about changing the country, but what do we gain from that?" Ignoring my interjection, he put his hands behind his head and leaned back.
That wasn't something he'd worry about, after all.
I ignored his question and walked towards the desk, pulling out a document.
"You sure have some lofty ideals, but I'm more of a practical kind of guy, y'know. I want tangible results. Like when are you and I going to have a nice sparring match -- hey, where are you going?"
"To meet an ally."
The noble family that backed the Empress Dowager was one of the great powers the controlled both the country and the Heaven Society.
When that young aristocrat was arrested, his downfall brought with him the Heaven Society and the Empress Dowager. Unable to withstand the combined onslaught of the emperor and Shattered Sky, her faction effectively dissolved.
In the end, the Empress Dowager was banished, and power returned to the hands of the emperor. Removing the thorn in his side should've been the goal of this operation, but he didn't seem particularly happy with the outcome.
"Mr. Wu," he stated.
I began to greet him, but he waved his hand, cutting short all the tedious formalities.
"This was thanks to you." That was no expression of gratitude - his eyes were scrutinizing my every move. I knew that right now, this so-called ruler of man was ascertaining my worth.
"It was the result of our cooperation," I replied calmly, refusing to flinch.
"..." The corners of the emperor's eyes crinkled up.
This was my first time meeting him in person. He looked younger than I'd imagined.
We first started exchanging letters many years ago, when a merchant scheduled an audience between the emperor and a food soul engineer specializing in machinery. With Buddha's Temptation's help, the engineer became a fixture in the palace and soon, my messenger to the emperor.
In the beginning, the emperor did not trust me. But after we communicated for a while, he started to accept my plan.
I had imagined that this meticulous, ruthless emperor - who did not even hesitate to scheme against his own mother - would be older, more mature. But to my surprise, he was a rather normal young man.
Clearly, human nature was easily twisted by absolute power.
But to me, he was still a good choice.
"What do you want?" He decided to break the silence first.
If I did not give a suitable answer, perhaps he would never be at ease. But I had already laid this card on the table in my letters - it was obvious from the very beginning that I only had one goal. "I wish to assist your majesty in dealing with the remnants of the Heaven Society."
His eyes flickered. "How?"
I stared him right in the eye. "I will erase them completely."
Our difference in status didn't matter - the emperor and I both needed an ally to accomplish our goals. The Heaven Society had been the playground of the aristocracy; the various noble families were still linked to the government by an intricate spiderweb of connections, and the young emperor still lacked the power to uproot them completely.
But if he did not deal with them soon, they would send a second "Empress Dowager" and everything would start from the beginning once more.
So, he lacked an ally who could help him seize back his power. I lacked an ally with the position necessary to suppress the nobility and who could manage the country.
I fit his description.
And he fit mine.
I didn't know how long this alliance could last, nor did I know if his dream would come to fruition. But I already saw the road leading to mine.
So, I took the first step.
V. Steamed Wuchang Fish
The Master Attendants of Steamed Wuchang Fish and Buddha's Temptation were father and son - and so, from the very beginning, the fates of these two food souls were intertwined.
Both father and son were merchants, but the paths they walked were as different as night and day. The father let avarice consume him; the son upheld his principles.
Yet one day, the father - blinded by his greed - made a decision that forced his family onto the road of no return. Both father and son were killed by the Heaven Society, one after another, and soon, the organization set their sights upon Steamed Wuchang Fish and Buddha's Temptation.
No. Perhaps it's better to put it this way - from the very beginning, the Heaven Society's objective was Steamed Wuchang Fish and Buddha's Temptation.
Later, the two of them escaped from the Heaven Society's grasp.
Buddha's Temptation chose to leave. He cared little about the actions of the Heaven Society, and he didn't hold any particular grudge over his Master Attendant's death. After all, his Master Attendant's demise was well within his expectations.
And besides... he had seen a far wider sky.
But Steamed Wuchang Fish chose differently. His Master Attendant's death had taught him patience and endurance, and so he submerged himself deep below the water's surface. But he never left.
He moved in the depths, searching for talent in the imperial capital - the downtrodden who had no choice but to join the Heaven Society, the idealists who wanted nothing more than to change the world…
They were unremarkable people; no one would point them out in a crowd. But under Wuchang Fish's leadership, they became Shattered Sky.
He waited patiently - waited for Shattered Sky to flourish, for it to spread its influence across the capital in an unbreakable net - so that one day, he could capture all of the Heaven Society in one fell swoop.
Buddha's Temptation had long turned his attentions to matters far greater than those of the imperial capital, but when he found out about this plan, he could not turn away. Unlike his own Master Attendant, he had always respected Steamed Wuchang Fish and his Master Attendant, so he didn't mind helping Wuchang Fish out when he had the opportunity.
Thus, Steamed Wuchang Fish received a very particular script - one where he would change his name, infiltrate into the Heaven Society, and ruin them from within.
From that day on, the food soul called Steamed Wuchang Fish no longer existed. There was only a soldier named Wu Chang, returning home from war.
With the help of Shattered Sky, of the Jing'an Trade Union, of Jinhua Ham, of various contributors both seen and unseen - he bided his time for five years. Using the forces he had assembled, he slowly crawled to the top of the ranks until it was finally time to crush this leviathan into dust.
They called this plan the "Shattered Sky Project" - and it did indeed shatter the power of the Heaven Society. But it was still not enough to wrest control of this country from the clutches of the nobility.
Thus, he made an alliance with the emperor. They each had their own agendas, but for a while, they worked together to vanquish the remnants of the Heaven Society.
Things went smoothly from there - but there is no path without its obstacles.
Just as they celebrated their final victory over what remained of the Heaven Society, Buddha's Temptation came in possession of an interesting tidbit of information. The Heaven Society had seemed like a goliath to many - but it was merely the tip of the iceberg.
Behind the mountain lay yet another mountain range.
"Blinded by a single leaf..." Steamed Wuchang Fish stood by the window, looking out at the city - it seemed calm on the surface, but a storm brewed in its depths. He held the file tightly in his hands. "But I will see the forest for the trees."
Even if the Heaven Society was no more, he would not stop here.
His Master Attendant's ideals would live on in him. All the places before him, all that entered his sights - he wanted them all to achieve peace and freedom.
- the chapter titles are different phases of the game in go - 布局 opening, 中盘 midgame, 官子 endgame, and 复局 reviewing the game after a match.
- 吴畅. a pseudonym. it's pronounced like the wuchang (武昌) in wuchang fish, but it's written like a normal, human name instead of a place. 吴 a common last name; 畅 uninhibited.
- 神君. used here to mean a symbolic seat of power, but these are the 'divine spirits' (i.e. tortoise, bird, tiger, dragon) that you'll see in some other lore.
- 一叶障目，不见泰山 'a single leaf may keep you from seeing mount tai.' in other words, a single obstacle can keep you from seeing the full picture.
this line inverts the idiom - wuchang fish is saying that he will remove everything that gets in his way so he can get to the bottom of this.