Born under a bad sign, little Cai Wenchang is blamed for an epidemic that killed his parents and over a hundred of his kinsmen in Cai Family Village.
Bullied, beaten, under-clothed and underfed, forced to work hard day in and day out, he ekes out a living the best he can.
A chance encounter with an old freak sets off a chain of events that will change his fate.
Having taken all the torment he can take, Wenchang decides to enter the jianghu and join the ranks of society’s seedy underbelly. He will walk his own path and show them that he is not a helpless lamb, that the years of abuse he received have been carved into his bones and engraved in his heart.
But once you enter the jianghu, it is not so easy to get out…
Written by: Yun Zhongyue 雲中岳
translated and edited by: Guan Zhong (GZ)
Translator’s Note: Song of Exile, 《亡命之歌》, is a print wuxia novel originally published in 1965 in Taiwan by author Yun Zhongyue (1930-2010). This is not a webnovel, but is being adapted for the web for publishing here. It has been licensed directly with the author’s family. Big thanks to them for being so cooperative and supportive of this project. Song of Exile is a novel I have been wanting to publish officially for over three and a half years. Yun Zhongyue was the first wuxia author I discovered when I moved to Taiwan in 2010, when I barely knew any Chinese. Since then I have learned more about his work and the wuxia genre in general. Song of Exile is one of Master Yun’s best novels. I read one netizen write once that if you have not read Song of Exile then you have not read Yun Zhongyue, and I agree as it is a good representation of his overall style, which is one of realism and detail.
The novel is set during the Jiajing reign period of the Ming dynasty. Master Yun’s characters and world are true-to-life, both with regard to historical detail as well as human personality and behavior. His characters feel like real people, his villages and cities feel like real places. His descriptions of geography and other cultural minutiae are based on extensive research, and unlike most wuxia authors of his day, he outlined his novels beforehand and wrote them in their entirety before publishing them, as opposed to the chapter-by-chapter newspaper serializations of his peers. The result is a novel with a tight plot and a satisfying resolution, and without any filler.
Wuxia is a relatively unknown genre in the West, and it’s the first licensed wuxia novel to be published in our webnovel community. SOE is a pretty good introduction to the genre, actually, as it illustrates clearly what certain concepts such as the jianghu are, so that just by reading this novel you will be pretty much up to speed on what wuxia is all about. Unlike the fantasy and xianxia novels popular here, wuxia focuses more on realistic (albeit exaggerated) martial arts and character relationships. There are no qi cultivation ranks. There is, however, plenty of martial arts fighting.
Song of Exile is one of my favorite wuxia novels, and Yun Zhongyue one of my favorite wuxia authors. I hope many of you like it as well.
Note: This novel, being a print novel, is rather short compared to most webnovels. About 160+ chapters. So no need to stack up too much first.
Warning: This novel is intended for a mature audience. It contains strong language, violence, and adult themes. Reader discretion is advised.
Table of Contents
1: Altruism and Animosity on Tiger Ridge
Chapter 1: Death of a Hero
Chapter 2: White Tiger Star
Chapter 3: Hare Hunting
Chapter 4: The Old Freak
Chapter 5: Second Encounter
Chapter 6: Qigong Training
Chapter 7: Jade Marrow Dragonhorn
2: The Golden Dragon Bares Its Claws
Chapter 8: Snowball Fight
Chapter 9: The Final Straw
Chapter 10: Fine Horse Village
Chapter 11: Invitations
Chapter 12: A Warning
Chapter 13: Meeting the Flood Dragon
Chapter 14: Street Fight
3. Affection and Enmity Begin to Form
Chapter 15: Negotiations
Chapter 16: Down the Dark Alley
Chapter 17: The Code of the Jianghu
Chapter 18: A Way Out
Chapter 19: Black Iron Pagoda
Chapter 20: The Banquet
Chapter 21: Deadly Designs
4. Wreaking Havoc in Fine Horse Village
Chapter 22: A Show of Stilts
Chapter 23: Ambush
Chapter 24: Making a Friend
Chapter 25: Death Arrives
Chapter 26: Farewell
Chapter 27: A Lesson in the Jianghu