Notes on Chapter 8 - By Moonlight
1. 鬼魅 lit. “supernatural being/monster” This passage is the authors setting up a red-herring for the reader as the character 魅 is used both in WKX’s description and in the assassin’s moniker.
2.抱元守一, a Daoist meditation type practice that basically aims at cleansing the mind. Here it appears to have physical effects too.
3. 魅曲秦松. 魅曲 lit. “magic music”, the assassin's moniker. Qin 秦 is a homophone of “Chinese zither”. 松 (lit. “pine”) is a homophone of “carrying a tune” as well as a wordplay on the English word “song”.
4. 荒腔野调、呕哑嘲哳 an idiom from Chinese opera, and a quote from a poem by Bai Juyi, respectively. Both describe someone chanting off-key in a hoarse and uncouth manner.
5. This passage reflects the common trope that the danger of a counter is proportional to the strength of the attack. It has to do with using the qi expanded by the opponent against themselves. Qi is the energy at the foundation of all things, so instruments as weapons use it too.
6. The text reads as "he helped *Zhang Chengling* circulate". Don’t worry about it too much, as long as you understand it’s about qi, it’s all mumbo jumbo even from a Chinese perspective.
7. 有奶就是娘 translated literally. A metaphor for someone of mercenary loyalties with an obvious pejorative connotation.
8. From a poem by Li Bai. The citation is great because it both refers to a flute (carved from a willow twig) and the fake name ZZS gave himself: “willow catkin” + hints at his rapport with ZZS. Also, WKX, on top of citation, often talks in old/literary Chinese.
9. 非礼 "improper conduct" esp. toward somebody, used to describe "minor" acts of sexual harassment like groping etc.
10. 大侠 lit. “great hero” used sardonically here.