a gay feeling
merriment and the brilliant red color of their clothes and of Dragon himself seemed to warm the cold landscape.
Compare to "contentment" in this list--both connect to happiness, but "merriment" is more momentary and dependent on "activities that are enjoyable or amusing" while "contentment" is more lasting and dependent on one's ability to control one's attitude towards life (which can be taught).
lowest support of a structure
Minli could not see the tip or the bottom of it, as it seemed to grow out of a gorge so deep that the base must have been at the
foundation of the earth.
"Foundation" and "base" are synonymous nouns here, but "base" refers to the bottom of the mountain, while "foundation" refers to the bottom of the earth, and the use of both words emphasizes how never-ending the mountain seems to Minli.
relating to or inhabiting a divine heaven
He carried it into the clouds, rolled it in fresh raindrops, and bathed it in the
softly bright or radiant
The shabby walls and worn stones seemed to shimmer as if a translucent silk veil covered them, muting any flaws and transforming the house into a dwelling of
luminous light and delicate shadows.
Compare to "lustrous" in this list--although the adverb "softly" makes "luminous" seem dimmer than "lustrous" (defined with the brighter "brilliant"), the strength of the light described in both example sentences seems to be equal, especially since both are connected to the adjective "translucent" ("allowing light to pass through diffusely").
excessively agitated; distraught with violent emotion
When the dragon woke up and found his pearl missing, he began a
avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing
"It is mine!" the dragon said, and looking at the flush of her cheeks and
evading eyes, demanded, "You stole it, didn't you?"
spite and resentment at seeing the success of another
She spoke without the desire or
envy she used to feel when speaking of the wealth of others.
filled with melancholy and despondency
Minli looked at Dragon’s
downcast eyes and read the years of sadness and frustration in his face.
an outline of a solid object as cast by its shadow
To one side of her in the distance, standing out against the flat landscape, Minli saw the
silhouette of a man cutting down a lone tree, his axe making a thumping rhythm.
So when his crops thrived and
flourished, he decided farming was not satisfying enough for him and the day he reaped his successful harvest, he told his friends that he was leaving the countryside to move to town.
"Flourish" is synonymous with "thrive" so using both verbs seems unnecessary, but both also mean "make steady progress" so the crops could thrive first, and then flourish. To give up an activity just when he sees progress, growth, and success emphasizes how discontented Wu Kang was with his life.
uneasiness about the fitness of an action
misgivings, the Old Man agreed and brought Wu Kang to Never-Ending Mountain.
made or declared or believed to be holy
Hence, the Old Man took out the
sacred Book of Fortune and began to teach Wu Kang how to read its text.
happiness with one's situation in life
"The only things for me to teach you," the Old Man said to Wu Kang as he handed him an axe, "are the lessons of
contentment and patience."
allow unwillingly or reluctantly
begrudged the barren mountain and the meager land and swallowed her plain rice with bitterness.
lacking taste or flavor or tang
The rice that filled their bowls began to taste
bland, the clothes she had liked for their colors now felt rough, and the house that she had run freely around in had become stifling.
The structure of the sentence emphasizes that the current experiences are opposite of the previous ones--the antonym of "bland" would be the usual "savory" flavor of the rice; the antonym of "colorful" is not usually "rough" but it is here because the two words produce opposite feelings in the wearer; and the antonym of "free" can be "stifle" ("smother or suppress").
resistant to physical force or pressure
A stinging wind blew in a silver mist and the cold rock was hard and
To Minli’s great surprise, the grayness of the stone began to smudge away and a translucent,
lustrous glow seemed to shine through.
a quality that outshines the usual
A green lushness seemed to bloom from the rock—a jewel-colored
splendor softened the sharp edges that had painfully sliced the sky.
Red and orange, a dragon and his mate
frolicking amongst the clouds...wait, dragons?
in fortunate circumstances financially
“I am glad to see you and your wife so happy and
prosperous,” he said.