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Thread: The Sword and the Exquisiteness Unabridged

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    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Default The Sword and the Exquisiteness Unabridged

    I think it'd be a great idea to collect the various translations in their own threads without the clutter of people's comments. That way if someone simply wants to read the story, they can do so easily without having to skip over lots of stuff they may not be interested in reading. I'm going to start with the only complete novel on these forums, from the wonderful Athena, and hopefully add more when I have time. Of course anyone else is also welcome to create one of these threads.

    I would request that any comments be placed in the main thread and that only a moderator or the translator post in the Unabridged thread.

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    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 1 A Sudden Calamity

    In a dark shady courtyard, there is an old man in a green robe standing under an old tree. His hair, eyebrows and beard are coloured greenish by the light. He looks very tranquil and carefree, his hands are folded behind his back as he watches the young man, who sits in front of him, writing.

    The young man is kneeling in front of a small table, in his hand he is holding a brush. It is as thick as a the arm of a baby in diametre and it is about 7 metres long.

    The young man is writing the final characters on his essay.
    The young man puts down his brush and raises his head and says:"All the heroes in the realm wouldn't miss out on The Gathering at Lake Huang. Aren't you going, father?"
    The old man smiles and says:"You ask me this question after copying the scriptures of Nanhua (a Taoist codex written by the Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu 369-286 B.C.)it seems that your cultivation has improved. However should you be asking this question altogether? After all this time haven't you been able to pass beyond the word "hero?"
    The young man looks up and ponders for awhile and replies:"Yes, you're right."
    A gentle breeze was blowing, the leaves rustled, suddenly a black figure came down from the tree tops. In an instant he ascended and came down without any noise.
    The man is rather short and skinny man in a black robe. The robe is very tight revealing his trained muscles and every part of his body is maintaining a sharp vigilance.
    The old and young man are not startled and just look at him casually, it seems like to them that this man was standing there the entire time.
    The man lauged and said:"The Old Man of Mount Yue, Yu Fanghe has indeed great self- control. It's even more surprising that young master Yu has the same self-control. I, Hei Gezi (Black Pigeon) am deeply impressed."
    Yu FangHe smiled:"Oh, you're Master Hei one of the 7 Heroes whose art of leviatation is famous throughout the realm."
    Hei Gezi replied:"Old master should know that I am the weakest and most useless one of the "Seven Birds of Wulin". I'm unworthy of becoming a robber or even an armed guard. I just rely on my fast legs and my tight mouth to deliver messages."
    Yu Fanghe happily said:" Brother Hei does not take money that is not honestly earned and that earns my deep respects. But I'm wondering which old friend has asked you to deliver a letter."
    Hei Gezi replied:"If that person does not want to reveal his identity I'm obliged to keep his/her identity a secret. That is my professional code, I also know that you wouldn't force me to reveal his/her identity. But I know this letter concerns a important secret of old master Yu." After saying this he takes out a letter and gives it to Yu.
    Yu Fanghe was hesitating for a minute and returned the letter to Hei Gezi and said:"Would you mind opening this letter and loudly read out the contents?"
    Hei Gezi said:"But this letter concerns a secret of you...."
    Yu Fanghe smiles:"Because of that, I would like you to read it because I have no secrets. And everything in this letter I am not afraid to let anyone know."
    Hei Gezi was deeply impressed and smiled:"No secrets at all! Except for you who can say he has no secrets."
    Hei Gezi opened the letter and found the pages in it. The pages are stuck together and Hei Gezi wetted his fingers with saliva and separated the pages.
    He started to read the letter out loud:"Dear brother......"
    Suddenly he fell down with convulsions, Yu Fanghe was startled and quickly rushed over to help. After feeling his pulse he knew that Hei Gezi was soon to die and quickly asked:"Who gave you this letter?" Who?"
    Hei Gezi opened his mouth and wanted to say something but couldn't produce a syllable.
    Yu saw the colour of Hei's face turn to green from white to from white to red and from red to black. In a matter of seconds the colour of Hei's face shifted 4 times and the flesh of his face disappeared mysteriously leaving behind a black skeleton.
    The young man was feeling very frightened by this and exclaimed:"Goodnes! What a deadly poison!"
    Out of the robe of Hei Gezi rolled out an ingot of gold, that was the price of the letter also the price of his life.

    Yu Fanghe looked at that ingot of gold for some time and picked up the letter.
    The young man was startled and said:"What are you going to do, father?"
    Yu Fanghe returned to his calm self and said:" This man died because of me, furthermore whoever tried to ambush me will try again and who knows who will be the next innocent victim. It is best that I should die, instead staying alive feeling remosefull of the deaths that are to follow."

    The young man said:"But...but, father who wants to harm you? You have never had any grudges with anyone in your life. Who would...."
    Suddenly they heard a great explosion, the ingot of gold exploded the force of the explosion was so loud that all the leaves of the tree fell down.
    It seemed like Yu Fangfe never moved but in fact during the explosion he retreated for about 11 metres away and returned to the same position after the explosion.
    His normal very tranquil eyes were now filled with anger and he made a fist and said:"What a vicious person! This person does not only want to kill me but also wants to kill the messenger. He also calculated that the ingot would explode after delivering the letter."
    The young man was also angry and said:"Who can this person be? Not only does he have an evil heart but also a pair of crafty hands. If this person is not stopped,...."
    Yu Fanghe interupted him with a sigh:"Actually we cannot blame this person. If this person really hates me that much and really wants to kill me with that much passion, I must have done something to this person."
    The young man had tears in his eyes and said:"Father, you cannot have done anything wrong in your life! The way you treat others, how can people still want to harm you? Is there no more justice in the realm."
    Yu Fanghe said:"Peiyu, don't be upset. And don't say there isn't any justice in the world. Every person is bound to make a few mistakes in his life, even I. But at this moment I cannot remember what I did wrong.

    At this moment they could hear people from far away shouting:"Where is Yu Fanghe?......
    Where is Yu Fanghe?......"

    The shouting, cursing become louder and louder, there were voices of shock and the noise of breaking down of doors. It seems that the servants of the Yu residence couldn't stop these trespassers.
    The young man Yu Peiyu was surprised and said:""Who would dare to invade our home?"
    Yu Fanghe gently said:"We shouldn't stop visitors from entering, furthermore when they have already entered our home why should you bother going outside to greet them..."Yu Fanghe turned around and smiled:"Do come in."
    There were 5 smartly dressed men standing in the courtyard now. They all looked very fierce and ready to kill, however when they saw that father and son Yu were still very much tranquil they were rather shocked. The first man holding a large broad sabre laughed arrogantly:"Yu Fanghe, you despicable fiend! I finally found you!"
    During his arrogant laughter he raised his sabre and hacked at Yu Fanghe, the power of the sabre forced the leaves down but Yu Fanghe just stood there not moving seeminly he just wanted to be hacked.
    Yu Peiyu didn't even raise his head his finger just moved and everyone heard "Ping" and the man couldn't hold on to his sabre.
    One part of his body felt numb and his ears were still humming, the colour of his face changed and stared at this young man. He didn't dare to attack but didn't retreat either.
    Yu Fanghe called out:"Peiyu, do not harm them."
    Indeed Yu Peiyu now stood still and didn't advance. The man laughed arrogantly again and said:"Of course, Yu Fanghe wants to keep his repuatation as a benevolent man, he will never harm anyone. But I want to kill you old fiend, and if you wound me just a bit you're a hypocrite!"
    This man was so incredibly unreasonable and said this in vigorous way, Yu Fanghe was not impressed and smiled:"In that case all of you want to take my life."
    The man laughed and said:"You're absolutely right!"
    And grabbed his sabre again and called out to the other 4 men:"Brothers, attack!"
    A nine ringed sabre, a mourning sword, tiger-headed hook, a judge's brush, a chain spear, 5 weapons were aimed at Yu Fanghe.
    At this point someone laughed:"With your abilities you can never harm old master Yu!"
    A shadow passed by and dashed towards the 5 weapons, first the sabre flew away and was stuck in a tree, the sword was broken into 2 halves. Judge's brush flew up too, the hook ripped open the abdomen of the sword user and the chained spear was wrapped round the neck of the hook user.
    The person was extremely fast and his techniques were like lightning even father and son Yu were impressed.
    Now they saw that this person was a handsome young man in a purple robe, his eyes were bright and shining but he looked emotionless. He knelt down and said:"On my way here I overheard these men plotting something against old master Yu. So I decided to follow them and saw that old master Yu was still very polite to your own agressors and these ruffians were too rude for words. In my anger I might have used too much force, so please forgive me for using force on your premises."
    He helped out but did not claim credit but asked to be forgiven.
    Yu Fanghe sighed deeply:"No matter what you did it because of me. How can I blame you? Don't ever say things like forgive and so. These 5 men... (*sigh)... I don't know what I've done to them but it has lead to their deaths here."
    After awhile he smiled again and turned to this young man and held his hands wanting him to stand up:"You're not only young but also very handsome if you are the son of an old friend that would be most fortunate."
    The young man wouldn't get up and said:"Although you don't recognize me, but my life was saved by old master Yu. Old master Yu, you have done numerous benevolent deeds in your life how can you remember a small child that you once saved."
    Yu Fanghe held his hands and said:"Now that child has grown up and even saved my life. It seems...."
    Yu Fanghe suddenly stretched his arms and flung that young man away and stepped back three paces. His body was shaking and said in a crackling voice:"Who... who are you?"

    The young man landed elegantly on the ground and laughed:"Old man Yu, your palms have contracted my deadly "Instant Rutheless Depraving Needle". Not even an immortal can save you now and you'll never know who I am...
    Yu Peiyu is standing next to his father already, and saw that the hands of his father are swolled twice the normal size and were entirely black now. His father looked dead pale and was shaking and couldn't speak anymore.
    Yu Peiyu was devastated and shouted:"What grudges do we have? Why do you use such vicious tricks against us!"
    The young man laughed, but remained emotionless:"I have no grudge with you nor your father. I just want your lives."
    Yu Peiyu looked at the bodies of the 5 dead men and hatefully gritted his teeth:"This is also one of your traps."
    The young man replied:"Yes, it is. In order to take your lives not only did we have to sacrifice these 6 men...."
    Suddenly he whistled and 20 odd men leapt from the walls holding swords and sabres. Juding by the steps they were all experts but all their faces were veiled with a purple cloth. They were afraid that people might recognize them.
    The young man laughed arrogantly:"Yu, surrender now resistance is useless. We were afraid of old Yu's invincible "Golden Silk Palms" but now he is useless. What do you hope to accomplish."

    Yu Peiyu looked around and saw that these 20 odd men were quite strong. His heart was filled with grief, pain, anger and also shock.
    Any other person would have gone mad or would have attacked his agressors without any reason anymore. But not him he was different from anyone else. He carried his father on his back and picked up that long brush.
    The attackers were advancing forward, they were all a bit surprised by the tranquility shown by Yu Peiyu.
    At this point the swords and sabres hacked towards Yu, his entire surroundings were encircled by metalic light. A gush of wind horizontally swept out, the long iron brush made contact with the swords and sabres. Some were broken, bended or flung aside, the men were pushed back and felt a numbness in their shoulders and couldn't raise their arms for awhile.
    No one believed that this handsome, gentle young man had such tremendous strength.
    Now another group advanced forward but they did not dare to make contact with the brush.
    More than 20 men surrrounded Yu Peiyu, none of them could penetrate the powerful wind created by the brush, although the force of the brush is very powerful but it was also very stressful after 20 stances Yu Peiyu began to sweat.
    The purple robed young man laughed:"Good, tire him out! The rats are trapped and have no place to hide."
    Although Yu Peiyu was fighting against those 20 men his eyes were focused on that young vicious man and his hands with the poisonous needles.

    Peiyu heard his father's breathing become weaker and weaker, and the enemies are closing in now. He was heart-broken and tired and yelled out:"Enough!"
    He also knew if he got away now it will be very difficult to find out who the mastermind is behind this entire plot.
    He flung the long brush towards the chest of one the men, this man was terrified and quickly rolled on the ground to avoid being hit. The brush was stuck in the ground and Yu Peiyu used to catapult him and his father over their attackers.
    The vicious young man called out:"Chase them, quickly!"
    By the time they went outside they couldn't find a trace of them, the young man ordered them to spread and search. However in fact Peiyu hid under a bridge nearby, because he was carrying his father on his back and he exhausted he knew he couldn't outrun them anymore.
    One man said:"Should we check under the bridge to....."
    The young man angrily said:"Yu is not an idiot, do you think he will stay under the bridge till we find him."

    Peiyu stayed hidden for some time and after he felt that the attackers were gone he quickly carried his father back to their house. He put his father on the bed and quickly took out some medicine out of the cupboard. He gave his father some pills, these pills were made by Yu Fanghe and saved many lifes how ironic that these pills cannot save his own.
    At this time Yu Peiyu burst out in tears, Yu Fanghe's face was black and he opened his mouth and said weakly:"Am I wrong? What...what have I done wrong?"
    Yu Peiyu cried out:"Father, you have done nothing wrong in your life!"
    Yu Fanghe wanted to smile but the muscles in his face have hardened and he was unable to smile again. With extreme difficulty he uttered his last words:"I did nothing wrong, you must remember my teachings. Always be tolerant and forgiving.... tolerant...and forgiving..."
    His voice slowly died out.

    Peiyu knelt down and cried for hours on end, the sun had already set.
    It was now dark and quiet, but after awhile there were footsteps and judging by the sound this person was walking towards the Yu residence.
    Finally, the door was pushed open and this person entered with extreme caution, at this time Yu Peiyu stood up.
    The person was startled and called out:"Who are you?"

    It should have been Yu Peiyu that should have asked that question, judging by her shadown and figure this intruder was a young, gracious woman.
    The girl started shouting angrily:"You fiend, how dare you commit such crime and stay here!"
    She drew her sword and stabbed 7 times, her swordsmanship was swift and vicious Peiyu outmanoeuvred her 7 deadly stances and said:"The Flowered Chestnut Swordsmanship?"
    The girl scoffed:"You recognize the sword skills of the Lin family. You..."
    Yu Peiyu sighed and said:"I am Yu Peiyu."
    The girl was stunned and dropped her sword and said in a trembling voice:"Brother Yu, is uncle...."
    She looked at the bed and suddenly she knelt down and started crying:"I can't believe it... it is impossible..."
    Yu Peiyu stared at her, she cried ever so sad and suddenly she raised her head and said:"I've cried enough, tell me what happened."
    Yu Peiyu lighted a lamp and saw that the girl wore mourning clothes and was shocked and asked:"Is uncle Lim....?"
    "My father was murdered 6 days ago."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Do you know who was the killer?"
    The girl said:"I don't know." The light shone on her pretty face, although she looked somewhat sickly her face was still full of character.
    She continued:"You must think it is strange that I don't know who killed my father. That particular day I went out by the time I got back my father was dead and nobody else was around anymore."

    Yu Peiyu was feeling sad and was also surprised that a young girl like her was so so strong after going through a disaster herself.
    The girl spoke again:"I've cried enough on my way here I cried 5 times."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"5 times?"
    The girl explained:"Yes, 5 times. Not only are our fathers dead but also unlce Wang, Shen and XiMen.
    Yu Peiyu was shocked and said:"Uncle Wang of Taihu uses a pair of golden scissors and is said to be undefeated in his life. Uncles Shen and Ximen both have extraoridinary martial arts how can they be killed."
    The girl asked softly:"How about Golden Silk Palms and Flowered Chestnut Swordsmanship?"
    Yu Peiyu lowered his head and said:"You're right, but... but could it be that they were all murdered by the same person?" Who could this person be?"
    The girl said:"However I haven't seen their bodies."
    Yu PeiYu raised his head and asked:"How do you know that they are dead."

    The girl replied:"The homes were deserted no one was around. Everyone was gone. The situations were similar to your home and my home."
    Yu Peiyu softly said to himself:"Home?...I don't have a home anymore."
    The girl watched him and asked:"Where are you going?"
    Yu Peitu replied:"Everything is one big conspiracy. I have to investigate and found out the truth. Let me ask you this if you were the mastermind behind this diabolic conspiracy what would you do to me?"
    The girl replied:"Stamp out the source of the problem?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled wryly:"You're right and if you were me what would you do?"
    The girl replied:"I would run but to where?"
    Yu Peiyu:"Anywhere safe."
    The girl said:"Safe... We don't know who our enemy is. He could standing next to us and we don't even know he's our nemesis.What is a safe place?"
    Yu Peiyu:"There is one place."
    "Where?" the girl asked.
    Yu Peiyu replied:"Lake Huang, all the heroes in the world will gather there. This mastermind wouldn't dare to harm us if we're there."
    The girl nodded and said coldly:"You've thought everything through. You can go if you want to. Don't worry about me."
    And she started walking away, Yu Peiyu didn't stop her but followed her. However after a steps the girl fell down, Yu Peiyu knew that the exhaustion of travelling here and the overwhealming events were too much for her to bear.
    Yu Peiyu lifter her up and said some comforting words to her. The girl was feeling better after hearing Yu PeiYu consoling voice and pouted why he didn't ask for her name.
    Yu Peiyu said, he already knew her name for a very long time.
    Suddenly they heard an old voice:"Young master! Young master!"
    Yu Peiyu recognized the voice and knew it was Yu Zhong, the old servant of their house.
    The girl said:"When I entered the house I didn't see anyone."
    Yu Peiyu replied:"Perhaps he hid during the commotion."
    Yu Zhong said:"Young master, Master Wang of Moling has arrived and is waiting in the hall."
    Yu PeiYu asked:"Is that Rightous Wang Yuluo second uncle Wang?"
    Yu Zhong said it was.
    Yu PeiYu quickly went to meet him and saw and elderly distinguished man with a long beard. That was the famous Wang YuLuo.
    Yu Peiyu knelt down and sobbed:"Uncle Wang, you're just too late. My father..."
    Wang YuLuo sighed:"I know what happened to you and your father. Why did such a thing happen?"
    Yu Peiyu sadly wanted to relate what happened:"I..."
    Suddenly he raised his head and asked:"How did you know what happened?"
    Wang YuLuo smiled:"It was your father that told me everything. My good old brother Yu."
    Yu Peiyu was flabbergasted and stammered:"My father....he...he...when...?"
    Wang smiled and said:When I saw him he was very upset and ignored completely. Although I don't know why the 2 of you argued but in al these 40 years that I've known your father I've never seen him this upset before. I've asked your third uncle Yun to accompany him and to prevent you and your father to have an arguement again."
    Yu PeiYu was so shocked and blurted out:"My father ...he was just...killed."
    Wang was a bit angered by this remark and chided:"Don't talk nonsense! It's not right to say such a thing even in a fight with your father."
    Yu PeiYu yelled out:"But my father is dead, he..."
    Wang was now angry and scolded:"Enough already! Silence!"
    Yu Peiyu said:"My father's body is right there."Please follow me!"
    Wang angrily said:"Alright show me."
    Yu lead Wang to his father's room but the bed was empty the body of Yu FangHe was gone.
    Wang asked:"Where is this body?"
    Yu Peiyu shouted out and rushed into the courtyard and all the 6 corpses were gone and everything was tidied up.
    Yu Peiyu was feeling shocked, confused and scared.
    Wang angrily said:"What do you have to say now?"
    Yu PeiYu stammered:"I...I..."
    He saw the girl standing watching them and thought that she could help him out and said:"She saw my father's body, she is Lin Daiyu ,the daughter of Master Lin the Flowered Chestnut Sword."
    Wang Yuluo sternly looked at Lin Daiyu and asked:"Is that true what he said?"
    Lin Daiyu stuttered:"I...I just..
    At this point 4 men walked in. The first man laughed and said:"When did you arrive brother Wang?"
    A handsome, elderly gentleman walked in carrying a magnificent sword. Lin Daiyu was shaking when she saw these 4 men. Yu Peiyu has turned pale and looked like if he saw a ghost.
    He managed to speak and asked:"Uncle Lin, aren't you...dead?"
    These 4 men were
    The Dragonking of lake Taihu, Silver Spear Shen, Ximen Feng of Mount Mao and The Flowered Chestnut Sword Lin Shoujuan.
    Before Lin Shoujuan could answer, Ximen Feng laughed:"Peiyu how could you say that your future father-in-law is dead? This joke is a bit too much."
    Yu Peiyu turned around and looked at Lin Daiyu and said:"You told me... Why did you lie to me?"
    Lin Daiyu raised her head and said with her beautiful eyes staring at Peiyu:"Did I say that? When did I say that?"
    Yu Peiyu felt the world has gone crazy and backed 5 paces backwards and felt his head spinning.
    These 5 Wulin seniors were looking at him coldly, there was some compassion and shock in their eyes.
    The old servant Yu Zhong smiled and said:"Young master why don't you accompany the guests for some tea."
    Yu Peiyu rushed forward and grabbed him:"Talk! Tell everyone what happened earlier!"
    Yu Zhong was a bit surprised and asked:"What happened earlier?"
    Yu Peiyu turned even paler, Wang Yuluo asked Yu Zhong:"Did someone else come by today besides us?"
    Yu Zhong shook his head and said:"No one came by today."
    Yu Peiyu let Yu Zhong go and took a few steps backward and said:"Why do you say that?"
    Yu Zhong looked at Yu PeiYu with a lot of compassion in his eyes and said:"Lately young master has been very occupied with his homework so it could be that he..."
    Yu Peiyu yelled out:"IT COULD BE THAT I HAVE GONE MAD! RIGHT? THE WAY ALL OF YOU ARE LOOKING AT ME, ALL OF YOU THINK THAT I'VE GONE INSANE!
    Lin Shoujuan sighed:"Perhaps his father was too strict with him. And he has been pushed beyond his limits."
    Yu Peiyu screamed out:"YES, I'VE BEEN PUSHED BEYOND MY LIMITS!"
    After saying that he punched a deep hole in the wall. At this point Ximen Feng, Wang Yulou and Shen Yinqiang rushed over and grabbed him. Lin Shoujuan took out a small bottle and said:"Listen to me Peiyu take this pill and after a goodnight sleep everything will be just fine."
    He wanted to put the pill in Yu's mouth, but Peiyu refused to open his mouth.
    Ximen Feng said:"Peiyu, why have changed that much. Do you really think your future father-in-law will harm you."

    Suddenly Yu Peiyu pushed out his arms with all his might breaking free from the grip of 3 martial arts experts. The 3 of them were surprised that a young man like him had such extraordinary strength. Yu Peiyu stormed out using his art of levitation.
    Ximen Feng exclaimed:"Not even Yu Fanghe had such strenght in his younger days."
    Wang Yuluo sighed:"It's a shame he has gone mad. Truly a shame."
    Lin Daiyu knelt down and started crying.

    It was a clear night, Yu Peiyu was looking at the stars. He felt that the stars were laughing at him too.
    Suddenly he heard someone crying. Yu Peiyu saw someone standing near a tall tree.It was a short, skinny old man with a long beard. He was standing on a rock and had a rope tied around his neck. He was planning to commit suicide. Yu Peiyu stopped the old man. The old man sobbed:"Please let me die!... I'm the most unfortunate man in the world. Why did you save me? I have nothing to live for anyway."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Are you certain that there isn't anyone more unfortunate than you. Today I lost my family and home, no one believes me. I can trust no one. The people I look up too and respect are now plotting against me, the people that are close to me have turned against me. In merely a day my closest friends and relatives want to take my life or turn me into a madman. I think I'm the most unfortunate man on the world."
    The old man was stunned for a moment and looked at Yu Peiyu and said:"Compared to you my problems aren't that big. You should be the one to commit suicide."After saying that he gave Yu Peiyu the noose and happily laughed and left this place.
    Yu Peiyu looked at the back of this strange old man and tried the noose on and was thinking to himself:"This is very easy, after I'm dead there will be no more problems and worries. Should I really die?"
    After thinking that he laughed heartily and said:"Well, I've died once now."
    He removed the noose and set course for Lake Huang.
    Because he didn't have any money he often had to rely on the generosity of other people. Fortunately the generous people he met on the way were women, young women who were very happy to share their food with this extremely handsome young man.
    But the only thing Yu PeiYu had on his mind was:"Patience....patience!"
    His clothes were worn out and he looked very much like a beggar when he entered the Henan province (Lake Huang is located in this province).
    He saw many Wulin people walking about in these parts. Nobody paid any attention to this young beggar.
    The gathering at Lake Huang was nearing and Yu Peiyu was pondering outside one night about what Lin Shoujuan and the others were planning, why did they say that Yu Fanghe wasn't dead.
    Suddenly another young beggar came up to him and smiled and asked:"I take it you don't belong to our Beggars Association?"
    Yu Peiyu shook his head.
    The young beggar laughed:"If you're not a beggar you shouldn't be hogging the places of true beggars."
    Yu Peiyu smiled and apologized and stood up.
    Yu was gazing at the stars, the young beggar stared at him for awhile. It seemed that he found this young man quite interesting and tapped on Yu's shoulder and asked:"Judging by your accent you should be from the Su province."
    Yu Peiyu said he was from the Su province.
    The young beggar asked for his name.
    Yu Peiyu observed him for an instant and he felt the the beggar had no hostile intentions and told him:"My name is Yu Peiyu."
    The young beggar said:"My name is Lian Honger."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Brother Lian."
    Lian Honger smiled and said:"You're a good person, you're willing to call a man brother who cannot even pay for his own food."
    Yu PeiYu smiled wryly and said:"I'm no much better than you."
    Lian Honger observed Yu and said:"It seems that your martial arts foundation is quite good, if I'm not mistaken you must be a member of a Wulin family. But why are you disguised like this?"
    Yu PeiYu was surprised and said:"I'm... not.. disguised. I do..not know any martial arts."
    Lian Honger was a bit annoyed and scoffed:"You dare to deceive me."
    He raised his baboo cane and aimed for Yu's "Lingxu" acupoint. The cane moved very quickly , although the beggar aimed for the Lingxu acupoint the force of the cane was pressing towards the 18 major acupoints.
    Yu Peiyu suffered from a huge calamity and believed that almost anyone could be in cahoots with this mysterious "mastermind."
    He swiftly evaded the attack, but Liang Honger withdrew his attack.
    He looked at Yu Peiyu and said coldy:"Telling lies at such a young age, what will become of you when you grow up."
    Yu Peiyu looked down and said:"I have my reasons."
    Lian Honger asked:"Could you tell me, perhaps?"
    Yu Peiyu replied:"If you have your reasons would you reveal your reasons to someone you don't even know."
    Lian Honger stared at him for a moment and smiled:"Although you look very polite but this was a very sharp answer."
    He continued:"I'm afraid you have come in vain, you can't go to the gathering at Lake Huang."
    Yu Peiyu was startled and asked:"How do you know?"
    Lian Honger:"My eyes are like a magic mirror, one look and I know what the intentions are of the other person."
    Yu Peiyu stared at him in awe.
    Lian Honger said:"Without an invitation you cannot attend the gathering or you have to be a disciple of the 13 Great martial arts schools."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I don't have an invitation and I don't belong to the 13 great martial arts schools."
    Lian Honger nodded and said:"It's best for you to leave."
    Yu asked:"Does the Beggars Association belong to the 13 Great Schools?"
    Liang Honger replied:"Yes, of course. Although Shaolin has been elected to be the chancellor of Wulin for the past 40 years but without the support of us. The position as chancellor was taken over by Wudang or Kunlun years ago."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Well, if I mingled with the other disciples of the Beggars Association, I could..."
    Lian Honger laughed:"You've thought it out, have you?"
    Yu PeiYu knelt down and asked:"Could you perhaps help me? If you would ask you leader on behalf of me if I could attend the
    gathering."
    Liang Honger smiled:"Why should I help you, I hardly know you."
    Yu Peiyu got up and said:"Because....
    because.."
    Yu Peiyu sighed and left, Liang Honger smilingly looked at him.
    After walking for awhile Yu PeiYu saw torches burning in front of him and people clapping and singing.
    It was a group of beggars, Yu Peiyu didn't want to see anyone and wanted to walk the other way.
    An old beggar walked towards him and said:"Young master Yu, our leader knew you would come therefore..."
    Yu Peiyu said loudly:"I don't know your leader."
    The old beggar smiled:"Although you don't know our leader. But he has heard of you and has instructed us to welcome you and to give you something."
    Yu Peiyu readied his fists and scoffed:"Bring it on!"
    The old beggar laughed:"You're mistaken, young master Yu. We have no hostile intentions."
    The old beggar took out a yellow envelope and respectfully handed it over to Yu.
    Yu Peiyu took the letter but didn't open it, he remembered the letter of death. And gave the letter back to the old beggar and said you open it and lick the envelope first.
    The old beggar smiled:"Young master Yu is a very cautious person."
    The beggar did what he was instructed and handed the letter to Yu.
    Yu Peiyu felt a bit embarassed and saw it was an invitation to the gathering at Lake Huang. He was startled and when he looked up the beggars were gone.
    Yu Peiyu was really confused the past events he encountered were all very strange.
    And why did the leader of the Beggars Association give him an invitation?
    He stood there not moving for quite some time when he heard some people walking over here.
    "Don't move!" a voice said.
    Yu Peiyu sighed and turned around and saw 7 men standing there. 2 of them were Taoists, 1 was a monk and 1 young woman.
    All 7 of them were quite young and had a very good martial arts foundation.
    A young man in a black robe asked:"What are you doing here?"
    Yu Peiyu scoffed at this man's rude tone:"You're not even allowed to stand here?"
    The monk said politely:"Benefactor, I'm Songshui of Shaolin. These are martial arts brothers and sisters of Wudang, Kunlun, Huashan, Diancang and Kongtong. Because the gathering of Lake Huang is soon to be held here the 13 masters of the Great Schools are afraid that some misfits might come here and wreak havoc. That's why disciples of the 13 schools are instructed to keep watch here."
    Yu Peiyu exclaimed:"You're disciples of the 13 Great Schools?..."

    "Is this your invitation?" the young man in the black robe asked rudely.
    Yu Peiyu replied:"Yes, it is."
    Suddenly this young man drew his sword with incredible speed, this young man was indeed worthy of being a disciple of the 13 Great Schools. Yu Peiyu was taken by surprise and avoided this sudden attack with everything he got. He almost got his ear cut off. He was angered and yelled out:"What are you doing! Is this invitation a fake!"

    The young man scoffed:"It is not a fake."
    And continued his attack, Yu Peiyu avoided his 17 stances and shouted:"What is going on here?"
    The young woman coldly said:"We can fight after we've asked a few questions."
    The young man listend and stopped his attack and fiercly asked:"Tell us, where did you get this invitation?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Someone gave it to me."
    The young man laughed:"Did you hear that everyone? Someone gave it to him."
    Yu Peiyu was very annoyed and said:"What is so funny about that?"
    The Shaolin monk Songshui put up a serious face and said: Benefactor, this invitation is ...too real. Seven different types of invitations were issued for this gathering. Your invitation is yellow, this is only given to leaders of martial arts schools or famous, respected Wulin seniors. Also only the 13 leaders are allowed to give away these invitations. And benefactor, you are neither...."
    The young man finished the sentence for Songshui and said coldly:"By the looks of it you're not befriended with the 13 masters, so you must have gotten this invitaion by fraudulent means."
    After saying this the young man drew his sword again and the 7 of them surrounded Yu Peiyu. Even the young woman didn't speak anymore.
    Yu Peiyu knew this was a misunderstanding and was resenting that wicked leader of the Beggars Association. Could it be that the leader of the Beggars Association did this on purpose?
    The young man didn't back away and used the genuine Diancang swordsmanship, the famous "Descending Petals and Flying Flower Sword."
    This type of swordtechniques was famous for being fast and vicious and not easily avoided.
    Yu Peiyu couldn't counter-attack and was really having a difficult time now.
    The young woman said:"Surrender now, or do you really want to..."
    Before she could finish her sentence everyone heard a loud laughter and everyone looked up and saw a shadow moving by with incredible speed. In an instant the figure also disappeared only red flower petals descneded from the sky.
    The young man exclaimed:"A red lotus!"
    The Shaolin monk Songshui said:"Benefactor, you're a close friend of Master Hong Lian. Please forgive me for being rude."
    The young man smiled wryly and said:"You...sir, why didn't you tell us that you were befriended with master Hong Lian."
    Yu Peiyu was stunned and said:"I don't know Hong Lianhua (Red lotus)."
    The young man respectfully said:"Again please forgive me for being rude."
    Yu Peiyu just stood there smiling wryly, the young woman gazed at Yu Peiyu with her pretty eyes and said:"My name is Zhong Jing of Huashan, our school has organised a place to welcome our distinguished guests just ahead. Since sir is a good friend of master Hong Lian, you're also a good friend of Huashan. Please honour us by attending our reception."
    The young man applauded and said:"That is a good idea and tomorrow our school will prepare a carriage to take sir to the gathering."
    Yu Peiyu thought for awhile and complied.
    Yu Peiyu was brought to a rather nice looking place and was very puzzled who this Hong Lianhua was and was thinking what this Hong's motives could be.
    Suddenly he saw 14 portraits hanging on a wall, he saw Taoists priests, Buddhist monks, women, beggars altough different in ages. But their expressions were all very impressive and stern.
    Zhong Jing smiled:"These are the 14 portraits of the founders of the Gathering at Lake Huang, 70 years ago Wulin faced great calamities. But ever since the first gathering the lives of Wulin people has become more peaceful. These efforts of these 14 seniors is indeed great."
    Yu Peiyu just stared at the final portrait, the portrait was of an elderly distinguished man looking very tranquil.
    Zhong Jing smiled:"Sir, you must be surprised, why there isn't a painting of abbot Fanyin of Shaolin or reverend Tiejian of Wudang. This is old master Yu, he was the first senior that organised the Gathering of Lake Huang, Xiantian Wuji (Congenital No Extreme) school was at that time very famous and not inferior to Shaolin and Wudang."
    Yu Peiyu sighed softly and said:"I know."
    Zhong Jing continued:"Old master Yu lead the Gathering 3 times, and was a very much respected member of the gatherings. 30 years ago "Old Man Fanghe" became the leader of the Xiantian Wuji School and retreated out of the gatherings. My teacher and the masters of Shaolin and Wudang several tried to persuade him to stay but he declined. Senior Yu was a person who did not like these matters and retired from Wulin at the age of 30. Meaning there are only 13 Schools left."
    This beautiful and young Huashan disciple kept her eyes on Yu Peiyu the entire time when she narrated this Wulin history. Yu Peiyu felt sad and didn't speak. He couldn't sleep the entire night and the next morning he heard Zhong Jing outside his room saying sweetly:"Sir, are you awake, Diancang brother Yang JunBi has come to pick you up."
    Zhong Jing was still looking as charming as ever and the Diancang disciple Yang Junbi was also very respectful.
    Yang spoke:"Sir, my leading martial arts brother is awaiting outside, in the carriage."
    Yu Peiyu thanked him and walked outside.
    It was a big carriage and already 9 people were inside, all quite young. One young man wore a purple robe and a young pretty girl wore a yellow dress. They were "The young master of the divine sabre" and Jin Yanzi (Golden Swallow). 2 Taoist priests, and another young man in a yellow robe and a sword. Yu didn't see his face, this man stuck his head out of the window and was talking to a friend.
    Yu Peiyu just gave these people a quick glance and remained silent. He didn't want to talk and didn't wanted people talking to him.
    Zhong Jing said:"Sir, we'll see each other during the gathering."
    The doors of the carriage were closed and the the young man in the yellow robe turned around and smiled:"Who is the friend of Hong Lianhua?"
    He had a pair of bright shining eyes and looked quite pale. He was the one who ambushed the father of Yu Peiyu, Yu Fanghe.
    Yu Peiyu was trembling, when everyone heard he was the friend of Hong Lianhua everyone admired him. He just stared at that yellow robed young man.
    The young man spoke and smiled lightly:"My name is Xie Tianbi, I am also an old friend of master Hong Lian. May I ask what your name is?"

    Yu Peiyu yelled out:"You...you do not recognize me, but I recognize you!"
    He aimed his fists towards that Xie Tianbi, the force was incredible everyone in the carriage felt a strong wind coming towards them.
    Xie Tianbi was taken by surprise and could avoid those 2 blows with difficulty and shouted:"What are you doing?"
    Yu Peiyu continued his attack and said:"You will not escape today, I have looked for you high and low."
    Xie Tianbi was angered and surprised and fortunately for him the carriage was big enough for him to manoeuvre around and avoided another 7 fists and said angrily:"I have never met you before in my life. Why do you atta...."
    Yu Peiyu shouted:"Six days ago you killed my father, now you will die!"
    He strechted his left fist and his right fist pushed out, this stance was called "Earth-Shattering and Heaven-Battering."
    Xie Tianbi couldn't avoid this stance anymore, he too pushed out a fist and countered Yu's attack. But during the exchange of fists Xie was pushed against the door of the carriage.
    Yu Peiyu advanced forward, 3, 4 voices called out:"Cease and desist!"
    Yu saw knew that 3 swords were aimed at his back, 2 hooks were aimed for his neck and a short, sharp sabre was aimed towards his chest. The sabre was a good weapon, before actually making contact with Yu, Yu felt the coldness of the blade.
    Xie Tianbi was looking very pale and angrily asked:"What are you talking about? Who is your father? I don't know what you're talking about?"
    Yu Peiyu calmly said:"You know."
    Yu leant towards the left and landed in the chest of a taoist priest using a hook and pushed him down, with his right hand Yu diverted the other hook to block the 2 swords. With his elbow he hit the third person using the sword, the man was hit in his waist. He cried out in pain.
    However the young man using the sabre had his weapon still aimed at Yu's chest.
    This young man was the young master of the divine sabre. He coldly spoke:"You have remarkable abilities, but I suggest you would sit down and discuss this slowly."
    He moved his sabre slightly and Yu's robe was sliced open and the sharp tip pointed at his chest. He had no choice but to sit down. At this time the man who was hit in his waist got up and looked very wryly.
    Everyone in the carriage was in awe now, this unknown young man was able to push the famous young leader of the Diancang School back, and with one stance was able to strike down a renowned wielder of the "Touring Dragon Swordsmanship" Wu Tao. Although Yu had the element of surprise but what he did was still remarkable.
    A big fellow spoke:"You have good martial arts but you are truly to rash. Why do attack brother Xie? Could it be that you have mistaken him for someone else."
    Yu said:"Even if he turned to dust I will recognize him, 6 days ago he used a dispicable and lowly trick to kill my father in the city of Moling."
    Xie Tianbi said:"You must be dreaming, I just arrived from Mount Diancang. On my way never stopping I've never even been to the city of Moling or even near that place."
    Yu angrily called out:" You've never been there?"
    One of the Taoist priest said seriously:"I can vowe for master Xie."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Why should I believe you."
    The Taoist priest scoffed:"The Two Friends of Immortal Mists" never tell a lie."
    Yu Peiyu was stunned he has heard of "The Two Friends of Immortal Mists" before and knew that the 2 of them didn't have any extraordinary skills but were famous for their chivalry and good reputation. And knew their words are to be trusted but can he deny what he saw with his own eyes?
    The young master of the divine sabre said:"Now, what have you to say?"
    Yu Peiyu ground his teeth.
    Wu Tao could finally stand up straight now and said:"We cannot let him go. The gathering is about to start and he attacked brother Xie. He must have received orders from someone and must have other plans up his sleeve."
    The pretty young woman Jin Yanzi remained silent and looked at the situation with an aloof stare now coldly said:"Of course, master Wu wants to pay back that blow on the waist."
    Wu Tao's faced turned red and wanted to speak but he saw the sword stuck on Jin Yanzi waist and the Jade Dragon sabre the young master of the divine sabre held.
    Xie Tianbi spoke now and asked:"Miss Jin, what do you suggest?"
    Jin Yanzi not looking at Yu said:"I think this person must be a madman, just let him go."
    The young master said:"No! Even if we are to let him go we should interrogate him thoroughly."
    Jin Yanzi scoffed and turned her head away.
    Wu Tao agreed with the young master.
    The young master coldy said to Wu Tao:"I do not need your help."
    The carriage stopped now and everyone could hear voices outside. They must have arrived at a city.
    Yu Peiyu didn't speak anymore, he didn't know what to say at this point.
    Xie Tianbi said:"I'm very busy at the moment, if brother Sima wants to take over this affair I'm too happy. But what about master Hong Lian."
    Before he could finish, someone called out:"Master Xie are you in the carriage? Is young master Yu with you?"
    The speaker put his head through the window of the carriage, Yu recognized him as the old beggar who gave him the invitation.
    One of "Two Friends of Immortal Mists" spoke happily:"Mei Simang, I haven't seen you for years. Are you still that busy?"
    The old beggar, Mei Simang laughed:"I have some matters at hand today. Our leader has instructed me to invite young master Yu for a meeting. Afterwards I will drink to a heart's contend with you 2 false Taoist priests?"
    Mei ignored the young masters' sabre and held Yu's arm and pulled him out of the carriage and smiled:"Young master Yu, do you know that the most righteous and friendly Wulin association is the Beggars Association, the most wealthy Wulin school is Diancang. Young master is indeed fortunate to sit in such a luxurious carriage. Master Xie, our leader will invite for a drink after this."
    The young master of the divine sabre looked very unhappy about this situation but didn't speak.
    Xie Tianbi smiled:"Tell master Hong Lian, I will be too happy to drink with him."
    There was a lot of commotion outside, but Yu was also very confused.
    This Xie Tianbi was obviously the killer of my father, but what is going on here? And who is this master Hong Lian? And why does he help me?
    He heard Mei Simang whisper to him:"Don't stand just stand here, look around."
    Yu turned around and saw a pair of clear, beautiful eyes looking at him. Coldly but yet full of love.
    Mei Simang tapped on the shoulder of Yu and softly laughed:"This little swallow is full of sharp needles, watch out. Also the green-eyed monster is lurking besides her with the Jade Dragon Sabre. One look is enough. I think the interesting commotion ahead is much more peaceful."


    End of chapter 1

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 2 The Sudden Change of Dragon and Tiger

    Lake Huang is an ancient name derived from the Spring and Autumn Period (707 - 480 B.C).
    At this moment everyone could see 13 flagpoles with 13 impressive banners.
    Mei Simang pointed at a yellow silk banner and explained to Yu Peiyu:"Yellow represents prominence and only the leading martial arts school is allowed to use it. At the moment that is Shaolin.
    Taoism often refers to the colour purple, that's why the banner of Wudang is purple. "The Eight Stances of Heavenly Dragon" of Kunlun are known far and wide. For that reason there are several flying dragons embroided on their banner. It looks very impressive, don't you think?"
    Yu peiyu looked at a banner made out of several small pieces of different coloured cloths and asked:"Is this the banner of the Beggars Association?"
    Mei Simang laughed:"We ARE poor beggars and we use the the materials that other people throw away and made a banner out of it. We are very thrifty."
    Yu peiyu asked:"May I ask where master Hong Lian is at the moment? I would like to pay my respects."
    Mei Simang said:"Beneath every flag-pole there is a large tent, our leader is resting right over there in that tent." Mei pointed at a tent farther up ahead.
    As they walked towards the tent, many people looked very respectfully at Mei and Yu and greeted them very humbly.
    Yu Peiyu thought:"The Beggars Association has been able to remain the most important Wulin association for more than 100 years. Even the disciples have amazing abilities and prestige, their leader must be even more impressive. But when did I meet such an important and prominent man."
    The more he pondered over it the more confused he got and as they approached the tent he saw 20 to 30 young men and women partrolling. Judging by their appearances and all of them looked seemed to have good martial arts. But everyone of them wore different types of robes, they must be the top-notch disciples of the 13 Great Schools.
    Before Mei Simang could say something a Taoist priest in a purple robe approached him and humbly said:"Old master Mei, you have arrived. This is...?"
    Mei Simang laughed:"Hahaha!Taoist brother, this young master Yu and is an honourable guest."
    Yu Peiyu already took out his invitation and held it up. The Taoist priest backed 3 paces and said:"This was, please."
    Yu Peiyu looked back and now fully realised the safety precautions taken by the 13 Great Schools. He considered himself very lucky, because a large number of Wulin people were not allowed to enter and could only walk about outside the agreed perimeter.
    Mei Simang approached the tent and respectfully said:"Master, young master Yu is here."
    The voice said:"Please let him in! He must be very anxious now."
    Indeed Yu Peiyu wanted to know who this mysterious leader was and really couldn't wait anymore. Mei and him walked in and entered a very luxurious tent, he couldn't clearly see the face of the leader and knelt down and said humbly:"Yu Peiyu pays his respects to master Hong Lian."
    Master Hong Lian turned around and smiled:"Brother Yu, don't you recognize anymore?"
    Yu Peiyu saw a pair of bright, shining eyes and stuttered:"You..you..are you the leader of the Beggars Association?"
    Master Hong Lian is the young beggar, Hong Lianer he met earlier.
    Yu Peiyu was still too surprised to speak, Hong Lianhua laughed:"Not all leaders of Wulin schools are old, for example the leader of Diancang isn't even 30 yet. The leader of the Baihua (100 flowers) Association is also only 20 odd years old."

    Yu Peiyu said:"No wonder why master Hong Lian kept helping me."
    Hong Lianhua said:"There was no particular reason, and I like you. Wulin is a strange place, some people want to kill you for strange motives and some want to help for mysterious reasons."
    Yu Peiyu agreed and sighed:"True!"
    Hong Lianhua now stopped smiling and seriously asked him:"Judging from your expression, the gathering seems very important to you."
    Yu Peiyu tragicly said:"A matter of life and death."
    Hong Lianhua continued:"It would be unfair if a bunch of idlers were allowed to enter, when people like you who really have important matters are not allowed to participate."
    Yu Peiyu respectfully said:Master Hong Lian, thank you for helping me."
    Hong Lianhua smiled:"Also you are soon to be the next leader of the Xiantian Wuji School, when that happens we cannot even invite you over even if we gave you 100 invitations."
    Yu Peiyu stuttered:"How did you know?"

    At this point they heard a loud "Boing" and they heard a strong, clear voice saying:"The gathering is about to start. Would the 13 leaders please take their seats."

    Hong Lianhua held Yu Peiyu's hand and smiled:"All the previous leaders of the Beggars Association were not only notorious busybodies, but also had to have the ability to know practically everything. As to how I know that much about you know, you will soon find out."

    A huge platform was constructed for this occasion and many Wulin dignitaries were present.
    There was a big cauldron on the platform and it emitted a white smoke. On each side of the cauldron there was a row of armchairs. 13 in total, and already nine people were seated now.
    An old monk with a white long beard wearing a yellow kasya stood in front of the cauldron. Although he was quite small and skinny he looked very majestic. Obviously this old monk was the abbot of the Shaolin Monastery, reverend Tianyun.
    Under the platform there were several rows of armchairs, and several famous Wulin dignitaries were sitting there. However no one sat at the first row, which was a strange thing.
    Hong Lianhua smiled to Yu:"I have to go up there and perform now, just find a seat having a yellow invitation automatically means that you have a seat. Don't be shy."
    Hong Lianhua and 6 beggars walked up the platform.
    A deep, strong voiced announced:"The leader of the Beggars Association, master Hong Lien!"
    The announcer was a very tall and big man, Hong Lianhua was much smaller compared to him. But the eyes of all the attending heroes were shifted from the announcer to Hong Lienhua.
    Yu Peiyu smiled when he saw this he felt proud to have a friend like Hong Lianhua.
    A clear, lovely said to him:"Seeing that your friend is so impressive, you must feel proud too, don't you?
    Yu Peiyu turned around and saw a pair of cold, clear eyes but somehow also he saw a bit of passion in these eyes. Jin Yanzi was talking to him. Coincidentally, he sat next to her he smiled back but didn't say a word.
    The young master of the divine sabre was not pleased and looked quite annoyed now.
    He said to Jin Yanzi:"Yan-Er, shall we sit somewhere else?"
    Jin Yanzi coldly asked:"Why should I sit somewhere else?"
    The young master answered:"Somehow the air around here seems not so fresh anymore."
    Jin Yanzi said:"If you find it smelly here you can go and find a new seat. I'm staying right here."
    Yu Peiyu already stood up and wanted to find a new place to sit. However Jin Yanzi's delicate, soft hand held his wrist, the young master was furious now.
    He angrilly said:"Fine, fine! I will go away."
    Although he said that he remained seated and didn't leave Jin Yanzi out of sight.
    Yu was quite amused by this situation and secretly laughed.
    Although Yu Peiyu didn't fully understand what love meant at this point in his life but he knew it was sweet and bitter. After gazing into the eyes of Jin Yanzi he remembered Lin Daiyu. He remembered her eyes, expression, her strong personality and beauty. And asked why she tricked him.
    The announcer loudly introduced someone else now:"The leader of the Baihua (100 flowers)Association, Madame Hai Tangjun!" (*Hai Tang is a kind of Chinese cherry blossom).
    12 young maidens carried a sedan-chair decorated with fragrant flowers. Everyone was enchanted by the scent of those flowers. On top of the sedan-chair was a beautiful, enchanting woman wearing a tempting silk gown and lots of garlands. She got off the sedan-chair and one of the maidens held her hand, everyone was captivated by her fragrance and allure.
    Jin Yanzi softly sighed to Yu Peiyu:"This Madame Hai Tang is indeed a true beauty."
    Yu Peiyu didn't answere he was looking into the crowd looking for someone.
    12 of the 13 leaders of the Great Schools have arrived.
    Yu Peiyu was hoping to see someone, could he be wrong. Wouldn't "they" make an appearance here?
    The attending heroes were all wondering:"The leader of the Hainan School hasn't arrived yet. Why is that?"
    Could it be that master Yu is detained, because he lives in the outer south of China?"
    The heroes kept talking about the leader of the Hainan School, Yu Xuan, why he is late.
    Suddenly everyone was quiet and looked at a man, Yu Peiyu watched that man too. It was a rather fat man wearing a green robe and staggered like a drunk. In his waist was an old sword and judging by his expression he was a drunk. He didn't seem to care that everyone was staring at him.
    The announcer frowned and loudly introduced:"The leader of the Hainan School, master Yu Xuan!"
    This is the impressive "The Flying Fish and the Swift Sword" Yu Xuan. It is said that he is unbeaten throughout the 18 isles of the South Sea.
    He walked up the platform and laughed:"Sorry, I'm late. Please forgive me."
    The abbot of Shaolin gave him a Buddhist greeting by putting his palms together.
    A Taoist priest wearing a black robe coldly smiled:"Brother Yu, you're not too late. You could have drunk a few more cups before joining us."
    Yu Xuan blinked his eyes and laughingly said:"Well, some people see the fun of liquor and some don't. I cannot help it if the KongTong School prohibits drinking. I have nothing else to say to the likes of you."
    The black-robed Taoist priest got up and sternly said:"The gathering does NOT welcome drunkards like you."
    Yu Xuan didn't pay any attention to him and sat down.
    The abbot of Shaolin smiled and said:"Taoist brother Jueqing, please don't be upset...."
    Jueqing Zi angrilly said:"This man is late because he was getting himself drunk. Because of his drinking he could have delayed the prospects and future of all heroes of the realm. He should be punished accordingly otherwise how can we establish discipline."
    Abbot Tianyun turned to the leader of Wudang reverend Chuchen, reverend Chuchen got up and said:"Master Yu...."
    Before he could finish, Hong Lianhua laughed:"Do all of you think that master Yu is late because he went drinking?"
    Reverend Chuchen smiled:"I think the information master Hong Lian gathered will enlighten us."
    Hong Lianhua loudly said:"Master Yu was able to lure "The 7 Hornets of the White Forest" to a remote place and killed them all. With this act he re-assured the safety of all the women of the gathering. I, Hong Lianhua would like to thank him."
    All the heroes were shocked to hear that the infamous rapists "The 7 Hornets of the White Forest" were able to sneak into the city. Luckily Yu Xuan killed them otherwise who knows which poor woman or girl will fall victim.
    Shaolin was the organizer of this time's gathering if anything happened they would be held responsible. Although abbot Tianyun has extraordinary cultivation he was still surprised.
    Yu Xuan smiled in a carefree manner:"Master Hong Lian is really knowlegdeable. Even small matters like this do not escape your attention."
    Abbot Tianyun earnestly said:"Benefactor Yu, how can you say that this is a small matter? You have done a great deed by this action alone you're fit to be the new chancellor of Wulin."
    If anyone else said these words it probably would be plain polite words of formality. But these words were said by the abbot of Shaolin and carry a very strong weight. With this sentence alone Yu Xuan could very well be the next chancellor of Wulin for the next 7 years.
    Yu Xuan respectfully said:"If I hadn't disposed of those rogues, I'm sure master Hong Lian would have."
    Hong Lianhua hurriedly said:"Beggars cannot become leaders of the martial arts realm, we will become the laughing-stock of the entire world. Abbot Tianyun is highly respected in Wulin and I feel that we should ask reverend Tianyun to lead us one more time."
    Abbot Tianyun sighed:"I am too old now to lead the realm of martial arts. Even without this incident I have no intentions of becoming chancellor again."
    It seems that Shaolin had no ambitions to lead again, but who dares to follow the footsteps of Shaolin.
    But abbot Tianyun has expressed to retreat freely, at this point the other leaders stood up.
    The leader of the Huashan School, the graceful Taoist priestess Xu Shuzhen said wiht her clear voice:"Wudang has been the orthodox Taoist school for many years. If abbot Tianyun really stays adamant in his decision. I will certainly support Wudang."
    Reverend Chuchen smiled and sat down.
    The leader of the Kongtong school scoffed:"Of course Wudang will receive support from Huashan. Unfortunately I do NOT have a sister who is the leader of the Huashan School."
    Xu Shuzhen and reverend Chuchen are brother and sister, coincidentally both became leaders of the 2 prominent martial arts schools. Which is a exemplary tale, however now it became an excuse for Jueqing Zi to make fun of them both.
    Xu Shuzhen raised her pretty eyebrows, reverend Chuchen smiled:"In that case I nominate reverend Jueqing."

    Xie Tianbi loudly said:"If someone else would lead Wulin we, Diancang will have no objections. However, we do have some objections to Kongtong and reverend Jueqing."
    Although the Diancang School was located in Yunnan province, but disciples of Diancang were very much respected and the words of the leader of Diancang carried a lot weight in Wulin.
    Jueqing Zi's face changed and said:"It seems that in order to pick a new chancellor there must be a fight."
    Xie Tianbi held his sword and said:"In that case I would like to encounter the world famous "Merciless Swordsmanship."
    At this point an old man with a long beard stood up and said:"I, Ouyang Long on behalf of the 36 united heroes of the waters, nominate master Xie of the Diancang School. As for reverend Jueqing's "Merciless Swordsman...."
    Before he could finish a bald old man with a rather fair, red young face laughed and said:"Diancang School lies in the outer regions of China, if master Xie becomes the chancellor he will have no control over lord Ouyang. In that case lord Ouyang is free to do whatever he likes."
    Ouyang Long angrilly said:"What do you mean with those words! It can be that everyone else fears the secretive weaponry of the Tang Clan of Sichuan province. But I AM NOT AFRAID OF YOU!"
    The bald old man smiled:"So you want to try it, don't you?"
    He waved his hand and Ouyang Long quickly leapt backwards.
    The bald old man stroked his beard and lauged:"Lord Ouyang is very courageous indeed."
    Abbot Tianyun saw that the entire matter was getting out of hand and frowned his eyebrows and said:"Would everyone settle down! It was not my intention to create chaos."
    Despite all the noise everyone could hear the voice of abbot Tianyun clearly and everybody settled down.
    Now, a large muscular man jumped up the platform. He was as tall and impressive as the announcer he lifted the heavy cauldron with ease.
    All the heroes applauded when seeing this. Even Yu Peiyu exclaimed:"This man is truely awesome!"
    Jin Yanzi immediately spoke:"He is one of the leading figures of the Wulin of the northern regions of China.Everyone calls him "The Invincible Iron Overlord." His arms are very strong and can easily lift heavy objects. But he is not too intelligent."
    Yu Peiyu still didn't talk to her and watched the Iron Overlord carrying the cauldron walking about on the platform.
    He put the cauldron down and shouted:"Whoever can lift this cauldron and can easily walk 3 steps on the platform I will support him becoming the new chancellor of Wulin"!"

    All the present dignitaries on the platform were all martial arts experts but this ability was something they could not do.
    As result nobody said a word.
    The Iron Overlord was feeling very pleased and was looking arrogantly.
    Madame Hai Tang walked up to the Iron Overlord and smiled sweetly:"I never thought I would have the chance to see the Iron Tyrant Strength. I really admire your strength."
    The Iron Overlord was mesmerized by her charm and beauty and cleared his throat and smiled dryly:"You're too kind, Madame."
    She stared at him and said very tenderly:"That awesome power you displayed, is it really generated through these 2 arms?"
    The fragrance of her was really quite strong, even if you stood metres from her you would still be captivated by her sweet scent. And now she just stood a few centimetres away from the Iron Overlord he was already practicallly under her spell and had difficulty standing still.
    Madame Hai Tang innocently asked:"Can I touch your arms?"
    The Iron Overlord blushed and stuttered:"Ma...Madame....I...uhh...I"
    The delicate soft hands of Madame Hai Tang were already touching, stroking the arm of the Overlord. He was completelt lost what to do and just stood there blushing.
    Hong Lianhua called out:"Brother Tie, pay attention!"
    But it was too late, he felt an iron grip and couldn't move anymore. Madame Hai Tang smilingly held up the Iron Overlord with ease.
    A muscular big man was being held up in the air by a graceful young woman. This is was a scene that no one will ever forget.
    Nobody knew whether to clap their hands or laugh.
    Madame Hai Tang now sighed sweetly:"Whoever can lift this true "HERO" I will support him in becoming the next chancellor of Wulin."
    After saying this she put the Iron Overlord down and smiled tenderly and walked back to her seat.
    The Iron Overlord could move again but was too confused to do anything and just stared at her in a silly way.
    Yu Xuan approached Madame Hai Tang and laughed:"Madame, could I borrow a garland from you?"
    Madame Hai Tang blinked her eyes and said:"If master Yu was a bit slimmer I will be very happy to give you one of....."
    Before she could finish her sentence she saw that on top Yu Xuan's tip of the sword was one of her garlands. Nobody could see clearly when, how Yu Xuan drew his sword and how he managed to remove a garland from Madame Hai Tang.
    She quickly paced back 3 steps and looked quite pale now.
    Hong Lianhua laughed:"Madame, since you gave away one of your garlands to master Yu. Why don't you wear one of my red lotuses."
    During his laughter he advanced forward very quickly and before everyone knew it a red lotus was stuck between the hair of Madame Hai Tang.
    The display of Hong Lianhua's unique art of levitation was truly amazing even the leader of Kunlun renowned for his "Eight Stances of Heavenly Dragon" was impressed and felt he couldn't do this either.
    Madame Hai Tang looked very pale now and she put both of her hands in her sleeves and smiled:"Two grown men picking on a helpless woman. Aren't you afraid people will talk?"
    Although she smiled ever so charming, all the heroes had heard of the three killing specialities of Baihua Association; flower, fog and rain.
    At this point she must have prepared her hands in her sleeves and was about to strike.
    Hong Lianhua and Yu Xuan were still smiling but they were very cautious now. They also have heard of the three killing specialties of Baihua Association, The Soul-dissolving Flower, The Bone Gnawing Rain and the Heavenly Fragrant Fog.
    To their knowledge no one was able to avoid any of these specialties without injuries.
    But the fast sword of Yu Xuan was also not to be trifled with.

    At this very exciting moment a figure stood in between Yu Xuang and Madame Hai Tang. It was abbot Tianyun who quickly intervened all the experts present didn't see when and how he stood in between them.
    Abbot Tianyun said:"There are numerous variations in martial arts, everyone has their advantages and disadvantages. If all of you would engage in meaningless battles not only will it be difficult to find a victor but everyone will become the laughing-stock of the world."
    Everyone kept quiet, reverend Chuchen asked:"Abbot Tianyun, what do you suggest?"
    Abbot Tianyun answered:"When it comes to martial arts everyone has his or her strong points. And when it comes to prestige being all leaders of prominent martial arts schools it is also very difficult to make a difference in that too. What I suggest is...."
    A laughing man said loudly:"Well, why don't all of you give the leading position to my Xiantian Wuji School!"
    10 odd men walked slwoly towards the platform. Everyone including the dignitaries on the platform were all impressed.
    Yu Peiyu was shaking and said to himself softly:"Here they are, here they are...."
    These 10 odd men formed to rows and all of them wore green brocades and had long beards. They were at least 50 odd years old.

    These 10 odd men were famous top martial arts experts in the realm. Although a lot of people haven't met them but they have all heard of their names.
    The Flowered Chestnut Sword Lin Shoujuan, the Dragonking of Taihu, Silver Spear Shen, Ximen Feng of Mount Mao, the hero of Jiangnan Wang Yuluo, etc.
    In spite of the fact that they weren't leaders of any martial arts schools their fame was not inferior to the 13 leaders of the Great Schools.
    Abbot Tianyun quickly advanced to greet them:"Welcome everyone! It is indeed an honour to have you here to attend the ceremony. Please take a seat at the first row."
    Lin Shoujuan smiled:"We're not here to attend the ceremony."
    Wang Yuluo said:"Isn't the Xiantian Wuji School worthy enough anymore to take place on the platform?"
    Abbot Tianyun was a bit confused but kept his smile and asked:"Since when did all of you entered the Xiantian Wuji School?"
    Lin Shoujuan said:"We haven't invited anyone over that day, please forgive us."
    Abbot Tianyun said:"Benefactors,.....your leader, master Yu is he...."
    A voice from behind said:"How are you doing, reverend Tianyun? We haven't seen each other for many years."
    Abbot Tianyun turned around and saw an elderly, sophisticated man in a long brocade standing on the platform, it was the leader of the Xiantian Wuji School Yu Fanghe.
    Nobody saw him walk up the platform.
    Abbot Tianyun said:"Brother Yu, I am glad to see you again. I never thought you would enter the realm of martial arts again. But with your arrival I can feel assured now."
    In other words abbot Tianyun is supporting Yu Fanghe and the Xiantian Wuji School.
    Jueqing Zi and others were not to eager to give in but seeing that Yu Fanghe has managed to enlist a group of top martial arts masters they have no choice but to give in.
    Reverend Chuchen said:"If brother Yu would become the new chancellor of Wulin all the Wudang disciples will be very pleased."
    Jueqing Zi said:"The entire Kongtong School admires master Yu's reputation and will gladly see master Yu becoming the new chancellor of Wulin."
    Ouyang Long loudly said:"My teacher often spoke of master Yu when he was alive. It is a great honour to meet you in person, all the friends of the waters will be very happy to see master Yu lead us."
    Madame Hai Tang also said:"Master Yu is famous for his benevolence and righteousness and cannot be compared to mean men who bully innocent women. The Baihua Association fully supports master Yu."
    Everyone clapped their hands and approved.
    It seems that Yu Fanghe is becoming the next leader for sure. Hong Lianhua is shocked to see this situation and is looking into the crowd hoping to spot Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Fanghe smiled:"I'm an old man with no special abilities and am not fit to lead of all the heroes in the realm. However ...."
    Yu Peiyu couldn't control himself anymore and rushed up the platform and called out:"THIS MAN IS NOT MY FATHER! HE IS AN IMPOSTER!"
    Lin Shoujuan chided:"Peiyu! Have you gone mad!"
    The Dragonking of Taihu and Ximen Feng tried to block Yu but were pushed aside by Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu stood in front of "Yu Fanghe" and shouted:"Who are you? Why do you pretend to be my father?"
    During his shout he raised his palm and pushed out towards "Yu Fanghe."
    Suddenly he felt a soft, gentle power pushing back and pushed him a few metres back.
    Now, Ximen, Shen, and Lin quickly held Yu Peiyu tightly.
    Abbot Tianyun frowned and said:"This young benefactor is truly too rash."
    Reverend Chuchen also said:"Whose disciple is he?"
    Yu Peiyu had tears in his eyes and said:"My name is Yu Peiyu."
    Abbot Tianyun asked Yu Fanghe:"This young man is your son?"
    Yu Fanghe looked up and laughed bitterly:"This boy...he...he..."and sighed.
    Now, reverend Chuchen chided Yu Peiyu too:"How can you behave this rudely in front of seniors."
    Yu Peiyu couldn't move at all and cried out:"He is not my father! My father is dead! I was there when he died....."
    Abbot Tianyun and reverend Chuchen looked at each other and looked confused.
    Wang Yuluo sighed:"The poor chid has gone insane."
    Xie Tianbi nodded and said:"This young man is indeed strange, this morning he accused me of killing his father. But that is impossible I only arrived a few days ago. Fortunately, master Yu has arrived now. This is truly a most unfortunate tragedy...."
    Even if there were some people who believed a bit of Yu Peiyu's claim but after hearing this they shook their hands and sighed.
    Who will they believe, the words of a group of respected martial arts experts or a rash young man?
    This is not even a fair question.
    Yu Peiyu saw that everyone was looking at him with compassion and sadness. Nobody believes his story. He was crying now, because who can help him. Will his grievance never be settled?

    Lin Shoujuan saw that no one believes Yu Peiyu and he fiercely spoke:"This child has no respects for his father and other seniors. His intentions are wicked and his crimes are unforgivable. Nobody in Wulin can plead for him anymore, I see no other choice but to place righteousness above family loyality and kill him myself."
    Even Yu Peiyu's own future father-in-law cannot tolerate him anymore, so nobody else can speak on behalf of him.
    He drew his sword and aimed for Yu Peiyu.
    Somone shouted:"Stop right now!"
    Lin Shoujuan's hand couldn't move anymore and he saw that Hong Lianhua grabbed his wrist.
    He was surprised and asked:"Master Hong Lian, why do you help this unfilial child?"
    Hong Lianhua ignored him and tapped Yu Peiyu on the shoulder and laughed:"This joke of yours is a bit too exaggerated but it was very convincing."
    Again everyone was stunned, Lin Shoujuan stammered:"Joke...? What joke?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"Every time these Wulin gatherings are too serious and lack entertainment. This time I thought of an idea to bring a bit of fun."
    Abbot Tianyun, reverend Chuchen and others were all too surprised to talk now.
    Hong Lianhua unsealed Yu's acupoints by patting on his back and smiled:"The joke is over now, you can tell the truth."
    Yu Peiyu lowered his head and said:"Yes...yes.."
    He lifted his head and knelt in front of Yu Fanghe, kowtowed and said:"Please forgive me, father! I was too rude."
    Yu Fanghe was looking very pale and said:"You...you...(*cough)...this is too much..."
    Hong Lianhua said to Yu Peiyu:"Your father has forgiven you, you can get up now."
    Everyone now understood and started to smile and thought it was quite a funny joke.
    Only Yu Fanghe, Wang Yuluo and others were fuming.
    Xie Tianbi laughingly said:"Brother Hong Lian, I should have guessed you were behind this joke."
    Hong Lianhua smiled:"Of course, otherwise who would put an idea in his head to accuse you of being the murderer of his father."
    Xian Tianbi laughed loudly.
    Yu Fanghe coughed:"This son...he is...(*sigh)."
    Besides sighing and coughing what else can he do.
    Hong Lianhua helped Yu getting up:"I am the one who put you up to this, I'm sorry that you have to kneel."
    LIn Shoujuan sternly said:"Just a minute! The gathering at Lake Huang is a serious matter. How can we allow such nonsense go unpunished. What he did cannot be forgiven because he just knelt down and kowtowed to his father."
    Hong Lianhua asked calmly:"What do you suggest Mr. Lin?"
    Lin Shoujuan said:"Just for being rude to his seniors is enough to nullify his martial arts and ban him from his school and family."
    Hong Lianhua smiled:"Mr. Lin, since when have you become the new chancellor of Wulin?"
    Lin Shoujuan was stunned and stuttered:"No, I..."
    Hong Lianhua asked again:"Are you the father of brother Peiyu?"
    Lin answered:"No, I am not."
    Hong Lianhua put up a serious face and said:"In that case, WHO ARE YOU to give orders around on the platform of the gathering at Lake Huang?"
    His eyes were very sharp and Lin Shoujuan avoided eye contact with him.
    Hong Lianhua looked around and said:"This was my idea! If any of you found this was a bad plan, fine! Punish me or strike me if you please!"
    The Beggars Association had existed for more than 800 years now, had thousands of disciples. Hong Lianhua may be young but no one in Wulin would dare to question his martial arts, intelligence, fame. Who would dare to punish him or even to lay a hand on him.
    Jueqing Zi was unconcerned about this matter, Madame Hai Tang being a smart woman remained silent.
    Yu Xuan smiled:"In my opinion brother Hong Lian just played a harmless joke. Nothing to fuss about we should even thank him and invite him for wine for providing such entertainment."
    Hong Lianhua smiled happily and turned to abbot Tianyun:"What do you think, reverend?"
    Abbot Tianyun frowned and turned to Yu Fanghe:"Brother Yu should deal with this incident."
    Yu Fanghe remained silent for awhile, somebody with a sharp voice called out from the crowd:"Even a tiger won't eat his own cubs!"
    It seems that Yu Fanghe's face changed and smiled wryly:"So be it, since master Hong Lian has pleaded on his behalf I will let the matter rest."
    Everyone was happy that the incident was solved and cheered.
    Hong Lianhua quickly whispered to Mei Simang:"Find out who that person was that shouted."
    Mei Simang quietly left the platform and Hong Lienhua thanked Yu Fanghe.
    Yu Peiyu looked at Hong Lianhua his eyes were filled with gratitude. He bowed four times to Hong and left the platform. Lin Shoujuan, Ximen Feng and others were looking at Yu Peiyu but couldn't do a thing. All the attending heroes were looking at Yu Peiyu too and smiled.
    The young master of the divine sabre softly cursed in his own local dialect, but it was loud enough for Jin Yanzi to hear it.
    She coldly said:"He is the son of the new chancellor of Wulin. When it comes to martial arts and prestige he is far and far above you. I advise you not to antagonize him."
    The young master of the divine sabre was furious and gritted his teeth.

    Yu Peiyu didn't turn around to look at other people. He just wanted to get away from everyone. He was absolutely lost, he didn't know what to do.
    There were people everywhere and everyone was pushing each other about. Yu was pushing too, suddenly he felt something prick him in the side. So as result he pushed people aside, with his tremendous strength and his strong internal energy those people all fell on the ground. Some of them called out and cursed, but Yu didn't care anymore. He just wanted to rest.
    Finally, he reached a remote desolate place and sat down on a rock.
    He felt something dripping from his back, he used his hand to wipe it away. Thinking it was sweat, but when he looked at his hand he saw it wasn't sweat but blood. He now realised that someone tried to kill him in the crowd earlier. Fortunately he pushed out and wanted to get away, otherwise....
    He broke out in a cold sweat.
    He was so extremely tired and disillusioned about everything.
    He pondered about lots of things, about Hong Lianhua's friendship.
    About the killer of his father, but now he had to acknowledge an imposter as his father. He was angry and sad.
    Thinking back he is surprised how he managed to put a smile on his face. He couldn't hold back his tears anymore, his father was dead, his home was gone, all his relatives and friends have deserted him.
    The only thing that kept him going and will keep him going is he wants to find out what is going on here. He cannot give up and will not give up, so he will stay alive no matter what. He got up and started walking.

    He heard three people sneaking up on him, Yu Peiyu turned around and saw three shadows quickly hide behind a rock. Yu Peiyu pretended that he didn't notice the three men and walked even slower now. All of a sudden three sabres attacked him from behind. Fast and vicious.
    Yu Peiyu stopped and bent forward and used his right leg to kick backwards and heard a scream. One of the attackers was sent flying, the other 2 saw that their attack failed and wanted to run.
    Yu Peiyu turned around and used his fist to hit one of the man on the back, the man ran a few steps but suddenly he bent forward and fell to the ground.
    The remaining man knew he couldn't escape anymore and turned around to fight. He raised his sabre and wanted to hack Yu, Yu seized his wrist the man wanted to used his fist to strike down Yu. But Yu easily used his other hand to grab the fist.
    This man was not a weakling but somehow his martial arts didn't mean a thing anymore around Yu Peiyu.
    Yu put force into his both hands and squeezed, the man broke out in a sweat and cried out.
    Yu Peiyu sternly asked:"Who sent you? Tell me, and I will let you live."
    The man laughed:"You will never know"
    The laughing stopped and the man's face turned green.
    Yu Peiyu quickly took his pulse but it was too late. In a few moments the man's face changed colour a few times and all the flesh in his face dissolved. Yu Peiyu saw that this poison was similar to the poison that killed Hei Gezi when all the problems started.
    He knew that this man was sent by that evil mastermind.
    He went over to check on the other 2 attackers and saw that both of them were dead. He sighed and realised he used to much strenth just then.
    He lifted his head and stared into the air and sighed, he felt an itch in his hands and started to scratch them.
    But the itch seemed to get worse, before long he knew there was something amiss.
    He looked at his hands and saw that his fingers were swollen and his palms were black.
    The itch and the starting numbness began to spread to his arms too.
    He tried to pick the sabre on the ground but his hands didn't listen anymore. With great difficulty he could pick a sabre and wanted to chop off one of his hands.
    Suddenly an object flew by and sent the sabre flying.
    Two tall figures in long robes came out the bushes, both wore a black cloth covering their face except for their sinister looking eyes.
    One was a skinny, tall man, the other was quite muscular.

    The skinny man laughed evilly:"Scratch, go ahead! Scratch it will make you feel better."
    Yu Peiyu couldn't resist and scratched his hands but in an instant he stopped. He yelled to those 2 men:"In the end I couldn't
    escape your vile treachery. Just kill me now!
    The skinny man said:"Now, you realise you cannot escape. Weren't you feeling high and mighty just a few moments ago by defeating those three."
    The muscular man scoffed:"Those three were sent to die, otherwise why would we sent three useless, expendable fools to deal with you."
    The skinny man continued:"We knew that you would investigate their bodies after you've dealt with them. We have sprinkled poisonous powder on their clothes. When you touched them you were poisoned, and with every scratch the poison will travel faster."
    The muscular man laughed:"Now both of your hands are too swollen up to fight. Can you still be that arrogant and hit us?"
    These two men are putting up a two-man comic show to antagonize Yu Peiyu.
    Their plan was devious and ingenious, no matter how careful you are it was practically impossible to escape them.
    Yu Peiyu was furious and called out:"Just for your own selfish gain you can even sent your own people to death. What kind of monsters are you!"
    The skinny man scoffed:"These 3 men were willing to die for the master and his cause. They died a glorious death. Even their families will feel honoured."
    The muscular man said:"But when you die no one will even miss you. They won't even know that you're dead. They will just think that you're touring the world."
    Yu Peiyu was feeling very cold now and smiled bitterly:"I never would have dreamt that there was such a vicious person in this world...."
    The poison began to take effect and Yu Peiyu fell down.
    The skinny man laughed:"That is the way in the realm of martial arts, I hack at you with my sabre, you stab me with your sword. It is just a matter of who will die first."
    The muscular man said:"Amusing, very amusing."
    Both of them picked up a sabre and walked to Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I'm about to die, can you at least tell me who this mastermind is."
    The skinny man said:"I'm afraid you're destined to become a muddle-headed ghost."
    The muscular man continued:"It's not that we do not want to tell you, but the truth is we don't know who the master is either."

    Suddenly the muscular man leapt up and called out:"Snake...a snake!"
    And he fell to the ground. The skinny man saw a snake biting him and saw 2 snakes coming for him and quickly avoided the snakes. He said to the muscular man:"I will take care of your family. You can die in peace."He used his sabre to hack the muscular man in the face and left.
    The muscular man covered in his own blood said with his dying breath:"I feel honoured that I can die for the master and his cause."
    Yu Peiyu watched this in amazement but before long he felt dizzy and fainted.

    After some time he gradually woke up, the itching was gone but he felt pain and still couldn't move. He was still feeling very woozy in a haze he saw an old man with a white, silver long beard standing in front of him. When he took a closer look he was happy and surprised and said softly:"Mei Sim..."
    The old man was Mei Simang of the Beggars Association, he turned to Yu Peiyu and said softly:"Don't move! My little friends are sucking the poison out of your body."
    Yu saw 4 little snakes attached to his body.
    Mei Simang was looking at the snakes like a proud parent was admiring his children. He asked with a smile:"Aren't they cute?" After being almost killed by 2 ruthless men and one devious plot, these snakes seem indeed very cute.
    Yu Peiyu managed to smile a bit, this was the first time in a long, long time he felt a bit relaxed.
    He was thining that perhaps Mei Simang might know the identity of the attackers. Because judging from the martial arts of the 2 men they must be famous martial artists. And Mei Simang being a knowledgeable Wulin senior might recognize them.
    Mei Simang saw the pensive face of Yu and knew what he was thinking and sighed:"It could be that I know this man but unfortunately the other man deliberately mutilated his face, so that we cannot trace the identity of this man. Such viciousness is seldom seen."
    Yu Peiyu closed his eyes and sighed this lead has also ended.
    Mei Simang continued:"I carefully examined, searched the clothers of these men but couldn't find a clue that would reveal their identities. They're not only cunning but also very cautious."
    He looked at the hand of Yu Peiyu and nodded. He whistled softly and the snakes let go and crawled back to him. Mei Simang softly said:"Good job! You can rest now."
    The snakes seemed to understand him and crawled back into a sack.
    Mei Simang said:"Luckily the poison didn't enter your body via a wound otherwise there might be some problems. Now you just need a good rest."
    Yu Peiyu wanted to say thanks but knew that a mere [thanks] would not repay the kindness of Mei Simang and would probably insult him too. Also Mei Simang seemed very happy to help.
    Mei Simang continued:"I don't know if the gathering has finished, if the gathering is over master Hong Lian wishes to speak to you."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I won't go."
    Mei Simang asked:"Why?" Yu Peiyu said:"I don't want to drag the Beggars Association into my family problems."
    Mei Simang smiled lightly and said:"Master Hong Lian is not the sort of man who is afraid for a bit of trouble."
    Yu Peiyu sighed and followed Mei Simang.
    Mei Simang said:"I think I heard cheers earlier, I suppose the ceremony is over and the new chancellor of Wulin is installed. With this the peace in Wulin is secured."
    Yu Peiyu asked bitterly:"Is it really secured?"
    Mei Simang sighed:"I hope it will be."
    The feast to celebrate the new leader of Wulin Yu Fanghe has started.
    Before long they reached the tent of Hong Lianhua. There was no one near the tent, a voice inside asked:"Who is there?" The voice was deep and powerful, Yu Peiyu was startled and then he heard Hong Lianhua asking:"Has father Mei returned? Did you bring back our lost little sheep?"
    Both of them entered, Yu Peiyu saw an elderly majestic looking Taoist priest sitting next to Hong Lianhua. The old Taoist priest sat very straight and examined Yu Peiyu with his pair of shining eyes.
    Yu Peiyu lowered his head, the grandeur of that old Taoist priest was incredible.
    Hong Lianhua laughed:"You're finally here. Do you recognize this reverend?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"The leader of the Kunlun School?"
    Hong Lianhua clapped his hands and praised:"Very good! Reverend Tiangang didn't say a word when you entered and yet you were able to recognize him."
    Hong Lianhua turned to Mei Simang and asked:"What kind of poison did those men use? And who were they?"
    Mei Simang lowered his head and replied:"The identities of those men are unknown and I don't recognize the poison however..."
    While he was relating what happened, reverend Tiangang got up and advanced to Yu Peiyu with lightning speed and used his index finger to seal 12 major acupoints of Yu's arms and put a pill in Yu's mouth. He said to Yu Peiyu:"Don't move for the next hour."
    Without saying anything else Yu swallowed the pill and reverend Tiangang returned to his seat with the same speed.
    Yu Peiyu was also very surprised now and remained silent. Mei Simang lowered his head even deeper and said:"I...I thought.."
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"You thought you had removed the poison from brother Peiyu's body?"
    Mei Simang said:"I saw that..."
    Hong Lianhua explained:"If it wasn't for reverend Tiangang's Diamond Finger and Gold Dissolving Pill the arms of brother Peiyu were lost."
    Yu Peiyu was shocked and Mei Simang looked ashamed.
    Hong Lianhua asked:"Earlier I asked to see who that person was that shouted something to Yu Fanghe. Did you find something about that person?"
    Mei Simang replied:"I asked several people, but no one paid any attention that that person. They only knew that he wore a black robe."
    Hong Lianhua frowned and said:"A black robe..."
    Of all the attending Wulin people at the gathering almost half the people present wore something black.
    Hong Lianhua turned to reverend Tiangang and asked:"What do you think, reverend?"
    Reverend Tiangang answered:"A unknown poison, unknown assassins, a devious plot with no flaws."
    Hong Lianhua asked:"Could that mysterious black-robed man belong to the Xiantian Wuji School?"
    Reverend Tiangang replied:"Even if he isn't a disciple he must have links to the school."
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"If you say that Yu Fanghe, Wang Yuluo, Lin Shoujuan and other prominent Wulin heroes were behind this evil plot. Nobody will believe it. Their chivalrous and benevolent deeds over these 20 years are not fake. But if we say that they do not have anything to do with this conspiracy, that doesn't make sense either."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Their fame is real, but these men are imposters."
    Hong Lianhua smiled bitterly:"I carefully examined their faces and movements. They are not wearing a mask or a disguise. Also if they were no one can be that accurate in acting the manners of someone else. Furthermore if they were disguised and wearing masks how could they fool abbot Tianyun and reverend Chuchen and others who are befriended with them for many years."
    Yu Peiyu lowered his head, forgetting about the other people like Lin Shoujuan, Wang Yuluo, etc.
    But just his father, the man that impersonates his father is so lifelike. If Yu Peiyu didn't see his real father die he would surely believe that this Yu Fanghe is his father. But who can this be?

    Mei Simang said:"Could it be that these people were hypnotized and are under the control of someone else? I could remember that many years ago something similar happened in Wulin."
    Hong Lianhua said:"No, hypnotized men behave differently, very artificial. But these men behave very naturally and don't seem to be hypnotized."
    Reverend Tiangang sighed deeply:"A very cunning plan with no flaws."
    Hong Lianhua said:"If we say that these men were imposters they seem to real. But if they are not imposters their actions are very questionable. Whether they are following orders from someone else or following their own secret dark agenda, at this moment they have successfully become the leaders of Wulin. This is something which brings a lot of concern and besides the four of us everyone believes their intentions are pure and good."
    He added with a wry smile:"This must be the most deadly and masterful plan of the entire history of Wulin."
    Reverend Tiangang put up an even more serious face than usual and said:"Young master Yu is our only chance in foiling their plans."
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"Because of this his life is in peril. If anything happens to him..."
    Mei Simang asked:"But this Yu Fanghe has acknowledged that young master Yu is his son, how can he kill him anymore?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"Although he cannot kill young master Yu openly, he could have him assassinated and look like if it was an accident. And accidents do happen and no one has to take any responsibility for an accident."
    Mei Simang said:"That explains why nobody tried to ambush young master Yu earlier, when I was trying to cure him. They were afraid there might be witnesses."
    Hong Lianhua said:"It will be very difficult for him to leave this place on his own. We have to..."
    Reverend Tiangang interrupted Hong Lianhua:"Do you know what the worst thing is that could happen right now?"
    Hong Lianhua frowned and asked:"Reverend, have you thought of something?"
    Reverend Tiangang said:"If this would happen, young master Yu would surely die."
    Suddenly someone outside called out very loudly:"Is reverend Tiangang here? Chancellor Yu would like to speak to you."
    Reverend Tiangang's face changed and said:"I will be back in awhile." He got up and walked outside.
    Hong Lianhua looked even more worried now and said:"Reverend Tiangang must have thought of something important. What could he have thought of"
    Mei Simang softly said:"What a frightening plot! At this point things are dangerous already, could it get any worse? Young master Yu is really in a lot of trouble..."
    Yu Peiyu smiled tragically:"I know that I am pushed into the corner of death, even if I won't die I will probably go mad. But anyhow I'm grateful to the people who believe and helped me till the day I die."
    Hong Lianhua shook his head and didn't know what to say.
    Yu Peiyu said:"I don't know how to thank you, master Hong Lian. Everyone thinks I'm a madman but why do you believe me?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"There is a reason...."
    He took out a beautifully embroided pouch out of his robe and opened it. Inside was an old piece of paper. He handed the paper to Yu and said:"Read it and you'll understand."
    It was quite strange that this piece of old paper would be kept in such a beautifully embroided pouch.
    On the piece of paper were only a few character namely: Believe in Yu Peiyu and help Yu Peiyu.
    It seemed those characters were scribbled down in a hurry. Yu Peiyu showed Mei Simang the short letter.
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Who wrote this letter?"
    Hong Lianhua said with a strange sad look on his face:"Your fiancee."
    Yu Peiyu was too surprised to see the sad strange look on Hong Lianhua's face and exclaimed:"Lin Daiyu? Do you know her?"
    Hong Lianhua nodded:"3 days ago I met her near Shangqiu, she was with her father, Lin Shoujuan and Wang Yuluo. I have known her for a long time but that day she seemed not to recognize me anymore."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"You have known each other for a long time?"
    Hong Lianhua smiled a bit:"You don't leave your home a lot, do you? That's why you don't many names in Wulin. Lin Daiyu has been roaming Wulin since the age of 13 and every year she quietly leaves her home and has done some rather chivalrous deeds in all these years. And has become quite famous."
    Yu Peiyu remembered her strong personality, her good swordsmanship and sighed:"She is very different from me, she is much stronger."
    Hong Lianhua said:"She used to be a very open and straightforward girl but that day she seemed different and I began to suspect something was wrong. Anyway I ordered the disciples of Shangqiu to talk to the innkeeper of the inn she was staying at. A disciple disguised himself as one of the waiters and she saw through the disguise and handed that disciple this pouch with the letter."
    Mei Simang exclaimed:"No wonder that day Old Song Si hurriedly came to see you, master. He seemed to have urgent news."
    Yu Peiyu was silent for awhile and said softly:"She is used to roaming Wulin, she wasn't at home when somehting happened at her house."
    Hong Lianhua's face changed and asked:"Something happened at her house too, so this Lin Shoujuan is also..."
    Yu Peiyu nodded:"This Lin Shoujuan is also an imposter, but that day...(sigh*)"
    He remembered when Lin Daiyu told him what happened and said:"I thought she was also in cahoots with that evil mastermind. She knew then that this was a horrible big conspiracy and she played along with those imposters to avoid suspicion. After all this time now I realise she and I are walking the same path. She is 10 times more intelligent than I."
    Hong Lianhua agreed:"Of all the men and women I met, she is the most intelligent one I have ever seen."
    Yu Peiyu said:"But that Lin Shoujuan is an imposter why doesn't he kill her? Judging from the situation she must be detained by them. I'm afraid....."

    End of chapter 2

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 3 Sinister and Ruthless

    Hong Lianhua assured Yu Peiyu by saying:"An intelligent and strong girl like her is very capable of taking care of herself. Don't worry abou her, she will be fine."
    Hong Lianhua put the letter back into the pouch, Yu Peiyu thought he was going to give the pouch to him. But Hong Lianhua carefully put the pouch back into his robe.
    Yu Peiyu said:"If we could get in touch with her, we will certainly...."
    At this moment reverend Tiangang entered and sighed:"Another difficult issue is at hand."
    Mei Simang asked with a shock:"What kind of trouble do we have now?"
    Reverend Tiangang said:"That Yu Fang...he asked me to become the counsellor of Wulin."
    Yu Peiyu said in surprise:"Counsellor?"
    Hong Lianhua explained:"Besides electing a new chancellor it is the custom to appoint a counsellor. The counsellor is the second in command, in the previous years Shaolin took the leading position and Wudang became the counsellor."
    Reverend Tiangang said:"If Yu F...appoints reverend Chuchen of Wudang, it would be difficult for them to carry out their secret agenda. But I live on Mount Kunlun in the western regions therefore makes it difficult for me to question their activities."
    Hong Lianhua said with a smile:"Reverend, also your excellent reputation has something to do with it. They could have asked that Iron Overlord. But what was it earlier that you wanted to discuss?"
    Reverend Tiangang said:"The thing that worries me most is that this Yu person would demand that young master Yu would go back with him. What should we do about that?"
    Hong Lianhua exclaimed:"You're right,....."
    Reverend Tiangang continued:"If young master Yu returns to them, he could be ambushed at any time. But when a father demands that his son goes back with him we cannot say no to him, can we."
    Hong Lianhua looked very worried and said over and over again:"What can we do? What can we do?"
    Mei Simang said:"Young master Yu must run as soon as possible."
    Reverend Tiangang shook his head, Mei asked:"If he cannot run what other option is left."
    Reverend Tiangang said:"Young master Yu must find a new teacher. When a teacher wants his new disciple to go with him, and learn new martial arts not even a father can say no."
    Mei Simang clapped his hands and said:"A good plan!"
    Hong Lianhua smiled:"Congratulations brother Peiyu for finding an excellent teacher! Congratulations reverend Tiangang for accepting a brilliant disciple!"
    Yu Peiyu was stunned and reverend Tiangang said:"I am not fit to become young master Yu's teacher."
    Hong Lianhua interrupted with a smile:"Reverend, if you're not fit in becoming the teacher of young master Yu no one is. Besides this matter concerns the lives of hundreds perhaps thousands Wulin people. Reverend, you must accept young master Yu as your student."
    Yu Peiyu knelt down and suddenly a voice outside called out loudly:"Is young master Yu here? Chancellor Yu wishes to talk to you."
    Hong Lianhua looked at Yu Peiyu and sighed:"It seems everywhere you go they are watching you."
    Mei Simang broke out in a cold sweat.
    They walked outside and saw everyone was enjoying the feast. Yu Peiyu felt sad and useless, his life was in the hands of others and he felt like a puppet.
    A man in a black robe walked up and said:" Chancellor Yu is in the tent of abbot Tianyun."
    They arrived outside the tent of abbot Tianyun. Abbot Tianyun spoke:"Is master Hong Lian here as well?"
    Hong Lianhua laughed:"Abbot Tianyun's cultivation is very high, could it be that you have mastered divine abilities?"
    Reverend Tiangang entered the tent too.

    Yu Fanghe sat next to abbot Tianyun drinking tea, Lin Shoujuan, the Dragonking of Taihu etc. were not present.
    Yu Fanghe sat there very tranquil and said:"Peiyu, are you feeling well?"
    Yu Peiyu bowed and said:"Father, I'm feeling fine."
    Yu Fanghe said:"You have never left home before in your life. From now on everything you should behave correctly. You should listen to the teachings of seniors."
    Yu Peiyu replied:"Yes, I will."
    One of them was pretending to be a caring father the other was trying his best to look like a filial son.
    Yu Peiyu knew that this man was his enemy but still put a very respectful and obedient look.
    That Yu Fanghe also knew that this young man
    wasn't his son. And nothing would make him more happy as to kick him dead right now. But he put up his facade as a caring loving father.
    Hong Lianhua who was watching this entire scene was very much amused.
    He knew that it was practically impossible to imagine how difficult it was for these 2 men to act as nothing has happened while in fact everything is different.
    Abbot Tianyun smiled:"Young benefactor Yu is a very intelligent handsome young man. I am sure that later on his abilities and prospects will not be beneath you, benefactor Yu."
    Hong Lianhua happily said:"I'm happy to inform chancellor Yu that young master Yu has not only an excellent father but also a good teacher."
    Yu Fanghe said in surprise:"A good teacher?"
    Reverend Tiangang smiled:"I saw that your son is a very intelligent young man with a remarkable talent for martial arts. Therefore I couldn't resist to accepting Peiyu as my disciple, I hope chancellor Yu can forgive me."
    Hong Lianhua said:"Wonderful, not only will young master Yu have mastered the martial arts of Xiantian Wuji School but also the martial arts of Kunlun. Young master Yu will certainly become a worthy hero fit to carry the name Yu. Don't you think so, chancellor Yu?"
    Yu Fanghe said:"(*cough)....Thank you, reverend Tiangang."
    Although Yu Fanghe was smiling but everyone could see that this smile was not very natural and certainly not a happy smile.
    Reverend Tiangang said:"Tomorrow morning I will return to Mount Kunlun, Peiyu..."
    Hong Lianhua quickly said:"Of course young master Yu will go with his teacher. Chancellor Yu, don't be worried, the special skills of Kunlun are known far and wide. If young master Yu can study those skills as soon as possible it will be a good thing. Also chancellor Yu has to lead Wulin now and must have so many formalities to take care of."
    He held Yu Peiyu's arm and said:"From now on you will have to train very hard. No more relaxing for you! I think the next time we will see each other will be at least 3 years later. When that happens we will drink to a heart's contend."
    Hong pulled Yu outside very quickly, Yu Fanghe was bemused with this situation.
    Abbot Tianyun laughed:"Your son is very fortunate to have a good friend like master Hong Lian."
    Yu Fanghe smiled dryly:"Yes, indeed very fortunate."

    The next morning all the faces of the heroes looked very red as result of yesterday's drinking.
    No matter how drunk the Kunlun disciples are they had to compose themselves. They had to see their leader off.
    Inside the tent Yu Peiyu kowtowed to Yu Fanghe, then 8 purple-robed young Taoist priests saw reverend Tiangang and Yu Peiyu off.
    Hong Lianhua held Yu Peiyu's hand and said:"Take care of yourself. Don't forget me!"
    Yu Peiyu said with a trembling voice:"I...I"
    And was very touched.
    Suddenly someone said loudly:"Peiyu, I think you won't see Daiyu for a long time. Why don't you see her one more time."
    Yu Peiyu turned around and saw Lin Shoujuan and Lin Daiyu.
    Yu Peiyu stared into her beautiful eyes and was captivated by her beauty. She stared back to and forgot everything around her.
    Hong Lianhua looked at them and just stood there.
    Reverend Tiangang suddenly said:"The time on the mountains will pass slowly with loneliness. Love and emotion are not meant to last. Let us go!"
    Lin Daiyu watched them go and her ever so strong and cool eyes were filled with tears.

    A tenderly voice laughed:"Seeing your fiance gone must make you feel lonely, right?"
    Lin Daiyu could smell a very sweet and strong flower fragrance and wanted to turn around.
    But Wang Yuluo and Ximen Feng coldly told Lin Daiyu:"Daiyu, let's go."
    The sweet voice said:"Women amongst each other have a lot of things to say."
    Wang Yuluo said:"Xiantian Wuji School and Baihua Association have no close relations."
    Lin Daiyu now saw a beautiful woman in front of her, the figure was the ever so charming leader of the Baihua Association Madame Hai Tang.
    Ximen Feng and Wang Yuluo wanted to intervene between Lin and Madame Hai Tang. But Madame Hai Tang gently waved her hands and a thin fog rose up and Ximen and Wang paced back one step and saw that Madame Hai Tang pulled Lin Daiyu away.
    She smiled to Lin Shoujuan:"The Flowered Chestnut Sword, you won't mind if I take your daughter away for a few days. Just like men when I see a pretty girl I just want to chat to her for days."
    Lin Shoujuan didn't know what to say and was totally lost.
    Hong Lianhua was secretly laughing when he saw this.

    The 14 flag-poles stood there and the banners defied the wind as usual.
    The gathering of Lake Huang every 7 years has now become overblown blossoms. All the heroes gradually left. Seeing that some of the seniors of Wulin are now old and weak, they young ones are showing their ambition. Will the older generation feel melancholic?

    Someone sang a tragic song:" Within 7 years,
    how many heroes have turned old?
    The ambition of Wulin, will it belong to their old dreams...."

    Hong Lianhua looked up and saw the banner of the Xiantian Wuji School and heard that tragic song and sighed:"Everthing till the end will end like a dream. Ceased! Ceased!
    The overblown blossoms, the flowered butterfly..."
    Someone said:"You cannot cease! If you stop who will continue?"
    The speaker was Xie Tianbi, the leader of Diancang School.
    Hong Lianhua laughed:"Brother Xie is a young hero, how can you understand the melancholy of the famous Song poet Su Dongpo."
    Xie Tianbi smiled:"Although I don't understand much about poetry I am still capable of understanding the poems of Su Dongpo. But you have just begun with your work in Wulin and the Beggars Association why the melancholy?"
    Hong Lianhua smiled lightly:"Not even heroes can resist the pain of parting. But who is capable of resisting that pain."
    Xie Tianbi asked:"Has your new friend, young master Yu left? With reverend Tiangang?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"Yes! For some time now."
    Xie Tianbi's face changed and stamped his foot and said:"Why did he leave this early?"
    Hong Lianhua was surprised by his look and asked:"Early? What do you mean with that?"
    Xie said with a gloomy face:"Forgive me, master Hong Lian. I am too late."
    Hong Lianhua quicly held his arms and asked:"What are you talking about?"
    Xie Tianbi asked:"Have you ever heard of The Wanderer of the Corners of the World?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"Of course I have heard of him. He is a mysterious wandering hero and even reverend Chuchen of Wudang once openly praised his chivalry."
    Xie Tianbi said:"I just received a carrier pigeon from him with an important message."
    Hong Lianhua asked with anxiety:"What?...What is the message, quickly?"
    Xie Tianbi sighed deeply and closed his eyes and said:"The Wanderer wrote that the leader of the Kunlun School, reverend Tiangang passed away half a month ago."
    Hong Lianhua cried out with shock:"NO!!!!!"

    Hong Lianhua asked again with a trembling voice:"Are you certain your information is correct?"
    Xie Tianbi said:"The Wanderer used more than 10 days to look for the truth and when he actually saw the body of reverend Tiangang he sent a carrier pigeon to inform me as soon as possible."
    Hong Lianhua was shaking:"In other words this reverend Tiangang is an imposter too?"
    Xie Tianbi sighed deeply:"When I saw that he didn't say a word on the platform I was a bit suspicious and when he became the counsellor. I was...."
    Hong Lianhua interrupted him:"Why didn't you tell me earlier?"
    Xie Tianbi said:"I wasn't sure at that time."
    Hong Lianhua said:"Now I have sent Yu Peiyu right in the hands of the enemy. Damn it! Out of the frying-pan into the fire."
    Xie Tianbi:"That's why I rushed over here after immediately receiving the news."
    Hong Lianhua broke out in a cold sweat and stammered:"That's why he left his disciples here and only took Yu Peiyu with him. It...it will make it easier for them to kill him. It is my fault!"
    Xie Tianbi said:"Everything was planned with the upmost precision. Otherwise the Kunlun School has very strict rules about accepting new disciples, how come this reverend Tiangang can accept a new disciple that easily? I'm afraid..."
    Hong Lianhua laughed sadly:"What a flawless, evil plan! You cannot defend and protect yourself against it..."
    He turned to Xie Tianbi and said:"Thank you for telling me! Perhaps it is not too late."
    Xie Tianbi asked:"Aren't they gone for some time now?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"With our speed we can certainly catch up with them."
    Xie Tianbi said angrilly:"We needn't uphold any Wulin rules against evil,vile men like them. When we see him we might as well play along for a minute and see what his intentions are first."
    Hong Lianhua agreed:"You're right! Let us go!"

    The fog was getting thicker, Yu Peiyu was walking behind reverend Tiangang. He was looking at the long beard and the grand posture of reverend Tiangang.
    He was thinking about everything that happened these past days. Not knowing whether to feel sad or happy about his current situation. The Kunlun School is renowned in the world, becoming a Kunlun disciple is a very difficult thing.
    The rules and regulations are very strict, but without his unfortunate encounters he wouldn't have become the disciple of reverend Tiangang.

    Reverend Tiangang said:" We have to travel a long way, we must make haste."
    Yu Peiyu replied:" Yes, master."
    Reverend Tiangang said:" Kunlun has very strict rules and requires a very high discipline. Are you ready for that?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Master, I'm not afraid of hardship."
    Reverend Tiangang said:" You're my youngest disciple after we return you'll have to do many tasks. You look too gentle and frail. I wonder whether you can stand it."
    Yu Peiyu said:" Master, at home I had to do lots of hard jobs. I'm not afraid for any kinds of hardships."
    Reverend Tiangang said:" Very good, up ahead is a well. Get some water!"
    Yu Peiyu answered:" Yes, master."

    Farther up ahead was indeed a well. He lowered the bucket to get some water. The surroundings here reminded him of his home, courtyard and his father. His tranquil, benevolent smile.
    He couldn't stop his tears from rolling anymore, he used his sleeve to wipe them away. Unfortunately he lost his grip and the bucket fell into the well again. He tried to grab it but slipped and fell into
    the well.
    It was impossible to climb out of it even with his superior martial arts. But the strange thing was he started to learning martial arts at a very young his footwork was very stable.
    The water was very cold and Yu Peiyu tried his best to climb but with no luck. Everytime he slips because of the slimy walls. But why didn't reverend Tiangang save him after all this time?

    He didn't cry out for help and at some point he heard the galloping sound of a horse. Suddenly a girl asked:"Who has fallen into the well? Is it........could it be...Yu.....?"
    Reverend Tiangang said:"Yes, it is Yu Peiyu."
    The girl asked:"Revernd, you saw him fall into the well. Why won't you save him? Do you want him to die?"
    Reverend Tiangang said seriously:"He said that he was ready to face all kinds of hardship. But he doesn't understand that many trials in life come unexpectedly. I want to condition him now so he will be prepared for the trials to come."
    The girl said:"Reverend, please forgive me for being rude. But I think he has suffered enough now."
    Reverend Tiangang smiled:"Benefactress, why are you this concerned?"
    The girl didn't say a word for some time, she seems to have difficulty answering that question. In the end she said loudly:"I followed you here because I wanted to say something to....him."
    Reverend Tiangang said:"In that case, I will help him get out now."
    He lowered a long rope into the well and Yu Peiyu climbed the rope to get out. His clothes were wet, his face turned red from embarrassment and didn't dare to raise his head.
    The girl handed him a silk handkerchief with her beautiful white hand and said with a tender voice:"Wipe away the water on your face."
    Yu Peiyu lowered his head even lower now because he heard that this simple sentence was filled with care and love. He didn't know whether he should accept the handkerchief or not.
    Reverend Tiangang loudly said:" Raise your head like a true man!"
    Yu raised his head and saw Jin Yanzi, this straightforwarded girl was looking at him with care and tenderness.
    Reverend Tiangang said:"Benefactress, you can tell him what you wished to say. But please hurry we have a long way ahead of us."
    This stern old Taoist priest saw that this matter had to do with love and stroked his beard and gave the 2 of them privacy.

    Jin Yanzi smiled lovingly and said:"Take the handkerchief."
    Yu Peiyu couldn't tell anymore if the liquid on his face was water or sweat and stammered:"Thank you, Miss."
    Jin Yanzi said:"You must be surprised, why I followed you here?"
    Yu Peiyu was drying his face and said:"What can I do for you, Miss?"
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"I don't know but ever since I met you I just couldn't bear to part with you. So I followed you here. Whenever I want something I just act on my feelings and do it."
    Yu Peiyu stuttered:"I....Miss...."
    In the distance he saw another horse and somebody standing next to the horse.
    Yu Peiyu coughed:"Miss, I understand your feelings. However the young master of the divine sabre is standing there waiting for you. Miss, I think it is best that you..."
    Jin Yanzi interrupted him with a cold laugh:"Don't mind him. He can wait as long as he wants to. Why worry about him."
    After saying this her voice became tenderly again:"I just want to ask you, do you want to see me again in the future?"
    Yu Peiyu was stuttering again:"I....I...."
    Jin Yanzi bit her lip and said:"I'm a girl and I am bold enough to tell you my intentions. Why don't you speak?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I'm an unfortunate man, I think it is best that we won't see each other anymore."
    Jin Yanzi was shocked and stood there for some time and said with a trembling voice:"Fine,.....good!"
    She mounted her horse and rode off.
    Yu Peiyu stood there holding her handkerchief and saw her off with his eyes. Feeling melancholic, all of a sudden a horse rode towards him and a sabre hacked at him.
    The horse was as fast as a touring dragon and the sabre was swift as the wind. Judging by that hack the wielder is fit enough to be called a top martial artist.
    Yu Peiyu couldn't leap away so instead he rushed forward. He felt the sabre passing by his back.
    The young master of the divine sabre laughed arrogantly:"This hack is only a small warning. The next time if you're in the way I will chop off your head."
    Yu Peiyu was bemused by this entire incident and saw that his robe was cut open by the sabre. Just another centimetre he was dead.
    Reverend Tiangang sighed:"These love tribulations are very troublesome, I hope you can cope with them."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I.....I..."

    Reverend Tiangang said with an earnest face:"Don't say a thing! Let us go."
    Reverend Tiangang walked with a normal pace but Yu Peiyu had difficulty catching up. The past events of these few days have taken its toll on his energy and also his wet clothes were not making it any easier for him to travel. But he didn't say a word in front of his strict teacher.

    The fog was gone but it was still very clouded much like the face of reverend Tiangang. The dried clothes of Yu Peiyu were wet again by sweat.
    Yu Peiyu couldn't help panting and his legs felt tired, his head was feeling woozy.
    Luckily reverend Tiangang stopped in front of a abandoned temple. He looked at Yu Peiyu and shook his head:"Peiyu, you're still not strong enough to endure hardships. Let us rest inside."
    Yu Peiyu saw the statue of the local god and saw his face was looking very sinister and had a mysterious grin.
    Yu Peiyu couldn't stand it anymore and lay down in front of the shrine.
    Reverend Tiangang said:"Get up! Don't lie in front of the shrine."
    Yu Peiyu got up but didn't resent his teacher. He felt that only a strict teacher can produce extraordinary disciples.
    Reverend Tiangang continued:"All the Kunlun disciples have to endure hardships. Especially you, you have many trials in front of you that is why you have to prepare yourself for them."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I understand, master."
    Reverend Tiangang was looking outside and saw the leaves were blown off by the wind. This world famous Kunlun leader was captivated by the arrival of Autumn and said softly:"It is about to rain again....Heaven is so unpredictable, but life is unpredictable too. Child, remember this. You can never rely fully on anyone, you can only rely on yourself."
    The wind started to blow harder and Yu Peiyu shivered now. This sudden change of weather could be a sign of a bad omen.
    Reverend Tiangang said:"Peiyu, come here."
    Yu Peiyu walked over to his teacher. Reverend Tiangang took out a rice cake out of his sack and handed it to Yu Peiyu.
    With a seldom seen warm smile he said:"Eat up, child. When I was your age I got hungry particular easy too."
    His ever so strict teacher showed his affection towards him. Yu Peiyu held the rice cake and wept and said:"What about you, master?"
    Reverend Tiangang smiled:"This rice cake is very special, not everyone can eat it. After you have taken it you will understand."

    Somebody outside laughed:"Since this rice cake is so special I would like to taste it too."
    The speaker walked inside, he was panting and there was something funny about his laugh.
    Yu Peiyu said happily:"Master Hong Lian, why are you here?"
    Reverend Tiangang stroked his long beard and smiled:"I don't think you have rushed over for this rice cake."
    Hong Lianhua said with a laugh:"Reverend, you're very sharp. But I do have something to show you."
    He took out an object out of his robe and presented it in front of reverend Tiangang.
    The object was very small and because it was dark no one could see clearly what it was.
    Reverend Tiangang bent over to take a closer look and smiled:"Whatever it is, it must be very special since master Hong Lian...."
    Before he could finish Hong Lianhua used his hand to smack up and hit reverend Tiangang on the eyes. Suddenly a flash of lightning brightened the temple and a sword pierced through reverend Tiangang's back.
    He called out and struck out a palm. Hong Lianhua made a somersault in the air and landed 2 metres away.
    The force of that palm destroyed the shrine and the statue came crackling down.
    Reverend Tiangang fell to the ground and blood oozed out of his wound. He asked with his dying breath:"Why....you....you...!"
    But he was dead before he could finish.

    Yu Peiyu was too surprised to react and the rice cake fell out of his hands. Hong Lianhua was backed against a wall and was panting heavily also the colour of his face was a bit strange.
    However, he wasn't too late Yu Peiyu was still alive.
    Xie Tianbi appeared too and exclaimed:"Fortunately, we were not too late."
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"You should not have killed him, we could have interrogated him."
    Xie Tianbi said:"What is there to interrogate? Furthermore,...."
    Yu Peiyu shouted:"What are you doing? Why did you kill my master!"
    Xie Tianbi said:"If we didn't kill him, he would have killed you!"
    Yu Peiyu sain with a shock:"WHAT!"
    Xie Tianbi said:"You will understand later on."
    He held on to Yu Peiyu's arm and said to Hong Lianhua:"The conspirators must have henchmen around to rendezvous with this imposter. I will bring young master Yu to a safe location and will return to help you."
    He pulled Yu outside and the 2 of them quickly left. Yu Peiyu was too flabbergasted to say anything now and just walked along.
    Hong Lianhua stood at the door of the temple and said softly:"Bring it on."
    He pulled out the sword out of reverend Tiangang's back, there was another flash of lightning. The blood dripped of the sword and Hong Lianhua saw something. All of a sudden he began to shake and coughed up blood.

    Xie Tianbi explained to Yu Peiyu:"This reverend Tiangang is a fake too. They want to take your life and if you had eaten that rice cake, you would be dead now."
    Yu Peiyu was shocked and exclaimed:"Really?"
    Xie Tianbi said:"If you don't believe me, fine. But you mustn't doubt the intentions of master Hong Lian."
    Yu Peiyu said:"But....but, he....he.."
    He remembered the incident with the well, could it be that reverend Tiangang really wanted to harm him? But the grandeur he had, that couldn't be faked, or could it?
    He was really confused and was pulled by Xie Tianbi. Suddenly he felt the hand of Xie Tianbi was very cold. Extremely cold.....
    Yu Peiyu shivered and said:"There is something strange about your hand."
    Xie Tianbi turned around and smiled:"What are you talking about?"
    Yu Peiyu watched him and replied:"I mean, I mean you look like...."
    Suddenly he yelled:"You are the imposter, your eyes..."
    Xie Tianbi quickly sealed the 3 acupoints on Yu's palm. And he flung Yu over his head.
    Xie Tianbi laughed evily:"You're very smart. But smart people die quicker."
    He wanted to used his foot to step on Yu Peiyu's chest, Yu couldn't move anymore. But he could use his left hand to grab his foot.
    Xie Tianbi scoffed and used more force into his foot.
    Yu Peiyu couldn't stop his foot and said angrilly:"You're the one that killed my father. I have looked everywhere for you."
    Xie Tianbi laughed:"Now you have found me. What do you want to do? Your father died at my hands and now you will die at my foot. HAHAHAHA!"
    Yu Peiyu couldn't block his foot any longer also he kept hearing Xie Tianbi laughing.
    Finally, he coughed his blood on Xie Tianbi's robe.
    Suddenly Xie Tianbi heard a sound and saw a sword flying towards him. He leapt up and with a somersault he landed a few metres away.
    He saw a person floating towards him, looking very angry and his eyes were set to kill.
    The sword pierced through a tree and was stuck there. Hong Lianhua threw the sword with everything he had.
    Xie Tianbi's face changed and with difficulty put a smile on his face and asked:"Master Hong Lian, have you defeated the henchmen so soon?"
    Hong Lianhua stared at him with his bright eyes and said slowly:"Who are you?"
    Xie Tianbi raised his head and laughed:"Me?...Who I am?....Brother Hong Lian, don't you recognize me anymore?"
    His laughter sounded worse than any form of crying.
    Hong Lianhua walked up and said again slowly:"I ask you again: Who are you?"
    Xie Tianbi backed a few paces and said:"I...brother..."
    Hong Lianhua said coldly:"You look like the real Xie Tianbi, too lifelike even. I would like to slice off your flesh bit by bit. I want to see how it is possible to impersonate my friend Xie Tianbi."
    Hong Lianhua said these words with calmness and coldness, it had more effect than cursing these words.
    Indeed, Xie Tianbi shivered when he heard that threat. And laughed arrogantly:"Good, Hong Lianhua! I never thought you would see through my disguise. I used 3 years to study Xie Tianbi and finally after 3 years of hard work I succeeded. Not even himself would be able to tell the difference. What gave me away?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"That sword! The leader of Diancang would never use that kind of sword. And you should remember the following, Diancang disciples don't casually throw or leave their swords behind.
    If the sword is present, so is the wielder. If the wielder is dead, the sword will be lost."

    Hong Lianhua was stunned and regretfully said:"Yes, of course. I have totally forgotten about that. Hong Lianhua, you are very sharp. No wonder my master told me that you're a very difficult person to deal with."
    Hong Lianhua made a fist and asked:"Who is your master?"
    Xie Tianbi arrogantly laughed:"You will never know, and when you do find out you will die! Even people thousand times superior to you have died at the master's hands."
    Hong Lianhua laughed tragically:"You're right in the entire analects of Wulin nobody can matches his vile and despicable plans."
    Xie Tianbi said loudly:"Wulin will fall under his rule. Hong Lianhua, you are a smart man. Think carefully and you will know what to do."
    Hong Lianhua walked a few paces towards him and said:"I want to kill you. At this moment I just want to kill you."
    Xie Tianbi said:"I have my orders to kill Yu Peiyu, therefore I had to kill reverend Tiangang. But don't forget you're my accomplice, if you want to kill me you have to punish yourself too."
    Hong Lianhua said regretfully:"That was the biggest mistake in my entire life. I was so stupid in believing you. I will punish myself for this in the future. But you....you.."
    With speed Hong Lianhua attacked with 3, 4 fists. Not many people in Wulin have duelled with Hong Lianhua. But now Xie Tianbi realised that this young leader of the Beggars Association had awesome fist and palm stances. Every stance was generated with extremely powerful internal energy.
    Especially now, he generated his anger into his fists and palms. This alone could struck fear in the hearts of people.
    Yu Peiyu now shouted:"You cannot kill him!"
    Both Hong Lianhua and Xie Tianbi were surprised by his roar. Hong Lianhua asked angrilly:"Why can't I kill him?"
    Yu Peiyu used his left hand to unseal his three sealed acupoints and stood up. He looked very pale and his eyes were filled with hate. This normally frail, gentle-looking young man has turned into a savage now.
    Yu Peiyu said loudly:"Not only did this fiend kill my father he also killed my teacher. ONLY I AM ALLOWED TO KILL THIS BASTARD!"
    Hong Lianhua smiled wryly:"Allright! He is all yours."
    Yu Peiyu stormed towards Xie Tianbi, Hong Lianhua saw that his footwork was not stable and his movements were flawed. Those were the effects of his pain and anger, Hong Lianhua warned Yu Peiyu:"You must be cautious."
    Xie Tianbi laughed sinisterly:"If someone's near him to help why should he be cautious."
    Yu Peiyu gritted his teeth and said:"No one is going to help me kill you."
    Xie Tianbi felt assured and said arrogantly:"That is more like it! I hope you will stick by your word."
    If he warded off the attack while he was talking and backed up against the tree and pulled out the sword.
    He used the sword to attack with 7 fast techniques.
    This "Swift Rapid Gale Sword" was not a Diancang skill, but when it came to the viciousness of the techniques it was above any Diancang swordsmanship.
    Yu Peiyu chose the attack as a form of defense and didn't care anymore. Xie Tianbi's techniques seemed to be losing effect against his powerful will to win.
    Suddenly Xie's attacks sliced open Yu Peiyu's robe and made three flesh wounds. But the heavy rainfall washed away the blood very quickly.

    Hong Lianhua stood there worried about Yu Peiyu. He finally realised that this refined young man was a formidable fighter.
    But although Yu Peihad had the will to kill this Xie Tianbi, but his strength was gradually weakening. And Hong Lianhua couldn't intervene.
    Xie Tianbi began his assault again, his plan was to weaken Yu Peiyu out first by only defending and attack when he was tired.
    Yu Peiyu was wounded at several places by his sword.
    Hong Lianhua was feeling very sad by this battle. All of a sudden Yu Peiyu's chest was left unguarded. Xie Tianbi saw his chance and aimed his sword directly towards his chest. Hong Lianhua cried out and rushed forward. But this wicked Xie Tianbi was too quick, Hong Lianhua closed his eyes couldn't bear to watch anymore.
    Xie Tianbi laughed evily, he was certain he was going to kill Yu Peiyu.
    But somehow Yu Peiyu placed his palms mysteriously on the blade and pressed on both sides. The sword couldn't advance forward, Yu Peiyu used his elbow to hit Xie Tianbi on the chest.
    Yu Peiyu consequently used his palm to smack Xie Tianbi on the face. The force of that smack sent Xie Tianbi flying in the air.
    The press against the blade, the elbow and the smack were performed almost in one breath.
    Yu Peiyu didn't give Xie Tianbi the chance to land and caught him in the air and used his palms to press against his chest and a few of his ribs were broken by that squash.
    At first Hong Lianhua could hear Xie Tianbi panting heavily after Yu Peiyu began pressing Xie Tianbi's chest his panting became weaker and weaker.
    Hong Lianhua yelled:"Don't kill him yet! I want to question him first!"
    Yu Peiyu dropped Xie Tianbi on the ground and raised his head and said:"Did I finally defeat him?....I finally have defeated him..."
    Xie Tianbi collapsed on the ground and couldn't move anymore.
    Hong Lianhua took Yu Peiyu by the hand and asked excitedly:"Those techniques you used, are they the famous "An Antelope Putting Up His Horns" and "The Outer Sky Rainbow?"
    I have heard that old master Yu was renowned for these 2 techniques and were 2 special skills of the Xiantian Wuji School."
    Yu Peiyu said tragically:"My father never used these stances to harm anyone in his life. But I...I..."
    Yu Peiyu couldn't stop himself from weeping again.
    Hong Lianhua was impressed with those 2 stances and sighed:"Very sophisticated stances! Very superb martial arts! Truly perfect and miraculous. The skills of ancient Wulin seniors are truly amazing."
    He tapped on Yu Peiyu on the shoulders and laughed:"Why din't you tell me earlier that you had such high martial arts. I was worried sick."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I...I..."
    Suddenly he fell into Hong Lianhua's arms. The fight had exhausted him.
    Hong Lianhua quickly took out a pill and put it in Yu Peiyu's mouth and said:"This is The Lesser Return Pill of Kunlun, it is known to be the best herbal stimulant in the world."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"The Lesser Return Pill? That's a very precious medicine, you should keep it yourself."
    Hong Lianhua looked sadly and said after awhile:"It...reverend Tiangang gave it to you."
    Yu Peiyu exclaimed:"Master, master....he...he.."
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"I found the pill in the rice cake. I thought there was poison in the rice cake, I never thought..."
    Yu Peiyu wept:"That's why master said the rice cake was very special not everyone could eat it. Xie Tianbi, the bastard!"
    He turned around to look at Xie Tianbi and was horrified.
    Xie Tianbi still lay there but his head was gone.
    They now had a headless corpse, Yu Peiyu and Hong Lianhua looked at each other with with disbelief.
    Both of them wondered what happened to the head, no one could have chopped off his head in a few moments and disappeared in a flash.

    Although Hong Lianhua was a very intelligent man, he couldn't figure out what happened to the head of Xie Tianbi.
    Hong Lianhua and Yu Peiyu looked at each other with disbelief and surprise.
    When they took another closer look of the body, they saw that a part of the shoulders was gone too.
    Hong Lianhua exclaimed:"I understand now!"
    Yu Peiyu asked:"You have figured it out?"
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"Take another closer look of the body."
    Yu saw that the corpse was dissolving piece by piece. The flesh and blood turned into this pus and the rain washed it away.
    Yu Peiyu was horrified and disgusted when he saw this, he almost threw up.
    He took a deep breath and asked:"Could this be the infamous poison, the Bone Melting Pellet?"
    Hong Lianhua answered:"I'm afraid so. He knew he was going to die anyhow so he wanted to take all the secrets down to the grave with him."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I broke his arms how could have taken the pellet?"
    Hong Lianhua deducted:"I think the pellet was hidden somewhere in his mouth. When he was defeated by you he must have bitten into the tip of his tongue and crushed the protective layer around the pellet. It is said that the Bone Melting Pellet becomes poisonous after mixing it with blood. So the blood of his tongue started the process. (sigh*) He would rather rot away than reveal any secrets."
    Yu Peiyu said with a hint of respect:"Never thought he would be that brave!"
    Hong Lianhua smiled wryly:"If you think he was brave you were wrong. He knew if he revealed anything to us his fate would be even worse."
    Yu Peiyu smiled tragically too:"You're right. All these men were not afraid of death but feared the mastermind. Who can this man be? Death is something dreadful but somehow he managed to become even more dreadful than death itself."
    Hong Lianhua said softly:"He is truly more dreadful than death. I can't possibly imagine what kind of man he is."
    Yu Peiyu said suddenly:"This fake Xie Tianbi did this because he wanted to protect the secret of his disguise. Because if he died "normally", we could have examined his mask carefully and perhaps find some clues.
    Hong Lianhua said:"You're absolutely right."
    Yu Peiyu gritted his teeth and said:"That's why the mastermind prepared those pellets. Dying is not enough for him, his henchmen were to disappear completely if they were captured."
    He took Hong Lianhua by the hand and said:"At this moment I know that at least 6 people are imposters. And except for you no one else believes my story. And up till now nobody knows about their plans. But how many imposters are there? That is something which I do not know either but every time I think about that I'm chilled to the bone."
    Hong Lianhua felt depressed too when he thought of this problem.
    Yu Peiyu continued:"When your family, friends become the lackeys of this monster. What can you do? There is nobody left you can believe and trust. What options are there?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"The fake Xie Tianbi is dead now, but who are his other henchmen?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Wang Yuluo, Ximen Feng, Lin Shoujuan, the Dragonking of Taihu, Silver Spear Shen and that Yu Fang... that Yu character are his men. Because I know that my father and his friends are dead."
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"I think there couldn't be more than these 6 men."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"How can you be that certain?"
    Hong Lianhua explained:"The art of disguise is very difficult to master. And when you have mastered it, it is very hard to disguise yourself as someone else perfectly.
    It takes years to learn the way of talking, walking of that person. And not to mention his martial arts."
    Yu Peiyu called out:"Of course! Martial arts! If they want those men to look real they have to learn their martial arts."
    After saying this he started walking.
    Hong Lianhua blocked his way and said calmly:"An Antelope Putting Up His Horns and The Outer Sky Rainbow, right?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Right, these 2 stances belong to us, the family Yu. No one else in the world knows these 2 techniques. If that Yu character cannot display these 2 techniques I will have proof he is an imposter."
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"This is a good plan but it will be useless against your father's reputation."
    Yu Peiyu asked why.
    Hong Lianhua explained:"Old master Yu was a famous gentleman. Nobody could have forced him to use martial arts when he was alive."
    Yu Peiyu understood where he was getting at and felt lost again.
    At this time the entire corpse of the fake Xie Tianbi was gone washed away by the rain.
    Hong Lianhua was lost too and said softly:"At least the murderer of reverend Tiangang is dead. But to be honest who did actually kill him? Who can proof it?"
    Yu Peiyu shivered when he heard Hong Lianhua talking and said:"But you....you don't have to..."
    Hong Lianhua laughed:"Don't worry! I want to punish myself but I won't commit suicide and make those conspirators happy."
    Yu Peiyu felt relieved and said:"I knew you were an extraordinary man."
    Hong Lianhua looked up and said:"But there is one thing that I have to do."
    Yu Peiyu watched him and said:"Going to Mount Kunlun?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"The Kunlun disciples deserve to know what happened to reverend Tiangang. It is my duty to inform them."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I will go on your behalf."
    Hong Lianhua looked at him and smiled:"Allright!"
    There was no need for pleasantries or formalities. That's the way of a true man a true hero.
    They two of them stood there in the rain looking at each other. Hong Lianhua said:"You have to be careful. Just keep focus on your objectives. Your life is very important."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I understand."
    Yu Peiyu picked up the sword that he hit out of Xie Tianbi's hands and stuck it into his girdle.
    Hong Lianhua added:"Before I forget, a bit of good news."
    Yu Peiyu quickly asked:"What?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"It is about your fiancee, Lin Daiyu. You don't have to worry about her anymore."
    There was always something very strange about Hong Lianhua's expression when he mentioned Lin Daiyu. Although he was smiling his smile wasn't very convincing.
    Yu Peiyu didn't notice the change in Hong Lianhua's expression and asked:"How come?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"She is being protected by a very formidable Wulin dignitary."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I feel assured when the leader of the Beggars Association is keeping an eye out for her."
    Hong Lianhua said with a smile:"It isn't me." His face changed again.
    Yu Peiyu was puzzled and said:"A formidable Wulin dignatary? Reverend Chuchen of Wudang?"
    Hong Lianhua laughed:"Although this person isn't as famous as reverend Chuchen. But people would rather offend him than offend this person."
    Yu Peiyu suddenly thought of someone and said:"The most gorgeous of flowers! The Cherry Blossom Hai Tang. Madame Hai Tang of the Baihua Association."
    Hong Lianhua praised:"Very good! I think she suspects something and is starting her own investigation."
    Yu Peiyu said:"It seems we're not alone in our quest."
    Hong Lianhua suddenly called out:"Damn! I forgot another important thing!"
    Yu Peiyu asked carefully:"Is this "thing" good or bad?"
    Hong Lianhua stamped with his feet:"There is a fake Xie Tianbi running amok. What happened to the real Xie Tianbi? I hope he is allright. I have to look for him."
    As soon as he finished he was gone.
    Yu Peiyu softly sung to himself:"Here he comes, here he goes. Unmatched throughout history. He is very intelligent and enlightened. Unparalleled by others. He roams the world and is very righteous..."

    It was still raining, suddenly 7, 8 horses rode by. Yu Peiyu didn't pay attention to them. But one of the riders dismounted and flew in front of Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu was startled to paced back one step.
    Yu Peiyu recognized this rider, it was the Diancang disciple he met earlier, Yang Junbi.
    Yu Peiyu remembered what Hong Lianhua said before he left and asked:"Did something happen to master Xie?"
    Yang Junbi wanted to greet him but when he heard Yu Peiyu's question his face changed.
    He asked:"Young master Yu, how do you know?"
    Yu Peiyu was startled and stuttered:"I...I..."
    Yang Junbi looked even more serious now and his eyes were brighting up and said loudly:"I wanted to inform young master Yu about this tragedy. But it seems you already knew. Isn't that a strange thing?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled wryly:"I just asked casually."
    Yang Junbi said:"My leading martial arts brother has been missing since last night. Even abbot Tianyun and reverend Chuchen were informed just awhile ago. Young master Yu left early in the morning, how did you know?"
    His words were sharp and insinuated that Yu Peiyu had something to to with the disappearance of Xie Tianbi.
    At this point the other Diancang disciples rode back and were looking at Yu too with stern eyes.
    Diancang disciples were known to be friendly and gentle but when something is amiss they are very vigilant and cautious.
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Master Xie could have met up with some old friends. But with Master Xie's martial arts he is very capable of taking care of himself."
    Yang Junbi said sharply:"Diancang disciples always carry their swords with them. If the sword is present so is the wielder. If the wielder is dead, the sword will be lost. Young master Yu must have heard of this saying before. We discovered the sword of leading brother Xie outside his tent somewhere in the grass. Unless something has happened to him he wouldn't be that careless."
    Yu Peiyu said:"This...this..."
    Suddenly he realised he knew a lot of secrets but he couldn't tell anyone anything about these secrets and furthermore no one would believe him.
    Another Diancang disciple on a horse asked loudly:"Young master Yu, why are you alone? Isn't reverend Tiangang with you?"
    Another disciple on the horse said sharply:"Judging by young master Yu's clothes you must have fought someone."
    Another disciple said loudly:"There is no one around here. Young master Yu, who was your adversary?"

    End of chapter 3

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 4 The Haunting During A Stormy Night

    Yu Peiyu couldn't answer the questions of those Diancang disciples.
    He couldn't tell them that reverend Tiangang died at the hands of that fake Xie Tianbi. He couldn't tell them that this Xie Tianbi was an imposter. And that the body of Xie Tianbi was gone.
    Also no one would believe him if he did.
    Yang Junbi angrilly asked:"Why don't you answer our questions, young master Yu?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"If all of you already suspect me being involved in the disappearance of master Xie, which is ridiculous, what else can I say."
    Yang Junbi was somewhat pleased by this answer and wasn't looking that fierce as before. He said:"If that's the case, would you mind returning with us. If young master Yu cannot explain certain matters to us, but you can certainly tell them to chancellor Yu."
    Before he finished this sentence Yu Peiyu's face changed and said:"I can't go back, absolutely not."
    Again all the Diancang disciples loudly questioned:"Why not?"
    "If you haven't done anything wrong why are that afraid."
    All the Diancang disciples dismounted and looked at Yu Peiyu with suspicion and anger.
    Yang Yunbi said sternly:"Yu Peiyu, it is impossible for you to escape now. I suggest you go back with us!"
    Yu Peiyu was sweating at this moment and because of the rain he was feeling cold all over.
    From a bit further a voice said coldly:"Yu Peiyu, you don't have to go anywhere!"
    7, 8 Taoist priests carrying umbrellas walked this way. Obviously these were Kunlun disciples.
    Yang Junbi said sternly:"Even if he's a Kunlun disciple he has to go back with us. Kunlun and Diancang have always been friends, but this matter concerns the life and death of our leading brother Xie. So Taoist brother please forgive us for being rude."
    The faces of the Kunlun disciples looked even more fierce and dark than the Diancang disciples.
    The leading Kunlun disciple was a pale-looking Taoist priest with a short moustache. He looked at Yu Peiyu with deadly eyes and said:"You do not have to go anywhere."
    Yu Peiyu backed one step and Yang Junbi asked:"What is going on here?"
    The pale-looking Taoist priest said sadly:"Master Xie's whereabouts are unknown, but our leader reverend Tiangang is....is..." His umbrella fell to the ground he used too much force on the handle and broke the umbrella.
    Yang Junbi was startled and asked:"Did reverend Tiangang pass...away?"
    The pale-looking Taoist said tragically:"Our teacher was ambushed, he was stabbed by a sword through the back."
    Yang Junbi said:"Unbelievable?"
    The Taoist continued:"We just found the body of our teacher and have put in a coffin."
    Yang Junbi said:"Reverend Tiangang's martial arts has reached the level of perfection. Falling leaves within metres cannot escape his ears. It is highly unlikely he was ambushed."
    The Taoist gritted his teeth and said:"If our teacher was betrayed by someone he trusts. Someone close to him, our teacher would never have suspected that person would betray him."
    While he said this he stared at Yu Peiyu with pure hate.
    Now the Taoist spoke to Yu Peiyu and screamed:"Yu Peiyu, how did the master die? Tell us! Tell us!"
    Yu Peiyu trembled and said:"Master...he...master...he..."
    The Taoist yelled:"Did you kill the master?"
    Yu Peiyu shook his hands and quickly yelled':"No, I did not! I would never harm the master."
    Someone pulled out the sword out of his girdle and gave it to the Taoist.
    The Taoist held the sword and pointed it at Yu Peiyu and said:"Is this the sword that killed our master? Did you use this sword to kill him?"
    This sword was indeed the murder weapon, but the user of this sword was dead now. And Yu Peiyu was carrying this sword at the moment.
    Yu Peiyu felt like his heart was bleeding and stepped back a few paces.
    Everyone looked at him with fierce eyes.
    Yu Peiyu knelt down and looked up into the air and screamed:"Heaven! Heaven! What have I done wrong? Do I really deserve to suffer this much? Do I deserve to die?"
    Suddenly the sword landed in front of him.
    The Taoist said:"This is your only way and the most easy way."
    Indeed this way, the only choice he had. This is absolutely impossible to explain, no one will believe him. The truth sounds so strange and bizar.
    His only witness is Hong Lianhua. But can he convince the people of Kunlun and Diancang. Does Hong Lianhua have proof?
    Normally, the disciples of Kunlun and Diancang would certainly believe the words of Hong Lianhua.
    However, this matter concerned the life and death of the leaders of Kunlun and Diancang. Even the very essence and survival of these 2 schools. Perhaps this matter would concern the entire Wulin.
    So they wouldn't believe Hong Lianhua unless he had solid evidence.
    Yu Peiyu thought everything over and knew he didn't have a choice. He picked up the sword with rage and stormed out of the encirclement of Kunlun and Diancang disciples.
    All the Diancang and Kunlun disciples were calling out in surprise and were totally confused.
    But still they were disciples of the 2 prominent Wulin schools and some of them quickly composed themselves and drew their swords and aimed at Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu used his sword to block these attacks and send those swords flying.
    Yu Peiyu put all his grievances, rage and injustice into those stances.
    Everyone was shocked that this young man had such tremendous force.
    Before they had a chance to organize themselves Yu Peiyu was long gone.

    Yu Peiyu fled, there was no other choice for him. He had to stay alive to find out the truth.
    It was still raining and he could hear his pursuers closing in on him.
    He was feeling exhausted and the rain clouded his sight. In a haze he thought he saw a carriage riding by.
    He couldn't keep it up anymore and fell down and fainted.

    When he woke up he saw that he was inside a carriage. Was he captured after all?
    He look around and saw a lamp, broom and some other ordinary things. He pulled away the cloth and saw an old man riding the carriage.
    Judging by his beard and clothes he was quite old and an ordinary poor man.
    Yu Peiyu felt relieved now.
    The old man smiled:"Yu Peiyu are you awake?"
    Yu Peiyu was startled and asked:"How did you know my name?"
    The old man laughed:"Just awhile ago I heard a bunch of people calling out: Yu Peiyu come out now! So I figured you must be Yu Peiyu."
    Yu Peiyu took a closer look at the old man and saw that his eyes were filled with wisdom and he looked very benevolent.
    Yu Peiyu bowed and said:"Thank you sir! For saving my life."
    The old man laughed:"No need to thank me. You don't look like a criminal to me! If you did I would have handed you over to those men."
    Yu Peiyu said with a faint smile:"Sir, you're the first man in a very long time that believes that I am good."
    The old man laughed:"A young man like you shouldn't be that depressed. We'll go to my house and have some warm soup."
    The old man rode the carriage to his house.
    Yu Peiyu was thinking that an old cottage might be a good place for him to rest. He was never a fussy man but now luxury had even less meaning in his eyes. And this poor old man could praise himself lucky that he had a house.
    Suddenly he heard the old man talking to the horse:"Don't you recognize the way home anymore?"
    Yu Peiyu crawled up and took a look outside.
    To his amazement he saw a large manor, beautifully decorated and well-preserved.
    Yu Peiyu was surprised and asked:"Sir, do you...live here?"
    The old man replied:"Yes, I do."
    Yu Peiyu was totally surprised and thought: Perhaps this old man is an eccentric man of wealth. Or even a retired government official. Or maybe a robber with a disguise.
    Yu Peiyu could only guess what the motives of this old man were.
    Yu Peiyu looked outside and saw a few horses standing near 2 large fierce-looking stone lions near the gate.
    There were a few big fellows standing next to the horses.
    Yu Peiyu wondered who the riders were at this point he knew that this old man was a prominent figure in Wulin.
    Yu Peiyu felt scared he knew that he had a lot of enemies in Wulin.
    Suddenly Yu Peiyu peeked through a small hole and saw 2 men walking towards the carriage one of them was the pale-looking Taoist priest of earlier.
    Yu Peiyu felt cold and thought he was doom for it.
    The Taoist spoke:"Old benefactor, have you seen a young man on your way here?"
    The old man smiled:"I have seen lots of young men. I'm not sure which one you mean."
    The Taoist said:"He is wearing a green robe, he is very handsome. But I think at this moment he must look very tired and dirty."
    The old man said:"I have seen this young man."
    The Taoist quickly asked:"Where did you see him?"
    The old man stroked his beard and said:"In fact I captured him."
    Yu Peiyu was terrified and almost fainted.
    The Taoist priest looked coldly at the old man and said:"Alhtough I believe this young man is exhausted right now. But still impossible for you to capture, old benefactor. Please remember this in the future, benefactor. I, Baihe of Kunlun do not like jokes."
    He turned around and walked away.
    The old man sighed:"If you know that I cannot capture him. Why do you ask me?"
    He whipped the horse and instructed it to go on.
    He softly said:"Young lad, you should know by now that the smarter they are the easier you can trick them. You just have to know how to fool them."
    Unfortunately Yu Peiyu couldn't hear these words anymore. When he did hear the old man he was already at the old man's house.

    The house was indeed quite old and there was mildew here and there.
    Yu Peiyu was lying in bed he was wearing new clothes but was still trembling with cold.
    With difficulty he got up and staggered to a window and opened it.
    He looked out and saw a beautiful large courtyard. But somehow it looked very dark and sinister. Maybe it was the weather or perhaps it was night now. But the ambiance was very spooky.
    Yu Peiyu shivered and thought:What is this place? What is going on here?
    Suddenly he saw a lamp floating his way. He was horrified and he heard a melancholic voice singing:"Where on earth can you find a more bright moon? Perhaps in the sweetest dreams. You say you have seen a fairy's laugh. Who can tell it was dream or not?"
    Yu Peiyu saw a white apparition coming his way. It was young woman with a pale face, very beautiful but there was something eerie about her.
    Yu Peiyu couldn't move anymore.
    Suddenly he heard the door opening he turned around and saw the old man walking in.
    Yu Peiyu grabbed his hand and asked:"Who is out there?"
    The old man smiled:"There is no one out there."
    Yu Peiyu opened the door and saw that there was indeed no one.
    The old man looked at him with compassion.
    Yu Peiyu grabbed the old man again and asked:"Where am I? What place is this? And who are you?"
    The old man said calmly:"I'm just an old man who saved your life."
    Yu Peiyu let go of him and sat down in a wooden chair, stunned.
    The old man said:"You're too tired, you should rest."
    Yu Peiyu said:"But I saw..."
    The old man interrupted him:"You didn't see anything."
    There was something mysterious about his voice. Yu Peiyu felt relaxed and smiled wryly:"You're right. I didn't see anything."
    The old man nodded and said:"The less you see the less there is to trouble you."
    He put down a bowl of soup and told Yu Peiyu:"Drink up! And get some sleep. Who knows tomorrow could be entirely different from today."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Well, at least today is over."

    Yu Peiyu had a nightmare, something black was pressing against him. He couldn't breathe and panted heavily in his sleep.
    Suddenly he woke up and saw a white hand in front of him. It looked like if the hand was trying to strangle him.
    He called out:"Who! Who is here!"
    In the darkness and with the bad lighting he saw a figure with long hair and a pair of beautiful eyes but with a melancholic look.
    Now he remembered it was the apparition he saw earlier. The figure seemed to have been startled by him and quickly left through the door. Yu Peiyu was puzzled and couldn't see the old man.
    He was very confused and he didn't know whether this apparition was a ghost or a human.
    He chased outside and saw the figure standing under a tree.
    Yu Peiyu carefully walked closer afraid to startle her again.
    When he took a closer look he realised it was a beautiful young woman but it wasn't the same girl he saw through the window.
    She seemed more innocent but her looks were very similar.
    Yu Peiyu smiled and apologized:"I have mistaken you for someone else, Miss."
    She just looked at him for some time and suddenly she turned around and ran away.
    Yu Peiyu couldn't help asking:"Miss, do you live here?"
    She turned around and smiled at Yu Peiyu. Before he knew it she vanished into the fog. Yu Peiyu couldn't help himself and walked into the fog.
    The girl stood there smiling in a silly way.
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Miss, can I ask you a few questions?"
    The girl nodded.
    He asked:"What is this place?"
    She shook her head.
    He was disappointed and sighed and asked:"Are you one of the persons who lives here?"
    The girl smiled:"I'm not a person."
    Yu Peiyu was startled by this answer, because this entire place was too eerie for words.
    She continued:"I am a bird. Like the ones in the tree."
    She looked up and whistled to the birds and smiled silly:"Those are my sisters."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Are you talking to them?"
    The girl said happily:"Do you believe that I can talk to them?"
    Yu Peiyu said gently:"Of course I believe you."
    The girl suddenly looked very sad:"But they don't believe me."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Maybe they are fools."
    She said happily:"I am a robin."
    With that she happily ran off.

    Yu Peiyu felt very calm and returned to the old cottage. When he entered a sword was pointing at his back.
    A cold voice said:"If you move I will stab you."
    It was a very enchanting voice. He turned around and saw it was the girl he met earlier.
    The girl coldly asked:"Who are you?"
    Yu Peiyu was surprised and a bit annoyed:"Miss Robin, don't you recognize me?"
    The girl responded:"Why should I know you?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I was just talking to you."
    The girl scoffed:"You must be dreaming."
    Why did this girl treat him this way. She was the same girl he met earlier, right?
    Again he was totally confused.
    And said softly:"I must be dreaming."
    The girl fiercely asked:"Who are you? What are you doing in the house of old man Gao? Are you a thief? What are you after? Speak up!"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I don't know, I really don't know a thing anymore."
    Everyone in this manor seemed to be crazy, they are friendly to you for one moment and in an instant they treat you like a criminal.
    The girl laughed coldly:"You don't know? I will give to the count of 3 to talk. If you remain silent don't blame me for being ruthless."
    She counted:"One!"
    Yu Peiyu just stood there.
    She continued:"Two!"
    Yu Peiyu didn't know what to say and kept his mouth shut.
    The girl was stunned and finally said:"Three!"
    Yu Peiyu moved like a fish in the water and "swam" away from the tip and gently hit the sword out of her hand.
    The sword flew up and was stuck in the ceiling.
    Yu Peiyu turned around and said coldly:"Miss Robin, stop pretending! Now I have a few questions. And I don't speak the language of the birds so I hope you can talk in the tongue of humans."
    The girl smiled sweetly:"I'm just playing with you. I will teach you the language of the birds tomorrow."
    And smilingly she walked out the door.
    Yu Peiyu called out:"Wait!"
    In an instant the old man blocked his way and said:"I saved your life and that doesn't mean you can interrogate other people here."
    Yu Peiyu scoffed:"Sir, your timing is excellent! Why didn't you appear when she had her sword pointed at me?"
    The old man walked to his chair and sat down. He lighted his pipe and said while smoking:"I'll be honest. There are some strange things going on here in this manor.If you ignore these events no harm will come to you, if not you will certainly find death here."
    Yu Peiyu angrilly said:"Although I'm willing to be ignorant but that girl wanted to kill me."
    The old man sighed:"You should forget about her. They are all very tragic women, we should even forgive them."
    He looked very sad.
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Who are [they]?"
    The old man said:"Why must you know who [they] are?"
    Yu Peiyu loudly said:"Why won't you tell me anything?"
    The old man sighed:"It is not that I'm not willing. But it is best that you don't know."
    Yu Peiyu was silent for a moment and made a bow to the old man:"Sir, I will repay you someday for saving my life."
    The old man asked:"You want to leave now?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"It is best that I be on my way."
    The old man seriously said:"There are about 100 disciples of Diancang and Kunlun in the surroundings. Can you go away unnoticed?"
    Yu Peiyu asked:"What's the connection between Diancang, Kunlun and this manor."
    The old man said:"If there was a connection, you wouldn't be safe here and listening to me now."
    Yu Peiyu said:"You know...you know about my.."
    The old man said:"I know everything."
    Yu Peiyu yelled:"I didn't kill Xie Tianbi and didn't kill my teacher reverend Tiangang. You have to believe me."
    The old man said:"Even if I believe you, will the others too."
    Yu Peiyu backed up against the wall.
    The old man said:"The best you can do right now is stay here and keep a low profile. After some time they will look for you somewhere else. And I will help you escape then. Meanwhile you can take this chance to rest properly."
    Yu Peiyu was moved and his eyes were watery and said:"Sir, why do you help me?"
    The old man was still smoking his pipe and said:"Since I saved you I hate to see you die at the hands of someone else."

    Suddenly a long rope curled up the sword stuck in the ceiling and pulled it out.
    A pretty hand caught the sword and she said:"Old man Gao, my mother wants to speak to him."
    The old man looked at Yu Peiyu. Yu Peiyu saw that his face changed a bit and he heard the old man asking the girl:"Your mother wants to talk to who?"
    The girl smiled:"Except for you and I who else is here?"
    Old man Gao asked:"Why does your mother want talk to him?"
    The girl stared at Yu Peiyu and said:"I don't know. Just quickly take him to mother."
    After saying that she left.
    Old man Gao sat in his chair not moving for some time.
    Yu Peiyu couldn't help asking:"Who is her mother?"
    Old man Gao replied:"The lady of the manor."
    He put away his pipe and told Yu Peiyu:"Follow me, but be careful. Some Diancang and Kunlun disciples have entered the manor."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I do not understand. You have hidden me here but also you're allowing them to look for me right here. But since you have let them inside why are you afraid that they might see me."
    Old man Gao ignored his remarks and kept walking.
    Yu Peiyu smiled wryly:"I'm going to see the lady of the manor. May I at least know what the name is of this manor."
    Old man Gao replied:"The Murder Manor."

    They were moving through a long corridor.
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Murder Manor?"
    Old Man Gao said:"A very strange name, isn't it?"
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Why the strange name?"
    Old man Gao answered:"Here anyone is allowed to murder and kill. No one will interfere and ask. And anybody can be killed or murdered here and nobody will come and save you."
    Yu Peiyu got goosebumps all over and said:"Why? But why?"
    Old man Gao earnestly said:"It is for your own good that you don't know the reason."
    Yu Peiyu continued:"But why doesn't somebody say something abou it?"
    Old man Gao said:"No one will and nobody dares."
    Yu Peiyu said:"But why doesn't the lord of the manor do something about it?"
    Old man Gao turned around and had a strange smile on his face and said:"The reason why the lord doesn't interfere is...."
    They heard footsteps walking this way, Old man Gao pulled Yu Peiyu into a chamber.
    They saw 2 Taoist priests in purple robes walking by. On their backs they carried 2 long swords.
    Yu Peiyu waited till they were gone and asked:"Does this mean that anyone can walk about freely here?"
    Old man Gao said:"If their intentions are to kill they can walk freely and undisturbed. But the hunted should be very very careful around here."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"How come the hunted would come here? If they know that at any time here they might get murdered or killed. Aren't there safer places to hide?"
    Old man Gao said:"Maybe they have no place to go but here. Or perhaps they don't know the rules of the manor. Or maybe they were lured here by their enemies. Perhaps they came here to kill someone else."
    Yu Peiyu exclaimed:"All 4 motives are very convincing. But what about the lord of the manor....."
    Someone suddenly said:"Mother, here he is."
    Yu Peiyu saw it was the girl he met earlier. She was standing outside a big door and staring at him.
    Old man Gao walked up the door and said:"Madame, you wanted to see him?"
    A voice at the other side said softly:"Enter."
    Although she just said one word but it seemed like it was a voice from the netherworld.
    Yu Peiyu entered and saw the lady of the manor.
    And there were 2 young girls standing next to her. Both looked exactly the same. Twins!
    They were the girls Yu Peiyu met earlier in the courtyard and the cottage.
    That explains it.
    One looked very innocent and silly, the other looked quite mean and cold.
    All 3 women were very pretty but all looked sad, melancholic.
    He remembered the words of old man Gao:"They are all very tragic women, we should even forgive them."
    But why are they sad? What is their story?
    The lady spoke:"It is quite dark here, isn't it?"
    Yu Peiyu replied:"Yes, it is!"
    She continued in her gloomy tone:"I like darkness, I don't care much for the sun. Sunlight is only for happy people. But darkness belongs to people who are sad."
    Yu Peiyu thought:Why do you keep on being sad and depressed?
    But Yu Peiyu didn't say a word. The gloominess of the room made him uncomfortable.
    The woman asked:"What is your name?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"My name is..."
    Old man Gao coughed and Yu Peiyu said:"Ye. Ye Peiyu."
    The woman asked:"So it is not Yu Peiyu?"
    Yu Peiyu was startled.
    The woman said:"A long time ago someone with the family name Yu killed someone very close to me. I always hated those Yu's, anyone with the name Yu can't be a good person."
    Yu Peiyu didn't know what to say and just said yes and nodded.

    The woman said:"I am very glad that you are here. I hope you will stay a bit longer I do enjoy talking to you."
    In fact Yu Peiyu hardly talked to the woman at all.
    But he said:"Thank you, Madame."
    Suddenly the cold twin quickly walked up to him and used the scabbard of her sword to hit Yu Peiyu's calf. Yu Peiyu knelt down in pain.
    Someone opened the door and walked in. It was Baihe of the Kunlun School.
    And following Baihe was Yang Junbi of Diancang.
    The girl scolded Yu Peiyu:"The next time you dare to disobey the orders of the lady I will break your legs. Now go and clean up the courtyard!"
    Yu Peiyu said with a low voice:"Yes, Miss!"
    Baihe and Yang Junbi were looking around but ignored the simple "servant."
    Baihe approached the lady of the manor and said:"Benefactress, have you seen a strange young man here?"
    The woman said coldly:"The only stranger I see is you."
    Baihe continued:"But someone did see..."
    The girl said fiercely:"Are you implying that my mother and I are hiding that stranger?"
    Baihe was stunned by her question and smiled apologetically:"That is not my meaning."
    The girl scoffed:"What is the meaning of this? A Taoist priest storming into the sleeping quarters of a woman. I take it you're not here to recite Taoist scriptures."
    Baihe was now lost for words and could maintain his smile with trouble:"I have asked the lord..."
    The girl said:"If you want to kill anyone go right ahead and search every room. Except for this room, this is my mother's room."
    Baihe said:"Yes, I understand. Yes..."
    He bowed to the woman and her daughters and quickly left and Yang Junbi followed and closed the door.
    Yu Peiyu was still sweating.
    The woman looked at him and asked:"Why are you afraid? You don't have to tell me, everyone that comes here is afraid of something."
    She turned to old man Gao and said:"You can go now."
    Old man Gao said:"He..."
    She answered:"He will stay here, I would like to talk to him."
    Old man Gao was hesitant for a minute but said:"Yes, Madame."
    And left the room too, the twins followed and closed the door behind. Yu Peiyu sat down in one of the chairs.
    Yu Peiyu was quite scared of the lady of the manor. She kept looking at him. He heard laughter outside after awhile.
    He walked to a window and looked outside. He saw a black cat running and a little elderly man chasing the cat. The man was skinny and small, he wore a long robe. Although he had a beard but he was no taller than a child. And he had the expression of a child.
    Several men outside were watching this midget chase the cat too and were laughing and some of them used pebbles to throw at the cat.
    Yu Peiyu sighed when he saw this.
    The woman spoke:"Why do you sigh?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I feel sorry for this man, he is being ridiculed because how he looks."
    The woman said without a trace of emotion:"That man is my husband."
    Yu Peiyu was surprised and said":"He is the lord of the manor."
    She said coldly:"Yes, he is."
    Yu Peiyu returned to his seat and sat there not saying a word for some time.
    Now he knew why old man Gao called them tragic women. Also he began to understand why anyone could come here and kill and murder.
    The lord of the manor is a pathetic midget who is respected by nobody.
    The lady just sat there in her seat staring at Yu Peiyu. Yu Peiyu was feeling sorry for her and her daughters.
    After some time a servant brought some tea and light refreshments. Yu Peiyu was feeling quite hungry and finished them all.
    The only thing the lady did all this time was staring at him.
    Yu Peiyu couldn't help wondering:"WHY DOES SHE KEEP STARING AT ME?"
    Yu Peiyu was feeling sorry for her but also his curiosity was aroused.
    It was night now, the lady suddenly asked:"Would you mind accompanying me for a stroll in the yard?"

    As they 2 of them walked in the big courtyard Yu Peiyu saw a strange house in the yard. There were no windows and the big iron door was rusted. Yu Peiyu was curious and walked towards it.
    The lady said:"Don't go there."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Why?"
    "Anyone who goes in there will die," she said calmly.
    She smiled mysteriously and added:"That house is full of dead people. Whoever enters will have to share their fate."
    The lady said:"That is the family grave of the Ji family. All the ancestors of the Ji family are burried there. All the Ji ancestors were mad when they were alive and now they're dead they are still mad. Everyone in the Ji family is crazy"
    Madame Ji held the hand of Yu Peiyu, Yu Peiyu had goosebumps again. And he felt that her hand was ice-cold.
    They walked down a small path, Madame Ji stopped in front of a well and said softly:"This is a strange well."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"How come?"
    The lady explained:"This well is called "The Demonic Mirror."
    It is said that it can predict your future. When the moon is bright and you look into the well it will reveal your future."
    Madame Ji said:"Why don't you try?"
    Yu Peiyu was quite curious about this and couldn't help to look down.
    All of a sudden Madame Ji began screaming:"BLOOD! BLOOD!"
    Suddenly the fence around the well broke and Yu Peiyu fell into the well.
    Madame Ji was running away screaming:"BLOOD! THE DEMONIC MIRROR!"
    Yu Peiyu fell into the well and was thinking:Why won't she rescue me?
    This is the second time I fall into a well.
    Yu Peiyu couldn't help sighing to his series of misfortune and bad luck that didn't seem to go away.
    He was feeling cold and wet.

    The night passed and the first light appeared.
    After a very long time he heard someone singing and talking to the birds.
    And a pretty face appeared above the well.
    Yu Peiyu happily called out:"Miss Robin..."
    Miss Robin said:"Oh it is you. No wonder I couldn't understand you. You're not a bird."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I wish I was a bird right now."
    Miss Robin said:"Since you're not a bird. Goodbye!"
    "Wait!" Yu Peiyu called out.
    "Won't you at least help me get out of this well?" he said.
    Miss Robin said:"Why should I help you?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Because...because..I..."
    Miss Robin laughed:"Even you can't come up with a good reason. I'm off."
    Yu Peiyu was totally bemused by this situation. He had a mind to slap her silly at this moment.
    Sudddenly he remembered the words of Madame Ji:"Everyone in the Ji family is crazy."
    Yu Peiyu was sulking at this moment and wetted his lips with some water.
    Suddenly a long rope dropped down, he was thrilled and called out:"Thanks!"
    He climbed out of the well and saw Miss Robin standing next to the well. She was smiling in her usual silly way. She had a small pretty bird in her hand.
    Yu Peiyu asked her:"Why did you help me after all?"
    Miss Robin said:"She told me to help you. Didn't you my little sister?"
    She was talking to the bird in her hand.
    The bird was chirping.
    Yu Peiyu couldn't tell anymore whether this girl was pretending to be silly or really was mentally challenged.
    He asked:"Can you really understand her chirping?"
    Miss Robin was a bit annoyed by his question:"You don't believe me either."
    Yu Peiyu quickly said:"I believe you. I really do. But how did you learn their language?"
    She happily said:"I just understand them when I'm around them."
    Yu Peiyu looked at her and actually believed her. He suddenly asked:"Are they happy?"
    Miss Robin lifted her hand and thought for a moment and said:"Some of them are, some of them aren't.
    She happily added:"At least they are happier than silly humans."
    Yu Peiyu nodded and said:"You're right about that."
    Miss Robin laughed:"I'm glad you understand, you should..."
    The bird in her hand suddenly flew up, Miss Robin's face changed.
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Miss, why.."
    She waved her hand and she quickly ran off. Yu Peiyu thought:She does look like a little fragile bird."

    Yu Peiyu heard someone digging further up ahead and walked over.
    He hid in the bushes and saw a midget digging. It was the lord of the manor. And next to him was the black cat. It was dead now, and by the looks of it. It died quite awfully.
    One can hardly tell anymore that it was a cat.


    End of chapter 4

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 5 Back From The Dead

    The lord of the manor put the cat into the hole. He was burrying the cat, and Yu Peiyu could hear the lord talking to himself softly:"It is said that a cat has 9 lives, but why do you only have 1. Poor thing! Are you trying to fool me? Or am I easily tricked?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed when he saw that this little man had such a benevolent heart.
    The lord heard the sigh and called out:"Who is there?"
    Yu Peiyu walked out and gently said:"Don't be afraid. I have no ill intentions."
    The lord was looking at him in a nervous way and asked:"Who are you?"
    Yu Peiyu tried his best not to scare him and smiled:"I am a guest at your manor. My name is Yu Peiyu."
    Yu Peiyu didn't want to lie to this poor man. Also he felt that this man was very kind. Anyone who takes the effort of burrying a dead cat can't be all bad, can he?
    The lord seemed to have calmed down and smiled:"You're a guest, I am your host. I am Ji Zanghua."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I know, I met the lady of the manor and your daughters."
    Ji Zanghua smiled wryly:"It seems that everyone meets them first."
    He added:"But don't listen to them. My wife is a bit mad, quite mad. No, she is a madwoman. My eldest daughter is very fierce, nobody would dare to offend her. Even I am afraid of her. Although she is pretty she is ruthless. The next time you see them, quickly hide."
    Yu Peiyu was surprised that he would talk about his wife and daughter in this way. He didn't know if he was telling the truth. But why would he lie to him.
    Ji Zanghua said:"I'm just giving some advice, they are my family I wouldn't tell lies about them."
    Yu Peiyu sighed and said:"Thank you, Mr. Ji."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"What about the girl who talks to birds?"
    Ji Zanghua laughed:"You mean Lingyan, she wouldn't harm anyone. She is...she is mentally handicapped."
    Yu Peiyu said softly:"Oh I see, mentally handicapped."
    Suddenly they heard some people walking this way.
    Ji Zanghua grabbed Yu Peiyu's hand and said:"It is probably them. Don't let them see you, they will kill you. Come, follow me!"
    Yu Peiyu remembered the well incident, the strange Madame Ji. So he quickly followed Ji Zanghua. Ji Zanghua swiftly made a few turns here and there.
    They arrived at a small pavilion, Ji Zanghua said:"You'll be safe here, nobody will come here."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"What is this place?"
    Ji Zanghua said:"This is where my late father would study Buddhist texts. When he was 50 years old he stayed here and never left this place for 25 years."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"But this is such a small place, why did old Mr. Ji have to spend his days here?"
    Ji Zanghua said sadly:"My late father felt that he had killed too many people in his younger years. He wanted to repent for his mistakes. He reached a very high cultivation and said that any hardship to the flesh was irrelevant."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Old Mr. Ji was a remarkable man."
    Yu Peiyu shook his head when he remembered that Madame Ji said that everyone in the Ji family was crazy.
    Ji Zanghua said:"You can stay here, I will bring you food and water. There is already too much bloodshed in this manor. I don't want to see anymore bloodshed."
    Yu Peiyu watched him when he walked away and thought:He is wife is mad, his daughter mentally handicapped. He himself is a midget. He is even more unfortunate than I, but he managed to be an altruist. I wonder if I can do the same thing in his position.
    He sat on the pillow and saw that they were no windows. Just those paper walls surrounding the pavilion.
    Suddenly he saw some markings on the floor, he wiped away the dust and saw the 8 trigrams were carved on the floor.
    Being a disciple of the Xiantian Wuji School learning and studying the secrets of divine formations was compulsory.
    So he knew that there was something strange about this carving of the eight trigrams. So he used his knowledge of this art to find out what secret was hidden here.
    He used his finger to touch some lines of the eight trigrams and suddenly the pillow shifted and a secret passage beneath was opened.
    Yu Peiyu was curious and entered the secret passage. At this point suddenly 20 odd swords pierced through the oil paper walls. Missing Yu Peiyu by a hair.
    Yu Peiyu broke out in a cold sweat, if he hadn't discovered the markings and if he didn't study the art of formations he was dead now.
    He quickly entered the secret passage and sealed the entrance with the pillow again.
    The wielders of the sword stormed in and saw no one was here.
    They were all Kunlun and Diancang disciples.
    One of them said:"Where did he go?"
    Baihe said angrilly:"How did he know we were coming?"
    "He cannot have gone far, let us search!" someone said.
    All of them left the pavilion and continued their search.
    Yu Peiyu crawled out when he was sure everyone was gone for some time.
    He know knew that everyone in this manor is stark raving mad.
    Suddenly he heard someone calling:"Young master Ye. Ye Peiyu."
    He knew that only Madame Ji and her daughters would call him by this name.
    He quickly hid in the secret passage again.
    Although the secret passage was quite long and was bound to lead to a particular place, Yu Peiyu just stayed near the entrance. He was too tired to go and investigate.
    After some time he fell asleep.

    Suddenly the pillow shifted and Yu Peiyu was startled and looked up he saw Ji Zanghua.
    Ji Zanghua said:"Thank goodness! You're allright."
    Yu Peiyu gritted his teeth and said:"What are you trying to pull now?"
    Ji Zanghua hit himself on the chest and said:"It is all my fault, my wife saw me taking you here. So she must have informed those Kunlun and Diancang killers."
    Yu Peiyu scoffed:"Why should I believe you?"
    Ji Zanghua said:"If I betrayed you why would come here and help you now."
    Yu Peiyu felt that he was right and said:"My apologies for being rude."
    Yu Peiyu leapt out and Ji Zanghua put the pillow back in place.
    Ji Zanghua said:"This isn't the time for apologies."
    Suddenly arrogantly said:"Do you think you can escape now, Yu Peiyu!"
    3 swords stabbed towards Yu Peiyu. Ji Zanghua screamed:"Stop! Don't fight!"
    But nobody paid any attention to him and those attackers continued their assault on Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu was cut on 2 different places, the disciples of Kunlun and Diancang had him surrounded.
    Yu Peiyu did his best to ward off the attacks, but he was heavily outnumbered and before he knew it he was cut again.
    Baihe said:"Keep him alive! We want to interrogate him first."
    Yu Peiyu flew up towards Baihe, suddenly he changed direction and one of the pillars of the pavilion was struck down.
    It was Yu Peiyu who broke the pillar with his bare fist. The roof came crashing down, Yu Peiyu picked up the heavy pillar and swept it towards the Diancang and Kunlun people.
    Everyone screamed and panicked and one Diancang disciple was hit on the chest and fainted. A few of his ribs were broken. 2 swords were hit out of the hands of 2 disciples.
    Baihe shouted and directed the attack:"He is insane! He is not even human. If we can't take him alive we will take him dead."
    Yu Peiyu whirled the pillar and nobody could get close to him.
    Ji Zanghua who stood far and far away from the fight said softly:"What an impressive strength! What an impressive power!"

    Everyone wielded their swords around hoping that they could see a window of opportunity to attack Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu was unaware of everything around him at this time. He was in a trance he just wanted to get away from them. Suddenly he chucked the pillar straightforward. The pillar travelled with incredible speed and was headed towards a Kunlun Taoist. It was too late for him to avoid the pillar and the pillar pierced right through his body.
    He screamed in pain and wasn't dead yet. Blood splattered everywhere, everyone was too frightened and quickly moved aside.
    Yu Peiyu closely followed the pillar and stormed out.
    He just ran and ran and suddenly saw that strange house.
    The house of death.
    He thought a tomb is perhaps the best hiding-place.

    A sword blocked his way and a girl said:"Whoever enters, dies!"
    Yu Peiyu recognized her as the eldest daughter of Ji Zanghua. He said tragically:"It is best that I can die at your hands. At least you are not mad..."
    Yu Peiyu was too exhausted and fainted again.

    When Yu Peiyu woke up he saw he was in the room of Madame Ji.
    There was nobody in the room, but now someone opened the door. It was the lord of the manor, Ji Zanghua. Even till now Yu Peiyu had no idea whether this midget was good or evil.
    Yu Peiyu got up and said:"There are no grudges between us, why do you want to harm me?"
    Ji Zanghua walked to the bed and said apologetically:"I am very sorry. I wanted to help you, but now I have only made things worse. I didn't know that those men were following me."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Why don't you go now?"
    Ji Zanghua said:"I cannot let you fall into the hands of those women."
    Yu Peiyu smiled sadly:"But they just saved me."
    Ji Zanghua sighed:"Young man, you don't know what they are planning. They want to torture you and play with you before they kill you."
    Yu Peiyu shivered and asked:"Why would they? I haven't done anything to them."
    Ji Zanghua said:"You really don't know?"
    Yu Peiyu replied:"I haven't the foggiest."
    Ji Zanghua explained:"Have you forgotten that my wife hates everybody with the family name Yu?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Of course, I did forget about that."
    At this point he believed Ji Zanghua and was ready to go with him.
    Ji Zanghua said:"Follow me."
    At this moment someone opened the door, it was the eldest daughter of Ji Zanghua.
    She coldly looked at Ji Zanghua and showed no signs of respect and love. Only resent and hate.
    She coldly called out:"Leave!"
    Ji Zanghua jumped up and angrilly shouted:"Ji Lingfeng, don't forget I am your father. Show a bit more respect when you talk to your father!"
    He was jumping up and down and was pratically foaming at the mouth.
    Yu Peiyu was stunned that this normally friendly looking midget turned into a frantic madman.
    Ji Lingfeng was not afraid and scoffed at her father:"You're refusing to leave?"
    Ji Zanghua made a fist and stared at his daughter eyes filled with hate.
    Ji Lingfeng stared at her father with scorn, and Ji Zanghua looked at his daughter with hate.
    Yu Peiyu was puzzled, how it happened that the relationship between father and daughter had become this bad between both of them.

    Ji Zanghua suddenly took a long breath and seemed to have composed himself and said:"Dear daughter, don't get angry. Father will be very sad when you're angry. If it means this much to you I will leave now."
    He walked out the door and softly mumbled:"What is this world coming to. Fathers afraid of daughters."
    Yu Peiyu was quite shocked to see this entire situation.
    Ji Lingfeng coldly said:"Go back to bed!"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I do not want to impose anymore. I think it is best that I take my leave."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"You believe those words of that midget. Do you really think I would hurt you?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"He is still your father, how could you.."
    She yelled:"HE IS NOT MY FATHER! HE ISN'T! HE ISN'T...."
    Yu Peiyu was a bit surprised of this reaction and didn't know what to say.
    After a few moments she composed herself and returned to her normal cold self.
    She asked:"Do you really think he is a good man?"
    Yu Peiyu didn't answer because he didn't know for sure what Ji Zanghua was.
    She laughed and said:"Many people are deceived by him. And till their deaths they don't even know they were betrayed by him."
    Yu Peiyu said:"There are no animosities between him and I."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"This place is filled with hatred and do you know why?"
    Yu Peiyu answered:"I don't know."
    Ji Lingfeng loudly said:"Because he...he loves to kill and adores death. He loves to see the lives of others destroyed at his hands. The more tragic you die the happier he will be."
    Yu Peiyu was flabbergasted by this abnormal home. Wife hating husband, husband afraid of daughter and daughter despising father.
    Ji Lingfeng said:"You don't have to believe me. Why should you?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"It is not that I don't believe you, but I saw your..him taking the effort of burrying a cat. So I think he cannot be that bad."
    Ji Lingfeng smiled coldly:"He killed the cat."
    Yu Peiyu exclaimed in surprise:"He did?"
    Ji Lingfeng said:"He loves to destroy things, no matter it is a cat, dog, a flower, a tree and even humans. He cannot stand other beings alive."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"You can dig up a hole anywhere you want, you'll bound to find a skeleton of some animal or man."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I just want to leave this place." and sat down on the bed.
    Ji Lingfeng said:"If you want to live you will have to listen to me. If not you're free to go as you please."
    After she said this she opened the door. Ji Lingfeng said:"Ji Zanghua won't dare to come in here. I have some hold over him and with that I can protect you."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"You're willing to protect me?"
    Ji Lingfeng said:"With me around no one will be able to harm you."
    Yu Peiyu said:"You're right! This is the safest place at this moment. But I rather risk my life than beg for help."
    He stood up and walked to the door.
    Ji Lingfeng said:"Do you really want to die?"
    Yu Peiyu didn't answer her and kept walking.
    She continued:"There is no other way for you. Why are you so keen on being a hero?"
    Yu Peiyu turned around and said:"Thanks for your concern. I will choose my own roads."
    Ji Lingfeng scoffed:"Go ahead! I don't give a toss about your life."
    Although she said that she looked at him completely dazzled.

    After resting for a half day he felt recharged. Also the reason why he could get better this fast had to do with the Lesser Return Pill of Kunlun.
    Yu Peiyu felt that only old man Gao can be trusted and he is trying to find the way to his cottage.
    However walking around some time he still couldn't find it but wandered to the small pavilion.
    The pavilion has collapsed now thanks to him.
    Suddenly it dawned to him he would try the secret passage. Perhaps that would lead to safety.
    It was pitch dark in the tunnel, Yu Peiyu stretched out his hands to feel the way ahead. Suddenly he touched someone in front of him.
    He could feel that this person was wearing a robe made from linnen. He asked:"Who are you?"
    The person didn't move and didn't speak.
    Yu Peiyu was sweating and asked again:"Who are you? Why are you hiding here?"
    The figure didn't speak, Yu Peiyu was moving around the figure and was using his hands to touch around and fortunately he found a lamp.
    He quickly lit the lamp.
    Yu Peiyu saw an old man sitting cross-legged on a pillow. His hair and beard were white but he did look a bit like Ji Zanghua.
    Yu Peiyu said:"Are you the father of Ji Zanghua? Weren't you dead?"
    The old man didn't move even his hair and beard were motionless. It was very eerie.
    Yu Peiyu walked up and touched him again and realised it was a wax statue.
    Yu Peiyu laughed and was also curious:"This is must be the wax statue of Ji Zanghua's father. But why is it here?"
    There was also a bed and a small bookcase, these were just ordinary furniture but somehow it seemed out of place in this secret hiding-place.
    Yu Peiyu thought about this for some time and finally it dawned to him. Old Mr. Ji must have been forced to retire. And announced he was going to repent in the above small pavilion. But he secretly constructed this tunnel to hide and he would put the wax statue on his place above. And everyone will believe he was sincerely repenting.
    Yu Peiyu laughed when he figured this out.
    He took a look at the books on the case and glanced through them. They weren't martial arts manuals. They were just some love poems written by a woman.
    He put the books back and saw a pouch on the bed. He opened it and found a piece of ancient jade in it. There were characters carved on it [Xiantian Wuji] and the character [Yu].
    Yu Peiyu recognized the jade and knew only members of his Yu family had this kind of jade.
    He found a piece of family treasure in this secret place. He was very puzzled and looked at the pouch. There was an image of a beautiful woman embroided on it.
    The woman was Madame Ji and the characters next to her were:
    Always at your side, never leaving never stop hoping.
    Yours Meiniang
    Meiniang was obviously the name of Madame Ji.
    Yu Peiyu began to understand, he remembered the hate Madame Ji had against people with the family name Yu.
    She must have had a lover with the family name Yu. This man came here probably to escape from his pursuers and Madame Ji hid him in the secret hideout of her dead father-in-law.
    She must have fallen in love with this man or knew him before she married Ji Zanghua.
    Anyhow this lover must have left her and causing her to be grief-stricken with sorrow and eventually lead to her present mental state.

    Yu Peiyu thought if the lover left he must have left via another secret exit. Perhaps it was here.
    He continued his walk down the tunnel. After walking for a very long time he finally saw some light shining through the ceiling of the tunnel.
    He was very happy and pushed against the stone tile and climbed up.
    As soon as he climbed up someone grabbed him and shouted:"You have returned! I knew you would come back to me."
    Yu Peiyu saw that it was Madame Ji who grabbed him and he was back in her room.
    She was crying and said:"How could you leave all those years ago? I waited and waited how I hated you for leaving without a word. But now you've returned I will forgive you."
    Yu Peiyu knew that Madame Ji must have mistaken him for her long lost lover. He sighed:"Madame Ji, you're mistaken. I'm not the man you have waited for. Please let me go."
    Madame Ji was crying and laughing:"I will never let you go. If I release you, you'll leave me again like all those years ago. I will never, never let you out of my sight."
    Yu Peiyu didn't know what to do with this predicament and saw that Ji Lingfeng was here too. He happily said:"Miss Ji please explain to your mother who I am."
    Ji Lingfeng watched him coldly and laughed:"I know who you are. You're the man my mother has waited for all these years."
    Yu Peiyu yelled:"Why do you make of fun of me too!"
    Ji Lingfeng smiled lightly:"You have kept my mother waiting for all these years. You should make her happy."
    Yu Peiyu couldn't break free from the strong grip of Madame Ji.
    She pushed him on her bed and said lovely:"How are you doing? Do you realise how much I have longed for you?"
    Yu Peiyu stuttered:"I...I..."
    Madame Ji said:"I know you must be tired. I'm so happy that we are reunited. I'm so happy...Lingfeng bring us some wine. I want to celebrate."
    Ji Lingfeng did as she was told and brought back a bottle of wine and 2 jade cups.
    Madame Ji picked one cup and brought it to his lips and smiled tenderly:"I have never been this happy in a long time. You must drink up."
    Yu Peiyu saw that she was very pretty and looked happy. He also knew that he couldn't explain this to her and the best thing to do is wait and see. He drank the wine.
    Madame Ji continued:"Do you remember the first time we drank together. You told me you would never leave me. Do you remember?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled awkwardly:"I...I.."
    Madame Ji said:"Although you lied to me then, but now you cannot lie to me anymore. At least now that you have drunk this cup of wine."
    Yu Peiyu was startled when he heard this and suddenly felt weak and dizzy.
    He cried out:"Poison....wine.."
    Madame Ji smiled:"This is called the Heart-broken wine. After drinking it you can never leave me again."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I'm not,....I am not...."
    Before he could finish he passed out already.
    Madame Ji stopped laughing and touched Yu Peiyu's hair and face and softly mumbled:"I
    remember the first time he climbed out that secret tunnel. I was just changing my clothes and saw him. He was standing there looking at me, smiling. Although I was shocked and angry at first but when I looked at his handsome face and those beautiful eyes. I was....I was. I couldn't attack him."
    She was reminiscing about the past.
    Ji Lingfeng asked her:"You must be very lonely then?"
    Madame Ji said:"I was very lonely, married to a man like Ji Zanghua. How can a woman not feel lonely? Because of loneliness I fell for him."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"Well, he was quite good to you."
    Madame Ji smiled charmingly:"He is. He gave some of the sweetest moments in my life. Just the sheer memory is enough to lighten up my day."
    Ji Lingfeng continued:"Because you were too happy. And when he left you, you were even feeling more miserable."
    Madame Ji said:
    "Yes...yes...but now I don't hate him anymore. He is mine, totally mine and nobody can steal him away from me anymore."
    Ji Lingfeng said coldly:"Unfortunately you have killed the wrong man. This man is not the man you have waited for."
    Madame Ji screamed:"You're lying! Besides him who knows this secret tunnel!"
    Ji Lingfeng said:"That man knew this secret, although it was a secret he could still figure it out. This man could too, because they are both members of the Yu family and have studied the art of secrets and formations."
    Madame Ji shouted:"Shut up! Shut up!"
    Ji Lingfeng continued:"You know as well as I do that this man isn't [him]. But you just like to fool yourself and keep living in a dream."
    Madame Ji began crying:"Why did you have to destroy my dream? Why? Why?"
    Ji Lingfeng said:"You brought us into this world of darkness and unhappiness. Because of you Lingyan has become mad. And I...and I hate you."
    After saying this tears welled up in her eyes.
    Madame Ji dragged Yu Peiyu off her bed and shouted:"You're not him! You're not him!"
    Ji Lingfeng opened the door and yelled:"Yu Peiyu is dead now. Come and watch!"
    A group of people immediately ran over. The first man to arrive was Baihe, he took Yu Peiyu's pulse and said to the others:"He is dead!"
    A Diancang disciple regretfully said:"It's a shame that we couldn't kill him ourselves."
    Baihe said:"Although I cannot kill him. I will cut up his body."
    He drew his sword and wanted to hack at Yu Peiyu's body.
    Suddenly everyone heard a Ping and Baihe dropped his sword. He turned around and saw Ji Zanghua smiling.
    Baihe asked him:"Benefactor Ji, why did you do that?"
    Ji Zanghua said calmly:"A Taoist priest should know when to stop. Cutting up a body is not befitting for a true cultivated priest."
    Baihe was stunned by his remark and scoffed:"Since when did benefactor Ji become this caring?"
    Ji Zanghua was angered now and said:"When wasn't I kind and caring?"
    Baihe thought this midget is the lord of Murder Manor. How can he claim to be benevolent. But Baihe was afraid of him and his martial arts and didn't want to offend him.
    Baihe apologized:"Benefactor Ji, forgive me. It is just that Yu Peiyu has commited an unforgivable crime and we're just not satisfied that he died this easy."
    Ji Zanghua said:"No matter what he did, it is over now. He is dead. We should respect the dead."
    Baihe couldn't retort this argument and said:"Since he is dead already why do you still..."
    Ji Zanghua said seriously:"This is my manor, dead people are my true guests. If he was alive you're free to do what you please. But now he is my guest and my responsibility is to take care of him."
    Baihe said:"So be it. We will take our leave now. We will take the body back with
    us. Although he killed our master but still he is a disciple of the Kunlun School. Anyway, thank you for your hospitality."
    Ji Zanghua said:"I don't care whether he was a Kunlun disciple or a Huashan disciple when he was alive. His body now belongs to me. Whoever wants to take him away will have to defeat me first."
    Ji Zanghua stood there ready to fight anyone who would dare to take this body away. The disciples of Kunlun and Diancang looked at each other and were lost what to do. Baihe sighed:"Anyway Yu Peiyu is dead! We have avenged our teacher. Let us comply to the wishes of lord Ji."
    Ji Zanghua quickly picked up the corpse of Yu Peiyu and ran off.
    Ji Lingfeng stood there observing the entire situation with a cold shoulder. It seems she expected things would turn out this way.
    Baihe wanted to say something but Ji Zanghua was gone already.
    Baihe stamped his feet and said angrily:"Everyone in this manor is a complete idiot! Let us quickly go and put a distance between us and this accursed place."

    Ji Zanghua changed the clothes of Yu Peiyu
    and washed away the dirt on his face. He
    carried him to the the courtyard with utmost
    care. He used a shovel to dig a hole and mumbled:"Poor child! Dying at such a young age. It is a pity you didn't listen to my advice otherwise you wouldn't have died at the hands of that witch."
    Suddenly someone said:"If he listened to you he would suffer even more."
    JI Zanghua turned around and saw Ji Lingfeng and jumped up again:"What are you doing here? Won't you leave me alone?"
    Ji Lingfeng said lightly:"He is dead already, leave him alone."
    Ji Zanghua said:"I am giving him a good place where he can be alone."
    Ji Lingfeng scoffed:"People burried by you always come back to haunt you."
    Ji Zanghua angrilly said:"How dare you talk to me in this way? Even though I am not your father you should still respect me. Do you really think I am afraid of you? Get lost now! Before I burry alongside this man."
    Ji Lingfeng was not impressed and said:"You would actually dare to touch me.....Have you forgotten when grandfather died he told me lots of secrets. And one of those secrets is your worse nightmare."
    Ji Zanghua became scared now and asked:"What is it that you want?"
    Ji Lingfeng said:"I want this body, don't touch him again."
    Ji Zanghua laughed:"Since when did you begin to like corpses. Could it be that you and I are alike. Of course, your family name is Ji too."
    After saying this he walked away.
    Ji Lingfeng picked up Yu Peiyu and said softly:"Everyone thinks you're dead. But sometimes people come back from the dead."

    Ji Lingfeng brought the body of Yu Peiyu to the ancestral tomb house of the Ji family.
    He was put on the ground, after some time Yu Peiyu's body began to move.
    He woke up and sat up he saw he was in the ancestral tomb house of the Ji family and shivered.
    He suddenly saw someone sitting in front of him. He thought it was a wax statue but when he blew the hairs of this man moved.
    Yu Peiyu moved towards the man and took his pulse, it was a dead man, a corpse.
    He looked around and some more of these corpses. He dawned to him the ancestors of the Ji family weren't burried or cremated but stuffed.
    Yu Peiyu was terrified to learn this macabre custom.
    Yu Peiyu got goosebumps all over when he saw these bodies. All these bodies sat in armchairs and they looked like they were watching Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu wanted to get out of here as quickly as possible and swiftly tried to find the exit.
    He walked pass a few bodies when he suddenly saw the father of Ji Zanghua.
    Suddenly the corpse next to old Mr. Ji got up and said:"You are here too."
    Yu Peiyu was scared stiff he saw that this corpse wore a long white robe and had a white cloth covering his face.
    The corpse walked towards Yu Peiyu, Yu Peiyu backed and backed and stuttered:"You....you..."
    He was so terrified to say another word,
    the body suddenly said:"Don't be afraid I'm not a ghost."
    Yu Peiyu somewhat assured by this stammered:"Who...who..are you?"
    The body thought for a minute and laughed:"I am Yu Peiyu."
    Yu Peiyu said completely scared stiff:"If you're Yu Peiyu. Who am I?"
    The body removed the cloth from his face, the face had some healed wounds on it.
    Yu Peiyu exclaimed with utmost surprise:"It is you, master Xie of Diancang!"
    The real Xie Tianbi was also in the house of death. This was indeed the shock of his life.
    Xie Tianbi laughed tragically:"Yes I am Xie Tianbi. Never thought you would recognize me."
    Yu Peiyu smiled sadly:"Master Xie, you gave me a true scare just a moment ago."
    Xie Tianbi smiled apologetically:"I am very sorry. I was just locked up here for days and when I saw you I was so happy that I decided to play a little joke on you."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Master Xie, I think you wanted to see whether I was really Yu Peiyu. By watching my reaction to your words you could see whether I was real or an imposter."
    Xie Tianbi sighed:"I think at the moment only you can understand my feelings. And only I will believe and understand your problems."
    Yu Peiyu was a bit saddened and asked:"Master Xie, are you too..."
    Xie Tianbi sighed:"Although I believe you now. It will be of little help to either of us. I am afraid we will never see another sunrise again."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"But how come you're here."
    Xie Tianbi said:"That day, after the ceremony at the gathering, I drank a bit too much wine and was feeling woozy. I returned to my tent to rest after a few hours someone woke me. And asked me who I was."
    Yu Peiyu was puzzled and said:"He entered your tent and asked Master Xie who you were. That is strange."
    Xie Tianbi said:"At that time I was annoyed and got up and saw that this man looked exactly like me. I was too surprised to talk. It was like looking into a mirror."
    Yu Peiyu said angrilly:"It was that bastard."
    Xie Tianbi said:"I looked at him and he looked at me. He said [I am the leader of the Diancang School Xie Tianbi. Why are you sleeping in my bed.]
    I was still feeling woozy at the time and yelled out [You're Xie Tianbi? Who am I?]"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Master Xie's experience earlier gave you the idea to test me, right?"
    Xie Tianbi said:"Exactly, when that fiend heard my reaction he scolded me and said I was an imposter. And wanted to fight with me using Diancang martial arts. The loser would be the imposter and the winner the real Xie Tianbi."
    Yu Peiyu said:"That fellow cannot be your match."
    Xie Tianbi sighed:"That man was very good and I was drunk that night and I think they even put a sleeping potion in my wine. After 3 stances he knocked my sword out of my hand and he used orthodox Diancang swordsplay."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Were you driven away just like that?"
    Xie Tianbi continued:"At that moment chancel...Yu....Yu Fanghe, Wang Yuluo and others entered the tent. They were near my tent all the time and deployed all the Diancang disciples to different locations..."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Master Xie, I think you weren't aware that they were imposters too."
    Xie Tianbi said:"I never would have dreamt that they would be imposters too. However at that time I was happy when the chancellor appeared. Before I could speak all of them accused me of being a fake."
    Xie Tianbi now held Yu Peiyu's arm and said:"Then I realised how it felt like being wrongfully accused of something. I felt like exploding but couldn't resist and was tied up and thrown on a carriage."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Was Yu...that Yu character also on the carriage?"
    Xie Tianbi said:"He wasn't, but his henchmen had orders to take me to a remote place and kill me."
    Yu Peiyu said:"In that case master Xie, you were lucky to have escaped."
    Xie Tianbi said:"If they weren't too cautious I wouldn't be here now."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"What do you mean?"
    Xie Tianbi explained:"If they had killed me somewhere remote I would be dead now. But they were afraid someone would find my corpse so they brought me to Murder Manor. Everyone knows that bodies disappear very easily here in Murder Manor."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"The people here do kill very easily."
    He waited for Xie Tianbi to continue but Xie didn't say a word anymore.
    Yu Peiyu said:"It seems you're still not completely healed from your wounds. I bet those henchmen had something to do with your injuries."
    Xie Tianbi said:"You're right."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"If I may ask, master Xie. How did you escape death in the end?"
    Xie Tianbi said:"This involves a third person without this person's consent I cannot reveal his identity."
    He asked Yu Peiyu:"But why are you here?"
    Yu Peiyu looked sadly and said:"I am a dead man now. And someone put me here."
    Xie Tianbi said in surprise:"Dead man? Could it be..."
    A voice coldly said:"Yes, you have died once and have returned from the dead."
    The speaker is Ji Lingfeng.
    Xie Tianbi was dazzled by her beautiful appearance and smiled:"Miss, what do you mean? How can dead people be brought back to life?"
    She said calmly:"I brought him back to life."
    Her voice was calm and mysterious. It really seemed that she had that ability.
    Xie Tianbi and Yu Peiyu looked at each other and didn't speak.
    Ji Lingfeng walked up to the corpse of Ji Zanghua's father and knelt down and kowtowed 3 times.
    She said:"You must be wondering why I only pay respects to him only. He save my life once and if I wasn't saved, you two would be dead now."
    Yu Peiyu and Xie Tianbi were silent.
    Ji Lingfeng turned to Xie Tianbi and said:"You were almost dead, they were ready to give you the final blow. But I tricked them into believing you already died. I lured them away from you and saved you."
    Xie Tianbi said:"I am forever in your debt, Miss."
    Ji Lingfeng scoffed:"You must feel embarrassed that you, the leader of a prominent Wulin school was saved by a unknown girl. Is that the reason why you didn't reveal who saved you?"
    Xie Tianbi laughed wryly:"Miss, you're mistaken. I just...."
    Ji Lingfeng rudely interrupted him:"I am a very petty woman. If I saved someone I want that person to be in my debt and remember me forever. If not I will personally kill him. Never forget this."


    End of chapter 5

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 6 Mysteries Of Life And Death

    Xie Tianbi couldn't retort back and didn't say anything anymore. Ji Lingfeng turned her attention to Yu Peiyu and said:"You were dead and your enemies examined your body. I, however brought you back to life you must be wondering how I did that."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I think the answer must lie in that cup of wine."
    Ji Lingfeng coldly smiled:"Although you're not the most intelligent man on the world. At least you're not too stupid. You didn't drink the Heart-broken Wine but you drank from the Wine of Escapism."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"A very interesting name."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"It is said that the winegrower of this fine beverage was a very talented man. However three women fell in love with him and he couldn't deal with any of them anymore so he created this wine. Anyone who drinks of it will stop breathing and his limbs will turn cold. After two days the drinker will automatically wake up. He used this wine to escape from those three women and lived happily after without any disturbance. It was even said that at his deathbed he was so proud of himself for creating this special drink he wrote a short poem.
    With the name Escapism I name this wine, with it I roamed and toured the realm with freedom.
    Even till now this is a rather famous anecdote."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Never thought the amorous escapades of a winegrower would save my life."
    Ji Lingfeng said coldly:"Do not forget I saved you not the wine."
    Yu Peiyu said with a smile:"I will never forget that, Miss."
    Ji Lingfeng stared at him and said:"Do you know why I saved you?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I was about to ask you."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"If you think I am in love with you and I save because of this. You are very wrong. I am not that sort of woman."
    Yu Peiyu blushed when he heard this.
    She continued:"The reason why I saved you is similar to why I saved Xie Tianbi. I want you to be in my debt too."

    She suddenly asked Xie Tianbi and Yu Peiyu:"Do you know who this man is?"
    She pointed at the body of Ji Zanghua's father.
    Yu Peiyu answered:"He was the father of Ji Zanghua."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"You're right. His name is Ji Kuqing. The reason why I respect him isn't because he is my grandfather and not because he cured my deadly illness. I respect him because of his wisdom...
    He predicted that a great calamity would fall upon Wulin and only I am destined to face that calamity."
    Suddenly she said with passion:"I shall lead Wulin, this generation will belong to me. YOU BELONG TO ME! You will help me accomplish my dream. I saved you and you should prepare to die for me and my cause at any time."
    Yu Peiyu and Xie Tianbi were scared stiff that a young woman not even 20 years old would have the ambition to rule Wulin.
    She took out a small bottle and said:"There are two pills in here, each of you will take one. After eating this pill you'll become two new humans. No one will remember who you were and you won't remember your past. The only two main things you will not forget are serving me and your lifes were given by me."
    Xie Tianbi's face changed and said:"If we refuse?"
    Ji Lingfeng smiled evily:"Don't forget I gave back your life. And I can take it away at any time."
    She walked tho steps in their direction and Xie Tianbi and Yu Peiyu backed away with two steps.

    All of a sudden a voice arrogantly shouted:"Little witch! You will die soon and yet you want the lives of others!"
    The voice sounded maniacally evil.
    Yu Peiyu exclaimed:"Ji Zanghua!"
    Ji Lingfeng quickly passed by him and Yu Peiyu followed. She locked the door.
    Ji Zanghua was still laughing maniacally:"Little witch! Do you really think everyone is afraid of this place! Do you really think I didn't see through your intentions? You negligence will cost you your life!"
    Ji Lingfeng's cold face was begin to show signs of fear, she knew if the bolt outside was secured it was impossible to get out.
    Ji Zanghua laughed:"You should know that nobody leaves the House of Death alive! I deliberately told you the secret of the house hoping to catch you in it some day. Finally that day has arrived!"
    After saying this he left and his mad laughter died out.
    Ji Lingfeng was crying not because she was afraid of dying. But she was sad that her ambition to dominating Wulin will never be fulfilled.
    Yu Peiyu and Xie Tianbi were stunned too at the current situation.
    Ji Lingfeng stood there in a daze, after some time she walked to an empty chair and sat down.
    She too began to laugh frantically:"At least I won't be lonely. There are so many people here to keep my company."
    Xie Tianbi said:"Miss Ji, are we just going to wait for death?"
    Ji Lingfeng said:"Waiting slowly for death. I think that is quite amusing."
    Xie Tianbi said:"Aren't you even going to try to escape?"
    Ji Lingfeng laughed:"The door is locked from the outside."
    Xie Tianbi said:"Isn't there a different way?"
    Ji Lingfeng said:"There isn't."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"What about the men who carry the bodies into this house."
    Ji Lingfeng smiled evily:"No one carries the bodies in here. They walk into this place and wait to die."
    Xie Tianbi said:"Are you joking?" But he shivered at the thought of being trapped here.
    Ji Lingfeng said:"I don't like to joke and especially not in moments like these."
    Xie Tianbi said:"Even so, someone must come in and stuff these bodies."
    He was still shivering after saying this.
    Ji Lingfeng calmly said:"Before they want to die they will take several different kinds of poison. These different types of poison mixed together will slow down their deaths and preserve their bodies. When they feel that the poison is about to kick in they walk to this house and sit in these stone chairs and wait for death. Also they enjoy watching when their limbs turn stiff and the poison slowly begins to take effect. They just adore death."
    Xie Tianbi was too scared to say anything anymore.
    The house was filled with evil to them. Yu
    Peiyu said:"No wonder Madame Ji said every Ji was crazy."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"Because of this special poison these bodies will never rot."
    She turned to Xie Tianbi and asked:"Now, do you understand."
    Xie Tianbi trembled and said:"They burry themselves...."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"Our situation is very similar to theirs we just have to wait."
    She looked at Ji Kuqing and said calmly:"I remember when it was his time everyone went to see him off. He turned around and smiled to us. Probably he was thinking that we will never understand the joy of dying."
    Xie Tianbi didn't want to hear anymore of these stories.
    Ji Lingfeng continued:"When he turned around he also said [Someday you will find out that living doesn't mean happier. Death can also be very joyful]. His face was starting to stiffen and his jaws couldn't move anymore but he was still laughing. I was so scared that I cried for days."
    Ji Lingfeng loves to torture people and play mindgames with them. If other people are suffering she will be very happy. If you don't want to hear something she will make you hear it lots of times.
    Xie Tianbi was totally of the world when he heard her story. He didn't move or say a word for a long time. Suddenly he began laughing very loudly.
    He didn't stop laughing.
    Yu Peiyu called:"Master Xie! Master Xie! What is wrong?"
    Xie Tianbi didn't answer he just laughed.
    Yu Peiyu shook him a few times but in vain he couldn't stop laughing anymore.
    Yu Peiyu slapped him on the face and then he stopped laughing and started crying.
    Ji Lingfeng said calmly:"He has gone mad. Good! At least he doesn't have to stay sane and suffer that much..."
    Yu Peiyu walked to her and faced her and said seriously:"You have saved my life once, but now all of us are facing death. So in other words I have returned my life back to you. There are no grudges and no debts anymore between us. But if you keep provoking him I will not be friendly anymore!"
    Ji Lingfeng stared at him for a moment and turned her head away.
    Yu Peiyu used his sleeve to wipe his sweat on his face. It was becoming very warm in here.
    Ji Lingfend suddenly called out:"Fire! The madman is trying to burn us to death."
    Smoke was coming in through the ceiling.
    Ji Lingfeng said:"He must feel that we are dying to slowly."
    At this moment Xie Tianbi softly said:"That is strange....that is strange...."
    Nobody paid any attention to him, Ji Lingfeng has accepted her faith. Yu Peiyu was looking about hoping to find a way out.
    Xie Tianbi walked towards the body of Ji Kuqing and laughed:"Come look at this! It is very strange! Even a dead man is sweating!" He continued his mad laughter.
    Yu Peiyu was sighing and thought it was sad that the leader of the Diancang School would become like this.
    Yu Peiyu walked over and took a look at Ji Kuqing and saw that he was sweating.
    Ji Lingfeng shouted:"He....he is...is real really sweating....."
    Xie Tianbi laughed:"I think this dead man is afraid too."
    Yu Peiyu leapt up and yelled:"Of course a wax statue!"
    Yu Peiyu pulled the head and it fell off.
    Ji Lingfeng said:"Impossible I saw him enter this house. But where did he go and why did he put a wax statue in his place?"
    Yu Peiyu knew that Ji Kuqing must have fooled everyone else and cheated death. So there must be an exit.
    He felt confident he could find it. Being a disciple of the Xiantian Wuji School he was an expert in secrets and formations.
    Yu Peiyu examined every little corner in the house but couldn't find anything unusal.
    Ji Lingfeng said suddenly:"Perhaps there isn't a secret tunnel. It could be that someone opened the door for him."
    Yu Peiyu's hope sank away and thought that she might be right.
    Xie Tianbi was mumbling and suddenly loudly screamed:"The dead man is gone! Where did he go?"
    Yu Peiyu took a glance and saw that the statue of Ji Kuqing had melted but the wax on the floor was not much. Where did the remaining wax go?
    Yu Peiyu knelt down and happily said:"Just as I thought there is a secret."
    On the stone armchair there was a little hole all the wax went through that hole.

    Ji Lingfend coldly said:"If there is a secret passage beneath this stone chair and if Ji Kuqing left through that passage. How could he have placed the statue on the chair?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"That is the clever part of Ji Kuqing's plan. If someone would discover this body was just a statue they still wouldn't know how he escaped."
    Ji Lingfeng asked:"How do you explain this?"
    Yu Peiyu answered:"The little hole here is the answer. Ji Kuqing attached a string to the bottom of this statue. He went through the secret passage and held on to the string. When he closed the passage he pulled the string and the statue was hoisted up the stone chair."
    Ji Lingfeng exclaimed:"Ingenious!"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Ji Kuqing thought of everything, except for the fact that years later his son would set fire to this house."
    Ji Lingfeng remained silent for awhile and finally she sighed:"You're smarter than I anticipated. Much smarter!"
    Yu Peiyu pushed away the stone chair and saw there was indeed a secret tunnel.
    Ji Lingfeng walked down and Yu Peiyu helped Xie Tianbi go down the tunnel too.
    It was pitch dark and they couldn't see a thing. After walking for some time they saw a light up ahead.
    Yu Peiyu quickly advanced forward to see where the light came from. It was a lamp the same lamp he used earlier.
    That meant if they went up now they would arrive in the room of Madame Ji.
    They have walked around in a circle.
    Everyone was quiet again and sad. Suddenly Yu Peiyu said:"There must be another exit."
    Ji Lingfeng asked:"How come?"
    Yu Peiyu explained:"Ji Kuqing and that Mr. Yu (the lover of Madame Ji) couldn't have left via Madame Ji's room or the pavilion. So there must be another exit around here somewhere."
    Yu Peiyu took the lamp and lead the way, they walked the path leading to the exit via the pavilion. Yu Peiyu asked Ji Lingfeng:"When did that Mr. Yu come to the manor?"
    Ji Lingfeng replied:"I remember very clearly. It was the third day of the first month of the lunar year.
    It was also the third day which Ji Kuqing took the poison. He took the poison on New Year's Day he wanted everyone to be sad on a joyous holiday. After that everyone was busy preparing to see him off and that's when that Yu fellow disappeared."
    They arrived in the little room with the bed and the bookcase. The statue of Ji Kuqing was still there and that piece of jade was still on the bed.
    Xie Tianbi laughed:"No wonder that dead man wasn't there, he sneaked out here."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I think Madame Ji has wrongfully accused that Mr. Yu."
    Ji Lingfeng asked:"Why do you say that?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"When I take a look at this piece of jade I just feel suspicious. Even if he didn't give a toss for that pouch he wouldn't leave such a precious object behind."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"Right, it seems that this jade is a family heirloom. But he could have lost it in a hurry."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Why should he leave in a hurry? He found out about a fourth exit and nobody knew about his whereabouts.
    So why the hurry of leaving?
    Unless he didn't leave on his own will."
    Ji Lingfeng exclaimed:"You mean he was found by Ji Kuqing?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Very likely. Ji Kuqing entered the secret passage and discovered another man here. He couldn't let others know about his secret."
    Ji Lingfeng added:"So that Yu fellow must have been taken away by force or even killed."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Most likely he is dead now."
    Ji Lingfeng said sadly:"If my mother knew this she wouldn't be that sad."
    Yu Peiyu said:"But if she knew that the man she loves is dead wouldn't that shock be bigger."
    Ji Lingfeng shook her head and said:"Do you know what the worst thing is that could happen to a woman?
    Being deserted by her lover. If she found out that he died the pain would hurt but it will pass. But the pain of losing him to another woman is too great to bear."
    Yu Peiyu said:"So if she found out that Mr. Yu is dead, she would be happier?"
    Ji Lingfeng said:"Much happier than now."
    Yu Peiyu shook his head and said:"I will never understand how women think."
    Ji Lingfeng coldly said:"Men just shouldn't try to understand women. They should just respect them and love them."
    Yu Peiyu didn't answer and took the lamp and was searching for the fourth exit.
    After looking for awhile Yu Peiyu sighed:"I just cannot find anything in this darkness."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"You don't have to look for the fourth exit."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Why do you say that?"
    Ji Lingfeng said:"If you just told my mother that her lover is dead. She will not hate you anymore and even let you go."
    Yu Peiyu didn't answer, but another voice said:"No, this plan will not work."
    Ji Lingfeng asked:"Why will it not work."
    The voice replied:"Because Yu Peiyu is dead, how can he walk out alive."
    Ji Lingfeng now realise the speaker wasn't Yu Peiyu and certainly not Xie Tianbi.
    Ji Lingfeng loudly said:"Who are you?"
    The voice said:"Don't you recognize me anymore?"
    A light shone on the figure they saw an old face standing in front of them. Both Yu Peiyu and Ji Lingfeng exclaimed:"Old man Gao!"
    Old man Gao smiled at Ji Lingfeng mysteriously and said:"Of course an old servant shouldn't even be here. You know me as old man Gao. But do you also realise who I really am?"
    Ji Lingfeng now noticed that they eyes of this old man were very sharp and brilliant. She was a bit afraid and backed away with one step and asked:"Who are you?"
    Old man Gao answered:"I am the man who caused Ji Kuqing to sleep uncomfortable and to eat uneasy. I am the man who caused him to repent..."
    Yu Peiyu interrupted and said:"You were the one who forced him to retire. He was afraid of you?"
    Old man Gao laughed:"Never thought he would be afraid of an old fool like me."
    Ji Lingfeng was surprised and shocked and asked:"All this time he knew who you were?"
    Old man Gao said:"Of course he knew. But he didn't say anything and pretended not to know. Because I knew of his big secret."
    Ji Lingfeng was puzzled and asked:"What secret is that?"
    Old man Gao said:"More than 20 years ago, many people were murdered in Wulin. Also lots of precious goods were stolen too.
    The perpetrator was highly skilled in martial arts and was very cunning. Several top martial artists investigated these crimes but in vain. Nobody suspected the perpetrator would be Ji Kuqing, who retired years ago and repented for his crimes."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I knew there was something behind all of these secrets of Ji Kuqing."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"I don't believe he commited those crimes."
    Old man Gao sighed:"You're not the only one who doesn't believe it. I think not many people will believe me when I say this. The reason why I came to Murder Manor was to investigate this matter."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"If so why did Ji Kuqing allow you to stay in the manor?"
    Old man Gao said:"If he didn't allow me to stay it would mean he was afraid that his secret would leak out. And if he tried to kill me, that meant I was right on his trail. He was a very cautious man and didn't take any chances. He knew I was spying on him and he didn't care. Fortunately he didn't, otherwise I could have stayed here all these years."
    Old man Gao sighed:"Ji Kuqing is a very clever man with one look he's able to see through you. When I arrived here I also knew that I can never solve those crimes and find any evidence to support my suspicions. But even so my presence made sure he wouldn't commit anymore crimes."
    Yu Peiyu was filled with admiration and respect for old man Gao and said:"Mr. Gao, you have taken effort to protect Wulin. Not only did you sacrifice your own life but also your fame and status to becoming a lowly servant here."
    Old man Gao looked a bit sad when he heard this, these past ten odd years were not easy to pass.
    Old man Gao said:"Alhtough I sacrificed a part of my life but I made sure that Wulin was safe from his terror for years."
    Yu Peiyu said:"He couldn't kill Mr. Gao and couldn't escape. So he faked his death."
    Old man Gao said:"I knew he had the ambition to dominate Wulin but I never thought he would fake his death and fool me too."
    Ji Lingfend said:"Since you found out his death was an act, why didn't you go and find him."
    Old man Gao said:"At the beginning I thought he really died but after awhile I knew that he wouldn't let his dream die out. Also I...I never really had a home I roamed the realm and within realising I stayed here for years and saw you and your sister grow up. I don't have children or students of my own and watching you grow up..."
    Ji Lingfeng interrupted him and coldly said:"I don't need your love, I don't care why you stayed here. I have nothing to do with you. Now that he's gone you will never find him."
    Old man Gao said:"You're right if he keeps a low profile I won't be able to find him. However if he starts to wreak havoc again I will certainly be ready to stop him."
    After saying that he looked very impressive and confident.
    Ji Lingfeng asked again:"Who are you?"
    Old man Gao smiled:"Since you're not willing to know me why bother to know my true identity."
    Ji Lingfeng grunted but didn't say a word again.
    Old man Gao turned to Yu Peiyu and said:"When I heard that you died I went to the room of Madame Ji to take a look. By coincidence I discovered the secret passage via the wardrobe."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Now everybody thinks I am dead I can leave this place."
    Old man Gao said:"But since you died how can you walk out of here alive."
    Old man Gao glanced at the statue of Ji Kuqing."
    Yu Peiyu understood his meaning, pretending to be dead he could continue his search for the truth.
    Ji Lingfeng scoffed:"Unfortunately everyone knows the famous Yu Peiyu."
    Old man Gao said:"Nobody is perfect in this world. Let us not talk about the personalities of men. But appearances there is no perfect face in the world. Even the most handsome man or most beautiful woman througout history didn't have a perfect face."
    After saying this old man Gao looked at Yu Peiyu and continued:"Take you for example, you can be called one of the most handsome young men of your time. But your eyebrows are too thick, your eyes a bit too small. Your nose and mouth are not too matching either."
    Yu Peiyu didn't understand what he was getting at and smiled wryly:"Mr. Gao, you must be joking how can I be considered a handsome young man."
    Old man Gao said:"If the personality of a man is faulty no one can repair it. But inconsistencies on the face can be corrected. I have long examined to create the perfect face and I have finally found a method. However finding a suitable person to work with is very difficult, no matter what I cannot transform an ugly man into a handsome dashing young man."
    He looked at Yu Peiyu:"Your manners and grandeur are superb even perfect. And those small inconsistencies can be helped by me. After searching for many years I have found the suitable person. You!"
    Yu Peiyu was surprised and asked:"Mr. Gao, you want transform me into another man."
    Old man Gao smiled:"There are lots of advantages of being the perfect handsome man. Women for example won't bear to harm you..."
    Yu Peiyu quickly interrupted:"But I am very pleased with this face."
    Old man Gao said:"The best advantage is nobody will know you are Yu Peiyu."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"But won't such a perfect face draw too much unwanted attention?"
    Old man Gao said:"Everybody will be impressed and in awe of your appearances. So they won't pay attention to your manners and grandeur."
    Yu Peiyu was silent for awhile and sighed:"Mr. Gao, I will comply."
    Yu Peiyu looked at Xie Tianbi and saw him looking at the wax statue and talking softly to himself. Ji Lingfeng stood in a corner and couldn't care less.
    Old man Gao went out and brought back food and water lots of candles and two mirrors.
    Yu Peiyu was lying on the bed and old man Gao used a cloth to cover his face. Yu Peiyu could smell a very strong herbal aroma and his face felt numb.
    During a daze he could hear old man Gao saying:"Just rest! When you wake up you will become the most handsome man throughout history."
    Yu Peiyu woke up after a long sleep, his face was wrapped up with the cloth after seven days the cloth could be removed.

    On the seventh day old man Gao removed the cloth and stared at the face of Yu Peiyu. He admired the face like a painter admiring his greatest work and felt very proud. He softly said to himself:"Who....who else in the realm can create such a perfect face. Of course the face alone isn't enough, but..."
    He patted on Yu Peiyu' shoulder and smiled:"Luckily you had such a good father, a wonderful discipline and powerful will. Wihtout it you wouldn't be able to match your manners and grandeur with this face. Also your strong will helped you staying sane through all these past events."
    Ji Lingfeng said coldly:"I am very fortunate to have such a good-looking subject."
    Old man Gao asked:"Who is your subject?"
    Ji Lingfeng calmly said:"Yu Peiyu and you are my subjects. If you do not comply I will expose your secrets to everyone."
    Old man Gao sighed:"Go ahead! Tell everyone! I don't care"."
    Ji Lingfeng was shocked to see this reaction and stammered:"You..you're not afraid?"
    Old man Gao smiled:"You won't tell anyone, will you? You look and try to come over as evil. But you're a very kind and gentle girl in your heart. I know I watched when you were an infant."
    Ji Lingfeng stood there and suddenly broke out in tears.
    Old man Gao patted her on the shoulder and said:"Dear child, you think everything is that simple? Becoming evil is more difficult than you think. Sometimes being evil is more difficult than being good?"
    Yu Peiyu wanted to touch his face, but old man Gao grabbed his hand and said:"Don't touch it for three days and don't use water."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Do I have to stay here another three days?"
    Old man Gao laughed:"If you can't wait you can go now. I, for one am very eager to show you off to the world. Let the world know a new perfect handsome young man was brought to this world by me."
    He pushed away the pillow and said:"Off you go now!"
    Yu Peiyu was still uncertain and asked:"I can really go?"
    Old man Gao smiled:"Yes, you can. And the best part nobody knows you're Yu Peiyu."
    Yu Peiyu looked at Xie Tianbi, Xie Tianbi was saying softly:"The dead man is gone....he is gone now...he is sweating...."
    Yu Peiyu sighed and took him by the hand and said:"Master Xie...."
    Ji Lingfeng turned around and said:"He will stay here, I drove him mad and I will take care of him. In this manor nobody will know my secret and harm him."
    Yu Peiyu was surprised and said:"You want to stay here?"
    Ji Lingfeng coldly said:"Why? Am I not allowed to stay?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"But Ji Zanghua..."
    Ji Lingfeng coldly said:"If he sees that I didn't die he will be too shocked to do anything. From now on he will never be able to harm again. I am in control."
    After she stopped weeping she became her coldself again. And she added:"Go now! Before I change my mind."
    Old man Gao said:"You should go now. Women do change their minds a lot."


    Yu Peiyu walked out the secret passage with a set of new clothes and a new hope.
    After encountering the strange and eerie events in Murder Manor he felt almost every place must be ten times better than this spooky place.
    He walked over to a small brooke and looked into the water. He saw a dashing young man and thought:Is that really me? Is that really Yu Peiyu?
    Yu Peiyu walked around in the courtyard for some time he heard several men talking.
    One said:"Murder Manor is said to be hell on earth. I think there is nothing special to that place."
    The other said:"You don't know a thing. When you enter that place you can be killed at any time. You're here for the obsequies, that's why you find nothing special to this place."
    A third man said:"Well I don't really care much for the obsequies. I just wanted to visit the famous Murder Manor."
    Yu Peiyu's curiosity was aroused and walked over to them.
    The three men walked into the hall and Yu Peiyu followed them. He could see a crowd in there.
    One man said:"Although it wasn't a glorious death, but the funeral does seem impressive."
    The other replied:"That is because of his father."
    Yu Peiyu couldn't help patting the man on his shoulders and smiled:"May I ask who passed away?"
    The man turned around and looked very annoyed but as soon as he saw Yu Peiyu's face his attitude changed. He smiled friendly and said:"Haven't you heard yet? The chancellor of Wulin organised this funeral."
    Yu Peiyu smiled wryly:"Oh, it is him."
    The man put up his thumb and praised:"Chancellor Yu is fit to lead Wulin. His only son died here but he doesn't even want to pursue the matter and even said[This unfilial son will only create more havoc if he is alive. But now that he is dead I still must organize a funeral worthy of him].
    Everybody praised the benevolence and righteousness of chancellor Yu. Although this Yu Peiyu didn't die with honour but his funeral is something grand."
    The man added:"I forgot to ask your name, good friend."
    Yu Peiyu smiled lightly:"My name is Yu Peiyu."
    The man was very surprised and said after awhile with a laugh:"People with the same names isn't unusual. But your grandeur is better than the late Yu Peiyu."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Well, perhaps not that much better."
    During the conversations some people backed away now to make room. Yu Peiyu saw the famous Madame Hai Tang walking by.
    She held the hand of a young girl with a veil. This young girl was crying very sadly. Yu Peiyu already knew who this girl was.
    He couldn't help looking at this girl and Madame Hai Tang noticed. She smiled at Yu Peiyu.
    Some people were whispering:"That is Lin Daiyu, she is the fiancee of Yu Peiyu. She already fainted three times."
    Yu Peiyu wanted to go over and comfort her and tell her he isn't dead. But he also knew he couldn't.
    Another man said:"Yu Peiyu has a wonderful father and a loving fiancee. If he only stayed on the right path...It is his own fault for..."
    Before he could finish someone loudly scolded:"Yu Peiyu is my good friend. Whether he is good or bad, it is not your place to talk about him. If I hear another bad word about him I will not be friendly."
    The speaker was Hong Lianhua.
    Yu Peiyu was very sad and wanted to go over to them.
    At this moment the chancellor of Wulin Yu Fanghe walked by and had tears in his eyes, of course.
    When Yu Peiyu saw him he was about to explode. But no matter how he felt anger, sadness he couldn't let anyone know this Yu Peiyu and the "late" Yu Peiyu are the same man.
    Everyone was rather pleased to see such a dashing young man and all people treated him with respect.
    Even the lord of Murder Manor the wicked Ji Zanghua smiled at Yu Peiyu and said:"My dear friend, I do not recognize you. But I am very captivated by your elegance. Would you like to join me for a cup of wine in my manor?"
    His words were sincere, and looked very amicably. Anyone else might have gone with him.
    But Yu Peiyu knew better and friendly rejected:"Thanks lord Ji! But I wouldn't dare to impose."
    Ji Zanghua smiled:"My friend, if you won't join me I will take that as an insult."
    He took Yu Peiyu by his hand and walked with him.
    Yu Peiyu felt disgusted that this madman was touching him.
    Suddenly a girl walked over and said:"This young master already promised my mistress for a cup of wine later."
    Her hand was aimed for Ji Zanghua acupoints on his arm with or without intentions.
    Ji Zanghua had no choice but to let go.
    He saw a young woman in a red dress staring at Yu Peiyu. She looked very naughty.
    Ji Zanghua laughed:"You're very cheeky. Do you know who I am?"
    The girl giggled: Do you know who my mistress is?"
    Ji Zanghua said:"I just wanted to ask you."
    She blinker her eyes and said:"Well, my mistress is Madame Hai Tang."
    Ji Zanghua was stunned and quickly turned around and walked the other way.
    Yu Peiyu felt relieved that he was gone.
    The girl laughed:"He wanted you to stay at his manor, do you know the reason?"
    She stared at Yu Peiyu without blinking, Yu Peiyu blushed a little bit.
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"I don't know."
    The girl said:"He wants you to stay at his manor so that he can kill you. He has never killed anyone as handsome as you before. And I think he gets a thrill by killing handsome people over ugly ones."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Do you feel the same?"
    The girl giggled:"Even I did I can never harm you. I wouldn't think of it."
    She laughed and put a small note in Yu Peiyu's hands and walked away.
    She turned around and said:"Silly boy! Don't you know yet the most gorgeous flower is the cherry blossom. And she is waiting for you."
    Yu Peiyu could smell a sweet fragrance and it was similar to the fragrance of Madame Hai Tang.
    The note said: Around midnight outside Murder Manor, a gorgeous flower and a fine wine will be awaiting you. Will you join me?


    End of chapter 6

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 7 Madame Hai Tang

    Yu Peiyu went to meet Madame Hai Tang later on that night. When he arrived at the spot he saw Madame Hai Tang waiting for him. He looked around and didn't see anyone else. Yu Peiyu was a bit disappointed that Lin Daiyu wasn't here.
    Madame Hai Tang smiled:"It is a lovely night. I am very fortunate to be in your company."
    Yu Peiyu sat down and poured some wine and drank three cups. He laughed and said:"You're right, life is short we should enjoy wine and song. It is indeed a great honour to be in your company too, Madame Hai Tang."
    Yu Peiyu wasn't really such a carefree man, but after all he had been through he is now much more mature and understands life and death better.
    Madame Hai Tang stared at him and said:"Do you know that I am very interested in you?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Interested in me?"
    Madame Hai Tang gazed at him with her enchanting eyes and said:"Everything about you is a mystery. For example, who are you? Where are you from? And to which martial arts school do you belong?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I'm just a wanderer. Even I don't know the answers to your questions, Madame."
    Madame Hai Tang smiled sweetly:"Seems to me that you've been through a lot. And that at such a young age."
    Yu Peiyu said casually:"Some people have to endure so much in a month, that other people perhaps in a entire lifetime can not perceive."
    Madame Hai Tang giggled:"Well said! But at least tell me your name."
    Yu Peiyu said:"My name is Yu Peiyu."
    Madama Hai Tang stopped laughing and asked again:"Yu Peiyu?"
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Is there something wrong with this name? Something ominous?"
    Madame Hai Tang smiled again:"I find it rather amusing...Yu Peiyu is attending the funeral of Yu Peiyu. Don't you think that is funny?"
    She gazed at Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu calmly replied:"It is not uncommon to have the same name. A Yu Peiyu died, but there still another Yu Peiyu alive."
    Madame Hai Tang asked:"Are you certain that you are not the same Yu Peiyu?"
    Yu Peiyu answered:"Madame, do you think I am the spirit of the late Yu Peiyu?"
    Madame Hai Tang smiled:"The first time I saw you, I did notice you were not from this world."
    Yu Peiyu didn't answer.
    Madame Hai Tang continued:"You came from nowhere, suddenly you just appeared. No one knows anything about you."
    Yu Peiyu said:"You have been investigating me?"
    Madame Hai Tang said sweetly:"No women in the realm can resist not to be interested in a man like you. And I am a woman."
    Yu Peiyu laughed:"Madame, you are not just any woman. You're the woman amongst women, the fairy amonst the fairies."
    Madame Hai Tang said:"But you are not interested in me. I walked by you and you didn't even look at me. Isn't that strange?"
    Madame Hai Tang may look very innocent and weak but she is everything but those two things. Her every word has been full of suspicion and distrust.
    Yu Peiyu said with surprise:"Madame, how can you say that?"
    Madame Hai Tang said:"Why did you just stare at the girl next to me? She wore a veil, you couldn't see her face. Could it be that you met her before?"
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Who..who is she?"
    Madame Hai Tang laughed:"Don't lie to me. I knew from the beginning you are the dead Yu Peiyu. I should tell you, nobody has been able to fool me before."
    Indeed this beautiful woman was very sharp and cunning.
    Yu Peiyu smiled lightly:"Nobody wants to lie to you, Madame. Nobody can tell lies in front of a beautiful lady."
    Madame Hai Tang asked:"And what about you?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I think belong to those people too."
    Madame Hai Tang laughed:"Good! Very good!"
    She clapped her hands and a girl walked out. She looked ever so sad but also very pretty.
    Yu Peiyu of course knew that this girl was his fiancee, Lin Daiyu.
    Madame Hai Tang looked at him and asked:"Do you recognize her?"
    Yu Peiyu replied calmly:"No, I don't."
    It took Yu Peiyu a lot of effort to say those words calmly. After he said it he drank a cup of wine.
    Madame Hai Tang turned to Lin Daiyu and asked:"Do you recognize him?"
    Lin Daiyu answered coldly:"No, I don't know this man."
    It pained Yu Peiyu to hear these words.
    Madame Hai Tang finally sighed softly:"Well it seems that you don't recognize her. You're not that Yu Peiyu. If a man doesn't even acknowledge his own wife he might as well be dead, don't you think so?"
    Yu Peiyu's heart was bleeding but he smiled:"Madame, you're very right. Let us drink to our heart's contend."
    He poured another cup and drank and didn't look at Lin Daiyu anymore.
    Madame Hai Tang said:"You're drunk now."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Never mind, let us drink heartily."
    Madame Hai Tang smiled:"When you're drunk nothing matters anymore. Drink up."
    Yu Peiyu is quite capable of handling liquor but this wine is quite strong. After a few cups he already felt a bit woozy.
    Madame Hai Tang gently said:"Just rest! If the next time you want to get drunk you can always look for me."
    Yu Peiyu thought he saw a group of men in a daze but wasn't sure. And he could hear the voice of Madame Hai Tang saying:"This Yu Peiyu is a newcomer in Wulin, do all of you believe me."
    Wulin is a dangerous place, a lot of people are suspicious of newcomers. Fortunately Madame Hai Tang dealt with these people otherwise Yu Peiyu was again in a lot of trouble.
    Yu Peiyu wanted to thank her but was too drunk to speak anymore.
    He could hear Madame Hai Tang saying:"This young man is my guest. From now on he will always be a friend of the Baihua Association. I hope you can leave him alone in the future too."
    When Yu Peiyu woke up everyone was gone, only some birds were chirping.
    Suddenly he saw another pretty girl standing there looking at him. It wasn't Lin Daiyu or Madame Hai Tang.
    It was the twin sister of Ji Lingfeng, Lingyan.
    Ji Lingyan said:"Our little swallow has woken up. Why do you have to drink wine? There are lots of other nice drinks in the world."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"The worries of man. You won't understand Miss Robin."
    Ji Lingyan sighed too:"Do you know that the robin has problems too?"
    Yu Peiyu asked:"What kind of problems?"
    Ji Lingyan was crying:"There is a lot of blood in my nest. I don't want to stay there anymore. Where can I go?"
    She held Yu Peiyu's hand and begged:"Please take me with you. I will always follow you."

    Yu Peiyu suddenly thought of something and sternly asked:"How did you know who I am? And why do want to come with me?"
    Ji Lingyan said:"I recognize your eyes, you have very nice eyes. And you are very brave. Furthermore you look like a swallow, you're different from other men and that is why I like you."
    Yu Peiyu thouhgt:This girl is mentally hanicapped her other senses must be stronger than other people. It isn't strange that she saw through me.
    Yu Peiyu was silent for awhile and said:"I am going to very dangerous places and a lot of people might want to harm you."
    Ji Lingyan said:"But you can protect me, right?"
    She stared at Yu Peiyu with her pretty eyes filled with hope and entreaty, how can anyone say no to such a sweet girl.
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I really cannot deny your
    request. But I cannot even guarantee my own safety, how can I protect you."
    Ji Lingyan smiled sweetly:"I knew you would take me along."
    Yu Peiyu walked in front and she followed him to everywhere. However even Yu Peiyu didn't know where he should go.
    All of a sudden four men swiftly advanced towards them. Judging from their levels of art of levitation they were advanced martial artists.
    These men were Lin Shoujuan, Wang Yuluo, Ximen Feng and Shen Yinqiang.
    They looked at Yu Peiyu viciously, Wang Yuluo was the first one to speak:"Are you Yu Peiyu?"
    Yu Peiyu calmly replied:"Yes, I am Yu Peiyu. May I ask who all of your are, sirs?
    And what can I do for all of you?"
    The four of them carefully observed him and couldn't find anything amiss with this Yu Peiyu. But they didn't know that everything that has happened has made Yu Peiyu only stronger.
    Wang Yuluo laughed:"Young master Yu, you're a newcomer in Wulin and you are highly respected by Madame Hai Tang.
    But please forgive us for being rude, but I would like to see your martial arts."
    Yu Peiyu laughed loudly and said:"After hearing Madame Hai Tang's words you are still a bit suspicious. So you want me to display my martial arts and you can confirm whether I am the dead Yu Peiyu."
    Wang Yuluo smiled:"Nowadays a lot of people are well-versed in the art of disguise, young master Yu."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Can't you just see whether I am wearing a disguise?"
    Wang Yuluo answered:"The art of disguise has many different variations. Because we cannot be certain whether you're wearing a disguise we have to test young master Yu in a different way."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"May I ask why the deceased young master Yu is so important to all of you? Even when he is dead you seem to be very interested in him."
    Wang Yuluo was a bit annoyed now and loudly said:"After young master Yu has displayed your martial arts, you will understand."
    Wang Yuluo readied his sword and stabbed out. This stance was called "The Dragon Lifting His Head." This was a stance of the real Wang Yuluo's martial arts.
    And this Wang Yuluo was able to display this technique excellently.
    However Yu Peiyu couldn't fight him because the martial arts of the Xiantian Wuji School are quite different and easily recognized. If he fought this man his cover will be blown.
    Suddenly Wang Yuluo's sword was intercepted by a short sword. His hand felt numb after exchanging stances with this person.
    He saw it was the girl who was standing next to Yu Peiyu.
    Ji Lingyan smiled:"He is a good man I cannot allow you to bully him."
    Wang Yuluo asked her:"Miss, who are you? Why do you fight his battles?"
    Ji Lingyan smiled:"My father and my sister love to kill people. Although I have never killed anyone before but I won't allow mean men bully my friends."
    She attacked Wang Yuluo with her two short swords.
    Her movements were gentle and elegant but her techniques were fast and ruthless.
    Yu Peiyu was surprised to see this innocent girl display such vicious sword techniques.
    At this point she already attacked Wang Yuluo with 49 stances. The two swords formed a perfect match and forced Wang Yuluo only to defend.
    Lin Shoujuan who was also a famous swordsman was amazed to see her skills.
    She stopped her attacks and smiled:"Everyone says that my stances are very ruthless, is that true?"
    Wang Yuluo smiled wryly:"Very good techniques."
    He looked at Yu Peiyu and Ji Lingyan for a moment and turned around and left.
    The other three men followed.
    Ji Lingyan said to Yu Peiyu:"Shall we go too?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"You wanted me to protect you but it is you that is protecting me. I underestimated you and I never thought you would know such superior martial arts."
    Ji Lingyan smiled:"You're saying my martial arts is good too. My birds say that too. They told me when robin has learnt martial arts she won't be afraid of eagles anymore. Wore those men eagles?"
    On their way she kept telling her adventures with birds. This bird did that, that bird was in love with the other bird.
    Yu Peiyu was amused and it made their walk very interesting.
    For days they walked, Ji Lingyan would always ask questions. Yu Peiyu always took the time and patience to answer her questions.
    They two of them were quite a pair, sometimes Ji Lingyan would do silly things and Yu Peiyu often would nicely reproach her. But she would often pout and Yu Peiyu was there to make her happy again, a lot of passer-bys were envious of their relationship.
    During one night Ji Lingyan already slept and Yu Peiyu went out for a stroll. They were staying at a small inn.
    He was looking at the flowers and was thinking of Lin Daiyu. He felt sad when he thought of her and sighed.
    When suddenly four swords stabbed towards him.
    These four men wore black robes and used a black cloth to hide their face. You could only see their eyes.
    His attackers weren't out to kill him, they wanted Yu Peiyu to display his martial arts.
    Yu Peiyu now had a few flesh wounds, but still didn't counter-attacked. The four men were even more suspicous now, one of them said:"Just kill him."
    Another man replied:"Yes, you're right! We cannot permit any risks."
    Yu Peiyu knew who these men were but deliberately said:"Who are you? If you want to fight me at least reveal yourselves and challenge me as a man. I only fight with real men not with ambushing scoundrels."
    The third man said:"If you don't defend, DIE!"
    They changed their attacks now and if Yu Peiyu didn't counter-attack he will die very soon.
    A red fog appeared between Yu Peiyu and his attackers, the four men stopped their attacks and knew there was something strange about this fog.
    They heard a voice saying:"The flower isn't a flower. The fog isn't a fog. After being heart-broken the only thing that remains...."
    The four men quickly left this place, Yu Peiyu loudly asked:"Is Madame Hai Tang here? Thank you for helping me."
    A figure appeared but it was't Madame Hai Tang but Lin Daiyu.
    Yu Peiyu was startled to see her but tried not to reveal his identity or emotions. He spoke first:"It is you, Miss. Thank you for saving me."
    She waved her hand and coldly said:"Why are you called Yu Peiyu?"
    Yu Peiyu didn't know how to answer this remark.
    She continued:"I suggest you would change your name, this name is very ominous. It will only draw unnecessary trouble. Although I have orders from my mistress to save you, but I can't save you all the time."
    After being silent for awhile Yu Peiyu asked:"I think there is also another reason, right?"
    She said:"Yes there is another reason.
    Now that he is dead I don't want to hear his name again."
    Yu Peiyu said:"But I...."
    She interrupted him:"You are unworthy to carry his name."
    She walked away after saying this, Yu Peiyu just stood there. He was very hurt, the woman he loves treats him this coldly.
    After pondering for some time he walked back, he saw a short old man walking this way he had a long white beard.
    The old man had a funny smile on his face, Yu Peiyu thought he looked familiar but couldn't remember where he met this man before.
    He was holding a painting in his hand and showed it to Yu Peiyu. He asked:"Look! Can you tell me what I have painted."
    Yu Peiyu looked at the painting and saw that the mountains didn't look like mountains and the clouds didn't look like clouds. It looked more like the old man spilled his ink on the paper.
    Yu Peiyu shook his head:"I can't tell."
    The old man said:"It is the mountain up ahead, do you see?"
    Yu Peiyu looked at the painting and compared it to the mountain and saw it looked a bit like it. He laughed:"Now I see it."
    The old man was laughing loudly too, Yu Peiyu saw that the old man was laughing very happily. And couldn't help ask:"Why are you laughing?"
    The old man clapped his hands and said:"I succeeded!"
    Yu Peiyu asked:"In what?"
    The old man said:"I finally managed to capture the essence of the mountain in my painting."
    Yu Peiyu laughed:"This painting has captured the essence of the mountain?"
    The old man explained:"It is a moutain but I drew it so it wouldn't look like a mountain. But if you look carefully it is a mountain. Although I didn't give it the form of the mountain, I managed to put the essence of the mountain in my painting."
    Yu Peiyu pondered over the man's theory and softly said:"Not many people will understand the essence of this painting."
    The old man clapped:"Other people may not see it, but I can. If I painted the mountain it will appear like a mountain to me. In my eyes and in my heart I know I painted a mountain. The beautiful part is I understand it but other people do not."
    After saying this he laughed happily again
    and left.
    He softly repeated those words to himself
    and thought long about the old man's words.
    And he remembered one of teachings of his father about martial arts:"Peiyu, if you put too much attention and emphasis on the form and techniques of the sword, no matter how wonderful your stances are it won't be the highest level. The martial arts of Xiantian Wuji places emphasis on the intention and not the form, evolve beyond the mere form of stances and techniques. Enter the world of no boundaries and no extremes, yin and yang becoming one. Simplicity over complex, when you understand this theory you have mastered the art of the sword."
    He sat under a tree and pondered over the words of his father and the silly old man. He began to understand it now he picked up a branch and used it as a sword.
    In his heart he was thinking of the stance "No Boundaries On Heaven And Earth" of the Xiantian Wuji swordsmanship. But his movements were not matching the movements of this stance.
    This stance was "No Boundaries On Heaven And Earth" but the form of it didn't match that of "No Boundaries On Heaven And Earth." But it contained the essence of "No Boundaries On Heaven And Earth."
    If you have forms in your martial arts your adversary might be able to spot a flaw and defeat you. However when you only show the intentions of your swordsmanship and have no form, how can your opponent see through your martial arts and flaws and defeat you.
    Yu Peiyu was very happy when he finally figured it out and screamed:"I have it! I understand now!"

    Ji Lingyan walked towards him and asked:"What do you understand?"
    She woke up and didn't see Yu Peiyu and decided to look for him and found him screaming happily.
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Didn't your friends the little birds tell you?"
    Ji Lingyan shook her head:"They don't understand either."

    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Well, if they don't understand you can tell them it doesn't matter. But if they do understand they won't have to fear those eagles anymore."
    Ji Lingyan smiled:"They say you're right. But they also say that eagles are frightening but humans are more frightening."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Yes, they are right."
    They walked back to the inn, and when they entered their room they saw three old men sitting on a bed.
    One of those old man was bald but had a white long beard and had a ruddy complexion.
    Yu Peiyu recognized this old man as the best secretive weaponry expert of the realm the leader of the Tang Clan in Sichuan province. The famous Unparalleled Old Man Tang Wushuang. On the bed were 20 odd small daggers, forks and such, these little weapons were feared by everyone in Wulin, the famous poisonous secretive weaponry of the Tang Clan.
    The other two men were Ximen Feng and Wang Yuluo, of course now they have removed their black robes and black veils.
    Yu Peiyu took a deep breath and said to Ji Lingyan:"Never guessed that we would have such esteemed visitors."
    The bald old man observed Yu Peiyu with his brilliant sharp eyes for a while.
    He turned to Wang Yuluo and Ximen Feng and asked:"This is the man, you were talking about."
    Wang Yuluo respectfully answered:"Yes, he is."
    Tang Wushuang said:"Very well! I will test him."
    He snapped his five fingers and ten odd secretive weapons flew up towards Yu Peiyu.
    Immediately afterwards he waved with his hand another ten odd weapons flew up towards Yu Peiyu.
    There were still seven, eight secretive weapons left on the bed.
    This Tang Wushuang had secretive weapons concealed almost everywhere and could use them at any time.
    All those secretive weapons had different shapes and different functions.

    But these twenty odd weapons came from all different directions. The force of those weapons was similar to twenty odd martial arts experts storming at Yu Peiyu simultaneously with their weapons.
    Yu Peiyu had never saw such an excellent display of secretive weaponry before.
    Yu Peiyu still had the branch in his hand and closed his eyes and used the stance "No Boundaries On Heaven And Earth." He applied the theory he just understood.
    And everyone couldn't grasp his technique and only vaguely saw him drawing two circles in the air.
    They heard a series of tak, tak, tak
    all those secretive weapons were stuck on the branch.
    Tang Wushuang praised:"Good swordsmanship!"
    He patted Wang Yuluo on the shoulder and asked:"Well, I have tested him. Could you see to which school he belongs?"
    Wang Yuluo said in a disappointing manner:"No I couldn't."
    Tang Wushuang laughed loudly:"Not even I have seen such swordplay in more than these twenty years that I have roamed Wulin. But I tell you this the Xiantian Wuji School doesn't have such superb stances."
    Wang Yuluo agreed with him.
    Tang Wushuang smiled:"I knew from the beginning that this young master Yu isn't that Yu Peiyu. If he was really that Yu Peiyu in disguise would he really use the same name."
    Wang Yuluo apologized:"Young master Yu, please forgive us for being rude."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"It doesn't matter, I just..."
    Suddenly the door opened and the waiter barged in. His eyes were red and was panting heavily. He looked very angry and mean.
    Ji Lingyan screamed and hid behind Yu Peiyu.
    The waiter stormed towards them and Ximen Feng used his leg to kick the chair next to the bed to the waiter.
    But the waiter used his fist to smash the chair and everyone was surprised that this mere waiter had such a strength.
    Wang Yuluo drew his sword and stabbed the waiter. The waiter didn't avoid it and even stormed towards the tip.
    The sword pierced through his chest and Wang Yuluo used his leg to kick him away.
    The blood splattered on his hand.
    Wang Yuluo frowned:"What has happened to this waiter? Has he gone mad?.."
    Before he could say anything else Tang Wushuang drew a short sabre from his girdle and chopped off his hand.
    Wang Yuluo screamed in pain and fainted.
    Ximeng Feng was scared and surprised and asked:"Master Tang, what.."
    Tang Wushuang quickly explained:"The waiter was poisoned by people from the Heavenly Silkworm Sect. Not only will he go mad but his blood will become a strong poison. Whoever comes in contact with this blood will be poisoned too. I quickly chopped off his hand before the poison travelled through his body. If not he will rot away and die horribly."
    Ximen Feng broke out in a cold sweat and stuttered:"This....this is...is one of the infamous seven great demonic skills of the...the Heavenly Silkworm Sect, the Demon Corpse And Blood Goblin Spell. That means there are people from the Heavenly Silkworm Sect here."
    Yu Peiyu was also a bit frightened by his words and looked at the chopped off hand and saw it turn into a pile of blood.
    Yu Peiyu shivered and Tang Wushuang was also shivering and said loudly:"Are The Three Magnificent Flower Ladies here?"
    There was a sweet laughter outside.
    Tang Wushuang was even shivering worse now.
    One of the most enchanting voices Yu Peiyu has ever heard said:"Master Tang is the smartest one of all these people here. Just in an instant you guessed right. We're here."
    Tang Wushuang said loudly:"What business do you have here in the central plains?"
    One of the sisters giggled:"We came here to China to pay a visit at your home. Unfortunately you weren't home and heard that you went to Lake Huang for the gathering. But we're too late for the gathering but at least we were able to meet you here."
    The voice sounded very innocent but Tang Wushuang was very scared and held on to his short sabre and trembled. He said loudly:"What have you done at my manor?"
    The voice replied:"Don't worry master Tang. We went to visit our brother-in-law, so we wouldn't dare to harm anyone of the Tang clan."
    Tang Wushuang felt relieved but became very angry:"Who is your brother-in-law?"
    The voice said:"Young master Tang is perhaps not the most handsome young man in the realm. But he and my eldest sister do seem to be a perfect pair. Don't you agree?"
    Tang Wushuang angrilly yelled:"Rubbish! No son of mine will take a witch as his wife! Not while I am around!"

    The voice outside giggled:"But they are already married although without your consent. Why do have to separate them, master Tang?"
    Tang Wushuang angrilly yelled back:"That useless son of mine didn't know the background of that little witch. And he fell for her beauty, but now he won't take that woman as his wife!"
    The voiced laughed:"I don't think so. Young master Tang is very dedicated to my sister. And my sister is very pretty and virtuous no man would give her up."
    Tang Wushuang yelled:"I have made up my mind. You would be smart to leave this place now."
    The voice asked:"So there is nothing we can do to change your mind, master Tang?"
    Tang Wushuang replied:"Nothing and nobody can change my mind!"
    The voice said:"I hope master Tang will not regret this choice."
    Tang Wushuang angrilly shouted:"Even if every member of the Tang clan has died he will not take that witch as his wife!"
    The voice was silent for a moment but soon said:"Since I cannot convice you, we have to send for the matchmakers."
    Yu Peiyu began to understand what this arguement is about. It seems that a son of Tang Wushuang fell in love with the eldest sister of the Three Magnificent Flower Ladies. But Tang Wushuang forbid his son to take that eldest sister as his wife.
    And now the three of them have come to force Tang Wushuang to acknowledge that relationship.
    Yu Peiyu was curious who the matchmaker could be.
    Suddenly a figure dashed through the window, the man looked awfully angry. He had a dark complexion and there were seven short sabres stuck into his body.
    Ji Lingyan yelled and hid behind Yu Peiyu again.
    The man stared at Tang Wushuang and there was blood coming out of the eyes of the man.
    Ximen Feng was sweating heavily and trembled with fear.
    Tang Wushuang exclaimed with fear:"The Seven Golden Sabres Turn Into Blood of The Demon Corpse and Blood Demon Spell!"
    Suddenly the sabres flew out of the man's body, there were strings attached to the hilts of the sabres and when the ladies pulled the strings the sabres flew out and went back to them.
    Seven spurts of blood shot out, Tang Wushuang picked up Wang Yuluo and threw him out of the window and he swiftly leapt through the window too.
    Yu Peiyu struck out with his palm, the force of his palm dispersed the spurts away from him.
    Ximen Feng leapt up and clung onto the beam on the roof. He was a bit too slow and some drops of blood landed on his body. He bit his teeth and drew a knife and cut off the flesh which was infected.
    The blood had a disgusting black colour and coloured the walls of the room black.
    Yu Peiyu frowned and leapt out of the window and wanted to confront them.
    Tang Wushuang warned him:"Young master Yu, be careful!"
    Ji Lingyan smiled:"No one can harm him."
    Yu Peiyu saw five people lying under a tree, sleeping. They must have fallen victim to the Three Magnificent Flower Ladies.
    He also saw three beautiful young women standing there wearing cloaks.
    The three wore tiaras with flower motifs.
    The girl who wore a golden tiara looked worried and sad, she must be that eldest sister.
    The second girl wore a silver tiara, she looked sexy and seductive.
    The third girl looked very pretty and innocent.
    These three sisters were the infamous experts of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect.
    The three sisters were staring at Yu Peiyu too.
    The girl with the iron tiara spoke first:"My word, what a dashing young man! I wonder what you are doing here? I hope not seducing any poor woman?"
    Yu Peiyu said calmly:"I came here to encounter your capabilities in killing."
    Iron Blossom smiled:"Killing? Killing is such a nasty habit it will do our beauty no good. I have never killed before, do you regularly kill people?"

    This girl pretended to be sweet and innocent, and looked very convincing. It is hard to imagine that she and her other two sisters were capable of using such vicious methods of killing.
    Yu Peiyu was a bit annoyed and said:"I believe those two men died at hands of you."
    Iron Blossom looked very surprise and innocent and said:"Were those men killed? We didn't kill them. I thought you did."
    Yu Peiyu said with surprise:"Me?"
    Iron Blossom said:"When they entered your room they were alive, but now they're dead. So you've must have killed them when they were in your room."
    Yu Peiyu was angered that someone would so easily fake innoncence and kill randomly.
    Iron Blossom sighed:"I know you must have your reasons for killing them. But the next time you're angry you should not kill innocent people anymore."
    Yu Peiyu couldn't retort that and didn't know what to say to this girl.
    She smiled and took out a handkerchief and walked towards Yu Peiyu and said:"If you're still feeling unhappy you should go with me. I will make you very happy."
    And she waved her handkerchief in front of Yu Peiyu.
    She walked back to her spot and turned around and saw Yu Peiyu didn't follow her.
    The handkerchief contained a powerful powder that could intoxicate people. She was startled that Yu Peiyu wasn't intoxicated.
    This was also one of the seven famous skills of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect, namely "The Soul Cathing Handkerchief."
    Numerous famous heroes have fallen victim to this skill, Iron Blossom was surprised to see Yu Peiyu unaffected.
    Iron Blossom smiled:"Well, aren't you arrogant?"
    A voice further up ahead said:"If you follow
    us, we will do our best to entertain you."
    The voice sounded very seductive and sexy. Few men in the world could resist the temptation.
    And Iron Blossom said:"I know you won't resist us."
    Yu Peiyu calmly said:"No, I will not go."
    Silver Blossom (the second sister) said:"Are you really that unwilling?"
    She moved her hands seductively over her body, every movement was filled with temptation.
    Yu Peiyu didn't respond he just glared at her casually. That was his answer.
    Silver Blossom sighed:"But why are you just standing there?"
    Yu Peiyu laughed:"I just want to see what martial arts skills the three ladies have."
    Silver Blossom's face changed and said:"Very well!"
    The three sisters spinned and their cloaks were removed. They only wore a very thin undergarment you could practically see their bodies.
    And they performed a very sexual dance, every movement was like calling out to Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu didn't feel embarrassed and wasn't slightly impressed.
    He looked at Golden Blossom and sighed:"Miss Golden Blossom, what would young master Tang think?"
    She suddenly stopped these words pierced right through her heart.
    However Silver Blossom giggled and lead the dance again.
    They continued their seductive dance, every movement had a reference to sex.
    Tang Wushuang warned Yu Peiyu:"Be careful! This is called "The Dance of the Seductive Demon."
    Tang Wushuang kept his distance and didn't look at them. He was afraid that he wouldn't be able to compose himself and walk over to them.
    But after awhile he was captivated by their panting and watched. The old man blushed and looked like he was going to storm over to them. Fortunately he was able to compose himself but couldn't keep his eyes on them.
    Yu Peiyu was taught the ways of self-control and self-cultivation at a very young age by his father. And his level of cultivation was not inferior to abbot Tianyun of Shaolin and reverend Chuchen of Wudang.
    But he suddenly noticed something while they were dancing around him they spun a web of very thin silk.
    Normal people would be too captivated by their dance to see it. But Yu Peiyu was different.
    Iron Blossom smiled:"Very sharp eyes!"
    Yu Peiyu said:"All of you performed this dance just to spun this web."
    Iron Blossom smiled:"Not really this dance of ours is a formidable skill itself. If you look at master Tang you will understand. If he wasn't the father of young master Tang, this number one secretive weapon expert was already...."
    She giggled.
    Yu Peiyu turned around and saw Tang Wushuang panting heavily and clutching to the wall.
    Yu Peiyu was shocked to see this, he understood if the three sisters were using this dance against Tang Wushuang he would be dead right now.
    She giggled for some time and sighed:"Unfortunately you're too stupid to understand our dance. That's why we spun this silver web around you."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Silver web?"
    Iron Blossom said:"Yes, it is made from our precious silkworms. It is very strong that's why we call it silver silk. Also there is a name for this web, namely the Web of Love."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Web of Love... a very nice name."
    Iron Blossom said:"If you entangled in the web of love you'll unable to move again. However you have too sharp eyes so we have use the web against you now."
    Yu Peiyu knew that the Heavenly Silkworm Sect was very difficult to handle, he was also feeling a bit afraid now. But didn't show it.
    He was now surrounded by the silk threads. Iron Blossom said:"If you surrender to us now we will make you very happy."
    Yu Peiyu smiled lightly:"You have the web of love, but I have the sword of intelligence. As the saying goes:
    The sword of intelligence will always cut through the web of love."
    He still had the branch in his hands and those twenty odd secretive weapons were still stuck to it.
    He channeled his internal power through the branch and a few of those secretive weapons flew out with incredible force toward the web.
    Much more powerful than using your hands to throw them.
    But all those secretive weapons were stuck into the web.
    Yu Peiyu was surprised to see that and thought if a man was stuck into it he would be unable to move.
    But then he thought his situation with Lin Daiyu. Wasn't he also entangled in another web of love.
    He felt sad and said softly:"Web of love....web of love. A very good name."
    Iron Blossom said happily:"Are going to give in now?"
    Yu Peiyu didn't say anything and didn't hear her question.
    Iron Blossom said:"If you don't surrender now, don't blame us!"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"If I am truly to die in this web I have no regrets."
    Iron Blossom said:"Fine!"
    She turned her hand and the web was closing in on Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu was still in a trance and didn't see the coming danger.
    Golden Blossom softly said:"Dying in the web of love.....it seems he also knows what love is....dying in the name of love. Such a grand death, is it not?"
    Yu Peiyu laughed and recited a poem:"If one does not have it you will ponder, pondering makes one old and sad. After thinking for some time,....I feel that pondering is still the best..."
    He used his stick to draw two cirlces in the air and all the remaining secretive weapons flew out and were stuck in the web.
    Iron Blossom smiled:"Those worthless iron junk is useless against our web."
    Yu Peiyu wielded the stick as a sword and stabbed out. Every stab was focused on the secretive weapons on the web, and every stab was filled with tremendous strength.
    Iron Blossom's hand shook and couldn't retrieve the web, the web was also slowly being pulled away.
    She exclaimed with surprise:"A very clever idea!"
    This silver silk is very sticky material, when you're stuck in it. It is impossible to break free from it.
    If Yu Peiyu used his stick directly on the web it would get stuck to the web. Even if he pierced a hole into the web he himself would be stuck in the web.
    But he first used the secretive weapons to hit the web first and used the stick to hit the weapons. So his branch won't get stuck.
    This may sound very simple but if you're not intelligent enough you will never think of this idea. This branch is truly the sword of intelligence.
    Every stance was generated with his internal strength and the web was slowly being punctured by the secretive weapons.

    End of chapter 7

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 8 The Poison Of Happiness

    The energy that Yu Peiyu focused through his branc and the secretive weapons punctured a hole through the web of love.
    The three sisters were shocked to see their web being penetrated and stamped their feet and fled into the woods.
    Iron Blossom said:"Excellent! We never thought that someone could break through our web. You should feel proud and arrogant...."
    She drew a sabre and chopped off the arms of the five men lying under the tree.
    The five men were not bothered and still smiled happily.
    Iron Blossom threw the arms to Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu angrilly yelled:"At this point you're stilling harming innocent people!"
    He leapt up and wanted to grab Iron Blossom but he tried to avoid the flying arms. He knew if the arms touched him he will be poisoned.
    With success he avoided and descended down on Iron Blossom. But suddenly the arms exploded and the blood turned into a reddish fog. The fog floated towards Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu could manage to flick backwards and landed far away from the fog. The fog slowly dispersed, Yu Peiyu could hear Iron Blossom saying:"We will never leave you alone... Just wait and see!"
    When the fog cleared the three sisters were gone and only the golden sabre was stuck in the tree.
    The reeking of blood made Yu Peiyu sick and he felt like throwing up.
    Tang Wushuang sighed:"This is another deadly skill of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect. Namely "The Alteration Of Blood And The Blood Breakout". Few people in the realm can capture them."
    Tang Wushuang looked a bit pale and very scared.
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Such an evil sect! Why doesn't anyone organize a punitive expedition against them?"
    Tang Wushuang said:"No one would dare to antagonize them. Their martial arts is ferocious and deadly, their poison is extremely lethal."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Who is their leader?"
    Tang Wushuang answered:"Their leader is a very mysterious man and his whereabouts uncertain. No one in Wulin has ever seen his true appearances."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I don't believe that no one can defeat this heretic sect."
    Tang Wushuang sighed:"Although this sect is very deadly but they hardly come to China and stay in the southern regions.
    Most people are happy that they stay at their own place. Why make them angry?"
    Yu Peiyu was silent for awhile and said:"There will be someone to deal with them."
    Tang Wushuang looked at Yu Peiyu and said:"You are young and have excellent martial arts, if there is someone who can eradicate them it must be you."
    He continued with a sigh:"As for me, I....(*sigh) When I was young I was very outrageous; women, drinking were my favourite leisure activities. I never put much emphasis on self-control and self-discipline. So that's why the skills of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect are my greatest fears."
    Now Yu Peiyu understood why this Wulin dignitary was so scared of these three sisters. And didn't do a thing earlier.
    But he was able to tell this matter to Yu Peiyu without any restriction. Yu Peiyu admired his broad-mindedness, and thought he was very fit to be the leader of the famous Tang clan.
    Ximen Feng came out now and smiled strangely:"They will never leave you alone till the day you die. Young master Yu should be very careful now."
    Yu Peiyu said casually:"Thank you for your concern. But this matter does not concern you, Mr. Ximen."
    Ximen Feng's face changed and said:"So be it. I will take my leave now."
    He turned to Tang Wushuang and said:"Master Tang,..."
    Tang Wushuang spoke to Yu Peiyu:"Young master Yu,...."
    Yu Peiyu interrrupted him:"Don't worry master Tang. I can take care of myself."
    Tang Wushuang thought for awhile and said:"I know you can take care of yourself.
    Remember this the sect members of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect will be quite lethal on the first seven days. If you can avoid of them for the first seven days you will be fine."
    Ximen Feng strangely said:"Till now, no one has been able to stay away from them for the first seven days."
    He picked up the fainted Wang Yuluo and didn't look at Yu Peiyu anymore and left.
    After Tang Wushuang left Ji Lingyan came out and smiled.
    Suddenly Yu Peiyu fell down, Ji Lingyan quickly helped him up and cried:"You are poisoned too. Why didn't you say anything earlier?"
    Yu Peiyu saw Ji Lingyan crying and didn't want to make her anymore sad and said:"This little poison cannot harm me."
    Ji Lingyan cried:"But why didn't say something earlier?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"That Ximen Feng is up to no good and if he knew if I was poisoned he might use force against us."
    Ji Lingyan said:"You, humans are so strange. Birds are...."
    Yu Peiyu didn't hear her words he was thinking about the three sisters that might come back anytime.
    He told Ji Lingyan:"Why don't go and play with your friends."
    Ji Lingyan shook her head:"No I will stay with you. You are injured and I should take care of you. I will give you one of my pills which I give to my friends when they're ill."
    She took out a pill and gave it Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu looked at her innocent smile and said:"How can I eat pills of birds?"
    She put the pill in his mouth and Yu Peiyu swallowed. But after awhile he did feel a bit better and the pill tasted quite sweet.
    After some time he fell asleep.
    Sometimes he would wake up and wanted to tell Ji Lingyan to run away. Because he was afraid she might get hurt by the three sisters.
    But after awhile he wouldn't feel worried about it anymore.
    After a very long time Yu Peiyu gradually woke up and found himself sleeping in the same room in the inn.
    Ji Lingyan smiled:"My medicine is very good, isn't it?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Yes, very good."
    He quickly asked:"How many days have I slept in total?"
    Ji Lingyan said:"Nine days."
    Yu Peiyu was surprised that already nine days have passed and could avoid those three sisters.
    Ji Lingyan asked:"Are you still thinking of them?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled wryly:"Why would I think of them? But why didn't they look for me?"
    Ji Lingyan said:"You never left why would they look for you?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Of course! They must have thought that I am long gone now and never suspected I would stay here. A great plan of you!'
    Ji Lingyan smiled in a silly way:"What plan?"
    Yu Peiyu watched her and thought is she really mentally handicapped or is she pretending.
    Ji Lingyan said:"We must go now, my friends told me that they are still looking for you everywhere else."
    Yu Peiyu could hear the chirping of birds outside.
    When they walked out Yu Peiyu thought what happened to the corpses and those five men who were lying under the tree. And why weren't the local authorities here to investigate the murder scene?
    He looked at Ji Lingyan and thought she might have something to do with this. Again he asked himself is she really mentally handicapped?
    But if she is just pretending what could be her motive? Yu Peiyu suddenly thought she saved my life I shouldn't suspect her.
    Ji Lingyan suddenly happily said:"My friends tell me that up ahead is a nice place. We could play there. Shall we go?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled and stared at her pretty innocent face and said:"No matter where you will go I will follow you."
    She was very happy and hugged Yu Peiyu and gave him a kiss on his cheek.
    Yu Peiyu slowly began to forget about The Three Magnificent Flower Ladies.
    Ji Lingyan asked:"It is very far, are you tired?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Nope, I have never felt stronger before."
    After walking for some time Ji Lingyan wanted to stop for some food. At an inn they rested but somehow Yu Peiyu didn't feel like eating. Ji Lingyan was full after eating something they continued their walk, after awhile Yu Peiyu felt very tired. The vitality he had earlier was gone.
    She asked again:"Are you tired?"
    But Yu Peiyu didn't want to ruin her joy and said:"Not at all."
    But with every step he felt more and more miserable and tired. He just wanted to sleep.
    They arrived in a town and walked to a big manor. Ji Lingyan said to Yu Peiyu:"This is the Golden Shell manor, the keeper of the manor is called Luo Ziliang. He knows some martial arts and is very rich.
    However he is vey thrifty and he doesn't indulge in luxuries. He isn't all to keen on hiring servants."
    They continued their walk in the town
    Yu Peiyu was too tired to respond actually but after hearing that she even knew these little things he couldn't help asking:"How do you know all these matters?"
    She smiled:"My friends told me."
    Yu Peiyu smiled back:"You have very smart friends."
    She said:"My friends fly all over the world and see many things. And they tell me all about it."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Luckily you are a nice girl if not with all those secrets. You can become a very scary person."
    They stopped at another rather big manor not as big as Golden Shell Manor.
    Ji Lingyan laughed:"Let's enter. It is very nice inside."
    Yu Peiyu said:"This is the manor of someone else. We can't just go in."
    Ji Lingyan walked in and walked to the main hall and sat down. No one was there and Yu Peiyu said:"Let us leave before the keeper comes out."
    She loudly called out:"Why is there no tea!"
    A man came out and brought her a cup of tea and respectfully put it on the table.
    Ji Lingyan said:"I am hungry."
    A few men came out and brought out a few dishes and put it on the table. She started to eat and said to Yu Peiyu:"Sit down eat some too."
    Yu Peiyu was too surprised and he wasn't feel hungry.
    He asked:"Do you know the owner of this manor?"
    She didn't answer and called out:"Come here!"
    Some men frantically walked over and stood in front of her.
    Ji Lingyan asked:"Who brought this dish, it is too salty."
    She pointed at one of the plates at the table.
    One of the men knelt down and said:"It was me."
    Ji Lingyan said:"It is too salty! What is the idea!"
    Yu Peiyu said:"He just brought it over, he didn't know it was too salty. Don't be upset now!"
    Ji Lingyan smiled sweetly:"I don't know anything. Don't be mad at me."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"You..."
    The man interrupted with them and said loudly:"I shouldn't have brought this dish to you. I deserve to die....I will chop off this hand."
    He drew a blade and chopped of his hand without hesistation.
    Ji Lingyan said:"That is more like it."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Why are you so vicious?"
    Ji Lingyan said:"They're are not birds."
    Yu Peiyu angrilly said:"You shouldn't behave like this!"
    Ji Lingyan said:"They're are all very willing to chop off their hands. I will proof it. All of you cut off two of your fingers."
    The men all drew a blade and cut off two fingers without thinking twice.
    Ji Lingyan asked:"You are all very willing to do that, right? And you're all very happy, is it not?
    All the men replied:"Yes, we're very willing to cut off our fingers."
    Ji Lingyan continued:"If you're happy why aren't you laughing."
    The men all started laughing.
    Yu Peiyu was too shocked and scared to speak anymore.
    Ji Lingyan said:"They sold their souls and
    bodies to me. Soon you will do the same thing."
    Yu Peiyu angrilly said:"YOU ARE MAD! I will never..."
    Ji Lingyan interrupted him:"You don't even have the strength to stand up now. With one finger I can push you over."
    Yu Peiyu tried to get up but his legs were wobbly and sat down again.
    Ji Lingyan lightly said:"Soon you will feel very cold and suddenly very warm. And later on you will feel like thousands ants are crawling over your body and biting you."
    Yu Peiyu screamed:"What have you done to me? Why won't you just kill me?"
    She smiled:"It will be a pity to kill a man like you."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"What do you want from me?"
    Ji Lingyan said:"Soon you feel like you have entered a living hell. But I can make you feel like you have entered paradise."
    He was starting to tremble with cold.
    Yu Peiyu asked again:"What do you want?
    Ji Lingyan said casually:"I just want you to kill all the people in Golden Shell Manor."
    Yu Peiyu said with difficulty:"I have no strength left in my body, how can I kill anyone."
    Yu Peiyu felt more miserable he was very warm now.
    Ji Lingyan said:"When you arrive at Golden Shell Manor you will have your strength back and you will even feel more powerful."
    The torment Yu Peiyu went through was too much he tried to get up and walked to the door. And suddenly he stopped and said:"I cannot kill innocent people!"
    Ji Lingyan laughed:"Do you want to bet with me?"
    Yu Peiyu shouted:"I thought you were an innocent naive girl. But I never would have thought you are such a monster. I never suspected you. You're even worse than your sister Ji Lingfeng."
    Ji Lingyan smiled mysteriously:"Who do you think I am?"
    Yu Peiyu look at her with difficulty and saw her eyes were different. Very sharp and brilliant.
    He was trembling and said with utmost shock:"You...you are Ji Lingfeng!"

    Ji Lingfeng laughed:"I prentended to be an idiot for more than ten days. And you fell for it. Birds, talking? You actually believe that nonsense. I used a lot of people to retrieve the information I need.
    Birds!?!"
    Yu Peiyu was shaking:"You..knew that The Three Magnificent Flower Ladies would not..."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"You were poisoned but only lightly. I examined you and you seem to have taken some sort of medicine which protected you from that lethal poison."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Yes, the lesser return pill of Kunlun."
    Ji Lingfeng smiled:"Unfortunately the lesser pill can't even counter-act my pills of happiness."
    Yu Peiyu began to understand:"These men sold themselves to you because they took your poison. This pill of happiness."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"It is not a poison. The pill itself can give people lots of joy and strength. But if you do not take it anymore after a long time you will feel very bad."
    Yu Peiyu angrilly said:"These pills are addictive!"
    Ji Lingfeng said:"You're right I just mixed these pills with some seeds from the opium plants."
    She turned to those men and asked:"Are you happy? And would you even sell your own parents, wife and children just for these pills?"
    The men answered:"Yes, we will."
    Ji Lingfeng said:"If I would stop giving you my pills?"
    Before she finished all these men look terrified and begged:"Miss, everything except that. Please don't do that to us."
    Yu Peiyu was sweating.
    She held the bottle in her hands and told Yu Peiyu:"If you obey my commands this is all yours."
    The men were staring at the bottle and were very anxious.
    She continued with a gentle voice:"If you comply you can have all the pills you want. You will become very happy."
    Yu Peiyu said:"No, I won't take it anymore."
    She smiled and took out on pill and held it in her hand. She said:"Here take it!"
    He lifted his hand and was about to take the pill when he suddenly saw those men.
    They were knealing at looked at the pill and panted heavily, like dogs. Yu Peiyu thought he wouldn't and will not allow himself to become like them.
    He screamed and kicked down two men and ran to the door.
    Ji Lingfeng didn't stop him and said:"If you can't stand the pain, you can return at any time."
    She smiled evily:"Even if there are chains around your feet you wil find a way to come back. They always do."
    Yu Peiyu ran and ran. He reached a desolate place and started to roll on the ground to stop the pain. He hit himself on the chest and bumped his head against a rock.
    He remembered the words of Ji Lingfeng about going back.
    He didn't care anymore he wanted to go back.
    But suddenly a voice said:"Here you are! We've been looking for you."
    The Three Magnificent Flower Ladies blocked his way.
    Yu Peiyu had lost his senses now and yelled:"Out of my way"!"
    He wanted to pass around them and pushed out. Iron Blossom used her leg and tripped Yu Peiyu with ease.
    Silver Blossom used her foot to step on his back and said with surprise:"What happened to this man? Has he forgotten his martial arts?"
    Golden Blossom said:"Is he the man we're looking for?"
    Iron Blossom said:"It is him allright! I recognize his face. He is behaving like an animal now. What happened?"
    Yu Peiyu shouted:"I will kill everyone in the Golden Shell Manor. I will do whatever you want me to do. Just give one of those pills of happiness. Please!"
    Golden Blossom said:"He must be poisoned. What a strong poison this pill of happiness is!"
    Iron Blossom said:"Never mind that! Let us take him along with us."
    She took a large linnen bag and put Yu Peiyu in it and took him away.
    Not even Ji Lingfeng would have guess that Yu Peiyu would be captured by these three sisters.
    Golden Blossom said:"This is a very strange poison. I'm not sure how to create an antidote."
    Iron Blossom said:"If we cannot create one no one can."
    Silver Blossom coldly said:"Eldest sister, have you forgotten that he is our enemy?"
    Golden Blossom sighed:"Even if he is our enemy we should help him. Look at him."
    Iron Blossom smiled:"I knew eldest sister wouldn't just love one man."
    Golden Blossom smiled:"I'm doing it for you."
    Iron Blossom asked:"Me?"
    Golden Blossom said:"Yes, I am helping him for you."
    Iron Blossom blushed:"I don't even know his name. I...."
    Her face was entirely red now and turned away.

    So the three sister and Yu Peiyu travelled in a carriage. They were heading south.
    Yu Peiyu was feeling horrible and would often scream and yell. But the three sisters didn't torture him or hit him. In fact they took utmost care of him. Especially Iron Blossom looked very worried about Yu Peiyu's condition. Golden Blossom knew she was worried that Yu Peiyu might not recover.
    Only Silver Blossom was quite sarcastic all the time.
    Silver Blossom said:"Third sister shouldn't fall in love with our enemy."
    Golden Blossom said:"If he would take that silly girl as his wife he would become our brother-in-law. So we won't be enemies anymore."
    Silver Blossom was stunned and said:"I don't understand what she sees in him."
    Golden Blossom smiled:"Not only is he handsome, his martial arts is superb. He is really a good match for her."
    Silver Blossom didn't say anything anymore and felt angry.
    After crossing Chang Jiang (The Great River)numerous members of their sect would welcome them.
    Some of them were even men and women of wealth.
    Yu Peiyu gradually felt better and could sit up and eat some porridge from time to time. Iron Blossom was very happy to see him recovering slowly, only Silver Blossom was very upset.
    Although the side-effects of the pills of happiness were unbearable but if one can resist the addiction with help. Breaking free from the opium is not impossible. Also The Three Magnificent Flower Ladies are not only good nurses but also skilled physicians.
    When they entered a rather large town everyone was captivated by these three sisters. By their beauty and manners.
    Silver Blossom walked to a man and asked:"Do you know where Ma Xiaotian lives?"
    The man was too happy to see such a pretty woman talking to him and replied:"Miss is a friend of Mr. Ma. Just turn left at the end of this street and you will see a manor with big vermillion doors. That is the residence of Mr. Ma."
    She softly said to him:"Come and see me tonight." And she blew in his ear.
    The man blushed and said:"I wouldn't dare."
    She touched his face and smiled:"Coward."
    She walked back to her sisters.
    The man stared at her and said softly:"Damn that Ma Xiaotian. All the good things go to wealthy.."
    Before he could finish his face was itching and when he touched it he noticed it was swollen up. And there was a piercing pain in his ear. He fell to the ground and screamed in pain.
    Golden Blossom heard the cries of the man and said:"Why did you do that?"
    Silver Blossom smiled:"These lecherous blokes must be taught a lesson. Since when did you become such kind and caring woman. I see you're preparing for your job as the virtuous Mrs. Tang, right?"
    Golden Blossom was angered and ignored her and walked ahead.
    They walked to the manor of Ma Xiaotian and saw some local ruffians gambling at the stone lions.
    Silver Blossom kicked one of them down. The men turned around to see a pretty young woman and were silent.

    Silver Blossom tenderly said:"Is this the residence of Mr. Ma?"
    All the men stared at her and were under her spell. One of the men laughed and said:"My family name is Ma. You can call me Mr. Ma too. Little Miss, what can I do for you?"
    Silver Blossom smiled:"You don't look like the Mr. Ma I am looking for."
    She put her face very close to that man, the man thought she was going to kiss him.
    But suddenly she slapped him and send him flying. The other men angrilly shouted and came to the man's help.
    Silver Blossom smiled:"I'm not preparing myself in becoming young Mrs. Tang so I won't be kind and caring. Being a bit more vicious is fine with me."
    She is deliberately making fun and irritating Golden Blossom. She heavily hit those men who obviously were no match for her.
    Golden Blossom was very angry but didn't say anything but just grunted coldly.
    A voice loudly called out from the mansion:"Who dares to fight in front of my manor? Stop it at once!"
    A middle-aged man in an expensive brocade walked out.
    Silver Blossom laughed:"Mr. Ma, you look very majestic today. Very impressive!"
    The men got up and wanted to wanted to attack again. Ma Xiaotian saw Silver Blossom and looked frightened. He quickly knelt down and respectfully said:"This lowly disciple, Ma Xiaotian pays his respects to the three elders. Please forgive me for not welcoming you earlier."
    Silver Blossom scoffed:"Mr. Ma, you finally recognized us. If you would come out later we would be dead now and thanks to your servants."
    In fact she was the one who started the fight.
    Ma Xiaotian broke out in cold sweat and apologetically smiled:"These dogs don't know any better. I will severly punish them for this..."
    Golden Blossom finally said something:"It doesn't matter. I won't pursue this matter. Mr. Ma can you find a suitable place for us to stay? I prefer somewhere tranquil because we have a friend who has fallen ill."
    Ma Xiaotian nodded and said he would do his best to find the best place for the three elders to stay. He looked very humble and scared.
    Everyone was surprised to see the ever so arrogant Ma Xiaotian this respectful to three young woman.
    When Golden Blossom entered the Ma manor, Silver Blossom turned to Ma Xiaotian and coldly said:"My eldest sister won't pursue this matter. That doesn't mean that I will do the same."
    Ma Xiaotian stuttered:"I...I will know what to do."
    Iron Blossom was a bit annoyed by her sister and said:"Second sister, you know that eldest sister is a bit depressed. Don't irritate her, please."
    Silver Blossom scoffed:"She didn't find me a perfect husband. Why should I please her?"
    She turned her head around walked into Ma manor.

    When Ma Xiaotian accompanied the three sisters to the main hall he ordered his servants to leave them.
    Ma Xiaotian respectfully said:"I already have a place for the three elders to stay."
    Golden Blossom asked:"Where is this place?"
    Ma Xiaotian said:"In my residence."
    He removed a painting from the wall and opened a secret door. Through the secret tunnel they entered a series of very refined decorated rooms.
    Silver Blossom coldly asked:"Are we that ugly? Can't we be seen by others? Do you want to us to hide in this basement?"
    Ma Xiaotian was initially quite happy but now he was afraid again and stammered:"If the second elder is not please with these chambers I will..."
    Golden Blossom interrupted him:"This place will do fine."
    She entered the room and a few servants helped Yu Peiyu to his room.
    Yu Peiyu felt worried, he didn't like these secretive chambers. But wasn't able to do anything about it.
    The servants placed him on a bed and he was lying there and was pondering.
    Suddenly Iron Blossom entered his room.
    She sat at his bed and smiled at Yu Peiyu but didn't speak.
    Yu Peiyu couldn't stand her looking at him like that and asked:"I would like to thank you for helping me, if not for you and your sisters I would be...."
    Iron Blossom sweetly smiled:"Don't you hate us anymore?"
    Yu Peiyu didn't know how to answer this question just sighed:"I never hated any of you, but I just hope you will..."
    She interrupted him:"Never harm innocents again?"
    Yu Peiyu wryly said:"Miss, you said yourself killing won't do your beauty much good."
    She stayed quiet and stared at him suddenly she smiled:"Do you like me being pretty?"
    Yu Peiyu stuttered:"I...I..."
    He didn't know how to respond he felt it was inappropriate to say yes and felt bad if he said no.
    He felt it was very difficult to answer the question of this young girl.
    She stared at him and said:"Yes is yes and no is no. It is not that difficult to answer."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Yes, I like you to be pretty."
    She smiled sweetly and said:"So you want me to listen to you?"
    This strange, vivacious girl's words were becoming more and more strange.
    Yu Peiyu wryly smiled:"I wouldn't dare to hope you will listen to me."
    Iron Blossom gently said:"If you want me to listen to you just say so. I will always listen to you."
    Yu Peiyu stuttered again:"I....I..."
    Iron Blossom said:"Do you like me to kill innocent people?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Of course not."
    Iron Blossom smiled:"So you want me to listen to you?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Yes."
    Iron Blossom was feeling very happy and kissed Yu Peiyu on his cheek and giggled. She left and closed the door.
    Yu Peiyu stared at the door and softly said :"Why is she so happy? I..I didn't agree to anything."
    But suddenly he remembered their actions against the Tang clan and felt scared.
    In these couple of days he would often sleep through the days and wake up in a daze.
    One day he felt someone crawl under his sheets and softly biting his neck and ear.
    And softly blew in his ear, Yu Peiyu woke up but couldn't move, he couldn't see who it was. The candles were out, he asked:"Who are you?"
    The person didn't answer and removed his clothes and gently caressed his back.
    Yu Peiyu knew it must be Iron Blossom and he felt his heart beating quicker and quicker. He composed himself and seriously said:"Miss, if you really listen to me. You should go now."
    The person tenderly said:"Who wants to listen to you? I want you to listen to me..."
    Her voice was very seductive and sexy.
    Yu Peiyu exclaimed with surprise:"Silver Blossom?"
    She seductively said:"If you listen to me I will never let you down."
    Yu Peiyu couldn't move and was sweating, he was panting heavily and his heart was beating very quick.
    He asked:"Could you light the candles?"
    Silver Blossom said:"Don't you like it this way?" Yu Peiyu said:"I want to look at you."
    Silver Blossom giggled:"I never thought you are such a experienced lover."
    She lit the candles and stood naked in front of Yu Peiyu and smiled:"You can look at me as long as you want."
    Yu Peiyu coldly said:"I just wanted to see what kind of shameless woman you are. You think you're the most beautiful woman in the realm, but you make me sick."
    Yu Peiyu never said words like this before but his entire purpose was to make her angry.
    Silver Blossom's passion was gone into blind anger and yelled:"You dare to mock me!"
    Yu Peiyu continued:"Look in the mirror, you can see what kind of shameless woman you really are...."
    She cursed back:"And you think you are very handsome, right? Well, I think I will like to see how handsome you can be after I'm through with you."
    She drew a blade and walked to him and said:"Let us see how many women will fall in love with you now. After I have turned you into the ugliest man in the realm."
    She used the blade and gently cut his face. Yu Peiyu wasn't scared in fact he felt it was quite ironic. So he laughed loudly.
    Silver Blossom saw his face was bleeding and wanted to cut another time. But she felt a bit bad about ruining this perfect face.
    Yu Peiyu looked at her and loudly said:"Do it! Do it! This is not my face! Destroy it, you'll only make me happy!"
    The blood was oozing out his wound and his loud laughter made him look like a madman.
    Silver Blossom's hands were sweating and said:"If you won't find it a pity that your face is ruined someone will. If I cannot have you, no one can. I will rather turn into an ugly madman than give you up to her."
    She too started to laugh loudly and wanted to cut again. Suddenly the door was kicked open and Iron Blossom pulled her away from Yu Peiyu.
    She shouted:"Eldest sister, come quickly! Second sister has gone mad!"
    Silver Blossom laughed:"I'm not mad! Your perfect husband is! He says this face doesn't belong to him. I don't want a lunatic like him."


    End of chapter 8

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 9 A Sudden Change

    Yu Peiyu, Silver Blossom and Iron Blossom were creating quite a scene, fortunately Golden Blossom walked in and saw Yu Peiyu bloody face and asked with surprise:"What is going on here? Is this your doing?"
    Silver Blossom laughed:"So what if it is, are you sad too?"
    Golden Blossom slapped her on the face.
    That silenced the laughter of Silver Blossom and everyone was silent and Iron Blossom let go of her sister.
    Silver Blossom backed away from Golden Blossom and angrilly said:"You hit me? You actually hit me."
    Golden Blossom stamped her feet and asked:"Why did you do such a thing?"
    Silver Blossom retorted with anger:"Why can't I do such a thing?!? You just know that Iron Blossom loves him but do you know that I love him too. Why can all of you have your perfect partner and I cannot?"
    Golden Blossom said:"Didn't you hate him?"
    Silver Blossom screamed:"Yes I do hate him! But I hate you even more! You just seem to care about Iron Blossom and not about me!"
    Golden Blossom was silent for awhile and sighed:"I really didn't know. I really didn't know you are looking for a perfect partner. You have a lot men already, I never thought I would have to worry about your love life."
    Silver Blossom was furious and stormed out the room.
    Everyone heard her saying:"I hate you, all of you! I hate everyone in the world! I wish all of you are dead!"
    Golden Blossom stood there and was speechless. Iron Blossom looked at Yu Peiyu and burst out in tears.
    Yu Peiyu felt very tranquil and softly said:"There really is no perfect face in the world. That is something that old man Gao never would have thought of before.
    I wonder what old man Gao would say when he saw my face....."
    He felt that this was quite funny and laughed heartily. Somehow he felt relieved.
    Iron Blossom stopped laughing and looked at him, she didn't understand his laughter. But who in this world can?

    Three days later Yu Peiyu regained some strength. And he was feeling quite well but his face was wrapped in bandage.
    You could only see his eyes, mouth and nose.
    Iron Blossom and Golden Blossom looked at him apologetically. Golden Blossom sighed:"Do you really have to go now?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"It is time for me to leave."
    Iron Blossom hugged him and said:"Please don't go. I will always love you no matter how you look like."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"If you truly love me you should let me go."
    Golden Blossom softly said:"At least let us see your face. I mean we can see how injured you are."
    Yu Peiyu replied:"No matter what, I will always be myself, right?"
    He gently pushed Iron Blossom away and
    smiled:"Do you know what the first thing I want to do."
    Iron Blossom said:"Do you want to look for my mean sister?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I do want to look for someone but not your sister. I want to pay a visit to young master Tang, and tell him to rendezvous with you here. I will also tell old Mr. Tang Wushuang that The Three Magnificent Flower Ladies are not that bad after all."
    Golden Blossom said:"I don't know how to thank you."
    Yu Peiyu laughed:"If you would let me go that would be thanks enough."
    Golden Blossom and Iron Blossom didn't say anything anymore and saw Yu Peiyu off. They had tears in their eyes of gratitude, sadness and love.

    Yu Peiyu opened the door of the secret tunnel and stood in the main hall.
    However when he lifted his head he saw bodies hanging from a beam.
    They were the servants of the manor and also the keeper Ma Xiaotian was dead now.
    Some weapon had punched a hole through their throats and pierced a rope through the holes and hung them up.
    He thought the killer was a rutheless person.
    He thought of returning to the secret tunnel but it didn't seem like a good idea and proceeded forward.
    He didn't want to go back and ask for help.
    Suddenly he heard someone saying:"Who goes there? Stop!"
    Yu Peiyu stood still. The voice said:"Come over here!"
    Yu Peiyu walked over to the voice, it came from a different room.
    The speaker was Jin Yanzi, he was surprised to see her here.
    Jin Yanzi sternly asked:"Where did you come from? I didn't see you when I entered this place."
    Yu Peiyu plainly smiled:"I entered via the entrance."
    Jin Yanzi said:"Are you in league with the three flower ladies?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I don't think that is any of your business."
    Jin Yanzi drew her sword and pointed it at the throat of Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu remained calm and wasn't impressed by that sword. Even if there were a thousand swords pointed at his throat he wouldn't budge. All the past events have made him stronger than ever.
    She didn't recognize Yu Peiyu and his face was wrapped in bandage.
    Jin Yanzi was impressed and stunned by his calmness.
    She slowly lowered her sword.
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Where is the young master of the divine sabre?"
    Jin Yanzi was surprised and asked:"Do you recognize me?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Who doesn't know that the young master of the divine sabre and Miss Jin Yanzi are never separated."
    Jin Yanzi stared at his eyes and said:"Your eyes look familiar."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I am not the only man with bandage around his head."
    Jin Yanzi sternly asked:"Who are you?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I am Yu Peiyu."
    Jin Yanzi's face changed and said:"Yu...Yu Peiyu is dead already, you...you."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Miss, you should know there are two Yu Peiyus. One is dead and the other alive. I just am a bit envious of the dead Yu Peiyu, he had a lot more friends than I."
    Jin Yanzi sighed and asked:"Were these people killed by you?"
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Did you kill them?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"Although these men deserve to die I didn't kill them."
    Yu Peiyu said:"If you didn't kill them then who did?"
    Suddenly another voice said:"I did."
    And a man appeared in front of them, this man wore a silver brocade and he didn't have a left arm.
    It was an elderly man with grey hair and beard.
    He had sharp, brilliant eyes and looked very fierce.
    Jin Yanzi shivered when he looked at her and Yu Peiyu.
    Jin Yanzi said:"These men were killed by you?"
    The old man said:"You don't believe me. If you think I only have one arm that means I am incapable of killing, you are wrong. If I didn't deal with these men more evil will roam in the realm."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Sir, may I know your name?"
    The old man said:"You needn't know my name. An enemy of the Heavenly Slikworm Sect is my ally. If not I will not allow you to live."
    Jin Yanzi seemed to be convinced of the old man's words and didn't attack or retort.
    She asked:"Sir, have you found the three flower ladies?"
    The old man asked:"Do you have any unresolved matters with them?"
    Jin Yanzi hatefully said:"My hate for them is as deep as the ocean."
    The old man said:"If you want to find them, follow me."
    The man walked out of Ma manor, Jin Yanzi followed him. And Yu Peiyu followed her.
    He was quite puzzled because he knew that the three sisters were not somewhere else but right in Ma Manor.
    Why would this old man lie? What are his motives?
    Even if he was capable of killing these men how could he hang them up their with one arm.
    With the old man's martial arts he could easily kill Jin Yanzi.
    What is he planning for Jin Yanzi? The old man ignored Yu Peiyu and couldn't care less about him.
    They walked via desolate roads and it was getting dark.
    Yu Peiyu finally asked:"Where are the three flower ladies hiding?"
    The old man said:"Evil people will only stay at sinister places."
    Young girls are very sensitive to words like evil and sinister. She asked the old man:"Where is this sinister place?"
    The old man just said:"If you're tired or scared you can just go back."
    Jin Yanzi gritted her teeth and followed him.
    Although Jin Yanzi's martial arts and art of levitation are very good she felt quite exhausted now. But Yu Peiyu could manage to keep up with this old man quite easily.
    But he was getting more and more cautious about this old man especially seeing his level of martial arts was very high.

    The old man climbed a high cliff easily, Jin Yanzi and Yu Peiyu were still standing there.
    The old man called:"Aren't you coming up?"
    Jin Yanzhi whispered to Yu Peiyu:"This is going to be dangerous, you should go now."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"I have come this far, it is too late to be afraid now."
    And he started climbing the cliff, the old man was observing Yu Peiyu. Yu Peiyu knew the old man was trying to see what the level of martial arts was of Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu only used half of his internal power deliberately. The old man seemed to be disappointed to see Yu Peiyu this weak. Jin Yanzi did her best to climb the cliff and the old man looked pleased to see her level of martial arts was quite good.
    Yu Peiyu found it strange that the old man was disappointed to see his martial arts were weak but happy to see that Jin Yanzi was strong.
    If the old man was planning something against them he should be glad to see their martial arts were weak.
    They now stood in front of the entrance of a dark cave.
    There was a huge boulder blocking the entrance.
    Jin Yanzi softly said to herself:"This is the secret hide-out of the three flower ladies?" She was beginning to feel suspicious.
    The old man explained:"This is the secret cavern of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect. The three flower ladies are elders of the sect, that's why they are allowed to enter."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"How did you know this secret?"
    The old man laughed:"How many secrets in the world can be kept hidden from me."

    Jin Yanzi thought:Strange, I always believed that the Heavenly Silkworm Sect was located in the southern regions of China.
    The old man said:"Do you have the courage to enter this cave!"
    Jin Yanzi took a deep breath and said:"Even if I have to travel to far ends of the world I have to find the three flower ladies. I have to deal with them."
    The old man said:"Very good! If you have the courage and caution I can guarantee nothing will happen to you."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I am not going in there."
    He wanted to say:"I know the three flower ladies are not in this cave. Why are you lying to us?"
    But he knew at this moment he wasn't able to overcome this old man. He wanted to see what this old man was up too and tested him with this sentence.
    The old man looked at him coldly and said:"You do not want to enter?"

    Yu Peiyu replied:"I'm not looking for the three flower ladies. Why should I enter?"
    Jin Yanzi quickly helped:"This matter does not concern him. I don't even know this man."
    The old man calmly said:"If you don't want to enter I won't force you."
    He placed his palm casually on the rock surface and left a deep handprint behind.
    Yu Peiyu laughed:"Originally I didn't want to enter. But now I know this cave is linked with the Heavenly Silkworm Sect I would like to know a bit more about their secrets."
    The old man ignored him and turned his attention to Jin Yanzi.
    He took out a short sword and a flint.
    He said:"This short sword is capable of slicing stone and iron like butter and this flint is also very precious. Protect them carefully!"
    The old man gave the two items to Jin Yanzi and she thanked him.
    The old man easily moved the boulder aside and said:"When you're done inside come back to the entrance and used the sword to strike at the boulder seven times. When I hear the signal I will move the boulder aside."
    Jin Yanzi and Yu Peiyu entered the cave, Jin Yanzi used the flint to light a small fire.
    The light shone on Yu Peiyu's face, wrapped in bandages, revealing a pair of noisy eyes.
    She sighed lightly:"You're very strange. This entire matter doesn't concern you, why do you tag along?"
    Yu Peiyu thought:Although she is very straightforward and even rash but she is a very kind and considerate girl.
    He rather liked her at this moment, all the girls he met so far whether either quite strange, rutheless or even downright maniacal.
    He smiled and said:"In these dangerous places it is better to be with someone."
    Jin Yanzi was surprised and asked:"You..you did this for me?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Miss, you're a friend of the late Yu Peiyu meaning you're also my friend."
    She stared at him for awhile and blushed fortunately Yu Peiyu couldn't see her red face now in the dark.
    After awhile she asked:"What do you think this old man is up too?"
    Yu Peiyu thought for a moment and said:"What do you think, Miss?"
    Jin Yanzi answered:"If he wants to deal with me he wouldn't lent us his sword and flint. Judging by that palm he can easily kill us both."
    Yu Peiyu said:"You're right. The power of his palm was very strong but his technique was refined and gentle. His internal power has reached a very high level. He is certainly not inferior to reverend Chuchen of Wudang."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"What could be his motives?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Let us just go straight ahead and worry about that later. He won't remove the boulder now."
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"I always thought I was very courageous but you are braver than I. Even if I'm afraid now I wouldn't show it out of embarrassement."
    The light shone on her face and revealed an open and cheerful smile.
    Yu Peiyu thought:If all the girls in the world were like her there wouldn't be so much trouble.

    Yu Peiyu lead the way and the fire shone on the walls and suddenly they saw carvings on the wall.
    It was an engraving of a man and a woman making love. The engravings were very lifelike.
    Jin Yanzi took one look and quickly turned her head away and blushed.
    She said:"Such a disgusting place!"
    Yu Peiyu also felt a bit embarrassed by it and found strange this cave would have such engravings.
    Jin Yanzi quickly walked forward and suddenly in the dark two dark figures holding two broad sabres hacked towards Jin Yanzi.
    Yu Peiyu yelled":"Watch out!"
    During his yell he dashed forward and used his arms to hug Jin Yanzi. Both of them fell to the ground and rolled away from the hack and Yu Peiyu could just avoid the sabres.
    The two figures returned to their original places.
    Jin Yanzi exclaimed:"Only two statues."
    Jin Yanzi said:"If it wasn't for you I would be dead now."
    Yu Peiyu remembered she was still in his arms and he could smell her sweet fragrance.
    Her lips almost touched his.
    He quickly wanted to apologize.
    But instead Jin Yanzi smiled:"If the young master of the divine sabre would see us now. He would be fuming. I really wish he could see this."
    Yu Peiyu was initially afraid she would pout or feign anger but she was even more open-minded than he thought. She didn't even pretend to be angry.
    Yu Peiyu was very happy to see her reaction and said:"Yes, it is strange. Why isn't he with you this time."
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"He keeps following me around and gets angry when other men are talking to me. I'm so annoyed by him and this time I quickly ran away when he was not paying attention."

    All of a sudden she stared behind Yu Peiyu and said loudly:"Look!"
    Yu Peiyu turned around and saw a big door and there were characters carved next to the door.

    The Palace of Enchantment, trespassers DIE

    Jin Yanzi frowned:"The secret hiding-place of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect is here? And it is called this Palace of Enchantment?"
    Yu Peiyu was pensive he knew that this was not only a sinister place but also very mysterious and the character enchantment was also puzzling.
    He asked Jin Yanzi:"Are we going in?"
    Jin Yanzi replied:"We're not going to be scared away by a few characters."
    Yu Peiyu said:"What if the three flower ladies aren't here."
    Jin Yanzi:"Aren't they here? Why would the old man lie to us?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"To my knowledge the three flower ladies are not here. And I'm not sure why the old man would lie to us."

    Jin Yanzi was pensive for a moment and said:"What do you think, shall we go back? But I don't think the old man would let us go if we went back."
    Yu Peiyu seriously said:"If we enter this door every step could be very dangerous. Perhaps you should stay here and I will explore it."
    Jin Yanzi smiled sweetly:"You said yourself in these dangerous place it is better to be with someone else."
    In situations like these the true nature of men will surface. Kind people will become even kinder and nasty people will become even more nasty.
    Yu Peiyu held her hand and smiled:"Let us go! But careful every ste......"
    Suddenly the floor cracked open and Yu Peiyu and Jin Yanzi fell into a deep hole.
    Jin Yanzi felt a strong surge of energy passing through her hand and she was flung out of the hole. But Yu Peiyu dropped down.

    Jin Yanzi stood near the hole and screamed:"Are you allright?"
    It was too dark and deep to see clearly and she didn't know whether Yu Peiyu was dead or not.
    Jin Yanzi was crying and yelled:"Why won't you answer me?"
    But there was no response.
    She closed her eyes and wanted to leap into the hole too.
    All of a sudden she was embraced from behind, she shouted:"Who is it?"
    And she saw Yu Peiyu standing next to her.
    She fell into his embrace out of happiness.
    She was still crying and said:"Why didn't you answer me? You're very mean."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"I couldn't talk at the moment. I was clinging on to the wall with one puff of energy. If I answered I will drop down into the hole."
    Jin Yanzi smiled tenderly:"I saw the flint drop down and I thought you were....gone. But now you're here."
    Yu Peiyu looked at her and sighed:"Why did you want to leap down the hole?"
    Jin Yanzi said softly:"If anything happens to you while you're saving me. I.I...don't want live anymore too."
    But suddenly she laughed and said:"But I would have done the same thing if it was someone else who save me."
    Yu Peiyu blinked his eyes and smiled:"Are you not afraid I will be disappointed by that final sentence?"
    She smiled:"I know that a man like you must already have a special person. If I didn't added that extra bit, you feel bad, right?"
    Yu Peiyu was very happy, he felt that Jin Yanzi was the nicest girl he had ever met.
    She wouldn't pretend or feign emotions she was very open-minded and kind.
    Yu Peiyu took her hand and said with a smile:"You're first girl I have ever met who didn't give me any unwanted problems."
    Yu Peiyu drew the short sword and used it as an tool to climb down the hole.
    It was a trap actually because at the bottom there were sharp spikes and Yu Peiyu saw the remains of dead people.
    But some of the bodies were not decomposed in fact it seems some of these people died quite recently.
    He picked up the flint and and climbed up.

    Yu Peiyu told Jin Yanzi:"It is best that I should lead the way, don't follow to close if anything happens to me you can still get away."
    Jin Yanzi loudly said:"This entire matter is not your concern. I should lead, don't treat me like a woman and take care of me all the time."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Although I don't like to think you are a woman. But still you are a woman. And in front of women men like to play the hero."
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"You're the most lovable man I have ever met."

    Yu Peiyu lead the way again, but this time he was even more cautious and advanced very slowly. Both he and Jin Yanzi knew that this place was filled with traps.
    A few metres further up ahead they saw two stone statues a man and a woman making love.
    It was very lifelike both Yu Peiyu and Jin Yanzi blushed when they saw the statues.
    Jin Yanzi grunted:"Why is this place filled with these revolting things."
    After saying that she kicked the statues, Yu Peiyu wanted to stop her but it was too late.
    A strange gas emitted from the statues, Yu Peiyu pulled her away and said:"Careful!"
    But by saing [careful] he inhaled some of that gas. Jin Yanzi shook her head and saw that Yu Peiyu was sitting on the floor and was using his internal strength to counter the effects of the gas.
    She cried out:"You...you...."
    Yu Peiyu shook his head telling her not to talk now, Jin Yanzi kept quiet but was very worried.
    After some time Yu Peiyu sighed:"Fortunately after all this time the effects of this gas aren't that strong anymore."
    Jin Yanzi said softly:"Albeit the case but if I inhaled that poisonous gas that close I would have been dead now."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Maybe."
    She sighed:"You saved me again."

    Yu Peiyu asked her:"Could you perhaps close your eyes?"
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"Can't I watch?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I'm going to touch the statues and hopefully find the switch that will open up a new path. But I'm afraid the switch is not on a very proper place."
    Luckily Jin Yanzi understood what he was getting at and closed her eyes.
    Suddenly she heard the statues moving aside and she walked through the statues a path was opened.
    When the light shone the path it revealed a series of tiles with a very peculiar motif.
    Naked men or women engaged in all kinds of different sexual activities.
    Jin Yanzi blushed again.
    Yu Peiyu examined the tiles and said:"Follow my footsteps, don't divert."
    His first step was on a not so proper place and Jin Yanzi followed his lead.
    She pouted:"What is this horrible place anyway?"
    Yu Peiyu said seriously:"The keeper of this place deliberately constructed this place like this. His intention to ward off the gentlemen of Wulin and continue his sinister activities here. Gentlemen tend to get quite embarrassed when they see things like this."
    Jin Yanzi joked:"What about you? Are you a gentleman?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Sometimes I am and sometimes I am not."
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"You're not only lovable but also very cute."
    During their laughter they suddenly saw a body of a dead girl. The body was hanging from a beam, it looked ever so eerie.
    Jin Yanzi said:"Trespassers, die! It seems this person really lives up to these words."
    Yu Peiyu concluded that this girl only died recently no more than two days. He found it odd that a cave sealed for more than ten odd years was recently visited by someone else.
    After a few steps they saw another body another young girl was killed by a trap. A huge, heavy spear penetrated her body and nailed her to the wall.
    Her hands were still clutched to the spear and it seems she wasn't killed instantly and was trying to pull the spear out.
    Jin Yanzi shivered at the sight.
    With every few steps they saw another body of a dead girl. Some of them were killed by poison, melting their faces away and some hacked by broad sabres.
    Jin Yanzi shivered and asked:"This place is filled with dangerous booby traps. If you weren't here with me, my faith would be the same as these poor girls."
    Yu Peiyu said:"They made it to here, that means some of them were very smart and trained in arts of formations and traps."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Do you mean they belong in the same group?"
    Yu Peiyu answered:"They probably entered the cave together."
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"These girls were young and pretty. Why would they waste their lives here in this god-forsaken place?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Although this place has nothing to do with the Heavenly Silkworm Sect. But there must be another concealed treasure here."
    Jin Yanzi stopped and said:"So the old man is using us to open a road for him."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I think so too. That's why he hoped that our martial arts were good enough to survive the traps. And that's why he lent us his sword and flint."
    Jin Yanzi angrilly said:"If we succeed he will know the way in and get the treasure. It is unlikely he will share it with us. And if we fail and die it doesn't matter to him. What an evil man! We haven't met before and now he is planning to use us like stepping stones."
    Yu Peiyu was pensive for a moment and said:"There is another strange thing."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"What...what is that?"
    Yu Peiyu replied:"Did you notice that all the bodies we saw belong to women. There isn't a single corpse of a man. So the hunters for this treasure are only women. But why?"
    Suddenly a voice said:"There are several reasons for that."
    When Jin Yanzi heard that voice her face changed and she clutched to Yu Peiyu's arm and said:"He is here!"

    The old man calmly said:"I will enter this part along with you. Thank you for clearing the way for me."
    Jin Yanzi angrilly approached the old man:"
    I thought you were a respectable Wulin senior, how could use us like stepping stones."
    The old man said:"Although you endured some hardships on my behalf. But there will be some advantages for both of you. Even if you died here it will be for a good cause."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"What is this place anyway?"
    The old man answered:"Look at the bodies."
    And he pointed at the characters next to the body of a girl.
    The place of romance and passion, the palace of pleasure and joy. Even if the spirits will devour your bodies. But still ever so lethal, ever so vicious.
    The old man explained:"Forty years ago all the handsome young men in Wulin would love to come here. Even death meant nothing to them."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Why?"
    The old man laughed:"This place can give pleasures beyond men's wildest dreams. It is a pity that after joy comes death."
    There was no joy in his laughter and it sounded even eerie.
    Jin Yanzi trembled and said:"Why aren't their bodies of men?"
    The old man said:"The men will die after they entered the Palace of Enchantment and after enjoying pleasure. The reasons why there are so many corpses of young girls are quite many. The keeper of the Palace of Enchantment was very beautiful, these women were probably related to the men who were involved with her. These women came her to kill her or were jealous of her."
    Jin Yanzi said:"Even if that woman is still alive she would be an old witch. Why are there still so many young women who died here."
    The old man said:"Although she is dead her secrets are still here. Her skills in preserving beauty and mesmerizing men are still wanted techniques by many women. If a girl can master these skills she can have every men she wants."
    Jin Yanzi glared at Yu Peiyu and blushed and said:"I don't even want to look at those disgusting skills."
    The old man laughed:"I'm afraid when after you have the manual you won't be able to put it away."
    The old man looked at Yu Peiyu and said:"Your martial arts aren't good but you seem to be skilled in many other arts. I will spare your life."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Before entering the main hall of the palace you won't kill me."
    The old man stared at him and said:"If you can help me enter the main hall I will even give you a part of the treasures inside."
    Yu Peiyu said:"What if I refuse."
    The old man said:"Then you will die now."
    Yu Peiyu said:"What if someone already took the manuals?"
    The old man said:"Till now no one has successfully managed to enter the main hall. I locked nine girls in this cave with the hope they would solve the traps for me. Unfortunately after two days no one came out of the cave."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"You killed Ma Xiaotian because you were afraid that he knew this secret too and you feared he might tell others."
    The old man coldly said:"You talk too much."
    Yu Peiyu reproached him:"You killed Ma Xiaotian and his family just because you were afraid that he might know this secret. How very ruthless!"
    The old man grunted.
    Jin Yanzi loudly asked:"What does this place have to do with the Heavenly Silkworm Sect? Are you in league with them?"
    The old man calmly said:"You talk too much too." He placed his palm on the wall for a moment.
    Jin Yanzi looked at the handprint and kept quiet.

    They now stood for the doors of the main hall. Yu Peiyu was thinking for a very long time on how to open these doors.
    After some time he softly said to himself:"Could we be wrong? Where could the switch be?"
    The old man said:"The switch must be here somewhere, there are no other entrances to the main hall."
    Yu Peiyu moved the corpse of a young girl aside. He examined the corpse and saw there were no wounds on her body but her hands were as black as ink.
    He examined her hands closely and found a small puncture wounds at the index- and middle finger of the girl.
    Yu Peiyu stood up and said:"I understand now. The switch is on the two characters of on the wall."
    All the other characters on the wall were covered with dust except for the two characters of.
    Jin Yanzi said happily:"Of course! If we press on the characters of the doors will open, right?"
    So she walked up and wanted to press the characters.
    Yu Peiyu quickly pulled her back and said:"Don't! If we press the characters you will die like this poor girl. It is not worth it."
    The old man drew the short sword and cut off the index- and middle finger of the dead girl and used the fingers to press the characters.
    The doors opened and the main hall was decorated very styleful.
    I Would Like To Share The Ultimate Joy Of Life With You, Enter And You Will Experience True Pleasure
    These characters were engraved on the wall.
    The old man was very excited and laughed:"Finally! The secret is mine!"
    He quickly advanced in. Jin Yanzi picked up the two fingers and saw that there were another two small puncture holes.
    She sighed and looked at Yu Peiyu and said:"Again you saved me. I never would have thought that another trap was concealed in these small characters."
    There were poisonous needles installed inside the characters if you touch the characters you will get stung.
    Both Yu Peiyu and Jin Yanzi carefully entered, Yu Peiyu held Jin Yanzi's hand.
    The old man said:"Half of this treasure is yours."
    Yu Peiyu said softly:"This old man will not let me walk out of this place alive."
    Jin Yanzi saw something and called out in excitement.
    Yu Peiyu saw it too, heaps and heaps of gold, gems, jade, silver.
    She turned to Yu Peiyu and said:"Look how beautiful these things are."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Do you like them?"
    The old man laughed:"All the girls in the world love precious gems."
    Yu Peiyu laughed:"It seems you have an interest in them too."
    Jin Yanzi said:"That's different, men love gems, gold and silver because they are precious. But girls love them because they are pretty and beautiful."
    She put on a pearl necklace and it made her look even more beautiful.
    Yu Peiyu sighed and said:"How can those pearls match your beauty."
    Jin Yanzi lowered her head and blushed.
    The old man didn't look at the treasure anymore he was looking for something else.
    Jin Yanzi whispered:"Is he looking for the manual?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I think so."
    Jin Yanzi said:"But he isn't a woman what does he gain with those manuals."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Perhaps his martial arts are very close to the keeper of the Palace of Enchantment. And combining the two will increase his martial arts. Or maybe he has a daughter...."
    He was interrupted by the laughter of the old man. He had a manual in his hands and grabbed it tightly.
    Yu Peiyu sighed deeply.

    The old man said:"My wish came out! Why are you sighing?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"There is saying:When the birds are gone, the bow is redundant. My sigh is for a reason."
    The old man laughed:"I said I wouldn't kill you and I won't. I will even let you have this treasure for your efforts."
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"Sir, you're a man of your word. Worthy of being a Wulin senior."
    Yu Peiyu calmly said:"I cannot enjoy this treasure when I cannot take it outside, can I?"
    Yu Peiyu with or without intention blocked the exit.
    The old man laughed:"Your martial arts aren't good, but you're strong enough to take a part of treasure outside in two times."
    Yu Peiyu smiled calmly:"But if you would go outside and seal the doors I will be trapped in here. How can I move the treasure outside."
    The old man was furious he never thought this youngster would see through his intentions.
    He angrilly shouted:"Do you really think you can stop me?"
    His hand formed a claw and stormed towards Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu's hand hacked at his claw, the old man was surprised that he knew such a good technique. His claw became a palm again and pushed out towards Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu's palm countered the palm.
    Both paced back three steps, the old man was shocked to see Yu Peiyu was stronger than he thought.
    He viciously said:"I underestimated you."
    He attacked Yu Peiyu with a series of ten stances, all his techniques were strange, lethal and vicious.
    Yu Peiyu tried his best to counter those techniques but still stood in his way. Yu
    Peiyu was still recovering and he inhaled a bit of that poisonous gas earlier.
    He was feeling quite tired and had difficulty defending himself. He turned to Jin Yanzi and said:"Get out of here!" Jin Yanzi was shocked to see the current change of events but after a second she smiled:"Two against one mean old man, we have better chance of winning."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Even with your help I cannot win. Just go!"
    Because he was speaking to Jin Yanzi his concentration was diverted, he was pushed back by one step by the old man.
    Jin Yanzi saw that Yu Peiyu and the old man were engaged in a fierce fight and saw she couldn't help Yu Peiyu out.
    She sighed and pass near the old man and wanted to get out.
    The old man used his palm to strike out at her, Jin Yanzi managed with effort to block that attack.
    But she fell to the ground after blocking that stance.
    Yu Peiyu saw a chance and attacked the old man with everything he got and asked Jin Yanzi:"Are you allright? Are you injured?"
    Jin Yanzi felt numb all over her body and smiled:"I am fine, don't worry about me."
    Yu Peiyu knew that she couldn't get up now and was feeling anxious because of this he pushed back by the old man's palm energy.
    Jin Yanzi asked with fear:"Are you hurt?"
    Yu Peiyu gritted his teeth and forcibly accepted another three stances of the old man. Both were still fighting.
    Jin Yanzi cried:"Why aren't you talking? Are you injured?"
    Yu Peiyu loudly said:"Don't mind me! I...."
    When he spoke his internal power became a bit weaker and was forced to back away another two steps.
    The old man laughed:"The two of you are truly two lovebirds. Still worried about each other in such dangerous situations. I really admire the love between you."


    End of Chapter 9

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 10 Lovers in Peril

    Yu Peiyu wanted to attack the old man fiercely while he was talking. However he was at this moment too weak to launch such an offensive.
    He was drenched with sweat, maybe if he now turned around he might escape. But he couldn't just leave Jin Yanzi behind.
    The old man knew what he was thinking and smiled evily:"If you don't return now I will close the doors and she will die alone in there."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Step aside! I will go in now."
    The old man was pleased and laughed loudly. He stepped aside and saw Yu Peiyu walking towards the doors silently. But when Yu Peiyu passed the old man he viciously attacked the old man with his two fists.
    The old man was taken by surprise and the force of those fists was formidable. He backed away a few steps, Yu Peiyu yelled to Jin Yanzi:"I will block him. Go now!"
    Jin Yanzi ran out the doors but stopped again and asked:"What about you?"
    Yu Peiyu was almost going insane. He wanted to grab her and shake her around and say:"You can come back and rescue me afterwards!"
    Unfortunately he couldn't speak now because he couldn't even catch his breath.
    The old man laughed:"Are you really going to leave him behind? Can you really be that cold-hearted?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"I won't leave without him, I would rather die here with him."
    The old man laughed:"That's more like it."
    Yu Peiyu was furious, he wanted to kick Jin Yanzi out of here. Because he couldn't control his temper his concentration slackened the old man forced him into the main hall again.
    This time he had no strength left to launch another attack.
    The old man said:"Miss, would you please join this young man."
    Jin Yanzi yelled:"I will go in! You don't have to remind me."
    Yu Peiyu wanted to tell her to go back, but it was too late. She had already entered the main hall and embraced Yu Peiyu.
    The old man laughed arrogantly:"I told you I won't kill you. So I won't, but if you would die of natural causes here that is not my concern."
    And he closed the doors again.

    There was an awful silence in the main hall.
    After some time Jin Yanzi started crying and said with sobs:"It's my fault! Why didn't you run off?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Why didn't you go? You could always come back for me afterwards. Now both of us are stuck here."
    Jin Yanzi was stunned for a moment but suddenly she began to smile.
    Yu Peiyu frowned and asked:"What is it?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"If you had thought of that, why didn't you leave and come back for me afterwards."
    This time Yu Peiyu was stunned. He thought for a minute and smiled wryly:"I thought you were a silly girl earlier. It seems I am even sillier than you."
    Jin Yanzi said tenderly:"You're not silly. You only thought of me, you put the lives of other people above your own. That doesn't make you silly it just shows how heroic you are."
    Yu Peiyu was touched by her words and gently caressed her hair and said:"What abou you? You only thought of me and forgot all about yourself too."
    Jin Yanzi fell into his arms.
    Yu Peiyu lost his mother when he was very young, his father was very strict. Although he was engaged he never had any intimate contact before with women.
    He didn't know what to feel now, shock, sorrow, joy or love.
    But usually in situations of life and death like now emotions run amok.
    After awhile Jin Yanzi looked up and blushed, she said:"Aren't we both silly? I mean the keeper of the Palace of Enchantment could probably open the doors on this side too. So all we have to do is find the switch on this side."
    She felt quite happy about her own deduction and looked very pleased.
    However Yu Peiyu sighed:"The old man knows where the switch is. And with his sword he must have destroyed the mechanism. He wants us to be trapped in here, so he must have thought of that too."
    Jin Yanzi couldn't smile anymore and said:"But what about this treasure? Doesn't he want it?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"We can't take the treausre away. So sooner or later it is his anyway. He will claim it after he's sure that we have died."
    Jin Yanzi's hope was gone, she sat there dazed. But in an instant she was smiling again and said:"This morning I wouldn't have dreamt to die with you here. But now I know death is not that scary. Anyway I am more fortunate than those eight girls, at least you are by my side when I die."
    Yu Peiyu's eyes blinked and asked:"Did you say eight girls?"
    Jin Yanzi was surprised to see him like this and said:"Yes, eight."
    He held her hand and asked:"Are you sure? Eight girls? Not nine?"
    Jin Yanzi thought for a minute and nodded:"Yeah! Eight girls I counted the bodies. What is this all about, eight or nine?"
    Yu Peiyu loudly said:"It does matter. It matters a lot."

    Jin Yanzi said:"But what? I mean those eight girls are dead."
    Yu Peiyu said:"The old man said he lured nine girls in here and sealed the cave. With his eyesight and intelligence he couldn't have miscounted. But you only saw eight bodies, right? So where is the ninth girl? Where did she go?"
    Jin Yanzi was still looking puzzled and said softly:"Where did the ninth girl go?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"She cannot have disappeared without a trace."
    Jin Yanzi nodded again.
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Don't you see? That ninth girl must have found another way out. She can't hide here, can she?"
    Jin Yanzi understood now and jumped up and laughed:"You're not a bit silly. But I am really one very silly girl."

    But they seem to have forgotten that if the ninth girl did find another passage, why didn't she take a part of the treasure along? But having a bit of hope is better than none.
    The old man found the manual in a stone cabinet, he didn't close the cabinet afterwards.
    There was a cushion in front of the cabinet.
    Yu Peiyu remembered the trap door under the cushion at Murder Manor. He tried to remove the cushion. But in vain, the cushion was attached to a stone slab.
    Yu Peiyu sighed out of disappointment but when he looked up he saw a series of characters on the cabinet.
    Receive my manual and you will become my pupil. In order to study my skills first kowtow in front of my statue. Always listen to my teachings no matter what. Disobey me and suffer the consequences.
    After reading this there were another serie of characters:
    After receiving my manual and treasure you should respectfully pay respects to me. Kowtow 81 times to me, and you will receive a reward. Disobey me, my spirit will come and haunt you.
    The old man ignored these warnings, but Yu Peiyu knelt down and kowtowed.
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"Are you actually on acknowledging this dead woman as your teacher?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled and replied:"This keeper of the Palace of Enchantment was incredibly clever when she was alive. Her last words must have a deeper meaning."
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"A woman like her must have refused to die peacefully."
    Yu Peiyu agreed:"That is why I think she must have gone through a lot of trouble to carve this characters behind. There must be another secret contained in her words."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"But what can a dead person do? Maybe.....maybe she isn't...isn't dead!"
    After she said this, Yu Peiyu already finished the 81 kowtows.
    Suddenly the slab slide opened and Yu Peiyu slid down the hatch.
    After the slide down he landed on something and that thing cracked open and emitted a gas. Because Yu Peiyu was taken by complete surprise and inhaled the gas.

    Jin Yanzi was flabbergasted when she composed herself the slab returned to its original place. However Yu Peiyu was gone.
    She was scared and worried but what was going on here. She took a deep breath and calmed down, and remembered what Yu Peiyu did before he disappeared.
    She knelt down and started to kowtow too. But when she reached 81 times the slab didn't move, she was puzzled. And kowtowed a few more times, after six, seven times the slab opened and she slid down.
    Because she was too light, the mechanism didn't work properly after a few more kowtows it worked.
    When she slid down she saw Yu Peiyu, he was sitting on the ground and was panting heavily.
    Jin Yanzi was very worried and asked:"What happened to you?"
    She walked over to him to help him, Yu Peiyu gritted his teeth and closed his eyes.
    She wanted to hold his hand but he flung her hand aside.
    Jin Yanzi asked:"What are you doing?"
    Yu Peiyu grunted:"Don't mind me! Let me rest for awhile."
    He said those words with extreme difficulty.
    Jin Yanzi stayed silent and she saw a stone coffin and another stone cupboard.
    There were a few bottles in there and some of them were broken.
    Further ahead was a door and it was open. That must be the exit out of this god-forsaken place.
    Next to the bottles was a manual, Jin Yanzi picked it up and read it.
    My secret manual, study it and master extreme joy. This is my true manual, only destined for the one fortunate girl. After one year she can have all the men she wants and three years she can be the most desired woman in the world. The other manual was fake, do not study it or else you will be tormented by uncountable pain till death follows. I will bestow you this manual and numerous joy, never forget my teachings and words.
    Jin Yanzi stopped reading, she felt that this woman was very cruel and formidable. She never dreamt of becoming the most desirable woman in the world in fact she felt that this manual was very revolting and wanted to tear it apart. But she couldn't bear it.
    Suddenly she thought there might be a cure for Yu Peiyu in this manual.
    She read on.
    Within these bottles is a very powerful aphrodisiac, in gasous form, liquid form or in solid form. If men take it and do not act on their desires, death will follow.
    Jin Yanzi looked up and saw Yu Peiyu staring at her with wild eyes.
    She became a bit frightened but also she felt quite warm.
    Yu Peiyu gritted his teeth and said:"Quickly go! Leave now!"
    Jin Yanzi stared at Yu Peiyu, she couldn't let this young man die.
    She smiled tenderly and walked over to Yu Peiyu.
    She felt very weak all over, she felt a bit scared, ashamed, shocked but mostly in love.
    Yu Peiyu shouted:"Don't come over!"
    Jin Yanzi closed her eyes and fell into his arms, she was ready to sacrifice her virginity in order to save Yu Peiyu. But to her this wasn't really a sacrifice she was doing for the man she loves deeply.
    She still had her eyes closed and relaxed, she was ready to accept his love.
    But all of a sudden she felt one of her acupoints being sealed. And she was flung out the door, Yu Peiyu quickly closed the exit again.
    Jin Yanzi knew that Yu Peiyu didn't want her to do this. She felt glad, thankful but moreover disappointed.
    The exit was sealed and judging by it, it could not be opened from the inside.
    There was nothing else for Yu Peiyu now but to wait for death.
    Jin Yanzi was crying and sobbed:"Why? Why are you this stupid? Do you think I just did that because I wanted to save your life? I am very willing......Don't you know that I love you very much!"

    Yu Peiyu could clearly hear Jin Yanzi, but even if he was to change his mind it was too late.
    He hit the sealed entrance and yelled:"You know, why I can't do it! I don't want to harm you."
    Jin Yanzi could hear him too and replied:"But if you don't......you will die!"
    Yu Peiyu stammered:"I....I..."
    Jin Yanzi was crying and said:"You choose death above me?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I hope you can forgive me."
    Jin Yanzi said:"I hate you, I hate you....
    I will never forgive you. I know you don't want to harm me, but turning me down is the worst thing that could happen to me."
    She didn't know why she said these strange things. Perhaps she wanted Yu Peiyu to come out.
    Yu Peiyu felt he was on fire and shouted:"I was wrong! I was very wrong! I like you too!"
    Jin Yanzi thought there was still hope and said:"Why don't you come out now?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"It is too late."
    Jin Yanzi was crying:"If you don't you will die!"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Even so I thank you for your love."
    His body felt like it was on fire, it was consuming him.
    Suddenly the lid of the stone coffin opened and a figure stepped out of the coffin.
    It was a young beautiful woman, she looked very cold and indifferent.
    A zombie?!? And a beautiful one too!?!
    She wore a white dress and she looked very pale.
    She turned to Yu Peiyu and coldly said:"The two of you are truly devoted lovers in peril. After both of you died I will bury you together."
    Yu Peiyu could now see her face, it was Lin Daiyu.
    The nine girls locked here were all disciples of the Baihua Association. Lin Daiyu was the ninth girl.
    Yu Peiyu asked with extreme difficulty:"Lin Daiyu, what....what are you...you...doing here?"
    Lin Daiyu's face changed and asked:"Who are you? How do you know my name?"
    Yu Peiyu replied:"I am Yu Peiyu."
    She was stunned for a minute and regained herself very quickly:"Oh! You're that Yu Peiyu. Haven't you changed your name yet?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I am Yu Peiyu, why should I change my name."
    Lin Daiyu coldly said:"I don't care what your name is. You will have to die, everyone who knows the secret of this place must die."
    Yu Peiyu stood up and looked into the coffin and saw a corpse of a beautiful woman.
    He exclaimed with shock:"Who is this?"
    Lin Daiyu coldly explained:"This is the true keeper of the Palace of Enchantment. Even when she died she used different kinds of poison to preserve her beauty."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"What about you?"
    Lin Daiyu said:"I heard someone sliding down here, so I quickly hid myself. I also put the bottles of aphrodisiac there."
    Yu Peiyu now understood everything and said:"Since when did you become so ruthless and calculating?"
    Lin Daiyu scoffed:"Everyone in this world is selfish and vicious. In order to survive you have to become ruthless."
    Yu Peiyu smiled tragically:"But I am your fiance..."
    Before he could finish she slapped him very hard.
    She scolded:"My fiance is dead, how dare you bring up his name."
    Yu Peiyu felt nothing of the slap, he just had his eyes on Lin Daiyu.
    He softly repeated to himself:"You're my fiancee...you are my fiancee."
    Lin Daiyu got scared seeing Yu Peiyu in this state. She asked with a trembling voice:"What do you want?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled strangely:"You're my fiancee...you are my fiancee..."
    With difficulty he could use his internal strength to surpress the aphrodisiac, but now he caved in. He stormed towards Lin Daiyu, in his eyes this young woman was his future wife.
    Lin Daiyu was scared and slapped him again and yelled:"Don't touch me! You're insane!"
    Yu Peiyu didn't avoid that slap and continued to storm towards her.
    Lin Daiyu used her fist to strike Yu Peiyu on the chest. But he remained unharmed and kept advancing towards her. She got scared and turned around and ran.
    He chased her. This normally very gentle and sophisticated young man became a beast now.

    Jin Yanzi who was outside and could picture the entire incident and yelled:"Yu Peiyu, what are you doing in there?"
    She could only hear panting now. She became furious and couldn't control her rage and shouted:"Why did you choose her instead of me?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"She is...."
    Jin Yanzi was crying again and said:"You said you liked me."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I...yes, no....no...."
    Lin Daiyu became even more angry and shouted:"You're insane! If that's case you should go after her instead of me!"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I love you! You are my fiancee."
    Lin Daiyu angrilly chided:"Rubbish! Who is your fiancee?"
    Jin Yanzi was crying even louder now.
    This situation is too bizarre for words, even unbelievable. No one can explain it clearly, the three of them share a very unique relationship with each other. Love and hate are even more troublesome emotions.
    Somehow fate has organized that the three would meet in this place arranged this bizarre incident for the three of them.

    Jin Yanzi was crying, she didn't know why she was crying. Perhaps it was because she was sad, heart-broken and disappointed. Or the humiliation of being rejected.
    All of a sudden she heard Lin Daiyu screaming, Jin Yanzi knew Yu Peiyu managed to grab her.
    There were noises of struggling, cursing and panting. But after awhile the noises stopped.
    Jin Yanzi felt even more sad now, she couldn't stand the silence. And her tears were running up, it was too much for her to handle this entire incident and her emotions overwhelmed
    her. Jin Yanzi passed out.

    After some time she woke up and heard footsteps.
    She was quite happy and thought Yu Peiyu had come for her.
    She wasn't a petty person and she could
    never hate a person very long.
    But the footsteps came from her side and someone was walking towards her.

    She heard a voice from the cavern next to her. If they opened the doors to this cavern they will see her. Unfortunately she can't move yet, because Yu Peiyu sealed her acupoints.
    A sweet voice said:"I must thank you very much. You're indeed a great craftsman if it wasn't for you I would have never found this cave."
    The sweet voice sounded very sexy and seductive.
    The other person replied:"Besides my two brothers and I no one can find this entrance as quickly as me."
    The girl smiled:"Knowing such a talented man like is my luck. You must have many lovers. Why aren't you married yet?"
    The man answered:"I am waiting for you."
    The two of them were flirting with each other. If Yu Peiyu was here he would have recognized that voice. It was that mean Silver Blossom.
    Unfortunately Jin Yanzi didn't know her and only found them very annoying.
    She was also afraid that these two were sent by the one-armed old man.
    The man exclaimed with surprise:"That's strange it seems that someone beat us to this place."
    Silver Blossom responed:"That is impossible. Our father only told my two sisters and I about this secret."
    The man replied:"It seems that somehow this secret must have been exposed by someone. We should be careful."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"No matter who that person is. My third young master of the Wishful Hall will deal with him."
    The man laughed:"I am only afraid of you. After you've learnt the abilities of the keeper of the Palace of Enchantment. I will be begging for mercy."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"I will use those skills to serve you."
    They opened a door and saw Jin Yanzi lying there.
    Jin Yanzi saw a young man holding two short swords and a young pretty girl.
    The man laughed:"Well! Someone did enter this place before us and a beautiful young girl too. Who sealed her acupoints?"
    The man walked over to Jin Yanzi and used the tip of his foot to push Jin Yanzi.
    He looked very frivolous, Jin Yanzi was furious.
    The man laughed:"Miss, please tell me who sealed your acupoints? This fellow doesn't know how to treat a lady. Tell me where he is and I will teach him a lesson."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Young sister, this is the third young master of the Wishful Hall. He loves young beautiful women and when he sees them bullied he will certainly help them out."
    The man laughed:"Aren't you jealous?"
    Silver Blossom hugged him and said:"I'm jealous because I love you."
    The man felt weak all over his body and smiled:"I don't need other women when I have you. When I think of your graceful legs....AHHHHHH!"
    The man yelled out and fell to the ground, he never knew what hit him and why he was killed.
    Jin Yanzi was stunned and didn't speak.
    Silver Blossom walked to her and said:"Men like him deserve to die. Taking advantages of women when it suits them.
    Although if it wasn't for you I wouldn't have killed him."
    Jin Yanzi was surprised and asked:"You killed him because of me?"
    Silver Blossom said:"You didn't recognize me. But I recognized you. You are the famous heroine Jin Yanzi, right?"
    Jin Yanzi nodded and asked:"Who are you?"
    Silver Blossom sighed:"I'm a poor girl who nobody wants."
    Jin Yanzi laughed:"You have a father and two sisters, you're not alone."
    Silver Blossom started weeping:"Although I have parents and two sisters but they don't like me. And they are also very vicious."
    Jin Yanzi frowned and said:"You just killed a man."
    But she did feel compassion for this poor Silver Blossom.
    Silver Blossom sobbed:"You don't know what I went through on my way here with him. If I didn't kill him I will never escape from his clutches."
    Suddenly she fell in Jin Yanzi's lap and cried:"Do you understand now? Can you forgive me?"
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"You're right some men in this world really deserve to die."
    Jin Yanzi believed this treacherous Silver Blossom. If Silver Blossom meant any harm she would have killed Jin Yanzi on the spot.
    However she will never understand vile and cunning people like Silver Blossom. Although Jin Yanzi has roamed the realm of martial arts for some time now she is obviously no match for the cunning Silver Blossom. In fact she would be sold out by her in second and still wouldn't know what happened to her.

    Silver Blossom already unsealed her acupoints and smiled:"Thank you for forgiving and understanding me."
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"I should thank you for freeing me."
    Silver Blossom lowered her head and said:"I...I...have a suggestion."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"What kind of suggestion?"
    Silver Blossom said:"Well, I...I would like us to become sisters."

    Jin Yanzi was surprised and said:"We just met."
    Silver Blossom started weeping again:"My own sisters don't even want me. I'm so silly to think that...."
    Jin Yanzi gently took her hand and said:"Who says I'm not willing. Tell me what is your name?"
    Silver Blossom smiled sweetly and said:"I totally forgot. My name is Hua Yinfeng (Yinfeng = silver phoenix). Please accept my respects."
    She wanted to bow to Jin Yanzi. Jin Yanzi quickly stopped her and laughed:"I'm Jin Yanzi, a golden swallow and you're Yinfeng, a silver phoenix. It seems we're destined to become sworn sisters."
    Jin Yanzi was an orphan and was very happy to find a friend and a sister. Little does she know that her sister is everything but a silver phoenix. In fact a fierce wolf would be a better term. She can and will devour this golden swallow whenever it suits her.
    But what is Silver Blossom up too? I'm afraid only time will tell.

    Jin Yanzi lead the way and both of them entered the palace again.
    Of course Silver Blossom didn't ask and just listened to Jin Yanzi's warnings.
    Suddenly Jin Yanzi was shocked to see no one was in here anymore. Yu Peiyu and Lin Daiyu were gone.
    Silver Blossom had her eyes on the treasures in this room. Jin Yanzi softly repeated:"Where have they gone?"
    Silver Blossom asked:"Who are they?"
    Jin Yanzi didn't answer and saw that the coffin was moved. She took a closer look and saw the coffin initially blocked a hole. Yu Peiyu and Lin Daiyu must have fallen into this opening.
    Also another two bottles of aphrodisiac were broken.
    She instantly guessed what happened. During their struggle Lin Daiyu must have broken these two bottles of aphrodisiac too and inhaled it. So in the end she didn't resist Yu Peiyu anymore.
    And during their struggle they must have activitated the mechanism and opened another chamber.
    Jin Yanzi told Silver Blossom:"I'm going down there to look."
    Silver Blossom said:"Do be careful!"
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"Thanks, but I have no intentions of dying yet."
    She carefully slid down the hole.
    And found out there was another secret down here. This was the real Palace of Enchantment. The place was beautifully decorated with fountains, carvings and paintings.
    But there was still no sign of Yu Peiyu. But she did find the another exit, Lin Daiyu and Yu Peiyu must have left here.
    She felt very sad to know that Yu Peiyu just left her here.
    And started crying again.
    Silver Blossom called out:"Are you allright?"
    Jin Yanzi responded:"I'm fine. You can come down now." She wiped her tears and decided to pretend that this day never happened and she never met Yu Peiyu in her life.

    However she forgot that Lin Daiyu must hate Yu Peiyu now. Why would they leave together? Have they resolved their issues?
    Silver Blossom was moving the chests of treasures outside.
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"How can all these treasures compare to that drop of dew on that flower."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"But that drop of dew cannot provide us a good life and luxury. Not to mention with money we can force people to respect us and have fame."
    Jin Yanzi said:"Don't forget there are many things in life we cannot buy."
    Silver Blossom said:"Wait for me a minute."
    She went away and Jin Yanzi just sat there waiting and pondering. After about an hour Silver Blossom returned with three carriages and two horses. There were also three men and Silver Blossom instructed them to put the chests on the carriages. The men didn't ask anything and only obeyed her every command.
    Silver Blossom and Jin Yanzi both rode on a horse and went off, the carriages followed them.
    After riding for some time they passed a brook, Jin Yanzi saw a white cloth on a stone. She got off her horse and recognized it to be the bandage wrapped around Yu Peiyu's head.
    She was thinking:He must have removed his bandage here and washed his face. I wonder how he looks like. What was he thinking when he removed his bandage and saw his reflection in the water? Was Lin Daiyu with him at the time?
    Doesn't she hate him anymore? Is he really the same Yu Peiyu? But that is impossible everyone saw the body of that Yu Peiyu.
    She angrilly tossed the bandage away and thought: I must forget him. I will never think of him again.

    They were headed towards the west, Sichuan province. On their way a lot of people recognized Jin Yanzi but none of them approached her and only a few just greeted her from far away.
    She wanted to ask whether they had seen a young man with a wound on his face travelling with a young woman. But she restrained herself from asking.
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Thanks to your fame we can travel in peace. Or else two young girls with three carriages will attract a lot unwanted attention."
    Suddenly a horse rode their way, the rider was a young man wearing a fine brocade. He looked quite handsome and had a sabre in his girdle. It was the young master of the divine sabre.
    Jin Yanzi quickly turned away hoping he wouldn't see her. But it was too late. He happily approached her and said:"Yan'Er, here you are. Why did you just leave without telling me? I have been looking for you everywhere."
    Jin Yanzi was looking very annoyed and said:"Who told you to look for me?"
    The young master of the divine sabre was stunned and puzzled and stuttered:"If I..I don't look for you...who should I look for?"
    Jin Yanzi scoffed:"I don't care who you should look for! There are so many people in this world who need to be found, why don't you look for them! Don't bother me!"
    She rode ahead ignoring him completely.
    The young master of the divine sabre was stunned, his joy was gone now. He felt that she was even colder towards him than before.
    Why is that he wondered?

    Silver Blossom turned to the young master of the divine sabre and said:"Sister is feeling a bit restless. Just wait till she is a bit calmed down and then approach her."
    The young master of the divine sabre said:"Sister?"
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Don't you like me to be Jin Yanzi' sister."
    At this point the young master of the divine sabre noticed Silver Blossom. He was instantly captivated by her charm and stared at her.
    Silver Blossom pinched him in the waist and said with a smile:"If you want to be my brother-in-law, you should befriend yourself with me. And listen to me."
    She rode a bit further ahead and turned around and laughed:"Aren't you coming?"
    The young master of the divine sabre followed without question and his disappointment was gone now.
    Around noon they reached the Family Yue Village.
    They stayed at an inn and Silver Blossom and the young master of the divine sabre were having lunch.
    The young master seems to have forgotten entirely about Jin Yanzi. If Silver Blossom smiled he would smile, and when Silver Blossom asked him anything he would answer.
    Silver Blossom touched his sabre and laughed:"This is the famous divine sabre, no wonder you're called the young master of the divine sabre."
    The young master was very pleased and said:"Do you know how many swords, sabres and other weapons of famous martial artists were broken by this sabre."
    Silver Blossom touched his wrist and said:"Please tell me how many."
    The young master was very pleased and said:"About seventy, eighty."
    Silver Blossom looked like she was very much impressed and admired him. She gently said:"With someone like you around I won't be afraid of anyone."
    The young master's heart was beating faster and faster and didn't know what he should do.
    Although Jin Yanzi didn't love the young master she was very annoyed by his attitude and behaviour now.
    No girl in the world would like to see one of her suitors flirting with another girl right under her nose.
    She couldn't stand it anymore and was about to leave and go back to her room.
    The young master quickly composed herself.
    He quickly said to Jin Yanzi:"Do you remember Yu Peiyu?"
    The name [Yu Peiyu] had a very powerful magnet on Jin Yanzi. She immediately stopped walking and regained herself. She coldly asked:"Isn't he dead?"
    The young master said:"One is dead, there is another one alive."
    Jin Yanzi wanted to pretend that she didn't care. However she knew that she wouldn't be able to trick anyone with her facial expression.
    So she stood with her back towards the young master and Silver Blossom.
    Before she could ask anything else, Silver Blossom loudly asked the young master:"Do you know both Yu Peiyus?"
    The young master scoffed:"I saw them both but I am not acquainted with people like them."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"I heard that the dead Yu Peiyu was the son of the present chancellor of Wulin. He was quite gentle and handsome, I wonder how the live Yu Peiyu would compare to the deceased one."
    The young master's face turned red and angrilly scoffed:"No matter what, the live Yu Peiyu is ten times better than the late Yu Peiyu."
    He deliberately was putting down the late Yu Peiyu, however Jin Yanzi's heart belonged to the live Yu Peiyu. But she never guessed that both Yu Peiyus are the same.
    The young master stared at Jin Yanzi's back and loudly said:"This Yu Peiyu is really one handsome young man, alhtough he has a scar on his face he still more handsome than the late Yu Peiyu."
    His intention was to make Jin Yanzi upset however at this moment Silver Blossom was fuming. But she didn't show it, but Jin Yanzi was very happy and surprised. She softly said to herself:"So they are not the same person, like I thought. So he isn't the fiance of Lin Daiyu and his injury on his face isn't that bad. So he is very handsome too."
    The young master loudly asked:"What are you saying?"
    Jin Yanzi calmly said:"I had some questions but thank you for answering them."
    The young master was puzzled and asked:"What do you mean? I don't understand."
    Jin Yanzi said:"It is best that you do not understand."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Where did you meet him? We would like to see him ourselves."
    The young master answered:"Last night I saw him for the first time and I didn't know he was called Yu Peiyu too. But I do recognize the girl he was with."
    Silver Blossom was quite anxious and said:"There is only one girl with him?"
    The young master scoffed:"Isn't one enough?"
    Silver Blossom thought: Shameless little tart! Leaving behind eldest sister and....
    She deducted that that girl must be Iron Blossom.
    However the young master joked:"This is very funny. This girl used to be the fiancee of the late Yu Peiyu and now she is getting quite friendly with this Yu Peiyu."
    Silver Blossom was surprised and asked:"Who is that girl?"
    The young master replied:"The daughter of The Flowered Chestnut Sword, Lin Daiyu. Who else?"
    Silver Blossom was very happy and laughed:"Wonderful! He does seem to be a playboy."
    She was very happy because she thought Yu Peiyu dumped Iron Blossom for this Lin Daiyu.
    The young master didn't know why she laughed but just noticed that she looked very charming when she laughed.
    After a moment he continued:"I saw that Lin Daiyu wasn't wearing mourning clothes and was travelling with another man so soon. I always thought that she was a serious girl but it seems that although she has cold appearances she is no different from tarts."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Travelling with men doesn't necessarily mean she is a tart. I mean we travelled together too."
    The young master was very happy and wanted to touch her and said:"We are different of course,...."
    Jin Yanzi interrupted them and loudly asked:"What happened afterwards?"
    The young master coughed and sat straight and said:"Then I saw them lodging at an inn and enter the same room."
    Jin Yanzi scoffed:"You were spying and following them."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Why did you follow them? What were your intentions? Are you a voyeur?"
    The young master blushed and loudly said:"I am not that kind of man! There was only one inn so I had to lodge there too."
    Silver Blossom said in a sweet tone:"Don't get upset! I always thought that all the men were quite eager to meet tarts. And if they did they would want a piece of her too. But you are an exception."
    Initially the young master was upset and angry but now his anger was gone.
    Silver Blossom joked:"But did you spy on them during the night?"
    The young master retorted:"I'm not a pervert, but it happens we were neighbours and during the night they were argueing very loudly."
    Jin Yanzi couldn't help but to ask:"What were they argueing about?"
    The young master said:"The first time I saw them; Lin Daiyu seems to have fallen ill. She could barely walk, Yu Peiyu was by her side taking very good care of her. He treated her with utmost love one would think they were a loving couple. I thought it was quite shameless of them.
    But when I heard them argueing I was very surprised too."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"So you couldn't resist but to eavesdrop after all."


    End of chapter 10

  12. #12
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 11 Undying Love

    The young master replied quickly:"I didn't eavesdrop, I just leaving my room and saw Lin Daiyu dashing out of the room holding a sword."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"This Miss Lin is really strange, isn't she? Just recovered from her illness and instantly she wants to kill and fight again. Could it be that this Yu Peiyu didn't take good care of her?"
    The young master answered with a scoff:"
    That Yu Peiyu must have taken advantage of Lin Daiyu when she was ill. Why else would she storm out with her sword and yell:Yu Peiyu, come out! Today I want to settle my score with you. It is either you or I!"
    The young master continued:"At that point I knew that fellow was called Yu Peiyu too."
    Silver Blossom looked at Jin Yanzi and laughed:"It seems that Yu Peiyu must have taken advantage of her. That is why she wants to kill him. Sister, what do you think of this Yu Peiyu?"
    Jin Yanzi knew the reason for Yu Peiyu's actions and she didn't feel explaining it to others. Also she was feeling sad and melancholic thinking back to that day in the cave with Yu Peiyu.
    She just coldly responded:"Why can't you keep silent and let him finish his story?"
    Silver Blossom stuck out her tongue and didn't speak anymore.
    The young master continued:"Yu Peiyu must feel bad about what he did so he didn't come out. She stood outside and cursed for some time and afterwards she went back into the room."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Was Yu Peiyu still there?"
    The young master answered:"He just stood there dazed. All the people in the inn were aroused now and came to watch this arguement. Most of them thought it just a quarrel between husband and wife and several people wanted to calm Lin Daiyu down. However she kicked those people aside as result the other people kept silent and watched."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"She is very fierce."
    The young master said:"She went in and started cursing him again. Her words made it seem like Yu Peiyu was the most despicable man on the world. Yu Peiyu just sat there and listened and didn't say a word."
    Silver Blossom said:"As the saying goes:It takes two to dance. Since Yu Peiyu didn't retort, there really is no point in scolding anymore."
    The young master said:"I thought the same thing, but she went on like a madwoman and in the end she used her sword to stab him."
    At this point Jin Yanzi shrieked:"Didn't he defend himself?"
    The young master glanced at her reaction and said:"He didn't even avoid her sword."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Was he seriously injured?"
    The young master said:"She didn't want to kill him with one stance, so she aimed for his shoulder. Her second stance made a deep cut on his chest......."
    Jin Yanzi interrupted him:"How could she hurt him like that?"
    The young master scoffed:"Ohh, she didn't stop with mere two stances. She continued to curse him and her sword didn't stop stabbing or cutting him."
    Jin Yanzi had tears in her eyes now and said:"Didn't someone intervene?"
    The young master said:"The bystanders saw her kicking a few people aside earlier. They were afraid of her now."
    Jin Yanzi angrilly said:"What about you? Why didn't you stop her? Were you afraid of her martial arts too?"
    The young master lowered his head and said:"I wanted to stop her, but......but.....when I heard his name was Yu Peiyu too.....I.....I...became very angry and didn't want to be bothered by it."
    Jin Yanzi screamed:"So you let him be murdered?"
    The young master gave her a cold look and said:"Why do you care so much? Do you know this Yu Peiyu too?"
    Jin Yanzi loudly answered:"So what if I do know him. What if I do have feelings for him? What is it to you?"
    The young master was fuming, he raised his cup with a shivering hand and drank.
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Did she really kill him?"
    The young master had his eyes on Jin Yanzi for awhile and scoffed:"It is true. He is dead, killed by Lin Daiyu."
    Jin Yanzi screamed:"You....you...you..."
    The young master loudly said:"He himself didn't defend or avoid Lin Daiyu. He wanted to be killed by her, why should I interfere in this affair."
    Jin Yanzi looked at him with disappointment, sadness and paced back to the door. By now she was weeping she turned around and dashed outside.

    Silver Blossom was stunned for a minute but then she giggled:"So Yu Peiyu is dead. And was killed by a woman, I wonder how third little sister will react to the news."
    The young master looked awful and he smashed his cup on the floor.
    Jin Yanzi returned to her room and went to her bed. She used the sheets to cover her head and cried her eyes out.
    She never thought that she would be this upset.
    After a very long time she felt that someone was touching her shoulder. It was Silver Blossom.
    Silver Blossom consoled her by saying:"Please, don't be sad."
    Jin Yanzi thought she was her closest relative and embraced her and started to weep again.
    She sobbed:"I don't know why I am this sad, I just know him for one day. I don't even know how he looks like."
    Silver Blossom was surprised and said:"One day? Just one day?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"Although it was only one day, it is enough for me to reminisce about it for the rest of my life."
    Silver Blossom blinked her eyes and asked:"Did he treat you very well?"
    Jin Yanzi nodded.
    Silver Blossom smiled:"But the young master of the divine sabre is also very good to you."
    Jin Yanzi said:"That is different, he treats me well because he wants me. And Yu ...young master Yu is willing to sacrifice his life just to save me."
    Silver Blossom coldly said:"I don't think that Yu Peiyu is such a good man...."
    Jin Yanzi raised her head and looked at her and said:"Do you know that he could have......had me? I.....I.....wanted to be with him but he did't want to harm me....so...he....."
    Silver Blossom shivered and said loudly:"He turned you down, perhaps because he looked down upon you."
    Jin Yanzi shook her head and said:"No! You don't know...."
    Silver Blossom scoffed:"I don't know? I know that he is an ungrateful man, you should hate him and not cry over him."
    Jin Yanzi said:"I did hate him a little bit,
    but now I understand his intentions. He was afraid that I will sacrifice my own happiness and fortune to save him. He would rather have me hating him, rather to see me hurt. Just by this intention he deserves my love and I will never forget him."
    Silver Blossom was stunned and scoffed:"If he would turn me down I would hate him for the rest of my life."
    Suddenly the door opened, the young master of the divine sabre stood there, looking very pale.
    Jin Yanzi angrilly yelled:"How dare you enter my room? Get out!"
    The young master stood there not moving after some time he sighed:"You don't have to be sad anymore. Yu Peiyu isn't dead."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"But you...just..."
    The young master answered:"I just said that to make you angry. But now seeing you this sad I can't bear to see you in this state."
    Jin Yanzi didn't know what to say.
    The young master said:"If no one intervened Yu Peiyu would have been killed by Lin Daiyu. But at the critical point someone quickly stopped Lin Daiyu."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Who?"
    The young master responded:"Hong Lianhua."
    Jin Yanzi said:"Does this Yu Peiyu know Hong Lianhua too?"
    The young master said:"Although Hong Lianhua saved him, but he did't know Yu Peiyu. He even disliked this Yu Peiyu, but he felt that this Yu Peiyu didn't deserve to be killed."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"How would you know?"
    The young master said:"At this time Yu Peiyu was bleeding heavily and sat on the ground. But Hong Lianhua just ignored him and went over to console Lin Daiyu. Yu Peiyu just sat there dazed."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"What happened afterwards?"
    The young master said:"Afterwards Hong Lianhua accompanied Lin Daiyu to leave the inn. If Hong Lianhua was befriended with Yu Peiyu he would at least go over and take care of his wounds."
    Silver Blossom sighed after hearing this:"That the case, why did he save Yu Peiyu? This Hong Lianhua is truly a famous busybody living up to his reputation. ...But why did he stopped them at the critical moment. According to my deduction he must have followed Yu Peiyu and Lin Daiyu for some time."
    The young master said:"Hong Lianhua wasn't the only one following Yu Peiyu and Lin Daiyu."
    Silver Blossom asked:"Who else?"
    The young master said:"After Hong Lianhua and Lin Daiyu were gone a girl appeared and smiled to Yu Peiyu. She said:[I knew someone would save you, that's why I didn't help you.] If this girl didn't follow them, she wouldn't have said those words."
    Silver Blossom scoffed:"This Yu Peiyu really does have a lot of lovers."
    The young master said:"However when Yu Peiyu saw this girl he was terrified and didn't take care of his wounds. He used his art of levitation to leave the inn. This Yu Peiyu has a really high level of this art even with injuries he was faster than that girl."
    Silver Blossom asked:"Who was that girl? What does she look like?"
    The young master said:"She wore a white dress, and was very beautiful. Judging by her martial arts she must be an expert too. I have never seen her before, nor did I hear any friends of mine talk of such a girl. Perhaps she is a new martial artist in Wulin."
    He was still looking very pale and looked at Jin Yanzi in a melancholic way and finally he said:"I have told you everything I know. There is bound to be some special reasons, but I do not know them. I also don't know where Yu Peiyu went."
    His voice became gradually more emotional and said:"If I would see him I will tell him to look for you. I...I...now know where your heart is, no matter what your feelings are for me, I will and shall never do anything to harm you anymore."
    After saying this he turned around and walked away.
    Normally he was quite obnoxious when around Jin Yanzi, but now he did leave with dignity.
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Although he is quite annoying normally, he is quite a man today."
    Jin Yanzi sighed after awhile:"He never harmed me, but I did break his heart."
    Silver Blossom said:"I didn't know he was listening in on our conversation too. However if he didn't hear your words he would not have left."
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"He followed me around because he believed that although I treat him coldly. But I treat other people even cooler. Now that he has heard me say that I love someone else. He has given up and I am also at ease that this matter is settled."

    Silver Blossom giggled:"You shouldn't have given up entirely on him. You could keep him on a string for the rest of your life and have a free servant. And the two of us need a servant like him."
    Jin Yanzi never thought of this crazy idea but she was too troubled to chide Silver Blossom. She just sighed:"I am very tired, I want to rest."
    However Silver Blossom didn't leave, she sat at her bed and asked:"Why do you think that this Miss Lin would want to kill Yu Peiyu?"
    Jin Yanzi turned around and closed her eyes.
    Silver Blossom said:"According to me I don't think this Miss Lin really wants to kill Yu Peiyu. I heard at least two strange clues for my theory in that story, didn't you hear it?"
    Jin Yanzi asked:"What are those clues?"
    Silver Blossom said:"Judging by the way young master Yu treated Miss Lin, he would surely be cautious around her. And they were together longer than one day."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"What is wrong with that?"
    Silver Blossom explained:"Just by that she could have many chances to kill him. Why would she pick a place like an inn? There are so many people there and she created quite a scene."
    Jin Yanzi thought for awhile and said:"It could be that she was too angry and couldn't control her temper anymore."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"If a woman really hates a man so much that she wants to kill him. She wouldn't argue or even talk to him anymore, but if they are argueing that means she doesn't want to kill him yet. Sis, you're a woman too. Do you think my reasoning is correct?"
    Jin Yanzi thought for awhile and nodded.
    Silver Blossom said:"Also if Miss Lin really wishes to kill Yu Peiyu at that time. She would kill him with one slash or blow. Certainly not the way she did it."
    Jin Yanzi said:"Perhaps she wanted to torture him."
    Silver Blossom giggled:"I think this Miss Lin isn't a vicious woman and if she really wanted to torture him she wouldn't inflict mere light wounds."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Why do you say that? How can you tell that young master Yu only suffered from light wounds?"
    Silver Blossom said:"He used his art of levitation to escape from that mysterious girl."
    Jin Yanzi pondered for a minute and asked:"What do you think the intentions of Lin Daiyu were?"
    Silver Blossom said:"I think she deliberately created a scene for other people. It was an act to deceive someone."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"What would be the reason for this?"
    Silver Blossom shook her head and said:"That I do not know. Perhaps you would know."
    Jin Yanzi coldly said:"I just know that Lin Daiyu hates Yu Peiyu very much. And she has her reason for hating Yu Peiyu if anyone in this world has a solid reason for killing Yu Peiyu that person would be Lin Daiyu."
    But in her heart she knows that things are not that simple as it seems. In fact things are more complicated than she could dream.

    The next morning Silver Blossom already readied the carriages and was ready to depart.
    Jin Yanzi couldn't sleep the entire night when she heard some noises outside she put on her clothes and opened the door. She asked Silver Blossom:"Are we leaving this early?"
    Silver Blossom smiled and excused herself:"I told those men to be quiet not to disturb you. But they are just so incompetent."
    Silver Blossom said coldly:"Even if they didn't disturb me you would, right?"
    Silver Blossom's face turned red, she now knew that Jin Yanzi wasn't that simple as she initially thought.
    Jin Yanzi asked her:"Seeing you in this state I take it you already know where we should be heading for, right."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Sis, seeing that you didn't ask so I didn't...."
    Jin Yanzi interrupted her:"I am asking now."
    Silver Blossom said:"The two of us are travelling alone with carriages full of treasures. This isn't really a wise, so I would like to ask you whether you know anyone who could safeguard our treasure for the time being."
    Even now Jin Yanzi knew that her new sworn sister isn't an easy girl to deal with. But she had no idea what she wants from her.
    After pondering for some time Jin Yanzi said:"Asking someone to safeguard this treasure is still not very convenient. Even if you would feel safe, the protector would not find it easy to protect such a treasure."
    Silver Blossom agreed with her.
    Jin Yanzi continued:"However there is one place not far from here that is safe enough to protect our chests."
    Jin Yanzi said:"The Tang Clan in Sichuan province is renowned....."
    Before she could finish Silver Blossom happily interrupted her:"I have heard of the fame of the Tang Clan of Sichuan too.
    If we could put these chests there that would be perfect. No one would dare to steal from the Tang Clan. But members of the Tang clan are quite introvert, if we don't know them I don't think they will be willing to help us."
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"Don't you know that your sis is also closely befriended with the famous Four Maidens of the Tang Clan. In fact they are my sworn sisters too."
    Although Jin Yanzi felt that Silver Blossom was acting a bit too happy but she felt it was nothing wrong with that. She just felt that her sworn sister was a bit too happy with this treasure.
    However the reason why Silver Blossom wanted to become "friends" with Jin Yanzi was because of her relationship with the Tang Clan. If not for this relationship Jin Yanzi was killed by Silver Blossom in that cave.
    Silver Blossom happily said:"Sis, if the Four Maidens of the Tang Clan are your sworn sisters. That means that they are my sisters too. I never thought that a lonely girl like me would have so many friends and sisters in one time."
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"The Tang Clan has very strict family rules, the daughters and daughter-in-laws have little friends in Wulin. I'm bound that they will be very happy to have a pretty and smart sister like you too."
    Jin Yanzi thought that Silver Blossom was a poor girl and never had so much precious valuables before, so it would be natural for her to put so much value on her cargo. Thinking of this she already forgot her caution towards Silver Blossom and felt rather sorry for being that cool to her.
    So she became rather friendly and talkative to Silver Blossom again.

    On their way to Sichuan province they enjoyed the famous scenery of Sichuan.
    On their way to the Tang Mansion they saw a lot of beggars. These beggars were not even begging for money and even politely let merchants go first. They even looked rather proud and arrogant.
    Silver Blossom said:"These beggars must know martial arts, could it be that they are disciples of the Beggars Association."
    Although she said it softly to Jin Yanzi but a beggar turned around and smiled:"Miss you should mind your own business and not interfere with affairs of others."
    It was an elderly beggar, although he wore rags and looked rather dirty he was quite distinguished and handsome.
    Silver Blossom stuck out her tongue and smiled:"Sir, you have a very good hearing. Sir, you must be an elder of the Beggars Association."
    The beggar turned around and looked rather annoyed. He looked coldly at Jin Yanzi for a moment and said:"I am not an elder nor am I any Wulin senior. Miss, you must be mistaken."
    Silver Blossom wanted to ask something but the beggar walked to the side of the road and took out a gourd and drank some wine, totally ignoring the two girls.

    They passed the old beggar before long. Silver Blossom whispered to Jin Yanzi:"This man really is hot-tempered. I didn't even offend him and he is angry with me."
    Jin Yanzi didn't answer after awhile she said:"Further ahead is the Family Li Village, you can go to the family Li inn and lodge there. I will meet up with you there."
    Silver Blossom was surprised and asked:"Where are you going?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"I just remembered that I forgot to do something."
    Silver Blossom asked:"Shall I accompany you?"
    Jin Yanzi looked a bit annoyed and said:"I told you to wait at Li Trespass, within three days I will meet up with you."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Whatever you say."
    Jin Yanzi watched till Silver Blossom was g and the carriages were gone and turned around and rode back.
    She rode back to the old beggar, who was still sitting next to the road.
    The beggars of the Beggars Association always carried pouches on their rags. The number of pouches represent their status within the association, the more pouches the higher the status. If the beggar does not have any pouch that means that disciple has just entered the association.
    Judging from the posture and appearances of this old beggar he must have rather good martial arts. But the strange thing was that he did not even have one pouch.
    Most of the beggars Jin Yanzi and Silver Blossom met during their way to Sichuan were travelling in groups. But this old beggar was travelling alone and looked very arrogant.
    Jin Yanzi wanted to know where Hong Lianhua was, she wanted to ask him what happened exactly that day concerning Yu Peiyu and Lin Daiyu.
    But when she saw that this beggar was looking quite strange she was very curious.
    She gently approached the beggar, who was sleeping now, she didn't want to wake him.
    Suddenly the beggar spoke:"The carriage contains valuable cargo you should go and protect your carriage. What do you want from an old beggar like me? Do you want to give me some money?"
    Jin Yanzi thought:He has very sharp eyes.
    If the carriages were loaded with gold and silver the tracks left behind would be different from the tracks Jin Yanzi and Silver Blossom's carriages left behind.
    Any Wulin expert would see that in an instant.
    Suddenly the old beggar laughed loudly:"The famous Jin Yanzi is waiting for an old beggar to wake up. If people would see this they wouldn't believe it."
    Jin Yanzi was shocked and asked:"Sir, do you know me?"
    The old beggar laughed:"I not only know the little golden swallow. I also know the old eagle."
    The teacher of Jin Yanzi was the famous chivalrous robber Celestial Eagle Yun Tiechi. Yun Tiechi roamed and was renowned in the realm of martial arts for more than 30 years. He made many enemies, in his final years he accepted Jin Yanzi as his only pupil. When Jin Yanzi left her teacher to roam Wulin, Yun Tiechi was severly ill.
    Yun knew that his enemies were still looking for him so he sternly instructed Jin Yanzi not reveal the name of her teacher.
    Even one of the most knowledgeable experts in Wulin like Hong Lianhua didn't know who the teacher of Jin Yanzi was.
    But now she heard this beggar was able to call out her name and the name of her teacher, she was very startled.
    She managed to put a smile on her face and asked:"May I know your name, sir? How do you know my teacher.....?"
    The old beggar frowned and said in an aggrivated tone:"If one does not want others to know your secrets, you should not have commited those crimes. Miss, do you understand what I mean? As for my name even if I told you you wouldn't know who I am."
    Jin Yanzi didn't know why he was angry and didn't dare to speak anymore.
    The old beggar looked at her and laughed:"What is it that you want from me?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"I would like to meet your leader master Hong Lian. Sir, if you would be so kind....."
    Before she could finish the old beggar angrilly interrupted her:"You want me to lead the way to Hong Lianhua?"
    Jin Yanzi saw the anger on his face and his sharp eyes were staring at her. She felt afraid of his eyes and suddenly the old beggar started to smile again. But when he smiled he looked very distinguished.
    She never met anyone who would swift moods as quick as this man.
    The old beggar laughed:"If you want me to the lead to Hong Lianhua, get on your horse and follow me."
    Jin Yanzi was now very confused by his behaviour.
    The old beggar started to walk away and turned around and loudly said:"I told you to follow me! Why are you still standing there?"
    Jin Yanzi had no choice but to follow, she got on her horse and followed the beggar.

    On their way Jin Yanzi saw several groups of beggars, but when they saw the old beggar they looked afraid. They didn't even approach him to greet him, furthermore when some beggars were talking and laughing but when they saw him they looked very earnest.
    The beggar ignored the other beggars too, Jin Yanzi began to suspect that this man wasn't a disciple of the Beggars Association.
    But why was he dressed like a beggar and why did he go the same way as the other beggars.
    She began to regret her decision to follow him. This man was very mysterious, could it be that he was a formidable enemy of the Beggars Association. She thought that she was just looking for Hong Lianhua, why would she go with him.
    She quickly rode the other way and left the
    beggar. She rode and rode till she lost all sight of the creepy beggar and even the other beggars.
    When she saw that no one was around she was relieved and said softly to herself:"I..."
    But before she could finish what she thought a cold voice said:"If you're looking for Hong Lianhua, you're going the wrong way."
    She looked over and saw the creepy beggar standing next to a tree.
    Jin Yanzi was startled she quickly rode the other way to escape from him.
    After some time she was exhausted and her horse was getting tired. She stopped and rested, but the creepy beggar was there too and coldly said:"This is the wrong way too."
    This man was like a phantom following her everywhere and popping up at nowhere.
    Although she was a very brave girl she was getting really really scared.
    She shrieked with fear:"What...what do you want from...me?"
    The beggar looked at her and smiled:"You wanted to see Hong Lianhua I'm just leading the way."
    Jin Yanzi said:"I...I don't want to see him now anymore."
    The beggar looked coldly at her and said:"I told you I would take you to see him. Now you must let me take you to Hong Lianhua."
    If someone else would say this to Jin Yanzi she would have drawn her sword but now she was too afraid of this creepy beggar to do anything let alone fight.
    She even lost her will to escape and obediently followed him.
    After walking for some time the creepy beggar turned around and said:"You must be regretful for approaching me."
    Jin Yanzi gritted her teeth but didn't answer.
    The creepy beggar continued:"But you should not feel sorry, because I was the one who approached you."
    Jin Yanzi was surprised and asked:"You deliberately lured me to you? Why?"
    The creepy beggar said:"I have my reasons."
    Jin Yanzi looked at him suddenly her eyes were drawn to the eyes of that creepy beggar.
    She wanted to avoid looking at him but she couldn't resist the temptation of not staring at those shining eyes.
    Those eyes had a very powerful effect on her.
    Jin Yanzi asked:"What are your reasons for luring me over?"
    Saying this she broke out in a cold sweat.
    The creepy beggar said:"There are three reasons. The first reason is because you're the only disciple of Yun Tiechi."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Are there any old grudges between my teacher and you?"
    The creepy beggar didn't answer and continued:"The second reason is because you're looking for Hong Lianhua."
    Jin Yanzi said:"What is there between you and Hong Lianhua?"
    The creepy beggar ignored her question again.
    Suddenly he smiled:"The third reason...hehehe... is because you're a beautiful young woman."
    His smile was ever so eerie and disgusting. The creepy beggar now looked very lecherous at Jin Yanzi.
    Jin Yanzi was terrified, she felt disgusted the way the creepy beggar was looking at her.
    The beggar smiled:"You don't have to be afraid. I won't harm you."
    Jin Yanzi stuttered:"What..what do you want from me?"
    She was now wishing that she really had wings and could fly like a swallow.
    Several times she wanted to look the either way but she kept being drawn to the eyes of the creepy beggar.
    The beggar started to talk again:"I wanted you to look for me. Because I want to protect you and to take care of you."
    His voice sounded very calm and soothing.
    Jin Yanzi felt a bit tired and felt like she was asleep. But after a minute or so she felt awake again and said:"Yes, I want you to protect me."
    The creepy beggar continued:"Now you realise that I'm the closest and dearest man to you in the entire world."
    Jin Yanzi answered:"Yes, you are very close to me."
    The beggar said:"That's why you will answer all my questions without hesitation."
    Jin Yanzi responded:"Yes, I will tell you everything you want to know."
    The beggar smiled:"Good! The first thing I want to know is, did Yun Tiechi leave you a martial arts manual? This manual contained a very ancient type of martial arts."
    Jin Yanzi replied:"No."
    The beggar asked:"Why?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"My teacher said that only a few wise people in this world would be able to comprehend this martial arts. According to my teacher I do not have the potential to master this skill, that's why he didn't teach me."
    The beggar asked:"Where did he leave the manual?"
    Jin Yanzi answered:"My teacher said that the manual will only lead to more bloodshed in Wulin. So before he died he hid the manual somewhere safe. Only he knows the location of it."
    The beggar asked:"Do you know where it is?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"No, I don't. My teacher never kept any secrets from me but he knew it will be very difficult for me to keep the location safe. So he didn't tell me."
    The creepy beggar angrilly cursed:"Damn the old fool! After searching for many years I finally found out that you were his only pupil. I never thought he would do this. Damn him! He even took this secret along to the grave."
    Jin Yanzi continued:"According to my teacher whoever manages to master this skill will become invincible. If the manual falls into the hands of evil men Wulin will be thrown into chaos. That's why he instructed me to keep his identity a secret."
    The creepy beggar frowned and didn't speak for quite some time.
    Suddenly he asked:"What do you want from Hong Lianhua?"
    Jin Yanzi replied:"I wanted to know something from him."
    The beggar asked:"What is it that you want to know?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"I wanted to know what happened between Yu Peiyu and Lin Daiyu?"
    The creepy beggar asked:"Why are you interested in other people's affairs?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"Because I love Yu Peiyu."
    The creepy beggar smiled evily and said:"No, you don't love Yu Peiyu. You love me, do you understand?"
    Jin Yanzi suddenly bursted out:"NO! I love Yu Peiyu! Not you! Not you!"
    The beggar was surprised to see her fierce reaction, he took out a golden necklace with a black pearl attached to it. And held it in front of Jin Yanzi.
    He dangled the necklace in front of her, Jin Yanzi became calm again.
    The beggar said:"No matter who you love, I am still the closest person to you in the entire world. And you will listen to my every command"
    Jin Yanzi said:"Yes."
    The beggar said:"I want you to remove your clothes."
    Without hesitation Jin Yanzi removed her clothes. The disgusting beggar admired her beautiful figure and body.

    Suddenly he heard a noise coming closer the beggar sighed:"Unfortunately there isn't any time. Put your clothes on!"
    Jin Yanzi put on her clothes, the beggar said:"You will now forget everything I just asked you. You will only remember I am your closest relative. I am like your teacher, your best friend and your husband."
    He put away his necklace and clapped his hands.
    Jin Yanzi woke up from her spell and softly said:"You are my teacher, friend and husband. But who are you?"
    The beggar smiled:"I will tell you my name. I am Guo Pianxian, the oracle of Wulin. No one can match my talent in the world."
    Jin Yanzi repeated:"Guo Pianxian."
    Guo Pianxian laughed arrogantly:"I used to be an elder of the Beggars Association, a guardian of Wudang, man of wealth in the northern provinces. I was even the husband of Madame Hai Tang of the Baihua Association. I have many identities in Wulin. Sometimes even I am amazed by the many identities I have."
    Jin Yanzi repeated:"Guo Pianxian, my husband, unmatched talent in the world...."

    On the other side a large group of beggars have assembled. Their leader the famous Hong Lianhua was sitting on a rock looking pensive.
    After awhile he asked his confidant the loyal Mei Simang:"Do you think he will come?"
    Mei Simang replied in a serious tone:"The disciples here have reported seeing a man matching his desciption. Although they aren't sure whether it is him but he looks very similar. As instructed they stayed away from him."
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"He has disappeared for about 15 years now. His reappearance is most strange."
    Mei Simang said:"Don't you have a clue what he wants."
    Hong Lianhua smiled wryly:"Do you think he
    wants to take over the leadership of the Beggar Association? I don't think so knowing him he wants something bigger."
    Mei Simang said:"I never could guess what he wanted but I know only one thing. He will bring disaster along with him. No matter what we have enough men here to deal with this traitor."
    Hong Lianhua looked troubled:"He is still an elder of our association."
    Mei Simang said:"I know he is also a guardian of Wudang. Just by this he has broken a rule of our association. He can't be an elder of us and be a guardian of another Wulin school. Master, you could deal with accordingly."
    Hong Lianhua still looked troubled and said:"But who can prove he is a guardian of Wudang?"
    Mei Simang was stunned and didn't know what to say.
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"This man has done many evil things in his life, but no one has been able to present evidence of his crimes. The first person who wanted him dead would be our late leader."
    Mei Simang frowned:"What do you have in mind?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"As soon as I received his letter I began to think of ways to trap him. But still no luck."
    Suddenly they heard a tapping noise.
    Mei Simang looked very earnest and said:"He has come."
    All the disciples looked very anxious and they saw an elderly beggar walking in front of them now.
    It was Guo Pianxian looking very arrogant.
    Hong Lianhua saw that Jin Yanzi was with him and whispered:"Why is Jin Yanzi with him?"
    Mei Simang said:"Most likely she has fallen into his hands."
    Guo Pianxian walked over to Hong Lianhua and observed him from top to toe and said:"We haven't seen each other for many years. It is hard to believe that the little boy of then is now a famous young hero."
    Hong Lianhua respectfully said:"Thank you, you're too kind."
    Guo Pianxian asked:"Do you recognize me?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"Although we haven't seen each other for many years. I still vividly remember the appearances of elder Guo."
    Guo Pianxian now angrilly said:"That being case why don't you pay proper respects to an elder!"
    Hong Lianhua was taken by surprise and didn't know how to answer.
    Mei Simang said:"Master Hong Lian is the leader of the Beggars Association. He needn't pay respects to an elder of the association. However elder Guo should pay your respects to master Hong Lian."
    Guo Pianxian laughed:"You've become the leader now. Congratulations!"
    His laughter sounded very loud and clear, the disciples were impressed by his internal strength.
    Guo Pianxian stopped his laughter and looked at Hong Lianhua and asked:"Who allowed you to become the leader of our association."
    Mei Simang said:"Those were the wishes of the late master."
    Guo Pianxian said:"Show me that will."
    Mei Simang said:"The late master didn't write a will, but his final words were that master Hong Lian would succeed him."
    Guo Pianxian coldly asked:"Who were present when the later master died?"
    Mei Simang said:"I was present too."
    Guo Pianxian laughed loudly:"Just because you were there too he has the right to become the leader of the our association."
    Mei Simang angrilly said:"Elder Guo, what do you mean with that? Are you suggesting I am lying?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"How dare you to speak in my presence? Who gave you the authority to talk to me in that tone?"
    Mei Simang said:"I'm just telling the truth."
    Guo Pianxian sneered:"Telling the truth! You're not fit yet to speak in my presence."
    After saying this Guo Pianxian waved his hand and before Mei Simang could defend himself Guo Pianxian slapped him twice in his face and threw him aside.
    Mei Simang is a very friendly old man and all of the disciples of the association liked him very much. Although most of them were afraid of Guo Pianxian's martial arts and fame. They were all angry to see Mei Simang getting mocked all of them stood up and readied themselves. Some of them even loudly questioned Guo Pianxian's actions.
    Guo Pianxian loudly chided:"The two main criteria of becoming the leader of our association has always been prestige and martial arts. As elder of the association I have the right to investigate this matter. The rest of you should keep silent!"
    Although his voice carried a long way, he couldn't surpress the anger of the beggars.
    He turned to Hong Lianhua:"Hong Lianhua! What kind of leader are you? The disciples of our association are becoming more and more insolent!"

    Hong Lianhua initially ignored the protests of the other beggars. But when he heard that Guo Pianxian adressed him he smiled and waved his hand:"Would all the brothers just be quiet for a minute."
    His voice didn't carry as far as Guo Pianxian but all the beggars instantly settled down.
    Hong Lianhua smiled:"The discipline of our association hasn't changed a bit. But the brothers here are not used to that elder Guo is giving orders. You cannot blame them, anyone who has left us for about 15 years has little power to order around anymore."
    Guo Pianxian's face changed and said:"In order words they have forgotten about me."
    Hong Lianhua said:"Not forgotten, but they all assumed that elder Guo left the association 15 years ago."
    Guo Pianxian angrilly asked:"What is the meaning of that?"
    Hong Lianhua smiled:"The later master told everyone that elder Guo has left the association. All the disciples could clearly remember the words of the late master. I don't think you'll have any suspicions about that."
    Guo Pianxian scoffed:"He didn't say that he banned me. But he told everyone I left. What a good friend he was!"
    Hong Lianhua continued:"The late master knew that elder Guo was accustomed to a carefree life. Elder Guo is also not a person who puts a lot of value to a mere title like elder of the Beggars Association.
    With your martial arts and fame when the late master died you could have succeeded him easily."
    Guo Pianxian laughed loudly:"No wonder everyone in Wulin praises Hong Lianhua. Not only are you intelligent but also a great orator."
    Hong Liahua turned to Jin Yanzi and said:"Welcome, Miss Jin. What can I do for you?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"I'm here with him."
    Hong Lianhua asked:"Miss Jin knows our elder Guo?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"He is my dearest person in the world."
    Hong Lianhua was a bit surprised to hear that and said:"Well, I never knew that."
    He wanted to find out if Guo Pianxian has done anything to her but he was disappointed to hear her response.
    Guo Pianxian said:"Initially I was afraid you were too young to lead us. But now I'm assured, you're a great leader."
    Seeing that he couldn't win the beggars over, he quickly started to praise Hong Lianhua. This man is a true sycophant.
    Hong Lianhua was thinking:He must realise not that he cannot count on the support of the brothers of the association. (Humph*)If you can't beat them, join them. What a piece of work this Guo Pianxian is!
    He felt relieved now and smiled:"I'm most grateful that elder Guo has still the best interest for the association."
    When he finished his sentence his eyes were drawn to the creepy eyes of Guo Pianxian.
    He wanted to divert but it was too late.
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"One man cannot perform all the tasks of our association. I think you want me back in the association, don't you?"
    Hong Lianhua replied:"Yes, I do."
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"From now on we will rule the association together."
    Hong Lianhua answered:"Yes."
    All the beggars felt strange that their leader would listen to all the suggestions of Guo Pianxian. But the rules of the association are very strict so everyone kept silent.
    Mei Simang quickly shouted:"Master! You cannot listen to him! You must reconsider!"
    Guo Pianxian sternly said:"This man has shown no respect to his superiors. He should be punished."
    Hong Lianhua stuttered:"He....he...."
    Mei Simang knelt in front of Hong Lianhua and said:"Even if the master has to punish me severly I have to say this. We cannot allow this man to have any power over the association if he does great disaster will fall upon us."
    Hong Lianhua looked troubled.
    Guo Pianxian took out his necklace with the black pearl again.
    He dangled casually in front of Hong Lianhua and said:"He deserves to die! Issue an order!"
    All the beggars were terrified.
    Mei Simang kowtowed and said:"I am not afraid to die, but you must not let..."
    Guo Pianxian interrupted him:"This man has shown disrespect to his superiors more than once. Also he dares to question the orders of the master. He has already broken the First and the Seventh Directive of our association. According to our rules he should die the death of numerous wounds.

    *Note: Death of Numerous Wounds: the flesh will be sliced of the body bit by bit the victim will have to endure unspeakable pain before he eventually dies of too much lost of blood. Or simply when the unbearable pain knocks him out.

    Jin Yanzi said:"Yes."
    Her eyes were focussed on the black pearl too. Hong Lianhua said:"Yes, he deserves to die."
    Mei Simang roared and passed out.
    All the beggars were stunned that their leader would issue an order to execute Mei Simang. However no one dared to raise objections.
    The rules of the Beggars Association were upheld always ten times stricter than other martial arts schools and/or associations.
    The order of the leader was similar to an imperial decree, no one has the right to question it.
    Even if the leader is wrong as a subject/disciple you cannot question or refuse the orders of the leader. If you do you will pay the ultimate price.
    The reason for this is because the association was founded during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (907 A.D. - 960 A.D.). During that period China was thrown into chaos, the Tang dynasty had lost total central command over all regions. And warlords popped up everywhere.
    The founder of the association upheld the principle of in times of chaos, extreme measures and utmost disciplie had to be taken and upheld. This principle has been upheld by all the previous leaders of the Beggars Association.
    When Hong Lianhua issued his order, Mei Simang was overcome by disappointment and anger.
    Guo Pianxian smiled sinisterly:"Didn't all of you hear the order of the master? Where are the disciplinary disciples?"
    At this moment four beggars walked up with tears in their eyes.
    Guo Pianxian was still dangling his necklace. Guo Pianxian said:"Hong Lianhua, you can now...."
    Before he could finish there was a sharp noise coming towards and before he realised what that was. The pearl was shattered.
    Guo Pianxian stepped backwards and angrilly said:"You...you....!"
    Hong Lianhua laughed loudly:"Do you really think I will fall that easily under your hypnotic spell? Think again!"
    Guo Pianxian angrilly said:"Hong Lianhua! You had me fooled!"
    Hong Lianhua laughed:"If I didn't play it that convincing how can expose your evil plans? How can I present the evidence of your wicked deeds to the brothers of the association?"
    All the beggars were surprised and happy to see this change of events.
    Mei Simang was extremely happy and shouted:"What the late master couldn't do, has finally been realised by master Hong Lian. Guo Pianxian's days are numbered, the late master can rest in peace now."
    Guo Pianxian's face looked very pale but he arrogantly said:"What plans? What evidence of my wicked deeds? I don't understand a bit."
    Hong Lianhua angrilly said:"Don't think you can talk your way out now!"
    Guo Pianxian scoffed:"What have I done wrong? You were the one who issued the execution of Mei Simang, now you regret that decision that is not my business."
    Guo Pianxian easily put the blame on Hong Lianhua and made sure he stayed out of shot.
    Not even Hong Lianhua had anticipated this, he was too shocked to retort.
    Guo Pianxian loudly adressed the other beggars:"Listen to my brothers! Hong Lianhua said that I used hypnotic spells. Can he present evidence that I used this sort of cheap trickery? If not he is merely slandering me."
    All the beggars looked at each other and were too surprised to speak.


    End of chapter 11

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 12 Unexpected Mysteries

    Guo Pianxian saw that Hong Lianhua couldn't prove he used hypnotism, so he
    scoffed:" Hong Lianhua, if you can find one person who can prove that I used hyponotism I will admit my defeat. However if you fail to produce any evidence you are guilty of slandering an elder of the association. As I am an elder appointed by the late master I can and will punish you for this insolence."
    Guo Pianxian was a sly devil and could twist and turn his way out of the most peril situations. Hong Lianhua was shocked to see this change of events and was thinking:I am wrong! I underestimated him, I thought I could easily expose his crimes. I am so wrong. What the master couldn't do in twenty years, how could I possibly accomplish that with one mere plan.
    Suddenly a girl loudly said:"What is this place? Why am I here?"
    Hong Lianhua saw that Jin Yanzi woke up and was extremely happy and said:"Guo Pianxian, do you really think no one can prove that you used hypnotic spells to do evil?"
    When the black pearl was shattered the spell on Jin Yanzi was also broken,
    she felt dizzy for a minute and passed out. She now gradually woke up and was
    totally disorientated.
    Hong Lianhua asked her:"Miss Jin, do you remember why you are here?"
    Jin Yanzi looked around and saw Guo Pianxian, she immediately shouted:"It's him, this monster! He used some sort of hypnotic spell on me and told me I was his lover, disciple and friend."
    At this moment all the disciples of the Beggars Association were very angry.
    Mei Simang yelled:"Guo Pianxian! Today you will receive retribution for your crimes."
    Guo Pianxian saw all the surrounding disciples moving in on him. Guo Pianxian
    shouted:"What do you want?"
    Mei Simang replied:"We are going to punish a traitor to the association."
    Guo Pianxian scoffed:"You're not fit to judge me! None of you are! Take a close look at this!" He took out an old painting of a pair of dragon and phoenix dancing. There was a small row of characters on the top of the painting: Seeing this painting is like seeing me.
    Mei Simang was shocked and exclaimed with shock:"Where did you get this painting?"
    Guo Pianxian ignored him and turned to Hong Lianhua and said:"You must know who drew this painting, right?"
    Hong Lianhua lowered his head and answered:"300 years ago, our founder patriarch Zhu drew this painting."
    Guo Pianxian shouted:"Bow before this painting! Now!"
    Hong Lianhua sighed deeply and bowed, the rest of the beggars had no choice but to follow the example of their leader.
    Guo Pianxian was laughed loudly:"Even if I have commited a series of unforgivable crimes no one is allowed to punish me. The only person who has the right is patriarch Zhu, but he is dead for about 300 years."
    Suddenly his laughter stopped and he looked very pale.
    Everyone heard a girl saying:"I don't belong to the Beggars Association and I
    don't care what painting you have in your hands."
    Jin Yanzi had already drawn a short dagger and attacked him while he was laughing happily. When he noticed someone ambushed it was too late, the dagger had already pierced him in the back.
    All the beggars were happy to see this, Guo Pianxian said:"I never thought I would be ambushed by a little lass like you....." He waved his palm and hit Jin Yanzi on the shoulder. This wave was generated with his powerful internal strength. Jin Yanzi flew aside and fainted immediately.
    Guo Pianxian held on to the painting and staggered away from the beggars, he laughed evily:"With this in my hand, none of you can touch me."
    Everyone could see that Guo Pianxian was severly injured anyone could capture
    without any trouble but nobody dare to move forward.
    Suddenly two figures blocked Guo Pianxian's way, the first person was a young pretty girl and the second was a middle-aged good-looking Taoist priestess.
    This priestess wore a yellow robe and carried a long sword on her back.
    She was the leader of the Huashan School, the Lotus Fairy Xu Shuzhen.
    And the young girl was her disciple Zhong Jing.
    Hong Lianhua was happy to see them, Xu Shuzhen coldly said:"Guo Pianxian, I
    have finally found you."
    Guo Pianxian roared loudly and wanted to escape, Xu Shuzhen swiftly advanced forward and sealed seven of his acupoints. At this time he was already
    severly injured and couldn't even use 10 percent of his martial arts.
    Hong Lianhua asked with surprise:"Master Xu, do you have grudges with this man?"
    Xu Shuzhen sighed deeply:"Ever since the gathering at Lake Huang I have been tracking him. This man is the enemy of the Huashan School."
    She waved her hand and Zhong Jin picked up the painting and presented it to Hong Lianhua. Xu Shuzhen said:"I'm returning the painting to you, but could I take this man away."
    Hong Lianhua respectfully took the painting and said:"If master Xu didn't come, he would have gotten away."
    Xu Shuzhen smiled:"More than ten years ago the late master of the Beggars Association already banned him. His ties with you and the association are severed."
    Hong Lianhua said:"Indeed."
    Xu Shuzhen said:"Thank you, master Hong Lian." And put her palms together and
    gave Hong Lianhua a Taoist greeting.
    She turned to Jin Yanzi and said:"Thanks to this Miss we were able to capture Guo Pianxian this easily. Would you tell her that she can alway rely on my help and the help of Huashan in the future."
    Hong Lianhua smiled:"Miss Jin is very fortunate to receive such privilege."
    With this Xu Shuzhen and Zhong Jin took Guo Pianxian away, Hong Lianhua went over to check on Jin Yanzi and was about to revive her when he saw another shadow moving by.
    Although the level of art of levitation of this person was not high, the posture was very elegant. Hong Lianhua frowned:"Are you an emmisary of the Baihua association?"
    A young woman gracefully paid her respects to Hong Lianhua:"My name is Hua Xun, my respects to you, master Hong Lian."
    Hong Lianhua smiled:"Miss, are you here on orders of Madame Hai Tang?"
    Hua Xun answered:"Madame Hai Tang wants to thank master Hong Lian for bringing back sister Lin. Madame Hai Tang also has a small request."

    Hong Lianhua smiled:" I'm happy to help out whenever possible."
    Hua Xun smiled:"This matter concerns an elder of your association, elder Guo Pianxian. He disappeared 15 years ago and has resurfaced recently. My eldest martial arts sister has recently seen him, Madame Hai Tang deducted that master Hong Lian has organised this assembly of beggars to think of a way to deal with elder Guo. Madame Hai Tang...."
    Before she could finish, Hong Lianhua asked her:"Does Madame Hai Tang have any resolved issues with this Guo Pianxian?"
    Hua Xun sighed lightly:"Indeed she has, when elder Gou appears could you immediately notify us. Madame Hai Tang is just around the neighbourhood and will come here at once."
    Hong Lianhua was silent for a moment and smiled wryly:"I am too happy to comply with Madame Hai Tang's request. However, I am afraid you're just too late."
    Hua Xun asked with surprise:"Has he been executed?"
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"Would Miss be so kind as to inform Madame Hai Tang that Guo Pianxian is banned from our association. His ties with us are severed. He is being held captive by the lotus fairy master Xu, leader of the Huashan School."

    After about an hour Jin Yanzi gradually woke up. Hong Lianhua immediately said:"Thank you very much, Miss Jin for helping us. All the disciples of our association will remember your kindness."
    Jin Yanzi smiled lightly and said:"You're too kind."
    She suddenly remembered something and quickly asked:"Is that monster dead?"
    Hong Lianhua replied:"He is seriously injured and is being held captive by master Xu Shuzhen. It seems that he and
    the Huashan School are mortal enemies. Knowing master Xu's character he will not live for long."
    Jin Yanzi was silent for a minute and sighed:"To be honest I'm still a bit worried. Only after seeing his corpse with my own eyes I will be sure."
    Hong Lianhua laughed:"This man has enemies through the entire realm of martial arts. Even if master Xu will spare him, Madame Hai Tang will surely deal with him."
    Jin Yanzi frowned and said:"Madame Hai Tang?"
    Hong Lianhua explained:"Madame Hai Tang sent a disciple to question the whereabouts of Guo Pianxian."
    Jin Yanzi quickly asked:"You didn't tell her, right?"
    Hong Lianhua was surprised and said:"Actually I did. Why are you this surprised?"
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"I'm afraid that from now on the Baihua Association and the Huashan School will become enemies."
    Hong Lianhua quickly asked:"How come?"
    Jin Yanzi asked him:"Does master Hong Lian know what the relationship is between Guo Pianxian and Madame Hai Tang?"
    Hong Lianhua frowned and said:"I don't know."
    Jin Yanzi said:"Doesn't anybody know that they are husband and wife?"
    Hong Lianhua was surprised and exclaimed with shock:"Husband and wife?"
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"Even if there are some misunderstandings between Guo Pianxian and Madame Hai Tang, she will not allow him to die at the hands of others. It is likely she has now become the enemy of master Xu and the Huashan School."
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"No wonder Hua Xun quickly left when she heard the whereabouts of Guo Pianxian. Both Madame Hai Tang and master Xu are formidable women in Wulin. If the two of them really would fight each other things will really get out of hand."
    Jin Yanzi said:"What's done is done. By the way the reason why I came to look for master Hong Lian is, that I want to ask you something."
    Hong Lianhua laughed:"Whatever you want to know I will gladly share it with you, Miss Jin."
    Jin Yanzi lowered her head and said:"Could perhaps tell me what precisely happened between Miss Lin Daiyu and young master Yu in that inn the other night?"
    Hong Lianhua's face changed a bit and sighed:"May I ask why does Miss want to know about this matter?"
    Jin Yanzi smiled wryly:"I hope you can tell me what happened. I would rather not tell why I'm interested in this matter."
    Hong Lianhua was silent for some time and sighed:"That day I was at that little village too and I saw Miss Lin Daiyu travelling with another young man. Because I know Miss Lin I went over to greet them."
    Jin Yanzi said:"Master Hong Lian, you were close friends with the late Yu Peiyu, I think you must have felt a bit angry when you saw Miss Lin travelling with another young man."
    Hong Lianhua was surprised by this question and laughed:"No, you are wrong. I am not a conservative man, furthermore Miss Lin wasn't not even married to the late young master Yu. And even if they were married I don't expect her to stay a widow for the rest of her life. If she has met another person. As a friend I'm very happy for her."
    Although he was laughing, there was no joy in his voice. In fact he sounded rather sad.
    Jin Yanzi didn't hear that but smiled:"Master Hong Lian is indeed an open-minded man. I do apologize for my words."
    Hong Lianhua smiled too and continued:"When I walked over to greet them, the young man seemed to be quite pleased still didn't speak but Miss Lin ignored me. Which was strange because we've known each other for a long time."
    Jin Yanzi said:"Perhaps she was a bit angry that day."
    Hong Lianhua said:"Possibly, but I remember about a month ago she did a similar thing. At that time she was in a dangerous position and ignored me with a purpose."
    Jin Yanzi said:"So you suspected there was something amiss too this time."
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"Indeed."
    Jin Yanzi said:"That's why master Hong Lian went over that evening to investigate."
    Mei Simang who never left Hong Lianhua suddenly spoke:"Miss Jin, you're right. If someone else who saw a similar situation would certainly investigate this matter in the evening. Even if this matter concerns some private matters of young women.
    But Miss shouldn't forget that master Hong Lian is the leader of our association. His status is not the same as all and sundry, so he couldn't just go and investigate."
    Jin Yanzi's face turned red and said:"I'm sorry. So master Hong Lian didn't go and investigate?"
    Mei Simang said:"Master Hong Lian was very worried about the safety of his friends. So being careful he still had to look into this matter with precision."
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"Master Hong Lian is a true righteous friend, everyone in Wulin knows that. Elder Mei doesn't have to remind me of that."
    Mei Simang's face turned red and continued:"Master Hong Lian instructed a disciple to disguise himself as a waiter in the inn. And told him to observe the room of Miss Lin."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"What time was it?"
    Mei Simang looked at Hong Lianhua first and saw that Hong Lianhua nodded and replied:"Around dusk....."
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"Master Hong Lian, if it is not to much to ask could you tell me what happened? Because if every time elder Mei has to ask for your permission to reveal something it will take forever when he is done."
    Mei Simang laughed loudly:"Jin Yanzi is truly a very straightforward heroine. I just offended Miss Jin without intention and still Miss Jin is able to get back at me."
    He bowed to Jin Yanzi and remained silent.
    Jin Yanzi said:"Master Hong Lian, you have a very loyal confidant. But what did the disciple see?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"He saw that Miss Lin looked very angry and totally ignored him."
    Jin Yanzi said:"But why would she pay attention to a waiter?"
    Hong Lianhua explained:"She knew that disciple, a month ago the same disciple went over in a disguise to make contact with her."
    Hong Lianhua continued:"So this time I believed her situation must be more dangerous than the last time."
    Jin Yanzi said:"Perhaps she wasn't in any danger that's why she didn't pass any message to that disciple."
    Hong Lianhua said:"If that's the case why didn't she greet me when she saw me."
    Jin Yanzi said:"Perhaps she was feeling not too comfortable in greeting you while someone else was around?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"Impossible."
    Jin Yanzi looked at him for awhile:"You're very confident."
    Hong Lianhua said:"Yes."
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"You must be very close to Miss Lin, right? No wonder you're so concerned about her safety."
    Hong Lianhua's face changed a bit but smiled too:"Seeing that Miss Jin is so concerned too about this matter and Miss Jin is defending young master Yu all the time. I take it you must be very close to him too."
    Jin Yanzi was stunned for a moment and laughed:"Master Hong Lian is a very formidable person."
    Hong Lianhua laughed too, but their laughter seemed to a bit artificial. Although both of them were very open persons, they had very deep emotional issues to deal with.
    Hong Lianhua said:"That disciple, Song Si entered the room twice. The second time he saw that Miss Lin was crying softly and used the sheets to cover her head. And young master Yu had his back to Song Si all the time. It seems that he didn't want anyone to see his face. When Song Si reported what he saw to me, I was thinking about whether I should go myself. During this time I noticed a few dark figures passing by, judging from the movements they were martial arts experts. And they were heading to the inn too so I followed them."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Do you know who these men were?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"All of them wore black robes and used a black cloth to cover their faces. However I managed to identify at least one of them by his martial arts. That was Ximen Ruo."
    Jin Yanzi said:"But why would Ximen Feng and others follow them?"

    Hong Lianhua sighed deeply:"Concerning this matter I cannot reveal too much. But I can tell you that because because Miss Lin is the fiancee of my late brother Yu. They will investigate and follow very person close to him."
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"This matter is becoming more and more complicated."
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"This entire incident is all connected to a big mystery. Miss Jin is the benefactress of our association that's why I am revealing this secret to you."
    Jin Yanzi said:"I will keep this a secret. No matter whether this concerns the late Yu Peiyu or the live Yu Peiyu I will promise I won't reveal a word to anyone."
    Hong Lianhua continued:"That night those men in black robes surrounded the inn and that Ximen Feng silently sneaked into the inn to spy on them."
    Jin Yanzi said:"Were they plotting something against Miss Lin?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"Yes, they were."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"What were they planning?"
    Hong Lianhua didn't say anything for some time.
    Jin Yanzi loudly said:"No matter what! For Yu Peiyu I will never reveal a word to anyone. I will rather die!"
    Hong Lianhua said:"They were ordered to
    to bring back Miss Lin. If they cannot bring her back alive, they will have to bring back her corpse."
    Jin Yanzi was surprised and asked:"Why?"
    Hong Lianhua said with a smile:"This doesn't really concern that incident."
    Jin Yanzi said:"But Ximen Feng and Lin Shoujuan are close friends if Ximen Feng killed Miss Lin the Flowered Chestnut Sword will surely avenge his daughter."
    Hong Lianhua said:"A lot of strange things are happening lately. These people wanted to deal with Miss Lin for a long time. Luckily she was saved by Madame Hai Tang. But they will not leave her alone whenever she is alone they will and shall try to harm her."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Why didn't they attack Miss Lin that night?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"Perhaps they were a bit afraid of young master Yu, or perhaps they wanted to see what the relationship was between Miss Lin and this Yu Peiyu. These people are still very suspicious about my late brother Yu, but they are also suspicious about the live Yu Peiyu. They think that he is still alive and both Yu Peiyus are the same person. And because Miss Lin is travelling with him makes them more suspicious."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Master Hong Lian, are you also thinking that both young masters Yu are the same person?"
    Hong Lianhua shook his head:"Brother Yu is dead, if this young master Yu is my brother Yu he wouldn't just ignore me."
    Jin Yanzi was silent and said:"Both young masters Yu are truly good friends."
    Hong Lianhua said:"I know that those five men were good martial artists and I was worried about the safety of Miss Lin. But I couldn't attack them first without knowing their intentions. So I stayed behind them and observed their movements."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Was there anything happening in Miss Lin's room?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"There was nothing happening in the room but the candles were still burning. I thought they had already slept. However suddenly Miss Lin stormed out and started cursing and so."
    Jin Yanzi loudly said:"Now I understand. She was deliberately creating a scene because she noticed someone was spying on them. The commotion attracted a lot attention so those five men couldn't go through with their planned attack."
    Hong Lianhua said:"Miss Lin has always been a very careful and vigilant person. So your deduction could be right, but although the argueing part could be an act but she did use her sword to stab this young master Yu."
    Jin Yanzi said:"But she didn't really injured him severly, right?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"His wounds were not too light but also not too deep. Miss Lin did the wrong thing by creating a scene. Because these five men were a bit afraid of this young master Yu. But now seeing the two of them weren't friends and one was wounded they instantly wanted to come out."
    Jin Yanzi said:"But those people in the inn..."
    Hong Lianhua said:"They will not have any reservations because of a few bystanders."
    Jin Yanzi said:"So that's why master Hong Lian came out to stop Miss Lin. In fact you wanted to stop those men from taking actions. Everyone thought that master Hong Lian saved young master Yu, but in fact you saved Miss Lin."
    Jin Yanzi continued:"The deduction I made earlier is also wrong. So Miss Lin really did want to kill young master Yu. Because if she knew she was in danger she wouldn't have stabbed him. I mean she needed all the help she could have."
    Hong Lianhua said:"I don't think so. She could have known that I was around to save her."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"But why did she ignore you all the time."
    Hong Lianhua said:"Perhaps she was afraid these five men would think this young master Yu was my late brother Yu. She wounded him for the purpose of protecting him from those men."
    After saying this he slightly trembled.
    Jin Yanzi said:"In other words she injured in order to save him."
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"But that is my deduction."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Didn't you ask her when you saved her?"
    Hong Lianhua sighed:"What right do I have to question her."
    Jin Yanzi was silent and looked at Hong Lianhua for a moment. She smiled:"Don't worry she won't have any feelings for this young master Yu. In fact I think she really might want to kill him."
    Hong Lianhua felt a bit awkward and said:"Why...why should I not worry."
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"You cannot fool me, I know what your feelings are for Miss Lin. Does she know your feelings for her?"
    Hong Lianhua laughed but looked very sad:"No matter what she is the fiancee of my brother Yu."
    Jin Yanzi said:"But Yu Peiyu is dead."
    Hong Lianhua said:"He is always alive in my heart."
    Jin Yanzi said:"Because of him you're willing to put aside your feelings for Miss Lin for the rest of your life. I think Yu Peiyu would want you to comfort Miss Lin."
    Hong Lianhua loudly said:"She doesn't need comforting."
    Jin Yanzi said:"You're wrong, she needs someone to comfort her. And that person is you."
    Hong Lianhua looked at her for some time and scoffed:"You want me to comfort Miss Lin because you're afraid she will steal your young master Yu away from you. You hope she will hate him and even perhaps you wish she really does kill him. You would rather see him dead than seeing them together."
    Jin Yanzi trembled and lowered her head and said in a sad tone:"You're right. Absolutely right. I am a very selfish person."
    She started to weep.
    Hong Lianhua felt sorry for the way he talked to her and said apologetically:"Who is not selfish when it comes to love."

    Jin Yanzi looked up and said:"You're not selfish. You're willing to give up your happiness for the one you love. And you don't expect people will know about your sacrifice. Why can't I be more like you? Why? Why?"
    Hong Lianhua didn't know what to say, but he was hurting too now when he heard Jin Yanzi's words.
    He quickly changed the subject and asked:"Miss Jin, I have a few questions for you?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"I will be happy to answer your questions."
    Hong Lianhua asked:"How come you knew of that incident at the inn?"
    Jin Yanzi wiped her tears and said:"That night Sima Bin (The young master of the Divine Sabre) was at the inn too. Didn't master Hong Lian see him?"
    Hong Lianhua was surprised and said:"He was there too? I didn't see him."
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"When he told me what he saw I thought it was not so complicated but after hearing your detailed story about what transpired I'm even more confused."
    Hong Lianhua said:"I'm confused too about the entire situation. I had my attention on Ximen Feng and others, I didn't noticed the young master of the divine sabre. I'm not surprised if there were others lurking about too at that time."
    Jin Yanzi said:"There was another person observing the entire incident."
    Hong Lianhua asked with utmost surprise:"Who?"
    Jin Yanzi replied:"A mysterious young woman but when young master Yu saw her he immediately ran off."
    Hong Lianhua asked:"Who was that woman? Why was Yu Peiyu afraid of her?"
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"I'm afraid only young master Yu knows that secret."
    Hong Lianhua looked up and said:"Yu Peiyu......Yu Peiyu....Why is this name filled with mystery?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"Why...why won't you ask me what happened between young master Yu and Miss Lin before they went to that inn? I do know a bit what happened between them?"
    Hong Lianhua smiled sadly:"If one knows too many secrets one will only feel more frustrated. I already know too many secrets, I really do hope I won't know anymore mysteries or riddles."

    Jin Yanzi's injuries were quite serious although she was given the best medicine available she was still in not fit to travel yet.
    Hong Lianhua advised her to rest for a few more days but being a forthright person she didn't like the idea of just resting for another few days. Hong Lianhua instructed Mei Simang to take her to the Family Li Village.
    The disciples of the Beggars Association had already prepared a carriage for them.
    Mei Simang rode the carriage and soon they were headed for Family Li Village.

    After riding for a day they reached Family Li Village and it was already night now.
    Mei Simang asked:"Miss Jin, where were you supposed to meet with your sister?"
    Jin Yanzi replied:"Well, two years ago I passed through this village and I lodged at the family Li inn, so I told her to wait for me there."
    Mei Simang smiled:"This is the first time that I came to this village, I don't know where the inn is. Could you tell me what street it is located?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"There is only one main street in this little village, and the inn is right in that street."
    Suddenly they heard loud strange noises coming towards them.
    It was very difficult to tell what that noise was, it sounded like wild animals roaring but they could hear drums, cymballs too.
    Mei Simang said:"Miss Jin, hide in the carriage. No matter what don't come out and try to keep quiet."
    They quickly got off the road and soon some very suspicous characters passed by. Judging from their postures they were martial artists too.
    One of those characters said:"The old one looks annoying there, shall I kill him?"
    The other said:"Our brother is waiting for us, we don't have time for this."
    The other scoffed:"The old fool is lucky tonight."
    And with that they were gone already, Jin Yanzi now came out the carriage and asked:"Sir, why didn't you do something?"
    Mei Simang smiled wryly:"They didn't attack us, did they? We shouldn't be bothered with the likes of them."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Are they troublesome charactes in Wulin?"
    Mei Simang looked rather surprised at Jin Yanzi:"Haven't you heard of them before?"
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Who are they?"
    Mei Simang said in a serious tone:"They are the infamous Four Beasts."
    Jin Yanzi said:"They belonged to the Four Beasts?"
    Mei Simang nodded and said:"It seems that all four of them are assembling further ahead."
    Jin Yanzi said:"Although these four rogues are supposed to be sworn brothers, but they always operate alone. What brings them here?"
    Mei Simang replied:"They are infamous robbers so they must be here for a big job. But what is here in this little village?"
    Jin Yanzi felt uneasy and asked:"Where were they heading for?"
    Mei Simang said:"Just straight ahead."
    Jin Yanzi said":"They are headed for the family Li inn...."
    Mei Simang asked:"Does your sister have any precious jewelry with her?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"Yes, and lots of it too." She wanted to get off the carriage and rush over to the inn. Mei Simang stopped her and said:"You're still recovering from your wounds."
    Jin Yanzi said:"The Four Beasts are not to be trifled with, my sister cannot fight them by herself. I can't watch her just die at their hands."
    Mei Simang said:"But if you go too you will be in danger as well."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"What shall we do?"
    Mei Simang smiled and said:"With me around they won't succeed." Although he said that he wasn't sure whether he really could stop the Four Beasts.

    Jin Yanzi asked:"Do you have a plan?"
    Mei Simang said:"We have to be careful because the four of them are very cautious."
    Mei Simang and Jin Yanzi reached the family Li inn, Mei Simang smiled:"Miss Jin, I'm 68 years old if you don't mind that I'm a smelly old beggar please climb up my back. We will observe them from the roof first."
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"There is nothing else we could do right now, is there?"
    Mei Simang climbed up the roof and he found a spot where they could oversee the entire room.
    Jin Yanzi was very worried and thought:Why is she still sleeping? She should be more alert.
    The four rogues had drawn their sabres and were standing outside of Silver Blossom's room and readied themselves.
    Suddenly a light burnt in the room and sweet laughter was coming from the room.
    The door opened and a beautiful young woman stood there smiling at the Four Beasts. She wore a thin dress revealing her wonderful figure and she had a very sweet innocent but sexy look on her face.
    The Four Beasts were stunned and just gazed at her, even the old Mei Simang thought:My goodness! This is the sister of Jin Yanzi?!?
    Silver Blossom laughed:"Good evening! What can I do for you?"
    The four robbers stuttered:"I.....we....I....ehhh..."
    Saliva was practically drooling from their chins.
    Silver Blossom said:"Please come in, don't just stand there in the cold. Do you like a cup of tea?"
    The Four Beasts were too captivated by her charm and beauty. The four of them are accustome to stealing, killing and raping. But somehow they didn't know what to do when they saw this young girl this friendly towards them.
    One of the men composed himself and loudly said:"We are lucky that such a beautiful Miss is inviting us for tea. I, the Black Panther, Qin Biao will drink the first cup."
    A tall man in a black robe entered the room, his face was full of scares and he looked quite gruesome.
    Silver Blossom greeted him:"I'm the one who is lucky. It is seldom that I can entertain such a noble hero like you."
    Qin Biao laughed loudly, another man spoke:"Damn it! I will drink a cup too."
    The remaining three men entered too. The first one was big and fat, the second one was very skinny and was missing half an ear.
    The third one looked rather normal but somehow his movements were very fallacious. Giving people an uncomfortable feeling.
    Jin Yanzi was disgusted by these men and felt that none of them looked human.
    But still Silver Blossom remained smiling and gave each and everyone a sweet smile.
    The fat man began to laugh:"What a sweet lass! I, the Red Tiger Zhao Gang, have roamed the world many years. But never have I seen a girl like you. I want to devour you right now."
    The third man said:"Miss, please forgive him. He doesn't know any manners, but he is quite nice."
    After he spoke his body sort of coiled up.
    Zhao Gang said:"Although I don't have a nice face like you, I'm much more of man than the White Snake Lord."
    All of four of them weren't suspicous of Silver Blossom and talked and laughed loudly. Only the second man was still silent he didn't look at Silver Blossom. But when he walked by her he pinched her on the buttocks. Silverblossom pouted in his ear:"I thought you were a gentleman."
    The man coldly replied:"I'm no man, I am a wolf."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"You're a wolf?"
    The man said:"Yes, I am Greywolf."
    Zhao Gang was inspecting the bed and said:"She sure smells nice. I sure want to put her on the bed and...hmmmmm"
    Greywolf scoffed:"Don't forget we are here on business."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Do all of you rather drink wine?" She poured four cups of wine. The White Snake Lord smiled:"You have very pretty hands, but I don't know if you have used your pretty hands to put poison in our cups."
    Zhao Gang jumped up and loudly said:"Even so I will drink the first cup."
    With that he grabbed a cup and drank the wine, Qin Biao who looked at Zhao Gang for a minute and saw he wasn't poisoned also drank. He said:"This Miss is a smart girl, she wouldn't dare to poison us."
    Mei Simang asked Jin Yanzi:"Do you think she put poison in the wine?"
    Jin Yanzi said:"No, I don't think so. But she should have."
    Mei Simang smiled:"Miss Jin, you're wrong. Putting poison in the wine is too obvious and easy detectable. Your sister won't use such a silly plan."
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"What is she planning?" Mei Simang said:"Your sister has thought it out how to deal with them. Her plan is ten times better than Miss Jin's plan and also ten times better than my plan. I don't think we shall have to intervene tonight."
    Silver Blossom asked the White Snake Lord:"Won't you drink the wine?"
    The White Snake Lord smiled:"I like to have something with my wine."
    Silver Blossom asked:"What do you want with your wine?"
    The White Snake Lord said:"I think you know, also you must know our intentions now."
    Silver Blossom said:"But those things aren't tasty with wine."
    The White Snake Lord said:"But when I look at those things I can drink three cups of wine."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Very well!" She went over to the corner of the bed and took out a big parcel.
    She opened and the four beasts were staring at those treasures before them.
    Zhao Gang said:"I have never seen such a treasure before in my life. After this I can rest for a very long time."
    The White Snake Lord smiled:"Just a minute! We should ask the permission of this young Miss here first."
    Zhao Gang yelled:"What? Asking permission?!? I do as I please here."
    The White Snake Lord laughed:"Asking doesn't hurt."
    Zhao Gang asked Silver Blossom:"Sweetheart, do you want to give us this treasure or not? Stupid me! Why do I use the word not, like she has a choice....hahahahaha"
    Silver Blossom said:"I already prepared this for you. You can take it away. And I want to present another treasure to you."
    Zhao Gang immediately asked:"What is that treasure? Show us!"
    Silver Blossom said in a very seductive manner:"To me that is the most precious thing I have. Care to guess?"
    Zhao Gang shook his head and said:"I don't know."
    Silver Blossom said:"Perhaps a glance is enough." With that she removed her dress and stood naked in front of these four men.
    Their eyes were all focussed on her beautiful body and it seemed like their eyes were glowing with lust.
    Zhao Gang swallowed his saliva and said:"The best treasure I have seen. If anyone dares to say that this isn't a treasure I will poke out his eyes."
    The White Snake Lord asked with surprise:"Are you really willing to give yourself to us?"
    Silver Blossom said in a sweet voice:"Every woman has to get married some time, the only thing a woman wants is a true man."
    She gently caressed her own body and said:"Look I am no longer a little girl."
    Zhao Gang said:"Whoever dares to say that you're a young girl I will puch him back to his mother's womb."
    Qin Biao sternly said:"What are your motives? A beautiful woman like you can easily find a dozen handsome men. What do you want to gain from us?"
    Silver Blossom said in a very sincere tone:"Although none of you are handsome but all of you are true noble heroes. Only foolish girls are hoping for a charming handsome prince. But I love true men."
    Zhao Gang stood up and said:"Well said! Those girly boys don't know the first thing about handling women. I can promise you that I will give you more pleasure than any of those girly boys can ever give you!"
    Suddenly Silver Blossom sighed:"There is only one problem, there is only one of me."
    Zhao Gang roared:"I don't have a woman yet, you're mine!"
    Silver Blossom lowered her head and said:"Mr. Zhao is indeed a good choice. If I can have a husband like you I won't have any regrets, but......"
    She then gave Qin Biao a sad look.
    Qin Biao didn't let her finish and said:"Old Zhao, you're only the second brother. I can let you have all the other treasures but this treasure belongs to me. Because I'm the eldest and the leading brother of all of you."
    Zhao Gang sneered:"You're the leader because I let you."
    Qin Biao angrilly said:"What! Do you question my authority?"
    Zhao Gang said:"What if I am?"
    Silver Blossom said:"Please don't fight over me. I feel very bad if anything happens to any of you."
    The White Snake Lord said:"Miss is right. The best way to solve this problem is to let her pick her own husband."
    The White Snake Lord thought he was going to get picked because he was the most handsome one in the group.
    But in fact all the other three thought they were going to get chosen by this treasure.
    Because if she didn't like me, why would she give me those meaningful looks.
    So the other three beasts called out:"That's a good idea!"
    Zhao Gang laughed:"Little Treasure! You're Diao Chan(*) and I am Lu Bu (*), we're made for each other."
    Silver Blossom bit her lip and glanced at the four men. Qin Biao said:"Tell us who you love, don't be afraid."
    Zhao Gang said:"Pick me and I will make sure none of them will dare to lay a hand on you."
    All four of them were very confident that she fell in love with him. If a woman has such a powerful effect on men, this woman is not to be trifled with.
    Mei Simang was flabbergasted, he never thought the sister of Jin Yanzi would be such a formidable young woman.
    He smiled wryly and thought:It is a good thing that I am 68 years old. If not I will certainly jump down and.......

    End of chapter 12

  14. #14
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 13 Ulterior Motives

    Silver Blossom looked at the four men for some time and sighed:"All of you are real heroes I don't know how to choose. The only thing I can come up with is...."
    All four of them asked:"What is it?"
    Silver Blossom said:"I am only a weak female I just hope my husband can protect me. So like many other women I just hope my husband has superior martial arts."
    At this point Greywolf's face changed and wanted to speak. Before he could do so, Silver Blossom continued:"However if the four of you would fight amongst each other I will be sad too. I don't want you to fight or get injured over me."
    Greywolf's face returned to normal. Zhao Gang asked:"I don't understand. How will you be able to see which one of us is stronger"?
    Silver Blossom said:"If all of you would display your best skill I will be able to see who of you has the best martial arts. And in this way you won't have to fight over me."
    Zhao Gang laughed:"A good idea! A good idea!"
    Jin Yanzi softly asked Mei Simang:"What is she planning?"
    Mei Simang said:"Your sister is hoping the four of them will kill themselves in a fight."
    Jin Yanzi said:"If so why doesn't she come up with a plan that will make them fight amongst themselves?"
    Mei Simang said:"She is a clever girl. That Greywolf is a bit suspicious already and if she insisted the four of them should fight he will surely see through her trickery."
    Jin Yanzi frowned:"But they're not going to fight now."
    Mei Simang smiled:"Your sister has seen through that although they are sworn brothers, but they do not respect or acknowledge each other. Each one of them feels that his martial arts is superior to the other, so in the end they will bound to fight each other till the death. But this way they won't suspect your sister has anything to do with it."
    Jin Yanzi sighed and remained silent.

    On the other hand Zhao Gang walked up to a pile of bricks and generated his energy to his right palm and smashed a brick into pieces.
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Mr. Zhao has very good martial arts, I never thought anyone's palm could be that strong and powerful."
    Zhao Gang laughed:"I'm certain that few people have this ability in Wulin."
    Silver Blossom nodded in agreement, but glanced at Qin Biao.
    Qin Biao sneered:"This type of martial arts is very suitable to chop wood. In a real battle such skills are useless."
    Zhao Gang angrilly shouted:"In other words you think you're betther than I."
    Qin Biao didn't answer but just coldly laughed, he walked to another pile of bricks and sat on it.
    Zhao Gang scoffed:"What are you training here? The Buttocks Skill?"
    Qin Biao coldly said:"Your brains don't work but I do hope your eyes are allright."
    Suddenly Zhao Gang saw that Qin Biao was slowly descending, the bricks were drilled into the ground. Qin Biao used his internal strenght to drill the bricks into the floor."
    Silver Blossom laughed and applauded:"Excellent skill! Mr, Qin's martial arts are truly amazing, don't you agree?"
    The White Snake Lord nodded and said:"I haven't seen brother Qin only for a few months. It is hard to believe that you mastered such level in such a short time."
    Qin Biao laughed:"If I didn't have such martial arts, how could lead you bunch of......ahhhhhhh"
    His laughter stopped and he turned pale, somehow Greywolf sneaked up on him and stabbed a dagger into his back.
    Qin Biao said angrilly:"Old Wolf.....you're..you're too vicious....!"
    Greywolf coldly said:"I just want to tell you that although old Zhao's martial arts are only good for chopping wood. But your skills are useless too. Do you really expect your enemies will let you sit on them?"
    He turned to Silver Blossom and said:"In my opinion the only good martial arts is the one that kills."
    Qin Biao wanted to grab Greywolf's neck, but Greywolf quickly leapt away and pulled out the dagger. Blood gushed out of Qin Biao's wound and he fell to the ground.
    Zhao Gang angrilly said:"Old Qin may be a stupid moron but we're still brothers. How could you?"
    Greywolf coldly said:"With him dead you're the leading brother."
    Zhao Gang grunted and stayed quiet.
    The White Snake Lord said:"Old Wolf is right, the only good martial arts is the type that is lethal. But my killing skills aren't as good as old Wolf."
    He had already positioned himself behind Zhao Gang's back for some time now and after he finished his sentence he launched an attack at Zhao Gang.
    Zhao Gang may look dumb but he isn't as stupid as he looks. When he knew that the White Snake Lord attacked him he didn't back away in fact he counter-attacked.
    Unfortunately he was a bit too fat, and couldn't avoid the sword stance to his body. The short sword stabbed through his shoulder but he had already grabbed the neck of the White Snake Lord.
    He asked with a mean laugh:"Do you think you can escape?"
    The White Snake Lord begged:"Second brother Zhao, please spare me!"
    Zhao Gang said:"In my heart I have forgiven you, but my hands are not listening to my heart."
    With one movement he snapped the neck of the White Snake Lord. Greywolf, who was also a bit shocked to see Zhao Gang killing the White Snake Lord, said:"Impressive, old Zhao!"
    Zhao Gang pulled out the short sword and looked at Greywolf:"And then there were only two."
    Silver Blossom who arranged the entire scenario was hiding and watching from a corner.
    Greywolf walked up to the table and sat down, he said:"Old Zhao, sit down first. Let us talk this over." He poured two cups of tea.
    Zhao Gang replied:"Allright! I'm interested what you have to say."
    Greywolf said:"Some things in life you can share with others. For instance I would share a bottle of good wine with you anytime. And I believe you would do the same thing, right?"
    Zhao Gang said:"So what if I would? Get one with your shit!"
    Silver Blossom frowned, she knew where Greywolf was getting at.
    Greywolf said:"It is not uncommon to see two women marrying to one man, why won't we share one wife?"
    Zhao Gang shouted:"I can share a lot of things, but nobody touches my woman!"
    Greywolf coldly said:"The two of us have a lot of enemies, you can kill me. But if so you will have to face your enemies alone. Furthermore if the two of us started fighting no one would know the outcome."
    Zhao Gang was silent for some time, he was thinking over Greywolf's words.
    After pondering for some time he laughed:"Right, half a wife is better than having no wife. By the looks of it I may not handle this little tart alone."
    He raised the cup of tea and said:"My good brother, I will listen you to your suggestion."
    Silverblossom walked up and smiled:"It is a very good idea! Drink this cup of tea and you will even like the idea more and more."
    Zhao Gang looked at the cup and thought for a minute and put it down. He is not the most brightest man in Wulin but he has roamed the realm long enough to have gained some experience. He didn't learn any good habits but he mastered plenty of nasty habits to survive.
    He looked at Greywolf and said:"Have you done something with this tea?"
    Greywolf yelled:"Don't be a fool! We're brothers for many years don't let outsiders drive a wedge between us."
    Silver Blossom said:"Why won't you drink the tea?"
    She casually put her finger in the cup for an instant and put it in front of Greywolf.
    She said:"I say there is poison in this tea and if you don't want to drink it. I understand."
    Zhao Gang yelled:"Drink the tea! If you don't I will snap your neck!"
    Greywolf loudly said:"There wasn't any poison in the tea, but after you put your finger in it. There is poison now."
    Silver Blossom said:"You're accusing me?"
    Greywolf said:"Yes you, you little crumpet!"
    He leapt up and wanted to hit Silver Blossom, she quickly hid behind Zhao Gang.
    Zhao Gang angrilly said:"You're the one who put poison in the tea! Do you think I'm a dumb pig!"
    Greywolf aimed his two fists at Zhao Gang's chest, Zhao Gang didn't avoid those blows. Greywolf's fists struck him on the chest but Greywolf felt like he was hitting a bag of sand. He quickly wanted to draw his sabre but it was too late. Zhao Gang struck hard on the chest too and he fell down, to finish him off Zhao Gang raised his fist and struck him on the head. Killing him instantly.
    Silver Blossom was clapping her hands. Zhao Gang spat on Greywolf's body.
    Silver Blossom said:"Mr. Zhao's body is truly amazing! But are you allright? Are you in pain?"
    Zhao Gang patted himself on the chest and said:"Those dirty paws of him won't harm me."
    Silver Blossom said:"But your shoulder is still bleeding."
    She used her finger to gently touch the wound on his shoulder and asked:"Does it hurt?"
    Zhao Gang laughed:"Not at all!"
    He wanted to embrace her, but she quickly ran away and smiled:"Catch me if you can? If you can catch me I will give you a surprise."
    She was a swift as a fox, Zhao Gang couldn't catch her and said:"Little darling! Let me give you a kiss!"
    Silver Blossom stopped running and sighed:"You really are a dumb pig."
    Zhao Gang said:"What are you saying?" Silver Blossom said:"I just put poison on your wound enough to kill ten pigs. But if you didn't run around to catch me you could have live another two hours."
    Zhao Gang roared and collapsed on the ground. Silver Blossom sighed:"Why won't anyone listen to my good advice?"
    She opened the door and the henchmen of the Four Beasts were still outside waiting. These men were trained not to move without permission from their leaders, although they heard strange noises from the room they didn't dare to check.
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Here are four bodies, would you mind carrying them outside?"
    Those henchmen all hurried to the door and saw their leaders dead and were stunned.
    Silver Blossom smiled:"I can understand what you are going through. Your leaders died under strange circumstances if you want to avenge them I don't mind."
    The men were too shocked and thought why she is still smiling like that. Her clothes are not torn, they were too terrified to even think of avenging their leaders. They knew the deaths of their leaders were related to this strange but beautiful woman. They quickly ran to their horses and fled.
    Silver Blossom sighed:"The robbers nowadays are such losers."
    Jin Yanzi and Mei Simang were both absolutely stunned about what just happened.
    Mei Simang said with an enforced smile:"Your sister is really formidable. In my opinion she is as lethal as Madame Hai Tang, I knew we didn't have to intervene."
    Jin Yanzi was still too surprised to talk. Mei Simang said:"Miss Jin, it is safe now you can go down now. I have to report back to master Hong Lian."
    Jin Yanzi asked:"Won't you come in for a minute?"
    Mei Simang smiled:"Although I am old, I am still a man. Furthermore I rather not meet your sister....."
    With that he was off.
    Jin Yanzi sighed, Silver Blossom heard someone and said:"I didn't expect to have anymore visitors. But feel free to come in."
    Jin Yanzi came down and Silver Blossom was shocked to see her. Before she could say anything Jin Yanzi slapped her twice on her face, very hard.
    She stuttered:"Sis, you....you...."
    Jin Yanzi was still angry and thought those two slaps were not hard enough, she scoffed:"I'm not fit to be your sister. Human life means nothing to you, who knows I may be next on your list."
    Silver Blossom touched her face and started to cry.
    Jin Yanzi angrilly reproached:"Spare me your tears! You should be happy that you have such lethal skills."
    Silver Blossom sobbed:"I didn't want to do this, but they gave me no choice. If I didn't trick them they would have......"
    She knelt down and sobbed:"You can hit me, scold me but don't treat me like a stranger. If you don't want me as your sister anymore I will die in front of you to proof my intentions."
    Jin Yanzi, who was not so angry anymore after scolding and slapping her, said:"But still you shouldn't have to be this ruthless."
    Silver Blossom continued:"I know I shouldn't. But....but when I was young I was bullied and abused lots and lots of times.....I was afraid.....that's why....I....I.....was that ruthless."
    She continued:"If sis came back earlier I didn't have to use these disgusting lowly tricks."
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"You're right. I am also to blame I was outside the entire time."
    She helped Silver Blossom up and consoled and started to weep too. Silver Blossom on the other hand almost exploded with laughter. She thought that Jin Yanzi must be one of the most gullible women on this world.

    The world of martial arts is a dangerous place but also a very fair place. If you have the skills you can become very famous. And if you become famous your life will brighten up like a comet soaring through the sky. But a comet comes and passes very quickly just a lifetime.
    Within 300 years the realm of martial arts has produced numerous heroes. Some were able of them were able to keep up their fame and some couldn't. There are some of them whose children or grandchildren managed to preserve the fame of the heroic ancestor.
    Besides Shaolin, Wudang, E Mei and other schools with a glorious history there are some famous Wulin families who share the shame fame and glamour as those prestigious Wulin Schools.
    The fame and glory of these families were established by their ancestors. That glory and fame came with a lot tears, sweat and BLOOD. But in exchange for their efforts they received the respect of their Wulin peers.
    Futhermore the skills of these families are not to be underestimated.
    Some examples of these families should be the famous Zhang family in Beijing, their ancestor the physician Zhang Jianzhai was an excellent physician and martial artist. His descendants are still practicing medicine.
    Or the Thunderbolt Clan that became famous because of their expertise in gunpowder and making secretive weaponry using gunpowder.
    The Nangong family in the southern provinces are well-known for their marvellous palm techniques.
    And the disciples of the Celestial Water Hall are known for their impressive swimming abilities. Who can forget the Peng Family in Henan Province? Their Five Tigers and Door Slashing Sabre is a recognized powerful sabre style.
    These are all exemplary families but the most respected of these families should be the Tang Clan in Sichuan province. Their usage and development of poisonous secretive weaponry are unmatched in the realm.

    The Tang Mansion looks very impressive, the descendants of the Tang Clan have preserved the family house very good. Even ordered to build extra wings for their ever growing number of disciples and relatives.
    The Tang disciples are not only good martial artists but also very good entrepeneurs. Earning profits to help establish and preserving the fame of the Tang Clan has been a family tradition.
    When Silver Blossom entered the property of the Tang Clan she saw that the Tangs have managed to turn their mansion into a small city. They had shops, restaurants, blacksmiths, etc. She was very much impressed and surprised to see this.
    After a long time she softly asked Jin Yanzi:"This is the Tang Mansion?"
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"You wouldn't believe it, would you?"
    Although they were being watched by the people here but none came by to question them. Silver Blossom said:"This is strange. It is said that the Tang Mansion is as heavily guarded as the Shaolin Monastery, or the Purple Heaven Palace on Mount Wudang. But it seems that is highly exaggerated."
    Jin Yanzi smiled:"If you weren't travelling with me you wouldn't even have made it to the front door. It is because the people here know me and as you're travelling with me they didn't come to question us."
    Silver Blossom asked:"The Keeper of the mansion..."
    Jin Yanzi said:"Old Mr. Tang lives way in the back with his sons and daughters. Don't think you can reach the inner quarters easily. You have pass through numerous guards to even get to the doors of the main wing."
    Silver Blossom said softly to herself:"It is not strange that he is so cowardly. He has been well protected his entire life."
    Jin Yanzi frowned:"How do you know that old Mr. Tang is cowardly"
    Silver Blossom knew she said too much and smiled:"It is just a rumour I heard some time ago."
    Jin Yanzi wanted to inform a bit more about this rumour when suddenly a few young women came to greet them.
    A woman in a white dress smiled to Jin Yanzi and said:"Third lass, it's about time you came and paid us a visit."
    After the introduction this young woman was the daughter of Tang Wushuang, Tang Qi, and also the semi-leader of the Tang Clan. Tang Wushuang has more or less retired from Wulin and left most of the duties to this daughter.
    Silver Blossom softly asked Jin Yanzi afterwards:"This second sister Tang is smart, capable and quite pretty. I wonder why she isn't married yet."
    Jin Yanzi sighed:"She has been engaged three times but before the actual wedding all her three fiancees died. Some people were saying she brings bad luck and so. These rumours reached her ears too and she vowed in front her ancestral graves that she will never get married."
    Tang Qi praised Silver Blossom and congratulated Jin Yanzi for finding such a good sister.
    Next to Tang Qi was another young woman she was the eldest daughter-in-law of Tang Wushuang, Li Peiling.
    Her husband Tang Yu was one of the more talented second generation Tang disciples.
    The third girl was the youngest daughter of Tang Wushuang, Tang Lin. She looked very elegant and refined, but she looked troubled and sad at the moment.
    Li Peiling and Tang Qi prepared a banquet for Jin Yanzi and Silver Blossom.
    Tang Qi said:"Our father is resting you don't have pay your respects to him yet. Let us go to the room of my eldest brother and drink to our contend."
    Li Peiling smiled:"My heaven. You really are something aren't you? You even know that your brother and I have saved up two bottles of precious wine."
    Tang Qi laughed:"Let us drink those bottles with our esteemed guests, when eldest brother comes home he will finish those bottles alone."
    Silver Blossom tried her best to get along with these three women which was working. Her goal was to find Tang Yue, the second son of Tang Wushuang and lover of Golden Blossom.

    Silver Blossom took out a few beautiful objects from her treasure and gave it to the three women as presents.
    Later on all of them were drinking and laughing. Suddenly Tang Qi asked:"Well third lass , how old are you?"
    Jin Yanzi joked:"Why do you ask? Do you want to arrange a meeting for me with someone you know? If you were a man I would marry you."
    Tang Qi drank a cup empty and said:"I know you're about 20 odd years old. You should look for a good husband?"
    Jin Yanzi blushed and said:"You should worry about yourself."
    Tang Qi said:"I'm not getting married in my life, when you have reached my age you will learn that being single is quite lonely."
    After saying this she drank another cup of wine.
    Jin Yanzi felt a bit sad for her but said:"Are we opening up today?"
    Tang Qi sighed:"Do you really think I wanted to be an old spinster? But who wants to take me as his wife?"
    She poured another cup and drank.
    Li Peiling smiled:"But honestly, third lass are you in love with someone? Perhaps the young master of the divine sabre?"
    Jin Yanzi loudly said:"Don't mention him!"
    Li Peiling asked:"You must like someone else, right?"
    Jin Yanzi blushed and smiled:"No, I am not."
    Tang Qi smiled too:"I know you are. Tell us who is it! Be honest now!" She stood up and wanted to tickle Jin Yanzi.
    Jin Yanzi hid behind Tang Lin and smiled:"Fourth sister isn't that young anymore, why won't you ask her whether she is in love with someone."
    Tang Lin stood up and said:"I didn't interfere with your matters. You should stay out of mine."
    She stood up and left.

    Jin Yanzi was surprised and asked:"Why is she angry?"
    Tang Qi said:"I don't know either. She is been acting strange lately."
    Li Peiling said:"Girls at their age are always a bit quick-tempered. I will go and see her."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Sister Li, I will go."
    Li Peiling nodded and said:"Allright, she does seem to like you. But hurry back I still have a few dishes you have to taste."

    Silver Blossom followed Tang Lin and saw her standing under a tree looking very sad.
    Silver Blossom sighed:"Life can sometimes be very sad, won't you agree?"
    Tang Lin who was feeling lonely and sad, she looked at Silver Blossom and said sadly:"How do you know what loneliness is? You get to travel around the realm, you meet people get to see things."
    Silver Blossom sighed:"You're still young. Some people can smile and talk the entire day but in their hearts they pine away for love. Everyone deals with loneliness in a different way."
    Tang Lin thought over those words and nodded and said softly:"You're right. But how do you know if the person you're thinking of is also thinking of you."
    Silver Blossom said:"I don't know, in fact no one knows. That is the difficult and painful part about life and love."
    Tang Lin nodded and agreed.
    Silver Blossom said:"A very long time ago I fell in love with a young man called, Zou Yulang. I only met him once but I kept thinking of him, but I'm afraid he doesn't even remember my name."
    This is absolutely rubbish, but in order to find out where Tang Yue is she trying to trick this lovesick young girl.
    Tang Lin suddenly asked:"Have you been to many places?"
    Silver Blossom nodded. Tang Lin continued:"Have you met and seen a lot of people in your journeys?"
    Silver Blossom smiled wryly:"Too many to mention."
    Tang Lin lowerd her head and was hesitating whether she should ask this question. After some time she raised her head and looked at Silver Blossom and asked:"Do you know a young man called.....Yu Peiyu?"
    Yu Peiyu again Yu Peiyu, Silver Blossom's heart skipped a beat. But she remained calm and asked:"When did you meet this Yu Peiyu? You never leave the Tang Mansion."
    Tang Lin softly said:"A few days he came by."
    Silver Blossom was surprised and said:"He came by."
    Tang Lin bit her lip and said:"He came by to pay a visit to my father, that day my sister and sister-in-law weren't home. Only I was at home after talking to my father for some time, my father had to leave. My father instucted me to him company, so I chatted with him....."
    She was blushing but her eyes glittered, Silver Blossom listened carefully.
    Tang Lin continued:"Normally I don't like talking to strangers but in front of him I felt very at ease. His every word and movement were very considerate and gentle. His voice was filled with understanding and compassion. He was heavily injured at that time but he tried his best to hide it, he didn't want me to know that he was wounded. He was afraid that I would be worried about him, he always thinks of the other people first."
    Her voice was sounded soft and like she was describing a dream.
    Silver Blossom asked:"What happened afterwards?"
    Tang Lin said:"Afterwards my father came back so I had to take my leave, I...I ..thought I would see him the following day. But...but...he left during the night and father didn't tell me where he had gone to. He told my father that he was very grateful that I took the time to accompany him. I....I....am afraid I will never seen him again...."
    She started crying.
    Silver Blossom said:"You just met him once, does he really mean that much to you?"
    Tang Lin said:"But you only met Zou Yulang once too."
    Silver Blossom remembered her lie and said:"If you could never see him anymore."
    Tang Lin said:"If that's the case there is nothing I can do, but....but I think I will never be happy again."
    Silver Blossom looked at her and said:"But if someone could let you see him again."
    Tang Lin grabbed her hand and said:"If that person could help me I will....I will...do anything to repay that person. I've never been so passionate about anything in my life, but now I'm pining away."
    Silver Blossom sighed:"Young love, young love."
    Tang Lin trembled and said with a shaky voice:"You can help me?"
    Silver Blossom didn't answer her question and said:"I always wanted to see something, could you help me?"
    Tang Lin said quickly:"What is it?"
    Silver Blossom said:"I've always wanted to see the famous Tang secretive weaponry fabrication. It is been said that it is one of the most mysterious places in the realm. It sounds like a lot of fun."
    Tang Lin said:"That place isn't much fun."
    Silver Blossom sighed:"Well, since you can't help me I will have to get back inside and eat my dumplings."
    Tang Lin stopped her and said:"If I can help you, you....."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"I will help you too."
    Tang Lin thought for a moment and said:"Allright! I will take you there but I cannot guarantee we will be able to succeed. You have to promise me not to touch anything in there."
    Silver Blossom happily said:"Just a look will be fine I won't touch a thing."
    Tang Lin said:"Let us go now."
    Silver Blossom said:"Let us go inside and eat our dumplings. We don't want them to get suspicious. During midnight we will meet each other here again."
    Tang Lin nodded and had tears in her eyes and thought:Yu Peiyu, Yu Peiyu I'm doing this because of you. Will you ever know that?

    During midnight both of them met again, Tang Lin led the way.
    After walking for a short while Tang Lin told Silver Blossom to hide in the bushes first. Silver Blossom saw a cave being guarded by a few Tang disciples. Silver Blossom had heard that the secretive weapons of the Tang Clan were fabricated with special mineral water found in one of the caves at their land. But whether this story is true no one knows for sure.
    Silver Blossom asked:"Why don't we go in now."
    Tang Lin said:"My fourth martial arts brother Tang Shoufang is guarding the cave now. He is very strict he won't let anyone pass."
    Silver Blossom coldly said:"Let us go back now."
    Tang Lin quickly added:"But in a moment his watch will be over and either my eldest or my seventh martial arts brothers will take over. They are much more easy to persuade."
    Silver Blossom smiled.
    After some time Tang Lin asked:"Do you know young master Yu too?"
    Silver Blossom indifferently nodded.
    Tang Lin bit her lip and said:"How did you meet each other?"
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Don't worry we're just normal friends. My heart belongs to someone else."
    Tang Lin blushed but felt secured now in her heart.
    Silver Blossom said:"I heard that he was injured in his face recently. Is that true?"
    Tang Lin sighed:"That's true. There is still a scar on his face. He told me that the most vicious and mean woman in the world did that."
    Silver Blossom was fuming but smiled:"It must be a mean woman or else she wouldn't have injured him."
    Tang Lin smiled sweetly:"If that woman thinks that with that she has ruined his looks, she is wrong."
    Silver Blossom asked:"How come?"
    Tang Lin said:"That scar on his face brings out his manliness. Before he had a scar on his face I think he might have looked a bit too feminine. He now has more charisma in my opinion."
    Silver Blossom was furious but said:"The apple of your eye always appears beautiful to you."
    Suddenly another group of Tang disciples came, it was time to switch guards.
    The man in front of the new group was a short and fat man.
    Tang Lin's face cleared up and said:"We're in luck, my seventh martial arts brother, Tang Shouqing is guarding the cave now."
    Silver Blossom asked:"That little fat man is your seventh martial arts brother?"
    Tang Lin said:"My seventh brother is a very friendly man, his martial arts has reached a very high level. His nickname is the Thousand Armed Arhat. Next to my brother and my eldest martial arts brother he is the most famous expert of our Tang Clan."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"If you didn't tell me, I thought he looked like a proprietor of a restaurant."
    Tang Lin smiled too:"When he isn't on duty he is a proprietor of a restuarant. He is also responsible for receiving guests and when trespassers do come here they have to deal with my seventh brother first."
    Tang Shouqing stopped in front of the entrance and took out a metal tablet and showed it to the guards.
    In awhile a tall muscular man with a short beard walked out. He looked quite impressive.
    Tang Shouqing smiled:"Fourth brother, sorry to have kept you waiting."
    Tang Shoufang looked around and said:"Why are there only 29 men here?"
    Tang Shouqing said:"Little Hu's wife is in labour so I gave Little Hu permission to go back to his wife."
    Tang Shoufang looked very serious and said:"Having children is not an important matter, practically every day someone is having a baby here in Tang manor. When my wife was giving birth to my son I did not neglect my duties and was still on watch."
    Tang Shouqing apologized:"My mistake, I will not....."
    Tang Shoufang grunted:"Nevermind. Next month he will have to be on duty three extra times. But you're still short of one man."
    Tang Shouqing smiled:"Fourth brother nothing has happened here for the last 13 years. What does one extra or one man less matter?"
    Tang Shoufang sternly said:"Seventh brother, you cannot say that. Even if nothing has happened to this place for a thousand years we still have to be vigilant. The reason that nothing has happened is that we have been guarding this place very well for the last 10 odd years."
    Tang Shouqing lowered his head and said:"I understand."
    Tang Shoufang looked at the 30 men in his own group, he pointed at one man and said:"You! Yesterday during dinner you drank a bit of wine during your watch. I will punish you now for that, you will take over for Little Hu tonight."
    That man replied respectfully:"Yes."
    Tang Shoufang waved his hand and he and his men left, Tang Shouqing and the other 29 men took their places.
    After the men had taken their positions Tang Shoufang turned to Tang Shouqing and said:"Come by tomorrow at my place for dinner. Your sister-in-law has bought two pheasants, she knows that you like to eat pheasants too."
    Tang Shouqing said:"I will bring the wine."
    Tang Shoufang waved his hand and his men followed him, suddenly he turned around and said:"Don't bring too much wine."
    Tang Shouqing smiled:"Allright."
    Silver Blossom was impressed and a bit scared by the security measures taken by the Tang Clan. Any reckless idiot who would try to steal their secret will surely be killed before reaching this place.
    Tang Lin waited till Tang Shoufang was out of sight and said:"Let us try our luck."
    She took Silver Blossom by her hand and they walked out, some men called out:"Who goes there."
    Tang Lin responded:"It is me, Tang Lin."
    The men respectfully said:"It is the fourth Miss."
    Tang Lin said:"I have something important to ask my seventh martial arts brother."
    She continued to walk to the entrance but the men blocked her way. One of them said:"Please forgive us, but without permission from the old master no one is allowed to enter the cave."
    Tang Lin said:"At least let my seventh brother come out and see me."
    The man thought for a minute and said:"I will notify Mr. Tang Shouqing."
    Immediately Tang Shouqing came out to greet Tang Lin and smiled:"Well, fourth sister what can I do for you? And I see that you've brought an esteemed guest as well."
    Silver Blossom smiled and looked at him.
    Tang Lin smiled:"How do you know she is an esteemed guest?"
    Tang Shouqing said:"Yesterday I heard that someone drank up the two precious bottles of wine brother Tang Yu had saved. I wanted to drink a cup too but I wasn't invited."
    Tang Lin smiled:"No wonder sister Qi (Tang Qi) always praises seventh brother for being informative."
    Tang Shouqing smiled:"I will take that as a compliment, now what can I do for you?"
    Tang Lin said:"I brought a guest with me, so what are you going to do to welcome her."
    Tang Shouqing smiled wryly:"There is nothing here that is of any interest. She can always drop by me restaurant for a few bowls of the finest shark fin soup."
    Tang Lin pouted:"What is special about shark fin soup."
    She pulled Tang Shouqing' sleeve and said:"She just wants to have a look, last time when sister Qi brought a guest you allowed her to take the guest for a tour. If you allowed her so you should also allow me to do the same thing. Or else you're not welcome at my place when I am having a feast."
    Tang Shouqing sighed:"When I heard that you were here I already guessed your motives. Why didn't you come by when fourth brother was on duty?"
    Silver Blossom giggled and said:"I know we couldn't fool him, let's ask sister Qi."
    She was talking to Tang Lin but it was loud enough for Tang Shouqing to hear it too.
    Tang Shouqing sighed:"You know that I'm afraid of the second Miss, but I'm also afraid of the fourth Miss. She is quite a petty girl."
    He moved aside and said:"Be quick with your tour and don't wander off."

    The tree of them walked to the entrance of the cave, Silver Blossom saw a big heavy metal door. Tang Shouqing pressed a switch and the iron doors opened. Silver Blossom knew that no one can force their way inside unless you know how to operate the switch.
    Tang Lin and Silver Blossom entered the cave. It was deep cave and looked quite ancient and spooky.
    Silver Blossom said:"He didn't have to warn us, in such a place nobody would wander off."
    Tang Lin pouted:"If it wasn't for you I wouldn't enter this eerie place."
    Although she said that she felt in her heart very proud that the Tang Clan had preserved this practically sacred place.
    Tang Lin led the way, the underground water source was channeled to several apparatuses. Some muscular men looking blacksmiths were operating these apparatuses.
    The entire place was organized like an underground factory, you had blacksmiths striking the iron till the required models.
    It looked very impressive and majestic, Silver Blossom was very much impressed and began to realise why the Tang Clan had been famous and respected for about 300 years.
    Tang Lin asked after an hour or so:"Seen enough?"
    Silver Blossom said:"Are you joking? This place is magnificent I haven't seen enough yet."
    Tang Lin said:"Everyone who came here for the first time has the same expression like you. No one would have guessed that forging our tiny secretive weapons would require such an enterprise."
    Tang Lin thought for a moment and took out a metalic object from her girdle and showed it to Silver Blossom. It resembled a flower.
    Tang Lin asked:"Do you recognize this?"
    Silver Blossom looked at it carefully and said:"I don't have a clue."
    Tang Lin said:"This is one of our most feared secretive weapons, the spiked bludgeon. Our spiked bludgeons differ from the spiked bludgeons from other people because our bludgeons are fabricated in a special way."
    Silver Blossom deliberately said:"I don't see anything special."
    Tang Lin explained:"The spiked bludgeons of other people are made according to fixed stencil plates. They pour the melted metal into those stencils."
    Silver Blossom asked:"How do you make them?"
    Tang Lin answered:"Our bludgeons are made from 13 very thin metalic plates, plate for plate are put together till this form. Whenever our bludgeon hits someone the plates will fold open and clutch into the flesh. And when that person wants to pull out the bludgeon he will also pull out a part of his own flesh."
    Silver Blossom exclaimed:"How very lethal! And the pain!"
    Tang Lin said:"The pain isn't the main concern. Even if the person pulled out the bludgeon they are beyond rescue."
    Silver Blossom asked:"Why do you say that?"
    Tang Lin explained:"Every plate has been dipped with a different type of poison, when the 13 kinds of poison make contact with the blood then it is too late."
    Silver Blossom got goosebumps when she heard this and said:"That explains why everyone fears the Tang Clan secretive weapons."
    Tang Lin added:"There are seven most lethal secretive weapons in our family, the spiked bludgeon is a rather simple weapon compared to those seven. There are some of our weapons which are constructed from 70 to 80 thin metalic plates. For example the construction of the quiver to hold The Ninth Heaven And Tenth Netherworld Celestial Needles is one of the best kept secrets in Wulin."
    Silver Blossom added:"That's why you have different people working on different parts of your secretive weapons. You don't want the workmen to learn the secret of making the Tang secretive weapons."
    Tang Lin said:"Exactly, although we only have really loyal and trushtworthy people working here but still our ancestors thought of a way to make sure that the workmen will never learn the secret.
    For example these two men are responsible for modelling those metalic plates. They will never know how the metalic plates become a spiked bludgeon."
    She pointed at two blacksmiths striking iron.
    Silver Blossom praised:"No wonder the Tang Clan has become and stayed the number one experts in secretive weaponry."
    Tang Lin said:"This way these men can go home after their shifts and live their lives. We're not afraid that people will threaten them to reveal our secret. Because they don't know it."
    Silver Blossom pointed to a stone house and said:"Who is in there?"
    Tang Lin said:"The people in there are responsible for putting the plates together."
    Silver Blossom asked:"Won't they reveal your secret?"
    Tang Lin said:"The workmen in there are usually old men who have retired and do not have any family anymore. Also they requested for this job themselves and will never leave this place."
    Silver Blossom sighed:"That's why they are so dilligent. They have given up their lives for the fabrication of secretive weapons.
    At this point Tang Shouqing came and walked up to them.
    Tang Lin suddenly said:"Will the two of you wait for me a minute, I am going to see someone. I'll be right back."
    Tang Shouqing frowned and said:"Fourth sister, don't forget......"
    Before he could finish Tang Lin was already out of sight.




    End of chapter 13

  15. #15
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 14 Up To No Good

    Silver Blossom was seemingly chit-chatting with Tang Shouqing but she secretly watched Tang Lin enter one of the stone houses. Although the door was closed very quickly, Silver Blossom could see that the man Tang Lin was talking to was not an old man. She couldn't see his face but she did immediately thought:It must be Tang Yue, Tang Wushuang must have hidden his son here.
    She was extremely happy about this but didn't forget Tang Shouqing.
    Tang Shouqing said:"Would you and Miss Jin join me for lunch tomorrow at my restaurant."
    Silver Blossom blushed:"If sister Jin is going I will go too."
    She walked to a underwater stream and said:"Could I wash my hands here?"
    Tang Shouqing said:"Of course you can."
    Silver Blossom put her hands in the water and washed them, Tang Shouqing was captivated by her elegant and beautiful hands.
    Tang Lin came back and was quite annoyed, she said:"He's becoming very strange, he wouldn't even look at me."
    Tang Shouqing said:"He's feeling a bit upset lately. Don't mind him."
    Silver Blossom was certain that man was Tang Yue, she secretly dropped her purple silk handkerchief into the water. She got up and said:"Fourth sister, I have seen enough."
    Tang Shouqing said:"Fourth sister...."
    Tang Lin interupted:"Seventh brother, don't worry. We haven't given you any problems."
    Tang Shouqing said:"Next time......."
    Suddenly Tang Shouqing saw that the stream up ahead was emitting a purple smoke. The smoke turned into a thick fog. The fog was becoming very thick in short time and you couldn''t even see who was standing next to you anymore.
    Tang Shouqing called out loudly:"Everyone stay at your current position and be extra vigilant!"
    Tang Lin asked:"What should I do?"
    Tang Shouqing said:"Stay here and take care of your friend."
    Tang Shouqing took out a flint a made a small fire. He dashed into the fog and went to his position.
    Tang Lin wanted to take Silver Blossom's hand but she was gone.
    She called out:"Sister Hua, Hua Yingfeng, where are you?"
    However Silver Blossom will never respond to her cries.

    Silver Blossom already calculated the position of the stone house and when the fog was thick enough she immediately ran to it.
    She quietly asked:"Tang Yue, young master Tang are you here?"
    A voice asked:"Who is looking for me?"
    Silver Blossom took him by his hand and said:"Don't you recognize my voice?"
    Tang Yue said:"Silver Blossom?"
    Silver Blossom laughed:"Yes, my sister is thinking of you. I came here to take you to see her."
    Tang Yue said:"But my father...."
    He was still hesistating but was already pulled out.
    Silver Blossom said:"Don't you want to see my sister?"
    Silver Bossom waved her hand and a silver object flew out and emitted a metalic glow. She could now distinct clearly where the exit was.
    She also noticed that Tang Yue wasn't really to keen on leaving this place.
    They could hear Tang Shouqing sternly giving orders:"Watch the exit don't let anyone come or go out!"
    Silver Blossom said rather annoyed:"Tang Yue, don't make me use force on you."
    Tang Yue now saw no choice but to follow her.
    When they reached the exit, some of the men used their swords and sabres to stop two figures. Silver Blossom waved her hand and those men screamed and fell to the ground.
    Both of them came out the cave, outside everything was still normal. The guards outside were unaware of the chaos in the cave, suddenly a tall man saw Silver Blossom and pulled his sabre. Silver Blossom killed him with one stroke.
    Now a gong was sounded and the guards outside were also alarmed. For the past two days, Silver Blossom had already planned an escape route. She pulled Tang Yue by the hand and fled to the south.
    Tang Yue protested:"But Tang Mansion is heavily guarded."
    Silver Blossom giggled:"Everyone thinks the Tang Mansion is as safe as the imperial palace. But to us Tang Mansion is no different from an ordinary inn. We go and leave as we please."
    Just when she finished a group of men blocked their way and the leader of these men was the stern Tang Shoufang.
    Silver Blossom was a bit scared of this man and saw he had already worn his leather gloves. He was about to use his secretive weapons.
    Tang Shoufang loudly said:"Who goes there? Stop right now!"
    Silver Blossom giggled:"You're an expert in secretive weaponry so am I. Let us compete who is the best."
    They stood face to face to each other and readied themselves.
    Tang Yue suddenly took out a metal tablet from his girdle and said:"Here is the tablet of the old master! Let us through!"
    Tang Shoufang respectfully backed away and said:"Yes."
    He told the men to move aside and let Silver Blossom and Tang Yue go.

    After running for some time both of them entered the temple of the local earth deity. Silver Blossom had already marked this temple as one of their resting points.
    Silver Blossom felt relieved and said:"Well, it seems that you do have a heart. If it wasn't for you taking out that tablet we would still be stuck in there."
    She lit the candles in the temple and saw that Tang Yu was wearing a mask from the Chinese opera.
    Silver Blossom laughed:"Why are you wearing a mask? I thought my brother-in-law was a handsome dashing fellow."
    Tang Yue said:"My father doesn't want me to be recognized."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Your old man is really a strange man, remove your mask."
    Tang Yue said:"My father used a special type of glue to attach this mask. The effects of the glue will were off after a day, but if I forcibly remove it now I will pull of my skin too."
    Silver Blossom was stunned and said:"How very strict! But nevermind I still remember how you look like."
    Silver Blossom continued:"My sister was trying to keep you for herself but ever since I saw you. I kept thinking of you."
    Tang Yue sighed:"How is your sister?"
    Silver Blossom cried:"I went through al that trouble to help you escape. You didn't even thank me, all you can do is think about my sister."
    Tang Yue said in a gentle voice:"Thank you for helping me. But how did you manage to come in the Tang Mansion in the first place?"
    Silver Blossom said:"Do you know a girl called Jin Yanzi?"
    Tang Yue said:"Yes I have heard of her."
    Silver Blossom said:"I knew she was a close friend of the Tang family. That's why I became her sworn sister."
    Tang Yue was surprised and asked:"She actually became sisters with you?"
    Silver Blossom laughed:"She doesn't know my real identity, she just thinks I am a poor girl who nobody wants. She is a very gullible girl, fooling her is too easy."
    Tang Yue sighed:"She is a very naive girl."
    Silver Blossom continued:"To make my cover a bit more convincing I asked her whether I could put my precious treasures at the Tang Mansion. She complied to my request. But in fact I had already hid my treasure at a very safe place. And replaced the rest with worthless junk. I just took a few precious jewelry and gave it to your sisters and sister-in-law. As the whereabouts of my valuable luggage......that remains a secret. But I can tell you that I don't have any financial headaches anymore for the rest of my life."
    Tang Yue asked:"But what about Tang Lin?"
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Your little sister is in love, so I tricked her I would help her find her lover. But she had to take me to the cave where you were hiding."
    Tang Yue remained silent and said:"You did put a lot of effort in this operation. Your sister will be most grateful."
    Silver Blossom cried:"Again my sister, I went through al that trouble just for you. What has she done for you?"
    She started to weeping sadly.
    Tang Yue didn't know what to say and said:"Why are you crying?"
    Silver Blossom said rather annoyed:"You fool! Don't you know these are tears because of you."
    Tang Yue said:"Why...why?"
    Silver Blossom said:"I feel sorry for you and I don't want to hurt you."
    Tang Yue asked:"What has happened? Why would I be hurt?"
    Silver Blossom said in a trembling voice:"She...she...my sister..You shouldn't be thinking of her now, because....because......"
    Tang Yue quickly asked:"What has happened?"
    Silver Blossom said loudly:"She has found another man."
    Tang Yue was speechless.
    Silver Blossom cried:"I didn't want to tell you this but I'm too confused at the moment."
    She embraced and cried on his shoulders.
    Tang Yue asked slowly:"Who is that man?"
    Silver sobbed:"I cannot tell you, I have betrayed my own sister now."
    Tang Yue said:"I just want to know,..."
    Silver Blossom sobbed:"I will tell you, that man is called Yu Peiyu."
    Tang Yue was surprised and said:"Yu Peiyu?"
    Silver Blossom asked:"Do you know him?"
    Tang Yue shook his head and said:"I have never heard of this name before."
    Silver Blossom said:"Luckily you haven't met him yet, because he is the most cruel, manipulative, hypocritical and vile man in the entire realm."
    Tang Yue was silent for some time and said:"Your sister doesn't love me anymore. Why are you here?"
    Silver Blossom looked at him and said:"Don't you understand my feelings?"
    Tang Yue shook his head and said:"No, I really don't know what you're thinking?"
    Silver Blossom stamped her feet and said:"You, idiot."
    Tang Yue sighed and said:"I am an idiot, otherwise...."
    Silver Blossom interupted him and said:"Don't say it! Although my sister has betrayed you. I willl......"
    She put up a sexy position and looked at Tang Yue.
    Tang Yue embraced her too.
    Silver Blossom said:"Blow out the candles."
    Tang Yue said:"Don't blow them out yet, I want to look at you."
    Silver Blossom pouted:"You're naugthy."
    Tang Yue said slowly:"I just want to see what kind of manipulative, cruel, lying and vile woman you are."
    Silver Blossom was shocked to hear such words and said:"What are you saying?"
    Before she could do anything Tang Yue sealed 12 acupoints on her back.
    Silver Blossom fell to the ground and said:"What are you doing?"
    Tang Yue said:"You said you will never forget the voice of Tang Yue, right?"
    Silver Blossom said with fear in her voice:"You...you are not Tang Yue? Who are you?"
    [Tang Yue] removed the mask and revealed a very beautiful face almost perfect. But there was a scar on his face but it made this person even more charismatic."
    Silver Blossom said with a shaky voice:"Yu Peiyu, it is you! How can this be? Yu Peiyu, why are you here....."
    Silver Blossom was really scared, her self-confidence was gone. Yu Peiyu said with a faint smile:"You never thought this would happen. You shouldn't use Yu Peiyu in your lies when you talking to Yu Peiyu. I think your luck is running up."
    Silver Blossom was too shocked to say anything and just repeated softly:"It's you.....how could it be? Yu Peiyu......"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Didn't you hear from Tang Lin I went to the Tang Mansion?"
    Silver Blossom said:"Of course! You came here looking for protection from Tang Wushuang. How could I oversee this?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I was injured and couldn't go anywhere else. Tang Wushuang helped me and even let me stay in his secret cavern."
    Silver Blossom felt a bit more confident and said:"The old goat even lied to his daughter. No wonder you wouldn't talk to Tang Lin earlier."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"She won't forget the voice of her own brother."
    Silver Blossom asked:"So Tang Yue was originally hidden in that house?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Yes, you're right. That day Tang Wushuang took me there and told me to exchange places with his son. I even wore his old clothes and wore the mask. Tang Wushuang even concealed this truth from his own students."
    Silver Blossom said:"So the real Tang Yue has been relocated, where is he now?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I don't know, even if I did know I wouldn't tell you. I'm afraid you will never find him."
    Silver Blossom felt terrified and asked:"What....what...are you planning to do to me?"
    Yu Peiyu just looked at her.
    Silver Blossom loudly said:"I know you hate me for injuring your face! But I just cut you lightly, someone else used her sword to stab you several times. Why won't you hate her? Why do you only hate me?"
    She was referring to Lin Daiyu, Yu Peiyu sighed and closed his eyes. Silver Blossom was happy to see this change and said:"The reasons why I cursed and injured was because I love you. I love you very much, because you didn't returned my love I hated you for that."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I won't harm you, don't worry. There are so many people in this world who have hurt me. Why should I hate you and punish you alone?"
    Silver Blossom asked with joy:"You don't hate me?"
    Yu Peiyu shook his head and said:"I don't hate you and I won't hurt you."
    Silver Blossom felt relieved and also touched, she thought that Yu Peiyu was treating her better now. She was thinking:Who knows he might even start to like me?
    Yu Peiyu continued:"But I will take you back to the Tang Mansion."
    Silver Blossom was scared again and shouted:"You said you didn't hate me. Why do you treat me in this way? If you take me back I will die at their hands."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I don't care whether you wounded me, cursed me, lied to me. I don't even want to think about that anymore. However I cannot allow you to continue causing harm to everyone else."
    Silver Blossom shouted:"You're a hypocrite! You want to see me die, but you don't want to kill me yourself! Kill me now, if you have the guts! You're not even a man!"
    Yu Peiyu ignored her and didn't become angry. After seeing that he didn't become angry she stopped. She didn't know what to do anymore and started to cry.
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"If you would have treated people with a bit more respect in the past, I might have let you off."
    Suddenly Yu Peiyu heard horses riding this way. He blew out the candles and sealed another acupoint of Silver Blossom, so she couldn't talk.
    Yu Peiyu after enduring endless hardships had become even more vigilant. He embraced Silver Blossom and leapt up to a beam on the roof.
    The three riders stopped in front of the temple and entered. Yu Peiyu could see what was going on but he couldn't see the faces of the riders in the dark. But he felt that one of the riders looked a bit familiar.
    One of the riders said:"This way please." And he lit the candles.
    Yu Peiyu almost immediately leapt down because he recognized two of the riders. One was the Flowered Chestnut Sword Lin Shoujuan and other was the Dragonking of Taihu. The other man Yu Peiyu didn't recognize but he was about 26, 27 years old and he was wearing leather gloves similar to Tang Shoufang. So Yu Peiyu concluded that he must be a disciple of the Tang Clan.
    The Dragonking stroked his beard and said:"The Unparalleled Old Man arranged to meet with us here. But if young master Tang Yu wasn't here we couldn't find this place."
    The young man smiled:"My father only instructed me to notify you. He didn't reveal any of this to my sisters and other martial arts brothers or sisters."
    The Dragonking smiled:"This is a private deal Tang Wushuang made with us."
    Yu Peiyu was shocked and sad to see and to hear this, what kind of business did Tang Wushuang have with these two men.
    The sad part was that both imposters managed to impersonate the real Lin Shoujuan and Dragonking perfectly.
    The Dragonking asked:"Will your father be coming soon?"
    Tang Yu said:"This is an important matter to my father I'm sure he will come."
    Lin Shoujuan said:"I have heard that that fellow has good martial arts and is very cunning. Can your father deal with him?"
    Tang Yu smiled:"Although that man is cunning he doesn't suspect my father. And my father has arranged for him to hide in the most secret place in the Tang Mansion. Even if he wasn't injured he cannot escape."
    Lin Shoujuan stroked his beard and said:"The Unparalleled Old Man is very crafty."
    The Dragonking said:"Young master Tang, you should know that chancellor Yu has no ill intentions towards that man. He just doesn't like that man to use the name of his late son. If that fellow is up to no good it will affect the reputation of the chancellor and the late young master Yu. That's why we don't have a choice, but....."
    Tang Yu quicky said:"We completely understand."
    The Dragonking smiled:"After your father has rounded up this problem successfully, chancellor Yu will certainly not forget your father's help. He will and shall repay your father. However chancellor Yu is responsible for the entire safety of Wulin, his every movement and action will be watched. He is afraid that some people will talk if this problem gets leaked out."
    Tang Yu said:"Don't worry, sir. My father and I won't reveal a word."
    Yu Peiyu felt cold over his entire body. That man/fellow was him.
    That imposter wouldn't leave him alone and that Tang Wushuang had betrayed him.
    If it wasn't for Silver Blossom he would still be there. He was breaking out in a cold sweat.
    Tang Yu said:"I hope chancellor Yu will keep up his end of the bargain."
    Lin Shoujuan said earnestly:"The chancellor will always keep his word."
    The Dragonking said:"But your father has to deliver us what he promised. We will take care of the Three Magnificent Flower Ladies. Chancellor Yu will only have to issue an order and a punitive expedition will be lead to annihilate a mere Heavenly Silkworm Sect."
    Tang Yu said:"If chancellor Yu can help us to destroy this threat from now on all the Tang disciples will be most grateful to the chancellor."
    Yu Peiyu now understood, Tang Wushuang betrayed him because he was afraid of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect and the Silver Blossom and her two sisters. He looked down upon Tang Wushuang the leader of the most famous Wulin family was a coward.
    Suddenly the altar of the altar of the local earth deity moved and an opening appeared. Tang Wushuang walked out looking rather embarrassed.
    Yu Peiyu never would have guessed that there was a secret tunnel leading from the mansion to this temple.
    Tang Wushuang smiled apologetically:"My respects, I apologize for being late."
    The Dragonking said:"Not at all, I take it that Mr. Tang has brought Yu Peiyu?"
    Tang Wushuang said:"There is a small delay...."
    Lin Shoujuan sternly asked:"What has happened?"
    Tang Wushuang sighed:"He....Yu Peiyu has escaped."
    The Dragonking loudly roared:"What!"
    Tang Wushuang apologized:"I'm very sorry that this has happened."
    The Dragonking angrilly said:"Are you making fun of us?"
    Tang Wushuang said:"I wouldn't dare......"
    Lin Shoujuan said:"Even so how is it possible that he could have escaped from the Tang Mansion."
    Tang Wushuang said:"I lured him into our cave but I forgot that I gave him one of my metal tablets. And he used the tablet to escape. I was too negligent."
    The Dragonking scoffed:"Negligent!?! I'm afraid you have your own agenda, right?"
    Tang Wushuang said immediately:"Absolutely not."
    Lin Shoujuan said:"If there isn't an ulterior motive you are really becoming a senile old goat....."
    Tang Yu, who was already quite angry this time, hit a table with his fist and shouted:"Who are you to talk to my father in this way!"
    There is a saying: The older you get the more value you place on life. Tang Wushuang had lost all his courage in his final years of his life. But his son who was still young couldn't control his temper anymore.
    Both Lin Shoujuan and the Dragonking were surprised by his anger.
    Tang Yu continued:"Perhaps both of you have forgotten where you are. If any of us will give the order neither of you will live to see another sunrise."
    The Dragonking laughed:"Young master Tang, don't get angry. We're just a bit upset about that fellow getting away. We wouldn't dare to offend old Mr. Tang."
    Tang Wushuang who regained a bit of his confidence stroked his beard and said:"Even if chancellor Yu was here, he wouldn't blame me."
    The Dragonking smiled mysteriously:"Really?"
    All of a sudden they heard marching sounds towards the temple and before long eight men in black robes wearing big straw hats holding swords and sabres entered the temple.
    Tang Wushuang asked with fear:"What....what is the meaning of this?"
    At this point an elderly gentleman wearing a long green brocade walked in. With the exception of Yu Peiyu everyone recognized him as the present chancellor of Wulin, Yu Fanghe.
    Tang Wushuang was sweating and said respectfully:"I didn't know the chancellor would come. Please forgive me for not receiving you."
    Yu Fanghe smiled faintly:"Brother Wushuang, you're too formal."
    He looked at the angry looking Tang Yu and said:"Is this your son?"
    Tang Wushuang said:"Yes, chancellor. He is my unworthy son, Tang Yu."
    Yu Fanghe smiled:"Not bad! Worthy of being the son of the Unparalleled Old Man, how old is he?"
    Tang Yu replied:"I'm 26 years old, chancellor."
    Yu Fanghe said calmly:"It is amazing you're able to become 26 with your temper."
    Tang Yu was stunned and angered by this remark.
    Yu Fanghe continued:"Young men should respect seniors and the last thing they should consider to do is hitting a table and roaring to them. Don't you think that's a bit too rude, brother Wushuang."
    Tang Yu said loudly:"But I wasn't wrong."
    Tang Wushuang quickly said:"Please forgive him, chancellor Yu. I will apologize on his behalf."
    Yu Fanghe coldly said:"I was talking to your son, brother Wushuang."
    Tang Wushuang remained silent. Tang Yu took a deep breath and said earnestly:"I too know that one should respect your seniors, but if other people would mock or insult my father I will not tolerate that."
    Yu Fanghe asked:"Not tolerate? Please elaborate?"
    Tang Yu said:"I will defend my father and his honour with everything I have. Even if it means dying."
    Yu Fanghe smiled:"Hmmm. Very good, I admire your principles."
    When he finished he waved his hand very quickly and slapped Tang Wushuang twice on his face.
    Nobody knows whether it was the fear that he was dealing with the chancellor of Wulin here but Tang Wushuang couldn't or didn't avoid those two slaps.
    Yu Fanghe turned to Tang Yu and asked with a smile:"Well?"
    Tang Yu was furious and was about to strike, Tang Wushuang yelled:"You unfilial son! Don't be rude in front of the chancellor!"
    Yu Fanghe smiled and said:"He wouldn't dare to be rude."
    Again he slapped Tang Wushuang, Tang Yu had tears in his eyes and said:"Father, please forgive me for not obeying your commands."
    He leapt up and flew towards Yu Fanghe. Tang Wushuang shouted:"Yu'Er, stop!"
    But it was too late, Tang Yu's fist had struck Yu Fanghe on his shoulder. Tang Yu's wrist was broken and he flew backwards and landed heavily on the floor.
    Yu Fanghe looking very carefree and smiled:"Brother Wushuang, your son is very bold."
    Tang Wushuang knelt down and was kowtowing to Yu Fanghe. He begged:"Chancellor Yu, my son is ignorant. Please forgive him!I beg of you....."
    Yu Fanghe sighed:"Of course I won't take this matter seriously, but you were also present during the gathering at Lake Huang. We agreed that anyone who offended the chancellor of Wulin should be punished. But I forgot what that punishment was?"
    Tang Wushuang quickly pleaded:"I just want the chancellor to spare his life, I will chop off his both hands. And force him to acknowledge his mistakes in front of you."
    Yu Fanghe casually turned to the Dragonking and asked:"Well?"
    The Dragonking loudly said:"No, the rules are set we cannot change them. If we do, the principles at the gathering will never be the same again."
    Yu Fanghe sighed:"Brother Wushuang, I cannot help you."
    The Dragonking picked up Tang Yu and dragged him outside and in an instant they heard a cry of pain.
    Tang Wushuang collapsed and cried.
    If Yu Peiyu wasn't eager on finding out the truth he would have leapt down and stopped this tragedy.
    Yu Fanghe sighed:"With the lost of your son, brother Wushuang must want to take revenge, right?"
    Tang Wushuang got up and lowered his head and said:"My....my son was ignorant and sought his....his own....de....death...I won't blame anyone for this tragedy."
    Yu Fanghe smiled:"I knew brother Wushuang was a reasonable man."
    Tang Wushuang lowered his head even more, even Yu Peiyu felt embarrassed for him.
    Yu Fanghe asked:"Brother Wushuang, do you know why I came here?"
    Tang Wushuang said:"It must be because of that Yu Peiyu."
    Yu Fanghe smiled:"You're mistaken."
    Tang Wushuang said with surprise:"I'm wrong."
    Yu Fanghe calmly explained:"I wanted to find out a bit more about the antecedents of this young man, I was afraid he might be my....unworthy late son. But after some investigation I know he is someone else. I do not care whether he's alive or dead."
    Yu Peiyu and Tang Wushuang were both surprised to hear this, Tang Wushuang stuttered:"But...but why are you here chancellor Yu?"
    Yu Fanghe said:"I want you to meet a friend?"
    Tang Wushuang asked:"A friend? Which friend do you mean?"
    Yu Fanghe smiled:"This is a funny situation. Brother Wushuang has seen him numerous times but he has never even met you before."
    Tang Wushuang had no idea what he was talking about and was also completely in the dark who he was going to meet.
    But he just saw that Lin Shoujuan, the Dragonking and those eight men were smiling strangely.
    Yu Peiyu was thinking too:Why is this Yu fellow here? Why did he kill Tang Yu like that. Is it because Tang Yu wasn't allowed to meet this "friend."
    Who is this "friend?"
    Yu Peiyu was breaking out in a cold sweat. Yu Fanghe nodded his head and one of those eight men went outside. In a minute he lead another man in wearing a long robe. However Yu Peiyu couldn't see his face from up there.
    But he did noticed that Tang Wushuang was becoming very very scared when he saw that man.
    Yu Fanghe smiled:"Brother Wushuang, does he look familiar?"
    Tang Wushuang shouted:"He.....he.....I.....I....."
    He was totally lost for words.
    Yu Fanghe continued:"He wanted to meet you for a long time already. However I felt that the time wasn't right yet. Do you know why?"
    Tang Wushuang trembled and said:"I don't know."
    Yu Fanghe smiled:"I didn't want to see brother Wushuang die so soon."
    Tang Wushuang was sweating heavily and shouted:"What do you mean with that?"
    Yu Fanghe smiled:"Very simple! The day you meet him is the day you die."
    That man walked up a bit more closely and Yu Peiyu saw his face, he looked exactly like Tang Wushuang. Identical!
    He finally discovered the secret of these monsters.
    Tang Wushuang was speechless.
    Yu Fanghe smiled:"What do you think? A masterwork don't you think? Painters can only draw paint beautiful paintings but our masterpieces are alive. We spent a lot time and energy in producing a second Tang Wushuang. Much more than our other masterworks. Brother Wushuang should feel proud."
    Tang Wushuang trembled and asked:"But why?"
    Yu Fanghe said:"You don't understand, do you? I will explain, the first Tang Wushuang has lived long enough, the second Tang Wushuang will take his place and live on."
    Now the real Tang Wushuang laughed loudly.
    Yu Fanghe looked at him coldly and said:"What is so funny brother Wushuang?"
    Tang Wushuang laughed:"Why won't I laugh! I think this is all very amusing. You created a puppet to replace me, the real Tang Wushuang?"
    Yu Fanghe coldly said:"We have succeeded many times."
    Tang Wushuang said:"Now I believe the words of the dead Yu Peiyu. But I am different from Yu Fanghe, Wang Yuluo, Ximen Feng and others."
    Yu Fanghe asked:"How so?"
    Tang Wushuang said:"Those people do not have an entire clan like me. How can you fool al those family members of mine? Do you know the habits and my relationships towards my family members and pupils?"
    Yu Fanghe said:"You're right we don't know that, but soon we will."
    Tang Wushuang said:"How?"
    Yu Fanghe smiled:"That is not your concern anymore. And furthermore we will learn a great deal from you."
    Tang Wushuang scoffed:"Do you think I will reveal anyting to you and your lackeys! If you do you're mad!"
    Yu Fanghe said calmly:"I'm confident you will. We have our own methods....of persuasion. Up to now no one has been able to resist us."
    Suddenly they heard a whistle, Yu Fanghe said:"Someone is coming, everyone leave this place quietly!"
    The Dragonking looked at Tang Wushuang and said:"What about him?"
    Yu Fanghe said:"Cover his head and take him along."
    Tang Wushuang took advantage of the situation and took out his secretive weapons and shot them toward his enemies. Yu Fanghe ordered:"Don't move! I will deal with him personally."
    He took one of the those straw hats those eight men wore and twirled it around to block those 10 odd secretive weapons.
    Tang Wushuang raised his palms and advanced forward, the Tang Clan was also famous for their palm and fist techniques.
    Tang Wushuang fiercely attacked Yu Fanghe, Yu Fanghe avoided those stances and asked:"You really dare to attack me?"
    Tang Wushuang scoffed:"You wouldn't kill me, I'm still of use to you."
    Tang Wushuang only used the most lethal stances, stances to kill the oponent but also disregarding your own life.
    Yu Fanghe didn't counter-attack he just simply avoided the stance of Tang Wushuang. Lin Shoujuan, the Dragonking and those eight henchmen stood there looking confident. It seems that they already know the outcome of this battle. And the loser is sure to be Tang Wushuang.
    Yu Peiyu was very anxious to see the martial arts of this Yu Fanghe, he hoped to determine this imposter's identity by looking at his martial arts. But when he saw his movements to block the secretive weapons of Tang Wushuang and how he avoided the stances he was shocked. This imposter was using orthodox Xiantian Wuji School martial arts, and judging by his movements he was certainly not inferior to the real Yu Fanghe. But how can this be?
    Yu Peiyu recognized the movements of this Yu Fanghe, the martial arts of the Xiantian Wuji School place emphasis on elegance and refinement. The imposter has managed to master both these qualities.
    Yu Fanghe laughed:"Brother Wushuang, you're trapped. What can you do anymore?"
    During his laugh he struck out his right palm gently and easily avoided the block of Tang Wushuang. Tang Wushuang received a blow on the chest and fell down.
    It was unbelievable that within one stroke the famous Unparalleled Old Man was defeated.
    Yu Fanghe turned to those men and said:"Take him away!"
    Yu Fanghe, Lin Shoujuan, the Dragonking and others left the temple.
    Yu Peiyu was horrified but also happy that he finally found a clue to their plans.
    Fortunately Yu Peiyu was able to stay hidden from these conspirators. He thought this was the best chance to follow them and find out what their plans are.
    Silver Blossom who was unable to move or speak heard everything. Yu Peiyu whispered into her ear:" I wanted to take you back to the Tang Mansion. But now.....from now on whatever happened between us will be forgotten. You will be able to move in a short while. I hope you won't come after me again and I will also not see you anymore in the future."
    He wanted to leap down and follow Yu Fanghe and his henchmen.
    By this time the Dragonking and two other men came back to the temple.


    End of chapter 14

  16. #16
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 15 A Strong Will

    The Dragonking ordered the two men:"Clean up the mess here! And put the statue back at his original place. We don't want any Tang disciples finding out that old man Tang was here."
    Yu Peiyu was going mad he hoped that they would hurry up and finish, he was afraid that Yu Fanghe would be too far gone.
    But these three men were very careful and thorough, suddenly three metalic objects shot towards the Dragonking and the two men. The two men were hit and fell down, the Dragonking leapt away just in time.
    He took out his Golden Dragon Whip and shouted:"Who dares to injure the warriors of chancellor Yu!"
    He whirled his whip in front of him and dashed out the door, there was a strange sinister evil laughter coming from outside.
    Yu Peiyu was surprised to see this, but he knew that the attacker was an expert and his secretive weapons were very lethal.
    Could it be that the Tang disciples have arrived?

    Before long the Dragonking backed into the temple again, he had lowered his weapon and was sweating heavily.
    A voice said:"Friend, who are you? Why are you here?"
    The voice sounded tempting and mesmeric.
    A figure walked into the temple too, it was a tall character. Yu Peiyu could now see that it was an elderly looking distinguished man. But his eyes looked very sinister.
    The Dragonking responded:"My family name is Wang, I'm from Taihu Lake."
    The elderly man said:"You're the Dragonking of Taihu, but why are you here?"
    The Dragonking said:"I was here with the chancellor of Wulin."
    The man asked:"Yu Fanghe?"
    The Dragonking said:"Yes, we were here to meet Tang Wushuang."
    The Dragonking couldn't help himself, he answered every question this man asked him. Yu Peiyu was glad too because he could finally learn a bit more about the secrets of the mastermind.
    The man asked:"Why did Yu Fanghe meet Tang Wushuang here? What were they discussing? Was is it a secret?"
    The Dragonking said:"There is a secret, chancellor Yu......"
    Yu Peiyu was now very anxious. But the Dragonking stopped talking. The man asked:"Tell me the secret."
    The Dragonking was sweating heavily, the man continued:"You can tell me, I won't harm you."
    The Dragonking was trembling he couldn't help himself and said:"I cannot tell you. I can't tell you!"
    The voice continued:"Don't forget you belong to me. Your soul and body are mine."
    The Dragonking laughed loudly and said:"No, I belong to chancellor Yu. I can't betray him and I won't betray him if I do I will die."
    He raised his iron whip and hit himself on the head.
    The man was surprised too, the Dragonking lied dead in a pool of blood.
    Suddenly Yu Peiyu heard a young woman's voice saying:"They're all dead."
    The man turned around said:"You are right, they are all dead."
    The woman's voice sounded familiar to Yu Peiyu but he couldn't think of who it was.
    The young woman said:"Why did you kill them? They haven't done anything to you."
    The man smiled:"You're right again, I shouldn't have killed them. Your eyes look so pretty. I fell in love with your beautiful eyes."
    The girl blushed and felt very happy, at this time she entered the temple too.
    Yu Peiyu recognized her as the Huashan disciple Zhong Jing, Yu Peiyu thought it was strange that she would be in the company of this strange man.
    Zhong Jing sighed:"I just want to spend the rest of my life with you. I don't want to get involved into the realm of martial arts anymore."
    The man said:"Soon there will be such a day."
    Zhong Jing sighed:"If that day comes I will be so happy, then all the things I did were worth it."
    The man inspected the Dragonking's body and said softly to himself:"Even with my hypnotic powers I couldn't force him to reveal his secrets. That Yu Fanghe is really something."
    Suddenly he saw something at the altar and said to Zhong Jing:"There is a secret here, it must be some sort of secret tunnel."
    Zhong Jing asked:"Where does it lead too?"
    The man smiled:"This temple is build on the land of the Tangs and over this hill is the Tang Mansion."
    Zhong Jing said:"Yes, of course it must lead to the Tang Mansion."
    The man praised:"You're a very smart and pretty girl."
    Zhong Jing pulled the man's arm and said:"Let us go, we shouldn't be here."
    The man said:"No, my biggest joy is finding out the secrets of other people."
    Zhong Jing asked:"Don't go."
    The man coldly said:"Why? Are you afraid that I won't come back."
    Zhong Jing who hadn't noticed the change in his voice said:"No, but I'm just worried about you. Tang Wushuang and Yu Fanghe are very formidable people."
    That man laughed:"They can't harm me. Just stay here and wait for me, allright." He gently touched her hair.
    That man entered the secret tunnel, Zhong Jing stood there and softly said:"Is this right what I'm doing?.....I don't know......"
    At this moment she heard a voice saying:"No, this is not right."

    Zhong Jing called out:"Who is it?"
    She saw a handsome young man making a somersault down from a beam.
    The young man smiled:"I am Yu Peiyu."
    Zhong Jing shrieked:"Yu Peiyu?"
    She knew a Yu Peiyu once but he is dead, and hearing the name of a dead man is quite eerie. Especially in the night and in an old temple like this one.
    But she was quite captivated by this young man but she still backed away and said:"I know a Yu Peiyu, but you're not him. I don't know you."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"But I know you, you're Miss Zhong Jing of the Huashan School."
    Zhong Jing sternly said:"You're here to capture us!"
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Miss, what have you done? Why are there people after you?"
    Zhong Jing felt relieved when she heard that and smiled:"I didn't do anything, I was just testing you."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I didn't mean to overhear your secret, but I would advise to go back."
    Zhong Jing asked with surprise:"Go back? Where to?"
    Yu Peiyu continued:"To your teacher, she will protect you."
    Zhong Jing loudly said:"I don't need protection and who are you to give your opinion about my life."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"It is not my custom to interfere with other people's affairs but there are some things I have to say. Whether you listen to my advice is entirely up to you."
    He looked at the bodies of the Dragonking and the two men and sighed.
    He looked at the beam and knew Silver Blossom would be allright, an intelligent girl like her knows how to take care of herself.
    Before Yu Peiyu walked out the temple, a shadow blocked his way. Zhong Jing happily said:"You're back so soon."
    The man said:"Maybe a bit too soon?"
    Zhong Jing didn't hear the sarcasm in his tone and asked:"Have you seen Yu Fanghe or Tang Wushuang?"
    The man said:"I didn't see any of them." He turned to Yu Peiyu and said:"Isn't that strange?"
    Yu Peiyu didn't know who this man was and also didn't know on which side he was.
    Suddenly Yu Peiyu was captivated by the man's eyes.
    The man repeated his question:"Isn't that strange?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled and said:"That is strange."
    The man said:"Well, why won't you tell me what you saw."
    Yu Peiyu only stared into those strange eyes of that man and didn't know what to say now.
    The man looked at Yu Peiyu too and said:"You have a very handsome face. Even I am charmed by your appearances. You should make use of your face, if you don't know how to do that. I will help you make use of your handsome face."
    Normally Yu Peiyu would become very angry when he heard something like this but now he seemed to be very calm and listened only to the man.
    The man continued:"What did you see earlier? Why were Tang Wushuang and Yu Fanghe meeting each other here?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I don't think you want to know."
    The man said in a serious tone:"I want to know. And if I tell you to tell me, you should just tell me."
    The eyes of the man seemed to be glowing but Yu Peiyu still said:"I really don't think you want to know."
    The man became a bit annoyed and took out a necklace and dangled it before Yu Peiyu and said:"You are my slave, my every word will be your command. You won't resist me."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"I don't like being a slave, I like to be free and hate taking orders."
    The man was sweating now, because if the user of the hypnotic fails to put his victim under it, he himself will fall victim.
    This man didn't know that Yu Peiyu had an extremely high self-control. His father had trained very well, and his will power was unbelievably strong.
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"You were just joking, weren't you?"
    The man replied:"Yes, I was."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"What is your name?"
    The man said:"Guo Pianxian."
    Guo Pianxian finally had a taste of his own medicine he was victim of his own hypnotic spell.
    Yu Peiyu said:"Guo Pianxian? Your name doesn't ring a bell, is that your real name?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"Yes, it is."
    Yu Peiyu was a bit surprised too, he wondered why Guo Pianxian would answer all of his questions.
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Are you and Miss Zhong running from someone? And who are you running from?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"Yes we are being pursued by Xu Shuzhen."
    Yu Peiyu was surprised and said:"The leader of the Huashan School? Were you captured by master Xu? And I take it that Miss Zhong fell in love with you and secretly freed you?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"Yes, that is what happened."
    Yu Peiyu sighed and turned to Zhong Jing:"Miss Zhong betrayed her school and teacher for Guo Pianxian. Miss Zhong must be really....."
    Because Yu Peiyu turned to Zhong Jing, Guo Pianxian didn't feel the pressure Yu Peiyu was giving him anymore. He flung his necklace towards Yu Peiyu.
    Yu Peiyu was surprised that this man would attack now. He spinned around and faced Guo Pianxian. Yu Peiyu's arms folded open, like lotus opening his petals.
    His movements were very graceful like an immortal performing a graceful dance. The necklace was broken and fell into pieces on the floor.
    Zhong Jing felt a powerful energy forcing her back and she saw that Yu Peiyu's movements were utterly magnificent. She thought she saw an immortal in front of her moving gracefully.
    The martial arts of the Xiantian Wuji School place emphasis on elegance, refinement. The stances of this school appear to graceful, ancient and a hint of divinity.
    Zhong Jing called out:"Good martial arts!"
    Guo Pianxian attacked with four stances, his palms were directed towards the chest of Yu Peiyu. He didn't attack with full power, he was a bit cautious especially seeing Yu Peiyu's movements. He only used 50% of his internal strength, he didn't want to use up all his power now.
    Yu Peiyu avoided his attacks and said:"Do you really want to kill me? But why? We haven't met before."
    Guo Pianxian continued his attacks and said:"With you alive I will feel most restless."
    Suddenly he changed from fast to slow, his fists were moving very slow but were more stable and powerful.
    Yu Peiyu called out:"Taiji Fist?"
    The Taiji School and Xiantian Wuji School were befriended with each other. Yu Peiyu leapt away and asked:"Sir, are you a senior of the Taiji School?"
    Yu Peiyu knew with Guo Pianxian's internal strength and age he should be a senior of the Taiji School.
    Guo Pianxian scoffed:"Taiji School isn't good enough, I don't belong to such an inferior school."
    Now his stances became fierce and robust, Yu Peiyu recognized this form and thought:Shaolin's Arhat Tiger Subdueing Fist!
    Then he changed style again, now he used the Gigant Wave Fist.
    After two stances he changed styles again now his fists aimed at the shoulders of Yu Peiyu, but suddenly he quickly changed positions and were headed for his chest.
    Guo Pianxian laughed:"Do you recognize this style?"
    Yu Peiyu had no alternative to counter this technique and used his palms to receive his two fists. Guo Pianxian felt an enormous surge of energy coming through Yu Peiyu's arms and staggered backwards.
    Guo Pianxian was unable to cope with Yu Peiyu's internal strength. Yu Peiyu was born with tremendous strength and he received a very good internal energy training from his father. So his internal power was as good as any top experts in Wulin, perhaps even better.
    Furthermore Guo Pianxian only used 50% of his power.
    Zhong Jing yelled:"Don't harm him!"
    She turned to Guo Pianxian and said:"Let's go! You don't have to fight him."
    Guo Pianxian turned to Yu Peiyu and smiled wryly:"Your martial arts aren't that refined either. You just have tremendous strength and in combination with good internal strength. I've never seen anything like this before. I am no match for you."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Why won't you leave?"
    Guo Pianxian sighed:"You leave me no other choice."
    He got up and was about to leave but suddenly he threw a dozen black objects towards Yu Peiyu. Zhong Jing shrieked:"Why...."
    Before she could finish Guo Pianxian picked her up and chucked her towards Yu Peiyu too.
    Guo Pianxian quickly shifted behind Yu Peiyu's back.
    A very lethal and vicious technique this was.
    If Yu Peiyu wanted to avoid those metallic objects, which by the way wasn't easy. But if he did Zhong Jing would come crashing down on him, and if he turned around to defend himself from Guo Pianxian it would be likely he will be hit by Zhong Jing.
    But if Yu Peiyu would try to catch Zhong Jing, Guo Pianxian will attack him in the back.
    This change of events was too quick for words, the metallic objects came flying towards him and Zhong Jing was just behind those secretive weapons.
    Yu Peiyu could use his sleeve to repel those weapons but then Zhong Jing will be killed by those secretive weapons.
    Guo Pianxian guessed that Yu Peiyu wouldn't let Zhong Jing die.
    However Yu Peiyu did counter-attack those two flying objects, he generated a Yin power to his left palm and a Yang force to his right palm.
    He pushed out his left palm first, a gentle force pushed Zhong Jing softly away and he soon pushed out his right palm repelling those metallic objects.
    At this time Guo Pianxian generated his internal strenght to his palms and was about to strike Yu Peiyu on the back. Anyone else would likely be killed by Guo Pianxian. Suddenly Yu Peiyu changed the energy to his right palm from Yang to Yin. The repelled objects were hit by a gentle force and made a U turn and flew towards Guo Pianxian.
    Guo Pianxian never expected to see his own secretive weapons flying towards him, if he struck Yu Peiyu he will be hit by his own weapons.
    Although the attack of Guo Pianxian was crafty but Yu Peiyu's counter-meassure was even more superb.
    He quickly leapt back to avoid the nails, but his sleeve was pierced anyway.
    Yu Peiyu was furious, how could Guo Pianxian treat the woman who saved his life and loves him this way. Yu Peiyu now attacked fully and showed no mercy in his stances.
    Guo Pianxian had no choice but to fight back, Guo Pianxian was no match for you Yu Peiyu. Also he was injured by Jin Yanzi not too long ago. Before long he could only defend and not attack anymore.
    Yu Peiyu was still very vigilant he learnt from first hand that this Guo Pianxian is very crafty and mastered many types of martial arts.
    Suddenly Guo Pianxian asked:"Do you really want to kill me? But why? We haven't met before."
    He used the same sentence Yu Peiyu used earlier to question his attack.
    Yu Peiyu answered:"With you alive I will feel most restless." Yu Peiyu used the same answer Guo Pianxian used earlier. At this moment Yu Peiyu really did want to kill this man, he felt that he was a menace to Wulin.
    Guo Pianxian was driven into a corner, Zhong Jing stood near the door and cried.
    Guo Pianxian sighed:"Very good! I might as well die, the most dearest woman in my life won't even help me now."
    Zhong Jing cried:"If you're dead I will die too."
    Guo Pianxian sighed:"No, you don't have to die. Follow him!"
    Yu Peiyu was even more angry now and struck out his palm out with full force.
    Guo Pianxian's palms suddenly folded open like the petals of a flower. Yu Peiyu couldn't continue his attack and was also a bit surprised to see this technique. This was a secret stance of the Baihua Association.
    Guo Pianxian didn't want anyone to know his relationship to Madame Hai Tang, that's why he isn't too keen on using her martial arts. And he likes to keep his identity as an elder of the Beggars Association hidden too, that's why he won't use the martial arts of the Beggars Association either.
    But if he is really in lots of danger he will have no choice but to use his most skilled martial arts.
    Yu Peiyu thought:Is his original martial arts school the Baihua Association?
    Yu Peiyu leapt aside and asked:"Are you a disciple of the Baihua Association?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"Haven't you heard that that association only accepts women."
    Yu Peiyu said:"But how do you know the martial arts of the Baihua Association?"
    Guo Pianxian loudly said:"I also know the martial arts of Shaolin and Wudang."
    Yu Peiyu stared at him for some time and said:"It is obvious you're connected to the Baihua Association, but why conceal it?"
    Guo Pianxian laughed:"I only regret that my wounds are not recovered yet. If I wasn't injured in the first place you wouldn't gain the upperhand this quickly, I have nothing else to say. I will not beg for my life!"
    Yu Peiyu was surprised to see pride in this man, he thought a vile man like him would not have such a grandeur.
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Since you have your pride why use such lowly techniques?"
    Guo Pianxian scoffed:"I only place value on my own life. If you think you can threaten my with death you're sadly mistaken."
    Yu Peiyu was stunned, he already knew this man was shameless but his pride was something he didn't count on.
    From the beginning he had an entirely wrong impression of this man.
    Guo Pianxian asked:"Why do keep asking about my connection to the Baihua Association?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I vowed never to fight with disciples of the Baihua Association."
    Guo Pianxian's face changed and said:"Why! Are you related to Madame Hai Tang?"
    Before Yu Peiyu could answer, Zhong Jing stormed towares Guo Pianxian and shouted:"You promised me you wouldn't mention her name again."
    Guo Pianxian gave her an angry look, Zhong Jing shouted:"Why are you interested in the relationships of that woman? Are you jealous?"
    Guo Pianxian stared at her for some time and sighed:"You're the one who is jealous."
    Zhong Jing shouted:"I knew that you didn't love me, from the moment you flung me towards this man I knew it. You wouldn't use her like that. Now you hope I will die soon, right?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"If you're dead I will die too."
    Zhong Jing was calmed down by this and started to cry again, Yu Peiyu was completey confused by this strange situation.
    Guo Pianxian said:"Now you know my relationship with the Baihua Association?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Yes, I do."
    Guo Pianxian gently stoked Zhong Jing's hair and said:"Such a sweet girl! I never thought she would become this jealous."
    Yu Peiyu asked with surprise:"Are you going to kill her?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"No I won't kill her. Although she revealed my secret to you but I won't blame her. I can kill many people for many reasons but I won't kill people for becoming jealous."
    Yu Peiyu looked at him in a suspicous way and said:"You actually are touched by this?"
    Guo Pianxian suddenly looked lonely and said:"Although I have had many women in my life but those women never showed such jealousy before."

    After a moment Yu Peiyu said:"Those are your secrets. Why are you telling me?"
    Guo Pianxian smiled lightly:"If I failed to kill a certain person I will consider him my best friend. That way I will feel much better in my heart.....But I can tell you this, up till now I only have three friends."
    Yu Peiyu just looked at him and didn't know what to do with such a remark.
    Guo Pianxian said:"You're number three."
    Yu Peiyu laughed:"How do you know that I will consider you a friend."
    Guo Pianxian said proudly:"I'm a very powerful man in Wulin, and one of the richest man in the world. Whoever becomes my friend will only benefit from my friendship."
    Yu Peiyu said casually:"I am not a man who only makes friends with people because they rich and powerful."
    He walked towards the door.
    Guo Pianxian yelled:"Friend, please wait!"
    Yu Peiyu stopped walking but didn't turn around, he said calmly:"Are you going to try to kill me, because we couldn't become friends."
    Guo Pianxian said:"I don't need to try and find out whether I can kill a certain or not. But....why do you keep me at arm's length."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I don't want to fight you because of your.....connection with the Baihua Association. As for being friends, well I wouldn't dream of imposing."
    Guo Pianxian asked:"Do you find me vile and repulsive?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Well, aren't you?"
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"Poison can kill people but if you use it correctly it can also be used to cure people. Do you agree? Fight poison with poison! Evil people work the same way, change its direction and the outcome might not be as bad as you think."
    Yu Peiyu thought over his words and said softly:"Fight poison with poison."
    Guo Pianxian said:"With your abilities and if we work together within three years I can promise you. We will rule Wulin."
    Yu Peiyu said calmly:"I do not have such ambitions."
    Guo Pianxian said:"A man should always try to build an empire of his own. To be successful in life. If Yu Fanghe can become the chancellor of Wulin why can't you and I become it too? Furthermore this Yu Fanghe may look like a gentleman but there is something sinister about him. Sooner or later I will find out his secrets......"
    Yu Peiyu turned around and looked very excited and loudly said:"Allright! It's a deal. From now on we will join forces and unite ourselves against those hypocrites. I want them to know who Yu Peiyu is."
    Guo Pianxian was a bit startled by his sudden change but soon he felt happy too and put out his hand and said:"It is a deal! We won't regret this. No one will be allowed to back out of this alliance" And started laughing loudly.
    Yu Peiyu laughed:"Do I look like a man who will go back on his words."
    A voice from the roof laughed:"I don't think the two of you are able enough to rule Wulin."

    Yu Peiyu knew it was Silver Blossom, she could move again. Yu Peiyu didn't use much force to seal her acupoints.
    Guo Pianxian was shocked but didn't show it and asked in a sinster way:"In your opinion what is still missing?"
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Me!"
    She gently descended from the roof and looked ever so charming, Guo Pianxian was also surprised to see such a beautiful young girl.
    Silver Blossom asked:"What do you think?"
    Guo Pianxian nodded:"Not bad, not bad at all."
    Silver Blossom sighed:"Unfortunately I don't have a mirror, otherwise I would like to see for myself."
    Zhong Jing was angered by Silver Blossom and asked angrilly:"Who are you? What do you want? Why were you eavesdropping on us?"
    Silver Blossom smiled:"You gave me quite a scare. Don't talk to loud I scare easily."
    Zhong Jing said:"Allright! Leave!"
    Silver Blossom laughed:"No need to get jealous, if I really wanted to steal away your man. All I have to do is wiggle my finger and he is mine."
    Zhong Jing was very angry but didn't know what to say. Yu Peiyu said:"You shouldn't bully honest young woman like Miss Zhong."
    Silver Blossom giggled:"I knew my young master Yu is a real gentleman, please don't get angry with me. I'm only afraid of you in this entire world."
    She looked at Guo Pianxian and said:"He and I both lost at the hands of young master Yu. If young master Yu wants us to sit down we wouldn't dream of getting up."
    She easily aligned herself with Guo Pianxian with just a few words. Yu Peiyu knew she was up to her old tricks but didn't know what to do with her. So he sighed:"What are you thinking of?"
    Silver Blossom said:"I just told you."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Do you care to explain that?"
    Silver Blossom smiled:"If the both of you want to dominate Wulin, you're still missing one important aspect. But if I join forces with you.....We will surely succeed, we will become unstoppable."
    Guo Pianxian laughed:"You want to join our alliance."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"I'm your fourth friend."
    Guo Pianxian examined her and said:"With your credentials you can even be the concubine of the emperor, but being my fourth friend.....You're not fit yet."
    Silver Blossom said:"What? Am I not as good as your lovers?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"Lovers and friends are two entirely different things. I have so many lovers that I lost count, but I only have three friends. Two of them are long dead now."
    Silver Blossom asked:"What does it take to become your friend?"
    Guo Pianxian asked:"What do you have to offer?"
    Silver Blossom said:"Although I'm not the most beautiful woman in the world, but I can make men very happy. Care to try?"
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"I'm sure you are, and I will soon find out. But still not enough."
    Silver Blossom continued:"I'm also a very powerful woman, with one order I can call up about 3000 men at my disposal."
    Which is true as an elder of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect she can easily call up her disciples.
    Guo Pianxian said:"Extra help is always good, but we need to feed those extra men too."
    Silver Blossom said:"I'm also a very rich woman and if you don't believe I will show you."
    Guo Pianxian said:"You're getting close."
    Yu Peiyu said:"That's not enough."
    Silver Blossom looked at him and said:"Don't forget I'm a vile woman. If you want to fight poison with poison I'm your woman....Besides sometimes the best man for the job is a woman."
    Yu Peiyu thought about what she said and smiled:"You're right. Accepted."
    Silver Blossom asked Guo Pianxian:"What about you?"
    Guo Pianxian laughed:"You're number four."
    Silver Blossom clapped her hands and giggled:"Now, who dares to oppose us? Whoever is in our way we regret the day he/she was born."

    Exactly one day ago Yu Peiyu would have never dreamt he would become friends with Guo Pianxian and let alone join forces with the likes of Silver Blossom and Guo Pianxian. However now he thought differently.
    At the gathering of Lake Huang all the orthodox Wulin people have been subjected to Yu Fanghe. They see Yu Fanghe as their leader, how can Yu Peiyu fight him. Yu Peiyu has no power and no support. He has to take another route to battle his enemies, fight poison with poison.
    He now found out that the leader of the famous Tang Clan was in fact no better than Silver Blossom. Or even worse than her.
    By joining forces with this lot he has gained a few strong allies against his so-called righteous enemies.

    Silver Blossom lead the way, she lead them to a graveyard. Zhong Jing tightly held on to Guo Pianxian's hand.
    She hatefully said to Silver Blossom:"Why are taking us here? What are you planning?"
    Silver Blossom giggled:"Are you afraid little sister? These places can be eerie but also lots of fun."
    Zhong Jing said with surprise:"Fun?"
    Silver Blossom said:"Yes, nights like these the spirits come back and perform a nice dance."
    The wind was howling at this moment and Zhong Jing got the shivers just by hearing the wind.
    She deliberately said:"If they do appear I will dance with them."
    Silver Blossom laughed:"They love beautiful young women like you, I'm sure they won't like it to part with you. They might even take you back to their graves."
    Zhong Jing was shivering, and Silver Blossom was laughing loudly to see her afraid.
    Guo Pianxian:"Very clever of you to hide your treasure here."
    Silver Blossom praised:"Very good! You guessed that I hid my treasure here. We're really made from the same type of wood, we really belong to each other."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I do hope that there aren't many people made from that type of wood in the world."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Don't worry there aren't many. Furthermore two are enough."
    And she smiled towards Guo Pianxian, who returned the smile.
    Zhong Jing angrilly said:"If you want to seduce men, pick a different place!"
    Silver Blossom giggled:"My, my aren't we a jealous little girl!"
    Yu Peiyu frowned:"Did you put your belongings into a grave?"
    Silver Blossom said:"Yes, I found two unemployed bums invited them for some drinks. When they were tipsy and lured them here and told them to dig up a new grave. Anyway I removed the corpse and put my treasure inside."
    She asked Yu Peiyu:"Clever, right? You only have poor people living in this small town. Even grave robbers wouldn't bother in this town. The only things that will know about my little treasure are the ghosts."
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"What about those two bums?"
    Silver Blossom giggled:"You're very sharp. Since they helped me I invited them for another drink just to reward them. Not everyone is lucky enough to taste my special wine. (sigh*) Unfortunately before they could finish the bottle they somehow dropped dead."
    This sort deceiving, killing is absolutely natural to her. She didn't feel ashamed of it, in fact she felt quite proud about it. She even thought it was a funny anecdote.
    Guo Pianxian smiled to Yu Peiyu:"Brother Yu, those two men were willing to work for her. It is unlikely that they were any good characters. I don't mind even if a dozen of those men died, do you agree with me brother Yu?"
    Yu Peiyu didn't know what to say, he just sighed.
    Silver Blossom suddenly stopped in front of a grave and said:"This is it, the 27th grave counting from the east. There is even a little plant which I planted."
    Yu Peiyu casually said:"We trust you on matters like these."
    Silver Blossom said:"There is no corpse in here just some dirt."
    Yu Peiyu nodded, Silver Blossom said:"I know young master Yu doesn't like to rob graves. But digging up dirt is not too much to ask, right?"
    Yu Peiyu didn't speak, but in fact she didn't need to say that. The Yu Peiyu we see before us is different. He understands that in times of chaos extreme measures have to be taken, he isn't that strict anymore with values and etiquette.
    After digging for some time they found the coffin, Silver Blossom said:"This is the coffin. I made a small mark on it, I also remember that the deceased was a young married woman. She was very angry that her husband took a concubine that she got a heart attack and died."
    She turned to Zhong Jing and smiled:"She is almost as jealous as you."
    Zhong Jing grunted.
    Silver Blossom giggled:"I heard that if you remove the body from the coffin the spirit will still rest in it. If I open I'm sure she will look for Miss Zhong. I suggest you stand back."
    Zhong Jing tried to be courageous but still paced back a few steps.
    Silver Blossom who wanted to scream loudly to scare Zhong Jing suddenly shrieked:"AHHHH!"
    There was no treasure but only a decayed corpse of a young married woman. It seemed that she was looking at Silver Blossom and said:"Not only has my spirit returned but my body is back too."

    Silver Blossom said:"Impossible! I....I....put the treasure...the body was....removed....."
    She sat down totally confused and scared.
    There was a note in the hands of the body, Guo Pianxian took out and read: The little tramp drove me to death when I was alive, now that I am dead you want to steal my house as well.
    Guo Pianxian was shivering too, this was too strange even for him.
    Only Yu Peiyu remained calm, he has seen things ten times stranger that this. He asked:"Did someone see you burry the treasure?"
    Silver Blossom who already got up said:"No....no..."She was still shaking with fear.
    Yu Peiyu said:"That is strange. The only possibility I can come up with is that those two bums came back from their graves. But other than......"
    Suddenly they heard a loud voice saying:"Good wine! Give me another bottle!"
    Another voice said:"It is a good vintage, but after drinking it my stomach hurts."
    In a distant they saw two figures holding red lanterns walking, but in the dark it felt like two red glowing apparitions. It looked very eerie.
    Sudddenly Silver Blossom shrieked:"Those....those are the two bums...it is them."


    End of chapter 15

  17. #17
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 16 Winning against all odds

    Guo Pianxian took her hand and asked:"Did you use the right kind of poison?"
    Silver Blossom shouted:"Disciples of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect never make such mistakes."
    The man carrying the lantern came closer and said:"Do you think mere poison can harm us?"
    The other man laughed:"We came back to take you to the grave with us."
    Now they stood close enough, Yu Peiyu, Guo Pianxian saw that blood was flowing from their eyes, nose, mouth and ears.
    Guo Pianxian shouted:"Well, you've returned from the dead, now you can go back again."
    He waved his hand and ten poisonous needles shot from his sleeve. The two men cried out and fell down.
    Guo Pianxian laughed:"Some ghosts, can't even take a few needles."
    Silver Blossom said softly:"They were already dead once, how come they were still alive."
    Yu Peiyu suddenly thought of something and said:"Could other disciples of your sect have an antidote too?"
    Silver Blossom got up and walked to inspect the bodies and started to laugh loudly.
    Guo Pianxian asked:"Why are you laughing? Isn't that blood on their faces?"
    Silver Blossom didn't answer and smiled:"Father, are you here? Why won't you come out?"
    Nobody answered.
    Silver Blossom said:"Father, you were following me all the time. You must have seen where I have hidden the treasure and when I poisoned these two bums you rescued them. You knew I would return sooner or later so you instructed them to give me a scare."
    She continued to giggle:"Well, I have had my punishment. You almost scared me to death, please come out and let me see you."
    Suddenly a cold voice said:"You dare to keep the treasure to yourself. Don't you know that this treasure belongs to our sect. This is was just a small punishment, for the crime you have commited you deserve to die. If you weren't my daugther I would have taken your life."
    The voice slowly died out.
    Silver Blossom said softly:"He took everything....."
    Guo Pianxian was silent for some time but soon laughed:"A father who scares the living daylights out of his own daughter. What a laugh!"
    Silver Blossom sighed:"Do you think he just wanted to scare me?"
    Guo Pianxian asked:"Well, didn't he?"
    Silver Blossom said:"He thought I was alone, after I would have the scare of my life, in which I would probably pass out. He will have dealt with me according to sect regulations. I would have died without knowing who killed me, that's the way of our sect."
    Yu Peiyu frowned:"But he's your father."
    Silver Blossom said casually:"Father? In his eyes I'm no different from all his other subjects, there is no love in the Heavenly Silkworm Sect only regulations. He didn't kill me today because he still had some reservations about the two of you."
    She giggled:"If he was an emotional man, he wouldn't become the hierarch of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect."
    Guo Pianxian sighed:"Very formidable! The hierarch of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect is indeed a ruthless man. My respects."
    Silver Blossom giggled:"Like father, like daughter. I'm a chip of the old block. I don't blame him for trying to kill me, in fact I feel proud to have a father like him."
    Guo Pianxian coldly said:"You're penniless, what is there to be proud of."
    Silver Blossom giggled:"We do look alike, you're thinking without money I have no use. But you're wrong......"
    Guo Pianxian suddenly asked:"Did you hide your treasure somewhere else?"
    Silver Blossom nodded and smiled:"Well, I didn't know if anyone was following me. So I divided the treasure into two halves and the other half is somewhere else."
    Guo Pianxian asked:"Where?"
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Somewhere you will never guess."

    Hiding a treasure in a coffin was strange and eerie enough, where could this other place be?
    Silver Blossom lead them to a small village, Guo Pianxian, Yu Peiyu and Zhong Jing were surprised.
    Silver Blossom smiled:"You were thinking I was leading you to some dark mysterious place, but now our business is right here in
    this small town."
    She continued:"This is the Family Li Village, up ahead is the family Li inn. I lodged there some time ago for a few days."
    Zhong Jing asked:"You hid the treasure in an inn?"
    Silver Blossom said:"Correct, I used a large black cloth to wrap up my precious belongings and put it on a beam on the roof top."
    Zhong Jing scoffed:"Some safe place! Even a small child can find it."
    Silver Blossom laughed:"Sister Zhong, you're an intelligent girl. But there are many things you still have to learn. Ask him?"
    Zhong Jing turned to Guo Pianxian, Guo explained:"No one will go look for the most obvious places for anything valuable. They expect you to put somewhere secretive."
    Silver Blossom said:"No one will expect me to put the treasure on the roof top of the main hall in this inn."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Do you understand now?"
    Zhong Jing sneered:"I will never understand these underhanded tricks."
    Silver Blossom said:"You're right, you just know how to become jealous."
    Zhong Jing was furious but again didn't know what to say.
    Silver Blossom said:"We should go up the roof of the neighbouring residence. From there we can see whether it is safe to go in."
    Guo Pianxian praised:"You're also a very cautious woman."
    Silver Blossom said:"Cautious people live longer. Besides the three of us are very cautious men and women."

    The four of them had no difficulty getting up the roof, this was the same spot where Mei Simang and Jin Yanzi spied on Silver Blossom and the Four Beasts.
    However just like Mei Simang and Jin Yanzi they were stunned too about what they saw.
    They saw a fairly large group of men and women standing around two old men. The two old men were playing a game of go.
    The two players are Yu Fanghe and Tang Wushuang.
    The people watching are all famous martial artists, the four of them were absolutely shocked and Guo Pianxian and Zhong Jing were also very much afraid.
    Guo Pianxian was also surprised to see Yu Fanghe and Tang Wushuang playing go. He thought their secret meeting was about something important. It seems they were just playing a game of chess.
    Yu Peiyu was startled to see Tang Wushuang, he wondered if this Tang Wushuang was an imposter too.
    Silver Blossom was the most disappointed and shocked and sighed:"Of all the places why must they play go here! We can't retrieve my stuff."
    Guo Pianxian said:"Let us leave!"
    Silver Blossom said with surprise:"Leave?"
    Guo Pianxian whispered:"We don't know when they're finished, and when they're done they won't leave immediately. We can't stay here the entire time."
    Yu Peiyu said:"We won't leave."
    He was determined to find out whether this Tang Wushuang was real or a fake.
    Silver Blossom added:"Right, we should stay here and wait."
    Guo Pianxian said:"They can see us in the morning."
    Silver Blossom retorted:"Not if we stayed in a room."
    She gently moved to the window of this house and found out the window wasn't closed. She pushed it open and entered, Yu Peiyu felt trespassing was not the right thing to do. But there was no other alternative. It was pitch dark inside, Silver Blossom took out her flint and lit one of her candles.
    She assumed the residents of his house were asleep but when the light was lit. Four eyes were looking at her, she was startled and almost dropped the candle.
    The house looked clean and there was a large bed, in the bed was a sick looking man.
    And sitting next to a bed a young girl who looked about 12, 13 years old. She kept looking at these trespassers with her bright and pretty eyes.
    Silver Blossom asked:"Why aren't you sleeping yet? It is quite late now."
    The girl just hemmed.
    Silver Blossom asked:"Why won't you light the candles?"
    The girl just shook her head, the sick man smiled:"We don't have any candles."
    Silver Blossom said:"No candles?"
    The sick man sighed:"My life is hanging on a silk thread, why should I need light. I rather await death in the dark, that way I will feel more assured."
    He sounded very weak and he really did sound like he was going to pass away at any time."
    Silver Blossom said:"Aren't you afraid? I mean a bunch of strangers coming into your home."
    The sick man smiled:"I'm a dying man why should I fear anything else anymore."
    Silver Blossom said:"You're right! There are many advantages of being a dying man. For instance I was going to kill you but now I don't have to anymore."
    She put her hand the girl's head and asked:"Aren't you afraid?"
    The girl thought for awhile and answered:"If my third uncle dies, I don't want to live anymore either."
    Silver Blossom said:"You're not afraid either."
    The girl said resolutely:"No."
    Silver Blossom laughed:"If you're not afraid, I suppose you won't scream and so?"
    The girl said:"My third uncles likes peace, I never speak loudly."
    Silver Blossom praised:"Marvellous! That way you will live longer too."
    She now ignored the two, and was observing the family Li inn.
    She could hear that Yu Fanghe and Tang Wushuang were still playing go.
    Yu Peiyu asked gently:"Little Miss, what's your name?"
    The girl said:"There is no need exchanging names. We have just met and will probably never see each other again. No need for formalities."
    Yu Peiyu was surprised that she would say such wise words, and looked at her. The girl looked at him too for some time and said:"But since you asked I might as well tell you. My name is Zhu Lei'Er (Lei as in tears). I often cried when I was a little girl so hence this name."
    Yu Peiyu wanted to say something but Zhu Lei'Er continued:"But now I don't cry anymore. Maybe I have run out of tears."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"How long has your uncle been ill?"
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"For about 7 years now."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Have you been taking care of him all that time?"
    Zhu Lei'Er nodded, Yu Peiyu asked:"Isn't there someone else to help you out?"
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"My third uncle only has me as his only relative."
    Yu Peiyu sighed and thought:Seven years ago this girl was about 8 years old or so. She had to spend her childhood taking care of her sick uncle.
    Yu Peiyu felt sad for her.

    A new day dawned, Zhong Jing slept in the arms of Guo Pianxian. Guo was looking at the sick man and was looking pensive.
    Silver Blossom strechted herself and said:"The two are still playing go, when will the finish the game. At this rate they won't be finished untill next year."
    She turned to Zhu Lei'Er and said:"Be a good girl and prepare some congee and some dishes for aunties and uncles."
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"No, I won't leave third uncle."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Be a good girl and listen! As a child you have to listen to grown-ups."
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"No, I won't go."
    Silver Blossom said very gentle:"You are not afraid of me, are you? That's why you won't listen to me, right?"
    After saying this she slapped Zhu Lei'Er very hard, leaving a imprint on her sweet little face.
    But she still didn't move, Silver Blossom smiled:"What? Didn't I slap you hard enough?"
    She raised her hand and was about to slap her again but this time Yu Peiyu grabbed her hand.
    Silver Blossom sighed:"I knew you would interfere."
    Yu Peiyu said coldly:"If you want me to stay on your side, you would be......"
    Zhu Lei'Er yelled:"Ouch! You slapped me very hard."
    Silver Blossom said:"Now, you're feeling pain?"
    Zhu Lei'Er rubbed her cheek and said:"It hurts."
    Silver Blossom looked at her and forgot about breakfast. She thought:Now she feels the pain, is there something wrong with this girl?
    The sick man sighed:"You should have listened to her, if you did you wouldn't get slapped. Go downstairs and prepare breakfast."
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"It is because my third uncle told me. I wouldn't cook for you even if you threatened to kill me."
    Yu Peiyu watched her as she went downstairs and sighed.
    Silver Blossom smiled:"She reminds me of when I was a little girl. But if she is like me the breakfast will be very lethal. I'll check on her now."
    Yu Peiyu frowned:"She's just a young girl."
    Silver Blossom laughed:"When I was her age, I had already poisoned at least 70, 80 people."
    Yu Peiyu said coldly:"She is not afraid of you, but you seem to be a bit afraid of her."
    Silver Blossom couldn't explain her worries about that girl. Somehow she felt uncomfortable around her.
    She was silent for a moment and smiled:"Anyway it never hurts to be extra careful."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I'll go instead of you."

    Yu Peiyu saw Zhu Lei'Er in the kitchen she was washing the rice and was preparing breakfast. He felt very sad for that she had to endure so many hardships at her young age.
    Yu Peiyu said in a gentle voice:"Do you keep the entire house tidy and clean every day?"
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"I can't stand dirt, if I see something disgusting I will hate it. But who wants to hang around disgusting people if they had a choice. Do you agree?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"You're right." But Zhu Lei'Er words were hinting towards his present situation.
    Zhu Lei'Er said softly:"But why are you in the company of disgusting people?"
    Yu Peiyu didn't know what to say, this strange young girl was a very wise and knowledgeable person.
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"Although I don't go out often but I see a lot of strange things happening. I always tell my uncle what I see, that way he won't feel lonely."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Do a lot of strange events happen here?"
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"For example I saw a pretty young woman using a strange method killing four vicious robbers some time ago"
    Yu Peiyu said:"You must be talking about the woman who slapped you."
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"Did someone slap me? I have forgotten that. If you're hit and you cannot take revenge. The best way is to forget, so you won't feel bad about that."
    Yu Peiyu said:"But what about feeling pain?"
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"If you're hit you're bound to feel pain. I believe feeling pain later is better than feeling pain right away. Because that way you can take away the joy your attacker has."
    Yu Peiyu was stunned that a young girl like her had so many strange thoughts and ideas.

    Suddenly there was a loud noise coming from next door, Yu Peiyu said:"Let's see what is going on?"
    Yu Peiyu saw a lot of Wulin people entering the family Li inn. Silver Blossom said:"What do these people want here?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"Everyone wants to see the chancellor of Wulin playing go with the leader of the Tang Clan. If word gets out everyone will rush over here within three days."
    Silver Blossom said angrilly:"Who is the son of a ...... who spread the word."
    No one answered her of course.
    Yu Peiyu knew of course that Yu Fanghe must have spread the word himself. He wants to assure the Tang disciples that their beloved father, teacher is allright and is playing go near their own mansion.
    This way the fake Tang Wushuang will easily become the real Tang Wushuang.
    They could hear some Wulin people say:"This is the new chancellor of Wulin. He looks very impressive and distinguished. No wonder that even Hong Lianhua praises him."
    Some other people were asking:"Could we ask chancellor Yu to speak to us?"
    Lin Shoujuan said:"Well, this is an interesting game they're playing. By the looks of it they will be busy for another few days. But after the game chancellor Yu is too happy to able to talk to you, if you have any problems he will happy to be of any assistance."
    The people were cheering and felt that Yu Fanghe was a true gentleman.
    The talking went on:"That is Mr. Lin Shoujuan, the Flowered Chestnut Sword. His daughter is a famous beauty in Wulin."
    "Right, wasn't she supposed to marry young master Yu. The son of the chancellor."
    "Yes, that was the idea. But Yu Peiyu died at Murder Manor."
    "Didn't chancellor Yu want to take revenge?"
    "It seems that Yu Peiyu was very strange and bizarre. Chancellor Yu was very disappointed in him. Perhaps it is a good thing that he's dead. That way Miss Lin doesn't have to marry a madman."

    Yu Peiyu was angry and sad, but he couldn't do anything. Silver Blossom said:"When will these people leave? How long do we have to wait here?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Not long anymore." He got up and started to walk downstairs.
    Yu Peiyu said calmly:"No need to hide and wait anymore. I think it is time to be a bit more daring and open."
    Silver Blossom laughed:"What are you talking about?"
    Before she knew what happened, Yu Peiyu was downstairs and opened the door. He walked to the family Li inn.
    Zhong Jing was filled with amazement:"What a bold move."
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"With a friend like me he is bound to be brave."
    Silver Blossom said in a melancholic tone:"Before he had you as his friend he was a very brave and courageous man."

    When Yu Peiyu entered the inn everyone looked at him in awe, they had never seen such a handsome young man before.
    Yu Peiyu just put up a smile and walked straight ahead, Lin Shoujuan approached him and said:"May I help you? The chancellor is....."
    Yu Peiyu interrupted him:"My name is Yu Peiyu."
    When everyone heard the name Yu Peiyu they were all shocked. Lin Shoujuan looked pale and Yu Fanghe and Tang Wushuang looked up. They both gave Yu Peiyu a good look.
    Yu Peiyu was certain now that Yu Fanghe didn't recognize him and this Tang Wushuang was a fake too.
    This Yu Fanghe smiled:"Yu Peiyu? It's surprising that you have the same name like my late son."
    Yu Peiyu looked at Tang Wushuang and Yu Fanghe and his heart was practically bleeding but smiled:"That is a coincidence and I feel honoured."
    Yu Fanghe asked with a smile:"What can I do for you, young master Yu?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I came here to retrieve something."
    Yu Fanghe stroked his beard and smiled:"What is here that belongs to young master Yu?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Some time ago when I lodged here I accidentally left a parcel here."
    Yu Fanghe thought it was quite funny and said:"A lot of people come in and out in an inn, I do hope your belongings are still here."
    Yu Peiyu said:"With your permission chancellor Yu, I would like to...."
    Yu Fanghe smiled:"If it still here, of course you can retrieve it."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Thank you, chancellor Yu. Sorry for the inconvenience."
    Suddenly it seemed like Yu Peiyu's body shot up, without bending his knees or anything. He flew up the beam and took the parcel.
    This style of the art of levitation was called The Heavenly Meteoric Rise, the form of this art is studied by numerous people in Wulin. The disciples of Shaolin, Wudang, Diancang all knew it.
    Yu Peiyu used this no to show off his martial arts but to conceal his martial arts school, just in case.
    Yu Fanghe praised:"Excellent!"
    When everyone heard that the chancellor was praising they too called out.
    Only Silver Blossom was not paying attention to this, she had her eyes fixed whether her parcel was still there. Suddenly she was very happy, she saw that Yu Peiyu had retrieved the parcel.
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"Your parcel is there."
    Silver Blossom laughed:"I knew nobody would find it."
    Guo Pianxian smiled and praised:"This Yu Peiyu is really something. He has courage and intelligence, now he has retrieved the parcel in public no one including Yu Fanghe can take it away now."
    Silver Blossom said:"Right, he's coming back now. Damn!"
    Guo Pianxian asked:"What's the matter? Is Yu Fanghe giving him trouble?"
    Silver Blossom cursed:"That sly old devil wouldn't dream of giving him trouble. But he would like to take this opportunity to befriend himself with Yu Peiyu, he is requesting him to stay here and join him."
    Guo Pianxian asked:"What is Yu Peiyu doing now?"
    Silver Blossom said:"He looks very calm and is still smiling......
    He is saying that he will come back when they've finished their game of go."
    Guo Pianxian was surprised and said:"You can hear him talk?"
    Silver Blossom said:"No, of course not. But I can read his lips and deduct the rest what I cannot see clearly."
    Guo Pianxian praised:"You're also a woman with many hidden talents."
    Silver Blossom said:"Damn! The old goat used his sleeve to brush away the go pieces. And he said he would rather talk to a new young hero like Yu Peiyu than play go."
    Guo Pianxian frowned:"This way Yu Peiyu has to stay."
    Silver Blossom was a bit panicky and said:"He cannot stay there, and he can't offend Yu Fanghe at this moment. He looks a bit troubled."
    Suddenly a loud clear voice said:"It would be a shame to stop such a marvellous game of go. I think this game would go into the analects of Wulin, if chancellor Yu stopped now we would all be very disappointed."
    Guo Pianxian quickly asked:"Who is that?"
    Silver Blossom looked pleased and said:"This man has put the go pieces back on the board and on the right places too. He is very smart......."
    Guo Pianxian walked to the window and looked out too, he saw a young handsome beggar. This was of course the famous leader of the Beggars Association Hong Lianhua.
    They could hear Yu Fanghe laughing:"I never though master Hong Lian had such an interest in go, you leave no choice but to continue my game."
    Guo Pianxian quickly moved away from the window and broke out in a cold sweat. Silver Blossom laughed:"Why are you that afraid of him?"
    Guo Pianxian sat down and didn't answer.
    Silver Blossom said softly to herself:"That is strange.....If Hong Lianhua and Yu Peiyu are friens why did he allow Lin Daiyu to injure Yu Peiyu. Why did he just help Yu Peiyu?"
    The door downstairs opened and Yu Peiyu walked up the stairs, when Guo Pianxian saw that he was alone he felt relieved.
    He asked:"Did Hong Lianhua see you enter this place?"
    Yu Peiyu was surprised and said:"Why would he pay attention to me?"
    Guo Pianxian asked:"Doesn't he know you?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"How would I know him."
    He felt quite sad not to be able to acknowledge his good friend, and had to quietly sneak away.
    But at least he knew that this Tang Wushuang was an imposter too, he was hoping that the real Tang Wushuang was still alive.
    Silver Blossom took her parcel from Yu Peiyu and said:"We should leave this place at once. We got what we came for."
    Guo Pianxian said:"We can't leave if Hong Lianhua is still around."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"You're afraid but I'm not."
    Guo Pianxian said resolutely:"You won't leave either."
    Silver Blossom smiled very sweetly:"Of course if you're still here, I don't want to go either."
    She kept her hands tightly to her parcel, she was afraid to loose it again.
    Guo Pianxian said coldly:"You can leave if you want to and take your treasure with you."
    Silver Blossom was stunned and said:"What?"
    Guo Pianxian said coldly:"Open it and you'll understand."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"I know what is inside, I don't need to look at it."
    But still she was a bit suspicous after hearing Guo Pianxian's words, she opened the parcel and called out:"NO!"
    There were only roof tiles in her parcel. She almost fainted with anger and Yu Peiyu was surprised too.
    Guo Pianxian was smiling coldly.
    Silver Blossom asked:"How did you know?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"When brother Yu walked up the stairs I knew already that that parcel didn't contain any valuables. The sound of the steps reveal a lot, my ears and eyes are not as useless as your ears and eyes."
    Silver Blossom angrilly said:"Who took my stuff? That day only I knew where I put the parcel away."
    After some time she said:"Could it be Yu Fanghe? .......Yes, of course before the sly dog lodged he must have instructed his men to search the inn."
    Yu Peiyu said:"If it is in his possession, there is no way you can get it back."
    Guo Pianxian only had his eyes on the sick man, and didn't speak anymore. Silver Blossom now looked into the same direction.
    She suddenly saw that the sick man had something hidden under his blankets.
    Silver Blossom laughed:"There is really something wrong with my eyes."
    She walked to the bed of the sick man, Yu Peiyu frowned:"What are you doing?"
    Silver Blossom smiled:"There is something good under the blankets I just want to have a look."
    She wanted to pull away the blankets, the sick man opened his eyes and said:"I can assure you if you pull away the blankets you will suffer a terrible death."
    All of a sudden the sick old man had a heroic, majestic grandeur.
    Silver Blossom didn't dare to pull the blankets and stepped away from his bed.
    The sick man closed his eyes again, Silver Blossom said with a smile:"I really can't remove your blankets."
    She regained her confidence again.
    The sick man said:"No."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"If you tell me that I can't do something, I will do it anyway just for fun."
    The sick man sighed:"Allright! Lei'Er show her."
    Zhu Lei'Er who was still downstairs immediately walked up and looked at Silver Blossom.
    She asked:"You really want to have a look? You won't regret your decision?"
    Silver Blossom said:"No I won't regret it. And yes I want to have a look. I just want to see what kinds of demons or goblins you have been hiding."
    Although she was giggling like usual but she was still a bit nervous.
    Somehow she was afraid of this young girl and this sick old man, she couldn't explain why she had this fear for them.
    Zhu Lei'Er went downstairs took a big bucket of water and took out a little box. She took a bit of powder out of the little box and threw it into the water. The water turned black instantly.
    Silver Blossom had no idea what she was doing and was quite curious.
    Zhu Lei'Er put the bucket in a corner and smiled to Silver Blossom:"Just watch."
    There was something mysterious about her smile, even Yu Peiyu was a bit anxious and curious. Silver Blossom stared at the bucket with fascination.
    Suddenly the blankets were moving, and it kept moving harder and harder.
    The entire room was filled with fear, Zhong Jing held Guo Pianxian's hand tightly. Silver Blossom stuttered:"I....I...don't want....to know....what's under the blankets anymore.."
    Zhu Lei'Er said calmly:"It is too late, you must and shall watch."
    Suddenly a centipede crawled out of the blankets, it was not a very big centipede but it was entirely red. It was so red actually seemed it was glowing.
    After that centipede another 20, 30 centipedes crawled out with different shapes and different bright colours. Needless to say these creepy crawlers were very venomous.
    Silver Blossom giggled:"I thought it was something scary, I played with centipedes like these when I was three years old."
    This wasn't a lie, disciples of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect weren't afraid of centipedes.
    But still she was still a bit afraid, and the other centipedes followed the red one like it was their captain.
    Suddenly 20, 30 scorpions came out and followed the centipedes too, and after the scorpions a large number of snakes, toads, etc. came out of the blankets. Some of these creatures were so rare that even Silver Blossom had never seen before.
    But all of these creatures just slowly marched to the bucket of black water.
    Silver Blossom couldn't laugh anymore, and Zhong Jing shrieked and passed out again.
    Nobody would have guessed that the bedridden man had so many venomous creatures under his blankets. How could he sleep there peacefully.
    Even Silver Blossom got goosebumps, she played with poisonous creatures ever since she was a little child. But sleeping with hundreds, thousands of venomous critters like this, she didn't have the courage to do that.
    Zhu Lei'Er put two pairs of chopsticks against the bucket and the all these animals used the chopsticks as a bridge.
    The first centipede fell into the black water and twirled in the bucket and crawled out the other side, looking very weak and feeble.
    Now this way every strange critter did the same thing and crawled out again and went straight back to the blankets.
    The water slowly began to change from black to white and it was emitting smoke.
    Guo Pianxian was sweating, and when the last snake returned under the blankets everyone was silent and stunned.
    Zhu Lei'Er took a bowl of that white water and giggled:"The congee isn't ready yet, care for a bowl of water. I put extra ingredients in it, it tastes better than chicken soup."
    Silver Blossom paced backwards very quickly and shook her hands and said:"No, thank you. I will pass."
    She now knew that the powder she put must be some sort of antidote or even another strong poison to balance out the poison of those creatures.
    She also knew that the bucket water was very dangerous, even the mere smell or touch could kill. Let alone drink it.
    Zhu Lei'Er smiled:"Since nobody wants to drink it, I will have to drink it alone. Such a waste that nobody wants to try such a delicacy."
    She drank the bowl of water with with no hesitation, everyone was thinking what is her stomach made of? Iron, diamond?
    After she finished that bowl she said calmly:"My third uncle has been ill for many years, he uses the cold venom of these pets to prolong his life. Please forgive us for being rude."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"What has your uncle contracted? What is the name of this strange illness?"
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"There is no name for this disease."
    Suddenly a voice from outside was calling:"Young master Yu, our leader master Hong Lian would like to speak to you."
    Yu Peiyu recognized the voice it was Mei Simang, an elder of the Beggars Association.
    Yu Peiyu was very happy, and wondered why Hong Lianhua wanted to talk to him about. Guo Pianxian said:"You go downstairs to delay them from coming here. I'm off."
    All of a sudden a voice of woman said:"Young master Yu, please open the door. Madame Hai Tang wishes to speak to you."
    Madame Hai Tang was here too, Guo Pianxian rushed to the window and looked out through a crack and saw a group of men and women surrounding this house.
    Several voices said:"Master Hong Lian and Madame Hai Tang both wish to speak to young master Yu, please open the door."
    Guo Pianxian pulled Yu Peiyu's arm and asked:"Do they know that I am here?"
    Yu Peiyu said with a slight indignation:"How should I know?"
    Guo Pianxian asked:"What do they want from you?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Again how would I know?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"They have surrounded us, these people have some issues with us. You and I have joined forces......you.....you....cannot open the door."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"If I don't open the door, they can storm inside too."
    Some girls were saying:"Young master Yu, we have been polite up till now. But if you don't open the door we will have to use force."
    Silver Blossom smiled and said loudly:"Young master Yu is in the lavatory doing his business...You cannot storm the lavatory as well. You can come back when he's done, why the rush?"
    The girls downstairs giggled:"Very well! We will come back after a short while."
    Yu Peiyu turned to Guo Pianxian and asked:"You don't even want to face Madame Hai Tang. What happened between you?"
    Guo Pianxian was coughing now and Zhong Jing who woke up now looked very worried.
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Anyhow, they will come back very soon. We have to do something."
    The bedridden man opened his eyes and said:"I have a plan."
    Guo Pianxian was very happy and asked:"You have a plan, sir?"
    The bedridden man said:"Come closer and I will tell you."
    Guo Pianxian walked closer but suddenly backed away again, he too was afraid of this strange bedridden old man.
    Zhong Jing rushed to his help and stood in front of him and said:"Sir, if you have a plan to save him you can tell me. We will be most grateful for your help."
    The man frowned and asked:"Who are you? And to what school do you belong?"
    Zhong Jing was hesitant for a minute but said in the end:"I'm Zhong Jing of Huashan."
    The bedridden man said softly:"Huashan an orthodox school......come closer and I will tell you."
    Although Zhong Jing was afraid of those creatures but for the man she loved she had to be brave.
    The bedridden man asked:"How long have you learnt martial arts?"
    Zhong Jing replied:"About 11 years." She was surprised why he would ask a question like that.
    The man smiled:"Good...good...."
    He suddenly grabbed her hand with incredible speed, even experts like Guo Pianxian and Yu Peiyu were surprised.
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Sir, what do you want?"
    The man closed his eyes and held on to the hand of Zhong Jing and didn't do anything else.
    Zhong Jing couldn't break free from his powerful grip but stayed as calm as she could.
    She asked:"Sir, what is it you want from me?"
    The man still had his eyes closed and said:"Don't open the door."
    Zhong Jing said:"That is your plan?"
    The man said calmly:"You don't have to open the door, because no one in the realm dares to set foot in this house."
    Zhong Jing felt that this man was too arrogant but believed a bit of his words. This man was filled with mystery.
    But she didn't know her face was slowly becoming very pale, and the man regained some colour in his face.
    No one saw the change in their faces and the people downstairs were requesting an audience again.
    Mei Simang said:"Chancellor Yu and old Mr. Tang would like to see you too. Won't you come out?"
    Yu Peiyu wanted to go down but wasn't sure anymore at this point.
    The girl who spoke earlier:"We have no ill intentions, we just like to speak to you. There are so many people who wishes to talk to you why refuse to see anyone?"
    These people weren't here for Guo Pianxian that was obvious now, but they were not willing to break down the door either. But they seemed very anxious to speak to Yu Peiyu. That made Yu Peiyu suspicous again.
    Suddenly there was a soft scream and they saw Zhong Jing fall down.
    Guo Pianxian picked her up and asked:"What happened?"
    She was very weak and looked very pale and couldn't move.
    Zhong Jing stuttered:".....He....he...is...is...a mon....monster.."
    She couldn't say anything else anymore.
    The bedridden man looked very healthy and strong again but still had his eyes closed. Guo Pianxian understood now, he somehow managed to absorb Zhong Jing's internal strength.
    Zhu Lei'Er was standing by her uncle now, Silver Blossom walked towards Guo Pianxian and Yu Peiyu and asked:"What happened?"
    Guo Pianxian said with fear:"This is the evil skill that absorbs the martial arts of others and use it for themselves. I never thought that this type of skill existed. We should kill him now before all of us will die here."
    Silver Blossom sighed:"If you would attack first I'll certainly help you."
    Guo Pianxian stood there and didn't move, Yu Peiyu who wanted to move heard a voice now.
    It was Yu Fanghe:"They are not willing to come down, they must be in cahoots with them. Let us attack now before it is too late....."
    Madame Hai Tang asked:"Chancellor Yu, are you sure about this?"
    Yu Fanghe said:"We have seen the evidence and heard the witnesses. Master Hong Lian, do you agree?"
    Hong Lianhua didn't speak, in other words he agreed too.
    Yu Peiyu was still confused about what they are talking about when suddenly 10 iron balls as big as water-mellons flew into the house. There was smoke and sparks emitting from them.
    Yu Peiyu, Guo Pianxian and Silver Blossom didn't know what those were and didn't know how to counter them. They quickly moved aside.
    The bedridden man raised his hand and snapped his fingers ten times, they heard a whoosing sound and the ten iron balls flew out the same way they came in.
    Guo Pianxian and Yu Peiyu now understood that this man generated his energy to shoot invisible energy blasts.
    It was unbelievable that he was able to shoot ten blasts, even the famous Divine Finger Snap was not this impressive.
    They have heard of this level before, and never thought they would have the chance to see this level of the energy forming a sword.
    Suddenly there were ten large bangs, even the house shook and they saw sparks of fire everywhere.

    End of chapter 16

  18. #18
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 17 Comings and goings

    Silver Blossom asked:"Were those the secretive weaponry of the Thunderbolt
    Clan?"
    Guo Pianxian nodded and said:"If those things exploded inside all of us would be dead right now."
    Zhu Lei'Er smiled:"Now you understand why my third uncle borrowed Miss Zhong's internal strength. She lost her 11 years worth of internal strength but my uncle saved your lives too."
    Although the windows were broken, Zhu Lei'Er closed the curtains she didn't want the people outside gawking at them.
    The bedridden man put his hand under the blankets again, and he looked pale and weak now. If they didn't see it they wouldn't believe this man was capable of shooting invisible energy blasts with his fingers.
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Sir, what kind of unsolved issues do you have with Yu Fanghe?"
    The man replied:"He is not fit to be my adverysary."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"But why does he want to kill you, sir?"
    The man said"How do you know that they aren't here for you?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Of all the places in the world why does Yu Fanghe had to play go in these little town and in this inn. I thought that was strange, but now I know he came here to deal with you, sir."
    The man closed his eyes and ignored him.
    Yu Peiyu said:"Furthermore it is strange that you would choose this place to nurse your wounds. I do not know what is special about this place."
    The man still remained silent.
    Zhu Lei'Er suddenly said:"They are not here for third uncle, they are here to deal with me."
    Yu Peiyu said with surprise:"You? But you're just a young girl?"
    Zhu Lei'Er smiled:"Do you really think I'm very young? I'm a bit older than you think."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Even if this Yu Fanghe is a monster, he is still the chancellor of Wulin. He wouldn't call up so many martial artists to deal with a young girl."
    Zhu Lei'Er scoffed:"Some chancellor of Wulin. My third uncle and I don't even think he is worthy of our attention."
    The chancellor of Wulin is a prestigious post, practically everyone in the realm of martial arts had to respect and acknowledge the status of Yu Fanghe. Could it be that this young girl had a even higher status than him?
    All of a sudden Silver Blossom screamed:"They are gone. They have all left."
    Guo Pianxian looked out too and said:"Yes, you're right. They're gone."
    Zhu Lei'Er said casually:"They think my third uncle has regained his martial arts, they don't want to die here."
    Yu Fanghe, Madame Hai Tang and other martial arts experts were afraid of this bedridden man. Who is this man anyway?
    Guo Pianxian picked up Zhong Jing and said:"We should go too."
    Zhu Lei'Er said coldly:"You should go before it is too late."
    Yu Peiyu said:"But if they come back....."
    Zhu Lei'Er said loudly:"My third uncle doesn't need your help. As for me....I don't care about being alive or dead anymore."
    Zhong Jing said weakly:"But why did you steal my martial arts?"
    Zhu Lei'Er said coldly:"You came begging to us, don't come crying to us the next time."
    Zhong Jing started to cry again.
    The bedridden man said:"Return their belongings."
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"Those are mine, why should I give them back."
    The man said:"What use do we have for those things? If some people consider them a treasure let them keep it."
    Zhu Lei'Er walked to a closet and took out a large parcel, she threw it in front of Silver Blossom. Silver Blossom saw it was her beloved treasure and quickly picked it up and walked downstairs.
    Yu Peiyu kept thinking who are these people? What do they want in this small town? Why were Yu Fanghe and all those other people that afraid of this sickly old man?
    The four of them walked out of the house, Silver Blossom was extremely happy. All the houses and shops had their doors shut tightly and no one was walking outside.
    Suddenly Guo Pianxian blocked her way, she quickly held on to her parcel tightly and asked:"What do you want?"
    Guo Pianxian sighed:"Women! I don't want your parcel."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"What is it that you want?"
    Guo Pianxian said coldly:"I just want to leave this place as soon as possible. I don't want to be carried away here."
    Silver Blossom giggled:"I'm afraid your hands are full, but if you want to carry me I don't mind."
    Guo Pianxian said coldly:"If you keep going this way all of us will be carried away. Like corpses."
    Silver Blossom asked:"What do you mean? Can't we leave this place?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"We can't leave this town at this moment."
    Silver Blossom said:"I too know that Yu Fanghe and others are still around here, in fact they must have surrounded the town."
    Guo Pianxian said:"You must think that they won't harm us because they are not planning to deal with us."
    Silver Blossom said:"What do they gain by stopping us? Furthermore you two will certainly not leave me behind."
    Guo Pianxian laughed.
    Silver Blossom smiled too, Guo Pianxian said:"If you want to go, I won't stop you. Let me remind you, you won't go far with that big parcel."
    Silver Blossom didn't walk anymore and looked disappointed.
    Guo Pianxian said:"If you want to leave, you'll have to leave your parcel behind. But I know you treasure that parcel as much as your life."
    Silver Blossom angrilly said:"Now I know why the old goat returned the parcel to me. They don't want us to go."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Now you know his intentions why don't you return the parcel to them."
    She said:"He knows I won't part with my treasure. Furthermore without the treasure I won't bear to part with young master Yu and Mr. Guo."
    Silver Blossom asked Guo Pianxian:"Shall we go back?"
    Guo Pianxian answered:"We're lucky that all of us are still alive. Going back? You must be joking."
    Guo Pianxian now would rather take his chances with Hong Lianhua than facing that sick old man and that strange young girl.
    Silver Blossom said:"Now what? We can't leave this place but also we don't want to go back to that eerie house. Should we find another empty house here? I hope this time we won't find any strange sick old men or some strange young girl."
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"This time I will find us a new hideout. A hideout no one will guess. We're going to the inn."
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Very clever! They won't go back to the inn again and it must be the safest place in this entire town."
    She looked at Yu Peiyu and said:"Well young master Yu are going to join us?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"I know he will join us."
    Silver Blossom said:"How come?"
    Guo Pianxian explained:"Yu Fanghe will come back sooner or later and we can watch two parties fight each other. We will only gain advantages. And brother Yu is full of questions at this moment, brother Yu wants to get to the bottom of this, right?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Also there is nowhere else I can go now."
    When they entered the inn, the waiters and proprietor were gone, they must have been scared away.
    Guo Pianxian went to the kitchen and saw that they were still things cooking on a fire.
    Silver Blossom said:"A lot of people died in this inn, it is not surprising that the waiters, cooks and proprietor ran off."
    She put her parcel between the firewood and used hay to cover it up.
    She took a bowl and filled it with congee, Guo Pianxian did the same and gave a bowl to Zhong Jing. He said:"Eat some."
    Zhong Jing said:"I don't like congee."
    She hit the bowl out of his hands and started to cry again, and wept:"I've lost all my martial arts, I'm no different from an invalid. You will leave me sooner or later I might as well die."
    Guo Pianxian softly consoled her:"I don't need your martial arts to protect me, it doesn't matter that you lost your martial arts."
    Suddenly they heard a noise, Guo Pianxian looked out of the kitchen window and saw two men cautiously walking towards the house of Zhu Lei'Er.
    Guo Pianxian saw that both men had rather good martial arts, they were sent here to investigate and to spy on the sick old man and Zhu Lei'Er.
    Guo Pianxian opened the kitchen door and smiled:"Why won't you come in?" He quickly went inside again.
    The two men looked dazzled, Guo Pianxian wanted to lure them inside and question them about Yu Fanghe's motives.
    But the two men didn't come in, normally seeing such a situation the two men would immediately come in and investigate but now.....
    Silver Blossom was also surprised and said:"That's strange. Are they afraid of us?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"One of those men is a Diancang disciple. His name is Guo Chong, The Red Cherry Blossom And The Green Willow Sword, he is a rather famous Diancang expert......"
    Silver Blossom smiled:"I think he's a just coward and what a long nickname?"
    Guo Pianxian was also surprised and he leant forward to look outside and he saw that Zhu Lei'Er came down and was plucking flowers.
    Both men looked at Zhu Lei'Er completely captivated by her, and forgot everything else.
    Guo Pianxian was surprised, although Zhu Lei'Er was a beautiful young girl she was still very young. How could she mesmerize two 30, 40 year old men.
    Suddenly Zhu Lei'Er got up and walked back to the house slowly, her movements were most graceful and elegant. She suddenly turned around and smiled in the direction of Guo Pianxian.
    Guo Pianxian suddenly forgot her age, forgot everything else and wanted to go to her too.
    Fortunately his internal power was quite powerful and couldn't regain himself, he saw that those two men already followed Zhu Lei'Er into the house.
    Silver Blossom said softly:"She is good! She is a little enchantress she is able to seduce two men that easily. At her age I could only follow men."
    She turned to Guo Pianxian and smiled:"Fortunately our Mr. Guo has good internal strength, otherwise you would be number three."
    Guo Pianxian coldly said:"It isn't because I have good internal energy but because I have seen many types of women in my life."
    Silver Blossom said:"What does she want with those men?" All of a sudden she understood and said:"Of course she is luring them to the old sick man, their internal energies are soon to be absorbed by him."
    Guo Pianxian nodded.
    Silver Blossom laughed:"The poor fools!"
    Guo Pianxian turned to Yu Peiyu and said:"That's why Yu Fanghe lead so many martial artists against them."
    Yu Peiyu said with a wry smile:"She must have done this more than once."
    Guo Pianxian said:"By the judge of it she must have done this numerous times."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Because of this incident Hong Lianhua had no choice but to comply to Yu Fanghe."
    He doesn't know about the other martial arts experts but he does know that Hong Lianhua is very suspicious about this Yu Fanghe.
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"It is hard to believe that an adolescent girl has such abilities, in my opinion Hong Lianhua may not be her match."
    Silver Blossom laughed:"Anyhow I don't care how powerful she is, I still managed to slap her once."
    She raised her hand and showed them how she hit her, suddenly she turned pale. It looked like she was slapped this time.
    Yu Peiyu and Guo Pianxian were shocked to see her like this, Silver Blossom was looking at her hand and was trembling.
    They looked at her hand too and were stunned. This normally beautiful white hand was now red and green and looked like a claw of a strange beast.
    Yu Peiyu quickly asked:"How do you feel?"
    Silver Blossom said frantically:"I can't feel my hand anymore, why didn't I noticed this before. When did my hand change?"
    Guo Pianxian asked:"Can you still move your hand?"
    Silver Blossom stuttered with fear:"I....I....believe so.....but....but...."
    Guo Pianxian picked up a rolling pin and used it to hit her hand, anyone who gets hit on the hand by a rolling pin will cry out. But Silver Blossom didn't feel a thing.
    Guo Pianxian frowned:"Can you feel the pain?"
    Silver Blossom said with fear:"No...no...there...is....no...pain......"
    She sat down on the floor and started crying, Guo Pianxian picked up a butcher's knife and hacked at her poisoned hand. But there was no blood and her hand wasn't chopped off.
    Her hand was as hard as a rock, she cried even harder.
    Guo Pianxian smiled wryly:"My good Miss, that slap of yours has brought disaster on your head."
    Silver Blossom cried:"But when I slapped her I didn't feel anything strange."
    Guo Pianxian sighed:"That is the lethal part about it, the poison entered your body without notice. If you noticed it at that time there might be a way to save yourself."
    Silver Blossom sobbed:"Is....is...it too la....late now?"
    When it comes to poison her knowledge is a bit more profound than Guo Pianxian but she was in a frantic state and was hoping that it wasn't too late.
    Guo Pianxian shook his head.
    Silver Blossom begged:"I know you're an expert in using poison too, please help me!"
    She ran towards Guo Pianxian, Guo quickly avoided her and said:"Yes, it is true that I'm an expert in using poison. But even I don't know what poison this is....Good Miss, it is too late for you don't drag us along with you. Please don't touch us, I suggest you go and find a peaceful place and wait for death."
    Silver Blossom sat down again and looked sad and disappointed. She was a broken woman, Yu Peiyu said:"Come with me!"
    Silver Blossom said:"Where are you taking me?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Although none of us can give you an antidote but the person who poisoned you must have an antidote."
    Silver Blossom said softly to herself:"Yes...yes.....I just slapped her, there are no animosities between us. She will save me."
    She was consoling herself.
    Guo Pianxian said loudly:"Brother Yu, do you want to go back to them?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Yes."
    Guo Pianxian said:"Those two are very mysterious and dangerous, we were lucky to escape from them once. This time you might not be so lucky."
    Yu Peiyu smiled faintly:"If I had to die, I would have died at least ten times now."
    Guo Pianxian frowned:"It is worth risking your life for a woman like her."
    Yu Peiyu answered:"I would do the same thing for you, brother Guo."
    Guo Pianxian shook his head:"I've never seen a man like him, I don't know whether he is....."
    Suddenly Silver Blossom yelled loudly:"Hong Lianhua, Madame Hai Tang! Guo Pianxian is hiding in the inn. Come quickly, he is in the kitchen!"
    Guo Pianxian cursed angrilly:"The B-I-T-C-H-!"
    He carried Zhong Jing and had no choice but to follow Yu Peiyu too, Zhong Jing sobbed:"Why are you still so concerned about me? I've lost my internal energy I have no martial arts anymore. Why are you still so caring towards me?"
    Guo Pianxian said coldly:"If you would stop talking, I would be even nicer."
    Yu Peiyu looked at Silver Blossom and shook his head, Silver Blossom noticed he was looking at her and smiled:"He gave up on me first, don't blame me."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I'm not blaming you, but I know that they are people on this world who are more dangerous and ruthless than you. You kill people because they have offended you in some way, but some......"
    He didn't finish his words and knocked on the door, a voice said:"The door isn't locked, you can come in."
    Silver Blossom gritted her teeth and said:"They knew we would come back."
    She said it very softly but the people inside could still hear her and Zhu Lei'Er said:"I told you before we won't beg for your help, but some people will always come back crawling for help."
    Silver Blossom thought she was standing behind the door but when she opened no one was there.
    Zhu Lei'Er was upstairs and said:"Don't lock the door, someone might want to come in too."
    Silver Blossom thought:The little witch has very good ears. This time she didn't dare to speak up her mind anymore.
    She just followed Yu Peiyu upstairs, they saw that Zhu Lei'Er sat on a chair next to the bed. She ignored them, the two men earlier were kneeling in front of the bed and the bedridden man held on to their hands.
    They were sweating and panting heavily and they looked very scared.
    They begged:"Please sir! Spare us!"
    The man regained a bit of colour in his cheeks and the begging became softer and softer.
    Zhu Lei'Er calmly said:"You should feel lucky that my third uncle is just borrowing your martial arts. He doesn't want your lives."
    At this point the man released his grip and the two men fell down and almost fainted. Zhu Lei'Er took out her handkerchief and wiped the sweat from her uncle's face.
    She asked:"How were their martial arts?"
    The man shook his head and sighed:"Disappointing.....disappointing.....Why are there so many people in Wulin with lowly abilities nowadays?"
    Zhu Lei'Er frowned and scolded the two men:"For crying out loud! Both of you are quite old why weren't you two a bit more diligent in learning martial arts? If you put a bit more effort in the past you woudn't be as useless now."
    Yu Peiyu was a bit bemused by this, she used these men so her uncle borrowed their internal strenght and now she is blaming them for being lazy in the past.
    After Zhu Lei'Er scolded them she kicked them both out the window. Her legs moved very quickly and no one saw what stances she used. But they could hear that both men landed quite far away from the house.
    Yu Peiyu did feel that those two men were not any good characters. If Zhu Lei'Er didn't know any martial arts she might have been.......
    But seeing her kick those men away like this was a bit too much in his opinion.
    Silver Blossom smiled:"Miss Zhu, please forgive me for being rude earlier."
    Zhu Lei'Er coldly said:"It doesn't matter I grew up being slapped and bullied."
    Silver Blossom could hear that she was still angry with herself so she knelt in front of the sick old man and begged:"Sir, please save my life. I, too am a poor orphan if you can save my life I will take care of you for the rest of my life."
    She knew if the old man agreed to help her, Zhu Lei'Er must give her the antidote. And men usually cannot stand the tears of women.
    The old man suddenly opened his eyes and asked:"Are you a disciple of the Palace of Enchantment?"
    Both Silver Blossom and Yu Peiyu were shocked to hear this.
    Silver Blossom asked:"Sir, how........"
    She wanted to say how do you know because she did enter the Palace of Enchantment and did pay her respects to the portrait of the keeper. So she is a disciple of the Palace of Enchantment.
    But she remembered that almost everyone in Wulin hated that woman so if she acknowledged that she was a disciple of the keeper, this old man would surely not help her.
    The old man asked:"Well, are you or are you not?"
    Silver Blossom said:"No, I'm not."
    He looked at her for some time and sighed:"A pity, a pity."
    Silver Blossom asked:"What is a pity?"
    She was very afraid now and wondered what he was talking about.
    After some time Zhu Lei'Er said:"After learning the skills of the Palace of Enchantment you're a disciple of that school. By denying it you have become a traitor to your own school, why should I help traitors?"
    Silver Blossom was sweating and asked:"What are you talking about Miss Zhu?"
    Zhu Lei'Er ignored her.
    Silver Blossom looked at Zhu Lei'Er and looked at the sick old man.
    Guo Pianxian who came up too sighed:"A pity."
    Silver Blossom shouted:"What! What is a pity!"
    Guo Pianxian said:"If you have said that you are a disciple of the Palace of Enchantment, Miss Zhu would have saved you."
    Silver Blossom asked:"Why?"
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"Haven't you guessed who Miss Zhu really is?"
    Silver Blossom asked:"Who....who is she?"
    Guo Pianxian bowed in front of Zhu Lei'Er and said:"Miss Zhu is the daughter of the keeper, Lady Zhu Mei. Lady Zhu is the keeper of the Palace of Enchantment."
    Yu Peiyu called out with surprise and Silver Blossom got up and quickly knelt down again and asked:"Miss Zhu is really the daughter of Lady Zhu?"
    Zhu Lei'Er had no emotions on her face at the moment she was not an adolescent girl anymore now looked like a powerful woman.
    Silver Blossom was feeling cold over her entire body but suddenly she yelled:"Impossible! Lady Zhu died 30, 40 years ago. She can't have a daughter that young."
    Guo Pianxian sighed:"There are many secrets in the realm of martial arts."
    Silver Blossom asked:"What do you know?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"I just know a little bit, but I wouldn't dare to say it now."
    The old man said:"Speak up if you know something."
    Guo Pianxian said with respect:"As you command, sir."
    Both Yu Peiyu and Silver Blossom were very much interested and curious now. They both listened with undivided attention.
    Guo Pianxian began:"In the history of Wulin there are three big mysteries, one of them is the death of Lady Zhu, the keeper of the Palace of Enchantment."
    The old man nodded:"True."
    Guo Pianxian continued:"A lot of people were under the impression that Lady Zhu died 30 years ago and her palace was deserted. But some people said that she didn't die but just left to flee from her enemies."
    Yu Peiyu said:"But I saw her body."
    Guo Xiantian said:"According to some she didn't die and used one of her pupils to pose as her. Lady Zhu was very careful and no one knew of her whereabouts. But somehow news of her spread out and the first man who found out about her being alive was Lord Dongfang."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Lord Dongfang? Do you mean Dongfang Daming? Wasn't he the lord of the Sun And Moon Isle and the ruler of The Nocturne City? I've heard that his pair of Sun and Moon Wheels are unmatched in the entire Southern Sea regions."
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"You can call out his name now, but 20 years ago if someone would openly call out his name that person would not live to see another day."
    The sick old man asked sternly:"You have heard of Dongfang Daming too?"
    He looked very impressive and majestic now even Yu Peiyu felt a bit afraid but he didn't show it. He answered:"My late father told me, that lord Dongfang was one of The Ten Great Martial Arts Masters of Wulin. Because he lived far away from the central plains the martial artists in the central plains often didn't know about his skills. But all the Ten Great Martial Arts Masters are superb experts, it is said that they are even better than the 13 leaders of the orthodox schools."
    The old man asked:"Name a few of those ten masters,?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I can't remember all of them I do remember lord Dongfang, the Celestian Nun of Fenglai Isle Yinghua Shi-Tai, in the northern provinces you have the Flying Hunchback, Yi Kun.
    There is also master Nu who retreated to Mount Qingcheng in Sichuan province, the Divine Dragon Swordsman and the Heavenly King Li who lived on the Celestial Wind Cliffs......"
    Before Yu Peiyu could finish, the old man interrupted him:"Ten Greatest Martial Arts Masters?!? They are not fit to be called masters! Continue!"
    Guo Pianxian said:"It was said that lord Dongfang and Lady Zhu were enemies, when he heard this news he gathered 19 of the lords of the 72 isles in the South Sea. He also invited Heavenly King Li and Granny Hu to help him."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Yes, Granny Hu! She was also one of those ten experts, although her martial arts wasn't as good as the rest. But she was a master in using poison."
    Guo Pianxian said:"Lord Dongfang invited Granny Hu for the purpose of fighting......."
    He didn't finish his sentence, he was about to say fight poison with poison. But when he saw the stern look on Zhu Lei'Er's face he quickly swallowed his final words.
    Yu Peiyu asked:"All these people knew the whereabouts of Lady Zhu?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"Yes, I think so."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Did they find her?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"I'm afraid they did."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"That must be some battle. What was the outcome?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"No one knows."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Nobody?"
    Guo Pianxian smiled wryly:"I'm afraid nobody in this world knows."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Why?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"Dongfang Daming, Heavenly King Li, Granny Hu and others were very careful but they had a feast before their expedition at the Yueyang restaurant. However there were some other martial artists at that restaurant too and overheard a bit of their conversation. Although these people didn't spread the word openly but they did pay attention to this matter. They even send out some people to investigate and try to find out the outcome of this battle."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"And?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"Nothing."
    Yu Peiyu looked very surprised. Guo Pianxian continued:"Because
    Dongfang Daming, Granny Hu, Heavenly King Li and all those 19 island lords never came back. It was like they disappeared into thin air. Nobody could find them."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Could it be that they were all killed by Lady......"
    He looked at Zhu Lei'Er and kept quiet.
    Guo Pianxian said:"Although Lady Zhu was a daunting woman but everyone thought it was not possible for her to....."
    He looked at Zhu Lei'Er too and kept quiet.
    The sick old man asked:"Do you want to know what really happened to those people?"
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"If you don't mind telling us, sir."
    The old man said calmly:"Very well! I will tell you, Dongfang Daming, Heavenly King Li, Granny Hu and those 19 island lords were all killed by me."
    He calmly said that, like it was the most natural thing in this world.
    But Guo Pianxian and Yu Peiyu believed him and were flabbergasted.
    Although they had never seen the martial arts of Dongfang Daming, Granny Hu, Heavenly King Li and others but they knew that the 13 leaders of the orthodox schools were a bit afraid of these people. They said enough about their martial arts and all those 19 lords were said to be excellent martial artists and even one of them came to a draw with the leader of the Nanhai School, Yu Xuan.
    It was unbelievable that this feeble, bedridden old man killed these 22 martial arts experts.
    The old man continued:"The mother of Lei'Er didn't flee from her enemies, but she had enough of the kind of life she lead. She fell in love with a man and together they decided to spend their lives in peace."
    Guo Pianxian and Yu Peiyu looked at the old man and thought:Could that man be you?
    But of course they didn't ask.
    The old man asked:"Do you want to know who this man was?"
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"If it is not convenient you don't have to tell us, sir."
    The old man said:"He was the son of Dongfang Daming, his name was Dongfang Meiyu (as in precious fine jade)."
    Guo Pianxian and Yu Peiyu both felt relieved and somehow also a bit disappointed. Zhu Lei'Er walked to the old man and put her head down on the old man's body.
    The old man continued:"This Dongfang Meiyu was a very handsome young man worthy of his name. But Zhu Mei fell in love with this young man who was only half her age. You should know that when a woman like Zhu Mei falls in love......(sigh*)..."
    Yu Peiyu and Guo Pianxian didn't know what to say, Silver Blossom sighed:"That's right."
    The old man continued:"This Dongfang Meiyu was very handsome but he was rotten on the inside. His personality was absolutely revolting."
    He was scolding the father of Zhu Lei'Er, but she just listened and it seemed that she too felt her father deserved to be scolded.
    Yu Peiyu and Guo Pianxian were a bit surprised by this.
    The old man said:"Zhu Mei became an exemplary wife to Dongfang Meiyu. She did everything a good wife should do, she forgot her past and fully dedicated herself into her new life."
    Yu Peiyu thought:If a man can find a woman like that he really has no regrets anymore.
    Silver Blossom thought:I wonder whether I will change for the man I love.....Why am I thinking of this? I am about to die anyway.
    Guo Pianxian thought:Zhu Mei grew tired of her previous life style and fully devoted herself to her new identiy. But that Dongfang Meiyu is still young, he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life like that.
    The three of them each had a different thought but didn't speak it out.
    The old man said:"Zhu Mei was blindly in love but Dongfang Meiyu, who grew weary of such a boring life, hinted to Zhu Mei to return to the Palace of Enchantment."
    Guo Pianxian smiled and Yu Peiyu shook his head.
    Silver Blossom asked:"Did she return?"
    The sick old man said:"Although she was quite old but because of the youth preserving skills she still looked like a beauty. Dongfang Meiyu couldn't bear to part with her yet...."
    Silver Blossom thought:Although Zhu Mei had turn over a new leaf but her skills could still keep Dongfang Meiyu happy. I wonder whether I could match her later on.
    She looked at Yu Peiyu and saw him sighing.
    The old man continued:"These youth preserving skills would loose effect when women become pregnant. Zhu Mei knew this of course but as she grew older her desire to become mother also grew. Besides they were childless for many years. In the end she got pregnant and gave birth to her." He pointed to Zhu Lei'Er who had tears in her eyes.
    Silver Blossom asked:"After she gave birth did she degenerate?"
    With the exception of Silver Blossom everyone was interested in the history of Zhu Mei. But she had only interest in the youth preserving methods of Zhu Mei.
    The old man said:"Yes, within six months a matchless beauty became an old ugly woman."
    Silver Blossom sighed and thought:I will never have children.
    Yu Peiyu said:"But Dongfang Meiyu already grew weary of Lady Zhu, now he....now....he would....."
    After he saw Zhu Lei'Er's expression he couldn't continue.
    The old man continued:"Zhu Mei was an intelligent woman, one day when she looked into the mirror and saw that she was losing her hair. She knew she couldn't keep his heart anymore."
    Silver Blossom thought:"If I were her I would kill Dongfang Meiyu, if I cannot have him no one can.
    Thinking of this she looked at Yu Peiyu and his scar and immediately lowered her head and didn't look up for some time.
    The old man continued:"One night she held her baby in her arms and cried the entire night, the next morning she went to the room of Dongfang Meiyu and woke him."
    Silver Blossom asked:"Weren't they...they sleeping in the same bed?"
    The old man said:"Ever since she gave birth to Lei'Er Dongfang Meiyu lived in another room. His excuse was that Zhu Mei could take better care of their daughter. But in fact...(humph*)"
    Guo Pianxian thought:You really can't blame him, if I were him I wouldn't like to sleep next to an old ugly woman either.....
    He noticed that the cold eyes of the man were watching him, he quickly smiled:"What did Lady Zhu wake him up for?"
    The old man sighed:"You will never guess what she did."
    Everyone stayed quiet and wanted to find out what Zhu Mei did, the old man continued:"She woke him up and said goodbye to him."
    Yu Peiyu, Silver Blossom and Guo Pianxian cried:"Goodbye."
    The old man said:"Yes, she knew that with her looks now Dongfang Meiyu didn't love her anymore. She cried the entire night and thought everything over. She wanted to give Dongfang Meiyu back his freedom. She told him that she didn't want to become his burden anymore. She told him that he could find a nice pretty young woman and settle down with her, as for herself she will never see him again. She hoped that he would life happily ever after and take good care of their little daugther."
    Although these words were conveyed by a man, but everyone could clearly see the sadness of Zhu Mei. And everone symphatized with her.
    Even Guo Pianxian thought:I never thought that Zhu Mei really loved Dongfang Meiyu that deeply. If a man can find a woman who loves him that much he could considerate himself very lucky.
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Did Dongfang Meiyu really leave her?"
    The old man said:"No, after he heard that he swore never to leave her. He will love her no matter what, he said he doesn't mind her appearances."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"It seems Dongfang Meiyu isn't that heartless after all."
    The old man said:"You're right he isn't heartless, he simply never had a heart."
    He was looking furious and angry and was sweating now.
    After a short break he continued:"Zhu Mei was touched by his words and believed him. Also she wasn't willing to leave him and their young daughter at the time."
    Yu Peiyu asked carefully:"Did Dongfang Meiyu have an ulterior motive?"
    The old man said:" She took really good care of Lei'Er and Dongfang Meiyu. She did everything she could possibly do to please him. After some years the father of Dongfang Meiyu and about 20 martial arts experts found them."
    He took a small break again, everyone knew there was something else to the story.
    The old man said:"Zhu Mei knew that she had made a lot of enemies in the past, that is why she moved to a safe and secretive place to live. But how could Dongfang Daming find her?"
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"That is very strange, could you tell us, sir?"
    The old man said:"Even Zhu Mei was surprised but when she saw what Dongfang Meiyu did. It became clear to her."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"What did he do?"
    The old man angrilly said:"When he saw his father and the others he quickly......"
    He smashed a small table next to his bed.
    Silver Blossom, Guo Pianxian and Yu Peiyu guessed that Dongfang Meiyu was the one who told his father where they lived.
    The man was panting heavily and was still very angry.
    Zhu Lei'Er sobbed:"Third uncle......please don't be angry anymore and spare your strength."
    The old man continued angrilly:"Nobody knows this secret, if I am to die now. At least I want some people to know your mother's grievances."
    Zhu Lei'Er sobbed loudly too.
    The old man said:"That Dongfang Meiyu, he is a bastard! Because when Lei'Er turned two, Dongfang Meiyu secretly gave a lot of money to a merchant. He told the merchant to travel to The Nocturne City on the Sun and Moon Island.
    He also told the merchant that his father would also give him a large amount of money when he received his letter. However it was years later that the letter arrived in the hands of Dongfang Daming, because the location of the Sun and Moon Island was very secretive."
    Now they knew what happened and felt that Dongfang Meiyu was a revolting man. Everybody hated Dongfang Meiyu for this even Guo Pianxian felt that Dongfang Meiyu was too vicious.
    Suddenly the old man turned to Guo Pianxian and said:"I know that you're not a very emotional man, tell me what would you do in such a situation?"
    Guo Pianxian was stunned and stuttered:"Sir.....sir.....I.....I......"
    He felt that the old man's eyes were looking through him and felt scared and answered:"I think I would just leave."
    The old man said:"See even the most vicious man would just leave. Dongfang Meiyu, that bastard! He knew that Zhu Mei's martial arts were very high and was very cunning. He was afraid she would turn against him, by that time he couldn't escape from her wrath."
    Yu Peiyu angrilly said:"But Lady Zhu allowed him to leave. But why...why?"
    The old man said:"Dongfang Meiyu thought Zhu Mei was just testing him, he didn't see that Zhu Mei really loved him. Also he wanted to be sure that she would never be able to harm him, he wanted her dead."
    Even Guo Pianxian sighed:"What a ruthless bastard!"
    Yu Peiyu asked:"So Lady Zhu died at their hands?"
    The old man said:"You forgot to ask me something?"
    Yu Peiyu asked:"What did we forget?"
    The old man said:"You forgot to ask me, how I would know all this."
    Everyone felt strange that he would know this entire story.
    The old man said:"I am a lonesome wanderer, after a particular event in my life I grew weary of men. I thought there were no decent humans anymore in the world, whenever I saw a man I would want to kill him."
    Why would he tell them about his own personality but nobody dared to ask.
    The old man said:"I knew I couldn't just kill all the men in the world, so I decided to leave the civilized world to escape from men. It was Spring that time I was in Fukien province and was at a harbor. I confiscated a large ship and scared away the passengers and the crew, I felt very happy and I had enough provisions to last for a very long time. I was enjoying the scenery when I saw a man floating in the sea he was severly wounded. I held tightly on to a log."
    Guo Pianxian thought:If that man could be saved, you wouldn't rescue him. But seeing he was about to die, you might as well save him because you have nothing else to do on the ship.
    The old man continued:"Although I hate men and wasn't really to keen on saving him. But I did want to know who injured him? Were there pirates in the neigbourhood, if so I might as well kill them. At least I can peace my anger a bit."

    End of chapter 17

  19. #19
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 18 Remembrance Of The Past

    Yu Peiyu thought over the old man's words:Although he hates men, but he does still have a conscience and is still upholding chivalry. Killing pirates is a good thing.
    He now had a lot of respect for the old man.
    The old man looked at him and asked:"Do you know who that man was I rescued?"
    Yu Peiyu thought for a moment and asked:"Is it the merchant?"
    The old man looked at him an revealed a small smile and said:"Yes. Do you know who killed him?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"Dongfang Daming?"
    The old man nodded and said:"Yes, when he delivered the letter to Dongfang Daming and was waiting for his reward. Little did he know that Dongfang Daming killed his entire family of 37 people. The merchant took his entire family of 37 on his houseboat and found the Sun and Moon Isle after searching for it for years. Fortunately he managed to escape but was mortally wounded. He stayed alive because he wanted to expose the crimes of Dongfang Daming."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"It seems justice prevails after all, Heaven kept him alive so he could tell sir what happened."
    Guo Pianxian sighed:"If I were that merchant I would not have delivered that letter in the first place. Dongfang Daming and his son will never allow this secret to be known. The messenger was bound to get killed."
    The old man said:"All of these merchants on the sea are clever businessmen, he thought of that too. He just wanted to cheat Dongfang Meiyu of that large sum of money and throw away the letter. What could Dongfang Meiyu do? However curiosity killed the cat, he shouldn't have opened the letter and read it."
    Silver Blossom said:"I would have done the same thing."
    The old man said coldly:"That why I don't pity nosy people when they die."
    Silver Blossom lowered her head and kept quiet.
    Yu Peiyu asked:"But what was in the letter?"
    The old man said:"Dongfang Meiyu, the bastard, said he was held captive by Zhu Mei. He requested his father to save him, he also asked his father to heavily reward the messenger. He told his father to give the merchant so much money that it will never be used up."
    The old paused for a minuted and continued:"But there is no such thing as money that will never be used up. No matter how much money you have, some day it will run up. Unless you die that way your money will never be used up."
    Guo Pianxian exclaimed:"Of course Dongfang Meiyu wrote that to remind his father tokill the merchant. The poor fool was blinded by greed."
    The old man said:"Dongfang Meiyu knew that the merchant would read the letter, so he added that extra bit to tempt him. Greed drives men mad."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Sir, you must have felt that their actions were too discpicable so he hasted to assist Zhu Mei."
    The old man said:"Yes, indeed. But he told something else, do you know where Zhu Mei retreated to?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"They retreated, so....."
    Guo Pianxian said:"Of course they hid in some small town, not drawing any unwanted attention. Just leading a normal life."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"You mean, they hid in this small town?"
    The old man sighed:"This is a rather small town, nobody is really interested here to dig up someone's past. Some Wulin people occasionaly pass by. But they would not pay any attention to an ordinary woman and man. Zhu Mei could have lived her for 80 years and still nobody would know who she really was. The merchant's name was Li Mengtang, he was born in this village but left it many years ago to do business elsewhere. That year he came back to visit his relatives and Dongfang Meiyu deliberately got himself acquianted with him."
    Guo Pianxian asked:"Didn't Lady Zhu suspect anything?"
    The old man sighed:"Zhu Mei had devoted herself to the care of Lei'Er and Dongfang Meiyu. Futhermore how would she have guessed the motives of Dongfang Meiyu? Talking to some neighbours is very natural and normal. Everybody in the town knew she was a very good wife and mother, everybody praised her even. But when Li Mengtang read the letter he was shocked, but he was blinded by greed and lead to his demise."
    He angrilly wanted to smash another table, Zhu Lei'Er put out her hand and stopped him.
    And said:"Third uncle don't get upset anymore."
    Yu Peiyu and Guo Pianxian were both surprised to see that this young girl had such high martial arts.
    Guo Pianxian thought:She is not inferior to me and she has learnt a great deal from her mother's mermerizing skills too."
    The old man sighed:"When I heard Li Mengtang I was furious. I never thought there would be such a heartless man in the world. I asked Li Mengtang where the Nocturne City was, he told me the location and knew I would avenge him. He closed his eyes and died."
    Yu Peiyu said:"So sir you rushed over to the Nocturne City?"
    The old man answered:"Yes, but I was too late. Dongfang Daming and others had left the Sun and Moon Island."
    Silver Blossom and Guo Pianxian thought:Why would he put so much effort in this entire situation? It is none of his business anyway. Furthermore he said that he was tired of men and their affairs.
    Only Yu Peiyu guessed the motives of the old man:He must have met a heartless woman in his younger days. That's why he can't stand people who treat their lovers that ruthless.
    The old man was panting heavily now.
    Yu Peiyu wanted to ask:What happened to Zhu Mei and Dongfang Meiyu? Why were you injured?
    But he restrained himself from asking these questions.

    Zhu Lei'Er said:"The congee is ready, you must be hungry too."
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"We wouldn't dare to ask you to serve us."
    Zhu Lei'Er ignored him and went downstairs.
    Silver Blossom begged:"Miss Zhu, please save me. I will do anything you ask of me."
    Zhu Lei'Er said coldly:"Receive my manual and become my pupil. Always listen and obey my teachings, disobey me and suffer the consequences."
    Those were the words Zhu Mei left behind in the Palace of Enchantment, after Yu Peiyu and Jin Yanzi discovered the secret a lot of unexpected events happened.
    Both of them totally forgot about the manual, it was later found by Silver Blossom. She started to read and study it a bit and felt it was a marvellous manual and the methods of Zhu Mei were quite close to her personality too.
    But she had already forgotten the warnings of Zhu Mei, now she heard Zhu Lei'Er say them again.
    She sat down and was very afraid again.
    Suddenly Zhu Lei'Er turned to Guo Pianxian and asked:"Who is downstairs?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"A friend of mine."
    Zhu Lei'Er scoffed:"Just a friend?"
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"Miss Zhu has very sharp eyes."
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"Why did you leave her downstairs?"
    Guo Pianxian thought:It is your fault that she is in her present condition. Why all of a sudden the corncern for her welfare."
    Of course he wouldn't say that to Zhu Lei'Er and smiled:"I felt that it may not be that suitable for her to be upstairs. So I left her downstairs."
    Zhu Lei'Er said coldly:"Another heartless man."
    Guo Pianxian was very anxious when he heard that remark and quickly carried Zhong Jing upstairs again.

    In awhile Zhu Lei'Er came back with a few bowls of congee for everyone, Yu Peiyu stared at his bowl and looked very pensive.
    Suddenly the old man said:"Someone is here."
    Everyone kept quiet and didn't hear a thing, they were thinking that the old man was hearing things.
    But then they heard a three strange knocking sounds like a bird was pecking at the door, and a voice said:"My name is Tian Jiyun, I am here to deliver a letter."
    The voice sounded young and clear.
    Zhu Lei'Er frowned:"What kind of letter? And who is this Tian Jiyun?"
    She started to walk downstairs, the sick old man said:"Be careful this Tian Jiyun has fairly good martial arts. It also seems that he has learnt the Vigorously Eagle's Claw. If you cannot stop him let him come upstairs."
    Zhu Lei'Er answered:"I know what to do."
    But she was not convinced by her uncle's words.
    Yu Peiyu and Guo Pianxian were shocked that the old man could distinguish the martial arts of the messenger just by hearing him knock on the door.
    Needless to say the messenger had a very high level of martial arts if he could come near the door without being noticed by Guo Pianxian and others.
    Yu Peiyu said:"I'll have a look too."
    Zhu Lei'Er had already opened the door downstairs, there was a young man in a purple robe standing in front of her. He looked quite handsome but had a very arrogant look on his face.
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"Are you the messenger? Where is the letter?"
    The young man, Tian Jiyun smiled:"I cannot give this letter to you little Miss, can I come in?"
    His tone sounded very arrogant.
    Zhe Lei'Er smiled lightly:"I have never heard that a messenger can barge into someone's house like that. If you don't give me the letter now I suggest you would take your letter and leave."
    Tian Jiyun laughed:"You have a very sharp tongue there, little Miss. I'm not sure if you can receive the letter."
    He took out the letter and respectfully put the letter in front of Zhu Lei'Er.
    Yu Peiyu saw that his arms were bent a little bit and knew that he generated his internal power to his hands.
    If Zhu Lei'Er would take the letter she might get injured.
    Yu Peiyu wanted to intervene, but Zhu Lei'Er said coldly:"Just put the letter on the floor."
    Tian Jiyun smiled:"Are you afraid the letter might hurt you?"
    Zhu Lei'Er coldly said:"You look like a decent man, haven't you heard that men and women should put some distance between themselves."
    Tian Jiyun laughed:"Good little girl! Now I know why so many people have fallen for your tricks."
    He slowly moved the letter to Zhu Lei'Er's face, although it was just an envelope with a sheet of paper but in the hands of Tian Jiyun this letter was no different from a sabre.
    Zhu Lei'Er still stood there and said again:"I told you to put the letter down on the ground."
    Suddenly he swiftly moved around Zhu Lei'Er, she couldn't stop him from going upstairs anymore.
    Tian Jiyun smiled:"Since you said that we should put a distance between us, I will deliver the letter personally."
    A voice said:"No need you can give the letter to me."
    Tian Jiyun stopped and saw a handsome young man blocking the stairs, Tian Jiyun always felt proud of his appearances but when he saw this young man he felt that he looked ten times better than himself.
    Tian Jiyun asked:"Do you live here?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"No, I don't. The lord of the mansion is asleep, you can......"
    Tian Jiyun said:"Since you don't live here I cannot give you the letter."
    He pushed out his palms, but Yu Peiyu didn't avoid his palms and used his palms to receive his blow.
    Tian Jiyun said arrogantly:"Can you really block my stance?"
    He snapped his finger and the letter flew back into his sleeve, he generated his internal strength to his both palms and pushed out towards Yu Peiyu.
    When the both of them received each other's palms both were shocked.
    Yu Peiyu was born with immense strength which no one could match, but this young man could force him to bend his palms backwards a bit.
    But Tian Jiyun was even more surprised, he never would have guessed that his refined looking young man has such extraordinary strength. He should have gained the advantage, because he leant forward crashing on Yu Peiyu.
    It felt like the palms of Yu Peiyu were made out of metal, he increased the energy to his palms as did Yu Peiyu.
    Both were sweating and Tian Jiyun regretted to have started this competition of strength with this young man.
    Zhu Lei'Er walked towards Tian Jiyun and said:"As the two of you are competing with each other, I will take the letter and deliver it."
    Tian Jiyun couldn't defend himself against Zhu Lei'Er and Yu Peiyu, but Yu Peiyu couldn't drop his counter-attack either.
    Suddenly Tian Jiyun gracefully leapt into the air and over Yu Peiyu's head and was upstairs.
    Both Yu Peiyu and Zhu Lei'Er rushed upstairs too, they heard Tian Jiyun saying:"This lowly disciple is Tian Jiyun. I hope sir can grant me an aundience."
    The old man asked casually:"Who sent you?"
    Tian Jiyun said:"Everything is explained in the letter."
    He took out the letter and held in front of him, he kept looking at the sick old man. Suddenly his eyes looked sinister and cold.
    Zhu Lei'Er screamed:"Third uncle, be careful his hands......"
    The old man raised his hand and the letter flew out of Tian Jiyun's hands and the old man had taken the letter from him.
    Tian Jiyun paced three steps back and said:"I've completed my task, I will take my leave now."
    He turned around and started to walk down the stairs, but he quickly shifted his position and had grabbed Zhu Lei'Er by her hands. She couldn't move anymore.
    Tian Jiyun said:"Everyone don't move! If you want her unharmed all of you stay right were you are. I promise you, she will return shortly."
    Nobody could do a thing at this moment, the sick old man asked:"Where are you taking her? Who wants to meet her?"
    Tian Jiyun said:"My teacher......."
    The old man interrupted him coldly:"If he wants to meet her, tell him to come here!"
    He flew out his bed and his movements were spectacular. He was a like a dragon soaring through the sky or even a phoenix dancing in the clouds.
    Tian Jiyun said loudly:"Sir, don't you value......"
    Before he could say [her life]. The old man was closing in on him and he saw that the hand of the old man formed a claw was aiming for his neck. He couldn't even escape now, let alone harm Zhu Lei'Er. He let go of her and raised his palms to counter-attack.
    But the old man movements kept changing mid-air. He looked like a graceful phoenix and before Tian Jiyun knew what happened, the old man had grabbed hold of him and Tian Jiyun was unable to move now.
    Silver Blossom, Yu Peiyu and Guo Pianxian knew that this old man must be an extraordinary martial arts expert but nobody had anticipated that he would be this powerful. The experts they had seen so far were nothing compared to him.
    Guo Pianxian thought:Well, this arrogant little brat will lose his internal power now.
    But the old man scolded:"I will let you go this once. But remember to behave yourself in the future. Leave!"
    He chucked Tian Jiyun out of the window and he himself swiftly returned to his bed panting heavily.
    They could hear Tian Jiyun saying:"Sir, you have amazing skills. I hope to see a bit more of your abilities in the future."
    His tone was still very arrogant.
    Yu Peiyu thought:Impressive young man! I wonder who his teacher is?
    The old man scoffed:"Yu Fanghe and his lackeys are not fit to be the teacher of this young man."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Indeed, he isn't a disciple of the 13 schools. I wonder who his teacher is."
    The old man closed his eyes and shook his head.
    Zhu Lei'Er asked:"Third uncle, why did you just let him go like that?"
    The old man said coldly:"When two countries are at war it a custom not to kill the emissaries or messengers."
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"This Tian Jiyun came here to see whether you have regained your health, third uncle. Now that he has gone back Yu Fanghe and others will surely return."
    The old man said:"Even if we were to die today we cannot throw away our pride and principles."
    Zhu Lei'Er nodded and said:"Yes." She lowered her head and remained silent.
    Yu Peiyu admired the old man very much now, Guo Pianxian smiled:"Even so, sir you could have drained his internal energy first."
    The old man didn't answer and looked at him with disgust. Zhu Lei'Er scoffed:"My third uncle only absorbs the energy of people who are willing to give up their martial arts or people who deserve to lose their martial arts. Someone like Mr. Guo has passable internal power, why wouldn't my third uncle use your internal strength too?"
    Guo Pianxian stayed quiet, normally he was a very arrogant man but he didn't dare to retort back. Nonetheless he was a bit angered and after awhile he couldn't help but to ask:"Miss Zhu, forgive me for asking. But who would be willingly give up his internal energy?"
    Zhu Lei'Er looked at Silver Blossom and said:"Who knows? Some people might want to lose their martial arts."
    Silver Blossom got goosebumps again when she saw Zhu Lei'Er giving her a cold look.
    Yu Peiyu asked:"What is in the letter?"
    After he had asked this question he immediately regretted asking because he thought the old man wouldn't answer anyway.
    But the old man threw the letter to Zhu Lei'Er and said:"Read it the letter out loud."
    Zhu Lei'Er took out the letter from the envelope and read:"Dear Sir ......,
    We have admired your chivalry for many years, we are very pleased that you are here in this town. We take it that Sir will not harbour the daughter of a .......... Around midnight we will pay our respects to you.

    Your sincerely,

    Yu Fanghe and others."
    Zhu Lei'Er deliberately ignored three characters, everyone knew those characters were bound to be insulting towards her late mother. She also didn't read out the family name of the old man.
    She didn't want Yu Peiyu, Guo Pianxian, Silver Blossom and Zhong Jing know the identity of the old man yet.
    The old man sneered:"Yu Fanghe and others, (*humph). They're not worthy enough to pay their respects to me."
    Zhu Lei'Er said softly:"They must have found someone powerful to support them. If not they wouldn't be this audacious."
    Yu Peiyu and Guo Pianxian looked at each other and thought that this girl was very intelligent. She could clearly analyze the situation and come up with a reasoable deduction in a matter of moments.
    Yu Peiyu thought:Could that powerful expert be the teacher of that Tian Jiyun?
    He felt worried about the old man and Zhu Lei'Er. The old man said:"We should deliver a message too. Lei'Er, tell them I will be awaiting their arrival right here."
    Guo Pianxian scoffed in his heart:In other words you are sending a reconnaissance party too.
    Zhu Lei'Er shook her head and said:"I won't go."
    The old man asked:"Why?"
    Zhu Lei'Er looked at Guo Pianxian and Silver Blossom and said:"I will stay here and look after you."
    Yu Peiyu understood that she was worried about the old man, she feared that Guo Pianxian and Silver Blossom might harm him.
    By the looks of it the old man wasn't capable of defending himself against Guo Pianxian or Silver Blossom. When Yu Fanghe,Tian Jiyun and his teacher arrive they have no means of defending themselves against them.
    Yu Peiyu said:"If Miss Zhu cannot go, I'm very happy to go on her behalf."
    The old man looked at Yu Peiyu and asked:"You?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Do you think I am suitable for this job, sir?"
    The old man looked at him for some time and said:"Come over here!"
    Zhong Jing suddenly yelled:"Don't go! He wants to absorb your internal energy."
    Yu Peiyu still walked to the old man and said:"Sir, I await your instructions."
    The old man whispered something very softly in Yu Peiyu's ears. Nobody could hear what he said, but they saw that Yu Peiyu looked pleased and happy.
    He said:"Thank you, sir."
    The old man asked:"Do you understand?"
    Yu Peiyu closed his eyes and looked very pensive, after awhile he opened his eyes. He stretched his arms and made a few gestures. It looked like he was drawing a series of circles. With the exception of Guo Pianxian no one understood what he was doing.
    But Guo Pianxian saw that within every circle there was a lethal stance hidden. Yu Peiyu increased his speed and was drawing more circles and faster, suddenly he turned from fast to slow.
    His face was turning red now and he stopped and took a deep breath.
    He asked the old man:"What do you think, sir?"
    The old man looked pleased and said:"Very good! You can go now."
    Yu Peiyu bowed to the old man and left. Guo Pianxian already figured out that the old man taught Yu Peiyu a powerful technique. The old man was afraid he might get injured when delivering the message.
    Guo Pianxian regretted why he didn't volunteer himself, that way he could have learnt a new formidable stance.
    But he was also surprised that Yu Peiyu could master that stance in a short while. I wonder how that is possible.
    The old man could see what martial arts Yu Peiyu had learnt in the past, so he taught him a stance that was quite similar to the style of Yu Peiyu. Furthermore Yu Peiyu is a very intelligent young man who easily integrated this stance into his own martial arts.

    The old man closed his eyes and fell asleep again, Zhu Lei'Er said softly:"Another 10 hours before midnight."
    She turned to Silver Blossom and said coldly:"I can guarantee you that you won't be around by that time."
    Silver Blossom begged:"Miss, please save me. Do remember I belong to the Palace of Enchantment too."
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"Now you admit that you're a disciple of the Palace of Enchantment."
    Silver Blossom lowered her head and stuttered:"I.....I....."
    Zhu Lei'Er said coldly:"I'm afraid it is too late now."
    Silver Blossom was completely lost and didn't know what to say or to do anymore.
    However, Zhu Lei'Er continued:"If you want to live, there is still one option left."
    Silver Blossom happily:"I will do anything. Please tell me?"
    Zhu Lei'Er said coldly:"Can't you think of it yourself?"
    Silver Blossom thought:Little b-i-t-c-h- if I could think of a way to save myself why would I beg for your help.
    Silver Blossom smiled:"I am a stupid and dumb woman. How would I know a mysterious secret like that? Miss Zhu, please tell me?"
    Zhu Lei'Er turned around and ignored her.
    Silver Blossom was so frustrated and angry that she wanted to cuss Zhu Lei'Er.
    Guo Pianxian now suddenly said:"I think I know the method Miss Zhu is referring to."
    Silver Blossom was surprised and said:"You do?"
    Guo Pianxian nodded.
    Silver Blossom said anxiously:"Tell me! Tell me now!"
    Guo Pianxian said coldly:"What do I gain by telling you?"
    Silver Blossom was furious but smiled seductively:"Please tell me! I will always remember you and......"
    Guo Pianxian interrupted:"I don't want you to remember me."
    Silver Blossom said:"I will do and give you anything you want."
    Guo Pianxian asked:"Anything?" He looked at Silver Blossom's parcel full of treasures.
    Silver Blossom nodded.
    Zhong Jing thought:This woman is really a shameless b-i-t-c-h-.
    Guo Pianxian smiled:"I think I understand the words of Miss Zhu now, about the absorbing internal energy of willing people."
    Silver Blossom slowly began to understand where he was getting at and was breaking out in a cold sweat.
    Guo Pianxian explained:"If you're willing to give your internal energy away. Sir, will absorb your energy and your poison away."
    Silver Blossom stuttered:"But...but....that way won't he be poisoned too."
    Zhu Lei'Er scoffed:"That little bit of poison is nothing compared to what my third uncle is used to."
    Silver Blossom thought about this and looked at her hand and screamed:"Allright, take my internal strength."
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"If it's fine that you're willing to donate but we might not want to accept your internal power."
    Silver Blossom begged:"What do you want?"
    Guo Pianxian said:"You can beg people to absorb your skills."
    Silver Blossom was stunned and sighed deeply:"Please Miss Zhu! I beg of you....."
    Zhong Jing felt very happy and thought:Justice prevails!
    Zhu Lei'Er smiled:"Remember you came crying to us."
    Silver Blossom couldn't control her tears anymore and started to cry loudly.
    The entire town was deserted, Yu Peiyu didn't see a living soul. It was quite eerie to walk here.
    After walking for some time he could hear some soft talking, he walked to the noise and saw the villagers were rounded up outside the town.
    Yu Fanghe must have forced them to stay here, all the villagers were looking angry and shocked.
    They must be thinking what these strangers want in their hometown.
    Two muscular men walked up to Yu Peiyu and one of them said:"My friend, where are you headed for?"
    These two men didn't know who Yu Peiyu was, but Yu Peiyu could tell from their clothes that they were warriors of Yu Fanghe. He disliked them immediately and said coldly:"I'm here to deliver a message, could you lead the way."
    The other man smiled:"Chancellor Yu predicted that someone would deliver a message, so he instructed us to await your arrival. Even you must respect and admire the intelligence of chancellor Yu."
    Yu Peiyu just grunted, the man was not pleased to see Yu Peiyu's expression and coldly said:"Follow me if you want to deliver a message! If I didn't have orders of chancellor Yu (*humph)."
    But Yu Peiyu wasn't angered by his reaction and thought:If this Yu Fanghe had more henchmen like these two reckless idiots, he won't be difficult to deal with.

    The two men lead Yu Peiyu to a Taoist temple, because most of the villagers of this town had the family name Li. They worshipped Lao Tse, whose family name was also Li.
    The temple looked very impressive and not too old, the villagers always maintained the temple in an excellent state.
    The two men stopped in front of the doors and said coldy:"Wait here and don't start lurking about! We will inform chancellor Yu, that you are here. Do you understand."
    If someone else would hear this he/she would certainly slap these two men silly for their rude behaviour. But Yu Peiyu just smiled:"Thank you."
    The two men coldly smiled and entered the temple. They were taking to each other but it was loud enough for Yu Peiyu to hear.
    "Chancellor Yu has overestimated his adversaries. Just look at this messenger, looks pretty weak to me."
    "It is a shame that he has a scar. Otherwise he could sing in the opera and he doesn't have overdress to look like a woman. Hahahaha!"
    Yu Peiyu wasn't angered in fact he felt rather pleased that these two men looked down upon him. Young people usually are afraid that others will look down upon them and treat them with scorn.
    Even Yu Peiyu was like that in the beginning, but he has learnt that keeping a low profile and being humble has many advantages.
    A voice from inside the temple said:"Where is the letter?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I am the letter."
    There was no response anymore, Yu Peiyu stood outside and waited for some time. Yu Peiyu loudly said:"The message is here."
    There was still no response, Yu Peiyu laughed:"Aren't you interested in the message?"
    Again no response, Yu Peiyu walked inside and was in the main hall of the temple. He saw a big cauldron in the middle and on the altar was a big statue of Lao Tse.
    There were 12 armchairs in the main hall, Yu Peiyu understood now. They were afraid that the old man was sending someone over to gather information about them.
    But why the mystery? Who was their powerful and mysterious ally?
    Suddenly Yu Peiyu thought of something and bowed to an armchair and said:"Yu Peiyu is here to pay his respects to chancellor Yu."
    He respectfully bowed to the armchair and his tone was filled with respect. He did as if Yu Fanghe was really in the armchair.
    Yu Fanghe's voice said:"Young master Yu is here. My apologies for not receiving you earlier."
    Another loud and clear voice shouted:"Are you sent by Feng San!"
    At this point Yu Peiyu knew that the sick old man was called Feng San, he felt that the other person was a very reckless and rash man.
    Reckless and rash man seldom could learn and master superior martial arts, but the this man had very powerful and profound internal energy. Yu Peiyu's ears were a bit numb by his hard roar.
    Yu Peiyu knew that this man's martial arts was very high, he was probably the best expert he had encountered his entire life. His martial arts should be at least one level higher than the 13 leaders of the orthodox schools.
    The man roared angrilly when Yu Peiyu didn't answer his question:"I asked you a question! Why don't you answer!"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Yes, I was sent by old Mr. Feng to deliver a........"
    The voice shouted:"What is your relationship to Feng San! Is he your teacher!"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I hardly know old Mr. Feng, because......"
    The voice angrilly roared:"Hardly know him! Why are you helping him to deliver a message! Don't you have something better to do!"
    This man would interrupt Yu Peiyu before he could finish his sentences. Yu Peiyu thought:How did this man master such high martial arts with a bad temper like that?
    Learning and mastering martial arts requires patience and dilligence. Yu Peiyu doesn't know that this man has really studied hard to reach this level of martial arts in his younger years.
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Delivering a message is a trivial matter. I was very happy to help out."
    The man grunted and said:"Where is the letter!"
    Yu Peiyu said:"Old Mr. Feng didn't write a letter."
    The man laughed loudly:"What can't Feng San even pick a brush anymore?!?"
    His laughter was very loud and even the altar was shaking.
    Yu Peiyu waited till the man finished laughing and continued:"Old Mr. Feng wants to tell to everyone that he will be awaiting your arrival at midnight. Mr. Feng also hopes you will be on time....."
    The man angrilly shouted:"What does he mean with that? Is he implying that I am afraid of him?"
    Yu Peiyu explained:"Old Mr. Feng is merely......"
    The man roared:"How would you know what he is thinking? Little (*humph). Get out now, before I smash your little head!"
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"I will take my leave now."
    Initially he was happy that these people weren't troubling him, but now he was worried again. First of all he was worried about the old man, Feng San. Secondly he wanted to contact Hong Lianhua and explain the entire situation to him and hoped he would not be a part of this expedition.
    But it seems he couldn't stay here any longer and had to leave now.
    He turned around was was walking towards the exit, suddenly he noticed someone attacked him from behind with a sharp blade.
    The attacker was very fast, didn't give his adversary a chance to avoid his attack.
    Yu Peiyu turned around and drew two circles in mid-air. The blade was stopped by the energy released from the circles. The sword broke into halves.
    Yu Peiyu saw that the attacker was the Flowered Chestnut Sword Lin Shoujuan. Lin Shoujuan stood there surprised and shocked.
    Yu Peiyu understood now, the conspirators were still suspicious of him and decided to test Yu Peiyu's abilities. They wanted to see what martial arts he learnt.
    However Yu Peiyu used the new stance Feng San taught him, Lin Shoujuan stood there a bit embarrassed.
    Someone else would have scoffed something like:Mr. Lin, you're a respected martial arts expert. I would never have guessed that you would....(*humph)

    But Yu Peiyu just said:"Mr. Lin is a very fast swordsman."
    He turned around and walked away again, but now a loud voice roared:"Don't move!"
    The voice caused the leaves to fall down and a figure stood in front of Yu Peiyu.
    Judging by the voice one would expect to see a giant. But it was skinny and short old Taoist priest in a blue robe. He had a robust beard and had a precious sword stuck in his girdle.
    Yu Peiyu was shocked to see his lightning speed movements and said respectfully:"What can I do for you, reverend?"
    The Taoist roared:"What is your relationship with Feng San? Is he your teacher?"
    His eyes looked very fierce and and his grandeur was very awesome.
    Yu Peiyu said:"I just told reverend earlier that I just met old Mr. Feng......."
    The Taoist priest roared:"Rubbish! If you're not the pupil of Feng San, how would you know to use his martial arts. That stance Travelling On Clouds, Bestowing Rain And The Phoenix Dances Through The Ninth Heaven where did you learn it from?"
    Every word of this Taoist was very loud and made one's ears very uncomfortable.
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Old Mr. Feng imparted my this stance when I was about to deliver the message. Reverend, to be honest I don't even know the name of that stance."
    The Taoist yelled:"Rubbish! Nonsense! Mad! If Feng San would JUST teach you that stance like that he is a bigger idiot than I thought."
    Yu Peiyu thought the cultivation of this Taoist had yet to be perfected, nonetheless he was a bit afraid of him.
    Yu Peiyu replied:"Mr. Feng was afraid that I would disgrace his reputation in front of......"
    The Taoist interrupted angrilly:"Even if he did teach you that stance. It is impossible for you to master it in a short time. Nobody can learn superior techniques in a few moments, if you can do that you're not human!"
    This Taoist priest was not a very intelligent man, he worked very hard to learn and master his martial arts. So he doesn't believe that there are people who can learn sophisticated skills in a flash.
    Also because he endured many hardships in mastering his skills, his temper also grew. When he finally mastered his skills, he also became a very hot-tempered man and often would blame and scold everybody else for little incidents.
    Yu Peiyu saw that he couldn't explain this situation and smiled wryly:"Reverend, if you don't believe I don't know what to say....."
    The Taoist priest stamped his feet and angrilly said:"Of course you don't know what to say. But if I were to test you, you will probably say that I am bullying a junior......"
    He suddenly became even angrier:"You're saying that I'm bullying you right now, are you not?"
    Yu Peiyu couldn't help laughing a bit and said:"But reverend you said that yourself. I didn't....."
    The Taoist yelled:"Fine! You didn't say it, but why are you laughing?"
    Yu Peiyu sighed and thought:What an unreasonable Taoist priest!
    He was lost for words and thought the best thing to do is to keep quiet now.
    But the Taoist roared:"Why aren't you answering? Have you become mute!"
    Yu Peiyu smiled wryly:"But reverend you said yourself that you couldn't test me yourself. If you don't mind I would like to take my leave now."
    The Taoist yelled:"Stand still! If you weren't the pupil of Feng San I would have let you go. But now I want to see how many great techniques he has imparted you."
    The Taoist turned around and yelled:"The students of Feng San are displaying their skills here! Why are my students? Are they dead or something, come out now!"
    A voice said:"Master, you called? What are your orders?"
    Yu Peiyu thought Tian Jiyun was the disciple of this Taoist priest, but now he saw that the student of this hot-tempered priest was a young and handsome Taoist priest. The young Taoist priest looked very elegant and refined, he wore a green robe and Yu Peiyu almost took him for a young girl.

    The old Taoist priest yelled:"Yes, I called! Are you dumb? Can't you figure out what I want?"
    The young Taoist smiled:"Master, do you want me to examine the martial arts of this young master?"
    The old Taoist priest shouted:"If you know that already, why ask me?"
    Yu Peiyu now understood that this old Taoist priest was always this hot-tempered. Even his own student received a loud scolding for nothing.
    The young Taoist priest walked up to Yu Peiyu and smiled elegantly:"This lowly Taoist is called Shiyun. I hope young master Yu can give me a few pointers in martial arts."
    Yu Peiyu liked this Shiyun immediately, he was a very kind and gentle person.
    Yu Peiyu thought it was strange that the old Taoist priest would have a pupil like Shiyun. But soon he realised it was only natural. Because only someone with an extremely good temper like Shiyun could put up with a teacher like that. Someone else would have been banned by the old Taoist within three days, or would have left who wants to receive a loud scolding for nothing.

    Yu Peiyu respectfully said:"Reverend, you're too kind. I wouldn't dare to battle you, but...."
    The old Taoist priest yelled:"Don't just talk! Fight already!"
    Yu Peiyu smiled wryly, and Shiyun said respectfully:"Please forgive me for being rude now."
    Shiyun raised his palm and pushed out, the energy released by this stance was amazingly powerful. Yu Peiyu couldn't imagine that a young Taoist priest who looked like a young girl would have such force and power.
    Yu Peiyu realised that the style of the old Taost was fierce and dominating. Not strange with his hot-temper.
    After 20 stances Yu Peiyu started to pant, Yu Peiyu could use the stances of the Xiantian Wuji School to block or counter-attack some techniques. But he was afraid that Yu Fanghe, or the old Taoist pries would see through this.
    Yu Peiyu just used some stances that he came up in his head at this point.
    But he was being forced backwards.
    The old Taoist priest yelled angrilly:"Little brat! Use the martial arts Feng San taught you! Are you afraid that I will see and know his martial arts stances!......Use more force, you little idiot! Where did you run off to last night! Didn't you sleep and rest where did your strength go!.......Yes, A Warrior Facing Arrows Backwards, A Fierce Tiger Opening The Mountain.......Damn! do you call that stance [A Warrior Facing Arrows Backward[/I]? It is like your rubbing the back of your opponent!"
    The first part he was scolding Yu Peiyu, the latter part was adressed to Shiyun.
    The old Taoist priest thought Yu Peiyu didn't use the stances of Feng San because he was afraid that he would reveal the mysterious stances of Feng San to them.
    But only Yu Peiyu knew the real reason for his current situation, and Shiyun attacked with everything he had.
    All the other experts were impressed byt Shiyun's martial arts.
    After another 20 stances Yu Peiyu was facing a dangerous situation he used the stance of Feng San again, Travelling On Clouds, Bestowing Rain And The Phoenix Dances Through The Ninth Heaven to counter the attacking stances.
    Every time he was in danger he would rely on the technique of Feng San to save himself.
    The old Taoist priest shouted:"Little brat! Use the other skills of Feng San! Why do you only use that one stance! If that idiot of a disciple of mine was any good, you would have died 80 times now!"
    The Taoist was convinced that Yu Peiyu was the student of Feng San and had learnt many skills from him. He saw that Yu Peiyu had very powerful internal energy not below that of any martial arts expert of this time. It is not realistic that he would only know that stance, Travelling On Clouds, Bestowing Rain And The Phoenix Dances Through The Ninth Heaven.
    Yu Peiyu was a dire situation, fortunately the Taoist's yells distracted Yu Fanghe, Lin Shoujuan and others. If not they would surely be suspicious to why Yu Peiyu only used one stance over and over again.
    Yu Peiyu was panting and sweating heavily, everyone was convinced that he couldn't last for another 30 stances. But somehow he managed due to his extraordinary strength.
    After another 30 stances he was panting and sweating even more, everyone thought:Let's see if he can last for another 30 stances.


    End of chapter 18

  20. #20
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Chapter 19 A Dragon Fighting For His Life

    Everyone thought Yu Peiyu would lose after 30 stances, but after several rounds of 30 stances he was still holding his grounds.
    Everyone was surprised and happy to see such an interesting battle. No one dare to look down on Yu Peiyu and Shiyun.
    Lin Shoujuan smiled:"This young fellow looks so refined and elegant, it is amazing that he has such extraordinary strength. Only experts like Taoist brother Shiyun are capable of gaining the upperhand on him."
    He was praising Yu Peiyu in public because his sword was broken in one go and tried his best to make Yu Peiyu good.
    Tian Jiyun smiled lightly:"Really? I think his extraordinary strength is overrated."
    He said it quite softly, but it was loud enough for the old Taoist to hear.
    The Taoist angrilly shouted:"Allright! Let's see what skills you have!"
    Shiyun and Yu Peiyu had their hands entangled, and Yu Peiyu was wondering how to block his next attack. Suddenly Shiyun flew up in the sky and their entanglement was severed.
    The old Taoist pulled Shiyun away and yelled:"Worthless idiot! Stand here and watch how others will deal with that young brat! Who knows he might defeat that Yu child with one stance!"
    Although he was scolding his student, but he was actually pointing his cynism towards Tian Jiyun. The Taoist knew that no one in this group could defeat Yu Peiyu with one stance.
    Yu Fanghe and Lin Shoujuan looked at each other and smiled. They thought:He hasn't changed a bit, his temper and his trait to shield the faults of his students.
    Shiyun made a somersault in mid-air and landed elegantly he put his hands together and smiled:"Please forgive me for being rude, young master Yu."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Thank you for showing mercy, reverend Shiyun."
    The old Taoist looked at Tian Jiyun and yelled:"I want to see what marvellous skilss your wretched teacher has taught you. What are you waiting for? Do you expect me to introduce you!"
    Tian Jiyun sighed and said:"Reverend, you leave me no choice. Don't laugh when I make a fool out of myself, everyone."
    When Yu Peiyu and Shiyun stopped fighting, Yu Peiyu had a chance to see who were standing in the main hall now. He saw Yu Fanghe and Tang Wushuang. Lin Shoujuan was still holding his broken sword and forgot to throw it away. The fight earlier was so spectacular that he totally forgot about what was going on.
    There were a few other men, whom Yu Peiyu didn't recognize, but judging by their postures they were bound to be famous martial artists.
    Yu Peiyu thought:Where is Hong Lianhua?
    Suddenly he saw a figure standing behind the big cauldron, it was Hong Lianhua. Yu Peiyu also noticed that Madame Hai Tang wasn't here either. Yu Peiyu thought she wasn't too keen on being in the company of this lot.
    The old Taoist yelled:"Hey little brat! Pay attention! Someone is saying that your strength is just mediocre. He wants to defeat you easily. Watch out he isn't as useless as my student! Why don't you admit defeat and kowtow to him!"
    Again he was pointing at Yu Peiyu but was mocking Tian Jiyun.
    The old Taoist was trying to get Yu Peiyu angry and hoped he would put everything he had in the battle against Tian Jiyun. He didn't want to see the student of someone else succeeding where his own pupil had failed. Everyone in the main hall understood what he was doing and smiled.
    Tian Jiyun said:"I hope you will be lenient."
    The old Taoist priest shouted:"What lenient! He didn't show lenience when he fought my student!"
    The old Taoist priest was still yelling and scolding even when Yu Peiyu and Tian Jiyun had exchanged about 50 stances now.
    Tian Jiyun's martial arts was very different from Shiyun. Shiyun's techniques were solid, fierce and powerful. Tian Jiyun's martial arts were illusive.
    If Yu Peiyu could use the martial arts of his own school, Xiantian Wuji, he could easily defend himself. However this was not possible at the moment.
    And the movements of Tian Jiyun were very fast, even Yu Peiyu had difficulty keeping track of his movements.
    One of the martial artists who was watching this battle praised:"Seventh master Tian is called the Divine Dragon, it is surprising that his son has also such a high level in the art of levitation. Even the famous Flying Eagle of the Seven Birds of Wulin is not his match in my opinion."
    Another man laughed:"The Seven Birds don't really have any real abilities, the Flying Eagle Sun Heng cannot be compared to the son of the Divine Dragon."
    Both men were quite old and had long gray beards, they must be famous martial artists. They were discussing and comparing the martial arts of Tian Jiyun but their intentions were that someone would praise them during this conversation.
    And as they hoped, Lin Shoujuan smiled:"Old Fei is right. But don't forget about yourself. Who doesn't know that the Shadowless Mr. Du is unsurpassed in this field. Althought you haven't reached the level of Seventh master Tian yet, but compared to young master Tian....."
    That Shadowless Du Fei was hoping to hear this for a long time now, and he hoped that Lin Shoujuan would continue.
    Du Fei laughed a bit and pretended to care.
    The other man said:"Young master Tian is good but he's still young and lacks the internal energy like brother Du."
    Du Fei was feeling very happy but didn't show and said seriously:"Brother Xiang, I'm old now and my legs aren't that good anymore. Besides the art of levitation is just a side-track in martial arts. But brother Xiang's Invincible Fists are really awesome."
    The Invincible Fists Long Beard Xiang was very pleased and laughed.
    They started off praising Tian Jiyun but in the end they were praising each other.
    The old Taoist priest was initially not in a very good temper but now he was even more angry and shouted:"A foul smell! Who has been breaking wind here?"
    Shiyun said politely:"Master, I don't think anyone has broken a wind."
    The old Taoist priest grunted:"What do you know? We use our arses to break wind but some people use their traps to break winds. Those farts have a stronger foul smell!"
    Lin Shoujuan, Du Fei and Long Beard Xiang were all very angry but they didn't dare to speak up their anger.
    Three of them thought:Your student was unable to defeat this Yu brat. But seeing that Tian Jiyun is about to win you're feeling frustrated. But why humiliate us?
    They three of them were hoping that Tian Jiyun would defeat Yu Peiyu soon.
    The old Taoist originally did wanted to see the martial arts style of Feng San. But now he really hoped that Yu Peiyu would defeat Tian Jiyun soon.
    Yu Peiyu who felt confident about his martial arts before, was now quite disappointed. In one day he saw two young martial arts experts who were better than him. Because of his disappointment his power also dropped a bit.
    Although Tian Jiyun was gaining the upperhand but he couldn't defeat Yu Peiyu either.
    The old Taoist asked Shiyun:"How many stances did your battle last with that Yu kid?"
    Shiyun answered respectfully:"About 300 stances, master."
    The Taoist asked:"How many stances have they been fighting?"
    Shiyun answered:"They're nearing 300 stances, master."
    The Taoist laughed loudly:"Now you should know that bragging doens't get you anywhere! I suggest you go back and train some more on your martial arts, and spend less time bragging about your "amazing" skills!"
    Tian Jiyun felt humiliated and said softly to Yu Peiyu:"You're about to lose anway. Give up now and I won't harm you."
    Yu Peiyu said with indignation:"Give up?"
    Tian Jiyun said softly:"Give up and I won't harm you. I'll even make sure you can leave this temple safely."
    Yu Peiyu smiled and attacked viciously with his fist. That was his answer!
    Tian Jiyun softly cursed:"You idiot! I won't let you off this easily."
    They exchanged another 10 stances, Tian Jiyun wanted to win within 300 stances. He whistled loudly now and leapt up, his body was moving rapidly mid-air and was crashing down on Yu Peiyu like a fierce dragon.
    This was an unique technique of the Divine Dragon Swordsman, The Three Stances Of The Startled Dragon Depraving Life.
    It is said that the fierceness of these stances are unparalleled in the entire realm. The Divine Dragon Swordsman gave these stances the name startled dragon, because when a dragon is startled his temper and rage cannot be controlled.
    But there is a big disadvantage to this attack, if the attacker fails to knock down the adversary he/she will fall into enemy hands easily. Because all your energy will be used up in this attack and you won't have the chance to take a deep breath to regenerate.
    Tian Jiyun wanted to win desperately so he used this lethal stance.
    But he was convinced that Yu Peiyu couldn't cope with this attack.
    Yu Peiyu saw a dozzen Tian Jiyuns crashing down on him, he couldn't tell who was the reall Tian Jiyun. He was too elusive.
    And the force emitted from Tian Jiyun was enormous, if Yu Peiyu would forcibly receive this blow with his own palms his hands would be broken.
    Before he knew it, the palms of Tian Jiyun were about to hit Yu Peiyu on the head.
    All the people present held their breaths.
    Yu Fanghe exclaimed:"Very formidable! No wonder there is a saying in Wulin: If the startled dragon appears, you will die without regrets."
    But when Yu Fanghe finished his sentence a figure was hit backwards into the air. It was not Yu Peiyu but Tian Jiyun.
    Everyone was shocked and didn't anticipate this change and no one saw clearly what happened.
    Could it be that Feng San had mastered some technique that could overcome The Three Stances Of The Startled Dragon Depraving Life? Did he impart that skill to this young man?
    But Yu Peiyu was about to be killed, how is this possible?
    Tian Jiyun bumped against a tree with his back and looked at the old Taoist priest and stuttered:"You....you......"
    Before he could finish he coughed up blood and fainted.
    Everyone looked at the old Taoist.
    He looked back at them and shouted angrilly:"What are you looking at? Do you think it was I that saved the life of this Yu child! I have never ambushed a man before in my life! And I will certainly not ambush a little braggart like Tian Jiyun!"
    He put his hands into his sleeves, everyone looked at Yu Peiyu again.
    Yu Peiyu stood there flabbergasted, it seems he didn't know who helped him either.
    The old Taoist sneered:"A bunch of idiots! Can't you even see who helped that boy!"
    He turned around and walked into the back of the temple.
    Everyone felt embarrassed and Yu Peiyu had already left.
    Lin Shoujuan looked at Yu Fanghe and said:"Chancellor......"
    Yu Fanghe smiled:"Let him go. Because tonight......"
    Lin Shoujuan helped Tian Jiyun up and smiled too. He said softly to himself:"He cannot escape tonight........"

    Yu Peiyu was speeding away from the temple, during his fight with Tian Jiyun he noticed that something flew against Tian Jiyun's chest. And it wasn't the old Taoist who helped him. He was sure of that.
    But who was it that helped him?
    Yu Peiyu sighed deeply, and suddenly a short figure stood in front of him and laughed:"You defeated the son of old Seven Tian. Do you really think you can go just like that!"
    It was the hot-tempered old Taoist.
    Yu Peiyu paced back with one step and said:"Reverend, did you see who aided me earlier?"
    The Taoist looked at him and said:"Who was it?"
    Yu Peiyu said respectfully:"I was hoping reverend could tell me."
    The Taoist angrilly said:"You don't even know who helped you!"
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Reverend, even with your eyesight you couldn't see who helped. How can I?"
    The Taoist angrilly said:"Are you implying that there is something wrong with my eyes? I don't pay attention to men who sneak around!"
    And he pulled Yu Peiyu's robe and said:"Was it Feng San?"
    Yu Peiyu said calmly:"Mr. Feng is not a man to behave furtively."
    The Taoist said:"If it wasn't Feng San who was it? This man used a piece of tree-bark to strike down the son of Old Seven Tian. With the exception of Feng San and I, who has such internal strength."
    Yu Peiyu smiled wryly:"I really don't know, reverend."
    The Taoist let Yu Peiyu go and said:"No matter what, little Tian was defeated during his battle with you. Old Tian is bound to look for you. The seven brothers of the Tian family, well the first six are hardly a threat. But the seventh brother is a different matter. You can't escape from him."
    Yu Peiyu said:"I'm not planning on escaping."
    The Taoist scoffed:"Are you planning on defeating him?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I'm not intending to fight him either."
    The Taoist looked at him and said:"You're not willing to fight and flee. What do you want to do? Reason with him?"
    Yu Peiyu remained silend for a minuted an replied:"I will see what I will have to do when I face him. There is no need to worry about what might happen."
    The Taoist laughed:"Good! You talk like an old wise man with your young age........If you don't have an idea, I do have an idea."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Please tell me, reverend."
    The old Taoist said:"Become my student, I can promise you nobody in this world will dare to trouble you."
    Yu Peiyu was surprised and repeated:"Reverend, become your pupil?"
    The Taoist said loudly:"Don't think I accept all and sundry to be my disciples. But I think you are quite a good child and I like your temper. When little Tian was threatening you, you didn't cave in."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"Reverend, so you heard everything."
    The Taoist said:"If I didn't hear those words and saw your reply. (*Humph) I wouldn't accept you to be my student if you would kowtow a thousand times to me now."
    Yu Peiyu sighed deeply and said:"Reverend, I thank you for your good intentions. But I am an unfortunate man, I cannot become your student."
    The Taoist angrilly roared:"What!"
    Yu Peiyu lowered his head and didn't say anything, the Taoist asked loudly:"Are you sure?"
    Yu Peiyu still remained silent, the Taoist used his fist to knock down a big tree. The tree flew a few metres away.
    When Yu Peiyu looked up, the Taoist was gone.
    Yu Peiyu sighed, suddenly a young voice sighed too:"It's a shame, it's a shame......"
    Yu Peiyu saw a young beggar coming out of the woods, it was Hong Lianhua.
    Hong Lianhua looked at Yu Peiyu and said:"Do you recognize me."
    Yu Peiyu wanted to reveal everything to him, all his secrets. But he couldn't and sighed deeply in his heart. He said:"Who doesn't know the famous master Hong Lian."
    It seemed that Hong Lianhua sighed too but he replied with a laugh:"Do you know who that reverend was?"
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Who is he?"
    Hong Lianhua smiled:"Perhaps you're a bit too young and haven't heard of him. He is master Nu (anger) of......"
    Yu Peiyu interrupted him:"Master Nu?!? He is master Nu of Mount Qingcheng?"
    Hong Lianhua smiled:"Who else has such a high level in martial arts? And only master Nu has such a hot-temper."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"I know he is one of the Ten Greatest Martial Arts Masters of this era. He is even....."
    He didn't finish his sentence and was looking at Hong Lianhua.
    Hong Lianhua finished the sentence for him:"Now you know that so-called experts like us are nothing compared to true experts like master Nu."
    He continued:"It is said that master Nu's internal power has reached an incredible high level. Practically unparalleled in the entire realm of martial arts. He has a very strange personality and dislikes almost everyone. It was very fortunate for you that he liked you, it is a shame that you passed out on the chance to become his student. Even I feel you missed out on a great opportunity."
    Yu Peiyu didn't know what to say to this and stayed silent after some time he smiled:"Master Hong Lian, is there something you want to tell me now?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"There is something I was meaning to ask you."
    Yu Peiyu said:"Ask away."
    Hong Lianhua looked sharpy at Yu Peiyu and asked:"Why does Miss Lin Daiyu want to kill you?"
    Yu Peiyu smiled sadly:"Did.....didn't she tell you?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"I did not ask her."
    Yu Peiyu said:"But why are you asking me?"
    Hong Lianhua said sternly:"Some questions are not appropriate for women to answer. Men should take responsibility for their actions."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Perhaps like master Hong Lian it is possible, you have no worries and troubles. But some people have their reasons."
    Hong Lianhua said:"Do you have a reason?"
    Yu Peiyu said with a sad smile:"I cannot tell you."
    Hong Lianhua looked at him and sighed:"It is a pity you choose to be friends with evildoers."
    Yu Peiyu said:"But I feel sorry for you too, master Hong Lian. You're a famous young hero and the leader of the heroic Beggars Association. Why join a punitive expedition like this? Bullying a poor young orphan girl and an old sick man."
    Hong Lianhua laughed loudly:"Poor young orphan girl?"
    He turned to Yu Peiyu looking very earnest and said:"Do you know the reason why we are here?"
    Yu Peiyu said:"I would like to know."
    Hong Lianhua said:"For the last few years about 20 men have mysteriously disappeared. All these people lived in different places in China, north, south, east and west. But they all shared one combined similarity. Do you know what?"
    Yu Peiyu shook his head and said:"No, I don't."
    Hong Lianhua said:"The only similarity is that they all came to the Family Li Village. And nothing was heard from them ever since."
    Hong Lianhua said:"Some time ago three close relatives of a few of those missing men went to this town to look for their missing relatives. The three of them were intelligent men and had good martial arts."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"What did they find out?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"We don't know, all we know is that they were gone too after they came to this place. Anyway the relatives of the missing 20 men came to Yu Fanghe for help. Unfortunately the son of Yu Fanghe just died so I had to take over this affair. I sent a group of beggars to this town and instructed them to beg at each house in this village for food or money. After some investigation work they found nothing suspicous about the townspeople here with the exception of the old sick man and the strange, pretty young girl.
    The old man and young girl became their targets and they observed their house for some time. The girl must have noticed them after awhile and one particular morning the pouches of the observing disciples were gone. The disciples were shocked because the beggars of our association treasure these pouches as much as their lives perhaps even more than their lives. And if the thief could steal the pouches without being caught he/she could have killed them as well. The theft meant as a warning to tell us not to interfere here."
    Yu Peiyu smiled:"However master Hong Lian is a famous meddler. Is that why there are so many disciples of your association here?"
    Hong Lianhua smiled too and said:"There is another reason why we were here. We have noticed that a missing traitor of our association was seen in Sichuan province too. We rushed over here to find and to punish him."
    Yu Peiyu remained silent and after awhile asked:"So chancellor Yu is certain that those vanishings of those men are connected to that young girl?"
    Hong Lianhua said:"Indeed. After chancellor Yu heard our report he invited about 20 martial arts expert and came to this place under the pretext of playing go with old Mr. Tang. But in fact they were here to observe the house of that young girl and the old man. After some careful deduction we concluded that this young girl could be very well be the daughter of Zhu Mei and the old man is Feng San."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"What a strange story! And I thought I knew all the details to this incident."
    Hong Lianhua said sternly:"Take my advice and leave now! Because if not you will probably perish along with them tonight."
    Yu Peiyu looked pensive and said:"Master Hong Lian, things aren't as simple as they seem......"
    Hong Lianhua said sternly:"This is all I have to say, it is up to you whether you will listen to my advice."
    Hong Lianhua turned around and quickly went back to the Taoist temple.
    Yu Peiyu sighed and decided to go back too, after walking for a few metres he heard a strange panting noise. And when he followed the sound he saw an old lady sitting on a rock coughing heavily. The old woman looked very ill and wore a thick robe and had a thick blanket wrapped around her too."
    Yu Peiyu asked:"Can I help you? Do you live here?"
    The old woman said weakly:"Yes....yes....."
    Yu Peiyu asked friendly:"Why are you out here alone? Don't you have anyone who takes care of you?"
    The old woman wept:"Young master, you must be joking. I don't have friends or relatives. Nobody pays any attention to me, they find me old and smelly. People won't even talk to me. Only my little kitten keeps my company.But those men won't let my take my kitten with me. She must be starving now. I must see her."
    Yu Peiyu said:"You're going back to feed your cat?"
    The old woman sobbed:"To young people she is just an ordinary cat but to me she is everything. Floret, mummy is coming home to feed you. Don't be afraid, Floret."
    Yu Peiyu felt sorry for the old woman and saw she could hardly walk anymore. So he said very friendly to her:"If you don't mind I will carry you on my back and I will take you back to your home."
    The old woman was very happy and asked:"Are you really willing to....."
    Yu Peiyu said respectfully:"If my grandmother was still alive I know she will love her pets very much too."
    The old woman laughed very happily and on their way back to her house she kept praising Yu Peiyu. She said that he was a very good boy and his future bride can consider herself very lucky. Yu Peiyu blushed.
    When they entered the town, Yu Peiyu asked:"Where do you live?"
    The old woman said:"It's very easy to find my house, my house is there...... next to the inn....."
    Yu Peiyu immediately felt something was wrong and the old woman's legs were like a pair of pincers and Yu Peiyu couldn't throw her off his back anymore.
    He remained calm and asked:"What do you want?"
    The old woman laughed:"I just want to go home to visit my grandson and my great granddaughter."
    Yu Peiyu said coldly:"If you have any resolved issues with Mr. Feng and Miss Zhu, you could go and look for them yourself. Why all the charades?"
    The old woman laughed:"Dear boy, I'm old my legs are always the first ones to go. It's been awhile since I met a friendly nice boy like you. Now, be good now and take me upstairs to my grandson. I hope you will tell my grandson that I'm ill and need him to take care of me. And please tell him that you just found me and couldn't see an old poor woman die on the streets. Do you understand?"
    Yu Peiyu said calmly:"And then what?"
    The old woman smiled:"That isn't your concern anymore."
    Yu Peiyu thought:Of course she won't have any use to me anymore when she is upstairs.
    The old woman smiled:"Young boy, although I'm old and feeble. But I am still strong enough to give your neck a good message if you're not obedient."
    Yu Peiyu sighed:"Old Madame, I really respect you for your story about your kitten Floret. I didn't suspect a thing. The rest is.....(*humph)."

    Yu Peiyu entered the house and slowly walked upstairs. Guo Pianxian was sitting there looking pensive and Zhong Jing was asleep in his arms. Silver Blossom sat on the floor looking very pale and sickly, she didn't seem like her usual self anymore.
    The old man, Feng San had a bit of colour in his cheeks again and Zhu Lei'Er looked happy.
    Yu Peiyu said loudly:"I found an old Madame outside the town, she is ill and need to see a doctor. And I couldn't leave her to die on the streets."
    Guo Pianxian frowned, Silver Blossom was sitting there and looked tired and indifferent. Feng San was still resting, Zhu Lei'Er walked over and asked:"Old Madame, are you feeling ill? Let me take a look......."
    Suddenly Zhu Lei'Er backed away from Yu Peiyu and the old woman, she turned pale and looked like she just saw a ghost.
    The old woman said weakly:"Miss, please take my pulse. I feel so weak, help me."
    Zhu Lei'Er stuttered:"Granny Hu........granny Hu......You're granny Hu....."
    When Guo Pianxian heard the name [granny Hu] he wanted to storm out of here at once.
    Yu Peiyu was very much afraid but because his father had told him that the most evil woman in this world was granny Hu.
    Granny Hu was one of the ten Greatest Martial Arts Masters of this time too.
    Granny Hu sighed:"If I knew the little lass would recognize me I wouldn't have to go through all that trouble!"
    She turned to Zhu Lei'Er and said:"Come here little girl and tell me how you recognized granny? I will buy you sweets."
    Zhu Lei'Er retreated to Feng San and said frantically:"Third uncle, she isn't dead. Granny Hu is alive...."
    Feng San still had his eyes closed and said:"She isn't granny Hu."
    Zhu Lei'Er stuttered:"She is wearing....the same clothes.....Her hair is the same like all those years ago.......Even her.....shoe...shoes."
    Feng San coldly said:"She is not granny Hu. Granny Hu is dead."
    Zhu Lei'Er stuttered:"But...but...she is here....she came back from the grave....."
    Feng San said sternly:"Anyone who has been hit by my Bone Deliquesent Pellet cannot be revived. Even becoming a spirit might not be possible!"
    The old woman, granny Hu laughed arrogantly.
    Her laughter sounded awfully eerie and everyone with exception of Feng San got goosebumps.
    She laughed loudly:"No wonder I couldn't find my thieving sister. She really died at the hands of Feng San. Good! She has lived enough anyway.......But with her dead I am all alone with no relatives anymore. How can I live anymore?"
    She started to cry loudly.
    Feng San opened his eyes and looked fiercely at granny Hu and asked:"You're the sister of granny Hu?"
    Granny Hu said:"She is me, and I am her. She is granny Hu, I am granny Hu too. The two of us were always one."
    Guo Pianxian thought:They're twin sisters, no wonder! That's why granny Hu's whereabouts were a mystery. Sometimes martial arts experts would see a granny Hu in the south but two days later she is said to be wandering in the western regions of China."
    Granny Hu cried:"You old fiend, you killed my sister! You might as well kill me too."
    Feng San said calmly:"You want to die? Is that the reason why you came here? If that is really want you desire come over here and I will send you to your sister."
    Granny Hu yelled:"Listen everyone! Did you hear that? He killed my sister now he wants to kill me too."
    Feng San said coldly:"If you want to live, LEAVE!"
    Granny Hu said:"I'll leave, I can't kill you so I will have to leave."
    Yu Peiyu was worried, because he knew if she would leave he had to carry her out of here. Probably he will be killed as soon as she leaves the house.
    But granny Hu used her foot to kick Yu Peiyu in the stomach, making him dash forward. She grabbed his arms and used his arms to push out towards Feng San.
    She wanted to use Yu Peiyu's hands to kill her enemy.
    Granny Hu calculated that Feng San couldn't move and she used Yu Peiyu as her weapon. If Yu could kill Feng San, which would be excellent. She will simply kill Yu Peiyu when Feng San is dead. But if he failed and Feng San counter-attacked the only person to be killed would be Yu Peiyu. And she could quickly get off his back and escape.
    Either way Yu Peiyu is bound to get killed, or is it?

    Zhu Lei'Er shrieked, Feng San raised his palm and used his palm to receive the blow of Yu Peiyu. Yu Peiyu felt a strong powerful energy coming through the palm of Feng San. Suddenly that strong energy was gone, but energy was flowing out of granny Hu's palms. Her energy travelled through Yu Peiyu's palms and into Feng San.
    Yu Peiyu understood what Feng San did. He used Yu Peiyu as bridge to absorb the internal strength of granny Hu.
    Granny Hu begged:"Feng San.......old Mr. Feng......Please spare me!.......old Master Feng......have mercy on an old woman......"
    Feng San said slowly:"I do not take the internal strength of other people that casually. However I do want to take your life."
    Granny Hu begged:"Have mercy! Please spare an old woman."
    Yu Peiyu was surprised and happy, Guo Pianxian was stunned that the infamous granny Hu was begging for her life.
    Granny Hu bit her own hands and straighten her legs a strong force suddenly send her flying of Yu Peiyu's back. She hit the ceiling and fell heavily down on the floor again.
    She was panting and coughing, but didn't get up. She quickly composed herself and kowtowed to Feng San and begged:"I know my mistakes now, please spare me."
    Feng San said calmly:"Not bad of you! Few can escape from my hands. Go!"
    He turned to Yu Peiyu and smiled:"You gained quite a bargain."
    Yu Peiyu was still a bit woozy, that sudden surge of energy was quite overwhelming.
    Zhu Lei'Er smiled:"A large portion of granny Hu's internal energy has stayed in your body."
    Yu Peiyu was a bit bemused by this situation, he suddenly gained extra internal energy. But it was still "taken" from somebody else and Yu Peiyu didn't feel to comfortable about that.
    Granny Hu staggered to the stairs with difficulty and was secretly giving Yu Peiyu and Feng San a mean look.
    Feng San called:"Wait!"
    Granny Hu stopped and respectfully said:"Mr. Feng, what can I do for you?"
    Feng San said:"I hardly interfere with affairs of Wulin anymore. And if you leave now you'll think that I killed your sister for no reason."
    Granny Hu lowered her head and said:"I wouldn't dare."
    Feng San said:"I will tell you why I had to kill her."
    Granny Hu said:"Thank you for telling me." But she hoped he would hurry up so she can leave this awful place.
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"Third uncle, rest for awhile. I will tell the story."
    Feng San asked:"Do you still remember what happened that night?"
    Zhu Lei'Er said resolutely:"Although I was very young, I will never forget what happened that night."
    Everyone knew that night was the night she lost her parents.
    Zhu Lei'Er looked granny Hu and asked:"Do you know who I am?"
    Granny Hu said:"Miss Zhu is the daughter of Lady Zhu."
    She gave her a cold look and said:"That night my mother was making a new dress for me. She was embroidering a Chinese unicorn on my dress and told me that she hoped that soon I would have a little brother."
    Zhu Lei'Er's face looked happy, the memory of her late mother made her look sweet and innocent.
    She continued:"I was very happy and I wanted to put on the dress immediately. So I couldn't sleep and stayed at the side of my mother."
    Granny Hu smiled:"The dress made by Lady Zhu must be beautiful."
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"My mother did everything in the house, cooking, cleaning, She was the perfect wife and mother."
    Granny Hu said:"But of course."
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"During that night my mother felt very restless. She felt something was amiss and couldn't focus on embroidering. Suddenly a few crows flew up and made a horrible shriek. I quickly ran to my mother's arms. She stood up and threw her needles towards the noise."
    Granny Hu said:"Those crows must have been startled by unwanted visitors. Lady Zhu is a skilled expert and immediately counter-attacked. I wonder who the idiot was that stood outside the window."
    Zhu Lei'Er said coldly:"It was your sister, granny Hu."
    Granny Hu swallowed and said:"Oh.....was it?"
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"My mother saw that her needles were being caught by the adversary easily. She knew that the attackers were experts. She wanted to wake my father....."
    She took a deep breath and continued:"My mother woke Dongfang Meiyu and wanted him to take me to safety. But suddenly my mother's face changed. She looked very pale and afraid. Dongfang Meiyu on the other hand was exhilarated to see the attackers."
    Yu Peiyu thought:That Dongfang Meiyu is a piece of scum. Not surprising that Miss Zhu doesn't see him as her father anymore.
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"At that time a voice outside said [Very good, The Silver Needles And Flying Petals Over The Sky technique! However it is a shame that granny isn't afraid of this skill.] Needless to say it was granny Hu."
    Everyone here looked at this granny Hu, granny Hu laughed dryly:"How old were you at the time, Miss Zhu?"
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"I was very young. I was seven at the time."
    Granny Hu smiled:"Amazing that a seven year old girl can remember the words of others that clearly."
    Zhu Lei'Er said coldly:"Some people are still muddle-headed fools when they are seventy or eighty years old and others are smart when they're just children."
    She looked at granny Hu and said:"Furthermore if someone would kill your mother when you're seven. You will remember everything thing those murderers did and said too."
    Granny Hu shivered when she saw Zhu Lei'Er cold look and laughed dryly:"That sister of mine is a muddle-headed busybody."
    Zhu Lei'Er grunted and continued:"My mother said that there were no animosities between her and granny Hu. And she questioned the motives of Granny Hu. At this point another 20 men entered the house, the doors were opened and they surrounded my mother."
    Granny Hu sighed:"So about 20 experts were standing in your house?"
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"They surrounded my mother and blocked all the doors."
    Granny Hu asked:"How did these people look like?"
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"The leader of this group was an elderly man. He looked very distinguished and wore a expensive brocade. His beard was long and refined, very similar to Taoist immortals in portraits. But....but he was the most despicable of all."
    Granny Hu said:"That must be lord Dongfang of the Nocturne City."
    The second one was a tall man, looking robust and had a big beard. He had a strange weapon, a mace that resembled a pagoda."
    Granny Hu exclaimed:"Heavenly King Li."
    Zhu Lei'Er said coldly:"The third one was an old woman with white hair and looked like a friendly old woman. But her heart was rotten to the core."
    Everyone knew that must be the twin sister of this granny Hu, granny Hu.
    Granny Hu smiled dryly:"Well said! If I was there I would have scolded her myself."
    Zhu Lei'Er continued:"When my mother saw them she was shocked, but remained calm and asked them what they wanted."
    Granny Hu said:"Although these experts were formidable, but Lady Zhu shouldn't be afraid of them. They are hardly a threat to her."
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"That Dongfang Daming started yelling at my mother for abducting his son, her words were very nasty. But my mother didn't retort back because this Dongfang Daming was her father-in-law. She waited till he was finished and thought Dongfang Meiyu would explain this matter to his father. However Dongfang Meiyu quickly walked to his father and turned around and started cursing my mother too. His words were even more horrible than Dongfang Daming."
    Granny Hu sighed:"Men are such heartless creatures."
    Zhong Jing who was awake for some time now started to weep.
    Zhu Lei'Er had tears in her eyes too and continued:"At that time my mother saw what kind of man Dongfang Meiyu was. Her heart was broken and didn't say anything else. She just begged Dongfang Meiyu and Dongfang Daming to take care of me."
    Zhu Lei'Er stopped for a minute to wipe her tears even Silver Blossom was crying. Everyone was saddened by this story and lowered their heads.
    After some time Zhu Lei'Er resumed her story:"Dongfang Meiyu immediately said he would take good care of me. Because I was his.....daughter too. My mother took out a sword and was planning to commit suicide. I knew something was wrong and was very afraid. So I started crying loudly, but my mother didn't look at me and was about to slit her throat."
    Everyone shrieked for a moment, because they knew there was something else to it.
    Zhu Lei'Er said:"At this moment granny Hu took swiftly moved to my mothers' side and took away the sword from my mother."
    Granny Hu said:"Although my sister is a fool and a busybody but she is quite benevolent."
    Zhu Lei'Er grunted.

    End of chapter 19

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