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Legendary Siblings Unabridged (COMPLETED) - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 32

    The gold knob began to turn. The golden wall began to shift, and indeed revealed a doorway. Before they had even started to enter, a sliver of glittering brilliance was already visible. Behind this golden wall, naturally there must be all sorts of treasure, countless precious items, beyond anyone’s dreams!

    Jiang Yulang stood there, stunned. On his sheet-white face suddenly there appeared a flush of crimson. His fingertips betrayed a fine tremor.

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes, on the other hand, merely swept a casual glance across the hoard. His gaze came to rest on Jiang Yulang’s face which was trembling with emotion. With a slight smile Xiao Yu’er asked him, “You like all this?”

    “I…I…” was all Jiang Yulang could get out. His Adam’s apple began to move up and down(?), and he forced a casual laugh: “I mean, who wouldn’t, in all the world?”

    Xiao Yu’er snorted, “If you want it, go ahead, it’s yours!”

    Jiang Yulang stared at him in surprised delight, then abruptly lowered his head. He smiled, “Well, you found this treasure first, of course it should be yours, I…I…even if I could have a little share, I would be most grateful.”

    “I don’t want it,” Xiao Yu’er stated flatly.

    Jiang Yulang’s head snapped up, his voice cracked: “You don’t want it?” But then he lowered his head again, and laughed: “My life is already a gift from you, even if you didn’t want to share the treasure, I have no complaints.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed. He said, “You think I’m trying to test you, trick you? You can’t eat these objects, they’re no good to drink. They’re heavy and tiresome to carry, and you always have to worry about them being stolen. Why would I want them?”

    Jiang Yulang was shocked into silence and could find no words to reply.

    Xiao Yu’er paid no further attention to him, and instead began circling the room. He sighed and murmured, “Another dead end, the exit surely would not be here.”

    Suddenly Jiang Yulang’s laughter broke into his thoughts. He kept giggling and giggling.

    “What, did you see a ghost?” Xiao Yu’er said.

    Still laughing, Jiang Yulang said, “All these things, I don’t want them either.”

    In surprise, Xiao Yu’er asked, “Oh, that’s strange, why not?”

    Jiang Yulang pointed out, “I don’t even know if I can make it out alive, why should I bother with them?”

    Xiao Yu’er applauded him, saying: “I guess you’re not so hopeless, after all. You are a clever person. I have seen others who have lost their lives because they could not bear to forsake these riches. Don’t you think they must be a little sick in the head?”

    They left. Next, Xiao Yu’er tackled the bronze knob.

    In this way, he was able to see more weapons than he had viewed before in his lifetime. Every kind and every type of weapon, and even many styles of hidden projectiles. Some specimens were definitely familiar to Xiao Yu’er. But there were yet some types of weapons that he had never seen before, and he did not even know their names.

    The air of steel, so cold it seeped into the bones…the weapons threw off a chilling light, and reflected off their faces so that they had a metallic glow about them(?). Despite himself, Xiao Yu’er could not help drawing his neck into his shoulders.

    They looked at the spears. The longest exceeded four metres(?), and the shortest did not reach three feet in length. Next the swords. The longest span resembled that of a tree branch, and the shortest were like chopsticks(?). Long spears and short swords, were all arranged neatly in rows. Although these were not living beings, they all exuded an aura of death, and urged a man to kill(?).

    It really did seem as if all the different types of weapons and instruments of violence in the world, were all gathered in this room.

    Xiao Yu’er chose a sword at random, and drew it out. It sounded with a sharp ring and its deathly air caused him to flinch involuntarily(?). He cried aloud: “This is a good sword!”

    Jiang Yulang said glumly, “It is a good weapon, but in this room, it’s nothing special.” He grasped another weapon, and said, “Do you know what this is?”

    At first glance, this appeared to be a golden dragon. Its horns(?) stretched out to the right and left, and its mouth was open, revealing a brilliant green tongue.

    “Hmm…I’d say it was a Gold Dragon whip,” Xiao Yu’er surmised.

    “Correct,” Jiang Yulang said. “It is a Gold Dragon whip. But this Gold Dragon whip, is different from ordinary whips. It is also called ‘The divine dragon takes nine forms, bane of the spirits’ (?). This one weapon has nine different uses.”

    Xiao Yu’er said, “Sounds interesting, tell me about it.”

    Jiang Yulang went on, “The whip is covered in barbed dragon scales(?), which can attach to an attacker’s weapon and pull it out of their hands. It can also grip onto hidden projectiles as well.

    The forked horns can neutralize all sorts of soft weapons (1). The outstretched tongue of the dragon is used to seal acupoints. The open mouth bites down on an enemy’s sword easily. Furthermore, the pair of dragon’s eyes contains explosives and flammable materials(?). From within the dragon’s mouth, the user can fire thirteen ‘Heart Withers at Noon’ darts (?). Once you see the blood bubbling from the throat, the person will not live another twelve hours(?). And, if needed, the dragon scales can also be fired as projectiles.

    If you didn’t know all the background of this weapon, even a god would not be able to escape unscathed.”

    The words came fluently from his lips, as if he were describing a familiar family heirloom.

    Xiao Yu’er sighed, “Aptly named, Bane of the Spirits, what a weapon.”

    Jiang Yulang went on, “Alas that in the entire world, there are only two copies of this weapon. I wonder how this one ended up here.”

    “There is another replica?” Xiao Yu’er asked.

    “This weapon has vanished from wulin for so long, that the whereabouts of the other one are unknown…if it appeared in wulin once again, who knows how many people would lose their lives to it!” Jiang Yulang said.

    Smiling faintly, Xiao Yu’er remarked, “Despite your young age, you seem to be quite familiar with ancient, long-vanished weapons.”

    Jiang Yulang’s eyes darted back and forth, as if he suddenly realized that he had said too much. With a false laugh he said, “Oh, I was just repeating the words of others. You know how my father had many social contacts, among them were some savants and wise men.”

    Still Xiao Yu’er looked at him with a slight smile. Slowly he said, “Well then, I suppose you would know how to use this weapon properly!”

    Jiang Yulang laughed along and protested, “If…if only I knew.”

    His entire attitude seemed to be indifferent, and he casually laid down the weapon. But in reality, his eyes were staring at Xiao Yu’er’s hands without blinking. Xiao Yu’er also seemed to be laughing and chatting in a carefree manner, but he too was ceaselessly watching the Bane of Spirits in Jiang Yulang’s grasp.

    Although you could still consider these two to be children, but their craftiness and caution went well beyond that of three hundred and eighty seventy year old men put together(?).

    Xiao Yu’er spoke again, “According to you then, no matter what weapon I chose from this room, I could instantly make a name for myself in wulin. Especially this Bane of Spirits. Ai, I wouldn’t even know how to use it, you may as well take it.”

    Jiang Yulang hadn’t even waited for him to finish speaking before he quickly distanced himself from the weapon. Laughing, Jiang Yulang said, “Such a vicious weapon, I wouldn’t want it.”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled, “Actually, weapons are dead, while men are alive. As long as you are strong, it doesn’t matter which weapon you use. It’s probably better not to use this type of weapon.”

    Suddenly he drew out a sharp sword, so keenly forged that you could blow a hair onto its edge and the hair would be severed. Light shimmered down its length, and in a flash, the Bane of Spirits, most vicious of unorthodox weapons, broke asunder into useless fragments (?).

    Of course Jiang Yulang was smiling. He said, “Wonderful, it’s best to destroy it, we wouldn’t want it to fall into the wrong hands and harm people…” As he spoke, he turned his head, and his eyes flashed as though he could spit fire.

    Xiao Yu’er gently stroked the sword in his hand, and smiling he murmured, “Sword, good sword, I originally intended to bring you out of here by my side, but on second thought, I’d better leave you here. People like me, even empty-handed, could…”

    “Look!” Jiang Yulang’s shrill cry cut him off. “Over there…”

    Under the cold glow of the metal weapons, a skeleton could be seen bobbling gently in a corner. Not only had its clothes rotted away, but its bones which should have been white, were as black as a raven’s feathers. Seen under the metallic light, this was truly a disturbing sight.

    Jiang Yulang muttered, “That’s odd. How did this person die here, and avoid getting thrown into the mass grave?”

    Xiao Yu’er mused: “Well, anyone who could enter this room, must have been one of the masters of this place. The masters must have been top martial arts experts.”

    His brow wrinkled, he said, “But why would the master die here? Was he killed by someone? He doesn’t look as if he were in a struggle. Perhaps he was killed by a single stroke!”

    Jiang Yulang added, “Judging from the colour of his bones, I’d say he was poisoned to death.”

    Xiao Yu’er said, “I agree.”

    Their eyes roamed the scene. Suddenly they cried out together: “So he was killed by a stealth projectile!” They noticed that the skeleton’s blackened bones were impaled by countless tiny silver needles. It was quite surprising that such small needles could pierce through skin, flesh and still embed themselves deeply in the bone.

    Xiao Yu’er said, amazed, “What a brutal and vicious style of weapon.”

    Jiang Yulang cried aloud: “This is…I…I wonder what did it.”

    Xiao Yu’er fixed him with one eye and growled: “You don’t need to pretend. You’re not the only one who recognizes this weapon. I know it as well.”

    Hastily smiling, Jiang Yulang said, “These ‘Destroying Heaven, Obliterating Hell, Heart-Piercing and Bone-Penetrating’ needles, are indeed the number one stealth projectile on earth…” From the corner of his eye, suddenly he recognized a weapon from among the pile. It was golden and glittering, a small round tube. Immediately he shifted his body slightly to block it from Xiao Yu’er’s view. As he coughed, he subtly moved toward it.

    Xiao Yu’er laughed: “If you keep coughing much longer, I’ll be infected by you.” He suddenly did break into a fit of sneezing, and doubled over. Jiang Yulang waited for his waist to bend over, then swiftly snatched up the small round tube. He could not know that Xiao Yu’er had simultaneously appropriated something gently from the skeleton’s grasp and hid it in his sleeve.

    The object was merely a bamboo tube. Xiao Yu’er had in fact not figured out its use, but felt that if the dead person had grasped it tightly with his dying breath, there must be something important and useful about it.

    Jiang Yulang was having trouble suppressing his joy. He drew his brows together on purpose and grumbled: “If this person was the master of this place, how could he succumb to a sneak attack here? And yet if he were not the master, he could not be in here either.”

    Xiao Yu’er agreed, “Mmm, if you weren’t the master of this place, you could not enter this place.”

    “So what happened?” Jiang Yulang wondered.

    “Presumably there are still many secrets to this place,” Xiao Yu’er said.

    Jiang Yulang sighed, “Yes, and many terrifying secrets.”

    Laughing, Xiao Yu’er joked, “There are no such things as terrifying secrets on this earth. All secrets are interesting…”

    Side by side, they exited that terrifying yet interesting room. Both of them intentionally used both hands to carry their torches, to show that they hadn’t taken anything from the room.

    Now the steel knob shifted and the torchlight showed a chilling steel room.

    Jiang Yulang went ahead first. His roving eyes suddenly stopped and he gave a horrified yell, then stumbled backward. His expression resembled a rabbit that had been shot by an arrow.

    His brow furrowed, Xiao Yu’er asked, “Now what?”

    Jiang Yulang stammered, his face pale, “Have you ever seen a skeleton that could stand upright by itself?”

    Laughing aloud, Xiao Yu’er cried: “A skeleton that can stand by itself, now here’s some fun.”

    With big strides he crossed over. Then his laughter died on his lips. He noticed that the steel room was especially large and high. The four walls contained nothing. If you stood in there, you would feel like you were standing alone in a wasteland(?).

    In this empty room, two solitary skeletons stood alone. Two deathly white shapes tightly embraced each other. Although their flesh and blood had long ago decayed, still they stood erect.

    Looking at them, Xiao Yu’er actually felt the hairs raise up on his skin. But he only smiled and said, “I suppose this is a man and a woman, look at them, even unto death they can’t bear to let go! Their affection for each other must have been deep.”

    Jiang Yulang disagreed: “If their relationship was so close, they wouldn’t be standing like this.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed, amused: “Ah, I didn’t think of that. In this area, your experience is definitely superior to mine. But if these two people are male, why are they holding each other?”

    As he spoke, he wandered over, and stood in front of the two skeletons, as if in a daze. After a deep sigh, he said, “These two are indeed male.” (2)

    Jiang Yulang suddenly laughed. He joked, “Well, sometimes the affection between a male and a male can be quite strong.”

    Xiao Yu’er said, “How do you know?”

    Jiang Yulang said, “Come over here and you’ll know.”

    In actual fact the pair of skeletons were not embracing each other. The one on the left had penetrated the other’s ribcage with his hand. To break through bone with his bare hand, this person’s martial arts must be terrifying, what strength! But his own ribs had been broken in seven or eight places, and his neck had been snapped by his opponent. His skull hung floppily to rest on the other’s shoulder.

    The two people had died together from lethal injuries inflicted on each other during violent combat!

    Jiang Yulang cried out hoarsely, in awe: “What a fearsome Eagle’s Claw; what impressive strength! I see that these two must be superb martial artists, I wonder how they came to die in this place.”

    He had hardly finished speaking, when with a “wa-la-la” sound, the two skeletons shivered into fragments from the mere force of his voice. Two superb martial artists, now turned into a pile of bones.

    Xiao Yu’er muttered, “Judging from their martial arts, these two should also be among the masters of this place. Since they were living together here in this secret place, away from the rest of the world, their relationship must be very close. But then why did they try to kill each other? Perhaps we will never know.”

    As he spoke, he picked up two objects from the pile of bones.

    Jiang Yulang wondered aloud: “But what about the other original occupants of this palace? Where did they go, did they all die?”

    Xiao Yu’er postulated, “Not only did they die, but they must have all died together, or else their skeletons would not have remained here until now.”

    Jiang Yulang persisted: “So even if they all died together, who could have killed them?”

    Sighing, Xiao Yu’er said, “As I said before, there must be some big secret behind this.”

    Jiang Yulang mumbled, “And a very interesting secret.”

    “Ah,” Xiao Yu’er teased him. “Very good, you are finally learning.”

    It was only then that they noticed five short tables, on which were piled books, brushes and ink.

    “There is even a study in this place,” chuckled Xiao Yu’er. “Interesting, indeed.”

    He went over, and casually flipped through the books. Instantly his expression changed. Noticing this, Jiang Yulang also hurried over to pore over another of the books.

    Upon a single glance, his face also transformed. Inside the soft, handbound pages, were recorded complex and brilliant martial arts techniques.

    Although both of them had been trained by talented teachers, at this moment cold sweat ran down their bodies. They knew, all of a sudden, that compared to this, all the martial arts they had learned in their lifetime, were worthless. They gripped the texts in their hands, unwilling to let go.

    After a long while, Xiao Yu’er took a breath, and said: “I know. There must have been five extraordinary martial arts experts here. They trained here together. And when they got an idea, they would rush to a table to write down the inspiration(?).”

    Jiang Yulang said, “That sounds right. If they trained here, no wonder the room is so huge.”

    Xiao Yu’er went on, “Of the five, three we have already found dead. If I am not mistaken, the remaining two rooms should contain the bodies of the other two masters.”

    “I think that must be so,” Jiang Yulang agreed.

    Xiao Yu’er said, “Come then. Let’s go see.”

    Jiang Yulang raised his eyes from the books, and cried in disbelief: “Go? You…want to leave?”

    “When did you lose the ability to understand what I said?” Xiao Yu’er said.

    “But these…what about these martial arts texts?” Jiang Yulang sputtered.

    Xiao Yu’er said, “Leave them here, they can’t run.”

    With his head down, Jiang Yulang said: “Fine. Whatever you say…”

    Suddenly he drew out the gold-coloured tube from his clothes, and laughed wildly: “Do you know what this is?”

    Xiao Yu’er appeared shocked. He said, “The ‘Destroying Heaven, Obliterating Hell, Heart-Piercing and Bone-Penetrating’ needles.”

    “That’s right,” sneered Jiang Yulang. “Your eyesight isn’t bad. I originally wanted to wait until we had escaped outside, before using it on you. But now, I can no longer tolerate you!”

    Xiao Yu’er asked him, “If you kill me, wouldn’t you be scared all alone here?”

    Cackling loudly, Jiang Yulang answered: “Here there are unimaginable martial arts for me to learn, riches beyond compare, and they all belong to me. When I find the exit, I will instantly be the foremost person in the world, what else would I fear?”

    Xiao Yu’er sighed, disappointed. He said, “Very well. If you insist, then kill me.”

    With a hideous laugh, Jiang Yulang said, “You aren’t afraid?”

    Suddenly Xiao Yu’er also began to laugh. He declared, “Your blow-tube is empty, why should I be afraid?”

    Jiang Yulang’s expression changed. He cried: “Empty!”

    “Didn’t you bother to wonder,” Xiao Yu’er said, still chuckling, “if this blow tube were not empty, why would someone drop it on the floor…the Bone-Penetrating needles inside it were used to kill that person. After the murdering his enemy, the user just carelessly tossed it aside. Such simple reasoning, how could you not figure it out?”

    “You…you…” Jiang Yulang hissed.

    Xiao Yu’er added, “Earlier you faked that coughing spell, and swiped that blow tube. Of course I noticed it; if I didn’t know that the blow tube was empty, how could I let you take it?”

    He snickered again, then went on: “Besides, these ‘Destroying Heaven, Obliterating Hell, Heart-Piercing and Bone-Penetrating’ needles, are extremely difficult to make. In ancient times, the only one who could make them was ‘Divine Hands Craftsman’. He has been deceased for a long time. Your empty tube is thus nothing but rubbish….ha ha, it is worth even less than rubbish.”

    Jiang Yulang’s face was covered in chilly sweat. He stuttered: “I…just now I wasn’t really trying to…to kill you…only…” With a “dong” sound, the blow-tube in his hand hit the floor.

    Xiao Yu’er laughed heartily. “I know,” he said, “you were only pulling a prank.”

    Jiang Yulang said hurriedly: “I have always thought of you as an older brother, I can swear to it.” His words sounded so sincere, his face did not even contain a hint of red.

    Xiao Yu’er smiled at him, amused. He said, “Now, I presume we may leave?”

    “Of course,” Jiang Yulang replied. He went out with his head down.

    Xiao Yu’er laughed loudly, “Jiang Yulang oh Jiang Yulang, what a good boy you are!”

    End of Chapter 32

  2. #22
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 33

    Now Xiao Yu’er was moving the knob made of tin.

    He reflected: “The stone room was a grave. The steel room was a training room. The gold room stored treasure, and the bronze room held weapons. All this is logical, now as for the tin room, can you guess what it contains?”

    Blinking a few times, Jiang Yulang proposed: “Could it be their private chambers?”

    Xiao Yu’er chortled loudly: “Sleeping in a tin room, that would be strange indeed.”

    As he spoke, the tin wall moved aside. Before his words had finished, suddenly a fierce lion sprang out from within, almost landing on Jiang Yulang who was standing right outside the entrance. He leapt backward seven or eight feet.

    They took another look. Although the lion had retained its fur, its flesh was gone, with only a skeleton to keep its terrifying shape. Xiao Yu’er chuckled in relief: “This lion must have been really hungry, it wanted to escape but had died of starvation upon reaching the door. Alas that it gave our young master Jiang quite a scare.”

    He then strolled inside. Abruptly he cried out: “So this was the reason!”

    Jiang Yulang approached, and the ashy-white room filled with colours and scattered baubles everywhere, so that they bewildered the eye. It seemed that this was another treasure room.

    Upon closer examination, however, he could only see many different colourful objects, which were not necessarily treasure. There was a multitude of different small vials and bottles. And the appearance of each bottle was strange and unusual.

    Xiao Yu’er said to Jiang Yulang, “Surely you should know what are in these bottles?”

    Jiang Yulang took a deep breath: “Poisons!”

    “That is correct,” Xiao Yu’er agreed. “And this lion was meant to guard the poisons.”

    Unexpectedly he bent his waist, then said, “The fourth person’s body is indeed here!”

    Jiang Yulang watched him pick up some bones. Jiang Yulang thought further and his face paled. He said, “His…his body, was it eaten by the lion?”

    Xiao Yu’er sighed, “This person was really unlucky; not only was he murdered here, but even his corpse was devoured by a lion…”

    Jiang Yulang suddenly broke into a fit of cackles- “ge ge”.

    “Why are you so happy?” Xiao Yu’er asked him.

    Still giggling, Jiang Yulang told him, “Turn your head and look.”

    In his hand, who knows how long it had been there, he held a dark object which resembled a bamboo tube. He chortled, “Well my luck is certainly not bad, I’ve managed to find a real treasure.”

    Blinking, Xiao Yu’er asked, “What is it?”

    Jiang Yulang retorted: “If you can’t recognize this, you must really be ignorant. The foremost swordsman of ancient times, ‘Reverend Jue Chen’, died with this object in his hand.”(1)

    Xiao Yu’er said, amused: “I still don’t recognize it.”

    With a mocking laugh, Jiang Yulang sneered: “Let me tell you, this is the ‘Celestial Dew of the Five Poisons’, from the ancient ‘White Water Palace’; you merely place a drop of this on someone. No matter who it is, within half an hour, they will die from generalized whole-body necrosis.”

    Laughing lightly, Xiao Yu’er quipped, “Well then, you’d better put that far away somewhere, you wouldn’t want to spill it on me.”

    Jiang Yulang hissed: “Don’t even think about escaping this time. I have already checked it and I know it is full, a full vial of ‘Celestial Dew’. I only have to move my hand and you’re finished.”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled bitterly: “You really must kill me no matter what?”

    “If you had minded your own business just now,” Jiang Yulang spat out, “and left me free to take that martial arts text, I could have left you to live a while longer yet. But now you must die!”

    “Don’t forget,” Xiao Yu’er reminded him, “I could have killed you before, but I didn’t.” Suddenly he laughed: “But, why don’t you take a look at what I have in my hand first?”

    In his grip, was the blow-tube for the ‘Destroying Heaven, Obliterating Hell, Heart-Piercing and Bone-Penetrating’ needles which Jiang Yulang had discarded earlier. Jiang Yulang giggled: “I see that you have been scared to the point of madness, you’re even trying to threaten me with that empty blow-tube…”

    Smiling, Xiao Yu’er said, “Empty blow-tube? Who said it was empty?”

    With a shock, Jiang Yulang stuttered, “You…didn’t you just say…”

    Xiao Yu’er interrupted him with a laugh: “Oh yes, I did claim that the tube was empty just now. That was merely a lie; think about it- what else could I do? You should know that because it is so time-consuming to craft them, every blow-tube contains three sets of Bone-Penetrating Needles.”

    With another laugh, he added: “If each blow-tube could only be used once, after each use you would have to find the ‘Divine Hands Craftsman’ again. If it was this bothersome, who would value these Bone-Penetrating Needles? Could you not figure out such a simple concept as this?”

    Jiang Yulang’s hands once again began to shake. He stammered, “You…don’t think you can trick me again, you don’t even know…”

    Laughing coldly, Xiao Yu’er repeated: “I don’t know? I was raised in the Valley of Evil. When it comes to this sort of vicious stealth projectile, would I not know more than you?”

    Jiang Yulang’s hands became soft and weak. He laughed, and said in a trembling voice: “Big brother, of course you would know far more, little brother here is not your equal.”

    As he spoke, he returned the ‘Celestial Dew’ back to its original place.

    Xiao Yu’er said slowly, amused, “If I don’t kill or hurt you, then I deserve whatever comes to me, right?”

    Jiang Yulang said, “Little brother here is young and ignorant, speaking nonsense. Big brother, please…please forgive me.” During his speech he slowly backed away.

    Sighing, Xiao Yu’er said, “You are indeed an intelligent person. You know a lot, but alas that you are not as clever as I. You are just inferior by a tiny bit…”

    With a light flick of his finger, the blow-tube in his hand made a “hack” noise.

    Jiang Yulang’s entire body went soft, and he started to swoon from fright. But nothing had been fired from the blow-tube.

    At that point Xiao Yu’er had the vial of ‘Celestial Dew’ in his grasp. Laughing - ‘ha ha’- loudly, he cried: “Let me tell you, that blow-tube is in truth empty. ‘Destroying Heaven, Obliterating Hell, Heart-Piercing and Bone-Penetrating’ needles- with one shot there are one hundred and thirty needles. In such a small tube, how could you fit three sets of needles? Such a straightforward principle, how could you not have thought of it?”

    With a thump, Jiang Yulang really did fall over unconscious. This time he collapsed from anger, rather than fear.

    The fuel in the bronze torch was almost used up.

    Jiang Yulang obediently crawled back to his cave and added more oil to it. He also brought back more clean water and food, and subserviently placed these in front of Xiao Yu’er. Only when Xiao Yu’er had finished eating did he begin to devour the leftovers. His own father, if he had been there to witness it, would have died in a fit of anger- because Jiang Yulang had never served even his father in such a filial way.

    Xiao Yu’er wiped his mouth. He murmured, “Only one room left. The exit must lie in this room. Mmm…right, to put an exit in their private chambers, this makes sense.”

    At last, he twisted the silver knob. Behind the silver wall, there lay an entirely different world!

    Here was the true underground palace. Xiao Mimi’s section was certainly extravagant, but when compared to this area, it was practically a pit in a coal mine.

    The tunnel beyond the silver wall had a floor covered with a thick and soft carpet. On either side of the tunnel there was a total of six doors covered in jewels and precious stones. The two of them passed through the tangled beams of light shining off the walls, as if they were walking in a paradise.

    Xiao Yu’er hardly even glanced at all the splendor. He merely muttered to himself: “Strange…five people, but why are there six rooms, perhaps there was a sixth person here? There must be a sixth person, who probably didn’t practice martial arts. Otherwise, why would there only be five tables in the training room?”

    As he thought aloud, he had already entered the first room.

    The interior décor clearly identified this as the private chamber of a lady. The dressing table to the side held a complete set of cosmetics and grooming paraphernalia. In fact there was even a chamber pot behind the bed.

    Upon seeing this, Xiao Yu’er was truly stunned. His eyes grew wide and his voice cracked: “A woman’s room? This place has a female master…you can kill me, I still won’t believe it.”

    An embroidered curtain swished down. Xiao Yu’er drew it open and saw a skeleton lying on the bed. Hair, jewelry, all lay neatly on the pillow. Clearly this was a female.

    They saw that the next room belonged to a woman as well. On the bed lay its female owner. In the third, and also the fourth, it was the same.

    Throughout all this, Xiao Yu’er could only shake his head, laughing and bemused: “So in this place there were more than five people, or even six. The martial arts experts had brought their wives here too. When they were murdered, the wives were naturally killed as well.”

    Jiang Yulang suggested, “It appears that these women all had their acupoints sealed, and then were left to slowly die of hunger.”

    Sighing in agreement, Xiao Yu’er commented, “This kind of death, would be about the most tortured way to die. The perpetrator presumably would have been even more heartless than you, and his methods far crueller.”

    Although Jiang Yulang lowered his head, his cheeks did not redden in shame.

    Jiang Yulang went into the fifth room and whipped aside the bed curtains. He sighed: “People are really bizarre; you know that on the bed there will be a woman’s bones, and yet you still can’t resist opening the curtains to look…”

    His words were cut short as he realized his mistake. The bed contained two corpses. One male, one female. They looked down and saw that the man’s spine had been shattered. Clearly he had died under a single stroke.

    Xiao Yu’er quickly expelled a breath, then said, “This one is actually the fifth person.”

    Jiang Yulang said, “The sixth room, could it be his…”

    Xiao Yu’er pushed aside the door to the final room. One look was enough to freeze his body in shock.

    Under the light, wearing a jeweled cap on his head, sat a man with an impressive beard all over his face. His hand pressed down on the table, as if he would break it. His brow was furrowed, and his eyes glared, his entire attitude was violent and threatening. Fresh blood had seeped out of his eyes, nose, and all of the other seven orifices, except that now the stains were old and dried and indistinct.

    Once again, Xiao Yu’er sighed. “This person is dead after all.”

    Jiang Yulang had taken down one of the jewels and threw it at the bearded man. They heard a “duk” sound- the precious stone had bounced off the body.

    This person’s body was hard as stone.

    Xiao Yu’er said: “Maybe this is only a wooden statue.”

    “No,” Jiang Yulang argued, “this is a person. A dead person.”

    Sighing, Xiao Yu’er said, “No, definitely he is a person, but if he is, then how could he be so much like a piece of wood?”

    Jiang Yulang made no reply, but instead crossed over to flick aside the bedcurtain.

    On the bed, there indeed was a person. A woman, and an exquisitely beautiful one. Her body was exactly the way she must have looked while alive, not one bit of decay. If it weren’t for her deathly pallor(?), you could without exaggeration call her one of the rare beauties of this earth.

    In fact, Jiang Yulang had never in his life laid eyes on such a lovely creature. From her colour, he knew she was dead. But having had a single glance, he involuntarily fell into a dazed dream.

    Sighing, Xiao Yu’er broke into his thoughts: “When this woman was alive, she must have had countless men under her spell. Next to her, Xiao Mimi is almost an ugly pig. I don’t understand how her body could still be intact…”

    “These two people died in a different manner from the others,” Jiang Yulang said in a low voice. “They succumbed to a strange sort of poison which was able to preserve their bodies indefinitely.”

    He took a breath, then slowly added: “Apparently, her beauty was really important to her…this naturally was worth cherishing.”

    Xiao Yu’er asked, “You mean that she killed herself on purpose?”

    Jiang Yulang pointed out: “If someone else killed her, why would they bother to use such a valuable poison on her?”

    Nodding his head, Xiao Yu’er agreed, “That makes sense. Only…what about this man? Even ten or more years after his death, this man still has such a noble air. In life, he must have been really important.”

    “Perhaps he was the true master of this place,” Jiang Yulang guessed.

    Once again, Xiao Yu’er concurred: “Right, he appears the type to have had such great ambition.”

    Jiang Yulang began to think aloud: “Let’s say the other five people were killed by him. Then how did he die? And what drove his wife to suicide? I wonder what his relationship with the other five people was, and why he wasted so much effort and riches to create this underground palace. Why did he have to hide here so secretly?”

    With a wry laugh, Xiao Yu’er said, “When you talk like that, you give me a headache.”

    The two of them were certainly extremely clever. Yet after thinking and thinking, they could not penetrate the mystery of this palace. By this time their eyes were huge. But still neither of them had glimpsed the book by the side of the pillow. If they had missed this book, then they would never have figured out this puzzle, not in their lifetimes.

    Luckily, Xiao Yu’er did eventually catch sight of it.

    He flipped a couple of pages, and suddenly cried out: “In here…all of the secrets are in here!”

    On the light yellow pages, there were words in delicate and elegant script. It was definitely written in a lady’s hand.

    These, indeed, belonged to the beautiful lady now lying on the bed- her entire life’s tragedies and woe. Her miseries were almost impossible to believe. While dying, she unraveled the secrets of the underground palace.

    Of course, her thoughts were not written for Xiao Yu’er to read, nor anybody else, for that matter. She had merely wished, in her final moments, to vent her sorrows. Only, when she died, there was no one left alive. Thus she could only express herself on ink and paper.

    This is what she said: Her name was Fang Lingji.(2) Her family was from one of the dying tribes of Jiangnan. They had four generations living together under one roof, and their days were originally peaceful and happy. As for herself, however, she would never enjoy such fortune.

    At four years of age, her mother brought her to Suzhou to visit relatives. When they returned, her family’s entire property had been laid waste. More than three hundred people, old and young, had all been slaughtered.

    Their enemies would of course pursue all survivors. (3) She and her mother were forced to flee for their lives, wandering everywhere in fear. Although Fang Lingji did not describe this part of her life in detail, one could imagine that it was full of hardship and bitterness.

    In the midst of such troubled and anxious times, she eventually managed to discover the name of her nemesis!

    Ouyang Ting.

    ‘Hero among men’, Ouyang Ting! Her enemy, of all people, was one of the heroes of wulin, a man of solid reputation and upstanding character. (4) He was one of the strongest martial artists of his time, and his family was among the richest as well.

    Abandoned and alone, mother and daughter sought revenge despite not knowing a shred of martial arts. Plagued by hatred and anger, her mother eventually fell ill and lost her life.

    Three years later, she actually plotted a way to marry her enemy. The only thing left that she could use as a weapon of vengeance was her undeniable beauty.

    However, Ouyang Ting, an eminent hero of his generation, would naturally be hard to trap in a sneak attack. Fang Lingji therefore had to endure much agony and suffering, bitterly awaiting her opportunity.

    Unfortunately Ouyang Ting had one fearsome habit. He would never fall asleep with another person. Although they were husband and wife, she never knew where he slept.

    At this point, Xiao Yu’er’s eyes darted over to the bearded man. He remarked, “I bet this rascal must be Ouyang Ting.”

    Jiang Yulang sighed: “This man must truly be a hero of his time. Even though Fang Lingji hated him to the bone, you can read between the lines. Despite herself, she did grudgingly admire him.”

    Xiao Yu’er teased him: “Oh, give it time, and eventually you too will become an Ouyang Ting.”

    Not daring to respond to that, Jiang Yulang changed the subject. “The odd thing is, since this Ouyang Ting had such a great reputation and influence, why did he need to construct this underground palace? What drove him to spend the rest of his life hiding from the light of day?”

    “Well, read on, and no doubt you’ll find out,” Xiao Yu’er said.

    They continued to read.

    She had written: [To build this underground palace, you could say Ouyang Ting spared no expense or effort. He took three months to plan and oversee the construction(?).

    Next, by methods unknown to me, he lured the top five martial artists in wulin to his palace. He claimed that he admired them, and together he wanted to create an earth-shattering set of martial arts, never seen before and that would never be surpassed. He told them that once they passed on this set of martial arts, they could, through this legacy, leave a name through the ages.

    The words ‘Leave a name through the ages’, clearly rang through to their hearts. The five of them combined their accumulated wisdom and experience to explore the most complex mysteries within martial arts.

    But none of them had imagined that the moment of their success would also mark their execution date.]

    She had written this description of it: [Once we settled into the ‘Diling Palace’, he no longer slept alone. Because he had no suspicions toward me whatsoever, he could never have imagined that I was, in reality, his sworn foe. Although I did have chances to kill him, I did not make my move, because I still had to wait.

    He had another ambition. In the records and annals of wulin, from ancient times to now, there have been many ephemeral heroes, valiant though they were. But never has there been one person whose martial arts could truly dominate all others. He wished to be a hero with an everlasting name, ‘never seen before, and never to be surpassed’!

    It was a shame that those five experts known throughout wulin as ‘the Five Ultimates of Heaven and Earth’, would be sacrificed on the altar of his ambition. Each of them had their own weak points, and taking advantage of someone’s weak points was precisely Ouyang Ting’s specialty. The five of them would never have fallen for his plan, if it weren’t for the fact that he had the noble air and reputation of a true hero.

    He had long ago crafted a plan to murder them all. Although I did not know the details of it, Ouyang Ting’s schemes have always been seamless. I had a mind to expose his vile plot, but I could find no evidence. If I voiced my accusations, no one would believe me. Thus I had to be careful.

    But I also had long ago made my own preparations to kill him. I only waited for him to succeed in his plan.

    At this moment, the date of his success is fast approaching, he will soon reach the pinnacle of what no one before him has achieved.

    And now…there is a cup of poisoned wine awaiting him, to be drunk for our celebratory toast…]

    It appeared that Xiao Yu’er’s eyes were slightly wet. Suddenly he flung the book far away from himself. He cried: “Why did she have to write these things down and make others suffer by reading them? Women…oh d*mned women!”

    Jiang Yulang seemed to be in a daze, and mumbled: “… ‘pinnacle of what no one has achieved’… ‘never seen before, and never to be surpassed’…ai, what a shame, a real pity!”

    Gazing at Ouyang Ting’s body, Xiao Yu’er said, “After he killed the ‘Five Ultimates’, he was just settling down for a drink with his beloved wife. Little did he know that the wine meant for toasting his success was actually laced with poison….ha ha, amusing, what a laugh!”

    “That Fang Lingji was quite an impressive character as well…only, after avenging herself, why did she then follow him in death?” Jiang Yulang wondered with a sigh.

    Xiao Yu’er eased into a long stretch at the waist. He replied, “I’ve already told you, the hearts of women are the hardest to fathom. Whoever wastes his efforts to guess at their inner thoughts, is a madman if not an idiot. Ai…women…”

    Jiang Yulang mused, “She could not avoid killing him. But afterwards, her heart was also in agony, and she could only join him in death. She had not thought of how she would live her life alone.”

    With a long sigh, he went on slowly: “Fang Lingji and Ouyang Ting, they are rather like Xi Shi and the king of Wu. (5) Ai, rivalry between nations, or romantic love, which should be more important? I’m afraid not many people would be able to tell.”

    Peering at him, Xiao Yu’er suddenly smiled. He joked, “Sometimes you are really strange; I wonder if you are a man or a woman?”

    Jiang Yulang broke into startled laughter: “What, you don’t know if I’m a man or a woman?”

    Xiao Yu’er observed: “Sometimes you are cruel and vicious, you would hurt even your own family. At other times you would become melancholic, or full of sympathy. Men are rarely like this. Only a woman’s heart can change so quickly from moment to moment, and from one extreme of passion to another.”

    He added, laughing loudly, “If I didn’t hear Xiao Mimi call you ‘little pervert’ with my own ears, I would really think you were a girl disguised as a man.”

    End of Chapter 33

  3. #23
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 34

    Their conversation was interrupted by a gentle laugh: “That is correct, I can attest to it. Every inch of his body is male, not one bit otherwise.”

    To whom could this wonderfully tender voice belong, if not Xiao Mimi?

    Xiao Yu’er felt his bones go weak. He tried to turn, but felt a sharp, cold object probing into the base of his skull.

    In warm and soothing tones, Xiao Mimi murmured, “Be good now, don’t move, and don’t turn around.”

    With her hand she beckoned to Jiang Yulang and said: “Yulang, why don’t you come over too…mmm, that’s a good boy. Now, turn around, and stand beside him.”

    Xiao Yu’er could only hope that Jiang Yulang wouldn’t be too compliant. If only he would resist, even a little, then Xiao Yu’er would be able to take out his ‘Celestial Dew’ and use it.

    But that d*mn Jiang Yulang, infuriatingly, had become an exemplary model of co-operation. With head down and hands lowered, he approached. Xiao Yu’er tried to signal him with his eyes, but Jiang Yulang didn’t see it. Xiao Yu’er was so frustrated that his teeth began to grind, but he could do nothing. With a sword-tip aimed at your brain, even if you had ten thousand strategies, you would not be able to use them.

    However, Xiao Yu’er did not despair, but continued to wait for a chance. All he needed was to be able to take out that ‘Celestial Dew’, or the blow-tube, and Xiao Mimi would be finished.

    Unfortunately it seemed that instead of Xiao Mimi being finished, Xiao Yu’er would be the one whose life was over. She suddenly reached over and removed some objects from his shirt. She laughed sweetly: “Ah, little flirt, it appears that you two have acquired some very nice things. ‘Bone-Penetrating Needles’, ‘Celestial Dew’. Lucky for me that I was careful, otherwise I’d be in a lot of trouble.”

    Xiao Yu’er heaved a long sigh: “Now it seems I’m the one who’s in a lot of trouble.”

    She giggled, “Not too much, I think. I will let you live for now.”

    Unexpectedly, she pulled Xiao Yu’er’s right hand and Jiang Yulang’s left one together. Laughing, she teased, “You two seem to be good friends, why don’t you hold hands?”

    Xiao Yu’er noticed that Jiang Yulang’s trembling hand was icy, and slick with cold sweat. Of course, his own hand was just the same. With a ‘guk’ sound, their hands were locked together with a pair of heavy black cuffs.

    Her laughs tinkling like a silver bell, Xiao Mimi finally came from behind their backs to stand before them. Her beautiful eyes looked at them in merriment. She said softly, “Now you can really be good friends. You will live together, and die together. And neither will leave the other behind.”

    Xiao Yu’er joked bitterly: “Now I really do wish he was a girl.”

    Xiao Mimi said to him appreciatively: “I really like you. Under these circumstances, you still have your sense of humour. There aren’t many people like you around.”

    Changing the subject, Jiang Yulang asked, “You…how did you get in here?”

    “You are surprised by this?” Xiao Mimi laughed, rolling her eyes.

    Xiao Yu’er sighed, “If we hadn’t been surprised, that would have been strange.”

    “Clever little boys,” Xiao Mimi said, “how did you become so stupid all of a sudden? Think about it. You are so good to me, how could I bear to let you die of suffocation?”

    Puzzled, Xiao Yu’er said, “I still don’t understand.”

    Xiao Mimi explained, “At the time, I knew of course that you were hiding down below. But I didn’t dare come down, because I knew nothing else about the situation. If I came down, you would surely have killed me.”

    She sighed and went on: “And your welcome of me obviously would not be quite as hospitable as the way I have treated you.”

    Xiao Yu’er retorted, “Indeed, you were too hospitable, trying to suffocate us to death.”

    She laughed prettily, then said: “I thought, even this might not truly manage to suffocate you two. But at least it could get you to lower your guard. Once you believed that I was using this method to kill you, you thought I would not come back to look, isn’t that right?”

    “Only now do I understand,” Xiao Yu’er sighed, “that a man who has gone through a near suffocation is already very unlucky. If, on top of that, he meets a girl who really likes him, then his fortune has truly worsened indeed.”

    Xiao Mimi giggled ‘ge ge’- and teased: “You are hilarious, oh, I’m dying of laughter! Next time, I’ll have to explain that it’s not so bad for someone to hate you, that being suffocated is actually quite fortunate.”

    She appeared to pay no further attention to Xiao Yu’er’s words, but instead began to focus on the contents of the room.

    Xiao Mimi searched methodically through all the rooms to such a degree that you would think she was a jealous wife going through her husband’s possessions(?).

    And then her face shone, her eyes were alight. She had finally found what she was looking for.

    It was the pale yellow book which naturally contained the essence of all the five experts’ labours.

    Xiao Mimi hugged the book to her chest. She pressed it to her face, and dropped kisses on it, giggling all the while. She murmured, “Oh my precious, I have you now, I don’t need to worry anymore! From this day forth, who will be number one in wulin? Don’t you know? That would be me, Xiao Guniang.”

    Jiang Yulang’s eyes were locked on the book in her hand; he looked as if he would spit fire.

    Xiao Mimi stroked his head and laughed, “Come to think of it, I should be grateful to you two. Without you, how would I have my precious?”

    Happy and carefree, she spun around in a circle. In her delight, the years fell away from her and she looked more than a decade younger.

    Smiling, she added, “Now I need you to lead me. Take me everywhere so I can look. This must be a gift from heaven, how could I refuse it?”

    In fact, Xiao Mimi had never imagined that her ‘gift from heaven’ encompassed so much riches and treasure. Her eyes were dazzled from it all.
    She looked at everything, poked around everywhere.

    When they were finished, she looked at Xiao Yu’er and Jiang Yulang. Her eyes were so warm and tender, her smile was so enchanting.

    She smiled and said softly: “Good little children, do you know why I haven’t killed you yet?”

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes were fixed on the earthen wall, as if he hadn’t heard her words. Jiang Yulang’s face was completely bloodless- he had been rendered speechless from fear.

    Xiao Mimi said: “To tell you the truth, if I were to explore this place by myself, I would be a bit afraid. So of course I had to leave you two alive to accompany me.”

    Jiang Yulang gnawed at his lip, and turned even paler.

    With a glance at Xiao Yu’er, Xiao Mimi laughed: “Now your purpose is fulfilled. Since you’re now chained together, it would be impossible to crawl out through the tunnel. In that case, you may as well stay here.”

    Jiang Yulang’s lips were already raw from biting. Now tears began to course down his face.

    He suddenly fell to his knees and pleaded in a trembling voice: “Please, I beg you, don’t kill me. As long as you spare me, I will be your slave for life. No matter what you want, I can…”

    She cut him off: “I’m very sorry, that is the only thing I cannot do. Other than that, whatever method of death you wish, I will certainly grant.”

    She looked at Xiao Yu’er again, and said, “Xiao Yu’er, did you hear me?”

    His eyes were still on that earthen wall. “Mmm,” he responded distractedly.

    Xiao Mimi proposed, “There’s a very unique and comfortable way to die, if I might recommend it. Would you both be willing to try?”

    “Mmm.”

    “How about I bite you both to death?” she suggested.

    Her white alabaster hand reached forward, and caressed Xiao Yu’er’s throat. She whispered, smiling: “I only need to lightly bite you once, that should suffice.”

    Xiao Yu’er still stared ahead without blinking, and mumbled, “Mmm.”

    Xiao Mimi drew her eyebrows together, and snapped, “What is so interesting about that wall? What are you thinking?”

    Heaving a sigh, Xiao Yu’er said, “If I’m going to die anyway, then it doesn’t matter.”

    “I still want to hear it,” she demanded.

    He replied, “Don’t bother, why don’t you just kill me and get it over with.”

    She said, “The more you don’t want to say it, the more I insist on hearing it.”

    With another sigh, Xiao Yu’er said: “Since you insist, I can only obey.”

    He said: “I was thinking, since there is something wonderful behind every wall, the room behind that earthen wall surely cannot be empty. What is behind that wall then?”

    Xiao Mimi’s eyes lit up. She said, “Right, what could be there?”

    Her eyes darted back and forth. She muttered: “It’s too bad there’s no earthen knob, I wonder how you move that wall.”

    Xiao Yu’er blinked and said, “Well there’s no knob, but up above there’s a ring hanging down(?), that we haven’t tried pulling on.”

    Xiao Mimi said excitedly: “Ah, that must be it. Go and pull it then. How could I sleep well without knowing what lies behind that wall?”

    Accordingly, Xiao Yu’er went over in a very reluctant manner. But actually, he was feeling very happy. Of course he didn’t know at all what was on the other side of that wall. He would guess that it was nothing special. Right now, though, whatever it was certainly couldn’t make his situation any worse. If he had to die, he didn’t really care if there were monsters or ghosts!

    The only one with anything to lose, was Xiao Mimi.

    The copper ring was hanging from a tall height and took a lot of strength to pull. Xiao Yu’er tugged at it and apparently just could not even get it to budge one little bit. But with Jiang Yulang there using all his might, together they pulled. Suddenly the ring descended completely.

    Then there was a crash of sounds ‘dong long long’, as if a mountain were collapsing. The entire wall came crashing down.

    A flood of water smashed towards them, as if a mountain had fallen into the sea.

    Xiao Mimi’s expression changed and she screamed in terror. Although normally she was dramatic and her expressions always varied, this time she was very different from usual.

    She acted like a young girl encountering a big rat. She leapt onto the rack containing the knobs(?), but the water was really pouring in too forcefully. Soon the water would rise above the rack too.

    At this moment her only thought was of escape. She was even willing to leave aside Xiao Yu’er and Jiang Yulang. But alas, the remaining exit, the tunnel, had also filled with water.

    Coincidentally this section was on an even level with the ‘toilet’ tunnel from which they had come. Therefore, although the tunnel was filled with water, there was no way for it to drain.

    Right now Xiao Yu’er and Jiang Yulang were also floating in the water. Jiang Yulang’s swimming abilities were fantastic; he treaded water as easily as if he were moving on solid ground.

    As he saw the miserable state that Xiao Mimi was in, an evil grin began to spread over his face. He cackled: “So that monster doesn’t know how to swim, how wonderful, that’s perfect.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed, “She deserves what’s coming to her.”(?)

    Suddenly Jiang Yulang turned to face him. He asked, “And how’s your swimming?”

    Although Xiao Yu’er’s hand was still chained to Jiang Yulang, he did not react, but merely laughed and quipped: “Did you forget my name? Since when have you found a fish that couldn’t swim?”

    His words seemed to be convincing and honest. Jiang Yulang stared at him a while longer, then finally smiled and said, “Good, that’s great.”

    The water level continued to rise. Soon the entire room would be full.

    Not only had Xiao Mimi never learned how to swim, she was very afraid of water. Her limbs shook and she flailed about. The more she moved, the faster she sank.

    Jiang Yulang commented in a low voice, “Although she doesn’t know how to swim, if she could hold her breath, and not thrash about like that, she wouldn’t sink. Besides, she has excellent martial arts skills. Even if she did sink a bit, she wouldn’t choke on the water.”

    He gave a sly laugh or two before adding, “But the way things are going, she’ll choke for sure. Once she gets one or two mouthfuls down the wrong way, all the martial arts in the world will be useless.”

    On the other side, Xiao Mimi had already sputtered on two or three gulps of water. She cried out shrilly, “Save me…are you two really going to stand by and watch me die?”

    Jiang Yulang replied in a voice just as tender as hers: “Of course we couldn’t bear to let you die from drowning. As long as you hand over that martial arts text, I will save you myself.” Naturally, he had not dared to swim over before this, because as soon as Xiao Mimi got her hands on him, he’d lose his life.

    By now, the book had been floating in the water for quite some time, and the inked words were starting to become indistinct.

    It was now Xiao Mimi’s turn to become docile. She immediately grabbed the book and flung it over, then yelped, “Quick, hurry up!” Then ‘gu du’, she swallowed yet another mouthful of water.

    Jiang Yulang deftly caught the book in his hand. Xiao Yu’er decided not to fight him for the book, since Jiang Yulang carried the torch in his free hand and grabbed the book in the hand that was chained to Xiao Yu’er. He laughed wildly: “Stupid girl, you really thought I would rescue you?”

    Xiao Mimi called to him in a trembling voice: “Please, I beg you…”

    Jiang Yulang laughed even harder. “I am going to watch you choke mouthful by mouthful…by the time you die, your belly will be as swollen as a balloon. That’ll be a sight to see.”

    “You bastard,” Xiao Mimi cursed him.

    She struggled to reach them, but the more she flailed, the more she choked on water. The fear of a non-swimmer in water is quite unimaginable to those who have never experienced it.

    Now it was Jiang Yulang’s turn to laugh: “From this day forth, who will be number one in wulin? Xiao Mimi, don’t you know? Let me tell you, it would be me, Master Jiang.”

    Xiao Yu’er sneered coldly: “Not necessarily.”

    Jiang Yulang hastily corrected himself: “Of course, there would also be big brother Jiang Yu.”

    Sighing, Xiao Yu’er pointed out, “I don’t think the two of us should be dreaming just yet. Right now the only exit is filled with water. Unless we can really swim like fish, we will also drown here.”

    Stunned, Jiang Yulang’s face instantly turned ashen in colour. Grabbing Xiao Yu’er’s hand, he said, “You…you must think of something.”

    Xiao Yu’er reflected, “I was thinking: gold, silver, copper, steel, tin, all of these were dead ends. In the stone grave there was a door leading upwards, but that door opens from the outside.”

    Jiang Yulang laughed sarcastically: “Well of course the door to a grave would open from the outside. The dead people wouldn’t need to go out…oh, do we really have to die in this place?”

    “Perhaps,” Xiao Yu’er mused, “we have another way out.”

    “What way?” Jiang Yulang cried excitedly.

    “We haven’t tried moving that wooden knob over there…”

    Jiang Yulang’s hopeful expression vanished like smoke. He said angrily, “Did you forget, we entered this place from behind the wooden wall.”

    Slowly Xiao Yu’er answered: “But we crawled up here from below. What about above?”

    Instantly Jiang Yulang became happy again, and said, “Right, why didn’t I think of it!”

    Xiao Yu’er grinned and said: “That’s because I’m much smarter than you.”

    Jiang Yulang sighed. He admitted, “At such a time, still being able to think of these details…other than you, not many people would be able to manage it.”

    They noticed that Xiao Mimi had stopped moving in the water, except for her hair which was floating on the surface.

    Jiang Yulang dived down and turned the wooden knob. He had been holding the torch all along, but as he dived, the room suddenly became black.

    With a “chi” sound, water suddenly began gushing out. Xiao Yu’er and Jiang Yulang were also inexorably swept outwards by the force of the water. And suddenly, it seemed as if their hearts would burst free of their chests.

    Beyond the wooden wall, there indeed lay the exit. About a hundred or so stone steps stretched upwards, and a sliver of sunshine streamed down from above. Jiang Yulang cried out in delight, and once again tears streamed down his face.

    They saw the top of the stairs bathed in sunlight. This was quite startling.

    Jiang Yulang felt surprised in the midst of his happiness. He said, “This kind of exit is rather strange. Wouldn’t the makers be worried that it would be discovered? With such a need for secrecy, the exit should have been quite well hidden.”

    Smiling, Xiao Yu’er said, “From our perspective, the exit seems rather obvious. But I think it must be well hidden, otherwise, someone would have discovered this place sometime during all these years.”

    Unexpectedly, the sound of voices floated down to them from above.

    Despite themselves, they were surprised, and quickened their steps. Faster, and faster, they dashed upwards and found that the exit was actually hidden by a stone cover, which was flanked on either side by cracks about half an inch wide.

    The sunlight was, of course, spilling through the two cracks. The voices could also be heard through them. Scared but curious, the two of them ventured a peek outside.

    Outside, they could see a tiny temple. As for which god the temple was dedicated to, they could not tell. This was because the statue for worship was sitting on top of the stone cover above their heads. Who could have imagined that under the resting place of an idol at a small temple, there would be such a mysterious, wondrous and impressive underground palace? Who could deny that this exit was thus well concealed?

    Of course, there was an altar, but there were no incense or candles on it. Instead, oddly enough, there was a pair of legs. The legs were firm, and covered with thick black hair. Pant legs were rolled up to the kneecaps, and the filthy feet wore a pair of grass shoes. Above that, they could not see further.

    There was also an unusually large gourd containing wine on the altar, as well as half a smoked chicken. Beside that was a huge slab of beef, a string of preserved sausages, a heap of beancurds, and a pile of peanuts. The fragrance of wine and food mixed with the stink of the feet- it drifted over with the breeze. Smelling this, Xiao Yu’er really didn’t know what to feel.

    His first impulse was to break out and run outside, but then he noticed five people standing directly facing the altar. At once he was scared stiff, and even almost cried out in surprise.

    The person on the extreme left was dressed like a rich merchant. His belly had started to get fat in his middle-aged years. A fragrant pouch hung from his body(?).

    Beside him, was another well-dressed man, with a strong and energetic appearance. But on closer inspection, he gave off the air of being the merchant’s bodyguard or servant.

    On a glance, the other three people were clearly ‘Regarding people like chickens' Wang Yizhua, Sun Tiannan, and seventh master Qiu Qingpo.

    Normally the three of them were extremely confident and insolent. But now they stood with lowered heads and gloomy faces, their expressions full of fear.

    Squatting on the altar was the man with the filthy feet. Someone who could reduce those three people to such a state, was not anyone that Xiao Yu’er had heard of.

    Xiao Yu’er observed the situation carefully, not daring to make a false move. Jiang Yulang of course, would be even more scared at this point.

    They saw a pair of hands descending, covered in thick and coarse black hair. The right hand was normal, but the left had only the thumb and index fingers intact.

    The pair of hands ripped off a chicken leg and pointed it at the rich merchant. The voice shouted: “Get over here!”

    The merchant’s normally well-groomed and healthy-looking face was now completely drained of colour. He wobbled a few steps forward, and stammered in a trembling voice: “The lowly one pays his respects to you, my lord.”

    The voice boomed like a huge bell: “Bastard, your old man clearly knows, you son of a turtle, that you are the rich boss in the city, Wang Lingchuan. (?) Wang Baiwan, don’t even try to fool your old man, you son of a turtle.”

    In just one breath he had already used the profanities ‘your old man’ four times, and ‘son of a turtle’ twice. Although he was speaking fluently in the native Szechuan dialect, the words came out muffled and indistinct. Presumably this was because he was devouring the leg of chicken.

    Wang Baiwan threw himself on his knees and said with a pitiful expression: “The lowly one does not have much money on his person at the present moment. However, he is willing to give it all to you, my lord, as long as…”

    The voice roared and cursed: “Bull sh*t, who wants to take your money, you son of a turtle. Your old man heard that you gamble better than the gods. So I specially arranged for you to be brought here, now I can see for myself.”

    Wang Baiwan exhaled a breath, and laughed, saying: “My lord, if you wish to play, whether it be at dice, dominoes, mahjong, the lowly one would be happy to join you. The only problem is a lack of gambling equipment. Once I return to the city, I will make ready to properly and comfortably gamble with you, my lord.”

    A hand slammed down on the altar and the voice growled, “Who would want to play at such silly games with you, son of a turtle! Your old man here wants to bet on coins. Heads or tails?”

    Wang Baiwan mumbled, “Unfortunately the lowly one did not realize that my lord wanted to gamble; he has not brought much money to bet with.”

    The voice declared: “Your old man will accept one of your arms, and a leg as gambling chips.”

    Wang Baiwan had just begun to rise from his kneeling position. Instantly his legs went soft and they buckled, toppling him to the ground. Gritting his teeth, he asked, “And if my lord should lose?”

    The voice replied, “If your old man loses, I’ll chop off a finger for you.”

    Wang Baiwan objected, “But this…this…”

    A furious holler cut him off. “ ‘But’ nothing! One finger from your old man is worth much more than all four of your limbs!”

    The teeth began to chatter inside Wang Baiwan’s head. He said, “The lowly one would…would prefer not to play.”

    “Bastard, you must play,” the voice ordered.

    In a loud voice Wang Baiwan shouted: “People can rape women, force them to have sex. But who ever heard of forcing someone to gamble?”

    The voice chuckled, “If your old man ever committed one sin, it would be forcing people to gamble. You son of a turtle, since you love gambling so much, you should count yourself lucky to meet the “Devil Gambler” today.”

    Wang Baiwan’s eyes immediately widened. He said in a hoarse voice: “You…you are Xuanyuan Sanguang?”

    “Your old man is indeed Xuanyuan Sanguang. Do you know me, son of a turtle?”

    Wang Baiwan said glumly, “Everyone who gambles, within the city and outside of it, invokes your name as a curse. Whoever cheats at gambling, we’ll condemn him to run into Xuanyuan Sanguang. But…but I have never cheated anyone before, how could heaven let me encounter you?”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang rumbled with laughter: “Since you know your old man, you should also know that I play true. I have never denied a loss or shirked a debt, so what are you worried for?”

    They saw a copper coin flip over in the air countless times before landing on the altar with a “guk” sound. Xuanyuan Sanguang covered it up with his meaty hand, then cried out: “Heads or tails? Guess, hurry up!”

    Xiao Yu’er sucked in his breath sharply. He would never have dreamed that this ogre with the dirty feet would be Xuanyuan Sanguang, the ‘Devil Gambler’ of the ‘Ten Evils’!

    And never, not even in a fit of mad ravings, would he have thought that, having just barely escaped the clutches of one of the ‘Ten Evils’, he would immediately encounter another one of them.

    Furthermore, the way things were going, as he met more members of the ‘Ten Evils’, each one seemed more malicious than the last!

    Just now he had quickly glimpsed the copper coin; it had landed heads up. He would guess that Wang Baiwan had seen it too. In that case, the ‘Devil Gambler’ was destined to lose.

    He saw that Wang Baiwan was so pale, even his lips were bloodless. He opened his mouth a few times, but yet could not utter a single word. The tendons on Xuanyuan Sanguang’s hand tightened and popped up, as if he too were tense with excitement. He thundered: “Quick! If you don’t speak now that means you lose.”

    Wang Baiwan finally breathed: “Heads. It’s heads!”

    At once Xuanyuan Sanguang flipped his hand over. He barked out a laugh and announced: “Son of a turtle, you lose.”

    Wang Baiwan closed his eyes. Xiao Yu’er was also in shock.

    He had seen with his own eyes that the heads side was face up. How could it have changed? Unless Xuanyuan Sanguang purposely let Wang Baiwan peek and see that it was heads, then changed it when his hand covered it up again!

    Technically speaking, this could not be called cheating. No-one forced Wang Baiwan to peek when he wasn’t supposed to look. Xiao Yu’er secretly sighed, and laughed sarcastically to himself: “This ‘Devil Gambler’ is really impressive!”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang laughed and said again: “You lose. Now hand over the arm and leg as your forfeit.”

    Wang Baiwan choked out: “The lowly one…I would willingly give my lord the deeds to my ten pawn shops in the city…and also my three rice shops north of town. I only beg that my lord spare the lowly one his life this one time.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang chuckled, “You greedy animal, did you really think your old man was after your pig’s leg? Your old man is certainly evil, but what annoys me most is you stealing off the backs of the poor!”

    He soundly smacked the altar, and yelled loudly: “I will confiscate your pawn shops and your rice shops. Get your turtle shell back to the city and get everything ready. I don’t think you’ll try to shirk your debt, you son of a turtle.”

    Wang Baiwan gasped: “Yes, yes…” Half tripping, half crawling, he hurried away as quick as he could.

    While he escaped, his servant was already groveling on the ground. He pleaded: “This lowly one is merely a servant, my lord wouldn’t deign to gamble with me. I beg you my lord, please release me.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang chortled: “Wrong, you son of a turtle. Didn’t you know, your old man has another nickname: ‘Whom He Sees, He Gambles With’. I’d gamble with the Emperor if I met him.”

    The servant hardened his heart, and asked: “What would my lord like to gamble at?”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang answered, “Your old man bets that you don’t know how many buttons you’re wearing. If you lose, your old man will hack off your nose. If you win, I’ll give those ten pawn shops and three rice shops to you.”

    In his shock, the servant’s face had turned a grayish dirt colour. Unconsciously his hand went to his nose.

    Xuanyuan Sanguang burst into loud laughter: “Think about it. By yourself, you could never earn such wealth in a lifetime. Uh-uh, no looking down, or your old man will poke out your eyeballs.”

    Accordingly the servant could only fix his gaze straight ahead. He said, “But those pawn shops and rice shops are now in old master Wang’s possession.”

    “Don’t worry, you son of a turtle,” Xuanyuan Sanguang laughed. “As long as you win, your old man will make sure he gives them to you!”

    The servant suddenly broke into a smile, and declared: “This lowly one has had a strange habit since childhood. I love to swallow my buttons. Thus my mother never used buttons when making my clothes. She used belt and string to fasten my clothes. To this day my clothes are still made this way!”

    End of Chapter 34

  4. #24
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 35

    The servant got up, and patted his clothes in demonstration. He repeated, “So whenever this lowly one goes out of doors, he has not a single button on his body, from head to toe.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang was stunned into silence. Wang Yizhua, Qiu Qingpo and the others, looking on, wanted desperately to laugh, and yet could not. If Xiao Yu’er had not forcibly controlled himself, his belly would have exploded in laughter by now.

    A pause. Suddenly Xuanyuan Sanguang’s laughter rumbled loudly: “I guess it’s your lucky day, you son of a turtle. Get out of here, and be a big boss!”

    The servant bowed to him and smiled: “The lowly one is called Wang Dali. In future, if my lord should be in the city, please don’t forgot to visit my shops. I will be certain to properly play the role of host.” He raised his fists in farewell to the others, then walked away, laughing.

    Chuckling, Xuanyuan Sanguang muttered, “Wang Dali, you son of a turtle, you really haven’t got a single button from head to toe…” In the blink of an eye, he had won incredible riches, and then just as quickly had entirely lost them. Yet he seemed not in the least concerned, and in fact looked quite amused.

    Abruptly, Qiu Qingpo’s entire body stiffened up most unnaturally. Of course this was because Xuanyuan Sanguang’s gaze was now upon him. Slowly his face began to blanch.

    Qiu Qingpo said loudly, “If you want to gamble, I can certainly join you. Otherwise…”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang cut him off with a laugh: “That’s right. Young master Qiu, of course you have been raised knowing the best ways to eat and drink well, womanize and gamble. What do you want to play? The choice of game is yours, your old man will definitely play. However, I will choose the stakes!”

    With a smile, Qiu Qingpo said, “I only hope you will not raise the stakes too high. As you just said, I am an expert in food and wine, women and certainly gambling. You may not necessarily win.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang burst into loud laughter. “You son of a turtle, trying to bluff your old man! Your old man started gambling at the age of six. No matter what the game, your old man will be at least more skilled than you.”

    Qiu Qingpo said coldly: “Every game can be rigged, except for one.”

    “And which game would that be?” Xuanyuan Sanguang asked.

    Qiu Qingpo replied, “There are gold ingots in the embroidered pouch at my waist. Is the number odd or even?”

    Tearing off another chicken leg, Xuanyuan Sanguang casually mentioned while chewing: “I hear that your wife is the prettiest woman throughout the whole of Suzhou.”

    With that sentence, Qiu Qingpo’s entire expression changed. His voice cracked: “You…what do you want?”

    “I’m going to bet with you on your wife,” Xuanyuan Sanguang said. “If you lose, your wife goes to me. If your old man loses, I will give you mine. All three wives would be yours; I think you’re getting the better odds.”

    Qiu Qingpo’s face was now the colour of cold ashes. He whispered: “You…you’re mad…”

    With a wide grin, Xuanyuan Sanguang said, “Oh no, your old man is most lucid!”

    Qiu Qingpo shouted, “I refuse. This will never happen.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang reminded him: “You decided how we would gamble. At this point you have no choice. Anyway, I may not necessarily win, right?”

    Qiu Qingpo drew himself to his full height. Tremors shot through his whole body. If he really did forfeit his wife in a bet, he would never be able to face his friends and relatives.

    Having been born and raised in upper class society, this was not the sort of face he could afford to lose.

    Slowly, Xuanyuan Sanguang said: “Your old man wants to bet now. The number of gold ingots inside is…”

    “Wait!” Qiu Qingpo screamed wildly.

    “What for?” Xuanyuan Sanguang asked.

    “Must you force everyone to gamble with you?” Qiu Qingpo yelled.

    Laughing, Xuanyuan Sanguang said, “Upon meeting the ‘Devil Gambler’, you must gamble, even against your wishes.”

    “But there is one kind of person you will never be able to coerce,” Qiu Qingpo declared with a mocking laugh.

    “Oh? And who would that be?” Xuanyuan Sanguang asked.

    “A dead person!” Qiu Qingpo cried. With a sudden flip of the palm, he struck down at his own ‘Tianling’ acupoint.

    Killing yourself in order to avoid losing your wife, this was certainly a surprise to everyone. The scions of the upper classes, who could know what they were thinking sometimes? Who could comprehend it?

    Xuanyuan Sanguang was naturally stunned. His chicken leg fell unnoticed onto the altar. Right now he only had eyes for Qiu Qingpo’s dead body. Of course he would not be keeping an eye on Wang Yizhua. But Xiao Yu’er watched as Wang Yizhua and Sun Tiannan caught each others’ eye. Perhaps Qiu Qingpo’s death had suddenly kindled their courage.

    Without warning, the two of them flew up into the air, towards Xuanyuan Sanguang.

    Xiao Yu’er had a clear view, and saw how swiftly they advanced, and how ruthlessly they attacked. Wang Yizhua’s two hands appeared to have become black through and through.

    He made no preamble, since they obviously wanted to take Xuanyuan Sanguang by surprise.

    To Xiao Yu’er’s mind, there weren’t many people in the world who could avoid an all-out attack by the two of them. In fact you could say there were only a few.

    If you asked Jiang Yulang, he’d say Xuanyuan Sanguang was in mortal danger.

    They heard Xuanyuan Sanguang roar in fury. Two fists flailed out.

    They could not see what moves he used. With a “ping, ping” sound, Wang Yizhua and Sun Tiannan went flying backwards.

    Using only two casual punches, he managed to neutralize two martial arts experts. Their vicious techniques were useless against him.

    Xiao Yu’er sucked in a cold breath. He had seen Sun Tiannan fly out the window like a kite whose string had suddenly snapped. He fell to the ground some distance away.

    And he had seen Wang Yizhua do a flip in the air, and float to the ground. Surprisingly, he was still standing. His normally withered face, however, was now even more frightening to behold.

    Xuanyuan Sanguang laughed in admiration: “Well well, you son of a turtle, you’re pretty good.”

    “Hmph,” said Wang Yizhua.

    “Now are you going to gamble, or not?” Xuanyuan Sanguang said.

    Gritting his teeth, Wang Yizhua muttered: “Yes!”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang proposed: “Your old man is betting that all of Sun Tiannan’s ribs are broken. If there is a single one left intact, I lose. You may take my head!”

    Wang Yizhua said, “Mmm.”

    “And, your old man is also betting that he can kill you with a single fist,” Xuanyuan Sanguang went on. “If you survive, you can use your d*mned claws on my throat any way you want. Carve out a few holes, I don’t care.”

    Wang Yizhua was silent for a moment. Then his lips cracked into a bitter smile. He said: “I have lost!”

    During this short dialogue, even the brief words he had uttered had used his remaining energy(?). With that last phrase, a spray of fresh blood burst from his throat. His body toppled to the ground.

    Jiang Yulang’s feet and hands were cold as ice. He saw the dirt-covered feet on the altar slowly get up and walk away. Then the person’s back appeared.

    Xuanyuan Sanguang was dressed in ragged and tattered clothes. His body was tall and huge; one shoulder was fat enough to be the size of two normal ones. His head was also twice the normal size.

    They heard him mutter to himself: “What a shame. I never intended to take lives today, but those sons of turtles forced me to kill them. All I wanted was to gamble, and they couldn’t even humour me that much.”

    He picked up his wine gourd and shuffled outside. At the door, he slowly stretched out his waist and sighed. He said, “These days, people who gamble like that Wang Dali are becoming rare indeed...”

    Only now did Xiao Yu’er dare to release his held breath. He stuck out his tongue and said: “That old devil’s martial arts are incredible.”

    “Shouldn’t we get out of here as fast as possible?” Jiang Yulang said.

    Xiao Yu’er snickered while doing an impression: “Bastard, we’d be sons of turtles if we didn’t.” He had already picked up these two obscenities so quickly. When you learn a foreign language, the words you learn fastest are the ones used to curse people.

    With a heave and a lift, they eventually got rid of the stone cover over their heads, and wriggled out into the open. At this point they could see that the deity being worshipped was Zhao Xuantan (1).

    Xiao Yu’er casually scooped up the chicken, and laughed as he chewed: “Too bad we couldn’t see the Devil Gambler’s face, I wonder if he looked like Lord Zhao. Perhaps he’s a bit darker though.”

    Jiang Yulang pleaded, “I beg you, let’s just leave.”

    “So you would prefer to catch up to him then?” joked Xiao Yu’er. Jiang Yulang, after a moment, realized his point, and sighed.

    Xiao Yu’er said, “Ah, chicken, mmm…if you don’t finish it, you may as well not eat it.” (?)

    He noticed that Jiang Yulang’s eyes had suddenly gone rigid. He turned his head and there before him was ‘Whom He Sees, He Gambles With’, ‘Devil Gambler’ Xuanyuan Sanguang.

    His face was grey like tin, and a beard flowed over his whole chest. His eyebrows were like two bristling brushes, and his eyes resembled a copper bell(?). He only had one eye left, in fact. The left eye was covered by a black patch, which gave him an air of courage. His menacing appearance only added to his mysterious charisma.

    At this moment that remaining eye was locked on Xiao Yu’er.

    Xiao Yu’er’s face cracked into a smile. He gave a laugh or two before commenting: “This chicken tastes pretty good. It’s a pity there’s no wine to go with it.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang’s eye gleamed, as if he were amused. He actually shoved his unusually large wine gourd over to Xiao Yu’er and with a chuckle, said: “This wine’s quite good.”

    Xiao Yu’er tipped his head back and with a ‘gu du gu du’ sound, swallowed ten gulps of wine in a single breath. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Remarkably, his expression had not changed at all- indeed, he merely smiled and said, “You call this bland stuff ‘good’? You must think I’m a kid.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang laughed: “You little devil, you amuse me. Where did you come from?”

    Winking at him, Xiao Yu’er said: “Where? Of course I climbed in through the window.”

    “Sneaking in through the window to steal my chicken, and you admit this so boldly?” Xuanyuan Sanguang said in disbelief.

    Xiao Yu’er quipped: “If a dead person can fly out through the window, why can’t a live one climb in through it?”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang’s expression became serious and he said: “You must have been here for a while then?”

    “And why not?” Xiao Yu’er laughed.

    Xuanyuan Sanguang opened his eyes and fixed Xiao Yu’er with a stare. He said sternly: “Such a young child, what are you doing here in these forsaken mountains?”

    “What else?” Xiao Yu’er said calmly. “To find a gambling partner, of course!”

    Still Xuanyuan Sanguang stared at him. Finally he laughed ‘ha ha’- and said, “Interesting, most amusing…” He grabbed the wine gourd from Xiao Yu’er’s hand. ‘gu du gu du’- he also drained ten mouthfuls in one go.

    Xiao Yu’er used both his hands to snatch the gourd back. He then took another dozen swallows or so. He laughingly chided, “Don’t be so stingy; wine and smokes are meant to be shared.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang’s eyes flashed again with amusement. He grinned: “You little devil, you really aren’t afraid of me?”

    Xiao Yu’er also looked at him. With bared teeth he laughed: “Bastard, I don’t have any wine shops, nor any wives to lose to you. The worst that could happen is I lose my head to you. What’s to be scared of?”

    “You dare to bet your head with your old man?” Xuanyuan Sanguang burst into loud laughter.

    “Why wouldn’t I dare to?” Xiao Yu’er answered. “However…I wouldn’t want your head. It’s too big for me. I can’t fit it in my mouth, and it’s too heavy for me to carry.”

    A voice slowly said, “I will take his head!”

    It was as if this person’s voice had sliced through Xuanyuan Sanguang’s laughter like a knife. Involuntarily Xiao Yu’er’s eyes widened, and he stayed silent.

    Although the words were spoken slowly, and only five had been spoken thus far, they were enough to reveal the speaker as a strong and powerful presence.(?)

    With his back to the door, Xuanyuan Sanguang still had not turned around. This was because he had felt a deadly aura emanating from this person. If he moved, he would lose the chance to strike first!

    The only thing he did was to say slowly: “And who dares to seek Xuanyuan Sanguang’s head? As long as the seeker is a real hero, a true man, I would be more than willing to give my head to them!”

    The speaker slowly replied: “Xuanyuan Sanguang is truly a straightforward man!” A Taoist with dark black hair, wearing white stockings and blue robe stepped out. His right hand tightly gripped a sword that hung from his left waist. The blade was already unsheathed four inches!

    These mere four inches of metal were already enough to impress one with the deadliness of the weapon!

    Xuanyuan Sanguang said loudly, “You would be the leader of the Emei sect?”

    Xiao Yu’er, of course, instantly recognized the man in the blue robe as Reverend Shenxi. But Xuanyuan Sanguang hadn’t even turned his head around, how was he able to identify the speaker?

    Did the ‘Devil Gambler’ have a pair of eyes in the back of his head?

    Reverend Shenxi also seemed to be surprised, and said heavily: “And how do you know me?”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang laughed loudly: “If not the leader of the sect, who could have a sword with such a deadly aura!”

    Reverend Shenxi said slowly, “Xuanyuan Sanguang, you’re quite impressive!”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang’s laughter stopped immediately. He said, “However, Reverend, don’t you think that entering here with your sword already unsheathed is beneath your dignity as the leader of an entire sect?”

    Reverend Shenxi did not change expression, and merely replied, “When facing the famed Xuanyuan Sanguang, I have to be careful to the utmost of my ability.”

    “Well then, it appears that you are set on having my head!” Xuanyuan Sanguang declared.

    “This is a sacred area of the Emei sect,” Reverend Shenxi explained sternly. “Anyone who commits murder here must pay with their life.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang laughed wildly and echoed: “ ‘Anyone who commits murder here must pay with their life’! Quite the edict. Do you, Reverend, honestly expect me to lay down my life for that bunch of riffraff and scum?”

    The reverend reiterated, “I am not here to seek revenge for any particular person. But the responsibility of defending this mountain cannot be shirked.”

    “Very well,” Xuanyuan Sanguang roared loudly. “My head is right here, only I’m not sure that the Reverend will be able to claim it so easily!”

    Reverend Shenxi countered, “You have loved to gamble all your life, Xuanyuan Sanguang, and have won the heads of many people. The idea of losing your own head to me this time should hardly be disturbing to you.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang started chuckling: “I take it then, that you are proposing a bet, Reverend!”

    “Your guess is correct,” was the reply.

    Xiao Yu’er looked at the Reverend. He noticed the blue robe, so washed and faded that it was almost white. He saw the thin figure standing erect, the gnarled and slim fingers tightly gripping his sword.

    And he saw Xuanyuan Sanguang standing there, not daring to turn around. Because of this person. What an impressive aura and heroic air!

    Xiao Yu’er thought to himself: [I may be the world’s most intelligent man. But even if I were a hundred times smarter than him, could I instill such fear and awe in other people? It seems that I should properly hone my martial arts, otherwise I will never, in my lifetime, be as inspiring and glorious a figure.]

    Such an impressive aura in a famed martial arts expert, was truly worthy of admiration. Even the words he spoke would carry much more weight compared to an ordinary person.

    As soon as the four words ‘Your guess is correct’ were spoken, not a trace of a smile could be seen on Xuanyuan Sanguang’s face. He said belligerently, “And how shall we gamble?”

    “We are both from the world of wulin,” Reverend Shenxi answered. “What could be more natural than gambling on our martial arts!”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang gave a strange laugh, as if surprised: “If we fight, how could that still be considered gambling?”

    Reverend Shenxi responded, “We play the game with our bodies. Our lives are the stakes. Of all the grand gambles in the world, what could compare to this? How could you say this is not gambling?”

    “Fine!” Xuanyuan Sanguang cried loudly. “Now what will you bet against my head?”

    “My own, of course.”

    “That won’t work,” Xuanyuan Sanguang said. “That would be too much to your advantage.”

    Reverend Shenxi said coldly, “I have entered the priesthood since I was six. At present I am the head of the Emei sect, one of the Famed Seven Sword schools. Under the aegis of my sect, there are three generations of disciples, which total two thousand seven hundred and thirty two people. When the leader’s bronze talisman is displayed, not only must the disciples of my sect obey it, but even members of other sects will respect and acknowledge it.”

    His voice was stern, and he went on, “You are saying that a head like this, is not worth betting against yours?”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang argued: “Your head is perfectly good. Unfortunately it is useless to me. On the other hand if you capture my head, you gain more glory for the Emei sect, as well as strengthening your own personal reputation!”

    He let out a booming laugh: “As you can see, I have too much to lose, and nothing to gain. This kind of bet, I will not make.”

    Reverend Shenxi laughed coldly: “I am afraid that the decision is no longer yours.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang responded with a laugh of his own: “Those words I have spoken to many people, countless times. I did not think that today I would hear them thrown back at me. The only thing is, you might want my head, but I don’t want yours. What if I just escape?”

    “You believe that you have the ability?” Reverend Shenxi asked.

    “Why can’t I?” Xuanyuan Sanguang shot back.

    A pause. Then the Reverend said slowly, “What do you want?”

    “Unless you can propose a forfeit that can match my head, I will not gamble with you.” Xuanyuan Sanguang stated.

    Reverend Shenxi mused: “In all the world, what kind of object could be worth Xuanyuan Sanguang’s head?”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang said slowly, “I admit, there wouldn’t be many. However, by your side, there is one that could grudgingly be counted.”

    Something faintly flickered across Reverend Shenxi’s face. He said, “What could that be?”

    “The sect leader’s bronze talisman!”

    “The leader’s bronze talisman?” Reverend Shenxi repeated in disbelief.

    “Precisely,” Xuanyuan Sanguang confirmed. “If you beat me, feel free to decapitate me. If I defeat you, I will spare you your life, but I will amuse myself in the role of the Emei sect leader.”

    The Reverend’s expression became deadly serious. He said slowly, “Other than this…”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang cut him off: “Other than this, I can accept nothing. However, I am willing to grant you another concession.”

    “What is that?” Reverend Shenxi asked.

    Xuanyuan Sanguang said, “I will stand here as I am. I will permit you three strokes of the sword. If, within three strokes, you injure me, I will admit defeat. If my feet leave the ground, or I shift position, I also lose.”

    Never could Xiao Yu’er have guessed that he would make such an arrogant wager. He racked his brains, yet still, he could only conclude that there was not a shred of hope with these kind of odds.

    To stand there with feet motionless, was equivalent to becoming a wooden statue. Reverend Shenxi had been the leader of Emei, a sect prominent in sword arts, for thirty years. Beneath his blade, even a bird in flight could hardly escape.

    How could he miss this wooden statue with his sword?

    Xiao Yu’er chuckled to himself: [To propose this kind of a bet, the ‘Devil Gambler’ must have taken the wrong medicine.]

    But Reverend Shenxi did not say a word, as if in deep thought. A silence, then he said, “You would not lift a hand in retaliation?”

    “Of course not!” Xuanyuan Sanguang sneered coldly.

    Up until this point, the Reverend’s expression had been exceedingly grim. Now finally he allowed the ghost of a smile to flash across his face. Loudly he declared: “Then yes, I will take this gamble!”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang asked, “Where is your bronze talisman?”

    Reverend Shenxi thought a bit, then said: “The bronze talisman is here at my waist. Might I trouble the little fellow here to bring it to him for a look?” (2)

    His words were obviously directed at Xiao Yu’er. The Reverend had been gathering his strength for quite a while now, like an arrow on the bowstring, tensed for release. If he relaxed his hands to take out the bronze talisman, his strength would dissipate.

    Furthermore, if he loosened his hand which was grasping his sword, and if Xuanyuan Sanguang turned around at that moment, the situation could change dangerously.

    Xuanyuan Sanguang let out a knowing laugh: “Reverend Shenxi is indeed brilliant. But this little devil is very tricky, are you sure you trust him?”

    Reverend Shenxi responded sternly, “This little fellow may be of tender years now, but in future he will gain much glory for wulin, and his achievements will be unmatched. Such a person, his desire would hardly be moved by a mere trinket.”

    Despite himself, Xiao Yu’er could not help laughing: “To run a little errand for the Reverend is nothing; I hardly deserve such praise.”

    Although these words flowed from his lips, in reality his heart involuntarily filled with satisfaction. At once he darted over from behind Reverend Shenxi, and detached the bronze talisman from his waist.

    Reverend Shenxi said earnestly: “Please keep it safe.”

    Xiao Yu’er replied with a smile: “Rest assured, Reverend. I won’t even bother giving him a peek, since it won’t be his anyway.”

    Chortling loudly, Xuanyuan Sanguang teased: “Now that you’ve lapped up someone else’s flattery, you’re going to curse me?”

    Xiao Yu’er joked back: “Well you’re going to lose for sure. Whether I curse you or not will make no difference.”

    “Well then,” Xuanyuan Sanguang laughed coldly, “I’m afraid that you’ll be disappointed.”

    Reverend Shenxi cut in: “Have you prepared yourself?”

    “I was ready before you even entered the doorway,” Xuanyuan Sanguang retorted.

    “Since that is the case, I will strike now!”

    As the words were uttered, everything else fell suddenly silent. Even the sounds of breathing were inaudible. The only sound that each person could hear was the wild cadence of his own heart. With a clear ring, Reverend Shenxi drew his sword from its sheath.

    Xuanyuan Sanguang’s back was still facing his opponent, as if his body were an immovable mountain.

    Reverend Shenxi took three steady breaths. The edge of his blade quivered. Then suddenly, in a streak of green light, he thrust his sword forward.

    This stroke was aimed towards the ‘Mingmen’ acupoint on the vertebra between the two hips. This was Xuanyuan Sanguang’s center of balance! (?)

    No matter how Xuanyuan Sanguang tried to dodge, his body would have to lean back. By using this sword move, Reverend Shenxi was not intending to injure, but merely wanted to throw Xuanyuan Sanguang off balance.

    In this way, he would have the upper hand in the next stroke.

    Xiao Yu’er thought to himself: [The techniques of an expert are truly admirable. It would be far beneath his dignity if he had tried to harm Xuanyuan Sanguang with the very first move!]

    He saw Xuanyuan Sanguang’s waist twist, and half his body rotated. His stomach retracted sharply, and the sword slid across the surface of his belly as it thrust past him.

    But as the power of this stroke had not yet been released, its strength was yet to come. (?)

    Reverend Shenxi did not wait for the stroke to decay (?), but instead with a flick of his wrist, it turned from a stabbing to a slicing move. The sword swept toward Xuanyuan Sanguang’s chest.

    The change of stroke was without flaw. Xiao Yu’er could not help shaking his head. It appeared that there was no way Xuanyuan Sanguang could avoid this second strike.

    But who could have guessed- Xuanyuan Sanguang’s waist suddenly seemed to have snapped. His lower body looked as if it had sprouted root and was fixed to the ground. His upper body bent sharply backward and plummeted downward.

    His entire body resembled a stick of sugar cane that had been bent into two halves. As before, Reverend Shenxi’s sword thrust past into thin air, narrowly missing his face.

    What a daring and risky move! Brilliant!

    Xiao Yu’er very nearly burst into applause. He could never have imagined that the giant Xuanyuan Sanguang could have cultivated such amazing flexibility arts!

    Reverend Shenxi smiled faintly, and the edge of his blade twisted slightly. The sword swept back across like lightning, to aim at Xuanyuan Sanguang’s left kneecap.

    This time the evolution of his swordplay was even faster than before. In the blink of an eye, the three strokes were now complete. They were so seamless, it appeared that Reverend Shenxi had already known beforehand what tactics Xuanyuan Sanguang would employ!

    Although Xuanyuan Sanguang’s second evasive maneuver had been superb, he looked as if he now had come to a dead end. He had reached the limit of what his body could contort and adapt to- he could improvise no further.

    Furthermore, willing or not, he would have leap up to avoid this stroke. Whether by being hit or by raising his feet from the ground, he would still lose. His earlier stipulation made his loss inevitable.

    Xiao Yu’er thought: [Oh Devil Gambler, I believe this time your head is certainly forfeit.]

    Unexpectedly however, even before his thought was complete, Xuanyuan Sanguang, his body twisting like a towel, released his position and came hurtling back the other way. Where originally he was facing upwards, now he faced downwards and, stretching his jaws wide open, clamped down on Reverend Shenxi’s sword-wielding hand with a single bite.

    The Reverend could never have dreamed of such a technique. The bite on his hand was painful beyond words. His grip on his sword faltered, and with a “dong” it fell to the ground.

    With a wild cackle, Xuanyuan Sanguang declared: “You lose!”

    Xiao Yu’er was rooted to the spot with astonishment. Reverend Shenxi’s face was the colour of dead ashes. He stood there for quite a while stunned, then stuttered: “This…what kind of move is this? In all the world, no matter what sect or school, their martial arts would never contain a move like this.”

    Laughing, Xuanyuan Sanguang shot back: “The moves themselves are dead. The practitioners are the ones who breathe life into the martial arts; why should a living man limit himself to lifeless techniques?”

    “But you promised not to strike back!”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang laughed even louder. “I promised to not lift a hand in retaliation. I was true to my word- I never said I wouldn’t retaliate with my mouth!” (3)

    A pause. Finally, with a bitter smile, Reverend Shenxi conceded: “Then, this lowly priest has indeed lost…”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang spread open his palm and grinned: “Then hand over the bronze talisman.”

    “At this moment the bronze talisman still cannot be considered yours,” Xiao Yu’er cut in with a flat voice.

    Laughing fiercely, Xuanyuan Sanguang asked, “Little devil, what do you want?”

    Xiao Yu’er said with a smile, “Aren’t you called ‘Whom He Sees, He Gambles With’? Why not have a gamble with me? If you win, not only will the bronze talisman be yours, but you will also have my person. If you lose, then the bronze talisman comes to me.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang laughed: “You also want to bet with me?”

    “Precisely.”

    “And you want to use yourself as a gambling chip to bet against this bronze talisman?”

    “Do you dare to gamble with me?” Xiao Yu’er challenged him.

    Puzzled, Xuanyuan Sanguang asked, “How does it benefit me to win you as a forfeit?”

    “Of course it benefits you, in many ways!” Xiao Yu’er exclaimed. “You couldn’t even count them all. When you’re bored, I can find people to gamble with you. When you’ve run out of drink, I can con some wine for you to enjoy. If you win me as a prize, I guarantee you will never have any lack.”

    Amused, Xuanyuan Sanguang chortled: “Having a little Devil Gambler to go with this old Devil Gambler, might not be a bad thing, after all.”

    “So you’ll bet with me then?” Xiao Yu’er asked.

    Xuanyuan Sanguang said, “How do you want to play?”

    Smiling, Xiao Yu’er said, “I set the stakes. I think you should decide how we’ll bet.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang rubbed his hands together: “Very well, this is interesting…”

    Xiao Yu’er stroked the buttons on his clothes with one hand, while joking: “Did you wish to bet on how many buttons I have on my body?”

    His eyes alight, Xuanyuan Sanguang suddenly cried: “I’ve got it, we’ll bet on how many scars you bear on your body!”

    Jiang Yulang inwardly sighed, and mused aloud: “Xiao Yu’er, this time I really think you’re finished.”

    Although his heart was definitely pleased at this, despite himself, he somehow felt a hint of unease as well. No matter what, Xiao Yu’er had been a true friend through hardships, through life and death.

    Standing to one side, the Reverend Shenxi definitely felt much worse.

    The top of Xiao Yu’er’s robe was open, and you could see that although his face had scars, the rest of his body had even more. Most of them were the handiwork of lions and tigers, acquired in his childhood. A small number were from sword wounds. Had you let him strip naked, and count them himself, even Xiao Yu’er might not be able to tally them accurately.

    Xuanyuan Sanguang never bet on things that had less than a nine-tenths chance of success. (?)

    Xiao Yu’er was still standing in shock. He stammered: “You-you really want to bet on my scars?”

    “But of course.” Xuanyuan Sanguang laughed loudly.

    “Fine,” Xiao Yu’er answered. “Then let me tell you, on my body there are one hundred scars.”

    “Exactly one hundred?” Xuanyuan Sanguang repeated in disbelief.

    “You heard me,” Xiao Yu’er confirmed. “Not one more, not one less.”

    By his confident and prompt response, it seemed as if he was utterly sure of himself. Not only had Xuanyuan Sanguang’s expression changed, but Jiang Yulang was also extremely surprised. Was it possible that the little devil-spawn really knew the true number of scars on his body?

    Xuanyuan Sanguang was silent for a while. Then he gave an odd chuckle: “All right then, take off your clothes and let me look.”

    And Xiao Yu’er did indeed strip naked and permit him to count. In fact he picked up a dagger and began to count along with Xuanyuan Sanguang.

    Abruptly Xuanyuan Sanguang broke into a thundering laugh: “Ninety…your body only has ninety-one scars. You lose!”

    “Oh?” Xiao Yu’er said. “Really, only ninety-one? I don’t think so.”

    As he spoke, the dagger in his hand flashed around his skin to carve nine more wounds! Although the cuts were superficial, fresh blood still seeped out all around his body.

    “What’s this supposed to mean?” Xuanyuan Sanguang asked, startled.

    With a straight face, Xiao Yu’er declared, “It means you lose.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang roared: “Bullsh*t, you…”

    Grinning, Xiao Yu’er cut him off: “Ninety-one old scars, plus nine new ones, that adds up to one hundred exactly, you have most definitely lost.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang scowled: “How is that supposed to count?”

    Laughing gleefully, Xiao Yu’er retorted: “Why not? You bet only on the number of scars on my body. You did not specify whether the scars could be old or new. Are you thinking of reneging?”

    A stunned silence. Suddenly Xuanyuan Sanguang joined him in laughter: “Clever, very clever. Little devil, you are amusing indeed…all right, I will concede my loss.”

    He turned around and beckoned to Reverend Shenxi, laughing: “Come over here, aren’t you going to pay your respects to the new leader of your sect?”

    Naturally, Reverend Shenxi was feeling hopelessly miserable at this point, but he still managed to force a smile and say: “Emei is an old sect and in danger of stagnation. A young new hero is just what it needs as a leader. This lowly priest is old; I should have given up my post to a more qualified person a long time ago.”

    Smiling, Xiao Yu’er asked: “Do you truly wish me to become sect leader?”

    The Reverend’s long beard swayed gently in the breeze. He said slowly, “For the bronze talisman to be in your hands, is the fortune of Emei. This lowly priest…”

    Before he had finished, an object unexpectedly dropped into his palm. It was indeed the sect leader’s talisman. He felt Xiao Yu’er’s gaze on him; the two eyes were shining with merriment. Xiao Yu’er laughed: “To be the Emei sect leader, I would have to become vegetarian, and would have to study scripture. I couldn’t stand it- I beg of you, don’t make me suffer, please take back this trinket of yours.”

    Reverend Shenxi was both surprised and elated, he stammered: “But…but you…you have been so gracious, how could I possibly…”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed aloud: “What is a talisman to me? My horizons are wide and my future lies ahead. I would hardly be moved by a mere trinket, isn’t this what you said earlier?”

    Reverend Shenxi gripped the bronze talisman and looked at Xiao Yu’er. After quite some time, he bowed deeply and said: “In that case, I will take my leave.”


    End of Chapter 35

  5. #25
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 36

    Reverend Shenxi turned around, and departed without a backward glance. Xuanyuan Sanguang smiled mockingly: “There goes a bull-nose without a heart; leaving without even a word of thanks.”

    Xiao Yu’er answered: “Haven’t you ever heard: [A great kindness does not need to be rewarded by words] ?” As he spoke, he tore off his robe and started to bind up the fresh wounds on his body. Because one hand was still locked up with one of Jiang Yulang’s, Xiao Yu’er’s movements were naturally hampered.

    Curious, Xuanyuan Sanguang asked: “Why are you two being so intimate?”

    Laughing, Xiao Yu’er said, “If you have a way to tear us apart, I’ll be really impressed.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang grabbed the dagger in his hand and hacked at the handcuffs. With a “jeng” sound, sparks flew everywhere, and the blade snapped in half.

    Jiang Yulang sighed. Xiao Yu’er joked: “Do you see now? How can we help being so close to each other?”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang grinned and retorted, “That’s not necessarily true. If you don’t feel like being tied up with him, I wouldn’t mind chopping off his hand.”

    Jiang Yulang instantly turned pale from fear, but Xiao Yu’er had already cut in, smiling: “Even if you cut off his hand, this piece of junk would still be hanging on me. Might as well leave him around my side, he can relieve my boredom and chat with me.”

    Xuanyuan Sanguang took a closer look at Jiang Yulang, and said slowly: “If you don’t chop off his hand, I’m afraid one day he’ll chop off yours first!”

    Xiao Yu’er said, “I wouldn’t worry, he’s not clever enough for that.”

    Chuckling, Xuanyuan Sanguang said, “Little devil, you are really interesting! I originally wanted to enjoy your company a bit more, but that little rascal beside you- what an evil and devious face, I find it loathsome to even look at him.”

    He patted Xiao Yu’er a couple of times on the shoulder, and then suddenly he was already outside the threshold. He waved a hand and laughed, calling: “Someday when you are free, by yourself, I will definitely find you to have a drink together.”

    Xiao Yu’er dashed outside after him, but Xuanyuan Sanguang was already out of sight. At this point, the morning sun was just at its brightest, and the mountain scenery was as beautiful as a painting. Xiao Yu’er thought back to the underground palace; it seemed like a dream to him now.

    The path descending the mountain from this Zhao Xuantan temple was not long; the two of them ran quickly along it. The sky was not even fully dark before they saw lights gleaming from a town some distance away.

    Xiao Yu’er let out a sigh of relief. He smiled, saying: “I can’t believe I got off this mountain in one piece. Heaven is really smiling on me.”

    Jiang Yulang had been silent all this time. Suddenly he smiled too, and asked, “Where would big brother like to go now?”

    Xiao Yu’er said, “Well, wherever I go, you would have to go too.”

    “Little brother would of course follow big brother wherever he wished,” Jiang Yulang replied with a smile.

    “Actually,” Xiao Yu’er reflected, “I don’t really have anywhere that I have to go, I was just going to wander about.”

    Jiang Yulang cried delightedly: “Since you were going to wander anyway, why don’t we first visit Wuhan? Little brother has a friend there with a special family heirloom. It is a precious sword that can cleave metal as though it were clay….” Upon reaching this point, he smiled faintly, and his voice quavered and drifted off. He knew there was no need to speak further!

    Indeed, Xiao Yu’er had already seized upon his words and exclaimed loudly: “Let’s go then! We’ll go to find your friend.”

    He ran a few steps, then abruptly stopped and laughed. “Do you have any money on you? We need to first stop at a town and get some clothes to wear, and also some to cover up our hands, otherwise we’ll be mistaken for escaped convicts for sure.”

    Sighing, Jiang Yulang said, “If big brother had let little brother take some treasure from that dungeon, even one piece would be enough to purchase a lifetime’s worth of clothes for both of us.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed and winked at him: “Since you don’t have any money, we’ll just have to go and con some.”

    He had hardly finished speaking when a person approached them with a torch. The stranger also carried a big package in his hand.

    Xiao Yu’er and Jiang Yulang exchanged glances, and were about to walk over. Unexpectedly, the person caught sight of them and quickly set down the package before saluting them from afar. Without a word, he turned and left.

    The package contained four sets of brand new clothes, and these appeared to have been especially tailored for Xiao Yu’er and Jiang Yulang’s sizes. The two of them could not help feeling startled as they viewed the contents of the package.

    “This…who sent this to us?” Jiang Yulang wondered.

    His brow furrowed, Xiao Yu’er added, “We just left the mountain now, who could have known about it?”

    They racked their brains, but could not even make a guess. The only thing they could do was change into their new clothes. By now a thousand lights were visible in the closest town. They covered their hands with a purple robe(?), and swaggered and strutted into the main streets. Although they now looked wonderful, their bellies were grumbling ‘gu gu’.

    Xiao Yu’er quipped: “Well, since our benefactor was generous enough to give us clothes, why not go all the way and send us some money…”

    As soon as the words fell from his lips, a man dressed like a shopkeeper abruptly came towards them and smiled: “Would you two be the young masters Jiang? Earlier a patron sent five hundred ingots which are now on the counter. This lowly servant was instructed to deliver them into your hands, and also arrange for rooms and dinner with wine.”

    Once again Xiao Yu’er and Jiang Yulang looked at each other. Jiang Yulang asked in a serious tone, “What was the person’s name?”

    “This lowly servant does not know,” the shopkeeper smiled.

    “Then what did he look like?” Jiang Yulang persisted.

    The shopkeeper merely said, “In this humble shop, there are many people who come and go during the course of a day. As for what the patron looked like, this lowly servant has unfortunately forgotten.”

    He repeatedly bowed, and kept smiling pleasantly, but no matter what Jiang Yulang asked him, the answer essentially remained: “I don’t know.”

    Indeed, not only were the wine and dishes already prepared ahead of time, they were exceedingly sumptuous as well.

    Xiao Yu’er joked, “This patron seems to be the worm in our bellies; no matter what we lack, he has already fulfilled our need.” (1)

    Although his words seemed happy, in his heart he could not help feeling worried. He was reminded of the time he was traveling with the Yellow Ox and White Sheep, the circumstances were quite similar, but now it was not yet two hours since he had left the mountain. (2) How could anyone know of his departure so quickly? This benefactor might appear considerate and kind, but who knows what evil plans he had in store. If he really had good intentions, why did he not reveal himself?

    Jiang Yulang’s eyes were darting back and forth; clearly he also harboured suspicions. Although the two of them were young, they knew well that it would be wiser not to reveal their worries.

    As night fell, they realized that they would have to sleep together as well.

    Xiao Yu’er yawned and said, “Do you know what I’d really like to do right now?”

    “Perhaps big brother would like to read a book?” Jiang Yulang smiled.

    “It seems that you really know my heart well!” Xiao Yu’er burst out laughing.

    Before he had finished speaking, Jiang Yulang had already taken out the text he had snatched from Xiao Mimi. If Xiao Yu’er wanted to read it, then Jiang Yulang of course would want to read it as well.

    On the text were encoded many mysteries and obscure principles of martial arts. The two of them did not seem to understand what they read-one would shake his head and the other would sigh- and yet their eyes were huge, as if they wished to devour the entire text into their bellies with a single swallow.

    After reading for a couple of hours, Xiao Yu’er yawned again and smiled casually: “This book is extremely difficult to read. I want to sleep now, how about you?”

    Jiang Yulang also gave a couple of yawns and smiled: “Little brother wanted to sleep a long while ago.”

    The two of them lay on the bed for several hours, and still their eyes were wide open, who knows what they were thinking. If you guessed that they were ruminating on the martial arts secrets buried in the text, they would probably rather die than admit it. But on the second night, after dinner, Xiao Yu’er chuckled: “Well, even a hard-to-read book is better than not reading anything.”

    Immediately Jiang Yulang also laughed: “It’s perfect; once you read until your eyes are tired, you can sleep. A book that’s too engaging would actually keep you awake.”

    Xiao Yu’er clapped his hands, saying: “Just so- read it early and sleep earlier. Early to bed, early to rise, that is the best way.” In reality, both of them knew that each would not trust the other no matter what, yet they insisted on pretending to be unsuspecting and honest.

    In particular, Xiao Yu’er enjoyed it this way; he found it both amusing and exciting. If a person, at all times and places, even while eating, going to the bathroom and sleeping, needed to guard against an attack from others, this kind of life would be so full of suspense, tension and spice. It would be intensely thrilling.

    In this fashion, two or three days easily flashed by. These three days were surprisingly without incident and were very peaceful indeed. However, during this time, Xiao Yu’er felt that he was being followed at every moment. It felt rather like the feeling a child gets while walking on a road at night. The child would always feel that a ghost was pursuing behind. If he turned his head, of course there would be no-one. But once he turned back to walk forward, the pursuer would still be at his back.

    Xiao Yu’er could not figure out who this person was. Still harder to guess were the person’s motivations. He only knew that whatever he lacked, would immediately be brought to him.

    Somehow Xiao Yu’er felt that this mysterious stranger had a favour of sorts to ask of him, and wished to butter him up. But as for what this person might request, Xiao Yu’er had no idea.

    The two of them followed the course of the Minjiang (?) River south, and today had reached Xuzhou. In the river region, the people were numerous and the natural resources bountiful. Naturally, the scenery here differed vastly from the barren northwest.

    Xiao Yu’er gazed at the rushing river, and felt his spirits rise. Laughing, he turned to Jiang Yulang: “Why don’t we go by boat for a bit?”

    Jiang Yulang clapped his hands: “Perfect- this was exactly little brother’s desire.”

    Upon his words they noticed a black, brand-new boat sailing towards them. As they prepared to hail it, a boatman, wearing a bamboo hat and a raincoat made of straw, waved and called: “Would the two of you be the masters Jiang? A patron has already hired the boat for your use.”

    Xiao Yu’er exchanged a glance with Jiang Yulang and smiled wryly. “If this person isn’t the critter in our bellies, that would be strange.”

    He decided that he would not bother to ask who had hired the craft, since he knew that he would not be able to extract the information. Might as well not worry about it, and just board the boat.

    The cabins turned out to be surprisingly pleasant, with clean tables and bright, clear windows. Besides the white-haired old boatman, the only other passenger was a young girl of about fifteen or sixteen. A pair of huge eyes kept darting over in Xiao Yu’er’s direction. But Xiao Yu’er did not even cast a glance at her- at this point, the mere sight of any beautiful woman was enough to give him a headache.

    In the evening, Jiang Yulang gave a quiet chuckle: “It appears that this Miss Shi has taken a fancy to big brother.”

    Xiao Yu’er yawned and murmured lazily, “You’re far more handsome than I, the one she fancies would naturally be you. It’s just too bad you have to be chained to my side, otherwise you could have enjoyed some carnal delights, you little pervert.”

    Jiang Yulang’s face flushed. He muttered: “Little…little brother did not mean to say that…”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed: “Forget it, if you weren’t thinking about it, why did you mention her, and how do you even know her family name?”

    The blush deepened on Jiang Yulang’s cheeks. He stuttered: “Little brother just happened to hear her name by chance.”

    Xiao Yu’er’s grin widened: “What are you getting so embarrassed for? Being fond of a girl is nothing to be ashamed of.” Upon these words he grabbed a pillow and covered his eyes, as if preparing to fall asleep.

    Jiang Yulang murmured: “Big brother, you are not reading tonight?”

    “Well I’m not feeling sleepless tonight, so I won’t need to read. How about you?”

    Hurriedly Jiang Yulang laughed: “Since big brother is not reading, of course little brother won’t read either.”

    The two of them slept side by side on the bed covers. Jiang Yulang fixed his eyes on Xiao Yu’er for who knows how long, until Xiao Yu’er’s breathing gradually deepened and he fell asleep.

    Quietly Jiang Yulang pulled out the martial arts text. Lightly and soundlessly, he flipped through a few pages, and had just settled on the spot where he wanted to read, when Xiao Yu’er abruptly flipped over in his sleep. One arm slammed down on the book, while a leg landed on Jiang Yulang’s belly.

    Jiang Yulang ground his teeth in frustration, but dared not awaken Xiao Yu’er. He could only hope that Xiao Yu’er would turn over again and move his hand away.

    Unfortunately it seemed that this time Xiao Yu’er had really fallen into a deep sleep. He remained as motionless as a dead pig.

    By now Jiang Yulang’s face had grown white from anger. He looked as though he could shoot fire from his eyes. One hand groped under the bedding, then suddenly pulled out a kitchen knife. The blade immediately sliced down toward Xiao Yu’er’s head!

    At precisely that moment, he heard “sough sough” followed by a “dong” sound. Two dried lotus seeds flew in through the window. One hit the kitchen knife and the other struck Jiang Yulang’s wrist.

    Whether judged by accuracy of aim, or force on impact, this display was impressive, almost as if these projectiles had been released by a hidden weapons expert!

    Jiang Yulang’s hand had been knocked askew by the blow. Although he had still managed to keep his grip on the knife, he was gritting his teeth against the pain, and beads of sweat erupted on his forehead.

    Xiao Yu’er appeared to still be half asleep; he mumbled: “What’s going on, was somebody banging a gong?”

    Jiang Yulang rapidly hid the kitchen knife again and answered: “No, nothing happened.”

    Luckily Xiao Yu’er did not ask any further questions, but merely fell fast asleep again.

    But as for Jiang Yulang, how would he be able to even catch a wink?

    Exactly who had fired those two lotus seeds?

    How could there be such a skilled projectiles expert on this boat?

    Could it possibly be that the old white-haired boatman, whose every cough was accompanied by a running nose and watery eyes, was in fact secretly a martial arts expert?

    Or perhaps…the flirty young girl, who never seemed capable of doing anything other than flashing her beautiful eyes at them, was she actually the one? Could she have the ability to use two light and flimsy lotus seeds as stealth projectiles?

    This was something Jiang Yulang could never believe!

    But if the attacker was not either of them, who was it? There were no other people on this boat!

    Besides, even if it was the old man or the young girl, why would they be keeping a secret watch on Jiang Yulang and Xiao Yu’er’s movements? For what reason would they try to protect Xiao Yu’er? As far as he could tell, they were total strangers to Xiao Yu’er.

    With these thoughts, Jiang Yulang’s eyes stayed wide open, staring at the cabin ceiling. Now he had pondered the entire night- dawn was breaking, and he still had not come up with an explanation.

    Just when he was drifting off to sleep, Xiao Yu’er began to awake, and pushed at him to wake him up too. Xiao Yu’er laughed and asked: “Did you sleep well?”

    With a forced chuckle, Jiang Yulang replied: “Marvelous, I slept through until the sun came up.”

    “Well, better get up then, sleeping too much is not healthy,” Xiao Yu’er said.

    Jiang Yulang could only say: “You’re right. I should get up now.”

    Although his face wore a cheerful expression, his heart desperately urged him to strike out at Xiao Yu’er with his fist. When they got to the bow of the boat, Jiang Yulang’s eyes watched Xiao Yu’er, who seemed refreshed and full of energy, and his legs itched to boot Xiao Yu’er into the river with a single kick.

    The young lady was already fetching a basin of water for face-washing. Her face was cheerful, her eyes danced, and two deep dimples appeared as she smiled. What was she smiling at?

    Jiang Yulang’s eyes were fixed on her two hands carrying the basin. The hands were white and tender- they truly did not appear capable of releasing a projectile with such force!

    The boat was new, as were their garments. Clearly then, they had only recently acquired this craft and become its crew members. Perhaps this had been done for Xiao Yu’er’s benefit.

    But what would be their motive for doing so?

    Xiao Yu’er gave no sign of being aware of any of this; he appeared to be in a very good mood. As soon as he finished washing his face, he ate four giant bowls of gruel with four fried eggs.

    Jiang Yulang, on the other hand, could not eat a single bite. He heard Xiao Yu’er chatting with the boatman: “And what is your name, sir?”

    The boatman said: “My family name is Shi…cough-cough…people call me old man Shi…cough-cough. My grand-daughter, her name is Shi Shuyun.”

    Jiang Yulang shook his head and smiled wryly to himself. This old man could hardly speak a sentence without coughing and sneezing- how could he be any martial arts expert?

    Old man Shi called to his granddaughter: “Little Yun, don’t eat so many lotus seeds. If you do, your heart will grow bitter.”

    Jiang Yulang whipped his head around in shock. Little Yun’s small hands, which were so white and tender, were indeed grasping lotus seeds. As she ate them, she smiled sweetly at him.

    Suddenly his heart began to beat wildly “ping-ping”- as he turned his head back the other way, he saw Xiao Yu’er gripping and waving a book about, using it as a fan. Unbelievably, it was the martial arts text.

    Jiang Yulang thought back and recalled that last night Xiao Yu’er had slept with his arm and leg flung over on top. This morning when he got up, he must have seized the opportunity to sneak the martial arts text out from Jiang Yulang’s grasp.

    The mere sight of Xiao Yu’er using this rare, highly sought-after martial arts text as a fan, was enough to send Jiang Yulang into an exquisite rage. He could not decide if he was more furious or more anxious about the book’s safety.

    The boat had already left the dock, when unexpectedly another boat came towards them. Old man Shi used a long bamboo pole and lightly touched the other boat with it. The two boats narrowly missed each other and both felt a shock.

    Xiao Yu’er cried out in alarm: “Oh no, it fell in!”

    The martial arts text had fallen from his hand into the river. In his shock, Jiang Yulang felt as if his heart had fallen in with it. He could only see the swirls of the river water- in the blink of an eye, the book had been completely swept away from view.

    With a miserable face, Xiao Yu’er faltered: “What…what do we do?”

    Although inwardly he felt as though his heart were bleeding, Jiang Yulang’s face was smiling. He said mildly: “It’s nothing but a worldly treasure; losing it is of no consequence.”

    Of course, he knew that Xiao Yu’er had discarded the text on purpose. Obviously Xiao Yu’er had already learned the text by heart. Not only that, but he was sure to know that Jiang Yulang was aware of this.

    But the fact that neither of them even said a word about this matter, this was the most interesting point of all. Except for the two of them, there was not a third person in this world who could guess what lay in their hearts at this moment.

    The depths of the sky were deep blue, and the river sparkled like flowing gold. On both shores of the Yangtze River, the scenery was as beautiful as a painting.

    Xiao Yu’er smiled contentedly: “Going slowly by boat isn’t bad at all, especially since we’re not in a hurry anyway.”

    “Exactly, we’re in no rush at all,” Jiang Yulang agreed.

    Suddenly, a boat rapidly approached them from behind. There was an escort agency flag flying from the bow. It unfurled as it met the wind, and there appeared a beautifully embroidered lion in gold.

    Immediately Jiang Yulang’s face brightened. He stood up, his eyes alight, and called out loudly: “Who is the leader from the Gold Lion escort agency on this boat?”

    Upon his words, the boat slowed down at once. There were many bare-chested, strong men aboard who were clearly experienced sailors. One of them leaned out of a cabin and shouted back: “Who are you?”

    Jiang Yulang waved and answered: “It’s me, Jiang Yulang, do you still remember me, Uncle Li?”

    The man had a short mustache and wore a stern, fierce expression. But when he recognized Jiang Yulang, his face immediately broke out in smiles. He cried out in surprise: “Ah, it can’t be hero Jiang’s young son, how did you come to be here?”

    Throughout this exchange, old man Shi acted as if he had seen and heard nothing. He continued to steer his craft through the water, but the Gold Lion agency boat lunged forward, and with a single leap, the man crossed over.

    Xiao Yu’er laughed lightly and joked: “This fellow’s lightness kung fu needs a little work.” He spoke softly; the man appeared not to have heard him and approached them in a friendly manner.

    Jiang Yulang smiled and introduced the man: “This is the leader of the Jiangnan Gold Lion agency. He is known in wulin as the ‘Purple-faced Lion’. With respect to swimming ability, he is number one.”

    This statement was clearly meant as a retort to Xiao Yu’er’s disparaging comment about the man’s lightness kungfu. Xiao Yu’er acted as if he hadn’t heard it, and went on drinking tea.

    He heard Jiang Yulang and Li Ting loudly chattering, then abruptly the volume of their conversation dropped. They began to softly whisper, as if they did not wish Xiao Yu’er to hear them.

    Xiao Yu’er could care less. Although he was aware that Jiang Yulang was up to no good, he didn’t try to stop him. In fact, he wanted to see exactly what tricks Jiang Yulang would try.

    From the age of three, he had never been afraid of anyone or anything. He didn’t know what “fear” meant. The more dangerous something was, the more he found it interesting.

    Finally he heard the “Purple-faced Lion” Li Ting say: “After Yunhan(?), I will have to go by land. But your wishes will be carried out without delay, young master Jiang. You can depend on me.”

    The two of them exchanged a few jokes, and then with another leap, Li Ting left.

    Xiao Yu’er laughed and called after him: “Be careful now, you wouldn’t want to land in the water.”

    Li Ting turned his head back to glare at Xiao Yu’er. He seemed to say something which sounded like “You’d better be careful yourself…” But before he was finished, the two boats were already far apart.

    Jiang Yulang’s spirits had inexplicably risen since this encounter. He laughed and said: “The men of the Jiangnan Gold Lion agency are like lions and tigers united together- they are true friends and honourable men.”

    Old man Shi muttered: “Honourable men? A pack of scoundrels is more like it.” Both Xiao Yu’er and Jiang Yulang had heard his words, but the two of them did not react.


    End of Chapter 36

  6. #26
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 37

    The boat made slow progress through the water. Xiao Yu’er kept asking throughout: “What is this place? And where are we now?”

    After they passed Yunhan, Xiao Yu’er’s eyes grew larger, as if he were waiting for something exciting to happen. When the boat reached Jiangzhou, they made an early stop.

    Xiao Yu’er smiled: “Don’t you think it’s a little too early to sleep now?”

    Old man Shi made a “hmph” sound, but otherwise said nothing.

    Smiling at him, Little Yun winked and said: “Ahead lies the Wu Gorge (1). Once night falls, it becomes impassable. That’s why we’re stopping here now- tomorrow we’ll be rested and able to cross.”

    Xiao Yu’er replied: “Ah, so then we are also approaching the famed Twelve Peaks of Wushan? (2) As a child, when I heard the lines “The call of the monkeys sounding endlessly on both shores, the boat lightly gliding past ten thousand peaks’, (3) I always felt a strong wish to see this place for myself.”

    Little Yun laughed prettily: “Beautiful lines of poetry indeed, but this place is hardly scenic. Even the slightest bit of carelessness could cause you to lose your life here. Especially now, those monkeys on both shores would be too scared to make any noise, I’m afraid.”

    “Why?” Xiao Yu’er asked, curious.

    Laughing again, Little Yun replied softly: “Some things, it is better that you not question too closely.”

    Xiao Yu’er turned to gauge Jiang Yulang’s reaction to this, but Jiang Yulang had his head down, watching the river water flow past. Even though he appeared not to have heard Little Yun’s ominous remarks, his face was still very pale.

    The next day, he was even paler. Xiao Yu’er knew that whenever Jiang Yulang was anxious about something, his face would grow white.

    But what was he feeling anxious about? Was he worried that something bad would happen?

    Old man Shi, with a stroke of his long bamboo pole, set the boat in motion. Little Yun changed into a set of green short sleeved shirt and pants. With her pant legs rolled up, her slender figure was shown off to advantage.

    Xiao Yu’er watched her in amusement, but did not say a word. As they advanced, the river rushed about and flowed quickly. Yet the number of boats on the river had actually increased without warning.

    Abruptly, Xiao Yu’er noticed that the other boats all displayed a strip of yellow silk on their masts. Upon noticing the approach of their boat, the people on the other boats would all shrink back and avoid eye contact.

    Old man Shi appeared not to notice anything unusual, while Little Yun’s two huge eyes swept back and forth, looking here and there. She seemed to be quite excited.

    As for Jiang Yulang, he would not even let Xiao Yu’er get a glimpse of his face.

    Unexpectedly, from the shore there came the sound of someone sounding a blast from a conch shell. The echoes reverberated off the surrounding mountains and rolled off both shores.

    Immediately ten or so boats were launched from either side of the river. Each craft had six or seven men aboard it. Each man had a yellow scarf encircling his head. Some carried curved sabers, others held spears, and some had long bamboo poles in their hands. They shouted and hollered as they rapidly approached.

    Little Yun called out: “Grandfather, they are indeed coming.”

    Without a change in expression, old man Shi said blandly, “I’ve known they were coming for a long time.”

    Xiao Yu’er could not help admiring old man Shi for his composure under the circumstances.

    He heard someone from the other boats shouting: “Surrender your lives, you cretins!” The armed men began to raise their weapons.

    With a light laugh, Little Yun suddenly called out: “Don’t be nasty, here, why don’t you have some lotus seeds…”

    She flicked her wrist. Two men at the front suddenly screamed in pain and dropped their spears. They clapped their hands over their faces; blood could be seen streaming from the spaces between their fingers.

    The men began to shout: “Be careful, that b*tch has dangerous projectile weapons!”

    Little Yun giggled: “Oh, you want some more seeds then? All right, here you go.”

    Her pair of white and soft hands continued to flick. The seeds shot out at the other boats like a shower of rain. Only, this time, her projectiles were not dried lotus seeds, but instead were steel replicas.

    They saw men all around them cry out in pain, one by one. Some were bleeding from their faces, while others had their weapons knocked from their hands. But still there were many men who were uninjured, and were now rushing forward.

    During all this time, old man Shi had neither moved nor spoken. Suddenly he threw his head back and let out a wild howl. Such a piercing and clear sound, like a dragon or a phoenix calling out through the skies. Everyone felt as if their eardrums would split.

    Meanwhile, he made a strong sweep of his bamboo pole, as fast and devastating as a thunderbolt flashing over the water. Three people closest to his pole were hurled backwards and landed far away on the rocks at the foot of the surrounding mountains.

    A fourth person was about to leap onto the bow of their boat, when old man Shi made another thrust and skewered the attacker straight through his belly. The dozen or so onlookers did not dare to advance, as they listened to his agonized screams and saw the pole suspending the corpse, moist and dripping with fresh blood!

    To see such a display of power from old man Shi, whom they presumed to be feeble and riddled with disease, was a shock not only to Xiao Yu’er. Jiang Yulang’s face had gone completely pasty white with fear, and his forehead was drenched in chilly sweat.

    Old man Shi continued to howl. By now their boat had sailed right into the crowd of hostile craft. The sailors all mustered up their courage, and amid fierce cries, rushed toward their boat. Some dived into the water; likely intending to surround and capsize the boat.

    “This is bad!” Xiao Yu’er thought to himself. Once the boat sunk, their outlook would be really gloomy indeed.

    Right at that moment, a man dressed in yellow robe and scarf, with a beard grey as steel, called out. He thundered: “Stop! Stop right now!”

    The dozen men halted their advance at once.

    The stranger in yellow was standing atop a pile of boulders by the water’s edge. He reached down and yanked one of the swimmers from the depths of the water up to the surface. He slapped the swimmer seven or eight times, all the while furiously shouting: “Have all you morons gone blind? Did you not see clearly who this is on the boat? How dare you?!”

    Old man Shi, with a light touch of his bamboo pole, was able to keep the boat motionless even amid the rapid and tumultuous flow of the river.

    The stranger in yellow immediately bowed and smiled apologetically: “Truly, I was unaware that elder Shi and his grand-daughter were on this boat, otherwise we would never have dared to raise our hands! Along the Yangtze River, who could claim not to be a junior of elder Shi?”

    Old man Shi coldly replied: “You are far too courteous, this old man does not deserve such formalities. I am becoming useless in my old age; of course this river is your territory. If you want to take this old man’s life, I can only surrender it to you.”

    Beads of sweat streaked down the other man’s forehead like raindrops. He rapidly protested: “This lowly junior is blind and deserves to die. I had never even imagined that hero Shi would appear on these waters again, otherwise how could I dare to scavenge for food here?”

    Old man Shi let out a mirthless snicker. “ ‘Scavenge for food’ may be too humble a description! Throughout jianghu, who would not know Wang Huafeng, whose ‘Nest Engulfs the River’? (4) Who has not heard of the huge deals and big business you do?”

    Suddenly he glared and shouted,"There are only a few poor passengers in my boat. Isn't it strange that you are targeting my boat? Or...did someone order you to do this?

    All of a sudden Wang Huafeng, the Yellow Hornet's brow dripped with cold sweat again. On the boat Jiang Yulang's forehead was also wet with beads of perpiration.

    "I beg for Elder Shi's mercy, this lowly junior really does not know," replied Wang Huafeng.

    "I know that you are not telling the truth, however you have shown your respect, for this I am not going to make things difficult for you," said Old Man Shi. Just with a push of the bamboo pole, the boat sped swiftly. Quickly the boat left the dangerous Wu Gorge.

    While staring at the wind blown white beard of the old man, finally Jiang Yulang asked slowly,"You, you... are Elder..."

    "Can you keep your mouth shut or not?"snapped Elder Shi.
    Immediately Jiang Yulang complied and quickly lowered his glance.
    Xiao Yu'er suddenly laughed and said,"Elder Shi, I'm curious to know who you are, I bet you are a respected elder in Jianghu. Yet you complied to be my boatman, not that I don't appreciate it, but I am very curious."

    Jiang Yulang got scared hearing Xiao Yu'er bold statement. Elder Shi replied with a smile, "Don't thank me, there's no need for that."

    Xiao Yu'er blinked his eyes and said, "Then, whom should I thank? Maybe someone else asked you to take and protect me? You have a good heart, if my guess is right, please tell me the truth."

    Suddenly Elder Shi had a coughing fit that he had to squat down.

    "You did not answer my question, that means that it's true." Xiao Yu'er laughed.

    Suddenly Elder Shi stood up and glared at him, "You are still young, but your mouth is too sharp. What would happen when you grow up?"

    Xiao Yu'er glared back, and retorted, "Whatever happen when I grew up is my own business. Don't assume just because you helped me that I have to kowtow to you. Without your help, I still would survive, moreover did I ever asked you to help me?"

    Elder Shi glared at him for a moment, suddenly he smiled and said, "I've never seen a kid like you in my life."

    "I'm one of a kind in this world," agreed Xiao Yu'er. He looked away and thought,"This old man is no ordinary man, yet he was willing to take this lowly task as a boatman for me. Can't imagine how much higher is the status of the person who asked him. That person always think about my well being. I wonder what's the reason behind all these. If he's able to order someone as highly skilled as Elder Shi, it is highly unlikely that the person would need my help."

    Xiao Yu'er hadn't the slightest clue who that person behind the scene was . He looked at Jiang Yulang, who looked scared and didn't dare to look directly at him. Xiao Yu'er laughed and said to him, "Didn't your friend the Purple-faced Lion yesterday said that he would be in Hun han?

    "If..if..if, I'm not mistaken, that's what he said," stuttered Yulang.

    "Does he dare to cross the Wu Gorge with his boat knowing that there are pirates around? Or is it possible that he's in cahoot with the pirates; isn't it common for people from the escort company to have raport with the pirates?
    Jiang Yulang wiped his sweat and said,"I...I'm not very clear about that."

    "Escortman in cahoot with the pirates, while you are friend with the escortman and told him to tell the pirates to block this boat. If it is not so, how come other boats were not stopped? And why were those pirates after my life and had no interest in goods? It's obivous there's nothing on this boat worth looting."

    Jiang Yulang's body was drenched with cold sweat, he gave a weak grin and said,"Big brother, you are jesting with me."

    "Correct, I'm just jesting, you are laughing, right? Hahaha, isn't that so amusing?" Xiao Yu'er laughed loudly as he lay down. As if talking to himself, he spoke aloud,"Yes, how strange and amusing that someone can be drenched with sweat when the weather is so refreshing and cool."

    On one corner Little Yun kept looking at Xiao Yu'er with a smile, she saw that his hair tousled by the wind and the sun gave the scars on his face a reddish glow.
    Actually no one could say that Xiao Yu'er was handsome, but somehow people found him attactive.

    Because of the current and wind, their boat arrived at Ijiang before sunset.
    Ijiang is a village by the mouth of the river where three rivers meet, a place to restock for boats traveling between Sujwan and Ohpak. One could see all kind of sail masts and all kind of rackets could be heard.

    After entering Ohpak, Jiang Yulang's eyes lit up, he wanted to say something, but hesitated.

    Staring at him, Xiao Yu'er smiled and suddenly he stood up and said,"Let's go, we've been on the boat too long, I'm getting seasick." Jiang Yulang immediately perked up upon hearing his suggestion.

    "You..., you really want to go?" Little Yun asked. Her eyes didn't shine bright anymore, instead they looked sad and hurt.

    However, Xiao Yu'er didn't pay any attention, he called out, "Elder Shi, thanks a lot for bringing us here. Please bring the boat closer to the shore. Although you were a little arrogant and pretended to be old, you are a good person and I will always remember you."

    "Have you considered your decision thoroughly? You really want to get off here?" asked Elder Shi.

    Xiao Yu'er laughed and said,"Other people might run away from danger, but there are people that live to feel the excitement of danger. When things are peaceful and quiet, it would be down right boring for them."

    Elder Shi stared at the young man for a long while, finally with a laugh he replied, "Very well, you may go, if you get out alive you can visit me at..."
    "No need to tell me where you live, you don't even need to tell me your name," Xiao Yu'er quickly said while shaking his hand. "because I'm not going to look for you, and I have no intention to use your name to scare people off."

    Little Yun looking upset, biting her lip she said, "You are the most ungrateful creature in this world!"

    "Is that so? If that's correct, then I'm the most fortunate person," said Xiao Yu'er laughing.

    "You....you..." suddenly Little Yun stamped her foot and went inside the cabin of the boat.

    The boat started to get close to the river bank, and Jiang Yulang started to look left and right.

    "Oh well, if you want to meet with danger, go ahead and go. I'm sure you won't be disappointed." Elder Shi spoke.

    By the bank of the river, the village was full of commotion, people moving back and forth without stopping. There were people elegantly dressed, there were also beggars and coolies dressed in rags. There were people with beaming faces, and people with long faces. There were people getting on the boats and some getting off the boats. People yelling and cursing. A port is a port, anywhere was just the same, chaotic, full with people from different places.

    The air was filled the smell of chicken's and goat's poop, the smell of rotten wood, the smell of varnish, smell of sweet aroma of tea leaves and the pungent smell of herbal medicines, and in addition the smell of alcohol from drunkards, and also the sweet smelling of jasmine flower from the ladies hair. That was the typical situation of a port.

    Being a country boy, Xiao Yu'er was rather confused being in the middle of such a commotion. He looked at one thing and watched another interesting thing, in the midst of bustle he felt so happy.

    Jiang Yulang did not stay still either, his neck kept turning left and right as if searching for someone.

    "Who are you looking for? asked Xiao Yu'er.

    "Err...not really, I was just looking all the commotion going on," answered Yulang nervously.

    Suddenly from the middle of the crowd someone shouted,"Brother Jiang, Jiang Yulang..."

    "Yes, over here, over here," answered Yulang joyfully. Immediately he waded through the crowd toward the direction of the voice, Xiao Yu'er had no choice but to follow along.

    By the side of the road under a tree parked three big expensive carriages with several horses hitched to them. Several young men elegantly dressed waved at Jiang Yulang.

    With joy Yulang ran toward them, several young men came to greet him beaming with smile, the swords by their waists made clanking noise.

    Right away they joked and chatted like long lost friends, nobody paid any attention to Xiao Yu'er. However, that didn't bother him at all. He waited till they were done talking then he spoke to Jiang Yulang,"Strange, how in the world did your friends know that you are coming?"

    Jiang Yulang pulled a long face and scoffed,"It's none of your business."
    His attitude changed 180 degrees. Before he was calling big brother and addressing himself as little brother, but now the way he talked was as a master speaking to a servant.

    One of young men, wearing green outfit and having a pale face, looked at Xiao Yu'er with disdain as if seeing a mangy dog. With contempt he asked Yulang, "Who is he, Brother Jiang?"

    Yulang replied, "He is the wisest,and the handsomest man on earth , and he makes every girl swoons at his feet. What do you think, do you agree?"
    All the young men laughed as if Jiang Yulang just told them the funniest joke.
    Xiao Yu'er kept his cool and with a laugh he said, "You should introduce your friends."

    Yulang thought for a while, and said, "Ok, I will introduce them to you." Then he pointed to the young man with the green outfit, "This is the son of Congtin ciangkun (commanding officer) of Henciu city, Bai Ling Xiao, Bai shao-xia, people gave him the title 'Lik-bau-kiam-khek' (Swordsman in Green), his thirty six sword-strokes Hwe-hong kiam is truly awesome.

    "Aha, truly fitting to the title, he's a handsome man," agreed Xiao Yu'er with a laugh.

    Bai Ling Xiao laughed with pride, as Xiao Yu'er continued, "Maybe Master Bai would be so kind as to share with me the white powder from his face, so I too can look handsome."

    Right away Bai Ling Xiao's laugh turned sour, his pale face turned green.
    Xiao Yu'er pointed to the young man in red, tall built like a solid post, with a laugh he asked, "And who is this person?"

    "This is Li Ming Sheng, the first son of Congpiauthau Kim-say escort, the best escort company from Kang-lam province, the Jianghu people gave him the title 'Ang-sah-kim-to' (Golden saber Red attire), with his saber in hand, even a thousand people can't overcome him," explained Jiang Yulang.

    "Wow, what a valiant man!" praised Xiao Yu'er clapping his hands.

    Li Ming Sheng looked pleased and was about to laugh when Xiao Yu'er added on, "Good thing you gave a complete explanation, or else I would have thought that he's just a pig butcher.

    Both Li Ming Sheng eyes almost popped out of the sockets, he looked like a bull ready to charge.

    The third young man dressed in flowery outfit and a flamboyant hat, face powdered white like white washed wall, eyebrows plucked and he's more feminine than an average girl. He laughed coquettishly and introduced himself without being asked, I am Hua Xi Xiang, my father is known as 'Yu-mian-shen-pan' (Ivory-faced Judge), anyone in Jianghu who has never heard of my dad, must have hearing problem .

    Jiang Yulang laughed and added on, "Yu-mian-shen-pan Song daihiap (Hero Song) is well known for his unrivaled kungfu. Brother Xi Xiang is using his mother's maiden name. Auntie Hua herself was a well known heroine in her primetime."

    "Hehehe, I don't need to be ashamed of Mother. She was truly an amazing lady," said Hoa Sik-hiang as he moved his hips femininely. Maybe he felt that people respect him too well that nobody would make fun of his feminine antics.
    Xiao Yu'er watched him for a moment and suddenly he shook his head and said, "What a pity, what a pity?"

    "What do you mean, what a pity?" Hua Xi Xiang asked and teheed in a feminine way.

    Xiao Yu'er sounding regretful answered," What a pity that Master Hua is not up on stage. It's a big lost to the artist world."

    Hua Xi Xiang stared in surprise, and forgot to laugh.

    Jiang Yulang continued on, introducing the other two young men. The tall skinny one like a pole was Ho Koan-kun, the son of Gui-ying-zi (the Devil's Silhouette) Ho Bu-siang who was well known to be number one in Kang-lam province for his lightness skill. The other person was short and heavy with a smiling face but piercing eyes. It seemed that his kungfu was the best among those five young men.

    Xiao Yu'er looked at them indifferently, he knew that some of these young men had only their fathers' fame to boast. However, it would be difficult for him to handle even three out five of them and they all were looking at him with dislike.
    Suddenly someone shouted flirtatiously, "Yulang, you brute! You have no feeling, you know I'm here, yet you ignore me." Out from one of the carriages came out a teenage girl. She's very young, yet her make up was thick.

    Honestly speaking, that girl's face was not ugly, only Xiao Yu'er felt nauseated by her mannerism. On the other hand Jiang Yulang came and greeted her joyfully, "Little Sister Sun, if I had known you're here, I would have come and greeted you long time ago."

    Like a dancer on stage Little Sister Sun came with her arms stretch out and jumped into Jiang Yulang's arms while grumbling in a spoilt voice, "You little devil, where have you been? You've been gone a long time. I missed you very much."
    Pek Leng-siau piped up, "Look, no matter what our Brother Jiang is still romantic..."

    Little Sister Sun turned around and said, "Look at him! He looked so skinny." She blinked her eyes several times, pretending to cry, yet not a single tear came.
    Jiang Yulang caressed her cheek and said, " Don't be so sad my dear, I'm back after all. If you feel sad, you might get skinny."

    "You...you...," grumbled Little Sister Sun as she swayed her hips.

    Everyone laughed, except Xiao Yu'er who felt disgusted. If he had just finished eating, he would threw up right there and then.

    Little Sister Sun stared at him, with her hands on her hip she shouted,"Who are you? You disgusting thing, quickly get lost!"

    "If I only could, I would thank heaven and earth," sighed Xiao Yu'er.

    While hanging on to the carriage window, Xiao Yu'er poke his head complete out. It's because Little Sister Sun was in Jiang Yulang's arms and Yu'er couldn't stand her perfume that was nauseating to him.

    Hua Xi Xiang and Bai Ling Xiao actually brought their own carriages, but they all went in one carriage. They had a great time chatting, laughing and joking among themselves, and completely ignoring Xiao Yu'er.

    Secrectly Xiao Yu'er was surprised that Jiang Yulang turned out to be so uncouth, he tried looking at Yulang with the corner of his eyes, he saw that Yulang was laughing happily, but his eyes were gleaming like a bird of prey ready to pounch. It was clear that he wasn't as crude as his friends; he was just faking to conform to their behavior. If he's not conforming, how could he be closed friends with the young people from well known family.

    Xiao Yu'er smiled, again he poke his head out of the window, he saw Li Ming Sheng who was known as "Golden Saber, Red Attire" riding on a horse behind the carriage. His whip cracked the air, scaring the pedestrian that they moved out of the way.

    "Oh... today I am so happy," Little Sister Sun sighed. "Only too bad that...."
    "Only too bad that there's one too many people here, isn't it?" finished Hua Xi Xiang.
    Little Sister Sun blinked and said, "Yes, have you ever seen a disgusting creature like him?"

    "Ofcourse I have," answered Hua Xi Xiang, "Wasn't it just the other day that we met a Miss Po? She's grossly obese that poor Brother Bai almost suffocated being squashed by her. Isn't Miss Po in the same class as him?"

    Before he finished his sentence the others were howling with laughter. But upon seeing Xiao Yu'er joined in their laughter, in fact his laughter was the loudest, automatically they stopped laughing.

    Giving Xiao Yu'er the evil eye, Little Sister Sun said with a sneer, "It's amazing why this person still have the face to remain here. If I were he, I'd rather chop my arm off than to remain here."


    With a grin Xiao Yu'er answered, "Yes, this person is just like any other person, except that he has thick skin. He'd rather sit here for another three years than to chop his own arm."

    All eyes stared at him angrily, however Xiao Yu'er didn't give a hoot. He knew that at the most they only could try to make him embarrass or angry, but couldn't make him go away since his hand was cuffed to Jiang Yulang's wrist. Especially that Jiang Yulang didn't dare to make a move risking his life, knowing that Xiao Yu'er's martial arts was superior to his.

    The bathtub was a custom made wooden tub, almost as tall as a person, with steam coming out of it.

    Jiang Yulang had his body totally immersed in it, his eyes closed, several times he let out a deep sigh of contentment.

    What about Xiao Yu'er?

    How pitiful, he could only stand outside of the bathtub watching. Moreover, one of his arms was up on the edge of the tub, what a torture.

    Bai Ling Xiao, the son of the commanding officer, was sitting in front with his feet propped high on the table. Rubbing his sparsely grown beard, he laughed and said, "Brother Yulang, what do you think of my bathtub?"

    "Heavenly," asnwered Yulang , his eyes still closed.

    "Don't underestimate the value of this bathtub," said Bai Ling Xiao. "It has a long and interesting history. It came far away from the East (Japan). It is said that the people in those islands pay a great deal of attention to the art of bathing. It is a major recreation activity and enjoyment in their lives. Sometimes they would take hours immersing in the tub.

    "Well, it's been more than an hour that I bathe," laughed Yulang.

    Finally he got up, two pretty maids came barefooted with the towels. Their white hands slowly dried Jiang Yulang's body till it gave a red glow.

    "Hmmm, I could get used to this type of bathing everyday," said Jiang Yulang.
    The two maid laughed coquettishly as they dressed Jiang Yulang. He felt fresh after the bath, as he stretched lazily he laughed, "All my joints felt loose and relaxed, my body feels ten catties lighter."

    "Yes, but I feel ten catties heavier," spoke Xiao Yu'er.

    "Too bad that the host had no intention to let you bathe here. If you want to bathe, go and bathe somewhere else, but I have no intention of accompanying you," replied Yulang harshly.

    "Ofcourse, ofcourse," said Xiao Yu'er. "If I would like to bathe, I have to chop off my arm so I can go elsewhere, isn't that so?"

    "Just as long as you know," replied Yulang.

    "Even though I haven't bathe, still I'm much cleaner than some people who are dirty inside and have no shame," says Xiao Yu'er.

    Bai Ling Xiao asked angrily, "Who are you referring to?"

    "Why? Are you dirty inside and have no shame?" laughed Xiao Yu'er.
    "You stinky scum!" shouted Pek Leng-siau.

    "If you are not that kind of person, then that insult must be for someone else. Why are you upset? asked Xiao Yu'er.

    Little Sister Sun called from the door, "Hey, Jiang Yulang, did you drown in the tub? How come you took so long, Hurry up, let's go out to eat. Today Hoa Sik-hiang is going to treat us at Giok-lau-tang."

    "Giok-lau-tang? That famous chain restaurant from Tiangsah? asked Yulang.
    "That's right," replied Little Sister Sun.

    "Hmm..., just thinking of 'Bit-ciap-hwe-tui' (ham with sweet and sour sauce) makes my mouth salivates," spoke Jiang Yulang happily.

    The sweet sour ham of Giok-lau Tang restaurant was well known. Under the flickering light of the lantern, it looked like a platter of a shining golden brown onyx gem, pleasant to the eye. However, it's far from pleasant for Xiao Yu'er, as he stretched out his chopsticks to dig into it, he was immediately blocked by Pek Lengsiau's chopsticks.

    “He he, I don't know you, what made you think that we would invite you to eat?” sneered Hua Xi Xiang.

    “Ah, yes! That's right, if I want to eat, I have to chop off my arm, go out and find my own food.” replied Xiao Yu'er.

    “Hah, you're getting smarter,” Bai Ling Xiao mocked.

    Xiao Yu'er was only allowed to watch; watching them eat and drink till their heart content. He can only grinned while his stomach was protesting for food.

    Glancing at Xiao Yu'er, Hua Xi Xiang snickered, “If I were he, I would crawl under the table rather than sitting here salivating. By chance there would be a rib bone or two down there.”

    Right away Xiao Yu'er laughed and shot back, “If I were to be born not a man nor a woman, I would kill myself by jumping into a well, rather than be an embarrassment to my parents.

    Hua Xi Xiang suddenly slammed the table and bellowed,”you scum, who are you mocking at?”

    “Why? Are you such a person, not a man nor a woman? Why are you getting mad?”replied Xiao Yu'er.

    Right at that moment came a loud noise of many footsteps climbing up the stairs. Several people came up quickly, most of them were in the fifties, elegantly dressed. As soon as they reached the top floor, they looked around intimidatingly, it's obvious that they were no ordinary people to be reckoned with.

    Hua Xi Xiang, Li Ming Sheng, Ho Koan-kun who were boisterous suddenly became quiet and stood up as soon as they saw those elders. They became well behaved, with their head bowing with respect, some called out, “Teacher” and others “Dad”.

    Xiao Yu'er frowned, “So these people are the father and teacher of these youngsters. This is not good!”
    Surprisingly the elders ignored them, instead they came to Xiao Yu'er and approached Xiao Yu'er and greeted him, “Is this Jiang Yu, Jiang shao-xia, we presume?”

    Naturally Xiao Yu'er was surprised and confused, “That's right. I'm he.” he replied, staring at them.
    One of them with a pale face and sparse beard right away shouted,”Hey servant, quickly prepare a feast, we are celebrating to welcome Kang shao-xia.

    Hua Xi Xiang and his friends couldn't help but stared dazedly. Xiao Yu'er later found out that the paled face man and sparse beard was “Yu-mian-shen-pan, Hua Xi Xiang's father. Besides that, Gui-ying-zi Ho Bu-sing and Kim-say-cu Li Di were both there, also present were all the first class fighters of the town, not a single one absent.
    Xiao Yu-er had a whole platter of ham with sweet and sour sauce to himself. Finally, he couldn't help but laughed,”The children treated me like dirt, but the parents treated me with great respect, even spread a banquet for me. Can someone explain what this is all about?”

    “If our children were disrespectful, please forgive them, said Yu-mian-shen-pan.
    Xiao Yu-er looked at a dazed Jiang Yulang besides him, and said to him with laugh,”Ah, that's no problem at all with me, only you....”
    Gui-ying-zi Ho Bu-siang, a tall and dark faced man continued,”Upon the request of a Bulim cianpwe (honorable elder of the martial world/jianghu) we as hosts here were instructed to serve Jiang shao-xia well. This elder is well respected ...”

    “Who is this person?”asked Xiao Yu-er.

    “Are you sure you don't know him?”replied Yu-mian-shen-pan.

    “I only know that he has a nose, two eyes and a pair of ears.”

    Yu-mian-shen-pan thought for a while and laughed, “The elder told us to keep it a secret, because he doesn't want you to return the favor.”

    “Don't worry, I never return anybody a favor, but if it is revenge, that's a different story.”replied Xiao Yu'er with a laugh. “But if it's too much trouble to revenge, I just consider it done.”

    “If everyone has a big heart like you, Master Jiang, what a peaceful world we would live in,”replied Yu-mian-shen-pan.

    “Now, can you tell me who this elder is?” asked Xiao Yu-er.

    “The leader of Emei sect, Reverend Shenxi,” replied Yu-mian-shen-pan slow and clear.

    “Hmm... so it turns out to be him,” Xiao Yu'er spoke aloud. “All these time it was him who's been helping me many times, apparently he hasn't forgotten me.” He then slapped Jiang Yulang's hand, ”You didn't expect that, didn't you?”

    “Nope.” replied Jiang Yulang stiffly.

    “Amazing, really amazing, respected leader of Emei is willing to be my personal guard,” exclaimed Xiao Yu'er with a laugh.

    Now that the puzzle had been solved, Xiao Yu'er was ready to eat and drink till his heart content. With a smile Yu-mian-shen-pan and his friends watched, but didn't participate eating.

    Finally Xiao Yu'er put down his chopsticks and rubbed his belly, and said with a laugh,”Oh my dear tummy, I've paid all my dues to you.”

    “Is Jiang Xiaohiap done eating?” asked Yu-mian-shen-pan.

    “Yep, I'm so full that I can explode anytime,”answered Xiao Yu'er.

    “Would you like some desert, or fruits perhaps?” asked Yu-mian-shen-pan.

    “I'd love to, but there's no more room in my stomach,” replied Xiao Yu'er laughing.

    “If that's so, then we've followed Reverend Shenxie's instructions well and did our job as hosts properly,” said Yu-mian-shen-pan with a smile.

    Xiao Yu'er blinked his eyes and asked,”Is there a hidden meaning behind your statement?”

    Suddenly Yu-mian-shen-pan stood up and slowly said,”Please open the window and look outside.”

    When Xiao Yu'er did as instructed, he saw that the street lights had died off, not a single person can be seen walking on the street anymore. Instead the restaurant was surrounded by dozens of people in light clothing.

    Xiao Yu'er suddenly noticed that there's no other guests upstairs anymore, and the waiters looked scared and visibly shaking with fear.

    “What's the meaning of this?”Xiao Yu'er asked.

    “We've followed Reverend Shenxie's instruction well and did our job as hosts properly,”said Yu-mian-shen-pan curtly. “However, another person have asked us...... for your head, what do you think about that?”

    “Haha, I feel honored that somebody wants my head,” Xiao Yu'er said with a laugh. “But who is this person? Regardless, you need to tell me, right?”

    “Enough for you to know that he has one nose and two eyes, that's all,”scoffed Yu-mian-shen-pan.

    As Xiao Yu'er turned his head, he saw Jiang Yulang and the others looking very happy, while Gui-ying-zi and others had a murderous looked. They all surrounded him and there seemed no way out, one slight move would have him end up in bloody mess. Especially having one of his hands handcuffed to Jiang Yulang's wrist, to escape is impossible.

    Xiao Yu'er heaved a long sigh, then said with a grin, ”It seems inevitable that I have to surrender my head to you. Hah, in exchange for a platter of ham with sweet and sour sauce, that's too cheap!”

    “Swoosh”, suddenly Kim-say-cu Li Di unsheathed his saber and shouted,”What are you waiting for? Do you want us to do it for you?”

    “No need,” exclaimed Xiao Yu'er laughing. “It's just that I want to know if your saber is sharp enough or not. If it could chop my head off in one stroke then I would like to borrow it for a while.”

    “Very well, seeing how you can laugh while facing death, I will lend my saber to you,” laughed Li Di. “Thump”, he suddenly threw his saber and it stuck on the table.

    Slowly Xiao Yu'er reached out his hand and held the hilt of the saber. His eyes follow his hand movement, staring with steely glint, colder than the reflection of the saber.

    Staring at Xiao Yu'er suddenly Yu-mian-shen-pan took out his weapon, a pair of Boan-koan-pit, a pair of calligraphy brushes. Slowly he caressed his weapon as if caressing someone dear to him.

    Xiao Yu'er became unsure, his fingers touched the hilt of the saber, but he hesitated to pull the saber out.

    “Go ahead, why don't you pull the saber out. What are you going to do, slash me with it or attack someone else? Or maybe point it at Yulang's neck to force your way out?” mocked Yu-mian-shen-pan. He continued, “For sure, you are not going to kill yourself. Isn't that right?”

    Xiao Yu'er's hand was still on the saber's hilt, but still he didn't make a move. He felt his palm cold and sweaty.

    “I know that you don't dare to pull out the saber, because the sooner you do that the sooner you'd die,”spoke Yu-mian-shen-pan. “Knowing that you are a wise man, I will let you die quickly. There! Good riddance!”

    As soon as he finished speaking, with a quick movement one of the steelbrush attacked the Thian-tut-hiat (acupoint) at Xiao Yu'er's throat.

    Thian-tut-hiat was one of the lethal acupoints of the human body, a mere hit or kick on that point was dangerous enough especially now being hit with Boan-koan-pit of an expert. Many times Xiao Yu'er experienced danger yet escaped death, who could have guessed that he would die right now.

    Helplessly Xiao Yu'er watched the tip of the steel brush come closer to his neck. He felt too lazy to dodge, because he knew that it was no use. If he could dodge the first attack, the second one would follow and in the end it would be impossible for him to safe himself. If he's going to die regardless, might as well die a quick death with the least pain.

    As the tip of the steel brush was about to thrush his throat suddenly with a “ching” sound, a wine cup flew in from outside the window and accurately blocked the Boan-koan-pit tip.

    Even though the steel brush attack was accompanied by strong inner force, yet the fragile wine cup did not break. The strange thing, that wine cup was thrown from a far distance, yet could land exactly on the tip of the steel brush, intact. In fact Yu-mian-shen-pan felt his hand numb at the impact. With shock he quickly jumped back and shouted, “Who's there?”

    Under the lighting of the half moon, one could see a man squatting on top of the sign board of a silk cloth store across the street. That man's hair was a mess, his chest exposed, his hand was holding a big wine gourd and drinking from it. Because his face was mostly hidden by the wine gourd, it was difficult to see who he really was.

    However, with a glance Xiao Yu'er could recognized the man immediately. He thought, “With him here, things will get pretty interesting.”

    Yu-mian-shen-pan made a quick flick with his steel brush, and the wine cup on the tip of the brush flew aiming toward the chest of that mysterious man. He was sure that with his strong inner energy the wine cup would make a hole in the body, regardless who that man was.

    “Ching, crash!” the wine cup hit the man's body. The cup broke in many pieces, however it didn't seem that the man even felt it.

    Naturally Yu-mian-shen-pan was startled. Hua Xi Xiang, Bai Ling Xiao and the others quickly unsheathed their weapons.

    With a blur suddenly Gui-ying-zi Ho Bu-siang flew out. His lightness skill was well known as number one in Kang-lam province, his movement was indeed faster than anybody else. As he was in mid air, his hand moved and dozens of red dots flew toward that man.

    That man laughed heartily, suddenly a stream of silver spray flew out of his mouth, and shot down the projectiles. The silver stream continued moving toward Gui-ying-zi's body.

    This number one expert in lightness skill wasn't able to block the silver stream. He flew back faster than he came out, he flew backward through the window, and across the table and “bang!” he hit the wall.

    The silver stream sprayed all over the place and everybody could smell the strong smell of wine. It turned out that what came out of the man's mouth was the wine that he was drinking.

    Just the sprayed of wine alone was enough to knocked Gui-ying-zi back in. Everybody was amazed and stared in dismayed. Bai Ling Xiao, Hua Xi Xiang and the others being inexperienced, knew not “how thick the earth was and how high the sky”, quickly moved their weapon and was about to jump and attack.

    But without warning something flew in and loud slaps were heard, “slap, smack!” several times, in a blinking of an eye the weapons in Bai Ling Xiao's hand and others were no longer there, and each of them were rubbing their swollen cheek. In that short of time each one of them had received a slap on their cheek.

    When they looked, the person squatting on top of the sign board across the street had sat down on a chair that Kui-eng-cu sat before, his left hand was holding the wine gourd, while the right hand holding Pek Leng-siau's and his friends' weapons.

    Jiang Yulang face turned white with fright as he recognized who that person was.

    Suddenly that man slammed the table with the weapons that he was holding and shouted, “You sons of a turtle, you see your Master is here already, yet your not rushing to have the food ready?”

    Yu-mian-shen-pan realized that the kungfu of that mysterious man was very high, and that he would be a tough opponent. He was worried that Li Di and others might be careless, so he quickly stepped up, and with a forced smile asked, “Brother, may I know what your honorable name is? And why did you hit these people without a reason?”

    That man glared at him and answered him roughly, “Who's your brother? What kind of a bedbug are you?”

    Yu-mian-shen-pan tried to be patient, and answered,” I'm Siau Cu-jun, the people of Jianghu call me Yu-mian-shen-pan.”

    “Yu-mian-shen-pan? Hahahaha!” that man laughed. “You have such a grand title, but do you deserve it?”

    While laughing he extended his hand, giving the weapons he snatched to Siau Cu-jun. Startled, and without thinking Yu-mian-shen-pan reached out his hand to receive those weapons, but instead his Boan-koan-pit suddenly exchanged hand into that mysterious man's hand.

    That man put down his wine gourd on the table, with one quick movement he broke the pair of Boan-koan-pit into four pieces, and threw them on the floor.

    Although Siau Cu-jun treasured his weapons, upon seeing how great that man's inner strength, he could only keep silent and didn't dare to make a move.

    Kim-say-cu Li Di had never lost a match before, thought that Siau Cu-jun's weapon was useless, he was about to attack. Luckily Jiang Yulang manage to stop him and whispered something to him.

    All of a sudden Li Di's face turned ashen, he stuttered, “You...are you 'Ok-tu-kui' Suanyuan Sanguang!?”

    There's no doubt that the mysterious man was indeed Ok-tu-kui, the “Gambling Devil”, alias “Whom He Sees, He Gambles With”.

    Ok-tu-kui didn't bother to reply, he just grunted, he pulled out the saber that was stuck on the table and immediately slashed the small table on the side. On the table was a candle on a holder lighting the room.

    Ok-tu-kui's slashed the candle in halves down to the candle holder and the small table. Slowly the candle split into two followed by the candle holder and the table, they all collapsed.

    Ok-tu-kui flicked his hand and “wham”, the saber flew and stuck on the ceiling, sending layers of dust down.

    Then without giving respect to anybody there, he sat down and yelled, “You sons of a turtle, you see your Master is here already, yet your not rushing to have the food ready?”

    Although the phrase was the same as before, but now it carried a lot of weight,and nobody dared to mock him this time.

    Li Di hurriedly shouted, “Hey waiter, look the master is here, what are you waiting for? Go quickly and prepare a banquet.”

    Having the mentality of a business escort of shifting where ever the flow went, he changed his attitude completely.

    The waiter scurried quickly to the kitchen and soon many different food were served. Siau Cu-jun and Li Di tried to outdo each other hosting Ok-tu-kui.

    However, Ok-tu-kui Xuanyuan Sanguang, glared at them and scolded them, “Who asked you to serve me? Except for that Jiang boy, I want all of you to get out of my face.” Soon after saying that, he poured some wine for Xiao Yu'er and Jiang Yulang.

    Ofcourse Xiao Yu'er was ecstatic, on the other hand Jiang Yulang got very frighten.

    “Drink!” ordered Han-wan Sam-kong, as he raised his cup.

    Without hesitation Xiao Yu'er raised his cup and emptied it. Jiang Yulang didn't dare to disobey. Just as he laid down his cup, he saw Ok-tu-kui glaring at him.

    “Do you know the name of this wine?” demanded Ok-tu-kui to Yulang.

    “I'm very ignorant, therefore I don't know,” answered Jiang Yulang.

    “This wine is called the betting wine,” said Ok-tu-kui. “Whoever drank this wine that I poured, he has to bet with me.”

    Jiang Yulang's hand trembled and the wine cup that he was holding fell to the floor. He stuttered, “But...but I don't..”

    “Do not what? You don't want to bet against me?” Ok-tu-kui glared at him.

    “Oh.... yes...yes..”

    “Hahaha, very good, what is at stake ?!”

    “What... whatever you would like.”

    “Very well then, I would like your arm to be the stake.

    All of a sudden Jiang Yulang felt weak in the legs and he collapsed in the chair.

    Xiao Yu'er pulled him up and laughed, “What are you afraid of? You still have a chance of winning the bet!”

    “But...but I...” said Yulang stuttering, his face ashened.

    “Sit up straight!” thundered Ok-tu-kui ruthlessly, “Now tell me what you would like as your betting prize?”

    Jiang Yulang's tears were falling, he looked at Yu-mian-shen-pan Siau Cu-jun and others for help, but who would dare to defend him?

    In between his sobs he said, “Sir, why..why....”

    Right at that moment someone gave a laugh and shouted, “Haha, if Xuanyuan Siansing would like to gamble, let me humor you. Why bother to bet with a little kid, it's not as interesting.”

    When Xiao Yu'er turned around, he stared at a middle aged man who appeared in the room.

    This man had a fair complexion and clear eyes. He's wearing green outfit. Although he was middle aged, yet he was handsome. With a smile, he approached the crowd with a gallant demeanor.

    Since roaming the wulin world, besides Hua Wuque, Xiao Yu'er had never seen anyone with such commanding presence as this middle aged man.

    Upon seeing this man, Siau Cu-jun and others let a sigh of relief and were very happy. The happiest of all was Jiang Yulang, he almost jumped up and down with joy as if he just won a jackpot.

    Xuanyuan Sanguan eyes flashed for a moment toward that man, against his will, he felt intimidated. “Who are you?” he asked.


    “My humble name is Jiang Bie He,” replied that man with a smile and bowed with respect.

    “Oh, it's rumored that in Kanglam province there appeared an Enghiong ( hero) that is outstanding, he is called da-xia (big hero) after Yan Nanthian. Are you that person?” asked Ok-tu-kui.

    “Ah, it's just some praises that friends from wulin gave, I don't really deserve it,” answered Jiang Bie He modestly with a laugh.

    "Is he your son?" asked Ok-tu-kui pointing to Jiang Yulang.

    "Yes, he is my incompetent son," anwered Jiang Bie He with some regret.

    "The father's so valiant, yet the son's such a coward..." Ok-tu-kui said while shaking his head, suddenly he slammed the table and shouted, "If he's really your son, then are you taking his place to gamble with me?"

    "If Xuanyuan Siansing would like to, I would be happy to entertain," answered Jiang Bie He.

    Ok-tu-kui gave a hearty laugh and said, "Wagering a big bet with someone like you would make my day."

    "I wonder what kind of wager would you like to bet," asked Bie He laughing.

    After thinking for a while, Ok-tu-kui said with a loud voice, "We will make the bet very simple, regardless who loses, he should do what the winner bids."

    The people gasped with shock upon hearing such a wager. In Wulin life and death matter was not a big deal. However, to comply to the wish of someone, one had to think twice about it. Just imagine, if the winner would ask the loser to do something embarrassing, wouldn't that be worse than death? Especially for someone whose status was like Jiang Bie He, if he would have lost he couldn't back out of it, and would be forced to comply to what his opponent wish. Therefore, everybody thought that Jiang Bie He would not accept such a crazy wager.

    Unexpectedly he smiled and answered, "I will accept Xuanyuan Siansing's proposal. Only what would you suggest we bet on?"

    Ok-tu-kui didn't expect Jiang Bie He to accept his suggestion that readily. He lifted up his wine cup and dried up the cup completely then laughed, "Very well, Jiang da-xia does have the spirit of a true hero. Now, regarding the way of betting, I leave it up to you."

    "Xuanyuan Siansing no need to hesitate..."

    "No, I've decided on the wager, so you decide on the way we bet, that's my rule," thundered Ok-tu-kui.

    "If that is the case, then I will comply," replied Jiang Bie He laughing, then he placed a little table in front of them, and placed a bowl full of "Ang-sio-hi-sit" on top of the table.

    Xuanyuan Sangong was puzzled, and asked, "What is this for?"

    "This is how we bet," explained Jiang Bie He, "We take turn hitting the table with our palm, and whoever spilled the Hi-sit sauce or drop the bowl to the floor is the loser.

    "That's too easy!" laughed Xuanyuan Sanguan, he softly tap the table and naturally the Hi-sit Sauce didn't spill at all. Suddenly Ok-tu-kui stopped laughing, he glared and said, "That way of betting even if it goes on till the new year there still won't be any winner. Who are you kidding?"

    Jiang Bie He smiled, and he replied, "That's not the way to hit the table, it has to be done this way...." and swung his palm unto the surface of the table.

    It seemed that he didn't use any energy at all, but the small bamboo table suddenly seemed to turn soft like jello, and Jiang Bie He's palm went through the surface, but the Hi-sit sauce didn't spill, in fact it didn't even move.

    "There, that's the way to hit the table, if both of us didn't spill the sauce, then eventually only the middle part of the table under the bowl is left, and the bowl will fall down. The last person that cause the bowl to fall is the loser.

    Xuanyuan facial expression changed, he was silent for a while and finally he mumbled to himself, "I've never done this way of betting before."

    "I just had my turn hitting the table once, now is Xuanyuan Siansing's turn," said Jiang Bie He with a smile.

    "Hahahaha!" Xuanyuan tilted his head back and laughed heartily. "In my entire life I, Ok-tu-kui at least had bet several thousands time. Never in my life I admit defeat before starting..." he looked straight at Jiang Bie He and continued, "Nevertheless, today I admit defeat.... even though I am able to hit through the surface of the table, but I wouldn't able to keep the sauce from spilling.

    At that moment Yu-mian-shen-pan and the others gave a big sigh of relief, and were very happy.

    Xiao Yu'er was shocked, "Hey, you...you are admitting defeat for real?"

    "If I've lost, I've lost, I'm not faking it," growled Ok-tu-kui. He smiled curtly and said to Jiang Bie He, "Now, what would you like me to do, tell me."

    Jiang Bie He thought for a while, then he poured two cups of wine, he laughed, "Allow me to pay respect to Xuanyuan Siansing with a cup of wine."

    Without thinking Ok-tu-kui accept it and with one gulp he drank it all. He slammed the cup down unto the table and said, "Now Xuanyuan Sanguan is ready to live or die, to go East or West, go ahead tell me what you want me to do."


    End of Chapter 37

  7. #27
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 38


    "What I'd wanted, didn't Mr Xuanyuan just finished doing it?" answered Jiang Bie He with a smile. "How come after you just paid the wager, you asked about the wager again?"

    Ok-tu-kui stood puzzled, he asked to clarify, "What...what did you say?"

    "We agreed that the loser would comply to the winner's wishes, and just now I have collected my wager by asking you to drink a cup of wine with me, and you have done it. That means that you do not owe me anything anymore." explained Jiang Bie He with a laugh.

    Ok-tu-kui Xuanyuan Sanguan stood still for a while, and said, "If you had killed me, there would be numerous of people in Jianghu that would be grateful to you, if you had asked me to find something, even a rare gem, I would have done it, but now..." he sigh, and continued on, "You only asked me to drink a cup of wine."

    Suddenly Xuanyuan Sanguan raised up his wine gourd and drank big gulps and wiped his mouth with his sleeve. He tilted his head back and laughed, "Hahaha! Very well, you are well deserving the title 'Kanglam da-xia'. In my entire life I've never admit defeat to anyone, but now you've won my respect, Jiang Bie He."

    He came to Xiao Yu'er and slapped him on the back, "Little brother, I can't help you anymore, but with Kanglam da-xia here I don't think you need to worry about those bunch of rats ganging up on you. I am leaving now, till we meet again!"

    As soon as he finished speaking, he flew out the window and an instant he's disappeared into the darkness of the night. Outside the wind's blowing gently and the half moon decorated the sky.

    Jiang Bie He watched Ok-tu-kui Xuanyuan Sanguan left and murmured to himself, "That man is truly a real man."

    With a respectful smile Yu-mian-shen-pan Sau Cu-jun responded, "That man is one of the Ten Evils, it is a pity that Brother Jiang didn't take care of him for good just now."

    "A hero like him can be counted on one hand. How could I anhilate him just like that? replied Jiang Bie He in a serious tone. "Except for his habit of gambling, it seems that he doesn't do any other evil thing."

    "Yes, yes, I was wrong to say that." agreed Siau Cu jun, bowing his head.

    "In fact even in his gambling he is a man of his word," said Jiang Bie He with a laugh, "If he wagers his head and lost, he still would stay true to his word, just think how many people would do such a thing as him?"

    Suddenly Xiao Yu'er let a deep sigh and spoke up, "Too bad that Xuanyuan Sanguan is not here to hear what you just said, if not he would feel so touched that he would shed some tears and be ultimately grateful to you."

    Jiang Bie He stared at Xiao Ju'er, with a smile he asked, "Little brother, are you a close friend of my incompetent son?"

    "The term 'close friend' I don't dare to accept," said Xiao Yu'er.

    "You must have helped my incompetent son out of trouble many times on the road," said Jiang Bie Hi again.

    Xiao Yu'er replied with a saucy smile, "This little 'older-brother' did not help the big 'younger-brother' at all, in fact big younger-brother has many times given a hand to make this little 'older-brother's life miserable. If little 'older-brother's fortune hasn't been good, his head would have been separated from his body by now.

    Jiang Bie He turned to Jiang Yulang and asked, "Have you been mischieveous lately?"

    "How would this son dare to do such a thing," replied Jiang Yulang and quickly looked down.

    "Seeing your guilty look, I know that you did an evil thing," said Jiang Bie He sternly. "When we get home you must lock yourself in a room and think over your wrong doing, if you dare to do wrong then you have to be able to admit your wrong and apologize. That's the way a real man should act."

    Yulang bowed his head even lower and mumbled yes.

    Xiao Yu'er said in wonder, "How Jiang Yulang could have a father like you, is beyond my comprehension. However, if he has to lock himself to think about his wrongdoing, then consequently I have to accompany him.

    Jiang Bie He glanced at the "love handcuff" on the wrists of both of the young men, and said with a smile, "I'm sure that I would be able to remove something that trivial, you come with me."

    "I actually would love to go with you, however there are still some people here that want me dead. So what to do?" laughed Xiao Yu'er.

    "Oh, who are they?" asked Jiang Bie He frowning.

    "These well known heroes and first rate fighters of the village are all seeking for my head, a mere youth. I feel so honored," said Xiao Yu'er.

    When Jiang Bie He eyes swept around the room, automatically Yu-mian-shen-pan and others didn't dare to look up, their faces were red with shame

    Calmly Jiang Bie He spoke, I guarantee that today's episode wouldn't repeat itself again.

    "Very rarely in my entire life do I admire other people, but today I salute you," laughed Xiao Yu'er.

    If you didn't witness it for yourself you would not believe that the well-known "Jiangnan da-xia" would stay in such a humble house. Although the village where he stayed which was by the foothill of Ku-san (Turtle Hill) was a large village yet, many of the houses were neglected. Jiang Bie He occupied a row of the houses at the edge of the village.

    He occupied about three or four dilapidated houses, although they were clean, they were very poor. Even an average government officer would live in a better house. Obviously he had no servants, only an old deaf and mute man helping him with the house chores.

    It took them two days before they arrived at Jiang Bie He's home.

    During the two days, Xiao Yu'er felt more and more that "Jiangnan da-xia" was indeed a remarkable person. A true da-xia in Jianghu, so friendly and humble toward anybody. Except for Jiang Bie He, no one could behave that way.

    Therefore, Xiao Yu'er was suprised to see the house of the big hero of Jiangnan province.

    "A good friend of mine used to own this village, but he had moved to Soatang, so he gave this village to me," explained Jiang Bie He. "Only it's a pity that I wasn't able to maintain the beauty of this village as it was before. When I think about it, I feel ashame toward my friend."

    "With your fame and status, this village should be even better than before," laughed Xiao Yu'er.

    "People that are involved in Jianghu world in general do not think about income and I am no exception. If I am after material things then I would cause shame toward my parents."

    Xiao Yu'er blinked several times and said, "But your friends, they can ...."

    "It's true that among my relatives there are some who want to help, but I felt that it's not proper for me to accept, especially I feel content and peaceful the way I am.

    "It's hard to believe that 'Jiangnan da-xia' who is so famous turns out live in such a humble estate, in hundreds of year, there's none in Jianghu who would do the same," replied Xiao Yu'er.

    "According to an ancient saying, 'it is easy to go from thrifty to wasteful, but difficult to change from being wasteful to thrifty'. I would never forget that saying," said Jiang Bie He in a serious tone.

    "You are a true hero," praised Xiao Yu'er.

    Not long after they had their dinner which consist of three or four kinds of vegetables very simply prepared. In fact "Jiangnan da-xia" himself set the table. This humble life is not what you expect from someone as famous as Jiang da-xia.

    "No wonder the people in Jianghu respect you very much," Xiao Yu'er murmured to himself.

    Jiang Bie He stared sharply at Xiao Yu'er, suddenly he said, "It is strange, the more I look at you the more you look like my late good friend."

    "Oh, who is he?" asked Xiao Yu'er.

    "He's a model what people in Jianghu would call the most polite and cultured, the most handsome man in the world." said Jiang Bie He. "That's why I gave the name 'Yulang' (handsome one) to my son, in his honor.

    "Hahaha you identify me with the handsomest person?" laughed Xiao Yu'er. "If I am called polite and cultured, then no man in this world could be called uncouth or uncultured."

    "It's possible that you are not the most polite or cultured man, but you do have this charisma that's hard to describe," said Jiang Bie He with a smile. "Especially when you laugh, I believe every girl in this world will swoon and find it hard to resist."

    "I would love to be the man as good as you described and hope to be the son of that brother of yours who was so gracious, only too bad my father is exactly like me. He's wise, but not at all handsome. Moreover, he's still well and alive. Probably he’s sitting on his rocking chair at this moment enjoying his pipe,” Xiao Yu’er laughed out loud and he got up and walked out. Jiang Bie He had no other choice but to went after him.

    “Actually I would like to chat longer with you,” spoke Xiao Yu’er turning his head, “Unfortunately my eye lids are getting heavy, I wish to retire for the night. I hope that tomorrow you would be able to find a lock-smith to pick this cursed ‘love handcuff’.

    “Along the way almost all the well known lock-smiths I’ve contacted, but none were able to pick the handcuff, who would have guessed that the mechanism of this handcuff was so complex,” Jiang Bie He laughed and added on, “But don’t you worry, in a short time I will be able to find a special saber or sword that could cut through steel like vegetable. Being in my residence any problem you don’ t need to worry about.

    “Yes, because of that as soon as my head hit the pillow, I will be able to sleep like a pig,” confirmed Xiao Yu’er.

    Jiang Yulang all of a sudden became obedient, quiet and well behaved, wherever Xiao Yu’er went he would follow without any complain.

    After both young men had left, slowly out of his sleeve Jiang Bie He took out a small sword out about a foot long. The sheath of the sword was black and uninteresting, but as soon as Jiang Bie He pulled it out of the sheath, it emitted a brilliant light.
    The old man who was dumb and mute was standing outside the door, as he saw the light from the sword his eyes popped up with amazement as if he’s saying, “You are obviously holding a special sword that can cut throuth steel like vegetable, how come you did not cut off the cursed ‘love handcuff’?”

    It seemed that Jiang Bie He was aware of the puzzled look of the old man, as if knowing what was in the heart of that old man he smiled and said, “This is not the time to take off the handcuff. That boy is obviously too clever and has many tricks up he sleeve, nobody could guess what he’s up to. Therefore I have to allow Yulang to be by his side so he can keep watch of him. That handcuff will make it hard for him to run away if he has the thought of doing so.”

    It was unfortunate that the only person around was a deaf old man, so nobody heard what was spoken.

    At the long porch was a small lamp with a small shades, the flickering light shone dimly the quiet yard. A black cat huddled in a corner, one could only see the eyes shining in the dark.

    Xiao Yu’er and Jiang Yulang went along side of the long porch; one could hear their footsteps and the rustling of the leaves on the trees blown by the wind.

    Shrugging his shoulder Xiao Yu’er said, “If one stays here for ten years, it is impossible for that person to keep his sanity.”

    “You don’t need to worry about that, you don’t need to stay here for ten years,” replied Jiang Yulang.

    “Haha, finally you opened your mouth to talk,” teased Xiao Yu’er. “A while ago when we were with your father I almost thought that you turned mute.”

    “I think there are not too many people in this world who would dare to talk to my father the way you did.”

    “Have you been to the back garden?” asked Xiao Yu’er while looking at the pitched black garden at the back.

    “Yes, one time,” answered Yulang.

    “You have stayed here for a while, surely you’ve been there more than once.”

    “People that entered the garden once, even if you whipped them they wouldn’t want to enter for the second time.”

    “Why, is there a ghost there?”

    “A place like that, even a ghost wouldn’t dare to venture,” replied Yulang as he opened a door to a room and lit up a lamp. The room was not large, there were a few sabers and swords, a stack of books and naturally a bed.

    “Is this your bedroom?” asked Xiao Yu’er looking around the room.

    Yulang let out a long sigh and said, “I’ve been gone for over a year, seeing my bed is like seeing a dear lost friend.”

    “Seeing your high class friends, even if you killed me, I still would not believe that you could sleep on that bed properly, do you honestly like it?”

    Yulang laughed and replied, “In the middle of the night I often would slip out.”

    “I know for a fact that most kids from high class families have the habit of slipping out the house in the middle of the night,” said Xiao Yu’er. “But your father is different from other people, how could you do that without him knowing?”

    Yulang winked and replied, “Do you know why I chose to this bedroom?”

    “No, I don’t,” answered Xiao Yu’er.

    “It’s because this room is the furthest from my father’s bedroom, and also it has many windows. Actually this room is one of the servants quarters, but I purposely chose it for my bedroom.

    “As far as I know, I think your choice is the best,” laughed Xiao Yu’er.

    Being in his own bedroom Jiang Yulang apparently didn’t have to worry about anything anymore. As soon as his head touched the pillow he was fast asleep. He didn’t feel that he needed to watch Xiao Yu’er. Furthermore, he's just too tired, physically and mentally.

    Xiao Yu'er was tired too, and he fell asleep soundly.

    After a long while there were footsteps approaching the door softly, the person stopped in front of the door for a while, then softly knocked on the door. When there's no answer, the person opened the door a little and looked in. Then the door was closed and there was the sound of the footstep leaving the place, going toward the the quiet and eerie garden at the back.

    Xiao Yu'er felt surprised, according to Jiang Yulang even a ghost wouldn't dare to venture there, then why would someone in the middle of the night enter the garden?

    Xiao Yu'er suddenly opened his eyes, from his hair he took a very fine piece of bronze wire, and picked at the lock of the 'love handcuff'. Slowly he turned the wire while listening at tentatively as if a musician listening to a beautiful song.

    All of a sudden a soft click was heard, and the 'love handcuff' which couldn't be picked by many well known lock-smiths, could be unlocked by Yu'er using a mere fine bronze wire.

    Xiao Yu'er gave a satisfied smile; he stretch out his arm that was stiff from being confined so long. Afterward he hit Jiang Yulang 'sleep' pressure point so that the young man would sleep even more soundly.

    While looking at Jiang Yulang, Xiao Yu'er said with a proud smile, “You think that you're smart, actually you are not, you really think that I couldn't unlock that cursed handcuff. Hmm, you forgot where I was raised.

    It's true that if Valley of Evil harbored the worst criminals, then naturally there would be the best pickpockets and thieves there, and to them there's no lock on earth that they couldn't open.

    Since the age of eight Xiao Yu'er learned to pick many different kind of locks and padlocks. To pick and to dismantle locks and to put them back together again became an everyday game when he was small.

    But why did he prefer to be handcuffed to Jiang Yulang and received such hardship and shame? What was really his intention? Did he suspect all along that Jiang Yulang's father was a mysterious person and full of secrets? Or maybe from the beginning he knew that this place was full of mysterious and shocking things?

    Wasn't it possible that the reason why he allowed staying handcuffed with Jiang Yulang because he wanted to come to this place, and thus avoiding people being suspicious of him? People would think that since he could not get away from Jiang Yulang, if every inch and every second he had to be by Yulang's side, then there’s no reason to worry about him.

    But now Xiao Yu'er is free, he's free to roam around. He had Jiang Yulang to thank for choosing this back room as his bedroom, as it was isolated away from the main area in the front.

    Xiao Yu’er quickly flew to the garden at the back, the place where even ghosts were afraid to enter, according to Jiang Yulang.

    In the mean time, the footsteps of the person entering the back garden earlier had long been gone. When Xiao Yu’er entered the gate, there was for a moment a flickering light far away. One second it was there, then darkness engulfed the night. The light had been snuffed off.

    In the darkness, the sound of the wind rustling the leaves in the trees, sounded like a ghost waiting to pounce on its victim. Even though there were stars twinkling up in the sky, but the twinkling stars added to the eeriness and the mystique of the garden.

    The wind was cold, but both palms of Xiao Yu’er were sweating. If it were someone else, that person would have long gone retreated. However, Xiao Yu’er was not “someone else”, Xiao Yu’er was still Xiao Yu’er, the only Xiao Yu’er in this world. If he had been scared and retreated, he would not be Xiao Yu’er. When he decided to continue on, there was nothing in this world that would be able to hold him back.

    At the moment he’s scouting the place where the flickering light came from. He flew quickly toward that direction.

    The wind was blowing from the front, and there in the middle of the garden was a pungent smell. The garden smelled like a coffin, and inside a coffin there’s only air of death! At that moment Xiao Yu’er was as if walking into a coffin, he held his breath, his footsteps were light and made no sound, because he realized that anytime he acted a little careless he could end up as a corpse.

    Inside the garden there were only trees that were wilting, rock boulders from the mountain and old and worn cement statues. That tiny flickering light had disappeared; nobody knew where the source was.

    After moving forward for sometimes, suddenly Xiao Yu’er lost his sense of direction. He felt all of a sudden the wind blowing strongly, and without realizing it Xiao Yu’er was trembling with cold. He didn’t know where else to go, and what to look for.

    At that moment suddenly a black silhouette jumped out from the darkness. Xiao Yu’er nearly jumped out of his skin, luckily it jumped and went away, when he looked carefully, it turned out to be a black cat. How strange, why would the black cat come into the garden and suddenly ran out again.

    Xiao Yu’er thought of something, and quickly he dropped down low to the ground, right in front of him was a pile of small stones around a wilted and dried up plant.

    Just as he dropped down to the ground, a few yards away behind a window a lamp was being lit and following that someone stepped out of the building.

    That person had the lamp in his hand. The light of the lamp shone clearly on his face, and obviously that the person was Jiang Bie He.


    He called out after the cat, and the black cat bounded up into Jiang Bie He’s arms. He closed the door and walked away with the black cat in his arms.

    Xiao Yu’er stayed low to the ground, not daring to breath. Slowly the light went further away, the garden again became pitch black and the air seemed to become thicker and colder.

    After waiting for a long while and not hearing any more sound, slowly Xiao Yu’er got up, tippy toeing he approached the building, as he reached the building he realized that it was a green house.

    That greenhouse must have boasted many different species of rare flowers in the past. As soon as he got there he smelled some sweet aroma.

    However, that smell to Xiao Yu’er was like a forboding rotten stench. Although in the building there were flower plants, but most likely those would be flowers of death.

    The door was locked, but not a problem for Xiao Yu’er. Again he showed his skill in picking the lock.

    Slowly he pushed the door, he lit a match that he took from the table in Jiang Yulang’s room. The greenhouse was full of spider webs, at the corner was a pile of broken flowerpots mixed with dry leaves and rotten wood, other than that there was nothing else. It’s so strange, why would Jiang Bie He come to this rundown green house in the middle of the night?

    The rafter on the windows rattled by the wind, from the hole in the paper window the cold wind blew through like a ghost claw toward the nape of Xiao Yu’er’s neck.

    Actually Xiao Yu’er felt like running back to the room and hid his head under the blanket. This place was truly as Jiang Yulang described, “no ghosts dared to venture”.

    But a place where ghosts feared to venture, was exactly the best place to hide a secret, wasn’t it?

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes darted here and there, for a long time he scrutinized the room but didn’t find anything unusual. Layer of dust covered everywhere; obviously nobody ever entered the room for a long time.

    However, it was obvious that Jiang Bie He just recently stepped out of this building, then how in the world there were no footprints on the layer of dust on the floor?

    Xiao Yu’er squatted down and felt the surface of the floor, apparently the dust was so old that it stuck to the floor, and except by scraping, it, you couldn’t removed the dust.

    Xiao Yu’er almost jumped with joy; he knew that in this hall there must be an underground passage. He scrutinized the place again, inch by inch, every corner he checked, and still he didn’t find any secret panel that he hoped to find.

    Almost giving up hope he tilted his head back and sighed. He saw a spider web fluttering by the wind, part of the web was broken and a spider was busy mending the web.

    However, cobwebs usually weren’t broken by the wind, regardless how hard the wind blew and it wouldn’t make the web fluttered.

    Such evidence usually would go unnoticed by most people. But there’s nothing under the sky that could deceive Xiao Yu’er. He quickly jumped up, and found out that the spider web was different from other spider web. This spider web was made of thin gold thread.

    He quickly jumped up again and pulled hard on the cobweb. Soon a low rumbling sound was heard followed by a squeaking noise, the pile of dried wood under the spider web suddenly moved to the side and there appeared a secret passage.

    Xiao Yu’er had seen many great secret panels, but none could match the obscurity and mechanism of the one in this room.

    Most unexpectedly there was a den underground. Except for not having a window, that den was the most ideal, beautiful and complete with writing equipment.

    On the left wall was bookcase full with different kind of books. In the middle there was a writing desk. It was very elegant and made of marble, on top of the desk was a complete set of writing equipment. Besides that, there was a small bronze lamp.

    Xiao Yu’er lit the bronze lamp, and then sat on the chair like a big boss. He thought calmly, “If I were Jiang Bie He, where would I hide my secrets?”

    Naturally in that underground den there were many places that could be used to hide things. But if the secret were a piece of paper, where would the best place be? It would be inside a book, in fact a book that nobody was interested in.

    Immediately he walked to the bookcase and carefully examine the books one by one. There were many old valuable books and rare to find, indeed it was a fine collection of books. Almost all the books were covered with dust, indicating that they weren’t touched for a long time.

    The reason Jiang Bie He came to the den was definitely not to read, that’s why the books were dusty. Strangely enough there was one book, only one book that had no dust and was very clean.

    The book wasn’t a thin one; Xiao Yu’er pulled it out of the shelf, and saw the title on the cover “Herbal Plants” (Bok-cau). Apparently it’s a book about herbal medicine. Naturally no one would be interested in reading it unless he’s into herbal medicine.
    Xiao Yu’er smiled; he knew that it was the book that he was looking for. He turned the pages, and in the middle of the book the pages were carved out into a space of a box and the pages were glued together.

    Inside the space there were several thin masks, finely made, beside that there were two or three small bottles of make up.

    However Xiao Yu’er wasn’t interested in those items, he kept on searching and finally found another identical boxed space. Inside it were several small bottles with rare and potent poison.


    Xiao Yu’er let out a long sigh; he searched again and found a folded silver draft, a form of paper money in the olden time in China (Gin-bio) with a large sum of money that was shocking. Who would have guessed that “Jiangnan Da Xia” Jiang Bie He who lived a simple life kept such a shocking amount of money in form of silver draft?

    He then found a long list of names, Xiao Yu’er was too lazy to read the names listed, but it was plain that each name had a word in bracket behind it, such as “Shaolin”, “Wudang”, etc. Almost all the words in bracket were name of the mainstream martial arts clans. It’s possible that the names listed were names of spies that Jiang Bie He sent to infiltrate those well-known martial arts clans.

    However, Xiao Yu’er didn’t feel like checking it further, even though it would be a shocking revelation, Xiao Yu’er was looking for something else, and so far he still had not found it. He felt disappointed and sat again on the chair.

    All of a sudden he saw a small table next to the desk, full with paper all sizes and color. He stared at those paper, and quickly he grapped the stack of papers. The papers were blank without any writing on them, but that was exactly the thing he was looking for.

    The papers were thin and light, yet made of special material that was durable. Xiao Yu’er had once seen that kind of paper before, in fact he knew how it taste like.

    The reason was because Xiao Yu’er had swallowed that kind of paper whole before.

    Carefully he picked up a clump of dust and smeared it unto the surface of the paper, and sure enough line strokes appeared showing the map of the treasure.

    So that it would look authentic, the map was drawn with a hard charcoal pencil, and when the map was drawn on the paper, the paper underneath would have the imprint.

    Now that Xiao Yu’er smeared some dust on the paper, the imprint of the map appeared clearly. Apparently when Jiang Bie He drew the last map, he never used the rest of the paper afterward.


    Xiao Yu’er let out a long sigh, and spoke softly, “Apparently he’s the person that made the fake maps. He purposely caused the confusion among the pugilist heroes and caused them to kill each other ruthlessly. He is the true culprit.”

    He then scoffed, “Hm, how amazing is this benevolent ‘Jiang Nan Dai Xia’ who has such a big heart! Hm, even before all this I already had suspected that you harbored some evil ambition, if not why pretend to be such a true hero? You not only intent to fool all the Wulin heroes, but you wanted to wiped all those that wouldn’t kow tow to you, with your ruthless treachery. You wanted to rule over world.

    Carefully he put all the things back to the original place, and then said to himself, “If you didn’t bother me, in actuality I would be too lazy to meddle into your business. But since you fooled me once, if I don’t give the payback you deserve, I would do myself injustice.”

    He blew out the light, and retreated from the secret room. He returned the secret mechanism back to the original place. He knew that if he exposed the Jiang Bie He’s deceits at this moment, no one would have believed him. It’s because Jiang Bie He was very good in pretending. So right now he had to wait, he’s sure that Jiang Bie He would not be able to escape though.

    Xiao Yu’er quickly went back to Jiang Yulang’s room. He saw Yulang still fast asleep, in fact he hadn’t moved from his position before, the head half submerged in the pillow and the ‘love handcuff’ still around his wrist.

    Quietly Xiao Yu’er layed down and put his wrist back into the hadcuff, “click” and it was locked.

    He didn’t want to think about anything. He wanted to have a good sleep so he would have full energy to face possible problems for tomorrow.

    But before he could shut his eyes, suddenly someone lit a lamp inside the room.

    Xiao Yu’er was shocked, he opened his eyes wide, and saw someone standing in front of the bed smiling. Under the flickering light of the lamp he saw that pale face, clearly it was Jiang Yulang.

    But he definitely saw Jiang Yulang sleeping beside him, how on earth could he be standing in front of the bed?

    Swiftly Xiao Yu’er jumped up and looked at the person next to him. To his surprise, the person next to him was looking at him, laughing, it was the deaf and mute old man.

    For a while Xiao Yu’er froze, suddenly he laughed and said, “Yes, I knew for sure that Jiang Bie He is one brilliant man yet how come I still think lowly of him?”

    “What is so funny?” sneered Jiang Yulang. “In my opinion now is crying time for you.”

    “Because I want to cry, yet I can’t cry, therefore I can only laugh,” answered Xiao Yu’er.

    At that moment Jiang Bie He came in slowly into the room, he said smiling in a gentle voice, “You have found out a mighty important secret, you should have run away quickly, but you weren’t willing to run away, instead you came back as if nothing happen, indeed your bravery is amazing.”

    “It’s obvious that you knew that I found out your secret, yet you waited for me to come back as if nothing happen and put back the handcuff on my wrist. Ah, you are indeed a very crafty man,” replied Xiao Yu’er.

    “You are still so young, yet you could fool me and able to find out my secret. I never could imagine that. You have my admiration,” said Jiang Bie He.

    “You were able to make everyone believe in you as a Da Xia (Great Knight), a true benevolent hero with a big heart. Everyone respect you, it’s no shame that you’re one noted figure of the era,” replied Xiao Yu’er.

    That’s how the conversation went back and forth, both were as witty and both side extol each other. If anyone witnessed their conversation, nobody would have guessed what was in their mind.

    “Actually I really like your intelligence and wittiness,” spoke Jiang Bie He with regret. “But, why are you against me? Because you found out my secret, even though I like you yet regrettably you still need to be sacrificed.”

    “Actually I too like your intelligence and wit, but why did you on purpose make those cursed treasure map, that I got fooled by you?”

    Suddenly Jiang Bie He’s face changed, he raised his voice, “How do you know that I had something to do with that treasure map?”

    “If not because of the treasure map, why would I bother to come here, and with difficulty finding out your secret? If you had not cause me any trouble, I wouldn’t have meddled into your secrets.”

    Jiang Bie He glanced at Yulang then asked Xiao Yu’er, “How long have you suspected this?”

    When I saw your dearest son with that piece of treasure map I asked him where he got it,” explained Xiao Yu’er. According to him he stole the map from your room. Then it got me thinking how in the world that such an important map would be laying around carelessly, so I became suspicious.”

    “Your suspicion had some grounds,” agreed Jiang Bie He.

    “Then I heard from others that the father of this beloved son was a true Da Xia of this era, accordingly a dragon would have a dragon for a son, and tiger a tiger for a child, but how could a big hero have a son so low and shameless?”

    “Ehm, your insult has some basis in it,” smiled Jiang Bie He.

    “Then I met you and followed you here,” continued Xiao Yu’er. “I saw that such an important hero was willing to stay in a place like this, in fact he had to do most of the chores, only being helped by an old man who’s deaf and mute. I came to the conclusion, that person was either a prophet or someone who was very evil and knifing. Because only those two type of people could lead such a life.”

    “Obviously I don’t look like a prophet,” said Jiang Bie He laughing.

    “Therefore I decided to get to the bottom of your secret,” continued Xiao Yu’er.

    “You are indeed very clever, unfortunately that’s also the reason of your tragedy,” said Jiang Bie He with regret.

    “When someone was born to be clever, he or she couldn’t escape from karma,” spoke Xiao Yu’er.

    “You are so right, regarding this matter you and I have the same view,” Jiang Bie He nodded in agreement.

    “If I’m a little older, maybe I could learn to be a little dumb.”

    “Too bad, that you wouldn’t have the chance to learn,” replied Jiang Bie He.

    Xiao Yu’er blinked his eyes several times and replied, “I guess you are going to kill me now.”

    Jiang Bie He smiled and answered, “I never had the heart to kill people.”

    “Oh, what violent method are you going to use then?” asked Xiao Yu’er.

    After thinking for a while Jiang Bie He replied with a laugh, “Do you know that last night you are not the only one that wanted to do me harm?”

    “Oh, who else was trying to harm you?” asked Xiao Yu’er.

    “Last night someone visited my room, but before coming in the person lit a sleeping incense. It was obvious that the intent was to kill me. Only too bad that I was in the room.”

    “That’s right, last night we were on the road, in the hotel,” agreed Xiao Yu’er. “But how did you know that someone came by?”

    “When we got here, there was still the smell of the sleeping incense, and under the window there were footprints,” explained Jiang Bie He with a laugh. “Therefore, I came to the conclusion that the person who tried to kill me was not a professional.”

    “If he’s a professional, then tonight he wouldn’t come back again,” said Xiao Yu’er.

    “That’s right, but because the person is not, then it’s possible that he would come again.” Replied Jiang Bie He.

    “So you would want me to sleep in your bedroom in your stead to be killed by this person, that way I would be killed and you could use the opportunity to catch the person, and if you were to kill that person, you would have the excuse that you were avenging my death. If people knew about this incidence, you would be praised as a true benevolent Da Xia and loyal to friends.”

    “Hahaha, talking to a clever kid like you is such an enjoyment. I don’t need to tell you, yet you know my heart inside out.”

    “I rather not know at all,” replied Xiao Yu’er with a sigh.


    End of Chapter 38

  8. #28
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 39

    And true enough, Xiao Yu’er was carried to Jiang Bie He’s bedroom, and tucked in his bed.

    Xiao Yu’er himself opened the “love handcuff”, but right away his important pressure points were blocked by Jiang Bie He.

    Now the young man lay on the bed, staring at the ceiling. He was so frustrated that he purposely not thinks about anything. He counted sheep, one, two, three sheep, four, five….so he wouldn’t think about other things.

    By counting sheep he was hoping that sleep would come, because by being in a deep sleep he doesn’t need to worry about life and death. He went on counting and continued on, but though he counted sheep till eight thousand six hundred fifty seven, he was still wide-awake.

    Because of counting sheep, he thought of Peach Blossoms (Tho Hoa), he thought of Peach Blossoms' (Tho Hoa’s) face red as an apple, and because of that he also thought of Tie Xinlan.

    All this time he never knew that the mind can do strange thing. The more you tried not to think of someone, the more the image of that person came into your mind.

    “Where is Tie Xinlan at this moment? Maybe she is having a great time chatting with young master Wuque, that polite and handsome young man. And here I am waiting for death to come.

    Xiao Yu’er tried to shut his eyes and try not to think of Tie Xinlan, but the image of the young lady came stronger in front of him wearing white with the sun shining on her.

    That’s the memory of seeing her for the first time. If there’s no Tie Xinlan, then he wouldn’t have seen that stupid secret treasure map, and if not for the map he would not want to come here.

    He forced himself to count sheep again … 8658…8659… but the face of sheep suddenly started to look like the pretty face of Tie Xinlan.

    Suddenly there was a shuffling sound outside the window, and soon a sweet smelling smell permeated into the room.

    Xiao Yu’er held his breath, he thought, “There it is, finally it’s coming. Jiang Bie He’s calculation turns out to be quite accurate. Ah, I can’t even move one finger, what’s the use of holding my breath.”

    Because he was laying down and couldn’t move, Xiao Yu’er could only watched with his eyes half opened.

    He saw the window slowly opened, and a shadow quickly slipped in.

    That person was wearing a tight black outfit, there was a thin shining sabre on one hand, the movement was light and quick, it seems that the person was quite courageous.

    At one time the reflection from the saber happened to shine at the face of the intruder. Xiao Yu’er saw the face and his mouth gaped open with surprise.

    The courageous intruder was none other than Tie Xinlan.

    Xiao Yu’er wasn’t sure that he was seeing right, maybe his eyes were playing tricks. Could such a coincidence happen in this world?

    His eyesight wasn’t playing tricks, that intruder was indeed Tie Xinlan.

    She slipped quietly into the room. Seeing a person lying on the bed, without looking any closer Tie Xinlan quickly sprung forward, with the sabre lifted up high ready to strike the head on the pillow.

    Because he couldn’t make any noise nor make any movement, Xiao Yu’er became quite worried and sad at the same time. Who knew what other feeling came into his mind. It was hard to believe that he had to die under Tie Xinlan’s hand, is life playing a game on him?

    Jiang Bie He and Jiang Yulang at that moment were standing outside the door, spying to see what was going on. As soon as the lady’s saber had done the job they would barge in…. It seemed that Tie Xinlan had started swinging the saber down, and Xiao Yu’er’s head would soon be separated from his body.

    At the critical moment there was a quiet snapping sound and the saber Tie Xinlan was about to swing down broke in two mysteriously.

    Naturally both Jiang Bie He and Jiang Yulang were shocked, “Who would have such high level of kungfu” they wondered.

    Tie Xinlan was just as shocked, her face paled, and she stepped back and was ready to run away.

    At that moment someone flew in through the window so light and quick like a leaf blown by the wind.

    Under the twinkling of the stars one could see a glimpse of this person wearing long white attire, his face smiling and benevolent, under the dim lighting he looked like a god coming down from heaven, his charisma was so strong, it’s hard to figure what caused the charisma.

    Jiang Bie He was also taken by the person’s charisma, so valiant and poise, he stood in awe. He couldn’t remember any young pugilist in Jianghu as impressive as this.

    With just one look Xiao Yu’er recognized the newcomer instantly and he almost fainted because of it.

    Obviously that person was none other than Hua Wuque alias Master Wuque, just like his name, Wuque which meant no flaw.

    Without realizing it, Tie Xinlan moved back two steps, and with a hoarse voice she said, “Oh, it’s you? Why ..why are you here..?”

    “Yes, it’s me,” replied Hua Wuque with a smile. “Since yesterday you were searching for ‘Ji Ming Wu Gu Fan Hun Xiang’ (Soul-Returning Incense of the Five Calls of the Fowl or loosely translated, incense that makes you sleep till the next morning ), I felt suspicious what you are up to. Therefore these two days I followed you secretly.

    Tie Xinlan stomped her foot and said angrily, “Why are you following me and why did you prevent me from killing him?”

    ”Everyone in Jianghu says that ‘Jiangnan Da Xia’ is a benevolent knight, if you are angry at him there’s still no need to kill him,” spoke Master Wuque gently.

    “But…do you know that …my father…was killed by him?” shouted Xinlan trembling.

    At that moment Jiang Bie He opened the door and walked in with a surprise and shock in his face, he pretended to be confused with what Tie Xinlan said. He greeted them and asked with a smile, “Who are you two young people? In my entire life I’ve been careful not to kill innocent people, where did you hear this slander? Maybe there’s a misunderstanding.

    Tie Xinlan’s eyes were red, and she screamed with anger, “My father left a secret code, telling me that he came here to look for you. Since then he never came back, that means either he’s still here or you have killed him.”

    “Miss, and you are?” asked Jiang Bie He.

    “My surname is Tie, my father is ‘Wild Lion’ Tie Zhan,” answered Xinlan loudly.

    “Oh, so you are Miss Tie,” said Jiang Bie He with a laugh, “I give you my word that Elder Tie had never came here. Just think logically, if I had killed Elder Tie then it would be big news, even if I tried to keep it a secret that would be hard to fool the folks of Jianghu, with so many people with keen nose for news. Moreover if I really killed Elder Tie, why should I keep it a secret.”

    What Jiang Bie He said was reasonable. One needed to know that “Wild Lion” Tie Zhan, was one of the Ten Evil.

    It’s understood that there were many people in Jianghu that wanted the death of Tie Zhan and the other Ten Evil. So if there’s someone able to kill him, not only would it make news in Jianghu and cause many to celebrate, but would cause people to praise whoever did it. So if it really happened, it’s inconceivable that it would be kept a secret. Although what Jiang Bie He said was rather insulting, but there was some truth in it.

    Unfortunately just like her father, Tie Xinlan was quick tempered and impulsive. Although she came for revenge and if needed to fight till death, but whether her father was indeed killed there or not, she wasn’t sure herself.

    Jiang Bie He then turned and greeted Young Master Wuque, “Young sir, you are like a pearl in the world of Jianghu, I’ve been roaming in wulin for decades yet I’ve never seen an impressive pugilist as young as you. If it’s no trouble, may I know your honorable name?

    With a smile Young Master Wuque replied, “I am Hua Wuque and you sir..?”

    “I’m Jiang Bie He,” answered Jiang Bie He and made a gesture of respect.

    Tie Xinlan jumped with shock and spoke out, “Hey, if you’re Jiang Bie He, then who’s the person sleeping in the bed?”

    Secretly Jiang Bie He was amused to see how reckless Tie Xinlan was. On the outside she look so gentle, yet her action was rash and careless, it took her until now to ask who the person sleeping in the bed was.

    Suddenly an idea came to his mind, and he quickly approach the bed and slowly tap Xiao Yu’er’s shoulder and answered, “This young man is the son of my late dear friend, he came from afar, therefore I let him sleep in my bed. My good nephew, get up quickly and meet Young Master Hua.”

    At the same time he released the pressure points on Xiao Yu’er, but left his hand threatening the fatal pressure point, guarding if Xiao Yu’er dared to say something disadvantage towards him. He would then let his energy flow into the pressure point so Xiao Yu’er couldn’t talk anymore, meaning death.

    “Young people like to sleep soundly, why do you need to wake him up,” laughed Hua Buque.

    Part of Xiao Yu’er’s head was hidden by the pillow, he suddenly spoke, “I’ve been awake for a while, only I’m too lazy to chat them.”

    Jiang Bie He frowned and reprimanded, “Hey, how could you speak so rudely?”

    “Who in this Jianghu world doesn’t know that you are a benevolent knight,” said Xiao Yu’er. “But they in turn is accusing you of killing someone without reason. People who are not wise couldn’t tell the difference between right and wrong, so why should I waste my time talking to them.”

    At first Jiang Bie thought with his life threatened, at the most Xiao Yu’er would only do greeting formalities. Who would have guessed that this young man would suddenly say something in his defense, this was beyond his calculation.

    Naturally Jiang Bie didn’t know that the person that Xiao Yu’er most afraid of was not him, but that handsome Young Master Wuque.

    At that momentTie Xinlan spoke out, “Hey, you…you..” She quickly glanced at Young Master Wuque and continued on softly, “If… you really didn’t kill my father, then it’s settled. We will be going now.”

    Jiang Bie He was astounded. Why would the reckless and impulsive young miss suddenly changed and became docile.

    Jiang Bie He nor Young Master Buque didn’t realize what's happening. Xiao Yu’er tried to disguise his voice by speaking with a hoarsely. Tie Xinlan had been with this young man for so long, in fact had fallen in love and was pining for him day and night. Naturally she could recognize Xiao Yu’er’s voice although that young man had tried to disguise his voice.

    With shock and happiness she called out to him, but stopped half way as she remembered that if Young Master Wuque recognized that the young man on the bed as Xiao Yu’er, he would be in grave danger.

    That’s the reason she wanted Hoa Wuque to go quickly.

    The relation between these your people was really complex, no matter how sharp Jiang Bie He was, he had not the slightest inclination. He could only laugh and said, “So happen Young Master Hua, that you are here, how could you leave in a hurry?”

    Hua Wuque laugh and answered, “I’ve heard and admired Jiangnan Da Xia’s name for quite sometimes, and would like to ask for some pointers, only…”

    Secretly Xiao Yu’er was relieved when he saw Hua Wuque was about to leave, but now it sounded as if he’s going to stay longer, he got so nervous that he quickly said, “If you really want to meet Uncle Jiang, it’s only polite to wait until morning, then you can come visit. Now it’s in the middle of the night, where is your manner?”

    Hua Wuque’s face changed and asked, “Who are you, actually?”

    Tie Xinlan quickly pulled Hua Wuque’s arm and said, “Don’t mind who he is, let’s just go quickly!”

    Half force she pulled Hua Wuque out the window, but just as she let out a sigh of relief, suddenly there was a blur of a shadow and Hua Wuque had disappeared. When she turned around, that young man was by the bedside.

    Almost all of Xiao Yu’er’s face was covered by the pillow, secretly he cursed himself for being so dumb.

    Seeing Hua Wuque left and came back, naturally got Jiang Bie He lost, not knowing what’s going on.

    He saw Hua Wuque became serious and asked slowly, one word at a time, “It this person Jiang Yu?”

    Jiang Bie He was stunned, he answered with a quirk, “Hehe, does Young Master Hua know this good nephew of mine?

    Hua Wuque let out a long sigh and said happily, “Hah, great, great, you didn’t die after all.”

    Seeing this young person so happy, never could he imagine that the happiness was because Hua Wuque felt that now he could kill Xiao Yu’er with his own hand, on the contrary he thought that this young man was a close friend of Xiao Yu’er. With a laugh he explained, “Naturally he is not dead, I wouldn’t allow anybody to kill him.”

    “You would not allow?” clarified Hoa Buque coldly.

    Seeing his strange behavior, Jiang Bie He was rather puzzled.

    At that moment suddenly Xiao Yu’er jumped out of bed and hid behind Jiang Bie He, he mocked at Hua Wuque and laughed, “You heard it yourself, whoever wanted to kill this good nephew of Jiangnan Da Xia, he could only dream of it.”

    “I have admiration and respect for Jiang Da Xia, but I have to kill this person regardless,” said Hua Wuque calmly.

    Again Jiang Bie He was stunned, he asked, “You…you want to kill him?”

    “Yes, whether I want it or not I have to kill him,” said Hua Wuque regretfully.


    Jiang Bie He stared at Hua Wuque, and then glanced at Xiao Yu’er for a while, secretly he sighed, “This is very bad, in the end I still got trick by this little devil.”

    He realized since he had spoken, in accordance to his good name and position, he could not allow this “nephew” of his be killed in his presence.

    Seeing Jiang Bie He not knowing what to do, actually Xiao Yu’er was greatly elated, but he pretended to be concerned and said, “Uncle, I feel that you shouldn’t help me in this matter. That man’s kungfu is very good and you are not his equal. If you do not help then Jianghu community won’t be able to mock you.

    Xiao Yu’er purposely stress on the phrase “mock you” with louder voice, because he knew if Jiang Bie He did not move and allow Hoa Buque to kill him, then his hard earned title “Jiangnan Da Xia” would be mud.

    Naturally Jiang Bie He knew well Xiao Yu’er’s ploy, he was so frustrated that he felt that his head was going to explode, but on the outside he looked unperturbed, and with a smile he said, “Does Young Master Hua truly intend to make things difficult for me?”

    “I suggest that you think about it,” said Hua Wuque with authority.

    “If that is the case, with much regret I…”

    Before Jiang Bie He finished his sentence, Jiang Yulang suddenly barged in while clutching his stomach, his face ashen and his body trembling.

    “The wine…the wine he brought was laced with poison!” choked Jiang Yulang while pointing at Xiao Yu’er.

    Jiang Bie He’s facial expression immediately changed, he turned to Xiao Yu’er and glared at him. With an angry voice he shouted, “We, son and father, received you with open arms, why do you want to harm us? No wonder, you didn’t… didn’t drink a drop of wine, your wine was poisoned!”

    The change of event not only was beyond Hua Wuque’s expectation, but even Xiao Yu’er was stunned.

    But he quickly understood the situation, and he cursed secretly, “You slime, how deceitful and knifing your ploy…”

    Jiang Yulang’s trickery was really superb, the situation changed 180 degrees, now Jiang Bie He didn’t need to stop Hua Wuque from killing Xiao Yu’er, because they now on the same side wanting Xiao Yu’er’s death.

    Jiang Bie He took out his sword and scolded, “I treated you as my own child. Who could have guessed that you were after this precious sword that you were willing to poison me… You monster with an animal heart, you ungrateful creature, if..if I let you live, who knows how many people will be the victim of your evil deed. For the happiness of families and the peace in world of Jianghu I have to annihilate you.” After speaking, with a quick movement he aimed at Xiao Yu’er’s chest.

    As he made the move to attack, unexpectantly Hua Wuque jumped forward and held Jiang Bie He’s arm gently.

    Again Jiang Bie He was shocked at the quickness of that handsome youth, besides that he couldn’t understand why suddenly Hua Wuque would block his attack, didn’t Hua Wuque wanted to kill Xiao Yu’er?

    “Young Master Hua, what…what’s going on?” he asked confused.

    “Oh, I’m sorry,” replied Hoa Buque. “It’s because I have to kill him with my own hands.”

    Suddenly Jiang Yulang screamed and collapsed.

    Right away Jiang Bie He clutched his stomach and groaned, he said with a sad smile, “If..if that’s so, you go ahead, I…” before he could finished his sentence he staggered and collapsed into a chair.

    Hua Wuque sigh, he took out a small porcelain bottle and gave it to Jiang Bie He, “Here are two types of pills, Siau-cu-hiang (goddess incense) and Soh-li-tan (pure virgin pill), you burn one and inhale, while the other one you drink, the combination of these two can detoxify all kinds of poison under the sky. I hope that it would benefit you. I’m sorry that I couldn’t stay any longer.

    Even though Hua Wuque was speaking to other people and doing things, but he never left his gaze from Xiao Yu’er. He was tricked once, Xiao Yu’er was able to give him a slip. A mule would never fall into the same pit twice, so Hoa Bueque didn’t fancy of repeating the incidence last time where Xiao Yu’er was able to escape, so he didn’t dare to let down his guard.

    It seemed that Xiao Yu’er also realized that this time he could not hope to escape, so he sat down on the bed cross legged. He looked at Hua Buque and laughed, “I have to congratulate you for the fact that I wasn’t killed.”

    “That’s right, it’s my luck that you were not killed by somebody else,” replied Hua Buque laughing.

    “If other people heard our conversation, they would assume that you’re my wife disguising as a man. The fact that I congratulate you because I didn’t get killed.”

    Hua Buque didn’t get riled up, he laughed nonchalantly and replied, “Later when I’ve killed you, they would know that their assumption was dead wrong.”

    “Are you dead sure that you could kill me?”

    “Even if you wanted to kill yourself, that wouldn’t be possible.”

    “Is that so?” Xiao Yu’er asked, raising his eyebrow.

    Calmly Hua Buque answered, “With a distance as close as this, just a slight movement of someone’s hand, I would be able to hit the eighteen pressure points (Hiat-to) on both of your arms before that person could complete his movement.

    He talked nonchalantly as if he’s chatting about something trivial and easy to do, but Xiao Yu’er believed him, what was said was no empty threat and no boasting matter.

    Tie Xinlan was standing outside the window during the conversation, suddenly she vibrated her thin saber till it made a humming sound. She had a pair of saber at first, but one was broken, so there was only one left.

    Upon hearing the sound, Xiao Yu’er rolled his eyeballs, suddenly he thought of an idea and he said with a laugh,, “It is not proper for you to kill me here.”

    “Any place is fine with me,” replied Wuque.

    “Do you dare to let me walk outside alone?”

    “Why? Do you think you could run away?” asked Hua Wuque smiling.

    “Why are you thinking that far? I just want to walk on my own without you carrying me.”

    After saying that he jumped off the bed, for a moment he looked at Jiang Bie He and Jiang Yulang. If it were someone else, that person would have exposed the father and son’s pretense.

    However, Xiao Yu’er didn’t bother to do that. He knew that it would just be a waste of time and energy. If he could convince Hua Wuque that Jiang Bie He was the vilest and most hypocritical person in the world, still Hua Wuque would want to kill him first, and it would be difficult for him to escape. Furthermore Hua Wuque might not believe him.

    Xiao Yu’er stepped outside. The house was an old building where the window was big and low almost like a door. Just one step Xiao Yu’er was outside already. He looked at Tie Xinlan, that young lady was staring at him with her big clear eyes, who knows how many complex and muddled thoughts and emotions going on within her head.

    She was still making the saber vibrate till it made a humming sound.

    The night wind was blowing gently. Xiao Yu’er continue to walk forward, he didn’t look at Hua Wuque at all, but he was sure that the young man was not too far behind him, he thought there was no use to look behind him.

    He walked freely pass Tie Xinlan.

    All of a sudden came a flash of the saber movement, Liu-yap-to, the thin saber that Tie Xinlan held, thin as the leaves of the willow tree suddenly came attacking behind Xiao Yu’er.

    Naturally Xiao Yu’er knew that the attack was directed to Hua Wuque. Although Hua Wuque’s kungfu was high as the sky he still had to evade the attack. Tie Xinlan’s saber art was counted as high level.

    When the flash of the saber came Xiao Yu’er quickly jumped forward. He heard Tie Xinlan shouted, “Catch this…”

    It turned out that the half way through the attack suddenly the direction changed, she suddenly threw the Liu-yap-to to Xiao Yu’er. And if that young man could hold a weapon then the incidence of killing himself at Mount Emei last time could be repeated.

    Unexpectedly as the saber was in mid air, suddenly there was the sound “ting”, and the saber mysteriously broke into two and fell to the ground.

    At that moment all of a sudden Hua Wuque was already behind Xiao Yu’er, and he said calmly as if nothing had happened, “Are you still wanting to walk further away?”

    If people didn't know that they were enemy and only heard Hua Wuque's words, people would have thought that they were two good friends going sightseeing. And why not, Hua Wuque was forever courteous, with a smile on his face as if there's no problem between them. In fact, he didn't even glance at Tie Xinlan.

    He knew that if he glanced at Tie Xinlan that she would feel embarrass and would have no face to meet him again. In his life Hua Wuque had never hurt the feelings of any women, especially if that woman was Tie Xinlan.

    Xiao Yu'er groaned inwardly, he had no choice but to continue walking forward.

    Just a few steps, suddenly he spoke exasperatedly, “It seems that you're very kind toward the girls.”

    “Yes, that is my habit since I was little,” answered Wuque with a laugh, “It's a hard thing to change a habit, isn't it?”

    “But if it's a girl with an ugly face, then what?”

    “Just as long it's a girl, beautiful face or ugly, I think I will treat them just the same.”

    “Haha, I would like to find a girl with a very ugly face, bald, covered with boils, flat nose, with a cleft lip, lame, and.. and.. rough skin..... Now, I'm interested to see how you would treat her courteously.”

    “Oh, too bad most likely you wouldn't have that opportunity,” replied Hua Wuque.

    Suddenly Xiao Yu'er sigh and said, “It's amazing and hard to imagine how you could think of killing someone yet without feeling nervous or worried you still could joke and chit chat with the person, that's really hard to imagine.

    “To kill and to chit chat ...”

    “are two separate things, isn't that what you mean?”

    “That right. I myself would love to talk and exchange ideas with you, but the orders I have received dictate me to kill you. Therefore two are two separate things and not related.”

    “I still don't understand; how you could separate those two things?”

    “It's what I'm taught since I was small.”

    “Wow, you are really a good and obedient child.”

    Hua Wuque laughed and continued talking, “Are you still wanting to walk further?”

    “Yes, actually I would like to keep on walking, in fact to walk as far as possible,” replied Xiao Yu'er with a dry smile. “But since you are the one who wanted to kill me not the other way round, you don't need to ask what I want.”

    “Oh, in that case....in that case, let's stop here,” said Hua Wuque softly and a little uneasy.

    Xiao Yu'er looked around him, under the twinkling stars, one saw the big silhouette of Mount Ku-san afar, the leaves on the trees were starting to wilt and shed. It's late at night during fall season.

    Xiao Yu'er muttered, “It's so strange, it's autumn in Jiang Nan province, how could it be possible that I, Jiang Yu, Jiang Yu'er has to die so soon at such a young age?...”

    After Hua Wuque and the other two went far away Jiang Yulang jumped up.

    Jiang Bie He also got up, he looked at his son and with a laugh he said, “I didn't expect you to come up with a strategy that's much better than mine, in time of crisis.”

    Jiang Yulang looked down and answered, “How could the son be compared to the father. Your son only....”

    “In front of your father you don't need to find excuses,” replied Jiang Bie He. “If you are really smarter and wiser than me, I would also be thankful, why would I want to have any ill intention toward you?”

    Yulang looked down and nodded in agreement.

    Jiang Bie He felt for the small porcelain bottle given by Hua Wuque, and said while knitting his brows, “Xian Zi Xiang and Su Nu Dan... how unexpectedly to find out that young man Hua is a disciple of the floral palace. With the appearance of that young man in Wulin, I have to be more cautious."

    "Even though his kungfu is very good, but he doesn't seem to comprehend the intricacies of life, so why worry about him? spoke Yulang.

    "That person might seem to be green and stupid, but actually he's very sharp, how could you understand his real personality?" said Jiang Bie He thoughtfully.

    "Miss Tie seemed to be like a smart person, but turned out to be rather dumb just like you said, Father," said Yulang with a laugh. "Only... like what she said, did her dad actually ever come here? For sure you didn't kill him?"

    Jiang Bie He scoffed, "Even though I have never seen Tie Zhan, the Raging Lion, but a young girl like Miss Tie has the habit of not telling lies."

    "If she wasn't lying and you have never seen The Raging Lion, Tie Zhan, how come Miss Tie came to our place looking for her dad?" asked Yulang creasing his forehead.

    "That means that the Raging Lion, Tie Zhan, did place a secret code here, and it's possible that he came here in disguise and I was too careless that I didn't see through the disguise."

    "But...., but that young girl said that after her father came to our place, he never left this place," said Jiang Yulang.

    "That's right, I imagine that it is possible that he is still here," replied Jiang Bie He calmly.

    "Still here?" clarified Yulang surprised.

    Jiang Bie He snorted then stood up, he then said coldly, "Don't you forget that besides you and me, father and son, there is still another person."

    "Hah, does Father mean that deaf and mute old man?" exclaimed Yulang.

    "What deaf and mute? Can't someone pretend to be deaf and mute?"

    "But...but Father, you had tested him by creeping behind him and suddenly sounding the big gong right by his ear and it was obvious that he didn't hear that awful racket from the gong, in fact he didn't even blink."

    "A person that has a strong inner strength even if a mountain slides in front of his eyes wouldn't panic, let alone blinked."

    Right away Jiang Yulang said lowering his voice, "Does Father know where he is right at this moment? Maybe he's long disappeared."

    But Jiang Bie He spoke louder on purpose and said with a menacing voice, "He thought that I did not suspect him, therefore he is still here right now. Soon we will confront him and we will kill him without giving him any chances to talk. It is better to kill one hundred people than to let one spy escape. Mark my word!"

    Jiang Yulang spoke in a low voice fearing that other people might overhear their conversation, but his father on the contrary purposefully spoke out loudly causing him to be surprised and puzzled. If the old man was really pretending to be deaf and mute wouldn't he try to escape upon hearing what his father said? But after rethinking the situation, he understood his father's reasoning. He thought, “It's possible that Father is aware that the deaf and mute grandpa is around, so he spoke out loudly on purpose. If he ran away scared, that proves that he is truly The Raging Lion, Tie Zhan, and it would not be too late to chase after him.”

    At the same time Jiang Bie He moved toward the door and “bang!”, suddenly he pushed at the door with force.


    End of Chapter 39

  9. #29
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 40


    Outside at the end of the long porch there was a small room, inside was a flame, a fire coming from a little stove. That deaf and mute grandpa was squatting by the stove watching water to boil.

    The grandpa squatted, not moving a muscle, he looked calm and undisturbed waiting for the water to boil.

    All his life he was used to “waiting” and who knew how long he would be “waiting” still?

    Regarding the art of “waiting” naturally he knew much better than the younger people. Even though he realized that people his age were either dead or did not care to wait anymore since there's nothing that they look forward to.

    Jiang Bie He at that moment was not too far behind that weak old grandpa, suddenly he shouted menacingly, “Great, your disguise was perfect, yet in the end still you're found out. Now surrender your life!”

    After saying that as quick as a flash he leaped and his palm triked toward the skull of the grandpa.

    As if oblivious to any danger, the old man looked up and smiled toward the master and pointed to the pot of water that was boiling, his gesture was saying, “The water is boiling, soon I will serve you some tea.”

    Jiang Bie He lowered his hand slowly onto the old man's shoulder. Regardless what, he was still unsure at the last moment. If the old man had heard a little bit of what he said, it would be impossible for him to smile and act so calm and natural.

    Obviously Jiang Bie He wasn't aware that there were several people at times would smile calmly and naturally even when facing death.

    Such a person is rare, one of those people was Xiao Yu'er....

    The stars were twinkling, shining dimly on Hua Wuque's fair, handsome and flawless face.
    A prince that treated every woman in the world so gentile has to have a face like Hua Wuque, the model of the most perfect man under the sky.

    While observing his opponent, Xiao Yu’er laughed suddenly and said, “Do you know that your name ‘Wuque’ fits you very well, because you certainly don’t lack anything, no flaw…you come from a place that’s honored by the realm of jianghu, whose name is well known and respected. You are young and handsome, all your needs are met, no worries of not having enough money. Your kungfu could make all people in Jianghu obey and respect you. Your good look, and your congenial personality make all women swoon at your feet. Despite all these, you are still pure and clean, in fact nobody could say any bad words about you even behind your back.

    Xiaou Yu’er shook his head and added on with a laugh, “If there’s a perfect person in this world, without any flaw, that person is you.”

    “Thank you very much for your praises,” replied Hua Wuque with a smile.

    “However, all of a sudden I found out now that you do lack something,” continued Xiao Yu’er softly.

    “Oh, what is that?” asked Hua Wuque disinterestedly.

    “Feelings!” answered Xiao Yu’er. “You are lacking feelings, yes feelings. From the top of your head to the tip of your toes I’ve observed that you are lacking on the area of feelings, you are right now a perfect human minus the feelings. You probably have cold blood running through you veins also.”

    “Oh, is that so?” Hua Wuque only gave a dry smile.

    “Naturally you are not willing to accept my analysis, correct?” asked Xiao Yu’er. “Good, now try to answer, do you really understand the meaning of love? Do you know what is hatred or grudge? Have you ever love or feel hatred?”

    While walking forward he continued, “I'm confident that you've never feel even frustration nor worries. For example, sickness, getting old, poorness, disappointment, sadness, embarrassment, anger... all these are suffering that can't be avoided by common people, but you don't know all these, not one of them have you experienced, none of these are in you dictionary of life. For someone who doesn't know what is suffering, how could he understand what is happiness?”

    After letting out a sigh, slowly Xiao Yu'er continued on, “If you have never loved someone seriously or hated someone, you won't have any problem, you won't know any suffering, and you won't know what is happiness... other people might admire you, but I on the contrary think that people like you have nothing to live for.
    Hua Wuque was quiet for a while, he was still calm as before without showing much expression, he only gave a dry smile and said, “Maybe what you said was correct, probably it was the environment where I grew up made me like this.”

    “That's right,” said Xiao Yu'er with a bitter smile, “Only Floral Palace can create a man like you, making you like a mannequin, a life mannequin. Although you are always well mannered toward anybody, but inside your heart you never felt that they deserved to be respected, although you are always gentle toward every woman, but you never really like them.”

    He then gave a long sigh, and continued on, “If you were to kill someone, inside your heart you are not sure that the person deserves to die.”

    “Yes, all of that are regrettable,” said Hua Wuque.

    “Very well, I'm done my talking, you can do your job now,” finally Xiao Yu'er said, tilting his head up and let out a laugh. “I'm interested to know how many strokes you will need to kill me.”

    “Would you prefer using a weapon?” offered Wuque.

    “I don't have any weapon with me,” replied Xiao Yu'er.

    “If you would like a weapon I can accompany you to a place that has it, and you can choose whatever weapon you like,” said Wuque.

    “It's obvious you know that I'm not your match even if I were to hold a weapon. You wanted to kill me, yet you still act so nice and polite toward me,” said Xiao Yu'er with a bitter smile, “If other people see it, they would think that you are evil and sadistic. However I know enough about you. I know for sure that you are not a man like that, because you don't know the meaning of pretending or hypocrite, because you don't need to pretend let alone to be hypocritical.

    “You really understand me well,” said Hua Wuque.

    “It would be difficult to find someone that understand you as well as I do,” said Xiao Yu'er.

    “That is correct,” acknowledged Wuque sadly.

    Xiao Yu'er rubbed his dry lips and said, “I think I don't need to use any weapon, go ahead and do your job now.”

    Hua Wuque looked up to the dark sky, dry leaves were carried by the strong autumn wind, the twinkling stars were getting dimmer, the world seems to be engulfed by quietness and loneliness. Feeling desolate he softly spoke, “This weather...”

    “....is the suitable for killing someone,” cut in Xiao Yu'er.

    At that moment Tie Xinlan spoke out, “Weather like this makes me trembling with cold...” suddenly she came between them in an amazing situation...naked, without a stitch of clothing.

    The dim twinkling stars shone softly over Tie Xinlan's body.

    The body immaculately fair and smooth, like a priceless sculpture done by a master artist.

    It would be hard to find another woman's body as smooth, and exquisitely beautiful as this. It caused people having breathing difficulty seeing such an exquisite body.

    Xiao Yu'er and Hua Wuque stopped breathing at that moment. Hua Wuque stuttered, “You.. why you...”

    Tie Xinlan looked toward Hua Wuque, and said in an empty voice, “Do you find my body beautiful?” The voluptuous breasts moving up and down, under the light of the stars they looked so desirable. It would be impossible for any man not to swallow his own saliva seeing such a exquisite body.

    Without realizing it, Hua Wuque closed his eyes, he said trembling, “You...you..”

    All of a sudden Tie Xinlan hugged Hua Wuque tightly. When that young man felt the smooth soft body closed him, his heart started to beat faster, his hands trembling and he went weak.

    All his life Hua Wuque never felt this hot sensational feeling. He felt as if he's going to pass out, his heart was about to explode... in short; he didn't know what to do.


    “You zombie...why..why are you still standing there?” with a trembling voice Tie Xinlan scolded, the question was directed to Xiao Yu'er.

    Xiao Yu'er was still standing where he was, paralyzed, not knowing what to do.

    “I've done all these and you.. you still don't go away quickly?” screamed Tie Xinlan hoarsely.

    Suddenly tears fell from Xiao Yu'er's eyes.

    For the first time Xiao Yu'er cried, he himself didn't know whether the tear was because he was touched, or thankful or tear of sorrow or anger or embarrassment.

    Hua Wuque didn’t dare to move his hands, let alone to touch Tie Xinlan’s body, therefore he couldn’t get away from her embrace. With beads of perspiration and with his eyes closed he could only say again and again, “Let go… let go…”

    Tears were also in Tie Xinlan’s eyes, she saw that Xiao Yu’er still didn’t budge, with frustration she screamed, “If… if you still refused to go, then I will kill myself … in front of you!”

    “I… I…” Xiao Yu’er didn’t really know what to say.

    Finally he stared at Tie Xinlan for a short while, a deep meaningful look.. a smooth flawless body with tears adorning the beautiful face, all these were imprinted in his mind and heart and he would always remember all his life.

    Suddenly Xiao Yuer let out a heart rending scream , like a crazy man he turned around and ran as if by possessed by a demon.

    The stars in the sky began to fade, the earth became quieter. Like a wounded animal Xiao Yu'er kept on running without any direction.

    He ran forever so long in the middle of the night, over the fields and bushes, he wasn't aware how long he had been running, and his whereabout.

    He was not crying anymore, his tears had dried up, his mind as muddled as his hair. He had never suffered all his life like now, never was he as confused and unsettled like this.

    Rice paddy field lied on the horizon; the paddy ears were already filled, the stalks moving being blown by the night wind like the wave in the sea.

    Without much thought Xiao Yu'er went into one of the rice paddy fields, under the starry sky he laid down.

    The muddy water immersed part of his body, the twinkling stars seemed to shine far away. Seeing from between the heavy growth of the stalks of rice paddies, made them seem to be more distanced.

    He bit his lip, the lip that had been bitten and bled, but he didn’t seem to be aware of the pain. His emotional pain was tens times more than his physical pain.

    He tried asking himself, “Could I still consider myself human?"

    I considered myself super human, nobody could compare with me, I always see others as inferior to me. However, when someone wanted me dead, it turned out that I could do nothing about it.

    I looked down at women, especially Tie Xinlan, because I knew that she has tender feelings toward me. I purposely teased her, and tried my best to hurt her feeling, but in the end I was forced to accept her sacrificing herself to safe me!

    All this time I thought that I was the smartest man, the cleverest man on earth, but now I feel like a stray dog that’s been chased away, I ran like a dog with its tail between its legs.

    Even though this time I escaped with my life intact, but do I need to be on the run all my life? Do I need to depend on others to save me all the time?

    Although Hua Wuque’s thinking is not as deep as mine, but people like him don’t need to use trickery. It's because he has the real thing, a genuine ability.

    And I? ... I could only depend on chance ... a person that's smart without any genuine ability, what's the use?

    "I always thought that those people at "Evil Valley" were all afraid of me, therefore I was proud. I considered myself amazing, it turned out that they were afraid of me as parents patronizing their spoilt kid. In a real fight could I really defeat Qiaoqiao? or Du Sha, or..."

    Xiao Yu'er laid in the middle of the rice field and pondered over his life. He thought it over and over again.

    Before he knew it, the morning came, the sun was rising in the east, noise of people and dogs barking started not too far away from the rice field.

    But Xiao Yu'er still laid flat in the middle of the rice field, his eyes wide open even though he did not sleep the whole night.

    Morning change to day, and day to night. It was dark, and the wind was howling bringing the faint aroma of steamed rice.

    Finally Xiao Yu'er slowly got up, his body was full of mud, his face smeared with dirty mud, but he didn't care. He continued crossing the rice field.

    From afar he saw flickering of a light indicating that there was a village ahead.

    Sure enough, there was a town, a small town, and even though it's night time, the road was still busy. There was the sound of gong and cymbals pounded over and over, and a lamp with red shade lit the arena.

    A troupe of acrobats was doing a show. In general acrobatic troupes were travelling group that went from places to places.

    In a daze Xiao Yu'er waded through the crowd. Seeing his dirty appearance, covered with mud, they threw insult at him, but was forced to make way.

    Xiao Yu'er immediately came to the front and there he squatted watching the acrobat show. He saw a girl dressed in red with her hair braided in two walking on a tight rope. That girl had big eyes and her face was not too bad.

    Besides the girl on the tight rope, there were some people old and young sparring with weapons and some doing sommersaults, others playing the gongs and cymbals.

    Xiao Yu'er just squatted there, he wasn't aware what show was going on in front of his face, he felt empty, alone, just wanting to see faces of people smiling.

    Who knows how long he had been squatting, vaguely he heard the people cheering, there were people clapping and jumping with joy, and the sound of coins being thrown to the stage.

    The crowd began to disperse, and the acrobat troupe was busy packing and taking down their props. The young girl in red that was on the tight rope weren't among the people working, like a big boss she sat on the side drinking.

    Seeing Xiao Yu'er squatting, the young girl looked shortly with a frown, her big eyes seemed to be shining. Suddenly she reached inside her pocket and tossed a coin in front of Xiao Yu'er, then quickly looked elsewhere.

    Xiao Yu'er was still in a daze, he wasn't aware that a coin was tossed by the young girl, so he didn't pick it up.

    The group of acrobats started to move away. Walking straight and tall the young girl in red walked by Xiao Yu'er. As if by accident her feet kicked the coin close to Xiao Yu'er's feet. That way the young man could reach and pick up the coin.

    This is the heart of a human being, a person with a good heart. Someone who saw the sorrow and the poverty of others and immediately forget about oneself.

    The acrobat group were talking and laughing, discussing tonight's performance, and counting their profits enough to buy foot and several catties of wine. Regarding tomorrow, tomorrow would be tomorrow's problem, they didn't need to worry about tomorrow's problem. Even if there would be a bad happening tomorrow, no food, they would worry about it tomorrow. What's important was today, just as long there's enough food and wine for today, that's sufficient.

    That's the practical life of broad minded people. What Xiao Yu'er wanted and thought about was exactly that kind of life, live for today as if there's no tomorrow.

    He quickly picked up the coin and followed the acrobat group. Not too far away was a little river, and by the bank a boat tied. A well built old man was waiting near the helm of the boat. It seemed that he was the leader of the group.

    His age was past sixty, yet his body was strong like a young man, although he lived a life of wandering no direction where to go, yet that did not quench the zest of life.

    Suddenly Xiao Yu'er rushed forward, he bowed with respect and said, "Sir, may I join you roaming around Jianghu?"

    That old man looked at the young man for a while and answered while shaking his head, "Young man, to roam around Jianghu is not an easy thing, you need a special ability and able to withstand hardship."

    "I am not afraid of hardship, I'm used to life of suffering," replied Xiao Yu'er.

    "But do you have an ability that would entertain people?" asked the old man.

    Xiao Yu'er was quiet for a moment, after thinking then he said, "I could do somersault."

    "Somersault?" the old man laughed amused. "Haha, somersaulting is the simplest trick, anybody working in this profession can do that. Hey Yeduzi, show him your way of somersaulting."

    A young man with a muscular body, big eyes and thick eyebrow came near, with a mischievous smile. Maybe because of his muscular body that he got the nickname "Yeduzi" (wild calf)

    After rolling his sleeves, without doing any stance, Yeduzi right away did fourteen or fifteen somersaults.

    Xiao Yu'er blinked his eyes and asked Yeduzi, "At the most how many somersaults could you do?"

    "Maybe twenty or thirty," replied Yeduzi laughing.

    "I am able to do a hundred or two in one go," said Xiao Yu'er.

    "Hah, is that true?" the old man asked disbelieving. "Doing eighty in one go I had seen when I was young. That was Li-laoda from Li-jiaban (Li Family Troupe), but he sustained stabbing injury, since then nobody was able to match it."

    "If only eighty, that's no big deal for me, I could do a hundred sixty somersaults," said Xiao Yu'er.

    "If you can really do one hundred sixty times.... no, it's enough if you can do eighty times, then all your life you don't need to go hungry, although you might not be able to eat well, but meat and wine would definitely be there."

    "Before the old man finished talking, suddenly Xiao Yu'er had started doing his acrobatic movement.

    Since Xiao Yu'er's body had been trained till his tendons were like wire and his bone like iron, although his kungfu had not reached the first rate fighter level, when it comes to somersaulting it could be said for him that it was as easy as eating peanuts.

    When he reached thirty somersault, crowd started forming, and when he did sixty they all cheered in one accord.

    When he somersault till eighty the crowd forgot to cheer, they just stared in awe. If there was anybody that was glad, then the little miss in the red outfit with big eyes was the happiest.

    Xiao Yu'er continued somersaulting till pass one hundred, then he stopped and with a laugh he asked, "Is that enough?"

    "Enough, enough, more than enough.." said the old man while laughing and clapping his hands. "Quickly follow Yeduzi to the boat, wash your face and change your clothes, soon we will eat supper. Starting now you are a member of the Hai-jiaban.

    But Xiao Yu'er immediately looked down and answered, "My father and mother died not too long ago. I'm still in mourning, in front of their graved I made an oath to mourn for three years, and during that time I would not wash my face."

    "You poor child," said the old man with sympathy, "You are a filial son. Oh, by the way everyone calls me Sidie (fourth father), you can also call me the same way."

    So Xiao Yu'er started his wandering life as an acrobat player with the Hai Jia-ban Everyday his work was to do acrobat, doing somersaults.

    He learned that almost all the members of Hai Jia-ban were sons and daughters of Hay Sidie, if not his children then nephews and nieces or relatives. Yeduzi was the sixth son, the most nimble player and had the best kungfu.

    The little red miss was the star of the troupe, her name was Hai Hongzhu, the red pearl. She's the youngest daughter of Hay Sidie that was born when the father was celebrating his half centennial birthday.

    Besides that there weren't too many things that Xiao Yu'er was aware of.

    Except for the acrobatic performance, Xiao Yu'er didn't bother to know about other things, everyday besides eating, sleeping and performing acrobat, he spent the time sitting day dreaming.

    Nobody knew that when he was sitting lost in his thought, he was actually meditating, figuring the key to the most important part of the highest kungfu level. In this world not too many people held the key of understanding the highest kungfu level.

    The secret kungfu manual that had taken many human lives happened to be in Xiao Yu'er's possession along with Jiang Yulang. He had read and memorized the book well, and with ease he could recall the whole content of the book he read.

    When he managed to figure out a part, then that night when others were sleeping, secretly he would go toward a deserted place by the riverside to practice. Because other people thought of him to be crazy or slow witted, although his action at times was rather strange, no one paid any attention.

    His acrobatic performance attracted people, and he was not picky when it came to sharing the profits, therefore people tolerated him and allowed him to do whatever he wanted.

    Now Xiao Yu'er was no longer the smartest man on earth.

    Now other people call him by the the nickname "Hai Xiaodai", little dumb with the surname Hai, because now he's considered part of the troupe of the Hai family.

    The nomads all year long always wander along the river, from east to west and from west back to east. Xiao Yu'er himself wasn't quite sure what places he had been.

    One day, their ship docked, Xiao Yu'er was sitting on the deck of the boat washing his feet. Suddenly from behind a small fair hand reached out and offered him an orange.

    Without looking Xiao Yu'er took the orange, peeled it and started eating it.

    Hai Hongzhu was standing behind him. She waited for a long time, yet Xiao Yu'er still didn't turn around to acknowledge her. In the end Hongzhu moved and sat beside him. She took off her shoes and dipped her feet in the river.

    Her small white feet stirred the water, suddenly she flipped the water and the water splashed all over Xiao Yu'er's body. That young man still didn't make a move, he didn't even utter a single word.

    Hai Hongzhu glanced at him for a moment and started laughing, she said, "You chose to ignore me, yet why do you accept my orange?"

    "I don't know how to talk," said Xiao Yu'er.

    "You don't know how to talk? Why? Are you mute?" replied Hay Ang-cu with a laugh.

    "I'm not in the same class as you," answered Xiao Yu'er coldly.

    "Not in the same class? Who said you are not in the same class?..." her bright eyes danced merrily, suddenly she laughed and continued, "Other people call you Xiaodai, yet I know that you are a smart person. Not only smart, in fact a lot smarter than the others, correct?"

    Xiao Yu'er felt uneasy, now he's afraid of people praising him as a very smart person.

    He frowned and stood up. He turned around and started walking away. Suddenly he spotted a group of people at a distance. At an instance he froze and his mouth gaped open with shock. His two legs were as if nailed to the ground, he wasn't able to move.

    By the bank of the river a group of people were jesting as they slowly approaching. They were walking across the green meadow. It was spring time, the air was full of life and a fresh sweet scent.

    The people in the group were wearing multi color clothes, light and soft. Their faces were beaming, exuberant with happiness. The spring breeze gently caress their clothes, the sunshine warmth the earth matching their young age.

    Unfortunately among the group of young people that was jesting and laughing were some individuals that he most reluctant to meet. They were Hua Wuque, Tie Xinlan, Murong Jiumei and Jiang Yulang.

    How Jiang Yulang could associate with Hua Wuque and Tie Xinlan, this was something amazing and hard to understand.

    At the moment several well clothed people were seen crowding Hua Wuque, buttering him up with praises. No doubt, it was obvious that Hua Wuque was the center of attention from everyone of the group.

    Hua Wuque was laughing. His laughs were mostly directed to the two beautiful girls next to him, Tie Xinlan and Murong Jiumei.

    Tie Xinlan was also laughing, her face bright, full of delight

    They were really fortunate and happy, no wonder that they were laughing merrily.

    However, their good fortune made Xiao Yu'er's suffering even more pronounce. Their happiness, made Xiao Yu'er's sadness deeper.

    Xiao Yu'er's heart burned like fire.

    For the first time in his life he found out the meaning of jealousy. Only now did he feel pain so strong, his heart as if it's going to break to pieces.

    Hai Hongzhu looked at Xiao Yu'er with surprise, then she looked at the group of young people. As if feeling the pain that Xiao Yu'er had she said sympathetically, "I know that your life history is full of secrets, isn't it?"

    In essence Xiao Yu'er didn't hear a word what she said, he was staring in a daze at the group that was so happy and jubilant.

    Now he saw a young man in green, it was Bai Ling Xiao.

    Bai Ling Xiao was jesting with Hua Wuque as if they were two closed friends.

    How strange, how could Hua Wuque associated with people like them? But well, Hua Wuque could get along with anybody. and he didn't play favor with anyone, to him everyone in this world was no different from one another, they were all the same. He didn't need to feel angry or hatred toward them.

    Hai Hongzhu said softly while biting her lip, "Do you know them? ... I have a feeling that you came from the same class like them, and you are not the same like us.... Yes, we are only lowly class of people that should be pitied."

    Xiao Yu'er slowly stepped back until he reached the bridge of the boat (I'm not too sure of the translation).

    Suddenly he felt that Tie Xinlan was looking at him.

    It was only for a fraction of a moment, how could she pay attention to this young man that's dirty and lowly.

    Beyond his will Xiao Yu'er was observing her, it seemed that Tie Xinlan had matured, like a peony flower blossoming pure, beautiful and desirable.

    While Murong Jiumei looked a little thinner, so thin that she looked like a marigold flower (I'm not sure, hehe), although not as beautiful as the peony flower, yet it has a special intoxicating scent.

    Murong Jiumei's eyes looked bigger than ever, but they lost their sharp penetrating look, in place there's a look forlorn and sadness. What was it that made her so sad?

    Slowly Hai Hongzhu approached Xiao Yu'er, her eyes were as forlorn as Murong Jiumei's, with sadness she looked at Xiao Yu'er and said softly, "Finally I found out the reason why you ignored me, it's because I'm not good enough to talk to, correct? How could I compare to those two girls, they are beautiful, pure, while I ..."

    The wind was blowing gently, below the bridge of the boat was rather dim....

    Suddenly Xiao Yu'er pulled Hai Hongzhu and hugged her tightly. His hot lips with emotion clung to her lips. The young man's blood was moving fast, he needed to release his emotion.

    Hai Hongzhu felt at that moment that heaven and earth were spinning, and suddenly it felt like the end of time was had come.

    She closed her eyes, she became unaware of her surrounding. She felt as if she was in a hole of coals of fire. Her body was burning and her soul was melting, her spirit has also melted.

    Her life at that moment had suddenly changed.

    However, to other people this was unimportant event and those people that were jesting had walked away.

    Suddenly Xiao Yu'er pushed Hai Hongzhu aside and quickly jumped down below the deck.

    Hai Hongzhu stood in a daze like a statue, she felt as if she could move anymore. The breeze was warm, but her heart started to freeze little by little.

    She continued to close her eyes, not daring to open them in case the dream that had made her intoxicated would shatter . Her long lashes started to welled up with tears.

    *****
    Night came, nobody knew when it came.

    Obviously Hai Hongzhu didn't know either, in fact she's oblivious to everything.

    Shaded lamps started being lit, the crowd started gathering. Hai Sidie as the master ceremony started his opening remarks.

    Whatever changes that happen in Hai Hongzhu, the show must go on.

    Human can change in a blink of an eye, but life can't change is as short time, low class people has to continue to live their lowly daily life, that fact couldn't be avoided.

    That's the life of human being, that's the tragedy of life.

    Therefore Hai Hongzhu started to climb to on top of the rope, she started to walk on the tight rope.

    She walked stiffly on the rope. The crowd started to cheer and clapped their hands, but for Hai Hongzhu it sounded so distant, because her heart had flown far away.

    A warm light shone at a far away place. A place where the person you loved was always by your side, and never sneered at you.

    Xiao Yu'er was squatting behind the rack of weapons, his heart also had flown to a far away place. He's not aware of what was happening in front of his eyes.

    Suddenly in the midst of the cheers of the crowd, it changed into a scream of horror. Hai Hongzhu had suddenly fell from the tight rope that was quite high.

    Hai Sidie and Yeduzi face turned pale, yet they still had the nonchalant smile. They quickly shouted, "People slip, even horses can trip. That's natural, no problem, come on little miss quickly get up and show us several of your beautiful movements."

    However, the scream of shock from the crowd had turned into mocking laughter and hiss. Someone shouted, "What beautiful movement? It seemed that girl was daydreaming thinking about of her boyfriend, that's why she slipped!"

    "Hey, little Missy, who were you thinking of? Were you thinking of me?" someone else mocked.

    The laughter among the crowd grew rowdier, and the words thrown became more indecent.

    Xiao Yu'er's blood started to boil.

    Right at that moment, from the midst of the crowd a young man with green attire jumped forward, Xiao Yu'er recognized him right away as Bai Ling Xiao.

    Bai Ling Xiao scanned over the crowd with an angry stare, then he shouted, "If anyone among you dares to speak indecently towards this lady I will cut his tongue right away."

    "Yes, I will pluck his eyes also!" continued someone else with threatening voice. That person then leaped to the middle of the arena. He was the red attired golden saber Li Ming Sheng.

    Immediately the crowd quiet down, not a person dared to make a noise. People were always scared of evil men.

    Hai Sidie approached the two young men, he greeted them with a bow, and said, "Thanks you very much young masters for your help."

    "Ah, don't mention it," said Bai Ling Xiao as if he's the most powerful man. From his pocket he took out a piece of a silver coin and tossed it on the ground and said, "I see that your show tonight didn't bring any profit, let me give a tip for food and drink."

    "That would at least be enough to buy 10 gourds of wine and five days of food for all of you," continued Li Ming Shen loudly. "Now, what's the reason that this big master was willing to give you such a big tip, you should have guess."

    Hai Sidie's face changed and he looked rather uneasy, but soon he laughed and shouted, "Little Hong, come quickly and thank these gentlemen!"

    With her head lowered Hai Hongzhu stepped forward, her face red and with a soft voice she said, "Thank you young masters..."

    "Don't buzz like a mosquito, who could hear what you just said?" grumbled Hai Sidie.

    Bai Ling Xiao smiled and said, "That's no problem no problem at all, women should talk softly and with gentleness."

    "Haha, that's right, young masters in fact like it that way," said Li Ming Sheng with a laugh. Suddenly he got hold of Hai Hongzhu's wrist and while squinting his eyes he said, "This brother of ours is interested in you, come and accompany him to drink wine."

    Hai Hongzhu's face paled and her body started to tremble.

    With a grin Hai Sidie quickly cut in, "This girl is too young, please wait another two years then she can accompany you two masters drinking wine."

    "Rubbish! Who has the patience to wait another two years?" scolded Li Ming Sheng, not very happy.

    All of a sudden Yeduzi rushed forward and shouted, "Let her go!"

    Before he could finish his sentence suddenly Li Ming Sheng's hand flew to his face, "pack", he got slapped till one of his cheek was red and swollen, in fact he was thrown far because of the in pact.

    "You are not willing to be treated with kindness? Are you begging for us to use force?" shouted Li Ming Sheng with intimidatingly.

    Bai Ling Xiao also grinned and said, "I think you'd better come along with us willingly" After saying that suddenly he pinched Hai Hongzhu's cheek.

    Hai Hongzhu became afraid and started to cry.

    At that moment suddenly someone came forward and said slowly one at a time, "No one is allowed to take her away."

    Spontaneously Hai Hongzhu's eyes shone, finally Xiao Yu'er came forward. That young man was willing to defend her, even willing to face death.

    Naturally Li Ming Shen was very angry, his eyebrows stood up. He shouted, "Hm, you dirty scoundrel, are you looking for death?" Quickly his hand moved to slap again.

    However his slap would never be able to touch Xiao Yu'er, instead nobody knew how, suddenly Xiao Yu'er caught hold of the arm and he felt a lot of pain, as if it was pinched by a vice grip, even his bone felt that it's going to break. He was in so much pain that his tears started to fall.

    "Get out of here," shouted Xiao Yu'er and at the same time his hand flicked Li Ming Sheng's body that weight hundreds of catties. His body flew several spears away, even though he did not die, he couldn't move.

    The crowd screamed in shock, Bai Ling Xiao's face turned pale, he quickly took out his sword, "sreng" he wielded the sword and thrust toward Xiao Yu'er's chest.

    Xiao Yu'er moved slightly to the side to dodge the sword and stepped forward, in one stance he hit Bai Ling Xiao's chest with his fist.

    Actually Xiao Yu'er didn't use all his energy, but Bai Ling Xiao wasn't able to stand it, with a scream he vomited blood and his body collapsed. His clothes all green was splattered with blood making it look like a painting of red roses.

    In an instance the crowd went berserk, they were screaming and ran in many directions.

    Xiao Yu'er stood there surprised, never could he imagine that his kungfu had improved so much, with just one hit he could make Bai Ling Xiao collapsed. The scream of the crowd brought him back to reality.

    He felt that his secret would soon be found out, this place could no longer be his hiding place. Quickly he turned around and started to run away.

    Quickly Hai Hongzhu ran and chased him, calling, "Xiaodai..., Xaiodai... wait...wait.."

    However, Xiao Yu'er never looked back, in a flash he disappeared in a distance.

    Staggering, Hai Hongzhu tried to chase after him, finally she fell several times, her tears wet her face. She moaned and sobbed, "He...he's gone... I know he is not...not coming back forever."

    Hai Sidie came by and pulled his daughter up. That old man had a lot of life experience, bitter and sweet. His face was full of wrinkles showing mixed emotions. Maybe shock, happiness or sorrow that was hard to avoid.

    Slowly he caressed his beloved daughter's hair, he spoke as if to himself, "Even if he doesn't come back, but what to do... He is not in the same class as us. It's not possible for you to hold him back..."

    "But..but..I can't..I can't...I beg you..."Hongzhu sobbed sorrowfully.

    "Be patient, daughter," said Hai Sidie while giving a long sigh. "People like him, not only Father couldn't hold him back, but maybe in this world nobody could tie him down... Maybe you will never see him again."

    Suddenly Hai Hongzhu fainted in her father's arms. Not to be able to see the person she loved, was a severe blow for anybody. Especially Hai Hongzhu, an adolescent that just maturing like a flower blossoming.

    But is it true that she would never see Xiao Yu'er ever again?

    Nobody could say that positively. What's going on in this world no one could predict with surety.


    End of Chapter 40

  10. #30
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 41


    Xiao Yu'er ran several lis without stopping, finally he laid down at a deserted place next to a stream.

    That night the sky was filled with little stars, twinkling brightly.

    After doing what he did, he felt more at ease. The burden of his spirit felt lighter, but he felt that another burden equally as heavy was added on.

    He realized after his disappearance, Hai Hongzhu's heart was shattered. He didn't want to break that little girl's heart, but that's exactly what he did.

    He tilted his head and laughed, and spoke softly, "Don't you blame me, I did it out of necessity.. I had to leave because things are getting too risky. I can't stay there any longer."

    The stars were decorating the sky, they were like Hai Hongzhu's eyes. It was as if each one of them was shedding tears for Xiao Yu'er, however that young man had already closed his eyes.

    For Xiao Yu'er what had happened was something trivial in his life, but for Hai Hongzhu what Xiao Yu'er did had changed her entire life.

    Life was just not fair.

    Morning had arrived. Xiao Yu'er had gone far away from the original place. He walked with no definite destination, he's dirtier and poorer, but he didn't worry about any of those things.

    One day he arrived at a city that was not too small. Big or small a city was, he didn't care. He had been away from civilization for a long time.

    He didn't take the main road, instead he took the small roads and alley where the aroma was more pleasant to him. Because the alley was where most of the kitchens were located and from the kitchen windows floated the aroma of steamed rice.

    Without realizing it, he stopped by a large back door of a kitchen. For Xiao Yu'er it was really an irony. Before no matter how delicious a dish was, no matter how many tempting dishes, he could never be tempted but now the smell of a simple cooking was tempting his appetite. Maybe that was part of life drama.

    The kitchen was very big, and the aroma was very strong. Xiao Yu'er stood there in a daze. Who knows how long he had been standing there, suddenly a bucket full of laundry water was flung from inside and drenched Xiao Yu'er.

    Xiao Yu'er didn't get angry, neither did he move. He realized what kind of problem was worth getting angry for, and something trivial like this, even if you beg him, he wouldn't bother to get angry.

    From behind the big door suddenly appeared a round face with chubby cheeks and spoke, "Sorry, I didn't see you standing there."

    "That's okay," grinned Xiao Yu'er.

    That round chubby face laughed and disappeared back in. After a while it appeared again, seeing Xiao Yu'er still standing there, with a laugh he invited him, "Inside there's a little rice, if you would like to, you may come in and eat."

    "Good, thank you," replied Xiao Yu'er with a laugh.

    He didn't feel awkward, and didn't feel shy. He went in without hesitation and right away ate what was offered to him. He finished eight bowls of rice and after eating he got up and thanked him again.

    That chubby face was observing him from the side, finding him interesting.

    When Xiao Yu'er bowed and was about to leave, that chubby face laughed and said, "This place is needing another worker to do the dishes, if you would like to, you don't need to worry about food."

    "Xiao Yu'er thought for a while and said with a laugh,"But my measurement for food is quite big."

    "Would people that opened a restaurant be afraid of 'bottomless pit'?" spoke the chubby face.

    Without thinking much more Xiao Yu'er immediately took the bucket and pail and asked, "Where are all the bowls and plates that need washing?"

    The next day Xiao Yu'er finally realized that he was working at the kitchen of the Si Hai Chun (Spring in the Four Seas Restaurant) restaurant. The restaurant was a pretty decent size. The person with a chubby face was the cook named Zhang Changgui.

    So Xiao Yu'er started to work washing bowls and plates, he knew that anybody hiding in the kitchen of a restaurant would be hard to find, let alone be recognized.

    The reason why, because the kitchen of a restaurant in essence was a world of its own. Except for Zhang Changgui, he didn't meet anybody else. When Zhang Changgui finished cooking the dish that was ordered by a guest, Xiao Yu'er immediately took it to the little window where the waiter was waiting on the other side. The waiter then brought the dish to the guest. If there's no reason to come in, who would go into the kitchen?

    The restaurant was not too popular, the customers were sparse, therefore the restaurant closed not too far into the evening. During the free hours often Zhang Changgui invited Xiao Yu'er to accompany him to chat and drink wine.

    Although the wine consumption was a fair amount, but the words that came out of Xiao Yu'er's mouth was not more than two or three sentences. He ate and drank a lot and spoke very little.

    Once day while Zhang Changgui was getting ready to cook, the oil poured into the wok, suddenly the cook had a stomach ache. Not able to stand it, he quickly put down the wok and ran to the toilet.

    In order that the customers wouldn't have to wait too long, without thinking Xiao Yu'er took Zhang Changgui's place and started frying some of the dishes.

    After Zhang Changgui came back from the toilet, he was rather worried if the dishes that Xiao Yu'er's cook were not up to the customers' expectation.

    He didn't realize that the number one cook in the world came from the Evil Valley. Since small Xiao Yu'er had learned quite a bit from the best cook. There's nothing that a young man like Xiao Yu'er couldn't learn.

    Not long after the dishes that Xiao Yu'er prepared was served, suddenly the waitress shouted, "One more plate each of fried mutton and sweet and sour chicken."

    Obviously this time Zhang Changgui didn't allow Xiao Yu'er to cook, he alone attended the order of the customers.

    Minutes later suddenly Boss Peng, the owner of Si Hai Chun restaurant stormed into the kitchen, he glared and demanded, "Who did the fried mutton and sweet and sour chicken before?"

    The fact that the owner himself came in the kitchen made Zhang Changgui's heart beat faster. He reluctantly answered, "Naturally, I'm the one that made them."

    "No, it didn't seem quite so. It didn't taste like your cooking," said the owner.

    Zhang Changgui was forced to explained the truth what had happened.

    Boss Peng came closer to Xiao Yu'er. He stared at him from left to right and from top to bottom for so long, suddenly he raised his thumb and said with a laugh, "Amazing, simply amazing! At such a young age you are already such an expert in creating delicious dishes, even Old Master Xiong was shouting praises, how delicious your dishes were. Therefore from now on you are welcome hold the key to the kitchen."

    "No, I'm worthy," replied Xiao Yu'er.

    Boss Peng clapped Xiao Yu'er on the shoulder and said in a gentle voice, "I hope that you could help us. From now on Si Hai Chun is depending on you."

    People that had expertize, even when they did any kind of job they would eventually shone out. It's just like a sharp screwdriver inside a bag, eventually the sharp end would poke a hole in the bag.

    After Xiao Yu'er was promoted as the cook, magically Si Hai Chun restaurant became very busy, customers came from hundreds of li away upon hearing that Si Hai Chun had a great cook.

    Boss Pang started to expand his business, he bought the space to the right and left of his restaurant. Several VIP rooms were built, and naturally more forces were hired to help in the kitchen. Now Xiao Yu'er just need to move the ladle back and forth in the wok and things went well.

    In fact when he was fixing the dishes, his mind wandered to the content of the kungfu manual, like a love sick young man, day and night his thought kept dwelling on it, racking his brain to decipher the kungfu manual he once read.
    Now people called him Yuda Shifu (Great Master Yu), naturally great master in cooking.

    What he said became law. He forbade people that had no business to come into the kitchen, even Boss Peng himself didn't dare to come in.

    But one day the owner came in and with enthusiasms he spoke to Xiao Yu'er while rubbing his hands together in glee, “Yu Laodi (Brother Yu) today you have to work harder. Guess who's our customer today?”

    “Who?” asked Xiao Yu'er disinterested.

    “He's THE person, great knight from the area of Sanxiang, he is gracious enough to come here. That means a great honor for me, and a great honor for you too, Yu Laodi.

    Xiao Yu'er perked up, he quickly asked, “Who's that person?”

    Boss Peng showed his right thumb and answered, Tie Wushuang, Tie Laoye (Master Tie), in Jianghu he has the title of Ay-cay-jibeng (sorry for the Hokkian title) "Values talent as much as one's life". Everybody in this area would recognize his name.

    "Oh, is that so?" said Xiao Yu'er indifferently, as if no matter how famous that character was, he had no interest in it.

    However, after he's done fixing the food, secretly he stepped outside. For the first time in a long while he stepped out of the kitchen.

    The jianghu leader of the area of Sanxiang, "Values talent as much as one's life" Tie Wushuang. This name was very interesting to him, he wanted to know what kind of a character that cares for those who have talents that even an evil person like Li Dazui (Big-mouthed Li) he took as his son-in-law. For someone who dared to allow his beloved daughter to be the wife of Li Dazui; that kind of a person impressed Xiao Yu'er.

    In one of the VIP rooms, beautifully decorated. The entrance had the swinging doors, there Xiao Yu'er peeped. He saw an old man with a red face shone with vigor, and a white beard. He was dressed in red and was sitting at the head of the banquet table.

    Although he was smiling and looked benevolent, he had the air of authority. It was obvious that it was the style of someone that was used to power and giving orders. That type of attitude was hard to copy by common people.

    Just one look was enough for Xiao Yu'er to be sure that that old man was indeed Tie Wushuang.

    On the right side of Tie Wushuang sat a middle aged man, with a high cheek bone and a large nose like the beak of an eagle. His eyes piercing resembling the eyes of an eagle.

    On the left of Tie Wushuang turned out to be Zhao Quanhai, he was Zong biaotou (general manager) from the merger of seventeen escort company that was well known by the name "Iron Fist that Shakes-up Jianghu".

    Seeing Zhao Quanhai, Xiao Yu'er remembered the incidence of searching of the treasure at the cave behind Mount Emei before. At that time this notable person in the escort world treated him as someone above him and respectfully addressed him as "respectful elder". His amusing behavior made Xiao Yu'er wanted to laugh when he thought of it.

    Besides those three, there were eight or nine valiant men well dressed at that evening banquet, it seemed that they were important people from the Jianghu realm.

    Among those presence the two young men in purple standing behing Tie Wushuang caught Xiao Yu'er's attention. They were still very young, and they were very respectful to the other men that were present. But in a glance Xiao Yu'er knew that those two were more formidable than the others in the banquet room.

    The young man in purple on the left side had thick eyebrow and big eyes. His face was rather dark, making him look like a black panther. His body was powerful, people would be impressed with his ability.

    The young man in purple on the right has a fair face, very polite and looked like a scholar from an upper class family. He looked gentile, but his gaze was piercing and penetrating.

    Both young men were holding the wine jug and serving the guests on behalf of Tie Wushuang. It seemed that they must either be Tie Wushuang's nephews or disciples.

    After the guests finished three glasses of wine, suddenly Zhao Quanhai stood up, he bowed toward the guests, then he finished the wine in his glass. After clearing his throat he spoke out, “Today I came under Master Tie's invitation. I should have eaten and get drunk then go home, but before getting drunk, I need to say what is in my heart.”

    Tie Wushuang rubbed his own beard and said with a laugh, “Just say it out, or else how could you eat and drink wine with ease.”

    The man with high cheek bone and big nose also spoke out, “ If Zhang- Zong biaotou wants to say something, naturally I am interested to listen.”

    Zhao Quanhai glared and shouted, “The fact that Duan Hefei wanted to to send a cargo from Guan wei (north-east of China, outside Shanhai Pass) for this reason we, the merger of seventeen escort companies (Liangho-piaulian) had sent a representative to discuss the business with Duan Hefei, that situation is known to friends of Jianghu realm.

    “That's right, I've heard about that news,” agreed the man with big nose, smiling.

    “If Li-Zong biaotou (general manager Li) had known about this matter, than you should not have sent a delegate to contact Duan Hefei and stole the business that had been given to us,” shouted Zhao-Zong biaotou furiously. “I've heard for quite a while that 'Heng-shanying (Eagle from Southern Mount Heng) Li Feng was a daxia with high moral and loyal to friends, hmm it turns out...”

    “Crack”, suddenly he squeezed the wine glass in his hand and shattered it to pieces.

    Heng-shangying Li Feng, the man with a big nose stayed calm, he answered with a dry smile, “In business, people look for quality and honor, all of these have nothing to do with loyalty to friends in Jianghu realm. If Dua Hefei prefers to do business with Sanxiang piau-lian how could we say no?”

    “So, you mean that our Liangho piau-lian can't compare to your Sanxiang piau-lian?” asked Zhao Quanhai angrily.

    “I never said that, but you are entitled to you own opinion,” replied Li Feng.

    Zhao Quan Hai's chest raised up and down, trying to keep his temper, he said menacingly, "Hm... very good.." suddenly he turned to Tie Wushuang and said with a respectful bow, "Although I've come here because of your invitation, but I know that Master Tie has a close relation with Sanxiang Piau-lian. Therefore I had no intention of asking Master Tie to take care of this problem, it's just..." suddenly he slammed the table and thundered, "It's just that Sanxiang piau-lian had insulted Liang-ho piau-lian. Whatever it is, we must test their ability, especially that man with the surname Li."

    "Why, what's the problem with that man with the surname Li?" mocked Li Feng.

    "Let's find out!" shouted Zhao Quanhai.

    All of a sudden Tie Wushuang stood up and laughed. He raised his wine glass as he said, "Brother Zhao, let me invite you to drink another glass of wine first."

    Without hesitation Zhao Quanhai raised up his wine glass and drank it all, he said, "Master Tie, what do you have in mind?"

    "Brother Zhao, what you said was correct," Tie Wushuang said with a laugh, "for generations I have stayed here, and everyone of Jianghu in Sanxiang area can be said to have close relation with me. You can even say that Li Feng is still my martial-nephew. If right now Brother Zhang would go with revenge in the heart, then my involvement in Jianghu for tens of years would a waste.

    Zhao Quanhai's face changed and he clarified, "Master Tie, do you mean ...."

    "You still don't understand what I meant to say? Tie Wushuang asked.

    Zhao Quanhai's hand automatically rested of the hilt of his saber, and the four men next to him quickly stood up. On the contrary Li Feng had a smirk on his face and he stared at his opponent with piercing gaze.

    "Does Master Tie mean to keep me here against my will?" asked Zhao Quanhai slowly.

    Tie Wushuang laughed heartily and said, "That's right, I would like to keep you here to listen to a few words I have to say." Suddenly he turned to Li Feng and said with an authoritative voice, "If I were to ask you to give that business to Liang-ho piao-lian, what would you think?"

    Right away Li Feng's face changed, and he stuttered, "This..this..."

    "You don't need to say this and that, I don't want to force you," said Tie Wushuang. "I've investigated this matter and it turned out that your party is in the wrong, now if you would like to accept my suggestion, in return I would give my tea plantation in Southern Mount Heng to Sanxiang Piau-lian. As Jianghu comrade, you should put loyalty first before business, may you think over what I said."

    Li Feng was quiet for a moment, and with a sigh he said while looking downward, "Master's word I dare not to argue, only that tea plantation is one main thing of the few possessions that you have. How could I dare to accept it.."

    Tie Wushuang laughed and said, "Just as long as you don't forget loyalty among Jianghu comrades and not make our people be a target of insults, how could this little bit of possession mean anything to me?"

    Zhao Quanhai was also quiet for some times, his expression changed because of embarrassment and he said while looking downward, "It turned out that Master Tie has a heart of gold, and I on the contrary... I really feel ashamed. I would prefer that the business is taken care by Sanxiang piau-lian."

    "Ah, how would I dare to accept," said Li Feng with a laugh. "That business was already been accepted by Liangho piau-lian, so it's only proper that we back out. If Zhao Zong biaotou keep on humbling himself, then we would feel more guilty."

    If before both men were arguing and fighting for the business, now they both were offering each other to get the business.

    Xiao Yu'er felt touched watching the turned of event, he thought, "Tie Wushuang was really amazing, it's no shame of him being the leader of jianghu. Not only that he's able to avoid a possible fight that could end up in bloodshed, but now both parties were giving in."

    "If both of you are giving in, how about having the business done by both Liangho and Sanxiang, that way both party would be happy." said Tie Wushuang with a laugh.

    Everybody with one accord clapped their hands in agreement. Now that the dispute has been resolved, Xiao Yu'er was about to leave the place.

    At that moment Zhao Quanhai was lifting his wine glass and giving a toast to Li Feng for friendship, suddenly he frowned and stiffened up, his hand trembled till the wine spilled all over him.

    He wasn't able to finish his speech, suddenly it was as if his feet were stepping on hot coals, he jumped up and collapsed. A loud noise of bowls and plates fell, swept off the table, followed by Zhao Quanhai himself collapsing.

    The banquet went chaotic. The four escorts of Zhao Quanhai shouted of shock and quickly came to their leader's side to help him up, but they gave a startled cry, "Hey, Zhao Zong biaotou is poisoned!"

    Right away Tie Wushuang face changed, he shouted confused, "How..how could this be?"

    "How could this be? That question should be addressed to you?!" shouted one of Zhao Quanhai's escorts.

    Li Feng slammed the table angrily and shouted, "What do you mean? The food and wine that he ate and drank we also partake, so...."

    Before he could finish his sentence, suddenly he stiffened up like Zhao Quanhai, like wise he jumped up and collapsed. It seemed that he was poisoned just like Zhao Quanhai.

    Naturally people got more confused and scared. Everyone was worried of being poisoned, since all of them partake the same food and wine on the table.

    So, who put the poison in?

    The fact that Li Feng was also poisoned, ruled him out as a suspect even if he wanted to kill Zhao Quanhai. It couldn't be Tie Wushuang, so who could be the person that put the poison if not from any of the parties that were having the conflict?

    Usually the observer would see better, but Xiao Yu'er was also confused and didn't know how things end up that way.

    In the middle of the commotion suddenly Xiao Yu'er saw the young man in purple outfit with the pale face quietly stepped out. Quickly Xiao Yu'er slipped back into the kitchen.

    At that moment people in the kitchen learned about the excitement, and they all came out wanting to find out what's happening, and the kitchen was left empty. Not long after Xiao Yu'er got inside the kitchen, suddenly the young man in purple also came inside. With the excitement going on outside, what business did he want coming inside the kitchen?

    Quickly Xiao Yu'er squatted down, pretending to add more wood to the stove.

    The young man in purple didn't pay attention to Xiao Yu'er. Which martial arts person would pay attention to an insignificant servant?

    Hastily the young man in purple slipped out the kitchen back door and it could be heard him saying in a halting voice, "Cloud's dispersing.."

    "Wind's blowing!" replied someone else outside the door.

    Quickly Xiao Yu'er took a look, he saw the young man with the pale face retreated back into the kitchen, followed by another person. that person was dressed in black, wearing also a black mask, with a hoarse voice he asked, "Any success?"

    "Successful!" replied the young man with a pale face.

    "Great!" said the person in black.

    The total speech of the person with a mask was only three sentences, but his words were enough to make Xiao Yu'er's heart beat faster. He knew that voice very well. He purposely ducked his head even lower till it's almost inside the stove.

    Nevertheless the person in black still noticed him and with a startled voice he asked his friend, "Who's that?"

    "Only a servant," answered the young man with a pale face.

    "Can't let him be!" said the person in black.

    At once they both leaped forward, the person in black hit 'Shen-shu' pressure point at the back of Xiao Yu'er. That pressure point is one of the fatal pressure points.

    But Xiao Yu'er didn't dodge at all, only secretly he moved his 'chi', and at the last moment he moved his pressure point to the side. He used 'Yi Xue Da Fa', the great skill of relocating pressure point, the highest skill in kungfu. Even though he had not practiced it to perfection, but it was far from enough for Xiao Yu'er to take care of the situation.

    Accurately the person in black hit the target, and it was definite that Xiao Yu'er collapsed without making a sound, he was sure that the servant died. With a scoff he grunted, "Who told you to stay in the kitchen, you yourself asked for it, not my fault!"

    "How he died he didn't even realize, how could he accuse you?" laughed the young man with the pale face.

    "Take care that nobody would recognize you," whispered the man in black.

    "Yes, I know," answered the young man with the pale face.

    "Quick, get out there, before anybody gets suspicious," advised the person in black.

    The young man with a pale face nodded. He quickly ran back to the front room. Of course they didn't expect a servant to have such an amazing kungfu, they thought that nobody knew what had happened, therefore they ignored the "dead body".

    Xiao Yu'er still laid face down on the floor not moving pretending to be dead, but his mind was working full speed thinking what had happened and what he just saw.

    What was most intriguing was the voice of the person in black, it sounded very much like Jiang Yulang's. If that was really Jiang Yulang, then what's the connection between the disciple of Tie Wushuang and Yulang? What terrible scheme were they brewing together?

    Right away Xiao Yuer remembered what he saw in the Jiang Bie He's secret chamber the other day, among the things he found out was the little bottles of poisons that was hard to find, tucked away inside the "boxed book".

    Although he only saw for a brief moment, but every night those poison in the small bottles never escaped his mind, until now he still remembered clearly those poisons, and among them were "Xiaohun san" (soul melting powder), "Meiren lei, qibu duanchang" (Tears of the beauty, shatters the intestine within seven steps, "Duoming dan, yidi fenghou" (Life-taking tablet, a drop closes the airway), "Sanhu shui" (Soul dispersing water), "Xuepo jing" (Soul-cleansing Essence) and many other poisons.

    "Xuepo jing!" shouted Xiao Yu'er, and quickly jumped up, "That's right, for sure that's the poison! From the condition of Zhao Quanhai after being poisoned, wasn't his skin looked as if he's frozen stiff?"

    Right away he tore a napkin and wrote the recipe of the antidote with a charcoal on the napkin. A kid raised at Ten Evil Valley did have a vast knowledge; at least he knew how to counteract some poisons in this world.

    Poison to a kid raised at Ten Evil Valley was as common and simple thing like white sugar to common people.

    In the mean time Zhao Quanhai's and Li Feng's face had turned a strange gray, and their bodies before were shaking and stiffed, now couldn't move anymore.

    Other people were shaking also, who knows maybe from being afraid or maybe from the poison. Since they didn't know when the poison would start acting up, they were tensed like a criminal in the court waiting for the judge's verdict. They were not comfortable sitting down. They were scared to run away, because if they run then the poison will act faster.

    That smile on Tie Wushuang face had disappeared, he walked back and forth clenching his hands. That Jianghu elder that had roamed all over for tens of years, now had ran out of ideas.

    Suddenly Tie Wushuang tilt his head back and sigh, he thought aloud, "What kind of poison? And who in the world put the poison there?!"

    At that moment the young man in purple with a pale face was already standing behind Tie Wushuang, suddenly he said, "Maybe it's the restaurant worker?..."

    "If the poison was in the food, I was the one that ate and drank the most then I would feel the effect first. Moreover a small restaurant like this wouldn't be able to find such a formidable poison," said Tie Wushuang.

    "That's right," agreed the young man with big eyes and thick eyebrows. "This poison has no smell and color, even Master didn't notice it..."

    "In my opinion this poison didn't originate from this country, if not how could I not recognize it after roaming around in Jianghu realm for tens of years. I think, if I'm not mistaken, maybe that poison..."

    "Your guess is correct is not wrong!" suddenly someone cut in, before Tie Wushuang could finished his statement. "The poison didn't come from this country, instead 'Xuepo jing' comes from Tian-shan (Sky Mountain)"

    In the middle of the sentence, suddenly someone flew in through the swinging door, while the body was still in the air suddenly he threw an object while shouting, "The recipe of the antidote for the poison Xuepo jing is written of the napkin. Go quickly to a pharmacy and the people's life may be saved"

    His speech was very quick, and his movement was even quicker. While he was in the midst of the speech his silhouette had disappeared. The last two sentences were echoed from distance away.

    People became panic, they wanted to chase, but it was too late.

    "Fast move!" praised Tie Wushuang and at the same time he caught the object that was thrown by the person. Sure enough it was a piece of napkin that was rather oily and on the napkin was written the strange medicine recipe.

    "Xuepo jing!" murmured Tie Wushuang after reading the recipe. "So it is correct that it's Xuepo jing...how come I didn't think about it?!"

    People started cheering up and shouted, "It that is so Zhao Zong biaotou's life can be saved.

    The young man with the pale face looked rather uneasy, and suddenly he snorted, "Hm, it's most likely a ploy from an evil man."

    One of the people check the hand of Zhao Quanhai and said, "That's right, that crook must have evil intention to harm other people. Usually people that were poisoned by Xuepo jing would die frozen and stiff but.. but this Zhao person's body is hot as if he's burning."

    Tie Wushuang replied, "Don't you know that people who die from frost bite, before dying do not feel cold, in fact on the contrary, they would feel hot as if burned. That sensation unless you've experienced it yourself, would be hard to believe."

    "You Elder, how could you know all these?" suddenly the young man in purple with the pale face asked.

    "It's because I've experienced it, I almost froze to the point of death," answered Tie Wushuang calmly.

    The young man in purple lowered his head and didn't dare to speak any more. However his eyes still darted to the napkin that had the recipe written.

    In the mean time, Xiao Yu'er was already at the outskirt of the town. Naturally he realized that Si-hai chun restaurant could no longer be his hiding place. He still didn't want to come out yet. He wanted to wait for the right moment, once he's ready he would create a sensation in Jianghu realm. That way people would realize what kind of a person Jiang Yu, Jiang Yu'er actually was!

    But at the moment he still didn't want to meddle into other people's business, although he realized that the incidence at Si-hai chun would be a mystery that would stir up Jianghu realm. It's because he realized that his own ability right now is not enough to take care of the problem, and most likely his life would end up in danger.

    So where could he go right now?

    He walked forward with no definite destination, still dirty and poor. However his mind and kungfu ability were vast different from his situation before.

    The invincible daxia, a true knight finally was about to be born!

    One day Xiao Yu'er arrived by the bank of the river, seeing the big waves of the river, subconsciously he slowed down his pace. He was hoping to see the boat of the traveling troupe who had a lowly life but heart as good as gold. He also would like to see those big and bright pair of eyes.

    There were many boats going to and fro down the river, but the boat of the traveling troupe can no longer be seen. Where did they go? Were they still roaming around, bobbing here and there?

    Xiao Yu'er stood pensively by the river bank for a long time.

    Who knows how long it had been, suddenly he heard a rush of wind from behind and someone greeted him, "I'm sorry brother, that you had to wait for a while."

    Puzzled, Xiao Yu'er turned his head but didn't say anything.

    That person asked, "How come you are here by yourself? Where are the other two?"

    Xiao Yu'er continued to be quiet.

    That man said angrily, "We have come as you requested, how come you continue to ignore?"

    Finally Xiao Yu'er turned around and smiled, " Maybe you got the wrong person, I'm not the person you're looking for."

    He saw the three people in front of him, the one of the left was big and tall wearing red attire, obviously that he's the "Red attired Golden saber" Li Ming Sheng.

    The person that was in the middle looked valiant, naturally he was Li Ming Sheng's father, "Golden Lion" Li Di. The other one had a dark face and short beard, he was "Purple-faced Lion" Li Ting whom Xiao Yu'er met along with Jiang Yulang when they were sailing together.

    Xiao Yu'er was shocked, his smile nearly froze. Luckily the night was dark, so the three people did not recognize him.

    The light from the stars only flickered, and Xiao Yu'er was now much taller than before, his face was dirty and his body had splashes of peanut oil. He looked like a beggar.

    "Golden Lion" Li Di frowned and said, "It's only a little beggar."

    "Why are you here for?" demanded Li Ming Sheng.

    Xiao Yu'er lowered his head and replied, "I don't have a place to stay, so I stay anywhere."

    "Get lost!" ordered Li Ming Sheng. "Do you need to..."

    Before he finished his words suddenly "Purple-faced Lion Li Ting said excitedly, "There, they have arrived!"

    At that time at the surface of the water a small boat zipped through. The passengers were three people in black.


    End of Chapter 41.

  11. #31
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 42


    Xiao Yu'er moved away to the bushes by the river side. He squatted, too lazy to go. In actuality he just wanted to see some excitement.

    Even before the boat arrived, the three people had already leaped on land, all were nimble and fast, their lightness kungfu wasn't too shabby.

    The first one had a tall and hefty physique, the second person behind him was short but fast and the third person was petite and slender, seemed to be a woman.

    All three of them were in black and each was wearing a black mask that even their eyes were almost covered. Each of them was carrying a long item wrapped, and obviously those were weapons.

    Why would they wrap their weapons in black cloth? Were there any secrets about their weapons?

    Mean while the father and son Li had already came forward, but they stopped a few meters away. Both parties were watching each other carefully and warily.

    “Golden Lion” Li Di shouted menacingly, “Are you the ones that go by the name 'Ren-yi san-xia' (Three Righteous Heroes)?

    The tall and big person in black answered coldly, “That's right.”


    “These last few years several carts of our escorted goods kept getting stolen. Are you the one that's responsible of it?”

    Again that man in black answered, “That's right!”

    Li Di became angry and shouted, “What enmity is there between our Shuang-shi biao-ju (Double Lion Escort) with you? Why are you looking for trouble with us?”

    “Our enmity is not too big, but also not to small,” answered the man in black.

    “Hm.., after being successful several times and our party couldn't find out information about you, you should have hidden and be saved. Why did you send us a letter asking us to come here to meet you?”

    “All the people in Jianghu are aware that both Zhao Quanhai and Li Feng were both poisoned,” said the man in black calmly. “Although both men did not die, but Liang-ho-piau-lian and San-xiang piau-lian had lost their name and trust.”

    Li Di facial expression changed at that moment., but Li Ting immediately snorted, “What does all these have to do with us?”

    “Naturally there's a reason,” said the man in black. He spoke calmly, not in a hurry but not belittling either, but his voice was as if he was trying to disguise it.

    Li Di became impatient and shouted, “What's the reason, you tell us!”

    “If Liang-ho and Sanxiang lost the people's trust then it's a big opportunity that Shuang-shi Biao-ju to show its ability. The business from Duan Hefei subsequently fell into your hands!" said the man in black.

    At this moment Xiao Yu'er became very intrigued.

    "If that's so, why don't you wait for a good opportunity to rob when we are escorting?" shouted Li Di.

    "The business of escorting the goods of Duan Hefei is not a small matter," replied the man in black calmly. "I imagine that Shuang-shi biao-ju would not dare to escort it on their own, and would ask outside help. We wouldn't be able to do the job, just the three of us."

    "Hehe, I guess you know your limit," scorned 'Purple-faced Lion' Li Ting.

    "That's why now we are here to stop you from escorting the goods of Duan Heife," said the man in black menacingly. "If Sanxaing and Liangho Piau-lian are experiencing misfortune, then don't expect that you would be able to benefit from it."

    At the end of his speech, he signaled and at once they unwrapped their weapon, the black cloth was discarded on the ground and three weapons gleaming, reflecting the lights, their weapons looked like a hook, but the tips were shaped of Mei flower (plum blossom).

    "Hey, Mei-hua-gou (Plum Blossom Hook)?!" shouted Li Di surprised.

    "Haha, so you recognized these weapons," mocked the man in black.

    "Hm, you dare to show those weapons, reckless aren't we? Aren't you afraid that your enemy would come secretly and cut off your heads?" mocked back Li Ting.

    "Nobody would know that Mei-hua-gou has reappeared in Jianghu," replied the man in black.

    "Hah, at the least I'm aware of it," laughed Li Ting.

    "But you would not able to talk anymore," scoffed the man in black.

    At that moment the three people in black leaped forward. The short quick one lead out by rushing toward Li Ming Sheng. His movement was very nimble, and his style was vicious, he seemed to bear a grudge toward Li Ming Sheng.

    While the female in black launched toward the Purple-faced Lion Li Ting. Her movement were fast and agile, her attacking style with Mei-hua-gou in her hand was even faster and more vicious with many changes of directions.

    Li Ting's kungfu was considered pretty decent, and he had the experience. However, against the attack of such strange weapon with rapid movements, he was in trouble immediately.

    On the other side Li Di was parring against the hefty man in black.

    Li Di was known as an expert in saber, his golden saber movement was hard and strong. Each attack brought a strong swish of wind. However, the robust man in black was equally as formidable, in fact his stamina was above Li Di's. The Mei-hua-gou was used to lock in the opponent's weapon. Li Di's weapon became powerless, and he couldn't develop his movement.

    The fight was terrific, but in the eyes of Xiao Yu'er, it was blah, not at all interesting. Except for the Mei-hua-gou movement that once or twice came out with a strange or new movement, it was not worth watching.

    It's understood that from the result of his contemplation of the manual, other people's kungfu became insignificant; just like an artist looking at children's scribble.

    The kungfu knowledge in the secret manual that he learned covered the essence of the highest martial arts, compared to Li Di's and his gang's kungfu the difference was like heaven and earth.

    Among Li Di and the other two, the one that got the worst was Li Ming Sheng, just about tens of movements he had difficulty in developing his saber movement. Drops of sweat decorating his brow and tip of his nose. The short person in black on the other hand, became more and more valiant the longer the fight. Suddenly he dodge and leaped forward. A green light flashed and suddenly Li Ming Sheng's saber was locked by his hooked weapon.

    Li Ming Sheng was shock, his will to fight vaporized instantly. Because at that situation his chest was left open, unguarded if the opponent would attack with a fist, even if he would not die, he would be seriously injured.

    Unexpectedly the person in black only gave him a slap and shouted, "This is the payment of debt I owe you."

    Li Ming Sheng staggered because of the slap, when he was able to stand up, he asked, "What do you mean by payment of debt?"

    "Disciples of Mei-hua-bang (Peach Blossom Clan) are very good in returning favors, good and evil. Every debt owed has to be paid in full." scoffed the person in black.

    "But... when did I ever.."

    "Before you die I will explain clearly what exactly the debt I needed to pay to you!" shouted the man in black. Again the Mei-hua-gou moved, in a short moment green flash surrounded and block the light of the opponent's saber.

    At that moment suddenly someone gave a long laugh, a shadow slipped in between the flashes from the hook. Following that the sound "sarr...serr...ser.." three times was heard, and all three Mei-hua-gou of those people in black flew up in the air and two fell in the middle of the river.

    All three in black were shocked, and automatically jumped back. They only felt their wrists shook and suddenly their weapons flew off their hands, how their enemy did it, they didn't even know.

    When they looked carefully they saw in front of them a young man with a fair face had appeared from nowhere. That young man looked so weak that the wind could blow him away, yet in a flash was able to disarm them. Even in a dream they could not imagine it.

    Seeing that fair faced young man surprised Xiao Yu'er. Jiang Yulang, that young man with a fair face and sinister smile was none other than Jiang Yulang.

    But, how in the world did his kungfu improve so much?

    That question could be answered by Xiao Yu'er. Because Jiang Yulang happened to memorize the content of the kungfu manual, if within these two years his skill didn't improved than it would be in vain that he's a human being.

    Li Di and the gang were glad to see Jiang Yulang appearance, on the other hand the three in black were shocked.

    "Huh, so you had hidden help around," yell the hefty man in black angrily.

    "Haha, what do you think about our help?" mocked Li Di laughing.

    The hefty man in black stamped his foot in anger, and he was about to walk away but Jiang Yulang slipped past and blocked in front of them, laughing, "Hey, don't be in such a hurry, there's still some matter that I need your explanation."

    "What do you want?" shouted the hefty man in black.

    "This lady is wearing a mask, is it because her face is too ugly or too beautiful?" ask Jiang Yulang with a laugh.

    The short person in black became angry, he roared and leaped forward to attack.

    His skill actually wasn't too shabby at all, as Li Meng Shuang was not able to spar against him. But now that he's facing Jiang Yulang, his skill was no use at all. Before he had the chance to hit, suddenly his wrist was caught by Jiang Yulang, with a flick suddenly his body flew far, and he almost fell into the river.

    "Because you didn't want to answer, I had no choice but to check it myself," laughed Jiang Yulang. At the same time he leaped forward and slipped pass the hefty man in black, suddenly he was already in front of the girl.

    At once the female in black moved both of her hands to hit, but somehow both hands were caught by Jiang Yulang in one hand. Quickly she kicked, but just as she was raising her foot, suddenly her knee felt stiff and prickly and she couldn't move it anymore.

    "Hehe, I hope that your face is beautiful, if not I would be so disappointed," laughed Yulang.

    "Let...let go!" yell the girl in black hoarsely.

    Naturally Yulang didn't want to let her go, when the other hand came near, girl tilt her head back, but in the end the cloth that covered her face was removed by Jiang Yulang.

    Under the light of the twinkling stars her face could be seen, also her big round eyes.

    Xiao Yu'er almost shouted out.

    Hai Hongzhu, that girl in black turned out to be Hai Hongzhu!

    Great, great! You are a pretty girl after all," laughed Yulang.

    "Hey, it's her!" shout Li Meng Shuang.

    "You know her?" asked Yulang.

    "She is the acrobat girl that was responsible for big Brother Bai's death!" shouted Li Meng Shuang hoarsely.

    "So that short guy was the kid that I slapped once, no wonder he held a grudge, and wanted to payback."

    "Haha, wonderful, wonderful, the disciples of Mei-hua-bang (Peach Blossom Clan) had to become traveling acrobat troupe," mocked Yulang. "In order to avoid your enemy, you are willing to do such a lowly job, for that I admire you."

    Right away that hefty man pulled his mask off. Sure enough he was indeed Hai Sidie. He shouted, "Let go of her hand!"

    "It's not difficult to let her hand go," replied Yulang, "but I want to ask you first, who was that person that killed Master Bai with one hit that day? Where is he right now?"

    "You are looking for him?" shout Hai Hongzhu. "Huh, in your dream!"

    "Oh, dream?..." Yulang smiled while squeezing her wrist tighter. Hai Hong Zhu grimaced with pain till her tears came pouring.

    But she tried to endure, and shouted with her teeth gnashing, "People like you can't compare to him. Huh, even to be his errand boy you are not worthy." Her voice was shaking towards the end, obviously she was trying to bear the pain. Even if it killed her she wasn't willing to stop talking.

    With anger Hai Sidie roared and hit Jiang Yulang's back with a mighty fist.

    Jiang Yulang didn't even turn, his body stayed still, as if it didn't move, but suddenly Hai Sidie's hand was locked under his armpit and he wasn't able to free his hand.

    Hai Sidie tried to pull back his arm, till his vein on his forehead popped up and beads of sweat covered his brow. His hand felt as if it was locked under a vice grip, it felt that it's going to break.


    Before he roamed in Jianghu realm, but now against this young man he wasn't able to do anything. He lost hope, he let out a sigh and said, "Never mind, I....."

    Before he could finish his sentence suddenly a haunting voice called out, "Oooh, how painful is my Shen Shu pressure point. Jiang Yulang, come on here, and pay back my life that you have taken."

    The voice was sharp and clear like the moan of a ghost. Following the moan a silhouette flew from the bushes by the river bank.

    In the middle of the night a form with hair a mess going in all direction was dimly seen, the whole body oily, the shape looked more like a ghost than human. The form seemed to float, not touching the ground. The scream was scary and haunting causing the people that saw him to feel afraid and having cold sweat.

    Obviously Jiang Yulang was afraid also, but with a menacing voice he stammered, "You..you.., who are you?"

    "Cold hearted scoundrel," Xiao Yuer cackled. We had never met before nor had we any grudges, but in the kitchen of Si Hai Chun restaurant, you killed me in cold blood. Now you have to pay for my life."

    Jiang Yulang released his hold on Hai Hong Zhu's arm, he started to retreat and stuttered, "You..you.."

    People like Jiang Yulang actually don’t believe in ghosts, devils or any of those sorts. Now he’s forced to believe because he knew for sure that he did hit the fatal pressure point of that servant, and he absolutely sure that the person died, moreover nobody witnessed the incidence in the Si Hai Chun’s kitchen. Then who could this person be if not a ghost?

    Jiang Yulang teeth were chattering so much that he wasn’t able to talk. Seeing their hero scared to bits, Li Di and the others started to retreat also.

    “Hehe, are you running away? Mocked Xiao Yu’er with an eerie voice. “Huh, you won’t be able to. Come here and give me your life!”

    With a contorted grin he moved forward one step at a time. He made his steps swayed to the right and to the left as if being blown by the wind.

    Naturally Xiao Yu’er’s appearance attracted Hai Hongzhu’s attention. She stared with her eyes wide opened, and suddenly she shouted, “Hey it’s you! It’s you, Xiaodai?”

    Although physically Xiao Yu’er had changed a lot, but his eyes, his eye gaze had long been carved in Hai Hongzhu’s heart, the way he blinked and winked she could never forget in her entire life, naturally she recognized him immediately.

    As soon as she shouted, she realized her mistake, but it was too late, she could not take it back.

    Xiao Yu’er quietly sighed, the problem was going to be more complex.

    Sure enough, that clever Jiang Yulang realized that something was not right, suddenly he made a move, in a flash he leaped forward and with ease he sent out seven strokes in succession.

    Seeing the strange turn of event and seeing Jiang Yulang formidable stances, Hai Sidie and his two children were shocked, in fact secretly Hai Hongzhu was worried for the ‘dummy’ that she yearned for.

    But Xiao Yu’er wasn’t afraid, he scoffed, “Hm, you want to kill me again?”

    Calmly Xiao Yu’er stood his ground, his body didn’t move, in essence he didn’t dodge, yet Xiao Yu’er attacks did not meet the target, they didn’t even touch Yu’er’s clothes.

    Everyone was surprised, Jiang Yulang himself was worried and scared, suddenly he roared and again he sent out another seven fists, this time faster and fiercer.

    Still Xiao Yu’er didn’t budge, and Jiang Yulang’s fists still weren’t able to touch him.

    “No matter how you attack, you won’t be able to kill me again, you still don’t believe it?” mocked Xiao Yu’er.

    Jiang Yulang body trembled, beads of perspiration were on his forehead. Others were watching this extraordinary event with amazement.

    They were all first rate kungfu experts, they knew that Jiang Yulang’s kungfu skill was great and formidable, the fact that someone could stand there without dodging and all fourteen fists of Yulang didn’t touch him. It’s hard to imagine that something like this can happen.

    However, this person was able to do it, tens of Jiang Yulang attacks hit empty place, if they didn’t see it with their own eyes, they would not believe it.

    They didn’t know that Jiang Yulang skills came from the same source as Xiao Yu’er’s, only Xiao Yu’er’s knowledge was deeper than Jiang Yulang’s.

    The manual book was read by both of them, but Xiao Yu’er’s had better memory and brain than Jiang Yulang, especially during this two years Jiang Yulang was already known a young hero, the son of the well known Jiang Nan daxia Jiang Bie He, naturally he seldom practiced. That’s the reason every fist that Jiang Yulang sent was known by Xiao Yu’er before it arrived. As long as Xiao Yu’er calculated accurately where it’s going to go, with a minimal movement Jiang Yulang’s fist would hit empty space.

    Hai Hongzhu's eyes were wide opened and tears were running down, but it was not because of sadness, but of surprise and joy.

    She saw Xiao Yu'er started to press on step by step, and Jiang Yulang also started to retreat step by step. His arms and legs as if they were weak and no strength to attack back

    Naturally Li Di and the other two started to move further back and finally they ran away.

    Suddenly Jiang Yulang leaped up high and somersaulted in the air. He ran even faster than Li Di and the other two.

    Xiao Yu'er didn't bother to chase, he chuckled while watching them running. He murmured, "I had no intention to kill, really I didn't want to kill you."

    At that moment Hai Hongzhu came running and shouted, voice all shaky, "Xiaodai, I know that we will meet again, I know..."

    Xiao Yu'er laughed and said, "Who is Xiaodai? ...I'm a ghost...ghost.." suddenly he flew backward and he somersaulted in the air and "plung" he fell right in the middle of the river.

    Hai Hongzhu ran to the bank of the river and cried sadly, "Xiaodai, Xiaodai, if you didn't care to meet me then why bother to come here? If you wanted to see me, then why did you leave after seeing me? Why..., why?...."

    Hai Sidie let out a long sigh and said, "Why? Who can explain how people live their lives in this world? Child Hong, from the beginning I’ve advised you to forget him, if not you yourself will suffer all the time…”

    *****
    The night was getting late, as much as possible Xiao Yu’er tried to relax his muscles of his body and allowed his body to float on the surface. The water of the river was cold, it was like a bed to him. The stars were twinkling decorating the sky, he felt so comfortable.

    Nevertheless he had seen the people that he wanted to see, even though the turn of event surprised him greatly, even though he only saw them for a little while, but it was enough. He felt that if it was prolonged things would turn bad and boring.

    The mystery that puzzled him for several days was finally solved today. The young man in purple with a pale face was in cahoot with Jiang Yulang. It was obvious that Jiang Yulang was the main character behind the screen for Shuang-shi biao-ju (Double Lion Escort Agency).

    Therefore the problem of Zhao Quanhai and Li Feng being poisoned wasn’t a mystery anymore. The wine that they drank was poured by that young man with pale face.

    Xiao Yu’er thought over the event that had happened, at that moment suddenly several bamboo poles were pulling and lifting his body up.

    At first he was shocked, but then he remembered, "Maybe they thought that I'm drowning and are trying to save me." Secretly he was amused, and played along by closing his eyes.

    Not long after several people pulled him up on the boat, someone felt his chest and said, "Hah, this kid has long life, it's fortunate that we found him before he is dead."

    Someone fed him some warm broth and another person massage his body.

    Suddenly a loud voice was heard, "What kind of a person did you help? Let me see."

    Immediately Xiao Yu'er felt his body being carried by people, he felt lazy to open his eyes, but the light of a lamp blinded his eyes, it seemed that he was inside the cabin of the boat.

    The loud voice asked again, "Is this person dead or still alive?"

    "Alive!" shouted Xiao Yu'er suddenly. He opened his eyes and laughed.

    When he opened his eyes, he saw a robust man with the collar of the shirt half opened. His fez was tilted to the side and one of his feet propped on a chair. On his hand he's holding a long and big tobacco pipe.

    With the pipe pointing to Xiao Yu'er he shouted, "If you're alive, why do you pretend to be dead?"

    Before Xiao Yu'er had the chance to answer he noticed that the chest of the "man" was full, the waist tiny and although the eyebrows were thick and the eyes big, the face wasn't bad.

    That "man" turned out to be a woman, in fact if the body would be a little smaller she would be considered as a beautiful woman. Only now she's considered as a large woman, her shoe size were two sizes larger than the average woman.

    With a laugh Xiao Yu'er answered, "If you are a woman, then why are you dressed up as a man?"

    Right away that large woman glared and said, "Don't you know who I am?"

    "Who cares if you are a man or a woman, the fact is you are a human being," laughed Xiao Yu'er. "I think that you have difficulty to find a husband even if you lowered your price. If you act so fierce, who would dare to propose to you?

    Xiao Yu'er had a sharp and loose tongue, for the last two years he tried so hard to control himself. But now that he's out hiding, his habit was hard to curb. What much can be said if that's how his personality was.

    The large lady became very angry, she shouted while slamming her palm on the table, "You dare to speak to me that way?"

    Those people that carried Xiao Yu'er in became scared upon seeing the miss angry and they cowered behind Xiao Yu'er.

    However, Xiao Yu'er pretended to be oblivious, he was still laughing and said, "Why should I be afraid? As long as you are a human being, no matter what I don't...."

    Before he finished his sentence several of the people interrupted him, " This is our boss, the beloved daughter of Duan Lao Taiye (Old Grandmaster Duan). People in Jianghu call her "Nu Mengchang", you must have heard the name. So speak carefully and don't be rude."

    "O, so you are the daughter of Duan Heifei," said Xiao Yu'er with a laugh. "Didn't your dad want to send a lump sum of money to Guan-wai?"

    The large lady with the title "Nu Mengchang" frowned, and she asked back, "Where do you know this from?"

    Xiao Yu'er started sniffing, and asked again, "This load of medicines, did you get it from Guan-wai?"

    Nu Mengchang's eyes grew big, and she shouted, "How do you know that this boat is loaded with medicines?"

    Xiao Yu'er laughed and answered, "Not only do I know that this boat is loaded with medicines, but I know what kind of medicines. There are ginseng, gui pi (Chinese cinnamon), lu jiao (deer antler), wu jiazi (bark of the sleder acanthopanax).." In one breath he rattled a string of medicine names and it turned out to be accurate with the content of the cargo of the boat, not one mistake.

    Obviously nobody knew that Xiao Yu'er being raised among piles of medicine, not only knew these few common medicines, even if all medicine in this world all mixed up into one he could still recognize by smelling them. Now that he explained the names of all the medicines on board, naturally everyone had their mouths gaped open in surprise.

    Nu Mengchang's eyes shone with amusement, she inhaled deeply the tobacco, and "berr", suddenly she blew the smoke to Xiao Yu'er's face and said calmly, "It's a surprise that you kid is an expert in medicine."

    Xiao Yu'er's tears almost flowed out from the tobacco smoke, he rubbed his eyes and laughed, "I'm no only an expert in medicine, but I'm willing to bet that hardly anybody knows better about medicine than me. If you are really Nu Mengchang you should have invited me to your pharmacy with all honor."

    Nu Mengchang inhaled the tobacco, this time she didn't blow the smoke at Xiao Yu'er's face, but slowly exhaled it. After done exhaling the tobacco smoke, she suddenly stood up and while walking away she said to her staff, "Give him a change of clothes and bring him to Qingyu Tang (Hall of Overflowing Celebration) or Qingyu Hall."

    Qingyu Hall was the name of the biggest pharmacy in the city of Anqing, in fact the biggest in the province of Anhwi. Nu Mengchang, the beloved daughter of Duan Hefei, placed Xiao Yu’er in the pharmacy as a pharmacist and in charge of the inventory.

    Xiao Yu'er's job was easy enough, he didn't need to be at the front, and so he didn't need to worry of being recognized. Everyday he only had to measure medicines that were needed according to the prescription and to check the inventory, other than that it could be said that there's nothing else for him to do.

    He just found out that Duan Hefei was the wealthiest person in the Chang-jiang valley, all the companies that had the best business in that area were monopolized by him.

    And Nu Mengchang was his only daughter, it was told that she had two older brothers, but both died when they were small. That's the reason why people call her as "Third Miss".

    "Third Miss" often came to Qingyu Hall, but she never paid any attention to Xiao Yu'er, therefore Xiao Yu'er also ignored her. However, Xiao Yu'er was aware that although in the outside this large lady looked fierce but in the inside her heart was not too bad.

    The strange thing was the more Xiao Yu'er ingored her, the more often the visit to the pharmacy by the large lady, sometimes up to two or three times a day, but not even once did she look at him, naturally Xiao Yu'er wasn't bothered by it, only secretly he felt amused.

    One day Xiao Yu'er was lying on his lazy chair basking under the sun, the sunshine at the beginning of winter felt so cozy. He felt so comfortable that he almost fell asleep.

    Suddenly "Third Miss" approached him and with her pipe she tapped the lazy chair with her pipe and said, "Hey, wake up!"

    Lazily Xiao Yu'er opened his eyes and answered, "Whom are you talking to?"

    "Is there anyone else beside you here?" replied 'Third Miss".

    "But my name is not 'Hey', " laughed Xia Yu'er.

    'Third Miss' glared, but she then laughed and said, "I want to ask you about my Dad sending the money to Guan-wai like you said, where did you know that from?"

    "Why, did something happen to it?" asked Xiao Yu'er.

    "It was robbed on the road," replied 'Third Miss' dryly.

    Instantly Xiao Yu’er’s eyes popped wide open, he quickly sat up and said, “It was robbed by someone? It wasn’t escorted by Shuang-shi biao-ju (Double Lion Escort)?”
    “In fact it was escorted by Shuang-shi biao-ju (Double Lion Escort),” replied ‘Third Miss’.

    Absent mindedly Xiao Yu’er rubbed his nose and murmured, “How strange! If it was escorted by Shuang-shi biao-ju (Double Lion Escort), then why was it robbed?…”

    “You think that goods escorted by Shuang-shi biao-ju (Double Lion Escort) could not be robbed? Mocked ‘Third Miss’. “Hmm, I see that those two men with the surname Li in essence are like rice pots, only good in making noises but incompetent in working.”

    “Even though the two Li men are rice pots,” said Xiao Yu’er, “but there are still others who are not rice pots.”

    “Who are they?” asked ‘Third Miss’.

    “There are many turns and dips in this case that you are not aware of, in fact I… yes! I myself don’t know everything completely.”

    “You are speaking nonsense,” grumbled ‘Third Miss’ glaring.

    After thinking for a moment, Xiao Yu’er asked, “What kind of a person was the robber, do you know?”

    “The package disappeared suddenly in the middle of the night. The door weren’t opened, the windows were closed, the guards didn’t see anything, and in fact not a noise was heard. The package just suddenly disappeared as if it had wings.”

    This is really a strange happening,” said Xiao Yu’er. “I feel that the robbers must have some black magic or something must be wrong with the ears and eyes of people from Shuang-shi biao-ju (Double Lion Escort).

    “If that is so, they themselves would lose,” said ‘Third Miss’.

    “Are they supposed to reimburse?”

    “Of course, even if they have to pawn their pants,” scoffed the large lady.

    Xiao Yu’er rubbed his nose and murmured, “How strange, at first I thought that Shuang-shi biao-ju (Double Lion Escort) side were the thief that shouted thief, but if they had to reimburse, then how can this happen?”

    “It’s because they are all rice pots, that’s why the goods that they are guarding were robbed, is that simple.”

    “It seems very simple, but is possible that behind the scene is very complex.”

    “What do you mean?” asked ‘Third Miss’.

    “I myself don’t know what it means,” replied Xiao Yu’er laughing.

    ‘Third Miss’ stared at the young man, staring at his smile for so long. Suddenly she shouted, “Actually are you a smart person or a dumb one?”

    Xiao Yu’er sighed, he turned around and buried his head in his arms and said coldly, “If I were a dumb person, then my life would be much happier.”

    End of chapter 42

  12. #32
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 43


    The next day is still a warm and sunny day. Once again, Xiao Yu’er was lying on the chair tanning himself.

    It’s as if all the bones in his body has softened, it’s as if he is not thinking of anything, but in fact, he’s thinking of many things.

    All the things he has been thinking can actually be summed up into two sentences: “How did the cargo get stolen? Who stole it?” He can’t think of an answer.

    Just then, Third Missy came again.

    Xiao Yu’er looked at her thru half closed eyes, and saw that she appeared very excited. She rushed towards him and said loudly, “Hey, you’re wrong.”

    Xiao Yu’er actually can’t be bothered about her, but on hearing this sentence, he opened his eyes and asked, “What was I wrong about?”

    Third Missy said with shining eyes, “I just heard the news, the cargo has been taken back.”

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes widened, “Who took it back?”

    Third Missy replied loudly, “That person is about the same age as you, but his abilities are far superior than yours. If you’re not so lazy, you might accomplish one-tenth of what he has achieved.”

    Xiao Yu’er jumped up and exclaimed, “The person you are talking about is Jiang Yulang?”

    Third Missy was taken aback and asked, “How did you know?”. Xiao Yu’er laughed loudly, “I know, of course I know… I know everything now…”

    He was laughing and shouting and jumping and Third Missy, stunned, could not help but ask, “Are you crazy?”

    Xiao Yu’er suddenly jumped up and kissed Third Missy’s face, and laughingly said, “Too bad I am not, so their unfortunate days will soon come.” Clapping and laughing, he turned around and skipped into the warehouse.

    Third Missy touched her face, and with wide open eyes, looked at him as if she has seen a weirdo and mumbled, “Crazy… you’re really a Little Craze.”

    As only a strand of wick was used, the light was not bright. Xiao Yu’er stared at this bit of light intently, smiling and muttering, “Jiang Yulang, you are really smart. You pretended that the cargo was stolen, and seized it back again… such a mysterious robbery, and you solved it without any effort, who in Jiang Hu will not admire you, and who would have guess it’s just a show directed by yourself?”

    He sighed softly, “Only me – Xiao Yu’er, don’t forget that I’m still around in this world, none of your bellyful of devious plans can escape me.”

    Outside the window, the night was quiet, only the whishing of the wind blowing on the dried branches could be heard. Suddenly, someone whispered, “Little Craze, Little Craze, come out quick.”

    Xiao Yu’er opened the window a little, and saw Third Missy standing in the cold wind under the moon, wearing a big red cape.

    Third Missy bit her lips and said, “I have something… something important to tell you. That matter is really not that easy.”

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes gleamed, “You have more news?”

    “Yes. I have just received news, the cargo has been stolen again!” Third Missy replied.

    Xiao Yu’er jumped out of the window without even wearing his shoes. This time, he was really surprised. He stood on the cool stone floor barefooted and asked hoarsely, “Your news is real?”

    “Not a shred of falsehood.”

    Rubbing his hands, Xiao Yu’er exclaimed, “It’s impossible that the cargo will be stolen again. I can’t figure it out… do you know who stole the cargo?”

    Third Missy replied, “This time, it’s vastly different from the last time.”

    “What’s the difference? Unless they need not compensate this time for losing the cargo.”

    Slowly, Third Missy said, “Yes, they really need not compensate.”

    Xiao Yu’er jumped up and asked loudly, “Why?”

    Third Missy lowered her eyes, “It’s because all of “Double Lion” Escort Agency’s bodyguards, runners, a total of 98 people, are all dead, leaving only the horse groom.”

    Xiao Yu’er was shocked for a while before suddenly exclaiming, “What about Jiang Yulang?”

    “Jiang Yulang is not a member of the “Double Lion” Escort Agency. After returning the cargo, he left immediately, as what a great hero, an outstanding man would have done!”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed coldly, “What a great hero, an outstanding man! I’m only afraid that he already knew that the cargo would be stolen again, so he slipped off.”

    Third Missy asked, “You mean… the second robbery, is also done by the same people who did the first robbery?”

    Xiao Yu’er blinked, “Is this not possible?”

    “The people who did the first robbery, has been killed by Jiang Yulang. When he returned the cargo, he returned it together with the heads of the robbers!”

    Xiao Yu’er applauded, “Great move! Really a great and ruthless move!”

    Third Missy fixed her gaze at him and continued, “Also, only one person was involved in the second robbery. All the 98 men in “Double Lion” Escort Agency died at the hands of this one man!”

    “One man? …. Single handedly killing 98 lives in one night, who in Jiang Hu would have such ruthless and high handed move?”

    Third Missy replied, “Apparently, it was an old man with white eyebrows and fine beard!....”

    “Who has seen him?”

    “Of course it is the horse groom who escaped death.”

    “Then he….”

    Third Missy continued, “After hearing the first scream, he hid himself in the haystack and could hear screams coming one after another within the time taken to drink 2,3 cups of tea.”

    Xiao Yu’er horsely said, “What a fast movement! What a fast sword!”

    Third Missy sighed, “It did not take long to kill everyone, but the horse groom felt as if hours has passed. He later saw a big and tall old man with a fine beard, holding a steel sword and laughing wildly as he walked out. The old man was wearing a light coloured shirt, which has by then been dyed red with the fresh blood!”

    Xiao Yu’er rubbed his chin, “This sounds like a story spun by a storyteller, every little thing was described in detail and excitement. For someone who has escaped death, it takes a brilliant man to remember and describe everything in detail.”

    Third Missy smiled, “When I first heard this, I also thought this person is very meticulous.”

    Xiao Yu’er asked, “When did you first hear this news?”

    “Just an hour ago.”

    “When did this happen?”

    “Last night”

    Xiao Yu’er wondered, “How could the news have arrived so fast?”

    Third Missy replied, “Homing pigeons. This is the headquarters; within the radius of a few thousand ‘li’, there are 79 large and small towns, and all the towns have homing pigeon stations set up by my family!”

    Xiao Yu’er suddenly exclaimed, “How in dog’s as* am I connected to this matter? Why did you come to me in such a hurry to tell me? Have you nothing better to do after eating? Don’t tell me you think I have some connection with the robber?”

    Third Missy stamped her feet, “But… that’s not what I meant.”

    “Then what do you mean?”

    Third Missy was so anxious, she actually blushed, but she did not throw a tantrum.

    She lowered her head, and softly said, “Because you… you are my friend. If a person feels something weird is going on, he will certainly tell his friend…”

    “Friend? …. I am only a worker you employed, why do you want to treat me as your friend?” Xiao Yu’er asked loudly.

    Third Missy blushed even redder, her head lowered even more, “I… I don’t know either.”

    Xiao Yu’er stared at her for a while, before laughing suddenly.

    Third Missy bit her lips and asked, “You… what are you laughing about?”

    Xiao Yu’er laughingly replied, “Since the time I got to know you, only now, you look like a girl!”

    Third Missy stood there with head lowered head for a while, stunned, before bawling suddenly. Her whole body seemed to have softened, and dropped on the cabinet, crying bitterly.

    Xiao Yu’er furrowed his brows, “What are you crying about?”

    Weeping, Third Missy replied, “Ever since I was young, no one saw me as a girl, not even my father. Even he treated me as a boy when I… am in fact a girl.”

    Xiao Yu’er was taken aback, before nodding, “For a girl to be always treated like a boy, is really a miserable thing! You are really a very pitiable girl.”

    Third Missy whimpered, “To be able to hear such words today, even if I were to die right now, it would not matter.”

    “But I don’t pity you at all.” On hearing these words, Third Missy took two steps back, and stared at him.

    Xiao Yu’er laughed, “If you want others to treat you like a real girl, then you should first make yourself look like a girl. But you’re always wearing men’s clothes and covering yourself with a large cape, kicking your legs higher than your head, behaving like a muke driver, how do you expect others to treat you like a girl.”

    Third missy rushed forward with her hand raised to hit, but before she strike, she paused. After hesitating for a while, she lowered her head again.

    Xiao Yu’er said, “Good girl, go back and think over what I have said…. As for the matter concerning the cargo, although I have no assurance now, but in less than a month, I will tell you the truth.

    As he spoke, he jumped back through the window.

    He closed the window, and yet peeped thru the window opening. He saw Third Missy standing in a daze, thinking for a long while before walking off in a state of bewilderment. Xiao Yu’er shook his head and smiled bitterly.

    Later that night, Xiao Yu’er was sleeping soundly. Suddenly, a few men dashed into the room and pulled him out of bed. Some were helping him dress, some were retrieving his shoes.

    These men included the Head Storekeeper and the Assistant Storekeeper. Xiao Yu’er rubbed his eyes sleepily, “It’s not even payday, and you’re kidnapping me?”

    The Assistant Storekeeper smilingly replied as he buttoned up the shirt, “Tell you a great piece of news…. Old Master actually wants to see you today.”

    The Head storekeeper continued with a smile, “Old master hardly sees any staff in a year. He just arrived at An Qing today and the first person he wants to meet is you, aren’t you lucky?”

    A bewildered Xiao Yu’er was bundled up a carriage and after traveling a distance, was taken to a mansion so stylishly huge that it’s scary and ushered into the mansion.
    Xiao Yu’er followed a pale looking servant past one courtyard after another, and after walking for a while, they only reached the back garden, where there were 5 luxurious porches amidst the plants.

    The servant lowered his voice and said, “Old Master is inside, he wants you to go in alone.” Xiao Yu’er stood outside the door and blinked. After thinking for a while, he raised his leg, took a huge step in and the first person he saw was Third Missy. Today, Third Missy looked vastly different from the Third Missy in the past.

    She is no longer wearing pants with a shirt jacket, but a flowing gold skirt with a blue silk top with white floral prints.

    On her face there is a hint of make up, in her black hair there was a hairpin, and two pearls as large as dragon’s eyes dangled on her ears.

    She sat there with lowered head, looking almost shy. Obviously she saw Xiao Yu’er walk in, but did not raise her head. She cast a glance at him, gently bit on her lips and lowered her head further.

    Xiao Yu’er almost wanted to laugh out loud, if not for the fact that there is a person on the floor next to her, he would have laughed.

    On the thick Persian carpet, a fat person wearing a wide robe was on the floor. At first glance, he looks just like a large embroidered ball.

    In front of him, there is a jade box, carved from an entire block of jade, which will cost at least ten thousands and above, but in the box there is only a cricket.

    Xiao Yu’er bent down and after looking for a while, smiled, “I’m afraid this ‘Red Head Coffin’ is an executioner.”

    The fat man raised his head, and smiled until his eyes was narrowed into a line, “You know about crickets too?”

    Xiao Yu’er grinned, “Besides giving birth, I’m afraid that there is nothing much that I do not know.”

    The fat man clasped his hands and laughed, “Good, Lao San (Number Three), the person you mentioned is him?” Without asking, you will know that this person is naturally the famous tycoon Duan He Fei.

    Third Missy answered with bowed head, “Mmm”

    Duan He Fei smiled until his eyes can no longer be seen, “Good, very good, you have good taste.”

    Xiao Yu’er rubbed his head and smiled, “What is this all about?”

    Duan He Fei replied, “Don’t ask, don’t talk, leave everything to me. Now pull me up, use your strength… ai… that’s a good boy.”

    He stood up with much difficulty and from his appearance, looked as if he was more tired than someone who has walked 3 li. Panting and rubbing his chest, he beamed, “Good…. Very good. You like roasted meat? Shark’s fins, bird’s nest, abalone, bear’s paws… all these are fake, only eating roasted meat gives the greatest pleasure.”

    Xiao Yu’er said, “But I don’t actually know, this is…”

    With a wave of his hand, Duan Hefei replied, “You don’t have to know, don’t have to know anything… leave everything to me, stay here for a meal, the roasted meat made by my chef is number one in this world.”

    And so a baffled Xiao Yu’er ate a huge bowl of roasted meat. Here, his mouth seems to have no use other than eating, because Duan He Fei did not let him talk.

    He returned to the shop at dusk, still not knowing why Duan He Fei asked for him, only knowing that everyone in Qing Yu Hall is now treating him differently.

    Of course they were now more courteous.

    After his bath, Xiao Yu’er lied on the cane chair, when he suddenly heard a gruff voice, like a broken gong, “Monkshood, cinnamon, rhinoceros horn, bear’s gall…”

    He was mouthing off a list of herbal names, either extremely cooling, or extremely heaty herbs. Then the Assistant Storekeeper’s sharp and thin voice was heard, most likely asking him, “These herbs, how much do you want?”

    The voice replied, “We’ll take all that you have, not a single one to be left.”

    Another voice added, “Qing Yu Hall should have a warehouse right? Bring us there for a look.” This person’s voice was even louder, sounding like a string of fire crackers going off.

    Just as Xiao Yu’er stood up, he saw the Assistant Storekeeper being escorted in, just like a chick being caught by an eagle.

    Under the light, the 2 men appeared wide at the shoulders with a narrow waist, their movements were full of vigor, their eyes fierce and their face full of anger, how can the Assistant Storekeeper not obey when faced with such men?

    Xiao Yu’er stood at the side watching, while the staff in the shop wrapped up all the herbs the 2 men wanted into four big packages.
    Xiao Yu’er quietly took a small pebble in his palm, and waited until they were moving the packages up the carriage before his fingers lightly flicked, the pebble flew out with a ‘whoosh’ and hit the corner of the package. The light outside the door was dim, and his movements fast, so naturally no one noticed.

    He lay down on the cane chair again and looked at the stars in the sky, murmuring, “Seems like, a good show is about to begin…”

    The night was quiet, everyone in the shop were fast asleep, but Xiao Yu’er was still sitting under the stars. In this peaceful night, he seems to be expecting something shocking to happen. Xiao Yu’er closed his eyes, and it seems as if he is falling asleep.

    Suddenly, in the quite night came sounds of rapid hoof beats. Xiao Yu’er’s eyes shone instantly and cocked his ears to listen, “Three horses, why only three horses?”

    Just then, the rushing hoof beats came to a stop. The three horses were of course pulled to a halt outside Qing Yu Hall.

    After that, there is a hurried knocking on the door and someone spoke loudly, “Someone open the door, open the door quick, we have a seriously ill person; we need to buy medication.”

    Underlying that resounding voice, there is a certain amount of urgency. The staff sleeping in front was shocked awake and so, the sounds of replies, sounds of grumble, sounds of hurried feet, sounds of door opening were all combined.

    The anxious voice is already shouting out, “We need Monkshood, cinnamon, rhinoceros horn, bear’s gall; three catties for each item, quick, quick, this is a serious illness.”

    The staff were astonished, why is everyone purchasing these herbs today? Of course their reply was “None.”

    The anxious voice sounded more alarmed, more nervous, and made a ruckus, “Such a big medical Hall, and you don’t even have such herbs?”

    This person was more than six foot tall, with a pair of commanding bright, but bloodshot eyes. On seeing such a fierce countenance, the staff smiled nervously, “Our shop is more than a hundred years old, and we have all the herbs initially, but unfortunately, all the herbs were sold just four hours ago. Why don’t you try other shops?”

    Xiao Yu’er walked over silently, and looked thru the crack in the door, only to see the man nervously breaking out in cold swear and stamping his foot, “What an unfortunate coincidence! All the medical halls in this city do not have these herbs!”

    The shop door was ajar, and outside the door stood another man holding on to two strong horses. The horses were frothing at the mouth, obviously they have ridden hard from afar.

    There is another person and a horse, standing a few feet away. Under the stars, the person on the horse could be seen wearing a black cloth around the head, a long black cloak, the eyes looking around. The stars shone on the face – this person is a woman.

    The staff, holding up the candle, was in a hurry to send off the visitors. Suddenly, the flame flickered, the woman in black on the horse suddenly stood in front of him. Her pair beautiful eyes were as sharp as knives! The staff stepped back in surprise, the candle wax dripped on the back of his hand and scalded him. His hands slacked and the candle stand dropped.

    Before the candle stand touched the floor, without knowing how, it was in the hands of the woman in black, and the candle was still lighted. The warm candlelight shone directly on her pale face! Her face was so pale that it looks like a ghost at night!

    Her gaze fixed on the staff, she spoke each word slowly, “These herbs, were all bought by the same person?”

    The staff was scared stiff and fluttering, replied, “Yes… no… it’s two people!”

    The woman in black asked, “What kind of people?”

    Her slow voice suddenly became sharp and short, so full of hatred that the staff could not help but shivered on hearing them. “Don’t…. don’t know… we’re only doing business here, we would not dare inquire about our customer’s background.”

    The sharp eyes of the woman looked at him intently, unblinking, as if she is trying to see if what he said was true or false. Under such a pair of watchful eyes, who can lie?

    The staff’s legs has gone soft from her stare. Luckily, the woman in black finally turned around, went up the horse, whipped the horse… the sounds of the hoof beats gradually became softer, leaving faster than when it arrived.

    The staff felt as if it was a dream, but looking down, he saw the candle stand on the floor right in front of him. This naturally is not a dream, and he bent down and took the candle stand.

    The flame suddenly flickered again. The staff was again surprised and the candle stand he just picked up dropped again.

    But this time, the candle stand again did not drop onto the floor, and the flame was not extinguished – a hand shot out like lightening and by chance caught hold of the candle stand. The shocked staff turned around and saw Xiao Yu’er.

    Xiao Yu’er hand was holding the candle stand, but his eyes were looking afar, muttering, “Never did I guess… never did I guess it would be her!”

    The staff asked, “Her… who is ‘her’?”

    Xiao Yu’er replied, “Her name is He Lu, a servant from the Floral Palace… You would not know even if I told you.” All of a sudden, he jumped up lightly and reached out his hands to grab a piece of paper blown up by the wind, only to see on the paper, full of names of the medical halls.

    Xiao Yu’er said, “By throwing away this piece of paper, it’s obvious that she has searched through all the medical halls, but still could not buy those herbs…”

    The staff asked, “Funny, why would she want such weird herbs in such a hurry?”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled, “Naturally this is because someone in their family has come down with a weird illness.”

    The staff bowed his head and wondered, “What illness could it be, to require herbs of extreme coolness and heatiness….. I’ve never heard of such illness before, have you?” He raised his head to ask Xiao Yu’er.

    Again the candle stand was on the floor, Xiao Yu’er is gone!


    End of Chapter 43

  13. #33
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 44


    Swiftly running past a few roofs, Xiao Yu’er saw the 3 running horses.

    Although the horses were in a rush, it could not match Xiao Yu’er’s strides. The horses were running on the street, Xiao Yu’er was following silently on the roofs.

    He was asking himself, “Why is He Lu in such a hurry to buy those herbs? Unless someone was poisoned by a venom of extreme coolness or heatiness? Can’t the medicine in the Floral Palace neutralize the poison?”

    His thoughts wandered and pondered, “The person who poisoned them already knew they needed such herbs, so they bought all the herbs on the market. Obviously they wanted the poisoned person to die!... What a callous plan! But who could it be?”

    “Who could be the one who was poisoned? Could it be Hua Wu Que!”

    His thoughts were in a mess, and could not decide if he was shocked or happy.

    The horses ran and in an instance, suddenly stopped in front of a high wall. There is a small door in the wall, it looks like someone’s back door. The door was unlocked. He Lu jumped down from her horse and pushed the door open.

    Xiao Yu’er raised his shoulders, and jumped up the high wall like a bat. His body slid over in the darkness, and the two men below did not even notice anything.

    Sighing softly, He Lu walked swiftly, the night wind blowing past the tree tops, the pebbled path going ‘sha, sha’ under her feet. She removed the black cloth covering her head and on her hair, there was a bright pearl.

    The pearl shone under the stars. Hiding in the trees, Xiao Yu’er followed the shine of the pearl. The shine disappeared into the trees and amidst the trees, there were three to five exquisite lodges.

    Xiao Yu’er hid himself in the heavy foliage, unworried that he will be discovered. He looked down quietly, and saw Hua Wu Que’s face.

    This handsome, suave, serene, confident face, at this moment was filled with anxiety. He came out in a hurry and on seeing He Lu, his first words were, “Where are the herbs?”

    He Lu rubbed the black cloth in her hands and replied softly, “Didn’t buy it.”

    The three words were not even out of her mouth but on seeing the expression on her face, Hua Wu Que’s own expression changed and snatched the black cloth from her hand, uttering, “Why… why couldn’t you buy it?”

    This Master Wu Que, his every movement is usually refined, and treats females with gentleness and courtesy, but this time, he lost his usual composure.

    On seeing his behavior, Xiao Yu’er knew that the injured person must be someone very close to him, or he would not be so uncharacteristically lost.

    Xiao Yu’er was lost in thought while He Lu and Hua Wu Que continued talking. By the time he returned his attention to the conversation, the two of them had already entered the house.

    The candlelight glowed inside and on the paper window, 2 shadows appeared. One with a bowed head, the clothes rustling, as if the person is shaking from nervousness. Without a doubt, this person is Hua Wu Que.

    The other person had a long, fine beard, sitting as straight as a pen, and Xiao Yu’er could imagine his expression would be serious. But no matter how long he looked, he could not make out who this second person could be.

    Suddenly a gentle and steady voice said, “The fortunate will be blessed, Sir need not worry too much. Actually, I have expected that Miss He Lu would return empty handed.” As soon as this voice reached his ears, Xiao Yu’er’s heart skipped a beat.

    He heard Hua Wu Que sigh, “These herbs, although expensive, are not rare. I cannot understand why we could not even buy these few herbs in such a large city like An Qing.”

    That voice continued, “That person knows that only these few herbs of extreme coolness or hotness can neutralize his poison, and deduced that Sir would know about this, so if he had not bought all the herbs, the effort taken to put the poison would have gone to waste.”

    Regardless of what the speaker said, his voice remained very calm. At this moment, Xiao Yu’er realized that this person must be Jiang Bie He!

    Remembering this person’s ruthlessness, Xiao Yu’er could feel a shiver run down his spine. Never mind about Hua Wu Que, if he was found out by this person, he would not be able to live! Hiding in the trees, Xiao Yu’er dare not even breath.

    With a voice full of hatred, Hua Wu Que replied, “Correct, this person has reckoned that even the medicine in Floral Palace could not neutralize this kind of cold poison made from the essence of snow and ice, but… what enmity does ‘he’ have with ‘him’? Why leave him with no way to live!”

    Xiao Yu’er could not guess who the first ‘he’ that Hua Wuque was referring to, and could not figure out who the second ‘him’ was, and was beginning to get anxious.

    Jiang Bie He slowly replied, “I’m afraid that the one the person wants to harm is not ‘him’, but Sir.”

    Hua Wu Que replied, “But eversince I came to Central Plains, I have not made an enemy of anyone, why would this person want to harm me? Who is this person? I can’t think of an answer.”

    Jiang Bie He seemed to reply with a smile, “If Sir could set his mind at ease about Miss Tie’s condition, and follow me to investigate, I have 80% confidence that we can find the perpetrator!”

    Miss Tie! The person who was poisoned, could it be Tie Xin Lan! Xiao Yu’er was so surprised he almost fell off the tree. The leaves “whooshed” and Hua Wu Que’s shadow could be seen standing up abruptly and he shouted, “There’s someone outside, who is that?”

    Xiao Yu’er was so tensed that his heart almost jumped out from his throat.

    However, Jiang Bie He replied, “The wind is rustling the leaves, who can there be? Let me accompany Sir to take a look at Miss Tie’s illness.” And so, the two of them left the window.

    Xiao Yu’er heaved a sigh of relief, “Heaven has really helped me this time, Jiang Bie He has always been a wary person, but today he actually overlooked…”

    As soon as he arrived that that thought, he felt coldness in his heart, “Jiang Bie He has always been wary, he will never fail to notice, there must be a ploy in this!”

    Xiao Yu’er is really sharp, and his thoughts faster than lightening, once he thought of this, he wanted to escape, but alas, he is still late!

    In the darkness, there are already 2 human shadows, flying through the sky like swallows!

    Xiao Yu’er cast a startled look, and saw that it is indeed Jiang Bie He and Hua Wu Que. Hua Wu Que’s clothes fluttered in the wind, looking like a flying fairy, his eyes gleaming in the darkness, but full of hatred. He must have thought this person hiding in the darkness is related to the poison incident.

    Xiao Yu’er’s martial arts has improved by leaps and bounds, but faced with these two people, he can’t help but quiver in his heart. It’s just that he has faced such life and death situations so many times; he now treats them like an everyday meal. At this point, he was alarmed but not confused, he lowered his ‘qi’ and the branch he was sitting on ‘cracked’ and broke, and his body went into a straight fall.

    Jiang Bie He and Hua Wu Que has gathered momentum in the air, and like an arrow released from the bow, they could not change their direction to fall, or turn back. Xiao Yu’er heard the whistling of the wind above him, the two of them had flown past his head.

    He gained the advantage, not daring to hesitate, rushed forward with all his might, in an opposite direction of where Jiang Bie He and Hua Wu Que has gone. He calculated that by the time they turned back, they would be one step behind. Although the time difference is only a moment, with Xiao Yu’er’s current Lightness skill, Jiang Bie He and Hua Wu Qie would not be able to catch up with him.

    How could he have expected that although Jiang Bie He’s body could not stop, shooting forward like a pen, but his hand flicked back. In his hand he has already held on to his secret weapon, several Silver Stars flew towards Xiao Yu’er back like a thunderstorm!

    Hua Wu Que was darting through the air when he suddenly lifted his leg, kicked against a tree trunk, and borrowing the strength from the tree, lightly rebounded and changed direction, his head followed by his feet, shooting back! The speed of his rebound was comparable to the secret weapon fired by Jiang Bie He!
    Xiao Yu’er heard the sounds of the secret weapon flying through the air, but the Silver Stars are almost upon his back!

    His strength exhausted, he could not leap up, and could only fall flat on the ground and rolled, “puff, puff”.

    A string of light sound was heard, and the seven Silver Stars were embedded on the ground next to his body.

    He had escaped death by a hair’s breath but before he could gather his wits, he looked up. Hua Wu Que’s fluttering robe has already reached the top of his head!

    Hua Wu Que flipped over in the air, his palms outstretched! He is as agile as a dragon in the sky, and with the strength of his palm pressed down, even ants would find difficulty escaping!

    Unexpectedly, the seven Silver Stars embedded on the ground sprung up suddenly towards Hua Wu Que, and it seems with the sudden change, it would not be easy for Hua Wu Que to avoid them!

    No matter how devious Jiang Bie He is, he did not expect such a ploy. He was speechless that the opposite party actually used his secret weapon to escape!

    Hua Wu Que clapped his outstretched palms with a ‘pak’, and like night birds returning to their nests, the seven Silver Stars all flew into his palms!

    All this happened in an instant, but the whole process was like a thousand changes! After shooting the Silver Stars with a stroke of his palm, Xiao Yu’er used the energy from the stroke and rebounded himself, and still managed to sneak a peek amidst all the action.

    On witnessing Hua Wu Que’s amazing internal energy, Jiang Bie He can’t help but cry out, “Good!”

    Jiang Bie He called out to this mysterious person with such wondrous reflexes, “Friend, what great skills! Why not stay and tell us your intention!”

    Without turning back, Xiao Yu’er replied coarsely, “Speak tomorrow, it’s good bye for today!”

    Before he even finished his words, Hua Wu Que has already coldly replied, “Friend, with your skills, it will be such a waste if I let you leave just like that!”

    The voice was just behind Xiao Yu’er. Not only does he not dare to turn his head, he did not even dare to speak, but used all his strength to glide forward.

    The roofs flew under his feet rapidly, and he does not know how many roofs he has flown over, but he is still within the compounds of the mansion!

    He heard Jiang Bie He exclaim, “Friend does not look very old, but not only do you possess astonishing skills, your thoughts are swift too. With the appearance of such a young hero in Jiang Hu, it will be such a sin if I do not make your acquaintance.”

    His speech did not even hinder his chase, and his voice was calm, as if he is confident that Xiao Yu’er will never escape his clutches.

    Hua Wu Que remarked, “Correct, his Lightness Skills, even if it is not Number One in Central Plains, is already remarkable!” He was also wondering, why he could not catch up even now.

    Although his Lightness Skill is better than Xiao Yu’er’s, but the prey can always hide here and there, changing direction randomly, so they have an advantage over the predator.

    Jiang Bie He commented, “This person’s Lightness Skill is excellent, and looks full of energy, his body has gathered momentum and I’m afraid it would be difficult for you and me to continue the chase.”

    Once Xiao Yu’er heard that sentence, he suddenly dropped downwards towards the houses. This impish Xiao Yu’er, he did not think of this in his shock, but Jiang Bie He’s speech reminded him.

    Jiang Bie He secretly dropped down, and saw Xiao Yu’er turning here and there in the winding corridor. Suddenly he jumped head in through a window.

    By then, the lights in the rooms have been extinguished. Although he does not know if there is anyone in the room, he reckoned that in such a huge mansion, there are bound to be more empty rooms.

    The room is really empty.

    Xiao Yu’er has just taken a breath when he heard a ‘whiz’, Hua Wu Que has leaped in, followed by another ‘whiz’, Jiang Bie He was not far behind too.

    It was pitch black in the room, and nothing can be seen. Xiao Yu’er stepped forward and almost knocked into a table.

    Jiang Bie He laughingly said, “Friend, come out. I am Jiang Bie He, and I stake my reputation as the ‘Hero of Jiang Nan’ that if you reveal your background, I will not make things difficult for you.”

    If this sentence was spoken to someone else, that person might just obey, but Xiao Yu’er not only knows what kind of person this ‘Hero of Jiang Nan’ really he, he also knows that once they find out his identity, they will surely make things ‘difficult’.

    Jiang Bie He continued, “If Friend does not heed my kind advice, I’m afraid it will soon be too late for regrets.”

    Xiao Yu’er quietly lifted up the table and hurled it towards Jiang Bie He, at the same time vaulting into a corner at the left.

    He figured that there must be a door at the corner of the left wall, and he was correct. The table landed with a ‘smash’, and he has already kicked open the door and darted out.

    This house is even darker than the open, and darkness is to his advantage.

    Xiao Yu’er hid in the darkness, not even daring to move a muscle. He was just thinking of how to escape when suddenly, there were lights coming on. Jiang Bie He actually lighted the lamps outside.

    Xiao Yu’er grabbed a chair and threw it out, the people retreated, and the chair fell with a ‘peng’. He leaped out of the window, turned a somersault in the air and jumped through another window opposite.

    With all the clashing and banging, he woke up half the people sleeping in the house, and voices started to be heard, “What happened? Who’s that?” Jiang Bie He called out, “There’s a robber, everyone stay calm and do not run about, in case you get injured accidentally. We only need to light the lamps, and the robber will not be able to escape!”

    Xiao Yu’er was lamenting in his heart, this Jiang person really has quite a few tricks up his sleeves, everything he said was spot on. Xiao Yu’er was hoping to escape among the chaos, and more hopefully, the lamps will not be lighted. Once the lamps are lighted, not only does he have no where to run, he has no where to hide as well. This is really costing him his life.

    He only heard everyone chorusing, “It’s Hero Jiang talking, everyone listen to his instructions.”

    Subsequently, all the lamps in the courtyard was lighted up. Xiao Yu’er looked around and found himself in a study. This study was exquisitely decorated, and there is an embroidery stand next to the study table.

    He thought, “Why would there be a lady’s embroidery stand in a study?”

    Jiang Bie He and Hua Wu Que is already outside the window. Xiao Yu’er retreated through another door, when suddenly someone called out from behind the door, “Who is that outside!”

    It’s a girl’s voice.

    There’s someone behind the door. Xiao Yu’er was initially alarmed, but his thoughts turned and he was elated. Without hesitation, he kicked open the door and barged in.

    He reasoned that Jiang Bie He, being the hypocrite that he is, would need to maintain the façade of the ‘Hero of Jiang Nan’, and would never enter a girl’s room. Hua Wu Que would also never be ill-mannered in front of a lady.

    But Xiao Yu’er has no qualms about lady or no lady. He extinguished the lamp with a flick of his hand as soon as he entered the door, but from the corner of his eyes, he has seen a girl lying on the bed. He dashed over and with hands as fast as lightning, covered her mouth one with hand while pressing her shoulder down with the other and whispered, “If you do not want to suffer, do not utter a sound!”

    Who would have expected that the girl is so strong, and her reflexes as fast, and her hands instead gripped Xiao Yu’er’s hands!

    This is another unexpected turn of event. In his panic, Xiao Yu’er tried to use his strength but the girl had already pressed him down on the bed, her elbow pressed down on his throat!

    Xiao Yu’er was caught unawares and ended up being overcome by this girl. He felt half his body go numb, and was powerless to move. He secretly sighed and laughed bitterly, “Forget it, forget it… I guess in this life, it is fated that I will die in the hands of women.”

    At this point in time, Jiang Bie He’s voice could be heard outside.

    He really did not come in, but just asked outside, “Miss, did that thief dash into your room?”

    Xiao Yu’er shut his eyes, ready to accept fate.

    The girl replied, “Yes, someone did barged in just now, but has escaped through the window behind. I’m afraid he has fled to the small garden there, Hero Jiang please give chase quickly.”

    Never in his dreams would Xiao Yu’er expect the girl to reply in that manner. He only heard Jiang Bie He call out his thanks and hurrying off. He was so surprised and happy that he did not move.

    Finally, he could not bear it any longer and asked, “Mi… Miss, why did you save me?”

    The girl did not answer immediately, but went to latch the door.

    It was so dark in the room that you would not be able to see your fingers even if you raise them. Xiao Yu’er could not catch a look at the girl’s face, and started to feel suspicious. He jumped up and said, “I do not know Miss at all, and yet you saved me, but I wonder why?” The girl giggled, “You really do not know me?”

    Xiao Yu’er replied, “All the women who knew me wants to kill me, they would not save me.”

    The girl laughed out loud, “Don’t tell me you’ve been scared out of your wits, you could not even recognize my voice.” She was speaking softly and gently initially, but now laughing out loud, it bears the heroic spirit of a man. Xiao Yu’er immediately recognized the voice and asked hoarsely, “You, you are Third Missy? Why are you here?”

    Third Missy replied, “This is my home, where else could I be if not here?”

    Xiao Yu’er was astounded for a moment before adding, “I deserve to die, how could I not have recognized this is Duan He Fei’s house… this ghastly place is really to huge, coming in here is just like walking through a maze.”

    Third Missy laughed, “Not only you, even I will sometimes lose my way in here.”

    “But why is that Jiang Bie He and Hua Wu Que here?” Xiao Yu’er asked.

    Third Missy replied, “They are here because of the stolen cargo.”

    Xiao Yu’er sighed, “What a twist of fate, an unexpected happening, of all the coincidences in the world, I have to meet them all. Jiang Bie He turned out to be in your house, and I blundered into your room.”

    Third Missy chuckled, “They would never expect that I know you.”

    Xiao Yu’er concurred, “Why else would that old fox believe you.” Jiang Bie He would never guess that Duan He Fei’s daughter would save a thief; therefore he was easily dismissed by Third Missy’s words.

    Third Missy asked, “But… but you and Hero Jiang.. how? How…”

    Xiao Yu’er sniggered, “Hero Jiang… humph, the devil my Hero.”

    Third Missy wondered, “Who in Jiang Hu does not know his reputation as ‘Hero of Jiang Nan’? If he is not a Hero, then who is?”

    Xiao Yu’er retorted, “If he is a Hero, any turtle, as*hole thief will all be heroes.”

    Third Missy laughed, “You were intimidated by him, that’s why you hate him so much. He is actually a nice person. Once he heard our cargo has been stolen, he came immediately to help us.”

    Xiao Yu’er snickered, “This is what I call a weasel wishing a chicken happy new year.”

    “You said he does not have good intentions, but what devious plans would he have?” Third Missy asked.

    Xiao Yu’er said, “The plans these people harbor, you will never understand in your whole lifetime.”

    Third Missy bent over and sat on the bed, sat right next to Xiao Yu’er, her heart beating ‘rat-a-tat’. After sitting for a while with head lowered, she spoke, “That Master Hua… was also invited by Jiang… Jiang Bie He.”

    Xiao Yu’er replied, “Oh?”

    Third Missy continued, “Apparently this Master Hua, is the Number One hero in Jiang Hu, and is considered the most handsome man in the world, but the way I see him, that effeminate look, just doesn’t look pleasing to me.”

    Hearing her scold Hua Wu Que, Xiao Yu’er was delighted, and holding her hands, smiled, “You have good taste, what you’ve said is right.”

    “I…. I….”

    In the darkness, Xiao Yu’er was holding her hands. She could feel her face blushing, her heart beating and her throat drying, and she could not utter even a single word.

    After thinking for a while, Xiao Yu’er exclaimed, “That Master Hua you mentioned, did he have a friend who has been poisoned?”

    Third Missy asked, “How did you know?”

    Xiao Yu’er mused, “He is so capable, how could he have let his friend get poisoned?”

    “Yesterday afternoon, that Master Hua and Hero Ji…Jiang Bie He went out together, leaving Miss Tie alone in the guest room. Someone came with gifts for Master Hua, and Miss Tie accepted it. Among the gifts there were some snacks, and who knows Miss Tie was poisoned after eating a little.”

    Xiao Yu’er asked, “Who sent the gifts?”

    Third Missy replied, “The gifts were sent directly to Miss Tie, no one else know.”

    “Did she not say?”

    “When Master Hua returned, she is already in a coma and could not talk.”

    Xiao Yu’er furrowed his brows, “How could she be so careless, and just eat what someone delivers?”

    After thinking for a while, he continued, “The person with the gift must have been someone she trusted, which is why she ate without a doubt… but why would someone she trust want to harm her?”

    Third Missy sighed, “That Miss Tie, is really gentle and pretty, and is such a perfect match with Master Hua. It would be such a pity if she cannot be saved.”

    Xiao Yu’er asked through gritted teeth, “You said she and Hua…”

    Third Missy revealed, “The two of them were so loving that everyone envied them, especially the way Master Hua treats her, acceding to her every wish, so gentle, so caring…”

    On hearing these, the blood shot right up to Xiao Yu’er’s head, and he almost exploded. Unable to control further, he blurted, “Hateful!”

    “Who…. Who are you referring to as hateful?”

    Xiao Yu’er exhaled, and slowly said, “I mean the person who poisoned her is hateful.”

    Third Missy replied, “Until now, Master Hua and Jiang Bie He have not found out who is the perpetrator…”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed with his eyes wide, “He may be gentle and caring towards her, but he cannot save her life…. Hee…. Hee… hee hee…”

    On hearing his strange laugh, Third Missy can’t help but ask, “What…. What’s with you?”

    Xiao Yu’er replied, “I’m very well, very happy, never been this happy before.”

    Third Missy lowered her head, “You… Are you really that happy, being with me?” Others say that boys can be self-intoxicated, but they do not know that when a girl is self-intoxicated, it is ten times stronger than a boy’s.

    Xiao Yu’er was silent for a moment, and suddenly grabbed Third Missy’s hands, “I’m begging a favor from you now, will you agree?”

    Third Missy blushed again, her heart skipped again, and replied breathlessly, “No matter what request, I will agree.”

    Overjoyed, Xiao Yu’er said, “I beg that you send me out, and not let anyone discover.”

    Third Missy felt as if she has just been whipped, and was stunned.

    After who knows how long, she quivered, “You… want to leave right now?” Fine, I will send you out.” Third Missy suddenly shouted, “Someone…. Someone…. There’s a robber in here!”

    Xiao Yu’er’s face paled immediately, and clutched Third Missy’s hand, “You… what are you doing?”

    The sound of clothes fluttering in the wind was heard, and Jiang Bie He was outside the window, “Miss, do not be alarmed, where is the robber?” His arrival was swift!

    Xiao Yu’er was alarmed, angry and hateful.

    “Women…. Women…. To detain me, she would not hesitate to harm me! I have known long ago that women are disasters, but why did I still trust her!”

    He was all ready to dash out, when Third Missy replied, “I saw someone just now, heading towards where Miss Tie is staying…”

    Before she completed her sentence, Hua Wu Que cried out, “Ah…. That’s bad! We must not fall into that person’s diversion trap, go!” The sound of the wind followed, and they have gone far.

    Xiao Yu’er heaved another sigh of relief, and smiled bitterly, “You really scared me.”

    Third Missy replied slowly, “Rest assured that I will not harm you. I can only help you to leave after luring them away.”

    She grabbed an overcoat and draped it over Xiao Yu’er, “Wear this, I’ll bring you out.”

    Xiao Yu’er could not explain how he felt, and only muttered, “Women…. Now even I cannot fathom what kind of a creature women are!”

    “What did you say?” Third Missy enquired.

    “Nothing, I’m saying… you’re the most honest girl I’ve ever met.”

    Luckily, Third Missy is of a big build, so the overcoat fitted Xiao Yu’er well, and the two of them sauntered out into the corridor.

    Third Missy brought Xiao Yu’er to a side door and opened in. Turning around, the pale starlight shone directly on Xiao Yu’er’s stubborn, roguish but charismatic face.

    Sighing softly, Third Missy asked, “You… you will see me again?”

    Laughingly, he replied, “Naturally I will, I will today…”

    As he spoke, he hurried away.

    Third Missy gazed at his disappearing back, lost, and felt something in her heart. She does not know if it’s sorrow, or joy, but it’s something she has never felt before in her life.

    Xiao Yu’er hurried back to the medical hall.

    When he reached the street, the gold signboard of ‘Qing Yu Hall’ could be seen shimmering under the stars; and Xiao Yu’er slowed down his steps.

    His nose sniffing and twitching left and right, his eyes searching and looking left and right, he suddenly squat down, murmuring, “That’s it…”

    On the bright flagstone, specks of herbs could be seen, and there were more, about six, seven feet in front. Xiao Yu’er used both his nose and eyes and followed the trail.

    It turned out that when he used the pebble to hit the bag of herbs the two men bought this afternoon, it tore a small hole in the bag, which flakes of herbs fell out. He only need to follow the trail of the herbs and he would naturally be able to find out where the herbs had been sent to. He may be young, but he is thorough. Not only has he laid down the clues earlier, he also deduced that the streets would be deserted in the middle of the night, and there would be no one to step and mess up the trail.

    Later, he need not even lower his head to search. With the cool night wind blowing the scent of the herbs, he will not be lost.

    After walking for a while, the path became more and more desolate, and there was a pond in front, the ripples clear.

    Not far from this pond, there was indeed a courtyard. Although not as exquisite as Duan He Fei’s courtyard, but in the deserted surroundings, it’s manner looked even more imposing. The bags of herbs were sent to this courtyard.

    Xiao Yu’er hesitated for a while and glanced around. It was the middle of the night and yet the lamps in the courtyard were lighted up, and on the darkly painted door was a sign “Heavenly Fragrance Pond, Earthly Spirited Villa, Zhao” (Tian Xiang Tang, Di Ling Zhuang, Zhao).

    Xiao Yu’er thought to himself, “Look at this grandeur, this Zhao person is not only rich and influential, he must be from the Martial Arts world as well. They are not sleeping so late at night; they must be up to no good.”

    He has always been startlingly brave, and with his martial arts improving by leaps and bounds recently, he is all the more nonchalant, and flew straight towards the light source.

    It was a reception room. Xiao Yu’er hanged under the eave and wetting his little finger with his saliva, poked a small hole on the paper window. There were four people sitting in the reception room drinking.

    His observed that on the left corner of the room, there were big and small packets of herbs, obviously these are Monkshood, cinnamon, rhinoceros horn, bear’s gall… Someone said, “No matter what, with the presence of the three of you at my villa, your humble one is truly privileged; let me offer a toast to you again.”

    This person who was sitting on the main chair was tall and thin, with a horse like face, brows shaped like a broom, a hooked nose, peaked cheekbones and sharp eyes, and looked as if he is of some stature.

    Xiao Yu’er secretly commented, “This person must be surnamed Zhao.”

    Another person laughed, “Master Zhao has said this many times, and have toasted us many times, if you continue to be so polite with us, my brother and I would feel ill at ease.”

    The third person chuckled, “Actually, to become guests of Master Zhao, is truly our honor. My brother and I should offer a toast to Master Zhao instead.”

    These two people have the same rounded face, fat necks and eyes which closed up when they smiled, with a slow speech, and looked identical.

    Xiao Yu’er secretly laughed, “These two fatties are made from the same mould. There are so many twins in the world, but few looked as alike to each other as these two brothers.”

    He could not recognize these three people, neither could he guess why they would want to harm Tie Xin Lan. He was feeling baffled when he suddenly saw the fourth person turn his head.

    This person has a head full of white hair with silvery beard, his aura dignified, and turned out to be who everyone in the Martial Arts world praised as the Jiang Hu leader of San Xiang, ‘Values talent as much as one’s life’ Tie Wushuang.

    Seeing him, Xiao Yu’er was truly taken aback.

    So the person who put the poison is Tie Wushuang!

    No wonder Tie Xinlan trusted him, and ate the snacks without any suspicions. The seven words ‘Values talent as much as one’s life’ Tie Wushang, naturally everyone would believe him.

    He never thought that this Tie Wushuang is like Jiang Bie He, full of justice and humanity on the outside, but with the heart of snakes and scorpions inside. But why would he want to harm Tie Xinlan?


    End of Chapter 44

  14. #34
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 45


    Rapidly, Xiao Yu’er thoughts has turned seventeen, eighteen rounds. He was flabbergasted and doubtful, but even if he felt disbelief, the truth is right in front of his eyes.

    Master Zhao poured another cup of wine and raised his cup, smiled, “My good brothers and Old Master Tie are heroes of today, Zhao Xiang Ling has neither merit nor capability, and yet the three of you does not belittle me, come… come…, let me propose another toast to the three of you.”

    The two brothers immediately raised their wine cups, but Tie Wu Shuang did not even move a muscle.

    The fatty seated on the left chair turned his eyeballs, and immediately said with a smile, “My brother and I are juniors in Jiang Hu, unknown minors, how would we dare to be placed together with Old Master Tie. If not for Master Zhao inviting us, my brother and I will not even be qualified to drink with Old Master Tie.”

    The other person laughed, “Indeed, if the people in Jiang Hu were to hear that Luo San (Luo Three) and Luo Jiu (Luo Nine) were able to drink together with Old Master Tie, I really would not know how envious they would feel.”

    Tie Wu Shuang laughed heartily and immediately raised his cup, “The two of you are too modest, an Old Man like me is not deaf, I’ve heard that the Luo Brothers in Jiang Hu are heroic and chivalrous, ha ha….. ha ha, let me offer a toast to my good brothers.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed to himself, “This is really ridiculous, irrational, Tie Wu Shaung deemed himself as a cut above the rest but could not withstand a few words of exaltation. These Luo Brothers are such adept bootlickers; they are unlikely to be someone good.”

    He heard Zhao Xiang Ling laughed, “The three of you do not have to be so modest, Old Master Tie is without a doubt of noble character and standing, respected by all, but the Luo Brothers are also outstanding men of today.”

    He turned towards Tie Wu Shuang and smiled, “Old Master Tie might not know, these two Luo Brothers may have appeared in Jiang Hu only in recent years, but once they striked, they heavily injured the Seven Ghosts of Lake Tai, followed by the Five Tigers of Qi Lu. On Mount Tai Xing, the two Brothers single handedly fought with the Three Sabers and the Eighteen Invaders, that was an enormously magnificent battle.”

    Tie Wu Shang commented, “That’s weird, all these big events, I actually do not know.” Zhao Xiang Ling continued, “Old Master does not know, these two brothers does not want others to know, so no matter what they did, they did not wish to publicize. To have such mentality is very rare.”

    Tie Wu Shuang laughed, “Good, good, this kind of friends, I must make acquaintance of, but… since the two of you are twins, why are one of you called San (Three), and the other Jiu (Nine)?”

    Luo San chuckled, “Your junior were named after numbers, it has nothing to do with order of birth.”

    Luo Jiu smiled, “Actually I am the elder, he is the second.”

    Tie Wu Shuang clasped his hands and laughed, “This is astonishing, if others hear your names, they would never expect Luo Jiu to be the older brother, and Luo San is the younger brother.”

    He continued, “The two of you are so capable, but I do not know which famous teacher taught you? And I also do not know why you debuted so late, that I only heard of your names three years ago.”

    Luo Jiu smiled, “My brother and I have loved martial arts since young, so we learnt a few paltry strokes on our own at home, we don’t really have a teacher. At forty years old, our mother was still alive, so we dare not venture too far, until she passed away.”

    Tie Wu Shuang replied joyfully, “Not only are the two of you heroes, but filial sons as well.”

    Luo San smiled, “We wouldn’t dare.”

    Tie Wu Shuang asked, “But, the Seven Ghosts, Five Tigers, Three Sabers, Eighteen Invaders, are all famous fighters in the underworld, yet the two of you could actually defeat them. I find it hard to believe that you are not taught by some famous school.”

    Luo Jiu assured, “In front of Old Master, your junior would not dare to lie.”

    “In that case, the two of you can be considered rare talents. The martial arts you invented can be so amazing; I wonder if you could demonstrate…”

    Luo San replied, “In front of Old Master, your junior would not dare to flaunt.”

    Tie Wu Shuang insisted, “You must give me some face.”

    Luo San answered, “Your junior really would not dare.”

    Pretending to be offended, Tie Wu Shuang said, “The two of you look down on me, that you would not even give me face?”

    Zhao Xiang Ling quickly laughed, “Old Master Tie is known as ‘Values talent as much as one’s life’, and on hearing about such rare talents as the Luo Brothers, must have been moved. The two of you really should not spoil Old Master Tie’s enthusiasm.”

    Luo San smiled bitterly, “Master Zhao also…”

    Continuing, Zhao Xiang Ling continued, “To tell the truth, I myself would like to see your skilful performance.”

    Luo Jiu stood up and smiled, “In that case, your junior shall obey your orders, forgive us if we are not up to par.”

    These two brothers may be fat, but they are very tall. The two of them pulled on their sleeves slightly, and showed off their moves in the reception hall.

    At this point in time, not only was Zhao Xiang Ling and Tie Wu Shuang were concentrating on the moves, even Xiao Yu’er, who was outside the window, was staring with unblinking eyes.

    Both Luo Jiu’s palms were fluttering, executing the “Double Plated Palm”, while Luo San’s punches were mighty, and displaying a set of “Da Hong Fists”.

    The palms and fists of the brothers were swift and solid, and their skills full of vigor, but there were nothing spectacular to be noted about the strokes.

    It is known that “Double Plated Palm” and “Da Hong Fists” were the most common skills seen in Jiang Hu, so much so that even cart drivers and sedan pullers would know a few strokes.

    Tie Wu Shuang was simply stumped. He was not shocked at how proficient their martial arts are, but surprised at how appalling their skills are. To display such skills, it really is not ‘up to par’.

    After executing their moves, their faces seem to have reddened, and clasping their fists, smilingly asked, “Old Master please give us your guidance.”

    Tie Wu Shuang replied, “Hmm… hmm….”

    Zhao Xiang Ling smiled, “The martial arts of the Luo Brothers is really unyielding. This kind of martial arts may not look polished, but is very practical… what does Old Master think?”

    Tie Wu Shuang answered, “Hmm…. indeed…indeed.”

    Although he was saying ‘indeed’, he could not disguise the disappointment in his voice. Facing these two men, he simply has no more interest.

    But Xiao Yu’er’s became even more interested in these two men.

    He was secretly alarmed, “These two brothers are so well adept at concealing their real skills that even a senior in Jiang Hu like Tie Wu Shuang had the wool pulled over his eyes and could not see that their martial arts are more than meet the eye. By doing this, they not only concealed their martial arts background, but also eliminated any misgivings others might have, so that their guard will never be up against them. They would rather be looked down upon. I must really be wary of people like this.”

    Although Xiao Yu’er has deduced that these two people have some secret plot, he could not guess what it could be about; naturally he could not guess their background.

    Zhao Xiang Ling raised his wine cup again, “We may not have a good night’s rest because of this baffling case, but to be able to behold the Luo Brother’s skills, and to drink the night away with Old Master Tie, it is indeed a blessing in disguise.”

    Xiao Yu’er questioned himself, “Baffling case?... What baffling case?”

    Just then, the sounds of a horse carriage could be heard from outside the villa.

    Tie Wu Shuang pushed his cup aside, and his countenance changed, “Don’t tell me it’s here again!”

    As he spoke, he fled outside. There was indeed a horse carriage approaching the villa. The main door opened and the carriage came right through, but there was no one driving the carriage.

    Zhao Xiang Ling instructed his servant to remove the packages from the carriage. On opening the package, a strong herbal scent gushed towards the nose; in the package were Monkshood, cinnamon, rhinoceros horn, bear’s gall…

    Xiao Yu’er secretly took a better look, and was really surprised. Under the light, he saw Zhao Xiang Ling, Tie Wu Shuang’s expression changed too.

    Zhao Xiang Ling exclaimed, “What is this all about? Seven, eight times in a night, sending these herbs over for no rhyme or reason, is this someone’s idea of a joke, a prank?” Furrowing his brows, Tie Wu Shuang continued, “These herbs are rather expensive, who would use such pricey herbs as a prank?”

    Zhao Xiang Ling queried, “What would Senior’s views on this be, what is this all about?”

    Tie Wu Shuang sighed, “This might be an evil plot.”

    Zhao Xiang Ling replied, “But these herbs are not poisoned, and some are extremely nourishing, sending these herbs over does no harm to us at all… Brother Luo, can you guess what might be the reasoning behind this?”

    Luo Jiu smilingly replied, “Old Master Tie has seen many things and is knowledgeable, what he said must have a reason.”

    Tie Wu Shuang heaved a sigh, “I must admit I am bewildered as well.”

    He may be bewildered, but Xiao Yu’er had guessed it all.

    “Well, so you guys wanted to frame him, by sending the antidote here, Hua Wu Que will think that the person who put the poison was Tie Wu Shuang. So this is a series of plotting… what a venomous plot, but what a pity, consider yourselves extremely unlucky to have met me, Jiang Xiao Yu.”

    He rolled his eyes and left quietly. Taking advantage of the night, he looked for a shop selling powder and chalk (cosmetics) and jumped over the wall. When he left, his arms were filled with big and small packages.

    And so, when the day breaks, he has already changed his look. With a pale, white face, eye bags, a mouth like a pig, he looked just like a pimp from a brothel. The art of disguise he learned from Du Jiao Jiao really did not go to waste.

    Xiao Yu’er found a very busy teahouse, and had an enormous meal. He ate two trays of crab buns, four sets of fried dough fritters, and a large bowl of soup before stopping. He knows that he will use up a lot of energy today, and a man has to have a full stomach before he has the energy.

    Outside the teahouse is a marketplace, bustling with people walking about. A tall man with a medicinal plaster stuck on his temple, holding a bird cage in one hand was walking around in the crowd, and the loose silver in other people’s pocket soon became his.

    Xiao Yu’er followed him to where there were less people, and suddenly tapping his shoulder, smilingly enquired, “Friend, you have fast hands and legs.”

    That green faced scoundrel turned around and angrily cried out, “Little bastard, have you eaten too much and feeling bloated?”

    With a flip of his hand, his palms extended to strike Xiao Yu’er’s face. But he can forget about touching Xiao Yu’er’s face in his lifetime. Using two fingers, Xiao Yu’er lightly caught hold of his wrist, lightly twisted, and this seemingly large guy was in immediate pain.

    Grinning, Xiao Yu’er asked, “Who’s the little bastard?”

    The green faced rascal broke out in cold sweat from the pain, “I…. I am the little bastard, the typical little bastard, Little Grandfather, Little Ancestor, please let this little bastard go, I will give everything in my pouch to you.”

    Xiao Yu’er replied, “As long as you answer my questions truthfully, not only will I not take your pouch, I might even fill it up, so what do u reckon?”

    “Fine…. Fine of course…”

    Still holding his wrist, Xiao Yu’er asked, “Do you know of this place ‘Heavenly Fragrance Pond, Earthly Spirited Villa’?”

    The green faced replied, “If lowly me does not know that place, how can I hang around in this city?”

    Xiao Yu’er continued, “What kind of a person is that Master Zhao?”

    “Master Zhao is a millionaire, with friends over the four seas, in both the underworld and orthodox world, but… ever since Duan He Fei arrived, his business is always over taken by Duan He Fei. When he wanted to venture into the martial arts realm, who knows that Duan He Fei also kept some friends in Jiang Hu, and their status are much higher when compared.”

    Rolling his eyes, Xiao Yu’er mumbled, “Right… Zhao Xiang Ling sought Tie Wu Shuang to make use of his reputation to suppress Duan He Fei, but ended up being made use of by others instead.”

    The green faced could not hear clearly what Xiao Yu’er was talking about, but just pleaded, “Little Grandfather, can you let go of your hands now?”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled, “You roam around everyday, you must be very familiar with this city, and there must be someone you know from Zhao Villa. If you bring me to that person, and let me stay in the Villa for a day, I will give you three hundred taels of silver, will you do it?”

    What is there to ‘will’ or ‘will not’? For three hundred taels of silver, this green faced will literally sell his own wife.

    A place like Zhao Villa, there is sure a mix of every kind of people, good or bad. Naturally there would be some scoundrels among the servants, and these people would obviously be the friends of this green faced.

    With his skills, Xiao Yu’er soon mixed with them. Within two hours, these people have already treated him like their good friend.

    What Xiao Yu’er did not expect is that Zhao Xiang Ling is already at the reception hall early in the morning, looking energetic and contented, without a trace of having been drinking the night away on his face.

    After a while, there were people coming in from the outside, one after another. They looked like merchants, and were all respectful when they saw Zhao Xiang Ling.

    Standing afar, Xiao Yu’er stopped a servant and asked, “Who are all these people? Why are they here so early?”

    The servant replied, “All these are the Storekeepers our Master sent to tend to the shops outside. They have to come to the villa every morning to report the business situation for the day. Besides them, our Master never sees anyone else in the morning.”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled, “Some guests, your Master will have no choice but to meet.”

    The servant of course could not catch the hidden meaning behind Xiao Yu’er’s words, and laughed, “This, ‘Heavenly Fragrance Pond, Earthly Spirited Villa’, would there be anyone who dares to force their way in?”

    Xiao Yu’er blinked, “What about Duan He Fei?”

    The servant replied triumphantly, “That fat pig, my Master has long made roasted meat out of his fat body and eaten it.”

    “So your Master and that Duan He Fei have such great enmity.” commented Xiao Yu’er.

    The servant replied, “He knows where our Master’s shops are, and will open a similar shop right opposite, he knows who are the major clients of my Master, and will try his best to befriend them. The hatred between ‘Heavenly Fragrance Pond’ and Duan He Fei is as deep as the sea.”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled, “I never expect the business field is just like a battle field, it seems like the enemies made on the business field, are so much more wicked than the enemies made on the battle field.”

    The servant continued, “In business ability counts. A person like Duan He Fei who uses such underhand methods, is not fit to be a man.”

    While they were talking, Zhao Xiang Ling had already sent the store keepers away after a few words with them. Picking up his teacup and taking a few sips, he instructed, “Take a look at the guests, if they are awake, invite them to the reception hall for tea.”

    Xiao Yu’er sat on a boulder under the shade of a tree outside the door, mumbling, “If my guess is correct, I’m afraid he should be arriving.”

    Just then, sounds of conversation could be heard from the door, “Please hand this name card to your Master, and tell him that I have come to pay a visit.”

    The doorkeeper replied, “My apologies, my Master has never before noon…” The voice suddenly halted, as if he has seen the name on the name card and was startled.

    Xiao Yu’er heard that voice, full of excitement and joy, “Arrived, arrived, really arrived.”

    That servant hastily went to the reception hall to present the name card! Zhao Xiang Ling furrowed his brows and received it, but on seeing the card, his expression changed and he whispered, “The Hero of Jiang Nan Jiang Bie He has arrived.”

    Tie Wu Shuang hurriedly stood up and before he could speak, a laughing voice could be heard from outside, “Jiang Bie He has come visit Master Zhao, would he not see me?” Two persons strode past the stone steps in front of the hall, the person in front appearing calm, and was none other than Jiang Bie He, while the person following behind was a handsome young man.

    Further behind there were four large men carrying a green soft carriage. The carriage was so deep that one cannot see who is actually sitting in it.

    Zhao Xiang Ling rushed forward to welcome them, and clasping his fists, smiled, “Junior is not aware that Hero Jiang has arrived, please forgive me for any inhospitality.”

    Jiang Bie He lightly smiled, “This is Master Hua, Hua Wu Que.”

    He deliberately said that nonchalantly, but Zhao Xiang Ling, Tie Wu Shang, Luo Jiu and Luo San were unable to repress the change in their countenance on hearing the three words Hua Wu Que.

    Sweeping his gaze up and down, Tie Wu Shuang smiled, “This brother is actually the recently famous ‘Master Wu Que’, really a dashing young man, outstanding, it’s really a pleasure to meet you.”

    Hua Wu Que replied coldly, “My pleasure.”

    Zhao Xiang Ling continued with a smile, “This is Old Master Tie, I’m sure the two of you have forgotten about, but these two Luo brothers…” and immediately introduced Luo Jiu and Luo San, bragging about their virtues.

    Hua Wu Que does not seem to have heard, his nose seem to have smelt something, suddenly he flapped his sleeve, and glided out of his seat.

    Everyone only felt a shadow brush past, and he has already flown into the reception hall at the side. In the blink of an eye, he has flown out from the reception hall, a fistful of herbs in his hand, and face even paler, said, “It’s really here.”

    Zhao Xiang Ling asked, “Could these herbs belong to Master? Junior is not aware who sent it here, last night…”

    Jiang Bie He replied on behalf with a faint smile, “Master Zhao really does not know who sent it?”

    Zhaoo Xiang Ling glanced at him, and glanced at Hua Wu Que’s expression, and knew that something serious must be going on, and with forced laughter, replied, “What… what is this all about?”

    “This is a very simple matter, someone poisoned Master Hua’s future wife, and bought all the herbs needed for the antidote from the market, what is this about?” Jiang Bie He explained.

    Zhao Xiang Ling replied, “This is to ensure that Master Hua’s future wife does not survive.”

    Jiang Biehe continued, “Correct, so to say, the person who bought the herbs, will he be the same as the person who put the poison?”

    “Of course!”

    Smiling faintly, Jiang Bie He agreed, “Then that’s it.”

    After thinking for a moment, Zhao Xiang Ling’s expression suddenly changed, and asked hoarsely, “Those…. Those herbs are now in the reception hall?”

    Jiang Bie He bit out every word, “That’s right!”

    Zhao Xiang Ling jumped up, “But… but Junior really does not know this… someone sent those herbs here yesterday.”

    Jiang Bie He questioned, “Who sent it?”

    “Junior does not know either” Zhao Xiang Ling replied.

    Jiang Bie He laughed coldly, “Do not know? Would anyone give away such expensive herbs for no rhyme or reason? Master Zhao, by saying this, aren’t you treating me like a kid?”

    It must be said that this affair is really absurd, absolutely impossible. Zhao Xiang Ling was dumbfounded, and beads of sweat flowed down his head.

    Tie Wu Shuang stood up and shouted, “I can state my reputation to vouch for Master Zhao, the herbs were sent by others, Master Zhao really does not know who that person is!”

    Jiang Bie He threw him a glance, and said calmly, “If Master Zhao does not know, then you must have known.”

    Tie Wu Shuang flared, “You… what did you say?” Jiang Bie He smiled icily, no longer looking at him, and not answering either.


    End of Chapter 45

  15. #35
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 46


    Only then did Hua Wu Que look back from the carriage. So the person in the carriage is really Tie Xin Lan, and he has already fed Tie Xin Lan with the herbs.

    Taking the uncooked herbs may not fully utilize the strength of the herbs, but it can neutralize the poison slightly, and aided with Hua Wu Que’s profound internal strength, a groan could be heard from inside the carriage after a while.

    Heaving a sigh of relief, Hua Wu Que turned slowly around, his gaze slowly sweeping from one person to the next, and the look was like lightning piercing that everyone felt shivers down their spine.

    Biting out each word, Hua Wu Que asked, “Who put the poison?”

    Wiping his sweat, Zhao Xiang Ling replied, “Junior really does not know.”

    Glancing at Luo Jiu and Luo San, Jiang Bie He suddenly asked, “These herbs are really not purchased by Old Master Tie and Master Zhao?”

    Luo Jiu and Luo San’s eyes met, and Luo Jiu slowly replied, “Us brothers do not know anything.”

    Furious, Tie Wu SHuang blurted, “But you obviously know, you witnessed it yourself last night!”

    Luo San replied, “We only saw the herbs coming by themselves, but do not know who sent it, it could be Zhang San, it could be Li Si, or it could also be…” [Zhang San. Li Si, equivalent to Tom, Dick or Harry]

    Taking a quick look at Tie Wu Shuang, he promptly shut up.

    Jiang Bie He continued, “It could also be a disciple of Old Master Tie, right?”

    Luo Jiu and Luo San exchanged looks again, not answering, which is as good as admitting it.

    Fixing his stare at Tie Wu Shuang, Jiang Bie He asked, “Do you have anything else to say?”

    However, Tie Wu Shuang’s furious gaze was locked onto the Luo brothers, and he fiercely asked, “How dare the two of you?”

    Luo Jiu replied, “My brother and I are just speaking the truth.”

    Jiang Bie He said, “You are truly men of good faith, and I respect that, but as for Old Master Tie…. Heh heh…”

    Tie Wu Shuang bellowed, “What about me?”

    Jiang Bie He did not answer, but walked to the carriage instead, calling out, “Miss Tie, Miss Tie is awake?”

    Tie Xin Lan could be heard groaning from inside the carriage, “Mmm…. I’m very cold!”

    Jiang Bie He continued, “Does Miss Tie know who poisoned you?”

    Once this question was asked, everyone in the hall became anxious.

    “I… I was poisoned? I don’t know who poisoned me either…”

    Zhao Xiang Ling has just heaved a sigh of relief when Tie Xin Lan continued, “ I only know that after I ate two dates which Tie Wu Shuang sent over, I started feeling cold and shivering. Soon after, I became unconscious.”

    As soon as this sentence was spoken, everyone’s countenance changed.

    Tie Wu Shuang immediately demanded, “You…. Why do you malign me?”

    Jiang Bie He commented. “If you still try to deny at this point in time, you’re not a real man.”

    “What fa*rt! Firstly I am not acquainted with her, secondly we have no enmity, why would I harm her?” Tie Wu Shuang replied angrily.

    Jiang Bie He asked, “Master Hua, what do you think?”

    Hua Wu Que is really not your average man, to be able to hold on to his temper even at a time like this. Although he looked displeased, but he did not move, and instead calmly told them, “Before we strike, we should let others be convinced.”

    Jiang Bie He smiled, “Indeed.” He suddenly waved at a carriage bearer, “Come here.”

    The carriage bearer obeyed and with a bow, asked, “What instructions does Hero Jiang have?”

    Everyone was baffled at why at this crucial moment, Jiang Bie He would suddenly summon the carriage bearer, when Jiang Bie He asked with a slight smile, “Old Master Tie’s words just now, you’ve heard?”

    The carriage bearer replied, “Your servant has heard very clearly.”

    “Do you think he has reason to harm Miss Tie?” Jiang Bie He asked.

    “No.”

    Everyone in the hall started casting looks at each other, some were of the impression that Jiang Bie He was trying to be mysterious, while others think he was trying to outsmart himself.

    Jiang Bie He instead laughed and asked, “So, the poison was not placed by Old Master Tie?”

    The carriage bearer replied, “It is placed by Old Master Tie.”

    Jiang Bie He queried, “Why do you say that the poison is placed by Old Master Tie?”

    The carriage bearer explained, “Although he has no intention to harm Miss Tie, but he did mean to kill Master Hua. He wanted to kill Master Hua, but Miss Tie took the brunt instead.”

    Deliberately furrowing his brows, Jiang Bie He asked, “Old Master Tie and Master Hua has no enmity either, why would he harm Master Hua?”

    He did not even finish his sentence, when Tie Wu Shuang bellowed, “Exactly, why would I harm him?”

    Unhurriedly, the carriage bearer replied, “Naturally there are a few reasons to kill someone, one is jealously, second is enmity, or if one has done something shameful and is afraid of being found out.”

    Furious, Tie Wu Shuang yelled, “I have been honorable my whole life, a servant such as you dare to imply that I have done something disgraceful!”

    This yell sounded so thunderous, that all the servants in the villa’s expression changed in shock, but the carriage bearer was actually unaffected and continued calmly with a smile, “Your servant would not dare to say such words, these words were spoken by Old Master Tie yourself.”

    This carriage bearer is not only articulate and brave, but his words, although polite, bear sarcasm, almost as if he is treating Tie Wu Shuang as an equal.

    The others were wondering, why the staff of the ‘Hero of Jiang Nan’, this carriage bearer, is such a formidable character, but Xiao Yu’er has already observed that this ‘carriage bearer’ is not a real carriage bearer, but someone disguised as one. The more he stared at the carriage bearer, the more he finds him familiar.

    Tie Wu Shuang was so livid, that he actually started laughing wildly.

    Facing heaven, he laughed madly, “Good, good, good, in front of the many friends here, I would like to hear what a servant like you would say what kind of shameless deed I have done.”

    The carriage bearer slowly replied, “There are also many kinds of shameless deeds, for example doing things sneakily is considered a small deed while robbery, murder, these are considered large deeds.”

    Tie Wu Shuang replied, “You…. You said who have I robbed?”

    “For example, Master Duan He Fei.” Replied the carriage bearer.

    Tie Wu Shuang hissed, “Duan He Fei? You… you…”

    The carriage bearer continued, “Everyone in the city knows that Master Duan and Master Zhao are at odds, if Master Duan’s money, which was meant to purchase his goods, had been robbed, and his goods can’t be purchased, then there would be no one to fight with Master Zhao for business in this city.”

    Tie Wu Shuang fumed, “If that is so, what has this got to do with me?”

    The carriage bearer grinned, “If Old Master Tie had secretly stolen Duan He Fei’s money, not only will Master Zhao greatly reward you, but Old Master Tie would be able to enjoy the loot.”

    Tie Wu Shuang replied, “Fine… continue speaking.”

    The carriage bearer continued, “Old Master Tie thought that this matter, even the Gods are ignorant and the ghosts unaware, even if the people in Jiang Hu were to investigate this matter, they would not link it to Old Master Tie.”

    With a laugh, he carried on, “Who knows that Master Duan actually invited Master Hua, and Old Master Tie himself knows that Master Hua is not your average man. Afraid that if Master Hua got to the bottom of this matter , Old Master Tie would never again be able to show his face in Jiang Hu, so he decided to make the first move, and kill Master Hua.”

    His words are becoming more and more obvious, initially the words ‘if’ and ‘for example’ were used, but now he is clearly pointing the finger at Tie Wu Shuang!

    Tie Wu Shuang roared, “What a wicked servant, let me beat the hell out of your sharp tongue!”

    While roaring, this impulsive old man had already leapt up, both his palms spread like a fan, striking together, aiming straight for the carriage bearer’s left and right cheeks.

    Tie Wu Shuang is the Jiang Hu leader of ‘San Xiang’, and his martial arts are of course not mediocre. At this point in time he was hitting out in fury, the wind produced from the force in his palms caused their clothes to flap about ten feet away.

    Funnily, Jiang Bie He was standing right next to the carriage bearer, and on seeing that his staff is about to be attacked, he behaved as if nothing is happening and did not even lift a hand to stop!

    ‘Puff, puff’, and a maddening roar, a shadow flew past!

    This carriage bearer actually blocked the blow from Tie Wu Shuang.

    And as the four palms clashed, the one who flew out is not the carriage bearer, but ‘Values talent as much as one’s life’ Tie Wu Shuang, the famed hero of ‘San Xiang’ who is well known for the prowess of his palms!

    Those present couldn’t help but gasp in surprise and Xiao Yu’er was cracking his head trying to figure out who this carriage bearer was, when he saw that the stance he used when he shot out his palm was the highest level of authentic Shaolin’s martial arts!

    A thought flashed in his mind, and Xiao Yu’er exclaimed silently, “So it’s him!”

    Tie Wu Shuang was flung back by the force, and when he landed, he almost lost his footing and tumbled a few steps back. If not for Zhao Xiang Ling who rushed forward to support him, he would have fallen.

    Even so, his ruddy face has turned deathly pale, his chest heaving irregularly. Obviously he is injured, and the injury is not superficial.

    Jiang Bie He smiled lightly, “Old Master Tie is indeed getting on in age.”

    Tie Wu Shuang fluttered, “You…. You…..”

    Jiang Bie He replied, “What else does Elder have to say, Junior here will listen attentively.”

    Zhao Xiang Ling said loudly, “I have something to say. If the poison is really put by Old Master Tie, why would he keep the herbs here? He can’t be waiting for you to catch him red-handed?”

    The carriage bearer interrupted, “A common man would not have done such a thing, but Old Master Tie has been roaming Jiang Hu for many years and is experienced. By doing this, others would not believe that this deed was done by him, isn’t this plan ten times, a hundred times better?

    Zhao Xiang Ling muttered, “But… but…”

    He has always prided himself on being quick witted, but who would have guessed that at this point, he can’t say anything after being refuted by the carriage bearer. One must know that if this deed is really done by Tie Wu Shuang, and he has planned it that way, it is indeed an excellent plan.

    Jiang Bie He asked, “Now that things have turned out this way, what does Master Hua think?”

    “If this matter is known to all the pugilistic Heroes, I’m afraid even they would find this intolerable.” replied Hua Wu Que.

    “Indeed”, agreed Jiang Bie He.

    Hua Wu Que’s gaze slowly swept through the crowd, and finally fixed his eyes on Tie Wu Shuang and Zhao Xiang Ling’s face, saying “It is now noon, I will give the two of you half the day to mull over how to settle this matter. At the ‘Zi’ hour tonight, I will return.” With a clasp of his fists, he turned around and walked out.

    "All this time I had admired the fame of Old Master Tie's great name and had really wanted to meet you, who could have guessed.....ai!" after letting out a long sigh of disappointment Jiang Bie He walked away with the carriage bearer.

    Everyone saw that they actually left, and do not know if they felt distress or joy, but stayed where they stood, stunned.

    Even Xiao Yu’er can’t help but sigh quietly, “No matter what, the way these two left, are indeed worthy of a Hero’s status. However, that Hua Wu Que really had that intention, but Jiang Bie He was just putting up a front.”

    Everyone stared at Hua, Jiang and company walk out the villa.

    Tie Wu Shuang suddenly roared “It’ll be the death of me…..”

    Just as he finished his words, blood spurted out from his mouth.

    It turned out that he was quite heavily injured when he crossed palms earlier, but was holding his breath and controlling. He did not talk earlier as he was afraid of losing his face.

    Zhao Xiang Ling saw that despite his age, he is still a proud person, and with mixed feelings, forced out a smile, “Senior better hurry to the back for a rest and tend to your injury…”

    Tie Wu Shuang laughed bitterly, “Our deadline is the ‘Zi’ hour tonight, what’s the use of tending to my injury?”

    Zhao Xiang Ling replied, “That… that may not be so, they have already gone…”

    With a long laugh, Tie Wu Shuang continued, “They might have gone, but I cannot possibly flee… cough cough, it’s unbelievable that having been illustrious all my life, I would end up dying in humiliation!”

    Looking heavenward, Tie Wu Shuang lamented, “Now that things have come to this, I have no place to go, no road to walk, instead of waiting until the ‘Zi’ hour, I might as well just do myself in!”

    He has not even completed his sentence, but his face was already flowing with hot tears. This old Hero reaching the end of his road, who could not feel sad for him?

    Shocked, Zhao Xiang Ling replied, “Senior must never do that, there may be a change in the situation.”

    Tie Wu Shuang continued, “Now that this has happened, I would not be able to defend myself even with a hundred mouths, unless we can find the real culprit… but where in the world can we find the culprit? And considering that we only have half a day…”

    Disheartened, Zhao Xiang Ling muttered, “Half a day… ‘Zi’ hour…”

    Looking up, the sun has already moved towards the west.

    Raising his head heavenward, Tie Wu Shuang laughed, “Jiang Bie He oh Jiang Bie He, Hua Wu Que oh Hua Wu Que! I do not blame you, now that things have come to this… cough cough, you can only do this. To give me another half a day, is being very kind and righteous to me, I… cough…. I should thank you instead… cough cough”

    As he spoke, he coughed, the fresh blood splattered down the front of his robe.

    Half pushing and half cajoling, Zhao Xiang Ling summoned his servants to help support him to the back room. Turning back to look at Luo Jiu and Luo San, he asked “You are unable to save me as well?”

    With a slight smile, Luo Jiu replied, “Old Master Tie is too downhearted, the way I see it, this is a simple matter.”

    Turning his gaze, Luo Jiu leaned towards Zhao Xiang Ling’s ears and whispered, “Now that things have come to this, we shall have to make the first move, and kidnap Duan He Fei and his daughter, so that Jiang Bie He would be cautious and would not dare to strike!”

    On hearing this, Xiao Yu’er really felt like giving him a few tight slaps. What kind of an idea is this, this is literally pushing them towards their graves.

    After staying silent for a while, Zhao Xiang Ling replied, “We must never do this. If we do this, all the people in the pugilistic world would really believe that the robbery and poison was done by us, and we would not be able to defend ourselves even if we have a hundred mouths.”

    Xiao Yu’er secretly clapped, “That’s right, Zhao Xiang Ling is really not a dumb person.”

    But Luo Jiu whispered again, “Why is Master Zhao being obstinate, you must know that this is only a temporary measure. On one hand we keep Jiang Bie He and the rest at bay, on the other hand we shall investigate and search for the real culprit. Once we capture the culprit, the truth will be out, and we can kindly send Duan and his family back. Who in the pugilistic world would dare to say anything bad about Master Zhao then?”

    Zhao Xiang Ling seems tempted and muttered, “But… I still feel that…”

    Luo Jiu pressed on, “If Master Zhao does not want to use such a brilliant plan, with Jiang Bie He and Hua Wu Que’s martial arts, it will be harder than ascending heaven if you want to escape the deadline tonight.”

    Zhao Xiang Ling was again silent, then he smiled bitterly, “It seems like that is the only way.” He paused, and continued, “But, that Duan He Fei’s servants are as numerous as clouds. To enter his villa and kidnap him and his daughter is not an easy task. This is almost like obtaining the head of a general amidst thousands of soldiers and millions of horses.”

    Luo Jiu smiled slightly, “Master Zhao need not worry about this.” Luo San added, “Right now, Hua Wu Que and Jiang Bie He would never be on their guard against this plan, neither would they go and protect Duan and his daughter. Besides these two, the others are all negligible.”

    Zhao Xiang Ling asked joyously, “Would the two of you be willing to extend a helping hand?”

    Luo Jiu replied, “How can we not share the problems of someone who has taken care of us?”

    Overjoyed, Zhao Xiang Ling bowed, “My good brothers are so honorable, I really do not know how to repay you.”

    Luo Jiu hurriedly helped him up, saying “Master Zhao, please do not stand on such ceremony.”

    Witnessing everything, Xiao Yu’er commented to himself, “What a good Luo Jiu, to execute such an evil plan. By doing this, aren’t you creating more havoc, so that you can reap benefits from it…”

    Luo Jiu could be hard saying, “We should not dally, I shall leave immediately.”

    Zhao Xiang Ling informed, “If you have any needs, please let me know.”

    “We don’t need anything else, but would Master Zhao send eight servants, carrying two small carriages to follow my brother and me.”

    Zhao Xiang Ling replied, “That should be easy…”

    As soon as he gave his instructions, there were voices of acknowledgement. Turning his eyes, Xiao Yu’er walked out as well, and he also masqueraded as a ‘carriage bearer’.

    Two carriages were brought up, but Luo Jiu sat in it first and smilingly said, “Let me and my brother sit on these two carriages for now. When it’s Duan He Fei and his daughter’s turn later, I don’t think they will be any lighter than us.” He sat in the carriage, lowered the curtain and asked, “Duan He Fei’s villa, do you know the way?”

    Someone laughingly replied, “Of course we do, there were a few occasions that we felt like going to burn his house down.”

    “Then let’s go.”

    Seven servants and one Xiao Yu’er actually carried up the carriages and went off. The seven servants still do not know why they are making the trip, and some were secretly whispering.

    After traveling for a while, Duan He Fei’s villa could be seen from a distance. In front of the big red door sat seven, eight burly men, and inside the door sat another seven, eight of them.

    One servant said, “Right in front is Duan He Fei’s pig sty, what does Master Luo think we should do?”

    Luo Jiu replied, “Go straight in.”

    As soon as he spoke, even Xiao Yu’er was surprised, “Aren’t they afraid of Jiang Bie He?” The servants was even more stunned, and forced out a laugh, “Duan He Fei has a lot of guard dogs, it will be such an injustice if we get bitten by them.”

    Luo Jiu replied, “You just have to carry the carriage in, those guard dogs will not bite you.”

    Casting looks at one another, the servants mustered up their courage and walked forward with a shout.

    They have just reached the door when predictably, the burly servant from Duan’s residence called out, “Hey, what are you here for? Halt!”

    Xiao Yu’er rolled his eyes and yelled back, “We are here to carry the pigs, give way!”

    Naturally he is out to make mischief, so that Jiang Bie He would come out and Luo Jiu would fail. On how to save Tie Wu Shuang, he is already full of confidence.

    As expected, the burly servant dashed towards the carriage, scolding “Raised by dogs, are you here to seek death…”

    The Zhao family servants were carrying the carriage with their hands, and on seeing them charging forward, have no means of defending themselves. Just as they were feeling anxious, they suddenly heard a few sounds of ‘poof poof”! The seven, eight burly servants in front actually fell without a sound. No one saw anything, and thought they had seen a ghost.

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes were sharp, and saw a few dark flashes flying out from within the carriage, hitting once on each of the seven, eight burly servants, who immediately dropped to the floor, rolled around for a bit, and then stopped moving!

    This Luo Jiu really has such fatal moves! Xiao Yu’er can’t help feeling chilled, and the Zhao family servants were even more stunned.

    Luo Jiu smiled and said, “The guard dogs are not barking anymore, aren’t you moving.” Chorusing their agreement, the servants carried up the carriage and proceeded.

    Just then, there were another seven, eight men rushing out from inside, shouting in surprise. They have just run out the door when there were another few ‘poof poof’ sounds, and another seven, eight person dropped to the floor.

    The only one who has not stepped out of the door, turned around and ran, yelling, “Someone, someone, an evil ghost is barging in from the front door.”

    Xiao Yu’er thought to himself, “The way he is yelling, Jiang Bie He will surely be lured out. Aren’t the Luo brothers concerned?”

    Luo Jiu and Luo San were really indifferent, laughing loudly, “Guys, go forward!”

    Their bravado boosted, the Zhao family servants flew forward.

    Walking into a courtyard in front, there were already twenty odd men with knives and axes rushing out from inside, but the sounds of the secret weapon darting past could be heard and in front of them, laid another heap of people.

    A burly men in purple cried out with a shocked expression, “The person in the carriage hold your hand, the servants please retreat.” This person’s skills were the fittest, his martial arts seems unlikely to be weak.

    Amidst the shouts, five men suddenly appeared, each holding shields and they threw one shield to the man in purple. The man in purple shouted, “To shoot the rider, first shoot the horse. Kill the person in the carriage first.”

    With flashing blades, the six of them has already flown forward.

    Although the Zhao family servants roared, but they were secretly petrified, seeing that the fighters were all carrying shields protecting their chests, swishing their knives directly down.

    Suddenly there was a long laugh, someone said loudly, “Hold on!”

    A shadow flew out from within the carriage, and with one hand grabbing the back of one of the Zhao family servant, threw him behind.

    The knife of the fighter cut through air instead, and he saw standing right in front of him, a fat man with a round face beaming at him, with one finger pointing at his own nose, asking “Don’t you all recognize me?”

    The fighters were all stunned, and looked at one another, thinking that this fatty may be the friend of one of them. Before they are done looking at one another, Luo Jiu had continued, “If all of you don’t recognize me, then I can only not recognize you either!”

    While he talked, his palms had already shot out like poisonous snakes, grabbing the wrist of the knife bearing fighter right in front of him. There was a sound of ‘ka cha’, followed by a scream.

    That fighter’s wrist was broken! The steel knife dropped to the floor, and the person also fainted from the pain. The other five were both shocked and angry, one spear and two knives struck down!

    Sweeping his gaze, Luo Jiu said with a smile, “Unthinkable that there will be disciples of the Yang Family’s Spear here, this stance of ‘Wind Nodding Head” seems to have at least fifteen year’s practice, and considerably a good spear stance!”

    The fighter with the spear is indeed a direct disciple from the Northern Branch of the Yang Family’s Spear. He had only displayed once stance, and his background was exposed. Secretly surprised, the spear in his palms slowed down as well.

    In this moment of hesitation, the tip of his spear has already landed in the hands of the other party.

    Holding the spear tip with his right hand, Luo Jiu half turned his body and with the pole of the spear, blocked the sword attack from his right. At the same time, he smiled and asked the man in purple who was attacking from his left, “Is Peng Nian Zu, Teacher Peng well?”

    This Peng Nian Zu is the Southern Branch Sect Leader of “Five Tigers Breaking Door Blade”, and this man in purple is his disciple. Now that he heard the other party bringing up his teacher’s name, he can’t help but ask in shock, “You know my master?”

    Luo Jiu laughingly replied, “I don’t know!”

    As soon as the three words ‘I don’t know’ were spoken, his left palm has already struck the chest of the man in purple, and his burly body flew out.

    At the same time, the fighter holding on to the spear could feel a force of energy welling up from the pole and wanted to release his hold on the spear but was too late!

    With a ‘puff’, the pole of the spear had been impaled into his chest! The spear in his palms actually became the weapon of his opponent!

    Clapping his hands, Luo Jiu asked, “Does the three of you recognize humble me now?”

    The remaining three were so frightened their face turned ash, their hands holding on to their blades and spears but not daring to strike. This Luo Jiu actually killed three experienced fighters while chatting, and his venomous strikes were something Xiao Yu’er has never seen since he debuted. The Luo Jiu now, is not the Luo Jiu who executed ‘Da Hong Fists’ last night!

    Although Xiao Yu’er already knew last night that this person’s skill is definitely more than meets the eye, he never expected his slyness and wickedness to be comparable to the ‘Ten Evils’ he knew.

    In the time that he was thinking, one of the three standing fighters had fallen, and the legs of the remaining two started trembling.

    Beaming, Luo Jiu asked, “So the two of you should recognize me by now.”

    The two answered in unison, “Recognize… recognize…”

    “Who do you recognize me as?”

    Looking at each other, the two replied, “You… you are Master… are…”

    “My surname’s Luo, named Luo Jiu.”

    They replied, “Right, right, you are Master Luo Jiu.”

    Luo Jiu continued, “Since the two of you know me, that is just too good, so I’ll trouble the two of you to bring me to Duan He Fei, Old Master Duan, how’s that?”

    The two of them looked at each other, mumbling, “This… this…”

    Luo Jiu’s expression darkened, and asked “Such a small favor, and the two of you won’t agree?”

    They thought for a while, and finally sighed, “Fine, please…”

    They have not finished their words when ‘puff, puff’, two dark flashes flew from the back, striking their back, and they fell with a scream.

    Someone laughed, “Old Master Duan has already been invited out by me, and we no longer need the two of you to lead the way!” As he laughed, Luo San strode out, his left hand holding on to Duan He Fei, his right hand holding on to Third Missy.

    It turns out that while Luo Jiu was fighting out here, Luo San has sneaked into the back yard. Third Missy might have some martial arts background, but how could she have been a match to Luo San!

    Surrounding them were the remaining thirty, forty strong servants of the Duan Residence, who at that moment were staring at Luo San dragging their master out, but no one dared to attack!

    These mysterious Luo Brothers really managed to kidnap Duan He Fei and his daughter effortlessly, and Xiao Yu’er was both surprised and curious. ‘Where is Jiang Bie He? Could Jiang Bie He be dead?’

    Duan He Fei was so terrified that his face was pale. He would walk when Luo San told him to walk, and when Luo San told him to get into the carriage, he obediently went in.

    Although Third Missy stared at them with eyes even bigger than copper bells, she was powerless as well. Luo San pushed her into the carriage and with a beam, instructed, “Brothers, lift up the carriage and leave.”

    Luo Jiu smiled, “This carriage is not small, and it won’t be crowded even with two people sitting inside. Please bear with it a bit!”

    The two brothers actually squeezed themselves into the carriage, and the carriage creaked under their weight.

    The Zhao Family servants had long since looked upon the two brothers as Gods, so no matter how heavy the carriage, they still carried it willingly. Not only did they not complain, but were very happy instead.

    Xiao Yu’er’s thoughts started churning again! Jiang Bie He still has not shown his face, could it be he is not back yet?

    They should have been back long ago, but yet they are not. Unless they already know that Luo San and Luo Jiu would have such a plan, and are avoiding them.

    He deliberately wanted Luo San and Luo Jiu to kidnap Duan He Fei and his daughter, so that this matter would be blown out of proportions, so that Tie Wu Shuang would not be able to settle this matter!

    But how did Luo San and Luo Jiu know that Jiang Bie He is not around?

    “Unless these two brothers were already in cahoots with Jiang Bie He?”

    Xiao Yu’er shuddered involuntarily, “What a Jiang Bie He, within his evil plan, there is yet another evil plan. In this world, besides me, Jiang Xiao Yu, who else can see through his evil plan?”

    As he thought, the carriage has already turned into another street.

    He suddenly saw another carriage coming towards them, and carrying the carriage, was the argumentative ‘carriage bearer’, followed by two horses behind. On the horses were Jiang Bie He and Hua Wu Que.

    Xiao Yu’er was surprised, his eyes rolled, and suddenly yelled out, “The carriage in front get out of the way, do you know who is sitting in this carriage?” The Zhao Family servants, on seeing Jiang Bie He and Hua Wu Que, who were already quivering in fear, heard his shouts and were even more petrified.

    Who would expect that Jiang Bie He really moved his carriage aside for them.

    Carrying the carriage, Xiao Yu’er walked past and bumped into the ‘carriage bearer’ deliberately, asking quietly, “I recognize you, do you recognize me?”

    That ‘carriage bearer’ seemed not to have heard, and walked past with his head lowered. Only Jiang Bie He gave Xiao Yu’er a hard stare as he rode past.

    As the carriages went past, the Zhao Family servants secretly heaved a sigh of relief.

    Xiao Yu’er laughed coldly, thinking to himself, “My guess is indeed correct, Jiang Bie He is really in cahoots with these two Luos, so he had already known who is in the carriage, but pretended not to know.”

    This move has really plunged Tie Wu Shuang into danger. Even if he insisted that he is not involved in the robbery and poison, no one in the world would believe him.


    End of Chapter 46

  16. #36
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 47

    Duan He Fei and his daughter entered the villa, and everyone was surprised. They all beamed as they released the pent up frustration suppressed over the years. Although Zhao Xiang Ling felt that what they had done does not seem too appropriate, but on seeing that his nemesis for so many years now becoming his prisoner, he can’t help but feel delighted.

    On seeing this sight, Xiao Yu’er silently shook his head, “Smile all you want now, soon it will be time to cry…”

    Duan He Fei and his daughter were pulled and dragged by a few men into the back yard. This father and daughter has ended up in ‘Earthly Spirited Villa’, naturally they will be in for a suffering.

    Zhao Xiang Ling is already holding up his wine cup to express his thanks, “You have offered such immense help, I will never forget it.”

    Luo San smilingly replied, “It’s just a small matter, do not keep it to heart, but… what does Master Zhao plan to do now?”

    Sighing, Zhao Xiang Ling replied, “Now that things have come to this, I can only hope that we can reduce a big problem into a small problem, and to reduce the small problem into no problem. When Jiang Bie He arrives, I will give a good explanation on this matter. As long as he does not pursue the matter, I will just release Duan He Fei.”

    Luo Jiu smiled, and replied coldly, “After this matter, Master Zhao still think this big problem can be reduced into a small problem?”

    There was a slight change in Zhao Xiang Ling’s expression as he replied, “Isn’t….. isn’t it …”

    Luo Jiu continued icily, “Now that things have come to this, both parties are now in a deadlock. If Master Zhao continues to insist that you are not involved in this matter, no matter how much you explain, Jiang Bie He will never believe you.”

    Zhao Xiang Ling paled, “Then…. Then haven’t you done more harm to me.”

    Luo San sneered, “My brother and I went through life and death, and in exchange we only have these words from Master Zhao?”

    Zhao Xiang Ling hurriedly apologized, “It’s a slip of my tongue, please forgive me, it’s just that… my plans are in a mess, and I am really at a loss. I will need to depend on you to offer me advice.”

    Luo Jiu beamed, and said slowly, “If we can’t make peace, we can only make war!”

    Zhao Xiang Ling whispered, “War!”

    “Exactly!” Luo Jiu replied.

    “But… but that Jiang Bie He and Hua Wu Que’s martial arts, I… I…”

    Luo Jiu smiled lightly, “Hua Wu Que and Jiang Bie He might have amazing martial arts, but Master Zhao need not fear them.”

    Luo San added, “Have Master Zhao not heard, if we can’t win by force, we win by wits.”

    “But how do we win by wits?” Zhao Xiang Ling queried.

    Luo Jiu replied, “Duan He Fei and his daughter are now in Master Zhao’s hands, Jiang Bie He would be cautious. Even if he came, he would not dare to strike, so Master Zhao can secure them first.”

    “And then?” asked Zhao Xiang Ling.

    Luo Jiu took a sweeping look, and whispered, “The brothers of ‘Earthly Spirited Villa’, are all skilled, why not Master Zhao instruct your men to lay an ambush in this hall, and prepare to give a fierce attack…”

    Luo San added with a smile, “Once that Jiang Bie He and Hua Wu Que enters this hall, I’m afraid that it would be difficult for them to leave this place alive even if they have three heads and six arms.” His speech was unguarded, and his voice loud.

    Listening from afar, Xiao Yu’er silently cursed, “What kind of a dog as*ed idea is this? That Jiang Bie He would not fall into the trap. If Zhao Xiang Ling really listened to this idea, he’ll just be adding another crime to the list. Even if Jiang Bie He were to kill you immediately, no one in Jiang Hu would speak up for you.”

    On hearing the plan, Zhao Xiang Ling was moved, “You think that this plan would work?”

    Luo Jiu assured, “Of course it would work.”

    Luo San continued with a smile, “After the success of this plan, ‘Heavenly Fragrance Pond, Earthly Spirited Villa’s name will rock the world, by then Master Zhao might have chased my brother and I out!”

    Zhao Xiang Ling can’t help but laugh out, “How can I forget the two…” The laughter stopped, and he muttered, “But… by doing this, if it fails…”

    With a straight face, Luo Jiu replied, “Now that things have come to this, does Master Zhao have any other idea?”

    Zhao Xiang Ling went silent for a while, before replying with a bitter smile, “Now that things have come to this, I guess I have no other choice. As the saying goes, “A coward is not a gentleman, and an un-lethal person is not a man. Zhao Xiang Ling will have to fight it to the end with them!”

    Clasping his palms, Luo Jiu smiled, “Indeed, indeed. By saying these words, Master Zhao has really shown yourself to be a true hero!”

    Luo San added, “Once that Jiang Bie He finds out that Duan He Fei and his daughter had been kidnapped, he would be on his way here immediately, and we must be quick in our planning.”

    Zhao Xiang Ling suddenly stood up and shouted, “Brothers, prepare your bows and arrows for an ambush. When I raise my cup, it would be the signal, strike immediately!”

    “The ambush is set, you can invite Old Master Tie out now.” Informed Luo Jiu.

    Luo San smiled, “The plan would not work if Old Master Tie is not involved.”

    Jiang Bie He’s plan is apparently proceeding smoothly, not only is Zhao Xiang Ling walking straight into the trap, he is dragging Tie Wu Shuang along with him.

    This way, Jiang Bie He can easily weaken Tie Wu Shuang’s influence, and there would be less and less people in Jiang Hu who will pit themselves against him.

    Hence, Tie Wu Shuang will become the scapegoat of the real robber who stole the cargo, and no one in Jiang Hu would be suspicious.

    The net is closing in tighter… Xiao Yu’er shut his eyes, and mumbled to himself, “Jiang Bie He’s evil plan, is it really unassailable?”

    Dusk.

    Tie Wu Shuang is already seated at the hall. Although his body was ramrod straight, his expression looked haggard, and the original gleam gone from his eyes.

    Luo Jiu and Luo San on the other hand were jaunty, and even Zhao Xiang Ling appeared excited. This ‘Earthly Spirited Villa’ may seem very peaceful from the outside, but it is in fact surrounded by murderous traps!

    In ambush on the four sides of the hall, were thirty strong bows, twenty hard crossbows, in the courtyard were servants in groups of three to five people, and Xiao Yu’er was mixed in there as well.

    Suddenly, the sound of hoof beats could be heard outside the villa, and everyone’s expression changed.

    The hoof beats stopped, but seven young men in smart attire and carrying swords entered instead. The seven stepped into the hall at the same time, and prostrated themselves in front of Tie Wu Shuang.

    These seven people are the most highly skilled among Tie Wu Shiang’s ‘Eighteen Disciples’, and had rushed here on hearing the news. Tie Wu Shuang was delighted at their appearance, and Zhao Xiang Ling was elated as well.

    On seeing those seven people, Xiao Yu’er’s eyes brightened as well. The leader of those seven people, turned out to be the pale looking youth in green who was secretly in cahoots with Jiang Yu Lang,

    He said respectfully, “Your disciple came late, Master please forgive…”

    Xiao Yu’er secretly gloated, “You’re not late, you’re just on time, I am just waiting for you!”

    Tie Wu Shuang’s joyful look was quickly replaced by gloom, and replied with a long sigh, “You might have arrived, but it is of no use… this is not something that can be settled through brute strength. All of you must not strike carelessly, to avoid…”

    He had not finished his sentence, when there was a scream.

    The body of a person flew in from the back window in the hall, and fell to the ground with a ‘pong’. The limbs were stiffened, and will never move again. This person was dressed in black with a gold plated bow held in his hand, and a dark feathered arrow was embedded in his back. This is one of the burly servants Zhao Xiang Ling ordered to lay in ambush in the hall.

    Zhao Xiang Ling looked aghast, and Tie Wu Shuang also lost his voice suddenly.

    There was another scream, another person fell in… in the blink of an eye, screams after screams continued, and there were more than ten bodies piled up in the hall, all of them with stiffened limbs, unable to move.

    Tie Wu Shuang gasped, “What… what is this all about?”

    Zhao Xiang Ling, looking around in fear, replied “This… this…”

    Someone continued coldly, “This is because you outsmarted yourself! And you will have to bear the consequences!”

    Two shadows floated in, and who else could it be but Jiang Bie He and Hua Wu Que!

    Zhao Xiang Ling collapsed onto the chair, and could not stand up.

    Clasping his hands behind his back, Jiang Bie He smiled icily, “If Old Master Tie thinks that such ambush would be able to harm me, you think too lowly of me.”

    Tie Wu Shuang roared, “What is this all about? I have no idea at all!”

    Jiang Bie He replied coldly, “If Old Master Tie did not agree, Master Zhao would not dare do this.”

    Tie Wu Shuang shouted angrily, “Zhao Xiang Ling, explain, who taught you to use such underhand methods?”

    Not even daring to raise his head, Zhao Xiang Long can only mutter, “This… this…”

    Luo Jiu suddenly stood up and said loudly, “My brother and I knew that Old Master Tie and Master Zhao were heroes, and came here from afar. Who would have guessed that the two of them would actually use such underhand method?”

    Luo San added loudly, “My brother and I may not be talented, but we would not associate ourselves with such devious people. From now on, no matter what happens in ‘Earthly Spirited Villa’, will have nothing to do with us!”

    Zhao Xiang Ling exclaimed loudly, “How can the two of you say such words, aren’t all these your idea?”

    Luo Jiu smiled coolly, “What a good Zhao Xiang Ling, you dare to push the blame to my brother and I!”

    “No matter how you deny, I’m afraid no one would believe you!” Luo San continued coldly.

    With a mad roar, Zhao Xiang Ling exclaimed, “You… you’re good, good….”

    Hua Wu Que interjected calmly, “Although I am not doing this for myself, but now that things have come to this, what do the two of you have to say?”

    Tie Wu Shuang bit out, “I…. I… I am incensed!”

    While shouting, he vomited fresh blood again, and this old man, in his fury, actually fainted!

    His disciples were shocked and angry. Some rushed forward to help him up, some has already drawn their swords, ready to strike, when the pale faced youth in green cried out, “Before we clear this matter up, everyone hold your arms!”

    Jiang Bie He replied with a straight face, “Indeed, if the Master is not righteous, the disciples should not follow. If all of you can differentiate who the honor lies with, everyone in the martial arts world would look at you differently.”

    The youth in green commented, “But what all this about, is still….”

    Jiang Bie He replied fiercely, “All the facts are here, what is there not to believe?”

    The youth in green deliberately heaved a long sigh, saying “Master, do not blame your disciple for being heartless, you can only blame yourself for doing something that even Heaven would not tolerate. To uphold justice, you disciple can only…”

    Clenching his teeth, and pausing in his steps, he removed the sword tied to his waist and threw it on the ground!

    This move of his is absolutely clever, if those in Jiang Hu finds out that even Tie Wu Shuang’s own disciple has admitted guilt, what else can others say? The rest of the six have always followed his lead, and on seeing him do this, three of them also removed their swords. Although the other three have not removed their swords, but the hands that were holding the swords hand had already drooped down!

    Jiang Bie He spoke up, “Besides Tie Wu Shuang and Zhao Xiang Ling, this matter does not involve the rest of you. As long as all of you do not help them in their tyranny, I will definitely not implicate the innocent!”

    His teeth chattering in fear, Zhao Xiang Ling asked hoarsely, “What enmity do I have with you, that you must thus harm me?

    Jiang Bie He replied calmly, “Although I have no enmity with you, but to uphold justice in Jiang Hu, I shall not abide with you today!”

    Biting his teeth, Zhao Xiang Ling suddenly grinned, “Good, I know that for Duan He Fei’s sake, you want to get rid of me, but don’t you forget that Duan He Fei is now in my hands. If I die, he shall not live either.”

    With a frosty smile, Jiang Bie He asked, “Really?”

    He waved his hands, and two carriages were brought out from the back of the hall, and the person in front that was carrying the carriage, turned out to be the quick witted and mysterious ‘carriage bearer’.

    “Would you like to take a look who is sitting inside the carriage?” Jiang Bie He asked.

    Zhao Xiang Ling took two steps back, and the ‘carriage bearer’ lifted the cloth, and sitting in the carriage beaming, is Duan He Fei.

    At this stage, Zhao Xiang Ling has lost completely. Looking around in distress, he suddenly roared and dashed out of the hall madly.

    Jiang Bie He did not stop him either, but just looked at him and with a cold smile, commented “You still think you can escape?”

    Zhao Xiang Ling burst out of the hall, and in the darkness a hand suddenly shot out and dragged him aside, and someone whispered some words in his ears.

    These few words were like elixir, and made Zhao Xiang Ling spirited again. By then, Tie Wu Shuang was gradually regaining consciousness.

    Hua Wu Que said slowly, “On the account that his fame did not come easy, just let him do himself in.”

    His speech was still calm, and his expression elegant and suave as always, his attire white as snow, and one cannot tell at all that he had just been involved in a fight.

    Although he could control all that went on here, but he behaved as if he is not involved in the whole matter, and even his words were not in excess.

    Evidently, even in a chaotic situation, he can maintain his suave demeanor.

    Jiang Bie He bent down and picked up the sword belonging to the youth in green and slowly brought it towards Tie Wu Shuang with a cold look in his eyes, without uttering a word.

    He has no need to speak.

    Looking heavenward, Tie Wu Shuang gave a long sigh, “Heaven oh heaven, if I, Tie Wu Shuang were to die today, how can I die in peace!”

    His agonized eyes swept past his disciples, and even that youth in green involuntarily lowered his head. Tie Wu Shuang suddenly shouted excitedly, “I am standing right here, if you really think that I am guilty, and wants my life, then come take it! I’m afraid that even Heaven would not stand for this!”

    In the flickering candlelight, with his eyes shone red, his hair wild, and an air of grievance inexplicably made their guts went cold. Even Jiang Bie He moved half a step back unconsciously.

    However, that ‘carriage bearer’ darted out with a shout, “With all the evil deeds you’ve done, everyone will not condone it. In the whole wide world, anyone can take your life. If others can’t bear to strike, then let me!”

    Suddenly someone exclaimed, “Jiang Yu Lang, you really dare to strike!”

    That ‘carriage bearer’ came to a shocking stop, and turned around, only to see Zhao Xiang Ling walking back in with a huge stride. His face was still pale, but his chest had puffed up! His words were booming as well.

    He strode to the middle of the hall, and only then everyone realized that there is someone following behind him. This person was wearing a blue gown with white socks, with a bamboo hat on his head covering his whole face. He drifted as he walked, and looked like a spirit stuck onto Zhao Xiang Ling’s body, and this image involuntarily sent a cold shiver down their spines.

    That ‘carriage bearer’, although stunned, maintained a composed expression, and said with a laugh, “A man like Young Hero Jiang, why would he become a carriage bearer, you must be blind!”

    Zhao Xiang Ling replied loudly, “Jiang Yu Lang, you may be able to fool others, but you cannot fool me. After stealing the Duan’s cargo, you rushed back here to masquerade as a carriage bearer, and your motive is to take Old Master Tie’s life. This way, everyone in Jiang Hu would think that Old Master Tie died in the hands of this carriage bearer, and even if someone were to seek revenge in future, they would not find the hypocritical “Hero of Jiang Nan’ and his son… Jiang Yu Lang oh Jiang Yu Lang, you and your father’s plan is really well thought out, and not a single loophole!”

    The ‘carriage bearer’ let out a laugh, “Did everyone hear that, he dare say that Young Hero Jiang was the one who stole the cargo… Master Duan, don’t you think he is a nonsensical madman!”

    A cunning look seem to flash through Duan He Fei’s beady eyes, and beaming at Zhao Xiang Ling, he said each word slowly, “How do you explain this, the first time my cargo was stolen, it was retrieved by Young Hero Jiang. If he is the thief, why would he retrieve the cargo?”

    Zhao Xiang Ling replied, “The first time the cargo was stolen, was collaboration between ‘Double Lion Escort Agency’ and Jiang Yu Lang. If Jiang Yu Lang did not return the cargo, they would still need to compensate you.”

    “Why would they do that?” Duan He Fei asked.

    Zhao Xiang Ling replied, “In that way, not only will Jiang Yu Lang’s reputation in Jiang Hu be raised, but also…”

    He deliberately paused for a while and as expected, Duan He Fei can’t help but press on, “But also what?”

    Zhao Xiang Ling slowly continued, “And also when the second time the cargo was stolen, no one would ever suspect Jiang Yu Lang.”

    Duan He Fei queried, “If that is the case, the men of ‘Double Lion Escort Agency’, why would they…”

    Zhao Xiang Ling carried on, “Once everyone in ‘Double Lion Escort Agency’ is dead, no one would be able to accompany the cargo, and all that money would safely land in the hands of the ‘Hero of Jiang Nan’.”

    Jiang Bie He furrowed his eyebrows slightly, and threw a glance at that ‘carriage bearer’.

    That ‘carriage bearer’ roared in anger, “Bitten by a thief, you actually wanted to make a false accusation, I shall not tolerate this!” As he spoke, he raced towards Zhao Xiang Ling in anger.

    The speed of his body, is as fast as an arrow leaving the bow!

    In his shock, Zhao Xiang Ling was unable to avoid in time, but right at this moment, there was a sudden movement, and Hua Wu Que had glided in to block the ‘carriage bearer’s’ path.

    That ‘carriage bearer’s’ palm had struck out, and could not retract in time and it seems that it is about to land on Hua Wu Que. With a sudden twist to his body, the left palm clapped against the right palm, the body has already turned around smoothly, and the strike has turned its direction.

    This move of ‘Warrior Breaking the Wrist’ is the highest level of authentic orthodox martial arts, and the move is even above ‘Stopping the Horse before the Cliff’ of Kun Lun’s Ninth Stance.

    Once this skill was executed, even Tie Wu Shuang’s expression changed, and Jiang Bie He’s eyebrows furrowed tighter. Only Hua Wu Que could be heard commenting with a smile, “Great martial arts! Great move…”

    That ‘carriage bearer’ stared at him in surprise, mumbling “Master Hua why…”

    Hua Wu Que replied slowly with a smile, “No matter who has what to say, we should let the person finish his words. Even if we do not believe what he said, we must let him have the freedom of speech, right?”

    The ‘carriage bearer’ lowered his head, “Right!”

    Turning towards Zhao Xiang Ling, Hua Wu Que continued, “For saying such words without any reason, do you have any prove?”

    Zhao Xiang Ling paused for a while, and suddenly shouted, “Everyone in ‘Double Lion Escort Agency’ died a hasty death, and did not manage to retaliate even a single stroke. With the martial arts of those in ‘Double Lion Escort Agency’, although they can all be killed, but it’s difficult to make all of them unable to retaliate, right?”

    After his pause, as if someone had suddenly enlightened him, his speech flowed out like a river, well thought out. Jiang Bie He’s pair of sharp eyes has already swept like lighting towards the ‘spirit’ behind him.

    Hua Wu Que replied slowly, “Correct, even if a person’s martial arts is better than mine, although he can kill them, but he cannot make them all unable to retaliate.”

    “In this world, I’m afraid there is no one whose martial arts are better that Sir’s, correct?” Zhao Xiang Ling asked.

    Hua Wu Que replied with a slight smile, “Even if there is, there’s not many.”

    Zhao Xiang Ling continued, “Then there is only one explanation for this.”

    “What explanation?” Hua Wu Que queried.

    Zhao Xiang Ling explained, “This must have been done by someone very familiar with the Lee Brothers of ‘Double Lion’, and they would never have thought that this person will harm his own people. They were taken so unaware, that they did not even have a chance to retaliate…”

    With a snigger, he continued, “This goes without asking, that besides Jiang Yu Lang, there is no others!”

    Hua Wu Que pondered, “But according to the horse groom who escaped, the killer is a mighty old man.”

    Zhao Xiang Ling commented, “Although the art of disguise is wrapped in mystery in Jiang Hu, but there are quite a few who knows it. If he can masquerade as a carriage bearer, why can’t he masquerade as a mighty old man…”

    He paused again before continuing, “He deliberately left the horse groom alive, to use his mouth to spread the words… why else would he laugh madly as he came out after killing the men? With his skills, no matter how the horse groom hid himself, he can never escape from his eyes and ears.”

    Another pause, and he added, “Also, after the horse groom escaped, he immediately explained everything in detail, with vivid descriptions and nothing left out. How can a person who has really been through such shock speak so coherently, so… that horse groom must be his accomplice, and has long been instructed by him…”

    Every time he paused, he seems to be concentrating on what the spirit behind him was saying. Jiang Bie He’s eyes shone, and he asked with a cold smile, “So who instructed you to say what you said?”

    Zhao Xiang Ling stammered, “This… this is all thought out by me, I…”

    As he said this, he suddenly paused again, and then continued loudly, “That’s right, I made a mistake just now, that ‘horse groom’ could be the ‘carriage bearer’ here, which is Jiang Yu Lang, and the person who struck is Jiang Bie He!”

    Jiang Bie He suddenly raised his head and laughed, “I actually did not want to lower myself to your level, but you have been sprouting such nonsense, that even I cannot abide with it.”

    His words were not directed at Zhao Xiang Ling, and his eyes were never on Zhao Xiang Ling, his pair of sharp eyes was pinned on that ‘spirit’!

    There was a sudden ‘whish’, and not knowing when, that ‘carriage bearer’ is already behind the ‘spirit’, his body in the air, ‘Flying Eagle Preying on Rabbit’, his palms pressing down like lightning!

    Everyone’s eyes were glued to Jiang Bie He, and no one paid any notice to this ‘carriage bearer’ and with his sudden attack, there is no way that he will miss the target.

    Who would have expected that from the time when both his palms were extended, that ‘spirit’ seems to have calculated his move and positioning, and without even turning his head, his palm shot out with a backhand.

    This move, although lightly executed, was aimed right at the loophole of that ‘carriage bearer’s’ stroke, and is the only spot he can save himself. He does not want to hurt others, only to protect himself. The carriage bearer’s legs bent and straightened, his body did a back flip, and landed on the ground far away. He stared at this ‘spirit’, as if he has really seen a ghost.

    The others, who had just witnessed his skills, now saw him being fended off by someone with just a light palm stroke, and they were all greatly surprised. Even in his dreams he would not expect that a stroke that he was so sure of, would appear like kid’s play in front of others. The ‘spirit’ slowly turned around, and asked with a chuckle“Do you recognize me?”

    That ‘carriage bearer’ asked hoarsely, “You… who are you?”

    The ‘spirit’ replied, “You do not recognize me, but I recognize you… I’ll never forget you even if I die!” His voice was shrill and light, and actually sounded quite ghostly.

    The ‘carriage bearer’ unconsciously shivered, “You… who are you really?”

    “I’ve already told you, I am not human, I’m a ghost!” that ‘spirit’ replied.

    As he moved forward step by step, that ‘carriage bearer’ unknowingly retreated step by step.

    In the brightly lit hall, there suddenly seem to be an inexplicable sense of eeriness.

    Although not a muscle on the ‘carriage bearer’s’ face moved, his eyes were panic stricken. This kind of expression matched with this kind of eyes, really sends goose bumps down one’s back.

    Suddenly, the youth in green cried out, “Ah, oh no! My Master… my master… he has committed suicide!”

    With this cry of despair, everyone’s eyes shifted back from that ‘spirit’… and on looking around, all of them gasped in surprise.

    Tie Wu Shuang was still seated on the chair, but the long sword which was on his side is now embedded in his throat, and fresh blood has already dyed his clothes red!

    Tie Wu Shuang was still seated on the chair, but the long sword which was on his side is now embedded in his throat, and fresh blood has already dyed his clothes red!

    The sharp sword piercing his throat, he could not even utter a sound. With both his hands on the sword handle, it seems he wanted to stab someone, or extract the long sword, but did not have the strength to do so!

    His eyes popped out in anger, but a look of shock and hatred seemed to have passed through it. He is already dead, but the look of hatred, seems to be fixed on that youth in green!

    Everyone was at a loss for words, they were all stunned.

    With a long sigh, Jiang Bie He said, “Tie Wu Shuang is indeed a hero, to admit to his mistake bravely. With his death, all his sins will finally be cleansed.”

    The ‘spirit’ suddenly shouted, “My as*! Tie Wu Shuang definitely did not kill himself!”


    End of Chapter 47

  17. #37
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 48

    Jiang Bie He retorted angrily, “If Old Master Tie did not commit suicide, don’t tell me I was the one who killed him?” He paused, and continued with a frosty smile, “If I had wanted to kill him, I would have done so long ago, why would I need to wait until now?”

    That ‘spirit’ also laughed coldly, “If Old Master Tie were to commit suicide, he would have done so long ago, and definitely would not wait until now… he was unwilling to die in injustice earlier, now that the truth is about to be revealed, all the more he would not die.”

    Jiang Bie He raised his voice, “If Old Master Tie did not commit suicide, who else can kill him without him even having a chance to retaliate! Old Master Tie died a clean death; do you want his reputation to be muddied even after his death?”

    That ‘spirit’ also raised his voice, “This is just like what Master Zhao said earlier, if it’s a direct clash, naturally no one would be able to kill Tie Wu Shuang without him retaliating, but if the person secretly…”

    Jiang Bie He shouted, “Would I, Jiang Bie He need to attack him in secret?”

    With an icy smile, the ‘spirit’ replied, “That naturally would not be you, you yourself know that Tie Wu Shuang is already on his guard against you, even if you were to attack him secretly, you can never succeed!”

    Jiang Bie He continued, “If it is not me, don’t tell me it is Master Hua?”

    That ‘spirit’ replied, “I’ve already said so earlier, the person must be someone very close to Tie Wu Shuang, and Tie Wu Shuang would never expect him to strike, which is why he was killed!”

    The youth in green suddenly shouted, “Who killed my Master, I will have it out with him!”

    The ‘spirit’ replied coldly, “The one who killed your teacher, is you!”

    The youth in green stumbled, before shouting in anger, “My as*, I am indebted to my Master, how can I kill him. You… you are mad?”

    “Since you know that you are indebted to your Master, you should repay him well, but you have heartlessly collaborated with Jiang secretly! Now that you realize that the truth is about to be out, you stabbed your Master’s throat while everyone did not notice you. You think that with Tie Wu Shuang’s death, there would be no witness to this matter, but you forget, I am still here!”

    The youth in green replied, “Do you have proof?”

    The ‘spirit’ replied, “Others may not be able to produce the evidence, but I can. I witnessed with my own eyes that you are the one who put the poison in the wine the other day to harm Zhao Quan Hai, Escort Zhao!

    The youth in green has already started shaking, but he still shouted, “My as*! That day, my Master and I invited Escort Zhao to make peace with ‘San Xiang Joined Escort’, why would I poison the wine to harm Escort Zhao.”

    The ‘spirit’ replied, “Because you were instructed by Jiang Yu Lang, not only must the peace talk not succeed, but the plan must smear your Master’s reputation, this evil plan is indeed ‘killing three birds with one stone’!”

    The youth in green cried out in anger, “My as*! Your… your words, no one would believe it!”

    The ‘spirit’ laughed coldly, “You still deny it? I saw it with my own eyes, and heard with my own ears you and Jiang Yu Lang discussing your evil plot in the kitchen!”

    The youth in green roared, “How could you have seen…. You malign me, I’ll have it out with you!”

    He ran forward with a mad howl, when the ‘spirit’ suddenly removed the bamboo hat on his head, and with a weird smile, chuckled, “Take a look again who I am?”

    Under the light, his face was full of dirt, his hair in disarray, at a glace he really looked like a living ghost.

    The youth in green halted, took three steps back, and stammered, “You… you…”

    That ‘spirit’ bit out each word slowly, “Let me tell you, I am the ghost of the person you and Jiang Yu Lang killed the other day, and I want your life even if I am a ghost!”

    He has not finished his sentence, and the youth in green has already started screaming madly, “Ghost… ghost… there really is a ghost!”

    As he screamed, he retreated, and finally bounded out like a mad man.

    Suddenly, the flash of a sword!

    The youth in green has not even reached the door, when he has already collapsed, a sword piercing in from the back of his neck, protruding out from his throat, and he was embedded on the ground!

    This youth in green did not even manage to utter a scream, and he has already died on the spot! But this time everyone saw, the sword was thrown out by Jiang Bie He!

    Without any change in his expression, Jiang Bie He said slowly, This person has already gone mad, if we let him dash out like that, I’m afraid he may hurt others, therefore I can only kill him.”

    The ‘spirit’ called out, “Jiang Bie He, you silenced him, and yet want to wax lyrical about yourself, Heaven would really not tolerate this!”

    With a small smile, Jiang Bie He replied, “You do not even dare to let others see your real face, who would believe you!”

    These words have really struck this ‘spirit’s’ sore spot… Xiao Yu’er paused for a while, before continuing loudly, “As long as I speak the truth, does it matter if I do not show my face?”

    Jiang Bie He asked, “Everyone please think, if what he said is true, why would he not fare to show his true face?”

    Xiao Yu’er looked around, and saw that everyone’s eyes were fixed on his face, and in every pair of eyes were looks of doubts.

    Jiang Bie He continued slowly, “This evasiveness, rumor mongering, we do not know what he has up his sleeves.” As he spoke, he was studying the expression on everyone’s face. He suddenly turned to face Hua Wu Que, and asked quietly, “Master Hua took upon yourself to look after the affairs of the world, don’t you want to know their background?”

    Hua Wu Que replied, “Their?”

    Jiang Bie He added, “Besides him, there is that ‘carriage bearer’ as well, I would like to see, if he is really my son Yu Lang as he said.”

    In the chaos, most of the people had forgotten about the ‘carriage bearer’ incident, and only remembered it now that he reminded them. However, looking around, not only is that ‘carriage bearer’ gone, the other carriage bearers and the two carriages that were carrying the Duan family were gone, and no one knows when they left.

    Xiao Yu’er was secretly stamping his foot, he may be extremely smart, but he lacks the experience. He was not attentive enough, and this negligence is fatal.

    Jiang Bie He shouted in excited fury, “That ‘carriage bearer’ is gone? When did he leave?”

    Luo Jiu, who witnessed the happenings from the side the entire time, suddenly spoke up, “Master Duan was not feeling too well, and was overwrought. Most likely he could not take this kind of excitement any more, and ordered them to carry him back just now.”

    Luo San added with a chuckle, “When a person is too fat, he really cannot get overly excited, or he might get a stroke. My brother and I have the same problem.”

    Jiang Bie He paused, and replied, “Since Brother saw it, you should have retained that ‘carriage bearer’. If this matter is not cleared up, I will have to bear with the suspicions!”

    Xiao Yu’er could not tolerate any further and scolded, “You wily old fox, judging by skills of pretension, you are really number one in the world.”

    Jiang Bie He smiled coolly, “Who knows if that ‘carriage bearer’ was not your accomplice, to slander me? If not, why would you let him escape so easily?” He actually turned the tables, and his explanations seem plausible. Although not everyone may be on his side, but at least they no longer believe Xiao Yu’er’s words.

    Xiao Yu’er was both angry and anxious; he now knows that Jiang Bie He is really not an easy person to deal with. With just a few words, he managed to change the situation. Without even moving a finger, he has forced Xiao Yu’er into a corner!

    The front and back of this hall has fourteen windows, three doors; each window is seven feet high, three feet wide, so a man can easily exit from there no matter how large they are, and the exits lead into all directions. Although the hall is spacious, but the furthest of the window is only two, three feet away from where Xiao Yu’er stood. With his skills, he can easily slip out.

    But Xiao Yu’er could not leave, because Hua Wu Que’s eyes were pinned on him right now.

    Jiang Bie He commented slowly, That ‘carriage bearer’ might have slipped away, but I’m afraid you will not be able to sneak off. Since you insist on not revealing your real face, have you done something shameless?”
    Xiao Yi’er eyeballs kept rolling, but he could not think of any ideas.

    Hua Wu Que suddenly called out, “If Friend does not wish to make the first move, I might have to do it on your behalf.”

    Xiao Yu’er scolded loudly, “Hua Wu Que, I’ve always thought that you’re a smart man, who knows that you are actually being made use of like a dog, that even I feel ashamed for you.”

    Hua Wu Que remained calm and only smiled, “If you’re thinking of provoking me, I’m afraid it is useless.”

    Jiang Bie He said with a laugh, “Master Hua may be young, but his self control is excellent, to want him to be angry, unless…”

    Xiao Yu Er interrupted loudly, “To want him to be angry, unless Tie Xinlan is snatched away, right?”

    Hua Wu Que’s expression really changed a little, before adding quietly, “This has nothing to do with her, it is best that you do not to mention her name.”

    “Tie Xinlan does not belong to you, what right do you have to forbid others to mention her name!” Xiao Yu’er scoffed.

    And without knowing why, Xiao Yu’er suddenly felt a rush of hot blood to his head. He is no longer afraid, his intention is to provoke Hua Wu Que, his intention is to let Hua Wu Que disgrace himself. He knows clearly that he is not Hua Wu Que’s match, but his intention is to fight it out with him! So that regardless of winning or losing, dying or living, at least he can expel the rush of hot blood! Or else he might just expire from the heat!

    He thought that he is a very, very smart person, not only does he understand others well, he understand himself well too. He knows that he is not as skilled as Hua Wu Que, so he can only tolerate.

    If there were no pressure from others, if there were no trigger, he may have kept tolerating like this, tolerating until the day he can defeat Hua Wu Que.

    But the situation now so pressuring that he felt breathless, and ‘Tie Xinlan’ these three words were the trigger, the hot rush of blood that he had been fighting to suppress suddenly erupted!

    Not only were his pupils gleaming, even his eyes were extraordinarily large!

    Laughing madly, he continued loudly, “Hua Wu Que, to tell you the truth, Tie Xinlan already has a sweetheart! Her heart has long belonged to him, and you cannot steal it no matter how. Even if you manage to marry her, her heart will still be with the other person!” Amidst his laughter, his suddenly flew up!

    At that precise moment, Hua Wu Que’s palm has already shot out. If Xiao Yu’er had flown up a moment slower, his chest might already have been shattered by the blow!

    The beams in the hall were about forty feet above the ground! With this one jump, Xiao Yu’er has reached the beam!

    His hand clasped on the beam, his body swaying unsteadily like the dried leaves on an autumn branch. Looking up from below, it seems he might just fall down any moment!

    But Jiang Bie He has already observed that this is the highest skill level of the Lightness Skill. He body seems to be in danger of falling, but within every sway hides a murderous intent.

    Besides, with this jump, he is already looking down on the rest from above. He may not have gained the first strike, but he has obtained a strategic spot. At this point, no matter who jumps up, will most likely first receive a blow on the head!

    But not only did Hua Wu Que not think of attacking, he did not even cast a glance upwards. He stood there quietly; his gaze seems to be fixed on the tip of his foot.

    Like an old monk, he seems to have entered into a state of silence, not concerned about anything else that is happening around him, he seemed to have fallen asleep standing there.

    But Xiao Yu’er knows that at this point in time, his mind is empty. Seemingly ignoring his surroundings, but actually not a single movement can escape his eyes!

    Staying at his strategic location here, he might not strike, but once Xiao Yu Er makes a move, the chance of a first strike is gone, and most likely he will be immediately killed!

    The two of them, one on top and one below, one swaying and one unmoving, were in a stalemate!

    Although the others could not fathom the mystery within, they could sense the heavy atmosphere. Xiao Yu’er was still swaying, but they no longer thought that he is about to fall, only this unsteady movement was making them giddy and unable to concentrate.

    Even though they dare not look up, the candlelight in the hall is already swaying to Xiao Yu’er’s movement, and in the end, even the whole hall seems to be swaying.

    Only Jiang Bie He, he was staring at Hua Wu Que, who still looked as calm as ever.

    Hua Wu Que’s stiff appearance, is like a pillar in a choppy sea, not only is he as steady as a mountain, he also gives other a sense of stability.

    Others could feel a murderous intent emanating from his motionless body, slowly closing in on them, the pressing force is making them almost breathless!

    Movement and immobility, was a stark contrast. Although forty feet separated them, but nothing could stand in between them!

    But movement naturally cannot last as long as immobility.

    Jiang Bie He naturally knew about this point, and the corners of his mouth unconsciously turned up into a smile!

    All of a sudden, a swallow flew in from the window.

    This is just a lone, lost swallow, who blindly flew towards any source of light, to seek some warmth.

    It actually flew right into the deadlock between Xiao Yu’er and Hua Wu Que!

    No one saw Xiao Yu’er or Hua Wu Que make any move, but mysteriously, this swallow was unable to fly past this invisible air of violence.

    The swallow actually fell! The falling swallow brushed across Hua Wu Que’s face! Right at this time Xiao Yu’er suddenly dropped down.

    His whole body like a top, he was spinning continuously in mid air. Spinning as he was falling, his limbs seem to be dancing when viewed from afar.

    The rest stared until they were starry eyed, and felt as if a devil with a thousand arms and a thousand hands was flying down from the sky!

    However, Hua Wu Que did not even lift his head to take a look. With a shout in mid-air, Xiao Yu’er’s spinning body seems to attack with eight legs and sixteen palms!

    His moves were so rapid, that it seems unmatchable. It looks as if there were eight legs and sixteen palms extending from his body, aiming to attack! Aiming to attack Hua Wu Que!

    The attack seems to consist of more false moves than real ones, but the fake and real moves are interchangeable, a false move turning into a real one. He only has to be struck by one blow, and he will not live.

    Hua Wu Que suddenly lifted his head.

    In the flickering light, his eyes shone like stars, he face seem to be smiling, his right palm waved out, moving lightly. It did not look like an attack; neither did it look like defence.

    A string of ‘pi piaks’ were heard, and Xiao Yu’er’s left palm struck his own right palm, his right palm attacked his left palm, and before the strength in his left palm was used up, it hit his right fist, before the strength in his right palm was exhausted, it hit his left palm, and his lower body was the same, the left leg kicking the right palm and the right leg kicking the left palm.

    The moves planned to subdue, were all attacking him. His body spinning from the attack, he slanted a few feet before falling down with a ‘bang’!

    Jiang Bie He watched on, delighted, and laughed “Good! What a good move of ‘Shifting Flower and Grafting to Jade’!”

    Xiao Yu’er’s palms were both red and swollen, his chest panting heavily, and he was unable to climb up.

    Looking at him, Hua Wu Que said with a slight smile, “Your martial arts can be considered one of the best in Wulin, and the force of your internal strength is beyond my expectations, but what a pity, the stronger your internal strength, the more you will be injured.”

    As he spoke, he strolled towards Xiao Yu’er!

    Suddenly, the hall was filled with the sounds of wind rushing in, and the candle lights were suddenly extinguished. There were sounds of ten over secret weapons, heading straight towards Jiang Bie He and Hua Wu Que!

    This kind of secret weapon will still not be able to hurt Jiang Bie He and Hua Wu Que! The two of them lightly leaped, and avoided them.

    By then, the entire hall was in chaos, and amidst the chaos, Luo Jiu could be heard shouting, “Everyone stay still, do not move about!”

    Luo San also called out, “Don’t let him take the opportunity to escape!”

    These were the exact words Jiang Bie He wanted to say, and when he heard them, he silently nodded to himself, thinking “These Luo Brothers are really something!”

    Luo Jiu continued, “I’ll go outside to stop him from escaping, you light the fire quick!”

    Following that, there was a flash of light, and torches were lighted up. Looking around, the ‘spirit’ that had difficulty getting up from the floor has indeed disappeared!

    Jiang Bie He’s countenance changed and dashed to the window, but it was dark outside the window, and not a shadow to be seen.

    Stamping his foot, Luo San exclaimed, “He really runs fast, let us give chase!”

    Hua Wu Que replied slowly, “There are so many exits from here, even if we were to chase, we won’t know where to start!”

    Furrowing his brows, Jiang Bie He asked, “Are we to just let him escape?”

    Hua Wu Que continued, “Judging by the amount of strength he used during his attack, which I deflected, causing him to hit himself instead, he should not have been able to escape!”

    Jiang Bie He replied bitterly, “Naturally the person who extinguished the lights just now saved him.”

    Luo San interrupted, “My brother has already given chase, but I do not know if he will manage to catch up!”

    “I’m afraid your brother will not be able to catch up.” Replied Hua Wu Que unhurriedly.

    “Oh?”

    Hua Wu Que explained, “The person who helped, was able to save someone right under my nose, naturally he would have exceptional skills. Besides, we were stalled for a moment by his secret weapon, so we will not be able to catch up with him!”

    Laughing bitterly, Luo San agreed, “Right, if that person can rescue someone from right under Master Hua’s nose, my brother would of course not be able to catch up with him!”

    Once the lights were extinguished, Xiao Yu’er knew his savior has arrived. Just as he was struggling to get up, someone carried him and jumped out the window! This person’s Lightness Skill is the best in Jiang Hu, with a few light jumps, they were already more than 100 feet away.

    The cool breeze was blowing onto his face, but Xiao Yu’er’s limbs were throbbing with pain. He thought of Hua Wu Que’s astonishingly mysterious skill and was secretly alarmed.

    At that moment, he was really hovering between life and death, and if not for this person’s helping hand, Xiao Yu’er will never escape, but who is this person?

    Xiao Yu’er finally asked, “Thank you for coming to my rescue, thank you.”

    Without stopping, the person just replied, “Hmm”. He clasped Xiao Yu’er under his rib, so Xiao Yu’er could not get a look at his face.

    After a while, Xiao Yu’er said, “You know, I’m not really a good person, why do you want to save me?”

    That person laughed, “You’re not bad either.”

    Xiao Yu’er pressed on, “But I do not know you, who are you?”

    “Make a guess.”

    Xiao Yu’er speculated, “Judging by your voice, you’re not very old.”

    That person laughed, “But not young either.”

    “You naturally would not be Reverend Shen Xi.”

    “Oh.”

    Continuing, Xiao Yu’er said, “If you are Reverend Shen Xi, you won’t be asking me to guess. A priest will never behave so furtively like you.”

    That person saved him, but yet he scolded him, because he wanted to force this person to talk so that he can guess from his voice who he is.

    However, that person only smiled and said, “You’re right.”

    Xiao Yu’er still could not make out his voice. He rolled his eyes and asked, “Could it be you’re Xuan Yuan San Guang?”

    The person laughed, “I’m not acquainted with that gambler.”

    Xiao Yu’er could not take it any longer and raised his voice, “Are you man or ghost?”

    “You will never guess who I am.” The person laughed.

    Xiao Yu’er continued, “Don’t think that I really cannot move my limbs. If you don’t tell me, I will press on your pressure point, tie you up and see who you really are.”

    As he spoke, his hands were already pressing down on that person’s waist.

    The person replied, “Don’t you forget, I am your savior.”

    “I will not appreciate what you have done!” Xiao Yu’er retorted. “Some people have ulterior motive for helping others. You might have saved me because you want to make use of me, or even to torture me further.”

    The person laughed heartily, “You are really difficult to deal with. I’ve met countless people, but I’ve never really met one as difficult as you…” As he spoke, he has already flown through a window, and placed Xiao Yu’er down.

    This window seemed to have been left opened the whole night, and the candles in the house were lighted up. Under the light, Xiao Yu’er finally saw this person’s face.

    This person turned out to be that mysterious Luo Jiu!

    Xiao Yu’er was so surprised that he stared and stammered, “It’s you… how can it be you?”

    Luo Jiu laughed, “I just knew you would never be able to guess.”

    “But… but I definitely heard you shouting in the hall just now.” Xiao Yu’er stuttered.

    Luo Jiu smiled, “That was my brother Luo San, he faked a conversation between two people, so others thought I was still there. Naturally they would not have guessed that the one who saved you is me.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed heartily, “What a brilliant plan, that even I was tricked, so it would be impossible for the rest not to be taken in!”

    “To trick Jiang Bie He, that wily old fox, is really not an easy task.” Luo Jiu smiled.

    Xiao Yu’er stared at him with shining eyes, “Correct, it is really not easy to trick Jiang Bie He, but you could dupe him.”

    Xiao Yu’er rolled his eyes, asking “Then, let me ask you, we’re neither kin nor friend, why did you save me?”

    Luo Jiu replied, “It’s because I admire Brother, and can’t bear to see Brother being forced, I could not tolerate it any longer so I had to take the risk to save you.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed coldly, “I’m afraid it’s because you have seen my skills, and wants to make use of me.”

    Luo Jiu laughed loudly, “By saying this, Brother has wrongfully blamed a good person.”

    Xiao Yu’er explained, “Between humans, most would naturally try to make use of one another. You want to make use of me, but how would you know if I do not want to make use of you. If you have any requests, just say so, I will certainly not blame you.”

    Luo Jiu clasped his hands and laughingly exclaimed, “Brother is indeed a person who comes straight to the point, I am full of admiration…”

    He suddenly stopped laughing, stared at Xiao Yu’er and said softly, “I see that all the things that Brother has done, is solely to reveal Jiang Bie He’s mask, and I too have long since harbored the same thought, which is why…”

    “Which is why you found me, right?” Xiao Yu’er continued.

    Luo Jiu laughed loudly, “If Brother can join forces with me, no matter how wily Jiang Bie He is, I’m afraid there will be no place for him to hide.”

    His eyes bore into Xiao Yu’er, and Xiao Yu’er was also staring back, and replied slowly, “You were obviously helping Tie Wu Shuang and Zhao Xiang Ling, but collaborated with Jiang Bie He secretly. You were obviously in cahoots with Jiang Bie He, but now you’re secretly making my acquaintance, why is that so? I don’t care what motive you really have, as long as you truly want to reveal Jiang Bie He’s mask, I will join forces with you, and I will support you until the end on this matter!”


    End of Chapter 48

  18. #38
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 49

    This house is actually a small loft, but exquisitely decorated, the thick carpet sewn with colored flowers, so that whoever walks on it, will never make any sound.

    Only now did Xiao Yu’er have time to look around, and saw on the table there were a few strange but expensive toys, and on the wall a few exquisite decorations were hanging. Some were miniature sabers and swords made of gold, some were miniature men and horses carved from white jade, and there were also some ugly looking beasts and ghouls, pretty fairies and goddesses.

    Luo Jiu asked smilingly, “What does Brother think of this house?”

    Xiao Yu’er asked, “Whose house is this exactly, that you can come in at will?”

    Luo Jiu smiled, “This is my humble abode.”

    Xiao Yu’er was startled and asked, “This is your house? You’re not afraid Jiang Bie He will find his way here?”

    “Brother can rest assured, this house of mine, no one else knows.” Luo Jiu smiled.

    Xiao Yu’er laughed, “You are really farsighted, to have a place decorated like this here…”

    Luo Jiu replied, “This place might belong to my brother and me, but it is not decorated by us.”

    “Oh?” Xiao Yu’er replied.

    Luo Jiu answered with a mysterious smile, “The person who decorated this place, if Brother were to see, you would surely be extremely interested.”

    “Why?”

    Luo Jiu laughed, “Because she is a beauty out of this world.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed loudly, “Beauty… my head will hurt like hell once I see a beauty.”

    Luo Jiu grinned, “Brother may disregard beauty, but she….she is different from others. Not only is she beautiful, she gives a feeling of unexplainable mystery, and I think she will surely suite your taste.”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled, “Your description of her is so wonderful, that I think I would like to take a look.”

    Luo Jiu pulled on a bell cord, and said with a grin, “Brother shall be able to see immediately.”

    Xiao Yu’er mused, “Someone who can decorate a place like this, must be different from the rest…” His thoughts turned, and he suddenly changed the subject, asking “Is Jiang Bie He still living in that run down house?”

    Luo Jiu laughed, “Although it’s still the same place, but the house is no longer run down.”

    Xiao Yu’er asked, “Did he not want anyone to rebuild it for him? Why change his mind now?”

    Luo Jiu explained, “But this time it is Hua Wu Que who rebuilt it for him, and Hua Wu Que is staying there himself.”

    Xiao Yu’er sighed, “To think that Hua Wu Que is being entangled with such a person, I do feel some pity for him.”

    With an accompanying smile, Luo Jiu continued, “Jiang Bie He’s façade is full of justice and humanity, those who do not know the real him, will all want to be his friend. Hua Wu Que’s martial arts may be good, but no matter what, he is young and ignorant…”

    Xiao Yu’er replied with a cold smile, “Hua Wu Que is the personification of intelligence, and does not reveal his abilities easily. If you think he is young and ignorant, then you are the ignorant one.”

    Luo Jiu’s eyes flashed, and asked “Is it possible that Brother is well acquainted with Hua Wu Que?”

    Xiao Yu’er replied with a slight smile, “Do you know of this term! The person who understands one the most, is usually his greatest enemy!”

    He suddenly felt a strange sensation behind him, and turned around suddenly… someone was standing behind him like a spirit, the light, shining on her face.

    This is indeed a beautiful face, her willow like brows lightly furrowed, and her large eyes, seem to be filled with fog.

    Her eyes were looking at Xiao Yu’er, but do not seem to be looking at Xiao Yu’er, she is standing there alive, but looked as if she is dreaming. She turned out to be Murong Jiu.

    At one glance, Xiao Yu’er can’t help but feel dumbfounded.

    Luo Jiu did not seem to notice the change in his expression, and laughingly asked, “This Miss Meng, is the person who decorated this place.”

    ”Miss Meng?” Xiao Yu’er asked.

    Luo Jiu replied, “When I saw her, she was already like that, walking around in a daze alone. I asked if she is willing to follow me back, and she nodded her head, beaming. I asked her for her name, abd she still nodded with a grin… hai, she seems to be dreaming all day long, so I called her Miss Meng (Meng = Dream).”

    Of course Xiao Yu’er knows what trauma she has suffered, so much so that she is in such a state, but he only sighed lightly and said, “Miss Meng… this name is not too bad.”

    Luo Jiu glanced at him, and suddenly asked, “Could it be that Brother knows her?”

    Xiao Yu’er replied, “You reckon she knows me?”

    Murong Jiu’s eyes were hazy, like she does not know anyone.

    Luo Jiu answered with a smile, “Brother of course would not know her, but… what does Brother think of her?”

    Xiao Yu’er rolled his eyes and asked, “What use is there even if I said that she’s good, would you bear to give her to me?”

    Luo Jiu smiled, “Now that Brother has joined forces with me, all that belongs to me, also belongs to Brother, and not to mention that my brother and I are old, lazy and fat. Brother should know that these three words ‘old, fat, lazy’, is the biggest bane to lust.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed heartily, “Since you are so generous, that I shall not stand on ceremony.”

    Suddenly, laughter could be heard from the outside, and flying in through the window, is Luo San.

    Luo Jiu asked, “Why are you back only now? Did that Jiang Bie He suspect me?”

    Luo San smiled, “Never in his dreams would he suspect the both of us. Now that Tie Wu Shuang is dead, Zhao Xiang Ling is even more submissive and obedient. He did not verbalize it, but in his heart, he is so happy that he does not know what to do.”

    Xiao Yu’er suddenly exclaimed, “The person who died is not the only witness.”

    Luo Jiu and Luo San exchanged looks, and asked unanimously, “Who else is there?”

    Xiao Yu’er replied, “Don’t you forget, there is still his son Jiang Yulang.”

    Luo Jiu queried, “But why would Jiang Yulang want to expose his old man’s ploy?”

    Xiao Yu’er replied with a lazy smile, “I might have a plan.”

    He let out a long yawn, and slid down from the chair, collapsing on the soft and thick carpet, murmuring, “Warm sun, vast green plains… this carpet really feels like the long grass on the plains, light, soft, warm. If someone can sleep comfortably on it for three days and three nights, it would be a very satisfying thing indeed.”

    Luo Jiu replied with a laugh, “Brother can go ahead and sleep; there will definitely be no one who would disturb you.”

    A person who can sleep under any circumstance, this person is really very fortunate… Xiao Yu’er is without a doubt, fortunate.

    He does not know how long he slept. When he woke up, the candle light has died. It looks like day, but the thick curtains covered the daylight, and the light in the house was dim. In the dimness, a pair of bright eyes was staring at him.

    Xiao Yu’er lay there, not moving.

    He saw Murong Jiu sitting next to him on the carpet, looking as if she just sat down, but also looking as if she had sat there since last night.

    Xiao Yu’er opened his eyes and stared at her, and unconsciously went into a daze. He did not say anything, and naturally did not expect her to say anything.

    Unexpectedly, Murong Jiu suddenly exclaimed, “I seem to have seen you somewhere before, I seem to know you.”

    Xiao Yu’er’s heart skipped a beat, and asked, “You know me?”

    “Hmm.” Murong Jiu replied.

    “Do you remember where have you seen me before?” Xiao Yu’er asked.

    Murong Jiu replied with a sigh, “I can’t remember… I just have this feeling.”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled and rolled his eyes, asking, “Do you know who you are?”

    Murong Jiu suddenly clasped her head with her hands, saying “I don’t remember either, I cannot think, once I think, my head hurts.”

    Xiao Yu’er replied, “Then don’t think, it’s the best that you do not think, it might be worst if you remember.”

    Murong Jiu asked, “You… you know who I am in the past?”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled, “I can’t remember too, I only know, the way you are now, is a lot cuter than you were in the past.”

    It is still summer, it was so warm in the small room that it makes one lethargic, although there was no breeze, there is a faint fragrance drifting in the air.

    Having just woken up from his sleep, Xiao Yu’er is full of energy. Looking at that round, smooth, pale ankle, he is suddenly reminded of the day in the ice room when she was naked… in this hot summer evening; he suddenly has an evil thought.

    He suddenly smiled and asked, “But no matter what, you still want to know what you were like in the past, right?”

    Murong Jiu replied, “If I can remember the past, I would be willing even if it means immediate death.”

    Xiao Yu’er instructed, “Good, take off your clothes first, I’ll think of a way for you.”

    Murong Jiu’s eyes opened even bigger, and fluttered, “Take… take off my clothes.”

    Xiao Yu’er explained, “You must have experienced some terrible thing, and became like this. Because the incident was so terrible, it is like a devil occupying your body.”

    Murong Jiu lightly nodded her head, “Hmm.”

    Xiao Yu’er continued, “So, to remember what happened in the past, you must chase the devil in your body away, and to chase the devil, you need to remove all impediments.”

    Murong Jiu seems to be in a daze, constantly nodding her head.

    Xiao Yu’er grinned and said, “Clothing are men’s biggest impediment. I can only help you chase the devil away if you take off your clothes. This logic is very simple, you should understand, right?”

    “But… but…”

    Xiao Yu’er’s hand is already on her ankle, and laughed, “Listen to my words, it will never go wrong…”

    He has not finished his words, when Murong Jiu suddenly jumped up, and in her hand there is already a shiny dagger, aiming straight at Xiao Yu’er’s throat.

    Xiao Yu’er asked hoarsely, “What are you doing? Aren’t I helping you?”

    Murong Jiu answered calmly, “Someone told me, anyone who tries to touch my body, I must use this dagger to deal with him.”

    Xiao Yu’er rolled his eyes, and laughed bitterly, mumbling “No wonder the Luo Brothers dare not touch you… no wonder they want to give you to me.”

    Murong Jiu asked, “What did you say?”

    Xiao Yu’er asked in return, “Do you know them?”

    Murong Jiu replied, “I don’t think I know them.”

    Xiao Yu’er said, “But you recognize me, why do you not believe me but them?”

    Murong Jiu lowered her head in thought, and the dagger fell onto the carpet.

    Xiao Yu’er pulled her down and laid on top of her. Murong Jiu did not struggle at all, and Xiao Yu’er’s hands had already pulled open her front covering, mumbling to himself, “If a person almost killed you, no matter what you do to her, is not unreasonable.”

    As he spoke, his hands were moving as well.

    Suddenly, someone called out coldly, “No!”

    Xiao Yu’er was startled, and from behind the thick curtain, a silver thread flew out, and entwined around his hand like a venomous snake. With Xiao Yu’er’s current skills, he did not move away, neither did he struggle to escape.

    Following that, a skinny and small body, flew in from the window like a ghost, heading straight towards Xiao Yu’er. With a somersault, Xiao Yu’er moved out of the way, and with a flick of his hand, pulled on the silver thread.

    The thin and long silver thread, although he was pulling it tightly, he could not break it.

    Naturally he has already observed the skinny person, the whole body wrapped in clothes so black that it shone, and the face covered by a black mask, leaving only a pair of eyes, which is more black than white. The eyes were constantly moving, and looked like a ghostly face, indescribably furtive and scary.

    Xiao Yu’er cried out hoarsely, “You’re Black Spider!”

    Black Spider has already launched himself, but stopped suddenly, and asked coldly, “Who are you? You actually recognize me!”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed, “Brother Hei (Hei = Black), don’t you recognize me?”

    Black Spider’s eyes shone, and exclaimed, “Ah, it’s you! How did you become like this?”

    Xiao Yu’er chucked, “You do not wish to let others see your real face, so why can’t I change my looks?”

    Black Spider’s eyes gleamed, and added, “A person who has been caught by me doing such a despicable act, and yet can still laugh and talk to me… a person like that, there is no one else in the world but you.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed, “This can’t be considered a despicable act… as long as it’s a young and strong man, it’s possible that anyone can do this thing.”

    Black Spider stared at him in amazement. How can someone who has done something like this, still behave blamelessly, as if he really did not have any evil intentions?

    Xiao Yu’er continued with a smile, “Also, this isn’t much of a matter anyway, only a dirty minded person, will see it differently. A person like me would not feel terrible if I did it, neither would I feel terrible if I did not do it.”

    Black Spider suddenly laughed, “Nonsensical words like these, but coming out from your mouth, does not sound vile at all, what kind of reasoning is this?”

    Xiao Yu’er explained, “This is because I am basically not a vile person.”

    Suddenly, footsteps could be heard from outside the door, and with a flash, Black Spider is behind the window again, his silver thread following him.

    Xiao Yu’er stood there, but with his mouth, made snoring sounds. That person seemed to listen outside the door for a while, and after that, the footsteps faded away.

    Pulling the window open, Black Spider is gone.

    Outside the window, the sky seems to be setting, but it is not yet dusk. Xiao Yu’er muttered, “Day, it is still day, this Black Spider was moving about so freely, flying over roofs and walking on walls in the day, no wonder those in Jiang Hu look upon him as a weirdo.”

    Muring Jiu stood there in a daze, and softly asked, “You think he is weird as well?”

    Xiao Yu’er turned his head, and stared at her, asking, “The person who gave you the dagger, is him? Is he not afraid of being found out?”

    Murong Jiu bit on her lips, as if in thought, before slowly replying, “Although they suspect that there is someone around here frequently, but they could not catch even a glimpse of his shadow no matter how hard they tried. When he comes, I am always alone.”

    Xiao Yu’er furrowed his brows, and said “He visits you frequently, he is frequently nearby…” Could it be he is also getting suspicious about the Luo Brothers? These brothers could actually make this kind of person spend so much effort on them, what exactly are their identities?

    He lowered his head and walked two rounds, and looking up suddenly, he saw that Murong Jiu has already removed her clothes, standing there naked.

    In the darkness, her youthful body shone like satin, her long yet firm legs was clasped together tightly, her soft bosom, upright… A fully clad Murong Jiu appears delicate, but without her clothes, it’s as if every inch of her body holds an astonishing amount of matured charm.

    This is the second time Xiao Yu’er saw her naked body, the first time in that secret ice room, and now… the room was filled with a fragrant haze, the lights dim, there seems to be a pressurizing heat in the air that makes one mad. Unconsciously, there were beads of sweat on Xiao Yu’er’s forehead, his throat dry, he asked hoarsely “What are you doing?”

    Murong Jiu looked at him dazed, and walking towards him step by step, told him, “I want you to help me chase the devil in my body away.”

    Xiao Yu’er raised his voice, “There’s no devil in your body, I was lying to you.”

    Muring Jiu insisted, “I know there is, ‘it’ is now moving in my body, I can feel it.”

    With a silly smile, her snow white teeth seems to be gleaming like a beast’s, her pale face now bright red, her eyes shining with a different light.

    Xiao Yu’er unconsciously took half a step back, and shouted, “Nonsense, wear your clothes quickly, or else…”

    Murong Jiu replied, “I won’t wear my clothes, I want you to help me…”

    She suddenly lunged at Xiao Yu’er, her arms and legs were tightly twined around Xiao Yu’er like octopus, and the both of them fell to the floor together.

    Her cold body, suddenly became scalding hot like a volcano, her lips pressed down on Xiao Yu’er’s face hardly, her chest heaving with her breath. Xiao Yu’er’s palms lightly held onto her smooth back.

    He suddenly flipped up Murong Jiu’s hair, and pressed her underneath. Reaching for the carpet, he wrapped her up like a dumpling and tied her tightly.

    Murong Jiu’s eyes were full of shock, and asked hoarsely, “You… why are you doing this?”

    Xiao Yu’er glanced at her with a grin, picked up a piece of her clothing to inspect, reached for the pot of cold tea on the table, slowly poured it over her head, and laughingly said, “Remember, a girl should not remove her clothes so casually, she should at least wait for the boy to remove it for her. If you do this again the next time, see if I don’t smack your bottom!”

    Murong Jiu was breathless after being drenched with the cold tea, and shouted, “You evil rascal, let me go…”

    Xiao Yu’er paid no heed to her, and wrapping the empty teapot with her clothes, he gently placed it on her chest. Pushing open the door, ‘dong, dong, dong’ and walked down the loft.

    Xiao Yu’er walked around the lower floor, and only saw two dim-witted, silly maids, but could not find Luo Jiu and Luo San.

    Xiao Yu’er walked into the kitchen, washed his face, and using the remaining ingredients from yesterday, changed his face to another look before swaggering out.

    This turned out to be in the middle of a busy street. Xiao Yu’er bought new clothes from a boutique from the street, had a hearty meal at the restaurant next door and lifting his head to look at the sky, smiled “The sky is turning dark, it’s going to be time for my activities again…”

    He was very pleased with himself over what he did earlier, so he is now extremely happy and energetic, and felt that if he does not do something good now, he will be letting himself down.

    By now it is almost dusk, Xiao Yu’er walked to the medicinal hall and even bought Zi Jin Ting, and no one in the medicinal hall recognized him. Therefore, Xiao Yu’er went straight to the suburbs. Initially, he wanted to go to Duan He Fei’s house first, but changed his mind at the last minute because he saw many pugilists hurrying out of town, and he guessed that they are on their way to ‘Heavenly Fragrance Pond’.

    ‘Values talent as much as one’s life’ Tie Wushuang has been famous for decades, and in these years, there are countless people who have been helped or promoted by him.

    From afar, Xiao Yu’er could see that ‘Earthly Spirited Villa’ was fully lighted, and human shadows flickering around. Such a big courtyard, but it is almost filled with people of all descriptions.

    Outside the villa, were also filled with various types of carriages and horses. Xiao Yu’er hurried over, and suddenly stopped. Among the horses, there was a horse’s neigh who was exceptionally loud, and it sounded like ‘Little Fairy’s’ horse.

    Could it be that ‘Little Fairy’ Zhang Qing is here as well?!

    The corners of Xiao Yu’er’s mouth unconsciously turned up into a smile, “How has she been these two years? Is she still the same, wearing her fiery red dress, riding on her horse running all over the place? Whipping people all around?”

    He really wanted to take a glimpse at that little woman who’s unreasonable, rude, fierce and pretty. She should have grown up a little over the past two years, but wonders if she is more sensible now.

    But there are just too many people in the courtyard. Xiao Yu’er looked left and right, not only did he not see her shadow, he could not even find a girl in red.

    “If she is here, she will certainly attract attention, why can’t I see her? A person like her could be recognized in an instance even if she is among ten thousand people.”

    Xiao Yu’er was mumbling to himself, and could not help but feel a little disappointed.


    End of Chapter 49

  19. #39
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 50

    Tie Wu Shuang’s coffin, was placed right in the middle of the hall. Zhao Xiang Ling stood at the side with a grief stricken look, and was actually clad in mourning clothes, looking just like a filial son.

    The guests, who came to offer their condolences, were all crowded in the courtyard in groups in three to five, putting their heads and ears together, pointing about, and who knows what they were discussing.

    Suddenly a commotion was heard outside the courtyard, and voices were heard commenting, “Hero Jiang is here as well!”

    “Hero Jiang has always been righteous and just in his dealings, I’ve long known that he would come.”

    The people standing in the courtyard immediately separated to two sides, opening a path, all of them bowing and saluting, and there were a few who even knelt down and kowtowed.

    Seven, eight burly men in blue has already accompanied Jiang Bie He in.

    His brows furrowed, his expression grim, he walked stiffly to the front of Tie Wu Shuang’s alter, and respectfully kowtowed trice, speaking in a somber tone, “Old Master Tie, although I treated you as an enemy while you were alive, but it was to uphold justice in Jiang Hu, and forced by circumstances. Your soul is still near, and you should know my pains. From now on, I hope that your soul in heaven can help me to uphold justice in Wulin. During Spring, Autumn and the mourning period, I will certainly represent the entire Wulin, and visit your alter, to pray that you rest in peace.”

    These words definitely sounded righteous and compassionate, and the heroes on hearing it, praised Jiang Bie He’s heroic act.

    Xiao Yu’er felt nauseous instead on hearing it, and laughed coldly to himself, “This is really what you call a cat crying over a mouse, pretending to be benevolent…”

    He has not finished his thought, when suddenly a cold, loud laugh was heard, “This is really what you call a cat crying over a mouse, pretending to be benevolent. Crying for that person after killing him.”

    The voice is high pitched and loud, and it’s a woman’s voice.

    Everyone was stunned and looked towards the direction where the voice was coming from, only to see that the person who spoke is a girl clad in black, wearing a large straw hat, with furrowed brows. Although it is a summer’s night, she was wearing a long satin black robe reaching to the floor. Even with so many people staring at her, she is unperturbed, and used her bright eyes to stare back at them.

    Standing next to her is tall and good looking youth in fine clothing, but his behavior was like a girl. When others looked at him, he would be so shy that he dared not lift his head.

    Xiao Yu’er recognized the two of them in a glance, and felt both surprised and elated! “She’s really here, and she actually still have that old temper of not acknowledging her family, there is no change at all.”

    By then, a few people have dashed out of the crowd, pointing their finger at the lady in black and scolding, “Where did you come from, how dare you be so rude to Hero Jiang.”

    The lady in black replied icily, “I will say whatever I like, who can interfere with me?”

    A bearded man shouted, “Hero Jiang is magnanimous, but I will teach you a lesson on his behalf today!”

    As he spoke, he has extended a palm about the size of a fan across. The lady in black laughed coolly and did not move, but the shy youth next to her suddenly raised his arm and blocked!

    This burly man, after being lightly blocked by the youth, actually flew back from the impact. Everyone was speechless, and another few roared and rushed forward!

    The youth raised both his fists, and made an impressive stance, full of vigor and energy. He looks like a shy maiden when he did not strike, but once he moved, he seems to have the air of an expert. Those who were able to judge his true prowess can’t help but feel amazed.

    The lady in black laughed coldly, “Go ahead and fight for me, if anything happens, there’s still me!”

    That youth was really obedient, his left leg took half a step forward, his right fist is already flying like lightning, and another burly man in front was flown back from the impact.

    Suddenly, a voice of mild admonishment rang out, someone said, “Hold on! Stop!”

    Before the words were finished, Jiang Bie He is already blocking the youth’s way with a smile, and asked “If my eyes are not blind, brother must be “Jade Faced Godly Fist” Gu Ren Yu, Second Master Gu.”

    Xiao Yu’er secretly thought, “This Jiang Bie He’s evil pair of eyes are really good.”

    Gu Ren Yu has not spoken, but that lady in black already held on to his hands, smiling icily, “We do not need to seek his friendship, let’s go!”

    Once the word ‘go’ was spoken, two shadows were already flying over the crowd, the black satin robe flying in the wind, revealing a set of fiery red clothes underneath.

    Someone in the crowd cried out hoarsely, “Could it be the Little Fairy!”

    By now, the both of them had flown out the main doors of the villa, a whistle was heard, loud hoof beats followed, and a fiery red horse galloped up. The two of them rode on and galloped away like the wind.

    Jiang Bie He watched their retreating back, and with a sigh, said “The descendents of a famed house has indeed remarkable skills.”

    Suddenly a muddy looking begger, holding a bamboo pole in his hands, ran in.

    High on the bamboo pole hung a white piece of cloth with a couplet on it, and the couplet, which was written with a flourish, read “You are alive, I feel uncomfortable. You are dead, I feel sad.”

    The 12 words were written with grandiose, as if it was the work of a famed writer, but the words were extremely weird, as it did not make any sense.

    Everyone were surprised, yet found it funny. However, once they saw the signature, their expression changed, and not a single person was laughing. On the top it was written “Father-in-law for eternity”. At the bottom, it was surprisingly written as “Respectfully, Dumb son-in-law Li Dazui”

    Xiao Yu’er was stunned, and on careful inspection, found that the handwriting on the couplet really looks similar to Li Dazui’s. Could it be that Li Dazui had really left the ‘Valley of Evil’? When did he come out? Where is he now?

    Jiang Bie He faced the begger and blocked his way, asking in a low voice, “Who asked you to send this couplet here?”

    Blinking his eyes, the begger replied, “I could not take a good look at his features in the darkness, but I felt that he seems to be rather tall and large, with a fierce expression, bearing some resemblance to the statue of the Judge (Note: should be Judge of the Underworld) in the temple.”

    Jiang Bie He continued, “Besides asking you to send this couplet here, what else did he say?”

    After humming and hawing for a while, the begger finally replied, “He also said, although his father-in-law wants to kill him, but now that someone else has killed his father-in-law, he is still furious. He wants the person who killed his father-in-law to cleanse himself quickly. I can’t help but ask him why that person should clean himself, but he just laughed loudly, turned around and left.”

    Jiang Bie He’s expression changed, and without a word, took a big step and walked out.

    However, the begger was still shouting out, “Doesn’t Old Master knows what his words meant? Old Master….”

    By then the rest of the people were in a tumult again, and their discussion drowned out his voice, saying “The ‘Ten Evils’ have gone into hiding for so many years, now that this Li Dazui has revealed himself, the others might have followed him out as well.”

    Someone else said, “Besides Li Dazui, there is also Er Du Gui (Devil Gambler), and these two are already difficult to handle, what shall we do now?”

    Amidst the astonishing discussion, no one paid any heed to the begger, only Xiao Yu’er followed him, and saw him placing the couplet on the alter, and as he walked out, kept looking left and right. Xiao Yu’er quietly followed behind, and one in front of the other, they walked for some distance, when the man suddenly turned around with a smile, “I’ve just gotten three hundred taels of silver, do you intend to rob me by following me?”

    Xiao Yu’er also replied with a grin, “Who are you really? Pretending to use Li Dazui’s name to send this couplet, what do you have up your sleeve?”

    The man’s expression changed, and his eyes shone like a piercing light. The look was more intense than Jiang Bie He’s, and fiercer than Er Du Gui’s.

    But he closed his eyes in an instant and smiled, “Someone gave me three hundred taels of silver, and I’ll just deliver the couplet. Other things, I do not know.”

    Xiao Yu’er smilingly asked, “How did you know I was following behind you, you’re obviously highly skilled, and yet you want to hide this from me?”

    The man laughed loudly, “You say that I am highly skilled, if I am highly skilled I would have become a robber long ago, why would I want to be a beggar.”

    Xiao Yu’er raised his voice in reply, “Even if you do not want to admit it, I will force you to admit it!”

    He flew forward like an arrow, extending his hand out to strike. Who would have known that the man really did not know any martial arts, once Xiao Yu’er’s fist hit him, he fell instantly.

    Xiao Yu’er was still afraid that he was faking it, and waited for a moment, but the man lay on the ground, unmoving. Reaching out to touch him, the man’s limbs were icy cold, and there was no breathing, he had been beaten to death.

    Xiao Yu’er truly did not expect that this person was really unable to take a beating, he had unintentionally killed this person, and felt very bad about it. After pausing for a while, he said with a long sigh, “Don’t blame me. I accidentally killed you, so the least I can do is to bury you. Although a bad life is better than a good death, I still want your burial to be an elaborate one.”

    With a sigh, he carried the body of the man up and walked back to the city. After walking for only a while, he suddenly felt his neck getting wet, and there was a sour smell.

    Xiao Yu’er was surprised, “How could a dead person pee?”

    Furious, he used his hands to wipe his neck, and the ‘corpse’ dropped to the ground. Raising his leg for a flying kick, that ‘corpse’ suddenly flew up, and said with a laugh “I am treating you to drink my pee today, the next time I shall have to treat you to eat my stools.”

    Amidst the laughter, he has moved a few feet away with a somersault, and disappeared in an instance.

    This person’s Lightness Skill, is not below the likes of Jiang Bie He. By the time Xiao Yu’er gave chase, not even a shadow could be seen.

    Since young, when has Xiao Yu’er ever suffered any loss? He almost expired of anger, but since he does not even know who this person is, there is no way for him to vent his frustration.

    Xiao Yu’er was only angry for a short while, and he suddenly burst our laughing, “Luckily he was only playing a prank. If he wanted to kill me, I would not have lived until now. I should be happy instead of being angry.”

    Laughing, he strode forward, as if he is really not angry any longer. He is indeed very open-minded when it comes to things that he cannot control.

    The lamps were shining brightly along the streets; it is the liveliest time of the night.

    Xiao Yu’er again bought another set of clothes to change, and strolled around to while away the time when suddenly a large carriage drove past in a flurry, almost hitting him. Xiao Yu’er unconsciously took another look.

    He saw that the large carriage coming to a sudden stop outside a very large inn, and after a while, a few servants in nice, clean attire walked out from the inn and pulled open the carriage door. They stood on attention at the side, and looked as if they did not even dare to take a deep breath.

    After another moment, two persons walked out of the inn, surrounded by a group of people, some bowing and some carrying lanterns. Under the light, the person on the left could be seen to have a pale face… the build scrawny, looking as if he is so weak that a gust of wind would blow him away. However, he has a calm air around him, giving others a sense of comfort. His clothes were of a plain color, and the lines simple, but each scarf and belt was well matched, and not a flaw could be found from head to toe.

    The person on the right, was tall and large, his appearance energetic, and as he looked around, his gaze was assertive, giving others a feeling that he is not one to be belittled.

    This person’s dressing was also quite simple, but a set of simple, ordinary set of clothes, when worn by him, does not seem simple or ordinary anymore.

    One walking in front of the other, the two of them walked up to the large carriage without any flair or arrogance, but they looked as if they were slightly different from others, as if they were born to be accompanied by an entourage, born to ride in this kind of carriage.

    Even when the carriage has left, Xiao Yu’er still stood there, mumbling, “Who could these two people be? To have such charisma ….”

    Such charisma was hard to copy and impossible to fake too.

    This An Qing City, is now full of valiant heroes. In this one night, all those that Xiao Yu’er has seen were outstanding and uncommon people. What he didn't understand, is the reason for those heroes to come to An Qing, and who were they? It's obvious that some excitement was brewing in this area.

    After strolling for half the day, he unconsciously found himself walking back to Luo Jiu’s house.

    Although night has fallen, it is still too early for the night activities to begin. After thinking for a while, Xiao Yu’er decided to go in.

    He sat downstairs for quite some time, and just as Xiao Yu’er stood up to walk out, he suddenly saw Luo Jiu and Luo San running in from outside.

    Luo Jiu and Luo San took two steps back when they saw him, and stared at him for a while, before Luo Jiu finally smiled in comprehension, and clasping his fists, said “Brother is really adept at the art of disguise, it seems like you can be considered the best.”

    Xiao Yu’er replied with a grin, “Where have the two of you gone? You’re back really early.”

    Luo Jiu smiled, “There were honored guests coming today, Jiang Bie He held a feast to welcome them and my brother and I were invited to accompany them, which is why we unconsciously came back late.”

    Luo San continued, “To trouble brother to wait so long for us, please forgive us.”

    Xiao Yu’er asked with a smile, “Honored guests! Who’re they?”

    Luo Jiu replied, “These two people are really quite famous, they are the son-in-laws of the Murong Family of ‘Da Xiu Villa’. One of them is the descendent of the ‘Aristocratic Nangong Family’ Nangong Liu, while the other is a talent in Jiang Hu, Qin Jian, who is also the Leader of the Wu Lin of Liang Guang (Liang Guang = 2 Guangs, meaning Guang Dong and Guang Xi).”

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes shone, and commented “The son-in-laws of the Murong Family! Wonderful. Wonderful.”

    Luo San continued, “To be able to marry the ladies of the Murong Family, is really the admiration of many. The abilities of these people are not bad either, take for example that Nangong Liu, although sickly, but no one dares to look upon him with contempt.”

    Liu Jiu asked, “From the way brother speaks, could it be that you know them?”

    Xiao Yu’er explained, “Although I do not know them, but I saw them earlier… the two of them, one has a pale face… with elegant clothes, while the other looked smug, as if he just picked up three hundred taels of silver.”

    Liu Jiu laughed, “Correct, that is the two of them.”

    Luo San continued, “Not only the two of them, but it is heard that the other six son-in-laws of the Murong Family, will be rushing here within these two days, as well as another potential son-in-law ‘Jade Faced Godly Fist’ Gu Ren Yu…”

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes shone again, and asked “Could it be that Gu Ren Yu is also coming with them?”

    Xiao Yu’er rolled his eyes, and continued, “These people are all rushing here, do you know why?”

    Luo San replied, “It is said that a lady is missing from the Murong Family, and it seems that this lady was once with Hua Wu Que, so they are all rushing here to inquire.”

    Clapping his hands, Xiao Yu’er laughed, “That’s right, I’ve long guessed that they are most likely here for this matter.”

    Luo San queried, “Could it be that Brother knows that lady?”

    Luo Jiu stared at him, and asked, “Is it possible that Brother knows the whereabouts of that lady?”

    Without even taking a glance towards the direction of the loft, Xiao Yu’er replied with a stern look, “How would I know, I can’t possibly hide a lady.”

    Luo Jiu smiled, “My feelings exactly, but…”

    Xiao Yu’er replied with a grin, “It could be that she herself eloped with her lover, or she could have been drugged by someone...”

    He tilted his head and thought for a while, and suddenly burst into laughter, “This is very interesting, really extremely interesting.”

    Luo Jiu joined in the laughter, and taking a glance towards the loft, asked with a smile, “Where has Brother been this half day?”

    Xiao Yu’er replied, “This half day I have really seen many interesting things, and many interesting people, the most interesting one is…”

    Although he was made fun of, but he did not find it an embarrassment, instead he told them exactly how he had been tricked.

    Luo Jiu and Luo San joined in the laughter after listening to his story, but their laughter were superficial, and the expression on their faces seems to have changed slightly.

    The two of them secretly made eyes at each other, before Luo Jiu asked, “I wonder what that person looked like?”

    Xiao Yu’er replied, “That person looked exactly like what a good-for-nothing vagrant would look like, those whom you can see in the inns or red light districts of any city, and others would not take a second look at such people. This is also where this person is skilful, those who do not catch the attention of others, will find it exceptionally easy to commit crimes.”

    Luo Jiu and Luo San exchanged looks and Luo Jiu suddenly stood up and walked into the room. Xiao Yu’er heard the sound of the drawer being opened, followed by the sounds of paper ruffling, and then, Luo Jiu waked out, holding a piece of paper so old that it has turned yellow.

    Not only has this piece of paper turned yellow with age, it is also torn, but Luo Jiu seemed to treat it like a treasure, carrying it out carefully, gently placing it on the table in front of Xiao Yu’er, but yet blocked Xiao Yu’er’s line of sight with his body, as if afraid of being seen by Xiao Yu’er.

    Xiao Yu’er asked with a smile, “This tattered piece of paper won’t be broken or shattered from a fall, and no one’s snatching it away, why do you treat it like a treasure?”

    Luo Jiu replied with a straight face, “This piece of paper may be tattered, but in the eyes of some in Wu Lin, it is indeed a priceless treasure. If Brother thinks that no one would snatch it, you are very wrong.”

    Xiao Yu’er answered with a grin, “Oh, does that mean that, this paper is again some sort of ‘treasure map’? If it’s really a ‘treasure map’, I don’t even want to take a look at it.”

    Luo San smiled, “There are really quite a few people in Jiang Hu who were tricked by ‘treasure maps’, out of ten thousand ‘treasure maps’, I’m afraid not one will show a real treasure. From what Brother has said, could it be you have been tricked before.”

    Luo Jiu interjected, “But this drawing is definitely not the same…”

    Xiao Yu’er asked, “You took this piece of paper out with the intention of letting me see it, then why do you block my view.”

    Luo Jiu smiled, “Although my Brother and I normally treat this drawing as a treasure, but Brother is now one of us, which is why I am willing to take it out, but… I hope Brother would promise to keep it a secret after you have seen it.”

    Xiao Yu’er can’t help but feel curious, but deliberately stood up and walked to the side, and said with a smile, “If you do not trust me, than it does not matter if I do not see it.”

    Luo San replied with a hearty laugh, “If my brother and I could not trust Brother, who else can we trust…”

    Xiao Yu’er interrupted, “You tell me first what is drawn on that piece of paper, before I decide if I want to take a look at it.”

    Luo Jiu lowered his voice and said, “On this paper, is it the drawings of the ‘Ten Evils’ real looks.”

    Xiao Yu’er eyes gleamed, but he deliberately smiled and asked, “I have never seen the Ten Evils, but hearing the name, I would imagine them to look ugly. What’s so interesting about it, why would others want to snatch it?”

    Luo Jiu sighed, “Brother is not aware, this ‘Ten Evils’, each has a skill that is unfathomed even by Gods or ghosts, each has committed all kinds of evil, those in Jiang Hu who have been harmed by them, are countless…”

    Luo San continued, “But these ten people, not only do they move from place to place, but they are all skilled in the art of disguise. Some who have became homeless and lost their family, who were at their wit’s ends after being harmed by them, have not even seen their real face, so how could they seek revenge, how could they vent their frustration.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed, “I understand now, others want to snatch this drawing away, so that they can take a look as to how they look like, so that they can seek revenge.”

    Clasping his palms, Luo San replied, “Exactly.”

    Xiao Yu’er asked, “But they have no enmity with me, so why do you want me to see…”

    Luo Jiu smiled mysteriously, “Brother really has no enmity with them?”

    Xiao Yu’er rolled his eyes, and asked “Do you mean to say that the rascal who pretended to be dead, is one of the ‘Ten Evils’?”

    Luo Jiu did not reply, but moved his body away, pointing to the picture of a person on the paper, and calmly said “Why don’t Brother come take a look, if that rascal is him?”

    On that yellowed paper, were portraits of ten people, the brush strokes were exquisite, lifelike. One person wore clothes white as snow, with a pale face, and is precisely ‘Bloody Hands’ Du Sha.

    Next to Du Sha, with a laughing pose, is naturally ‘Dagger in Laughter, Little Monk’ Ha Ha’er. A little further is the one with a charming smile ‘Charm to Death without Compensating with Life’ Xiao Mimi, and holding a human’s head in the hand, with a miserable expression is ‘Does not eat human head’ Li Da Zui…

    And there is someone who seems to be floating amidst some fog, and without any question, that is obviously ‘Half Human, Half Ghost’ Yin Jiu You. Diagonal to Yin Jiu You, ther is someone with two heads, the left head is of a lady, the right head is of a handsome man, this would naturally be ‘Neither man nor woman’ Du Jiao Jiao.

    Xiao Yu’er has seen all these people countless times, and saw that not only do the drawings look like them, even their expressions were well captured.

    Xiao Yu’er can’t help but secretly admire the drawings, and wondered, “Who could have drawn this painting? Unless this person is very familiar with them, how else could he capture their expressions?”

    Soon, he noticed the picture of ‘Er Du Gui’ Xuanyuan Sanguang, who was dressed in tattered clothes, with a haughty expression, and next to him was someone with a face full of fine beard, the expression murderous, and the eyes looked like those of a hungry wolf or wicked tiger, waiting for prey. In his hand held a large knife, and the knife was dripping with fresh blood.

    Xiao Yu’er deliberately asked, “This person looked scary, I wonder who he is.”

    Luo Jiu replied, “He is ‘Mad Lion’ Tie Zhan.”

    Luo San continued, “Although this person looks fierce and wicked, but in fact he is the kindest person among the ‘Ten Evils’. If one does not annoy him, he will never bother that person.”

    Xiao Yu’er asked, “But what if someone annoyed him.”

    Luo San replied, “The person who annoyed him, must really be unlucky for three life times, for he will not cease until he has killed the person’s and his family.”

    Xiao Yu’er stopped smiling and commented, “If you consider this sort person kind, then I must be a saint.”

    Although he was conversing with others, but in his heart, he can’t help but think of Tie Xinlan, and thought of that mouth that seems to pout and smile, thought of the eyes that seems troubled and angry…

    He felt a stab of pain in his heart, and hurriedly asked loudly, “Who are these two?”

    “These two” are obviously twin brothers, both of them looked skinny yet robust… both their cheekbones jutting out, one of them holding an abacus in his hand, the other one holding an account ledger. Although they are dressed to look like some wealthy merchants, but their looks and expression looked like a pair of evil ghosts who had just escaped from Hell.

    Luo Jiu smiled, “These are twin brothers, who appeared weak but fierce, fierce but weak. Although the ‘Ten Evils’ are considered ‘Ten’, there are actually eleven people, because all in Jiang Hu considered the two of them as one person.”

    Luo San continued, “These brothers are surnamed Ouyang, one is nicknamed ‘Desperately taking advantage’, the other nicknamed ‘Rather die than suffer a loss’. Brother should know what kind of people they are when you hear such nicknames.”

    Luo Jiu commented, “Although the Ten Evils are famous, but they are mostly poor, only these two brothers, their wealth can be compared to that of a country…”

    Luo San pointed to another person on the painting and said, “But this person’s character is totally different from the others, this person has always liked to harm others, and wants others to be tricked, without caring if he himself benefits from anything.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed, “This kind of person is really rare, he…”

    Suddenly losing his voice, he exclaimed. “Ah! That’s right, he really is that rascal who was faking death!”

    The people on the painting, some were sitting, some were standing, and only this person is squatting at the bottom corner of the painting, one hand scratching his toes, the other hand placed at his sniffing nose.

    The others on the painting more or less have an imposing air, only this person appeared shifty, with a grinning face, and looking like an absolute rascal.

    Luo Jiu’s eyes shone as he asked, “Has Brother taken a good look?”

    Xiao Yu’er replied loudly, “That’s right, it’s him! Although he also disguised himself, but the expression, the smile… will never go wrong.”

    Luo San sighed, “When I heard Brother describing what that rascal had done, I’ve already guessed it was him.”

    Luo Jiu said, “This person is surnamed Bai, and called himself Bai Kaixin (Kaixin = happy).”

    Luo San added, “Those in Jiang Hu gave him another nickname, called ‘Harm others without benefit to oneself’ Bai Kaixin.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed, “He is indeed worthy of his reputation, pretending to be someone else to send a couplet, pretending to be dead, these are really acts that ‘harm others without benefit to oneself’. Although others were tricked by him, but he did not gain anything from it either.”

    Xiao Yu’er suddenly asked, “You and your brother immediately thought of him when you heard my story, could it be you are well acquainted with him?”

    Luo Jiu rubbed his chin, before replying with a smile, “My brother and I may not be talented, but we would not lower ourselves to be with such people.”

    Xiao Yu’er looked at him amd asked with a beam, “I think you and your brother are very familiar with him, and very familiar with the ‘Ten Evils’ as well. How else would you know his ways so well, and how else would this painting be in your hands?”

    Luo Jiu’s expression changed, but Luo San had already had a long laugh before explaining, “I shall not hide this from Brother, my brother and I are arch enemies with the ‘Ten Evils’, our parents were killed by them.”

    Xiao Yu’er asked in surprise, “Oh… is that real?”

    Luo Jiu continued, “To take revenge, my brother and I used all means and methods to obtain this drawing, and by all means possible, searched for information about their character and behaviour.”

    Xiao Yu’er queried, “If that is the case, why don’t you let everyone else take a look at the painting, so that others will look for them. Why do you help them keep it a secret instead!”

    Luo Jiu replied with hatred, “To seek revenge, my brother and I have put in so much effort, and everyday we imagine the euphoria we would feel when we kill our enemies, so why would we want them to die at the hands of others!”

    After thinking for a while, Xiao Yu’er nodded, “Right, that sounds reasonable… very reasonable.”

    Luo Jiu carefully rolled up that piece of paper again, and said “If Brother encounters that Bai Kaixin the next time, you must help us brothers detain him.”

    Luo San continued, “If Brother can find out his whereabouts, my brother and I will be very grateful.”

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes flickered, before answering with a smike, “Fine, Bai Kaixin is yours, but Jiang Yulang is mine. You and your brother must keep him for me, and it’s best that others do not even touch a finger of his.”

    Luo Jiu smiled, “Naturally.”

    Xiao Yu’er commented, “The old man’s giving a feast, the son will naturally be there, you must have met him today.”

    Luo Jiu replied, “That’s the weird thing, Jiang Bie He giving a feast, but Jiang Yulang was not present.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed heartily, “That little thief does not even dare to show his face now? Or else with the chance of meeting someone like Nangong Liu, his daddy would be hurrying him to become friends with him.”

    Luo Jiu immediately joined in the laughter, “That little thief must have been scared out of his wits by Brother.”

    Xiao Yu’er glanced up towards the loft, before saying with a smile, “To see someone who has been beaten to death by oneself, and to appear resurrected infront on him, that person will definitely be frightened senseless, unable to face anyone else, regardless of whom he might be.”

    There is of course a hidden meaning to his words, but the Luo brothers would never have guessed that it would have anything to do with the girl in the loft, and would never expect that this ‘senseless’ girl would be Murong Jiu.

    The two of them saw Xiao Yu’er’s eyes looking towards the loft, so they stood up together, laughed loudly and said, “It’s getting late, Brother would want to rest.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed loudly, “That’s right, it is time to rest.”

    He stood up, and walked outside, laughing.


    End of Chapter 50

  20. #40
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 51

    The Luo brothers were stunned, and pointing towards the loft, asked “Is Brother not sleeping upstairs tonight?”

    Xiao Yu’er walked out the door, turned his head around and smiled, “There’s a spider up there, I can’t sleep there, it’s better that I come back tomorrow… if there’s news of Jiang Yulang, you must not forget to find out more for me.”

    Luo Jiu stared at his retreating back, and mumbled “Spider? Spider… you think this guy has a problem?”

    Luo San replied, “He does have an irritating problem. He is just feigning ignorance, we must be careful not to have our plan backfire, and instead of making use of him, end up being made use of instead.”

    Luo Jiu chuckled, “This guy may be devious, but how does he fare when compared to us?”

    Luo San laughed loudly, “There may be many bad people in the world, but who can be compared to us?”

    By then, it is already very late into the night. The Luo brother’s residence was already quite remote, and by now there is not a trace of anyone. Xiao Yu’er walked two rounds along the street.

    He saw that the nearby surroundings were mostly single story houses, and besides that little loft, there was only a building about fifty to sixty feet towards the east, which were taller then the other houses.

    Xiao Yu’er strolled over, turned the corner, and walked another round. He waited until the lamps in this building were all extinguished before lightly vaulting over, and crouched down in a dark area behind the ridge.

    In the sky, the moon was bright and the stars were few. On the ground, there were no sounds or noises. Looking afar, the window of that loft was half opened, and the lamp dim. Murong Jiu was sitting near the lamp, her hand cradling her cheek, lost in thought.

    Suddenly, the faint sound of clothes rustling in the wind was heard, and a person clad in black was climbing over the roofs like a ghost. He bent over the roof, and was gazing towards the direction of the loft.

    Xiao Yu’er secretly gloated, “Just as I expected, he’s really here.”

    Murong Jiu was lost in thought over there, that person was also lost in his stare over here, and did not realize that there was someone at the side looking at him.

    His pair of dark eyes gleamed in the night, and besides this pair of eyes, the rest of his body was in darkness.

    This person is Black Spider.

    His usually lively eyes, now looked as if it was covered by fog… a look of melancholy. He stared in a daze, lying quietly under the starlight, not caring that the dew is soaking through his clothes.

    Xiao Yu’er suddenly chortled, and said “Such stars such night, for whom are you standing in the night in the wind and dew?”

    Before he has finished speaking, Black Spider is already in front of him, quietly chiding, “Who?”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled, “Who else but me?”

    The look in Black Spider’s eyes changed as fast as lightning, and he finally relaxed and said, “You again!”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled, “It’s less than fifty feet between the two places, why don’t you fly over?”

    Black Spider laughed, “I… How can it be that I am here because of her?”

    Although his face was hidden, his voice obviously sounded awkward.

    However, Xiao Yu’er did not divulge his real intentions, instead he smiled and asked, “If you’re not here for her, then for who?”

    Black Spider replied, “Naturally it’s for the two Luo Brothers.”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled, “Oh, is that so?”

    Black Spider continued, “The background of these two brothers is a mystery, their actions odd. I have been secretly observing them for two… three months, for the purpose of revealing their secret.”

    Xiao Yu’er asked, “The matters of the Luo brothers, is it worth you looking into it?”

    Black Spider replied with an icy smile, “In Jiang Hu, it doesn’t matter if one is from the orthodox or unorthodox sect, it doesn’t matter if one is good or evil, because all are targets that the Luo brothers want to harm. These two actually wants to instigate a bloodbath among all those in Wu Lin, so that they can reap the benefits. So far, there have been countless people who died under their hands.”

    Xiao Yu’er exclaimed, “Oh!”

    Black Spider continued, “Do you know about the clash between Bo Hai gang and Huang Hai gang two months ago? The fight between Lao Shan gang and Kuai Dao sect a month ago? These two bloody battles were all instigated by the two brothers!”

    Xiao Yu’er queried, “If that is the case, why have you not struck?”

    Black Spider explained, “Firstly it’s because I could not get hold of any evidence, secondly all those whom they have harmed are rogues, thirdly I thought about exposing their background before I strike.”

    “Who do you reckon them to be?” Xiao Yu’er asked.

    Black Spider replied, “I initially suspected them to be one of the ‘Ten Evils’, later… after investigation, I realize that these two people were not among the ‘Ten Evils’.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed, “Maybe not… but… in that case, you are not here because of that lady.”

    Black Spider was silent for a moment, before replying “Maybe not completely unrelated.”

    Xiao Yu’er asked, “Do you know who she is?”

    Black Spider sighed, “I only know that she is a pitiable girl, who has unluckily fallen into the hands of this evil person.”

    “Which is why you want to protect her?”

    “I will protect all pitiable people in the world.”

    Xiao Yu’er asked, “If that is the case, why don’t you save her and take her away?”

    Black Spider’s bright eyes suddenly dimmed, and answered with a big laugh, “Do you know what kind of life I am leading?... I am constantly on the move, with no definite place to stay. I have a meal without knowing where my next meal will be, I live past tonight but do not know if I will live past tomorrow. I have no home when I am alive, and I won’t even know where I will be when I die.”

    Xiao Yu’er asked, “With your skills, you could have lived a comfortable life, right?”

    Black Spider replied, “But I have already chosen this way of life, so I can only live it, even if I wish to change now, it is impossible… even if I do not wish to live like this now, others will not allow…” Clenching his fists, he continued hoarsely, “She must never live a life like this!”

    Xiao Yu’er replied with a faint smile, “As long as you like her, and she likes you, no matter how difficult life is, it will still be a happy one.”

    Black Spider’s eyes reflected a sad gleam, and he laughed wretchedly “Who said I like her! A person like me, is not fit to like anyone! And can’t…”

    Xiao Yu’er sighed, “I initially thought that even your blood is cold, but now… now then I realize that you’re actually an emotional person!”

    Black Spider stood up suddenly, and admonished “You’re so young, what do you know. Don’t talk about it anymore.”

    Xiao Yu’er grinned “You don’t have to be so fierce even if one has uncovered what is in your heart.”

    Black Spider stared at him for a moment before suddenly bursting into laughter, and holding his hand, said “I have again made a friend recently. I’ve bought two flasks of wine today and cooked a pot of meat, what do you say about me inviting you as well for a meal?”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled, “Fine, a person who can be your friend, must be very interesting.”

    After flying for a while, Xiao Yu’er was still lagging behind Black Spider.

    Black Spider turned his head around and laughed, “Your skills have improved greatly recently.”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled in reply, “I’m flattered.”

    Black Spider continued, “The other friend I made, is also well versed in academics and martial arts, and very knowledgeable, you will be very happy to see him as well.”

    Xiao Yu’er queried, “Oh! What’s his name.”

    Black Spider smiled, “Talented people are not necessary famous. He’s surnamed Gu, called Yue Yan, and although he is an unknown, be he is more than a million times better than those famous people.”

    As they spoke, they have already left the city, and in front of them was a forest, with a dim light flickering among the trees. As they walked nearer, they could see an abandoned ancestral hall.

    The light came from the abandoned ancestral hall.

    Upon reaching, they caught a whiff of the aroma of cooked meat.

    Xiao Yu’er commented, “It seems like besides being accomplished in academics and martial arts, your friend is also a very good chef.”

    Black Spider replied, “The wanderers in Jiang Hu, besides the occasional good meal, what other enjoyment can we have?”

    The two of them entered the woods, and saw a blazing fire in the ancestral hall, a large metal pot hung over the fire, the fragrant meat bubbling in the pot. At the side of the pot, bowls and chopsticks were laid out, and the bowl was filled with wine, but there was no one in sight.

    Black Spider glanced around, and shouted “Brother Gu… Brother Gu, I’ve brought you a friend, come out quickly to see us.”

    Xiao yu’er laughed, “Seems like your habit of being a Big Brother just cannot be changed.”

    Black Spider called out for quite some time, but there was still no response. He walked out to look around, and could not find anyone, so he just sat down and laughed, “This Brother Gu of mine has a sharp butt, he can never sit still. I don’t even know where he is gallivanting now, so we don’t have to stand on ceremony either, let’s eat first.”

    Xiao Yu’er has already picked up his chopsticks, and smiled “Suits me fine.”

    However, he only ate a piece of meat, and put his chopsticks down, his mouth not moving, and it seems like he has not swallowed the meat. On the other hand, Black Spider had already eaten seven… eight pieces.

    By the tenth piece, he washed the meat down with a large mouthful of wine. Only then did he lift his head to look at Xiao Yu’er, and said with a wide grin “The meat is fresh and tender, and it’s really delicious, why aren’t you moving your chopsticks?”

    Instead, Xiao Yu’er spit the meat out from his mouth onto the floor, saying “This meat can’t be eaten.”

    Black Spider’s face darkened, and asked “Why can’t it be eaten? The meat is not stolen.”

    Xiao Yu’er suddenly laughed and asked “Do you know what meat is this?”

    Black Spider let out a gasp, and immediately spit out the meat that he had just put in his mouth, and asked hoarsely, “What did you say?”

    Xiao Yu’er continued, “To tell you the truth, I grew up in the “Valley of Evil”. If this meat is not carved from a freshly dead body, I will eat my nose.”

    He was waiting for Black Spider to puke out the meat he had eaten, but instead Black Spider laughed loudly, “Going by what you said, could it be Li Dazui who cooked this meat?”

    “Maybe it is him.”

    Black Spider mused, “Hmm, that’s right, Gu Yue Yan… could it be that this ‘Gu Yue Yan’ means ‘nonsense’. He has told me earlier that he is ‘nonsense’ but I only thought of it now.” (The Chinese characters Gu and Yue joined together form the word Hu. Yan means language. Hu Yan means nonsense.)

    Xiao Yu’er asked “You don’t feel nauseous!”

    Black Spider smiled, “Since I’ve already eaten it, there’s no use in puking it out.”

    “You can still laugh?”

    Black Spider laughed, “To be able to make friends with a person like Li Da Zui, is indeed an interesting experience. Regardless of whether he is good or evil, he is quite a character, and there are not many like him in Jiang Hu.”

    Xiao Yu’er can’t help but secretly admire him! “This person is really frank, not like those nauseating pretentious people at all.”

    He said out loud, “But this ‘Mr Nonsense’ may not necessary be Li Da Zui.”

    “Who else could he be if not Li Da Zui?”

    Xiao Yu’er continued, “I know of someone else, who pretended to be Li Da Zui. Maybe he wanted you to eat human flesh, and then throw up all over the floor. As long as you are tricked, he will be happy…”

    As he spoke, he suddenly paused, and whispered “Maybe he not only wants you to throw up, maybe he has another evil plan.”

    With a whoosh, Black Spider pulled his mask down and asked icily “The friend outside! Since you are here, why don’t you come in?”

    Xiao Yu’er’s ears may be sharp, but Black Spider’s ears are not bad either! He has not finished his words, when a body flew into the ancestral hall from outside.

    In the flickering firelight, this person has a slender build, with clothes even redder than fire, and her gleaming eyes was filled with fury. This person turned out to be Little Fairy.

    Little Fairy actually came to this abandoned ancestral hall in the middle of the night, and although Xiao Yu’er was surprised, he maintained a calm composure and sat there.

    Black Spider obviously did not expect the intruder to be a young, pretty lady, and was shocked still, but Little Fairy did not even pay any heed to the both of them.

    She waved the sword in her hand. Using the slim tip of the sword to upturn the heavy pot, she spilled the meat in the pot all over the floor, and saw a flash of gold. There’s actually a lady’s gold hairpiece in the pot.

    Little Fairy immediately screamed, and another person ran in from outside. This person is Yan Ren Yu. Little Fairy collapsed into him, and cried out, “Wan’er’s hairpiece… Wan’er’s hairpiece is really in the pot.”

    Yan Ren Yu’s large eyes stared angrily at Xiao Yu’er and roared, “Tell me! What is in this pot?”

    Xiao Yu’er has really never seen this effeminate youth so fierce before, and knows that he must be really furious, and understand that the person cooked in the pot must be related to them.

    However, Xiao Yu’er could not figure out how they managed to find their way here, and how they knew there is a gold hairpiece in the pot. He felt suspicious, yet asked with a smile, “What do you say is in the pot?”

    Yan Ren Yu’s face reddened, but could not utter a word.

    They heard someone speak slowly, “There are so many types of meat in the world, why must the two of you eat human meat. Eating the same species, don’t tell me the two of you are worst than beasts?”

    This person maybe scolding them, but not a single vulgarity was spoken, and his tone was calm, as if he is chatting with them.

    Following the voice, two people walked over slowly, and although there was wrath in their eyes, their expression was composed, and they are Nangong Liu and Qin Jian.

    Xiao Yu’er was still grinning and asked, “You say that we are eating human flesh, but how did you know, unless someone told on us?”

    Before Qin Jian could reply, Little Fairy had rushed forward, stamping her foot and scolding “Naturally someone will squeal on you. Who can abide you doing something that even heaven would not tolerate.”

    Nangong Liu said calmly, “A smart and adorable girl like Wan’er, men should treasure her, but the two of you cooked and ate her, isn’t it a vulgar thing to do.”

    Little Fiary can’t help but shout, “Who do you bother saying so much to people like that…”

    Nangong Liu maintained his composure and asked, “Now that things have come to this, what does the two of you have to say.”

    Black Spider suddenly stood up and said loudly, “I have something to say…”

    Qin Jian’s eyes flashed, and asked “Are you the fabled Black Spider in Jiang Hu.”

    “I am!”

    Qin Jian furrowed his brows and said, “Seems like the rumors in Jiang Hu cannot be believed. I did not expect Black Spider to be someone like you.”

    Black Spider shouted, “Rumors in Jiang Hu may not be believed, but carried tales should not be heard all the more. Let me ask you, unless the person cooked the meat personally, how else would he know that the hairpiece is in the pot.”

    Qin Jian and Nangong Liu glanced at each other, and Nangong Liu calmly replied, “You mean, this could be a trap set by others shift the blame onto you?”

    “Naturally”

    Nangong Liu slowly nodded his head, “This sounds reasonable.”

    Little Fairy stamped her foot and asked “Second Brother, you can let them go, but I cannot. Is it not possible that someone secretly saw them killing and cooking the meat, and then told on them.”

    Nangong Liu agreed, “That is also a possibility.”

    Little Fairy shouted, “If Wan’er could be killed and eaten by them, then Ninth (Jiu) Sister naturally would be… would be…” She suddenly chocked on her words, unable to continue.

    Qin Jian’s shining eyes bored down on Xiao Yu’er and Black Spider, and spoke with a grave voice, “This matter may be uncertain, but if the two of you cannot produce any evidence of your innocence, I’m afraid I will have to ask the two of you to return with me today.”

    Black Spider laughed coldly, “You’re sure polite in your speech. I don’t mind going back with you, but you must also show me proof, on what basis do you want me to go with you.”

    Little Fairy yelled, “Isn’t this gold hairpiece proof! You’re still denying it?”

    Black Spider stared at her, and he has not begun speaking when Xiao Yu’er suddenly chuckled, “Since when have I denied it.”

    Little Fiary’s sword was drawn in preparation to strike, and on hearing what he said, was shocked still, and asked “You admit it?”

    Xiao Yu’er grinned at Little Fairy, “The Sister Jiu you mentioned, does she have large eyes, pale face, about eighteen, nineteen years old, and usually like to wear a pale green top?”

    Little Fairy’s voice faltered, “You… You… what have you done to her?”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed out loud, “What I have done to her, need I still say?”

    Black Spider was startled and replied, “This guy is crazy, and sprouting nonsense.”

    Xiao Yu’er smirked, “This is no big deal, what are you afraid of?”

    No matter how composed Nangong Liu and Qin Jian were, their expression changed unconsciously as well.

    Little Fairy jumped up, “Listen, listen… he admitted it himself!”

    She was crying and screaming, but did not forget to strike, with a ‘whoosh’, her sword struck out like a poisonous snake. On the other side, Yan Ren Yu’s eyes were reddened, and with a roar, struck out with three fists.

    These three fists and one sword, are naturally aimed towards Xiao Yu’er’s fatal points. The sword like lighting, the fists like thunder, attacked from the left and right, without giving him a chance to retaliate.


    End of Chapter 51

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