+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Last Part of Lian Chengjue

  1. #1
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default Summary of the earlier chapters + Last Part of Lian Chengjue

    I had translated the last part of Lian Cheng Jue (part of Chapter 11 and Chapter 12). I did it for myself so it wasn't perfect. But if anyone is interested, I can post it here.

    This part started with Qi Fang's last moment at Wan's residence and ended with the final revelation of the secret and its subsequent craziness.

    To make it easier to read, this is the links with the proper sequence of the story:

    Ch. 1
    Ch. 2
    Ch. 3
    Ch. 4
    Ch. 5
    Ch. 6
    Ch. 7
    Ch. 8
    Ch. 9
    Ch. 10
    Ch. 11
    Ch. 11 - continued
    Ch. 12 - complete translation
    Last edited by fastclock; 02-27-07 at 07:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default

    Well, since no one responded and no one objected to it, I'll just post it:

    Part of Chapter 11

    (WanZhenshan and Wan Gui)

    Both of them flew down the stairs, desperately trying to gather the crumbly papers which scattered and fluttered in the air in all directions. But several hundred pieces of these crumbly papers had drifted out of the fence, some flew high with the wind to the sky. Both of them rushed to the east and the west jerkily and unexpectedly. Even though they can actually collect the remaining fragments, would the shredded and torn Tangshi JianFa (Tang Poems Collection) be able to be restored to the original condition again?

    Wan Zhenshan started blaming Wan Gui loudly: "All this is you young thief’s doing, why did you tangle with me? If you had not pulled the manual from me, how can the Tangshi JianFa got torn apart?"
    Wan Gui sighed murmuringly and no longer pursued or snatched the crumbly paper and said: "If your son did not stop you, father would’ve already torn apart this Tangshi JianFa earlier."
    Wan Zhenshan said: "Breaks the wind!" In his heart, he knew what the son said was right, but he shouted out: "Breaks the wind, breaks the wind, breaks the wind!"
    Wan Gui said: "It is fortunate that we know the place is in the south of Jiangling city. Once we have gathered and looked up this broken Tangshi JianFa, as long as we can find a clue again, we would be able to find that place."
    Wan Zhenshan’s spirit soon arised and said: "It is well that we know the place is in the south of Jiangling city. ..."

    Suddenly they heard a gentle sound from outside the window: "South of Jiangling city!" Wan father and son were surprised and leaped across the window at once. They looked outside, but only saw two people's backs running away in the alley. Wan Gui shouted: "Bo Yuan, Shen Cheng, stand! Don’t move!" But those two people not only did not turn or halt, but also ran away very quickly. When Wan Zhenshan was about to pursue, Wan Gui said: "Father, inside the building we also have... ... also have that... ...that immoral woman." Wan Zhenshan changed his mind as soon as he thought of that and nodded.

    Wan father and son return to in the building, only to see the little girl Kong XinChai had woken up, and was crying with her arms around her mother. Qi Fang’s hands and feet were tied up, but she was actually trying to comfort her daughter. Kong XinChai saw her grandfather and her father came back, and continued crying. Wan Zhenshan swung a foot forward and kicked her bottoms, while scolding: "If you cry again, I will cut open your little rascal's belly with a knife." Kong XinChai was scared white, and dared not make a sound. Wan Gui said: "Father, this immoral woman has known everything, we cannot leave any living witness behind. How should we handle her?“

    Wan Zhenshan hesitated a little and then said: "Are you clearly sure that the two people outside the window a moment ago were Bo Yuan and Shen Cheng?" Wan Gui said: "I’m absolutely sure they were those two! I only feared that the secret has already leaked out, and they knew it was in the south of Jiangling city." Wan Zhenshan said: "This matter is not too late, but we need to act quickly. Let’s give this immoral woman the same treatment as her father."

    As for Qi Fang, she no longer cared about her own life, but was worried about Kong XinChai, so she begged him: “Third… Third elder brother, You and I are husband and wive, you can kill me, but after I die, please take care of Kong XinChai!” Wan Gui agreed “Allright!” But then Wan ZhenShan said: “We need to 'pluck out the roots' and eliminate any potential source of problem. Kong XinChai is a bright child and she has seen everything, who will guarantee whether she won’t say anything?” Wan Gui slowly nodded. Even though he doted on his daughter very much, his father's words were correct, that she was a major threat to their plans and might cause problem in the future.

    Qi Fang wept, tears on her two cheeks: “You… are so heartless, how can you not spare even a young child?” Wan ZhenShan said: “Gag her mouth, do not let her shout to inform the authority and spill everything!” Qi Fang saw a hope that her daughter would be able to survive and so she suddenly screamed for help: “Save a life, save a life!” She managed to shout twice before Wan Gui clamped a hand over her mouth and her melancholy voice. Wan ZhenShan tore a piece of cloth from his son’s long gown and handed it to his son. Wan Gui then stuffed the piece of cloth into her mouth.

    Wan ZhenShan said: “Let’s bury the two along with Qi ZhangFa.” Wan Gui nodded, carried his wife, and went downstairs in big strides, while Wan ZhenShan carried Kong XinChai. These four people entered Wan ZhenShan's study. Qi Fang was looking at the west side of the white wall of the study, and thought: “Was my father buried by the old thief in this wall?” Wan ZhenShan said: “I will knock down the wall, while you go get Wu Kan’s corpse! Be careful, don’t let anyone see you.” Wan Gui said: “Yes!” He rushed to Wan Zhenshan’s bedroom. Wan ShenZhan pulled open the desk drawer and took some tools out like the chisel, the hammer and the shovel. He put them down on the nearby wall, looked at that wall while rubbing his hands together several times. He turned to see Qi Fang with an extreme satisfaction. Qi Fang was unable to restrain a shiver. Wan ZhenShan took up the iron hammer and the chisel, favored a spot on the wall on a seam between two bricks and hammered the chisel. The chisel cracked a brick, and the hands started to swing and dig, the technique was really skilful. After he dug out a brick, he then put his nose into the gap and sniffed a few times.

    Qi Fang saw him knock down the wall with such expertise, and remembered his sleepwalking action of knocking down the wall, pushing in the corpse and building up the wall. When she saw him sniffing her father's corpse, she was scared, sad and enraged, and cursed him: “You are such a traitor! Shameless old thief!” Only the mouth was gagged, and she couldn’t make any coherent sound. As Wan ZhenShan was extracting the second brick, there was suddenly a frantic noise of footsteps, Wan Gui staggered into the room and said: “Father, father! It is not good, Wu Kan… Wu Kan…”

    Wan Gui hit a table, uttered a cursing sound. The oil lamp fell to the ground and the room immediately became dark, only the light of the moon passed through the window.
    Wan ZhenShan said: “What about Wu Kan? You’re making much ado about nothing, you can’t even keep your calm and demeanor”
    Wan Gui said:” Wu Kan could not be found!”
    Wan Zhenshan scolded: “Nonsense! How come you could not find him?”
    But there was a shiver in the sound and his heart started to fear greatly. The brick fell down from his shaking hand.
    Wan Gui said: “I put out a hand under your bed to pull the corpse but could not get him. So, I got a light to illuminate the bottom of the bed, but the corpse was already gone. I looked all over the room, behind the curtain, inside the box, I’ve looked everywhere, but I could not find him.”
    Wan ZhenShan said hesitatingly: “This… This might be good news. I suspect the two apprentices, Bo Yuan and Shen Cheng might have stolen the body.”
    Wan Gui wondered: “Father, is it possible that … is it possible that… Wu Kan was not completely dead, maybe he was unconscious for several hours but still lived?”
    Wan ZhenShan got angry: “Breaks the wind! Your father’s nickname is called “the five cloud hands”. In anyone got hit by these fierce hands, he will never escape. How could that apprentice stay alive?”

    Wan Gui said: “That is reasonably said. Wu Kan the apprentice surely was strangled to death by father. How then, the corpse unexpectedly disappears? Unless….”
    Wan ZhenShan said: “What?”
    Wan Gui said: “Maybe the corpse became a vampire? His soul could not rest…”
    Wan ZhenShan shouted out: “Do not indulge in these fanciful ideas! We just need to quickly handle this immoral woman and this little rascal. And then we will look for Wu Kan’s corpse. If this matter comes out into the open, we father and son will have difficulty living in Jing Zhou city.”
    While he was speaking, he continued to knock down the wall. In his sleep, he had practiced knocking down the wall and building up the bricks skillfully. This time, even though there was no candle light, the movement was still extremely fast.

    Wan Gui said: “All right!” Holding a sword in his hand, he walked in front of Qi Fang, and said tremblingly: “Qi Fang, you have failed me. After you die, please do not begrudge me!” Qi Fang was unable to speak, but she leaned her body, and maliciously slammed him with the shoulder. Wan father and son may kill her alone, but they have unexpectedly unwilling to spare Kong XinChai, such heartless and cruel people were very rare in this world. Wan Gui fell back two steps after the hit, a bit shaken. Then, he raised the blade and came to her: “You thief immoral woman, you almost die, and yet you keep causing problems!”

    At this time, there were a few 'gak, gak, gak ' sounds, and the study door was slowly pushed open. Wan Gui was startled. Turning his head under the moonlight, he saw the door was being pushed open, but actually did not see anyone came in. Wan ZhenShan shouted out a question: “Who is it?” The same noise continued, but still nobody came in or replied. Under the glimmer, suddenly a person came entering the door. He was moving erectly, hopping along without bending the knees. Wan ZhenShan and Wan Gui were badly frightened, and involuntarily retreated two steps. The figure's eyes were wide open, the tongue was lolling out of the mouth and the mouth and nose were bleeding like when it was strangled to death by Wan ZhenShan - it was Wu Kan!

    Wan ZhenShan and Wan Gui both cried out in alarm: “Ah..!” Qi Fang saw the fearsome figure and was also terrified. Wu Kan raised his arms to point at Wan ZhenShan. Wan ZhenShan shouted out: “Wu Kan the little thief, Your father do not fear … fear… you corpse?” He drew a sabre and swung it at his head. Suddenly, he felt his wrist went numb, followed by numbness at his waist, at which he was no longer able to move. Wan Gui was very frightened as he watched the Wu Kan’s corpse dispatched his father and then extended its arms towards him. Wan Gui wanted to shout: “Brother Wu, brother Wu! Please forgive me!” But the sound got stuck in his throat, he could not say anything. He fell back two steps when his legs would no longer support him and fell down on the floor. He saw Wu Kan’s right hand moved down, touched his face with its cold fingers, without any warmth in it. Wan Gui was frightened out of his wits and nearly fainted. Suddenly, Wu Kan’s body collapsed on top of Wan Gui, and remained still.

    Behind Wu Kan was actually a person. That person walked to Qi Fang, plucked the cloth out of her mouth, and then started to work on freeing the strings from her hands and her feet. Then he turned around and kicked Wan Gui in the waist, immobilising him. Qi Fang first hugged Kong XinChai, then asked tremblingly: “Who is the benefactor, who has rescued my life?”

    In reply, the figure extended his hands under the moonlight. Each hand held a paper butterfly that was in the Tang poem collection - the ones that had floated out of Qi Fang's room.
    Seeing that the right hand had no fingers, she suddenly recognised the figure: “Di Yun!” The person is indeed Di Yun, who felt a very warm feeling hearing “Di Yun!” He felt a heat burning his chest, and he could not stop the tears flowing continuously and called out: “Fang mei! Heavens take pity on us … today you and I can see each other again!”
    Qi Fang felt she was like a small boat floating in a boundless sea and enduring a violent storm. But now she had been delivered and had sailed to a peaceful harbor. She threw herself into Di Yun's arms, saying: “Yun Ge, This… this… this is not a dream?”
    Di Yun said: “This is a not, Fang mei… I had been spying on these two for the past 2 nights, and had seen all their actions. I had taken Wu Kan's corpse to give them a nasty surprise!”

    At that, Qi Fang was reminded: “Father, father!” She set Kong XinChai down and rushed to the hole in the wall. She put out a hand to explore the hole but only felt nothing. She called out tremblingly: “Nothing… Nothing here!”
    Di Yu shone a light into the hole in the wall, but only saw a stone in the center, so where is Qi ZhangFa’s corpse? He said: “There’s nothing here, nothing at all.”
    Qi Fang had taken also a candlestick from the Wan Zhenshan, lit the candle from Di Yun’s, and lifted the candle in the hole. She observed very carefully to see inside, but there was no corpse. She was pleasantly surprised, and harboured a small ray of hope in her heart: “Perhaps, father was not killed by them.”

    She asked Wan Gui: “Third… third elder brother, how about my father?” Neither Wan Gui nor Wan ZhenShan could see the interior of the wall from where they were, and they thought that she had seen the corpse and intended to kill them personally, so Wan ZhenShan said fearlessly: ”A real man must act like a real man. You found out about me, so now you can have revenge for your father.” Qi Fang said: “Was father really killed by you? Then… where is his corpse?”

    Wan ZhenShan said: “What? Isn’t your father’s body inside the wall?”
    Qi Fang replied: “What body is here inside the wall?”
    Wan Zhenshan and Wan Gui looked at each other in blank dismay. They looked deathly pale, and still couldn’t believe what happened.

    Di Yun pulled up Wan Zhenshan to let him poke his head in the hole in the wall. Wan Zhenshan said tremblingly: “In this world, is there really…. really a corpse than can walk? I … obviously… obviously …” Suddenly he changed his statement: “Good wife, I… I deceived you. We are fellow apprentices although we often disagree. It is not possible to murder one and commit a violent treachery. How can you accept this joke to be true? Ha ha, ha ha”

    Usually his ability to lie was exceptional, however he was very frightened and at a great loss for words. This forced lie was so obvious that noone believed any of it. In fact, it only increased Qi Fang and Di Yun's beliefs that he had killed Qi ZhangFa. Di Yun put his palm on his shoulder and said: “Wan Zhenshan, you have painstakingly harmed me, but I am not going to haggle you over it. I only ask you: Did you kill my shifu?” At the same time, he injected his “Sun Jiu Ging” internal strength through the palm. Immediately, Wan Zhenshan’s whole body felt like inside a big stove, the blood seemed to boil with torture. He was still confused why Qi ZhangFa’s body could disappear without a trace and his heart was really terrified. He could not put up a resistance and said: “No… Allright. I killed Qi ZhangFa.” Di Yun then asked: “Where did you put my shifu’s body?” Wan Zhenshan shook his head and said: “I really put his body inside this wall.”

    Di Yun continued to stare at him. He remembered all those years where had to experience misery after misery, all by this father and son’s doing. At the moment, Wan Zhenshan has personally acknowledged killing his shifu, he felt angered and wanted to attack him. If he had not met Qi Fang, he would have felt inifinite sadness, and he would have killed them with a blow each. Instead, he clenched his teeth, picked up Wan Zhenshan and tossed him through the hole in the wall, knocking many bricks down in the process. Qi Fang cried out softly. Di Yun picked up Wan Gui, and threw him into the wall too. Di Yun said: “An eye for an eye. These father and son treated shifu this way, that’s also the way we will treat these two people.” He picked up the brick layer on the ground, and then sealed the wall again.

    Qi Fang asked: “Shige, you have finally avenged this big enmity for father. If not for you… Shige, how should we manage this person’s corpse?” She was saying this, referring to Wu Kan’s corpse. Di Yun said: “We just go! The matter here, we no longer need to pay attention.” Qi Fang said: “These two people inside the wall have not died, if somebody comes to rescue…”

    Di Yun said: “How can anybody else know there are people inside the wall? We should move Wu Kan’s corpse so other people would not come here and investigate. These two people won’t live long inside the wall.” Di Yun picked up Wu Kan’s body and they left the Wan residence, dumping the body outside. Di Yun asked Qi Fang: “Where should we go from here?”

    Qi Fang asked: ”Do you think father was really killed by them?”
    Di Yun said: “I hope shifu is still in good health. Only, if we listen to Wan Zhenshan’s words, I fear… I fear shifu has already come to disaster. We should continue to look out.” Qi Fang said: “I must return to take some things along. You wait for me in that derelict shrine.”

    Di Yun said: “I will accompany you and we go together.”
    Qi Fang said: “That’s not good! It would be inconvenient if someone saw us.”
    Di Yun said: “I will accompany you. There are other people in this residence, but none is a good person.”
    Qi Fang said: “No problem. You will take care of Kong XinChai and wait for me here.”
    Kong XinChai was worn out from her sustained terror and had long fallen asleep. Di Yun always listened to Qi Fang’s words, and seeing her firm resolve, he dared not disobey her. Hugging the sleeping girl, he saw Qi Fang leaped back and then he went to the shrine and entered the gate.

    He waited for a while, but Qi Fang did not return. Di Yun became somewhat worried and thought of going to look for her, but he was afraid she would be unhappy, so he merely paced the corridor, overjoyed at the reunion with his shimei. But deep within his heart was worried whether Qi Fang was willing to allow him to permanently accompany her. He made a vow in his heart: “If God blesses me, I, who have suffered so many hardships, I will accompany her from now on. I will protect her and look after her. I do not dare to hope to be her husband. As long as I can see her daily, and she would call me ‘shige’ everyday. Then, God, I would never wish for anything else in my entire life.”

    Suddenly he heard a rustling sound from the shrine’s tall door as if there was another person. Di Yun hid beside the window and stood motionless. After a while, the tall door was pushed open and someone walked in. In the darkness, he saw indistinctly that it was merely a beggar woman with dishevelled hair. Di Yun then paid no more attention, and was wondering: “Why Qi Fang is taking so long?” Kong XinChai woke up from a dream shouting “ah…” and started tp cry calling out: “Mother, mother!”

    That beggar woman was surprised, shrinking back into the corrider, and covered her own head. Di Yun patted Kond XinChai on the shoulder and tried to comfort her, saying: “Don’t cry, don’t cry! Mommy will come, mommy is coming…” That beggar women saw that the one making the noise was just a little girl. Di Yun also didn’t look like he would injure her, so she became more courageous. cried out from her sleep for her mother, startling the beggar woman. Di Yun tried to comfort the child, and after the beggar woman saw no danger, she joined in as well.

    She approached Di Yun while murmuring: “A sleeping person can do preposterous things, someone would build a wall in the middle of the night, … not not… Do not ask me…”
    Di Yun asked: “What did you say”
    The beggar woman replied: “No… nothing. My master had kicked me out. He didn’t want me, although when I was young, he really liked me. Others said about this proverb, 'A night as husband and wife [leads to] a hundred night's love, a hundred nights as husband and wife [leads to love] deep as the sea'.

    At this, Di Yun suddenly thought: “Does shimei still possessed her old lover for her husband?” Di Yun felt stuffiness in his chest and his head became dizzy. He picked up Kong XinChai, and charged out of the shrine.
    He didn't know that the filthy beggar woman was To Hung, the one who had framed him all those years ago.

  3. #3
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default

    12 - The great treasure
    Di Yun jumped over the wall and went to Wan’s study. In the meantime, it’s already daybreak. Dimly he saw a person lying on the ground, and vaguely it was Qi Fang. Di Yun was badly shocked; he rapidly lit a candle. Under the candle light, he saw that Qi Fang was covered with blood, with a short knife jammed into her lower abdomen. Beside her was a pile of bricks, and there was a large hole in the wall, but Wan ZhenShan and Wan Gui were no longer inside the hole.

    Di Yun bent down and knelt beside Qi Fang, and called to her in a hoarse voice: “Shimei, shimei!” He was trembling all over, there was almost no sound. He felt her face, and found that it was still warm, and that she was still breathing. He called to her again: “Shimei!”

    Qi Fang slowly opened her eyes, and with a bitter smile said: “Shige… I apologize to you…” Di Yun said: “Do not talk, I will rescue you.” He gently set Kong XinChai down. While the right hand lifted up Qi Fang’s body, the left hand had grasped the hilt of the short knife ready to pull out it out. But looking carefully, he saw that the knife was embedded too deeply, and pulling it out would kill her instantly. He dared not to pull it out, and he did not know what to do. He anxiously asked: “How did this happen? How did this happen? Who harmed you?”

    Qi Fang replied with a smile: “Shige, as people said, a night as husband and wife... that applies to me… Please forgive me. I could not harden my heart enough and have freed my husband… He… he… he…”
    Di Yun clenched his teeth and said: “He… he… he stabbed you with a knife instead, right?” Qi Fang nodded with a bitter smile.

    Di Yun’s heart hurt like a knife was twisting it. He saw Qi Fang would shortly die, Wan Gui had slammed the knife so deep inside her. In his innermost heart, there was also a thread of jealousy there, like the bite of a venomous snake, and he gritted his teeth: “You… You actually love your husband so much that even if you die, you would still save him.”

    Qi Fang asked: “Shige, please promise me that you’d look after Kong XinChai as if… as if she is your own daughter.” Di Yun nodded, then clenching his teeth asked: “Where did this evildoer go?” Qi Fang started to become incoherent, lightly saying, "Inside that cave, two big butterflies flew in. Liang Shanbo, Juk Ying Toi, shige, look! One is you, one is me. The two of us...flying to and fro like that, unseparated for all eternity, don't you find that good?" Her voice and breath faded away.

    Di Yun picked up Kong XinChai with one hand, Qi Fang's body with the other, and ran out of the Wan residence. He originally intended to burn it to the ground, but changed his mind as he thought: “If burnt, Wan fater and son would not come back again, I have to revenge shimei and let this dwelling remain.” Di Yun buried Qi Fang beside the plum tree in the abandoned garden where Ding Tian had died. He kept the knife that had killed Qi Fang, intending to use it to kill Wan Gui and Wan ZhenShan. He was so sad that he couldn't even weep, constantly reproaching himself: “I should have killed those two wicked thieves first, and then threw them into the hole in the wall? If I had thought of that idea, that would not have harmed shimei’s life.” Kong XinChai constantly cried for her mother, increasing his turmoil. Thereupon in Jiangling city, he met a peasant family. For 12 tael of silver, the peasant woman agreed to look after the girl.

    He waited day and night at the Wan residence for half a month, but Wan ZhenShan and Wan Gui didn't leave any trace. What is stranger, the other apprentices: Lu Kun, Bo Yuan, Sun Zi, Feng Tan, Shen Cheng and several other people are also missing. Some of the servants started to leave, some looted the residence, others fought amongst themselves.

    People of the pugilistic society from all over had gathered within Jiang Ling city. One evening, Di Yun overheard several chivalrous outlaws in Jianghu talking:
    “That Lian Chengjian’s secret is hidden in Tangshi JianFa (Tang Poems Collection), and the first four characters are: ’South of Jiangling city.’“.
    “These days, many have caught on this rumour. No one knew what came after the four characters.”
    “Who knows what came after it? By all means we will wait in the south of Jiangling city. If some people dig out the buried treasure, just come to him and take away the treasure by force.”
    “That is good. Although we cannot get the thing ourselves, we can score on it. Have you seen the elder brother?”
    “Heh heh! There are really many people who buy the ‘Tang poem collection’ these days. Now, when I enter the bookstore, I haven’t even opened my mouth, the bookshop keeper will say: ‘Sir, you must be here to buy the Tang poem collection? This book has just been sent from Hankou. You need to buy early, if you’re late the book will be sold out quickly.’ I felt this is very strange and asked him: ‘How do you know I want to buy the Tang poem collection? Can you guess what he say?”
    “I don’t know! What did he say?”
    “The shopkeeper said, ‘It’s widely known these days that if some martial people with sword on their belts came into the bookstore, 10 out of 11 want to buy this book. Will 52 taels of silver be suitable for the master?”
    “Holy cow! Why is the book so expensive?”
    “Do you want to have the book or not, that’s the price?”
    “Ha ha, this person will not enter inside a bookshop again for a lifetime. I will most like gamble for a lifetime and win many times. But it may not always be possible to the book. Heh heh, heh heh!”

    Di Yun thought: “So the secret of Lian Chengjian has spread, who spread it? That night, Wan father and son’s words were eavesdropped by Lu and others. Several people actually ran away from that place. So, maybe there are many many people who know now.” He recalled the time when news of Ding Tian leaked out and many martial artists came for him, only to be killed by him one by one. “Mmm, eldest brother Ding’s important wish has not been fulfilled, Ding Dage’s matter of revenge is more important compared to mine.” Miss Ling’s father is an officer at the Jiangling government office. Di Yun went to the largest coffin shop in the city to enquire as to the whereabouts of Ling ShuangHua's grave. It turned out to be on a small hill 12 'lei' outside east gate of the city. Di Yun purchased a shovel and hoe, and proceeded to Ling ShuangHua's grave. At the grave was a tombstone saying 'Beloved daughter Ling ShuangHua's grave'.

    There was not a single flower or tree in front of the grave. Ling ShuangHua in life had loved flowers, yet her father has marred her image but not planting anything for her. “Beloved daughter, beloved daughter, heh heh, did you really love this daughter?” Di Yun laughed coldly. When he thought of Ding Tian and Qi Fang, he couldn't help but cry, his tears soaking his clothes. The tears had also flowed down to Ling ShuangHua’s grave. This small hill had other hills next to it. The grave was not very far from the main road, but almost nobody walked that way. However, Di Yun did not dare to dig the grave in daylight. He waited until it was completely dark before digging up the earth until the coffin was exposed. After experiencing a lot of hardships all these years, Di Yun was not someone who easily burst into tears. But he saw this coffin under the somber moonlight, and compelled to weep again.

    Since Ling TuiSi had applied Jin Boxun poison to the coffin, despite the fact that it had been a long time and the coffin had most probably been wiped clean before transporting it to the grave, Di Yun did not dare to take the risk of moving it with his hands. He inserted the blood sabre between the lid and the coffin and gently pried it open. The blood sabre cut off the seal, like it was just a batch of bean curd and he did not need to make any effort. Then, all the seal around the coffin had been shed, he waved his right arm with his whole strength and sent the lid flying away.

    Suddenly, he saw two rotting hands raised up from within the coffin. When the lid flew away, the hands dropped down. Di Yun was startled and thought that: “Why Miss Ling had her arms raised when she was put into the coffin.” Inside the coffin were plain. There was no shroud, no bedding or other funeral items. Miss Ling was wearing a plain, simple dress without any padding. Di Yun silently prayed: “Ding Dage, Miss Ling, you could not become husband and wive in this life, but your wish is finally fulfilled in the afterlife. You have been joined together by a mystical power, so you should be able to smile in the next world.” At that, he took the package off his back and scattered Ding Tian's ashes onto Miss Ling’s body.

    He knelt on the ground and respectfully bowed four times. He wrapped his hands up using the bundle that were used to hold Ding Tian's ashes, then he picked the lid up, intending to replace it.
    Suddenly, under the moonlight, he saw some faint words on the interior of the lid. Di Yun looked carefully and he could read several crooked words. It said 'Ding Long, Ding Long, in the next life, we will be husband and wife'.

    Di Yun suddenly shivered and sat straight down - the words had obviously been scratched on using fingernails. Thinking for a bit, he understood: “Ling ShuangHua’s father had buried her alive, she was not dead when she was put inside the coffin! She had scratched these words onto the lid with her nails before she died, hence her arms remained uplifted even in death. There was no other father with more cruel heart in the world. Evidently, with Ding Tian refusing to give in and Ling ShuangHua refusing to betray Ding Tian, her father's hate grew more and more, until he finally stoop so low with this violent betrayal.” He also thought: “After learning of Ding Tian's escape, knowing that Ding Tian would go after him, he had hastily covered the coffin with Jin Boxun poison. Ling TuiSi's heart truly was a hundred times more venomous than the Jin Boxun poison that coated the coffin.”

    He got closer to the coffin lid, and looked at the first two rows of words again. Then, he saw a row of numbers underneath these words - 51, 33, 28 and so on. Di Yun realised: “Even as Ling ShuangHua was being buried alive, her mind was still on their wish to be buried as husband and wife. She promised Ding Tian that whoever can bury her and Ding dage together, she would deign to reward this person with the Lian Chengjian. Ding dage had given some of the numbers to me in the abandoned garden, but he had died before giving all the numbers. Shifu’s Lian Chengjian was soaked with shimei’s tears, and got ripped into pulp by Wan father and son. I had thought that the secret would be lost forever, who knew that Ling ShuangHua actually wrote it here.” He silently considered: “Ling ShuangHua, you really are trustworthy, many thanks for your good intention, but my life is like dust now. I wish I could dig a hole and lie beside you and Ding dage together. Only the big revenge is not yet consumed, I still need to kill Wan father and son and your father. Money and jewelry is only like dust to me.”

    He was moving the coffin lid to cover the lid, when suddenly he had an inspiration: “Oh, right! I do not where Wan father and son hide. I only fear that I cannot find them again in this life. But, if this secret of the big treasure is written somewhere, Wan father and son would inevitably heard about it and looked. Good! this secret is a big lure. Even if Wan father and son are ten times as careful, they would not be able to staty away from this secret. He lay down the coffin lid, looked at the numbers clearly, and then scratched them on the shovel with the blood sabre. He double-checked, replaced the lid, put the tombstone and then covered the coffin again. “I have a strong wish! After having my revenge, I vow to plant several hundred chrysanthemums here. Ding dage and Ling guoniang loved crysanthemum flowers the best. It would be best to find ‘the spring water ocean waves’ kind of chrysanthemum!”

    The next day, on the southern wall of Jiangling city, there appeared lines of numbers impressively written with the powdered stone. Each number was written neatly so they can be seen from afar, “four, 51, 33, 28, …” What was strange was that these lines of characters 6.6 metres (2 jeung) off the ground. There was no ladder high enough in Jiangling city that people could write them that high. Only if the person hung from the top of the wall with a rope, could he write them.

    About thirty meters from that city wall, Di Yun disguised himself as a beggar. He took off a thatched padded jacket, and sat lazily under the sun. People flocked by passing in and out of the south gate. In a teahouse in the center of Jiangling city, many people were in discussion about the numbers. Many went outside to see for themselves. However, apart from their position, there was nothing unusual about the numbers, and most spectators left after a while. The remainder were members of the pugilistic world, each holding a copy of 'Tang poem selection'. They copied the numbers on the city wall down and wrinkled their brows like thinking very hard.

    Di Yun saw that Sun Zi and Shen Cheng had come along and met each other. Lu Kun had come as well. However, they did not the order of the moves in Lian Cheng jianfa. So, although they had the Tang poem selection in their hand, the large numbers written on the city wall, and they had expected that the numbers represented the secret of the sword moves, and although they had listened secretly to their shifu and son secret discussion about the method, they did not which number to use on which poem. In this world, only Wan ZhenShan, Yin DaPing and Qi ZhangFa knew.

    Lu Kiun and others were discussing among themselves quietly. Looking from afar, Di Yun could not hear what they were speaking. He saw those three in a conversation, and then disappeared into the city. Then, they re-emerged some disguise. One appeared as a fruit peddler with a bucket of oranges, the other as a vegetable seller, and the other as a farmer. These three people sat at the foot of the city wall, and gazed on the passing people. Di Yun has guessed their thoughts correctly. They were waiting for the arrival of Wan ZhenShan. They could not break the secret themselves, but as long as they followed Wan ZhenSan, they could find the buried treasure. Although they might not be able to seize the treasure, there is always the prospect of dividing the treasure. They would face extreme danger meeting with their sifu again, however if they could get a great wealth, who would fear the danger?

    The first few numbers of the Lian Chengjian had long been leaked out, as “in the south of Jiangling’. So everyone was certain that the numbers were indeed the secret of linked city (LCJ). More and more people gathered under the city wall, some in disguise, some openly standing there - Di Yun counted 78 people in total.

    Two more of Wan ZhenShan's students Bo Yuan and Feng Tan arrived, and all of Wan ZhenShan's students had arguments about what to do. They almost had a fight, before they calmed down and sat in the nearby moat. They waited until it was nearly nighttime, but Wan ZhenShan and Wan Gui still did not turn up. Many people started cursing Wan ZhenShan and his ancestors.

    At twilight, an old scholar turned up with paper, ink and pen and started copying down the numbers on the city wall.
    One person, getting impatient, holding on the person and asked: “Why do you copy these numbers?”
    That strange scholar said: “This old man wants to do it, other people do not need to ask.”
    The person said: “What did you say? If you do not talk, I will hit you.” He showed his big fist, waving it back and forth in front of the old scholar’s nose.
    The scholar was frightened and said: “Eh… Other people asked me to copy it.”
    The person said: “Who asked you to copy it?”
    The scholar said: “A venerable… no, don’t need to hide the fact that it is the famous venerable Wan ZhenShan… Now, I dare you to offend him!”
    “Wan ZhenShan!” When these characters are uttered, many people roared at this. Di Yun was happier inside, though that happiness was tainted by too much hate and sadness.

    The scholar walked clumsily in the front, straight to the east, and around 100 people followed him to find Wan ZhenShan. Since Wan Zhenshan did not come, they looked for Wan ZhenShan. As far as they knew only Wan ZhenShan could unravel the secret. Since there were so many of them, they could use force him to look for the buried treasure. Many people commended the person: “You are luckily a very intelligent person. How come we did not think that Wan Zhenshan can send another person to copy the numbers? If it were not for you, everybody in that city gate would have waited for three days and three nights. Wan ZhenShan would have picked up the buried treasure and been gone. The person was especially proud, and said: “This scholar acted stealthily. It’s good that I was there to sniff him out.”

    Di Yun in the crowd, thought quietly, “Wan ZhenShan is an old fox. There is no way it could be this easy to find him. It must be a trick.” By now, some people had left the south gate for several miles. He turned his head and looked back at the city gate. In the blink of an eye, he saw a shadow moving along the city wall going quietly and swiftly to the west. Di Yun considered deliberately: “This group of people has surrounded the old scholar, so there is no fear he would slip away. If they find Wan ZhenShan, there is no way he could escape. It is very difficult to find Wan father and son in this big Jiangling city. But following big groups of sixes or sevens would be as easy as a pie, so why should I follow the crowd?” As soon as he made his intention, he moved sideways. When he was hidden by a tree, he launched his levitation skill immediately, and rushed to the west.

    He followed the shadow of this person. His levitation skill was really good also, but compared to Di Yun, it fell far short. He did not realize that he was being followed, and only tried to run away quickly. Finally, Di Yun saw him rushing between huts and push open one of the gate. Di Yun stood outside the gate, and waited for him to come out. But then, he saw a light from the window. He creeped quietly under the window, and looked inside from the window. He only saw an old man sitting in the room. His back was turned to him, so he couldn't see who it was. The person spread out a book on the table, which Di Yun clearly saw quickly as the popular “Tang poem selection”. He saw him taking up a pen, and writing “south of Jiangling city” on the yellow paper. His mouth gently read out “1,5,10,15,16… The 16th character”, and he wrote the character on the paper. Di Yun was surprised: “This person unexpectedly can choose the right character from the ‘Tang poem selection’ Can he possibly know the secret of the linked cities too?”

    Looking at his build, he was obviously not Wan ZhenShan. This old man wore an old shabby gray cotton gown, so his status was not clear. He looked at the book and counted out the words one by one, there were altogether 26 characters. Di Yun looked at the words which read: “on the west side, in the hall of Tianning temple, reverently bow down to the statue of Buddha, communicate your wishes through a spirit, Buddha will bestow good luck of being reborn in paradise, and become extremely happy.”

    That old person was really furious, thrashing the pen back and forth across the table and said: ‘Really… reverently bow down to the statue of Buddha, really … and Buddha will bestow good luck of being reborn in paradise, and become extremely happy ! The old turtle! Doesn’t this ‘being reborn in paradise, and become extremely happy’ mean the person will go to see the palace of Yama in hell?”

    Di Yun listened to the person’s deep familiar voice and thought deeply who could it be. The person then turned about and showed his face. Di Yun shortened his body and shrank under the window. He said in his heart: “That is the second martial uncle (shi bo) Yin DaPing. No wonder he knew about the order of the swordstyle. And what is really the secret? It is just to play trick on people.” He found it rather amusing: “These many people have put so much thought and effort, going as far as murdering their sifu and harming fellow apprentices, in exchange for a joke.”

    He had not made any noise while laughing about the notion, but in the room, the person actually laught out loud: “Ha ha, it called me to reverently prostate myself under the statue of Buddha. When you consider it, this clay sculpture carving of his mother’s smelly statue of Buddha is supposed to bestow luck on me, ha ha, the old turtle, I am to be reborn in paradise and become extremely happy… Ah, we killed our shifu together, the three fellow apprentices. Then, we struggled against each other to seize the secret, only ‘to be reborn in paradise, and become extremely happy’, ha, ha, ha, ha! In Jiangling city, these hundreds of heroic men, the turtle thieves and robbers, all struggled, struggled, they just want ‘to be reborn in paradise, and become extremely happy’, ha, ha, ha, ha!”

    This laughter was so pitiful. While he was laughing, he pulled apart the yellow paper. Suddenly, he became motionless. His eyes were jolted and he looked silently out of the window.

    DI Yun remembered how himself had to suffer through a lot of pains, and Qi Fang had to suffer a tragic death, all because of this secret of Lian Chengjian. And yet, this secret was unexpectedly just a play of words. His heart was filled with grief and indignation. But he also almost could not withhold his laughter.

    No words passed through the window. But then, he heard Yin DaPing muttered to himself: “After going this far, I might as well go to this Tianning temple to take a look. At the west side in the south of Jiangling city, if there was really an ancient temple.” Immediately, he waved his hand to extinguished the oil lamp, pushed the gate and come out. He launched his levitation skill and rushed to the west. Di Yun hesitated: “Should I seek Wan ZhenShan or shibo trying to understand the words? Mmmm, that many people will be easy to find, so first just follow shibo trying to follow what the instruction says.” So, he pursued Yin DaPing immediately behind him. In less than an hour, Yin DaPing had arrived outside the ancient Tianning temple. He first listened attentively for a while outside the temple. Then, he circled around the temple, hearing nothing from the temple, and seeing nobody outside the temple. At least, he opened the gate and entered. This Tianning temple is situated in a desolate place, and in large disrepair after many years. There was also no Buddhist priest invoking prayers. Yin DaPing arrived in the main hall. He wanted to strike a light, so he got a candle from the table. When he lighted it, he noticed some soft molten wax on the candle, as if someone had just used it. He extinguished the flame again, and was just starting to step out and investigate, when he suddenly sensed a pain at his back as sharp blade entered his body. He cried out and promptly died.

    Di Yun was hiding behind the doors, only saw the flame being extinguished quickly and heard Yin DaPing’s last cry. He knew that Yin DaPing had been ambushed but due to the suddenness it was too late to save him. Di Yun stayed motionless waiting for the attacker to reveal himself instead. From the dark, he heard someone laughing coldly: “Hey hey hey…”. The laughter made Di Yun's hairs stand on end, as the laughter was ghostly and frightening, yet very familiar. Suddenly, there was a spark of flame, someone has lit the candle casting a light on the person. The person slowly moved forward. Di Yun nearly blurted out 'Sifu'!

    This person is unexpectedly Qi ZhangFa. He saw him reach Yin DaPing’s corpse and kick it. He pulled the long sword he carried on his back and stabbed the body several times. Di Yun saw his shifu kill his own fellow apprentice so viciously, and with such a cruel method, that he retracted his ‘shifu’ call just in time and became quiet. Qi ZhangFa sneered heh heh and said: “Second elder brother (shige), you also found Lian Chengjian in the collection, right? Heh heh! ‘In the south of Jiangling, on the west side, in the hall of Tianning temple, reverently bow down to the statue of Buddha’ Heh heh! You did just that second elder brother. And then it said, ‘Buddha will bestow good luck of being reborn in paradise, and become extremely happy’. You are now reborn in paradise and feel extreme bliss, right? So didn’t Buddha bestow luck to you? He he…”

    He now turned his had, looking at the kin-looking Buddha statue. With a face full of violence and wickedness, he said: “You old turtle’s smelly Buddha has played tricks on me, giving so much pain in me!” Jumping to the statue with the long sword, there were three sounds of ding-dong, and he had chopped at the abdomen of the statue three times with his sword. Usually, the statue of Buddha is carved out of clay. But these three sword chops resulted in some clanking sound of the metal. Qi ZhangFa was startled. He chopped two more times. He felt that the statue was extremely hard where the sword struck. He took up the candlestick to look at it more carefully. Then he saw where the sword made some dents, there were revealed some bright golden light. , and looking closely, he saw a golden glimmer from where he chopped the statue. Peeling the dull clay away from between the two sword dents, he only saw glitters, underneath the dull layer is unexpectedly all gold.

    He can not help calling out: “Oh my Buddha, all is gold! All is gold!” This statue of Buddha is more than ten meter tall, much bigger than the common image of Buddha. If all the body was cast of solid gold, there would be around 50,000 to 60,000 pounds of gold. Wasn’t that a big buried treasure?

    Qi ZhangFa was wild with joy, but then calmed down a little, went behind the statue and used his sword to chop and slice away the clay coating there and discovered a small hidden door near the waist of the statue. He sliced away the clay around the door but the long sword snapped. Then he saw that this hidden door was made out of solid gold as well, Qi ZhangFa put in the sword stump in the slit and pried it loose in that part. He went to another section and pried open that part until the door was finally loose. Qi ZhangFa dropped his broken sword, and extended his hand to open the hidden door. Lifting the candle to illuminate inside, he saw within the stomach of the statue to be full of jewels and precious, there were countless pearly treasure. Qi ZhangFa swallowed his saliva several times,, and was about to reach inside the hidden door to take a handful of the jewels to take a look. Suddenly, he felt a slight tremor of the altar. Knowing something was not right, he jumped down but as his feet touched the ground, a pressure point at this waist was sealed, and he fell to the floor.

    Someone rose from under the altar, laughing, and said:”Brother Qi, you are here, and the second brother is here, how can the big brother also not be here!” The person speaking was Wan ZhenShan. Qi ZhangFa had suddenly discovered the big buried treasure. On top of it he found so many jewelry and become overjoyed. Unavoidably, he also let his guard slip. In a hateful voice, Qi ZhangFa said to Wan ZhenSan: “First you didn’t manage to kill me, unexpectedly I would still finally die under your hands.”

    Wan ZhenShan felt satisfied, and said: “I was puzzled, brother Qi, I had strangled you to death, sealed you into the wall, how could you still be alive?” Qi ZhangFa closed his mouth and did not answer.

    Wan ZhenShan said: “You did not reply to that, but I could guess. At that time you knew I was the enemy, you stopped breating and feigned death. As you were sealed into the wall, you managed to struggle out of the wall. Great! Good original story! At that time, I saw a bulge in the wall, and I knew in my heart it was not right. I could not have known that it was kicked out by Qi ZhangFa whilst he was struggling out of the wall.”

    After Wan ZhenSan sealed Qi ZhangFa into the wall, the next day he saw a bulge in the wall where the bricks have protruded. It made his inner heart extremely restless. That was when he started to suffer from this sickness of soul, sleepwalking of setting up the wall that he did continually in fear of Qi ZhangFa;s corpse crawling out of the wall. Therefore in his sleep, he has built up the wall time and time again to seal the hole in the whole firmly. He sneered and said: “Heh heh, you really are mean, just helplessly looking at your daughter becoming my daughter-in-law throughout. I ask you, what is that for? For what?”

    Qi ZhangFa spat at him, but Wan ZhenShan easily evaded it and smiled: “Third brother, you want to die quickly or do you love being tormented slowly?” Qi ZhangFa showed his fear and said: “Alright, I will say to you. My daughter has stolen the Lian Chengjian manual and hid it away in a cave, now you tell me is she a good person? I continued to investigate secretly. Now Wan person, just kill me quickly!”

    Wan ZhenShan laughingly agreed: “Alright, if it makes you happy. Usually, I would not let you off so cheaply, only your shige does not have a lot of time. I need to rapidly cover up the statue with mud. Good fellow, I will quickly do it!” When he said that, he raised his sword and thrust it at Qi ZhangFa's chest. Suddenly, there was a red flash and Wan ZhenShan's forearm along with the sword fell to the ground. Kicking his body aside, Di Yun’s blood sabre had save Qi ZhangFa’s life. He bent down to release Qi ZhangFa’s sealing point, and said: “Shifu, you have been frightened!”

    This incident happened so quickly, that Qi ZhangFa was in a daze for a moment, before he finally recognized Di Yun. He said “Yun… Yun er, is that you?”

    Di Yun and his shifu have not meet for a long time, and has not heard these two words “Yun er”. Sadness welled in Di Yun, and he said: “I am shifu, I am precisely Yun er.”

    Qi ZhangFa said: “You had found out about all this.”
    Di Yun nodded and said: “Shimei, shimei, she… she…”
    Wan ZhenShan lifted up his one arm and started to crawl and rushed towards the exit. Qi ZhangFa rushed forward, and ran him through his back with a sword. Wan ZhenShan gave a pitiful yell and died instantly.

    Qi ZhangFa looked at the bodies of his two si-xiong (older apprentices) then slowly said: “Yun er, it is good luck that you rushed so promptly, rescuing your shifu’s life. Well, who else had come over there? Is that Fang?” While saying, he pointed at one side of the hall.
    When Di Yun heard him mention Qi Fang, he was shaken and quickly turned around, but there was no-one there. Instead, he was surprised when he felt a pain in his back. He reached back and grabbed his attacker's wrist, and when he turned around, he saw that he had grabbed Qi ZhangFa, who was holding a shiny dagger. Di Yun was at a loss: “Teacher… shifu... What crime have I done that you must kill me?” He only realized that his shifu’s knife did not enter his body only because of his silk clothing armor that had protected his life from Qi ZhangFa.

    When Di Yun grabbed his wrist, half of Qi ZhangFa's body became numb and powerless. Scared and angered, he bitterly said: “Good, you have studied some extremely powerful martial arts and therefore no longer have any respect for me. You just kill me, quickly kill me, quickly kill me” Di Yun released his hand and said: “How would I dare to kill shifu?”

    Qi ZhangFa called out: “What do you want hypocrites? This was a solid gold cast Buddha, don’t you want to have the statue for yourself? If I do not kill you, then you kill me, what is so strange about it? This is a golden Buddha, inside the stomach of the statue, there is a priceless treasure, why don’t you kill me? Why don’t you kill me”
    He shouted loudly, and in his voice there was a lot of greed, anger, deep regret, that did not sound like a person, but more like an injured wild animal roaring in the wilderness. Di Yun shook his head, drew back several steps, and said: “Shifu must kill me initially in order to have this golden Buddha?”

    In that moment, he finally understood everything. Qi ZhangFa had, for money and treasure, killed his shi-fu, killed his shi-xiongs and suspected his own daughter - why wouldn't he be able to kill his own student? He also recalled Ding Tian’s speech: “His nickname is ‘the iron to lock Heng Jiang’, and knew that he was capable of anything.

    Di Yun retreated another step, and said: “Shifu, I do not want your golden Buddha, you alone can get rich.” He really could not understand why someone would cast aside his shifu, his fellow apprentices, his apprentice and even his own daughter for even such a huge treasure. Where was the happiness?

    Qi ZhangFa couldn't believe his ears, thinking: “Is there anyone in this world who could resist such a large treasure, and not have another plan up his sleeve? Di Yun must have another trick.” He could not keep calm and steady and said loudly: “What nonsense are you talking? This is a gold Buddha, in the stomach of the statue there was all kinds of jewelry, why don’t you want it? What trick are you planning?”

    Di Yun shook his head again and was about to leave when he heard many people coming towards the shrine. He jumped onto the roof, where he saw over a hundred people with torches coming. He heard them crying for Wan Gui to keep moving. Hearing Wan Gui, he remembered that he hadn't avenged Qi Fang yet.

    This group of people swarmed into the temple. Di Yun could clearly see Wan Gui being tossed about in the crowd, with a swollen blue nose, and still wearing a scholar's outfit. It turned out that the old scholar was actually Wan Gui in disguise, deliberately leading the 100-odd men on a wild-goose chase. This allowed Wan ZhenShan to seek the treasure in the Tianning temple. However, he eventually gave himself away, and after having his life threatened, they forced Wan Gui to take them to the shrine.

    When Qi ZhangFa heard people coming, he leapt onto the altar, intending to cover up what the sword dents on the statue revealed. But it was too late. The numerous people saw him standing on the altar, both hands covering the statue. Under so many torches, it felt like daytime inside the temple. Various people saw the golden glimmers with their own lights, and started shouting. They rushed helter-skelter to the statue and started slicing off the surface clay and exposed the gold. Before long, the statue emitted bright golden light everywhere.

    Someone also discovered the hidden door behind the statue and extracted large quantities of jewelry from within. Those behind him pulled him away to get their share, and others snatched it from those who already had obtained some.

    Suddenly, horns sounded from outside, and numerous soldiers charged in, ordering them to stop. Ling TuiSi as a Jiangling officer then entered arrogantly. He had received word from some subordinates who were within the group, and so arrived with solders.

    However, with so many riches about, no-one paid any attention to the government authorities and continued grabbing at the treasure. Treasure was being scattered all over the floor: pearl, gems, gold, white jade, emerald, corals, green topaz, etc. Seeing this, how did Ling TuiSi’s subordinates resist snatching the treasure? The soldiers bent down to pick, then the captains also started snatching, and finally the military officers also snatched. Everybody was not willing to fall behind.

    Qi ZhangFa was snatching, Wan Gui was snatching, and even the official Ling TuiSi was stuffing treasure into his clothes. As they were snatching, the fights unavoidably began. Some people won, some bled, some died. The fighting became more and more intense, and suddenly, some people suddenly jumped onto the statue and started biting it. Some started headbutting it. Di Yun found it very odd - even if they were consumed by greed, they shouldn't be that insane.

    But they were indeed insane, red-eyed and hitting, biting and tearing indiscrimately. Di Yun saw Wang XiaoFeng of the ‘Ling Jian Shuang Xia’ (bell and sword) and Hua TieGan of ‘Luo Hua Liu Shui’ among them. They had also turned into wild beasts, randomly biting and snatching, stuffing treasure into their mouths. Di Yun then understood - the emperor who buried the treasure was afraid that it would be stolen by enemy soldiers and so coated the treasure with poison. He thought of rescuing his sifu, but it was too late...

    Di Yun planted several hundred types of crysanthemum flowers in front of Ding Tian and Ling ShuangHua's grave. He performed the task alone, since he was brought up a farmer, although he rarely planted flowers before, but instead planted peppers, cucumbers, melons, cabbage, eggplants, water celeries...

    He left Jing Zhou city with Kong XinChai in his arms, and rode away. He didn't want to be in the martial arts world anymore, and wanted to find a remote and deserted place to raise Kong XinChai. He returned to the snow valley near the Tibetan border. Large snowflakes were floating down, and he moved towards the cave where he had previously spent time at.

    Suddenly, from a long distance, he saw a young girl standing in front of the cave. It was Shui Sheng! She ran towards him, with a joyful smile on her entire face, crying out, "I've been waiting for you for so long! I knew you would eventually come back here."

    THE END

  4. #4
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    3,662

    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the translation, fastclock. I'm glad Di Yun got his happy ending. Although I'm not sure if he was truly happy at the end, since the woman he loved died. I hope Shui Sheng will be able to help him put away his sorrows. But I think it will be very hard for Shui Sheng to compete with a perfect memory (the dead shimei).

  5. #5
    Junior Member SevenFortunes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Thank you fastlock. I have no idea of the beginning of this story but really enjoyed reading the end. It seems quite an interesting tale of intrigue and betrayal.

    Is the first part of the story translated somewhere as well?
    It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion,
    It is by the beans of java that thoughts aquire speed,
    the hands aquire shaking,
    the shaking becomes a warning.
    It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

  6. #6
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default Summaries of the earlier chapters

    This is a fairly detailed summary of the novel 'Lian chengjue' by the famous Chinese Wuxia author Jinyong in English.
    Chapters 6-8 have been done by 'Ling Wu Chung' or 'LWC' from the HKPOP discussion board, whilst the rest have been done by someone I don't know, who authored this website:
    http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~kcy/wuxia/jinyong/lsk/.

    Lian Chengjue Summary - originally in Cantonese but most names changed into Pinyin.

  7. #7
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default

    Names: (Mandarin-Cantonese-Hokkianese)
    Di Yun = Dik Wun = Tik Hun
    Qi Fang = Tsik Fong = Jik Hong
    Qi ZhangFa = Tsik CheungFat = Jik Tiong-Hoat
    Yan DaPing = Yuen DatPing = Gian Tat-peng
    Wan ZhenShan = Man JunSan = Ban CinSan
    1st: Lu Kun= Lu Kwan = Loh Kun
    2nd: = Chow Kei = Ciu Kin
    3rd: Wan Gui = Man Gwai = Ban Ka
    4th: Shen Cheng= Shuen Gwun = Sun Kin
    5th: Bo Yuan = Buk Wun = Bok Heng
    6th: Wu Kan = Ng Ham = Go Him
    Feng Tan= = Pang Tam
    Sun Zi (The Grandson)= Jum Sing = Sim Sia
    Ding Dian = Ding Din = Ting Tian
    Ling ShuangHua = Ling Seung Wah = Leng Siang Hoa
    Ling TuiSi = Leung TuiSi = Leng Dwe-su
    Wang XiauFeng = Wong SiuFong = Ong Siau-hong
    Hua TieGan = Hua Tit Gon = Hua Tiat-kan
    Shui Sheng = Sui Sang = Cui Sing
    Kong XinChai = Hung Sum Choi = Khong sim jay
    Sun Jiu Ging = = Sin-ciau-keng
    Tu Fung = To Hong = Tho? Ang
    = Mui Lim Sang = Bwe Liam Seng

  8. #8
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default

    1 - Peasants enter a city

    Qi ZhangFa was teaching his student Di Yun and daughter Qi Fang his 'Tong Si' (falling corpse) sword technique in the countryside at Southern Yuen Ling when they were visited by a young man named Bo Yuan, who was a student of '5 cloud hands' Wan ZhenShan, Qi ZhangFa's oldest shi-xiong. He invites them all to Jing Zhou for Wan ZhenShan's fiftieth birthday. He mentioned that Wan ZhenShan had completed the 'Lian Cheng' (link city) sword-technique, which Qi ZhangFa couldn't believe. Eventually, they decided to go, selling a cow for some new garments to wear.

    After half a month, they arrived at Jing Zhou. Soon after they entered Wan ZhenShan's prestiduous home, a man came along with a bucket of excrement and threw the contents of the bucket at Wan ZhenShan and Qi ZhangFa. Qi ZhangFa tore off his new robe and used it to catch the mess before tossing it away. It turned out that the man was a bandit leader called Lui Tung whom Wan ZhenShan had reported to the authorities, leading to the death of his brother. Di Yun, upset by the spoiling of his master's new robe, went right up to him (against the wishes of Wan ZhenShan) and demanded payment for the robe. This led to a fight, which Di Yun was rapidly losing until an old beggar showed up. The old beggar 'accidentally' poked Lui Tung in two vital points, enabling Di Yun to send him flying into the pool of excrement. This left Lui Tung running away in embarrassment and Di Yun mortified at all the blood on his new clothes. Di Yun gave the old beggar his pocket money as thanks.

    At the subsequent feast, everyone was chatting about the events of the day. Wan ZhenShan's eight students were sullen because they shared no part of the glory. That night, the eight students tauntingly challenged Di Yun to a sword-fight. At first, Di Yun wanted no part of it until Wan ZhenShan's son and 3rd student, Wan Gui, started attacking him, and even then he held back on a serious stab on the shoulder. However, Wan Gui didn't, and injured him in the leg. This infuriated Di Yun, and he didn't hold back anymore, pushing Wan Gui to the point of defeat. At this point, Bo Yuan (Wan ZhenShan's 5th student), Wu Kan (6th student) and Lu Kun (1st student) joined in, quickly disarming and knocking him down. Wan Gui then gave him a beating, with all of the students jeering at him.

    After a while, the old beggar came to him, asking him to pound his back. After expressing dissatisfaction at his power, the beggar sent him flying, and asked if Di Yun would like to learn some techniques. After Di Yun agreed, the beggar asked him to show him the sword techniques that he had already learnt. After a while, the beggar laughed out aloud. It turned out that the sword technique was not called 'falling corpse' sword but 'Tong poem' sword, with the technique names derived from lines of Tong dynasty poetry. The technique names had been thoroughly distorted too. We also learn of Qi ZhangFa's title - 'Tiet Sor Wang Gong' (Iron lock across the raging river). Di Yun thought that this was due to his teacher being an uneducated countryman. The beggar taught him three moves - a shoulder stab, a slap and a disarming technique. After getting the hang of the three moves and promising not to reveal his existance, Di Yun returned to Wan ZhenShan's house.

    The next day, Qi ZhangFa asked him about his wounds but Qi Fang said that they were due to yesterday's fight with the bandit. In private, Qi Fang asked him who he fought with (she noticed that the bandit did not hit him across the eye), and hence Di Yun told her. She was enraged, but eventually agreed not to tell Qi ZhangFa because it was shameful to crawl up to Qi ZhangFa on defeat. She took out a needle and thread and started to mend his clothing. Di Yun called her 'shi-mei!' softly but Qi Fang told him to be quiet due to a superstition that talking whilst having one's clothes mended leads to one being accused of theft (ominous portent...). We also learn of Qi Fang's nickname for Di Yun - 'Kong XinChai' (literally 'empty-hearted vegetable' - i.e. water celery) due to Di Yun's honesty and forwardness.

    That night, at the dinner table, Wan ZhenShan briefly mentioned Di Yun's injuries, and Chow Kei (2nd student) snorted at this. This infuriated Qi Fang, who blurted out their actions. The students replied by making up a story about Di Yun boasting of his deeds and Wan Gui beating him alone. Di Yun could no longer hold his temper and challenged them to an 8-to-1 fight, cursing and swearing at them and ignoring Qi ZhangFa's orders. At this, Wan ZhenShan let him have his fight. At first, the fourth student, Shen Cheng, fought him alone. After about ten moves, Di Yun used the shoulder stab, defeating him in one move. Two other students came at him, only to be defeated in a single move by the shoulder stab. Afterwards, Wan Gui rushed at him with three moves, which Di Yun defended and then defeated him with the slap followed by a kick. At this, the others all rushed in.
    Last edited by fastclock; 08-05-05 at 11:17 AM. Reason: Chapter 1 - Peasants enter a city

  9. #9
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default Chapter 2 - Prison

    2 - Prison

    Di Yun used the disarming technique to disarm all the students within a single move. Wan ZhenShan suddenly exclaimed that the three techniques were from the 'Lian Cheng' sword technique. Qi ZhangFa threatened Di Yun at sword-point to reveal the source of his techniques, but Di Yun kept his secret. Wan ZhenShan accused Qi ZhangFa of finally mastering the 'Lian Cheng' sword technique, and invited him into his study for a chat.

    A student of Wan ZhenShan's, Sun Zi, eavesdropped on them and heard them arguing increasingly loudly. At this, Sun Zi brought the other students, Qi Fang and Di Yun outside the study, where they heard Wan ZhenShan accusing Qi ZhangFa of murdering their teacher and stealing the sword manual, and demanding the manual back. Qi ZhangFa was heard to comply, but Wan ZhenShan sudden cried out. The ten rushed in to see a dagger in Wan ZhenShan's chest and the window open. Most of the students gave chase, whilst Di Yun and Qi Fang were forced back into their rooms at sword-point.

    Later on, whilst Di Yun was still thinking, he heard a noise on the roof and saw a dark form pass, followed by a woman's cry for help. He burst out and went to the source of the cries to see a tied-up woman being molested by two masked figures. They put up only a token of resistance before fleeing. The woman cried out in pain and Di Yun came closer to see how she was injured, when the woman suddenly jumped up and hugged him tight, crying out about rape and robbery. After struggling unsuccessfully to get loose, a sword was placed across his neck and before he had the chance to speak, he was disarmed by having all five fingers on his right hand sliced off. Having understood that he fell into a trap, he moved to attack when he saw Qi Fang, who was looking at him with a combination of sadness, disgust and anger. The woman, who turned out to be one of Wan ZhenShan's concubines, accused Di Yun of trying to drag her away along with some riches. Going to Di Yun's room, they found much treasure in his room, which solidified Qi Fang's suspicions. After hitting him to the point of spitting blood, they took him to the authorities. Throughout, Wan Gui was constantly speaking up for Di Yun (yeah, right...).

    At the courtroom ('gna moon') he was beaten by paddles to the point where his skin broke and blood started flowing, when he fainted away. When he woke up, he was in a cell, manacled hand and foot, with the chains driven straight through his shoulders, piercing the collarbone. He started crying out that he was wrongly accused. A warden told him to shut up, and when he continued, the warden poured a bucket of urine over him.

    On the fourth day, his fever and pains started to fade but so did his voice. Looking around, he saw another prisoner in the cell shackled in the same way he was. He started crying, and the prisoner remarked that he was a good actor.

    Then, Qi Fang came to visit him. He asked about his shifu - no news - and Qi Fang said that Wan Gui treated her well and was spending lots of money on his behalf. When Di Yun said that he was innocent and didn't need his money. But then Qi Fang asked him why he did what he did and discarded her. At this question, Di Yun was rendered speechless, hurt more by her lack of trust in him than his physical pains. Di Yun looked away, unable to get the words out of his throat, all the way until Qi Fang had to leave. Before leaving, she left a basketful of food and a promise to visit him daily. However, the other prisoner stole his food and when he tried to snatch it back he was pushed away.

    For the next 10 days, he anxiously waited for Qi Fang's return, but she never did. He grew increasingly agitated, calling, head-butting the wall etc., but all he got was a bucketful of urine and the strikes of the prisoner. After half a month, he calmed down again. One night, the other prisoner was escorted out - Di Yun thought it was for execution. However, the prisoner was later escorted back in - he had been severely whipped and was bloody all over. His empathy caused him to feed the prisoner some water. The prisoner awoke, and subsequently started beating him. During the beating, the prisoner said "Your plan of suffering, how can fool me, change your designs on me quickly" and "You're still young, haven't done many evil things, but were ordered by someone, otherwise it would be odd if I didn't kill you with a single kick". On the next full moon, the prisoner was taken out again, badly beaten and dumped back into the cell. This time, Di Yun didn't help him but the prisoner went and beat him up anyway. Afterwards, Di Yun would dread the coming of the full moon every month, when the prisoner would be carted out, beaten, returned, then proceed to beat him up. Any questions resulted in a beating, so he simply didn't speak.

    A few months passed, such that a year had almost passed and it was springtime. Di Yun had become accustomed to the cell. He had discovered that if he kept quiet and didn't look at the prisoner, the prisoner left him alone except when the full moon came. Also, if he kept quiet during the beating, the beating was lighter. Looking at the window, he could see a tower, whose windows were perpetually closed. However, on the window-sill were always some flowers. At this, he heard the prisoner sigh. Looking at him, he saw a gentle expression on his face for the first time. Next November, after the regular beating, the prisoner developed a fever. Di Yun carefully fed him some water. He heard the wardens say something about taking advantage of his fever to beat him again to ask something.

    After a few days, they came for him and Di Yun defended him by grabbing a sabre off one of them (by biting his fingers) then rushing at the others. The wardens replied by depriving them of food and water. After the fourth day, the prisoner told Di Yun to pretend to chop him with the sabre if the wardens didn't bring water. Di Yun complied, at which they indeed brought water in. When Di Yun asked him why they wanted to both protect and torture him, the prisoner smashed the water container over Di Yun's head and told him to stop pretending to be friendly. Subsequently, after the prisoner's monthly whipping, he no longer beat Di Yun in return. However, if Di Yun even looked at him, he would still attack him. The prisoner only expressed gentleness when he saw the flowers on the tower.

    On the spring of the fourth year of his imprisonment, one of Wan ZhenShan's students, Sun Zi came to visit him. From him, Di Yun heard the news that Wan ZhenShan had not been killed by the dagger but merely injured, that Qi ZhangFa was still missing and that Qi Fang was about to marry Wan Gui! At this news and Sum Sing's taunts, Di Yun grabbed Sun Zi through the bars and throttled him until he was purple in the face before the wardens managed to rescued him.

    That night, he made a noose and hung himself, losing consciousness after a while.
    After a while, he regained consciousness, feeling a hand on his chest forcing him to breathe. It was the prisoner, who was grinning at him! The prisoner told him that he had stopped breathing for almost an hour before he recovered him, and that he would be dead if it was not for his special kung-fu. Di Yun has not grateful for this. The prisoner asked Di Yun if he had heard of 'Sun Jiu Ging' (Spirit shining classic) and when Di Yun angrily replied negatively, he remarked that after 12 years of training his Sun Jiu Ging had finally been accomplished 2 months earlier and that Di Yun was lucky that he had learnt it in time. He gave his name as Ding Dian, apologised for the three years' worth of misdirected beating and advised him to forget her faithless shi-mei at which Di Yun burst out in tears.

    Afterwards, Ding Dian's attitude towards Di Yun changed completely, talking and joking with him, telling him Gong Wu stories, but in front of the wardens Ding Dian still behaved viciously towards Di Yun. Ding Dian told Di Yun that he had thought that Di Yun was a spy to gain his confidence, and that he knew that he was not because only Ding Dian himself knew that he had completed learning Sun Jiu Ging and would be able to save Di Yun, hence Di Yun's suicide was sincere. However, he refused to tell Di Yun just what the wardens were looking for. He offered to teach Sun Jiu Ging to Di Yun, but he refused.

    Soon, it came to the full-moon again, where Ding Dian whispered to Di Yun that he would continue to beat him in order to spare him from torment that would arise if their captors knew of their friendship. Their captors were asking for something from Ding Dian, and if they became aware that they had become friends and that Ding Dian had confided in Di Yun, they might try to wring the information out of the softer Di Yun instead. Ding Dian had suspected Di Yun of being a confidence trickster at first, so he had viciously beaten him. On the 15th (the full moon in the Chinese calendar), Ding Dian was taken for his customary beating, but when he returned, he said that he had been recognised by 4 people who were trying to assassinate the official who held them prisoner. Ding Dian had to kill 3 of them to defend the official, but one had escaped. He did not explain why he defended the sadistic official though.

    During the next few days, Ding Dian continued staring at the flower at the tower, with a wisp of a smile. On the 19th, two people broke through the bars of the cell asked Ding Dian for 'that book'. After Ding Dian pointed the finger to Yan DaPing (Di Yun's second shi-bo), they attacked Ding Dian, only to be killed in one move each and tossed out of the cell.

    After a few days, there was another intruder in the cell - a Daoist priest. Ding Dian was toying with him to test the extent of his power. After Ding Dian killed him, he reckoned that his power was sufficient to take on his enemies one-by-one, but not all at once. Therefore Ding Dian suggested that shaved his (Ding Dian's) beard off such that Di Yun could disguise himself as Ding Dian and Ding Dian could ambush his enemies from the side. When Di Yun complained about it being overly dishonourable, Ding Dian scoffed and brought up the subject of Di Yun's reason for being in the cell. After Di Yun explained the past events, Ding Dian theorised about the reason behind them.

    Ding Dian said that it was a plot to snatch Di Yun's shi-mei away. In order to do so, the plot must make Di Yun seem to no longer love Qi Fang, that it was Di Yun who took the first step away and to make Di Yun seem bad such that Qi Fang wouldn't want to think about him. They could not kill him, because then Qi Fang might decide to follow him or have revenge. In order to make Qi Fang grateful, they would regularly send money to the court to 'help' Di Yun in front of Qi Fang, when it was really 'helping' Di Yun to prolong his stay, especially considering the relatively trivial nature of his alleged offense. In this way, year after year, Qi Fang couldn't wait forever and would have to marry eventually.

    However, Di Yun's shifu Qi ZhangFa was a missing factor since he could have taken Qi Fang away. Ding Dian also explained the true meaning of his shifu's title (iron lock across the raging river). Di Yun thought he was an honest uneducated peasant, but Ding Dian said that he was extremely clever and vindictive - if anyone messes with him, then he would focus all his energies on revenge, like a boat in a whirlpool in the middle of a raging river in that one cannot go up or down. Di Yun found this hard to believe. Ding Dian advised him to ask others when he got out. After this, Ding Dian chopped the dead priest with the blade and used the blood to stick the beard to Di Yun's face. Di Yun was afraid of the smell of blood, but in thinking about the likes of Wan Gui's evil plot and his shifu's title, he found the prison cell the most peaceful place...
    Last edited by fastclock; 08-05-05 at 11:21 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default Chapter 3 - Person pale as crysanthemum

    3 - Person pale as crysanthemum

    On the second day, 17 people came to the prison, filling the place. They started squabbling over who gets their hands on the prisoners, but as they entered the cell proper, Ding Dian intervened, grabbing and tossing them aside one by one, killing all 17 in a moment. However, much to Ding Dian's consternation, one did not quite die completely. When he finished the survivor off (using a corpse as a projectile), he discovered that the ex-survivor was wearing a shirt made of black silk that was impervious to normal weapons (getting to be a habit...). He gave this to Di Yun. He also accidently mentioned that the 17 came for the 'Lian chengjian', but refused to elaborate. Ding Dian again offered to teach him 'Sun Jiu Ging' and after the day's demonstration coupled with his knowledge of Wan Gui's plan, he agreed, crying out for revenge. After this, Ding Dian started teaching Di Yun, who proceeded to train non-stop. However, Ding Dian told him Sun Jiu Ging couldn't be rushed - even with his (Ding Dian's) strong inner-power background it took him 12 years to learn Sun Jiu Ging, let alone with Di Yun's background.

    The next day, Di Yun was practicing Sun Jiu Ging when he was suddenly struck hard from front and back. It would have normally killed him, but he was shielded by the vest. When he looked around, he saw five monks around him. One demanded the 'Lian chengjian' from him before realising that he wasn't Ding Dian, when Ding Dian struck from behind. Ding Dian mortally injured 3 of them in this fashion and killed the other one head-on, but one managed to flee. Ding Dian said that the monks were members of a sect called 'Huet Do Moon' (Blood knife sect), that the survivor was a vicious monk called 'Bao Xiang' and that their shifu was still alive.

    The next two years were fairly peaceful, with the odd person coming in now and then only to be killed on the spot by Ding Dian. One month, Di Yun was having difficultly making any progress with his Sun Jiu Ging, when he heard Ding Dian say "Yi?" with much desperation in his voice, saying to himself "It won't wilt today, it is not to late to change it tomorrow". Di Yun saw that he was looking at the flowerpot on the windowsill of the tower. He noticed that out of the three flowers there, one was missing a petal. Di Yun often saw Ding Dian staring at the flowers during their incarceration, but he merely thought that this was because it was just about the only entertainment available in the cell. However, the flowers were always changed before any of the flowers started wilting, every day of the year. Di Yun recalled that the current plant had been on the sill for 6-7 days - normally it would have been changed long ago.

    Throughout the night, Ding Dian becamed increasingly restless - the flower had five or six petals blown away already. Di Yun felt a forboding, and tried to console Ding Dian by saying that maybe the occupant had forgotten and would change it soon. Ding Dian shouted out that that wasn't possible - even if the occupant was sick, she [the text deliberately didn't give a gender] would still send someone to change it. The next night, it rained, and more petals left the flowers. Ding Dian continuously stared at the flowers, his face twitching and exhibiting despair. When Di Yun asked him why he was upset, Ding Dian snapped at him. Neither Ding Dian nor Di Yun slept that night. The next morning, all the petals of the flowers were gone, and Ding Dian shouted, "Died? Died? You really died?". When Di Yun suggested going to see the occupant, Ding Dian shouted, "Look!?! If I could go to look, I would have gone ages ago, why would I need to stay in this stinking room?". Di Yun said no more, but during the middle of the night, Ding Dian very calmly suggested that they take a look. After bending the bars, jumping one wall and smashing through another, they went to a blacksmith, forced him to remove their chains, then moved to the tower.

    Ding Dian hesitated at the door, both wanting and not wanting to go in. Di Yun volunteered to go in his stead. Di Yun found one room sparsely furnished with nothing but a table, chair and bed, with a girl's shoes by the bed. The other room had nothing at all. The tower had no occupants at all. Feeling uncomfortable, Di Yun reported this to Ding Dian. Ding Dian was not at all surprised, and then proceeded to the 'Ling' residence, which was the home of the local governor. They jumped over the wall, and proceeded in. Ding Dian seemed very familiar with the place. After passing two corridors, they went to the outside of the living room, where there was a light. Ding Dian started trembling, and Di Yun entered first. In there was an altar ('ling tong') - the slab said 'Loved daughter Ling ShuangHua's place'. Ding Dian entered, stood stupified for a moment, then jumped onto the table and crying noisily, shouted, "ShuangHua, you have indeed left before me." Ding Dian kept crying increasingly loudly and sadly for a long time, before standing straight and going to a coffin. He embraced the coffin tightly, putting his face against the lid, sobbing, "ShuangHua, ShuangHua, why are you this cruel? Before you went, why didn't you tell me to see you once more?" At this point, footsteps started approaching, but Ding Dian merely kissed the coffin and ignored them. Two people came in with a richly- dressed figure behind them. Ding Dian asked what day Ling ShuangHua died, and the official said 5 days ago of some uncertain cause. Ding Dian hatefully replied that that was in line with his wishes. The official said that if he had spoken it out earlier, then his daughter would not have died due to him but Ding Dian would have become his son-in-law. Ding Dian replied that if Ding Dian killed him (his name is Ling Tui Si) then Ling ShuangHua would hate him, therefore he would forget the 7 years of torture but if he came for him again, he would kill him, remarking that in his greed for the 'Lian chengjian' he would rather harm his own daughter. Ling TuiSi then said something about exchanging the Lian chengjian for antidote when Ding Dian felt his cheeks, lips and palms turning numb - the coffin was covered in poison! Ding Dian proceeded to attack Ling TuiSi who skillfully dodged whilst his henchmen closed in. Di Yun, protected against Ling TuiSi's attacks by the vest, went straight in and captured him. Using him as a hostage, they managed to escape to a derelict garden which was reputed to be haunted. Ding Dian said that the poison was from the ‘jin bo xun’ flower, and was uncurable. At this point Ding Dian proceeded to tell his life story.
    Ding Dian was from a famous martial-arts family, and had two teachers as well as his family art. He loved to wander around correcting injustices, and became moderately famous. After his parents died, they left behind a considerable fortune and he continued wandering the country. 15 years ago, one night on a boat, he saw three men attacking an old man who was wounded in the back. The three men were Wan ZhenShan, Yan DaPing and Qi ZhangFa. At that time, Ding Dian wasn't the match of Wan ZhenShan so he didn't dare to reveal himself. The three attacked the man with swords viciously with the intention of killing him, but the old man defended himself with his bare hands. It was evident that the old man's martial arts were much more superior to the three, and the three didn't dare to get too close. However, the old man was growing weak from loss of blood, and eventually jumped into the river. The three searched for him for a moment before giving up. After the three left, the old man popped up beside Ding Dian's boat and clambered up. Ding Dian helped him dress his wound. It turned out that the old man was Mui Lim Sang, the shifu of the three who attacked him, and Qi ZhangFa who stabbed him in the back! His three students had stolen the 'Lian Cheng' sword manual, but without the 'Jue' it was useless. He also said that the Lian Cheng sword technique paled in comparison to Sun Jiu Ging. Mui Lim Sang then taught Ding Dian the Lian chengjian (which was merely a string of numbers) and Sun Jiu Ging before dying. Ding Dian erected a grave for Mui Lim Sang, but the news that it was he who buried MLS got out, and people from all over came to pester him. His enemies were too many, forcing him to flee and hide himself in outer China. After 5-6 years when things had calmed down, he returned to his home only to find it burnt down to the ground.

    9 years ago in September, he went to sell some herbs from outer China to the manager of a medicine shop. The manager invited Ding Dian to see the famous chrysanthemum collection of the city. Ding Dian praised the flowers, but remarked that it was a pity there weren't any green chrysanthemums. At this, he heard a young voice behind him say, "Mistress, this person knows about green chrysanthemums. How would ordinary people be able to easily see the 'Chun Sui Bik Bo' and 'Luk Yuk Yu Yi' we have at home?" At this, Ding Dian turned around and saw an incredibly beautiful girl, dressed in a yellow dress, as pale as a chrysanthemum, accompanied by a servant-girl. The girl apologised for the servant-girl's words, them left. The manager told him who the girl was (Ling ShuangHua, of course) and after some enquiries went to her home. However, he didn't dare knock and paced back and force for six hours. Finally, the servant-girl came out and laughingly told him to go home. Ding Dian told her that he wanted to take a look at the rare chrysanthemum flowers her mistress possessed, so the servant-girl went back to her mistress. Ding Dian sat outside her home the entire night, and the next morning he saw the chrysanthemums on the window-sill. At that moment, Ling ShuangHua took a peek out, saw him, blushed, and went back in. For the next 6 months, regardless of the weather, Ding Dian went to her home daily to see the flowers on the sill, which Ling ShuangHua would change daily. He only saw Ling ShuangHua for an instant each day, upon which she would blush and go back without exchanging any words. However, he was then ambushed by two monks from the blood knife sect and was badly wounded, requiring 3 months to recover. As soon as he was able to walk, he went to Ling ShuangHua's home, but she had moved! No one knew where they moved therefore Ding Dian went back to wandering the country. Later, he heard two people talk about forcing Wan ZhenShan to give up the Lian Cheng sword manual. Out of curiosity, Ding Dian followed them. The two were captured and sent to the governor, who turned out to be Ling ShuangHua's father.

    That night, he quietly put a pot containing a flower on Ling ShuangHua's window-sill and waited underneath. When she saw him and the flower, she was naturally surprised and delighted, and stared at him for a while before blushing and retreating. On the third day, she finally began talking to him, and afterwards in the middle of each night, he would take her outside for walks, talking animatedly. Ling ShuangHua revealed that although her father was an official, he was also a head of the Lung-Sa association. Her father wanted to be stationed in Jing Zhou because there was supposed to be an ancient treasure hidden in there somewhere. After half a year of these nightly jaunts, Ling ShuangHua suggested that they reveal their relationship to her father, saying that he wouldn't mind him because he was a 'Mo Lum' person too. She went and asked him, and came back with the reply, "I'll follow whatever my daughter says." Naturally, they were incredibly happy, but then they saw that some bright golden flowers had been added to the flowers. They went over to admire them, but when Ding Dian sniffed them, he fainted away. This was the ‘Jin boxun’ that he was now dying of. When he awoke, he was imprisoned in a cell, manacled, chains piercing his collarbone.
    Di Yun suggested that maybe Ling ShuangHua was tricking him to obtain the Lian-Chengjian and Sun Jiu Ging. This enraged Ding Dian at first, but then he calmed down and explained that in his state of mind with Ling ShuangHua, he would willingly have given both to her if she so much as gave a slight hint that she was interested, and he wouldn't have cared whether she gave it to her father or left it to the beggars in the street - Ling ShuangHua was all that mattered to him. However, her father didn't believe anyone would give up a fortune for a woman, and hence resorted to the (ineffective) plan he did rather than simply ask. Ling TuiSi proceeded to use cajolery, threats and torture on Ding Dian to extract the Lian Chengjian. From Ling TuiSi's words, Ding Dian gathered that the Lian chengjian was the key to the finding the hidden treasure. After that, Ling TuiSi put a spy in the cell with Ding Dian, who immediately saw through it and after a while the spy was taken away. Ding Dian knew that if he gave away the Lian chengjian he would be eliminated, but if he kept his mouth shut Ling TuiSi would by contrast not allow him to die. After a month, one night, Ling ShuangHua's servant-girl, Kuk Yau, came to see him. She was forbidden (at sword-point) to say anything, but merely looked at him, weeping. When the warden signalled for her to leave, KY gave him a chrysanthemum flower and pointed to the tower visible from outside the cell, with the flowers on the window-sill set by Ling ShuangHua. As KY left, she and the warden were killed by arrows. Ding Dian was puzzled by why Ling ShuangHua changed the flowers but never showed her face.

    After he mastered Sun Jiu Gung, he had left the cell to visit Ling ShuangHua at the tower. After so many years without trouble, Ling TuiSi didn't bother with guards any more. He called to her, and she replied, but refused to open the window. She said that she made a promise to her father that if she never saw him again then he wouldn't kill him. She made a vow that if she disobeyed, then her deceased mother would be bullied by evil ghosts. Ding Dian suggested that she left with him, covering her eyes with a cloth so that she wouldn't have to break her vow. However, she still refused. Her father had arranged her to marry another in order to drive them apart. When she refused to marry, her father tried to use force. At that point, she disfigured herself, slashing herself 17-18 times on the face with a knife. Hearing this, Ding Dian burst in and embraced her, saying that he didn't care. However, Ling ShuangHua said that it was too late. Ding Dian therefore said that he would return to the cell and see the flowers that she put out every day. She told him never to see her again, with their only remaining wish being to be buried together after they died. Ding Dian therefore taught the Lian chengjian to her, telling her to find an honest person to do this for them, rewarding them with the Jue if they agreed. At dawn, Ding Dian returned to the cell. When some people later tried to assassinate Ling TuiSi, he defended Ling TuiSi because if he died, then Ling ShuangHua would be all alone.

    At this, Di Yun said that he would be willing to perform the task for them, but he didn't care for the Lian chengjian. Ding Dian suggested that he could use it to help the poor and suffering. At this, he started teaching the jue (a series of numbers) to him - 4, 51, 33, 53... Di Yun was listening, mystified, when footsteps were heard and a voice suggested searching in the garden. At this, Di Yun and Ding Dian's faces paled, and three men entered the garden...
    Last edited by fastclock; 08-05-05 at 11:19 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default Chapter 4 - Water celery

    4 - Water celery

    Di Yun recognised one of the three as Wan ZhenShan's second student, Chow Kei, but swallowed his anger. After a few words, the three moved to fight Ding Dian and Di Yun. Although Ding Dian struck them in several vital areas, he was too weak from poison to do any damage. When Ding Dian stumbled, Di Yun headbutted one of the three in the chest and they fell in a heap. When Di Yun was attacked, Ding Dian impaled himself on two of his enemies' weapons. Although badly injured, some of the poison left his body as a result and he managed to kill two of the men. He then held onto CK (driving the sword further in), imploring Di Yun to get away. Di Yun refused to leave him though, and Ding Dian's grip became increasingly weak. He said that it was a pity he didn't have time to teach him the entire Lian chengjian, but he was very happy though, and muttered about how beautiful the green chrysanthemum were on Ling ShuangHua's window. When CK broke free, he immediately stabbed Di Yun in the chest with his sword, laughing cruelly. However, the sword couldn't pierce Di Yun's vest, and Di Yun grabbed him in a fierce bear-hug. The sword in between their bodies was slowly bent into an arc by Di Yun's embrace, and it finally snapped, with both ends crushed into CK's body, killing him. He went to Ding Dian, who was not quite dead, and restated his promise to bury him with Ling ShuangHua. Ding Dian tried to teach him more of Lian chengjian, but died before he could speak out another number. Di Yun wept, but soon there were the footsteps of about ten people approaching, therefore Di Yun picked up Ding Dian's body and left.

    After running around for a bit, he saw a small door to the left and he entered, seeing a large field growing vegetables. He saw a timber room nearby and entered it, setting Ding Dian's corpse down. Suddenly, he heard a voice sweetly calling, "Kong XinChai, Kong XinChai, where are you?" He wanted to blurt out "I'm here" but managed to keep silent. 'Kong XinChai' was his shi-mei Qi Fang's secret nickname for him, saying that he was dull-witted, honest to the point of not having a single devious thought and not understanding anything, empty-hearted like water celery. He remembered on the night when Bo Yuan came to their countryside home, he met Qi Fang's eyes to see her with a piece of water celery in her chopsticks, but instead of eating it, she gently touched her lips against it with laughter in her eyes. At that time, he merely thought she was calling him an 'empty-hearted vegetable', but now he understood the meaning of kissing the celery...

    However, the calls of 'Kong XinChai' previously contained friendliness, intimacy, sweetness, concern but also mischieviousness, irritation and annoyance. Today, it was purely love. He couldn't believe his ears, thinking that it must be a dream. He peered out of the window, and when Qi Fang turned around, he saw that it was indeed her. Qi Fang laughingly called, "Kong XinChai, you still aren't coming out?" Seeing her calling him in this way, he was delighted beyond measure and took a step forward when he suddenly recalled Ding Dian's warning that he was too honest and too easily fell into other people's traps, therefore he stopped. When she continued calling in that loving way, Di Yun thought that it couldn't be false, and anyway if she wanted to kill him he may as well let her, therefore he was about to take another step. Suddenly, he heard the laughter of a child girl, crying, "Mother, mother, I'm here!".

    Di Yun saw a young child girl, so young she couldn't even walk steadily, rushing towards her. Qi Fang addressed the child, "Kong XinChai, where did you hide? Mother couldn't find you anywhere." The child replied, "Kong XinChai was in the garden! Kong XinChai was watching the ants!" At this, Di Yun's ears rang, feeling as if he had been punched in the chest. Qi Fang's daughter was called Kong XinChai, and she was calling her daughter and not him. During the past few years, he held out a faint hope that Qi Fang hadn't really married Wan Gui, but now he had no choice to accept it, weeping silently.

    He heard Qi Fang telling Kong XinChai not to play outside, that their were villains about outside who caught young children. When Kong XinChai asked, Qi Fang replied that two ferocious villains had escaped from prison and that her father was helping to catch them. Hearing Qi Fang call him a 'villain', his heart sunk further, filled with dispair, rage and bitterness.

    A few horses passed by, and Qi Fang moved to the door, pulling out a sword as she went. However, Kong XinChai wandered next to the timber room and spotted Di Yun. She was too terrified by his appearance to cry out immediately. Di Yun immediately grabbed her and put a hand over her mouth, but he was just too late to stifle her cry. Qi Fang turned around, not recognising him, and demanded that she release the child. At first, in despair, he didn't care whether she killed him or not so he didn't react, but Qi Fang was afraid of injuring Kong XinChai. However, when she demanded again, he was angered by the fact that she didn't retain any feelings for old-times and counter-attacked with a stick.

    They both used Qi ZhangFa's scrambled sword-techniques, but due to his lack of fingers, the stick fell from his hand. Qi Fang finally recognised him though, asking, "Its...its you?" in a hoarse voice. Di Yun nodded and released the child, who buried her face in her mother's chest. Qi Fang tossed the sword to the ground and said, "I...I didn't know it was you. All these past years..."

    Suddenly, a male voice came from outside, calling, "Fang mei, Fang mei, where are you?" - it was Wan Gui, and he was getting closer and closer. Qi Fang's face colour abruptly changed and whispering to her daughter that Di Yun wasn't a bad person and asking her not to tell her father. Kong XinChai took one look at Di Yun and then suddenly started crying out loud. Wan Gui started approaching the source of the sound. Qi Fang took one more look at Di Yun then left the room with Kong XinChai to meet her husband, closing the door as she went. Di Yun stood their stupified, wanting only to die on the spot. He heard Wan Gui ask why Kong XinChai was crying, and heard Qi Fang say that two fierce looking men went past with blades, and that Kong XinChai thought that they were bad people wanting to catch her.

    Hearing Wan Gui outside and seeing that his shi-mei was definitely married to him, he wanted to take the sword left by Qi Fang and charge outside for a fight to the death, and called out, "I...". Abruptly, he saw Ding Dian's body and recalling his promise, he retracted his words and controlled his temper. However, Wan Gui heard the sound, and remarked that there seemed to be someone in the timber-room. Qi Fang lied that she saw an old servant enter a moment ago and together with Wan Gui and Kong XinChai walked away.

    Di Yun at this point on the one hand wanted to stay in the hopes of seeing Qi Fang again, but on the other hand wanted to leave to avoid increasing his sadness when his situation with Qi Fang hopeless. As he was stewing in his thoughts, footsteps were approaching. He thought it was Qi Fang, and finally decided to leave, thinking that Qi Fang was happy with her wealthy family and had long forgotten him, and even if he killed Wan Gui, Qi Fang might hate her and could hardly marry the killer of her husband. He stooped down to pick Ding Dian up, when the door was kicked open and Wan Gui entered.

    When he saw Qi Fang's sword in Di Yun's hands, he became incensed by jealousy and moved to attack. Di Yun used Qi Fang's sword to execute the stabbing move taught by the beggar, controlling Wan Gui in a single move. As Di Yun was pondering whether or not to kill him, Wan Gui suddenly called "Qi Fang, come and look!" As the startled Di Yun looked to the side, Wan Gui knocked the sword out of his fingerless hand and attacked. Di Yun dodged and picked up a stick to use as a weapon. Wan Gui eventually stabbed his wrist and leg, and kicked him unconscious. Then Wan Gui saw Ding Dian's legs portruding from the timber, and he chopped at the legs. Di Yun woke up again and when he saw what Wan Gui did, he was enraged and jumped at him, catching him in a stranglehold. Di Yun stangled him until he became unconscious, but he had lost much blood himself and also fainted away. From outside of the timber room, some light footsteps approached...

    The next thing Di Yun perceived was the sound of water. He cried out, "I'll strangle you, I'll strangle you" before realising he was in a rocking boat, that it was nighttime and was raining. He was puzzled for a moment when he remembered Ding Dian, and looked around desperately. Thankfully the body was still beside him. Next, he noticed a bandage on his leg, and then that all wounds had been crudely bandaged by cloth torn off from some woman's clothing.

    His first thought was that it was Qi Fang, but then he thought that Qi Fang would hardly help him since she must have set her husband on him since he couldn't know he was there otherwise. (Di Yun seems to have a short memory :.) ) He thought about who could have bandaged his injuries and placed him in the boat until his head hurt. He then hit a package that had been suspended by his forehead. The package contained some money and some woman's jewellery. He didn't recognise any of the jewellery as belonging to Qi Fang, and became more confused than ever as to who rescued him. He continued thinking fruitlessly as the boat drifted downstream.
    Last edited by fastclock; 08-05-05 at 11:23 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default Chapter 5 - The mouse soup

    5 - The mouse soup

    The boat sailed down the Chang-Jiang (Yangtze) river, passing by numerous towns and villages, and with sailing boats passing his boat by, the occupants looking curiously at the blood-stained and hairy Di Yun. Di Yun grew hungry and therefore paddled near to the north shore with a board. However, there were no inhabitants there, so he let the boat drift until he saw three fishing vessels with smoke arising from them. He moved near to them and asked and old fisherman to sell him a fish and some rice. The old fisherman, frightened by his visage, handed some over to him without requesting payment.

    Suddenly, a tall and thin monk came along and rudely demanded some fish from the fishermen. Di Yun saw that it was Bao Xiang, the sole survivor from the five monks that fought Ding Dian in the cell. Di Yun didn't dare look at him anymore and sat there, trembling. The fisherman said that they had already sold all their fish, and Bao Xiang saw Di Yun's fish and demanded that instead. Di Yun, thinking that the monk recognised him, paddled away as fast as he could. Bao Xiang attacked his boat with stones, but Di Yun dodged the ones aimed at him, and the ones that hit the boat had travelled too far to do much damage.

    However, Bao Xiang recognised that Di Yun knew martial-arts and his unkempt condition reminded him of a fleeing fugitive, making him think of Ding Dian. Bao Xiang called to the fishermen to chase the boat when he discovered that they had quietly set sail. He flung stones at them, killing one, but the others just went even quicker.

    Bao Xiang chased the boat on foot and was much faster than the boat, but nevertheless their distance increased since Di Yun rowed towards the southern shore whilst Bao Xiang was on the north. Encountering some trees, Di Yun grabbed his package and Ding Dian, and went on shore, setting the boat adrift. Nearby was derelict shrine dedicated to the earth god, which Di Yun took shelter in. Halfway through the night, it started raining. Suddenly he someone coming through the rain. he quickly hid Ding Dian's body under the altar, and hid himself behind the statue. The monk Bao Xiang entered the shrine, cursing and swearing about the 'old thief' (lo chak) all the way. After a moment of this, Bao Xiang stripped off all his clothes to dry and went to sleep beside the altar. Di Yun considered killing him as he slept but worried that he would not be able to kill him in a single strike. However, he did not want to leave Ding Dian's body behind, so he waited, hoping the Bao Xiang would leave next morning when the rain stopped. But if it didn't stop, Bao Xiang would go looking for food and probably find Ding Dian.

    Suddenly, he wondered why Bao Xiang called him an 'old thief' when he recalled his long hair and beard, which hadn't been cut for years, making him look like an old man. But then Bao Xiang turned over in his sleep, kicking Ding Dian in the process and abruptly waking Bao Xiang up. Bao Xiang kicked the altar aside and chopped Ding Dian's corpse.

    Di Yun wanted to charge at Bao Xiang, but he was no longer the impulsive type anymore, and resisted the temptation since it would be useless. Not having the means to make a fire, Bao Xiang stood still and listened very carefully. Di Yun stayed very quiet, and then he suddenly thought that Bao Xiang was looking for an old man - if he shaved off his beard and hair, Bao Xiang would no longer go after him. Since he had no means of shaving, he slowly plucked every strand of beard from his chin, then started on his hair (OUCH!). After he plucked a few, he decided to sneak out first. He moved out very slowly, taking over an hour to do so, then he rapidly plucked out the rest of his hair. He allowed the rain to wash the blood off his face and then, afraid that the monk would recognise his clothes, took all of them off except for the protective vest off, tore them up and wrapped them around his waist. He rolled around in the mud to disguise the vest. He hid his bundle at the base of the tree, promising to repay his benefactor, whoever he (she) was. It was morning by then. He picked up a sharp stone as a weapon then proceeded to the shrine.

    He pretended to be a crazy country bumpkin, singing some crude mountain songs made up on the spot. Thinking about the previous times when he sang them with Qi Fang, his couldn't help but have a sour feeling. Bao Xiang came out, and asked him if Di Yun could find him some food, preferably a nice fat pig. Di Yun lied and said that there weren't any settlements within 10 'lei' (1 lei ~ half a kilometre) but there was a big one within 15 'lei' towards the west. Unfortunately, the rain didn't stop and Bao Xiang told Di Yun to go look for food instead. Seeing that Ding Dian's corpse had been searched but was still intact, he left, saying he would be back 'soon'.

    However, Bao Xiang immediately caught him, slapping him across the face, saying how could he pay for food and how could he be back 'soon' from a city 15 lei away. Di Yun replied that he was afraid of him and wanted to go home, whereupon Bao Xiang laughed and asked, "What are you afraid of? Afraid that I'll eat you?" Then, he repeated his last statement over and over again, looking up and down at Di Yun. Di Yun was extremely uncomfortable at his gaze, when Bao Xiang said, "The taste of human flesh isn't bad, human liver is particularly delicious, there is a pig available right here, why not butcher it?"

    Bao Xiang advanced step by step whilst Di Yun retreated. Bao Xiang remarked that a skinny person like him probably wouldn't taste particularly nice, that Ding Dian would taste better but was inedible due to poison. Bao Xiang, being an extremely lazy type, thought that it was a pity that Di Yun couldn't butcher himself, boil the meat and serve it to him. Bao Xiang offered him two choices - slice pieces of him off to roast on-the-fly, or to kill him on the fly. Di Yun wanted to insult him but didn't dare.

    Bao Xiang then told him to take the large wok and boil some water in it. Knowing that Bao Xiang was going to stir-fry him using it, Di Yun was reluctant but then had the idea of throwing the boiling water onto his nubile body, scalding him to death. Di Yun rapidly prepared the water, using a flint and fire-knife from Ding Dian. When the water boiled, Di Yun prepared to make his move but Bao Xiang immediately grabbed him, and kicked him away from the wok. Bao Xiang then told him to remove his clothes to be butchered.

    Di Yun took out the stone and was about to rush Bao Xiang, when he saw two twitching dying mice. He offered them to Bao Xiang. When Bao Xiang asked whether they were dead or alive, he lied that he had crushed them half to death. Bao Xiang said that two weren't enough and told Di Yun to catch more. Di Yun said that he would prepare the first two as appetisers and catch more later, and therefore borrowed the monk's sabre to butcher the mice (after being dared to try and use it on Bao Xiang) and then put the mice in the wok to make some mouse soup.

    Di Yun then went to 'hunt mice', but hid himself underwater in a pond, keeping only his mouth and nose outside of the water amidst some grass.

    After awhile, Bao Xiang praised the mouse soup and called for Di Yun, who naturally didn't reply. Cursing and swearing, Bao Xiang went searching for him. Di Yun submerged himself entirely, but after he had to resurface, he was immediately grabbed by Bao Xiang. Di Yun immediately grabbed his arm and pulled the monk into the pond. Di Yun kept Bao Xiang in a hold and head-butted him repeatedly in the chest, whilst Bao Xiang kept hitting him with his fists.

    However, Bao Xiang suddenly cried out and stopped his attacks, spasmed, then sunk to the bottom of the pond, dead. Di Yun got out and watched for a long time before believing that Bao Xiang was really dead. Returning to the main hall, he saw that the wok contained two more dead mice. He was about to drink the mouse soup when he smelt a peculiar fragrance that made him pause and then throw the soup away. He thanked Ding Dian for helping him even after his death. It turned out that the first pair of mice had drank some poisoned blood from Ding Dian's body, and the poison was transferred to Bao Xiang when he drank the soup.

    He put Ding Dian's body in the corner, and then dragged Bao Xiang's body out and buried it. Back in the main hall, he saw Bao Xiang's clothes and a package. The package contained some money and a book containing drawings of a naked foreign-looking man in all sorts of weird postures (e.g. standing on the left leg, right leg straight out, arms behind the back, left hand holding the right ear and vice-versa) with coloured lines running all over the man's body, which corresponded to the vessels on one's body.

    The directions were the reverse of what Ding Dian taught, but Di Yun tried it anyway, and immediately felt light and comfortable. Di Yun previously found it extremely difficult to progress with his Sun Jiu Ging but could feel his qi flowing effortlessly. He continued for a moment and fainted away, but when he woke up he felt filled with energy. However, Di Yun was wary of the manual since it came from an evil monk, worried that the techniques contained within were evil. He intended to destroy it, but then he considered the secrets within, he decided against it. He then wore the monk's robes in place of his tattered clothes, took the monk's belongings, his hidden bundle and Ding Dian's body, and moved away. He met a farmer, who ran away at the sight of the corpse. Knowing that if he continued like that he would get into trouble eventually, he cremated Ding Dian, gathering up his ashes.

    Di Yun decided to look for his shifu Qi ZhangFa next. Along the way, after he took a ferry across a river, he heard some people fighting - 7-8 big men fighting an old man. The old man sent one of his attackers flying, and it became obvious that the old man knew martial arts, and the others didn't dare advance. Then three trained fighters came and surrounded the old man. When asked, it turned out that the old man forced them to sell a pair of golden carp, and when refused tried to snatch them. The head of the men then enquired whether any of his friends had been injured by blue-sand palm. The old man fled, snatching the fish-basket as he went. The head threw a projectile at the old man's back as he ran.

    Di Yun took pity on the old man and threw a fish- basket in the path of the projectile, stopping it from hitting the old man. The head swore at Di Yun, calling him a little rotten monk (siu chak tuk). Di Yun was puzzled by this. The head ordered his men to capture the two, when two horses rode towards them, both with different sounding bells attached to them. The old man addressed them as master, whilst the head said, "Its ‘Ling Jian Shuang Xia’ (bell-sword dual warriors)?" Both the horses were magnificent, one yellow, one white. The yellow horse was ridden by a tall and thin man, 25-26 years of age, dressed in yellow, called Wang XiaoFeng. The white horse was ridden by a very beautiful young woman, 20 years of age, dressed in white, called Shui Sheng. The two were cousins, and were both carrying a sword and a whip.

    Wang XiaoFeng asked the old man whether the old man had brought the carp yet, and the old man replied that they refused to sell them and fought him. Wang XiaoFeng then noticed that the projectile was a deadly 'scorpion-tail' dart. When Shui Sheng remarked that this type of weapon was too deadly but it was alright to use them on baskets for practice, the old man pointed out that it was the 'little master' (xiao shi fu) that rescued him, which again puzzled Di Yun. Wang XiaoFeng threw the head into the river with his whip, whilst Shui Sheng scattered the others. Wang XiaoFeng tossed some money at Di Yun as thanks, but Di Yun returned it to him and asked him for their names. Wang XiaoFeng replied with their title, showing off with his whip in the meantime, displaying much brashness. Di Yun replied that he heard their title but didn't know their names. Wang XiaoFeng was unhappy at hearing this.

    Then some wind came and lifted the edge of Di Yun's robe. Shui Sheng suddenly exclaimed that he was a member of the Tibetian blood-knife sect, Wang XiaoFeng agreed and rudely told him to go. Di Yun, not understanding what they meant, took a step towards them and asked. Shui Sheng became frightened and agree, and told him not to come closer. Di Yun, still not understanding, took another step closer, when they struck him with their whips, kicked him down, and Shui Sheng moved to trample him with her horse. Di Yun darted away, but then heard something snap and fainted away.

    When he woke up, he spat blood and found his right leg crushed. At first, he wanted to give up and die, then he thought about why the two attacked him, and when he couldn't figure it out, he thought about how stupid he was compared to Ding Dian. However, thinking about Ding Dian, he remembered his promise and crawled along, eating some of the fish left behind by the scattered men and setting his broken leg and used a boat to move into the river. He then saw a fearful-looking crimson red short blade on his robe, and when he felt his bald head, he understood that the two had mistaken him for a monk belonging to the evil sect, and therefore his animosity towards the two faded. Knowing that the robe would only get him into more trouble, he went to a clothes shop and brought some new clothing, wearing them over his existing ones (since he would have to strip naked first otherwise).

    He then went to a restaurant to eat, when he heard the bells of the ‘Ling Jian Shuang Xia’ again. He considered confronting them to explain, but decided against it, thinking that being blamed once more wouldn't make much difference. However, 4 constables suddenly surrounded him. Di Yun thought they wanted to take him back to the governor of Jing Zhou, so he threw the food at the constables and ran, but he forgot his broken leg and almost fell. His martial arts were still better than the constables though, and he managed to snatch a blade off one of them. The constables surrounding him didn't dare approach, and shouted accusations of rape and murder at him. The ‘Ling Jian Shuang Xia’ rode back again, and after a moment recognised Di Yun again. One of the constables then accused him of raping and subsequently murdering two women, another said that they watched him purchase new clothes. Di Yun said that that was nonsense, but another said that they saw the culprit clearly, and it was definitely him.

    The ‘Ling Jian Shuang Xia’ were discussing matters on horseback. They were surprised at the stir that the members of the blood-knife cult caused, but judging by the standard of Di Yun's martial arts it didn't seem worth bothering the likes of the four great warriors 'Lu Hua Liu Shui' (Falling flowers flowing water) at once, and (jokingly) maybe the two of them were more appropriate. Wang XiaoFeng said that he would deal with the monk, but Shui Sheng wanted to go along too. Wang XiaoFeng told her to stay behind to avoid any rumours concerning her and the rapist monk.
    Last edited by fastclock; 08-05-05 at 11:26 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default

    6 - Blood sabre grand master

    Seeing that with the crowd increasing in size, getting away would become harder, Dik Wan raises his sabre and warns for everyone in get out of his way and heads east. The crowd scatters and the 4 constables half-heartedly give chase. One gets too close and Di Yun cuts him on the arm. That constable screams that Di Yun is resisting arrest and attempting murder.

    Shui Sheng gets out of the way and Wang XiaoFeng confronts Di Yun, With one move he disarms Di Yun with his whip and he grabs Di Yun by the back of his collar and hoists him up, ready to bring the sword down on him. The crowd cheers that the "lascivious monk" is going to get his.

    Di Yun, unable to put up any resistance, can only sigh and lament that he is fated to be wrongfully accused all his life, and that he is going to fail Ding Dian, not because he didn't try, but because his luck is just too rotten.

    Suddenly from the distance an old sounding voice cries out for Wang XiaoFeng to not harm Di Yun. Wang XiaoFeng looks around and sees a real skinny and wrinkly old monk wearing the same attire as Di Yun. Wang XiaoFeng realizes that this monk is from the same sect as Di Yun, so he decides he better finish off the young one first and then deal with the old one. So he quickly brings his sword down toward Di Yun's neck, but suddenly his elbow goes numb and his arm goes limb, apparently his pressure point (yuet) has been hit by a projectile. However, the sword still leaves a mark on Di Yun's left temple on its way down.

    Like the wind, the old monk flies near and pushes Wang XiaoFeng off his horse. He gets on the horse without using the stirrup or leaping,and he gallops toward Shui Sheng. From the ground Wang XiaoFeng warns his cousin to get away, but it's too late. The old monk seats Di Yun behind Shui Sheng and was about to push her off when she turned to attack him. The old man is impressed by Shui Sheng's beauty and decides to keep her, sealing the pressure point on her waist.
    Shui Sheng was in the process of slicing her sword toward the old monk when suddenly her arm goes numb and the sword drops, she is shocked and afraid, but before she could leap off the horse, her legs go numb too.

    And so the monk on the yellow horse, Di Yun and Shui Sheng on the white horse speed away, with their decorative bells making "ding dong" sounds.
    Wang XiaoFeng wants to go after them but he can't move, and the constables yell and shout that the evil monks are getting away but they don't dare go after them.
    On horseback, Di Yun reflexively reaches down to brace himself, but inadvertently grabs Shui Sheng's waist. Shui Sheng screams "Don't touch me!" and Di Yun is startled and grabs the saddle instead. But being back to back on a horse there's no way that their bodies don't touch, so Shui Sheng keeps screaming and the old monk gets tired of it and seals Shui Sheng's speech pressure point, and she goes mute.

    The old monk keeps checking out Shui Sheng's body and face, and complements her on her good looks and remarks how he is so lucky. Shui Sheng hears all this and she nearly faints out of fear.

    And so they head west, after a while the old monk removes from the horses and crushes all the bells with his bare hands because they attract too much attention. They keep on moving until they reach a cliff on a hill around evening time, seeing that the area is deserted, he brings Di Yun and Shui Sheng down from atop the white horse, ties the horses around a tree by their reins, and sits down to meditate, but not before he checks out Shui Sheng somemore with glee.
    Meanwhile, resting, Di Yun ponders that his adventure today is so weird--two "good guys" try to kill him, and an evil monk saves him. He knows that the old monk and Bao Xiang is from the same sect and definitely is evil. And he wonders if the old monk tries to rape Shui Sheng, what he's going to do.

    After a while the old monk suddenly stands up abruptly with his arms stretched out sideways and his left leg lifted skyward with its sole completely facing the heavens. Di Yun recognizes that this is the same pose as in the manual he took from Bao Xiang. After standing for a while like a statue in that pose, the old monk assumes another strange, upside down, pose.

    Di Yun secretly takes out the manual and compares it to the monk's poses, they are the same.

    With the monk deeply immersed in meditation, Di Yun begins to crawl toward Shui Sheng with the intention of letting her go. He knows its dangerous but he also knows that when someone meditates like that, his senses all shut down whenever he breathes.

    With a broken leg, it's hard for him to move, but finally he reaches where Shui Sheng is lying on the ground and gestures for her to not be afraid, that he's here to save her. However, Shui Sheng is convinced that Di Yun is a lavicious monk, and when she sees him discreetly crawling toward her, she is already really afraid, and then when she sees him gesturing, she mistakes them to mean other things and so she becomes even more afraid.

    Di Yun points toward the horses and tries to pull her up and escape on them. But her body is limb. If Di Yun was healthy he could just lift her and run downhill, but with a broken leg there's no way. His only solution is to try to break the seal of her pressure points. But he doesn't know how to, so he points toward various body parts on Shui Sheng and tries to get Shui Sheng to tell him through her gaze where he should touch. But again Shui Sheng misunderstands and is embarassed and himiliated to the extreme, and she can only think of running headfirst into the rocks to spare herself of being violated, if only she could move!

    Di Yun is confused by her strange expression, and he thinks that she doesn't know how to break the seal either so he starts to massage her back, to no avail. Shui Sheng thinks about her cousin Wang XiaoFeng and how her dad already plans to let them get married, and starts to weep. Di Yun thinks that she's crying because he hurt her by touching the wrong pressure point on her back, so he switches to her hips. However, once he does that, her eyes get even more teary! Di Yun is even more perplexed, thinking touching her waist only makes it more painful. He knows the sacred areas on the female body so he doesn't even dare look at them, much less touch them. So he decides that he can't keep randomly touching her various body parts, and the only alternative is to just carry her on his back and go downhill.

    But Shui Sheng sees him reaching for her and thinks he is trying to undress her. In her anguish, she has trouble breathing as a breath of air is stuck in her chest, unable to exhale. And as Di Yun lifts her up by her armpits, the stuck air in her chest suddenly rushes forward, breaking her speech pressure point seal. And she screams "Bastard! Don't touch me! Let me go!" Shocked, Di Yun drops her and he cannot stand firmly either and collapses on top of Shui Sheng.

    The old monk immediately breaks out of his trance. He sees the two of them in a heap and Shui Sheng screaming, and he thinks that Di Yun is trying to have his way with Shui Sheng before him. He lifts Di Yun off Shui Sheng and tells him that he really like the way he lusts after women, even with a broken leg and all. Di Yun doesn't know whether to laugh or cry, his good intentions again get misconstrued.
    The old monk thinks Di Yun is Bao Xiang's new pupil, and he thinks that Bao Xiang must really like Di Yun since he even gave his own robe to him to wear. The old monk then asks Di Yun his name and if Bao Xiang also gave him the 'Blood Sabre Secret Manual.' Di Yun doesn't know what he's talking about, but he takes out the manual he found on Bao Xiang. The old monk is delighted, because that IS the 'Secret Manual.' He asks Di Yun if he has learned the entry level skills yet, Di Yun says no. Then he asks Di Yun where his 'master' is, and Di Yun lies and says 'he's enjoying himself on a boat in the river.' The old monk asks Di Yun if Bao Xiang has told him about HIS master, Di Yun says no. The old monk muses aloud why Bao Xiang is so tight lipped that he didn't even tell his favorite pupil the history of his sect. Then he introduces himself. Turns out he is known as the 'Blood Sabre Grand Master,' chief of the 'Blood Sabre Sect,' which is a branch of the 'Tibetan Green Sect.' Blood Sabre Grand Master is the 4th generation chieftain. Blood Sabre Grand Master then advises Di Yun that if he hangs around his grand master (himself) that he will have the greatest life, and can have which ever woman he so desires, one after another. And perhaps he can even become the 6th generation chieftain!
    Blood Sabre Grand Master notices Di Yun's broken leg, and takes out a bottle in which there's some medicinal powder. He applies the powder to Di Yun's wound, and tells him that it's a secret formula made exclusively by the BS Sect, designed to healed broken bones. He guarantees that within a month, Di Yun's leg will heal. He reveals his plan to take them to Jing Zhou (the city from which Di Yun escaped) where they will meet up with Bao Xiang as well as other BS’s monks. Di Yun is perturbed to hear this.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master then turns his attention to Shui Sheng, telling her how stuck up she and her father, who hails from one of the so-called 'orthodox clan' (ming mune jing pai) are. Blood Sabre Grand Master reveals that one of his disciples was just killed by Shui Sheng's dad, Sui Doi, and he contemplates revenge by stripping Shui Sheng naked and marching her on horseback through the streets. Shui Sheng is mortified, and plans how she can just end her life to spare her and her family the humiliation.

    Suddenly, Blood Sabre Grand Master declares that he hears Shui Sheng's would-be rescuers coming and that there are 17 of them. Di Yun is amazed as he can barely hear any sounds of horse hoofs striking the ground, he cannot fathom how Blood Sabre Grand Master could possibly have discerned the number of people coming.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master tells Di Yun that having just applied the medicine to his leg, he cannot move within 1.5 hrs (3 si sun) or he will permanently have a limp. He then declares he will go and take care of the 17 guys.

    Di Yun quickly tries to avoid bloodshed by telling Blood Sabre Grand Master that he should be careful, after all there's only one of him and 17 of them. Blood Sabre Grand Master is delighted that his grand pupil takes interest in his wellbeing. Nevertheless, with a flick of the wrist he pulls out a pulsating sabre, whose dim crimson color in the moonlight looks remarkably like blood and is horrifying to behold. Blood Sabre Grand Master tells Di Yun that this sabre needs to behead someone each mother as sacrifice or it will lose its sharpness. Of course, he plans to use the incoming 17 people as sacrificial lambs.

    The rescuers come into view, and there is exactly 17 of them, one of whom is Wang XiaoFeng. Shui Sheng hears Wang XiaoFeng calling for me and she tries to yell back but Blood Sabre Grand Master quickly seals her speech pressure point once again. All 17 rescuers dismount and contemplate on what to do. Suddenly Blood Sabre Grand Master lifts up Di Yun and Shui Sheng and declares that as 4th generation chieftain and 6th generation member of the BShui Sheng, they've already had their way with Shui Sheng, and that all 17 of the rescuers are invited to attend the wedding banquet.

    Enraged, Wang XiaoFeng leads a charge uphill. Di Yun is confused, he's not sure who he wants to win. Blood Sabre Grand Master smirks, unimpressed by the charging rescuers. He stands with the sabre in his mouth and Di Yun and Shui Sheng in his hand, unwavering. Finally as the 17 guys are about 100 feet away, he puts them both down, still holding the sabre in his mouth. All this time Wang XiaoFeng is looking around for Shui Sheng and calling out asking if she's ok, as a result he lags behind the group. Shui Sheng wants to answer but cannot. The 5 or 6 faster runners get close to Blood Sabre Grand Master first, but they get intimidated by Blood Sabre Grand Master's dangerously nonchalant demeanor, and unconsciously all stopped 50 feet or so away.

    About a brief face off, two guys holler and charge ahead, one uses a golden whip, the other a pair of twin sabres. They reach Blood Sabre Grand Master real fast, and the sabre wielding one quickly gets behind Blood Sabre Grand Master, and they attack from both sides. Blood Sabre Grand Master avoids both weapons, suddenly he grabs the blood sabre in his left hand, and with one wave of his arm, he slices half of the whip-wielding warrior's head off. Enraged, the twin sabre warrior attacks Blood Sabre Grand Master with ferocity, but after easily avoiding his attacks (with the blood sabre again in his mouth), Blood Sabre Grand Master suddenly counterattacks and cuts the warrior in two, from head to crotch. Now the blood sabre is dripping blood endlessly and even the corner of Blood Sabre Grand Master's mouth is smeared with fresh crimson blood.

    The others are shocked for a moment, but 4 of them quickly charge ahead. Blood Sabre Grand Master pretends to run away, they give chase. Two of them are faster runners, so they become separated into two groups. Suddenly Blood Sabre Grand Master breaks back and the two frontrunners immediately drop dead, and before they even realize what's going on, the two warriors in the rear lose their heads.

    Seeing Blood Sabre Grand Master kill 6 people with such ease, Di Yun again has trouble deciding where his loyalty lies, as he worries that the other 11 will be killed off just as easily by Blood Sabre Grand Master.

    Meanwhile Wang XiaoFeng is looking for Shui Sheng, but as the grass is long he cannot find her. A breeze blows by and reveals a piece of Shui Sheng's clothing, and so Wang XiaoFeng finds and embraces her tightly. He unseals her speech pressure point, and Shui Sheng immediately asks him to kill Di Yun. Luckily Di Yun had already begun moving away from them and he was able to dodge Wang XiaoFeng's sword by rolling away. Wang XiaoFeng moves in for a second strike, but Blood Sabre Grand Master saves Di Yun and he and Wang XiaoFeng begin to fight. Wang XiaoFeng instinctively uses the "Peacock Spreading Tail" swordplay style to form a protective screen of silver with his sword. In a blink of an eye Wang XiaoFeng's sword and Blood Sabre Grand Master's sabre had clashed over 30 times. As the "Peacock Spreading Tail" style is Wang XiaoFeng's most skilled sword fighting style, in this life-and-deat struggle, he instinctively uses it with all his might without even knowing where Blood Sabre Grand Master's sabre is attacking from. Blood Sabre Grand Master attacks Wang XiaoFeng with 36 consecutive lightning fast moves but each time his sabre is repelled by Wang XiaoFeng's sword. Fortunately for Wang XiaoFeng, Blood Sabre Grand Master doesn't realize that Wang XiaoFeng is just blindly executing a skilled style, if he were to slow down his own attacks a little bit, he would have been able to slay him within 10 moves.

    Meanwhile, 3 more guys had been killed by Blood Sabre Grand Master when Wang XiaoFeng found Shui Sheng and attacked Di Yun earlier, and the remaining ones can only watch the two battle because they are just fighting too fast for them to interfere. Shui Sheng however is worried about her cousin's life, and they are used to fighting as a team, so she picks up a sword from a corpse and joins in. Frustrated that he still hasn't defeated Wang XiaoFeng after several dozen moves, Blood Sabre Grand Master begins to use his free hand to try to snatch Wang XiaoFeng sword. Wang XiaoFeng tries to cut off Blood Sabre Grand Master's fingers, but Blood Sabre Grand Master skillfully counters al his moves and Wang XiaoFeng & Shui Sheng start to appear to be losing. The other guys realize that if Wang XiaoFeng and Shui Sheng lose, then the rest of them will also die, so they prepare themselves to jump in.

    Just as they are about to, suddenly from the northwest someone hollers "Lokkkkkk Hua Lau Sui," and someone else responds from the northeast "Lok Faaaaa Lau Sui." And then from the southwest a third person also yells "Lok Hua Lauuuuuu Sui." From the sound of their voices, Blood Sabre Grand Master can tell that they are really powerful, each one no less than him. He begins to think about a way to escape, but he does not let down his attacks.
    Suddenly from the south a fourth person yells "Lok Hua Lau Suiiiiiii" and his voice resonates in the air endlessly like a tidal wave in the Yangtze River. Shui Sheng is real happy because she knows it's her father. One of the guys begin to rejoice that the Lu Hua Liu Shui are here but he is killed before he finishes his sentence.
    He remembers hearing from his disciples that in China Proper, aside from Ding Dian, the 4 most powerful kung fu masters in the Northern parts are nicknamed "Fung Fu Wun Lung" (Tiger in the Wind, Dragon on the cloud), and the 4 most powerful ones in the Southern parts are nicknamed "Lok Hua Lau Sui" (Falling Flowers Flowing Water). Blood Sabre Grand Master realizes that Lu Hua Liu Shui are still pretty far away, but by the time he finishes off the rest of the 17 guys, they will be here. So he decides to escape now. He flicks away Shui Sheng's sword with his finger and yells for Di Yun to prepare the horses.

    Di Yun is undecided whether to run away with Blood Sabre Grand Master or not. If he does, then he'll be increasing the misunderstanding, but if he doesn't, he's sure to be cut into pieces by the "good guys." He decides that staying alive is more important right now, so he heads for the horses.

    A fat guy wielding a staff tries to stop Di Yun, but Blood Sabre Grand Master stops him by slicing him and his staff each in half. The rest of the warriors are stunned at the fat guy's terrifying death, and Blood Sabre Grand Master takes advantage by grabbing Shui Sheng once again. Shui Sheng tries to struggle but she's too weak and Blood Sabre Grand Master easily reaches Di Yun and the horses. Blood Sabre Grand Master puts Shui Sheng on the yellow horse with Di Yun and he mounts the white one. He tells Di Yun to keep guard over Shui Sheng because they need her as a hostage. And all this time, cries of "Luo Hua Liu Shui" continues to emanate from all directions as they close in on the scene.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master and Di Yun speed toward east, leaving a desperate Wang XiaoFeng far behind. Shui Sheng is crying in vain for her dad and cousin to save her, and Wang XiaoFeng also cries out for Shui Sheng, but also in vain. Di Yun sees the love between Wang XiaoFeng and Shui Sheng and is sadly reminded of his simui Qi Fang and how she turned her back on him. He decides to let Shui Sheng go even though it'd probably mean his own death because Blood Sabre Grand Master will probably kill him for letting the hostage go. He pushes Shui Sheng off the horse. As soon as her feet touches the ground, Shui Sheng is already running towards Wang XiaoFeng and he towards her. Blood Sabre Grand Master thinks that Di Yun couldn't restrain Shui Sheng because of his broken leg. He turns around and doesn't go after her at first. He waits until Shui Sheng and Wang XiaoFeng are about 200 feet away before speeding back toward her. Meanwhile, Shui Sheng is out of breath but she bears down and keeps running for her life, but just as it looks like she could reach out and grab Wang XiaoFeng's hand, Blood Sabre Grand Master grabs her shoulder from behind.

    Right at this moment Shui Sheng's father Sui Doi arrives at the scene and tells Shui Sheng to not be afraid. Hearing her father's voice gave Shui Sheng a sudden surge of power, and she leaps with all her might and broke Blood Sabre Grand Master's grip and takes hold of Wang XiaoFeng's outstretched hand. Wang XiaoFeng again goes into his "Peacock Spreading Tail" style to try to ward off Blood Sabre Grand Master. But this time Blood Sabre Grand Master changes his direction of attack midway and forces Wang XiaoFeng to release his sword or lose his fingers. Wang XiaoFeng manages force the sword to fly toward Blood Sabre Grand Master as he lets it go, but Blood Sabre Grand Master simply flicks the sword away toward an old man racing in from the west, and at the same time he brings the sabre down right in Wang XiaoFeng's face. Wang XiaoFeng is forced to let go of Shui Sheng's hand as he has to dodge the sabre. This allows Blood Sabre Grand Master to again scoop up Shui Sheng and head straight ahead towards the remaining rescuers! The surviving few quickly scatters but one isn't fast enough and drops dead. Blood Sabre Grand Master then turns the horse about and races toward Di Yun.

    Suddenly from the left he sees the moonlight reflected off the cold steel blade of a sword headed toward his chest. He brings his sabre forth to meet the sword and the impact causes his hand to throb with pain as he feels the strength of his opponent. Simultaneously, another sword comes at him from the right. The apex of this sword is pulsating into numerous circles of various sizes, and it's impossible to discern exactly where the sword wielder intends to strike. Blood Sabre Grand Master is slightly shocked as he realizes another formidable foe, a master of the Taichi sword fighting style, has arrived.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master focuses his inner strength into his right arm and also manipulates his sabre into numerous circles. The circles of sabre and sword collide and sparks fly. The opponent praises Blood Sabre Grand Master on his prowess and jumps back. It turns out to be a Taoist. Blood Sabre Grand Master also compliments the Taoist on his sword fighting skills. Meanwhile the newcomer on the left hollers "Let go of my daughter!" and attacks Blood Sabre Grand Master with both palm and sword.

    Di Yun sees that Blood Sabre Grand Master seems to be weakening against two powerful enemies and that there are two more equally strong ones on the way, so he thinks about running away. But he decides against it as he remembers that he owes his life to Blood Sabre Grand Master and he cannot abandon him like a coward.

    At this moment, Blood Sabre Grand Master suddenly throws Shui Sheng into the air seemingly intending to return her to Sui Doi, but he actually tosses her at Di Yun. Di Yun instinctively reaches out to catch Shui Sheng. Before letting go, Blood Sabre Grand Master had sealed Shui Sheng's pressure points again so she cannot put up any resistance against Di Yun. Blood Sabre Grand Master follows up this surprise move with ferocious attacks at Sui Doi and the elderly Taoist, simultaneously yelling for Di Yun to escape by himself. Di Yun has gone into a daze and is unsure what to do, but he sees Wang XiaoFeng and a bunch of guys coming at him with weapons and Blood Sabre Grand Master screaming at him telling him to run away, and he snaps out of it and urges the horse to run for it. But in his confusion, he turns the horse westward whereas they originally were heading east.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master untangles himself from battle, speeding ahead on his horse. Sui Doi is more concerned about his daughter so he ignores Blood Sabre Grand Master and races after Di Yun and Shui Sheng. However, the yellow horse that Di Yun is riding is no ordinary horse, outside of the white one that Blood Sabre Grand Master is riding, there probably is no other horse in the world that can match its speed and endurance. Shui Dai himself spent 500 ounces of silver for it years ago. Thus, even though Shui Dai has outstanding hing gung (speed kung fu), he still is an old man and his endurance is not what it was, and he begins to fall farther and farther behind. Shui Dai can only shout threats at Di Yun warning him to stop the horse, but to no avail. Suddenly Shui Dai feels a rush of air behind him and he quickly defends himself with his sword, warding off Blood Sabre Grand Master's sabre. But that slows him down and allows Blood Sabre Grand Master to shoot past him and race after Di Yun and Shui Sheng.

    The two horses gallop ahead at full speed nonstop until Blood Sabre Grand Master knows that the enemies won't be able to catch up, and they slow down. Blood Sabre Grand Master is really impressed with Di Yun's loyalty, and keeps praising Di Yun for not running away and leaving him behind in a time of crisis.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master then praises Shui Dai's kungfu and also asks Shui Sheng which one of Lu Hua Liu Shui the Taichi swordmaster Taoist was, but Shui Sheng refuses to answer. To threaten her, Blood Sabre Grand Master asks Di Yun what girls value the most. Both Di Yun and Shui Sheng become very afraid as they think that he is about to rape her if she doesn't answer, but turns out he is talking about ruining Shui Sheng's looks by cutting up her face.

    Shui Sheng is really scared at first but then she realizes that if her looks are ruined, perhaps her chastity can be preserved so she refuses to give in. Blood Sabre Grand Master really does swing his sabre down on Shui Sheng's face. Di Yun cannot bear to watch and turns his head, Shui Sheng faints. Di Yun takes a peek at Shui Sheng's face, and is relieved to see Shui Sheng's face unharmed. Blood Sabre Grand Master is so skilled that he got his sabre as close to Shui Sheng's face as possible without actually cutting her, he only cut off a few strands of hair. Shui Sheng slowly awakes, and immediately gets teary eyed. She sees Di Yun smiling and thinks he's laughing at her disfigured face and wants to curse at him, but she has never uttered any vulgar insults before, so all she can manage is a "you evil monk."

    But she still refuses to answer Blood Sabre Grand Master's question, so he swings his sabre across her face one more time. This time Shui Sheng didn't pass out. She just feels a sudden cold tingle on her cheek, but there's no pain or blood, so she's relieved to realize that Blood Sabre Grand Master is only trying to scare her.
    Blood Sabre Grand Master asks Di Yun what he thinks of his skills, and Di Yun says it's amazing. Blood Sabre Grand Master asks him if he wants to learn. Di Yun thinks that if he can keep Blood Sabre Grand Master occupied, then maybe Shui Sheng can keep her chastity after all, so he starts to kiss up to Blood Sabre Grand Master. As soon as he starts to brown nose, he blushes and feels ashamed. Shui Sheng on the other hand, is disgusted at Di Yun's apparent lack of shame.
    Blood Sabre Grand Master is elated and brags about how difficult it is to learn his sabre wielding skills. He says that the entry level practice involves stacking up a pile of paper and then shaving off the pieces of paper off the top one by one without disturbing the rest of the pile until all the papers have been shaven off. Shui Sheng doesn't believe it, so Blood Sabre Grand Master decides to try it out on her.

    He removes a strand of hair from Shui Sheng and puts it on the tip of her nose (she's lying face up across the back of the horse). He races away and suddenly breaks back, the two horses cross paths. Shui Sheng sees a red flash in front of her eyes, and feel a tingle on her nose, and the strand of hair is gone. Blood Sabre Grand Master brandishes his sabre, and sure enough, sitting atop the blade is the hair he removed from Shui Sheng's nose. Di Yun marvels at Blood Sabre Grand Master's speed and accuracy. Even Shui Sheng is impressed.

    Di Yun wants to Blood Sabre Grand Master to teach him, so he really kisses *** big time. However, since he is naturally not very articulate, his flattering of Blood Sabre Grand Master really only involves little more than repeating a few complimentary phrases about Blood Sabre Grand Master's sabre-handling skills. For an honest guy like Di Yun, it's hard for him to say such nauseating things, but luckily he is truly amazed at Blood Sabre Grand Master's skills, so at least he is not saying anything he doesn't mean. Having experienced Blood Sabre Grand Master's skills personally, Shui Sheng no longer feels Di Yun's words are out of line, but she still feels that Di Yun is a lowlife for kissing *** so shamelessly.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master wants Di Yun to try what he just did on Shui Sheng too. Fearing for her life, Shui Sheng quickly blows away the hair from her nose, exclaiming that there's no way Di Yun can accomplish the feat. Di Yun tries to stall and asks Blood Sabre Grand Master how he should hold the sabre, how he should focus his concentration, etc. After listening to Blood Sabre Grand Master explain, Di Yun tells Blood Sabre Grand Master that unfortunately someone severed the tendons in his hand and put chains through his shoulder blades, so he cannot summon any strength. Blood Sabre Grand Master examines his wounds and breaks out laughing. He thinks that Di Yun really must've been up to all sorts of wrong doings for such cruel punishments to be used. Blood Sabre Grand Master asks Di Yun if it's a woman's fault, Di Yun remembers Wan ZhenShan's concubine and how she framed him, and truthfully answers yes with spite and hate.

    Shui Sheng yells at Di Yun but she cannot even say "little pervert" and calls Di Yun "little monk" instead. Blood Sabre Grand Master tells Di Yun to get back at Shui Sheng by stripping her naked and showing her what lust (yum) is. Di Yun sees Blood Sabre Grand Master's eyes moving up and down Shui Sheng's body and he fears for Shui Sheng, so he quickly changes the subject and ask if he still can learn. Blood Sabre Grand Master says no problem, even if he had no arms or legs he still could learn the sabre skills. Di Yun is genuinely elated.

    They reach a main road, and suddenly they hear sounds of gongs and trumpets ahead. It turns out to be wedding procession of about 50 people. The bride is in a sedan chair, and the groom follows behind the sedan chair. Di Yun quickly pulls to the side of the road, but Blood Sabre Grand Master charges straight ahead and asks what all the fuss is about.

    The crowd yells at Blood Sabre Grand Master telling him to get the hell out of the way. Blood Sabre Grand Master stops 20 feet away and asks if the bride is good looking. One of the sedan chair carriers is dumb enough to pull out one of the carrying poles of the chair and threaten Blood Sabre Grand Master. Sure enough, that guy didn't live long. Blood Sabre Grand Master first hacks the guy's pole into dozens of little pieces, and then he cuts him in four.

    The crowd is scared out of their minds. The braver ones run for their lives, the rest is too petrified with fear to move. They stand rooted to the ground, going to the bathroom in their pants.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master pulls a horrified bride out of the sedan chair and remarks that she is too ugly to marry. He then spits in her face.

    Di Yun has been going along with Blood Sabre Grand Master because 1) he's afraid of him, and 2) he did save his life, but now seeing him terrify innocent people like that, Di Yun cannot stay quiet anymore. With an accusative tone, he asks Blood Sabre Grand Master what these innocent people did to deserve this, and Blood Sabre Grand Master replies that he's always enjoyed killing people, if he only killed the guilty ones, there wouldn't be enough people for him to kill. That said, he chops off another guy's head. Di Yun is infuriated and demands Blood Sabre Grand Master to stop. Blood Sabre Grand Master laughs and asks if Di Yun is afraid to see blood.

    At this moment, from the distance comes the sound of hoofs striking the ground. It sounds like there are dozens of people coming. The voice of Shui Dai resonates in the air, demanding Blood Sabre Grand Master to let his daughter go. From the sound of the horse hoofs, the pursuers are still miles away, but Shui Dai's voice can be loud and clear, evident of his kung fu prowess. And then all four of Lu Hua Liu Shui simultaneously holler " Luo Hua Liu Shui --Shui Liu Hua Luo--- Luo Hua Liu Shui..."

    Blood Sabre Grand Master is pissed that these guys show off so much. Shui Dai's voice again can be heard telling Blood Sabre Grand Master that there's no way he can take on all four of Lu Hua Liu Shui at once and have any shot of winning, and that if he lets Shui Sheng go then they pursue the matter anymore.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master contemplates the situation and knows that if all four of Lu Hua Liu Shui fights him simultaneously, he is as good as dead. He thinks that his most valuable asset is that he has Shui Dai's daughter as hostage, so there's no way he'd let her go. He whips Di Yun's horse and then his own to continue to speed ahead westward, and he also sends a message to Shui Dai telling him that both he and Di Yun have become his son-in-laws.

    Hearing this Shui Dai nearly explodes with rage. Even if what Blood Sabre Grand Master said is untrue, just the fact that he said it is enough to spark endless gossip in the kung fu world. If Shui Dai doesn't cut Blood Sabre Grand Master and Di Yun into millions of pieces for this, then Shui Dai will lose all his dignity.

    Aside from Lu Hua Liu Shui, the entourage of pursuers consists of over 30 other kung fu masters. They come from all sorts of different backgrounds, and they join Lu Hua Liu Shui in pursuit not only to save Shui Sheng, but to kill Blood Sabre Grand Master because the Blood Sabre Sect has been running amuck in the area lately, and offending just about everyone in the kung fu world.

    The pursuers only stop to switch horses whenever they reach a town, they eat dry provisions and have a couple sips of water on horseback, and gallop full speed ahead again after Di Yun and Blood Sabre Grand Master.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master and Di Yun on the other hand, because of the prowess of their horses, don't have to switch rides. Blood Sabre Grand Master tries to play it cool and show off the pursuers, stopping often to rest periodically, but he still doesn't dare stopping for sleep at night. Because of the tight pursuit, Shui Sheng is able to keep her chastity.

    As the pursuit continues westward for several days and passes through a few provinces, more and more people in those areas hear about it, and decide to join in, just for the fun of it. However, the kung fu people only hear about the pursuit after Di Yun and Blood Sabre Grand Master have passed through, so they can only join the chase but not block Blood Sabre Grand Master's way ahead of time. All these kung fu guys from western areas comfort Shui Dai and lament that if only they had known about the pursuit earlier, they could have stopped Blood Sabre Grand Master and Di Yun. Shui Dai is grateful on the surface, but deep inside he is pissed that these guys are full of shit.

    After almost 20 days of pursuit, the entourage has increased to about 300 people but they still cannot catch Blood Sabre Grand Master and Di Yun, but Blood Sabre Grand Master and Di Yun cannot shake them either as one of the pursuers is a tracking expert, and no matter which detour Blood Sabre Grand Master takes, he is able to always pick up their trail. The pursuers begin to be a little worried because they were now nearing Tibet, the home turf of the Blood Sabre Sect, and if all the Blood Sabre Sect monks and their friends band together for a showdown with the pursuers, they are not sure if they'll be able to win.

    The conditions begin to worsen as it begins to snow. The wind is chilly and the ground slippery, not to mention the higher altitudes and thinner air. Other than the few with superb kung fu prowess, the rest of the pursuers are having trouble continuing, but they can't quit because they are afraid they'll be laughed at and have their reputations ruined. If someone had taken the lead and blatantly called it quits, more than half of these guys would have followed him. Some of them intentionally lag behind the group, while some others even sneak away and head back when no one was noticing.

    One day around noon, as the entourage reaches a narrow mountain pass, they see the corpse of the yellow horse. They pursuers are ecstatic because they know that Blood Sabre Grand Master is down to 1 horse for 3 people. In their celebration, their voices trigger an avalanche. One guys screams telling everyone to retreat, which causes more snow to come down from the mountains. Some don't know the seriousness of an avalanche and continues ahead. But as the momentum of all the snow increases and the ground begins to shake, everyone realizes they are in deep trouble and so they make a run for it. The slower ones are buried under the snow. After the avalanche finally stops, the mountain pass has completely been sealed off.

    The ones who made it out regroup and take a head count. They are missing 12 people, including Lu Hua Liu Shui and Wang XiaoFeng, who for obvious reasons were in the lead. At this point, the pursuers can only quit and wait for next summer for the snow to melt. Some of the pursuers, jealous of Lu Hua Liu Shui, are secretly happy that Lu Hua Liu Shui have apparently died, but of course they don't say it aloud.

    Meanwhile, after Blood Sabre Grand Master, Di Yun, and Shui Sheng have been riding westward for days, due to the severe weather conditions, the yellow horse finally collapsed in exhaustion, and the white one seems to be about be not too far behind either. Blood Sabre Grand Master is perturbed because there's only one horse left for 3 people. He contemplates that if he were by himself, getting away would be easy, but he's got Di Yun, who cannot walk, and he also doesn't want to give up Shui Sheng. At this thought he snatches Shui Sheng and starts to rip her clothes off, telling her that he's going to leave her behind (after he rapes her of course). Di Yun tries to dissuade Blood Sabre Grand Master by telling him that the pursuers are here, but Blood Sabre Grand Master tells him to shut up.

    Right at this moment the snow from the mountains begin to fall. Blood Sabre Grand Master knows what avalanches can do and he quickly screams "Let's go! Let's go!" He spots a valley in the south that could possibly be shielded from the avalanche because it has a mountain between it and the avalanche, so he speeds there on foot, while the white horse, carrying Di Yun and Shui Sheng, limps after him.

    After a long while things seem to quiet down, but then suddenly two little rocks fall down from above, and Shui Sheng starts to scream in fear. Blood Sabre Grand Master quickly puts his hand over her mouth and then smacks her across the face twice telling her to shut up. Fortunately after those little rocks fell down, everything else was quiet. Blood Sabre Grand Master goes to check out the entrance to the valley and comes back angry, blaming Di Yun for getting him into this situation.

    Di Yun thinks that perhaps the enemies are here, and tells Blood Sabre Grand Master to leave them and run away by himself. Blood Sabre Grand Master, despite his anger, is happy that someone actually cares for him, because even his own disciples respect him on the surface only. He smiles and praises Di Yun for his compassion, and tells you that it's not the enemies they have to worry about, it's that the entrance to the valley has been sealed off and they are trapped, no way out until the snow melts in the spring.

    At this point, Blood Sabre Grand Master pulls out his sabre and walks toward the white horse intending to kill it for food. Shui Sheng begs him not to kill it, but Blood Sabre Grand Master says what's the big deal, after he finishes eating the horse, she'd be next! Shui Sheng in her desperation turns to Di Yun asking him to try to dissuade Blood Sabre Grand Master, but Di Yun can only turn his head to ignore her because he knows there's no other source of food.

    Shui Sheng begs Blood Sabre Grand Master again, and this time he appears to agree. Shui Sheng is relieved, but not for long, because the next thing she sees is her horse's head on the ground. She faints in grief and shock.

    When she wakes up, she sees Blood Sabre Grand Master and Di Yun munching on something by a fire, and she knows that it's horsemeat, and she begins to cry. Blood Sabre Grand Master offers her a piece, she refuses and vows to avenge her horse's death.

    Di Yun goes over and comforts her, explaining that there's no source of food in the valley, if they don't eat the horse, then they'd starve to death. Shui Sheng calls Di Yun a phony and says he is worse than Blood Sabre Grand Master, pretending to be a nice guy. Di Yun doesn't know what to say.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master meanwhile is thinking about what to eat next after the horsemeat is gone. His next target is Shui Sheng, then it's Di Yun. He thinks that eating Di Yun last is already being good to him.

    After Di Yun and Blood Sabre Grand Master get full, they lean on a boulder to nap. Di Yun in his sleep can still hear Shui Sheng crying and he becomes saddened, realizing that at least the horse has someone to cry for it when it dies, he on the other hand has no one who cared whether he lived or died.

  14. #14
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default Chapter 7 - Falling flower, flowing water

    7 - Falling flower, flowing water

    Around midnight, Di Yun is suddenly awakened by Blood Sabre Grand Master, telling him that there's a powerful enemy coming from the southwest. Di Yun is delighted, because if someone could enter the valley, that means there's gotta be a way out. He tries to listen for footsteps, but he can't hear anything.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master goes to meet the enemy and disappears around a corner in a blink of an eye. Di Yun is impressed at his skills and wonders if he's as good as Ding Dian. Having being reminded of Ding Dian, he quickly reaches inside his robe to make sure the package containing Ding Dian's remains are there. It is.
    Soon he could hear the sounds of weapons clashing. Shui Sheng is awake too, and under the moonlight, she and Di Yun can see Blood Sabre Grand Master fighting with the Taoist who fought him before. It's unclear who's winning, but amazingly as they fight, they both ascend a steep cliff without slowing down at all. Shui Sheng recognizes that it's Liu Cheng Feng, the person ranked 3rd in Lu Hua Liu Shui. She is elated and begins to call out for her father.

    Di Yun is scared, He tells her be quiet or she will trigger another avalanche and everyone including her father will die. She stops for a moment, but then Shui Sheng quickly realizes that even if there was another avalanche, her dad and her 3 uncles have nothing to fear since Liu Cheng Feng managed to survive the last one and enter the valley, which means her dad and the other two uncles probably did too, so she resumes screaming for her father.

    Di Yun is really alarmed, because Blood Sabre Grand Master won't be able to save him this time if any of the "good guys" hears her screams and locates them. He threatens to cut off her tongue if she doesn't shut up. Shui Sheng grabs a rock as protection and she continues to holler at the top of her lungs. Then she realizes that Di Yun has got a broken leg and she's got nothing to fear, so she goes to attack Di Yun with the rock, slamming it down at Di Yun's head. Di Yun quickly rolls to the side, and the rock missed his face by inches. Shui Sheng goes for another rock attack, and this time hits Di Yun in his broken leg, which makes Di Yun scream in pain. As Shui Sheng continues to pick up rocks and throw them at Di Yun, he realizes he's a sitting duck and tries to fight back. He picks up a rock too and throws it at Shui Sheng. It scrapes Shui Sheng's face, which scares her and she doesn't dare throwing rocks anymore. Instead she picks up a twig and uses it as a sword to attack Di Yun. Di Yun is defenseless, and soon he can only put up his arms to protect his face as Shui Sheng beats on him mercilessly, cutting his arms up badly.

    Di Yun suddenly thinks of a solution and he threatens to pull down his pants if Shui Sheng doesn't stop. Shui Sheng is embarrassed and scared that he might really do it so she turns around and retreats. Di Yun is happy that this tactic is working and tells her that his pants are now off and she can beat on him if she wants. She's really afraid now and she runs away and hides.

    Di Yun turns his attention back to Blood Sabre Grand Master and Liu Cheng Feng. They've now made their way to the top of the 800 feet high cliff and are fighting like gods. Even in hiding, Shui Sheng is still screaming for her father, and suddenly a voice answers from the southeast. It's not Sui Doi, but it's Hua TieGan, ranked number 2 in Lu Hua Liu Shui. Shui Sheng is elated and asks if her father is ok. Hua TieGan tells her that her father sustained a hand injury when striking a boulder falling toward "Uncle Luo" during the avalanche, but it's light and he'll be fine. Shui Sheng then asks Hua TieGan to kill Di Yun. Hua TieGan starts in Di Yun's direction, but hears Liu Cheng Feng and Blood Sabre Grand Master's fighting sounds. He looks up and sees them now frozen and locked in a duel of inner strengths. He decides to help his Liu Cheng Feng first and quickly speeds toward the cliff.
    Di Yun first is happy that Hua TieGan for the time being has left him alone, but soon he's alarmed because he sees Hua TieGan going to help Liu Cheng Feng and he knows Blood Sabre Grand Master can't defeat the two of them at once. But then he admonishes himself for rooting for the bad guy, Blood Sabre Grand Master. Again he is confused and perturbed.

    Locked in a super dangerous duel of inner strength, Liu Cheng Feng and Blood Sabre Grand Master are impervious to external sounds and sights, so even they don't see that Hua TieGan has joined them on the cliff. Hua TieGan sneaks behind Blood Sabre Grand Master and intends to impale him with one strike of his short lance. Blood Sabre Grand Master, in his trance, notices a dim flash as Hua TieGan's lance is reflected in the mirror-like snow and ice. Unable to turn around to defend himself, Blood Sabre Grand Master decides to take a huge gamble, and he leaps to the side and falls off the cliff, thinking that it's better to fall to his death then to die at his enemy's hands.

    Hua TieGan has put all his strength into this strike and he cannot stop his lance in time as it enters Liu Cheng Feng's chest and exits his back, immediately killing him.
    Blood Sabre Grand Master, just before he hits the ground, chops his sabre into the side of the cliff, using the force of impact as leverage, he swings his body upside-down, and strikes the snow-covered ground with his left palm, and he uses that as leverage and does a series of ground summersaults to fully absorb the momentum of the fall. Just like that, a chop, a palm, and 18 ground summersaults, and Blood Sabre Grand Master has miraculously survived a drop of 800 feet without even an injury. He stands up to laugh but is immediately attacked from behind. His sabre clashes with his attacker's weapon and it almost flies out of his hand. Blood Sabre Grand Master is shocked at his opponent's strength. He turns around and sees a powerfully built old man with a flowing white beard holding a massive rectangular-shaped "ghost head" sabre. Blood Sabre Grand Master is afraid of him and jumps away, not realizing that after fighting with Liu Cheng Feng and using a lot of arm strength to break his fall, he has exhausted most of his inner strength. He tries to focus his inner strength, but he cannot as his "daan teen" (storage place for chi in the body) throbs with pain.

    To make matters worse, Hua TieGan, irate with regret from killing his sworn brother, has descended the cliff and is quickly closing in on them. He calls the new guy Brother Luo (obviously Luo Tian Shu, of Luo Hua Liu Shui) and tells him that Blood Sabre Grand Master has killed Liu Cheng Feng. Blood Sabre Grand Master knows he's in deep trouble as he can't even beat Lu Tian Shu right now, much less the two of them. He knows his only bargaining chip right now is Shui Sheng, so he runs away back toward Di Yun. However, Shui Sheng is not there. Blood Sabre Grand Master is angry at Di Yun for letting her get away and he kicks him, sending him flying into the depths below (There's another valley below this one). Blood Sabre Grand Master spots Shui Sheng and runs toward her. At this moment, Sui Doi has arrived on the scene. Shui Sheng is happy to see her father but lacks experience and forgets to make a break for him immediately. This allows Blood Sabre Grand Master to close ground fast. Shui Dai yells for Shui Sheng to run towards him and this wakes up Shui Sheng and she runs toward her father and away from Blood Sabre Grand Master. Blood Sabre Grand Master quickly picks up two snowballs and fires them, one at Shui Dai and the other at Shui Sheng. Shui Dai has to block the snowball with his sword, and he slows down as a result. The other snowball strikes a pressure point on Shui Sheng's back, and she's knocked down.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master reaches her, seals her pressure point and grabs her, but at this moment Hua TieGan has reached him. Hua TieGan is traumatized with anger and sorrow over killing Liu Cheng Feng by mistake and he attacks Blood Sabre Grand Master with reckless abandon, not caring about Shui Sheng's safety. Blood Sabre Grand Master fends off Hua TieGan's attacks but realizes that Hua TieGan's lance is also made out of really strong metal and his sabre cannot cut it up. And at this moment, Lu Tian Shu has also arrived and joins in the attack with his "ghost head" sabre. Just when it looked like Blood Sabre Grand Master was done for, he spots Di Yun standing up below. It turns out that the snow in the valley below is hundreds of feet deep and broke Di Yun's fall.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master realizes this and quickly jumps in with Shui Sheng in his arms. He climbs out of the snow, and chooses a strategic location to stand and dares the other three to jump in after them. He is now standing on a boulder that's jutting out, and whoever leaps down will have to pass this point and make himself easy prey for Blood Sabre Grand Master's sabre.

    Lu Tian Shu, Hua TieGan, and Shui Dai can only stand up there and discuss what to do next. They are furious that they had Blood Sabre Grand Master where they wanted him, but still let him get away. Lu Tian Shu sees Shui Sheng leaning on Di Yun, and not realizing that her pressure point has been sealed, he thinks that she is not trying to resist the evil monks and he's really pissed off. He picks up a bunch of rocks and fires them down at them. Like bombs, the rocks cause explosions of snow down below.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master grabs Di Yun and Shui Sheng and pulls out of the way behind a rock. Now that he's temporarily safe again, his anger toward Di Yun has dissipated. He stands on the boulder and taunts Lu Tian Shu, Shui Dai, and Hua TieGan. He also sees Liu Cheng Feng's lifeless body far away on a cliff, and he's elated.

    Di Yun notices what looks like a cave not far away. He is afraid that the falling rocks will harm Shui Sheng, so he pulls her toward the cave. Shui Sheng thinks he wants to do something else, and she screams. Blood Sabre Grand Master laughs and says Di Yun is trying to rape Shui Sheng while his grand master is fending off enemies. The three on top hears this and almost explodes with anger, but they can't do anything.

    Once Di Yun finally gets Shui Sheng into the cave, he rolls away. Shui Sheng sees that Di Yun was only lying about taking off his pants and she gets embarrassed.
    The hours pass by with Blood Sabre Grand Master still guarding that strategic location and Lu Tian Shu, Hua TieGan and Shui Dai standing up above. Blood Sabre Grand Master's strength is slowly returning, but he knows even at full strength, he cannot defeat all three, so he cannot leave his post at that boulder. In his boredom, he taunts his enemies by making funny poses at them.

    Lu Tian Shu can't stop cursing at Blood Sabre Grand Master. Meanwhile Hua TieGan suddenly gets an idea. He suggests that he and Shui Dai split up and descend into the valley from far away and then double back once they are below. If Blood Sabre Grand Master goes to stop either one, then Lu Tian Shu can immediate go down and save Shui Sheng, and if Blood Sabre Grand Master doesn't leave his post, then Hua TieGan and Shui Dai would really go down.
    Blood Sabre Grand Master sees Hua TieGan and Shui Dai going in separate directions and he knows what they're planning, and he's real worried. He decides to escape right now or else he'd be dead meat, so he leaves Di Yun and Shui Sheng behind and sneaks away.

    After a while, Lu Tian Shu looks down and sees only a trail of footprints. He immediately yells for Hua TieGan and Shui Dai to turn back because the evil monk has escaped. In his haste he doesn't bother to wait for them to return, and he jumps in by himself. He hits the snow and sinks completely in. He feels his foot hit solid ground and immediately leaps upward. Just as he is about to surface, he feels a sharp pain in his chest, and he knows he's been ambushed. Enraged, he counterattacks and wounds the his attacker, but apparently not seriously.
    It turns out that Blood Sabre Grand Master heard Lu Tian Shu calling for his sworn brothers and predicted that he would jump in, so he doubled back and hid himself under the snow. Normally Lu Tian Shu would never fall prey to such a trick, but he's never jumped off a cliff before, so he was concentrating 100% on landing safely, and as a result he got ambushed.

    However, Lu Tian Shu is afterall a top warrior, he collects his wits and uses three ferocious offensive maneuvers blindly (they are now both submerged under snow) to ward off Blood Sabre Grand Master. Blood Sabre Grand Master, also wounded, retreats. Suddenly he steps into empty space and falls straight down. Lu Tian Shu meanwhile, knowing that Blood Sabre Grand Master must've retreated, steps forward and follows it up with three more swipes of his sabre. However, he steps in the same void, and also falls straight down.

    Not being able to see anything under the snow, both Blood Sabre Grand Master and Lu Tian Shu uses their best kung fu maneuvers to try to kill the other guy first and then go up for air. If either one goes for air first, he'll definitely be slain by his enemy as his lower body would be vulnerable.

    Meanwhile, Hua TieGan and Shui Dai have descended into the valley, standing on rocks by the sides of the cliff. They can only watch the snow into which Lu Tian Shu and Blood Sabre Grand Master has disappeared. Shui Dai wants to jump in to help Lu Tian Shu, but Hua TieGan emphatically advises that he can't, because under the snow he wouldn't know who's who and could actually kill or be killed by Lu Tian Shu by mistake. Shui Dai knows he's right. So while Lu Tian Shu and Blood Sabre Grand Master are in a life and death struggle, the two of them cannot help at all.
    Gradually the turbulence under the snow has quieted down, and someone appears to be climbing up. It's Lu Tian Shu!

    Shui Sheng is elated and tells Di Yun that with his grand master defeated, he soon will die too. After spending days with Blood Sabre Grand Master, Di Yun has unconsciously taken on some of Blood Sabre Grand Master's personality, and in his despair and anger he threatens to kill Shui Sheng if she doesn't shut up.
    However, Lu Tian Shu seems to be really struggling to get out of the snow, and suddenly something pulls him straight in again. After a moment of silence, something flies out of the snow, it's Lu Tian Shu's severed head! The head goes up a few dozen feet and disappears into the snow once again. Another head comes up, and this time it's Blood Sabre Grand Master, he surfaces for a breath of air and quickly submerges himself again.

    Shui Dai is overwhelmed with grief, and he starts to jump in, but Hua TieGan stops him, pointing out that Blood Sabre Grand Master is still hiding under the snow and jumping in blindly is too dangerous. Hua TieGan tells him that they should wait until Blood Sabre Grand Master finally has to come up for air again. Leaping from rock to rock, the two of them close in on the spot where Blood Sabre Grand Master was last seen preparing to get him when he surfaces.

    Shui Sheng sees her dad and uncle Hua closing in toward where she and Di Yun are hiding. She plans to scream when they get a little closer so Di Yun won't have a chance to kill her before they can reach her. Di Yun knows this and he grabs her throat, warning her to be quiet or else. Shui Sheng is unable to move since her pressure point is sealed, and she can only do as Di Yun says.

    Meanwhile, Blood Sabre Grand Master has been under the snow for a very long time and still he hasn't come up.

    It turns out that Blood Sabre Grand Master grew up in this area, and he's familiar with snow and ice. Once he went down into the snow, the first thing he did was to make an air pocket. Whenever he felt the need for air, he would stick his head into the pocket and breathe. Lu Tian Shu doesn't know this trick, so he fought and fought without any additional air, and eventually he had to go up for air, and as a result, Blood Sabre Grand Master easily cut him in half.

    Finally, Shui Dai cannot stand waiting anymore and decides to go down for a look. He uses his speed kung fu and glide around the snow looking for Blood Sabre Grand Master.

    Suddenly Blood Sabre Grand Master jumps out of the snow about 10 feet away from Shui Dai, barehanded. He sees Shui Dai and runs away. Shui Dai chases after him while Hua TieGan attempts to join in the attack from the rocks on the side (he doesn't dare jump into the snow because his speed kung fu is not as good as Shui Dai's)

    As they run they bargain with each other. Shui Dai wants to know where Shui Sheng is, and Blood Sabre Grand Master wants Shui Dai and Hua TieGan to let him go. Blood Sabre Grand Master really has no where to run as the valley is enclosed on all four sides (I BET Shui Dai AND BLOOD SABRE GRAND MASTER MUST'VE LOOKED LIKE TWO SPEED SKATERS IN A GIANT SKATING RINK), and soon he has reached a dead end. He turns fully around and runs past Shui Dai, narrowly avoiding his sword. As the chase continues, now in the opposite direction, Blood Sabre Grand Master suddenly falls down, apparently out of breath. It seems that he has run out of energy.

    Shui Dai is delighted, he quickly lunges ahead, intending to disable Blood Sabre Grand Master. But suddenly the ground gives away under his feet and he plummets straight down. Hua TieGan, Shui Sheng, and Di Yun are all shocked at this sudden turn of events. Within moments, a scream of agony emanates from below, it seems that Shui Dai has encountered something horrible.
    Blood Sabre Grand Master suddenly stands up and dives into the snow, he obviously was feigning exhaustion. He quickly resurfaces with a lifeless body with severed legs. It's Shui Dai!

    Seeing her father in this condition, Shui Sheng breaks out in tears. Di Yun feels really bad for her, and lets go of her, comforting her that her father is still alive.
    It turns out that when Blood Sabre Grand Master was under the snow for all that time, he was setting a trap. He dug a hole in the snow and placed the sabre, blade-side up, across the middle of the hole. When Shui Dai fell in, the sabre severed his legs clean right at the knees.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master raises the blood sabre high above his head and challenges the Hua TieGan, the only one of Lu Hua Liu Shui still standing, to a duel of 300 bouts.

    Hua TieGan is frightened out of his wits. He keeps staring at Shui Dai, now writhing in agony in the snow, and he backs away from Blood Sabre Grand Master step by step, his lance quivering, showing his fear. Blood Sabre Grand Master pretends to lunge at him, and Hua TieGan is scared so badly that he drops his lance momentarily.

    The truth is that Blood Sabre Grand Master is only bluffing, he hardly has any strength left after dueling three super masters. If Hua TieGan was to answer his challenge, Blood Sabre Grand Master wouldn't last 10 seconds. However, after having killed Liu Cheng Feng by mistake, and having seen Lu Tian Shu beheaded, and Shui Dai losing his legs, Hua TieGan has lost all his courage.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master sees that Hua TieGan is badly intimidated now, and he continues to exploit his fear. He continues to bluff, making threats and playing with his sabre as though he's as strong as ever. Meanwhile, he only wants to just collapse and sleep for a day and a night because he's so exhausted now. In his heart he is wishing that Hua TieGan would just turn around and run for his life, but he doesn't realize that Hua TieGan is too frightened to even run now.
    Shui Dai is devastated that his dear friend is showing such a lack of guts. Even though he is near death, he still can tell that Blood Sabre Grand Master is nearly completely out of energy, and he tells Hua TieGan that, trying to encourage him to fight.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master is alarmed and increases his bluff, giving Hua TieGan a huge dose of trash talk. Hua TieGan gets wimpier and wimpier, backing away further and further.

    At this moment, Blood Sabre Grand Master hears Shui Sheng's cries from the cave, and he sees a great opportunity for more intimidation, so he drags her out in front of Shui Dai. He is in fact so tired that he can't hide his heavy breathing, but he keeps up his mind games.

    He rips a sleeve off Shui Sheng's dress, Shui Sheng screams, but she can't move. Di Yun cannot bear to watch anymore, and he begs Blood Sabre Grand Master to stop. Blood Sabre Grand Master laughs and tells Di Yun to not worry and he's not going to harm her. That said, he slices a piece of Shui Dai's shoulder off, causing blood to gush forth, and tells Shui Dai to call him "grand dad." Shui Dai spits at Blood Sabre Grand Master. Blood Sabre Grand Master steps aside but almost falls down from exhaustion.

    Hua TieGan sees this, but he's convinced that Blood Sabre Grand Master is only pretending to be weak and he doesn't dare attack him.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master cuts Shui Dai again, and asks if Shui Dai is going to call him "grand dad" or not. Shui Dai defiantly declares that he rather die than be humiliated. Blood Sabre Grand Master sees that torture won't work on Shui Dai, so he turns to use Shui Sheng. He rips off the bottom half of her skirt and asks Shui Dai again if he will do as he says.

    Shui Dai nearly faints from anger, but he maintains his composure, knowing that he has to keep his wits about him.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master laughs menacingly and says that Hua TieGan is about to kowtow and beg for mercy, if he does, then he would spare his life.
    Hearing that there's a way he could get out of this alive, Hua TieGan loses what little will to fight he had remaining. The thought that if he was to fight Blood Sabre Grand Master he would easily win never crosses his mind. All he can think about is how terrifying Blood Sabre Grand Master is, and what kinds of horrific things he would do to him.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master sweet talks Hua TieGan, assuring him that if he surrendered, nothing bad would happen to him. Hua TieGan listens to him and drops his lance in submission!

    Shui Dai cannot bear to watch Hua TieGan embarrass himself like that, and he asks Shui Sheng to kill him. Shui Sheng cannot move, so he turns to ask Di Yun to put him out of his misery. Di Yun understands that Shui Dai is probably going to die from his wounds anyway, if he dies sooner, then he'd be spared from further torture and humiliation. However, he also realizes if he kills Shui Dai, then Blood Sabre Grand Master would be pissed off at him,but he decides to grant Shui Dai's wish.

    Shui Dai understands Di Yun's hesitation, and he swears and curses at Di Yun, so that Blood Sabre Grand Master would think that Di Yun killed him in anger. Di Yun picks up a large tree branch, but he's indecisive.

    Meanwhile, Hua TieGan has actually dropped to his knees and is kneeling to Blood Sabre Grand Master. Blood Sabre Grand Master concentrates his last ounce of strength and seals Hua TieGan's pressure point. After having done that, he himself begins to waver on his legs.

    Shui Dai sees that all hope is gone. He urges Di Yun to kill him now. Di Yun knows that he absolutely has to do it immediately, or Blood Sabre Grand Master will be back very soon. So he grits his teeth and brings the branch down on Shui Dai's skull, immediately killing him. Shui Sheng faints.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master indeed thinks that Di Yun killed Shui Dai out of anger, and since Hua TieGan is now harmless, he doesn't need Shui Dai alive to intimidate Hua TieGan anymore, so he doesn't care. Delighted that he has won, he breaks out in laughter, but he has no strength left, and he collapses to the ground.

    Hua TieGan is rueful, knowing that Shui Dai was right all along, he should have fought. Now he knows he's in trouble, because now that Blood Sabre Grand Master has shown his complete exhaustion of strength, he MUST kill Hua TieGan or else when Hua TieGan can move again, he'd be dead meat.

    Sure enough, Blood Sabre Grand Master tells Di Yun to go and kill Hua TieGan. Di Yun doesn't know that Blood Sabre Grand Master has no strength left and he must kill Hua TieGan before he regains the power to move again, and he tells Blood Sabre Grand Master that it's unnecessary to kill Hua TieGan. Hua TieGan quickly agrees with Di Yun.

    Shui Sheng slowly regains consciousness and admonishes Hua TieGan for his cowardice. Hua TieGan tells Shui Sheng that these two monks are great masters, and they should submit and do whatever they want. Meanwhile, Blood Sabre Grand Master continues to urge Di Yun to kill Hua TieGan.

    Shui Sheng sees her father's body on the snow, and is overwhelmed with grief. She forgets that Di Yun killed Shui Dai out of mercy, all she can remember is the sight of him striking her father with the branch. In her extreme state of anguish, a rush of chi suddenly gushes forth from her "daan teen," breaking the seal of her pressure points. She jumps to her feet and goes immediately after Di Yun, intending to avenge her father.

    Di Yun puts up his arms in defense and cries out that he killed Shui Dai only because he begged him to. Shui Sheng remembers that he's right and gives up the attack, but not before Di Yun has been hit a dozen times with that branch.
    Blood Sabre Grand Master suddenly realizes that Di Yun was helping the enemy, and he intends to kill Di Yun right there, but he can't move, so he hides his displeasure.

    Hua TieGan meanwhile, senses that now Shui Sheng is the strongest one of the four, and he needs to kiss her butt and get her to kill Di Yun and Blood Sabre Grand Master. Shui Sheng is really annoyed at him, however, and ignores his calls to her.

    Hua TieGan knows that with each passing minute, Blood Sabre Grand Master is slowly regaining his strength and he needs to get Shui Sheng to kill the two monks now, but he's also afraid of offending Blood Sabre Grand Master because he might be able to stand up any moment, so he points out to her that Blood Sabre Grand Master is helpless now, but he refers to Blood Sabre Grand Master rather politely and doesn't dare to tell Shui Sheng to kill him explicitly.

    Shui Sheng is overrun with hatred of Blood Sabre Grand Master as she remembers what he has done, and she goes after Blood Sabre Grand Master with the branch. Blood Sabre Grand Master can't even raise his arm in defense, but he manages to pick up Hua TieGan's lance and point the blunt end of it toward a pressure point under Shui Sheng's armpit. Shui Sheng smacks Blood Sabre Grand Master square in the face with the branch, but she also hits her pressure point on the lance and she collapses as her limbs go limp.

    Even though he's been smacked silly, Blood Sabre Grand Master boasts that Hua TieGan is full of crap, saying that if he indeed had no strength left, how could he subdue Shui Sheng. Hua TieGan and Di Yun couldn't see that Shui Sheng really sealed her own pressure point because her body was in the way, and they think that Blood Sabre Grand Master is telling the truth.

    Hua TieGan quickly changes his tone, and kisses Blood Sabre Grand Master's butt with no shame.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master ignores him and meditates to recover his strength. He doesn't dare to close his eyes though, and keeps a watch over the other 3, in case any of them does anything to his disadvantage. He knows that Shui Sheng's pressure point was sealed by pure external force, with no inner strength used at all, and it wouldn't be long until she can move again.

    Shui Sheng is no more than 3 feet away, but she can't move. Slowly she begins to lose consciousness from the combination of fear, anger, exhaustion, and sorrow. Blood Sabre Grand Master is elated to see her doze off. Hua TieGan, meanwhile, has realized that Di Yun, whether he's stupid or truly kind, has no intention of killing him, so the crucial point in this situation is whether Shui Sheng can regain movement before Blood Sabre Grand Master. Seeing Shui Sheng doze off, he yells at her to wake up, lying that the evil monks intent to hurt her.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master is pissed at Hua TieGan and tells Di Yun to go and kill him again. Di Yun doesn't listen. On the flip side, Hua TieGan tells Di Yun to kill Blood Sabre Grand Master because he's a cruel man, and after he regains his strength, he'd kill him (Di Yun) because he disobeyed grand master's orders. Di Yun doesn't listen to Hua TieGan either. Hua TieGan doesn't give up and continues to nag Di Yun to kill Blood Sabre Grand Master. Di Yun finally has had it and tells Hua TieGan to shut his yap or he'd kill HIM. Hua TieGan quickly shuts up.
    After a while, he turns his focus back to Shui Sheng again and screams out "Shui Sheng, your dad is alive!" Shui Sheng hears it in her sleep and thinks it's true. In her joy, she wakes up.

    Hua TieGan immediately teaches her how to manipulate her chi and break the seal of her pressure point. Even though Shui Sheng really despises Hua TieGan now, she listens to him. Slowly, she begins to be able to move.

    Blood Sabre Grand Master sees this and knows he's in trouble. He increases his efforts and concentrates fully on regaining his power and he feels that he's just moments away from regaining movement. It appears to be too late however as Shui Sheng has picked up the blood sabre. But to everyone's surprise, suddenly Hua TieGan calls out emphatically for her to go kill Di Yun first because Blood Sabre Grand Master still cannot move yet, and Di Yun is the bigger threat.

    Shui Sheng hesitates for a moment because Di Yun did help her father, but the indecision lasts for just a moment, and she goes after Di Yun with the sabre. Di Yun picks up a twig and defends himself. Shui Sheng slices the twig in half and is just about to bring the sabre down on Di Yun's neck when Blood Sabre Grand Master snatches the sabre away from behind! Immediately his next move is to swing the sabre down toward Shui Sheng's neck. Shui Sheng doesn't have time to get out of the way, and her heart sinks.

    Di Yun screams: "Don't kill anymore people!" He lunges forward, striking Blood Sabre Grand Master on the wrist with the twig in his hand, causing Blood Sabre Grand Master to drop the sabre. Normally, there's no way that Di Yun could have touched Blood Sabre Grand Master, but right now Blood Sabre Grand Master doesn't even have 5% of his original strength, so Di Yun was able to save Shui Sheng's life.

    Both Di Yun and Blood Sabre Grand Master bend over for the sabre on the ground. Di Yun grabs it first, but Blood Sabre Grand Master wraps his hands tightly around Di Yun's neck, intending to choke him to death. Blood Sabre Grand Master knows he doesn't have much strength, if he doesn't kill Di Yun right there, then he would die at Di Yun's hands, but he doesn't know that Di Yun has no intentions of harming him, he only wanted to stop him from killing Shui Sheng.

    Di Yun releases the sabre, his face gets more and more purple. His arms drop limb to his side, the only thought in his mind is that he is going to die.

    Shui Sheng is watching on the side, she's wishing at first that they kill each other. However, after a while, it's obvious that Di Yun is defenseless, and she begins to worry that after Blood Sabre Grand Master kills the "young monk," he'd go after her.

    Hua TieGan instructs her to grab the sabre and then kill them both.
    Shui Sheng picks up the sabre but she hesitates, because the two of them are tangled up, if she attacks Blood Sabre Grand Master, then Di Yun would surely be harmed too, because the sabre cuts through metal like mud (sierk teet yu nai). She doesn't want to kill Di Yun herself because he did save her life, so she doesn't know what to do.

    Hua TieGan urges her on hurry up. Shui Sheng says she can't get a clear shot at Blood Sabre Grand Master. Hua TieGan gets frustrated, and says she's an idiot, she should just kill them in one fell swoop. Hua TieGan is the chieftain of the "Iron Lance Sect," and he's used to people obeying his orders, but he's forgotten that he can't move, and Shui Sheng is extremely contemptuous of him at the moment. Sure enough, he pisses Shui Sheng off, and she tells him to do it himself, if he's such a hero.

    Hua TieGan knows that he's in trouble, so he quickly changes his tone and tries to kiss Shui Sheng's *** again. He apologizes for his rudeness before, and says that if she kills both of these infamous Blood Sabre Sect monks, she would be famous.
    Shui Sheng takes two steps toward Blood Sabre Grand Master and Di Yun, and decides to just lightly cut Blood Sabre Grand Master twice, this way he'll bleed to death, and the sabre won't harm Di Yun. Unfortunately, Blood Sabre Grand Master guesses her intentions, and does some reverse psychology, telling her to just gently cut him across the back, but be careful not to harm Di Yun. It works, Shui Sheng backs down, thinking that Blood Sabre Grand Master must have some devious plan in mind.

    Meanwhile, the air in Di Yun's lungs is building up, since he cannot exhale. The air is trying to find a place to escape, but it has no where to go. A normal person would have passed out by now, but Di Yun cannot. The pain from the buildup of air and heat in his body is intolerable, he keeps thinking he's going to die, but yet he doesn't.

    As the air (or chi) builds up in Di Yun's body, its force increases. In its attempt to find a way to escape, the air breaks through several key pressure points in Di Yun's body that he's been unable to do himself when practicing "sun jiu gong" (the kung fu he learned from Ding Dian). Normally Di Yun may not have been able to accomplish this even in twenty years, but in this unique situation, the trapped air from being choked actually helps him accomplish "sun jiu gong"!
    Now that all Di Yun's key points have been broken through, the chi in his body can go anywhere it wants. It travels through the vessels in Di Yun's body over a dozen times, each time making Di Yun feel better and better. With "sun jiu gong," a person's inner strength increases each time his chi makes a roundtrip around his body, so Di Yun's power is increasingly becoming stronger, unbeknownst to Blood Sabre Grand Master.

    Even though Di Yun's inner strength is immensely powerful now, he still is afraid as he's still being choked. He only wants to free himself from Blood Sabre Grand Master's grasp. He reaches out frantically with his arm, trying to grab on to Blood Sabre Grand Master, but he can't touch him. His left foot kicks about blindly, suddenly he actually finds the mark, kicking Blood Sabre Grand Master in his lower abdomen. Di Yun's inner strength has immensely improved, while Blood Sabre Grand Master's is nearly depleted, as a result, Di Yun's kick sends Blood Sabre Grand Master flying into the air.

    Shui Sheng and Hua TieGan both cry out in surprise, not sure what just happened. Blood Sabre Grand Master's body takes a 180 degree turn in midair, and dives headfirst right into the snow. His entire motionless body except his feet is submerged in snow..

  15. #15
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default Chapter 8 - The feather coat

    8 - The feather coat

    First everyone thinks Blood Sabre Grand Master is showing off some weird kung fu, but they eventually realize that he’s dead. Di Yun has no idea how he died.
    Hua TieGan start to kiss *** again, this time Di Yun’s. It turns out that Hua TieGan actually is a devious person, but he’s never really done any evil deeds, that’s why he was able to be friends with the other 3 'daihups' of Lu Hua Liu Shui for so long. After all the mental trauma that he’s gone through in the last day however, he’s become a completely different person, no longer able to suppress the dark side of his character.

    He says all sorts of disgusting things about how Shui Sheng and Di Yun are meant for each other, and how Di Yun could use Shui Sheng as a temporary lover if he has other women hidden in his 'temple'. Finally Shui Sheng shuts him up by slapping him four times.

    Di Yun buries Blood Sabre Grand Master, Shui Sheng buries her father. Di Yun tries to find a way out but cannot.

    The next day, Hua TieGan regains ability to move, and obviously he doesn’t need to kiss *** anymore. He plans to kill both Shui Sheng and Di Yun once they find a way out, because he doesn’t want people to know what really happened. He tries to locate an exit too, but also fails, and it looks like they are trapped until the snow melts the next spring.

    A month passes, the three of them hardly even make eye contact, they stay away from each other. Hua TieGan several times wanted to kill Shui Sheng and Di Yun, but didn’t because it would be too difficult to spend months in that valley by himself.

    Meanwhile the horse meat has been eaten completely. One night, Shui Sheng wakes up and finds Hua TieGan digging up her father’s corpse while Di Yun is trying to stop him. Hua TieGan stabs Di Yun in the chest with his lance, but luckily he has the protective vest on and also has great inner power so he didn’t get seriously hurt. Di Yun disarms Hua TieGan, and they fight with palms. Di Yun is no match because he doesn’t know any good styles even though his inner strength is much better than Hua TieGan. Shui Sheng helps Di Yun, but they’re still no match, and Di Yun and Shui Sheng have to retreat into the cave.

    Hua TieGan says they are 'doing stuff' in there, Di Yun gets pissed and goes out to fight him again. Di Yun finally snaps after years of psychological and physical torment. He goes crazy, and Hua TieGan gets scared to fight him, so he retreats far away. Di Yun screams about all the different horrible things that’s happened to him and faints from being too worked up.

    A vultures tries to eat Di Yun while he’s down, Di Yun is infuriated that even a vulture is picking on him and he knocks the vulture out of the air and starts eating it LIVE AND KICKING like a madman!

    The blood makes him pass out again. When he wakes up, he finds that the vulture has been cooked. He knows Shui Sheng cooked it, but he’s unsure how to feel about Shui Sheng. Hua TieGan tries to imitate Di Yun, but his inner strength is no where as strong, and the vultures get away.

    So everyday Di Yun kills the vultures, and Shui Sheng prepares them to eat, but other than that Shui Sheng and Di Yun never interact. Shui Sheng always hides in the cave, while Di Yun never even sets a step in there. One morning Di Yun wakes up and finds a coat made out of feather covering him. It is made entirely of vulture feather, and Shui Sheng obviously went into a lot of trouble to make it.

    Di Yun suddenly gets reminded of years ago when Qi Fang was mending his torn new outfit (chapter 1) and Qi Fang told him to not speak or else he would be accused of being a thief. Di Yun muses whether all those rotten things happened to him really because he spoke when Qi Fang was mending his outfit. He concludes of course not, if people intend to harm him, even if he was mute, they would still get him. He remembers how Qi Fang abandoned him and married a rich handsome guy (Wan Gui) and he goes mad.

    He tosses the feather coat on the ground, stamps on it a few times and throws it in Shui Sheng’s face [figuratively], declaring that he is an 'evil monk', (quoting Shui Sheng herself of course) and he doesn’t deserve a gift from such a refined lady like Shui Sheng (cheen gum siu jere).

    Shui Sheng is really upset, because it took her over a month to make that coat. She made it because she’s grateful to him for protecting her father’s remains and killing those vultures everyday. She cries and tears the coat up a little, but she doesn’t realize that Di Yun’s shirt is also full of tears, tears shed for himself and for his heartless shi-mei Qi Fang. That afternoon however, Di Yun still kills the vultures and Shui Sheng still cooks them like usual. They don’t even make eye contact though.

    Later that day, Hua TieGan suddenly returns wearing Lu Tian Shu and Liu Cheng Feng’s clothes and carrying their weapons. Apparently he’s eaten them and stolen their clothes and weapons. He has come to steal Di Yun and Shui Sheng’s food, since he can’t kill vultures himself. Shui Sheng trusts Di Yun more now, and she lets him have the blood sabre. He and Hua TieGan fight. Hua TieGan again stabs Di Yun in the chest, but the vest saves him again. Hua TieGan starts to get paranoid, unable to understand why for the second time the same thing has happened. (He doesn’t know about the vest of course) He thinks maybe the spirits of Lu Tian Shu and Liu Cheng Feng have come back to help Di Yun against him, and he hesitates. This allows Di Yun and Shui Sheng to retreat into the cave.

    [Also noteworthy is that Di Yun used the 3 moves taught to him by the beggar in Chapter 1. The first move caught Hua TieGan by surprise and resulted in a slap in the face, but the others were ineffectual, especially since Di Yun used them again and again. Hua TieGan also confirmed that the moves were from the 'Lian Cheng' sword technique.]

    Di Yun remembers the 'Blood Sabre Secret Manual' and he studies it. With his now immense inner strength, very quickly he’s already learned several moves. It turns out the key of the style is to be able to attack from strange and unexpected positions, which is why there are so many pictures of men in strange poses in the beginning of the manual. Shui Sheng was afraid of Di Yun's strange positions at first (afraid that he went berserk again) then saw that he was learning kung-fu from a manual. Seeing the nubile men in the manual, she blushed and wondered if Di Yun would start following their lead and strip down (he didn't).

    He doesn’t have a chance to learn everything though, as Hua TieGan draws them out by digging up Shui Dai’s grave. Hua TieGan disables Shui Sheng first by sealing her pressure point, then he goes after Di Yun with the blood sabre. Di Yun only has a branch to fight with, but his new style enables him to hit Hua TieGan in the back of the head, which freaks Hua TieGan out. He thinks that a ghost hit him, because it seems impossible that Di Yun could hit him there from where he was. He runs away.

    Shui Sheng is scared that Di Yun will take advantage of her while she cannot move. Di Yun senses her fear and gets mad. He declares that he won’t ever even look at her again and he walks away. Shui Sheng is somewhat ashamed, thinking maybe she has been paranoid, and Di Yun really is a nice person.

    After about two hours, a vulture swoops down trying to eat at Shui Sheng. Shui Sheng screams, and suddenly the blood sabre comes flying through the air, slicing the vulture in two. Of course it’s Di Yun who saves her. Even though he’s upset with her, he still kept a watchful eye over her in case Hua TieGan returns to harm her.

    Shui Sheng finally realizes she was really wrong about Di Yun, and she apologizes, but Di Yun ignores her completely. However, he still keeps guard over her the entire night from not far away.

    The next day, after her pressure point naturally unseals, Shui Sheng immediately cooks the dead vulture and gives half to Di Yun. Di Yun accepts it, but he shuts his eyes to keep his vow to never look at her again.

    As Shui Sheng walks away, she pretends to fall down and hurt herself. Di Yun rushes to help her, only to realize she was tricking him. He gets mad, thinking that all women are dishonest, and other than Ding Dian's Ling ShuangHua, they all lie. Shui Sheng thanks him for coming to help her so fast, all this time she is laughing happily. Di Yun glares at her for a moment and walks away.

    Hua TieGan is afraid of ghosts and never comes to bother them again. He has to settle for tree bark as food. As for Di Yun, each day he practices the 'sun jiu gong' and the blood sabre style, so his kung fu is improving steadily day by day.
    The days pass by, and it has turned spring. By now, Di Yun’s kung fu prowess has way surpassed the late Blood Sabre Grand Master’s, was comparable to the late Ding Dian's.

    Di Yun still never speaks to Shui Sheng again, and except for meal time, he keeps his distance from her.

    He has only 3 thoughts in his mind: 1) return home to find shifu 2) bury Ding Dian and Ms. Ling together, and 3) revenge!

    One day, the melting snow has become a flowing river of water, and it looks like theyl be able to leave soon. Shui Sheng actually breaks into tears. Di Yun doesn’t know why she’s sad. Even Shui Sheng doesn’t know why she’s crying.
    That night, Di Yun hears at least 50 people entering the valley. He knows that they are the ones who were chasing him and Blood Sabre Grand Master months earlier, and he decides to hide. He sees a bunch of people with torches, and in the lead is Hua TieGan!

    Hua TieGan has claimed credit for killing Blood Sabre Grand Master, and has spread rumors about Shui Sheng and Di Yun. The people find Shui Sheng, and they talk about finding and killing the 'young evil monk'. The men thought Di Yun and Shui Sheng were sleeping together, and this impression was enforced when she started referring to Di Yun as just 'him' rather than 'little monk', and called him a gentleman ('gwun ji'). They started mocking and deriding her. Furthermore, she defended him against the charge of killing her own father even as she admitted it, by saying her father asked him to. Naturally, no-one believed her (along with plenty of crude sarcasm along the lines of 'he got tired of living and asked his son-in-law to smash his head to pulp!') and got enraged at her putting her 'lover' over her father. One person even wanted to kill her then and there.

    Wang XiaoFeng comes a little later, and so did not catch the earlier comments, but he heard a few crude comments from the others. Everyone leaves to look for Di Yun, only Wang XiaoFeng is left with Shui Sheng.

    Wang XiaoFeng doesn’t trust Shui Sheng, he thinks she and Di Yun have a thing going, especially after he spots that feather coat in her bed (Shui Sheng has been using it as a blanket). Wang XiaoFeng also noticed that it was obviously made by Shui Sheng for a man, and noted the care with which it was made. The fact that Shui Sheng admitted that she made it for Di Yun didn't help either.
    Di Yun cannot bear to see Shui Sheng suffer injustice, and he steps out to tell Wang XiaoFeng nothing happened, which only makes Wang XiaoFeng even more suspicious. Wang XiaoFeng ends up attacking Di Yun, but he’s no match for Di Yun. All Di Yun did was avoid Wang XiaoFeng's attacks, but when he started finding that difficult, he flicked his sword away with a finger and shoved him on the shoulder, sending Wang XiaoFeng tumbling head-over-heels to slam hard into the wall.

    After Wang XiaoFeng slapped Shui Sheng (twice), she buried herself in Di Yun's shoulder, thinking that he was the only one able to protect her (naturally, this didn't help matters any either).

    The people outside hear the commotion and return. Di Yun has to leave but assures Wang XiaoFeng that Shui Sheng is a great girl, and he should marry her before leaving. Shui Sheng is extremely grateful to Di Yun, she urges him to leave before the people see him.

    Di Yun manages to get away and hide. The people think he’s escape out of the valley and give chase. Wang XiaoFeng left the cave, followed by Shui Sheng trailing by over 10 feet behind. Di Yun was left by himself, all alone.

  16. #16
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default Chapter 9 - Liang Shan Bo, Zhu Ying Tai

    9 - Liang Shan Bo, Zhu Ying Tai

    Di Yun stayed in the valley for half a month to perfect the martial arts contained within the Blood Knife manual, and then he burnt it and buried the ashes at the monk's grave. Even though Shui Sheng had left, he still did not dare to enter the cave to sleep or touch the things she had fashioned. Before leaving, he decided to return to the valley after his business was done. He first decided to visit his teacher's old home.

    Even though his martial arts was now extremely high, he had no faith in his own ability and hence disguised himself to avoid trouble. He was especially worried about bumping into Shui Sheng, Wang XiaoFeng and Hua TieGan.

    He travelled for about 30 days. When he reached his old home, he saw that the original 3 small houses had been replaced with a single magnificent one that was 3 times larger than the original ones. Di Yun thought that his shifu had come back home rich, and so joyfully called out for him. This attracted the attention of a rude servant from inside the house, who had never heard of Qi ZhangFa. Di Yun inquired as to the identity of the house-owner, but the servant took him for a beggar and told him to go away. Their voices attracted the attention of a household manager (gwoon ga). Di Yun, with his past experiences, was by now no longer the naively trusting boy he used to be, and so decided to try a more subtle approach, pretending to be hopelessly naive. He managed to ease the manager's suspicions and got invited to work at the house.

    He was in for a shock when he entered. After passing through the entrance hall, a huge ditch was seen in the middle of the house, extending all the way to the western wall. There were digging implements scattered everywhere, implying that work was still going on. The rooms were very sparsely furnished with cheap furniture, and even a proper stove had not been erected in the kitchen. Di Yun was taken for a meal, during which more and more workers turned up. After eating, they started to dig. In chatting with the other workers, Di Yun heard that the owner was supposed to be digging for some magical bowl that would multiply whatever was put into it overnight. Di Yun naturally didn't believe this, and inquired as to who the owner of the house was. At that point the owner came out - a thin, well-dressed 50-year man. Di Yun kept thought that he had seen the owner before, but couldn't remember from where. He then heard the man speak, telling them to bring anything they find to him. He instantly recognised the voice as the beggar who taught him the three sword moves at the very beginning.

    Di Yun's first instinct was to go out, and greet and thank him for his tuition, although by Di Yun's current standard those 3 moves were most mundane and ordinary. But his experiences had taught him caution, plus the odd circumstances made him suspicious, so he decided to wait and see first. They worked overnight, stopping at dawn. Di Yun slept on the floor at the house, waking up again in the afternoon. He went to a nearby village, actively avoiding any people whom he knew, and asked a child regarding the house. The child told him that the house was erected during the autumn of the previous year, and that the treasure-hunt had been the laughing-stock of the local community. When asked about the original houses, the child told him that no-one had returned to the houses and were dismantled when the large building was built.

    Di Yun then wandered past a crop of water celery, bringing up many memories of earlier times with Qi Fang. He continued west into the rocky hills, into a cave that was his and Qi Fang's 'secret place'. The items in the cave were just as they had left them - a mud doll, a catapult, scissors etc. Di Yun picked up a book titled 'Tang poem selection' that Qi Fang used as a template-holder for shoe-making and embroidery, and flipped through it. There were two paper butterflies. Di Yun recalled the events leading to those butterflies.

    He and Qi Fang were in the cave, when a pair of butterflies flew in - this type of butterfly would always occur in pairs, and were named 'Liang Shan Bo, Zhu Ying Tai' [a famous Chinese love story on par with Romeo and Juliet in Western culture]. Di Yun killed one with a shoe, arousing Qi Fang's ire at him splitting the couple apart. She cut out a paper template using the dead butterfly as a model, and embroidered one butterfly onto her own shoe, and one onto his purse, which was taken away when he went into prison.

    He returned the templates to the book and flicked through it, looking at the other paper templates within. Then he heard someone coming near, and so he tucked the book away, rushed out of the cave and hid behand a large tree. After a while, he heard 7-8 people coming. Peeking out, his first instinct was to rush out and strangle one of them - it was Wan Gui, his father, and the rest of the students!
    After they entered and saw the collected dust and the new footprints, they thought that Qi ZhangFa had originally hidden the 'Lian Cheng' sword manual in the cave and that Yan DaPing had subsequently stolen it away, much to Di Yun's amusement. They arrived at the cave by following Di Yun. They ransacked the cave and tried to dig (but the floor was made of stone) before leaving.

    Di Yun suddenly realised that the beggar was also looking the 'Lian Cheng' sword manual. The beggar thought that the manual was in Qi ZhangFa's hands, therefore he erected a magnificent exterior and spread a wild rumour to keep peoples' suspicions at bay whilst searching for it. He also realised that the beggar had some purpose for going to Wan ZhenShan's birthday as well. Reasoning that Wan ZhenShan and the others would visit the house as well, he returned to await the forthcoming entertainment.

    That night, Di Yun and the others were working at the dig again. Di Yun took care to be neither too diligent nor too lazy in order to avoid attention. The beggar (although he no longer looked anything like one), was pacing to and fro. Suddenly, he heard 8 people stealthily approaching, but everyone else, including the beggar, seemed oblivious. As they approached, Di Yun was mystified as to why no-one noticed, since to him it sounded so obvious that the attempt at stealth seemed comical - he forgot that his martial arts prowess had reached an extremely high level. At last, the beggar noticed something and perked up his ears. The eight continued advancing, but now the beggar was alerted and picked up his dragon-head cane.

    Suddenly, seven charged in, surrounding the beggar with swords. Wan ZhenShan advanced, addressing the baggar as 'Yuen Si Dai' - the beggar was Di Yun's second shi-bo, Yan DaPing. Wan ZhenShan and Yan DaPing stood there politely hurling verbal daggers at each other. Di Yun recalled Ding Dian's story about how they killed even their shifu for the manual, so evidently they would have little hesitation in killing each other too. However, they had already snatched the manual away, so why were they looking in the house?

    Wan ZhenShan demanded the manual, but Yan DaPing said that he couldn't find it, and that the two of them were no match for Qi ZhangFa's wiles. Wan ZhenShan then asked him what he took from the cave, which Yan DaPing knew nothing about. Wan ZhenShan obviously didn't believe him, and Yan DaPing emptied his pockets. When Wan ZhenShan still wouldn't believe him, Yan DaPing suggested that they search him. Wan ZhenShan told Wan Gui to do it, but as soon as he put his hand in, it was stung by a 3-inch long scorpion. Wan Gui crushed it, but his hand rapidly turned from red to purple to black, with a red thread creeping up his arm. Seeing that he fell for Yan DaPing's trick, Wan ZhenShan asked Yan DaPing politely for the antidote, but Yan DaPing kept dallying. When Wan ZhenShan asked what he wanted, Yan DaPing replied that he wanted Wan ZhenShan to say the manual was his [Yan DaPing's]. Wan ZhenShan hatefully complied, and Yan DaPing went slowly into the house, with two of Wan ZhenShan's students trailing him. They disappeared for a long time, and just when more of the students were about to go after him, Yan DaPing appeared with a small bottle. He sprinkled a small portion of black powder onto Wan Gui's hand, which quickly resulted in black blood oozing out of the wound and the red thread retreating. After Wan Gui recovered, two of the students went into the house to fetch the other two students who followed Yan DaPing in - they both had broken legs.

    Wan ZhenShan had held in his rage for a long while, and now used this as an excuse to attack Yan DaPing. Yan DaPing's cane turned out to be a disguised sword, with the dragon-head serving as a hilt, and counter-attacked. Finding the area cramped, they both jumped into the ditch to fight. The workers were cringing at the courners of the house, and Di Yun pretended to do so as well whilst observing the fight. After 7 or 8 moves, he noticed that their inner power was far too weak, but they had so many different moves that an extra 'Lian Cheng' sword technique would be redundant. He became increasingly puzzled at the way they concentrated purely on techniques without paying any attention whatsoever to the accompanying inner power - if they met an opponent weaker than themselves, then there would be no problem but the instant they meet someone with mildly strong inner power then all of their complicated and numerous moves would be rendered useless.

    Three of Wan ZhenShan's students joined in the fray. Although Yan DaPing pretended to be unconcerned, his sword movements became more sluggish. Di Yun was still pondering why they didn't understand the simple principle that complicated techniques without an inner power basis was useless. He thought that it might be he himself that was wrong, but then remembered Ding Dian telling him of how he obtained the Sun Jiu Ging from their shifu, hence the shifu must have known this principle, but why didn't he tell his students?

    At that point, a chilling thought occurred to Di Yun as he watched the fight. He recalled how Qi ZhangFa had once taught him a clever technique twice, but the second time around he taught it slightly differently. Now, he realised that his shifu was deliberately misleading him, teaching him second-rate moves far inferior to his own so that his [Di Yun's] swordsmanship would be flashy but unuseful. This was why Di Yun beat Wan ZhenShan's students so easily with Yan DaPing's three moves, but this was also a scheme of Yan DaPing's to arouse Wan ZhenShan's suspicions and to stir trouble. Wan ZhenShan also did the same to his students, including his own son (since priviliging him would make the ruse evident).

    Yan DaPing's sword drew 7 circles before stabbing at Wan ZhenShan's chest. Wan ZhenShan blocked the 7 circles one after another. It looked spectacular but to Di Yun's eyes was foolish to the extreme - instead of drawing the 7 circles it would be better to stab directly, and Wan ZhenShan could have killed Yan DaPing straightaway by counter-stabbing at his abdomen instead of expending the effort in blocking every circle [P.S. You see this kind of nonsense all the time in wuxia films!].

    Seeing this brought back another memory of Di Yun's - he was practicing with Qi Fang, when he couldn't remember the fancy moves that Qi ZhangFa taught him and Qi Fang was pressing him badly, and he instinctively blocked and countered without thinking, with the result that Qi Fang's fancy techniques failed to work and nearly skewered her shoulder. At the time, he thought that was because Qi Fang's techniques had not been mastered sufficiently, but now he realised that his instinctive, thoughtless 'techniques' were far more efficient than the flashy, complex moves taught by Qi ZhangFa.

    Di Yun could see that Wan ZhenShan and Yan DaPing's swordsmanship contained many completely useless moves, but that of the students of Wan ZhenShan and Qi ZhangFa contained even more! Using useless moves in battle was effectively giving the opponent an opportunity to gain the upper-hand and thereby placing one's life in enemy hands. Di Yun reasoned that Mui Lim Sung had seen through the character of his students and had taught them low-quality martial arts. However, he couldn't understand why they would also harm their children in such a way. He guessed it had something to do with the 'Lian Cheng' sword manual.
    After a while, with his students distracting Yan DaPing, Wan ZhenShan managed to slash his right arm, forcing him to switch the sword to his left hand. This put him at a serious disadvantage, and with Wan ZhenShan determined to kill him, he suffered another hit on the right side of the chest. Remembering how Yan DaPing helped him years ago, despite what his motives might have been, Di Yun launched a spadeful of dirt at Wan ZhenShan's leg, knocking him flat on his back. Di Yun then flung more dirt at the lights, extinguishing them, and ran off with Yan DaPing, running to the highest, most treacherous peaks in the region.

    Di Yun refused to reveal his identify to Yan DaPing, and after he had applied some medicine to himself he began to question him. Yan DaPing confirmed that he was looking for the 'Lian Cheng' sword manual, and that Ding Dian's explanation of the meaning of Qi ZhangFa's title was correct. We learn that after the three had murdered their teacher and stole the manual, they found the manual to be useless without the 'kuet'. None of the three trusted each other, and so they would always sleep in the same room, with the manual locked away in an iron box. They threw the key to the box in the river, and chained themselves to the box such that any movement by one would be felt by the other. However, one night, the box was opened and the manual was gone. The windows and doors were still firmly locked, so it must have been one of them. After an unproductive argument, they split apart to look for the manual.

    When Di Yun asked why they murdered their teacher when the manual would be theirs eventually, Yan DaPing replied that MLS did not trust them and appeared to be searching for another successor, thereby forcing their hand.

    After the theft, Yan DaPing first suspected Wan ZhenShan because he was the first to cry out, but after following him awhile he discovered that Wan ZhenShan in turn was following Qi ZhangFa! Wan ZhenShan therefore changed his target to Qi ZhangFa. Yan DaPing spied on Qi ZhangFa, Qi Fang and Di Yun for 3 years, watching Qi ZhangFa pretending to be a naive, uneducated country peasant. Later, when Qi ZhangFa attended Wan ZhenShan's birthday celebration (which was a test by Wan ZhenShan), Yan DaPing followed and showed up as the beggar. As far as Yan DaPing knew, Wan ZhenShan and Qi ZhangFa argued, Wan ZhenShan was injured by him whilst Qi ZhangFa vanished.

    As soon as this occurred, Yan DaPing quickly rode back to Qi ZhangFa's home, anticipating that Qi ZhangFa would not carry the manual on him, but would leave it at home somewhere. He waited for several years, but Qi ZhangFa never turned up. Finally, he ran out of patience and began to excavate the area.

    Di Yun was about to leave, and told Yan DaPing to stay and recover first. When he mentioned that Wan ZhenShan wouldn't come here, Yan DaPing said that he most certainly would not since his son was still poisoned - it turns out that the medicine had to be applied ten times to cure the poison completely, otherwise the poison would continue to rise, making Wan Gui suffer horribly for a month before dying. When Di Yun commented that one month is ample time to find a good doctor, Yan DaPing said that he'd fed the scorpions various types of antidote from young, such that all ordinary antidotes were useless against the poison except for one special type that he did not feed to the scorpions. Afraid that he [Di Yun] might end up being a victim of Yan DaPing's scorpions, he forced Yan DaPing to hand over the bottle of antidote.

    After Di Yun descended the mountain, he went to the house again to find it empty. Thinking that his shifu was dead and shi-mei had married another, he thought to himself that he would never return here. He thought of his remaining task - to bury Ding Dian's ashes along with Ling ShuangHua. Also, since it was along the way, he intended to see if Wan Gui would really die from the poison, and if not to finish the task off himself.

    Ever since he saw Wan ZhenShan and Yan DaPing fighting the previous night, he finally started having some trust in his abilities.

  17. #17
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default 10 - Selection of Tang poems

    10 - Selection of Tang poems

    After a few days, Di Yun arrived at Jing Zhou. Asking around, he learnt that Leung Tui Si was still the governor. His first thought was to take a look at Wan Gui. When he arrived at their house, he saw Sum Sing hurrying out. He decided to wait until dark to enter, and so he went to the nearby derelict garden, which was the same as ever, except for the fact that all that was left of Ding Dian now was ash...
    He slept under the tree until halfway through the night, and then jumped over the wall into the Man residence's garden. He felt an instant of bitterness at the memory of that day when he was heavily injured, and Qi Fang not only abandoned him but set her husband on him [or so he thought]. He then saw three points of lights shining. Di Yun hid behind a tree, and looking carefully saw that it was three sticks of incense. In front of them were two people kow-towing - one was Qi Fang, the other was her daughter Kong XinChai.

    He heard Qi Fang make her first wish - for her husband to be free of the pain inflicted by the scorpion poison. Kong XinChai followed along, asking for her father to stop hurting and yelling out. Di Yun, hearing that Wan Gui was still suffering, felt a sadistic sense of joy, as well as hating Qi Fang for her loyalty to her husband.
    Her second wish was for Qi ZhangFa to be alright. Kong XinChai obediently made the same wish. She paused for a moment, before making her third wish in a low voice, for 'him' to be well, for 'his' affairs to be going well, for 'him' to quickly find a good wife, for 'him' to quickly have children... At which point her voice started breaking, and she wiped her tears away with a sleeve. Kong XinChai asked if she was referring to her uncle. Qi Fang encouraged Kong XinChai to pray for her uncle Kong XinChai's safety.

    Upon hearing Qi Fang's third wish, Di Yun was mystified as to who she was referring to, but when he heard 'Uncle Kong XinChai', his ears rang as he realised that she was referring to him. The child said [towards the incense] that her mother was concerned about [gei gwa] Uncle Kong XinChai, and prayed that her uncle would become rich, buy a big child for her, and everyone would be called Kong XinChai [:-)]. Then she asked where her uncle went, and why he didn't return. Qi Fang replied that her uncle abandoned her, even though she thought of him every day. She then buried her face in her daughter's, and retreated into the house. Di Yun moved to stand in front of the incense, motionless.

    The next day, Di Yun emerged from the Man house and wandered aimlessly around the city, when he heard the sounds of a wandering doctor [long jung]. Wanting to see Wan Gui suffer in person, he bought the doctor's clothes and equipment with 10 pieces of silver, and went to 'business' in front of the Man house. After a while, one of the students, Wu Kan, came out and asked him if he knew how to cure scorpion poison. After Di Yun spoke a lot about how each type of scorpion's poison was different, Wu Kan invited him in, though seeing Di Yun's shabby looks and clumsy speech, he didn't have much faith in his abilities. Bitterly recalling his first impressions of the place when he happily entered with his shi-mei, he followed Wu Kan in.

    They went to the eastern building and Wan Gui called out to Qi Fang about the doctor before being invited in. As Di Yun entered, he saw a large writing desk beside the window, with writing tools, a few books and a half-made child's garment. Qi Fang greeted them - she was not wearing any make-up, and looked worn out. Afraid that she would recognise him, Di Yun did not dare to look at her too much and proceeded to the bed, where he saw Wan Gui lying down, constantly groaning, with Kong XinChai sitting on a small chair in front of him, lightly pounding on her father's legs. Frightened by Di Yun's appearance, she ran behind her mother.

    Di Yun looked at Wan Gui's swollen hand, and proceeded to name the type of scorpion and the time of the wound, which raised their hopes. But then Di Yun said that he needed the wounding scorpion to cure him, otherwise it would be immensely difficult. Qi Fang pleaded with him. Naturally, Di Yun original intention was to personally see Wan Gui suffer, to get some satisfaction for how much suffering Wan Gui had caused him, and had no intention of saving him. However,

    Di Yun had never denied any of Qi Fang's wishes, and his resolve weakened, and was about to open the medicine chest when he recalled how badly Wan Gui had treated him, as well as stealing Qi Fang away, and that he was being extremely gracious in not personally killing him, lead alone saving him! Di Yun made an excuse, at which Qi Fang told Kong XinChai to kow-tow to him. Kong XinChai was a very obedient child and immediately started to do so. Di Yun lifted her up again with his intact left hand, when he saw that around the child's neck was a piece of jewellery that was identical to one of the pieces he awoke with on the boat.

    This, coupled with the previous night, made Di Yun realise that it was Qi Fang who had saved him, and that she still had feelings for him. He dared to hope that they might be together again, but then he saw Qi Fang's caring, tender expression towards Wan Gui - the same expression she had when Di Yun was beaten up by the 8 students. Di Yun's heart sank. He thought that no-one could blame him for allowing Wan Gui to die painfully, and that he could take Qi Fang and the child away by night - no-one would be able to stop him, and they could forget the past and be a happy couple. But Qi Fang had been accustomed to being the comfortable wife of a rich man, how could she willing to follow him to become a farmer girl again? And how could he, an ugly and crippled man, match up to her? How would she be willing to follow him away?

    At this time, Wan Gui cried out, the poison running its course again. Qi Fang begged Di Yun to try at least to reduce the pain. Di Yun at this point became completely disheartened, almost wishing for death. He was completely devoted to Qi Fang, but she had married his greatest enemy, and was now begging for him to personally save this enemy. He thought that he would rather change places with Wan Gui and be suffering immense pain but with Qi Fang's care. Di Yun sighed, and applied the antidote to Wan Gui's hand. Wu Kan cried out that Wan Gui had hope, but to Di Yun's puzzlement, Wu Kan's voice held disappointment and annoyance. Looking at him, Di Yun saw a fierce, venomous look on his face, but then Di Yun recalled that none of the eight students were good people and it wasn't surprising that their relationship was bad, though he didn't understand why Wu Kan bothered looking for a doctor.

    After the antidote was applied, black blood started dripping from the wound. Qi Fang used a basin to catch the blood, then thanked Di Yun. Wu Kan added that he had a share in it as well. Di Yun said that their was no need for thanks, told her that the antidote needed to be applied ten times in a row, gave her the bottle, and then wanted to leave, refusing to give his name. Qi Fang insisted that they must at least drink a cup of wine together. Di Yun, thinking that he could not have his revenge and that after he buried Ding Dian's ashes he would never come to Jing Zhou again and hence never see her again, agreed.

    Qi Fang drank three cups of wine with Di Yun, who gulped them down. Feeling immensely sorrowful, his eyes swelled with tears. Knowing he wouldn't hold out for long, he immediately moved to leave, saying that from now on he would never come again. Qi Fang offered him a bag containing 100 pieces of silver, at which Di Yun turned his head, crying out, "It was I who saved him, it was I who saved him, ha ha! Really funny! Who in the world is more foolish than me?" He laughed out loud, but with tears streaking down his cheeks. Qi Fang and Wu Kan were startled by his behaviour, but when Kong XinChai commented that this 'bak bak' was crying, Di Yun no longer dared to dally any more, and turned around to leave, stealthily taking the book of poetry that Qi Fang used to keep shoe templates out and putting it on the chair, before leaving without another look at Qi Fang.

    Qi Fang's heart beat rapidly, since she felt that the doctor's laughter was so like Di Yun's. Then she wondered what she was doing, thinking about him all the time when Wan Gui was in such a state. She sat down, right on top of the book.

    Leafing through it, she recognised it as her own and stood, dumb-struck. Then she charged out of the building, startling the servants, and out of the main entrance, where she saw that the doctor had already disappeared. She leafed through the book again, reminded of her youth with every template, and couldn't help weeping. She suddenly thought that maybe it was Wan ZhenShan and Wan Gui who had brought the book to her, but then refuted that thought due to the remoteness of the cave. She also remembered that the book wasn't there before when she wiped the chair.

    She returned to her room with the book, and was about to ask her husband but decided not to, especially if the doctor was indeed Di Yun. When talking to Wan Gui about the doctor, she noticed that the bottle was missing, and asked Wan Gui if he took it. When he replied that he did not, Qi Fang desperately searched the room, but failed to find it. Both Qi Fang and Wan Gui recalled the bottle being on top of the table. When Qi Fang went to ask Kong XinChai, she recalled that Wu Kan had been in. Knowing that there was a problem, she told Kong XinChai to accompany her father, hid a dagger on her person, then went to search to Wu Kan, recalling the conniving looks he turned her way whenever no-one else was around.

    She found him in the back garden. She sat beside him, exchanging pleasantries. Wu Kan seemed delighted out of all expectations to see her, praising her beauty. Then she suddenly asked him for the antidote. With a crafty smile, Wu Kan said that the HE was the one who invited the doctor, and therefore HE found the antidote. He also expressed regret at inviting the doctor, whom he didn't expect would be able to heal Wan Gui, which was against his wishes. When Qi Fang asked what he wanted from Wan Gui, Wu Kan replied that he had already experienced years of pleasure [yim ***], and should have died long ago, and that when she first arrived, all 8 of them went crazy over her. They couldn't stand the sight of Di Yun constantly at her side, so they beat him up, using the confrontation with the bandit as an excuse. They were also jealous when they saw her mending his clothes, comforting him. Qi Fang began to grow alarmed, wondering why Wan Gui never said anything, but pretended to be unconcerned.

    Wu Kan continued to say that he had also put much effort into making her stay, but she never even smiled at him. When Qi Fang expressed disbelief, that she remained and married Wan Gui voluntarily, that Wu Kan never said a word, Wu Kan merely said that she didn't know of his role. Even more alarmed, Qi Fang gently encouraged him to say more, but he said that this old news was of no use to her, and they should speak of new events. Wu Kan said that if she would meet him in the timber room in the middle of the night, and 'be compliant to him in all things' then he would give Wan Gui a dose of antidote. At this Qi Fang scolded him aloud, at which Wu Kan spoke of how unfair it was that Wan Gui got all the pleasure when they all put effort into it. When Qi Fang threatened him with Wan ZhenShan, he counter-threatened to feed the antidote to the goldfish. She then asked how he had 'expended effort'. Wu Kan replied that one of them had thought of a plan, with two pretending to be rapists to attract Di Yun's attention, and with two others (including Wu Kan) planting valuables in his room. Qi Fang nearly fainted, with Wu Kan's words like daggers in her heart, exclaiming in a low voice that she had mistaken Di Yun's intentions, had blamed him. Then she expressed disbelief. Wu Kan told her to go see the concubine To Hung herself in the derelict shrine behind the house.

    Qi Fang cried out loud and rushed out to the shrine, which was choked with dust and in poor repair. She thought that Wu Kan had tricked her here for nefarious purposes, and was about to leave when she saw an extremely dirty, dishevelled, hunchbacked woman beggar enter. The beggar recognised her and begged her not to tell anyone she was there, and then retreated into the inner rooms. Qi Fang suddenly recognized her as To Hung and chased after her, threatening her with the dagger. When Qi Fang asked her what she was doing, she replied that Wan ZhenShan had driven her out and that he would kill her if she saw her in the city. However, Tu Fung had nowhere else to go and go stayed as a beggar. When asked why Wan ZhenShan drove her out, she said she did not know, and that the affair with Di Yun was not her fault.

    At that, Qi Fang threatened to take her to Wan ZhenShan if she did not talk. When Tu Fung agreed, Qi Fang asked her about Di Yun. Qi Fang was almost afraid to listen to Tu Fung - what if Di Yun HAD intended to rape and take her away? But Tu Fung said that Wan Gui had forced her to hold on tight to Di Yun, and accusing him of trying to rape her. She told this to Wan ZhenShan and was believed, even rewarded, but was driven out anyway even though she did not speak to anyone of it. Qi Fang felt grateful, hurt and pitiful at the same time, thinking how she blamed him, how she should have known that he truly cared for her, and that she had caused him much grief. At this point, she no longer hated Tu Fung and Wu Kan, even felt a little gratitude, for letting her discover the truth.

    Amidst her sadness was a bitter sweetness. Although she had married Wan Gui, in her heart, her deepest love remained Di Yun, and even if he changed his feelings towards her, even if he was a shameless scoundrel, only he, as always, would be the one that Qi Fang thought of whenever she sighed or wept.
    Then she started thinking that if she should had known earlier, she would have risked everything to rescue him from prison. She also wondered what he was feeling after having suffered so much.

    Qi Fang again wondered why Wan ZhenShan turned her out, thought that it was due to fear of her discovering the truth, and so released Tu Fung. Tu Fung wondered off, murmuring to herself that Wan ZhenShan saw ghosts at night, needing to build walls, and wondering why Wan ZhenShan would get so mad at her when she was telling the truth. Hearing this, Qi Fang pressed her further, finally getting her to admit that she was beaten badly and driven out because she commented on Wan ZhenShan's habit of rising in the middle of the night, and making wall-building motions in thin air. Qi Fang thought she was speaking nonsense, and thinking that Di Yun had his life ruined because of this crazy woman, wept out aloud.

    Qi Fang wept for a while, then slowly went back home to her room. As soon as Wan Gui heard her coming he asked about the antidote. Qi Fang was enraged at Wan Gui for using such despicable methods to frame Di Yun, but seeing his weary yet good-looking face, the years of love between them makes her heart soften. She thinks that after all, Wan Gui did what he did because he loved her. Even though his methods were sinister, causing Di Yun to suffer tremendously, it's still because he [Wan Gui] loved her.

    When Wan Gui asked again, she replied that the doctor was preparing some antidote and forced a smile. Finding the stink of th poisoned blood too much to bear, she changed the container and moved to take the old one out when the smell made her dizzy and light-headed. She put the basin down again and moved to pull out a handkerchief but pulled the Tang poem book instead.
    She hesitated and sat down, leafing through the book. She remembered clearly that she had pulled it out from the bottom of her father's clothes chest, and since she had cut out some templates, she used it to hold the templates as she and Di Yun went to the cave that day. Then she remembered that the fingers of Di Yun's right hand had been severed, and that the doctor had only used his left hand. Even more convinced, the grief swelled up again and she wept, the tears dripping onto the pages of the book and onto the butterflies. She remembered the story of Leung San Bak and Juk Ying Toi, how they could only be together again after their deaths, and that maybe it was heaven's punishment for Di Yun killing one of the butterflies.

    Wan Gui at that time came out, and seeing the book, exclaimed that it was in fact the 'Lian Cheng' sword manual! Furthermore, Qi Fang's tears had revealed a number on the page - 33. Wan Gui woke Kong XinChai and ordered her to fetch Wan ZhenShan. Qi Fang began to understand that the 'Lian Cheng' sword manual that her father and father-in-law fought over had in fact been inadvertently 'stolen' by herself! However, she was puzzled as to why her father didn't directly ask her. Qi Fang did not know of Qi ZhangFa's craftiness. In fact, Qi ZhangFa had indirectly probed her and Di Yun before, but since Qi Fang didn't think of it as 'stealing', she was not at all guilty about it and so Qi ZhangFa's probing revealed nothing.

    Wan ZhenShan, thinking that Wan Gui took a turn for the worse, rushed into his son's room, and also identified the book as the 'Lian Cheng' sword manual, the one that he and the others murdered their shifu for. However, after they obtained it, it just appeared to be an ordinary compilation of poems. Their shifu had taught them a set of 'Tang poem' sword techniques which used Tang poem names as move names, and they all appeared within the book, but they could not understand the connection. They tried exposing it to the sun, and all sorts of ways of reading it, to no avail. All 3 of them were afraid that one of the others would find the secret first, to the extent that they locked themselves together with the book, but it disappeared anyway, leading to years of covert fighting. And now it suddenly appeared in front of him!

    Wan ZhenShan identified the book as genuine by a small tear he had secretly made on one page. Wan Gui asked Qi Fang where the book came from. Qi Fang knew that her father must have prized the book greatly, and since she had accidently 'stolen' it and caused him much trouble, she had a duty to take the book back. Before the day's events, Wan Gui's position in Qi Fang's heart was no less than that of Qi ZhangFa's, but now the situation had changed. Since Di Yun had given the book to her for safekeeping, she owed it to Di Yun as well as Qi ZhangFa to get the book back. Knowing she couldn't take it by force, she eyed the basin of black blood, wondering if she could toss the book into it, where they would not think of looking. She would rather ruin the book than let them get their hands on it.

    Wan Gui asked again. She simply said she didn't know, and Wan Gui wasn't in the mood to press the issue. Wan Gui pointed out the number 33 that had been revealed by Qi Fang's tears (he didn't know that the wetness was Qi Fang's tears, especially Qi Fang's tears for Di Yun!). Counting up to the 33rd character in the poem beside the numeral, they found the word for 'city'. Whilst Wan Gui and Wan ZhenShan were overjoyed, Qi Fang whispered to Kong XinChai that she, Wan Gui and Wan ZhenShan would go out in a moment, putting the book in the table drawer. Qi Fang wanted Kong XinChai to take the book and throw it into the basin of blood to hide it from Wan Gui and Wan ZhenShan. Kong XinChai found the idea fun, and promised not to tell Wan Gui and Wan ZhenShan.

    Qi Fang then said that the whole affair seemed suspicious, and taking the book across, pulled out the butterflies and asked Wan ZhenShan what they meant, whether Wan ZhenShan had any enemies with a name to do with butterflies. As Wan ZhenShan was pondering the question, Qi Fang suddenly pointed to the window behind them and cried that there was an intruder. She passed a pair of swords to Wan Gui and Wan ZhenShan, put the book into the drawer for 'safe-keeping' then rushed out. They found Wu Kan at the back. Wu Kan, seeing the three of them, was scared out of his wits, thinking the Qi Fang had told them everything. He was relieved when he heard Wan ZhenShan's question, and made up a story about seeing someone go past and him pursuing.

    Wan ZhenShan ordered the students to continue searching, and returned to the room, only to find the manual missing again! They asking Kong XinChai, who said that she didn't see anyone, and threw a satisfied expression at Qi Fang, Wan ZhenShan and Wan Gui knew that they fell for a distraction, but did not suspect Qi Fang since she never left their side. They looked at each other, most unhappy. Qi Fang and Kong XinChai on the other hand were very happy, blinking at each other.

  18. #18
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default Chapter 11 - Wall building

    11 - Wall building

    The Wan household naturally didn't find anyone. Wan ZhenShan ordered Qi Fang to keep quiet about the manual in front of the other students. Qi Fang promised. During the past few years, she noticed that the teacher and the students all had their own plans, everyone being wary of everyone else. Wan ZhenShan returned to his room and pondered about the manual. Wan Gui's hand started hurting again and lay down to rest, and soon fell asleep.

    Qi Fang called to Wan Gui twice to check that he was asleep, then took the basin downstairs and emptied the blood. Not willing to handle the now reeking book directly, she plucked some leaves from a plant, then hid it within a fan inside a storeroom in the back yard.

    On the way back, she bumped into Wu Kan again, who reiterated his request for a 'meeting' in the timber-room. When Qi Fang moved to take out her dagger, Wu Kan threatened to throw the antidote into a water vessel. Wu Kan said that he would only wait for her for 1 'gang' before leaving the city forever, along with the antidote. Knowing that she couldn't take the antidote by force, she returned to her room. Thinking that although Wan Gui had seriously harmed Di Yun using extremely unscrupulous means, what had been done was done, and there was nothing that could be done about it. She thought that both Di Yun and her had bitter fates, but Wan Gui was her husband and she was destined to follow him for the rest of her life. She decided against telling Wan Gui about Wu Kan in case he became upset and go to fight Wu Kan.

    As the sky darkened, Qi Fang ate her supper and put her daughter to bed, before finally deciding to see Wan ZhenShan about Wu Kan. To avoid disturbing Wan Gui, she slept by his feet until he was asleep, then quietly left her house and went to Wan ZhenShan's house.

    The house was dark, but she heard a strange sound coming from within, like someone expending a lot of effort. Curious, Qi Fang peeked into the window, and saw Wan ZhenShan lying down on his bed, both hands pushing slowly but hard against thin air, with both eyes firmly closed. Qi Fang thought that Wan ZhenShan was training some sort of advanced inner-power, and she decided to wait until he was finished to avoid disturbing him and causing a fire deviation. After pushing for awhile, Wan ZhenShan slowly sat up and got to his feet, advanced a few steps, and grabbed some invisible object out of the air. Qi Fang thought he was practicing some sort of grappling move. After a while, his movements became increasingly strange, picking some invisible objects out of the air and arranging them into a neat pile at his feet. After a while, he stopped, measuring the size of the 'hole' with his hands, then, apparently satisfied, stooped down to pick up some large object and stuffed it in front of him. Throughout the process, his eyes remained firmly closed. Qi Fang was mystified, realising that this was not martial-arts training - it was more like a pantomime.

    Then Qi Fang remembered To Hung's comments about Wan ZhenShan's nocturnal wall-building, but Wan ZhenShan appeared to be disassembling a wall instead. Qi Fang now knew that Wan ZhenShan was actually sleepwalking. Wan ZhenShan then proceeded to make brick-laying motions in the air, with a self-satisfied smile on his face. Qi Fang was afraid at first, but when she realised that he was merely sleepwalking, relaxed again. She thought that Wan ZhenShan had expelled Tu Fung because he was upset at her seeing him sleepwalking. After laying out the non-existant bricks, he proceeded to fill the 'gaps' and then, pleased at a job well done, smiled and returned to bed. Qi Fang decided to wait a little longer in case Wan ZhenShan was disorientated by his sleepwalking.

    Suddenly, she heard Wan Gui's voice calling for his father. Wan ZhenShan immediately woke up and opened the door for him. Then she heard Wan Gui telling his father that his daughter-in-law was not a good person, and that the manual had been taken by her! Qi Fang at first thought that Kong XinChai had spilt the beans, then then heard Wan Gui saying the he noticed the expressions exchanged between Qi Fang and Kong XinChai, and had feigned sleep and followed Qi Fang when she took the basin out. Qi Fang felt sorry for her father since the manual was finally in Wan ZhenShan's hands. Wan ZhenShan told Wan Gui to keep silent towards Qi Fang to see how she would react. Then Wan Gui said that the 'adulteress' (yum fu) was doing it all for Wu Kan. To avoid detection, Wan Gui had followed from a distance and didn't hear their entire conversation, but managed to catch Wu Kan telling Qi Fang to go to the timber room in the middle of the night. Qi Fang was most upset at them calling her an 'adulteress' after all she was doing to get the antidote back.

    Wan Gui said that he left at that point. Wan ZhenShan commented that she and her father were both equally shameless, and that they should first fetch the manual before catching the two in the act. Wan Gui said that Qi Fang was so impatient for the appointment with Wu Kan that she left their room early. Wan ZhenShan replied that in that case they should go to the timber room first, where he would first cut off all their limbs before allowing Wan Gui to personally kill them. They then left the room. Qi Fang's tears by this time were streaming down - she had only wanted to heal her husband but she ended up suspecting her. Her father had left without returning, she had wrongly accused Di Yun and now her husband was treating her in this manner. Not wishing to live, she merely leant against the wall, her mind a blank.

    After a while, Wan Gui and Wan ZhenShan returned. Since Wu Kan was by himself, they had no evidence of adultery and they could not afford to get in trouble with the law by killing him just like that since they still had much to do within the district. Then Wan ZhenShan suggested that the used the same 'old plan' that they used to deal with Qi ZhangFa. Wan ZhenShan said that he would order the other students to gather up and that they should once again gather outside of his room. Qi Fang was thinking that she didn't want to live, but was concerned about her daughter. Then she heard Wan ZhenShan mention the 'old plan' that he used against her father, arousing her curiosity. As the two of them moved out of the room, she quickly hid underneath Wan ZhenShan's bed.

    After a while, Wan ZhenShan returned, and soon after, the students gathered outside his room. One by one, Wan ZhenShan told them to enter, and he told them that the doctor was in fact an enemy, and that they should search a particular section of the city for the doctor on the next day. Qi Fang knew that this was for the benefit of Wu Kan to ease his suspicions. Finally, it came to Wu Kan's turn. Wan ZhenShan repeated what he said earlier, and as Wu Kan replied, Wan ZhenShan suddenly sprang at him, closed his hands around Wu Kan's neck, and proceeded to strangle him. Wu Kan struggled, managing to scratch his arms in numerous places, but Wan ZhenShan simply ignored his struggles, and finally faded away. Qi Fang was horrified by Wu Kan's fearful expression, with his tongue lolling out. Wan ZhenShan put Wu Kan on a chair, and placed a piece of damp paper onto his face to prevent him from breathing and hence ensuring that he would not recover.

    Qi Fang was thinking that there would be trouble since Wu Kan's father was an important person. Suddenly, he heard Wan ZhenShan calling out for someone to admit to some act. Qi Fang thought that she had been discovered, but since she didn't want to live anyway she wasn't particularly bothered, and was about to emerge when she heard Wu Kan ask what Wan ZhenShan wanted him to admit to. She was shocked, since she knew that Wu Kan was dead and sitting motionless on a chair. Peeking out, she saw Wan ZhenShan's lips moving, but what she heard was Wu Kan's voice! Wan ZhenShan continued to argue with himself, alternating between his own and Wu Kan's voice, with Wan ZhenShan accusing Wu Kan of collaborating with a a bandit dressed up as a doctor in order to steal a secret document, and 'Wu Kan' first denying it and then begging for leniency.

    Qi Fang wondered what Wan ZhenShan was trying to achieve by imitating Wu Kan's voice. She vaguely thought of something, something that gave her a sense of horror, but she couldn't pin it down. Qi Fang found that Wan ZhenShan's imitation of Wu Kan's voice wasn't particularly good, merely a blurring of his voice, but since he repeatedly used the word 'student' and 'shifu' Wan ZhenShan whilst imitating Wu Kan and the name 'Wu Kan' as himself, plus no-one had any reason to believe that it was not Wu Kan speaking, the students outside were fooled. She then saw Wan ZhenShan quietly lifting Wu Kan's corpse and bend down to lift the bed sheets aside. Qi Fang was terrified, thinking that she had been discovered, but then saw that Wu Kan's corpse was being stuffed under the bed.


    Qi Fang scrambled to get out of the way, but Wu Kan's corpse made contact with her legs and waist anyway. Wan ZhenShan lightly stuck a dagger into his chest, which remained there due to some wood or mud he had put there earlier. After some more arguing, Wan ZhenShan cried out and kicked the window open, exclaiming that Wu Kan had dared to raise a hand against him.

    Wan Gui burst into the room, as per the 'script', followed by the rest of the students. Wan ZhenShan put a hand over his chest, with 'blood' streaming out. He said that Wu Kan had escaped and told them to chase him, before 'collapsing' onto the bed. The students pursued whilst Wan Gui stayed with his father. Qi Fang stayed under the bed, feeling the corpse become colder and colder, but not daring to move.

    Wan ZhenShan asked if anyone was suspicious, and Wan Gui replied that his performance was flawless, as was the case when they killed Qi ZhangFa! These words pierced Qi Fang's heart like a sharp dagger, as she realised that her father 'arguing' with Wan ZhenShan, 'stabbing' him and 'fleeing' were false impressions created by the same arrangements as the events today. Then Wan Gui asked about Qi Fang, Wan ZhenShan replied that they should deal with her slowly and discreetly, to avoid ruining their reputations. Then Wan Gui's hand started hurting again. Qi Fang slowly extended a hand and took the antidote from Wu Kan's body, bitter at her husband accusing her after only hearing half the conversation, and hence missing the fact that the antidote was in Wu Kan's hands and that he could have fetched it now with minimal effort.

    The other students returned. This time, Wan ZhenShan's 'injury' was not so serious since 'Wu Kan's kung-fu was not as good as Qi ZhangFa's'. The students cursed Wu Kan and then left. Qi Fang was disgusted at lying against Wu Kan's corpse, but she dared not move. Then Wan Gui asked whether they should dispose of Wu Kan's body in the same way as they did Qi ZhangFa's, and Wan ZhenShan agreed. Wan Gui thought that it was not such a good idea to build the corpse into Wan ZhenShan's sleeping chamber, but Wan ZhenShan said that he would move in with Wan Gui for a while, and that after they discovered the treasure that they would hardly need to worry about a place to live.

    At this, Qi Fang understood that Wan ZhenShan had hidden her father's body into the walls of his house! She thought that it was no wonder that Wan ZhenShan would be unsettled and start wall-building in the middle of the night. She found it odd that such a villain (she thought of Wan ZhenShan as a villain [gan chak] now rather than as a father-in-law) would be unsettled, then she recalled the smirk on his face whilst he was doing it, and realised that he was not unsettled but extremely satisfied, and subconsciously wanted to perform the deed again and again!

    Wan Gui asked how a sword manual could help them get rich. Wan ZhenShan replied that it was not a secret kung-fu manual but a treasure map. He cursed his teacher for trying to give the secret to outsiders, then asked Wan Gui to get the manual. Wan Gui hesitated for a moment, took it out - he had taken it immediately after Qi Fang had hidden it. Wan ZhenShan looked at Wan Gui for a moment, then opened the book, which was still wet on the outside from Wan Gui's poisoned blood. They decided to immediately find the hidden message, in case the manual was somehow snatched away from them later. Wan ZhenShan moistened his finger with saliva and used it to reveal the hidden numbers. It turned out that in order to read the message, one needed to know the names of the moves of the 'Lian Cheng' sword technique in the correct order, look up the corresponding poem and then look up the word within the poem indexed by the number hidden beside the poem. Wan ZhenShan was embarrassed when he revealed that he had mixed up the order when teaching his students, including Wan Gui. He said that it was to stop the other students from becoming suspicious.

    As they discovered more and more letters, Wan ZhenShan became more and more excited, and Wan Gui cautioned him to be quiet. Wan ZhenShan agreed, then said that he realised why their enemies so easily delivered the manual into their hands. He thought that his enemies had discovered the numbers that were revealed by water, but since they did not know the ordering of moves in the Lian Cheng sword technique the manual was useless to them. Hence the plan was to give the manual to them, still wet, then follow them when they found the message and went to dig the treasure up. Wan ZhenShan warned that they must be especially careful.

    They continued, with Wan ZhenShan wetting the pages with saliva. Wan ZhenShan felt his hands itching, so he stratched each hand with the other. They had found four words so far - "South of Gong Ling city" - when Wan ZhenShan suddenly felt his left hand itching badly. Looking down, he saw what he thought were three ink-stains. He thought it odd since he did not do any writing that day when his other hand started itching, and it also had black stains on it. Wan Gui commented that it looked like Yan DaPing's scorpion poison, at which point they recalled that the book had been immersed in Wan Gui's poisoned blood! The poison had gotten into his nails, and when he scratched his hands, the poison had been transferred into the scratches inflicted by Wu Kan during his death throes.

    Wan ZhenShan at first thought that the quantity of poison was small and didn't particularly matter, but the pain got worse. Wan Gui suggested washing his hands with water, and Wan ZhenShan agreed, shouting for To Hung to bring water, forgetting that he had kicked her out. Wan Gui rushed out and brought in a basin of water, and Wan ZhenShan immersed his hands, and the pain immediately eased. However, it turned out that the black blood from Wan Gui's wound caused by the antidote reacting with the poison was much more poisonous than even the original poison, such that Wan ZhenShan was even more deeply poisoned than Wan Gui. After immersing his hands, the basin of water rapidly turned deep black. When Wan ZhenShan pulled his hands out, his hands had almost swollen into two globes. When Wan Gui thought that maybe he shouldn't have immersed his hands into water, Wan ZhenShan kicked Wan Gui in the waist and demanded why he didn't tell him before, at which Wan Gui replied he did not know. Qi Fang didn't know whether to feel sad or the joy of revenge.

    Wan Gui said that he had some pain-reliving medicine in his room, but didn't know if it would make the wound worse and lead to another kick. Wan ZhenShan scolded him and Wan Gui went. Seeing his hands swollen to bursting point like a pig bladder, he decided to follow Wan Gui to his room for speed, stuffing the manual in his clothes as he went.

    Qi Fang scrambled from under the bed, wondering where to go. She wanted revenge for her father, but knew she was no match in terms of fighting ability or wit for Wan ZhenShan. She thought she should search for Di Yun and discuss it with him. Then she thought of her daughter, and immediately ran for her house, intending to take Kong XinChai away with her. But she was not completely certain that Wan Gui was also responsible for killing her father, thinking of the love that Wan Gui displayed towards her, she was reluctant to utterly abandon him so rapidly.

    As she approached the building, she heard Wan ZhenShan shouting hoarsely. Afraid that Kong XinChai would be woken up, she rushed into Kong XinChai's bedroom, which was right next to her own. Kong XinChai had been awoken long ago, wide-eyed and scared. When she saw her mother, she was about to cry out aloud, but Qi Fang hastily embraced her, gesturing for her to be silent, and she obeyed.

    The pain-killer only made the poison hurt worse, and cried out that they needed to find the doctor. When Wan Gui said they would go searching at dawn, Wan ZhenShan cried that he could not take it any more, and fell thrashing to the ground, crying out for Wan Gui to give him a sword so that he could sever his arms. Kong XinChai was even more terrified and clung close to her mother. When Wan Gui urged Wan ZhenShan to hold out a while longer, Wan ZhenShan asked why he wouldn't sever his arms, accused Wan Gui of wanting to be the sole possessor of the manual, then pulled the manual out and started tearing it to shreds! Wan Gui moved to stop him, and during the struggle they rolled around, tearing the manual up even more. Then Wan Gui cried out - his wounds had become infested with even more poison! The two rolled around the room, screaming.

    Qi Fang couldn't bear to just let her husband die like that, so she walked up and coldly asked them what they were doing. They begged her to find the doctor, and seeing Wan Gui's pained expression, her heart softened even more, and took out the bottle of antidote. When they saw the bottle, they both instantly cried out for her to apply it. Seeing Wan ZhenShan's ferocious, greedy eyes, like those of a wild beast, she decided to use the opportunity to question them, threatening to throw the antidote into the water tank if they moved. They kept still for a moment, then both said that if she gave them the antidote then they would allow her to leave with Wu Kan. Disgusted, she asked them to answer a question in exchange for the antidote. They hastily agreed.

    A wind came in through the window, blowing the pieces of the torn-up manual around and out of the room. The pair of paper butterflies also danced around for a moment before exiting. Qi Fang felt another moment of heartache, remembering her days with Di Yun when there was not a moment of sadness in her world. Wan Gui nagged at her to quickly ask, at which she asked what they did with her father. Wan ZhenShan lied and said he didn't know, but Qi Fang said that she knew they killed him in the same way that they killed Wu Kan and hid his body in a wall. Wan Gui asked her how she knew, implicitly confirming her suspicions. Qi Fang's temper flared, and was intending to toss the antidote into the water tank. Wan Gui was about to rush her, but Wan ZhenShan urged him to stop, since using force would be of no use.

    Suddenly, Kong XinChai entered the room, barefoot, crying for her mother. She moved towards her mother when Wan Gui grabbed her and put a dagger against her head. He said that since since they were to die together, he would kill Kong XinChai first. He thrust the dagger in the air a few times, then stabbed down towards the top of Kong XinChai's head. Qi Fang quickly grabbed Wan Gui's wrist, but Wan ZhenShan elbowed her hard in the waist, snatched the antidote, and applied it to his own then Wan Gui's hand. Qi Fang tightly grabbed her daughter and hugged her tightly, but then Wan ZhenShan kicked her down and tied her hands and feet up with his belt. When Kong XinChai cried for her mother, Wan ZhenShan knocked her unconscious with a slap.

    After a while, the black blood started dripping from their wounds, and they were relieved, knowing that they would make it. Then they saw the torn-up manual, and desperately scrambled to grab up the pieces, but half the pieces had fallen into the water tank, whilst many other pieces had been carried into the sky by the wind.

    (Pls continue reading the last part above in the 2nd and 3rd post)

  19. #19
    Senior Member SkineePanda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    865

    Default

    Thank you!!!

  20. #20
    Senior Member efflix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    291

    Default

    thanks fastclock! this was very enjoyable to read- it's a very sad story, it really moved me.

Similar Threads

  1. Bao Lian Deng with Yvonne Lim
    By goddessofhonour in forum Mainland China TV Series
    Replies: 90
    Last Post: 11-01-09, 01:35 PM
  2. Andrew Lian Kai
    By Twilight in forum Actors
    Replies: 99
    Last Post: 07-24-08, 10:18 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts