Si Kong Zhai Xin was lying in bed, using his own arm as a pillow. He was focused on the cup of wine that was on his chest. Lu Xiao Feng always liked to drink wine like this, not only that, when Lu Xiao Feng drinks like this, he does not spill a single drop of wine. If it was something that Lu Xiao Feng could do, then Si Kong Zhai Xin must learn it, not just learn it but master it better than Lu Xiao Feng.
He suddenly heard someone laughing outside of his door.
"That's my trick and mine alone. You'll never learn it!" A man pushed open the door and walked in. Lu Xiao Feng, of course.
Si Kong Zhai Xin did not turn at his comment but instead remained completely focused on that cup of wine on top of his chest.
"What are you up to now?" He coldly demanded.
"Up to? No, I'm only here to keep you company!"
"You are leaving her alone to keep me company?"
"Is the bet off now?" Instead of answering his question, Lu Xiao Feng laughed and asked a question of his own.
"So we are still friends?"
"Well, since we are friends, then why shouldn't I come and keep you company?"
"Of course you could, but now I think I'm going to go and keep her company!" Si Kong Zhai Xin suddenly inhaled deeply. The wine cup on his chest immediately flew onto his lips and the win inside of the cup flew into his mouth as well. Unfortunately, not all of the wine flew into his mouth, the other half of the wine spilled all over his entire body.
"I told you," Lu Xiao Feng laughed heartily at his friend's misfortune. "You won't master that move even if you tried a life time!"
Si Kong Zhai Xin gave Lu Xiao Feng a fierce glare before he started to get up. Suddenly, his complexion changed dramatically as his entire face tightened and began to twitch. His entire body was twitching, as if a thin blade had just been stabbed into his stomach.
"What's the matter?" Even Lu Xiao Feng was shocked by this turn of events. Si Kong Zhai Xin opened his mouth, trying to speak, but nothing came out. Lu Xiao Feng immediately ran to his side and helped him sit up. Suddenly, he caught a whiff of a strange scent.
He picked up that wine cup and sniffed. His expression changed dramatically.
"There's poison in this cup!" By now Si Kong Zhai Xin's face was deathily pale and huge beads of sweat were collecting on his forehead.
"Where did the wine come from? Was anybody here earlier?" Lu Xiao Feng inquired.
Si Kong Zhai Xin bearly managed to shook his head a little and stared at the wine flask sitting on the table. There was still some wine in the flask.
Lu Xiao Feng grabbed the flask and sniffed it, the wine in the flask was not poisonous.
"The poison is on the cup!" The cup had probably always been in this room. Just then when Si Kong Zhai Xin was eavedropping on the roof, somebody must have came here and put something on the cup.
"You were always such a careful guy!" Lu Xiao Feng stumped his feet in frustration. "Why are you so thoughtless now!"
Si Kong Zhai Xin gritted his teeth and finally squeezed three words out of his mouth.
"Still Dusk Convent!"
"You know somebody there who can heal you? You want me to take you there?"
"Quick... quickly...." Si Kong Zhai Xin struggled to nodded a little.
"Alright, I'll go find Xue Bing, we'll take you there together!" Lu Xiao Feng picked Si Kong Zhai Xin up and charged out, looking for Xue Bing.
But Xue Bing was no where to be found. That unfinished cup of wine that she was drinking earlier was still on the table, but she had disappeared into thin air. On the plate that used to have some chopped beef was now placed a pair of hands, a pair of severed hands! Lu Xiao Feng recognized that they were Sun Zhong's hands. Could he have organized some people and returned for revenge and actually took Xue Bing away with them? But how could they have not heard anything next door?
Xue Bing was not an easy customer, how could she be taken away so easily? Lu Xiao Feng did not have time to think these things out in detail. At the moment, everything had to be put on hold, the most important thing was to save Si Kong Zhai Xin. Besides, this turn of events was too shocking, too unimaginable. No matter how much he tried, he would not be able to figure it out anyways. Fortunately, the carriage that they had rode in on was still here.
Lu Xiao Feng woke up the driver and hopped onto the carriage with, by now, a seemingly completely immobile Si Kong Zhai Xin.
"You can't die, you are not a good man, how can your life be so short?" He mumbled to him, and to himself.
Miraculously, Si Kong Zhai Xin did not die and held on in this half dead state all the way to Still Dusk Convent.
Still Dusk Convent was situated within a black bamboo forest, a black bamboo forest on the side of the mountain. The gate to the mountain was open, but human world was already left behind outside of the bamboo forest. It was impossible for the carriage to go up the mountain side, so Lu Xiao Feng, carrying the unconscious Si Kong Zhai Xin, made his way through the bamboo forest, stepping quietly over the fallen leaves. Along with the breeze came the last stroke of the night bell. But night had not fallen yet, the setting sun's color filled the entire sky, it was dusk.
"You made it! It was hard but you made it!" Lu Xiao Feng mumbled as he looked down at the Si Kong Zhai Xin in his arms, trying to catch his breath. Si Kong Zhai Xin's body shuddered slightly and he gently groaned, as if he had heard Lu Xiao Feng's words.
"How are you feeling?" Lu Xiao Feng immediately asked.
"I'm starving!" Si Kong Zhai Xin suddenly flung open his eyes.
"You are starving?" Lu Xiao Feng was startled.
"Yeah, these last two days you went off the carriage to eat and drink to your hearts content and all I could do was hide inside the carriage chewing through cold cookie dough. How could I not be starving?" Si Kong Zhai Xin winked at Lu Xiao Feng. Lu Xiao Feng was speechless. He looked like he had just swallowed 600 live worms.
"Careful how you carry me, don't drop me ok?" Si Kong Zhai Xin instructed.
"Oh I'll be careful, but I'm just afraid that it won't kill you!" Lu Xiao Feng winked. He suddenly lifted Si Kong Zhai Xin above his head and slammed his body down towards the ground. But before Si Kong Zhai Xin hit the ground, he suddenly flipped in mid air. In fact, he did 7 or 8 flips in a role and gently landed on the ground. He took one look at Lu Xiao Feng and began to laugh, laugh so hard that he doubled over.
"I should have let you die right there!" Lu Xiao Feng bitterly declared.
"Only the good die young, how could a man like me die?" Si Kong Zhai Xin was still laughing. He actually just admitted that he was not a good man.
"You were not poisoned were you?"
"Of course not, who could poison an immortal old fox like me?"
"That poison on the wine cup was something you put there yourself?"
"That was not poison to begin with!" Si Kong Zhai Xin laughed triumphantly. "It was just some scented herbs that smells like poison. But nothing will happen even if you ingest 1 kilogram of it."
"You pretended to be poisoned so as to keep me busy and make me take you here."
"If I don't do that, then how else could I get the thing out of that place?"
"How did you get the thing out of there? This entire time you pretended to be on the verge of death and did not move a hair!"
"I have my ways. Don't forget, not only am I the "King of Thieves", I'm an clever old fox too!"
"But if it wasn't for a little fox, this job probably would not be anywhere near this easy!" Lu Xiao Feng suddenly snickered.
"Little fox?" Si Kong Zhai Xin seemed to be surprised at the revalation. "Other than you, is there another little fox?"
"Maybe not a little fox, but certainly a female fox!" Lu Xiao Feng sneered.
"I knew I couldn't keep you in the dark forever!" Si Kong Zhai Xin burst out laughing again. "You are not that stupid after all!"
"When did you make this arrangement with Xue Bing?"
"When you went off to relieve yourself!"
"Why would she go along with your plan?"
"Maybe because she fallen for me!" Si Kong Zhai Xin matter of factly said.
"She would fall for an old fox like you?"
"I see you don't understand, all women love old foxes!" Si Kong Zhai Xin laughed at himself.
"Looks like she really has been hypnotized by one of your evil methods, so much so that she was actually capable of doing such a thing!" Lu Xiao Feng sighed but then suddenly asked another question. "If she went off to complete the job for you and give the thing to the owner, then what was that pair of severed hands doing there?"
"Severed hands?" Si Kong Zhai Xin seemed to be caught off guard. "What severed hands?"
"That hand that was cut off of Sun Zhong!"
"Where was that hand?"
"On the plate that had beef on it!"
"I don't know anything about that!" Si Kong Zhai Xin frowned and shook his head.
"You really don't know?"
"When have I ever lied to you?" Si Kong Zhai Xin sighed.
"You have always lied to me!" Lu Xiao Feng bittered replied.
"A genius like you? How could I ever get you to believe in my lies?" Si Kong Zhai Xin blinked.
"You shouldn't be able to," Lu Xiao Feng could not help himself and sighed again. Smiling meekly, he continued. "But pity that I am just too nice of a guy."
"Is that nice man outside Lu Xiao Feng?" A person suddenly asked from behind the gate.
The gate was half closed, inside the door was a small little yard with a person sitting in a bamboo chair underneath the white poplar trees in the yard. The dusk sun shoned down upon lonely white poplar tree, and also shoned upon his pale face. His nose was straight and his forehead pertruded out, anybody could see in one glace that he must be a powerful and dignified person. But where those bright and shining eyes of his used to be, now there were only two black holes.
"Jiang Chong Wei!" Lu Xiao Feng shouted in surprise as he entered the yard. "How did you get here?"
"If I'm here, then were else can I be?" Jiang Chong Wei smiled. His smile was melancholy and painful. "I'm nothing more than a blind man now, the Royal Palace would never use a blind man as warden, even if they didn't force me to leave, I would have left myself anyways!"
As Lu Xiao Feng watched his face, his heart was filled with sadness as well. Jiang Chong Wei was a very talented man with a great future ahead of him. But a blind man....
Lu Xiao Feng suddenly turned his head back towards Si Kong Zhai Xin.
"Do you recognize him?" He stared at Si Kong Zhai Xin. Si Kong Zhai Xin nodded.
"Do you know how he became like this?" Si Kong Zhai Xin sighed. He did not feel all too well inside either.
"Since you know, you should tell me who that person is now."
"The person who was sewed the thing, the same person who sent you to steal it from me!"
"You think they are one and the same?"
"Maybe that satin was that person's to begin with, why would that person want me to steal it back?"
"Maybe there was some secret on it and the person was afraid of me finding them."
"Haven't you already looked it over a lot of times?"
Si Kong Zhai Xin did not responde. He also looked very conflicted, very pained for trying to make this decision.
"So you did owe this person, but if this person did do these things. If you still have a shred of humanity in you, then you shouldn't keep protecting this person!"
"Must you make me say it?"
"You have to tell me!"
"Alright, I'll tell you." Si Kong Zhai Xin suddenly sighed. "That person is her!"
He suddenly pointed in front of him. Lu Xiao Feng instinctively turned to the direction of that he pointed and saw a person slowly walking out from inside the convent, head bowed. It was a Taoist nun with a purple robe, white stockings, and a purple hairpin made out of jade in her ebony black hair. Her complexion was pale as well. Within those pure water-like bright eyes of hers was filled with worry and sadness which gave her an even more indescribable, plain but not of this world beauty that was like a purple rays that now resided at the edge of the sky. With her head bowed, she slowly approached with a bowl of steaming hot medicine in her hands.
As soon as Lu Xiao Feng saw her, he knew that Si Kong Zhai Xin was lying again. That person could never be her. He turned around with the intention of inquiring further, the Si Kong Zhai Xin had disappeared. In that instant that Lu Xiao Feng saw this purple robed nun, this old fox had shot out through the door like a meteor. In that instant, Lu Xiao Feng seemed to be a little bit mesmerized. In truth, anybody would hard pressed not to be mesmerized when seeing this kind of otherworldly beauty. But even if he tried to chase after him now, it would be futile. Si Kong Zhai Xin might not be the fastest man in the world, but he was not that far off. Lu Xiao Feng sighed and swore that he would one day catch this old fox and force him to swallow 680 worms, worms that he dug out himself.
The setting sun's color faded, the breeze seemed colder. The cool breeze made the white poplar leaves rustle as it made its way through them. The purple robed nun slowly approached, still not picking her head up.
"Qing Xia, is that you?" Jiang Chong Wei suddenly asked.
"It's me, it's time for your medicine." Her voice was tender like the evening breeze.
"Lu Xiao Feng, are you still here?" Jiang Chong Wei asked.
"This is my younger sister, Qing Xia, she is also the hostess here. Now you should finally understand why I would be here!"
"Jin Jiu Ling and Hua Man Lou are looking for you!" Lu Xiao Feng suddenly informed him.
"Do they know you are here?"
"They have already came here!"
"What did Hua Man Lou say to you?"
A very strange expression suddenly appeared on Jiang Chong Wei's face.
"He told me to not forget that he is blind as well; and furthermore, never forget that he's had a great life!" He slowly said.
"Of course you didn't forget!"
"And that's why I'm still alive!" A man like him, to be suddenly blinded was not an easy thing to have the courage to live with.
"He is truly a remarkable man!" Lu Xiao Feng sighed in admiration.
"He is not like anybody else," Jiang Chong Wei nodded and sighed as well. "He's unique. He's always looking for ways to let others live on!"
"I should have known that his reason for finding you was to tell you those things!"
"He asked me some other questions as well!"
"About what happened that day in the Royal Treasure Vault!"
"I wanted to ask you that too. Other than what you told Jin Jiu Ling, have you noticed anything else suspicious?"
"No!" Jiang Chong Wei's face twitch as if out of horror once again.
"Even if I did, I would not tell you!" He slowly declared.
"Because I don't want you to find this person!"
"Why not?" Lu Xiao Feng was quite confused.
"Because I have never seen anyone with such terrifying martial arts, even if you find this person, you would not be able to match up!"
His body was shaking now as well, as if he was thinking about that terrifying person again, and that even more terrifying needle. Blood was dripping off of the needle; fresh, red, blood....
Lu Xiao Feng wanted to ask some more but Jiang Qing Xia suddenly and coldly interrupted him.
"You have already asked too much, his wounds are not completely healed yet. I don't want him thinking back to what happened that day."
"It's ok, I'll be completely healed very soon!" Jiang Chong Wei managed a forced laugh.
"You'll completely heal very soon, I'm sure of it!" Lu Xiao Feng managed to force a little laugh as well. "I know you have always been one tough nut!"
"Well, since you are here, then why don't you stay a couple of days?" Jiang Chong Wei's laugh was a bit more joyous and genuine now. "Maybe I'll be able to think of something in that time for you!"
"How could he stay here?" Jiang Qing Xia frowned. "There has never been any man here!"
"Aren't I a man?" Jiang Chong Wei laughed.
"If I can stay here, then he could too!" Jiang Chong Wei's expression darkened.
"But I...." Lu Xiao Feng tried to cut in.
"No matter what, you are staying here," Jiang Chong Wei cut him off too. "Hua Man Lou and Jin Jiu Ling might return in those couple of days, you never know. They are looking for you as well!"
"But after you are going to bed after you take your medicine!" Jiang Qing Xia said.
"I'll go to bed. Why don't you be a good host and lead him back and give him something to eat? You can't let a guest go hungry!"
"Would this Alms Giver please follow me?" Expressionless, Jiang Qing Xia turned around and coldly instructed Lu Xiao Feng.
She did not even seem to look Lu Xiao Feng in his eyes. She was truly a cold woman, colder even than ice.