At last, an update. Thx for healing our wound, sunnysnow
At last, an update. Thx for healing our wound, sunnysnow
Les Arts Martiaux!
"En Garde","Fleche Enflammee"!!
awesome! an update
"The most happy marriage I can picture or imagine would be union of a deaf man to a blind woman."
Master Lu was furious and shouted, “Who are you bluffing? Who taught you the deadly Nine Yin White Bone Claws?”
Wanyan Kang replied, “ I have no time to listen to your nonsense, good bye!” With that, he turned and headed towards the door.
The various section leaders were furious and took up their weapons, ready to guard the doorway. Wanyan Kang turned towards Lu Guanying and laughed coldly, “Didn’t you give your word just now?”
Lu Guanying was pale and waved his arm saying, “ Heroes of the lake keep to their promises, brothers, just let him go. Brother Zhang, please lead him out.”
The section leaders were all unwilling to do so but since the junior master had given orders, they could not oppose him.
Leader Zhang said, “ Follow me then, I bet you rascal here would not be able to find the way out yourself.”
Wanyan Kang said, “ Where are my men?”
Lu Guanying replied, “ Let them all go.”
Wanyan Kang pointed to him and said, “ Good, you are a man of your words. As for the rest of you leaders, till we meet again.” He said rudely and arrogantly.
Just as he was about to leave the room, Master Lu suddenly called out, “ Hold it! Elderly here is untalented but would like to have a taste of your Nine Yin White Bone Claws.”
Wanyan Kang stopped in his tracks and laughed, “Alright!”
Lu Guanying hurriedly said, “ Father, you should not deal with this rascal at your age.”
Master Lu replied, “ Don’t worry, his Nine Yin White Bone Claws is not up to standard yet.” He stared at Wanyan Kang and said weakly, “ I am crippled and am unable to move, come here.”
Wanyan Kang laughed but did not move. Lu Guanying’s leg wounds were hurting but he did not want his father to fight with Wanyan Kang and leaped out of the door shouting, “ I will represent my father to exchange a few blows with you.” Wanyan Kang laughed and said, “ Good! Let’s practice again.”
Master Lu shouted, “ Ying’er move away!”
With that, he leaped up, his left arm gripped the couch he was sitting on and he used his left arm strength to support his weight of his body. His right palm lashed out towards Wanyan Kang’s head. At the sound of the crowd’s anxious gasps, Wanyan Kang raised his hands to counter the blow but felt his left wrist tighten and trapped. He saw that swift shadow of his opponent’s palm, which was heading towards his shoulder. Wanyan Kang did not expect his opponent’s seizing stance to be so fast and unique; he hurriedly used his right hand to strike back while struggling to free his left hand from his opponent. Master Lu shifted his weight onto Wanyan Kang’s wrist and was able to float in midair. His left palm unleashed several killer strikes while Wanyan Kang used all his might to escape his grip but to no avail. He tried to unleash a flying kick towards Master Lu but missed. The crowd was delighted as they watched the ongoing fight. Master Lu raised his palm, ready to unleash a strike onto Wanyan Kang when the latter stuck out his fingers and aimed towards Master Lu’s palm. Master Lu suddenly lowered his palm and struck Wanyan Kang’s shoulder point. Wanyan Kang felt his upper body going numb and following that, his right wrist was also seized by Master Lu. Two sounds were heard before Wanyan Kang’s wrists were released. Master Lu’s stance was very quick as he used his right hand to push against Wanyan Kang’s waist while his left hand pushed against Wanyan Kang’s shoulder, thus borrowing Wanyan Kang’s strength to leap back steadily into his couch. Wanyan Kang felt both his legs giving way and he collapsed. The leaders were stunned and it was only after a moment’s silence when they started to cheer.
Lu Guanying hurriedly run towards the couch and asked, “Father, are you alright?”
Master Lu smiled and shook his head but his expression turned suspicious and said, “ When the teacher of this Jin dog comes for him, I will have to talk to him properly.”
Two section leaders took some rope and tied Wanyan Kang up. Leader Zhang said, “ Amongst the belongings of that Commander Ma, we found iron locks and chains, let’s use it for this rascal and see whether he can break through them.” The crowd cheered in agreement and someone ran out to retrieve the chains and locks before returning to bind Wanyan Kang with them. The pain in his wrists was killing him and Wanyan Kang sweated profusely but he bore with it and refused to make any sound.
Master Lu said, “ Bring him here.” Two men grabbed Wanyan Kang by the shoulders and brought him in front of the couch. Master Lu tapped onto the points of Wanyan Kang’s lower spine and left chest. Wanyan Kang suddenly felt the pain subsiding and though he was still fuming inside, he was secretly surprised but before he could say anything, he was brought away while the other section leaders all left the room slowly.
Master Lu then turned towards Huang Rong and Guo Jing and smiled, “ I only concentrated on fighting with that young man and forgot all my manners just now, I hope you wont laugh.”
Huang Rong saw that his palm and acupoint techniques were that of her family’s and was even more puzzled. She smiled and asked, “ Who was that? Did he steal from the manor and thus made Master angry?”
Master Lu laughed heartily and said, “ Yes, he did steal a lot from us. Come, let us not get distracted by that evil rascal, let’s continue to appreciate the art pieces.”
Lu Guanying left the room to the three of them. Master Lu chatted about the scenic backdrops, human expression and more with Huang Rong while Guo Jing just listened without understanding a single thing as usual. After lunch, Master Lu ordered two servants to accompany them to tour the countryside and they enjoyed themselves till nightfall before returning back to the manor. Before sleeping, Guo Jing asked, “ How Rong’er? Are we going to save him?”
Huang Rong answered, “ Lets stay here for a few more days because I still can’t guess Master Lu’s true identity.”
Guo Jing answered, “ His skills are very similar to yours.”
Huang Rong sighed deeply, “ That’s the unusual part, and hmmm does he know Mei Chaofeng?”
The two could not guess and were afraid that someone would eavesdrop and thus did not discuss further. In the middle of the night, they suddenly heard a slight sound on the rooftop, followed by a sound on the ground. They immediately got out of the their beds, gently pushed open the window and peered out. They saw a black shadow amongst the roses. That person looked around before heading towards the east. The person did not seem to be a resident of the manor as he or she was alert and on guard. Huang Rong actually thought that this manor housed heroic pirates of the lake but after seeing Master Lu’s display of skills earlier, she felt curious and decided to find out more. She waved to Guo Jing and they leaped out of the window, secretly trailing that intruder. After following that person for a while, the moonlight showed that she was a lady with average skills. Huang Rong quickened her pace and moved nearer to that lady who turned her head slightly, revealing that it was Mu Nianci.
Huang Rong laughed secretly and thought, “ Good, now his rescuer has come, let’s see what tricks you will use.”
Mu Nianci circled the garden and lost sense of direction after a while. Huang Rong knew the architecture of this garden (sorry I don’t understand the explanation, maybe someone would want to help me out here) as her father Huang Yao Shi was a master of this and would discuss it with her once in a while. She thought the architecture of this garden unusual but it was nothing compared to that of Peach Blossom Island, which was weird and confusing, just like its owner.
Huang Rong thought to herself, “ If you carry on walking like that, you wont be able to find him even in a hundred years.”
With that, she picked up some soil from the ground and when she saw Mu Nianci hesitating in her tracks, she threw a pile of soil to the left side of the track and said in a low voice, “ Go by that way” before hiding behind some flowers.
Mu Nianci was alarmed; she turned around but saw no one and thus grabbed her dagger and walked towards the left. Huang Rong and Guo Jing’s lightness skill were much better than hers and had earlier hid themselves, not allowing her to spot them.
Mu Nianci was worried, she thought to herself, “ I wonder whether this person is helping or harming me. But since I cant find my way, I might as well just follow the directions given.”
With that, she followed the directions given and walked towards the left. Every time she came to a junction or crossroad, a small pile of soil would always lead her to the correct direction and after some time, she heard a sound as a pile of soil was thrown forward and hit the window of a small hut. Mu Nianci saw a blur vision as two black figures quickly flew by and disappeared, Mu Nianci thought a while and ran towards the small hut. She saw two guards lying on the floor, though their eyes were wide open and looking at her, they were motionless and did not make a grab for their weapons; Mu Nianci guessed that they must have had their acupoints sealed by someone.
Mu Nianci knew that someone was secretly helping her. She pushed open the door gently and listened, there seemed to be someone breathing inside. She called out in a low voice, “ Brother Kang, is that you?”
Wanyan Kang was surprised when he saw the guards at the door collapse but when he heard Mu Nianci’s voice, he was even more surprised and delighted. He called out hurriedly, “ It’s me!”
Mu Nianci was overjoyed and walked towards the voice in the dark and said, “ Thank god I found you, that’s great, let’s go.”
Wanyan Kang replied, “ Did you bring any weapons?”
Mu Nianci asked, “ Why?”
Wanyan Kang gently shook himself and chain sounds could be heard. Mu Nianci stretched out her hand and touched the chains. She was full of regret and said furiously, “ I shouldn’t have give that dagger to Sister Huang!”
Huang Rong and Guo Jing were listening outside and the former secretly laughed and thought to herself, “ Let you worry for awhile before I return you the dagger.”
Mu Nianci was anxious and said, “ I’ll go and steal the keys.”
Wanyan Kang replied, “ Don’t go. The people in this manor are highly skilled it’s no point to risk youself and get caught.”
Mu Nianci replied, “ Then, I’ll carry you out.”
Wanyan Kang laughed, “ You give me a kiss.”
Mu Nianci moved away and said, “ I’m so worried and you still can joke.”
Wanyan Kang laughed cheekily, “ Who’s joking? I’m serious.”
Mu Nianci ignored him and tried to think of a plan. Wanyan Kang asked, “ How did you know I’m here?”
Mu Nianci answered, “ I followed you.”
Wanyan Kang was touched and said, “ You lean on me, I’ll tell you something.” Mu Nianci sat on the ground and leaned into his arms.
Wanyan Kang said, “ I am the Jin ambassador so I don’t think they will dare do anything to me. But if I stay here any longer, it will affect father’s plans. What shall we do? Sister, help me with something.”
Mu Nianci asked, “ What is it?”
Wanyang Kang answered, “ Take off that golden seal hung on my neck.”
Mu Nianci stretched out her hand and took off the golden seal.
Wanyan Kang continued, “ This is the seal of the Jin ambassador, take it to Lin An manor and seek assistance from Prime Minister Shi of the Song Dynasty.”
Mu Nianci asked, “ Prime Minister Shi? Would he see a commoner like me?”
Wanyan Kang laughed, “ When he sees this golden seal, he’ll welcome you. Tell him that I’ve been captured by the pirates of Lake Tai and cannot see him personally. But you must remember one thing, if the Mongolian ambassador is there, make sure that you avoid letting him and the prime minister meet at all costs. This is the secret mission ordered by the Jin emperor, you must fulfill it.”
Mu Nianci asked, “ Why?”
Wanyan Kang answered, “ These are army matters, you wont understand. You will be doing me a great favor by telling Prime Minister Shi what I just I asked you to. If the Mongolian ambassador reaches Lin An first and meets with the Song Officials, it will put us Jins in a very unfavorable position.”
Mu Nianci replied indignantly, “ What? Us Jins? I am a citizen of the Song Dynasty. If you don’t explain clearly to me, I’m not going to help you with this mission.”
Wanyan Kang smiled faintly, “ Aren’t you going to be the concubine of the Jins in the future?”
Mu Nianci stood up angrily and said, “ My god father is your real father, you are in fact a Han. So you still want to be your Jin Prince? I know…know you…”
Wanyan Kang answered, “ What?”
Mu Nianci answered, “ I always thought that you were a strong, smart and upright man. I thought you were pretending to be the Jin Prince for a while so as to help Great Song. But yet, you…you really want to acknowledge the enemy as your father?”
Wanyan Kang heard her tone change to a furious one, she was choking with anger and could not speak for a moment.
Mu Nianci continued, “ Great Song has lost half of our empire to the Jins and so many Hans have been tortured and slaughtered by them. Doesn’t that bother you at all? You…you…” She stopped here and could not go on. Following that, she threw the golden seal on the floor and was about to leave when Wanyan Kang called out, “ Sister, I’m wrong, come back.”
Mu Nianci stopped and turned, “ What?”
Wanyan Kang said, “ When I am freed of the burdens of the Jin ambassador, I wont go back to the Jins anymore alright? I will live a carefree and simple life with you, which is much better than having to suffer in silence like now.”
Mu Nianci sighed and was silent. Ever since she sparred with Wanyan Kang, she fell for him deeply and had viewed him as an upright and just hero. She thought that there must be some reason that Wanyan Kang did not want to acknowledge his real father; when he became the Jin ambassador, she thought of an excuse for him that he was secretly spying for the Songs and help crush the enemy for the Songs. Who would have guessed that it was all wishful thinking on her part; Wanyan Kang was nothing more than a greedy and shameful traitor. She was heartbroken and felt dejected.
Wanyan Kang asked in a low voice, “ Sister, what’s wrong?”
Mu Nianci did not reply.
Wanyan Kang asked, “ My mother told me that your god father is my real father. I did not have a chance to clarify when they both died. I have been really confused all along. My birthrights and origins cannot just simply be haphazardly defined right?”
Mu Nianci was secretly comforted and thought to herself, “ So he is not clear about his birthrights. He cannot really be blamed then.” She said out loud, “ Don’t mention anything about bringing the golden seal to Prime Minister Shi anymore. I will find Sister Huang and ask her for the dagger to save you.”
Huang Rong had actually thought of returning the dagger to Mu Nianci but when she heard what Wanyan Kang said about aiding the Jins, she was fuming and thought, “ Father hates the Jins, let him stay here for a couple more days then.”
Wanyan Kang continued, “ The pathways in this manor are bizarre, how did you find your way through?”
Mu Nianci replied, “ Luckily there were two masters secretly directing me thought I don’t know who they are and they do not want to reveal themselves.”
Wanyan Kang sighed deeply, “ Sister, I’m afraid that you’ll be discovered the next time you come here. If you want to save me, then help me find a person.”
Mu Nianci replied angrily, “ I’m not going to find any Prime Minister for you.”
Wanyan Kang replied, “ Not Prime Minister, but help me look for my teacher.”
Mu Nianci replied, “ Ah!”
Wanyan Kang continued, “ Take my belt with you and use a knife to carve ‘Wanyan Kang is in danger at Gui Yun Manor located at the west bank of Lake Tai’ on the gold buckle. Following that, go to Suzhou and travel thirty miles north to a deserted hill. Find nine human skulls and stack them together into a pyramid, with five skulls at the base, followed by three in the middle and one on top. Lastly, place the belt under the top skull.”
Mu Nianci was puzzled and asked, “ Why?”
Wanyan Kang replied, “ My teacher is blind but when she finds the belt and feels the carvings, she will come and save me. Therefore, you must carve the words deep.”
Mu Nianci asked, “ Isn’t your teacher Master of Eternal Spring, Taoist Qiu?” How can he be blind?”
Wanyan Kang answered, “ No, it’s not Taoist Qiu, it’s my other teacher. After you place the belt, you must leave immediately. My teacher has a weird temper, if she finds someone near the skulls, she might harm you. She is highly skilled and can save me. You just have to wait for me in front of the Xuan Miao monastery in Suzhou. ”
Mu Nianci said, “ You have to swear that you will not acknowledge the enemy as your father and betray your people.”
Wanyan Kang refused and replied, “ After I find out the truth about everything, I will then act accordingly to my morals. What use is it to force me to swear now? If you are not willing to save me, then so be it.”
Mu Nianci replied, “ Alright! I’ll help you seek help.” With that, she removed Wanyan Kang’s belt.
Wanyan Kang asked, “ Sister, are you leaving? Come over and let me kiss you.”
Mu Nianci replied, “ No!” With that, she stood up and headed for the door.
Wanyan Kang said, “ I’m afraid that they might kill me before my teacher reaches and then I’ll never get to see you again.”
Mu Nianci’s heart soften, she gave a long sigh and walked back into his arms, allowing him to kiss her on the cheek a few times.
She suddenly beat the chains and said, “ If you do not walk the right path in the future, I cannot do anything but blame myself for my ill fate and die in front of you.”
Wanyan Kang wanted to cuddle and sweet-talk with her a while, half hoping that she would change her mind and agree to take the golden seal to Prime Minister Shi but he felt her body shaking and her breathing was hard, signaling that she was worked up. He did not expect her to say anything like that and was in shock for a moment but Mu Nianci had already stood up and walked out of the door.
After she came out, Huang Rong again guided her and Mu Nianci ran till she saw a wall leading to the outskirts of the manor. Before she left, she called out softly, “ Since senior does not want to show himself or herself, junior here will just have to look into the sky and express my gratitude.”
With that, she kneeled on the ground and kowtowed three times. She heard a gentle giggle and a clear voice spoke out, “ Ah, I cannot accept this!”
When she raised her head, she only saw stars in the sky and the surroundings were deserted. Mu Nianci was puzzled and thought that the voice sounded like Huang Rong’s but how can she be here and how would she know the way through this confusing place? She pondered on this matter as she walked on but was not able to come up with an explanation. After walking about ten miles from the manor, she decided to rest under a large tree and wait for the boat to bring her to Suzhou the next day.
Suzhou is a busy Southeast district and although it isnt’t comparable to the capital of Hangzhou, it is still a prosperous and booming city. The Song officials in the South were also given rule over the territory of Jiangnan, and had almost forgotten about the sufferings of the people under the Jins in the North since the cities of Suzhou and Hangzhou were rich and prosperous. There was a saying ‘Heaven above, Su Hang below’ indicating the importance and grandeur of these two cities. Actually, the River Huai is the source of wealth and also a symbol of beauty for these two cities in the south. Mu Nianci admired the colorful scenes in the city before settling down in an inn. She then started to carefully carve the words Wanyan kang told her to do so on his belt. She thought how recent the belt had left its owner and prayed for Wanyan kang’s safety, hoping that the belt will return back to its owner once more. She secretly wished that Wanyan Kang would come to his senses and marry her and that she would personally wear the belt for him.
After dreaming awhile, she wore the belt beneath her robe and couldn’t help thinking, “ This belt is like his arm, wrapping around my waist.” She immediately blushed and didn’t dare think more. After eating a quick bowl of noodles, she saw the sun heading to the west and she hurriedly travel towards the north, following Wanyan Kang’s instructions to find his teacher.
Last edited by sunnysnow; 05-14-06 at 05:58 AM.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
Thanks for the update sunnysnow.
I'd like to ask a favor of you. Would you mind revising the names like Lu Guan Ying [Lu Guanying] and Mu Nian Ci [Mu Nianci] to their joined forms to save us editors from having to do it later. We'd be much obliged and revere you forever.
poor Mu NianCi, she really fell in love with the wrong guy
keep up the good work sunnysnow!
"The most happy marriage I can picture or imagine would be union of a deaf man to a blind woman."
Originally Posted by JamesG
Done, i also joined that of MCF's. hope i haven't missed out on any names
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
Thanks a bunch sunnysnow. I'll have to remind dgfds01 about the name joining since the first edit is in his/her hands. The editing of the first few chapters will be a major challenge. Athena kindly made me a list of 98+% of the names for ROCH which has and is helping me in the 'final' edit.Originally Posted by sunnysnow
I guess she had the type of 'challenge-driven' personallity. She viewed Yang Kang as somebody she needed to 'fix'. But nonetheless, once she loved someone, she would love him to the death, like Yang Guo; unlike the Wu brothers.Originally Posted by Demonic Swordsman
Sunnysnow, thank you for being true to your words: you said you would continue after April 27, and you did. I appreciate that.
Yeap, Thanks for the translation sunnysnow
Les Arts Martiaux!
"En Garde","Fleche Enflammee"!!
Thanks for the tranlation sunnysnow.
How many parts are left in chapter 13?
Rose blooms best near death
You are in full bloom, Pal!
Aha! Now foxy-s will come flooding with his translations of the next chapters.
No ProblemOriginally Posted by foxs_
After Part 4, about 1 or 2 more parts and I'll be done with Chapter 13. Sorry for the long wait guys!!Originally Posted by nisachar
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
The road to the hill was deserted, Mu Nianci felt uneasy when she heard weird sounds made by the birds and the sun had started to set. She left the main path and went to the back valley of the hill to search for the skulls, which Wanyan Kang had asked her to search for, but it had slowly turned to nightfall and she was still unable to find them. She mulled over the matter and decided to continue the search the next day. With that, she went nearby to see if there was any place in which she could seek shelter for the night. She ran up a mound and looked out in the distance; it was then that she spotted a manor towards the west. She was relieved and immediately rushed there.
As she approached the place, she realised that the manor was actually a run downed temple and there was a signboard above the door, which read ‘Temple Earth’. She pushed open the door gently and the door gave a creak before dropping down, fluffing up a pile of dust. It was then that Mu Nianci realized that it was an abandoned temple where no one lived in. She walked into the hall and saw cobwebs on the statutes of mother and father earth. She pressed on a table and gave a blow but found that the table was still steady and did not break. Thus, she found some hay to clean the table and went on to place the broken door back into position. She ate some dried snacks before lying on the table and slept with her bag as her pillow. She could not help but feel heartbroken and ashamed when she thought about Wanyan Kang’s personality and tears rowed down her cheeks. But when she thought about his gentleness and honey words, she felt a tint of sweetness in her heart. She thought about many things and tossed a million times before she finally able to fall asleep.
In the middle of the night, Mu Nianci heard a funny noise; she was alarmed and sat upright as the noise grew louder. She hurried to the door and peered out. It was then that she got a shock of her life as the moonlight shone onto the ground, revealing thousands of snakes gliding throughout the floor; a stench came in from the main door. After a long while, the snakes began to lessen when she suddenly heard some footsteps as three men in white appeared with long poles in their hands, subsiding the snakes. Mu Nianci was afraid that she would be discovered and hid behind the hall door, not daring to look anymore. She heard a few footsteps and peered out again. The snakes were gone and the surrounding was quiet and deserted; she thought was dreaming, as she couldn’t believe what she just saw.
She pushed open the main door gently and peered out. She walked a little towards the direction, which the snakes had gone but could not find those men in white. She was somewhat relieved and was about to return to the temple when she saw the moonlight revealing a weird pile of white stuff from afar. She went closer for a look and let out a low gasp; it was a pile of skulls neatly arranged in the form of a pyramid, with five skulls as the base, three in the middle and one on top. Mu Nianci had been searching for these skulls the whole day and who would have thought that it would suddenly appear in front of her in the middle of the night? She thought the skull formation scary but her heart beat fast as she was happy. She approached the skulls slowly and took out Wanyan Kang’s belt. With hands shivering, she stretched out to take the skull stacked on top. She touched the skull and felt five holes on it, which fitted her five fingers; it was as if the skull had formed mouths, which swallowed her fingers. Mu Nianci was astonished and screamed before turning about to run. She had run awhile when she stopped again and realised that she was just scaring herself. She giggled nervously and went back to put the belt on top of the three skulls before placing the skull in her hands back onto the top of the formation.
She thought to herself, “ His teacher is really weird, I wonder whether she looks frightening as well.” After placing the skull back into place, she secretly hoped to herself, “ I hope that teacher will get the belt and immediately go and save him. I hope that you will teach him proper so that he kick his bad habits and change his ways.”
She was thinking about the chained up but handsome sweet-talker Wanyan Kang when she felt someone gently patting her shoulder. She was shocked and did not dare turn around. Due to her nervousness, she accidentally fell onto the pile of skulls. Mu Nianci used her arms to clench her chest and turned around. She had just turned around when someone patted her shoulder gently again.
She turned around about six more times but still could not spot the person behind her, she didn’t know whether it was ghost or a demon. Mu Nianci broke out in cold sweat and did not dare move. Quivering, she asked, “ Who are you?”
The person placed his head near her neck and sniffed before laughing out, “ What a nice scent! Guess who am I.”
Mu Niaci hurriedly turned around and saw a scholarly dressed man, a fan in his hand with a charming expression: It was one of the culprits who had forced her godfather to death back in Beijing, Ouyang Ke. She was both surprised and angry and since she knew that she was not his match, she turned to run. Ouyang Ke was however, already in front of her, laughing out aloud with arms stretched out, ready to hug her if she took a few more steps forward. Mu Nianci hurriedly retreated a few steps and ran to her right, but had only ran a few steps when Ouyang Ke was in front of her again. She ran in all directions but still could not escape him.
Ouyang Ke saw the pale colour on her beautiful face and was delighted. He knew that he could capture her in one move but he wanted to play the cat and mouse game with her, trapping her but letting her off again. Mu Nianci knew that she was in danger and pulled out a green dagger, aiming for his head.
Ouyang Ke laughed and said, “ Aiyah, don’t be rough.”
He twisted his body, grabbed her arms with his left hand while holding her waist with his right arm. Mu Nianci struggled but felt numb at her throat and her dagger was already snatched away by Ouyang Ke. She managed to free herself after awhile, only to be captured into his arms again. This was like the time Ouyang Ke held Huang Rong at Wanyan Kang’s residence; his opponent’s pulse froze the hand movement and could not move at all.
Ouyang Ke laughed lightly and said, “ Accept me as your teacher and I’ll immediately release you and teach you this stance. But I’m afraid that by that time, you won’t want me to let go of you already.”
Mu Nianci was trapped by his arms and Ouyang Ke used his right hand to gently brush against her cheeks. She knew that he was up to no good and was so frightened that she passed out unknowingly. After awhile, Mu Nianci woke up but she felt numb and weak all over. Someone was hugging her tightly and in the confusion, she thought it was Wanyan Kang and was delighted but after she opened her eyes, she realized that the person hugging her was Ouyang Ke. She was bashful and nervous and struggled to stand up only to realize that her could not move. She opened her mouth to call out but realized that Ouyang Ke had staffed a handkerchief in her mouth. She saw him sitting on the ground but he wore an anxious expression. On both sides of Ouyang Ke were eight women in white who each had a weapon in their hands, all of them staring suspiciously but silently at the pile of skulls.
Mu Nianci was curious and tried thinking what they were up to. When she turned around, she was scared out of her wits as she saw thousands of green snakes behind Ouyang Ke. The snakes were motionless but were hissing with their tongues out; the moonlight shone on the thousands of red tongues, which looked like a sea of red tongues; it was a frightening sight. Amongst the snakes stood three men in white with long poles in their hands; it was the exact same men Mu Nianci had seen earlier. She didn’t dare look anymore and turned back. It was then that she saw the shiny gold belt amongst the nine skulls and thought anxiously, “ Ah, they must be waiting for his teacher. From their expressions, they must have prepared to deal with his teacher. But his teacher is traveling alone, then how can he defeat so many people? And there are so many poisonous snakes around as well.”
She was extremely anxious and hoped that Wanyan Kang’s teacher won’t come. But she also hoped that his teacher would know what to expect and come prepared, defeating all these evil people and save her. After waiting for more than half an hour, the moon rose even higher and she saw Ouyang Ke constantly looking up at the moon. She thought to herself, “ Will his teacher only appear when the moon shifts to the middle of the sky?”
She saw the moon rise above the top of a tree. The surroundings were empty, the wild worms were making noises and there were sounds of birdcalls in the distance. Ouyang Ke glanced at the moon once more before placing Mu Nianci into the arms of a woman beside him. He took out his fan with his right hand and stared on the corner of the hill. Mu Nianci knew that the person they were waiting for was coming soon. The silence was soon broken by a strong and piercing flute tune, which grew nearer after awhile. A figure flashed by and a woman with long hair suddenly appeared from the cliff. As she passed by the cliff, she slowed down and it seemed like she had noticed that there were people nearby. It was iron corpse, Mei Chaofeng.
After Mei Chaofeng had gotten the a few verses of the secret formulas for the cultivation of her internal energy, she studied them carefully and it was not more than a month before her legs recovered and she could work normally. Furthermore, her internal energy had improved tremendously. Ever since she found out that the Six Freaks of Jiangnan had returned from Mongolia, she had started to plot for revenge, following the little prince as he set out for his mission. She practiced her skills every night. Mei Chaofeng found riding the boats with many people inconvenient and thus decided to travel by herself every night, and had arranged to meet Wanyan Kang in Suzhou. She did not know that Wanyan Kang was in the hands of the Heroes of Lake Tai nor was she aware that Ouyang Ke who wanted to take revenge on her for killing his men and humiliating him earlier, as well as to lay hands on her “Nine Yin Manual” had earlier spied on and found out her whereabouts, and had thus got together thousands of snakes and is now secretly waiting for her at the spot she practices her skills every night. She had just passed the cliff when she heard the breathing of several people and stopped in her tracks immediately to listen. She heard tons of weird noises behind the group of people.
Ouyang Ke saw her alarmed expression and cursed secretly, “ What a brilliant blind Bi*ch!” Fanning himself gently, he stood up and summoned his internal energy. He was about to strike out at Mei Chaofeng when he saw another person coming from the cliff. He hurriedly took back his strike and studied that person. He saw that the man was slim and tall; he was wearing a green robe and part of his hair was bound with a squared cloth. He looked like any cultured person but Ouyang Ke was unable to see his face clearly.
The amazing thing however, was that Ouyang Ke was unable to hear any footsteps or breathing coming from that man. Even a highly skilled person like Mei Chaofeng would inevitably make some light noises when she walked but this person was walking casually, as if his body were floating, forming a somewhat ghostly image. It seemed as if nothing could cause him to make any noise while moving. That person glanced at Ouyang Ke before standing behind Mei Chaofeng. Ouyang Ke studied his face in detail and gasped unexpectedly. That person had a very weird face, besides a pair of eyes glancing around, the rest of his face was like a dead person’s. The skin of his face was stiff, it was not ugly but neither was it charming. The man looked extremely cold and emotionless and gave one the chills. Ouyang Ke gained back his senses and saw that Mei Chaofeng was approaching him. He knew that her strikes were going to be vicious and deadly and thought that he had to gain the upper hand first. He made a signal with his left hand and the three men controlling the snakes started blowing their flutes, causing the snakes to glide forward. The eight women in white sat still as they had applied some substance on them, which caused the snakes to ignore and slide pass them.
Mei Chaofeng heard the sounds of snakes approaching and knew there were countless numbers of them. She was secretly alarmed and kicked back some distance. The snake men used their poles to cause the thousands of snakes to disperse into all directions. Mu Nianci saw that Mei Chaofeng’s expression had paled as she was frightened and could not help but worry for her. She thought, “ Is this weird woman his teacher?”
She saw Mei Chaofeng suddenly turn around and retrieve a long silver whip from her waist to protect herself. She was however surrounded by the poisonous snakes from all directions and several snakes, which were excited by the flute tune started to attack her, only to be stroked by her whip.
Ouyang Ke yelled out, “ Hey demoness Mei, I don’t want your life, you just have to hand me the “Nine Yin Manual” and I’ll let you off.”
That day when he was at Prince Zhao’s residence, he heard that the “Nine Yin Manual” was in Mei Chaofeng’s hands and being greedy as he was, he was very much tempted to get it at any cost. It would definitely make his uncle, who has been trying all means to get the manual, very happy. Mei chaofeng ignored Ouyang Ke and used her whip to strike out even more furiously.
Ouyang Ke called out, “ Since you’re so stubborn, I’ll see how long more you can dance. I’ll wait till tomorrow and lets see whether you will hand the manual over to me or not.”
Mei Chaofeng was secretly anxious and tried thinking of a plan to escape. She listened carefully and realized that there were snakes surrounding her everywhere. She didn’t dare move much and she was afraid that the poisonous snakes would bite her if she stepped on them.
Ouyang Ke sat down and after awhile, called out arrogantly, “ Big sister Mei, you stole the manual and have been familiarizing yourself with the contents for the past twenty years. What use is it to hug it to your deathbed? Why not you lend it to me for a look, let’s be friends, isn’t it better that way?”
Mei Chaofeng replied, “ Take away the snakes first.”
Ouyang Ke laughed, “ Hand me the manual first.”
The contents of the “Nine Yin Manual” was tattooed on her late husband’s skin and Mei Chaofeng valued it more than her life and of course was unwilling to hand it over. She decided that it she was bitten by the snakes, she would immediately tear the manual to pieces.
Mu Nianci wanted to shout and tell her to jump onto the tree so that the snakes would not be able to bite her but she could not do so as a cloth bound her mouth. Mei Chaofeng was not aware of the few tall trees near her. She realized that if she continued fighting, her internal energy would deplete and thus pulled out something from her pockets and shouted, “ Alright, I give in, take it.”
Ouyang Ke called out, “ Throw it over her.”
Mei Chaofeng called out, “ Catch!” And flung something from her right hand.
Mu Nianci heard a few faint cries and saw two women in white collapse. Ouyang Ke had fallen onto the ground but managed to avoid her deadly secret weapons. He broke out in cold sweat and was shocked and angry at the same time. He retreated back a few steps and yelled, “ Alright Bi*ch, I’ll let you suffer horribly!”
Mei Chaofeng had shot out three “Shapeless Needles” which traveled as fast as lightening. She was secretly impressed with Ouyang Ke’s ability to escape her attacks but was all the more anxious. Ouyang Ke studied her arms and plotted to set the snakes on her once she relaxed a little. At this time, Mei Chaofeng had already killed hundreds of snakes, but there were thousands more surrounding her. How would she be able to kill all of them? Ouyang Ke saw that her whip skills were excellent and knew that she had secret weapons and thus did not dare to go near her.
After half an hour, the moon was moving towards the west and Mei Chaofeng was beginning to feel more and more anxious such that her breathing became harder and her whipping dance was not as smooth as earlier. She thus struck out at a shorter distance so as to preserve her energy. Ouyang Ke was delighted and commanded the snakes to move nearer and nearer her. But he was also afraid that if she was still unwilling to surrender and destroyed the book, it would ruin his plans. This point in time now was thus crucial to him. Mei Chaofeng heard the snakes moving closer and closer towards her and could not help but feel the manual in her pocket. She looked very pale and curse silently, “ I haven’t seek my revenge yet but who would have thought that I would die under the hands of this bloody rascal.”
All of a sudden, there came a noise which sounded like the tune from a qin, but it also sounded like the sounds made by jade. Following that, there was the sound of a clear and smooth flute tune. Everyone was taken by surprise. Ouyang Ke looked up and saw the weird man in green sitting on top of a tall tree, blowing his flute. Ouyang Ke was secretly puzzled. He knew that he had very sharp eyesight and yet, even under such a bright moonlight, he did not notice that that man had gone up the tree. The wind was blowing and the trees were swaying but that man was still able to sit steadily and motionless on top. Ouyang Ke was taught by his uncle since he was young and he knew that even if he trained for another twenty years, he will still be unable to achieve the standard the man has now, is that man a ghost then?
At this time, the tune from the flute flowed continuously and Ouyang Ke lost control of his emotions, smiling unnaturally. He felt his blood pounding and messing up inside him and had to dance crazily in order to feel better. He just stretched out his arm to dance and was immediately shocked. He summoned all his concentration and saw that the snakes were all rushing to the bottom of a tree, sliding about according to the flute tune. The three men and six women in white collapsed under the tree as well dancing around crazily. They tore their clothes and scratched their faces furiously leaving bloody scars on them and laughed stupidly at nothing. It seemed like they had all gone mad and were thus unaware of any pain.
Ouyang Ke was extremely shocked and knew that he had encountered a strong opponent tonight. He took out six poisoned projectiles and flung it towards the man’s head, chest and limbs. The projectiles were about to strike the man when he gently waved the end of his flute and blocked the projectiles. When he used his flute to block the projectiles, his lips continued to blow and did not leave the flute hole for a single moment. The tune coming out from the flute was never interrupted for a single second. Ouyang Ke could not stand it anymore and opened his fan, wanting to dance.
Luckily Ouyang Ke had a somewhat good grasp of his internal energy, as he knew that if he started dancing with his arms, unless his opponent stopped blowing the flute, he would not stop dancing till he dies of exhaustion. Ouyang Ke was all along a clear-minded and sharp man and forced himself to take back his arm with the fan in it. He suddenly thought of a plan, “ Tear some cloth off my robe and stuff the cloth in my ears so as to block the sound. But the flute sound was marvelous; although Ouyang Ke had tore off some cloth the flute tune made him lose control of his actions and he struggled but could not put the cloth into his ears. He was alarmed and frightened and broke out in more cold sweat. He saw Mei Chaofeng sitting on the floor with her head lowered, circulating her internal energy. He guessed that she must have been summoning her internal energy to combat the flute sounds.
At this moment, three of Ouyang Ke’s worse skilled apprentices had fallen onto the ground, ripping and tearing their clothes but twisting and turning uncontrollably on the ground. Mu Nianci had her acupoints sealed and could not move. Thus, even though her emotions and concentration was deeply disturbed and provoked by the flute tune, she did not kick out or dance madly because she could not move and laid silently on the ground.
Ouyang Ke’s cheeks had turned bright red, his head was burning and his throat was dry and uncomfortable. He knew that if he did not stop this now and escape, he would die and thus summoned up all his determination and bit on his tongue. The pain diverted his attention from the flute tune and the sound had less impact on him for a while. He grabbed this opportunity to escape and ran for his life. It was not until he was several miles away from the place when he could not hear the flute sound anymore and was thus relieved. Ouyang Ke was thoroughly exhausted and felt extremely weak, as if he had fallen very sick,
He thought to himself, “ Who is that weird man? Who is that weird man?”
Meanwhile, Huang Rong and Guo Jing returned to their rooms to sleep after they sent Mu Nianci off. They were pleased with their relaxing trip on the lake so far. Guo Jing knew that once Mu Nianci was off, Mei Chaofeng would soon appear. She was vicious and deadly in her attacks. He worried that there will be no one to match her and many people would thus get hurt. Guo Jing decided to consult Huang Rong and asked her, “ I think we better tell Master Lu about Mei Chaofeng and plead with him to let Wanyang Kang off so as to save the people in the manor from any hurt.”
Huang Rong waved her hand and replied, “ That’s not a good idea. Wanyang Kang is an evil brat; let him suffer a few more days. If he is let off so easily, then he will not learn his lesson.”
Actually Huang Rong couldn’t care less about whether Wanyan Kang repents or not. She thought that since he was the disciple of the “two bad eggs” Qiu Chuji and Mei Chaofeng, then he might as well stay a baddie. She thought it fun to make life difficult for Wanyan Kang. But Huang Rong was afraid that if Wanyan Kang does not repent, Mu Nianci would seriously not marry him and if Mu Nianci does not have a husband, the busybodies would once again force Guo Jing to marry her which would be disastrous, therefore, she decided that it would be better for Wanyan kang to repent.
Guo Jing asked, “ What shall we do if Mei Chaofeng arrives?”
Huang Rong smiled, “ Let’s try out what Qigong has taught us on her then!”
Guo Jing knew that it was pointless to argue with Huang Rong and thus returned her smile. But he thought secretly that since Master Lu had taken such good care of them, he would risk his life to protect everyone in the manor no matter what.
Two days later, both of them told Master Lu that they would not leave yet. Master Lu was even nicer to them as he had hoped that they would stay longer. On the third morning, Master Lu was chatting with Huang Rong and Guo Jing in his study when Lu Guanying rushed in with a paled expression. Behind him was one of the housekeepers who carried a wooden tray. There was something on the tray but it was wrapped up with a green cloth.
Lu Guanying said, “ Father, someone sent this just now.” With that, he unwrapped the green cloth to reveal a white skull with five finger holes on top of it; it was indeed Mei Chaofeng’s work.
Guo Jing and Huand Rong were not surprised, as they knew that Mei Chaofeng would appear sooner or later. Master Lu was however in shock and he paled. Quivering, he asked, “ Who…who brought this here?” He straightened up his body as he asked.
Lu Guanying knew that skull appeared weirdly but he was a daring and skilled fighter and furthermore, he was the leader of the the pirates of the lake. He thus, did not really take this matter too seriously. But when he saw how worked up his father was, he was even more frightened and surprised.
He answered hurriedly, “ Someone put this in a box and sent it here. The housekeeper thought it was a normal gift and thus tipped the person without asking the origins of the gift. When he brought it to the accounts room and opened the box, he found this and was about to ask the person who sent the gift but that person was already gone. Father, what do you think is the going on here?”
Master Lu did not answer but used his fingers and dug into the holes in the skull, which fitted his fingers perfectly.
Lu Guanying asked in shock, “ The holes in the skull are made by fingers? Are the fingers that powerful?”
Master Lu nodded and sighed deeply before saying, “ Ask the servants to pack up and send your mother to the north manor in the city to stay for the time being. Order the section leaders to gather and stay in their sections for three days. No matter what happens to Gui Yun Manor, tell them not to interfere.”
Lu Guanying was astonished and asked, “ Why, father?”
Master Lu smiled weakly and turned towards Guo Jing and Huang Rong saying, “ It is a blessing to be able to make friends with both of you. I had hope that both of you could stay longer but I made two enemies when I was younger and they are coming to seek revenge. It’s not that I want to chase you all away but Gu Yun Manor is…is in danger. If I am fortunate enough to survive, we will meet again. But…but there is only a slight chance.”
He laughed bitterly and shook his head before turning to the study keeper and said, “ Retrieve forty gold taels for me.” The keeper did so; Lu Guanying did not dare ask any more questions and left the study to carry out his father’s instructions.
After a while, the keeper came back with the money and Master Lu offered it to Guo Jing saying, “ The lady is beautiful and talented and is perfect match with you. This little money is a gift for your upcoming marriage ceremony, please accept this humble gift.”
Huang Rong blushed and thought, “ This person is very sharp, so he knew all along that I’m a girl. But how did he know that I am not married to Brother Jing?”
Guo Jing did not know the art of politeness and just thanked Master Lu before accepting the gift. Master Lu then retrieved a glass bottle from the study table and poured out more than ten red pills before wrapping them up in some paper. He continued, “ I am not talented but my teacher taught me some medical formulas before and I used them to make these pills which can prolong lives if eaten. Take these as a form of my respect.”
When Master Lu poured out the pills, there was a sweet scent in the air and when Huang Rong smelled it, she immediately knew that those were the “Nine Flower Dew Pills”. She had helped her father make those pills before and had to collect the dewdrops from nine different types of flowers. To make the pills, one had to know how to brew the substance on the correct days and season of the year. It was a very painstaking process and the pills also consisted of many different types of scarce and precious herbs.
Huang Rong knew that Master Lu was too generous to give them more than ten pills and spoke out, “ It is not easy to create the nine flower dew pills. We are more than grateful to accept two pills each.”
Master Lu was slightly surprised and asked, “ How did Miss know the name of the pills?”
Huang Rong answered, “ I know because I was weak when I was young and an honorable master gave me three pills which saw positive effects when I took it.”
Master Lu gave a smile and said, “ Both of you don’t have to resist. It would be a waste to keep it anyway.”
Huang Rong knew that he was prepared to die and thus did not argue and kept the pills.
Master Lu continued in a serious tone, “ I have already prepared a boat, please cross the river quickly and even if you notice anything weird, do not stop and bother. Remember this!”
Guo Jing wanted to stay back and help but he caught Huang Rong’s eye signal and had no choice but to agree with Master Lu.
Huang Rong said, “ Forgive little sister here for her ignorance, but I have something to ask.”
Master Lu answered, “ Please speak, Miss.”
Huang Rong replied, “ Since Master Lu knows that there were be a formidable enemy coming to seek revenge, why not hide from them? As the saying goes, a hero avoids obvious dangers.”
Master Lu let out a huge sigh and answered, “ This two people have made me suffered so much! They are the ones who caused me to be crippled. For the past twenty years, I have not sought revenge because I am unable to walk. Since they are coming now, no matter what, I will risk my life to fight them. Anyway, they offended my teacher. Even if I am unable to seek revenge for myself, I will definitely have to seek revenge for my teacher at all costs. I don’t hope to defeat them. I am more than happy as long as I can die together with them and thus, repay my teacher’s kindness.”
Huang Rong thought, “ How come he keeps saying there are two people? Ah, I know, he still thinks that copper corpse Chen Xuanfeng is alive. I wonder what animosity he has towards them? It is unfortunate for him then and I won’t probe anymore but I am still curious over something.”
Huang Rong asked out loud, “ Master Lu, its not surprising that you are able to see through my male disguise but how did you know that we are not married since we’re staying in the same room?”
Master Lu was dumbfounded by her question and thought to himself, “ It’s obvious that you are still a virgin but how do I explain it to her? This little Miss is intelligent and talented in all areas but how come she’s so blur when it comes to matters like these?”
He was thinking of a way to answer her when Lu Guanying entered the study and said in a low voice, “ I have given the command but leaders Zhang, Gu, Wang and Tan refuse to leave. They say that they will remain in Gu Yun Manor even if it means risking their lives.”
Master Lu sighed and said, “ It is not often that you find such loyal and courageous people! Hurry and send these two guests off.”
Last edited by sunnysnow; 05-18-06 at 03:53 AM.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
whew! super long post! no complaints tho!
thanx for the update sunnysnow!
"The most happy marriage I can picture or imagine would be union of a deaf man to a blind woman."
I am happy to welcome owbjhx as the newest member of our team. He/she has signed up to work on Chapter 26.
We still have openings for Chapter 25 (IcyFox was going to work on it, but he is busy, so I think he is going to work on later chapter), and chapter 27 forward. Perhaps Sunnysnow would like to continue ... ?
BTW, this thread is getting long, I think I will start a new thread starting with Chapter 14.
Last edited by foxs; 05-18-06 at 11:58 AM.
Hello guys..i'm new here!
just wanna say thank you to all Translators for their hard works..Thanks a lot!!
One more translator signed up! Please welcome Bundak. He/She will be working on Chapter 27.
So the Chapters in progress:
21 - IcyFox
22 - Williamlcb
23 - Danshu
24 - Xuelian
25 - IcyFox (tentative, could be Sunnysnow later on I haven't asked her yet)
26 - Owbjhx
27 - Bundak
Whoever finish his/her chapter first will work on the subsequent one.
In the meantime, I am more than 75% finish with Chapter 18. Eliza Bennet has been gracious enough to help proofread and edit my work for grammatical and spelling errors. I am going to finish chapter 20, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the others' work.
What happened to your old account fox-s? Why make a new one?
Btw, as soon as we finish ROCH corrections, I'd like to do LOCH corrections so I will reserve my reading time for LOCH until then.
You noticed, huh? As I mentioned earlier, this forum won't allow me to have only 4 characters name, so the first time I add a '-', a decision I very much regret later on. Finally I decided to create a new one. I don't want to live with a '-' forever.
BTW, reminder: don't work on RoCH chapters 32, 36 & 38; and also LoCH earlier chapters which were translated from french. If (and only IF) I have time later, I am going to re-visit them all. Unless somebody else is willing to do that.
Going for a holiday for the next one and a half weeks and thought that i might as well finish up chapter 13 so as not to keep everyone waiting. It's about time Foxs posts his tranlastions for the following chapters as well
Huang Rong and Guo Jing bid Master Lu farewell before following Lu Guanying out. The housekeeper had already prepared Guo Jing’s little red horse and their camels in a boat. Guo Jing whispered to Huang Rong, “ Are we going to get on the boat?”
Huang Rong whispered back, “ We’ll go and come back.”
Lu Guanying wasn’t bothered by their whispering as he was in a state of confusion and wanted to hurriedly send off the guests so as to help come out with the preparations against his father’s enemy. Guo Jing and Huang Rong were about to board the boat when Huang Rong spied someone on the bank, walking fast towards them. The person looked weird as he supported a huge jar on his head as he walked towards them without a pause.
When he came nearer, Guo Jing, Huang Rong and Lu Guanying saw that the man’s hair was white; he wore a short yellow robe and carried a huge feather fan in his right hand, fanning himself gently as he quickened his pace. The jar looked as if it was made from iron and seemed like it weighed a hundred pounds.
The man walked pass Lu Guanying, glanced nonchalantly at them and continued walking. He had not taken a few steps when his body hunched a little and some water spilled out from the jar. The three then realized that the jar was filled with water, which would add on to the weight of the jar, which would now weigh about a hundred pounds more. The old man must be highly skilled to be able to balance such a heavy weight on his head.
Lu Guanying thought nervously, “ Is this man father’s enemy?”
He ignored the danger and went up to the man, while Guo Jing and Huang Rong stole a glance at each other before following him. Guo Jing heard his six teachers mention about their fight with Qiu Chuji at Jia Xing Zui Xian inn before and knew that Qiu Chuiji was skilled enough to lift up a huge jar. But the size of the jar Qiu Chuji lifted as descriped by his teachers did not seem as big as this jar the man was lifting now. Guo Jing suspected that this old man’s skills were above that of Master of Eternal Spring, Qiu Chuiji. The old man walked on before reaching the bank of a small river with graves all over the place.
Lu Guanying thought to himself, “ There is no bridge here, lets see whether he crosses the river to the north or go towards the west.”
Lu Guanying was stunned by what he saw next: The old man walked without a pause over the river; his body was steady and only his lower legs were submerged in the water. When he reached the opposite side of the riverbank, he placed the huge jar among the grasses, next to a hill before turning and flew to the river, walking on the water back to the other side again.
Huang Rong and Guo Jing had heard their seniors talk about all sorts of skills from various sects and schools but they never heard of such skills which the old man just displayed: Carrying a huge jar on his head and walking on water. They thought that such skills only existed in myths and legends, who would have thought that such skills actually exist on earth? If they did not see for themselves, they would never have believed such stuff and were secretly in awe of that old master.
The old man’s hair was all white and laughed heartily before turning to Lu Guanying, “ You must be the leader of the pirates, Junior Master Lu right?”
Lu Guanying bowed and answered, “ I dare not accept such praise, I wonder what is elder’s name?”
The old man pointed towards Guo Jing and Huang Rong and said, “ Come here as well you two boys.”
Lu Guanying turned around and got a fright when he saw Guo Jing and Huang Rong behind him. It was then that he realized that the two had been following him but their lightness skill were so good that they made no noise and he was not even aware of them following him.
Guo Jing and Huang Rong bowed and said, “ Greetings to elder.”
The old man laughed, “ No need for such greetings.”
He turned towards Lu Guanying and said, “ Here is not a place to talk, let’s find somewhere to sit.”
Lu Guanying was suspicious and thought silently, “ Is he father’s enemy?”
He decided to be direct and asked, “ Does elder know my father?”
The old man replied, “ Master Lu? I have never met him before.”
Lu Guanying thought that the man didn’t seem like he was lying and asked some more, “ My father received a weird gift earlier in the day, does elder know of this matter?”
The old man asked, “ What weird gift?”
Lu Guanying replied, “ It’s a dead person’s skull, on the top of the skull are five finger holes.”
The old man said, “ That’s funny, could it be someone playing with your father?”
Lu Guanying thought silently, “ This man’s skills are exceptional. Even if he wants to fight father, he would do so openly and does not need to lie about it. It seems like he really doesn’t know anything. Why not invite him to the manor to help us instead? If he agrees to help us, it will be alright no matter how great father’s enemy is.”
The more he thought about it, the more delighted he was and answered, “ If elder does not mind, why not come to my residence for some tea?”
The old man hummed slightly and replied, “ That will be good.”
Lu Guanying was overjoyed and waved for the old man to go first.
The old man pointed towards Guo Jing and said, “ These two young men are guests of the manor right?”
Lu Guanying answered, “ They are father’s friends.”
The old man did not probe further and walked in front with Guo Jing and Huang Rong following behind. When they reached the manor, Lu Guanying ushered the old man to a sit in the main hall and sped off to find his father.
Not long after, two servants carried in a bamboo couch with Master Lu on it. Master Lu greeted the old man politely and said, “ I hope my ignorant son has not offended elder in any way.”
The old man shifted his body slightly but did not greet him back. He replied blandly, “ Mater Lu may dispense with the formalities.”
Master Lu asked, “ I wonder what is elder’s name?”
The old man replied, “ My surname is Qiu and my name is Qianren.”
Master Lu was shocked and asked, “ Could it be that elder is the renowned iron palm who floats on water, elder Qiu?”
Qiu Qianren smiled slightly and answered, “ To think that you can remember my nickname, you really have a good memory. I have not been active in Jiang Hu for the past twenty over years and thought that people have long forgotten me! ”
The name “Iron Palm who floats on water” was indeed a formidable name twenty years ago. Master Lu knew that the old man was the chief of the Iron Palm Sect in Hu Nan. He was actually famous and active in Jiang Hu but disappeared all of a sudden for a very long time so it was not surprising that many juniors born later would not know him.
Master Lu was surprised and curious by his visit and asked, “ I wonder what has caused Senior Qiu to come here? If you need junior’s help, I would be more than happy to offer it.”
Qiu Qianren stroked his beard and laughed, “ It’s nothing big actually, just that that I haven been too softhearted and fate has it that it will not end…erm, I would like to seek a secluded place to practice my skills, we talk again in the night.”
Master Lu saw that he wore no evil expression but was still unsettled and asked, “ I wonder did Senior happen to meet the Twin Killers of the Dark Winds?”
Qiu Qianren replied, “ The Twin Killers of the Dark Winds? This evil pair are not dead yet?”
Master Lu was greatly comforted by what he heard and spoke out, “ Ying’er, please bring Senior Qiu to my study to rest.” Qiu Qianren gave everyone a nod and left with Lu Guanying.
Although Master Lu had never seen Qiu Qianren’s skills before, he had heard of his formidable name. He knew that when the five greats, Eastern Heretic, Western Poison, Southern Emperor, Northern Beggar and Central Divinity met for the Hua Shan tournament, they had invited him but he had something to attend to and thus turned down the invitation. But his skills must have been exceptional to get the invitation, even if he was not up to the standard of the greats, he should not be far from their standard. Even if the Twin Killers of the Dark Winds came, they would not be able to mess around with him.
He turned to Guo Jing and Huang Rong, “ Both of you haven’t left? That’s great. The elderly Qiu’s skills are formidable, how lucky that he should appear this moment. I do not have to fear my opponents anymore! Later you can rest in your rooms but please do not leave them and you will be fine.”
Huang Rong gave a little laugh, “ Can I watch the fun?”
Master Lu have a deep sigh and replied, “ I’m afraid that my enemy will bring lots of people and I’m afraid that I wont be able to protect myself and allow you two to be hurt. Alright then, but you two must stick with me later. With Senior Qiu around, it would be useless no matter how many people they bring!”
Huang Rong clapped her hands in delight and laughed, “ I love seeing people fight. It was so interesting that day when you defeated that Little Jin Prince.”
Master Lu replied, “ This time, it would be the Little Prince’s teacher who is much more skilful and hence I’m worried.”
Huang Rong answered, “ Ah! How do you know?”
Master Lu replied, “ Miss Huang, you wont understand these fighting matters. That claw technique which the Little Jin Prince used to attack my Ying’er’s thigh is the same as the skill used to create those finger holes on the top of the skull.”
Huang Rong answered, “ Oh, I understand now. Wang Xianzhi’s calligraphy was taught by Wang Yizhi and Wang Yizhi was taught by Lady Wei whose teacher was Zhong You. Thus, any professional would be able to guess the family or sect the calligrapher belongs to merely by looking at him works.”
Master Lu laughed, “ Miss is highly intelligent. I just have to give you a hint and you are able to understand everything. My two opponents are evil and vicious. Compared to Zhong Wang, they have smeared the reputation of their teacher and ancestors.”
Huang Rong pulled Guo Jing’s hand and said, “ Let’s see what great skill white bearded Grandpa is practicing.”
Master Lu was alarmed and said, “ Ah, don’t, don’t disturb him.”
Huang Rong laughed, “ It’s alright.” And stood up to leave.
Master Lu was sitting on the couch and could not move; he thought nervously, “ This lady is too mischievous, how can she spy on him?”
He hurriedly ordered the servants to lift up the bamboo couch and hurry to the study to stop them. When he reached, he saw both of them bending down and looking into the room through a hole made in the paper covering the window frame. When Huang Rong heard the servants’ footsteps, she hurriedly turned and signaled to them not to make a single sound, at the same time, she waved to Master Lu, asking him to come over and see.
Master Lu was afraid that if he did not go over, the little miss would throw a temper and alert Qiu Qianren. He immediately ordered the servants to walk gently and help him over to the window. When he looked through the hole Huang Rong made, he was baffled as he saw Qiu Qianren sitting cross-legged with eyes shut but smoke was continuously coming out from his mouth.
Master Lu’s teacher was highly skilled and knowledgeable. When he trained under his teacher during his younger days, he often listen to his teacher talk about the various skills of different sects and schools but he never heard of a skill in which one could breathe out smoke. He did not dare look anymore and pulled Guo Jing’s sleeve, signaling him not to look anymore. Guo Jing respected him and anyway, he never thought it proper to spy on others. Guo Jing immediately stood up and took Huang Rong by the hand, following Master Lu back to the hall.
Huang Rong giggled, “ This old fellow’s skills are fun. There’s a fire burning inside his stomach!”
Master Lu answered, “ You do not understand. This is an amazing type of internal energy.”
Huang Rong asked, “ Can he breathe out fire to burn someone?” Huang Rong was not joking was she said this, she was indeed curious over Qiu Qianren’s mysterious skills.
Master Lu replied, “ No one can breathe out fire but to be able to attain such profound internal skills would mean that he can probably injure someone by the mere use of flowers and leaves.”
Huang Rong laughed, “ Ah, tear a flower to hurt someone!”
Master Lu smiled slightly and answered, “ Miss is very smart.”
There was a poem entitled “Barbaric Buddhist” which was written by an anonymous poet during the Tang dynasty, which read:
“ When the peonies reveal real pearls, a beauty walks by the hall.
With a gentle laugh, she asks the gentleman, “ Which is prettier, the flower or the lady?” The gentleman mulls over it but answers, “ The flower is beautiful. “
The lady throws a mild tantrum and flings the smashed flower at him.”
(The underlying meaning is actually used to refer to a an insolent woman, who is not respected in the past as the ideal woman is supposed to be gentle and docile.)
The poem thus spread far and wide. Once, there was a court case in which an evil wife broke the legs of her husband. When the Tang Emperor, Xuan Zhong learnt about it, he laughed and said to his Prime Minister “ Isn’t this tearing a flower to hurt someone?”
Master Lu was relieved after he saw how powerful Qiu Qianren was. He ordered Lu Guanying to send people to inspect the lake and politely invite any suspicious-looking person back to the manor. He also ordered the servants to open the main entrance to the manor so as to welcome any guests. Evening came and the servants lit up many candles in the main hall of Gui Yun Manor. The bright lights surrounded the whole hall, as if waiting for a banquet to begin. Lu Guanying personally went to invite Qiu Qianren to the hall in which he was offered the middle host seat. Guo Jing and Huang Rong sat beside him while Master Lu and his son sat on seats beneath their tables. Master Lu made his toasts but did not dare ask Qiu Qianren the purpose of his visit and thus, only engaged in casual talk with his guests.
After the drinks, Qiu Qianren spoke out, “ Brother Lu, Gui Yun Manor is leader among all heroes of the lake, and thus your skills must be good. I wonder whether you are wiling to display a stance or two for me?”
Master Lu answered hurriedly, “ Junior’s skills are nothing compare to senior’s, I’m afraid I’ll make an embarrassment of myself. Furthermore, I have been crippled for a long time now and have given up on the skills my teacher taught me long ago.”
Qiu Qianren replied, “ Who is your teacher? I may know him.”
Master Lu gave a long sigh and his face paled. After a long while, he answered, “ Junior is dumb and rough and is unable to serve my teacher. Due to the doings of others, my teacher has disowned me. This is such a shameful story and I do not want my teacher’s name to be smeared due to this. I hope Senior understands.”
Lu Guanying thought silently, “ So father was disowned by his teacher and thus never displayed his skills. Even I don’t know what a skilled fighter he is. If it weren’t for that Jin dog who hurt me, father would never have displayed his skills. He must experienced a very devastating and hateful event in his life.” Lu Guanying was deeply saddened and disturbed by this thought.
Qiu Qianren answered, “ Brother here is at the peak of his life and is the leader of a group of heroes. Why not take this opportunity to make your name known? It will help extinguish the wrongdoings made to you and make the seniors in your school regret.”
Master Lu replied, “ Junior is crippled and is hopeless. Senior’s advice is insightful but I cannot accept it.”
Qiu Qianren answered, “ Brother is too courteous. There is a pathway but I’m not sure whether brother will agree to take it.”
Master Lu answered, “ Then I shall bother Senior here to help me out.”
Qiu Qianren laughed softly but continued eating and did not answer. Master Lu knew that this man had hidden himself for twenty years and thought, “ There must be some reason why he has resurfaced in Jiang Hu. Since he is a senior master, it is not proper for me to probe further and I can only wait for him to tell me.”
Qiu Qianren spoke, “ If brother does not want to display your skills, it’s fine by me. Gui Yun Manor is famous for it’s name and the leader must be from a famous school.”
Master Lu gave a small laugh, “ The matters in Gui Yun Manor has all along been handled by my son Guanying. His teacher is Reverend Ku Mo of Yun Qi monastery.”
Qiu Qianren answered, “ Ah, Ku Mo is a skilled fighter of Xian Xia sect which is affiliated to Shaolin. His skills are also commendable. How about Junior Master display some stances for me?”
Master Lu said, “ It is the child’s fortune to receive some pointers from Senior Qiu.”
Lu Guanying thought it rare to be able to meet such a highly skilled master and his advice would be insightful and precious and thus, had hoped to receive a few pointers. He immediately walked to the centre of the hall and said, “ Elder, please give some pointers.”
With that, he positioned himself and displayed his best stance, “The Luo Han subduing the tiger fists” which created some wind while he punched; he was indeed the disciple of a skilled martial artist. His skills were unique and he displayed for a while more before roaring out aloud which sounded like a tiger’s roar; the candle lights wavered and a gust of wind breezed past the four corners of the room. The servants felt a chilling sensation and were startled by his performance. Lu Guanying continued with a palm technique while shouting out aloud, looking very impressive. He did a flip and crouched on the floor, suddenly stretching his left palm out straightly, displaying a stance of the “Ru Lai Buddha Palm”. After a while more, his roar grew softer but the pace of his Luo Han Fists quickened and at his last stance, he attacked the ground and the force traveled and broke some bricks nearby. Lu Guanying flipped back up into position, and with his left arm into the air and his right leg kicking out, he steadily and motionlessly forming an image of a Luo Han Buddha.
Guo Jing and Huang Rong cheered out loud and shouted, “ Excellent Palm Technique!”
Lu Guanying took back his stances and stood in normal position again and turned to face Qiu Qianren who gave a slight smile.
Master Lu asked, “ How is this child’s set of palm techniques?”
Qiu Qianren answered, “ Passable.”
Master Lu said, “ If it’s far from perfect, I hope Senior gives some pointers.”
Qiu Qianren replied, “ Your son’s palm techniques can be used to build up his body but is useless when fighting an opponent.”
Master Lu answered, “ I would like to hear Senior’s comments so that he can improve.”
Guo Jing could not understand as well and thought silently, “Junior Master’s skills are not formidable, but how can Elder say that it’s useless?”
Qiu Qianren stood up and walked to the middle of the hall and returned back to his seat with a two pieces of bricks, which Lu Guanying had earlier broken. He did something with his hand and a cracking sound was heard as the brick broke into little pieces. He kneaded the pieces and it turned to powder, which floated off the table. Everyone was astonished by what they saw.
Qiu Qianren swept the dust and powder on the table into his clothes and walked to the middle of the hall before shaking off the powder onto the ground. He laughed softly as he went back to his seat and said, “ It is commendable for Junior Master to be able to break the bricks with a palm but think about this: The opponent is not a brick and will not stand there deadly, waiting for you to attack him or her. Furthermore, if the opponent’s internal energy is stronger than yours and your palm strikes him or her and she reflects the strike, you will be heavily injured yourself.”
Lu Guanying nodded silently.
Qiu Qianren sighed and continued, “ There are many martial artist these days but only a few can be considered skilled fighters.”
Huang Rong asked, “ Which few?”
Qiu Qianren replied, “ Wulin’s well-known five greats. Eastern Heretic, Western Poison, Southern Emperor, Northern Beggar and Central Divinity. However, Central Divinity Wang Chongyang has the most profound skills. As for the other four, they are skilled in their own ways. But a person has strengths as well as weakness. If one knows their weakness, it is not difficult to defeat them.”
With those words, Qiu Qianren shocked Master Lu, Huang Rong and Guo Jing. Lu Guanying did not know of the five greats and did not know why the rest were surprised. Huang Rong was actually in awe of Qiu Qianren when she saw his various display of skills but when she heard his disrespect towards her father, she was furious and gave a polite laugh before asking, “ Then if Elder can defeat the five greats, wouldn’t it be great for you?”
Qiu Qianren answered, “ Wang Chongyang has already passed away. I was caught up with some affairs at home during the Hua Shan tournament, and hence, could not attend it, allowing that old Taoist to steal the number one title. That time, five of them were competing for the “Nine Yin Manual”, saying that the most skilful fighter and winner would get the manual. They dueled for seven days and seven nights and Eastern Heretic, Western Poison, Northern Beggar and Southern Emperor lost. After that, when Wang Chongyang passed away, there was chaos again. I heard that that old Taoist passed the manual to his martial brother, Zhou Botong. Eastern Heretic, Huang Yaoshi rushed there and Zhou Botong was not his match, therefore allowing the former to steal half of the manual away. No one knows what happened later.
Huang Rong and Guo Jing thought silently, “ So there were things which happened in between. Now, half of the manual has been stolen by The Twin Killers of the Dark Winds.
Huang Rong said, “ Since Elder is the highest skilled, then the manual should belong to you!”
Qiu Qianren replied, “ I cannot be bothered to fight for it. The four greats are mediocre and have been practicing all these years so as to compete for the number one title. It would be fun to see the second Hua Shan Tournament though.”
Huang Rong asked, “ There is a second Hua Shan Tournament?”
Qiu Qianren replied, “ Once in every twenty-five years. If the old ones die, the young ones will take over. The next Hua Shan Tournament will take place in a year’s time. But all these years have passed without any outstanding talent. I think it will be us old fellows once again. Ah, there are no outstanding descendants, the skills of the future generations will not be as great as the earlier ones.” He shook his head as his spoke as if in deep regret.
Huang Rong asked, “ Is elder going to participate in the next Hua Shan Tournament? If yes, please bring us alright? I love to see people spar with each other.”
Qiu Qianren grunted, “ Ah, childish talk! How can you call that sparring? I didn’t want to go initially. I am so old already, why bother about fighting for all these useless titles? However, I have a very important matter at hand, which involves the lives of everyone. I would be a selfish and greedy person I if do not step forward to help and the matter will turn into a catastrophe.”
The four of them were astonished by his agitated tone and hurriedly asked him what was it.
Qiu Qianren answered, “ This is a highly secretive matter. Since Brother Guo and Huang are not Jiang Hu people, it’s better you don’t hear about it.”
Huang Rong laughed, “ Master Lu is my good friend, if you tell it to him, he will tell it to me.”
Master Lu secretly scolded Huang Rong for being cheeky but did not deny her words.
Qiu Qianren replied, “ Since this is so, I will tell all of you then. But before the matter is solved, I would like all of you to keep it a secret.”
Guo Jing thought silently, “ We are not related to him in anyway and since it’s a secretive issue, it’s better not to hear it.”
With that, he stood up and announced, “ Both us Junior bid our farewells.”
He pulled Huang Rong’s hand and was about to leave when Qiu Qianren replied, “ Since both of you are Master Lu’s good friends, you are not outsiders. Please sit,”
With that, he tapped Guo Jing on the shoulder. Guo Jing did not find his energy spectacular but obeyed and returned to his seat.
Qiu Qianren stood up and toasted wine to the four people before saying, “ Not more than half a year later, Great Song will be in trouble. Does anyone know why?”
The others were stunned by his serious expression. Lu Guanying waved to signal to the servants to leave the room and ordered them not to bring in any more food.
Qiu Qianren continued, “ I have gotten news that in six months time, the Jins will attack the south with a formidable army and our Song Empire will be lost. Hai, this is so sudden that we cannot do much about it.”
Guo Jing was alarmed and asked, “ Then Elder Qiu had better go and inform the imperial court and ask them to prepare and make plans to counter the enemy.”
Qiu Qianren stared at him and scolded, “ What does a young man like you know? If Great Song is prepared, they will lose out even more.”
Everyone did not understand what he was saying and looked at him in alarm.
He continued, “ I have wrecked my brains for a plan to protect the safety and happiness of the people and there is only one way to protect the country. I have traveled all the way to Jiangnan for this. I heard that the Little Jin Prince and his General, Official Duan is held in this manor. Why not we invite them for a discussion?”
Master Lu did not know how Qiu Qianren knew of this but hurriedly ordered two servants to bring them in. He ordered to have their chains removed but asked the servants to place them on the lower floor and denied them any utensils for dinning. Guo Jing and Huang Rong saw that Wanyan Kang looked weak and exhausted. Official Duan looked like he was in his early fifties and had a thick beard but he wore a frightened expression.
Qiu Qianren looked at Wanyan Kang and said, “ Little Prince has suffered.”
Wanyan Kang nodded and thought silently, “ I wonder why Guo Jing and Huang Rong are here?”
That day when he fought in Master Lu’s study, he didn’t notice them hiding in one corner. The three looked at each other but did not greet each other.
Qiu Qianren faced Master Lu and said, “ There is a plot of wealth in front of your manor but why hasn’t brother retrieved it?”
Master Lu was curious and asked, “ I live a simple, rural life? What wealth is Elder talking about?”
Qiu Qianren answered, “ When the Jin Army attacks the South, a great war will start and many lives will be lost. If brother gathers the heroes of Jiangnan and fight together, you all will banish the Jins and attain peace.”
Master Lu thought silently, “ This is a serious matter indeed.”
He answered hurriedly, “ It is my honor to help fight for my country and something that I am responsible for. I am loyal to my country but the imperial court does not appreciate it. If a person is evil, even if he becomes a priest, it is useless if he still does not have the right morals. I hope Senior creates a pathway for me and Junior will be more than grateful. And I do not crave for any wealth or rewards.”
Qiu Qianren stroked his beard and laughed out aloud. He was about the answer when the housekeeper rushed forward and said, “ Leader Zhang has spotted six suspicious-looking people on the lake. They have already reached the Manor.”
Master Lu paled and called out, “ Invite them in quickly.”
He thought silently, “ Why are there six people? Could it be that The Twin Killers of The Dark Winds have found helpers?”
------------------------------(END of Chapter 13)--------------------------------
Last edited by sunnysnow; 05-23-06 at 01:36 PM.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.