After being bitten by the dogs, Zhang Wuji had lost a considerable amount of blood, his body was weakened. This time the injuries he suffered were not light, he was unconscious for several days. After his mind cleared up, he wrote his own prescription and asked the servant to prepare the medication and feed it to him, then his recovery was quicker. Seeing his divine-like medical ability, Zhu Changling was surprised and impressed.
Within these twenty-some days of recovering, Zhu Jiuzhen often came to accompany Zhang Wuji by his bed, singing or guessing riddles, telling him stories, or simply chatting and joking, just like a big sister taking care of her ailing little brother, very attentive and considerate with meticulous care. After Zhang Wuji was strong enough to get up, Zhu Jiuzhen was still spending most of her days with Zhang Wuji. When it was time for her to train martial art with her father, she did not try to shun Zhang Wuji away; she always called him to watch on the side.
Zhu Changling had hinted twice that he had the intention of taking Zhang Wuji under his tutelage to inherit his entire martial art skill, but seeing a lack of response on Zhang Wuji’s side, he no longer brought it up. But he still treated Zhang Wuji with kindness, not different than if he were one his own disciples.
The Zhu family martial art was closely related to calligraphy. Zhu Jiuzhen was required to practice writing every day, and she always had Zhang Wuji accompany her studying the books. Ever since Zhang Wuji left the Bing Huo [ice and fire] Island and came to the Central Earth, he had always wandered alone in desperation, laden with grief and misery, when had he experienced this kind of peaceful and happy days?
In the blink of an eye it was already past the middle of the second month. This particular day Zhang Wuji and Zhu Jiuzhen were practicing their calligraphy in a little study room when Xiao Feng the maid came in and reported, “Miss, Yao Er Ye [second master Yao] has returned from the Central Plains.”
Zhu Jiuzhen was very happy; she tossed the pen brush away and called out, “Good! I have been waiting for him for more than half a year, now he finally comes.” Pulling Zhang Wuji’s hand along he said, “Wuji Di [little brother Wuji], come and take a look, I wonder what neat things Yao Ershu [second (younger) uncle] bought for me this time.” Two people walked hand-in-hand toward the main hall.
“Who is Yao Ershu?” Zhang Wuji asked.
“He is my father’s sworn brother,” Zhu Jiuzhen replied, “He is known as ‘Qian Li Zhui Feng’ [pursuing the wind for thousand ‘li’] Yao Qingquan. Last year my father asked him to deliver a gift to the Central Plains. I asked him to buy some rouge cosmetics and silk fabrics from Hangzhou, and embroidery needles and patterns from Suzhou, also some Huimo [Anhui ink, known for its quality] brush and ink. I wonder if he managed to buy everything.” She explained further that the Zhu family manor was located in remote Kunlun mountain range of the western region, and that fine and delicate articles could not be bought within several thousand ‘li’ from where they were. Kunlun Mountain was tens of thousands ‘li’ away from the Central Earth, to make a round trip between two places would required two, three years; therefore, if anybody was going to the Central Plains, Zhu Jiuzhen would ask him to buy large quantities of goods.
As the two of them were near the hall, they were shocked to hear the sound of crying and weeping. Upon entering the hall, their shock was even greater, since they saw Zhu Changling and a tall and slim middle-aged man were kneeling on the floor, weeping. The man was wearing white mourning garment with a straw belt on his waist.
Zhu Jiuzhen went toward and man and called out, "Yao Ershu!"
With a loud wailing Zhu Changling called out, "Zhen'Er, Zhen'Er, our great benefactor, Zhang Wu Ye [fifth master Zhang], Zhang ... Zhang Wu Ye ... he .. he ... he died!"
Zhu Jiuzhen was startle. "How can that be?" she asked, "Zhang En Gong [benefactor master (see also my note on 'Gong' earlier] ... has been missing for ten years. So he did not return safely?"
Sobbing, Yao Qingquan said, "We live remotely so we did not receive timely information. Turned out more than four years ago Zhang En Gong and Madame committed suicide together. I heard this news on the way at Shanxi, before I even went up Mount Wudang. Upon my arrival on the mountain, I met Song Da Xia and Yu Er Xia [first hero Song and second hero Yu, respectively]. Only then did I know the truth, ay ..."
The more Zhang Wuji listened; his shock grew until finally his doubts were gone. The one they referred as 'the great benefactor, the fifth master Zhang' was his own father, Zhang Cuishan. Seeing saw Zhu Changling and Yao Qingquan were crying bitterly while Zhu Jiuzhen was also weeping with tears coming down her face, Zhang Wuji was unable to bear the urge to step forward and reveal his real identity, but then he changed his mind, "All along I did not tell them my origin, if I reveal the truth now, it is most likely that Zhu Bofu [father's elder brother, general respectful term to address an older man] and Zhen Jie [older sister] would not believe me. Perhaps they would think that I am merely trying to buy their sympathy, and then they would look down on me."
Not too long afterwards, there came a loud noise of weeping from the inner courtyard. Mrs. Zhu, holding on a maid's shoulder, walked into the hall, while repeatedly asking Yao Qingquan question after question. In his grief and indignation, Yao Qingquan forgot to pay his respects toward the sworn sister-in-law. Immediately he narrated again how Zhang Cuishan committed suicide.
Zhang Wuji tried hard to suppress his emotions. He did not cry openly,but tears rained down on his face. Everybody in the hall was crying, so nobody paid him any attention.
Suddenly Zhu Changling raised his palm and 'crack!' he struck the octagonal table by his side that it broke in two. "Er Di [second (younger) brother]," he said, "Tell me clearly, who had forced En Gong and En Sao [benefactor sister-in-law] to their deaths on Mount Wudang?"
"As soon as I heard the information, I should have returned quickly to report this matter to Dage [big brother]," Yao Qingquan said, "But I thought investigating the enemies' names was more important. Turned out the people who went up Mount Wudang and forced En Gong to his death were under the leadership of the Shaolin Three Divine Monks, the number of people was indeed not a few. Xiao Di [little brother – referring to self] secretly investigated everywhere, and thus was delayed several days.” Thereupon he named the people from Shaolin, Kongtong, Emei, and other ‘Pai’ [sect], and then Hai Sha [lit. sand of the ocean], Ju Jing [gigantic whale], Shen Quan [divine fist], Wu Shan [Mount Wu, located on the Changjiang River by the Three Gorges], and other ‘Bang Hui’ [clan and society], who had gone up Mount Wudang to coerce Zhang Cuishan, such as Abbot Kong Wen, Reverend Kong Zhi, He Taichong, Jing Xuan Shitai, Guan Neng, and many other names.
Zhu Changling grimly said, “Er Di, these people are among the best of the Wulin characters of the present age; we can’t provoke even one of those people. However, Zhang Wu Ye’s kindness on us was as heavy as the mountain; we must avenge his deep enmity even if our bodies were ground into powder and our bones were broken into pieces.”
Wiping his tears, Yai Qingquan said, “Dage is right, we owe our two lives to Zhang Wu Ye. In any case we are able to live these dozen of years, so if we must lose our lives for Zhang Wu Ye’s sake, that is only appropriate. What Xiao Di regrets most is that I was not able to meet Zhang Wu Ye’s young master; otherwise I would be able to convey Dage’s good intention. It would be best if we can invite him here, then we can give him everything we have and take a good care of him the rest of his life.”
Mrs. Zhu prattled incessantly, asking in details about this Zhang Gongzi [young master]. Yao Qingquan only knew that he was seriously injured, but he did not know where he had gone to seek treatment. It seemed to be that this child was only eight, nine years old that year. Supposedly Zhang Sanfeng, Zhang Zhenren [lit. real/true person, a respectful term to address a Taoist priest] was going to pass his entire martial art skillon to him, so that in the future he could take over the Sect Leader position of Wudang Pai.
Zhu Changling, husband and wife immediately kneeled down to express their thanks to the Heaven and the Earth for the future Sect Leader Zhang.
Yao Qingquan said, "Dage asked me to deliver thousand-year-old king ginseng, snow lotus herb from Tianshan, jade lion paper weight, black gold dagger and other things for Zhang En Gong; Xiao Di has left everything on Mount Wudang, asking Song Da Xia to hand them over to Zhang Gongzi."