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Thread: Bordertown Wanderer (cont.)

  1. #61
    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    [Hah! CC, I see you've been dragged in once more! Reading Bordertown Wanderer puts a whole new perspective on Tianya, doesn't it? It makes his relationship with Zhou Ting/Xiao Ting all the more poignant as well...
    Ha! Whenever _The_ dagger appears, wild horses wouldn't keep me away!

    The way I read it, Yi Dajing's life wasn't saved by Ah Fei. Lu Xiaojia was also not saved by Ah Fei.

    It was Little Li's Flying Dagger which saved them.
    Last edited by CC; 07-29-09 at 03:45 AM.
    Its BIxie Jianfa Gawdammit you guys!!!!

  2. #62
    Senior Member Justin13's Avatar
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    Thanks RWX,

    by the way, how many chapters is this whole thing?

    Justin

  3. #63
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    Whoa...now who in the hell is THIS guy, really? The scene with him killing the family is the closest I've seen yet to Horizon, Bright Moon. I was beginning to think that FHX was getting a bit soft....thank God I was wrong.

  4. #64
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Wow...great posts Ren! Thank you!

    Wonder who really threw the dagger and set off the bloodbath at the Guo's residence. Definitely not YK.

    Thanks again Ren!!!

  5. #65
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Chapter 40: New Hatred Piled on Old

    Wang Dahong slowly walked away. After taking two steps, he suddenly turned around!

    A flash of light from the bluish green sword. It was already piercing towards the left side of Fu Hongxue’s upper body.

    No one could have anticipated this sudden change in events, much less a lover who was intoxicated with the embrace of his partner.

    Fu Hongxue was tightly holding Cui Nong with both hands. His entire upper body was exposed, making it the perfect target.

    Not only was this sword both quick and cruel, it was aimed precisely at the weak spot of the enemy.

    In order to deliver such a thrust, this man clearly had trained for many years. He had totally released the power of many years worth of compressed hatred with this strike!

    Not only did Fu Hongxue not see this strike, he didn’t seem to notice it whatsoever.

    But Cui Nong happened to open her eyes at just this moment, happened to see the shadow on the wall.

    Without even pausing to think, she suddenly used all her strength to push Fu Hongxue aside and use her own body to guard against this strike.

    With a flash, the sword entered her back.

    An indescribable pain. She felt as though her entire body had been mangled and ruptured.

    But her eyes were still focused on Fu Hongxue.

    She knew that after today, she might never see Fu Hongxue again. So right now, she wanted to continue looking at him as long as she could.

    She gritted her teeth, not allowing herself to faint.

    No one could possibly describe the expression on her face at this moment, nor could anyone understand it.

    It wasn’t just sorrow. It was also gratification.

    Because although she was about to die, Fu Hongxue would be able to continue living.

    Because she finally was able to let Fu Hongxue know how sincere and how profound her love for him was.

    The corners of her lips even seemed to carry a hint of a sweet smile within them.

    Because although her life might have been mean and low, her death was a great and noble death.

    Finally, her life had value.

    Fu Hongxue collapsed onto the bed again. He stared at her, stared at her eyes, filled with both pain and comfort. Stared at her smile, which was miserable and yet sweet.

    His heart was shattered.

    Staring at him, Cui Nong finally managed to force out a single sentence.

    “You must believe me, I really didn’t know who he was, or that he wanted to hurt you.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “I…I believe you.”

    He forcefully gnashed his teeth, but was helpless to prevent hot tears from gushing forth from his eyes.

    Cui Nong smiled beautifully, then suddenly collapsed. Her beautiful, pale face had already turned a deathly black.

    The short sword was still in her back.

    The thin, sharp point had penetrated into a bone joint and become stuck there.

    Wang Dahong wasn’t able to immediately pull it out, and so he could only release it and retreat, one step at a time.

    He wanted to retreat, hoping that Fu Hongxue would forget about him, in the midst of his intense sorrow and pain.

    Fu Hongxue truly didn’t spare him a single glance. All he did was spit out two words from between his ground teeth.

    “Don’t move!”

    No one can describe the amount of hatred and bile contained within these two words. No one can even imagine it.

    Beneath the lamp light, Wang Dahong’s honest face had become as hideous and as ugly as that of a demon.

    But he stopped moving nonetheless.

    Within Fu Hongxue’s voice, there was a power great enough to awe even gods and demons.

    The power of hatred.

    Wang Dahong suddenly grinned hideously. “You must know who I am.”

    Fu Hongxue nodded.

    Wang Dahong said, “I’m someone who has come to take your life!”

    Fu Hongxue calmly said, “Are you also one of the assassins who were outside the Plum Blossom Convent that night?”

    Wang Dahong said, “No. The only person I want to kill is you!”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Why?”

    Wang Dahong sneered, “If you can kill others, why can’t others kill you?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “I don’t know you.”

    Wang Dahong said, “You didn’t know Guo Wei either, but you killed him. You even killed that poor little kid.”

    Fu Hongxue’s heart had already sank. “Are you here to take revenge on their behalf?”

    Wang Dahong said, “No.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “What are you doing this for?”

    Wang Dahong said, “There are many reasons to kill. Hatred is only one of them.”

    He smirked, then continued, “That kid had never harmed a single person in his entire life, and he definitely didn’t kill anyone. But now, he’s dead by your hands. What about you? How many people have you killed? Were all of your victims people who deserved death?”

    Fu Hongxue suddenly felt as though his hands and feet were ice cold.

    Wang Dahong said, “As long as you kill a single person, an innumerable amount of people will want to kill you! If you wrongly kill so much as a single person, then you never again have the right to ask others why they want to kill you!”

    Fu Hongxue slowly stood up. Bending down, he lightly picked up Cui Nong’s hand.

    Her hands used to be warm and soft. Only when these two hands were holding him could he temporarily forget that all-encompassing hatred, could his heart temporarily be at peace.

    But now, her hands had turned cold and stiff.

    He didn’t cry. He just stared stupidly at her, as though he had already forgotten Wang Dahong’s existence.

    His pale face seemed to have become totally expressionless.

    But his other hand was tightly gripping his sabre.

    A pitch-black sabre. So black, it could break a person’s heart.

    Anyone who saw that sabre would suddenly feel a bone-piercing cold rise up from the soles of their feet.

    Wang Dahong saw the sabre. His hands and feet seemed to suddenly turn cold and stiff.

    Fu Hongxue still didn’t even spare him a glance. “You can kill me. Anyone can kill me. But you should not have killed her.”

    His voice was distant and strange, as though it were coming from a faraway mountain, or perhaps from the netherworld.

    “I don’t care who you are, nor do I care why you have come. You killed her. So I will kill you!”

    Wang Dahong’s face turned grey, but he continued to sneer. “Do you still have the strength to pull out your sabre?”

    Fu Hongxue didn’t respond.

    He only slowly rose to his feet, then slowly walked towards Wang Dahong, the hilt of his sabre gripped tightly in his hand.

    A pitch-black sheath. Pitch-black pupils.

    Those pitch-black pupils stared unblinkingly at Wang Dahong’s throat.

    Wang Dahong’s breathing suddenly stopped, as though a pair of invisible steel hands had suddenly gripped his throat.

    He no longer retreated, because he knew that there was no longer anywhere to flee to.

    Although the sabre had not yet been unsheathed, his entire body seemed to have become enveloped by the sabre’s shadow.

    The giant, dark shadow pressed down on his heart, forcing it to sink lower and lower, until it felt as though it had been pressed into the deepest layers of the netherworld, where redemption is impossible.

    Fu Hongxue had already walked to him. Although his gait was strange and clumsy, so long as he was gripping his sabre in his hand, no one would ever consider him to be a cripple.

    He seemed to have become one with his sabre.

    Wang Dahong looked at the sabre. He suddenly let out a long sigh.

    Fu Hongxue said, “You already regret it?”

    Wang Dahong nodded. He glumly said, “I only regret that I didn’t listen to someone’s advice.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “What advice.”

    Wang Dahong said, “He advised me to first destroy your sabre.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Destroy my sabre?”

    Wang Dahong said, “Although this sabre isn’t very special, to you, it holds a very special value.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Oh?”

    Wang Dahong said, “Because this sabre is just like a crutch to you. Without this sabre, you’d be nothing more than a pitiable cripple. Only when you are gripping this sabre can you stand up straight.”

    A flame seemed to be burning on Fu Hongxue’s pale face.

    Wang Dahong paid attention to the expression on his face. “Obviously, I wasn’t the one who said these words, because I don’t know you, nor do I understand you.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Who said these words?”

    Wang Dahong said, “A person.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Who?”

    Wang Dahong said, “Why should I tell you?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Did this person tell you to come kill me?”

    Wang Dahong said, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”

    A very strange expression appeared on his face. He continued, “No matter what, you’ll never find out who he is, nor will you ever be able to guess…”

    With these words, he all but admitted that someone had asked him to come here to kill Fu Hongxue.

    He himself really didn’t have a good reason to kill Fu Hongxue.

    Although there are many people in the world who will kill for no good reason, he definitely isn’t such a person.

    Someone who could design such a thorough, intricate, and vile plan to murder someone, definitely isn’t that sort of person.

    Fu Hongxue suddenly lifted his head up. His pitch-black pupils began to burn, as his fiery eyes gazed upon the man’s face.

    But the expression on Wang Dahong’s face actually became calmer. He coldly said, “Why haven’t you drawn your sabre?”

    Fu Hongxue was silent. After a long time, he slowly said, “Because I don’t understand.”

    Wang Dahong said, “Don’t understand?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “I don’t understand why you are willing to die on another’s behalf.”

    Wang Dahong said, “Die on another’s behalf?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “All you are is someone else’s tool. You aren’t worth me killing.”

    Wang Dahong said, “Oh?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “The person I should kill is the one who told you to kill me.”

    Wang Dahong said, “If I tell you who that person is, you’d let me off?”

    Fu Hongxue coldly said, “I told you. Someone like you isn’t worth me killing.”

    Wang Dahong suddenly became silent. Clearly, he was considering.

    Fu Hongxue’s offer really was quite tempting. Anybody would consider it.

    So long as there is a chance to survive, I believe that no one really wishes for death.

    Fu Hongxue didn’t rush him.

    When someone is mulling over a decision, if you rush them or pressure them, you’ll often get results which are opposite of what you desired.

    Fu Hongxue understood this logic as well.

    After a long time, Wang Dahong suddenly said, “You should be able to tell that I’m not a gentleman.”

    Fu Hongxue was silent, but tacitly agreed.

    Wang Dahong said, “Someone like me would be willing to betray anybody in order to save my own life.”

    Fu Hongxue coldly said, “I’m not stupid.”

    Wang Dahong said, “So I have a question for you.”

    Fu Hongxue waited for him to ask.

    Wang Dahong said, “How can I know for sure that you are capable of killing me right now? Maybe you aren’t my match right now, in which case, why should I reveal the secrets of others to you?”

    Fu Hongxue didn’t respond to this question.

    He just quietly stood there, staring at the man. After a long time, he slowly said, “I should have chopped an ear off earlier to make you believe me.”

    Wang Dahong said, “Oh?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “But not only is a person like you not worth me killing, you aren’t even worth me drawing my sabre for.”

    Wang Dahong said, “Oh.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “But I need to make you understand something.”

    Wang Dahong said, “What?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “I don’t need my sabre to kill you.”

    Wang Dahong laughed.

    Naturally, he didn’t believe that Fu Hongxue would put the sabre down.

    But just at this moment, just as he was laughing, Fu Hongxue put his sabre down, placing it on the table.

    He seemed to have become determined to prove something. Even without this sabre, he could still stand.

    Wang Dahong appeared very surprised. Just as the slightest hint of shock began to emerge on his face, a short sword appeared in his hands, a short sword which flickered with a cruel bluish green light.

    With a flash, the sword pierced towards Fu Hongxue’s chest.

    Wang Dahong obviously wasn’t a merchant, and ‘Wang Dahong’ obviously wasn’t his real name.

    When he thrust with that sword, anyone could tell that he was a famous swordsman and an expert killer.

    His sword techniques were venomous and fierce. Although it wasn’t filled with complicated and deceptive transformations, it was very effective at taking lives.

    This sword struck out like the forked tongue of a venomous viper.

    Fu Hongxue could no longer block with his sabre. The sabre was no longer in his hand.

    But he still had his hand.

    His hand was pale white.

    With a flicker of his body, his pale white hand suddenly snatched at the sword.

    He seemed to have forgotten that his hands were made of flesh and blood, not steel. He seemed to have forgotten that he didn’t have his sabre in his hands.

    Was this because to him, his hand and his sabre had long since become one?

    Was this because he never adopted the habit of being empty handed?

    The sword dripped with poison. If his hand was even slightly nicked, he would immediately collapse.

    Wang Dahong’s sword continued forward. Naturally, he wasn’t willing to change his move. He hoped that Fu Hongxue would grab his sword. The harder, the better.

    Truly intelligent people will never take others for idiots.

    Someone who takes others to be idiots will often discover at the very end that those others weren’t the real idiots. He himself was.

    Wang Dahong thought that Fu Hongxue truly was an idiot.

    Aside from an idiot, who would use his own hand to grab a sharp, poison-covered sword?

    Perhaps his earlier agitation had resulted in mental problems.

    Wang Dahong was about to laugh out loud.

    All of this happened in the blink of an eye, so naturally, his laughter hadn’t actually come out yet.

    He also knew that the speed of this strike was diminished, because he had used it previously.

    Since he had missed his opponent with this strike earlier, he should have used a different one this time.

    But right now, he was just waiting for Fu Hongxue to grab the sword.

    Right at this moment, he felt his vision suddenly become blurry. The pale hand had suddenly struck him across his dark face.

    At the very last second, Fu Hongxue’s attack had suddenly changed directions. The change was fast, unimaginably fast.

    He only felt that everything in front of him had suddenly gone dark, and fainted. He could no longer feel anything.

    Only when he regained consciousness did he realize that he had collapsed into one corner of the room. Blood still flowed from his nose, and his face felt as though it was being stabbed by needles. His left cheekbone had disintegrated, and the bridge of his nose had changed position.

    When he was able to lift his head up, he realized that his sword was already in Fu Hongxue’s hand.

    Fu Hongxue stared at this sword. Only after a long time did he turn to face him. He coldly said, “This sword isn’t yours, is it.”

    Wang Dahong shook his head.

    Fu Hongxue said, “You yourself use a longsword.”

    Wang Dahong nodded.

    When someone used to using a longsword suddenly switches to using a shortsword, their attacks naturally will suddenly become faster, but their positioning and use of force will no longer be so accurate.

    He himself was very clear about this as well.

    Fu Hongxue said, “That person gave you this sword as well?”

    Wang Dahong nodded again.

    Fu Hongxue suddenly tossed the sword to the floor. “If you want to give it another shot, you can go ahead and pick up this sword again.”

    Wang Dahong shook his head again. He didn’t even dare to glance at the sword.

    His courage had completely crumbled.

    Fu Hongxue coldly said, “Why don’t you want to try again? Right now, I still don’t have a sabre in my hand. I’m nothing more than a pitiable cripple.”

    Wang Dahong said, “You are not.”

    He suddenly let out a long sigh. “Nor are you an idiot.”

    Someone who takes others to be idiots will often discover at the very end that those others weren’t the real idiots. He himself was.

    He finally realized this.

    Fu Hongxue said, “Are you now willing to reveal who this person is?”

    Wang Dahong suddenly let out another long sigh. “Even if I told you, it’d be useless.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Why?”

    Wang Dahong said, “Because you definitely wouldn’t believe me.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “I believe you.”

    Hesitating, Wang Dahong said, “But can I believe you? You’d really let me go?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “I’ve already said so once before.”

    For some people, saying something once is more than enough.

    Wang Dahong finally relaxed. “That person was originally your friend. No one knows more about your whereabouts than he.”

    Fu Hongxue suddenly tightened his fists, as though he had dimly guessed at who this person was.

    He had no friends.

    But in this entire world, perhaps there really was a single person who could, with an stretch, be considered his friend, because Fu Hongxue was already beginning to experience the pain and anger of being betrayed by a friend.

    But he still wasn’t willing to believe it, couldn’t bear to believe it. And thus, he couldn’t resist asking further.

    “What is his name?”

    Wang Dahong said, “His name is…”

    Suddenly, a flash of a dagger.

    Just a single flash, faster than a bolt of lightning. And then, all sound came to an end.

    Wang Dahong would never be able to speak that person’s name, nor did he need to.

    The dagger explained everything.

    With a flash, the dagger plunged itself into Li Mahu’s arm.

    With a flash, the dagger killed that innocent child.

    Now, with another flash, Wang Dahong’s mouth was silenced.

    Three daggers that looked identical, came out with identical speed, and carried an identical fearsomeness.

    Naturally, all three daggers came from the same person.

    Wang Dahong’s eyes bulged out. Opening his mouth, his tongue lolled out. His larynx had already been severed by this dagger. He died very quickly.

    But he died with an everlasting regret.

    Even in death, he couldn’t believe that this person would kill him.

    Nor could Fu Hongxue believe it.

    He wasn’t willing to believe it, couldn’t bear to believe it. But now, he had no choice but to believe it.

    A dagger which cannot be seen is the most frightening type of dagger.

    A man who is capable of hiding his true self is the most frightening type of man.

    Fu Hongxue suddenly felt that Ye Kai the man was far more frightening than that lightning-like dagger.

    The dagger was shot out from outside the window, but there was no one outside.

    Night. Autumn night.

    It was deep in the night. It was deep into autumn.

    The rainstorm had come to a rest, and the dim light of stars was reflected in the puddles of water on the ground.

    Holding Cui Nong, Fu Hongxue walked through the puddles of water, shattering the starlight. His heart also seemed to have been trampled upon, been shattered.

    The wind was very light, so light it seemed like Cui Nong’s breathing.

    But Cui Nong had stopped breathing long ago. Her warm, soft body had already become cold and stiff. Her boundless lovesickness for him, her boundless gentleness, had already been transformed into a pool of righteous blood.

    But Fu Hongxue held her all the more tightly, as though he were afraid she might escape from his embrace.

    But this time, she definitely wouldn’t leave. She totally belonged to him now. She would forever belong to him.

    The spring water flowed down from the mountain peaks. The top of the hill he was on was right after the small bridge over the stream.

    He walked forward without stopping. He walked through the pools of water, tread across the bridge, and passed through to the top of the hill, always seeking to go higher and higher.

    The stars had become scarce. The earliest rays of dawn were about to set across the land.

    He reached the peak of the mountain and knelt down in the midst of the rising sunlight. He gently placed her down.

    The golden sunlight shone across her face, seeming to cover her dead, gray face with a holy light.

    What she did in her life didn’t matter. Her death had washed away all the grime and filth from her soul.

    What, in all the world, is more holy than giving up one’s own life for someone else? Is more noble?

    Kneeling at the mountain peak, he buried her beneath the sun.

    From now to the end of time, the first rays of the rising sun in the east would always shine upon her grave.

    Sunlight is eternal. Just like love.

    But sometimes, love grows dim, just like sunlight.

    The sun rose, and then it set.

    By the time Fu Hongxue left the mountain, it was already the second night.

    After suffering through a severe illness, then receiving a blow which almost no one can withstand, what did he have left?

    Aside from pain, grief, anger, and hatred, what did he have left?

    There was fear.

    A fear of being alone.

    From now on, he would never, ever see her again. How could he possibly extricate himself from that eternal loneliness and solitude?

    This type of fear is the only thing which no one at all can endure.

    One can neither endure it, nor extricate one’s self from it. The only choice was to flee from it, even for just a brief period of time.

    There was still wine for sale at the small town beneath the mountain.

    It didn’t matter if the wine was bitter-tasting or sour. He just wanted to get totally drunk, even though he knew that after he awoke from his drunken stupor, his pain would be all the greater.

    Being drunk definitely couldn’t solve anything. Perhaps there are people who might laugh at his foolishness.

    Only people who have truly experienced loneliness and heartbreak will understand how he felt.

    The lamp was still lit in the inn. Tightly grasping his sabre, he walked towards it.

    He was drunk.

    He had become drunk very quickly.

    When a man is in poor health and in pain, he gets drunk very quickly.

    The very last thing he could remember was the proprietress walking towards him from behind the counter and offering him a large bowl of wine in a toast.

    This proprietress was around forty years of age. Her pudgy face was caked in rouge and powder. All she needed to do was laugh, and the powder on her face would fall into the bowl.

    But she had excellent alcohol tolerance.

    He only remembered himself offering her a toast as well, and then everything else was a blank.

    His entire life had turned into a blank.

    Only someone who has truly been drunk before will understand the situation.

    It wasn’t a stupor. It was even worse than stupor. He had already totally lost control over his body. Even he himself would never know what terrible things he had done.

    No matter how drunk you are, you will eventually wake up.

    When he came to, he realized he was sleeping in a very dirty room, and on a very dirty bed.

    The room was filled with a nauseating, vomit-inducing smell of alcohol and cosmetic powders. That obese proprietress was sleeping by his side. She was naked, and her fat arm was draped around him.

    He himself was naked as well. He could even feel the warm, flabby flesh of her upper thighs.

    He suddenly wanted to vomit.

    What exactly had he done last night?

    He didn’t even dare to think about it.

    The corpse of the lover who had died for him had not yet grown cold, while he himself was sleeping in the same bed with a woman the size of a pig.

    How could life suddenly become so base, so obscene?

    He wanted to vomit. He wanted to vomit out his heart, place it on the ground, then trample it.

    To put it in a furnace and burn it to ashes.

    That pitch-black sabre lay with his clothes, discarded haphazardly on the floor.

    He jumped up and dressed with the fastest speed possible, but suddenly felt a fat hand grab him.

    “You’re going to leave?”

    Fu Hongxue gritted his teeth and nodded.

    On her face, covered in smudged powder and rouge, there was a look of shock and disappointment. “How can you leave? Just last night, you promised me that you would stay here with me for the rest of our lives.”

    Loneliness. Terrifying loneliness.

    When a person is both truly lonely and drunken, it’s as though he’s drowning in a pool of water. So long as he can grab onto something, he’ll never wish to let go.

    But that which said person grabs on to will often make him sink even faster.

    Fu Hongxue felt his entire body go ice cold. He wished that he had never come to this place.

    “Come, come sleep. Let us once more…”

    This woman was still tugging at him forcefully, as though she wished to pull him into her chest.

    Fu Hongxue’s entire body began to tremble. With a burst of strength, he suddenly pulled free from her. Retreating to a corner, he tightly gripped his sabre as he said, in a shuddering voice, “I will kill you. If you say another word, I will kill you.”

    This lonely, pale young man suddenly seemed to have transformed into a wounded beast.

    She stared at him, shocked, as though someone had heavily struck her across the face. Then she suddenly began to cry loudly. “Fine, then go ahead and kill me. You said you wouldn’t leave, but now you’re leaving…it’s better if you just kill me now.”

    Loneliness. Terrifying loneliness.

    She was also a human being. She, too, understood how terrifying loneliness could be. When she was holding on to Fu Hongxue, she, too, was like a drowning person holding on to a piece of driftwood, believing that she would never sink down again.

    But now, all hope had been transformed into disappointment.

    Fu Hongxue didn’t even spare her another glance. He couldn’t bear to look at her, nor did he wish to look at her.

    Like a beast escaping from its cage, he forcefully pushed the door open and charged out.

    There were people on the street walking about. Everyone stared at him in surprise.

    But he himself couldn’t see anything. He just charged forwards like a madman, rushing past the main street and out of the town.

    When he came to a stop, he immediately began to vomit, vomit unceasingly. It seemed as though he were about to puke all of himself out.

    And then he collapsed, falling beneath the withered and yellow leaves of a tree.

    A gust of wind passed by. The yellow leaves fell upon his body.

    But he no longer felt anything. He no longer had anything. Even his pain had turned into numbness.

    He didn’t know what place this was, nor what time it was. He just lay there, as though he were waiting for others to walk over him.

    Now, the only thing he had left was hatred.

    Out of all the emotions known to mankind, perhaps hatred is the most difficult to discard of all.

    He hated himself. He hated Ma Kongqun.

    But he hated Ye Kai most of all.

    Because towards Ye Kai, he didn’t just feel hatred. He also felt that he had been deceived, that he had been humiliated.

    Perhaps this was because in the deepest recesses of his heart, he had always considered Ye Kai to be a friend.

    If you have loved someone, when you hate them, your hatred will be all the deeper for it.

    This sort of hatred was far fresher, far fiercer than the hatred he felt for Ma Kongqun.

    It was far fiercer than any other emotion known to mankind!

    Now, he had nothing at all. If it weren’t for this hatred, he might not be able to continue living.

    He swore to continue living.

    He swore to get revenge. On Ma Kongqun, and on Ye Kai!

    After the rainstorm of last night, the earth was soft and moist. The muddy earth was fragrant and pregnant with life.

    No matter what type of person you are, no matter how noble or common you are, the earth treats you the same.

    You can always depend on it, have faith in it.

    Fu Hongxue lay on the ground for a long, long time, as though he wished to suck in all the life force from the earth.

    People had passed by and glanced at him. They sighed, then shook their heads and left.

    He knew, but he didn’t move.

    “He’s so young, but so useless. Why’s he lying here and pretending to be dead?”

    “Even if a young person has received some setbacks, they should bestir themselves and be strong. There’s no point in pretending to be dead.”

    Some sighed. Some mocked.

    Fu Hongxue heard it all, but still did not move.

    The pain and wounds he had suffered were too great. He no longer cared one whit about the ridicule of others.

    Naturally, he would eventually stand up. But now was not yet the time. Because he was punishing himself, but hadn’t punished himself enough yet.

    No matter what, his sabre was still in his hand.

    A pale hand. A pitch-black sabre.

    A person’s voice suddenly lightly cried out, “It’s him!”

    It was a woman’s voice. A woman he knew.

    But he still didn’t move. It didn’t matter who she was. Fu Hongxue only wished she would leave quickly.

    Right now, he didn’t want to see others. Even less did he want others to see him.

    But this woman refused to leave. Instead, she sneered. “How is it that young master Fu, who kills without blinking, is now lying here on the ground like a feral dog? Did someone break your heart?”

    Fu Hongxue’s stomach suddenly contracted. He almost threw up.

    He recognized this woman’s voice.

    Ma Fangling!

    The person he least wanted to see at this moment was her, but she just had to appear at this moment.

    Fu Hongxue tightly gritted his teeth. His hand clenched tightly over a fistful of mud, as though he were gripping his heart.

    But Ma Fangling only coldly sneered again. “If you are in such pain over miss Cui Nong, it really isn’t worth it. She’s always been my father’s woman. Didn’t you know that?”

    Her words were like a needle, or perhaps a whip.

    Fu Hongxue suddenly jumped to his feet, glaring at her hatefully with his totally bloodshot eyes.

    He looked both pathetic and terrifying.

    If this was the past, Ma Fangling definitely wouldn’t dare to speak again, either out of pity or fear. She wouldn’t continue to hurt him.

    But now, Ma Fangling had changed.

    She used to hate him, fear him, but also have an indescribable shred of feeling towards him.

    But now, she seemed to look down upon him. This young man who once hurt and wounded her was now totally unworthy of being taken seriously. It seemed as though so long as she wished it, she could lash him with a whip as she pleased.

    Sneering, she continued, “To tell you the truth, I knew from the very start that she would throw you away, sooner or later, just like how she threw away Ye Kai for you. Aside from my father, she’s never respected any man.”

    Fu Hongxue’s pale face suddenly turned red. His breathing became rapid. “You’ve said enough.”

    Ma Fangling said, “You don’t like to hear the words that I have to say?”

    Blue veins bulged on the hand with which Fu Hongxue gripped his sabre. He slowly said, “If you say so much as another word, I will kill you.!”

    But Ma Fangling only laughed.

    When she began to laugh, someone suddenly appeared by her side.

    A very tall, very spirited young man in brocade cloth, who had an insufferably arrogant look on his face.

    He definitely had reason to feel proud of himself.

    Not only was he tall and vigorous, he was also extremely handsome. Beneath his sword-like eyebrows, he had a pair of shining eyes. The clothes he wore were gaudy and extravagant.

    Anyone could tell that this was a peremptory, arrogant young man. If he wanted to do something, he would do it, heedless of the costs. Very few people could hold him back.

    Now, he was staring at Fu Hongxue with those shining eyes of his. He coldly said, “What did you just say?”

    Fu Hongxue suddenly understood why Ma Fangling had changed.

    That young man wearing brocade repeated, “Did you say you were going to kill her?”

    Fu Hongxue nodded.

    The young man wearing brocade said, “Do you know who she is to me?”

    Fu Hongxue shook his head.

    The young man wearing brocade said, “She’s my wife.”

    Fu Hongxue suddenly smirked. “Then if she says another word, you can go find yourself another girl to be your wife.”

    The young man’s face sunk. In a fierce voice, he said, “Do you know who I am?”

    Fu Hongxue shook his head again.

    The young man said, “My surname is Ding.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Oh.”

    The young man said, “I’m known as Ding Lingjia.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Oh.”

    Ding Lingjia said, “Although you are rude, I can forgive you, because right now, you don’t look like you are capable of killing people.”

    Fu Hongxue definitely did not look like he could.

    He shut his mouth, as though he himself were admitting to it.

    A look of self-satisfaction appeared in Ding Lingjia’s eyes. He knew that his reputation was enough to frighten many people, and so, unless he absolutely had to, he never actually attacked. He was always very proud of this.

    Because this made him feel as though he weren’t a brutal, ruthless person.

    But he still had to make sure that his new wife understood that he had enough strength to protect her.

    Thus, he smiled and turned his head. He loftily said, “No matter what you wish to say, go ahead and say it.”

    Ma Fangling bit her lips. “No matter what I say, it’ll be alright?”

    Ding Lingjia smiled. “So long as I am by your side, no matter what you say, it’ll be alright.”

    Ma Fangling’s face suddenly blushed red with excitement. She suddenly said in a loud voice, “I want to say that the woman this cripple loves is a *****, a worthless *****!”

    Fu Hongxue’s pale face suddenly turned as white as paper. His right hand was already gripping the hilt of his sabre.

    Ding Lingjia said in a fierce voice, “You actually dare to make a move?”

    Fu Hongxue didn’t speak, didn’t open his mouth.

    Things had reached the point where not even a single word needed to be spoken. Anyone should be able to tell that at this moment, there was no force on this earth capable of stilling his hand!

    Ding Lingjia could tell as well.

    With a sudden, loud roar, his sword left its sheath. The flash of his sword was like a dancing rainbow, piercing directly towards Fu Hongxue’s throat.

    His sword was extremely heavy. This piercing strike carried with it a howling wind. His sword style was direct and forceful.

    Although his attack wasn’t too fast, it was accurate and contained a tremendous power.

    Offense is the best type of defense.

    There were perhaps no more than seven people in the entire world that had enough strength to counterattack in the face of this strike of his.

    But unfortunately for him, Fu Hongxue just so happened to be one of those seven.

    He neither dodged or blocked. He didn’t even seem to move.

    Ma Fangling didn’t make it out, but she seemed to suddenly see a flash of sabre light, as bright as a lightning bolt.

    A flash of the sabre! Fresh blood suddenly flew out from Ding Lingjia’s shoulder, as though a magical and gaudy red flower had suddenly bloomed.

    His sword flew out and pierced into a tree.

    Ding Lingjia’s hand was still tightly gripping his sword. His entire right arm was now hanging down from the hilt of the sword, swaying back and forth.

    Fresh blood was still flowing from it.

    Ding Lingjia stared at the sword in shock, stared at the arm hanging from the sword in shock, as though he still didn’t understand what had happened.

    Because this all had happened far too quickly.

    When he suddenly realized that the arm swinging back and forth in front of him was his own arm, he suddenly fainted.

    It seemed as though Ma Fangling was about to faint as well, but it wasn’t out of shock or sorrow over her husband being wounded. It was out of anger, anger born from disappointment.

    She hatefully glared at the collapsed Ding Lingjia, then suddenly turned around and ran away wildly.

    There was a brand new carriage by the side of the road. She rushed inside and forcefully ripped the door open.

    Someone sat inside, unmoving. There was a hollow, numb expression on her beautiful white face. Only when a person has lost something which they treasure deeply will they have such an expression on their face.

    Fu Hongxue saw this person. Recognized this person.

    Why was Ding Linglin here? What had she lost? Where was Ye Kai?

    Ma Fangling suddenly turned around and pointed towards Fu Hongxue. She said in a loud voice, “This person killed your second brother! Why don’t you take revenge for him?”

    After a long time, Ding Linglin lifted her head up and glanced at her. “Do you really want me to take revenge for him?”

    Ma Fangling said, “Of course. He’s your second brother, and my husband.”

    Looking at her, Ding Linglin’s eyes suddenly revealed a blade-sharp cynicism. “Did you really consider my second brother to be your husband?”

    The expression on Ma Fangling’s face changed. “What…what do you mean by that?”

    Ding Linglin coldly said, “You should know what I mean. Even if my second brother had really died, you wouldn’t shed a single tear for him. You don’t give a damn about whether he lives or dies.”

    Ma Fangling also suddenly seemed to have been lashed at by a whip. Her pale face had turned totally bloodless.

    Ding Linglin said, “You want me to take revenge because you hate him, just like how you hate Ye Kai.”

    She forcefully bit her lips, then continued, “You hate all the men in the world to the core, because you believe that all the men in the world have mistreated you, your father included. The only reason you married my second brother was to have him gain revenge for you.”

    Ma Fangling’s gaze had become confused and chaotic. Her entire person seemed to have collapsed from insanity. Suddenly, she said in a loud voice, “I know that you hate me, because I told your second brother to take you home, while you would rather roam about with Ye Kai like a pair of feral dogs.”

    Ding Linglin said, “Correct. I would rather roam about with him because I love him.”

    She coldly looked at Ma Fangling, then continued, “And you, of course, know that I love him, which is why you are jealous. That’s why you had my brother force us apart. Because you love him as well. You love him to death.”

    Ma Fangling began to laugh hysterically. “Me, love him? I only hope that he dies an early death!”

    Ding Linglin said, “The only reason you now hate him is because you know that he will never love you.”

    Her bright, lovable eyes were suddenly filled with a frightening expression. In a chilly voice, she said, “There’s a type of wild, venomous woman in the world who, when faced with someone she wants but cannot get, would use all her efforts to destroy it instead. You are such a woman. You should have died long ago.”

    Ma Fangling’s maniacal laughter seemed to have slowly changed into bitter weeping. It was now impossible to tell if she was laughing, or if she weeping.

    She turned her head and said in a hoarse voice towards Fu Hongxue, “If you want to kill me, why haven’t you made your move yet?”

    But Fu Hongxue didn’t even glance at her. He slowly walked over to Ding Linglin’s side.

    Ma Fangling suddenly threw herself to him, tightly hugging him from behind. “If you won’t kill me, then take me with you. I’ll go anywhere you want, do anything you want.”

    Fu Hongxue’s body was cold and stiff.

    Crying, Ma Fangling said, “As long as you’re willing to take me with you, I…I’ll even go with you to find my father.”

    Fu Hongxue suddenly crooked his elbow and heavily struck her in the stomach.

    Ma Fangling immediately bent over from the blow.

    Fu Hongxue didn’t even turn to look back at her. He coldly said, “Scram!”

    Ma Fangling finally gritted her teeth and stood up. She used to be a bright, cheerful, adorable girl, filled with confidence towards herself and towards life.

    But now, she had changed. There really was a wild, venomous expression on her face now.

    Whose fault was it?

    Gritting her teeth, she glared at Fu Hongxue. One word at a time, she said, “Fine. I’ll scram. Since you don’t want me, I have no choice but to scram. But have you forgotten that day when you pawed at me all over, like a wild dog? Are you only capable of violating and forcing yourself on me when others aren’t around to witness it?”

    Pain appeared on Fu Hongxue’s pale face, but he still didn’t turn his head.

    Ding Linglin said, “Do you now feel regret that you didn’t accept him that day?”

    Ma Fangling sneered, “No need for you to feel so self-satisfied! You think Ye Kai really likes you? If he really likes you, why would he let us take you away? Right now, maybe he’s already on a bed with some other girl. Maybe, it’s his old lover, Cui Nong.”

    She suddenly began to loudly laugh in a maniacal manner once more, walking backwards with each laugh as she retreated into the thicket.

    And then, her laughter suddenly halted. She could no longer be seen.

    Ding Linglin lightly sighed. “She used to be a very pitiable girl. Unfortunately, she did everything wrong. The biggest thing she did wrong was that every single time, she found the wrong man.”

    Fu Hongxue suddenly said, “How about you?”

    Ding Linglin said, “I’m not wrong.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Ye Kai…”

    Ding Linglin interrupted him. “I’ve known all along what type of person Ye Kai is. Even if he doesn’t like me, that’s alright. Because it’s enough for me to know that I truly like him!”

    Staring at her, the pain in Fu Hongxue’s eyes grew deeper. After a long time, he slowly said, “But you left him.”

    Ding Linglin said, “Only because I had no choice.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Why?”

    Ding Linglin angrily said, “Because when I wasn’t paying attention, second brother Ding sealed the acupoints on my legs.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “What, Ye Kai just watched as you were taken away?”

    Ding Linglin sadly said, “He had no choice. Second brother Ding is my brother. What can he do to him?”

    She blinked a few times. Her eyes began to shine again. She continued, “But I know he’ll find me sooner or later. Although he seems to be a person who cares about nothing, he’s actually a very affectionate, sentimental man. When I was taken away, I could tell that he was in even greater pain than I was.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Are you going to go look for him now?”

    Blinking, Ding Linglin laughed. “There’s a type of person in this world who can never be found. All you can do is wait for him to find you. Little Ye is such a person.”

    Fu Hongxue was still looking at her. A very strange expression had appeared in his eyes.

    Ding Linglin said, “Although you injured my second brother, I don’t blame you.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Oh?”

    Ding Linglin said, “It isn’t because I hate him due to him forcing me away.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Oh.”

    Ding Linglin said, “It’s because although you chopped his arm off, you also let him realize what type of woman Ma Fangling is. If it weren’t for that chop of yours, perhaps she might have tormented him for the rest of his life.”

    For a man to be joined in marriage with a woman who wasn’t true to him definitely is a very painful, very tragic thing.

    Ding Linglin said, “You can go now. I don’t want him to see you after he wakes up.”

    Fu Hongxue didn’t move.

    Ding Linglin waited for a while, then couldn’t help but ask, “Why haven’t you left yet?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Because I am considering something.”

    Ding Linglin said, “Considering what?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “I’m considering if I should unseal your acupoints and let you walk with me, or if I should carry you away.”

    The expression on Ding Linglin’s face changed. She cried out in alarm, “What are you trying to say?!”

    Fu Hongxue said, “What I am saying is that I am taking you with me.”

    Ding Linglin said, “You…you’re crazy!”

    Fu Hongxue coldly said, “I’m not crazy, and I know that you definitely won’t go with me.”

    Ding Linglin stared at him in shock. Then, with a wave of her hand, the golden bells around her wrist suddenly flew out, carrying with them a clear, melodious sound. They struck at Fu Hongxue’s ‘Receiving Incense’, ‘True Heaven’, and ‘Abstruse Crux’ acupoints.

    They were very close to each other and her hand was very quick.

    Ding Linglin’s lethal golden bells were considered one of the eight most terrifying hidden projectile weapons in the world.

    Because not only were her movements quick and accurate, the bells she shot out later would often arrive first, while the bells she shot out first would often change direction, causing people to not know where they should dodge.

    Fu Hongxue did not dodge.

    A flash of sabre light. The three golden bells turned into six parts.

    When the sabre flash re-entered the sheath, his hands had seized Ding Linglin’s wrists, carrying her away by the waist.

    Ding Linglin cried out loudly, “You shameless cripple, let me go!”

    Fu Hongxue didn’t hear her.

    There was a wagoner in the wagon. There were pedestrians on the road. All of them stared in astonishment.

    But Fu Hongxue didn’t see them.

    He carried Ding Linglin towards a mountain in the east, a mountain surrounded by blue skies and white clouds.

    The mountain wasn’t very high, nor were the clouds.

    By the time they reached mid-mountain, they could already see the white clouds drifting about. They had already reached the clouds.

    The wind blew across Ding Linglin’s golden bells, causing a ‘ding ling ling’ sound. But she made no sound at all.

    Because no matter what she said, Fu Hongxue didn’t seem to hear her.

    The expressions on her face had changed. Her shock and anger had turned into worry and fear. She didn’t know why Fu Hongxue had brought her here.

    But she already realized that this pale-faced cripple was a very abnormal person.

    “You’re only capable of forcing yourself on me when no others are present!”

    When she remembered Ma Fangling’s words, she became all the more frightened. She was both cold and afraid. So cold, she shivered. So afraid, she trembled.

    The summit was even colder.

    Ding Linglin began to shiver even more.

    Fu Hongxue set her down. Coldly staring at her, he suddenly said, “You’re afraid?”

    Ding Linglin suddenly laughed. “Why should I be afraid? What is there to be afraid of?”

    Although her laughter was forced, it was still very pretty. Smiling, she continued, “What, should I be afraid of you? You’re Ye Kai’s friend. A friend of his is a friend of mine. Why would I fear you?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “What about his enemies?”

    Ding Linglin blinked. “I don’t think he has any enemies.”

    Fu Hongxue coldly said, “If he had enemies, they naturally would be your enemies as well.”

    Ding Linglin said, “I guess you could say that, because…”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Because you feel that the person who is most dear to you in the entire world is him.”

    Ding Linglin laughed again. This time, her laughter was genuine. Her laugh was soft and sweet. When she thought of the feelings which she and Ye Kai shared, her heart was filled with a warm, sweet feeling.

    Fu Hongxue said, “If you found out that someone killed him, what would you do to that person?”

    Ding Linglin said, “No one will kill him. No one can kill him.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Hypothetically speaking, what if?”

    Ding Linglin bit her lips. “Then I definitely wouldn’t let that person off easy. I’ll use every tool at my disposal to deal with him.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Every tool at your disposal?”

    Ding Linglin said, “Naturally. Every single tool available to me.”

    She continued, “Although I’m not a cruel, merciless person, hypothetically speaking, if someone were to kill Ye Kai, I would bite off every piece of flesh on their body, one mouthful at a time.”

    The wind blew by, bringing the white clouds to their feet.

    After saying these words, she herself couldn’t resist shivering again from the cold. An ominous feeling suddenly filled her heart.

    Fu Hongxue didn’t turn around. His back towards her, he faced a tiny earthen mound.

    The grass growing on top of the mound was young. Clearly, the mound was newly formed.

    Ding Linglin said, “What type of mound is this?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “A grave.”

    Ding Linglin’s expression changed. “A grave? How do you know this is a grave?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Because I dug this grave with my own two hands.”

    His voice seemed to be even colder than the chilly mountain wind. Ding Linglin wasn’t a delicate, fragile little girl, but she couldn’t help but shudder again.

    After a long time, she gently asked, “Who is buried within the grave?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “The person closest and dearest to me.”

    Ding Linglin said, “You…you liked her?”

    Fu Hongxue nodded. “The feelings I have towards her are even deeper than the feelings you have for Ye Kai!”

    Ding Linglin forced out a chuckle. “I just hope she wasn’t killed by someone. Otherwise, how could they avoid having every piece of flesh on their body being bitten off by you?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “She was killed by someone!”

    Ding Linglin shuddered again, before mumbling, “The wind here is so cold.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “No need to be worry for her. She’s no longer afraid of the cold.”

    Ding Linglin said, “But I’m afraid.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Afraid of me?”

    Ding Linglin said, “Not you. The cold.”

    Fu Hongxue icily said, “I can bury you as well. Then, you’d never fear the cold again.”

    Ding Linglin’s smile became even more forced. “No need to go to the trouble. I’m not dead yet.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “But she’s already dead…since you haven’t died, why did she have to die? Why did she have to die?...”

    He repeated these words over and over, his voice filled with hatred and resentment.

    Ding Linglin said, “Everyone has to die, sooner or later. It’s just a matter of time. You don’t need to be too sad.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “If Ye Kai died, wouldn’t you be sad?”

    Ding Linglin said, “I…I…”

    Fu Hongxue said, “You aren’t sad, only because you know that Ye Kai hasn’t died. Ye Kai isn’t sad, only because he knows that you haven’t died, but…but she has died…”

    He suddenly turned around and stared at Ding Linglin. His eyes burned with hatred and rage. In a fierce voice, he said, “Why don’t you ask me who killed her?”

    Ding Linglin’s heart seemed to be slowly sinking down. No sound could escape her throat.

    Fu Hongxue said, “Is it because you already know who killed her?”

    Ding Linglin bit her teeth, then suddenly said in a loud voice, “I don’t know…how would I know?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “You should know.”

    Ding Linglin said, “Why?”

    Fu Hongxue tightly gripped his sabre. One word at a time, he slowly said, “Because Ye Kai was the one who killed her.”

    Ding Linglin let out a cry, then said, “Impossible, absolutely impossible. I’ve been by his side this entire time. I can guarantee that he hasn’t killed anybody.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Were you with him last night as well?”

    Ding Linglin could no longer speak. Last night, she had been taken away by Ding Lingjia and had not seen Ye Kai since.

    Fu Hongxue stared at her, his eyes as sharp as daggers. “Do you know where he was last night? What he did?”

    Ding Linglin lowered his head. She didn’t know.

    Fu Hongxue suddenly took out a dagger, a slim yet sharp dagger, and tossed it in front of her.

    “Do you recognize this dagger? Do you know whose it is?”

    Ding Linglin’s head lowered further. She recognized this dagger. This dagger seemed to be pierced into her heart.

    After a long time, she suddenly lifted her head up again. In a loud voice, she said, “I am Ye Kai, and Ye Kai is me. If you really believe Ye Kai killed her, you can just go ahead and kill me.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “You’re willing to die for him?”

    Ding Linglin said, “I’m willing.”

    Her eyes shone brightly again, not revealing a hint of hesitation or irresoluteness. It was as though having the chance to die for Ye Kai was a very joyful thing for her.

    Fu Hongxue stared at her. It seemed as though Cui Nong once again appeared before him. Right before her death, hadn’t her eyes been filled with this exact same joy? Although she didn’t say a single word, that pair of eyes still told him, without a doubt, that she was willing to die for him.

    Up till the moment she collapsed, there was a hint of a warm smile on her lips.

    Fu Hongxue’s fists tightened. He almost couldn’t resist the urge to unearth her tomb and dig her up so he could see her again.

    But even if he did see her one more time, so what? Her short life had left him with eternal loneliness.

    Ding Linglin said, “If you’re going to kill me, why haven’t you made your move yet?”

    Fu Hongxue was silent for another long period of time, before slowing responding, “I don’t actually wish to kill you.”

    Ding Linglin said, “You…what do you want to do?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Nothing.”

    Ding Linglin said, “Why did you bring me here?”

    Terror once again appeared in her eyes. She wasn’t necessarily afraid of death. What she feared was that shameful torment and humiliation.

    Fu Hongxue was silent for another long period of time. He coldly said, “You said that he’d go looking for you sooner or later.”

    Ding Linglin nodded. In a loud voice, she said, “Of course he’ll look for me. He definitely isn’t a heartless man.”

    Fu Hongxue’s gaze was distant. He slowly said, “This is a very quiet place. If he can quietly die in such a peaceful place, then it must be said that heaven has done well by him.”

    Ding Linglin’s expression changed. “You’re waiting for him to come?”

    Fu Hongxue didn’t answer her. He just lowered his head and stared at the sabre in his hands.

    A pitch-black sabre. Who knows how many people’s lives had been lost to it.

    Ding Linglin’s hands began to tighten. She exclaimed, “But he doesn’t know that I’m here.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “He’ll find out.”

    Ding Linglin said, “How?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Because many people saw me take you to this place.”

    Ding Linglin said, “So what if he does come? Are you actually going to kill him?”

    Fu Hongxue was silent. His sabre was also silent.

    Sometimes, silence was as sharp as a sabre. Sometimes, it could even kill.

    Ding Linglin said in a loud voice, “Can you really be so heartless as to do that? Have you forgotten how much he’s done for you? If it weren’t for him, how could you be alive today?”

    Fu Hongxue’s pale face once more seemed to turn translucent from pain. One word at a time, he slowly said, “Perhaps the reason he’s allowed me to stay alive is to cause me to suffer more pain and misery.”

    Although death is terrifying, it is peaceful. Only the living experience pain.

    Ding Linglin stared at his face. Her body suddenly began to tremble. In a quivering voice, she said, “He often says to me that although you perform terrifying deeds, you’re actually a kind-hearted man. When…when did you become so vicious?”

    Fu Hongxue stared at the sabre in his hand. He no longer spoke, not even a single word more.

    A thick mist suddenly arose at this moment, at the summit of the mountain. His pale face slowly became blurred and indistinct in the midst of the fog.

    The sound of rain below the mountain seemed to be audible.

    The mist at the top of the mountain was moist as well. Ding Linglin’s clothes slowly were soaked through. She was so cold, she began trembling nonstop. Not only was she freezing, she was also starving.

    Fu Hongxue had already sat down. He sat there without budging, in the midst of that cold, wet cloud. Can it be that he was neither hungry nor cold? Can it be that he really had become totally numb?

    Ding Linglin finally could no longer resist saying, “Maybe he won’t come.”

    Fu Hongxue didn’t speak.

    Ding Linglin said, “Even if he is going to come, no one knows when he’ll come.”

    Fu Hongxue still didn’t speak.

    Ding Linglin said, “What if he comes three days from now? Are you just going to wait here for three days?”

    Fu Hongxue was silent for another long period of time, before coldly saying, “If he takes three years to come, I’ll wait for three years.”

    Ding Linglin’s heart sank even further. “You…do you actually want me to accompany you here for three years?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “If I can wait, why can’t you?”

    Ding Linglin said, “Because I’m a human being!”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Oh?”

    Ding Linglin said, “So long as someone is a human being, there’s no way they can stay here and wait for three years. Perhaps they can’t even wait for three days.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Oh?”

    Ding Linglin said, “If you really want me to wait here for three days, even if I don’t freeze to death, I’ll starve to death.”

    No response.

    Ding Linglin said, “Actually, there’s no need for you to wait for him here. You can go down the mountain and search for him. It’s better than just sitting here and waiting.”

    Still no response.

    Ding Linglin said, “Why aren’t you talking? Can it be that…”

    Her voice suddenly broke off, as though cut by a sharp knife. She suddenly realized that Fu Hongxue was no longer sitting in the middle of the mist.

    The sound of the rainstorm beneath the mountain hadn’t yet stopped. The mist at the mountain peak became even denser, even colder.

    Perhaps it was because the mist blotted out the sunlight, or perhaps it was because night had fallen. The only thing Ding Linglin could make out was a gloomy, indistinct, deathly grayish color. There was no one here. There was no life here.

    Ding Linglin shouted as loud as she could, “Fu Hongxue! Where did you go? Come back here!”

    No one returned. No one responded.

    Ding Linglin’s body shook like a dry leaf in a storm. Although Fu Hongxue was a terrifying person, when he was gone, it was even more terrifying.

    She finally understood what a terrifying thing loneliness really was. Fu Hongxue had only left for a short period of time, but she was already almost unable to endure it.

    If a person were to be this alone for his entire life, how could one possibly go on living? If Ye Kai really died, would she forevermore feel lonely like this?

    Ding Linglin only felt her body become ice cold. Even her heart had frozen. She wanted to flee, but her legs were still stiff and inflexible. The acupoint sealing techniques of the Ding family had always been very effective. She wanted to shout, but she was afraid that all she would hear once more would be that terrifying echo.

    It seemed as though the only person in the world left to keep her company was the dead person in the tomb.

    Could it be that throughout his entire life, that person was also the only person in the world who kept Fu Hongxue company?

    Ding Linglin suddenly felt an indescribable empathy towards this lonely, crippled young man.

    Just at this moment, she suddenly felt an ice cold drop of rain fall on top of her hand.

    When she lowered her head, she suddenly realized that this raindrop was a brilliant red in color.

    It wasn’t rain! It was blood!

    Bright red blood, dripping onto her hands.

    Her heart was mangled by fear. She couldn’t resist turning her head, and as she did, her cheek suddenly touched someone’s hand.

    An ice cold hand. The blood seemed to be dripping down from this hand.

    Whose blood was this? Whose hand was this?

    Ding Linglin didn’t take another look. Everything suddenly seemed to go dark.

    Hell has always existed in the hearts of men.

    If your heart no longer has any love in it, and is filled only with hate, then hell is in your heart.

    If your heart no longer has any love with it, then you yourself are already in hell.

    CHAPTER END
    Read the latest chapters of Coiling Dragon at Wuxia World!

  6. #66
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    Not sure what up with the dripping blood....but Ma Fangling will prob next show up alongside the Sweeper Monk. That's about all who's left!!! Nice translation work!

  7. #67
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    Ma Fangling is really pitiful.

    So is the fat proprietress. But because she is fat, old and ugly, nobody cares right?
    Its BIxie Jianfa Gawdammit you guys!!!!

  8. #68
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    Chapter 41: Heroes’ Impasse

    The cloud had disappeared. The mist had disappeared as well.

    Within the ghastly darkness of the cave, a fire had been started and begun to dance. The flickering flame illuminated the depths of the cave, and illuminated Ding Linglin’s beautiful pale face.

    When she woke, the first thing she saw was this fire.

    Therefore, she didn’t move, and instead simply quietly lay there, calmly watching the flames dance and writhe.

    The flames themselves seemed to symbolize life, bringing her warmth and light.

    In the past, she had never known that flames were so lovely.

    Only then did she see Fu Hongxue. His icy features seemed to be filled with life by the flickering flames as well.

    Right now, he was roasting a skinned hare in the middle of the fire.

    His movements were slow and complicated. A look of peace and tranquility seemed to have appeared on his face.

    Ding Linglin had never seen such an expression on his face before. She suddenly felt as though he wasn’t as terrifying a person as she thought him to be.

    The bloody hare had gradually turned a golden color in the flames. The cavern was filled with an alluring scent.

    Ding Linglin’s face suddenly reddened. She usually wasn’t the type of girl to faint at the sight of blood.

    She couldn’t resist explaining, “I was just too hungry and too cold earlier. That’s why I couldn’t hold out.”

    Fu Hongxue emotionlessly said, “Fortunately, you were carrying kindling materials on you. Otherwise, you’d have to make do with raw, bloody rabbit meat.”

    Ding Linglin cried out in shock, “You got the kindling from me?!”

    Fu Hongxue nodded.

    Ding Linglin’s face grew redder still. She remembered the flint and kindling was in a pouch next to her skin.

    Biting her lips, she stiffened her face. In a loud voice, she said, “How can you haphazardly search one’s body like that?”

    Fu Hongxue coldly said, “True, I shouldn’t have done that. I should have stripped your clothes off and roasted you in the fire instead.”

    Ding Linglin immediately grabbed her clothes and pulled them in more tightly, as though she were afraid that this person actually might walk over to her and take her clothes off.

    But Fu Hongxue paid her no mind. He quietly broke the cooked rabbit into two pieces, casually tossing her the relatively larger one.

    A warm feeling suddenly entered Ding Linglin’s heart.

    She couldn’t be considered a very petty girl, but if Fu Hongxue had given her the somewhat smaller piece instead, she still would have felt very unhappy.

    She was a girl, after all.

    Unsalted roast meat is like a woman who has already given birth to eighteen children. It’s very hard for someone to be interested in them.

    But it’s better to have roast meat without salt than no roast meat at all.

    The desire for food which hunger creates is one of the two most irresistible desires known to mankind.

    Ding Linglin was almost ready to wolf down the bones as well. After finishing, she couldn’t resist letting out a sigh. She mumbled to herself, “There’s less flesh on this rabbit than there is on a monkey.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “If it had a lot of flesh on its bones, perhaps someone else might have captured and eaten it long ago.”

    Ding Linglin sweetly said, “Little Ye was right. Although sometimes you look very scary, you actually aren’t a malicious and fierce person.”

    She blinked a few times, then said, “No matter what you believe, I still think that he’s always been very good to you, and understands you better than anyone else.”

    As soon as she mentioned Ye Kai, the expression on Fu Hongxue’s face changed. He suddenly stood up and said coldly, “Can you take your own clothes off?”

    Ding Linglin’s expression changed. With a surprised cry, she said, “You…what are you talking about?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “If you can’t disrobe by yourself, I’ll disrobe you.”

    Greatly shocked, Ding Linglin said, “Why must I disrobe?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Because I don’t want to watch you freeze to death or die of illness.”

    Only now did Ding Linglin realized that her clothes were thoroughly soaked. The ground was cold and moist as well. If she were to fall asleep in such a condition, in all likelihood, she’d be extremely sick by the next day.

    Naturally, she didn’t wish to freeze to death or die of illness either. But she would rather die than strip in front of a man. Aside from Ye Kai, she wouldn’t do it in front of any other man whatsoever.

    She bit her lips, then suddenly asked, “Did you really force yourself on Ma Fangling?”

    All the muscles on Fu Hongxue’s face suddenly tightened. Pain revealed itself in his gaze, but he still nodded.

    So long as he actually did something, he would never deny it.

    Ding Linglin said, “Will you force yourself on me?”

    Fu Hongxue coldly said, “Are you warning me?”

    Ding Linglin said, “If you were to force yourself on me right now, obviously I would be unable to resist you. But I hope you understand something.”

    Fu Hongxue was listening.

    Ding Linglin said, “Aside from Ye Kai, if any other man in the world so much as touches me, I want to throw up. This is because I feel that no man in the world can compare to him.”

    It seemed as though a flame was blazing within Fu Hongxue’s pained, hate-filled gaze.

    His entire body seemed to be roasting within the flames.

    Ding Linglin said, “Maybe the reason you hate him isn’t because he killed Cui Nong, but because you know that you will never match up to him…”

    Fu Hongxue suddenly grabbed her by the front of her clothes, lifting her entire body into the air. In a rasping voice, he said, “You’re wrong.”

    Ding Linglin said, “I’m not wrong.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “You shouldn’t have forced me.”

    He suddenly exercised some force with his hand and ripped her clothes open.

    In the time it took Ding Linglin to fall down, her snow-white bosom had already began to stiffen in the cold wind.

    Tears were already beginning to flow down her face. Grinding her teeth, she said, “I’m not wrong. Little Ye is the one who is wrong. He was wrong about you. You aren’t a human being at all. You are vermin.”

    Fu Hongxue’s entire body was trembling nonstop. He suddenly collapsed, then rolled into a ball.

    Beneath the flickering flame, his entire face had become contorted with agony. His mouth appeared just like a horse’s, as he spat out mouthfuls of white foam.

    Ding Linglin was stunned.

    She too had heard that Fu Hongxue was a person suffering from illness, but she didn’t know that his sickness could suddenly seize him so quickly, so terrifyingly quickly.

    Not only was this young man lonely and his heart filled with wounds, he was constantly tormented by this terrifying, viper-like malady.

    The only person who could comfort him, who understood him, was now buried beneath the earth.

    How long had he lived such a life? Life is simply too cruel to him.

    He has reason to be filled with hate!

    “If I were him, I might bitterly hate all human beings and all life as well.”

    The anger and dread in Ding Linglin’s heart was suddenly transformed into sorrow and commiseration.

    If she could still stand, perhaps by now she would have held him in her arms as she would a child.

    But not only was she unable to stand, she seemed incapable of all movement.

    Even her hands had slowly become numb from the biting cold. She could only raise them with some effort to shut her clothes.

    Just at this moment, she suddenly heard a series of footsteps.

    The footsteps were very light, but clearly, more than just a single person had come.

    “Obviously, this isn’t Ye Kai. If Ye Kai had come, he definitely would not have brought someone else with him.”

    Ding Linglin’s heart sank.

    So late at night, who could possibly brave such a harrow autumn rainstorm to come to the top of this mountain?

    The footsteps came to a halt outside the cavern. The flickering fire light told them, without a doubt, that someone was here.

    After a long moment, someone asked probingly from outside, “Might I inquire the names of the friends inside?”

    Ding Linglin tightly bit her lips, not allowing herself to make a sound.

    She could only hope that these people would not, for the moment, dare to rashly charge in. She hoped that Fu Hongxue might wake up before these people charged in.

    But just then, she saw a sabre slowly stretch inside. Next, she saw the man who wielded the sabre.

    There definitely was more than one person there, but only one person stepped inside.

    This person’s face was pale, but not in the same manner as Fu Hongxue’s translucent, pale face.

    There were green spots within the paleness of his face. Beneath the flickering light cast by the flames, the face looked miserably green, or perhaps like he was wearing a bronze mask.

    His eyes were ghastly and terrifying as well. After sparing Fu Hongxue but a single glance, his gaze settled upon Ding Linglin’s snow-white chest, covered sparingly by her torn clothes. An obscene look suddenly entered his eyes as well.

    Ding Linglin wished she could tear those eyes out.

    The sabre in his hand was lowered. He let out a long breath. Clearly, he now realized that the two people here were not worth him being cautious over.

    His gaze became even more wanton, as though it was boring through Ding Linglin’s clothes.

    Ding Linglin couldn’t resist saying in a loud voice, “What are you looking at? Haven’t you seen a woman before?”

    The man laughed, then kicked Fu Hongxue with the tip of his shoes. “Who is he to you?”

    Ding Linglin said, “None of your business.”

    The man said, “Is he that Fu Hongxue who demolished the Hall of Ten Thousand Horses in the northeast?”

    Ding Linglin said, “How did you know?”

    The man said, “I came here looking for him.”

    Ding Linglin couldn’t resist asking, “For what purpose?”

    The man said, “Originally, I wanted to ask him to do something for me…to kill someone for me.”

    He chuckled, then continued. “But now I know that the only thing he can do is wait for someone to kill him.”

    Ding Linglin barely managed to control herself. She smirked. “If you really think that, you’ll regret it.”

    The man’s smile became even more ghastly. He leisurely said, “Not only do I really think that, I also am thinking of something else.”

    Ding Linglin couldn’t resist from asking, “What are you thinking of?”

    The man laughed. “Even if I don’t explain, I’m sure you can guess what a man is thinking when he sees a beautiful girl lying in front of him with her chest exposed.”

    Ding Linglin’s entire body turned ice cold. Letting out a cry of alarm, she said, “You dare?!”

    The man casually said, “Why wouldn’t I dare? Even if Fu Hongxue could still pull out his sabre, I still wouldn’t be afraid.”

    Ding Linglin said, “You…you really aren’t afraid?”

    The man said, “If he knew who I was, maybe he’d proactively offer you to me.”

    Ding Linglin said, “Based on what?”

    The man said, “Just based on one item, an item which Fu Hongxue couldn’t imagine, even in his dreams.”

    Smiling, he used the point of his dagger to prick Ding Linglin’s hands, which were holding her clothes tightly shut. He continued, “Based on this item, not only do I dare to think about it, I also dare to do it. If you don’t believe me, I can show you right now.”

    Ding Linglin was about to begin screaming loudly. Her hands were forced to loosen.

    Just at this moment, she saw something fly in from outside, striking this lewdly smiling man in his exposed teeth.

    With a cracking sound, the man’s front teeth were shattered into three pieces each.

    The projectile fell down with his teeth. It was an unshelled peanut.

    The expression on the man’s face changed. With one hand, he held his mouth. With the other, he raised his sabre.

    Staring at the peanut, the expression on Ding Linglin’s face changed. She couldn’t help but involuntarily cry out in shock, “Lu Xiaojia!”

    Lu Xiaojia was also one of the people whom she didn’t want to run into right now. Why did he have to be here?

    Why did her luck suddenly become so bad?

    Outside the cavern, the misty clouds still roiled about in darkness. Laughing, someone said from outside, “Lu Xiaojia isn’t necessarily the only person in the world who eats peanuts. In fact, it’s actually quite hard to find people who don’t eat peanuts.”

    A smiling man leisurely sauntered in. His clothes were very casual, and his smile was very relaxed. From the looks of it, even if heaven collapsed, he wouldn’t have a care in the world.

    Upon seeing this person, Ding Linglin only felt as though that stuffy, oppressive fog had suddenly disappeared, and that powerful autumn rainstorm had come to a stop.

    At this moment, even if heaven really did collapse, she wouldn’t care, because this person was Ye Kai.

    Her heart was suddenly filled with warmth, and she couldn’t help but reveal a sweet smile on her face. However, she intentionally hardened her face as she said, “Where the hell have you been? What took you so long to get here?”

    Ye Kai let out a sigh. “I wanted to come earlier as well, but I couldn’t just stand there and watch your second brother lie on the ground and fume. No matter what, he’s still your second brother.”

    Even if Ding Linglin still wanted to be angry at him, she no longer could be. She couldn’t resist laughing, “You should be nicer to him anyhow, because sooner or later, he’ll be your elder brother-in-law.”

    Staring at her, Ye Kai wrinkled his nose. “But why is it that you people of the Ding family all like to lie down on the ground?”

    Ding Linglin said, “You yourself once said that a smart person will never sit up when he has the chance to lay down.”

    Ye Kai laughed as well. “That’s right. That makes sense.”

    He glanced at Fu Hongxue, then glanced at the man wielding the sabre. “Both of you are smart, but why doesn’t this dear friend of ours lie down as well? Isn’t it very tiring to stand up like that?”

    Ding Linglin blinked a few times, then said, “Thus, you should persuade him that it’s best to lie down.”

    Ye Kai nodded. “That’s right. That makes sense.”

    This man’s mouth was already shut, but blood was still seeping forth from the corner of his lips.

    He was an experienced traveler and a cunning old fox. Naturally, he knew that a person who could shatter someone’s teeth using a peanut wasn’t a person easily trifled with.

    But right now, Ye Kai’s back was turned towards him. No matter how difficult someone is to handle, they still don’t have eyes in their back.

    And, as it just so happened, his sabre was already pointed directly towards Ye Kai’s neck. This opportunity really was quite rare, and it really would be quite a shame to waste it.

    He suddenly chopped down at Ye Kai’s neck.

    Who would have imagined that Ye Kai really did seem to have a pair of eyes in his back. He suddenly turned around and gently flicked at the man’s hand with his fingernail.

    The man’s sabre suddenly flew out into his own hand.

    Ye Kai looked at the sabre. Gently stroking its edge, he smiled. “Looks like this is a fast sabre.”

    The man’s face had stiffened. He wanted to force out a smile, but his smile looked even more pathetic than weeping.

    Ye Kai said, “If such a quick sabre was brought down on somebody’s neck, no matter who that person is, their head would fall. Do you believe me?”

    He gestured towards the man’s neck with the sabre, then smiled. “If you don’t believe me, we can give it a try.”

    The man’s pale, greenish face had become totally colorless with fear. He stuttered, “No…no need.”

    Ye Kai said, “You believe me?”

    The man said, “Nu….naturally. If somebody doesn’t believe you, that person is a son of a turtle.”

    Ye Kai laughed loudly.

    The man suddenly asked, “Sir, when you came up the mountain, did you see my friend?”

    Ye Kai nodded. “He seemed to be very tired, so I urged him to lie down and rest for a bit.”

    The man’s facial expression changed. With a bitter laugh, he said, “Actually I…I’m quite tired as well.”

    Ye Kai said, “Since you’re very tired, why don’t you lie down?”

    Without saying another word, this person walked to a corner of the cave and lay down stiffly.

    Ding Linglin couldn’t resist letting out a sweet smile. “Looks like he’s a smart man as well.”

    Ye Kai let out a sigh. “There’s already very few stupid people in this day and age.”

    Ding Linglin said, “Unfortunately, I’m just like you. Although we aren’t too stupid, we aren’t very smart either.”

    Ye Kai said, “I know you want to get up and walk around for a bit. You can get tired from lying down too long as well.”

    Pursing her lips, Ding Linglin laughed, “So you should take this chance to take a little bit of advantage of me and knead my thighs.”

    Ye Kai sighed again. “I’m just surprised that when your second brother sealed your acupoints, he didn’t also seal your mouth as well.”

    Ding Linglin said, “Because he knew I’d bite him to death.”

    Although Fu Hongxue’s body had slowly straightened, he was still panting for breath.

    Ye Kai looked at him, then gloomily said, “Why would a person like him suffer from an illness such as this?”

    Ding Linglin had already stood up. She was bending down to massage her legs. She also couldn’t help but sigh. “He truly is a very pitiable person. But sometimes, he makes others feel he is very terrifying.”

    She suddenly asked, “Do you know why he kidnapped me to this place?”

    Ye Kai shook his head.

    Ding Linglin said, “He thinks you killed Cui Nong.”

    Ye Kai furrowed his brows. “Cui Nong’s dead?”

    Ding Linglin said, “Her grave is right outside. Fu Hongxue personally buried her with his own hands.”

    The smile playing around Ye Kai’s lips suddenly disappeared.

    Ding Linglin stared at him. “Did you kill her or not?”

    Ye Kai said, “You, too, would ask me such a question?”

    Ding Linglin sighed. “Of course I know you definitely wouldn’t do such a thing, but how is it that your dagger fell into his possession?”

    Ye Kai said, “My dagger?...”

    Before Ding Linglin had a chance to answer, she saw a flash of a dagger.

    Ye Kai stretched his hand out, catching the lightning-bolt like dagger. A flying dagger, thin and sharp.

    He lifted his head up and saw Fu Hongxue.

    When Fu Hongxue rose to his feet, he looked like a spirit of the underworld suddenly rising from the earth. Mist suddenly arose from the ground.

    The light from the fire was by now very dim. He looked even more pale, even more sallow, even more tired.

    But the anger and hatred in his eyes was even stronger than the flames.

    He tightly gripped his sabre in his hand. He fixed his dagger-like gaze upon Ye Kai. One word at a time, he said, “Is this your dagger or not?”

    Ye Kai did not respond, could not respond.

    This dagger really was absolutely identical to his own daggers. But this dagger definitely was not his.

    Although there weren’t many people who could use this sort of dagger to kill, there still were some people who could.

    But he truly could not imagine who could possibly counterfeit this type of dagger, and make the counterfeit so perfectly similar.

    There was almost nobody in the world who had seen this type of dagger which he used.

    Fu Hongxue was still staring at him, waiting for him to reply!

    Ye Kai finally couldn’t help but let out a sigh. With a bitter smile on his lips, he said, “Who did I kill with this dagger?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “You killed the grandson of Guo Wei, and then you killed Wang Dahong. Am I right?”

    Ye Kai said, “Wang Dahong?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “You told Wang Dahong to kill someone. Then, you killed him to silence him.”

    Ye Kai said, “Cui Nong died by his hands?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “He used a poisoned sword, but your tactics are even more venomous than his sword!”

    Ye Kai let out another sigh. With a forced smile, he said, “Seems as though right now, you wouldn’t believe me if I denied it.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Definitely not.”

    Ye Kai said, “But did you consider the question of why I would have Cui Nong killed?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “The real target wasn’t Cui Nong. It was me.”

    Ye Kai said, “You? Why would I kill you.”

    Before Fu Hongxue opened his mouth, the man lying down suddenly jumped to his feet. In a loud voice, he said, “Because he’s already been bribed by the Hall of Ten Thousand Horses. I happened to overhear his words by accident.”

    Fu Hongxue suddenly turned around and stared at the man. In a fierce voice, he said, “Who are you?”

    The man said, “My surname is Bai. My humble name is Bai Jian. The people of the martial world all call me the White Faced Gentleman.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “You’ve met Ma Kongqun?”

    Bai Jian said, “I can see him every day.”

    Fu Hongxue’s expression changed. “Where is he?”

    Bai Jian glanced at Ye Kai, then said, “Kill him first. I can take you there at any time.”

    Fu Hongxue’s face suddenly began to turn red with excitement once again.

    He had spent countless days of laboriously searching, only to actually stumbled across some results now. The hatred which had imprinted itself within his very bones and entangled him for countless years had finally found a chance to express itself and take its revenge.

    By the grace of heaven, Ma Kongqun was still alive and had not yet been killed by someone else.

    Fu Hongxue tightened his hands. The hot tears filling his eyes threatened to spill down his face.

    Bai Jian said, “The reason I came here was to bring you to seek out Ma Kongqun, but he…”

    Fu Hongxue suddenly interrupted him. “He has to die no matter what, anyhow!”

    Bai Jian let out a breath. A hint of laughter appeared in his eyes.

    But just at this instant, he suddenly saw a flash of a dagger. A cold wind nipped right by his ear.

    Then, with a thudding sound and a spray of sparks, a flying dagger nailed itself into the mountain wall behind him. The thin, sharp dagger had penetrated into the very stone.

    Bai Jian suddenly felt as though his two legs had gone soft, and was all but unable to remain standing.

    This dagger was clearly in Ye Kai’s hand. But he was unable to tell how or when Ye Kai had struck.

    Even Fu Hongxue hadn’t seen how the dagger left Ye Kai’s hand. His expression seemed to have changed as well.

    Ye Kai flatly said, “If I really had been bribed by the Hall of Ten Thousand Horses, this man would be a dead man.”

    Fu Hongxue hesitated a moment, then suddenly smirked. “Naturally, you wouldn’t silence him in front of me.”

    Ye Kai said, “You believe his words?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “I only believe that which I see with my own eyes. I…I personally witnessed Cui Nong collapsing in front of me.”

    Ye Kai said, “You really are going to kill me to avenge her?”

    Fu Hongxue no longer spoke, because right now, they had reached a point where words were useless.

    His sabre had already left the sheath.

    A flash of the sabre, even quicker than a lightning bolt, even more terrifying than a lightning bolt.

    No one can describe this sabre. When this sabre struck out, it seemed to carry with it a force from hell itself.

    No one had ever been able to dodge his sabre.

    But Ye Kai was nowhere to be found.

    When Fu Hongxue struck out with his sabre, Ye Kai suddenly was thirty feet away, sticking against the stone wall like a gecko.

    Just at the moment where the sabre had not yet fully left the sheath, his body somersaulted backwards into the air and flipped away.

    Fu Hongxue’s sabre drawing technique approached perfection. If one waited for the sabre to fully leave the sheath, no one would be able to dodge it.

    Ye Kai’s body looked as though it had been blown out by the wind.

    It seemed as though he had known long ago that there would be this sabre strike, and had long ago prepared to dodge this sabre strike.

    His dodging technique approached perfection as well.

    Only Fu Hongxue himself knew how perfect, how ingenious that dodge was.

    Cold sweat suddenly emerged from the hand with which he gripped his sabre.

    Ye Kai looked at him. He suddenly said, “This isn’t fair.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Isn’t fair?”

    Ye Kai said, “If you kill me, I die with no regrets. But what if I happened to kill you?”

    Ding Linglin immediately interrupted, “If you die, who will seek revenge on Ma Kongqun on your behalf? Have you already forgotten your enmity towards him?”

    How could possibly Fu Hongxue forget it!

    Although the hatred he felt for Ye Kai was fresh and intense, the hatred he felt for Ma Kongqun had set down roots in his heart like a poisonous weed.

    Even if his heart was shattered into tens of thousands of pieces, every single piece would contain this hatred.

    His entire purpose in living came from this hatred. Even if he wanted to forget it, he wouldn’t be able to.

    The sabre had already left the sheath.

    The sheath was pitch-black, but the blade was a pale white. It was just like his face; pale, yet translucent.

    He tightly gripped his sabre, uncertain as to whether or not he should launch this second chop.

    Bai Jian gritted his teeth. His eyes had become bloodshot from nervousness and excitement.

    He had noticed Fu Hongxue’s hesitation. He believed that if Ye Kai were to live, he himself would die.

    He usually was a sly, sinister person with excellent judgment, but the pressure of being caught in a life-and-death moment caused him to do something very foolish.

    He suddenly said in a loud voice, “Why don’t you make your move? When you were lying on the floor earlier, if I hadn’t saved you, he would have killed you. Are you going to give him a second chance?”

    He felt that his words were very incendiary and motivational. If he himself were in Fu Hongxue’s shoes, upon hearing these words, he definitely wouldn’t let his enemy off easy.

    But he was wrong. He forgot that Fu Hongxue and he weren’t the same type of people. They definitely weren’t!

    Fu Hongxue actually turned around and fixed his dagger-like gaze upon his face. One word at a time, he asked, “You saved me earlier?”

    Bai Jian immediately nodded vigorously.

    Fu Hongxue said, “Why did you save me?”

    Bai Jian said, “Because I want you to go kill Ma Kongqun. Every day Ma Kongqun remains alive is a day I won’t be at peace.”

    His explanation was extremely fair and reasonable, and he was very pleased with himself.

    Who would have expected that Fu Hongxue would let out a cold chuckle? He said, “Right now, there’s only one thing I don’t understand.”

    Bai Jian said, “What?”

    Fu Hongxue coldly said, “If he really wanted to kill me, could someone like you save me?”

    Bai Jian was suddenly stunned.

    He finally realized that although this young man was a cripple who could suffer from this foul malady at any given time, he definitely wasn’t the foolish, childish person he had imagined him to be.

    Only now did he realize that he had done something very stupid.

    Fu Hongxue coldly looked at him, watching as cold sweat dripped down from his forehead. He seemed to be looking at a wild dog that had been forced into a trash heap by someone.

    He was no longer willing to spare this man another glance. He lowered his gaze, staring at the sabre in his hand. He coldly said, “Originally, I should kill you.”

    Bai Jian was also staring at that sabre. His entire body was quivering.

    Fu Hongxue said, “But someone like you isn’t worthy of me killing.”

    Bai Jian’s entire body suddenly went limp, and he collapsed against the mountain wall. Anybody who suddenly managed to climb up from the precipice of death would find it difficult to avoid collapsing just like him.

    Fu Hongxue slowly continued, “I won’t kill you. But you had best not force me.”

    Bai Jian said, “I…I understand.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Is Ma Kongqun really still alive?”

    Bai Jian said, “That definitely is not false.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Do you want to remain alive and take me to him, or die here? You can take either route.”

    He didn’t say another word, nor did he spare this man another glance.

    He had already calculated what type of choice this type of man would make. In reality, this man had no real choice at all.

    Ye Kai was looking at him. His gaze was filled with a hint of a gratified smile. He suddenly said, “Looks like you really have improved quite a bit.”

    Fu Hongxue was still staring at his sabre.

    The more you polish your blade, the sharper it becomes. Isn’t the same true for people as well? Don’t most people in the world grow up due to pain?

    For the first time since Cui Nong’s death, he suddenly once more felt confident in himself.

    Lifting his head up, he stared at Ye Kai. “I can let you go today, but the account between us has to be settled sooner or later.”

    Ye Kai said, “I know.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “What time? What place? I can let you choose everything.”

    Ye Kai said, “No need to schedule a place or a time.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Why not?”

    Ye Kai said, “Because, seeing as how I don’t have anything to do anyhow, I can go with you.”

    Fu Hongxue smirked. “So long as I can lay my eyes on Ma Kongqun, there’s no one in the world who can save him.”

    Ye Kai said, “I don’t necessarily wish to save him. But, I really do wish to go and watch.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “First, you’ll watch me kill Ma Kongqun, and then you’ll wait for me to kill you?”

    Ye Kai laughed. Smiling, he said, “At that time, if you perhaps no longer wish to kill me, I won’t object.”

    Fu Hongxue coldly said, “You can come watch, and you can come wait. But this time, regardless of whether I kill him or he kills me, you’d best mind your own business.”

    Ye Kai said, “I accept.”

    Pain once more appeared in Fu Hongxue’s eyes. “On the road, it’s best if you stay far away from me. It’s best if you don’t let me see you two.”

    He could no longer bear to see successful couples. He would rather be alone. There are some types of pain which are more easy to bear when one is alone.

    Ye Kai naturally understood his feelings. He suddenly chuckled, then said, “Actually, you don’t need this person to guide you at all.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Why?”

    Ye Kai said, “Because I already know where he’s from.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Oh?”

    Ye Kai said, “He’s from the Dragon and Tiger Stockade. I imagine Ma Kongqun has hidden himself this entire time at the Dragon and Tiger Stockade.”

    Bai Jian’s face suddenly turned green. Without a doubt, this proved that Ma Kongqun really was at the Dragon and Tiger Stockade.

    His life had already become totally worthless to others. He believed that Ye Kai definitely wouldn’t let him go, but he was wrong yet again. He forgot that he and Ye Kai were not the same type of person. They definitely were not.

    Ding Linglin suddenly chuckled at him. “Relax. Although they no longer need you to guide the way, they won’t kill you either, because neither of them is cruel or merciless.”

    Bai Jian mopped away his sweat. “I…I know that they are both good people.”

    Ding Linglin smiled. “They definitely are, but I am not.”

    Bai Jian’s face turned green again. “You…you…”

    Ding Linglin flatly said, “I’m just a woman. Women always tend to be a bit narrow-minded. Thus, it’d be best for you to remember this; no matter what type of person you offend, no matter what, do not offend a woman.”

    Bai Jian’s sweat was flowing like rain. He stuttered, “In the future, I…I definitely will remember that.”

    Ding Linglin said, “Will you really remember it for the rest of your life?”

    Bai Jian said, “Really.”

    Ding Linglin let out a sigh. “Unfortunately, I don’t believe a word you say.”

    Bai Jian said, “You…what will it take for you to believe me?”

    Ding Linglin’s face suddenly sunk. “I only can think of a single way.”

    Seeing her expression, Bai Jian suddenly understood what she was thinking. He suddenly used his very last bit of energy to charge out.

    This time, he wasn’t wrong. Although he didn’t understand the hearts of heroes or gentlemen, he understood women very well.

    As he rushed out, he suddenly an exquisite, melodious sound of bells ringing behind the back of his head.

    This was the last sound he heard.

    The night grew still deeper. When the night was at its darkest, dawn is about to approach.

    Fu Hongxue watched as Bai Jian collapsed in the middle of the darkness. Turning around, he stared at Ye Kai. Coldly, he said, “You shouldn’t have let him die.”

    Ye Kai let out a sigh. Forcing out a smile, he said, “He shouldn’t have offended a woman.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “What if Ma Kongqun isn’t at the Dragon and Tiger Stockade?”

    Ye Kai said, “He definitely is there.”

    But this time, Ye Kai was the one who was wrong.

    Ma Kongqun was no longer at the Dragon and Tiger Stockade. No one was there. No one living.

    The blood on the ground had already congealed, and the bodies in the midst of the pools of blood had stiffened.

    It wasn’t as though Ye Kai had never seen blood or corpses before, but right now, even he felt an almost irresistible urge to vomit.

    Fu Hongxue tightly gripped his sabre and tightly clenched his fist. He was almost about to vomit as well, but he forcefully controlled himself.

    He couldn’t bear to look, but he used all of his strength to force himself to look. Was the situation outside the Plum Blossom Convent nineteen years ago similar to that which he now saw?

    He hated Ma Kongqun, but he had never before hated Ma Kongqun as much as he did now. Because this was the first time he personally saw, with his own two eyes, how cruel and vicious Ma Kongqun’s methods were.

    After an indeterminable length of time, Ye Kai let out a long sigh. “I imagine he found out that Bai Jian went to seek you out and thus used such a vicious tactic.”

    Fu Hongxue did not open his mouth. He couldn’t open his mouth. If he were to open his mouth, he would have to vomit.

    Ye Kai squatted down. With two fingers, he pulled up a piece of blood-soaked earth. The earth was still moist.

    The sunlight couldn’t reach this place. Although the blood had already congealed, it hadn’t totally dried yet. Was this because the blood was mixed with tears?

    Ye Kai mumbled to himself, “It seems he didn’t leave too long ago.”

    Ding Linglin had already turned around, covering her face with her hands. She suddenly said, “But who knows which road he took?”

    Ye Kai said, “Nobody.”

    His gaze was distant, his own eyes filled with anger as well. After a long time, he slowly continued, “All I know is that for someone like him, no matter what road he takes, he won’t get very far.”

    Ding Linglin said, “Why?”

    Ye Kai said, “Because he will quickly exhaust every road open to him.”

    Even if a person were to exhaust every road open to him, even if he had no roads left, he still wouldn’t come to a halt.

    Because he still had one road left to him.

    The road to ruin! No one wished to walk on the road to ruin.

    But if you truly weren’t willing to walk on this road, no one could force you to do so either. The only person who could force you on to the road to ruin is yourself!

    CHAPTER END
    Read the latest chapters of Coiling Dragon at Wuxia World!

  9. #69
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks Ren! Yet another wonderful translation! Can't wait for the next update.

    It seems like you can offend all the guys in the world and still live but once you offend a woman, there's no hope for you...hahahaha Classic!

    Wonder how much longer FHX will have to chase MKQ and where will the final destination be? Please update soon!

  10. #70
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    I'm surprised Ye Kai was gonna let the would-be-rapist get away with it...!

  11. #71
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    So the blood dripping hand that startled Ding Linglin belonged to Fu Hongxue and his hare? That's a bizarre image, especially for a meatless hare.

    Somehow I think that Ye Kai had known that any offenders who insults a woman would not be spared anyway. In essence, he didn't have to lift a finger.

    Didn't Ye Kai accept a bribe waaay back in the beginning of the story? Well, I'm sure all will be revealed.

  12. #72
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    Chapter 42: The Road to Ruin, the Severing Blade

    The mountain trail was very narrow and very precipitous. Jagged stones lined the hills like awls.

    But at least there was a road still.

    A patch of dense shade blocked out the vile rays of autumn’s noonday sun. Ma Kongqun took off his large straw hat and sat on the floor. Leaning against the tree, he panted for breath.

    He wanted to use the hat to fan himself, but his arms had suddenly turned indescribably numb. He didn’t even have the strength to raise them.

    In the past, he wasn’t like this.

    In the past, no matter how many people he killed, he wouldn’t feel tired at all. Sometimes, the more he killed, the more energetic he became.

    In the past, he would even believe himself to be a superman, a marvel who was half-god, half-beast. He always felt that his strength was inexhaustible.

    Now, he finally realized that he was nothing more than a man, an old man whose entire body was sore and whose heart was filled with worry.

    “Why is it that I’ve become so old, just like other people?”

    Becoming old has always been a source of sadness for people, but his heart was filled with anger and resentment.

    Right now, he seemed to be filled with anger and resentment towards everything.

    He felt that the world really was too unfair to him.

    He had bitterly toiled and labored all his life, and had shed ten times the amount of blood and sweat that others had.

    But now, he was like a wild animal that was being pursued by a huntsman. He had to incessantly dodge, incessantly flee…once, he possessed the largest expanse of land in the world, but now, he didn’t even have a place to rest.

    Once, he also possessed the finest herd of horses in the world, but now, he had to run on his own two legs, and his feet were bleeding from being pierced by rocks. Of course he was angry. Of course he was resentful. Because he had never imagined any of this.

    Who caused all of this?

    Perhaps he didn’t even dare to think that question.

    Third Madame Shen was right in front of him, seated on a very large bundle. She was panting for breath as well.

    She’d always been a woman who was excellent at making up and dressing up, but right now, her entire body was covered with bloodstains, dust, and silt. The shoes on her feet were almost totally worn through, and the bottoms of her own feet were bleeding as well.

    She seemed to be very weak, because she had thrown up just moments ago. She had found half a jaw stuck in her hair.

    When the wind blew by, her body suddenly felt a chill.

    It wasn’t due to the cold. It was due to fear.

    The front of her clothes was almost torn open. Just one more second, and the one-eyed man’s sabre would have ripped her chest open.

    But she didn’t feel any resentment.

    Because she brought this on herself. She didn’t blame Ma Kongqun, much less anyone else.

    She knew that Ma Kongqun was looking at her. Usually, when he looked at her, she would always smile at him.

    But right now, she kept her head lowered, staring at her bosom which was revealed by the ripped cloths.

    Ma Kongqun suddenly sighed. “There are other clothes in the bundle. Why don’t you change?”

    Third Madame Shen said, “Alright. I’ll change.”

    But she didn’t change clothes. She didn’t even move.

    Usually, whatever Ma Kongqun said, she followed. No matter what he wanted her to do, she would immediately do it.

    Ma Kongqun stared at her. After a long time, he slowly asked, “What are you thinking?”

    Third Madame Shen said, “I’m not thinking about anything.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “But you look like you have something on your mind.”

    Third Madame Shen dully said, “Even if I did, I don’t necessarily have to tell you about it.”

    The muscles around Ma Kongqun’s lips stiffened, as though he had suddenly been slapped across the face.

    Perhaps this woman had deceived him and even betrayed him, but she had never directly contradicted him face-to-face like this, much less disobey him like this. Not even once.

    This was the first time.

    But he was already an old man, and had learned to treat women as though they were horses.

    Naturally, he wouldn’t act in the same manner as he would’ve if he were still young, rushing over to her and grabbing her by the hair and asking her why she had changed.

    He only chuckled. “You’re tired. Go wash your face. Perhaps that will reinvigorate you a bit.”

    The was the sound of running water outside the woods. She wouldn’t need to walk too far to find a very clear, pure spring.

    But she still didn’t move.

    Ma Kongqun glanced at her again, then slowly closed his eyes. He’d already decided to just ignore her.

    “Just ignore her.”

    Aren’t these three words the most effective way to deal with a woman?

    When she’s angry, just ignore her. When she wants to fight with you, just ignore her. When she wants something from you, just ignore her. When she wants money to spend, just ignore her. No matter what she wants, just ignore her.

    What can she do?

    Unfortunately, not everyone is able to pull this off. Not even Ma Kongqun is necessarily capable of truly pulling this off.

    Third Madame Shen suddenly said, “Earlier, you asked me what I was thinking. I didn’t want to say it, but now, I feel as though I have to say it.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “Go ahead.”

    Third Madame Shen said, “You shouldn’t have killed those people.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “I shouldn’t have killed them?”

    Third Madame Shen said, “You shouldn’t have!”

    Ma Kongqun didn’t open his eyelids, but his eyes were nonetheless twitching. After a long time, he slowly said, “I only killed them because they betrayed me. Anyone who betrays me must die!”

    Third Madame Shen forcefully bit her lips, as though she was using all her strength to control herself. But she couldn’t resist saying, “Are you saying that all of those people betrayed you? Did those women and children betray you as well? Why did you have to wipe all of them out?”

    Ma Kongqun coldly said, “Because I wanted to stay alive.”

    Third Madame Shen suddenly sneered. “You want to stay alive. Don’t other people want to stay alive as well? If we were to have simply left, none of them whatsoever would have blocked us from doing so. Why did you have to be so vicious?”

    Ma Kongqun’s hands tightened into fists. Blue veins were bulging from the back of his hands, but after a long moment, he slowly relaxed. He slowly stood up and walked out of the woods.

    The spring water was cold and refreshing.

    Ma Kongqun squatted down, cupping a handful of the spring water. Only when the water flowed past his wrists did he gradually begin to calm down.

    Everyone would consider him to be a calm and steady man, calmer and steadier than anyone else.

    Only he himself knew that when he lost his temper, even he himself was sometimes unable to control himself.

    Third Madame Shen had followed him out. Standing behind him, she was looking at him.

    His back was still stiff and straight, and his waist was still slender. From behind, no one would be able to tell that he was an old man.

    Even Third Madame Shen had to admit that he really was a very extraordinary man. Originally, she gave herself to him for the purpose of revenge. But when he took her, she had suddenly felt a sense of satisfaction and joy which she had never before felt.

    She had never gotten these feelings from any other man before. “Did I follow him because it is my destiny to?”

    She’d never thought about it in this way before, but now she did. Her entire body grew warm.

    Ma Kongqun naturally knew that she had come, but he didn’t turn his head.

    After passing by this spring, the mountain trail would be almost over. They could already see a large grassland from here.

    The grassland was criss-crossed with paths through fields, looking like a giant chess board.

    Ma Kongqun gazed down at that faraway sight. He slowly said, “When we descend from the mountain, we can spend a night at a peasant’s house…”

    Third Madame Shen suddenly interrupted him. “And then? What do you plan to do next?”

    Ma Kongqun was silent. After a long time, he slowly said, “Are you asking me what I am planning to do next, or what we are planning to next?”

    Third Madame Shen tightly clenched her hands. “You. Not we.”

    Ma Kongqun’s body suddenly stiffened.

    Third Madame Shen didn’t look at him. She suddenly smirked. “Are you planning to exterminate the farmers as well to silence them?”

    Ma Kongqun suddenly turned around and stared at her. Slowly, he said, “Sometimes, when a man is running for his life, he has to do things which even he finds disgusting. But I didn’t tell you to follow me. I never have.”

    Third Madame Shen lowered her head. “I made the decision to follow you. Originally, I had made up my mind to follow you no matter where you go. If you live, I live. If you die, I die!”

    Her voice was choked with sobs. Tears began to flow. “I had made up my mind to give my entire life to you, because I…I felt that I had wronged you, and because I felt that no matter what you had done in the past, you are still a real man. But now…now…”

    Ma Kongqun said, “Now what?”

    Third Madame Shen quietly wiped away her tears. “Now, you’ve changed.”

    When she said these words, she suddenly felt a piercing pain in her heart.

    Because even she herself did not know if Ma Kongqun had changed, or if she herself had changed.

    Ma Kongqun just quietly looked at her, not revealing any expressions at all on his face.

    Was this perhaps because he had known all along that there’s no such thing as an unchanging woman, no such thing as unchanging love?

    In addition, anyone who had experienced this life of endless fear and fleeing would find it difficult not to change.

    Ma Kongqun finally slowly nodded his head. “Fine. When you came, it was your own decision to follow me. I didn’t ask it of you. Now, it is your own decision to leave. Naturally, I won’t force you to stay.”

    Third Madame Shen lowered her head. “I’ve carefully thought this through as well. It’s better for you if I leave.”

    Ma Kongqun let out a flat chuckle. “Thank you kindly. I understand your good intentions.”

    “Thank you kindly.” Although these three words were very commonplace, Third Madame Shen really could not endure them.

    In the blink of an eye, her heart was once more filled with shame and guilt. She almost changed her plan.

    No matter what type of person he was, and no matter how often he had wronged others, he had never ever let her down or done wrong by her.

    She always owed him. Right now, if he took her by the hand and told her not to leave him, she definitely would follow him without any hesitation at all.

    But Ma Kongqun only dully asked, “Where will you go in the future? Do you have any plans?”

    Third Madame Shen bit her lips. “Not yet. Maybe…maybe I’ll first think of a way to save up a little money, and then start up a small business. Maybe I’ll go do the farmlands and do some farming.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “You can accept such a life?”

    Third Madame Shen said, “In the past, of course I couldn’t. But now, all I want is to live a few peaceful, quiet, and leisurely years. Even if I die, it’d be alright.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “What if you don’t die?”

    Third Madame Shen said, “If I don’t die, I’ll go be a nun.”

    Ma Kongqun chuckled again. “No need to say such things to me. I know that you’re definitely not the type who is willing to go be a nun. Actually, you’re still quite young. You should go find another man, a young and gentle one. I really am too old for you.”

    Although he was still smiling, a look of anger and jealous had appeared in his eyes.

    Third Madame Shen didn’t look at him. She let out a quiet sigh then said, “I definitely won’t find another man. I…”

    Ma Kongqun interrupted her. “Perhaps you won’t go looking for men, but men will definitely come looking for you.”

    Third Madame Shen was quiet for some time, and then faintly said, “Perhaps…no one can predict what the future holds.”

    Ma Kongqun coldly said, “Actually, I understand you very well. For a woman like you, if a man isn’t sleeping next to you for three days in a row, you wouldn’t be able to go on living.

    Third Madame Shen suddenly raised her head, staring at him in shock.

    She had never imagined he would suddenly speak so boorishly towards her and say such terrible things. Ma Kongqun’s eyes had turned red with rage.

    At first, he wanted to force himself to remain controlled. He wanted to act like a gentleman and part on good terms with her, but whenever he thought about her amorous flirtations on the bed, whenever he imagined her sharing a bed with another man, whenever he thought about those young, dog-like men lying on top of her…he suddenly felt as though his heart had been bitten by vipers. He suddenly sneered, “Thus, I recommend you go be a *****. That way, you’d be able to change a man every day.”

    Third Madame Shen’s entire body had turned ice cold. The shame and guilt she had felt earlier had suddenly been transformed into rage. In a loud voice, she said, “You really are giving me some excellent advice! I might very well follow it. Only, a man a day isn’t enough. It’s better if I have at least seven or eight…”

    Before she finished her words, Ma Kongqun suddenly slapped her across the face and then grabbed her by the hair. He furiously said, “You…if you say another word, I’ll kill you!”

    Grinding her teeth, Third Madame Shen sneered, “It’d be best if you really did kill me. You should have killed me long ago. It would’ve saved me from having to sleep with you for so many days. When I think about it, I want to vomit!”

    She knew that she had no other ways to hurt him. She could only use these vile words.

    Ma Kongqun’s hands had balled into fists, balled tightly.

    A look of fear had entered Third Madame Shen’s face. She knew how terrifying these fists were.

    Perhaps there were no fists in the world which were more terrifying than these two. With a single blow, her face would become totally distorted, totally shattered.

    But she didn’t beg.

    She still glared at him, eyes wide open.

    She seemed to be able to make out every single wrinkle on his face as they quivered and jumped, and every single bead of cold sweat as it came forth from his pores.

    Ma Kongqun was staring at her as well. After a long moment, he suddenly let out a long sigh. His clenched fists suddenly relaxed.

    Perhaps he really was getting old. His face suddenly turned indescribably decrepit and tired.

    He waved his hand and said, gloomily, “Go, go now. It’s best if you never let me see you again. It’s best…”

    His voice suddenly came to a stop.

    He suddenly saw a flashing dagger flying towards them from behind Third Madame Shen.

    Third Madame Shen’s face suddenly contorted, and her beautiful eyes suddenly bulged out from her head. Her eyes were filled with shock, fear, and pain.

    She stretched out her hand, seeming to want to steady herself on Ma Kongqun.

    But Ma Kongqun took a step back.

    Her throat was gurgling, as though she wanted to say something, but before she could get the words out, she collapsed.

    A flying dagger was sticking out of her back, penetrating into her flesh.

    A flying dagger!

    When Ma Kongqun saw this dagger, at first he seemed to be both angered and shocked. But suddenly, all of that changed into unspeakable fear.

    Originally, he wanted to go support her, but he suddenly cowered back. Cold sweat poured down from his head like rain.

    The mountain wind blew by, stirring the desolate leaves.

    The flying dagger was shot out from within the woods, but right now, no voices could be heard within the woods, nor could he make out any human shadows.

    Ma Kongqun retreated, one step at a time. His face had become contorted with fear. He suddenly turned around and rushed away, leaping past the spring and fleeing without a backwards glance.

    Third Madame Shen lay on the ground, struggling and moaning.

    But he didn’t even spare her a single glance.

    As she listened to his footsteps descend down the mountain, her heart seemed to sink as well.

    She knew that he was secretive and fierce, and could sometimes be sinister and cruel.

    But she had never imagined him to be a coward who, after seeing her be ambushed by someone, would flee without even a word.

    She suddenly felt an indescribable sort of sorrow and disappointment. The pain from these feelings was even greater than that caused by the dagger in her back.

    Only now did she truly believe that she had lived her life in vain, because she had given everything to a man such as this.

    Fresh blood oozed from the wound in her back. Her tears cascaded down as well.

    Just at this moment, she heard the sound of footsteps, as well as someone’s sighs.

    “I didn’t imagine that Ma Kongqun was a man like this. Even if he didn’t plan on avenging you, he should at least look after you. But instead, he ran away, faster than a dog.”

    Judging from the sound, the voice belonged to a young man, a young man she didn’t know.

    The person who ambushed her from behind?

    “Although you’ll have died in my hands, you shouldn’t hate me. You should hate him, because he’s wronged you even worse than I have.”

    He really was the one who had ambushed her.

    Gritting her teeth, Third Madame Shen struggled, wanting to turn around and look at this person. Didn’t she at least have the right to see who killed her with this dagger?

    But this person’s foot had already come to a rest on her back. He coldly laughed, “If you want to look at me, it’ll make no difference to you. You wouldn’t be able to tell who I am, because you’ve never seen me before.”

    Summoning all of her strength, Third Madame Shen hoarsely said, “Then why have you harmed me?”

    The man said, “Because I felt that there’s no point to your life, so it’s best that you die!”

    Third Madame Shen gritted her teeth. Even she herself had to admit that she really did have that sort of feeling earlier.

    The man continued, “If I was a woman and had followed a man such as Ma Kongqun, I definitely wouldn’t want to keep on living. Only…with regards to death, well, there’s many ways one can die.”

    “….”

    “You haven’t died yet, so I might as well tell you that sometimes dying is more pleasant than living, but only if you die quickly. If you die slowly, the pain you suffer is unendurable.”

    Struggling, Third Madame Shen said in a trembling voice, “You…you still want to torment me?”

    The man said, “That depends on you. If you are willing to tell the truth, I’ll let your death be more comfortable.”

    Third Madame Shen said, “What do you want me to tell you?”

    The man picked up the bundle on the floor. “Although this bundle isn’t small, Ma Kongqun definitely had much more wealth than this could hold. When you left, where did you bury his treasures?”

    Third Madame Shen said, “I don’t know, I really don’t know.”

    The man leisurely said, “If you say the words ‘don’t know’ another time, I will strip you naked and first use you, then sever your tendons and sell you down the mountain to serve as a prostitute for peasants.”

    Smiling, he continued, “Some men aren’t all that picky. They won’t mind a woman who’s crippled.”

    Third Madame Shen’s entire body went cold.

    This man’s voice was gentle and refined. He should be a young man with a very good upbringing.

    But the words he said and the things he did were even more cruel and brutal than those of a wild beast.

    The man said, “I’ll ask you one more time. Do you know or don’t you?”

    Third Madame Shen said, “I…I…”

    Suddenly, a clear sound of bells ringing came from within the woods.

    A very melodious female voice said, “I’m sure he definitely took this path. I have a premonition.”

    A man laughed.

    That young woman said in a loud voice, “What are you laughing at? I’m telling you, never look down upon a woman’s premonitions. Sometimes, it’s even more accurate than Zhuge Liang’s calculations.”

    Third Madame Shen had never heard the girl’s voice before either, but the man’s laughter seemed very familiar.

    She suddenly remembered who this person was. Her heart rate suddenly sped up.

    And then she suddenly discovered that the man who had been stepping on her back had disappeared.

    When Ye Kai walked out of the woods, he didn’t see the person either. All he saw was a woman, collapsed in front of the stream.

    And of course, he saw the dagger in this woman’s back.

    The person was still alive, was still panting.

    He charged over there and lifted the woman up. Suddenly, he cried out involuntarily, “Third Madame Shen!”

    Third Madame Shen laughed. Her laughter was unspeakably sorrowful and miserable.

    She really didn’t want to see Ye Kai under such circumstances, but when she saw him, she felt an indescribable warmth in her heart.

    She groaned, and then began to slowly chant,

    “Emperor of heaven, sovereign of earth. Her body is like jade, a jade which is fragrant. Third Madame Shen, of the Hall of Ten Thousand Horses…”

    Her laughter became even more desolate. She quietly asked, “Do you still remember this song?”

    Of course Ye Kai remembered.

    He had blurted out the words to these songs that one night, when he saw her, Third Madame Shen, in the midst of that boundless prairie.

    He never would have imagined to that Third Madame Shen would have remembered these words to this very day.

    Third Madame Shen sadly said, “I’m sure you never imagined that I would still remember. That night, you…”

    Ye Kai laughed. His laughter was very desolate as well. “All I remember is that the woman who drank with me that night wasn’t you.”

    Third Madame Shen sweetly said, “And I remember that on that night, you weren’t even there.”

    After she had struggled to get these words out, fresh blood immediately began to flow from her lips.

    Ye Kai gently brushed it away with his fingers. He felt both sorrow and anger in his heart. He couldn’t resist asking, “Did Ma Kongqun do this vile thing?”

    Third Madame Shen said, “No, not him!”

    Ye Kai said, “If not him, then who?”

    Gasping, Third Madame Shen said, “A young man. I didn’t even have a chance to see him.”

    Ye Kai said, “But you know he was a young man.”

    Third Madame Shen said, “Only because I heard his voice. Just then, he was trying to force me to tell him the location of Ma Kongqun’s buried treasures. He left only after hearing your voice.”

    Ye Kai said, “And Ma Kongqun?”

    Third Madame Shen said, “Gone. He ran away like he saw a ghost…”

    Ye Kai frowned. “Why did he flee? What did he see?”

    Third Madame Shen gritted her teeth. “He must have thought that you had caught up to him. He…”

    Ye Kai’s eyes suddenly brightened. Crying out in surprise, he said, “He must have seen this dagger in your back!”

    A dagger which was three and a half inches long.

    A flying dagger!

    Ye Kai tore some cloth from his clothes and applied the ‘Golden Wound’ medicine he carried on him to Third Madame Shen’s wound. Then, he pulled the dagger out.

    A thin, sharp blade. It glittered beneath the sun, the reflected light piercing into Fu Hongxue’s eyes.

    His expression immediately changed, as though he really had been pierced by this dagger.

    Ye Kai suddenly turned his head. Watching him, he said, “Of course you’ve seen this type of dagger before.”

    Once again, Fu Hongxue’s face had turned so pale as to become nearly translucent. After a long time, he finally nodded slowly.

    He couldn’t deny it.

    The first time he saw this type of dagger was at Li Mahu’s store. The second time he saw this type of dagger was at the blood-soaked street. The third time he saw this type of dagger was in the room where his heart was shattered, next to the cold, desolate body of his beloved.

    He remembered each event very clearly, to the point where it seemed as though all he needed to do was close his eyes in order to once more see the look of fear on Li Mahu’s face, to once more see the blood blossom from that child’s body…but was he wrong in his interpretation of what had happened?

    Staring at him, Ye Kai slowly said, “By now, you should finally have come to realize that I’m not the only one who can use this sort of flying dagger.”

    Fu Hongxue was silent.

    Ye Kai sighed, “To tell you the truth, if I really wanted to ambush someone, I definitely wouldn’t use this type of dagger, nor would I allow anyone to see it.”

    Fu Hongxue suddenly said, “Because this is a very unique dagger?”

    Ye Kai said, “Yes.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “If others aren’t even able to see this dagger, how could they make a copy of it?”

    Ye Kai let out a sigh. “I don’t know either, yet. It really isn’t an easy thing to make a copy of this dagger.”

    He forced out a smile. “All I know is that when one intends to frame someone, they must go to a great deal of effort.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “You believe someone is intentionally trying to frame you?”

    Ye Kai smiled bitterly. “Can’t you tell yet?”

    Fu Hongxue lowered his head, staring at the sabre in his hands.

    When he was unwilling to answer a question, he would always lower his head and stare at this sabre.

    Ye Kai said, “This person made you believe that I intentionally provoked the ‘Divine Sabre’ Guo Wei into fighting a bloody battle with you, then made you believe that I was the mastermind behind the death of Cui Nong. At that time, Ding Linglin just so happened to be taken away by her second brother, preventing me from being able to produce a witness on my own behalf.”

    He let out another sigh, and then continued, “Clearly, he did all this to create an irreconcilable hatred between the two of us. He wanted us to fight to the death.”

    Once more, blue veins began to pop out from the hand with which Fu Hongxue gripped his sabre, but he was still silent.

    Ye Kai said, “Looks like he really did go to a great deal of trouble, because his calculations were very thorough. He set it up so that I wouldn’t even have a chance to explain or defend myself. If he hadn’t finally made a mistake and gave the game away this time, no matter how I tried to explain things, you wouldn’t have listened.”

    Fu Hongxue couldn’t help but admit that Ye Kai hadn’t said a single word in his own defense.

    Ye Kai said, “This time, he clearly didn’t anticipate that we hadn’t yet gotten into a brutal battle, and instead were still travelling together.”

    A bitter smile on his lips, he continued, “If Third Madame Shen were to have died, and if you weren’t with me, I imagine you would have once more believed that the person who killed Third Madame Shen was myself. This must be what Ma Kongqun believes right now.”

    Ding Linglin was pouting the entire time, fuming off to one side. No one knew what she was fuming about.

    But now, she couldn’t resist asking, “Can you imagine who it might be that hates you so much that he would wish to harm you like this?”

    Ye Kai sighed, “I can’t. That’s why I must get to the bottom of this.”

    He lowered his head. Only now did he notice that Third Madame Shen had raised her own eyes and was staring at Ding Linglin with a very strange look in her eyes.

    Ding Linglin was also staring at her with a very strange look in her eyes.

    Ye Kai said, “This is Third Madame Shen. You’ve never met her before…”

    Ding Linglin suddenly interrupted him. She coldly said, “I know who she is. I just didn’t know you two were on such familiar terms. You seem to treat her much better than you treat me.”

    Ye Kai suddenly understood why she was angry.

    She was becoming jealous again.

    This girl seemed to be capable of becoming jealous at a moment’s notice. Once she became jealous, she didn’t care about anything else at all, and was capable of saying anything.

    But why was Third Madame Shen staring at her in such a manner as well?

    Ye Kai didn’t get it.

    Ding Linglin sneered, “Hey, I’m talking to you. Why aren’t you paying attention to me?”

    Ye Kai wasn’t planning to pay her any mind at all. When she grew jealous, she wouldn’t accept any explanations whatsoever.

    Naturally, Ding Linglin only grew angrier. She sneered, “Looks like there are lots of memories the two of you want to reminisce over together. Do you want me to make myself scarce and let the two of you slowly chat for a bit?”

    Ye Kai said, “Right.”

    Ding Linglin stared at him. Her eyes suddenly turned red. She flattened her lips, stamped the ground, then really turned around and left.

    And Ye Kai didn’t stop her from leaving either.

    Third Madame Shen suddenly let out a sigh. “Looks like that little girl loves you to death. You shouldn’t make her angry on purpose.”

    Ye Kai chuckled. “But I really do have a lot of questions for you.”

    Third Madame Shen said, “Do you want to ask me what the voice of the person who ambushed me sounded like?”

    Ye Kai laughed. “Chatting with you is always such a pleasant thing. You always seem able to understand what others are thinking.”

    Third Madame Shen laughed as well, but her laughter had become all the more mournful.

    The only person she couldn’t understand was Ma Kongqun. But she had already given her entire life to him.

    What was the use of being able to understand others?

    After a long time, she summoned her energy. “That man spoke with a northern accent. Judging by his voice, he definitely isn’t more than thirty years old. His voice is very gentle and soft. Even if he were to tell you that he was going to kill you, he would still use that gentle, soft voice. It even seemed to carry a smile with it.”

    Ye Kai sighed. “There’s always been many people in the world who have daggers hidden within their smiles. This isn’t necessary all that unique.”

    Third Madame Shen said, “There’s only one unique trait to his speech.”

    Ye Kai immediately asked, “What’s that?”

    Third Madame Shen said, “Whenever he says the word ‘man’ [Ren], he doesn’t seem to be totally capable of curling up his tongue. It always sounds a little bit like ‘able’ [Neng], sort of like how miss Ding speaks.”

    Ye Kai finally realized why she had stared at Ding Linglin with such a strange expression earlier.

    His eyes suddenly shone, but his face had turned pale, so pale that his face was even more frightening than that of Fu Hongxue’s.

    Seeing his face, Third Madame Shen couldn’t resist asking, “You already know who he is?”

    Ye Kai was in a daze. After a long time, he slowly shook his head.

    Third Madame Shen said, “What are you thinking about?”

    This time, Ye Kai didn’t even hear her words, because his ears seemed to be filled with a loud howl.

    “Everyone is assembled?”

    “Everyone…” [The character in Chinese is ‘ren’; it can be used to refer to a single man, or refer to a group of men, as it can be a singular or a plural verb. In this context, it means ‘all the people’, ie ‘everyone’.]

    He looked as though he had suddenly been struck by a thunderbolt. He suddenly jumped to his feet. A strange red glow suddenly suffused his pale face.

    Even Fu Hongxue was no longer able to resist staring at him in surprise.

    Naturally, Ding Linglin was even more surprised. Although she was standing far off to one side, her eyes were always focused on Ye Kai.

    She’d never seen Ye Kai like this before. She’d never even imagined him like this.

    Anyone would be forced to admit that Ye Kai was a person who was extremely good at controlling himself. Even if you chopped his nose off, he definitely wouldn’t display any look of astonishment on his face.

    But although his face was shining, his eyes suddenly were filled with a queer look of suffering and dread.

    No one could describe this expression on his face. No one could know what he was thinking.

    Seeing this expression, Ding Linglin’s heart was shattered.

    Just a few moments ago, she swore to herself that she would never pay any further attention to this man in the future. But now, she had completely forgotten all about it.

    She rushed over and grabbed Ye Kai by the hand. Ye Kai’s hand was ice cold.

    She became even more anxious, pressing his hand against her own face. “Why did you suddenly become like this?”

    Ye Kai said, “I…I’m angry.”

    Ding Linglin said, “Who are you angry at?”

    Ye Kai said, “You.”

    Ding Linglin lowered her head, but she secretly smiled.

    Ye Kai couldn’t help but ask, “I’m angry at you, but you’re smiling?”

    The hearts of women really are difficult to decipher.

    Head lowered, Ding Linglin said, “I’m happy precisely because you’re angry.”

    Ye Kai was even more confused. “Why are you happy?”

    Ding Linglin said, “Because…because, if you didn’t care about me, how could you have become so angry?”

    Ye Kai smile as well.

    But his smile still wasn’t as cheerful as it normally was. His smile seemed to carry with it a very deep worry.

    But Ding Linglin couldn’t see it, because her entire body was nestled within his embrace. She didn’t care how many observers there might be. She’d never wanted to conceal the feelings she had for Ye Kai.

    Fu Hongxue looked at them. Suddenly, he turned around and walked down the mountain.

    The spring water flowed down from the mountain, blocking his path, but he didn’t see it.

    He walked directly into the water. The freezing water submerged his legs, but he didn’t feel it.

    Behind him, Ye Kai called out, “Wait, we’ll go together to find Ma Kongqun.”

    But he didn’t hear it either. He walked very slowly, but definitely would not look back.

    Ye Kai watched as his thin, solitary back disappeared. He couldn’t resist sighing, “He really has changed. Not only has he become even lonelier, he’s also become even more depressed. If this continues, I’m worried that…”

    He didn’t continue. He couldn’t bear to continue.

    Third Madame Shen suddenly asked, “What caused him to change?”

    Ye Kai sadly said, “He personally witnessed the only girl whom he truly loved die in front of him, while he was helpless to save her.”

    Third Madame Shen said, “Cui Nong?”

    Ye Kai said, “Right. Cui Nong.”

    A very strange expression suddenly appeared in the eyes of Third Madame Shen. After a long time passed, she lightly sighed. “I really did not imagine that he would really fall in love with Cui Nong.”

    Ye Kai said, “Do you believe that Cui Nong was not worth his love?”

    Third Madame Shen did not respond. She had no way to respond.

    Ye Kai chuckled. His chuckle was very sorrowful. He slowly said, “Unfortunately, there are many people in the world who will fall in love with people they shouldn’t fall in love with. This is one of the greatest sources of tragedy and misery known to man.”

    Third Madame Shen finally couldn’t help but let out a mournful sigh. She mumbled to herself, “Why is that? Who can say what the cause for that is?”

    The emotions of mankind have always been extremely difficult to understand. No one is capable of controlling them.

    It’s precisely because of this that mankind suffers from pain and misery.

    Ye Kai looked at Third Madame Shen. A very strange expression appeared in his eyes. He slowly said, “Anyone who has suffered the type of blow which Fu Hongxue had would find it hard to avoid reacting in a similar way, sinking down day after day. In this entire world, there is only one person capable of saving him.”

    Third Madame Shen said, “Who?”

    Ye Kai said, “You.”

    Third Madame was silent for some time before slowly nodding. “So I must not die. I really do have many things I still need to do…”

    There are many people who must not die, but still die nonetheless.

    Birth, aging, illness, death. None of these can be controlled or dictated to by man. And this is source of man’s sorrows and pains.

    Ma Kongqun closed the door, bolted it, and then collapsed. He collapsed onto the bed. The hard, cold wooden planks of the bed felt like a coffin.

    The room was as dark and damp as a grave as well. Only he had still managed to stay alive. No matter what, living was better than dying.

    Why do the old always fear death more than the young? In all truth, he already had nothing in life worth living for by now, and yet he became all the more reluctant to leave it.

    When he was young, he didn’t actually believe death to be a fearful thing.

    There seemed to be a moldy smelling coming from the bed, carrying with it the stench of horse manure. He suddenly wanted to vomit.

    Actually, he grew up in a place like this. The room in which he was born smelled even worse than this one.

    When he first made his way into the martial world, he had hidden himself in an actual pile of horse manure for two days and a night in order to shake off the pursuit of enemies.

    Once, he and the brothers of the Bai family had been defeated and encircled by three gangs of ginseng gatherers at Mt. Changbai. When they fled into the desolate mountains, they had even drank their own urine.

    Although he was no longer used to such arduous times, he was still able to endure them.

    He didn’t want to vomit because of the stench. It was because he suddenly felt that he was very contemptible.

    No matter what, a man who saw his woman collapse in front of him should not flee.

    But at the time, he was too terrified, because he had seen this exact same dagger before.

    A thin, sharp dagger, only three and a half inches long. But it was, without a doubt, the most terrifying dagger in the world.

    “This is Little Li’s Flying Dagger.”

    Bai Tianyu had held an identical dagger in his hands. His eyes were flickering with an excited light. “Everybody, come check it out! This is Little Li’s Flying Dagger! Li Tanhua personally gave it to me with his own hands!”

    That was the first time Ma Kongqun had seen this type dagger.

    On the dagger’s blade, the word ‘tolerance’ was carved into the metal. [Translator’s note: The original Chinese character was ‘ren’, which holds multiple meanings, including ‘tolerance’, ‘endurance’, ‘forbearance’, and ‘patience’.]

    “Li Tanhua personally used another dagger to carve in the word ‘tolerance’ as well! He said that the reason he was able to stay alive for so long was because he always had a very good understanding of the meaning of the word ‘tolerance’. Thus, he passed on this word to me.”

    At the time, he really was very receptive towards Little Li’s good intentions. Bai Tianyu wasn’t a person who couldn’t discriminate between good and evil.

    “He also promised me that when my second son is born, I can send the child to his place. He even said that, hypothetically speaking, if there’s anyone in the world who is capable of learning how to use his flying daggers, it would definitely be my son!”

    Unfortunately, this wish of his died before it was fulfilled, because he had already forgotten the word ‘tolerance’ which Li Tanhua had bequeathed to him.

    But Ma Kongqun did not forget. He had always remembered this in his heart.

    The night had gradually darkened.

    Ma Kongqun stared at the window, which gradually turned grey, then black. He only wished he could fall asleep.

    He believed that this was an extremely safe place. He didn’t actually stay in that farmer’s house when he came down the mountain. He ran all the way here.

    The only reason he stopped here was because even he himself had never seen such a dark, shabby guesthouse.

    Not only were there no other guests here, there wasn’t even a shop attendant. There was only an old codger who was half blind, half deaf. The old man was stubbornly staying here because he had no other place to go.

    Ma Kongqun suddenly felt sick at heart, like a fox mourning the death of the hare. When he saw this old man, he couldn’t help but think of himself as well.

    “What about me? Am I like him? Do I, too, no longer have any place to go?”

    He tightened his fists and sneered at himself.

    At this moment, a sweet aroma of oils and onions drifted it from outside the window. It seemed even more fragrant than the baby back ribs he had just smelled earlier.

    His entire body seemed to go soft. Even his fingers seemed to tremble. Hunger is a very difficult thing to endure.

    On the way here, he had passed by a noodle shop. He wanted to buy a bowl of noodles, but just as he walked over, he suddenly realized that he didn’t have a single coin on him.

    Originally, no matter where the master of the Hall of Ten Thousand Horses went, he shouldn’t need to bring a single coin.

    Just like an extremely wealthy man, over the years he had forgotten the habit of carrying money on him. Thus, up till now, he hadn’t eaten a single grain of rice.

    He limply rose to his feet. Only then did he realize that he could no longer hold out from his weakness and his hunger.

    He pushed the door open and entered the dark courtyard. He finally found the kitchen. That half-blind, half-deaf old man was placing a large bowl of noodles and soup on the table.

    Beneath the dim light of the candle, the soup looked like the color of mud. A yellow onion was drifting on top of it.

    But in his eyes, it was a very rich supper. Ma Kongqun felt the same way.

    Straightening his chest as he walked over, he said in a loud voice, “Give me this bowl of soup, and make another bowl for yourself.”

    Up to this very moment, his voice still had an aura of command to it. Unfortunately, no longer did anyone treat his words as commands.

    The old man looked at him. He quickly shook his head.

    Ma Kongqun frowned. “Didn’t you hear me?”

    But the old man revealed his broken, aged yellow teeth in a grin. “I’m not deaf. Of course I heard you. Only, this bowl of noodles is for me. After I’m done eating, I can make another bowl for you as well, but first you need to pay me for it.”

    Ma Kongqun’s face sunk. “What type of attitude is this? How can you possibly run a business if this is how you treat customers?”

    The old man laughed again. “I’m not a businessman.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “Then what’s the point of you running this inn?”

    The old man let out a sigh. “No point at all. I’m just waiting here to die. Aside from people nearing death, who else would be willing to come here?”

    He didn’t even spare Ma Kongqun another glance. He suddenly bent down and spat his saliva into the bowl of noodles, then muttered to himself, “I know that you’re someone with no money to pay me, and it’s not a problem if you stay in that shabby old room for a few days for free. But this bowl of noodles is mine. If you want to eat it, you’ll have to eat my saliva as well.”

    Ma Kongqun was stunned. He stood there in shock, tightly clenching his fists, almost unable to resist punching this old man and knocking out all the water in him.

    But he managed to resist. Right now, he couldn’t even fly into a rage. He only felt his mouth fill with a bitter, sour taste. He didn’t know if he should break into a loud laugh or into sobs. Would Ma Kongqun, he who once freely traversed the entire world, now kill a half-deaf, half-blind old man in this dirty, smelly kitchen over a bowl of noodles which looked like mud? He really thought this was hilarious.

    He couldn’t resist from laughing, but his laughter was even more tragic than crying.

    A gust of wind blew by. A few withered leaves rolled about on the floor.

    “Can it be that I am like these withered leaves? Am I also rolling about in the mud?”

    Ma Kongqun walked out of the courtyard, head lowered. The cold light of the crescent moon shone upon him, dragging his shadow across the muddy floor. When he pushed the door open, the light followed him inside as well, illuminating him.

    A ghostly figure was standing inside the dark room. When the door was pushed open, the cold, clearly moonlight just happened to land on her clothes. A red, short-sleeved vest, paired with a black satin skirt, upon which was embroidered fiery red peach blossoms.

    Ma Kongqun all but froze. He recognized these clothes. The first time Third Madame Shen came to him, she was wearing these clothes.

    That night, he had removed these clothes from her body and took her. No matter where he was, no matter how much time had passed, he would never, ever forget her soft, pleading, tearful face. Nor could he forget those clothes, even though it had been many years since she had worn them.

    Why would she suddenly wear these clothes? How did she suddenly appear here? Could it be that she hadn’t yet died?

    Ma Kongqun couldn’t resist lightly calling out, “Third Madame, is it you?”

    No answer. No sound.

    Only the sound of wind blowing past the door, making her body float about, as though it were about to be blown away.

    This person seemed to be without flesh or blood, composed of nothing more than an empty shell of a body. Perhaps she didn’t even have a body at all. Perhaps it was just her ghost. Dead or alive, she would still come to ask this heartless men how he could cast her aside and just flee to save his own skin.

    Ma Kongqun’s face had begun to turn blue. In a downcast voice, he said, “Third Madame, I know that I’ve wronged you. Regardless of whether you’re a person or a spirit, from today forwards, I will never throw you behind again.”

    When he began to speak, he slowly walked forward. As he finished these words, he suddenly stretched his hand out and seized her by her arm.

    The person standing here wasn’t her, nor was it her spirit. It was just a scarecrow wearing her clothes.

    Ma Kongqun’s expression changed. Just as he wanted to turn around, he found a sword pressed against his back. The cold blade had already pierced his clothes.

    A man walked out from behind the door. With a long, easy sigh, he said, “Emperor of heaven, sovereign of earth. The northeast’s Hall of Ten Thousand Horses. Horses like dragons, and a body like steel!”

    In a low voice, Ma Kongqun asked, “Who are you?”

    The man said, “I’m a man just like you. I’m a man with flesh and blood, neither a ghost, nor made from steel. Thus, if I were you, I would obediently stand there without even twitching.”

    His voice was sharp and strange. Clearly, he was disguising his voice.

    He coldly continued, “Naturally, you don’t want to see the tip of this sword coming out from your chest.”

    He exerted a little force and the cold tip of the sword seemed to dig slightly into his back.

    But Ma Kongqun actually let out a relieved breath, because this was a sword, not a sabre. Because this man was not Fu Hongxue.

    Even if Fu Hongxue had suddenly appeared behind him, he wouldn’t disguise his voice.

    The man continued, “You’d best not let your imagination run wild either, because you’ll never be able to guess who I am.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “How do you know who I am?”

    The man laughed. “I’ve known you for a long time. Only, I never imagined that the master of the Hall of Ten Thousand horses, whose horses are like dragons and whose body is like steel, would also admit to having wronged others. If Third Madame Shen were still alive, she would surely be very happy upon hearing your words.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “You…you also know Third Madame Shen?”

    The man said, “I know everything, so you shouldn’t try to hide anything from me.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “You took her clothes from her bundle?

    The man laughed coldly. The cold laugh held a tacit admittance.

    Ma Kongqun felt a piercing pain in his heart. He hadn’t imagined that Third Madame Shen had preserved this set of clothes.

    Did she also preserve the happiness and pain of that night within her heart?

    Ma Kongqun gritted his teeth. He suddenly smirked. “Pretending to be a ghost. Aren’t you ashamed? But you shouldn’t have used this set of clothes. Because in doing so, you are telling me that the one who killed Third Madame Shen is you.”

    His voice was filled with hatred. He continued, “Not only did you kill her, you stole her possessions…”

    The man interrupted him. He smirked, “What, haven’t you killed before? Although I might be vicious, I’m still somewhat better than you. At least, I’ve never killed a brother who had had experienced life and death with me, nor did I use the wealth of my slain brother to build a stable in the northeast.”

    Ma Kongqun’s expression changed again. There really weren’t too many people in the martial world who knew this secret.

    Not even Fu Hongxue himself knew that the money with which he had built the Hall of Ten Thousand Horses originally belonged to the Bai family.

    How did this person know? Ma Kongqun suddenly felt a chill rise up from his feet like a blade. “Who are you?”

    The man leisurely said, “I told you, I’m a person who knows everything in the world. By now, you should know that I’m not bluffing you.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “If you know everything, what do you want?”

    The man said, “Not much. I just want you to hand over the treasures which you took from others.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “If you want it, go take it. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that the glorious, fertile Hall of Ten Thousand Horses is now no more than a barren wasteland.”

    The man sneered, “You should know that what I’m after is not that barren wasteland, but the treasure which you secretly stashed away.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “Treasure? What treasure?”

    The man said, “In former years, the ‘Divine Sabre Hall’ dominated the martial world. Its force was greater than that of Shangguan Jinhong’s ‘Golden Coin Clan’. When Shangguan Jinhong died, he left behind a terrifyingly high amount of wealth. This is all the more true of the ‘Divine Sabre Hall!’”

    Ma Kongqun said, “Unfortunately, I don’t belong to the ‘Divine Sabre Hall.’”

    The man coldly said, “Of course you don’t. You’re just an assassin who killed the master of the ‘Divine Sabre Hall’. You had others do your dirty work for you and kill Bai Tianyu, but swallowed all of his wealth by yourself. Those poor people who died outside the Plum Blossom Convent really died in vain…in vain!”

    Ma Kongqun’s hands were frozen. He suddenly realized that this person really did know too much.

    The man said in a fierce voice, “Some of the widows of those dead warriors don’t even have enough clothing to wear. Now, I have come to settle this account with you on their behalf!”

    Ma Kongqun suddenly sneered, “But how do you know the identities of those who died outside the Plum Blossom Convent?”

    The man didn’t speak. The sword in his hand suddenly trembled.

    Ma Kongqun said, one word at a time, “Aside from myself, there’s only one person in the entire world who knew their identities. Just one person…I never imagined that he would reveal that secret to another.”

    His voice was cold and vicious. He slowly continued, “And yet, you too know this secret. Who exactly are you?”

    The man only sneered.

    Ma Kongqun pursued, “Who are you?”

    The man replied, with a cold laugh, “Perhaps you’ll never know who I am!”

    Ma Kongqun coldly said, “Then I’m afraid you’ll never know where those treasures are stored.”

    The man seemed to be stunned again.

    Ma Kongqun said, “In addition, even if you don’t tell me, I still know who you are. If you really kill me, within three days of my death, someone will expose your family’s secrets and let everyone in the martial world know the truth…the descendants of the Bai family will find out as well.”

    The sword in this man’s hand seemed to tremble again. With a sneer, he said, “If you die, who might reveal this secret?”

    He was a young man, after all. No matter how sly and crafty he might be, he still couldn’t compare to an old fox like Ma Kongqun.

    Not only did these words give an impression of weakness, they also confirmed without a doubt that he was who Ma Kongqun thought he was.

    Ma Kongqun’s eyes suddenly gleamed. He coldly said, “Naturally, while I’m alive, no one can reveal this secret.”

    The man couldn’t help but ask, “But if you die, someone will?”

    Ma Kongqun said, “Right.”

    The man said, “You…you really left behind a letter to someone? If you die, he’ll expose the contents of the letter?”

    Ma Kongqun flatly said, “Looks like you’re a smart fellow. You can think of this idea as well.”

    The man said, “I can think of it, but I don’t believe it.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “Oh?”

    The man said, “Because there’s nobody in the world who you truly trust. How could you give such a letter to anyone?”

    Ma Kongqun suddenly chuckled. “Are you trying to get me to tell you who that person is, so that after you kill me, you will go kill him?”

    The man didn’t speak.

    Ma Kongqun dully laughed. “This really is a very good method. Unfortunately for you, I used this type of method over thirty years ago.”

    The man was silent. After a long time, he chuckled as well. “Do you actually believe that I’ll spare you, just like that?”

    Ma Kongqun said, “Of course you won’t. But why don’t we strike a bargain?”

    The man said, “What bargain?”

    Ma Kongqun said, “Come kill Fu Hongxue with me, and I’ll take you to the treasure trove. If you keep my secret, I definitely won’t expose you either. The wealth within my treasure trove is more than enough for both of us. Don’t you think this is fair?”

    The man was silent. Clearly, he was a bit swayed.

    Ma Kongqun said, “In addition, you should also know that the person from your previous generation was the only person in the world who could share secrets with me, because I trusted him and he trusted me. That’s why we were able to do something so astounding. Now, don’t we have an even better opportunity than then?”

    The man hesitated. He slowly said, “I can agree to this, but we must first find the treasure and then go kill Fu Hongxue.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “Fine.”

    The man said, “In addition, when we go to the treasure trove, I need to first seal the acupoints on your arms.”

    Ma Kongqun said, “Are you actually afraid that I will attack you?”

    The man said, “Will you agree or won’t you?”

    Ma Kongqun chuckled. “As I was able to trust the person from your previous generation, perhaps I can trust you as well.”

    The man finally let out a relieved breath. “I’ll only seal the ‘Shoulder Well’ acupoints on your arms to prevent you from attacking.”

    He took a step forward, striking towards Ma Kongqun’s shoulder with two fingers. At this moment, he was forced to lower his sword slightly. Otherwise, his fingers wouldn’t be able to reach Ma Kongqun’s shoulder.

    But this happened all in a flash. Just as the sword in his right hand drooped slightly, his left hand struck out. He was confident that he definitely wouldn’t be slower than the other man.

    But he still wasn’t fast enough.

    Just at this split second, Ma Kongqun suddenly swung sideways and struck him on his right ribcage with one fist while cracking him in the face with a second backwards punch.

    The man heard the sound of his bones splintering. He had already been knocked flying.

    He only suddenly felt everything go black, but countless stars were dancing within the blackness. But he knew that he definitely must not faint. After fifteen years of endless training from dawn to dusk, not only did he learn how to beat others, he also had learned how to take a beating. When his body fell to the ground, he suddenly bit his lips hard, using the pain to bring himself awake. And then his body rolled away.

    Ma Kongqun followed him out, only to see him suddenly lift his hands. And then, there was a flash of a dagger! The dagger flashed like lightning. It was a flying dagger!

    “Little Li’s Flying Dagger, Once Thrown Never Misses!”

    The prestige of Little Li’s Flying Dagger was still, to this very day, enough to scare the people of the martial world out of their wits. Although this wasn’t Little Li’s Flying Dagger, it was still enough to shake Ma Kongqun’s soul. He didn’t dare to block it, and his dodge became slower due to his fear as well.

    After flashing, the dagger disappeared. It was now nailed to his shoulder.

    This was also a flying dagger. But in all the world, throughout time immemorial, nobody’s flying dagger could compare to Little Li’s Flying Dagger!

    This is much like how, regardless of how bright the stars in the night sky might be, no star could compare with the brightness of the moon.

    If this dagger was Little Li’s Flying Dagger, even if Ma Kongqun’s movements were ten times as fast, he still wouldn’t have been able to dodge. This was because Little Li’s Flying Dagger was no longer just a flying dagger. It had become a sacred, holy symbol, filled with a sacred, holy force. No one could dodge Little Li’s Flying Dagger, because everyone had already decided in advance that this dagger was impossible to dodge.

    This sort of thinking is similar to how people know that natural disasters are impossible to avoid.

    After the flash of the dagger, the man rolled out of the courtyard, then jumped to his feet.

    Ma Kongqun only saw an outline of a man dressed in black. With a flicker of movement, he disappeared into the darkness.

    Grinding his teeth, he pulled the dagger from his shoulder and pursued.

    He believed that this man definitely wouldn’t be able to run far. Nobody in the world would be able to run for long, after having eaten two of his punches.

    CHAPTER END
    Last edited by Ren Wo Xing; 08-10-09 at 02:31 PM.
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  13. #73
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    Default i bet 20 $ who wants to take it ?

    click to show/hide spoilers

    i bet 20 $ this is one of dinglings brothers. and that her father was the co conspirita


    hahaha

  14. #74
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks Ren for the update! This was a great chapter. MKQ is such a sly old fox! Can't wait for the final confrontation. Thanks again!

  15. #75
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    Same thought I had, although it was definitely foreshadowed a bit by GL with the passage about DLL's "accent"....not only that but it seems that we may know the identity of the "Everyone is here" person.

    About Cui Nong...what does Madame Shen know about her that FHX and YK don't? That's gotta be a bigger than average mystery also!!!

  16. #76
    Senior Member Justin13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliderhamy View Post
    click to show/hide spoilers

    i bet 20 $ this is one of dinglings brothers. and that her father was the co conspirita


    hahaha

    Makes sense.

  17. #77
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    Default whats GL style ?

    only problem with my theory is its way to obvious. GL wouldent make such a criticle think so obvious would he ?

    any other example of GL showing a massive twist early on in the story.... hmmm if my memory serves me right he did a few times in legendary siblings ?

  18. #78
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    Ok, I'm ready to see another appearance of the famed "Flying Dagger"! Who's down to take up the challenge...? ....anyone?

  19. #79
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    I'll try and start posting again soon...been just so busy with starting the diplomatic basic training courses et. al.
    Read the latest chapters of Coiling Dragon at Wuxia World!

  20. #80
    Senior Member balikpapan's Avatar
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    Waiting anxiously, here, Mr. Ren Wo Xing.

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