Now there's a fight I honestly wonder about- was LXF capable of really taking him on? I bet the answer is yes, but...
Thanks again, Foxs!
The fire was still blazing, he simply could not just stand there doing nothing. Although there were many things he needed to think through, everything must wait, right now the most important thing was helping to put out the fire.
He rolled up his sleeves and jumped into action. Snatching a water bucket from the man next to him, he leaped onto the top of the wall of the nearby house and splashed the water down.
Naturally his movements were a lot quicker than other people. The power of him, one man, was comparable to at least to that of five people. However, there was another man working side by side with him. Surprisingly, this man’s movements were not too slow compared to him, so much so that the man seemed to work harder than Lu Xiaofeng. There was one time when that man leaped onto a burning wall and almost fell into the inferno below.
With the melting snow and ice wetting the burning timber, plus the joint effort of the people, the fire was quickly contained, and finally it was completely out.
At long last Lu Xiaofeng could take a breather. With his sleeve he wiped his perspiration, with such a good feeling in his heart, a feeling that he had not had for a very long time.
The man next to him was also catching his breath. With a broad smile in his face he said, “Altogether you poured seventy three buckets of water, and I poured six less buckets than you did!”
Lu Xiaofeng raised his head only to discover that the man working alongside him to put out the fire was none other than the Hei Xuan Tan, Zhao Junwu.
With an unrestrained laughter Zhao Junwu continued, “Not too long ago I was thinking of smashing my head and die, but now I want to live several years longer, the longer the better.”
Lu Xiaofeng smiled, he did not ask ‘why?’, because he already knew the answer.
If you think that you are a useful person, you won’t want to die, because you feel that your life is worth living, that your life deserves to be cherished.
If you have ever helped other people wholeheartedly, you would definitely understand this truth, because if you are willing to help others, you are definitely a useful person.
Lu Xiaofeng smiled as he patted Zhao Junwu’s shoulder. “I know that just now you put a lot more effort than anybody else. If you have hit me with the same zest, I would have not able to withstand!”
With blushing face Zhao Junwu laughed, “When I hit people, of course I won’t do it with the same zest, because hitting people is not a delightful matter, besides, I am afraid I might hurt my own hand!”
The two of them broke out in laughter. It was only then did they realize that all around them people were also laughing, their eyes were brimming with happiness, admiration and gratitude.
A little girl, whose hair was combed into two long braids, suddenly emerged from the crowd and pulled their hands. She put some candy into their hands and with a blushing face she said, “This is my favorite candy, but I want you to have it, because you are good men. When I grow up, I want to be just like you, when other people’s house is on fire, I am going to help putting it out!”
Lu Xiaofeng gently stroked her hair, he wanted to say something, but there seem to be something choking his throat.
Zhao Junwu also looked at her, he felt his tears almost falling down. In that moment he felt that if he were killed in the fire, it would have been worth it.
Right then a small black head suddenly appeared from a dirty and narrow gutter at the side of the street. With finger pointed toward Lu Xiaofeng he shouted, “He is not a good man, he lied to me, Auntie did not give me any candy.”
A little black boy crawled out from the gutter; unexpectedly, it was that filthy foolish-looking kid.
Surprisingly, he did not die; perhaps it was not because he was lucky, but because he was stupid and ignorant, because other than him, nobody, neither adult nor children, would be foolish enough to force himself into such a dirty sewer.
But he had eyes; not only that, he was in Chen Jingjing’s room just a moment ago, and now he was the only witness who can tell what had been happening!
Lu Xiaofeng’s eyes brightened, immediately he stepped forward to meet the boy. Could this boy depict the assailant’s appearance? Although he did not have any confidence, at least there was some hope.
At that moment, suddenly from among the crowd someone shouted, “Although he helped putting out the fire, it was also him who set the fire in the first place. Everybody, don’t be fooled by him!”
Yelling and screaming, several people charged toward Lu Xiaofeng; the situation immediately became chaotic. Although there were some who did not believe, some were skeptical, but some people whose houses were also burned could not distinguish between right and wrong, they were the ones who attacked Lu Xiaofeng.
They were simple-minded people; seeing their homes were burned, already their eyes were red with fury, and they attacked without any regard for their own safety.
Lu Xiaofeng did not blame them, he also did not want to fight them. Fortunately Zhao Junwu helped him to stop them. Although Lu Xiaofeng suffered several punches, he finally managed to get out; but that filthy kid had disappeared.
There were several dripping wet footprints by the gutter, the rubble of the burned down house was still emitting blue smoke.
Lu Xiaofeng gritted his teeth and suddenly entered the smoking rubble.
By this time several escorts working under Zhao Junwu had also arrived, and they helped suppressing the riot. Zhao Junwu made a personal guarantee that Lu Xiaofeng was drinking wine with him when the fire started, and only then did the riot subside. But when inquiry was made of who was the person who shouted the first time, nobody knew.
Lu Xiaofeng was still in the midst of scalding rubble, nobody knew what was he looking for?
“What were you looking for?”
As soon as they left the fire location, Zhao Junwu could not bear not to ask, but Lu Xiaofeng did not answer.
His eyes were gleaming with a very strange expression, yet nobody knew what kind of difficult problem he was pondering about, or perhaps he had solved this difficult problem.
Zhao Junwu did not ask anymore, he started to ponder on his own. He suddenly said, “The person who accuse you a moment ago must be the same person who started the fire, and he wanted you to take the blame.”
Lu Xiaofeng was silent for a long time before he slowly said, “They did not want to shift the blame on me, but they wanted to shut someone’s mouth.”
Zhao Junwu: “Shut whose mouth? That dumb kid who crawl from the sewer?” Lu Xiaofeng nodded.
Zhao Junwu frowned, “That kind of dumb kid, what does he know?”
Lu Xiaofeng sighed, “They really should have not done it!”
Zhao Junwu also sighed, “Whatever it was, it’s in the past now. Let us have a drink.”
Lu Xiaofeng: “If you want me to drink with you, I am afraid you must wait.”
Zhao Junwu: “Why?”
Lu Xiaofeng clenched both of his fists and said word by word, “If I cannot find Fei Tian Yu Hu, henceforth I am not going to drink a single drop of wine.”
Zhao Junwu: “Can I do something for you?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “You can!”
Zhao Junwu: “Tell me.”
Lu Xiaofeng: “You are much more familiar with this area than me, I want you …”
All of a sudden he lowered his voice a lot as if he was afraid others might hear it, because now he knew that Fei Tian Yu Hu’s influence reached as far as this place; it was far greater than he previously imagined.
When he finished speaking, Zhao Junwu immediately responded, “I will definitely do it for you; but when I get all the information you need, how am I going to pass it on to you?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “Have you ever gambled at the Silver Hook Casino?”
Zhao Junwu laughed, “Not only I have been there, I have gambled with that Big Beard several times and I even won several hundred taels of silver from him!” [The text (both online and the book) does say ‘Big Beard’ and not ‘Blue Beard’.]
Lu Xiaofeng: “Half a month from today, we will meet there. Whoever comes first must wait for the other, don’t leave without seeing each other!”
Zhao Junwu stared at him, and then suddenly said, “Thank you!”
Lu Xiaofeng laughed, “I want you to do something for me, I have not thanked you and you thanked me instead?”
A great read...:-)
Thanks a lot, foxs -and keep updating...:-)
Zhao Junwu: “It is exactly because you have not thanked me that I must thank you!”
Lu Xiaofeng: “And why is that?”
Zhao Junwu’s eyes shone as he said, “Because I know for certain that you consider me as your friend!”
A friend! What an honorable and glorious word! What a beautiful word!
If you are like Lu Xiaofeng, accept people with love and respect, you must understand one thing first – the true power that can subdue other people is not the brute force of martial arts, but rather, it is patience and compassion.
It is not an easy thing to do, other than broad-mindedness, it also requires an immense amount of valor!
The room was decorated in a serene and elegant, as well as neat, style. The snow-white paper covering the window seemed to be replaced only recently. Outside the window, the air was clear, the sun was shining bright. The window sill was adorned with pots of narcissus and chimonanthus praecox (腊梅). Surprisingly, Ding Xiangyi was already able to sit up. Her originally pale face had shown some color; it was like a dying, withered flower suddenly had its life back.
All of these things were very pleasant things, Lu Xiaofeng’s mood was also definitely better than just a few days ago.
“I promised I would come back, and I definitely come back to see you!”
“I know!” Unexpectedly, Ding Xiangyi’s face showed a gentle and tender smile, “I know you will definitely come back!”
She sat leaning on the bed. The bed sheet had just been replaced. She was wearing a warm and comfortable, loose robe; the robe was very long, the sleeves were also very long, completely covering her cut feet and cut hands. The sun light streamed in through the snow-white window paper, illuminating her still-very-beautiful face.
Lu Xiaofeng smiled and said, “I also brought something with me!”
Ding Xiangyi’s eyes shone, “The Luocha Tablet?” she asked excitedly.
Lu Xiaofeng nodded. “What I promised to you, I will certainly deliver it, I did not lie to you!”
Ding Xiangyi blinked a couple of times, “Are you saying I lied to you?”
Lu Xiaofeng pulled a chair and sat down. “You told me that Chen Jingjing was your good friend and that I can trust her!”
Ding Xiangyi replied in affirmative.
Lu Xiaofeng: “Was she really your good friend? Can you really trust her?”
Ding Xiangyi turned her head away to avoid his gaze. Suddenly her breathing became rapid, as if she had difficulty controlling herself. After quite a long time afterwards, she still could not restrain from spitefully said, “She is a wh***!”
Lu Xiaofeng laughed, “Yet you wanted me to trust a wh***!”
Finally Ding Xiangyi turned back around and forced a smile, “Because I am a woman. Which woman does not frequently ask men to do things she herself is not willing to do?"
Frankly, this reasoning was not good, but Lu Xiaofeng seemed to be very satisfied; because she was a woman, and he knew better than to reason with a woman, which probably would be as difficult as pushing camel to pass through the eye of a needle.
Ding Xiangyi suddenly asked, "She has died, has she not?"
Lu Xiaofeng: "Mmm."
Ding Xiangyi gently let out a breath; her expression looked like someone who had just spat a mouthful of thick phlegm.
Lu Xiaofeng stared hard at her, suddenly he asked, "How do you know she has died?"
Again Ding Xiangyi turned her head the other way; she lightly coughed twice before she slowly said, "I did not know, it was nothing more than a wild guess!"
Lu Xiaofeng: "How did you come into that conclusion?"
Ding Xiangyi: "By the way you asked me about her a moment ago, I can see that she has done many things to you that were offensive and she personally wronged you, a woman like her certainly did not deserve to live long!"
This reasoning was even worse, but surprisingly, Lu Xiaofeng also accepted it. "No matter what, I managed to get the Luocha Tablet back at long last, my trip has not been in vain!"
Hearing the word 'Luocha Tablet', Ding Xiangyi's eyes brightened again. She watched as Lu Xiaofeng put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a piece of jade tablet. Suddenly she burst into tears.
Lu Xiaofeng understood her feelings.
For this jade tablet, she did not hesitate to destroy her own marriage, to destroy her own life-long happiness; even she herself had turned into a crippled person.
Although this piece of jade was a priceless treasure, the value of happiness is even more beyond measure.
Was her sacrifice worth it? And now, didn't she regret what she had done?
Lu Xiaofeng could not restrain from sighing. "If this thing is mine, I would certainly give it to you, but now ..."
Ding Xiangyi interrupted him. "I understand, you don't have to explain it to me. Even if you give this to me now, I do not have any use of it!"
She broke into tears again, and then continued slowly, "Now, I would be well satisfied just to look at it, to caress it!"
Lu Xiaofeng also understood her feelings, immediately he handed the Luocha Tablet to her, but Ding Xiangyi's expression actually looked even more painful.
She had lost her hands. This piece of jade tablet, for which she did not hesitate to sacrifice everything, was finally in her presence, but she had no way of reaching out to take it. Certainly not everybody would be able to endure this kind of pain, yet clearly she was able to endure it.
Lu Xiaofeng could not refrain from heaving a sigh. Forcing a smile he said, "Why don't I place it on your body? At least you can see it a bit more clearly!"
Ding Xiangyi nodded. Seeing Lu Xiaofeng gently placed the jade tablet on her chest, her tearful eyes suddenly revealed an unexplainable feeling. Was it gratitude? Was it satisfaction? Or was it sorrow?
Under the bright sunlight from the window, the jade tablet seemed to emit a soft and beautiful luster, so much so that the shininess felt warm.
Ding Xiangyi lowered her head and kissed the jade tablet gently with her lips, as if she was gently kissing her first love's sweetheart.
"Thank you, thank you ..."
She did not stop saying 'thank you' while clamping the jade tablet with her handless wrists and pressed it gently on her own face.
Lu Xiaofeng could not bear to look at her. He remembered her hands used to be slim, tender and beautiful, with her nails always painted with a layer of dull-colored rose juice, making her hands also look like blooming roses.
But now the roses had been mercilessly plucked out, leaving a pair of withered stems, bald and ugly.
A plucked rose will bloom again the following year, but her hands ...
Lu Xiaofeng stood up and turned around. Suddenly he heard a 'puff!' sound, as something flew out through the window, followed by a 'swish!' noise as something flew in through the window.
Quickly he turned his head around. The jade tablet clamped between Ding Xiangyi's wrists had disappeared, but from her chest blood was gushing out like a fountain.
Her captivating pink cheeks became bloodless instantly, her eyes and the corner of her mouth did not stop twitching, as if she was crying, but perhaps she was smiling.
But even if she was smiling, it was such a forced smile, a smile out of desolate and painful heart, a smile which was even more sorrowful than crying.
She looked at Lu Xiaofeng, her eyes had also lost their gleam, which was replaced with a dead grey color. With her last ounce of strength she said, "Why ... why don't you pursue?"
Lu Xiaofeng shook his head. There was only sympathy and compassion on his face, he did not show the least bit of surprise or anger.
It seemed that everything Ding Xiangyi said or done had been anticipated by him from early on. It was after a long time had passed did he finally say with sorrow in his voice, "Have you been deceived by others?"
Ding Xiangyi's voice grew fainter and fainter, "I deceived you, in turn, he deceived me. Seems to me that everybody is destined to be deceived one way or the other by someone else; don't you think so? Don't you ...?"
Her voice was very soft, and very slow, but there was not a trace of sorrow or pain in it.
In that instant when death was knocking on her door, she suddenly understood the complex and subtle yet simple philosophy of life, she suddenly understood that life was just like that.
And then her life had ended.
Why do people always wait for the last second of their lives to understand the matter, which they should have understood much, much earlier?
End of Chapter 9.
I have been very busy lately, but thanks everyone, for leaving your comments. I will try my best to keep the pace of updates.
I am seriously hoping that LXF got the fake tablet from Chu Chu's body and put it with DXY. Then whoever the thief is took the fake tablet. I don't think the 3 old men will let LXF off if he loses the tablet.
is this a light harted philisophy lecture...
Are we atempting to explore if man is the master, or is his destiny the master?
god LXF is starting to piss me off with his "smile and let it be attitude" he just another john lennon.
he need to become more like 50 cent and pop cap in someones ***.
Like 50 cent? Eww. Heaven forbid.
Bad stuff happens to him, he shrugs it off - this sort of attitude is one of LXF's greatest allures... Sure he's overdoing it a little but that's somehow a part of it all...
Chapter 10 – Enlightenment Before Death
(Translated by Foxs, Edited by Eliza Bennet)
Night, winter night.
The dark and long alley was quiet, there was nobody, there was only a lantern.
An old, battered white lantern, so old that the white had turned into a deathly grey, hanging in an angle above the narrow door at the very end of the long alley. Actually, there was a shiny silver hook dangling under the lantern, just like the fishhook that the fishermen use to catch fish.
The silver hook kept swaying in the cold wind. The wind seemed to sigh, sighing over why would there be so many people in this world who were willing to let themselves being caught by this silver hook?
From the gloomy and damp cold fog outside, Fang Yufei entered the brilliantly illuminated Silver Hook Casino. Taking off his white cloak, he revealed an extremely well-fitting, specially tailored, exquisite silver-colored satin garment.
Every day, he was happiest around this time, especially today.
Because Lu Xiaofeng had returned. Lu Xiaofeng had always been a friend he was most fond of, a friend he respected the most.
Naturally Lu Xiaofeng himself was even happier, because he was back, back from the frozen wasteland, the faraway ice country.
The luxuriously decorated hall was brimming with warmness and gaiety. The aroma of wine mixed with the fragrance of high-quality cosmetics; the intermittent jingling of silver coins was pleasant to the ears, no music in this world was more melodious than this kind of noise.
Lu Xiaofeng liked to hear this kind of noise, just like the majority of people in the world, he also liked luxury and enjoyed life to the fullest.
After going through many days of arduous journey and back to this place, he was like a lost child who was back to his warm home, back to his mother's bosom.
That he was able to return safe and sound, in itself was truly not an easy matter.
He had just taken a hot bath, and changed into a brand new set of clothes. The fake beard under his chin, the fake wrinkles on the corner of his eyes, the white powder on his hair, everything had been completely washed out.
Right now his face was glowing, his body was full of energy; indeed, even he himself was very pleased with his appearance.
In the main hall there were several women who were stealing glances toward him from the corner of their eyes. Although all of those women were middle-aged, they still looked attractive. Lu Xiaofeng flashed them his most moving smile.
As long as he could make others happy, while not bringing any harm to him, he had never refused to do so.
Seeing his smiling face, even Fang Yufei was very happy. "You seem to like this place very much," he said with a laugh.
Lu Xiaofeng: "It seems to me that the number of people who like this place is growing."
Fang Yufei: "Indeed the business of this place has grown by leaps and bounds. Perhaps it's nothing more than because nowadays everybody has quite some extra time in their hands and live rather comfortably, plus the weather is cold; nothing is better than staying inside, gambling and drinking wine."
Lu Xiaofeng laughed. "Is it true that many women come here especially to see you?"
Fang Yufei burst out in laughter.
He was indeed a very attractive man, his appearance was clean, his clothing impeccable, his figure was always well-maintained. Although sometimes he looked somewhat artificial, his type was exactly what middle-aged women of high and respected position liked most.
Lowering his voice, Lu Xiaofeng said, "I believe you have attracted quite a few of women in this place!"
Fang Yufei did not deny at all, he smiled and said, "From all the people who day in and day out come and go to the casino to gamble, how many are decent and honorable?"
Lu Xiaofeng: "How about people who operate a casino? Are they also ..."
He stopped abruptly because right that moment he saw someone with a dagger in his hand was pouncing Fang Yufei from behind, with the dagger lunged toward his lower left waist.
Fang Yufei did not see the attack, because he did not have eyes on his back.
By the time Lu Xiaofeng saw it, it was already too late because this man's dagger was already less than a foot from Fang Yufei's waist.
This part is a vital point of the human body, one dagger stab may be fatal; even Lu Xiaofeng could not help but shed some cold sweats.
Who would have thought that in a flash Fang Yufei's waist twisted suddenly and reaching backward, he grabbed the dagger-holding wrist of that man. 'Ding!' the dagger fell down to the floor. The man opened his mouth to curse, but he only managed to shout one word, his mouth had already covered by two large men who suddenly appeared behind him. With one man on each side, he was dragged outside immediately.
Surprisingly, Fang Yufei's expression did not change at all. With a smile he said, "This kind of matter happens every day in this place."
Lu Xiaofeng: "Do you know why he wanted to kill you?"
Indifferently Fang Yufei replied, "If he is not drunk, then he must have lost a lot of money."
Lu Xiaofeng chuckled, "Or perhaps he is simply wild with rage!"
Fang Yufei: "Why is that?"
Lu Xiaofeng: "Because you made him to wear a green hat!" [cuckold, a man whose wife was cheating on him] Fang Yufei laughed aloud.
In his opinion, making a man to wear a green hat was undoubtedly a very honorable achievement, something which would give him a lot of face. Whoever able to do it would not need to be ashamed nor feel sorry.
Lu Xiaofeng looked at him as if it was the first time that he saw this person.
The incident just a moment ago happened so quick and also finished very suddenly, but it had created a small disturbance nonetheless, particularly to those people who gambled on the nearby tables. Most people left their seats and talked about what had happened in low murmur.
Only one person did not move, he was still sitting on his seat, staring at the two tiles of ‘Pai Jiu’ [Pai Gow, Chinese dominoes] in front of him as if he was entranced. Apparently in this game of Pai Jiu, if he had not won big, then he must have had lost not a few.
The man was wearing a mink fur cap on his head, an inside out large fur-lined coat and he had a full beard. Obviously he was a ginseng picker who had just returned from outside the great wall. The folding purse inserted in his trouser belt on his waist was packed with hard-earned money after toiling for half a year, which he was prepared to lose in just one night.
Fang Yufei also lowered his voice, "Looks to me you are eager to win his money."
Lu Xiaofeng: "Spending money won on the gambling table is the most fun; how can I let this kind of opportunity pass?"
Fang Yufei: "But my brother-in-law has been waiting for you inside for a long time, I also heard that those three old freaks are already here early on!"
Lu Xiaofeng: "They can wait, but this man's money cannot, he may spend it all very soon!"
Fang Yufei laughed, "Make sense!"
Lu Xiaofeng: "That's why you'd better go in and tell them that I will be there in a moment!"
Without waiting for Fang Yufei to reply, he had already walked over to join the Pai Jiu table, and happened to sit right next to the bearded ginseng picker. "What do you say, other than playing against the dealer, we also play against each other?" he said with a smile.
"You're on!" the large bearded man agreed immediately, "The bigger the stake, the more fun it is for me. How much do you want to bet?"
Lu Xiaofeng: "If we want to have a satisfying game, whatever your bet, I will match you!"
Looking at them, Fang Yufei smiled and shook his head. Suddenly he felt his own hands were itching to play.
When he had walked around the table to go to the back, Lu Xiaofeng suddenly gripped this bearded man's hand under the table.
The Blue Beard was admiring his own hands.
He had always taken a very good care of his hands, the nails were well-manicured, the fingers were slender and elegant.
Truly a very attractive pair of hands, without a doubt, it was also a very sensitive pair of hands.
His hands were laid flat on the table, where Fang Yuxiang could see them clearly. Even Gu Song, Ku Zhu and Han Mei could also see them clearly.
Although they were all looking at the same pair of hands, the thought they had in their hearts were completely different.
Even if she wanted to, Fang Yuxiang could not deny that these hands were indeed very attractive, very clean, but who knows this pair of seemingly clean hands had done how many dirty works? Killed how many people? Taken off how many girls' clothes?
Thinking about the last thing, her face blushed slightly. She recalled the first time this pair of hands took her clothes off, and her feelings when the hands gently caressed her body. Even she herself was not sure what kind of feeling exactly did she feel?
Sui Han San You were asking themselves, "Other than caressing women and playing tiles [Translator's note: 'tiles' as in 'mahjong tiles' or 'Chinese domino tiles'], what else is this pair of hands capable of doing?"
This pair of hands did not look like hands that were trained hard in martial arts, but what difference did it have with Lu Xiaofeng's hands?
And what was Blue Beard himself thinking? It seemed like nobody has ever been able to see through his mind.
Fang Yufei had been there for a long time. Finally he could not bear not to cough lightly, "He is here!"
Fang Yuxiang: "Where is he? Why didn't he come in?"
Fang Yufei smiled, "Because incidentally he saw the Pai Jiu table, and also incidentally saw a fool with more money than senses!"
Just like anybody who loves to gamble, if he sees these two things at once, even if his wife is expecting their first child, he will immediately forget his child.
With a cold laugh Han Mei said, "Turns out he is not only a follower of wine and women, he is also a compulsive gambler!"
Fang Yufei: "Men who love wine and women but do not gamble, I am afraid there are not too many."
Fang Yuxiang cast a glance at him and said, "You seem to understand these kinds of people very much, because you are one of them."
Fang Yufei sighed and said, "The crows in the world are all black, as a matter of fact, not one of us, men, is a good thing!"
Actually, it was the scold women use against men, but had scolded himself first.
Fang Yuxiang also laughed. Obviously she was a good sister, not only she was very fond of her older brother, she was also very affectionate.
Blue Beard suddenly asked, "What kind of man is this fool?"
Fang Yufei: "He is a ginseng picker from outside the Wall, he is surnamed Zhang, called Zhang Bin."
Blue Beard: "Does this man wear a mouthful beard?"
Fang Yufei: "That's right!"
Blue Beard drily said, "If the beard is not wrong, then you are wrong!"
Fang Yufei: "In what way am I wrong?"
Blue Beard: "In what way you are wrong? That man is not a ginseng picker, and his name is not Zhang Bin!"
Fang Yufei: "Oh!"
Blue Beard: "He is an escort, his surname is Zhao, he is called Zhao Junwu!"
Fang Yufei thought for a moment then asked, "Is he the Hei Xuan Tan Zhao Junwu?"
Blue Beard: "There is only one Zhao Junwu!"
Fang Yufei: "Has he been here before?"
Blue Beard: "Escorts who pass by this area, at least nine out of ten have visited this place!"
Fang Yufei: "If he has been here openly before, why does he have to be in disguise this time?"
Blue Beard: "Why don't you go ask him yourself?"
Fang Yufei did not say anything, his eyes revealed some kind of very strange expression. By this time Blue Beard had already put his hands below the table, but Gu Song actually stretched out his hand.
At long last Lu Xiaofeng came in.
Gu Song put out a hand, "Give it to me."
Lu Xiaofeng laughed, "If you want money, this is not a good time, because incidentally, all my money has been wiped out clean."
Surprisingly, Gu Song was not angry, he indifferently said, "Probably in the beginning you wanted to win other people's money."
Lu Xiaofeng sighed, with a bitter smile he said, "It was exactly because I wanted to win other people's money that I ended up losing it all. People who can lose everything are usually those who want to win everything!"
With a cold laugh Gu Song said, "Don't tell me you also lost the Luocha Tablet!"
Lu Xiaofeng: "If I have the Luocha Tablet with me, perhaps I would also lose it!"
Gu Song: "You don't have the Luocha Tablet with you?"
Lu Xiaofeng: "At first I had it!"
Gu Song: "And now?"
Lu Xiaofeng: "And now it's gone!"
Gu Song looked at him, his face did not show the slightest bit of emotion, but the pupils of his eyes suddenly shrank.
Yet Lu Xiaofeng only laughed, "Although the Luocha Tablet is gone, I still am not dead yet!"
Gu Song coldly said, "Why don't you die?"
Lu Xiaofeng: "Because I am still prepared to get the Luocha Tablet back for you!"
Gu Song could not restrain his countenance from changing. "You can get it back?"
Lu Xiaofeng nodded. “If you really want it, I can get it back for you any time, but …”
Gu Song: “But what?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “I suggest you’d better not look for it, because if you get it back, you will certainly be even angrier!”
Gu Song: “Why?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “Because that Luocha Tablet is also fake!”
Blue Beard raised his hands above the table again, Gu Song also raised his hands above the table.
Lu Xiaofeng sighed, “Altogether I found two Luocha Tablets, it’s just too bad that both are fakes!”
Everybody was listening, they waited for his explanation.
Lu Xiaofeng: “The first tablet I found from inside the frozen river, so we can call it the Binghe [frozen river] Tablet for the time being. The second tablet I snatched away from someone else’s hand with a horsewhip, so there is no harm in us calling it the Shenbian [divine whip] Tablet, because people say my whip technique is simply divine!”
Gu Song: “The Shenbian Tablet was stolen by Li Xia, and it was swapped with the Binghe Tablet by Chen Jingjing, which was then fallen into your hand!”
Lu Xiaofeng: “Absolutely correct!”
Gu Song: “Then it is definitely not fake!”
Lu Xiaofeng sigh: “I also thought that it was impossible for it to be fake, but the fact is: it is fake!”
Gu Song sneered, “How can you tell whether the Luocha Tablet is real or fake?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “Indeed at first I could not, but in the end I can!”
Gu Song: “How can you tell?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “Because I happen to have a friend by the name of Zhu Ting, and he happened to be the one counterfeiting the Shenbian Tablet!”
Gu Song: “Do you happen to speak about Zhu Ting whose nickname is ‘The Boss’?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “You know him?”
Gu Song: “I have heard!”
Lu Xiaofeng: “Although this man has never wished to do anything exceptional, he is actually a hundred-percent genius. Whatever strange, bizarre object you can think of, he can make it for you. Counterfeiting painting, calligraphy, or some jade and stone, he is simply the best in the world.”
Talking about this man Zhu Ting, he could not restrain his face from revealing a smile.
Zhu Ting was not only his old friend, he was also his good friend. In the ‘Princess Danfeng’ case, if not because of Zhu Ting, he might still be locked up in the Green Shirt Pavilion headquarters at the back of the waist of the mountain even until now.
Lu Xiaofeng sighed again, with a wry smile he said, “If not because of him, I would not have these many troubles right now, he has given me a lot of troubles, he gave me practically a lot more troubles than all my friends put together!”
Gu Song: “He is also your friend?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “Uh huh.”
Gu Song: “Who wanted him to forge the Shenbian Tablet? Have you asked him?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “I haven’t!”
Gu Song: “And why?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “Because we haven’t spoken to each other for at least a couple of years.”
Gu Song: “You and he are friends, yet you do not speak to each other?”
With a bitter smile Lu Xiaofeng replied, “Because he is a big bad egg, and probably I am not much different.”
With a cold laugh Gu Song said, “If anybody believes you, then he is also a big bad egg!”
Lu Xiaofeng: “You don’t believe me?”
Gu Song: “I don’t care if that Shenbian Tablet is a fake article or not, I simply must see it with my own eyes.”
Lu Xiaofeng: “I told you, if you really want it, I can get it back to you any time!”
Gu Song: “Where are you going to get it?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “Here!”
Gu Song’s countenance fell, “In this room?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “Perhaps right now it is not here yet, but when I blow out the lamp and read some incantation, by the time the lantern is shining again, that jade tablet will certainly be on this table.”
Blue Beard laughed, Fang Yufei also laughed; this kind of out-of-the-world matter, if anybody believed it, it was just like seeing ghost in the middle of the day.
Fang Yuxiang also could not bear not to laugh, “Do you really think anybody would believe this kind of nonsense?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “There is at least one person who will believe me!”
Fang Yuxiang: “Who?”
Gu Song suddenly stood up and blew the first lantern, “Me.”
There were three lanterns in the room, when all three were snuffed out, the secret room, which was underground to begin with, became pitch black that nobody could even see their own fingers in front of their noses.
In the darkness, they only heard Lu Xiaofeng’s low voice drone on and on. Perhaps it was really some kind of mystical magician’s spell, yet if one was listening carefully, one seemed to hear some names being repeated over and over, ‘Laohekou [city in Hubei], Tongde Hall, Feng family shop, Blind Feng Erzi [number two child] …' But whatever he was saying, his voice sounded really mysterious and weird.
Everybody seemed to hear everybody else’s heartbeat, and one or two persons’ heart seemed to beat faster and faster, as if they started to get really anxious. It was a pity that the room was just too dark, nobody could see anybody else’s expressions, let alone guess which one was it.
While this person’s heart was beating faster and faster, Lu Xiaofeng’s incantation was also getting faster and faster. Over and over, nobody knew how many times he muttered the same thing. Suddenly he shouted, “Light up!”
A flame flickered, one of the lantern was lighted up. Unexpectedly there really was a piece of jade tablet under the light.
Under the bright light of the lantern, the jade tablet’s gloss looked soft and beautiful, while the faces of the people were actually so pale that there was a hint of green in their white faces.
Everybody’s expressions looked about the same, their eyes brimming with amazement.
Lu Xiaofeng laughed smugly while sweeping everybody’s face with his gaze. He suddenly said, “And now, do you all believe in my nonsense?”
Fang Yuxiang sighed and said, “Actually, I should have believed you, because you are in actuality a living ghost.”
Gu Song coldly said, “But this piece of jade is not ghost, even more, it is not alive, it cannot fly by itself from outside.”
Lu Xiaofeng: “Of course it can’t!”
Gu Song: “Then how did it end up in here?”
Lu Xiaofeng chuckled, “It’s none of your business. If you ask too much, perhaps it will suddenly fly away again!”
Of course it would not fly away on its own, just like it was impossible for it to fly in on its own, but Gu Song really did not ask again. This was exactly what he was asking for, now that he got it, why would he ask too many questions?
He stared at the jade tablet on the table, but actually did not reach out, he did not touch it even once.
From Yu Tianbao’s hands this jade tablet was handed over to the Blue Beard, which was then stolen by Li Xia and taken away. In turn, it was swindled by Chen Jingjing, and again passed through Chuchu’s hand, followed by Lu Xiaofeng and Ding Xiangyi, and in the end, whose hands had it fallen to?
Under the bright light of the lantern, although it was still spotless, sparkling and translucent, actually it had been dyed red by blood; the blood of ten human beings, ten lives. Was their sacrifice worth it?
Gu Song suddenly heaved a deep, deep sigh, “Unavoidably all those people’s deaths are too unjustifiable.”
Blue Beard: “All those people?”
Gu Song: “All those people who died for it!”
Blue Beard: “Actually, is this jade tablet a genuine article or a fake one?”
Gu Song: “It’s fake!”
Then he slowly continued, “The carvings on the top indeed can be confused as the real one, but the substance of the jade lacks too much from the real one!”
Blue Beard was silent for a long time. Finally he turned his gaze toward Lu Xiaofeng and asked, “Did you really snatch this tablet away from Jingjing’s hand?”
Lu Xiaofeng nodded.
Blue Beard also sighed, he sadly said, “She was still young and very bright, actually, she might have a very bright future, but she sacrificed her own life for this fake article not worth a ‘wen’ [copper coin], was it really worth the trouble?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “She did all that because she had never thought that this jade tablet is a fake.” Blue Beard agreed.
Lu Xiaofeng: “She was a very careful person, if she had the least bit of suspicion, she would never have braved this kind of danger.”
Blue Beard also agreed, “Indeed the way she conduct her business was always very meticulous.”
Lu Xiaofeng: “But this time she did not suspect anything, only because she knew that the jade tablet was indeed stolen by Li Xia from your place in here. It is very possible that that time she was at her side, witnessing everything.”
Blue Beard sighed, “Too bad Chen Jingjing has forgotten that Li Xia was also a very astute and cautious woman.”
Lu Xiaofeng: “You think the real Luocha Tablet was taken away by Li Xia?”
Blue Beard: “You think otherwise?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “I only know that Ding Xiangyi and Chen Jingjing had known her since they were little girls, no one knew her like they did. Their view of her must not be wrong.”
Blue Beard: “And their view of her was …?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “That other than gold and men, she did not care much about anything else. It was even more impossible for her to venture into this kind of trouble.”
Blue Beard: “So you are telling me that the Luocha Tablet Li Xia stole was a fake one?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “That’s right.”
Blue Beard: “Well then, where is the real Luocha Tablet?”
Lu Xiaofeng chuckled, then suddenly he replied that question with a question: “On this plate there is a stuffed steamed bun [orig. baozi], and then there is a plain steamed bun [orig. mantou]; if I ate one and the stuffed steamed bun is still on the plate, what does that mean?”
Blue Beard also chuckled, “If you ate the plain steamed bun, naturally the stuffed steamed bun is still on the plate.”
Lu Xiaofeng: “Isn’t this logic very simple?”
Blue Beard: “Very simple.”
Lu Xiaofeng: “If the Luocha Tablet Li Xia stole was a fake, the one Chen Jingjing swapped was also a fake, where is the real Luocha Tablet?”
Blue Beard: “I also cannot think it through.”
Lu Xiaofeng chuckled again, “Actually, the logic behind it is as simple as the stuffed steamed bun on the plate; if you do not suddenly turn stupid, you should be able to think it through.”
Blue Beard: “Oh?”
Lu Xiaofeng said matter-of-factly, “If all the Luocha Tablets in other people’s hands are fake then the real one is without a doubt still in your hands.”
Blue Beard laughed.
He was always polite, always graceful; his laughter was equally polite and graceful.
But when he laughed, he had never looked at others; he had always looked at his own pair of hands.
Wasn’t this pair of hands similar to the Luocha Tablet on the table? Although the hands looked spotlessly white and neat, they were actually reeking with blood.
Lu Xiaofeng: “You deliberately created the opportunity for Li Xia to steal the fake Luocha Tablet …”
Still smiling, Blue Beard interrupted him, “Why would I do that?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “This is precisely the most crucial point of your grand plan. After Li Xia fell into your trap, only then your plan has proceeded step by step.”
There was wine on the table.
Blue Beard poured a cup full then used both his hands to lift it up and let the heat from his palms to slowly warm the wine; only then he slowly drank it down.
Each one of his movements was very graceful, his facial expression was even more relaxed, as if he was listening to a very amusing story.
Lu Xiaofeng: “For a long time you have loathed Li Xia and have been weary of her, because as she grew older, her need of men also grew bigger. You wanted to take this opportunity to let her go away as far as possible on her own account, as well as forever she would not dare to come back and see you again. This is exactly the first step in your plan.”
Blue Beard slurped his wine noisily, and then he sighed and said, “Good wine.”
Lu Xiaofeng: “You knew the relationship between Li Xia and Ding Xiangyi, you have predicted that Li Xia would definitely go to look for her. This is also another step of your plan, because you have known early on that she was not being faithful to you, you wanted to use this opportunity to test her, to find out who her lover was.”
Blue Beard laughed, “Why would I want to test her? She was not my wife.”
Lu Xiaofeng also laughed, “She was not?”
Blue Beard: “Her husband is Fei Tian Yu Hu, not me.”
Lu Xiaofeng stared hard at him, he said word by word, “Who is Fei Tian Yu Hu? Not you?”
Blue Beard burst out in laughter, as if he had never heard such a ridiculous matter before; he laughed until he was nearly choked by the wine.
But Lu Xiaofeng no longer laughed, he slowly said, “Fei Tian Yu Hu is an extremely ambitious man; he cannot coexist with the Western Region Devil Cult. But this time he did not join the race to get the Luocha Tablet, because he knew early on that the Luocha Tablet fight was over a fake one.”
Blue Beard was still laughing, but suddenly ‘Crack!’ the wine cup in his hand broke since he squeezed it.
Last edited by foxs; 08-23-09 at 08:27 AM.
:-) thanks foxs and Eliza :-)
I love it...:-)
Thanks, foxs & Eliza...
Thanks Fox and Eliza too!
Looks like I am right after all. The BIG beard kept the tablet
for himself! But he is Fei Tian Yu Hu?!?! My head is getting
It is a perfect plan to get the cult off his tail- they'll hunt anyone who has the tablet so he lets his troublesome wives steal a fake and then pockets the real one for later use. A nice distraction maneuver, and he would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for that pesky LXF!
Thanks for the ride, Foxs!
You all are welcome.
Lu Xiaofeng continued, “Ding Xiangyi did not know that Fei Tian Yu Hu is the Blue Beard, because when she met the Blue Beard, what she saw was a big man with face full of beard. She had never suspected this point, because, just like everybody else, she had always believed the Blue Beard is someone with beard, otherwise, why would he be called the Blue Beard?”
He continued in a cold voice, “Perhaps the only person who knew your secret is only Fang Yuxiang. It is even possible that she found it out only after a very long time, because it was just recently that she found you in here.”
Fang Yuxiang’s face did not show any emotion. She slowly stood up to get a golden cup from the cupboard behind them and wiped it clean with a pure white handkerchief before pouring a cup of wine for the Blue Beard.
Blue Beard gently held her hand, unexpectedly, his eyes suddenly turned warm and gentle.
Lu Xiaofeng: “You used Blue Beard’s identity as a cover. Originally it was very difficult for other people to uncover his secret. When she found you, originally you wanted to kill her to shut her mouth, but you did not have the heart to do so, because in all honesty she is very captivating. You were afraid she might reveal your secret out of jealousy, so you were forced to send the other four women away.”
Fang Yufei had been standing quietly on the side, listening to them. When even Han Mei and Ku Zhu did not open their mouths, naturally his chance of butting in was even slimmer.
But now he suddenly asked a question which should not be asked, “Since you have acknowledged that his use of the Blue Beard identity as a cover is a very intelligent move, how did you find out this secret?”
Blue Beard’s countenance changed abruptly; Fang Yufei’s question was nothing other than admitting that he also knew that Blue Beard and Fei Tian Yu Hu were identical.
But Lu Xiaofeng only laughed and said indifferently, “I don’t care how thorough his plan was, unavoidably there are some flaws."
Lu Xiaofeng continued, “Actually, he should not have ordered you and Fang Yuxiang to deal with Ding Xiangyi. If Ding Xiangyi was not his wife, he would not tell you to deal with her with such cruelty, even more, he should not mind other people’s business.”
Fang Yufei’s eyes seemed to show a painful feeling; he slowly lowered his head and no longer said anything.
Blue Beard coldly said, “How do you know I was the one sending him out? How do you know he is not Fei Tian Yu Hu?”
Lu Xiaofeng’s answer was plain and simple, “Because I am his old friend.”
Blue Beard also closed his mouth.
Lu Xiaofeng suddenly chuckled and said, “I also have another friend, you know him too; seems like you lost to him several hundred taels of silver.”
Blue Beard: “Are you talking about Zhao Junwu?”
Lu Xiaofeng nodded, “He has met the Blue Beard, who was also a big man with face full of beard. Naturally other people also see the same.”
Blue Beard coldly said, “Yet the Blue Beard you met did not have any beard.”
Lu Xiaofeng smiled, “You must know that for some people, even a single grain of sand will not enter their eyes, much less a large clump of fake beard.”
Blue Beard: “And you are one of those people?”
Lu Xiaofeng: “Don’t tell me you are not?” Blue Beard only laughed coldly.
“Not only you have known about Ding Xiangyi’s affair for a long time, you also knew who her lover was. By doing what you did, not only you seized the opportunity to kill them, you could also divert other people’s attention.”
Gu Song suddenly said coldly, "What you mean by 'other people' must be me."
Lu Xiaofeng: "That's exactly what I meant."
Gu Song: "What about you?"
With a bitter smile Lu Xiaofeng said, "I am merely the puppet he exploited as bait, nothing more than the rabbit some people would release when they are hunting for a fox."
If one was comparing oneself to a rabbit, it must be because one's heart was extremely upset. Whoever discovered that he had just been exploited by others, naturally would not feel good in his heart.
Gu Song: "But the rabbit will always run all over the place in the front, wherever it goes, the fox can only run after it."
Lu Xiaofeng: "When you see he spared no effort just to get me to retrieve the Luocha Tablet for him, naturally you would not suspect that the Luocha Tablet is still in his hands." Gu Song agreed.
Lu Xiaofeng: "Whether I can get the Luocha Tablet back, whether the Luocha Tablet I found is genuine or a fake, it has nothing to do with him, because he has already shifted all responsibility on me."
Gu Song: "And if anything went wrong with the Luocha Tablet in your possession, the one we are going to look for definitely will be you."
Lu Xiaofeng sighed, "The journey was truly long, it was practically the same as if we were being banished from the civilization. Along the way we were cold and hungry, while he was sitting comfortably by the fire waiting for us. By the time the seventh of the first month has come and gone, even if someone can uncover his secret, the most he could do is to stare at him."
Gu Song: "Because by that time he is already the Cult Leader of the Western Region's Luocha Cult."
Lu Xiaofeng: "By that time not only he is the Cult Leader of Luocha Cult, but also the Clan Leader of the Black Tiger Clan. It's a pity ..."
Gu Song coldly said, "It's a pity right now he is not."
Lu Xiaofeng: "It's truly a pity."
Gu Song: "Right now he is no more than a turtle in a jar, a fish in the net."
Suddenly Blue Beard also sighed and said, "It's a pity, truly a pity."
Lu Xiaofeng: "What is it that you feel pity?"
Blue Beard: "It's a pity we are all blind."
Lu Xiaofeng: "We?"
Blue Beard: "What I mean by 'we', is you and me."
Lu Xiaofeng: "Me ...?"
Blue Beard: "Only blind men can make a mistake in choosing a friend."
Lu Xiaofeng: "I made a mistake in choosing a friend?"
Blue Beard: "A very grave mistake indeed."
Lu Xiaofeng: "And you?"
Blue Beard: "I am even more blind than you are, because not only I made a mistake in choosing a friend, I made a worse mistake in marrying a wife."
He had not finished speaking the word 'wife' when fast as lightning he made his move by grabbing the main artery on Fang Yuxiang's wrist and fiercely said, "Take it out!"
Fang Yuxiang's beautiful face turned grayish green from the fright as she said, "I don't know where the real Luocha Tablet is, what do you want me to take out?"
Blue Beard: "The one I want is not the Luocha Tablet, it's ..."
Fang Yuxiang: "What is it?"
Blue Beard did not reply, he did not even open his mouth, even his breathing seemed to have stopped, as if suddenly there were a pair of invisible hands gripped his throat tightly.
His usually calm and composed face was also suddenly twisted and turned into indescribably eerie bluish green.
Fang Yuxiang looked at him in shock, “You … what do you want from me?”
Blue Beard’s mouth was tightly closed, cold sweats dripped down like rain.
Fang Yuxiang’s eyes suddenly filled with gentleness and compassion; in a tender voice she said, “I am your wife, whatever it is you want from me, I will give it to you, why do you have to be angry?”
Blue Beard only stared at her. Suddenly the corner of his eyes burst apart. Instantly blood started to flow from the corner of his eyes, the corner of his mouth, his nostrils and his ears.
It was blood all right, but it was not scarlet.
Strangely, the color of his blood had also turned into an eerie bluish green.
He was not able to sit anymore and slowly fell backward.
Fang Yuxiang gently propped him up while prying his hand off. Fang Yufei also hastily helped him up.
"What happened? You ..."
They did not continue asking, because they knew a dead person would not be able to reply or say anything.
In one instant they saw the Blue Beard made his move like a lightning, in another instant he had turned into a dead man.
But it looked like his bulging eyes were still staring at Fang Yuxiang; a stare filled with grief and indignation, but also accusation.
Looking at him, Fang Yuxiang drew back step by step, with crystal clear tear drops flowed down on her face like a mountain spring.
"Why did you do this? Why did you do this?"
Her voice was unbearably sad. "Whatever it is, it is not unsolvable; why did bring your own destruction?"
Alright! Almost done with this book!
# CERN # LHC # CMS #
Do you have a question about the Universe?
I go into overtime at work for a while and when I come back to check on things it is almost finished. Excellent! I guess I am not the only one working.