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Thread: Lu Xiaofeng Book 5: Mansion of Spirits

  1. #241
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    Thanks foxs for another update.

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    Thanks foxs

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    Thanks, foxs.

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    Thanks foxs

  5. #245
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    Thanks Foxs!

    Speed is better, lol... We can form the sentence structures in our own minds,

  6. #246
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    Many Thanks for the update. Although I'll to admit, it's a bit agonising to wait for updates.

  7. #247
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    Default Chapter 11 - Part 4

    ycb, Ysabel, HPC, Jaya, Anh, you are welcome. Clown ... no comment. Drowsy, you could always wait for the unabridged, then you could read it all in one go.


    “What I want you to do is the key to this operation’s success or failure,” Old Sabre Honcho replied.

    “What is it?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Old Sabre Honcho also chuckled, and then said, “Right now what you know is already too much, I will tell you the rest the night of the twelfth of the fourth month.”

    He patted Lu Xiaofeng’s shoulder and said, “So tonight there is no harm in you relaxing, I can even say that you may want to get drunk, because tomorrow you may sleep the whole day.”

    “You want me to wait till the day after tomorrow to go down the mountain?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    “You will belong to the last batch going down the mountain,” Old Sabre Honcho replied.

    “Who else is in my group?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    “Housekeeper, Old Lady Lou, Cousin, Hook, and Liu Qingqing,” Old Sabre Honcho replied.

    He laughed again and said, “In all good plays, the best act is always saved for the last; naturally you want to be the last to enter the stage.”

    “Besides,” Lu Xiaofeng added matter-of-factly, “With them following me into the stage, at least there won’t be any possibility I will die half-way in somebody else’s hands.”

    Old Sabre Honcho’s laughter was even more cheerful, “Don’t worry,” he said, “Even if you meet Ximen Chuixue along the way, he can’t possibly recognize you.”

    “Because the person in charge of my disguise is an expert that is absolutely without equal throughout the world,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

    Old Sabre Honcho laughed and said, “If someone is able to disguise himself as a dog, do you have any reason to worry?”

    He was talking about Canine Master.

    Canine Master’s responsibility was precisely to alter everybody’s appearance so that nobody could recognize them. But what would happened after he finished his job?

    -- I just want you to take me along when you go.

    Finally Lu Xiaofeng understood what he meant; he was certainly able to see the crisis he was in.

    Old Sabre Honcho looked up to the sky, he took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly. The plowing and weeding time was over, now he was just waiting for the harvest. He seemed to catch sight of the fruits already sprouting from the branches.

    Each fruit represented one human head.

    Lu Xiaofeng suddenly turned around to look at him and asked, “What about you? Everything has been taken care of, what are you going to do?”

    Old Sabre Honcho said, “I am the creditor, I am just going to wait for you to pay me back the investment I spend on you.”

    Lu Xiaofeng said, “Wudang has a debt toward Shi He, Shaolin has a debt toward Tiger, Panther and his brothers, who has a debt toward you?”

    “Everybody has a debt toward me,” Old Sabre Honcho said.

    He patted Lu Xiaofeng’s shoulder again, and said with a smile, “Didn’t you also owe me a bit?”

    Lu Xiaofeng also exhaled the air from his lungs, but it seemed like the cold and damp fog remained in his chest.

    He knew that whoever owed Old Sabre Honcho anything, sooner or later he would have to pay him back double.

    And he could not afford it. Yet.

    Canine Master was lying on the bed, staring blankly at the ceiling.

    He really wanted to get some sleep, he had already closed his eyes many times before, yet sleep seemed to elude him.

    When the rabbit has been caught, the hunting dog will be boiled.

    Right now he felt like he was already in the pot, and very soon the soup inside the pot would be boiling; how could he fall asleep?

    In the dead of the night, the window suddenly creaked, someone flew in as if he was swept-in by the wind. It was Lu Xiaofeng.

    Canine Master has not even made any noise, Lu Xiaofeng already covered his mouth, “Are you the only one in this house?” he whispered.

    He was the only one. Because nobody wanted to live in a house where dog skin and human skin were hanging everywhere. Nobody could stand the foul odor of cooking glue and leather emitted by the copper pot on the stove.

    The art of disguise is not as effortless and pleasant as people imagined it to be. To make a perfect human skin mask, not only it required a pair of steady and skillfull hands, it needed tremendous patience as well.

    Lu Xiaofeng already knitted his brows from the stench of the smoke emitted from the pot; he could not help asking, “What are you cooking?”

    “Cowhide glue,” Canine Master replied, “Human skin mask must be affixed using cowhide glue, otherwise it will fall off.”

    “Human skin mask?” Lu Xiaofeng asked, “You really use human skin to make masks?”

    Canine Master said, “Only real human skin masks can completely change someone’s facial features, plus every single mask must be fixed in accordance with that person’s original face first.”

    Suddenly he smiled to Lu Xiaofeng and said, “I already made one to fit the shape of your face as well.”

    With a wry smile Lu Xiaofeng asked, “Also made of human skin?”

    “Genuine goods at fair prices,” Canine Master replied.

    “How many masks did you make in total?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    “Thirty one masks,” Canine Master replied.

    And then he added, “Other than Old Sabre Honcho, everybody gets one.”

    Why didn’t Old Sabre Honcho need any disguise? Could it be that he was going to Wudang still wearing that deep-basket like bamboo rain hat?

    Lu Xiaofeng asked, “After these people wear the disguise, will there be any special mark on their faces?”

    “Not the least bit,” Canine Master replied.

    “If everybody does not recognize anybody, won’t it be difficult to avoid killing the wrong person?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    “Absolutely not,” Canine Master replied.

    “How come?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Canine Master said, “Because each group of people going down the mountain will have different task from each other. Some will deal with Wudang’s Taoist priests, some will deal with Shaolin’s monks. As long as this particular group of people can remember what the other people look like after they are wearing the disguise, they won’t kill the people in their own group by mistake.”

    Lu Xiaofeng was deep in thought for a moment. Suddenly he lowered his voice, “Can you leave a special mark on each group of people? For example, a pockmark, or perhaps a mole?”

    Canine Master stared at him with some kind of strange expression in his eyes; after a very long time he asked quietly, “Do you have confidence that you will be able to take me along when you leave?”

    “I am sure of it,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

    Canine Master exhaled. He said, “You promised me, of course I also promise you.”

    “How are you going to do it?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Canine Master winked; he said, “Right now I don’t have any idea yet, but by the time we are leaving together, I will tell you.”

    It seems like the people in this place were just like the Old Sabre Honcho, other than self, nobody trusted anybody else.

    Sometimes they did not even trust themselves.

    Canine Master suddenly asked, “Isn’t Widow Hua in your group and you are going to leave together?”

    “Most probably yes,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

    “How do you want me to disguise her?” Canine Master asked, “Do you want me to make her old and ugly, or young and beautiful?”

    “The older the better, the uglier the better,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

    “And why is that?” Canine Master asked.

    Lu Xiaofeng said, “Because no one will believe that Lu Xiaofeng is with an old an ugly woman, therefore, no one will believe that I am Lu Xiaofeng.”

    “Hence the older and the uglier she is, the more you will feel safe,” Canine Master said, “Not only others will not recognize you, you yourself will not be tempted.”

    He winked and laughed, “These days you really have to preserve your strength,” he said, “Being with a young and beautiful widow, preserving your strength is indeed not an easy thing to do.”

    Lu Xiaofeng stared at him; he said coldly, “Do you know what your problem is?”

    Canine Master shook his head.

    Lu Xiaofeng said, “Your problem is that you talk too much.”

    Canine Master smiled sheepishly and said, “As long as you take me out of here, I promise that I won’t even say a word along the way.”

    Lu Xiaofeng said, “Even if you wanted to talk, I have a way to shut your mouth.”

    Canine Master could not refrain himself from asking, “What is it?”

    Lu Xiaofeng said, “I am a government official from the Capital who’s ‘announcing old age and returning home’ [i.e. to retire from public life]; not only I bring along a few attendants and followers, I also bring along a dog.”

    He smiled before continuing, “And you are that dog. Naturally a dog cannot speak human words.”

    Canine Master stared at him for half a day; finally he let out a bitter laugh and said, “That’s right, I am that dog. I just ask you to never forget that this particular dog only eats meat, I cannot gnaw on bones.”

    Lu Xiaofeng laughed and said, “But you must also never forget that a disobedient dog will not only have to gnaw on bones, it will also have to eat sh1t.”

    He roared in laughter as he walked out of the room. Suddenly he turned his head around and asked, “Ye Xue and Ye Ling are supposed to be in which group?”

    “I don’t know either,” Canine Master replied, “In the list that Old Sabre Honcho gave me, both sisters’ names are not listed.”

  8. #248
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    First!

    Haha... sorry foxs, old habits die hard....

    Thanks again for the wonderful tale....

    Drowsy Palm, you had no idea what it was like last time waiting for an update to this thread or to another super long thread....
    Last edited by Clown Prince; 04-14-14 at 09:23 AM.

  9. #249
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    Thanks foxs

  10. #250
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    Thanks foxs for another update.

  11. #251
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    Old Sabre Honcho is probably thinking Lu Xiaofeng is the ten percent the master operation will fail. Lu Xiaofeng is the number one busybody who will foil ambitious conspiracies and schemes in jianghu. By disabling Lu Xiaofeng, success is almost assured. With the new information, somehow I suspect the Ye sisters were all an act. On the other hand, Honcho did save Lu Xiaofeng a couple of times, so maybe there really is a mission for him. All will be revealed I'm sure.

  12. #252
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    Thanks for another one!

  13. #253
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    Thanks foxs
    We were only getting 2 updates a year on this thread before you took over.

  14. #254
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    Haha caught up with the two updates. Thks foxs.

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    Thanks, foxs.

  16. #256
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    Default Chapter 11 - Part 5

    Clown, what do you mean 'old habit'? I don't understand. There is nothing wrong with desiring speedy update. I also wish that all stories are completed. HPC, Ysabel, ycb, Jaya, you are welcome. 9Dragons, you got a point, but LXF was a capable man, OSH saw an opportunity to increase his chance of success, hence he took the gamble. Besides, he had repeatedly tested LXF, and he passed with flying colors. Anh, to be fair, perhaps Junny was really busy. DongBin, I thought you were going to give me your suggestion on that sentence last time.

    Anyway, here is the end of Chapter 11. Six more chapters plus an epilogue.

    EDIT: BTW, before anybody raise any objection, I did not change the date to modern equivalent. For example, April 3rd. The reason is because I believe Gu Long was referring to Lunar Calendar and not Gregorian, i.e. fourth month is not necessarily April.



    The night grew even deeper.

    Lu Xiaofeng sat down in the cold fog, there was a war going on in his heart.

    -- Should he go to the swamp to look for those sisters? Or should he drink and get really drunk?

    His choice was to get really drunk.

    Even if he could not find them, he did not have to be drunk; yet he was drunk, as drunk as mud.

    Why did he have to be drunk?

    Could it be that he had a painful problem in his heart that cannot be divulged to anybody else?

    The third day of the fourth month, afternoon. The sky was clear, but the air was foggy.

    By the time Lu Xiaofeng woke up, his head ached so much that he felt it was about to burst open; his mouth felt like sawdust, and his mood was a total washout, just like the feeling he had when he was seriously ill.

    He woke up for a long time before he finally opened his eyes, and as soon as he opened his eyes, he almost jumped in fright.

    How could Old Lady Lou sit on his bedside? How long has she been staring at him?

    He rubbed his eyes, and was finally able to see that the old granny sitting on his bedside, nibbling on some fava beans was not Old Lady Lou at all, yet she couldn’t be a lot younger than Old Lady Lou.

    “Who are you?”

    He couldn’t resist asking, but the old granny’s answer shocked him.

    “I am your wife,” the old granny’s cracked dry lips seemed to be drawn back into a cold laugh, “I have been married to you for fifty years, so if you don’t want to recognize me now, you can’t.”

    Lu Xiaofeng stared at her in disbelief. Suddenly he roared into loud laughter, he laughed so hard that he rolled about on his bed.

    The old granny was Liu Qingqing, he recognized her voice.

    “How did you turn into something like this?”

    “Because that [email protected] has seen a ghost in a clear day light; I want to be a bit younger, but he did not let me.”

    Liu Qingqing crushed a fava bean with her teeth, and said with hatred in her voice, “And now I look like this; are you happy?”

    Lu Xiaofeng deliberately blinked his eyes and said, “Why would I be happy?”

    Liu Qingqing said, “Because you were wishing that I would be the older the better, the uglier the better. Because all along you wanted to avoid me, as if you are afraid that I would swallow you alive.”

    Lu Xiaofeng still pretended he did not understand, “Why would I want to avoid you?”

    Liu Qingqing said, “If you are not avoiding me, why did you drink every day like a dead man?”

    She laughed coldly and said, “Actually, I am aware that you do not dare to touch me, but I am a bit curious; you are supposed to sleep with an old granny like me every night, how can you stand it?”

    Lu Xiaofeng sat up on his bed, “Why would I want to sleep with you every night?” he asked.

    “Because you are a government official from the Capital who’s ‘announcing old age and returning home’, and I am your wife,” Liu Qingqing said, “Moreover, the wife is a notorious vinegar jar [i.e. person of a jealous nature].”

    Lu Xiaofeng was speechless.

    Liu Qingqing continued, “I also have a good news for you, our son is coming along with us.”

    Lu Xiaofeng was shocked again, “Who is our son?” he asked.

    “Cousin,” Liu Qingqing replied.

    Lu Xiaofeng suddenly fell flat on his back on the bed, and stayed really still.

    Liu Qingqing roared in laughter; suddenly she pounced on him and said with a giggle, “Although my body is old, my heart is not, I still want to do it every day, you can’t even play dead on me.”

    With a bitter laugh Lu Xiaofeng said, “I am not playing dead, but you want me to do that thing with an old granny like you every day, I am going to die for real.”

    Liu Qingqing laughed and said, “You can always close your eyes, and just try really hard to imagine what I used to look like.”

    She was laughing so hard that she was out of breath, “Besides, don’t you men often say that as long as you close your eyes, all women in the world are just the same?”

    At last now Lu Xiaofeng understood the meaning of ‘you reap what you sow’.

    This hole was dug by him, and now the one falling head first into it was precisely himself.

    By the time Canine Master arrived, Liu Qingqing was still gasping for breath.

    Watching an old woman, so old that her teeth were falling apart, lying side-by-side with a young man while gasping for breath, if one can refrain from laughing, this person’s ability is indeed not small.

    Canine Master’s ability was indeed not small.

    Unexpectedly he did not laugh; unexpectedly he could pretend not to see. But when Lu Xiaofeng stood up, he suddenly gave him a wink as if saying, “What do you think?”

    Lu Xiaofeng really wished he could dig these two eyeballs out and gave them to Liu Qingqing to eat just like the fava beans.

    Fortunately, before he could make his move, an old granny that was even older than Liu Qingqing and Old Lady Lou combined stuck out her head from the door, and said with a laugh, “Master and Madame had better get ready, we are going to set off at first light.”

    This person was, naturally, the Housekeeper.

    Who would have thought that the Hall Master Gao of the Phoenix Tail Clan’s three inner halls could turn into someone like this?

    Instantly Lu Xiaofeng felt a bit better; suddenly he raised his voice, “Where is that precious son of mine? Quickly summon him here to pay his respect to the old man.”

    Cousin, who looked about twenty years younger, had no choice but coming in with a frown on his face.

    With a straight face Lu Xiaofeng said, “Government officials from Beijing always have a bit stricter household rule, even during traveling we must not be negligent; therefore, from now on you must come to kowtow and pay your respect to me every day. Do you understand?”

    Cousin only nodded.

    Lu Xiaofeng said, “Since you understand, why don’t you hurry up to get on your knees and kowtow?”

    Watching Cousin really went down on his knees, Lu Xiaofeng’s mood was even better. No matter what, being the old man is always much better than being the son.

    One thing for sure, he would not be lonely along the way; other than a wife, he had a son, a housekeeper, and a housemaid.

    He even had a dog.

    “Can’t take the dog along!”

    Hai Qikuo has had the hook on his severed hand removed, the useless bare stump of his hand hidden inside his sleeve looked awkward and funny.

    But his expression was very serious, his manner was even more firm, “We absolutely must not bring him along.”

    “Is this Old Sabre Honcho’s order?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    “Of course it is,” Hai Qikuo replied.

    “You are going to kill him, aren’t you?” Lu Xiaofeng said.

    “Yes,” Hai Qikuo replied.

    Now that Canine Master’s job was done, they did not have any scruple toward him.

    “Who is going to kill him?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    “Me,” Hai Qikuo replied.

    “Without the hook you can still kill people?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    “I can kill anytime,” Hai Qikuo replied.

    “Very well,” Lu Xiaofeng said, “In that case, go ahead and kill me now.”

    Hai Qikuo’s countenance changed, “What do you mean?”

    Lu Xiaofeng dryly said, “What I mean is very simple: he goes, I go, he dies, I also die.”

    Of course he could not die.

    Hai Qikuo looked at Cousin, Cousin looked at Housekeeper, Housekeeper looked at Liu Qingqing.

    Liu Qingqing looked at Canine Master; suddenly she asked, “Are you a male dog, or a female dog?”

    “I am male,” Canine Master replied.

    Liu Qingqing said, “Some dogs love to sleep by their master’s bed at night. How about you?”

    “I love to sleep by the door,” Canine Master replied, “And once I asleep, I will be like a dead dog, I won’t hear anything.”

    Liu Qingqing laughed and said, “As long as it is not a female dog, I don’t care how many dogs he want to bring, I have no objection.”

    “Anybody has any objection?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Hai Qikuo sighed. “No,” he said.

    “Not even half a person,” Housekeeper said.

    Lu Xiaofeng looked at Cousin, “What about you?”

    Cousin chuckled and said, “I am a filial son, I am ten times more obedient than a dog.”

    Therefore, with four people and a dog, our Old Master Lu grandly set off from the Mansion of Spirits.

    This was the second time he left this place. He knew that this time he would never come back again.
    Last edited by foxs; 04-16-14 at 09:03 AM.

  17. #257
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    Thanks for another exciting part of the story...

  18. #258
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    Thanks, foxs.

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    Hi foxs, I was talking about my old habit of fighting for first cmment every time Justin posted a new updatr to ASITP. Most of the time I believe YCB won.... lol....

    speed is good, but pls do take care of your health and your work first.. we are all patient people!
    Cheers!

  20. #260
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    Thanks!

    Is there such an expression in Chinese (definitely not in English)?:

    Even if he could not find them, he did not have to be drunk; yet he was drunk, as drunk as mud.
    Last edited by ycb5959; 04-16-14 at 08:50 PM.

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