Thread: The Deer and The Cauldron

  1. #2021
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update foxs. I already bought the tix and the baby will be sitting on my lap for 16hrs! Luckily, I have a few family members with me so I won't be too tired.

    So Shuang'er has been traveling with WXB this entire time? And Ah Ke...she's just evil!!!

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    I find myself admiring Wei Xiaobao at this point. He knows Li Zicheng can kill him so easily, but he still stands up and points out his hypocrisy. With no way to honorably respond, he resorts to violence instead. How despicable. WXB should really get over Ah Ke, she can't see beyond her own image in the mirror
    --=={Grundle}==--

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    Senior Member smurf120's Avatar
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    FengXiFen sure embarrassed easily for someone so prone to doing sneak attacks!

    So happy that Shang'er is back!

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    Quote Originally Posted by smurf120 View Post
    FengXiFen sure embarrassed easily for someone so prone to doing sneak attacks!

    So happy that Shang'er is back!
    Well, before this, nobody ever dare to ridicule Feng Xifan on his face...
    You plant a garden and the flowers do not bloom, you poke a stick in the mud and it grows into a tree

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    Thanks Foxs

  6. #2026
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 33 - Part 5

    Tweety, as I said earlier: while I still have time … Gubrak, I thought that was what you wanted? Sablemagi, OwlHoot, Smurf, I don’t think Jin Yong developed Shuang’er’s character (or any other ‘wives’, for that matter) enough. I wish we got to see more what’s going on in their heads (or hearts). Crazee, I did not see any pm. Or was it an email? Sky, good luck … Grundle, agree, wholeheartedly. Ace, I guess he is the real villain here. Anh, you are welcome.


    Li Xihua loudly said, “You … you are Li Zicheng? You are unexpectedly not dead? Good, good, good!” His voice was filled with rage.

    Li Zicheng stared at him. “What is it?” he asked, “Who are you?”

    Li Xihua angrily said, “I wish I could eat your flesh and sleep in your skin. I thought you have died long ago. Laotianye have eyes. Very good!”

    “Humph,” Li Zicheng snorted. “In all my life laozi have killed people like scything flax,” he said with a cold laugh, “I don’t know how many tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands people in the world wanted to kill me to take revenge, yet isn’t laozi still alive and well? You want to take revenge, I am afraid it won’t be that easy.”

    Ah Ke pulled his sleeve and said in a low voice, “Father, let’s go.” Li Zicheng stomped his monk staff on the ground again, and then he turned around and walked toward the door. Ah Ke and Zheng Keshuang followed behind him.

    “Li Zicheng,” Li Xihua called out, “By this time tomorrow, I am waiting for you in here. If you are a hero, come and fight me one on one, we’ll decide who will live and who will die. Do you have the guts?”

    Li Zicheng turned his head to look at him, his face showed contempt; he said, “When laozi traversed the earth, you, this kid, have not even been out of your mother’s womb. Whether the Ol’ Li is a hero or not, I don’t need Sire to tell me.” Stomping his monk staff, he went out.

    Everybody looked at each other in silence; they all thought that there was a truth in what he just said. Li Zicheng killed people like scything flax, common people slandered him much but praised him little. Yet he was a hero who dared to do what he said he would do. Even people who hated him to their bones cannot deny this fact. By this time he was already old, yet he still carried that god-like imposing aura around him. Almost nobody in the hall had weak martial art skill, they were all Jianghu veteran, yet when he swept them with his gaze, they still could not stop fear from creeping up their hearts.

    “Damn it,” Wei Xiaobao cursed, “You clearly betrothed your daughter to me to be my wife, but now you denied it. I say you are a coward, a fart hero.”

    Seeing Shuang’er was tearing her clothes to wrap the wound on her shoulder, he helped her attending to her injury. “Good Shuang’er,” he asked, “How did you come? I am lucky that you arrived coincidentally to save me, otherwise my wife would have committed premeditated murder of her own husband, she would have pierced my eyes blind.”

    “It was not a coincident,” Shuang’er replied in a low voice, “I have always been by Xianggong’s side. It’s just that you did not know.”

    Wei Xiaobao was greatly surprised. “You were always by my side?” he repeatedly asked, “How can that be?”

    “Hey,” Thin Toutuo called out, “Quickly unseal my acupoints, quickly give me the antidote; otherwise, humph, humph, laozi will immediately smash your head into pulp!”

    Suddenly the hall was filled with ha ha, heh heh, hey hey, and hee hee laughter. Wei Xiaobao’s subordinate kept coming in, while this extremely short and extremely fat fellow had his acupoints sealed, he was unable to move a single step, yet he unexpectedly uttered some threatening words; everybody thought it was laughable.

    Thin Toutuo angrily said, “What are you laughing at? What’s so funny? When my acupoints are unsealed and he still has not given me the antidote, you’ll see if I am going to smash his head into pulp or not.”

    Qian Laoben raised a single-blade saber and with a giggle he came over, saying, “Right now if I chop your damn head three times, I wonder if laoxiong’s head will burst open or not?”

    “Do you have to ask?” Thin Toutuo angrily retorted, “Naturally it will burst open!”

    Qian Laoben laughed and said, “While your acupoints are not opened yet, I will smash your head into pulp first, so that when your acupoints are unsealed, you can’t smash my master’s head into pulp.” When the people heard this, they roared in laughter again.

    “My acupoints are not sealed by you,” Thin Toutuo angrily said, “If you smash my head into pulp, you can’t be considered a hero.”

    Qian Laoben laughed. “Why do I care whether you consider me a hero or not,” he said, “I am not a hero to begin with.” While saying that, he raised his saber.

    Fat Toutuo called out, “Wei … Wei Daren, my Shixiong is rude and has offended you, please forgive him, let subordinate apologize on his behalf. Shige, quickly apologize. Wei Daren is also your superior; don’t you know it?” He could not turn his neck, so when he talked to Wei Xiaobao and Thin Toutuo, he was unable to face them.

    Thin Toutuo said, “If he gives me the antidote, let’s not talk about apologizing, I am even willing to kowtow, or be his ox or his horse. But if he does not give me the antidote, I am going to smash his melon head into pulp.”

    Wei Xiaobao thought, “What’s so good about that old wh0re that you unexpectedly show her this much kindness and devotion?”

    While they were still talking, suddenly they saw the peasant cupped his fist and walked out from among the crowd, saying, “Everybody, Xiongdi must say good bye now.”

    All of them were shocked; the eight of them had their vital acupoints sealed by Feng Xifan. Other than Wei Xiaobao who had his acupoints massaged by Shuang’er, the remaining seven people were unable to lift a finger. Feng Xifan’s internal energy entered the acupoint via the tip of his sword, it was very formidable, even people with higher martial art skill would still need two to four hours to be able to move again. This peasant’s appearance was just like ordinary farmer of rural area. When he was playing Pai Jiu a moment ago he was able to press the tiles until they created an impression on the table; obviously he was a martial art master with profound internal energy; however, in just a short period of time he was unexpectedly able to open his own acupoints, it was indeed a skill that was seldom heard. They saw him dragging his shoes as he limped away.

    Wei Xiaobao told Qian Laoben, “Unseal our brothers’ acupoints. This Li … Mr. Li is also one of our own.” While saying that, he pointed toward Li Xihua.

    “Yes,” Qian Laoben complied.

    He put the saber back into its scabbard, and was about to unseal Li Xihua’s acupoints when suddenly the old beggar said, “Ming restore Qing fought, mother Earth father Heaven.” [ming fu qing fan, mu di fu tian]

    “Ah,” Qian Laoben exclaimed in surprise. Xu Tianchuan stepped forward to massage the old beggar’s back several times, and then he walked around to face the old beggar with the thumbs of both hands bent toward the old beggar’s face.

    Tian Di Hui brethren were numerous; it was hard for them to know their fellow brothers. When someone was initiated into the Society, often times they would use the phrase ‘Heaven is my father, Earth is my mother, Fighting the Qing, Restoring the Ming’ [tian fu di mu, fan Qing fu Ming] eight characters to recognize a fellow brethren. But in the presence of outsiders, they must not reveal their secret; hence they usually reversed the eight characters, so that even if the outsiders heard it, they could not make head or tail of it. Xu Tianchuan saluted the old beggar with crooked fingers was also part of the secret signal they used in front of other people.

    Qian and Xu, two people successively opened the sealed acupoints of Li Xihua, Fat Toutuo, Lu Gaoxuan, three people. Only Thin Toutuo was left sitting on the floor. His entire face was bulging red, as he shouted, “Shidi, why haven’t you unsealed my acupoints? Damn it, what are you waiting for?”

    “Unsealing acupoints is not difficult,” Fat Toutuo replied, “But you must not be rude toward Wei Daren.”

    “Who told him not to give me the antidote?” Thin Toutuo angrily said, “It is he who offends me, not I offend him! If he gives me the antidote, I’ll consider he apologizes to me, laozi will let bygones be bygones, and that’s the end.”

    Fat Toutuo was hesitant, “This is difficult,” he said.

    The old beggar shouted, “You, this short and fat fellow, you keep rambling on and on. Let’s not talk about Wei Xiongdi does not give you the antidote, even if he wanted to give, I will urge him not to give.” Stretching out his right hand finger, ‘Chi!’ a gust of strong wind shot toward Thin Toutuo. Followed by two fingers, ‘chi, chi’, the acupoints on Thin Toutuo’s body were immediately opened.

    Suddenly a large meatball shot up from the floor and pounced on Wei Xiaobao. ‘Whoosh!’ the old beggar’s palm swiftly struck out, Thin Toutuo’s body was still in the air, his palm also struck out, his body shot up again. His martial art skill was indeed superior. He flipped midair, and pounced on the old beggar with both palms struck toward the top of the beggar’s head. The old beggar’s left foot flew up toward Thin Toutuo’s lower back. Thin Toutuo swiftly reversed his palms. The force of his palms collided with the force of the old beggar’s leg, his fat body flew up to the air.

    Thin Toutuo’s body stayed in the air like a big rubber ball. The old beggar striking with his palms and kicking with his feet, but all along he failed to hit him. This short and fat fellow looked clumsy and funny, yet he was surprisingly very agile; his feet never touched the ground, yet he was able to turn around as he pleased.

    Li Xihua and the Tian Di Hui warriors could be considered experienced and knowledgeable, yet in all their lives they had never seen movements like Thin Toutuo was demonstrating just now. Fat Toutuo and Lu Gaoxuan watched the fight with rapt attention. They saw how in each move the old beggar’s strength was swift and fierce; Thin Toutuo’s more than two-hundred-catty body was kept fluttering in the air and did not fall down by the old beggar’s sheer power.

    The two people fought tighter and tighter, the wind from the fists and palms were forcing the spectators to stand with their backs against the wall. Suddenly they heard Thin Toutuo shouted with his strange voice as he launched the move ‘five nails opening the mountain’; his left palm struck out first, his right fist followed, both were aimed at the crown of the old beggar’s head.

    “Good move!” the old beggar shouted. He squatted and launched the move ‘the King of Heaven supporting the pagoda’, to meet the attack head-on.

    Two tremendous forces collided. Thin Toutuo soared back into the air, his back crashed onto the beam. ‘Crack! Bang!’ The roof tiles, mud and dirt rained down; the dust and sand in the hall rose up. Thin Toutuo pounced down again, the old beggar pulled back to evade. Thin Toutuo’s attack hit an empty space, ‘Crash!’ he fell heavily to the ground.

    The old beggar roared in laughter, but before his laugh stopped, Thin Toutuo had already shot up again; fast and nimble beyond belief his head flew toward the old beggar’s chest. Everybody could see that this strike carried an overwhelming power. The old beggar sidestepped; his right palm landed on Thin Toutuo’s buttocks, with a loud shout he exerted his internal energy to give him a push.

    The momentum of Thin Toutuo’s strike was already huge, on top of that, the old beggar’s internal strength was also very powerful; two tremendous forces worked together, Thin Toutuo flew even faster, his head crashed into the wall. Everybody thought that his brains would definitely burst open from the impact. They all cried out in alarm. Fat Toutuo grabbed a casino worker standing on the corner and threw him toward the wall. ‘Bonk!’ Thin Toutuo’s head struck his chest and abdomen, penetrated his belly and crashed into the wall, creating a big hole on the wall.

    He stood up shakily, his big fat head hung down, dripping with the casino worker’s blood and intestines. Frantically he wiped his face with both hands while cursing angrily. “Damn it, what trick was that?”

    Everybody was overwhelmed with shock and amazement. The old beggar shouted, “Are we going to continue fighting or not?”

    “If my body was still big and tall like in the past,” Thin Toutuo replied, “You would not be able to beat me.”

    “What about now?” the old beggar asked.

    Thin Toutuo shook his head. “Now I cannot beat you,” he said, “I am finished, I am finished!” Suddenly he leaped and slammed through the wall. With a loud rumble another large hole appeared on the wall, even the casino worker’s body also vanished into the hole.

    “Shige, Shige!” Fat Toutuo called out, and flew out through the hole.

    “Wei Daren,” Lu Gaoxuan said, “I’ll go take a look.” With feet first his body flew horizontally out through the hole, he still managed to cup his fist to salute Wei Xiaobao; his style was amazing, the people cheered together.

    Xu Tianchuan, Qian Laoben and the others all thought, “Where did Wei Xiangzhu get these two subordinates? Their martial art skill is surprisingly amazing; it is ten times higher than ours.”

    Li Xihua cupped his fist and said, “I can’t accompany you much longer.” And he left via the main door in quick steps.

    Wei Xiaobao cupped his fist toward the old beggar. “Xiongtai [another way of saying ‘brother’],” he said, “Would you let them go?” While saying that, he pointed to Zhao Qixian and the others.

    The old beggar chuckled and said, “Sorry for the offense.” Casually he pulled Zhao Qixian and the others up. Nobody saw him massaging those men, but with just these grabs, he had opened these Imperial Bodyguards’ acupoints.

    “Many thanks,” Wei Xiaobao said, and ordered Zhao Qixian, Zhang Kangnian and the others to return first.

    Xu Tianchuan looked at Shuang’er and asked, “Is this Miss Wei Xiangzhu’s trusted friend?”

    “Yes,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “We don’t need to conceal anything from her.”

    The old beggar said, “Although this Miss is young, her loyalty and righteousness is difficult for others to follow. If she had not acted boldly, disregarding her own safety just a moment ago, protecting her master with devotion, Wei Xiongdi’s eyeballs could not be protected.”

    Pulling Shuang’er’s hand, Wei Xiaobao said, “True, true. Luckily she has saved me.”

    Listening to these two people complimenting her in front of everybody, Shuang’er was bashful; her entire face reddened, she lowered her head and did not dare to meet anybody’s gaze.
    Last edited by foxs; 03-17-12 at 09:13 AM.

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    Thanks Foxs! this was great and i loved every single bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by foxs View Post
    [I] Almost everybody in the hall had weak martial art skill, they were all Jianghu veteran, yet when he swept them with his gaze, they still could not stop fear from creeping up their hearts.
    Did you mean "did not have weak martial art skills"?

    Quote Originally Posted by foxs View Post
    [I]He stood up shakily, his big fat head hung down, dripping with the casino worker’s blood and intestines. Frantically he wiped his face with both hands while cursing angrily. “Damn it, what trick was that?”
    Woah....that's pretty graphic.

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    Senior Member crazee's Avatar
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    Wow...one of the best section for quite some time already....
    Love Shuang er even more, so humble and loveable.

    Really comical fat and thin and toutou....
    Can;t help but wonder who the farmer is...looks like lots of heroes in disguise those days, better be careful
    maybe there are still some lurking around nowadays....

    Thanks Foxs...Not it was a reply to the thread...I thought I sent one but it did not appear. The BB in my house is lousy...well that's the standard in Malaysia anyway...slow and not dependable and expensive too, sigh what to do, no alternative.
    cheerio..

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    Damn gambling attendants were expendable back then!!!

  10. #2030
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    The poor casino worker! Gosh, all these so called "heroes" and yet nobody said anything about the horrible death of an innocent bystander. I'm sure Fat Toutuo could have done something else to save his martial brother without using a human cushion to block the blow.

    Thank you, foxs.

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    Senior Member smurf120's Avatar
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    Not that money is everything, but I think WXB will throw down couple thousand taels for the trouble caused at the casino which might be the first of any compensation given to establishments in any wuxia story.

    Ah Ke - like father like daughter - except I guess she looks like her mother and does not have her father's heroic aura.

    I guess Dicky Cheung's DoMD 2000 tries to fill out the girls' personalities but ends up losing WXB's personality/antics.

  12. #2032
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks foxs.

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    I wonder who the peasant is?! And I wonder who the beggar is?

    It's clear that the peasant is easily the most powerful of the group here, since his internal strength overtakes the beggar's. And the beggar is a half a grade above Thin Tuotou.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smurf120 View Post

    I guess Dicky Cheung's DoMD 2000 tries to fill out the girls' personalities but ends up losing WXB's personality/antics.
    Saw a bit of this series when it was shown on TV and hated it. Dicky's portrayal of WXB spoils everything...he overacts.
    cheerio..

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazee View Post
    Saw a bit of this series when it was shown on TV and hated it. Dicky's portrayal of WXB spoils everything...he overacts.
    Was this the series where WXB knew martial arts?
    Not a fan of Dicky. He's the same in every series!

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    Thanks Foxs

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    Thanks Foxs..there's sure some invisible turns going on in this chapter...how did Ah Ke get back to the father??

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    Default Chapter 33 - Part 6

    Sablemagi, thanks, I'll make the correction. Crazee, don't you have other ISPs? KChill, yep, life was cheap. Tweety, Smurf, too bad common people could not sue those heroes ... Sky, Anh, you are welcome. Bchin, you'll know very soon. Crydee, it was never explained. As I mentioned before, I wish Jin Yong gave us more insight into these ladies' mind. For instance, what did Shuang'er see in WXB that she loved him?

    Sorry for the delay, been rather busy this week.



    Xu Tianchuan took a step forward, and spoke to the old beggar in a loud and clear voice, “Five men separately compose a poem, nobody knows the Hong Ying [lit. great courage. See also Chapter 8 for more info on Tian Di Hui.] on their body.”

    The old beggar replied, “Henceforth it is passed on to the brothers, afterwards we will know each other and have a reunion.”

    When Wei Xiaobao was initiated into the Heaven and Earth Society, the brethren had informed him on all kinds of ceremonial protocol and secret codes within the Society, they also made sure that he memorize everything well. The secret codes were actually very unrefined and common, the sentences seemed to make sense, yet they did not really made any sense. Tian Di Hui brethren were mostly Jianghu people, more than half came from the same background as Wei Xiaobao; their eyes could not recognize the letter ‘T’ [i.e. totally illiterate]. If the secret codes were too abstruse, how could the Society brothers remember?

    When he heard the old beggar reciting the secret codes to identify each other, Wei Xiaobao immediately caught on, “Entering the Hong Gate for the first time, one swears brotherhood with older brothers; that day the oath was clearly made with sincerity.”

    The old beggar recited, “Two trees pine and cypress standing on the left and right, in the middle was Hong Flower Pavilion where the oath of brotherhood was made.”

    Wei Xiaobao continued, “The brothers are in front of the Loyal and Righteous Hall, the elected general with millions of soldiers in the middle of the city.”

    The old beggar said, “Coming to the front of Fu De [lit. good fortune and virtue] Ancestral Hall willing to swear brotherhood, fighting the Qing restoring the Ming I am Hong Ying.”

    Wei Xiaobao said, “Xiongdi Wei Xiaobao, the current Green Wood Hall Xiangzhu; may I ask Xiongzhang’s [I don’t understand why the Chinese use so many different words for ‘brother’] respected surname and great given name? Which Hall do you belong to? And which duty do you currently serve?”

    The old beggar said, “Xiongdi Wu Liuqi, currently serving as the Red Banner Xiangzhu of the Great Obedience Hall. Today I can meet Wei Xiangzhu and the other brothers, truly I am delighted.”

    Everybody was pleasantly surprised to learn that this man was unexpectedly the well-known-throughout-the-world ‘Iron Beggar’ Wu Liuqi; they all bowed with cupped fist to pay their respect. Xu Tianchuan and the others announced their surname and given name; they all said that they have long admired him.

    Wu Liuqi was the provincial governor of Guangdong, commanding the massive military force in the whole province. In the past he was advised by Zha Yihuang, and his ‘fighting the Qing restoring the Ming’ spirit was aroused; he secretly joined Tian Di Hui, and had held the Red Banner Xiangzhu position of the Great Obedience Hall ever since.

    Tian Di Hui paid special attention to the character ‘Hong’. First, it was because Ming Taizu’s [first Ming Emperor] regnal name was Hong Qu. Second, the ‘hong’ ( 洪 ) character was actually the character ‘han’ ( 漢 ) minus the character ‘tu’ [earth] ( 土 ); the idea was that our Han people had lost our land, had become captive in an occupied land. Thereupon the Tian Di Hui brethren call themselves ‘Hong Ying’, signifying they would not forget their origin, and that they were determined to restore their land.

    The Red Banner Xiangzhu was not the official Xiangzhu, it did not involve commanding the Hall’s brethren either, but this position was actually above the official Xiangzhu, a position that was highly respected in the entire Society, second only to their Zongduozhu. The fact that Wu Liuqi was the Red Banner Xiangzhu of Tian Di Hui was a top secret, even Xu Tianchuan, Qian Laoben, and the others did not know.

    Wu Liuqi pulled Wei Xiaobao’s hand and said with a laugh, “Wei Xiangzhu, you went to Yunnan on a mission to deal with the big traitor Wu Sangui, Zongduozhu dispatched an order to our Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan and Guizhou, four provinces’ brothers to provide support as the circumstances allow. As soon as I received the order, I sent ten competent brothers to Yunnan to provide help in secret. However, Wei Xiangzhu handled everything appropriately, Green Wood Hall brothers are also very able, in everything you were able to turn peril into safety; our
    Great Obedience Hall did not need to help anything. A few days ago we heard that Wei Xiangzhu and the brothers have arrived in Guangxi, hence Xiongdi put on my disguise to rendezvous with you, brothers.”

    “So that’s how it is,” Wei Xiaobao happily said, “My Enshi [benevolent master], the Senior is very attentive; Wu Xiangzhu’s good intention, your Xiongdi is indeed very grateful. Wu Xiangzhu’s great name, on the four seas no one has not heard; turns out you are our Society brother, that is a top-notch, made-me-want-to-jump-with-joy, seriously-pleasant kind of news.” Actually, today was the very first time he ever heard of Wu Liuqi’s name, but seeing Xu Tianchuan and the others showed deep veneration to him, their faces lit up with delight, he simply blurted out several bootlicking sentences.

    Wu Liuqi laughed and said, “Wei Xiongdi killed the big treacherous court official Oboi with your own hand, now that is something ‘on the four seas no one has not heard’. We are all on the same side, no need for words of politeness. I have offended the Imperial Bodyguards under Wei Xiongdi’s command, it was only to invite you to come here; please do not blame me.”

    Wei Xiaobao laughed. “His granny,” he said, “Those fellows are dog skin who were unlucky, the lost money yet did not want to accept. Wu Dage made them eat a little bit of suffering, you taught them a lesson, so that next time they gamble they would follow the rule. Xiongdi still needs to thank you very much.” Wu Liuqi roared in laughter.

    After they were all seated, Wu Liuqi asked about the Yunnan mission. Wei Xiaobao briefly explained to him. When Wu Liuqi heard that they had obtained conclusive evidence that Wu Sangui was about to revolt, he was greatly delighted, and talked incessantly of his commendation. “When this traitor rises into rebellion, he will definitely attack Guangdong. This time we must go all out with him. When this treacherous bandit has been defeated, we will withdrew the troops again to the north to strike Beijing.”

    While they were still talking, the Latter Family Hall Xiangzhu Ma Chaoxing rushed in; he was introduced to Wu Liuqi, it was a warm meeting. They talked about what had just happened in the gambling establishment. Wu Liuqi cursed Feng Xifan all around, saying that he surreptitiously carried out sneak attack, that he was treacherous and despicable, and that Wu Liuqi would definitely have a good fight with him. Wei Xiaobao also told them about how Feng Xifan was trying to kill Chen Jinnan in Beijing. Wu Liuqi stretched out his hand and heavily slapped the gambling table, saying, “In this case, we will deal with him in here; first, to avenge Guan Fuzi, second, to get rid of one big danger from a trusted aide for Zongduozhu, third, to wipe away the humiliation we suffered today from his sneaky scheme.” In all his life he seldom met a worthy adversary; this time he unexpectedly fell under Feng Xifan that he was unable to move a finger, no wonder he was incomparably furious.

    Ma Chaoxing said, “Li Zicheng was the big rebel who caused the Son of Heaven Chongzhen’s death; since he has come to Liuzhou, we must not let him off easily.” Tian Di Hui was loyal to the Ming Dynasty. Chongzhen was hounded by Li Zicheng until he finally hanged himself on Coal Hill. Since that time, Tian Di Hui had been regarding Li Zicheng as their enemy.

    Wei Xiaobao said, “The Zheng Family of Taiwan flaunts the Great Ming’s Banner, yet this fellow Zheng Keshuang is going the same way as Li Zicheng, in which case he also has become a rebel. Since we started, we might as well carry it through whatever happens, we’ll deal with him as well. We will get rid of one more big danger from a trusted aide for Zongduozhu.”

    Everybody looked at each other in dismay, nobody said anything. Tian Di Hui was a subordinate of the Zheng Clan of Taiwan. There was no harm in killing Feng Xifan, but they must not kill Zheng Er Gongzi [Second Young Master]. Besides, it was very clear in everybody’s mind that Wei Xiaobao wanted to kill Zheng Keshuang, 99% was to use his official authority for private interests.

    Wu Liuqi changed the subject by asking Wei Xiaobao about the background of the Fat and Thin Toutuo. Wei Xiaobao gave a vague answer, saying that Fat Toutuo and Lu Gaoxuan were Jianghu friends who were indebted to him, hence those two were very loyal to him. Wu Liuqi admired that peasant who was able to unseal his own acupoints very much, he said, “In all my life Xiongdi only submit to very few people, this gentleman’s martial art is extremely brilliant, Xiongdi is ashamed of my own inferiority. There are very few people with this kind of skill in Wulin world. I have racked my brain trying to think it over, yet I cannot find out his identity.”

    They all discussed it over briefly. Ma Chaoxing sent his Hall’s brothers to investigate where Li Zicheng, Feng Xifan’s and the others were staying, while helping Feng Jizhong, Xu Tianchuan and Shuang’er to tend to their injury.

    Wei Xiaobao asked Shuang’er how did she follow him along the way? What happened was that after she lost contact with Wei Xiaobao on Mount Wutai, she looked for him everywhere. Later on she learned from the monks at the Qing Liang Temple that Wei Xiaobao had returned to Beijing, hence she also returned to Beijing, naturally the man Wei Xiaobao sent to summon her could not find her. By that time Wei Xiaobao was heading south, immediately she set on a journey to catch up with him, and managed to overtake him before they even reached the border of Hebei province. Being a young girl, she had different thought; she was worried that after Wei Xiaobao became a high ranking Tatar official, he would not want her to serve him anymore. Thereupon she stole a set of Valiant Cavalry Sergeant uniform, disguised herself and mingled among the Valiant Cavalry Brigade. She had been following him to Yunnan and back to Guangxi. It was at the gambling establishment did she see Wei Xiaobao was in danger, Ah Ke was about to stab his eyes, that she boldly jumped forward to save him.

    Wei Xiaobao was very grateful in his heart, he held her in his arms and kissed her cheek gently. “Silly girl,” he said with a laugh, “How can I not want you to serve me? I want you to serve me for the rest of my life, unless you yourself are not willing to take care of me, you want to go off and get married.”

    Shuang’er was happy and bashful at the same time, her face blushed as she said, “No, no, I … I won’t possibly go off and get married.”

    That evening Ma Chaoxing arranged a banquet in honor of Wu Liuqi in a Liuzhou brothel. When they were drinking, the Society brothers arrived to report that they have found Li Zicheng and his party, they were in a wooden raft hut on Liujiang River. Liuzhou was rich in lumber. Liuzhou coffins were world-famous. There was a saying, ‘Live in Suzhou, doing business in Hangzhou, eat in Guangzhou, die in Liuzhou.’ The lumber were tied together into rafts, and floated east on Liujiang River. There were countless wooden rafts on Liujiang River. When someone went to hide in one of the raft, it would be difficult for others to find him. If not for the fact that Tian Di Hui had a large number of people locally, perhaps they would be unable to find out.

    Wu Liuqi slapped the table and stood up. “Let us quickly go,” he said, “No need to drink the wine.”

    Ma Chaoxing said, “It’s still too early, gentlemen may drink slowly. Let Xiongdi make arrangement first, they won’t be able to run away.” And he walked out to instruct his subordinates.

    By the second watch that night [between 9-11pm], Ma Chaoxing led everybody to the bank of Liujiang River, and they all boarded two boats. The three Xiangzhu rode on one boat. Without waiting for any instruction, the boatmen rowed immediately. Soon afterwards, seven or eight boats followed some distance away. After rowing for about seven, eight li along the river, the boat stopped. A boatman entered the cabin and said in a low voice, “Reporting to three Xiangzhu: the target is inside the wooden raft directly in front of us.”

    Wei Xiaobao peeked out from the cabin’s curtain, and saw a small cabin on the raft, from which came a flicker of yellow light. He looked around and saw boats to the east, and boats to the west; at least there were thirty, forty boats altogether. Ma Chaoxing said in a low voice, “Those boats are ours.”

    Wei Xiaobao was greatly delighted, he thought that if one boat had ten people in it, they had three, four hundred people on their side; even if Li Zicheng and Feng Xifan were more formidable, could they fly up to the sky?

    Right this moment, suddenly they heard someone calling out from the river bank while dashing along the same direction the boat was traveling, “Li Zicheng … Li Zicheng … you shrink your head like a turtle, where do you think you can hide? Li Zicheng … come out if you have guts … Li Zicheng …” It was Li Xihua’s voice.

    From the wooden raft cabin someone shouted, “Who is making a racket in here?”

    From the riverbank a shadow leaped toward the wooden raft, the sword in his hand flickered under the cold moonlight. Someone came out of the wooden raft cabin, holding a monk staff in his hand; he was none other than Li Zicheng. “You are bored of living, aren’t you? You want laozi to deliver your little life away, don’t you?”

    “I am going to take your life today,” Li Xihua replied, “I am just afraid that in your death you will be a confused ghost. Do you know who I am?”

    “The Ol’ Li killed people by millions,” Li Zicheng said, “How could I ask their names one by one? Come up here!” These three words ‘come up here’ sounded like clap of thunder in the air; it echoed far on the river. With a loud shout the staff swept toward Li Xihua.

    Li Xihua leaned sideways to evade, he stuck the flat of his sword against the body of the staff, and leaped up. And then the tip of his sword shot down from the air. Li Zicheng thrust his staff straight up. Since he was still flying in the air, Li Xihua had no way of evading it, his left foot kicked the head of the staff, borrowing the momentum he made a somersault backward and landed on one foot at the edge of the wooden raft.

  19. #2039
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    great thanks Foxs. I am really curious about the peasant guy too now.

  20. #2040
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    Wow...it really seems that tian di hui have great fighter everywhere. It's a pity that inspite of such a powerful organisation, they are still unable to start an uprising....
    Looks like a big fight coming....suspense......
    Love shuang er even more. I suppose she's part loyal and part love.

    Thanks again Foxs.... There is only one monopolising telecoms company providing land phone services.
    All other companies...also mostlinked to govt provide mobile connections...maybe even worse and more ex.
    The speed in better in Singapore and more reliable...sigh, there's a big technological gap between the two neighbours.....
    cheerio..

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