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Thread: Lu Xiaofeng Book 6: The Phoenix Dances in the Nine Heavens (凤舞九天 Fengwu Jiutian)

  1. #81
    Member Drak17's Avatar
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    Jul 2006


    Another fine translation. Thanks again, Foxs!

    This story helps me pass my Summer days. :]


  2. #82
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Apr 2006

    Default Chapter 6 - Part 4

    Justin, I noticed that you are continuing the Step Into The Past. Good luck Bro. Looking forward to reading your work. Anh, you are welcome. Drak, does that mean your summer is a drag ... ? Too bad I can't speed up, too many things on my plate right now.

    You hit it, it wont feel any pain, but if it hits you, you will feel unbearable pain. You cannot strike it dead, but it can strike you dead.

    This kind of fighting was indeed not a good business deal, just like a bandit filing a lawsuit against the victim; you can only lose and cannot win at all.

    Besides, even if he won, it could not be considered a spectacular victory. Even if he managed to break the eight wooden men to pieces, chop and turn them into firewood, it did not mean anything. This kind of stupid business, Lu Xiaofeng had never wanted to do; too bad that right now, even if he did not want to fight, he still had to fight.

    The wooden mens punches created whooshing gust of wind, the flame of the lantern on the table was flickering erratically, it could go out at any time. Fighting desperately with the wooden men in the dark was an even more stupid thing.

    The brocade-gowned, white-faced scholar with pearl-inlaid hat did not stop rolling his eyes, as if he could not help laughing at this situation.

    This man was also a wooden man. But how could a wooden mans eyes rolled around? Moreover, it seemed to follow its eight attendants punches and kicks. Could it be that it also understood Shaolins fighting technique?

    Lu Xiaofeng was stunned; he was lost in thought, without realizing it, his eyes were also rolling around, following the wooden mans eyes. Suddenly, bang! his head received a punch; even his brains were nearly knocked out.

    Although his brains were not knocked out, he suddenly had a brainwave.

    When the fist landed on his head, the wooden scholars eyes unexpectedly stopped; when the fist started to move again, its eyes also followed.

    Between the eight wooden mens fists and eyes there seemed to be an invisible string.

    Lu Xiaofeng suddenly made his move, using his two fingers he pinched and broke two sections of wooden fingers. Zip! the two sections of wooden fingers shot out from his fingers, pop, pop! they hit the wooden scholars pair of eyes.

    Naturally wooden men cannot cry out in pain, it was still sitting there nicely, it did not even make the slightest move, but all eight wooden men suddenly fell down.

    Lu Xiaofeng flew out the window. Eight wooden men came crashing down, but he did not even turn his head to look back.

    He did not have any wish to see his own glorious victory. Even if he knocked down eight thousand or eighty thousand wooden men, there was not the least bit of glory in it. As long as he was able to escape unscathed from this room, he felt he was extremely lucky already.

    In the battle this time, he was lucky not to lose anything, although he ended up with several other things:

    Several bruises on his shoulders and back, and several bumps on his head.

    Other than that, this matter had given him a very good lesson:

    In the split second when he was flying out of the window, he swore to himself several hundred times: when he had no choice but to fight in the future, he would at least see first what kind of person he was dealing with. If it was a living person, he would at least shout his greeting; but if it was a wooden man, he would immediately run far away into a desolate place.

    While he was still thinking about this first lesson, the second lesson has arrived.

    He suddenly discovered that his feet were at the lotus pond.

    While its true that being beaten by wooden men till he got bloody nose and swollen face was unpleasant, but being stabbed in the chest by a man like he was stabbing a cat, wouldnt it mean that he died in vain?

    He had not looked down yet, but he sense that those dead fish-like eyes were staring at him.

    And then there was that thinner-than-paper fast blade.

    When one was already falling down, it did not matter whether it was his body that was falling down, or it was his spirit that was falling down, it would be very difficult to pull himself up.

    Right now he was already out of breath, by the time he took a breath, he would have been fallen into the pond.

    In the split second when he was taking a breath, the blade would have pierced his lung.

    By the time the blade was pulled out, he would have been floating up like the dead cat, or like the one-eyed old fisherman or the horse-faced man. There would have not been any bloodstain on his entire body, other people would have thought that he was drunk and fell into the pond and drowned to his death.

    Although this kind of death was quick, as well as painless, his death would still be very much in vain.

    Who would have thought that before he fell into the water, someone had already come out of the water? Cold light flashed in his hand, it was a short blade; a short blade that was as thin as paper.

    Not only was this person able to move fast and vicious, he was able to lay down motionless under water with eyes open as he stared at people. His water skill was, no doubt, very good.

    If it were on dry ground, Lu Xiaofeng might still be able to deal with his blade; but under water, Lu Xiaofeng was completely helpless.

    Unfortunately, he moved a bit too fast this time.

    Although Lu Xiaofeng had no way of leaping up, but if he wanted to sink a bit quicker, to sink a bit deeper, it was not too hard to do. With a loud splash! he fell into the pond, and sank straight to the bottom. With the flipping carp move, he wrapped his arms around the mans legs as hard as he could.

    To his surprise, the man did not struggle at all, the blade did not turn around and stab down.

    Although under water Lu Xiaofengs movement slowed down a bit, but it could not be considered too slow. In this split second, he had already pinched the vital acupoints on this mans legs, and dragged him back into the water.

    Light from above faintly penetrated the surface of the water, this mans distorted face twitched, his eyes bulged out, unexpectedly he had been strangled to death by someone else.

    A moment ago Lu Xiaofeng thought that he was dead, but he was actually alive. Now Lu Xiaofeng thought that he was alive, but he was actually dead.

    He spent this much effort, unexpectedly the one he was dealing with was a dead man. This really made him not know whether he should laugh or cry.

    Luckily there was no other people in the pond to witness this. He quickly released the mans legs and splashed his head out of the water. Immediately he heard someone clapping and laughing heartily. Good skill; even a dead man is drowned by you. My utmost admiration.

    Someone was sitting by the pond, his head shiny, his feet bare; unexpectedly he was the Honest Monk.

    There were still drops of water on his bald head, his tattered monks clothes were still dripping wet; obviously he was just out of the water as well.

    Lu Xiaofeng glowered at him. Turns out Monk can also kill, he said.

    Honest Monk laughed and said, Monk does not kill, its just that he mistook him for a fish, therefore, he killed him by mistake.

    And it was also an honest statement? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Honest Monk sighed and said, Looks like it was not.

    Lu Xiaofeng also laughed. He jumped out of the pond and sat down next to him. Why hasnt Monk left yet? he asked.

    Why havent you left? Honest Monk asked.

    I cannot find my way out, Lu Xiaofeng replied.

    Honest Monk sighed and said, If even you cannot find your way out, what hope does Monk have?

    Why did Monk come here? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Honest Monk said, If Monk does not enter hell, who would enter hell?

    So you knew this place is hell? Lu Xiaofeng asked, What are you doing in hell? What kind of man is that Ninth Master? How could he put you inside the chest?

    Honest Monk did not say anything.

    Lu Xiaofeng continued, Since you knew, why didnt you say anything?

    Honest Monk shook his head. Mysteries of heaven must not be revealed, he mumbled, Buddha said: must not speak, must not speak.

    Lu Xiaofeng was anxious. He suddenly sprang up, reached out, and pinched Honest Monks nose. You really wont speak? he asked.

    Because his nose was pinched, Honest Monk was unable to shake his head, he was unable to speak either; he could only pointing toward his own nose and breathed deeply.

    With a cold laugh Lu Xiaofeng said, You are greedy for life, afraid of death; you sell you your friend; you have done things that indicated that you dont need your nose. I might as well pinch your nose off and be done with it.

    Although his mouth was speaking harshly, his hand was getting a bit lighter. Finally Honest Monk was able to gasp; with a bitter laugh he said, Although Monk is afraid of death, selling out friends is something that I do not dare to do.

    Why did you want me to die in your place? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Because I knew you will definitely not die, Honest Monk replied.

    Why is that? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Honest Monk answered, I could clearly see that the Big Boss has a mind to take you as his son-in-law.

    Whos the Big Boss? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Honest Monk said, Look over there; if that is not the Big Boss, then who is he?

    He casually pointed forward. Lu Xiaofeng could not help following his finger; but like an arrow his body suddenly shot backward. He made a somersault in the air and ran into the darkness.

  3. #83
    Senior Member smurf120's Avatar
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    Nov 2006


    Wow! Foxs didn't realize you were translating this one - have to go and read this from the beginning to get caught up on this story. I don't know anything about LXF other than forum arguments about rooftop fighting.

  4. #84
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    Miami and sometimes Bentre


    Thanks foxs

  5. #85
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks foxs.

  6. #86
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 6 - Part 5

    Smurf, welcome to this thread then. If you haven't done so, I recommend you start from the first book, so you know what kind of person LXF was. Anh, Sky, you are welcome.

    Honest Monks qinggong could be reckoned to be the first or second best in Jianghu. But Lu Xiaofeng was not someone who was easy to deal with. With a twist of his waist he flew to give a chase.

    Although the night was very dark, and although he was one step late, he was still able to vaguely see Honest Monks shadow flying ahead of him.

    Actually, he did not really want to pinch Honest Monks nose off, its just that in a strange place like this, he would feel a bit more comfortable if he could grab an acquaintance and keep him by his side; just like a man falling into the water, if he saw a piece of wooden board, he would definitely hold on to it tightly.

    Although Honest Monk was flying very fast, Lu Xiaofeng speed in chasing him was not slow either. Very soon the distance between the two people was getting closer and closer.

    Unexpectedly there was another lantern light ahead.

    The light was coming from a big and tall building, with high ridge and flying eaves; it looked like a temple or Daoist monastery, but it also looked like a very big yamen [feudal government office] building.

    Naturally there was no yamen in this place. Like a flying swallow seeking refuge in the woods Honest Monk suddenly dived into the temple.

    Lu Xiaofeng laughed in his heart, This time its really the monk can run away, but the temple wont run with him [i.e. Ill get you sooner or later].

    He threw all cautions to the wind [orig. did not care if three by seven is twenty-one] and pursued in. The courtyard was cold and deserted, but the main hall was bright with lantern light. A big, imposing high-ranking official in all his regalia was sitting behind a big, imposing official table. On either side of him several banner guardians solemnly stood in a row, tall and majestic, with hands hanging down on their sides. And then there were also several feudal yamen bailiffs, wearing red tassell in their hats, carrying demon-head saber on their waists.

    Surprisingly, this place was not a temple; it was a yamen. But how could there be a high-ranking government official stationed in this kind of place? This yamen must be fake; these people were, of course, wooden men.

    At the sight of wooden men, Lu Xiaofeng already had big headache; it didnt matter whether Honest Monk was really hiding inside or not, he simply wanted to sneak out.

    Who would have thought that the high-ranking official behind the magistrate table suddenly slammed down his gavel[2] and said in a loud voice, Lu Xiaofeng, since you are already here, where do you think you are going?

    Immediately the guards and bailiffs on his either side also shouted together, Where do you think you are going?

    Turned out not a single one of these men was a wooden man. Lu Xiaofeng felt relieved instead. In his view, living men were not as scary as wooden men. Unexpectedly he really decided to stay; he strode in while looking around carefully. The high-ranking official behind the tables attire was Tang eras one-pin rank imperial court dress, his head wore purple and golden hat; unexpectedly he was Minister He who was very fond of the wine cups. Its just that at this moment there was no wine cup in his hand, but a block of gavel.

    Lu Xiaofeng laughed and said, Turns out it is Four Brightness Mad Guest Mr. He [see chapter 4]; are you thinking of inviting me for a drink?

    Although Minister Hes eyes were still glazing with drunkenness, his expression was very serious. With a wooden face he said, You have arrived at the Hall of the Ministry of Justice; yet you still dare to be this brazen?

    This the Hall of the Ministry of Justice? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Correct, Minister He replied.

    Lu Xiaofeng said with a laugh, Not only you are wrong, you are gravely mistaken.

    Whats wrong? Minister He asked.

    He Zhizang was the Director of Board of Rites, how could he sit in the Hall of the Ministry of Justice? Lu Xiaofeng said.

    Actually, about He Zhizangs past achievement, he was not too clear either; he was just bluffing. Who would have thought that he had actually succeeded by a lucky stroke?

    The fact was: during He Zhizangs lifetime, the highest official position he ever achieved was the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Rites, while simultaneously held the title of Jixian Institution Scholar. Afterwards, from his office in the Ministry of Transport & Irrigation, when Su Zong was still the Crown Prince, he was transferred to be a guest instructor to the secretarial supervisors. When he was old, he became a Daoist priest at the Thousand-Autumn Monastery. Even the title of Director of the Board of Rites was bestowed to him posthumously.

    However, the fact that he had never been in the Ministry of Justice was actually a hundred percent true.

    Sure enough, the fake Minister Hes countenance turned awkward. Unexpectedly, from shame he became angry. Slamming the gavel forcefully on the table, he shouted, I, Minister He, insist on sitting in the Hall of the Ministry of Justice; so what?

    Nothing, Lu Xiaofeng said with a wry smile, You are free to sit wherever you want to sit; it doesnt have anything to do with me.

    Of course it does! Minister He said.

    So? What is it? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Minister He said, I came here precisely to interrogate you!

    Lu Xiaofeng chuckled. I did not commit any crime, what are you going to interrogate? What do you want to ask? he said.

    Minister He slammed the gavel again. Now that you are here, you still dont admit your guilt? he said sternly.

    Lu Xiaofeng said, The only mistake that I know of is that I came to the wrong place, and that I made a wrong friend.

    Minister He angrily said, You obtained someones money, yet went back on your words, you cheated in gambling, swindled the money and ran away. Are you telling me you dont know your own crimes?

    Lu Xiaofeng thought for a moment, and then said, Obtaining someones money, yet went back on my words. That sounds familiar.

    Of course, Minister He said, You received other peoples fifty thousand taels, you ought to honor your promise. This is irrefutable evidence; you cant deny it even if you want to.

    I dont want to deny it, Lu Xiaofeng replied, But isnt the crime of inciting people to commit murder is greater than mine? Why didnt you arrest her first and have her interrogated in here?

    Minister He said, I want to interrogate you first, what can you do about it?

    With a bitter laugh Lu Xiaofeng said, When a drunkard sits in the criminal court, naturally I am being robbed of my case; I can only lose with no chance of winning.

    Minister He said, You went back on your words, that was your fist crime. You cheated in public gambling, that was your second crime. You held contempt toward the court of law, that is your third crime. Now that the three crimes have been stated, do you want to take the flogging, or do you want to accept punishment?

    What if I take the flogging? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    If you take the flogging, Minister He replied, Then Ill have people flog you to your death.

    And what if I accept punishment? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Minister He said, Then Ill sentence you to 30 years of hard labor. Whatever I tell you to do, you have to do it!

    What if I neither want to take the flogging nor accept punishment? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Minister He was taken aback; apparently he did not expect Lu Xiaofeng would ask such question.

    Lu Xiaofeng helped him making the decision, In that case, Id better anoint oil to my feet and slip out of here at once.

    Self-established court of law, self-appointed minister; it was actually a ridiculous thing. But Lu Xiaofeng knew that no matter how ridiculous things in this place may appear to be, they could turn into very serious matters. If you think that they were joking when they told you that they were going to sentence you to 30 years of hard labor, then you are wrong.

    But he could also see that dealing with living people was not necessarily easier than dealing with wooden men. Although this Four Brightness Mad Guest was acting like a fool, no doubt he was also a martial art expert with some hidden consummate skill.

    The only way to deal with him was to get away as fast as possible, as far as possible.

    Lu Xiaofengs qinggong, even Sikong Zhaixing may not necessarily beat him. In this regard, he always had a very high confidence in himself.

    In just a few backward leaps, he was already out of the Court Hall. Twenty or thirty zhang [1 zhang is approx. 10 ft/3 m] later, just as he was thinking of taking a breather, he heard someone behind him talking coldly, Your qinggong is really not bad, its a pity that even if you really can sprout wings, you wont be able to escape. He could hear clearly, it was indeed Minister Hes voice.

    Unexpectedly Minister He was able to follow him just like his shadow; the distance between them was less than a zhang. This deranged Four Brightness Mad Guests qinggong was a lot higher than he thought.

    He performed every trick he knew, but no matter where he went, Minister He was still following him like a shadow.

    Ahead the rippling water looked like a mirror. Suddenly he discovered that he had come back to the pond he left a while ago. The corpse in the water had disappeared; did the man really die and then came back to life? Or all along he did not die?

    The people in this place, whether alive or dead, whether real or dummies, were actually not too easy to tell.

    Minister He suddenly said, Even if you jump into the pond, I will still catch up with you. Even if you enter the Palace of the Dragon King, you wont be able to escape.

    Lu Xiaofeng originally did not have any intention of jumping into the pond; there might be another man with fish-like eyes and a thin blade in his hand, waiting for him at the bottom of the pond. But as soon as he heard Minister He said so, he jumped down instead. Like an osprey diving into the water, he dived to the bottom of the pool, and waited there for a long time. Sure enough, there was not the least bit of movement up there.

    When two people are having a row, if one says, If you have guts, lets fight; do you think I am afraid of you? it means he is scared to death. If he is not scared, he would have already fought. It is exactly because he is afraid that he said those words.

    If Minister He was not afraid Lu Xiaofeng would jump into the water, he could not possibly say those words all of a sudden. This logic, naturally Lu Xiaofeng understood very well.

    It was not after waiting for a long time did he dare to stick out his head above the water to take a breath. Immediately he found Minister He was still waiting for him by the edge of the pool. He even managed to get a bottle of wine, and was drinking merrily. He even muttered, You soak yourself in the cold water, I am sitting up here drinking wine; no matter how much time you want to spend, I will gladly accompany you here.

    [2] The gavel here is not hammer-like gavels of modern judge, rather, it looked like a rectangular, blackboard eraser, block of wood.

  7. #87
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Currently DC


    Great translation foxs!
    Read the latest chapters of Coiling Dragon at Wuxia World!

  8. #88
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    Miami and sometimes Bentre


    Thanks foxs

  9. #89
    Senior Member LuDongBin's Avatar
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    Ren, that's foxs. Consistent, doggedness and guaranteed to finish .....

  10. #90
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    Thanks foxs, been reading and enjoying the translation

    its seems like the island people put in much effort to trap LXF haha seems like a test or something hmm

  11. #91
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Apr 2006

    Default Chapter 6 - Part 5

    Ren, thanks. Anh, you are welcome. LuDongBin, aww ... you made me blush ... thanks for calling me a dog. OwlHoot, that is one of a few things I like about LXF series, a bit of mystery, some are kind of forced, but it makes light reading, not so much of a heavy literary material. This is the end of Chapter 6.

    By the time Lu Xiaofeng stuck out his head to take a breath for the second time, he saw that somehow Minister He had found a fishing rod. He was sitting there drinking wine and fishing; he indeed looked very elegant.

    Although Lu Xiaofeng was not a very patient man, but Minister He was sitting right there drinking and fishing, even if he wanted to fish for three days and three nights, Lu Xiaofeng did not have any problem with it. Its just too bad Minister He was not fishing for fish, sooner or later Lu Xiaofeng would be caught like a fish. To make matter worse, obviously Lu Xiaofeng could not breathe under water like a fish.

    When Lu Xiaofeng took a breath for the third time, a fishing line, complete with the hook, flew toward his face. If he did not duck fast enough, granted that he might not be hooked away, but a piece of flesh from his face would definitely be hooked.

    Apparently not only this Minister He had a superior qinggong, his internal strength was extremely deep as well; unexpectedly he was able to concentrate his true strength on the fishing line, hence he would be able to injure people from more than a hundred steps away.

    This pond was neither too deep nor too wide, no matter where Lu Xiaofeng stuck out his head, the fishing line would be able to reach him.

    The fish hook at the end of the line was glittering; it was indeed a very powerful, unorthodox weapon. Although this time he was able to hide, but next time he might not have such good luck.

    If a man could only stick out his head out of the water, he would be just like a target [in archery], because the rest of his body was under water, with only his head moving, no matter what he would not be able to move fast enough.

    Luckily Lu Xiaofeng had trained qigong, so that he was able to hold his breath longer than other people.

    Just as he nearly could not hold much longer, he suddenly saw someone else in the pond. The water surface was not disturbed, he did not hear any splashing either; this person definitely did not jump into the water from above.

    So where did he come from?

    Lu Xiaofeng was hiding behind a rock inside the pond. Unexpectedly the man did not see him. It seemed that he did not even realize that there was someone else in the water. He straightened up his legs and came out of the water. His movement was nimble, his posture graceful; obviously his water skill was also very good.

    But Lu Xiaofeng knew, as soon as his head is out of the water, he would suffer some pain.

    The surface of the water suddenly separated, sure enough, from above the water came a scream. The legs of this full-of-life, vigorous man, who could swim like a fish, suddenly went straight. Obviously his neck was wrapped by the fishing line.

    Lu Xiaofeng did not have time to sympathize with him, he immediately swam toward the direction where the man was coming from. As expected, he found a cave, which seemed big enough for a man to squeeze through. Above the cave, a large rock was moving down. As soon as the rock was down, the cave would disappear.

    What exactly was inside the cave? Why was it constructed in such a secret? Were there other people inside?

    Lu Xiaofeng did not have time to ponder over these things either. With everything he had, he swam forward and slipped into the cave.

    Clack! suddenly he was enveloped in darkness. He could not even see his own fingers. At first Lu Xiaofeng thought that he had finally found a way out; who would have thought that although he was out of the dragon pool, he now entered the hell.

    Right now he really had regret, too bad it was too late for regrets. Although this hell did not have any flame to burn people, but all around him was water. No matter where he swam, he could not even find a place where he could take a breath. Rather than suffocated to death in the water like this, burned to death in hell might be a bit more delighted.

    While he was almost losing his mind from anxiety, suddenly there was another Clack! above him, followed by a shaft of light shot down; unexpectedly it was a sliding door.

    Even if this door led straight to hell, he did not care. He went up as fast as he could. Unexpectedly above was a tunnel made of stones, there was not even a single drop of water in it.

    Although the tunnel also frighteningly gloomy, in his mind it was tantamount to paradise.

    The things that he had seen tonight were just like a dream. He had seen dead person who was actually alive, a living person who was actually dead, real people who were actually wooden men, dummies that were actually living people. He was simply confised and disoriented, and now finally he was able to take a breath.

    There were lanterns in the tunnel, but there was no one else.

    He wrung his wet clothes first before starting to move forward. For each step he took, he paused to think things over. No matter where his steps would lead him, he would simply submit himself to the will of heaven.

    There was an iron door at the end of the tunnel. Unexpectedly the door was not locked.

    After gingerly knocked the door and there was no response, he forcefully pulled the door and walked in. Inside was a very spacious room with stone walls. To his surprise, all kinds of Buddhist statues and wooden fish, large and small, were piled up in the room.

    Lu Xiaofeng was stunned. Such a secret place, surprisingly it only contained piles of wooden fish; if he told this story to other people, who would believe him?

    Even more difficut to believe, these wooden fish and Buddha statues were actually the Old Foxs cargo. He had seen all these. When the ship sank, how did these wooden fish and Buddha statues end up in this place?

    Lu Xiaofeng let out a deep breath. He warned himself that he had better leave this place, he had better go as far as he could, he had better forget that he had ever been in this place, and he had better forget that he had ever seen these wooden fish.

    He believed that in these wooden fish and Buddha statues, there lies a great secret.

    At first he thought that he still might be able to get out of this place alive, but if other people knew that he had found this secret, perhaps they would not give him another chance to talk.

    His thinking was correct, too bad right now he was basically caught in a dead end. Besides, his curiosity has been aroused, if he quit now, in all honesty he would not be able to forgive himself.

    What, exactly, was the secret behind these wooden fish?

    He knew that the wooden fish was empty, he had picked a few from the beach, and he had cut them open into two halves, and used them as wooden bowl and wooden scoop.

    Yet anybody with brains in their heads would never painstakingly salvage these empty wooden fish from the shipwreck, and then painstakingly brought everything to this place, and hid them in such a secret place like this one, and still had people with eyes wide open hiding in the pond outside to guard, and to have whoever entered the pond, whether it was people or cats, be stabbed with a blade.

    The people in this place seemed to be people with perfectly good brains; how could they do such thing?

    Lu Xiaofeng could not stop himself from picking up a wooden fish, and knocking. Inside sounded empty; but when he tried to shake it, the wooden fish seemed to produce a series of very pleasant noise.

    He still had the chamber-pot knife in his possession. Immediately he took it out and cut this wooden fish into halves. He heard clattering noise, a dozen or so objects fell from the wooden fish; unexpectedly the objects were brilliant, dazzling gems, emeralds and jades.

    Lu Xiaofeng was stunned again.

    He was always quite knowledgeable; naturally he could see that these gems, emeralds and jades were of considerable worth.

    You can casually pick any of these, and casually give it to any girl, she would definitely turn into an obedient girl. After all, a girl like Beef Soup who did not like jewels like this was quite rare.

    He cut another wooden fish open. Inside was full of pearls, as big as the fingernail of his little fingers.

    There were at least three, four hundred wooden fish in that stone room. If all o them contained gems, pearls and jades, how much money would all of these worth?

    Lu Xiaofeng simply did not even dare to calculate. He was not a greedy man, but if such wealth suddenly appear in front of him, anybody would be unavoidably a bit flustered.

    If the wooden fish contained jewels, what did the Buddha statues contain?

    The Buddha statues were also empty. He looked for a Buddha statue bigger than a man. With his chamber pot knife he pry open the seam between the two halves first. In his heart he really wished that inside was really empty.

    If such a revered Buddha was also filled with jewels, it would be preposterous beyond the most absurd dream.

    Crack! he managed to open a crack on the Buddha statue, there was no jewels leaking out from the inside.

    He sighed. But it was not clear whether it was a sigh of relieve? Or disappointment?

    Suddenly the Buddha statue also sounded like it was sighing.

    This Buddha statue was made of wood, how could it heave a sigh?

    Although the strange things he had seen tonight were already a lot more than someone else saw in his eighty years of lifetime, hearing the sound of the sigh, he still could not help but was startled.

    Right this moment, someone from inside the Buddha statue already pounced on him, all of a sudden he clutched Lu Xiaofengs throat. His pair of hands was icy cold, perhaps it was a monster, or perhaps a zombie?

    Although Lu Xiaofeng had a gargantuan guts, he was still so scared that he almost fainted.

    But he did not faint, just because as soon as these hands grabbed his throat, they became soft and mushy, without any strength at all.

    Calming his nerves, Lu Xiaofeng opened his eyes wide, and saw another pair of eyes was looking at him. Its only natural that under the eyes there was a nose, under the nose there would be a mouth.

    The mans lips quivered, suddenly he said three words, Lu Xiaofeng.

    Unexpectedly there was a man hidden inside the Buddha statue. It was already an inconceivably strange occurrence. These Buddha statues were part of the Old Foxs cargo, when the ship sank, they were transported here, from beginning to end there have been at least thirty, forty days. The man that was hidden inside the Buddha statue, unexpectedly he had not died, unexpectedly he was still able to speak, unexpectedly he recognized him as Lu Xiaofeng!

    All the strange things Lu Xiaofeng had seen tonight combined were not as strange as this one. Even stranger still, Lu Xiaofeng unexpectedly also know this man.

    Unexpectedly, within the escort industry, compared to Iron Palm Golden Saber Situ Gang, this man had more senior qualifications, his reputation was more resounding. He was none other than the Datong [district, Huainan, Anhui] Escort Agencys Zongbiaotou [head escort], the Titan Hawk Ge Tong.

    The Mighty Eagle Claw Skill of Huainans Eagle Claw School has never been taught to anybody with different surname; Ge Tong was the only exception.

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    Thank you.

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    Thanks! Looking forward to more....

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    Thank you Foxs!! I've just noticed that you've been working on another project after Deer & Cauldron. I'll be following your work again, as usual.

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    Default Chapter 7 - Part 1

    Insight, Ycb, you are welcome. Muliono, welcome to the thread then.

    Chapter 7 So thats what happened.
    (Translated by Foxs)

    Because not only he was the third-generation Eagle Claw Wangs [lit. king] adopted son, but he was the Wang Familys ideal son-in-law. He was cordial, sincere and honest; in his work he always followed the compass and went with the set square. At the age of 18 he entered the Datong Escort Agency, by the age of 31 he already risen to the position of Head Escort. The goods under his escort, not even once has there be any slip-up.

    Just find Ge Tong, all roads will be clear[1].

    Some people would rather pay double to have Ge Tong personally escort their goods.

    Not in his wildest dream would Lu Xiaofeng imagine that such a character would be hidden inside a Buddha statue.

    Ge Tong was even more surprised to see him. His lips moved a few times, as if he wanted to talk about a lot of things, its a pity that he was much too weak, his lips were dry and chapped that he could not utter a single word.

    Lu Xiaofeng also had a lot of questions he wanted to ask him. He was hidden inside a Buddha statue; what was the reason?

    Lu Xiaofeng could not ask even a single question, because Ge Tong has completely collapsed.

    Although a big bowl of nutritious, well-cooked and thick beef soup would restore his strength, but at this moment, trying to find such soup would be as difficult as ascending to the heavens.

    Lu Xiaofeng stared at him for a long time, lost in thought; in his heart he suddenly remembered something even more frightening:

    There were at least more than a hundred Buddha statues in here; if each Buddha statue hid one person, then what could he do?

    Lu Xiaofeng did not dare to even think about it; he did not have enough courage to look at the second Buddha statue.

    Right this moment, suddenly he heard very light footsteps in the tunnel. Lu Xiaofengs heart jumped.

    Who was coming?

    When he came in, he was dripping wet, surely the tunnel had not dried yet; whoever the newcomer was, he would definitely know that there was an uninvited guest inside the room. Naturally Minister He would know who this uninvited guest was.

    Since this person dared to come, naturally he had a way to deal with Lu Xiaofeng.

    Lu Xiaofeng sighed. He might as well sit down and wait.

    The footsteps were getting closer. Someone carrying a large pot of piping hot beef soup came in. Surprisingly, it was Beef Soup.

    The beef soup in the pot was hot, but the Beef Soup who carried the pot, her face was icy cold, without any emotion at all.

    Right now not only it looked like she did not recognize Lu Xiaofeng, she did not even seem to see that in that stone room there was any Lu Xiaofeng at all. She slowly walked in, put the pot of soup on the floor, used a long-handled spoon to scoop a spoonful of soup, and then slowly poured the soup into the mouth of a subduing-tiger Luohan statue.

    Unexpectedly a wooden Buddha statue could drink beef soup!

    Beef Soup muttered, Not only beef soup tastes good, it is nourishing. You drink it well, it may prolong your life a little bit.

    The spoonful of beef soup was finished, unexpectedly the Buddha statue let out a soft moan.

    Beef Soup said, I know you dont like getting too little, but there is only one pot of beef soup, just one spoonful per person; even the big-bellied Buddha Maitreya also get only one spoonful.

    Just one spoonful per person, could it be that there was a person inside each Buddha statue?

    Of course by now Lu Xiaofeng was able to see that the persons mouth inside the Buddha statue happened to be right where the Buddha statues mouth was; so not only they were able to drink soup, they were able to breathe as well.

    These people were able to live up until now, it was exactly because of a spoonful of beef soup every day.

    They were tightly confined inside the nailed-down Buddha statues; they could not move even a little finger, and were able to survive relying only on a spoonful of beef soup every day. Such life, yet they have spent thirty, forty days of it. Thinking about the wrong they suffered, Lu Xiaofeng could not bear it any longer. Suddenly he sprang up and rushed over; quick as lightning he made his move.

    He really wished he could confine Beef Soup in a Buddha statue, to let her taste this kind of suffering.

    Beef Soup did not turn her head, she did not dodge either. Suddenly there was a swish! as something was splitting the air; a fishing line, with a fishing hook at the end of the line, was flying in from the outside. The flickering, shiny fish hook was flying toward Lu Xiaofengs eyes, as if it was going to hook his eyeball out.

    Fortunately, Lu Xiaofeng was not in the water at the moment. Fortunately, his hands were able to move. Suddenly he turned around, stretched out his two fingers to pinch, and was able to catch the fish hook.

    Beef Soup coldly said, Those two fingers are indeed a bit useful; let me also give you a spoonful of beef soup!

    The long-handled spoon suddenly arrived in front of Lu Xiaofengs mouth, it went straight toward the yingxiang [lit. welcoming sweet fragrance] acupoint above his lip, below his nose. The soup in the spoon was shaken, it splashed onto Lu Xiaofengs face.

    She executed the move casually, but actually it was a very vicious attack; not only the spoon threatened his acupoint, the soup in the spoon also turned into an extremely powerful secret projectile, so that it was difficult for Lu Xiaofeng to evade it. Moreover, he was only holding the fish hook and not Minister Hes hand. A shadow flashed before his eyes, Minister He had already cast the fishing line, light as a feather it swept forward.

    Minister Hes qinggong enabled him to move like a ghost, yet his attack was very vicious; his palm struck down on Lu Xiaofengs shoulder. The move he used was unexpectedly the Tantrics Big Hand Print martial art.

    Lu Xiaofeng was facing enemies from both sides, right away he would suffer a calamity; against expectation, suddenly he opened his mouth wide and sucked the splashing beef soup into his mouth, followed by closing his mouth quickly to bite the soup spoon.

    Minister Hes palm was striking down, suddenly he saw some kind of flickering, shiny object scratching toward the artery on his wrist. Unexpectedly it was his own fish hook that he had just used to hook Lu Xiaofengs eyeball.

    These moves were executed in succession, they were clever, free and at ease; other than Lu Xiaofeng, nobody else could execute it.

    Too bad his teeth only bit the soup spoon and not Beef Soups hand at all. Like an orchid, his lily-white hand already brushed toward Lu Xiaofengs left ear. Adaptable Orchid Hand separated tendons and dislocating arteries and veins. Not only its yin-natured energy malicious, the variation and changes of the technique was even more mysterious and very fast.

    Lu Xiaofeng twisted his waist to evade, suddenly her hand already threatened the yuzhen [lit. jade pillow] acupoint at the back of his head.

    Yuzhen acupoint is the most important among vital acupoints on human bodies. Even if it was hit by ordinary person, the effect would be unbearable. Lu Xiaofeng sighed silently; he concentrated his strength on both arms, ready to strike the formidable enemy so that both sides would perish together.

    Who would have thought that in that indescribable split second, Beef Soup suddenly cried out in surprise? Her whole body flew backward and hit the stone wall, Minister Hes body also flew out of the door, only after a long while did they finally heard a crash. Apparently he also crashed against the stone wall, and the crash was a lot heavier.

    Someone appeared in front of Lu Xiaofeng, his smiling expression was cordial and kind; surprisingly, it was the Little Old Man.

    What move did he use that in a split second he was able to fling Beef Soup and Minister He away like that? Even Lu Xiaofeng, who had keen eyes, could not see it clearly. It was only now that Lu Xiaofeng realized that this Little Old Man was such a martial art expert that he had never seen in his life before.

    Beef Soup already stood up. She seemed to be astonished, but was also very angry.

    The Little Old Man smiled and asked tenderly, Are you hurt?

    Beef Soup shook her head.

    The Little Old Man said, In that case, you must be drunk just like Minister He, way too drunk. Otherwise, how could you forget what I told you?

    His voice was even gentler, but Beef Soups eyes suddenly showed fear.

    The Little Old Man said, Drunk people should be lying in bed, you also ought to go to bed.

    Immediately Beef Soup left with her head hung low. When she walked past Lu Xiaofeng, she suddenly smiled. Her smile was very sweet. Anybody who saw her smiling would never have imagined that she was the same person who just now was bent on putting Lu Xiaofeng to death.

    Even Lu Xiaofeng himself could not imagine that.

    Watching her walked out, the Little Old Man suddenly asked, Do you know what her nickname is?

    Lu Xiaofeng did not know. Naturally her nickname was not Beef Soup.

    The Little Old Man said, She is called Honeybee!

    Honeybee? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Exactly, the Little Old Man said, The Honeybee who after mating with the male would swallow her lover into her tummy.

    Lu Xiaofeng blushed.

    But the Little Old Mans laughter was very cheerful, I know that as a father, I should not criticize my daughter like that, he said, But I want you to know why she is bent on killing you. He patted Lu Xiaofengs shoulder, You should understand by now that all these were not my idea.

    Lu Xiaofeng probed further, So it was because these were not your idea that I am able to make it this far?

    The Little Old Man did not deny at all; he said with a smile, Killing people is not a difficult matter, but killing people using sophisticated technique, not thats not an easy thing to do.

    His hand lightly pushed the stone wall, immediately a door appeared, the furnishing inside the room was elegant and graceful. He led Lu Xiaofeng inside, took a crystal wine bottle from a cupboard hanging on the wall, and leisurely said, Grape wine in luminous cup, this one I especially had people sent in from Persia, you try it.

    [1] Another play on words. The character tong in Ge Tongs name means go through/open/clear.

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    Thanks foxs

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    It gets more and more intriguing...

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    Woo... another update. Come to think of it, foxs are similar to LXF ... one he bites in, there is no letting go .... grrrrrr.

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    Default Chapter 7 - Part 2

    Anh, Ycb, you are welcome. LuDongBin ... ah ha ha ... you are funny. But I do know my own weakness. That's the reason I am saving other stories (by other translators) for later.

    He also took a flat-bottomed square goblet, inside was some kind of dark, blackish-colored thick paste; he said with a smile, This is butterfly sharks egg. North of Kunlun, a lot of people call it Caviar. The idea was to make fish eggs into thick paste and eat it to accompany the wine. The flavor is exceptionally good.

    Lu Xiaofeng was unable to bear not to have a taste. His mouth only tasted something fishy and salty, not an especially good thing to eat.

    The Little Old Man said, Butterfly sharks were super abundant ten million years ago, but recently extinct. It was mentioned in the Mao Shi Yi Shu [dont ask, I dont know what it is. Mao coarse/unfinished, Shi poem, Yi righteousness, Shu commentary/annotation.]: The big ones are King Tuna, the small ones are Tail Tuna, the proper fish to be drawn in the present day from rivers of the capital-level of all regions. The Compendium of Medical Herbs[2] and Mr. Lus Spring and Autumn Annals[2] also have written account related to this fish. Try it again, youll find out its different flavor.

    Apparently not only this Little Old Man was extremely particular about fine food, he was also an elegant scholar who read extensively the Book of Songs and the Book of History.

    Lu Xiaofeng simply had to have another taste. Sure enough, other than the fishy and salty taste, there was another indescribable flavor, delicious and exquisite.

    The Little Old Man said, I brought this back myself the last time I went to Fusang Islands. Not much is left. It seems that I will have to make another trip over there soon.

    Do you go there often? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    The Little Old Man nodded and said, Nowadays Fusang country is under Toyotomi Hideyoshis rule[4]. This man is a formidable and ruthless character with enormous ambition; he has had the desire to lay his hands on our country and Korea for a long time.

    His laughter was even more cheerful as he continued, Those pearls and jewels outside are actually a special gift from an important person in our imperial court for him, but I intercepted it midway.

    Did you rig the Old Foxs boat that it capsized? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    The Little Old Mans expression turned serious as he replied, How can I do such a crude thing? I just happen to know that a storm would happen on the sea at that particular time.

    Storms at sea can be predicted. It was clear that this Little Old Man also had done extensive study on astronomy and meteorology. Lu Xiaofeng felt more and more that not only this Little Old Man was a genius of the current age, his martial art and literature knowledge was also very deep and immeasurable. He could not help but probing him further, Hence you intentionally delayed and prolonged the Old Foxs ship-loading process so that his ship would be caught in that storm?

    The Little Old Man said, Unfortunately I still miscalculated by half a day so that I had no choice but to force him to come back to get fresh water.

    All the sailors on the Old Foxs ship were experienced veterans, how could they forget such an important matter like loading fresh water?

    It was only then did Lu Xiaofeng understand the peculiarity of this matter.

    The Little Old Man continued, The hardest thing was to make the ship perished right at the emerging warm current.

    Why? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    The Little Old Man explained, Because this warm current flowed toward our island, so that after the storm, it would transport the ships cargo here, basically we did not need to act at all. He smiled, and then continued, It was also because of this warm current that you could come here.

    Why did you have to take all those trouble? Lu Xiaofeng asked, Wouldnt robbing the ship be a lot more convenient?

    Because I am not a robber, the Little Old Man said matter-of-factly, Robbing goods and boarding ships are the things that pirates do. For me, its not worth doing at all.

    Lu Xiaofeng sighed. This seemingly inexplicable matter, now he finally understood half of it. Obviously Yue Yang was working for him; he knew early on that the ship would meet with danger, hence he repeatedly blocked Lu Xiaofeng, not letting Lu Xiaofeng to ride on the ship, so much so that he even beat Lu Xiaofeng off the ship.

    The Little Old Man laughed and said, If those pearls and jewels were delivered to Fusang, there will be a big mess in our Central Earth. Although I have lived overseas for a long time, my heart is still with the old country. By doing this thing, I did not do it entirely for my own sake.

    How did you know about this matter? Lu Xiaofeng asked, Whos the important person in our imperial court whos in collusion with Toyotomi Hideyoshi?

    The Little Old Man took his time sipping his wine, nibbled at the butterfly sharks eggs, and then slowly said, In our line of business, there are four words that we must not forget!

    And those four words are? Lu Xiaofeng prompted.

    The Little Old Man said, Guard your mouth like a closed bottle. [Orig. shou kou ru ping four characters]

    Lu Xiaofeng finally asked him the question he had been dying to ask, What is actually your line of business?

    Murder! the Little Old Man replied.

    He spoke plainly and was completely at ease. Although Lu Xiaofeng has had a vague guess, he still could not help but was shocked.

    The Little Old Man said, This is the second oldest profession in the world, but it is far more stimulating, far more colorful, far more exciting than the oldest profession! He laughed, and then said, Also, the revenue in this line of business is definitely better.

    What is the oldest profession in the world? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Prostitution, the Little Old Man replied. He laughed again before continuing, Since time immemorial, women have mastered the skill of prostitution, they prostitute themselves using all kinds of methods, but murder can only be done using one method.

    There is only one? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    Absolutely only one, the Little Old Man replied.

    Which one? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    The Little Old Man replied, The one that is absolutely safe. And then he added, After committing the murder, not only we have to escape unscathed, we must absolutely not leaving any trace either. Therefore, although there are many tools that can be used in murder, there is absolutely only one proper method to do it.

    He used the word absolutely three times in a row to emphasis the exactitude of this matter. And then he continued, This matter not only requires a great deal of skill, it also requires a very precise plan, enormous intelligence and patience; therefore, for the last several years, the number of people qualified enough to join this line of business has become less and less.

    What qualification can be considered enough? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    The Little Old Man replied, First, their own lives must be clean.

    Lu Xiaofeng said, To be killer, why must they have a clean life?

    The Little Old Man said, Because if there is the slightest bit of bad record in his life, there will be people who will suspect him before and after the murder. Just in case someone investigates his movements, it will be hard for us to avoid being implicated.

    Lu Xiaofeng sighed. Makes sense, he said. It was only now that he understood that only those with clean lives are qualified enough to kill.

    The Little Old Man continued, Second, naturally they must have enormous intelligence and patience. Third, they must be able to bear hardships and willing to work hard, enduring humiliation as part of an important mission. Those who love to enjoy the limelight absolutely cannot be in this line of business.

    Therefore, Lu Xiaofeng said, Those in this line of business must be nameless people.

    The Little Old Man said, Not only they must be nameless, they must be invisible as well.

    Lu Xiaofengs heart was moved, Invisible? How can a person be invisible?

    There are many ways for a person to be invisible, the Little Old Man replied, Its not magic at all.

    I dont understand, Lu Xiaofeng said.

    The Little Old Man raised his wine cup and said, Can you see clearly, whats inside this cup?

    Its a cup of wine, Lu Xiaofeng replied. Naturally he could see clearly that it was a cup of wine.

    The Little Old Man said, If you cannot see clearly, wont this cup of wine be invisible?

    Lu Xiaofeng pondered deeply. He seemed to understand this logic, yet he was not completely clear.

    The Little Old Man said, When the foam enter the ocean, the cup of wine is poured back into the wine pot, its the same as it is being invisible, because people cannot see it, they cannot find it even more. Some people are just like that.

    He smiled before continuing, As soon as these people blend into a sea of people, it will be the same as a grain of rice sneaking into a shi [unit of (dry) volume, approx. 100 liters/22.7 (dry) gallon] of rice. Anybody who wants to find them will find it super difficult. Wont that be the same as being invisible?

    Phew! Lu Xiaofeng whistled. With a bitter laugh he said, In normal times, even if you walk back and forth in front of me, I will never see anything special about you.

    The Little Old Man rubbed his palms together and said, Exactly. I knew you would understand.

    Other than that, Lu Xiaofeng said, There is another way.

    Oh? the Little Old Man said.

    Lu Xiaofeng said, If you have another identity, for example, if you are a big hero of the river and ocean [i.e. the world], then you are tantamount to being invisible; because people would only see your identity as the big hero, they would never see you as a murderer or an assassin.

    I told you one and you understood three, the Little Old Man exclaimed, Like children who are open to instruction! And then he continued, But, even if someone meets all these qualifications, it is still not enough.

    What else must he have? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    The Little Old Man said, To be in this line of business, he must have a singular animal instinct, his reflex must be unusually quick; before the real danger arrives, he must already be prepared. Therefore, after I found such a man, I have to test him whether he has this kind of quality or not?

    What kind of test? Lu Xiaofeng asked.

    [2] Compendium of Medical Herbs, compiled by Li Shizen, 1596.

    [3] Mr. Lus Spring and Autumn Annals, compiled ca. 239 BC under the patronage of Qin Dynasty Chancellor Lu Buwei.

    [4] Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598), Japanese warlord, undisputed ruler of Japan, 1590-1598.

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