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Thread: Four Constables - Return to the Capital City by Wen Rui'an

  1. #121
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    Thanks Jean.

  2. #122
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    Finally the hero appears!!


    *********************************************

    No one expected that but that flying axe seems to have a mind of it’s own and it suddenly dropped down as well, still flying towards that person’s belly.

    But after that person fell backward, stranger things happened. Suddenly he raised his feet and everyone went ‘wow!’. It turns out that this person actually used his feet catch the axe!

    The flying axe was slicing and spinning through the air at breakneck speed, it’s impossible to catch it with one’s hands, much less using feet.

    But that person straightened his legs and he was not wearing any shoes. His big toes seemed even more dexterous then fingers and with just a light tap on the back of the axe, the axe seemed to suddenly lose direction and flew towards Qu Benlei instead!

    It must be known that such a move is not only a risky move, but also very ingenious. Anything that is spinning so quickly cannot be stopped so easily and is almost impenetrable but if one can control the center of rotation, the object will naturally lose its aim and energy. That person’s kick just happened to stop the flying axe. Everyone there are martial arts experts so they naturally understand what just happened and thus can’t help but cheer loudly.

    Qu Benlei is formidable as well. He raised his hand, retrieved his axe and was about to strike again when that person flipped over and stood up, standing face to face with Qu Benlei. Cai Yufei suddenly had an epiphany and thought of a person in the martial arts realm.

    That person opened his mouth widely and spit out a huge mouthful of wine!

    The wine fell down like rain towards Qu Benlei.

    Qu Benlei was startled but luckily he could remain calm in a dangerous situation so he swung the axe that he was about to throw out, blocking all the wine hurtling towards him.

    That person did not follow up with another attack after spitting out his wine. Qu Benlei knows that he’s not an ordinary person and when he kept his axe, realized that a few drops of wine had splattered on his sleeve and there were tiny holes where they landed. If the wine had landed on him, that’ll be even worse.

    That person said, “Hmm, much more awake after puking out the wine.”

    Then he stared at Qu Benlei and said, “You! How can you kill so easily, do you have no respect for the law?”

    Qu Benlei did not expect that person to talk to him about the law and he suddenly thought of a person, “You are…”

    Suddenly the four dhutas seated around the other table; Bi Bian, Peng Gujian, Gong Zhisi, Shi Tong, were quietly standing up and about to run out the door when that person suddenly cried out, “Hold on!” He kicked one jar towards the main door and it banged on the door, closing it.

    Shi Tong and his gang went totally pale and Qu Benlei is even more certain who this person is. So he laughed, “Is it Zhui Ming? No wonder my axe had no use against your legs.”

    Cai Yunfei said with a smile, “Everyone said that the ‘Four Famed Constables’ of the martial arts realm are all highly skilled but each has a few of their own unique skills too. Elder Zhui Ming’s wine spitting, lightness skill and leg skills are unparalleled in the world”

    Yin Chengfeng cried out happily, “Is that Elder Zhui Ming? Many years ago, you saved Brother Bai Yu’s life numerous times and Chengfeng never had the chance to thank you.”

    It turns out that this person is one of the legendary ‘Four Famed Constables’; Zhui Ming.

    The ‘Four Famed Constables’ consisted of four persons; Leng Xue, Zhui Ming, Tie Shou and Wu Qing.

    The names of those four are a mirror of how they do things. They each have different martial arts skills and their own ultimate skills.

    Amongst the ‘Four Famed Constables’, Leng Xue is the youngest and his story has already been told in the previous book.

    This Zhui Ming is adept at leg skills and because the strength in his legs are unparalleled, his lightness skill is extremely proficient and he’s very good at pursuit. He loves drinking wine and indeed, wine has saved his life a few times. In another story written by the author, Zhui Ming once helped the castellan of ‘Northern City’, Zhou Baiyu and the ‘Fairy Heroine’ Bai Xinru. In it, he defeated Shi Guoqing in one move, killed Mister Wuwei and joined forces with several others to finally kill the fearsome Master Wudi so once can imagine how highly skilled he is. He killed Master Wudi with the same skill he used earlier, spitting the wine out and distracting Master Wudi so that he can defeat him. Therefore wine has indeed saved his life.

    Because when Zhui Ming is on a case, he has never failed. Doesn’t matter if the person is a murderer or robber, he will ultimately chase them down, which is why he is called Zhui Ming (Chaser). And because of his great leg skills, some others call him ‘Divine Leg Chaser’. As for his original name, no one seems to remember.

    The Stockade Leader of ‘Southern Stockade’ Yin Chengfeng and the castellan of ‘Northern City’, Zhou Baiyu are sworn brothers. Zhui Ming once saved Zhou Baiyu’s life so naturally Yin Chengfeng is very grateful.

    Zhui Ming replied with a smile, “I am Zhui Ming, how is Castellan Zhou?”

    Yin Chengfeng replied respectfully, “He is fine, I thank Elder Zhui Ming for asking after him. I am junior Chengfeng and with my cousin Cai Yunfei, we pay our respects to you.”

    Zhui Ming chortled, “What’s this about Elder this and that? I’m only a little older than you, you should call me Big Brother, otherwise I won’t befriend you!”

    Yin Chengfeng said awkwardly, “How… how can I…”

    Peng Gujian, Bi Bian, Gong Zhisi, Shi Tong suddenly turned pale and were at a loss.

    ************************************************** ****

  3. #123
    Senior Member LuDongBin's Avatar
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    At last! Thks Jean,

  4. #124
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    Thanks Jean

  5. #125
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    Last update for this week as I am travelling tomorrow


    ************************************************** **

    Just then Zhui Ming looked at them and said with a laugh, “The person in charge of pursuing you is Tie Shou, not me, so I am not going to bother. If I capture all of you on his behalf, he may be offended and if I tell him your whereabouts, he won’t necessarily be happy too. Don’t worry, I won’t apprehend you, you can go on your way to ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ but rest assured that he will get you sooner or later. I am here because of the case of ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’, which is none of your business. I am a man of my words so just rest assured.”

    Shi Tong, Bi Bian, Peng Gujian and Gong Zhisi were feeling unsettled and once they heard what Zhui Ming had to say, they suddenly felt much at ease.

    Qu Benlei measured the situation and immediately felt disheartened. Zhui Ming’s skills are better than his; Qin Chengfeng, Cai Yudan’s skills are almost on par with him and it won’t be easy to defeat them; he can defeat Ba Tianshi, the brothers ‘Soul Trapper and Soul Snatcher’ and Cai Yunfei but that’ll take a lot of effort. The four shaolin monks and two wudang disciples are most likely on par with the Xin brothers. Other than Shi, Bi, Peng, Gong and the Seven Heroes of Revenge, all the others are not to be trifled with.

    Zhui Ming asked Yin Chengfeng with a smile, “What are the two of you going to ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ for?”

    Yin Chengfeng replied with a laugh, “Ghost busting!”

    Zhui Ming furrowed his brows, “Ghost busting?”

    Cai Yunfei added with a smile, “After Cousin Yin was promoted to be the Stockade Leader of ‘Southern Stockade’, he felt that he is not experienced enough so he decided to roam the martial arts realm himself to gain knowledge and experience.”

    Yin Chengfeng continued, “Later, we heard that there were ghosts here and I thought to myself, how can it be ghosts? If it can injure others, most likely it’s someone pretending to be ghosts so I was thinking of going to catch a few. I hope Big Brother can give me some pointers.”

    Zhui Ming replied with a laugh, “This will not be an easy ghost to catch.”

    He said loudly to everyone in the shop, “Three years ago, everyone in ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ suddenly perished and the face of the Manor Master was totally rotted and disfigured due to poison so it seems that it’s the work of a strong enemy. According to those workers who carried the bodies out, the valuables in ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ still remains inside but those who entered all died mysteriously one after another. Later, anyone who went in, regardless of ignorance, curiosity or theft, never returned. It is rumored that the ‘Three Evils of Shaanxi’ died in there as well.”

    Once he said this, the ‘Seven Heroes of Revenge’ can’t help but be taken aback, for the ‘Three Evils of Shaanxi’ used to be their brothers. As for the rest, they were looking at Zhui Ming, waiting for him to continue with the story.

    Zhui Ming looked around and continued, “And so the searchers became the missing, and as more people searched, more people went missing. In the end, even ‘Ten Unrivalled Soul Chaser’ Mister Guo Zhigeng, went missing because of the ‘Three Evils of Shaanxi’. ‘Iron Crutch’ Mister Weng Si, in order to investigate the truth behind the manor, went missing within ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ together with ‘Dragon, Tiger, Leopard, Tiger Cub and the ‘Three Disciples of Wudang’. Of those who went with them, only ‘Laughing Soul Chaser’, Scholar Yu Wenxiu escaped with serious injuries. His ten fingers were all sliced off and he became crazy, talking nonsense all day long and always about ghosts and demons…”

    Once he said these, those who were related to those in the story like the ‘Seven Heroes of Revenge’, Ba Tianshi, four Shaolin Monks, two disciples of Wudang, Shi Youming’s close friend Cai Yudan, and the very curious Yin Chengfeng and Cai Yunfei can’t help but concentrate on his words.

    Outside the shop, the cold wind and snow blew, sounding like piteous howls, as if there is a force in nature trying to stop Zhui Ming from continuing with his story.

    Zhui Ming paused for a while before continuing, “But from Mister Yuwen’s mad ramblings, he often spoke of a rare martial arts manual, the ‘Secret Manual of the Dragon’s Song’. This is a very important secret manual, it is said that the mysteries to seven unique skills are documented in it; internal strength, swordplay, finger skills, sabre skills, lightness skill, secret weapons and flute skills.” Once Zhui Ming mentioned ‘Secret Manual of the Dragon’s Song’, Bi Bian, Peng Gujian, Gong Zhisi and Shi Tong etc immediately pricked up their ears, even Qu Benlei, the Xin brothers were concentrating too.

    “This ‘Secret Manual of the Dragon’s Song’ was written 500 years ago by the most remarkable man in the martial arts realm, Long Yin. Whoever gets his hands on it, can claim supreme in the world and no one defeat him. But the ‘Secret Manual of the Dragon’s Song’ has not surfaced in the martial arts realm for more than 300 years and somehow, it has appeared in ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’. With what Mister Yuwen has said, there are rumblings in the martial arts realm and those who believe him all rushed to ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ in the hope of obtaining this precious book. They killed one another along the way, afraid that someone else will get to the book first. Those who finally made their way into ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ disappeared without a trance. It doesn’t matter if they are there to seek revenge or to get the book, all those who were lost inside ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ numbers at least 500 to 600 people. Of those, at least 300 odd of them have enjoyed some fame in the martial arts realm and of those 300 odd, at least a hundred of them can be considered martial arts experts. But all the same, they went missing. I, Zhui Ming, am under orders to investigate this matter. Even if it’s a bunch of ghosts in ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ behind all these, they have gone too far and I should take them into the arms of the law.”

    Qu Benlei said quietly, “I came here from Guandong because of this book. Brother Zhui Ming, you can go after your murderer but this book belongs to me and I will kill anyone who stops me.” As he said that, he stared at the Xin brothers, Bi Bian etc.

    Xin Chou laughed icily, “It’s easy to talk of killing others.”

    Xin Sha continued, “Just afraid that you won’t be able to.”

    Xin Chou added, “Some people only can talk big.”

    Xin Sha continued, “His martial arts is not necessarily that great.”

    ************************************************** ************

  6. #126
    Senior Member LuDongBin's Avatar
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    Have a good trip! Thks jean.

  7. #127
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    Thanks Jean. Happy and safe journey.....

  8. #128
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Jean, Lu DongBin has brought to my attention that you are doing a wuxia. I haven't had time to start, but I definitely will; just want to thank you in advance.

  9. #129
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    Good to see some familiar names coming back.... I've been away for sooo long.

    Updates!


    ************************************************** ************

    Peng Gujian and the rest came to Xiangjiang with the intention of obtaining the ‘Secret Manual of the Dragon’s Song’ in ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’, thinking that if they can master just one of the skill in the book, they need not fear the ‘Four Famed Constables’ anymore. Now that they know both Qu Benlei and the Xin brothers are here for the book, they secretly hope that they will start fighting each other so that it will be easier for them to get the book.

    They did not expect Cai Yudan to stand up and say with a smile, “Zhui Ming, Brother Qu, Brothers Xin, since that is the case, why don’t we fight the common enemy and go to ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ together to investigate what is going on?”

    Yin Chengfeng stood up as well and smiled, “Mister Cai is right, why don’t we go right now to ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ together and see if there’s really a ‘Secret Manual of the Dragon’s Song’ before we make any plans. There’s no need to rush into a decision now.” Yin Chengfeng is reminding Qu Benlei and the Xin brothers that the legend of the ‘Secret Manual of the Dragon’s Song’ may not be true and it’s too early for them to start dueling over it now.

    Qu Benlei exchanged looks with the Xin brothers and thought that sounds reasonable so they suppressed their anger, much to the disappointment of Gong Zhisi and the rest.

    Zhui Ming said wryly, “Then shall we make our way to ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’?

    Everyone chorused their agreement. The old man understood their intentions and hurriedly cried out, “Sirs, there are no more boats at Fenglin Jetty and the ice on the marina have yet to harden, there’s no way you can cross the river. Why don’t you leave after the river hardens into ice.”

    Zhui Ming replied with a smile, “Old man, don’t worry. If they can’t even cross a tiny river, these men here should forget about even making a trip to ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’.”

    Qu Benlei chortled, “Old man, I’ll pay for all the damages, food and wine here. Is this enough?”

    He took out a silver ingot and threw it at the old man. The old man was suddenly overjoyed and hurriedly thanked him, “Enough… enough… too much…”

    Suddenly his expression changed for someone outside the door was knocking on it hurriedly. The panting outside the door sounds as piteous and horrible as the wind outside, sounding like the moans of a person close to death. The weak voice was crying out, “…open… the… door… open… the… door…” The interval between each word exactly the same, like an echo coming from the corners of the earth.

    The old man stammered, “The ghost is here… the ghost is here again…”

    Everyone held their breath as Zhui Ming leapt across and kicked the jar away. The door swung open and the wind and snow was howling outside. The curtain outside has been changed into a piece of white cloth and on the cloth, written in blood were the words: ‘One step into Secluded Ghostly Manor, never to return home again.”

    In front of the door a person was hanging there on a rope made of hair and the look of death extremely grotesque. The long tongue was sticking out and the eyes were wide open, the mouth full of blood but there was no other injuries on the body, as if that person really died from hanging.

    Zhui Ming jumped up and snapped the rope with his fingers. The rope broke and that person dropped down. Everyone took a look and was shocked, for this person is none other than Chang Wutian.

    Why did Chang Wutian come back after leaving, and hanging here, dead?

    Why did no one notice that Chang Wutian has returned to the door?

    If not for the strong wind blowing Chang Wutian’s body and making it knock on the door, no one would have noticed him but the strange voice that was shouting ‘open the door’, who did it belong to?

    Chang Wutian’s tongue was sticking out and his eyes filled with terror, as if he is trying to tell them something. But he is already dead and of course the living can’t hear what the dead have to say.

    Who wrote those words on the white cloth? That person could actually swop the restaurant curtain with this cloth and none of the martial arts experts inside could detect anything.

    Is that person human or ghost?

    “It’s a ghost, a ghost!” Ah Ben screamed fearfully.

    Everyone’s face darkened and Cai Yudan forced out a laugh, “Don’t be ridiculous, there’re no ghosts in this world.”

    Ba Tianshi’s expression tightened as he said, “Even if it’s a ghost, I want to see him!” Before he finished his sentence, he dashed into the snowy land like a puff of smoke and soon become only a tiny black dot in the vast white wilderness.

    Zhui Ming furrowed his brow, “Too reckless.”

    Yin Chengfeng stood up, “Elder… No, Brother Zhui Ming, I’m afraid we’ll lose Mister Ba if he goes alone. We’ll go after him.”

    Qu Benlei is only afraid that the ‘Secret Manual of the Dragon’s Song’ will end up with someone else so he immediately answered, “Exactly my intentions!” Suddenly the Xin brothers have darted out the door in pursuit of Ba Tianshi.

    Qu Benlei dare not delay any further and dashed out as well and in an instant, everyone has flown out, leaving Zhui Ming quietly sighing.

    A total of 25 of them ran towards ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ in the snowy white land. Ba Tianshi was the first to run out and with his lightness skill ‘Thousand Miles Purge’, he was way ahead of them and just appeared as a tiny black dot.

    The Xin brothers were a step ahead of Qu Benlei but Qu Benlei gathered his strength to run after them so he was a mere five steps behind them.

    Yin Chengfeng, Cai Yunfei were behind Qu Benlei and Cai Yudan was following Yin Chengfeng.

    Behind Cai Yudan were the four Shaolin monks, the two Wudang disciples.

    The ‘Seven Heroes of Revenge’ were behind the four Shaolin monks and following them were Shi Tong, Bi Bian, Peng Gujian, Gong Zhisi. Zhui Ming was the last after them, surveying the surroundings as he moved.

    The strong wind and snow did not affect this group of martial arts exponents at all. The snow and wind beat down on Zhui Ming’s chest and Zhui Ming sucked in a deep breath and some icy things went into his mouth, which turned out to be snowflakes. Zhui Ming suddenly felt exhilarated as he tore open his top, revealing his strong, muscular chest and let the snow beat down on his chest. He chortled loudly as he ran together with the northern wind.

    ***********************************************

  10. #130
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    Thanks Jean

  11. #131
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    to continue.....


    ***********************************************

    With this burst in speed, he rapidly overtook Bi Bian and his group, ran past the ‘Seven Heroes of Revenge’ and the four Shaolin monks, Wudang disciples. Cai Yudan saw Zhui Ming running towards him and although he is cautious and calm by nature, the run in the snow invigorated him as well and he gathered his energy, determined not to let Zhui Ming overtake him.

    In an instant, both of them overtook Yin Chengfeng and Cai Yunfei. Yin and Cai are young and driven so they would not want to be left behind. Besides, their forte is lightness skill, so they pumped up their speed and came alongside Cai Yudan.

    By then Qu Benlei gathered his breath. His lightness skill may not be exceptional but his internal strength is top notch so the longer the run, the more advantageous it is for him. Qu Benlei is even more invigorated, so much so that he took off his shirt, tied it around his waist and roared as he ran, finally surpassing the Xin brothers.

    Just as Qu Benlei was feeling delighted, there was a sudden ‘whoosh’ and someone flew over his head. Qu Benlei was stunned. Zhui Ming has narrowed the distance by another two feet.

    Qu Benlei was infuriated and was about to speed up when he suddenly heard footsteps slightly behind him on both sides. He looked, only to see in the heavy snow, Yin Chengfeng’s white robes fluttering on his left and on the right the delicate Cai Yunfei. Just one step behind them was Cai Yudan gaining in on them with a smile and the Xin brothers just behind Cai Yudan. Qu Benlei’s heart went cold and thought to himself, “I am not the only hero in the world!” He gathered his strength and ran alongside Yin Chengfeng and Cai Yunfei.

    Somehow, this has become a running race instead. Yin Chengfeng excel in lightness skill and swordplay, Qu Benlei has a vast reservoir of internal strength, and Cai Yunfei is adept in lightness skill so the three of them were running together, almost on par.

    Cai Yudan’s martial arts is intricate and his internal strength is more of the graceful type but it cannot be compared to Qu Benlei’s fiery strength so he is lagging one step behind.

    In terms of lightness skill, the Xin brothers are not as good as Yin Chengfeng and in terms of internal strength, they are beneath Qu Benlei and Cai Yudan so they fell further behind.

    Zhui Ming ran furiously in the snow and it looks as if he is flying on a cloud and soon he left everyone far behind but Ba Tianshi’s ‘Thousand Miles Purge’ is brilliant as well so he’s another 10 feet away because he had an earlier start too.

    Zhui Ming was about to gather his strength to catch up with him but the snow fell even harder then and with the strong wind blowing around them, visibility was suddenly reduced to only 1-2 feet in front.

    Right at this time, a horrified roar rang out fight in front, followed by a grunt.

    Zhui Ming was startled and came to a realization. They were all running so naturally won’t be able to take care of things happing around them and from the way Chang Wutian died earlier, someone is already targeting them. Now that they are all split up, won’t they be walking right into the other party’s trap? He immediately called out, “Everyone be careful, slow down, there may be an enemy?”

    His voice carried over the distance and as he secretly readied himself to rush forward, he suddenly kicked someone on the ground. That person moaned and one hand came towards his ankle. Zhui Ming could tell that it’s Ba Tianshi’s voice so he immediately jumped over quickly and shouted, “It’s me, what happened to you?”

    But now the wind has subsided and he saw Ba Tianshi lying down on the snow, the white snow dyed a shocking red!

    Ba Tianshi struggled and said, “I… behind me… someone used secret weapons…”

    Zhui Ming hurriedly turned him around and saw that there were 3 small pin pricks on his back with blood oozing out, but where is the secret weapon?

    By now Qu Benlei, Yin Chengfeng, Cai Yunfei have reached them as well and they saw that in the vast snowy land, other than those running up behind them, there’s no one else at all. Qu Benlei roared, “Damn it, what’s with all these shenanigans! Scram out here so that I can finish you off!”

    His voice spread out and in the distance an avalanche could be heard.

    Zhui Ming saw that Ba Tianshi’s would did not stop bleeding and the blood that flowed out is becoming darker and darker. He was secretly alarmed and asked, “Brother Tianshi, did you pull out the secret weapon?”

    Ba Tianshi looked like he’s getting worse as he replied with bleary eyes, “Pull it? … No… no… I can feel that it’s… it’s right inside… my body…”

    Cai Yunfei took out medicine for treating injuries and applied it on Ba Tianshi’s wounds. Cai Yudan has just arrived as well and on seeing the wounds appearing a little dark green, he knows that something is not right and he asked, “Brother Tianshi, what is the secret weapon that struck you? Where’s the secret weapon? Has it been pulled out? Who injured you?”

    Ba Tianshi replied palely, “No… idea… wind too strong… someone… blew behind my neck… a cold breath… and snorted… I turned around wanting to catch… catch the person… but there’s no one behind… my back felt numb… and I fell down, the secret weapon… no one had the chance… to pull it out… I feel it’s still in my body… in my body…” As he spoke, his voice gradually became weaker.

    By now the Xin brothers have arrived as well and they were slightly alarmed as well. This is because in the shop earlier, Ba Tianshi killed the leader of the ‘Five Dragons of the Left River Bank’ and his use of ‘Suction Skill’ and ‘Thousand Miles Purge’ have stunned them and yet he is now injured and no one knows how this came about.

    Once they saw the wounds, they know that what struck Ba Tianshi is certainly not needles or similar weapons. What type of secret weapon would infiltrate the body through the bloodstream? They were secretly distressed.

    Suddenly Ba Tianshi’s face turned from pale to green as he suddenly leapt up and started tearing his black robes into pieces. The torn cloth danced around in the snow, black against white, looking utterly mournful!

    Ba Tianshi, in an extremely frightening voice, pointed at all of them and cried out, “Ghost! Ghost! All of you will follow me too… hehe…heh… Ghost! Ghost!” His hair in a mess, his eyes burning, the corners of his grinning mouth bleeding, he really looked like a vicious ghost. For a moment no one dared to move forward and once Ba Tianshi uttered the last word ‘ghost’, he suddenly screamed and collapsed. The blood flowing from his mouth is no longer red, but black.

    Zhui Ming walked forward to check his breathing and knows that Ba Tianshi has died.

    ************************************************** *****

  12. #132
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    Thanks Jean. 'Secret weapon make from ice and poison? '

  13. #133
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    Laoren, you're quite astute.

    to continue.....


    ************************************************** *****

    By now the four Shaolin monks and two Wudang disciples have arrived and once they saw what happened, chanted ‘Amitabha’ and quietly recited Buddhist chants to pray for Ba Tianshi’s soul.

    Everyone saw how Ba Tianshi suddenly died a horrible death and felt goose bumps. It seems that there was something howling out there, again and again.

    It is now night.

    Zhui Ming looked at Ba Tianshi’s body, in deep thought. Cai Yudan said nothing at all while Yin Chengfeng was consoling a startled Cai Yunfei. Suddenly a mind numbing scream came from behind them.

    Zhui Ming’s expression changed as he cried out, “Oh no!”

    The four Shaolin monks and two Wudang disciples were about to go in pursuit when there was a ‘whoosh’ and Zhui Ming has already leapt over the heads of everyone, like an arrow being released from the bow. He cried out, “Brother Qu, Brother Cai, Brother Yin, make sure everyone stays close together, don’t act alone again.”

    Naturally Yin Chengfeng and the rest are no longer running after him with all their might, they made sure they are less than 3 feet apart from one another, with Yin Chengfeng taking the lead and Cai Yudan bringing up the rear. They ran for about 60 meters before they saw an alarming trail of blood on the snow, looking even redder on the white snow.

    They saw the ‘Seven Heroes of Revenge’ each holding their weapons standing in a circle with Zhui Ming in the middle. They looked down and saw someone lying down on the ground, the blood on the snow was flowing from this person.

    The person on the ground was still holding a Three-sectioned Staff, none other than Shi Tong.

    How did he die?

    And what about Gong Zhisi, Peng Gujian and Bi Bian, where did they go? The burly man holding the hammer, one of the ‘Seven Heroes of Revenge’ said, “Our martial arts are not that great so we weren’t able to catch up with all of you but those four dhutas were also lagging even further behind us. After that we suddenly heard a terrified scream so we stopped and ran back…”

    The one with the golden spear added, “Once we arrived, we saw the exact same scene and the other 3 dhutas were missing too. You came shortly after.”

    The man with the meteor hammer blurted, “It’s as if they disappeared into thin air…”

    The wind and snow howled angrily and in the dark, there seems to be a thousand voices all eerily telling the same grievance. All of them can’t help but feel queasy and one of them holding the metal brush stammered, “Yes, when we turned back, we seem to be able to hear the three… the three of them screaming horribly… from… from the sky.”

    Zhui Ming furrowed his brows, “What?”

    Qu Benlei cursed angrily, “Damn it, can you stop bluffing?”

    The man with the iron brush stood straight, his chest out and declared, “I am one who is not afraid of anything, why should I bluff you! I really did hear horrified screams coming from the sky. My mouth belongs to me, you can choose not to believe me!”

    Zhui Ming lifted his head to look at the sky. The sky is totally dark, nothing can be seen, not even stars.

    The vast snowy land now looks irritatingly white instead. Zhui Ming sighed and asked “Did any of you hear anyone using the ‘Lion Roar’ skill or anything similar?”

    The man holding the Thunder God weapon said, “No, other than that horrified scream, we only heard some noises seemingly coming from the sky but can’t see anything at all.”

    Another man holding the chain rope said, “If someone is using ‘Lion Roar’, all of you would have heard that too.”

    Zhui Ming muttered, “Indeed.”

    He looked at all of them and said with a wry smile, “There are no wounds at all on Shi Tong, not even a tiny prick but his eardrums have been shattered and the vibration injured his brain and internal organs as well, which resulted in him dying from vomiting so much blood. Other than someone using the Buddhist technique ‘Lion Roar’ to shatter Shi Tong, I’m afraid there’s no other reason that can explain his death. But once ‘Lion Roar’ is used, everyone within 5 miles will be able to hear it clearly but we heard nothing at all.”

    Zhui Ming smiled wryly again and pointed at a set of extremely messy footsteps on the snow and continued, “Impossible, there are only footprints coming but none going back, and there no footprints going any other directions. There are no traps here, seems like Bi Bian, Peng Gu Jian and Gong Zhisi have really… sigh, have really suddenly disappeared…”

    Everyone can’t help but feel a chill down their hearts. With the skills of Bi Bian and his brothers, to be killed in an instant is already impossible and for the other three to disappear into the air, it really makes one uneasy. For a moment, they are left speechless. Suddenly, in the dark night, amidst the sounds of the wind and snow, an eerie and wretched female voice was heard:
    “… the dim moonlight, the dark night,
    Inside Secluded Ghostly Manor, no light shines,
    A few more souls added…”

    Of the ‘Seven Heroes of Revenge’ the one holding the iron brush started shaking as he said, “I… I… I don’t feel… feel like going… going now…”

    Suddenly Qu Benlei roared, “Scramble out!” With a ‘whoosh’ his axe flew out of his hands and it’s actually locating the target based on the voice, flying straight towards the darkness towards the northeast.

    The singing suddenly stopped!

    There was a flash in the ark night as the flying axe made an arc and flew back into Qu Benlei’s hands.

    Qu Benlei looked at his axe and indeed there were bloodstains but on the axe, there was only the head of a small bird.

    Qu Benlei can’t help but gave a bitter laugh. He had let his axe out, only to chop off the head of a little bird resting on a tree.

    ************************************************** ****

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    to continue....


    ************************************************** ****

    The man holding the meteor hammer started trembling as well as he said, “We are… humans, it’s better… better not to incur the wrath of those things…”

    Qu Benlei stared angrily at the man holding the meteor hammer and said, “I heard that the mastery of your skills is almost on par with your Teacher, but your Teacher ‘Ten Unrivalled Soul Chaser’ is not as cowardly as you guys!”

    The man holding the Thunder God weapon roared in anger, “That’s right, we must not sully Teacher’s reputation!”

    The man with the golden spear added, “We are here to avenge Teacher. Since you are so afraid, where have your hard work over the last three years gone to? Why did we train so hard?”

    The man holding the hammer continued, “One life for each person, there’s seven lives for seven of us, let’s go to Secluded Ghostly Manor first before we discuss further!”

    Suddenly the wretched singing could be heard again from the sky, and it sounded even more horrible then the first time.

    ““… the dim moonlight, the dark night,
    Once you enter Secluded Ghostly Manor, there is no reincarnation.
    Pity those countless souls…”

    Qu Benlei suddenly roared, “Watch it!” ‘Whoosh’, the axe flew out of his hand again, twice as fast as compared to the first time he threw his axe.

    Cai Yudan’s right hand trembled and a golden thread shot into the darkness like a lightning rod.

    Zhui Ming moved and he is already flying towards the sound.

    At that moment, three great martial artists struck at the same time.

    There was a frightful scream, then silence. Qu Benlei caught hold of his flying axe and saw that there were bloodstains on the axe. Cai Yudan pulled back his golden thread while Zhui Ming came flying back from the darkness, holding a person. He cried out in anguish, “You’ve killed the wrong person.”

    Everyone tool a close look and saw that the person Zhui Ming is carrying turn out to be ‘Thousand Miles Traveled’ Peng Gujian. Peng Gujian’s neck is almost split apart by Qu Benlei’s axe and his ‘qi acupoint’ has been struck by Cai Yudan’s thread and the blood is now streaming like a waterfall.

    Zhui Ming said coldly, “Someone pressed on his ‘mute acupoint’ and ‘soften acupoint’ and left him there. If a ghost knows how to press on acupoints, then it’s no longer a ghost.”

    Zhui Ming’s words were meant to console them but the man with the iron brush still stammered, “Ghosts can do anything, of course they can press on acupoints too.”

    Qu Benlei stared at Cai Yudan yet he is very surprised that Cai Yudan’s martial arts is a lot better than he imagined. Turns out that Cai Yudan and Qu Benlei’s attack earlier looks as if they struck and stopped at the same time but in fact, Cai Yudan is a fraction faster. He first pierced Gu Pengjian’s ‘Qihai acupoint’, so when Qu Benlei’s axe chopped Gu Pengjian, the ‘Qihai acupoint’ rushed through the ‘mute acupoint’ and he was able to emit out a scream.

    However Cai Yudan was very upset that he has killed someone by mistake. Zhui Ming said solemnly, “From now on, we have to be on our guard and be totally alert. Do not spread out. We will not run too fast. Brother Qu, both of us will take the lead, Brother Cai, Brother Yun, please take the rear while the Xin brothers will stay in between.”

    Indeed, of all those people there, Zhui Ming’s martial arts is the best, followed by the other four: Qu Benlei, Yin Chengfeng, Cai Yudan and Cai Yunfei, and after them are the Xin brothers. Zhui Ming assigned them to important positions so that they can look after one another.

    Now there are only 20 of them left, slowly making their way towards ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’, no longer having any intention of running at full speed. In any case, when they ran at full speed earlier, they have covered about 20 miles of the 30 miles journey so there’s much left to travel. They had turned back because of Shi Tong’s scream and now when they advanced again, they saw on the snow only their own footprints made earlier.

    Amongst these footprints, the prints made by the four monks of Shaolin and the two Wudang disciples looks the same as normal footprints, the prints neither big nor small and to leave such prints even whilst running and in the soft snow, is actually quite impressive.

    The footprints left by the ‘Soul’ brothers only shows the heel and the toes, the middle part is almost invisible so this shows their skills to be even better.

    Cai Yudan and Qu Benlei’s footprints only shows a faint trace of their toes. Because their lightness skills are not that good, they used their internal strength to push them forward which resulted in a slight indent on the snow.

    But Yin Chengfeng and Cai Yunfei’s left no footprints at all and only on closer inspection do you notice a indiscernible mark on the snow. Anyone who sees that will be shocked.

    What about Zhui Ming? There’s not a single marking at all, he has reached the stage where the snow remains perfectly flawless.

    In comparison, the footprints of the ‘Seven Heroes of Revenge’ were even bigger than their feet and the snow all messed up while the footprints of Bi Bian and the rest showed a deep indent on the snow, as if the steps were heavy and for each step they have to lift up their leg before taking the next. The disparity in their skills was very wide.

    The 20 of them passed by Ba Tianshi’s body and continued on when they suddenly heard hoofbeats coming slowly towards them. Zhui Ming gave a hand signal and everyone stopped. They saw a dozen odd horses walking in an orderly manner and on each horse there is a rider. The dozen odd horses were held together in a line with a long rope so they would not get lost.

    ************************************************** ****

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    End of chapter.....


    ************************************************** ****

    Zhui Ming thought the scene strange so he called out loudly, “May I know who is that coming, please give us your names to avoid any misunderstandings.”

    He shouted thrice but the people coming towards them remained quiet, still on their horses traveling slowly. Zhui Ming waved his hand and flew out towards them with Qu Benlei.

    Qu Benlei grabbed the person on the first horse.

    Just as Qu Benlei was grabbing the first person, Zhui Ming has already jumped onto the second horse and pulled the person on the horse down. Both of them exclaimed in unison, “Dead!”

    Once the two horses in front were reined in, the horses behind stopped as well. All those people on the horses were dead, looking pale and bloodless. The way these people died were extremely strange, their eyes bulging, the whole body soft, as if all the internal energy in their body had disappeared. They appear to be sucked dry of blood, which made the man holding the chain cry out in alarm, “Vampires!”

    All of them could recognize those dozen odd dead men, they were those who went into the shop earlier with Chang Wutian. Even the man who was pandering to Chang Wutian was among them. No one escaped and the sight makes one’s heart turn cold.

    By now, snow is falling all around them and the piteous singing started again. Qu Benlei raised his brows and wanted to strike again when Zhui Ming said solemnly, “Don’t strike rashly! Lure him out first!”

    The strange voice laughed and suddenly disappeared. Zhui Ming perked up his ears to listen, then he suddenly turned to Qu Benlei and asked, “Brother Qu, can I borrow your axe?” Qu Benlei has no idea what his wanted to do but he believes that Zhui Ming has no bad intentions so he handed his axe over.

    Zhui Ming looked pensive when he suddenly turned the axe to reflect it on the snow. The flat of the axe reflected a blinding light and in that instant, a dark shadow appeared on the flat of the axe, which quickly disappeared!

    Zhui Ming seems to have decided on something and he suddenly asked Yin Chengfeng, “Brother Yin, when I helped your friend Castellan Zhou Baiyu against Master Wudi years ago, a few men from our side died and they all died in almost impossible and sudden circumstances. At that time we were in the desert and can’t see our enemy at all but anytime one of us gets careless and wanders away from the team, he will be killed. Do you know what was the thing that struck them?”

    Yin Chengfeng was stunned and tried to think back to what happened. He suddenly exclaimed in enlightenment, “I understand now, Brother Baiyu did tell me what happened that time…”

    Zhui Ming interrupted Yin Chengfeng and said with a smile, “Good that you understand.”

    Qu Benlei asked, “Do you need me?”

    Cai Yudan said, “Brother Zhui Ming, in slaying Master Wudi, has gained fame far and wide so I have also heard of the take. If there is anywhere which we can help, I will certainly do my best.”

    Zhui Ming replied with a smile, “Let me thank everyone first. Brother Cai, Brother Yin and I will work together to push Brother Qu up, then we’ll have to see whether Brother Qu’s flying axe can cut him down!”

    Qu Benlei chortled, “Sure! No problem!”

    Zhui Ming suddenly lowered his voice, “He’s flying low, up!”

    Cai Yudan suddenly released his golden thread of about 200 feet long, which twined around Yin Chengfeng and Qu Benlei’s waist.

    The four Shaolin monks, two Wudang disciples, Seven Heroes of Revenge, the Xin brothers etc were initially stunned for they thought that Cai Yudan is sneaking an attack on Yin and Qu. However, Cai Yudan flung his golden thread upwards and threw Qu Benlei and Yin Chengfeng 40 to 50 feet up into the air!

    Yin Chengfeng and Qu Benlei have no support at all and just as they seem to lose momentum, Yin Chengfeng grabbed Qu Benlei’s legs with his hands, breath in deeply and using his ultimate lightness skill, raise him up another 20 feet. Just as he was about to exhaust his energy, he pushed hard and let Qu Benlei raise another few feet up.

    Up to this point in time, Qu Benlei have not exerted any energy at all, and just as Yin Chengfeng is about to exhaust his energy, Qu Benlei took in a deep breath and using his internal energy, rose up another ten feet as he roared and flung his axe out.

    Qu Benlei used up all his strength to throw out this flying axe and it flew for 20 to 30 feet before it hit something that was flying. There was a long cry followed half of a giant wing and blood stained feathers fell down from the sky!

    In just a short instant, the three highly skilled pugilists namely Cai Yudan, Yin Chengfeng and Qu Benlei cooperated and let the axe fly out about 150 odd feet into the air and strike a huge bird!

    The four Shaolin monks, Xin brothers, Seven Heroes of Revenge, Twins of Wudang suddenly understood what had happened and unconsciously went ‘ah!’. Once the axe struck, it immediately flew back into Qu Benlei’s hand. By now Yin Chengfeng has landed on the ground, and because he had dropped down from such a great height, he can’t help but bend his knees when he landed to spread out the downward force of the fall.

    Qu Benlei’s lightness skill is not as good as Yin Chengfeng but once he retrieved his axe and descended about 50-60 feet, Cai Yudan’s golden thread wound around him and sent him back so that he landed diagonally instead and about 70% to 80% of the force was dispersed.

    The collaboration between these three highly skilled pugilists is indeed as swift as lightning and totally seamless!

    Where’s Zhui Ming?

    Once Qu Benlei’s flying axe struck the bird, Zhui Ming started running madly. Zhui Ming is running madly after the huge bird with the broken wing. The huge bird, dripping with blood, glided another 100 odd feet before it finally struggled to stay in the air and dropped down onto the snow.

    Once the huge bird landed on the ground, Zhui Ming has also caught up with it.

    The huge bird’s left wing is almost chopped in half and it cried piteously but once it saw Zhui Ming arriving, it can still turn around and swept out with it’s right wing towards Zhui Ming! The force in this sweep is enormous and Zhui Ming was secretly feeling alarmed and thought to himself that if Yin Chengfeng, Qu Benlei and Cai Yudan did not join forces earlier, they would not have been able to injure this giant beast. Although the bird was able to avoid being fatally injured, it still hurt its wing and unable to fly again. Judging by the way it swept its wing, it’s obvious it has some martial arts move in it and it was still so heroic and majestic even while injured, it’s likely to be as difficult to deal with as the Xin brothers.

    However the bird is injured after all, so Zhui Ming is more careful about the person on the bird’s back. He must be even more powerful so Zhui Ming was on his guard so he flew up to avoid the sweep and jumped near, kicking the person on the bird’s back.

    ‘Bang!’ The person actually flew off the bird’s back with Zhui Ming’s kick, something that even Zhui Ming did not expect. He can’t help but be stunned while the bid swept with its wing again.

    The force of this sweep is incredible but Zhui Ming did not try to avoid it at all. He balanced himself on his left foot and lifted his right foot, kicking towards the bird.

    Feet and wing met, while the giant bird’s wing was flung back from the impact, Zhui Ming stood there like a nail, not moving at all. Just at this time, the Xin brothers have caught up and fast as lightning, struck the giant bird’s left and right eye with their palm. The giant bird gave a loud cry and finally died.

    They heard Cai Yunfei exclaim in alarm, “It’s him!”

    Turns out that Cai Yunfei has already lifted up the person who was kicked down from the bird and this person is none other than ‘Convenient Shovel’ Gong Zhisi. Zhui Ming rushed forward to take a look and saw that Gong Zhisi’s chest has suffered a kick and the ribs are now broken and he is already dead.

    ************************************************** ***********

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    new chapter!


    ************************************************** ***********

    Chapter 6 – Can the formation be broken?

    Zhui Ming rushed nearer for a look and can’t help but give a bitter laugh. But on closer inspection, he realized that Gong Zhisi’s whole body has turned pale and there are two teeth marks on his neck, as if all the blood in his body has been sucked dry. He was already dead before Zhui Ming kicked him.

    Zhui Ming said with a icy laugh, “These ghosts from ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ used this huge bird to track us. It was flying in mid-air and the sky is so dark that we naturally did not notice it. I remembered earlier that one of Master Wudi’s men also used a huge bird flying in the air to kill quite a few of our men. Therefore I used Brother Qu’s axe to reflect and indeed this huge bird’s shadow was seen. It’s just that this bird’s task is not to kill, someone else did the killing. Otherwise with its strength, it’s impossible for it to kill Ba Tianshi. If it wants to kill Gong Zhisi etc, at least Gong Zhisi and his people will be able to shout loudly. My guess is that this bird’s responsibility is to ferry these dead people across the sky and randomly drop them at places we would not expect and make us go on a wild goose’s chase, so that we will not dare to proceed to ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’. All these are obviously planned by someone, not the work of ghosts at all.”

    Zhui Ming pointed at the dead bird and added, “Even if it’s a ghost, we can always make it die one more time.”

    The man using the chain rope asked carefully, “Then, why is it that Shi Tong and the rest did not get a chance to scream when they went missing?”

    The man holding the Judge’s Brush also asked timidly, “And that person singing which can be heard but not seen, why is it so difficult to locate the source?”

    The man with the Meteor Hammer said quizzically, “That’s right, Mister Ba’s death is a mystery too and everyone else who died have teeth marks on their necks, could it… could it really be the work of vampires?” Once he said the word ‘vampire’, he himself shuddered.

    Zhui Ming replied with a laugh, “I have no idea and I can’t explain either. In order to find out the truth, there is only one way and that is to go to ‘Secluded Haunted Manor”.

    Suddenly, from some direction in the snowy landscape, a piteous voice is heard crying out, “Fourth Brother… Fourth Brother… you’ve killed my Fourth Brother…”

    Qu Benlei roared in anger, “I killed your Fourth Brother, come out if you have the guts and I’ll kill you too.”

    Once he finished saying his words, suddenly a huge object flew out from behind a dead tree straight towards Qu Benlei at high speed! Just as the other party threw out the object, Qu Benlei has already discerned the direction it’s coming from and his axe flew out of his hand, after which he raised his arms and caught the thing coming towards him.

    Just at the moment when Qu Benlei grabbed that object, another 2 objects flew towards Qu Benlei’s underarms from behind the dead tree.

    Once Qu Benlei grabbed the first object hurtling towards him and looked, he realized it’s a dead person, devoid of any blood and with teeth marks on the neck, none other than Bi Bian! The force that hurtled him forward was enormous and even Qu Benlei, with his skills, can’t help but be forced to take three steps back! Right at this time, the secret weapon which cast a white gleam, is already coming close to Qu Benlei’s underarms.

    Qu Benlei has his hands full with Bi Bian so he’s unable to catch the weapon and his axe has ready been thrown out as well. Besides, he had just involuntarily taken a few steps back and cannot move his body in time. Just as it seems that the two weapons are about to strike him, ‘Poof! Poof!’ two sounds and the two weapons were caught by two different hands, one on the right and the other on the left.

    At that significant moment, Cai Yudan and Yin Chengfeng had grabbed the two secret weapons. They felt their hand turn cold so they hurriedly flicked it away and those two objects broke. It turns out to be two very sharp icicles and there was a dark green stain on the icicles. Cai Yunfei was very quick and smart and she immediately understood, “No wonder Mister Ba turned out like that!”

    At that, everyone else understood as well. Ba Tianshi has fallen to such icicles and once the icicles penetrated the body to meet with warm blood, it will naturally dissolve. That’s why when Zhui Ming and the rest caught up with him, they could no longer see any weapons and even if there is a weapon lying around, it won’t create much attention lying on the snow. At the very most they will assume that Ba Tianshi broke some icicles while thrashing on the snow and his blood had stained it instead. And deadly poison coated this icicle such that it caused Ba Tianshi to lose his senses and sprout nonsense before he died, causing fear in the rest of them.

    Qu Benlei was very grateful that Yin Chengfeng and Cai Yudan saved him. He did not expect that the axe he threw out did not return at all. Right at the instant where Bi Bian’s corpse was thrown out from behind the tree, Zhui Ming has already made his way behind the tree. Snow was seen dropping around the tree, most likely there is a vigorous fight happening behind.

    Qu Benlei, Yin Chengfeng, Cai Yunfei and Cai Yudan jumped to the back of the tree at the same time when they heard a ‘bang!’ and a scrawny and ghastly looking woman with messy hair flew backwards. She managed to stabilize herself with difficulty but was still swaying. Her murderous eyes stared at all of them when there was a violent shake and huge gushes of blood spewed out of her mouth. Qu Benlei’s flying axe was embedded on this woman’s leg as fresh blood flowed from the wound.

    Zhui Ming walked out slowly from behind the tree and dusted the snow off his clothes. There were light snowflakes on his face, hair, brows so one can guess that although the fight earlier was short, it must be intense.

    Zhui Ming looked at that ghastly looking woman and said slowly, “Xin Shisan, it’s the end for you.”

    ***********************************************

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