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Thread: Legend of the Sword Demon

  1. #41
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    Thanks sjohnb

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    Senior Member skoo78's Avatar
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    Whoa...hot! This reminds me of 50 shades of grey but chinese version...

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    Chapter 6
    part 2


    Not waiting for his response, Jinfeng helped Ziming up. “You need to get dressed quickly, Ziming! We’re about to have company,” she said. She’d noticed a very strong, cold energy moving closer and thoughts as to the identity of this powerful person were flashing through her mind.

    “Why?” asked Ziming with a puzzled look on his face.

    “I’m feeling a very strong cold energy getting closer.”

    Ziming just looked at Jinfeng strangely as he put his clothes back on. As puzzled as he was, he almost missed what she said to him. “We’ll finish what we started here later.” As he finished dressing, he finally felt it. Looking up, he saw that Jinfeng had gone to the door and summoned a waiter to bring some tea and sweet snacks. Does she know who’s coming? He only knew four other individuals whose Celestial Ice Skill was this powerful and he knew-or thought that he did-where three of those individuals were. That only left his younger cousin, Wang Zihua.

    Turning to Jinfeng, he had a worried look on his face. “It’s most likely my young cousin Zihua coming to look for me,” he said. He had reason to worry, after the serious display of power he’d seen in the dining room earlier. “Please, Feng'er, don’t hurt her!”

    “What did you just call me?”

    “Feng'er,” replied Ziming.
    "Say that one more time," demanded Jinfeng sternly.
    "My Feng'er," replied Ziming with a smile that made his eyes sparkle delightfully.

    “Alright, but you remember this, you will finish what we started here this evening!”

    “I will do my best to see you satisfied,” said Ziming seriously.




    Jinfeng came back into the room with a tray laden with tea and snacks just as the window blasted open and Wang Zihua, dressed in a beautiful, pale blue outfit, seemed to float into the room. A now fully dressed, Ziming quickly introduced the two women. “Miss Lin, this is my younger cousin, Wang Zihua. Zihua, this is Miss Lin Jinfeng, daughter of Lin Meixing and Reverend Hongxi.”

    Wang Zihua’s eyebrows rose at the mention of the Blood Orchid, but she stayed silent and allowed Jinfeng, as her senior, to speak first.

    “It is good to meet the renowned Winter Swallow in person. I’m Lin Jinfeng, but please feel free to call me Feng’er. Everyone else does,” said Jinfeng with a surreptitious look at Ziming.

    “It’s nice to meet the heir to the Celestial Manor. I’m your junior, Wang Zihua, so please don’t be too courteous. Just call me Hua'mei,” said Zihua with a strange smile on her face. She was perplexed by the fact that this Miss Lin was totally unaffected by the coldness of the room.

    As Jinfeng watched, she noted that Zihua’s eyes were an odd, light brown color and were also flecked with gold. They sparkled with vitality and intelligence and her brows were crinkled by the perplexed look on her face. She knew why the young Hua'mei was so perplexed and silently wondered how they’d get along in the future.

    “Cousin, what is this strange smell in the air?” asked Zihua

    Jinfeng sneaked a quick look at Ziming while she tried to hide her smile from the younger woman. They both knew that it was the smell of sex was still overpoweringly strong in the room, but Ziming deflected Zihua’s question. “Zihua, what are you doing here? I have to be at Elder Meng’s residence in an hour,” said Ziming in a hushed tone. He’d poured tea for the three of them while the two young women were introducing themselves and now took a sip as he waited for a response.



    “I was sent by my father to warn you. Your father is leading three arban of elite Asud Guards to Chang’an.”

    “He’s bringing thirty of the Great Khan's elite guard here?” asked Ziming incredulously shaking his head in disbelief.

    “Yes, he should be arriving anytime now!”

    “Why didn’t you get here sooner then?” demanded Ziming.

    “If I knew where you were staying and didn’t have to spend half the day just looking for you, I would’ve let you know sooner,” snapped the young woman in reply.

    “Alright, tell me from the beginning. Just make it quick. I have to try and stop a family feud from escalating.”




    Taking a sip of her tea, Zihua prepared to tell Ziming everything she knew. “As you know, Grandfather sent me to Karakorum to see if Father and Uncle were doing well. He also sent me to find out if the situation here in Chang’an was known in the capital. What I found out was not good. Father told me that the Great Khan had found out about his brothers’ feuding and was getting tired of it. As you know, Kublai is the Prince of the East and Ariq is Prince of the South. It seems that Ariq is looking to make a grab for power and usurp the throne and in this quest, he has employed a few sects and clans from the martial realm to assist him. He is only known to them as “The Benefactor.”




    Jinfeng’s sharp intake of breath caused Zihua to pause.

    “I’ve heard that name before!” exclaimed Jinfeng. “I heard it just last night when my Uncle and I were eavesdropping on the Qingjing Sect and a few members from the 72 Demon’s Sect. There were two Mongols who were emissaries from “The Benefactor”. Now the whole conversation makes sense. This is bigger than even the elders gathering in Dengfeng know.”

    “Well, just how do we stop the bloodshed?” asked Ziming. “If my Father is here under orders from the Great Khan, he will not stop until his mission is complete.”

    “From what my Father said to me, Uncle is to completely destroy any sect or clan that is found to be behind this plot to sow discord and sedition. If it is found out that any of the Zheng family was complicit in this then their whole family will be destroyed,” said Zihua.

    “It seems that the only way to stop this coming bloodshed is to make sure no one dies at the meeting,” said Jinfeng. “I know that they are going to use my Uncle’s Black Blood poison to try and kill many people at the meeting. I have the antidote and I’ll try and find a way to make sure everyone at the meeting gets it.”

    “How could you possibly know that?” asked an astounded Zihua.



    “I sent my seniors away and my Uncle has infiltrated the Zheng Manor and told the Su sisters what is happening. When the opposition finds out, they are going to be very upset and they’ll use the poison at the meeting. It’s what I would do if I was trying to start a war in the martial realm.”




    "Feng'er, how do you suggest that we stop this atrocity from happening?" asked Zihua.

    "Come with me Hua'mei. I have a plan, but I may need your help."

    Jinfeng stood and started for the door. Ziming immediately jumped to his feet as if he was about to object. He remembered Blood Orchid's last words to him.




    "If she thinks she has a plan, still stall until Reverend Hongtai gets there. He is a man of peace; he will be a great asset to you. So stall."




    "Whatever you two have planned, it had better be good," said Ziming.

    With a sly smile on her lips, Jinfeng dragged Zihua out of the room. "Come with me little sister. Let's take a bath together and then go see what is so good about these people."

    "Tell me about your Uncle," said Jinfeng as the hot water caressed their bodies.

    "Oh, Uncle is a brute! He doesn't even like his own son. Do you know that he forbade Ziming from seeking revenge against his mother's killers? I think that Uncle is only acting out Grandfather's wishes," said Zihua who was laying comfortably against the edge of the bath tub.

    "What do you think about this, Feng'er?" asked Zihua.

    "I want to ask you a very different question if you don't mind?"

    "Please go ahead, Big Sister."

    "Could you please tell me about your cousin?"

    "Well, that's kind of complicated. Ziming is obsessed with trying to find out who killed his mother almost to the exclusion of everything else. We all know that the Wolves of Zhongnan were responsible for her death, but Ziming is trying to find out why she was killed. Grandfather has been very worried about him lately."

    "So, that's why he killed Elder Pan in Lintong City. As far as I know, Elder Pan was from Qingjing Sect. If they were in Lintong, it only means that they were after your cousin for some reason."

    "Feng'er, I think that you're right. As far as I know, Elder Fang is also one of the Wolves. Knowing Ziming, he'll wait as long as possible, and then he'll strike. I'm worried that his father, my Uncle, Wang Zhiqi, will be here tonight.

    "How can we stop your uncle?"

    "Two ways! One, everyone involved is killed or two, someone can prove that the feud is over," said Zihua.

    "We're going to show your Uncle a different way! Will you help me tonight?" asked Jinfeng softly.

    "What do you need me to do?" asked Zihua. "You know that I'll do whatever I can to help you."

    "Good, I need you to get into the gathering as a maid. Take this flask and...

    Jinfeng quickly and succinctly outlined her plan to a raptly listening Zihua, who nodded her head in understanding. "If you could prove that the only ones to blame are the oldest son of the Zheng family, Qingjing Sect, 72 Demons and a hidden Mongol force, we might be able to stop Uncle."
    "Do you think my idea will work?" asked Jinfeng.

    "Do you have an outfit for me Big Sister?"

    "Yes, but you have to hurry. Get to Elder Meng's residence before your cousin does. Remember, stick to the plan. We have a great deal to do, so let's get to it."

    "Yes, Big Sister," replied Zihua as she quickly changed into the clothing of a Meng Family servant and left to do what she had been asked to do.

    ++++++++++++++++++++


    Meng Chinglan was normally a calm, thoughful woman; not prone to rash actions, so her escapade earlier at the Guanyin Temple was weighing heavily on her mind. She could still feel the diminutive man's large member filling her and her face flushed with the excitement of it.
    "Mistress, what's wrong?" asked the young girl who'd brought her a pot of tea.
    "Oh, nothing, A'Bi," responded Meng Chinglan, quickly looking away trying to hide the flush that she felt rising to her cheeks. "Go and see if the Su sisters will come and have tea with me," she said to the girl. Her earlier conversation with the dwarf had prompted her to check and see if he was telling the truth...
    "Precious One, do you know that your husband plans to kill the guests you have staying at your Manor?"

    "That can't be true, Reverend," replied Chinglan as her hand started stroking Sidi's now flacid cock.

    "Oh, my dear, its more true than you'd ever believe. I'll make a bet with you then: If the Su sisters are still around in an hour, I'll pledge myself to your eternal satisfaction."

    "Fine, oh little treasure. I just can't believe that my own husband is plotting something so heinous!"
    Slipping his hand under her robes, Ma Sidi stroked her inner thigh and softly said: "I saw your husband meeting with those that would kill your entire family and start a bloodbath in the martial realm. Ask Old Master Zheng about the feud with your family if you have any doubts."

    Her only hope at the moment was that this was not a possibility. She'd know soon if the dwarf was right.


    A little while later, an out of breath A'Bi ran into her parlor. "Mistress, the two women have disappeared," said the young girl, still trying to catch her breath.
    At this news, Chinglan's heart seemed to jump right into her throat and for an instant, she couldn't breathe.
    "Where is the Old Master?" she asked trying to regain her composure.
    "He's at the back pavilion with the two young Mistresses," replied a startled A'Bi. Her Mistress had never before asked about the whereabouts of the Old Master.
    "Mistress, is anything wrong?"
    "Just lead the way to the pavilion!" snapped Meng Chinglan as she quickly stood.
    "Er...yes, yes, Mistress." The astonished young girl could only stammer her soft response. Her Mistress was known to be kind and treated everyone well in the Manor. Her current actions only meant that something really bad was happening.


    An apprehensive, slightly dazed Chinglan somehow managed to follow A'Bi as she led the way to the back pavilion. She was worried that if she approached this usually kind and indulgent old man, she'd find out that he was also involved in this insidious plot to utterly destroy her family. Getting closer she could hear the laughter of two young girls. Both her young sisters-in-law were not yet sixteen years old and the old man thoroughly spoiled the two of them.
    Zheng Ruping, the Old Master, had married late in life. Rumor had it that he had been well past thirty when he did marry. He'd spent the majority of his life building his business and amassing a small fortune. It was rumored that he was rich enough to form his own country if he wanted to. After his son was born, his wife was told that she'd never bear children again. After many years, he had decided to marry again and these young girls were the product of his second marriage.


    As Chinglan reached the pavilion, she was watching his interaction with his daughters. She couldn't believe that this kindly looking man could be involved, but she had to make sure.
    Noticing the new arrivals, the old man looked up and seeing that it was Chinglan, his face lit up in delight.
    "Chinglan! What brings you out here to visit with us?"
    "Father-in law, are you well today? I was just out taking a walk and heard my sisters-in-law laughing, so I decided to come over," replied Chinglan.
    "Come, sit down and have a cup of tea with me," he said pointing to the seat across from him and waved A'Bi away in dismissal. "Yu'er, come pour some tea for your sister-in-law," he said to the younger of the two girls.
    As she took a sip of the very fragrant and no doubt very expensive tea, she glanced up and saw that the old man was observing her quietly.
    "What's bothering you, my dear?" he asked.
    "What do you mean Father?"
    "You've never come to spend time with me in the past, so I can only deduce that their must be something bothering you. Come, tell me what it is and I'll see if I can help," replied Zheng Ruping.
    She looked at the old man, then looked at the two girls that were frolicking in the garden. The old man noticed the look and his face became serious.
    "Yulian, Yu'er, come here. You two go and spend time with your mother."
    "But, Father..." whined Yu'er, the younger of the two.
    Holding up his hand, he gave her a stern look. Both girls knew the meaning of the look. He had serious business to attend to and would brook no disobedience in the matter.
    "Yes, Father," said Yulian quickly grabbing her younger sisters arm and heading towards their quarters.


    "Please tell me about the feud that's going on between our families," blurted Chinglan. She hadn't meant to be so direct and quickly raised her hand to her mouth as she realized what she'd done.
    The old man looked at her for what seemed like an eternity. He never blinked and his gaze never wavered. Finally, he cleared his throat and took a sip of his tea. "Very well. I'll tell you everything on one condition."
    Chinglan nodded in acceptance.
    "When I'm done, you tell me how you found out."
    "I will, Father-in-law."
    "It started a year and a half ago...


    As the old man finished his tale, Chinglan could only shake her head in disbelief. Her Father and younger brother were known as upright men in the martial realm, but they were more well known for being honest and scrupulous in their business dealings. She sensed that there was something wrong with this whole situation and if her "little treasure" was to be believed, her own husband was involved.


    "Now, tell me where you heard this," said Zheng Ruping.
    "When I was at the Guanyin Temple earlier, I was approached by a priest who claimed that my husband was involved in a plot to kill the Jade Dragon disciples and also my family. A little while ago, I sent my maid to invite the two women to have tea with me, but they'd somehow disappeared without anyone seeing them. You just said that they were here to help sort out this feud with my family, so why have they left?"
    Old Master Zheng quietly sat and digested this news. If what his daughter-in-law was saying was the truth, he was a disgraced man. He couldn't fathom how his own son could be involved in such a despicable plot, but he actually believed it. All the strange friends and unexplained late night meetings that Banshan had been having for the past eighteen months suddenly coalesced into a clear picture.
    "Chinglan, you are like a real daughter to me and it pains me to admit that I was mistaken in raising my son the way I did. I'll arrange a meeting with your father and end this feud amicably. If I go now, we can have it over with before the meeting tonight."
    "Thank you Father-in-law. I feel at ease now that we've talked. Please take me with you to meet my Father. It would be nice to see my younger siblings again."
    "We'll leave in a little while. I'll send word to you," said Zheng Ruping

    A/N This is the rest of Chapter 6. I'm currently working through a bloody meeting scene for all of you who are missing the action.
    Last edited by Sjohnb; 08-05-14 at 07:53 PM.

  4. #44
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    Thanks Sjohnb

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    Hi folks, sorry for the long delay.

    Chapter 7

    As Jinfeng soaked herself in her bath, she was thinking about the plot she'd uncovered. The more she analyzed this plot, the less she believed that it was only this simple. She believed that this was a very complicated plot and the insidious, malevolent mind behind it all was truly someone to be feared.
    She didn’t for one moment believe that Prince Ariq – according to what she personally knew about him – was in any way capable of this level of sophistication. He was known as an uneducated brute that mainly depended on his highly capable subordinates. If, as she believed, there was more to this plot, then she was going to need help in trying to foil it.
    Not knowing when she’d be able to relax in a bath again, Jinfeng put her head back against the edge and closed her eyes.

    “Little One, it’s time for us to practice,” said Hongxi as he knocked on her door. Zareen smiled as she listened to his voice. He was the only one in the whole Sect that still called her “Little One” and she adored him for that. He adored her in return and he was the one who was mainly in charge of her education. He’d taught her to read and write in addition to inner energy and martial arts. He was the one who consoled her when her Mother had been especially harsh.
    Her mother on the other hand tended to be harsh and unsympathetic. She wasn’t always like that; only during training. She taught Zareen the art of stealth, infiltration and killing.
    “I’m coming Father,” answered the young woman loudly. She’d been awake since way before sunrise and was looking forward to sharing her new revelation with her father.

    As the two of them got to the practice area, she walked over and got her blindfold off the hook and proceeded to put it on. She’d been at the Celestial Manor for five years now and in that time she had blossomed into a beautiful, yet petite woman. In the preceding five years, she had become a formidable opponent for Hongxi. He’d developed the Soul-claiming Claws for her based on Shaolin’s Demon-subduing Claws. In comparison, her Soul-claiming Claw’s were more brutal and vicious than the Shaolin style it was based on. Her fingers were now able to crush and actually pierce into rock. Her lightness skill was high, but she still couldn’t out do her Mother yet.
    She felt her Father’s attack coming and she gently swayed to her left and used her left palm to push his claw away from her body. As she let her energy flow into her defensive net, all her other senses were heightened and she was able to predict where he would strike. For a while she just evaded, until in his frustration, he said: “Why don’t you just hit me already?!”
    As she struck, she did something unusual. While keeping her defensive net around her, she pulled some of her energy to her right hand and in her mind she formed it into a wedge and projected this outward ahead of her claw. As she struck her Father she heard him cry out in surprise and pain.
    “What have you done, Little One?” he asked in a strange tone.
    Quickly she removed her blindfold and gave him a quizzical look. She was as amazed as he was that her strike had hurt him and her head dropped in guilt and shame.
    Seeing her reaction, Hongxi quickly came over and pulled her into his arms. “Don’t feel guilty or sorry of the fact that you were able to hit me,” he said softly. “Come, let’s sit and have a drink.”

    Hongxi was inwardly extremely surprised that this young girl, his daughter, was actually able to hurt him. Along with mastering the Demon-subduing Claw style, he’d mastered the Divine Diamond Body Skill at Shaolin during his time there. He had been one of the famous arhats – travelling monks who subdued evil – and had been known as the Demon Decimator. Now he was wondering just how Zareen had penetrated his defenses.
    “Zareen, tell me how you just did that,” said Hongxi.
    Zareen’s eyebrows lifted in surprise. He never called her by name unless it was serious.
    “I was contemplating inner energy early this morning,” she started, “and as I was meditating, I suddenly got this thought about using my energy as a wedge. I thought about trying it out before I discussed it with you and it actually works.”
    “This is most unusual,” said Hongxi. “Just before you hit me, I felt as though most of my body was protected except for the spot where your blow landed. This is most unusual. We must talk to your Mother about this. Come,” he said as he stood.
    “Yes, Father,” said Zareen in a dejected voice. She really didn’t want her Mother’s scrutiny right now. She also knew that her parents were going to spend as much time as they needed to figure out what she’d just done.

    After his explanation to Lin Meixing, Hongxi asked Zareen to replicate what she’d done. “Watch, Dear. See if you can see what she’s doing,” he said in an excited tone.
    To Lin Meixing’s surprise and amazement she watched as Zareen struck with a palm. She could almost notice the way Zareen’s energy moved ahead of her palm and when it came in contact with Hongxi, it seemed as though the energy that covered his body was dissipated only at the point where Zareen struck.
    She turned to Zareen and attacked her with pure inner energy. As she watched once again in amazement, it seemed as though her energy just dissipated before it struck. Shaking her head in disbelief, she said: “Zareen, I want you to strike at me only using inner energy.”
    Calmly, Zareen focused her energy into her palm and thrust it out towards her mother. Lin Meixing was hard pressed as the energy raced towards her. She was able to deflect it just before it would’ve struck her chest.
    “What else are you capable of?” wondered Hongxi out loud.
    “I think that you’re ready to learn the Light Chasing Shadows Skill,” said Lin Meixing.

    Over the next six months, she was intensively tested as her parents tested the limits of her self-taught skill. Her inner energy grew by leaps and bounds and somehow, she very seldom was pushed to her limits. The aspect that she liked the most about this was her ability to actually mask her energy. She was able to move around the Manor and surroundings almost undetected by the highly skilled and experienced people that lived there. Her Mother, Father, Uncle Ma and most of the elders were able to sense her, but they were unable to gauge the strength of her inner energy. This skill along with her newly acquired Light Chasing Shadows lightness skill would make her one of the most feared assassins in the Empire.

    The chill of the water caused her to open her eyes. She sighed as she looked at her wrinkled fingers and decided that it was time to get ready for her part in this whole affair. As she dried herself, she briefly wondered if Zihua was making any progress on her part of the plan.

    ++++++++++++++++++++

    The feisty and outspoken Wang Zihua couldn’t believe that she was in this situation. She’d only planned on bringing her cousin the news of his father’s imminent arrival, but was now stuck helping out in an affair she had no interest in.
    One of Mister Wen’s employee’s had volunteered to show her how to get to the Meng Manor and also introduced her to a friend, Aunty Chin, who would arrange for her to get in. She was now following this woman to the kitchen so she could complete her part of the plan that Feng’er had concocted. She would have to be vigilant because someone in the Manor was more than likely working with the enemy to allow the poisoned wine to be brought in.
    As they neared the kitchen, her nose was assaulted by the divine aromas in the air. Her stomach growled loudly in response and the woman she was with laughed out loud at her involuntary response to the smells. She realized that she hadn’t eaten all day in her quest to find her cousin.
    “Come, let’s get you something to eat before you start working.”
    “Thank you for your kindness, Aunty Chin,” replied Zihua with a big grin on her face.
    She quickly devoured a big bowl of rice and a plate of sweet, spicy stewed fish. She’d never had fish like this before. It was delicious.
    After she ate, she followed the woman to the large front courtyard. She was impressed by what she saw. There were tall, fully blossoming plum trees lining the outer edge of the courtyard and they gave off an intoxicating scent in the late afternoon breeze.
    “This is the Towering Plum Courtyard. Master planted the trees and named it because his oldest daughter loved plum trees when she was young.”
    “Are you expecting a large crowd?” asked Zihua.
    “Besides the distinguished guests, we are anticipating a crowd of at least one hundred people,” said Aunty Chin matter-of-factly.
    As the two women were setting the tables, Zihua noticed a distinguished older man who was accompanied by a younger woman. The younger woman whispered something to the man and she made her way over.
    “Aunty Chin, how are you?”
    “Young Mistress, I am very well. How are you? You haven’t been home in so long. We’ve all missed you,” said the older woman with tears forming in her eyes.
    “Who is this?” asked Meng Chinglan looking at Zihua.
    “Ah, this is Zihua. Mister Wen sent her over to help out for this evening,” replied Aunty Chin.
    “I have to meet my father. Would it be possible to get some tea sent in?” asked Chinglan.
    “Certainly, Young Mistress, I’ll see to it at once,” replied Aunty Chin.
    “Thank you, Aunty. We’ll be in the back garden,” said Chinglan.

    “Zihua, I need you to go to the kitchen and prepare a pot of Bai Hao tea for the Young Mistress. Also make sure to take four cups with you.”
    “Ah, Aunty Chin, I don’t know the kitchen,” replied Zihua.
    “Just go and ask for Granny Meng. She’ll show you what to do,” said Aunty Chin as she moved off to supervise some other young servant girls.
    On her way to the kitchen, Zihua noticed several jars of wine sitting open on a bench. Reaching into her sleeve pocket, she pulled out the jar of antidote Jinfeng had given her. As she got closer the distinctive aroma of Qingke wine specially imported from Tibet assailed her. This wine had to breathe for at least four hours before consuming to bring out it’s full aroma and unique taste. She marveled at the amount of money being poured into this meet. Quickly, she dropped a few pills into each of the jars and walked on to the kitchen. She knew that this particular wine would be warmed and stirred prior to serving.

    Zihua quickened her pace and reached the kitchen. Finding Granny Meng there she quickly followed the old woman’s instructions on how to brew the tea. The instructions were very precise and it dawned on Zihua that this was a rare and expensive tea. Hurrying out with her tray she noted that two women were warming the Qingke wine and could only hope that the antidote would be effective as she quickly made her way to the back garden.

    When she entered the garden she was stunned at the breathtaking beauty of it. The only place she’d seen that was more stunning was the garden in the Khanbaliq palace. She made her way to the large pavilion that was surrounded by a large pool teeming with carp. As she crossed the bridge she could make out some of the conversation.

    Looking up she was quite surprised to see five people seated at the large round stone table in the center. Two were distinguished looking, well dressed older men. Presumably one was Old Master Meng and the other was Old Master Zheng. There was also a monk wearing a saffron kasaya and a scarlet mantle which meant that he was highly ranked. He looked to be about the same age as the two older men. The Young Mistress was there and to her surprise she saw that her cousin was also seated at the table.
    As she approached, she could feel the monk looking at her. She knew that he could sense her inner energy and was probably a little apprehensive at her unannounced presence.
    “Ah, Zihua, thank you for the tea,” said the Young Mistress.

    “Everyone, let me make an apology and an introduction to you all,” said Wang Ziming. “I apologize for not alerting you to her presence here. This is my younger cousin Wang Zihua. She is here to help me keep the peace. Since she isn’t very well known in the martial realm, I felt that it would be helpful if she came. Old Master Meng, please forgive my rudeness and presumption,” said Ziming, cupping his hands and giving the Old Master a slight bow in respect.
    “Don’t mention it, Inspector Wang. Any help to stop an all out war is most appreciated. Thank you for your kind intentions,” replied Meng Bofei.
    “Buddha’s named be praised,” intoned the old monk. “It is good to meet the renowned Winter Swallow in person. This lowly monk’s name is Hongtai.”
    “It is an honor for me to meet all of you this afternoon. I am Wang Zihua.” She said all this with cupped hands and a respectful bow to each of the elders. Putting the tray down, she said “Young Mistress, do you need anything else before I go back to my duties?”
    “No thank you, Zihua. Just call me Older Sister from now on alright,” said Meng Chinglan.
    ++++++++++++++++



    Zheng Banshan’s uneasiness grew as the afternoon progressed. He’d started feeling this way when he saw his wife and father leaving the manor two hours earlier. The reason for his unease was the fact that they hadn’t said where they were going. He’d sent one of his men to follow them but he wasn’t back yet.
    Storming out of his room, he yelled for a servant. A young girl came running, not wishing to get on the Young Master’s bad side.
    “Yes, Young Master, you called,” said the young girl breathlessly.
    “Have you seen our guests today?” snapped Zheng Banshan.
    “Eh…not since Young Madam and the short priest came back from the temple earlier today,” replied the girl.
    “Priest? What priest came here today? Where is he?”
    “I…I don’t know Young Master. Young Madam said that he was here to carry out fertility rites in the family shrine. I haven’t seen him since.”

    Calling for a few of the household guards, Zheng Banshan stormed off in the direction of the family shrine. His unease was starting to turn into full blown panic. Short priest! Ma Sidi? Had his father somehow found out that he was involved in this plot? Stopping suddenly he turned to the men with him. “Two of you come with me. You two,” he said, “go check if our guests are still in their room.”
    “Yes, Young Master,” said the two men he’d pointed at as they turned and hurried off toward the guest quarters.
    Arriving at the shrine, he was met by nothing but silence. He sent the two men in to search all the rooms while he waited outside. While he was waiting a shriek was heard followed by a thud. Surprised, he looked around and saw a dart stuck in one of the doorposts. Quickly pulling the dart from the post, he saw a sheet of paper tied to the end.
    Unfolding the paper he read: “The west gate in one hour. We have a big problem.” The note wasn’t signed, but the writing was familiar. He thought that it looked like Brother Wei’s.
    The two men sent to the guest quarters returned. “Young Master, the two women left but no one saw them leave,” said the one man.
    “Young Master, Old Zheng, the caretaker here says that there hasn’t been a priest here since before the Youngest Mistress was born.”
    Zheng Banshan was visibly sweating now. “Hurry and saddle some horses. The four of you need to come with me immediately,” said Young Master Zheng in a hoarse whisper.

    +++++++++++++

    At the same time Zheng Banshan received his note, a young boy walked to the door of Dagong Hall and knocked. A servant opened the door and was startled to see the young boy.
    “Is there an Elder Fang Tianlao here?” he asked in a loud voice.
    “What business is that of yours, you little runt?” replied the man who’d opened the door.
    “Well, I have a message for him from Young Master Zheng,” replied the boy.
    “Hand it over and get lost,” snarled the man.
    “No way. I was told to personally hand this to the Elder. Lead the way please.”
    The man was taken aback at the precocious behavior of the little boy, but nevertheless led him to the room that the Qingjing Elder was staying in. Knocking on the door the two waited.
    “Who is it?”
    “Elder Fang, I have a boy here who has a message for you,” responded the servant.
    The door opened and the young boy handed the piece of paper to the older man. He then turned and ran back the way he’d come.
    Unfolding the paper, Elder Fang was startled by what he read. “The west gate in one hour. We have a big problem.” The note was unsigned but the boy had said that he’d been sent by Brother Zheng. Could they have been found out? Hurriedly he shut the door in the servants face. His subordinate was seated at the table and was looking at the elder with some concern. “Here, what do you make of this?” asked Elder Fang handing him the note.
    “This is bad,” said the man. “We need to get all our men together and go and meet with Zheng Banshan to find out what the problem is.”
    “Do you think that our plan has been exposed?” asked Elder Fang.
    “It must be. Why else would he ask for a meeting this close to our window of opportunity,” replied the man.
    “Go and get the men ready and inform Brother Wei of the situation. We leave as soon as you have horses ready. It will take just about an hour to reach the west gate if we leave soon.”
    “Yes Elder, I’ll get the men ready.”

    +++++++++++

    Jinfeng was dressed in a plain gray robe that was edged in scarlet and wearing a veiled bamboo hat. She handed the boy a silver coin for his trouble. She knew that Wang Zhiqi was on his way. She wondered what kind of man he was and if he’d accept what she had planned for this evening. All she could do was hope that he was reasonable. She watched as the Qingjing Elder, Wei Tianguang and the rest of the disciples with him hurriedly left heading towards the west gate.
    Her plan was progressing smoothly. For now at least. She’d had Zihua put the antidote into the wine, but she had no idea if there were any other accomplices working inside the Meng Manor. She would have to leave that to the Wang cousins. She had to focus on getting the larger group out of action.
    Utilizing the rooftops, Jinfeng sped towards the west gate. She quickly passed Zheng Banshan’s group and a few minutes later she passed the large group made up of Qingjing Sect and the 72 Demon’s Sect. Young Master Zheng would arrive a little after the others so that gave her some time to go ahead and find out just how far away the Asud Guard actually were. She noticed that the sky had turned a beautiful violet color as the sun set in the west. She came across them 10 li outside the city. They looked resplendent in the gilt-edged black armor. She hoped that they would appreciate the gift that she was preparing for them.
    Turning, she headed back toward the gate to prepare the gift for Commander Wang and his men.

    When she arrived there were about forty men in the clearing. They were waiting on Zheng Banshan. She watched, balanced on a high branch of a tree, as he approached. As soon as he arrived, the three men started arguing amongst each other. Jinfeng smiled as she listened to the conversation.
    “Isn’t this your handwriting Brother Wei?” asked Zheng Banshan as he produced the note he’d received.
    “No, this is definitely not my handwriting,” exclaimed the astonished man.
    “Didn’t you send a young boy with this note?” asked Elder Fang as he produced the note that he’d received.
    “No, I was getting ready to come here. I didn’t take the time to write anything.”
    “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!!” roared Fang Tianlao, his anger and frustration threatening to explode.
    “I can help you.” The young female voice astonished all the men. A total of forty five men were all looking around frantically for the source of the voice. As Jinfeng spun out of the tree, the disciples started dropping, projectiles exploding through their bodies. She’d executed a devastating move called “Blossom Showers” which was designed specifically for use against multiple targets.
    She slowly descended into the bloody mist as more of the men fell. She gently landed right in the midst of the three leaders. As they looked around they noticed that all their subordinates were dead or dying. The anguished cries of those dying echoed in the forest. With her back to them she waited for one of them to speak.
    “Who are you?” asked a fearful Zheng Banshan.
    She slowly turned around to face them. Elder Fang noticed the scarlet trim on her robe and he visibly blanched.
    “Blood…Blood…Blood Orchid,” he stammered.
    Both the other men started trembling and fell to their knees followed by an openly afraid Fang Tianlao.
    “Please be merciful. Please spare our lives,” whimpered the old man.
    “Should I spare you like you were going to spare the Meng family,” asked Jinfeng in her sweetest tone. “I don’t think so. I think that you three ought to be skinned alive and hung from the city walls.”
    “Please Blood Orchid, spare me,” cried Zheng Banshan. “I have a wife and family to take care of.”
    “I think that your wife will be well looked after once you’re gone. My Uncle will make sure of it.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Didn’t she tell you of her visit to Guanyin’s Temple this morning? She was well serviced and well informed about your activities as well. The three of you will not die by my hand though.” With that said she flashed behind them and struck each man on his Tianzong acupoint immobilizing them. Grabbing the two older men by their collars she quickly moved them to the middle of the road. She quickly went and got Zheng Banshan and forcing them to kneel she left a note previously written for Wang Zhiqi, who she could hear approaching, outlining what she knew so far. As soon as she saw the lead horse, she vanished without as much as a sound.

    Back in the clearing, a loud groan was heard as one of the men slowly and painfully stood. His right arm was hanging limply at his side. A projectile had tore through his should shattering the joint and tearing the muscle and tendons. It would heal, but he was disabled for life. “Have to get back to Mt Zhongnan…have to tell Teacher” were the only thoughts in his mind as he staggered off to the south.

  6. #46
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    Chapter 8

    Being an ambitious man, Yue Peiyu was normally very guarded and secretive. He planned well and he had contingencies in place in case of any failure along the way. Today he’d been pacing like a caged animal since early morning and this behaviour had his senior disciples very worried.

    "Things were still going according to plan yesterday. There’s been no word from Pan Tiangang or Fang Tianlao, two of the strongest and most experienced elders of the Sect. Has the mission been compromised? Are they still alive? Should I send Lu Tianwang and Tang Tianlei to check on them? No, that won’t do. If they’re alright it would look as though I don’t trust them. On the other hand, I can’t wait until it’s too late to find out."

    “Baojun, are you out there,” called Yue Peiyu.
    “Yes Teacher, what are your instructions,” answered a young man as he entered the Hall of Contemplation.
    “I need you to take some of your fellow disciples to Chang’an to check on Elder Fang. Also, send Baohai to see me. Go now.”
    “Yes, Teacher.” answered the young man and swiftly turned and exited the hall almost at a trot.

    A few minutes later another young man came into the hall. “Teacher you sent for me.”
    “Yes Baohai I did. I want you to take ten of your fellow disciples and go to Lintong City and find your Grand Uncle Pan. If you can’t find him, I want any news you may hear about him. Hurry and get ready.”
    “Yes Teacher,” said the young man, cupping his hands and bowing respectfully.
    As soon as Baohai had left, another younger disciple ran breathlessly into the hall. “Teacher, a message from Elder Lu.”
    Taking the small bamboo cylinder from the young boy, he pulled out the note. “You can go now,” he said to the boy. The message was disturbing news. An anti-Song faction called the White Lotus Society had risen up and was rallying all the smaller sects, clans and schools to their cause. They didn’t care about orthodoxy; as long as you were against the corrupt Song government, you were welcomed. This news was vexing and couldn’t have come at a worse moment. Yue Peiyu felt his control over his temper slipping. His eyes started pounding signaling a severe headache was on its way.
    What he wouldn’t give to have Beiqing here now when all seemed to be going awry. His wife, daughter of the 72 Demon’s Sect Chief, was one of the few people that he could be totally open with and just a touch from her would normally calm him. As far as he knew, she was in Lin’an at the moment.

    He could still clearly remember the first time they’d met. It was fifteen years ago when he led an attack on the 72 Demon’s headquarters in Dunhuang. They had used a large inn on the banks of the Crescent Lake as their headquarters when he first saw her. She wasn’t beautiful in the classic sense. Actually most of the men with him thought that she was very plain looking. What attracted him were her eyes. They were clear, full of intelligence and were a strange color. They were a very light blue rimmed by gray. He was thoroughly enchanted by her eyes and he tried to seduce her the first night. She sat with him and chatted that evening, but refused to share his bed. In the week that followed, he’d told her everything about himself. She knew his strengths, weaknesses and his deepest fears.
    On the night before the attack, a man walked into his room.
    “I am Ji Ying, leader of the 72 Demon’s. We need to talk.”
    “What need is there to talk. I’ve led an alliance of clans and sects to destroy you and your Demon’s,” said Peiyu hastily reaching for his sword.
    “I suppose then that you don’t want this,” replied Ji Ying, tossing an ancient looking scroll onto the table.
    “What’s that!” demanded Peiyu.
    “Open it and see for yourself,” replied the older man.
    Hesitantly he reached for the scroll and slowly opened it. There were two words written on the scroll. Those two words, Common Demise, changed his life. He recognized the term. The lost, powerful Quanzhen swordplay was called the Swordsmanship of Common Demise. If all the legends and stories were true this scroll held the answer to taking the Qingjing Sect to great heights.
    “Elder Ji, where did you get this?” asked Peiyu in the most reverential tone that he could muster.
    “I took it from a secret envoy sent from Samarkand to Karakorum. It was sent back with the remains of Qiu Chuji. You can havwe it on two conditions,” said the older man.
    “Name them,” said Peiyu.
    “First, you must marry my daughter, and second, you have to lead your men to a specific set of caves tomorrow where they will “destroy” the 72 Demon’s.”
    “I’ve never met your daughter…”
    “You have and she is very taken with you,” said the older man with a sudden smile.
    Peiyu was lost in thought. “I can’t openly marry a barbarian woman. I’d be ridiculed and shunned by all in the martial realm. If I don’t, I’ll never get this scroll and the chance to take my Sect to higher levels. I’ll ask the old man if we can do it secretly.” “Elder Ji, I cannot openly marry your daughter. As a tonsured Taoist priest, I am forbidden from taking a wife. I wonder if you are comfortable with a secret marriage to your daughter which could also be viewed as a secret alliance between our Sects?”
    “My, but aren’t you the crafty one. Very well then it’s agreed. You two will consummate the marriage tonight. Beiqing, you can come in now,” said Elder Ji loudly.
    Peiyu’s jaw hit the ground when he saw those instantly recognizable eyes. So the woman that he viewed as his soulmate was to become his wife.
    “Don’t you dare mistreat her,” said Elder Ji as he left, the scroll still unrolled on the table.


    “Master, another message.” The boys voice brought Yue Peiyu back to reality. “This one is from Uncle Fang,” said the boy.
    “Fine, let me have it,” said Yue Peiyu. After receiving the bamboo cylinder from the boy, he sent him on his way. Maybe this would be some good news.
    As he read the note, his heart sank. Shuanghe was being escorted by the Lonely Snow Dragon. This was really bad. Sheng Yanjin had also been spotted in the area. More bad news. He couldn’t afford enmity with the Ageless One right now. He’d secretly plotted with his father-in-law or so he’d thought. If the most powerful Elders in the martial realm knew about his plans they would stop him. Even the neutral ones would not want bloodshed on the scale that he’d planned.
    “Even with the Pre-Heaven Inner energy and the Swordsmanship of Common Demise, I’m no match for people like Wang Qi, Lin Meixing, Hongxi or even Su Xinghe. I need some powerful help that even they would think twice about fighting. Is there anyone that can help me?” thought Yue Peiyu as a sense of helplessness enveloped him.

    +++++++++++

    The meeting was taking place in what appeared to be an old deserted villa along the edge of the forest at the foot of Mount Shaoshi. Outwardly, the only thing that wasn’t damaged was the sign above the door which read Sunrise Villa. As the name reflected, this once illustrious villa was built facing east. It was once, long ago, an Imperial retreat. Legend had it that Empress Wu of the Tang dynasty had died here watching the sunrise. Now the place was abandoned and in a serious state of disrepair. Even the forest had started encroaching on the villa and the yard and numerous gardens were overgrown. The ponds had a thick layer of slime covering them and there was an air of malevolence in the air. Local tales claimed that no one who entered this place was ever seen again.
    None of this dissuaded the people who had arrived from entering. Wang Qi, leader of the Heaven Lake sect, dressed in fine white silk with rich silver embroidery was the first to enter. He was followed by He Taichong and Su Xinghe, leaders of Kunlun and Jade Dragon Sects, respectively. Behind them came Lin Meixing and Hongxi from the Celestial Manor alongside Li Peiling from Emei Sect. The last one to enter was the Venerable Kongwen, Abbot of Shaolin.
    On the surface, these seven powerful people, in their own rights, were slightly apprehensive and guarded. The person they had come to meet with was regarded as the most powerful in the martial realm of the Central Plains. No one was sure if the person was a man or a woman; human or ghost; angel or demon. The person was none other than the Ageless One.
    “Who comes to disturb my peace and quiet?” was the question they all heard. The disembodied voice seemed to be coming from everywhere at once.
    “What profound and powerful skill,” thought Kongwen before he answered, “Ageless One, we’ve come seeking your advice on a matter of some importance. We humbly beg an audience.”
    “I have long distanced myself from the affairs of the martial realm. Why should I care what is going on?” The eerie voice seemed to echo through the rundown villa as the seven elders looked at each other in consternation.
    “We have come seeking your wisdom in how to stop a bloodbath that is about to take place in the martial realm that we fear will spread to the Empire as well,” replied Kongwen. “Elder, you are known for advocating balance in all things. We desperately need your guidance in this matter.”
    “Very well, I’ll listen to the matter. You may enter.” With that a section of the floor slid back to reveal a staircase leading down.
    All seven elders were filled with trepidation as they started down the stairs in single file. “Not you Hongxi,” said the voice. “You are not a Sect leader and therefore do not qualify. Go back to the inn you’re staying at. Someone will meet you there.”
    Not willing to leave, he looked at his wife, Lin Meixing, who nodded slightly. He was worried that he might never see her again, but turned and headed back out of the villa.

    ++++++++

    Hongxi was well acquainted with the small city of Dengfeng, having been raised at Shaolin Monastery. Still a little anxious over the earlier events, he decided to wander the city to try and clear his head and get his emotions under control.
    After about an hour he made his way back to the inn he and his wife were staying at. He’d seen the locals going about their daily lives oblivious to the impending storm that was about to come. As he entered a woman’s voice called out to him.
    “Esteemed Monk please join us for a vegetarian meal.”
    As he looked over he saw a fairly pretty woman dressed in purple seated with an old Taoist priest. Deciding to ignore them, he started towards the stairs only to stop dead in his tracks at her next statement.
    “Would the monk Hongxi, the feared Demon Decimator, now husband to the Mistress of the Celestial Manor, be afraid to join a helpless woman and an old priest for a meal?”
    As he studied the woman’s face he didn’t recognize her. Her demeanor is what sparked the memory. “Sheng Yanjin, is that you?” asked Hongxi incredulously. He remembered the precocious youing girl that had given him a meal and some money twenty five years ago as he travelled through Luoyang. Approaching the table he smiled at the memory.
    Taking a seat he noticed that the old priest was silent. “Forgive me for my rudeness Reverend. My lowly name is Hongxi.” Looking at Yanjin he smiled. “What brings you to Dengfeng?” he asked.
    “Teacher said to bring this Old Scoundrel to meet you,” she said pointing to Shuanghe. “We are to escort him to Mount Kunlun”
    “Why?” asked an astonished Hongxi.
    “I’m being hunted by the 72 Demon’s Sect and Qingjing Sect,” said Shuanghe in a plainly exhausted voice.
    “Why would they be hunting you?” asked Hongxi incredulously. “You’re just an old Taoist priest.”
    “He knows the location of the Sword of Destiny,” said Yanjin softly.
    The three stopped speaking as a waiter hurried over with a tray of food. He quickly and efficiently placed the bowls of rice and dishes on the table.
    “Would you like anything else?” he asked politely.
    “No thank you,” replied Sheng Yanjin.
    “Enjoy your meal then,” he said as he turned to respond to another guest.
    The three ate in silence. Each embroiled in their own thoughts. Yanjin cast furtive glances at Hongxi when he wasn’t looking and had a faint smile on her lips.
    “Do you remember the promise I made you many years ago?” she asked him.
    “That you would become a superior martial artist and punish the wicked,” replied Hongxi.
    “No, the other part. That I would find you and marry you,” said Yanjin.

    “Smelly old priest! I’ve finally found you,” came a booming voice from the entrance to the inn. The speaker was a large, well-built man with a pockmarked face and a scar on the left side of his face that made him look as though he had a perpetual sneer on his face.
    Shuanghe visibly blanched when he heard the man speak. He was tired of running and tired of all the violence and killing. He longed to just return to his old life at the Azure Dragon Temple on Mount Tai.
    Yanjin looked annoyed and Hongxi just calmly took in the scene as he continued to eat. As eight more men filled the large doorway, Yanjin just shook her head.
    “Old Scoundrel, I’m sorry, but more death is on the way,” she said in a sad voice.
    Her tone made Hongxi look up. “Why so sad? Death is a part of life,” he said quoting Buddhist tenets. “If this is the path they choose, then so be it.”
    “I’ll show you how I kept the first part of my promise,” said Yanjin. “Please excuse the language and any actions that might offend your sensibilities.”

    “And who might you be?” asked Yanjin. “You certainly don’t look like any one of note in the martial realm.”
    “I am Tang Tianlei,” replied the man proudly. “Now hand over the priest and you get to live.”
    “Really, just the nine of you? You didn’t bring anymore men with you? I’m notoriously hard to satisfy you know. I like it rough and I like it when there are multiple men around. You never know when I might have the urge and need to be ravaged,” said Yanjin in a sweet voice. Yanjin was a fairly pretty woman of thirty five. She had a ripe full body and the clothing she wore today really accentuated her curves.
    Tang Tianlei was taken aback. No woman had ever spoken to him like that before. It angered him to be mocked, but he thought that he’d try to get the priest peacefully one more time. “Who are you?”
    “I’m no one you know,” replied Yanjin sweetly. Looking at the younger men behind him, she ran her hands over her body suggestively and purred, “Would you virile young men like to accompany me for a while. These two,” pointing to Shuanghe and Hongxi, “just can’t satisfy me.”
    “Crazy wench, enough. You dare mock one of the Wolves of Zhongnan. You’ll just have to die here today,” roared Tand Tianlei, now fully enraged.
    “Buddha’s name be praised. Sir, there is no need for name-calling or violence. Please reconsider your actions,” said Hongxi.
    “Don’t get involved here monk. This has nothing to do with you. Brothers, get the b**ch!”
    Yanjin calmly watched and waited as the eight young men drew their swords and rushed at the table. She stood and flashed Hongxi a seductive smile. “I’ll be back soon to finish our conversation,” she said gliding to meet the oncoming men.
    Shuanghe buried his face in his hands while Hongxi turned to watch the fight. Yanjin seemed to be doing a beautiful dance among the men. She was evading slash and thrust, not retaliating at all. She even had a smile on her face; she seemed to be enjoying this. “Is this the extent of Qingjing’s swordplay?” she asked cheekily. “You’ll have to bring more men if you hope to satisfy me. I’m burning with desire right now.” As Hongxi watched, she became a blur and a sickening crunch of bones being shattered was heard. The eight men were hurled backwards simultaneously as if they’d each been struck on the chest by a thousand pound hammer. They landed heavily on the ground, none of them moving or breathing.
    Hongxi was really impressed. Sheng Yanjin had truly learnt powerful martial arts. The move she’d just used was only heard about in legend. It was called Mirages in the Distance. “I wonder how Zareen would match up”, he thought.

    Looking around in disbelief Tang Tianlei didn’t know what to do next. He was no match for this woman. While he was trying to figure a way out of his predicament, the woman spoke.
    “You! Puppy of Zhongnan, go back to that worthless dog Yue Peiyu and give him this message from me. Tell him that Reverend Shuanghe is under my protection. If you continue to pursue him, I’ll personally come and destroy the Qingjing Sect.”
    “Who are you to be making such bold claims? Destroy Qingjing by yourself? What arrogance,” replied Tang Tianlei boldly.
    “Your weak Pre-Heaven skill and your worthless Swordsmanship of Common Demise won’t stop me,” said Yanjin matter-of-factly.
    “Just who are you then,” demanded the frightened man.
    “I am Sheng Yanjin,” was the response.
    “Ye…Yes…at once,” replied a totally cowed Tang Tianlei
    “Hurry and leave before I change my mind,” snapped Yanjin irritably.

    “Interesting choice of words you had for a desperate man,” said Hongxi. “I wonder what you meant by that? Destroy the whole Sect.”
    “I told you that my Teacher sent me, didn’t I?”
    “You mean…”
    “Yes, she’s the Ageless One’s senior disciple and you were told that we’d be meeting you today,” said Shuanghe.
    Hongxi just shook his head in disbelief. He hoped that he’d at least have a chance to say goodbye to Meixing before he left for Mount Kunlun.
    Last edited by Sjohnb; 01-04-15 at 10:18 AM.

  7. #47
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    For any of you who are still following this story, get ready for some craziness. The next seven chapters will be mindblowing.

  8. #48
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    Glad you are continuing this story. Will catch up with your new chapters in time

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