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Thread: 大唐双龙传 [Da Tang Shuang Long Zhuan] by Huang Yi

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    Thanks foxs

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    Missed the part about you passing your exams ....Congrats foxs!

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    Default Book 2 - Chapter 6, Part 2

    Jaya, HPC, Anh, you are welcome. Strawberry, it's not difficult to guess since I also live in this area. Sky, I did not announce it here, and I didn't know you are an expert in football ... DongBin, thanks, but as I said, you didn't miss anything; the only reason Sky knew was because she sent me a personal email. Here's the end of Chapter 6.


    The two were at a loss; they were just thinking of leaning against the ships railing and jumping into the sea when a man stopped them and shouted, Why havent you go down to the bilge and get me the water armor and breaking-hill bore?

    The two boys jumped in fright; they went down to the bilge with heads hung down.

    More than a dozen men were already busy carrying some wooden chests up. One of the men said, Only one chest left, you two can take care of it.

    Their mind went blank, the two boys groped their way down the bilge. They saw under the dusky light of a wind lantern, piles of junks, but there was no one else; and then they saw the chest.

    Kou Zhong was overjoyed; he pounced onto the chest and opened up its lid. Inside there was a huge, sharp helix auger, weighed at least fifty, sixty catties.

    The ship shuddered slightly; apparently it cast off and set sail.

    Xu Ziling helped him taking the auger out of the chest; without prior discussion they put the sharp tip against the bottom of the hold and turned the handle.

    Kou Zhong laughed and said, If we can sink this ship, all our enmities are avenged in full.

    This matter is related to Yuwen Huaji, Xu Ziling said, We cannot just sit and watch and remain indifferent. After the water enters the ship, we will run to the deck and making a ruckus, to spoil Haisha Bangs plan on attacking the unprepared enemy. And then we jump into the sea flee for our lives, and immediately steal some salt. Ha!

    The more they talked, the more excited they got; they turned the handle faster and faster like a windmill. Less than half a day later, pop! a hole appeared on the bottom of the ship; hastily they pulled the auger out.

    By the time they were ready to take the chest to the deck, the seawater had already reached their ankles.

    Like a crouching monster the giant Dong Ming Pai ship sat still by the dock, the area surrounding it was dark without any lantern at all, only its bow and its stern had four small wind lanterns shining their cheerless, lonely and cold lights, which flickered incessantly in the sea breeze.

    There were hundreds or even thousands of other ships and boats around the harbor; some were moored close to the shore, but most dropped their anchor in the bay.

    The three Haisha Bang ships sailed quietly through this array of boats, until they were about ten zhang away from the giant ship before stopping.

    The boat that had its bottom drilled has been sinking for about two chi, only about a chi or so more, and the water will reach the deck. But because everybodys attention was on the enemys ship, no one took any notice yet.

    Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling were hiding in the darkest area near the bow; they each had a bow and an arrow, which tip was wrapped in a piece of cloth that had been soaked in oil. Their hearts were pounding wildly in anticipation.

    Tan Yong gave his command, To the water!

    Silently eight of his men, wearing wetsuit and carrying the breaking-hill auger dived into the water.

    Suddenly someone let out a muffled shout, Why is the water level so high?

    Kou Zhong knew it was time. Nudging Xu Ziling, he lighted the arrow, and then, in everybodys amazement they shot the fiery arrows toward the big ship, drawing two beautiful fiery arcs in the dark sky.

    Are you crazy? Tan Yong roared in shock.

    The two boys shouted together, Sea sand raises its power, eastern sea in trouble! Haisha Bang attacks the unprepared!

    Tan Yong stormed across the boat. You, two little demons again! he thundered.

    Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling threw their bows by swinging their arms like throwing secret projectiles toward Tan Yong. And then they turned around and jumped into the water together.

    On the other side, closer to the dock, the battle cry shook the heavens. The big ship slowly left the shore heading north to escape. It passed behind Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling, who had just climbed out of the water right behind Haisha Bangs warehouse by the dock.

    The two boys laughed and ran toward the warehouse.

    When they reached the entrance, Kou Zhong grabbed the iron lock with one hand and exclaimed, Look at my internal strength!

    Umph! the padlock did not budge.

    Kou Zhong was at a loss.

    Grabbing the iron chain, he yelled, Get your saber and chop this thing!

    Xu Ziling shook his head, What if it breaks my saber?

    Kou Zhong angrily said, You break your saber, you can buy a new one. But if we cannot make a fortune, we will be paupers for the rest of our lives. Its not every day that Haisha Bang would deploy their entire troops to fight a battle like this!

    Xu Ziling giggled happily and pulled Kou Zhongs saber. Exerting his entire strength he chopped down.

    Tchak! The iron chain met the saber and broke instantly.

    The two boys were taken aback. But they were too busy to think too much.

    Pointing to the biggest sailboat moored on the dock behind them, Kou Zhong said, Quickly row that boat here, Ill get the goods.

    They have lived for more or less eighteen and seventeen years, respectively, but have never seen a better scenery than they saw right now.

    Kou Zhong was lying on the sacks of salt piling high on the boat, enjoying the early morning sunshine, while humming Yangzhous most popular folk song. He was so comfortable that he looked like he was about to die of laziness.

    Xu Ziling was looking at the road stretching along the river on the left bank, his eyes darted quickly to the water level that was very close to the deck. I told you not to steal this much salt, he said with a frown, Now even the place to sleep is crammed with goods, and the boat will sink very soon. Wed better cast off a dozen sacks or so!

    Kou Zhong jumped in fright; he turned around to hug the salt sack tightly and cried out, These are shining white silver; if you want me to throw away money into the sea, you might as well tell me to throw my life away into the sea.

    Seeing Xu Ziling stayed silent, he sat down again and giggled, Xiao Ling, please dont get angry. Alright, how about this: when we come ashore to buy clothes and provision later, let me see if there are people willing to offer good price for several sacks!

    This is coastal salt-producing area, Xu Ziling angrily said, You want to sell salt here, those who are willing to offer good price must be either a lunatic or an idiot just like you. The difference is one spends money recklessly, the other considers wealth as important as his life.

    Kou Zhong laughed aloud and came over to the stern. He wrapped his arm around Xu Zilings shoulder and said, One world, two brothers; theres no need to be mad. Ha! I am a bit greedy, but its all for our future. If we could earn a few coins, we will be a bit more comfortable and happy in the future. Perhaps we can even organize a militia, strike the capital and be a happy emperor. At that time, wont we be able to push Yuwen Huagu out of Meridian Gate and behead him to avenge Niang?

    With a forced laugh he added, Look! This boat is so sturdy, we are making good progress with tail wind and following the current.

    Xu Ziling fetched his saber and shrugged his embrace; he stood up and stepped over nobody knew how many sacks of salt, toward the middle of the boat under the sail mast, where he stopped with his saber in hand. Do you, Zhong Shao, know how to operate the sail? he said with a wry smile, Right now the sky is clear the weather is fair, the breeze is still the waves are quiet; naturally we wont have any problem. But if we come across the wind and waves, in a moment or two when we are sinking down, dont you fight over the heavens and cry over the earth to me.

    Kou Zhong stroked his own big head and pointed to the shore to their left; he laughed and said, This head of mine, which you think does not have any plan inside, has already thought about all those problems. When the sky turns somewhat ominous, we immediately sail toward the shore. Ha! I thought you are worried about some serious things, turns out merely this trivial matter.

    Xu Ziling pointed his saber to Kou Zhong and said coldly, If this boat suddenly pull toward the shore, if we do not crash and have our body torn and our bones crushed, I wont open my mouth again, ever; and then you can laugh at me that I am worried in vain.

    Apparently Kou Zhong has exhausted his argument, How many sacks do you want to throw away? he asked painfully.

    Xu Ziling dejectedly kneeled down on the sacks of salt; he sighed and said, Thats not our biggest problem, but if we travel along this route, sooner or later we will enter inland via the Great River, thus Yangzhou is the only route we must follow. At that time you should know who we are going to encounter.

    Kou Zhong acted as if he had just seen the light; laughing aloud he said, How could my outstanding brains not think about that matter? When we get there, we crash our way through Yangzhou in the night. Not only we will avoid the government boats, we also conveniently avoid coming across our old Die. When we arrive at Liyang, we will disembark a bit early to sell half of our goods, and transport the rest by mule cart to his mothers far away places, hence completed our great scheme to make a fortune. Look! This plan is so perfect.

    Xu Ziling knew he could not argue with him, he stood up and started practicing his saber play.

    Kou Zhong watched with rapt attention for a moment. Finally he drew his saber and said, Looking at you waving your hand and kicking your leg alone like a madman, let me, Zhong Shao accompany you playing for a couple of stances!

    Xu Ziling flatly said, I am afraid my hand will slip and injure you.

    You? Injure me? Kou Zhong screamed, En garde!

    The saber in his hand emitted a sharp cold wind that even he himself could not believe as it swept across toward Xu Ziling.

    Xu Ziling had never expected that he would be this formidable. Unleashing the stance Unyielding and Escaping of the Bloody Battle Ten Styles taught by Li Jing, he swiftly moved sideways before hacking down his saber once again.

    The two boys were so worked up that soon they even forgot the styles and simply moved their sabers any way they pleased.

    They also forgot to look at the sun, which was covered by dark clouds, and the sea breeze, which was getting stronger; they thought it was the wind generated by their sabers.

    Finally what Xu Ziling was worried about has arrived.

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    Thanks foxs

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    Thks Sky for sharing this good news with us. Thks foxs for the new chapter. Any more exams?

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    Thanks, foxs.

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    just wanted to ask before I tried reading this... what is the genre of this story and a synopsis or something about the mc? thanks

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    Thanks for another update foxs! And I apologize for spreading the good news on your behalf. I thought you mentioned it here because I remember you mentioned that you had to take a break because of some exams. Sorry again!!! But you're well loved around here so I'm sure most of the members are happy for you too! At least LuDong & I are. As for the NFL, I make sure I'm available when the games are on. It doesn't make me an expert but I enjoy watching them.

    I wonder what KZ and XL will be like if they didn't have each other to keep them balanced. They seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum. One is hot-headed and overly aggressive and the other is too level headed and a bit passive. What do u guys think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Arcadia View Post
    just wanted to ask before I tried reading this... what is the genre of this story and a synopsis or something about the mc? thanks
    Ren, from what I read so far, this story is crazy long and we are only at the beginning of the journey. But so far, it reads like a typical Wuxia fantasy with a backdrop that focuses on the end of the Sui Dynasty to the establishment of the Tang Dynasty. That's what I got so far. Maybe someone else can give you a fuller synopsis.

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    Default Book 2 - Chapter 7, Part 1

    I wrote quite a bit of comment, but when I clicked 'Submit Reply', I got a notification that I was blocked. Anyway, thanks to all who left your comments, I don't have time to repeat my lengthy comment ... sorry.


    Book 2 Chapter 7 Fish in the Net

    Splosh!

    Scowling miserably, Kou Zhong helped Xu Ziling tossing the twentieth sack of salt into the ocean. Only then did the seawater no longer attack the deck. Fortunately it was just a small storm; otherwise the boat would have been capsized.

    Completely exhausted, the two boys sat on sacks of salt; they did not even have any strength left to laugh or to cry.

    By the time the sun showed itself again, Kou Zhong suddenly burst out laughing like crazy. Naturally Xu Ziling also laughed with him until tears flowing out of his eyes.

    Kou Zhong sighed and said, We have lost at least enough money to stroll into low-grade brothel twenty times; Laotianye [God/Heaven] is really cruel.

    Xu Ziling sneered, Didnt Bai Lao Fuzi often say we should feel contented with our fate? My Zhong Shaoye, one drink, one peck [the context is animal], everything is pre-destined. The Heaven has decided that we lost these twenty sacks of salt, chances are most of sacks wont be left for us either.

    Kou Zhonge entire body, from head to toe, suddenly shook violently; pointing behind them, he groaned, You are right, looks like the Heaven really destined us to be poor wretches; even the remaining fifty, sixty sacks will be taken away.

    Xu Ziling looked back in shock; he saw five three-mast big ships have just turned from the sea into the river. Not only that, the enemys pursuing technique was clearly extraordinarily brilliant, because the two boys did not even realize their presence until they were only two li away from them. Judging by the pursuers speed, at most it would only take the time needed to burn an incense stick before they could catch up with them.

    The two boys looked up at their boats flag first, it was embroidered with the fish pattern of the Haisha Bang flag. When they looked at the five pursuing ships, they groaned together, because they saw similar pattern on the mast of all of them.

    Kou Zhong threw himself down on the sacks of salt and wailed, Finished! All my sea sands are finished! [reminder: haisha means sea sand.]

    Xu Ziling pulled him up and called out, Lets go! Before its too late.

    Suddenly there was a tender laughter, and then they saw a small fast boat coming over; the one sitting on the bow was precisely the Buddhist nun they saw the other night. There were ten men rowing the boat, ten well-trained men, so that the boat glided on the ocean surface like an arrow.

    The pretty nun called out, You just think about escaping right now, its really too late!

    The two boys noticed that she was wearing wetsuit, and it looks like she was ready to jump into the water to catch them. Their soul flew away and scattered, how could they still care about the sacks of salt? Immediately they turned around and jumped into the sea; they did not even have time to admire her clearly visible curves under the skin-tight suit, the body that could make the men who look at her pop their eyes and choke their throats.

    The pretty nun laughed until her beautiful body shook uncontrollably. Gasping for breath, she said, If I, the Mermaid You Qiufeng, ever let you, these two kids ever escape the net, I will never go down into the water again.

    Only after saying that did she jump into the water in an incomparably graceful posture. Compared to Kou Zhong and Xu Zilings awkward jumped earlier, the difference was like night and day.

    Under water, the sun rays looked like tens of thousands strands of silver thread, turning the clear, deep-blue seabed world into an array of infinite stereoscopic mirrors.

    The nun, You Qiufeng, focused her eyes and immediately saw Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling about a hundred zhang ahead, desperately trying to swim toward the shore. The bottom of the sailboat looked like a strange clump of black cloud hovering overhead in the clear and brilliant ocean surface.

    You Qiufeng twisted her waist, and like a wisp of smoke she darted forward with speed at least more than 50% faster than the ones she was pursuing.

    Within Haisha Bang, whose domain was the sea, there was not a second person whose water skill was even close to hers; from this, it was clear how formidable she really was.

    She did not understand at all how the two little demons were able to hold their breath underwater. Without first-class internal energy, it was simply impossible to do.

    But this moment she was simply too busy to think. Their Bangzhu [clan/gang leader], the Dragon King Han Gaitian, had already issued a strict order to spare no expense in capturing them alive.

    By this time Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling have already seen the pretty nun pursuing them from behind, but they had no way of escaping.

    At first Kou Zhong was about two zhang ahead of Xu Ziling, but seeing the enemy rapidly approaching, he knew that very soon she would catch up with Xu Ziling, whose water skill was not as good as his. Therefore, clenching his teeth, he waved his hand to have Xu Ziling swim ahead, and then, with the saber in his hand, he turned around to face the enemy.

    However, how could Xu Ziling be willing to let Kou Zhong face the enemy alone? Hence he also held his saber across as he turned around to fight the fast-approaching enemy.

    Two sides rapidly approaching each other. Soon they would be engaged in close combat. Suddenly a quirly smile appeared on You Qiufengs face as she reached toward her back. Waving her hand, a large net shot out like an arrow to meet the two boys head-on.

    The boys saw the large net like a layer of black cloud coming fast at them. By the time they realized the situation was bad, they have already been captured inside the net; persons and sabers became the fish in the net.

    The boat they stole along with the salt suffered the same fate; it has become Haisha Bangs prisoner. It was towed behind Haisha Bangs flagship using a very thick rope, with its sail folded down.

    Haisha Bangs big boss, the Dragon King Han Gaitian pompously sat on a special dragon chair. Behind his chair stood seven of his subordinates with law-protector level, who have been fighting from all four quarters with him. Their position was even higher than the eighteen helmsmen who were in charge of the eighteen coastal salt-producing divisions.

    His dragon chair was set up leaning against the door of the cabin at the stern. He was waiting calmly for the two young offenders to be brought over.

    Haisha Bang was one of three major gangs along the southeast coast; it share the same fame as the Shuilong Bang [water dragon gang] and Jukun Bang [gigantic leviathan gang].

    The three major gangs were suspicious and envious of each other. Previously they were still able to delimit their respective territory and sphere of influence, hence they were able to maintain peace in general.

    But since Sui Dynasty government became corrupt, the heroes all over the world [tian xia] arose, the three major gangs also began to stir, each conspired to expand their influence, and thus the power struggle gradually turned intense.

    Shuilong Bang has always attached themselves to the powerful Song Clan of the south. But for their survival, Haisha Bang cast their lot to the Yuwen Clan and became one powerful claw and teeth of the Yuwen family.

    Jukun Bang on the other hand, stayed independent. Nevertheless, in terms of fame and power they were not the least bit inferior. The hottest topic in Jianghu recently was after the former Clan Leader Yun Guangling was murdered and his daughter Yun Yuzhen took office, Jukun Bangs prestige has become even more dazzling.

    This beautiful woman with the nickname Clan Leader of the Fairer Sex [orig. hong fen bang zhu clan leader of rouge and powder] had a consummate martial art skill, even more outstanding than her father; she was considered as number one heroine of the southeastern Wulin world.

    Meanwhile, Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling, with their hands tied behind their back, were dragged toward Han Gaitian, and were pushed down to kneel by the four strong men who were in charge of them; the two boys hung their head dispiritedly.

    The subordinate reported, Both they and their boat have been searched, only twenty taels of silver found, there is no other things.

    Han Gaitians eyes shot a cold ray. Report your name! he barked.

    Kou Zhong called out, I am Fu Zhong, he is Fu Ling

    Pow! Pow! Two long whips lashed out from behind, breaking the back of two boys clothes, and tore into their flesh; their faces muscles twisted in severe pain.

    Han Gaitian laughed aloud and said, Still dare to lie to me? You are Kou Zhong, and the other Xu Ziling; both are criminals whose capture Yuwen Zongguan put in the wanted notice nationwide. Whoever can bring you back to Yangzhou and hand you over to Yuchi Zongguan will receive a thousand taels of gold as a reward.

    Standing on his right was the chief law protector, the Fat Assassin. This man was so fat that he looked like a ball, his eyes small and treacherous. Hearing the last sentence, he laughed eerily and said, Human beings will die for riches just as birds will for food; if not for these two kids were greedy, stealing a boat load of sea sand, it would not be easy for us to get these thousand taels of gold.

    Feeling the pain on his back, Kou Zhong was apologetic toward Xu Ziling and could only look at him with bitter smile. The latter however, acted if nothing had happened; he said in low voice, Turns out we are worth that much. If we had sold ourselves, wouldnt we be very rich by now?

    Silence! Han Gaitian roared.

    While the two boys were frightened that they were trembling inside, the pretty nun You Qiufengs tender laughter was heard, coming from inside the cabin. She had changed into a dry robe; surprisingly she also wore a wig with the hair rolled up in a bun, which was held together carelessly with seven or eight silver hairpins; she looked quite odd.

    With hundred charms and thousand daintiness she came over to Han Gaitian, and then plopped her buttocks on his thigh, and wrapped her arms around Han Gaitians neck, which was as thick and solid as a tree trunk. With a flatteringly sweet voice she said, To lose at sunrise but gain at sunset; although this time Dong Ming Pai escaped great catastrophe, in the end we obtain these two valuable kids. Now Bangzhu [Clan Leader] have enough face to see Yuwen Daren.

    Han Gaitian reached out to caress the pretty nuns bottom; he patted it twice and then talked to Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling in grim voice, Tell me! How come you, two kids whose smell of mothers milk has not yet dried, can be that valuable?

    The two boys deeply regretted the fact that they did not know Haisha Bang was related to Yuwen Huagu; moreover, they did not expect Yuwen Huagu would give secret order to the clans and societies working for him to hunt and capture them. If they knew this fact, they would not risk being captured.

    Kou Zhong sighed and said, If Bangzhu agree not to hand us over to Yuwen Huaji, we will tell you this secret.

    Han Gaitian tossed his head backward and roared in heroic laughter; gasping for breath, he said, Did you see that? This kid has the audacity to bargain with us.

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    Default Book 2 - Chapter 7, Part 2

    Anh, HPC, Jaya, Janger, you are welcome. Here is the end of Chapter 7.


    Immediately the law-protectors under his command accompanied him in laughter. Another law-protector, the Double Spears Charging Generals [the original rhymes: shuang qiang chuang jiang] Ling Zhigao said, I heard You Meizi [younger sister You] said that these two kids know the technique to take a breath underwater; while obviously their martial art skill is lacking. This is extremely strange, there must be a reason.

    The pretty nun laughed tenderly and said, Men! Give them three lashes; I want to see how profound their internal energy is!

    Amidst the roar of everybodys laughter, immediately the whip rained down on the two boys. They were whipped at least a dozen times; not only the clothes on their back shattered into small pieces, their flesh was badly mangled as well, as they stumbled face down on the deck.

    But the two boys did not even let out half a groan.

    When they were pulled up, Han Gaitian was emotional as he said, The two of you indeed have strong backbones. These whips were infused with poison; if it were ordinary people, two, three lashes are all they can take. Considering this fact, if you are willing to tell me the truth, perhaps I, the Clan Leader, will deal with you differently.

    Gnashing his teeth, Kou Zhongs voice was raspy as he spoke through his cracked lips, Naturally there is a reason why we are so valuable. It is because we know the secret of Duke Yangs treasure-trove.

    Suddenly the deck became very quiet, but everybodys eyes lit up.

    Han Gaitian signaled his subordinates not to say anything, he pushed the pretty nun aside and stood up, Let them stand up, untie them! he called out.

    The two boys were helped up, the ropes binding them were cut. Their clothes had been ripped by the poisonous whips, and there were bloody stripes on their arms. When the two boys saw their own condition, they were horrified; however, the strange thing was that other than the searing pain at the beginning, they felt as if it was not a big deal at all.

    Han Gaitians iron-tower like stature was still two or three cun taller than the two boys. With hands behind his back, he walked over to the two boys and spoke in softer tone, You really know Duke Yangs treasure-trove location?

    Our Niang told us, Xu Ziling answered.

    Han Gaitian nodded, We also know about that, he said, It was the female Luocha who rescued you. Why didnt she come with you?

    Niang was killed by Yuwen Huaji, Kou Zhong sadly replied, Therefore, we cant possibly tell him the location of the treasure.

    Swaying her bottom, the pretty nun walked over to the two boys; she reached out to pinch Xu Zilings cheek as she spoke with coquettish glances, Bangzhu! Looks like these two handsome Xiao Xiongdi really arent babbling nonsense. Man Tian Wang [fill-the-sky king, see Book 1 Chapter 1] has wholeheartedly follow Gaolis Luocha females trail. Rumor has it that she pawned a piece of ancient jade. At that time we were still in the dark, but now we ought to know that this piece of jade must be part of Duke Yangs treasure trove.

    The Fat Assassin You Gui said, Now that two Xiao Xiongdi are here, this is a proof that the Heaven has chosen Bangzhu to fulfill your destiny.

    Han Gaitian spoke in deep voice, Where is the treasure trove?

    Kou Zhong stayed calm, but before answering, he exchanged flirting glances with the pretty nun, provoking an enchanting giggle from her, The treasure trove is somewhere around the Emperor Guan Temple in Yangzhou, but it has to be opened using special technique; otherwise, you will never find the treasure.

    The pretty nun threw her tender body forward, pressing her erect breasts against Kou Zhongs chest; she spoke in intimate manner, Then why havent you tell us, Bangzhu will definitely not treat you shabbily.

    Kou Zhong obviously enjoyed this flirtation very much; he closed his eyes and moaned, If Bangzhu is willing to give us ten taels of gold, we will help Bangzhu find the hidden treasure.

    Ten taels of gold is a small matter, Han Gaitian said, Quickly speak up!

    The pretty nun stretched out her arm to pull Kou Zhongs neck, and planted a fragrant kiss on his face. Her smile was as pretty as the flower, Listen to Jiejie, quickly speak up.

    Kou Zhong giggled and said, We are all Jianghu people. As long as Bangzhu take us back to Yangzhou, and swear a heavy oath not to kill us, and give us the gold, we will open the treasure-trove for you. Otherwise, wed rather die than speak out.

    Xu Ziling added, The treasure is covered densely with mechanism, it is hidden over twenty zhang deep underground. Unless Bangzhu can obtain Yangzhou Zongguan approval to tear apart the citizens dwelling within five li radius, and turn the ground upside down, dont ever think of getting into the treasure-trove.

    Kou Zhong interrupted, If we leave out even half a sentence, Bangzhu will never know. Why dont we become friends and strike a fair dealing by mutual agreement?

    Being barraged with I speak one word, you speak a sentence from the two boys, Han Gaitian smiled wryly, shook his head, and said with a sigh, It is really a waste that you, two little demons, did not go into business. Alright! Ill take you back to Yangzhou, but you must not lie to me, or else you wont have a good end.

    And then he barked his order, Men! Have them locked up in the iron cage in punishment chamber.

    When Kou Zhong heard the two words iron cage, he immediately lowered his head to kiss the pretty nuns lips, while groping her hair at the same time. When his mouth was busy clicking his tongue in admiration, his hand deftly pulled a silver hairpin and hid it in his palm.

    The pretty nun angrily said, Kid with lecherous mouth! and pushed him away.

    In the meantime, her subordinates stepped out to grab the two boys arms. Han Gaitian did not feel at ease, he personally escorted the two boys into the cabin, down the stairs into the lower deck, and into the punishment chamber filled with all kinds of torture instruments. He watched as his men pushed the two boys into a large iron cage on the corner, checked the lock to make sure it was engaged properly, and only then did he leave.

    While Xu Ziling was staring blankly at the iron bars, which were as thick as a childs arm, Kou Zhong stretched out his hand to show him the thin silver wire in his palm, and said, I think Han Bangzhu is a good man; it would be best if we could work for him!

    Xu Ziling understood his intention; he caught on, I just hope that when we get to Yangzhou we wont be caught by Yuwen Huagu. Ay! We know exactly where the treasure is, but we dont have the guts to pick it up.

    Both boys were intelligent, seeing Han Gaitian and all his men withdrew completely without a single man remained, which was too unnatural, they knew these men would eavesdrop somewhere nearby; which was precisely the case.

    Kou Zhong said, Can you really remember the key to opening the storehouse that Niang taught us? Its too complicated for me, luckily your memory is always better than mine.

    Xu Ziling replied, I only remember the second half. Ay! At that time Niang was about to die, I cried so hard that everything was a blur to me.

    Kou Zhong laughed and said, Leave the first half to me. Its something like three left seven right; I guarantee I wont make mistake. People are paying us high price, we have to hand over the goods.

    Xu Ziling lay down on his side, stretched out, and said, Go sleep!

    Kou Zhong lay down by his side; unexpectedly both of them really fell into deep slumber.

    The big ship sailed at full speed in northerly direction toward the mouth of Yangtze River.

    From sailing full speed, the ship suddenly slowed down. This change of speed caused the two boys to wake up.

    They did not know since when did the wind lanterns on the four corners of the room go out; in this closed room, they could not even see the fingers in front of their nose. But they felt that the walls seemed to radiate some kind of dim light, so that they could faintly see the silhouette of the objects around them.

    They felt very strange.

    According to reason, Han Gaitian ought to want to arrive at Yangzhou as soon as he could; why did the ship slow down?

    They sat up. Kou Zhong reached out to feel his back, and then he touched Xu Zilings back; he could not help feeling very proud, We have definitely become internal energy expert. Earlier we were beaten until our skin cracked our flesh lacerated, but now our skin is clear and our flesh smooth.

    Xu Ziling spoke in low voice, Could there be people out there listening to us still?

    Kou Zhong whispered in his ear, Supposed someone can make you the emperor, you dont have to suffer any hardship, would you or would you not send people to keep an eye on him?

    Xu Ziling was alarmed, If we really get to Yangzhou without being able to escape, wont that Han Choutian [gai tian covering the sky, chou tian stinky sky] tear our skin and crush our bones?

    Kou Zhong took out the silver hairpin and said in low voice, Lets see if we can open the lock or not. You see that this punishment chamber is full of sharp tools. With our superb internal energy, drilling a hole on the bottom of the ship should not be too difficult.

    Xu Ziling sighed. I know that, he said, But how can we do it without making any noise?

    Kou Zhong came over to the iron cage door, he bent one end of the silver hairpin into a small hook, and then very carefully inserted it into the keyhole of the padlock. In no time at all there was a soft click.

    Xu Ziling was not surprised; he skillfully opened the lock and put it on the corner. Gently pulling the iron grille, the two boys crawled out like a dog.

    By this time the ship was slowing down even more, they heard rapid footsteps going back and forth on the upper deck.

    The two boys were greatly delighted; immediately they looked for a tool they could use. Xu Ziling beckoned Kou Zhong to come over, he pointed to a stove on the corner with branding iron in it and said, If we light the stove and heat the branding iron until red, perhaps we could burn a small hole on the ships bottom noiselessly. And then when the seawater pours in, we could use the saw to open a big hole from which we could escape.

    Kou Zhong patted his shoulder in praise. While Xu Ziling took a charcoal tinder next to the stove to light the fire, he took off his tattered outer clothes and stuffed it underneath the door to prevent the seawater to seep out prematurely.

    In the meantime the ship was going faster again, while apparently also made a sharp turn, as if it was trying to avoid something. Above, the footsteps stopped, but there were footsteps in the corridor outside.

    By this time Xu Ziling already dumped more than a dozen branding irons into the stove. Hearing the footsteps outside, he was startled and turned his eyes toward the door. Kou Zhong quickly positioned himself behind the door while signaling Xu Ziling not to show mercy by making a chopping gesture.

    Outside, a mans voice was heard, Any activity?

    And then two other male voices replied, Nothing!

    The first man said, The incoming ship belongs to Jukun Bang, perhaps that pretty Bangzhu has eaten some leopard gall that they dare to intercept us. Bangzhu ordered us to keep a close eye on these kids, or else we will be punished according to the gang rules.

    The two guards on duty promptly responded.

    Noise of footsteps went away.

    Kou Zhong promptly removed the tattered clothes he stuffed under the door.

    They heard the sound of lock being opened, the thick wooden door was pulled open, dim lantern light shone in, but it was not bright enough to reach the iron cage on the corner.

    The two unsuspecting guards came in; one of them even said, Light the lantern first!

    But the other man saw the burning stove. While he was wondering about it, Xu Zilings fist struck his head like a lightning; immediately he slumped down, but Xu Ziling caught him before he reached the floor.

    Kou Zhong made his move at the same time; he also knocked the other man down. He still had time to crane his neck outside to look, and saw three men standing at the corridor leading to the stairs. The men were looking at him.

    Luckily Kou Zhong was quick-witted; he raised his hand in greeting, and then quickly closed the door again. Luckily the corridor was dimly lit, plus his movement was very quick, so that the men could not see his face clearly. But he was so scared that his heart nearly jumped out of his throat.

    The two boys took off the mens clothes and used it to tie them and stuffed their mouths. Only then did they feel a bit better.

    The two mens money bags had already entered Kou Zhongs pocket, while Xu Ziling untied the mens short halberd and sword. Although they were not as accustomed in using these weapons as a saber, but it was definitely better than without a cun of iron in their hands and thus making them feel lost.

    Xu Ziling picked the smoldering branding iron and placed it on the cabin wall. A chi, chi sound ensued, followed by smoke rising up from a charred wood. When he removed the branding iron, as expected, a glowing red indentation appeared on the wooden plank.

    Kou Zhong plugged the bottom of the door again.

    This time Xu Ziling pressed three branding irons to the indentation, creating more smoke, and burning the plank red.

    The ship made another sharp turn; it seemed like the Jukun Bang people were getting really close. There were faint shouting from above, coupled with the sound of urgent footsteps. The situation was getting more and more intense.

    Pop! The branding iron finally penetrated the wood plank; seawater immediately came gushing in.

    The two boys cheered. Using the saw that they prepared in advance, they desperately sawed the wood to make the hole bigger. The seawater continued to pour in; very soon it reached their ankles. Soaked by the cold water, their two prisoners woke up.

    Crack! Kou Zhong sawed the plank until only a small section left, which he then pulled and twisted as hard as he could to break it. Immediately a large triangular hole appeared.

    The two boys did not have time to hesitate. They cut the knot binding their two captives first to let them untie the rest of their bind, and then they slipped into the sea underneath the ship.

    Haisha Bang flagship was moving rapidly forward, the bottom of the boat they stole along with the salt appeared above them. The ocean surface was bright with the yellow glow of the moon; hence the boys knew it was already evening.

    Kou Zhong did not care whether Xu Ziling wanted it or not, he simply dragged him up toward the surface.

    Who would have thought that the ship was sailing too fast? By the time the two boys reached the surface, the salt boat has just slipped right through them.

    As soon as they had their heads above water, they were dumbstruck. Because Haisha Bangs five ships were besieged by more than a dozen smaller sailboats.

    Both sides were shooting fire arrows and throwing rocks at each other, the raging battle has reached the state where neither side could extricate themselves. The rockets lit the night sky.

    Kou Zhong had his eyes fixed on the stolen boat, which was getting farther and farther away. While he felt like crying, but did not want to shed any tears, as he looked at their fortune turning into water, suddenly the stolen-salt boat separated from Haisha Bang flagship and slowed down. Apparently someone thought that the stolen-salt boat was too cumbersome and had the mooring rope cut off.

    The two boys were overjoyed at the turn of events; hastily they swam with everything they had toward their happy future.

  18. #298
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    Thanks foxs

  19. #299
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    Thanks, foxs.

    What determination these two have. Even in their difficult situation, KZ still keep his eyes at their path to riches.

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    Thanks foxs

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