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Swordsman II - The Divine Swordsmen
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    Default Swordsman II - The Divine Swordsmen

    Swordsman II - The Divine Swordsmen



    This is a Swordsman 2013 fanfic, but the story will center on the newer generation. So, do not expect this to only be about Linghu Chong and Dongfang Bubai, although they are part of the story (and somewhat older).

    This story, unlike my other ones, will not focus on a single character and will not have one protagonist, but rather many, somewhat like Jin Yong's Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils.

    Any comments are, as always, appreciated. Hope you enjoy.

    Table of Contents:

    Chapters: 1
    | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5| 6
    Last edited by Christos200; 12-27-14 at 08:16 AM.

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    Default Chapter 1

    Chapter 1


    The bright moon was overshadowed by the dark clouds. It was raining heavily. The rain was purring over his head and his clothes were soak wet. The tall and good looking young man wearing a silk white robe and holding a white fan on his hands had just left Madame's Ma Brothel. Brothels are a good place to spend your time. They have strong and expensive wine and beautiful women. What else can a man ask for? In Brothels, you can even meet and make friends with influential people: young aristocrats and renowned martial heroes. The only problem is that if you are from a very, very good Jianghu family that upholds the morals and protects the weak, going to brothels can give you a very hard time, mainly from your family.

    So, the young man was walking fast so as to make sure no one would see him. But it was not to be so; while everything was going on smoothly, a Taoist Priest suddenly landed on the middle of the road on which the young man was walking. What was a Taoist Priest doing in the middle of the night in a neighborhood full of brothels and casinos while it was raining heavily? Could it be that he liked to gamble or that he liked women? That was what the young man initially though. It is not weird for men of religion to commit immoral acts. After all, they are humans too. They too have moral weaknesses as every human does. The difference is that some have more moral weaknesses and others less.

    But then an other thought flashed through the young man's mind: in order for someone to land in the middle of a road, then he must have jumped from somewhere. And for one to jump from a high building while maintaining his posture, then this person must have excellent Internal Energy and be a martial arts practitioner. While not all Taoist Priests are martial artists, many of them are. And quite a lot of them are very skillful. So, the young man resolved to continue walking while pretending not to have noticed the Taoist. At the same time, he was circulating his internal energy in order to be ready for a battle, if needed.

    The sound of thunders was deafening. But the young man's ears heard very well what the Taoist Priest said while looking towards him: "Young Master Linghu!". He pretended to not have heard those words. The noise of the thunders provided a good excuse. The Taoist repeated again those words. "Pardon?", the young man asked.

    The Taoist Priest's eyes were burning with fire and his hands were trembling. He was at least sixty years old, so how could he accept that a young man of around twenty-two or twenty-three years of age would disrespect him so much and make fun of him? So, this time he used his internal energy to say, "Young Master Linghu!!". As the Taoist's words overshadowed the noise of the thunders and caused a small scale earthquake, the young man understood that the Taoist Priest had profound internal energy. He was not a person that could be taken lightly.

    The young man said, "Honorable Taoist Priest, I am sorry for not greeting you properly."

    He then cupped his fists and bowed slightly before the Taoist.

    The Taoist replied, "You are forgiven". This time he spoke calmly.

    "Honorable Taoist Priest, do you like coming here too?".

    The young man was implying that the Taoist was heading to the brothel. The expected reaction of the Priest would be to be very angry. How dare this young man slander an elder like him? However, the old man remained calm.

    "I was looking for you, Young Master Linghu."

    "You know my name, Priest, but I do not know yours. Would you care to tell me what your honorable name is, Priest?"

    The words of the young man sounded like someone was reciting a poem. It showed that he was very well educated and the son of a famous family. And indeed he was the son of a very famous family. His father was Linghu Chong, the Leader of the Sword Faction Huashan Sect, and his mother Dongfang Bubai.

    "My name is Zuanshi Mushi."

    The young man laughed, "I am happy to meet you."

    "I am also very pleased to meet Young Master Linghu Yang."

    "Elder, why were you looking for me?"

    "Because of your recent visits to brothels."

    "Do you want me to tell you which one is the best for you to go?"

    This time, the Taoist could not hide his anger. He circulated his internal energy and then retreated by one step. Linghu Yang saw that there was a rift on the place the Priest was previously standing. He understood the message of the Taoist: "Disrespect me any further and there will be a rift in your body.".

    "Young Master, I am a friend of your father. A very good friend. Should I tell him of your conduct?"

    Linghu Yang did not seem to be scared at all.

    The Taoist continued, "Of course, while revealing that you visit brothels will cause your father to give you a scolding, you will not be affected very much. But I know that except for drinking and sleeping with women, you also make friends."

    Upon hearing the last four words of the Priest, "you also make friends", Linghu Yang felt like a thunder had hit him. Cold sweat was pouring on his forehead, mixing with the rain. He felt cold all over his body. He immediately went on his knees and started kowtowing frantically before the Priest. "Please, do not tell my father anything. I will change my ways."

    The Priest approached the young man and helped him rise up. Suddenly, Linghu Yang's right hand formed an "Eagle's Claw" with his middle and index fingers and gouged out the Taoist's eyes. While the Taoist Priest was one hundred times more skilled in martial arts than Linghu Yang, he was surprised and this surprise allowed Linghu Yang to succeed. The Taoist knew that Linghu Yang was immoral and did not believed his words, but he never expected him to be so vicious and daring as to try something like this. He was a very close friend of Linghu Chong, so he though that the Linghu Yang would be afraid to battle it out against him.

    He also thought that Linghu Yang was scared. However, he was wrong. Linghu Yang was indeed scared when he first heard those four words of the Taoist, but he immediately calmed down. The frantic kowtows were all just an act to fool the Priest.

    Linghu Yang then send out his right palm against the Priest, however, while he had lost his sight, he could hear the sound the palm made and dodged it by one inch. Then, the young master send out a flying kick. The kick made a whistling sound, like it was cutting the air in half. The Priest dodged it once again.

    "You damn bastard!", Linghu Yang shouted. "I will get you."

    He then suddenly opened his fan and five poisonous darts were send out. While the Priest fended off four of them, the fifth stabbed him on his left cheek. The Taoist's face became black and blood poured from his nose, mouth and ears. In a few seconds, he collapsed on the ground. Dead.

    Linghu Yang let out a sigh of relief, "Good riddance!".

    He then grabbed the Taoist's body by his legs and started dragging it. He could not let a dead body in the middle of a road. Because an investigation would start on the cause of the death of the Priest and there would be trouble. So, he would drag the body to the nearby forest where wolves come at night. They would eat the Taoist's body and get rid of this trouble for him.

    After walking for a few minutes, he finally reached the forest. He then threw away with all of his might the Taoist's corpse. As he was leaving the forest, he could hear the roar of the wolves. By tomorrow, the corpse would have gone.

    This Taoist threatened his plans to take over the leadership of the Sword Faction Huashan Sect. That's why he had to get rid of him. What infuriated him the most was that while he was far smarter and more skilled in martial arts than his younger brother, Linghu Ningjing, his father wanted Ningjing to succeed him in the leadership of the sect rather than him. Not only that, but his mother, Dongfang Bubai, would only teach her martial arts to Ningjing. In fact, his mother always seemed to be closer to Ningjing than him. The only good thing about this situation was that Ningjing was a pacifist who hated martial and was stupid, naive and too kind. He was also a slow learner, so his martial arts were not on par with his brother. This allowed Linghu Yang to have the edge despite the unfair treatment from his mother.

    Linghu Yang was always a very ambitious person. From a young age, he wanted to always be the best. Instead of going out with friends, he studied classical texts and practiced his martial arts all day long. His younger brother was not lazy and also worked hard, but never as hard as him. Linghu Yang's ambitions were far greater than those of most men; he wanted to become Sect Leader, then Chancellor of Wulin and finally Emperor of China. He was not so much after money or women, but he was lusting after glory and recognition. Whoever became an obstacle to his ambitions, Linghu Yang would seek to destroy him. Right now, his younger brother was an obstacle to his ambitions.

    Brothels are a place which many very strong martial artists visit. And this was the real reason why Linghu Yang was frequently visiting brothels lately. He had actually become friends with many skilled men. He first flattered them and then offered to pay for them good wine and very beautiful and famous courtesans. He did have enough money to awe them and cause their interest. They would then seek his friendship and he would gladly accept.

    Two days ago, he met a man of around thirty years of age who was of strong stature and was famous in the Jianghu for his prowess. His name was Jiang Ling. Although a great hero, he had a weakness: wine. Linghu Yang bought him four barrels of wine. He drunk all of them at once, and yet he still remained somber. Linghu Yang expressed his admiration at the man's drinking skill and they became sworn brothers. Now, Linghu Yang was heading to Mao's Tavern to meet him. He was in a hurry, because the Taoist Priest caused him to be late.

    When he arrived, he saw Jiang Ling awaiting for him outside the Tavern. His clothes were also soak wet and his long black scruffy hair was blowing in the wind.

    Jiang Ling smilingly said, "Bother Yang!"

    "Brother Ling, it's good to see you. Why don't we go inside the Tavern to chat?"

    "Alright!".

    The two men entered the small wooden Tavern and sat at a table in the far left corner of the shop. They were the only costumers. Linghu Yang had paid the owner of the Tavern to close it down for today and to open it up only of them. A thin waiter came and Linghu Yang ordered five jars of wine.

    "You know me well, brother!", Jiang Ling said, unable to hide his excitement. He would drink to his heart's content tonight. And indeed he did. Half an hour later, he had drunk twenty-four jars of wine. Linghu Yang had instead drunk a cup of tea and was fanning himself with his fan.

    "Brother Ling, I want to ask you for a favor."

    "I will do whatever you want me to do, Brother! I shall even brave death for you."

    Linghu Yang laughed. "No need for that. I only want you to kill one person."

    "Who?"

    "Linghu Ningjing!"

    Jiang Ling fell from his chair when he heard that name. Certainly not due to the wine. He of course knew of the greatest Kung Fu master alive, Linghu Chong, and of his wife, the most powerful woman on earth, Dongfang Bubai. If he killed their son, he would have no chance of escaping. And he also did not knew that this "Brother Yang" was also a son of Linghu Chong. But on the other hand, he was an honorable person who would always put friendship above everything. He was also a man who would keep his word. He had become sworn brother with Brother Yang and he agreed to brave death for him; how could he go back on his promise? No! He would fulfill his brother's wish even if it led him to death.

    Linghu Yang understood Jiang Ling's fears and said, "No need to worry. This Ningjing's martial arts are pathetic. You shall easily beat him. And in case this Linghu Chong finds out about you and tries to take revenge, I will take full responsibility and face him alone. I will die for you!"

    "No need! If he comes to take revenge, we shall face him together. We are brothers! We agreed that while we were not born on the same day, we would die on the same day!"

    "Good. Now, go and kill him. He is heading towards the 'Fast Snake Manor'. This place is not far away from here. You should be able to catch up with him and kill him before he reaches the Manor."

    "I will!"

    Jiang Ling left the Tavern. Linghu Yang was smiling. He had managed to gain the complete loyalty of Jiang Ling. To be able to gain the loyalty of heroes is a very important trait for anyone who wants to become a great man and establish an Empire. Linghu Yang had this trait and he could use it to fulfill his ambitions.

    Once Jiang Ling killed his brother, he would kill him in order to take revenge for Ningjing. Thus, he would please his father and make sure that he would be designated as his heir for Sect leadership. In a few years he would succeed him and then use the power of the Sword Faction Huashan Sect to unite the Martial Arts World and to be declared Chancellor of Wulin. He would then have under his command thousands of skillful martial artists which he would use to overthrow the current Ming Dynasty and become Emperor of China. How would it be possible for such a perfect plan to ever fail?
    Last edited by Christos200; 11-22-14 at 11:17 AM.

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    Chapter 2

    The morning sun was shining brightly above Snake Mountain. Yet, it was very cold. The strong wind made matters worse. On the bottom of the mountain, the coldness was not so bad. But as someone traveled closer to the mountain's peak, the coldness would become harsher and harsher.

    The scenery that one would meet also changed as someone traveled higher and higher. On the bottom of the mountain, one could see tall green trees and smell the fragrance of mountain flowers. But as someone neared the top of the mountain, he could see the green grass giving way to thick snow.

    Linghu Ningjing was wearing a black cape, a bear fur coat and hat and a blue silk robe, and yet he still felt cold. His physical weakness did not help either. Although Linghu Ningjing was certainly not weak, compared to other martial artists he was certainly somewhat weak.

    He studied hard martial arts for many years and his mother, Dongfang Bubai, taught him martial arts, but he just could not absorb the essence of all those skills. He was a slow learner, so it took a lot of time for him to learn a stance, let alone an entire Kung Fu style. It certainly did not help that Linghu Ningjing was peaceful and preferred to solve problems peacefully instead of using force. His brother, Linghu Yang, was a far better martial artist. Yet, Linghu Chong wanted Linghu Ningjing to succeed him. Although Linghu Ningjing did not want to become leader of the Sword Faction Huashan Sect, he could not let down his father and so he had to do his best to become a great martial artist.

    His father had a friend called "Fast Snake Qiang Long" who was a great martial art master. He lived in seclusion on top of the Snake Mountain, in the "Fast Snake Manor". Linghu Chong, seeing that he could not teach effectively his son, decided to send him to learn Kung Fu on the Snake Manor. That's the reason why Linghu Ningjing was heading on top of the Snake Mountain. His father had written a letter which he was to deliver to Master Qiang Long. The letter contained a plea by Linghu Chong for Qiang Long to teach his son.

    "It's cold!", Linghu Ningjing murmured. "But I cannot let my father down. Oh well, I have almost reached the peak, so I will be able to rest soon. I just hope that this Master Qiang Long is not too eccentric or strict and that the rumors I heard in the village are just that: rumors."

    When Linghu Ningjing was heading to the Snake Mountain, he had heard some villagers of a nearby village saying that Master Qiang Long was very strict and that he had crippled many of his students due to his very harsh training methods. Although this scared somewhat Linghu Ningjing, he could not disobey his father's order.

    Suddenly, Linghu Ningjing heard the sound of steps. He looked behind and saw something moving fast towards him. This "something" look like a bolt, but in reality it was a man. A man who had such great internal energy that his movements were so fast that he looked like a bolt. When that "bolt" came close enough to Linghu Ningjing, it stopped. This man was Jiang Ling!

    "Hey, brother, have you seen anyone coming to this mountain?", Jiang Ling asked.

    By anyone, Jiang Ling meant Linghu Ningjing. He had expected him, despite being young, to have a strong build and the looks of a gentleman. After all, he was the son of the great hero Linghu Chong. So, he would have never suspected that the young thin man before him was in fact Linghu Chong's younger son.

    "No, sir.", Linghu Ningjing replied.

    "Dammit! I must have traveled too fast and gone ahead of him."

    "Who are you searching for, brother?"

    Jiang Ling was ready to reply, when he remembered that revealing his plans to kill Linghu Ningjing would amount to suicide. So, instead of saying the truth, he replied: "A relative of mine."

    "Weird", Linghu Ningjing thought. "Why would someone travel to the top of the Snake Mountain? Maybe his relative also wants to become a disciple of Master Qiang Long?"

    Jiang Ling sighed and pulled out two jars of wine he had brought with him from Mao's Tavern.

    "Do you want to drink", he asked.

    Linghu Ningjing rarely drank wine and so he politely refused. But Jiang Ling insisted: "You are not a kid anymore! You are a man! You should be able to drink a jar of wine!"

    "Alright......."

    Upon hearing Linghu Ningjing's approval, Jiang Ling threw one of the jars at him. Although Linghu Ningjing grabbed it, Jiang Ling had put so much force into throwing it that it pushed Linghu Ningjing back and caused him to almost fall down.

    "Cheers!", Jiang Ling shouted and the Mountain was shaken by his roar. His internal energy was certainly that of a skilled master. Linghu Ningjing could not help but admire this great hero.

    "Brother!", he said. "You internal energy is really something out of this world!".

    Jiang Ling just laughed and drank a large gulp of wine. "Excellent wine!". Linghu Ningjing also drank a large gulp of wine and, after coughing a bit, he exclaimed: "Indeed! It is a great wine!"

    Jiang Ling laughed once again. "Good! You know to appreciate good wine! Let us drink to our heart's content."

    Although Linghu Ningjing rarely drank wine, he could still tell that the quality of this wine was really excellent. Such good wine Jiang Ling had brought with him! Wine also helps to warm up people. That's why those who live in cold places drink a lot of wine. So, Linghu Ningjing was able to forget the mountain's coldness. And, as he was not used to drinking wine, he got easily drank and started singing several songs. Jiang Ling could not stop laughing and also started singing.

    "Brother!", Linghu Ningjing shouted. "My father likes to sing a song!"

    "Hahahaha! Which song?"

    "One composed by Yue Fei. It goes like this:

    怒髮衝冠,憑欄處,瀟瀟雨歇。
    抬望眼,仰天長嘯,壯懷激烈。
    三十功名塵與土,八千里路雲和月。
    莫等閒白了少年頭,空悲切。
    靖康恥,猶未雪;
    臣子恨,何時滅?
    駕長車踏破賀蘭山缺!
    壯志飢餐胡虜肉,笑談渴飲匈奴血。
    待從頭收拾舊山河,朝天闕。

    My wrath bristles through my helmet, the rain stops as I stand by the rail;
    I look up towards the sky and let loose a passionate roar.
    At the age of thirty, my deeds are nothing but dust, my journey has taken me over eight thousand li.
    So do not sit by idly, for young men will grow old in regret.
    The Humiliation of Jingkang still lingers,
    When will the pain of the Emperor's subjects ever end?
    Let us ride our chariots through the Helan Pass,
    There we shall feast on barbarian flesh and drink the blood of the Xiongnu.
    Let us begin anew to recover our old empire, before paying tribute to the Emperor."


    "Nice song!"

    And so the two of them started singing "Man Jiang Hong", this patriotic song that has been attributed to the great Song Dynasty General Yue Fei. After a few hours of singing and drinking wine, Jiang Ling had a fine idea: to become sworn brother with the young man he had just met. Linghu Ningjing agreed. He had taken a great liking at this great hero.

    "I, Jiang Ling, swear that I will become sworn brother with...... what is your name?"

    "Linghu Ningjing!"

    This answer hit Jiang Ling like a thunderbolt. What should he do? He had agreed to help brother Yang kill Linghu Ningjing, but he had taken a liking at this young man and he was ready to become his sworn brother. How could he kill him? So, he decided to become sworn of Linghu Ningjing and then to try to mediate whatever argument his two brothers, Yang and Ningjing, had.

    "I, Jiang Ling, swear that I will become sworn brother with Linghu Ningjing."

    "I, Linghu Ningjing, swear that I will become sworn brother with Jiang Ling."

    Then, the two of the them said with one voice: "Although we were not born on the same day, we hope to die on the same day. May the Gods of Heaven and Earth attest to what is in our hearts. If we should ever do anything to betray our friendship, may heaven and the people of the earth both strike us dead."

    And so, Jiang Ling and Linghu Ningjing became sworn brothers. As the two brothers were chatting and joking, a Taoist nun was coming towards them. The nun seemed to be in her late fifties and her face was wrinkled. She was holding a sword on her hands. As the nun was coming towards them, she saw a huge rock, weighing at least two tons and covered in snow. She gathered her internal energy, let out a roar and threw out her palms at the rock. A gust of wind was created and the rock flew in the sky. The nun quickly jumped high in the sky and, using her sword, she carved some words on the rock. When the rock fell back down on earth, it caused a huge earthquake that shook the Mountain and caused an avalanche. The avalanche threatened to crush the nun, but she threw out her palms once again, this time against the avalanche, and the gust of wind they created pushed the avalanche back.

    Linghu Ningjing could not hide his amazement at the nun's skills. Jiang Ling was also amazed, despite having much more experience in the martial arts world than Linghu Ningjing. But their amazement turned into surprise and anger when they read what was carved on the rock: "Jiang Ling, you damn coward, come and face me."

    "Jiang Ling, will you come and face me?", the nun said. Her voice was arrogant and full of contempt.

    "I will!", Jiang Ling shouted and approached her. Linghu Ningjing was about to come to his brother's aid, when he said: "Brother Ningjing, I will take care of this myself."

    The nun examined Jiang Ling carefully and humphed. "Do you deny having fought before Taoist Master Zuanshi Mushi?"

    "No."

    "Do you deny being to Zu City two days ago?"

    "No."

    "Do you deny killing Taoist Master Zuanshi Mushi?"

    "Yes!"

    "You lie! I found his corpse on the forest outside of the city."

    Linghu Yang had expected that the wolves would devour the Taoist's body. But, as the wolves were ready to eat the Taoist, his martial sister, Zhang Er, appeared and saved his corpse from being devoured. She was passing through the town and her saving of her martial brother's body was completely accidental. Linghu Yang was very lucky, as Zhang Er did not see him. But she saw that Jiang Ling was in Zu City. Jiang Ling had previously fought with Taoist Zuanshi Mushi over a a martial arts manual. So Zhang Er immediately suspected Jiang Ling of being the murderer, despite having no proof about it. Her anger for the death of her martial brother did not allow her to think logically. So, she followed him closely. Now, she was ready to have her revenge.

    "And what has this to do with me?"

    "When you were fighting over the "18 Fists Manual", you lost to him. So, you wanted revenge and that's why you killed him, right!?"

    Her anger had overtaken her and this could be seen on her face which was redder than a beetroot. Linghu Ningjing intervened: "Elder, forgive me for my ignorance, but since my brother had already lost to the Taoist Priest, how could he have managed to kill him?"

    "Shut up!", she said. "He must have used underhanded methods."

    "My brother would never do this! Also-"

    Before Linghu Ningjing could continue, Jiang Ling interrupted him. "There is no use talking to her. She will not hear anything."

    Indeed, Zhang Er did not wait for Linghu Ningjing to finish and threw out her palms against Jiang Ling, creating a gust of wind. Yet, while previously a two tons rock had flew in the air, Jiang Ling remained unmoved. Such was his prowess! Jiang Ling let out a roar, which caused an avalanche. As Zhang Er threw out her palms against the avalanche, Jiang Ling found the chance to move fast like a bolt, using his internal energy, and to kick the nun's back. The nun dodged by half an inch Jiang Ling's kick and, as the avalanche had stopped, she could now give her full attention at Jiang Ling. She unleashed twelve fists, which came one after the other. They moved so fast, that they looked like a chain. Yet, Jiang Ling was able to block all of them and then used the "Proud Dragon Shakes Earth and Heaven" technique. Jiang Ling jump high in the sky and fell down with immense strength. The impact of the landing caused a rift on the ground and shook the nun. She lost her balance and Jiang Lin found the chance to send out a powerful back kick which kicked her chest. She vomited a mouthful of blood and was pushed back.

    "I will return!", she threatened and run away as fast as she could.

    Jiang Ling then turned at his brother: "Brother, I will have to leave so I can learn more about those accusations against me."

    "I wish you good luck, brother."

    Thank you. Once I have cleared my name, I will find you so we can feast together."

    Jiang Ling left as fast as he had come and Linghu Ningjing was once again alone.

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    Chapter 3:

    The Fast Snake Manor was covered in snow. It was a truly grand Manor with a four meters long wall surrounding it. Linghu Ningjing walked towards the huge red gate of the Manor and knocked the door. He waited. And he waited. And he waited. Time passed but no one seemed to have heard of his knocking. He knocked again, this time harder. Five minutes passed. No reply. Linghu Ningjing gave a powerful kick at the door, not so much because of anger or impatience but due to fear that no one was residing in the Manor. Finally, he heard the sound of some steps. A short kid, around the age of ten, opened the gate.

    "Dear guest, please come inside!", the kid said.

    His mannerisms and almost poetic language certainly did not match with the expected behavior from a ten years old kid. Linghu Ningjing was somewhat surprise both by the manners of the child and due to the fact that Master Qiang Long had send a child to greet him.

    "Thank you for your hospitality.", he replied and bowed slightly before the kid.

    The kid also bowed slightly before Linghu Ningjing and led him inside. Peach blossom trees were all over the Mansion and were covered with snow. The scenery was truly breathtaking. The only negative that Linghu Ningjing could find was the fact that it was so cold, that he was shivering. As they walked deeper into the Mansion, Linghu Ningjing could hear the sound of zither. The one who was playing the instrument was truly talented as the sound was out of the world. Linghu Ningjing had a great interest in zither and music in general, but he had never heard such a sound before. Not only was the music pleasant to the ear but also impossible to identify. It sounded both happy and sad, exciting and calm.

    He could not hide his awe and exclaimed: "Excellent music!"

    He looked for the kid in order to ask him who was the musician, but the kid seemed to have disappeared. Linghu Ningjing was too much preoccupied with the music to take notice of the kid. Now, he had no choice but to follow the sound of the music, hoping to find someone. And found someone he did. Under a peach blossom tree there was a beautiful young maiden dressed with an ethereal white cloak. She was the one who was playing the zither tune. Linghu Ningjing looked at her awestruck by her beauty and musical skills. For a few seconds, he was just staring at her, not able to speak any words or to think properly.

    "Greetings. My name is Linghu Ningjing. I-"

    "What is your reason for coming to this Manor?"

    Although the girl had interrupted him, her voice was calm and polite, so Linghu Ningjing did not take offense to this.

    "I....I want to see Master Qiang Long."

    "Why do you want to see my father?"

    Linghu Ningjing was relieved to have learned that the young maiden was Qiang Long's daughter. He was very curious as to who that woman was and why she was residing in the Manor, but his questions were now answered. However, he still could not get out of his mind the fact that despite the bitter cold, the woman was wearing only an ethereal white cloak. How could she stand the coldness? Anyway, he had more important tasks to complete, like becoming student of Master Qiang Long, and so did not think more of that matter.

    "I want to become his student."

    Linghu Ningjing gave Linghu Chong's letter to her. The woman read the letter and laughed a bit. Linghu Ningjing blushed. "This letter should inform Master Qiang Long of my incompetence. That's why she must be laughing.", he thought.

    "Unfortunately, my father is dead."

    "What!?"

    Linghu Ningjing felt confused. What was he supposed to do now? Go back to his father and tell him that he left incompetent and returned incompetent? Search on his own for someone to teach him martial arts? Stay in the Manor? His mind was in a mess.

    "My father died a year ago.", the girl said but Linghu Ningjing paid no attention to her. He was lost in his thoughts. So, the girl coughed in order to bring him back to his senses.

    "Oh, I am sorry. I was just-"

    Before he could finish, the girl interrupted him once again: "Before my father died, he passed down to me his Martial Arts and told me that if a friend of his named Linghu Chong ever seeks my help, I should do my best to help him. So, if you agree, I will teach you Martial Arts."

    "That's great!"

    Linghu Ningjing had every reason to feel happy. Not only would he learn martial arts, but also, instead of studying with an old and strict man, his teacher would be this young and very beautiful maiden.

    Four days later Jiang Ling reached Zu City. Although someone in his position would sneak into the city or masquerade himself, Jiang Ling walked inside the city openly. He was never someone who would cower before danger or use sneaky methods. He was going to openly investigate the murder of Priest Zuanshi Mushi and if anyone attacked him based on the false accusations against him, he would defend himself.

    As he was walking, he heard someone shouting: "The murderer is here!!!". Suddenly, tens of Taoist Priests and Buddhist Monks surrounded him. He could see that those warriors were led by Zhang Er, the Taoist nun that had attacked him on Snake Mountain, and Liao Ying, the Abbot of Shaolin. Although surprised at the number of men surrounding him, Jiang Ling kept him calm.

    "You murderer!", Zhang Er shouted. "I invited my pupils from Wudang and Abbot Liao Ying from Shaolin to come here in order to catch you, but you came yourself. Nice."

    "I am no murderer", Jiang Ling calmly replied. "This is all a terrible misunderstanding. I-"

    Seeing that instead of paying attention to what he was saying and Zhang Er shouted: "Into positions", Jiang Ling decided that talking to them would be a waste of his time and so he gathered his internal energy for a fight.

    About 40 Wudang Priests formed a crescent, holding their sabres tight on their hands and facing Jiang Ling. The "Crescent Formation (新月体形成)" is a mostly defensive formation, although it can also be used for offensives. The array of swords, one besides the other, makes it difficult to break the formation, as each member of the formation is supported by those standing on his left and right. The crescent structure of the formation makes sure that it is almost impossible to outflank it and the only way to do so is to somersault and land behind the formation, an extremely difficult task even for highly skilled pugilists. The formation can also be used offensively, by using the center of the crescent to tie up the enemy while the right and left wings of the crescent encircle him, thus trapping him inside a circle. Then, it will be quite easy to kill the enemy.

    The formation, according to tradition at least, originated from a Wudang Priest who joined the anti-Mongol resistance during the final years of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. He recruited 3,000 men and started raiding cities that refused to join the resistance. The Yuan government send an army of 12,000 men to crush the rebels. When the two armies met on the battlefield, the Wudang Priest arranged his army in the shape of a crescent. The Mongols, being numerically superior and confident of victory, charged at the center of the rebel army, as the Wudang Priest had predicted. His soldiers held up long enough for the right and left wings of the crescent to encircle the enemy army. When the Mongols forced the center of the rebel army to retreat, it was already too late. The entire Mongol army was massacred. When the Wudang Priest returned back to Wudang he turned this military strategy into a Kung Fu formation and so the Crescent Formation of Wudang was born.

    The Crescent Formation was certainly one of the most sophisticated and lethal formations of Wudang. But Jiang Ling seemed not only to not be scared at all, but also somewhat bored. Was this a psychological trick of Jiang Ling, was he too arrogant or could it be that he was so powerful as to break the formation so easily that he would be bored?

    Although Jiang Ling was an honorable man, in battles he did not hesitate using cruel tactics. As everyone was expecting him to use his amazing prowess to attack head on the formation, Jiang Ling instead used his internal energy to run so fast that no one realized that he had moved and grabbed a young Shaolin monk. Everyone, even the most experienced Shaolin elders, were awed by Jiang Ling's speed but also afraid about the fate of the captured monk.

    Jiang Ling threw with immense power the monk against the Crescent Formation. The Wudang Priests, fearing that their swords would kill the monk, lowered their swords and two of them moved forward to grab the monk. The monk was indeed grabbed by the two men and was safe. Now that the monk was safe, the two Priests returned back to their positions and held up their swords once again, ready to confront Jiang Ling. This whole "saving the monk" operation lasted only a few seconds as the Priests lowered their swords and moved forward to save the monk with immense speed. However, Jiang Ling was nowhere to be seen. Not a single person had seen Jiang Ling moving and yet he somehow disappeared!

    In fact, Jiang Ling used his incredible speed to pass through the formation through the gap opened when the two Priests moved forward to rescue the monk. So, Jiang Ling was now behind the 40 Wudang Priest! The only weakness that the Crescent Formation has is that if someone attacks from behind, the Formation would collapse. Jiang Ling knew this and there were only two ways for him to outflank the Formation: To either somersault and land behind the Formation, something almost impossible, or to create a gap in the formation and pass through it. Jiang Ling chose the second option and used the Shaolin monk to create the gap.

    Jiang Ling gathered his internal energy and send out his palms at the backs of the Taoists. This move, called "Charge of the Heavenly Dragon", created such a strong gust of wind that all 40 Priests were thrown miles away. He then let out a roar that caused the ears of almost all Shaolin monks and Wudang Priests to bleed and shook the earth.

    Liao Ying, the Abbot of Shaolin, intervened and charged forward with his right palm, aiming at the stomach of the opponent. Jiang Ling saw the Abbot's palm coming towards him, but did not move until it was one inch away from his stomach. He then moved a bit to the left while gently pushing his opponent forward by using his right palm. This caused the Abbot to almost fall on the ground. Had it been someone else, he would have surely lost his balance.

    The Abbot immediately send out a back kick followed by three flying kicks, but Jiang Ling was able to dodge all of them. Liao Ying decided to use his fists against Jiang Ling, but Jiang Ling fended them off. This continued for almost a minute and the two fighters exchanged almost 200 blows. It was then when Jiang Ling realized that a Wudang Priest was aiming at his back with his sword.

    Jiang Ling somersaulted and the sword of the Priest pierced the Shaolin Abbot instead. Thankfully for Liao Ying, the Priest pierced him on the chest instead of the heart. Jiang Ling landed behind the Taoist and hit him hard with his elbow. Jiang Ling's elbow crushed the Taoist's head, killing him instantly.

    Three Shaolin monks rushed towards their Abbot while two others moved against Jiang Ling. Jiang Ling saw that the two monks moving against him were both elders with long white beards and understood that their Kung Fu should not be underestimated. He moved forward by a few steps, but when he saw that the two monks not only did not try to defend themselves but they also did not responded at all, he retreated. He repeated this again and again. He moved forward by a few steps, saw the apathy of the monks and retreated.

    He decided to fake an attack against them in order to force them to reveal their weaknesses. So, he send out a flying kick against one of the two monks, but the monk did not respond at all despite the fact that Jiang Ling's leg was only once inch away from his face. So, Jiang Ling withdrew his leg and quickly retreated. Those monks were calm and tranquil and looked like great Kung Fu masters. So, Jiang Ling did not dare to act rashly. He knew from his many years of experience in Jianghu that when an opponent was calm and apathetic, he was usually a great master who was patient and was trying to force his opponent to attack first, thus exposing himself.

    Jiang Ling would have already used his "Charge of the Heavenly Dragon" and would have send out a strong gust of wind against the two monks had it not been for the fact that he had exhausted his internal energy. He could only wait patiently. For almost two minutes, neither the monks nor Jiang Ling moved. All Shaolin and Wudang fighters were looking at them with increasing anxiety.

    The only sound that one could hear was that of the wind blowing. Other than that, there was complete silence. Suddenly, Jiang Ling charged forward, somersaulted and aimed with his fist at the chest of one of the two monks. This time, it was for real. Jiang Ling's fist was half an inch away from the monk's chest when the monk grabbed Jiang Ling's arm with his right hand but Jiang Ling kicked him with his left leg on the chest. The monk did not seem to have felt anything at all; instead he twisted Jiang Ling's arm while the other monk moved forward and aimed his right fist at Jiang Ling's back. He was doomed, right?

    That's what everyone thought. But Jiang Ling bit the hand of the monk that was twisting his arm so hard that he shouted in pain and let his arm go. He then turned on his back and blocked the second monk's fist. The other monk recovered from Jiang Ling's bite and sent out a kick at Jiang Ling's back, but Jiang Ling immediately fell on the ground and the kick hit the other monk instead, killing him. The monk, seeing that he had killed his comrade, lost his mind and started sending out his fists at all directions, thus allowing Jing Ling to kick him on the face, killing him.

    Seeing how Jiang Ling had managed to kill with relative ease two of the best Shaolin fighters, no one dared to attack him. In fact, had someone with at least mediocre skills attacked him, he might have been able to kill him as Jiang Ling was totally exhausted. Thankfully for him, all of his enemies were frightened and thus allowed him to run away and escape Zu City. Although he managed to escape, Jiang Ling knew that he was doomed. Even if he managed to prove his innocence about Zuanshi Mushi's murder, he killed a lot of Shaolin and Wudang fighters today, so he would still have to face Shaolin and Wudang.
    Last edited by Christos200; 11-30-14 at 04:12 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the update, please update again soon...!

  6. #6
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    (Thanks szfong for your kind words. Hope you also enjoy the rest of the story as well.)

    Chapter 4:

    The night was moonless. There was silence in the streets of Yangcheng. Except for Madame Huang's Brothel. Laughter and music filled the air. Linghu Yang was once again feasting. He had ordered the best wine in the entire city and the most beautiful courtesans in Henan Province. Those courtesans were massaging him, kissing him and offering him wine. But he was not the only one to enjoy such treatment. In the same table as him an other man was also having a good time. That man, a thin person in his early 40's with a long black beard and shaved hair dressed with a yellow Buddhist robe, was the famous pugilist Dao Jun, also known as the "Buddhist Devil".

    Dao Jun had been a monk in his youth, but he was expelled from the Shaolin Temple after he raped a woman. Since then, he had been wandering around Jianghu and committed every sort of crimes: rapes, murders, theft. Dao Jun, however, was not known only for the atrocities he had committed, but also for his great martial arts that allowed him to defeat with ease any hero who tried to stop him.

    Linghu Yang of course knew of Dao Jun's reputation and so he decided to become friends with him. This banquet in Madame Huang's Brothel was thrown in order to awe Dao Jun and show him that he could make a lot of money if he pledged allegiance to Linghu Yang. Of course, Linghu Yang did not reveal his real identity, but told Dao Jun to just call him "Young Master Yang".

    "So, Young Master Yang, how can I be of help to you?", Dao Jun laughingly said while a courtesan was kissing him and an other one was massaging him.

    "We can talk about that later!", Linghu Yang smilingly replied. "Now, tell me, do you like my treatment?"

    "Well, of course I like it! You have ordered for me the best wine and the most beautiful women."

    "That is nothing compared to what you will gain if you help me in my endeavors."

    "I will."

    "Good. I want you to dress as a member of Kunlun Sect and lead six men, also dressed as members of Kunlun, to massacre the Kongtong Sect followers in Wuchang."

    "I......"

    Kongtong Sect was a major Sect in Jianghu, so Dao Jun was of course reluctant to agree to something like this. Linghu Yang noticed this, so he shouted: "Ma, come here!".

    A tall fat middle-aged man came, carrying a wooden box. He put the box on the table.

    "Mister Dao Jun, please open the box.", Linghu Yang politely said.

    When Dao Jun opened the box, he could not believe in his eyes. The box was filled with golden coins! He was rich! He was very, very rich! Now he could buy entire Brothels if he wanted to.

    Linghu Yang, laughing, said: "This is only 1/3 of the money I will give you. I will give you the rest when you will have accomplished your mission."

    Dao Jun was dumbfounded when he heard of this. He was already more than satisfied with the money contained in this box, and he could have never imagined even in his wildest dreams that he could gain two more boxes filled with such huge amount of golden coins. This was a chance of a lifetime! If he was successful in completing this mission, he would retire from Jianghu and live a life of luxury.

    "You can be sure, Young Master, that I shall carry out your orders as soon as possible!"

    "Good."

    If Dao Jun succeeded in his mission, there would be chaos in Jianghu. The Kongtong Sect would seek revenge and so it would campaign against the Kunlun Sect. All major Sects of Jianghu would be forced to take sides, starting a vicious war that would benefit those who claim that peace can be achieved only through the merging of all Sects under one Chancellor. And that Chancellor would, of course, be Linghu Yang. His father, anyway, wanted to retire from Jianghu but did not do so only because he wanted Linghu Ningjing to become a formidable Kung Fu fighter before giving him the leadership of the Sword Faction Huashan Sect. If Linghu Ningjing died, he would of course give up the leadership of the Sect to Linghu Yang and would retire, thus giving a free hand to Linghu Yang to proceed with his plans.

    Dao Jun and Linghu Yang feasted for one more hour before Dao Jun left for his room, accompanied by three courtesans. Now that he left, Linghu Yang also left the Brothel. He himself would not waste time with women and drinking. He only did so because he wanted to bribe fighters to swear allegiance to him. Other than that, women and wine were of absolutely no importance to him.

    Linghu Yang was walking on the streets of Yangcheng when his servant Ma shouted: "Young Master! Stop!"

    "What is it, Ma?", Linghu Yang asked, curious as to why his usually quite servant was so excited.

    Ma came close to Linghu Yang and whispered to his right ear: "Young Master, I've heard that the Abbot of Shaolin, Liao Ying, led many Shaolin fighters against your sworn brother Jiang Ling, but he was injured and two of the top Shaolin fighters died. Thus, they have postponed their return to the Temple."

    Linghu Yang laughed. He understood what Ma was proposing. Since the most skilled fighters of Shaolin were away, he had the leisure to sneak into the Temple and steal the "Buddha's Five Forms Sutra", a renowned Martial Arts manual that legend had it that the one who could master it would rule Jianghu.

    Yangcheng is right next to the Shaolin Temple and that's one of the reasons why Linghu Yang came there. He had planned to steal the Sutra in a two weeks timeline, but the absence of the Abbot and the top Shaolin fighters gave him a one in a lifetime opportunity which he could not ignore.

    Only one hour later he had reached the Temple. He used his internal energy to somersault and jump above the Temple's wall. The cold wind was blowing his hair and he felt a sudden coldness when he reach the Abbot's small wooden room. He sneaked inside the room and searched everywhere, but he could not find anything at all. "Where the hell is this damn Sutra?!", he cursed.

    Suddenly, he heard the sound of steps. He used his finger to create a small hole in the paper window of the room and looked at who was walking outside. He saw two monks chatting and he overheard their discussion, hoping to find out some clue about the Sutra's location.

    "Brother Xung, we are really lucky that the Abbot is not here or we would be the ones guarding the Sutra.", one of the monks said.

    "Right!", the other monk replied. "We would have to be awake all night under the Buddha's Waterfall."

    "But now that the Abbot is not here, we forced that idiot Rong Buxing to guard the Sutra."

    The two monks then started talking about women. This monk named Xung apparently once sneaked out of the Temple in secret during a moonless night and slept with a very beautiful woman. She was also quite good in bed. The other monk teased this Xung guy and told him to stop telling such obvious lies; he was so ugly that not even a fat ugly women would sleep with him. After a few minutes, the two monks walked away, much to the relief of Linghu Yang, who was both anxious and impatient to find out where this Buddha's Waterfall was.

    He decided to head towards the east side of Temple first; and this decision was a lucky one for after walking for only about a minute, he heard the thundering sound of raging water. He quickly followed the sound of water and soon reached an impressive waterfall whose water was emerald green, crystal clear and as cold as ice. Guarding it was a young monk in his twenties; he was tall and very, very thin and was wearing a simple blue Buddhist robe. Although his hair was shaved, he had such a handsome face that would make even Pan An jealous. But what impressed Linghu Yang the most was the fact that this monk seemed so peaceful and tranquil that one could pass him for Buddha. "He must be a great Kung Fu fighter", he guessed.

    But he needed to steal this Sutra, so he was ready to risk everything in order to take hold of it. He send out a flying kick at the young monk, who had not noticed him since he was looking at the raging water and was thinking about something. With one kick on the head, the monk passed out. So much for having the looks of a great master. In fact, this monk, Rong Buxing, did not knew any martial arts at all. He was an orphan who was brought to Shaolin when he was twelve years old and since then he was sweeping the Temple's floors or keeping guard. Because he was slow-witted, the other monks were constantly taking advantage of him by making him do their tasks for them and the Abbot did not teach him any Kung Fu at all. He was not even supposed to guard such a precious treasure, but the other two stupid monks were lazy and with no one around to keep them in their place, they forced Rong Buxing to guard the Sutra; a disastrous decision.

    As soon as he kicked out the monk, Linghu Yang rushed inside the Waterfall. His clothes became soak wet, but it was well worth the cost; inside the Waterfall, there was a small stony gate that led to a room. The room was lighten by ten candles which formed a circle around a stony table. On top of the table there was a blue book; obviously the Sutra.

    Linghu Yang, despite his great desire to attain the Sutra, moved very slowly towards the table. He was fearful for any possible traps. When he reached the table, he pulled out his white fan and touched with it the Sutra. As he had predicted, ten arrows were shot from different openings thorough the room towards him. Linghu Yang used his fan to fend them off, but once those ten arrows were fended off, more came. So, he quickly grabbed the Sutra and used his internal energy to run out of the room as fast as possible. To his surprise, the room's gate was coming down; if he did not leave immediately, then he would be trapped inside the room. Thankfully, his internal energy was powerful enough to allow him to run very fast and so he managed to escape just in time. With the Sutra in his hands, Linghu Yang quickly left the Temple.

    Two days later, the Abbot Liao Ying returned to the Monastery. Everyone was frightened of how the Abbot would punish them. Especially the two monks who let Rong Buxing to guard the Waterfall. So, those two monks asked Rong Buxing to tell the Abbot that it was his idea to guard the Waterfall. Rong Buxing, despite all the ill-treatment he got from his brothers all those years, had a kind heart and could not refuse the two monks' request. Buddha teached self-sacrifice and forgiveness, so how could he refuse to help them?

    So, the Abbot thought that Rong Buxing wanted to guard the Waterfall out of arrogance and scolded him in front of everyone. Despite that most of the monks that remained in the Temple during the Abbot's absence knew that it was not Rong Buxing's fault, no one spoke up for him.

    "You stupid!", the Abbot shouted. "Because of your arrogance, we lost the "Buddha's Five Forms Sutra". Why did you want to guard the Waterfall when you knew of your incompetence in Martial Arts?! Your arrogance may cause thousands of deaths if the Sutra has fallen into the hands of an evil person. You are hereby expelled from Shaolin!"

    During the whole scolding of the Abbot, Rong Buxing remained calm and tranquil but when he heard that he was expelled from Shaolin he started kowtowing frenziedly before the Abbot and crying: "Please forgive me!". Shaolin was the only home he ever knew. He was an orphan and had no friends or family outside of the Temple. He wanted to spend his entire lifetime in the Temple. And yet, he did not reveal that the ones in fault were the two monks who forced him to guard the Waterfall.

    The Abbot was unforgiving; he ignored Rong Buxing's pleas and walked away. So did everyone else. Even those two monks. Not only did they not stood up for their savior, but they were also laughing at how light their punishment was: the Abbot, angry that they neglected their duties and allowed the "arrogant" Rong Buxing to guard the Waterfall, punished them by having them to sweep the temple's floors for two months.

    Soon after everyone left, clouds covered the sun and it started raining. The rain soon became storm and cold water was pouring on Rong Buxing's shaved head. He did not move at all. He bowed for the entire day and yet the only one who came to see him was a lowly monk who told him to leave the Temple.

    Rong Buxing sighed and left. "I shall find the thief and return the Sutra to the Temple.", he thought. "This way, the Abbot will allow me to return here."

    And so, Rong Buxing begun his search for the thief.

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    Interesting story, like how you made their son evil. I have a hunch that his parents know he would turn out like this. I hope you dont put to many main characters because the story would spread out to much.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bladebird View Post
    Interesting story, like how you made their son evil. I have a hunch that his parents know he would turn out like this. I hope you dont put to many main characters because the story would spread out to much.
    Thanks for your support.

    About the main characters, do not worry. All of them have been introduced: Linghu Yang, Linghu Ningjing, Jiang Ling and Rong Buxing. There won't be any more main characters.

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    Popping by to show support I've read the first chapter btw. Good work

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    Sorry for late chapter, but I was on a trip in Serbia and when I returned I deleted the chapter because I was not satisfied with it and so I had to rewrite it.

    Chapter 5:

    Zhengzhou was one of the Eight Great Ancient Capitals of China and a major commercial and education center. It lied on the southern bank of the Yellow River. Jiang Ling was walking in the busy streets of city. His movements were slow as the large crowd that was walking in the streets made it almost impossible for someone to move fast without bumping into someone.

    The reason Jiang Ling came to this crowded city was that it was the home of the Iron Spear School of Martial Arts. Iron Spear Qin Hui had fought three years ago the Taoist Master Zuanshi Mushi and was defeated. Qin Hui declared that three years later, he would take his revenge. So, Jiang Ling suspected that he was the real murderer of Zuanshi Mushi. If he wanted to have any hope of clearing his name, Jiang Ling had to confront Qin Hui and find out if he killed the Taoists Priest or not.

    Jiang Ling could smell the fragrance of delicious dishes and could hear laughing and chatting everywhere. After walking for a few minutes, he reached the Iron Spear School. The School, a huge Mansion size building, was truly magnificent. When he entered inside, Jiang Ling saw the students of the school, all dressed with white shirt and black trouser, performing several exercises. Others did push ups, others punched their fists onto punching bags, others did legwork and practiced their kicks and others practiced on wooden dummies, which had three arms and one leg that represented an opponent's body in various positions and the lines of force the body could give out.

    A thin and tall old man in his sixties dressed with a white silk robe approached Jiang Ling. His eyes were like those of a phoenix and his slim body resembled an iron spear.

    "Mister, what can I do for you?", he said.

    "I want to see Master Qin Hui", Jiang Ling replied.

    "Why do you want to see him?"

    "It is something personal. Tell him that it is Jiang Ling who asks for him."

    "Oh?", the man said and walked away.

    Jiang Ling was ready to ask where he was going when he saw a spear being thrown against him. He dodged it by half an inch but two of the school's students rushed against him and tried to kick him. Jiang Ling used both his hands in order to block the two students' kicks, but a third student attacked from behind his back with a sword in his hands. Jiang Ling back kicked him on the stomach. The kick was so strong that the man vomited a pool of blood and died only three seconds later.

    Meanwhile, Jiang Ling grabbed the legs of the other two students' and broke them. The two men fell on the ground but before Jiang Ling could take a breath four other students attacked him from all directions with spears. Jiang Ling somersaulted, dodging the spears, and landed behind the student in his right. He choked him with a quick move and took his spear. The three remaining students attacked all at once but Jiang Ling pierced through everyone's chest with three swift moves.

    Two other students charged at Jiang Ling, but he threw at them the spear. The spear passed through the chest of the first student, killing him, and stabbed the stomach of the second student who was running right behind the first student. At an instant, thirty more students charged at Jiang Ling, but he roared, using the might of all his internal energy. The roar caused the School's buildings to collapse and many of the students were killed and many more were deafened by the roar.

    The old man, however, stood firm on his ground and seemed to not be bothered at all. He was even laughing.

    Why would this man laugh?

    "You prowess is indeed extraordinary.", the old man commented. "It's a pity...."

    Jiang Ling bowed slightly before the old man and said: "I am sorry for all the death I have caused, but I was acting in self-defense. I hope you can forgive me and tell me the reason why your students attacked me."

    "It's truly a pity....."

    Jiang Ling was baffled. "Elder, please answer to my questions or I will be forced to use violence."

    "It's a pity that a man of such prowess would be proved to be a murderer and a scourge of Jianghu. Do you really think that you can take on all major sects?"

    Jiang Ling assumed that the old man had heard of his alleged murder of Zuanshi Mushi and of his battle against Wudang and Shaolin at Zu City. That's why he ordered his students to attack him.

    "Elder, I really did not kill Zuanshi Mushi. I came here only so I could ask you some questions."

    Jiang Ling wanted to ask weather Qin Hui was the one who really murdered Zuanshi Mushi. Seemingly, this is a stupid thing to do. Even if Qin Hui was the one who murdered Zuanshi Mushi, why would he admit it? But Jiang Ling, while being one of the strongest fighters in all of Jianghu and a very honorable man, was not really that smart. And he was a man who was direct and preferred to use his extraordinary prowess to solve problems instead of using trickery. If Qin Hui did not admit his crime, then he would beat him until he either admitted it or Jiang Ling was persuaded of Qin Hui's innocence. As simple as that.

    "What questions do you want to ask?"

    "Are you Qin Hui?". Jiang Ling already knew that the man before him was Qin Hui but asked the question simply so he could confirm this fact.

    "You are correct."

    Qin Hui spoke clearly and fast. His words were as sharp as a knife and as fast as the wind.

    "Where you were when Zuanshi Mushi was murdered?"

    Qin Hui laughed. "I certainly wasn't in Zu City when you killed the Taoist Priest."

    "Please answer my question."

    Although Jiang Ling bowed with respect before Qin Hui, Qin Hui could tell that Jiang Ling was getting increasingly impatient with him.

    "What if I don't?"

    "Then, please forgive me for using violence."

    With a swift move, Jiang Ling moved to grab Qin Hui. However, Qin Hui retreated by three steps just in time to avoid Jiang Ling's grab. He then moved to quickly grab an iron spear. That spear was shining under the bright sun. Especially the spear's head which was sharper than the sharpest swords and could definitely cut through any armor.

    Qin Hui said with a loud voice: "I would be ridiculed through Jianghu if I was to fight you with a spear while you are unarmed."

    He immediately grabbed a sword and threw it at Jiang Ling. A red ribbon was wrapped around the sword. Jiang Ling removed the red ribbon and threw it away. Not the ribbon. The sword. He threw away the sword!

    "I do not need a sword to kick your ***.", he laughingly said much to the astonishment and anger of Qin Hui.

    Qin Hui rushed forward at lightening speed, his spear aiming right at Jiang Ling's heart. Jiang Ling did not move. He just stared at the incoming spear without reacting at all. When the spear was a few inches away from his heart, he moved his ribbon. His move was as natural as the wind and yet as speedy as the raging waters of a waterfall. His ribbon wrapped around the spear and moved it towards the left. Not only the spear missed it's target, but Qin Hui was pushed along with the spear in the left, creating a gap which Jiang Ling was able to exploit: He punched Qin Hui's stomach with such strength that the old man vomited a pool of blood.

    "Are you going to talk now?", Jiang Ling asked.

    Instead of replying, Qin Hui tried to back kick Jiang Ling, but Jiang Ling retreated by a few steps. Qin Hui rushed forward with his spear and threw it with immense prowess at Jiang Ling. At the same time, he grabbed the sword which Jiang Ling had thrown away and charged at Jiang Ling with it. Jiang Ling's ribbon deflected the spear but Qin Hui's sword thrust right through his chest. Jiang Ling moved forward and the sword penetrated through his body and exited from his back. However, he had managed to come close enough to Qin Hui to grab him by the neck and choke him.

    Qin Hui, out of breath and seeing that, despite the fact that Jiang Ling had a sword stabbed right through his chest, he was choking even harder as seconds passed, he pleaded: "Let...me....go. I....tell...you....I....will....tell...I..."

    Jiang Ling indeed let him go. But, instead of keeping his promise, Qin Hui grabbed the sword, pulled it out of Jiang Ling's chest and tried to quickly thrust it again into Jiang Ling's body. Blood was pouring out of Jiang Ling's wound and he fell on his knees. His ribbon, nevertheless, deflected Qin Hui's sword. Qin Hui attacked again, this time trying to behead Jiang Ling, but Jiang Ling's ribbon wrapped around Qin Hui's legs and caused him to fall down. Jiang Ling quickly grabbed Qin Hui's sword and with two fast moved he cut off both of his hands. Qin Hui shouted in pain and his face had an expression of unimaginable pain.

    Jiang Ling then pressed his sword at Qin Hui's neck.

    "Now...will you answer my questions?", Jiang Ling asked.

    A terrified Qin Hui nodded his head.

    "I...I really was not in Zu City when Zuanshi Mushi was murdered."

    Jiang Ling, lying in order to verify if Qin Hui was saying the truth, said: "You lie! I have evidence that you killed him!"

    "I did not! I indeed had a rivalry with him, but he was killed before I had a chance to kill him by myself."

    Jiang Ling believed him. He indeed did not murder Zuanshi Mushi. He kowtowed three times before Qin Hui and said: "Once I find out who is the real murderer and I have cleared my name, I will cut off my hands as an apology to you."

    He then left. However, as soon as he walked out of the Iron Spear School, he collapsed on the streets.
    Last edited by Christos200; 12-25-14 at 08:09 PM.

  11. #11
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    Chapter 6:

    Coldness.

    The weather was cold.

    The sword was cold.

    It was emitting an aura of death.

    "Strike!", a female voice said.

    The sword immediately chopped down at the woman dressed in white. But her sword deflected the incoming sword and pushed it's holder back by a few steps. The man was barely able not to fall down.

    The man charged forward. When he was two steps away from the woman, he retreated by three steps. He then somersaulted, flew above the woman, landed behind her and struck fast at her back. It was a lethal move. It would surely kill her. But it did not!

    The woman ducked down, avoiding the sword, and with a back kick she kicked the man's head. The man retreated once again by a few steps.

    "Attack again!", the woman ordered.

    The young man was reluctant to do so.

    "Use the 'White Tiger charges forward' technique.", the woman said.

    The man charged forward, just like a wild tiger that hunts it's prey, but his sword did not aim at the woman. Instead, it attacked to the right of her and then to the left. The attacks were becoming increasingly more confusing: they were not aiming at stabbing the woman but rather at attacking thin air. A whole minute passed before the man, much to the surprise of the woman, aimed at her chest. Before the woman could react, the sword was already pointing at her chest.

    This sword technique relied on acting crazily and without a pattern in order to confuse the enemy. When the enemy is confused as to what his opponent is doing, there would surely be a gap on his defence which could be exploited.

    "Nice!", she applauded. "You have improved quite a lot."

    The young man was Linghu Ningjing. The woman was Qiang Ning, Qiang Long's daughter and Linghu Ningjing's teacher. After weeks of harsh training, Linghu Ningjing was able to learn a few swordplay stances. Unlike other teachers, who despaired when they saw how slow learning Linghu Ningjing was, Qiang Ning had the patience to continually instruct him and slowly teach him, starting from the basics. Linghu Ningjing, while being a slow learner, was very hardworking. So, with good instruction, he was able to make quite some progress. Of course, he was still a far way from being called a martial arts expert and was still no match for his brother, Linghu Yang. But, nevertheless, such progress was remarkable.

    Linghu Ningjing felt satisfied with himself and was smiling, only to be patted on the back by his Teacher: "Just because you made some progress it does not that you can relax!"

    "Yes...teacher."

    "I want to teach you the 'Deadly Snake bites it's enemies' technique. However, for one to learn this technique, he must learn it's formula first and develop his inner force."

    Linghu Ningjing had a terrified look on his face. Because he knew what was in store for him.

    Qiang Ning gave him a huge book which he would have to memorize.

    "Start reading it!", she ordered. Linghu Ningjing did not dare to disagree. He also knew that no matter how many hours passed, she would keep watching him and if he dared to slack off, she would send him to chop woods in the forest for four hours. Not a very enjoyable task to do, considering how cold the weather is at the top of Snake Mountain.

    ============

    Rong Buxing was walking in the 'Bloody Forest'. Initially, the forest was named 'Green Bamboo Forest' due to the fact that it was full of green bamboo tress. But a few months ago it got it's new name due to the actions of a group of Bandits who had made that forest their stronghold. Those vicious bandits were killing, raping and stealing and committing all sorts of atrocities.

    Rong Buxing should had known better than coming at that forest. But he had never left the Shaolin Temple before and so he did not knew about the bandits residing in the forest.

    Despite the fact that the forest's name changed, it's green bamboo trees remained as beautiful as ever. The forest's beauty was mesmerizing, especially for someone like Rong Buxing, who had never left the Shaolin Temple before and so had never seen before such a beautiful sight.

    A cold breeze was blowing and was patting the red and yellow flowers. Suddenly, a roar was heard. More than twenty bandits charged seemingly out of nowhere and surrounded Rong Buxing.

    Nevertheless, Rong Buxing remained calm. There was no fear at all in his heart.

    "Buddha bless you!", he said. "What can I do for you?"

    "Eh?!", one of the bandits shouted. "You stupid monk, we need no blessings! We need your damn money."

    "I carry no money with me. And you do need blessings. Every human does."

    The bandits were somewhat worried about this monk. 'He shows no fear, so he surely must be a great martial arts expert', they thought.

    Rong Buxing continued, "While you may have a cold exterior, I believe that you have a warm heart. Just like this breeze. It is cold yet it pats the flowers, it does not sweep them. You may look cold but on the inside, you are still people with emotions. People who need to be guided properly so as your cold exterior can become warm and you can be enlightened. If you repent for your sins, no matter how many and terrible they are, you can start anew and you can reach enlightenment. The journey will be harsh but the reward shall be very rich. For the riches of this world are fake, illusions, ephemeral. We will all die one day, so what good does it do to us if we are a rich or poor when we will all be buried under the same earth? But enlightenment is true and everlasting. It can liberate you from this world. So, repent and come to the way of light."

    The bandits were awestricken. Not only did this monk seem to not be worried at all about them, but he even tried to persuade them to become Buddhists. He was either a fool or a great and wise Master. Would they kill him or would they listen to his words? They were not sure. If he was just a fool, then it would be easy to kill him. But if he was a great Master, they would be in deep trouble. Too bad for them, they didn't knew that Rong Buxing did not knew any martial arts. At all.

    One of the bandits, a young man in his early twenties, fell on his knees and crying he said: "Master, I want to repent! Your words have truly touched me! I never wanted to be a bandit. I was forced due to being very poor. But when I decided to turn a new leaf in my life, no one was willing to help me and so I had to continue committing crimes. But you are willing to guide me towards repentance and enlightenment!"

    With a swift move of his blade, the young man cut off most of his hair. In a few seconds, all of his hair was shaved.

    An other bandit, a man in his forties, knelled before the monk. "I want to repent! I became a bandit because I was trying to prove that I was brave. I was a young man then. Now that I grew up, I understood how futile this seeking of glory was. But no one was willing to help me repent. Until you came. I want to follow the path of Buddha!"

    Much to Rong Buxing's and the other bandit's surprise, and another bandit knelled before Rong Buxing. This man was in his thirties. "I became a bandit because I liked money. I loved riches and women. But your words touched me. Really, those pleasures are ephemeral. Once we die, what remains of them? Nothing. But enlightenment is everlasting. I wish to follow you."

    One after the other, the bandits expressed their wish to become monks. Even those who were reluctant, once they saw how many of their comrades had repented, decided to follow their lead and repent too.

    The leader of the bandits, a 60 years old man with long grey hair and beard, pulled out his sword and shouted: "Are you all stupid?! Let us kill the bastard!".

    One of the bandits was ready to charge at his former leader in order to defend Rong Buxing, but Rong Buxing stopped him. He then walked towards the leader of the bandits. The leader pointed Rong Buxing's neck with his sword.

    Rong Buxing said: "Buddha bless you! You may kill me, but I hope that you will let your brothers follow the path of Buddha. This way, I will die in peace."

    The bandit leader was awed that a stranger was willing to sacrifice himself in order to help those bandits, who were hated by everyone due to their cruel acts, repent. The sword fell from his hands and he kowtowed before the monk: "I want to follow you and become a monk!".

    While countless heroes had been killed trying to clear the forest from those bandits, Rong Buxing was able to make them repent only by using his words. Indeed, words are sometimes far more powerful than the sword. Rong Buxing rightfully felt satisfied with himself.

    "Brothers", Rong Buxing said, "I will help you join the 'Falling Waters' Monastery."

    The 'Falling Waters' Monastery was a Buddhist Monastery near the Forest. It's Abbot, Cao Yun, frequently visited Shaolin. He was a warm and open man, and had taken a great liking towards Rong Buxing due to Rong Buxing's warm heart. Rong Buxing knew that Cao Yun would surely accept the former bandits to his Monastery. But, before they could leave, a young man dressed with a blue silk robe and holding a long sword in his hands appeared before them.

    Pointing his sword at Rong Buxing, he said, "I am Ma Hongli, a student of Sword Faction Huashan Sect. I have been send by my Teacher, Linghu Chong, to exterminate you bandits and bring justice!"

    Rong Buxing bowed with respect before the man and said, "Brother Ma, those bandits indeed committed terrible atrocities. But now they are willing to repent. Allow them to become Buddhist Monks and to seek the path of enlightenment. Forgiveness is the greatest virtue of a heroic man."

    Ma laughed. "Do you really think that such kind of people should be allowed to live?! They should all be killed to compensate for the lives they have taken!"

    Rong Buxing said, "Even if they are killed, will their victims come back to life? If not, then what good is it to kill them? Instead of killing them, allow them to make up for their past sins with their future good acts."

    "Are you stupid?! How can such stupid people exist in this world?! Those bastards will return to banditry if we let them live."

    "I believe in them. I believe that people can change. I believe that people can turn over a new leaf in their lives. For all people are by nature good. They become bad due to circumstances. You should give them a chance to change back to their true nature."

    "Do you really believe what you are saying?"

    "I do. If you kill them, then how are you different from those 'bad' people you hate so much?"

    "But they are evil. It is not a sin to kill them."

    "A human life is a human life. Who gave you the right to decide who will die and who will live?"

    "I am not going to talk with you anymore! Prepare to die!"

    Ma immediately charged with his sword against Rong Buxing. One of the bandits threw his sword at Rong Buxing, but as Rong Buxing did not knew any martial arts at all, he was not able to even catch it. Another bandit threw his sword at Rong Buxing, and this time Rong Buxing managed to grab it and use it to block Ma's attack. Ma attacked again with his sword, breaking in two Rong Buxing's sword.

    Rong Buxing retreated by a few steps and two bandits threw their swords at him. Equipped with two swords, Rong Buxing tried to deflect Ma's sword but Ma's sword attack was so vicious that both swords fell from Rong Buxing's hands and he was pushed back. Ma was ready to pierce Rong Buxing's heart when the bandit leader intervened.

    "Hey, you Ma something, how are you a hero if you kill someone who does not know any martial arts at all?"

    Ma replied, "But...he started the fight by refusing to let me kill you!"

    "Allow me to say him a few words and then you can fight again. I promise that I will not intervene again."

    "Alright."

    The bandit leader approached Rong Buxing and whispered something to his ear. Rong Buxing also whispered some words. The bandit leader then asked: "Are you sure you can pull this off?"

    "I think so", Rong Buxing reluctantly said.

    Rong Buxing then turned towards Ma. "If I can defeat you in three moves, will you promise me to never again bother with them?"

    Ma laughed. How could this stupid monk who knows no martial arts at all be able to defeat one of Linghu Chong's best students? "I agree!", he arrogantly said. "But if you fail to defeat me in three moves, then you must take your own life."

    "I agree."

    Ma charged at the monk and his sword was ready to cut him in half. But as the sword approached the monk, Rong Buxing said some strange words no one could understand and moved to the left, avoiding the sword. This, in itself, was no strange move. What was strange was the speed with which Rong Buxing executed this move, which did not allow Ma to react and change the direction of his sword.

    This was the first move.

    Rong Buxing sent out a back kick against Ma, which Ma blocked with his left hand.

    This was the second move.

    Ma, then, chopped down with his sword, aiming to cut in half Rong Buxing's head. Thus, he left his chest open to any attacks. Ma, confident of his skills and of Rong Buxing's incompetence, was more aggressive than he usually was and disregarded his Teacher's teachings. "You must never give an opening to you opponent."

    Rong Buxing's right fist punched Ma's chest. The fist was so powerful that it send Ma flying some twenty steps back. Ma vomited a pool of blood and fell on the ground.

    That was the third move.

    Although angry, Ma was forced to admit his defeat: "You stupid monk! You have won this time. But next time, you will not be so lucky."

    Rong Buxing laughed and then bowed before the Bandit leader. "Thank you for your instructions."

    "No need to thank me.", the old leader replied. "I only teached you some basic internal energy formulas. You, on the other hand, gave me a chance to start my life anew."

    While Rong Buxing and the leader were talking, Ma had run away. If only he had knew that those three moves Rong Buxing had executed were the only ones he knew and that's why he set a limit of three moves!

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