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    Default Book 1 Chapter 22 - Part 2

    DongBin, Jaya, Ysabel, you are welcome. Kowloon, I am afraid this is not what you expected. As long as I still have some material to post …

    Chu Liuxiang spoke loudly, “Until now, why do you still want to keep the secret for him? You must know that he wanting to have Ren Ci killed was only one part of his entire conspiracy? You are nothing more than a tool that he used to kill Ren Ci. In the end, when necessary, he might kill you as well.”

    NanGong Ling howled with laughter again. He said, “He used me? He is going to kill me as well? … do you know who he is?”

    Chu Liuxiang spoke heavily, “Precisely because I don’t know who he is that I am asking you.”

    NanGong Ling howled with laughter again. “And you think I will tell you?” he asked.

    Chu Liuxiang heaved a deep sigh and said, “NanGong Ling! NanGong Ling! I really do not wish to hurt you, why are you pushing me like this?”

    NanGong Ling’s voice trembled, “It was you who are pushing me, I am not pushing you. Although I did not want to hurt you, but as the last resort, I will have no choice but to make my move!”

    Chu Liuxiang slowly said, “You will definitely not make your move, your martial art skill is definitely not my match!”

    Laughing coldly, NanGong Ling said, “You think so?”

    His body did not seem to move at all, but he flew straight up from the chair. Chu Liuxiang’s body did not seem to move either, yet he also flew up.

    However, in the air, unexpectedly Chu Liuxiang was still sitting; unexpectedly that massive and heavy red sandalwood chair was like glued to his butts.

    When the two met high up in the air, there was the sound of palms slapping against each other, seven times in succession. Unexpectedly, in this fast-like-a-white-steed-flits-past-a-crack instant, the two had exchanged seven palm strikes.

    After seven palm strikes, the two shadows suddenly seemed to fuse together, and quickly separated again.

    Chu Liuxiang brought the chair back floating to the ground, and happened to land on the exact spot, hardly missed it by a fraction of a cun. When the heavy chair landed on the ground, unexpectedly it did not make the slightest noise.

    NanGong Ling made a somersault in the air, and he also fell back into his chair. But the solid wooden chair made a squeaking noise from the pressure. His countenance also changed miserably.

    Although both of them did not suffer any injury, undoubtedly who was superior and who was inferior was already decided. Although the two of them exchanged blows in such a short period of time, undoubtedly it was the battle that would determine the current situation in Wulin.

    This battle seemed to be an understatement, but its importance was definitely not below any battle in the word since ancient times.

    Chu Liuxiang sighed and said, “NanGong Ling, do you still want to force me to make my move?”

    NanGong Ling’s countenance alternated between green and red, his expression was unspeakably miserable. Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said, “NanGong Ling! NanGong Ling! You painstakingly trained martial art for twenty years, unexpectedly you are unable to withstand a single blow like that?”

    He suddenly rose up to his full height again and shouted loudly, “Chu Liuxiang, don’t feel so proud of yourself either! Since I, NanGong Ling, have been waiting for you here today, do you think I don’t have any other way of dealing with you?”

    Amidst his shout, he waved his hand, and a big man, about eight chi tall, bare-chested, bald head, looked like a beast, holding a chair high above his head, walked in in large strides.

    Under the brilliant lantern lights, he saw sitting on the chair was surprisingly someone with wooden expression, sitting upright with pale face, and a pair of beautiful eyes staring emptily straight ahead.

    Chu Liuxiang turned pale with fright; his countenance changed, he called, “Rong’er, you … how could you be here?”

    Unexpectedly Su Rongrong did not seem to hear him at all, she still remained motionless.

    NanGong Ling let out a cold laugh and said, “Naturally Miss Su was invited by me. Other than me, who else could move her into accepting my invitation?”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “At the Fengyu Pavilion by Daming Lake, were those four men in green sent by you as well?

    “Exactly!” NanGong Ling replied.

    “How did you know that she was there?” Chu Liuxiang asked.

    NanGong Ling laughed and said, “Under the moon at Daming Lake, a tryst with a beauty after dusk! Since Wuhua Dashi reminded me of that, naturally I must see it for myself. Since I painted a portrait of her, how could I not recognize her?”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “You are afraid she might discover the secret of the Divine Water Palace, you went so far as to deal with her maliciously. But since you already executed your evil scheme, how did you know that she did not die?”

    NanGong Ling smiled and said, “I know that that youngster in black was watching from the side, I deliberately let him pass on the story to you. But when you came here, your face did not show the slightest sign of grieving. From this, it could be seen that Su Rongrong must not be dead. Therefore, after you made an excuse to urinate and slipped away, I did not pursue you at all, but pursued after her instead. Although chasing after you is not easy, chasing after her was not difficult at all.”

    Chu Liuxiang heaved a deep sigh and said, “And she obviously did not have the slightest suspicion toward you; otherwise, how could she fall into your hands?”

    NanGong Ling laughed aloud and said, “How could she doubt Chu Liuxiang’s friend?”

    Chu Liuxiang seemed to suddenly remember something. “That’s not right!” he shouted, “When those four men made their move against her, you were with me to look for Madame Ren. There must be someone else orchestrating this from behind the screen; who is he? How did he know Rong’er?”

    NanGong Ling’s countenance changed again; he spoke sternly, “I already gave my order, why would I need to be personally present?”

    Without waiting for Chu Liuxiang to respond, he shouted, “Put her down!”

    The beast-like big man stretched his arms horizontally and slowly put the chair down.

    “Why don’t you show this friend the strength of your hands?” NanGong Ling said.

    The big man drew back the corners of his mouth into a big grin, while stretching out a pair of hairy, gigantic palms, with which he slowly grabbed a chair next to him, and then both of his hands lightly squeezed.

    He heard a ‘crack’. The solid wooden chair was unexpectedly crushed into smithereens – this was not a human being! This was like an evil beast from the great wilderness.

    NanGong Ling laughed aloud and said, “Very good! Now, I want you to put your hands on the little Miss’ head. Just be a bit careful, don’t crush her head yet.”

    The big man’s hand indeed slowly landed on Su Rongrong’s head.

    Pointing to Chu Liuxiang, NanGong Ling ordered the big man, “Now, open your eyes wide and look at him. As soon as any part of his body, either a hand or a foot, moves slightly, you can immediately crush this little Miss’ head!”

    The big man unexpectedly giggled excitedly, as if he felt that this was an extremely interesting thing. Chu Liuxiang, however, felt his hands and feet were turning cold. Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said, “NanGong Ling! NanGong Ling! I never thought you would resort to such a despicable, shameless trick. You … you really disappoint me.”

    Turning his head around, NanGong Ling spoke hoarsely, “I did not want to do it, but why did you insist on pushing me so hard?”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “Now you … what do you want?”

    NanGong Ling replied, “I just want you to know that Su Rongrong has fallen into my hands. If you still want her alive and well, you must never meddle in my business.”

    Chu Liuxiang was silent for a long time. He spoke slowly, “And if I disregard her life and insist on meddling in yours?”

    NanGong Ling turned his head back and said with a smile, “I am certain that Chu Liuxiang can’t possibly be that kind of person.”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “In that case, are you … are you going to keep Rong’er here forever?”

    NanGong Ling replied, “It doesn’t matter where, but I will let you know that she is still alive. That is definitely better than dead, isn’t it?”

    Chu Liuxiang slowly said, “But I will still be alive as well. As long as I am alive, you guys will never feel at ease. Although this moment I can give you my words, you guys will always try to kill me, am I right?”

    NanGong Ling’s countenance slowly sank; he spoke word-by-word, “That is another matter altogether. Whether you are dead or alive, it has nothing to do with her life and death. If you still want her alive, this moment you have no choice but to agree.”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “After I die, are you still going to kill her?”

    NanGong Ling spoke unhurriedly, “Since you are already dead, whether she is dead or alive, it has nothing to do with you. But as long as you are alive, you will never have the heart to see her die because of you, am I right?”

    Chu Liuxiang smiled bitterly and said, “Wouldn’t this agreement be too unfair?”

    NanGong Ling laughed loudly and said, “Even until now, you are still hoping for a fair agreement? Besides, before you die, you might have some chances of rescuing her out of here.”

    Chu Liuxiang’s eyes have been fixed on Su Rongrong, unconsciously his fingertips started to tremble. If anybody had said that unexpectedly Chu Liuxiang could tremble, perhaps nobody in the world would believe that.

    NanGong Ling laughed aloud and said, “I have seen through your bones, I know you absolutely cannot disagree, you simply have no leeway not to.”

    Chu Liuxiang seemed to cast a quick glance outside the window, and then he sighed and spoke unhurriedly, “NanGong Ling, since you disappoint me like this, perhaps once in a while I might also disappoint you.”

    Amidst his voice, suddenly a ‘swish’ was heard. A streak of black light, carrying a sharp gust of wind, wound itself around the big man’s throat like a viper.

    The big man howled and raised his hand. He had just raised his hand, like a light smoke Chu Liuxiang already swept across and grabbed Su Rongrong, along with the chair she was sitting on, and pushed them both away.

    Greatly surprised, NanGong Ling wanted to pounce, but a chilling cold sword ray flew by like a trained horse to block his way.

    Chu Liuxiang pushed Su Rongrong all the way to the corner before letting out a sigh of relieve; he muttered to himself with a chuckle, “Hei Zhenzhu, Yitian Hong, knowing the two of you, I am really lucky.”

    The long whip in Hei Zhenzhu’s hand was stretched taut like the bowstring.

    He pulled the long whip with both hands with all his might, just like the barge hauler pulling his boat over the dangerous rapids of the Yangtze River, so that his body was almost parallel to the ground; blue veins already bulged out of his delicate hands and palms.

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    Thanks foxs

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    Default Book 1 Chapter 23 - Part 1

    Ysabel, thanks for your faithfulness in letting me know that you are following this story. Here's some more for you.

    Book 1 Chapter 23 – Elder Brother Murdering His Younger Brother

    Even after he exhausted all his strength, he still failed to pull the big man down. The tip of the whip was nearly embedded in this beast-like big man’s neck, and his beast-like eyes nearly popped out of his eye sockets.

    Yet unexpectedly he was still standing there, motionless. He neither reached out to grab the long whip, nor tried to walk toward Hei Zhenzhu. Hissing noise came out of his throat, as he giggled and said, “Tiny kid, you can’t pull me down!”

    Hei Zhenzhu had never seen such a strong man, but he had never seen such idiot either; in his horror and bewilderment, he suddenly shouted, “But can you pull me down?”

    The big man broke into a big grin; unexpectedly he really tried to pull the long whip using his neck. Both sides were pulling with all their strength, ‘Crack!’ the long whip snapped.

    Hei Zhenzhu’s body flew and crashed against the wall. In great shock he immediately leaped onto the beam. He saw the iron-tower like body of the big man collapsing slowly; his face was turning black and purple, his tongue was sticking out, his eyeballs were popping outside the eye sockets, and the eyes appeared to be staring at Hei Zhenzhu still.

    Hei Zhenzhu could not help shuddering in fear; he smiled wryly and said, “Why is it that those whose four limbs are well-developed always have such a simple brains?”

    Looking down from the beam, he saw Yitian Hong and NanGong Ling were like two wooden men; they stood there, facing each other, yet until now they had not even budged.

    NanGong Ling’s eyes were fixed at the sword in Yitian Hong’s hand; he did not dare to look at anything else. However, everything that happened next to him, naturally he could very well imagine without having to look at it.

    Cold sweats were starting to form on his forehead; he suddenly shouted, “Yitian Hong, I heard that you are only willing to kill when there’s money involved, is that right?”

    Yitian Hong’s grey, dead-fish like eyes were staring at him; he did not speak at all.

    NanGong Ling spoke hoarsely, “If you help me killing Chu Liuxiang, I’ll give you a hundred thousand taels.”

    The corner of Yitian Hong’s mouth moved into a grin; he said, “A hundred thousand taels? Unexpectedly Chu Liuxiang worth that much?”

    NanGong Ling said, “If you kill me, no one is going to give you a hundred thousand taels, am I right?”

    Yitian Hong coldly said, “That’s right, because really, you, this man, are not even worth one wen.”

    “Since that’s the case,” NanGong Ling replied, “You shouldn’t kill me even more.”

    A hint of cold, sharp smile appeared on the corner of Yitian Hong’s mouth, he spoke slowly, “You need to know, even a prostitute, if she encounters the right customer, she might give him a freebie once … My killing this one time is also a freebie.”

    Finished speaking, the sword already moved.

    Although Hei Zhenzhu’s face was flushed, he could not help laughing; he said, “This analogy is vulgar and dirty, but it is indeed extremely wonderful.”

    He saw that in that split second, Yitian Hong already stabbed his sword seven times. His swordsmanship was still penetrating and unique. His arm above the elbow was absolutely still, but the sword light scattered around like rain.

    NanGong Ling was forced to retreat seven steps in succession. With a hissing mad laughter, he said, “Yitian Hong, do you think I am afraid of you?”

    Yitian Hong coldly replied, “I don’t want you to be afraid of me at all, I just want you dead!”

    NanGong Ling shouted, “I am afraid you are the one who is going to die!”

    His left hand stretched out and grabbed a chair, he threw it straight out; his right hand reached toward his waist and pulled a Burmish saber. The blade was as bright as snow. ‘Swish! Swish! Swish!’ he launched three saber chops.

    There was nothing fancy in his saber technique, but it was swift, vicious, and extremely practical.

    Yitian Hong had fought countless people in his lifetime; naturally he knew this kind of martial art skill was the most terrifying. If you think that the saber technique was not pleasing to the eye, then you are doomed to your death already.

    Perhaps this kind of saber technique did not have any strong point, perhaps it even did not have any other use; its only purpose was to kill. Not only that, it would kill very effectively.

    Yitian Hong’s eyes lit up, he laughed heartily and said, “I never thought that today I would meet such an opponent as you. My trip this time has not been made in vain.”

    Saber light and sword qi were pressing on Hei Zhenzhu that he felt his whole body turned cold. Although he had seen not a few hand-to-hand fighting, he had never seen anything like the battle between these two men.

    These two practically did not seem to be in fight; they looked more like two wolves wrestling each other. Each move was meant to take the opponent’s life; there was absolutely no other meaning.

    Saber light, sword shadow, were flashing back and forth like lightning. Although there was no sound of blades clashing against each other, the chilling cold murderous aura was suffocating, so that even Hei Zhenzhu was unable to stay on the beam.

    He leaped horizontally for three zhang before landing on the ground. He saw Chu Liuxiang was just massaging Su Rongrong until the color of blood gradually appeared on Su Rongrong’s pale face.

    Hei Zhenzhu could not help walking over and patted Chu Liuxiang’s shoulder, while speaking coldly, “Do you know that someone was staking his life for you?”

    “I do!” Chu Liuxiang replied.

    “But do you care?” Hei Zhenzhu asked.

    Chu Liuxiang chuckled and said, “The Central Plains’ One Red Dot already made his move, does anybody else need to care?”

    Laughing coldly, Hei Zhenzhu said, “You seem to be very much at ease.”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “Yitian Hong’s swordsmanship, are you saying that you can’t be at ease?”

    They heard a ‘Swish!’ as Yitian Hong swept seven chi sideways, the clothes on his shoulder seemed to have been cut by a blade, fresh blood was slowly seeping out.

    NanGong Ling laughed heartily and said, “Yitian Hong, you still won’t give up?”

    ‘Cui!’ Yitian Hong spat a mouthful of saliva on his own shoulder. His long sword was already stabbing again.

    Seeing that, Hei Zhenzhu’s countenance changed greatly; he spoke sternly, “You still feel at ease now?”

    Smiling wryly, Chu Liuxiang said, “When Yitian Hong makes his move, anybody who wants to help will be his enemy. Besides, these two’s martial art skill are more or less equal, no one could think about injuring the other.”

    “Therefore, you might as well don’t care, right?” Hei Zhenzhu said.

    Chu Liuxiang said, “In less than ten strokes, NanGong Ling will also suffer Yitian Hong’s sword. In less than thirty strokes, he himself will definitely want to stop. Before that time, it will be useless even if I want to care.”

    Laughing coldly, Hei Zhenzhu said, “I am afraid your heart is already on this Miss alone, and you don’t care about other people’s life or death anymore. I have never imagined that the grand, dignified Chu Liuxiang unexpectedly is just a disciple who pays more attention to a lover than to this friends.”

    He had not even finished, they heard another ‘Swish!’ as NanGong Ling staggered backward, the front piece of his robe was cut open, and there seemed to be blood seeping out as well.

    Chu Liuxiang turned his head toward Hei Zhenzhu and said with a laugh, “Not even ten strokes, was it?”

    Hei Zhenzhu was silent for half a day. His eyes slowly turned toward Su Rongrong’s face. There seemed to be some kind of complicated changes deep in his eyes. He spoke slowly, “She is really beautiful.”

    Chu Liuxiang said with a laugh, “Why stopped at beautiful?”

    Hei Zhenzhu coldly said, “But in my opinion, there are still a lot more women more beautiful than she is!”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “Perhaps she cannot be considered the most beautiful woman, but certainly the most gentle and soft, and the most considerate, as well as showing the most understanding of other people. As far as I know, perhaps there is no woman on earth that can surpass her.”

    Hei Zhenzhu’s countenance turned even paler; it seemed like he was going to say something, but he bit his lip and held back. Suddenly he turned his head around and no longer looked at them.

    They heard NanGong Ling shouted loudly, “Chu Liuxiang! This matter better be resolved by you and I, alone, you said so yourself just now; you still remember it?”

    “Of course I do,” Chu Liuxiang replied.

    NanGong Ling said, “If you still want to know who the mysterious character is, you’d better tell this cold-blooded kid to stop.”

    Chu Liuxiang sighed and said, “Too bad I cannot tell him to make his move, and I cannot tell him to stop either … when Yitian Hong wants to kill someone, nobody can make him stop.”

    Who would have thought that Yitian Hong suddenly flew about a zhang back and spoke coldly, “I am stopping now; simply because he can’t kill me, and I can’t kill him either. There is no point in continuing the fight. I’ll pass him on to you!”

    Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “Thank you very much.”

    Yitian Hong opened his eyes wide and stared at him for half a day. He spoke slowly, “You don’t need to thank me. Just remember, Yitian Hong is always your friend.”

    Before he even finished talking, he already made a somersault in the air and flew out of the window, and quickly vanished from sight.

    Smiling wryly, Chu Liuxiang said, “How could you come as soon as you say you’d come, and leave as soon as you say you’d leave?”

    This moment NanGong Ling had just had his breathing slowly under control; with a cackling voice he said, “Chu Liuxiang, if you want to solve this matter, come with me!”

    Chu Liuxiang turned his head to look at Su Rongrong. “Come with you?” he said.

    Hei Zhenzhu loudly said, “Chu Liuxiang does not want to go now because of this woman; other things he doesn’t want to care.”

    NanGong Ling rolled his eyeballs and said coldly, “If you don’t want to go, don’t blame me.”

    Unexpectedly he turned around and slowly walked out – evidently he did not want to run away at all, because he knew that ‘running away’ was not an option at all. Otherwise, he would have run away early on.

    But Chu Liuxiang could not just watch him walking out helplessly either. Sighing, he said, “Hei Xiong, looks like I have to hand her over to you.”

    Hei Zhenzhu looked up to the sky and spoke coldly, “You are not worried?”

    Smiling wryly, Chu Liuxiang said, “She has her acupoint heavily sealed, but after I massaged [orig. tui na, a form of Chinese manual therapy] her, after a moment, she should be able to wake up. Hei Xiong only needs to tell her to go back quickly on her own; other things you need not bother.”

    Hei Zhenzhu was silent for half a day. “All right!” he said, “Just go! I will tell her to go, but I still want to wait for you; I have something to ask you.”

    NanGong Ling waited for Chu Liuxiang to come out before unleashing his shenfa.

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    Thanks foxs

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    Foxs, I'm still following also..... but for some reason, I can not post reply using Chrome Browser on my android.
    Only after changing to Mi browser, I can post. Strange.

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    Thanks, foxs.

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    Thks foxs.

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    Thanks foxs

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    Default Book 1 Chapter 23 - Part 2

    Ysabel, Jaya, DongBin, HPC, you are welcome. Xiaohu, I did not mean to point finger at anybody.

    The two of them flew for a while. Suddenly NanGong Ling said, “You feel at ease handing her over to another person.”

    “Why would I not be at ease?” Chu Liuxiang asked.

    “How do you know that that kid will not harm her?” NanGong Ling asked.

    Chu Liuxiang replied, “Do you think other people’s heart is as malicious as yours?”

    NanGong Ling replied with a cold laugh, “I only know that you are a very cautious person, who would have thought that you also have your careless moments.”

    Chu Liuxiang smiled and said, “I am a very cautious person. If I could think of any reason Hei Zhenzhu might hurt Rong’er, this moment, even if you forced me, I would never entrust Rong’er to him. If you want to use this to disturb my mind, to make me flustered, I advise you not to entertain this idea any longer.”

    NanGong Ling let out a cold, mischievous laughter, but surprisingly he no longer talk.

    They saw the vast haze of mist-covered water ahead; they have arrived at the Daming Lake.

    Although the sun was still hanging overhead, a fancy looking decorated pleasure boat already had its lantern lit. Looking inside from the wide-open window, they saw the candle inside the cabin was already burning brightly. Unexpectedly a table of food and wine had already been setup inside.

    NanGong Ling waited until Chu Liuxiang entered the cabin before he pushed the long pole [i.e. pole for punting boats] to bring the fancy boat into the middle of the lake. All around them the water was covered in fog, which looked like smoke, or rain. The fancy boat drifted over the rippling water in between the boundless, quiet heaven and earth. The air was brimming with some kind of mysterious, yet romantic, atmosphere. It was both intoxicating and unbearably creepy.

    Chu Liuxiang sat down on the most comfortable chair inside the cabin, but in his heart he did not feel comfortable at all. He always felt that this matter has become more and more wrong.

    Why did NanGong Ling take him here?

    Could it be that the mysterious murderer was on this boat?

    But on this fancy boat, other than Chu Liuxiang and NanGong Ling, there was absolutely no third person. On this, the moment Chu Liuxiang set his foot on the boat, he was absolutely certain.

    The cool evening breeze brought the fragrance of the wine, the aroma of the dishes, the sweet scent of the weeping willow; but what Chu Liuxiang breathed was some kind of thick murderous aura!

    What murderous aura was actually hidden in this unmanned fancy boat?

    NanGong Ling also sat down. Fixing his gaze on Chu Liuxiang, he said, “Do you know why I wanted to bring you here?”

    Chu Liuxiang smiled and said, “Naturally not to kill me here. If you wanted to kill me, naturally the farther away from water the better.”

    NanGong Ling laughed heartily and said, “That’s right. Nobody can kill Chu Liuxiang in the water.”

    Deep in thought, Chu Liuxiang softly said, “Was it ‘he’ who wanted you to take me here?”

    “That’s right,” NanGong Ling replied, “He told me that if I cannot solve this problem myself, I ought to take you here, to wait for him to solve it himself.”

    “Do you think he’ll come?” Chu Liuxiang asked.

    “Naturally he will,” NanGong Ling replied.

    “Do you think that when he comes, he will be able to solve this matter?” Chu Liuxiang asked.

    NanGong Ling smiled and replied, “If there is only one person on earth who can deal with Chu Liuxiang, that person is him!”

    Chu Liuxiang heaved a deep sigh and said, “No matter who ‘he’ is, I really cannot think of how he is going to solve it.”

    NanGong Ling said, “The method that he uses, naturally no one will be able to think of.”

    “You trust him very much,” Chu Liuxiang commented.

    NanGong Ling said, “If there is only one person on earth I can trust, that person is him!”

    Chu Liuxiang shut his eyes and sighed lightly; he said, “Such a person, who could it be? Since he knew that killing me on the water is much more difficult than anywhere else, why did he want me on the water? What exactly is he thinking? How exactly is he going to deal with me …? I really can’t wait to see him.”

    Thinking about how sinister, secretive and vicious this person was, even Chu Liuxiang could not stop the chill from creeping up in his heart. All the adversaries that he met in all his life, no one was really more terrifying than this one!

    NanGong Ling poured two cups of wine and unhurriedly said, “If I were you, it would be best to drink a cup of wine now. Thinking about it more will be useless. Besides, I am afraid your time to drink wine won’t be too much.”

    Jade green wine, it shined inside the golden cup.

    NanGong Ling raised his cup and drained it in one gulp. Throwing his head back he heaved a deep sigh and said, “Actually I would rather have someone else discovering this secret instead of you. No matter who it is, killing someone with whom you once caught a sea turtle together is not a pleasant thing.”

    Chu Liuxiang did not even touch the wine cup with his finger. He sighed and said, “Me too. I wish that forever, you are the NanGong Ling with whom I caught sea turtle together.”

    NanGong Ling chuckled. But suddenly he knitted his brows and said, “Your wine …”

    Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “My time of drinking wine is already too much, right now I am not in a hurry.”

    NanGong Ling roared in laughter and said, “Surprisingly Chu Liuxiang did not urgently to drink his wine, this is a strange thing.”

    Chu Liuxiang smiled and said, “Don’t you forget, I am a very cautious person.”

    NanGong Ling also smiled and replied, “These two cups are poured out from the same wine pot. If you still don’t feel at ease, let me drink this cup for you!” He indeed picked the cup in front of Chu Liuxiang and drank it down.

    Chu Liuxiang sighed and said, “It seems that although cautious people might live a bit longer, it is inevitable that they often miss some opportunities to drink.”

    NanGong Ling laughed heartily and said, “You shouldn’t have suspected that there is poison in this wine. Who on earth might expect that a mere cup of poisonous wine would poison Chu Liuxiang to death; besides, how would he put …”

    The word ‘poison’ had not yet spoken out of his mouth, his countenance suddenly changed greatly. His arms, his forehead, his neck … every single vein on his body suddenly burst!

    “What happened?” Chu Liuxiang cried out in alarm.

    “This wine …” NanGong Ling’s voice was trembling.

    Emotionally moved, Chu Liuxiang asked, “Could it be that there is indeed poison in the wine?”

    He sprang over and opened NanGong Ling’s eyelids to take a look, but he did not see any sign of poisoning. However, NanGong Ling’s body was burning hotter than a fire.

    Chu Liuxiang’s heart was moved, he cried out in shock, “Heavenly One Divine Water! This wine has Heavenly One Divine Water in it!”

    NanGong Ling’s entire body went limp. “He … how could he put poison in the wine?” he croaked, “I don’t believe it! I really cannot believe it!”

    Chu Liuxiang stomped his foot in anger, “Even until now, you still don’t understand it? He put poison in the wine, the target is not me, but you! He knew that I will always be on guard. But you, you could not possibly be on guard toward him.”

    Looking up to the sky, he sighed and said, “Actually, I have already felt that this fancy boat is full of dangers, but I could not guess how he was going to deal with me. Now I know that the one he wanted to deal with was not me, but you!”

    NanGong Ling roared, “But he … why did he want to harm me?”

    Chu Liuxiang smiled ruefully and said, “Because if you are dead, all the clues will be broken. If you are dead, he will still be unfettered and beyond the law, because other than you, nobody knows who ‘he’ is.”

    NanGong Ling was shaking, it seemed like he was in shock and could only stare blankly.

    By this time his entire body was swelling, his skin has begun to crack, so much so that the blood vessels were bursting. The corners of his eyes, his nostrils, his nail seam, have all started to bleed!

    Chu Liuxiang shouted loudly, “Since he has no scruple in poisoning you to death, why do you still want to keep his secret? This moment, you still have time to tell me who ‘he’ actually is.”

    NanGong Ling’s eyes were bulging like those of a dead fish; he mumbled, “You said he wants to harm me … I still cannot believe it …”

    “Of course he wanted to harm you!” Chu Liuxiang said, “Otherwise, he knew perfectly well that I would never drink this wine, why would he put poison in the wine? And if he put poison in the wine for me, why didn’t he tell you?”

    It seemed like NanGong Ling did not hear him at all; he kept mumbling, “I don’t believe it … I don’t believe it …”

    Chu Liuxiang grabbed his collar and hissed, “Why don’t you believe it? Could it be that you …”

    The corner of NanGong Ling’s mouth split open, he suddenly revealed a hint of bitter smile, and said, “Do you know who he is?”

    “Who? Who is he?” Chu Liuxiang asked.

    NanGong Ling struggled hard to speak, word-by-word, “This secret, no one in the world knows this secret. I have a sibling, an older brother. ‘He’ is my Gege [older brother]!”

    Chu Liuxiang’s entire body froze. He fell back half a step so that he had to grab the table to steady himself. His entire body felt as if it was about to fall.

    Half a day later, he smiled wryly and said, “No wonder you trusted him so much. No wonder you are always listening to him. But … who is your Gege? Why until now you are still unwilling to tell me his name?”

    NanGong Ling opened his mouth wide. His mouth was full of blood.

    His tongue split open, he could no longer speak another word.

    Chu Liuxiang sat back in his chair. He sat for no one knows how long.

    Now, all the clues have been broken, and he has to start all over again.

    He had no idea how much dangers he had encountered, no idea how much heart’s blood [i.e. strenuous effort] he had spent just to find out that Zuo Youzheng, Ximen Qian, Lingjiu Zi, and Zha Muge, these four men had gone out after receiving a letter; he had no idea how many setbacks he had encountered before he found the person who wrote the letter, and uncovered the Beggar Clan’s secret in the process.

    If not for enormous courage and intelligence, this passage of hardship would simply be unbearable. But now that NanGong Ling was dead, all his heart’s blood has become a waste.

    He still did not know who the real mastermind was.

    The light of dawn quietly dyed the window paper white.

    The fog above the surface of the lake was getting thicker.

    Chu Liuxiang let out a long sigh, and muttered to himself, “Now, what do I know?”

    Now, what he knew was really not much.

    The only remaining clue was …

    The mysterious killer was NanGong Ling’s sibling; his older brother. In ‘his’ hand, there was still enough ‘Heavenly One Divine Water’ to kill thirty-three more people!

    But, who exactly was ‘he’?

    ‘He’ had used the Heavenly One Divine Water to kill Ren Ci, Zha Muge and NanGong Ling. Who might ‘his’ next target be?

    Naturally it had to be someone with extremely high martial art skill, high enough to be an important person who played critical role in Wulin!

    That person naturally had to have a deep relationship with ‘him’, at least he must not suspect that ‘he’ would harm him. Otherwise, how could ‘he’ put the Heavenly One Divine Water inside that person’s cup?

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    Foxs, you have more follower than you know!

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    Default Book 1 Chapter 24 - Part 1

    Ysabel, Xiaohu, DongBin, Jaya, you are welcome. Wes, but it’s nice to know. Not that I expect everybody to tell me that, since back during the White Haired Demoness days, it seemed that only two were following the story, yet I finished it. Anyway, we are getting closer to the end. I guess by this time we kind of know who the villain is, but I, for one, am curious how it will end.

    Book 1 Chapter 24 – Going Down South To Chase After The Vicious

    Chu Liuxiang closed his eyes and mumbled to himself, “Turns out Tianfeng Shisi Lang did not come to the Central Earth alone; he took his two children along. After he died, one child was entrusted to Ren Ci; but what about the other child? Whom did he entrust the child to? Who else in the world know about this matter?”

    It was a secret of twenty years ago, so now, there was almost no clue to be found.

    Chu Liuxiang suddenly sprang up and spoke loudly, “I know, since Tianfeng Shisi Lang entrusted the younger child to Ren Ci, he must have entrusted the older child to the person he fought first. As long as I can figure out who it was, I will be able to find who ‘he’ is.”

    Although Chu Liuxiang did not know the person who fought with Tianfeng Shisi Lang before Ren Ci did, but so far, he knew these things:

    First, the person’s reputation must be very high, hence Tianfeng Shisi Lang looked for him first before he looked for Ren Ci. In Wulin world, the number of people with higher reputation than the Beggar Clan’s Gang Leader was really not many; so the range is narrowed down considerably.

    Second, this person’s martial art skill must be extremely strong; only then would he be able to injure Tianfeng Shisi Lang.

    Third, this person’s character must be similar to Ren Ci: enormously magnanimous; only then would he shelter Tianfeng Shisi Lang’s orphan and teach him martial art.

    Fourth, this person definitely did not like to brag; therefore, although he defeated the saber expert from Dongying, no one in Jianghu knew about it.

    Fifth, this person must be residing in the Minnan region; therefore, after Tianfeng Shisi Lang was wounded from the fight with him, he was still able to rush to personally meet with Ren Ci in time.

    Chu Liuxiang exhaled slowly and said, “Now, what I know cannot be considered a few already.”

    Rushing out the cabin, he grabbed the punting pole and drove the fancy boat to the shore.

    Suddenly he heard the sound of hoof beats, followed by someone calling out from a distance, “Chu Liuxiang, is it you?”

    Amidst the shout, someone flew on horseback and dismounted; it was Hei Zhenzhu.

    Chu Liuxiang said, “Unexpectedly you came here; how is she?”

    Hei Zhenzhu was silent for half a day. “She is really obedient,” he spoke coldly, “She has obediently gone home.”

    But suddenly he opened his eyes wide and shouted loudly, “But I want to ask you, where actually is my Diedie? How come you always refused to tell me?”

    Chu Liuxiang hung his head down and said, “Your esteemed father has … has passed away.”

    Hei Zhenzhu’s body shook, he hissed, “You … what did you say?”

    Chu Liuxiang sighed and said, “I already have your esteemed father’s remains preserved at Lu Dong Red Rock Cliff. In the fishing village by the sea, there is a Li Tuozi [lit. hunchback Li]. If you hasten there, ask him to take you to my boat. When you see Su Rongrong, you will also be able to see your esteemed father’s remains.”

    Hei Zhenzhu rushed a step forward and spoke sternly, “How could my Diedie’s body be on your boat? Did you kill him?”

    Smiling wryly, Chu Liuxiang replied, “It’s hard to explain the twists and turns in this story clearly in short moment, but Rong’er will be able to tell you in details … As for the man who killed your esteemed father, he is currently on this fancy boat.”

    He has not even finished, Hei Zhenzhu already flew to the boat.

    Chu Liuxiang rolled his eyes, suddenly he spoke loudly, “I need to borrow your precious horse, someday, I’ll return it to you with gratitude …”

    Amidst his voice, he already flew onto the horseback, raised his whip, and was gone in an instant!

    After meeting with Qiu Lingsu on Mount Ni, Chu Liuxiang went down the mountain to the woodcutter’s house to fetch this horse. Riding on it, he returned to Jinan with only one purpose in mind: to find NanGong Ling. Therefore, he did not return the horse to Hei Zhenzhu, but entrusted the horse to an inn. By the time he came back from the Beggar Clan’s Fragrance Hall, the horse has already run out of the stable to look for its master. It was precisely because of this horse that Hei Zhenzhu and Yitian Hong discovered that Chu Liuxiang has returned to Jinan, and thus they came in time to save Su Rongrong.

    Only by relying on this horse would Chu Liuxiang be able to reach Minnan in the shortest time possible. But when he arrived at Minnan, he was completely disappointed.

    Whatever happened twenty years ago, the people there have long ceased to remember. As for the Chen and Lin families, two prominent Wulin families of Minnan, they have never even heard of Tianfeng Shisi Lang’s name.

    One day, Chu Liuxiang reached Xianyou [county, in Putian, Fujian]. Although the scenery around Xianyou was magnificent, Chu Liuxiang was in a very bleak mood; unexpectedly he was not even in the mood to drink any wine, he just wanted to drink two cups of bitter tea instead.

    Minnan was a tea-producing region. In Xianyou town, teahouses were numerous, they also paid very particular attention to the tea-drinking utensils. He saw that everybody sitting inside the teahouse had their eyes closed while raising the teacup, which was even smaller than a winecup, and carefully sipping the tea. In the eyes of Minnan people, those who drank tea using large bowls are practically like a cow.

    Chu Liuxiang also ordered a pot of fragrant and bitter tea, the bitter and astringent Tieguanyin [a variety of oolong tea]. Although upon entering the mouth the tea tasted bitter, upon drinking it, it actually left fragrant taste on the teeth and cheeks, and filled the mouth with sweet taste.

    After two cups of tea, Chu Liuxiang’s restless mood gradually quieted down. It was only then did he find out that Minnan people had so many rules in drinking tea; first and foremost being the people’s mind must be tranquil. Their skill in cultivating the heart and nurturing the character was trained precisely via one cup after another of this strong tea beverage.

    Although the teahouse was full of people, everybody was speaking softly, a far cry from the noisy and boisterous teahouses of the north.

    This moment, two big men in brocade clothes walked in, while loudly talking and joking. One man had pockmarked face, carrying a yellow bundle strapped diagonally across his back. While walking and laughing, he said, “Meeting an old friend in a foreign place is indeed one of the joy in life. Xiaodi simply must drink two cups with Feng Xiong today.”

    The other man had a face full of dragon beard; laughing heartily, he said, “Qian Xiong has been living in Minnan for a long time, could it be that you also like to drink only tea and don’t want to drink wine anymore?”

    The pockmarked man laughed and said, “Wine! Feng Xiong, you drink wine every day, but what Xiaodi wants to invite Feng Xiong to taste today is the immortal-grade tea. Not that Xiaodi is bragging, but such tea, I am afraid Feng Xiong has never tasted it in all your life.”

    All eyes in the teahouse were turning toward the pockmarked man, but he acted as though there were nobody else present. He took out a long bamboo tube from the yellow bundle on his back.

    When he opened the bamboo tube, a whiff of sweet smelling aroma permeated the air, intoxicating everybody’s mind.

    The dragon-bearded man laughed and said, “What a fragrant tea! Long time no see, unexpectedly Qian Xiong has become so sophisticated.”

    The pockmarked man carefully took a pinch of tea, and ordered the teahouse attendant to brew a pot using first-rate spring water. Only then did he turn his head around and said with a laugh, “To be honest, although Xiaodi has the tea on me, were it not for meeting such an old friend like Feng Xiong, ordinarily Xiaodi is a bit reluctant to drink it.”

    The dragon-bearded man laughed and said, “If Qian Xiong is reluctant to drink it, why do you carry it around like that?”

    The pockmarked man smiled and said, “Just because this tea is the thing that a certain Wulin qianbei [senior] take pleasure in the most. Xiaodi has received his, the Senior’s, big kindness in the past, nothing can repay that kindness. Only every year, using a thousand ways, a hundred plans, I searched for this tea, and deliver it to him, the Senior, just to show a bit of my gratitude. Other things, he, the Senior, absolutely refused to accept.”

    “I wonder who this Wulin qianbei is,” the dragon-bearded man said, “Unexpectedly he could make Qian Xiong admires him this greatly?”

    The pockmarked man’s smile became even prouder; he slowly said, “Feng Xiong should have heard the name Tian Feng Dashi?” [Translator’s note: Tian Feng means heavenly peak, different characters from the ‘tian feng’ of Tianfeng Shisi Lang. Reminder: dashi – great master, a term of respect to address Buddhist monk.]

    The dragon-bearded man blurted out, “Tian Feng Dashi …? Could he be the Zhangmen [head/chief of a school] of Shaolin’s southern branch, the Fangzhang [Abbot] Dashi of Putian Shaolin Temple?”

    The pockmarked man laughed and said, “Precisely he, the Senior.”

    Chu Liuxiang’s heart suddenly moved; he could not help walking over and said with a laugh, “Mantianxing [lit. sky full of stars, Baby's Breath flower (Gypsophila paniculate)], I am your old friend, how come you did not invite me to drink tea?”

    The pockmarked man cast him a glance. His countenance sank, he said, “Friend, who are you? You seem unfamiliar to Zaixia.”

    Chu Liuxiang smiled and said, “Seven years ago, Tieshizi [iron lion] Alley in Beijing, have Qian Xiong forgotten about it?”

    He had not finished speaking, the pockmarked man quickly rose to his full height; emotionally moved, he said, “Could it be that Sire is …”

    Chu Liuxiang laughed aloud and cut him off, “It’s good that you remember; there is no need to mention my name.”

    Unexpectedly the pockmarked man dropped down to his knees and spoke respectfully, “Seven years ago, were it not for … Gongzi came to my rescue, I, Qian Mazi [pockmarked surnamed Ma] would have fallen head first under ‘Meihua Jian’ Fang Huan and ‘Shuang Zhang Fan Tian’ Qiaozi He’s hands [See Chapter 1 on these two]. Even though I, Qian Mazi for a period of time was trying to repay Gongzi’s great kindness, I regret to say that I lost Gongzi’s brave and chivalrous tracks. I never thought that I can finally see Gongzi today; it is indeed a providential good fortune.”

    Noticing that the famous and hard-to-impress Qian Mazi was so deferential toward this young man, the dragon-bearded man could not help feeling emotionally moved as well. But he was a Jianghu veteran as well; by weighing up his words and observing his facial expression, since he knew that this young man was unwilling to divulge his identity, naturally he was not going to ask either. He simply cupped his fist and said with a smile on his face, “Zaixia Feng Tianhe, hoping that in the future Gongzi would bestow instructions to increase my knowledge.”

    Chu Liuxiang smiled and said, “Ye You Shen’s [lit. nightwalker immortal/deity] great name, Zaixia has already heard it like a thunder in my ears.”

    The three of them drank two pots of tea, while chatting over some inconsequential matters. Finally Chu Liuxiang slowly steered the conversation by looking at Qian Mazi and spoke in heavy voice, “Just now Qian Xiong mentioned Tian Feng Dashi. Could he be the one who, forty years ago annihilated the Eight Evils with his palms, fought Tianmen’s Four Elders single-handedly, the Shaolin’s Monk Ku, whose name shook the heavens?”

    Clapping his hands, Qian Mazi said, “Precisely he, the Senior!”

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    Thanks foxs... So many Tians....

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