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Thread: Chu Liuxiang

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    Default Book 1 Chapter 7 - Part 1

    Ysabel, Jaya, Paona, DongBin, Xiaohu, you are welcome.


    Chapter 7 – Imposition

    Leng Qiuhun said, “Does Zhang Xiong want to ask her something?”

    He smiled cruelly as he cast a sidelong glance toward Zhang Xiaolin, and then he continued unhurriedly, “Even if now you ask her how many lovers she had in the past, she would tell you by counting by fives and tens [idiom: narrate systematically and in full detail].”

    Clearing his throat, Zhang Xiaolin walked over and bent over to look at Shen Shangu, and said, “Do you still recognize me?”

    Seemingly without any strength Shen Shangu tried to open her eyes. Suddenly she giggled and said, “Of course I do, among my lovers, you are the one who can satisfy me the most. But you are a thug, you are a beast …”

    Leng Qiuhun laughed aloud and said, “To have such a woman curse you as a beast, Zhang Xiong, you surely have some ability. In a woman’s mouth, ‘a beast’, these two words [orig. chu sheng] usually have some other meaning.”

    Smiling ruefully, Zhang Xiaolin stroked his nose and said, “Why did you pry into my secret?”

    Shen Shangu said, “Just because you were looking for Leng Qiuhun sneakily, I want to know what kind of secret you two are talking about.”

    “How does this relate to your Tian Xing Bang?” Zhang Xiaolin asked.

    “Of course there is a relation,” Shen Shangu replied, “This time Tian Xing Bang came to Jinan precisely to look for Zhu Sha Bang, and within Zhu Sha Bang, Leng Qiuhun is the one with most power.”

    Looking disdainfully out of the corner of his eye, Leng Qiuhun laughed and said, “Zhu Sha Men has always had no entanglement with Tian Xing Bang, why would Tian Xing Bang come looking for trouble?”

    Shen Shangu said, “Because Tian Xing Bang’s Zhangmen, ‘Seven-Star Soul Snatching’ Zuo Youzheng suddenly went missing, but before he left, he said that he was going to look for the ‘Assassin Scholar’, Ximen Qian.”

    Zhang Xiaolin’s eyes were flashing. “Do you know why he was looking for Ximen Qian?” he asked.

    “I don’t know,” Shen Shangu replied.

    “Did Zuo Youzheng usually have contacts with Ximen Qian?” Zhang Xiaolin asked.

    “They usually don’t have any contact with each other,” Shen Shangu replied.

    Knitting his eyebrows, Zhang Xiaolin said, “Do you know that Ximen Qian is missing at the moment?”

    “I don’t know,” Shen Shangu replied.

    Zhang Xiaolin frowned even deeper, as if he was thinking really hard.

    Leng Qiuhun suddenly said sternly, “The tragedy that happened in our school last night, does Tian Xing Bang have anything to do with it?”

    “What tragedy?” Shen Shangu asked, “I don’t know.”

    Leng Qiuhun cast a quick glance toward Zhang Xiaolin.

    Zhang Xiaolin said, “Before Zuo Youzheng went out on his journey, did he receive any letter?”

    Shen Shangu thought for a moment. “That’s right,” she replied.

    Zhang Xiaolin’s eyes lit up. “Do you know where the letter is now?” he asked.

    Shen Shangu replied, “Zhangmen gave it to Er Shixiong [second martial (older) brother].”

    “Who is your Er Shixiong?” Zhang Xiaolin asked.

    “’Tian Qiang Xing’ [heavenly powerful star] Song Gang,” Shen Shangu replied.

    “Where is he now?” Zhang Xiaolin asked.

    Shen Shangu replied, “He is still in Xuzhou, raising funds to pay ‘Central Plains One Red Dot’. Presumably he should be rushing over here tonight.”

    Emotionally moved, Leng Qiuhun excitedly said, “Central Plains One Red Dot? Isn’t that the cold-blooded professional assassin …? Why does your Tian Xing Bang want to pay such a huge amount of money to him?”

    Shen Shangu giggled foolishly and said, “Because we want him to deal with your Zhu Sha Men. If you killed our Zhangmen, we want to have each and every one of you killed!”

    Leng Qiuhun’s pale face became even more without any color of blood; appearing to be nervous, his pair of slender hands constantly stroking the hilt of the saber hanging on his waist. “How much do you pay him?” he asked.

    “Ten thousand taels,” Shen Shangu replied, “For each one he kills, we add one thousand taels. Killing you, Leng Qiuhun, five thousand taels.”

    Leng Qiuhun nervously laughed aloud and said, “Very good! Only today do I know that my life is more valuable than the others’ … But five thousand taels cannot be considered much; I can pay him ten thousand … twenty thousand.”

    Shen Shangu said, “Yitian Hong usually has a very good trustworthiness; once he accepted our contract, even if you give him ten times the reward, he won’t accept.”

    Leng Qiuhun’s laughter stopped abruptly; his palm clenched the hilt of his saber, his eyes flitted to the window, as if he was afraid that mysterious and terrifying One Red Dot would appear anytime and break in.

    Giggling foolishly, Shen Shangu turned toward Zhang Xiaolin and said, “What’s your actual name? You should be called the real ‘Heavenly Powerful Star’. Although that Er Shixiong of mine is called ‘Heavenly Powerful Star’, he is not as strong as you are.”

    Zhang Xiaolin quickly reached out to lightly seal her sleeping acupoint; he muttered, “Girls must not speak too much; if you became a busybody, nobody is going to marry you. And girls whom nobody wants to marry, I usually don’t want to see. And if there are no girls that nobody wants to marry in the world, won’t there be much less of them?”

    Shen Shangu finally fell into deep sleep.

    Leng Qiuhun’s eyes were still staring at the window; he muttered, “Central Plains One Red Dot … How fast is his sword? Does he really have the viciousness that the legend says? Is he really …”

    Zhang Xiaolin laughed and cut him off, “Leng Xiong need not think too much; you are going to see him soon anyway.”

    Leng Qiuhun stood up suddenly and blurted out, “He is coming soon?”

    “I think he is,” Zhang Xiaolin replied.

    The fingers of Leng Qiuhun’s hand holding the saber hilt already turned white. Suddenly he slapped the table and loudly said, “All right, come then! Even if the ‘Bandit Chief’ Chu Liuxiang came, I may not necessarily be afraid of him; why would I be afraid of Central Plains One Red Dot?”

    Zhang Xiaolin smiled and said, “Are you saying that Chu Liuxiang is more terrifying than Yitian Hong?”

    “Generally speaking,” Leng Qiuhun replied, “Is there anybody more terrifying than Chu Liuxiang?”

    Zhang Xiaolin muttered, “As far as I know, Chu Liuxiang is not the least bit terrifying. He is actually a very good-natured person. On this earth, I am afraid very few people are more good-natured than he is.”

    Leng Qiuhun roared in laughter and said, “That’s funny … I have never heard anything funnier than that in the world. Perhaps even if Chu Liuxiang heard it, he would laugh his head off.”

    Zhang Xiaolin sighed; smiling wryly, he said, “People are really strange. Sometimes they would rather listen to other people’s hearsay rather than believe the truth.”

    ‘Crack!’ Suddenly there was a noise on the roof of the main hall.

    Leng Qiuhun’s laughter stopped abruptly; immediately there was no sign of smiling expression on his entire body, from top to bottom. Just like a steel ball being shot out of a tight bow string he whizzed toward the window and called out loudly, “Friends, since you have come to the ‘Hall of Delight’, why don’t you come down?”

    Zhang Xiaolin pulled the door open and walked out unhurriedly. He said with a laugh, “If gentlemen want to fight, please feel free to find him. If you are coming to gamble, Zaixia might want to accompany you.”

    Under the starlight, they saw flashing shadows on the roof ridge; they came together as if they were deliberating for a moment, and then five of them leaped down one after another. But there was someone else standing with his hands behind his back on the opposite roof, his expression looked completely relaxed, yet like a wolf, his pair of pupils flickered in the dark. Zhang Xiaolin looked carefully, and found out that this person was precisely Yitian Hong.

    The first one to jump down wore tight warrior outfit, his face was full of stiff beard, but his stature was so thin that it looked so incongruous with his full beard. Among the five, obviously his qinggong was the best, by far. As soon as he landed on the ground, his burning eyes were sizing up Zhang Xiaolin. Slightly cupping his fist, he spoke coldly, “I wonder if Gexia [Sire] the master of this place?”

    Surprisingly, the middle finger and the ring finger of his left hand, which was at the front, were sheathed with three peculiar looking jet-black steel rings.

    Zhang Xiaolin laughed and said, “I wonder if Gexia is ‘Heavenly Powerful Star’, Song Er Piaobazi [second boss]?”

    The stiff-bearded man replied, “Exactly.”

    Zhang Xiaolin stepped away from the door and said with a laugh, “The master of this place is waiting inside. Please.”

    Leng Qiuhun already sat down in the spacious chair, his flickering long saber was pressed down on Shen Shangu’s neck, as he looked at Song Gang coldly. “Song Er Xiansheng [second mister] came at a very opportune time; Zaixia has just captured a female thief in here, if Song Er Xiansheng is interested, there is no harm in you and Zaixia interrogate her together.”

    Song Gang was standing at the door; his gloomy face has already turned purple, he did not know whether to rush in, or should he refrain from rushing in.

    Leng Qiuhun laughed aloud and said, “Song Er Xiansheng’s clothes must be too tight, somehow your face is turning red. Perhaps next time you should find another tailor; Zaixia might be able to recommend one for Song Er Xiansheng.”

    The countenance of all Tian Xing Bang disciples already changed, showing their displeasure; screaming and yelling, they were going to rush in. But Song Gang suddenly raised his palm backward, sending the first person to rush in to fall back outside the door, while he himself unexpectedly cupped his fist and said with a forced laugh, “This … this must be a misunderstanding.”

    Raising his eyebrows, Leng Qiuhun said, “Misunderstanding?”

    Song Gang said, “The person currently under Leng Gongzi’s blade is Ol’ Song’s Shimei [martial (younger) sister].”

    Leng Qiuhun said, “Ah … Zaixia is indeed lacking in manners. If your honorable Shimei would speak out her background earlier, how could Zaixia dare to be this rude?”

    His speech was polite, but it did not look like he had the slightest intention to pull the saber pressing on Shen Shangu’s neck.

    Song Gang was already unable to hide his concern and anxiety; forcing a laughter, he said, “If Xiongtai [brother (polite appellation for a friend one's age)] is willing to return our humble Shimei to us, our humble Gang can’t thank you enough.”

    Leng Qiuhun laughed aloud and said, “If there is any unusual relationship between a man and a woman, indeed it is hard to conceal.”

    Finally Song Gang was unable to stop his countenance from changing. “What did you say?” he said.

    Leng Qiuhun spoke unhurriedly, “Zaixia said, for the sake of your affection to your Shimei, unexpectedly Gexia forgot your Shixiong.”

    Song Gang’s face turned even deeper red, almost purple. Stammering, he said, “My humble Shimei … my humble Shixiong …”

    Leng Qiuhun suddenly rose up to his full height and spoke in stern voice, “Those in the light don’t speak dark words; I might as well tell you honestly, whether Zuo Youzheng is alive or dead, which course he took, our Zhu Sha Men has nothing to do with it. As for your Shimei … you are thinking of snatching her away, I am afraid it won’t be that easy.”

    Clenching his fist, Song Gang spoke hoarsely, “You … what do you want?”

    Leng Qiuhun said, “If you want to take this woman out alive, you have to make an oath guaranteeing Tian Xing Bang will never enter into Jinan even for one step. As for the friend on the roof, naturally you must ask him to go back together with you.”

    Before he finished talking, suddenly there was a gust of wind, a shadow flew in from the left window, and flew out from the right window. The saber in Leng Qiuhun’s palm was flicked by that shadow, ‘Ding!’, it nearly flew off of his hand.

    And then he saw the Central Plains One Red Dot has already perched back on the right roof.

    Without even speaking, he has already given the clearest, the simplest answer that Leng Qiuhun could understand, “I want to come I will come, I want to go I will go, nobody has the ability to stop me.”

    Leng Qiuhun’s countenance changed; but he immediately laughed and said, “As long as Xiongtai no longer care about Tian Xing Bang’s business, any time you want to come into the City of Jinan, our Zhu Sha Men disciples will definitely welcome you, and will send you off respectfully.”

    This moment Song Gang was no longer able to restrain his anger. “Yitian Hong,” he shouted, “You killed our School’s disciple, not only I did not complain, I scolded them instead. Even toward my old man [i.e. father], I, the one surnamed Song, am not as polite as I am with you, but just now you were clearly able to rescue San Mei [third (younger) sister], yet you were unwilling to act. You … you … you …”

    Yitian Hong coldly said, “I always know only how to kill, not to rescue.”

    His gaze was colder than the blade. Song Gang only looked at him once, it was as if his words were stuffed back inside and blocked his throat, so that he could no longer speak it out.

    After half a day, he was finally able to stammer, “Since that’s the case, why didn’t you kill him?”

    Yitian Hong said, “Killing people, I never attack sneakily. You call him out, I will kill him for you.”

    Leng Qiuhun laughed aloud and said, “Only before Zaixia goes out, your honorable Shimei’s head will separate from her body first.”

    Song Gang hatefully stomped his feet and hissed, “All right, you win. From now on, Tian Xing Bang will not enter Jinan even for one step.”

    A man like Song Gang, although his status in Jianghu was not too high, but for gangs and societies, if they still want to mingle in Jianghu, their words will be like the wind; once it was out, they could never change.

    Leng Qiuhun’s countenance brightened; he laughed and said, “So be it …”

    Suddenly someone chuckled and said, “Leng Xiong must not forget that Zaixia also has a part on this Miss.”

    Song Gang turned around quickly, and saw the chuckling Zhang Xiaolin was walking over. His eyes seemed to spout fire as he shouted angrily, “What kind of ‘thing’ are you? Why are you so meddlesome?”

    Still chuckling, Zhang Xiaolin said, “I am not a ‘thing’, I am a human.”

    With a wild roar Song Gang sent out a punch, the star rings on his fingers glittered like frost and snow; to take someone’s life was as easy as a hand’s turn. But as soon as he sent out the punch, the shadow in front of him disappeared.

    And then he saw Zhang Xiaolin was standing on the roof, still chuckling and said, “Zaixia has already said: if you want to fight, I am not going to accompany you.”

    Song Gang was startled and angry at the same time; he beckoned Yitian Hong several times, but Yitian Hong acted as if he did not see him. Finally Song Gang could not bear anymore, he said, “Hong Xiong, you … Could it be that the time for you to kill has not arrived yet?”

    Yitian Hong cast a glance toward Zhang Xiaolin, he spoke slowly, “All people in the world, I can kill. But he … Please find someone better qualified than me!” From the roof he tossed down a bundle of silver. Unexpectedly he left without even looking back.

    Song Gang was agape and tongue-tied, he simply stared blankly on the spot. Not even in his dream he ever imagined that there were people that the Central Plains One Red Dot, who killed people like cutting grass, could not kill.

    Zhang Xiaolin stood with his hands behind his back. His clothes fluttered in the wind, he laughed and spoke slowly, “Actually, my condition is a lot simpler than Leng Gongzi’s.”

    Finally Song Gang stomped his feet and said, “What do you want? Speak up!”

    Zhang Xiaolin said, “As long as you let me look at the letter that your honorable Shixiong handed to you before he left, not only will I immediately send your Shimei out of the door with respect, I will also hire a nice sedan chair for her, and light a string of firecrackers to wash the bad luck.”

    Song Gang could not help but was stunned, “Your condition is just to see the letter?” he asked.

    “After I look, I will immediately give it back,” Zhang Xiaolin said.

    Song Gang was silent for half a day. Finally he spoke slowly, “Although I have destroyed that letter, but I have read it, and I know the content. I just don’t know what relationship does that letter have with you, and why do you insist on seeing it?”

    Zhang Xiaolin happily said, “You don’t need to ask me the reason, you only need to think whether you want that sweet and pretty Shimei back in your bosom or not.”

    Song Gang pondered for half a day, he also looked at the pale yet beautiful face under the lantern light. A burst of hot blood welled-up in his heart, he threw all cautions away and loudly said, “All right, I’ll tell you. Actually, nothing’s secret in that letter, it’s just …” Suddenly he roared wildly, rushed several steps forward, and fell face down on the ground.

    With cry of alarm, Tian Xing Bang disciples were thrown into chaos. They saw that there seemed to be no wound on his body, but after a moment there was a trace of blood oozing out of the seventh joint of his backbone.

    His countenance changed, Leng Qiuhun said, “This is the second person died because of that letter. Zhang Xiong, do you …” But when he looked up, Zhang Xiaolin, who was standing on the roof, has disappeared to God knows where.

    As Song Gang roared wildly and fell to the ground, from behind the corner of the wall a shadow flashed and disappeared. Although no one else saw this, how could it escape Zhang Xiaolin’s pair of sharp eyes?

    He instantly flew several zhang over and ran after it. Who would have thought that the shadow was already more than a dozen zhang away? Although everybody in the world knew that his qinggong was superior, who would have thought that this man’s qinggong was not weak either?

    Two streaks of shadows, one in front the other behind, were flying high in the sky in the dry evening breeze of Jinan city, just like two kites connected together with one string.

    Unexpectedly that shadow has always been able to keep some distance from Zhang Xiaolin.

    In just a short moment, the two shadows had flown out of the city. In the distance water vapor rose up from the ground; they had reached the edge of Daming Lake. Under the moonlight, this famous lake seemed to have a different kind of captivating charm.

    By this time Zhang Xiaolin was able to catch up with the shadow. In all the world, no matter who, his qinggong would be a tad lower than his.

    Zhang Xiaolin laughed and said, “Friend, you had better halt your step; I guarantee I won’t harm a single hair of yours. But if you are thinking of jumping into the water, unavoidably you are asking for trouble.”

    The man’s laughter sounded like screeching owl, he said, “Chu Liuxiang! I finally recognize who you are.”

    Amidst the sound of his voice, suddenly a burst of strange purple smoke exploded, engulfing his figure, as well as swallowing Zhang Xiaolin in it.

    The smoke immediately became so thick that it appeared to look like a solid object; not only Zhang Xiaolin had his eyes blinded, unexpectedly his body in the middle of the smoke could not move, as if he was paralyzed.

    By the time he stopped his breath and rushed out of the smoke and reached the edge of the lake, unexpectedly that man has already disappeared, leaving only a ripple on the water, which was rising in spirals and dissipated.

    As if he was in a trance Zhang Xiaolin stared at the slowly dissipating ripple, while his mouth mumbled, “Is that not the legendary Dongying [East China Sea/Japan] warrior’s mysterious ‘ren shu’ [method/technique of restraining oneself]? How come I’ve never heard that someone in Central Plains Wulin managed to master this near-sorcery skill?”

    According to the old legend, ‘ren shu’ was some kind of technique to make one’s body disappear suddenly in front of the enemy. To learn this kind of mysterious martial art, one must sever fleshly desire, and completely dedicate himself to the ‘ren shu’ religious rite. The process was extremely arduous, so that no ordinary human could endure. Therefore, even within the Dongying Wulin, the ‘ren zhe’ [ninja] who knew ‘ren shu’ was oftentimes considered as demonic, mysterious character.

    Although Zhang Xiaolin’s qinggong had already reached transforming boundary, although he had a way to escape the eyes and ears of the people all over the world, but his knowledge about this mysterious ‘ren shu’ was actually not much.

    After staring blankly for half a day, he could not help but smiling ruefully and said, “Since this person is an expert in ‘ren shu’, plus he has that kind of qinggong, today I, Chu Liuxiang, finally met my match. Too bad until this moment I still cannot guess who he is?”

    Suddenly he heard someone speaking coldly, “Chu Liuxiang, pull the sword hanging on your waist.”

    The voice was hoarse and peculiar; a dark shadow appeared from the foggy edge of the lake. Surprisingly it was that ‘Central Plains One Red Dot’.

    Emotionally moved, Zhang Xiaolin asked, “Why are you here?”

    Yitian Hong said, “I tracked you all the way here, and only now did I finally find you. You must not disappoint me.”

    Stroking his nose, Zhang Xiaolin said, “You followed me all the way here? Why?”

    Yitian Hong coldly replied, “Just so I’ll have my sword embedded in your throat.”

    Zhang Xiaolin was stunned, “You want to kill me?” he asked.

    “Or be killed by you,” Yitian Hong replied.

    Zhang Xiaolin laughed and said, “You know that I never wish to kill people, not to mention you.”

    “You don’t want to kill me, then I’ll kill you,” Yitian Hong said.

    Zhang Xiaolin said, “Didn’t you just said that you don’t …”

    Yitian Hong cut him off, “I just did not want to kill you for other people; I want to kill you for my own sake.”

    Smiling wryly, Zhang Xiaolin asked, “Why?”

    Yitian Hong replied, “To be able to fight a life and death battle against Chu Liuxiang is the greatest joy of my life.”

    Zhang Xiaolin shook his head, put his hands behind his back, and said with laugh, “Too bad I really don’t have any interest in fighting with you. I am really sorry.”

    Yitian Hong shouted, “Even if you don’t want to fight, you simply must fight.”
    Last edited by foxs; 12-05-17 at 09:28 PM.

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    Thanks foxs

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    Thanks foxs.

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    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks foxs!

    Yitian Hong, a cold-blooded assasin. Almost all of GL's stories have someone like this.

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    Thanks, foxs.

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    Even though Yitian Hong can be considered another "cloned" character, I still like to see how his heroic, loyal, and brotherly actions emerge during critical times when adventuring with the hero.

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    thank you very much foxs

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    Default Book 1 Chapter 7 - Part 2

    Ysabel, Xiaohu, Jaya, Paona, you are welcome. Sky, don't we also have Yang Xiuyan in 'Da Tang'? Kowloon, looks like you already know the story.



    Edited: moved to Part 1 above.
    Last edited by foxs; 12-05-17 at 09:29 PM.

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    Thanks foxs

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    Thanks foxs.

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    Thanks foxs...

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    thanks ! AH the Jianghu !
    " Yitian Hong shouted, “Even if you don’t want to fight, you simply must fight.”

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    Isn't this refreshing? Thks foxs.

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    thank you very much foxs

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    Thanks, foxs.

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    Default Book 1 Chapter 8 - Part 1

    Ysabel, Sky, Xiaohu, Paona, Jaya, you are welcome. Badri, DongBin, ain't dat da truth ...


    Chapter 8 – Cool Breeze and Bright Moon[1]

    Amidst his shout, the sword light pierced like a well-trained horse. Unexpectedly the hands behind Zhang Xiaolin’s back were not moving at all. The sword ray suddenly came to a screeching halt half a cun [1 cun is approx. 1 inch] in front of his throat.

    The sword ray reflected his facial features that it looked a gloomy, bluish-green color, his Adam’s apple was also stimulated by the dense, cold sword qi that it trembled continuously, yet his expression unexpectedly did not change at all.

    His nerve was really like steel.

    Yitian Hong pushed the sword in his palm half a fen [1 fen is approx. 1/3 of cm, but ‘half a fen’ usually means ‘just a little bit’] forward. The tip of the sword was absolutely still. Unexpectedly his wrist was also as calm as steel.

    “You think I don’t dare to kill you?” he spoke hoarsely.

    The tip of the sword was only two fen away from Zhang Xiaolin’s throat, yet unexpectedly he still did not move. Smiling indifferently, he said, “Naturally it’s not that you do not dare, but you are simply unwilling.”

    Yitian Hong laughed coldly and said, “I have determined to kill you, why would I be unwilling?”

    Zhang Xiaolin laughed and said, “You kill me like this, what joy might you get?”

    The tip of the sword suddenly trembled.

    Yitian Hong’s boulder-like stable wrist unexpectedly moved, while he hissed, “You really have such self-confidence?”

    Suddenly the sword was thrust out.

    But Zhang Xiaolin’s body, from head to toe, did not budge even for one fen. Although the sharp blade just flitted along the skin of his neck, but this sword could have been piercing through his throat.

    Although Yitian Hong’s face was still as cold as ice, the muscles on his face were starting to twitch, until finally his face was twisted strangely as he said, “You … you really don’t want to fight with me?” Unexpectedly his voice was trembling as well.

    Zhang Xiaolin sighed; he said, “I’m terribly sorry.”

    Yitian Hong threw his head back and let out a long laugh. “Very well!” he said. His laughter was mournful, unexpectedly he turned his sword around and pierced his own throat.

    Zhang Xiaolin was really shocked with this turn of event, with a lightning move of his hand, he grabbed Yitian Hong’s sword. Yitian Hong’s wrist flashed, from beginning to end the tip of his sword never left his own throat within a distance of one cun.

    Zhang Xiaolin unleashed his ‘empty-hand entering the naked sword’ skill, and did his best to snatch the sword.

    Under the starlight, the sword light flickered, shadows rose and fell, in the end, the two were fighting. But in the fight that these two fought, one of them was not fighting to injure the other, but to save him. The other one did not fight to kill the opponent, but himself.

    This kind of fight was truly unprecedented and never to be duplicated. It was the one and only.

    In an instant they have fought for several dozen moves. Suddenly they heard, ‘Zheng!’ Unexpectedly the sound of qin [zither] came from the lake. The sound of qin was as clear as a bell, as beautiful as if it was made in heaven. Yet in the midst of it, there was also some kind of indescribable gloom and regret, just like when a country ruined and the people starving, as if the player had his heart full of grief and indignation, which was hard to dispel. Or as if he had received disgrace, was harboring a grudge, pent-up frustrations that were difficult to eliminate.

    The sound of qin rose up, heaven and earth seemed to be brimming with some kind of bleak, somber and desolate feeling. The moon and the stars in the sky seemed to be dimming and lost their luster, the scenery of the famous lake also lost its color.

    Zhang Xiaolin’s frame of mind was wide open, his heart was peaceful, even as he heard the qin, he did not feel anything.

    But Yitian Hong had lived a life of bitterness, he was down and out in Jianghu, originally his breadth of mind was in the extreme, originally his heart was filled with depression; otherwise, how could he use murder as a way to make a living, killing as a way to find pleasure?

    This moment the sound of qin entered his ears, he felt his blood was surging like waves; unexpectedly he could not control himself. Suddenly throwing his head back and let a long hiss, he turned his sword around and thrust it toward Zhang Xiaolin.

    This sword strike was fast, urgent, ferocious, and ruthless. Zhang Xiaolin did not have time to think; purely by instinct he dodged the attack. Under the starlight he saw Yitian Hong’s eyes were bloodshot; unexpectedly he appeared to have gone mad.

    By the time Yitian Hong’s second sword strike arrived, Zhang Xiaolin was already unable to evade. Although just now he remained calm, but this time he was facing a person, who seemed to have lost his mind, naturally the situation was very different.

    The sound of qin was getting more and more urgent, Yitian Hong’s sword light was also getting more and more urgent; unexpectedly his entire person seemed to have been completely under the qin’s control, no longer under his own.

    Zhang Xiaolin could not help feeling greatly frightened; he was not afraid that Yitian Hong would harm him at all, rather, he knew that if this situation continued, Yitian Hong would inevitably injure himself.

    The rapidly moving sword weaved a curtain of sword light in front of Zhang Xiaolin’s eyes. This frantic sword light was also something that not anybody in the world would be able to curb.

    Zhang Xiaolin suddenly shouted loudly, “Do you dare coming with me into the water?” His voice was still ringing in the ears, he already soared up and somersaulted, and plunged into the lake.

    Without the slightest hesitation Yitian Hong followed.

    But underwater was completely different from on land, the sword in Yitian Hong’s palm stabbed out, it merely stirred up a splash, which would be difficult to injure anybody.

    In the water, Zhang Xiaolin was like the dragon [orig. legendary horned-dragon with the ability to control rain and floods] returning to the sea; like a swimming fish he flashed and twisted, and he pinched Yitian Hong’s wrist, sealing his acupoint, and throwing him onto the shore. Laughing, he said, “Hong Xiong, Hong Xiong, although this moment you suffered a bit of hardships, but it’s always better than going crazy or dying.” And then with an abrupt turn he leaped into the water again, and swam toward the sound of qin.

    In the hazy fog, unexpectedly there was a solitary boat floating on the water.

    Sitting cross-legged on the solitary boat was a young monk dressed in moon-white colored monk robe, playing a qin. Under the illumination of moon and the stars, his eyes looked as bright as the stars, his lips red, his teeth white, his facial features fair like a young woman, but his expression warm and cultured, filled with elegance, free and easy, unlike anything that the women of the world could compare.

    His whole body, from top to bottom, appeared untainted by even a speck of dust; unexpectedly he appeared like the cloud from the Ninth Heaven blowing down to the mortal world. Even if Tang Seng[2] was alive, Xuanzang was reborn, perhaps he would be no more than this.

    Chu Liuxiang cast him a couple of glances. Knitting his brows, he smiled wryly and said, “Turns out it is him; I should have thought about it, in all the world, aside from him, who else could produce such qin sound … He plays the qin under the moonlight, it is quite elegant and stylist, but he didn’t know how much hurt and sufferings he brought to me.”

    He dove toward the side of the boat before his head appeared out of the water and said, “Could it be that in Dashi’s [great master, term of respect to address Buddhist monks] heart, there is some difficulties?”

    The plinking sound of the qin suddenly stopped; although the monk was also startled, but his demeanor remained calm. With his cold eyes he looked, and a smile spread out across his face. He said, “Every time Chu Xiong meet pinseng [impoverished monk, a humble term used by monk to refer to self], is it a requirement that you have to be dripping wet?”

    This young monk was precisely the world-famous ‘Wonder Monk’ Wuhua [lit. no flower]. The other day the was going boating on the ocean, and was also scared by Chu Liuxiang who suddenly appeared from the water.

    Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “Did Dashi happen to see two people?”

    Wuhua asked, “But I don’t know which two people, and which two characters?”

    Chu Liuxiang replied, “The first is that ‘killing people without shedding blood, one red dot under the sword’.”

    Wuhua frowned slightly; suddenly he picked the seven-stringed qin in front of him and tossed it into the water.

    Chu Liuxiang was surprised, “That qin must be a lot more valuable than my mask, why did you throw it into the lake?” he asked.

    Wuhua replied, “You mentioned that person’s name here, this qin became infected by the reek of blood; it could no longer produce an ethereal sound.” Finished speaking, he washed his hands in the lake water, took out a spotlessly-white-like-snow silk neckband to wipe the droplets dry.

    “Do you think this lake water is clean?” he asked, “Perhaps inside there are …”

    Wuhua hurriedly cut him off by saying, “People can make water dirty, but water cannot make people filthy. It rushes to and fro, its nature is dust-free.”

    Chu Liuxiang sighed; he said, “No wonder you wanted to be a monk. People like you, if you did not leave home [to become a Buddhist monk or nun], I am afraid you can’t even survive one day in the vulgar, mundane world.”

    Wuhua chuckled indifferently and asked, “And the second person?”

    Chu Liuxiang laughed bitterly and said, “This second person, although he recognizes me, I don’t recognize him. I only know his qinggong is out of the ordinary, his secret projectile sinister, and he knows ‘ren shu’.”

    Wuhua was slightly moved, “’Ren shu’?” he asked.

    Chu Liuxiang said, “You have always been extremely knowledgeable; you might know, has ‘ren shu’ entered the Central Earth?”

    Wuhua pondered quietly for half a day. Finally he spoke slowly, “First-class ‘ren shu’ was passed on from Yihe, from the main island of Dongying; it could also be considered some kind of extremely mysterious martial art. But in pinseng’s opinion, your remarkable ability not only can be considered ‘different tunes played with equal skill’ with ‘ren shu’, it also surpassed it.”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “You flattered me like that, clearly the next time we play chess, you want me to intentionally lose to you several rounds?”

    With a grim expression Wuhua said, “Dongying’s martial arts originated from our country during the Tang dynasty, it’s just that they added and altered it somewhat; nothing more. Dongying Wulin’s most famous figure Liu Shengliu’s ‘Yi Dao Liu Deng Zongpai’ [lit. one blade flowing once school/sect] for the most part paying particular attention to ‘using stillness to control movement, moving later to control the opponent’. Isn’t that similar to the essence of our country’s martial art? As for their sword technique being ruthless and concise, it is also similar to the root of the saber technique that was prevalent during the Tang dynasty; they are virtually the same.”

    Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “You are indeed extremely knowledgeable, but that ren shu …”

    Wuhua said, “Ren shu, these two characters, although sound mysterious, it is actually no more than qinggong, secret projectile, knockout drugs, as well as the art of disguise, mixed together. It’s just that by their nature they are the best in imitating and copying, plus some kind of martyrdom spirit, which is unfathomable mystery. After learning things from our country, not only it can be said to master it, but also embellish [orig. add washes of ink or color to a drawing] to the brink of myth.”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “I just want to ask you, after going through their embellishment, and becoming martial art skill like ‘ren shu’, has it flowed into the Central Earth? Has anybody mastered it?”

    Muttering to himself irresolutely, Wuhua said, “It is said that twenty years ago, there was one ‘Yihe’ ninja crossing the ocean and came here; not only that, he even stayed in the Minnan [southern Fujian] area for three years. If there is any person from Central Earth Wulin who can master ren shu, presumably he must have learned it within that three years from him. Moreover, presumably he must be a figure from Minnan Wulin.”

    Knitting his brows, Chu Liuxiang said, “Minnan …? Could it be that he is from Chen and Lin, two major Wulin families?”

    Frowning, Wuhua said with a laugh, “Such a fine evening, yet you and I are talking about some worldly affairs, aren’t you afraid of disappointing the cool breeze and the bright moon?”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “I am a layman; especially at this moment. Other than these worldly affairs, I have completely no interest in anything else.”

    He suddenly stood up, laughed aloud and said, “If you want to discuss Zen [meditation (Buddhism)] or play chess, after my business is done, I may look for you. And I guarantee that my body will be dry.” Amidst his laughter, he leaped back into the water, without creating the slightest splash of water.

    Wuhua laughed and said, “Discussing Zen and playing chess is an appointment, you must never forget it.”

    Chu Liuxiang’s head appeared on the surface; he laughed loudly and said, “Whoever forgets his appointment with Wuhua, that person must be an idiot.”

    Wuhua followed him swimming away like a fish with his eyes; he smiled and said, “Able to make acquaintance with this person, whether as a friend or a foe, can be regarded as a pleasure.”

    Chu Liuxiang swam back to the shore; picking up Yitian Hong, he looked for a tall tree, and put him on the branches, making sure that his position was stable. And then he leaped back onto the ground, waved his hand, and said with a laugh, “We must part here. In less than half a sichen, you will wake up. I know that you won’t want me to see you as you wake up in such an embarrassing situation.”

    He swaggered back into the city. Along the way he repeatedly thought deeply, only to feel that in this matter so far, everything was a jumbled mess, without any clue that he could get hold of.

    He decided not to think about it for the time being, to give his brains a chance to rest well.

    A human’s mind is a fairly strange thing; you don’t use it for a long time, it will rust, but if you use it too much, it will become numb.

    As he entered the city, the light of the dawn has already appeared, the streets already had pedestrians, albeit still sparse.

    Chu Liuxiang’s clothes was already dry; after three turns and two bends, unexpectedly he had already reached the Hall of Delight. Song Gang’s dead body has already been removed. Shen Shangu and the Tian Xing Bang disciples had all left.

    Several big men dressed in black were just cleaning up; seeing Chu Liuxiang, one after another they shouted, “This moment the gambling tables are not open yet, why don’t you come back in the evening? Why are you so anxious?”

    Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “I am looking for Leng Qiuhun.”

    The big man angrily said, “What ‘thing’ do you think you are? How dare you call Leng Gongzi’s name straight out?”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “I am not any kind of ‘thing’, just Leng Qiuhun’s Xiongdi.”

    The several big men cast a glance, put down their brooms and buckets, and hurriedly rushed inside.

    Half a day later, Leng Qiuhun waltzed out. Although he appeared to have lack of sleep, his eyes were still bright and spirited; he looked at Chu Liuxiang up and down several times, and spoke coldly, “Who are you, Sire? Ol’ Leng does not remember having any Xiongdi with Sire’s appearance.”

    Chu Liuxiang deliberately looked around, and lowering his voice, he said, “Zaixia is Zhang Xiaolin; to evade others’ eyes and ears, I deliberately put on a disguise like this.”

    Leng Qiuhun stared blankly for a moment. Suddenly he pulled his hand and laughed aloud and said, “Turns out it’s Zhao [sic] Er Ge [second older brother]; Xiongdi really deserves to die, unexpectedly I forgot Er Ge’s appearance.”

    Chu Liuxiang was secretly amused; he was pulled into an exquisite bedroom, where from under an embroidered quilt a piece of woman’s disheveled bun was seen, from where a piece of emerald jade hairpin had fallen next to the pillow.

    Unexpectedly Leng Qiuhun pulled the quilt open and spoke coldly, “The matter is over, you haven’t left yet?”

    The woman whimpered tenderly while putting on her clothes, and tottered out of the room.

    Only then did Leng Qiuhun sit down. Looking at Chu Liuxiang, he said, “I never thought Xiongtai’s disguising technique is extremely exquisite.”

    Chu Liuxiang stroked his nose and said with a laugh, “Leng Xiong could not see through it?”

    Leng Qiuhun said, “After wearing disguise, of course it did not look as natural as before. If Xiongtai disguise yourself a bit uglier, it would not be easy to see through. This way … this way inevitably will attract attention too much.”

    Chu Liuxiang almost burst from refraining from laughing, but on the mouth he sighed and said, “It was late at night and I was in a hurry; although it was not the best, I just had to put up with it.”

    Leng Qiuhun took a couple more glances, and then said, “It’s not too bad actually, perhaps if the nose is a bit lower, the eyes are a bit smaller, it would do.”

    Struggling hard not to laugh, Chu Liuxiang said, “Yes, yes, next time it will be fixed.”

    Looking around, he asked, “Where is Shen Shangu?”

    Leng Qiuhun smiled slightly and said, “Zaixia is unwilling to step in Xiongtai’s trailing dust [fig. somebody’s footsteps], naturally I had to let her go. Although Tian Xing Bang’s talents have been dwindling, overall it is still considered a famous gang, I am not willing to tie too deep of an enmity with them.”

    “In that case,” Chu Liuxiang said, “I wonder if Xiongtai could send your men to track Wulin people’s whereabouts within the city of Jinan?”

    Leng Qiuhun replied, “I have already sent people to carefully search, and those ‘Five Demons’ [referring to five chief demons of folklore personifying pestilence] are not in the city at all. Apart from this, although there are several figures whose names are not small, they have nothing to do with us.”

    “Who are they?” Chu Liuxiang casually asked.

    Leng Qiuhun replied, “The man’s attire is strange, his sword narrow, looks like he is from Hainan Jian Pai. From his expression, he seems to be a martial art master; it may be assumed that if he is not Lingjiu Zi, then he must be Tianying Zi.”

    Chu Liuxiang sprang up and said, “Could he be Tianying Zi? Where is he now?”

    Leng Qiuhun was surprised, “Why is Xiongtai so keyed up?”

    “Don’t ask now, tell me quickly where he is,” Chu Liuxiang replied, “Any delay, I am afraid it might be too late.”

    Leng Qiuhun replied, “He is not at Gua Shan Daoguan [Daoist temple], but he is staying at the Yingbin Lou in southern part of the city. Why is Xiongtai so anxious to find him?”

    He had not finished speaking, Chu Liuxiang already rushed out in large strides, while muttering to himself, “I hope I am not too late; I hope he won’t be the third person who die because of that letter.”

    The Yingbin [lit. welcoming the guest] Lou [building with more than one story] was extremely big, with a lot of guests, but Tianying Zi was the only guest who had left home [to become monk/priest], and he occupied a tiny lateral court facing the sun.

    Only at this time he had gone out.

    After inquiring clearly, Chu Liuxiang took two turns, and quickly broke away from the shop clerk, who was staring at him like he was watching a thief. The shop clerk only saw the person in front of his eyes suddenly disappeared, and thought that he had encountered a fox spirit; immediately he fell prostrate on the ground to kowtow. Meanwhile Chu Liuxiang already reached the lateral court, and using a copper wire, he opened the door lock.

    Although Tianying Zi’s prestige was not small, he did not bring too many luggage, only a bundle of yellow cloth. Inside the bundle was a set of clean undergarments, two socks, and a roll of silk sutras.

    This roll of sutras was wrapped inside the undergarment, and was tied using silk yarn; evidently Tianying Zi considered this object as very precious. “Could it be that the mysterious letter is hidden in the sutra?” Chu Liuxiang wondered inwardly.

    By this time Chu Liuxiang already realized that the letter must have an extremely deep relation with the matter he was investigating, perhaps it was even the key to solve this whole secret, otherwise, there would not be that many people died because of the letter.

    Chu Liuxiang untied the silk thread, and sure enough, a letter fell from the sutra.

    Overjoyed, the picked up the letter to take a look. Written on a piece of pink paper were two rows of graceful characters; unexpectedly it appeared to be a woman’s handwriting.

    The letter read:

    Returned to the Lord is his pearl, thanking the Lord for his ever measure.

    Bestowed to the Lord by means of Hui Jian [lit. intelligent sword], hoping the Lord would sever the yearning. [Translator’s note: apology for the inaccuracy, this passage is beyond my ability.]

    The letter’s creases were very deep, it appeared to have been read over and over again, but was still kept neatly and in whole; it was thus clear that the recipient deeply treasured the letter.

    Although it was written tactfully, it was obvious that the writer wanted the recipient to cut off the emotion, and no longer thought about her. If it were written in a clear-cut manner, it would be something like this: ‘I don’t love you, and I don’t want you to be carried away by your wishful thinking about me.’

    Naturally this letter was addressed to Tianying Zi. The signature at the end of the letter only says ‘Ling Su’, two small characters. It may be assumed that this was the woman’s maiden name.

    Chu Liuxiang sighed inwardly and pondered, “Apparently before he left home, this Tianying Zi has had his heart broken, perhaps it was precisely because of this that he left home. Until today he still keeps this heartless letter by his side, he is indeed a passionate guy.”

    Inadvertently he had pried into other people’s private business, inwardly he felt very bad. In the end he still did not find the mysterious letter, and could not help feeling very disappointed.

    The bundle was returned to its original state, no one would be able to see that it had been moved.

    Walking back to the street, Chu Liuxiang muttered to himself, “Where could Tianying Zi go? He traveled for thousands of li presumably also in order to track down his Shixiong [martial brother] Lingjiu Zi. Since he has arrived in Jinan, naturally he must have come to Zhusha Men to inquire.”

    At this thought, he immediately stopped his horse and galloped back toward the Hall of Delight.

    Unexpectedly Leng Qiuhun was standing outside the door, as if he had just sent a guest off. Seeing Chu Liuxiang, he laughed and said, “You are still one step too late.”

    Chu Liuxiang urgently asked, “Was it Tianying Zi?”

    Leng Qiuhun laughed and said, “It was. You went to look for him, but he came to look for me. Strange thing is, Hainan Jian Pai unexpectedly also has someone missing. Even more strange, he did not look for others to inquire, but he came looking for me. Hainan and Jinan are thousands of li apart, someone from Hainan Jian Pai went missing, how could Zhusha Men know his whereabouts?”

    Chu Liuxiang asked, “After he left, do you happen to know where he is going?”

    “Back to Yingbin Lou of course,” Leng Qiuhun replied, “I have agreed with him that before noon today I am going to pay a return visit.”

    Without waiting for him to finish, Chu Liuxiang already disappeared without any shadow.

    This time he was ‘driving a lightweight chariot on a familiar road’ [idiom: doing a familiar thing], he rushed straight toward the lateral court. The window of the room has already been raised, a withered and thin Taoist, with his black hair rolled up and pinned in a bun on top of his head, was sitting by the window, steeping tea.

    Perhaps he was thinking about the load on his mind, but the tea in the teapot had not been poured out yet, unexpectedly he was unaware that he was still holding the teapot in is hand in an upright position.

    Heaving a sigh of relief, Chu Liuxiang muttered to himself, “Finally I came in time. This time, no matter what, I am not going to let anybody killing him in front of my eyes.”

    Finished speaking, he cupped his fist to salute and called out, “Is it Tianying Daozhang [Taoist priest] inside the house?”

    Tianying Zi seemed to be in trance, unexpectedly he did not hear such a loud voice.

    Snickering, Chu Liuxiang mused, “Could it be that this passionate Taoist is thinking about that Lingsu?”

    Walking over to the window in large strides, he said, “Zaixia came here only to talk about your honorable Shixiong …”

    Before he finished, he suddenly discovered that the teapot was not without tea, but it has been drained, the tea flowed over the table, and spread over his body.

    Chu Liuxiang’s mind traveled at the speed of light, he reached out to tap his shoulder. Who would have imagined that unexpectedly he fell straight down? Even after he was on the ground, his legs were still bent in a sitting posture.

    Chu Liuxiang was greatly shocked. He flew into the room. Tianying Zi’s four limbs were already ice-cold, his breathing stopped, a trace of blood came out of his chest. Unexpectedly his acupoint was sealed first before a sword pierced his chest and killed him.

    Apparently this famous swordsman, whose name filled Hainan, had been killed without he knowing it. The person who killed him put his sword through his chest in such a way that even the teapot in his hand was not shaken.

    It was such an astonishing skill.


    [1] Chapter title: figuratively, it means living a solitary and quiet life.

    [2] Tang Seng, Xuanzang (602-664) Tang dynasty Buddhist monk and translator, who traveled to India 629- 645.
    Last edited by foxs; 12-05-17 at 09:31 PM.

  17. #97
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    thanks foxs for the update

  18. #98
    Senior Member LuDongBin's Avatar
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    Wuhua, Wuhua .... Thks foxs.

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    Thanks, foxs.

  20. #100
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks foxs.

    Wuhua smells kinda fishy. He's appearing in all these places and know all these things. I dont think he's an innocent monk.

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