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Thread: Dagger Lee unabridged

  1. #21
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 19: Impossible to Explain

    Xin Me is also quite sure that the porridge has no poison. But he is a monk after all. So he only took two sips when Tian Qi finished the whole bowl.

    Tian Qi smiled. “At this rate, we should be on Mt. Song(where Shaolin is located... and hour driver from my hometown in China, I might add) by tomorrow morning.”

    Xin Mei also looked relieved. He said, “There are bound to be some disciples coming to greet us these couple of days. As long as...”

    He suddenly stopped talking. His body started to shake, dropped his bowl, spilling porridge all over his blouse.

    Tian Qi’s face became pale. “Reverend.... You...”

    “There is poison in this soup?”

    Xin Mei sighed. Unable to speak.

    Tian Qi grabbed Li Xun Huan’s shirt. “Look at my face. Is my face...”

    He suddenly stopped, because he knows there’s no need to ask.

    Li Xun Huan sighed. “Although I’ve always found you disgusting, I still don’t want to see you die.”

    Tian Qi’s face has no colors. His body shaking, staring at Li Xun Huan. Then he laughed, “Although you don’t want to see me die, I want to see you die! I should’ve killed you a long time ago!”

    Li Xun Huan said, “You think it’s a bit late to kill me now?”

    Tian Qi bit his teeth. “That’s right. It really is late to kill you know. But fortunately, not too late.”

    His hands grabbed Li Xun Huan’s throat.

    Ah Fei stood up.

    His face looks very pale, but his body is straight.

    Ah Fei circled the room twice, then asked, “Do you think he can arrive at Shaolin safely?”

    Lin Xian Er said, “You really can’t go three sentences without bringing up Li Xun Huan, can you? Can’t you talk about something besides him? Why don’t you talk about me? Or yourself?”

    Ah Fei looked at her calmly, then asked, “Do you think he can safely arrive at Shaolin?”

    No matter what Lin Xian Er says, he still only has that one sentence.

    Lin Xian Er laughed. “Oh, you! I can’t do anything about you, can I.” She pulled Ah Fei down to sit beside her, then said sweetly, “Don’t worry. He’s probably having tea with Reverend Xin Hu right now. Shaolin’s tea is very famous, you know.”

    Ah Fei finally calmed down, and even smiled. “From what I know, even if he’s captured, he still wouldn’t drink tea.”

    Li Xun Huan couldn’t breathe.

    Tian Qi’s face also looked worse and worse, also can’t seem to breathe. But he seemed unable to release his hands even in death.

    Li Xun Huan only felt that everything became dark, that Tian Qi’s face became more and more distant. He knows he’s about to die.

    In this situation, he thought he would think about a lot of things, because someone once told him that.

    Yet he didn’t think about anything. No painful memories. Just something very funny. He almost laughed.

    He never thought he’d die with Tian Qi. Looks like Tian Qi will accompany him on the road to the underworld.

    Only to hear Tian Qi said, “Li Xun Huan. You really have a lot of breath. Why won’t you just die?”

    Li Xun Huan originally wanted to say, “I’m waiting for you to die.”

    But he can’t possibly say anything at this moment. He can’t even breathe.

    Suddenly, he heard a loud noise, seemingly far, far away, but seemed to be from Tian Qi.

    Then everything became bright again.

    He saw Tian Qi.

    Tian Qi has fallen in the carriage seat. His dead eyes still glaring at Li Xun Huan.

    Looking at Xin Mei’s irregular breathing, it seems he just used quite a bit of strength.

    Li Xun Huan looked at him for a while, then asked, “Why did you save me?”

    Xin Mei didn’t respond. Instead he unsealed Li Xun Huan’s pressure points. “Before Five Poison Kid comes, run away.”

    Li Xun Huan did not even move. “Why do you save me? Are you certain now that I”m not the Plum Flower Bandit?”

    Xin Mei said, “Monks try not to have too much blood on their hand before death. No matter who you are, just go.”

    Li Xun Huan looked at his black face, then sighed. “Thank you. Unfortunately, I can do many things, but escaping is not one of them.”

    Xin Mei said in a hurry. “This isn’t a time to be a hero. Your inner strength hasn’t recovered yet. You can’t beat him.”

    Suddenly the horse gasped. The driver yelled, and the carriage rammed into the tree.

    Xin Mei lied on the side of the carriage, asking, “Why are you still here? Do you want to save me?”

    Li Xun Huan said calmly, “If you can save me, why can’t I save you?”

    Xin Mei said, “But I’m not far from death. What does it matter when I die?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “But you haven’t died yet, right?”

    He stopped talking. Instead simply took out a dagger.

    A light, thin dagger.

    A Little Li’s Flying Dagger!

    Li Xun Huan’s lips seemed to be smiling.

    The carriage lies on its side. The wheel kept spinning, making an annoying creaking sound. At this wild place, the sound is excruciating.

    Li Xun Huan said calmly, “This wheel really needs some oil.”

    At this point, he actually thinks whether the wheel needs oil or not! Xin Mei found that this person is strange beyond belief.

    He’s lived for sixty years, but has never met someone like him.

    This time Li Xun Huan carried him out of the carriage. The cold wind cut through their faces.

    Xin Mei said, “You don’t have to do this. Just... go.”

    There’s no moon tonight. No matter how hard he tries, Xin Mei couldn’t see a thing.

    Only to hear Li Xun Huan yell, “Are you here, Five Poison Kid?”

    No response.

    Li Xun Huan said, “If you’re not here, then we’ll be leaving.”

    Xin Mei asked, “Where are we going?”

    “Shaolin temple, of course.”

    Xin Mei was shocked. “Shaolin?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “We spent all that effort just to get to Shaolin, remember?”

    Xin Mei said, “But... but you don’t have to go now.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Actually, I must go there.”


    “Because only Shaolin has the antidote to your poison.”

    Xin Mei is bewildered. “Why save me? I’m your enemy.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “I save you, only because you’re at least a human being.”

    Xin Mei sighed. “If we really do get to Shaolin, I’ll tell everyone you’re innocent. I know you can’t be the Plum Flower Bandit.”

    Li Xun Huan just smiled. He didn’t say anything.

    Xin Mei said, “Unfortunately, by carrying me, you’ll never reach Shaolin. Although Five Poison Kid has not shown himself, he’s not going to let you get away.”

    Li Xun Huan coughed lightly.

    Xin Mei said, “With your lightness kung fu, you might be able to leave alone. Why carry me? As long as you have this thought, I’m already very grateful.”

    Only to hear someone laugh. “Wow. A reverend of the Shaolin actually became friend with a womanizing drunk Tan Hua. Who would believe this?”

    The laughter seemed close one moment, far away the next. It’s impossible to tell where it’s from.

    Xin Mei suddenly asked, “Five Poison Kid?”

    That voice replied, “How’s that porridge? Tasty?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “If you want me die, why don’t you come out and take it?”

    Five Poison Kid said, “I don’t need to show myself to kill you.”


    “Until today, I’ve killed three hundred and ninety two people. Not only did none of them ever see me, they couldn’t even see my shadow.”

    Li Xun Huan smiled. “I was told that you’re a midget, and so ugly you won’t let anyone see you. Looks like it’s true.”

    After a moment, he heard Five Poison Kid say, “I really owe it to you to keep you alive til tomorrow morning.”

    Li Xun Huan laughed. “Of course, I won’t die before tomorrow morning. But I can’t say the same for you, I’m afraid.”

    Before he stopped laughing, he heard a flute.

    He suddenly saw many big and small shadows on the snow. He can’t tell what they are. Whatever they are, he has to hold his breath.

    Xin Mei said, “When five poison appears, people’s bodies decay. If you don’t leave now, when will you leave?”

    Li Xun Huan acted as if he didn’t hear anything. Then said, “I heard he has thousands of poisonous insects, how come I only see a few? Did the others all die?”

    The flute noise became quicker. Some of those insects crawled onto their feet. Xin Mei almost threw up.

    Only to hear Five Poison Kid laugh. “These are my special insects, combined from seven different poisons. Not only do they eat flesh, but afterwards, they’ll even eat your bones.”
    Before he finished, a dagger flashed!

    Little Li’s Flying Dagger has been released!

    Xin Mei almost yelled out loud.

    He knows that Li Xun Huan’s dagger is their only hope. But Li Xun Huan can’t even see his target.

    If this dagger misses, they’ll both die.

    He’s obviously gambling with their life here.

    Their chances really are slim.

    Xin Mei didn’t think Li Xun Huan would take such a big risk.

    At this moment, the dagger’s glow disappeared into the darkness. But the darkness suddenly let out a short yet loud scream!

    Then a person came out from the darkness.

    This person looks like a little kid. He wears a short blouse, showing his little legs. Even in this winter condition, he doesn’t seem cold.

    His head is small, but his eyes are bright.

    His eyes are filled with disbelief and anger, staring at Li Xun Huan. He wants to say something, but nothing will come out.

    Xin Mei then noticed Little Li’s Dagger on his throat. He couldn’t help but pull out the dagger. When he did this, blood spilled out.

    Five Poison Kid finally said, “What a venomous dagger.”

    By this time the insects on the has crawled onto Li Xun Huan and Xin Mei. But they can’t even move.

    Little Li’s Dagger might have no equal in the world, but they’ll still probably be eaten.

    Who’d have thought that when Five Poison Kid’s blood spilled out, those insects suddenly shot over to his throat.

    In a short time, his body disappeared. Yet after those insects ate him, they also stopped moving!

    It really is fitting that Five Poison Kid would die by his own poison.

    Xin Mei finally let out a sigh of relief. “Not only is your dagger without equal in this world, so is your composure.”

    Li Xun Huan smiled. “It’s no big deal. I just figured these insects must follow human blood. Actually, I was quite scared too.”

    “You were actually scared?”

    Li Xun Huan smiled. “Other than dead people, where can you find someone who’s doesn’t get scared?”

    Xin Mei sighed. “You really are amazing.”

    His voice was weak, finally lied down.

    It’s morning.

    Li Xun Huan sat by Xin Mei, already asleep.

    When he woke up he found a horse carriage to take them to Mt. Song. They stopped at the base of the mountain before Li Xun Huan carried Xin Mei the rest of the way.

    On his way up, he saw some monks gathering firewood. When they saw someone walking up the mountain with lightness kung fu, they took noticed.

    One person asked, “Where are you from? Are you...”

    Another one saw that he’s carrying a monk, and asked, “Is that a Shaolin disciple on your back?”

    Li Xun Huan originally was walking calmly, but when he saw these two monks, he suddenly flew high into the air over their heads, then kept on climbing.

    By the time those monks could give chase, Li Xun Huan is already gone.

    It still took him a couple of hours to reach Shaolin. He saw many pagodas big and small. He knows that this is the sacred Pagoda forest, where all past heads of Shaolin are buried.

    This really isn’t a good place for someone like him.

    He suddenly started to cough.

    Then he heard someone say, “Who dare enter the sacred land of Shaolin? You really are an arrogant person.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Reverend Xin Mei is seriously injured. I brought him here so you can heal him. Please take me to your head reverend.”

    Suddenly many monks appeared. One asked, “My I ask for you name?”

    Li Xun Huan sighed. “My name is Li Xun Huan.”

    Deep inside the bamboo forest, two people are playing Go(Wei Qi).

    On the right is a strange looking old monk.

    On the right is a skinny, short old man. His eyes are incredibly bright, charming, making people forget his height. He is definitely very charismatic.

    Who other than Bai Xiao Sheng is worthy of playing Go with Reverend Xin Hu?

    When these two play go, no one can stop them. But when they heard the words ‘Li Xun Huan’, they stopped.

    Xin Hu asked, “Where is he?”

    The monk who sent the message said, outside second martial uncle’s room.

    Xin Hu said, “What happened to your second martial uncle?”

    That monk replied, “His injuries aren’t serious. Fourth and sixth martial uncle are tending to him right now.”

    Li Xun Huan stood in the hall, looking at his surroundings.

    He felt someone coming towards him. He didn’t bother to look.

    When they were ten steps away from Li Xun Huan, Xin Hu and Bai Xiao Sheng stopped. Although he knew Li Xun Huan by reputation, this is the first time Xin Hu has seen him.

    He couldn’t believe this person in front of him is the famous wandering hero.

    He looked all over his body, not missing any details. Especially those skinny, long hands.

    What’s so special about these hands?

    How come a regular dagger turns into a legend once it falls into these hands?

    Bai Xiao Sheng saw him ten years ago. He found that Li Xun Huan did not change much these ten years, and yet he seemed to have changed a lot.

    Bai Xiao Sheng finally laughed. “How has it been, Mr. Tan Hua?”

    Li Xun Huan also laughed. “I can’t believe you still remember me.”

    Xin Hu said, “Yet I don’t know if you recognize me.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Who doesn’t know reverend’s good name? Your fame is widespread. I really am grateful to meet you today.”

    Xin Hu said, “Don’t be so modest. Thank you for bringing my martial brother here.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “It’s no matter.”

    Xin Hu said, “After I check on the condition of my martial brother, we’ll resume chatting.”

    After he left, Bai Xiao Sheng smiled. “Monks really can hold their temper. I really couldn’t have done the same thing.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “If someone injured your students and martial brother, would you still be nice to him?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Are you implying that I injured Xin Mei and his students?”

    Bai Xiao Sheng put his hands behind his back. “Other than Little Li Tan Hua, who else can hurt him?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “If I injured him, why would I carry him here?”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “See. This is why you’re so brilliant.”


    “No matter who injures a reverend of Shaolin, he’s bound to forever have problems. The thousands of Shaolin disciples are bound to seek revenge.”

    Li Xun Huan smiled. “Bai Xiao Sheng really does know everything. No wonder everyone in the martial world wants to be your friend. It really is a great thing to be your friend.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng’s expression did not change. “I’m only saying the truth.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “But you forgot one thing. Xin Mei is still alive. He obviously knows who hurt him. By that time, I’m afraid you’ll have to eat your words.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng sighed. “If I calculate correctly, Xin Mei doesn’t have any chance to say more words.”

    Suddenly he heard someone say, “If you didn’t hurt Xin Mei, then who did?”

    It’s not clear when he got back, but his expression is very cold.

    Li Xun Huan said, “You mean you can’t tell he’s been poisoned?”

    Xin Hu did not respond. He turned around and said, “Seventh brother.”

    Only to see a yellow faced, ill-looking man, who said, “He was poisoned by Five Poison Kid’s “Five Poison Water”. This poison has no odor or taste. As colorless as water. If one does not immediately find the antidote, he’ll rot and turn colorless.”
    Li Xun Huan laughed. “You really are amazing.”

    Xin Jian said coldly, “Yet I only know that the poison is Five Poison Water. I don’t know who poisoned him.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “That’s correct. Although the poisoned person is dead, the culprit is still alive.”

    Xin Jian said, “Five Poison Kid has no grudge against Shaolin, why would he poison second brother?”

    Li Xun Huan sighed. “Because he was trying to poison me.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “This is strange. If he was trying to poison you, why are you still here? How come brother Xin Mei is dead?”

    He stared at Li Xun Huan. “If you can explain this, then I really must bow down before you.”

    Li Xun Huan thought for a long time before smiling. “I can’t. Because no matter what I say, you won’t believe me.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “You really do make it hard for us to believe you.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “I can’t say it. But someone can.”

    Xin Hu asked, “Who?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Reverend Xin Mei. Why don’t you ask him when he wakes up?”

    Xin Jian said coldly, “Second brother will never wake up!”

    End of Chapter 19

  2. #22
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 20 A Person's Heart is Hard to See

    The temple bell kept ringing, this obviously to signal the death of their reverend.

    In the cold winter winds, Li Xun Huan couldn’t help coughing again, not knowing whether to be angry, regretful, or sad.

    When he stopped coughing, he saw many monks enter this little yard. Everyone has a face full of ice.

    Everyone stared at him, their mouths closed tightly. The bell stopped too, so there’s absolutely no noise, except for the footsteps in the snow.

    When the last footsteps stopped, Li Xun Huan felt he was covered by layers and layers of thick ice.

    Xin Hu said, “Do you have anything more to say?”

    Li Xun Huan thought for a long time. “No.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “You shouldn’t have come.”

    Li Xun Huan thought again for a while, then suddenly laughed. “Maybe I shouldn’t have come, but if I can turn back time, I’d still come.”

    He calmly continued. “Although I’ve killed countless people in my life, I’ve never watched someone die without helping.”

    Xin Hu said angrily, “Even now you still try to claim innocence?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Monks are supposed to be emotionless. How could you get angry so easily?”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “I heard Mr. Tan Hua is very knowledgeable, so how come you don’t know that even Buddha himself sometimes have yelled loudly.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “In that case, go ahead and yell. Just try not to hurt your throat.”

    Xin Hu said loudly, “Even now, you still show no signs of regret. Looks like I might have to break the rule of no killing today.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Go ahead. It’s a good thing you’re not the only monk who’ve killed!”

    Xin Jian said, “We kill you not for revenge, but to kill an evil monster!”

    Just then, he saw a glow of a dagger. He doesn’t know when Li Xun Huan’s hand suddenly held a dagger. Little Li’s Flying Dagger!

    Only to hear Li Xun Huan said, “I’m suggest you don’t try to kill this evil monster, because you can’t possibly beat me!”

    Xin Hu said, “You mean even now you still want to put up a savage fight?”

    Li Xun Huan sighed. “Although my life isn’t easy, I’m still not ready to die.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “Although you dagger never misses, but how many dagger do you have? How many can you kill?”

    Li Xun Huan smiled, did not respond.

    Xin Hu stared at Li Xun Huan’s hands, then suddenly said, “Good. I’ll test your legendary dagger today!”

    He immediately moved.

    But Bai Xiao Sheng held him back. “Reverend you can’t possibly go!”


    Bai Xiao Sheng sighed. “Because no one on this Earth can dodge his dagger for certain!”

    “No one can dodge it?”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “No one!”

    Xin Hu let out a deep breath. “If don’t go to the underworld, then who will go to the underworld.”

    Xin Jin also came over. “Brother, you must think of our temple. How could you put yourself in such danger?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “He’s right. None of you need to take this risk. You have so many disciples anyway. Just one word and they’ll be willing to die for you.”

    Xin Hu’s expression changed, then yelled, “Without my order, no one will move. Otherwise they’ll be disciplined for disobedience. Understand?”

    All the monks lowered their heads.

    Li Xun Huan smiled. “Shaolin really is different from those ordinary, view-life-as-nothing sects. Otherwise, how could my little trick work so well?”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said coldly, “Shaolin monks might not want his disciples to exchange life with you, but do you really think you can leave?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Who said I want to leave?”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “You... you want to stay?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “The truth has not yet been revealed. Why should I go now?”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “You mean you can ask Five Poison Kid to come to Shaolin stating he was the culprit?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “No, because he is dead.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “You killed him?”

    Li Xun Huan said calmly. “He’s also a person. Therefore he also could not dodge my dagger!”

    Xin Hu suddenly said, “If you can find his body, we can at least prove that you didn’t lie about everything.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Unfortunately, even if we find his body, no one can tell that he’s the Five Poison Kid.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng laughed coldly. “So can you find anyone who can prove your innocence?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “As of right now? No.”

    “Then what do you propose to do?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “I just want to drink wine right now.”

    Ah Fei did not look comfortable sitting on the chair. He can never sit as leisurely as Li Xun Huan in a chair. It seems that he’s never really sat on a chair before in his life.

    Lin Xian Er slept by the fireside, soaking up the heat.

    These few days she did not really rest. Only when she was certain that Ah Fei had fully recovered did she sleep tightly.

    Ah Fei looked at her quietly, almost staring like an idiot.

    There’s only her sound of breathing in the room. The snow outside has melted. Heaven and Earth filled with peace and warmth.

    Ah Fei’s eyes suddenly showed a touch of pain.

    He suddenly stood up, put on his shoes quietly.

    He quietly took a deep breath, then grabbed his sword.

    Ah Fei quietly put his sword in his waist.

    Suddenly Lin Xian Er said, “What are you... you doing?”

    Ah Fei didn’t dare to turn around, biting his teeth, he said, “I’m leaving!”

    Lin Xian Er was taken aback. “Leaving?”

    She stood up. “You’re not even going to say goodbye? Just leave quietly like this?”

    Ah Fei said, “Since I’m leaving, why bother saying goodbye?”

    Lin Xian Er’s body suddenly melted, falling on to the chair. Tears fell from her eyes.

    Ah Fei’s heart felt painful. He’s never had this emotion before. Not resembling anything else he’s encountered in his life.

    Is this love?

    Ah Fei said, “You saved me. I’ll repay you sooner or later.”

    Lin Xian Er suddenly smiled. “Good. Then pay me back now. I only saved you so you can repay me.”

    She’s laughing, but she’s shedding even more tears now.

    Ah Fei said, “I know what you’re thinking. But I have to find Li Xun Huan.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “How come you’re certain I don’t want to find him either? Why not take me along?”

    Ah Fei said, “I... I don’t want to drag you into this.”

    Lin Xian Er said while crying, “But do you really think that if you go, I’ll be happy?”

    Ah Fei wants to say something, but his lips are shaking.

    Lin Xian Er grabbed around his waist, holding him tightly, as if holding on to her life. She said loudly, “Take me. Take me with you. If you don’t take me, I’ll die in front of you.”

    The night is quiet.

    Ah Fei walked out the door. He was actually living in Lin Xian Er’s room all this time. Funny, they’ve been searching everywhere for Ah Fei these past few days in this manor, yet no one came to her room.

    Why do they trust her so?

    Lin Xian Er grabbed Ah Fei’s hands tightly. “I have to tell my sister that I’m leaving.”

    Ah Fei said, “Go ahead.”

    Lin Xian Er smiled, “But I don’t want to leave you alone here. So we’ll go together.”

    Ah Fei said, “But your sister...”

    Lin Xian Er said, “Don’t worry, my sister is also Li Xun Huan’s friend.”
    The little house has only one candle upstairs.

    Everything else in the room is asleep, but not the person.

    Lin Shi Yin simply sat there, staring into the distance.

    Lin Xian Er pulled Ah Fei quietly up the stairs. Then whispered, “Big sister. Are you still awake?”

    Lin Shi Yin still just sat there, not even bother to raise her head.

    Lin Xian Er said, “Big sister. I came to tell you that I’m leaving. Don’t worry, I’ll never forget your kindness to me, so I’ll certainly visit you in the future.”

    Lin Shi Yin appeared to not have heard. Only after a long time did she nod slowly. “Go. Leaving is good. There’s nothing here left for you anyway.”

    Lin Xian Er asked, “Where’s brother-in-law?”

    Lin Shi Yin said, “Brother-in-law? Who’s brother-in-law?”

    Lin Xian Er said, “Obviously my brother-in-law.”

    Lin Shi Xin said, “I don’t know anything about your brother-in-law. I don’t know... I don’t know.”

    Lin Xian Er didn’t know what to say. After she got over the shock, she forced a smile. “We’re taking a shortcut to the Shaolin temple!”

    Lin Shi Yin suddenly jumped up, then said loudly, “Go now. Hurry...don’t say anything else. Just go!”

    She put up her hands and pushed Lin Xian Er and Ah Fei down the stairs. Then walked back to the candlelight. Tears fell down her eyes.

    From the shadows came out a person. It’s Long Xiao4 Yun.

    He stared at Lin Shi Yin, a snicker came out of his mouth, and said coldly, “It’s useless even if they reach Shaolin. There’s no one on Earth who can save Li Xun Huan.”

    Although Ah Fei eats a lot, he doesn’t eat very fast.

    He doesn’t eat like Li Xun Huan, who enjoys savoring the tastes of food. Ah Fei only care for the nutrition and the amount of his food.

    Every time he finishes eating, he has no idea when his next meal will come. So he never wastes any food.

    Lin Xian Er simply stared at him sweetly.

    She’s never seen anyone who respects food so much, because only a person who constantly goes hungry can value food so much.

    Lin Xian Er smiled. “Are you full?”

    Ah Fei said, “Very full!”

    Lin Xian Er said with a laugh, “It’s so interesting watching you eat. You eat more food for one meal than I do in three days.”

    Ah Fei also laughed. “But I can go three days without eating. Can you?”

    Lin Xian Er looked at his smile, not knowing what to say.

    After a long time, she suddenly said, “You forgot something.”

    “What’s that?”

    “I have your Golden Thread Vest.”

    She opened her bag and took out the vest.

    Lin Xian Er said, “In order to treat your wound, I had to take it off. I keep forgetting to return it to you.”

    Ah Fei didn’t even look at the vest. “Just keep it.”

    Lin Xian Er’s face showed much happiness, but she shook her head. “This is yours. You’ll need it later anyway, so how can you give it to someone else so easily?”

    Ah Fei looked at her. His voice suddenly became warm. “But I’m not giving it to someone else. I will never give it to someone else. I’m giving it to you.”

    Lin Xian Er stared at him blankly, her eyes filled with gratitude and joy, then fell into his embrace.

    Ah Fei’s heart started to beat rapidly.

    He’s never felt this way before.

    Lin Xian Er smiled secretly.

    Because she knew she now has the heart of this strong, proud young man, who will now forever follow her wishes.

    Ah Fei picked her up and carried her over to her bed. Then gently put the bed sheets over her. In his heart, she is perfect.

    Lin Xian Er simply lied on the bed, still smiling secretly.

    Suddenly, the window opened, cold wind blew in. Lin Xian Er sat up. “Who is it?”

    As she said those words, she saw that person’s face. The face gave off a green glitter, looking like a ghost in the darkness.

    Lin Xian Er lied down again. She did not gasp or faint, but simply looked at him silently, showing no hint of shock.

    This person is also looking at her, his eyes like burning fire.

    Lin Xian Er laughed. “Since you’re already here, why don’t you come in?”

    This person is very tall, his face and neck both very long. But there’s bandage over his neck, making him look very stiff.

    Lin Xian Er said, “Did Li Xun Huan hurt you?”

    This person’s expression changed. “How do you know?”

    Lin Xian Er sighed. “I originally thought you could kill him. Who’d have thought he injured you instead.”

    This person’s face became greener. “How do you know I would try to kill him?”

    Lin Xian Er said, “Because he killed Qiu Du. Qiu du is your bastard son.”

    Yi Ku stared at her intently. “I also recognize you.”

    Lin Xian Er said calmly, “Really? I feel honored.”

    Yi Ku said, “When Qiu Du died, his Green Devil Hand had disappeared.”

    Lin Xian Er said. “It indeed disappeared.”

    Yi Ku said, “He gave it to you?”

    Lin Xian Er said, “It seems so.”

    Yi Ku became furious. “If he hadn’t give you his Green Devil Hand, then how could he have died in Li Xun Huan’s hands?”

    Lin Xian Er said, “You didn’t give me your Green Devil Hand. Yet you were still injured by Li Xun Huan, right?”

    Yi Ku bit his teeth, suddenly grabbed her hair.

    Lin Xian Er not only did not get scared, she actually smiled even more sweetly. She said gently, “He was happy to die for me. He thinks it’s worth it.”

    The candlelight brushed over her face. Yi Ku’s mouth showed a tight smile. “I’m interested to see if you’re really worth it.”

    Suddenly he threw away the sheets covering her.

    Lin Xian Er kept smiling. “Why don’t you see if I’m worth it?”

    Yi Ku suddenly slapped her hard on the face, then held her body tightly.

    Yi Ku then hit her in the stomach, and yelled, “****. So you like to get hit.”

    Lin Xian Er didn’t show any signs of pain.

    Yi Ku said, “You’re not afraid of me?”

    Lin Xian Er said, “Why should I be afraid of you? Although you’re incredibly ugly, you’re still a man.”

    End of Chapter 20

  3. #23
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 21: A Friend to be Proud Of

    Yi Ku stood by the bed, putting on his clothes.

    After a long time, Lin Xian Er suddenly smiled at him. “Now you understand that I’m worth it, right?”

    Yi Ku said, “I really should kill you. Otherwise I don’t know how many people would die in your hands.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “You originally did plan to kill me.”


    She smiled sweetly. “But can you really bring yourself to kill me?”

    Yi Ku stared at her again, then asked, “Who’s that kid who came with you?”

    Lin Xian Er laughed. “Why do you ask? Jealous? Or afraid?”
    She rolled her eyes. “He’s a good boy, not nearly as bad as you. He already went to sleep in his room. Had he heard this room’s sound, you’d never have the chance to bully me.”

    Yi Ku laughed coldly. “He’s lucky he couldn’t hear me.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “Really? You really want to kill him?”


    Lin Xian Er smiled. “But you can’t kill him. His fighting skills are very good, and he’s Li Xun Huan’s friend. I also like him a lot.”

    Yi Ku’s face changed.

    Lin Xian Er said, “His room is the last one down the hall. Do you really have the guts to see him?”

    Before she finished, Yi Ku had left.

    She began to laugh, then covered herself in bed. She feels like a little girl who just ate some candy in secret, but didn’t get caught by her parents.

    When she thought about how Yi Ku’s Green Devil Hand rips Ah Fei’s head off, her eyes glowed. When she thought about Ah Fei’s sword in Yi Ku’s throat, she got uncontrollably excited.

    As she thought those things, she fell asleep. Even in sleep she smiled, because no matter who dies, she’d still be very happy.

    She’s very pleased with what has happened tonight.

    The bed is very soft. The sheets are very clean. Yet Ah Fei couldn’t sleep. He’s never had trouble falling asleep before.

    After a long time, he finally fell asleep, yet suddenly, for no reason, he jump up from his bed.

    Just as he put the sword in his waist, the window opened.

    He saw a pair of eyes scarier than a ghost’s.

    Yi Ku said, “You came with Lin Xian Er?”

    Ah Fei said, “Yes.”

    “Good. Come out.”

    Ah Fei did not respond. He doesn’t like to speak, doesn’t like to start a conversation.

    Yi Ku said, “I am going to kill you.”

    Yet Ah Fei instead said, “But I don’t want to kill anyone today. You can leave.”

    Yi Ku said, “I didn’t want to kill anyone today either. Just you.”


    “You really shouldn’t have came today with Lin Xian Er.”

    Ah Fei’s eyes suddenly shot out a flash that’s as sharp as a dagger. “If you say her name again, I’ll have to kill you.”

    Yi Ku chuckled. “Why?”

    “Because you’re not worthy.”

    Yi Ku couldn’t help but burst out laughing. “Not only am I going to say her name, I’m also going to sleep with her. What are you going to do about it?”

    Ah Fei’s whole face began to burn.

    He used to be a very cool and patient person. He’s never been angry like this.

    His hands started to shake.

    In his fury, his sword came out.

    The Green Devil Hand also shot out!

    Only to hear a clang, the sword broke.

    Yi Ku laughed. “You would dare fight me with this crappy kung fu? Lin Xian Er actually said your kung fu was pretty good.”

    While he said this, he already made ten moves.

    Ah Fei almost couldn’t block them. He only has a broken sword, and had to rely on his quickness to dodge Yi Ku.

    Yi Ku laughed even harder. “If you can truthfully answer two questions, I’ll spare your life.”

    Ah Fei bit his teeth, sweat poured down.

    Yi Ku said, “Does Lin Xian Er sleep with men regularly? Have you slept with her?”

    Ah Fei could only roll on the floor to evade Yi Ku’s attacks. He’s already fully exhausted.

    Yi Ku said, “Come on. Just tell me, and I’ll spare your life.”

    Ah Fei said, “I... I’ll tell you!”

    At this time Yi Ku laughed again, his attack slowed down a bit, suddenly a sword flashed.

    Yi Ku has never seen such a fast sword. By the time he saw it, the sword is already in this throat. His face full of disbelief.

    Even as he died he didn’t know where this sword came from.

    Even in death he could not believe this youngster has such a fast sword!

    Ah Fei’s expression is cold as ice. Then he said, one word at a time, “Who insults her, who dies!”

    Yi Ku’s throat still just make a coughing noise. He raised his eyebrows, because he wants to laugh, wants to tell Ah Fei, “Sooner or later you’ll also die in her hands.”

    Unfortunately, he couldn’t say a single word.

    When Lin Xian woke up, she saw a shadow outside the window. That shadow kept pacing outside. She knows that this person is Ah Fei, although wanting to come in, but don’t want to wake her.

    If it’s Yi Ku, then he wouldn’t be outside right now.

    She happily stayed on the bed, allowing Ah Fei to wait for a long time, then said, “Is that you outside, Little Fei?”

    Ah Fei’s shadow stopped. “It’s me.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “Why don’t you come in?”

    Ah Fei pushed the door lightly, which immediately opened. He then said, “You didn’t lock your door?”

    Ah Fei suddenly rushed over her side, staring at her face. Her face looks a bit pale, a bit green. Ah Fei’s expression changed. “Something... something happened to you?”

    Lin Xian Er said, “My face would look pale if I don’t sleep well. Last night I kept tossing and turning, unable to sleep.”

    Ah Fei’s whole heart melted.

    Lin Xian Er asked, “What about you? Did you sleep well?”

    Ah Fei said. “No. There was a mad dog yelling outside.”

    Lin Xian Er blinked her eyes. “Mad dog?”

    Ah Fei said, “Yes. I already killed it, then threw it in the lake.”

    Suddenly, the sound of drums entered the room. Ah Fei opened the window, seeing a hotel worker beating the drums outside. “Dear guests, do you want to hear the most refreshing news around? The most breathtaking news of the martial world? I guarantee it’s fresh and exciting. Plus, you can wine and dine while listening.”

    Ah Fei closed the window, shaking his head.

    Lin Xian Er said, “You don’t want to hear this?”


    Lin Xian Er said, “But I do. Besides, we have to eat anyway.”

    Ah Fei smiled. “Looks like this guy knows how to get business.”

    Lin Xian Er threw away her bed sheets, about to stand up, then immediately put the sheets over herself again, her face all red. “You’re still not going to give me my clothes?”

    Ah Fei’s face also glowed red. His heart kept on beating fast.

    The restaurant is nearly full. Tales of the martial world is always exciting, so everyone wants to hear them.

    When they hear these stories, people can’t help but feel like they’re part of the story.

    On the seat by the window is an old man wearing blue cotton cloth, smoking a pipe with his eyes closed.

    By his side is a very young big girl. She has two long pony-tails, a pair of eyes big and bright, when it rolls, it seemingly snatches the souls of men.

    As Ah Fei and Lin Xian Er entered the room, their eyes brightened. This pony-tailed girl’s big eyes was staring at them.

    Lin Xian Er also stared at this big girl, then smiled. She whispered, “Did you see those eyes? I better watch out, so she won’t snatch you away.”

    Just as they ordered some food, the old man coughed a bit, then said, “Hong Er, is it time?”

    Pony-tailed girl answered, “It’s time.”

    At this time the old man opened his eyes.
    Although he is incredibly old, he still has much energy, especially in those eyes.

    The old man blew into his teacup and drank some tea. Then he suddenly said, “The Plum Flower Bandit only does evil, the Scholar Tan Hua is honorable and talented.”

    He looked at the audience. “Do you all know who I’m talking about?”

    The Pony-tailed girl said, “Who are these people? I’ve never even heard of them.”

    Old Man Sun chuckled. “Then you must not be very knowledgeable. These two people are both very famous. The Plum Flower Bandit has appeared only twice in the past thirty years. Yet the thousands of regular bandits combined could no commit as many crimes as he did.”

    The Pony-tailed girl smiled. “So what about this Tan Hua?”

    Old Man Sun said, “He is the son of a big official. His family is amazing, in three generations seven family members passed the imperial examination. Only no one managed to make Zhuan Yuan*. By his generation, the two brothers are even more talented than their elders. So their father was really hopeful that one of them could become a Zhuan Yuan.”

    *[Zhuan Yuan is the title for getting first place in the imperial examination. Tan Hua, as I’ve mentioned earlier, is third. The title for the second place escapes me at this moment, though.]

    The Pony-tailed girl said with a smile. “Tan Hua is already quite excellent. Why is becoming a Zhuan Yuan so important?”

    Old Man Sun said, “Who’d have thought that when the first young master took the examination, he was again a Tan Hua. Everyone in the family was feeling gloomy. And all hope rested on the little young master of the Li family. Unfortunately, fate was cruel to the family. The second son also only received a Tan Hua. Their father, with much regret and sadness, passed away in two years. The elder Li Tan Hua also caught an incurable illness and died a little later. This little Li Tan Hua’s heart died with them, resigning from his post and retired.”

    When he got here, he took another sip of the tea.

    Ah Fei was already mesmerized by this story. He feels happier when people praise Li Xun Huan even more than when they praise him. Only to hear the old man continue, “This person not only is an amazing scholar, but also skilled at the martial arts. He was taught a very powerful kung fu when he was a kid.

    The pony-tailed girl said, “So is the story you’re telling today about these two people?”

    The old man said, “That’s correct.”

    The pony-tailed girl said, “Then it really must be exciting. Except... except how can a Tan Hua possibly get mixed up with a criminal like the Plum Flower Bandit?”

    The old man said, “Obviously for a reason.”

    “What reason?”

    Old Man Sun said, “Because Li Xun Huan is the Plum Flower Bandit. The Plum Flower Bandit is Li Xun Huan.”

    Ah Fei immediately became angry, wanting to say something, yet the pony-tailed girl simply shook her head. “This Mr. Tan Hua must be incredibly wealthy. Why would he possibly be a bandit and a rapist? That makes no sense. I don’t believe this.”

    Old Man Sun said, “Not just you. I don’t believe it either. So I looked into the matter.”

    The pony-tailed girl said, “You must’ve found something, right?”

    Old Man Sun said, “Of course. This story is complicated, exciting and very strange...” When he got here, he suddenly stopped talking, closed his eyes and began sleeping.

    The pony-tailed girl acted like she’s very impatient and began to pester her grandpa. “Why did you stop?”

    Old Man Sun simply blew into his pipe.

    The pony-tailed girl smiled. “You really know how to draw an audience. Stopping just when you’re getting to the good part.”

    Her face suddenly brightened. “Oh... I get it now. You want to drink wine.”

    At this point, not only did she understood, but so does everyone else in the restaurant. People started to reach into their pockets looking for money, while a waiter began to go around collecting tips.

    Only now did this old man talk again. “It all started at Happy Cloud Manor.”

    Pony-tailed girl cut in. “Happy Cloud Manor? Isn’t that Fourth Master Long’s home? That’s a really nice place.”

    Old Man Sun said, “Of course. But this nice place was given to him by Li Xun Huan. Because they’re sworn brothers, and his wife is a cousin of Li Xun Huan.”

    These two people continued to chatter with each other. Amazingly enough, they were able to pretty much tell the whole story. When he got to the part about how Li Xun Huan accidently hurt Long Xiao3 Yun, and then got caught, the audience sighed. When he got to how Lin Xian Er was captured, how fast the youngster Ah Fei’s sword is, his eyes seemed to wander towards Ah Fei and Lin Xian Er. The pony-tailed girl’s pair of big eyes also tend to glance at their table from time to time.

    Although he didn’t show it, Ah Fei couldn’t help but feel that these two people know who they are. Could they be telling this story just for them?”

    Only to hear the pony-tailed girl say, “If that’s the case, then didn’t the Plum Flower Bandit die at the hands of Ah Fei?”

    Old Man Sun said, “Because Master Zhao, Seventh Master Tian didn’t believe that he killed the real Plum Flower Bandit. They say Li Xun Huan is the real Plum Flower Bandit.”

    The pony-tailed girl said, “So just who is really the Plum Flower Bandit?”

    Old Man Sun said, “No one has seen the face of the real Plum Flower Bandit. No one knows who’s right and who’s wrong. Yet people like Master Zhao and Seventh Master Tian are respected people. Their words are facts. As long as they say Li Xun Huan is the real Plum Flower Bandit, who’s going to argue? Therefore, Reverend Xin Mei decided to take him to Shaolin Temple for a trial.”

    He smoked his pipe again, then continued. “Yet when they reached Shaolin Temple, it was actually Li Xun Huan who took Reverend Xin Mei there!”

    When he said this, even Lin Xian Er was shocked. Ah Fei was shocked even more. Both started to wonder just what happened on the trip.

    Thankfully, the pony-tailed girl helped them ask the old man.

    Old Man Sun said, “It turns out that they were ambushed by the Five Poison Kid on the road, killing Seventh Master Tian and four Shaolin disciples. Reverend Xin Mei then decided to release Li Xun Huan after getting poisoned. Li Xun Huan, seeing that only Shaolin has the necessary antidote for Xin Mei’s poison, carried him back to Shaolin.”

    Pony-tailed girl gave a thumbs up. “This Li Tan Hua really is a heroic person. If it were someone else under the same circumstances, he would’ve definitely fled.”

    Old Man Sun said, “You’re most correct. Unfortunately, the monks at Shaolin not only did not thank him, they want to kill him.”

    The Pig-tailed girl asked shockingly,. “Why?”

    Old Man Sun said. “Because this story came from Li Tan Hua himself. The monks at Shaolin don’t believe a thing he said.”

    The Pig-tailed girl then said, “But... but Reverend Xin Mei can vouch for him.”

    Old Man Sun laughed. “Except Reverend Xin Mei died soon after reaching Shaolin. Other than Xin Mei, no one else on this Earth knows the truth!”

    When he said this, sighs came from all over the restaurant.

    Ah Fei is almost ready to explode, and can’t help but ask, “So has that Mr. Li been executed yet?”

    Old Man Sun’s eyes glittered. “Although Shaolin is incredibly famous and is filled with top-ranked fighters, it’s still pretty hard for them to kill Li Xun Huan.”

    The Pig-tailed girl also glanced at Ah Fei. “Yet when it comes to fighting, even the best cannot handle attacks by many enemies. Li Tan Hua’s flying dagger might be unrivaled in the martial world, but he still can’t beat all the Shaolin disciples.”

    Old Man Sun said, “Although Shaolin has many disciples, each an expert in fighting, who would possibly attack first? Who’d dare challenge the first dagger of Li Xun Huan?”

    The Pig-tailed girl immediately became excited, clapping her hand. “You’re right. The legendary dagger of Little Li never misses. No one would dare to approach him. So I’m guessing he’s long gone by now.”

    Old Man Sun said, “But he didn’t go.”


    Old Man Sun replied, “Although no one at Shaolin would approach him, Li Xun Huan also can’t find a way to escape either Besides, with the situation still unresolved, he can’t leave.”

    The Pig-tailed girl said. “If he can’t go and can’t fight. Then what can he do?”

    Old Man Sun said, “As he’s surrounded by hundreds of Shaolin monks, he knows that once he releases the dagger, he’ll die. After all, one dagger can’t possibly kill hundreds of people.”

    The Pig-tailed girl said, “Then this is a problem for him. A person can’t possibly hold out forever.”

    This just so happen to be what Ah Fei was worried about. He doesn’t know what to do either.

    Old Man Sun said, “When they were having this conversation, it was just outside the room where they’re holding Reverend Xin Mei’s funeral. So Li Xun Huan sneaked into the room right away afterwards.”

    The Pig-tailed girl let out a gasp. “So he basically trapped himself?”

    Old Man Sun said. “The Shaolin monks also thought that he’d try to escape. That’s why they’re really regretting it now.”

    “Why’s that? Should they be happy Li Tan Hua trapped himself?”

    Old Man Sun continued, “Not only was the body of Xin Mei in the room, but so are countless scriptures very important to Shaolin.”

    The Pig-tailed girl then said, “Yet they only have to wait a few days outside. Then Li Xun Huan will simply die of hunger and thirst.”

    Old Man Sun said, “They’re thinking the same thing, of course. Unfortunately, Li Xun Huan also trapped Reverend Xin Shu in the room with him. They can’t possibly let Xin Shu die with Li Xun Huan.”

    “Of course not.”

    “Therefore, they have to bring food and water inside everyday, so neither Xin Shu nor Li Xun Huan dies.”

    The Pig-tailed girl clapped her hands and smiled. “Shaolin has long been considered the sacred ground of the martial world. No one in hundreds of years had ever tried to do anything inappropriate there. Yet Li Xun Huan alone has turned the place upside down. Not only can the monks not do anything to him, they also have to feed him everyday. That’s just hilarious.”

    She’s full of giddy now. “This Li Tan Hua really is some character. Your story is awesome, grandpa.”

    At this point, Ah Fei’s just overwhelmed with joy. He had to restrain himself from yelling to everyone in the room that Li Xun Huan is his good friend.

    Yet Old Man Sun only let out a sigh. “You’re right. However, he’s still going to be buried in Shaolin sooner or later.”

    The Pig-tailed girl asked, “Why?”

    Old Man Sun seemingly glanced at Ah Fei. “Unless someone can prove that Li Xun Huan is not the Plum Flower Bandit, that Reverend Xin Mei really was killed by the Five-Poison kid, there’s no way Shaolin would let him go!”

    The Pig-tailed girl asked, “Then who can prove this?”

    Old Man Sun was silent for a moment, then said, “Unfortunately, absolutely no one!”

    End of Chapter 21

  4. #24
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 22: The Plum Flower Bandit Reappears

    The lunch is over, the story is over, the people are leaving, as they left, everyone talked about the predicament Li Xun Huan’s in.

    Lin Xian Er kept looking at Ah Fei, who’s deep in thought. None of the dishes on their table was touched.

    After a while, the Pig-tailed girl put down her chopsticks and asked, “Grandpa, do you think Li Tan Hua is innocent?”

    Old Man Sun said, “Even if I know he’s innocent, what can I do?”

    The Pig-tailed girl said, “But what about his friends? Are none of them willing to help him either?”

    Old Man Sun said, “If he were trapped elsewhere, then maybe someone would try to save him. But he’s trapped at the Shaolin Temple. So I’m afraid no one can save him.”

    The Pig-tailed girl said, “So he’s just going to die at Shaolin?”

    Old Man Sun thought for a long time, then said, “There certainly is a way, except the chance of success is very small.”

    When he heard this, Ah Fei’s eyes brightened.

    The Pig-tailed girl asked, “What is it?”

    Old Man Sun said, “If the real Plum Flower Bandit is still alive, and reappear, then Li Xun Huan is obviously absolved of all guilt. If he’s not the Plum Flower Bandit, then he’d have no reason to kill Reverend Xin Mei.”

    The Pig-tailed girl sighed. “This possibility really is slim. Even if the Plum Flower Bandit is still alive, he obviously is hiding right now, waiting for them execute Li Xun Huan.”

    Old Man Sun put his smoking pipe on the table. “Are you finished with your noodles?”

    The Pig-tailed girl said, “I was pretty hungry. But after hearing this story, I can’t eat anything now.”

    Old Man Sun said, “In that case, let’s go. We can’t save Li Tan Hua by sitting here anyway.”

    As the Pig-tailed girl walked to the door, she glanced at Ah Fei again, as if saying, “If you just sit here, then how can you save him?”

    After Lin Xian Er saw them leave, she chuckled coldly. “What kind of people do you think these two people are?”

    “What kind?”

    Lin Xian Er said, “Based on his look, the old man’s inner strength is very high. That little girl’s steps are light and quick. Her lightness kung fu is at least as good as mine.”


    “In my opinion, they’re definitely not normal storytellers. They must have another reason for coming here.”

    Lin Xian Er continued, “They purposely tell this story to you, so you can go commit suicide.”


    Lin Xian Er sighed. “If you knew that Li Xun Huan is trapped at Shaolin, then you’d obviously try to save him. Yet how can you possibly take on the entire Shaolin Temple?”

    Ah Fei is still deep in thought, not responding.

    Lin Xian Er said, “Besides, they might be lying. So you’ll get tricked.”

    She suddenly held Ah Fei’s hand, then said sweetly, “Even if they’re telling the truth, that Li Xun Huan really is in trouble, if you go, you’ll only break Li Xun Huan’s concentration. If those monks caught you, then he’d try to save you. So you’d be hurting him instead of helping.”

    After some more thinking, Ah Fei said, “You’re right.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “So you promise me you won’t go to Shaolin?”


    From the speed of his response, Lin Xian Er couldn’t help but question his honesty of the answer.

    When the two people got back to the hotel room, Ah Fei said, “Since we’re not going to Shaolin, you should go back.”

    “What about you?”

    Ah Fei responded, “I... I want to take a walk outside.”

    Lin Xian Er suddenly grabbed his hand, her voice shaking. “Are you going to pretend to be the Plum Flower Bandit?”

    Ah Fei stared at the floor for a long time, then after a long sigh, said, “Yes.”

    This ‘Yes’ came out very strong, as if nothing can change his mind.

    Lin Xian Er said, “Then... then why do you ask me to go back?”

    Ah Fei said, “Because this is my problem.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “You’re problem is my problem.”

    Ah Fei said, “But Li Xun Huan is not your friend.”

    Lin Xian Er responded, “Your friend is my friend.”

    Ah Fei’s face is now filled with gratitude, yet he did not speak.

    Lin Xian Er said, “Since you value friendship so much, then why can’t I? Although I’m useless, but at least I can provide emotional support.”

    Ah Fei suddenly held her hand tightly, still cannot speak, but his eyes, his expression, already spoke for him.

    His silence spoke louder than any words can.

    Lin Xian Er smiled sweetly. “If you’re going to pretend to be the Plum Flower Bandit, then you’ll need someone to rob.”

    “You’re right.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “It can’t be anybody, right?”

    Ah Fei said, “Obviously, we need to find a rich family who’s money was ill-gotten.”

    Lin Xian Er’s eyes rolled. “I have just the person.”


    Lin Xian Er said, “This person used to be a bandit. He stopped after when he turned fifty or so, but he still does some dirty dealings.”

    Ah Fei said, “Do you know his name?”

    Lin Xian Er thought for a moment, then said, “I remember that it’s Zhang Sheng Qi, but now he’s called Zhang Yuan Wai, Zhang Da Shan*.”

    *Note: Da Shan literally translates into ‘big kindness’.

    Ah Fei raised his eyebrows. “A big kind guy?”

    Lin Xian Er said, “He’ll steal ten thousand taels of silver, then spend a hundred to fix roads. At night he’d kill a hundred people, but in the daytime he’d help the sick.

    It’s incredibly easy for bandits to become a kind person.”

    Zhang Sheng Qi lies on his sofa, looking at the pot over the fire, brewing bird soup.

    It’s snowing outside again, but inside it’s warm as the Spring.

    He closed his eyes, wanting to take a nap. Suddenly, he heard a noise, as the pot rolled over and broke.

    Shocked, he opened his eyes, a man in black appeared in front of him. No one knows where he came from.

    Although Zhang Sheng Qi has retired for a while now, his kung fu is still in top shape, yelling loudly, “Pathetic little robber. How dare you come to my place!”

    As he spoke, he got into fighting position, about to attack this man in black.

    At this moment, a light appeared in front of him.

    Zhang Sheng Qi did not see where it came from, or even what kind of weapon he used. Only that five blood marks appeared on his chest.

    The Plum Flower Bandit has reappeared!

    At tea parlors, bars, everyone talked about this among themselves.
    Could it be that the killer of Zhang Sheng Qi is the real Plum Flower Bandit?
    Who’s his next target?
    The rich people no longer could sleep again.

    At dusk, a bell sounded in the monastery, monks with serious and cold faces one by one appeared in the rooml.

    Their footsteps seemingly even lighter than usual, because for the past few days, their minds have been quite occupied.

    On the top of Mt. Song*, the cold is even more brutal, snow fills the whole mountain, as a person walking up in a hurry. It’s one of Shaolin’s non-monk disciples, ‘The Hero of Nan Yang* Xiao Jing”.

    *Note: Mt. Song is the mountain where Shaolin’s located. Nan Yang’s a city, but I have no idea where.

    Xiao Jing’s footsteps are also light, not making a noise as he touches the ground, yet just as he entered the courtyard, Reverend Xin Hu in the abbot’s room yelled, “Who is it?”

    Xiao Jing stopped outside, bent over, and said, “Student Xiao Jing, I have something to report.”

    There are only three people in the abbot’s room. Xin Hu, Xin Jian, and Bai Xiao Sheng.

    Xiao Jin doesn’t dare to say too much useless stuffs. As he entered the room, he bowed again and said, “The Plum Flower Bandit has reappeared!”

    Xiao Jing continued, “Three days ago, the former bandit Zhang Sheng Qi was suddenly killed, his valuables stolen. The only marks on his body is are blood marks of a plum on his chest.”

    Xin Jian and Bai Xiao Sheng looked at each other, both looked extremely pale.

    After who knows how long, Xian Hu sighed. “Now that the Plum Flower Bandit has reappeared, maybe Li Xun Huan wasn’t lying after all.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng looked at Xin Jian, did not speak.

    Xin Jian walked slowly to the window, looking at the snow outside. “But this might also proved that Li Xun Huan IS the Plum Flower Bandit!”

    Xin Hu said, “Please explain.”

    Xin Jian said, “If I were the Plum Flower Bandit, knowing someone is going to die for me, I’d stay low for a while. Otherwise, wouldn’t I have just saved Li Xun Huan?”

    Bai Xiao Sheng nodded. “You’re right. The only reason for the Plum Flower Bandit to appear now is to clear Li Xun Huan of all crimes. If I were the Plum Flower Bandit, I would also never do this.”

    Xin Hu said, “In that case, what are your suggestions?”

    Xin Jian said, “If Li Xun Huan isn’t the real Plum Flower Bandit, then his associates wouldn’t be doing this for him.”

    Xin Hu also stood up and walked over to the window. “Who’s guarding Li Xun Huan right now?”

    Xin Jian said, “It’s second brother’s students Yi Rui and Yi Chen.”
    Xin Hu said, “Tell them to come here.”

    When Yi Rui and Yi Chen got in the room, he didn’t turn around, only asked, “Did you send your fifth uncle his dinner?”

    Yi Rui said, “Yes. But...”

    Xin Hu asked, “But what?”

    Yi Rui said, “I followed the directions and put the food at the door. The quantity is the same as yesterday’s, twice as much as normal and another cup of water.”

    Yi Chen added, “I carried the food basket, because I wanted to see what’s going on inside, as I stepped back a bit, I saw Li Xun Huan take the basket, looked at it, and threw it back out again.”


    Yi Rui answered, “Because he said the food’s terrible, there’s no wine, so he wouldn’t eat.”

    Xin Hu’s filled with rage. “Where does he think he is? A restaurant?”

    Yi Rui and Yi Chen had been in the monastery for over ten years now. Never have they seen the abbot* actually getting mad before. The two didn’t dare to look up.”

    *Note: I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that Xin Hu is the abbot of Shaolin. It’s rarely mentioned(he’s mainly referred as reverend) in the book. But in the few instances it was mentioned, I sort of fudged on my translation because I didn’t know what the head of a monastery is suppose to be called. Hehehe. ^_^

    After a long time, when he calmed down, Xin Hu asked, “What does he want to eat then?”

    Yi Rui said, “He wrote a list and threw it out, and told us to follow his cooking directions. Any mistake and he’ll throw it out again.”

    The list said:

    Red Steamed Winter Bamboo
    Mixed Vegetables Pot
    Sour Vegetables with Mushrooms
    Cooked Centerless Vegetable
    To Fu with Mushrooms and Baby Bamboo

    *Note: The above translation could anywhere be right on the money to totally off(I’d bet on the latter). I don’t even know how these dishes are cooked even in Chinese. And some of these vegetables probably don’t even have an English name. O_O

    In addition to the 4 dishes and one soup, he also wanted 1.5 kg of high quality Zhu Ye Qing(type of wine), as if Shaolin temple is a high quality Capital City vegetarian resturant.

    No matter who sees this list wouldn’t know whether to laugh of cry. But Xin Hu simply said calmly, “Just do as he says.”

    Xin Jian immediately said, “Big brother you...”

    Xin Hu cut him off, “If Li Xun Huan doesn’t eat, neither can fifth brother. His health has been deteriorating the past year or so. He doesn’t have the stamina to go without food for too long.”

    Xin Jian looked at th floor. “But if we do this, then wouldn’t it prove that Li Xun Huan is controlling us?”

    Xin Hu’s eyes sparkled. “I already have a plan. So who cares if he gets his way for a couple of days.”

    Ah Fei lied on the bed.

    It’s been four hours. He just lied there, not moving, as if his whole body turned into a stone.”

    He simply waits.

    Because by not moving, he can save his energy. He needs energy to get food, and need food to survive, to combat nature.

    Several times, even the most cunning wild rabbits thought he was just a stone. Once, he was so weak and hungry he had no energy left. If that wild rabbits didn’t jump on top of him, he might’ve died of hunger.

    Another time he played dead for two days before a wild dog came to him.

    This type of patience and endurance is not a natural talent, it came only after countless practice.

    At first, he’s not very good at it. He can’t help but shrivel himself up. But now, he doesn’t feel anything anymore. As long as he feels that there’s no need to move, he won’t move an inch.

    When Lin Xian Er came back, she though he’s already asleep.

    Her clothing today is quite strange, a plain grey cloth, covering all parts of her body.

    She went to get some information, and had gone for four hours.

    As Ah Fei suddenly sat up, which really scared her. But then she smiled, “So you’re just pretending to be asleep, wanting to scare me?”

    Li Xian Er combed her hair, then bit her lips. “You don’t like me?”

    Ah Fei shook his head.

    Lin Xian Er innocently looked at him, then went over and kissed his cheeks. “You’re so good.”

    Ah Fei stood up, and asked, “You have news?”

    She shook her head. “Shaolin has always been very cautious on matters. They must observe for a long time before taking action. They’d rather not do something than to do something wrong.”

    Ah Fei said, “But it’s been six days.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “Maybe they don’t believe that the Plum Flower Bandit killed Zhang Sheng Qi, because the Plum Flower Bandit always does a string of crimes, not just one at a time.”

    Ah Fei thought for a long time, then said, “But they’ll have to believe sooner or later. I’ll make them believe.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “Come with me. I’ll show you a place.”


    “Your second victim.”

    It’s nighttime. The snow has melted. Their clothing has been changed, so no one noticed them.

    Lin Xian Er suddenly pointed at the sign of a pawn shop. This is a big pawn shop, with a big sign that says ‘Shen Ji Pawn Shop’.

    Ah Fei said, “What’s so special about this sign?”

    Lin Xian Er did not respond, only pointed at another sign on a restaurant. “Look at this one.”

    This restaurant’s business is very good. Both floors are full of customers. The sign says ‘Sheng Ji Restaurant’.

    Actually, every five or six shops on this street seems to have the ‘Shen Ji’ name. And they all seem to have great business.

    Lin Xian Er said, “All these are opened by Third Brother Shen.”

    Ah Fei said, “Now where are we going?”

    Lin Xian Er said, “Just follow me.”

    Ah Fei doesn’t like to ask too many questions anyway, so he didn’t ask her to explain.

    As they walked, she suddenly pointed to the sky. “Look, a shooting star.”

    Ah Fei stayed silent for a while, then asked, “Did you make a wish?”

    Lin Xian Er said, “A shooting star always passes by too quickly. No one has enough time to make a wish, unless he knows that the shooting star will appear. But who could know that? I think it’s all a big lie.”

    Ah Fei said, “Even so, it can still allow people to have dreams and hopes, and that’s always good.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “I never thought you’d know about such superstition.”

    Ah Fei stared into the distance, where the shooting star disappeared. His eyes showed much sadness, then said, “I knew this since I was a little kid.”

    Lin Xian Er watched those eyes closely, then said soothingly, “You remembered your mother, didn’t you? Did she tell you about it?”

    Ah Fei didn’t respond, just walked ahead quickly.

    Ah Fei originally thought he saw a huge mansion, but as he got closer, it seemed to have disappeared.

    Lin Xian Er looked at the wall surrounding the place. “This is a tall wall. Could it be 40 feet?”

    “That sounds about right.”

    Lin Xian Er asked, “Do you think you can jump over?”

    Ah Fei said, “No one can jump that high. If you want to get in, I can think of another way.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “This is Third Brother Shen’s home.”

    Ah Fei asked, “Is he my second victim?”

    Lin Xian Er said, “I know you don’t want to hurt merchants. But there are many different kinds of merchants.”

    “Which kind is him?”

    “The worse, dirtiest kind.”

    She smiled. “Think about it. How else can he open so many businesses in the city? Why else would he have such tall walls in his house?”

    Ah Fei said, “There’s nothing wrong with having tall walls. And there are no laws against having too many businesses.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “The tall walls means that he’s scared from doing all his crooked dealings. He has so many shops because he takes them from others?”

    Lin Xian Er said, “The Shen family is very big and rich. Last generation it had five siblings. This generation, there are sixteen brothers. The sixteen brother opened forty some businesses.”

    Ah Fei said, “So each one owns three or so. That’s not a big deal.”

    Lin Xian Er responded, “But all of them belong to Third Brother Shen.”


    End of Chapter 22

  5. #25
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 23: Into a Trap

    Lin Xian Er and Ah Fei came on this cold, windy night to the front of a large mansion. Pointing at the unusually tall wall, Lin Xian Er said, “This is Third Brother Shen’s house. He and his brothers opened forty some businesses together, but now they’re all his, because his fifteen brothers have all entered the casket.”

    Ah Fei asked, “How did they die?”

    Lin Xian Er said, “Officially, from illnesses. But no one knows what really happened. Everyone found it strange how fifteen perfectly healthy people can all die within a three year period, when Third Brother Shen wasn’t sick at all.”

    Ah Fei did not say anything else, just one simple sentence. “I’ll go meet him tomorrow night.”

    With perfect hand-feet coordination, Ah Fei climbed over the wall.

    After flipping over, he saw a large garden with many houses. At this hour, most lights are out as people are asleep.

    Lin Xian Er found a servant who drew a map for him. So Ah Fei knows exactly where to look.

    Third Brother Shen is still awake, this cunning businessman’s hair is already white, yet still sat under the candlelight with his abacus, calculating his earnings.

    This abacus skills aren’t the fastest, because his fingers are short, yet quite thick. How could a man from such a rich family have hands like the workers?

    Because when he was a child, his dad kicked him out of the house, so he spent five years outside. No one knows what he did, some say he was a beggar, some say he went to Shaolin and worked manual labor, and learned some great kung fu. That’s whey when his brothers and cousins died, no one would dare say anything, despite their suspicions.

    Obviously, he denied all allegations, but he can’t deny that pair of hands he has. It’s a pair that has obviously learned a type of Iron Fist kung fu, and quite well at that. Otherwise, his eldest cousin wouldn’t have suddenly died while spitting out blood.

    Ah Fei suddenly pushed open the window, entering the room.

    Third Brother Shen has a very good reaction, yet by the time he noticed the window was open, Ah Fei is already in front of him. He could not believe someone has this type of speed, scared out of his wits, and just froze.

    Ah Fei looked at him coldly and asked, “Are you Third Brother Shen?”

    Third Brother Shen just kept nodding.

    Ah Fei said, “Do you know what I’m doing here?”

    He still just kept nodding his head.

    Ah Fei said, “Do you have anything to say?”

    This time, Third brother Shen stopped nodding, and started to shake his head.

    Ah Fei’s sword came out, yet at this instant, he sensed that something’s wrong, an intuition similar to that of an animals, like a rabbit sensing a wild wolf. But he did not hear anything, nor see even a shadow of that wolf.

    Without hesitation this time, Ah Fei pulled out his sword again!

    As fast as the shooting stars, his sword cut through Third Brother Shen’s chest, only to hear several clanking sounds. Apparently, the sword cut onto a metal plate, no wonder he can’t cut through it.

    After his attack, Third Brother Shen immediately rolled under the table. Ah Fei immediately jumped, trying to escape, but unfortunately, he’s still slow by a step.

    At this time, a net dropped from the top of the building, the net is as big as the room, so everyone in it will get caught.

    Ah Fei is not caught under the net.

    Strangely enough, he did not panic or even feel frightened, instead he just felt sadness, because suddenly realized how it feels to be an animal caught by a hunter.

    And it’s impossible for an animal to escape the traps of a hunter.

    Ah Fei did not struggle.

    He knows it’s useless.

    At this time, two shadows fell on top of the net, each with a long staff. Soon, eight of Ah Fei’s pressure points had been sealed.

    These two people are Shaolin’s Xin Jian and Bai Xiao Sheng.

    Third Brother Shen is no longer under the table, because there’s a hidden passageway under it.

    Obviously, this was all a trap.

    Bai Xiao Sheng’s face is filled with delight. “I knew you were going to come here, do you give up?”

    Ah Fei did not respond.

    Although he can still talk, he didn’t bother responding, nor ask, “How did you know I was going to be here?”

    His eyes are hollow, as if he’s not thinking at all.

    He can’t think? Or doesn’t want to think? Or can’t bring himself to think.

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “I know you’re trying to save your friend Li Xun Huan, so you pretended to be the Plum Flower Bandit.”

    Ah Fei said loudly, “I AM the Plum Flower Bandit. I don’t have to pretend. I also don’t know who Li Xun Huan is.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “Really... brother Xin Jian, he said he’s the Plum Flower Bandit, do you believe him?”


    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “But this is pretty hard to prove. Brother Xian Jian, do you know who killed Hong Tian Lei?”

    ”The Plum Flower Bandit.”

    “How did he die?”

    “Although his body has the mark of the plum flower, the attack that killed him was on his Xuan Ji Pressure Point.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “In that case, the Plum Flower Bandit is not only a great fighter, but also a master of pressure points, then.”


    Bai Xiao Sheng Smiled, turning to Ah Fei, “If you can tell me the names of the pressure points I just sealed, we’ll agree that you’re the Plum Flower Bandit, and then immediately release Li Xun Huan. How about it?”

    Ah Fei bit his teeth hard.

    Bai Xiao Sheng sighed. “You really are his good friend. For him, you’re willing to sacrifice your life. But I wonder how important you are to him. If you can make him come out of that room, then that would be quite good.”

    There’s wine in the cup.

    Li Xun Huan has the cup in his hands.

    At the corner of the room is a thin, seemingly weak monk, although past the middle age, but doesn’t look too old, and carries a look of a bookworm.

    No one would believe that this is Reverend Xin Shu.

    Although he’s Li Xun Huan’s hostage, his mind is still at peace, sitting quietly at the corner.

    Li Xun Huan suddenly said to Xin Shu with smile, “I can’t believe Shaolin has wine of his quality, how about a cup?”

    Xin Shu shook his head.

    Li Xun Huan said, “I’m drinking wine in front of your brother’s corpse. Does that count as rudeness?”

    Xin Shu said, “It’s universally accepted that people use wine as a way to toast others. No matter the place, you’re not being rude at all.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Very good. No wonder people say that once you enter the monastery, your heart is more free.”

    Xin Shu’s peaceful expression changed a bit, as if trying to hide some pain.

    Then he sighed, his face filled with sorrow, whether for the deceased or for him, no one knows.

    Li Xun Huan looked at his wine cup, then also sighed. “To be honest, I didn’t expect you to be the one to save me this time.”

    Xin Shu said, “I didn’t save you.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Fourteen years ago, I resigned from my government post, although the official reason is because I was tired of being in politics, the reality is, if you hadn’t written that scripture saying that I have dirty dealings with bandits, my mind would not have been so set.”

    Xin Shu closed his eyes, then said, “The old power-hungry Hu Yun Ji has long died, why do you bring him up again?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “You’re right. Once one enters the monastery, he’s a different person. Still, I would never believe that you’d be the one to save me today.”

    Xin Shu opened his eyes, then said loudly, “I already told you, I didn’t save you. But because my inner power is so weak, I couldn’t escape your grasp. You don’t need to feel like you owe me anything.”

    “But unless you hinted at me to escape here, I might not have chosen to come into this room. If you had struggled, I might not be able to truly trap you here.”

    Xin Shu moved his mouth, but no words came out.

    Li Xun Huan smiled, “Monks should not lie, besides, it’s just us two here.”

    Xin Shu suddenly said, “Although I do have the intention of saving you, it was not because of that incident.”

    Li Xun Huan did not seem surprised, and asked, “Then why?”

    From his look, Xin Shu seemingly doesn’t know what to say.

    Li Xun Huan did not force him, instead just finished his wine.

    At this time, someone from outside the window yelled, “Li Xun Huan, look out the window.”

    This is the voice of Xin Jian.

    When Li Xun Huan finally looked out the window, his expression immediately changed.

    He never thought Ah Fei would fall into their hands.

    Bai Xiao Sheng just stood there looking smug, then said, “Li Tan Hua, I guess you should recognize him, right? For you, he’d rather be known as the Plum Flower Bandit. How do you think you should thank him?”

    Xin Jian said loudly, “If you want to save his life, you better come out and surrender.”

    Li Xun Huan’s hands started to shake. He didn’t see Ah Fei’s face, because his face is on the ground, as if suffered some major injuries.

    Xin Jian suddenly raised Ah Fei’s body. “Li Xun Huan, I give you four hours. If you don’t come out with my sixth brother by sunset, you’ll never see your good friend again.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “Li Tan Hua, this person is quite good to you, you really should respond in kind.”
    Li Xun Huan doesn’t know what to do.

    He saw how they dragged Ah Fei around like a dog, how his scars showed the torture he’s been through.

    Yet this youngster did not say a single word.

    He only glanced at the window, his expression that of calmness, as if to tell Li Xun Huan that he doesn’t care for death.

    Li Xun Huan sighed. “My good friend. I really understand what you’re thinking. You don’t want me to save you.”

    Xin Shu kept looking at him, then suddenly asked, “So what are you going to do?”

    Li Xun Huan drank three more cups, then smiled. “Of course I’ll give myself up. You can tie me up any time you want.”

    Xin Shu said, “But you know you’ll die if you leave!”

    “I know.”

    “Yet you’ll still go?”

    “Of course.” His response is so certain, leaving no room for argument.

    Xin Shu said, “Don’t you think this is too stupid?”

    Li Xun Huan smiled. “Everyone does a few stupid things in his life. If everyone only does smart things, then wouldn’t life get too boring?”

    Xin Shu thought over those words, then said, “You’re right. A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. You know you’ll die if you do this. But you still must do it!”

    Li Xun Huan chuckled, “At least you certainly know how I think.”

    Xin Shu continued, “Friendship comes first, before life and death. Li Xun Huan really is Li Xun Huan.”

    Li Xun Huan did not look at him, just said, “I’ll go first.”

    Xin Shu suddenly said, “Hold on!”

    It’s as if he suddenly made an important decision, his eyes stared at Li Xun Huan. “I wasn’t finished.”


    Xin Shu said, “I already told you, I have another reason for saving you.”


    Xin Shu said, “This is a big secret of Shaolin, and affects many people, so I didn’t want to tell you.”

    Li Xun Huan stood there listening.

    Xin Shu said again, “Shaolin has countless rare books, some are Buddhist scriptures, others are kung fu manuals.”

    “I know this, of course.”

    Xin Shu said, “For the past hundred years, more than a few people have tried to steal these things from Shaolin, but no one has succeeded.”

    He continued, “Although monks do not kill, these scriptures are still the basis of our temple. So anyone tries to steal it will receive the wrath of Shaolin.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “I rarely hear anyone who dares to rob this place.”

    Xin Shu said, “You’re an outsider, so you obviously don’t know the details. Actually, there has been seven instances where Shaolin has been robbed, one is for calming the heart, while the others are all top kung fu manuals.”

    Li Xun Huan couldn’t help but be taken aback, “So who is it?”

    Xin Shu said, “The weirdest thing is that there were no evidence of the robberies, nor any trails for us to investigate.”

    After the first two robberies, we have significantly upgraded our security, yet the robberies still continued. Originally, third brother guarded the room, but he’s since retired.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “This is quite a big deal. Why hasn’t there been any rumors?”

    Xin Shu said, “Because this is so important, the abbot warned everyone to close their mouths, so including you, only nine people know about this.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “So other than the seven reverends, who’s the eighth person?”

    “Bai Xiao Sheng.”

    Li Xun Huan sighed, “This guy really does get into a lot of other people’s businesses.”

    Xin Shu said, “After third brother left, second brother and I took his place as the guardian, and only for the past half a month.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “If Reverend Xin Mei was guarding the room, then why did he leave?”

    Xin Shu said, “Because second brother suspects that the Plum Flower Bandit has a hand in this, so he had to look into it. Who’d have thought that he’d never come back.”

    After a while, Xin Shu said, “Second brother and I have been old friends, before he left, he took out the three most sacred scriptures from the book room, and hid them in three separate places. Only the abbot and I know where they are.”

    “And one is in this room, right?”


    Li Xun Huan said, “No wonder they’re so hesitant to attack this room.”

    Xin Shu said, “Simply because this series of robberies are so strange, second brother and I made an assumption, that there is perhaps an insider.

    Although we’ve been suspicious, neither of us dare to say it, because other than us seven reverends, no one else could’ve stolen those scriptures.”

    Li Xun Huan’s eyes brightened. “So the thief could very well be one you seven.”

    Xin Shu said, “Us seven brother have all been in here for at least ten years, we trust each other deeply. Except...”

    “Except what?”

    “Except when second brother left, he told me he’s deeply suspicious of one person among us seven.”

    Li Xun Huan immediately asked, “Who’s that?”

    Xin Shu shook his head. “He didn’t say it, because he didn’t want to make wrongful accusations, he only hoped that the thief really is the Plum Flower Bandit.”

    When he got here, Xin Shu’s throat tightened, unable to speak.

    Li Xun Huan said, “I understand how Xin Mei feels, but how can he watch as that thief still free, when he has no chance to say his name?”

    Xin Shu said, “Second brother thought about this, so before he left, he told me, if he were to ever die on the trip, I should read his diary, because the name of person he’s suspicious of is on the last page.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “So where is it now?”

    “Originally with the rare scripture, but now in my hands.”

    He took out a book, which Li Xun Huan immediately grabbed. Every single word talks about Buddist principles, with no words talking about the suspect.”

    Li Xun Huan asked, “So did the suspect tear out the last page?”

    Xin Shu said, “Not only that, but also the scripture is now a blank book!”

    Li Xun Huan said, “If that’s the case, then the suspect already knows that the second brother suspects him.”


    “But only you and the abbot knows of the location, so do you suspect...”

    Xin Shu said, “Not totally. Because if the suspect knows that the second brother is suspicious of him, he’d follow the second brother moves closely, and perhaps found the hidden location that way. But...”

    “But what?”

    “Actually, when second brother came back, he was still alive. And he shouldn’t have died!”

    When he heard this, Li Xun Huan was quite shocked.

    Only to see Xin Shu tightened his fist. “Although I’m not an expert on poison, I still learned a lot about it the past few years from our books. So when I saw second brother’s condition as he came back, I knew that he can be saved, or at least shouldn’t have died so quickly!”

    Li Xun Huan said, “So you’re saying...”

    Xin Shu said, “Obviously, whoever stole the scriptures also killed second brother.”

    Li Xun Huan suddenly felt that this room became very small, as he tried to gasp for breath.

    He circled the room, calmed down, and then asked, “So how many people came here to look at him?”

    Xin Shu said, “Big brother, fourth brother, fifth brother, and seventh brother all have been here.”

    “So anyone of them could be the murderer?”

    Xin Shu nodded, “This is a huge misfortune of our monastery. I shouldn’t have told you, but now I realized that you’re not the type who betrays your friends. So I want you to...”

    “You want me to help you find the real killer.”


    Li Xun Huan thought for a moment, then asked slowly, “But what if the killer is Xin Hu?”

    Xin Shu suddenly froze, sweat poured down his forehead.

    Li Xun Huan said, “Even if everyone at Shaolin knows that the killer is Xin Hu, no one would admit it, would they.”

    Xin Shu didn’t respond, because there’s nothing to say. Everyone treats Shaolin as the renowned institution in the martial world. What would they say if Shaolin’s abbot is a killer?

    Li Xun Huan said, “Even if I can prove that Xin Hu is the killer, I bet you still wouldn’t say any nice words for me, in order to protect your reputation.”

    Xin Shu sighed. “You’re right. For the reputation of Shaolin, I am willing to sacrifice everything.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Then why do you ask me to do this?”

    Xin Shu said, “Although I won’t do anything that will damage Shaolin’s repuation, as long as you can prove who killed brother Xin Mei, I’ll will make sure he dies with me.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “How could a monk talk about murder? Looks like you’re still attached to the outside world.”

    Xin Shu said, “Even Buddha himself has been angry, much less just a mere monk.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “With these words, I’m content.”

    Xin Shu said, “You mean you know who the killer is?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “I don’t. But I know someone who does.”

    Xin Shu said, “Obviously, the killer himself does.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Other than the killer, another person does. That person’s in this room.”


    Li Xun Huan pointed at the corpse of Xin Mei, “Him!”

    Xin Shu said, “Regrettably, he can no longer talk.”

    Li Xun Huan chuckled, “But sometimes even the dead can talk.”

    He took off the cover sheet on Xin Mei’s body. Sunlight shined on his face, which looked dark grey.

    Li Xun Huan asked, “Have you ever seen a victim of the Five-Poison Kid?”


    End of Chapter 23

  6. #26
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 24: Catching the Traitor

    Li Xun Huan sighed. “Then you’re really quite lucky. Because it’s hardly a pretty sight.”

    Obviously, anyone who dies from poison must look pretty bad.

    Li Xun Huan closed his eyes, then said slowly, “A few years ago, I saw a person who died from his poison. In a few seconds, his whole face turned black, and soon after, his whole body decayed.”

    Xin Shu stared at Xin Mei’s body, then yelled, “But second brother has been dead for several days...”

    Li Xun Huan opened his eyes again. “That’s right. He’s been poisoned for several days, yet his body still hasn’t decayed, do you know why?”

    Xin Shu shook his head.

    Li Xun Huan said, “Because he was given another type of poison!”

    Xin Shu said, “You... you mean...”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Although he was poisoned by the Five-Poison Kid, it’s not too severe, and was held in check by his inner power. So the poison had not acted when he came to Shaolin.”

    “That’s right.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “The killer must’ve been afraid that he’d divulge the secret. Wishing he’d die quickly, he added another type of poison.”

    Xin Shu said, “There are many ways to kill a person. Why use poison?”

    “Because no matter which method he uses, there will be evidence. But since Reverend Xin Mei was already deeply poisoned, this method will leave no traces.”

    Xin Shu said, “That’s true. This way, everyone would think that he’s killed by the Five-Poison Kid.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “This person is very calculating, but he forgot one thing.”

    “What’s that?”

    “He forgot that poisons can counteract one another. It’s only because he put in heavy doses of his lethal poison, that it prevented Five-Poison Kid’s poison from acting. So Xin Mei’s body remained in such good condition even after all this time!”

    Li Xun Huan’s eyes glowed, “After Reverend Xin Mei came back, did he eat anything?”

    Xin Shu said, “Just a cup of medicine.”

    “Who gave him the medicine?”

    “The medicine was made by seventh brother Xin Jian. But the person who fed him the medicine are fourth brother Xin Zhu and sixth brother Xin Deng.”

    He sighed again. “So all three are suspects.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “There are two famous types of poisons in this world. The first tends to be odorless and tasteless, but can make a person die in a horrific way, so it would not just kill someone, but also horrify those watching.”

    Xin Shu said, “The Five-Poison Kid’s poison is obviously in this category.”

    Li Xun Huan continued, “The second kind might be more easy to detect, but can make someone die without showing any symptom, sometimes so that no one would even think he had died from poison.”

    “You’re saying that the killer used this type?”

    Li Xun Huan nodded. “It’s only due to their opposite nature that these two poisons would clash. Although the first type of poison is horrifying, this second type of poison might be more deadly. Very few people can mix this type of poison.”

    He stared closely at Xin Shu and asked, “How many people in Shaolin knows how to use this?”

    Xin Shu took a deep breath. “This...”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Shaolin is the head of the martial world. It’s disciples would obviously not learn something as despicable as this, right?”

    Xin Shu said in a sure tone, “There’s absolutely nothing like this taught at Shaolin!”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Reverend Xin Zhu and Xin Deng...”

    Xin Shu cut him off. “Xin Zhu became a monk at the age of nine. Xin Deng was a monk while he was a baby. I bet none of them had even seen any poisons in their life.”

    Li Xun Huan chuckled. “Well, in that case, who would the killer be?”

    “You’re saying it’s seventh brother Xin Jian?”

    Li Xun Huan did not speak.

    Xin Jian became a monk late in his life. Before he entered Shaolin, he was already famous in the martial world, an expert at using poison!

    A game of Go is being played in the pavillion.

    Bai Xiao Sheng lightly held his piece, snowflakes fell along with his piece, into the snow on the ground.

    The scenery is indeed beautiful, but everywhere is filled with hint of murder, and everyone felt extremely uptight.

    Reverend Xin Hu, Xin Zhu, Xin Deng, and Xin Jian are all here.

    Ah Fei knelt by the side of the pavilion, not even bothering to raise his head.

    Xin Hu looked at him, then asked, “Do you think Li Xun Huan will come?”

    Bai Xiao Sheng smiled. “Of course.”

    Xin Hu said, “He’s the type of person who’d sacrifice himself for a friend?”

    “This is because even thieves have their own codes.”

    Xin Hu sighed. “Hopefully, you’re right...”

    His voice suddenly stopped.

    He already saw Xin Shu.

    Xin Shu has entered the pavilion, but by himself.

    Xin Hu stood up to welcome him, and asked, “How are you?”

    He didn’t ask anything else, simply greeted Xin Shu, really is something only an abbot of Shaolin can do.

    Xin Shu said, “Thank you, brother. Thankfully I was spared.”

    Xin Shu continued, “He went to get the scriptures.”

    Xin Jian asked, “Scriptures? What scriptures?”

    Xin Shu said, “The missing scriptures from the library.”

    Xin Jian’s mouth twitched, then laughed coldly. “So it was him after all! Then why would you let him go?”

    Xin Shu said, “Because he’s not the thief!”

    Xin Jian said, “Then who is it?”

    Xin Shu said, “It’s you!”

    Xin Jian’s mouth twitched again, but immediately calmed down. “Fifth brother, how could you say these things? I don’t understand.”

    Xin Shu said, “If you don’t understand, then who does?”

    Xin Jian turned to Xin Hu, then said, “Please say something, big brother. I have certainly have nothing more to say.”

    Xin Hu’s expression also changed. “Second brother was obviously killed by Li Xun Huan. Why are you helping him now?”

    Bai Xiao Sheng became a little angry. “If I remember correctly, brother Xin Shu and Li Xun Huan both passed the imperial examinations the same year.”

    Xin Jian said coldly, “Fifth brother had obviously also taken Li Xun Huan’s poison.”

    Xin Shu ignored them, and said, “The poison that killed second brother was not Five-Poison Kid’s.”

    Xin Jian cut in. “How would you know?”

    Xin Shu laughed coldly. “Do you really think no one knows of what you did? Or did you forget that second brother left something before he died.”

    He pulled out Xin Mei’s diary.

    Xin Hu said, “What is this?”

    Xin Shu said, “Before second brother left, he already knew who the traitorous thief was. But since he didn’t want to do anything before getting all the evidence, Xin Mei wrote down the name on this book, so that in case he died, there would be some evidence.

    Xin Hu said with a shock, “Really?”

    Xin Jian cut in again. “If there really is my name in that book, I’ll...”

    Xin Shu said, “What will you do? Although you tore up the last page, how could you know if he didn’t also write your name elsewhere?”

    Xin Jian’s body shook, yelling, “Fifth brother is conspiring with an outsider to frame me. Please look into this, big brother.”

    Xin Hu still just stood there, looking at Bai Xiao Sheng.

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “Anyone can write those words.”

    Xin Jian said, “That’s right.. Even if my name is in the book, it doesn’t prove that second brother wrote it.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “From what I know, Little Li Tan Hua is a fine scholar. He’s skilled in the art of writing.”

    Xin Jian added, “That’s right. If he wants to copy someone’s handwriting, it should be very easy.”

    Xin Hu looked at Xin Shu. “You tend to be a very cautious person, brother. Why are you being so impulsive right now?”

    Xin Shu’s expression remains unchanged, staring at Xin Jian. “If you don’t think this isn’t enough, I have another piece of evidence.”

    Xin Hu said, “Oh? Please say it.”

    Xin Shu said, “The ‘Da Muo Yi Jin Jing’ hidden in second brother’s room is gone.”


    Xin Shu said, “Li Tan Hua calculated that the thief hasn’t had a chance to send away this book, so it must still be in Xin Jian’s room. He has went with my students to get it now.”

    Xin Jian suddenly jumped up and began to yell, “Big brother, don’t listen to him. He wants to frame me!”

    As he said this, his body is already outside.

    Xin Hu raised his eyebrows, got up, and followed behind him.

    In an instant, they all arrived at Xin Jian’s room.

    The door is already open.

    Xin Jian rushed inside, sliced open a closet, and revealed a hidden compartment.
    The ‘Yi Jin Jing’ scripture is inside.

    Xin Jian said loudly, “This book was originally in the second brother’s room. It’s because they want to frame me that they put it here, but this trick has been used hundreds of times in the past. How could someone as smart as the big brother be duped by your petty tricks?”

    When he finished, Xin Shu said, “Even if we did try to frame you, how could you know we put this scripture inside that closet? Why didn’t you look elsewhere first?”

    Xin Jian suddenly froze, his head full of sweat.

    Xin Shu let out a sigh of relief. “Li Tan Hua already calculated that only this method can make you admit your guilt.”

    Only to hear someone laugh, “But this method really is quite risky. If he doesn’t fall for it, then there really is no way for us to catch him!”

    In the midst of the laughter, Li Xun Huan appeared.

    Xin Hu sighed deeply, then bowed to greet him.

    Li Xun Huan returned the gesture.

    Xin Jian back-tracked slowly, but Xin Zhu and Xin Deng already blocked his path. The expression on their faces are deadly.

    Xin Hu said, Dan E, Shaolin treated you so well, how could you do something like this?”

    Dan E is Xin Jian’s name before becoming a monk.

    Dan E, sweating profusely, said, “I... I admit my mistake.”

    He suddenly dropped on his knees and said, “But I was being manipulated by someone else.”

    Xin Hu said loudly, “Who?”

    Bai Xiao Sheng suddenly cut in, “Actually, I think I know.”

    Xin Hu said, “Please, do tell.”

    Bai Xiao Shen said, “Him!”

    Everyone immediately turned towards where Bai Xiao Sheng was pointing at, but they didn’t see anyone.

    By the time they turned back, Xin Hu’s expression changed greatly.

    Bai Xiao Sheng’s hand is already on his back, his fingers controlled Xin Hu’s four major pressure points.

    Xin Shu’s expression also changed. “It’s you!”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “I simply wanted to borrow some books. Who’d have thought you people are so stingy.”

    Xin Hu said, “We’ve been friends for over ten years. I’d never thought you’d do something like this to me.”

    Bai Xiao Sheng sighed, “I didn’t want to do this either. But since Dan E wants to drag me down with him, I have to do this.”

    Dan E immediately jumped up, picking up the ‘Yi Jin Jing’ scripture, and laughed. “That’s right. You’ll have to escort us down the mountain. If any of you want to see your abbot alive, then you better not make any sudden moves.”

    Despite his immense anger, Xin Shu could not help but simply watch.

    Xin Hu said, “If you people value Shaolin, then forget about me. Capture this traitor right now!”

    Bai Xiao Sheng said, “It doesn’t matter what you say. They won’t play around with your life. The life of the Shaolin abbot is way too important.”

    As his last word came out, his smile suddenly stopped!

    The dagger shined!

    Little Li’s Flying Dagger is out of the hand!

    The dagger has flown into his throat!

    No one saw how the dagger came out.

    Bai Xiao Sheng had kept Xin Hu as his shield, his throat behind Xin Hu’s throat. He only left a tiny bit of his throat out.

    It can hide behind Xin Hu’s throat at any time.

    In this situation, no one would dare to make a move.

    But as the dagger shines, faster than lightning, Little Li’s Flying Dagger reached his throat!

    Xin Shu, Xin Zhu, Xin Deng, all immediately went over to protect Xin Hu.

    Bai Xiao Sheng’s eyes filled with hate, staring at Li Xun Huan. His whole body showed immense disbelief and shock.

    Even in death, he could not believe that Li Xun Huan’s dagger is in his throat.

    His mouth is still trying to say something, except he couldn’t say it. But everyone can see that he was trying to say, “I’m wrong... I’m wrong...”

    That’s right. Bai Xiao Sheng knows all, sees all, but was wrong about one thing.

    Little Li’s Flying Dagger is much more faster then even he had ever imagined!

    Bai Xiao Sheng fell.

    Li Xun Huan sighed. “Bai Xiao Sheng wrote a ‘Book of Weaponry’, ranking the top weapons in the world. It’s unfortunate that he’d die from one of the weapons that he ranked.”

    Xin Hu bowed several times, then said, “I was wrong too.”

    His expression suddenly changed. “Where’s that traitor?”

    Dan E had taken advantage of the confusion and fled.

    A person like him would never miss an opportunity like this. In an instant, he had left the courtyard.

    The disciples don’t know about this event yet, so even if they see him, they wouldn’t stop him.

    As he reached the pavilion, Ah Fei was just about to get up.

    Although Bai Xiao Sheng sealed his pressure points very tightly, it still loosened after all this time.

    When Dan E saw him, hate filled his eyes. He wanted to take out all his frustration on Ah Fei.

    After going through so much torture, how could Ah Fei defend himself?

    So to kill Ah Fei can’t possibly take long.

    Without saying a word, Dan E attacked, Shaolin’s fist is world-renowned, and Dan E has been in Shaolin for over ten years, so he’s obviously quite good at it.

    This punch contained all his power, fast and deadly, can easily kill. Dan E realized that he has plenty of time to escape even after killing Ah Fei.

    But who’d have thought that as this instant, Ah Fei’s hand suddenly shot out.

    He moved later, but struck first!

    Dan E only felt his throat icy cold, with sharp pain along with the coldness, his breathing stopped, as if he was being suffocated.

    His face is filled with disbelief... he knew this youngster is very fast, but what did the youngster use to penetrate his throat?

    He’ll never know the answer.

    Dan E also fell.

    Ah Fei got up, catching his breath.

    Xin Hu and the others have caught up by now, and also were shocked, because no one thought that this youngster in this condition could possibly kill Dan E!

    A stick of ice stuck in Dan E’s throat.

    The ice has begun to melt.

    This youngster only needed a stick of ice to kill one of the top seven reverends of Shaolin.

    Xin Hu looked at that pale white face, not knowing what to say.

    Ah Fei didn’t even look at them, only walked towards Li Xun Huan, then he immediately smiled.

    Li Xun Huan also smiled.

    Xin Hu’s voice is still weak, “Why don’t you two come to my...”

    Ah Fei cut him off, “Is Li Xun Huan the Plum Flower Bandit?”

    Xin Hu said, “No.”

    “Am I the Plum Flower Bandit?”


    Ah Fei said, “If we’re both not, then we can now, right?”

    Xin Hu forced a smiled. “Of course, but I think perhaps you should rest up here....”

    Ah Fei cut him off again. “Don’t worry about that. Forget that I can actually walk out, even if I have to crawl out, I’d still crawl down the mountain this instant.”

    Xin Zhu, Xin Deng both dropped their heads. No one had ever been so disrespectful to a Shaolin abbot in hundreds of years. But they can only swallow this.

    Ah Fei had already grabbed Li Xun Huan’s hands, and started to walk out of Shaolin.

    Li Xun Huan turned around and said, “Today we part, if we meet again someday, forgive this lack of respect.”

    Xin Shu said, “I’ll escort you out.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Escort like not escort. Not escorting like escort. Why would reverend need to make the distinction?”

    When they’re out of eyesight, Xin Hu took a long deep breath. He didn’t say anything, but the silence is much more painful than any words.

    Xin Zhu suddenly said, “Brother you shouldn’t have let him go.”

    Xin Hu said, “Why?”

    “Although Li Xun Huan did not steal our scriptures nor killed second brother, we still can’t prove that he’s not the Plum Flower Bandit.”

    Xin Hu said, “So how can he prove that?”

    Xin Zhu said, “He can do so by finding the real Plum Flower Bandit.”

    Xin Hu sighed again. “I know he’ll find out, and then escort him here. This isn’t important. It’s just those six scriptures...”

    Although the thief has been caught, the scriptures are still not found, who did he give these to?

    Who’s really behind all this?

    Li Xun Huan doesn’t like to walk, especially in the snow, but he has no choice now, with the icy wind cut like knives, there are no carriages.

    But Ah Fei is quite accustomed to walking. In other people’s minds, walking is tedious, but for him, it’s relaxation. The more he walks, the more energy he recovers.

    They shared their stories with each other, and Li Xun Huan began to think, then said, “You’re not the Plum Flower Bandit, neither am I. So who is it?”

    Ah Fei stared into the distance. “He’s already dead.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Did he really die? Did you really kill the Plum Flower Bandit?

    Ah Fei did not speak.

    Li Xun Huan suddenly chuckled. “Have you ever thought that perhaps the Plum Flower Bandit might not be a man?”

    “If he’s not a man, then who is he?”

    Li Xun Huan smiled, “If he’s not a man, then he’s obviously a woman.”

    End of Chapter 24

  7. #27
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 25: The Sword is Ruthless but the Swordsman’s Sentimental

    Ah Fei couldn’t help but laugh when he heard that the Plum Flower Bandit is a woman. “How can a woman rape women?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “This is why she’s so cunning. No one would expect the Plum Flower Bandit to be a woman.”

    “But there’s no way a woman can rape a woman.”

    Li Xun Huan chuckled, “There is one way.”

    He coughed a few times lightly, continued, “If the Plum Flower Bandit really is a woman, then she can simply use men to do the dirty work for her, then at an opportune time, kill off these men.”

    Ah Fei said, “You think too much.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Perhaps you’re right, but it’s always better to think too much than to not think at all.”

    Ah Fei then said, “The Plum Flower Bandit first appeared thirty years ago. He should be over fifty by now.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “The Plum Flower Bandit of thirty years ago might be a different person. They might be teacher and student, or father and daughter.”

    Ah Fei stopped talking.

    Li Xun Huan also did not speak for a long time, then said, “Bai Xiao Sheng cannot possibly be the mastermind behind stealing those scriptures, because he cannot possibly make Xin Jian take this kind of risk for him.”


    Li Xun Huan continued, “Before Xin Jian entered Shaolin, he was already very famous, if he wanted money, he’d have it, so money can’t be the reason.”


    “Although Bai Xiao Sheng’s martial arts skills are high, such a thing is practically useless to a Shaolin reverend. “

    Ah Fei said, “Maybe he has something which he could threaten Xin Jian with.”

    Li Xun Huan asked, “What type of things? Before he entered Shaolin, everything that Dan E did has nothing to do with Xin Jian, since you’re suppose to cut yourself off from your previous life after becoming a monk. Bai Xiao Sheng couldn’t have used anything that he did beforehand to threaten him. Of course, after Dan E entered Shaolin, he couldn’t have done anything anyway.”


    “If he wanted to do something bad, then there’s no point in entering Shaolin in the first place. Everyone knows how strict Shaolin’s rules are, so he would never take the risk, unless…”

    Ah Fei said, “Unless what?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Unless there is something which can move him. This cannot be fame or money.”

    Ah Fei said, “So what else can possibly make him do something like this?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Only an incredibly gorgeous beauty.”

    Ah Fei said, “Plum Flower Bandit?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Correct. Only an incredible beauty can possibly make him betray Shaolin, to make him steal those scriptures.”

    Ah Fei said, “So how do you know that the Plum Flower Bandit must be an incredibly beautiful woman?”

    Li Xun Huan remained quiet for a while before speaking again, “Perhaps I’m wrong… Hopefully I’m wrong.”

    Ah Fei suddenly stopped walking, then stared at Li Xun Huan, “Are you going back to Happy Cloud Manor?”

    Li Xun Huan smiled a little, said, “I really don’t know where else to go.”

    It’s a dark night.

    Only a single candle in the house remains lit.

    Li Xun Huan stared blankly at this light, after a long time, he took out a handkerchief, held it to his mouth and began coughing again.

    Blood appeared on the handkerchief, which he put back into his pockets, then said with a smile, “I suddenly don’t want to go in anymore.”

    Ah Fei asked, “Why not?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “I don’t know. I tend to do a lot things for which I do not know the reason of.”

    Ah Fei said, “Long Xiao4 Yun treated you like this, yet you don’t want to find him?”

    Li Xun Huan simply smiled, said, “But he didn’t wrong me… because for one’s own wife and kids, a person can be forgiven for anything.”

    Ah Fei stared at him for a long, long time, then lowered his head slowly, said, “You really are a strange person, but also a friend one can never forget.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Of course you can’t forget me, because we’ll surely meet again in the future.”

    Ah Fei said, “But… but now…”

    Li Xun Huan said, “But now you need to take care of some business, so go ahead and do that.”

    They then simply stood there quietly.

    The wind blew through the land.

    From afar came the sound of midnight drums, so far away that it seemed to sound like tears dropping on grass.

    No stars, no moon, just fog…

    Li Xun Huan suddenly laughed, then said, “There’s fog. Tomorrow’s weather must be nice.”

    Ah Fei said, “Yes.”

    He suddenly felt like something got stuck in her throat, unable to speak more.

    He flipped over the high walls, found the candles in Lin Xian Er’s room still burning, a woman’s shadow appearing on the window paper.

    Ah Fei’s heart retracted.

    The person inside seems to be reading a book, but also thinking about something.

    Ah Fei opened the door.

    As he opened the door, he saw that unforgettable face. As he opened the door, he could not move any further.
    Lin Xian Er turned around, looked shocked, then smiled. “It’s you,” she said.

    Ah Fei said, “It’s me.”

    He found that his voice is very distant. So distant he couldn’t even hear himself.

    Lin Xian Er put her hand over her chest, then said, “Look at you, you really scared me.”

    Ah Fei said, “You thought I was dead. That’s why you were so surprised when I came in, right?”

    Lin Xian Er blinked her eyes. “What are you talking about? Come on it quickly, you’ll catch a cold.”

    She held Ah Fei’s hand, pulling him inside the room.

    Ah Fei’s hand pulled away from hers.

    Lin Xian Er said sweetly, “You’re angry. Who are you angry with? I’ll help you.”

    She tried to embrace Ah Fei, but he pushed her back.

    Lin Xian Er lost her balance and fell down.

    Soon, tears appeared from her eyes, “Did I make you angry? Why do you treat me this way? What did I do wrong? As long as you tell me, I’d die without regrets.”

    Ah Fei tightened his fists.

    He just saw that Lin Xian Er was reading a book, a Buddhist scripture.

    Shaolin Temple’s sacred scripture.

    Ah Fei stared at her, as if he has never seen her before.

    Ah Fei said coldly, “What did you do? You knew that once I stepped into Third Master Shen’s room, I am a dead man.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “What… what do you mean?”

    Ah Fei said, “When Bai Xiao Sheng and Xin Jian gave you the Shaolin scripture, you told them to make the trap in Third Master Shen’s room, to get me, and to get Li Xun Huan.”

    Lin Xian Er bit her lips and said, “You really think I tried to harm you?”

    Ah Fei said, “Of course, because you’re the only person who knew I would go to his room that night.”

    Lin Xian Er put her hands over her face, continued to cry. “But, why would I want to hurt you? Why?”

    “Because you’re the Plum Flower Bandit!”

    Lin Xian Er looked like someone just hit her with a whip, suddenly jumped up, said, “I’m the Plum Flower Bandit? You dare call me the Plum Flower Bandit?”

    Ah Fei said, “Yes, you’re the Plum Flower Bandit.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “The Plum Flower Bandit is dead, you…”

    Ah Fei cut her off, said, “I simply killed one of your puppets, so you can divert attention away from yourself.”

    He continued, “You knew the Golden Needle Vest is in Li Xun Huan’s possession, and that he won’t fall for your tricks, so you’re in grave danger. That’s why you asked him to come to your room that night.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “I did have a date with him that nigh, because I didn’t know you at the time.”

    Ah Fei didn’t even pay attention to her. “You wanted that puppet to purposely kidnap you, just so Li Xun Huan can save you, to kill him. Once the world thinks that the Plum Flower Bandit’s dead, no one would suspect you.”

    Lin Xian Er calmed down, said, “Keep going.”

    Ah Fei said, “But you didn’t expect Li Xun Huan to have an accident, even more surprised that I would show up.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “Don’t forget, I also saved you.”

    “That’s right.”

    “If I were the Plum Flower Bandit, why would I save you?”

    Ah Fei said, “Because things didn’t go as you planned, so I was useful to you alive at the time. When no one came to search your room those days, I began to suspect you.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “You think I conspired with Long Xiao Yun and others against him?”

    Ah Fei said, “Of course they didn’t know what you’re up to. You’re just using them. Besides, Long Xiao4 Yun has hated Li Xun Huan for quite a while now, so he obviously had no problems going along with your plans.”

    Lin Xian Er said, “Did Li Xun Huan tell you these things?”

    Ah Fei said, “You think that all men in this world are idiots, puppets you play with, so when Li Xun Huan did not fall for your tricks, you set traps to eliminate him.”

    Ah Fei found that his voice started shaking, he bit his teeth and continued, “Not only are you devious and cold-heated, but you’re also incredibly greedy, even robbing Shaolin’s sacred scriptures. You… you…”

    Lin Xian Er sighed, “Looks like I’ve misjudged you.”

    Ah Fei said, “But I did not misjudge you!”

    Lin Xian Er said, “If I said that it’s not Dan E and Bai Xiao Sheng who gave me these scriptures, you won’t believe me, right?”

    Ah Fei said, “No matter what you say, I’ll never believe you again!”

    Lin Xian Er started to laugh. “I finally understand you now, understand your heart…”

    As she spoke, she walked towards Ah Fei, her steps steady.

    The wind is blowing, the candlelight wavering.

    Candlelight shined on her beautiful face, filled with her tears, as she stared at Ah Fei, said, “I know you’re here to kill me, right?”

    Ah Fei tightened his fists, close his mouth tightly.

    She pointed to her heart. “Since you have your sword, why haven’t you killed me yet? I can only hope that you stab me in the heart.”

    Ah Fei’s hand is already on his sword.

    Lin Xian Er looked up at him, said, “Please go ahead, I’d be happy to die in your hands.”

    Ah Fei could not look at her, instead looking at his sword.

    Her eyes filled with emotions, with tenderness, with love, yet also hate… nothing in this world can touch a man’s heart more than her eyes.

    A gleam of light appeared in the corner of her eyes. “You’re the person I love the most in this world. If even you don’t believe me, then there’s no reason for me to keep on living.”

    Ah Fei held his sword tightly, his fingers became sore.

    Lin Xian Er continued, “If you think I’m the Plum Flower Bandit, that I’m a despicable woman, then just go ahead and kill me, I… I won’t blame you.”

    Ah Fei’s hand began to shake.

    The ruthless sword, the sword is ruthless, but what about people?

    How could people have no emotions?

    The candlelight went out.

    But Lin Xian Er’s beauty is even more noticeable in the darkness.

    She did not speak, but in the darkness, even her breathing sound like a soothing voice, capable of warming one’s heart.

    Is there anything more powerful than the power of love?

    Looking at a woman like this, looking at the strongest emotions he has felt in his entire life, looking at this endless darkness…

    How could Ah Fei possibly kill her?

    The sword is ruthless! But the swordsman’s sentimental!

    End of Chapter 25

  8. #28
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 26: Stranger in the Little Shop

    Autumn, the leaves are falling.

    At the end of the street is a big mansion, like the autumn leaves, almost time to fall.

    At the front is a big door, seemingly haven’t been opened for over a year now, the bronze filled with rust.

    It’s been a while since any sound came from the inside, other than an occasional cricket or bird.

    However, it hasn’t always been this way. Seven Jin Shi and three Tan Hua had lived here, including one who’s also a hero in the martial world.

    But two years ago, this mansion changed owners, and many amazing events happened here, many top-level fighters died here.

    After that, this mansion became very quiet.

    People started to wonder about this place, some feel there’s an evil presence inside.

    Now, you can no longer hear laughter inside. No more lanterns brightening the mansion in the evenings. Only a single candlelight in little building in the back.

    It seems that a person’s here waiting for someone, but who is she waiting for?

    No matter how dirty, how dark a place, some people would live there.

    Perhaps it’s because they can’t go anywhere else, or that they’re sick of life, preferring to hide in the dark, waiting for others to forget them.

    On the street here is a little shop, selling food and wine in the front, an Inn with a few rooms in the back. The owner, Hunchback Sun, is a handicapped person.

    He knows that this street isn’t very good for business, but won’t move his shop.

    He prefers to simply live a solitary life here, not hearing others’ laughter or joy, because he knows that no money can buy peace.

    Of course he’s lonely.

    About a year ago, a strange customer came into this little shop. Actually, he wasn’t wearing anything special, or looked very special.

    Although he’s fairly tall, and looked pretty dashing, but he also looked quite frail, as if he’s always sick, and he kept coughing.

    He really looks like an ordinary man.

    But Hunchback Sun immediately knew that he was special.

    He did not laugh at Sun for his hunchback, nor cared, especially not tried to show sympathy.

    He wasn’t picky about the wine, nor did he judge it, he just doesn’t talk much period.

    The strange part is, after he entered the little shop, he never walked out.

    The first time he came in, he chose a seat by the corner, asked for some dried tofu, some beef, too pieces of bread, and seven jugs of wine.

    When he finished all his wine, he asked Hunchback Sun to get more, then slept in the last room of the Inn, until he woke up the next dusk.

    By the time he came out, his seven jugs of wine would be all gone.

    It’s been over a year now, every night the same corner, the same dishes, some dried tofu, beef, two pieces of bread and seven jugs of wine.

    He would cough and drink at the same time. When he’s done, he would carry seven more back to his room, not showing up again until the next night.

    Hunchback Sun is also an alcoholic, but he’s still in awe of this person. He has never seen anyone drink fourteen jugs before getting drunk before.

    He would sometimes want to ask for this person’s, but then decide against it, because he knows that he won’t get a response.

    Hunchback Sun is not a chatty person.

    So this went on for months, until those few days when it was quite cold, and rained continuously for a few days. Hunchback Sun went into the back to check on things, found out the back room’s window was open, the strange customer lying on the floor, his face terribly red, like it’s filled with blood.

    Hunchback Sun picked him up, went to get some medicine, cooked it, and took care of him for three days, until he got out of bed, and then asked for more wine.

    At that time, Hunchback Sun realized that this guy had a death wish, so he tried to help him, saying, “No one can keep living drinking like this.”

    But this person simply smiled, asking him, “How do you know drinking would make me live a shorter life?”

    Hunchback Sun could not respond.

    From that day on, they became friends.

    When there are no other customers, they would drink together, talking about useless things. Hunchback Sun realized that this person is quite knowledgeable.

    He only refrained from one subject, his past and name.

    One time Hunchback Sun asked him, “Since we’re now friends, what should I call you?”

    He thought for a while, then answered, “I’m a drunkard, why don’t you call me that?”

    Therefore, Hunchback Sun realized that this person must’ve had a terrible past, so he couldn’t even bear to bring up his name, preferring to live his life in wine.

    Other than wine, this person had one other hobby.

    It’s woodcarving.

    He would always use his little knife to carve pieces of woods, but Hunchback Sun never knows what he’s carving, because he never finishes any of the carvings.

    This really is a strange customer, to the point where it’s scary.

    Yet Hunchback Sun hoped that he’d never leave.

    This morning, it was especially cold, so Hunchback Sun had to wear his heavy coat before opening shop.

    He then saw two people on horsebacks coming his way.

    There aren’t many people who ride horses in the area, so Hunchback Sun took notice.

    These two people both wear long, yellow robes, the person in the front has big eyes, the person in the back with a pointy nose, both with short hair, in their 30s.

    These two people don’t look out of the ordinary, but their yellow robes made them stick out, they didn’t notice Hunchback Sun, simply examining the surroundings.

    He knows that he’s definitely not on the minds of these two.

    Only to see them ride past his shop and out of sight, but soon afterwards, both came back.

    Surprisingly, they actually dismounted in front of the shop.

    Although Hunchback Sun has a strange temper, he’s still a businessman, immediately asked, “Do you need anything?”

    The big-eyed man said, “We don’t need anything, just want to ask you something.”

    Hunchback Sun went back to his chores, because he’s never a big fan of talking.

    The pointed-nose man laughed, then said, “How about if buy some answers from you? A tael of silver per answer.”

    Hunchback Sun immediately brightened his eyes, nodded and said, “Sure.”

    As he said those words, he raised a finger.

    The big-eyed man laughed, “This also counts as an answer?”

    Hunchback Sun said, “Yes.”

    He raised another finger.

    The pointed-nose man asked, “How long have you lived here?”

    Hunchback Sun answered, “Twenty to thirty years.”

    The pointed-nose man asked, “Who lives in this mansion across from you?’

    “The Li family.”

    The pointed-nose man asked, “Who was the owner after that?”

    “His surname is Long, called Long Xiao Yun.”

    The pointed-nose man asked, “Have you seen him?”


    The pointed-nose man asked, “Where is he now?”

    “He left.”

    The pointed-nose man asked, “When?”

    “About a year ago.”

    The pointed-nose man asked, “He’s never been back since?”


    The pointed-nose man asked, “If you’ve never seen him, how could you know so much?”

    “His chef often buy wine from me.”

    The pointed-nose man thought for a while, then asked, “Has any stranger drop by to ask you questions recently?”

    “No. If there is… then I’d probably be rich today.”

    The big-eyed man smiled, “Here’s your reward.”

    He tossed some silver over, then without another word, they rode their horses and left.

    Hunchback Sun looked at his silver, then said to himself, “I can’t believe sometimes it’s this easy to make money.”

    He turned around, suddenly found that drunkard is behind him, looking at where those two men disappeared into.

    Hunchback Sun smiled, “You’re awake awfully early today.”

    That drunkard also smiled. “Last night I drank really fast, so I was already sober by morning.”

    He lowered his head, coughed, then asked, “What day is today?”

    Hunchback Sun said, “September 14.”

    That drunkard’s normally white face became a bit red, looked off into the distance, remained quiet for a while, then asked, “Then tomorrow will be September 15th, right?”

    The drunkard seemed to want to say something else, but started to cough continuously.

    Hunchback Sun sighed, shook his head. “If everyone drank as much as you, then all the wine sellers would be rich by now.”

    At dusk, candlelight appeared in the little building in the back.

    The drunkard still simply drank at his old place.

    End of Chapter 26

  9. #29
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 27: More Strangers in the Little Shop

    Today that drunkard seems to be a bit different. He’s drinking extra slowly, eyes extra bright, no wood in his hand, and especially moved the candle on his table away.

    His eyes kept staring at the door, as if waiting for someone.

    But the hour has passed, with no customers.

    Hunchback Sun yawned, “Looks like there won’t be any more customers today, guess it’s time to close shop.”

    That ‘drunkard’ laughed, said, “Don’t be in such a hurry, I guarantee that your business will be exceptional tonight.

    Hunchback Sun asked, “How do you know?”

    That ‘drunkard’ answered, “Because I can foretell the future.”

    He really can tell the future, because within the next hour, several groups of people entered the place.

    The first group has two people.

    One is a white haired old man wearing a blue robe while holding a pipe.

    The other looks to be his granddaughter, with two big, black, shiny ponytails, a pair of big eyes, brighter, shinier, and darker then even her ponytails.

    The second group is also two people.

    Both looked unclean and unorganized, but very muscular, wearing not only the same clothing, but also the same weapons, as if they’re clones.

    The third group had the most people, four.

    One is tall, one is short, one is a purple-shirt youngster with a spear on his back, and one a green-clothed lady wearing lots of jewelry, twisting her waist while walking like a little girl, when she’s old enough to be such a girl’s mom.

    The last group had only one person.

    This person is ridiculously thin, with a soft saber on his waist.

    This room only has five tables, so these four groups filled the room. Hunchback Sun became so busy he could only hope tomorrow’s business is not nearly as good.

    Only to see these four groups simply sitting here drinking wine, talking very little, with all words spoken at a whisper, as if afraid others might hear.

    After a while, the youngster with the spear started to stare at the ponytailed girl. Strangely enough, the ponytailed girl apparently doesn’t care.

    The youngster suddenly laughed. “Is this girl a singer?”

    The Ponytailed girl shook her head, her ponytails waving side to side, making her look even prettier.

    The youngster said, “Even if you’re not a singer, at least you can sing a bit, right? If you sing well, I will certainly reward you.”

    The Ponytailed girl said, “I can’t sing, only talk.”

    “What can you talk about?”

    “Talk about book, stories.”

    The youngster said, “That’s even better, except I don’t know what kind of stories do you tell. Scholar and Maiden Meet in the Garden? Minister’s Daughter throwing Bouquet*?”

    *Not really a bouquet, but a ball someone uses to find a husband. Chinese custom. Bouquet is the closest English word I can think of.

    The Ponytailed girl shook her head, said, “Wrong. I tell stories about the newest exciting tales of the martial world.”

    The youngster clapped his hands, smiling. “Awesome. Awesome. I can guarantee that these are the stories people here most like to hear about. Hurry up and tell the stories.

    The Ponytailed girl said, “But I don’t know how to tell such stories, only my grandfather can.”

    The youngster looked at the old man, and then asked her, “Si what can you do?”

    “I can only help out my grandpa.”

    The old man drank some wine, smoked his pipe, and then said slowly, “Have you heard of the name Li Xun Huan?”

    Except for the youngster, no one else had taken notice of these two people, but once they heard the name Li Xun Huan, their ears perked up.

    The Ponytailed girl said with a smile, “Of course I’ve heard of him, the heroic, famous Little Li Tan Hua, right?”

    The old man said, “Correct.”

    The Ponytailed girl said, “I heard the saying that Little Li’s Flying Dagger never misses, even to this day, no one has ever escaped from it. Is this really true?”

    The old man said, “If you don’t believe that, you can go ask the knowledgeable Bai Xiao Sheng, or the Five-Poison Kid, then you’d know if this saying is true or not.”

    The Ponytailed girl said, “Are you saying that Bai Xiao Sheng and Five-Poison Kid are both dead?”

    “Yes. They died simply because they didn’t believe this saying.”

    That tall thin man coughed a bit lightly, but everyone else had already been hooked by this story, so they did not take notice.

    Only that drunkard lay on his table, as if already drunk.

    The old man drank some tea, and then said, “Unfortunately, this Li Xun Huan is already dead.”

    The Ponytailed girl said, “Dead? Who is powerful enough to kill him?”

    The old man said, “Himself!”

    The Ponytailed girl looked at the old man for a moment, then smiled. “How could he kill himself? I bet he’s still alive.”

    The old man sighed, said, “Even if he is still alive, he’s pretty much like a dead man… so unfortunate… “

    The Ponytailed girl also sighed, then asked, “Other than him, is there another person who can be considered a hero?”

    The old man said, “Have you heard of Ah Fei?”

    The Ponytailed girl said, “It does ring a bell.”

    Her eyes moved around, then said, “I heard that the speed of his sword is unmatched in the martial world, is this true?”

    The old man said, “What do you think of Yi Ku’s kung fu skills?”

    The Ponytailed girl said, “In the Book of Weapons, the Green Devil Hand ranks ninth, so he’s obviously very good.”

    The old man said, “What about Mr. Iron Flute, Reverend Xin Jian, Zhao Zheng Yi, and Tian Qi?”

    The Ponytailed girl said, “These are all very famous people in the martial world. Everyone knows them.”

    The old man said, “If Ah Fei’s sword wasn’t very fast, how do you think all these people lost to him?”

    The Ponytailed girl said, “What happened to this Ah Fei?”

    The old man sighed again, “Like Little Li Tan Hua, he has disappeared. No one knows where he is, only that he disappeared the same time as Lin Xian Er.”

    “Lin Xian Er? You mean the girl considered the most beautiful woman in the world?”

    The old man said, “That’s right.”

    The Ponytailed girl said, “Oh, what is love? Why do people get trapped by love, and cannot escape…”

    That youngster became impatient, said, “Don’t get off-topic, and keep telling the story.”

    The old man shook his head and said, “People like Ah Fei and Li Xun Huan have already disappeared, what else is there to talk about in the martial world? That’s all there is, folks.”

    That thin man coldly laughed. “You could be wrong.”

    The old man said, “Are you saying that your information is better than mine?”

    That man looked around. “From what I know, something extraordinary will happen soon.”

    The old man said, “Where? When?”

    The thin man hit the table, and then said loudly, “At this moment, at this place!”
    When he said this, Those two look-alike brothers and the four-member group immediately turned pale, yet that green-robed lady, still smiling, said, “I certainly don’t see anything extraordinary happening right now.”

    That thin man said, “From my understanding, at least six people will die here NOW!”

    The green-robed lady asked, “Which six people?”

    The thin man drank some wine, then said, “Hu Fei, Duan Kai Shan, Yang Cheng Zu, Hu Mei, and the Yang brothers!”

    After he said all six names, those brothers and the four people in the third group immediately got up, and started to scream at him. “Who the hell are you?” “How dare you say such lies in here?”

    The loudest voice was obviously that big, muscular man, Duan Kai Shan*.

    *Note: Duan Kai Shan translates into ‘slicing open mountain’.

    This person towered over everyone once he stood, even the big Yang brothers are shorter by half a head.

    He apparently wasn’t finished with the insults, “I feel that you’re the one with bad luck today, that you’re not going to live past tonight…”

    Before he could finish, that thin man lifted his leg, quickly appeared right before him, then slapped him seventeen times on the cheek.

    Although Duan Kai Shan has two hands, he somehow couldn’t block those slaps. Although he has two legs, he somehow couldn’t evade those slaps. As if his head has been slapped silly, unable to move.

    The others can only look on with amazement.

    Only to hear this man say, “You think I’m here to kill you? You’re not worthy of being killed by me! I just want to teach you a lesson, so you’ll learn to speak in a more civilized manner.”

    As he spoke, he went back to his seat.

    Yang Cheng Zu said, “Hold on. Tell us who is going to come kill us.”

    As he spoke, the spear on his hand immediately shot up.

    The spear flew towards the thin man.

    That man didn’t even turn around, just said, “The person who’ll kill you is almost here!”

    Only to see his waist twist a bit, and the spear became stuck to the thin man’s body, under the arm. No matter how hard he tried, Yang Cheng Zu could not pull out the spear, his face immediately turned pale.

    That thin man said, “Since you won’t escape anyway, you might as well just wait here.”

    The spear then broke.

    Only to hear a swish sound, and the head of the spear stuck to the table, where the thin man poured another cup of wine, as if nothing had ever happened.

    But the other six people weren’t nearly as carefree as he, their faces without color.

    They’re all thinking, “Who’s coming to kill us? Who…”

    The wind outside became stronger, the lamps shaking, the thin man simply sitting there quietly.

    Who is this man?

    With his kung fu, he’s obviously one of the top fighters in the world, how could we not know him?”

    Why would he come here?

    No one knows the answer, so how can they still have the heart to drink?

    Some already want to run away, but this would really be cowardly. Besides, it’s not like they could anyway.

    Just as they’re thinking, a cold laughter came from the outside.

    The six people immediately frowned, their throats look like they have lumps in them, not just unable to speak, but also unable to breathe.

    The Hunchback Sun was already terribly scared, but these six are even more scared.

    Four people appeared at the door.

    These four people all wore long, yellow robes, one has big eyes, one has pointy nose, the same people who dropped by in the morning.

    Although they reached the front door, no one came in, only just standing there silently, not looking scary at all.

    Hunchback Sun can’t believe that these six people would be so terrified of them. From the looks of these six people, those four yellow-robed men aren’t people, but devils.

    They are now becoming envious of that drunkard, who can’t see anything, hear anything, and therefore obviously not scared.

    The strange thing is the behavior of the first group, the old man so old his teeth are nearly all gone, the girl so young and fragile a breeze can seemingly knock her to the ground.

    These two people don’t look scared at all, the old man still drinking wine.

    Looking at those four men again, they just cleared a path.

    A very young man, hands behind his back, walked in slowly.

    This youngster also wore a long yellow robe. He looks very elegant, his attitude very refined, the only difference between him and the other four people is that his robe has gold streaks on the side.

    However, his face is icy, without any emotions, his eyes focused on that tall, thin man.

    The thin man didn’t even bother to look at him, instead just kept drinking.

    The yellow-robed youngster smiled, turned around, looking at the six people.

    The yellow-robed youngster slowly walked over to them, taking out some gold coins, then put one on each of the six people’s heads.

    These six people seemingly all turned to wood, just staring at him while he put those coins on them, not even daring to fart.

    The yellow-robed youngster still had some coins left in his hand, and walked over to the old man and the young girl.

    The old man smiled. “If you want to drink some wine, go ahead. I’ll pay.”

    He seemed a bit drunk, his cheek look like there’s an egg in it, his lips swollen, his words almost impossible to understand.

    The yellow-robed youngster kept a straight face, staring at him. Suddenly he hit the table, the peanuts on the plate jumped up, flying towards the old man’s face.

    That old man must be scared stiff, because he didn’t even try to dodge the peanuts, just as the peanuts almost reached his face, the yellow-robed youngster held up his arm quickly, his sleeves swished, and the peanuts returned to the plate.

    That ponytailed girl began to laugh heartily. “Wow. That’s a really neat trick. I can’t believe you know magic tricks. Can you do that again? If you do, my grandpa will surely buy you some wine.”

    The yellow-robed youngster had just shown a top-level hidden weapon technique, yet he just happened to meet two people who had no idea what it is, thinking that it was all just a parlor trick.

    However, this yellow-robed youngster was not mad at all. He looked at the ponytailed girl for a while, smiled, and walked away.

    But then the ponytailed girl said impatiently, “Why aren’t you doing more tricks? I still want to see more.”

    The thin man suddenly laughed. “You really don’t want to see too many of those kinds of tricks.”


    The thin man said, “If you knew kung fu, that little trick of his would’ve turned you into a dead person.”

    The ponytailed girl looked a bit at the yellow-robed youngster out of the corner of her eyes, as if she didn’t believe the thin man, but doesn’t dare to ask again.

    The yellow-robed youngster wasn’t listening to the conversation at all. He simply walked slowly to the drunkard’s table, his coins clicking in his hands.

    That drunkard had been drunk for a long time, simply sleeping there like a dead man.

    The yellow-robed youngster laughed while picking him up by his hair, stared at his face for a second, then released his hand.

    As he released his grip, the drunkards fell back onto the table, again asleep.

    The thin man said, “Being drunk cures a thousand worries. This saying really is quite accurate, as the drunk man certain is better off than these sober people.”

    The yellow-robed youngster ignored him, and walked back out the door.

    The funny thing is, the six people with coins on their head followed him out, as if they had a leash on them.

    They all had gloom faces, looking straight ahead. While their feet moves forward, their upper body are straight as a stick, afraid the coins might drop.

    Hunchback Sun has lived for many years, yet still have not seen such a strange sight.

    Considering these people’s kung fu, they should at least be able to give any enemy somewhat of a fight. Why would they look at this youngster like a mouse seeing a cat?

    Hunchback Sun really couldn’t understand.

    He also doesn’t care to understand, either, for a person as old as he is, some things are better off not known.

    It’s been a while since it rained, so there are a lot of dusts in the wind blowing outside.

    Those four yellow-robed people drew a bunch of circles on the ground, each about the size of a soup bowl.

    When those six people got outside, they didn’t even wait for a command before stepping into the circles.

    They then stood as still as wood.

    The yellow-robed youngster walked back into the little shop, and sat down on the chair Duan Kai Shan vacated.

    That face is still just as cold, and remained silent, as he had been since coming into the shop.

    After a few minutes, another person with a yellow robe walked into the shop.

    This people is older, with one ear cut off, one eye blinded, his face filled with rage.

    He also has gold streaks on the side of his robe, also has some people following behind him, some tall, some short, some old, some young.

    From their appearances, these are fairly important people, except their faces look just like Duan Kai Shan and the others, following the yellow-robed man to the door, then stood inside those circles.

    One of them has a dark skin and is very skinny, his face looks terrible.

    When the others saw him, they look at him in a weird way, as if wondering why he’s here.

    The one-eyed man looked at Duan Kai Shan and the others for a sec, chuckled, then went into the little shop, sitting across from the youngster.

    They looked at each other, nodded, but stayed silent.

    After a bit more time, another yellow-robed man came.

    He’s even older, his hair all white, his yellow robe also have streaks of gold, and behind are even more people.

    From afar, he doesn’t look too special, but up close, one can see that his face is green, which looks incredibly scary paired up with his white hair.

    Not only is his face green, so are his hands.

    Those people standing outside the door watched him as if watching a ghost. They all gasped for breath, some even shook.

    Within an hour, all the circles outside the shop had been filled, all with stiff people who do not dare speak or move.

    Four people with gold-streaked yellow robes arrived, the last one an old man who looked quite fragile, and even older than the last one, like he’s too old to even walk. But the people he brought just happened to be the most.

    These four people each sat on a side of the table, sitting there silently.

    The people outside are just as silent, as one can only hear their breaths.

    This little shop seemed to have turned into a graveyard. Even Hunchback Sun couldn’t stand it! Yet that old man and his granddaughter still did not leave.

    Can they still be waiting for more tricks?

    This really is a trick to die for!

    End of Chapter 27

  10. #30
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 28: Coins That Take Lives

    After a long time, a sound of du, du, du, du… came from down the street, the sound monotonous and sullen.

    Yet this sound coming at this time of the night has an eerie feel to it, as if pounding everyone’s heart with a stick.

    Du, du, du… almost can drive people insane.

    The four yellow-robed men looked at each, then stood up together.

    In the darkness of the night appeared a shadow of a man.

    This man’s left leg is broken, he’s using a crutch.

    As the dim light in the shop shine on the man’s face, one sees disorganized hair everywhere, face black as a kettle, filled with cuts.

    Triangle eyes[don’t know what this means], big eyebrows, huge nose, huge mouth, a face ridiculously ugly even without the cuts.

    Anyone would be disgusted by this sight.

    Yet the four yellow-robed men simply went up to him, and bowed.

    The one-legged man waved them off.

    Du, du, du… the man walked into the shop.

    Hunchback Sun saw that he’s also wearing a yellow robe, gold strips down the side of his robe.

    The thin man also saw him coming in, his expression changed.

    That ponytailed girl had long turned her head away, afraid to look at him.

    The one-legged man scanned the room, his eyes brightened a bit when he got to the thin man, then said to the others, “You’ve been working hard.”

    Although he looks scary, his voice is very nice.

    The four yellow-robed men said together, “It’s nothing.”

    The one-legged man said, “They’re all here?”

    A yellow-robed man said, “Total of forty-nine people. All here.”

    The one-legged man said, “Are you certain they’re here for that thing?”

    The old yellow-robed man said, “I have confirmed this. They all came within the last three days, so it must be for that. Or why else would they come here?”

    The one-legged man nodded, said, “It’s fine as long as you’ve thoroughly investigated them, so we don’t want to hurt any innocents.”

    The old yellow-robed man said, “Of course.”

    The one-legged man said, “So do these people understand?”

    The old yellow-robed man said, “Not yet.”

    The one-legged man said, “Then we should make them understand.”


    He walked out the door, then said, “I’m sure everyone here knows who we are. As for your intentions for coming here, we also know that quite well.”

    He continued, “I believe you all received the same letter, and that’s why you all came.”

    Those people can’t nod, and they’re afraid that they may say the wrong words. So no one responded.

    The yellow-robed old man said, “But considering your abilities, you don’t deserve to come. That’s why you’re all standing here. Until we’re finished with our business, to insure everyone’s safety, just stand still, and no harm will come to you.”

    He chuckled, “I’m sure everyone knows, that unless we absolutely have to, we won’t hurt anyone.”

    When he said this, someone suddenly coughed.

    That person is Hu Mei.

    Because she doesn’t want to make her waist look big, she’d rather freeze than to wear thicker clothing. This is a bad habit that most women share.

    Not only did she wear very little, there just happened to be a lot of wind outside today, plus she’s standing in the front, getting the brunt of the wind. No wonder she caught a cold.

    As she sneezed, the coin on her head dropped to the ground.

    Only to hear a clank sound, as the coin hit the ground and rolled away. Not only did her face turn pale, so did everyone else’s.

    The yellow-robed old man said, “Do you know our rules?”

    Hu Mei stuttered, “Y… Yes.”

    The yellow-robed old man shook his head. “Then you really should be more careful.”

    Hu Mei’s whole body shook. “It was an accident. Please spare me.”

    The yellow-robed old man said, “I also know it was an accident, but I can’t break the rules. Who would follow the rules if people can keep breaking them? You’ve been around the block, you should know this.”

    Hu Mei turned around, looking at Hu Fei. “Big brother, you… won’t help me out?”

    Hu Fei closed his eyes, his muscles stiffened, “What can I do?”

    Hu Mei smiled. “I know…. I won’t blame you.”

    Her eyes moved towards Yang Cheng Zu, “What about you, little Yang? I’m about to leave, don’t you have something you want to say to me?”

    Yang Cheng Zu’s eyes simply stared down on the ground, without an expression.

    Hu Mei said, “You won’t even look at me?”

    Yang Cheng Zu closed his eyes.

    Hu Mei suddenly laughed, pointing at Yang Cheng Zu. “Everyone, look at this. This is my lover. Last night he told me, as long as I love him, he’s willing to die for me. But now? Now he won’t even look at me, as if looking at me will give him a disease…”

    Her laughter gradually died down, but tears rolled down her eyes. “What is affection? What is love? What do I have to live for mow? It really is better to die now than to go on living.”

    When she said this, her body suddenly rolled on the ground, quickly covered several yards, releasing numerous Ice Stars as she rolled, all flying towards the yellow-robed old man.

    Her body levitated quickly, trying to get over the wall.

    Hu Mei’s specialties are hidden weapons and lightness kung fu, her abilities in these areas really are quite excellent, firing many stars, each quick, accurate, and deadly!

    The yellow-robed old man simply raised his eyebrows a bit, then said, “Why do you bother…”

    He might walk and talk slowly, but he certainly can move very fast. When he finished the sentence, he had captured all the Ice Stars into his sleeves.

    As Hu Mei tried to get over the wall, she felt a huge amount of energy rushing towards her, causing her to crash into the wall, then dropped to the ground, all parts of her body started to bleed.

    The yellow-robed man said, “You could’ve had a painless death, but unfortunately…”

    Hu Mei’s hand held her chest, coughing continuously, coughing blood.

    The yellow-robed man said, “But before you die, I can grant you a wish.”

    Hu Mei asked, “This is also one of your rules?”


    “No matter what I ask for, you’ll do it?”

    The old man said, “If you have some unfinished business, we can do it for you. If you need revenge, we’ll carry out the revenge for you!”

    He chuckled, then said, “So anyone who dies in our hands can be considered quite lucky.”

    Hu Mei’s eyes suddenly brightened, said, “Since I must die, can I choose someone to kill me?”

    The yellow-robed old man said, “That should be no problem. Who do you have in mind?”

    Hu Mei bit her lips, then said, “Him, Yang Cheng Zu!”

    Yang Cheng Zu’s face immediately became pale, said, “What’s the meaning of this? Do you want to kill me?”

    Hu Mei said, “Although you only pretended to have feelings for me, I actually do have feelings for you. As long as I die in your hands, I’ll die a happy person.”

    The yellow-robed man said, “It’s easy to kill someone, don’t tell me you’ve never killed before.”

    He moved his hand a bit, a knife came out. Then he walked over and gave it to Yang Cheng Zu. “This knife is very sharp. It won’t need a second slice to kill someone.”

    Yang Cheng Zu instinctively shook his head, said, “I don’t…”

    Just as he said those words, the coin on his head dropped to the ground and rolled away.”

    Yang Cheng Zu’s whole body stiffened.

    Hu Mei began to laugh without abandon. “You told me, if I died, you would not live on. Now you really are going to die with me. At least you still have a shred of conscience left.”

    Yang Cheng Zu started to shake, and then suddenly yelled, “You *****! You heartless…”

    He immediately grabbed that knife, walked over and sliced off Hu Mei’s head, blood pouring on his body.

    He finally calmed down, raised his head back up.

    Everyone just stared at him coldly.

    Yang Cheng Zu stomped the ground with his feet, then cut his own throat with the same knife, his body falling on top of Hu Mei’s.

    Now Hunchback Sun knows why those people walk and stand in such a weird way.

    These yellow-robed men’s rules are not just scary, but also uncalled-for.

    That thin man didn’t seem to care at all, as if this sort of thing happens all the time.

    At this time, the one-legged man stood up, walked over to that thin man’s table, sitting down across from him.

    The thin man slowly raised his head, staring at him intently.

    They did not speak, but Hunchback Sun felt that something big is going to happen.

    These two people’s eyes are like knives, trying to stab the other’s heart.

    After who knows how long, the one-legged man smiled.

    His smile is very unique, very strange. It can make people forget just how ugly he is, because it feels so warm and tender.

    He said with a smile, “I know who you are now.”

    The thin man said, “Really?”

    The one-legged man said, “I bet you know who we are too.”

    “In the past two years, I’d assume that there aren’t many people who don’t know you.”

    The one-legged man chuckled, then took out a letter.

    This looks like a regular letter, but Hunchback Sun couldn’t help but want to know what’s in it.

    The one-legged man said, “I bet you came all the way here because of this letter too, right?”

    The thin man said, “Maybe”

    The one-legged man said, “From what I heard, over a hundred people received this letter, but no one knows who wrote it. Despite much investigation, I could not get any leads.”

    The thin man said, “If you can’t find any info about it, then no one can!”

    The one-legged man said, “But although we don’t know who wrote it, we do know its intent.”


    The one-legged man said, “He tried to get the famous fighters here, fight over this treasure, so he can gain something.”

    The thin man said, “If that’s the case, then why are you still here?”

    The one-legged man said, “It’s simply because this is such a deadly plan, that we have to come.”


    The one-legged man smiled. “We came so we can tell everyone of his intent, so they would not fall into this trap.”

    The thin man said, “In that case, you’re being a humanitarian now.”

    The one-legged man didn’t seem to catch the sarcasm in his voice, said, “We just want to turn a big problem into a small one. A small problem into no problem, and everyone can live a happy life.”

    The thin man said, “Actually, no one’s certain whether there really is a treasure here or not.”

    The one-legged man said, “That’s why it would be quite sad if someone were to lose his life over this.”

    The thin man said, “But since I am here, I might as well see what’s really going on. So how could someone persuade me to leave with just a few words?”

    The one-legged man’s face immediately became serious, said, “So you definitely won’t leave?”

    The thin man laughed coldly, “Even if I leave, it still won’t be in your hands!”

    The one-legged man said, “Other than you, I really don’t know who can compete with us.”

    He pushed his iron crutch down, and after a cracking sound, the two-meter stick now has one and a half meters under the ground.

    The thin man said coldly, “Really is great kung fu. No wonder in Bai Xiao Sheng’s Book of Weapons, your Iron Crutch is ranked eighth.”

    The one-legged man said loudly, “Your famous Snake Whip is ranked number seven, so I’ve always wanted to see it!”

    The thin man said, “I’ve also been looking forward to this fight!”

    End of Chapter 28

  11. #31
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 29: The Whip with Eyes

    Only to see the thin man’s left hand hit the table, his body rise into the air, the wind breeze by, a shiny black whip appeared in his right hand.

    He flicked his wrist, the long whip carried the wind through the heads of the people standing outside, only to hear sounds of ding ding dang dang, as over forty coins dropped to the ground.

    These forty-some people are all very experienced in the martial world, yet none of them had ever seen such intricate use of a whip.

    When the whip is in his hand, it seems to be alive, and has a pair of eyes.

    Those forty-some people looked at each other, then immediately applied their lightness kung fu, some dashed down the street, some climbed over the walls, the sky filled with shadows of people. In an instant, everyone had left.

    That yellow-robed old man’s face became pale. He said angrily, “You took their Life Taking Coins. Do you wish to die for them?”

    The one-legged man coldly laughed. “The God of Whips XiMen Rou’s life certainly is good enough to replace those lives!”

    He pulled out his crutch, standing on one leg, but it’s as if that one leg is nailed to the ground, as it is solid as a tree trunk.

    The yellow-robed old man stretched out his hands, an Official Brush appeared.

    Anyone who uses this type of weapon must have incredible kung fu.

    Four people surrounded XiMen Rou.

    Only that one-eyed man retreated a few steps, opened up his robe, showing forty-nine spearheads, some long, some short.

    The five people’s eyes all fell on XiMen Rou’s long whip, all seem weary of it.

    The one-legged man laughed. “I’m sure you have figured out who my four friends are.”

    XiMen Rou said, “I figured it out a long time ago.”

    The one-legged man said, “From a fairness standpoint, the five of us really shouldn’t fight you alone, but today’s different.”

    XiMen Rou laughed. “I’ve seen way too many people in the martial world win through superior numbers. Do you think I care about that?”

    The one-legged man said, “I didn’t want to kill you originally, but you did break our rules. So how can we let you go? If rules are allowed to be broken, then we’d be considered liars, so I hope you understand.”

    XiMen Rou said, “What if I intend on leaving?”

    The one-legged man said, “You can’t leave!”

    XiMen Rou suddenly laughed. “When I really do want to leave, the five of you certainly aren’t going to stop me!”

    The one-legged man grunted, his crutch slashing out.

    Although this is a very simple move, its power is limitless!

    XiMen Rou still kept his smile, his whip twisting even faster, as his person rise high above the ground.

    That one-eyed man stretched his arms, thirteen spearheads came out, carrying the windy breeze towards XiMen Rou.

    The longer ones were thrown first, but the shorter ones were faster, only to hear many clicking sounds, as the whip deflected all thirteen spearheads.

    Like a tornado, XiMen Rou floated higher and higher, then twisted off into the distance, out of sight.

    The one-legged man said, “After him!”

    Hitting the ground softly with his iron crutch, the one-legged man also floated into the air, His lightness kung fu is amazingly better than most two-legged people, disappeared out of sight.

    The other four yellow-robed men immediately followed, and suddenly the shop became quiet again, with only two dead bodies left.

    If it weren’t for these two bodies, Hunchback Sun would’ve thought that this was all a bad dream.

    Only to see that old man somehow awaken, his look seemingly without a hint of being drunk. He looked at where the yellow-robed men disappeared into, then sighed. “No wonder XiMen Rou’s Snake Whip is ranked ahead of Yi Ku’s Green Devil Hand. From the moves he showed, he certainly deserves the title ‘God of Whips’. Bai Xiao Sheng really does know what he’s talking about.”

    The ponytailed girl said, “Is he really the best among the people who uses whips today?”

    The old man said, “The skill he has shown is unmatched by any other practitioner of soft weapons in the past thirty years.”

    The ponytailed girl asked, “What about that one-legged man?”

    The old man responded, “He’s called ZhuGe Gang. The people in the martial world call him ‘Sweep Across Thousand Soldiers’. His Golden Steel Crutch weighs seventy pounds, the heaviest of any weapon in the martial world.”

    The ponytailed girl laughed. “One is called XiMen Rou. The other is ZhuGe Gang. They really are born to be enemies*.”

    *Note: ‘Rou’ means soft. ‘Gang’ means Hard. As you can see, their names reflect the type of weapons they use.

    That old man took out some silver, put it on the table, and then walked out the door with his granddaughter, into the night.

    Hunchback Sun watched their backs as they left, then looked back, realizing that somehow, the drunkard had also awakened, and has walked over to the seat where XiMen sat. He picked up the letter ZhuGe Gang left.

    Hunchback Sun smiled. “You really shouldn’t have been drunk today, because you missed out on a pretty nice show.”

    That drunkard laughed, and then sighed. “The real show hasn’t even begun yet, I’m afraid I’ll be watching even if I don’t want to.”

    Hunchback Sun raised his eyebrows. He found that these people have all been acting strangely today, like they all took the wrong medicine.

    That drunkard took out the letter, looked at it for a second, then his face suddenly turned red, bent down and started to cough again.

    Hunchback Sun asked, “What does the letter say?”

    That drunkard said, “No…nothing.”

    Hunchback Sun said, “I heard they all came because of the letter.”


    Hunchback Sun smiled. “They also said something about some treasure. Whatever, they have got to be kidding me.”

    He then asked, “You want more wine? It’s on me.”

    He didn’t hear any response, turned around, and saw that the drunkard simply stood there, looking into the distance.

    His eyes showed no sign of alcohol, but a strange elegance.

    Hunchback Sun followed his line of sight, only to see a lone candle from afar, seemingly even further away because of the fog…

    By the time Hunchback Sun returned to the backyard, it’s already midnight.

    It’s always peaceful in the courtyard, the drunkard’s light is still on, but the door is open, waving as the wind blows by.

    Hunchback Sun went over to take a look, knocking on the door asking, “Hey, are you asleep?”

    No sound came.

    What’s he doing outside at this hour?

    Hunchback Sun walked inside, found out that the room in a mess, pieces of wood laying everywhere, but that little dagger is nowhere to be seen, half a jug of wine still sits on the table.

    A crumpled piece of paper lay on the side.

    Hunchback Sun recognize it as the letter ZhuGe Gang left.

    He couldn’t help but read it.

    “September 15th. Happy Cloud Manor has treasure to show. Hope you can come take a look.”

    Just those three phrases, nothing else. The less written in the letter, the more mysterious and attractive it becomes.

    The person who wrote this letter certainly knows psychology.

    Hunchback Sun raised his eyebrows, a strange expression appeared on his face.

    He knows that Happy Cloud Manor is the mansion across from him, but can’t figure out just what kind of relationship that drunkard has with the manor.

    End of Chapter 29

  12. #32
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 30: Long, Long Night

    Fog fills the night, few leaves remain on the trees, lotus pond filled with dried leaves, the grass by the path all brown. In the past the flowers were red, and the trees green, the smell of plum filled the pavilion, but none still remain. At the end of the little bridge is a little house, the Cold Fragrance Hut*.

    *Note: I did not use this translation in previous references to this place, and instead just said something like ‘house’ or ‘room’ or some other generic term. This is the house Li Xun Huan and Lin Xian Er lived in(remember when Li Xun Huan visited Lin Xian Er there?). But I will use this term from now on. As you can probably see by now, editing and thinking-up-perfect-translations tend to take a back seat to speed. I don’t like it, but it’s necessary if I don’t want to drag out this translation process for years. If I still feel up to it, I’ll make a thorough revision after I finish the whole translation. But for right now, you’ll have to bear with me.

    Here lived the top hero in the martial world, and the most beautiful woman in the world; back then, the plum flowers blossomed, its smell alluring.

    But now, cobwebs filled the corners, dust gathered on the windows, nothing remained, even the old plum trees had dried up.

    Deep in the darkness of the night, a shadow appeared.

    His hair disorganized, his clothing messed up, look like a street bum, but his expression still graceful, his eyes bright as the stars.

    He walked over the bridge, saw the old plum tree, and sighed. The plum trees used to be his friends, but has since withered as he had.

    Then like a sparrow he shot up!

    The window on the top floor of the little building is closed.

    But there are many slashes on the window. From these slits one can see that lonely person, facing towards the candle, sewing.

    Her face pale, even her beautiful eyes cannot retain its magnetism of the past.

    She has no expression, looks very cold, as if she had forgotten all happiness, and all sadness.

    She simply sits there, sewing, withering away.

    Tears in clothing can be mended, but the tears in one’s heart cannot…

    At the other side of the room is a boy around thirteen or fourteen.

    He looks very smart, a pair of eyes that makes him look even smarter, but his face is pale, so pale one almost forget that he’s a kid.

    He’s practicing writing.

    Although he’s young, he has already learned to withstand loneliness.

    That withered man stood outside, watching them.

    Tears flowed down his eyes.

    After who know how long, that child stopped writing, raised his head, and began to stare at the candle flame.

    That housewife also stopped sewing, looking at her son, her face filled with unlimited tenderness, and softly asked, “Xiao Yun, what are you thinking about?”

    The kid bit his lips, said, “I was just thinking about when dad is coming back.”

    The housewife’s hand shook, the needle stabbed her finger. But she seemingly felt no pain, for all the pain resides in her heart. That kid said, “Mom. Why did dad suddenly leave? It’s been two years, and still no word of him.”

    The housewife remained silent for a long time, and then softly sighed. “I didn’t even know why he left.”

    That kid suddenly showed a strange expression of hatred, said, “But I know why he left.”

    The housewife said softly, “You’re still a kid. What do you know?”

    That kid said, “Of course I know. Dad left because he’s afraid that Li Xun Huan will come back for revenge. If he so much as hear Li Xun Huan’s name, his expression would change.”

    The housewife wanted to say something, but only let out a sigh instead.

    She realizes that this kid knows a lot of things, perhaps too much.

    That kid continued, “But Li Xun Huan never came, why hasn’t he come to see mom?”

    The housewife’s whole body shook. She said loudly, “Why would he come to see me?”

    The kid smiled. “I know he and mom have always been great friends, right?”

    The housewife’s face became pure white. She frowned. “The sun is about to rise. Shouldn’t you go to sleep now?”

    The kid blinked his eyes, said, “I won’t sleep. I want to accompany mom, because for the past two years, mom had not slept well at all.”

    The housewife closed her eyes, tears poured down.

    That kid stood up and started to smile. “But I do need to go sleep now. Tomorrow is mom’s birthday, I need to get up early…”

    He walked over to the housewife and gave her a kiss on the forehead, then said, “Mom should also go to sleep. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

    He smiled as he walked out the door, but once outside, his smiled disappeared, replaced by a venomous expression. “Li Xun Huan, everyone else is afraid of you, but I’m not. One of these days, you’re going to die in my hands.”

    The housewife’s eyes followed the kid out the door, filled will sorrow, filled with tenderness. This really is a smart son.

    She only has this one son.

    This son is her life, even if he did something that made her sad or angry, she would still love him wholeheartedly.

    The love of a mother to her kid is always limitless, always unconditional.

    She sat down again, made the light even brighter.

    Every night when it’s almost dawn, she would feel especially gloomy.

    A sound of light coughing came from outside the window.

    Her expression changed again.

    Her whole person seemingly became a piece of wood, unable to move, simply looking out the window. Her eyes carried a hint of joy, but also a hint of sorrow…

    After who know how long, she slowly got up, walked over to the window, and with a hand still shaking, opened the window slowly. She asked loudly, “Who’s there?”

    Not even a hint of a shadow below.

    The housewife looked around, then said, “I know you’re here. Since you’re here, why don’t come see me?”

    No sound, no response.

    That housewife took a deep breath, then said, “I don’t blame you for not wanting to see me. We really wronged you…”

    Her voice became softer and softer, then basically stood there aimlessly for a long time, before closing the window.

    The ground has been fully covered by darkness.

    The moments before dawn is always the darkest.

    But darkness always eventually passes, as a hint of light appeared from the east. A shadow appeared from the back of a tree.

    He had been standing still for a long time, his hair, clothing, all seemingly soaked with tears.

    His eyes never did leave the window. He looks so old, withered, fragile…

    He is the same person as the one who appeared here last night, the same one who was perpetually drunk at Hunchback Sun’s shop!

    He did not speak, but his heart kept reaching out.

    Shi Yin, Shi Yin, you never did anything wrong, it’s me who wronged you…

    Although I couldn’t see your face, but for the past two years, I was by your side the whole time, protecting you. Do you realize that?
    The sky is getting brighter.

    This person’s hand held his mouth, trying to suppress a cough.

    Then, he walked in front of the door.

    The door wasn’t locked, so he pushed it open.

    Once opened, the stench of alcohol filled his nose. The room is dirty and disorganized, a man sleeping on the table, holding a wine bottle.

    Another drunkard.

    He smiled, and knocked the door.

    The drunkard finally awoke, raised his head, and revealed a face full of freckles.

    No one would ever believe that he’s Lin Xian Er’s dad.

    Still not sober, he looked around and said, “Why would anyone come by this early in the morning? Run into a ghost or something?”

    Only after he finished saying this did he see the middle-aged man. “Who are you? What are you doing here?”

    The middle-aged man smiled. “We met two years ago. Don’t you remember me?”

    The freckled man looked at him, then said in surprise, “You’re Li…”

    Before he can get on his knees, the middle-aged man lifted him back up. “It’s a good thing you still recognize me. Come, let’s sit down and chat a bit.”

    The freckled man smiled. “How could I not recognize you, master*. I promise it won’t happen again. But, master you’ve gotten older the past two years.”

    *Note: The ‘master’ here doesn’t necessarily mean that Li Xun Huan is his master. It’s a generic term any servant would use to refer to his master’s friends, who would be above his own social level.

    The middle-aged man felt a bit of gratitude, said, “You also got older. Everyone’s getting older. So how have you been the past two years?”

    The freckled man said, “In front of others, I might boast a little bit, but in front of master you…”

    He sighed. “To be honest, I have no idea how I lived through the past two years. Today I sell some paintings. Tomorrow I sell some furniture….”

    The middle-aged man raised his eyebrows. “Is it so bad that there’s no more money here?”

    The freckled man lowered his head.

    The middle-aged man said, “Are you telling me that when Fourth Master Long left, he didn’t leave any money to sustain the household?”

    The freckled man shook his head, his eyes red.

    The middle-aged man’s face looked even paler, began to cough continuously.

    The freckled man said, “The Lady originally had some jewelry, but her heart’s too kind. She gave the money to the servants, so they can find some business to do outside… She’d rather burden herself than the servants.”

    When he said this, his voice croaked somewhat.

    The middle-aged man remained silent for a long time, then asked, “But you didn’t leave. You really are a faithful person.”

    The freckled man smiled. “I just didn’t have any place to go to.”

    The middle-aged man said, “You don’t have to explain. I know that while some people have a bad temper, their heart is good, but few people understand them.”

    The freckled man’s face turned red, forced a smile. “This wine isn’t really good, but if master doesn’t mind, why don’t you have some?”

    Only when he tried to pour the wine did he find that the bottle is empty.

    The middle-aged man smiled. “I don’t really want to drink any wine, just some tea… Don’t you find it odd, that I would want to drink tea? I haven’t done this for so many years.”

    The freckled man also smiled. “This is easy to do. I’ll just go boil some water to prepare your tea.”

    The middle-aged man said, “No matter who you see, don’t tell them I’m here.”

    The freckled man said, “Don’t worry, master. I’ll keep your secret.”

    He cheerfully walked out, even forgetting to lock the door.

    The middle-aged man frowned, talking to himself. “Shi Yin, Shi Yin, you’ve been through so much pain because of me. I must protect you. I won’t let anyone hurt you!”

    The sun shined through the window, it’s very bright already.

    The tealeaves aren’t good at all.

    But as long as the tea is thick, people can drink it. This is just like women, as long as they’re young, one won’t find them disgusting.

    The middle-aged man slowly drank the tea, then suddenly laughed. “I used to have a very smart friend, who said something very witty.”

    The freckled man laughed with him. “Master, you’re very witty too.”

    The middle-aged man said, “He* told me, ‘There are no wine that can’t make you drunk, and there are no ugly young women.’ He also said, ‘It’s because of these two things that I kept on living.’”

    His eyes filled with laughter. “Actually, the good wines are the ones that has been sitting for a long time, the good women are the older ones because they have more flavor.”

    The freckled man didn’t comprehend everything, so he didn’t respond, instead pouring more tea. “What’s the reason for master to come back?”

    The middle-aged man sat there for a long time before responding, “Someone said, there’s a treasure here…”

    The freckled man laughed. “Treasure? I wish there really is a treasure here.”

    He suddenly stopped laughing, his eyes stared at the middle-aged man, asking, “If there are any treasures, I’m sure master would know, right?”

    The middle-aged man sighed. “Although you and I don’t believe this rumor, apparently a lot of people do.”

    The freckled man asked, “Who’s spreading this rumor? Why?”

    The middle-aged man said, “He did it for two reasons. One is to get some greedy people to come and fight each other, so he would get something out of that.”

    The freckled man said, “Any other reasons?”

    The middle-aged man said, “It’s been a while since I’ve appeared. Many people wish to know my whereabouts. Whoever did this obviously want me to appear.”

    The freckled man said, “What’s wrong with that? They’ll get to see just how amazing you are.”

    The middle-aged man said, “But this time, there are some people even I can’t handle.”

    The freckled man was amazed. “You mean there are people in this world even you’re afraid of?”

    Before he got the answer, a loud knock came from outside, a voice screaming, “Is this where Fourth Master Long lives? We are here to pay a visit.”

    The freckled man said, “Strange. We haven’t had any visitors for the past two years. I wonder who they are?”

    After about an hour, the freckled man came back chuckling. “Today is the Lady’s birthday, even I forgot, yet these people remembered, and brought gifts too.”

    The middle-aged man thought for a while, and then asked, “Who are these people?”

    The freckled man said, “Five people came. A very stylish old man, a handsome youngster, a one-eyed man, plus a very ugly green-faced man.”

    The middle-aged man said, “And the fifth person is a one-legged man, right?”

    The freckled man nodded. “That’s right… How do you know? Do you know who they are?”

    The middle-aged man lightly coughed, his eyes sharper than knife.

    But the freckled man didn’t seem to notice, and continued to smile. “Although these people look strange, their gifts are certainly amazing. We’ve never had presents like these even when Fourth Master Long was here.”


    “One of the gift is a coin made of pure gold, at least 6 pounds. I’ve never seen anyone this extravagant before.”

    The middle-aged man raised his eyebrows, asked, “Did the Lady accept the gifts?”

    The freckled man said, “She didn’t want to originally, but those people just sat in the living room and won’t leave, saying they want to see the Lady, that they’re friends of Fourth Master Long. The Lady doesn’t know what to do, so she sent the young master to greet them.”

    He smiled. “Master, while the young master is still young, he certainly knows how to talk to people, sometimes even better than adults. All of those guests complimented on his intelligence.”

    The middle-aged man stared at his tea. “I wonder if there will be more people coming, more people who would dare to come.”

    ZhuGe Gang, Gao Xing Kong, Yan Shuang Fei, Tang Du, and ShangGuan Fei all sat in that large living room, talking to a kid in a red robe.

    Although these are some of the best fighters in the martial world, they did not seem to look down on the kid at all.

    Only ShangGuan Fei sat there quietly, not speaking a word, as if nothing in this world can make him speak.

    ZhuGe Gang said with a smile, “Young master really is amazing. Your potential is limitless. In the future when you become a famous hero, I hope you’ll remember us old folks.”

    That kid also spoke with a smile, “If I can only be half as successful as elders, I’d be satisfied. But I’ll certainly need elders’ guidance in the future.”

    ZhuGe Gang clapped his hands. “Young master really knows how to talk. No wonder Fourth Master Long…”

    He suddenly stopped talking, and looked out onto the yard outside.

    That freckled man came in again, with a person behind him, wearing black robe, black pants, black shoes, and carries a long, black sword on his back.

    He is a big and muscular person, almost twice as big as the freckled man. His face carried an expression of death, his eyes striking, his beard flowing with the wind.

    He looks arrogant, but also graceful, stern, but also unruly.

    Anyone who sees him will know that he is not a regular person.

    The five people looked at each other, as if trying to figure out his identity.

    That red kid got up from his chair, walked up to him and bowed. “Nice of you to visit. My name is Long Xiao3 Yu…”

    The black-robed man looked at him. “So you are Long Xiao4 Yun’s son?”

    Long Xiao3 Yun said, “Yes. I take it that elder is a friend of father. Could I have your name?”

    The black-robed man said, “Even if I tell you, you won’t recognize it.”

    He walked into the room.

    ZhuGe Gang got up and bowed. “I am…”

    He just said two words before the black-robed man cut him off. “I know who you are, and you don’t need to try and figure out my identity.”

    ZhuGe Gang said, “But…”

    The black-robed man cut him off again. He said in an icy tone, “I came for a different reason from you. I just came to watch.”

    ZhuGe Gang smiled. “I’m very glad, if that’s the case. When we’re finished with our business here, we will certainly thank you.”

    The black-robed man said, “I don’t interfere with you. You don’t interfere with me. Let’s just mind our own business. No need to thank me.”

    He found a chair, sat down, closed his eyes, and rested.

    The five people looked at each other.

    Gao Xing Kong smiled. “I heard the backyard is very famous. I wonder if the young master can show us around.”

    Long Xiao3 Yun sighed. “Unfortunately, the backyard has withered…”

    Gao Xing kong said, “Oh, that doesn’t matter. We just want to take a look.”

    Long Xiao3 Yun said, “If that’s the case, then follow me.”

    A line of people walked through the yard.

    First one is Long Xiao3 Yun, the last one is the black-robed man, his eyes half-open half-closed, his hands in his sleeves, as if trying to conserve energy.

    Long Xiao3 Yun pointed at a forest of withered plum trees, said, “That’s the Cold Fragrance Hut over there.”

    Yan Shuang Fei’s eyes brightened. “I heard Little Li Tan Hua used to reside there.”

    Long Xiao3 Yun lowered his head. “That’s right.”

    Yan Shuang Fei held his spearheads, let out a cold laugh. “He has flying dagger, I have flying spear, if I could duel with him one of these days, it would be quite fun.”

    The black-robed man said from afar, “If you really can duel with him, then that would truly be a miracle.”

    Yan Shuang Fei turned around quickly, staring angrily at him.

    End of Chapter 30

  13. #33
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 31: Little Li's Flying Dagger

    When Long Xiao3 Yun saw Yan Shuang Fei’s angry attitude, he hurriedly said, “His flying dagger is just made out of regular iron. It’s not some holy weapon, but people always seem to describe it that way. Sometimes even I find it ridiculous.”

    The black-robed man said calmly, “I heard he wasted your kung fu, I bet you still hate him for that, right?”

    Long Xiao3 Yun said with a smile, “Uncle Li is my elder. How can I be mad when an elder teaches me a lesson? Besides, a person doesn’t always need kung fu to become famous.”

    The black-robed man stared at him, seemingly unable to see into his thoughts.

    ZhuGe Gang clapped his hands. “Excellent! You’re certainly correct. You really are worthy of being Long Xiao4 Yun’s son.”

    Long Xiao3 Yun bowed. “Elder, you are too kind.”

    ShangGuan Fei suddenly said, “I heard Lin Xian Er also lived here, right?”

    He really did open his mouth, even Long Xiao3 Yun was caught off guard. “That’s right.”

    ShangGuan Fei asked, “Where did she go?”

    Long Xiao3 Yun answered, “Auntie Lin suddenly disappeared two years ago, didn’t even take her jewelry or clothing. No one knew where she went, some said Ah Fei kidnapped her, others said Ah Fei killed her.”

    ShangGuan Fei raised his eyebrows, then stopped talking.

    The line of people walked over the bridge, arrived at the Cold Fragrance Hut.

    ZhuGe Gang’s eyes brightened, as if very interested in this building.

    Gao Xing Kong asked, “So what about this place? Is this where your mother lives?”


    Gao Xing Kong said, “We originally came to give presents for your mother’s birthday, so can we go up there to meet her?”

    Long Xiao3 Yun rolled his eyes, smiled. “Mother usually don’t like to meet guests, so can I go ask her first?”

    Gao Xing Kong said, “Certainly.”

    Long Xiao3 Yun walked slowly upstairs.

    Tang Du smiled. “It would really be a wonder if a kid like him can live long.”

    ZhuGe Gang’s smile disappeared, said seriously, “Are you sure this is the place?”

    Gao Xing Kong responded in a low voice, “I studied that letter over and over last night, the Li family treasure is in here alright. I heard they have been high level officials for many generations, that their wealth is unmatched.”

    As he spoke, he kept looking at the black-robed man.

    The black-robed man stood far away, looking at two crickets fighting on the ground, as if he doesn’t care for these people at all.

    ZhuGe Gang said, “The treasures aren’t important, but we need Li Tan Hua’s famous paintings and kung fu manuals.”

    Gao Xing Kong nodded, as Long Xiao3 Yun came down the stairs.

    ZhuGe Gang smiled again, asking, “So what is your mother’s response?”

    Long Xiao3 Yun shook his head. “Mother’s not upstairs.”

    ZhuGe Gang asked, “Then where is she?”

    Long Xiao3 Yun said, “I’m also confused. Mother almost never leaves her room.”

    ZhuGe Gang said, “If that’s the case, then we will wait for her upstairs.”

    Only to see three yellow-robed men quickly ran over here. “Please let us clean up the room first.”

    Long Xiao3 Yun seemingly wants to block their path, but was afraid to, finally let them go upstairs.

    Only to hear a swoosh sound, a fifteen foot long* whip made three circles, each around a person’s neck.

    The long whip tightened, then loosened.

    The first person didn’t even let out a noise, before falling to the ground, dead.

    The second person let an ‘Ugh’ sound, before also falling on the ground, dead.

    The third person held his throat, walked forward a bit before falling down. His body kept shaking, unable to speak.

    Although he did not die for a long time, his pain was ten times worse than dying.

    The ability to strike down these three people at once shocked even ZhuGe Gang.

    Only that black-robed man showed no surprise. He said, “It seems that the Snake Whip really is overrated.”

    He sighed deeply, looking extremely disappointed.

    Had XiMen Rou unleashed the full potential of that move, all three people would have been dead immediately. The fact that these three people died at different times, in different ways, showed that XiMen Rou had not mastered his whip yet.

    ZhuGe Gang’s eyes brightened. “XiMen Rou. Yesterday you luckily escaped, but do you think you’ll be that lucky today?”

    XiMen Rou did not respond, but his whip lashed out.

    The whip did not make a sound, only when it straightened out did one hear a pop, as if it traveled faster than the speed of sound.

    At this moment, ZhuGe Gang leapt up, his iron crutch met the long whip in mid-air, the whip twisted around, squeezing the crutch like a snake.

    Only to hear a loud thud, as the crutch hit the ground.

    ZhuGe Gang’s foot faced the sky, his whole body completely upside-down, twisting. The crutch twisted along.

    The whip around the crutch tangled up more and more, becoming shorter and shorter, XiMen Rou also forced to move closer and closer, his long whip mostly twisted around the iron crutch now.

    With XiMen Rou holding the whip with one hand, his strength is far less than ZhuGe Gang, who had the force of his whole body applied to his crutch.

    His expression changed from pale to red, red to white, sweat poured down.

    ZhuGe Gang yelled loudly, his reversed body lashed out.

    This move looks just like his famous ‘One Sweep Across Thousand Soldiers’, except this time, his body acts as the crutch, his crutch acts as the body.

    Had XiMen Rou released his whip at this time, he could have avoided the strike, but he became famous for his whip. How can he possibly release it at this time?

    If he doesn’t release his whip, he can only block ZhuGe Gang’s kick with his left hand, which would break his left hand.

    But XiMen Rou is one of the best of the best, so he didn’t lose his cool even at this moment. He suddenly applied his lightness kung fu, and began to spin around the crutch.

    He obviously want to untangle his whip, but ZhuGe Gang had already calculated this, also started to twist around, his foot only a bit behind XiMen Rou’s body.

    That black-robed man sighed again. “Looks like the Golden Iron Crutch is also overrated.”

    For had ZhuGe Gang timed it correctly, his kick would’ve already killed XiMen Rou by now.

    Although this move was not executed perfectly, XiMen Rou is still in deep peril.

    It still looks like he’s about to die from ZhuGe Gang’s kick.

    Tang Du laughed. “Why do you bother to struggle when you’re nearly dead? Here, let me help you out.”

    He pulled out his unique Mantis Saber, a ray of light flashed, the saber aimed towards XiMen Rou’s back.

    But just as he did this, his body suddenly lurched back, as if being hit by an invisible hand, he finally rested on the ground.

    Even before he could speak, his breathing stopped! Because a dagger had struck his throat!

    A seemingly ordinary dagger.

    But everyone’s expression changed.

    ZhuGe Gang also saw this dagger, screamed in shock, “Little Li’s Flying Dagger!”

    This scream broke his concentration, making him twist the other way, unable to control.

    XiMen Rou’s wrist suddenly tightened, his Snake Whip twisted away from the crutch!

    ZhuGe Gang flipped in mid-air, falling back a bit before regaining his balance.
    Only to see a person appear from afar.

    This person’s clothing looks terrible, his hair disorganized, his face frail, but his eyes look sharper than knives.

    ZhuGe Gang tightened his hold on the crutch, yelled, “Little Li Tan Hua?”

    This person smiled. “You’re too kind.”

    ZhuGe Gang said loudly, “Why do you take actions against us?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “I never want to go against anyone, but I also don’t anyone to bother me.”

    He played around with the dagger in his hand. “There are no treasures here. I’m sorry you’ve all wasted your time. Oh, and when you leave, please take your gifts too.”

    ZhuGe Gang, ShangGuan Fei, and Gao Xing Kong all stared intently at the dagger in his hand, as if they had something stuck in their throats, none could speak.

    Yan Shuang Fei suddenly yelled angrily, “What if we don’t want to leave?”

    Li Xun Huan smiled. “I think you should take me advice and leave.”

    Yan Shuang Fei said, “I’ve always wanted to duel with you. Others might be afraid of you, but not me!”

    He opened his coat, revealing two rows of spearheads.

    But Li Xun Huan didn’t even so much as look at him.

    Yang Shuang Fei yelled loudly, his hands shot out together, nine spearheads came out, but all of them fell to the ground before reaching Li Xun Huan.

    As one look back at Yang Shuang Fei, he’s already on the ground, his throat added a shiny new dagger.

    Little Li’s Flying Dagger!

    No one saw when the dagger reached his throat, but probably just as he released his spears.

    He couldn’t apply enough force to the spears, therefore they didn’t reach Li Xun Huan.

    What a fast dagger!

    Even in death, Yan Shuang Fei couldn’t believe there exist such a fast dagger in this world!

    That black-robed man looked at Yan Shuang Fei’s body, and revealed a smile. “I told you already, that you’re not even in his class. Do you believe me now?”

    He raised his head, looked at Li Xun Huan, said one word at a time, “Little Li’s Flying Dagger did not disappoint me.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “And you are…”

    The black-robed man cut him off. “I’ve long known Little Li Tan Hua’s fame. I’m glad we could meet today…”

    When he finished he suddenly lashed out.

    Only to hear a ‘loooong’ sound, the sword left the sheath.

    The sword itself is also pure black, with no shine. When it came out, dark sword stream is crushing.

    Gao Xing Kong only felt a little chill as the silent sword came into his line of sight, the sword stream slicing into his eyes.

    Just as he closed his eyes, the pain disappeared.

    He fell to the ground.

    ZhuGe Gang only saw the iron sword sweep across, and blood spilled from Gao Xing Kong’s body. Gao Xing Kong did not even try to block the sword, nor evade.

    The black-robed man’s sword twisted around and swooped the other way.

    Only to hear a ‘dang’ sound, the seventy-pound crutched broke in two, but the sword did not slow down!

    ZhuGe Gang suddenly felt a little chill, but then the feeling disappeared.

    He also fell down.

    This all happened in less than a minute. XiMen Rou looked up at the sky and sighed. “Looks like there’s no more place in the martial world for me anymore…”

    He disappeared behind the rooftop.

    At the same time, ShangGuan Fei also applied his lightness kung fu.

    Because the sword stream rushed over to him.

    ShangGuan Fei suddenly pulled out his Son-Mother Steel Ring, encircling the iron sword and blocking it.

    The black-robed man said, “Good!”

    As he said this, his sword shook, breaking the ring.

    The sword tip stopped right in front of ShangGuan Fei’s throat.

    ShangGuan Fei closed his eyes, but his expression remained cold and calm, as if this youngster’s heart is made of stone.

    The black-robed man stared at him, then said coldly, “Are you a student of ShangGuan JinHong?”

    ShangGuan Fei nodded.

    The black-robed man said, “My sword had never left anyone alive, but despite your youth, you could actually block my sword once. That’s very impressive.”

    He removed his sword, and then tapped ShangGuan Fei’s shoulders. “You can go!”

    ShangGuan Fei did not move. He stared at the black-robed man and said, “You may not kill me, but I must tell you something.”

    The black-robed man said, “Go ahead.”

    ShangGuan Fei said, “Even though you let me go today, I will seek revenge in the future. At that time, I most certainly will not let you go!”

    That black-robed man laughed. “Good. You really do deserve to be ShangGuan JinHong’s son.”

    He stopped laughing, his eyes stared at ShangGuan Fei. “If I can die some day in your hands, not only will I not blame you, I will actually be happy, because I didn’t misjudge you.”

    ShangGuan Fei’s expressions did not change. “In that case, goodbye!”

    The black-robed man said, “I’ll be waiting for you!”

    The black-robed man suddenly yelled again, “Hold on!”

    ShangGuan Fei slowed down and then stopped.

    The black-robed man said, “Remember this. I let you go today not because you’re ShangGuan JinHong’s son, but because you’re you!”

    ShangGuan Fei did not respond. He resumed walking, slowly out of sight.
    The black-robed man waited till he disappeared, then turned around and faced Li Xun Huan. “I’m so glad we met today,”

    Li Xun Huan stared at his sword, then suddenly asked, “Solar-Apex Iron Sword*?”

    The black-robed man said, “I am indeed Guo Song Yang*.”

    *Note: Someone who made some playing cards of Gu Long characters translated ‘Song Yang’(Guo Song Yang’s first name) as Solar-Apex for the sword name. This translation doesn’t seem too correct to me, but it does sound cool. Anyway, just keep in mind that the name of the iron sword is the same as the first name of its owner.

    Li Xun Huan took a deep breath, said, “Solar-Apex Iron Sword really is as good as they say!”

    Guo Song Yang looked at his own sword. “But I wonder how it does against Little Li’s Flying Dagger.”

    Li Xun Huan chuckled. “Actually, I would rather not know the answer.”


    Li Xun Huan said, “Because… if we do try to find the answer, one of us will regret doing so.”

    Guo Song Yang raised his head.

    A hint of gratitude appeared on his face. He said loudly, “But we’ll need to know sooner or later, right?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “I can only hope it’s later.”

    Guo Song Yang said soundly, “But I prefer to know sooner.”


    Guo Song Yang said, “Until the day we figure out the winner, I will not rest peacefully.”

    Li Xun Huan thought for a while, then asked, “When do you want to settle this?”

    Guo Song Yang said, “Today!”

    Li Xun Huan asked, “Right here?”

    Guo Song Yang looked around, then laughed coldly, “This used to be your home. If we fight here, you already have the advantage of knowing the surroundings.”

    Li Xun Huan chuckled. “You’re right. Just by your last sentence, you truly deserve to be considered a top level fighter.”

    Guo Song Yang said, “But since I decided the time, you should decide the place.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “That won’t be necessary.”

    Guo Song Yang also thought for a long time, then said, “Fine. If that’s the case, follow me!”

    Li Xun Huan said, “After you.”

    He walked forward a couple of steps, couldn’t help but look back at the Cold Fragance, and saw Long Xiao3 Yun staring at him, his eyes filled with venom.

    Nothing, not the marvelous Guo Song Yang’s sword strokes, not the deaths of ZhuGe Gang and the others, moved this young kid.

    But once he met Li Xun Huan’s gaze, he instantly smiled, and bowed. “Uncle Li. How are you doing.”

    Li Xun Huan sighed inside, while smiling. “Hello.”

    Long Xiao3 Yun said, “Mother thinks of you at every moment, you really should come visit us more often.”

    Li Xun Huan forced a chuckle.

    He almost always has trouble answering this kid.

    Long Xiao3 Yun went up to him, grabbed his robe, and whispered, “That person looks scary. Uncle you shouldn’t go with him.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “You’ll understand once you grow up, sometimes you must do things that you would not want to do.”

    Long Xiao3 Yun said, “But… but… what if uncle you die, then who will take care of mom and I?”

    Li Xun Huan froze.

    After who knows how long, he raised his head, and saw Lin Shi Yin standing on top of the steps, looking at them.

    She looked worrisome, but also showed much happiness.

    Li Xun Huan only felt a stab in his heard, lowered his head again.

    Long Xiao3 Yun yelled, “Mom. Look, Uncle Li just came, but now has to go.”

    Lin Shi Yin forced smile. “Uncle Li has business to attend to, he… he has to go.”

    Her smile looked so fragile, so forced, had Li Xun Huan saw this smile, his heart would’ve broke.

    Long Xiao Yun said, “Mom, don’t you have some things you want to say to Uncle Li?”

    Lin Shi Yin’s mouth kept trembling. “That can wait when he comes back.”

    Long Xiao Yun’s lips curled up, and blinked his eyes. “But… I think once Uncle Li leaves today, he’ll never come back.”

    Lin Shi Yin said in almost a whisper, “Shush! Come on back up so Uncle Li can leave.”

    Long Xiao Yun finally nodded, released Li Xun Huan’s robe, and said, “You can go now, Uncle Li. Don’t worry about us, mom and I are used to being alone anyway, you don’t have to worry.”

    He wiped his eyes, seemingly on the verge of tears..

    Guo Song Yang is already near the bridge, looking at them.

    Li Xun Huan finally turned around.

    He never did look up, nor said any words.

    At this moment, any more words would be pointless. Besides, he doesn’t know what to say anyway.

    If a person becomes too sentimental, he actually looks heartless instead.

    Outside the walls, the signs of autumn seem more apparent.

    Both of Guo Song Yang’s hands rest in his sleeves, he walked slowly in the front.

    Li Xun Huan followed behind.

    The road is long, and quite narrow, with no end in sight.

    The autumn wind blows by, leaves all turning into brown.

    Although his steps are slow, Guo Song Yang’s steps are wide.

    Li Xun Huan stared intensely at his steps.

    The ground is quite soft, so each step left a footprint, his footprints all have the same depth, all equidistance apart.

    Although he looks like he’s just walking casually, he’s actually gathering a special type of inner energy, his whole body harmonizing, which is why his steps are the same.

    When he has gathered all his energy, when his body is in perfect harmony, he will immediately stop… that is the end of the road.

    End of Chapter 31

  14. #34
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 32: The Understanding Mortal Enemy

    Once there, one of their lives will end!

    Li Xun Huan obviously realizes this.

    Guo Song Yang really is an intimidating enemy.

    In Li Xun Huan’s whole life, perhaps this is the first time that he has met a truly worthy opponent.

    Many fighters ‘seek a loss’ because they think that as long as they meet a worthy opponent, even if they lose, they would be happy.

    But Li Xun Huan is not happy at all.

    His heart is pounding.

    He knows that in his current condition, he would most likely lose.

    Once this road ends, so could his life!

    This could be his road to the underworld.

    He’s not really afraid to die, but how can he die right now?

    The surroundings became more and more barren, he can see a forest up ahead.

    The autumn leaves as red as blood.

    Could that be the end of the road?

    Guo Song Yang’s steps became bigger and bigger, his footprints shallower and shallower, showing that his inner and outer energy are combing to reach the apex.

    At that time, his concentration, power, body, will all combine with his sword. At that time, his sword will no longer be a piece of metal, but will come alive.

    At that time, the power of his sword will be limitless, nothing will stand in its way!

    Li Xun Huan suddenly stopped walking.

    He did not speak, or make any other noise, but Guo Song Yang noticed it.

    He did not turn around, instead simply said, “Here?”

    Li Xun Huan remained silent for a long time, then said, “Today… I can’t fight you.”

    Guo Song Yang turned around, like daggers his eyes pierced into Li Xun Huan, he said loudly, “What did you say?”

    Li Xun Huan lowered his head, his head ached.

    He knows that this was a cowardly act, something he never dreamed of doing.

    But now he must do this.

    Guo Song Yang said, “Did you say you can’t fight me?”

    Li Xun Huan could only nod.

    Guo Song Yang asked, “Why?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Because I admit defeat.”

    Guo Song Yang looked at him in amazement, as if he’s never met this person before.

    After a long time, Guo Song Yang took a deep breath. “Li Xun Huan, Li Xun Huan, you really are a true hero!”

    Li Xun Huan chuckled. “Hero? A man like me can be a hero?”

    Guo Song Yang shook his head and sighed. “Perhaps you are the only true hero in this world!”

    Li Xun Huan did not speak, as Guo Song Yang continued, “You just admitted defeat. I know how difficult this can be. It’s something perhaps I would rather die than say.”

    He smiled and continued, “It’s actually quite easy to die, but to admit defeat in order to help others, that’s a sign of a true hero, a true man!”

    Li Xun Huan said, “You…”

    He only felt incredible warmth in his heart, and he couldn’t finish his sentence.

    Guo Song Yang said, “I understand you, you can’t fight me because you still cannot die, because there are still people who rely on you.”

    Li Xun Huan still could not speak, but tears of joy almost came out from his eyes.

    Sometimes, it’s your best friend who can become your mortal enemy, while sometimes, it’s your most fearful enemy who truly understands you.

    Because only a worthy adversary is worthy of being your friend.

    Because only a worthy adversary can truly understand how you feel.

    Li Xun Huan doesn’t know whether to be happy, sad, or gracious.

    Guo Song Yang then said, “But we must fight today!”

    Li Xun Huan was taken aback, “Why?”

    Guo Song Yang smiled. “How many Li Xun Huans are there in the world? If we do not fight today, I might never again find another worthy opponent.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Once I have taken care of my business, I will fight you any time you wish.”

    Guo Song Yang shook his head. “Unfortunately, by that time, we might not have another chance to fight.”

    Li Xun Huan asked, “Why?”

    Guo Song Yang looked afar, he then said slowly and clearly, “By that time, we might already be friends.”

    Li Xun Huan thought for a long time. “You’d rather be my enemy than my friend?”

    Guo Song Yang’s face instantly became serious, he said loudly, “I have devoted my whole life to my sword, how could I have time to find friends? Besides…”

    His voice became noticeably softer as he continued, “It’s easy to find friends, but almost impossible to find a truly considerate and thoughtful enemy.”

    ‘Considerate and thoughtful’ are words that tend to describe friends, so his usage here to describe an enemy seem quite strange.

    But Li Xun Huan understands what he means.

    Guo Song Yang said, “You are not the only person in the world who’s my equal in fighting, but even if someone is ten times better than me, I still won’t think much of him, and I don’t think I’d die happily in his hands.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “You’re right. It really is hard to find a considerate and thoughtful enemy.”

    Guo Song Yang said, “That’s why we must fight today. Even if I die in your hands, I would have no regrets.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “But I…”

    Guo Song Yang cut him off. “I know your feelings. If you die in my hands today, I will finish everything you could not complete. I would protect anyone you wish to protect.”

    Li Xun Huan looked at the ground, then said, “If that’s the case, then I can certainly die without regret… Thank You.”

    He has never said the words ‘thank you’ before in his life. This ‘thank you’ came truly from the bottom of his heart.

    Guo Song Yang said, “Thank you for granting me this duel. After you!”

    Li Xun Huan said, “After you!”
    It’s not a big deal when a friend cares for you, but when an enemy does it, it’s so much more special, so much more heartwarming.

    Unfortunately, it’s a feeling others will never experience!

    The wind blew past by, carrying the dried leaves with it.

    The air filled with stench of death.

    Guo Song Yang pulled out his sword, held it at chest height, his eyes never left Li Xun Huan’s hand.

    This really is a scary hand.

    Li Xun Huan had seemingly turned into a different person, his hair is still disorganized, his robe still ragged, but he no longer looked fragile!

    His face brightened dramatically!

    These past two years, Li Xun Huan’s life is akin to a sword in the sheath, biding its time, not showing its full potential, its true nature!

    But now, sword has come out!

    As he held up his hand, a dagger appeared!

    One dagger across the throat, the dagger that never misses, Little Li’s Flying Dagger!

    Guo Song Yang’s iron sword followed the wind, a streak of darkness quickly reaching Li Xun Huan’s throat, in front of the sword is the sword stream, demolishing its surroundings.

    Li Xun Huan’s foot stepped lightly, his whole person quickly retreated ten meters, his back now touching a tree behind him.

    Guo Song Yang’s sword also changed directions, following his steps just as quickly.

    Li Xun Huan could not retreat anymore, but his body suddenly shot up the tree.

    Guo Song Yang flew into the sky, his sword followed like a streak of rainbow.

    His body and sword are one.

    The punishing sword stream pushed away all the leaves from the trees.

    The scenery is just amazing!

    Li Xun Huan flew past the sword stream, following the red leaves, floating down to the ground.

    Guo Song Yang did not let up, back-flipped in mid-air, his sword suddenly turned into infinite streaks and shadows, coming towards Li Xun Huan.

    No one can deny the incredible power of this attack.

    Even meters away, Li Xun Huan could feel the pressure of the surrounding sword stream, no matter which way he dodges, he will still be hit.

    Only to hear a ‘ding’ sound, sparks flew.

    Li Xun Huan’s dagger hit perfectly into the tip of the sword.

    The sword streams disappeared, the calm returned. Guo Song Yang stood there, still holding his sword.

    Li Xun Huan still has his dagger, but the tip is now broken.

    He looked silently at Guo Song Yang, Guo Song Yang also looked silently at him.

    Neither showed any expressions.

    But both of them know that Li Xun Huan’s dagger can no longer leave his hand.

    Little Li’s Flying Dagger, fast as lightning. But after it’s used to break apart the sword stream, the tip broke, greatly reducing its speed.

    Even if the dagger leaves his hand, it can no longer harm people!

    The dagger that has never lost, has now lost.

    Li Xun Huan put his hands down.

    After the last leaf fell, the forest became silent again.

    As silent as death itself.

    Although still expressionless, Guo Song Yang’s eyes flickered. He said, “I lost!”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Who says you lost?”

    Guo Song Yang said, “I say I’ve lost.”

    He chuckled. “You know, I thought I’d die before I would ever say this, but now that I’ve said it, I feel great, feel great…”

    He looked up at the sky and laughed.

    In the midst of his laughter, he turned around and left the forest.

    Li Xun Huan watched as he disappeared, then began to cough.

    At this time, someone suddenly appeared, clapping. “Incredible. Amazing. Absolutely Amazing…”

    The voice is crisp and clear.

    Li Xun Huan raised his head, found that the speaker is that old storyteller’s granddaughter.

    Her big, bright eyes carried an innocent smile, said, “To be able to see today’s fight, even I can die peacefully!”

    Perhaps Li Xun Huan still doesn’t feel like talking, so he did not respond.

    The ponytailed girl said, “Once upon a time, Mr. Lan Da and Xiao Sun dueled at the peak of Mount Tai, Mr. Lan Da used a hundred pound Iron Hammer, while Xiao Sun simply used a silk belt, using soft to counter hard, and they fought for the whole night, some say they changed the night sky into day.”

    She chuckled. “Do you think this fight is amazing?”

    Li Xun Huan also smiled, “The way young lady speaks about it, even I thought I was at Mt. Tai’s peak, witnessing this great duel between Xiao Sun and Mr. Lan Da.”

    The ponytailed girl twitched her mouth. “I can’t believe your mouth is even more powerful than your dagger.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Really?”

    The ponytailed girl said, “Although your dagger can take a man’s life, but your words can take a lady’s heart. Don’t you think that it’s much harder to receive a woman’s heart than a man’s life?”

    With those big eyes looking at him, even Li Xun Huan could not help but feel drawn towards her. He never thought this young girl can be so intimidating.

    She asked again, “So do you think this battle was amazing?”

    Li Xun Huan doesn’t dare to respond elaborately again, so he only smiled and nodded. “Quite amazing.”

    The ponytailed girl said, “Although this battle was very famous, and became a folklore, it’s still nothing compared to the fight that just ended.”

    Li Xun Huan chuckled. “Although I’m not a humble person, I’m at least not full of myself. Young lady you must be exaggerating.”

    The ponytailed girl said seriously, “I only said the truth. You had three chances to kill him, yet did not take his life at each opportunity. Eventually you lost your killer instinct, and the tip of your dagger. At this moment, Guo Song Yang could’ve killed you, but instead he admitted defeat…”

    She sighed. “It’s people like you who are real man. Had you killed him, or had he killed you, no matter how great your kung fu are, I still wouldn’t have been impressed.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “You’re right. Guo Song Yang really is a great hero.”

    “What about you?”

    Li Xun Huan shook his head. “Me? I’m nothing.”

    The ponytailed girl said, “Let me ask you something. What was the first stroke he used?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Flowing Wind Twirls Cloud.”

    The ponytailed girl said, “What about the second stroke?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Shooting Stars Follow Moon.”

    The ponytailed girl said, “As he changed from ‘Flowing Wind Twirls Cloud’ to ‘Shooting Stars Follow Moon’, he switched too quickly, opening himself up in the process. If you had released your dagger at that moment, couldn’t you have taken his life?”

    Li Xun Huan could not respond.

    End of Chapter 32

  15. #35
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 33: Shocking Conversation

    The ponytailed girl said, “This was the first time you missed a chance at killing him. You want me to keep going?”

    Li Xun Huan could only chuckle, “You don’t have to.”

    The ponytailed girl said, “Everyone else says you’re a true man, but you actually seem quite girly.”

    In his life, Li Xun Huan has heard thousands of insults directed at him. Yet this is the first time someone has accused him of being ‘girly’. He really doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    The ponytailed girl looked at him with her big, shiny eyes. “If you have nothing to say, why don’t you start coughing?”

    Li Xun Huan sighed, “Young lady’s eyes really are sharp, looks like you’re a distinguished person. I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you.”

    The ponytailed girl said, “Stop flattering me, I’m just a nobody.”

    Li Xun Huan really did start to cough.

    The ponytailed girl said in a sweet voice, “I know you never brag about yourself, but like to praise others. This is one of your best characteristic, but also one of your worst. A person can’t be too humble, you know.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Young lady…”

    The ponytailed girl cut in, “My surname isn’t ‘Young’, my given name isn’t ‘Lady’, so why do you keep calling me ‘young lady’?”

    Li Xun Huan smiled. He suddenly felt that this girl is quite interesting.

    The ponytailed girl added, “My surname is Sun, I’m called Sun Xiao Hong, not the ‘Hong’ in ‘ShangGuan JinHong’, but ‘Hong’ as in the color red.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “My name is Li…”

    The ponytailed girl cut in, “I’ve already known your name for a long time. Now I want to duel with you!”

    This shocked Li Xun Huan, who said, “What kind of duel?”

    Sun Xiao Hong giggled, “Of course not kung fu. Even if I practice for another hundred years, I still can’t beat you. I just want to have a drinking competition with you. When I hear that someone else is a better drinker than me, I get pissed.”

    Li Xun Huan smiled, “I know everyone who drinks share this problem, but never thought you’d be the same.”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Except if I compete with you right now, I’m getting too big an advantage.”

    Li Xun Huan asked, “Why?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said seriously, “After that fight, your body is tired, so your alcohol tolerance becomes lower. A drinking duel is the same as a kung fu duel. You need the right time, right place, and the right attitude to perform well. Miss one of these factors and your skills diminish.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Just from what you’ve said, I can see you’re an expert drinker. To be able to duel with such an expert, I would get drunk with no regret.”

    Sun Xiao Hong’s big, bright eyes shined brightly, showing happiness, showing awe, yet her face is still quite serious. “Well… Since I gain the advantage in terms of time, you should therefore pick the place.”

    Li Xun Huan couldn’t help but laugh. “In that case, follow me.”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “After you!”

    The hours right before dusk are the worst business hours for a shop.

    Hunchback Sun sat at the door, looking at the sun.

    At this time, Li Xun Huan came with Sun Xiao Hong. Hunchback Sun couldn’t believe how these two people can together.

    It really is strange how these two became friends.

    Li Xun Huan did not see Hunchback Sun’s expression, but he finds the whole situation quite funny.

    This little girl never stops talking. Once she opens her mouth, she’ll chatter constantly, making it hard to converse with her.

    Li Xun Huan finds two things most annoying in life.

    The first one is to find out that no one else at the dining table drinks wine.

    The second one is to find a woman who chatters constantly.

    He finds the second thing ten times as annoying as the first.

    The strange thing is, not only does he not have a headache right now, he actually feels quite refreshed.

    When the opponent of a wine-drinking competition is a beautiful woman, it really is quite refreshing.

    If a woman is smart, pretty, and can drink, even if she talks too much, a man can tolerate her… but otherwise, a woman should talk as little as possible.

    On the way, Li Xun Huan heard her say many things. The old man is called White-haired Sun, the grandfather of Sun Xiao Hong. Her parents are already dead, and she had always lived with her grandfather. They’re almost never apart.

    He couldn’t help but ask, “So why isn’t your grandfather with you now?”

    Sun Xiao Hong gave a simple answer, “He went out of town to send someone away.”

    Li Xun Huan wanted to keep ask, “Why did he have to send this person outside the town?”

    “Who is he sending?”

    “Why didn’t he take you along?”

    But Li Xun Huan never likes to talk too much. Besides, it’s not like he has a chance to with Sun Xiao Hong around.

    It’s almost as if she purposely doesn’t want Li Xun Huan to ask that second question, countering with questions of her own.

    “How did you learn your legendary dagger?”

    “I heard you have a friend named Ah Fei. His speed is comparable to yours. Do you know where he is?”

    “You disappeared for two years. No one knew you were hiding in Hunchback Sun’s shop. Why did you hide there?”

    “Now that people know where you are, where do you plan on going?”

    “Who’s the Plum Flower Bandit?”

    “He hasn’t appeared in two years. Did he get caught?”

    “If he is caught, did you catch him?”

    He did not answer any of these questions. Some because he doesn’t want to, others because he doesn’t know what to say.”

    He knows that Lin Xian Er is the Plum Flower Bandit.

    He knows that Ah Fei would not bring himself to kill Lin Xian Er.

    He knows that Ah Fei took Lin Xian Er away.

    But to where?

    Had Lin Xian Er since become a good person?

    Is Lin Xian Er in love with Ah Fei?

    When he thought about this, he can only sigh.

    He doesn’t know what to do in the future either.

    Sun Xiao Hong constantly kept her eyes on him, her gaze filled not just with admiration, but also with understanding.

    Li Xun Huan looked up and met her gaze.

    His heart suddenly pounded.

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Can we start the duel now?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Fine.”

    Sun Xiao Hong rolled her eyes, “Good. Now lets talk about how we will compete.”

    Li Xun Huan asked, “There are many ways to compete in drinking wine?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Of course. You didn’t know that?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “I only know one method, and that is for everyone to drink as much as possible. Whoever throws up first loses.”

    Sun Xiao Hong chuckled, shook her head. “It looks like you still lack drinking knowledge.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Really?”
    Sun Xiao Hong said, “When it comes to wine, you can duel using the brute-force method, or the scholarly method.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “So what’s the brute-force method? What’s the scholarly method?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “The method you just described is the brute-force method. You’re just chugging it all down”

    “Chugging it?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Of course. What else would you call it when people just throw it all down the throat?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “What else are can we do? Should we pour it down our ears, then.”

    Sun Xiao Hong smiled, “If you really can drink with your ear, then I would admit defeat now. I certainly can’t do it.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “It’s too slow to drink with my ear, I’m not patient enough.”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “I’m just a little girl, so how can I compete using the first method? However, there are many scholarly methods of competing too.”

    “Which methods?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “You can guess numbers, clap hands, but these are too common. How could people like us compete like this?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “In that case, what else is there?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “There’s only one method left.”

    Li Xun Huan couldn’t help but laugh. Sun Xiao Hong also laughed. “However, this one method is not only original, but also quite interesting. Even if there are thousands of other methods out there, we’d still pick this one.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “There’s already wine on the table, and I just want to drink it. So feel free to pick any method you want.”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Listen closely now, this method is actually quite simple.”

    Li Xun Huan could only listen.

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “I’ll ask you a question. If you can answer it, then you win, and I have to drink a cup.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “What if I can’t answer it? Then do I lose?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Not really. Only when I answer my own question would you then lose.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Once I lose, I then get to ask you questions, right?”

    Sun Xiao Hong shook her head, “Nope. The winner can keep on asking forever, until he loses.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “If you keep asking private questions, then wouldn’t you keep on winning?”

    Sun Xiao Hong smiled, “Of course I can’t ask private questions. If I ask you who’s my mother, how many brothers I have, what’s my age… then you obviously can’t answer.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Then would kind of questions are you going to ask?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Once we start, you’ll find out.”

    Li Xun Huan chuckled. “I’m getting ready to lose.”

    Sun Xiao Hong said with a smile, “Ready? Here’s the first question.”

    Her smile disappeared, her eyes staring at Li Xun Huan, and then asked, “Do you know who wrote that letter?”

    This really is a shocking question!

    Li Xun Huan’s eyes lightened up, he stuttered, “I don’t know… Do you?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said calmly, “If I didn’t know, then why would I ask you this question? That person is…”

    Sun Xiao Hong purposely paused a moment, then said calmly, “…is Lin Xian Er!”

    Her answer is even more shocking! Li Xun Huan has always been a calm person, but he couldn’t help but shake just then. “How do you know it’s her?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “It’s not your turn yet to ask questions. So drink your wine first before we move on.”

    Li Xun Huan quickly finished the whole cup.

    Sun Xiao Hong asked, “Do you know Ah Fei’s condition?”

    Li Xun Huan answered, “No.”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Although he’s living with Lin Xian Er, he doesn’t actually know what Lin Xian Er does.”

    Li Xun Huan immediately asked, “Where is he now?”

    Sun Xiao Hong shook her head and sighed. “Why are you so impatient? Wait till you’ve won before asking.”

    Li Xun Huan can only drink another cup. This cup is actually bigger than most bowls, yet he still finished the cup faster than usual. Because he really wants to hear the third question.”

    Sun Xiao Hong asked, “Do you know why Lin Xian Er wrote that letter?”

    Li Xun Huan answered, “No.”

    Although he has guessed at her intentions, he’s still not certain.”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Because she knows that if people want to hurt Lin Shi Yin, you’d appear. She wants to make you appear, then find people to kill you. You are her biggest enemy in this world. She’s terrified of you. As long as you’re alive, she can’t reappear.”

    Li Xun Huan sighed, drank the third cup.

    Sun Xiao Hong asked, “Do you know who’s the first person to want you dead?”

    Li Xun Huan answered, “I’ve killed way too many people in my life. So how could I know?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “But only two or three people in this world can kill you. The first one is ShangGuan JinHong!”

    Li Xun Huan didn’t find this answer surprising. He drank the fourth cup, then couldn’t restrain himself from asking, “Is he here now?”

    End of Chapter 33

  16. #36
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 34: Shocking News

    Sun Xiao Hong shook her head and smiled. “Look at you. Why do you keep making this mistake? Wait until it’s your turn.”

    She then added, “You should know about ShangGuan JinHong’s temper. Normal treasures certainly won’t get his attention. What do you think he’s after?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “I don’t know.”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Because he heard that your father was once a close friend of the former top fighter in the martial world, Shen Lang*.”

    *Note: Shen Lang is the main character of another Gu Long novel, Wu Lin Wai Shi(Misson of Warriors). Those of you who have seen the adaptation of the same name should know about him.

    Li Xun Huan said, “Shen Lang is indeed a great friend of father’s, but he has long retired and has since lived on a remote island. So what does he have to do with all this?”

    Sun Xiao Hong smiled, “Looks like if I don’t let you ask a question, you’d go crazy. But first you must drink three cups.”

    It’s as if she purposely wants to get Li Xun Huan drunk. Only her questions are too shocking, her answers even more shocking. Even though Li Xun Huan knows her purpose, he still kept drinking.

    Only then did Sun Xiao Hong continue, “Because he heard that before Shen Lang retired, he gave your father two martial art manuals. After only learning from one of the manuals, your Little Li’s Flying Dagger is already peerless in the martial world. If someone learns both, one can only imagine the results. So even ShangGuan JinHong can’t help himself.”

    Li Xun Huan paused a moment before responding, “If this is really true, then how could I not know?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “I realize that this is just a rumor started by Lin Xian Er. Shen Lang is extremely intelligent, so why would he purposely leave the manuals for people to fight over?”

    She smiled. “Even if he did leave some manuals, he won’t do so at your house. Why would he want to bring such trouble to a friend?”

    Li Xun Huan sighed, “That’s right.”

    Sun Xiao Hong blinked her eyes, and then asked, “I really should let you ask me another question. So you’re definitely capable of answering my next question.”

    Her eyes gazed innocently at Li Xun Huan, “Is she still the only person in your heart? Are you still willing to die for her? Of course, I’m sure you know which ‘she’ I’m talking about.”

    Li Xun Huan paused a moment.

    He never thought Sun Xiao Hong would ask this question.

    No matter who asks this question, he would never answer. This is his most painful secret, and his most secretive pain.

    If someone asks this question, it would be like stabbing him with a knife.

    He really can’t figure out why Sun Xiao Hong would ask this question.

    Young girls tend to be very curious, could that be the reason?

    She obviously doesn’t want to hurt Li Xun Huan, or she wouldn’t have divulged all those secrets to him.

    But who is she?

    How can she know so much?

    Her grandfather is obviously a very powerful person, White-haired Sun must not be his real name. So who is he?”

    Who did he meet outside? Is that person ShangGuan JinHong?”

    Where are Ah Fei and Lin Xian Er hiding?

    These really are secrets that Li Xun Huan would do anything to find out!
    Li Xun Huan sat there for a long time, then finally took a deep breath. “When there’s seemingly no love there really is love. When love becomes deep love turns shallow… Cruel? Or sentimental? Who can judge? Who can…”

    His spoke softer and softer, until no one can hear it.

    Sun Xiao Hong sighed, then said sweetly, “Why do you do this to yourself? …Why?”

    She also became quieter and quieter, until she can’t even hear her own voice.

    After a long time, Sun Xiao Hong suddenly picked up the cup and drank the wine. She said with a smile, “Ok, I lost this time. Time for you to ask me again.”

    Li Xun Huan asked seriously, “Where is Ah Fei right now?”

    Sun Xiao Hong smiled, “I knew you were going to ask this question. Other than her, he’s probably the person you care the most.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Of course, anyone who have a friend like him would care deeply for his well-being.”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “If someone can have a friend like you, wouldn’t they also care deeply for your well-being?”

    She then smiled strangely, and took out a letter. “This is where Ah Fei lives right now. Just follow the map, and you’ll find him.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Thank you.”

    This is the second time he said ‘thank you’ today.

    Sun Xiao Hong stared at him. “You didn’t thank me when I told you the most important secret to you. You didn’t thank me when I told you who wants to kill you. So why do you thank me now?”

    Li Xun Huan did not respond.

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “I know the answer even if you don’t tell me. The reason is that only with this map can you find Ah Fei. Only then can you save him, telling him not to love someone who doesn’t deserve it, and therefore destroying himself. You thanked me for him.”

    She continued, “This is the same reason why you thanked Guo Song Yang for Lin Shi Yin… Have you ever thanked someone for yourself?”

    Li Xun Huan sill did not respond.

    Sun Xiao sighed, “My grandpa told me, if someone doesn’t live for himself, then he really leads a sad life.”

    Sun Xiao Hong also stopped talking, her expression also gloomy. Only after a long time did a faint smile appear on the side of her lips.

    “Yet if someone only lives for himself, his life can get boring really quickly.”

    Li Xun Huan drank another cup, then asked, “Who’s your grandpa sending away?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “ShangGuan JinHong!”

    This answer really shocked Li Xun Huan.

    He couldn’t help but ask again, “ShangGuan JinHong hasn’t even entered the town yet, why would he leave?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Since my grandpa personally went to send him away, how could he not oblige?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “Are you saying that your grandpa is…”

    When he got here, he started to cough again.

    As he bent down, he felt dizzy.

    Hunchback Sun originally stood far away, but couldn’t help but come over now, telling Li Xun Huan, “You drank too much today, and too fast. Why don’t you save the questions for tomorrow.”

    Li Xun Huan asked, “Do you know who ShangGuan JinHong is?”

    Hunchback Sun said, “I don’t. I’m also not going to drink this cup of wine either.”

    Li Xun Huan laughed loudly. “Of course you don’t. You’re not in this duel, so you obviously don’t need to follow the rules.”

    Hunchback Sun looked at him strangely, as if he has never seen this person before.

    Li Xun Huan continued, “But I can tell you the answer. ShangGuan JinHong considers himself to be the best fighter in the martial world. He is incredibly arrogant, and doesn’t give a damn about anyone. Yet this time, he actually listened to Old Man Sun. Do you know why?”

    Hunchback Sun said, “No.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “I don’t either. That’s why I must ask, because I need to know.”

    Hunchback Sun said, “You ask too much. That’s why you’re drunk.”

    Li Xun Huan held up his cup and asked Sun Xiao Hong, “Ms. Sun, who is Old Man Sun?”

    Sun Xiao Hong responded with a smile, “Old Man Sun is my father’s father, my own grandfather.”

    Li Xun Han laughed loudly, “Correct. Correct. You’re absolutely right.”

    He drank the entire cup.

    After he finished, his vision became blurry. He said, “I have another question.”

    Yet Sun Xiao Hong’s eyes became extremely bright. She chuckled, “Go ahead. Better ask before you get drunk.”

    Li Xun Huan said, “I ask you. Why do you want to get me drunk? Why…”

    Sun Xiao Hong filled up his cup with wine, then answered with a big smile, “Because we’re having a wine-drinking competition. Isn’t the point of the competition to get the other person drunk first? Every wine drinker loves nothing better than to see everyone else drunk first, am I right?”

    Li Xun Huan said, “That’s right, right, right…”

    He finished this cup, then crashed onto the table.

    This time, he really is drunk.
    Neither Hunchback Sun nor Sun Xiao Hong spoke. Both stared at Li Xun Huan, wondering whether he’s really drunk, or just pretending.

    Night came.

    Hunchback Sun lit up the candle, then said, “It’s time for dinner. There might be some customers.”

    While speaking, he went quickly to the door and locked it, as if trying to lock Sun Xiao Hong inside.

    Sun Xiao Hong did not protest.

    The lock* is quite heavy. Normally it takes a long time for Hunchback to put it on the door. Yet today, he seemingly became much stronger, lifting the lock like a feather.

    *Note: If you’ve seen any ancient serials, you know that in ancient times, the lock is just a long stick to hold the door together, and not the type of lock used in modern time.

    Sun Xiao Hong suddenly smiled, “Everyone else said second uncle you’re amazingly strong, it’s so unfortunate that it took me this long to see.”

    Hunchback Sun turned around. He raised his eyebrows, asking, “Who’s your second uncle? Are you drunk too?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Your acting is really good, you know. But do you keep acting even now?”

    Hunchback Sun stared at her, his eyes cold as ice.

    How could these be the eyes of Hunchback Sun?

    If Li Xun Huan saw this pair of eyes, he would be very proud, because he has never seen it in their two years together.

    Too bad Li Xun Huan cannot see anything now.

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “I know he’s really drunk today, rather than just pretending.”

    Hunchback Sun said, “Do you know how high his alcohol tolerance is? How can he become drunk so quickly?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “But you see, when someone is in a bad mood, and is exhausted, no matter how good he is at drinking, he’d still get drunk easily.”

    Hunchback Sun asked, “Why did you try to get him drunk?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “You don’t know? This is what grandpa wanted.”


    “Now that everyone knows where he is, many will come looking for him soon. That’s why grandpa wants to hide him for a while.”

    She let out a sigh, “But you also know his temper. How can we take him away if he’s not drunk?”

    Hunchback Sun said, “To be honest, I have no clue how your grandpa thinks.”

    Sun Xiao Hong asked, “What don’t you understand?”

    Hunchback Sun said, “When Li Xun Huan wants to simply stay low, your grandpa keeps wanting him to reappear. Yet now that he has reappeared, your grandpa wants to hide him.”

    Sun Xiao Hong shook her head, “This is where you’re wrong. He’s only going to temporarily hide.”

    She looked at the unconscious Li Xun Huan and smiled. “Do you know how many people want this head?”

    Hunchback Sun laughed coldly, “Who cares? Other than ShangGuan JinHong, why would he be afraid of anyone else?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “But you’re wrong again. Obviously anyone how wants to take this head knows what they’re doing.”

    Hunchback Sun asked, “Is that so. Can you name them for me?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Forget the guys, and start with the ladies first. We have the Cheerful Lady Buddha and the Blue Scorpion…”

    As she said these names, Hunchback Sun raised his eyebrows.

    Sun Xiao Hong continued, “Bai Xiao Sheng is extremely biased towards men, so his Book of Weapons did not list any ladies, but I’m still sure you’ve heard about these two witches, right?”

    Hunchback Sun nodded.

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “The Blue Scorpion is the Green Devil Hand’s girlfriend, the Cheerful Lady Buddha is Five-Poison Kid’s step-mother. They have been seeking Li Xun Huan for a long time. They’ll surely come once they find out that he’s here.”

    She sighed, “Even if one of them comes, Li Xun Huan will have his hands full.”

    Hunchback Sun picked up a towel and started to clean the tables.

    Whenever he’s in a bad mood, he does this.

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Now lets list the gentlemen.”

    She closed her eyes, held up her fingers and said, “The guys include ShangGuan JinHong, Lu Feng Xian, Jing Wu Ming*, and… I bet you can’t figure out the last one.”

    *Note: ‘Wu Ming’ means ‘No Life’.

    Hunchback Sun simply kept cleaning the tables, not even bother to look up. He asked, “Who?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Hu Bu Gui.”

    Hunchback Sun stopped and raised his head in shock, and asked, “Hu Bu Gui? You mean Crazy Hu?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “That’s right. This person always seems crazy. He uses a bamboo sword. I heard that his sword art is just as crazy as his person. Sometimes it would look incredible, while other times look like crap, unwatchable. That’s why Bai Xiao Sheng never listed him in his Book of Weapons.”

    Hunchback Sun said, “The crap part is fake. The incredible part is real.”

    After thinking for a while, he said, “But this person always keeps to himself. Why would he bother Li Xun Huan?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “I heard Long Xiao Yun asked him to. Crazy Hu owe Long Xiao Yun’s teacher a favor.”

    Hunchback Sun said, “It’s hard to find someone like him. Quite amazing that Long Xiao Yun can find him.”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “That’s why Long Xiao Yun spent two years away from his home.”

    Hunchback Sun said, “Is the Lu Feng Xian you mentioned the same one listed number five on the Book of Weapons?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “That’s right. He has learnt a special kung fu recently, and wants to fight all the fighters ranked above him.”

    Hunchback Sun said, “What about that Jing… Jing…”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Jing Wu Ming?”

    She continued, “Jin Wu Ming is best fighter under ShangGuan JinHong!”

    Hunchback Sun asked, “Then how come I haven’t heard of his name?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “He’s only been around for two years. Grandpa said that among the young fighters today, he and Ah Fei are by far the best.”

    Hunchback Sun asked, “Really?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “He also uses the sword, and like Ah Fei, his sword is also extremely fast, accurate and deadly! In addition, he has another deadly quality.”

    Hunchback Sun kept on listening, listening very closely.

    Sun Xiao Hong continued, “He rarely fights, but when he does, he acts as if he doesn’t care for his own life, every attack as if his last. Since he’s called ‘No Life’, he obviously doesn’t think much of his own life.”

    Hunchback Sun stayed silent for a long time before asking, “Where’s your grandpa?”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “We agreed to meet outside the town…”

    She smiled slyly, “He knows that I can find a way to get Li Xun Huan there.”

    Hunchback Sun smiled, shaking his head. “You really are a devious little girl.”

    Sun Xiao Hong curled up her lips, “I’m almost twenty. Why do you still call me a little girl?”

    End of Chapter 34

  17. #37
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 35: The Man-Eating Scorpion

    Hunchback Sun sighed and said, “You have indeed grown up. You were only five the last time I saw you…”

    He then went back to cleaning the tables.

    Sun Xiao Hong lowered her head, said, “Second uncle, you haven’t been home for what, thirteen, fourteen years now?”

    Hunchback Sun nodded and answered, “Yes. Fourteen years, just a few more days and it will be fourteen years.”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Why don’t you go back and visit sometime?”

    Hunchback Sun slapped the table loudly, and answered in a booming voice, “I promised someone that I would protect a family for fifteen years, so you better believe I will!”

    Sun Xiao Hong said, “Oh, I see now.”

    After a long time, Hunchback Sun returned to cleaning the tables again.

    Once he started to clean the tables, those menacing, sparkling eyes disappear.

    This is what happens when a person cleans tables for fourteen years.

    Hunchback Sun asked, “How are the others doing?”

    Sun XiaoHong smiled, “They’re all great. Eldest aunt-in-law and third aunt-in-law both had kids this year. Fourth aunt even had twins. So this year’s New Year will be extra sweet.” Out of the corner of her eyes, Sun XiaoHong saw Hunchback Sun’s sad eyes, and immediately stopped. Instead she added, “Everyone’s hoping that you can make it back this year.”

    Hunchback Sun forced a smile and said, “Tell them I’ll be there next New Year.”

    Sun XiaoHong clapped her hands. She said, “That’s great. I remember that you make the best fireworks.”

    Hunchback Sun said, “I’ll certainly make them for you next year. For now, you just need to leave quickly, or your grandpa will worry.”

    He then looked at Li XunHuan, and asked, “How are you going to take him away?”

    Sun XiaoHong said, “I’ll just carry him.”

    Just as she stood up, a person suddenly yells in a chilling manner, “You can leave, but this drunkard stays!”

    This is undoubtedly a woman’s voice.

    Hunchback Sun and Sun XiaoHong had been watching the front door, while this voice came from the back room. Neither knew when she came into the house.

    Hunchback Sun’s face sunk, with a flip of his hand threw out the towel.

    He’s been wiping the tables for fourteen years. If each day he wipes them twenty times, then it would be seven thousand and three hundred times a year, or one hundred and two thousand two hundred times in fourteen years. Anyone who wipes tables this much would have very good strength.

    Besides, Hunchback Sun’s Eagle Claws is already famous in the martial world, so when he threw this towel, its force is no less than any hidden weapon in the world.

    Only to hear a ‘Ping’ sound, with dusts flying everywhere. The towel made a big hole in the back wall, yet the person standing in front of the door was unscathed.

    It’s as if her body never moved, although the towel should have made a big hole in her stomach.

    Yet for some reason, it missed her.

    Maybe it’s because her waist is very thin, so she can easily dodge.

    What makes this woman attractive is not just her waist.

    Her legs are long and straight, any part that should be fat is not thin, while any part that should be thin is not fat.

    Her eyes are long and charming, but her mouth is very big, her lips very thick.

    Although her skin is very white, it’s also very coarse, and covered with much body hair.

    She can’t be considered a beautiful woman, but she does have quite a bit of magnetism in her look.

    Hunchback Sun turned around and stared at her.

    She also stared at Hunchback Sun. From her expression, Hunchback Sun seemed like the most handsome, charming man alive, as if he’s her lover.

    But when her eyes turned towards Sun XiaoHong, they instantly became icy.

    She hates all women very much.

    Hunchback Sun coughed twice before asking, “Blue Scorpion?”

    Blue Scorpion laughed.

    When she laughs, her eyes become even thinner, longer, as if a long thread.

    She said with a smile, “You really are a knowledgeable person. I like knowledgeable people.”

    Hunchback Sun kept a surly face, and did not respond.

    He doesn’t like to go against a woman, because he doesn’t know how to go against a woman.

    Blue Scorpion said, “I’m quite knowledgeable too. I also know who you are.”

    Hunchback Sun said in a thunderous voice, “If you know, then why are you still here?”

    Blue Scorpion sighed lightly, said, “I don’t really want to face you two, but I must take this drunkard with me.”

    She sighed again, and then said in a gentle manner, “Maybe you don’t know, but it’s incredibly difficult to find a man that can satisfy me. But now that I have found one, this drunkard killed him.”

    Sun XiaoHong couldn’t help cutting in, “But he did not kill Yi Ku.”

    Blue Scorpion said, “It doesn’t matter. I’m going to assume that he was the killer.”

    Sung XiaoHong said, “No matter how you like to assume, you still can’t take him away.”

    Blue Scorpion sighed, and then said, “I know you won’t let me take him away easily, but I also don’t want to fight you. So how should we settle this?”

    She suddenly waved her hand towards her back, and said lightly, “Come here.”

    Hunchback Sun saw another shadow appear from the back.

    This person is very bulky. When Blue Scorpion waved her hand, he walked in.

    Only to see his clothing very neat, his bright mustache very nicely trimmed. On his waist is a gorgeous nine-ringed saber.

    Blue Scorpion said, “Do you know who he is?”

    Hunchback Sun did not respond, but Sun XiaoHong said, “I recognize him.”

    Blue Scorpion asked, “You really know who he is?”

    Sun XiaoHong said, “His name is Chu XianYu. His nickname is Live Overlord.

    Blue Scorpion looked at this Live Overlord and said, “Looks like you’re pretty famous. Even a little girl knows you.”

    A smug expression appeared on Live Overlord’s face.

    Sun XiaoHong said, “I know just about all the famous people in the martial world, but I just can’t figure out what’s he doing with you.”

    Blue Scorpion said with a smile, “He seduced me on the way here.”

    Sun XiaoHong smiled, and then said, “Was he the one who seduced you? Or the other way around?”

    Blue Scorpion said, “Of course it’s he who seduced me. Although you know that he’s famous, and that his kung fu is very good, but you don’t realize that his ability to seduce woman is also amazing.”

    Hunchback Sun is already getting restless. So he asked, “Why did you bring him here?”

    Blue Scorpion said, “Chu XiangYu really is quite a skillful fighter. When he uses his ‘Eighty-one Hand Continuous Ringed-Saber’, most people can’t even get close to him.”

    Hunchback Sun said, “Humph.”

    Blue Scorpion said, “But if I were to say that I can kill him in one move, would you believe me?”

    Chu XianYu, who had stood proudly all this time, said in shock, “What did you say?”

    Blue Scorpion said in a comforting voice, “Nothing important. Just that I want to take your life.”

    Chu XiangYu’s face turned pale. After hesitating for a moment, he said, “You’re kidding.”

    Blue Scorpion sighed again, and then said, “Just because we spent a night together, you don’t believe that I would kill you, right?”

    Chu XiangYu said, “How could I not know? Where I live, there are many scorpions.”
    Blue Scorpion asked, “Then do you know that female scorpions have a peculiar habit?”

    Chu XiangYu said while forcing a smile, “But you’re not a scorpion.”

    Blue Scorpion said, “Who said I’m not a scorpion? I’m obviously one. You didn’t know that?”

    Chu XiangYu immediately jumped back, with a loud ‘Ping’ sound, knocked over the table behind him. His balancing ability is quite good, allowing him to keep his footing.

    He pulled out his Nine-ringed Saber.

    He’s very experienced in the martial world, so he knows who Blue Scorpion is. However, he couldn’t believe that a woman so easily seduced could possibly be the famous Blue Scorpion.

    Blue Scorpion said in a comforting voice, “Here’s some advice. The next time you try to seduce a woman, first check out her background. Unfortunately…”

    She sighed again, and as she walked towards Chu XiangYu, said, “Unfortunately there is no next time.”

    Chu XiangYu yelled, “Halt! If you take another step forward, I’ll kill you.”

    Blue Scorpion said, “Fine. Then kill me. I’m really looking forward to dying in your hands.”

    Chu XiangYu let out a loud scream, the Nine-ringed Saber swept forward.

    The saber’s wind roared like a tiger, its sweep carried an immense energy.

    But this was his only move.

    Only to see a blue sparkle, a dense jade freezing light, flash across. Chu XiangYu fell down. Even his last scream was cut off in the middle.

    There were no wounds on his body, only two small hole on his neck filled with blood, as if he were just bitten by a scorpion.

    Hunchback Sun and Sun XiaoHong simply sat there watching the event unfold. Neither bothered to interfere, probably because they don’t really want to interfere. Anyone who would seduce just any woman on the road can’t possibly a good person.

    Blue Scorpion kept on looking at Chu XiangYu’s body.

    She stared at it for a long time, as if admiring her own work.

    Then, she laughed.

    As she laughed she said, “I told you I only needed one move. You believe me now, right?”

    Neither Hunchback Sun nor Sun XiaoHong spoke.

    Blue Scorpion continued, “My kung fu is pretty decent, right?”

    Again, no response.

    Blue Scorpion added, “Yi Ku’s Green Devil Hand is ranked ninth on the Book of Weapons. But should Bai XiaoSheng included me on the list, he’d fall back to at least number ten.”

    This is true, for she attacks even faster, deadlier, than Yi Ku!

    Blue Scorpion looked at Hunchback Sun, and then said, “My kung fu should certainly be enough to take this drunkard with me, right?”

    Hunchback Sun answered coldly, “NO!”

    Blue Scorpion sighed before asking, “Then what does it take to leave with this drunk? You want me to sleep with you?”

    Hunchback Sun roared loudly, both of his hands shot out.

    His right hand attacked in the shape of a claw, while his left hand in a fist. Left fist filled with thunderous power. The claw appears as hooks, filled with thousands of variations. Although barehanded, his power is more than ten times as powerful as Chu XiangYu’s saber.

    Blue Scorpion twisted her waist, and suddenly disappeared.

    While Hunchback Sun attacked, she quickly got behind him.

    Thankfully, Hunchback Sun is a first-rate fighter. He quickly pulled back his hands, reabsorbing the power of his fist and claws.

    One of the hardest things to do while fighting is to retract one’s attack. Due to the speed and power of each attack, it’s difficult to stop in the middle.

    Yet Hunchback Sun did this without any problem.

    Had it been anyone else, he would be forced to back up a few steps, right into Blue Scorpion’s hands.

    But thankfully, Hunchback Sun is a hunchback. So when he pulled back his power, it simply all went back to his hump.

    He shrunk his shoulder, and began to rush backwards towards Blue Scorpion with his hump.

    This is one of his more famous moves. He has practiced enough so that his hump is hard as steel. This rush carried incredible amount of strength.

    Blue Scorpion obviously knows this move. She twisted her waist; her long robe danced in the air, and quickly flew back to the front of Hunchback Sun. Then she said, “Not only are you knowledgeable, but your kung fu is also amazing. If you just say the word, I’ll follow you everywhere.”

    Hunchback Sun yelled, “Why don’t you go to hell.”

    Blue Scorpion smiled innocently and said, “Even if I die, I’ll have to die on the bed!”

    In front of a woman like her, after seeing her smile, one would have a hard time using all his force.

    But while her opponents might not fight with full force, she does not do the same. That’s why in the past ten years, so many men died in her hands.

    Unfortunately, her opponent today is Hunchback Sun. Hunchback Sun has absolutely no interest in woman.

    With another roar, Hunchback Sun’s iron claws shot out again.

    Blue Scorpion twirled her sleeves, backed up a few steps, and then said, “Wait a moment.”

    Hunchback Sun pulled back his attack and asked, “What are you waiting for?”

    Blue Scorpion said, “Since we’re going to fight. You should at least see my weapon first.”

    Before she finished her sentence, a thin, blue shred of cold light came out of her sleeve, streaking toward Hunchback Sun.

    Hunchback Sun raised his hand, attempting to grab the blue light.

    He always liked to finish his fights quickly. So even though he realized the power of Blue Scorpion’s weapon, he still tried to grab it. Hunchback Sun felt confident that his forty years of Eagle Claw training could overpower her weapon. Then he can defeat her in one blow!

    But, he might be too confident.

    Sun XiaoHong stood there silently; her eyes never left Blue Scorpion’s sleaves.

    Her eyes are very sharp.

    When that streak of blue light came out, she realized what it was.

    She has never seen such a strange weapon before.

    It looks like an immense scorpion tail, long, curved, seemingly soft but quite hard, yet easy to twist.

    Obviously, Sun XiaoHong’s very confident in her uncle’s Eagle Claws. But she knew that should his hands touch this weapon, he would be eaten by this man-eating scorpion.

    But due to the speed of Blue Scorpion’s attack, Sun XiaoHong realized that she couldn’t possibly interfere in time. She just couldn’t believe that her uncle would be so rash in trying to take on the weapon directly.

    But she didn’t realize that after fourteen years of wiping tables, Hunchback Sun had long been itching to get into a fight. So now that he has a chance, Hunchback Sun obviously could not hold back. He wanted a swift victory.

    She cried out.

    But this hand moved faster than her voice. Just as she yelled, this hand had already grabbed Blue Scorpion’s hand.

    After hearing a tinkering sound, the blue light dropped to the ground.

    As the blue light dropped to the ground, Blue Scorpion backed off a few steps. She retreated way too fast and lost her balance, hitting the wall behind her awkwardly.

    Then the room became silent, as if it’s a graveyard.

    Everyone just stood there.

    Everyone looked at this hand. Blue Scorpion’s eyes were not only filled with incredible shock, but also of extreme pain!

    Her wrist broke!

    She pulled back her hand slowly.

    At this time, a person stood up leisurely. He’s none other than the already drunk Li XunHuan!

    Happy and astonished, Sun XiaoHong said, “So you weren’t drunk after all.”

    Li XunHuan chuckled and said, “I know that I’m feeling down, and that my body’s incredibly tired. But I’ve always had an incredible capacity for wine.”

    Sun XiaoHong stared at him. Many emotions intertwined within her. Even she doesn’t know what they are. Perhaps shock? Or happiness? Or admiration? Or maybe it’s regret.

    She could not make Li XunHuan drunk after all.

    Blue Scorpion only looked at Li XunHuan with terror in her eyes.

    Because a dagger appeared in Li XunHuan’s hand.

    Little Li’s Flying Dagger!

    The dagger is the most fearsome when it’s still in Li XunHuan’s hand. Because after it leaves his hand, his enemy would no longer be scared.

    A dead person would not fear anything.

    The only sounds left in the room are everyone’s breaths.

    End of Chapter 35

  18. #38
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 36: Strange Emotions

    Sweat poured off of Blue Scorpion head.

    She continuously shivered while she yelled, “Why haven’t you released your dagger yet? Why don’t you just kill me?”

    Li XunHuan said, “Since you’re willing to seek revenge for Yi Ku, it’s obvious that you really love him. Now that he’s dead, you must be in a great deal of pain…”

    He looked at the dagger in his hand, then said gently, “I understand this pain you feel. I truly understand… I just want you to know that this pain will not lessen as you kill people. No matter how many people you kill, the pain will still be with you.”

    With a flash, the dagger shot out.

    It landed on the wall by the side of the Blue Scorpion.

    Li XunHuan said, “You can go now.”

    Blue Scorpion froze.

    After a long time, she finally asked, “In that case, how can I lessen this pain?”

    Li XunHuan sighed, and then said, “I don’t know the answer. Perhaps… perhaps if you can find someone to replace him, it will help. I really hope you can find that person.”

    Blue Scorpion stared at him. Tears came down her eyes.

    Sun XiaoHong also stared at Li XunHuan.

    She had never met a man like him. She never imagined that there could be someone like him. She gazed at his body, trying to see through his heart.

    Blue Scorpion left. She left with tears.

    Li XunHuan pondered for a while before smiling. He said, “You must be wondering why I didn’t kill her.”

    Sun XiaoHong did not respond.

    Hunchback Sun kept staring at that strange weapon on the ground. He also remained silent.

    Li XunHuan said, “I feel that if someone can shed tears, then that person should not die.”

    Sun XiaoHong suddenly smiled. She said, “I know you don’t like to kill people. So I was hardly surprised to see you let her go. What I want to know is, since you weren’t drunk, why did you pretend to be?”

    Li XunHuan said, “You’re also a drinking expert. So you must know that pretending to be drunk is much better than really being drunk. If I were really drunk, not only would it be not fun, the hangover next morning would also be awful.”

    Sun XiaoHong said, “That makes a lot of sense.”

    Li XunHuan said, “But anyone who drinks is bound to get drunk. So if you want to see me drunk, there will be many more chances in the future.”

    Sun XiaoHong sighed, and then said, “But I know that because I missed this chance, I’ll never be able to get you drunk again.”

    Li XunHuan said, “Actually, I…”

    Before he finished talking, he saw Hunchback Sun walked to the back of the counter, and began to pour a large jar of wine down his throat.

    He chugged down nearly the whole jar before Sun XiaoHong could take it from his hand. She stumped her foot and said, “He’d rather pretend to be drunk so he won’t get drunk. Why are you purposely trying to get yourself drunk?”

    Hunchback Sun stuttered, “Being drunk will solve a thousand worries. It really is better… better to be drunk.”

    Sun XiaoHong asked, “Why?”

    Hunchback Sun yelled, “You want to know why? I’ll tell you. Because I don’t want to owe someone a favor. I’d rather have someone stab me than helping me out.”

    He then slumped back to the chair, and said with his hands on his face, “Li XunHuan, oh Li XunHuan. Why did you save me? Do you realize that my life had been saved once already? Do you know why I have been living here all these years?”

    Li XunHuan wanted to ask him, “Who saved you?”

    “Why did you agree to guard here for fifteen years?”

    “What are you guarding?”

    But Hunchback Sun’s voice became softer and softer. Is he drunk? Or is he simply asleep.

    Li XunHuan looked at Sun XiaoHong. He wanted to ask her these same questions. But once he saw those lively big, bright, dark eyes, he instantly gave up on the idea.

    He knew that it’s impossible to get any information from a girl like her.

    Li XunHuan could only take a deep breath, and then said, “Your uncle really is a true gentleman.”

    Sun XiaoHong looked at him through the corner of her eyes, and said with a smile, “You mean only a true gentleman would get drunk this fast?”

    Li XunHuan said, “What I mean is, only a true gentleman would keep his words no matter what. Only a true gentleman would never want to accept a favor, to sacrifice himself for the sake of others.”

    Sun XiaoHong rolled her eyes. She said, “So that’s why you also have to stay here to protect someone, right?”

    Li XunHuan did not respond.

    Sun XiaoHong said, “No matter what, you won’t leave, right?”

    Li XunHuan still did not respond.

    Sun XiaoHong said, “Do you still care for Ah Fei? Do you want to see him? Isn’t he your friend?”

    Li XunHuan remained silent for a long time, before responding, “At least he can take care of himself.”

    Sun XiaoHong said, “I have often heard that while Lin XianEr looks like an angel, her specialty is to take men down to hell.”

    She then said slowly, “Are you certain she won’t take your friend down to hell?”

    Li XunHuan shut his mouth again.

    Sun XiaoHong sighed. She then said, “I also realize that you won’t leave. For her, you can forget everything else. Everything!”

    Her eyes then became filled with so much tender and gentleness, looking at Li XunHuan. Sun XiaoHong said, “But why can’t you find someone to replace her?”

    Li XunHuan’s body shook, and began to cough again.

    Sun XiaoHong said, “I won’t force you to leave if you don’t want to. But you should at least go see my grandpa.”

    Li XunHuan asked in between his coughs, “Where… where is he?”

    Sun XiaoHong said, “He’s at the long pavilion outside the town.”

    Li XunHuan asked, “Why there?”

    Sun XiaoHong said, “Because ShangGuan JinHong will pass there.”

    Li XunHuan said, “But even if ShangGuan JinHong is bound to pass there, your grandpa might not get to see him.”

    Sun XiaoHon said, “Ah, but he will, because ShangGuan JinHong never rides in a carriage or on a horse. He often says that humans have legs so they can walk.”

    Li XunHuan chuckled, said, “You sure know a lot.”

    Sun XiaoHong returned a smile, and then said, “I sure do.”

    Li XunHuan said, “Not only do you know that ShangGuan JinHong will come here, you even know which route he’s going to take. Not only do you know that Lin XianEr wrote that letter, you even know where she’s hiding…”

    He looked intently into her eyes, and asked, “Why do you know all these things?”

    Sun XiaoHong bit her lips, and responded with a smile, “I have my way. But I just won’t tell you!”

    The night is dark.

    Sun XiaoHong’s steps are light and quick, as if she’s never tired. She seemed to be interested in just about everything.

    She really is fully of life.

    She’s still very young.

    Li XunHuan felt like a totally opposite person standing besides her.

    He admire her, maybe even a bit jealous of her. When he realized this, he felt shocked.

    “Am I really that old?”

    He knows that only an old person would be jealous of youth.

    He said with a smile, “If I were ten years younger, I would certainly not walk so close to you.”

    Sun XiaoHong asked, “Why?”

    Li XunHuan said, “Everyone says that I’m a playboy. If I were next to a girl like you, others might get the wrong idea.”

    He chuckled before continuing, “Thankfully, I’m already an old man. So if someone sees us together, they would think that we’re father and daughter.”

    Sun XiaoHong said loudly, “My father? You really think you’re that old?”

    Li XunHuan said, “Of course.”

    Sun XiaoHong suddenly began to laugh out loud.

    Li XunHuan asked, “Why are you laughing?”

    Sun XiaoHong said, “I’m laughing at you!”

    Li XunHuan asked, “Why?”

    Sun XiaoHong said, “Because I know you’re afraid of me.”

    Li XunHuan said, “What? Afraid of you?”

    Sun XiaoHong’s eyes shined as bright as the stars in the sky.

    She laughed innocently and said, “You only said those words because you’re afraid of me. You’re afraid that you might… to me… That’s why you tell me that you’re an old man.”

    Li XunHuan could only laugh bitterly.

    Sun XiaoHong said, “Actually, if you’re really an old man, then I’d be an old woman.”

    She suddenly stopped walking, and said to Li XunHuan in a gentle tone, “Only when a man thinks that he’s old does he actually become old. My grandpa never admitted to being old. And you’re not old either. So please don’t ever such a thing again, ok?”

    As Li XunHuan looked at this pair of eyes, he suddenly remembered Lin ShiYin of ten years ago.

    She was also just as youthful and energetic at that time.

    What about now?

    Li XunHuan sighed, and shied away from her gaze. Looking at the distant darkness, he said, “The long pavilion is in the front. Let’s hurry.”

    In the darkness of the night, a single candlelight lit up in the entire pavilion. One can vaguely make out a person’s shadow by the candle.

    Sun XiaoHong asked, “Did you see the candle?”

    Li XunHuan said, “Yes.”

    Sun XiaoHong said with a smile, “Do you know what that is? If you do, I’d be in awe of you if you know.”

    Li XunHuan said, “That’s your grandpa smoking a pipe.”

    Sun XiaoHong said, “Wow! You must be a genius.”

    Li XunHuan couldn’t help but chuckle. For some reason, he tends to smile a lot more in front of this girl, while coughing much less.

    Sun XiaoHong said, “I wonder if ShangGuan JinHong is here yet. Or if grandpa had already sent him away.”

    She got a bit worried, and added, “Let’s hurry up, so we can see…”

    Before she finished, Li XunHuan suddenly grabbed her hand.

    Sun XiaoHong’s heart started to beat faster, her face suddenly became red.

    She stole a peek at Li XunHuan’s face, only to see his face in a deeply serious manner. His eyes gazed into the distance.

    Two specks of lights appeared in the distance.

    Those are lantern lights.

    The lanterns are golden colored, held up by a long, thin bamboo stick.

    The lanterns look very secretive, and very scary.

    In a flash, Li XunHuan carried Sun XiaoHong with him to hide behind a nearby tree.

    Sun XiaoHong whispered, “Golden Money Clan?”

    Li XunHuan nodded.

    Sun XiaoHong said, “Looks like ShangGuan JinHong just got here. Could it be that they had some problems on the road?”

    Li XunHuan said, “Maybe it’s because he only has two legs, so he can’t walk very fast.”

    Following the two lanterns are two more lanterns.

    Two people appeared in between them.

    Both look very tall. Both wore bright yellow robes. The robe of the front person is very long, almost touching the ground, but it did not hinder his movement.

    The person in the back wore a very short robe, barely reaching his knees.

    The person in the front is empty-handed. It doesn’t look as if he’s carrying any weapons.

    The person in the back has a sword on his waist.

    Li XunHuan saw that the way he stashed his sword is similar to how Ah Fei does it, except Ah Fei puts his sword in the middle, the handle facing right.

    But this person’s sword is stashed on the right side of his waist, the handle towards his left.

    Can he be left-handed?

    Li XunHuan raised his eyebrows.

    He doesn’t like to fight against a left-handed swordsman. Because that person’s sword moves are the opposite of a normal person’s, making them harder to fight against.

    Besides, should this sword leave its sheath, it’s bound to be very fast!

    Li XunHuan knows this because of his years of experience in the martial world. He knows that this person will indeed be a formidable opponent!

    End of Chapter 36

  19. #39
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 37: Old Man

    While Li XunHuan concentrated on the left-handed swordsman, Sun XiaoHong’s attention was on something else.

    These two people walked slowly, and their steps are big. At first glance, their movements seem fairly ordinary. But Sun XiaoHong couldn’t help but feel that something’s wrong.

    After a while, she realized what was wrong.

    Normally, two people who walk together would be in sync with each other.

    But these two people are different. As the first person’s foot touches the ground, the second person’s foot is in the air, right in the middle of his step.

    It’s as if all the feet belong to one person.

    The first person takes the first step, the second person takes the second step, the first person takes the third step, and the second person takes the fourth step, in total harmony.

    Sun XiaoHong has never seen two people walking like this before. She found it amusing.

    Li XunHuan, however, did not find it amusing.

    He felt scared.

    Their harmony in walking showed that their minds are also in harmony.

    Should they fight together, their moves would complement each other perfectly.

    ShangGuan JinHong by himself is already one of the best fighters in the world. He can’t imagine what would happen if Jin WuMing fought beside him.

    Li XunHuan’s heart sank.

    He can’t think of any way to find a weakness against the combined attack of these two people.

    He also doesn’t think that old man in the pavilion can send them away.

    The old man in the pavilion still kept smoking his pipe. The light from the pipe sometimes bright, sometimes dim.

    Suddenly, the light became incredibly bright, as bright as those lanterns.

    Li XunHuan never knew anyone could make such bright light using a pipe.

    ShangGuan JinHong also saw the light, because at this moment, he stopped.

    The light in the pavilion disappeared.

    After a long time, ShangGuan JinHong started to walk again, this time up to the pavilion, in front of that old man.

    No matter where he goes, Jin WuMing would always be by him.

    He’s like ShangGuan JinHong’s shadow.

    The lanterns also made their way up the pavilion, surrounding the place with light.

    ShangGuan JinHong did not speak. He kept his head low, as if he didn’t want anyone to see his face.

    But his eyes constantly gazed at the old man’s hand, watching its every movement.

    The old man took out some more opium, and put them into his pipe. Then he took out a flint and tinder.

    His movement was quite slow, but very steady.

    ShangGuan JinHong suddenly walked up to the old man, and picked up the paper match on the stone table.

    He examined the match closely, before putting it close to the flint and tinder.

    The match lit up with fire.

    ShangGuan JinHong put the match into the pipe.

    Although Li XunHuan and Sun XiaoHong hid far from the pavilion, they saw each movement clearly.

    Li XunHuan asked, “Should we go over there?”

    Sun XiaoHong shook her head, said, “No need. My grandpa would find a way to get rid of them.”

    She sounded very sure of herself, but Li XunHuan felt her hand turning very cold, as if she’s sweating cold sweat.

    He obviously knows why she’s so worried.

    The pipe is not long. ShangGuan JinHong could’ve taken this opportunity to seal any pressure point on the old man’s body.

    But he did not do so. Is he waiting for an opening?

    The old man tried to smoke his pipe.

    But for some reason, perhaps the tobacco too moist, or it was stuck too tightly, the pipe never did light up. The paper match is nearly burnt.

    ShangGuan JinHong held the paper match with his thumb and index finger, his other three fingers curved behind them.

    The old man’s ring finger is only several inches away from ShangGuan JinHong’s wrist.

    The fire burnt ShangGuan JinHong’s hand.

    ShangGuan JinHong did not seem to notice this.

    At this moment, ‘poof’ the pipe lit up.

    Then it seemed as if ShangGuan JinHong’s three free fingers moved a bit, and so did the old man’s little finger and ring finger. All the movements are very quick and very light.

    Then ShangGuan JinHong backed away.

    The old man began to smoke his pipe again.

    During this whole time, neither person even looked at the other one.

    At this moment, Li XunHuan breathed a sigh of relief.

    From the eyes of a normal person, it was simply a process of lighting up a pipe, but Li XunHuan realized that it was an amazing battle!

    ShangGuan JinHong kept on waiting for his chance. Waiting for the old man to drop his guard, waiting for an opening to strike.

    But he never got that chance.

    Finally, he couldn’t resist, he attacked with his three free fingers.

    But it was quickly parried by the old man’s ring and little fingers.

    This is the type of battle only Li XunHuan can appreciate, since it incorporates the highest level of martial artistry.

    Hidden behind those simple finger movements were thousands of variations.

    Now, the danger has finally passed.

    ShangGuan JinHong backed off three steps, returning to his previous position.

    The old man smiled, and then said, “You’re here?”

    ShangGuan JinHong said, “Yes.”

    The old man said, “You’re late!”

    ShangGuan JinHong said, “Since you’re here, does this mean that you knew I was going to take this route?”

    The old man said, “I was just hoping that you won’t come.”

    ShangGuan JinHong asked, “Why?”

    The old man said, “Because even if you come, you still have to leave immediately.”

    ShangGuan JinHong took a deep breath, and then said, “What if I don’t want to?”

    The old man said calmly, “I know you’ll leave.”

    ShangGuan JinHong tightened his hand.

    Air of murder filled the pavilion.

    The old man smoked the pipe yet again, then blew out the smoke.

    The smoke came out in a straight line.

    Then, in the middle of the air, it changed direction, and flew towards ShangGuan JinHong’s face.

    ShangGuan JinHong looked very shocked.

    At this moment, the cloud of smoke dissipated.

    ShangGuan JinHong bowed, and said, “Amazing.”

    The old man said, “You’re too kind.”

    ShangGuan JinHong said, “It’s been twenty-seven years since our last meeting. After today, I wonder when we’ll meet again.”

    The old man said, “There’s really no need for us to ever meet again.”

    ShangGuan JinHong thought for a moment, and wanted to say something. But he stayed silent.

    The old man went back to smoking his pipe.

    ShangGuan JinHong turned around, and left.

    Jin WuMing followed him like a shadow.

    Li XunHuan kept staring at the pavilion, thinking about something.

    Right before ShangGuan JinHong left, he took a peek at where Li XunHuan was hiding. This was the first time Li XunHuan had ever seen ShangGuan JinHong’s eyes.

    From his eyes, Li XunHuan can conclude that ShangGuan JinHong’s inner power is even better than the legend says!

    But even worse are Jin WuMing’s eyes.

    Anyone who saw those eyes would feel disturbed, perhaps even find them disgusting.

    Because that is not a pair of human eyes, nor a pair of animal eyes.

    It’s a pair of dead eyes!

    It lacked emotions, life.

    Sun XiaoHong did not notice any of this, because she was looking at Li XunHuan.

    This was the first time she took a close look at Li XunHuan.

    Even in the dark, she could see the contours on his face clearly, especially his eyes and nose.

    His eyes are big and bright, filled with intelligence. His gaze carried some weariness, some disdain, but also a great deal of compassion.

    His nose was tall and straight, like his mind, very righteous.

    There are some wrinkles by the corner of his eyes, making him seem mature, charming, and gives off a sense of security. As if he’s someone you can trust your life with.

    He is exactly the type of man young women dream about at night.

    Neither person noticed that old man coming towards them, smiling with satisfaction.

    He looked at them for a long time, before asking, “Would you mind chatting with an old man?”

    The moon has risen.

    The old man and Li XunHuan walked in the front, with Sun XiaoHong behind them.

    She did not speak, but her heart wanted to just scream with joy, because all she had to do is look ahead to see the man she admire the most, and the man she adores.

    She’s simply elated.

    The old man said, “I’ve heard of you for a long time. I’ve long wanted to invite you for a drink. And now that we have met, I find that chatting with you great.”
    Li XunHuan smiled. As did Sun XiaoHong, who said, “But all he said was hello.”

    The old man said, “That’s what makes him so great. He never asks any questions that he shouldn’t ask. Anyone else would’ve asked for my identity.”

    Li XunHuan said, “Maybe it’s because I already know your identity.”

    The old man said, “Really?”

    Li XunHuan said, “There aren’t many people in this world who can scare off ShangGuan JinHong.”

    The old man said, “If you think I scared off ShangGuan JinHong, you’d be wrong.”

    Before Li XunHuan could speak, he continued, “You probably have a good feel for ShangGuan JinHong’s ability, as well as that young man behind him. Should they combine forces, no one in the world can withstand more than three hundred moves from them, much less defeat them.”

    Li XunHuan’s eyes flashed, and then asked, “Not even you?”

    The old man said, “Not even me.”

    Li XunHuan said, “But they did leave.”

    The old man said, “Maybe it’s because they don’t want to kill me yet. Or perhaps they found you here, and weren’t sure if they can beat the two of us.

    Sun XiaoHong couldn’t help but cut in, “Even if they knew there was someone behind, the tree, how can they be sure that person was Li… Li Tan Hua?”

    The old man said, “Because should an elite fighter like Li TanHua feel enmity towards someone, his body would release air of murder.

    Sun XiaoHong asked, “Air of murder?”

    The old man said, “Correct. But only an expert like ShangGuan JinHong could feel such air.”

    Sun XiaoHong sighed, and said, “You’re being too mysterious. I don’t understand any of this.”

    The old man said, “Martial arts is a mysterious thing. Only a few people can understand.”

    Li XunHuan said, “No matter why they went away, I’m still grateful for your help.”

    The old man said with a smile, “I simply want people like you to live on, because there aren’t enough of people like you in this world.”

    Li XunHuan could only smile, staying silent.

    The old man said, “Although we just met, I know your temper well. So I won’t try to convince you to leave.”

    He looked at Li XunHuan deep in the eyes, and added, “But I do want you to realize one thing.”

    Li XunHuan said, “Please do instruct.”

    The old man said, “Lin ShiYin does not need your protection. You can only help her by leaving.”

    Li XunHuan fidgeted.

    The old man continued, “No one really wants to hurt Lin ShiYin. If they are trying to hurt her, it’s because of you, because you are protecting her. If you leave her, no one would have any reason to hurt her.”

    Li XunHuan felt as if someone had just smacked him with a whip, making him sore all over.

    The old man didn’t seem to notice his pain. He simply continued, “If you’re afraid that she may be too lonely, you don’t have to worry about that any longer. Long Xiao4Yun is back. You’ll only make things worse by staying.”

    Li XunHuan looked up into the dark sky, thought for a long time before sighing. He then said, “I was wrong, I was wrong, wrong again…”

    He bent over, because he could no longer stand up straight.

    Sun XiaoHong looked at him from the back, her heart full of pity, full of compassion.

    She knows that her grandpa is trying to stimulate him, making him painful. She also knows that this is helping him, but she just couldn’t bear to look at him like this.

    The old man said, “Long Xiao4Yun came back because he has finally found a person who can kill you.”

    Li XunHuan said, “Why does need someone like that? I still think of him as my friend.”

    The old man said, “But he doesn’t think like this. Do you know who he found?”

    Li XunHuan said, “Hu BuGui?”

    The old man said, “Correct, that crazy man indeed.”

    Sun XiaoHong cut in, “Is that crazy old man’s kung fu really that good?”

    The old man said, “There are two people in this world that I can’t accurately gauge their fighting skills.”

    Sun XiaoHong asked, “Which two?”

    The old man said, “One is Li Tan Hua, the other is Crazy Hu.”

    Li XunHuan said, “You’re being too kind, elder. My friend Ah Fei’s kung fu is just as good as mine. Plus there’s Jin WuMing…”

    The old man cut in, “But Ah Fei and Jin WuMing are in the same group, those that don’t know any martial arts.”

    Li XunHuan said in a stunned manner, “Did you just say that they don’t know martial arts?”

    The old man said, “Exactly. Not only that, they’re not even fit to talk about martial arts.

    They can only kill people. They only know how to kill people.”

    Li XunHuan said, “But Ah Fei is different from Jin WuMing.”

    The old man asked, “How so?”

    Li XunHuan said, “They might kill people in the same way, but certainly not for the same purpose.”

    The old man said, “Really?”

    Li XunHuan said, “Ah Fei only kills when he has to. Jin WuMing kills for the sake of killing.”

    Li XunHuan lowered his head, and added, “I…”

    The old man cut in, “If you want to see him, there’s still time. Otherwise, you might be too late!”

    Li XunHuan stood back up, and said, “In that case, I’ll go see him right now.”

    The old man said with a smile, “Do you know where he lives?”

    Li XunHuan said, “I do.”

    Sun XiaoHong suddenly walked to the front of Li XunHuan and said, “But you still might not be able to find the place. Maybe I should take you there.”

    Before Li XunHuan could respond, the old man said coldly to Sun XiaoHong, “You still have things to do. Besides, he doesn’t need your help.”

    Sun XiaoHong looked like she’s about to cry.

    Li XunHuan said, “Goodbye.”

    He wanted to say more, but he chose to only say this word.

    The old man held up his thumb, and said, “Great. Leave when you want to leave. That’s what true men do.”

    Li XunHuan really did leave immediately. He didn’t even look back.

    Sun XiaoHong watched him disappear, her eyes now red.

    The old man patted her on the back, and asked, “Are you feeling very sad right now?”

    Sun XiaoHong said, “No.”

    The old man chuckled. It’s a kind and gentle chuckle. He said, “Oh, foolish girl. You think your grandpa doesn’t know your heart?”

    Sun XiaoHong bit her lips, but finally couldn’t help asking, “If you knew, then why did you separate us?”

    The old man said, “You have to realize that it’s not easy to catch a man like Li XunHuan. If you want him, you must first get his heart. That’s not easy to do at all. You must take it slowly, or you run the risk of scaring him off.”

    Although Li XunHuan acted as if he left decisively, he still felt a twinge of pain in his heart.

    He doesn’t know when he’ll see Lin ShiYin again.

    It’s so painful to see her, and so painful to leave her.

    In the past ten years, he has only seen her three times. Each time he only caught a glimpse of her, sometimes he didn’t even converse with her. But there’s a thread attached to his heart, a thread forever in the hands on Lin ShiYin. If he could just see her, just even knowing that she’s near, he would be satisfied.

    End of Chapter 37

  20. #40
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern NJ


    Chapter 38: Grandmother and Granddaughter

    The autumn wind blew in his face. It felt like winter already.

    One can barely feel the remnants of autumn.

    Li XunHuan’s heart is just like the autumn, withering away.

    “You’ll only increase her suffering by staying…”

    The old man’s words constantly rang in his ears.

    He also realized that not only should he not see her again, he shouldn’t even think about her.

    That old man’s not only a wise man, he’s also a mysterious man, a preeminent martial artist. He also seemed to know just about everything in the world.

    But what exactly is his identity? What’s he hiding?

    Li XunHuan admired Hunchback Sun.

    Anyone who can wipe tables for fifteen years to return a favor should be admired.

    But what’s he doing there?

    What’s he guarding?

    As for Sun XiaoHong… how could he not know her feelings?

    But he can’t accept that, he’s afraid to.

    Anyway, this whole family is just filled with mystery, so mysterious it’s scary…

    A village on the mountain.

    At the foot of the mountain lies a wine shop.

    The wine’s not great, but it’s very refreshing, obviously made from the spring water here.

    The spring came from the back of the mountain, very clear. Li XunHuan knew that by following this stream, he’d reach a forest with a wood house.

    Ah Fei and Lin XianEr live in that house.

    Li XunHuan’s face brightened as he thought about Ah Fei’s handsome face, those sharp eyes, and that proud expression on his face.

    Even more unforgettable are his rare smiles, and that fiery warmth buried inside his icy exterior.

    He doesn’t know how Ah Fei’s has changed these past two years.

    He doesn’t know how Lin XianEr has treated Ah Fei.

    Although she looks like an angel in heaven, she only takes men down to the pits of Hell.

    Is Ah Fei in Hell right now?

    Li XunHuan doesn’t want to think about it, because he understands Ah Fei. He knows that Ah Fei would not mind living in Hell for love.

    It’s dusk.

    Li XunHuan sat at the darkest corner of the shop.

    This has been his habit, because from here he can easily see those who come in, but others can’t easily see him.

    He couldn’t believe that the first person that came in is ShangGuan Fei.

    He sat at the table closest to the door; his eyes stared outside, as if waiting for someone, waiting impatiently.

    This is certainly quite different from his icy, calm expression last time.

    He must be meeting someone very important. Plus he came alone, without servants, which meant that this meeting is very secretive.

    There shouldn’t be anyone important living in this remote area.

    So who is he waiting for?

    Does it concern Ah Fei and Lin XianEr?

    Li XunHuan put his hand on his face, covering himself.

    But it wasn’t necessary, as ShangGuan Fei’s eyes never did leave the door.

    The shopkeeper finally lit up the candles.

    ShangGuan Fei became more impatient, more irritated.

    At this moment, two carriages appeared by the front door. The people carrying the carriages are several young men.

    A very attractive thirteen or fourteen year old girl came down the first carriage, wearing a red robe.

    ShangGuan Fei had just picked up his cup, but then immediately put it down.

    This young girl walked up to ShangGuan Fei and said, “Sorry to keep you waiting.”

    ShangGuan Fei’s eyes rolled, and asked, “Where is she? Can she not come?”

    The red-robed girl smiled, and said, “Don’t be so impatient. Just follow me.”

    Li XunHuan watched as ShangGuan Fei left the shop, and stepped into the second carriage. As Li XunHuan watched them leave, he found something peculiar.

    These young men carrying the carriages are all quite strong. Those who picked up the first carriage did so easily.

    But those who picked up the second one certainly labored.

    Li XunHuan paid for his wine and left immediately.

    He normally doesn’t stick his nose into other people’s businesses, but he felt a great need to follow ShangGuan Fei, to see the person he’s meeting.

    Because Li XunHuan felt that it must have something to do with Ah Fei.

    The carriage entered the maple forest.

    Suddenly laughter came from within the carriage.

    This laugh is tender and lovely. Any man who heard this laugh would be drawn to it.

    But if the person inside the carriage is ShangGuan Fei, then why is there a woman’s laugh?

    After a while, a gentle voice came from carriage, “Little Fei, don’t be like this… we can’t do it here…

    I can’t believe you’re just like all other men. You just want to bully me.”

    The sound became softer and softer, until Li XunHuan could no longer hear the words.

    The carriage reached the top of the hill.

    Li XunHun sighed.

    So there are two people in this carriage.

    One is ShangGuan Fei.

    But who is the woman?

    He’s certainly experienced when it comes to women. He knows that many women like to fret, but not many are successful in seducing men by doing so.

    He can almost yell out the name of the woman in the carriage.

    But he can’t yet, because he’s not certain.

    He never makes quick judgments, because he doesn’t want to make a bad judgment again. One wrong judgment is one too many for him.

    One wrong judgment wrecked his whole life, and another person’s life.

    The carriage stopped by a small house. The second carriage’s carriers are wiping sweat off of their faces.

    The girl in the front carriage got off, and walked up to the door of the building.

    Bang, Bang, Bang, she knocked the door three times, and it opened.

    Someone finally came out of the second carriage.

    A woman.

    Li XunHuan could not see her face, but her clothing and hair are both very disorganized, her body very shapely, her movements alluring.

    Li XunHuan thought this person looked familiar.

    Only to see her walk up to the door, waved at ShangGuan Fei inside the carriage, and walked into the building.

    Li XunHuan could only see half of her face.

    He could finally be certain.

    She is indeed Lin XianEr!

    So if Lin XianEr lived here, then where’s Ah Fei?

    Li XunHuan really wanted to ask her, but he decided not to.

    He’s not a true gentleman, but he would do many things that ‘gentlemen’ would not do, nor want to do.

    His way of doing things would seem mind-boggling to many people.

    While many people in the world wish for Li XunHuan to just simply die, others would willingly give their life to save his.

    It’s now totally dark.

    Li XunHuan still waited outside.

    As he waited, he thought of many things.

    He remembered the day he first met Ah Fei.

    He wasn’t lonely at that time, because Tie ChuanJia was with him.

    He then thought of Tie ChuanJia, that loyal and kind face, and that iron armor he had on…

    Unfortunately, although his chest is strong as steel, his heart is so fragile, so easily moved. That’s why he’s more often miserable than happy.

    As he thought more and more, Li XunHuan suddenly felt like drinking again.

    He took out his wine bottle, and finished all the wine in it.

    Then he began to cough.

    At this moment, the door opened. ShangGuan Fei came out, looking happier than usual, but also a bit tired.

    A hand came out, reaching for his hand.

    Some whispers can be heard, perhaps whispers of goodbye.

    After a long time, that pair of hands slowly broke apart.

    ShangGuan Fei walked very slowly, and kept turning around to look back, as if he doesn’t want to leave yet.

    The door closed.

    ShangGuan Fei looked up into the sky, his steps suddenly became quicker, but his expression is kind of wacky, sometimes smiling, sometimes sighing.

    Is he also in Hell?

    The light in the house is very calm, turning the window-paper red.

    ShangGuan Fei finally left. Li XunHuan suddenly felt sorry for this youngster.

    Li XunHuan sighed, and walked up to the door.

    Bang. Li XunHuan knocked once. Bang, Bang. He then knocked twice in a row, just like that red-robed girl did.

    The door indeed opened.

    A person said, “You…”

    She just said one word before she saw Li XunHuan. Then she tried to quickly shut the door.

    But Li XunHuan had already blocked the door from closing.

    The person who opened the door was not Lin XianEr, nor that red-robed girl, but a white-haired old lady.

    She stared shockingly at Li XunHuan, and asked, “Who… who are you? What are you doing here?”

    Li XunHuan said, “I just came to see an old friend.”

    The old lady asked, “Old friend? Who’s your old friend?”

    Li XunHuan said with a smile, “She’ll know me when she sees me.”

    As he said this, he entered the room.

    The old lady was afraid to block his path, but she yelled, “There is no friend of yours here, just me and my granddaughter.”

    There are only three rooms in this house. Lin XianEr isn’t in any of them.

    The red-robed girl looked terrified, so terrified her face became all white. She said loudly, “Grandma? Is this a bandit?”

    The old lady looked so scared she couldn’t even respond.

    Li XunHuan doesn’t know whether to laugh for cry. He asked, “Do I look like a bandit?”

    The little girl bit her lips and said, “If you’re not a bandit, why did force yourself into this house at midnight?”

    Li XunHuan said, “I’m here to find Miss Lin.”

    After seeing him talk very nicely, the little girl became less afraid. She blinked her eyes and said, “But there’s no Miss Lin here, only Miss Zhou.”

    Is that Lin XianEr’s fake name?

    Li XunHuan immediately asked, “Where’s Miss Zhou?”

    The little girl pointed at her own nose, and said, “My surname is Zhou. So obviously I am Miss Zhou.”

    Li XunHuan smiled.

    He felt like an idiot.

    The little girl also seemed to find this quite amusing. She said, “But I don’t know you at all. So why did you come look for me?”

    Li XunHuan smiled bitterly, said, “I’m looking for a big girl, not a little girl.”

    The little girl said, “There are no big girls here.”

    Li XunHuan asked, “You mean no one came into the house recently?”

    The little girl said, “Of course, some people have came…”

    Li XunHuan cut in, “Who?”

    The little girl said, “My grandma and I. We just came back from the town.”

    She rolled her eyes, and added, “Only the two of us live here. I’m the little one, my grandma is the big one, but it’s been a long time since she was a girl. So I’m guessing you’re not looking for her, right?”

    Li XunHuan smiled again.

    He found that he smiled a lot when he felt stupid.

    He thought he saw Lin XianEr entered the house.

    Was he hallucinating?

    Was that lady in the carriage this old lady?

    The old lady suddenly kneeled on the ground, begging, “We’re a poor family, and there is nothing valuable here. If you want something, just take it and leave us be.”

    Li XunHuan said, “Fine.”

    There’s a bottle of wine on the table.

    Li XunHuan picked up the bottle and walked out the door.

    Only to hear the little girl smilingly whispered to herself, “So he wasn’t a bandit after all, just a drunkard.”

    End of Chapter 38

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