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    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default Book 1 Chapter 10 - Part 1

    Ysabel, Paona, Jaya, you are welcome. DongBin, a monk has an admirer? Xiaohu, I am so sorry to tell you that the entire Chu Liuxiang series is quite long ... If you read the 'preface', there are eight books, each one has more than 20 chapters.

    Chapter 10 – Where is the spouse?

    Sun Xuepu said, “What I know is just that much.”

    Chu Liuxiang swept his gaze around; suddenly he said, “Did you say that you made four portraits for her?”

    “That’s right,” Sun Xuepu replied, “Four portraits.”

    “Do you know why she wanted four portraits?” Chu Liuxiang asked.

    “At that time I was wondering the same thing,” Sun Xuepu said, “Ordinarily, people only wanted one portrait; why did she want four? By the time I painted the third portrait for her, finally I could not help but ask.”

    “Did she tell you?” Chu Liuxiang asked urgently.

    Sun Xuepu sighed and said, “She did … she said she wanted to give these four portraits to four men. All these four men have had … have had some feeling toward her, but at the moment she wanted to break off any relation with them.”

    Smiling wryly, Chu Liuxiang said, “She looked for you, such a famous artist to do her portrait, the purpose was to preserve her beauty as much as possible on paper, which were then given to the four men. This way, although she left them, they would never forget her. She wanted that each time they saw this beautiful portrait, they would suffer because of her.”

    Gnashing her teeth, Shen Shangu said, “What a cruel woman. Her goal was indeed achieved; each time my Shixiong looked at her portrait, he would suffer pain as if being cut by a knife.”

    “The question now is,” Chu Liuxiang said, “Why did she want to break off any relation with them?”

    Shen Shangu said, “When a woman does not hesitate to break off relation with four men who loved her, usually she has only one reason.”

    “What reason?” Chu Liuxiang asked.

    Shen Shangu replied, “That she is going to marry another man; a man who is a lot better than the four of them.”

    Chu Liuxiang smiled and said, “That’s right, a woman’s heart, indeed only other women can understand.”

    Shen Shangu said, “The man she is marrying, either he has a very big power, or has a very high martial art skill. If he does not have a very high martial art skill, then he must have a very astonishing wealth.”

    She looked at Chu Liuxiang, suddenly she laughed and went on, “Naturally it is quite possible that it is because the man is just like you: able to move the woman’s heart.”

    Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “Is Miss’s heart moved right now?”

    Shen Shangu blushed deep red, but her eyes were still fixed at him. Smiling enchantingly, she said, “Fortunately on earth men like you are not many at all. As for wealth, she might not necessarily see it in her eyes; therefore, the man she married must be Wulin master with illustrious reputation! If we can find out who this man is, then we will also be able to find her.”

    Surprisingly, she spoke the word ‘we’, two characters [orig. zan men (including both the speaker and the person(s) spoken to)] with conviction, yet she actually did not know who Chu Liuxiang was.

    Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “Although the scope is somewhat narrowed, but the number of famous people, martial art masters in Jianghu is still not a few. In my opinion, it would be better if Miss hand this portrait to me, go home and wait. As soon as I have information, I will definitely let Miss know.”

    Shen Shangu’s eyes carried an enchanting smile, she leaned over, stared at him, and said, “Why should I hand this over to you? Why would I want to trust you?”

    Rolling his eyes, Chu Liuxiang whispered a few words in her ear.

    Shen Shangu’s countenance immediately changed; she retreated two steps back, and spoke with trembling voice, “It’s you … it’s you … you are a demon!” Turning around, she bolted out of the room like crazy.

    Chu Liuxiang sighed gently, rolled up the painting, and then, standing in front of the table, he fixed his gaze on Sun Xuepu without blinking.

    His eyes seemed to be penetratingly sharp that even Sun Xuepu, who had no eyes, could feel it. He shifted uneasily in his chair, until finally he could not take it anymore, “Why haven’t you left?” he asked.

    “I am waiting,” Chu Liuxiang replied.

    “Waiting for what?” Sun Xuepu asked.

    Chu Liuxiang smiled and said, “Waiting for you to tell me the things that you concealed from her.”

    Sun Xuepu stayed expressionless for half a day. Finally he heaved a long sigh and said, “Nothing can be concealed from you?”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “I know that even though you hate her, you still don’t want other people to harm her, yet if you are unwilling to divulge everything, I am afraid someone will really hurt her.”

    Sure enough, Sun Xuepu was emotionally moved, “Why is that?” he asked.

    Chu Liuxiang replied, “Because the four men who received your four portraits are all dead now.”

    “Dead?” Sun Xuepu blurted out, “How could they be dead?”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “Although currently I still don’t know the actual fact of why they died, but I do know that after receiving Qiu Lingsu’s letter, they went out on a journey and that’s when they were killed.”

    Sun Xuepu said, “You … are you saying that Qiu Lingsu killed them?”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “Since Qiu Lingsu wanted them to pine for her for a lifetime, she could not possibly want to kill them. She wrote to them, perhaps because she had some difficulties, and wanted them to rush over to help her.”

    Sun Xuepu sighed and said, “That’s right. When a woman has difficulties, naturally the first thing that came to her mind will be those people who treated her best, and only these people would vow loyalty and devotion to her to the death.”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “And now these four men are dead. The people who killed them also killed several other people in succession, and they don’t want me to know the connection between them and her, they don’t want me to meddle into this secret. From this, it can be seen that her difficulty will never be resolved. Perhaps at this moment she is in danger.”

    Emotionally moved, Sun Xuepu said, “Since this matter is so dangerous, why do you insist on getting involved? Could it be that you want to save her?”

    Chu Liuxiang sighed and said, “If I don’t know where she is, how could I save her?”

    Sun Xuepu was silent for half a day. Finally he spoke slowly, “Just now the two of you forgot to ask me one thing.”

    “What is it?” Chu Liuxiang asked.

    “You forgot to ask me,” Sun Xuepu replied, “Where did I do her portraits?”

    “That’s right,” Chu Liuxiang blurted out, “This point must be very relevant.”

    Sun Xuepu said, “About five li outside the city, there is one Wuyi An [lit. black dress convent/nunnery]. It was there that I did her portraits. The Zhuchi [administrator of a monastery, Buddhist or Daoist] of the Convent, Su Xin Dashi, was her best friend; in all likelihood, she would know where she is.”

    “Anything else?” Chu Liuxiang asked.

    Sun Xuepu no longer spoke.

    Chu Liuxiang collected the portrait, turned around and walked out. Suddenly he looked back and said, “Although the eyes are blind, the heart is not blind. Use the heart in place of the eyes, could it be that you can no longer paint …? Sun Xiong, think about it carefully, and cherish it.”

    Sun Xuepu stared blankly. His face moved with emotions, he called out loudly, “Much oblige for the advice; may I ask your honorable surname?”

    This moment, Chu Liuxiang has already gone far.

    But outside the window, a dark shadow spoke coldly, “His surname is Chu, given name Liuxiang.”

    Chu Liuxiang hurried down the hill. He saw a big carriage with black canopy parked in front of the hillside. This kind of black-canopied carriage was the most common transport in Jinan city. During the daytime, it was not convenient to use qinggong, hence Chu Liuxiang walked over and asked, “Are you waiting for someone?”

    The coachman had a round face, full of politeness he laughed and said, “Waiting for you to come!”

    Chu Liuxiang asked, “Do you know if there is any Wuyi Convent outside the city?”

    The coachman laughed and said, “You found An [I (northern dialects)], you found the right person. The day before yesterday An brought An’s wife to light the incense. Get into the carriage, guaranteed it can’t be wrong.”

    The carriage started to move. Inside, Chu Liuxiang thought hard back and forth, running over this matter over and over again in his mind. Although he has had the main threads figured out, the key was still whether he would be able to find Qiu Lingsu or not. This moment he only knew that Ximen Qian, Zuo Youzheng, Lingjiu Zi, and Zha Muge, four men, went out on a journey for Qiu Lingsu.

    But why did Qiu Lingsu look for them? Did she really want them to help her? A woman like her, what could possibly her problem that she needed other people’s help?

    The carriage was not slow at all, but that Wuyi Convent was really not near. Fortunately Chu Liuxiang’s brains kept moving, so he did not feel the anxiety to be too intolerable.

    Finally the coachman stopped the carriage, “Wuyi Convent is ahead in the woods, you may get off the carriage!”

    Ahead was a peach grove, and there was a tiny temple by the brook. This moment it was nearly dusk. From the convent came the faint sound of chanting of sutras; it appears that the nuns in the Temple were having evening session.

    The tiny temple by the peach grove, the extremely serene scenery, this Su Xin Dashi must be an elegant Buddhist nun; otherwise, how could she form friendship with such a beauty like Qiu Lingsu?

    The convent gate was open, Chu Liuxiang entered in. The lanterns inside the convent had not been lighted yet, the sound of chanting was droning on and on. A nun, wearing black Buddhist robe and white socks, was standing quietly in the shadow of a Chinese parasol tree, as if mourning the sorrow of the world of mortals. In this kind of place, Chu Liuxiang’s footsteps unconsciously become lighter.

    He walked over on tiptoe, and tried to probe, “I wonder if Su Xin Dashi is in the Convent?”

    The nun in black cast him a glance, then put her palms together and said, “Pinni [impoverished nun] is Su Xin. I wonder where did Shizhu [benefactor (term used by Buddhist monk/nun to address a layperson)] come from? What is the purpose of your visit?”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “Dashi has avoided the red dust [the world of mortals (Buddhism)] for a long time, I wonder if you remember in the year past you had a close friend from the outside, Qiu Lingsu?”

    Su Xin Dashi replied, “Remembering is the same as not remembering; not remembering is remembering. Shizhu, why should you ask? Why should Pinni tell you?”

    Chu Liuxiang smiled and said, “Telling me is the same as not telling me, not telling me is actually telling me. If Dashi insists on not telling me, wouldn’t you be succeeding in appraising me?”

    He was able to discuss Zen with Wuhua, naturally he was able to deflect a quick-witted exchange.

    A thin smile appeared on the corner of Su Xin Dashi’s mouth; she said, “Shizhu also understand Buddhism subtleties.”

    “I have a slight knowledge of it,” Chu Liuxiang replied.

    Su Xin Dashi sighed and said, “Since Shizhu is an understanding man, there is no need for Pinni not to understand. Shizhu came here, presumably you heard Sun Xuepu mentioning Qiu Lingsu asked him to paint her in order to give it as a present on parting.”

    “And then what happened?” Chu Liuxiang asked.

    Su Xin Dashi said, “Early on Lingsu already had intelligent root, after severing the thread of passion, with her heart and soul she cut short the world of mortals, twenty years ago she left home and took the tonsure under Pinni’s guidance.”

    “She left home?” Chu Liuxiang blurted, “Now …”

    Su Xin Dashi smiled and said, “With that kind of intelligent root and effective comprehension, naturally she could not suffer hardship in the world or mortals for long.”

    Chu Liuxiang was aghast, “She … are you saying she is dead?”

    Su Xin Dashi put her palms together and said, “Unrestrained coming and going, carefree … Amitabha Buddha, shanzai, shanzai [basically it means ‘good/excellent’]!”

    This outcome was really contrary to Chu Liuxiang’s expectation in a big way. He really never expected that Qiu Lingsu was not a family woman, but has left home; even more, he had never imagined that she had died.

    His entire body was frozen in place, unexpectedly he seemed to be unable to move a single step.

    With a smile on her face, Su Xin Dashi said, “Wherever Shizhu come from, why don’t you return to that place?”

    Chu Liuxiang blankly turned around, and walked out the door, while mumbling to himself, “Qiu Lingsu is dead, who wrote those letters then? Is it possible that someone else was impersonating her name and surname? Could it be that Zuo Youzheng went out on a journey had nothing to do with her?”

    Until now, there was no hard evidence that the letters Zuo Youzheng and the others received were written by Qiu Lingsu.

    What he could confirm now was just Zuo Youzheng, Ximen Qian, Lingjiu Zi, and Zha Muge, four men, have been captivated by Qiu Lingsu, nothing more.

    Chu Liuxiang muttered with a wry smile, “But it does not mean that they all died because of her. And now, since Qiu Lingsu is already dead, I have to start from scratch.”

    By this time he was already out of the peach grove. After walking several steps more, he suddenly stopped and blurted out, “Wrong! There is something wrong here.”

    He gave every detail of this matter another careful consideration; clapping his hands, he said, “Su Xin Dashi had not stepped out of her residence, how could she know that I was talking to Sun Xuepu? How could she know what he was telling me that Lingsu invited him to make her portraits to be used as parting gifts?”

    Turning around, he returned to the convent, but there was no human shadow under the Chinese parasol tree.

    The chanting of the sutra still continued, Chu Liuxiang rushed in. Inside the hall, the nuns attending the evening session, who were chanting the sutras, were startled and stopped. Chu Liuxiang swept his gaze around, looking at their faces, but he could not find the nun with the black robe and white socks. “Where is Su Xin Dashi?” he called out in loud voice.

    Frightened, an old nun responded, “In our small convent, there is nobody called Su Xin.”

    “But Su Xin Dashi is clearly the Zhuchi of Wuyi Convent,” Chu Liuxiang said.

    The old nun replied, “This little convent is called Taohua [peach blossom] Convent; from here, Wuyi Convent is on the other side of the city, several li to the west.”

    This was not Wuyi Convent?

    Chu Liuxiang could not help being startled; he stammered, “Just now, standing under the tree, the Shifu wearing black robe and white socks, she is not from your honorable Convent?”

    The old nun looked at him as if she was looking at a lunatic; she spoke slowly, “Everybody in our little convent is here for the evening session, how could there be someone under the Chinese parasol tree just now?”

    Chu Liuxiang rushed urgently to the west, while sighing inwardly, “How could I be so muddleheaded? Carriage from the city, how could it wait for a customer outside the slum area? How could anybody from the slum area afford to ride on the carriage? Clearly he was there waiting for me, waiting for me to fall into the trap. The way they did it, naturally they wanted me to believe that Qiu Lingsu is dead, so that I would branch out to the wrong road.”

    This moment it was already dark; this place was at the outskirt of the city. Unleashing his qinggong, not too long later, he saw a complex of monastery built at the foot of the hill.

    It was a desolate temple complex. A solitary lantern flickering its light like a will-o’-the-wisp, the wind blowing the dead leaves in the courtyard, producing rustling noise, as if a specter was walking alone atop the leaves.

    Evening breeze came, Chu Liuxiang felt the cool wind caressing his back, as if a ghost was blowing air onto the back of his neck. He did not stop at all; instead, he went straight toward the light.

    By the solitary lamp sat a solitary nun wearing black robe, she was staring blankly at the light, as if she was in a trance. The Buddhist robe she was wearing was riddled with holes. Her complexion was wax-yellow, her expression empty as if she was demented. Unexpectedly she looked like someone who had been bewitched by a ghost.

    Chu Liuxiang sighed inwardly, “Could it be that this Wuyi Convent has unexpectedly declined this far? If that ‘coachman’ really brought me here, I am afraid I might not believe him instead.”

    Letting out a dry cough, he asked, “Is this Wuyi Convent?”

    The nun cast him a blank stare; she said, “Wuyi Convent, of course this is Wuyi Convent. Who’d dare to say that this is not Wuyi Convent?”

    Chu Liuxiang could see clearly that she was lying; he asked further, “I wonder if Su Xin Dashi is here?”

    The nun thought for a moment; suddenly she giggled and said, “She’s here. Of course she is here. Who’d dare to say that she is not here?”

    The surreptitious, desolate convent, strange and secretive, imbecile nun, weird laughter, unexpectedly it was able to make Chu Liuxiang shivered. “I wonder if Shifu can take Zaixia to pay my respect to Su Xin Dashi?” he asked.

    The nun suddenly stood up and said, “Come follow me.”

    She was holding the oil lamp, the will-o'-the-wisp-like lamp, illuminating the fading curtain of the idol of the temple, the Buddha image, which copper paint had peeled off. It also illuminated the dead leaves, the weeds, the accumulated dust, and the cobweb.

    She walked by lifting one leg high, the other leg low, passing through the desolate courtyard. Unexpectedly there was no other human shadow in this entire Wuyi Convent. If there was, probably it was a demon hiding in the dark, peeking at people.

    There was no light at the rear courtyard. In the deep twilight, under the rustling Chinese parasol tree, there was a tiny meditation room. The wild wind blowing through the dilapidated window created burst after burst of frightening noise.

    The nun suddenly looked back, laughed, and said, “You wait here.”

    Noticing the thick cobweb on the door, Chu Liuxiang could not help asking, “Could Su Xin Dashi be sitting in isolation here?”

    The nun giggled foolishly and said, “Sitting in isolation, of course she is sitting in isolation. Who’d dare to say that she is not sitting in isolation?”

    Still giggling foolishly, she brushed off the cobweb and went in.

    Chu Liuxiang had no choice but to wait outside the door. The courtyard was getting darker, there seemed to be an owl or a night bird hooting, which sounded like a weeping ghost. He was standing under the tree, but inwardly he could not help feeling creepy.

    After half a day, he heard the nun speaking inside the meditation room, “Shifu, someone is coming to see you; do you want to see him?”

    Another half a day passed, the nun, holding up the lantern, came out. “My Shifu nodded, you can come in!” she said with a laugh.

    Chu Liuxiang blew out a sigh of relief, “Thank you very much,” he said.

    At any rate, he was finally going to see Su Xin Dashi.

    He walked in large strides. The flickering light from the outside shone through the door.

    Chu Liuxiang called out, “Su Xin DashiDashi.”

    Inside the gloomy, murky room, no one responded.

    Chu Liuxiang took two more steps inside; a breeze came. Suddenly a shadow floated over; under the illumination of the will-o'-the-wisp-like lantern, he saw that it was definitely not a human’s shadow.

    Unexpectedly it was a dead person’s skeleton.

    This set of dried up bones was hanging from the beam. It drifted continuously following the blowing breeze, accompanied by burst after burst of rotten decomposing corpse stench, sickening to the pit of his stomach. Unconsciously Chu Liuxiang was so scared that he appeared to be nailed to the floor.

    The nun’s crazy laughter came in from outside the door; clapping and laughing, she said, “Now you have seen her … you have seen her. Why don’t you talk?”

    Unexpectedly this dried up bones hanging from the beam was the Su Xin Dashi, whom Chu Liuxiang wholeheartedly trying to find. Unexpectedly she had hanged herself from the beam long ago, so that even her flesh and blood have become dried up bones.

    Unexpectedly this crazy, idiot nun did not bury her body. Unexpectedly she played a crazy and malicious prank on Chu Liuxiang. Unexpectedly she was a madwoman with her heart filled with malice.

    The light went out. Ghostly aura was getting thicker.

    Chu Liuxiang could not stop the palm of his hands from becoming moist; step-by-step he walked backward toward the door. Suddenly, the dried up bones hanging from the beam pounced down on him.

    Greatly shocked, Chu Liuxiang wanted to evade, but he also wanted to reach out to catch it.

    Right this moment, fast as lightning, a sword came out of the dried up bones, straight toward Chu Liuxiang’s chest. The sword was coming so fast, so malicious.

    Chu Liuxiang almost could not dodge. But his chest and abdomen suddenly contracted backward. ‘Chi!’ the sword ripped the clothes on his chest.

    It was also right here, in the dark room where the eyes were barely able to see, that the wind for the pointed tip of the sword was piercing straight toward the several vital acupoints on his throat, chest, and abdomen. A wide figure flew up from the beam. ‘Bang!’ it crashed on the roof. Carrying a burst of shrill and mysterious laughter, it flew out and escaped.

    When he dodged the sword, Chu Liuxiang has already anticipated a follow-up killer strike from the opponent. His body, borrowing the momentum of his contracting chest and abdomen, already dropped down to the ground.

    Thus the dark shadow brushed past his body.

    He saw that the shadow that bored through the house and left was wearing black clothes, his shenfa was as fast as a demon. Astonishingly, it was the same person who killed the ‘Heavenly Strong Star’ Song Gang, and then escaped into the Daming Lake utilizing his ren shu skill.

    By the time Chu Liuxiang turned around and bored through the same hole to pursue him, this mysterious figure has already disappeared, leaving only the moon and the stars filling the sky, and the cool breeze whistling by.

    Standing on the roof, Chu Liuxiang felt that unconsciously cold sweat had soaked his entire clothes.

    He stared blankly for half a day, before turning around and leaping down. The nun was still standing foolishly in the courtyard, unmoving; even the sound of her laughter has ceased.

    Chu Liuxiang flew toward her, and spoke sternly, “Who was that man? Are you in cahoots with him?”

    In the dark of the night, he saw a hint of mysterious smile suddenly appeared on the nun’s face. Squinting, she cast a few glances toward Chu Liuxiang, and then said with a giggle, “He … I …”

    Her laughter was suddenly cut short. Her body suddenly twitched, she fell face up to the ground, and then, several drops of blood started to seep out of her throat and chest.

    As it turned out, all the secret projectiles that missed Chu Liuxiang and flew out the door have unexpectedly hit her body.

    Chu Liuxiang stooped down to examine her body. He saw that as soon as the blood seeped out, it immediately turned into some kind of peculiar, inhuman bluish green color. Her eyes and nose, in fact, all her five sense organs [nose, eyes, lips, tongue, ears], were also oozing blood.

    Terrified, Chu Liuxiang said, “Such a poisonous secret projectile, you … you … you may go in peace!”
    Last edited by foxs; 12-05-17 at 09:39 PM.

  2. #122
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    Thanks foxs. Glad we're about halfway through book 1..

  3. #123
    Senior Member LuDongBin's Avatar
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    "... DongBin, a monk has an admirer? ..." Why not? Perhaps for his talents, at least on the surface; the inner intentions, that's hard to discern. Throwing the qin into the river is a display of his level of non-attachment, maybe a bit ostentatious, but some folks like that sort of thing. Thks for the chapter, foxs.

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    Thanks, foxs.

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    Member paonakata's Avatar
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    thank you very much foxs

  6. #126
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default Book 1 Chapter 10 - Part 2

    Xiaohu, not quite. This book has 27 chapters. DongBin, I thought you meant a lady admirer, although now that I think about it, it was not impossible either. But I still think that he was quite rich. Jaya, Paona, you are welcome. Here's the end of Chapter 10.

    Edited: moved to Part 1 above.
    Last edited by foxs; 12-05-17 at 09:35 PM.

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    Thanks, foxs.

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    Thanks foxs... So, we're about one-third...

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    thank you very much foxs

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    Thanks foxs

  11. #131
    Senior Member LuDongBin's Avatar
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    Back to Tang? Thks foxs.

  12. #132
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks foxs.

    All his leads led to a dead end. Where will he go from here?

  13. #133
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    Default Book 1 Chapter 11 - Part 1

    Jaya, Xiaohu, Paona, Ysabel, DongBin, Sky, you are welcome. A bit more Chu Liuxiang for you.

    Chapter 11 – Game of Dice

    He knew that as soon as such secret projectile hit the body, no one would be able to save her. If he had just acted a little slower just now, the one lying on the ground right now would have been himself.

    There seemed to be a trace of remaining breath in the nun’s chest. Suddenly she opened her eyes to look at Chu Liuxiang. Unexpectedly her gaze had suddenly become strangely clear and bright.

    Chu Liuxiang sadly said, “Do you still have anything to say?”

    The nun’s lips were starting to move several times; finally she was able to produce feeble noises, “Wu … Wu …” [lit. no/without]

    Chu Liuxiang sighed and said, “You have nothing else to say?”

    The nun’s face was full of anxiety, beads of perspiration flowed over her head, but although she had exhausted all her strength, she was unable to utter another word.

    Finally she died.

    At the final radiance of the setting sun [fig. dying flash] just before her death, her mind suddenly became exceptionally clear and bright, unexpectedly she was leaving Chu Liuxiang a significant clue, it’s a pity that Chu Liuxiang did not know it.

    By the time Chu Liuxiang left the Wuyi Convent, the night has already been very dark, yet his mind was even darker. He had been hoping for the biggest clue, unexpectedly it was also shattered.

    Sighing inwardly, he mused, “No wonder the murderer was not afraid I went to Wuyi Convent; turns out he already knew Su Xin Dashi has been dead for a long time. Otherwise, although outside Sun Xuepu’s window I was trying with all my heart to protect against him making his move toward Sun Xuepu, but later on he would still have a lot of opportunity to kill Sun Xuepu to shut his mouth.”

    “Turned out he wanted to borrow Sun Xuepu’s mouth to mention ‘Wuyi Convent’, and then impersonating ‘Su Xin Dashi’ he wanted to lure me into the wrong road. Who would have thought that I have seen through his flaw?”

    “Hence, one ruse failed, he calculated that I would definitely go to the Wuyi Convent, so he hid on the beam inside the meditation room first, trying to catch me unprepared, he threw Su Xin’s bones and made his move against me.”

    “Although this time he did not succeed, I could not say that his plan was not carefully thought of. His means is even more malicious. If I was slightly careless, it would be difficult for me to avoid falling into his evil scheme. He is wholeheartedly unwilling that I be involved in this matter, and he has no scruple in killing that many lives, it is thus clear that the secret involved in this matter must be extremely astonishing.”

    Thinking to this point, not only Chu Liuxiang did not have any fear or intention to shrink back, on the contrary, it has aroused the indignation toward the enemy even more. It has fanned his desire to determine superior/inferior position against this formidable opponent.

    He did not take adventure and taking risk for granted.

    The more dangerous it was, the more interesting it was for him.

    He suddenly threw his head back and laugh; he said, “You listen to me, whoever you are; you want to scare me that I withdraw, that is just a dream. Sooner or later I am going to uncover your secret; you can’t run away from me.”

    A deathly still desolate area outside the city, with no sign of human presence as far as his eyes could see, it was unclear whether his ghostly opponent was hiding in the dark, it was also unclear whether the opponent heard his challenge.

    Chu Liuxiang stopped his laughter and sank back into contemplation.

    Just before that silly nun died, what did she want to say?

    She was saying one word, ‘Wu’, was it really the first word ‘wu’ of ‘wu hua ke shuo’ [nothing to say]?

    Chu Liuxiang muttered, “Looking at her eyes, there must be a lot that she wanted to say. Is it possible that she meant ‘Wu’ [surname Wu], i.e. that assassin was surnamed ‘Wu’?”

    His mind was churning; he suddenly remembered that the nun died under the Chinese parasol tree [wutong]. Could it be the ‘Wu’ was from the word ‘wutong’? Was she trying to tell Chu Liuxiang that there was some secret buried under the wutong tree?

    Thinking to this point, Chu Liuxiang immediately turned around. But before he even started to run back toward the Wuyi Convent, he already saw a violent blaze soaring to the sky.

    Unexpectedly the Wuyi Convent had turned into an ocean of fire. Whatever secret was buried under the wutong tree would have been burned clean.

    Chu Liuxiang returned to the city. The night market was already coming to an end.

    He was tired and hungry, but he decided to rush toward the Hall of Delight first.

    A woman like Qiu Lingsu was definitely not a nobody. Presumably the husband she married was also outstanding and well-known. Zhusha Men’s disciples were numerous, they came from various strata of the society, perhaps someone would know their whereabouts.

    These past few days, admittedly his mind was in chaos, so that he did not remember that he also had connections in various strata of the society; but how come he had never heard anything pertaining to Qiu Lingsu?

    If even he did not know, how would anyone else know?

    Suddenly he heard the sound of hoof beats coming from behind, followed by someone yelling lightly, “Get out of the way!”

    Chu Liuxiang had just evaded sideways, a horse brushed past him.

    The rider was wearing black cloak, which was fluttering in the wind, revealing the fiery-red satin inside. The man and the horse sped along, they nearly knocked Chu Liuxiang down.

    However, instead of losing his temper, he blurted a praise instead, “Excellent spirited steed!”

    Toward horses, as well as toward women, Chu Liuxiang had a special taste. Sometimes, when he saw a good horse, he was a lot more delighted than seeing a beauty.

    The moment he took a glance, he knew that this horse was indeed a one-in-ten-thousand kind of dragon horse. It may be assumed that the person who could see this kind of horse was definitely not an ordinary character.

    “Who’s that person?” Chu Liuxiang muttered to himself, “Why did he come to Jinan city? Although a beautiful woman would sometimes marry a klutz, but a gold colt cannot be ridden by a mediocre person. When a good horse selects its master, that insight is indeed much more precise than a woman selecting a husband. At least it can’t be deceived by several graceful words, flowery speech from a man, and it would not be dazzled by looking at shining white silver. If it already picked a master, oftentimes it will be a lot more loyal than a woman toward her husband.”

    Muttering to himself, he could not help smiling.

    Always trying to find a chance to smile, taking it easy and relaxing his own nerve, this was the approach with which he conducted himself, perhaps it was also the reason that no matter how critical his situation was, he was always able to find a reason to live – if one’s nerve was strained too much, when he encountered a dangerous situation, he might not know how to deal with it.

    Moreover, he was confident that his view would never be wrong; just because concerning women and horses, these two things, he could really be regarded as a rare authority.

    Before he even reached the Hall of Delight, Chu Liuxiang already saw the horse again. It was standing under the lantern at the Hall of Delight’s main gate, while continuously raising its head high and letting out low neigh.

    Its master did not tie it up at all, it seemed that practically he was not afraid someone would steal the horse away. Several people were standing on the side, far away from the horse; unexpectedly no one dared to come near it.

    One man was squatting, wrapping his arms around his belly, his face was full of pain. Chu Liuxiang walked over and patted him on the shoulder; he said with a laugh, “Did friend received suffering from it?”

    With pained expression the man cursed, “That damned horse, very vicious.”

    Chu Liuxiang smiled and said, “Good flower will have lots of thorns; beauties and good horses are usually difficult to provoke. This, my friend, you’d better keep in your mind, always.”

    He really wanted to see, the master of this horse came to the Hall of Delight, what did he want? While speaking, he strode inside.

    It was not even midnight yet, it ought to be the busiest and most lively time at the gambling hall, yet although the rooms were brightly lit, inside, the crow and peacock made no sound [absolute silence]. Chu Liuxiang secretly knitted his brows as he lifted up the curtain and walked in.

    He saw unexpectedly several dozen gamblers were standing close to the wall, each one had scared expression on their bloodless face. The usually swallow-like girls who walked back and forth around the gambling hall were also standing quietly while their body was trembling.

    He looked at the bodyguards, who were currently lying on the ground; some were really unable to crawl back up, but some others were afraid to crawl back up. Several dozen pairs of eyes, all were staring blankly at the man in the black cloak.

    He was standing perfectly straight in front of a gambling table, with his back facing the door. Chu Liuxiang could only see the shiny black whip in his hand, but he could not see his face.

    Chu Liuxiang could only see Leng Qiuhun’s face.

    Leng Qiuhun’s face was already without the slightest color of blood, but now there was panic, and there was terror, in his eyes; he was also staring at the mysterious black cloak.

    The hall was quiet without the slightest bit of noise, the people were nervous and trembling, the atmosphere was oppressive and stifling, just like an arrow on the bow, or the air just before a rainstorm arrived.

    No one paid any attention as Chu Liuxiang walked in. Chu Liuxiang did not disturb anybody either. He was simply walking over quietly, and stood quietly on the side.

    He finally saw the mystical ‘black cloak’ – unexpectedly he was a youngster. Inside the black cloak he was wearing black skintight shirt, black belt, black riding boots, black calf hide gloves. In his hand he held a black long whip tightly. Only his face was pale; frighteningly pale.

    Looking at him from the side, Chu Liuxiang saw the bridge of his nose was cut straight, his thin lips were tightly closed, a sign of his strong and grim character.

    The tip of his brows was slanting up, under the pitch-black eyebrows was a pair of deep eyes, so deep that no one could see the bottom, no one could see his heart.

    His face was nearly perfect. In fact, the young man’s entire body hardly had the slightest flaw. This kind of fantastic ‘perfection’ was unexpectedly so perfect that it was actually terrifying.

    Leng Qiuhun was staring at him, he seemed to be contemplating a reply, but the youngster in black did not seem to be anxious, he simply stared at him back. Leng Qiuhun finally spoke slowly, “Since Sire wishes to gamble, naturally Zaixia will be honored to accompany. But Zaixia would like to consult Sire’s honorable surname and great given name first. Presumably Sire would unlikely go so far as not to tell me?”

    “I don’t have a name,” the youth in black said.

    His voice was cold and detached, sharp and curt, but it was somewhat different to the Central Plains’ One Red Dot – the two voices were like blades, it’s just that Yitian Hong’s blade was rusty, but this youth’s blade was the sharp kind, which, when a single strand of hair was blown toward it, would cut the hair. Yitian Hong’s voice was mournful and sinister, but this youth’s voice was irascible and blunt.

    Leng Qiuhun said, “Since Sire is unwilling to tell your distinguished name, I am afraid …”

    “You are afraid what?” the youth said.

    “The rule here,” Leng Qiuhun started, “Is that we don’t gamble with strangers …”

    He looked at the young man’s eyes; immediately he broke into a hollow laugh and went on, “But Sire has come from afar, Zaixia naturally must not disappoint Sire.”

    “That’s very good,” the youth in black said.

    “But I wonder what Sire would like to play?” Leng Qiuhun said.

    “Dice,” the youth in black replied.

    “And the stake …” Leng Qiuhun said.

    The youth reached out and tossed a piece of jade annulus. Under the lamplight, this jade annulus looked glossy and warm, without the slightest bit of blemish. Even Chu Liuxiang has never seen such a perfect precious jade in all his life, perhaps the Jade Annulus of He Clan[1], which according to legend was enough to overturn the nations, may not necessarily be much better than this jade annulus.

    Leng Qiuhun was also a man who knew his stuff; his eyes immediately lit up, but his mouth spoke indifferently, “Sire wants to bet this jade annulus against what?”

    “You,” the youth in black coldly replied.

    Leng Qiuhun’s countenance changed, but he threw his head back and roared in laughter, “Me? I, Leng Qiuhun, am that valuable?”

    The youth in black said, “If I win, you come with me.”

    Leng Qiuhun’s laughter suddenly stopped, as if it was cut short by a blade. His eyes fixed on the jade annulus on the table, greedy look appeared in his eyes, he then turned his gaze on the dice lying next to the jade annulus. “All right!” he suddenly said, “I’ll play!”

    At his words, the silence of the hall was broken by a commotion. But Chu Liuxiang knew that since Leng Qiuhun dared to use his own person as the gambling stake, there must be some ingenious trick on these six dice, hence victory was assured.

    He saw Leng Qiuhun tossed the six dice one by one into a white porcelain bowl, and then using a good saucer he covered the bowl. He spoke slowly, “Gambling with dice, there are so many ways to play. Sire …”

    The youth in black said, “We bet small, the smaller dots win.”

    Leng Qiuhun chuckled lightly and said, “Betting small or betting big, it’s all the same. Sire, please.”

    He was just about to hand the dice over, the youth spoke coldly, “You throw first.”

    Leng Qiuhun thought for a moment, he said, “Same point …”

    The youth impatiently said, “Same point can be considered a match.”

    “All right,” Leng Qiuhun said.

    Waving his hand, a crisp noise as the dice hit the bowl immediately resounded throughout the hall.

    His expression looked grave, he was in full concentration, as he continuously shook the bowl and its lid next to his ear. The dice were rolling in the bowl, creating burst after burst of sound that break the people’s soul.

    Everyone in the hall seemed to be too nervous to breathe.

    And then there was a loud ‘Bang!’ as Leng Qiuhun put the bowl on the table.

    Unblinking, several dozen pairs of eyes were fixed on his pale hand.

    He slowly raised his hand to uncover the lid, exposing those six frightening dice – the hall erupted in uproar.

    Unexpectedly all six dice showed one red dot; with the white porcelain bowl as the backdrop, they looked like six drops of blood.

    Six dice, six points, nothing can be lower than that. Leng Qiuhun had indeed occupied an invincible position. He could not stop a hint of pleased and proud smile from appearing on the corner of his mouth.

    Chu Liuxiang sighed inwardly, “Leng Qiuhun’s hand skill is indeed not bad, but I wonder what the youngster is going to do to beat him?”

    The youngster unexpectedly did not show any emotion; he still spoke coldly, “Indeed not bad.”

    Leng Qiuhun smiled and said, “Sire, please.”

    “Very well,” the youngster replied.

    As soon as the word ‘very well’ came out of his mouth, the long whip in his hand suddenly shot out like a viper.

    Leng Qiuhun was shocked; he thought the youngster was going to use force, but this flying-out-like-lightning long whip unexpectedly stopped suddenly above the dice. The tip pf the whip ingeniously curled up to roll one die, which it suddenly let go.

    ‘Swish!’ the die flew straight out, and ‘Pop!’ it embedded itself on the white-washed wall. The whole die entered the wall, exposing only one side, this side was precisely showing one dot. Using hands to flick the die and embed it into the wall to expose only one dot was absolutely not an easy matter, it could already be considered a first-class secret projectile master in the world. Yet this young man was able to use the tip of a six-chi long whip to roll the die and shoot it out; the strength of his wrist, as well as his eyesight, was simply unfathomable.

    The crowd could not help crying out in alarm.

    In the midst of the cry, the long whip rolled up the second die and shot it out.

    The second die unexpectedly hit the first one, pushing it further into the wall, exposing only one side – naturally it was still one blood-red dot.

    Like a rattlesnake the long whip hissed and moved; the dice flew out in succession. The fourth die hit the third die, the fifth die hit the fourth one …

    In a flash all six dice were embedded in the wall, exposing only one side of the last die – one dot. All eyes were practically looking straight at it.

    The youth in black’s face did not change at all, he slowly said, “My six dice only show one dot. You lose …”

    Leng Qiuhun’s face was grey like a dead man; suddenly he cried out, “This does not count. Of course this does not count.”

    The youth in black laughed coldly, “You want to renege?”

    The long whip suddenly flew out again, like a serpent it coiled over Leng Qiuhun.

    Leng Qiuhun was, after all, not a weakling. Suddenly his saber left its scabbard. Who would have thought that the long whip seemed to have a life of its own? Unexpectedly it changed direction midway to catch the steel saber.

    Immediately Leng Qiuhun’s steel saber left his hand, ‘Pop!’ it nailed itself on the beam of the hall, the red silk cloth on the hilt of his saber fluttered, a streak of blood appeared on his pale face.

    The youth in black laughed coldly and said, “You lose. Come with me!”

    Leng Qiuhun was so shocked that he could only stare blankly. Suddenly he heard someone drawled, “Gentlemen, please hold. Zaixia wishes to bet against this friend as well.”

    Leisurely voice, indifferent smile, who else but Chu Liuxiang?

    Just now when the long whip was dancing in the breeze, the cloak flipped over, out of the corner of his eyes Chu Liuxiang was able to see that under the cloak with scarlet lining on the inside was unexpectedly an embroidered flying camel. Were it not for this flying camel, perhaps he would not have come out.

    The crowd has already been shocked by this youngster’s martial art skill, this moment unexpectedly there was someone who came to bet against him, they could not help staring wide-eyed at Chu Liuxiang.

    Leng Qiuhun felt as if he had just received an amnesty from a nightmare. Immediately he broke into a big smile as he said, “Since Zhang Xiong also want to bet, that is very good, it’s simply very good.”

    The youth in black’s gaze, which was as deep as the ocean, as sharp as the blade, has already been fixed on Chu Liuxiang’s face. Anybody who was being stared at by this kind of gaze would inevitably be beside themselves.

    But Chu Liuxiang remained indifferent, chuckling and returning his gaze, he said, “Sire came from the desert?”

    The youngster’s cold face surprisingly changed suddenly, “Who are you?” he asked in astonishment.

    Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “Just like Sire, I forgot my name.”

    The youngster stared at him for half a day. Finally he said, “You want to bet? All right! What do you want to bet?”

    Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “Dice. Naturally it is still dice, naturally it is still the smaller points win.”

    He had not finished speaking, everybody already thought that this person must be insane – the youngster’s six dice came out to be one dot, he still think he could win?

    The youngster seemed to be intrigued as well; his eyes flickered, he said, “And your stake …”

    Chu Liuxiang said, “If Sire lose, naturally Zaixia have no choice but to win this jade annulus back, this Leng Gongzi naturally does not need to come with Sire anymore. Apart from this, Zaixia would like to ask Sire a few questions.”

    His condition was indeed very harsh. The young man raised his eyebrows and said, “And if you lose?”

    Chu Liuxiang laughed indifferently and said, “If Zaixia loses, I will tell Sire what you want to know.”

    The youngster’s countenance changed again, “How do you know what I was going to ask?” he asked.

    Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “Maybe I do.”

    If the other party lost, his condition was so harsh, but if he lost, he would only lose a sentence. Moreover, it was only a ‘maybe’. This kind betting was simply too unfair. Plus everybody knew that the youngster still had full confidence of victory, he would never agree to this kind of betting.

    Who would have thought that the youngster simply thought for a moment, and then replied resolutely, “Very well, I’ll play.”

    Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “I knew Sire would.”

    The youngster said, “I have rolled the dice, do you want me to throw again?”

    “No need,” Chu Liuxiang replied.

    The more everybody thought that there must be something wrong with this man’s head, furthermore, the problem was not a small one. They saw him walking toward the other gambling table and picked up six dice.

    He grasped these six dice in his hand, Leng Qiuhun seemed to feel that his entire body was also in his grasp. Chu Liuxiang appeared calm, but Leng Qiuhun’s head was full of cold sweats; he could not help speaking, “Zhang Xiong must not forget, that friend threw a one.”

    Laughing indifferently, Chu Liuxiang responded, “I know.”

    Waving his hand, the first die flew out.

    Everybody knew he wanted to copy the youngster, but he could only follow the prescription, i.e. throwing a one; at most he would not lose, but definitely he would not win.

    Moreover, the youngster was using his whip to shoot the dice, and he was using his hand. It goes without saying that in term of the degree of difficulty, he already fell short by a large amount. Why did he even bother to come and showoff his disgrace?

    But the die’s momentum was indeed extraordinarily slow, unexpectedly it was as if the die was hanging from a thread, the crowd really did not understand, how could the die not fall down?

    Although nobody understood the profound skill behind this, but everybody understood that this kind of ‘slow’ was a lot more difficult than ‘fast’.

    By this time the second die already flew out of Chu Liuxiang’s hand. It overtook the first die, and ‘Chi!’ it hit and obliterated the first die.

    The third die was flying a bit faster. It overtook the second die and ‘Dang!’ it hit and shattered the second die.

    Chu Liuxiang’s finger flicked lightly, each die was flying a bit faster than the previous one. The fourth smashed the third, the fifth crushed the fourth …

    The fifth die did not stop. It bumped into the wall, and shot back. Unexpectedly it just met the sixth die, the two dice collided against each other in the air, and both shattered.

    Six dice unexpectedly became fine powder that fell to the ground, unexpectedly all six fell at the same place and became one pile of dust. Watching this, the crowd was stupefied, as if they had just witness some kind of magic trick.

    Chu Liuxiang clapped his hands, smiled and said, “My six dices did not even produce one dot, I am afraid Sire has lost.”

    Finally Leng Qiuhun could not help jumping with joy. Clapping and laughing, he said, “Not bad, not bad, six dice did not even show one dot. Wonderful, extremely wonderful, simply too wonderful.”

    The youth in black’s countenance was deathly pale. Although Chu Liuxiang’s method was a cheap trick, his technique was truly genuine goods at fair prices, without the least bit of cheap trick feeling.

    Besides, his own victory over Leng Qiuhun could also be considered cheap trick; how could he speak about others? This moment his situation was exactly the same as Leng Qiuhun’s just now; he could not renege even if he wanted to renege. Normally when toying with others, he always had the upper hands, he had never thought that today his trick boomeranged.

    His deep, big eyes were flashing; anger, regret, resentment, admiration, mixed together.

    This pair of eyes was originally as deep and still as the ocean, but this moment it appeared like the red clouds on the horizon, many shapes and many colors, changing unpredictably. This pair of cold and detached eyes unexpectedly became full of emotions all of a sudden.

    Even Chu Liuxiang could not help staring at him blankly. He sighed inwardly, “If this pair of eyes belongs to a girl’s face, the girl must be a remarkably beautiful woman; if she cast a glance toward a man, even if that man had to die for her, perhaps he would be delighted to do so … too bad this pair of eyes belongs to a man’s face; indeed they grew on the wrong face.”

    [1] Jade Annulus of He Clan, More (fictional info) on this can be found in the Legend of The Great Tang’s Twin Dragons, translated by yours truly.
    Last edited by foxs; 12-05-17 at 09:41 PM.

  14. #134
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    Thanks foxs

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    Thanks, foxs.

  16. #136
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    Default Book 1 Chapter 11 - Part 2

    Ysabel, Jaya, you are welcome. Here's the end of Chapter 11.

    Edited: moved to Part 1 above.
    Last edited by foxs; 12-05-17 at 09:42 PM.

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    Thanks foxs

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    Thanks, foxs.

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    Found you here Foxs
    Thanks for the update
    How come Jade annulus of He Clan appeared here :confused
    Maybe Shu Xiling and Kou Zong will appear too

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    Thks foxs.

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