Sword Stained With Royal Blood English Translation Chapter 2a
Sword Stained With Royal Blood English Translation
Novel by Jin Yong (Louis Cha)
Chapter 2 - Part 1
Just as everyone was about to chat, Tian Jianxiu's black face suddenly leaped out from the back seat of the room and stood at the door. Caught off guard, everyone stood up, not knowing what was happening. They saw the black-faced youth pointing at two middle-aged men in the crowd and shouting, "You are the minions of the eunuch Cao, what are you doing here?"
Upon hearing this, everyone was shocked, realizing that although the eunuchs and traitors in the palace had been cleared out after the Chongzhen Emperor executed Wei Zhongxian and the Ke family, the emperor was naturally suspicious and still held the habit of suspicion towards his ministers, only employing eunuchs brought by his trusted Prince Wang's mansion. Among them, Cao Huachun was the most favored. He commanded the emperor's secret agents, the "Dongchang" and the "Jinyiwei" guards, who spied on the privacy of court officials and generals from various regions. Civil and military officials were often executed or arbitrarily arrested and thrown into prison, known as the "issued prison", all due to Cao Huachun's secret reports. At that time, just mentioning his name was enough to make everyone's faces turn pale.
The two men were in their forties, one with a full yellow beard and the other with a pale fat face and no beard. The fat faced man's expression suddenly changed, but he quickly calmed down and smiled, saying, "Are you talking about me? What a joke." The black-faced youth said, "Humph, joking? You two were discussing secretly in the inn, planning to sneak into the Shan sect, and you said you had informed Eunuch Cao and would send troops to wipe them all out. I heard all of it!" The man with the yellow beard drew his steel knife and was about to attack. The fat-faced man laughed and said, "Wang Ziyong wants to take over the Shan sect and become the 37th camp. Who doesn't know his malicious intentions? If you come here to spread rumors and stir up trouble, that won't work." Although his voice was thin and sharp, like that of a eunuch, these words still had an effect. Many of the Yuan party members cast suspicious glances at Wang Ziyong's messenger. Although Tian Jianxiu came from a peasant family, he had been through many battles and was as tough as steel. Seeing the expressions of the Yuan party members, he knew that the man's words had struck a chord with them, so he immediately shouted, "Who are you, sir? Are you a friend of the Shan sect?" This question hit the nail on the head, and the man suddenly became tongue-tied, only sneering.
Sun Zhongshou shouted, "Are you a friend of warlord Yuan's old troops? Why haven't I seen you before? Which general are you under?" The fat faced man knew that the situation was hopeless and gave a signal to the yellow-bearded man. They both leapt up and landed at the door. The yellow-bearded man swung his sword at the black-faced young man. The fair-faced man, who looked like a half-man and half-woman, was surprisingly agile. With a flip of his wrist, he drew out the judge's double pens and aimed at the black-faced young man's chest.
The black-faced young man had come to pay his respects and show his respect, and to avoid arousing suspicion, he did not bring any weapons with him when he climbed the mountain. When the others saw that he was unarmed and suddenly attacked, seven or eight people
rushed forward to rescue him. However, the young man's martial arts were quite skillful. He used his left hand to grab the yellow-bearded man's wrist and simultaneously raised his right hand with his index and middle fingers pointed towards the fair-faced man's eyes. These two moves were delayed but faster, and immediately forced the two enemies to retreat two steps.
The Yuan’s party saw that he had turned the tables with just one move and secretly applauded, so they all stopped. The two attackers knew that they could not break through the door and knew that they were in a dangerous situation. They had just retreated two steps when they rushed forward again. The black-faced young man used his double palms to shuttle back and forth between the single sword and the double pens, attacking more and defending less. The two attackers tried to rush to the door several times but were forced back by him.
The three of them moved back and forth in the main hall and fought fiercely. Suddenly, the yellow-bearded man cried out in alarm and dropped his sword, which flew into the crowd. Zhu Anguo leapt up and caught it in his hand. Just then, the black-faced young man took a step forward, raised his left leg, and kicked the yellow-bearded man down. Before his left leg had been withdrawn, his right leg had risen up, and the fair-faced man was taken aback. He just wanted to force the enemy back and escape down the mountain. He exerted all his strength and pointed his double pens at the enemy's chest. The black-faced young man's right hand suddenly came out, grabbed the tip of the left pen, twisted it with force, and had already snatched one judge's pen. At this moment, the other side's right pen followed suit and he smashed the pen tip over. The double pens collided with a loud bang, and sparks flew everywhere. The fair-faced man's tiger's mouth cracked, and his right pen flew out of his hand.
The black-faced youth burst out laughing, grabbing the white-faced man's chest with his right hand and lifting him up. With his left hand, he pulled down the man's pants, exposing his lower body. Everyone was shocked to see that the man was castrated. The black-faced youth laughed and said, "Are you a eunuch? Look at him, everyone!" The crowd's attention shifted to the man's exposed lower body. In the midst of laughter and jeers, everyone was amazed at the youth's fast and skillful martial arts.
Someone quickly grabbed the white-faced man and the yellow-bearded man. Sun Zhongshou asked, "Why did eunuch Cao send you here? How many accomplices do you have? How did you sneak in?" The two men remained silent. Sun Zhongshou signaled to Luo Canjian, who lifted his single-edged sword and swiftly beheaded both men, placing their heads on the offering table in front of the deity.
Sun Zhongshou turned to Tian Jianxiu and said, "If it weren't for the three of you who discovered the traitors, we would have been in great danger." Tian Jianxiu replied, "It was just a coincidence. We met these two guys on the road and noticed their suspicious behavior
and dexterity. We went to the inn to investigate at night and fortunately uncovered their secrets."
Sun Zhongshou asked Tian Jianxiu's two followers, "May I ask for your names?" The two men gave their names. The fair-skinned man was named Liu Fangliang, and the black-faced youth was named Cui Qiushan. Zhu Anguo approached Cui Qiushan and praised him.
Tian Jianxiu, Sun Zhongshou, and several other leaders of the Yuan faction went to the back hall to discuss privately. Tian Jianxiu mentioned that General Wang hoped everyone would join forces to rebel and form an alliance. The three of them were under the command of Li Zicheng, a famous general in the Rebel Army and the nephew of the Rebel King Gao Yingxiang. They were the most powerful force among the 36th regiment. The members of the Yuan faction were hesitant. Although they hated Emperor Chongzhen and had already carried out many secret assassinations and killings of corrupt officials, they were originally officials of the Ming dynasty and did not want to rebel. They only hoped to kill Chongzhen and establish a new Ming dynasty with a royal descendant as the emperor. Moreover, Wang Ziyou was always seen as a "bandit", although he had a great reputation, he was involved in robbery, looting, and other illegal activities, which made everyone look down on him. In addition, the 36th regiment were located far away in Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces, and they could not provide much support. The two factions were of different social status, and the discussion went on for a long time without reaching a decision.
Finally, Sun Zhongshou said, "Our plan has been conveyed to Eunuch Cao. If we do not form an alliance with General Wang to achieve our goals, not only will it be difficult to avenge Chongzhen's assassination for warlord Yuan, but Eunuch Cao may also send people to hunt us down. We are weak and isolated, and it is inevitable that we will fall victim to their attacks. Tian Xianshou, can we agree to this plan? Our Shaan sect will help General Wang fight against the officials, and after his success, he must make every effort to fight against the Jurchen in Jianzhou. As we have stated earlier, we do not support General Wang becoming the emperor. It should be the descendants of Emperor Taizu surnamed Zhu who take the throne."
Tian Jianshuo said, "General Wang, as well as the leaders of the rebel forces such as Gao Chuangwang and Li Chuangjiang, were forced to rebel because they were oppressed by the government and wanted to save their own lives. They have no intention of becoming the emperor. I can vouch for this. Although people call us bandits, we are just farmers who want to have enough to eat and keep our heads safe. We are fleeing from place to place because we have no choice. With our limited abilities, we cannot become high officials like the emperor. As for fighting against the Jurchen in Jianzhou, Li Chuangjiang shares the same hatred towards them as all of you. He often talks about his hatred for the Jurchen. We are only following his orders. Li Chuangjiang is a hero who upholds justice and is trustworthy." Although the leader of the 36th regiment was Wang Ziyong, it seemed from their words that they trusted Li Zicheng more.
Sun Zhongshou said, "That is good enough." The followers of warlord Yuan had no objections, and thus the alliance was established.
Meanwhile, inside the palace, Zhu Anguo and Ni Haola took Cui Qiushan's hand and walked to a secluded corner to discuss their alliance plan.
Zhu Anguo said, "Brother Cui, although we just met, it feels like we have known each other for a long time. Don't treat us as strangers." Cui Qiushan replied, "Brothers, I have always admired you for fighting against the Jurchens and protecting the Jiangshan. I am very happy to meet so many heroes and friends of the Shanzong today." Ni Hao asked, "May I ask, Brother Cui, who is your master and which senior hero did you learn from?" Cui Qiushan said, "My benefactor is an old man named Baiye from Datong Prefecture, Shanxi Province. He passed away many years ago." Zhu Anguo and Ni Hao looked at each other in doubt. Ni Hao said, "We have long heard of the great name of Senior Baiye. However, it seems that Brother Cui's martial arts are higher than Senior Baiye's." Cui Qiushan remained silent. Zhu Anguo said, "Although it is not uncommon for students to surpass their masters, we saw Brother Cui's skills and techniques when he defeated the two spies just now, and it seems like he has received another true transmission."
Cui Qiushan hesitated for a moment and said, "Brothers, you are good friends, and I shouldn't hide anything from you. After my master passed away, I had the good fortune of meeting a recluse who taught me some martial arts. He asked me to vow not to reveal his name, so I hope you can forgive me."
Ni and Zhu saw that he was sincere, and said, "Brother Cui, please don't say that. We have a request, so we dared to ask you." Cui Qiushan said, "Please speak frankly. We are all friends, so there is no need to be polite." Zhu Anguo said, "Brother Cui, please wait a moment. We will talk to our two friends."
Zhu and Ni pulled aside the two named Ying and Luo. Zhu Anguo said, "Brother Cui has strong martial arts skills, and there is no one here who can match him. He also seems very straightforward when speaking." Ni Hao said, "But he was a bit hesitant when talking about his master. Let me repeat what he said."
The person with the surname Ying is named Ying Song, a strategist under Yuan Chonghuan's command. He contributed greatly to the construction of the Ningyuan city. The person with the surname Luo is named Luo Daqian, a famous artilleryman. During the battle at Ningyuan, he ignited the Red Barbarian cannon and killed countless Qing soldiers. He was promoted to participate in the military campaigns due to his merits. Ying Song said, "Why don't we speak frankly and see how he responds?" Zhu Anguo replied, "We should consult with Grand
Secretary Sun about this matter first." Ying Song said, "You're right."
They went to the back hall and saw Sun Zhongshou and Tian Jianxiu talking very cordially. So they invited Sun Zhongshou out to discuss the matter. Zhu Anguo and his companions were skilled in marching and fighting. They were brave and skilled in using long spears and hard crossbows. However, they knew that they were no match for Cui Qiushan in martial arts and weapons.
Sun Zhongshou said, "Master Ying, this matter concerns the young master's lifelong prospects. You should first sound out Brother Cui's attitude." Ying Song nodded and promised to go with Zhu Anguo, Ni Hao, and Luo Daqian to see Cui Qiushan.
Ying Song said, "We have a matter that can only be helped by Brother Cui, so..."
Cui Qiushan saw that they were hesitant to speak and looked very embarrassed, so he said, "I am a rough person. As long as it is within my capabilities, I will do anything that you command."
Ying Song said, "Brother Cui is very straightforward, so we will speak plainly. After General Yuan was killed, he left behind a young son who was only seven years old at the time. We fought against the Jinyiwei who were sent by the foolish ruler to arrest General Yuan's family. We lost seven brothers in three battles just to protect General Yuan's only heir."
Cui Qiushan made a sound of acknowledgement. Ying Song continued, "This young master's name is Yuan Chengzhi, and the four of us are teaching him how to read and practice martial arts. He is very clever and learns quickly, but if he continues to follow us, his progress will be limited. We are in the wilderness, so our self-defense skills are more important than our ability to march and fight."
Cui Qiushan understood their intention and asked, "Do you want him to learn martial arts from me?" Zhu Anguo replied, "Just now, we saw Brother Cui's martial arts skills when he killed the bandits, which are ten times better than ours. If Brother Cui is willing to take this disciple and train him to become skilled, warlord Yuan in heaven will surely be grateful." After speaking, the four of them saluted Cui Qiushan.
Cui Qiushan quickly returned the salute and pondered for a moment before saying, "I appreciate your high regard for me, brothers. I should not decline, but I am currently in Li Dage's army, constantly in battle with the government troops, and I don't know when I'll survive. If Mister Yuan follows me in the army, I'm afraid I won't have time to teach him, and it's also too dangerous." Ying Song and the others thought that this was the truth and felt
Ying Song called Yuan Chengzhi over to meet Cui Qiushan. Cui Qiushan liked him because he was lively and energetic, with a dark complexion and none of the pampered and spoiled demeanor of a rich young master. He asked what martial arts he had learned, and Yuan Chengzhi replied. He then asked, "Uncle Cui, what martial arts did you use just now when you caught those two bad guys?" Cui Qiushan replied, "That's called the Tiger Subduing Palm technique." Yuan Chengzhi said, "It was so fast that I couldn't even see it." Cui Qiushan laughed and said, "Do you want to learn it?" Yuan Chengzhi eagerly replied, "Uncle Cui, please teach me."
Cui Qiushan smiled at Ying Song and said, "I told General Tian that I'll stay here for a few days and teach him this palm technique!" Yuan Chengzhi, Ying, Zhu, and Ni were all overjoyed and thanked him repeatedly.
The next morning, Sun Zhongshou, Zhang Chaotang, Yang Pengju, and three others bid farewell, saying, "We had a chance encounter and it's considered fate. As for the things here, we don't need to say more about the consequences if a single word is leaked." Zhang and Yang nodded repeatedly. Sun Zhongshou gave each of them fifty taels of silver as a gift, and also sent two brothers to escort them down the mountain.
Zhang Chaotang and Yang Pengju traveled to Guangzhou without any particular reason. However, Yang Pengju was discouraged and disheartened by this setback. He knew that there were always people who were better than him in the world, and he was lucky to have made it this far with his limited skills. If it hadn't been for Yuan Chengzhi, who saved his life with a few words, he would have been a blind man by now. With this realization, Yang Pengju resigned from his job at the escort agency and planned to return home to farm.
Zhang Chaotang was grateful for Yang's help and invited him to go on a trip to Woni, a country known for its tranquility and peace. Yang Pengju agreed since he had nothing else to do and had no family to take care of. The three of them hired a ship and sailed to Woni. Yang Pengju stayed there for over a month, enjoying the peaceful and carefree life in the small town. He even took on a small job in the inspectorate of Zhang Xin, Zhang Chaotang's father. He worked only a few hours a day and spent the rest of his time drinking and gambling.
Tian Jianxiu, Sun Zhongshou, and others agreed to form an alliance. They swore an oath in front of the statue of Yuan Chonghuan, promising to support each other and never betray one another. Tian Jianxiu was eager to join forces with Yuan Chengzhi and was happy to hear that Cui Qiushan would teach him martial arts. He left with Liu Fangliang to prepare for the future.
The members of the Yuan faction had different plans. Some went to serve under Wang Ziyong, while others returned to their hometowns to prepare for future rebellion. Some did not want to rebel but would keep their loyalty to themselves and not reveal any secrets. Each person had their own goal, and no one could force them to do otherwise.
Sun Zhongshou, Zhu Anguo, Ni Hao, and Ying Song stayed in the mountains to discuss Yuan Chengzhi's future plans.
After Cui Qiushan agreed to teach him the Fuhu Palm, Yuan Chengzhi was overjoyed and couldn't sleep well all night. The next day everyone was busy forming an alliance and had no time to deal with this matter. In the afternoon, everyone went down the mountain one after another, bidding farewell to the young lord before leaving, and it was a busy day.
In the evening, Sun Zhongshou and Ying Song ordered people to light red candles and set up a ceremonial seat. They invited Cui Qiushan to sit on it and asked Yuan Chengzhi to pay homage to him as his teacher. Cui Qiushan said, "I liked the little brother Yuan from the first moment I saw him. Since he likes my Fuhu Palm, I will spend a few days teaching him the basics. But whether he can learn it in these few days and whether he can use it after learning it, depends on his comprehension and future practice. This is just a friendly exchange, and the teacher-student relationship is not necessary." Ying Song said, "As long as you teach him one or two moves, you are his lifelong teacher. Why be so humble, Brother Cui?" But Cui Qiushan refused, and everyone had to drop the matter.
Everyone knew the rules of martial arts. When someone was taught a skill, others couldn't watch on the side. After thanking Cui Qiushan, they left.
When everyone had left, Cui Qiushan turned serious and said, "Chengzhi, this Fuhu Palm was passed down to me by a senior master. I haven't fully grasped its intricacies, and my skills are still far from perfect, but it's already enough to deal with ordinary enemies in the martial world. When the old master taught me this skill, he made me swear that after learning it, I must never use it to oppress the good or harm the innocent."
Yuan Chengzhi understood his meaning and immediately knelt down, saying, "Disciple Yuan Chengzhi will never dare to oppress the good or harm the innocent after learning the Fuhu Palm. Otherwise, otherwise..." He didn't know the rules of making an oath, and said, "Otherwise, Uncle Cui will beat me to death."
Cui Qiushan laughed and said, "Very good." Suddenly he swayed, and he was gone. When Yuan Chengzhi turned around in a hurry, Cui Qiushan had already circled around to his back and patted him on the shoulder, saying with a smile, "You caught me."
After receiving guidance from his three masters, Zhu Anguo, Ni Hao, and Luo Daqian, Yuan Chengzhi had a foundation in martial arts. He immediately lowered his body, feinted with his left hand, circled with his right hand, and did not turn around. He listened to the wind and distinguished the shape of his opponent, then reached for Cui Qiushan's leg.
Cui Qiushan exclaimed, "This move is good!" As soon as he finished speaking, he lightly patted Yuan Chengzhi's shoulder with his palm, and his figure disappeared. Yuan Chengzhi concentrated his mind and calmed his breath, and both of his small palms extended to protect his vital areas. Seeing that Cui Qiushan's footwork was extremely fast, and he couldn't catch him anymore, Yuan Chengzhi stopped playing hide and seek with him in circles, and step by step retreated toward the wall. Suddenly he turned around, leaned against the wall, and said with a smile, "Uncle Cui, I see you now!"
Cui Qiushan couldn't get behind him anymore, stopped his footsteps, and said with a smile, "Good, good, you're very clever, you'll definitely be able to learn the Tiger Subduing Palm." He then taught him every move and style of the palm technique.
This palm technique had a total of 108 moves, each with its own variations and the interaction between odd and even. Yuan Chengzhi memorized them silently, and after practicing a few times, he remembered the moves almost perfectly. Cui Qiushan explained every move and variation in detail. Yuan Chengzhi had a good foundation in martial arts and a strong comprehension ability. He was able to understand everything Cui Qiushan taught him. One taught with enthusiasm, and the other learned with dedication until late at night.
The next morning, Cui Qiushan was walking on the mountain when he saw Yuan Chengzhi practicing boxing, displaying the 108 variations of the Tiger Subduing Palm, including hooks, slashes, thrusts, chops, tears, strikes, collapses, and spits. He could even understand their main points and essentials. Cui Qiushan was very pleased, and when Yuan Chengzhi was absorbed in his practice, he suddenly leaped forward, lifted his leg, and kicked toward his back.
Yuan Chengzhi suddenly heard the sound of wind behind him. He dodged to the side and grabbed the enemy's right leg from behind, only to see that it was Cui Qiushan. He quickly released his grip and exclaimed, "Uncle Cui!" Cui Qiushan laughed and said, "Don't stop, keep attacking." He then struck a palm towards Yuan Chengzhi's face.
Knowing that Cui was testing his skills, Yuan quickly evaded the attack and used his small fists to attack Cui's waist and hips. He used the 89th move of the "Fierce Tiger Palm," which was called "Infiltrating the Tiger's Den." Cui praised him, gave him pointers and continued to spar with him. When Yuan made a mistake in his moves, Cui corrected him. They went back and
forth, breaking down the 108 moves of the Fierce Tiger Palm.
Yuan was delighted to see that the palm technique was so versatile and that Cui was able to use it in so many different ways. He made a mental note of everything he learned. After a long practice, Cui saw that Yuan was sweating and tired, so he told him to rest and explained the technique to him. They practiced from early morning until late at night, taking breaks only to eat.
After seven days, Cui said to Yuan, "I have taught you everything I know. Whether you succeed in the future depends on your own practice. In a real fight, the situation is always changing, and success depends 70% on your skills and 30% on your wit. Blindly attacking will never lead to victory." Yuan nodded in agreement.
Cui then said, "I will return to General Li's place tomorrow. I hope you will continue to work hard in your practice. The key to martial arts is not in your hands and feet, but in your mind. Thinking is more important than practicing. Unfortunately, my mind is not very bright, so I cannot make much progress. I hope you can surpass me in the future."
Although Yuan had only known Cui for eight or nine days, he had taught him everything he knew about the Fierce Tiger Palm. He showed great affection for Yuan, and when he heard that they would part ways the next day, Yuan couldn't help but shed tears. Cui was also moved and gently stroked Yuan's head, saying, "You are very talented and smart. It's a pity we can't be together for long." Yuan wanted to follow Cui to General Li's place, but Cui laughed and said that it was impossible because Yuan was still young and the life of a soldier was tough.
While they were talking, they suddenly heard a strange beastly roar outside the house. Yuan Chengzhi wondered, "What's that? It's not a tiger or a wolf." Cui Qiushan replied, "It's a leopard." With a sudden idea, he said, "Let's go catch the leopard, I have a use for it." Yuan Chengzhi got excited and asked, "What use?" Cui Qiushan just smiled and didn't answer, then hurriedly went outside. Yuan Chengzhi followed him and saw that he wasn't carrying any weapons. He asked, "Uncle Cui, what weapon are you going to use to fight the leopard?"
Cui Qiushan didn't go out through the front door, but went to the outside of Sun Zhongshou's room. He called out, "Brother Zhu and Brother Ni, are you there?" Zhu Anguo and others were chatting inside the room and came out when they heard the call. Cui Qiushan smiled and said, "Please help us force the leopard into the house, I have a use for it." Ni Hao was an expert in hunting tigers and he said, "Okay, okay." He took his tiger-hunting fork and rushed out first. Cui Qiushan shouted, "Brother Ni, don't harm the animal." Ni Hao replied from afar, and soon there were shouts and cries outside. Cui Qiushan, Zhu Anguo, and Luo Daqian also went out. Yuan Chengzhi took a short iron spear and wanted to follow them out. Sun Zhongshou said, "Chengzhi, don't go out, let's watch here." Yuan Chengzhi had
no choice but to stay with Sun Zhongshou, Ying Song, and the others at the window to watch.
They saw the three men holding torches, standing in the east, west, and north directions. Ni Hao used his tiger-hunting fork to fight a huge golden leopard that was rolling and fighting on the hillside. He guarded his whole body with the fork, not allowing the leopard to pounce on him, but also not poking it with the fork. The leopard was frightened by the fire and wanted to escape, but was blocked by the three men, Zhu, Cui, and Luo. When the leopard saw that Cui Qiushan wasn't carrying any weapons, it roared and pounced on him. Cui Qiushan dodged the claws and struck the leopard's forehead with his right palm, causing the leopard to somersault in the air. It turned and headed south. The door to the south was wide open, but the leopard refused to enter the house and ran around randomly. However, it was blocked by the people and had nowhere to go. Cui Qiushan jumped up and kicked the leopard hard on its hindquarters. The leopard howled in pain and rushed into the house.
At that time, Ying Song had closed all the gates except for the one on the west side of the side hall. When the leopard saw the two men chasing it with torches, it ran around, howling and entered the west hall. Luo Daqian then closed the door, and a big leopard was trapped inside the hall.
Everyone was pleased and looked at Cui Qiushan, not knowing what he was going to do with the leopard. Cui Qiushan smiled and said, "Chengzhi, you go in and fight the leopard!" Everyone was surprised to hear this. Sun Zhongshou said, "Is this really a good idea?" Cui Qiushan said, "I will be watching on the side, and the beast won't be able to harm him." Yuan Chengzhi said, "Okay!" and took his short spear to open the door. Cui Qiushan said, "Put down the spear and go in empty-handed!"
Yuan Chengzhi was startled, but soon realized that he was supposed to use the newly learned "Fuhu Palm" to fight the leopard. He was afraid and hesitated. Cui Qiushan said, "Are you afraid?" Without any hesitation, Yuan Chengzhi pulled out the wooden stopper from the door and pushed it open. He heard a loud roar and a black shadow rushed towards him. He stumbled with his right foot, dodged the attack and struck the leopard's ear with his palm using the "Luohan Passes the Sutra" technique of the Fuhu Palm. Although he hit it, his palm was weak and the leopard didn't seem to care. It turned around and bit him, but Yuan Chengzhi quickly ran to the leopard's back and grabbed its tail.
Cui Qiushan stood on the side to protect him, afraid that the leopard would attack him fiercely. However, Yuan Chengzhi used his Fuhu Palm skill proficiently, and although the leopard pounced and clawed at him three times, it never touched his clothes. Instead, it received a few palm strikes and kicks from him. Sun Zhongshou and others watched Yuan Chengzhi fight the leopard with admiration, although they were concerned and held torches in their hands. Zhu Anguo and Ni Hao kept their hidden weapons ready to shoot at the leopard in case of an emergency. Yuan Chengzhi moved skillfully and quickly, avoiding the leopard's attacks. Initially, he fled and avoided confronting the leopard, but later, he found
that he could use his palm techniques creatively and effectively, which made him more and more spirited as he fought.
He saw that striking the leopard's body with his palms was useless. Suddenly, he changed his tactic and started grabbing instead of striking. With each palm strike, he would grab a handful of fur. The leopard howled in pain and became wary of his small palms. Whenever he extended his palm, the leopard would growl and retreat, showing its teeth in resistance. But Yuan Chengzhi's techniques were very fast, and the leopard was always unable to dodge in time. For a while, leopard fur flew everywhere in the hall. The once beautiful golden leopard lost many of its ornate fur pieces as Yuan Chengzhi pulled them off.
Although the leopard fur was taken, it was not enough to subdue it. During the fierce fight, he suddenly used the "Buddha Lowers His Head" technique, lowered his body, and charged straight towards the leopard. The leopard was frightened and took a step back, then pounced forward. In that instant, Yuan Chengzhi was already under the leopard's belly.
Ni Haodao was amazed, and his pair of throwing knives flew out. The leopard extended its right leg and kicked off the two knives. At this point, Chengzhi was nowhere to be seen. Everyone looked closely and saw him hiding under the leopard's belly, his legs hooked around its back, and his head pressing against its chin, making it impossible for the leopard to bite or scratch him. The leopard jumped and rolled on the ground, but Chengzhi never let go. Knowing that he would not be able to hold on for long, he yelled, "Uncle Cui, come quick!"
Cui Qiushan said, "Take out its eyes!" With this reminder, Yuan Chengzhi's right arm came out, and two fingers plunged into the leopard's right eye. The leopard screamed in pain, and jumped and rolled even more fiercely. Cui Qiushan took a few steps forward and delivered two consecutive palm strikes, knocking the leopard unconscious. He then picked up Chengzhi and said with a smile, "Not bad, not bad. You did well."
Sun Zhongshou and the others were all sweating profusely and thinking to themselves, "Although Cui Qiushan is a decent person, he lives a reckless life every day under Li Zicheng's command, acting boldly and recklessly. He doesn't know how valuable Young Master Yuan's life is." They also thought, "After being taught by him for eight days, Young Master Yuan's martial arts have indeed improved greatly." Cui Qiushan opened the door of the hall, kicked the leopard's hindquarters, and said with a smile, "You can go now!" The leopard ran out, and suddenly someone outside exclaimed in surprise.
Everyone thought that the leopard had injured someone outside, so they rushed out to see what was happening. What they saw was shocking. They saw small fires dotted all over the mountain, and the flickering flames illuminated shining knives and guns. It turned out that the official soldiers had gathered and were besieging the Holy Peak Ridge. It was not easy to escape under such circumstances. The party members who were watching at the foot of the mountain had probably already been killed, so there was no warning beforehand, and the enemy soldiers suddenly arrived.