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Demi Gods & Semi Devils Book 5
XLIII - Grand ambitions to rule and conquer, blood feud, turn them all into dust
Chinese title: 天龍八部 - 王霸雄图 血海深仇 尽归尘土Original novel written by Jin Yong (Louis Cha)
Wuxia Novel Fan Translation by darksinz
DGSD Chapter 43: Great Ambition to Rule, Sea of Blood Deep In Hatred, Everything Return to Dust
Beggars Clan members rushed to Shaolin, their ambition lofty, they relied solely on their Clan Chief's deep and unfathomable martial arts to seize the title of 'Supreme Leader of Martial Arts Fraternity', henceforth Beggars Clan will overwhelm Shaolin and become the sole leader of the martial arts circle. Unexpectedly Chief Zhuang took Ding ChunQiu as his master, later both his legs broken by Xiao Feng, everyone felt their enthusiasm dull, their expression lifeless, only those who still revere their former Chief Qiao Feng were secretly delighted.
Elder Wu said loudly: "Brothers, we staying here for what? Don't tell me you still want to ask for cold rice and leftovers from meal? Let us leave now!" the crowd of beggars respond loudly, they turn around and walk down the mountain.
Suddenly Bao BuTong said loudly: "Wait, wait! I have something to inform Beggars Clan." Elder Chen fought with him and Feng BoE at Wuxi before, he knew this person does not have anything good to say, he stamped his right feet and said: "The one surnamed Bao, if you have something to say just say it out, if you have fart then just let it out!" Bao BuTong pinch his nose and said: "It stinks, it stinks. Hey, the beggar who farts, is there an old man called Yi DaBiao in your clan?"
When Elder Chen heard him mention Yi DaBiao, his eyes brighten immediately, he said: "So what if he exist? So what if he does not exist?" Bao BuTong said: "I am talking to a beggar who farts, since you respond then you admit you are letting off smelly fart?" Elder Chen is more concerned about major clan matters, why would he even get into dispute with such unrelated stuff, he said: "I ask you, what happen to Yi DaBiao? He is a disciple of our clan, he was dispatched to Western Xia to carry out some work, sire you have news pertaining to him?" Bao BuTong said: "I was about to tell you a major event that happen in Western Xia, but unfortunately Yi DaBiao met the King of Hell a long time ago!" Elder Chen said: "Is it true? May I ask what major event is happening in Western Xia?" Bao BuTong said: "You scold me and claim my words are like fart, now I don't want to fart anymore."
Elder Chen is angry, his white beard float around, however he knew the matter is of grave importance, he laugh out loud and said: "Sire I offended you with my speech just now, old man offer his apologies." Bao BuTong said: "No need to apologise, in the future just fart more and talk less." Elder Chen was stumped for words, he pondered: "What is he talking about?" currently he have something to ask from him, he is unwilling to engage in meaningless debate, he smile faintly and did not reply. Bao BuTong said: "It stinks, it stinks! This won't do." Elder Chen said: "What won't do?" Bao BuTong said: "You refuse to speak, you cannot release your anger, naturally you have to look for another outlet." Elder Chen pondered: "This person is truly difficult to deal with. I offended him with just one sentence, he persist and debate endlessly with incoherent speech. The best thing for me to do is to remain silent, if not he will keep on spouting nonsense and not mention the main topic." he smile faintly again and did not reply.
Bao BuTon shake his head and said: "Not true, not true! You seek an argument with me, you are wrong to the extreme!" Elder Chen smile and said: "I did not open my mouth, how did I argue with sire?" Bao BuTong said: "You did not speak, only keep farting, naturally you don't have to open your mouth." Elder Chen purse his brows and said: "Ashamed."
Bao BuTong saw him yield repeatedly, he already occupy all the advantage, he said: "Since you open your mouth to speak then you are not seeking to argue with me. Fine I will tell you. Half a month ago, our young master, elder brother Deng, 2nd brother GongYe, etc., we met a group of beggars inside a forest at Gan Liangdao, each and every one of them dead and laying on the ground, some had their heads and body parts at different places, some had their abdomen ruptured and intestines spilling out, extremely pitiful! All of them are carrying pouches, some carrying three, some carrying four, some five, some six!" Elder Chen said: "I presume they must brothers from our clan?" Bao BuTong said: "When I saw these group of old chaps, they have been dead for quite some time already, I don't know if they have drunk grandma Meng's soup, or been to 'Gazing hometown platform', or which hall they are standing trial in at King of Hell's 10 hall. Since they cannot speak, naturally I cannot ask for their honourable name, where is their hometown, which sect or clan they belong to, how did they die. If not when they turn into ghost they will surely say: If you have something to say just say it out, if you have fart then fart less! Won't I suffer injustice in vain?" When Elder Chen heard the news of death of his fellow brothers from Beggars Clan, he is extremely concerned, he cannot remain silent but he also don't dare to rebut, he said: "Brother Bao is correct!"
Bao BuTong shake his head and said: "Not true, not true! The one surnamed Bao look down upon people who parrot the words of others, you may say 'Brother Bao is correct', but in your heart you are cursing 'turtle son of a *****', this is called silent curse, such is the conduct of shameless people like Xingxiu disciples. For real man, yes is yes, no is no, other people may have their views but he himself has his own opinion, if I reflect on myself and find myself to be right, then even if it be an army of hundred thousands, I will still go forward! Brave and unconventional, standing out from common crowd, that is a true hero! This should be the proper conduct of heroes from Beggars Clan!" he lectured Elder Chen again and finally said: "However there is still an old chap who have yet to die from his injuries, although he didn't die but he is not far from death. We attempt to treat his injuries but it was in vain. He said his name is Yi DaBiao, he just return from Western Xia bearing an official notice from the Emperor of Western Xia, the matter is of grave importance, thus he entrust it to us to deliver it to his Clan's Elders."
Elder Lu pondered: "Brother Chen already offended this person in his speech, it is better for me to step forth and negotiate." he step forward, clasped his hands and said: "Mr. Bao delivered the news for the sake of justice, everyone in our clan feel your great kindness." Bao BuTong said: "Not true, not true! Maybe not everyone from your clan can feel my great kindness." Elder Lu was startled, he said: "What makes Mr. Bao say so?" Bao BuTong pointed at You TanZhi and said: "Your clan chief, not only does he not appreciate my kindness, on the contrary he hates me to the extreme!" Elder Lu and Elder Chen said in unison: "What is the reason? Mr. Bao please advice."
Bao BuTong said: "Before Yi DaBiao died, he said the group was murdered by their own Clan Chief Zhuang, because they are unconvinced of the youngster becoming their Clan Chief, thus he dispatch men to kill, alas, pitiful, pitiful. Yi DaBiao beg us to deliver this information, he wants Elder Wu and the other Elders to be vigilant and guard against him."
When Bao BuTong finish speaking, the crowd of beggars immediately made a huge din. Elder Wu move quickly towards You TanZhi and shout sternly: "His words true or false?"
You TanZhu's legs was broken by Xiao Feng, he remain seated on the ground, wordless and motionless, he secretly channel his internal energy to relive the pain, suddenly he heard Bao BuTong reveal his secret, he cannot help but feel terrified, afterwards he heard Elder Wu's stern voice, he shouted: "Quan....Quan GuanQing ask me to relay the orders, nothing....nothing to do with me."
Elder Wu is unwilling to air dirty linen of his clan in public, he glare ferociously at Quan GuanQing and pondered: "This debt, it is not too late to settle later." he said to Bao BuTong: "The official document that brother Yi DaBiao gave to mister, I wonder if mister brought it along?" Bao BuTong shake his head and said: "No!" Elder Wu's complexion change slightly, he pondered: "You spoke for a long time but still refuse to hand over the document, aren't you wasting everyone's time for amusement?"
Bao BuTong clasped his hands and said: "Yi DaBiao's urgent message, I already delivered it. Life is precious, everyone please be careful. Hope to meet again someday." when he finish speaking he turn around and walk away.
Elder Wu said hastily: "The official document from Western Xia, why you refuse to hand it over?" Bao BuTong said: "This is really strange! How you know Yi DaBiao pass on the document to me? Where is the logic in using the phrase 'hand it over'? Don't tell me you personally witness the event that day?"
Elder Wu restrain his anger with great difficulty, he said: "Moments ago brother Bao said, brother Yi DaBiao return from Western Xia bearing an official document from the Emperor of Western Xia, he request brother Bao to deliver it to our clan's Elders. Many people here heard you, how come brother Bao suddenly renege on your words?"
Bao BuTong shake his head and said: "Not true, not true! I never said such thing." he saw Elder Wu's change countenance, he said: " Beggars Clan 's Elders are famed to be true men, unexpectedly they have the cheek to distort the truth in public, confuse right and wrong, aren't you spoiling your lifetime of good reputation?"
Lu, Song, Chen, Wu, Four Elders glance at each other quickly, their expression extremely ugly, they waver indefinitely, should they turn hostile and fight him immediately, or should they endure temporary. Elder Chen said: "Since sire said so, then there is nothing we can do, the public will judge who is right and wrong, relying on sharp tongue, twisting words and false argument, in the end it will be useless." Bao BuTong said: "Not true, not true! You said relying on sharp tongue is useless, but how come Su Qin relied on his sharp tongue and gain the respect of six nation? How Zhang Yi with his gift of the gab, carrying out the Horizontal Alliance, helping Qin to annex the six nation?" Elder Lu heard him digressing further and further away from the main topic, he laugh bitterly and said: "If Mr. Bao is born during the Warring States period, you achievements would have long surpass Su and Zhang, gaining the respect of seven nation or even eight nation."
Bao BuTong said: "You are mocking me for being born at the wrong time, a lousy fate? Fine, from now on if the one surnamed Bao met with any misfortune, headache or fever, back pain or foot ache, cough or cold, you will be held accountable."
Elder Chen said angrily: "Brother Bao what is your true intention, please reveal it forthrightly." Bao BuTong said: "En, you are very impatient. Elder Chen, that day at Wuxi's Apricot Forest, you and my 4th brother Feng had a contest of martial arts, you carried a big cloth sack, the big cloth sack contains only big scorpion, the big scorpion's tail had a even bigger venomous sting, when the sting pierce into a person a big poisonous blister will appear, big poisonous blister can kill a person's small life, correct or not?" Elder Chen pondered: "He can easily explain in one short sentence, what big or small, making a huge fuss." he replied: "Yes."
Bao BuTong said: "Very good, I will make a bet with you. If you win, I will tell you the information that old beggar brought from Western Xia; but if I win, then you have to give me the big cloth sack, the big scorpion in the big cloth sack, as well as the small bottle containing the antidote for the scorpion's poison, give everything to me. You want to bet or not?" Elder Chen said: "Brother Bao, what you wish to bet?" Bao BuTong said: "Your clan's Elder Lu frame me for stealing, he claim I said the official document which Yi DaBiao brought from Western Xia should be delivered to Beggars Clan's Elders. In reality I never say such things at all, both of us will make a bet. If I really said it, then you win. If I never said it, then I win."
Elder Chen glance quickly at Elder Lu, Song and Wu, three of them nod their heads, their intention similar: "Thousands of people bear witness, no matter how he argue, ultimately it is hard to deny. Just bet with him!" Elder Chen said: "Fine, I will bet with Brother Bao! But I wonder how Brother Bao is going to prove who win or lose? Are you going to invite a few people of good moral standings and virtue to be the impartial judge?"
Bao BuTong shake his head and said: "Not true, not true! You want a few people to be the impartial judge, even if we elect 18 judges, don't tell me other than these 18, the rest of the thousand heroes here, none of them have good moral standings or high virtues? If they don't have good moral standings and virtue, then it means they are despicable and lowly scoundrels? You humiliate all the heroes of the current age, you Beggars Clan is a bit too rude."
Elder Chen said: "Brother Bao likes to make fun of people, I definitely don't have this intention. Base on Brother Bao's opinion, what should we do?" Bao BuTong said: "What is right and wrong, they can be decided with just one sentence, let me analyse for you. Bring it here!" he stretch out his hands. Elder Chen said: "What?" Bao BuTong said: "Cloth sack, scorpion, antidote!" Elder Chen said: "Brother Bao have yet to prove anything, how come you won?" Bao BuTong said: "I am afraid once you lose you will deny and refuse to hand it over." Elder Chen laugh and said: "Only a simple poison, how can it be important? Since Brother Bao wants it then I will offer it immediately, why the need to bet?" Elder Chen removed one of the cloth sack he is carrying, he took out a small porcelain bottle from his bosom and handed both items over.
Bao BuTong took it unabashedly, he open the cloth sack and peer inside it, he saw 7-8 flower mottled scorpions, he close the sack quickly and said: "Now I will show you the evidence, why I won and you lost." he undo his belt and shake his sleeves, he emptied all the items he is carrying, other than a few silvers, flint, etc., there is nothing else. Elder Lu, Song, Chen and Wu don't understand his motive, their expression vacant. Bao BuTong said: "2nd brother, show them the document you are holding."
GongYe Gan is worried about the safety of Murong Bo and his son, however he cannot break through the ' Great Luohan Formation', he can only worry helplessly, he took out the official document and held it in his hand. The crowd look at the document, the document is made of yellow paper and embossed with a cinnabar stamp, the document is packed densely with foreign text, although it is difficult to determine its authenticity but it does not appear to be fake.
Bao BuTong said: "I said previously, Yi DaBiao gave a official document to us, he request us to deliver it to Beggars Clan's Elders. Correct or not?" Elder Lu, Song, Chen and Wu heard him admitting this matter again. They said happily: "Precisely." Bao BuTong said: "However Elder Lu pointed at me and insisted Yi DaBiao gave the document to me, ask me to deliver it to Beggars Clan's Elder. Correct or not?" The Four Elders said in unison: "Yes, what is wrong with that?"
Bao BuTong shake his head and said: "Wrong, wrong! Very wrong, absolutely wrong! The slightest difference leads to a huge error! I said 'us', Elder Lu said 'me'. 'Us' means the group of people from Murong family, including Gentleman Murong, brother Deng, 2nd brother GongYe, 4th brother Feng, Bao BuTong, there is also Miss Wang. As for 'me', it is only Bao BuTong alone, a bachelor who says 'not true, not true'. All the heroes here please take a look, Miss Wang has a face like the moon, she is a sweet and pretty maiden, she is vastly different from the extremely unsightly Bao BuTong, how can you confuse one thing with another?"
Elder Lu, Song, Chen and Wu look at each other in dismay, they never expect him to be punctilious about minutiae of wording, making a huge fuss out of 'us' and 'me'.
Bao BuTong continued: "This piece of document, Yi DaBiao handed it over to my 2nd brother GongYe. I deliver this information to Beggars Clan, all due to young master Murong's decision. It is correct for me to use the phrase 'us'. If I use 'me', then it would not be consistent with the facts. I don't understand Western Xia's writings, why would I take this piece of document? I suffered a huge defeat outside the city of Wuxi, even if I did not come here to seek revenge, I will definitely not deliver this piece of information. In short, taking the document from Western Xia, delivering information to Beggars Clan, all of it done by 'us', the group from Gusu Murong family, it is not 'me' Bao BuTong alone!" he turn his head and said to GongYe Gan: "2nd brother, they lost, keep that piece of document."
Elder Song pondered: "You beat about the bush, ultimately you still can't let go of the defeat and humiliation outside the city of Wuxi." Elder Chen cupped his hands and said: "Previously brother Bao fought with Elder Song's 60 catty steel staff bare handed, brother Bao was already on the verge of victory. Our clan was no match, thus we...we....deployed a formation, but still we cannot cope with brother Bao. At that time our Clan Chief Qiao Feng entered the battle fresh, Qiao Feng's martials arts are solid, his might and prestige shaking the present age, he fought with brother Bao for a long time, with great difficulty he achieve victory over brother Bao with half a move. At that time brother Bao sing out loudly and left, you fought brilliantly, when you left you also went off elegantly, after the event whenever we bring up this matter all of us will discuss enthusiastically, everyone admire and respect you greatly. How come brother Bao is so modest, how did you suffer a defeat by our clan? It did not happen, it definitely did not happen. Qiao Feng no longer have any association with our clan, furthermore he is a public enemy now."
However he did not realize that Bao BuTong like to ramble incoherently, his true intention is in his last sentence, it is not for the defeat or humiliation at the Apricot Forest of Wuxi, it is also not due to the phrase: 'If you have something to say just say it out, if you have fart then fart less'. Bao BuTong immediately seize the opportunity to propose an idea, he said: "Since this is the case, then it cannot be much better. Elder Chen please lead your men, we will fight a common adversary, go and capture Qiao Feng. By then base on our good friendship I will naturally offer you the document with both hands. Old chap if you don't understand the strange writings in the document, my 2nd brother GongYe will repay the favour till the end, from top to bottom, he will translate everything for you, what do you think?"
Elder Chen look at Elder Lu, Song and Wu, he did not know what to do. Suddenly someone shouted out: "This should be the case, why the need to hesitate?"
Everyone look towards the source of the voice, the person is 'Ten Direction Scholar' Quan GuanQing. He is already promoted to the position of 9-pouch elder, he continued: "Liao nation is an enemy of Great Song. Xiao Feng's father Xiao YuanShan claims to hide in Shaolin Temple for many years, stealing martial art secrets from Shaolin. Today if we do not work together to eliminate him, when he return to Liao nation he will surely propagate the martial arts of Central Plains, Khitan will be like a tiger than has grown wings, when they attack Great Song again we Han Chinese will become their slaves."
The crowd of heroes felt his speech is very logical, but XuanCi passed away, Zhuang JuXian had his leg broken, the two main pillars of Central Plains martial art fraternity Shaolin and Beggars Clan are like dragons without head, there is no one who can take charge of the situation.
Quan GuanQing said: "I invite Shaolin's master XuanJi and Beggars Clan's Elder Lu to jointly issue the orders, everyone will listen to their instructions. Kill Xiao YuanShan and Xiao Feng, both father and son, eliminate this great misfortune of Great Song. As for the funeral arrangements, there is no harm in planning slowly." when he saw You TanZhi suffer a complete defeat, he knew he lost his biggest supporter in the clan, the matter of killing Yi DaBiao already leaked out, he is extremely frightened, he desperately hope for another huge crisis so that he can use it to free himself from the blame.
The crowd of heroes shout out continuously: "He is correct, master XuanJi, Elder Lu, please issue the orders."
"This matter concerns the safety of the whole world, both senior should not shrink away from the responsibility."
"We will comply with your orders, kill these two foreign dogs!"
In a split second thousands of men draw out their weapons, 'Ping Ping Pang Pang', there are some who want to attack the 18 Khitan warriors.
Grandma Yu shouted out: "Khitan brothers, please come over here for discussion." the 18 Khitan warrior don't understand Grandma Yu's intention, unexpectedly they did not go over, each one of them holding onto a saber, they stood shoulder to shoulder, they know perfectly well they are heavily outnumbered but they are determined to fight till death. Grandma Yu shouted out: "Eight Divisions of Vulture Palace, protect these 18 friends." the women from all eight divisions rush forward and stood in front of the Khitan warriors, the Cave-Lords and Isand-masters standing alongside as well. Xingxiu disciples eager to render meritorious service for their new owner, they wave flags and shout battle cries, unexpectedly their power is magnificent.
Grandma Yu bow towards XuZhu and said: "Owner, these 18 warriors are the subordinate of your sworn brother, if owner allow their bodies to be hacked randomly it will diminish Vulture Palace's prestige greatly. We will protect them for the time being and await owner to deal them."
XuZhu is devastated by the death of his parents, he did not have any good ideas, he nod his head and said: "My Vulture Palace is a friend of Shaolin, everyone please don't damage this relation, you cannot fight or kill each other."
XuanJi saw the impressive power of Vulture Palace, he knew they are a formidable opponent, after hearing XuZhu's speech, he said: "These 18 Khitan warriors, whether to kill them or not has no relations to the current situation, out of respect for Mr XuZhu we will put aside this matter for the time being. Mr XuZhu, we are going to capture and kill Xiao Feng, you are helping which side?" XuZhu hesitate and said: "I originated from Shaolin, Xiao Feng is my sworn brother, I am indebted to one, kinship with the other. I....I....I won't help either side. But....but....martial grandfather, I advise you to let my elder brother Xiao off, I will advise him not to attack Great Song." XuanJi pondered: "You possess outstanding martial arts, you are also the owner of a sect, but you speak like a 3 year old child." he said: "The phrase 'martial grandfather', Mr XuZhu please refrain from mentioning it again in the future." XuZhu said: "Yes, yes, I forgot."
XuanJi said: "Since Vulture Palace refuse to help either side, then Shaolin will be friends with your noble sect, both parties must not damage this friendly relationship." he turn his head and said to Beggars Clan's Elder Lu: "Elder Lu, why don't we go into my humble temple and take a look?" Elder Lu nod his head and said: "Very good! Brothers, let us go into Shaolin Temple!"
At once Shaolin monks took the lead, Beggars Clan and the crowd of heroes shout loudly and rush up the mountain.
Deng BaiChuan said happily: "3rd brother, you are amazing, ' if you have fart then just let it out', unexpectedly you manage to gather so many competent helpers for our master and young master with this phrase." Bao BuTong said: "Not true, not true! We delay for so long, I wonder what happen to master and young master, they suffer defeat or achieve victory?"
Wang YuYan said anxiously: "Make haste! Stop this 'not true, not true'." while speaking she rush forward quickly, suddenly she saw Duan Yu following alongside her, she said: "Gentleman Duan, you want to help you sworn brother again and make things difficult for my cousin?" there is much resentment in her tone. Moments ago Murong Fu slash his sword to commit suicide, he nearly died, all because of being defeated by Duan Yu and Xiao Feng, being unable to bear this shame and indignation, Wang YuYan is extremely mindful of this matter, she is furious with Duan Yu.
Duan Yu was stumped for words, he stop moving. Ever since he got to know Wang YuYan he have always obeyed all her wishes, he disregard his life and willingly brave danger, he has never seen her treat him with such hostility before, he was panic stricken, his mind in a whirl, after a long time he finally said: "I....it is not my intention to make things difficult for Gentleman Murong. He wants to kill me, you are asking me to let him kill me?" when he raise his head he saw the crowd of heroes had left, Wang YuYan, Deng BaiChuan and the rest had left a long time ago.
He was stumped again, he pondered: "Miss Wang already doubt me, why the need to invite a snub?" however he have second thoughts: "Thousands of people moving forward, attacking elder brother Xiao from all sides, his situation incomparably dangerous. Second brother XuZhu already state he won't help either side, if I don't do my utmost to assist, where is the logic in sworn brotherhood? Even if Miss Wang takes offense, there is nothing else I can do." thus he followed the crowd and rush up the mountain.
Meanwhile, Duan ZhengChun saw Duan YanQing stare coldly at him, at once he grasp his sword hilt and channel his energy to meet the enemy. The various minister of Dali all completely focused as well, they did not mind Duan Yu going somewhere else.
Duan Yu arrive at the main gate of Shaolin Temple, he burst in without further consultation. Shaolin Temple occupy a vast area, there are at least several thousand hall and residence, he saw a crowd of monks and heroes walking around at every hall, shouting and cheering loudly, they are looking for the whereabouts of Xiao YuanShan and Murong Bo as well as their sons. A number of people jump onto the roof, keeping a lookout from high ground, the situation is extremely confusing and chaotic. Everyone pass through the rooms and residence, they rush to and fro, everyone asking: "Where are they? Did you see them?" the stately temple of Shaolin turn into a noisy and messy city area.
Duan Yu walk around randomly, he intend to keep away from the crowd, unexpectedly he walk further and further away and arrive at a desolate grove inside the temple. He saw a bluestone path passing through the grove, he did not think further, he follow the path and walk northwest, he made a few turns and suddenly the scene in front of him became spacious and bright, he heard the sound of water, a pavilion is erected beside a creek, a horizontal inscribed board is hanging on top of the pavilion: "Scripture-Depository Pavilion". Duan Yu pondered: "The Scripture-Depository Pavilion of Shaolin is famous under the heaven, as it turns out it is built at this place. Correct, this pavilion is built facing the water, a far distance away from other buildings, most likely out of fear of fire in the temple destroying these incomparably precious scriptures."
Duan Yu wanted to look for Xiao Feng, suddenly he heard an old voice transmitting from the top of the pavilion: "You saw them heading in which direction?" he recognize the voice as XuanJi's. Another person replied: "Four of us guard this place, that grey-robed monk barge in and hit our sleep acupoints, when martial uncle woke us up that grey-robed monk was missing." another old voice said: "This window is damaged, presumably they are at the rear mountain." XuanJi said: "Correct." the old monk said: "But I wonder if they stole any scriptures in the pavilion?" XuanJi said: "These two hide near our temple for many years, all of us are muddleheaded, none of us manage to detect them, we are really incompetent. If they really want to steal scriptures they could have done it any time for the past years, why the need to wait till today?" the old monk said: "Martial brother is correct." both monks gave a deep sigh.
Duan Yu assume they are discussing shameful matters of Shaolin, it is not convenient for him to eavesdrop, in reality XuanJi and the other monk are speaking softly, but due to Duan Yu's profound internal energy he manage to hear the conversation. Duan Yu walk away slowly, he pondered: "They said brother Xiao went to the rear mountain, I will go take a look."
The rear of Mount Shaoshi is extremely steep, the forest dense and route precipitous, Duan Yu walk for a few li and he can no longer hear the noise from the temple below, the surrounding is quiet, the only sound came from the chirping of birds. Sunlight cannot penetrate through the forest, the air is chilly. Duan Yu pondered: "Elder brother Xiao and his father came to this place, it is easy for them to escape, the crowd of heroes cannot attack them easily." while feeling gratified he suddenly remember Wang YuYan's furious expression, his heart was shaken: "If elder brother kills Gentleman Murong, then.....then what should I do? If Gentleman Murong die, Miss Wang will be inconsolable, she will be depressed forever." if he did not think about Gentleman Murong's death, his chances of marrying Wang YuYan will increase immediately.
He wander despondently in the forest, he thought of Murong Fu, suddenly he thought of Xiao Feng, suddenly he thought of his father, his mother, his uncle, nevertheless he still thought of Wang YuYan the most, especially her furious expression.
He don't know how long his imagination was running wild, suddenly he heard the sound of chanting from the left-hand side: "The Buddha in the heart, the heart in the Buddha, the clear heart knows Buddha, know Buddha with a clear heart, parting from heart is not Buddha, parting from Buddha is not heart....." the voice is deep and peaceful, he never heard it before. Duan Yu pondered: "As it turns out there is a monk here, there is no harm in asking him if he has seen elder brother Xiao." at once he walk towards the voice.
He walk around a bamboo forest, suddenly he saw quite a number of people gathering at a patch of lawn in the forest. A monk with shabby green robe is sitting on top of a rock, the chanting voice is coming from him, a number of people are sitting in front of him, Xiao YuanShan, Xiao Feng, Murong Bo, Murong Fu, as well as senior monks from other temple, several Xuan generation monks from Shaolin, all of them sitting on the ground, their pair of hands joining together, their head lowered and eyebrow drooping, respectfully listening to the monk's teachings. One man is standing 4-5 zhang away, the person is the Grand Tutor of Tubo Jiumozhi; his face revealed a mocking expression, apparently he is unconvinced.
Duan Yu came from a nation of Buddhist, he studied Buddhist doctrine since childhood from eminent monks, thus he have some knowledge on Buddhist scripture and doctrine, however a portion of Dali's Dharma came from the south, classified as Hinayana doctrine, the other portion is Mahayana doctrine from Tubo, belonging to Tantra Buddhism, they are somewhat different from Shaolin's Zen Buddhism, the old monk is reciting Buddhist verse, although the verse is plain but it is logical, Duan Yu pondered: "Look at this old monk's clothes, he is a Shaolin monk, his position extremely low, merely an odd-job worker, how come the senior monks and elder brother Xiao listen to him expound Buddhist teachings?"
Duan Yu walk slowly towards them, he want to look at the appearance of the monk, what kind of person he is. However in order to look at the monk's face he have to stand behind Xiao Feng and the others, he don't dare to disturb them, thus he tread gently and walk roundabout, he arch his body and shrink his feet, as he was about to walk near Jiumozhi, suddenly Jiumozhi turn around and smile faintly at him. Duan Yu return with a smile as well.
Suddenly an extremely violent wind shoot straight at his chest. Duan Yu shouted out: "Aiyo!" he wanted to use ‘Six Meridian Divine Swords’ to resist but there is no time, he felt his chest ached, in his dazed state he heard someone chant: "Emituofo!" he lost consciousness afterwards.
Murong Bo's identity was uncovered by XuanCi, he also revealed his scheme of spreading false information, he was the one who engineered the disaster at YanMen Pass, he knew that not only Xiao father and son desire for revenge, the crowd of heroes will not tolerate him as well, thus he move quickly and rush into Shaolin Temple. There are numerous buildings in Shaolin, he is familiar with the location, no matter where he hide, Xiao father and son will not be able to find him easily. However Xiao YuanShan and Xiao Feng hate him to the bones, they follow relentlessly and tailed closely. Xiao YuanShan is roughly the same age as him, their skills on par with each other, since Murong Bo took the initiative and ran first, it is difficult for Xiao YuanShan to catch up. However Xiao Feng is in his prime of life, his martial arts and internal energy at the peak of perfection, he exert energy and ran swiftly, when Murong Bo reach the gate of Shaolin Temple, Xiao Feng smack his palm several zhang away, the palm force already reach Murong Bo's back.
Murong Bo send out his palm to block, his entire body was jolted, he felt faint aching and numbness in his arm, he cannot help but feel alarmed: "This little Khitan puppy's internal energy is so powerful!" he move sideways and entered the gate. How can Xiao Feng allow him to escape, he quicken his pace to catch up. However Murong Bo already entered within the temple, there are corridors and halls everywhere, although Xiao Feng's palm strength is powerful but he cannot hit him. Three person, one in front two behind, in a short period of time they reached the Scripture-Depository Pavilion.
Murong Bo broke in through the window, in an instant he sealed the sleep acupoints of the four monks who guard the pavilion, he turn around and sneered: "Xiao YuanShan, both father and son come at me together, or we two old man fight one on one till death?" Xiao YuanShan blocked the door and said: "Child, block the window, don't let him leave." Xiao Feng said: "Yes!" he move beside the window, his palm held horizontally across his chest, both father and son close in on the enemy, it is difficult for Murong Bo to escape. Xiao YuanShan said: "You and I have deep hatred, it can only be resolved by death. Previously we fought three times, I was lenient and stop myself from going too far, today I see through your true colours, moreover your made huge progress in your martial arts, naturally we father and son have to join hands and attack together to take your life."
Murong Bo laugh out loud, he was about to reply, suddenly he heard footsteps coming up the staircase, a person came up, it is Jiumozhi. Jiumozhi press his palm together to greet Murong Bo and said: "Mr Murong, after we part I heard Mr Murong depart to Western Paradise, junior monk mourn with bitter heart, as it turns out Mr Murong live in seclusion, you have deep intention, today we meet again, junior monk is extremely happy." Murong Bo cupped his fist to return the greeting, he smile and said: "For the sake of my family and country I have to feign death, it caused undue worries to Grand Tutor, I am deeply ashamed." Jiumozhi said: "I don't deserve such praise, I don't deserve such praise. Junior monk met Mr Murong by chance, we discuss martial arts, I gained guidance from Mr Murong for a few days, my entire lifetime of doubts was resolved, moreover Mr Murong bestowed the essence of Shaolin's 72 Ulitmate Techniques, your kindness engraved deeply in my heart."
Murong Bo smile and said: "This is a trivial matter, why mention it?" he said to Xiao father and son: "Old hero Xiao, great hero Xiao, this divine monk Jiumozhi, he is Tubo's Great Bright Wheel King, his Dharma profound, martial arts far superior to mine, such talent is very rare in the present age."
Xiao YuanShan and Xiao Feng look at each other, they pondered: "Although this foreign monk might not necessarily be stronger than Murong Bo, but he is certainly extremely competent, he have such deep relationship with Murong Bo, naturally he will assist him, it is difficult to predict the outcome of this battle."
Jiumozhi said: "Mr Murong praise me erroneously. Previously junior monk heard Mr Murong talk about sword-play, you consider ‘Six Meridian Divine Swords’ of Dali's TianLong Monastery as the number one sword-art under the heaven, however you have yet to see it and it is the greatest regret of your life. Junior monk learn about the death of Mr Murong, thus I went to Dali's TianLong Monastery to beg for [Six Meridian Divine Swords Manual] to cremate it before Mr Murong's tomb. Unexpectedly old monk Kurong was a crafty rogue, he use his internal energy to burn the sword manual at the critical juncture. Although junior monk is a man of virtue who keep his words, but I was unable to fulfil your wish, I am deeply sorry."
Murong Bo said: "I am already deeply grateful to great master for remembering this promise. Besides Dali Duan family's ‘Six Meridian Divine Swords’ still exist in this world, moments ago Dali's Gentleman Duan fought with my son, the sword energy dominating, its reputation as the number one sword-art under the heaven is indeed well-deserved."
At this moment a shadow flash by, another person appear inside the Scripture-Depository Pavilion, it is Murong Fu. He lag behind by several steps, when he reach the temple he already lost sight of his father and Xiao father and son, he manage to trace their trail to Scripture-Depository Pavilion but Jiumozhi caught up and overtook him. He heard his father mention the matter of Duan Yu's ‘Six Meridian Divine Swords’ defeating him, he cannot help but feel greatly ashamed.
Murong Bo said: "Xiao father and son desire to kill me, great master what is your opinion?"
Jiumozhi said: "We are intimate friends for many years, how can I stand by and do nothing?'
Xiao Feng saw Murong Fu arriving, the situation now turn to three against two, although Murong Fu is somewhat inferior but he cannot be underestimated, it is very likely they will not be able to kill Murong Bo, both Xiao father and son might even die in this Scripture-Depository Pavilion. However Xiao Feng possess heroic bravery, he never allow his own adverse situation to affect him, he shout loudly: "Today's matter can only be resolved by death. Prepare to receive my move!" with a 'Hu' sound he smack his palm quickly at Murong Bo. Murong Bo brush it away with his left hand, he channelled his internal energy, intending to neutralize the incoming palm force. 'Kala la', a bookshelf on the left-hand side broke and turn into splinters, the scriptures on the shelf came crashing down. Xiao Feng's palm force is vigorous and forceful, although Murong Bo manage to brush it away but he was unable to neutralize it, he merely diverted the attack elsewhere and it hit a bookshelf.
Murong Bo smile faintly and said: "Southern Murong, Northern Qiao Feng! Your reputation is indeed well-deserved! Brother Xiao, I have something to say, will you listen or not?" Xiao YuanShan said: "How can I tolerate your flowery speech, don't even think about asking me not to avenge my wife." Murong Bo said: "You want to kill me for revenge, but base on the current situation I am afraid it will not be possible. We have three person, you only have two, may I ask who have a higher chance of winning?" Xiao YuanShan said: "Naturally you have a higher chance of winning. A true man is unfazed by numbers, why the need to fear?" Murong Bo said: "The illustrious name of Xiao father and son is unrivalled, in your entire life have you ever been afraid of anyone? You have no fear, but it will be extremely difficult to kill me today. I want to do a transaction, I will let you fulfil your desire for revenge, however you father and son have to promise me something."
Xiao YuanShan and Xiao Feng pondered: "I wonder what this old thief is planning?"
Murong Bo said: "You father and son only have to promise me something, afterwards you may step forward to kill me for revenge. I will wait for death with hands tied, definitely won't resist, Jiumozhi and my son will not be allowed to save me." when he finish speaking, Xiao father and son are greatly surprised, Jiumozhi and Murong Fu are extremely shock as well. Murong Fu shouted: “Father, we have strength in numbers…..” Jiumozhi also said: “Mr Murong why do you say such a thing? As long as junior monk is breathing, I will never allow anyone to raise a finger at Mr Murong.” Murong Bo said: “Great master’s righteousness, when I have a friend like you, where is the regret even in death? Brother Xiao, I have a matter to consult you. At that time I spread false information, it led to a huge disaster, but does brother Xiao know my true purpose in committing such evil deeds?”
Xiao YuanShan is boiling with rage, he pointed at Murong Bo and cursed: “You are originally a despicable person, breaking the law and committing crimes, rejoicing in other people’s misfortune, what other intention you need to have?” he took 1 step forward, with a ‘Hu’ sound he launch his fist.
Jiumozhi arrive in a flash with both palms blocking, with a ‘Bo’ sound, the fist wind and palm force collided and rush upward, dust on the roof rustled down. In this clash of fist and palm, unexpectedly both are equally matched; both of them admire each other secretly.
Murong Bo said: “Brother Xiao please restrain your anger and listen to me. Brother Xiao have always been residing far north, we are total strangers, naturally there is no hatred and animosity. As for Shaolin’s abbot XuanCi, I have been friends with him for many years. Since I put in utmost effort to incite disharmony on both side, naturally there is a significant underlying reason.”
Xiao YuanShan’s eyes seem to be spitting fire, he shouted: “What reason? Say it, say it!”
Murong Bo said: “Brother Xiao, you are a Khitan. Bright Wheel King Jiumozhi is from Tubo. Fighters from Central Plain, they call you barbarians. Your esteemed son was originally chief of Beggars Clan, martial arts and wisdom shaking the present age, truly a rare talent to emerge from Beggars Clan. But when they learn of his Khitan heritage, they immediately turn hostile, not only they refuse to recognize him as chief, moreover everyone have the desire to kill him. Brother Xiao, do you think it is fair?”
Xiao YuanShan said: “The feud between Song and Liao, two countries at war, it already last more than a hundred year. Beyond the border area, Song and Liao people kill each other at sight, this have always been the case. Since Beggars Clan found out my son is a Khitan, how can they worship an enemy? This is common logic, nothing unfair about it.” He pause for a while and continued: “Abbot XuanCi, Wang JianTong, etc, they killed my wife and subordinate, it is not their original intention. Nevertheless, this matter can be considered a tussle between Song and Liao, nothing surprising, but you set-up this trap, I cannot let you off easily.”
Murong Bo said: “According to brother Xiao, when two countries are at war, they only seek to achieve victory by killing the enemy, do they have to pay particular attention to compassion and integrity?” Xiao YuanShan said: “All is fair in war, this have always been the case. Why are you talking about such irrelevant things?” Murong Bo smile faintly and said: “Brother Xiao, which country you think Murong Bo came from?”
Xiao YuanShan tremble slightly and said: “Your Gusu Murong family, naturally they are Han Chinese from Southern Dynasty, don’t tell me you are foreigner?” Abbot XuanCi is extremely knowledgeable, when Murong Bo dissuade Murong Fu from committing suicide, he already deduce his origin base on his speech. Xiao YuanShan is not aware of historic matters, thus he fail to understand the situation.
Murong Bo shake his head and said: “Brother Xiao guess wrongly.” He turn his head and said to Murong Fu: “Child, which country we came from?” Murong Fu said: “Murong family is Xianbei, the prestige of Great Yan shaking the area north of the Yellow river, we establish a glorious empire, unfortunately our enemies are ruthless, they topple our nation.” Murong Bo said: “I named you with the word ‘Fu’, what is the meaning?” Murong Fu replied: “Father wants me to always remember the wishes of our ancestor, I have to restore Great Yan, take back our nation.” Murong Bo said: “Take out the jade ruler’s seal of Yan nation, let old hero Xiao take a look.”
Murong Fu said: “Yes!” he untie a cloth bag and extract a black jade square seal. A vivid leopard head is carved on top of the seal, Murong Fu turn over the jade seal, revealing the text. Jiumozhi saw the phrase “Treasure of Emperor of Great Yan” engraved on the seal. Xiao father and son don’t understand the text on the seal, nevertheless the jade seal is exquisitely crafted, the corners rather damaged, clearly it is ancient and undergo multiple disaster, although they are unsure of its authenticity but they knew the item is uncommon, definitely not newly crafted object.
Murong Bo said again: “Take out the lineage stave of emperor of Great Yan, let old hero Xiao take a look.” Murong Fu replied: “Yes!” he put the jade seal back into the cloth bag and took out a tarpaulin bag, he open it to reveal a yellow fabric, he raise the fabric with both hands.
Xiao YuanShan saw curvy text written with vermillion ink on the yellow fabric, he don’t understand, clearly it is foreign script. Chinese text is written on the left-hand side, at the top it is written: “Great Ancestor the Cultured Emperor Huihuang” the next part: “Noble Ancestor the Accomplished Emperor Huijun” the next part: “Lonely Emperor Huiwei”. Another line of text written separately: “Generation Ancestor the Successful Martial Emperor Huichui”, the next part: “Noble Forefather Compassionate and Suffering Emperor Huimin”, the next part: “Duke of Kaifeng Huixiang”, “Zhao Emperor Huilin”, the next line: “Middle Forefather the Accomplished Martial Emperor Huisheng”, “Accomplished Literary Emperor Huixi”, etc, posthumous names. As for the year 410, after the execution of Southern Yan Murong Chao, subsequent descendants are all commoner, they are no longer emperor or marquis. The era is long, their offspring gradually increase in numbers, Xiao YuanShan, Xiao Feng, Jiumozhi, three of them are not in the mood to examine it in detail. However they saw the name of the last person on the lineage record: “Murong Fu”, above him is “Murong Bo”.
Jiumozhi said: “As it turns out Mr Murong is a descendant of Emperor of Great Yan, pardon me, pardon me!”
Murong Bo sigh and said: “The nation vanquished and citizen lost, but the chief is safe, it can be considered a major fortune in the disaster. However the wishes of successive generations of ancestor have always been the restoration of Great Yan, Murong Bo is incompetent, I roam around the world for half a lifetime but in the end I achieve nothing. Brother Xiao, my Xianbei Murong family intend to restore our nation, do you think we deserve it?”
Xiao YuanShan said: “The victor becomes the king, the loser becomes the bandit. Many people vie for supremacy in this world, why do you need to mention about deserving or undeserving?”
Murong Bo said: “Enlightening! Brother Xiao’s speech is similar to my intention. If Murong family wants to restore Great Yan, it must take advantage of opportunity. The servants of Murong family are weak, power feeble, how can it be easy to rebuild the nation? The only chance is to cause mass rebellion, endless war and fighting everywhere.”
Xiao YuanShan said gloomily: “You spread false news to sow discord, incite a quarrel between Song and Liao, eventually leading to a great war?”
Murong Bo said: “Precisely, if a war between Song and Liao breaks out, Great Yan will be able to take advantage of the situation. In the past, in the rebellion of the eight kings during Jin dynasty, Sima clan massacre one another, the five non-Han clan took advantage to set up their regime. Today’s situation is also the same.” Jiumozhi nod his head and said: “Correct! If Song dynasty meet with foreign aggressor, civil unrest will break out, not only Mr Murong will have a chance to restore his nation, my Tubo will also get to profit as well.”
Xiao YuanShan snorted coldly, he cast a sidelong glance at these two people.
Murong Bo said: “Your esteemed son is the Lord of Liao’s Southern Chancellery, he commands the military symbol and oversees Nanjing, if he direct his army southward and occupy the Yellow River and North River, he will achieve a glorious deed, he can proclaim himself king and enjoy boundless riches and honour. At that time it will take little effort to round up all the heroes of Central Plains and annihilate them, the hatred of being ousted by Beggars Clan, won’t it be avenged?”
Xiao YuanShan said: “You want my son to work for you, so that you can take advantage of the crisis and fulfil your wild ambition of restoring Yan nation?”
Murong Bo said: “Correct, my Murong family will lead an army and set off from Shandong province, rally behind Great Liao, at the same time Tubo, Western Xia, Dali, we five nation will divide Great Song, its not difficult. My Yan nation don’t dare to take any land from Great Liao, if we get to build a country we will first take from the south. This matter is highly beneficial for Great Liao, brother Xiao what can you have against it?” at this moment he flip his right hand, a glittering dagger appeared on his palm, he stick the dagger beside his body and said: “Xiao father and son only need to comply with my proposal and you can take my life immediately, avenge your wife, I definitely won’t resist.” With a ‘Chi’ sound he tore open his clothe, exposing the skin on the pit of his stomach.
This action is simply beyond the expectation of Xiao father and son, unexpectedly he is willing to die even though he occupied a dominant position, they did not know how to reply.
Jiumozhi said: “Mr Murong, there is a common saying: Those not from my clan, their intention will surely be different. Let alone major decisions pertaining to military or nation, fraud will inevitably occur. Supposing Mr Murong is willing to die, but later Xiao father and son did not go along with Mr Murong’s wishes, then….then won’t you die in vain?”
Murong Bo said: “Old hero Xiao live in seclusion for over 10 years, he rarely makes an appearance in this world. However noble warrior Xiao’s illustrious name is spread across the whole world, his word carries enormous weight, how can he renege on a promise? For the sake of a completely unrelated maiden, he is willing to brave untold dangers, going to JuXian Manor alone to seek treatment, how can he forget the promise after killing me? I deliberated for a long time, this is a once in a lifetime golden opportunity. Old man already has one foot in the grave, exchanging a life for a foundation that can last ages, why not?” his face revealed a smile, he fixed his eyes on Xiao Feng, he hope he can end it quick.
Xiao YuanShan said: “My son, this person’s intention does not seem to be fake, what do you think?”
Xiao Feng said: “Out of the question!” he smack his palm abruptly and hit a wood beam, with a ‘Pipa’ sound the beam broke into multiple pieces, the dagger drop on the ground, he said sternly: “The great hatred of killing my mother, how can it be treated as a business transaction? We will avenge this hatred, if we lose then father and son will simply die here. This kind of filthy transaction, how can we descend to such level?”
Murong Bo look up to the sky and laugh heartily, he said brightly: “I long heard of noble warrior Xiao’s unrivalled ability and sagacity, knowledge and experience extraordinary, but in today’s meeting, unexpectedly you fail to understand the key points, all brawn and no brains, hey hey, laughable, laughable!”
Xiao Feng knew he is trying to provoke with words, he said coldly: “Regardless of whether Xiao Feng is a hero or ordinary folk, I will not fall into your trap and become your murder weapon.” Murong Bo said: “Receiving salary from the emperor, carrying his burden. You are an important minister of Great Liao, but you are fixated on personal grudge, you did not consider your loyalty and duty to your country, aren’t you letting down Great Liao?”
Xiao Feng took a step forward and said resolutely: “Have you see the situation at the borders, the devastating scene of Song and Liao butchering each other? Have you see families from Liao and Song torn apart, the scene of destitute and homelessness? With great difficulty Song and Liao manage to maintain a truce for 10 years, if soldiers are deployed again and Khitan horsemen invade south, have you thought of how many Song people will die? How many Liao people will die in the disaster?” while speaking he recall the cruel scene of Liao and Song soldiers raiding each other outside YanMen Pass, his voice became louder and louder, he continued: “The dangers of war, in this world how can there be a battle with absolute victory? Great Song have many soldiers and deep wealth, they only need 1 or 2 good generals to lead the army, even if Great Liao and Tubo join hands they might not necessarily achieve victory. Killing each other, a river of blood, a mountain of skeleton, all for the sake of letting your Murong family take advantage and restore Yan nation. I am loyal and dedicate myself to Great Liao, my goal is to protect the land and safety of its people, not for personal glory, wealth, taking revenge, killing people, seizing land, rendering a glorious deed.”
When Xiao YuanShan was young, he wholeheartedly devote himself to maintaining the armistice between Song and Liao, listening to his son, he nod his head repeatedly in agreement.
Suddenly they heard an old voice from outside the window: “Excellent, excellent! Lay-Buddhist Xiao is humane and kind-hearted, your concern for all life under the heaven, you truly have the heart of Bodhisattva.
The five of them had a huge shock, how come they did not manage to detect anyone outside? Moreover from his speech, he seems to be standing outside the window for a long time. Murong Fu shouted: “Who is it?” he did not wait for a reply, with a ‘Peng’ sound he smack his palm, two window-pane dislodge from its hinge and drop down.
They saw a wizen monk dress in green-robe, holding a broom and sweeping the corridor. The monk is very old, his sparse long beard completely white, his movement slow and sluggish, lacking in vital energy, he does not appear to possess any martial arts. Murong Fu inquired again: “You have been hiding here for how long?”
The monk lifted his head slowly and said: “Shizu ask me I have been…hiding here….for how long?” five of them fix their eyes on him at the same time, his eyes are blank and vacant, completely without any spirit, however his voice is precisely those that praise Xiao Feng moments ago.
Murong Fu said: “Correct, I ask you how long you have been hiding here?”
The old monk counted with his fingers, after a long time he shake his head, his expression apologetic, he said: “I….I can’t remember clearly, I don’t know if it is 42 years, or is it 43 years. When this senior lay-Buddhist Xiao came to the pavilion for the first time, I…..I already been here for 10 years. Afterwards…..afterwards senior lay-Buddhist Murong also came. Sigh, come and go, the scriptures in the pavilion rummaged till complete mess, I wonder for what purpose.”
Xiao YuanShan was astonished, he assume when he arrive at Shaolin to steal martial arts, none of the temple monks were aware, how come this old monk is aware? Most likely this monk heard his speech outside the temple, thus he talk rubbish, Xiao YuanShan said: “How come I never seen you before?”
The old monk said: “Lay-Buddhist Xiao is completely focused on martial art manuals, no distraction in your heart, naturally you did not see old monk. I remember the first book that lay-Buddhist Xiao came to borrow from the pavilion, “Formless Plundering Finger Manual”, sigh! From that night onwards, lay-Buddhist Xiao entered the demonic path, pity, pity!”
Xiao YuanShan’s shock is truly no small matter, on the first night of sneaking into the Scripture-Depository Pavilion, he found a copy of “Formless Plundering Finger Manual”, he knew it is one of the 72 Ultimate Techniques of Shaolin, his joy indescribable, other than himself this matter is definitely not known to a second person, could it be the old monk was beside him at that time and saw it with his own eyes? He said: “You…..you…..you……”
The old monk continued: “The 2nd time lay-Buddhist Xiao came to the pavilion, you borrowed “Benevolent and Bold Fist Technique”. At that time old monk sigh inwardly, lay-Buddhist Xiao stray deeper and deeper into demonic path, my heart cannot bear it, I place a copy of <Lotus Sutra” and “Za Ahan Sutra” near your usual browsing spot, I hope lay-Buddhist Xiao will borrow it and study attentively to achieve enlightenment. Unexpectedly lay-Buddhist Xiao was engrossed in martial studies, you pay no heed to orthodox Buddhist doctrine, you threw these two sutra to the side and pick up a copy of “Demon Subduing Staff Technique”, you left happily. Sigh, losing oneself in the abyss of suffering, I wonder when you can turn back to the right path?”
Xiao YuanShan heard him speaking plainly, he narrate everything he did during the past 30 years in the Scripture-Depository Pavilion correctly, his shock gradually turn into fear, his fear turn into terror, cold sweat trickle down his back, his heart seems to have stop beating.
The old monk turn his head slowly and look at Murong Bo. Murong Bo look at his lifeless eyes, as if he is seeing yet ignoring, however he seem to be able to see through every single secret hidden deep in his heart, he cannot help but feel his hairs stand up, his entire body felt very uncomfortable. He heard the old monk sigh, the monk said: “Lay-Buddhist Murong is Xianbei, however you reside in Jiangnan for many years, old monk assume lay-Buddhist Murong must have been infected by the literature lifestyle of south, unexpectedly when lay-Buddhist Murong arrive at the Scripture-Depository Pavilion, you discarded the teachings of my forefather, the quotation from successive generations of eminent monks, without exception you abandon them all, you pick up a copy of “Blossom Grasping Finger Method”, you look as if you pick up the most precious treasure in the world. Buying a wooden box and returning the pearls inside, making a fool of oneself for generations. Both of you are very able person in the present age, however you are also capable of such stupid action.”
Murong Bo was overwhelmed with shock, when he entered the Scripture-Depository Pavilion for the first time, the first martial arts manual he spotted was precisely “Blossom Grasping Finger Method”, however he studied the surroundings carefully at that time, he was sure there are no people inside or outside the Scripture-Depository Pavilion, but how come this old monk was able to witness everything personally?
The old monk sigh again and continued: “Lay-Buddhist Murong is far more greedy compared to lay-Buddhist Xiao. Lay-Buddhist Xiao only seek to practice skills that can restrain existing Shaolin’s martial arts, however Lay-Buddhist Murong progressively scan through all Shaolin’s 72 Ulitmate Techniques and made duplicate copies. Presumable for all these years, lay-Buddhist Murong spare no effort to master all 72 Ulitmate Techniques, maybe you already impart some of it to your esteemed son.”
His gaze was directed towards Murong Fu, however he glimpse for a while and shake his head, immediately afterwards his gaze landed on Jiumozhi, he finally nod his head and said: “Correct! Your esteemed son is young, internal energy insufficient; he is unable to practice Shaolin’s 72 Ulitmate Techniques, as it turns out you impart it to this eminent monk from Tubo. Great Bright Wheel King, you are wrong, completely wrong, you wish to be proficient in Shaolin’s 72 Ulitmate Techniques, however you got the sequence in reverse, great catastrophe is looming.”
Jiumozhi has never intrude into Scripture-Depository Pavilion before, he have no respect for this old monk, he said coldly: “What sequence in reverse, great catastrophe is looming? Great master aren’t you using frightening words to scare people?”
The old monk said: “Not using frightening words to scare people. The martial arts of my school originated from ancestor Damo. When Buddhist disciple practice martial art, their purpose is to strengthen their body and keep healthy, protect the law and guard against demons. When practicing any type of martial arts, the practitioner must strive to be merciful and humane. If the practitioner did not use Buddhist doctrine as the foundation, while practicing martial arts they will surely injure their body. The more you train, the heavier the damage. If the skill is merely punching or kicking, weapon art or hidden projectile art, external martial arts, then it is fine, the damage to oneself is extremely minor, with a strong robust body you can still withstand it….”
Suddenly they heard voices coming from downstairs, immediately after there is gentle ‘Tuo’ ‘Tuo’ ‘Tuo’ sound on the stairs, 7-8 monks came up the pavilion. Leading the pack are two Xuan generation monk, XuanYin, XuanSheng, followed by ShenShan, ShenYin, DaoQing, GuanXin, etc, the foreign monks, forming the rear are XuanGou and XuanJing. The group of monks saw Xiao father and son, Murong father and son, Jiumozhi, five people listening calmly to an unknown old monk, they were flabbergasted. This group of monks are people with much self-cultivation and wisdom, they did not step forth to interrupt and merely stood to the side to listen to whatever he has to say.
The old monk pay no heed to the group of monks, he continued: “But if you practice first-class martial arts of my school, for example, ‘Blossom Grasping Finger’, [Duoluo Leaf Finger], ‘Prajna Palm’, etc, if you do not use Buddhist doctrine to harmonise daily, the evil energies will penetrate deep into the inner organs, straying deeper and deeper, such situation is a hundred times more dangerous than whatever kind of external poison. Great Bright Wheel King is a Buddhist disciple, you study Buddhist doctrine intensively, your ability to reason and analyse is unequalled in the current age, but if your heart is not merciful and generous, having no intention to save all living things, although you may submerge yourself in ancient scriptures and engage in brilliant debates, ultimately you still cannot dispel the evil energies accumulated during the study of first-class martial arts.”
The group of monks only heard a few sentence, but they already felt this old monk’s words contain the essential meaning; they have yet to perceive this truth, all of them shiver. A few monks praise in admiration: “Buddha is merciful, excellent, excellent!”
They heard him continue: “My Shaolin temple is established for several hundred years, only ancestor Damo alone mastered the various supreme consummate skill, henceforth not a single eminent monk is able to master different kinds of consummate skill, what is the reason? The manuals to 72 Ultimate Techniques have always been in this pavilion, we never stop our own disciples from flipping through the manuals, Great Bright Wheel King do you know the underlying reason?”
Jiumozhi said angrily: “That is the private business of your precious temple, how will outsiders know of it?”
XuanYin, XuanSheng, XuanGou and XuanJing pondered: “Base on this old monk’s dressing, he is an odd job service monk, how come he have such deep knowledge and cultivation?” although service monk is still part of Shaolin monk, but they only need to take the tonsure, they don’t have to become an apprentice to a master, they do not impart martial arts, no need for meditation or line-up according to generation ranking, other than chanting scripture and worshiping Buddha, they light fire for cooking, farming, sweeping, construction and perform manual labour. There are many monks in Shaolin, XuanYin and the rest are first-class eminent monks in the temple, it is not strange for them to not know these monks, but the old monk’s elegant speech, his transcendent knowledge and experience, they cannot help but be secretly amazed.
The old monk continued: “The 72 Ultimate Techniques of our temple, every skill is capable of injuring a person’s vital points and take a person’s life, extremely vicious and fierce, thus every consummate skill needs to be neutralize with corresponding levels of Buddhist mercy doctrine. However this principle is not known to everyone in Shaolin temple, when a person train his martial arts to very high level, his comprehension of Buddhist logic will inevitably be obstructed. In Shaolin, this is termed ‘hindering of martial studies’, it is similar to ‘hindering of awareness’ of other school or sect. It is important to be aware that Buddhist doctrines serve to save all lives, martial arts serve to kill, both sides run counter to each other, restraining each other mutually. Only with high level of Dharma, an ever flourishing merciful heart, only then you can train your supreme consummate skill to higher level, however senior monks who are able to reach such a state will not care to research different kinds of vicious techniques to kill a person.”
Great Master DaoQing nod his head and said: “Listening to old master’s speech, junior monk experience a flash of insight and all my doubts cleared.” The old monk put his palms together and said: “I don’t dare, if old monk is incorrect I hope everyone can give advice.” The group of monks put their palms together and said in unison: “We invite master to continue your teachings.”
Jiumozhi pondered: “Mr Murong robbed the 72 Ultimate Techniques of Shaolin and leak it outside, the monks from Shaolin must be unwilling but there is nothing they can do, thus they send an old monk to deceive people, they want to trick outsiders and stop them from training their martial arts. Hey hey, is Jiumozhi so easy to be fooled?”
The old monk continued: “Within our temple, naturally there are those with inadequate Dharma but insist on learning many first-class martial arts, but once they start training, they either fire-deviate or suffer incurable internal injuries. Great master XuanCheng from our temple possess extraordinary martial arts, all the senior monks praise him as the number one martial artist to ever emerge from our temple for the past 200 years. However in a single night, his tendons and meridians suddenly snapped, he became a handicapped person, this is the main reason.”
XuanYun, XuanSheng, both of them kneel down simultaneously and said: “Great master, is there any method to save senior martial brother XuanCheng?” the old monk shake his head and said: “It is too late, he cannot be saved. At that time Great master XuanCheng came to the Scripture-Depository Pavilion to choose martial arts manual, old monk reminded him 3 times, but he obstinately persist in going the wrong way. Now his tendons and meridians snapped, how can he continue? In reality, the Five Aggregates are empty, the mortal body sustain injuries, henceforth he cannot train martial arts, but now he can cultivate Dharma diligently and be enlightened, it can be considered a profit from disaster. Two great masters, your view fall short of Great master XuanCheng.” XuanYin, XuanSheng said in unison: “Yes. Many thanks for the enlightenment.”
Suddenly there is 3 light ‘Chi’ ‘Chi’ ‘Chi’ sound, nothing else happen. XuanYin and the rest knew it is Shaolin’s [Formless Plundering Finger], all of them look at Jiumozhi, he already change countenance, however he still force a slight smile.
Jiumozhi was unconvinced, the more he listen the more he refuse to accept, he pondered: “You said Shaolin’s 72 Ultimate Techniques cannot be trained together, but I already mastered quite a few. How come my tendons and meridians never snap and I never turn into a handicapped person?” his pair of hands hidden within his shirt sleeves, he secretly executed [Formless Plundering Finger], he shot it stealthily at the old monk. Unexpectedly when the finger force reach within 3 chi of the old monk, it seems to have hit an extremely soft yet extremely hard protective screen, ‘Chi’ ‘Chi’ ‘Chi’, the finger force disperse completely without a trace, it did not even repel back. Jiumozhi was gobsmacked, he pondered: “This old monk really have some ghostly technique, he is not boasting!”
The old monk seems to be completely unaware, he continued: “Please get up. Old monk run errands for great masters in the temple, the two of you pay such courtesy, how can I accept it?” XuanYin and XuanSheng, both of them felt a gentle force supporting their arms lightly, their body cannot help but spring up on its own, however the old monk did not hold out his hands or brush his sleeves, they were greatly amazed, this kind of divine technique, force arriving to one’s intention, could it be this old monk is the reincarnation of Bodhisattva, if not how come he can wield such remarkable power, Dharma without boundaries?
The old monk continued: “The 72 Ultimate Techniques of our temple, it is divided equally on ‘body’ and ‘usage’, two path, ‘body’ refers to internal energy within the body, ‘usage’ refers to channelling and usage method. Lay-Buddhist Xiao and lay-Buddhist Murong already have first-class internal energy in their body as the foundation, what they came to study is merely the method to using the 72 Ultimate Techniques, although they suffered damage but it have yet to reveal itself prominently. Great Bright Wheel King must have practiced Carefree Sect’s ‘Minor Formless Skill’ correct?”
Jiumozhi was startled again, he secretly practice Carefree Sect’s ‘Minor Formless Skill’, nobody is aware of it, but how come this old monk is able to tell? However he felt at ease immediately: “Moments ago XuZhu fought with me, he also use ‘Minor Formless Skill’. Most likely XuZhu told him, how can it be strange?” he said: “‘Minor Formless Skill’, although it is of Taoist origins but there are quite a few Buddhist disciple who practice it, it has evolved and incorporate the essence of Buddhism and Taoism. Even in your precious temple there is no lack of experts in such art.”
The old monk appeared to be slightly amazed, he said: “There is someone in Shaolin who knows ‘Minor Formless Skill’? Old monk is hearing it for the first time.” Jiumozhi pondered: “You are dressing up as God to deceive people, you acting skill is really good.” Jiumozhi smile faintly and said nothing. The old monk continued: “‘Minor Formless Skill’ is subtle and profound, it can be used to execute the martial arts of any sect or school, using it as the foundation, it is possible to perform all 72 Ultimate Techniques, however there will inevitably be minute deviation from the actual skill.”
XuanSheng turn towards Jiumozhi and said: “Bright Wheel King claims to be proficient in our temple’s 72 Ultimate Techniques, as it turns this is your proficiency.” His speech is sarcastic. Jiumozhi feign deaf, he did not reply.
The old monk continued: “If Bright Wheel King only studied the methods to using Shaolin’s 72 Ultimate Techniques, your injuries will be latent, although it will cause trouble eventually but for a period of time it will not endanger your inner organs. But presently your ‘Chengqi acupoint’ is showing vermillion colour, your ‘Wenxiang acupoint’ revealed faint purple cloud, the muscles in your ‘Jiache acupoint’ is vibrating, all these signs indicate that after Bright Wheel King practice Shaolin’s 72 Ultimate Techniques, you attempt to master it by combining multiple skills into one…..” he pause and shake his head slightly, his eyes revealed great sadness and pity.
After learning Shaolin’s 72 Ultimate Techniques, Jiumozhi felt there are too many types of skill, it would be better to combine skills that are similar into one, however when he start combining he felt agitated and impatient, his mind muddled and confuse, it is hard to pin down the problem, could it be the old monk is telling the truth, that he got the sequence in reverse and great catastrophe is looming? He had second thoughts: “It is common for a practitioner to fire-deviate when their training failed, however I am proficient in the secrets of internal and external martial arts, how can I be compared with an ordinary person? This old monk is just boasting, If I believe his ruse then Jiumozhi’s illustrious reputation will turn into nothing.”
The old monk saw a worried expression on Jiumozhi’s face initially, however his eyebrow straighten immediately, his expression became perverse and conceited again, evidently he ignored his speech, he sigh lightly and said to Xiao YuanShan: “Lay-Buddhist Xiao, your ‘Liangmen acupoint’ and ‘Taiyi acupoint’, have you been feeling faint aching lately?” Xiao YuanShan’s entire body is trembling, he said: “Divine monk is wise, it is as stated.” The old monk continued: “The numbing sensation in your ‘Guanyuan acupoint’, how is it recently?” Xiao YuanShan was even more amazed, his voice trembling: “10 years ago this numbing sensation was merely the size of a little finger, but now….now it is the size of a tea cup.”
When Xiao Feng heard it he knew these 3 vital acupoints on his father is showing symptoms, it must be due to the training of Shaolin’s consummate skill, from his speech these symptoms disturb him for many years and he cannot remove it, now it turn into a major worry, at once he took 2 steps forward, he kneel down and prostrate himself before the old monk and said: “My father’s illness is deep, I implore for mercy and help.”
The old monk put his palms together to return the courtesy, he said: “Shizu please get up. Shizu is humane and virtuous, you worry for all common people under the heaven, you refuse to let personal grudge damage the relationship between Song and Liao, such humanity and righteousness, no matter what request you have old monk will certainly carry it out. There is no need to be overly courteous.” Xiao Feng was elated, he kowtow twice and stood up. The old monk sigh again and said: “Senior Xiao shizu killed excessively and harm the innocent, Qiao SanHuai husband and wife, Great master XuanKu, you should not have killed them.”
Xiao YuanShan is a Khitan hero, although he is old but he is still uncouth and boorish, when he heard the criticizing remarks of the old monk he said brightly: “Old man is fully aware of my serious injuries, I am over 60 years old, my son is an adult now, even if I die now where is the regret? Divine monk wants old man to repent and admit my mistake, that I absolutely cannot do.” The old monk shake his head and said: “Old monk don’t dare. Repenting and admitting mistakes should come naturally from one’s heart, only then it is significant, if other people demand it there is no benefit at all. Senior shizu’s injuries are due to the training of Shaolin’s martial arts, the method to resolving must come from Buddhist doctrine.”
When he finish speaking he turn towards Murong Bo and said: “Senior Murong shizu face death with equanimity, naturally you don’t need old monk to dissuade you. However old monk wish to give some advice so that senior shizhu can eliminate ‘Yangbai’, ‘Lianquan’, ‘Fengfu’, the pain of thousand needles you experience 3 times a day on these acupoints, what do you think?”
Murong Bo change countenance, he cannot help but tremble slightly. His ‘Yangbai’, ‘Lianquan’ and ‘Fengfu’ acupoints, every morning, noon and midnight, he experience the pain of thousand needles piercing, the pain is truly unbearable, no matter what medication or elixir he consume it had absolutely no effect at all. Whenever he channel his internal energy the piercing pain will penetrate deep into his marrow. He experience this kind of pain daily, where is the joy in living? For the past few years his suffering became more difficult to deal with, thus he willingly seek death in exchange for Xiao Feng’s promise to send troops to attack Song nation, although he claims it is for the purpose of restoring Great Yan but part of the reason is also due to his desire to rid himself of this unpleasant aliment as it is simply too difficult to bear. Currently the old monk narrate the cause of his illness, his shock is truly no small matter. Base on his profound martial arts even if there is a sudden clap of thunder in bright day light he will be completely unfazed. However just a few simple sentence from the old monk is sufficient to make his heart jump in fear and trepidation, his terror endless. His body tremble twice, the violent pain in his ‘Yangbai’, ‘Lianquan’ and ‘Fengfu’ acupoints flare-up again. Originally it is not the time for the pain to flare-up, however his mind was shaken and the pain burst forth abruptly, thus he have no choice but to grit his teeth and bear with the pain forcefully.
Murong Fu is aware of his father’s competitive nature, he rather die than be humiliated by others, moreover he does not want to be like Xiao Feng, kneeling and begging the old monk for his father’s treatment, he cupped his hands towards Xiao father and son, he said: “The green hills will never change, clear water will always flow, we have to leave now for the time being. If you want to seek us for revenge, we will wait respectfully at Gusu Basin of Swallow’s Canhe Manor. He held out his right hand towards Murong Bo and said: “Father, let us go now!”
The old monk said: “Unexpectedly you have the heart to make your esteemed father suffer this bone piercing pain?”
Murong Fu’s complexion turn deathly pale, he pull his father’s hand and start to walk away.
Xiao Feng shouted: “You want to leave? You think you can be let off so lightly? Your father is ill, a real man does not take advantage of other’s precarious position, I will let him off for the time being. But you have no illness or pain!” Murong Fu’s anger rush forth, he shouted: “Then I will simply receive brother Xiao wise move!” Xiao Feng did not waste time speaking, with a ‘Hu’ sound, he executed a move from ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’, "Meeting Dragon at the Field", and smack his palm violently at Murong Fu. Xiao Feng knew the space in Scripture-Depository Pavilion is narrow, there are many experts around, it is not convenient to prolong this fight, thus he put in 100% of his power in order to kill his enemy within a few moves. Murong Fu saw the incoming palm force is violent, he summoned all his strength and prepare to use ‘Star Shifting Movement’ to neutralize.
The old monk put his pair of hands together and said: “Emituofo, this place is a sacred Buddhist site, shizhu must not act rashly.”
Just by putting his palms together, an invisible barrier appeared between Xiao Feng and Murong Fu. Xiao Feng’s earth shattering palm force crash into this barrier and disappeared without a trace in an instant.
Xiao Feng trembled with fear, ever since he became an accomplished martial artist, he has never lost to anyone in terms of martial arts, he knew that this old monk’s internal energy is far stronger than his own, the gap is simply too wide, since the old monk intervened he will not be able to take revenge today. His father’s internal injuries came to his mind, he bow and said: “I am an uncouth commoner with no proper etiquette, I offended divine monk, please forgive me.”
The old monk smile and said: “You are too kind, you are too kind. Old monk really respect Xiao shizhu, you truly have the bearings of a great hero, Xiao shizhu is fully deserving of your reputation.” Xiao Feng said: “The sins committed by my father are all due to me, I beg divine monk to treat him, I will receive the guilt for the sins, ten thousand deaths will not stop me.”
The old monk smile faintly and said: “Old monk said it before, to treat senior Xiao shizhu’s internal injuries, it must come from Buddhist doctrine. Buddha is born from the heart, Buddha is awareness. Outsiders can only advice, they cannot perform in place. I wish to ask senior Xiao shizhu: If you have the ability to treat injuries, the internal injuries of senior Murong shizhu, you willing to treat it for him?”
Xiao YuanShan was startled, he said: “I…..senior Murong…..I perform treatment for that old fellow?” Murong Fu shouted: “Watch your mouth!” Xiao YuanShan gnash his teeth and said: “Murong old fellow killed my beloved wife, destroy my entire life. I want to hack him into thousand pieces, turn him into mincemeat.” The old monk said: “If senior Murong shizhu does not meet with a violent death in front of you, you cannot eliminate this hatred?” Xiao YuanShan said: “Correct. For the past 30 years, day and night, old man only thought about this blood debt.”
The old monk nod his head and said: “Then it is simple.” He stroll forward, extend his hand and smack the top of Murong Bo’s head.
Initially when Murong Bo saw the old monk move forward he pay no attention, when the monk extend his hand and smack the top of his head he raised his left hand quickly to block, he was afraid his opponent’s martials arts are excessively powerful, thus when he raised his hand his body immediately float backwards. The martial arts handed down by his Murong family is already extremely profound, after the study of Shaolin’s 72 Ultimate Techniques, it is like a tiger that has grown wings, this raising of hand to block, body floating backwards, it may appear simple and nothing unusual, but in reality the defensive move is tight and elegant, it can be said to be the highest limits of perfection, there cannot be anything better. Everyone in the pavilion are all martial art experts, when they saw him execute these two moves they applaud secretly, even Xiao father and son cannot help but admire greatly.
But who would have expect the old monk’s palm to land softly, with a ‘Bo’ sound it hit right at the middle of Murong Bo’s forehead, above the ‘Baihui acupoint’. Murong Bo’s body tremble violently, his breathing stop immediately and he collapsed.
Murong Fu was startled, he rush forward to support and shout: “Father, father!” however his father’s eyes are shut, no air coming from his nostril, he hastily hold out his hand to touch his chest, the heart stop beating as well. Murong Fu felt a mix of anger and sadness, he never expect this old monk who keeps talking about merciful heart and Dharma to commit such evil act, he shouted: “You….you…..you old bald thief!” he lean his father’s body against a pillar, his body flew forward, he thrust both palms violently at the old monk.
The old monk did not appear to see it and ignored him completely. When Murong Fu push his palms within 2 chi of the old monk, suddenly he collide with an invisible energy wall, he seems to have bump into a fishing net, although the palm force is violent but it have no place to land, the force rebound off the invisible wall and hit a bookshelf. The incoming force is violent, naturally the counter-force must also be extremely powerful, however his palm force was completely dissipated by the invisible wall, afterwards he was pushed away lightly, thus when his back hit the bookshelf, the bookshelf did not topple over, moreover not a single book drop down from the pile of scriptures on the bookshelf.
Murong Fu is extremely astute, although he is distressed by his father’s death, but he knew the old monk’s martials arts are more than 10 times higher, even if he use his full strength there is nothing he can do against him, at once he lean against the bookshelf and pretend to gasp for breath continuously, in his mind he plot secretly on how to catch him off guard with a sneak attack.
The old monk turn towards Xiao YuanShan and said dimly: “Senior Xiao shizhu wish to witness the violent death of senior Murong shizhu personally to quell the hatred in your heart. Now senior Murong shizhu is dead, senior Xiao shizhu must be calm now?”
Xiao YuanShan saw the old monk kill Murong Bo with a single strike, originally he was incomparably astonished, but when he heard his query his heart cannot help but feel empty, he was speechless.
For the past 30 years, he rack his brain endlessly, he want to avenge his wife, the hatred of having his son taken away. He hid in the vicinity of Shaolin temple, he found out that XuanCi is the chief person who killed his wife, however he did not want to kill him in secret, he intend to use a cruel method to avenge this blood debt publicly, afterwards he found out that abbot XuanCi had an illicit relationship with Ye ErNiang, he had a son, thus he snatch the son away from Ye ErNiang and let both of them experience the pain of losing their son. He killed all the heroes from Central Plains who participated in the massacre at YanMen Pass, even great master XuanKu and Qiao SanHuai husband and wife was killed by him, later he announced the adultery between XuanCi and Ye ErNiang to the crowd of heroes, make him lose all his reputation, it can be said he managed to complete his revenge thoroughly. But soon after he learn about identity of the crafty villain who spread false news which led to the disaster, the person also hid beside Shaolin temple and fought 3 times with him, Murong Bo, Xiao YuanShan’s heart was filled with anger and directed his anger entirely on Murong Bo, he cannot wait to feed on his flesh and strip his skin, pluck his tendon and cook his bones. Who would have imagined the sudden appearance of a nameless old monk, seemingly without much effort he killed this great enemy with a single palm. In an instant he felt as if his body in high in the clouds, fluttering lightly, the world seems to have no place for him.
When Xiao YuanShan was young his heroism soared to the clouds, he mastered a superb set of martial arts, but because his revered teacher is a Han Chinese from the south, when he took up the post of military drill master of Liao’s Coral Army, he offered advice to Liao emperor and Empress Dowager repeatedly and advocate a solid alliance between Song and Liao, he dispelled many great war and disaster between Song and Liao, his wife is his childhood sweetheart, both of them love each other deeply, soon after their marriage they had a son, his mind became clear and bright, his spirit high and vigorous. Unexpectedly a strange twist of events occurred at YanMen Pass, he did not die after falling into the valley, but he became a completely different person, what glorious undertaking, fame and position, everything appeared insignificant before his eyes, day and night he only think about how to kill his enemy to avenge this great hatred. Originally he was a simple and bold hero, when his heart was filled with hate, unexpectedly he became more and more perverse. He lived near Shaolin temple for over 10 years, hiding by day and coming out at night, he practice martial arts diligently, on a year-to year basis he never spoke more than 2 sentence with others, his temperament undergo a huge change.
Now the great hatred finally avenged, it is reasonable to say that he should be extremely happy, however he only felt indiscernible loneliness and desolation, he felt there is nothing left in this world for him to do, no purpose in being alive. He look askance at Murong Bo who is leaning against the pillar, Murong Bo’s expression is gentle, a faint smile can be seen from the corner of his mouth, he seems to be much happier dead than alive. Xiao YuanShan felt a faint sense of envy at Murong Bo’s good fortune, death ends all trouble, everything written off with 1 stroke. He felt bleakness in his heart: “The great enemy is dead, I completed my revenge. But where should I go? Return to Great Liao? To do what? Live in seclusion at YanMen Pass? To do what? Bring Feng-er and roam about the world, drifting the four seas? For what purpose?”
The old monk said: “Senior Xiao shizhu, where you want to go, you may go now.” Xiao YuanShan shake his head and said: “I….where should I go? There is no place for me to go.” The old monk said: “I killed senior Murong shizhu, you did not avenge it personally, thus you must have some regret, correct?” Xiao YuanShan said: “No! Even if you did not kill him, I also don’t want to kill him.” The old monk nod his head and said: “Correct! But this young hero Murong is distressed by his father’s death, he will seek old monk and you for revenge, what should we do?”
Xiao YuanShan was dispirited, he said: “Great monk act on my behalf, if young hero Murong wants revenge, he can simply kill me.” He sigh and said: “It is a good thing if he comes to kill me. Feng-er, return back to Great Liao. We completed our work here, this is the end of the journey.” Xiao Feng shouted: “Father, you……….”
The old monk said: “If young hero Murong kills you, your son will surely kill young hero Murong for revenge, this endless revenge and hatred, when will it end? Why not let me bear all the guilt in this world!” he took one step forward, raised his palm and smack towards the top of Xiao YuanShan’s head.
Xiao Feng was startled, since this old monk can kill Murong Bo with a single palm, he is certainly capable of killing his father, he shout loudly: “Stop!” he push out with both palm and smack violently towards the old monk’s chest. Originally he had complete reverence towards this old monk, however for the sake of saving his father he can only go all out with his full strength. The old monk extend his left palm and block the incoming force from Xiao Feng’s twin palm, his right palm is still directed towards the top of Xiao YuanShan’s head.
Xiao YuanShan did not even think about resisting, he saw the old monk’s right palm is about to hit his forehead, suddenly the old monk shout loudly, his right palm change direction and strike towards Xiao Feng.
Xiao Feng’s twin palm is locked in stalemate with the old monk’s left palm, suddenly he saw the old monk’s right palm turn around and attack him, at once he extract his left palm to block, at the same time he shouted out: “Father, leave quickly, leave quickly!” unexpectedly the old monk’s right palm change direction midway, it is an empty move, its purpose is to divert a palm away from Xiao Feng’s twin palm so as to reduce the power directed at his own body. When Xiao Feng move his left palm, the old monk immediately circle his right palm, with a light ‘Bo’ sound he hit the top of Xiao YuanShan’s head.
At this moment, Xiao Feng’s right palm arrived, with a ‘Peng’ sound it land heavily on the old monk’s chest. The old monk smile faintly and said: “What a fine skill!” when he blurt out the word ‘skill’ he immediately spurt a mouthful of blood.
Xiao Feng was stumped, he rush over to support his father, however his breathing had stopped, his heart no longer beating, he is already dead, Xiao Feng was overcame by sorrow momentarily, he did not know what to do.
The old monk said: “It is time, we should leave!” his right hand grab hold of the back of Xiao YuanShan’s neck, his left hand grab hold of the back of Murong Bo’s neck, he opened up his stride, unexpectedly he seems to be walking on empty air, he took a few steps and step out of the window.
Xiao Feng and Murong Fu shouted in unison: “You….what you doing?” both of them thrust out their palm at the old monk’s back. Moments ago both of them have irreconcilables differences, both parties cannot coexist together, currently their fathers met with the same disaster, unexpectedly they share the same anger and enemy, they join hands and attack the enemy together. The power of their palm combines together, its strength gigantic. Under the influence of their palm wind, the old monk is like a kite and flew forward by several zhang, his pair of hands still holding onto both corpses, three bodies as light as feather as if not made of flesh and blood.
Xiao Feng leap up quickly and give chase outside the window, he saw the old monk holding onto two corpses, running straight up the mountain. Xiao Feng hasten his footsteps, he assume he would be able to catch up with just a few steps, unexpectedly the old monk’s lightness martials arts are strange, he has never seen it before in his life, the old monk seems to possess some kind of sorcery. Xiao Feng spare no effort to give chase, he felt the incoming wind is like a blade scraping his face, he knew his movement speed is already strangely quick, however the old monk is still 2-3 zhang away from him, he thrust out his palm repeatedly but it just hit empty air.
In the desolate mountain the old monk suddenly made a turn east and shift west, he arrive at a flat land in the middle of a forest, he put the two corpse underneath a tree, their legs crossed and sitting down, he himself sitting behind the two corpse, his two palm separately pressing against the back of the two corpse. As he sat down, Xiao Feng so happen to arrive as well.
Xiao Feng saw the old monk is acting strangely, thus he did not step forward to attack. He heard the old monk said: “I carry them and make them run around for a while to help circulate their blood.” Xiao Feng was flabbergasted, let a dead person circulate blood, what is the purpose? He blurted out: “Circulate their blood?” the old monk said: “Their internal injuries are too serious, they have to enter a sleeping state where they stop breathing, only then the treatment can be administered.” Xiao Feng’s heart was shaken: “Don’t tell me my father is still alive? He….he is treating my father’s injuries? Where is the logic in killing someone before providing treatment?”
Not long after, Murong Fu, Jiumozhi, XuanYin, XuanSheng, ShengShan, etc, they arrived as well, they saw white smoke emitting from the top of the head of the two corpses.
The old monk spin both corpse around, face to face, the corpse’s hands grasping each other mutually, Murong Fu shouted: “You…you….what you doing?” the old monk did not reply, he walk slowly around the corpses, his hands smacking repeatedly, sometimes he hit Xiao YuanShan’s “Dazhui acupoint”, sometimes he hit Murong Bo’s “Yuzhen acupoint”, however the smoke emitting from the top of the head of the two corpses are getting thicker.
After the time needed to drink a cup of tea, Xiao YuanShan’s body and Murong Bo’s body tremble slightly at the same time. Xiao Feng and Murong Fu was pleasantly surprised, they shouted: ‘Father father!” Xiao YuanShan and Murong Bo open their eyes slowly, they glance at each other and close their eyes immediately. However Xiao YuanShan’s face is bright red, faint green light is emitting from Murong Bo’s face.
At this moment everyone finally understood, moments ago when the old monk attacked the two men at the Scripture-Depository Pavilion, he merely halt their breathing and stop their heart form beating temporary, its truly a high-level method for treating serious internal injuries. People with profound internal energy will often train [Turtle Breathing Skill], that is only voluntary stoppage of breathing, however to hit someone else to stop their breathing and yet not kill them, that is truly unimaginable. Since this old monk had good intentions he could have notified in advance, why the need to play this big joke and cause Xiao Feng and Murong Fu to be alarmed and angry, moreover he even have to suffer a palm strike from Xiao Feng and spurt blood? Everyone still had doubts and suspicions, however seeing the old monk launch his palm repeatedly with rapt attention, nobody dare to make any inquiry.
Xiao YuanShan and Murong Bo’s breathing became louder and heavier gradually, soon after Xiao YuanShan’s complexion turn red, eventually reaching a point where it is about to start dripping blood, Murong Bo’s complexion however became more and more green, his oily green complexion is extremely terrifying. The spectators by the side knew that one of them is suffering from excessive yang energy, clashing of excess internal heat, the other however is suffering from excessive yin energy, chill trapped internally. XuanYin, XuanSheng and DaoQing, they carried miracle medicine for treatment of injuries, however they did not know how to prescribe the correct cure for the illness.
Suddenly the old monk shouted out: “Duo! Four hands grasping mutually, inner breath answering one another, using yin to subdue yang, using yang to neutralize yin. The great ambition to rule, sea of blood deep in hatred, return everything to dust, disappear into nothingness!”
Originally Xiao YuanShan and Murong Bo’s hands are gripping each other, listening to the old monk shout out, they cannot help but tighten their grip, their own inner breath rush towards each other, abundance filling up the deficient, individually the redness disappear and the green decline, they turn pale white, after a while their complexion became normal, they open their eyes simultaneously and smile at each other.
Xiao Feng and Murong Fu saw their fathers smile, both of them are comforted beyond description. Xiao YuanShan and Murong Bo stand up together hand in hand, they kneel down in front of the old monk at the same time. The old monk said: “Both of you from life till death, from death till life, you walk once through, do you still have anything that you are unable to let go of? If you died just now, do you still have the intention to restore Great Yan, or to avenge your wife?”
Xiao YuanShan said: “Disciple wasted 30 years staying in Shaolin temple, I did not have the slightest compassionate heart of a Buddhist disciple, I earnestly request master to accept me.” The old monk said: “You do not wish to avenge your wife anymore?” Xiao YuanShan said: “Disciple killed more than a hundred people in my entire life, if the family members of those that I killed came to demand vengeance, even if disciple dies a hundred times, it is still not enough.”
The old monk turn around and said to Murong Bo: “And you?” Murong Bo smile faintly and said: “The life of a peasant is dust, the life of a monarch is also dust. To restore Great Yan is just emptiness, not restoring Great Yan is also emptiness.” The old monk laugh out loudly and said: “You have achieved supreme enlightenment, excellent, excellent!” Murong Bo said: “I beseech master to accept me as disciple to enlighten me further.” The old monk said: “Both of you want to become a monk, you have to first request tonsure from the great masters of Shaolin temple. I have a few things to say, there is no harm in telling you.” At once he sat upright to expound Buddhist teachings.
Xiao Feng and Murong Fu saw their father kneeling down, immediately after they followed and kneel down as well. XuanYin, XuanSheng, ShenShan, ShenYin, DaoQing, etc, they listen to the old monk explain the exquisite point of Buddhist teachings, they cannot help but be delighted, their respect and admiration slowly arose, each and every one kneel down as well.
When Duan Yu arrived, he heard the old monk explaining the finer points of Buddhism, he only want to go round and look at the old monk’s appearance, unexpectedly Jiumozhi made a sneak attack, his chest was hit by ‘Blazing Saber Skill’.
- End of Chapter 43 -