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Demi Gods & Semi Devils Book 4
XXXIV - Strong winds, throwing Piaomiao Peak into turmoil
Chinese title: 天龍八部 - 风骤紧 缥缈峰头云乱Original novel written by Jin Yong (Louis Cha)
Wuxia Novel Fan Translation by darksinz
Chapter 34: Wind Gather Closely, Disordered Cloud At Misty Peak
Suddenly someone shouted at the middle of the mountain: “You cannot do it, you definitely must not injure Miss Wang, I will surrender to you.” His gray shadow seemed to fly down and rushed over; his movements were extremely quick and agile. The people standing outside the encirclement cursed in unison. They moved forward to block him, but he turned to the east and dodge to the west, he avoided everyone and threw himself forward. Wang YuYan saw everything clearly under the flame, it was Duan Yu.
Duan Yu shouted: “Isn’t it easy to surrender? For Miss Wang, if you want me to surrender a thousand times, ten thousand times I will also agree.” He rushed in front of the Toutuo and shouted: “Hello, hello, everyone please let go, why are you grasping Miss Wang?”
Wang YuYan knew his martials arts were sometimes on and sometimes off, more often than not it was off, but he still disregarded his life and came forward to rescue. She felt grateful, her voice trembled: “Duan.... Gentleman Duan, its you?”
Duan Yu said happily: “It’s me, it’s me!”
The Toutuo cursed: “You.... what thing are you?”
Duan Yu said: “I am human, what thing?” The Toutuo flipped his hand and formed a fist, with a ‘Pa’ sound he hit Duan Yu’s chin. Duan Yu couldn’t maintain his footing and tumbled to the left, his forehead bumped against a rock, immediately fresh blood flowed out.
When the Toutuo saw his lightness martial art (qinggong), he assume Duan Yu possessed extremely strong martial arts. His fist technique was fake and he did not think it could hit him. After punching Duan Yu, his right hand held onto the Buddhist monk’s knife and immediately executed three moves; these moves were genuine and intended to kill. Unexpectedly his left fist managed to knock Duan Yu down with an empty move, he was stunned. At the same time Duan Yu’s internal energy counter-attacked and his left arm felt numb, luckily the punch was light, so the counter-force was not strong. The Toutuo saw that Murong Fu was still rushing and killing, he shouted: “Murong chap, if you don’t surrender I will really chop of this little girl’s head. Great Buddha will never lie, will you surrender or not!?”
Murong Fu felt really troubled, he could not bear to let Wang YuYan die by the hands of these demonic people, but the ‘Gusu Murong’ name was incomparably respected, he could not cave in to other people’s threats and surrender to heretical people; this would become gossip and everyone would ridicule him. Moreover, if he surrendered, he would mostly probably die as well. He shouted loudly: “Evil Toutuo, you want Young Master to surrender, it’s very difficult. If you dare harm a hair on this lady, if I don’t dismember you into thousand pieces then I am not human!” As he finished speaking he rushed towards Wang YuYan, however around twenty people wielded their weapons and stabbed left and right, they blocked his front and attacked his back; how can he break out in such a short time?
The Toutuo said angrily: “I will kill this little girl, I will see how you are going to deal with Great Buddha?” As he finished speaking he raised his knife, with a ‘Hu’ sound he chopped towards Wang YuYan’s neck. The two women holding onto Wang YuYan feared getting implicated, they quickly released their grip and jumped away.
Duan Yu was struggling to get up, his left hand pressing onto the wound on his forehead, his expression really pathetic. He saw the Toutuo really chopping his knife at Wang YuYan, but she just stood there motionless; maybe she was in shock or her acupoint was sealed, she did not dodge at all. Duan Yu was extremely anxious, in a moment of desperation his internal energy automatically became abundant and vigorous. He immediately executed his ‘Six Meridians Divine Sword’, with a ‘Chi Chi’ noise, there was a ringing sound as his internal energy struck the Buddhist monk’s knife and shot it down.
Duan Yu quickly rushed forward, he turned his hand and put Wang YuYan on his back and shouted: “Run for your life!”
The Toutuo grabbed the knife off the ground, he roared ferociously and hacked the knife at Duan Yu. Duan Yu was alarmed, he quickly pointed his right hand, there was a ‘Chi’ sound, his ‘Shang Yang Sword’ thrust straight at the knife, the knife was jolted and dropped on the ground again. Duan Yu executed his ‘Graceful Steps Upon the Waves’ and dashed outward.
Everyone rallied and rushed forward to block him. But Duan Yu slanted left and tilted right, he moved in a zigzag manner and rushed out. All the Cave-Lords and Island-Lords sent their weapons, fists and kicks at him, but Duan Yu dodged swiftly, he wasn’t hit at all. For the past few days, all he ever thought of was Wang YuYan, even while dreaming he only saw Wang YuYan. At night, he chatted with Fan Hua, Ba TianShi and the rest at an inn, as he was about to go to bed, he kept thinking about Wang YuYan, how could he fall asleep? Thus in the middle of the night, when everyone was asleep, he secretly snuck out of the inn and followed the direction taken by Murong Fu and his party and chased after them. After the dramatic battle between Murong Fu and Ding ChunQiu, Murong Fu accompanied Deng BaiChuan and recuperated at an inn, thus Duan Yu did not spend much effort and managed to catch up with him. Duan Yu hid himself in another room, he did not step out of the room at all, he was separated from Wang YuYan by merely a few zhang, he felt really delighted. By the time Murong Fu, Wang YuYan and the rest left the inn and travelled on the road, Duan Yu followed them from a distance.
While travelling, he said to himself countless times: “After this road, I should not follow them anymore. Duan Yu ah Duan Yu, you really trap yourself and refuse to extricate yourself, you really waste your time studying literature. You should act in the nick of time, it’s best to turn around and head back to shore, you should brandish your wisdom sword and severe your thread of passion, otherwise you will sacrifice your entire life for nothing. There is a saying in Buddhist scripture: ‘View sex as variable, distance away from it, as your desire wane, your heart will be free. Sex is variable, variable is suffering, suffering is not you. Loathe sex, loathe the reason for unhappiness, free yourself from unhappiness.’”
But to view Wang YuYan’s ‘sex’ as ‘variable’, ‘loathe and distance away from it’, how can he do it? His footsteps were extremely light and swift; he followed Wang YuYan at a distance. Unexpectedly Murong Fu, Bao BuTong and the rest never detected him at all. Wang YuYan got up on the tree, Murong Fu was handling the situation and meeting the enemy, Duan Yu saw all of it from a distance. When the Toutuo wanted to kill Wang YuYan he automatically stepped forward bravely and surrendered on behalf of Murong Fu, but the other party simply refused to accept his ‘surrender’.
In a short period of time, Duan Yu carried Wang YuYan and rushed out of the encirclement. He was afraid that they might chase after him and he ran for a few hundred zhang, finally he stopped and relaxed, he put Wang YuYan down. Wang YuYan blushed, she said: “No, no, Gentleman Duan, my acupoint is sealed, I can’t stand.”
Duan Yu supported her shoulder and said: “Yes! Teach me how to unseal acupoint, I will undo it for you.”
Wang YuYan blushed furiously, she said bashfully: “No, no need! After three-quarters of an hour the acupoint will automatically unseal; you don’t have to undo it for me.” She knew that to undo the acupoint, the ‘ShenFeng’ acupoint needed to be massaged. The ‘ShenFeng acupoint’ was at the chest beside the breast, it was extremely inappropriate.
Duan Yu didn’t understand the underlying reason, he said: “The situation is dangerous, we cannot delay; it’s best that you let me unseal your acupoint so that we can plan on how to escape.”
Wang YuYan blushed and said: “Not good!” She raise her head, Murong Fu and Deng BaiChuan were still rushing about and killing the enemy. She was concerned about her cousin, she said: “Gentleman Duan, my cousin is surrounded, we have to go save him.”
Duan Yu’s chest ached, she was only concerned about Murong Fu, he was completely disheartened, he thought: “I
keep thinking about her endlessly, it will never end. Duan Yu will fulfill her wish and die for Murong Fu and settle this matter.” He said: “Very good! Wait here, I will go save him.”
Wang YuYan said: “No, this won’t do! You don’t know martial arts, how can you save someone?”
Duan Yu smiled and said: “Moments ago, didn’t I carry you out?”
Wang YuYan was aware that his ‘Six Meridians Divine Sword’ was unpredictable, sometime it worked sometime it didn’t, he cannot execute it freely, she said: “Just now you got lucky...you... you were concerned about my safety, you managed to execute your ‘Six Meridians Divine Sword’. You might not treat my cousin the same way as you treat me, I am afraid...I am afraid...”
Duan Yu said: “Don’t worry, I will simply treat your cousin the same way as I treat you.”
Wang YuYan shook her head and said: “Gentleman Duan, its too risky, it won’t work.”
Duan Yu stuck out his chest and said: “Miss Wang, as long as you ask me to go take the risk I am willing to risk my life and limb to help out.”
Wang YuYan blushed again, she said softly: “You treat me so well, I really don’t deserve it.”
Duan Yu was really happy, he said: “How come you don’t deserve it? Deserve it, you definitely deserve it!” He was vigorous and in high spirits, he desired to rush in and fight the battle.
Wang YuYan said: “Gentleman Duan, I can’t move at all, after you leave no one will watch over me, if some evil doer comes and harms me...”
Duan Yu turned around and scratched his head, he said: “This... en... this...” Wang
YuYan’s real intention was for him to carry her on his back, then they would go over and assist Murong Fu, but she was too shy and dared not say it out directly. She hoped that Duan Yu could understand her intention. Unfortunately Duan Yu didn’t understand, he scratched his head and stamped his feet, he was really troubled.
They heard the rallying cry, ‘Ping Ping Pang Pang’, weapons clashing with each other; Murong Fu was dueling even more fiercely. Wang YuYan knew the enemy was powerful, she was really anxious, she could not be shy anymore. She said softly: “Gentleman Duan, I have to trouble you again to carry...carry me for a while, we will go assist my cousin together, then...then...”
Duan Yu suddenly saw the light, he stomped his feet and said: “Correct, correct! Idiot, idiot! How come I didn’t think of it?” He squatted down and carried her on his back.
When Duan Yu carried Wang YuYan for the first time, it was purely to save her and escape from danger, he did not have any other ideas, but now her soft body lay on his back, his hands hooked onto her legs; although they were separated by layers of clothes he could still feel her smooth skin. He could not help but feel aroused; he immediately reproached himself: “Duan Yu ah Duan Yu, what is the situation now, unexpectedly you have such thoughts, you are really worse than a beast! She is clear as ice and clean as jade, an incomparably respected lady. You have such bad intentions, it’s blasphemous, you deserve to be beaten, you really deserve to be beaten!” He raised his palm and heavily slapped himself twice, he opened up his footsteps and rushed forward.
Wang YuYan was baffled, she asked: “Gentleman Duan, what you doing?”
Duan Yu was naturally honest, moreover he respected Wang YuYan as if she was a celestial being, he didn’t dare to deceive her, he said: “Really ashamed, I had disrespectful thoughts towards you, I deserve to be beaten, I deserve to be beaten!” Wang YuYan understood his meaning, she blushed so much that her ears turned red.
At this moment, a Taoist priest brandishing a long sword rushed over, he shouted: “Damn it, this chap comes again to stir up trouble.” He executed a move ‘Poison Dragon Exit Cave’ and thrust his sword at Duan Yu. Duan Yu automatically executed his ‘Graceful Steps Upon the Waves’ and avoided the attack. Wang YuYan said softly: “His second sword move will thrust from the left side, quickly rush to his right side and smack his ‘TianZong’ acupoint.”
Sure enough, the Taoist priest missed the first sword-move and his second sword-move ‘Clear Plum Blossom’ thrust from the left side. Duan Yu acted in accordance to the instruction given by Wang YuYan, he rushed to the priest’s right side, with a ‘Pa’ sound he hit the ‘TianZong’ acupoint. This was the Taoist priest's Achilles heel, although Duan Yu's palm move was not heavy, the priest still spurted fresh blood and collapsed.
As the priest collapsed, another warrior rushed over. Wang YuYan was extremely knowledgeable, she gave instructions softly, Duan Yu acted accordingly and immediately defeated the warrior. Duan Yu achieved victory easily, Wang YuYan was whispering softly in his ear, her soft precious body resting on his back, he smelled her sweet fragrance. Although he was in a dangerous situation, he felt the scene was romantic, he had never experienced such a beautiful encounter before.
Duan Yu knocked down another two people, he was separated from Murong Fu by merely two zhang. Suddenly the wind vibrated, two dwarfs in green jackets leapt up and arrived, two soft whips struck him simultaneously. Duan Yu evaded smoothly, suddenly one of the soft whips straightened up in midair and leapt towards him, it was incomparably quick. Wang YuYan and Duan Yu focused their attention on it, they cried out in surprise: “Aiyo!” The two soft whips were not weapons; they were a pair of live snakes. Duan Yu sped up his footsteps, he wanted to run past the two men. Unexpectedly the two men had extremely fast and nimble footwork, they blocked in front of him and obstructed his path. Duan Yu asked repeatedly: “Miss Wang, what to do?”
Wang YuYan was knowledgeable about weapons and martial arts of various sects and schools, it was extremely rare for her to not know anything about the opponent, but these two live snakes simply didn’t follow any martial arts logic, she was completely powerless predicting in which direction they would attack. The two men wearing green jackets jumped high and leaned low, their postures clumsy and ugly, but their speed was matchless. The two of them were Qiang ethnic people, they had never practiced any lightness martial art before, yet they were naturally fast and nimble like a leopard.
Duan Yu met with danger while he dodged repeatedly. Wang YuYan reasoned: “The movement of the live snake is unpredictable, defeat the enemy by capturing their chief. We have to knock down the owner of the snake.” But the movement of these men didn’t adhere to any footwork in manuals. Their movement was the same as ordinary people who don’t know any martial arts, they didn’t follow any method or logic. It was extremely difficult for Wang YuYan to predict where they would move or attack. She asked Duan Yu to hit their ‘QiMen’ acupoint and seal their ‘QuQuan’ acupoint, but it was really strange, everywhere Duan Yu moved his palm they would immediately dodge it quickly, they were extremely alert and sharp, it was really innate talent.
Wang YuYan wondered how to defeat the enemy, at the same time she looked at her cousin. Miserable screams and cries
rang out in succession, around ten people lie down on the ground; they were all defeated by Murong Fu’s technique in borrowing and redirecting force.
Wu LaoDa issued his orders loudly, of the people surrounding Murong Fu, three retreated and another three stepped up to replace them. These three were experts; one of them was a short man and he had astonishing body strength. He waved his two steel hammers and generated strong wind, his aura impressive and powerful. Murong Fu used the ‘Fragrant Dew Saber’ and blocked one move, his arm was jolted and felt numb. The hammer arrived again and he immediately dodged, he didn’t dare to clash with it again.
Suddenly Wang YuYan shouted: “Cousin, use ‘Ten Thousand Golden Lamp’, follow up with ‘Open Lapel To Block Wind’.” Murong Fu knew his cousin was brilliant in martial arts knowledge, he did not waste time to think, his right hand drew three circles in succession, the saber sparkled and generated light, but the ‘Verdant Wave Fragrant Dew Saber’ emitted green light, the move became ‘Ten Thousand Green Lamp’ and not ‘Ten Thousand Golden Lamp’.
Everyone yelled out and retreated a few steps. At this moment, Murong Fu flicked his left sleeve out and executed ‘Open Lapel To Block Wind’. The short man just so happened to execute his move ‘Splitting Heaven and Earth’, his twin hammers pointing at the sky and smashing fiercely towards the ground. There was a loud ‘Dang’ sound, everyone’s ear was buzzing. The left hammer of the short man hit his right hammer, the right hammer hit his left hammer, sparks flew in all directions. The power in his arm was extremely fierce, as the twin hammers collided with each other, there was a ‘Kala’ sound, the bones in both arms automatically snapped and he immediately fainted.
Murong Fu seized the opportunity and sent out two palms, he helped Bao BuTong to repel two strong enemies.
Duan Yu’s situation changed. Wang YuYan was concerned about Murong Fu and she advised two moves, but one cannot concentrate on two things at the same time, inevitably she neglected the two enemies in front of Duan Yu. Duan Yu heard her advising her cousin, although her body was on his back but her heart was with Murong Fu. In a split second his chest ached bitterly, his footsteps slowed down, there were two ‘Chi Chi’ sounds, the two poisonous snake jumped at him and bit his left arm.
Wang YuYan cried out in surprise, she shouted: “Gentleman Duan...you... you…”
Duan Yu gave a sigh and said: “Bitten to death by poisonous snake, it’s the same. Miss Wang, in the future please tell your grandson....”
Wang YuYan saw the snake’s body was a mix of greenish-yellow, its stripes bright and distinct, the head of the snake was odd and triangular in shape, obviously the snake possessed deadly poison. She momentarily panicked and didn’t know what to do.
Suddenly, the bodies of both snakes straightened and dropped on the ground; they died immediately. The two green-jacketed men jabbered in Qiang dialect, they turned around and ran away. These two men had always raised and worshippied snakes, not only did Duan Yu not die when bitten by the snakes, he even counter-killed the snakes. They assumed Duan Yu must be a snake god, they didn’t dare to linger and ran away quickly.
Wang YuYan was unaware of the miraculous effect of the ‘Venomous Crimson Bullfrog’ consumed by Duan Yu, she asked repeatedly: “Gentleman Duan, how are you feeling? How are you feeling?” Duan Yu was feeling depressed but suddenly Wang YuYan showed concern for him, she kept inquiring repeatedly. He could not help but burst with joy, his spirit rose. Wang YuYan kept on asking: “The two poison snakes bit you, how are you feeling?”
Duan Yu said: “It’s somewhat painful, it’s nothing, it’s nothing!”
He mused: “As long as you care for me, I will beg to be bitten by poison snakes everyday” He opened up his footsteps and rushed beside Murong Fu.
Suddenly a clear and bright voice transmitted from midair: “Gentleman Murong, Cave-Lords, Island-Lords, everyone don’t have any hatred or enmity with each other, why the need for this fierce battle?”
Everyone raised their heads and looked towards the voice. A Taoist with a black beard was standing on top of a tree, he was holding onto a fly-whisk. As the tree branch moved he also followed the momentum and moved up and down, his expression natural and unrestrained. Under the light, he was around 50 years of age, his face revealed a smile, he said: “Everyone please give some face to this poor Taoist, stop the battle for the time being. We will slowly resolve who is right and wrong, ok?”
Murong Fu looked at the person’s display of lightness martial art (qingong), he knew the person’s martials arts were truly proficient. He said: “Sir come out to resolve the dispute, it couldn’t be much better. I will stop fighting.” As he finished speaking he swing the saber in a circle and put it down, but his right palm and left arm swelled up faintly, he pondered: “That hammer wielding dwarf is really capable, my arm is still aching after getting shocked by him.”
Wu LaoDa raised his head and asked: “May I know your great name?” The person had yet to reply when someone spoke out from the crowd of people: “Wu LaoDa, this person is... is... an amazing... an amazing person, he... he... he is Jiao... Jiao... Jiao...” He said ‘Jiao’ three times and couldn’t speak anymore. This person was stuttering, he was anxious and he could not finish the sentence.
Wu LaoDa suddenly thought of someone, he said loudly: “He is Flood Dragon King... Flood Dragon King Taoist BuPing?” The stuttering person was happy that someone voiced out his words, he quickly said: “Yes...yes... yes, he... he... he is... Jiao... Jiao... Jiao... Jiao...” He was still stuck at the ‘Jiao’ word.
Wu LaoDa did not wait for him to finish struggling with the word, he cupped his hands at the person standing on the tree top and said: “Sir are you the world famous Taoist BuPing? I know your name for a long time, it’s like thunder piercing the ear. Nice to meet you, nice to meet you!” While he was speaking, everyone stopped fighting.
The Taoist smiled and said: “I don’t deserve such praise, I don’t deserve such praise! Everyone claims that poor Taoist had long died, thus Mr. Wu must have some disbelief correct?” As he finished speaking he jumped lightly and descended from midair. When he jumped off the tree, he would naturally drop down to the ground quickly, but he waved his fly-whisk, generating a gust of strong wind. The wind shot towards the ground and repelled back, the wind supported his body and he descended slowly; the power of the fly-whisk in generating the counter-force was truly amazing.
Wu LaoDa blurted out: “‘Relying On Void To Ride The Wind’, excellent lightness martial art!” He barely finished his sentence and Taoist BuPing had already landed on the ground. He smiled and said: “Its purely some misunderstanding that led to this conflict. Why don’t you give poor Taoist some face, convert an enemy into a friend?” His tone was amiable yet with a hint of imposing aura, it was difficult to reject.
Wu LaoDa said: “Taking Taoist BuPing’s golden reputation into account, we will write off this debt.”
Taoist BuPing said: “Mr. Wu, Cave-Lords of 36 Cave, Island-Lords of 72 Island, all of you are gathering here, is it for that particular person at Heavenly Mountain?”
Wu LaoDa’s countenance changed, but he immediately calmed down and said: “Taoist BuPing what are you saying, I don’t understand. All of us brothers are scattered all over the world, it’s rare for us to meet, everyone made an appointment to gather here and meet up, there was no other purpose. We don’t know how Gentleman Gusu Murong manage to find us and make life difficult for us.”
Murong Fu said: “I am only passing by, I really didn’t know everyone is meeting here, if I offended you I apologize for it.” As he finished speaking he clasped his hands and bowed in all four directions. He continued: “Taoist BuPing took the initiative to resolve the dispute and prevented me from creating a big disaster, I am utterly grateful. Hope to see you again, I will take my leave now.” He know that there must be some major affair for these heretical people to gather here. Taoist BuPing mentioned ‘a particular person from Heavenly Mountain’ and Wu LaoDa immediately changed the subject, obviously the matter was a huge taboo. If he didn’t pull out and retreat it was really a bit too insensitive as if he was trying to pry into other people’s private matters; thus he cupped his hands, turned around and walked away.
Wu LaoDa cupped his hands to return the courtesy, he said: “Gentleman Murong, getting to meet such a renowned hero like you, I am really honored. The green hills will never change, the water will always flow, goodbye.” Indeed his speech implied that he was unwilling to let Murong Fu linger here.
But Taoist BuPing said: “Wu LaoDa, do you know who Gentleman Murong is?”
Wu LaoDa was startled, he said: “Northern Qiao Feng, Southern Murong! The world-renowned Murong family, who doesn’t know them? After today’s meeting, it is really a well deserved reputation.”
Taoist BuPing smiled and said: “Precisely. This kind of important figure, if you miss this opportunity wouldn’t it be a pity? Normally if you tried to ask Murong family to help out its extremely difficult. Luckily Gentleman Murong is here today but you all refuse to request help. Aren’t you entering a treasure mountain and returning empty-handed?”
Wu LaoDa said: “This... this...” He was hesitating in his speech.
Taoist BuPing laughed and said: “Gentleman Murong’s heroic reputation is known throughout the world, all of you suffered under Misty Peak Vulture Palace's Child Elder of Heavenly Mountain....”
Once he said ‘Child Elder of Heavenly Mountain’, everyone cried out in shock. Their voices revealed their agitated emotions, some of them panicked, some of them were angry, some of them fearful, some of them in pain, some of them even retreated a few steps; their bodies trembled, they were extremely scared.
Murong Fu was baffled: “Who is this Child Elder of Heavenly Mountain, unexpectedly this person can create such terror?” He pondered: “The people I met today, Taoist BuPing, Wu LaoDa, all of them are quite capable, yet I don’t even know about them. This Child Elder of Heavenly Mountain must be a even more amazing figure, the world is wide and my knowledge is really limited. It’s really not easy for Gusu Murong to maintain its reputation in the world.” As he thought about it, he became even more fearful.
Wang YuYan muttered to herself: “Misty Peak Vulture Palace's Child Elder of Heavenly Mountain? What is their sect? What is their martial art moves?”
Duan Yu turned a deaf ear to the words of others, but he heard every single word from Wang YuYan. He immediately recalled his experiences at Limitless (Wuliang) Mountain. At that time the Divine Farmer Clan received orders to seize Limitless Palace, how ‘Limitless Sword’ changed its name to ‘Limitless Cave’, the female wearing a green cloak embroidered with a black vulture called him ‘little white face’ and brought him down the mountain, all of it due to the orders of ‘Child Elder of Heavenly Mountain’, but he had no answer to Wang YuYan’s question. He said: “Very powerful, very powerful! I nearly got imprisoned by them till I become ‘old white face’, I would not be able to escape even till today.”
Wang YuYan was well aware of the incoherent speech by Duan Yu, she just smiled and ignored him.
Taoist BuPing said: “Everyone suffered the insults and torment of Child Elder of Heavenly Mountain, there is no joy in your life. If the heroes of this world know of the deed they will undoubtedly be angry as well. Today, everyone rose up and rebelled, who doesn’t want to lend a helping hand? Even poor Taoist, who is incompetent is also willing to draw my sword to uphold justice. Gentleman Murong is chivalrous, how can he sit back and doing nothing?”
Wu LaoDa forced a bitter laugh and said: “I don’t know how Taoist priest obtained the news, it’s all just rumors. Child-Granny can be quite strict in controlling us, but it's for our benefit. We give thanks to her kindness, how can we rebel?”
Taoist BuPing burst into loud laughter and said: “So poor Taoist is just meddlesome. Gentleman Murong, let us go to Heavenly Mountain together and discuss with the Child Elder, we will say that friends from 36 Caves and 72 Islands are loyal to her, they are thinking of how to celebrate her birthday.” As he finished speaking his figure moved and he was already beside Murong Fu.
Someone cried out in alarm: “Wu LaoDa, don’t let this ox-nose priest leave, we will be in trouble if he divulges this secret.”
Another person shouted: “Even this Gentleman Murong must be detained as well.”
A thick voice said: “Since we started it, we carry it through all the way, let us go all out!” There were ‘Ca Ca’, ‘Shua Shua’, ‘Qiang Qiang’, the sounds of weapons being drawn, everyone pulled out their weapons.
Taoist BuPing smiled and said: “You people want to kill us to prevent the secret from leaking out? I am afraid it’s not easy.” He raised his voice and shouted: “Hibiscus Fairy, Sword God old man, the Cave-Lords of 36 Caves and Island-Lords of 72 Islands conspired to revolt against the Child Elder. I happened to discover their secret, they want to silence me. This is really dangerous, save me, save me! Taoist BuPing is going to die!” His voice carried far away and echoed in four directions in the valley.
Taoist BuPing’s voice had yet to stop when a cold arrogant voice carried from the western mountain peak: “Brother BuPing, just escape if you can, if you can’t then just resign yourself to fate. These disciples and grandson of Child Elder are extremely unreasonable, at most I can convey information for you, I don’t have the ability to save you.” The voice was at least 3-4 li away.
The voice barely finished speaking when a melodious female voice sounded from the northern mountain peak: “Ox-nose priest, who asked you to meddle in other people’s business? They already prepared everything in advance, once they revolt the Child Elder will be in big trouble. I will go to Heavenly Mountain now and talk to the Child Elder, see what she has to say about this.” Her voice was even further than the male voice at the western mountain.
When everyone heard it their expression changed. These two were around 3-4 li away, they definitely could not catch them. Clearly Taoist BuPing had prepared everything meticulously, he arranged for support at a distant place. Moreover, from their voices, the two had deep internal energy, even if they managed to overtake them they might not be able to subdue them.
Wu LaoDa was aware of the origins of this male-female pair, he raised his voice and said: “Taoist BuPing, Sword God Mr. Zhuo, Hibiscus Fairy, since the three of you are willing to assist us, everyone is extremely grateful. I will not lie in front of you experts, since the three of you already know the inside story its useless for us to conceal it anymore, I invite you to come forward and discuss together, how about it?”
‘Sword God’ laughed and said: “It’s better for us to stand far away and observe the goings-on, if there is some unexpected disaster it’s faster and easier to escape. There is no benefit in associating with wicked people.”
The female said: “Correct, my friend Taoist BuPing, the two of us will keep watch for you, if not you will get shredded by them and no one will deliver information for you, then you would have died for nothing.”
Wu LaoDa said: “The two of you are teasing us. In reality, our opponent is simply too strong, we are frightened and thus have to take extra precautions. Just now we did not reveal the matter candidly but we really have no choice, I hope the three of you can forgive us.”
Murong Fu and Deng BaiChuan gave each other a glance, they thought: “This Wu LaoDa is not some minor character, moreover they have great numbers, but he is so courteous towards the three of them, obviously he is trying to prevent the secret from leaking out. This Taoist BuPing, Sword God and Hibiscus Fairy, they claim they want to help out and assist, but most likely they have other motives. It is best to stay away from these wicked people.” Both of them nodded their heads, Deng BaiChuan signaled with his lips, indicating that they should leave now. Murong Fu said: “There are so many people here, not matter how big the problem you definitely can handle it. Moreover you have Taoist BuPing and another two experts to help you out, in the present age who can resist? There is really no need for me to interfere; I will just be a hindrance. I will take my leave now!”
Wu LaoDa said: “Wait! Since this matter has been exposed, it concerns the lives of several hundred people. The honor and lives of our brothers from 36 Caves and 72 Islands are hanging on a thin line. Gentleman Murong, it’s not that we don’t trust you, but you are too deeply involved, we don’t dare to take the risk.”
Murong Fu said: “So you are saying you won’t allow me to leave?”
Wu LaoDa said: “I don’t dare.”
Bao BuTong said: “What Child Granny, Child Uncle, we Gusu Murong family are ill-informed, this is the first time we heard of the name, obviously we are not connected to it. Just do whatever you want to do, we guarantee we will never leak out half a word. Who is Gusu Murong Fu, how can he not keep his words? If you try to forcibly make us stay, its not going to be easy, maybe its easy to keep Bao BuTong, but don’t tell me you can make Young Master Murong or that Gentleman Duan stay?”
Wu LaoDa knew he was telling the truth, especially more so for Gentleman Duan as his footwork was very weird. He was carrying a lady on his back but his feet
never touched the ground at all, he was floating around like a feather and going wherever he wanted; nobody can block him. There was no time to consider and he really didn’t want to make another powerful enemy by offending Gusu Murong family. Wu LaoDa glanced at Taoist BuPing, his expression awkward; it seemed he was trying to ask for some ideas.
Taoist BuPing said: “Wu LaoDa, for today’s matter, you definitely have to kill her. If you fail to kill her, then it’s completely over. Gentleman Murong is such a powerful helper, he is standing right in front of you, why you still hesitate in inviting him?”
Wu LaoDa ground his teeth and made up his mind, he walked towards Murong Fu and bowed deeply, he said: “Gentleman Murong, we from 36 Caves and 72 Islands suffered endless torment for the past ten years, we led an inhuman life, we are going all out and risking our lives today to get rid of that old devil, I beg your heroic spirit to save us from this dire situation. We will never forget your great kindness and virtue!” He is begging Murong Fu for help, obviously he is being forced to do it, it was not his original intention, but these few words are clearly sincere and honest.
Murong Fu said: “There are so many experts here, there is no use for me...” He already thought of his speech, he wanted to decline and not get involve in this mess, but suddenly he had second thoughts: “This Wu LaoDa said: ’We will never forget your great kindness and virtue’, there are no lack of experts in 36 Caves and 72 Islands. In the future I need to carry out a major plan, I worry about the lack of people. If I help them out today then when the time comes I can invite them to help me as well. There are several hundred experts here, it’s really an elite troop.” As he thought of it, he immediately changed his speech: “But there is a good saying, we should help one another along the way, this is my duty as a martial artist....”
When Wu LaoDa heard it his expression was happy, he said: “Yes, yes!”
Deng BaiChuan kept on shooting meaningful looks, he was hinting to Murong Fu to quickly pull back, these people were not good people, it was harmful to make friends with them. But Murong Fu just nodded his head, indicating that he understood his intention, he continued: “I witness everyone’s superior martial arts, all of you uphold justice and have a sense of loyalty, I really admire greatly, thus I wish to make friends with you all. Everyone is punishing an evil person, originally you don’t need my help, but since we are friends, everyone should stick together through thick and thin, help each other out through trials and tribulations. Murong Fu is at your service.”
The applause was like thunder, everyone cheered and clapped. ‘Gusu Murong’ enjoyed great reputation in the martial arts fraternity, just now everyone witnessed his skills and it was indeed well-deserved. When Wu LaoDa asked him for help they did not expect him to agree at all, they expected him to swear an oath to not reveal the secret and that would be the end. They never expected him to agree immediately. Moreover he was extremely courteous, saying things like ‘stick together through thick and thin’, ‘help each other out through trials and tribulations’, he was pledging his life to make friends with them. They could not help but be pleasantly surprised.
Deng BaiChuan and the rest were equally shocked. They had always obeyed Murong Fu’s orders, even for Bao BuTong, who liked to refute and debate, he never said ‘Not true, not true’ to his Young Master. The four of them thought: “Young Master promised to assist, obviously he has his own intentions. We merely don’t understand it for the time being.”
When Wang YuYan heard her cousin agreeing to assist the other party, the enemy turned into a friend, she said to Duan Yu: “Gentleman Duan, they are not fighting anymore, you can put me down!”
Duan Yu was startled, he said: “Yes, yes, yes!” He bent his knees slightly and put her down. Wang YuYan’s cheeks were slightly red, she said softly: “Many thanks!”
Duan Yu sighed and said: “'Sigh', eternity is exhausted, there will be continuous regret from now on.”
Wang YuYan said: “What are you talking about? Are you reciting poetry?”
Duan Yu was startled, he woke up from his fantasy. Countless thoughts passed through him in an instant, after he put down Wang YuYan she would accompany Murong Fu and leave, they would be separated worlds apart and never see each other again, he would drift around the world, depressed for ten years and finally dying in regret and hate. Thus he said ‘eternity is exhausted, there will be continuous regret from now on’. When he heard Wang YuYan query, he quickly replied: “It's nothing...I...I... I let my imagination run wild.” Wang YuYan immediately understood the meaning behind his poetry, she blushed and thought of walking to Murong Fu right away, but her acupoint had yet to unseal, she couldn’t move.
Taoist BuPing said: “Wu LaoDa, congratulations, congratulations, Gentleman Murong agreed to help, the problem is 90% solved, not to mention Murong Fu peerless divine skills, even his subordinate Gentleman Duan is also a top expert with abilities rarely seen in this world.” He notice that Duan Yu expression was respectful when carrying Wang YuYan, thus he assumed he has the same status as Deng BaiChuan and the rest of Murong Fu’s subordinates.
Murong Fu quickly said: “This Brother Duan is a top expert from Dali’s Duan family, I myself admire him greatly. Brother Duan, why don’t you come over and meet these friends?”
Duan Yu was standing beside Wang YuYan, he peeked at her, sniffing her sweet fragrance. Although he didn’t dare to look straight at her, he was perfectly contented in looking at her jade white hands, he never heard Murong Fu calling him.
Murong Fu shouted again: “Brother Duan, why don’t you come over and meet these friends?” He was determined to win over these brave heroes, thus he don’t dare to be haughty towards Duan Yu. But Duan Yu was completely focus on Wang YuYan’s hands, ten fingertips, soft smooth and supple, how would he notice other people calling him?
Wang YuYan said: “Gentleman Duan, my cousin is calling you!”
Duan Yu immediately heard her words, he quickly said: “Yes, yes! He calls me for what?”
Wang YuYan said: “Cousin is asking you to go over and meet some new friends.”
Duan Yu was unwilling to leave her side, he said: “Then are you going as well?”
Wang YuYan was unsettled by his question, she said: “They want to meet you, not me.”
Duan Yu said: “If you are not going, then I am not going as well.”
Although Taoist BuPing notice Duan Yu’s exceptional footwork, he didn’t regard him as some important figure, when he heard Duan Yu’s reply he did not know it was due to infatuation, other than the lady he ignored everyone else in this world. He assumed Duan Yu despised them and was unwilling to meet, he could not help but feel resentful.
Wang YuYan noticed everyone is looking at her and Duan Yu, she felt embarrassed and feared that her cousin might misunderstand, she called out: “Cousin, someone sealed my acupoint, you... you come over to support me.”
However Murong Fu was unwilling to display his love relationship in front of everyone, he said: “Elder brother Deng, please tend to Miss Wang. Brother Duan, why don’t you come over here?”
Wang YuYan said: “Gentleman Duan, my cousin is inviting you, please go over.” Duan Yu heard her asking Murong Fu for support, obviously she regarded him as an outsider, and in an instant his heart ached bitterly, he walk towards Murong in a daze.
Murong Fu said: “Brother Duan, I will introduce you to several experts, this is Taoist BuPing, this is Wu LaoDa.”
Duan Yu said: “Yes! Yes!” But he thought: “I am standing beside her, why did she never ask me to support her, instead she asked her cousin for support? Just now she wanted me to carry her but it was due to the desperate situation, if her cousin could carry her then obviously she will choose her cousin, she will never allow me to touch her body.” He said to himself: “If she can lean on her cousin body, she will naturally burst with joy. Even for Deng BaiChuan, Bao BuTong, the subordinates of her cousin, she is much closer to them than to me. What about me? What about me? There is no relation between the two of us, we are strangers who came together by chance, I am just some insignificant stranger, why would she care about me? She permitted me to look at her a few times, but if she could sweep her eyes a few times at my lowly self then it would be considered my great fortune. She most probably still treat me as a gardener in her home, if I have any other wishful thoughts, I am afraid I will immediately exhaust my karmic reward.... 'sigh', she will never want me to support her.”
Taoist BuPing and Wu LaoDa looked at Duan Yu lifeless expression, he is just staring at empty air and completely ignored Murong Fu’s introduction, in addition his eyebrows wrinkled and he look worried, clearly he was unwilling to meet them. Taoist BuPing said: “Nice to meet you! Nice to meet you!” He stretched out his hand and gripped Duan Yu’s right hand. Wu LaoDa immediately understood Taoist BuPing’s intentions, he flipped his palm and hooked Duan Yu’s left hand. Wu LaoDa’s martials arts were overbearing, he openly displayed his hostility unlike Taoist BuPing. Although both of them had the same intentions, they wanted to make Duan Yu suffer but they don’t want to reveal any trace of it, they tried to appear very friendly and warm-hearted.
Both of them held onto Duan Yu’s hand, their ‘LaoGong’ acupoint on the hollow of the palm connected, the ‘YuFu’ acupoint connected, ‘YuJi’, ‘ShaoFu’, and ‘ShaoChong’, all these meridians activated. In an instant, Taoist BuPing felt his internal energy draining out swiftly, he could not help but feel startled, he hastily tried to shake of his hand. But currently Duan Yu’s internal energy was extremely deep and profound, unexpectedly his palm was stuck onto Taoist BuPing’s palm, his ‘Divine Skill of the Northern Darkness’ already activated, he was absorbing his opponent’s internal energy faster and faster. When Wu LaoDa grabbed Duan Yu’s palm, he immediately channeled his internal energy and used his poison palm skill, he wanted to make Duan Yu suffer an unbearable itch and make him beg for forgiveness, then he will give him the antidote. Unexpectedly, Duan Yu was immune to poison after consuming the Venomous Crimson Bullfrog, the poison on his palm was completely harmless against Duan Yu, but his internal energy was absorbed at lightning speed. Wu LaoDa cry out loudly: “Hello, hello... you.. you are using the ‘Great Energy-Dissolving Skill’!”
Duan Yu had yet to snap out of his daydream, he complained and sighed: “She don’t want me to support her, I am born to this world, but where is the joy? Why don’t I return to Dali, henceforth I should not meet her again. ‘Sigh’, why don’t I go to Heavenly Dragon Monastery and become a monk, become a disciple under Great Master KuRong, everyday I will cleanse my body and mind, from now on my six senses will be purified and tranquil, untainted and incorruptible....”
Murong Fu was unaware of the true origins of Duan Yu’s martial arts, he saw Taoist BuPing and Wu LaoDa were distressed, their expressions changed greatly. He assumed Duan Yu was deliberately striking back, he quickly grabbed Taoist BuPing’s back and pulled him off, his energy rushed forward and retreated promptly, obstructing the suction force of the ‘Divine Skill of the Northern Darkness’. He managed to pull Taoist BuPing off and he called out simultaneously: “Brother Duan, please be lenient!”
Duan Yu was startled, he snapped out of his day-dream. He immediately used the method taught by his uncle Duan ZhengMing and withdraw his ‘Divine Skill of the Northern Darkness’.
Wu LaoDa was using all his strength to pull outward, suddenly the suction was gone and he was released, he staggered and retreated a few steps. He finally managed to stabilize himself, his face and ears were red, he was frighten and angry, he shouted repeatedly: “’ Great Energy-Dissolving Skill’, ‘Great Energy-Dissolving Skill’!” Taoist BuPing was more knowledgeable and experienced, he notice Duan Yu’s internal energy absorbing skill was different from the notorious ‘Great Energy-Dissolving Skill’, but he couln’t correctly identify them as he had never been hit by ‘Great Energy-Dissolving Skill’ before.
Duan Yu’s ‘Divine Skill of the Northern Darkness’ being mistaken as ‘Great Energy-Dissolving Skill’, it had happened many times before, he smile and said: “Old Freak of Xingxiu Ding ChunQiu is vile and repulsive, why would I learn his stinky martial arts? You really lack knowledge... 'sigh', 'sigh', 'sigh'!” Originally he intended to tease Wu LaoDa, but he suddenly thought of Wang YuYan treating him as a stranger, he was infatuated and head over heels in love with her, speaking of ‘lack of knowledge’ he was 100 times worse than Wu LaoDa, he could not help but sigh three times.
Murong Fu said: “Brother Duan is a direct descendent of the Duan family, his family is famous and upright, ‘Yiyang Finger’ [Solitary Solar Finger] and ‘Six Meridians Divine Sword’ are matchless under the heavens, how can he be mention together with the Old Freak of Xingxiu?”
While he was speaking, he felt his right palm and arm swelling more and more, evidently it was not due to the impact from the dwarf’s twin hammers. He was bewildered and raised his hand; the back of his hand was glowing faint green, he smell some fishy stench. He immediately realized the truth: “Ah, yes, my arm came into contact with the ‘Verdant Wave Fragrant Dew Saber’, the poison gas slowly diffused into the skin.” At once he flipped the saber horizontally, the back of the saber facing outward, the edge of the saber facing himself, he said to Wu LaoDa: “Mr. Wu, I will return this honorable weapon back, sorry for the offense.”
Wu LaoDa stretched out his hand to receive it, but Murong Fu did not release the handle, he was startled and laughed: “This saber is a little strange, mostly probably it offended you.” He took out a small bottle from his bosom, he opened the bottle cork, he poured some fine powder on his palm, he turned his palm over and pressed in on Murong Fu’s arm. In an instant the medicine penetrated the skin, Murong Fu felt a cooling sensation on his arm and palm, he knew the antidote had already taken effect, he smiled and presented the saber.
Wu LaoDa received the saber, he said to Duan Yu: “This brother Duan, are you a friend or foe? If you are a friend you should trust us completely so that I can report the truth candidly. If you are a foe, although your martials arts are high but we will fight you to the death.” As he finished speaking he looked askance, his expression cold and imposing.
Duan Yu was troubled by emotional matters, how would he have Wu LaoDa’s heroic spirit? He was dejected and said: “I have so much worries on my mind now, I can’t push it away or solve it, where would I find the mood to pay attention to other people’s matters? I am not your friend, but I am also not your foe. I can’t help you, but I also won’t trouble you. ‘Sigh’, I am grieving for all eternity, the world is so vast and big but who will recognize my worth, my tears roll down in grief and indignation. Those who know me say I am depressed, those who don’t know me say I am bringing trouble to myself. The gains and losses in the martial arts fraternity, why would Duan Yu even care about it?”
Taoist BuPing noticed Duan Yu was crazy and eccentric, he kept mumbling to himself, but after mumbling a few words he would secretly look at Wang YuYan, Taoist BuPing already guessed 80-90% of the matter. He raised his voice and said to Wang YuYan: “Miss Wang, your cousin Gentleman Murong already promised to assist us for the sake of justice, we will take part in this together and uphold justice, presumably Miss will take part as well?”
Wang YuYan said: “Yes, since my cousin is with you, naturally I will also follow, I willingly follow your lead.”
Taoist BuPing smiled and said: “I don’t deserve such praise! Miss Wang is too modest.” He turned his head and said to Duan Yu: “Gentleman Murong is with us, Miss Wang is also with us. Gentleman Duan, if you can join us as well, everyone will be eternally grateful to you. But if
Gentleman is not willing then please leave by yourself, how about it?” As he finished speaking he moved his right hand, his posture sending off a guest.
Wu LaoDa said: “This... maybe it’s inappropriate...” He really disapproved of the idea, if Duan Yu left, he might leak out their secret. He gripped his serrated-saber tightly, if Duan Yu took a single step he would immediately move forward and block him.
But Duan Yu paced back and forth in a circle, he said: “You ask me to leave, but where can I go? Although the world is big, but where will Duan Yu find safe shelter? I... I have nowhere to go.”
Taoist BuPing smiled and said: “Since this is the case, then Gentleman Duan please come with us. When the time comes, you can just sit back without lifting a finger, don’t help either side.”
Wu LaoDa had some misgivings. Taoist BuPing looked at him and cast a meaningful glance, he said: “Wu LaoDa, you are inattentive in handling matters. Come, come, come! There are 36 Cave-Lords and 72 Island-Lords, poor Taoist has been looking forward to the meeting but we never meet at all. From now on everyone will share the same enemy and hatred, you should come forward and introduce yourself to Gentleman Murong, Gentleman Duan and poor Taoist.”
Wu LaoDa said: “This should be the case.” At once he called out everyone’s name, one by one he introduced them. These people ruled different regions and territories, most of them didn’t even know each other. While Wu LaoDa was introducing them to Gentleman Murong, someone would frequently call out: “Ah, it turns out this is so-and-so Cave-Lord.” Or they would whisper: “So-and-so Island-Lord with shocking reputation, unexpectedly his appearance is like this.”
Murong Fu was secretly amazed: “How come these people don’t even know each other? It seems they are meeting each other for the first time.”
Among the Cave-Lords and Island-Lords, four of them were killed by Murong Fu in the chaotic battle, when the subordinates of the four saw Murong Fu, they despised him and felt indignant.
Murong Fu said brightly: “Just now I accidentally killed a few noble friends, I am terribly apologetic; from now on I will spare no effort and do my best to make up for my past mistake. But if someone is unwilling to forgive me, since we are fighting a common enemy we will put our differences aside for the moment. Once the deed is done, please come to Gusu’s Basin of Swallows and find me, we will settle it once and for all.”
Wu LaoDa said: “Your words are correct. Gentleman Murong is very straightforward and honest! Even among our own brothers, we might have some complaints and animosity, but we are facing a powerful enemy, everyone should put
their minor differences aside. If anyone is short-sighted and refuses to take into account the big picture and tries to take advantage of the situation to take revenge, then what should we do?”
Many people say in succession: “That person is obviously a horse that brings trouble to its herd, everyone should get rid of him.”
“If we cannot deal with that Heavenly Mountain old witch, it’s hard for everyone to preserve their lives. There is no need to even mention personal hatred.”
“How can there be intact eggs in an overturned bird nest? Wu LaoDa, Gentleman Murong, don’t worry, no one will do such a stupid thing.”
Murong Fu said: “Very good, I offer my thanks. I wonder what errands you have for me, please instruct me.”
Taoist BuPing said: “Wu LaoDa, since everyone is participating in this major event we need to work towards a common goal. You are the chief, please tell us the matter about Child Elder of Heavenly Mountain. How powerful is that old witch, what kind of shocking ability does she have? Tell us so that everyone can guard against her to avoid any surprise which we are not aware of.”
Wu LaoDa said: “Yes! All the Cave-Lords and Island-Lords recommended me to organize this event, my ability and talent is shallow, originally I cannot hold such heavy responsibility. Luckily Gentleman Murong, Taoist BuPing, Sword God Mr. Zhuo and Hibiscus Fairy join in to uphold justice, thus my burden is greatly reduced.” He still had some resentment towards Duan Yu, thus he did not mention ‘Gentleman Duan’ in his speech.
Someone from the crowd said: “Save those polite words, get to the main point!”
Another person said: “Damn your grandmother, we are going to risk our lives to kill someone, our lives are in jeopardy. All this empty talk, aren’t you wasting our time?”
Wu LaoDa laughed and said: “Brother Hong spews such vulgar language. Sea Horse Island Island-Lord Qin, please stand guard at the southeast, release the signal immediately if you spot any enemy. Violet Rock Cave Cave-Lord Huo, please stand guard at the west...” He dispatched eight experts in succession, they guard the eight directions. The eight of them complied with the orders, they led their subordinates and rushed off to their designated guard point.
Murong Fu pondered: “These eight Cave-Lords and Island-Lords, it seems they are cruel and arrogant, violent and fierce people. Unexpectedly they complied with the orders of Wu LaoDa, their expressions vigilant and fearful; obviously the enemy is so powerful that they become extremely fearful. I promised to render my help, but I am afraid this problem is really dangerous and difficult.”
Wu LaoDa waited for the eight groups of guards to walk far away, he said: “Everyone please sit down, I will narrate our painful embarrassment.”
Bao BuTong suddenly interrupted: “You bunch of people commit murder and arson, use poison and pillage, all of you are fierce and vicious, terrible tyrants. What kind of painful embarrassment do you have? It makes no sense, it makes no sense!”
Murong Fu said: “3rd brother Bao, calm down and listen to Cave-Lord Wu’s account, don’t interrupt his words.”
Bao BuTong grumbled: “His words lack logic, I cannot help but speak out bluntly.” Although he did rebut, but since Murong Fu had already given him an order, he dared not interrupt anymore.
Wu LaoDa forced a bitter smile and said: “Brother Bao is correct. The one surnamed Wu, although my ability is lowly, but I am born stubborn. I take advantage of people, I don’t allow others to take advantage of me, but who would have expected, ‘sigh’!”
Wu LaoDa gave a sigh, suddenly the person beside him also gave a long sigh, he was even more sorrowful. Everyone looked towards the person who gave the long sigh. Duan Yu was looking at the moon with his hands behind his back, he gave a long sigh and said: “The moon is so bright, a pretty lady appears before me; she is so elegant and attractive, I worry about how to express my feelings!” He was humming the chapter “Rising Moon” from the “Book of Songs”, the meaning was that the moonlight is bright, the beauty graceful, he finds it hard to relax his thoughts and he cannot help but worry secretly. Most of the people around him were uneducated martial artists, how could they understand the meaning of this poem? Everyone glared furiously at Duan Yu, they blamed him for interrupting Wu LaoDa.
Wang YuYan understood Duan Yu’s real intentions, she was afraid that her cousin might take offense and she secretly peeked at Murong Fu. He was fixing his gaze entirely on Wu LaoDa, he never listened to Duan Yu’s recital of poetry; she breathed a sigh of relief.
Wu LaoDa said: “Gentleman Murong and Taoist BuPing , both of you are not outsiders anymore, I am not afraid of letting you know about this matter. We 36 Cave-Lords and 72 Island-Lords, some live in desolated mountains, some rule over islands, it may seem as if we are free and unfettered, but all of us are controlled by Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain. To be honest, we are her slaves. Every year, she will send some people to heavily reprimand us, she will curse and berate us, no living person can withstand it. You must be wondering, we must be indignant to be reprimanded by her correct? But this is not the case, the more she curses us, the happier we feel...”
Bao BuTong could not help but interrupt: “This is strange! Aren’t you demeaning yourself?”
Wu LaoDa said: “Brother Bao you are not aware of the full details. If the people sent by Child Elder scold us severely, our crisis for that year can be considered over; all the caves and islands will organize a huge feast for several days to celebrate our well-being. 'Sigh', conducting ourselves like this, it's indeed very demeaning. If the people sent by Child Elder don’t curse our grandsons as bastards, if they don’t curse our 18-generation ancestors, our lives in the future will be difficult. You must understand, if she doesn’t send people to curse us, she will send people to beat us. If you are lucky you get 30 strokes of the rod, if your legs don’t get broken in the process you will most likely organize a huge feast and celebrate.”
Bao BuTong and Feng BoE looked at each other and smiled, both of them made a huge effort to restrain themselves from
laughing out loud. Unexpectedly these people had to organize a feast and celebrate even after getting beaten, such a strange occurrence had never been heard before. But Wu LaoDa’s tone was mournful and miserable, the crowd around him also gnashed their teeth in anger and cursed, it seemed this matter was not fake.
Originally, Duan Yu focused solely on Wang YuYan. While looking at her, he noticed that she listened attentively to Wu LaoDa, thus he also listened to Wu LaoDa speak. After listening to a few sentence he could not help but slap his palm and said: “Ridiculous! This Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain, is she a god or immortal? Devil or monster? She is so tyrannical, isn’t she a bit too absurd?”
Wu LaoDa said: “Gentleman Duan is correct. This Child Elder pushes us around, she treat us worse than pigs and dogs. If she doesn’t order her people to beat us with rods, she will often use whips to lash our backs, otherwise she will hammer a few nails into our back. Island-Lord Sima, the scars you got from the lashings, please let our friends see them.”
A thin and emaciated old man said: “Ashamed, ashamed!” He undid his garment, on his back there were three vertical stripes and three horizontal stripes, the stripes criss-crossed and were bright red in color. It was really nauseating just looking at it, they could imagine the pain and anguish the old man must have felt when he endured the lashings.
A black man said loudly: “That is nothing. Please look at the nails on my back.” He undid his garment, there were three huge iron nails, they were nailed into his back. The nails were rusted, evidently it had been a long time but unexpectedly this black man did not attempt to remove them.
Another monk said hoarsely: “The injuries suffered by Island-Lord Yu, I am afraid it can’t be compared with junior monk!” He undid his monk’s robe. A slender iron chain penetrated through his scapula, the chain went downward and penetrated his wrist bone. He only needed to move his wrist lightly and it would affect his scapula, everyone could well imagine the pain.
Duan Yu was extremely angry, he shouted: “Preposterous, preposterous! Unexpectedly there is such sinister person in this world. Wu LaoDa, Duan Yu is determined to help you, everyone will work together to purge this great evil.”
Wu LaoDa said: “Many thanks for Gentleman Duan’s assistance.” He turned his head and said to Murong Fu: “Everyone here has endured some form of torture from Child Elder. We claim this is an ‘Assembly of Ten Thousand Immortals’, we are just exaggerating. In reality it should be ‘Assembly of Ten Thousand Ghosts’. Our lives for these past years, I am afraid even the sufferings endured by ghosts in hell can’t be compared with us. In the past, everyone is afraid of her terrible methods, thus we simply suffer in silence. Luckily god is fair, that old witch dominated us for a lifetime but she can also run out of luck.”
Murong Fu said: “Everyone here is controlled by Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain and did not rebel, is it because of her superior martial arts which lead to defeat at every encounter?”
Wu LaoDa said: “Obviously that old witch’s martials arts are extremely powerful. But nobody knows exactly how brilliant it is.”
Murong Fu said: “Deep and immeasurable?”
Wu LaoDa nodded his head and said: “Deep and immeasurable!”
Murong Fu asked: “You say that old woman ran out of luck, how so?”
Wu LaoDa raised his eyebrows, his spirit rose, he said: “It’s for this reason that we are gathering here. On the 2nd day of the 5th lunar month, Heavenly Wind Cave Cave-Lord An and I, Sea Horse Island Island-Lord Qin, etc, all nine of us take turns to present our offerings, pearls and treasures, thin silk and satin, exotic delicacies, rouge and cosmetics, we delivered it to Misty Peak Heavenly Mountain.....”
Bao BuTong laughed out loudly and asked: “That old woman is a granny, how come she still use rouge and cosmetics?”
Wu LaoDa said: “That old witch is old, but she has quite a number of female servants under her, some of the young women need these cosmetics. But there is not a single man at the mountain peak, I don’t know who they dress up for?”
Bao BuTong smiled and said: “Maybe its for you to see.”
Wu LaoDa said grimly: “Brother Bao you are teasing me. When we go to Misty Peak, our eyes are covered by black cloth, we can hear but cannot see. The people at Misty Peak, whether they are pretty or ugly, young or old, nobody knows.”
Murong Fu said: “If that is the case, then the appearance of Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain, nobody has ever seen it before?”
Wu LaoDa sighed and said: “Someone did see her before. But those who see her will meet a tragic end. The incident happened 23 years ago. Someone got the guts, he secretly pulled downed his black cloth and glanced at that old witch; he didn’t have time to pull the cloth up as both his eyes were blinded by that old witch, his tongue cut off, both his arms chopped off.”
Murong Fu said: “Its fine if his eyes are blinded, but why cut off his tongue and arms?”
Wu LaoDa said: “Perhaps it’s to prevent him from revealing the appearance of the old witch, cut off his tongue so that he cannot speak, cut off his arms so that he cannot write.”
Bao BuTong stuck out his tongue and said: “Scoundrel, scoundrel! Ferocious, ferocious!”
Wu LaoDa said: “Cave-Lord An and I, Island-Lord Qin, etc, the nine of us were extremely scared while at Misty Peak. The medicine that old witch asked us to prepare three years ago, a few items are really rare; for example the egg a 300 year-old turtle, a 5 chi-long deer antler, we really couldn’t find it. We could not fulfill her demands, thus we assumed the punishment must be heavy. Unexpectedly when the nine of us handed over the items, the old witch sent someone to pass on a message: ‘The items are passable, you nine bastards, quickly grab your tail and get lost!’ It was as if we were granted amnesty from the Emperor, we were overjoyed. Immediately we left the mountain peak, it’s best to leave quickly, if that old witch detected some of the items were not complete and inquired then we would be in deep trouble. We reached the base of the mountain and removed the black cloth covering our eyes, but we saw three dead people. One of them, Cave-Lord An recognized him as an expert from Western Xia’s First Class Hall, he is called Nine-Wing Taoist.”
Taoist BuPing said: “Oh, so Nine-Wing Taoist was killed by that old witch, however it’s rumored that he was killed by Gusu Murong family.”
Bao BuTong said: “Bullshit! Bullshit! What Eight-Tail Monk or Nine-Wing Taoist, we never heard of them before. This blood-debt is placed on us again.” His curse was directed at people who spread the rumors, he wasn’t scolding Taoist BuPing, but bystanders still felt rather uncomfortable when hearing it.
Taoist BuPing did not take offense, he smiled and said: “A famous person will attract criticism, it's a natural way of life!”
Bao BuTong said: “Bull...” He glanced sideways at Murong Fu, he swallowed his words.
Taoist BuPing said: “Brother Bao, how come you swallow your words?”
Bao BuTong was having second thoughts, he shouted furiously: “What? You cursing me, I am eating farts correct?”
Taoist BuPing smiled and said: “I don’t dare! Whatever Brother Bao likes to eat, you can simply eat.”
Bao BuPing intended to debate with him but Murong Fu said: “In this world, praises and approval cannot be anticipated. We wholeheartedly want to preserve our reputation, instead we suffer slander. This is a very common matter, 3rd Brother Bao why the need to debate? It’s rumored that Nine-Wing Taoist possesses extremely high lightness martial art (qinggong), he is skilled in ‘Thunder God Shield’, he rarely meets his match. Ignoring the fact that he does not have any enmity with me, even if we did have some hatred I might not be able to beat him, he is known as the ‘Thunder That Shift The Nine Heavens’ Nine-Wing Taoist.”
Taoist BuPing smiled and said: “Gentleman Murong is too modest. Although Nine-Wing Taoist’s ‘Thunder That Shift The Nine Heavens’ is impressive, but if Gentleman Murong also returns it with another ‘Thunder That Shift The Nine Heavens’, then he will wait for death with his hands tied.”
Wu LaoDa said: “There were two scars on Nine-Wing Taoist, both of them inflicted by sword. Hence, it’s rumored that he died by Gusu Murong hands, but that is pure rubbish. Based on my observation, how can it be fake? If Gentleman Murong wants to kill him, obviously he will use Nine-Wing Taoist’s ‘Thunder God Shield’ to kill him.”
Taoist BuPing interrupted: “Two sword wounds? Two scars? That is so strange!”
Wu LaoDa slapped his thigh and said: “Taoist BuPing is indeed an expert, you immediately detect something fishy. Nine-Wing Taoist died at the base of Misty Peak, but he suffered two sword wounds, something is amiss!”
Murong Fu pondered: “What is so fishy about that? Taoist BuPing found it strange, but I really don’t understand.” In an instant he could not help but feel inferior.
Wu LaoDa wanted to test Murong Fu, he said: “Gentleman Murong, do you think there is something fishy as well?”
Murong Fu was unwillingly to bluff his way through, he was startled and wanted to say: “I really don’t know the underlying reason.”
Suddenly Wang YuYan said: “One of the sword wounds on Nine-Wing Taoist is likely to be on his right leg, between the ‘FengShi’ and ‘FuTu’ acupoint, the other sword wound must be on his back, his ‘XuanShu’ acupoint. His vertebra was sliced in half with a single sword move, am I correct?”
Wu LaoDa’s shock was no small matter, he said: “Miss you were also at Misty Peak? How come we... we never saw... see you?” His voice was trembling, clearly he was extremely scared. He thought that since Wang YuYan was at the scene, then his future conduct would inevitably be known to her as well. He was afraid that the big secret had leaked out already. He had yet to mobilize the attacks but Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain already knew about it.
Another voice called from the crowd of people: “How come you know... know... know... how come we didn’t see… see... see...” The speaker already suffered from
serious stuttering, now he was even more anxious and his speech was unclear. Murong Fu thought the person’s stuttering was awkward, it was really funny, but unexpectedly none of the 36 Cave-Lords and 72 Island-Lords dared to ridicule him. Murong Fu presumed the person’s martial arts must be solid, or the person was very vicious and everyone was rather fearful of him. Immediately everyone cast meaningful looks at Bao BuTong, hinting to him not to offend this person.
Wang YuYan said indifferently: “Heavenly Mountain is located at western region, it is so far away, I never been there before.”
Wu LaoDa was even more afraid, he thought: “Since you didn’t witness it personally, then you must have heard it from other people, don’t tell me this matter spread all over the martial arts fraternity already?” He quickly inquired: “Miss, who did you hear it from?”
Wang YuYan said: “It’s just my own casual guess. Nine-Wing Taoist is an expert in the ‘Thunder And Lightning Arts’, when he fights with others he will definitely use his lightness martial art (qinggong). He wields an iron tablet with his left hand, the 42 move ‘Sichuan Road Tablet Art’, protecting his chest, back, the top of his head and his left side. It’s really like an iron barrel, difficult for his opponent to attack, the only gap is on his right side. For a sword-wielding expert to injure him, he must attack his right leg, between the ‘FengShi’ and ‘FuTu’ acupoint. If the sword is thrust between these two acupoints, Nine-Wing Taoist will definitely raise his tablet to protect his chest, at the same time he will use his ‘Thunder God Shield’ and make the move ‘Spring Thunder Moving Abruptly’, chopping his opponent. Since his opponent is an expert, naturally he will seize the opportunity and chop his back. I guess this move must be from ‘White Rainbow Piercing The Sun’, the move ‘White Emperor Beheading The Snake’, or similar kind of moves to chop his ‘XuanShu’ acupoint on his backbone. Nine-Wing Taoist’s martials arts are strong, it’s not easy to use a sword to harm him. It’s best to use judge's-pen or some other short weapon to hit his pressure point, but since it’s a sword, then this move is the most effective.”
Wu LaoDa breathed a sigh of relief, it was as if he was released from a heavy burden, after a long time he stuck out his thumb and said: “Admirable! Admirable! The people under Gusu Murong are really extraordinary! Miss, your analysis is deep and logical, it’s as if you witnessed it personally.”
Duan Yu cannot help but interrupt: “This lady is surnamed Wang, she is not....she is not Gusu Murong....”
Wang YuYan smiled and said: “Gusu Murong is my closest relative, there is nothing wrong in calling me part of Gusu Murong family.”
Duan Yu's vision turned dark, his body swayed, his ears buzzing with the phrase: “There is nothing wrong in calling me part of Gusu Murong family.”
The stuttering person said: “So it is… is... is...”
Wu LaoDa did not wait for him to finish speaking and said: “The wounds on Nine-Wing Taoist were indeed as speculated by Miss Wang, one sword wound at the right leg between the ‘FengShi’ and ‘FuTu’ acupoint, the ‘XuanShu’ acupoint on his back chopped in half...” But he was still worried, he inquired: “Miss Wang, you are certain that you deduced it using martial arts knowledge, you really didn’t hear it from someone else?”
Wang YuYan nodded her head and said: “Yes.”
The stuttering person suddenly said: “If you want to kill... kill... kill Wu LaoDa, then how... how... how... how...”
Wu LaoDa heard the person ask Wang YuYan about how to kill him, he was furious and shouted loudly: “What is your intention in asking that question?” But he immediately had second thoughts: “This lady is so young, it’s really unimaginable that she can deduce how Nine-Wing Taoist died based on martial arts knowledge. Most probably she hid at the base of Misty Peak and witnessed someone using the sword moves. The implication of this matter was serious, there was no harm in probing further.” He said: “Correct. May I ask Miss, if you want to kill me, how would you do it?”
Wang YuYan smiled faintly, she move close to Murong Fu’s ear and said softly: “Cousin, the loophole in this person’s martials arts are behind his shoulder the ‘TianZong’ acupoint and the ‘Qing Leng Yuan’ acupoint behind his elbow, you can subdue him by attacking these two points.”
In the presence of several hundred experts, how can Murong Fu accept the guidance given by a young maiden? He snorted and said brightly: “Since Cave-Lord Wu is asking you, there is no harm in saying it out loud.”
Wang YuYan blushed, she felt ashamed, she pondered: “I wanted to fawn upon you, but I didn’t expect to show off my ability in front of everyone, it overshadowed your manly authority.” She said: “Cousin, Gusu Murong knows all the martial arts under the heaven, you tell Wu LaoDa about it.”
Murong Fu was unwilling to pretend, thus he was unwilling to receive the glory based on her knowledge, he said: “Wu LaoDa’s martials arts are high, you want to harm him, it’s easier said than done? Cave-Lord Wu, we don’t need to discuss this unrelated topic, please continue narrating what you heard and saw at the base of Misty Peak.”
Wu LaoDa was determined to know if someone else was at the base of Misty Peak, he said: “Miss Wang, if you don’t know the method to kill me then you might not know the sword moves that killed Nine-Wing Taoist, then your speech just now is just wasting our time. Please tell us truthfully, how you know about the death of Nine-Wing Taoist, this matter is extremely important, it’s not for fun.”
Duan Yu fixed his gaze and concentrated his attention on Wang YuYan when she moved towards Murong Fu, he looked at her actions towards Murong Fu. While she was speaking to Murong Fu he also concentrated and listen attentively. Duan Yu’s internal energy was deep and profound, although Wang YuYan whispered softly to Murong Fu, he heard every single word clearly. At this moment, listening to Wu LaoDa’s tone, it seemed as if he was rebuking Wang YuYan for telling lies. Duan Yu respected her as if she was his beloved deity, how could he allow someone else to trouble her? Thus he did not say anything else, he moved his right foot and executed ‘Graceful Steps Upon the Waves’, he flashed to the east and spun to the west, suddenly he moved to Wu LaoDa’s back.
Wu LaoDa was alarmed, he said: “What you doing.....” Duan Yu extend his right hand, he was already pressing down on the ‘TianZong’ acupoint behind Wu LaoDa’s right shoulder, his left hand grab the ‘Qing Leng Yuan’ acupoint behind Wu LaoDa’s left elbow. These two acupoints were indeed his Achilles heel, the weak points in his martial arts. Duan Yu was careless and clumsy, he didn’t know any martial arts at all, but firstly his footwork was strange and exquisite, in an instant he seized the advantage and arrived at Wu LaoDa’s back. Secondly, Wang YuYan was extremely accurate in determining Wu LaoDa’s martial arts, as Wu LaoDa flipped his palm to attack his opponent both his weak points were already controlled by his opponent. His opponent only needed to send a tiny bit of internal energy and he would immediately be crippled. Although Duan Yu possessed strong internal energy, he could not channel it at will. Even though he
managed to grab onto Wu LaoDa’s weak point but in reality he could not harm him at all. Wu LaoDa had previously suffered under the hands of Duan Yu, he didn’t dare to flaunt his bravery in front of him. He forced a bitter smile and said: “Gentleman Duan’s martials arts are marvelous, I am completely convinced.”
Duan Yu said: “I don’t know any martial arts, this is all due to the guidance of Miss Wang.” As he finished speaking he released him and strolled back.
Wu LaoDa was startled and fearful, he stare stupidly for quite some time and finally said: “I am finally aware that this world is vast, Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain might not be the only one who possess superior martial arts.” He kept glancing at Duan Yu’s shadow repeatedly, he was bewildered.
Taoist BuPing said: “Wu LaoDa, you have people with such high-level ability assisting you, it’s really heartening.”
Wu LaoDa nodded his head and said: “Yes, yes! Our probability of success has increased by several times.”
Taoist BuPing said: “Since there are two sword wounds on Nine-Wing Taoist, then he is not killed by Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain.”
Wu LaoDa said: “Correct! At that time when I saw these sword wounds, I had similar thoughts as you. Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain doesn’t like to travel far away from home, normal people don’t dare to come within 100 li of Misty Peak to make a nuisance. She rarely has to fully utilize her martial arts. Thus, within 100 li of Misty Peak, if someone is killed, then it must be done by her personally. We are well aware of her temper, sometimes we deliberately lured 1-2 experts to the base of Misty Peak, to let that old woman satisfy her lust for killing. When she kills people she only uses one move, where is the logic in leaving two sword wounds on her opponent?”
Murong Fu was startled, he pondered: “This Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain don’t need a second move to kill people, is there really such a level of martial arts in this world?”
Bao BuTong was also skeptical, he was not reserved like Murong Fu, he asked: “Cave-Lord Wu, you say that Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain doesn’t need to use a second move to kill people. Of course it’s easy when dealing with someone with ordinary martial arts, but if it’s a real expert, don’t tell me she can also kill with a single move? Exaggeration, exaggeration! Its really hard to believe.”
Wu LaoDa said: “If Brother Bao refuses to believe, there is nothing I can do. But all of us are willing to be insulted by Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain, whatever she says, we don’t dare to say no. If she does not have superhuman abilities, which of the 36 Cave-Lords and 72 Islands-Masters here wants to be nice to her? How come for all these years, we are so docile and nobody dares to revolt?”
Bao BuTong nodded his head and said: “It’s indeed odd, everyone here might not be willing to be her slave.” Although he felt Wu LaoDa’s speech was logical, he still wanted to debate: “Not true, not true! You say nobody dares to revolt, but now aren’t you revolting?”
Wu LaoDa said: “There is some reasoning behind it. At that time, when I saw the two sword wounds on Nine-Wing Taoist, I had some doubts. I looked at the other two dead people, those two also did not die by a single move; obviously it was due to a fierce battle, they were riddled with scars. Immediately I discussed with Brother An, Brother Qin and the others; this matter is simply too strange. Could it be that Nine-Wing Taoist and the others weren’t killed by Child Elder? But if they weren’t killed by Child Elder, then her subordinates at Vulture Palace, how dare they kill people at the base of Misty Peak and spoil Child Elder’s reputation of killing people with a single move? I had several doubts and suspicions, when we travelled
for a few li, Cave-Lord An suddenly said: ‘Maybe... maybe that old madam... contracted... contracted...”
Murong Fu is aware that he is referring to the stuttering person, he thought: “So this person is Cave-Lord An.”
Wu LaoDa continued: “At that time we were not far from Misty Peak, but in fact it was actually a few thousand li away. When mentioning that old witch nobody dares to be disrespectful towards her, we always address her as old madam. Brother An said: ‘contracted... contracted...’ These few words, everyone also know it without consulting each other: ‘contracted illness?’”
Taoist BuPing said: “That child granny, how old is she?”
Wang YuYan said softly: “She can’t be too young.”
Duan Yu said: “Correct, since she is a granny then she can’t be too young. But in the future, if you become a granny, you will still be young.” But Wang YuYan listened attentively to Wu LaoDa, she paid no attention to him at all. Duan Yu felt dull, he pondered: “The words of Wu LaoDa, I better pay attention as well, if not when Miss Wang asks me about it and I can’t answer then won’t I be wasting a golden opportunity?”
Wu LaoDa said: “Nobody knows how old Child Elder is. We are under her control, at the least 10-20 years, at the most 30-40 years, only Cave-Lord of Limitless Cave and a few others, they recently came under the control of Vulture Palace. In any case, nobody has ever seen her appearance, nobody dares to ask her about her age.”
As Duan Yu listened, he recalled that he knew the Cave-Lord of Limitless (Wuliang) Cave. He look around, indeed Xin ShuangQing was leaning against a large rock far away, his head lowered in contemplation, his expression sorrowful.
Wu LaoDa continued: “We immediately recall: ‘Man must die eventually’, no matter how powerful Child Elder is she will eventually die and her body will break down. Our offering was not complete but she did not punish us, this is already unusual. Moreover Nine-Wing Taoist died at the base of the mountain, unexpectedly he suffered more than one wound, this is even more suspicious. To cut the story short, something must be greatly amiss.”
“We looked at each other, nobody dared to speak. Everyone knew that this is our only chance to take off our chains, but Child Granny is strict in governing us, nobody dare to suggest to investigate the incident. After a long time, Brother Qin said: ‘2nd Brother An’s conjecture is reasonable, but this matter is simply too risky. In my opinion, we should go back and quietly wait for news. After getting solid information it won’t be too late to decide on what to do.’”
“Brother Qin’s tried and tested method is appropriate… but.. but we simply cannot wait anymore. Brother An said: ‘This ‘Life-Death Talisman’... ‘Life-Death Talisman’...’ he doesn’t need to say it, everyone understood. The old witch has a hold on our ‘Life-Death Talisman’, we cannot rebel. If she dies due to illness and the ‘Life-Death Talisman’ falls into the hands of another person, won’t we be the slave of the second person again? We cannot free ourselves and be trapped for eternity? If that person is cruel and malicious, or worse than that old witch, then won’t we have to endure even more suffering and torment? We are like an arrow on the bowstring, there is no choice but to fire. We are well aware that its exceptionally risky, but we must go and investigate fully.”
“Among our group, in terms of martial arts and resourcefulness, Cave-Lord An is number one, especially his lightness martial art (qinggong), it’s much higher than the rest. It was quiet at that time, the eight of us looked at Cave-Lord An’s face.”
Murong Fu, Wang YuYan, Duan Yu, Deng BaiChuan, Bao BuTong, they didn’t know Cave-Lord An. They scanned the crowd repeatedly, they want to know what kind of person Cave-Lord An was, who possessed superior martial arts and stutters while speaking. Everyone suddenly recalled, previously Wu LaoDa introduced the crowd to Murong Fu and Taoist BuPing, but Cave-Lord An was not among them.
Wu LaoDa said: “Cave-Lord An likes his peace and quiet, he is not fond of making friends, thus he did not introduce himself just now, please don’t blame him! At that time, everyone longed for Cave-Lord An to take charge and investigate the matter. Cave-Lord An said: ‘Since this is the case, I will accept and go ahead to investigate.’” Everyone was aware that Cave-Lord An’s speech was not that smooth flowing, it was just that Wu LaoDa is unwilling to imitate his stuttering to avoid ridicule; this is also the reason why Cave-Lord An is unwilling to meet Murong Fu and Taoist BuPing.
Wu LaoDa continued: “We waited anxiously at the base of Misty Peak, time crawled, we are afraid that Cave-Lord An might meet some misfortune. We don’t have to lie to each other, although we are worried about Cave-Lord An falling under the evil hands of that old witch, but we are more worried the old witch might make life difficult for us in her anger. But since the matter already reached such a state, we can only endure, if the old witch wants to punish us severely, there is no way for us to escape. After six hours, Cave-Lord An finally return to the designated meeting point. His expression is happy, everyone breathed a sigh of relief. He said: ‘The old madam is sick, she is not at Misty Peak.’ It seems he secretly returned to Misty Peak and eavesdropped on the conversation between the old witch’s maids, he found out that the old witch suffered serious illness, she left to find medicine and seek medical treatment.”
When Wu LaoDa finished speaking, everyone immediately cheered loudly. They had long known about the news concerning the illness of Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain, everyone gathered here for the purpose of discussing this matter, but hearing Wu LaoDa mention the incident they could not help but cheer.
Duan Yu shook his head and said: “Feeling happy upon hearing news about illness, you people rejoice in other people’s misfortune!” His words were inter-mixed with the thunderous joyful cheers, nobody heard them.
Wu LaoDa said: “We were elated when we heard this news, but we are worried the old witch is crafty, she deliberately faked illness to test us. The nine of us conferred, after two days we finally went up Misty Peak together to investigate. This time, I personally heard it for myself. That old witch had indeed suffered serious illness, most probably it’s real. But we can’t find out the location of the ‘Life-Death Talisman’.”
Bao BuTong interrupted: “Hello, old chap Wu, that ‘Life-Death Talisman’, what stupid thing is it?”
Wu LaoDa gave a sigh and said: “That thing is complicated and not easy to explain, I can’t explain it to Brother Bao in a short period of time. In short, the old witch controls the ‘Life-Death Talisman’, she can kill us any time.”
Bao BuTong said: “Then it’s an extremely powerful magic weapon?”
Wu LaoDa laughed bitterly and said: “You can also say that.”
Duan Yu pondered: “That Divine Farmer Clan Clan-Leader, goat-beard SiKong Xuan, he was extremely afraid of Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain’s ‘Life-Death Talisman’ to the extent that he jumped off the cliff to commit suicide; it seems this magic weapon is really powerful.”
Wu LaoDa was unwilling to talk about the ‘Life-Death Talisman’, he said to the crowd: “The old witch suffered a serious illness, it’s absolutely true. To free ourselves from disaster we have to gather our courage and fight till death. However, we don’t know if the old witch has returned to Vulture Palace. We have to figure out how to proceed from now on. Especially Taoist BuPing, Gentleman Murong, Miss Wang....Gentleman Duan, if the four of you have any brilliant idea please grant it to us.”
Duan Yu said: “Previously, I heard that Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain is vicious and tyrannical, she humiliates everyone. I feel really indignant, I am determined to go up Misty Peak and debate with that old madam. But since she has fallen ill, it’s not the way of gentleman to take advantage of other’s precarious position. Not to mention that I don’t have any brilliant idea, even if I have some brilliant ideas I won’t speak of it.”
- End of Chapter 34 -