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Demi Gods & Semi Devils Book 4
XXXV - A beauty abruptly age, a fleeting moment of bliss
Chinese title: 天龍八部 - 红颜弹指老 刹那芳华Original novel written by Jin Yong (Louis Cha)
Wuxia Novel Fan Translation by darksinz
Chapter 35: Beautiful Woman Become Old With A Snap Of The Finger, Splendid And Fragrant In An Instant
Wu LaoDa’s countenance changed immediately, he was about to speak but Taoist BuPing cast a meaningful look at him. He smiled and said: “Gentleman Duan is a nobleman, you refuse to take advantage of other people’s precarious position, a capable person with great style, admirable, admirable! Brother Wu, we will assault Misty Peak, the number one priority is to know the real situation at Vulture Palace. Cave-Lord An, Brother Wu, etc, the nine of you investigated personally, after that old witch left, how many experts are still at the Palace? How are they deployed? I assume Brother Wu is thorough in your investigation, please tell us and let everyone know, how about it?”
Wu LaoDa said: “I am really ashamed, we looked around at Vulture Palace, but nobody dared to pry further. We did our utmost to conceal ourselves, we feared bumping into someone else. But while I was at the Palace’s rear garden, I accidentally bumped into a little girl. This child is a servant or maid, she suddenly raised her head, I did not have time to dodge and we met face-to-face. I am deeply afraid of leaking out the secret, I rush forward to capture her. Those ladies at the Palace, all of them are instructed by that old witch in martial arts, their skill is no small matter. Although it’s just a child but I am afraid she is very capable. I rush towards her, I am fully aware that I will most probably die.....”
His voice trembled, obviously the situation at that time was extremely dangerous, he could not help but shiver when he recounted it. Everyone saw that he was still safe and sound now, obviously he must have adverted the danger at Misty Peak. Although he was forced to pick a fight at Misty Peak to get out of danger, everyone felt he was rather reckless to attempt it.
Wu LaoDa continued: “When I rush forward, I use all my strength, I executed ‘Tiger Claw Skill’ with my pair of hands, a thought flashed through my mind at that time: ‘If I can’t catch this child with this move and she yells out to attract reinforcements, then I will simply jump off this peak, which is several hundred zhang high, commit suicide cleanly to avoid being captured by the female commanders of that old witch and suffer endless misery.’ Unexpectedly... unexpectedly my left-hand landed on her shoulder, right-hand gripping her arm, she did not resist at all. In an instant her body softened and she lost all her strength, she didn’t have the slightest bit of martial arts. I was overjoyed at the unexpected turn of events. I was so stunned that my legs became limp and painful. I am not afraid of being ridiculed by everyone, I scared myself. That child turned soft and collapsed, I am useless, I also turned soft and collapsed.”
As he finished speaking, the crowd laughed out loudly, the mood became relaxed. Although Wu LaoDa chastised himself for being a coward, everyone knew that he was actually very brave and strong. He dared to capture someone at Misty Peak, how could it be a simple matter?
Wu LaoDa waved his hand, his subordinate carried a black cloth-sack, stepped forward and placed it in front of him. Wu LaoDa untied the rope binding the sack, he pulled open the sack and revealed a person.
Everyone cried out in surprise. That person’s figure was very small, it was a little girl.
Wu LaoDa said proudly: “This baby girl, I captured her from Misty Peak.” Everyone cheered:
“Wu LaoDa is amazing! You are a hero!”
“Immortals from 36 Caves and 72 Islands, Wu LaoDa is at the top of the list!”
The cheers were intermixed with squeaking and wailing, the little girl was rubbing her face and crying.
Wu LaoDa said: “After capturing this female doll, we were afraid the news might leak out if we delayed any longer, thus we left Misty Peak immediately. We questioned this girl repeatedly, but it’s a pity, she is mute. Initially we thought she pretended to be deaf and mute, we tried all sorts of method to test her. Sometimes we shouted loudly behind her back to check if she was scared, we tried repeatedly, she is really deaf and mute.”
The little girl was weeping, ‘Ya Ya Ya’, sure enough it was the noise made by mute people. A person from the crowd asked: “Wu LaoDa, she can’t speak, but can she write?”
Wu LaoDa said: “She can’t write either. We beat her up, submerged her in water, burned her with fire, starved her; we tried all sorts of methods, it seems she is not stubborn, she really doesn’t know.”
Duan Yu could not help but say: “Using this kind of despicable method to torment a little girl, you are shameless!”
Wu LaoDa said: “The sufferings and torment we suffered under Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain, they are ten times worse. We are just paying it back, how can it be shameless?”
Duan Yu said: “If you want revenge you should seek out Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain, torturing her little servant girl, how is it useful?”
Wu LaoDa said: “Of course its useful.” He raise his voice and said: “Brothers, today we work as one, we will rebel against Misty Peak, from now on we share all riches and suffer all misfortune together. Everyone will swear an oath with blood to confirm this matter. Is there anyone who is unwilling?” He asked twice, no one spoke out. He asked for the third time, a tall and sturdy man turned around, he did not say anything and ran to the west.
Wu LaoDa shouted: “Sword-Fish Island Island-Lord Ou, where are you going?” The man did not reply, he kept running. His movement was extremely fast, in the blink of an eye he had already passed a mountain depression.
Everyone shouted: “He is a coward, running away prior to battle, intercept him quick.” Immediately around ten people gave chase. All of them possessed high-level lightness martial arts, but they were quite far from Island-Lord Ou, nobody knew if they could catch up.
Suddenly there was a miserable ‘Ah’ cry, it came from the rear of the mountain. Everyone had a shock, their countenance changed. The ten people who were chasing also stopped moving. They heard the wind blowing, a spherical object swiftly flew up from the rear of the mountain, as it reached midair it fell straight towards the crowd.
Wu LaoDa leapt forward and caught the spherical object. Under the light the object was bloodied and mutilated, unexpectedly it was a severed head. He looked at the facial features of the head, both the eyes wide open, it was Island-Lord Ou. Wu LaoDa’s voice trembled: “Island-Lord Ou...” He could not imagine how Island-Lord Ou died within such a short period of time. A terrible thought came to him: “Don’t tell me Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain has arrived?”
Taoist BuPing burst into loud laughter, he said brightly: “Sword God, Sword God, your reputation is indeed well-deserved. Brother Zhuo, your guard is really tight!”
A bright voice sounded from the rear of the mountain: “Running away prior to a battle, he should be put to death to avoid leaking out the secret. All the Cave-Lords and Island-Lords, please don’t take offense.”
Everyone roused from their panic-stricken state, they said: “Luckily Sword God got rid of the traitor and prevented him from spoiling the matter.”
Murong Fu and Deng BaiChuan pondered: “This person is known as ‘Sword God’, but isn’t he a bit too arrogant and conceited. No matter how brilliant your sword art, how can you proclaim yourself as ‘God’? I never heard of such person before, I wonder how brilliant his sword art is?”
Wu LaoDa was ashamed of being overly suspicious, he said loudly: “Brothers, please take out your weapons, chop your saber and thrust your sword at this little girl. Although this girl is young and mute, but she is still from Misty Peak. When your weapon is drenched in her blood you cannot reconcile with Misty Peak anymore, even if you have a change of heart you still cannot withdraw.” As he finished speaking, he immediately raised his serrated-saber.
A bunch of people shouted in unison: “Correct, this should be the case! Everyone will swear an oath with blood, from now on you can only advance and not retreat, fight that old witch till death.”
Duan Yu shouted: “You cannot do that, you must not do that. Brother Murong, please stop their savage act.”
Murong Fu shook his head and said: “Brother Duan, their life and death is based on this single action. We are outsiders, we cannot meddle rashly.”
Duan Yu was boiling with righteous indignation, he shouted: “A man sees injustice, how can he shut his eyes and ignore it. Miss Wang, even if you rebuke me I still have to save her, but.. but Duan Yu doesn’t even have the strength to strangle a chicken, I am afraid its difficult for me to save her life. Hello, hello, Brother Deng, Brother GongYe, why aren’t you helping? Brother Bao, Brother Feng, I will rush in to save her, you provide support, how about it?” Deng BaiChuan and the rest always took their cue from Murong Fu, since Murong Fu was unwilling to act they could only shake their head at Duan Yu, but their expression was apologetic.
Wu LaoDa heard Duan Yu making a big fuss, he thought: “This person possess extremely high martial arts, it’s not easy to handle if he really wants to create trouble, the situation can change abruptly. It’s best to quickly end this matter”, at once he raise his serrated-saber and shouted: “Wu LaoDa will act first!” He swung his saber and chopped towards the little girl.
Duan Yu shouted: “Not good!” He extended his finger, he executed the move ‘ZhongChong Sword' and thrust it at the serrated-saber. But he could not control his ‘Six Meridians Divine Sword’ at will. Sometimes his internal energy was abundant, his power boundless and inexhaustible, but sometimes he couldn’t even gather a tiny bit of internal energy; it was entirely dependent on whether he was willing to focus completely on the task. Although he acted heroically to save the little girl, but ultimately it was not the same passionate care he showered on Wang YuYan. As he thrust out the sword, his internal energy only reached his palm, it couldn’t be fired out.
As the saber was about to land on the little girl’s body, suddenly a black shadow leapt out from behind a rock, he waved his left palm, a powerful force knocked Wu LaoDa away. The person’s right hand grabbed the cloth-sack, he carried the sack along with the little girl on his back and rushed quickly towards the northwest mountain peak.
Everyone shouted in unison and chased after him. But the person’s running speed was strangely quick, in an instant he had already reached the jungle at the hillside. The various Cave-Lords and Island-Lords fired their hidden projectiles, but they hit the tree bark or got deflected by the branch and leaves.
Duan Yu was elated. His vision was sharp, he recognized the person, he had met him at Su XingHe’s chess meet; the person broke the incomparably complicated chess formation. Sure enough, Murong Fu shouted out: “That person is a Shaolin monk, XuZhu.”
Duan Yu also shouted: “Senior martial brother XuZhu, the one surnamed Duan will bow ten times to you! Your Shaolin Temple is a giant among men, your reputation is indeed well deserved!”
Everyone saw the person pushed away Wu LaoDa with a single palm, his footsteps nimble and agile, his martials arts were truly solid. They also heard Murong Fu and Duan Yu identify him as a Shaolin monk. Under the famous reputation of Shaolin Temple everyone became timid, they didn’t dare to approach unduly. But the implication of the matter was simply too serious. The little girl was rescued by a Shaolin monk, if they didn’t silence the male-female pair then their conspiracy would be leaked out and they would attract disaster. Everyone bellowed their grievances and rushed forward.
They saw the Shaolin monk rushing up the mountain peak, the mountain peak was high and reaching through the clouds, white snow covered the summit. To reach the top, even if you are a top expert in lightness martial arts you would still require 4-5 days of effort. Taoist BuPing shouted: “Everyone please don’t panic, that monk is going up the mountain peak, it’s a one-way dead end. He won’t fly up to heaven. Everyone guard the access route at the base of the mountain tightly; don’t give him any chance to escape.” When everyone heard this they felt somewhat at ease. Wu LaoDa allocated the manpower, they guarded all the routes to the mountain peak. Out of fear that the people guarding the routes couldn’t hold off the monk if he rushed out, they deployed three rows of barricades at the routes. If the front barricade can’t hold him off there was still the middle barricade, after the middle barricade there was another rear barricade; moreover there would be ten experts patrolling around and they would provide additional support. Once the assignments were done, Wu LaoDa and Taoist BuPing, Cave-Lord An, Cave-Lord Huo, Island-Lord Qin, etc, all ten experts went up the mountain to track down the monk. Their priority was to eliminate the Shaolin monk to avoid future disaster.
Murong Fu and his group were assigned to guard at the eastern route. To preserve their reputation they were invited to sit in the east, but in reality it was just to prevent them from interfering with the matter. Murong Fu was sharp, he was aware that Wu LaoDa was still suspicious of him. He smiled faintly and led Deng BaiChuan and the rest to guard the east road. Duan Yu naturally followed them east, he was not afraid of being branded
annoying. He could not help but praise XuZhu as a great hero.
The person who grabbed the cloth-sack was indeed XuZhu. He was scared out of his wits during the battle between Murong Fu and Ding ChunQiu at the small inn. During the time when You TanZhi rescued AhZi, Murong Fu freed himself and escaped, Ding ChunQiu went out to give chase. XuZhu immediately snuck out from the rear door. His only concern was to find HuiFang and the other martial uncles and listen to their orders, but he didn’t recognize the route. After the fierce battle between Murong Fu and Ding ChunQiu, he became a frightened person, he didn’t dare to go to a small inn or a small guesthouse anymore, he just rushed randomly in the mountains and fields.
At that time, the 36 Cave-Lords and 72 Island-Lords were gathering in the mountain valley, they all brought along their trusted aides and disciples. There was quite a number of people, thus XuZhu inevitably bumped into some of them. XuZhu saw these people were martial artists, he wanted to inquire about the whereabouts of HuiFang and his martial uncles, but their appearance was fierce and ferocious, he was afraid they were with Ding ChunQiu. He didn’t dare to inquire, he secretly eavesdropped on their conversation, they seemed to be planning some sort of shady business. XuZhu was chivalrous and liked to help those in distress, moreover a Shaolin disciple was duty bound to assist, thus he followed them and eventually he saw and heard all the particulars of the matter. He was unaware of the various grudges and resentments in the matter, but just as Wu LaoDa was about to kill a completely defenseless mute-girl, his merciful heart was moved. No matter who was right or wrong, he definitely must save the little girl, at once he rushed out from behind the rock, he grabbed the cloth-sack and ran away.
As he traveled up the mountain peak, he gathered his energy and rushed straight ahead, the forest was getting denser, the shouting of his pursuers gradually died off. When he saved someone it was purely out of his merciful heart, he was determined to become a Bodhisattva, when a living thing was in trouble he definitely had to save them. But now he recalled that these people were martial art experts, their methods cruel and vicious, he was no match against anyone of them. He pondered: “I have to run to a secret secluded location and hide, don’t let them find me, only then can I preserve my life and the little girl’s life.” At the moment there was no time to consider other alternatives, he couldn’t discern the route in his panicked state, wherever there was dense vegetation he would simply run there.
Luckily he inherited 70 years of internal energy from the Carefree Sect's old man. His internal was abundant and vigorous, he had run for nearly four hours but unexpectedly he was not tired at all. He ran with full strength. Originally his Carefree Sect’s internal energy gathered in his left ‘ShanZhong’ acupoint, it slowly scattered to other acupoints all over his body, the obstructions cleared up; he felt refreshed and invigorated, his physical strength increased. After rushing for another period of time, the sky turned bright, he was stepping on a thin layer of snow; it seemed he was already halfway up the mountain. This place was high in the northwest of the mountain, the summit was towering, the snow-cover permanent, the climate like cold winter. XuZhu composed himself, he looked at his surroundings, his heart bounced randomly, he mumbled to himself: “Where should I run?”
Suddenly he heard a voice behind his back: “Coward, only think about running, I am so ashamed of you!”
XuZhu was startled, he shouted loudly: “Aiyo!” He extended his legs and ran wildly up the mountain peak. After running for a few li, he finally dared to turn his head back, but he didn’t see anyone pursuing, he said softly: “Lucky, no one is chasing.”
As he finished speaking, a voice came from behind his back: “You are a man, frightened to such a state, you are a dog! Rat! Little bastard!” XuZhu’s shock was no small matter, he extended his legs and rushed forward again. The voice behind his back said: “Coward and stupid, you are really not a good thing!” The voice was around two chi from his back, it was within his reach.
XuZhu pondered: “Terrible, terrible! This person’s martials arts are so powerful, it's difficult for me to escape.”
He extended his legs, he ran faster and faster. The voice said again: “Since you are afraid then you should not try to be a hero and save people. Where do you intend to run?”
The voice was just beside XuZhu’s ear, his legs weakened, he almost fell down, he stumbled and turned around. The sky was bright, sunlight penetrated the dense shade, but he couldn’t see anyone. XuZhu assumed the person was hiding behind a tree, he said respectfully: “Junior monk saw these people want to harm a little girl, thus I overestimated my ability and saved her, I am not trying to show off as a hero.”
The voice sneered: “You overestimated your ability, you will experience suffering.”
The voice still came from behind his ear, XuZhu was startled, he hastily turned around, there was nothing behind him, where was the person? He assumed this person’s movement must be extremely fast, the person’s martial art must be more than ten times higher, even if there were ten XuZhu they would all be dead if the person really wanted to harm him. From the person’s tone it was only criticizing him for being a coward and incompetent, the person did not seem to be the same group with Wu LaoDa. He composed himself and said: “Junior monk is incompetent, senior please give me some directions.”
The voice sneered: “You are not my disciple, why should I guide you?”
XuZhu said: “Yes, yes! Junior monk is talking nonsense, senior please forgive me. They have many people, junior monk is not their match, I… I have to run now.” When he finished speaking, he gathered his energy and rushed up the mountain peak.
The voice behind his back said: “This mountain peak is a dead-end, they are guarding at the base of the mountain, how can you escape?”
XuZhu stared blankly, he stopped moving and said: “I… I... I didn’t expect it. Senior is merciful, please show me the correct path.”
The voice laughed grimly and said: “There are two paths: one, you turn around and kill the enemy, butcher all those demons and ghosts.”
XuZhu said: “Firstly, junior monk is incompetent, secondly I am unwilling to commit murder.”
The voice said: “Then the second path, jump off the mountain, drop straight into the bottomless ravine, death ends all your trouble, Nirvana, free from all suffering.”
XuZhu said: “This....” He turned his head back and took a quick look, everywhere was covered with snow, but there were only his footprints, there was no second person. He considered: “This person walks on snow and leaves no traces, his martial arts are extremely high, they’ve really reached an unimaginable level.”
The voice said: “What this and that, what you trying to say?”
XuZhu said: “If I jump down, junior monk will definitely die, but that little girl whom I saved will also die. Firstly, I did not save a person properly; secondly junior monk’s Buddhist cultivation is shallow, I really cannot reach Nirvana, I will undoubtedly reincarnate and suffer for an entire lifetime again.”
The voice said: “What is your relationship with Misty Peak? Why did you disregard your own life to save that person?”
XuZhu quickly ran up the mountain peak, he said: “What Misty Peak, Vulture Palace, junior monk heard it for the first time today. Junior monk is a Shaolin disciple, I received orders to leave the mountain, I have no connections to other sects or schools.”
The voice sneered: “So you are saying you are a little monk that stands up bravely for what is right.”
XuZhu said: “Junior monk is telling the truth, but I am not acting heroically. Junior monk has no knowledge and experience, my conduct is rash, I have countless problems troubling me and I don’t know what to do.”
The voice said: “Your internal energy is abundant and vigorous, you are truly capable, but the inner power is not from Shaolin, what is the reason?”
XuZhu said: “This matter is a long story, its precisely one of my big problems.”
The voice said: “What long story, short story, I forbid you to avoid the problem, quickly tell me.” The tone was severe, there was no room for him to evade the question. But XuZhu recalled Kang GuangLing saying that the phrase ‘Carefree Sect’ is a secret, he definitely cannot let outsiders hear it. Although the person behind him was a martial art senior, he couldn't even see the person’s appearance; how can he hastily reveal this big problem without careful consideration? He said: “Senior, please forgive me, junior monk really has a lot of difficulties, I cannot tell you.”
The voice said: “Good, since this is the case, quickly put me down.”
XuZhu was startled, he said: “Wh... what?”
The voice said: “Quickly put me down; what do you mean what? You are so long-winded!”
XuZhu listened to the voice, it was neither male nor female, but it was extremely old. He heard the voice say ‘Quickly put me down’, he didn’t understand its meaning. He steadied himself and turned around, there was still no one behind him. He was really suspicious and fearful. The voice said: “Stinky monk, quickly put me down! I am in the cloth-sack, who do you think I am?”
XuZhu was extremely startled, he couldn’t help but relax his hand; there was a ‘Pa’ sound, the cloth-sack landed on the ground. An ‘aiyo’ cry came from the sack. The voice was old and in pain, it was precisely the voice he had been hearing all along. XuZhu also cried out ‘Aiyo’. He said: “Little girl, so its you, how come your voice is so old?” At once he opened the cloth-sack and helped the person out.
The person’s figure was short and small, it was an 8-9 year-old girl, but her gaze was electrifying, bright and expressive. As she looked at XuZhu she had a dignified and imposing aura. XuZhu opened his mouth widely, he was speechless.
The little girl said: “You didn’t pay your respect when meeting a senior, so rude!” The voice was old and aged, her expression old and decrepit.
XuZhu said: “Little... little girl...”
The little girl shout loudly: “What little girl, big girl? I am your granny!”
XuZhu smiled faintly, he said: “We are in a dangerous place, stop fooling around. Come, go into this bag, I will carry you up the mountain. The enemy will come in a moment!”
The little girl look at XuZhu from top to bottom, suddenly she spotted the gem ring on his left-finger, her countenance changed, she asked: “What.. what is that? Let me see.”
XuZhu did not want to wear the gem ring, but he was aware that the ring is an important object, he was afraid of losing it, thus he don’t dare to keep it in his bosom. When the little girl inquired about it, he laughed and said: “It’s not an amusing object.”
The little girl stretched out her hand and grabbed his left wrist, she examined the ring carefully; she tilted XuZhu’s palm, she looked at it for a long time. XuZhu felt her tiny hands shivering, he inclined his head, her eyes were brimming with tears. After a long time, she finally release XuZhu’s palm.
The little girl said: “This ‘Seven-Treasure Ring’, where did you steal it?” Her tone was severe, as if she was interrogating a robber.
XuZhu was unhappy, he said: “Monks have to maintain strict discipline, how can we steal? Someone gave this to me, how can you say I stole it?”
The little girl said: “Rubbish! You are a Shaolin disciple, how can he give this ring to you? If you refuse to tell the truth I will pluck out your tendons and peel off your skin, you will suffer all sorts of pain and misery.”
XuZhu could not help but laugh, he pondered: “If I did not witness it personally, just by hearing the voice, I would really be frightened by this little girl.” He said: “Little girl...” Suddenly there was a ‘Pa’ sound, his waist was hit by a fist, but the little girl was feeble and weak, he did not feel any pain. XuZhu said: “How can you hit someone? You are so young, yet you are so unreasonable and rude!”
The little girl asked: “What is your name?”
XuZhu said: “Junior monk’s religious name is XuZhu”
The little girl said: “Your religious name is XuZhu, en, Ling, Xuan, Hui, Xu, you are a 37th generation disciple. XuanCi, XuanBei, XuanKu, XuanNan, XuanTong, all these little monks, they are your martial grandfathers correct?”
XuZhu retreated a step, he was amazed. Unexpectedly this 8-9 year-old girl knew his teacher and his generation, she even address XuanCi, XuanBei, etc, as ‘little monk’, but her style of speech was not like a little girl. Suddenly he recalled: “Its rumored that the soul can reincarnate into someone else’s body... don’t tell me… don’t tell me some old senior ghost resides in the body of this little girl?”
The little girl said: “Correct or wrong, just reply, how come you didn’t respond?”
XuZhu said: “You are correct, but you call our abbot a ‘little monk’, it’s really too much.”
The little girl said: “How come he is not a little monk? I am the same generation with his Master LingMen, how come XuanCi is not a little monk? What too much or too little?”
XuZhu was even more startled. The Master of Abbot XuanCi, Master LingMen, was an outstanding disciple from the 34th generation. XuZhu believe that a soul had reincarnated into this little girl’s body, he said: “Then... then... who are you?”
The little girl is furious, she said: “Just now you address me as ‘senior’, it is still respectful and courteous; but why do you keep saying ‘you’ now? If not for your meritorious service in saving me, granny would end your dog life with a single palm!”
XuZhu heard her call herself ‘granny’, he was very scared. He said: “Granny, I don’t dare to ask for your great name.”
The little girl’s anger turned into happiness, she said: “Now its much better. Let me ask you first, this ‘Seven-Treasure Ring’, where you obtain it?”
XuZhu said: “An old man gave it to me. Initially I didn’t want it, I am a Shaolin disciple, I really cannot accept. But that old man was close to death. I can’t explain.....”
The little girl suddenly grabbed his wrist again, her voice trembled: “You say that… that old man is close to death? He is dead? No, no, tell me first, what is the appearance of the old man?”
XuZhu said: “His beard is 3 chi, face like polished jade, appearance elegant and handsome.”
The little girl was trembling, she asked: “How come he is close to death? His... his lifetime of martial arts....” Suddenly her sorrow turned into anger, she cursed: “Stinky monk, Wuyazi’s lifetime of martial arts, if he didn’t disperse his energy, how can he die? How can he die so easily?”
XuZhu nodded his head and said: “Yes!” Although this little girl was young, her manner was imposing and intimidating. XuZhu didn’t dare to voice his objection, but he was unclear about something: “What is disperse energy? It’s so easy for a person to die, what is so difficult about that?”
The little girl asked again: “Where did you meet Wuyazi?”
XuZhu said: “You are referring to the elegant and handsome old man, the Master of Mr. Intelligent Su XingHe, correct?
The little girl said: “Obviously. Heng, you don’t even know his name, you still dare to lie, you claim he gave this ‘Seven-Treasure Ring’ to you! Shameless, you are really brazen!”
XuZhu said: “You know Mr. Wuyazi?”
The little girl said angrily: “I am questioning you, you cannot question me. I ask you, where did you meet Wuyazi, answer quickly!”
XuZhu said: “At a mountain peak, I accidentally solved the ‘Zhen Long’ chess formation and I got to meet that old man.”
The little girl clenched her fist, she adopted a striking posture. She said angrily: “Rubbish! This ‘Zhen Long’ chess formation confounded countless wise and talented people for over ten years. A little monk like you, who is stupid like a cow, you can solve it? If you dare to talk big again, I won’t be courteous to you anymore.”
XuZhu said: “Based on junior monk’s ability, obviously I can’t solve it. But the situation at that time was dangerous, Mr. Intelligent forced junior monk to place a chess-piece, junior monk had no alternative but to close my eyes and randomly place a chess-piece. Accidentally it landed on the ‘live together’ stalemate situation, I killed my own white chess-pieces and sacrificed them to the black side. Unexpectedly the situation became optimistic, I managed to solve it under the guidance of another expert. All this by a fluke, but junior monk acted recklessly, henceforth my guilt is not small. ‘Sigh’, I really sinned, Buddha have mercy.” As he finished speaking he pressed his hands together, he chanted the name of Buddha.
The little girl was skeptical, she said: “Based on what you say, it’s somewhat logical...” She have yet to complete her sentence, suddenly a faint whistle carried from below. XuZhu call out: “Aiyo!” He opened the cloth-sack, he grabbed the little girl and stuffed her into the sack; he carried the sack on his back and rushed up the mountain.
After running for a while, the yelling at the bottom of the mountain became further and further away. He turned his head around, a clear set of footprints had imprinted on the snow. His voice was hoarse: “Not good!”
The little girl asked: “What’s not good?”
XuZhu said: “I am leaving footprints on the snow, no matter how far we run they will definitely find us.”
The little girl said: “Go up the tree and travel, you won’t leave any track. It’s a pity your martials arts are simply too low, you don’t even know the slightest bit of lightness martial arts (qinggong). Little monk, your internal energy is not weak, there is no harm trying.”
XuZhu said: “Ok, I will try!” He leapt up, he was in midair, unexpectedly his jump was one zhang higher than the tree-top. As he fell down his feet stepped on the tree trunk, there was a ‘KaLa’ sound, the tree trunk broke off, the tree dropped down simultaneously with XuZhu. He was facing upwards while falling, he would definitely land on top of the cloth-sack. XuZhu was afraid of injuring the little girl, so he hastily turned over in midair, there was a ‘Peng’ sound, his forehead bumped against a rock, blood flowed immediately. XuZhu cried out: “Aiyo, aiyo!” He struggled to get up, he was really ashamed. He said: “My... my martials arts are really weak, I am stupid and tense, it won’t work.”
The little girl said: “You’d rather injure yourself then land on me; at least you are respectful and courteous to granny. Firstly, granny wants to make use of you, secondly, I want to reward a younger generation, I will impart a leaping technique to you. Listen properly, when leaping, bend your knees slightly, gather energy in your dantian, as you feel the energy rise up, you have to relax your muscles and bones, only think about the ‘YuZhen’ acupoint...” At once she explained line by line, she taught him how to twist and turn in the air, how to leap horizontally and jump vertically. As she finished teaching she said: “Follow my method and jump up!”
XuZhu said: “Yes! I will jump alone first to test it out so that I won’t tumble and injure you.” He is about to put down the cloth-sack.
The little girl said angrily: “The skills that granny teaches you, how can they be wrong? Test what crap? If you tumble again, granny will kill you immediately!”
XuZhu could not help but shudder, he suddenly recalled he was carrying a ghost that had reincarnated into someone else body, all his hairs stood up; he wanted to fling the cloth-sack far away, but he didn’t dare. Eventually he clenched his teeth and followed the energy channeling method taught by the little girl. He exercised his internal energy, he focused his thoughts on the ‘YuZhen’ acupoint, both his knees slightly bent, he jumped up lightly.
This time, as he jumped up, his body ascended unhurriedly. Although he had no support to rely on in the air he could twist and turn freely. He was elated, he shouted: “It works, it works!” Unexpectedly as he opened his mouth, the energy leaked out, he dropped down. Fortunately he dropped straight down, he felt faint pain on the sole of his foot as it bumped against the ground; he did not fall down.
The little girl scolded him: “Little idiot, you have to mix your internal energy evenly if you want to speak. You didn’t even master the first step, and you are trying the fifth and sixth step.”
XuZhu said: “Yes, yes! It’s junior monk’s fault.” He followed the method and jumped up again, he landed on a branch lightly; the branch swayed a few times, it did not break.
XuZhu was really happy, but he didn’t dare to open his mouth. He followed the
method taught by the little girl and leapt forward. He flew horizontally for a zhang and landed on the branch of the second tree, he bounced off again, he landed on the third tree. His breathing was smooth, his body light and he had ample power; he leapt further and further. Afterwards, he could even cross over two trees in a single leap, he was travelling like the wind in the air; he could not help but feel shocked and excited. The forest was dense, he was flying by leaping off from the tip of the tree branch, there were no footprints on the ground. After the time it took to eat a meal, he was already deep within the forest.
The little girl said: “It’s done, come down now.”
XuZhu said: “Yes!” He jumped down lightly. He lifted the little girl out of the cloth-sack.
The little girl saw his expression was full of joy and happiness, the joy was impossible to describe. She cursed: “Useless little monk, you only learn this superficial and tiny bit of skill, yet you are so happy!”
XuZhu said: “Yes, yes. Junior monk’s experience is shallow, granny, the skills you taught me are very useful...”
The little girl said: “Unexpectedly you learned it with just one round of guidance, granny’s divine eyes did not misjudge your talent. Little monk your internal energy is not from Shaolin. Where did you learn your martial arts? You are so young, but how come your energy foundation is so deep and profound?”
XuZhu’s chest ached, his eyes turn red, he said: “Mr. Wuyazi, just before he died, his... his 70 years lifetime of internal energy, he forcibly transferred it into junior monk’s bod. He said he used his ‘Divine Skill of the Northern Darkness’. Junior monk really didn’t dare to betray Shaolin and change sects, but Mr. Wuyazi didn’t allow me to explain, he absorbed junior monk’s internal energy. Although junior monk’s internal was extremely shallow, it was really nothing, but... but, junior monk really spent quite a bit of hard work to cultivate it. Mr. Wuyazi then passed on his martial arts to me. Junior monk doesn’t know if this is a blessing or disaster. ‘Sigh’, in short, someday junior monk will return to Shaolin, in short, in short...” He kept saying ‘in short’, but he really didn’t know what to say.
The little girl was dazed and did not reply. She spread the cloth-sack on a rock and sat on it, thinking deeply. She said softly: “It seems Wuyazi really did pass on Carefree Sect's leadership position to you.”
XuZhu said: “So... so you also know the name ‘Carefree Sect’.” All along he don’t dare to mention the phrase ‘Carefree Sect’, Kang GuangLing had mentioned before, if outsiders hear the phrase ‘Carefree Sect’ they could not be allowed to live in this world. Now that the little girl mentioned it, he could finally speak of it. He thought: “You are a ghost, not human, you have no means to kill me”.
The little girl said angrily: “You think I am not aware of Carefree Sect? When granny became aware of Carefree Sect, Wuyazi was not even aware of it.”
XuZhu said: “Yes, yes!” He contemplated: “Maybe you are an old ghost from several hundred years ago, naturally you are much older than Wuyazi old man.”
The little girl picked up a dried branch, she was drawing on the snowy ground. She kept drawing straight lines, after a while she completed a drawing of a chessboard with 19 horizontal and vertical lines. XuZhu was startled: “She wants to force me to play chess, I am really in trouble.” But after drawing the chessboard, she started drawing the chess-pieces; an empty circle is white chess-piece, a circle with a dot at the center is black chess-piece. The chessboard was filled with chess-pieces. When the arrangement was half complete, XuZhu recognized it; it was the ‘Zhen Long’ chess formation that he solved. He understood: “So you also knew about this ‘Zhen Long’ formation.” He thought: “Don’t tell me you also tried to solve it many years ago, you thought bitterly and eventually died due to anger?” As he thought about it he felt a cold chill on his back.
The little girl completed the ‘Zhen Long’ chess formation, she said: “You said you solved this ‘Zhen Long’, what is the first move, demonstrate it for me to see.”
XuZhu said: “Yes!” He killed his own side with the first move and sacrificed a huge group of white chess-pieces to his opponent; at once the situation became optimistic. Afterwards he followed the directions given by Duan YanQing and counterattacked the black side.
Sweat poured down from the little girl’s forehead, she muttered: “Fated, fated! Who in the world would think of such odd method, kill yourself before attacking the enemy?”
When XuZhu solved the ‘Zhen Long’ the little girl contemplated for a long time. She said: “So it seems that little monk is not talking rubbish. This move is called ‘nothing less than complete destruction’. Wuyazi passed on this ‘Seven Treasure Ring’ to you, tell me the entire process in detail, you cannot cover up the truth.”
XuZhu said: “Yes!” He narrated everything from the start, how his Master dispatched him down from Shaolin Temple, how he broke the ‘Zhen Long’, how Wuyazi passed on his internal energy and ring, how Ding ChunQiu used his poison to kill Su XingHe and XuanNan, how he tried to find HuiFang and his martial uncles, etc. He narrated everything.
The little girl did not say a word, she let him finish speaking; finally she said: “Then Wuyazi is your Master, how come you didn’t address him as Master, why do you address him as ‘Mr. Wuyazi’?”
XuZhu’s expression was awkward, he said: “Junior monk is a Shaolin monk, I really cannot change sects.”
The little girl said: “So you are unwilling to become Carefree Sect Leader?”
XuZhu nodded his head repeatedly and said: “Absolutely.”
The little girl said: “Then it’s easy, give this ‘Seven Treasure Ring’ to me. I will replace you and become Carefree Sect Leader, how about it?”
XuZhu was elated, he said: “This is exactly what I have been hoping for!” He removed the gem ring from his finger and gave it to her.
The little girl’s expression was fluctuating, she seemed to be happy yet sad. She took the ring and put in on her finger. But her finger was tiny, the ring would fall off if she wore it on her middle finger or ring finger, eventually she put in on her thumb. She scrutinized the ring for a long time, finally she asked: “You said Wuyazi gave you a painting, he ask you to go to Limitless (Wuliang) Mountain and find someone to teach you the higher level martial arts of Carefree Sect; where is the painting?”
XuZhu retrieved the painting from his bosom, the little girl opened the scroll, she look at the beautiful woman in the painting, suddenly her countenance changed, she cursed: “He... he wants this **** to teach you martial arts! He... he was on his death bed, yet he still constantly thought about this ****, he drew her appearance so nicely!” Her face was full of anger and jealousy, she threw the painting on the ground and stepped on it.
XuZhu called out: “Aiyo!” He quickly snatched away the painting.
The little girl said angrily: “You feel it’s a pity?”
XuZhu said: “This is such a nice painting, obviously it’s a pity to destroy it.”
The little girl said: “The identity of this ****, that little thief Wuyazi, did he tell you?”
XuZhu shook his head and said: “No.” He pondered: “How come Mr. Wuyazi became a ‘little thief’?”
The little girl said angrily: “Heng, little thief is deluded, it has been ten years already; how can her appearance be like this!? Pei, even at that time, how can she be so good looking?” She was getting more and more angry, she stretched out her hands and wanted to snatch the painting to tear it up. XuZhu quickly withdrew his hands and kept the painting in his bosom. The little girl was short, her strength weak, she couldn’t snatch it. She gasped for breath and cursed: “Little thief has no conscience, shameless and stinky ****!” XuZhu didn’t understand, since the old ghost that resided in this little girl recognized the beautiful woman in the painting, then both of them must have some prior hatred; although it was just a painting, but still her anger was really hard to eliminate.
The little girl was still cursing viciously. Suddenly XuZhu’s stomach groaned in hunger. He had run for almost half a day, moreover he rushed wildly and jumped about, yet he had not eaten a single grain of rice; obviously he was very hungry.
The little girl said: “You are hungry?”
XuZhu said: “Yes. I am afraid there is nothing edible on this snowy peak.”
The little girl said: “Why not? There are a lot of bamboo partridges on snowy peaks, there are also sika deer and antelope. I will teach you a lightness martial art that allows you to sprint on flat ground, I will also teach you techniques to catch chicken and sheep...”
XuZhu did not wait for her to finish, he quickly waved his hands and said: “How can a monk kill? I’d rather starve to death than eat meat and fish.”
The little girl cursed: “Thieving monk, don’t tell me you’ve never eaten meat and fish before in your entire life?”
XuZhu recalled the day he was tricked by that female at the restaurant, he ate fatty meat and drank half a bowl of chicken soup. He said bitterly: “Junior monk was deceived by someone, I ate meat and fish once, but that was unintentional, Buddha will not blame me. But you want me to personally kill the animal, I definitely cannot do that.”
The little girl said: “You refuse to kill chicken and deer, but you are willing to kill humans, that crime is even worse.”
XuZhu said in surprise: “How come I am willing to kill human? Buddha is merciful, sin, sin.”
The little girl said: “You still pray to Buddha, you are really funny. If you refuse to catch a chicken for me to eat, after four hours, I will die. Won’t you be the culprit?”
XuZhu scratched his head and said: “This mountain peak must have some grass or fungus, bamboo shoots, etc. I will go pluck them for you to eat.”
The little girl’s expression was grave, she pointed at the sun and said: “If the sun reaches the top of my head and by then I still do not drink fresh blood, I will definitely die!”
XuZhu was extremely scared, he said: “You are perfectly fine, why the need to drink blood?” His hairs stood up, he coud not help but think of ‘block-sucking ghost’.
The little girl said: “I have a strange illness, everyday at noon if I don’t drink blood, the energy in my body will boil, I will be burnt to death. I will act violently at the verge of death, its not beneficial for you.”
XuZhu shook his head repeatedly and said: “No matter what, junior monk is a Buddhist disciple. I have to maintain strict discipline, not to mention that I am determined not to kill; even if you intend to kill, I also have to spare no effort to stop you.”
The little girl fixed her gaze on him, although he was terrified, he was unyielding and firm, obviously he would not give in. She sneered: “You claim you are a Buddhist disciple, maintaining strict discipline, what are the disciplines?”
XuZhu said: "Buddhist’s disciplines includes basic precepts, the Mahayana precept, etc.”
The little girl sneered: “So much variations and patterns, what are basic precepts, Mahayana precepts?”
XuZhu said: “Basic precepts are quite simple, there are four categories. The first category has 5 prohibitions, the second category has 8 prohibitions, the next one has 10 prohibitions, the last one is for initiation as a monk, there are 250 prohibitions. The 5 prohibitions are for everyone: do not kill, do not steal, do not engage in sex, do not lie, do not drink wine. For those who have taken the tonsure, they have to abide the additional 8 prohibitions, 10 prohibitions and finally the 250 prohibitions; they are much stricter than the 5 prohibitions. In short, do not kill is the number one prohibition for a Buddhist.”
The little girl said: “I heard before, for eminent monks to achieve enlightenment, they have to maintain Mahayana precepts, they are called ‘Ten Restraints’, correct?”
XuZhu trembled, he said: “Correct. Mahayana precepts focus on sacrificing oneself to help people, it is to make an offering to Buddha, sacrificing one’s life to save all living things, but you don’t have to really carry out the ten items.”
The little girl asked: “What are the ‘Ten Restraints’?”
XuZhu martial arts were mediocre, but he was well-versed in Buddhist scripture, he said: “1st cut your flesh to feed the eagle, 2nd throw yourself to feed a hungry tiger, 3rd chop off your head to thank the heaven, 4th break your bone to extract the marrow, 5th pluck your body to light a thousand lamp, 6th pluck your eyes to give away, 7th skin yourself for scripture, 8th pierce your heart to show your resolve, 9th burn yourself and offer to Buddha, 10th sprinkle your blood to cover the floor.”
As he said one line, the little girl would sneer one time. When he finished speaking, the little girl asked: “Cut your flesh to feed the eagle, what is it?”
XuZhu said: “That is the early life of Sakyamuni Buddha, he saw a hungry eagle chasing a dove, he could not bear it and hid the dove in his bosom. The eagle told him: ‘You save the dove, but you starve me to death, aren’t you harming me?’ Thus Buddha cut his own flesh to feed the hungry eagle.”
The little girl said: “The story of throw yourself to feed a hungry tiger, it must be similar?”
XuZhu said: “Correct.”
The little girl said: “Illuminating, Buddhists have such clear discipline, it’s really deep and profound, it’s more than just ‘do not kill’. If you refuse to catch chicken or deer for me to eat, then you have to follow the example of Sakyamuni Buddha, sacrifice your flesh and blood for me to eat, if you don’t do that you are not a Buddhist disciple.” As she finished speaking she pulled up XuZhu’s left sleeve, revealing his arm. She smiled: “I can endure one day of hunger after eating this arm of yours.”
XuZhu saw her reveal a dense row of teeth, it seemed she want to bite down on his arm. This little girl was short and weak, there was nothing to fear, but XuZhu assumed she was a female ghost that reincarnated into someone else’s body. Her expression now was really terrifying, he could not help but tremble in fear, he shouted loudly and shook off her palm, he extended his legs and ran up the mountain peak.
In his frightened state, his shout was loud and clear, someone bellowed from halfway up the mountain: “They are there, everyone chase towards this direction.” The voice was bright and ringing, it was Taoist BuPing.
XuZhu pondered: “Aiyo, not good! I shouted out in fright and revealed our hiding location, what should I do?” He was really afraid of going back to carry that little girl, but he couldn’t abandon her and run away by himself. He hesitated indefinitely and gazed down at the mountainside, he saw 4-5 black dots moving up the mountain. Although the distance was quite far, they would catch up eventually. The little girl wiould definitely die if she got captured by them again. He walked down a few steps and said: “Hello, if you agree not to bite me I will carry you and run away.”
The little girl laughed out loud and said: “Come over here, I will tell you something. The five people that are coming up, the first one is Taoist BuPing, the second one is Wu LaoDa, the third one is surnamed An, for the other two, one of them is surnamed Luo and the other is surnamed Li. I will teach you a few skills, knock down Taoist BuPing first.” She paused for a moment, smiled and said: “Only knock him down so that he can’t harm anyone, you won’t take his life, it’s not murder, it does not violate your precepts.”
XuZhu said: “Knocking down a fierce opponent to save someone, that should be the correct way. But Taoist BuPing and Wu LaoDa’s martial arts are really high, how can I knock them down? You are skilled, but I can’t learn the moves in such a short period of time.”
The little girl said: “Idiot, idiot! Wuyazi is the Master of Su XingHe and Ding ChunQiu. The martial arts of Su and Ding, you have personally seen them before. If the disciples are already like that, you can well imagine what the Master is capable of. He passed on 70 years of internal energy which he painstakingly cultivated to you; how can Taoist BuPing and Wu LaoDa be compared with you? You are just extremely stupid, you don’t know how to use it. Bring that cloth-sack over, hold it with your right hand, open the sack, gather energy to your left arm, slap your left hand on your opponent’s lower back....”
XuZhu followed the method and learned it, the hand movements were really easy. He was unsure how these simple hand techniques could knock down those martial art experts.
The little girl said: “Immediately after,
point your left forefinger at this spot on your opponent. Wrong, wrong, you have to gather energy like this, you must point it at the correct spot, there cannot be the slightest bit of deviation. When fighting with an enemy, you have to be calm and cool, if you make any mistake, not only would you be unable to knock your enemy down, instead you will hand over your life to the enemy.”
XuZhu followed her guidance, he committed it to memory diligently. These few hand techniques could be executed at one go and flow smoothly. Although there are only 5-6 moves, but inside every move, the body movement, footwork, palm moves, execution method, all of them extremely were odd and strange. How he should stand with both legs, how he should tilt his body, it was extremely complicated. At the same time, when executing the move, internal energy had to be gathered on the palm, the energy will allow the moves to be executed. XuZhu practiced for a long time, but he can’t master it properly. His comprehension was not high, but his memory was fantastic. The method and technique taught by the little girl, he remembered every single word, but he really couldn’t execute the entire set of moves flawlessly in one sitting.
The little girl corrected him repeatedly, she scolded: “Idiot, Wuyazi picked you to become his martial art successor, he is really blind. He wants you to learn martial arts from that ****, that **** likes to dress herself nicely, she is cold and ruthless. It’s fine if you are a handsome and elegant young man, but you are a ugly little monk, I really don’t know why Wuyazi selected you.”
XuZhu said: “Mr. Wuyazi said it before, he wanted to find a romantic and handsome youngster as his successor, it’s a pity... the rules of Carefree Sect are really weird, now... now you are the Carefree Sect Leader.....” He did not carry on speaking, but he completed it in his heart: “You are an old ghost possessing a little girl, you are not good-looking either.”
While speaking, XuZhu already practiced twice, the first time his left palm move too fast, the second time he pointed his finger at the wrong spot. However he had unwavering determination, he wanted to keep on practicing. Suddenly he heard the sound of footsteps, Taoist BuPing rushed up the hill as if he was flying, he laugh and said: “Little monk, you run very fast!” Both his legs pushed off from the ground and he leapt towards him.
XuZhu saw the force was fierce and violent, he turned around and ran. The little girl shouted: “Act according to the method, you cannot make any mistake.” XuZhu did not have time to think, he open the cloth-sack, gathered internal energy into his left arm and smacked his palm at Taoist BuPing.
Taoist BuPing cursed: “Little monk, unexpectedly you dare to fight with your Taoist grandpa?” He waved his palm to meet it. XuZhu did not wait for the palms to clash, he extended his leg and hook him. It was really strange, his leg really hooked onto him, Taoist BuPing stumbled forward, XuZhu moved his left hand in a circle, he gathered energy and smacked his opponent’s lower back. This time it was even stranger, Taoist BuPing, who disregarded the 36 Cave-Lords and 72 Island-Lords, unexpectedly he couldn’t endure the palm, his body swayed and he fell straight into the cloth-sack. XuZhu was elated, immediately after he pointed his finger at the ‘YiShe’ acupoint. This ‘YiShe’ acupoint was located at the center of the back, beside the spleen. XuZhu had not learned any martial arts in hitting pressure points, in his haste his finger targeted the wrong spot, he hit the ‘YangGang’ acupoint which is above the ‘YiShe’ acupoint.
Taoist BuPing cry out loudly, he crawl out from the cloth-sack, tumbled a few times backward and rolled down the mountain.
The little girl call out repeatedly: “What a pity, what a pity!” She scolded XuZhu: “Idiot, I asked you to hit the ‘YiShe’ acupoint, he would immediately be immobilized. Who ask you to hit his ‘YangGang’ acupoint?”
XuZhu was startled yet happy, he said: “This method is really useful, but junior monk is simply too stupid. Although I hit the wrong spot, I still managed to scare him off, isn’t that a cause for joy?” At once Wu LaoDa rushed up the mountain. XuZhu carried the cloth-sack and stepped forward, saying: “Come over here and test it.”
Wu LaoDa saw Taoist BuPing was defeated in a single move and rolled down the mountain, he was really astonished and surprised. He was vigilant, he raised his ‘Verdant Wave Fragrant Dew Saber’ to guard his body and moved forward. He executed a move ‘Coiling Cloud On Mountain Wu’ and chopped towards XuZhu’s waist. XuZhu quickly dodged it and shouted: “Aiyo, not good!
This person is using a saber, I....I cannot handle him.”
The little girl shouted: “Come over here and carry me, jump up the tree!” At this moment Wu LaoDa had already chopped three times in succession, luckily he was secretly afraid and didn’t dare to press forward excessively; these three saber-moves were all empty moves. But XuZhu ran away like a rat, his situation desperate and critical, he heard the call from the little girl, he felt really happy: “Jump up the tree to escape, I learned this technique before.” As he is about to rush over to carry the little girl, Wu LaoDa attacked in quick succession, the saber was fast like the wind, it chopped towards his fatal points. XuZhu shouted: “Not good!” He gathered his energy and jumped, his body rose straight up, he appeared to be flying and he landed on top of a pine tree.
This pine tree was three zhang high, XuZhu jumped up effortlessly, Wu LaoDa had a huge shock. Although Wu LaoDa martials arts were strong, his lightness martials arts were ordinary; he definitely could not climb up such a tall tree. However his attention was not on XuZhu but on the little girl, he shouted loudly: “Damn monk, just stay on the tree top forever, don’t ever come down!” As he finished speaking he extended his legs and rushed towards the little girl; he stretched out his hands to grab the back of her neck. He still wanted to capture this little girl and let everyone chop her and drink her blood, swear an oath with blood, thus no one could have any second thoughts and back out.
XuZhu saw the little girl got captured again, he felt really anxious, he pondered: “She asked me to carry her up the tree, but I just jumped up on the tree top by myself. She imparted this lightness martial art to me, isn’t this an act of ingratitude from me?” He jumped down from the tree top. While jumping down, the cloth-sack he was holding just so happened to face downward, he easily covered Wu LaoDa’s head with the cloth-
sack. His left finger pointed at his opponent’s back, his finger still did not hit the ‘YiShe’ acupoint, it was a few inches lower and hit the ‘WeiCang’ acupoint.
Wu LaoDa felt a gust of wind on his head, afterwards he couldn’t see anything. In his panic he brandished his saber around but he chopped empty air, at that time XuZhu hit his ‘WeiCang’ acupoint. Wu LaoDa did not become paralyzed, but both his arms felt numb, with a ‘Dang’ sound, the ‘Verdant Wave Fragrant Dew Saber’ drop on the ground, his left hand loosened and he released the little girl. Wu LaoDa was anxious to remove the cloth-sack covering his head, he turned over and rolled on the ground.
XuZhu carried the little girl and jumped up the tree top, saying: “Dangerous, dangerous!”
The little girl’s complexion was pale, she cursed: “Useless thing, the skills that I taught you, you messed it up twice.”
XuZhu felt really ashamed, he said: “Yes, yes! I hit the wrong acupoint.”
The little girl said: “Look, they come again.” XuZhu looked down, he saw Taoist BuPing and Wu LaoDa coming up the mountain, moreover there were three additional men. They gesticulated at a distance, they didn’t dare to come close.
Suddenly a short fat person gave a shout and rushed forward, when he was about one zhang from the pine tree he rolled on the ground. He seemed to be surrounded by a circle of light; as it turned out he was brandishing a pair of hatchets to guard his body. He rushed to the base of the tree, there were two ‘Zheng Zheng’ sounds, his twin hatchets hacked the tree roots. This person was strong, the axe sharp; it seemed that after a dozen or more chops this big pine tree would be chop down by him.
XuZhu was really anxious, he shouted: “What to do?”
The little girl said coldly: “Your Master pointed a way for you. He asked you to look for that **** in the painting and beg her to teach you martial arts. You go beg her! If that **** teach you, you can easily knock down these 5 pig-dogs.”
XuZhu said anxiously: “Sigh, sigh!” He thought: “In such dangerous situation you still have the mood to compete with that lady in the painting.” There were two ‘Zheng Zheng’ sounds, the twin hatchets chopped the pine tree again; the tree swayed continuously, pine needle rained down.
The little girl said: “The internal energy in your dantian, first channel it to the ‘Tou Ju’ acupoint on your shoulder, afterwards send it to the ‘TiangJing’ acupoint on your elbow, afterwards send it to the ‘YangChi’ acupoint on your wrist, at the ‘YangHua’, ‘YangGu’, ‘YangChi’, circulate three times in these three acupoints, afterwards send it to the ‘GuanChong’ acupoint on your ring finger.” While speaking, she stretched out her finger to point the various acupoints on XuZhu’s body. She was aware that XuZhu would be completely helpless if she just mentioned the name of the acupoints, thus she had to point them out personally.
The internal energy he received from Wuyazi circulated in his body, he could simply channel anywhere he liked, there was no obstruction at all. After listening to the instructions given by the little girl, he followed accordingly and channeled his internal energy. He heard two ‘Zheng Zheng’ sounds, the pine tree swayed again. He said: “I finished channeling!”
The little girl said: “Pluck down one pine cone, aim it at that fat person’s head or solar plexus, shoot it out with the internal energy you gathered at your ring finger!”
XuZhu said: “Yes!” He plucked one pinecone and hooked his ring finger around it.
The little girl said: “Shoot it out!” XuZhu’s right thumb loosened, the pinecone on his ring finger shoot out immediately. There was a ‘Hu’ sound, the pinecone shot out violently. The force was incomparably fierce and powerful, but XuZhu had never learned any hidden weapon skills before, he didn’t know how to aim properly. There was a ‘Pa’ sound, the pinecone buried deep within the soil and vanished without a trace; the spot was a least three chi away from the short person. Although the power was fierce, it had absolutely no effect at all. The short person was frightened, he stared stupidly for a while, he whirled the hatchet and chopped at the pine tree again.
The little girl said: “Stupid monk, shoot it out again!” XuZhu felt really ashamed, he channeled his internal energy and shot out another pinecone. He prayed for it to hit, but his wrist trembled, eventually it landed five chi away from the short person.
The little girl shook her head and sighed, she said: “The pine tree on the left side is too far from here, if you carry me you can’t jump over there, the situation is desperate, run away and save yourself.”
XuZhu said: “What kind of talk is this? How can I fear for my own life and abandon you? No matter what I am determined to save you. If I don’t succeed then I will just die together with you.”
The little girl said: “Stupid monk, I am not related to you at all, why the need to die together with me? Heng heng, they want to kill both of us, I am afraid it’s not easy. Pluck down six pine cones, hold six pine cones on each hand, afterwards channel your internal energy like this.” She taught him the method to channel the energy.
XuZhu remembered it, he did not have time to execute as the pine tree sway violently, immediately after there is a loud ‘Ka La Ka La’ noise, the tree collapsed. Taoist BuPing, Wu LaoDa, the short person and the other two people cheered loudly; they rushed forward simultaneously.
The little girl shouted: “Toss the pinecones out!” XuZhu’s internal energy surged forward to his palm, he waved his hands everywhere, he tossed the twelve pinecones simultaneously, ‘Pa Pa Pa Pa’ sounds, four people turned over and collapsed. The short person was not hit by the pinecones, he shouted loudly: “Oh my god!” He dumped his twin hatchets and rolled down the mountain. The twelve pinecones shot out quickly, the power violent and unyielding, the pinecones arrived together with the sound, there wass no time for the four people to dodge them.
After tossing out the pinecones, XuZhu was afraid the little girl might be injured if they fell down, he hugged her waist and landed lightly. The snow covered ground was dyed dark red, blood flowed continuously from the four people. XuZhu could not help but feel startled.
The little girl cheered, she struggled to come down from XuZhu’s bosom. She leapt towards Taoist BuPing, her mouth pressing on the wound on his forehead, she sucked the blood wildly. XuZhu was startled, he shouted: “What you doing?” He grabbed her back and lifted her up.
The little girl said: “You killed him, I sucked his blood to treat my illness, what is wrong with it?”
XuZhu saw her mouth was dripping with blood, she laughed maliciously while talking. He could not help but feel scared and put her down slowly, his voice trembled: “I… I killed him?”
The little girl said: “How can it be fake?” She bent over and resumed sucking the blood.
XuZhu saw Taoist BuPing had an egg-size hole on his forehead, he trembled with fear: “Aiyo! I sent the pinecone into his head! This pinecone is so soft and light, how come it can break through his skull?” He looked at the other three people, one of them was hit by two pine cones in the heart, another person was hit on the throat and nose by the pinecones, both of them died. Wu LaoDa was hit on his abdomen, he was still panting and groaning, he had not died.
XuZhu walked towards him, he paid his respect and said: “Mr. Wu, junior monk accidentally injured you, it was really not intentional, but the sin is grave, I am really apologetic.”
Wu LaoDa breathed deeply and cursed: “Stinky monk, are... are you joking? Quick... quickly kill me with a single saber. Damn your grandmother!”
XuZhu said: “How can junior monk joke around with senior? But... but....” Suddenly he recalled that he killed 3 people with a single move, it seemed Wu LaoDa might not live as well. He had already broken the number one Buddhist precept that forbids killing, in his panicked state he trembled from head to toe, tears streamed down his eyes.
The little girl had her fill of fresh blood, she stood up and saw XuZhu clumsily bandaging Wu LaoDa’s wound. Wu LaoDa couldn’t move at all, but he cursed viciously. XuZhu kept on apologizing: “Correct, correct, it is indeed junior monk’s fault, I am really sorry. But you curse my parents, I am an orphan, I don’t know who my parents are, thus its useless for you to curse. Since I don’t know my parents, naturally I don’t know my grandmother, I don’t know my 18 generation ancestors. Mr. Wu, your abdomen must be very painful, naturally your temper will be bad, I won’t blame you. I just tossed without much effort, I really didn’t expect these pinecones to be so powerful and overbearing. ‘Sigh’! These pinecones are really demonic stuff, probably they are some other variety and different from normal pinecones.”
Wu LaoDa said: “Your grandmother is so powerful, what is so different about these pinecones? When you die you will walk up mountains of blades, get deep fried in oil, get banished to 18th level of hell, stinky thief monk, your... ‘cough’ ‘cough’, your internal energy is superior, you killed me, Wu LaoDa’s skill is inferior, I die without complaints, but you come here and say.... ‘cough’ ‘cough’... all these sarcastic remarks? What pinecones are demonic? Your body possesses incomparably powerful internal energy, but you don’t have to be so strong.. strong... vicious... vicious and overbearing...” He couldn’t continue, he coughed repeatedly.
The little girl smiled and said: “Little monk you are really lucky today, granny originally don’t intend to pass on this divine skill to anyone, but you are sincere and honest, you are willing to risk your life for granny, you fulfilled my requirements and I can safely pass on these skills to you. Moreover the situation was desperate, granny needed your help and you were forced to execute the moves.”
Wu LaoDa heard this mute girl open her mouth to speak, he opened his eyes widely, he felt really amazed. Now he finally recalled that someone was speaking to XuZhu earlier, but the situation was desperate and he did not have time to think properly. He didn’t expect the voice to come from the little girl, but now that he personally witnessed and heard it, he could not help but stare foolishly. After a long time he finally said: “You... you what human are you? You are mute, but how come you can talk now?”
The little girl sneered: “You think you are qualified to ask who I am?” She took out a porcelain bottle from her bosom, she took out two yellow pills, she gave them to XuZhu and said: “Let him consume them.”
XuZhu said: “Yes!” He thought it was best if these pills were for treating injuries, but it didn’t matter if they were poison, Wu LaoDa was almost dead. It was better to let him die quickly, so as to avoid pain and suffering, he delivered the pills to Wu LaoDa.
Wu LaoDa suddenly detected an extremely intense and spicy smell, he could not help but sneeze a few times. He was startled yet happy, he said: “This... this is ‘Nine Revolution’, ‘Nine Revolution Bear Snake Pill’?”
The little girl nodded her head and said: “Not bad, you are extremely knowledgeable, you can be considered an outstanding member from the 36 Caves. This ‘Nine Revolution Bear Snake Pill’ is especially effective for the treatment of external injuries, it can restore the dead and prolong life.”
Wu LaoDa said: “Why save my life?” He was afraid of losing this golden opportunity, he did not wait for the girl’s reply and swallowed the two pills. The little girl said: “Firstly you helped me before, I have to give you some minor reward; secondly, I still have some use for you in the future.”
Wu LaoDa didn’t understand, he said: “I helped you before? The one surnamed Wu intend to kill you, I never have any good intention towards you.”
The little girl sneered: “You are open and candid, you can be considered a real man....” She raised her head and looked at the sky, the sun had risen to the top of her head, she said to XuZhu: “Little monk, I have to practice my skill, stay beside me as my protector. If anyone comes to disturb me, just use the skills I taught you, grab some mud or stones and throw them out.”
XuZhu shook his head and said: “What happens if I kill someone again? I....I refuse to do it.”
The little girl walked to the edge of the mountain, she looked downwards and said: “No one is coming, since you refuse then don’t do it.” At once she crossed her legs and sat down, her right forefinger pointing at the sky, left forefinger pointing at the ground, she gave a ‘hey’ sound, two faint streams of white smoke came out of her nostrils.
Wu LaoDa was startled: “This… this is, ‘Eternal Youth Never Ageing Skill’...”
XuZhu said: “Mr. Wu, you consumed the pills, is your injury better now?”
Wu LaoDa cursed: “Stinky thief monk, bastard monk, if my injury is better or not, does it concern you? I don’t need you demonic monk to shed crocodile tears and curry favors with me.” But he felt the pain on his abdomen diminishing, he knew the ‘Nine Revolution Bear Snake Pill’ was a wondrous medicine from Vulture Palace, it could even revive the dead; maybe he could preserve his own life. Unexpectedly this little girl was capable of practicing this divine skill, he was bewildered. He had heard someone mention before, the ‘Eternal Youth Never Ageing Skill’ was the supreme martial art of Vulture Palace, you have to use the highest level of internal energy as the foundation, only then can you practice it. Although this little girl came from Vulture Palace, she was only 8-9 years old; how could she practice to such a level? Or perhaps he heard wrongly and this little girl was practicing some other skill?
The white smoke that came out of the little girl’s nose surrounded her head, it lingered and did not disperse, gradually it became denser and became white fog; the fog covered her face completely. Immediately after the joints in her body made ‘GeGe’ noise, similar to popcorn. XuZhu and Wu LaoDa looked at each other in dismay, they didn’t understand the reason. After a long time, the popcorn noise gradually softened, the white fog also gradually dispersed. The little girl was inhaling the white fog continuously, when the white fog was completely absorbed the little girl opened her eyes and slowly stood up.
XuZhu and Wu LaoDa rubbed their eyes simultaneously, they felt there was something wrong with their eyes. The expression on the little girl was somewhat peculiar, but they couldn’t say the cause of it. The little girl looked at Wu LaoDa and said: “You are indeed extremely knowledgeable, you even recognize this ‘Eternal Youth Never Ageing Skill’ of mine.”
Wu LaoDa said: “You... who are you? Are you the disciple of Child Elder?”
The little girl said: “Heng! Your guts are really not small.” She did not answer his question, she said to XuZhu: “Carry me with your left hand, grab Wu LaoDa’s lower back with your right hand. Use the method which I taught you, channel your energy and jump on top of the tree, afterwards climb several hundred zhang up the mountain peak.”
XuZhu said: “I am afraid junior monk doesn’t have this level of skill.” But he still complied with her orders, he carried the little girl with his left hand, he grabbed Wu LaoDa’s lower back with his right hand. This was already very strenuous, how could he jump up to the tree top?
The little girl scold him: “What, aren’t you channeling your internal energy?”
XuZhu laughed apologetically: “Yes, yes! I was flustered for a moment, unexpectedly I forgot.” He channeled his internal energy, it was really strange, Wu LaoDa immediately became lighter, the little girl was completely weightless; he jumped up on the tree top. Afterwards he used the method taught by the little girl and stepped forward, he leapt from one pine tree to another pine tree which was several zhang away; it was as if he is walking on level ground. This step from him had already reached the next treetop, but it was simply too easy and he was shocked. Due to his shock his internal energy withdrew back into his dantian, his footing became heavy and he immediately fell off the tree; luckily he did not release and drop the little girl and Wu LaoDa. When he landed on the ground, he immediately jumped up again,
he was afraid the little girl would scold him, thus he simply rushed up the mountain peak without saying a word.
Initially, he was not skilled with the channeling of internal energy, sometimes his footing was slightly obstructed and sluggish, after his internal energy circulated a few times, unexpectedly it became smooth and unhindered as if he was breathing normally, he did not need to focus and the energy would naturally flow all over his body. He was running faster and faster, his speed in running up the mountain was nearly as fast as running down the mountain, he could barely restrain his footing. The little girl said: “You are practicing ‘Pure Energy of Northern Darkness’ for the first time, you cannot use it excessively if you want to preserve your own life, you may stop now.”
XuZhu said: “Yes!” He dashed forward a few zhang, he slowed down the momentum and leapt down from the tree.
Wu LaoDa was really amazed, he felt admiration and a bit of envy, he said to the little girl: “This... this ‘Pure Energy of Northern Darkness’, you taught it to him today, unexpectedly it’s already so powerful. The martial arts of Misty Peak’s Vulture Palace, it is really deep like an ocean. You are just a child, but you are... ‘cough’ ‘cough’... so amazing.”
The little girl looked around, they were surrounded by densely packed rows of trees, she sneered: “Within three days, you lot of dogs might not be able to find this place, correct?”
Wu LaoDa said gravely: “We already suffered a crushing defeat, this... this little monk is equipped with ‘Pure Energy of Northern Darkness’, he is protecting you with his full-strength. Even if everyone finds you there’s nothing they can do to you.” The little girl laughed coldly, she did not speak; she leaned against a tree trunk, closed her eyes and fell asleep.
After this burst of running, XuZhu was even hungrier. He looked at the little girl, afterwards he look at Wu LaoDa and said: “I have to go find something to eat, but you have evil intentions. I am afraid you will harm this little friend of mine, I can’t put my mind at ease; it’s best if I take you along.” As he finished speaking he stretched his hand to grab Wu LaoDa’s lower back.
The little girl opened her eyes and said: “Idiot, I already taught you how to hit pressure points. He is lying down motionless, don’t tell me you still can’t hit it properly?”
XuZhu said: “I am afraid I will really hit wrongly and he still can move.”
The little girl said: “His ‘Life-Death Talisman’ is in my hands, does he dare to act rashly?”
Wu LaoDa cried out in alarm when he heard the phrase ‘‘Life-Death Talisman’’, his voice trembled: “You… you... you...”
The little girl said: “Just now you consume how many pills?”
Wu LaoDa said: “Two pills!”
The little girl said: “Vulture Palace’s ‘Nine Revolution Bear Snake Pill’ is incomparably miraculous, why the need for two pills? Moreover, you are a bastard, worse than dogs and pigs; you think you deserve to consume two of my miracle pills?”
Cold sweat poured down from Wu LaoDa’s forehead, his voice trembled: “The... the other pill is... is...”
The little girl said: “How is your ‘TianChi’ acupoint?”
Both his hands trembled, Wu LaoDa quickly undid his clothes, on his chest beside his left breast, a dark blood-red spot had appeared on his ‘TianChi’ acupoint. He cried out loudly: “Aiyo!” He
almost fainted, he said: “You... you... who are you? How... how... how come you know the location of my ‘Life-Death Talisman’? You let me consume the ‘Tendon Breaking Bone Decaying Pill’ correct?”
The little girl smiled faintly and said: “I still have some errands for you, I won’t activate the poison immediately, there’s no need to panic.” Wu LaoDa’s eyes were protruding, his entire body trembled, he cried out ‘Ah Ah Ah’, he was speechless.
XuZhu had seen Wu LaoDa’s panicked expression many times, but he had never seen such fear in him before, he said: “‘Tendon Breaking Bone Decaying Pill’, what is it? Is it poison?”
Wu LaoD’s facial muscle was twitching, he cried out ‘Ah Ah’ again. Suddenly he pointed at XuZhu and cursed: “Stinky thief monk, plague monk, your 18th generation ancestors, the males are all cuckolds, the females are all prostitutes, you will not have any descendant, your son will not have buttocks, your daughter will have three arms and four legs...” His cursing was getting more and stranger, his saliva flew everywhere, he was really angry. Eventually his cursing affected his wound and caused him great pain and he finally shut up.
XuZhu sighed and said: “I am a monk, naturally I won’t have any descendants, since I don’t have any descendants why would I care about a missing buttock or arm?”
Wu LaoDa cursed: “You plague thief baldy, you want to have no descendant so simply? It’s not so easy. Your next 18 sons, 18 daughters, may all of them consume the ‘Tendon Breaking Bone Decaying Pill’, they will cry in anguish in front of you for 99 days, they can neither live nor die. Eventually you will also consume the ‘Tendon Breaking Bone Decaying Pill’, get a taste of the feeling.”
XuZhu was startled, he asked: “This ‘Tendon Breaking Bone Decaying Pill’, it is so powerful and venomous?“
Wu LaoDa said: “All your tendons will break off, at that time you can’t open your mouth, you can’t move your tongue, afterwards... afterwards...” He knew he had consumed this number one most yin and self-harming poison, he couldn’t continue, he felt coldness from the bottom of his heart. He thought of banging his head on the pine tree to kill himself.
The little girl smiled and said: “Just be obedient and listen to me, I will not hasten the process, even after ten years the poison will not activate, why the need to be so scared? Little monk, go seal his acupoint, just in case he starts acting mad and bangs his head on the tree to commit suicide.”
XuZhu nodded his head and said: “Correct!” He walked to Wu LaoDa’s back, he used his left hand to search for the ‘YiShe’ acupoint. He probed carefully, after confirming the location he hit and sealed the acupoint. Wu LaoDa groaned, he fainted immediately. At this moment, XuZhu had some basic experience in channeling the ‘Pure Energy of Northern Darkness’ in his body, in fact he didn’t have to target critical acupoints, he could simply jab any spot on his opponent and easily inflict serious injury. XuZhu saw Wu LaoDa faint, he was flustered and immediately kneaded the ‘RenZhong’ acupoint and massaged the chest, he managed to wake him up. Wu LaoDa was extremely weak and in poor health, he breathed softly; how could he even summon the energy to curse?
XuZhu saw Wu LaoDa wake up, he left to find food. There were truly a lot of elk, antelope, bamboo partridge, wild rabbit, etc, but he was unwilling to kill them. He searched for a long time but did not find any edible stuff, he had no choice but to jump up the pine tree and pluck the pinecones, he extracted the pine nut and ate it. The pine nut was fragrant and sweet, but it was simply too tiny, he ate over 200-300 pine nuts in one sitting but he was still hungry. His hunger was somewhat relieved and he did not eat anymore, he filled two pockets full of pine nuts and gave them to the little girl and Wu LaoDa.
The little girl said: “Its really hard on you. But I cannot eat vegetarian food during this three months. Go and unseal Wu LaoDa’s acupoint.” At once she taught him how to unseal acupoint.
XuZhu said: “Oh right, Wu LaoDa must be very hungry as well.” He followed the instructions given by the little girl and unsealed Wu LaoDa’s acupoint, he grabbed a handful of pine nut and gave it to him, he said: “Mr. Wu, please eat these pine nuts.”
Wu LaoDa glared ferociously at him, he picked up the pine nuts and ate them. After eating a few nuts he cursed: “Thief baldy!” He ate a few more pine nuts and cursed again: “Plague monk!”
XuZhu was not angry, he pondered: “I injured him till he is within inches of his life, no wonder he is angry with me.”
The little girl said: “Just go to sleep after eating the pine nuts, don’t make any sound.”
Wu LaoDa said: “Yes!” He didn’t dare to look at her, he quickly finished eating the pine nuts, he laid down and slept. XuZhu walked to the edge of a big tree, he sat on the tree roots and leaned against the tree to rest. He pondered: “I should not sit too close to that old ghost.” He was exhausted after several days of running, not long after he fell into deep sleep.
He woke up the next morning, but the sky was gloomy, black clouds hung low. The little girl said: “Wu LaoDa, go catch a sika deer or antelope, you have to catch it before 9-11 am, it has to be alive.”
Wu LaoDa said: “Yes!” He struggled to stand up, he picked up a dried branch and used it as a crutch, he propped it against the ground, he swayed and walked slowly. XuZhu wanted to help him, but he presumed that Wu LaoDa must be hunting, he chanted: “Amituofo, Buddha is merciful!” He said: “Deer, sheep, rabbit, wild chicken, all living things, quickly stay far far away, don’t let Wu LaoDa catch you.” The little girl pouted and smiled coldly, she ignored him.
XuZhu kept on chanting Buddhist scripture. Wu LaoDa had sustained serious injury but nobody knew what kind of method he used. Unexpectedly it was not even 9am and he dragged a small sika deer and returned. XuZhu chanted the name of Buddha repeatedly.
Wu LaoDa said: “Little monk, quickly light a fire, we will roast venison and eat it.”
XuZhu said: “Sin, sin! Junior monk will never help you commit such wrongdoing.”
Wu LaoDa flipped his hand, he pulled out a shiny, sparkling dagger from his boot; he was about to kill the deer. The little girl said: “Wait.”
Wu LaoDa said: “Yes!” He put down the dagger.
XuZhu was elated, he said: “Yes, yes! Little girl, you are benevolent and kind, you will definitely have good fortune in the future.” The little girl smiled coldly, she ignored him, she closed her eyes to rested. The small deer called out ‘Mei Mei’ repeatedly. Several times XuZhu thought of rushing forward to release it, but he didn’t dare to do it.
The shadow of the branch was getting shorter and shorter, the sky was gloomy, the shadow was extremely faint, it was really hard to distinguish. The little girl said: “Its noon.” She carried the small deer, lifted the deer’s head high, she opened her mouth and bit the deer’s throat. The small deer called out in pain, it struggled constantly. The little girl bit down firmly, ‘Gu Gu’ noise came from her mouth, she sucked the deer's blood continuously.
XuZhu is startled, he shouted: “You... you...you are too ruthless.” The little girl did not take notice, she focused on sucking blood. The small deer’s movements were getting weaker and weaker; eventually it went into a brief spell of spasm and died.
The little girl had her fill of deer blood, she finally dumped the dead deer. She crossed her legs and sat down, one finger pointing at the sky, one finger pointing at the ground, she practiced the ‘Eternal Youth Never Ageing Skill’ again; white smoke flowed out of her nose and surrounded her head. After a long time, the little girl withdrew the smoke and stood up, she said: “Wu LaoDa, go and roast this venison.”
XuZhu felt loathing in his heart, he said: “Little girl, presently Wu LaoDa obeys your orders, he is serving you wholeheartedly, he won’t dare to harm you anymore. Junior monk will take my leave now.”
The little girl said: “I cannot permit you to leave.”
XuZhu said: “Junior monk is anxious to find my martial uncles, if I can’t find them I have to return to Shaolin Temple to report on my mission and ask for further instructions, I cannot delay anymore.”
The little girl said coldly: “You refuse to listen to me, you want to leave by yourself, correct?”
XuZhu said: “Junior monk already thought of an idea, I will stuff a monk’s robe full of dry grass and leaves and make a huge cloth bag, I will carry it and run away, deliberately letting everyone see it. They will assume you are in the bag, they will surely chase after me. Junior monk will lure them far far away, you and Wu LaoDa can then seize the opportunity to go down the mountain and return back to your Misty Peak.”
The little girl said: “This idea is not bad, I thank you for thinking of such a plan for me. But I don’t want to run away!”
XuZhu said: “That its fine! You can hide here, the forest is dense and the snow thick, they can’t find you; after 8-10 days they will certainly scatter and leave.”
The little girl said: “After 8-10 days, I would have regained my internal energy as when I was 18-19 years-old; how can I allow them to walk away freely?”
XuZhu was curious, he ask: “What?”
The little girl said: “Look carefully at my appearance now. Compared to two days ago, you spot any difference?”
XuZhu concentrated and look carefully, her appearance seemed to have aged a few years; she was an 11-12 year-old girl, she was no longer 8-9 year-old. He mumbled to himself: “You... you... you seem to have grown by three years within these two days. But... but your body is still the same.”
The little girl was extremely happy, she said: “Hey hey, your eyesight is quite good, unexpectedly you can tell I’ve grown by 2-3 years. Stupid monk, the body of Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain is the same as a little girl, obviously she can’t grow up.”
XuZhu and Wu LaoDa had a huge shock, they said in unison: “Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain! You are Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain?”
The little girl said proudly: “Who do you think I am? Your granny’s body is like a little girl, don’t tell me you are all blind, you can’t tell?”
Wu LaoDa opened his eyes widely and gazed at her for a long time. The corner of his mouth trembled, it seemed he want to speak but he was unable to say it out. After a long time he suddenly fell down on the snowy ground, he whimpered: “I..I should have known it, I am the number one big idiot under the heaven. I assumed you are a servant girl from Vulture Palace, a little girl, who would have expected...you...you are Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain!”
The little girl said to XuZhu: “Who do you think I am?”
XuZhu said: “I thought you are an old female ghost that reincarnated into someone else body!”
The little girl’s expression became grave, she shouted: “Rubbish! What old female ghost that reincarnated into someone else body?”
XuZhu said: “You appearance is that of a little girl, but your wisdom and voice is that of old grandmother, you call yourself granny, if you are not an old female ghost that reincarnated into someone else body then what else can you be?”
The little girl laughed and said: “Little monk is indulging in fantasy!”
She turned her head and said to Wu LaoDa: “At that time I fell into your hands, you didn’t take my life, now you really regret it, correct?”
Wu LaoDa turned over and sat up, he said: “Correct! I went up three times to Misty Peak, my eyes were covered, I didn’t see your appearance. Wu LaoDa is really blind...I...I assumed you are a mute girl.”
The little girl said: “You heard me speak before, among the demons and ghosts from 36 Caves and 72 Islands, there are quite a few people who heard my voice as well. Granny was captured by you people, if I don’t pretend to be mute maybe you people can recognize my voice.”
Wu LaoDa sighed repeatedly, he asked: “Your martials arts are godlike, you don’t need a second move to kill someone, how come you let me capture you and didn’t resist at all?”
The little girl burst into loud laughter, she said: “Previously I thanked you for helping me, this is why. At that time a strong enemy was arriving, granny was unwell, it was hard for me to resist. As it turns out you used a cloth-sack to carry me down the mountain, granny avoided calamity. Should I give my thanks?” When she finished speaking she suddenly revealed an ominous glare, she said strictly: “But after capturing me, you said I pretended to be mute, you employed various evil methods on your granny, it’s really a great crime. If not for this circumstance I could have spared your life.”
Wu LaoDa leapt up, he knelt down and said: “Granny, one who does not know is not guilty, at that time, if Wu LaoDa knew you are our revered Child Elder, I would never have dared to disrespect or offend you.”
The little girl sneered: “You are fearful but not necessarily respectful. You gathered the demons of 36 Caves and 72 Islands, all of you determined to revolt against me, how you explain this?” Wu LaoDa kowtowed repeatedly, his forehead knock against the mountain rock, he knock a few times and his forehead was already dripping with blood.
XuZhu pondered: “So this little girl is Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain. Child Elder, Child Elder, I thought she is surnamed Tong grandma, who would have expected, this ‘Tong’ refers to child, she is not surnamed Tong? This person’s martials arts are so deep and profound, she is crafty and cunning, everyone fears her like a tiger. These past few days I assisted her, she must be laughing at me for overestimating my capability. Hey hey, XuZhu, ah XuZhu, you really are an extremely stupid monk!” He saw Wu LaoDa kowtow endlessly, he did not say a word and turned around to walk away.
Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain shouted loudly: “Where do you think you are going? Stop moving!”
XuZhu turned around and pressed his hands together. He said: “For the past three days, junior monk did countless foolish things, I have to take my leave!”
Child Elder said: “What foolish things?”
XuZhu said: “Your martials arts are so marvelous and divine, you dominate the entire world, junior monk did not recognize the famous person in front of me; on the contrary, I even tried to save you. You are not willing to mock me, junior monk is very grateful, but I am really ashamed, so ashamed that I can’t show my face.”
Child Elder walked to XuZhu’s side, she turned around and said to Wu LaoDa: “I have something to say to this little monk, you go somewhere else.”
Wu LaoDa said: “Yes, yes!” He stood up and walked northeast, he hid himself behind a pine tree.
Child Elder said to XuZhu: ”Little monk, for the past three days, you really did save my life, it’s not some foolish thing. Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain never said thanks to anyone in my entire life, but you saved my life, granny will certainly repay your kindness in the future.”
XuZhu waved his hands and said: “You have superior martial arts, why did you need me to save you? Obviously you are teasing me.”
Child Elder said solemnly: “I say you saved my life, then it is exactly as stated; granny doesn’t like others to refute my words. The internal energy I practice, it’s indeed known as ‘Eternal Youth Never Ageing Skill’. The power of this skill is strangely formidable, once you have mastered it you will be immortal, but there is a great disadvantage, you will revert back to a child every 30 years.”
XuZhu said: “Revert back to a child? Then...then isn’t that good?”
Child Elder sighed and said: “Little monk, you are loyal and honest, you saved my life, moreover you have extremely deep relationship with my Carefree Sect, it doesn’t matter if I tell you the matter. I started practicing this skill when I was 6 years-old, I reverted back to a child when I was 36 years-old, I spent 30 days to recover. I reverted back to a child at 66 years-old; I spent 60 days to recover. This year I am 96 years-old, I reverted back to a child again, I needed 90 days to recover my internal energy.”
XuZhu stared widely, he said in surprise: “What? You...you are 96 years-old?”
Child Elder said: “I am the senior martial sister of your Master Wuyazi, if Wuyazi did not die he would be 93 years-old, I am older than him by 3 years, don’t tell me it’s not 96 years-old?”
XuZhu opened his eyes widely, he carefully examined her figure and complexion, she didn’t look like a 96 year-old at all.
Child Elder said: “This ‘Eternal Youth Never Ageing Skill’, originally its an incomparably mystical internal energy cultivation method. But I trained it too soon, I started practicing when I was 6 years-old, several years later the formidable power of this internal energy became apparent, but my body can’t grow up, I will forever look like an 8-9 year-old child. If I start practicing this skill at 17-18 years-old, I will revert back to 17-18 years-old every 30 years, then it would be simply fantastic!”
XuZhu nodded his head and said: “So it is.” He heard his Master mention before, in this world some people have incomparably huge bodies, they are larger than adults when they are 7-8 years-old, but some people are dwarfs, even till old age they don’t reach 3 chi. His Master said it was due to the imbalance in the ‘San Jiao’, if the person practices first-class internal energy skill as soon as possible, then there is hope for cure, he said: “This internal energy of yours, are you training the Hand Meridian ‘Shao Yang’ of ‘San Jiao’?”
Child Elder was startled, she nodded her head and said: “Correct. You are just a little monk from Shaolin, unexpectedly you have such knowledge. It’s said that Shaolin is the chief of martial art studies, sure enough there is some truth in it.”
XuZhu said: “Junior monk heard my Master mention the principles of Hand Meridian ‘Shao Yang’ Channel before, my knowledge is extremely shallow and superficial, I am just guessing randomly.” He asked: “This year when you revert back to a child, what happens?”
Child Elder said: “When I revert back to a child I will lose all my internal energy. After practicing for one day I would regain the internal energy when I was 7 years-old, the second day I would regain till 8 years-old, on the third day I would regain till 9 years-old; every day is equivalent to one year. Every day at noon I have to drink fresh blood, only then can I practice the skill. I have a mortal enemy who is fully aware of the secrets of my martial arts, she knows the exact day I revert back to a child, she will surely seize the opportunity to kill me. Granny cannot show my weakness and runs away to hide; thus I instruct my subordinates on various kinds of tactics to resist the enemy. Granny is entirely focused on practicing my skills. Unexpectedly that mortal enemy of mine had yet to arrive but Wu LaoDa and his gang broke into Vulture Palace. My subordinates focused entirely on guarding against that mortal enemy, if not based on Cave-Lord An and Wu LaoDa's 'Three-legged Cat Skills' how could they simply enter Vulture Palace? At that time I was training for the third day, I was captured by Wu LaoDa. I only possess the internal energy of a 9 year-old child, how could I resist? Thus I pretend to be a deaf-mute, I was put in a cloth-sack and brought down the mountain. Afterwards I didn’t get to drink any fresh blood, I am still stuck as a 9-year-old child. When you revert back to a child, it’s like a snake shedding its skin, every time it sheds its skin it grows up, but if it gets captured halfway through shedding its skin, then there would be great danger. Luckily my internal energy was not deep during the first few years of practicing the skill, I can still survive without drinking blood for a few days, but if I delay another 1-2 days and still don’t drink fresh blood, then I can’t practice my skill and my energy would swell and crack open, I will surely die. This is the reason why I said you saved my life.”
XuZhu said: “Presently you have regained the internal energy of when you are an 11 year-old, if you want to return to a 96 year-old, then you will have practice for 85 days? Then you have to kill 85 sika deer or antelopes or rabbits?”
Child Elder smiled faintly and said: “Little monk can deduce so many things from one case, you are getting smarter. Within these 85 days, every step is difficult and dangerous, I have yet to fully regain my internal energy. Taoist BuPing, Wu LaoDa and those demons and clowns, naturally it’s easy to defeat them, but if my mortal enemy hearses of this news and rush over to trouble me, granny can’t resist. I definitely need you to be my protector.”
XuZhu said: “Junior monk’s martials arts are extremely low, if senior can’t handle the enemy, then naturally junior monk is also completely helpless. In my opinion, senior should run far away to avoid, after 85 days you will fully regain your internal energy and there is no need to fear anymore.”
Child Elder said: “Your martials arts are low, but Wuyazi already poured his entire lifetime of internal energy into you, you just need to learn how to utilize it, then you will be good enough to spar with my mortal enemy. Let us do it this way, I will impart subtle and profound martial arts to you, you will use these martial arts to protect me against my enemy, this is called ‘both side get benefits’.” She did not wait for XuZhu to agree and said: “You are like a descendant of a rich man, your ancestors passed down a vast fortune, your foundation is extremely solid and deep, you don’t have to accumulate wealth anymore, you only need to learn how to spend the money. Its easy to spend money, difficult to accumulate wealth, you will have some minor achievements if you train for one month, if you train for two months you can forcibly spar with my mortal enemy. Remember this mnemonic, the first line is ‘Naturally flow with heaven...”
XuZhu waved his hands repeatedly and said: “Senior, junior monk is a Shaolin disciple, although senior’s martials arts are incomparably marvelous but junior monk absolutely must not learn them, please pardon my offense.”
Child Elder said angrily: “Wuyazi already completely wiped out your Shaolin martial arts, you still claim you are a Shaolin disciple?”
XuZhu said: “Junior monk will return back to Shaolin, I will start over again and retrain it.”
Child Elder said angrily: “You resent my heretical school, you disdain learning my martial arts, correct?”
XuZhu said: “Followers of Buddha, we have to be merciful and save all living things, we pay particular attention to staying away from greed and lust, having a clear and bright heart. As for martial arts, admittedly it’s beneficial for Buddhist mediation if you train it to a very high level, but there are 84,000 methods in Buddhist cultivation, you don’t have to focus solely on martial arts. My Master told me, if you are too engrossed in martial arts, then it becomes a dharma-graha, it hinders your cultivation, it’s not good.”
Child Elder saw him looking down with drooping eyebrows, he resembled a little eminent monk, he was extremely old fashion and inflexible, how should she handle him? After a while she thought of a plan, she shouted: “Wu LaoDa, go catch two sika deer, slaughter them immediately!”
Wu LaoDa was hiding far away, Child Elder did not have sufficient internal energy, her voice couldn’t travel far; she shouted three times and Wu LaoDa finally managed to hear it and agreed. XuZhu was alarmed, he said: “Why do you need to slaughter the sika deer? You already drank fresh blood for today correct?”
Child Elder laughed and said: “You force me to slaughter them, why the need to ask me?”
XuZhu was even more baffled, he said: “I...I force you to slaughter?”
Child Elder said: “You refuse to assist me to resist my powerful enemy, I will definitely be tortured till death. Please think, will I be worried or not?”
XuZhu nodded his head and said: “That is true, ‘blame and detest’, this is one of the seven sufferings in life, granny seek to break away from it, you have to get rid of your anger and sentiments.”
Child Elder said: “Hei Hei, are you trying to enlighten me? It’s too late now. I cannot vent this grievance of mine, I can only slaughter sheep and deer, kill all these animals to vent my anger.”
XuZhu pressedd his hands together and said: “Buddha is merciful! Sin, sin! Senior these deer and sheep, they are really pitiful, please spare their lives!”
Child Elder sneered: “I can’t even keep my own life, who is going to pity me?” She raised her voice and shouted: “Wu LaoDa, quickly go catch the sika deer.” Wu LaoDa replied and agreed.
XuZhu paced back and forth without any ideas. If he leaves now he is unsure how many innocent sheep and goat will have to die by Child Elder’s hands. She kept emphasizing that he killed them, but he was unwilling to stay and learn martial arts from her.
Wu LaoDa’s skill in catching deer was really brilliant, after a short time he grabbed a sika deer by its antler and dragged it over. Child Elder said coldly: “Today I already drank the deer blood. Kill this stinky deer with one chop and throw it into the mountain stream.”
XuZhu quickly said: “Wait!”
Child Elder said: “If you listen to my instructions I can spare this deer. If you leave now, naturally I will kill 8-10 deer every day. Whether I kill more or kill less, it’s completely base on you. In order to save all living things, the Great Buddha said: ‘If I don’t go to hell, who will go to hell?’ Just accompany old woman for a few days, it’s not some arduous task like going to hell. Unexpectedly you have the heart to let this group of deer die, how can you claim to be a merciful disciple of Buddha?”
XuZhu’s heart turned cold, he said: “Senior is correct in lecturing me, please release the deer, XuZhu will listen to your instructions!”
Child Elder was elated, she said to Wu LaoDa: “Release this deer! Scram far far away!”
Child Elder waited for Wu LaoDa to walk far away, she imparted the mnemonic and taught XuZhu how to utilize his energy. Child Elder and Wuyazi were martial brother and sister from the same sect; their martial arts approach was completely identical. XuZhu followed her method and practiced, it was extremely easy, his progress was rather quick.
The next day Child Elder practiced her ‘Eternal Youth Never Ageing Skill’, after biting the deer’s neck and drinking its blood she would apply medical powder on the deer’s wound, she released the deer and said to Wu LaoDa: “This little master dislikes killing, from now on you cannot eat meat, you can only eat pine nut. If you eat venison, heng heng, I will slaughter you and avenge these sika deer and antelope.”
Wu LaoDa verbally agreed, but he secretly cursed XuZhu’s 19 generation and 20 generation ancestors; in any event he had already cursed him viciously a few days ago, he did not have any new trick in cursing. He knew the Child Elder treated XuZhu very well, when he thought of the grim outcome of the ‘Tendon Breaking Bone Decaying Pill’, he didn’t dare to be rude towards XuZhu in his speech.
This went on for a few days. XuZhu saw the Child Elder no longer killed the sheep and deer, even Wu LaoDa also went on a vegetarian diet; he felt extremely happy. He pondered: “She kept her promise strictly, how can I not do my utmost for her?” Thus he put in great effort in his training, he didn’t allow the slightest bit of negligence or laziness. However, there were changes to the Child Elder’s appearance, within 5-6 days, she transformed from an 11-12 year-old little girl into a 16-17 year-old young maiden, but her figure was still the same, she was still short and small. In the afternoon, the Child Elder completed her training, she said to XuZhu and Wu LaoDa: “We stayed here for a long time, I figured those demons and bastards would come and search here. Little monk, carry me to the summit, your right hand will still carry Wu LaoDa so as to avoid leaving any trace on the snowy ground.”
XuZhu said: “Yes!” He stretched out his hand to carry the Child Elder, but he saw her appearance was tender and beautiful, her eyes sparkling, she had become a pretty lady already. He was startled and withdrew his hand, he stammered: “Junior...junior monk doesn’t dare to offend.”
Child Elder asked curiously: “What don’t dare to offend?”
XuZhu said: “Senior you are a young lady, you are not a little girl, men.... women...men and women should not have direct contact, especially more so for monk.”
Child Elder laughed happily, her jade face revealed joy, her cheeks turn red; her gaze sweet and beautiful, she said: “Little monk talks rubbish, granny is a 96 year-old woman, you are just carrying me for a while; why are you so tense?”
As she finished speaking she wanted to lean on his back. XuZhu was alarmed, he said: “You cannot do that, you cannot do that!” He extended his legs and ran away quickly. Child Elder executed her lightness martial art, she chased after him.
Currently, XuZhu’s ‘Pure Energy of Northern Darkness’ was already 30-40% complete. Child Elder had only regained her internal energy till 17 years-old, her qinggong (lightness martial art) was greatly inferior. She only chased for a few steps and XuZhu moved further and further away. Child Elder shouted: “Quickly come back!”
XuZhu stopped running and said: “I will hold your hand and jump up the tree top!”
Child Elder said angrily: “You are so old- fashion and inflexible, you can’t even accommodate the circumstances; if you want to learn the highest level martial arts it would be difficult, difficult!”
XuZhu was stumped for words, he pondered: “The ‘Diamond Sutra’ says: ‘All those with appearance, all of them fabricated’ It doesn’t matter if she is a little girl or young lady, their appearance is all fabricated.” He muttered: “Buddha says: ‘When a person grows up, he is not really growing up, his body and muscles are just bigger.’ Buddha says: ‘Big lady is not really a big lady, she is just known as a big lady....” He walked back slowly.
Suddenly something flashed in front of him; a white figure stood in front of Child Elder. This person seemed to be present yet not present, moving forward yet backward, his entire body dressed in white clothes the same as the color of white snow; his figure was indistinct and hazy.
- End of chapter 35 -