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Demi Gods & Semi Devils Book 5
XLI - Eighteen swift riders of Yanyun, galloping like mighty wind and billowing smoke
Chinese title: 天龍八部 - 燕云十八飞骑 奔腾如虎风烟举Original novel written by Jin Yong (Louis Cha)
Wuxia Novel Fan Translation by darksinz
Chapter 41 - 18 Riders From YanYun, Surging Forth Like Tigers
Ding ChunQiu killed XuanTong and XuanNan, he is a great enemy of Shaolin. When the monks from Shaolin heard he is at the base of Mount Shaoshi they immediately made a huge din. XuanSheng shout loudly: "Today everyone have to muster their courage and exterminate this Old Freak Ding, avenge martial brother XuanTong and XuanNan."
XuanCi said in a bright voice: "He is still a guest from afar, we will adopt peaceful measures before resorting to violence." the crowd of monks said in unison: "Yes!" XuanCi said: "Martial brothers and friends, why don't we go out and observe the brilliant exchange between Xingxiu Sect and Murong family?"
The crowd of heroes are already itching to go, they are waiting precisely for this remark. Those who have less experience, young and rash heroes, they swarm out quickly. The ‘Four Evils’, the rest of the heroes, Dali's Duan family, foreign eminent monks, all of them rush out. However there is endless 'PingPang' 'QiangLang' noise, monks from 'Hui' generation took out all the weapons.
Xuan, Hui, Xu, Kong, four generation of Shaolin monks all select their weapons and exit the temple in orderly formation. When they reach the temple gate, a monk who is stationed at mid-mountain came rushing back to report: " Xingxiu Sect have around a thousand people, they surrounded Gentleman Murong and his subordinates at the pavilion, engaged in a fierce battle." XuanCi nod his head, he walk on the pavement and peered down the mountain, however all he saw was a huge black mass of human head, it is more than a thousand men.
Shouting drifted up the mountain: "Divine Elder of Xingxiu personally direct the battle, naturally he will emerge victorious!"
"You demons and clowns, unexpectedly you have the cheek to defy Divine Elder, really brazen to the extreme!"
"Quickly cast down your weapons, beg Divine Elder of Xingxiu to spare your lives!"
"Divine Elder of Xingxiu grace Mount Shaoshi with his presence, he only need to flick his little finger and Shaolin Temple will crumble immediately."
The newly recruited disciples of Xingxiu have yet to learn any skill, however they already learn how to flatter their master, the voice of a thousand praises flood everyone's ears, the singing of praises filled the entire Mount Shaoshi. Shaolin Temple is established for over 600 hundred years, successive generation of monks will chant 'Rulai Buddha, Revered One of the World', even the cumulative sum of six hundred years of chanting cannot be compared with this impressive passionate praise from Xingxiu disciple towards their master. The name 'Divine Elder of XingXiu' far surpass 'Emituofo'. Ding ChunQiu stroke his white beard, his eyes narrowed, he is helplessly intoxicated in the praise, feeling light and airy as if drunk from wine.
XuanSheng gathered energy to his pubic region and shout out: "Assemble The Great Luohan Formation!" five hundred monks responded: "Assemble The Great Luohan Formation!" red cassocks flickered, grey shadows dart about, groups gathered at east and west, five hundred monks scattered, covering as far as the eye can see.
The crowd of heroes heard of the famed 'Luohan Formation' of Shaolin, however for the past hundred years Shaolin never display it to outsiders, other than Shaolin monks nobody has ever seen the formation. Currently the monks are wearing different coloured clothing and cap, red, grey, yellow and black, their weapons are also different, saber, sword, staff, rake, everyone move like the wind, in an instant they encircled Xingxiu disciples at the center.
The number of Xingxiu disciples are far more than Shaolin monks, a huge majority are newly recruited, they are somewhat skilled at fighting one to one battle. However they never had any experience or practice in arranging themselves into battle formation, thus they became flustered and their praises inevitably tone down significantly, quite a number of them kept silent, they knew the situation had change, thus they modified their praise and start to eulogize 'Shaolin monks'.
Abbot XuanCi said in a bright voice: "Mr Ding from Xingxiu Sect graced Mount Shaoshi, you are setting yourself against Shaolin. Heroes, please sit back and observe how Shaolin deal with experts from the west, how about it?"
Heshuo, Jiangnan, Chuanshan, Huguang, various heroes from these region shout out: "Old Freak of Xingxiu is a menace to the martial arts fraternity, everyone should unite and deal with them together, kill them here and now!" everyone draw out their weapons, they desire to fight alongside Shaolin to kill the enemy.
Murong Fu, Deng BaiChuan and the rest killed around 20 Xingxiu disciples, now they receive huge reinforcements, at once they jump several feet away and stop fighting. Xingxiu disciples are inwardly afraid, they did not pursue.
Duan Yu leap to the east and flash to the west, he rush into the crowd and sprint to Wang YuYan's side, he said: "Miss Wang, if the situation becomes dangerous later I will carry you out." Wang YuYan blush and said: "I am not injured, acupoints not sealed, I....I can move on my own...." she glance towards Murong Fu and said: "My cousin's martials arts are outstanding, more than enough to protect me. Gentleman Duan, please go back."
Duan Yu felt really upset, he pondered: "What ability I have, how can I go against your cousin's martial arts?" but to ask him to simply leave, how can he be willing? Duan Yu said: "This....this....ah, Miss Wang, my father is here, he is outside." Duan Yu and Wang YuYan went through numerous trials and tribulations, travelling for long distances, the time spent together is not shallow, however Duan Yu never mention his status or family history to her. In his heart, Wang YuYan is a goddess, he is a commoner, he did not feel any glory in being a prince, in the eyes of a goddess what is the difference between a commoner and a prince?
Wang YuYan was saved many times by Duan Yu, she is rather grateful towards him, nevertheless she does not care about his status, she assume Duan Yu is simply a bookworm who manage to pick up a set of ingenious footwork along with a set of energy sword-play which is erratic and ineffective at times, he often tangle with her much to the annoyance of her cousin, thus to avoid making her cousin upset she hope Duan Yu can leave and stay far away. But now he suddenly mention his father is here, she felt rather curious and said: "You father and son did not see each other for quite some time correct?"
Duan Yu said happily: "Correct! Miss Wang, I will bring you to see my father, ok? My father will surely like you very much when he sees you." Wang YuYan blush, she shake her head and said: "I don't want to." Duan Yu said: "Why not?" Wang YuYan did not reply, to make her happy he said: "Miss Wang, my sworn brother XuZhu is also here, he became a monk again. In addition my disciple is here also, its truly exciting and lively." Wang YuYan knew his disciple is "Crocodile Deity of Southern Sea", but she never ask him why he accept the 3rd most evil "Fierce Deity and Evil Devil" as his disciple, she recalled Crocodile Deity of Southern Sea's outlandish appearance, she cannot help but smile. Duan Yu coax a smile from her, he is really happy, although he is surrounded by Xingxiu disciples but to be able to chat and joke with Wang YuYan, nothing else matters.
Shaolin deployed its Great Luohan Formation, guarding all four direction. A few Xingxiu disciples tried to break though from the west, they only engage for a while and was wounded one after another. Ding ChunQiu commanded: "Everyone stop moving for the time being." he said in a bright voice: "Abbot XuanCi, your Shaolin claim to be the chief of martial studies, but in my opinion it is really unfounded."
The crowd of Xingxiu disciples responded: "Correct, Divine Elder of Xingxiu arrives, all Shaolin monks will die a tragic end."
"Martial arts originate from our Xingxiu Sect, only martial arts from Xingxiu is orthodox, the rest are all demonic path."
"You refuse to learn Xingxiu's martial arts, you will inevitably become ox ghost and snake spirit, digging your own grave."
Suddenly someone sing out: "Divine Elder of XingXiu, virtue fitting heaven and earth, prestige shaking the entire world, he is matchless throughout all ages!" thousands of people sing out loudly, some played their gongs, drums, pipes and flutes, it is really lively. A majority of the heroes have never seen such extravagant performance from XingXiu Sect, they cannot help but laugh out from this weird scene.
Amidst the music, suddenly galloping noise came from the mountain side. The noise became louder and louder, soon after great yellow banners can be seen from all four sides, four riders gallop up the mountain each bearing a flag. All the yellow banners bear five characters: "Chief Zhuang Of Beggars Clan " the four horses stop beside the cliff, their riders dismounted and stick the yellow flag at the highest point of the cliff. These four riders all wore beggar clothing and carried cloth pouch, they held the flagpole and remain silent.
The crowd of heroes said: "Chief Zhuang of Beggars Clan is here." these four flags give a sense of might and prestige, flag bearers athletic and fierce, when compared with XingXiu Sect who blow their own trumpet this display clearly command respect.
As the flags were erected, a hundred horses gallop up the mountain, riding at the front are 100 six-pouch disciples, followed by 34 seven-pouch disciples and 10 eight-pouch disciples. Soon after 5 nine-pouch elders gallop up the mountain, they remain silent and dismounted, lining up both sides. Other than delivering urgent news or handling important matters Beggars Clan's members rarely ride horses, seeing such extravagant display they are really no different from army officials, it greatly differs from Beggars Clan usual practice. When the crowd of heroes saw this they inwardly shake their head.
Everyone heard the 'Ta Ta' sound of horse hooves, two greenish buckskin horse gallop up the mountain side by side. Sitting on the left horse is a lady wearing purple robe, appearance splendid and gentle, however her pair of eyes are dim and lifeless. When Ruan XingZhu saw her she blurted out: "AhZi!" she forgot she is disguised in men's clothes, this remark from her revealed her true female voice.
Sitting on the right horse is a man wearing an interwoven brocade robe, his facial expression wooden like a zombie. When the crowd of heroes saw him some of them immediately knew he is wearing a human-skin mask, he did not reveal his real appearance, they pondered: "It seems this person is Beggars Clan's Chief Zhuang JuXian. He want to vie with Shaolin for the title of chief of martial arts fraternity, but how come he refuse to reveal his real appearance?"
Some people guess: "This person must be a famous figure, Zhuang JuXian is just an alias. Since he can become Chief of Beggars Clan then how can he be some unknown figure?"
"Most likely he does not have much confidence in this battle, if he is defeated by Shaolin then he can cover up his face and retreat, he won't lose face."
"Don't tell me he is the former chief, Qiao Feng? He regained power in Beggars Clan and came here to create trouble for everyone."
Although some people manage to make the connection between "Zhuang JuXian" and "JuXian Manor" but they only think of Qiao Feng, the You brothers of JuXian Manor died by Qiao Feng's hands, afterwards the Manor was burnt down, nobody expect this Chief of Beggars Clan to be the young master of JuXian Manor, You TanZhi.
AhZi heard her mother's voice, currently she have important matters to settle its not convenient to meet her mother and listen to her narrate about mundane affairs, AhZi pretend she did not hear her and said: "Brother Xian, there is alot of people here, I heard someone singing 'Divine Elder of XingXiu, virtue fitting heaven and earth, prestige shaking the entire world, matchless throughout all ages'. That little chap Ding ChunQiu and his useless troops, they are all here?" You TanZhi said: "Correct, he brought quite a number of people here." AhZi clap her hand and laugh: "Simply fantastic, really save me the trouble of travelling to XingXiu Sea to settle the debt." Beggars Clan's members who are travelling on foot steam in endlessly up the mountain, they are all five-pouch, four-pouch and three-pouch disciples, they arrange themselves in formation and stood behind You TanZhi and AhZi.
You TanZhi said softly: "It seems those who need to be here are all present." AhZi wave her hand, two Beggars Clan members took out a purple object from their bosom, they tie it to a wooden stick and let it flutter in the wind, as it turns out it is a two-sided purple silk banner, six dark red characters are written: "Sect Leader Duan of XingXiu."
As the banner unfold, XingXiu disciples immediately made a huge din, someone shouted: "Sect Leader of XingXiu is Divine Elder Ding, this fact is well known by everyone, since when did a person surnamed Duan become the Sect Leader?"
"Passing fake as genuine, causing confusion, shameless!"
"Don't tell me you can simply confer this Sect Leader position yourself?"
"Which little devil dare claim to be our Sect Leader, quickly own up, I will turn you into mincemeat!"
Those who responded are all newly recruited disciples, as for the senior disciples, Mo YunZi, Zhui FengZi, etc, naturally they knew about AhZi's history, she has the support of Xiao Feng, they cannot help but be secretly afraid of her.
The crowd of heroes and monks suddenly saw an extra XingXiu Sect Leader appearing, they are startled but also inwardly happy, all these evil demons turning up together, there will be eliminated together.
AhZi clap 3 times and said in a bright voice: "Disciples of XingXiu listen: The rules of our Sect, the Sect Leader position have always been occupied by the most powerful. Who possess the strongest martial arts, he will simply be the Sect Leader. Half a year ago, Ding ChunQiu and I fought, he suffered a crushing defeat, he knelt down in front of me and kowtow 18 times and became my disciple, he respectfully offered the position of Sect Leader to me. Don't tell me he didn't inform you? Ding ChunQiu, you are simply too brazen, you are the head-disciple of our Sect, you should be the role model, how can you deceive your fellow martial brothers?" her voice is melodious and smooth flowing.
When everyone heard it, all of them equally astounded, she is merely a 16-17 year old girl, both eyes blind, how can she become the Sect Leader? Duan ZhengChun and Ruan XingZhu look at each other dumbstruck. They knew their daughter was taught by Ding ChunQiu, she is crafty and eccentric, incomparably mischievous, however her martials arts are only average, unexpectedly she dare to rustle Ding ChunQiu's tiger beard and claim to be the Sect Leader, the outcome is really hard to predict. There are very few men from Dali at Mount Shaoshi, simply insufficient to fight with XingXiu Sect or even save her from danger.
Unexpectedly under the watchful eyes of the crowd of heroes, AhZi dare to claim the position 'Sect Leader of XingXiu Sect', how can Ding ChunQiu tolerate it? He is seething with anger, nevertheless he still maintain a warm and gentle expression and said: "Little AhZi, you are correct in saying the Sect Leader position being occupied by the most powerful. You covet this position, presumably you must have some real ability, why don't you come over and trade 3 moves with me?"
Suddenly Ding ChunQiu saw a flash, someone suddenly appeared 3 chi in front of him, it is You TanZhi. Ding ChunQiu was completely caught off guard, base on his acute eyesight unexpectedly he did not see clearly how he appeared, he was extremely frighten and retreated 1 step.
With this 1 step he move about 5 chi backwards, however You TanZhi is still within 3 chi in front of him, evidently when he retreat 1 step his opponent also move 1 step forward, obviously You TanZhi only move forward when he saw him move backward, he act later but arrive first, leaving no trace, his martial art has reached a very high level, truly something to be feared. Ding ChunQiu saw his face is gloomy with yellow-wooden complexion, he inquired: "I am competing martial arts with AhZi, why the need for you to interfere?" immediately he leap backwards, he flip his hand and grab 1 of his own disciples and toss him towards You TanZhi.
You TanZhi's reaction is strangely quick, immediately he leap 10 feet backwards, he also flip his hand and grab a 3-pouch Beggars Clan disciple, he channelled his energy and toss him out. Unexpectedly the Beggars Clan disciple is like an extremely large hidden weapon, he flew towards Ding ChunQiu, he collide with the XingXiu disciple in midair. The crowd saw the power of the toss, they pondered: "I am afraid both of these disciples will have their muscle and bone shattered, die a violent death."
Unexpectedly when both of them collide they only heard two 'Chi Chi' sound, immediately after they detect a charred stench, some people start vomiting, some recoil and move back, some cover up their nose, some consume antidote immediately, they knew Ding ChunQiu and Zhuang JuXian employed deadly yin-poison energy on their own disciples. When these two disciples collide they turn soft, collapsed and remain motionless, evidently they met a violent death.
Ding ChunQiu and You TanZhi traded 1 move, both of them equally matched, both of them inwardly afraid of each other, they move back several chi at the same time, they flip their hand and grab 1 of their disciples again and toss them out. Both disciples collide in midair again and emit a charred stench, they met a violent death at the same time.
Both of them employed a sinister technique of XingXiu Sect, the ‘Rotten Corpse Poison’, they grab a living person and toss him towards the enemy, they will first kill the person they are grabbing, afterwards the acute poison in their claws will seep into the dead person's blood and turn him into a poisonous corpse, if the opponent use his palm to push the corpse away they will come into contact with the poison. If they use weapons to parry, the poison will flow from the weapon to their hands. Even if they manage to dodge or use void palm force or air splitting technique, it is difficult to escape the toxic gas emitting from the corpse.
Previously You TanZhi travelled with Quan GuanQing, he is unsophisticated and lack any experience, within two days Quan GuanQing made him reveal all his personal history. Quan GuanQing pondered: "This person possess matchless internal energy, however his martials arts are extremely limited, he cannot fully utilize his energy." after further investigation he found out that AhZi is a disciple of Old Freak XingXiu Ding ChunQiu, he had a sudden inspiration, immediately he urge You TanZhi to learn XingXiu martial arts from AhZi, however when he approach AhZi he claim that You TanZhi is a top martial art expert, matchless under the heaven, thus he want AhZi to demonstrate all her martial art technique to allow You TanZhi to give some pointers.
You TanZhi and AhZi are both young, one foolish the other blind, both of them fell into the elaborate scheme. AhZi demonstrate all the techniques of XingXiu Sect, she also narrate the method to practicing the technique, thus this is how You TanZhi manage to learn ‘Rotten Corpse Poison’. The crux of ‘Rotten Corpse Poison’ is to first cultivate profound internal energy which is poisonous in nature, the practitioner must be able to kill a living person with a single grab and send the poison immediately to the corpse, there is nothing ingenious about the ‘Rotten Corpse Poison’ technique. Everyone in XingXiu Sect understood the principles of this technique, they are just unable to cultivate the required level of internal energy.
Although AhZi is clever and shrew but her eyes are blind, she cannot see You TanZhi's facial expression, moreover she was indeed rescued by You TanZhi from Ding ChunQiu, with Quan GuanQing's gift of the gab he manage to brag You TanZhi's martial arts to unimaginable level, no matter how intelligent she is she will never suspect this 'Gentleman Zhuang with matchless skill' is actually learning martial arts off her secretly.
For every move she describe, You TanZhi will simply follow accordingly, his body already possessed ‘Frost Silkworm Poison’ and the first-class internal energy of ‘Divine Foot Scripture’, combining both extremes of good and evil his inner power is really no small matter, any moves executed by him possess the strength to break trees and shatter rocks, power boundless and inexhaustible. When AhZi heard it, naturally she admire and respect him greatly. You TanZhi also impart her some internal energy cultivation method from ‘Divine Foot Scripture’. When AhZi practiced it, although she did not have much improvement, but she still felt her body becoming stronger, lighter and more agile. In reality, You TanZhi is well aware that his divine strength is closely related to the monk pictures in the scripture, in order to show off his ability in front of AhZi he trained relentless in uninhabited place for the entire day.
Later Quan GuanQing remove the iron-mask on You TanZhi's head, he use a human-skin mask to cover up You TanZhi's face which was scalded beyond recognition, afterwards he took him along to participate in the Beggars Clan 's general assembly at Hunan's Dongting Lake. With You TanZhi's profound internal energy and strange martial arts, none in the Beggars Clan is able to stand up to him, he easily wrest control and became Chief of Beggars Clan. Quan GuanQing officially rejoin the Clan and was promoted to a 9-pouch Elder. Although You TanZhi assume the position of Chief, but all affairs in Beggars Clan are directed by Quan GuanQing. Quan GuanQing saw there are quite a number of members and Clan Elders who did not accept You TanZhi as Chief, he was inwardly worried as he cannot possibly kill all of them, thus he brought up the idea of vying with Shaolin for the title of 'Supreme Leader of Martial Arts Fraternity', Beggars Clan's Chief Zhuang JuXian will become the number one fighter under the heaven, and by relying of this prestige he can suppress the discontentment in Beggars Clan.
Although AhZi is blind but her competitive nature remains, she support Quan GuanQing's idea to fight with Shaolin. You TanZhi did not want to become 'Supreme Leader of Martial Arts Fraternity', however since AhZi supported the cause he simply follow along as well. Quan GuanQing engineered the scheme with utmost care, he was meticulous in his plan, various heroes gathering at Shaolin at the same time on November was the direct result of his plan. Since AhZi had the backing of the 'Number One Martial Artist Under the Heaven' Zhuang JuXian, she did not fear a mere Old Freak of XingXiu anymore, hence she conferred the position 'Sect Leader of XingXiu' on herself and ordered someone to make purple flags for displaying at Mount Shaoshi.
When Beggars Clan arrive at Mount Shaoshi they immediately ran into a huge gathering of XingXiu Sect members, this was beyond Quan GuanQing's expectation, thus Quan GuanQing offered some advice to You TanZhi, when Ding ChunQiu speak You TanZhi attack him immediately to avoid making things difficult for AhZi.
Ding ChunQiu saw his opponent is extremely powerful, he immediately employed his most sinister technique the ‘Rotten Corpse Poison’. When he launch this technique he will inevitably sacrifice one of his own disciples, nevertheless this technique is difficult to avoid or ward off, only with the highest level of lightness martial arts, the ability to leap 10 zhang outward, only then the person can avoid harm. However to start a fight by running away, naturally the fight will end immediately. Unexpectedly You TanZhi learnt this technique from AhZi, he sacrifice his own Beggars Clan disciple and ward off Ding ChunQiu's attack. Both of them toss out their own disciples, immediately after they toss out yet another disciple again. However they heard continuous slamming noise, within a short period of time both side had toss out seven of their own men, 14 dead corpse lie on the ground, their face bruised, expression of terror, the scene is truly tragic and appalling.
The XingXiu disciples panicked, they quickly fled for their lives to avoid being captured by their master, they still sing praises continuously but their voice is trembling with fright.
Beggars Clan members saw their Chief employing such sinister technique, although it can be said he was forced by circumstances but they cannot help but feel great startled, they pondered: "Our Clan have always uphold justice and righteousness, how can our Chief use such despicable technique in front of the crowd of heroes, isn't he following a bad example and mixing himself with XingXiu Sect?" someone else pondered: "If Chief Qiao is still our Clan Chief, he will surely use righteous method to resist Old Freak of XingXiu's evil sorcery."
Ding ChunQiu flip his hand to grab the 8th victim, however his hand grab empty air, he turn his head and look back, his disciples had move far away, however he heard a 'Hu' sound, You TanZhi already toss the 8th person towards him. Ding ChunQiu was startled yet furious, the situation was desperate, he move quickly and leap into the crowd of his own disciples. The corpse arrive swiftly, the crowd of XingXiu disciples fell into disarray, they did not have time to escape, 6-7 people cry out "Oh my god!", they got hit by the corpse. The poison in the corpse is incomparable, the victim's face turn black immediately and they collapse, they twitch a few times and met a violent death.
AhZi listen to Quan GuanQing narrate the situation, she laugh and shouted: "Ding ChunQiu, Chief Zhuang is the protector of XingXiu's Sect Leader, defeat him first before coming to challenge your Sect Leader. Did you win or lose?"
Ding ChunQiu is extremely dejected, he did not lose due to martial arts, judging the strength of Zhuang JuXian's toss although he possess profound internal energy but his technique is completely identical to his own, it can be deduce that Zhuang JuXian learn some superficial skill from AhZi, obviously he is not aware of the profound variation in the technique. Ding ChunQiu lose out because his disciples are cowards, all of them ran far away unlike Beggars Clan members who stood firm and sacrifice themselves heroically, they did not run in face of danger. An idea came up to him and he look up to the sky and laugh heartily.
AhZi frown and said: "Laugh! You can still laugh? What is so funny?"
Ding ChunQiu laugh endlessly, suddenly there is 'Hu Hu' sound of wind, nine XingXiu disciples are grabbed by him in rapid succession and toss out, one by one they flew rapidly towards You TanZhi, akin to arrows being fired rapidly off a bow.
You TanZhi did not learn this ‘Rapid Tossing of Rotten Corpse Poison’ technique, he only manage to grab three Beggars Clan disciples, he faltered on the 4th move, the situation was desperate and he leap up immediately and rise up towards the sky, he avoided all the poisonous corpse without having to retreat, thus he did not lose this bout.
Ding ChunQiu wanted him to avoid the corpse, he made a move with his left hand, AhZi cry out in alarm and flew towards Ding ChunQiu.
When the crowd saw this they cannot help but turn pale. ‘Dragon Capturing Skill’, ‘Controlling Crane Skill’, etc, when these skills are trained to the highest level they can grab objects without having to make direct contact, however the maximum range is at most 4-5 chi. In martial studies this is termed "Attacking an ox separated by mountain", originally it is use to describe an expert practitioner's ‘Air Splitting Palm’ or ‘Divine Formless Fist’ being able to injure someone using void principles, however they definitely cannot channel their internal energy and extend beyond 2 zhang, thus skills like ‘Blazing Saber Skill’ and ‘Six Meridian Divine Swords’ which uses internal energy to injure opponent from a distant are rarely seen and considered divine skills. Ding ChunQiu is separated from AhZi by 6-7 zhang, unexpectedly he is able to drag her off the horse with a single move and capture her, his martial art has reach outrageous level, truly unimaginable.
However they did not realize that Ding ChunQiu did not use real martial arts to capture AhZi, he relied on one of his "Three Treasure of XingXiu" the "Flexible Silk Thread". The "Flexible Silk Thread" is made from silk produced by snow-silkworm of XingXiu Sea. Snow-silkworm live in the wild on snow mulberry tree, their bodies smaller than frost-silkworm, they are harmless and without poison, however silk secreted by them are unusually tough, even a single strand of silk is difficult to break. However the snow-silkworm only secrete limited amount of silk, they are also difficult to find. Previously AhZi use a transparent fishing net to capture Chu WanLi and made him commit suicide, the fishing net is made with tiny amount of silk from snow-silkworm. Ding ChunQiu's "Flexible Silk Thread" is made entirely of silk from snow-silkworm, intertwined to become a thread, it is slender and transparent, not noticeable by the naked eye, when he toss out nine XingXiu disciples he also fling out this "Flexible Silk Thread". By tossing out nine poisonous corpse, firstly he pressured You TanZhi to back off, secondly it act as misdirection to cover up his technique and make the crowd focus on ‘Rapid Tossing of Rotten Corpse Poison’, thus nobody notice his flinging of "Flexible Silk Thread".
When AhZi felt something wrap around waist it is already too late and she was dragged towards Ding ChunQiu. Although Ding ChunQiu relied on the "Flexible Silk Thread", but the ability to fling it 6-7 zhang away without alerting any of the top martial art experts around, capturing a person with a single move, it still require uncommon level of skill. His left hand grab onto AhZi's back, his right hand sealed her acupoints, the "Flexible Silk Thread" withdrawn back into his sleeve. While tossing poisonous corpse, flinging of thread, waving, capturing, he kept on laughing non-stop, even when he manage to grab hold on AhZi he is still laughing endlessly. This kind of laughter is also part of his "Misdirection technique" to divert attention.
When You TanZhi was in midair he already saw AhZi being captured, in his panic-stricken state he quickly threw himself forward, six poisonous corpse flew past his feet. When his left foot touch the ground he strike his right palm violently at Ding ChunQiu.
Ding ChunQiu left hand push forward, he use AhZi as a shield to receive this rock-shattering palm strike. Currently, although You TanZhi's martials arts are at a very high level, but he don't have the slightest bit of experience in adapting to changes when fighting with enemy, he saw his palm strike is about to land on AhZi, he immediately withdraw his palm strength. Even for the average martial artists they know they only have to divert their strength to the side and AhZi will be safe, however You TanZhi love AhZi excessively, when he detect something amiss he only know to withdraw his strength, he did not consider other possibilities, to completely withdraw such massive palm strength is to strike himself using his own palm force. He stumbled and spurted a mouthful of blood.
Although You TanZhi mastered [Divine Foot Scripture] but this palm strike is still not easy to endure, he wanted to regain his breath but how can Ding ChunQiu allow him the slightest bit of respite, with 'Hu Hu Hu Hu' sound Ding ChunQiu send out four palm in quick succession. You TanZhi cannot gather his inner energy to his dantian, he have no alternative but to receive this four palm strike, for every palm strike he receive he will spurt a mouthful of blood, he receive four palm strike and spurted four mouthful of black blood. Ding ChunQiu did not yield the slightest, he send out his 5th palm strike, intending to seize the opportunity and kill him.
However several people by the side shouted: "Old Freak Ding don't you dare commit such crime!"
"Stay your hand immediately!"
"Prepare yourself to receive my move!"
XuanCi, GuanXin and DaoQing, various eminent monks as well as other chivalrous heroes, all of them cannot bear to let the Chief of Beggars Clan die by Ding ChunQiu's hands, they shouted out and rush forward to rescue.
Unexpectedly when Ding ChunQiu send out his 5th palm strike, You TanZhi also return with a palm strike, Ding ChunQiu's body flickered, unexpectedly he move back 1 step. When the crowd saw this they knew Ding ChunQiu suffered a slight loss, at once they stop moving and did not rush forward to assist. As it turns out when You TanZhi spurted four mouthful of blood his breathing became smooth again, when the 5th palm strike arrive he return the strike with the combine power of frost-silkworm poison and inner power of [Divine Foot Scripture]. Ding ChunQiu met his strike head-on, he was not his match. If not for the fact that Ding ChunQiu gain the upper hand by injuring You TanZhi, You TanZhi's inner power suffered major damage, during the clash just now Ding ChunQiu will surely have to retreat at least 5 steps.
Ding ChunQiu's breathing is rolling all over, he is unconvinced, he channelled his entire lifetime of internal energy, with a 'Hu' sound he send out his palm again. You TanZhi move 1 step forward and met the palm head-on, he shouted: "Quickly release Miss Duan!" 'Hu Hu Hu Hu', he launch 4 palm strike in succession, for every palm strike he will move 1 step forward. With this 5 step, he is face-to-face with Ding ChunQiu, he only need to extend his hand to grab AhZi away.
Ding ChunQiu's palm strength is no match against You TanZhi's, he saw his wooden zombie expression, he is really fearful, he smile and said: "I will use my [Rotten Corpse Poison] now, you better be careful!" when he finish speaking he lifted AhZi with his left hand and sway her around.
You TanZhi knew if Ding ChunQiu execute his [Rotten Corpse Poison], AhZi will immediately turn into a poisonous corpse, he cried out: "No, no! Definitely.....definitely not!" his voice quivering, he is extremely shock.
Ding ChunQiu listen to his quivering voice, at once he understood: "So you are smitten by this stinky flowery girl, haha, wonderful, really cannot be much better." when he captured AhZi he intend to execute her in front of everyone to avoid letting her vie for the position of Sect Leader of XingXiu, but now assessing the situation he can make use of her as a hostage to control this Chief of Beggars Clan Zhuang JuXian who's martials arts are much stronger than his, he said: "You don't want her to die?"
You TanZhi shouted: "You...you put her down quickly, this....this is extremely dangerous..." Ding ChunQiu laugh out loud, he smile and said: "I can kill her effortlessly, why should I release her? She is a traitor of our Sect, no respect for seniors, if I don't kill her then who do I kill?" You TanZhi said: "This....she is Miss AhZi, no matter what you cannot harm her, you already blinded both her eyes, I beg you, quickly put her down, I....I will thank you heavily." his speech is incoherent, obviously he is extremely concerned about AhZi, he did not have the slightest bit of poise as Chief of Beggars Clan.
Ding ChunQiu saw You TanZhi's internal energy is vigorous and yin-frost in nature, from his voice he is very similar to his iron-head disciple, but he is not wearing any iron-mask, moreover how can an iron-head person become the Chief of Beggars Clan? He did not give the matter much thought anymore and said: "It is not difficult for me to spare her life, you merely have to follow my instruction on some matters."
You TanZhi said quickly: "Follow, follow! Even if it is a hundred, a thousand, I will also follow!" Ding ChunQiu is delighted, he nod his head and said: "Very good! The first matter, you must take me as your master immediately, from now on become a disciple of XingXiu."
You TanZhi did not hesitate at all, he knelt down immediately and said: "Master, disciple...disciple Zhuang JuXian kowtow!" he pondered: "Originally I am your disciple already, I kowtow once, there is no harm in kowtowing again."
Once he knelt down the crowd of heroes made a huge commotion. From Beggars Clan Elders to disciples, their anger indescribable, they pondered: "Our Beggars Clan is the number one clan under the heaven, we have always uphold justice and chivalry, but now our Chief take this Old Freak of XingXiu as master. We definitely cannot accept him as our Chief anymore."
Gongs and drums echoed loudly, everyone in XingXiu Sect cheered and celebrate, they praised Divine Elder of XingXiu, their voice resounding, all sorts of sappy and unimaginable praises flow forth, in short the Divine Elder of XingXiu is brighter than the sun and moon, he is greater than heaven and earth, from the time Pangu split heaven and earth apart no other person is more powerful than Divine Elder of XingXiu. Duke of Zhou, Confucius, Buddha, Laozi, as well as the Jade Emperor, the King of Hell, none of them is able to match Divine Elder of XingXiu.
When AhZi was captured by Ding ChunQiu, both Duan ZhengChun and Ruan XingZhu turn pale, they knew they are no match for Old Freak of XingXiu, thus they cannot rescue her and escape, unexpectedly Zhuang JuXian is willing to kneel down and took Ding ChunQiu as his master for the sake of their daughter. Ruan XingZhu was shock yet delighted, she whispered: "Look at his profound affection! You...you...you don't even have a tiny fraction of his devotion."
Duan Yu glance at Wang YuYan, he pondered: "I am deeply devoted to Miss Wang, I have done everything possible, nothing can exceed that. But compared to this Chief Zhuang, I really fall short. He is truly passionate and devoted! If Miss Wang was captured by Old Freak of XingXiu, am I willing to kneel down in front of him in front of everybody?" when he thought of it, his blood circulate rapidly, for the sake of Miss Wang he is willing to die, being humiliated is nothing, he cannot help but blurt out: "Willing, of course I am willing!" Wang YuYan inquired: "You are willing what?" Duan Yu stammered: "En, this....I am willing to kneel down and take him as master...." Wang YuYan understood his meaning, her face turn a shade of red.
You TanZhi kowtow and stood up, Ding ChunQiu is still grabbing onto AhZi, AhZi's facial expression is twisted, clearly she is in much pain, he said quickly: "Master, please release her!" Ding ChunQiu laugh coldly and said: "This brat is brazen, you think I will forgive her easily? Unless you atone for her crimes, settle some matters for me." You TanZhi said: "Yes! Master, what task you have for me?" Ding ChunQiu said: "Go challenge Shaolin's abbot XuanCi and kill him."
You TanZhi hesitate and said: "Disciple have no feud with Shaolin's abbot, although Beggars Clan is vying with Shaolin for supremacy, but there is no need to kill." Ding ChunQiu's expression turned grave, he said angrily: "You disobey my orders, obviously becoming my disciple is just an act!" You TanZhi only want AhZi to be safe and sound, why would he care about justice or righteousness, he did not care about right or wrong, he said quickly: "Yes! But Shaolin's martials arts are extremely high, disciple will do his utmost....Master, you....you promised, you must not harm Miss AhZi." Ding ChunQiu said dully: "The decision to kill XuanCi or not, it is entirely up to you; But the decision to kill AhZi or not, it is entirely up to me."
You TanZhi turn around and said loudly: "Shaolin's abbot XuanCi, Shaolin is the chief of martial studies, Beggars Clan is the number one clan under the heaven, we have presided over Central Plains as equals. But today we have to determine who is stronger, the victor will become 'Supreme Leader of Martial Arts Fraternity', the loser will have to follow the supreme leader's order." he sweep his eyes across the crowd of heroes and said: "Heroes, today we gather at Mount Shaoshi, who is not convinced, you may step forward to challenge the supreme leader." unexpectedly he dare to claim he is supreme leader.
Ding ChunQiu listen to You TanZhi's voice, his voice is not loud, but those with profound internal energy heard every single word clearly. Senior monks from Shaolin heard Ding ChunQiu command Zhuang JuXian to kill abbot XuanCi, they are really angry, but they witness the duel just now, Zhuang JuXian's martials arts are strong yet demonic, it is hard to determine if XuanCi can resist, moreover it is not easy to ward off various kinds of poison and evil sorcery.
XuanCi is unwilling to fight with Zhuang JuXian, but since he openly issued the challenge in public he cannot withdraw, at once he put his palms together and said: "For several hundred years, Beggars Clan uphold chivalry and justice, all heroes under the heaven admire you greatly. You former Clan Chief Wang JianTong's relationship with my humble school is truly not shallow. Disciples of my school have always revered Beggars Clan, the friendship between Shaolin and Beggars Clan have lasted over several hundred years. I don't understand why Chief Zhuang suddenly issued this challenge, I hope to seek clarification. Heroes, today's situation, who is right or wrong, you will be the witness."
You TanZhi is young, his knowledge shallow, how can he debate with XuanCi? Nevertheless before coming to Shaolin, Quan GuanQing taught him some expressions, he narrated at once: "Liao nation is south of Great Song, Tubo and Western Xia at the west, Dali at the north, four barbarians eyeing Great Song covetously, this....this...." he mixed up the position of Liao and Dali, some people in the crowd disapproved of what he said, they cough and sneered at his speech.
You TanZhi knew something is amiss but it is too late to salvage now, his expression became awkward, luckily he is wearing a human-skin mask, other people cannot read his expression, he continued: "Great Song has little troop and generals, our nation weak and frail, entirely dependent on us martial art patriots, we have to unite together to resist foreign enemies and remove any traitor from within."
The crowd of heroes felt his speech is rather logical, they said: "Correct, correct!"
You TanZhi's spirit rose, he continued: "For the past few years foreign aggression is rampant, everyone ought to work as one, brave the danger together. But various sect and school, clan and association, we fight with each other, unable to reach a consensus. Khitan Qiao Feng can simply come here and single-handedly defeat the heroes of Central Plains, in addition it is rumoured that Western XingXiu Sea, XingXiu Old.... XingXiu Old.... XingXiu Old...that XingXiu Old...en, he killed two senior monks from Shaolin....that...." Quan GuanQing taught him to say "Western XingXiu Sea Old Freak of XingXiu killed two senior monks from Shaolin, Shaolin is helpless in face of crisis", You TanZhi memorize this speech thoroughly, unexpectedly the circumstances changed, thus he only said up till "XingXiu Old" and was unable to continue anymore.
Someone from the crowd shouted: "He is Old Freak of XingXiu, you are are Little Demon of XingXiu!" everyone roared with laughter.
Disciples of XingXiu sang in unison: "Divine Elder of XingXiu, virtue fitting heaven and earth, power shaking the entire universe, matchless then and now!" a thousand people singing in unison, their voice immediately drown out the laughter.
The singing had barely tone down when an unpleasant husky voice sang loudly: "Divine Elder of XingXiu, virtue fitting heaven and earth, power shaking the entire universe...." the tune is identical to those sung by XingXiu disciples. Unexpectedly there is someone else who would praise XingXiu Elder other than his own disciples, the praise is far better than XingXiu tooting their own horn. In their excitement the crowd beat the gongs and drums, unexpectedly the next sentence took a dramatic twist, they heard him sing: "...big dog fart!" the XingXiu disciples are startled but the instruments did not stop playing, the music accompanied till end, the phrase "big dog fart" became melodious and pleasing to the ear.
The crowd nearly fell down in laughter, XingXiu disciples roundly abuse him. Wang YuYan smile and said: "3rd brother Bao, your voice is really sharp!" Bao BuTong said: "Pardon my performance, pardon my performance!" the singing voice is indeed Bao BuTong's performance.
While everyone was distracted by the disturbance You TanZhi seize the opportunity to discuss with Quan GuanQing, he said in a bright voice: "Great Song will face hardship, we martial artists are unable to work together, thus foreigner push us around. Hence Beggars Clan took the initiative to establish this 'Supreme Leader of Martial Arts Fraternity' position, everyone will follow orders, if any major trouble breaks out we won't be confused or disordered. Abbot XuanCi, do you agree?"
XuanCi said unhurriedly: "Chief Zhuang's speech is logical. However old monk is still puzzled by something, I ask for guidance." You TanZhi said: "What thing?" XuanCi said: "Chief Zhuang already accept Mr Ding as master, you can be considered a disciple of XingXiu, correct?" You TanZhi said: "This....this is my personal matter, it is not related to you." XuanCi said: "XingXiu Sect is from western region, not part of Great Song's martial art fraternity. Whether or not Great Song establish this supreme leader position it does not involve XingXiu Sect. Even if we want to elect a supreme leader, it is still an internal affair, you are a disciple of XingXiu Sect, you cannot participate."
The crowd of heroes said in succession: "Correct!"
"Shaolin abbot is correct!"
"You are a lackey of a foreign sect, how can you dream about becoming supreme leader of Central Plain's martial art fraternity?"
You TanZhi is speechless, he look at Ding ChunQiu and at Quan GuanQing, hoping for them to help solve this predicament.
Ding ChunQiu cough lightly and said: "Shaolin abbot is mistaken! Old man is a native of Shandong's Qufu city, the hometown of Confucius, XingXiu Sect is founded by me, how can you claim it is a foreign sect? Although XingXiu Sect is based at western region, but that is merely a temporary location. If you claim XingXiu Sect is a foreign sect, then Confucius is also a foreigner, ridiculous! With regards to foreigner, Shaolin's martial art originated from India's Master Damo, even Buddhism is also foreign, in my opinion Shaolin is the foreign sect!" his speech ended, XuanCi and the crowd of heroes found it difficult to refute his accusation.
Quan GuanQing said in a clear and bright voice: "The true origin of martials arts are difficult to ascertain. Maybe martial art spread from west to Central Plains, or from Central Plains to the west. Our Beggars Clan Chief is a native of Central Plains, Beggars Clan originated from Central Plain, naturally he is a leader of Central Plain's martial art fraternity. Abbot XuanCi, for today's matter you should use martial art to differentiate the strong from the weak, you cannot determine the outcome by debating. Shaolin and Beggars Clan, who is stronger, who is weaker, the result can be determined immediately in a martial art contest between the chief, what is the purpose in debating? If you still have some self-knowledge and know that you are not Chief Zhuang's match, then step down gracefully and admit defeat, give your endorsement to Chief Zhuang." his speech clearly implied that XuanCi is inferior, timid and shirk responsibility.
XuanCi move forward a few steps and said: "Chief Zhuang, you force old monk to fight, if old monk continue to take into account the several hundred years of friendship between Shaolin and Beggars Clan and refuse to fight, then it is seen as disrespectful to your clan." he sweep his eyes slowly across the crowd of heroes and said in a bright voice: "Heroes, today you bear witness, my Shaolin did not have any intention to fight with Beggars Clan for supremacy, Beggars Clan Chief pressured us with every step, old monk cannot decline." the crowd of heroes said: "Correct, Shaolin did no wrong."
You TanZhi is only concerned about AhZi's safety, he want to kill XuanCi quickly and complete this assignment from Ding ChunQiu, he said loudly: "Just fight, the strong will survive, the weak will die, what correct or wrong, quickly come here and fight!"
When he was young he frolic around and did not study much, although his innate character is not pure but ultimately he is a simple, unsophisticated youngster. When his father died, he roam around aimlessly, he was bullied and humiliated, there was no upright honest man to guide and instruct him properly, he associate with AhZi and learnt the behaviour of XingXiu Sect. The martial arts of XingXiu Sect seek victory through vicious and sinister method, with Quan GuanQing's careful planning he help him to secure the position of Beggars Clan Chief, he also taught him to be merciless, leaving no margin for error, all these experience accumulated over time, unexpectedly it turn a disciple of a famous chivalrous warrior into someone who cannot differentiate between good and evil, a violent man who only relied on brute force.
XuanCi said in a bright voice: "Chief Zhuang, your speech does not match up to the chivalrous reputation enjoyed by Beggars Clan for several hundred years."
You TanZhi's body flickered, he move closer by several zhang, he said: "Just fight if you want to fight, if you don't want to fight then just retreat." he look at Ding ChunQiu and AhZI, he is really anxious.
XuanCi said: "Fine, today old monk will experience Chief Zhuang's consummate skill the ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’ and ‘Dog Beating Staff Technique’, it is also a good opportunity for the heroes here to witness the martial arts handed down by former Beggars Clan Chiefs for several hundred years."
You TanZhi was startled, he cannot help but move back 2 steps. Although he became Chief of Beggars Clan, but he did not learn the two consummate skills ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’ and ‘Dog Beating Staff Technique’. But he heard sarcastic remarks from Beggars Clan 's Elders before, these two consummate skills are the ‘Divine Guardian Skill of Beggars Clan’. ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’ need not be pass solely to the Chief of Beggars Clan, however the ‘Dog Beating Staff Technique’ must only be pass onto the Chief of Beggars Clan, for several hundred years there isn't a Chief who did not learn these two "Divine Guardian Skill of Beggars Clan".
XuanCi said: "Old monk will use Shaolin's ‘Vajra Fist’ against Chief Zhuang's ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’, ‘Demon Subduing Staff’ against Chief Zhuang's ‘Dog Beating Staff Technique’. Alas, Shaolin and Beggars Clan enjoyed good relationship for generations, these martial arts have always been used for learning and improvement purposes, never to be use to fight against each other, old monk is useless, I really let down previous generations of Beggars Clan Chief and Shaolin abbot." he press both palms together, it is precisely the starting gesture of [Vajra Fist], "Paying Respect to Rulai", his expression kind and amiable, however his cassock belt shoot left and right, it can be seen that this move is empowered by extremely profound level of internal energy.
You TanZhi did not say anything, his left hand split the air, his right palm followed immediately and chop swiftly, the force in his left palm start first but arrive later, the force in his right palm start later but arrive first, both stream of energy intertwine and move forward, it is extremely weird, their palm force collide midway, with a 'Bo' sound they neutralize each other, however everyone heard two 'Chi Chi' sound, both ends of XuanCi's cassock belt was cut off simultaneously and flew several zhang backwards. The twin palm force from You TanZhi had extremely wide range, the force attacking XuanCi's body was neutralize by the defensive move "Paying Respect to Rulai", however the belt floating by the side was cut off by You TanZhi's palm force.
When Shaolin monks and the crowd of heroes saw it they shouted out: "That is demonic martial arts of XingXiu Sect!"
"It is not ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’!"
"It is not Beggars Clan 's martial arts!"
Unexpectedly some Beggars Clan disciples also shout out: "We are competing with Shaolin, you cannot use martial arts of demonic sect!"
"Chief you have to use ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’!"
"You use demonic martial arts, really disgrace our Beggars Clan."
You TanZhi heard everyone made a huge commotion, he hesitate and did not execute his second move.
However XingXiu disciples shouted out: "XingXiu's divine skill is much stronger than Beggars Clan's ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’, naturally he will use the stronger skill, don't tell me he will use the weaker skill?"
"Senior martial brother Zhuang, go on and fight! Naturally you have to use the divine skills imparted by our revered master, slaughter this old monk!"
"The divine skills of XingXiu is number one under the heaven, achieve victory in every battle, there are no exception, ‘Stinky Dragon Subduing Palm’, dog fart and not worth the time!"
Amidst the huge racket, a majestic voice suddenly boomed from the base of the mountain: "Who say XingXiu's martial art can surpass Beggars Clan's ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’?"
The voice is not particularly loud, but every single word is delivered clearly into everyone's ear, everyone was momentarily startled, they became silent.
Everyone heard the thunderous sound of horse hooves, 10 riders rode swiftly up the mountain. The riders all wore black felt cloak and black clothes, they resemble tigers, horse like dragons, the riders are nimble and athletic, their horses spirited, every horse is tall with long legs, bodies covered with black fur, they rush near and the crowd saw shining light, gold ray glittering, unexpectedly the horse shoes are made of gold. There are a total of 19 riders, although their numbers are not great but their manner strong and imposing, it is as if they are an army of thousand men, the first 18 riders rush ahead and split evenly to both sides, the last rider rush through between them.
Among the Beggars Clan members, a large number of them suddenly shout out: "Chief Qiao, Chief Qiao!" several hundred Beggars Clan disciples rush out from the crowd, they bow in front of the men and horses.
The person is indeed Xiao Feng. After being expelled from Beggars Clan he assume everyone in Beggars Clan treat him as an enemy, he never expect them to change their view, unexpectedly a lot of his former brothers came forth fervently to greet him, his emotion surge forth, tears in his eyes, he dismounted and cup his fists to return the greeting and said: "Khitan Xiao Feng was expelled by Beggars Clan, I have no gratitude or animosity with Beggars Clan anymore, why do you still address me like former times? Brothers, are you well?" the last phrase revealed his sincere feelings and old affection towards them, unexpectedly he was unable to restrain himself.
Those who came over to greet him are mostly 3-pouch and 4-pouch disciples. 1-pouch and 2-pouch disciples are low ranking or newly recruited, they rarely get the chance to meet Xiao Feng, 5-pouch disciples and above are often based at the borders to defend against foreigners, they are of a senior generation, they handle affairs with apprehension unlike younger generation who are more straightforward and less reserved. When the several hundred disciples heard his speech they realize their conduct was too rash, this "Chief Qiao" is a Khitan, an archenemy, everyone in Beggars Clan knew this fact for a long time already, but how come they rush forth involuntarily and completely forgot about this matter? Some people lowered their head and return back, however quite a number of people said: "Qiao....Qiao....senior you are well, after parting with you, every day we miss....miss you very much."
That day, AhZi did not return from her outing, there was no information for several days, Xiao Feng became extremely worried, he dispatch large number of scouts to look for her. Several months later he finally receive news, AhZi is with Beggars Clan, the iron-head man is also with her.
When Xiao Feng heard it he was extremely apprehensive, he assume Beggars Clan hate him to the bone, they captured AhZi to use her as hostage to threaten him, he have to rescue her immediately. He inform the Emperor and request leave for two months, he hand over the army and governance of Southern Chancellery to Chancellor YeLu MoGe and travelled south.
When Xiao Feng return to Central Plains, he came well prepared, the "Eighteen Riders From YanYun" which he selected are all top experts of Khitan race. Last time he fought alone against a crowd of heroes at JuXian Manor, if not for the sudden appearance of a benefactor he would have died under their blades, evidently regardless of how powerful his martial art it is not possible for him to fight against a hundred experts, thus he came along with the "Eighteen Riders From YanYun", every single one of them is able to go up against 10 men, moreover they are riding prized horses which can travel a thousand miles, it is not difficult for them to escape during critical situation.
The group arrive at Henan province, Xiao Feng captured a low ranking Beggars Clan disciple and interrogate him, he found out that AhZi lost her sight, she is inseparable from the new Beggars Clan Chief, currently she accompanied the new Chief and went to Shaolin Temple. Xiao Feng became more fearful and angry, someone must have blinded her eyes, he can well imagine the various torture she experience in Beggars Clan, he rush to Shaolin Temple immediately.
He arrived at Mount Shaoshi, from a distant he heard XingXiu disciples bragging, they claim XingXiu's martials arts are better than ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’, his anger burst forth. Although he is not longer Chief of Beggars Clan but ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’ was personally imparted to him by his respected teacher Wang JianTong, how can outsiders be allowed to vilify it wantonly? He rode up the mountain and met with 3-pouch and 4-pouch disciples, he glance around and saw Ding ChunQiu grabbing onto a purple-clothed maiden, her figure graceful with snow white oval face, it is AhZi. However her eyes are dim and lifeless, pupil of the eye damaged, clearly she is blind.
Xiao Feng heart ached, his anger burst forth and he took large stride forward, with a 'Hu' sound he strike his right palm towards Ding ChunQiu, it is a move from ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’, "Meeting Dragon at the Field", when he threw out his palm he was separated 15-16 zhang from Ding ChunQiu, however he arrive quickly, while his energy gathered at his palm he is already 7-8 zhang from Ding ChunQiu.
In martial studies, no matter how powerful your palm strength, you can never strike beyond 5 zhang away. Ding ChunQiu knew the famous reputation of "Northern Qiao Feng, Southern Murong", he did not dare to underestimate him, Ding ChunQiu saw him launching his palm strike 15-16 zhang away, he did not expect this palm to be directed at him. Xiao Feng's palm strength had barely emerge but he is already 3-4 zhang from Ding ChunQiu, he execute another "Meeting Dragon at the Field", the rear palm supporting the front palm, the strength of twin palm combine together, its gigantic power came crashing forth.
In an instant Ding ChunQiu's breath was obstructed and became sluggish, unexpectedly the opposing palm strength rush forth like a raging tide, impossible to resist, it is like a formless high wall moving straight towards him. He was greatly alarmed, how can he think of any countermeasures, if he counter with a single palm his arm and wrist will surely break, maybe all his muscles and bones will shatter as well, he quickly push AhZi forward, both his palms made 3 semicircle to protect his body, at the same time his toes kick off from the ground and he float backward.
Xiao Feng execute yet another "Meeting Dragon at the Field", the initial palm force have yet to dissipate as the new wave of palm force arrive. Ding ChunQiu don't dare to go head-on with this force, he slanted his right palm and push out, he made contact with Xiao Feng's palm force by the side, however he felt his right arm aching, his breathing suddenly became heavy and impure, at once he move 3 zhang backward, fearing Xiao Feng might pursue him he raise his palm to protect his chest and secretly gather poison to his palm. Xiao Feng extend his arm and caught hold of AhZi from midair, at the same time he undo her sealed acupoints.
AhZi is blind and unable to speak when being captured by Ding ChunQiu, however she still can hear the events happening around her clearly, when her acupoints was undone she said happily: "Good brother-in-law, luckily you came here to save me." she embrace him tightly.
Xiao Feng felt extremely sad, he consoled her softly: "AhZi, you have suffered much hardship, it is all my fault for implicating you." he assume the leaders of Beggars Clan bore great hatred towards him, they cannot do anything to him, since AhZi is his only relative they captured her from Nanjing and tortured her, unexpectedly it did not occur to him that AhZi is reaping what she has sown.
Xiao Feng stir up a huge commotion immediately when he arrive. Previously in the great battle of JuXian Manor, he killed 10 experts in succession alone, his feat became well known all over the world. Martial artists from Central Plains gnash their teeth in anger towards him, however they become fearful when discussing about him, now that he suddenly appear at Mount Shaoshi everyone assume another fierce battle is inevitable. Those who participated in the battle at JuXian Manor tremble in fear when they recall the carnage and devastation in the main hall of the Manor. With just 1 move "Meeting Dragon at the Field" he sent the insufferable Old Freak of XingXiu scampering, everyone became even more frightful when they witness this, they look at each other in dismay, they are speechless in awe of his might.
Only around 10 men from XingXiu dare to boast shamelessly: "The one surnamed Qiao, you are under the influence of Divine Elder of XingXiu's magical power, after 10 days your body will turn into pus and blood, you will meet a violent death!"
"You are from a younger generation, Divine Elder of XingXiu yielded 3 moves!"
"What is the the status of Divine Elder of XingXiu, how can he fight with you? It is not too late for you to repent, quickly kneel and beg forgiveness from Divine Elder of XingXiu, else you will surely meet a tragic end." however their voice is withered and crestfallen, completely different from their previous threatening manner.
You TanZhi was frighten upon seeing Xiao Feng, however when he saw him holding AhZi in his bosom, her expression of joy and happiness, embracing Xiao Feng intimately, he cannot restrain himself and leap forward, he said: "Quick....quickly put down Miss AhZi!" Xiao Feng put down AhZi and ask: "Who are you?" You TanZhi look at Xiao Feng's imposing and powerful gaze, he became timid instantly, he stammered: "I am....I am Chief of Beggars Clan....Zhuang Chief....no no...Chief Zhuang."
Someone shouted from Beggars Clan: "You already join XingXiu Sect, how can you be the Chief of Beggars Clan?"
Xiao Feng shout angrily: "Why did you make AhZi blind?" You TanZi was intimidated by his might, he move back 2 steps and said: "No....not me, really not me...." AhZi said: "Brother-in-law, I was blinded by that old thief Ding ChunQiu, quickly go dig out that old thief's eyes to avenge me."
Xiao Feng knew it is difficult to find out the truth in such short period of time, he sweep his gaze across the crowd, he spotted Duan ZhengChun and Ruan XingZhu, he felt his heart ached, yet he was delighted, he said in a bright voice: "Prince Duan of Dali, your precious daughter is here, please take care of her and teach her properly!" he held onto AhZi's hand and walk towards Duan ZhengChun, he push AhZi towards him softly.
Ruan XingZhu had long soaked her sleeve with tears, currently her tears are falling like rain, she threw herself forward and embrace AhZi, she said: "Good child, your....your eyes, how are they?"
Duan Yu saw Xiao Feng appeared suddenly, he is extremely happy, he wanted to step forth to greet him, however Xiao Feng was simply too busy fighting with Ding ChunQiu, saving AhZi and meeting with You TanZhi. He saw Ruan XingZhu crying loudly while hugging AhZi, he cannot help but be amazed: "How come Brother Qiao said this blind girl is my father's precious daughter?" however he knew his father lascivious nature, sowing seeds of love everywhere, in an instant he already guess the underlying reason, he quickly step forward and shouted: "Brother, are you well? Little brother miss you dearly."
Xiao Feng swore brotherhood with Duan Yu after a wine drinking contest in a restaurant at Wuxi, although their meeting is short but they hit off like old acquaintance, they treat each other with absolute sincerity, at once he grab hold of Duan Yu's hands and said: "Brother, many things happened, it is difficult to explain in a few words, luckily you are still safe and well."
Suddenly someone shouted from the crowd: "The one surnamed Qiao, you killed my elders, this blood debt have yet to be avenged, today I will fight till death with you."
Immediately after another person shout: "Qiao Feng is a Khitan foreigner, everyone knows this fact, we cannot let him leave Mount Shaoshi alive."
The shouting became louder and louder, some cursed Xiao Feng for killing their sons, some cursed him for killing their parents.
In the battle at Juxian Manor, Xiao Feng indeed killed quite a number of people. Of those gathered at Mount Shaoshi, some had deceased family members and intimate friends who died in the battle at JuXian Manor, although they are afraid of Xiao Feng but when thinking about this blood debt they cannot help but curse out loudly. The crowd saw Xiao Feng is only accompanied by 18 riders, he have enmity with Beggars Clan and Shaolin, moments ago he attacked Ding ChunQiu and force him to retreat, thus XingXiu Sect also became an enemy, if they really start fighting, even if Beggars Clan and Shaolin refuse to help, the rest of the heroes along with XingXiu Sect, thousands of men against Xiao Feng's 19 Khitan men, no matter his divine abilities he surely cannot escape from the assault. The shouting is gathering momentum, everyone became more courageous.
Xiao Feng brought 18 riders with him, they rode swiftly to Central Plains, he only anticipate a sneak attack when rescuing AhZi, he never expect so many enemy to gather together. He roam about Central Plains since childhood, he is knowledgeable about most of the heroes here, he knew they are mostly descendants of chivalrous family, their hatred towards him, firstly its due to his Khitan origin, secondly someone incited fear and caused this misunderstanding. He did not intend for the outcome of the battle at JuXian Manor, today if another battle take place again the killings will surely add to his guilt, he is fully capable of escaping unharmed however the "Eighteen Riders From YanYun" which he brought along will surely suffer heavy casualties, he pondered: "Fortunately AhZi is already out of danger, she is with her parents, I already fulfilled Azhu's wish, I have to think of how to escape as soon as possible, why tangle with these people?" he turn around and said to Duan Yu: "Brother, the situation will turn nasty, it is hard for us to chat now, for the time being please go back, the mountain is high and the river is long, I am sure we will meet again some day." he want Duan Yu to move aside to avoid any accidental injury when he force his way down to the mountain to escape.
Duan Yu saw there are around a thousand heroes, everyone want to attack his sworn brother, his chivalrous spirit is aroused, he shouted: "Elder brother, when I swore brotherhood with you what did I say? We will enjoy blessings and endure misfortune together, we did not ask to be born on the same year and same date, but we ask to die together on the same day. Today elder brother is in trouble, how can I leave you in a lurch?" in the past whenever he encounter trouble he will always execute the ingenious ‘Graceful Steps Upon the Waves’ and escape from danger, now that he is facing a dangerous situation, his blood rushing forth, he is determined to fight together with Xiao Feng till death as sworn brothers, no matter what happen he will not run away this time.
Most of the heroes don't know Duan Yu, he claim to be Xiao Feng's sworn brother and determined to fight together with him till death, but his appearance is weak and refined and he is young, thus nobody took him seriously, their shouting became fiercer.
Xiao Feng said: "Brother, elder brother is very grateful to your good intention. However it is not so easy for them to kill me. Retreat quickly, it is not convenient for me to fight them if I have to protect you as well." Duan Yu said: "No need to protect me. They don't have any hatred towards me, why would they kill me?" Xiao Feng forced a bitter laugh, his heart became sorrowful: "If nobody harm each other due to lack of hatred, then the various kinds of hate and enmity, where did they come from in the first place?"
Duan ZhengChun whispered to Hua HeGen, Fan Hua and Ba TianShi: "This hero Xiao saved my life before, later on when the situation becomes desperate we will rush in and help him escape." Fan Hua said: "Yes!" he gaze at the crowd of heroes and said: "Their number is huge, your Highness, do you have any plan?" Duan ZhengChun shake his head and said: "A man differentiate gratitude and resentment clearly, he will do his utmost, even if he has to sacrifice his life." The men from Dali said in unison: "This should be the way!"
The men of Gusu Murong are also discussing softly. GongYe Gan compete palm and wine with Xiao Feng in Wuxi city, he had extremely high admiration for him, he strongly advocate helping Xiao Feng. Bao BuTong and Feng BoE also admired Xiao Feng very much, they eager to step forth and help him. However Murong Fu said: "Brothers, our number one priority is the restoration of Great Yan, how can we offend all the heroes just for the sake of Xiao Feng?" Deng BaiChuan said: "Young master is correct. What should we do?"
Murong Fu said: "Win the support of majority, make them believe we are helping." suddenly he whistled and said in a bright voice: "Brother Xiao, you are a hero of Khitan, you have no regards for the heroes of Central Plains, today Murong Fu would like to ask you for advice. If I die by your hands it can be considered doing my part for the heroes of Central Plains, my death will be glorious." his speech is actually for the heroes of Central Plains, thus no matter victory or defeat, the heroes will treat Gusu Murong family as a worthy friend.
Although the crowd of heroes wanted to go all out against Xiao Feng, but none of them dare to step forward to initiate the challenge. Everyone knew that if they fought till the end they will surely kill him, however the first 10 men will surely die first, suddenly they saw Murong Fu step forward to take the lead, they are extremely gratified and their morale soared. "Northern Qiao Feng, Southern Murong", both of them are equally famous, Murong Fu initiated the challenge, even if he is no match for Xiao Feng he will greatly reduce his fighting strength and exhaust his internal energy. In an instant the cheering of the crowd resonated from all four corners.
Xiao Feng saw Murong Fu step forward to challenge, he cannot help but be startled, he cupped his fists in salute and said: "I have long heard of your legendary reputation, today I finally get to meet your honorable self, I am greatly comforted."
Duan Yu said anxiously: "Brother Murong, you are at fault now. My sworn brother is meeting you for the first time, he has no animosity with you, why take advantage of his precarious position? Moreover when everyone wrongly accused you, my brother even step forward to explain the facts." Murong Fu smile coldly and said: "Brother Duan wants to be a hero who resolve grievances and injustice, please step forward to bestow your teachings." Murong Fu endured Duan Yu's constant tangling with Wang YuYan for a very long time, now he finally seize the opportunity to flare up. Duan Yu said: "What abilities I have to bestow teachings on you? I merely said a few words of fairness."
Suddenly four monks from the "Xuan" generation walk towards Xiao Feng, they put their palms together and said: "Honorable Xiao, our abbot humbly invites you, please be at the main hall for discussion." an old monk turn around and said to the crowd: "Everyone please excuse us, our abbot XuanCi invites Honorable Xiao Feng, he has some important matters to discuss with him, when they finish Honorable Xiao will come out promptly to meet you again. Everyone please rest for the time being." when the crowd heard it their chattering ceased, some sat down immediately.
Duan Yu fear Shaolin might hatch a plot to harm Xiao Feng, he said: "Big brother, let me accompany you!" Xiao Feng nod his head and said: "Very well." they followed the four monks to the main hall. When they arrived, the monk who is leading the way call out to the monks in the hall, another 10 old monks came out and accompanied them. Xiao Feng is inwardly afraid, these few old monks walk with a steady gait, their gaze bright and clear, most likely they are experts from the Xuan generation, he assume these group of monks will attack him soon, he will surely meet a violent death, he whispered to Duan Yu who is beside him: "Brother, go outside and take care of my entourage, afterwards go protect your father." Duan Yu shake his head, he smile and said: "Shaolin will not harm my father. We are sworn brothers, we will face life and death together!" Xiao Feng is extremely touched, he grasped Duan Yu's hand lightly.
The group entered a meditation room, abbot XuanCi is already standing by the door to greet them, he invite everyone to sit down. A monk served tea, XuanCi and Duan Yu exchange a few pleasantries, XuanCi introduced the foreign guests to Xiao Feng, he introduced ShenShan, ShenYin, GuanXin, DaoQing, JiaoXian and RongZhi, afterwards he introduced the monks from Xuan generation. XuanCi took out a cotton cap from his bosom and wore it, he put his palms together and said smilingly: "Honorable Xiao, do you still recognize old monk?"
Xiao Feng recognize him immediately, he bow and said: "Great master XuanCi, you are Mr Chi." XuanCi nod his head and smile. Four old monks took out cotton caps from their bosom and wore it. Xiao Feng bow and said to XuanDu: "Great master XuanDu, you are Mr Du." he paid his respect to XuanYin and said: "Great master XuanYin, you are Mr Jin." he paid his respect to XuanZhi and said: "Great master XuanZhi, you are Mr Chu." he paid his respect to XuanSheng and said: "Great master XuanSheng, you are Mr Sun." XuanDu is injured, he is supported by his disciples, he said gravely: "Lady Azhu is vivacious and adorable, she ask old monk to take care of his body, what a pity, she left this world first." Xiao Feng's heart ached, he forcefully held back his tears.
XuanCi said: "Martial brothers, Lord Xiao is a former student of Shaolin, he is the disciple of XuanKu. Martial brother XuanKu was killed 2 years ago, at that time everyone assumed Lord Xiao committed the crime. Old monk and martial brother XuanJi examined the broken bones of XuanKu thoroughly, the murder's palm strength is exceptionally violent and fierce, it did not originate from Shaolin. However we knew Lord Xiao mastered Beggars Clan 's ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’, the palm style strong and powerful, thus old monk, along with XuanDu, XuanYin, XuanZhi and XuanSheng, five of us change into laymen clothes, we ran into Lord Xiao at a pavilion in Mount Tiantai, we invited him to display his full strength, exhaust all his abilities. The five of us match palm with him, we came to the same conclusion: "XuanKu was not killed by Qiao Feng!"
"Among the Xuan generation, XuanNan, XuanJi, XuanTong, they are occupied with some other matters, the five of us are the remaining fighters. We fellow apprentice employed different palm strength, hard and strong, soft and yielding, heavy and profound, Lord Xiao must make an all-out-effort, he cannot use cheap tricks or else he will die violently on the spot. Even if he manage to conceal his true ability from one of us, he definitely cannot hide from all five of us. Old monk exchange a palm with him, old monk use a move from ‘Prajna Palm’, "The Bottom Of Emptiness", my palm strength was truly vacant and empty, unexpectedly Lord Xiao's palm strength suddenly became empty, if old monk was tempted by his move and seize the opportunity to release my strength his ribs will surely shatter. The five of us meet Lord Xiao by chance at the mountain, for the sake of not injuring me he took great risk and withdraw all his palm strength. For a total stranger, an old man he never met before, he refused to harm me, thus how is it possible for him to harm his own revered teacher? Base on palm technique, martial brother XuanKu was not killed by Lord Xiao! Base on personal character, even more unlikely for him to kill XuanKu!""
XuanDu, XuanYin, XuanZhi, XuanSheng, four of them said in unison: "Senior martial brother abbot made the deduction immediately on the spot. The four of us had to think over the details, we discussed the various subtle points in his palm technique and palm strength, we were left without the slightest bit of doubt."
XuanCi said in an awe-inspiring manner: "At that time on Mount Tiantai, five of us made a decision, if Xiao Feng is indeed the murderer then five of us will combine our strength and exterminate him, firstly this is to avenge XuanKu, secondly it is to get rid of a great calamity." he turn towards Xiao Feng and said: "Xiao shizhu, today we revealed this matter, it is not to show off but to explain to martial brother ShenShan and the other senior monks, our Shaolin disciple did not kill innocent people rashly, Shaolin is upright and disciplined."
Xiao Feng bow and said: "Yes. Many thanks to abbot for clearing my name."
XuanCi's expression is kind and amiable, he said unhurriedly: "Xiao shizhu, I will be blunt: The leader you have been tracking down all along, it is old monk XuanCi!" when everyone heard it they cannot help but tremble.
XuanCi continued: "That day at Mount Tiantai, I knew you did not kill martial brother XuanKu, thus when I match palm with you I withdraw my palm strength, I intended for you to kill me with a single strike so that you can avenge you parents!"
Xiao Feng obtained this truth abruptly, his mind is in turmoil, nevertheless various doubts and suspicions finally cleared up: "At that time someone delivered false news, my father is coming to steal martial art manuals from Shaolin's Hidden Scripture Pavilion, martial artists from Central Plains have to stop him, obviously Shaolin's abbot have to take the lead; Abbot XuanCi headed the group, along with former Beggars Clan Chief Wang as well as other martial art experts. Since I came from Shaolin, I am aware of abbot XuanCi's amiable nature, he definitely won't kill my father and mother for no reason, my heart is bias, I ignored the leader of the group who is right in front of me, I never bothered to think through the possibility that abbot XuanCi is the leader! I assumed the leader is extremely vicious and evil, no matter how you see it he cannot be linked to abbot XuanCi. Xiao Feng is really blind, stupid to the extreme, I sacrificed Azhu for nothing." when he thought of Azhu his heart ached again.
XuanCi said dimly: "Old monk made a huge blunder, I willingly accept death. Xiao shizhu, please come here and kill me with 1 strike. Avenge your parents, this should be the proper thing to do as a son. Old monk failed to reveal this matter early, thus many people were killed. Fellow martial brothers, later on when Xiao Feng kill me, it is cause and effect, when there is a cause there must be an effect. Nobody is allowed to harm him!" he lowered his hands and step forward, waiting for Xiao Feng to land his palm.
Xiao Feng's hand is behind his back, he step forward slowly and said: "Great master abbot, at that time someone delivered false news, you mistakenly believe it, hence causing the tragedy at YanMen Pass. If I was in your position, I will also do the same thing. Great master abbot handled matters fairly, you did not violate any Buddhist decree. Great master abbot did not kill my revered teacher XuanKu, but my foster parents, Zhao QianSun and the rest, who killed them?" XuanCi said: "Old monk is ashamed, although I did not kill them but they certainly died because of me. Till today old monk still don't know who is the killer."
Xiao Feng said: "Since nobody knows the identity of the killer, Xiao Feng cannot place all the blame entirely on you right now. Xiao Feng is muddled and stupid, I was blinded by hatred and desire for revenge, I refuse to free myself, inevitably I caused the death of many people. The truth will come to light eventually, I will seek abbot's advice again in the future."
XuanCi put his palm together and said: "If you want revenge you can come take my life anytime. However there are thousands of people who want to kill you right now at the base of the mountain, even if you possess god-like bravery, ultimately you are heavily outnumbered. Why don't you flee and exit from the rear mountain? Shaolin will bear all responsibility and explain to the crowd of heroes."
Xiao Feng shake his head and said: "I killed many people at JuXian Manor, although I was forced by circumstance, it was an act of self-defense, but ultimately I was too savage. Since people want to seek me for revenge, how can I hide cowardly? But if I resist then I will kill many people again, what should I do, great master please enlighten me."
XuanCi said: "I knew your heart is kind and compassionate, base on this you can attain high virtue and achievement." Xiao Feng said: "Disciple don't dare to ask for virtue or achievement, I only hope to commit less sin." XuanCi said: "As a martial art practitioner, when you constantly think about committing less sin, that itself is a virtue." Xiao Feng said: "Many thanks to great master's teachings. I will take my leave now." he bow to the rest of the monks, turn around and left. Duan Yu followed closely and left as well.
Both of them reach the temple's entrance, the crowd of heroes stood up.
Murong Fu move forward and said in a bright voice: "Xiao Feng, today everyone wants to kill you for revenge, I will start first." Xiao Feng said: "You want to kill me for revenge, which member of Gusu Murong did I kill?" Murong Fu was at a loss for words, he said: "You and I shared the same status for a long time, today we have to determine who is superior."
Ding ChunQiu was forced to retreat by Xiao Feng's palm, his reputation in tatters, moreover he did not get the chance to display all his consummate skills, at once he leap forward, he laugh loudly and said: "The one surnamed Xiao, base on your young age I yielded 3 moves just now, however I will not yield on the 4th move."
You TanZhi step forward and said: "I thank you for saving Miss AhZi, however you killed my father, this hatred irreconcilable. The one surnamed Xiao, today we will settle this once and for all."
Xiao Feng saw 3 top experts surrounding him, in addition Shaolin monks are crowded at the east and west, they look disordered and chaotic, in reality they are actually arranged in an extremely powerful formation, the situation now is far more dangerous than the battle at JuXian Manor. Although he already resolved the hatred with the Xuan generation monks just now, but the monks in the 'Great Luohan Formation' have yet to know the truth. Suddenly he heard the wretched neighing of horses, 19 Khitan steed turn over and collapsed, they vomit white foam and died violently.
18 Khitan warriors shout out repeatedly, they draw out their sabers and launch their palms, in an instant 7-8 XingXiu disciples were slaughtered, the rest of the XingXiu disciples manage to flee. As it turns out when Ding ChunQiu step forth to challenge, his disciples seize the opportunity to launch poison, they targeted the Khitan's steed so that Xiao Feng cannot use it to rush out of the encirclement.
Xiao Feng caught a glimpse of his beloved horse staring at him before it died, the horse had a desolate longing expression for its owner, Xiao Feng recalled the long days he spent on the horse, they travelled thousands of miles southward, morning till night they never separate from each other, unexpectedly it died by the hands of these crafty scoundrels, warm blood circulate rapidly in his body, it aroused his heroic courage, he whistled and said: "Gentleman Murong, Chief Zhuang, Old Freak Ding, three of you come at me together, why should I fear you?" he resent XingXiu's sinister methods, with a 'Hu' sound he launch his palm violently towards Ding ChunQiu.
Ding ChunQiu experienced his awesome palm strength before, he launch both palms simultaneously to resist. Xiao Feng conveniently guide the incoming palm force, he draw out the palm strength of two men and sent it hacking towards Murong Fu. Murong Fu's consummate skill is [Star Shifting Movement], he is an expert in redirecting an opponent's move, however the move from Xiao Feng contain the palm strength of two different men, the force is too powerful, moreover the palm strength is cycling around rapidly, Murong Fu had no idea where it is targeting thus he cannot redirect the force, at once he push out with both palm and float 3 zhang backwards.
Xiao Feng lean his body to one side, he dodge Murong Fu's palm force and shouted out, it is akin to a thunderbolt from midair, he strike his left fist at You TanZhi. His stature is big and tall, he is 1 head taller than You TanZhi, this punch is directed at his face. You TanZhi is fearful of Xiao Feng, when he heard this thunderbolt shout he became even more fearful. This fist from Xiao Feng arrive swiftly, launching of palm at Ding ChunQiu, hacking at Murong Fu, punching You TanZhi, although they occur one after another but these 3 moves are executed in succession, as fast as lightning, You TanZhi was about to ward off the fist but the force already reach his face, fortunately for him he trained ‘Divine Foot Scripture’ diligently, his body will react automatically, his head move backward rapidly and he somersault backward twice, he manage to dodge this thousand catties punch by a hair's breadth.
However You TanZhi felt a cooling sensation on his face, he heard the crowd gasp in surprise, pieces of cloth scattered in all directions like butterflies. Unexpectedly his face mask was shattered by Xiao Feng's fist. The crowd saw his bumpy, indented face, some patches red, some patches black, his face riddled with scars, facial features all mashed up, ugly and terrifying to the extreme, everyone was overwhelmed with shock.
With just 3 moves Xiao Feng repelled the top 3 experts of the current age, his heroic spirit burst forth and he shouted: "Bring the wine!" a Khitan warrior retrieved a huge leather bag from the dead horse, he presented it with both hands. Xiao Feng pull out the cork and lifted the leather bag high up in the air, he tilt it slightly and a stream of white wine flow out. He turn his head upwards, with a 'Gudu Gudu' sound he drank endlessly. The leather bag is filled with wine, its at least 20 catties, however Xiao Feng drank without stopping and emptied the entire bag of wine. His stomach bulge slightly, however his complexion is still dark, expression normal, he was completely unaffected by the wine. The crowd of heroes turn pale and look at each other, Xiao Feng wave his right hand, the remaining 17 Khitan warriors all carried a huge leather bag and rush towards him.
Xiao Feng said to the 18 Khitan warriors: "Brothers, this Gentleman Duan from Dali, he is my sworn brother. Today we are surrounded by enemies, facing impossible odds, difficult to escape." just now he matched palm with Murong Fu and the rest, although he won but he tested their abilities, these 3 experts all possess consummate skills, if they join hands and act together he will surely be defeated, moreover he is surrounded by over a thousand heroes, they are glaring at him like a tiger watching its prey. He held onto Duan Yu's hands and said: "Brother, you and I will share life and death together, we did not become sworn brothers in vain, regardless of whether we live or die, everyone should drink to their heart's content!"
Duan Yu was aroused by his heroic spirit, he took a leather bag and said: "Correct, I was about to drink with elder brother to our heart's content!"
Suddenly a grey-clothed monk came out from the group of Shaolin monks, he said in a bright voice: "Elder brother, 3rd brother, you are drinking wine, how come you never invite me?" it is XuZhu. He saw Xiao Feng riding up the mountain, his heroic spirit overpowering, the crowd became lifeless, XuZhu cannot help but admire him from the bottom of his heart; He also saw how Duan Yu valued brotherhood, he willingly choose to die together with Xiao Feng, that day when he sworn brotherhood with Duan Yu they also included Xiao Feng, a man should never take back his words, unflinching in face of death, he recalled the feelings he shared with Duan Yu while being intoxicated at Vulture Palace, what life or death, rules and monastic disciple, XuZhu cast them aside and ignored it.
Xiao Feng never met with XuZhu before, he heard XuZhu address him as 'Elder brother', he cannot help but stare stupidly.
Duan Yu rush over to pull XuZhu's hands, he turn around and said to Xiao Feng: "Elder brother, this is also our sworn brother. His religious name is XuZhu, he left the monastic order and is now known as XuZhu Zi. When we sworn brotherhood we included you as well, 2nd brother, quickly pay respect to elder brother." XuZhu step forward, he knelt down and kowtow, he said: "Elder brother, little brother kowtow in salute."
Xiao Feng smile faintly, he pondered: "My sworn brother is a little foolish, unexpectedly he included me as well when he swore brotherhood with someone else. I will die soon, the situation is incomparably dangerous, but this person is not afraid of the danger and step forward bravely, it goes to show he is a true man who values brotherhood, a good man. To be sworn brothers with him, it is not in vain at all." at once he knelt down and said: "Brother, to be able to become sworn brother with you, it is really a joyous occasion." both of them bow 8 times, unexpectedly they swore brotherhood right in front of the crowd of heroes.
Xiao Feng is unaware of XuZhu's supreme martial arts, he saw XuZhu is a monk from a low generation, he presume his martials arts are limited, however since XuZhu step forth bravely he would be showing contempt if he ask him to step aside and hide, thus he lifted a leather bag and said: "My two brothers, these 18 Khitan warriors are loyal and devoted to me, they are like my hands and feet, everyone drink to your heart's content, let go of your inhibition and kill!" he pull out the cork and drank a huge mouthful, he hand over the leather bag to XuZhu. XuZhu is boiling with warm blood, why would he even care about 5 precepts or 6 precepts, 7 precepts or 8 precepts, he lifted the leather bag and drank a mouthful, afterwards he pass the bag to Duan Yu. Duan Yu drank a mouthful and pass the bag to a Khitan warrior. The warriors drank from the bag in succession.
XuZhu said to Xiao Feng: "Elder brother, this Old Freak of XingXiu killed people from my former school, Shaolin's Master XuanNan and XuanTong. Afterwards he killed people from my current sect, my master and my senior martial brother. Little brother will avenge them now!"
Xiao Feng was curious, he asked: "You..." He did not get the chance to continue, XuZhu wave his palm lightly and launch it towards Ding ChunQiu.
Xiao Feng saw his strangely mythical palm technique, his internal energy deep and profound, he cannot help but be startled yet delighted, he pondered: "As it turns out 2nd brother's martials arts are so powerful, I never expect it at all." he shouted: "Watch out for my fists!" with 'Hu Hu' sound he launch his fists at Murong Fu and You TanZhi. Murong Fu and You TanZhi made a move to resist. The 18 Khitan warriors understood their Lord's intention, they surround Duan Yu and protected him.
XuZhu executed ‘Six Solar Palms Of Heavenly Mountain’, he is circling and fluttering about, every move advancing and pressuring. Previously Ding ChunQiu sneak into the wooden house, he use ‘Carefree Three Smile Powder’ to poison Su XingHe and XuZhu, Su XingHe met a violent death due to the poison, however XuZhu was completely unaffected, Ding ChunQiu harbored deep fear of him, currently Ding ChunQiu don't dare to use his poison techniques as he fear XuZhu's poison technique is superior to his, it will rebound back and he will suffer, thus he use palm techniques to fight with XuZhu, he pondered: "This little bald thief unraveled the 'ZhenLong Chess Formation', unexpectedly that old thief impart all his skills to him and made him Sect Leader of Carefree Sect. That old thief is crafty, he will surely arrange some poisonous scheme, I must not be careless."
The martial arts of Carefree Sect pay particular attention to elegance and agility, graceful, clear and distinct, Ding ChunQiu and XuZhu are fighting with each other, one of them white-hair with child-like countenance , just like an immortal, the other monk sleeves fluttering, flowing like the wind. Both of them move off immediately after hitting the ground, truly like a pair of butterflies among flowers, dancing around indefinitely, they displayed the essence of the two word 'Carefree' brilliantly. The spectating crowd has never seen the martial arts of Carefree Sect before, everyone felt carefree and relaxed when they observe the fight, they pondered: "These two men employed ruthless techniques, they target opponent's vital points, however their movement and style is so graceful and artistic, as if they are dancing. This kind of natural and unrestrained palm technique, I have never seen it before, I wonder where this martial art originated from? What is the name?"
On the other side Xiao Feng is fighting with Murong Fu and You TanZhi, initially he took the lead with the first 10 moves, however from the 10th move onwards, every fist and palm move from You TanZhi contained yin-frost energy. Xiao Feng is fighting Murong Fu with his full-strength, during this time You TanZhi will make a move and attack him, he cannot help but feel cold air invading his body, it is really difficult to endure. The frost-silkworm poison inside You TanZhi's body was further cultivated by [Divine Foot Scripture], good and evil mutually assisting, fire and water helping each other, it became the number one most powerful internal energy under the heaven, in addition with the subtle power of Murong Fu's [Start Shifting Movement], fighting these two experts with all his might Xiao Feng is in dangerous situation, the danger is not inferior to the time when he had to fight several hundred heroes in JuXian Manor. However Xiao Feng is gifted with god-like martial talent, the more dire the situation becomes, the latent courage and strength inside his body will emerge, he execute ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’, he launch palm after palm, unexpectedly Murong Fu and You TanZhi are unable to move near him, thus You TanZhi's frost-silkworm poison cannot invade and attack his body anymore. However by fighting this way Xiao Feng exhaust quite a bit of internal energy, in the long run his palm strength will surely suffer and weaken.
You TanZhi failed to realize this fact, however Murong Fu is astute, he knew he and Chief Zhuang only need to endure for another hour, after that they will surely gain the upper hand. 'Northern Qiao Feng, Southern Murong', both are equally famous, today they are fighting in public for the first time, however Murong Fu need the assistance of Beggars Clan Chief, even if they manage to kill Xiao Feng, clearly this 'Southern Murong' is not as good as 'Northern Qiao Feng'. Murong Fu plotted: "The restoration of Yan is of vital importance, fame and prestige is only small matter. If I can kill this great scourge of martial arts fraternity, I will become a hero of Great Song, naturally they will be grateful towards me, the title of 'Supreme Leader of Martial Arts Fraternity' will surely go to me. By then I only need to issue an order and the restoration of Great Yan will become a reality. When Qiao Feng is dead, even if 'Southern Murong' is not as good as 'Northern Qiao Feng', it will eventually become history." however he is having second thoughts: "After killing Qiao Feng, Zhuang JuXian will become a powerful enemy, if he seize the title of 'Supreme Leader of Martial Arts Fraternity' then I have to listen to his orders, this is not good." henceforth when he make a move to attack he will secretly conserve a fraction of his internal energy, he act as if he is using his full strength, he dash around bravely, however the formidable power of Xiao Feng's ‘28 Dragon Subduing Palm’ was endured mostly by You TanZhi. Murong Fu's movement is strangely mythical, bystanders cannot see through his trick.
In a blink of an eye the three of them exchange over 100 moves. Xiao Feng employed numerous trick in succession, You TanZhi was duped and fell into his trap. You TanZhi had extremely shallow experience, he was fooled several times but Murong Fu was always by his side to take care of him, he promptly resolved all the danger, as for Xiao Feng's incomparably powerful palm strength, You TanZhi relied on his deep and profound internal energy to forcibly endure it.
Duan Yu was protected by 18 Khitan warriors, he saw his 2nd brother advancing with every step, he did not suffer any disadvantage at all, his elder brother is fighting two enemy alone, although his power is god-like but the wind beat violently with every palm strike, sand and rocks flying about, it is difficult to persist much longer, Duan Yu pondered: "I claim to go through trials and tribulations with both of my brothers, however when things come to a head I am hiding here being protected, what kind of brotherhood is this? What share life and death together? We will die eventually, among the three of us I cannot be the most useless. Although I don't know any martial arts but I can use ‘Graceful Steps Upon the Waves’ and tangle with Murong Fu so that elder brother can focus on defeating that ugly Chief Zhuang, this should be the way."
He made his decision, his body flash out of the protective circle and he walk out, he said in a bright voice: "Gentleman Murong, you and my elder brother are equally famous, you should fight one on one with him, why do you require the assistance of others? If you fight till a draw, won't it be a disgrace? Come come come, if you are capable come here and try to punch me." his body flash again, he move behind Murong Fu, he stretch out his hand to grab his neck.
Murong Fu saw his movement is strangely quick, he flip his palm and with a 'Pa' sound he smack Duan Yu's face. Duan Yu's right cheek was split open and blood flow out, he was in so much pain that tears flow down as well. His ‘Graceful Steps Upon the Waves’ is a marvellous skill, when put to full use it is truly difficult for anyone to hit him, however now he is making a move to attack someone, how can his clumsy grab land on Gusu Murong who possess first-class martial arts? Moreover Duan Yu don't know how to dodge this slap, his flesh and skin was lacerated, the pain indescribable.
Murong Fu's palm only touch Duan Yu's cheek for a brief moment, however he felt his internal energy drain out rapidly like torrent, his energy disappeared without a trace, his arm and palm also became numb, he was startled and cursed: "The chap surnamed Duan, how come you also join XingXiu Sect?"
Duan Yu said: "What are you say....." he did not get to complete his sentence, unexpectedly Murong Fu sent one flying kick at him and made him somersault. Murong Fu never expect this sneak attack to succeed so easily, he was delighted, his body flew forward, his right foot stepping on Duan Yu's stomach, he shouted: "You want to live or die?"
Duan Yu turn his head sideway, he saw Xiao Feng is still engaged in a fierce battle with Zhuang JuXian, he knew if he rebut Murong Fu he will be killed immediately, afterwards Murong Fu will assist Zhuang JuXian and his elder brother will be in danger again, it is best to delay for time, he said: "What is so good about dying? Obviously it is more interesting to live in this world as a person."
Unexpectedly Duan Yu dare to make sarcastic remark at this juncture, Murong Fu's expression turn grave, he shouted: "Since you want to live, then...." he want Duan Yu to kowtow 100 times, humiliate him in public, but he had second thoughts, Duan Yu possess an ingenious set of footwork, if he let him go now it will be difficult to capture him again, he said: "...then call me grandfather 100 times!" Duan Yu laugh and said: "You are merely a few years older than me, how can you be my grandfather? Don't you feel ashamed?" with a 'Hu' sound Murong Fu sent out a palm, he strike a spot to the right of Duan Yu's head, mud and dirt flew about, a hole appeared on the ground, if this palm move slightly to the left Duan Yu's head will crack open immediately. Murong Fu shouted: "Do you want to call or not?"
Duan Yu turn his head sideway, he saw Wang YuYan standing beside Bao BuTong and Feng BoE, her pair of eyes gazing at him steadily, however her expression did not have the slightest trace of worry or concern, obviously she must be thinking: "Cousin will never kill Gentleman Duan." even if Murong Fu kill Duan Yun, Wang YuYan will not be particularly sad or broken-hearted, if Murong Fu fail to kill Duan Yun, she might even feel a tinge of regret. Duan Yu look at Wang YuYan's expression, he was completely disheartened, it is better for him to be killed by Murong Fu rather than suffer the endless torment of his yearning, he said dispiritedly: "Why don't you call me grandfather 100 times?"
Murong Fu was enraged, he lifted his right palm and directed it at Duan Yu's face, suddenly two shadow dart forth. Someone shouted: "Don't harm my son!" another person shout: "Don't harm my master!" although their movement is quick, but they cannot stop Murong Fu from landing his palm strike, however Duan ZhengChun and Divine Crocodile of The Southern Sea have extremely high martial arts, two stream of palm strength targeted Murong Fu's vital points.
If Murong Fu did not intercept these two palm, he can kill Duan Yu but he will surely sustain heavy injuries. He withdraw his right palm immediately and block Duan ZhengChun's palm, his left hand drew a circle and neutralized Crocodile Deity of Southern Sea's attack. The palm force of these 3 men surge forth, they trembled with fear, each of them felt the opponent's martials arts are truly solid. Duan ZhengChun is anxious to save his beloved son, his right forefinger executed ‘Yiyang Finger’ [Solitary Solar Finger] variation wide, internal energy vigorous.
Wang YuYan shouted: "Cousin be careful, it is Dali Duan family's ‘Yiyang Finger’, you must not underestimate it."
Divine Crocodile of The Southern Sea shout loudly: "Damn you, although my master is useless, but he is still Yue LaoEr's master. You dare to beat my master, it is the same as beating Yue LaoEr. If my master is afraid of death and call you grandfather, then how can Yue LaoEr be a human anymore? How should I address you when I see you? Won't you be three generation higher than Yue LaoEr? Then won't I become a turtle-grandson? Simply preposterous!" while shouting he took out his crocodile scissors, he cut left and right, he cut continuously at Murong Fu. The thing he feared most is his generation ranking being lower than other people, even among "Four Great Evil" he argued endlessly with Ye ErNiang for the number two rank. Currently if Duan Yu call Murong Fu "grandfather", then Divine Crocodile of The Southern Sea will surely become a "turtle-grandson", he rather chop his head off then become a "turtle-grandson".
Murong Fu don't know what he is shouting about, his right foot step on Duan Yu firmly, his pair of hands fighting two enemy. On the 10th move, Murong Fu detect that although Divine Crocodile of The Southern Sea ass equipped with a powerful weapon he is rather easy to deal with, however he could not underestimate Duan ZhengChun's ‘Yiyang Finger’, thus he focus his attention on Duan ZhengChun and fought him directly, as for Crocodile Deity of Southern Sea, Murong Fu use his remaining force to neutralize the crocodile scissors attack, in his busy state he manage to retaliate 1-2 moves, Divine Crocodile of The Southern Sea was force to move several zhang backward to avoid Murong Fu's counterattack. Duan Yu is pinned down Murong Fu, he struggled forcefully, wanting to stand up, but how can he do so?
Duan ZhengChun saw his beloved son being controlled, he knew Murong Fu only need to increase the pressure in his foot and Duan Yu will surely vomit blood and die, it is beneficial to end this fight quickly, he have to rescue his son and escape quickly, at once his ‘Yiyang Finger’ became more aggressive, every move advancing and pressuring.
Suddenly he heard a peculiar voice: "Dali Duan family's ‘Yiyang Finger’ pay particular attention to strict form, solemn, respectful and poised, even when being bold and powerful it must not deviate from its poised demeanour. What you are doing now is only harassing, no different from a lowly Beggars Clan disciple with no pouch, how can it be called ‘Yiyang Finger’? Hei hei, hei hei, aren't you shaming the name of Dali's Duan family?" Duan ZhengChun knew the voice came from his archenemy Duan YanQing, although his words are correct but his beloved son is in danger, Duan ZhengChun's mental state is in disarray, why would he even care about strict form or poised demeanour? His ‘Yiyang Finger’ became more and more heavy, although fierce but it is unsteady, suddenly when he made a move with his finger, Murong Fu redirected the power, with a 'Chi' sound it landed on Crocodile Deity of Southern Sea's shoulder.
Divine Crocodile of The Southern Sea made a monstrous 'WaWa' cry, he cursed: "Da......" with a 'Qiang lang' sound his crocodile scissors drop on the ground and smash his leg bone. He was in pain, he curse furiously, however he had second thoughts: "He is master's father, if I curse him then I will inevitably mess up the generation ranking, I cannot curse him, some day if I have the chance I will simply cut off his head....."
Duan ZhengChun accidentally injure the wrong person, he was distracted, Murong Fu seize the opportunity and pointed his left middle finger, as quick as lightning he sealed Duan ZhengChun's 'Zhongting' acupoint on the stomach. This 'Zhongting' acupoint is 1 inch and 6 fen below 'Shanzhong' acupoint. 'Shanzhong' acupoint is a sea of energy in the human body, hundreds of energy pathway will gather at this point, it is of vital importance, when sealed by an enemy the person's breathing will immediately be blocked. Murong Fu knew his opponent is capable, he only hope his finger will land on Duan ZhengChun's body, he did not specifically target the 'Shanzhong' acupoint, nevertheless Duan ZhengChun still felt sharp pain from his stomach, it is difficult for him to breath.
Wang YuYan saw her cousin's finger land on his opponent, she clap and cheered: "Cousin, what a good move, 'Yaksha Exploring the Sea'!" however the real 'Yaksha Exploring the Sea' require the practitioner to hit the 'Shanzhong' acupoint, Wang YuYan wanted to praise her sweetheart, although his move miss the intended target by 1 inch and 6 fen but she vaguely treat it as 'Yaksha Exploring the Sea'.
Murong Fu knew his finger did not seal his opponent's vital acupoint, he immediately compensate with another move, he launch his right palm and attack Duan ZhengChun's stomach. Duan ZhengChun have yet to regain his breath, he did not have any power to resist, he was hit by Murong Fu's violent palm strike and spurted a mouthful of blood. Duan ZhengChun is concerned about his beloved son, he refuse to retreat, he hastily gathered his breath, Murong Fu already launch his 2nd palm strike.
Duan Yu was pinned down by Murong Fu, suddenly he saw his father spurt a mouthful of blood, Murong Fu already launch his 2nd palm strike, Duan Yu was extremely anxious, he quickly pointed his right forefinger at Murong Fu, he shouted: "You dare to beat my father?" in a moment of desperation his internal energy involuntary shoot out from his forefinger, it is precisely the Shangyang Sword Stance from ‘Six Meridians Divine Sword’. Other people become flustered when showing concern, however his energy flow out when showing concern, it is necessary for him to be anxious only then his internal energy can shoot out from his finger. However he heard a 'Chi' sound, Murong Fu's sleeve was slice off by his invisible energy sword, immediately after the energy sword bump against Murong Fu's palm force. Murong Fu felt his arm ached, he was greatly startled and leap back hastily.
Duan Yu finally free himself, he sprung up and stood upright, Murong Fu have yet to retreat, his father still in danger, he pointed with his left little finger, he thrust the 'Shaoze Sword' at Murong Fu. Murong Fu quickly swing his left sleeve to meet the enemy, two 'Chi Chi' sound, his left sleeve was slice off by the energy sword. Deng BaiChuan shouted: "Young master be careful of the invisible energy sword, why don't you use a weapon?" he unsheathe his sword, he turn the sword hilt and toss it towards Murong Fu.
Duan Yu heard Wang YuYan cheering when his father was hit by Murong Fu, he is concerned about his father safety and also furious at Wang YuYan’s heartlessness, his anxiety at 100%, his pain and sorrow also at 100%, his internal energy surge forth at once, in an instant ‘Shaoshang Sword’, ‘Shangyang Sword’, ‘Zhongchong Sword’, ‘Guanchong Sword’, ‘Shaochong Sword’, ‘Shaoze Sword’, all six sword stance criss-crossed and flew about, it flow smoothly according to his heart desire, as if he received god's assistance.
- End of Chapter 41 -