Under the same starry night, Long Fei and his wife, Guo Yuxia walked together hand to hand. She looked at him with loving eyes. Although her swiftness skill was higher than her husband, her martial art skills did not seem to be any weaker as well. But now her present mannerism seemed like without his strength and protection, she would be unable to continue in these desolate mountains.
She intentionally gave him a sense of pride and that she was confident in him; let him believe that between the two of them, he was the stronger. But in actuality, which was the stronger, only she knew in her heart!
Following behind them, was the enchanting Wang Susu. But she did not want the support of Shi Chen although fragrant sweat was covering her face. Therefore Shi Chen could only follow behind her!
The four of them had already combed the entire mountain range but were still unable to find any suspicious spot that gave them the clue to the whereabouts of their Protégé Master!
They had nothing to talk about therefore they had to remain silence. Finally Guo Yuxia said softly. “Unable to find anymore!”
Long Fei said in agreement. “Unable to find anymore!”
Wang Susu nodded her head while Shi Chen sighed lengthy. “Unable to find anymore!”
Guo Yuxia melancholy sighed as well. “Let go back then!”
Long Fei said. “Let go back then!”
Shi Chen exclaimed, “It time to go back then!”
Wang Susu injected what she was unable to say earlier. “Maybe he is still waiting for us!”
Shi Chen expression slowly changed but said nothing. Long Fei and Guo Yuxia stopped in their tracks and looked at Wang Susu. The four of them looked at one another.
Suddenly Shi Chen said. “There is still a path in front…” he stopped his voice in his track and looked at Guo Yuxia.
Guo Yuxia locked her eyes on him for awhile and gently nodded. “The mountain range is vast, let not make it a wasted trip. Let us investigate the path in front and see how!”
Shi Chen immediately continued. “Indeed, indeed. The mountain range is vast, let not make it a wasted trip!”
Wang Susu bowed down her head in silent while Long Fei was mystified!
As they went further, their movements became slow and the mountain ledges became more and more treacherous. Normally no one would ever think of traveling along the high mountains of Mount Hua let alone in the lonely darkness.
The whole mountain range emitted a sense of cold chilled feeling. Guo Yuxia and Long Fei walked even more closely to one another while Wang Susu walked even further from Shi Chen!
Wang Susu was the type of vulnerable girl. She too needed a strong shoulder to support her and to protect her. But she took aside this desire in her heart. Except for “him”, she did not want anyone to feel for her. But “he”, where was he at this moment?
She tried to control her warm tears but failed. So she bowed her head and tears flowed. Therefore her head sunk even lower. She did not try to wipe away her tears with her hands as she did not want Shi Chen who was behind her to know the pain in her heart.
Suddenly, she stopped her steps and cried out in shock. And Long Fei and Guo Yuxia turned back. And Shi Chen dashed in front and asked in a low voice. “What is the matter?” And they saw Wang Susu looking in surprise, and with tears looking on the ground!
The ground looked ordinary and nothing unusual at first glance.
Therefore Long Fei, Guo Yuxia and Shi Chen followed her stares and looked carefully. On the mountain footpath was a footprint that was three inches deep into the rocks. Therefore there were another three cries of surprise!
This mountain footpath was rock solid. An ordinary person with average martial art skills even if he had used a exceptional sharp weapon would have difficulty creating such a deep footprint. Moreover this person seemed to have anyhow stomped on the ground to create such a deep imprint!
And by a sheer coincidence, the footprint had pointed a path towards the left!
Wang Susu asked to clear her doubts. “This…this…footprint…does it look like our Protégé Master…”
Long Fei, Guo Yuxia, Shi Chen and Wang Susu exchanged looks with each other, trying to guess.
Guo Yuxia said in a shaky voice. “This is not our Protégé Master!”
Although her voice was soft, it was also firm. She did not wait for others to speak and continued. “Although this footprint looks like his…”
Wang Susu could not help but spoke out softly. “Not only is it exactly the same, even the design of the shoe print is the same!”
Shi Chen pointed out. “In the Pugilistic Fraternity, there are not many people that wear this type of government boot!”
One must know that the pugilists that roamed the Martial Fraternity preferred light and convenient shoe. Naturally they would not wear this type of government boot! Especially not on this type of treacherous mountain ground!
Guo Yuxia nodded lightly and said. “In the Pugilistic Fraternity, I afraid except for our Protégé Master, not many people will wear this type of heavy government boot!”
Wang Susu continued. “In the Pugilistic Fraternity, I afraid except for our Protégé Master, not many people have such internal power…”
Long Fei said. “Indeed, indeed. Our old man left behind this footprint. Surely it pointed to the direction of his whereabouts!”
Shi Chen said. “Indeed, In…”
Guo Yuxia suddenly laughed coldly. “Indeed, indeed. But all of you forget something!”
Shi Chen asked. “What thing?”
Guo Yuxia replied. “Although this footprint look like it belongs to our Protégé Master and from the depth of the imprints, looked like something only his internal power can accomplish. But this footprint definitely does not belong to our Protégé Master, that because…” She purposely dragged her words, then word by word continued. “Our Protégé Master at this moment does not have this type of internal power.”
Long Fei, Shi Chen, Wang Susu were all taken aback and said together. “True!”
Long Fei said. “Our Protégé Master, after he reduced his internal powerful by seventy percent, has the same level as me, so how can he have left such a deep footprint on this rocky ground!” He looked with admiration at Guo Yuxia. “This fact, we all know but why only you remember it?”
Guo Yuxia smiled gently. “You are all so tired, hungry and your moods are full of tensions. No matter who it is, under this type of circumstances are bound to forget many things!”
Wang Susu had been looking down all along, suddenly lifted up her head and softly asked. “If this footprint does not belong to our Protégé Master, then who it belong to?” She rolled her eyes from Guo Yuxia, Long Fei and Shi Chen before continuing. “ Can all of you think of anyone besides our Protégé Master, who other else will wear a government boot and walk in this desolate and treacherous place? And who other else possesses such powerful internal strength?”
Ever since the Huangshan meeting that caused all the best from the Pugilistic Fraternity to sacrifice themselves, there indeed in the Pugilistic Fraternity no one else who had internal power the same level as “Phoenix and Divine Dragon” anymore.
Therefore, Wang Susu questioning reached deep into the souls of Long Fei, Shi Chen and Guo Yuxia!
They were silent for awhile. And then Long Fei asked. “Unless in the Pugilistic Fraternity, there appeared a top ace exponent?”
Shi Chen said. “Unless our Protégé Master had been under…” He seemed to have some difficulty therefore he found himself unable to continue!
Long Fei asked sternly. “Under what?”
Shi Chen sighed and shook his head. Long Fei became vexed and asked again. “Why did you say halfway and don’t continue!”
Guo Yuxia slowly smiled.
Wang Susu said. “If he unwilling to speak. Let him bury it in his heart then.” She once again lowered her head to look idiocy at the footprint!
Shi Chen looked at her awhile and said. “How will I not be unwilling to speak!”
Guo Yuxia laughed. “Then, will you say it out fast!”
Shi Chen coughed two sounds and said. “I just afraid…that footprint…” Then coughed another two times to catch Wang Susu attention.
She lifted her head and Shi Chen continued. “I only afraid that the footprint is left behind when our Protégé Master…before…before…”
Guo Yuxia said. “Are you afraid that this footprint is left behind by our Protégé Master when he fought with some one. Badly injured, before he died, there was a last exaltation of his internal power?”
Shi Chen lowered his head and said. “I am afraid of that!”
Wang Susu looked shocked, and she shook all over.
Long Fei muttered. “Last exaltation of his internal power…last exaltation of his internal power…” Suddenly he shouted. “Protégé Master, you…Are you really dead?” And tightened his fists.
One must know that some one who had strong foundations in inner strength, just before he died, the stroke he mustered with all his might, was what he normally he could not accomplish yet was the peak of all his internal power. And just before they died and their last exaltation, be it finger or palm, fist or kick, the force were not to belittle! Long ago, there were some top exponents who had retreated to live in some cave. Just before they died, they left behind their last words on the walls of the cave, all done by a type of martial arts known as the Golden Steel Finger Strength… Their last words were typically stronger than their usual cultivation by a third. Therefore, future generations also typically paid a third more respect to the words of the dead. This was exactly the same reason!”
Long Fei was taught by a renowned teacher, therefore he knew the reasoning. Unable to control his sadness, his warm tears flowed!
Shi Chen said apologetic. “I am just talking rubbish. Big Brother, you…”
Guo Yuxia smiled gently “That is right. You are indeed talking rubbish.”
Shi Chen said. “But…”
Guo Yuxia said. “But what, do your words have any proof to back your reasoning?”
Long Fei wiped his tears and said. “His words, surely are not groundless?”
Guo Yuxia injected. “If this footprint is left behind by Protégé Master after he exalted all his internal power, why is that there are no signs of any fighting from the surroundings!”
Shi Chen, Long Fei and Wang Susu were stunned. Guo Yuxia added. “And, Protégé Master last will, does it look likely to be written from this place?”
Long Fei was surprised but shouted. “Indeed, indeed. If Protégé Master exalted all his internal power, how could he have written all those words!”
Wang Susu melancholy asked. “Then, who left behind this footprint? Sister in law, you can tell me?”
Guo Yuxia said. “I am just stating a matter of fact. There is no intention to oppose your ideas!”
Wang Susu said in a frightened voice. “Sister in law, I…I have no such meaning…” She blinked her eyes and asked. “Do I really have such a meaning in my words?” She was closed to tears again.
Guo Yuxia softly sighed and placed her hand on Susu’s shoulder and brushed back her hair. “Little sister, what are you hiding in your heart, you can tell Sister in law.”
Wang Susu lifted her head and said. “Sister in law, I think…” Then changed her mind. “I still young. There are many things that I do not know yet and prone to say the wrong things. Sister in law please do not blame me!”
Guo Yuxia seemed to understand and laughed and whispered in her ears. “You are thinking of little brother Ping, right?”
Wang Susu was stunned and lowered her head, speechless!
Guo Yuxia smiled and looked at her. Suddenly she said in clear voice. “Who left behind this footprint, at this moment we do not know yet. But whoever left behind this footprint, surely the person and Protégé Master have some undeniable connection…”
Long Fei asked. “How so?”
Long Fei asked. “Why did you say whoever left behind this footprint, surely the person and Protégé Master have some undeniable connection? This…I…I really cannot understand!”
Guo Yuxia shook her head gently. And copied his speech and asked. “Why did you say whoever left behind this footprint, surely the person and Protégé Master have some undeniable connection!” She sighed softly and replied. “This is because unless it have something to do with ‘Phoenix and Divine Dragon’, how can such a top exponent appear and in the darkness come to this desolate mountains?”
Long Fei muttered. “This…this may not really be the case!”
Guo Yuxia said. “Of course, this may not really be the case. There is for sure thing in this world. But this footprint is not left behind innocently!” She looked unhappy as she said.
Long Fei quickly said. “Of course, of course. This footprint surely have some secrets!”
Wang Susu smiled beneath her lowered head.
Guo Yuxia looked at Long Fei and laughed all of a sudden.
Long Fei thought it over. Suddenly his spirit rose and said aloud. “This footprint surely has some secrets. Why not we wait here and see what going to happen!” He looked proud of his reasoning and broadened his chest. And looked at Guo Yuxia and asked. “What do you think of this idea? Is practicable?”
Guo Yuxia tried to suppress her laughter and said. “Practicable, practicable. All of us will just wait here will do. After a while, this footprint will reveal its secrets on its own!”
Long Fei looked puzzled and asked. “This footprint will reveal its secrets on its own? This….This I really cannot figure out the reasons!”
Guo Yuxia tried to say with a straight face and told him. “This footprint may look ordinary but in a while time…” She could not suppress her laughter anymore and laughed.
Long Fei who had always been honest and straightforward did not seem to understand and asked. “This footprint, will have an extraordinary change later. This sort of matter, I can never believed!”
Wang Susu lowered her head, even lower. That was because she almost wanted to burst out laughing. Even Shi Chen who was not easily moved to laugh had broke into a broad smile by now.
Guo Yuxia smiled. “Since this footprint has nothing of extraordinary, why shall we wait here then?”
Long Fei was stunned. “Alas…Alas your words earlier, are meant to trick me!” He looked stunned and said slowly. “I know that you have always been smarter than me, this I have always acknowledge. Why…” His face became still and said. “Why did you have to trick me like this?”
There was a slight change in Guo Yuxia expressions. But she laughed again. “Why should I play a trick on you. You are just being suspicious. I…I just thought that at this moment, everyone must be feeling nervous. Therefore I just telling a joke to make everyone relax only!”
Long Fei lifted his head and looked at Guo Yuxia. This look was half-loving, half- suspicious. For a second, love and hatred became intangible!
Guo Yuxia gently extended her soft hand and pulled him to a side and said in a low voice. “You must be blaming me in your heart, even if I will to tell a joke, I should not have make you a target, right?”
Long Fei remained silent, sighed and lowered his head!
Guo Yuxia smiled gently and said in a low voice. “But if I don’t, what can I do? You are closest person to me! In all matters, I suppose only you can understand me, forgive me, but…” Her smiles slowly vanished, replaced by a troubled look.
Long Fei lifted his head, and held her soft hands tightly. His darkened look that was clouded by hatred and suspicious had all but disappeared. He said apologetically in a low voice.“I…I have wronged you. You…don’t be angry with me!”
Shi Chen was watching at a distance. In his heart he felt funny and thought. “Sister in law really is very clever. But Big Brother…” He sighed. “Big Brother is really too honest!” and said aloud. “What Sister in law meant to say that remaining here is useless. But what should we do then?”
There was a sparkle in Wang Susu’s eyes and she said. “We…why not we go back!” She used a great of efforts to say aloud those words.
Guo Yuxia broke into a laugh. “Fourth Sister seems hurry to go back, is it because…” She laughed again and shut up.
Wang Susu flushed and lowered her head. Long Fei laughed awhile and about to say something when Guo Yuxia said in a serious voice. “Actually I do wish to return as well. But we finally found the clue to the whereabouts of our Benevolent Master after much difficulty. How can we just leave like this?”
She looked at everyone before explaining. “What is the meaning of this footprint, whether it has any secrets, I do not know. But I can be certain of one thing. The direction it is pointing to, must be the whereabouts of Protégé Master!”
Long Fei interrupted. “But you…”
Guo Yuxia gently waved her hands and said. “You don’t have to ask me for any reasons, what deductions do I have. I really do not have any reason to say so, it is all based on my intuition!”
She smiled and said. “But my intuition is usually very accurate. Do you believe or not?”
Shi Chen said. “Then we shall go and investigate!”
Long Fei said. “That shall be the case!”
Guo Yuxia smiled again while Long Fei had already broaden his strides and moved towards the left mountain path!
Mount Hua mountain peaks was already a very desolate place. This mountain trail which they were undertaking was even more perilous. Had it for the fact that they all possessed swiftness movement skills, they could not even took a single step in front!
Shi Chen lifted his head and looked at the starry skies and exclaimed. “If only we have a torch!”
Guo Yuxia turned her head and smiled. “Actually it is one of the necessities of pugilists to bring one along. If not for your Big Brother worries, we should have bring some along!”
Long Fei muttered some words.
Shi Chen said. “Judging from our eyesight, even if there is no torch, it does not matter.” Suddenly his eyes caught hold of Wang Susu who was about to lose her balance and reached out to hold her, only to see her once again moving ahead!
Wang Susu bit her teeth, and summoned a breath of vital energy and move ahead as though she was flying and in front of Long Fei.
Guo Yuxia gently smiled. “Fourth Sister really force herself. Look at her…”
Before she could finish, everyone heard the surprised cries of Wang Susu.
Then followed by the surprised cries of Long Fei, Shi Chen and Guo Yuxia for they had saw fire not more than twenty meters from Wang Susu.
Wang Susu being surprised by the light from the fire, halted.
In these desolate mountains, why would there suddenly appear rows of fire that obviously was made by men?
Long Fei, Shi Chen and Guo Yuxia, Wang Susu in their hearts was feeling surprised.
For this row of fire had suddenly appeared in these desolate mountain peaks making it seemed so miraculous and mysterious.
They stood unmoving on the spot as they saw a mountain wall that also appeared in front of them just as mysterious. Above the wall was darkness and no one could guess the height of that wall.
After awhile, Wang Susu sighed and began to walk towards the source of fire!
Long Fei, Shi Chen and Guo Yuxia could not help but follow her as well. Although this mountain trail looked short, but they spent considerable time making their way through. Finally they reached the source of the fire which is made of lit by four pine branches that formed the torches!
Shi Chen was really surprised. “Torches! It really are torches!”
Earlier he was wishing for a torch and now it really appeared!
Long Fei and Guo Yuxia looked at one another.
Long Fei asked. “Is it because…because our movements are being observed by others?”
Guo Yuxia thought for a moment before she said. “This is indeed very strange. Who possesses such highly martial art skills to observe us secretly and not be discovered by us. His behavior alone is weird enough. But is he our friend or foe? He spent so much effort to keep us guessing his intentions. Can he be a friend? If he is, that is good. But if he is a foe…” She did not say more.
Her eyes were looking at this sheer mountain wall. That was because suddenly she had caught some words on the mountain wall. Everyone followed her glances and saw the words as well. It was written like this. “Long Bushi! Have you come! On top of the mountain wall, ten meters ahead are some words that you wish to see! Do you dare to take a look?”
It was filled with words of challenge! Who would dare to challenge the “The Immortal Divine Dragon” who was renowned throughout the Pugilist realm? Who had that inner strength to write such words firmly on the mountain walls?
Long Fei took a deep breath. “Who is he?…Who is he?” As he dashed to take a closer look at the words. It was obviously inscribed by a weapon. Who could inscribe such firm words with a weapon must have possessed exceptional inner strength that was equally shocking!
Guo Yuxia was looking at the other side of the mountain wall. She looked idiocy at a mountain rock that looked clean for awhile before she sighed gently. “Fifth Brother, your words are proven correct. Our Protégé Master…he is really not dead!”
In her tone, she looked disappointed as well as happy. But in what she was disappointed? Was it because of jealousy over Nangong Ping’s talents or was it because of some other matters? But no matter what she disappointed over, at this moment, this circumstance, no one would notice the looks on her tone!
Long Fei asked. “What Fifth Brother had said are true? Protégé Master really did not die?” Although he kept asking, his tone was excited and happy.
Guo Yuxia nodded her head and said. “That is right!” She pointed to a position of a mountain rock that looked clean and said. “Protégé Master did not die. When he arrived here and saw those words, he immediately exhibited the Floating Cloud swiftness skill and went up the mountain wall from that rock.”
Long Fei looking puzzled asked. “But…”
Guo Yuxia said. “These words are left behind for Protégé Master. The person that left these words must have predicted that our Protégé Master will surely come this way. And from the mountain wall, the one that scaled the mountain did not use Tiger upon the Wall and similar swiftness skill because such martial art skills are back facing up. But from the imprints of the palms, the one scaling the wall had his face facing the wall. All of you should know that in the entire world, only “Divine Dragon Clan” Floating Cloud swiftness skill face the wall. Therefore, the one who went up the wall, who else can it be, except for Protégé Master!”
Long Fei exclaimed. “Protégé Master he did not die, why then have you sigh?”
Guo Yuxia continued to sigh. “What did you know?” She looked at the words inscribed on the wall again and sighed. “When Protégé Master arrived here, although he did not die yet but once he scaled the mountain wall, he will be in immediate danger. Can you see that it is all a ruse!”
Long Fei asked. “A ruse?”
Guo Yuxia said. “Indeed a ruse!” She explained. “First using words to taunt, then reduced Protégé Master internal power. Lastly they had tried to lure him here! This three things, comes one after one another. It is arranged to the point of perfection…” She sighed heavily. “I can’t blame Protégé Master for falling into the ruse!”
In that instant, Long Fei, Shi Chen and Wang Susu became saddened.
Shi Chen solemnly said. “Therefore it seems that the Ye maiden says that Red Phoenix is dead, it is all a pretense!”
Guo Yuxia answered. “Possible! Very possible! She reduces Protégé Master internal power and further aliening Protégé Master from us, and caused him to venture alone. And then lure him to this place, alas…Protégé Master when he reached here, judging from his temper, even if it is a mountain of blades and burning oil, he would even try. Therefore…therefore…alas, he will fall into the trap of others!”
Even before she had finished, Wang Susu had dashed to the mountain wall and tried to climb up the sheer mountain walls!
Shi Chen gently shouted behind her. “Fourth Sister, let me go up!” As he came to the foot of the mountain wall. But Wang Susu was already several meters high already.
Guo Yuxia caught hold of Shi Chen’s shoulder and softly said. “It is only ten meters. Judging from Fourth Sister swiftness movement skill, it shall not be a problem. You relax a little and let Fourth Sister takes a look at the words up there!”
Shi Chen nodded his head but he appeared vexed and looked in concern at Susu.
Wang Susu movements slowed down and Guo Yuxia asked. “Did you see anything?”
Wang Susu turned her body and said. “It is here!”
Guo Yuxia asked. Can you see?”
Wang Susu replied. “I can see very clearly!”
Shi Chen shouted. “Fourth Sister, you must be careful!”
But Wang Susu did not reply.
Guo Yuxia said. “After you finish reading, come down fast!” But even before she had finished speaking, she saw Wang Susu moving up again.
Long Fei became puzzled and shouted. “Four Sister, why are you going up?” Suddenly he shouted. “Oh no! Not good!” As he saw Wang Susu had been on top for sometime and her inner strength began to give way, and floated down!
Shi Chen became paled and reached out his arms. Long Fei and Guo Yuxia was astonished and said aloud. “Fourth Sister, be careful!”
In a twinkle of an eye, she dropped down although she had tried to muster a breath of inner energy to keep her afloat but dropping from such a high place placed her into a precarious position!
Shi Chen blended both his knees as he mustered all the inner energy that he had in his body to catch Wang Susu body. He was forced to move back three steps before he could balance himself after catching her.
But Wang Susu immediately pushed him away another three steps. He was left looking stunned on the spot and the fire from the torch showed that he felt very horrible within!
Wang Susu rolled her eyes and eyed him awhile. Before sighing and lowering her head and softly said. “Sorry, and thank you!” She was naturally kind at heart and unwilling to hurt others feeling. Moreover Shi Chen was doing all for her. She felt just as horrible within!
Guo Yuxia looked at both of them, where else Long Fei did not seem to notice the love relationship that is going on, shouted. “Fourth Sister, what did it written up there? Did you tell a close look?”
Wang Susu nodded her head and said in a low voice. “I have looked clearly!” But her voice appeared vexed.
Long Fei asked anxiously. “What was written on top?”
Wang Susu sighed lightly and said. “Long…” She could not read out her Protégé Master name out of respect, so she replied. “You come up for what? That means that your internal power is not reduced. When you come down, walk left sixty steps, there is an opening at the foot of the mountain. You will see a crack. Continue to walk right in and towards the end, you will see me!”
As she paused. Long Fei immediately walked left and started counting. “One!”
Wang Susu sighed softly and said. “Big Brother, hold on, there are still some more!”
Long Fei halted and turned back. “What some more? You have not finished reading all out yet?”
Wang Susu nodded. “There is another line. And it is written like this. “If you still have strength, continue to move up another five meters there is more words. Do you want to take a look?”
Wang Susu bowed her head and said. “But I am unable to move up!” She became melancholy.
Long Fei was stunned. “Fourth Sister’s swiftness movement skill has always been better than mine. If she can’t go up, so am I!”
Shi Chen said. “Let me try!”
Long Fei said. “Sister in law’s swiftness movement skill is better than you. Let her go up to take a look!”
Wang Susu said. “There is no need to try. Sister in law can’t reach the top too. When I was ten meters on top, and tried to move up another one foot, it proved more difficult than the one meter earlier. To move up another five meters, even if I have trained another ten years, I still will not be unable to accomplish the feat!”
Guo Yuxia said, “This sort of thing, even if you do not say it, I already know.”
One must know that Tiger upon the Wall and Floating Cloud all depended on that one mouthful of inner energy. At first, the first few meters might be easy. But the further the distance, it would prove to be taunting and difficult. If one had reached their limit and still unable to reach the destination, even if there was still one feet more, they would still fail to climb up. This was the same reasoning as the piercing of the sword into the rock by Guo Yuxia earlier. If the sword had no more strength, even if you push the sword, it would still refuse to budge.
Long Fei, Shi Chen looked at one another and did not know what to do. After awhile, Long Fei sighed. “What shall we do then?”
Shi Chen said, “If there is no other ideas, let me at least try to scale the mountain wall!”
Long Fei said, “Indeed, indeed.”
Guo Yuxia said, “If there is no other ideas, even if you try to scale, it will be futile. Let us first travel through the tunnel to the left and take a look.”
Long Fei said, “Indeed, indeed. We shall at least take a look, who is the person that is guarding that place.”
Guo Yuxia smiled. “I already know who is there without taking a look!”
Long Fei asked. “Who?”
Guo Yuxia replied. “Who else but Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai. Will it be anyone else?!”
Wang Susu softly said. “Maybe is…”
Guo Yuxia asked. “Who else but Ye Qiubai will talk in such a manner to Protégé Master?”
Long Fei looked stunned for awhile before asking. “But…Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai is already dead!”
Guo Yuxia said, “I have told you earlier that this is yet another ruse. Except where the loose ends of this ruse lie in, I do not know yet. Unless…Alas! Unless we can see the words on top.”
As her voice echoed around, a long rope dropped from the top of the mountain peak!
Shi Chen, Wang Susu, Long Fei and Guo Yuxia cried at the same time in surprise and looked all around with their eyes. They were left standing looking stunned at the long robe and were silent for a long time!
Four pair of eyes gave rise to surprise, chill and saw on the tall peaks, there was a figure!
Long Fei asked. “The one that throw this long rope down, I wonder if he is the same person that lit the torches?” Without waiting for the rest to add anything, he continued. “Surely it has to be!”
Guo Yuxia nodded her head.
Long Fei said. “Surely it has to be, surely it to be!”
Shi Chen felt more troubled and solemnly said. “But this person whether he is a foe or friend. At the moment, I am still unable to figure out. If he have no ill intention toward us, we can use the rope and go up. Otherwise…judging from our situation, it is really dangerous!”
Guo Yuxia sighed. “We come so far, no matter if he is a friend or foe, we have no choice but to take a look above!”
Shi Chen said, “But if this person is planning to ambush us. Once we gone up the rope, will not we be trapped in his ruse!”
Guo Yuxia smiled and shook her head. “Judging from this person martial art skill, if he want to harm us, why go through all this trouble…”
Wang Susu continued. “Then let me go up and take a look will do!”
Shi Chen immediately said. “You and I go up together, if there is something amiss, we can look out for one another.” At this moment, he forgot about the dangers.
Wang Susu looked down and said. “I alone go up will do!”
Shi Chen said, “I will accompany you!”
Wang Susu said. “Aren’t you afraid of danger?” Her voice muttered as if she had regretted she had been too harsh. And said. “If there is danger, it will be better for only one person to be up there!”
Shi Chen was speechless and he lowered his head. He bore a guilty expression on his face.
Guo Yuxia smiled. “Fourth Sister has been up once already. This time shall be my turn to go up.”
Long Fei said, “Indeed, Indeed. This time should be our turn to go up!”
Shi Chen suddenly lifted his head and said aloud. “I will accompany Sister in law up!” Because he wanted displayed his bravery in front of the person he liked, therefore he did not hesitate even if it a mountain of blades that was braving him now.
Guo Yuxia said, “ Let Third Brother accompany me will do.” Turning around, she leapt three meters and gently extended her soft hands to gripe the rope. Suddenly she turned back and laughed. “Big Brother, if I should fall, you must catch hold of me!”
Long Fei extended his arms and laughed aloud. “You can fall in peace, I…” But felt his words may not be right under this situation so he did not continue.
Shi Chen dashed up soon after. Wang Susu moved her lips, finally she muttered. “Be careful!” Although her voice was very soft but Shi Chen had heard it clearly! His spirit rose immediately and said. “I will be careful, you be assured!”
In the darkness, his figure elevated higher and higher. Finally he was past the place where Wang Susu had saw the words earlier. His figure halted awhile before he elevated past the words and finally it was more and more difficult to spot him.
Wang Susu looked for a long time before she finally lowered her head and softly said. “I think that they will not be in any dangers on the way up!”
Long Fei asked. “Why will it not be dangerous?”
Wang Susu replied. “Didn’t Sister in law say already! That person’s martial art skills may be many times higher than us. If he wanted to harm us, why expend so much efforts?”
Long Fei thought it over and finally he nodded his head and yelled at the top of his voice. “Is there anything amiss up there?” His voice was loud and high and the wind carried his voice up. But the pitch-dark mountain peaks emitted no sound.
Long Fei became vexed and asked himself with his eyes above. Was it because they could not hear?”
Wang Susu was stunned. Long Fei shouted again. “Oei! Can you hear me?”
This time, his voice was even louder and Wang Susu who was standing besides him felt a burning sensation on her ears and moved back unwittingly.
But the dark-pitch peaks still emitted no reply. Only the sound of the mountain breeze that carried Long Fei shouts to the surroundings was heard.
Wang Susu felt confused. Although the walls of the mountain peaks were high but there were also no obstructs, how would they not heard such a loud voice?
Unwitting, she started to worry for them but still, she did not say her fears out. She took a glance at Long Fei under the soft light of the fire and saw his appearance started to change. His dark face had now turned bronze green as he blamed. “Look, look, you say Sister in law and Shi Chen will not be in any dangers. But…But now, why did they not reply to my shouts?”
Wang Susu sighed. She really did not know how to reply him. After awhile, she finally sighed softly. “If there is danger, they should at least let us know but until now, it is still disquiet above. This is indeed very strange!”
Long Fei said solemnly. “This is indeed very strange…” And gripped the long rope and looked back at her. “No matter, I will also take a look…” Before he finished, his hands was already shaking. But Wang Susu did not know the reason why?
Long Fei big hands were holding the rope tightly but because his hands were shaking uncontrollably so did the rope now! Wang Susu exclaimed in surprised. “Eldest Brother, you…what is going on?” She pointed at Long Fei’s shaky hands.
She was surprised because she knew that Long Fei was known in Pugilistic Fraternity as a fearless man. His bravery and righteous, and his steady internal power, fierce swordplay and his mighty strength that could split mountains, was renowned throughout the Pugilistic Fraternity, why did his hands began to shake so violently?
Long Fei was filled with surprised and fear as he said. “Look!”
His hand gave a pull and that long rope began to shudder!
Wang Susu was in deep thoughts as she too reached for the long rope and shook it a few times. The long rope began to shudder and shudder.
There was nothing up there! She lowered her hand and moved back a step in surprise. She looked up and said. “This piece of long rope has no pull whatever so. Where did they…they go!”
Long Fei stared at her and shouted. “Did you not say they will be in no danger?”
Wang Susu expressions changed and she move back another step again. And looked at the long hanging rope and bit her teeth. And then she leapt forward…
Shi Chen was as agile as a monkey as he made his way up the mountain.
Although the higher he climbed, the mountain breeze became harsher and the light from the torch became smaller but in his heart, he felt warm as he thought. “She do cares about me after all.” And he recalled Wang Susu parting words. “Be careful”. Therefore his spirit and body became as light as the cloud as he relished in those thoughts!
Before he knew it, he was already at ten meters elevation. And he heard Guo Yuxia saying, “These are the words that Fourth Sister saw. Alas, her memory is really very good. Just now when she read it out, there is not a word missing and not a word wrong.”
Shi Chen replied. “Her memory has always been good!”
As he glanced through all those words, he began to think again. “She is after all concern about me. Sometimes the way she treats me is because she is after all a young girl that is shy and a need to observe the proper propriety. But no matter, I have known her for five years. How will she not feel anything about me?” His mouth cupped a smile as he immersed himself in the bliss of his thoughts.
Suddenly his head knocked into something. Surprised, he looked above and saw Guo Yuxia’s beautiful shoes. A pair of green shoe that had some beautiful purple flowers sewed onto it with a pearl ornament at the point of each shoe. At this moment, this two pearls by sheer coincident was at the front of his eyes and a sweet perfume aroma reached his nose.
Shi Chen body froze and so did his eyes. Now then he understood, why this beautiful Sister in law who was renowned throughout Pugilistic Fraternity, why did she always refuse to wear the typically shoe of the atypical pugilist women or shoes that could hide a blade. That was exactly the same habit as Protégé Master who under no matter what circumstances would not switch his government boots. Maybe it was because the thick government represented his authority and righteousness and separated him from the rest of the ordinary pugilists. As for this light and flowery shoe, it drew out the beauty of the girl’s foot!
Suddenly Guo Yuxia laughed softly, disrupting his thoughts. “What are you looking at?”
Shi Chen blushed as she asked again. “Come up quickly and check if these those words are true instead of looking at my leg for?” Her voice was soft but it seem like she was speaking close to his ears, making him flushed with redness, all the way to his heart.
He tried to say something. “I…I, I…” Suddenly he felt a soft hand gently touching his hair.
Guo Yuxia on one hand holding the rope, the another hand sliding down and gently supported against his head, said gently. “There is no need to be shy, hurry up. In the presence of Sister in law, there is nothing to be shy at!”
This gentle laughter caused Shi Chen to lift his head unwittingly and saw her beautiful face looking at him. Under this dim light, he could almost hear his heart pounding, as he asked. “What is written up there?”
Guo Yuxia supported her body against the mountain walls as she said softly. “Come up and take a look yourself!”
Shi Chen moved up once he had sufficient space after Guo Yuxia moved aside. He did not dare to look at her again.
When he reached the top where the words were, he began to read. “Long Bushi, you actually can reach here. Very good, very good. Your martial art skills indeed did not gone to waste. Now you go up, move toward the right and walk fifteen steps there is another opening.
This route is much nearer but harder to walk. If you still have enough strength, you can move up another seven meters, you will find another better route. But you must not force yourself and walk the route that you can walk. Do not force yourself. Even if your martial art skill are weaker a little bit, you can still see me!”
Although the light was dim but with Shi Chen superior eyesight, he was still able to read the words craved on the cliff clearly. Although he had finished reading but his eyes did not move as he remembered something from the perfume that was in the air.
When he was ten and Guo Yuxia was twelve, thirteen-year-old, they were under the tutorage of the Divine Dragon Clan. At that time, they were still enjoying the golden period of their childhood. Although Protégé Master was strict in his training, they still enjoy games of what other kids enjoyed in their childhood.
Naturally he would come to secretly like his Second Protégé Sister, who was two years older and cleverer than him. But that was only a pure love between children, a brotherly and sisterly love, as pure as a white paper. Even when he had grown up, he still never spoke out his true feelings!
When he was fifteen year old and Wang Susu had become a disciple of the “Divine Dragon” Clan, till five years from now, Shi Chen could still remember how bright was the starlight on that night!
On that bright and starry night, the “Immortal Divine Dragon” Long Bushi announced two joyous things in that grand hall filled with tables of wine and dishes. Firstly, he had accepted another intelligence girl as his disciple. Secondly, he announced the wedding of his first disciple Long Fei with his second disciple Guo Yuxia.
On that very night, in his cold but spatially room, he had secretly cry. But from that day onward, he tried to very best to forget that pure love he harbored. That was because she had already married to his most respected big brother. From then, she had become his “Sister in law” and no longer his childhood companion, that “Little Protégé Sister”. Therefore he could only try to forget this hurt, forever forgot and forgot it cleanly!
From then, he began to distant himself from her. Even their chats became formal. One day at the training ground he happened to see her and they were alone. He tried to avoid her but she stopped him and asked. “These days you are always trying to avoid me. Is it because I am no longer your Little Protégé Sister anymore?”
In his heart he thought. “Yes! You are indeed no longer my Little Protégé Sister.” But he did not voice it out.
Till now until this moment, they never had the chance to be alone with one another. The past became to flash in a blink of the eye in his heart.
Just like many years ago when Guo Yuxia was with him, under the influence of the perfume, he actually forgot that she was his “Sister in law” and turned back his head and unwittingly muttered. “Little Protégé Sister…”
Although those three words appeared soft but was like a thousand tons gigantic rock that was cast into the ocean. It caused Guo Yuxia deep blue ocean to react with ripples. Her eyes took a glance at Shi Chen face. The ripples ended and was replaced by a ray of moving light – What was she thinking in her mind?
But who would know what she really thinks in her heart? She just gently reached out her hand and touched Shi Chen face and softly said. “You have become thinner!”
Shi Chen did not move but was as quiet as a stone statue that was engraved on the walls. But his heart was definitely not as calm as his appearances – What was he thinking now? But no matter what he was thinking now, he could be heard saying. “Surely Protégé Master has gone up!” He did not dare to look her in the eyes but mustered his strength and continued to ascend!
When Shi Chen reached the top, above the mist was a flatten terrain. And he cast his eyes and looked around. “This mountain peak is indeed very strange. From the bottom, no wonder we cannot see the peaks. That is because the peak head is chopped off!” Then his thoughts were interrupted by Guo Yuxia voice!
It was a soft voice and she needed not have to say aloud for she was already besides his ears.
Shi Chen did not dare to turn back. Although he harbored that wish but he remained looking in front but in actuality, there was not a thing to be seen in his eyes!
The wind, that was even wilder than the wind below, blew her loose hair to his ears, chin and mouth…
She lightly sighed and said. “I know that when I am with your Big Brother ever since, you are always trying to avoid me. That day at the training ground when I have the chance to be alone with you, why did you not even say a word to me, why did you not treat me the same as before…”
Suddenly there was a big yell below. “Is there anything amiss up there?”
Surprised by the shout, he turned his head and immediately touched against Guo Yuxia sweet and beautiful lips. Both of them did not make a sound, no one moved, not even replying to Long Fei shouts and even to the surrounding echoes. For they could only hear the sound of their beating hearts…
Guo Yuxia gently said. “Do you remember that there was once upon a time, behind the manor, there was an elm tree…” her breath was like a sweet aroma of an orchid.
Shi Chen took in a deep breath and said. “I…hugged you and want you to play the bride and groom game…”
Guo Yuxia gently rolled her eyes and said. “You want me to be your new bride and accompany you to the bed chamber. I refused…”
Shi Chen said dreamily. “You said your age is older than me and only can be my older sister. And unable to be my bride…”
Guo Yuxia said. “Therefore you hugged me and forced me. That time…I…I…”
Suddenly from the mountains below was another big shout. “Oei, can you all hear my voice?”
Shi Chen felt himself awakened by the shouts but suddenly a pair of gentle red lips touched his mouth…
Guo Yuxia gently said. “That time, I was exactly the same as now, being kiss by you…”
Shi Chen said. “But…later you are already married to Big Brother and you are now my Sister in law…” He did not did not turn his body away nor did he step backwards. It was because the fire of his youth was burning hotly inside his heart.
Guo Yuxia said. “Although I have married to your Big Brother but…You still do not understand my heart?”
Shi Chen asked. “Your heart…Your heart…”
Guo Yuxia said. “I have helped you in all my matters. Sometimes when you meet with difficulties by Fourth Sister, I am the one that helps you to put in the good words. Do you why that is for?”
“Meet with difficulties by Fourth Sister!” He painfully thought. But he was soon captivated by the beautiful sight in front and dreamily asked. “Why?”
Guo Yuxia said. “Because in my heart, I am still thinking of you. And always treat you as nice as before but you did not know it!”
Shi Chen thought awhile before asking. “Then why did you have to marry Eldest Brother?”
Guo Yuxia rolled her eyes. “I am older than you and is your Protégé Sister. Even if I want to marry you, Protégé Master will not agree!”
Shi Chen sighed. “At first I thought you only want to be the wife of the first disciple of Divine Dragon Clan and to take over Zhijiao Manor, therefore you married Big Brother. Because…because you and Big Brother in terms of persona and moods, there isn’t any there seemingly fitted.”
Guo Yuxia smiled and said. “Even though I was not able to marry you but…from now on, if we can meet from time to time, won’t not it still be the same?”
Shi Chen looked dreamily at her for a long time, even forgetting to breath…
At this moment, in this empty plain and the starry skies, he suddenly found himself to be so close with the stars – He was closer to the stars than many in the world. Suddenly he had another thought. If all the stars were the eyes of people and they saw him with his Big Brother’s wife so intimate, intimate till there was not even a single spacing, what then should he do?…
Suddenly from below, Long Fei said solemnly. “Fourth Sister, there would be dangers above. You should have let me go up first!”
Suddenly Shi Chen jumped with shock and he moved back immediately two meters and at that single moment, Wang Susu leapt in front, followed by Long Fei at the back.
Under the starlight, four pair of eyes looked at one another and everyone looked surprised and stunned. Naturally Shi Chen eyes were filled with shame and fright as well!
Long Fei said. “Oh you are all on top!”
Guo Yuxia smiled and brushed her long hair. “Of course, we are on top. Would we be below?”
Long Fei swept his eyes around, and saw Shi Chen looking frightened and he stood stiffly, back facing a mountain rock, as if he was afraid to topple over. His mouth looked like he wanted to say something but unable to say a single word and although Guo Yuxia was smiling, her mannerism did not look as her usual self and unnatural.
Although he was a frank person but upon seeing Shi Chen and Guo Yuxia not in their usual self, he began to show signs of suspicious in his heart. He asked solemnly. “What are you all doing?”
Guo Yuxia sunk her face and said. “Why ask such a strange question? What do you think we are doing?”
Long Fei was taken aback and said. “Just now when I was shouting below at the foot of the mountain, did you all not heard me?”
Guo Yuxia answered. “We have heard!”
Long Fei sighed. “Since you have heard, why did you all not answer me? And make me so anxious below!”
The calmer Guo Yuxia became, the more impatience Long Fei was. In his heavy sighing, his speech was filled with reproach.
Guo Yuxia exclaimed. “Hehe.” And laughed. “You are muddle-headed. But I am not as muddle-headed as you!”
Long Fei asked. “I am muddle-headed? In what sense?”
Guo Yuxia coldly smirked and said. “Do you know that we are under a dangerous situation? The enemy is hidden and we are in the open. The enemy is strong and we are weak. And you keep shouting so loud, do you really want others to know where we are! How can I be the same as you. You rushed into things blindly and yet blames on me!”
Long Fei was taken aback and lowered his head.
Wang Susu sighed softly and said. “Sister in law is indeed thoughtful!”
Shi Chen heart began to calm. But his face was still awful. To Guo Yuxia, he was impressed and at the same time, afraid. For he could not imagine a person who after doing a guilty act, would go on becoming righteous and blaming others.
As for Long Fei, he began to reproach himself after taken aback for awhile. He took a broad stride towards Shi Chen and extended his hand said. “I am sorry to you!”
Shi Chen heart skipped a beat. “Big Brother…you…you in what way need to be sorry to me…”
Long Fei sighed. “I wronged you just now.”
Shi Chen lowered his head and said. “I…” Compared to Guo Yuxia, he found himself unable to say something with a straight face.
Long Fei sighed. “Although I did not say it in my mouth but in my heart, I was suspicious of you. Alas! I deserved to die for doubting you.”
Shi Chen was stunned. And he felt his warm blood gushing to his head. Facing such an honest, frank, apologetic real man, compared to him, he felt very tiny and shameful. “Big Brother…I am…”
Before he could say. “I’m sorry to you,” Guo Yuxia had stepped in between them and said aloud. “Even if there is misunderstanding among brothers, you just need to say it out and then let it rest. There is no need for anyone of you to say anything more!”
Long Fei said. “Indeed, indeed. I won’t say anymore, I won’t say anymore.”
Suddenly he saw something behind Shi Chen and suddenly cried out in surprise. “What is that?” Long Fei was staring at something behind him.
Once again a surprise was sprang upon Shi Chen as he turned his body and saw that engraved on the rock above was a picture of a woman garbed in priest robes with her hair pinned on top of her head. Her body rigid with her left shoulder lowered, extending out with her two fingers lifting upward. As for her right hand, it carried a long sword and it was in a lowered position. Her face seemed real and if one were to take just a glance, it would look like a woman that was alive!
Besides the engraved image, was some words – “Long Bushi, your internal power has once again improved. But can you break this stance of mine? If you can, proceed. If not, go back!”
Long Fei took a careful look before he burst out in a cold laughter. “Even me can break this stance, Protégé Master definitely can break!”
Shi Chen said. “The words sound arrogant. At first glance, this stance looks ordinary but could it hide an extraordinary stroke?”
Wang Susu did not even move her eyes away and said. “This stance may look ordinary but I am sure that it conceal many powerful strokes behind. It just that at first glance, we did not notice!”
Guo Yuxia nodded and said. “Indeed. The more ordinary a stroke is, in fact it is all the more deadly! All of you have been looking for sometime but have you saw anything that is worth noting?”
Long Fei looked again before saying. “The way she lifts her sword, her feet must definitely position in a attack position. But this priestess, both her legs was together and her feet formed a “Eight” characteristic, as if she is preparing to use some movement skills.”
Guo Yuxia said. “That right. That is the weird part!”
Long Fei said. “And her left shoulder was lowered but her two fingers pointing upward, this is not a way to counter and display swordplay.”
Guo Yuxia said. “That right!”
Long Fei looked proud of his deductions and continued. “Although she is wearing a priestess robe but the shoes she is wearing is a man footwear. It is so ridiculous.”
Guo Yuxia gently smiled. “Clothing and swordplay are not related. This does not count as …”
Long Fei was serious and said. “How can it not be considered a weird part. If the attire is improper, it is also unrighteousness, the swordplay will also not be righteous, an improper unrighteous swordplay will never defeat enemies and gain victories!”
Guo Yuxia laughed and said. “Alright, alright. Let consider you’re…”
Long Fei interrupted. “Naturally must consider.”
Wang Susu found herself saying. “An improper unrighteous swordplay even though it may dominate for a period but it will not be everlasting. Big Brother’s words, are indeed logical!”
Shi Chen said. “Indeed that is the case. Throughout ancient times, there have been many such examples. For example, ‘Southern Sea Swordplay’ that is renowned for its viciousness and nicked ‘Life Stealer Sword’, till today only the name is remembered but not its legacy. Therefore we can surmise that those that wield this type of swordplay in the past was able to dominate for a time because they were more intelligence, had strong internal power but definitely not because their swordplay is extraordinary. Fourth Sister words, really…”
Guo Yuxia interrupted. “Have you finished?”
Shi Chen was taken aback. But Guo Yuxia explained. “At this moment, I really don’t understand why you all have the mood for idol chats.”
Shi Chen lowered his head.
Guo Yuxia suddenly smiled and said. “If you want to chat, there will be a time for it in the future. Why pick this time?”
Wang Susu flushed with red and lowered her head.
Guo Yuxia looked at her and laughed. “With the exception of these two points that Big Brother pointed out…”
Long Fei said. “Three points!”
Guo Yuxia laughed awhile and continued. “With the exception of these three points, did any of you observe anything else?”
Shi Chen lifted his head and although he was looking at the picture but his eyes were a blank, he did not found anything amiss.
Wang Susu softly said. “I think the most important part is that the woman’s eyes are closed. If there is a fight, it doesn’t seem logical for one to close their eye?”
She did not lift her head. It seemed that she had already observed it but did not have the chance to speak!
Long Fei sighed. “Indeed Fourth Sister is much more attentive!”
Guo Yuxia said. “That is right. Earlier I found it the weirdest part. And it so weird till it makes no sense. But on further analysis, it make great sense to have her eyes closed and it is also the most deadliest part in her swordplay!”
Shi Chen and Long Fei asked together. “Why is that so?”
Guo Yuxia explained. “This stance from her swordplay is as motionless as the mountain. It is using the principle of being motionless to counter motion. Everyone in the Pugilistic Fraternity know that our Protégé Master’s ‘Heavenly Dragon Seventeen Strokes’, is the most fearsome in attacking and difficult to block swordplay, especially the last four stances, which has even more changes and dazzling. Some people can’t even block a single stroke!”
Shi Chen said. “Therefore now she closed her eyes, she can’t see the dazzling swordplay and her heart become even calmer…“
Guo Yuxia nodded. “That is right. But that is because her inner strength has also reached the peak of perfection and is confidence of countering just by listening to the vibration of the wind!”
Long Fei clapped his hands and said. “Indeed, indeed. I was thinking of using a stroke from ‘Wind Tiger, Cloud Dragon’ as bait to induce her into attacking me. If she shifted her sword positioning, then I will attack with a stroke from ‘Ascending Cloud Breaker’ to break her defense stance. But since she closes her eyes and if she have the patience, then how my “Wind Tiger, Cloud Dragon” stroke going to be useful?”
Shi Chen said, “Even if we don’t use a dazzling stance, from the “Heavenly Dragon Seventeen Strokes”, there is a stroke that can break her stance!”
Guo Yuxia said. “Do you mean that ‘Cloud Breaker Four Strokes’, the first stroke of ‘Ascending Cloud Breaker’, that ‘Ninth Heaven’?”
Shi Chen said, “Indeed! Although her sword can protect her on her left and can seal the advance of her opponent on her right. But there will be an opening towards her left. If I use the sixth stroke and interchange it with the seventh stroke of “Ascending Cloud Breaker”, it not difficult to break her stance.”
Guo Yuxia smiled. “Third Brother roams the Pugilistic Fraternity for not even two years and to think that his martial art skills have improved by leaps and bounds.”
Long Fei said, “In another two years, surely you will be even better than your Big Brother!”
Shi Chen nodded his head in appreciation.
Guo Yuxia said. “If you use these two strokes “Ninth Heaven” and ‘Moon Disturbance, Shooting Star’, although it is impressive and sure but the feint is overdoing it. Moreover if the opponent has the same internal power as you, and just change the sword stance a little, it will block your sword stance and it will become a contest between who has the stronger internal power. It will not be a contest to see whose swordplay is better and will lose its original intention!”
Shi Chen lowered his head and thought deeply. And borne the mark of respect!
Long Fei asked. “Then what do you think what stances we should use to break it?”
Guo Yuxia smiled. “If one is to defeat the opponent and hope to win, one must first know how many deadly stances that one single stance has hidden. And the more ordinary a stance looks, the more changes it is able to display. This is the undeniable acme in swordplay but too many people forget about it!” She said it slowly, as she wanted to let the others to absorb it and to be able to understand the logic behind it.
She saw Wang Susu lifted her head and listened intensely.
Guo Yuxia laughed awhile and said. “This reasoning is very obvious. In the multitude of all matters, nothing can be compared to simplicity. For example, if a scholar is to write just a word, if he just write a “Humph” (It can mean unruly or horizontal) character, the next character he is going to write, no one will be able to guess. That is because from one word “Humph” it can be added to form many other characters, really is uncountable. But if he writes a ‘Bao Gai’, or ‘Cao Tou’, then the next words he can write will become narrow, and others may find it easier to guess. When he has written half a sentence, then he can no longer change and write other words. Then others will naturally try to make a guess and guess it!”
Long Fei, Shi Chen and Wang Susu were filled with admiration as she continued. “It is the same as fighting with another. It is taboo to keep using the same strokes again and again nor can you use your fullest strength. It follows the same reasoning!”
Long Fei sighed and said. “This logic although I have known it but I can never understand it that clearly. But once you explain, I began to understand clearly. Your example of using writing words is indeed quoted in a very excellent manner!”
Guo Yuxia smiled. “The stance that was engraved on this mountain rock, is indeed like the scholar that writes a “Humph” word only and makes us wonder how many words remain to be written. If we do not know how many stances it hid, so how can we ever break her stance!”
Wang Susu suddenly said, “This is not ‘Humph’ but a ‘Cao Tou’!
Guo Yuxia nodded and laughed. “That is right, I say the wrong word. Is a ‘Cao Tou’. If it is a ‘Humph’, it cannot be considered a stance!”
Long Fei and Shi Chen exchanged glances for awhile before Long Fei said. “I think the girls are smarter than us, men!”
Shi Chen said, “Indeed!” And both of them laughed.
Guo Yuxia said, “Fourth Sister indeed is smarter than the both of you.”
Wang Susu lowered her head and said, “Sister in law is much…”
Guo Yuxia laughed and said, “You do not need to praise me. I ask you, did you manage to find out how many hidden stances that one stance hide?”
Wang Susu lowered her head and muttered. “Although I do not know much but from what I know, there is already seven different stances!”
She swept her glances at Long Fei and Shi Chen who was looking half-believing as they listened.
Guo Yuxia asked. “Which seven stances?”
Wang Susu replied, “Although she doesn’t look like she is using any swordplay stance from any clans but it can be evolved into Wudang Clan, from the stance ‘Ninth Palace Continuous Swordplay’, a stroke call ‘Total Oblivion’…”
Guo Yuxia said, “That is right. If the sword point moved toward the left and turn, it becomes ‘Total Oblivion’.”
Long Fei narrowed his eyebrows and nodded.
Wang Susu continued. “If her sword stance is to lift up to the left, it will be ‘Returning Dance of the Gentle Wind’ from Diancang Clan. If her wrist were to move back, it will the Emei Clan most powerful sword stance ‘Returning Wind Swordplay’, a stroke that can attack and defend call ‘Peacock Spreading its Tail’!” When she appeared flustered as she tried to say it all in one breath!
Guo Yuxia smiled. “It is alright for you can say it slowly.”
Wang Susu took in a deep breath and said, “Other than that, that one stroke can…can…be change…change into…”
Long Fei asked. “Can be changed into what?”
Under the starlight, Wang Susu beautiful face looked painful and confused.
Shi Chen asked in fright. “Fourth Sister, are you…you…alright?”
Wang Susu took in a deep more breath and she slowly became restored her calmness. “I am alright, just…just that my chest suddenly feel painful. Now I feel fine!”
Shi Chen reached out to wipe his sweat from his forehead. It was because just now he felt so anxious that he broke into cold sweat.
Guo Yuxia rolled her eyes and laughed questioning. “And the other four strokes?”
Wang Susu continued. “That one stroke can be changed into Mount Tian Clan from ‘Triple Divine Swordplay’, a stroke call ‘Spreading Confusion’ and Kunlun Clan from ‘Jade Carrier Swordplay’, a stroke call ‘Jade Tidal’. Shaolin Clan, ‘Demonic Divine Swordplay’ a stroke ‘Reversal of Nature’ and in the past there was ‘Triple Flower Swordman’, he left behind his ‘Triple Flower Swordplay’, a stroke call ‘Seizing the Peach’.”
Although her face looked calm but her eyes looked terrible as though she was unwilling to say out what she had just said but was being forced to.
Long Fei sighed. “Fourth Sister, I really can’t tell that your martial art knowledge is so profound. I guess that before you have been accepted by Protégé Master, you have already learned quite a lot of martial art skills!”
Wang Susu turned ashen and muttered. “No…I didn’t…”
Long Fei asked. “You didn’t? I don’t believe. If you did not, how is that I cannot see from this stance, how many changes can it evolve?”
He looked at Guo Yuxia and asked. “Can you tell?”
Guo Yuxia laughed and shook her head. “I did not too. I can only tell that it can be evolved into Wudang Clan’s Total Oblivion from the Ninth Palace Continuous Swordplay, Shaolin Clan’s Reversal of Nature from Demonic Divine Swordplay. As for the other five changes, I was not able to tell.”
She continued. “Although I can tell that single stroke may hide more than two strokes. But ‘Triple Flower Swordplay’, ‘Jade Carrier Swordplay’ all these swordplay I have never seen before. As for ‘Triple Swordplay’, ‘Returning Dance of the Gentle Wind’ all these swordplay, although I have seen before but I am not familiar with its strokes. Therefore how it evolve, naturally I am unable to tell.”
Long Fei sunk his face and looked at Wang Susu. And he slowly phrased word by word to her. “All these swordplay, where did you learn from?”
Guo Yuxia laughed and said. “I am wondering as well!”
Shi Chen looked in concern for Wang Susu but he could tell from her face, she was hiding some secrets!
Guo Yuxia rolled her eyes and tried to contain her smile. “When Fourth Sister was accepted as disciple, I was already feeling strange. Big Brother, do you remember who recommend Fourth Sister in?”
Long Fei replied. “It is the head of the Red Flag Escort Agency from the northern sixth province, Sima Zhongtian!”
Guo Yuxia said. “That is right. But Old Senior Sima did not reveal her background and only say she is the daughter of a bosom friend. Our Protégé Master, he is a trusting person, therefore he did not ask for her background.” Although she carried a smiling face but it was a malicious smile. And she looked from time to time at Shi Chen and then at Wang Susu.
Wang Susu became even more paled. Even her fingers were shaking.
Guo Yuxia contained her smile and said. “All these years we have been living like a family and like real brothers and sisters. But Fourth Sister, under this situation today, however I cannot but…”
Wang Susu suddenly interrupted. “Even though I was not able to marry you but from now on, if we can meet from time to time, won’t not it still be the same?”
Guo Yuxia and Shi Chen suddenly turned ashen. And was shocked.
Shi Chen unwittingly took a step backwards.
Long Fei puzzled. “Fourth Sister, what did you just say?
Wang Susu smiled and said. “Nothing. It just that I unwittingly…”
Guo Yuxia laughed and said. “She did not say anything!” And walked towards Wang Susu but Wang Susu took two steps backward.
Long Fei was bewildered. “What are the two of you doing!”
Guo Yuxia suddenly laughed softly. “Look, I am really muddle-headed.
There is far more important things left to do and we are chatting here. As for Fourth Sister background, even Protégé Master did not ask and feel assured. So why should we worry? Divine Dragon Clan has no rule that stops anyone who already knows other forms of martial arts from entering. Even if she have learn other forms of martial arts, so what does it matter?”
Long Fei said. “I never say it matter but …”
Guo Yuxia furrowed and said. “What do you still want to say. If Fourth Sister has a dubious background, base on the esteem of the Escort head of the Red Flag, how will he introduce Fourth Sister to Protégé Master?”
Long Fei said. “But…”
Guo Yuxia said. “But what? Let hurry and find Protégé Master!” And hold Wang Susu by her hand and walked in strides away!
Shi Chen sighed secretly. He looked troubled for he knew that Wang Susu had overheard his conversation with Guo Yuxia. At this moment when he looked at the back view of Wang Susu, he felt his heart weighed by a thousand ton of heavy rock.
Only Long Fei who was righteous failed to see the malicious in their behavior. He looked bewildered and asked. “Third Brother, what is going on?”
Shi Chen lowered his head and said. “I do not know as well.” He had no courage to face his frank Protégé Brother.
Long Fei wondered awhile then laughed suddenly. “I really do not understand what going on between the girls. Never mind, I shall not be bother anymore.” He laughed a few times and said. “Third Brother, let me tell you. It is best to be single! If you get involved in girl matter, it will always mean trouble.”
Shi Chen after listening to his forthright laughter, he felt respectful but at the same ashamed. He let down his guard only with his Protégé Brother’s laughter but he felt even more ashamed!
Guo Yuxia held Wang Susu’s hand till they made a turning after a mountain rock. She suddenly halted her movements and pulled Wang Susu to the back of the mountain rock.
Wang Susu asked. “Sister in law, what is the meaning of this?”
Guo Yuxia coldly laughed awhile before saying. “Do you really think I do not know what you are planning?”
Wang Susu said. “Sister in law, what are you saying? I don’t understand!” Although she tried to force a smile but in the presence of this “Sister in law”, somehow she could not shake away her fear. It was as though she was facing her real elder brother…
Guo Yuxia rolled her eyes and said. “Once we are down the mountain, I have things to talk to you!”
Wang Susu said. “Alright!” Suddenly she saw Long Fei and Shi Chen hurried steps.
Long Fei asked. “What are the two of you doing here?”
Guo Yuxia laughed and said. “Can’t sisters be left alone to whisper some mush words?”
Suddenly Long Fei said aloud in surprise. “There are words on top as well!” and continued. “Third Brother, come and have a look! The words written on top read. “Long Bushi, if you can only tell that the stance has only seven changes. It best that you turned back!”
Long Fei was surprised. “Alas, that stance has more than seven changes!”
Shi Chen walked besides Long Fei and started reading. “Total Oblivion, Reversal of Nature, Jade Tidal…These are the four types of changes that Fourth Sister had mentioned.”
Long Fei took in a deep breath and said. “I don’t believe that such a simple stance can hide more than seven changes and that there are others too!” His eyes caught some words below. As those words were messy and not easy to be noticed, only now had he noticed it.
Guo Yuxia softly exclaimed. “Isn’t it Protégé Master’s handwriting?”
Wang Susu softly said. “That right!”
The four of them began to look at each other and then started to read the words.
“The sword is the primary, the leg as auxiliary, the orthodox swordplay, the unusual kick technique. To break this stance, the only way is to go against the flow!” There was another messy line below.
“Although that stance of yours may be extraordinary. But that was all based on the intricacy upon the left shoulder and that strange shoe on your leg. You really think I cannot tell, haha, haha…”
Long Fei laughed as well. “Haha, haha…What do you think. The intricacy part of that stance lies on that pair of strange shoe. And you say that it is unrelated to swordmanship!” He looked extremely proud.
Shi Chen looked in bewilderment and muttered. “To break this stance, the only way is to be go against the flow!…How do we explain ‘Against the Flow’!”
Guo Yuxia took a glance at Long Fei before her eyes rolled and glanced at Shi Chen who continued. “All these theories on the intricacies of martial arts, even if we are to think for three days and nights, we may not be able to think of a breakthrough!”
Long Fei said. “But I…”
Guo Yuxia said. “Even if you have said correctly by guessing but do you know what the intricacy behind that pair of shoe?”
Long Fei was stunned.
Guo Yuxia continued. “There is one more suspicious point but all of you did not even noticed!”
Long Fei asked. “What is it?
Guo Yuxia pointed at the words and asked. “Can you all tell how these words are written?”
Shi Chen looked doubtful and said. “It is by finger!”
Guo Yuxia said. “That is right!”
Long Fei asked. “What is so strange about it. Our Protégé Master finger strength is enough to grind rock to powder!”
Guo Yuxia coldly laughed awhile and asked. “What about you?”
Long Fei said. “I am not able to.”
Guo Yuxia said. “After Protégé Master reduced his internal power by seventy percent, won’t his internal power be the same as yours?”
Long Fei clapped his hands. “True, true. When Protégé Master writes those words, his internal power must have fully recovered. This is indeed a strange thing and indeed worthy for us to ponder…But at this time and place, who will help him to release his accupoints?”
Guo Yuxia sighed and added. “The duel at Mount Hua is normally an ordinary affair. Before I reached the mountain, I was thinking that although there may be some risks involved but definitely not this mysterious and crowded with secrecy. But once I reached the mountain, I discovered that every single matter is out of expectations. I afraid there isn’t any past records of any duels that can be stranger than this!”
She rolled her eyes before adding. “That Ye maiden tries to use numerous methods so that our Protégé Master will reduce his internal power. And Protégé Master even agreed even though it is something that never happened in the Pugilistic Fraternity before. And that strange priest that risks his life to steal an empty coffin makes the entire thing even more mysterious. In my heart I already feel so uneasy but it turned out to be even stranger the more we try to unravel.
Therefore it set me thinking that this Mount Hua duel, surely it is hiding many secrets and many plots. Maybe it is even planned by many people for a long time and they set a ambush to trap Protégé Master using Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai as a bait. All of you think carefully…”
Before she had finished, Long Fei looked like he was about to spring.
She halted him and said. “What are you doing?”
Long Fei slowed down and turned back his head and said. “Since that is the case, even if we stand here and discuss for three days and nights, it will be pointless. Let hurry to aid Protégé Master. No wonder he says you are intelligent and brilliant, but a pity you say too much and not much of an action!”
Guo Yuxia turned ashen and looked stunned while Wang Susu said. “Big Brother, wait for me!” as she sprang three meters…
Shi Chen was slower and took a glance at Guo Yuxia before he too sprang forward as well.
Guo Yuxia looked at them from the back view and laughed coldly awhile. Once her laugh ceased, she too run after them!
Unexpectedly, Long Fei halted his movements for he saw that seven, eight meter ahead, there was something. It was another portrait of a priestess engraved on the mountain rock. But her stance was now changed! What used to be a defensive stance had now changed to an offensive stance. What used to be a rigid body had now changed to a posture that looked like she was about to spring anytime. Her left hand wielded a sword while her right hand carried the scabbard. And the words besides her read. “Long Bushi, even if you can break the defensive stance just now but can you break the offensive stance now?”
But he just took a few glances and sprang past the mountain rocks. Besides the words there was some more words.
Shi Chen coldly laughed awhile and said. “Again the same old trick!”
Long Fei said aloud. “What the point of looking?” And he again hastened his pace.
Guo Yuxia mustered her vital energies and sprang besides him and asked in a low voice. “Why did you treat me like that just now?” Long Fei looked stunned. She added. “In front of Third Brother and Fourth Sister, you should at least give me some face!”
Long Fei said. “In front of them, you too treat me the…” He sighed deeply and changed his tact and said. “I feel anxious inside. Don’t blame me.”
Guo Yuxia melancholy sighed awhile as though she wanted to say something but she saw another rock in front. It was another portrait of a priestess and it was destroyed and its pieces had fallen to the ground.
Long Fei and Guo Yuxia looked at one another and the words on its sides were smashed to bits.
Long Fei questioning asked. “Protégé Master…”
Guo Yuxia said. “That is right. Except for Protégé Master, who else have this level of internal power.”
Long Fei asked solemnly. “Why did Protégé Master…can it be that Protégé Master is unable to break this stroke?”
Guo Yuxia sighed and shook her head. However they sprang ahead and a few ten of meters away there was another rock that was blocking them.
On top on the words were the words “I, Long Bushi has been here!” written with his fingers. But at the bottom, there was another line of words. “Never turn back!”
The words at the top and bottom were different. One written by fingers, the another engraved by a blade.
Long Fei shouted and raised both his hands to strike against the rocks and in a shattering sound, send the some rocks shattering but he was knocked back three steps. Although in Pugilistic Fraternity, he was renowned as “Iron Hero” but he was after all made of flesh and blood.
Guo Yuxia sighed softly. “Your temper is exactly the same as Protégé Master!” And she extended her hand to help him up. “But you must know, your internal force is not the same as him!”
Long Fei appeared more vexed and he broke loose from Guo Yuxia’s grip and raised his legs to kick the rock. This kick shattered more of the rock.
Shi Chen and Wang Susu said together in concern. “Big Brother, what are you doing?”
Guo Yuxia said coldly. “It best that you save some of your strength to kick the stomach of your opponent. It better than kicking this rock!”
Long Fei turned back his head and said. “You…You…” He was so angry that he was not able to say anything!
Shi Chen added. “Sister in law, Big Brother’s temper is always like this…”
Guo Yuxia laughed coldly awhile and walked ahead of them.
Long Fei said. “You…” He was interrupted by a cry from Guo Yuxia behind the mountain rock. Without finishing his words, he immediately dashed ahead.
Wang Susu eyed Shi Chen for awhile and added. “Big Brother is good to everyone, especially Sister in law…”
Shi Chen reddened and almost could not lift his head!
Behind the mountain rock, there was a fork and at the side of the fork was a bamboo hut!
Long Fei hurried past Guo Yuxia who muttered. “I’m afraid our Protégé Master is no longer…”
Before she could finished, Long Fei had hurried past her and pushed the door opened and shouting at the time, “Protégé Master!” And he entered the bamboo hut.
Shi Chen was taken by surprised and he cried out behind him. “Big Brother…” And he too was about to rush inside when Guo Yuxia caught him by his sleeves and said. “Wait awhile!”
Wang Susu said. “What are we waiting for, if Big Brother is in danger, you won’t even go inside?” This usually gentle and demure girl now sounds anger judging by the tone of her voice. She did not even took a glance at Guo Yuxia and rushed into the bamboo hunt…
Long Fei stood unmoving inside. The bamboo hut was emptied of anyone. But the strange thing was, there was actually five shining pearls, four closed doors, three trace of fresh blood, two footprints and a set of furniture in this empty hut!
The five shining pearls lit the ceiling while the four doors all looked differently. The door that Long Fei entered was the smallest and towards the end was the biggest closed door. And now he was facing it and a old furniture!
But the furniture was in a bad condition with only a small part still intact and the three traces of blood and two footprints were seen besides it.
Long Fei broke into a cold sweat as he began to think about this bamboo hut and everything that could possible happen inside. It was so mysterious and the three trace of blood further shrouded it with even more secrets and even looked horrific.
Long Fei was momentarily stunned before he opened the door to the left, and it revealed a passage down the mountain.
Wang Susu opened the door to the right and revealed another passage down the mountain.
Although these two passage ways looked the same but its wide was different.
Long Fei began to think. “These left and right passage way must be the route indicated by the rock when we passes through. Although there is one destination but there are actually three routes. I think the person in the bamboo hut wanted to use this opportunity to test Protégé Master’s martial art skills. Once Protégé Master entered this bamboo hut, he will immediately be attacked upon…”
Long Fei was a straightforward person in thoughts and deed but he was not stupid. Although he was careless with things but he was not rough. Certain things he just could not bother to ponder over it only.
Now he was set thinking and his mood grew somber and heavy. “If the person in the bamboo hut is Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai, judging from the relationship between the both of them and her status and martial arts in Pugilistic Fraternity, it seemed unlikely that she will ambush Protégé Master. But why then she wants to set up things in such a way? If this bamboo hut is not Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai, who will it be? And from the looks of this old furniture, she must have rested in this bamboo hut for quite some time…”
He tried to ponder over the heads or tails of this mystery but was unable to think of any lead. And saw Wang Susu pushing opened the biggest door…
Guo Yuxia pointed at Wang Susu back view and laughed awhile and softly said. “This wrench indeed knows too much, too much…”
Shi Chen said. “If Big Brother knows about it…” His voice was shaken and unable to continue.
Guo Yuxia added. “People that know too much, will usually invite disaster.”
Shi Chen eyed her and sensed her malevolent air and felt a chill down his spine. “Sister in law, you…”
Guo Yuxia turned her head around and said word by word slowly. “Am I still your “Sister in law” now?”
Shi Chen lowered his head and said. “I…I am terribly afraid…” He was shaking all over.
Guo Yuxia suddenly laughed and gently said. “What are you afraid of. Tell you the truth, you do not need to be afraid of anything. Although she knows a lot but she will not dare to say anything out!”
Shi Chen said, “But…”
Guo Yuxia smiled broadly and added. “To tell you the truth, she is hiding some secrets as well. If I will do spend some more time…Humph, humph!” Although her face was smiling, her speech was surrounded by an aura of malevolent air.
Shi Chen looked idiocy at her smiling face and his heart did not know if he was afraid or felt confused.
Suddenly there was a cry from Wang Susu inside the bamboo hut!
Guo Yuxia ceased her smiles and said. “Let’s go!” And dashed inside the bamboo hut.
When they reached the inside and they saw a bony green hand clawing firmly onto the bamboo door! Beyond the door was a bottomless ravine.
And the man was desperate enough to hold onto the door or he would have dropped down the ravine. His eyes were staring horribly and filled with hatred!
Guo Yuxia asked. “Who…who is he?”
Long Fei, Shi Chen, Guo Yuxia, Wang Susu looked at the terrible face, his hands that were clawing onto the door. After awhile, Long Fei sighed. “He is already dead!”
Shi Chen bent down to examines his hand, which was cold and rigid. And immediately withdrawn his hands and said. “He is already dead!”
Long Fei lowered himself to grip the corpse shoulder and dragged him up. But the corpse hand was firmly on the door and after some efforts, Long Fei managed to loosen the fingers and placed his corpse horizontally on the ground.
The corpse was a thin man and he did not look old. At most around thirty years old and he was clad in black attire.
Long Fei sighed and said. “I wonder who this man is.”
Guo Yuxia coldly added. “Search his body, and see if we can find any possessions!”
Long Fei’s eyes were wide opened as he asked. “Why?”
Guo Yuxia said. “From his possessions, maybe we can find out his identity!” She said it in such a calm manner that it looked like it was the right thing to do.
Long Fei turned ashen and rose up and looked steadily at Guo Yuxia and said. “This person is unknown to me and moreover no hatred exists between us. Even though he may be my enemy, we should not intrude his body after he had died. Our Protégé Master is a righteous man for his entire life because he wants to lend some benevolent to the Martial Fraternity and upheld some righteousness. How can we go against the principles of Protégé Master and did such an dishonorable and unrighteousness thing!” When he had finished, his eyes were as firm as the mountain rocks!
Guo Yuxia smiled, turned back her head and said. “Alright, up to you!” And no longer looked at Long Fei.
Wang Susu was standing besides the door and when she looked at Long Fei’s face, she felt very respectful!
Shi Chen coughed twice and said, “From the clues of this traces, Protégé Master must have passed through here. Take this pair of footprints for example, it even look like Protégé Master. If Protégé Master internal force has been regained, then the footprint that we have discovered below the mountain must be most probably left behind by Protégé Master as well. But…Where did Protégé Master go now?” He seemed to be muttering to himself and yet asking everyone. But no one had the answers to his queries.
Shi Chen added. “This place altogether have three traces of blood. I think there is more than one person that are wounded. But from this dead corpse, there aren’t any traces of blood to be seen. Therefore who is the wounded person? And the one that inflict the wound, who is the one?…”
Shi Chen heart was in a wave of confusion. All those feelings that seemed to overwhelm him as he wanted to say the word that everyone was asking too in their hearts.
Long Fei lifted his head and looked at Shi Chen. “Third Brother. You don’t have to say it out. Big Brother, I…am feeling very confused…”
Wang Susu melancholy sighed. “Big Brother, actually this person…”
Long Fei said solemnly. “Don’t!”
Wang Susu softly sighed. “But for the sake of Protégé Master’s whereabouts…”
Long Fei thundered. “Just because it is for our Protégé Master, all the more we cannot do anything that cause him to feel ashamed and uneasy.”
He sighed. “Fourth Sister, you must know that although many things you can do without anyone knowing but it will weighted upon your self-conscious and even will cause deep regrets for life. At present, there are many evil doers that are because when they do evil, they hope that no one will know about it and not ask their conscious if it is shameful. Fourth Sister, you and I come from a righteous clan, so how can we do anything that is against our conscious!”
His voice was slow and deep, it was as though he was also lecturing everyone while talking to Susu.
Shi Chen eyes looked clouded and his hands were shaking. And he felt his adrenaline rushing to his head. “Big Brother, I…I have something to say to you! I…actually…”
Guo Yuxia suddenly turned around and although her eyes seemed affected but her expression was as calm as ever.
Shi Chen stepped back and his head was lowered even more. His eyes looked blur and the guilty feeling in his heart caused him unable to lift his head and unable to face Wang Susu!
Wang Susu expressions looked even more painful than him and aroused. For deep inside her heart, she hid something that was even guiltier than he did. Following Long Fei speech, there were two steady tears flowing from her eyes!
Finally she cried out and Long Fei was stunned. “Fourth Sister, why did you cry?”
Wang Susu wiped her tears with her hands and painfully cried aloud. “Big Brother, I am sorry to you. Sorry to Protégé Master…” She suddenly pointed at the corpse on the ground. “This person, I do know him and there are many more people I also know as well. And there are many other things that I know too…”
Long Fei furrowed and asked. “Fourth Sister, what do you want to say. Feel free to talk to Big Brother.”
Wang Susu suddenly stopped crying and walked step by step towards Long Fei!
Long Fei on seeing that she looked paled and her eyes were in a blur and looked possessed. He felt disheartened and asked. “Fourth Sister, you…sit down first and calm yourself!”
Shi Chen was taken aback to see her losing her normal self while Guo Yuxia seemed she was panicking from her eyes…
Wang Susu said slowly. “Big Brother, do you know that my entire family is Protégé Master’s sworn enemies and we can’t wait to kill him until we are satisfied. The reason why I joined the Divine Dragon Clan, is to avenge my entire clan on the Immortal Divine Dragon! And my surname is not Wang, and not even name Susu. I am Gu Yi Hong and the descendant of the Heartless Sword Gu Xiaotian who was wounded by the sword of the Divine Dragon!”
Even before she had finished, she had already crumbled onto the blood stained ground and in that instant she finally removed the burden that she had carried, that thousand ton rock that weighed upon her conscious was finally removed. Her heart could not bear the burden nor endured it, finally she broke down and cried uncontrollably!
But this big rock that weighed a thousand ton began to weigh upon Shi Chen and Guo Yuxia’s heart!
Shi Chen could not believe that this weak and most demure “Fourth Sister” would bear such a heavy burden. She bore the heavy burden of hiding her identity as a “Spy”. He could not believe that the one that treated Protégé Master the best, and closest to him and the “Fourth Sister” that Protégé Master most doted on, was actually the daughter of his swore enemy!
Although Guo Yuxia had guessed she was hiding her background but never would she expected, that this vulnerable girl would have the courage to reveal her secret out!
Guo Yuxia had wanted to use this secret to blackmail her. But now the only hold she had on her had become useless. She thought. “If she could say out her own very secret, she could well possible say out my secret?”
Only Long Fei looked very calm. It was an unexpected reaction coming from him as he walked slowly towards Wang Susu…Gu Yihong’s side. He sighed and gently pats her on her head, not once aroused to anger or incitement. He only did a deep sigh and said. “Fourth Sister…”
But this deep sigh only made Gu Yihong felt even more painful in her heart.
For she had painfully felt Long Fei gentleness and it was a great shame upon her. And his big rough hand that gave her a feeling of love.
She painfully cried. “Ever since forty years ago when my grandfather returned wounded, after no medicine could treat his injuries and he passed away. My pitiful father could not endure this shock and slowly become crazed. He would sit down under the chrysanthemum flowers behind our courtyard, did nothing, say nothing except repeating what my grandfather had say before he died. “If only my, that stroke ‘Heaven Startling Hues’, if it had been deeper by a little…” I been hearing the same words until my father passed away. Every time I heard it, my heart will have an unspeakable pain!” Her voice and body was shaking as she said.
Long Fei only lowered his head and listened.
Guo Yuxia wanted to say something but was stopped by Long Fei. It was as though he wanted her to pour out all her pain and worries.
“These unforgettable vendetta have been with us for forty years and cause everyone in my family to engrave with “Vengeance”. We can only bear with it the whole time as we know deeply that ‘Immortal Divine Dragon’ martial art skills, are already unparalleled in the world!”
She added. “Time passed but till we cannot think of a fail-safe revenge plot. Therefore, our hatred grew deeper as time passed. It was so painful to endure that one year seem like three years. My father and mother lived like that painfully and wasted their lives and they had never in their entire lives, laughed heartily for even once!”
Tears flowed from her eyes as she added. “A person that never laugh in his entire life, a person that never experience benevolent love, and only hatred. What a frightening and painful thing to have!”
The Long Fei sighed deeply in concern.
She cried. “When father and mother died, that time I was still very young. The only one dependent I have is my big brother. But half a year later, my brother suddenly went away. Everyday I will sit by the chrysanthemum flowers which my father once did and wait for my brother to return. That time I had already felt the sadness and pain of my deceased father. Therefore, although I never learn how to love but I learn how to hate…”
Long Fei was shaking in his head. A child that was living in a family that only knew hatred, her life itself was a sad thing. Long Fei sighed again!
Gu Yihong exclaimed, “One year later, brother returned. He brought back a lot of friends. Although his friends were all young, but their looks and attire were all so differ. From their speech and tone, they are all not from one place. But they all know martial art skills, although there were differences in their strengths but all were more or less the same. Brother did not introduce them to me but instead brought them to a secret chamber. And for three continuous days, they did not appear. During that three days, they talked over many things and also drunk many wine…”
Her cries seemingly weakened and her voice slowly becoming normal but her eyes were still blur as she recalled back the painful memories of the past! “Three days later, I really could not endure anymore and run to the door to eavesdrop. But when I just run to the door to listen, someone in the room had heard me and the door was opened all of a sudden. A tall and thin man stood by the door. His face was green and pale. I was taken aback and was about to turn and run. Just when my body started to move, he caught me much like lightning.”
Long Fei muttered. “Can he be the only descendant of Kunlun Clan, ‘Cloud Breaker Hand’, one of the new batch of young swordsmen?”
Gu Yihong replied, “That time I only feel that his hands were like iron. If my brother did not stop him, my shoulder would have been broken. Later I come to know that he is the renowned ‘Cloud Breaker Hand’. His father too was defeated by the sword of ‘Divine Dragon’, was left broken for life. Not only him but in that room, was other people, they were all the descendants of the enemies of ‘Immortal Divine Dragon’! Although they were scattered all over, and did not know one another but my brother had managed to contact them all!”
Long Fei thought. “From the looks of it, her brother is a resourceful person. But why there isn’t any news of him in Pugilistic Fraternity?”
Gu Yihong said, “They discussed for three days and decided a few most important matters. First matter is to do their best to send me to the… Divine Dragon Clan to monitor ‘Immortal Divine Dragon’ movements, secretly trained in his martial art skills and once an opportunity arose…”
Guo Yuxia suddenly said as she stared. “Once an opportunity arose and assassinate Protégé Master, right?”
Shi Chen felt heaviness crowded his head as he looked at Gu Yihong and saw that she nodded her head and added. “That is right!”
Guo Yuxia said sternly. “The sin of betrayal to one’s Protégé Master, cannot be forgiven. Why should we allow these type of people to live in the world for?” She leapt forward, and raised her hand! She had long labored the thought of silencing her, therefore this strike was not only as swift as the wind but also long been prepared!
But unexpectedly before she could hit her, Long Fei suddenly shouted. “Stop!”
Guo Yuxia was surprised and moved half a step back and angrily asked. “Big Brother, what is the meaning of this…”
Gu Yihong did not even lift her head and added. “Sister in law, today I have revealed all my secrets out and I am preparing to die. Sister in law you shouldn’t have been so impatient!” Although she was still feeling sad but her voice was steadily becoming calmer.
“Since I am unable to be filial to my parents, nor can I uphold loyalty to my Benevolent Master’s clan. Under this circumstance, except for death, I have no other choices. All these years, Protégé Master, really treat me very well but the more he treated me well, the more painful I feel in my heart. For more than once, I feel like telling him everything from head to tail but…”
She sighed and added. “But I can never forget the look of my father before he died!”
Guo Yuxia said sternly. “All these years, I don’t believe you did not do anything that betray our Clan?” Every word of her speech seemed to push one to a corner. If words could kill, then Gu Yihong would have died this very instant.
But Gu Yihong did not lift her head as she continued. “All these years, I have indeed did many things that are against the interest of the Clan. More than once, I revealed what I learnt from Protégé Master, the essences of his martial art skills, to my brother or to another person that he sent!”
Guo Yuxia coldly hummed and said. “Anything more?”
Gu Yihong said. “This Mount Hua meet is actually a ploy from my brother and I have already known as well.”
Guo Yuxia said. “But you did not even reveal a single word!”
Gu Yihong answered. “I did not reveal a single word, because “Indebtedness” and “Hatred” are both weighed equally in my heart. Indebtedness is engraved deeply but so is Hatred!” She lifted her head and asked. “Big Brother, if you are me, what will you do?”
Long Fei was silent and he was expressionless.
She pointed at the corpse and said. “This man, was the descendant of Peng Tianlie from the ‘Five Tigers Crushing Through Blade’. He, my brother and that Kunlun ‘Cloud Breaker Hand’ and Diancang Clan, eldest disciple, ‘Returning Dance of the Gentle Wind Swordsman’ Liu Po Yang’s descendant, for the sake of today Mount Hua meet, have expended years of thoughts to bring this to fruition!”
Guo Yuxia coldly laughed awhile before saying. “So, now you have fulfilled your wishes now. Our Protégé Master, he really…” She said more and more aloud and at this point, she covered her face with her hand and cried aloud.
Gu Yihong lowered her head and two crystal tears flowed once again.
She cried in sadness. “Alas Heaven, why did you ask me to be borne as a descendant of Heartless Sword and yet at the same time asked to experience the kindness of the Immortal Divine Dragon …Alas Heaven, do you or do you not know, every time I betrayed my Protégé Master, how heart wrenching I felt. But…If I don’t do it, how could I face my father who had passed away…”
Shi Chen faced the wall and tears flowed as well.
Guo Yuxia wiped her tears from her face and said. “Since you know that you cannot be filial to your parents and unable to be loyal to your teacher’s clan, therefore why do you want to remain in this world for? If I were you, I will never remain for even a second in this world!”
Gu Yihong said.“Will… never…remain….for… even….a… second… in… this… world…” She once again lifted her head and looked at the night sky from the door seemingly as if it was her last!
Suddenly she reached lightning fast into her dress and drawn out the “Golden Dragon Dagger”, as she prepared to thrust it into her chest. “My Protégé Master, Big Brother, I am so sorry to you…” Even before she muttered, “All”, she had thrust the dagger into herself.
Long Fei suddenly yelled and his left hand gripped her right wrist and there was a “Dang” sound as the dagger dropped to the ground!
Guo Yuxia asked fiercely. “What motivations have you got? Are you trying to cover this traitor?”
One must know that in the Pugilistic Fraternity, one of the taboos was the act of betrayal to one own Benevolent Master. It was a terrible sin and everyone in the Pugilistic Fraternity would not hesitate to kill anyone that committed such an act, even if it was their own relatives or best friends, no one would dare to speak for such a person.
At this moment, Long Fei was treating Gu Yihong as such. Naturally Guo Yuxia was filled with anger.
By a masterstroke, she had placed her hidden intentions to that of justice. She angrily said. “Just now when I tried to cleanse this evil on behalf of Benevolent Master but was stopped by you. Is it because between you and she, there is a…” She wanted to say “affair” but just when she about to say it, she felt a sense of emptiness and was unable to say it out!
Long Fei still ever so calm and holding Gu Yihong’s wrists, and did not even look at Guo Yuxia, said. “Fourth Sister, don’t rush into matters first. Listen to me…”
Guo Yuxia interrupted. “Listen to what? There is nothing to say…” She labored an evil intention and could not wait for this only person who knew her secret, to die as fast as possible.
But before she could finish, Long Fei turned around and shouted. “Shut up!”
This shout was so loud that the surroundings, this bamboo hut began to shook and the sound echo back from the surroundings non-stop.
Guo Yuxia was stunned for awhile and she turned ashen. Ever since Long Fei and her were married, he was always giving way to her, and never once lost control or shouted at her. She began to question herself in her thoughts. “Why did he treat me like this, don’t tell me he had already know my secret?”
Gu Yihong white teeth began to bite her colorless lips and her tears continued non-stop. “Big Brother!” She took in a deep breath and said. “Sister in law is right. I should have die. Every time I accompany Protégé Master to practice calligraphy, he would impart me some of the theories of martial arts and how to be a good person. It is all the more I feel I deserve to die, because…he treated me so well and I have always lie to him…”
Long Fei sighed deeply and added. “You did not lie to him!”
Guo Yuxia, Shi Chen and Gu Yihong was all taken aback as Long Fei sighed and explained. “On the third day when you joined the clan, Protégé Master had already known your background!”
Gu Yihong cried out in surprise while Guo Yuxia and Shi Chen turned ashen!
Long Fei looked calm as he looked longingly back to the past as if he was chasing the noble side of his Protégé Master’s spirit. “You must know that Protégé Master has always been strict in selecting disciples. Your Sister in law and I are orphans. I am adopted to be Protégé Master’s godson. Three Brother is the grandson of Protégé Master’s friend and he and Fifth Brother family have deep ties.”
He asked. “Why did he accept you, who seemingly comes from nowhere, it was because Protégé Master knew your background from the day Sima of the Red Flag Escort brought you to him…”
Gu Yihong interrupted. “Old escort chief Sima did not know of this matter. This is a ploy set by my brother and his friend. To let Old escort chief Sima thought that I am a fatherless, motherless orphan. Under a hopeless situation I was unconscious in front of the door of old escort chief Sima. Therefore he would send me to Zhijiao Manor!”
Long Fei stern expression began to smile. “There is no secret that can be buried for long in the world. And there is no person that can fool another person and that person is little stupid to think like that.”
Guo Yuxia was shook from the confines of her mind. She had already reached her hand into her dress and secretly prepared three steel needles and aimed at Gu Yihong back. But when she heard those words, her hand shook as well and the needles dropped back inside her dress.
Long Fei added. “Don’t think that you have fooled old escort chief Sima. Actually he brought you to Zhijiao Manor was because he had already see the loops in your story. You just think about it, a fatherless and motherless orphan girl that suddenly shown interest in martial arts and know about Zhijiao Manor? Since you know about Zhijiao Manor but why choose Zhijiao Manor as a place to learn martial art skills? Under those circumstances, no one really have a choice. But speaking of a place to learn martial art skills, is not learning under the renowned Master Sima the same!”
Gu Yihong was stunned and unwittingly melancholy sighed.
Long Fei added. “Since ancient past, there were many intelligent people, who were prone to do stupid things. Your brother may think that he is superb brilliant but he would never think of such a big loophole!”
Gu Yihong lowered her head even more!
Guo Yuxia felt a chill in her heart as she thought. “He said all these, could it be it he trying to convey another message and purposely tell it for me to listen?”
Therefore she felt even more frustrated inside her!
Long Fei sighed. “Old escort chief Sima after he brought you to us, went on to discuss with Protégé Master for quite awhile. Protégé Master concluded that you are the daughter of his enemy. Old escort chief was someone who comes to the point and his heart was like iron stone, immediately said in a low voices. “Investigate the background, complete the extermination!”
Gu Yihong shuddered at the words!
Long Fei said. “But at that time Protégé Master only smiled and said. I am from the Martial Fraternity and could not avoid bloodshed. In my entire life, I have killed and wounded many and the enemies I have made are uncountable. But at that time although I am forced by circumstances to kill but every time I think back, I will feel very regretful!” He unwittingly copied his Protégé Master’s mannerism and set Gu Yihong to think of her noble Protégé Master, and her tears started flowing again.
Long Fei said. “At that time old escort chief Sima interrupted him and said. If you don’t kill others, others will kill you. If you kill without guilt, you will not feel regretful afterwards! At that time I was still young and when I listened to his explanations. I feel it make sense.But Protégé Master shook his head and sighed. This may be the case but Heaven decides human lives and if we can avoid killing, it is the best. I know that I have wounded many and if next time I will to be wounded by the descendant of my enemies, I will have neither regrets nor complaints. This cycle of avenge and revenge is normal!Protégé Master smiled after saying this and added. Although I do not wish that in the future I will die prematurely, but I am not willing to go into the stage of complete extermination and pulled out all roots. I hope that the vendetta can be mediated. This young girl no matter whose descendant is she, is after all a determined child. Moreover her physique is good. She made so much efforts just to try to be under my clan, how can I disappoint her? Even if she have one day learnt all my martial art skills and turned around to kill me, I will not regret it. If I can use benevolent to dissolve her hatred, and moved her, dissolved this vendetta, will not be the best thing?”
Gu Yihong after listening up to this point wailed and cried.
Long Fei sighed and said. “At that time, I was besides Protégé Master, and these words I have heard it clearly and I remembered it deeply in my heart, never will I forget. Although I don’t know if I can ever learnt one tenth of Protégé Master’s martial art skills but if I can learn his big hearted characteristics, I will be satisfied!”
The crying Gu Yihong moved her lips as she wanted to say, “You have already learnt it!”
Shi Chen looked respectfully at his Protégé Brother.
Long Fei sighed and said. “Therefore that very night, when Protégé Master accepted you in the Clan, and that very night, Protégé Master, he also…” He did not look at Guo Yuxia! And continued. “Announced the wedding of your Sister in law and I.”
“Do you still remember that the following morning, on the second day, he rode a horse out and only come back on the third day of the night. When he returned, he told me that you are the descendant of Old Master “Heartless Sword” Gu Xiaotian. And sternly guarded this secret. And told me to treat you nicely from now on. Your Sister in law, Third Brother and I when we first become disciples, we have to undergo much hardship. Even your Fifth Brother with his family connections, is not spared the hardship. Only you, are spared from all this.”
Gu Yihong cries became even sadder. In her heart, she really had so much to say but she just could not know how to say it out.
At the same time, Guo Yuxia was feeling a sense of panic. The more she thought, the more panic she felt. It was because in her heart, she had a secret, a guilt – one that was disloyal to her husband. Although she might not feel painful but more or less she would feel panic!
Shi Chen was feeling the same as well. At least he still had some conscious. He knew the despicable and shame of being with a married whore, moreover it was with his friend and brother’s wife. Although his remaining conscious had been blinded by lust…
This was such a sad thing considering that such a good young man was really seduced by lust. At least he can still be forgiven, for he had never taken the initiative!
Long Fei said. “One day, when the night is late, I saw you looking suspiciously around for awhile and secretly went to the back yard outside the manor. I know that my swiftness movement skill is not good therefore I did not follow but watched from a distance. I saw a man in the darkness conversing with you for quite some time. That man even reached his hands from time to time to wipe away your tears. Come to think of that, that man must be your brother?”
Gu Yihong gently nodded her head.
Long Fei sighed. “All these things, not only have I know but I have also known it for a long time but…only one thing, I found it hard to understand! I wonder if you can…”
Suddenly he stopped talking of a sudden.
Gu Yihong tried to stop crying. “No matter what thing, as long as I know.”
Long Fei sighed. “Fourth Sister, now you are trapped between filial and loyalty. You can’t cast away your vendetta and neither can you forget Protégé Master’s benevolent. I’m not forcing you to say anything.” He closed his eyes and added. “All this are within the predictions of Protégé Master. That time Protégé Master had already told me, no matter what happens, I mustn’t force you. That is because he already know you are innocent and kind within.”
“No matter what thing, I will be willing to say it out!” She said resolutely as she rose up; even her vulnerable, petite face became resolute. “How can it be considered that Big Brother is forcing me!”
Long Fei sighed. “You should not really, unless you…”
Gu Yihong said. “I have never forgot my kin vendetta. But…Protégé Master…he…is already …” Her voice became weak.
Long Fei said. “Protégé Master will definitely not die!” At this moment, he was full of confidence.
Gu Yihong said. “But no matter, it is time for me to repay my Benevolent Master!”
Long Fei asked. “But if it is to harm your brother…”
Gu Yihong said. “I will do my best to dissolve it. Didn’t Protégé Master say it too, isn’t it best to dissolve the vendetta?”
Long Fei sighed. “If it cannot be dissolved. Then what should be done?”
Gu Yihong said. “If it cannot be dissolved, I will die in front of brother and use my blood to cleanse the vendetta between our two families.” She said with much conviction that her eyes shone.
Long Fei sighed deeply. “If it still cannot be dissolved. What will you do?”
Gu Yihong said. “No matter what happen, I strive to do my best and doesn’t matter if it is within my means to accomplish…”
She suddenly sighed awhile. “I can only pray for the best providence of Heaven. Big Brother…if you were me, what will you do?”
She looked at Long Fei and after awhile…
Long Fei suddenly laughed hilariously. “Fine, fine. The Immortal Divine Dragon no longer accepted you as disciple. I, Long Fei will also won’t recognize you as Protégé Sister. Loyalty and Filial are both so hard to be fulfilled, Benevolence and Hatred are so hard to be separated. If I cannot give up loyalty for filial and neither can I give up filial to be loyal. If I were you, I will simple end my life!”
He ceased his laughter, looked at Gu Yihong and said word by word. “If it is me, that will what I do!”
The two of them locked eyes with one another, in their hearts were the feelings of appreciation!
In Guo Yuxia eyes, she was feeling scared. “The two of them seems to be getting along well. If one day she reveals my secret, what shall I do!”
In her heart, she really felt uneasy. She thought of silencing her but at the same time thought of leaving. But after awhile, she thought it was better to observe and changed according to the circumstances. She glanced at Shi Chen who looked greatly troubled.
Suddenly from the roof, there was a clear laughter. “What a hero, what a heroine!”
Everyone was taken by surprised!
Long Fei said aloud. “Who is that?”
All turned and saw a man in dark gray sliding from roof, as he somersaulted in mid-air and gently floated inside the door. He seemed like he had been on top of the roof for a long time. But all the top exponents of Pugilist that were inside, none had detected his presence! From his dexterous display of his agility that was so light and slow, inside the hearts of everyone, they felt all the more surprised.
Who is this man? Long Fei, Shi Chen, Gu Yihong and Guo Yuxia glanced in that direction with eight beaming eyes!