Long Fei and the rest viewed the intruder as he came forth. He wore a broad smile and he looked like a warm sort of person. Although he was rude by coming in just like that but for some strange reason, none in the hut developed feeling of animosity towards him especially Long Fei.
At first look, he viewed the intruder in a positive light. Because he knew that a person that carried an air of happiness around him, his heart would never be tainted by malice.
The smiling young man rolled his eyes and actually walked to the front of Long Fei and greeted him. “Big Brother, how are you?” His tone of mannerism sounded like he had already known Long Fei!
Guo Yuxia, Shi Chen was surprised and looked at Long Fei. Gu Yihong lifted her eyes and looked up and she turned ashen immediately!
Although Long Fei was surprised as well, but he answered. “Still good! Still good…” As he was a genuine person himself, if others were respectfully, how could be bring himself to brought forth a sour face!
The cheerful young man smiled again. “Big Brother, I know that you do not recognize me…”
Long Fei looked and looked, said. “Really…do not recognize!”
The young man laughed and laughed, said. “But I do know Big Brother. And I also know…” As he took a sharp glance at Gu Yihong. “This little girl!”
Gu Yihong turned ashen and her body began to move backwards unwittingly. “You…You…”
Shi Chen shouted. “Who are you?”
Because of the change in Gu Yihong expressions, everyone reaction started to change but this young man countenance did not changed.
“Who am I?” He laughed cheerfully. “This question is so hard to answer! Just like what this sister Yihong had said earlier, her brother have gathered a group of Old Master Long’s enemies and descendants. I am one of them, I too have been involved in their plans for revenge.”
Shi Chen mustered a breath of vital energy, as he stepped forward. “Are you from Diancang Clan?” As he raised both his hands and preparing to attack!
The cheerful young man laughed and said. “You ask who I am, naturally I will reply you. But if you keep interrupting, I will not say!”
Shi Chen looked coldly and suspiciously at him.
But the strange young man maintained his cheerful look at Shi Chen!
Long Fei sighed. “Friend, if you are enemy instead of ally. Can you please enlightenment the reason why you are here.”
“Enemy instead of ally!” The cheerful young man laughed. “If I am an enemy, how will I address you as Big Brother. If I am an enemy, how will I prepared for Big Brother torches, lowered a long rope.”
Suddenly he grew solemn and said. “Although I have been involved in their evil plans but I have never muttered anything and neither did I forward any ideas.” Then he became his normal self after saying till this point and laughed. “Therefore all of them look upon me as useless, muddle headed and a stupid fool!”
Long Fei questioned. “Torches, long rope, all are from you…” He took a glance at Gu Yihong who nodded her head.
The cheerful young man laughed again. “But in my view, they are actually the fools. They didn’t use their brains to consider that the renowned swordsman Ninth Wing Flying Eagle, Di Mengping that is so famous throughout the world, how will he give birth to a muddle-headed and foolish son!”
Long Fei was taken aback and clenched his hands together. “Alas, it is Young Master Di. Benevolent Master has often mentioned to me that among all his opponents, the one who has the highest martial art skills, the most righteousness and the most heroics, from the frontier is the most foremost swordsman of this generation, Ninth Wing Flying Eagle Old Master Di Mengping!”
The young man ceased his cheerful countenance as he said. “My deceased father…”
Long Fei was surprised. “Old Master Di has passed away! Why is there no news in the Pugilistic Fraternity?”
The young man regained his cheerful mannerism but it looked forcefully. “The road to Mount Tian is far, and he had retired for ten years…alas, even if the people in the Pugilistic Fraternity with the most updated affairs will not take notice of some one who had sealed his sword for ten years.”
Long Fei unwittingly sighed. Although he did not speak it loud but his heart knew that after Ninth Wing Flying Eagle, Di Mengping was defeated by Protégé Master’s sword, his fame was not as before and in fact faded!
But the young man regained his heroism mannerism and said. “Father when he was alive, often referred to the heroism of the Immortal Divine Dragon. Although, he was defeated by the sword the Divine Dragon, he had never felt anguish.”
Long Fei sighed. “Benevolent Master has often said the winner of that fight should be Old Master Di because he was first wounded by Old Master Di’s sword!”
The young man said. “Wrong, Father had already told me the situation at that time. Old Master Long braved the heavy snowstorm alone just to go up Mount Tian. And he waited at the peak of Mount Tian for one day and a night. He is originally from Jiangnan, how could he be used to the freezing temperature of Mt. Mount Tian? His hands were already covered with frostbites. Under that situation, Father managed to win by half an opportunity. When Father’s sword point reached Old Master Long body, Old master Long’s long sword had also reached his chest…Alas! If not for the fact that Old Master Long was merciful…Alas!”
He let go of a deep sigh, and was silence.
Gu Yihong suddenly melancholy sighed and was filled with respect.
Long Fei extended his hands his headdress and said aloud. “A win is a win, a defeat is a defeat. Even if we do not discussed about Old Master Di’s swordsmanship and martial art skills, just based on the heroic spirit displayed, is already considered a Hero of our age. I, Long Fei is greatly impressed!”
Gu Yihong lowered her head, as she knew that her own grandfather heart was a little too petty. But little did she know that in Pugilistic Fraternity, winning and defeat are viewed very important. The better the exponent, the more they would want to determine to the utmost who is the victor and loser. Therefore a man like Ninth Wing Flying Eagle would be uniquely special and deemed worthy of respect!
The young man said. “Before Father passed away, he repeatedly told me, “There should be only gratuitous and not anguish towards Old Master Long. In future, you can only repaid his kindness.” These words, at all times, I have never forgot. After Father died, I journey down Mount Tian, traveled into the Passes and reached the Central Plains. At that time, I was still young and enjoyed drinking wine…” He smiled as he said that. “Until now, I still love wine more than my life!”
Long Fei smiled too.
“One day I was drinking wine in a very small town, inside a wine tavern. That time I was so drunk that I was muttering nonsense…” The young man smiled again. “There after did I know that at that time I was drunk and boasting of the superiority of my swordplay, even…even the Immortal Divine Dragon was not my match. I even said how superior is Mount Tian swordplay and belittle Central Plains swordplay!”
Long Fei smiled knowingly. He had begun to like this frank young man.
“The next morning when I woke up,” He added. “I discovered that a handsome young man was looking after me. That was the Heartless Sword Old Master Gu’s descendant and also the brother of this Sister Gu, Gu Hong. He and I toured together for three days, and after many more Fragrant Bamboo Leaf (Wine that is brewed from Yellow Wine and bamboo leaves), he began to discuss his ploy with me. That is, if we can gathered all the descendants of the enemies of Immortal Divine Dragon, to extract from the invincible number one warrior the blood debt of our forefathers!”
“At that time, I was indeed slightly shocked in my heart. Because I heard that he had already gathered all the renowned descendants of the famous heroes that was scattered in four directions. No matter how highly skilled was the Immortal Divine Dragon, the gathered strength of all the descendants of the famous heroes cannot be belittle! At that time, the words that my Father told me before he passed on, rung in my ears. “…There should be only gratuitous…” Therefore, I immediately agreed. The things that happened afterwards, Sister Gu had already told you. What Big Brother does not know is how these people managed their roles for the “Phoenix and Divine Dragon” meet in Mount Hua. And how they set their stratagems?”
Long Fei sighed. “Indeed, this matter confounds me. But before you tell me all these, do you mind first telling me your name!”
“Di Yang!” The young man gestured his hands to form a soaring gesture. “Fei Yang, the Yang (Soaring). This name is not well known in Pugilistic Fraternity but it was because I was acting dumb for these couple of years.” And he heartily laughed for several times.
Long Fei could not help but joined him in the laugher; even Gu Yihong eyes appeared to smile as well. But Shi Chen expression remained as still water!
Guo Yuxia rolled her eyes and looked at him for awhile before smiling. “Di Yang, is a good name!”
“Sister in law, thank you!” Di Yang said. He seemed to be able to bring out the sunshine and warm no matter how sad, solemn a situation was and even in those dark, chilling places! He could make the best out of everything.
Somehow when Shi Chen looked at him, he felt angry. And turned his face away, no longer looking at him.
One must know Shi Chen character was originally a righteous person. Only “lust” figured prominently on his head and he lost his tolerance. Just now when he saw Gu Yihong reaction, he had already started to feel vexed. And now when Guo Yuxia mannerism was like that, he was overcome with jealousy in his heart yet he was unable to vent it out!
Di Yang said. “Although I may have the heart to help Old Master Long but because I have an agreement with Gu Hong and the rest, it not convenient for me to aid directly. Therefore I can only aid behind the scenes.”
Long Fei nodded his head. “Just now the torches and the long rope, I have already given my silent thanks. I was wondering who was the noble man that secretly aided us. So it was from worthy brother. Now that I have witnessed the talent of worthy brother, even if you did not forsake the agreement and not aid us anymore, I will still be very happy!”
Di Yang sighed deeply. “Ever since I have entered the Central Plains and traveled across the Pugilistic Fraternity, I have already heard of the many rumors of the Martial Fraternity on how upright and righteousness the eldest disciple of the Divine Dragon Clan, ‘Iron Hero’ Long Fei is. Now that I have met Big Brother, I know your fame is indeed true!”
Long Fei smiled. “Worthy Brother, heap too much praises.”
Di Yang turned ashen but said calmly. “If I did not witness the actions of Big Brother secretly, I will never appear in front of Big Brother.”
He turned his glance at the corpse and sighed. “Although there is no long standing friendship between the two of us, but at least we know one another. Now that he had died and Big Brother still treated him with much respect and none insulting whatever so. So I thought in my heart, since Big Brother can treat the dead with so much respect, what about those alive? If I can have such righteous hero as my friend, I will not waste my trip to the Central Plains therefore I could not help but jumped down…”
Long Fei smiled and said, “I see that Brother Di you are already at the roof top. The funny thing is although we have many people here, none of us knew about it.”
Guo Yuxia said, “I have long heard of Mount Tian Triple Divine Sword and Seven Forms Swiftness Skill are two of Pugilist foremost skills. After witnessing your swiftness skill, I know that the sayings of the Pugilistic Fraternity are not false!” She was smiling now. It was although she had forgotten her worries!
Di Yang heartily laughed. “Triple Swordplay, Seven Forms Swiftness skill, I have only learnt some portions. But running in the winter snowstorm is good training for agility, my legs become stronger than others, how can I deserve the praise of Sister in law!”
Long Fei sighed. “Everyone knows Mount Tian swiftness movement skills are the acme of the Pugilistic Fraternity. Imagine running in the treacherous paths of the high mountains in winter, that level of difficulty in training your movement skills, how will the swiftness movement skill that is developed under that condition not be stronger than others by a few notches. All the famous skills from the various Clans in Pugilistic Fraternity must have good reasons for its own uniqueness and it is not attained through luck!”
Di Yang exclaimed. “How true! Take for example Old Master Long’s Divine Dragon Swordplay, didn’t he undergo great tribulations and thousands of dangers before he can create it…”
Long Fei closed his eyes and sighed deeply. “Unfortunately, among all the disciples here, none of us can master his techniques…Alas. Although Fifth Brother is born highly talented and is willing to brave hardships, but he follows Protégé Master for a short while only and seems unlikely he has managed to learn all the intrinsic formulas from Protégé Master. And although I been the longest with Protégé Master, but unfortunately I am so stupid!”
Di Yang thought it over and said. “Big Brother, the Fifth Brother you mention, is he the descendant of the Nangong Aristocracy Family whose wealth equaled a kingdom?”
Long Fei nodded. “Indeed!”
Di Yang said, “I too had heard others say that the Lord of the wealthy Nangong family had a only son who had a love for martial art skills and been under the tutelage of a great many Martial Teachers. He wasted plenty of riches just to seek a worthy Martial Teacher. A pity that none of them were the truly skilled exponents that he had sought. It was only just recently that he had joined the Divine Dragon Clan. At first I thought that it was just the son of a wealthy family that was pursuing martial art skills as a pastime therefore he joined the Divine Dragon Clan, how could he undergo the hardship to train? But from the accounts of Big Brother, it is indeed very strange!”
Long Fei said. “The Nangong Aristocracy Family and Benevolent Master have deep ties that is hard to explain in a few words.”
Long Fei raised his thumb and said aloud. “But my this Fifth Brother, no ordinary disciple can compare to him. Not that I am boasting for him but he was not only highly talented, he has a natural disposition towards others as well.
He was piety to his family, loyal to our Protégé Master, righteous to all his friends, cool towards lust and calm in the face of dangers.
Although he is born in a wealthy family and knows how to blow and sing with a flute, plays the zither and chess, read and paint, knowledgeable in a hundred crafts but he had shown none of the obnoxious air.
Not only that, until today, there is not a day that he has neglected his training with martial arts. Ever since he has joined the Clan, he has been obedience, work hard with self-encouragement.
When he first joined the Clan, he would chop the woods, and cart the bucket of water, swept the courtyards. Those tasks that he did not have to do, he is eager to do as well.
As for training in martial arts, he is a notch above the rest. When everyone is still sleeping, he will wake up early and practice swordplay. When everyone is asleep, he will still be practicing internal breathing exercises. Even when I first joined the Clan to train in martial arts, I am not as hardworking as him.
Moreover his talent is twice as high as I. I dare to wager, the one that will spread the fame of Divine Dragon Clan far and wide, will surely be Fifth Brother. It will not be long before he will make a impact upon the Pugilistic Fraternity.”
Although Long Fei was not good with words but he was saying it proudly from the bottom of his heart, therefore although it was such a long speech, he said it out with one breath.
Shi Chen remained unmoving while Guo Yuxia listened with a smile.
Gu Yihong was looking at the ceiling, was she listening or she in her own thoughts?
Di Yang was listening intensely till his warm blood began to stir within him. When Long Fei had finished, he was stunned and muttering. He finally sighed deeply and said. “It will not be wrong since it came from Big Brother!”
Long Fei said. “Naturally it won’t be wrong. Or else Protégé Master will not think so highly of him.”
Di Yang furrowed and asked. “Where is this Nangong big brother now?”
Although he was a courtesy to everyone he come near but in actuality, he was a haughty man. Therefore after hearing how Long Fei had praised Nangong Ping, he remained unconvinced within his heart.
Long Fei sighed. “That Nangong Fifth Brother of mine suppose to be here too but…”
Long Fei explained all the reasons from the beginning to the end.
Di Yang was stunned momentarily after hearing. Suddenly he turned his body and began to walk in strides towards the entrance of the door. “Good bye everyone, I make a move first!”
Long Fei asked in puzzlement. “Brother Di, where are you going?”
Di Yang turned his head and said. “I have heard Big Brother speaking of the heroic mannerism of brother Nangong that if I do not rush down the mountain to meet him, how can I pacify my heart. I afraid I am unable to sleep at all even if I do so.”
Long Fei laughed. “Since ancient times, there always been a mutually attraction, moreover both of you are young heroes that will surely meet. But even if you to meet Fifth Brother, the days are long, there is no need for you to rush! Moreover…”
Di Yang said. “Although the days are long but I can’t wait!”
Long Fei said. “Although you cannot wait but the question I asked, if you do not explain, how will I get to the bottom of this. Benevolent Master is missing, if you do not say, Big Brother I, cannot help but worry.”
Di Yang was stunned momentarily. And lost his smiling countenance and said. “I am only thinking of meeting that Nangong big brother and forget about this whole matter.”
Long Fei thought to himself. “It seems that this person is a warm hearted man that value friends dearly. If Fifth Brother befriends him, in future, he will have a someone to look after him.”
Di Yang turned around and muttered something, seemingly considering how he will begin relating Long Fei’s concern.
Long Fei said. “This matter should be long, Brother Di, you don’t have to rush, just slowly…”
Before he could finished, Di Yang lifted his head and looked at the five shining peals on top of the ceiling and said. “Big Brother, from your travels in the Pugilistic Fraternity, do you know the origins of that five shining pearls?”
Long Fei was stunned and said, “I do not know…”
Di Yang said. “Years ago after the Huangshan gathering, Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai became renowned throughout the realm. At that time she had not come to Mount Hua but was staying at the foot of Huangshan in her Shi Zhu Manor.”
Long Fei said. “This I am aware too!”
Di Yang said. “Then, is Big Brother aware that ten years ago in the Pugilistic Fraternity, there was a distinguished gathering hosted by Shi Zhu Manor?”
Long Fei asked. “Do you mean the gathering of the Hundred Birds Flocking to the Phoenix* that was often mentioned in Pugilist?”
* Known as the Phoenix Banquet. The Phoenix is widely regarded as head of all birds.
“Indeed!” He smiled and said. “At that time, I was still young and was beyond the frontiers. Although I have never saw this distinguished banquet with my own eyes but when I heard others mentioning about the banquet, perfumed dresses flowing long hair, unrivalled grandness.
As a gesture of respect for “Red Phoenix”, none whatever so dared to bring a weapon into the manor but left it behind outside the door of the Manor, in a room filled with five hundred over precious swords, excluding other types of weapons that was too many to count.
It was said that the beautiful wine that was drunk, if it was to pour over to Lake Taihu (Lake Taihu, located at the junction of Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, the Yangtze River Delta in the south, is the largest lake in China’s eastern coastal region, is the third largest freshwater lake in China), the waters of Lake Taihu will rise by one feet!…”
Long Fei smiled, “I was there at that time but that Hundred Birds Flocking to the Phoenix distinguished gathering, although it may not occurred ever again but it was not without precedence.”
Di Yang smiled. “This naturally, I knows. Thirty years ago, people in the Pugilistic Fraternity hosts a grand congratulation ceremony at the top of Xian Xia Ling (Ancient hill in Zhejiang) in honor of Old Master Long, which glorious splendid equaled the gathering.”
On Long Fei’s face floated the expression of admiration as he unwittingly smiled. “That gathering had no courtyards nor halls. Everyone in the Pugilistic Fraternity brought their own wine and meat and carried their swords up the hill…”
Di Yang looked up and laughed. “Everyone brought their own wine and meat, what cavalier spirit, what an extraordinary gathering. Since ancient times after thousands and hundreds of years, I afraid there will not be a second such time anymore. The person that can think of this idea, must be a chivalrous and impressive hero character. What a pity, that I was born later and unable to participate in such a gathering.”
Long Fei said. “It was hosted by thirteen of the most famous old heroes from the Seven Southern and Six Northern Regions throughout the thirteen provinces. But the main host was actually one that was so famously renowned throughout the realm. With a pair of iron fists, with a iron lance and his uncanny predictions that was always accurate with his iron mouth, whose was so famously well known throughout the two grand rivers, to the North and South of Changjiang, the Heavenly Crow Priest!”
Di Yang cried out in surprise. “The Heavenly Crow Priest! Indeed he was a chivalrous and impressive hero character!”
Long Fei continued. “That grand congratulation ceremony started on Mid-Autumn Festival and lasted all the way to the wee morning. Thousands and hundreds of pugilists drawn their swords high above and shouted loudly. “Immortal Divine Dragon, Divine Dragon that is Immortal.” The rising sun reflected the light of those thousands and hundreds of swords and its light shine forth like a five colored sea of light. The ear-shattering shouts had already dispersed the fog of Xian Xia Ling. Such a gathering when compared to the Phoenix Banquet, how that compare to it!”
Everyone listened intensely at this tale with stirring joy in his or her hearts especially Di Yang who seemed to be totally immersed in the exaltation of the Divine Dragon.
Long Fei broad smile disappeared and he said solemnly. “Although both gatherings were equally grand but the quality cannot be compared.”
Di Yang asked. “Why?”
Long Fei said. “This grand congratulation ceremony was held for Benevolent Master heroics by the people in Pugilist. Benevolent Master was invited to it but did not know the purpose. But that Phoenix Banquet gathering was sent alone by Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai to invite all the famous heroes of Pugilist and all the women pugilists. Those that turned up for the Shi Zhu Manor gathering, there were some that were unwilling to come but were not prepared to offend Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai. Therefore they had to come, so how could that gathering compared to the grand congratulation ceremony at Xian Xia Ling!”
Di Yang smiled and knew that the two equally famous Clans of Phoenix and Dragon, that a line had been drawn between them, therefore Long Fei would tell him that.
Suddenly Guo Yuxia coughed a laugh and said. “What are the both of you saying earlier on?”
Long Fei was startled, and he lost his smiles. “We are originally talking about that shining pearl!”
Guo Yuxia smiled. “You both only care to keep on talking and the conversation seems to be carried away. I am waiting to hear the origin of the shining pearl and I was anxious from waiting!”
Di Yang laughed. “Sister in law please don’t fault us. We will keep idle talks to the minimum and get back on track!”
Long Fei and Guo Yuxia laughed together as Di Yang copied a line from the storyteller.
Di Yang purposely coughed two times and cleared his throat, said. “Just as what Big Brother had said. The invitations that Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai sent out, every swordswomen, heroine, no matter whether they were willing or unwilling, all brought gifts and hurried to Shi Zhi Manor. Among the crowd, from Humphshan, under the protégé of Master Jing, were the Murong five sisters who brought those five shining pearls!”
Long Fei said. “Therefore this five luminous pearls were from the Humphshan five sisters, given to Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai. In another words, this bamboo hut is the dwelling place of Ye Qiubai.”
Di Yang said, “Indeed.”
Guo Yuxia asked questioning. “Ye Qiubai was the daughter of a wealthy family and she was very particular on her choice of food and living. How could she stay in a place like this?”
Di Yang said, “Very few people knows about this matter in Pugilistic Fraternity.” He sighed. “That Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai and Old Master Long, used to be a couple in Pugilist…”
Suddenly Long Fei coughed two times and Di Yang changed tact and said. “Please don’t be offended by little brother! I unwittingly mentioned about Old Master’s past.”
Guo Yuxia said, “Although Benevolent Master and Ye Qiubai had long know one another but they did not become a couple. Furthermore, ten years ago over a matter, they quarreled and refused to meet anymore. And in a surge of anger, they even made an agreement to duel ten years later using their swordmanship. Everyone in Pugilist knew about this matter. What does it matter even if you mention it?”
Di Yang said. “That Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai and Old Master Long sealed a pact for the duel on swordmanship ten years later. In her haste to claim victory over Old Master Long, she began to practice a secret skill on inner strength that originated from the west in a region known as India. It was called the ‘Three Treatise Divine Skill’. Rumors had it that it was a type of inner strength skill created by the Buddhist high monk Jiu Mo Luo. It was a secret technique that was considered not hereditary.”
Long Fei said in a startled manner. “I have heard Benevolent Master remarking about this skill before. Rumors had it that the leader of the evil flocks, Taiyang Monk Yuan Ji had used this skill but it was lost after he had passed away. That Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai was not from the Monastic Order so how could she have tried to practice this Monastic secret skill?”
Di Yang said. “According to my knowledge, Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai accidentally obtained this secret manual. Naturally she was very happy and in her eagerness to borrow this skill to emerge victorious for the duel on swordmanship ten years later. But in her haste to master this skill and because her own inner strength and the inner strength that was needed had differences, after painstaking training for one year, she lost control and was afflicted by deviation phenomenon (In wuxia terms, it means nerve damage or seeing illusions. In modern terms, it can also mean too deeply into something).”
Long Fei turned ashen and unwittingly made a startled sound. “Ever since Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai distributed away the riches of Shi Zhu Manor, and give the hall of Shi Zhu Manor to Divine Nun Ru Mo. Benevolent Master thought she had gone to a quiet place to train a secret technique. But who would expect that she would be afflicted by deviation phenomenon.” He could not help but sighed for her.
Di Yang said. “After she was afflicted by deviation phenomenon, judging from her haughty persona, she would constantly think about the swordsmanship meet with Old Master Long, therefore she would feel unspeakable heart wrenching and torturous.
Just then her best friend Divine Nun Ru Mo paid her a visit at Shi Zhu Manor. Upon seeing her in pain and the decorations of her bed was scratched to shreds. Her disciple who was attending her was constantly being blamed and scolded. Therefore she urged her to find a secluded and cold high mountain and built a dwelling place that can shelter her from the wind and rain to train. Using the icy cold depths of the high mountains and the coming of the windless wind and the cold rain to insolent her body’s inner demons and inner fire. Maybe after less than ten years, she would be able to regain her bodily movements and used this opportunity to train another earth shattering inner strength.”
Long Fei sighed. “Therefore she stayed ten years on the peak of Mount Hua in this rough bamboo hut, painfully braving the wind and rain everyday, just because she wanted to prove something with Protégé Master, is it?”
The night settled in and the chilliness crepe into the bamboo hut. Although their internal strength protected them from the cold but still it was insufferable. When he thought how Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai had soldiered on and stayed in this bamboo hut for nearly ten years, although he was not on the best of terms with her, he unwittingly sighed for her.
Di Yang continued. “After hearing from Divine Nun Ru Mo, Ye Qiubai took a newly accepted disciple and her four maids who were always with her and reached Mount Hua. She would sit on this set of furniture and stay alone in this bamboo hut. Only her disciple will come everyday to accompany her for a few hours, bring some food and train some martial arts.”
Long Fei said, “Therefore, this ambush is thought by Ye Qiubai!”
Di Yang shook his head and said. “Gu Hong is bent on seeking vendetta After sending sister Gu to Zhijiao Manor, he brought us to the newly renamed “Ru Mo tranquil residence” that used to be Shi Zhu Manor to seek aid…”
Long Fei was astonished and he could not help thinking about it, interrupted. “That Divine Nun Ru Mo and Benevolent Master, do they have any animosity?”
Di Yang shook his head. “Although that Divine Nun Ru Mo has no animosity with Old Master Long but she has a deep connection with Kunlun disciple ‘Cloud Breaker Hand’, Zhuo Bufan.”
Long Fei muttered. “This is also strange as well…”
Di Yang interrupted. “Does Big Brother know the origin of Divine Nun Ru Mo?”
Long Fei replied. “I do not know!”
Di Yang explained. “Big Brother, have you ever heard from others, that tens of decades ago, there was a ‘Agile Hand’ Li Ping a swordswoman from the Kunlun Clan?”
Guo Yuxia smiled and said. “I have heard of this name before. Big Brother, do you still remembered when Protégé Master mentioned ‘Peacock Concubine’ Mei Yinxue, he had also mentioned that thirty years ago, there was a ‘Agile Hand’ Li Ping who was even more vicious in her persona and actions than even the famous ‘Cold blood Concubine’. But after she created a storm in Pugilist, she suddenly disappeared!”
Di Yang smiled and said. “The people in Pugilist will never expect ‘Agile Hand’ Li Ping who was as beautiful as a flower, whose heart was as cold as steel, would suddenly become a nun and become the famous Divine Nun Ru Mo in Pugilist. It was because her enemies were pursuing her. Therefore she disappeared from the Martial Fraternity. But after reaching middle age, she felt regretful and shaved her hair and entered the Monastic Order. After she became a nun, she grew even more regretful and felt that the past was like a dream, a smoke. So she took the name of ‘Ru Mo’.”
Long Fei sighed. “To be able to put aside all thoughts of vengeance and turned over a new leaf. This Divine Nun Ru Mo is indeed a wise person. But a pity, in this world, some people even when they did the wrong things, persistence in their evil ways. Man is no saint, as long as one have the heart to turn over a new leaf, how could anyone not forgive her!”
Shi Chen was startled and turned his body around..
Guo Yuxia rolls her eyes and thought. “Is he talking about me?” But she smiled sweetly and said. “That is to say, that Divine Nun Ru Mo and ‘Cloud Breaker Hand’ are from the same Clan…”
Di Yang nodded and said. “Therefore Divine Nun Ru Mo suggested that ‘Cloud Breaker Hand’ and us to go Mount Hua and seek Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai. At that time, Ye Qiubai were filled with anguish. When she heard our intentions, without saying a word, she waved her hand to strike at Gong Hong and Zhuo Bufan! Alas! Although this renowned old senior was afflicted by deviation phenomenon and her body could not move, but her extended palm was shocking. I was standing far away behind and only saw her extended palm gently lifting up, there were two ripples of palm force that rippled out towards Gu Hong and Zhuo Bufan.”
He sighed again and again before saying. “Before the palm force had landed, Gu Hong had evaded it. As for Zhuo Bufan he did not try to move but directly accepted her direct attack. I heard a ‘Peng’ sound like thunder. I saw Zhuo Bufan standing rigid and was startled that his internal strength could handle Ye Qiubai’s direct attack. But before I was able to finish my thoughts, Zhuo Bufan collapsed with a ‘Pong’ sound on the ground.”
Long Fei said. “That Zhuo Bufan is indeed a real man.”
Guo Yuxia smiled. “It seemed that young master Gu was smarter than him.”
Gu Yihong blushed upon hearing.
Di Yang said. “Although Zhuo Bufan had managed to fend off Ye Qiubai’s one palm attack, but had already expended all his strength in his whole body, therefore he was unable to stand. Siting on the ground, he began to scold Ye Qiubai. “Even though you don’t agree but you do not have to attack us juniors. We have after all a common enemy, and on the recommendation of the Divine Nun Ru Mo.”
He began to scold for some time, although his meaning is about the same as this but it was very vulgar. When he had scolded halfway, we began to be on our guard in case Ye Qiubai suddenly attack. But who will to expect that after he had finished scolding, Ye Qiubai would suddenly sigh deeply and said. “Just on base on the standard of everyone’s martial skills, how could you be the match for Long Bushi.”
She just waved her hand, closed her eyes and no longer looked at us. Therefore Gu Hong who was standing besides her began to say. “We are not looking for Long Bushi to compare martial skills but seeking revenge on him. We only seek to accomplish our goals, by hook or my crook. Although our martial skill standards by comparison are poor but our chances of success rate are high indeed. He did not wait to see whether Ye Qiubai was listening, and began to pour forth our plans to her. He even told her that in Zhijiao Manor, there was already a spy planted, not only would they know the every moves of the Immortal Divine Dragon but also his newly created martial skills.”
Di Yang smiled and added. “Our this Gu brother, although I never know the extend of his martial skills but he is really very good with his mouth and Ye Qiubai slowly opened her eyes and her eyes had a strange glow. Looking from the sides, I knew the matter was a success!”
Long Fei was surprised. “Ye Qiubai had always been lonely and likes to do things alone. She always wanted to be strong. This is so out of her characteristics, alas…I will never think she will try to use unscrupulous methods to obtain her objection.”
Di Yang said. “Although it is the case but Ye Qiubai was forced to sit and mediate, suffered the torture of the cold and the wind. Moreover the ten years of swordsmanship was approaching and her body shown no signs of recovery…alas! That time within her, naturally she would behave out of norm and actually accepted Gu Hong suggestion.”
Long Fei asked solemnly. “What suggestion?”
Di Yang replied. “We stayed on Mount Hua for five years. During those five years, we take turn going down the mountain and to update ourselves with news and the martial skills development of Old Master Long. At the same time we trained our martial skills on the mountain…alas! I did not expect that the enmities between Gu Hong and Old Master Long would be so deep. It seemed that his entire existence in life was just for vengeance. Would he not feel torturous to be in Mount Hua all year round, braving the loneliness and cold for his age and characteristics?”
“Fame, repute, wealth, joy, glory…” Di Yang sighed. “These are the dreams of every young man but he did not even think about these. I am startled because with his charisma, whatever else if he pursued would definitely be obtainable.”
Gu Yihong unwittingly melancholy sighed and softly said. “If you but will to imagine growing up in my brother’s environment…” But she did not finish the words she was thinking in her heart.
How could anyone not understand her meaning?
Di Yang was silence for awhile before continuing. “Five years of extreme loneliness, torture yet filled with hope finally passed. They finally thought of a plan that was fail-safe and the chance of it being exposed was the smallest yet the chance of it failing will be the minimum.”
Finally he had reached the most important aspect!
“This plan if I will do say it in detail, will be divided into six parts. Firstly, use the news of the death of Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai to disrupt Old Master Long’s concentration and to weaken his defenses. Everyone knows of the past between Old Master Long and Ye Qiubai. If Ye Qiubai were to die, Old Master Long upon receiving the news will more or less be affected and be upset. And also when he knew that his one and only opponent had already died, his defenses and mental state will be loosen and will belittle his enemies.”
Long Fei sighed. “And the second?”
Di Yang said. “Secondly, instruct the disciple of Ye Qiubai to use a haughty and cold language to revoke Old Master Long’s rage. Judging by his temper, naturally he will be affected by this taunting tactic. Therefore that Ye Manqing will propose that Old Master Long reduces his internal force. Once Old Master Long has agreed, the plan will thereby succeeded by half.”
Gu Yuxia melancholy sighed. “At that time, I already knew that something is amiss. Therefore urge Protégé Master not to fall into the ruse but unexpected…alas! Fifth Brother…”
Long Fei said. “Even if Fifth Brother did not do it, I will still do it. How can a real man behaved like a woman. Even if I know someone wants to lie to me, I will still try and definitely refuse to swallow that bitter pill. Even if I am silly for once but I am not the one that is wrong. So therefore you can see, who can bluff me twice thereafter.”
Di Yang raised his mother thumb up and said. “What a real man! The heroism of Divine Dragon Clan is well known throughout Pugilist. It is indeed incomparable.”
Guo Yuxia lowered her eyes and softly said. “And thirdly?”
“Thirdly…” Di Yang said. “After reducing Old Master Long internal force, will be to weaken his surrounding strength and separate him from all of you…”
Long Fei glanced at Guo Yuxia and sighed. “Just as she expected.”
Di Yang said. “If the first three parts of the plan succeed, it doesn’t really matter if the next three parts are to success or fail, for he will be in a very precarious position.
I supposed to be in the middle to aid the plan but when I saw that Ye Manqing was taking Old Master Long alone up here, I thought to myself if this is not the time to repay Old Master Long gratitude, then when will it be!” Therefore I made up my mind to finish Ye Manqing and to tell Old Master Long the truth.”
Long Fei bowed his head. “Just basing on this good intention from brother, is enough for me to give this respect!”
Guo Yuxia rolled her eyes and said. “And Sister in law, this respect as well!”
Di Yang moved back many times and bowed in return. “Big Brother, your this respect should be shown to Maiden Ye Manqing rightfully!”
Long asked in puzzlement. “How do you explain this line?”
Di Yang said. “At that time I had that intention in mind. But when Maiden Ye saw me, without saying a word, she began to attack me with her sword. Her sword was fast, vicious, accurate and steady. It was as though she could not wait to pierce me with her sword. It took me all my efforts just to dodge. My heart was panicky at that time and thought that girl had the ability to foreseen the future. Did she saw my intentions therefore she wanted to kill me first?”
He smiled. “My heart was agitated while she remained as calm as still water. Seemed that she treated me as though I am her greatest enemy, left side one sword, right side another sword and dancing her piercing thrusts non stop. All her sword strokes were extremely vicious. My martial skills could not win her in short notice and I was afraid that some others would come to aid. Therefore as I fought her, at the same time I shouted to Old Master Long and reveal their plans. But who would to expect that after I had shouted, Ye Manqing actually stopped.”
Long Fei took a deep breath. “Could it be that Maiden Ye is also intending to help Protégé Master?”
Di Yang nodded. “Indeed. Because that Maiden Ye’s forebears was once indebted to Old Master Long. Moreover regarding this cunning ploy, she is extremely against it. Although she did not have any plans but along the way, after listening to Old Master Long and saw his persona, she decided to aid Old Master Long away from the ploy even if it mean she has to betray her Teacher.”
Long Fei made a sound of lament before saying. “It really true for the saying that help is all around us. At first I really could not tell that Maiden Ye is such a righteousness maiden.”
Di Yang smiled. “Old Master Long was the most startled. He was a frank man, how would he suspect that there would be ploys? Therefore we invited him to a dwelling place where we normally residence on the mountain and told him the entire matter.”
But his smile soon ceased and gave way to a deep sigh. “But who will to expect that soon after he heard us, he asked for paper and brush to write some letters. He looked very peaceful within for we were looking at the side and his writings did not appear to be hasty. We were even more afraid than he was.
After he had finished, he folded the letters up and passed to Ye Manqing and instructed her to pass to all of you. And said to me. “Lead me!” Ye Manqing and I were too startled and asked him where he wanted to go?
He laughed aloud upon seeing our expressions and laughing said. “Even if it a dragon territory or a tiger den, I will still want to go. Having lived till today, I have already see beyond life and death.
Only gratuitous and vengeance are more important to me. That is because I do not want to bring those unfinished gratuitous and vengeance to the grave. And in front of me ‘Immortal Divine Dragon’, was a fitting place for me to finish all the gratuitous and vengeance, why shall I not go!”
Di Yang at this moment when reciting ‘Immortal Divine Dragon’ Long Bushi words, happened to mimic some of his heroic spirit.
Therefore Long Fei felt his warm blood arousing and said aloud. “And then?”
Di Yang replied. “Suddenly there was a cracking sound that echoed loud by Old Master Long’s bones as he continuing laughing. It seemed like the tall imposing figure of his, became even more imposing. I did not dare to look into his eyes but was looking down. But I could tell that in his laughter, he had freed himself of all the sealed accupoints and regained his original internal power…Alas! I am really deeply impressed by his martial skills and heroics!”
Since everyone in the bamboo hut were mostly the disciples of ‘Immortal Divine Dragon’ and after hearing those words from Di Yang, a sense of heroic spirit began to stir within the hearts of everyone. It caused this chilling cold bamboo hut to generate some warmth.
Di Yang looked down and said. “Ye Manqing and I after witnessing Old Master Long this magnificent display of heroics, none of us dare to persuade him anymore. When we walked out of the dwelling place and reached the crossroads of the mountains, I could not controlled my tears anymore. Maiden Ye had been in tears long before I even shed. Only Old Master Long was expressionless as though he had never put life and death into his thoughts.”
“At the mouth of the crossroad,” Di Yang could not help but sighed. “Old Master Long placed his precious sword into the hands of Maiden Ye and asked her to bring it down the mountain. But Maiden Ye was too startled and stood there unmoving. Although usually I am full of words to say but under that situation, there was none.”
Long Fei sighed. “At first I thought of that Maiden Ye as a heartless and cold maiden.”
Di Yang said. “Although we did not say anything but in our hearts, we are most unwilling to let Old Master Long braved the dangers alone. Although his martial skills are invincible but there are still a few more cunning stratagems ahead that are set to snare Old Master Long frank and heroics persona. After a long time, Maiden Ye finally slowly turned her body and Old Master long seemed to flow forth a unspeakable sadness, looking idiocy at her back view…”
“Under the celestial lights, I could clearly see his scars and wrinkles. I knew in my heart that each scar and wrinkle carried his past and his fulfilling life. And I saw too a tinge of sadness in his eyes and unconsciously, I suddenly thought of the plains over Mount Tian, and the setting sun over the plains. But my vision came to the part when the darkness overtook the plains, it became to dark and quiet…I really could not resist but to knee before Old Master Long!”
Di Yang said aloud. “At that time, I only saw the glance of Old Master Long that looked like the bright stars of the night that shone deep into my heart. He looked at me questioning for a while before he said aloud. ‘Once a man is born, as long as his heart is without guilt, able to end all gratuitous and vengeance, how it doesn’t matter if one is to die? Your father has warrior spirit that is passed throughout the generations, you are born in a Martial Aristocracy Family, why learn all the hesitation mannerism of little girls.’ Upon finishing, he gently stomped his foot and his tall imposing figure was like a cloud that fluttered away and disappeared into the darkness.”
Di Yang was silence for a while before he added. “When I lifted my head, I saw on the ground was a deep footprint. I looked in idiocy at the footprint and my heart was really confused as I recalled all his teachings echoing in my ears…”
Long Fei sighed deeply. “That footprint was what we saw earlier…”
Guo Yuxia melancholy sighed. “But we nevertheless failed to guess for what reason caused that footprint to be left behind…”
Di Yang bright eyes too became empty and deep. He said. “There are many things in the world, even if the most brilliant of all, is unable to guess…”
He looked up and added. “For example, even now, I cannot know what happens to Old Master Long up the mountains and where is he now at this very moment!”
Long Fei was startled. “You do not know?”
“I do not know!” Di Yang shook his head. “After he had left, I thought it over for some time before I decided to go down the mountain to look for all of you. But all of you had already moved up the mountain so I started to follow and listen to your theories and guesses…”
He smiled. “Later, when I heard that you all need a torch, so I went to my dwelling place to retrieve some torches and rope. Later I lit the torches in the route in front of you and from the small road, I lowered the long rope. As for what happened in this bamboo hut, I am the same as all of you, clueless.”
Long Fei and Gu Yihong was thinking in their heart. “What actually happens here? And where did Protégé Master go? What sort of outcome will it be?”
But Shi Chen and Guo Yuxia were thinking inside their heart. “Since this Di Yang was already up here, would he not already have saw our actions.”
Shi Chen became even more guilty and thought. “No wonder he was rude to me, that is because he had already saw what happened earlier!” He did not consider that it was he who was rude first.
He looked at Di Yang coldly and asked seriously. “What you have just said, is it real?”
Di Yang was startled and Long Fei interrupted. “Third Brother, don’t be rude!”
Shi Chen kept quiet as his heart sunk.
Guo Yuxia softly said. “Brother Di, what happened in this bamboo hut, you have witnessed it. Why did you say you did not witness?”
Di Yang suddenly laughed hilariously. “Good, good. I have good intentions but it turned into deceiving all of you.” He was shaking with anger in his words and about to storm off when Long Fei blocked him.
Guo Yuxia looking composed gently laughed. “Brother Di, if I have said anything wrong, do not fault me but…”
She smiled awhile before adding. “Since you already been here and along the way we wasted quite some time with the pictures that were engraved on the three rocks…Moreover, when you first entered this bamboo hut, you were not the least startled. Why is that so?”
Shi Chen asked as well. “Why is that so?”
Long Fei looked perplexed as well and saw that Di Yang had closed his eyes. He could help but wondered. “What is the reason?”
Guo Yuxia added. “The first three traps that you all set, you have already told me. As for the next three traps, even if you don’t say, I know it as well. Firstly, your friends engraved some words on the side of the mountain to incite Protégé Master to climb up even if it dangerous so that even before he could fight, his strength would be spent. In fact, they would even make a wistful hope that he would not be able to maintain his inner strength and fell. They would not need even to move their fingers.”
Until now, Di Yang did not open his eyes. Therefore Guo Yuxia continued. “Secondly, for many years now, your friends had already learnt from the mouth of Fourth Sister, the extend of Protégé Master’s martial skills. Therefore through the efforts of several people, created three stances and engraved it onto the rock. Theoretically, it may be workable but in actual fight, it may not be really practicable to use it. Therefore they could use it as an opportunity to deal a blow to Protégé Master and cause him to feel frustrated even before he had the chance to confront Ye Qiubai.”
“The third stroke of the stance could even be unattainable. Or should I say unattainable by anyone. Protégé Master is a prominent figure, how can he not see through it. Therefore in a fit of rage, he smashed that rock with his hand.”
“Thirdly,” She paused to catch her breath before saying. “Three choices of route, four heavy doors. That was the way for your friends to test Protégé Master’s martial skills…There is more one thing which profound me. Since that Red Phoenix Ye Qiubai had already been afflicted by deviation phenomenon, then where is she now at this moment?” As she initially had the intention to malice Di Yang, therefore she immediately cast him in a suspicious light.
Long Fei took a few glances at Di Yang, he could not help but wondered in doubt.
Di Yang opened his eyes and added. “Sister in law, you are really intelligence. These three things, you have all guessed correctly! But his speech was still as calm as ever.
Guo Yuxia smiled as Di Yang said. “That right. The stances and strokes that were engraved on the three rocks, theoretically can be achieved but in practically, it is impossible!”
The side of his mouth seemed to be smiling as he said. “I have heard every single words that you discussed by the three rocks. But a pity, at that time Sister in law, in your heart, you were thinking of too many things therefore you did not notice that above the rock, there is a person hiding!”
Guo Yuxia was startled.
Long Fei sighed deeply. “Brother Di, there are too many things that happened therefore our hearts and thoughts are all in confusion. If Sister in law has offended you…Haiz, haiz, you…”
Di Yang laughed it off and said. “This can’t blamed upon Sister in law. If it were I instead, I would feel doubtful too. Although I reached this bamboo hut a little earlier than you but what concurred in this place, had already passed. What Sister in law is wondering, I am wondering in my heart as well…Ye Qiubai, Gu Hong, Zhuo Bufan and Old Master Long, their whereabouts have now become a mystery…”
His eyes looked on the ground. “The floor have three traces of blood,” He blended down and turned the body over a few times. “But only this corpse shown no blood traces. So how did he died?”
Although this question was very obvious but before he pointed out, no one else had noticed. Everyone looked at the corpse now and observed that his face was twisted and he died because he was greatly startled by something. Or was he attacked by a form of soft stance inner martial skill, that destroyed his veins and died?”
Long Fei sighed deeply. “All these had become a mystery. But I hope that Brother Di will join hands with us to investigate the mystery…”
Di Yang smiled coldly, his hands carried the corpse and said with his head lowered. “All these mysteries will be revealed one day. By then everyone will know that what I say earlier is the true!”
He lifted his head to glance at Long once and said in a clear voice. “Big Brother take good care of yourself.” And he flashed outside the door.
Long Fei was stunned and shouted after him. “Brother Di…Di Yang…wait!”
But this Mount Tian Sword Clan only descendant, had an astonishing swiftness movement skill. Even though he was carrying a body in his hands but in an instant, he had all but disappeared!
Long Fei was left looking idiocy at the door for awhile as he eyed the darkness. He sighed deeply in his heart, turned back and muttered. “He is really a worthy man…!”
Guo Yuxia rolled her eyes and softly said. “From what I can tell, this man has something up his sleeves! He…”
Long Fei suddenly shouted. “Shut up!”
Guo Yuxia was startled as Long Fei continued to add. “If it is not for your finger guessing, I will not offend such a good man. Have you already forgot what Protégé Master usually have been teaching us? Use honesty to treat people, suppress all anger. Now look what we done. Will anyone in Pugilist still befriend Zhijiao Manor. Does it mean the end of Zhijiao Manor because of what you have done!”
He was usually a lenient man to others. Therefore when Shi Chen and Gu Yihong saw him now in real rage, they did not dare to say anything now!
Guo Yuxia was startled momentarily before she covered her hands with her face and stormed out of the bamboo hut.
Shi Chen and Gu Yihong were startled as well and together they shouted after her. “Sister in law!”
Long Fei countenance changed and he looked with open eyes. How could he not feel startled within after he saw his doted companion of many years stormed out in a fit of anger?
When Shi Chen reached the door, he felt like going after Guo Yuxia.
All of a sudden he halted his steps as though he seemed to remember that he was not the person that supposed to go after her.
Gu Yihong softly said. “Big Brother, you should be the one soothing her…”
Long Fei lowered his head. “I was too bash in my words!” He looked at Shi Chen and sighed deeply. “It is better if Third Brother will to sooth her instead!”
Even before he had finished, Shi Chen had rushed out.
After being silence for quite some time, Long Fei sighed deeply. “Indeed, I was too harsh on her. Actually, what she did is for the concerns of everyone…”
He did not try to fault others and fault himself first. When Gu Yihong looked into his eyes, she felt a sense of pity for him. After what happened, she could no longer remained in the Divine Dragon Clan but somehow, she could not bear to say out the word “leaving”!
Therefore she could change tact and say. “Big Brother” She softly said. “Do we remain here or do we go down the mountain?”
Long Fei muttered as he looked down. “Down the mountain!” He sighed deeply. “Anyway your Sister in law has no reason not to go back Zhijiao Manor and…Fifth Brother is very likely to be waiting for us down the mountain. Haiz…What concurred today is indeed very weird and mysterious. What for did that priest steal the coffin? This matter and the other matters are the same, it really stumbles the mind. Maybe…”
He smiled. “Maybe I am too a little too stupid.”
Gu Yihong sighed in her heart. “Is he really too stupid?” She could not answer therefore she did not reply.
“All these mysteries, there will be a day when it will be revealed…”
Long Fei muttered as he eyed the door outside to see a column of misty fog rolling over. Therefore he sighed deeply at the sight. “But no matter what…” he muttered. “This very day is finally done!”