According to pugilistic legends, there were three greatest treasures in the Pugilist. One of the treasures was the Epitome Martial Chronicles that contained the most powerful martial techniques ever. It was for this reason that Zhan Yuntian was killed…
Chapter Three: Love at First Sight
Zhan Bai saw that although that Young Master Lingfeng was angry but he did not express it on his face. He thought. “Young Master Lingfeng is also called the Emotionless Swordsman, those who are emotionless are those that have temperaments like the breeze. Although the rumours of the Pugilistic Fraternity cannot be totally believable but there are some grains of truth in it.”
Suddenly Young Master Lingfeng laughed coldly for awhile as he stared at the maiden in black. “Marvelous, marvelous. I didn’t expect that I couldn’t even decide the arrangements in my very own room. Even my men have to be taught a lecture by you. Fine, fine…” And he turned away and walked out of the courtyard.
And the four men looked at the maiden in black in fright.
When Zhan Bai saw that these brave men had turned into cowards of a sudden, he felt sorry and pity for them. He really could not understand why so many people in the world would rather submit themselves to others.
He turned to look at the back view of this maiden in black and then he saw her trembling slightly for a few times much like a leaf fluttering in the wind, standing there unmoving. After a long while, she began sighed melancholy. “Your Young Master has already left. Why are you all still standing here for?”
And the four men began to bow most respectfully and left in hurriedly.
Therefore this magnificent room once again returned to its tranquil state. Zhan Bai who was lying on the bed began to secretly sigh. But still the anxiety in his heart refused to go away. It was because the fact remained that he was still powerless and was sick on the bed. Even if there were more sudden changes, he would still be helpless to do anything. He knew that he would be subjected to humiliations any time. This was something a proud person like him could not handle and endured.
But no matter what, he was extremely grateful to the maiden in black. However, he did not know what to say to bring out the gratuitous in his heart.
But who would expect the maiden in black would suddenly sighed deeply and said melancholy to him. “My brother is ignorant and doesn’t know the principle to be a proper human. I pray that you will forgive him for his arrogance.”
Her mannerisms were exactly the same as the beautiful lady, therefore Zhan Bai began to think of the lady. But her musing now was so gentle and warm that it caused Zhan Bai to forget the blow to his pride earlier and his composure was restored as a result.
However he did not reply her because he knew that although that Young Master Lingfeng was arrogant but it was because he was lying on his bed. The one that should be forgiven should be himself instead of him!
Therefore, he secretly sighed and looked idiocy at the back view of the woman in black and said. “I am but a homeless wanderer, I have no accomplishments…alas. The way maiden you have helped him caused me to be filled with gratuitous toward you. If you insist on saying such words, it will cause me to be ashamed instead.”
He was filled with self-resentment when he had said the first two lines but later felt that it was most inappropriate to say such words to a maiden that he did not know. Therefore he changed the topic. But now he regretted it and secretly blaming himself now. “What happen to me, I cant seem to say anything right!”
Who would expect the maiden in black to sigh with great melancholy after hearing from him. She was heard muttering. “Homeless wanderer…what wrong with being a wanderer? It so carefree and it is much better than being caged inside a cage.” Her melancholy became ten times even more heavily.
Zhan Bai was startled and secretly thought. “She is born to such a wealthy family and she have everything. As long as she says a word, there will be many people willing to do what she commands for her. Why is she being so sorrowful and melancholy?”
And he suddenly thought of the beautiful lady again. It seemed like everyone had their own troubles. So why were they so troubled? He really could not guess.
As he began to ponder over it, suddenly he saw the maiden in black turned her body around. Zhan Bai heart skipped a beat as he stared into her face.
Now he was staring at her in her face and for some strange reasons, he would not tear himself from her eyes.
Although he was quite a scholar himself but tried as he could, he still could find any words to describe her face.
It was not because he had really seen her face. For she had covered her face with a black veil. Her watery eyes were like spring, Zhan Bai had never saw such an exquisite beauty ever in his life. She was so beautiful that even with this ordinary veil that was used to cover her face, it could not even hid her charms and beauty thus making her even more mysterious to him.
Her watery eyes that were so bright began to look upon Zhan Bai like the spring sun. It penetrated his heart and caused him to think that everything under the heavens and the earth were suddenly so comfortable.
This type of feeling was something that Zhan Bai had never experienced in his entire life. Although tried as he could to tear away from her but his eyes seemed like a wanderer that were looking for a warm tender home and remained staring at her face, unable to move.
The two of them had stared at one another for awhile before the maiden in black suddenly lowered her head. After a long while later, she slowly lifted her head to look at Zhan Bai again. It was another long while of silence. Zhan Bai’s eyes had slowly brightened up while the maiden’s eyes were slowly losing her dim. The melancholy in her eyes grew even weightier.
Suddenly she turned her slim body around and without turning her head began to walk to the entrance of the door.
In that very instant, Zhan Bai began to resent himself again, secretly blaming himself for being so rude by staring at her and hated himself for developing such a strange and weird feeling.
But when the maiden had walked to the entrance of the door, she suddenly halted her steps and gently sighed. “You have fainted for many a days. Now your body is very weak. Later I will send someone to send some food over to you…” She gapped and then added. “But you do not need to thanks me for it. It is because all this, I am only doing it for the sake of someone.” Before her last words had sunk into his ears, she had sprung away.
Her first two lines were spoken with great tenderness but after she had gapped, it suddenly became so icy-cold. It was very hard to believe the first two lines and the last two lines were actually muttered by the same person!
Only when she had disappeared from Zhan Bai’s view that he had began to sense there was a faint perfume aroma that had suddenly appeared when she was in this room. His ears were repeating all her lines for it seemed that her words had pierced him deeply and into his heart.
Therefore he began to arrange his disarray hair on his head as he raised his hand looking very troubled. Although his hand was shaking with great pain but it could not be compared to the pain in his troubled heart. “I owe a debt of gratuitous to this maiden although we do not know one another. She has such a good background, what about me? The way she accords me is already very kind, why did I want to burden myself with more troubles?”
Although he was thinking this way but somehow, he simply could not forget her.
He began to think now even if everyone in the world would to belittle him, it could not even be comparable to the cold treatment shown by the maiden in black that was so unbearable to endure. Then another thought crossed him. “She said she helping me for the sake of someone. Then who is he? What did he ask her to do such a thing and she had actually agreed to help. Then, what is the relationship between he and her…” He became even more pained with agony just thinking over it and he had not realized he was pulling his own hair…
Then there was a soft grasp at the entrance of the door and a little maid in green walked in with a tray. On top of the tray was a jade bowl. She walked swaying towards Zhan Bai and carefully watching her steps and then she softly grasped. “May Young Master takes your soup now!”
Zhan Bai had sensed a fragrant in his nose. Before he could gather his thoughts and reacted, the maid had lifted the jade bowl of soul in front of him. And she took a jade big spoon that was besides the tray and started to feed the soup into his mouth.
By the time Zhan Bai had finished the soup and his spirit was lifted because of that. But still he was feeling greatly troubled at heart. Because he was now so pitiful that he even had to accept the sympathy of that maiden. And she had sympathized with him because someone wanted her to do so and he did not even know who that someone was.
When he had thought of this, he now wished he could throw up everything that he had just ate. Suddenly he noticed that there was a shadow that had sprang past to the door and then there was a captivating laughter coming from beyond the door.
The quietness of this room was dispersed of that laughter.
But he was feeling so troubled now so how could he endure this type of merry laughter?
Therefore he turned his face with a loathsome look on his face and saw another maiden with a slim body walking in with a tray. She was holding the tray with one hand and another hand on her waist as she walked carefully into the room. Her smiles were like the breeze that had blown into the room.
But Zhan Bai turned his head away, for he was not in a good mood.
That young maiden began to laugh gently as she said demurely. “Young Master, do you want to eat? Huh…you have not eaten anything for days already.”
Her voice was so demure and she could drag the last line of her words slightly longer. It was just like the music of a flute that was so enchanting.
But this demure and enchanting voice when Zhan Bai had heard it caused his troubles to deepen. In fact, he was thinking that she was laughing at him…
“Young Master…you have not eaten for many a days already.”
Therefore Zhan Bai began to hum aloud unwittingly and thought. “Sympathy, yet another sympathy!” And then he started to yell aloud. “Get out, get out of here.”
The young maiden who was standing besides him was startled and then she asked. “What is wrong with you?” Her voice was still as demure and captivating as ever.
Zhan Bai began to sigh in his heart. Suddenly he felt guilty. No matter what, she came with a kind intention and the way he had treated her was simply too rude.
Therefore he said. “Maiden, thanks for your kind intentions but…it is better for you to leave.” Although his tone had became friendlier but still he did not turn his head. It was because he hoped that by the time he had turned his head, he would be left alone in the room to pour over all his troubles.
But the young maiden laughed awhile and said. “If you don’t want to eat, it is alright. Why do you have to be so fierce huh! Do you know that I have spent a great deal of effort, putting all my heart into it just to help you this once, yet you…you want me to leave now.”
Zhan Bai was startled by her words and he turned his head over to saw that the young maiden that was standing besides the bed was a very beautiful maiden with long flowing hair and she had an air of nobility around her.
Her beautiful eyes were now looking at him most intently. Suddenly she laughed demurely again. “Frankly speaking, it is wrong for you to be so fierce to me. Do you know that because I want to help you, I have to face with so much problems and difficulties? You huh…you really do not know what is good for you.”
Then she began to bend over and began to sit on the bed and added. “Come, let me feed you with some food. If you want to blown your top, carry on but don’t forget about yourself. If you are going to starve yourself, I will definitely not allow it!”
Zhan Bai was stunned and looked at this young maiden idiocy. His heart became even more confuse. Try as he could, he still could not remember ever meeting her before. But the way this young maiden talked to him was like she was an old friend of his. And she was so caring and intimate to him.
He thought. “She had helped me before?” But what help did she do? Zhan Bai really had no idea at all.
A faint fragrant aroma began to drift into his nose as this young maiden began to sit nearer and nearer to him. Although he had no ill intentions toward her but he disliked her for her boldness. He had always thought that men and women should have a divide. It was the most proper thing to do. Therefore he started to loath her.
With a solemn face, he said gravely. “We have never met before in our entire lives. If maiden you indeed have helped me before, then I will surely repay you in the future but now, it not that I do not want to eat anything. It just that when a man and a woman are alone in the room, we should observe our conducts in the most proper manner. Therefore I plead with maiden to pay more attention to it.”
But the young maiden was looking at the ceiling and did not seem to hear what he was saying. Only when Zhan Bai had finished did she lower her head slowly and she blinked and looked at her shoes as she said in a low voice. “If indeed have helped you, indeed have, helped you…”
Suddenly she smiled and her beautiful eyes rolled towards him and blinked at him. “Do you think that it would be fake?”
And then she pointed her at him with a finger and began to shake her finger in front of him. “To tell you the truth, if it issn’t for me, you huh…you would have been carried off by others already.” Her voice was so demure and sweet, coupled with the movements in her eyes, it was indeed an extreming moving sight.
Although she seemed to be lecturing but the affections shown by her numbered in a million ways. No matter who she was lecturing, it seemed like the one that was being lectured was really bliss to be lectured by her.
Once again, Zhan Bai looked at her, stunned. He really did not know what he supposed to feel now. But he had a thought. “So it seemed, that the maiden in black was here because of her…Then who is this young maiden then? Is she also the sister to that Young Master Lingfeng?”
So he started to look carefully at her. Although she shared the same beautiful looks as the maiden in black but she lacked her cold demeanor. Although that Young Master Lingfeng was haughty, arrogant and emotionless, she was not.
On closer inspection, she had some features that were similar to them. He really could not understand why these three brother and sisters had such different temperaments. In that instant, he started to sympathize with the beautiful lady. How would she not be melancholy in having three such children!
Although the fame of the Four Young Masters of the Martial Fraternity were known to him but he had never expected those of the Aristocracy Family would have such complexities in their families. Even the Young Master Anle…
His thoughts began to stray as he started to think more and more of other things until the young maiden interrupted him with a laugh. She asked. “Did you not hear what I have said?”
Only then did he remember that he had not reply her yet.
“But, how should I reply her then?” He thought. “Grateful?” To a proud person like him, it was indeed a very hard thing for him to express! He began to think of a best possible way to answer her. “Her mother had saved me, her brother wanted to drive me away. And her sister had helped me to overcome my predicaments but it was only because she had entrusted her sister to do so. And I didn’t even know her, alas…What is going on here? They are a family but why did they have such complexities in their relationships?”
Because earlier, he was already burdened with many thoughts and now he was totally confuse therefore he could not even say anything out. He tried to calm himself down when suddenly a cold voice asked him. “Why don’t you reply her, did you not hear her?”
Zhan Bai was startled and saw that an imposing man with disarray hair was coldly staring at him.
The sudden coming of this strange man had startled him and now he found himself all the more speechless.
But the young maiden was still smiling like the Spring and did not turn to look at the strange wild man. It was as though his appearance was within her expectation.
The strange man stared at him and coldly said. “Did you not hear what I have just said?”
Zhan Bai look at him in shock therefore he did not reply.
The wild man laughed coldly for awhile before he reached out his hand and a windforce enveloped his hand as his hand reached for him.
But the young maiden turned around, still smiling and hugged the strange man’s arm and then whispered something into his ear. The strange man immediately withdrawn his stares and looked gently at the young maiden for awhile before he turned around and sprang out of the window without saying a single word.
Although the window was not small but the strange man was tall and imposing, Zhan Bai was startled to see that he could be so dexterous as to sprang out of the window as though he had full control of his limbs.
The stranger had come so sudden and left as sudden too. As Zhan Bai watched him leaving, he was startled and thought that everything that had happened was just like a dream.
The young maiden slowly turned her head around and giggled as she looked at Zhan Bai. “Are you afraid of him?”
Zhan Bai shook his head and said. “Who is he? Why must I be afraid of him?”
The young maiden began to arrange her hair and dress before she once again began to sit on the bed. She laughed lovingly. “Why should you not be afraid of him? His martial abilities are really powerful. Even Dage and Father have said that his martial abilities are unfathomable. But as he never fight with anyone else, no one knows how highly skilled is he. But…hehe, if anyone else is to bully me huh, he will definitely not agree and will surely beat that person till he is barely alive.”
She paused for awhile to add. “Last time, there was a person from Lubei, by the name of Three Winged Moth that came to pay my Father a visit. But when he saw me at the garden, he thought I am good to be bullied and told me a few awful words. I was so angry and embarrassed that just when I was about to teach him a lesson, even before I could lift my hands, Lei Dashu seemed to be at my back and without saying a word, with just a light pat on him, he killed him instantly on a bed of roses. When he had died…he actually become a lustful ghost.”
In a short span of time, she had said so many things and was now laughing when she had finished. This young maiden seemed like she was gently provoking him but she also looked very naïve, daring to say anything.
He thought. “Who is that stranger with wild hair that he could come and go as he pleases.”
So Zhan Bai began to wonder. “What kind of man is her father that even a flower thief would want to see him?” And when he had heard her saying that ‘Three Winged Moth’ had died on the bed of roses and even nicked him as a ‘Lustful Ghost’, he secretly laughed. “How come she could even say this out.”
He did not know that his maiden was a very naïve, innocent girl and did not know what was called shyness. At the moment of time, the young maiden giggled a laugh again and continued. “Just now when Lei Dashu sketched his hand, if I wasn’t standing besides him, then you would surely be dead now.” She laughed again and then suddenly melancholy sighed as she looked outside the window.
When Zhan Bai saw her laughed most loving an instant ago and suddenly sighing now, he was mystified. Only to hear her adding. “It is really very strange. Ever since, Mother brought you home, when I first saw you, I already like…”
Although she had not lost her naivete yet and have a simple way of viewing things but she still could not finish off the sentence. Her cheeks became red and she started to finger her long hair and then said. “Therefore when Mother could not make the time to see you, I would come everyday to see you. Today when Dage had returned from Lake Taihu, knowing his temper, I knew that something would have happened and he would surely tried to drive you out of his room. Mother is not around and I am afraid of Dage. After thinking for awhile, I decide to ask my sister out to act as a relief soldier. Do you know that my sister temperament is vastly different from mine. She scarcely says anything whole year round. After I pleaded with her nonstop for half a day and then finally I manage to persuade her come. You huh…you doesn’t appreciate it.”
Although Zhan Bai did not like her boldness but when he saw that she was so concern about him that he was moved in his heart. He smiled and said. “The way maiden has accorded me, I am really thankful so how will I not feel appreciative!”
The young maiden looked at him and pretended to be annoyed. “Who want you to be thankful to me? Who want you to be appreciative!”
Zhan Bai was startled when he saw she had become upset but suddenly she was laughing and with her hands holding the side of her dress, she playfully said. “But as long as you know that I am nice toward you and you will not be so fierce towards me, I be very happy.”
Although Zhan Bai had acted cautious towards her but now it had vanished. He only thought that this young maiden’s affections for him was so real and innocent, unmotivated by any desires to make use of him. He had long been a wanderer and trained very hard in martial skills all day long. He had never enjoyed such an affectionate feeling before. So for a moment of time, he looked idiocy at this young maiden, unable to say anything.
The young maiden asked as she played along the side of her dress. “What is your surname? What is your name? I ever asked Mother before but she said she did not know. It is really strange. Mother and Dage are exactly alike, they are usually surrounded by a cold demeanor and rarely smile. But Mother is so concern about you that I thought she and you must surely be very close but how do I know that she did not even know your name.”
Zhan Bai sighed as the past returned to haunt him. He thought. “If it was not for the kind helping hand of that beautiful lady, then right now, he would be in the wilderness. What more, she had accorded me with much kindness and I did not even know her name!”
So he asked. “Your Mother is a compassionate and kind person. Her kindness to me moved me greatly. If maiden you do not mind, can you tell me her name so that I…”
The young maiden giggled and laughed as she interrupted him. “I really can’t tell that you will be so slippery when you are talking. You are really like a poor scholar.”
Zhan Bai blushed while she said. “My Father surname is Murong, my Dage and Dajie surnames are also Murong, make a guess what is my surname?”
Zhan Bai was stunned. He had not expect that this maiden would be so simple minded. How could she have asked him this? Did she really think he was an idiot? But he replied. “Maiden your surname must surely be Murong then.”
But the young maiden shook her head and clapped her hands and laughed. “You have guessed wrongly. I am not a Murong but Zhan. I follow my Mother’s surname.” And she looked so delightful and proud when she had said that.
Zhan Bai secretly laughed but he said. “Naturally I am unable to guess.” Then he had another thought. “So that lady has the same surname as mine.”
The young maiden laughed again and said. “Look at you, I thought you are also a pugilist from the Martial Fraternity. Why did you not know anything about my family?” Her meaning, everyone in the Fraternity should know about her family.
Now Zhan Bai was looking intently at her and eyed her smiling and joyous laughs. At first he had thought she was trying to gently provoke him but now all such thoughts vanished from his mind.
The young maiden rolled her beautiful eyes to look at him and then gently laughed again, said in a low voice. “I telling you, I am Zhan WanEr. What is your name, why did you not tell me? Are your Father and Mother still around? Where are they? Do you have a…”
She bit her lips and laughed gently before she lowered her had to add. “…wife.”
She had asked him five questions at a go, and all her questions pierced his innermost heart. After being startled for awhile, he sighed and said. “My surname is Zhan too, Zhan Bai is my name. My Father and Mother…had passed away. I am a wanderer, I have no accomplishments and I have not even avenge for my Father’s death yet.”
Because he had been wandering for a number of years now and he had no bosom friends to talk to. And now this young maiden was asking in such a frank and innocent manner, he began to tell her all his most innermost troubles.
And Zhan WanEr who had been listening, her eyes were now a fluttering red and her tears began to flow down her cheeks. The relationship between humans were indeed a very intricate and marvelous thing. Some people would never tell a single true word to another even though they had known for a long time while some others would be so honest to one another even though it was the first time that they had known one another. Therefore Zhan Bai began to relate all his sorrows to her, he even forgot that the one he was talking to is just a young maiden that he had just known, innocent and naïve.
But before he could finish everything, a shadow sprang to him and caught him by the shoulders and asked solemnly. “Who is you? Who is Zhan Yuntian to you?”
Zhan Bai was startled and he could only feel the painful sensational feeling of his arms that seemingly were about to tear apart from him.
Zhan Bai was startled and strange that this man would actually know his Father’s name. He did not know why this name had treated him so violently and he tried to look up to see that the man that was gripping his shoulders were that strange man ‘Lei Dashu’.