In the areas around Lake Tongding, the folks there would often see a handsome young man accompanying by five beautiful and peerless ladies as they made their way in jubilant. If a man could have five such wives, it was really unimaginable and unbelievable. Even the bliss of an Immortal would not compare to it! More enviable were that all five of the extraordinary beautiful young ladies were hugging or carrying babies in their embrace as they made merry, it was so admirable! Could it be related to the three legendary treasures of the Martial Fraternity?…
Chapter Five: In the Darkness
People could be weird at times. When they had come to a noisy place, they hope to have some peace. When they had come to a quiet place, they wished that it would become a noisy place. That was the feeling Zhan Bai was feeling now.
Zhan Bai began to sigh and slowly closed his eyes to calm his confuse and disarray thoughts. But suddenly, he saw a shadowy figure that moved as fast as lightning towards him. He forced himself to open his eyes and he muttered. “Lei Dashu! You…”
Lei Dashu looked idiocy at Zhan Bai for awhile before he picked him up and sprang out of the window.
Zhan Bai tried to struggle but he had no strength. He began to question why did Lei Dashu want to treat him in his way but come to think of that, this Lei Dashu was so out of the norm that even if he were to ask him, it would be futile.
Lei Dashu had sprung out of the window and turned to the right direction. When Lei Dashu had hesitated for awhile, Zhan Bai forced himself to lift his head and saw that they were surrounded by dense woods and there were huge piles of boulders everywhere.
Then Lei Dashu began to run through this dense woods and Zhan Bai was greatly startled to see tree after trees flashing in front of him dazzling him. Then he closed his eyes. No matter where Lei Dashu was taking him to kill him, he was powerless to resist. Now his fate was in the hands of heavens…
Although he had closed his eyes but he could still hear. After awhile, Lei Dashu said. “We have reached.”
When Zhan Bai had opened his eyes, he found himself in a cave with only some light from the stars from the outside of the cave acting as torches.
There was also a stone bed. The entire place was quiet but was also astonishing clean. This place was totally out of character when compared to the wild and strange Lei Dashu. He thought. “What place is this? Why did he bring me here and for what reason?”
Lei Dashu started to put him down on the stone bed.
Zhan Bai secretly sighed and once again closed his eyes. He thought. “But no matter what, there will always be a day when a mystery will be revealed.”
Lei Dashu stood besides the bed and purposely looked at Zhan Bai for awhile before he started to pat him on his chest, waist. It was such agonizing pain for him that he unwittingly cried out aloud and when he opened his eyes, his vision was hazy and then he fainted.
When he had awakened, he found the cave to be in complete darkness.
Slowly he opened his eyes and it did not seem like it was opened for everything was still pitch dark.
Therefore he tried to sit up. But who would expect that when he tried to move, he could actually sit up so effortless! What had happened to his pain and sickness? It seemed like all of his afflictions had mysteriously vanished! (It seemed like Lei Dashu had feed him the Dragon Tiger Prolonging Pill without his knowledge)
He was startled, almost could not believe that it was true. He had been afflicted with many wounds and sickness before, he had never recovered as speedily as now.
He came down from the bed and shouted in the darkness. “Lei Dashu!”
Where did that mysterious Lei Dashu go to?
Suddenly he found out his hands and legs had become very agile. It was more agile that what he had known. Therefore he was stunned and stood on the spot for a long time. Suddenly he could feel a breeze on his body. He was all the more puzzled. In this cave where there was no light and in complete darkness, how could there be wind?
So he followed the direction of the small breeze and he reached out, only to find out that in front of him was a wall. But this wall seemed to have many tiny holes.
“Since there is wind, why issn’t there any light?” He questioned himself. “Maybe this wall lead to another passage and this passage is a place where the wind can flow in.”
Therefore he had begun to understand his surrounding but other than that, he knew nothing.
He began to feel the walls around him. There was no doors, what happened to the cave entrance that he had glimpsed earlier? How did he come here? Now he was utterly confused…
Suddenly he found a sack at the corner of the cave. There seemed to be food and water inside. The water was strangely fragrance like wine but it was not and when he took a sip, he suddenly calmed down a lot. He had never for once drunk such wonderful water. Therefore he took a few more sips. He began to sigh for he had never thought he would have such strange happenings. Moreover there was no way out too.
Inside the sack was also a book. He picked it out and walked with it to the bed. Then he remembered that there was no light at all. So how could he possible read a book? It was so laudable. Nevertheless he started to play with the pages on the book and suddenly he discovered that he could actually feel the words on the book. Therefore his heart jumped because he was extremely bored and at least there was something to keep him occupied now. So he started to map the words on the book. Now he understood the difficulties facing the blind people.
He sighed and concentrated and finally he mapped the first word as he grasped. “Air!”
Then what about the second word? Therefore finally he mapped the second word, “Mixture”.
After figuring two characters, his confidence increased tremendously. After patiently mapping further, he mapped out another three characters. “Conceal, Pure, Impure.”
The sixth character was also Pure. The seventh character was ‘Ascend, eighth character is Mixture again. The ninth character was descend, the tenth character was Way. Being quite an expert now, he began to feel the eleventh character. It was ‘One 一, twelfth character was Rule 法. The thirteen character was Together..
He took a long time, it was a tedious and difficult task of mapping all the characters. He heaved a sigh of relief for his fingers were numbed now. After a while, he recited those thirteen words together.
“Air Mixture Conceal Pure Impure Pure Ascend Mixture Descend Way One Rule Together…” But what did those words mean? He could not understand therefore he focused with all his concentrations.
He muttered. “Air, it may refer to Vital Energy, Mixture and Conceal, Pure and Impure, Pure energy ascending? Mix the energy and descend? There is only one way but the method can be many…Ah! Can these thirteen words be interpreted in this way?”
Therefore he started to experiment not knowing if he could be right or wrong.
He began to take a few sips of the sweet water and began to map more words.
Time passed, his food and water was running out soon but he did not care because those words in the book had caught all his attention. His pace was getting slower and slower because the meaning of each word was getting more and more difficult to understand too.
He really did not expect that for such a thin book, it would actually contain all the deepest knowledge of the most intricate principles and formulas of Martial knowledge. Really, this book was like the bottomless Ocean.
Because Zhan Bai naturally loved martial arts with all his heart but he had never meet an outstanding Mentor yet. Therefore when he suddenly discovered this book with all its wondrous secrets, he was so delightful and laughing like he had gone mad. He began to put aside all his other thoughts from his heart except for this book.
Although he could map the words very fast now, becoming quite an expert but his progress was getting slower and slower. Each word he had to spend more and more time thinking over it. Moreover it had to be compatible with the other words in the sentence too.
But, he believed that since there was a beginning, eventually there would be an end too. Moreover he was a very patience person.
Finally one fine day when he had finally unraveled the last of the mysterious words, his heart almost jumped out of his body in great joy! He did not realize that he had been a genius. Now he lay on the stone bed and began to recite all the words again and committing it to memory.
And then he used the methods of the book and started practicing it on his own.
Although it was such a long and painstaking period of time but finally he had his rewards. He had discovered that using the methods in the book to train his internal force, it was supernaturally fast. It was totally heaven and earth apart using the method that he had known in the past.
He found his rest to be shorter and shorter yet his spirit, mind and stamina was so invigorating. He found himself unable to think of any other things for the martial knowledge in the book was so enticing and so wondrous.
But suddenly one day when he was practicing his internal power on the bed, the bed started to move. He was so startled that he lifted a breath of vital energy and began to jump from the bed in a slow but dexterous movement to the ground. And then he was on his guard. For he did not know what sudden events would be going to happen to him now.
A ray of light burst forth from beneath the bed revealing a passage and Zhan Bai was startled as he thought. “What sort of power can cause this stone bed to move?…”
There was a laughter echoing from beneath the passage as a man emerged from the shadows – Lei Dashu! He was laughing nonstop hilariously and then he was sitting on the stone bed!
Zhan Bai carried Fan Su into the cave and gently placed her on her stone bed that he had once slept. Next he reached out to check her breathing which had by now grown weak and pathetic. And it was clear that she was dying.
Zhan Bai did not care for the divides between men and women and thought that he should try his very best to save her first. In actually, he had even forgot about the divides between the sexes. Fan Su had been dealt a heavy blow and her internal organs were now bleeding now. After Zhan Bai shifted her organs back to its original position, he used both his hands to press on her heart and did his very best to revive her meridian pulses.
Fortunately, the Sacred Manual was indeed the most wondrous martial art in the world. After Zhan Bai did some transfer of his lifeforce on her and after doing some massages for awhile according to the Sacred Manual, Fan Su began to moan and had awakened.
But it was the first time that Zhan Bai had done a transference of lifeforce to treat injuries, therefore he had expended a great deal of vital energies and was feeling extremely tired now.
When Su Fan had opened her eyes, it was pitch dark and she could not see a thing.
Suddenly, she had recalled that she had been seriously injured by the blind priest and she remembered that under the blazing fire that was in their surrounding, Zhan Bai had saved her and after that she had fallen unconscious…
Then, where was she now? She gently moved her body and found out that the excruciating pain in her chest was gone now. It was like that her injuries were no more. But who was the one that had helped her to treat her injuries then?…There were so many questions that need answers but she could not see a thing in the darkness. It caused her to think she was still in a dream.
When she had fully recovered from her daze and proven that it was not a dream, she started to finger with her long hair unconsciously as she began to think once more.
Suddenly she remembered that she had accompanied her three brothers and without the knowledge of their father led the protégés in their manor to attack the Baotu Manor, to avenge their mother’s death. She had attempted to assassinate Murong Han with two other protégés ahead of her brothers.
But she had failed, was captured by Murong Han and thrown into the dungeon. Even her two fellow protégés were dead now.
Now that her injuries were fine now, it was best that she quickly left now or else once it was daybreak, she would find herself in more dire situations.
After awhile of walking in the dark, she had saw what seemed to be the entrance of the cave and walked towards it, without seeing Zhan Bai.
Zhan Bai was following the supreme orthodox intricate formulas in the Sacred Manual, using a method known as ‘Returning to the Natural State’ . This ‘Returning to the Nature State’ made use of a single breath of vital energy and circulate it between the Xiao Zhuang and the Dan Tian and it could flow through thirteen levels while sustaining the body, therefore there was not even a breathing sound from Zhan Bai.
That was why Fan Su did not detect Zhan Bai, moreover it was so dark as well.
Only when Zhan Bai had saw that Fan Su had almost reached the entrance that he had finally restored his flow of breathing and revitalized his vital energy. “Brother Fan…No! Maiden Fan, where are you going?”
In the darkness when Fan Su heard the voice of a man, she really got the fright of her life. After a momentum shock, she immediately sprang out of the cave in fright!
Although she possessed epitome martial skills but a young maiden like her after she had heard a voice in this darkness, she was actually scared out of her wits.
But Zhan Bai did not know this and worried that Fan Su would worsen her injuries if she were to activate her vitalized energy. Also, he was afraid that she might have run into her enemies once outside the cave, therefore he too sprang out of the cave to chase after her.
Zhan Bai noticed that it was almost dawn now. Soon he caught up with her.
“Oh!” Fan Su grasped as though she was singing, her face was as cold as water as she coldly said unabashedly without the coyness of other girls. “So I was saved by Brother Zhan! Let me extend my appreciation to you.” And she bowed both her hands together to him.
Zhan Bai did not expect her to be suddenly so cold towards him even though she had just extended a bow to him. He said. “Fan…Maiden Fan your injuries have just been treated, it not good for you to move around…”
She turned her face around and said. “This, you do not have to worry.” And she turned around and walked away.
“Maiden, please wait!” Zhan Bai ran after her, calling for her.
Suddenly she turned around and her eyes were angry. “Is it because Brother Zhan, you have saved me, you are expecting something in return?” These two lines she had said with great severity and coldness.
Zhan Bai was startled and was speechless! He thought. “I did not fault you but why did you suddenly become so cold?…”
Just when Zhan Bai was startled, three figures emerged out of the dark woods. All of them were astonishing fast and in an instant, they had pointed their long swords in front of Zhan Bai’s chest.
Zhan Bai was even more startled because he had suddenly found himself trapped and in their hands when he was momentarily distracted. He estimated their age to be twenty to thirty. All of them have shining bright eyes and were filled with a heavy malevolent air! Suddenly he noticed that one of them looked familiar. He was the same person that had attacked the blind priest last night so he could not be from the Baotu Manor.
“Dage (Big Brother)!” Fan Su called out from his side and said. “He is not a dog of Baotu Manor…”
The oldest of the three men, furrowed deeply and then exclaimed in a low voice to Zhan Bai. “Rascal! Who is your Mentor Teacher? Why are you after my sister? Speak the truth or you will be a wandering ghost!”
After hearing that, how would Zhan Bai not be upset? He had expended his vital energy just to save person but in the end, he had to endure such threats and attitude. One must know that Zhan Bai was a haughty young man so how would he allow himself to be subjected in this manner! Moreover what incited him further were the three swords that were pointing at him. So he looked at them with a despise look on their faces, coldly hummed and kept silence!
The youngest among the three, who was also the most impatience when he saw Zhan Bai’s proud attitude, shouted. “Dage, look at what this rascal is wearing (Zhan Bai was wearing a cloak from the Baotu Manor). He is obviously our enemy. Why talk so much to him! Let finish him off and hurry away!” And he suddenly thrust his long sword into Zhan Bai’s chest!
Zhan Bai felt a sharp pain in his chest even before the long sword had pierced him and he pushed his hands at the sword.
There was a tearing sound as Zhan Bai’s cloak was tore and his chest was bleeding but luckily, it was not too deep and none of his arteries were cut.
The youngest swordsman that had attacked Zhan Bai was surprised. He did not expect that Zhan Bai had so much power in his hands that he could actually use his bare hands to block off his attack (Zhan Bai had used the windforce in his hands to lessen the impact of his thrust). In fact, he almost lost the grip on his long sword.
“Rascal, you do have some ability. How about this?” And the youngest swordsman attack again with a stance called the ‘Weeding the Grass to seek the Snake’ as the tip of his long sword was imbued with a golden ray of light towards Zhan Bai’s waist.
Zhan Bai used the strong windforce from his palms to deflect as much attack strokes from the him as possible. Then the another two swordsmen began to join in the fray.
Zhan Bai leapt one yard away and muttered. “Outrageous, you want to win me using wolf pack tactics. Farewell, I don’t wish to linger here anymore.” And he turned to walk away…
The three swordsmen came from a prominent swordsman family in Zhenjiang. Everyone knows about the [Zhenjiang, Fan lineage, Three Heroics]. Although tonight they had set fire to the forbidden ground of the Martial Fraternity, Baotu Manor and create a pandemonium but they did not get much of an advantage. It was because they had led more than twenty to thirty first rate fighters in this raid but most of their best fighters had been killed, seriously injured or surrounded by the fighters of Baotu Manor. Therefore when it was soon daybreak, they knew that they would lose their advantage in the confusion, that was why they had ordered a retreat.
But today, Fan Jie, the Second Brother of the [Three Heroics] when he was fighting with the blind priest earlier had saw his sister being carried away by a young man, he seek the assistance of his Eldest Brother [True Heart Sword] Fan Jun and Third Brother [Stellar Cloud Sword] Fan Ying to comb the areas for their sister.
Coincidentally, they had found their sister with Zhan Bai. Because their swiftness movement skills were fast, they were also high skilled in sword techniques, when they had just appeared, they had instantly seal Zhan Bai under their swords. But who would expect that Zhan Bai would manage to escape from under their swords now?
The Fan Clan and the Murong Family used to have very co-ordinal relationships. But because of an incidental that caused Lady Fan to be disgraced and she committed suicide, the two families started to be enemies. Although Master Fan was willing to be forget about this incident and forgo vengeance for his beloved wife but his sons and daughters would never forget about this great hatred that caused their mother to be humiliated and they would always think of avenging for their beloved mother.
Because Master Fan had to leave the manor for the South to settle some matters, the Fan Brothers and sister took this opportunity to lead the top exponents that were their protégés to seek revenge. But they did not expect that not only did they fail in their vendetta, they were also not the match for their enemies and had to beat a hasty retreat.
And now, Zhan Bai who was wearing a cloak that had the insignia of the Baotu Manor, caused the three brothers to be filled with an air of malevolent. But who would expect that a unremarkable young man like him would actually escape from their swords?
Therefore they attacked Zhan Bai again, determined not to let him off.
Although Zhan Bai had cleared all his eight wondrous meridians channels and pulses, if he had the guidance of an expert exponent, in a short time, it was not difficult for him to become an extraordinary expert fighter but now, he had just his powerful internal force and did not know how to make full use of it.
But now he had to face three beaming shadow swords that flashed towards him like a celestial dragons that were now surrounding him now. He instantly felt piercing sword energies all around him, pressuring him.
Suddenly a captivating voice called out. “My three brothers, hold it!…”