Monthly Archives: January 2016

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

Chapter 225: The Monster Bestial Typhon

The gigantic black obsidian door was pushed opened by a gentle tap. Almost immediately a hot howling wind was felt rushing through!

Hundreds of sphere of hovering lights were lit from within immediately, revealing a monstrous dark shape immediately; it was a huge stooping dark giant measuring 10m, with eight bulky arms and a golden horn on its forehead!

It opened its jaws as it exhaled breath of dark diaspora. All of a sudden a hidden eye in its forehead blinked opened, causing an air of fear, desperation and nausea to sweep into the hearts of everyone that looked into it!

Nuwa gasped, as Alice behind her and this was followed by the other Heavenly Kings behind!

Even the battle hardened Western Paradise Heavenly King expressions were twitching; such was the effect of the terrifying presence of this monstrous giant!

The Goddess Aiel tumbled weakly into a startled Han Lin who quickly called out to her, “Mistress, are you alright?”

Aiel muttered weakly, “I…I am alright…I have never seen anything like this before…”

The Universal Old Man muttered, “What is that…”

He was trembling and so were the rest!

The Martial Sage panicked called out, “Xian’Er, be careful. There is still time to turn back…”

But Xian’Er turned around to give him a gentle smile, “My destiny is in my hands.”

Nuwa inhaled hesitatingly, “This is a Typhon monster, one of the most powerful desolate monsters that exist since the beginning of time!”

Alice nodded warily, “It is extremely powerful and its strength is not beneath a divine beast!”

Xian’Er said, “I am afraid, it is even more…stronger.”

Yi Ping nodded, “That may be so but I am not afraid of it.”

Nuwa and Xian’Er looked at Yi Ping with a smile as they said almost at the same time, “I think the same as you.”

Nuwa said, “Do you know what I am thinking?”

Xian’Er nodded quietly but did not reply her; the two of them were willing to sacrifice themselves to pave the way for Yi Ping. It was because they believed that he was the inheritor of the mantle of the Great God Pangu.

Nuwa smiled at Xian’Er as she murmured, “Is that so? So you are thinking the same as I too.”

Yi Ping asked gently, aware of what was exchanged between them as he was focused on the foe in front of him. “Are we ready?”

Xian’Er replied, “I am ready.”

Nuwa giggled softly, “I am already ready. What takes you so long?”

At the same time Lingfeng, Alice and Lele had already formed a side by side line behind them as they chorused almost at once, “We are also ready!”

“Wait a minute!”

It was Mei’Er and she was accompanied by Ye Yin and Yu’Er!

Yi Ping was startled but he quickly smiled, “So it is my Mei’Er the Axis Heavens Goddess.”

But he was soon solemn as he said sternly, “Mei’Er, go back!”

Lingfeng gave them a reproaching look, “Don’t come near us or it will only distract us!”

Ye Yin laughed softly, “We are here to help. No one can sense the slightest movements as good as any of us. We will relay the information to you, just to be doubly sure.”

Yu’Er smiled gently, “Eyes can be deceiving. You have to rely on us. Our Dual Inertness Intricacy senses the slightness exchange between the material and immaterial. Mistress, what do you think? We are able to help and we want to help.”

Xian’Er appraised Yu’Er and Mei’Er for a while before she gave them a broad smile, “Indeed. Your divine state in the Dual Inertness Intricacy has surpassed new heights. I am afraid that I won’t be able to handle the two of you as easily as before.”

Yu’Er and Mei’Er broke into grins as they winked to the rest that were behind them. They were extremely delighted that their protégé mistress was praising them!

The Avant-garde Heavenly King began to mimic Yi Ping as he rubbed his nose, “How I wish that I am a protégé of the Great Goddess Fantian. These two little maidens are so interesting…”

The Formosa Heavenly King raised his eyebrows as he muttered, “I have never heard of you taking an interest in anyone. Moreover, you have only known them for such a brief time.”

The Avant-garde Heavenly King gave a weak smile as he whispered to him, “You are talking too much!”

Yi Ping raised his voice, “Then it is settled. Let’s go in now!”

Xian’Er and Nuwa nodded as the three of them stepped past the gigantic entrance at the same time!

A blinking golden light was seen briefly as they entered inside; this was an indication that they had entered a sealing celestial formation that was within!

As soon as they entered through the gate, the Typhon began to roar thunderously as it readied a charge!

Yi Ping took a quick look at his surroundings and with a single glance he had noted all the spaces of his possible maneuvers. This inner chamber was much large than it had looked from the outside.

Almost immediately, Alice whispered. “It is preparing to charge at you. Don’t let it touch you or it will be terrible. Its charge can kill instantly. Also it is almost impervious to most attacks. You must find its weakness as fast as possible!”

Lele’s startled voice could be heard, “Almost impervious to most attacks? Why didn’t you say so earlier?”

Lingfeng’s alluring soothing voice could be heard, “Lele, it is only to be anticipated. This is the same as our past battles. Don’t distract them and focused on more what is at hand.”

Yi Ping had mustered his Golden Invincible Force as nine wisps of faint golden lights began to hover rapidly around him, “I will distract it upfront…”

Xian’Er immediately said as she flashed right, “I will flank it to find its weakness.”

At the same time, Nuwa smiled as she flashed to his left. “Good. Let see who will be the one that can find its weakness first!”

As the Typhon bellowed loudly, a ring of tremendous force exploded around it as pebbles flew at tremendous speed all around!

Yi Ping raised the Celestial Alice in front of him, willing the nine hovering golden wisps to in front as it seemingly formed the shape of a golden hexagon shield that deflected the speeding pebbles!

Xian’Er nimbly evaded all the pebbles, deflecting all the speeding pebbles with her sword. She had only a single vital breath and she was not going to execute her Divine Emerald Force against such puny attacks!

Nuwa deflected the speeding pebbles with her sleeves as she murmured, “It is going to charge at you now, Yi Ping!”

Indeed the Typhon was upon Yi Ping in an instant!

Yi Ping slashed furiously at the Typhon but all his attacks deflected off its hide, imploding into brilliant sparks. He was not surprised but he was nevertheless startled. It was because that was already all the martial strength that he could muster!

Lele shouted panicky in his ears, “Ping’Er! Watch out for its arms! Disengage immediately!”

Yi Ping quickly swung his swords around, just in time to avoid eight simultaneous pounding fists around him that imploded into pillars of explosive forces all around him!

Xian’Er gasped as she flew into the back of the Typhoon as she slashed furiously but in vain!

Lingfeng shouted panicky, “Sister Xian’Er, it is aiming at you!”

Almost immediately the Typhon had turned slightly around as it punched its muscular fist at Xian’Er, who flipped dexterously around its gigantic arm, even as a tremendous force exploded all around!

It was akin to a gigantic version of the Ultrapowerful Force as the air exploded thunderously!

Yi Ping raised his swords over him to shelter against the tremendous windforces that were imploding around him he continued to zigzag around the Typhon, even as he gasped. “Xian’Er!”

But Xian’Er tiptoed onto the arm, then the shoulder, followed by the head of the Typhon as she evaded the furious explosions all around her. “Ping’Er, I am alright. Watch out too!”

Nuwa raised her palm to strike against the Typhon but her attacks were like a soft stick against a hard rock!

Alice whispered to her, “It’s no good. Even the sanctorum strengths of the divine swords are futile against it, much less your palm attacks…”

Nuwa whispered back, “I know, I know. But I don’t have any divine swords…”

All of a sudden a golden beaming light flashed past and struck the body of the Typhon next to her!

It was Youxue who had thrown her divine sword!

Alice whispered to her, “We know. Your Alma wants me to say to you; you can borrow her Divine Nine Cauldron for the time being!”

Nuwa immediately picked the divine sword as she puffed out, “Why, thank you! Much appreciated!”

Immediately, she had unleashed nine golden bursts of stellar light on the Typhon, as half the body of the Typhon imploded into a thunderous burst of explosion, causing it to shriek in deafening pain that sent multiple waves of shockwaves all around!

She gasped out as she almost exhausted her last vital breath, “Yi Ping! It is up to you now!”

All the onlookers were stunned and overwhelmed by the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa sudden show of strength as they all secretly thought, “So that is the difference between an Eighth Positioning Immortal and us. So that is really her true strength! She has only one vital breath of strength and she is able to unleash such power?!”

Perhaps the most startled were the Heavenly Kings, their jaws almost dropped as they stared in disbelief when the huge body of the Typhon had received such an astounding amount of impact!

Even though the Typhon was still largely unscathed and unaffected but all the Heavenly Kings that had previously fought against her, thought panicky. “The difference between an Eighth Positioning Immortal versus a Seventh, Sixth Positioning Immortal did not seem that great when we fought her. If she had leashed this power in the Pangu Monument, then won’t we already be a goner already?”

Yi Ping was also startled at the power display of the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa but he had quickly regained his composure. He had remembered how she was able to slay a Heavenly King outright when she had the chance. He sighed softly, “We have never stood a chance against her in the first place…luckily she is on the same side as us.”

Actually the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa was also secretly startled. She had never expected that she would be able to unleash the sanctorum power of the Divine Nine Cauldron Sword!

She was able to feel the soothing strength of the Divine Nine Cauldron Sword as it coursed through her. She took a glance at Youxue who nodded at her. She thought, “She is the mistress of the Divine Nine Cauldron but she is willing to lend me the ownership of her divine sword…”

The Typhon was completely enraged as stood upright as it punched all around him. All of a sudden, its golden horn began to glitter as sparks of purple lightning began to form around it, generating intense pressures that grind pebbles to powder immediately!

Purple lightning!

That was the strength of the most powerful of the Lightning Calamity and this monster was able to unleash it!

With just a single vital breath or less, none of them would be able to survive the full strength of the Purple Lightning Calamity!

Alice gasped, “The Purple Lightning Calamity! Avoid it all costs! Everyone, brace for the worst!”

Lingfeng voice turned weak, “At this distance, even we will be hit by the Purple Lightning Calamity. This piece of cheating monster…”

The Jade Emperor shouted, “Everyone back! Run as fast as possible! I will fight the Purple Lightning Calamity!”

The Western Paradise Heavenly King slammed his golden rod as he summoned nine hovering blue discs. His expression was solemn as he said, “I will not flee.”

Lie Qing smiled as she brandished her divine sword as she summoned seven hovering blue discs, “I will not flee too.”

It was obvious to everyone that Lie Qing had insufficient strength to summon the full strength of her Invincible Divine Force!

Xingyue flashed in front of her as she said gently, “Heh. Don’t forget about me. I have always wanted to test my Divine Rejuvenation Force against the most powerful of the Lightning Calamity. The rest of you have better fled. There is no space for weaklings here!”

The Goddess Isa and the Goddess Asura broke into smiles as they said together, “Who is the weakling here?”

The Goddess Isa shrugged her shoulder as she smiled, “My Divine Constellation Sword is of the lightning element. I am not so worried…”

Asura said quietly to her, “If you are planning to draw all the lightning to yourself then you will surely incinerate to nothingness. I can’t allow that.”

Isa smiled, “Isn’t that good? One less rival for you.”

Asura fingered her divine staff, “One less good rival. It is really bad for my future attainment. Why should I let you achieve nirvana and be remembered by the Great God Pangu forever? I can’t allow that!”

Isa brushed her golden streaks of braided hair, “That will depend if you are able to be faster than me or…Alice.”

Asura laughed softly, “We are all at the Seventh Positioning and are equally headstrong. Good!”

The Goddess of Mercy Xiang laughed softly as she raised her Heavens Sundering Mirror, “Don’t forget about me. How I hate the two of you, leaving me out just like this as though I am a lowly immortal, Hmph!”

Yunzi and Youxue smiled at the same time, “Don’t forget about us as well!”

The Universal Old Man, the Martial Sage, Skylord Jun and the rest were stunned that none of the maidens seemed to be willing to flee while there was still time…

The Lord Supreme was shouting panicky, “Yu’Er, Mei’Er! Ye Yin!”

But Yu’Er, Mei’Er and Ye Yin were fully immersed in coordinating with Alice, Lingfeng and Lele as their voices could be heard, “Yi Ping, to the left two steps! Sister Xian’Er, an attack from behind! Nuwa, an attack is coming from your left in 2s, another attack is coming in 4s from your left…

The energy sense of Yu’Er, Mei’Er and Ye Yin were simply astonishing. It was obvious that they had awakened their seventh senses!

Alice, Lingfeng and Lele were so trustful of their warnings that they were simply repeating after them!

All of a sudden Ye Yin cried out, “Correction, ask Yi Ping to back off immediately…Sister Xian’Er, what are you doing?…”

Everyone was startled by the sight of Xian’Er flying straight in front of the electrifying field of the Typhon’s golden horn as she evaded several attacks with astonishing speed!

And so was Yi Ping!

They had a startled expression when they caught sight of each other appearing at the same location!

Suddenly Xian’Er had raised her Icy Heavenly Tears to strike against the golden horn as she unleashed the Absolute Defense Stance of the Divine Emerald Force, as electrifying shockwaves ignited into several thunderous explosions!

At the same time, Yi Ping had slammed his two divine swords straight into the golden horn of the Typhon!

Yi Ping acted purely on instinct, guided by his natural battle sense. He knew that while the golden horn was the strongest armor of the Typhon but somehow when he saw the purple lightning that was generating, he instinctively felt that maybe that could also be the best timing to strike…

The electrifying and explosive shockwaves were so powerful that anyone that had less than the Seventh Immortal Positioning was knocked down to their feet and it was like the entire ground was moving up and down!

But the unbelievable thing had actually happened!

The Celestial Fairy alias the Great Goddess Fantian and Yi Ping had stopped the Purple Lightning Calamity right in its track and had blown up the golden horn of the Typhon!

Like a fallen angel, an unconscious Xian’Er dropped from above!

Yi Ping quickly caught hold of her in mid-air as he kissed her as he transferred his vital breath to her!

He willed panicky to her, “Xian’Er, Xian’Er! Our destiny has not ended yet!”

As he landed panicky, he had completely forgotten about the Typhon that was behind him!

Everyone was gasping!

Alice had turned ashen immediately as she charged through the gate, “I am not going to be here anymore!”

She was followed by Lingfeng, Lele, Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Ye Yin, Xingyue, Youxue, Yunzi, Isa, Asura and Xiang!

Even Aiel and Han Lin had rushed through the gate!

At this moment, none of them cared for their own personal well-being anymore!

It was because they knew that Yi Ping had almost exhausted his vital breath and he could no longer fight!

If he was not around anymore, then these maidens would rather perish together with him!

But luckily, the Typhon behind him had suddenly turned to stone!

Nuwa crumbled wobbly next to Yi Ping, “We have won! How is the Lady Fantian?”

She appeared to be shocked when she saw that Yi Ping was kissing Xian’Er, “What are you doing?”

Xian’Er opened her eyelids slightly; she had found herself in Yi Ping’s arms and they were kissing. She began to flush shyly as she gasped, “Ping’Er…”

Yi Ping was delighted, “Xian’Er, you are alright…”

All the maidens looked at each other mischievously as they chorused together, “What else? They are kissing!”

Yi Ping and Xian’Er turned their heads aside immediately at the same time but they knocked clumsily at each other, causing them to flush even hotter!

Nuwa muttered as she placed her fingers on her lips, “This is…kissing? Interesting…”

All a sudden the stoned Typhon behind them crumbled into dust as a brilliant feather floated above them, together with several beaming objects!

But the object of attention was actually the feather for that was the Feather Sword Shard!

One by one, the maidens were staring at it as the same question floated silently, “This Feather Sword Shard, who will Yi Ping give to?”

Chapter 225 End

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

Advertisements

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

Chapter 224: The Death Gate of the 90th Floor

It did not take them long to find a passage in the recesses of the mountains.

This passage was hot and the heat generated was intense.

A 40m towering black gate with golden runes inscribed on it soon greeted them.

Yi Ping had taken the lead as he looked at the group, “Is everyone alright?”

The majority of the group smiled weakly for they had taken a long walk through this smoldering heat.

Right now, everyone had been holding their breath for the past thirty minutes and they were feeling wobbly. It was because the smoldering heat was extremely venomous!

Everyone was holding their breath with their best intricate breathing techniques and maintaining their utmost efforts through sheer of will.

Yi Ping had held a mouthful of his vital breath with his Divine Revelation. Because of his mastery, he was able to recirculate the same vital breath within him for a long time.

Nuwa hummed coldly to Lele, “What a great place that you have brought us! This is actually the Death Gate and this whole place is like the infernal hell!”

Lele giggled softly, “So this is how the infernal hell looks like! Thanks for telling me. I am always wondering what hell looks like. It isn’t as horrible as I have been expecting!”

She batted an eye to the Celestial Liege and to Yi Si, “Why are my brother and daughter so quiet?”

Yi Si giggled but said nothing.

The Celestial Liege growled softly, “I really don’t understand at all.”

Lele asked, “Don’t understand what?”

The Celestial Liege heaved a heavy sigh, “I have trained every single day, four hours daily and my lazy sister actually ascend to the Celestial Realm earlier than me. Not only that, she is an immortal now…”

Lele corrected him immediately, “The Great Joyful Empress Goddess! You are to address me as such. I am making no exception for you even if you are my brother! That is because all immortals will have to bow before me. You don’t have to bow though. That will be my special grace towards you!”

Almost all the Heavenly Kings and Immortals were staring at Lele now; they were bemused, startled or astonished as they all thought. “Do I need to bow before her? Why did I agree to acknowledge her as the Empress Goddess of the Three Realms?”

It seemed that Lele was able to read their minds. She snapped her fingers to say, “That is because I am the Alma of the Great God Pangu. That is the undisputed fact. Only I can approach the Great God Pangu and bring everyone to the 100th level of the Stellar Sanctuary!”

Nuwa cursed softly, “Her boldness and audacity knows no limit…”

The rest of the maidens who had long acquainted with Lele were smiling secretly as they exchanged amused looks. While Yu’Er, Mei’Er and even Lingfeng had changed considerably, the Lele that they had known had never changed and the same went for her luck too!

Lie Qing lamented softly, “I don’t understand how on earth is she able to step on everyone’s toes and get away each time. Not only get away but her luck is simply too unbelievable. She should be the Goddess of Luck instead…”

The Jade Emperor faked a cough to get Lele and everyone else attention, before saying. “The final boss of the 90th floor lies within here. Are we ready?”

Alice flurried to the Jade Emperor, companied by Isa, Asura and Aiel as she said gently. “Respected Jade Emperor, I have something to say. I don’t mean anything else to damper our spirits but I need to warn everyone that this is the 90th floor. We should exercise caution and think twice before we proceed further.”

The Jade Emperor smiled, “Alice, you can disperse with such politeness. I am no longer the Jade Emperor of the Three Realms. But for you to say so, you must have reasons?”

When Yi Ping saw the black obsidian gate, he had all of a sudden had an uneasy feeling. It seemed that something dark was within it!

He began to recount his difficult experiences in obtaining the first Feather Sword Shard. He asked himself, “Why are the Feather Sword Shards only found in the 30th, 60th and 90th floor? And why is it that it is protected by extraordinary celestial formations that are so formidable that it is almost impossible to obtain?”

He paused briefly before considering, “In these thousands of years and the last six descend of the Stellar Sanctuary, none has ever obtained the Feather Sword Shard on the 30th floor even though most powerful Celestials will be able to reach that level. Did they all miss the 30th floor or the few that had reached the location that the Feather Sword Shards were in, all perished?”

He did not dare to confide in the others of his fears because he did not want anyone of them to be anxious or panic. Or else he would not be Yi Ping. He had always kept things to himself. If it is a bad thing then he would not say it loud!

But this time, he was forced to think hard. It was because this concerns the life and death of everyone. In such a big group, the celestial formation that was going to be descended was surely going to be extremely formidable!

He stared blankly at the Jade Emperor as he thought, “He had found the Feather Sword Shard on the 60th floor and had given it to Yi Si. The formidable formations on the 60th floor may not be too difficult for a high immortal like the Jade Emperor to handle. For sure he is a top immortal fighter or else he wouldn’t be able to handle so many Heavenly Kings on his own and remained undefeated. No wonder I was defeated by him in a blink of an eye when I first fought with him. Now I know the reason.”

He stared at the gigantic black obsidian gate, “But I don’t want to give it up.” Somehow he felt that he had to obtain the Feather Sword Shard. There was a throbbing urge that was within him…

He sighed softly, “I have thought that with my present attainment in my Great Emptiness Translucence, I will not be tempted by the desires of the heart.”

As he pondered, he looked at the group that was with him as he thought. “But then, we are all here in the Stellar Sanctuary. Aren’t we all bound by the secret desires of the heart?”

“Yi Ping?”

He was startled by Alice who had called out to him suddenly. He smiled, “Yes?”

Alice nodded to Asura, who immediately stepped forward with the black rod. She whirled it all of a sudden and it became a long staff with two golden hexagon heads.

Asura looked at Yi Ping shyly before saying, “I am sure that all of you are aware that this immortal weapon that is my hand is the Symphony of Destiny.”

The Jade Emperor and the rest of the Heavenly Kings nodded. In the Immortal Realm, the Symphony of Destiny was one of the most powerful immortal weapons in existence. It was also said to be the key to the Stellar Sanctuary!

The Goddess Asura raised the Symphony of Destiny as she lifted her eyes to say unhurriedly, “There is a legend in the Immortal Realm that the Symphony of Destiny is the true key to the Stellar Sanctuary.”

The Jade Emperor nodded slowly, “I have heard of it. Is it true?”

The Western Paradise Heavenly King smiled, “If you didn’t mention it, I would have already forgotten.”

Asura took a hesitant look at Xian’Er, asking. “Can I?”

Xian’Er nodded gently, “I know that Alice and you have the good meaning to warn every one of the perils that will soon befall us. In that case, do not be afraid to speak.”

Nuwa was curious, “How come no one has ever told me the importance of that staff?”

Mei’Er laughed softly, “Because you have never asked and because if we told you, you would have already seized it!”

Before Nuwa could cast her malevolent eyes on Mei’Er, she had already hid herself behind Xian’Er and Yu’Er!

Everyone was suppressing the urge not to laugh aloud!

Asura nodded before she said solemnly, “The Great Goddess Fantian has given the Goddess Theocracy the Stellar Sanctuary and the Symphony of Destiny for safekeeping. While the Symphony of Destiny is not exactly a map, it contains inscriptions of the various safe havens of the Stellar Sanctuary. As long as we do not stray from the safe points, we will be able to avoid the formidable formations of the Stellar Sanctuary.”

Yi Ping rubbed his nose to say, “Except that we didn’t really stay on the safe points.”

Lingfeng giggled softly, “If we did then we won’t be able to reach the upper levels! Who is the guy that takes us here and there?”

Youxue smiled mesmerizing, “No pain, no gain!”

Yunzi smiled weakly, “Except that we have nearly lost our lives several times over!”

Yi Ping shrugged his shoulder as he said, “This is not the time for laughs. The fumes here are extremely poisonous. Be careful not to take in any.”

Lingfeng yawned softly, “I wonder who the one that is commenting the unnecessary first?”

Asura smiled faintly as she continued, “But!” She had raised her pretty voice, “There are no safe haven points from the 90th floor and beyond!…”

Nuwa yawned softly as she snapped her fingers, “We are not looking for a safe haven. We are looking to fight the boss!”

The Western Paradise Heavenly King, who was equally combative as the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa, applauded her. “Right, right!”

Yu’Er giggled softly, “I say that the Lady Nuwa and the Western Paradise Heavenly King certainly makes a good pair!”

The Western Paradise Heavenly King was startled as he exclaimed panicky, “No, no!”

Nuwa took a lazy glance at the Western Paradise Heavenly King as she answered coldly, “He has to wait a million years first. Even then, I may not even consider him.”

All the maidens were suddenly smiling and Yi Ping was no exception!

He sighed softly to himself, “I shouldn’t have done that…”

The Western Paradise Heavenly King was smiling weakly as he looked awkwardly at the other Heavenly Kings, “Yes, yes.”

But he quickly recovered his composure, “Asura, will you please continue.”

Asura nodded and said, “For all we know, the levels between level 90 to 99 may be there to bait us into a trap.“

She waited for it to sink as everyone began to look at each other.

Yunzi was the first to ask, “Didn’t the Dark Chaos Lord succeeded in reaching the very top?”

The Goddess Celestial Alice answered quietly with a tinge of sadness, “But he had perished and had become part of the Stellar Sanctuary now.”

But she smiled faintly as she said quickly, “We have deciphered some of the inscriptions of the Symphony of Destiny. After discussing with Asura, we think that from the 90th floor onward, the difficulties of the trials have a sudden increase of three folds.”

She paused to let it sink for a while for everyone.

Everyone, including Yi Ping and the Heavenly Kings had a sudden solemn expression. It seems as though the mood of the atmosphere had suddenly become really tense!

The Western Paradise Heavenly King asked solemnly as he took a look at the Jade Emperor, “Are you sure?”

The Jade Emperor was stroking his long beard and his expressions were extremely grave!

It was because a three folds increase was not something that even the Heavenly Kings had the confident to handle, even at their peak!

Alice nodded slowly, “When the Great Goddess Fantian handed over the Symphony of Destiny to me, she had specified me to decipher the runes that are on it, for it will shed the clues from the 90th floor onward.”

Xian’Er touched the Symphony of Destiny gently before she heaved a soft sigh, “I can only remember that when the Great God Pangu handed the Stellar Sanctuary and the Symphony of Destiny to me, he had warned me not to ascend to the upper floor of the Stellar Sanctuary. And this warning is even engraved in the citadel that I have found myself in.”

The Jade Emperor added solemnly, “The Stellar Sanctuary is meant to be extremely difficult. This is also to prevent the Desolate Immortals from seizing the ultimate secrets of the Stellar Sanctuary, lest they would revert the Three Realms to its original desolate state.”

Nuwa murmured softly, “Oh, really.”

Yi Ping touched the obsidian gate as he looked up, “Stronger than the strongest Immortals…”

The Great Khan Heavenly King grumbled unhappily, “We should have gone to the 100th floor immediately instead!…” But as he was about to say something more, he noticed that half the group was giving him an unfriendly stare so he did not continue.

Yi Ping turned to Yunzi, “Yunzi what do you think?”

Yunzi smiled serenely, “It has been a long time since you have asked me anything. It isn’t a bad thing because you have already learnt to take charge of things.”

She was actually a praising Yi Ping as she took a dovey look at him.

Youxue nodded as she heaved a soft sigh, “We have thought that we are the smart ones but you are the one that have led us to safety so far.”

Yi Ping appeared to be a little awkward, “I…I am just following my instinct. I actually didn’t give much thought to anything.”

Lingfeng laughed softly, “That is right. At least he has the guts and awareness to admit that.”

Yi Ping growled, “Lingfeng…”

But Lingfeng smiled as she quickly interrupted him, “I used to think I am smart. But if he is as smart as me then everything will be so different and it will be disastrous in the end.”

Many of the maidens were nodding and heaving soft sighs. If Yi Ping had listened to them then everyone would have died ten times over!

Yunzi chuckled softly, “That is so true!”

Yi Ping was solemn as he said, “Yun, can you tell me what you are thinking?”

Yunzi looked at him for a while before she heaved a soft sigh, “I think that you have already made up your mind on this…”

She paused briefly before continuing, “Even though until now, the trial seems pretty easy but it is actually much more dangerous than it seems.”

She lifted her fingers to point at her surroundings, “Look at these poisonous fumes that are here. Until now, we cannot exchange a fresh intake of vital breath. These fumes may seem insignificant now but it will be a totally different matter once a fight breaks out. This will cause us to be in dire straits if we are not fully able to utilize our strength.”

Everyone nodded. Actually they had already known it but none of them wanted to be the first to say it!

Yunzi emphasized, “If we cannot exchange a fresh intake of vital energy then we cannot muster our martial powers once it have dissipated. Beside, mustering our martial powers will consume our existing vital breath and endanger us too.”

That was the worries that were plaguing Yi Ping, Alice, Asura and Xian’Er!

But what other choices did they have now?

Yunzi looked gently at Yi Ping, “Ping’Er, are you thinking the same as I am thinking? Are you? What will you do?”

Yi Ping looked at her gently, “Yun, you can read my thoughts?”

Yunzi said quietly, “Are you thinking of entering that gate on your own? You want to test the boss behind this gate yourself? So that we won’t be endangered?”

The Western Paradise Heavenly King roared as he slammed his rod onto the ground, “I am a warrior. There are no enemies that I fear and I don’t fear death. If there is anything that I fear then it is running without a single fight!”

The Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess laughed softly, “This isn’t the time for brainless bravery.”

She looked at Yi Ping, “And that goes for you too!”

Yi Ping shook his head as he looked solemnly at everyone, “I have to do it alone. Only I am able to face the monster beyond this gate.”

When he had said that, a thunderous rumble beyond the obsidian gate could be heard; judging from the earthshaking tremor that had just been felt, the monster beyond the gate had to be gigantic!

Yi Ping patted the Western Paradise Heavenly King as he said quietly to him, “Thank you for imparting the Golden Invincible Force to me. But this battle is mine alone. If you really want to help me then be my guardian and prevent the others from after me, lest I will be distracted.”

The Western Paradise Heavenly King was momentarily speechless and did not what to say!

Han Lin, Aiel, Yu’Er and Mei’Er had already scurried next to Yi Ping as they said almost at the same time, “It is too dangerous!”

Yu’Er bit her lips, “Master Yi Ping, your Yu’Er has never begged you for anything before, am I right? Either we battle together or we leave together!”

Mei’Er pursed her lips as she unsheathed her golden divine sword, “My sister is right!”

Yi Ping held her hand as he said gently to her, “I know, Yu’Er and I have always appreciated you for that. But now, I am afraid that only I have the strength to overcome the boss that is inside. If we all enter at the same time, the boss that is beyond the gate will be impossible to beat.”

Han Lin turned around to look at Xian’Er, Nuwa, Alice, Isa, Lingfeng and Asura, “Hey! Aren’t you going to stop him?”

Lingfeng replied, “Ping’Er is right. This is the only way.”

Alice nodded lightly, “Other than Yi Ping, only the Great Goddess Fantian and the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa are qualified to enter this gate.”

Xian’Er said gently, “Ping’Er, I am joining you. Say no more. You can be rest assured that I won’t be your hindrance.”

Nuwa smiled, “I have never tried to fight with just a single vital breath. This is a new and interesting challeng for me. I am joining in as well.”

Yi Ping turned ashen immediately, “I have the protection of the Golden Invincible Force. As long as I can maintain it, I can protect my vital breath but the rest of you can’t afford to take a single hit…”

Lie Qing said coolly, “Ping’Er, I know the weakness of your Golden Invincible Force. It requires a great deal of effort to muster and maintain it. With just a single vital breath, even if you did not receive a single hit, how long can you maintain it before you use up all your vital breath?”

Yi Ping was solemn and was downcast. He was trembling. He was not a coward. In fact, he would not back off from a fight. There was nothing under the heavens and in the earth that could daunt him. The only thing that he feared the most was that he could not protect his love ones. He did not want to repeat the tragedies of the White Sage, the Dark Chaos Lord or even the Great God Pangu.

He knew that he was carrying a huge burden on his back.

So he said aloud, “I am going. If you really hope for my wellbeing then wish me the very best so that I can focus on the fight ahead! If I fail then I want everyone to leave this passage immediately. Lele will bring you to the 100th level…”

Xian’Er said gently, “Ping’Er, don’t forget me and Nuwa.”

She gave him a stern look before saying, “I have never asked you for anything until now. Bring us with you. I don’t want to stop you and I want to fight with you. I don’t intend to sacrifice myself either and I will persist to the last. Otherwise, I do not deserve to be called the Great Goddess Fantian. Only in adversity can our will be stronger.”

Yi Ping looked at her and was helpless. He knew that Xian’Er had already made up her mind so he said, “Xian’Er and Nuwa will join me.”

Nuwa clapped her hands and laughed, “Excellent!”

But Yi Ping quickly said to her, “Stay behind Xian’Er and I. We have our divine swords to protect ourselves but you…”

All of a sudden Nuwa snapped her fingers as she said coldly, “I know what I am doing. Once we pass that ugly dark gate, there is no retreat. It is either we win this battle or perish together. However, I cherish myself too much to die before any of you.”

Yi Ping rubbed his nose to smile, “That is good. That is what I want.”

Lingfeng looked at Nuwa, “You really don’t look like someone that will sacrifice yourself for someone else. Yet you are doing it now. What a cold appearance on the outside but a heart of gold inside!”

Nuwa smiled coldly, “Think what you like.”

The Jade Emperor heaved a soft sigh, “The three of you are Eight Positioning Immortals. If even you can’t overcome the hurdle in front of us, can we survive the 100th level floor? We might as well turn back now!”

The Universal Old Man murmured, “Our original goal in the Stellar Sanctuary is to seek the divine stages of immortal ranks. Now that we have already obtained it, we should turn back instead…”

But Yi Ping, Xian’Er and Nuwa were already in front of the gigantic obsidian gate!

Yunzi called out all of a sudden, “Ping’Er, wait!”

Yi Ping paused in his tracks and turned around, “Yes?”

Yunzi smiled as she said, “You just go in like this without a plan?”

Yi Ping, Xian’Er and Nuwa looked at each other…

Nuwa raised her eyelids, “We need a plan? Or rather, we can plan?”

Yi Ping asked, “Yun, you have a plan?”

Yunzi laughed softly, “If I don’t have a plan, will I ask you to wait?”

Yi Ping smiled, “Indeed not!”

Lingfeng, Yu’Er, Ye Yin, Xingyue, Mei’Er, Han Lin, Isa, Asura, Isa, Lie Qing, Lele, Youxue and all the others were startled as they crowded around Yunzi, “What is the plan? There is a plan?”

Yunzi smiled, “Once this obsidian gate is opened and we have entered it, there is no escape from its sealing formation but it doesn’t mean we cannot influence the outcome of the battle, am I right?”

Yi Ping furrowed, “We can influence the outcome of the battle?”

Yunzi smiled as she pointed at Lele, Lingfeng and Alice at once, “Naturally we can. You can let them stand on the edge of the obsidian gate and let them be your guides!”

Alice was startled as she looked at Lingfeng and Lele who had immediately got what Yunzi was hinting!

Lele said excitedly, “That is right!”

Lingfeng chuckled softly, “I have almost forgotten that the six of us are linked with each other. I like this plan so let’s us proceed with it then!”

Lele nodded, “Then I will be the guide of Yi Ping!…”

Everyone immediately groaned; Lele was being too predictable!

Yunzi immediately smiled but she was soon solemn, “Lele is the Alma of the Great God Pangu. Naturally, it is best this way.”

Lingfeng smiled, “Then I will be the guide for Sister Xian’Er.”

Alice nodded, “And I shall be eyes and ears for the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa.”

Yi Ping nodded, “Then let this be the plan then!”

Yunzi nodded as she called out one last time, “Ping’Er, be careful!”

She was soon followed by Lie Qing, Youxue, Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Ye Yin, Xingyue, the other maidens and his sworn brothers who were all urging the same!

The Celestial Liege said solemnly, “You rascal. You have better come back. We still have an unfinished duel with each other!”

Yi Ping beamed as he brandished his two divine swords, “I will…I will…”

Ch224 End

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

Chapter 9

Outside the ancient city of Xian, although there were a few moments of shouting that was carried over by the wind but it could not break the boundless tranquil.

This tranquil, was especially dovey and was appreciated in the eyes of Nangong Ping and Mei Yinxue who had escaped in the confusion.

Now, Nangong Ping was lying comfortably under the bright starry hosts, peacefully enjoying this much appreciated tranquil. The images of blades and swords, life and death, the fire and the falling floor earlier…seemed so far away under the tranquil starry hosts.

After awhile, Mei Yinxue melancholy sighed deeply and asked. “Do you know what place is this?”

Nangong Ping slowly shook his head. “I do not know!”

Mei Yinxue said. “This is the palace ruin of the First Emperor of China.”

Once again she sighed. “Extending eight hundred miles, its majestic was unrivalled. But now what are left of it, was these broken rubbles. Qin Shihuang conquered all the lands and become king of all kings but now where is he?”

She seemed to refresh many of her past memories. Therefore in this tranquil darkness, she unwittingly began to sigh!

Nangong Ping smiled. But suddenly he heard her singing. “The river of the Da Jiang (River Changjiang), the waves rocked, the thousands of ancient people…” This is the poem of the great Scholar Su. Naturally Nangong Ping who was taught literature, knew of it. So when he heard this song of hers, his heart suddenly became even sadder!

“Hero!” He muttered. “What is a hero? Where should a hero be?”

Mei Yinxue ceased her singing and said. “Jinx. Beauty…” She remembered how Wei Qi had scolded her. “Is a woman who is born beautiful, an unforgivable sin?…Alas!”

Therefore very naturally, ‘Hero’ and ‘Beauty’ since ancient times had been linked so she thought of it.

She turned her head and looked at the Nangong Ping who was not aware that she was looking. She remembered his iron guts and righteous heart and her eyes suddenly shone. But she softly said instead. “Do you know that just now you should not have done what you have done. You are still young, don’t you treasure your own life at all?”

Nangong Ping secretly sighed and slowly sat up. “My life!” He said in a low voice. “Naturally I treasure it but I always feel that in this world, there are many things that are more valuable than life…All the ancient heroes, they had now turned to dry bones but until now, they are still living in the hearts of the people! Maybe they are very lonely in life but when they are dead, they will never be lonely again…”

His voice stumbled and very naturally he thought of ‘Beauty’.

Therefore he said. “This is just like beauties who lead a tragic life but when they are dead, they will always be remembered in people’s hearts! Xi Si, Zhao Jun…Heroes! Jing Ke…Alas. Why were they all so lonely and so tragic?”

He was looking very far away at the trees in the distant and his heart was thinking of all the past heroes. He did not know that a pair of beautiful captivating eyes was now looking at him in silence.

Mei Yinxue looked carefully at him, looked at his eyebrows, his mouth and lips, and the lines on his face. At first glance, everyone would think that this young man appeared soft and weak – almost like a young woman.

But after further observations, this type of soft and weak feeling vanished, replaced by a limitless mental strength, extraordinary courage and a strength that was flowed from within that knew no fathom.

Especially his pair of eyes, so deep and intelligence and handsome. Although his eyes looked gentle but when it became enraged, it would become sparks that touched the hearts of everyone.

She looked quietly at this young man who was younger than her and suddenly she felt an uneasy feeling overwhelming her. She melancholy sighed, turned her head over and a frosty expression surfaced on her face as she coldly said. “You probably did not expect that the responsibility given to you by your Protégé Master will be so painstaking and heavy right.”

Nangong Ping was startled from his enthrallment and immediately returned to his old self.

Mei Yinxue coldly added. “You must be feeling right now in your heart, that because of me, you almost lost your life. It is indeed not worthwhile, right?”

Although Nangong Ping was very intelligent, but in this world, no matter how smart a person was, he was still unable to second-guess the changes in a girl’s heart. He felt it was strange that earlier the gentle and demure girl would become suddenly so frosty.

Mei Yinxue did not turned her head. She seemed most unwilling and did not dare to look into his bright eyes.

“But,” She coldly added. “Even if you really died, you should not blame me. It is the pitiful acts of always trying to be a hero that caused you to die. You have a hundred chances to leave but you did not. Who will think that you are a hero? Even if you are a hero but how much does it worth?”

Not only were her words frosty but sharp as well. It seemed that she purposely did that to hurt Nangong Ping just like the way she hurt herself.

Nangong Ping was stunned and looked at her. Anger from his heart slowly boiled within him and he thought. “Why are you not understandable at all? All these, I did it all for you…”

Suddenly another thought shook him as he suddenly remembered that just now during the fire and the dangerous floors, she had protected him and the anxiety shown by her, the warm feeling of her besides him protecting him.

He also remembered just when he had almost fell, she had dashed to him, her startled and concern look as she pulled him up when he had no more strength. And how she took him out of the Xian City during the confusion.

In that instant, everything flashed in his heart. He unwitting sighed and slowly said. “Then what about you? Just now why did you not leave? You have more than ten times better chances than I to escape. Why did you choose to accompany me?

Mei Yinxue trembled. It was like someone whipping her as it touched deeply into her innermost feelings.

She wanted to say something but a strange and weird feeling caused her to become speechless.

Nangong Ping looked at her and saw her back trembling…

A drop of clear and cold tear dropped on her hand. She was startled in her mind. “I have cried!” She thought and immediately used her hands to wipe away her tears but her tears were uncontrollable. This ‘Cold Blood’ maiden although she tried her best to control her feeling but the sorrow in her most innermost place caused her unable to control her tears.

She did not dare to turn her head even more. “You don’t have to care for me.” She said aloud. “From now on, I will not dare to impose upon you to protect me…” Now even her voice trembled. “Even though your Protégé Master had order you to do so but…You have already did your best and is already more than enough…is…enough…”

Suddenly even before she could finish, she had sobbed aloud and uncontrollable on the grasslands.

Nangong Ping sighed and even his eyes were beginning to be swollen.
Everyone would have his or her moments of sadness. But only those that were cold hearted, their tears were the most precious. That was because unless it was extremely sorrowful, their tears would not flow.

“Maiden…Mei!” He sighed and solemnly said. “Do you know that my actions are not wholly because of Protégé Master…Alas! Even if Protégé Master did not give me his orders, if I see a girl who is being humiliated and unable to explain the black. I will also do the same thing. I did not think of being a hero. I only want to do what I feel right. You…you…you should have know my intention…Don’t you know?”

Words that were sincere caused Mei Yinxue to descend into a deeper pit of grief. And she cried out even more sorrowful.

 

Ch9 End

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

Chapter 8

Manshan Two Brothers countenance looked as dark as the darkness. They had secretly followed Nangong Ping till he had completed the funeral process and entered Xian City. Now they had followed their carriage to a villa.

Chang Sun Kong stood far away under an opposite house and said in a low voice. “Since this girl is not Mei Yinxue, why did he ask us brothers to follow them?”

Chang Sun Dan considered for awhile and said. “He is a dragon among men. Surely he have his purposes when he wanted us to do so. Now I may not know but in future, we will know. Second Brother, you and me possesses an extraordinary martial skills but whatever fame we have is but a fleeting moment. So what is the use? If you and me want to gain fame in the Central Plains, we have to depend on him!”

Chang Sun Kong sighed and suddenly from the door opposite, a man walking in strides approached them and extended out a invitation and handed it to Chang Sun Dan. He simply extended his hands but did not say anything.

Manshan Two brothers were startled and opened up the invitation and on it was written. “Zhijiao Manor disciple Nangong Ping lacking proper knowledge of the Pugilist respectfully invite Manshan Two Brothers.”

Chang Sun two brothers looked at one another and were startled. And at this time, Nangong Ping who had changed his robe was now standing at the door opposite and extended his hands.

Although the two brothers had much experience in Pugilist but at this moment, they did not know what to do, as they remained startled.
Chang Sun Dan extended both his hands and said in a clear voice. “We appreciate your kind intentions. We pay a visit some other time!”

And they turned and left at the same time without turning their heads.
After Nangong Ping had watched them leaving, the smile on his face vanished and he sighed and walked heavily into the door. As the skies had darkened, light from the bronze lamps soon lighted the courtyard.

Although he possessed martial skills and millions of taels of wealth, he was now carrying a problem that neither martial skills nor wealth could solve.

He muttered. “If only I could split into three then all my problems would be solved but…Alas!” As he did not know how to split into three therefore his frustrations and misfortune did not go away.

Mei Yinxue was sitting in a comfortable manner and relaxing under the exquisite purple lamp. The soft light of the bronze lamp shone on her like a dream. On top of the stone table, was a basket of erotic fruits like banana, litchi, grape, lemon…all these erotic fruits from the Southern Seas that even a very wealthy family had rarely seen, did not even hold her attention. She just looked lazily at the bronze lamp that was hanging on the wall and lost in thoughts.

Nangong Ping heavy treading did not disturb her trance like thoughts. She did not even turned and looked at him. Her pale white face under the light of the lamp was like a beautiful piece of jade.

After awhile, Mei Yinxue finally softly sighed. “Did they go?”

Nangong Ping said. “Yes…The two of them had been secretly following us. I wonder what they are up to. Did they manage to recognize you after all?”

Mei Yinxue causally laughed. “Why are you worrying for?”

Nangong Ping asked. “Why should I worry?”

Mei Yinxue melancholy said. “You are thinking that if others will to recognize me, then it will place you in a disadvantage position. When that time comes…You will not bother with me anymore because I am a person abandoned by the Pugilistic Fraternity. If you were to aid me, then won’t you too become a traitor to the Pugilistic Fraternity? The most, most upright disciple of the Divine Dragon will never dare to become a traitor. Even the Immortal Dragon did not dare to, don’t you agree?”

Nangong Ping remained as composed as before. There was not a tingle of expression on his face.

Mei Yinxue added. “The Justice of the Pugilist is but a prestige right enjoy by a few people. If there are ten heroes of Pugilist that say you are an evil person, then you are destined to be one. That is because no matter what you will try to do, you will always be in the wrong. Even the most, most upright of the Divine Dragon will never dare to say a word of fairness under the banner of the Justice of the Pugilistic Fraternity. Because even if it is said out, others may not believe…Hello, do you agree?”

There was a tingle in the eyes of Nangong Ping but till, he kept quiet.

Mei Yinxue suddenly softly laughed. “But you can place your heart to rest. Now in the Pugilist, except for you and me, there is no one else that knows that I am…” She did not say it out.

Suddenly there was laughter coming from outside the window as it said. “Peacock Concubine, this time you are wrong!”

Nangong Ping underwent a great change in his countenance as he said in a low voice. “Who?” As he saw a man entering by the window who smiled and said. “Due to unforeseeable circumstances, I am forced to enter through the city to avoid the ears of men. Please forgive me!”

The man was actually ‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping!

Nangong Ping was startled as he fell backward three steps.

A strange expression floated on Mei Yinxue pale face as she got up and said. “What are you saying? Please say it again alright?” Her voice was so gentle and tranquil like a teacher taking to her students to repeat their answers.

Ren Fengping was slightly startled and did not know whether this woman was actually composed or unconcerned. But his thoughts betrayed him as it was shown on his face. So he tried to shift this frustrating query by saying. “The Nangong Aristocracy Family is really wealthy throughout the world! Who will expect that in faraway Xian, you have such a beautiful villa.”

Nangong Ping smiled and extended his hands as an appreciation of thanks. By now he had recovered his composure.

When Ren Fengping had sat down, Mei Yinxue softly laughed. “What I asked earlier, did you not heard?”

Ren Fengping smiled and said. “The Peacock Concubine is renowned throughout the realm. Maiden Mei words, how can I afford to miss out…”

Mei Yinxue looked solemn and coldly said. “Maybe you have heard too much of a gossip…” As she moved forth and one of her jade hands waved in the front of Ren Fengping.

Although Ren Fengping remained motionless and smiling, he was looking at Mei Yinxue’s hand. It was as though he did not know that once Mei Yinxue lowered her hand, he would immediately hover around death’s door.

Nangong Ping looked on knowingly and he stepped to the front of Mei Yinxue. Only when Mei Yinxue gently put down her hand did he take a deep breath in his heart and thought. “This man either he possesses supreme martial skill or that he has a superb intellect…”

His thoughts were interrupted by Ren Fengping big laughter. “Impressive! Impressive! The Peacock Concubine is indeed a phoenix among women…”
He ceased his laughter and said solemnly, “Maiden Mei, if your hand was to pat down, then you don’t deserve to be a phoenix.”

Mei Yinxue coldly said, “You have not make yourself clear, naturally I will not harm you…”

Ren Fengping suddenly laughed and said, “After I make myself clear, I don’t think Maiden will think of harming me.”

Mei Yinxue coldly said, “Those that know too much, will usually hover around death’s door.”

Ren Fengping exclaimed, “Do I really know too much?”

Mei Yinxue said, “Indeed!” As she did not take her glance from Ren Fengping. Although she could not guess his intention but she could not take him lightly. For a person that could treat lightly her hand that could end his life anytime, his action and words were not to be taken lightly.

Ren Fengping ceased his laughter and added, “If I had known too much, then in the Xian City, those people that know too much numbered at least a thousand!”

Mei Yinxue countenance changed as she interrupted, “How do you explain it?”

Ren Fengping explained, “Maiden Mei knows the arts of youth and can remain ageless. Therefore no one else in the world will ever know Maiden Mei that look like twenty years of old will be the Peacock Concubine. But…who will expect that Nangong brother will leave a survivor and he has ran to ‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi…”

He pointed at the dark skies outside the window and said aloud. “Nangong brother, Maiden Mei, did you not notice that the skies of Xian City is now filled with the malevolent air of sword energy!”

Nangong Ping muttered, “Survivor…”

Mei Yinxue solemnly said, “That…That Ye Liuge (Gentleman Swordsman) did not die?”

Ren Fengping sighed and nodded, “Although he is heavily injured, he has yet to die…”

Nangong Ping was left stunned for awhile before muttering. “He has yet to die?” Although he sounded startled, he was actually also relieved.

Therefore when Ren Fengping looked at him, he found that Nangong Ping did not behave within his expectations when he heard the news.

“Although Ye Liuge is wounded, he did not die. Li Tian Ming has come down from Mt. Zhongnan. Li Tianming is the Chief of the Zhongnan Sect and Wei Qi is the Seventh of the Zhongnan disciples. And at this moment of time, Wei Qi has mustered all the pugilists in the city to search for the two of you. Although I am hapless to aid you but I could not watch on helplessly therefore I rush here…Nangong Master, the enemy is strong and you weak and you are greatly outnumbered. Moreover your protégé brother and protégé Sister in law seem to some biased views currently, therefore I suggest…”

Nangong Ping added, “Do you mean to say that we should seek cover for awhile?”

Before Ren Fengping could say anything, Mei Yinxue interrupted, “Wrong!”

She was smiling but no one knew why.

Ren Fengping replied, “I do have such an intention. Why did maiden say it is wrong?”

Mei Yinxue explained, “If I were you, I would advise him to stop meddling on this matter. Because anyone that is involved with the Cold Blood Concubine Mei Yinxue, will not have a good ending.”

She said in jeer, “Is that what you want to say to him in your heart?” She did not wait for Ren Fengping to open his mouth and turned to Nangong Ping and said, “If I were you, I would immediately go far, far away. Even run to that ‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi and to tell him straight in the face that Mei Yinxue and you have nothing to do with one another…”

She suddenly stumped in her voice and then laughed hilariously, “Mei Yinxue haiz, Mei Yinxue…You are really a most misfortune and dumb person. You obviously know that the people in the Pugilistic Fraternity will never let spare you because you do not stand for heroism and righteousness. Because of your pitiful yet spiteful temper…but at least you should feel very proud. Because of a lonely girl like you, those righteous and heroic pugilists actually mobilize the entire city to deal with you!”

Nangong Ping kept quiet and he retained his composure while Ren Fengping looked on strangely at the out of norm rare beauty who had by now ceased her hilarious laughs and was now sitting on the chair. Her eyes now looked sharp, firm and cold. It seemed that she had thrown away all her feelings with that laugh. And now her blood really became icy cold.

Ren Fengping secretly thought. “This man and woman is not a couple, they are not even friends. I wonder what are their relationship with one another.”

He turned his attention to Nangong Ping and asked, “This matter must not be delayed anymore. I wonder what you planning to do?”

Nangong Ping smiled and said, “Your kind intention, I appreciate it…”

Feng Fengping said, “The odds are many, it is better if you flee.”

“The odds are many…” Nangong Ping solemnly said, “Zhongnan Sect is an orthodox clan. Surely they will listen to explanations and not use the odds right?”

Ren Fengping thought, “The Cold Blood Concubine has such a bad reputation that there is no need for any explanations…” But he said instead, “This…”

Mei Yinxue suddenly laughed coldly and added, “You may look smart but actually you are very stupid. Those self-righteous people have long hated me to the core. Will they even give me a chance to explain?”

Ren Fengping thought, “Indeed she has excellent foreknowledge…” And he looked at Nangong Ping and thought it weird that although he looked calm from outside, but he was stubborn within. How could he tolerate her at all?

Suddenly there was a knock as Wei Chuan En entered. He felt strange to see that there was another person in the room. But because he was experienced in dealing with surprises, in that instant, his surprise faded away. He lowered his head and said, “Your humble servant did not dare to disturb Master but…”

A sorry smile was seen as he added, “The servants underneath Master and some merchants from Xian City when they heard that Master have come, all wanted to come and pay a visit. And they are holding a feast at Eternal Restaurant for Master and Maiden Mei. I wonder if Master will honor a visit.”

Nangong Ping looked solemn and glanced at Mei Yinxue who raised her eyebrow slightly as he looked at her. Although she did not say it out, her disapproval was spelt out quite obvious.

But Nangong Ping asked solemnly, “Is it now?”

Wei Chuan En replied, “If it is convenient for Master…”

Nangong Ping said, “Let’s go!”

Wei Chuan En looked very happy as he said, “Your humble servant will lead the way!” He left the room joyfully for his Master had actually shown him such a great honor.

Ren Fengping was stunned. At this moment of time, the entire city of pugilists were now combing for Nangong Ping and the ‘Cold Blood Concubine.’ He really could not believe that Nangong Ping would agree to such a request.

He thought, “If he is not exceptional brave, then he must be a hopeless fool…”

Nangong Ping smiled and seemingly saw through his heart, “Hero Ren, will you like to join us too for a couple of drinks?”

Ren Fengping shook his hands and said, “It’s alright with me.” He could not resist sighing and added, “I really cannot understand your intentions…”

Nangong Ping added. “My Benevolent Master often taught me, when things happen, why avoid it? Face it boldly!” He smiled. “The disciples of the Divine Dragon will never back down from anything!”

Ren Fengping quietly said, “Maybe you are right.”

Nangong Ping said, “As for the kind intention shown by you, I am very grateful. If we have a chance to meet some other time, I will make merry with you.”

Ren Fengping said, “Ever since I entered the Pass, my only achievement is to know a heroic young man like you. Please take care after we part.” As he extended his hands and left through the window!

Nangong Ping watched him as he disappeared and commented. “This person is really a good man!”

Mei Yinxue coldly laughed and said in jest, “Really?” And walked to the door but she suddenly turned her head and laughed. “I am feeling strange. Why did you want to go deliver yourself to…”

Nangong Ping said, “If you don’t wish to go…”

Mei Yinxue said. “Since you already decided. Neither did I attach any importance to life and death in my heart. Alas!…Frankly speaking, with regards to life, I am really very tired.” She lifted her hand to comb her hair back and slowly walked out.

Nangong Ping was startled and heard a soft sigh coming from outside of the door. “If I were them, I would never give you the chance to explain either.”

But the steps that followed Nangong Ping out of the door was strangely steady amidst the sorrowful sighing.

Suddenly there was a great commotion as the pugilists saw a nonchalance young man in cotton robe and an extremely beautiful and demeanor woman.

“Nangong Ping!”

“The Cold Blood Concubine!”

The pugilists that littered the streets echoed the names of these two people in their eyes.

Nangong Ping was smiling as he followed Wei Chuan En. He was exceptional calm and that alone captivated the hearts of all the pugilists!

Hundreds of eyes looked on as they followed his steady footsteps.

Suddenly a thin young swordsman drawn his sword and it emitted a chilling cold sword energy. But Nangong Ping did not even look at him.

The pugilists that were around therefore did not make their move. The thin young swordsman looked around and froze in his tracks.

Mei Yinxue beautiful eyes rolled as her long hair flurried. She was carrying a captivating and sweet smile on her face and docile walked besides Nangong Ping.

An unknown number of people were looking at her. As she looked at the pugilists with her beautiful eyes, many of them immediately lowered their heads and started to tidy their clothing.

Those who were pessimists secretly thought. “Is it because my clothing is untidy? Is it because I look funny? Why did she smile at me?”

Those who were egoistic secretly thought. “Alas, she is smiling at me. Is it because she takes a liking for me?”

The pugilists that crowded in the streets were all thinking that Mei Yinxue’s smiles were all directing on them.

When Mei Yinxue saw their expressions, the captivating smile that was on her face grew even more charming!

The lighting and decorations in the Eternal Restaurant had been specifically prepared for the young master of the Nangong Aristocracy Family.

Now Nangong Ping and Mei Yinxue had reached the wine restaurant and were walking up the stairs. Although the boss of wine restaurant was trying his best to restrain himself but his glance was unable to remove from Mei Yinxue.

The tables had been laid on the second floor of the restaurant and seated besides it, were the richest men in Xian City. In normal days, the attitudes of those men were usually haughty but today, they were all humbly waiting. Because the one soon to come, was the wealthiest of the wealthy, the Prince of the Golden Kingdom!

All the wealthy merchants immediately stood up but lowered their heads at the same time as though the dazzling golden light of this Prince would blind their eyes!

Nangong Ping smiled and extended his hands to everyone. They lifted up their heads and could not help feeling startled and stunned. But what caused them to be caused were the straightforward mannerism of Nangong Ping and the unparalleled charm of Mei Yinxue.

At the same time, the crowd that was down the streets was in a state of pandemonium. “Nangong Ping and Mei Yinxue have gone up to the Eternal Restaurant”. This message started to spread till it reached the ears of Priest Tian Ming and Wei Qi.

Thereafter shoves of pugilists headed toward the Eternal Restaurant in excitement and nervousness!

Coming from the top of the Eternal Restaurant were music, laughers, toasts…as it made its way down by the wind.

The Chief of Zhongnan, Priest Tian Ming walked hastily to the Eternal Restaurant with ‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi.

Priest Tian Ming asked, “This Nangong Ping is said to be the son of a very wealthy family…”

Wei Qi replied, “Indeed.”

Li Tian Ming said in jest. “If he think he wants to move our hearts through wealth, then he is not far from death. How can we let such a rogue mingle in Pugilist?”

Wei Qi said, “Although he is young but his wealth equaled a kingdom and is the protégé of the Immortal Divine Dragon. He has everything and should have behaved. Who will expect that although he is handsome, he is so lecherous. It really cause others to sigh for him.”

Li Tian Ming exclaimed, “This Nangong Ping shall pay for his evil deeds with his life. Even his clan disciples look down upon him and refuse to be involved with him!”

Wei Qi sighed, “But no matter what. Today our target is Mei Yinxue. As for Nangong Ping, we should at least reserve some respect to the Immortal Divine Dragon.”

Li Tianming scoffed, “This has to depend what is the relationship between Mei Yinxue and him!”

By now they had reached the Eternal Restaurant. Li Tianming waved with his hands as a signal for the pugilists to surround this wine restaurant.

This was to cut off the retreat route of Nangong Ping and Mei Yinxue. This act had alarmed the people of Xian City and countless number of speculators had also crowded round the big street. It caused the curious constables to stall in the attempt to investigate the riot.

This riot had never happened before…

Everyone from young maidens, married women with babies to the bedridden old men were asking, “What is the matter?”

Those that were working stopped their work, those that were scholars put down their books, those that were eating stop their meals, and the gamblers stopped gambling and hurried to the street to ask, “What is the matter?”

Some thought that there was a mass robbery for many of the wealthier men were at the Eternal Restaurant. Therefore there was even more panic among the rich.

Some thought that there was an upcoming bloodshed by the pugilists for they recognized Master Wei Qi and immediately barred their doors and windows.

The anxious constables were shouting in the crowd and holding iron chains in their hands!

The frightened married women were in the crowd shouting for their sons and daughters who was lost.

The ancient city of Xian was now in a state of a commotion and confusion.

And the people that were affected by the riots would never expect that it all happened because of one woman, a very beautiful maiden – the ‘Cold Blood Concubine’!

But above the wine restaurant, under the majesty light of the lamps, Mei Yinxue was nonchalant and at ease.

She was even sitting quietly besides Nangong Ping, with a coy look and was smiling.

But the riots on the streets had started to cause these wealthy merchants to feel startled as they secretly thought, “What is going on?”

But because none of them dared to be disrespectful to Nangong Ping, therefore none of them walked to the window and took a peek.

Suddenly there was a great shout from below and like a wind, from the surrounding windows, scores of men appeared like a ghost in the darkness and their icy cold stares were upon Mei Yinxue and Nangong Ping.

“Who are they?”

“What is the matter?”

Nangong Ping sighed as he got up and he slowly walked to the stairs. He was like a host that was waiting for late guest.

Ascending from the stairs were Li Tianming and Wei Qi. Their expressions were like bronze as they made their way up the stairs.

Nangong Ping smiled and said. “Please forgive me for the lack of welcome for the two Seniors.”

‘Jaded Hand of the Positive Nirvana’ Li Tianming stared fiercely for awhile before he walked slowly towards Mei Yinxue, who was trying to contain her laughter.

He sat down and took a cup of wine from the table and drink from it. The people all around were looking in tension at his very move. And the air around suddenly became insufferable.

He did not even look at Mei Yinxue who seated just opposite him and looked at his snow-white hand and solemnly said, “The night is very late now. I sure the guests have their fill of the food and wine. It is time to go back!”

There was a commotion as the guests ran down like prisoners forgetting their usual etiquette.

But there was a very brave bank boss who said, “What is going on with you people. For no reason you come here to create trouble. Is there no regard for law and order? Although his words were brave but he was stumbling with fright.

Li Tianming coldly laughed and did not even turned his head, “If you don’t wish to leave, you can choose to stay here!”

The bank boss looked around. By now, the rest of the guests had mostly dispersed and he looked at the cold stares around him. He felt a cold shiver down his spine. He hurried extended his hands to Nangong Ping and left in a hurry.

Wei Qi coldly laughed as he walked toward Li Tianming side and sat down.

Nangong Ping walked towards Mei Yinxue and said to the visitors. “The dishes are still hot and the wine still warm. Respected Seniors, let’s drink together?” He said it in a calm manner.

But Wei Qi smashed the tables with his hands.

There was a change in Nangong Ping’s countenance and he said solemnly, “If Seniors wish to drink, I will glad to comply. But if Seniors do not wish to have the intention to drink, then I afraid I have to leave.”

Li Tianming coldly said, “If you want to go down, please free to.”

Mei Yinxue softly laughed as she slowly stood up, “Then let us go.”

Wei Qi shouted, “You cannot go!”

Mei Yinxue raised one of her eyebrows as she asked flabbergasted, “Why is that I cannot go? Does Master Wei Qi wishes for me to stay behind to accompany you, to drink?”

Li Tianming coldly said, “Maiden you have been overbearing in the Pugilistic Fraternity for nearly thirty years and there are countless number of people harmed by you. Now you should have lived long enough.”

Mei Yinxue charmingly said, “Priest your hair is white and you have not live enough. If you continue to live…Ha, I afraid others will soon call you an old imp.”

Wei Qi was enraged while Li Tianming did not appear to be moved. He waved a hand to calm Wei Qi rage and coldly said, “If today, Maiden you die, I will conduct a rite for you to pacify your soul. So that those malicious ghosts that you have innocently harmed will not extract revenge upon your soul.”

Mei Yinxue softly said, “Haiz! You have to kill me today?”

Li Tianming coldly said, “I dare not. I only hope Maiden will decide use a sword to end your life yourself.”

Mei Yinxue asked, “End myself with a sword?” She looked very surprised. “Why?”

Li Tianming said, “I don’t wish to talk with you but because a priest is merciful that why I am doing so now. If you still want to talk in circles, I’ll be forced to kill!”

Mei Yinxue said, “Then you have better start doing so or else I will reveal your secret!” She was still smiling while Priest Tianming underwent a great change in his countenance.

Wei Qi said, “I have already said we shouldn’t talk too much with her.” As he brandished out a Phoenix and Dragon Ring.

Nangong Ping suddenly said, “Wait!”

Wei Qi said, “Do you wish to accompany her to die?” As he sent tables flying all over.

Nangong Ping parried the tables away to the walls behind his back as he said, “The two of you come in such a haste only to kill. It is so ridiculous!”

The surrounding pugilists were surprised to find them so composed and unwittingly sighed. The pugilists below were also in a state of surprise to find it quite quiet above.

Nangong Ping took a glance around and said in a clear voice. “Today you come with many, using bullying tactic and attempting to kill us in the confusion. Then in the future, would not others in the Pugilist demand a justice as well? If you really want to take our lives today, at least you should make accountable to all the people in the Pugilistic Fraternity for whatever reasons, must we die!” His voice was clear and loud and echoed to all sides.

Priest Tianming said in jest, “From your speech, it seem that you want to say it to the pugilists around?”

Nangong Ping said, “Indeed. Unless the Pugilist today have no justice and righteousness to speak of. Even if you are the Alliance Chief of the Pugilistic Fraternity, you still cannot treat human life so lightly!”
The fellowship of the pugilists had all come in a state of incitement but after listening to Nangong Ping who was filled with righteousness in his words, everyone from some degree or another was secretly moved. Some even quietly jumped down from the window!

Li Tianming looked around and his countenance changed.

Mei Yinxue smiled captivatingly, “You must be feeling regretful in your heart that you shouldn’t have talked to me that much. And should have just killed me!”

Although her voice was soft but every single word of hers spread far and wide.

Wei Qi laughed aloud hilariously, “If you were someone else, I afraid you will raise suspicious upon the words of my brother and I. But you are Cold Blood Concubine so even if you say a thousand words, it is useless. No matter how beautiful you can say, I, Wei Qi must rid the Pugilist of this jinx.”

He turned towards Nangong Ping and said, “Since you know that she is the “Cold Blood Concubine’, why then did you want to intercede for her? Just this point alone, you deserve to die. But for the sake of your Protégé Master…go, go, leave now.”

Li Tianming said, “The way you are covering for her. Does it mean that you and her have something that is under wraps?”

Nangong Ping was now furious. At first he had thought that this Chief of Zhongnan and ‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi were righteous people. But after witnessing the scene, he was now enlightened.

The pugilists, who were still around after listening to their explanations, now thought. “That is right. If it is others, there is still some room for negotiations. But the ill name of this ‘Cold Blood Concubine’ has long been known. Therefore she deserve to die long ago. The way this young man tries to protect her, very possibly he is not a good man either.”

Actually none of them had really seen Mei Yinxue before but people were like that. The little sympathies that they had for Nangong Ping had largely vanished. One must know the feeling of the crowd since ancient times operated in an illogical manner. Even if a person could be very understanding but when throw in the midst of the crowd, they would feel unable to flex their own free will but to follow the crowd.

Nangong Ping sighed and knew that he could not control the situation today unlike his earlier expectations. He turned and glanced at Mei Yinxue only to hear her still maintaining her smile. She seemed truly had placed life and death aside.

The pugilists were all shouting. “What is the use of saying so much? Kill them both.”

Li Tianming coldly laughed, “You want the justice of the Pugilistic Fraternity, now you can have it!”

Wei Qi shouted as he swung his weapons right up and left up. His appearance was imposing and this stance ‘Upright Display’ cheered for his extraordinary display of martial skills.

Mei Yinxue kept her composure and slowly said, “You want to challenge me alone?”

Wei Qi was stunned in his mind as he suddenly remembered that the ‘Cold Blood Concubine’ possessed very frightening martial skills. And he stood on the same spot seemingly stunned and did not even take a step forward!

Nangong Ping laughed. “Haha. The people from Pugilist are mostly blind fellows…”

Even before he had finished, angry shouts came from all sides as this sentence of his really aroused the anger of all.

Mei Yinxue softly said, “Follow me as I charge out.” Her face was still composed as she had made some tactical thoughts earlier and knew that although their opponents were many but was inevitable to have some confusion. She knew that with her martial skills, surely she should be able to make a blood path out.

But who would expect that Nangong Ping would stand firmly on the same spot and shouted loudly. “Shut up!” This shout was indeed earth shattering. Everyone was startled and ceased their movements.

Nangong Ping looked at Li Tianming and shouted aloud. “No matter what the head or tail, first I, Nangong Ping will like to ask this esteemed Senior of the Pugilist, in what year what day Mei Yinxue committed the crime that sentenced her to death?”

Li Tianming did not expect that at this moment of time, he would ask such a question, therefore he was stunned.

Nangong Ping stood upright and shouted. “If you are unable to answer, then what right do you have to represent the entire Pugilist Fraternity? What right do you have to talk about the Justice of the Pugilist Fraternity? If you and her have some deep vendetta, as the Chief of a Clan, you can only settle it on your own with her. Even if you want to slice her to hundred of thousands of pieces, I, Nangong Ping will not care. But if you want to abuse your power to settle a personal grudge, use the name of the justice of the Pugilistic Fraternity, borrow the use of unproven rumors, use flowery words to confuse and incite hundreds of drunken pugilist friends and call it ‘Justice’! And act so righteously to remove a menace from the Pugilistic Fraternity. I, Nangong Ping am unable to tolerate such hypocrites. Even if you have thousands of words as excuses, thousands and hundreds of men behind you as shields, I, Nangong Ping will not back off!”

Every word coming out from Nangong Ping was filled with righteousness and was earth shattering.

Wei Qi expression changed and the pugilists that was around felt impulsive. Only ‘Jaded Hand of the Positive Nirvana’ was calm. After Nangong Ping had finished, he coldly said. “So it seems that you are challenging me?”

Nangong Ping replied loud and clear. “Indeed!”

A young man freshly initiated from his Clan would dare to challenge the head of a big sword sect; it was really an earthshaking matter in the Pugilistic Fraternity. The pugilists all around broke into a commotion.

Many pugilists that remained below tried to squeeze up while the common people were feeling startled. The government constables did not know why suddenly there were so many pugilists. Even though they had some connection with Master Wei Qi but it was something that they could not afford to be held accountable so they reported it to higher up authority.

Li Tianming swept his eyes around and noticed that many of his helpers had become speculators. He started to regret in his heart. He did not know that many people could hinder things. Moreover these pugilists came from all over the place, were hard to control and like scattered sand. He raised his robe and said. “Since you are so arrogant, don’t blame me for teaching you a lesson.”

Nangong Ping laughed coldly awhile.

Wei Qi was startled and immediately took a few steps behind.

Mei Yinxue exclaimed. “Interesting, interesting. If this place is not big enough, let me push those tables to the side.” From her speech, it seemed that it was a challenge by others and none of her business.

Nangong Ping knew that she was like that and did not feel strange in his heart. But all others were secretly startled and thought. “She is indeed without doubt the ‘Cold Blood Concubine’!”

But there were some love simply love to see troubles, and actually started to pull the tables and stairs to one side.

Nangong Ping and Li Tianming both stood upright and looked at one another. Naturally Li Tianming was composed and calm, as he was sure that this young man was not his match.

As for Nangong Ping, although he had an iron gut but he could not help but feel nervous. After all it was the first time he had to fight a strong opponent and could not afford to be careless. So he first tried to calm himself down by planning for the first few strokes, he had to be extra caution, and use defense as an opportunity to attack.

Li Tianming who was a veteran of countless fights knew instantly what his intentions were from his eyes so he was even more assured. He solemnly said. “Brother Qi, do not let that witch go.”

Wei Qi made a sound as reply while Mei Yinxue laughed. “Such an interesting show, how will I bear to leave?”

Nangong Ping pretended not to hear.

Li Tianming hummed and said. “Ready!”

As he treasured his status, so he was not willing to attack first.

But Nangong Ping had already decided to use ‘Still to counter Action’, using ‘Defense as Attack’. Therefore he did not move at all.

Wei Qi said in a low voice. “Fourth Brother, there is no need to be courtesy to this pugilist rogue.”

Li Tianming replied. “Indeed!” He extended a hand and pat toward Nangong Ping’s shoulder!

This stroke when it was launched, the left hand was by the side of the body. It left the entire body unguarded and there was plenty of opportunity for an attacker to exploit. And the direction of the right hand was not the vulnerable point of Nangong Ping. Although he attacked first, he was actually giving way to him.

The speculators around were all good fighters in the Pugilist. So how could they not tell therefore there were shouts of approval.

Nangong Ping was slightly startled and he did not expect the Chief of Zhongnan would deploy such a stroke.

As he was inexperienced and he did not seek to win in his heart. Therefore when he saw Li Tianming attacked him with his hand, he did not seize the opportunity to counter attack. Instead he moved back lightning fast three steps backward.

Li Tianming smiled and he attacked using the same stroke again, also with his left hand by the side. Nangong Ping once again retreated as the pugilists shouted.

Before the shouts of applause were over, Li Tianming attacked again with the same stroke.

Nangong Ping was feeling angry at heart. But just when he was about to retaliate, he found out that it was actually directly at his head so he took another two steps back.

Nangong Ping secretly sighed. The second shouts of applause from the pugilists had not yet ended when a third wave was heard. Nangong Ping did not have the opportunity to attack and Li Tianming had garnered three rounds of loud applause.

Some even muttered in low voices. “Such lowly standard, to think he dare to challenge ‘Jaded Hand of the Positive Nirvana’. This is indeed laudable!”

After the three strokes, Li Tianming was feeling high in spirit. So he get real. Now his right hand attacked Nangong Ping’s left neck while his left hand extended five fingers to grip Nangong Ping’s three major accupoints on his waist.

Nangong Ping managed to retain his calm. He moved his legs and avoided the attacks and his right hand extended lightning fast to attack Li Tianming on his diaphragm major accupoint.

Li Tianming was secretly startled as he dodged and withdrawn his attacks. But his palm force startled Nangong Ping as well.

Li Tianming used the ‘The Golden Scissors’ stance but Nangong Ping had suddenly kicked and he immediately leapt back three steps. By now his haughtiness had largely faded. He had the first opportunity to attack and within his stances, was hidden some other stances as well so he was not worried.

And the pugilists all thought that Nangong Ping would be fell very soon.
Although Nangong Ping was very young, he was not cowed or confused.

This kick in term of placement and timing were perfect.

Therefore some pugilist started to whisper in low voices. “The disciple of the Divine Dragon is really an extraordinary fighter.”

Now tens of strokes had passed. As Nangong Ping had a barrier in his heart, he could not utilize his full potential. Therefore once again, Li Tianming gained the upper hand. And the crowds were chanting the name of ‘Jaded Hand of the Positive Nirvana’.

Li Tianming fully displayed the ‘Proud Wind of the Spring Swordplay’ as he converted it to the style of his palm attacks and his hands became like that of a sharp sword!

Wei Qi slowly relaxed and his solemn face replaced by a smile. He took a glance at Mei Yinxue who was still smiling and in her eyes she seemed to be sure that Nangong Ping would win.

Although Li Tianming attacks got fiercer and more and more powerful but Nangong Ping remained undefeated. Although everyone was cheering for Li Tianming but in their hearts, they were extremely startled that this fresh protégé from his Clan would stay undefeated for so long under the hands of the ‘Jaded Hand of the Positive Nirvana’.

More than tens of strokes had passed, Nangong Ping gained his confidence and calmed himself down and knew that he could win.
One must know that the martial skills of the Divine Dragon derived from interchanging between Void and Flexibility. And attacking with a fierce but surprise element was the attack forte of the Divine Dragon Skills.

Although Nangong Ping was using defend as a forte and he seemed to be using all his strength but in fact he only used five folds of his strength.

Li Tianming suddenly deployed a stroke ‘Flower Drifting Style’ and attacked Nangong Ping on both his sides!

Suddenly Li Tianming was stunned when Nangong Ping shouted suddenly as he was being attacked from up to down, left and right at the same time. No matter how he tried to dodge it, he would be hit from one side!

The pugilists were startled as Wei Qi was heard exclaiming. “The ‘Heavenly Dragon Sixteen Stances’!”

In his entire life, he most admired the Immortal Divine Dragon but in his most innermost heart, he had a personal wish to fight with the Immortal Divine Dragon. Now that he had saw this beautiful, graceful and incomparable stance, his heart was downcast. He did not know that lately the Immortal Divine Dragon had developed a Seventeenth Stance to the stances of the Heavenly Dragon Skill.

In this whole wide world, in terms of flexibility of movement skills, there may be many types but only ‘Genesis Thirteen Strokes’, ‘Mount Tian Seven Formless Hand’, ‘Eight Palm of Kunlun Divine Dragon’ were extraordinary in the sense that those skills allowed them to attack after they soared.

But only this ‘Zhijiao Manor’ unique skill derived from the ‘Heavenly Dragon Sixteen Stances’ called the ‘Cloud Breaker Four Strokes’ which was derived from the last stroke, could attack while the body was soaring.

Therefore this stroke that Nangong Ping used was the ‘Cloud Breaker Four Strokes’. The first stroke that was named ‘Ninth Heaven’, that attacked with both hands and legs after he had sealed off the retreat path of Li Tianming and interchanged it with a stroke from ‘Heavenly Dragon Claw’.

Next he attacked with ten fingers as he descended like through the cloud!
But the ‘Jaded Hand of the Positive Nirvana’ being the Chief of a Sect, his martial skills naturally could not be underestimated as he used a stance ‘Hand Reversal’ as he caught hold of Nangong Ping’s fingers.

His internal power, his timing and the placement startled everyone as the sound of twenty fingers locked and crackled.

The shout of the pugilists was it cheering or was it because they were startled?

Nangong Ping paled as he and Li Tianming rolled on the ground, both refusing to let go of their fingers, as they fought with their concentration, internal strength and even staked their lives upon it.

This heart stopping challenge silenced everyone. Those below were puzzled by the sudden silence.

And beads of perspiration were seen on them. Although Nangong Ping had many excellent martial skills but in terms of internal strength, he was not on par with the tens of training that Li Tianming had. Therefore Nangong Ping strength was failing fast.

Wei Qi slowly broke into a happy look while Mei Yinxue face slowly became solemn.

The dead silence was no more as cries were heard below. Everyone was startled as they felt hot and even the speculators perspired.

Nangong Ping and Li Tianming sweat even more.

And then there was shouts coming from below. “A fire broke out, a fire broke out…”

A pandemonium broke out and the pugilists were no longer interested to stay on and look. Many jumped down. And the number of speculators was like ants on a hot stove, scattering in all directions.

Although there were some that were trying to put out the fire but the fire was very strange. It was a burning fierce type and looked like it would swallow the whole wine tavern in a great instant.

But Nangong Ping, Li Tianming was still locking their hands in a life and death fight. None of them dare to move even half a step.

‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi who was sweating with beads of perspiration, his eyes stressing and his Twin Rings made a noise and when he was about to leap, his vision blurred and suddenly Mei Yinxue was standing coldly in front of him.

In his rage, he shouted and his right hand attack with the Golden Dragon Ring and aimed on Mei Yinxue’s face. While on his left hand, the Golden Phoenix Ring and threw towards Nangong Ping.

Nangong Ping by now had exerted all his strength. Not to mention this powerful sneak attack, even a ten-year-old child who threw a stone, he would not be able to take it. Now he could only await death with his eyes opened.

But Mei Yinxue only coldly laughed awhile as she blended backward suddenly (Her waist seemed soft and without bone) and gently extended her hand as her beautiful fingers hit the golden ring. With a flicker of her fingernails, she sent the Golden Ring flying towards Li Tianming.

As Nangong Ping was startled, in a lapse of concentration he allowed his opponent to gain momentum strength. Now he was about to lose all his strength and was about to fall when Li Tianming appeared to be very startled all of a sudden.

Seizing his lapse in joy, Nangong Ping immediately regained some momentum strength and retaliated.

Mei Yinxue softly laughed and said. “This is called reaping your own…” But before she could finish, the Ring flew back to the back of Mei Yinxue’s waist.

Mei Yinxue smiled and said. “Excellent, you actually attached a chain to the Ring!” In the pace of her words and smile, her beautiful hand caught hold of that flying Ring as easy as catching things with a big sack.

One must know that she had been in the coffin for ten years to train her martial skills. In her later years, she managed to redevelop her martial skill to a higher height. Her eyes and ears by now were unparalleled in the world. Even it was a flying needle that was behind her back; she could still catch it.

‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi was startled as he moved backward and used all his might to pull back this Golden Ring. His chain was made of white gold, although it was very thin and soft but it was very firm and blades and swords would even find it hard to be severed.

But Mei Yinxue was still smiling as she waved her right hand and simply cut the chain!

Wei Qi found himself losing courage. Although he had regained his composure but unwittingly he took two steps backward.

By now the raging fire had reached the second floor and the window frames were all destroyed by the fire. The fury fire caused Nangong Ping, Li Tianming and Wei Qi to be drenched with sweat from their entire body.

By now Mei Yinxue too started to profuse with her sweet sweat as well.
Some of the burning ceiling had dropped off and a plank dropped by Mei Yinxue’s side. She swung her leg and just avoided a kick from Wei Qi, and she picked out the burning plank with her leg and sent it flying toward him.

With a shout, Wei Qi left hand hit the burning plank very hard and sent it flying out of the burning restaurant. He seemed to have forgot that he still had a Golden Ring on his wrist. As his hand was extended, the chain moved and hit himself at the back of his head.

Although the chain was thin, it was made of white gold and when he added his internal force on it, it was not to be taken slightly. Therefore he was now bleeding on the top of his back head. Wei Qi cried out as he tried to untangle from the gold chain.

Mei Yinxue laughed. “What an excellent stroke. Is it call the ‘The Dog whipping itself with its Tail’?”

Although she was laughing and talking but she had moved to the side of Li Tianming.

When Nangong Ping saw that she had not left during this torturous standoff, somehow he felt consoled. Then he saw her about to place her beautiful hand on Li Tianming, he suddenly shouted (But his shout was soft as he had almost exerted all his strength), and pushed with all his might and pushed Li Tianming five feet away. And the two of them landed with a loud stump on the ground.

Mei Yinxue was startled and was besides him in an instant while Wei Qi rushed to the side of Li Tianming and looked at the two of them. Although the both of them were breathless and looked spent but there was no sign of any internal injuries.

But they remained staring at one another and both were startled.

It because that under this painstaking fight, it became a mental contest as both of them were startled constantly by outside factors. Although their hands were clenched tightly together but it was without vital energies.

Nangong Ping being a hero with an iron gut did not wish for a third party to hurt his opponent and when he saw Mei Yinxue was about to pat her hand down, he pushed Li Tianming away at the risk of hurting himself.

After he pushed, he discovered that the both of them had long expended their vital energies and was unable to hurt one another, therefore he was startled.

There was a big shout below. “Master Wei Qi, Priest Tianming…” As four priests with swords emerged from the burning flames to the second floor.

Mei Yinxue was startled and softly said. “Let’s go!”

Li Tianming took a deep breath and after seeing that his helpers had come, his spirit was stirred. He shouted. “Nangong Ping, before a winner is determined, the one that leave is not a man!”

Nangong Ping was aroused as he broke away from Mei Yinxue’s wrist as he tried to stand.

Li Tianming had by now charged toward him, raised his fists and attacked him on his chest. Although this old man hair was white with experience but at the moment of time, his eyes were blur, his hair was messy, his mental was weakened and really could not compared to a young pugilist.

Nangong Ping felt a stirring of warm blood rushing forth his head as he was incited by his nature. His body turned, avoided this fist and retaliated with both his hands.

Those four priests had by now surrounded them. They were actually the four protectors of the Zhongnan Sect. Not only were they nimble, they were also very experienced with their swords.

Wei Qi shouted aloud. “Leave the man, capture the girl first.”

And four reflections from their swords flashed like lightning and aimed upon Mei Yinxue.

Although Mei Yinxue was in a very dangerous predication, she had not lost her captivating smile yet. Her eyes rolled and glanced lightly at each of the four gray robe priest.

These four men were priests and their willpower as steady as the mountain. But they had never saw such an extremely beautiful woman before, never saw such a sweet and beautiful smile. Therefore they were stumbled in their mind and their four swords were slowly lowered.

Mei Yinxue swung her thin waist, as her hands shot up and in that instant, there were three loud sounds and three pairs of sword was broken by the Golden Ring in her right hand!

The fourth priest could only see a golden whirl in his eyes as he felt his wrist twisted and moved and the sword that was in his hand was on Mei Yinxue’s left hand!

Mei Yinxue with her long hair flurrying and sent the Golden Ring flying toward Wei Qi, who had been sneaking upon Nangong Ping’s back.

With both hands together, the long sword that was in her left hand was now on her right as she slashed at a priest.

The priest unable to back off in time was seen screaming and his face was covered with blood. The second priest able to back off in time was startled as his headgear was sliced. The third priest was badly frightened.

There was more as Mei Yinxue left hand seemingly moved without a hint of a sound and action as the broken sword from the third priest dropped to the ground. He clasped his right hand with his left in pain as he backed off three steps and was stunned for awhile as he did not know how Mei Yinxue executed that stroke.

The forth priest saw her smiling charmingly and in an instant totally defeated his three disciple brothers. He lost his courage to fight, turned around and run.

Mei Yinxue laughed. “Don’t go, alright?” Her voice was so gentle and poetic similar to a young woman asking her husband to stay. But before the fourth priest could raise his leg to run, the side of his body was slashed two times!

Wei Qi was just about to plunge upon Nangong Ping when he heard the sound of the flying Golden Ring that was resounding aloud and was even fiercer than his by a third.

He did not dare to risk so he turned around and decided to use the Golden Ring on his right hand to parry and used his left hand to receive it. But when both Rings impacted on one another, the Ring that Mei Yinxue threw, seemed to have a life of its own and possessed wings and flew to his back.

At this time, a burning log suddenly dropped from the ceiling and Wei Qi faced an attack to his back and front. He extended his hands and charged to the front.

There was a ‘Dang’ sound as Mei Yinxue’s Golden Ring dropped to the ground. He steadied his footing, body but was startled suddenly to see Mei Yinxue giggling in front of him!

Nangong Ping bit his teeth and used the ‘Horizon Five Strokes’ from the ‘Heavenly Dragon Seventeen Stances’. From the entire stance of Heavenly Dragon, from the first to the seventeen, only the Horizon Five Strokes do not depend on the art of ‘Flexibility’.

From the Five Strokes, there could be twenty-one changes, with attack and defensive moves. It could be said to be most extraordinary but at this moment of time, he had suffered tremendous loss of his strength so even if he could hit Li Tianming, he might not be able to hurt him!

Li Tianming was even more solemn than he was earlier on and he was no longer holding the superior ground as he became tired and many of his attacks slowed down. When Nangong Ping attacked him with a ‘Heavenly Dragon Slashing’ with his hand, he stepped back to avoid being hit but there was a loud sound as his foot broke through the floor.

He cried out, startled as he crashed through the ground, his hands managed to grasp the floor before he completed fell. But now he was completely exhausted. Where could he find the strength to pull his way back?

But without a thought, Nangong Ping gripped Li Tianming by his wrist but he was spent of all his strength and even though he tried to use all his strength, he was unable to pull Li Tianming up.

There was a ‘dang’ sound as Nangong Ping too lost his foot into the wooden floor. If he would to move back now, Li Tianming would surely fall into the burning fire below. If he did not, he too would be fallen into the burning fire.

Li Tianming was shaking all over and his clothing had caught fire.

Nangong Ping looked at this opponent who was trying to kill him just a moment ago. But the righteousness in his heart refused to let go and he gripped even more tightly, refusing to let go. A burning plank fell and as he could not avoid it. But luckily it landed three inches away from him. If it landed on his head, he would die instantly.

Li Tianming looked on with his eyes widened and sighed. He could help but was touched by the righteousness of this young man. Therefore he croaked. “Hurry and run…hurry and run…Don’t bother about me…”

Nangong Ping bit his teeth as his right hand gripped Li Tianming’s wrist while his left hand gripped the plank of the wood floor. Now blood and sweat dripped from his head as it dripped onto Li Tianming’s body.

Mei Yinxue coldly laughed. “Ten years ago, is it really my wrong?”

She dashingly avoided Wei Qi attacks and slashed across at Wei Qi ‘Jiang Qi’ accupoint position.

Wei Qi shouted. “No matter who is in the wrong, you are the root of all disasters. If it is not for you, where will all these things happen?”

Mei Yinxue appeared to be stunned. She thought. “If it is not for me, where will all these things happen…Is it really my wrong? But when did I ever been in the wrong!”

Wei Qi continued to shout. “Jinx! Jinx! Today I will let you die in my hands!”

The four gray robe priest by now had recovered their composure and was now attacking at the same time.

Mei Yinxue extended her long sword, and the sword light beamed forth like snow and sent the priests forcefully to the side. Her eyes rolled and suddenly she moaned and moved lightning speed toward Li Tianming and Nangong Ping.

Wei Qi was stunned and immediately turned his glance. He saw Nangong Ping and Li Tianming in a dangerous predicament. So he sent the Golden Ring in his right hand flying towards Nangong Ping but when it was near Nangong Ping, the Ring lost its strength. One must know that he had trained for years with the pair of Golden Rings and he could control it freely.

Nangong Ping rolled his eyes and his left hand gripped the Golden Ring and Wei Qi started to pull as he shouted. Slowly, Li Tianming was pulled up. By now Mei Yinxue too had reached and she used her soft internal strength to pulled them both out of the predicament.

The four gray robe priest once attack plunged forward but Li Tianming rolled his eyes and said in a low voice. “Hold it.” He looked idiocy at Nangong Ping for awhile before he sighed and lowered his head.

Nangong Ping, who was still breathless, said. “The victor is still undetermined, you can still continue on!”

Lu Tianming lowered his head and trembled. “I…I have lost!”

When he had said those three words, it seemed that it took away all his strength. Nangong Ping was stunned and did not expect this haughty priest would admit he had lost. At that instant, Li Tianming being the proud Chief of a Sect became a lonely, ordinary old man!

‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi looked at his Protégé brother and said in a low voice. “Protégé Brother…”

Li Tianming did not turn his head but said in a trembling voice. “Let us go now!” Before he could finish, he collapsed. The wounds on his body cannot be compared to the wounds in his heart!

Wei Qi carried him up and altogether with the four gray robe priests as they made their way out. There was a thunderous sound as the wine tavern collapsed in half.

Nangong Ping was stunned for awhile before sighing and said. “Jaded Hand of the Positive Nirvana’, is indeed a hero!”

Mei Yinxue softly laughed. “What about you?” The two of them locked eyes with one another, there were silence and forgot even the burning fire on their clothing.

The soldiers from the government had now arrived…

 

Ch8 End

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

 

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

Chapter 18: Jiangnan most beautiful Maiden

This day, the weather was extremely warm and uncomfortable in Nanjing. Young Master Qilin and his sister went out with an entourage of proteges. They took with them their married elder sister’s children, a boy and a girl by the name of Mingming and Lanlan respectively.

Young Master Qilin, whose real name is Jin Caihuan, a resident of the City of Nanjing. He was extremely wealthy coupled with the fact that he had many extraordinary people to teach him martial skills, was highly endowed in martial arts. His proteges in his manor numbered more than a thousands and had many first rate fighters. No wonder his reputation was positioned as the other three Young Masters of the Martial Fraternity!

Sitting besides Young Master Qilin, was an inculpable beautiful young maiden, Jin Caifeng. She was the sister to Young Master Qilin. Because she delighted in having a plum blossom hairpin braided on her hair and moreover she had refined air, was elegantly beautiful, her nickname was [Plum Blossom].

They had come to the Sparrow Tea Tavern to dip tea and to cool off. But they had not expected to encounter the [Jiangnan Two Extraordinary] and their disciple [Three Inch] Xiao Sangmen.

[Jiangnan Two Extraordinary] had few opportunities to venture out of their valley dwelling. They had no idea how influential Young Master Qilin was. The reason why they were creating troubles for him was because a petty man had been secretly sowing discord.

When they had saw Young Master Qilin, they purposely made outrageous remarks to provoke him.

Even though Young Master Qilin had great influential power in the fraternity, he had amazing patience and self-restraint. He did not for once fall into provocation. Even when his proteges could not restraint any longer, he rose up on a number of occasions to calm them down.

But when Young Master Qilin did not respond to their provocation, they were ill at ease to seek vengeance for the time being.

Just then, a down and trodden lad with his crestfallen head walked past. He seemed to be thinking of something as he walked past hurriedly. He accidentally stepped upon on Lanlan’s grasshopper.

“Hey!” Lanlan cried out panicky as she quickly tried to pull back the string that was attached to the grasshopper. But it was too late and the grasshopper was crushed. “Look what have you done to my grasshopper. I want you to pay me back!”

Who would expect that the lad to ignore Lanlan’s cries of outrage? He was too focus in his own thoughts that he was not aware of his surroundings. He continued to walk away…

Even though Lanlan is a six to seven year old young girl but because she was born in a martial aristocracy family, she had a certain degree of solid foundation in her martial skills. When she saw that down and trodden lad did not even turn his head after stepping on her grasshopper, she was aroused to much anger and she selected an ovary stone from a flower pot and flickered her fingers towards the head of the lad. Indeed, this was the ‘Snapping Silver’ secret projectile technique!

The projectile struck as intended because firstly, the lad was occupied in his own thoughts and there were many people around therefore he did not guarded against any secret attacks. Secondary, Lanlan’s “Snapping Silver’ technique was highly accurate and there was no sound even though her mastery of the force was still lacking.

The lad turned his head around and looked around for some time and but still could not find who was his attacker for Lanlan had took a deep breath and suppressed herself so as not to laugh aloud.

Lanlan then stick her tongue out and smiled at Mingming.

Mingming misunderstood that Lanlan was challenging him to a contest and he too, selected an ovary stone from the flower pot and he aimed it at the lad’s head. It was a perfect shot as well.

Who would expect that this to present the ‘Jiangnan Two Extraordinary’ an excellent opportunity to make use of this lad to create trouble for Young Master Qilin!

The ancient name of Nanjing was Jinling. It was the capital of the Six Dynasties period as well as a major city during the warring state period.

There were many scenic and ancient remnant places to catch the attention of passer by but Zhan Bai was not bothered by it. His face was covered by sweat and it appeared that he did not wash his face for many days. But still, there was no mistaking his sharp and handsome air!

Suddenly a stone struck him at the back of his head. Even though he was not hurt by it, it was very painful.

He turned around and noticed that there was a tea tavern with many people and they were all laughing at him. He reached out for his head to rub it and he could feel a bruise. But in the midst of so many tens of people, there was simply no way to know who threw that stone at him.

But the instant he turned his head again, he was hit by another stone behind his head again.

This time round, it was much more painful and he jumped three feet high and turned back violently. He focused his eyes and was very much enraged. He could see that everyone in the area was roaring with laughter.

But this time round, he did see who was his assailant. They were two children, one boy and a girl. The boy was around seven to eight while the girl was around six to seven. The boy was dressed beautifully while the girl was dressed plainly but she was very alluring.

Behind those two children were many flowerpots with similar ovary stones that were identical to what was used to hit him. They were all looking at him in a funny way and they had their hands behind their back. Their small eyes were vibrating in a cute round shape and they were pursing their lips tightly. It looked like they were trying to suppress their laughter.

Just where the children stood, besides them was a elegant tea tavern. Inside, a big table was covered with white cloth and on it was placed many fresh flowers and fruits. Seating on the table were five to six men and women in bright color clothing. On the surface, they looked like they were from a wealthy family but closer look, their spirits and countenances were vibrant and their eyes were bright. They were all obviously in possession of powerful martial skills.

The most eye catching was a twenty plus and minus young man. He had beautiful white complexion like a jade. He was serene, handsome and radiated a noble air!

Sitting just besides the young man, was a twenty plus and minus young maiden who glare the eyes of those that looked upon her. She was beholding and her countenance was like those of a radiating fairy. She was dressed in a cloud plumage dress and her smiles were tender as she looked at him and then with reproaching eyes, she stared at the two children.

When Zhan Bai was hit by the two stones and was made a laughing stock in front of the crowd, he was instantly filled with rage. But when he saw it was just two children that were making mischief, half of his anger began to disperse. So he said to them, “Young friends! You shouldn’t have hit anyone intentional. It is alright to hit me but what if you hit someone with a bad temper, he wouldn’t have spare you that easily…”

The small boy rolled his eyes for awhile before he replied mischievously, “Does it means you are not bad?”

The little girl laughed aloud as she could not suppress her laughing anymore. But after she laughed, she felt a little ill at ease and she immediately turned her back to face the riverbanks. As she turned around, she saw a tortoise resting on a rock and she used the other stone that was hidden in her other hand and used snapped her little fingers. The stone hit the tortoise on its head and it turned toppled on its back. The tortoise immediately tried to claw frenetically to turn its back.

“Heh!” The little girl clapped her hands in applause. “Big brother! I have hit the tortoise on its head!”

The two noble young man and maiden that were sitting on top of the tea tavern began to exclaimed together, “Lanlan, do be not naughty…”

But before they had finished, Mingming used the same secret projectile technique and hit the tortoise on its head and sent it flying into the river. His force was much greater than that of Lanlan. “What so interesting about it?” He asks his sister, “I too, have hit the tortoise’s head!”

Hundreds of people began to laugh merrily.

Even though the children did not mean anything but their words and the laughter from the people turned Zhan Bai face white with anger. He stared hard at them but how could he raise his temper at two children that known not right or wrong? Therefore, he sighed to himself, “Why am I so unlucky. I did been through worse humiliating circumstances than this, so why bother with these two children…”

But who would expect that someone would purposely wanted to infuriate him further? When he turned around and began to walk hurriedly away, he heard a voice that croaked like a goat, “Hey second brother! Did you say something just now that a real man can have his head beheaded and his blood flowed out but he couldn’t allow himself to be insulted and live in indignity? From what an old man like man can see, a lot of people are like a tortoise. They are young and without aspirations. After they have been humiliated, they didn’t even dare to pass a fart!”

The voice that croaked like a goat was high pitch and shrieking and irritated the ears. Moreover the voice was exceptional loud. Even though there were people far away from Zhan Bai, it caused everyone to turn their glance towards him.

Two old men and a lad were sitting on a tavern bench shaded by a tree and they were using a despicable stare that were targeted at Zhan Bai.

The two old men were very old but had remarkable features. One had red hair and dark skin and had white nose and eyes that seemed to piercing in all directions. He was wearing an oversized white cloth robe making him looked like a big monkey from the circus.

Another old man although he could have easily blended with the others but he was as thin as the bamboo and had a big head. He was also wearing thick clothing. It was already so weird to wear like that on such a hot weather! He was shaking his head and he was the one that had spoken earlier. He continued, “Don’t you think you are too absurd and ridiculous?”

This infuriated Zhan Bai and his rage was pouring forth from his stomach but he could still suppress his anger.

The same old man waved his hand and yelled, “Come over here!”

Zhan Bai pretended not to know and asked, “Old sir, are you calling me?”

“Alas! Still so dense as ever!” He growled. “If I weren’t calling for you, would I then be calling to a dog?”

As the old man in winter clothing was obviously teasing and calling Zhan Bai a dog, the crowd in the area was now roaring with laughter!

At this point, Zhan Bai could no longer suppress his anger and angrily retorted, “You look decent when you speak but not one word of yours were proper! I guess you are not a gentleman and a crooked scholar as well! If it were not for your age, I would…hum!”

Zhan Bai did not know that he was making the red hair old man who was standing besides the winter clothing old man even more joyous. He was now clapping his hands and stomping his legs and croaking, “Hahaha…my gentleman Second Brother! Haha…You are always sighing from day to night about being gentlemanly…hahaha…but now, all your grace of being a gentleman is now gone….haha…And this young man says you are a crooked scholar as well…haha…”

The winter old man yelled angrily at the down and crestfallen Zhan Bai, “What a blockhead, what a blockhead! You are really beyond teaching! I called you to come over here and yet you have the tenacity to insult and humiliate me! Hum!” He pressed his hands upon the table and was about to…

“Teacher, wait!” The lad besides him rose up to say, “Let your disciple takes over this menial task from you. Killing a chicken requires just a reasonable blade will do. To take care of this rascal, there is no need for my respected sir to hands on personally. Let me, as your disciple, disciplines him for you.”

The old man in winter clothing nodded his head and sat down.

The lad skipped from the bamboo chair and approached Zhan Bai slowly. Why did the lad seem to skip? It was because the lad looked measured only three feet and he had to use his buttocks to touch the chair before he could land on the ground with his feet.

Zhan Bai looked at this lad who was not even three feet and had a big head. Not only that, he was extremely ugly as well!

The lad however walked in an arrogant manner and with much fanfare towards Zhan Bai and pointed at his nose, “Hey you rascal! How dare you offend my respected Mentor Teacher! If you bow your head to me, I will plead for leniency with my Teacher for you. Hopefully my Mentor Teacher will forgive you and spare you! If not, hummed! Not only will my Mentor Master be mad, I will also not spare you!”

Zhan Bai was speechless with anger that he couldn’t mutter any words.

The lad stared at him and shouted, “Rascal, why don’t you say something?”

Zhan Bai only gave a cold wry smile and did not say a word or moved. In actuality, he wanted to fight but because he did want others to say he bullied a dwarf.

But now, everyone had gathered to see the scene and the feeling was unbearable for him because he was being looked upon as a coward for being non-responsive.

The lad however did not care a hoot on what Zhan Bai was thinking and seeing that he was non-responsive, thought that Zhan Bai was looking down upon him. Suddenly, he raised his fingers into a claw and struck towards Zhan Bai’s chest. This grasp technique was not only quick and wondrous, it could be classed as a first rate technique in the martial fraternity!

Zhan Bai was startled. Never did he expect this unremarkable three feet dwarf was capable of such highly developed martial powers. Zhan Bai too used a grasp technique, fending low to high to counter-attack and to grasp the lad’s right hand.

“Great! It nigh time that you fight!” The lad shrieked and his right wrist slipped from Zhan Bai’s counter-attack and at the same time, his left hand clawed towards Zhan Bai’s throat.

By now, Zhan Bai had withdraw his over-confidence and began the fight seriously.

The two of them were both using grasp techniques and were hitting furiously fast. This type of grasp technique was very rarely seen in the martial fraternity. In a twinkle of an eye, many blows and strokes were exchanged.

Among the people in the tea tavern, were many hidden dragons and crouching tigers. They were from respected and famous clans of the martial fraternity. At first, they all thought this crestfallen young man and the unremarkable lad were just having a dog fight with one another and did not pay much heed. But when they started to trade blows, everyone eyes were bewildered and staring widely! They were all startled and intrigued by their wondrous and ingenious grasp techniques!

Among those that paid special attention to the fight were the two weird men [Jiangnan Two Extraordinary], the noble Young Master Qilin and the exquisite beautiful Jin Caifeng.

The [Jiangnan Two Extraordinary] were both expert specialists in internal, external and swiftness martial arts. They had weird temperaments and did not like to have contacts with others. They had led a life of recluse in the ‘Ghost Valley’ but no one knew where was the exact location of that place. Moreover, few people had even been there before. Now that they had wandered out, they were sure to do a few stuff that could ripple through the martial fraternity with their abilities.

The dwarf like young lad was their only disciple. He used to be an abandoned baby that they had picked up on the mountain tracks. They do not like people and no one knew why they had suddenly become soft hearted and had actually brought that baby home to raise. They even trained him in their martial skills. Because he was born as a dwarf and did not have a name, they called him [Three Inch] Dwarf or [Small Funeral Door] (Xiao Sangmen).

Now, don’t everyone belittle this ‘Small Funeral Door’. Even though he did not look human or ghost but he received a no hold instructions from the ‘Jiangnan Two Extraordinary’ and had four to five folds of their martial powers! It was not to say he was now invincible but he was considered to be a first tier fighter in the martial fraternity!

The [Jiangnan Two Extraordinary] were now staring at every single stroke and style of the young man. They had noticed that the grasp technique that Zhan Bai was displaying was very similar to their ’18 styles of the Dragon Slaying’. They were mystified but could not place a word to it yet.

Their plans were to provoke Zhan Bai into conflict with Young Master Qilin but things did not go according to their plans. It was not until [Three Inch Small Funeral Door] and Zhan Bai had fought did they realized they had eyed the wrong target and discovered that this down and out young man actually possessed extraordinary martial skill levels.

Young Master Qinlin and his sister were even more mystified. They secretly thought to themselves that within their sphere of influence, there were actually people that dared to incite troubles with themselves. What more, in this area, this down and crestfallen young man would possess such extraordinary and powerful martial skills, it was totally unexpected and escaped the eyes of their protégés! It was really unbelievable!

Therefore, all the protégés of Young Master Qilin and his sister were now staring at the fight with bewildered eyes and with interests.

Zhan Bai’s technique was intricate and extraordinary. Moreover his palms were emitting heavy wind blows. It was obvious that his internal strength was stronger than [Three Inch Small Funeral Door]. But his body swiftness was not as agile as him and he was also slower in his techniques. Therefore for now, both of them fought to a standstill.

But as time passed, Zhan Bai began to lose his advantage as he was slower and he was not as accustomed in his skills as the [Three Inch Dwarf].

[Three Inch Dwarf] with his nickname of [Small Funeral Door] was a vicious and cunning person. When he found out he could not gain any advantage after fighting for so long under the watchful eyes of his two Teachers, his face became awkward and unhappy. When he suddenly got an advantage over Zhan Bai, he immediately increased his strength by two folds and to strike Zhan Bai hard on his chest.

If Zhan Bai did not die, he would still be seriously injured.

“Alas!” The crowd echoed in startled voices, among them, was [Plum Blossom] Jin Caifeng. She looked with regret and pity, not wishing for that young man to die but felt embarrassing if she were to interfere to help…

Just when Zhan Bai was about to be dealt a thunderous blow on his chest, he yelled aloud, “Heh!…” And his hands were suddenly on his chest and he returned blow to blow. No one could see how Zhan Bai could have avoided that fatal, moreover he could even counter-attack!

Because the [Three Inch Dwarf] was small, he was knocked back and flied towards his Mentor Masters. What a coincidence!

The [Jiangnan Two Extraordinary] turned ashen and the red hair old man immediately caught hold of [Three Inch Dwarf].

The [Three Inch Dwarf] rubbed his head for a second before his little eyes turned around and he replied in a shrieking voice, “Master, don’t you worry! Your protégé do not care a hoot on such puny hit!” Then he turned around to fight.

Everyone was puzzled that after [Three Inch Dwarf] was knocked back a great many distance, he appeared to be not injured. What was the reason for that?

The old man in winter clothing blocked [Three Inch Dwarf] and walked arrogantly towards Zhan Bai and stared at him before exclaiming thunderously, “May I know your name and from which martial clan?”

Zhan Bai replied without hesitation, “I am Zhan Bai. As for my Teacher and martial clan, I am not obliged to reveal!”

The old man was thoughtful for a minute and from his memories, he did not have any impression of such a person. He shook his head and exclaimed, “This is really strange! Even though you do not tell me where you are from but from your grasping technique, why is it so familiar to the grasping technique that I have created?”

Actually Zhan Bai was equally feeling strange that when he sparred with [Three Inch Dwarf], he noticed that the grasping technique that was used was similar to the [One Leg Heretic]. Therefore he gave a wry smile and said, “Do you know a person that missing a leg, old sir?”

The old man immediately turned ashen and gone was his piercing malevolent air. “What? You are his…disciple?”

The old man with the red hair asked nervously, “Then this young man is his successor? He is still alive?”

Zhan Bai was puzzled why the two weird old men suddenly became nervous. His grasping technique was stolen from the [One Leg Heretic] when they had sparred. No matter what, he was not going to acknowledged him as his Mentor Master. Therefore he protested, “Both of you don’t be nervous! I have no such Mentor Master…”

“I have no such disciples too!” Someone continued from afar. “In my entire life, I have only accepted two disciples and I had lost both my legs! If I have one more disciple, even my head will roll!”

Zhan Bai turned his head to look and saw a very old man who did not have any legs but used two clutches to sprint rapidly like a breeze.

When Zhan Bai turned back his back, the [Jiangnan Two Extraordinary] was no longer to be seen. They had long fled. So was [Three Inch Dwarf].

“Immoral disciples!” The old man with no legs was shouting and scolding, “I have been looking for you for thirty, forty years. Do you think you can escape?”

The old man sprang like a bird towards the direction of the mountain with twelve caves. From afar, Zhan Bai could see three black dots. Needless to say, the dots were the [Jiangnan Two Extraordinary] and the [Three Inch Dwarf].

For some time, Zhan Bai was too startled and mystified by the happenings to even move…

Suddenly, there was a blur in front of Zhan Bai and someone stood in front of him, causing him to lift his head. He saw a strong muscular man and was startled for he did not know this man. But the strong muscular man exclaimed, “Wait a minute and don’t go yet, friend! My Young Master wishes to speak with you!”

“Please forgive me for I have no time to waste!” Zhan Bai replied. Ever since Zhan Bai knew that the Four Aristocracy Family Young Masters were his father’s killers, therefore were his enemies, he had come to dislike any mention of “Young Master”. He growled and said, “Moreover, I do not know who is your Young Master!” Upon finished speaking, he walked past the man and continued on his way.

That strong muscular man hummed and once again, he was in front of Zhan Bai and was now staring at him. “Friend, don’t you dare to flatter yourself. If my Young Master wishes to see you, it is because he has an eye for you. If it isn’t for the fact that Young Master wants to meet you, you will never have the chance to…”

When Zhan Bai saw that he was chatting non-stop, he was already feeling impatient. Before he could finished, Zhan Bai interrupted, “What a joke! Even if your Young Master is the Emperor, when I say I am not interested to meet him, I meant not to meet!…”

When the muscular man saw that Zhan Bai was unruly and moreover scolded his master, he gave a great shout, “Even if you do not want to meet, you have to now!” And he shook his shoulders and reached out to strike Zhan Bai on his chest.

When Zhan Bai saw that the man’s blow was not only swift but carried a windforce, he knew instantly that his opponent martial prowess was not weak. As he was still upset and when he saw the muscular man’s stroke attacking his vital points, he retaliated with a stroke called the ‘Subduing the Tiger and the Dragon’; His left palm struck the man’s shoulder while his right hand striking at his chest.

In the martial fraternity, the style of “Using Attack to subdue the attacks” was extremely rare and thus rarely was it glimpsed. Not only was the muscular man surprised by it, even Young Master Qilin and his sister were moved by it through their expressions…

As both men were both using attacking stances and moreover was too fast, Young Master Qilin was unable to stop it in time and saw that the muscular man had been struck by Zhan Bai’s palm and he was splitting blood in mid-air. When he had landed, he did not even move. Quite obvious, he appeared to be dead.

When the crowd saw that someone had been killed in the area, there was some initial confusion.

Suddenly there was a thunderous roar and a shadow flashed across the fight scene. Even before the shadowy image had touched the ground, Zhan Bai found himself attacked by ten eagle-like fingers on his head!

This attack stance was amazing powerful and as swift as meteor fire. Even if Zhan Bai wanted to dodge it, he could not as those heavy hands zapped to and forth.

There was a thunderous clap and once again, it was power versus power as Zhan Bai locked palms with the attacker. He felt as though there was a ten thousand catty of heavy mallet that came crashing upon his shoulders.

In that instant, he felt his blood flow reversing and he saw golden stars in his eyes. He was forced back five to six steps and were unable to stand firmly on the ground! Then he fell down onto the ground on his bottom.

The attacker did not even wait for Zhan Bai to rise and rush against Zhan Bai with both his heavy palms towards his chest.

The attacker had already made up his vicious mind to kill Zhan Bai on the spot so as to avenge his underling. This palm used up all his might and was like the wind breezing through and always pinpointing the target. Even if Zhan Bai wanted to avoid this blow, it was already too late and it looked like he was going to be a goner under this attacker, there was a shout, “Brother Tianhe! Hold it…”

When the attacker heard that voice, his ongoing strike slowed a little but Zhan Bai could seize upon this little chance and flipped over and stood eight feet away.

Now Zhan Bai could finally see who his attacker was; it was an old man with dark skin in a shining black robe. On each of the old man smallest finger were a metal ring.

Zhan Bai had just escaped from a possible death and he was too startled to compose himself. He turned and looked in the direction of the man who had stopped the old man from attacking further; it was Young Master Qilin.

“Brother Tianhe!” Young Master Qilin came swiftly and he was very dashing in appearances. “I want to make a friend out of this person and a fight is not what I have intended.”

When he had finished speaking to the old man, he turned around and smiled at Zhan Bai, “What a dashing martial skills that you have there, brother. I am Jin Huancai, a resident of Nanjing. I would like to invite you to my residency for a few days. May I know if brother would care to grace me with your presence?”

Before Zhan Bai could replied, that black and thin old man interrupted furiously, “Young Master, do you intend for one of our own to die in vain!…” He clapped his hands and stared at Zhan Bai piercingly as though he wanted to continue the fight.

Young Master Qilin reached out to stop the black thin old man and said, “We are all living in the martial fraternity. If both sides cannot agree with one another, they are bound to exchange blows. Death and permanent injuries are unavoidable. We have only to blame for not being studious in our martial arts and not blame others. Now that Liang You had died, I will buy him the best coffin wood and buried him with honors. I will also compensate his kins.”

When Young Master Qilin had said to that point, he turned his head around, “Liang Jue! Come over here!”

A young muscular young man approached and there was no masking his rage. He looked viciously at Zhan Bai before turning and bowed at Young Master Qilin, “Young Master, what are your orders?”

“Go and take three thousands silvers to bury your older brother in grandeur!”

“Thank you Young Master!”

Once again, the muscular young man bowed before turning around to retrieve his brother’s body. But before he left, he stared at Zhan Bai viciously.

Zhan Bai did not expect he would kill this Liang You. When he saw Liang Jue sorowful and resentful look, he was feeling regretful in his heart. He blamed himself for striking so hard just now.

But when he looked at this Young Master who had the surname Jin, he guessed as much that he could be that Young Master Qilin by now. He secretly exclaimed to himself, “Hum! It is all because he has some filthy money that he was able to buy the hearts of others and caused them to use their lives for him!…”

When the black thin old man saw that Young Master Qilin had in the presence of everyone, had given him some face, he was pacified. He withdrawn his threatening stances but still looked viciously at Zhan Bai and said, “For the sake of Young Master, for the time being, I will spare you the death sentence!”

Zhan Bai could not resisted humming back in an arrogant manner, “It remains to be seen!…”

Immediately, the black thin old man expressions were tense once more…

But Young Master Qilin could not let Zhan Bai continued and said, “Let bygones be bygones! I haven’t asked you for your name yet.”

Zhan Bai suddenly had a thought in his mind, “The father of Young Master Qilin is my father’s killer. Since I have to find both his father and him sooner or later to avenge this blood debt, why not I let them know my name in the presence of everyone else. Then the pugilist fraternity may know that the Zhan family still have an outstanding man left who is not afraid of powerful and influence!

Zhan Bai immediately answered, “I am Zhan Bai. I suppose you must be the renown Young Master Qilin that everyone is talking about?”

“You’ll heap too much praise me onto me!” Young Master Qilin handsome face was all smiles and he said, “I am always hospitable to guests. If Young Hero Zhan does not despite it, I would like to invite you to my residency so that I can honor you as a host!”

Just when Zhan Bai was about to reject the invitation, there was a glimmer in front of his eyes. It was Young Master Qilin’s sister Jin Caifeng, while they were all talking had by now walked over. She was now standing just behind her brother’s back and was using a pair of bright autumn watery eyes to look upon Zhan Bai.

Jin Caifeng was called the most beautiful maiden in Jiangnan and her beauty was as true as the autumn breeze. Her bright, beautiful and knowing beauty was not what brush could describe. Her moral character was excellent too. She was humble, not at all arrogant and her grace and generosity would always be presented in whatever place she been to. Everyone could appraise her and everyone would praise her; she would not hide from criticism. She would be all too natural and not a trace of pretenses would be found in her.

Even though Zhan Bai had recently saw many beauties like Murong Hong, Zhan Wan’Er, and Fan Suluan but none could compare to Jin Caifeng presently. He thought of her beautiful as a shining light, especially her honey sweet smiles.

Unwittingly, Zhan Bai and her eyes made contact and he could resist praising her in his heart, “So beautiful!…”

When Young Master Qilin saw that Zhan Bai did not reject his offer, he thought that he must have accepted his invitation. Therefore he gave orders to prepare carriages and horses and bowed using his hands at Zhan Bai, “After you, please!”

Now when Zhan Bai wanted to reject it, he found it hard to say so. He found himself taking one step at a time and acted accordingly.

Along the way, Young Master Qilin was warmed hearted and hospitable. He was earnest and honest in his manners and speech. Even though Zhan Bai thought of him as his enemy but he could not help but admired him. The saying that Young Master Qilin had a warm heart was true after all.

And especially that Jin Caifeng. She had a sedan but did not sit in it. Instead, she rode a snow white horse and followed by her brother side. From time to time, she would look at him but did not say a word. It was as though her eyes could speak. Zhan Bai could only feel her eyes radiated unlimited sense of soft sentiments. That beautiful eyes of hers, that was already so beautiful, whenever she looked at him, it caused him to be bewildered and deeper into bewildered….

“It seem like both brother and sister have outstanding moral character. I wonder if I have the heart to fight with them one day when it is time for me to seek vengeance for my father?” Zhan Bai was lost in his own hearts and did not notice that they had arrived in front of a towering mansion.

The walls of the mansion were tall and there were two stone statues of a horse on the left and right side of the gate. The flights of stairs were made of Chinese white jade and all in all, there were ten steps. The grandeur of the place was simple overwhelming! On every 5th step, there were a guard with golden armor and sword and Zhan Bai could count fifty to sixty in all.

He thought, “I did not think that for an aristocracy family, such grandeur and imposing magnificent is actually possible. Even a duke mansion could not have possible compared to this…”

There was not a hint of haughtiness when Young Master Qilin caught hold of Zhan Bai’s hand as he led him towards the stairs. The golden guards were all equally respectful.

Zhan Bai sighed. Young Master Qilin who was as wealthy as a wealthy duke could be so hospitable to a poor and downtrodden fellow like him. Indeed, he deserved to be called the [Ever Hospitable] Master Qilin.

As they entered the halls and doors, he saw many scholar tablets hanging on the walls. These tablets were all official titles. It seemed like Young Master Qilin was not only from a martial aristocracy clan but he was also from a official clan.

As Zhan Bai was sightseeing, he was also in his own thoughts. By now, it was nightfall and Young Master Qilin had led him into a beautiful hall with hundreds of candle lights. It seemed like the entire hall was a golden color.

Young Master asked, “I guess that Brother Zhan have not eaten yet.” He laughed gently and said, “Your little brother will do my best as a host to fulfill your needs. Please eat freely and do not restraint yourself!” As he said, he gave a signal to order his servants to prepare food, not waiting for Zhan Bai to reply.

“Oh Brother! You are really…” Jin Caifeng interrupted but she left it unfinished. Her beautiful eyes like rolling meadows turned her glance from her brother to Zhan Bai. She sighed, “Look at our Young Hero Zhan…”

Jin Caifeng, who was famously called [Jiangnan most beautiful maiden] seemed like her eyes would really speak. Even before she could finish speaking, Young Master Qilin had understood and he laughed, “I would have forgotten about it if not for my sister.”

He raised his voice aloud and said, “Oei, someone come over here!”

Four maids in green immediately arrived and walked ritually in front of Young Master Qilin and they said together as one, “Young Master!…”

Young Master Qilin waved his hand and said, “Help our guest to change his clothing!”

Immediately, the four maids in green walked towards Zhan Bai and respectfully said, “Honor guest, please come with us!” And they turned around.

Zhan Bai hesitated for a minute. But really he was covered with sweat and it was time for him to bath. Therefore he did not reject and followed them.

After walking through several beautiful courts, he saw them opened a tall and big window glass door and led him into a grandeur and spacious bathroom.

In the center of the bathroom were two pools. The pools were crystal clear and he could see the bottom and in the middle of the two pools was a white jade statute of a half-naked maiden. And on the statue shoulder was a vase with water pouring forth into the pools. It gave a feeling of rejuvenation and feeling of comfort even before one had entered the pools.

When the four maids in green entered the bathroom, they began to loosen their belts and Zhan Bai was instantly startled. He asked hurriedly, “What! Are all of you are going to bath too?”

 

Ch18 End

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

Chapter 17: Who is the Antagonist?

Both wailed for a long time before the weird man let go of a long sigh. He looked vengeful and distressed at the same time. He wiped his tears with his hand and said, “Heroes shouldn’t shed their tears so easily! My young benevolent master, let us don’t cry anymore! I still have some urgent matters to inform you!”

Zhan Bai felt much better after venting out his sorrows. He suppressed his sorrowful voice and stood up. “Old Senior, please do not be too gracious. If you have any instructions, feel free to say so!”

The Living Dead Man sighed and said, “I am ashamed! My younger protégé brother and me have benefited from benevolent master and have no way to repay him! To think that when benevolent master had died in such inhumane manner and yet, we do not who are the murderers! How could we still have the conscious to live in this world? We had wanted to kill ourselves by smashing our foreheads to accompany our benevolent master in the afterlife but we had also wanted to investigate who are the antagonists are and avenge for him. That is why we choose to endure the humiliation of living and renamed ourselves ‘Living Dead Man’ and Dead Living Man”. As long as we did not avenge for our benevolent master, we will not call ourselves by our names! But the ones that murdered our benevolent master did such a brilliant job and their methods are incalculable cunning and secret that it took us more than ten years of grueling constant investigations to unravel them! And they are six of the topmost pugilist exponents in the Fraternity!”

When Zhan Bai heard that Living Dead Man was about to inform him of his father’s murderers, he was trembling all over now. His throat was dry and he trembled, “Please continue! Old Senior, please continue…”

“Alas!” Living Dead Man was shaking his head and heaving a long sigh. “They are none other than your father’s swore brothers and was proclaimed alongside him as the Seven Heroes of the Central Plains! Who would have thought that they would plot to murder your father for a untold riches that was in Lake Tongding!…”

“Old Senior! Please tell me! Who are they? What are their names?” Zhan Bai became agitated because he had saw the Living Dead Man becoming extremely distressed and did not continued anymore.

“Except for one that left for distant lands overseas and whereabouts unknown, the other five have become aristocracy families in the Martial Fraternity. Oh heavens! Why did the good not have a good provident while the bad always seem to have their heart’s desires?…”

“Old Senior! Please hurry and let me know their names?” Zhan Bai pleaded with him after seeing that after urging for some time, he still did not reveal the names of the antagonists.

“One is the Conqueror Whip Fan Fei from Zhengjiang!” Living Dead Man stared hatefully for an instant before he continued angrily, “They are none other than the resounding Four Young Masters of the Martial Fraternity…”

“The Four Young Masters of the Martial Fraternity?” Zhan Bai felt a drum in his head and caught hold of the Living Dead Man. His eyes were bloodshot and he asked again, “It is the Four Young Masters of the Martial Fraternity?”

Living Dead Man nodded his head solemnly and said, “It is the Four Young Masters of the Martial Fraternity, their fathers….!”

“Is it the father of Young Master Lingfeng, the [Meteor Hand] Murong Han?”

Living Dead Man nodded his head.

“Young Master Anle’s father, the [Universal Palm] Yun Zonglong?”

Living Dead Man nodded his head but did not say anything.

“Young Master Duanfang’s father, the [Origin Finger] Sikong Jin?” Zhan Bai hastily added, “Young Master Qilin’s father, the [Heavenly Bronze Coin] Jin Jiu?”

With a solemn face, Living Dead Man once again nodded his head. When he saw that Zhan Bai had finished asking, he added, “And that [Silver Fan] Liu Suihou that has ventured out to distant shores and his location is currently unknown…”

“Alas!” Even before Living Dead Man had finished, Zhan Bai had cried out and he had fallen backwards and had lost conscious.

Living Dead Man immediately supported Zhan Bai to an upright position and channeled his internal energy with his palm onto his heart accupoint. After massaging for awhile, Zhan Bai began to regain consciousness.

He could not withhold his tears and with great disappointment said, “Old Senior, it seems like Junior I, would never be able to avenge this vengeance of mine!”

“Alas!” Living Dead Man sighed and replied, “Young benefactor! I understand how despairing you felt. Not only you, when my brother and I had first known of it, we know it is a hopeless cause to ever seek avenge for our benefactor. That was why we tried to commit suicide in the Pine Woods by crashing into the trees!”

Zhan Bai’s spirits was lifted by Living Dead Man’s words. He thought and said to himself why he did not have more integrity? Why did he cow in the face of adversity? As long as he is still alive, he can still train in his martial skills day in and night out. Once he had accomplishment in his martial arts, he can still seek vendetta for his father and killed his father’s killers one by one. He will let the entire martial fraternity knows that his father still has a heir in him…

When Zhan Bai had reached this conclusion, he suddenly had an inspiration and he hastily plunge forwards and kneel down in front of Living Dead Man and said with great sincerity, “Thanks for Old Senior guidance that Junior I, have began to see the light in the tunnel. Since Old Senior has old ties with my father, I plead with you to accept me as your disciple! Once Junior I, have learnt your martial skills, I can go and seek vendetta for my father!……”

When Living Dead Man saw Zhan Bai kneel suddenly in front of him, he was panicky and could not stop him in time. He too kneel and hastily said, “Young Benefactor, please rise. You are as good as killing me!”

Zhan Bai thought that Living Dead Man could not accept him as his disciple and he stubbornly refused to get up. In the End, Living Dead Man had to forcefully carried him up and put him onto a chair.

He solemnly said, “It is not that I am refusing to teach you martial arts. I have very valid reasons not to. With my martial skills, if I were to fight against second or third rate fighters, it can still be considered useful. But by no means, I am a match for those first rate fighters. Even if I were to teach you all my martial skills, it would still be useless to you. Moreover you must know, in the martial fraternity, once a person is your Martial Master, forever is your Martial Master. I will be destroying Young Benefactor’s future if I do. This is the first reason.”

“Moreover, my brother and I is considered servants to our Benefactor Hero Zhan. Strictly adhering, young benefactor, you can still be considered as my young master. So how can I as your servant be your Martial Master?”

Zhan Bai knew that what Living Dead Man had said made sense and he could not force him to accept him. Even though he was very disappointed, he did not say it.

“Actually, young benefactor, you do not need to be disappointed. Don’t you have a manual that is even better than any famous martial masters?”

Reminded by Living Dead Man, Zhan Bai suddenly realized that he had the Bones Blinder, Soul Destroyer Secret Manual. He immediately reach within his robe for it but was startled and his heart gone cold when he realized he did not have it…

Then Living Dead Man took out the Bones Blinder, Soul Destroyer Secret Manual and said, “This is the most wondrous martial book in the entire world. May I know how did Young Benefactor come in possessions of it?”

“It was given to me by a Lei Dashu,” replied Zhan Bai. He was instantly relieved that he had not lost the book.

As they chat, Living Dead Man began to flip the book. But after taking a few glances, he quickly closed the book and closed his eyes to regain his composure. After awhile, he opened his eyes and said, “That was a close shave! This book can create delusions and caused others to go berserk. Young Benefactor, you are so young, how did you manage to read this book at all?”

“Junior I, read it by feeling it in the darkness.” Zhan Bai had a kind soul and was not suspicious of others. Therefore he was honest and did not conceal in all matters.

When Living Dead Man first heard that Zhan Bai mentioned that he had feel it to read it, he did not believed it at first but after he used his fingers to feel the inside of the book, he too come to the revelation. But a flash of greed appeared in his countenance.

Zhan Bai saw it as well.

Living Dead Man returned the book to Zhan Bai. He pondered for awhile before asking, “Who is this Lei Dashu? He is generous indeed!”

Zhan Bai described Lei Dashu’s characteristics and features to him.

“Oh!” Living Dead Man cried out. “Lei Zhenyuan!”

“Old Senior, you know him?” Zhan Bai interrupted.

“How can I not know him! Your father and him are bosom friends! When my brother and I are with our Benefactor in the martial fraternity, he was always with us!……”

“May I know if I can know Old Senior name? At least we have the fate of encounter and I can at least know.” Zhan Bai asked.

Suddenly Living Dead Man was solemn and expressionless once more. He sighed deeply and said, “I hope young benefactor will forgive me for this slight. My brother and I once made an serious oath that before we could avenge for our Benefactor, we would never mention our names ever again. You can address us brothers as the Living Dead Man and Dead Living Man.”

Zhan Bai upon seeing that he would not reveal his name, did not force him. He paused for awhile before asking, “Old Senior, how did you know who are the culprits behind Junior’s father death…”

Without waiting for Zhan Bai to finish, Living Dead Man interrupted, “It all thanks to Old Senior the [Divine Donkey with the Iron Gut] Dong Qianli that we know it. When we first heard of it, we did not believe it as well but after Old Senior Dong verified it, only then did we know that it is true.”

“When we saw Young Benefactor a few days ago and from that bronze coin, we recognized that it was the secret projectile of [Heavenly Bronze Coin] Jin Jiu. We have no choice but to believed that the news is the truth!”

“[Divine Donkey with the Iron Gut]!” Zhan Bai muttered, “Is Old Senior Dong dressed in silk floss, looks like a peddler and rides a donkey?

Living Dead Man answered, “Indeed, it is him.”

Suddenly, Living Dead Man exclaimed loudly as if he was reminded of something, “Old Senior Dong is over a hundred years old and he is a extraordinary man. He had three pieces of iron guts and the Sixty-four stances of his ‘Wondrous Hand’ plus his highly accomplished martial skills, I afraid none in the martial fraternity can be comparable to him at all. Just now, young benefactor, you have said that you are looking for a Martial Teacher. Why not plead with him to accept you as his disciple?”

Zhan Bai was extremely happy that he did have a ray of hope and asked joyfully, “Where does he resident at?”

“Even though he has no fixed dwelling place but he frequents near Nanjing Sparrow shore banks and the Mountain rocks of the Twelve Caves. If Young Benefactor will to go there, you may find him…”

Zhan Bai did not wait for Living Dead Man to finish and got up immediately, gave a respectful bow, “Then, Junior will take my leave now! Thanks for Old Senior to come to my aid in my hours of need and for guiding me. All these acts of kindness, I, Zhan Bai, will always remember deep in my heart…”

Zhan Bai had exited the ‘Dead Man Dwelling Place’ even before he had finished speaking.

“Young Benevolent!…” Living Dead Man was shouting for him behind him, wanting to tell Zhan Bai that there was a young maiden that had come with him. Suddenly, he remembered that it might be inconvenient for him to explain the circumstances just now, he immediately paused to think for awhile. While he was pausing, in that split second, Zhan Bai had sprung down the mountains.

As Zhan Bai was anxious and excited, he did not think of anything unusually of a red mare that was eating grass just outside the house. Zhan Bai just thought that it was just a horse owned by Living Dead Man. If he had carefully think about it, he would realize that such majestic and colorful horse would not have suited the character of Living Dead Man…

Chapter 17 Ended

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

Chapter 16: Between Life and Death

A beautiful red handsome horse was galloping in great haste on the main road. On the horse was a captivating young maiden in a cotton garment and in her embrace was a young man. She did not seem to be avoiding attention and thus attracted a great deal of attention.

But the horse she was riding on was simple too fast. Even though people wanted to have a good look at them but in a blink of an eye, they were gone like the wind. Only dust covered the back of the vanishing horse.

The young maiden was sterling the horse and at the same time kept lowering her glances to look at this young man. Her face was full of care and love! If the unconscious young man would regain conscious and witness such a captivating young maiden looking at him with such concern and love that was so protective, he might feel that he was the most blissful man in the entire world!

However this young man was in an unconscious state therefore even though the young maiden had displayed a million types of tenderness and affections, he would never know. Moreover, his face was burning red like fire, his breathing was rough and his chest was heaving rapidly. It was obvious that his life was in terrible danger!

The young maiden became even more anxious when she had seen that the young man in her embrace could no longer make it anymore; His temperature was gradually getting higher and higher. It was just like she was carrying a burning fire.

So she became even more restless as she traveled. She thought, “From the looks of it, I don’t think I can make it back in time back home. But in this wilderness, where should I find a physician to treat Brother Zhan’s illness…”

“Oh curses!” She began to think aloud, “If only I had brought a couple of our family ‘The Vigor Rejuvenate Pill’ that my ancestors had passed down; It is most useful for treating injuries. Then I will not have to rush so relentless now!”

“Aiya!” When the young maiden thought of her ancestor’s divine medicine, she was reminded that the red face old man had given her an antidote. It was because she was too sure of her ancestor’s divine medicine that till now, she did not feed it to Zhan Bai yet. Why don’t she first feed this antidote to Zhan Bai to save his life…

When she had thought of this, she gave a grasp for she was scolding herself for being so muddle-headed. So she looked around with her watery eyes around her hoping to spot a household so that she could ask for some boiled water so that Zhan Bai could gulp the antidote.

But it was wilderness all around. Except for tall grasses and some pots of farmlands, there was not a single household to be seen.

Then she spotted a ridge that was five to six miles away. Although the young maiden rarely ventured far from home, she was bright beyond comparison. In her home, she was a pampered mistress that had all the finery and riches but her senses were exceptional honed and sharp. So she immediately thought of riding to the ridge and looked around to see if there were any households around. It was better than riding blindly like what she was doing now!

The big red horse that she was riding was the famed ‘Thousand Mile Equine’. Its footings were very swift. Even though they were now traveling across the wilderness but in a twinkle of an eye, they had traverse five to six miles.

She got down and looked around her. Green hills and crystalline ravines dotted the back of the ridge. Then she spotted the red edge of what seemed to be a red building in the hills and mountains. But that place was tens of miles away. Other than that, she could not see any other households in this wilderness.

Therefore, she got on her horse again and rode towards that red edge!

Her equine was indeed a treasure. Not only could it gallop like it was flying along leveled ground but in this rocky wilderness, it was still the same. In a twinkle of an eye, they had reached the location of the red edge.

The young maiden in cotton garment immediately carried the unconscious young man down from the horse and walked to the front of the entrance to take a look. Suddenly, she turned ashen!

This house was very unique. It was red from top and had white stones as its walls. Even the wooden door was white. But on the white door were three words written with ink ‘Dead Men Dwelling’!

Even though the young maiden was highly skilled in martial arts but she rarely wandered in the pugilistic fraternity. So how could she have known of such a strange place? Even though this place was built along the mountain slopes but it was not a temple. It did not look like a cemetery either yet on its door hang the characters ‘Dead Men Dwelling’.

This caused the young maiden to be momentarily stunned in front of the door. She really did not know whether should she retreat or enter. Therefore she could only stared with a stunned expression with her big lovely eyes!

She pondered how could there be such a weird place as this? Who would hung such a thing as a ‘Dead Men Dwelling’ on their own door? Even if it were a cemetery, it should not be written in this manner?

But such a thing and fact existed and it was right in front of her. The world was filled with strange and wondrous things indeed!

Just when she was pondering what to do, the young man in her embrace gave a painful moan as he jerked for an instant…

This shook the stupefied young maiden as she thought carefully. What was most important was to save a life. Why should she care if it were a dead man or living man inside? She decided to enter the house and decide what happened next!

The power of love was indeed magnificent and selfless! The pampered and rich young mistress gained the will to cast away all her fears and sense of dangers because of her love for this young man, decided to venture alone in the ‘Dead Men Dwelling’ now!

Leaving her horse behind to feed on the grass itself, she pursed her lips and with a firm conviction, she carried the unconscious Zhan Bai and shouted in front of her. “Is anyone there?”

She shouted many times and could only hear the echoes coming back from the mountains. No one answered her calls. She mustered her courage and tipped slightly with the tip of her shoe and the white wooden door swung opened with a crackling sound!

Inside the door was a small courtyard and she saw dying flowers and trees It gave a eerie and creepy atmosphere. It was unusual quiet and it generated a terrible horrible feeling!

In the courtyard, there was a pavement leading to a red house. The red house had its door and windows shut tightly and it seemed to hide something mysterious!

But this young maiden mustered a courage that exceeded the norm and actually walked towards the mysterious and terrible red house all the while carrying the unconscious young man!

When she walked to the door of the red house, written on the white wooden door was the same characters painted in black, “Dead Men Dwelling, Forbid to the Living”.

The young maiden crunched her teeth and yelled aloud, “Yo dead men! You got a living visitor!”

Suddenly there were a series of shrieking sound caused by a strange bird. It cuckoo twice before flying off from the roof towards the back of the hills.

The young maiden was so startled and frightened by it that her guts almost jumped out! But after a while, upon seeing that there was nothing in it and that there was no one, she mustered her courage once more. She pushed the door opened with the tip of her foot.

Like the door to the courtyard, the door to the house was not locked. But the interior was tidy and without any dust. Needless to ask, this ‘Dead Man’ must be fond of cleanliness.

The young maiden remained guarded and alerted while scanning her big eyes around to survey the hall. She saw white furniture, white table and besides it were two white chairs. All these were made of white wood. Just like the doors and windows, all these were made from the woods from the mountain forest and no paint was added. However the scent from the hall reminded her of coffins. That was because, that was precisely the same scent as that of a shop that sold coffins!

After surveying for a while and observed that nothing was amiss, she put the unconscious young man onto the white chair. That was because even though she was well trained in martial arts but after carrying him for half a day, her two shoulders felt numb.

She put down the unconscious young man and let him on the chair. Finally she heaved a sight of relief and thought, “This deserted ghost place! Fancy it being a ‘Dead Men Dwelling’ but yet there was not even a sight of even a dead man!…”

Unconsciously, she began to take a look around her once again and noticed that towards the middle of the wall, hung a curtain. When the wind blew slightly in, the curtain began to flutter and something seemed to be behind the curtain.

Out of sheer curiosity, she mustered her courage and reached out to pull the curtain aside. Behind the curtain looked like a shrine to something and there was a tablet in it. The tablet too, was made of white wood and the words that were carved on it were extremely intricate; it read ‘The divine resting place of our benefactor, The Great Hero Zhan of the Thunderous Sword fame, Zhan Yun Tian!’

The young maiden almost cried out. She remembered very clearly when she saved her Brother Zhan, she had asked about his background. At the moment, Lei Dashu had barged in from the window and griped his hands and asked hurriedly, “Who is Zhan Yun Tian to you?…”

This was a shrine to Zhan Yun Tian in this ‘Dead Men Dwelling’. Was there an intimate relationship between this Zhan Yun Tian and her Brother Zhan?

So this young maiden was none other than WanEr. She had fallen in love with Zhan Bai but because she was terrible upset that Zhan Bai was with Fan Suluan that she stormed all the way to her room. But later, when she had heard that Zhan Bai was taken away by the [Divine Donkey with the Iron Gut] Dong Qianli, she felt extremely uneasy. So she secretly rode off with her father’s Thousand Mile Horse ‘Chi Hualiu’ and left her home to search for Zhan Bai.

Even though she had developed a deep understanding in martial theories and had mastered several powerful martial skills but she had never been away from home before. Moreover, it was the intrigue pugilist world. When she had left her home, she did not really know in which direction should she begin her search for Zhan Bai. But as luck would have it, she found Zhan Bai at the Town of Xin Lu.

At that time, she was dining at a wine tavern. It just that she was upstairs while Zhan Bai was downstairs. Therefore they had not seen one another. But afterwards, when the crowd had gathered and she heard the clanging of weapons, did she run down to take a look. She found Zhan Bai fighting with tens of top martial exponents, his composure steady and seems to have the upper hand.

Therefore she stayed away from view. Only when the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] had tried to harm Zhan Bai after the three palm strike, did she unleash her whip in a bid to save him.

And now, once more, she had in a stroke of luck, ran into this ‘Dead Men Dwelling Place’ and also chanced upon the spiritual tablet of Zhan Yun Tian. And this was something that had to do with her Big Brother Zhan, so how would she not be concerned?

She looked around in her surroundings in a careful manner, forgetting that she supposed to find water for her Brother Zhan to go with his medicine. On the shrine, were flowers that had some water vapor on it, fresh fruits and joss sticks that were burnt halfway. It was obvious that some one had recently paid their respect.

Beyond the shrine was a hallway and there were two doors on the left and right. The doors of the hallway were made of white wood as well. The door on the left side had a piece of white paper hanging on top of it with the inscription in black ink, ‘Living Dead Man’. The door to the right had a similar paper but with the words, ‘Dead Living Man’ written on it. Both doors had an couplets on both sides, with the inscriptions, ‘If kindness is not repaid, it is as good as dead.’ The other couplet read, ‘It is humiliating that vendetta cannot be seek. Vengeance must be pursued and kindness must be repaid.’

After WanEr had seen those words, she could begin to comprehend half of it. The one that stayed in this Dead Men Dwelling Place was not a dead person but because he was indebted to Hero Zhan but now that he had been wrongfully killed, he was unable to find the killer to avenge him; the kindness and benevolent that he received could never be repaid, hence he called himself a dead man…

When WanEr had concluded to this point, suddenly she felt it strange that she saw no sight of either the [Living Dead Man] or the [Dead Living Man]. Unconsciously, she had walked to the left side of the hall and used her hands to push open the door.

In the room were a table and a chair. The room had just a simple setup. There was no bed or even bedding. But at the corner of the room was a white coffin!

The white coffin was sealed very tightly. After looking around for a while and finding nothing, she turned around and walked into the door to the right to take a look.

Who would expect that the other room was exactly the same and equally identical! Both rooms just had a table, chair and a white coffin!

In such a big house, there was no one and there were two big white coffins in the rooms. Having such an unsightly name like the ‘Dead Men Dwelling Place’ was weird enough. To a young maiden like WanEr that had never stepped away from long distances from her home, it was extremely eerie and creepy. It frightened her and caused her mind to wander, unable to calm down to think.

Just when WanEr was still feeling dumbfounded in the room to the right of the hall, she heard a loud ‘Dong’ sound coming from outside. It caused her to be startled and with her left hand holding her chest, she sprang out of the room only to see her Brother Zhan lying on the ground, after falling down from the chair.

Without any hesitation, she sprang to his side and saw his face burning red. His breathing was extremely weak and blood was snoozing from his mouth…

WanEr was shocked and stunned at the same time. She examined Zhan Bai carefully but found no visible wounds on him. She concluded that when she left to investigate the rooms, her Brother Zhan must have fell on his own. She scolded and blamed herself silently. Why did she have to do the most trivial things and left the most pressing matters undone?

She carried Brother Zhan tightly and carried him to sit on the chair. She took out the green color antidote that the red face old man had given her. But because she could not find any water in this moment of need, she pondered for a while before she opened her small mouth, using her saliva to substitute as water. Mouth to mouth, the antidote was sent down Zhan Bai’s throat.

Because WanEr’s heart was innocent and pure, she did not even think that between a man and a woman, such a thing, could only be done between a man and a wife. Moreover, it was also because WanEr loved Zhan Bai from the bottom of her heart.

And because it was urgent, without pausing to consider much ado, she used her saliva to substitute it as water for Zhan Bai, for fear that he might lose unconscious and could not swallow the pill down his throat.

Immediately afterwards, she began to use her palms to massage Zhan Bai on his chest. Just then, she felt something between her fingers.

WanEr did not know what Zhan Bai had hidden in his clothes, so she reached for and retrieved out a book with multi color cover.

WanEr unwillingly giggled and thought to herself, “This Brother Zhan of mine is like a small kid. He is so big yet he is still looking at picture book!…Huh!”

As WanEr was thinking to herself, she carelessly flipped the book. She did not expect that in the book was all drawing of maidens in the nude. The posture was extremely mesmerizing, beautiful, heart-stopping and beholding…

WanEr had a dumbfounded expression on her face as she flushed. She muttered in a low voice, “So disgusting! You…” She forgot that Zhan Bai was unconscious and threw the book back to him. The book hit Zhan Bai and fell to the ground…

Suddenly there was a thunderous shout, “Who is so outrageous and bold? There is actually someone that dared to disturb the Dead Men Dwelling Place!”

Even before WanEr could turn her back, she could feel a gush of wind flurrying towards her.

As she was afraid that her Brother Zhan would come to harm by the stranger, without dodging and pausing to inquiry, she displayed the stroke ‘Reversal’ and flipped around with both of her hands extending out to welcome the gush of flurrying windforce.

“Omg! It’s young benefactor…”

The instant WanEr turned her body, the stranger had already clearly seen Zhan Bai’s face and immediately shouted, withdrawing his attacks.

But still, it was still too late as the pair of palms clashed with one another. WanEr’s arms were sore from the clash!

She was startled and thought, “Such powerful palm force!” She lifted her head and saw two weird looking men that dressed themselves in white clothing. They looked eerie and had a dead expression on their faces. They stood exactly besides one another, left and right in front of WanEr, looking like a zombie. WanEr felt a chill running down her spine.

The two weird men began to stared coldly at WanEr and then at Zhan Bai. And then back to her.

As they looked terrifying and eerie, with crafty eyes, WanEr was afraid that they might have malicious intentions towards her Brother Zhan. Even though she knew she was not their match but in order to protect her Brother Zhan, she mustered her internal power to prepare a final showdown. She did not have any trace of fright or any intention to run but instead was determined to fight. If the two men were to raise their hands against her Zhan Bai, she would immediately fight it all out with them…

“Young benefactor looks like he is badly injured!” The weird man on the left said to no one in particular.

“So I say we mustn’t die. We should continue our meager existence for there are still many things for us to do!” The weird man on the right exclaimed.

WanEr was puzzled at their behavior and speech. She looked at their icy cold stares and then took a glance at her Brother Zhan.

“Young lass! Are you the one that injured young benefactor?” The weird man on the right suddenly thundered.

“Just who are you?” Instead of replying him, WanEr retorted. She continued, “Why would I injure Brother Zhan?…Huh!”

The weird man on the right suddenly shouted at her in a thunderous voice and then charged at her, using his left hand to push WanEr aside and then plunged towards Zhan Bai.

“What are you trying to do?” WanEr was afraid that the weird man would try to harm her Brother Zhan, therefore she shouted, ‘Opposing the Tidal Force’ as she reached out her right hand to grip the weird man’s shoulder.

As WanEr had hurriedly attacked, this stance used all her strength. Needless to say a human’s shoulder, even an iron would be blend by her.

But the weird man seemed not to notice this all almighty attack from WanEr; he did not dodge and evade. Instead, he continued to plunge towards Zhan Bai.

WanEr hit his left shoulder but it was as solid as steel. It caused her upper body to be numbed with paralysis. She was knocked back five to six steps before she could regain her balance. Her hands were crying out with excruciating pain!

She saw the weird man came in front of Zhan Bai and hit his front vulnerable points with his big hands.

WanEr was startled and panicky. She cried out aloud, “Old ugly monster! Dare you to touch my Brother Zhan! I will fight it out with you!”

WanEr attacked him again with all her might but he just nudged off her attacks like it was nothing.

“Young lass! Restraint yourself! You…” As he knocked WanEr backwards against a wall.

WanEr almost fainted after being knocked backwards. She found her vision growing dim. Hurriedly, she tried to circulate her breath before she opened her eyes and was horrified to see the weird man pressing her Brother Shane’s ‘Life Channels’ accupoints.

One must know that the ‘Life Channel’ was the death accupoint of a human being. Should the weird man hit hard on this point, Zhan Bai would instantly lose his life. Tears began to drip from WanEr’s eyes in her moment of helplessness…

But when she took a closer look, she finally realized that the weird man was not trying to harm her Brother Zhan but was trying to use his life force energy to help Zhan Bai to clear his channels. It was because she had noticed that the redness from Zhan Bai’s face had retreated and his eyes were fluttering.

WanEr could not help it but muttered in her heart, “Such embarrassment!” She leaned backwards on the wall and used the opportunity to regain the circulation of her breath…

The other weird man had walked near to Zhan Bai but his eyes were on the multi color book that was beneath his legs.

“Alas!” That weird man picked the book. With only one glance at the book, he began to exclaimed excitedly, “Bones Blinder, Soul Destroyer Secret Manual! Elder Brother! Elder Brother! Come and have a look…”

He looked up and saw wisps of steam floating above his brother’s head. He seemed to be in full concentration trying to clear Zhan Bai’s blood channels. And it was now at the most crucial part. Therefore he immediately left his sentence unfinished.

But even then, his icy cold face had an excited, uncontrollable expression. His eyes were glowing and even the hands that were holding the book were trembling!

He was startled and lifted his head, only to see his elder brother had a wisp of steam rising from his head. It is obvious that he had reached a crucial point of helping Zhan Bai to clear his blood channels. He immediately halted what he was trying to say.

But his cold and eerie expression was full of excitement. His eyes were beaming and even the hands that were holding the book were trembling.

Even WanEr, who was leaning against the wall and was trying to regain her breathing circulation, received a sudden jolt when she suddenly heard the weird man suddenly shouted, “Bones Binder, Soul Destroyer Secret Manual!”

That was because she had once unintentional overheard her father conversing with his protégé guests on the affairs of the martial fraternity that two hundred years ago, there was a Martial Fraternity Sage by the name of the Lord of the Only Eye. He left behind a manual called the ‘Bones Binder, Soul Destroyer Sacred Manual’

This manual had been acknowledged by the martial fraternity as the most wondrous book ever. Whoever could obtain this wondrous book and learnt the skills within it, would dominate the martial fraternity as the most powerful martial arts expert…

WanEr was bewildered at this point. That was because she had just browsed through the book and within the book, were all pictures of women in the nude. There weren’t any martial formula. Could it be that the posture of the naked women be martial stances?…

WanEr’s mind was pacing with thoughts and was making plenty of wild guesses as she looked at the weird man; he was flipping the pages one by one, reading with his hands trembling…

On closer look, the weird man began to have a strange expression on his face. His eyes were darting and his mouth was trembling. His eyes had a strange kind of glow and his white and colorless face began to flutter in tint red…

Slowly, the weird man began to shiver as though he could no longer control the powerful excitement. Finally he closed his eyes…

WanEr was momentarily distracted by the another weird man that was treating Zhan Bai. The weird man’s head was now thick with steam and he had three wisps of white cloud above his head. From afar, it looked like three white lotuses.

WanEr was startled. She knew that this is the ‘Halo of the Three Flowers’. Unless one had practiced inner strength to its peak, this phenomenon would never appear! She would never imagine that this man that looked like a ghost would have such unbelievable depth of inner strength. As a result, she was mesmerized by the scene…

Suddenly, she sensed two sharp beam of light nailing her body. She turned her head around and saw that the another weird man that was reading the ‘Bones Binder, Soul Destroyer Sacred Manual’ earlier, had opened his eyes.

His entire face was red and he was trembling. His eyes were looking intently at her body. Suddenly, he started to walk towards her…

WanEr was a naïve young girl whom innocent had not yet been shed. How could she have known that man when they were thirsted for sex, would be so bestial and crazed?

This weird man was a martial recluse and moreover, he had decades of martial training. Only a few in the martial fraternity could match his martial prowess and the strength of his willpower. Who would expect that a book would cause him to lose control of his self-will!

At the moment, his lust was at its pinnacle and he had broken free of his decades of self-restraint. He could no longer restraint his lust that was like a fiery fire. Facing a young and beautiful young maiden like WanEr, he had actually forgotten his very own identity. He even forgot about his life promises. He had even forgotten that his brother was just besides him. He had also forgotten his benefactor’s son…

His lust had consumed him and caused him to lose his reasoning. He was now like a hungry tiger that was plunging towards a sheep.

WanEr was startled and quickly displayed a ‘Enclosure’ stance as she gathered and circulated her inner strength as she extended her hands towards the crazed weird man’s chest in a furious and panicky manner.

There was a thunderous loud sound as the weird man took the impact of WanEr’s palms without questioning and dodging.

WanEr had displayed at least five hundred to six hundred catty of strength through the deliverance of this stance but against this weird man, it just caused his body to shutter two times in quick succession but it failed to halt his advance. In response to this attack, it was like his movements had quickened instead as he opened his arms and pushed WanEr’s slim body into his embrace.

WanEr felt like she was being pressed against steel and the pressure in her chest was so heavy that it caused her circulation to be disrupted. Because her hands and legs could not moved, she was stunned and in great anxiety. Eventually and finally, she passed out…

The weird man who had been consumed by the fires of lust was like a crazed person as he started to tear apart WanEr’s embroidered silk dress. He was now panting very hard as he finally tore off the embroidered silk dress that was worth a thousand gold, revealing WanEr snow white body…

WanEr was as alluring as a flower. Now that she was unconscious, she even had to brave through the cruelty of the thunderstorm and the hurricanes that was about to become her fate. She was like a flower that was quickly going to be despoiled. It was cruelty at its extremity…

Suddenly, there was a chilly heng. It was by the weird man that was helping Zhan Bai to treat his injuries. He sprang in a startling flash of revelation with his fingers extending out and struck furiously on the spine accupoints of the other weird man who was embracing WanEr.

There was a loud crashing sound as the struck weird man collapsed onto the floor. He then proceeded to hit three of his major accupoints; “Chang Qiang”, “Ling Tai”, “Shen Men”. After that, he lifted him up and sprang in a startling movement into the room on the left before throwing him into the coffin.

Like a wind, in a blink of an eye, he proceeded to lift and carry WanEr into the coffin to the room on the right. At the same time, he had also picked the “Bones Blinder, Soul Destroyer Secret Manual” and stuffed it into his garment. Next, he continued to pat furiously on Zhan Bai’s twelve accupoints on various parts of his body.

It was as though nothing had happened in the hall.

When Zhan Bai had awakened and his first sight was the ghastly weird man, he was too stunned for action.

“Young Hero Zhan, do you still recognize me?”

Zhan Bai was instantly jolted as he recalled how he had tried to steal his sword in the Pine Forest and how both of them had tried to commit suicide by banging their heads against the trees but failed. He asked in a startled voice, “How did I come to be here? And where is your other companion?”

The weird man shook his head and said, “That companion of mine has gone out and yet to return. As for why you are here, you have to ask yourself!”

“Have to ask myself?” Zhan Bai was puzzled. He could only remembered how he had encountered a red face old man in a little town and took his blows from him. After that, he was engulfed in a strange burning sensation and had passed out. Then how did he manage to come here? A thought struck him and he asked, “Old Senior, is that you who has saved me?”

“I myself do not know who have delivered you. But I did lend you a helping hand here. Young Hero Zhan, why not you tell me after we had parted, where else had you been to?”

Therefore Zhan Bai began to relate to him his encounters.

After listening, the weird man began to sigh and said, “Is it all really pre-destiny? I have tried to commit suicide many times but failed to. Is it because I am meant to preserve my wretched life for my benefactor’s descendant!” Upon finishing, he led Zhan Bai to the spiritual tablet of Zhan Yun Tian and said, “This benefactor of mine is in fact your father!”

When Zhan Bai saw his father’s tablet, he began to shed his tears uncontrollable as he fell into his knees to kowtow thrice. In that instant, he started to recall all his humiliations and tribulations that happened to him all these years. Unable to hold back his emotions, he began to cry out loud in great sorrow.

When the weird man saw Zhan Bai’s sorrows, he too began to recall how he had chosen to hide his name and identity, unable to face the world, forced to stay in the Dead Men Dwelling and to sleep inside the coffin. He too, was heart wrenched and cried out, beating his chest like Zhan Bai.

 

Ch16 End

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

The Evil Heretic Sects were exterminated by the Virtuous Orthodox Clans. Peace had finally returned to the Martial Fraternity. Leading the Virtuous Orthodox Sects were the Four Martial Aristocracy Families that competed with one another to be the Alliance Leader of the Entire Martial Fraternity.

Each of the Four Martial Aristocracy not only surpassed the existing Virtuous Orthodox Sects, they had with them numerous followers and Reclusive Martial Grandmasters, every single of them are equaled in martial ability with the Sect Leader of Wudang and Shaolin!

Chapter 15: The Red Sloe Blood Skill Palm

As Zhan Bai tried to leap out of the window, in came three incoming secret projectiles, suddenly a dark overwhelming darkness that carried windforce, came crashing onto his head like a furious falling mountain.

Zhan Bai was extremely shocked as he did not know what came crashing through that in his panicky state, he raised his ‘Heartless Precious Sword’ to display the ‘The skill of moving Tremendous Force with a Fractional Force’.

The tip of his sword impaled with a tinkling impact as he raised it upward to meet the unknown.

At the same time, he turned his head upward to take a look and saw a big fat monk wielding a very big placard and he landed behind his back.

This monk was very big, rough looking and really looked very impressive. On the top of his head were eight dots that denoted the eight monastic restrictions of the monastic order. The monk was now staring at him viewing him with surprise.

Suddenly Zhan Bai remembered that in the pugilist realm, there was a [Iron Signboard Monk]. His weapon was an iron placard that weighed a thousand catty. He could mobilize ten thousand catty of force. In his ignorant state, he had used the tip of his sword to still such a heavy pressurized force. Needless to say, the [Iron Signboard Monk] was stunned and even he did not believe it himself.

At the same time, tens of men had by now surrounded the Inn Tavern and as Zhan Bai was just adjusting to his situation, two bright light flashed like the brightness of meteor flew furiously at Zhan Bai’s head, aiming at his ‘Tai Yang’ fatal accupoints!

Zhan Bai squatted down immediately and parried his Precious Heartless Sword upward with the ‘Spire Fire that burns the Heaven’.

There were two clanging clash of metals as a two morning stars attached to a chain was parried quite far aside.

There were a series of howling rage as three beams of light, two swords and one blade slashed together at the same time on Zhan Bai.

Zhan Bai wielded his sword as he followed his sword as the Heartless Precious Sword exuded a brilliant flare of light as it slashed fiercely at the three types of weapons.

But the attackers knew by now the dangers of the Heartless Precious Sword and they withdrawn their strokes hurriedly before jumping backward…

Suddenly there was a strong windforce fanning towards Zhan Bai at the same time. Because he had already brandished his stance and sword, he could not retract immediately. Therefore he extended his left hand from his chest to receive the incoming attack.

There was a thunderous clap! It came from another old man that looked around fifty of age as he was knocked backward three steps loudly. He eyed Zhan Bai with eyes wide-opened.

This came from the [Iron Fist]  Lu Liu Shun that had practiced the ‘Iron Breaker Palm’ diligently for twenty to thirty years. He was very proud of his namesake [Iron Fist].

He had noticed that Zhan Bai was a young man that had managed to keep five men at bay just because he had a precious sword that were sharp and durable. Therefore the amount of practice that Zhan Bai had with his hand to hand combat and his internal strength would definitely not be as good as his swordplay and that he was only trying to show off his skills in front of the others.

So he picked an opportune time to attack Zhan Bai when he saw his sword attacking forth in another direction and he could surely not be able to swing his sword in time.

So seizing this opportunity, he unleashed eight folds of his strength with a blow at Zhan Bai.

But who would expect that Zhan Bai took this blow of his directly and he was using only his left hand! What more, it seemed so easy and relaxing, knocking him three steps backward! Because Zhan Bai was so young, even if he were just born and started training his internal power, surely he would not be stronger than him! This caused the proud and self-confident [Iron Fist] Lu liu Shun that liked to show off his skills most, to be bewildered!

Zhan Bai’s stomach was growling with hunger. He did not have anything to eat and yet he was besieged by people from all sides. They did not give him any breathing space and he was feeling extremely hungry as well. He was now feeling angry and he stared with his eyes at the tens of martial pugilists as he swept his surroundings. When his Heartless Precious Sword suddenly moved…

Actually Zhan Bai had not readied a stroke yet but when his sword moved, everyone thought that he was going to attack therefore everyone moved one step backward with fright…

Zhan Bai could not resist laughing aloud when he saw all those fierce looking men taking a frightful step backward even before he had readied a stroke when his sword flinched a little.

After Zhan Bai had laughed, everyone began to regain their composure. Everyone of them were courageous men of the Martial Fraternity that lived under constant threats of weapons and death. How could they display such a cowardly attitude in the face of a opponent?

Therefore everyone was fast turning red with embarrassment. Some others were reacting with anger and rage. All of a sudden in a thunderous explosive commotion, shadowy movements of blades, swords, maces, claws and countless numerous weapons came scurrying like the torrid hurricane and rain at Zhan Bai.

In panicky, Zhan Bai executed the ‘The Swift Wind Felling the Grass’ and a white shiny wall flashed forth. There were two to three people that could not stopped in time and the weapons in their hands were instantly sliced apart. Everyone received a jolt and stunned cries could be heard as they moved back together…

This ‘The Swift Wind Felling the Grass’ stroke was picked up at the Baotu Manor when Fan Jie had twice displayed it after Zhan Bai had seen it. He had stolen it by seeing it. Even though he had not totally understand the intricate and the essence yet but his grasp of this swordplay was already more or less! He just did not expect that when he had executed it, the force of this swordplay would be this big!

After this success and just when Zhan Bai decided to charge out of the enclosure, he heard someone giving a great shout, “Hold it!”

The voice was deafening and ear-shattering. When Zhan Bai turned to have a look, he saw the reddish face old man walked hurriedly towards him. He was followed by a handsome young man.

The reddish face old man pointed at him and asked, “Whose protégé are you under? What relationship did you have with Zhenjiang (A city in the Jiangsu Province) Master Fan? Make yourself clear or else it would cause a misunderstanding!”

“I do not know any Master Fan from Zhenjiang!” Zhan Bai replied. “As for my Protégé Master, please forgive me for not unable to reveal it.”

Zhan Bai was an honest young man and did not know the treacheries of the pugilist fraternity. What came to his mind, he would speak his mind.

Actually he was focusing on building up his martial foundations but unfortunately did not have the opportunity to find a Protégé Master. He was taught here and there, secretly copied his skills from various sources so naturally he did not really consider having a Protégé Master.

The reddish face old man began to roar with laughter as he exclaimed, “Young fellow, you are indeed something! But do you know who I am?”

“Please forgive me for being blind. I really do not know who old…respected sire is!” Zhan Bai had wanted to address him as an old senior but when he noticed the way he was looking at him, he changed the form of address and his tone did not sound respectful.

“Little fellow, you who have just come out of your mother’s weaning!” The reddish face old man began to roar with laugher as he said, “Old man I, really do not believe that the [Cruel Hand Midget] would be defeated in your hands! I have no other intentions. If you can receive three blows from an old man like me, you are free to wander to the regions of Su, Lu as you please. I will definitely not harass or stop you. Little fellow, what do you think of this idea?”

Zhan Bai did not know this reddish face old man. In actuality, this reddish face old man was extremely well known and feared in the regions of Su and Lu. He was nicked the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand]. Not only was he thorough in ‘The Red Sloe Blood Skill Palm’, he carried secret projectiles coated with gunpowder too!

He was truly unique in the pugilist fraternity and could hold his ground against everyone. He had a strange unorthodox weapon on his back that looked like a human fist but was bigger. He could use this to execute the ‘Eight Directional Wind Chaser’. This weapon of his was used specially to hit accupoint pressures and to disarm his opponent’s weapon.

What more, concealed in the fingers of this unorthodox fist, was extremely powerful secret firearms. When he fought with his opponent, in the midst of trading blows, he would release the secret projectiles from the fingers.

Because his opponents did not expect it, they would be caught unaware and could not defend against it. It could be said to be unreasonable powerful. He named this weapon of his, the ‘Cactaceae’. There were many martial exponents that fell victim to this weapon of his. He had traveled the Region of Lu and Su and had never met anyone that could be said to be his match!

That was why it fuelled his arrogance and bred into him a haughty attitude.

This [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] was the dominant figure of the Region of Lu and Su. How did he come to join the Young Master Anle as his retinue? Because he was outside the sphere of influence from the ‘Yunmo Manor’ that was in Suzhou, he could decide all things big and small here.

Today, he had suddenly heard one of his men reporting to him that a young man carrying a sword had killed the [Cruel Hand Midget] Fei Yitong in the dense woods to the north of the town. He simply could not believe his ears!

That [Cruel Hand Midget] Fei Yitong was one of the top notch martial fighters pledging allegiance to Young Master Anle. In the Martial Fraternity, his status and martial abilities were very high. Even he had no confidence of winning him.

Therefore, he was doubtful and suspicious of the report. So he ordered his men to keep a lookout for a young man with a sword. On the other hand, he sent someone to go to Suzhou to inform Young Master Anle.

Later when he had heard his men reporting that a young man with a sword that was behaving strangely had shown up at this Xinlu Town. Therefore together with his disciple, the [Jaded Face Nezha] Song Xiao Fei , they rushed here to check on Zhan Bai.

Just now when Zhan Bai had brandished the ‘Wind Chaser Swordplay’ belonging to the Zhenjiang Fan Aristocracy Family, he stepped in to interrupt. That was because Young Master Anle and the Zhenjiang Fan Aristocracy Family had deep ties with one another. He had thought that Zhan Bai was from the Zhenjiang Fan Aristocracy Family. Afraid to cause a misunderstanding with the two families, he shouted to interrupt.

Who would expect that Zhan Bai to deny it and he sounded haughty. This incited the fury of the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] and now he wanted to trade three blows with Zhan Bai to determine the outcome of victory and loss.

Zhan Bai was born with a stubborn trait and he did not how high was the sky. When he noticed that the reddish face old man had looked down on him, he replied immediately in a haughty tone, “No matter what are your intentions, I will take the challenge!” After speaking, he sheathed his sword into the scabbard and prepared to take the blows.

“Very good little rascal! You do have courage!” The [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] thundered as he shifted his shoulders and a loud cranking sound could be heard. And then he started to bend his body like a bow that had been bent. His white hair on his head appeared to be standing straight and his face that was originally quite red turned even redder.

He extended forth his hands that now looked like blades and his palms were as red as burning fire as he howled, “Be careful! This is the first blow!”

In between his howling, The [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] displayed his famous ‘The Red Sloe Blood Skill Palm’ that shook the pugilist fraternity by storm, mustering five folds of his strength. With a howl, he extended his right hand like a torrid hurricane furiously towards Zhan Bai.

There was a thunderous clapping sound as both hands met, sending flurrying of windforce ripping around as rocks and sands stirred from the ground.

Zhan Bai remained standing but a flow of sensational warm heat could be felt through his palm. At the same time, he felt as if his whole body was on fire and was feeling unbearable. He felt thirsty, his tongue was dry and was dizzy.

However that [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] was knocked two steps backward by the impact. That was because he had not used his full strength yet and he mustered only five folds of his internal power.

But Zhan Bai was using ten folds of his internal strength! This further infuriated him and fanned his rage. He stared angrily before shouting aloud, “Very good little rascal! Why not try my second blow!”

This time round, the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] flipped his left hand in a gesture as he mustered eight folds of his strength as he howled loudly. It was obvious that the windforce emitting from this posture was even more powerful than the first blow.

Old pugilists who were rich and wise in battle experience, when they fought with unknown exponents on the initial fight, most would be reluctant to use their full might. Usually they would only use four to five folds of their internal power to gauge how strong or weak was their opponent. And then they would slowly increase their might and strength.

Therefore, it was the reason why the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand]’s second blow seemed to have its power increased tremendous! That was because in this way, it would allow them to fight more and more courageous!

That came from the same meaning as the first beat of the drum would cause morale to be at its highest, the second drum becoming weaker thus affecting morale and then the third drum becoming a spent energy.*

*In the Autumn & Spring Period of the Zhou Dynasty, a strategist from a smaller army beat a superior army by playing the drums in an reverse order, starting from weak to strong. His opponent charged mightily with the beating of the drums on the initial charge. As the battle proceed, the smaller army whose drums are beating stronger and strong received tremendous boast to their morale by the beating of their drums, fought more and more courageous. This story later a famous saying and was studied for its application. It was also famous because a smaller army defeated a bigger army in a field battle. Sun Bi during the Warring States Period of the Zhou Dynasty had a similar recounting.

But Zhan Bai did not understand this reasoning. In his first blow, he had used all his might and when the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand]’s second blow came with its almighty force and power, on the another hand, he felt his strength receding. But because he was someone that did not like to give up and did not want to evade the blow, he used his left hand to receive this blow.

There was a thunderous clap that shook like thunder as the two hands impacted on one another. Windforce ripped all around in a strong and force manner that even the tens of top exponents could not stand properly and had to hurried backward…

The [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] imposing body did not move at all. Instead, it was Zhan Bai that had been forced back two steps back. The heat from his blow was still circulating around and Zhan Bai felt his left hand burning like fire. He was now covered with sweat; he was feeling dazed and almost toppled over…

Zhan Bai had tried to match the two blows from the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] forcefully. Although his internal organs were already injured by the pure invigorate energy of the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] but he remained standing. This fact stunned the tens of martial experts that were all around.

Everyone was muttering and thinking, “This little fellow is really something! He can actually take two blows from the earth shattering [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] that resound throughout the Region of Lu and Su…”

But the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] had already sensed that Zhan Bai could not be able to muster anymore strength. He would have lost his esteem and prestige since he had loudly proclaimed to be able to beat this young lad in three blows. Unwilling to let Zhan Bai had a breather, he immediately proceeded to continue on his third blow. He shouted, “Here is the third blow! Little rascal! Down you go now…!”

The [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] circulated and mustered all his internal power in both hands as he pushed fiercely towards Zhan Bai.

Only then was the true power of the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] revealed as windforce the sound of the wind echoing through the ravines were heard as it came like the torrid endless seas waves, creating a high pressure upon Zhan Bai’s chest.

Even before the windforce had reached Zhan Bai, he had already felt the heat generated by the windforce flurrying on him. Even his breathing was becoming difficult.

Zhan Bai knew that he could not be able to take the third blow at all. But because he was stubborn by nature, even though he knew he was no match, he was not willing to display any weakness in front of anyone. He actually raised both his hands in a similar manner to coincide…

“Pong!” A thunderous sound echoed. Suddenly everything within five inches from the impact scene including the thick cotton window curtains were tore apart by this clash of blows. One could really see the power of both their palm skills!

The dust and sand of this aftermath were stirred as high as two to three yards high, causing everyone blurry visions and able to see the duel clearly.

And then when the dust storm that was created by the windforce of the impact settled down, everyone could see clearly that both the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] and the young man Zhan Bai was still standing at a face off with one another. No one had fall.

The faces of everyone began tweaking in surprise and disbelief as they immediately broke into a discussion, “How did this young man gets his martial ability from?…”

“He can actually take three blows from Old Hero Yao…”

Everyone was startled for they had never seen such a powerful and magnificent display of palm windforce before. Moreover the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] was a highly competent Martial Fraternity fighter and had gained prominent fame tens of years ago. Moreover his opponent was an unknown young man…

But on closer observation, they finally noticed that Zhan Bai composure looked strange. His face was very red and his eyes were in a daze. Although his eyes were opened but it was without life.

A thought dawned upon the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] as he realized that Zhan Bai had been knocked conscious after the tremendous clash. The only why he did not fall was because just behind his back was a dark shadowy wall. Moreover because his windforce generated was so great, it rebound back at him after hitting the wall and due to an extreme intricate coincidence, that young man did not fall as the rebound windforce supported him…

“Hey! Little rascal! What do you think of these three blows coming from an old man like me?”

Zhan Bai did not move nor did he say anything.

“Hahaha!” The [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] burst into a thunderous roar of laughter. He was looking extremely proud of himself as he said, “I think you are unable to answer me at all. But the strange thing is, I wondered what sort of a virtuous righteous man are you that when you die, you did not fall?”

Even when he was talking, he was already on the move by extending out one of his finger in a furious manner to hit Zhan Bai on his forehead fatal accupoint!

This move of his had two purposes. If Zhan Bai had died, then he should be on the ground so that he could ask his henchmen to dispose of the corpse. If he did not fall and remained standing, how ridiculous it would be, moreover a corpse could not possible talk and declared himself dead. If Zhan Bai had not died but was only severely injured because of internal injuries then this finger of his would surely ended his life.

One must know that Yao Bin Kun who was also nicked the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] was well known in the pugilistic fraternity for his ruthlessness. When he fought with his opponents, he never left a single survivor. He would make sure that his foes were all dead and weed out all descendants.

For that, he had his own theories; if he were benevolent to his enemies, it would be cruel and mean to himself. Another theory that he likes to quote; If one did not weed out the grass to its roots, when spring comes, it would grow again.

If he did not enter into conflict with others, then it would be good. But once he fought with his foes, he would never rest until he had his foes dead. To him, it was pointless to leave behind a malicious growth just because he was once benevolent.

But when his body had just started to spring forward and before he could hit Zhan Bai on his forehead, he suddenly heard a captivating grasp, “Old Ghoul! You dare?”

In the midst of the captivating grasps were several series of windforce and sounds speeding through the air and a dark shadowy figure reached out to hit the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] on his ‘Yin Du’ accupoint that was on his right shoulder.

Indeed the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] was no ordinary martial expert. He could react accordingly and not be confused. So he changed his bodily movement and turned over using the ‘Flipping in the Cloud’ as he did a somersault before his feet returned to the original position.

There were a series of grasps and startled reactions. When the commotion had ended, everyone’s eyes were dazzled because standing between Zhan Bai and the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] was a lovely young maiden whose looks were beyond comparison dressed in a cotton garment!

Earlier there were a series of whacking sounds. It was caused by a horse whip that was three inches long. And this young girl was holding the whip in her hand.

Suddenly the [Iron Signboard Monk] gave a loud startled cry as he felt a pain on his ear. He had reached out and saw blood. Because he was a rough man, he did not control his emotions and cried out aloud. The horse whip had struck him while he was looking intently between the duel between Zhan Bai and the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand].

She whipped her whip again and this time, everyone could see that it had pierced three to four inches into the thick wall. One must know that a horse whip was a soft object and when this young girl in cotton garment and dress appeared, she could bypass everyone like a shooting arrow, into the overlapping buildings and injured someone on the way in. There was no doubt that her wrist power was shockingly unbelievable and her martial abilities were extremely high as well.

Everyone could not resisted being startled and their eyes were staring wide-opened at this young girl.

Her skin was pure white and so were her teeth. She was slim looking and wearing a cotton garment and dress. She adored her hair in a beautiful way and she looked like she was only sixteen or seventeen. She looked extremely lovely and captivating. In her captivating look, she exudes a certain nobility air. It was exactly like the saying, “More beautiful than the flowers could describe, more fragrance than even the Jades”.

She looked extremely innocent, carried a certain exquisite aura and bore a coquettish manner. Even if she were now looking angry, her mouth still carried a tinge of a smile and she looked extremely cute indeed!

“From whose family are you from, destitute girl? When the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] had seen clearly by now that it was a captivating lovely young girl that had caused him to be in a panicky with his hands and legs and even wounded one of his top fighters serving him, he was solemn and shouted angrily, “How dare you interrupt me and display such arrogance?”

“Red face old man! Don’t you try to be proud first!” The young girl in cotton placed one of her hands on her waist and a finger pointing at his nose before saying, “First, let me ask you this. As an elder, what you say, does it count at all?”

“Heng!” He hummed coldly before saying, “Undisciplined destitute girl! How dare you mutter nonsense in my presence! Do you know how to respect your elders at all? Don’t blame me for killing you with my hand!”

“Heng! Deplorable old man that enjoy lying.” She began to mimic his speech and continued, “Don’t mention that hand of yours that cannot even touch me. You can’t even take one blow from me. If you can take one blow from me, then I let you wander throughout the Six Northern Regions and the Seven Southern Regions freely in these thirteen regions. I will definitely not harass or stop you…”

“Shut up!…” This infuriated him as he shouted for he knew that the girl was trying to mimic his speech earlier. It caused his rage to reach boiling point and just when he was about to attack her…

“Outrageous little maid! How dare you tear my ear! I make you pay for this with your life!” The [Iron Signboard Monk] howled with explosive rage as he interrupted the [Red Dragon with the Red Hand] as he lifted his iron placard that weighed a thousand catty on a shoulder as he swung it to crash it on the young girl’s head.

The young girl remained on the same spot, smiling and laughing at the same time. It was as though she did not see the iron placard that weighed a thousand catty coming at her. Only when the iron placard was two inches away from her, there was a blur flash and no one knew what swiftness movement skill that could have helped her to bypass the iron placard to reappear on the top, flicking over once in mid-air in a graceful manner.

She stood on the top of the iron placard as she said, “What a stupid monk! Lacking a weapon to fight, you actually take down the signboard from the temple!”

The [Iron Signboard Monk] began to swing his iron placard in a wild frenzy in a bid to force her to come down.

That young girl began to leap, jump and tip toe on the iron placard. She was actually seen dancing on it as she was giggling merrily, “Gosh so fun! Really very fun!…huh.”

This scene was really too good to be missed. As the streets were brightly lit and a big rough looking monk was swinging his hands in a wild dance with the iron placard.

On the top of the iron placard was a captivating lovely young girl dancing merrily and with much grace. She was giggling and laughing heartily. Those that did not know actually though she was a street performer and that she was performing a special performance!

At this moment it was not just the [Red Dragon with the Red Hand] that was in the scene but many common people had actually came out of their homes and from the streets to take a look. At first, they had thought that it was a vendetta between the pugilists of the pugilistic martial fraternity so they stay out of sight. But when they seen such a scene, everyone came out to join in the commotion as speculators…

[The Iron Signboard Monk] was getting frustrated when he could not hit the young girl after such a long time. He knew that this method was not going to work in getting her off and so he hatched a perverted thought.

He used one hand to support the iron placard and all of a sudden, used another hand forming a fist to reach into the skirt of the young girl but he cursed in his mouth instead, “You bitch! How dare you make a fool out of me! Down you go!”

For a young innocent girl, this stance by the [Iron Signboard Monk] was indeed a pervert display. She flushes as her red turned red and she could no longer laugh. Switching to the ‘Zhang Fei stealing the horse’, she lifted one leg up to avoid getting hit by the monk’s fist while another leg touched the iron placard giving it a push as she somersaulted two yards away.

Now the [Iron Signboard Monk] did not know that when the young girl had pushed the iron placard down at the same time, she exerted the ‘Thousand Weight Fall’ through. It broke his fingers that were holding the iron placard and also broke his other fingers as he tried to use his other hand to support himself from falling down. That was because his two legs were broken when she gently tipped the iron placard.

The [Iron Signboard Monk] was now howling with pain as his body bent in an awkward position on the ground…

The young girl had landed in front of the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] Yao Bin Kun. She started to brush her stray hairs and at the same time exclaiming to him, “Red face old man. I see that you do have some renown in the pugilistic fraternity. The agreement that you have made with young hero Zhan, do you still adhere to it?”

When the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] had seen the swiftness movement skill that she had displayed when she was playing a fool out of the [Iron Signboard Monk] was actually the ‘Walking in the Air Miracle’.

Suddenly he recalled that a powerful martial family that was in the martial fraternity and this ‘Walking in the Air Miracle’ was a secret skill that was not passed to outsiders. And since this young girl knew this type of movement skill, surely she had very familiar ties with that martial family. Not to mention himself, even his Protégé Master, Young Master Anle could not afforded to offend this family.

Therefore he swept his pride and rage under the carpet and his face had a sudden transformation. He began to brighten and laugh, “Maiden! As long as you know that old man, I have some renown in the pugilistic fraternity, that itself is enough. Why don’t you explain yourself, what makes me a liar?”

[Red Dragon with Red Hand] was indeed a cunning old man. Even though he seemed to give way to the young girl in cotton garment and dress, he was also extolling himself.

“Humph!” The young girl raised her nose and hummed before saying, “Despicable old man, don’t you try to paste gold on your face! And don’t try to make a pretense! Just now you made an agreement with young hero Zhan that should he take three blows from you, you would allow him to wander freely throughout the Regions of Lu and Su and would definitely not harass him at all. Now that young hero Zhan had taken three blows from you, what do you have to say now?”

The [Red Dragon with Red Hand] began to roar with laughter, “My conversations with that lad were overheard by maiden. Since that is the case, just base on this point raised by maiden, I will let this lad on his way then!”

“Now this is indeed humane!” The young girl said, “Then, please ask your men to give way!” As she said, she blew a whistle. It was a high pitch whistle and immediately a big red horse appeared as it galloped from view.

This red horse was extremely magnificent and unusual. It galloped besides the young girl and began to rub softly against her body in an extremely intimate way.

Among the tens of iron men, many were also lecherous men. When they had seen this young girl that was as beautiful as a fairy, captivating and innocent that was also unreasonable and unruly. Even their leader the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] had to burrow into her good books, even though they had lecherous thoughts on her but they did not dare to step forward to harass.

Therefore they swallowed their lust in bitterness but when they seen this red horse that was so intimate with her, it was indeed ‘Man is no better off than a Horse’. Many sighed…

The young girl used her jaded white hand to pat the horse on its neck before she flew in a startling speed to extract her horse whip from the wall before she returned back to the side of the horse. This movement was like lightning. No one could see her leg touching the ground nor did they see her fingers touching the wall. Just this swiftness skill alone caused the martial pugilists that had gathered here to sigh continuous in inferior complex.

But for this young girl, she did it so effortlessly in front of tens of pairs of eyes. After retrieving her horse whip, she pulled the horse besides Zhan Bai. Upon seeing his face bubbly red and his idiotic eyes, her eyes began to water in sympathetic. She grasped softly and gently, “Big Brother Zhan! You are injured?” But Zhan Bai did not move or reply.

“Big brother Zhan, are you severely injured? Why don’t you say anything?” Zhan Bai did not response at all. Even his eyeballs did not bulge.

Upon witnessing such a reaction, her eyes began to redden and she shed a few tears as she said hatefully, “Humph! It must be this old despicable man that had injured you until you are like this! When your little sister sends you back home for treatment, I will come back again to seek vendetta for big brother!”

As she said, she even turned around to look hatefully at the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] before she sprang like she was flying onto the horse as she effortlessly and gently positioned Zhan Bai on the horse bridle. Then she embraced Zhan Bai with one hand and used another hand to hold the stirrups to leave…

“Maiden, wait don’t go yet!” The [Red Dragon with Red Hand] moved one step forward as he shouted loudly.

“What is the matter?” The young girl was obviously not too pleased and she furrowed her eyebrows before she coldly asked, “Despicable old man! Are you going to go back on your word again?”

[Red Dragon with Red Hand] had a bitter smile on his face as he said, “Maiden. You keep saying old despicable man on and off, isn’t it too disrespectful to an elder?…”

“Is there anything you want to say?” She interrupted him. Obviously she was growing impatient.

“Outrageous little maid! Don’t you push your luck too far!” [Jaded Face Ne Zhai] Song Xiaofei shouted at her as he could not stand her insulting his protégé master anymore. He flew into a rage and step forward, yelling and cursing, “Today I will surely…”

“Fei Er, don’t you interrupt!” The [Red Dragon with Red Hand] pacified his disciple Song Xiaofei before saying to the young girl, “Maiden, I am only giving face due to your family background. If you are not willing to listen, then I will not say more. This young lad Zhan has been injured by my ‘Red Sloe Blood Skill Palm’. If without any antidote, not even three days had passed, his internal organs would surely turn black like charcoal and died. Now I will be a good man and do a good deed till the very end; I will present to maiden an antidote. Take it and let him swallow it. After a few days of recuperation, he will recover!” As he finished saying, he took out a small gourd and took out a small green pill from it. He extended his fingers and shot the pill towards the young girl!

The young girl smiled for a while before she extended she caught the pill gracefully with two of her beautiful fingers.

This might be an ordinary pill but from the fingers of the [Red Dragon with Red Hand], the force imbued through it was indeed no ordinary.

Moreover, the pill was so small and it shot so fast but yet this young girl had used only two fingers and she had caught it. Her eyesight, the pureness of her internal power and the intricate movement of her fingers and her accuracy finally caused the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] to really impress by her.

He secretly sighed before turning back to look at his disciple, the [Jaded Face Ne Zhai].

After Song Xiaofei had witnessed this display by the young girl in silvery cotton garment and dress, he looked down in shame…

But who would expect that after the young girl got hold of the antidote, she looked at it in her palm for awhile before she asked, “How shall I know if this pill is for real? What if you have given me a poison pill? Huh…”

Actually the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] did not become benevolent all of a sudden and wanted to save the life of Zhan Bai. It was because he knew that this young girl’s family was very influential and powerful. When he had seen how concern this young girl was towards Zhan Bai, he had guessed that their relationship might be highly unusual. If he did not save Zhan Bai, surely this young girl would come for him for vengeance.

Therefore, he pretended to be benevolent and appeared to do a favor to them. This was to ensure that this young girl would not come back to him for vendetta next time. Who would expect that he had humbled so much now and even planned this part in such a well manner, this young girl would say such an infuriating thing?

So his face lost his composure and he coldly said, “If I am not sincere to save him, even if I do not give him any poison, he would not live…”

“From the way you say it, then I must really thank you, am I right? Old despicable man!” The young girl had now ascertained that this was indeed an antidote so without waiting for him to finish, she raised the saddle and galloped away.

The horse galloped like the wind and in the twinkle of an eye, they disappeared from the streets and into the darkness. But not before sending the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] infuriating with rage and his eyes bulging out as she called out again, “Old despicable man!”

 

Ch15 End

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

Chapter 14: The truth is difficult to explain

Inside Fei Yi Tong’s innermost thoughts, he was hilariously happy when he felt Zhan Bai palm force receding. He had thought that Zhan Bai internal strength was giving way, therefore he hallowed in joy.

“You will go…”

But before he could say ‘Down’, he suddenly felt a tremendous force rebounding back from Zhan Bai. Like a thousand ton crashing upon his body, his eyes turned black and his ears thundering aloud, he found himself no longer able to withstand anymore.

He screamed aloud as he was knocked back. There was a loud ‘Pong’ sound that clapped like thunder as he was thrown a yard away and landed on the ground.

When Zhan Bai had used the ‘Suck’ intrinsic formula, he immediately sensed something was not right. In a bid to salvage the situation, he accidentally executed the ‘Reality that is, Strong enforcing Strong’ in the Sacred Manual that formed the intrinsic word ‘Rebound’ and instantly knocked back Fei Yitong.

This was something that Zhan Bai had not expected. He heard the screams of Fei Yitong after that for he himself was knocked backward onto the ground. He got up and circulated his breathing first before he walked over to check upon him and saw that blood was bleeding from his veins, nose, mouth and ears; Fei Yitong was dead now.

Although Zhan Bai had previously roamed the pugilistic realm for many years but this was actually the first time he had killed some one. Therefore when he saw that Fei Yitong was bleeding from his seven senses and died in such a terrible manner, he was panicky.

To someone that had bullied him on numerous times, he was feeling apologetic at the moment as he muttered in prayer. “Old senior, why must we come to this stage? You have caused me numerous troubles, alas! I have misjudged and accidentally killed you…”

As he muttered, he thought. “I have better buried him in case his body is exposed to the wilderness and eaten by the wild beasts…”

Therefore, he drawn the Heartless Precious Sword to use as a spade and dug a pit in the forest ground. Just when he had thrown the corpse of Fei Yitong into the pit, suddenly there was a series of wicked laughter coming from three big burly men.

“What a good thing that you have done!”

A burly man that seemed to the leader of the ground said. “To think that someone after murdering a man in broad daylight has decided to destroy all traces of the evidence. Don’t try to deny this thing anymore, rascal!”

Zhan Bai was taken aback while another burly man with an alert face was grinning. “Friend, which fraction do you belong to? After you got yourself such a loot, don’t try to seize all of it for yourself!”

The third burly man that had a pale face coldly said. “Witnesses have a share in the loot too. Take out all the loot no matter how valuable or minor and share with us!”

Although Zhan Bai had previously mixed with the unorthodox fractions in the past not more than a few days but he did understand their meanings.

When he heard that these burly men had thought of him as a fellow bandit and even asked to have a share in the loot, he was feeling misery.

So he replied. “There is no loot to be shared here. The one that died is my companion. He had died during the travels and I am burying his corpse for him!”

The three burly men refused to believe what Zhan Bai had died and walked over to take a look. When they saw the horrid expressions of Fei Yitong, the burly man with the alert face laughed. “There is no need to play a covert games with the knowing. Friend, this companion of yours did not died of illness, right?”

“Oh gosh!”

Before Zhan Bai could reply, the man with the pale face startling called out. “Isn’t this dead man, old senior [Cruel Hand Midget] Fei Yitong!”

The other two were speechless and opened their eyes wide opened and took a closer once more. After verifying that it was really the [Cruel Hand Midget] Fei Yitong, they immediately took two steps back and they drawn their sabres from the back of their body.

And they immediately surrounded him.

“You rascal, how could you have killed old senior Fei?” The leader pointed his finger at Zhan Bai and said aloud. “Why don’t you honestly confess it now!”

“Laoda! (Leader)”

The other two men shouted together. “There is no need to ask anymore! A life for a life for old senior Fei’s life!”

And they had firmly surrounded Zhan Bai now.

“Hold it!” Zhan Bai shouted. “I was dueling with old senior Fei when I misjudged my strength and accidentally hurt him…”

“Rascal! Do you know that telling tell tales will cause your tongue to rot!” The pale faced man coldly said eerily. “In a fair duel, how would you ever be a match for old senior Fei? You must be using some underhand means to kill old senior Fei!”

“Rascal! A life for a life!” The alert face man suddenly hacked his sabre at Zhan Bai.

Zhan Bai had barely dodged it when the other two men too started hacking him from his left and back.

Zhan Bai saw that these three men were proficiency with their sabre techniques therefore he unsheathed the Heartless Precious Sword from the scabbard and displayed a stroke ‘Crossing the River, diverting the Flow’.

There were two ‘Clang’ sound as two sabres were severed from its hilt by the Heartless Precious Sword.

The three burly men were startled as they back off one yard away as they stared at Zhan Bai in a state of panic.

This time round, they did not dare to underestimate Zhan Bai anymore for they had witnessed him severing their sabres with his sword.

The three of them were furious and two of the men with the severed sabres charged towards Zhan Bai.

They attacked Zhan Bai on all sides again.

Upon seeing how frantic were their attacks, Zhan Bai did not dare to use his hand to handle the attacks. So he moved his body and used the ‘Ripple of the White Heron’ swiftness skill to dodge the two severed sabres.

Zhan Bai lifted gave a flying kick towards the third man and he was knocked backward to the ground.

The three men had by now lost all their morale and were frightened. They quickly moved backward as they were afraid that Zhan Bai would kill him.

Seeing that Zhan Bai had no wish to pursue them, the pale faced man shouted fiercely. “If you have the guts, leave behind your name!”

“Zhan Bai is my namesake!” Zhan Bai had by now knowingly understood that his martial skills had improved tremendously; his bodily co-ordination and execution of his skills were excellent. Therefore he started to feel proud in his heart and he replied. “Do you still have any opinion to express?”

“Don’t be too sure of yourself yet! We may have admitted defeat for now! But you better watch out!”

As they exclaiming, they were in fact running hastily away.

Zhan Bai laughed on his own and thought. “To think that I, Zhan Bai finally have the opportunity to be famous now…”

After he had finished burying Fei Yitong and ascertaining the way to Nanjing, he was soon on his way.

When the darkness descended, Zhan Bai had walked into a big town. However, he did not know what was the name of this town. But he could see that the streets were lit in a beautiful glow and crowds of people were moving around. It was a bustling town with many traders and people.

As Zhan Bai had hurried hastily here, he was feeling very hungry for quite some time. Taking a good look around hoping to spot a tavern or a Inn to rest and then when dawn came tomorrow, he would continue on his way.

Along the way, Zhan Bai was looking all around for a Inn Tavern and did not notice that quite a few men in short garment were staring at him.

Finally, Zhan Bai spied an Inn Tavern with a big golden sign board with the inscription ‘Gathering of the Heroes’. The merry sounds of people that were making a din out of guessing fists and the fragrance of wine attracted Zhan Bai.

Therefore, he began to walk in bold strides towards this ‘Gathering of the Heroes.’

When Zhan Bai entered through the entrance, a bulky man in short sleeves stopped him and asked. “Are you here to drink or stay?”

Zhan Bai took a glance at him and the bulky man did not look like he was drunk. Therefore he replied, “I am here to drink as well as to stay for the night.”

The bulky man in short sleeves looked up and down at Zhan Bai for several moments before he coldly said, “Very sorry! Our tavern is fully occupied at the moment and so are our rooms. Please go to other Inn Taverns!”

Zhan Bai noticed that this bulky man did not look like the type that was in the Inn business and he saw that a few people inside looked frightful.

Therefore he only stood at the entrance and did not dare to enter. He was filled with suspicious but since he was told that it was fully occupied inside, he was naturally shy to barge inside. So he turned his head around to walk away.

But after Zhan Bai had approached five to six other Inn Taverns, he was filled with disbelief after he was told that every single of them were fully occupied and asked him to approach other Inn Taverns.

He walked to the last Inn Tavern at the edge of the town and he saw the darkness approaching swiftly and there were no lights at all even from the various households.

Zhan Bai was immediately filled with suspicious and he saw the last eatery was half empty therefore he dared to walk boldly inside.

Suddenly a muscular man walked up to him and blocked him, yelling. ‘Friend! Why are you looking so panicky? What do you want here?”

Zhan Bai suddenly had an inspiration in his head and he replied. “To look for someone!” This time round, he did not say he was here to drink or to stay.

That was because he had already observed that all the bulky men that had blocked him along the way were not in this business. Therefore he just wanted to enter the tavern and to order food and drinks before he explained himself.

But alas, the muscular man did not move aside and remained blocking him. He coldly asked, “Who are you looking for?”

Zhan Bai was stunned but he replied, “Why must I tell you who I am looking for?”

The muscular man laughed for a second before saying, “If you are looking for someone, I will dispatch my guys inside to search for you. You shouldn’t be let loose inside on your own!”

Zhan Bai thought, “Why are there so many rules?” But he had already noticed that these people are troublemakers and therefore he pretended to be dumb as well. “I am looking for the Steward of the Inn Tavern!”

The muscular man looked stunned for a second, as he did not expect Zhan Bai to say something like this. But after a while, he knew Zhan Bai was making a fool of him. He stared at Zhan Bai and shouted, “What are you looking for the Steward of the Inn Tavern for?”

Zhan Bai suppressed his anger and he said slowly, “Naturally it is for eating and to stay in the tavern.”

“Friend! To tell you honestly!” The muscular man laughed coldly at him, “There is no food for you to eat here nor is there any room for you to stay. You have better go elsewhere instead!”

Zhan Bai flinched with anger and he was losing control of his rage. So he laughed coldly as well and said, “When I eat, I’ll pay for my food. When I stay in the tavern, I’ll pay for my lodging. Therefore, why should I bother you to meddle in my affairs?”

As Zhan Bai said, he began to bypass the muscular man to walk into the tavern directly.

“When I command that you cannot stay for the night, you surely can’t stay!” The muscular man began to attack Zhan Bai with his hands in a clawing gesture.

How could Zhan Bai let him have the chance to grip him? He dodged the attack and the muscular man followed by a fist after his attack missed.

This fist of his was not only powerful and forceful. It carried a windforce and it was swift and fast as well.

Zhan Bai waited for the muscular man’s fist to be near before he counter-attacked by extending his hand to twist his wrist and pushed him backward, exclaiming. “Out you go!”

And that huge muscular man was indeed obedient, with a scream, he was thrown out of the entrance.

The muscular man crawled back and he pointed at Zhan Bai, cursing loudly at him. “Very good rascal. If you have the courage, don’t run away.” After cursing him, he left hurriedly.

Zhan Bai smiled and he walked majesty into the Inn Tavern and began to sit down. The guests that were in the Inn Tavern were all staring at Zhan Bai with wide-opened eyes. The shop assistants had saw him sitting down but did not dare to approach him to take his orders.

“Hello!” Zhan Bai said after he had sat for quite a while and saw that no one approached him to take orders. So he said loudly, “Where is the drink and food? Serve it to me!”

The shop assistants and the tavern accountants looked at one another for awhile before a brave one dare to approach him and said to him. “Distinguish guest! May we request for you to go to other places to have your meal, alright! Our insignificant shop did not dare to serve you!”

“Rest assure!” Zhan Bai said to him, “Just bring forth the drinks and food. I will shoulder all the troubles incurred and will not drag you into it.

The shop assistant had a bitter smile on his face. “Distinguish guest! You are not wrong in what you say but if we allow you to have your drinks and meal here, we can forget about opening for business in the future.”

“What’s dealings did that fellow have and why are you all so afraid of him?” Zhan Bai asked him. “Is there no imperial law around here?”

“The imperial law do exists here!” The shop assistant replied, “Distinguish guest, have you heard of the name of the ‘The Dashing Joy Seeker’?”

Zhan Bai received a jolt in his head and he began to understand much more clearly now. He thought, “Ah! No wonder! No wonder why these people are so frightened! It is because that fellow is the protégé of Young Master Anle!”

A thought descended upon Zhan Bai that set him thinking again. “A few months ago, I chanced upon Young Master Anle (Chapter 2). Not only is he noble looking, he looked cheerful and heroic as well. Why is that his henchmen are behaving in such a ridiculous manner and yet he did not seem to know?…”

As Zhan Bai pondered, he could not resist asking, “The Young Master Anle that you are referring to, is he from this town?”

The shop assistant smiled when he noticed that Zhan Bai had recognized the name of Young Master Anle. Therefore he laughed and said to him, “Distinguish guest, it is good that you know. Even though Young Master Anle is not at this place but half of this town belongs to him and he is like our foster parents providing food and clothing to us. How did we dare not to respect him?…”

Zhan Bai was listening and thinking at the same time, “Maybe these henchmen are borrowing the prestige and fame of the Young Master Anle and abusing it. Since this shop steward has said that Young Master Anle did not stay in this town so even if I said that I knew him, no one would believe me. It seems that today I am going to starve!…”

Zhan Bai’s eyes were looking around at the same time. He spotted ready made duck, geese and roasted meat. Suddenly a thought struck him and he said, “Since that is the case, I will not put you in a tight spot. Just bring me two catty of roasted meat and some buns for me. I will bring it along to eat!

But the shop assistant did not bulge at all and he was just nodding his head in a continuous bittersweet smile…

“Don’t push me to the extreme!” Zhan Bai stared at him as divine light shone forth from his eyes as he shouted, “Hurry and bring the food here! If you not hurry, don’t blame me for being ungracious…”

“So what if you are ungracious. What then will you do?”

Before Zhan Bai could finish what he was trying to say, two well dressed men had appeared all of a sudden, much like a candle which light shone the instant it was lit.

It was an old man and a young man. The old man was around sixty and his hair was pure white. But his face was reddish and he had thick eyebrows. His eyes were sharp and piercing; he was fierce to behold. On his waist was an unorthodox weapon that was shaped like a cross and he had iron bangles around his belt. It was glittering and it enhanced the malevolent air of the old man.

The young man was twenty plus of age. He had a jaded face and his eyebrows crossed like the clash of swords. He looked handsome but he could not disguise the fierce look on his jaded face. What more, his lips looked like he was of the vicious type and on the whole, he looked proud and arrogant. He stared at Zhan Bai and he was looking none too pleased with him.

When these two men appeared, the shop assistant that was besides Zhan Bai began to step backward slowly…

Zhan Bai rose from his seat but before he could open his mouth, the old man with the reddish face shouted deeply at him, “You are the one that specialized in secret projectiles and killed the [Cruel Hand Midget]?”

The old man speech was powerful and electrifying. It was loud, thunderous and deafening!

Zhan Bai had a bittersweet expression on his face as he listened. It was obviously the [Cruel Hand Midget] had died in a melee fight yet these people were trying to demonize him by suggesting that he won by despicable methods. Therefore he laughed bitterly for a second before exclaiming, “This is a misunderstanding. I am an acquaintance of Young Master Anle. If only I can have a audience with him….”

The arrogant young man with the jaded face coldly hummed as he interrupted, “How could Young Master Anle know a nameless nobody like you? Rubbish aside! Surrender your life as payment in exchange for Old Senior Fei’s life!”

When he had finished, he had suddenly purged forward and attacked Zhan Bai on his right wrist, attempting to grapple him.

Zhan Bai noted that he was not weak and he made an intricate movement, turned his body and he was out of harm’s way.

The arrogant young man began to convert his claw to a palm attack as he followed Zhan Bai. It was the ‘Golden Flake Hand’ as he attacked him furiously. At the same time when he had plunged forward, his right hand turned into a slicing blade as he aimed Zhan Bai’s ‘Jian Xue’ that if hit, would be very grievous indeed. (Shoulder blade).

This one stance, two strokes were not only swift like the striking of flint and steel, it also carried the brokering sound of the windforce. It was very obvious that the arrogant young man possesses extraordinary internal strength as well.

If it were one month ago, these two strokes would surely cause Zhan Bai to be defeated on the spot. But the Zhan Bai now was not the weakling that he once was! When he had seen the displaying his two killer strokes, he immediately extended his hands. There were two clanking sounds as he gripped the arrogant young man by his wrists.

The arrogant young man’s countenance underwent a tremendous change as he turned green and he was perspiring profusely. What was lacking was that he did not let go of a terrifying scream to the scene.

This wondrous technique of Zhan Bai was called the ‘Intricate Chain and Shackles’. It was a skill that Zhan Bai had stolen from the [One Leg Flying Heretic]. He did not expect to use this technique at all here and the instant he had executed it, he had suppressed this proud and arrogant young man that held his head high above all and belittled all others.

Because this stance of Zhan Bai had gripped the arrogant man’s two wrists and caused him unnerving pain, even if he had many powerful martial moves, he could not muster anymore.

Zhan Bai did not want to bully him. Just when he wanted to say a word or two before he released the arrogant young man, there was a powerful windforce coming behind his back.

At the same time, he heard the reddish old man shouting, “Release him!”

Actually even if the reddish old man did not shout, Zhan Bai knew that it was him that was attacking him from behind his back. He immediately let go of the arrogant young man and leapt back five feet away from the attack.

There was a powerful pang sound as the reddish face old man who was unable to stop himself because of the tremendous force that he had mustered, hit the arrogant young man on his chest as Zhan Bai dodged out of the way.

The arrogant young man was sent flying more than one yard away before he landed with a studding sound as he crashed headlong on the wall. He was seen dropping lifelessly on the ground and not a sound was heard. It seemed that he was not far from dying…

The shop assistants and the guests were in a state of confusion as they began to bellow aloud. “Someone is killed!…”

The reddish face old man saw that he had yet to land a finger upon Zhan Bai and instead he had injured his beloved disciple. He was now extremely furious and was in terrible rage now. His eyebrows looked like it would explode at anytime. He crackled his knuckles before he plunged at Zhan Bai.

Zhan Bai did not expect that the reddish face old man would continue to attack him even though he had just killed that arrogant young man and even after he had dodged his attacks. He saw that the old man was in such a terrible rage and his palm attacks were like the flooding of the Great River that he decided to dodge.

But the reddish face old man was like a maddening tiger refusing to let Zhan Bai go. He let go of a thunderous shout, “Where do you think you are going! Exchange blows with me!”

Because the tavern was small, narrow and there were many tables and chairs blocking Zhan Bai. Coupled with the fact that the old man blows were fast, furious and his power extended even to a yard, Zhan Bai found himself unable to dodge anymore and he was forced to take his blows as he extended his two hands out.

There were a thunderous ‘Pong —— Pang!’ when they landed their four hands at one another, sending the bowls, plates, cups, dishes, spoons and chopsticks that were on the table flying all over as explosive ripples shook the place.

There were a series of cries and screams as many of the guests and shop assistants that were in the tavern were injured by this powerful impact. Everyone tried to scurry for the exit like a swarm of homing bees. Many were injured by the impact of the blows and the flying objects that were in the place. It was pandemonium…

Zhan Bai felt the power of the reddish face old man’s internal power when both their hands had impacted. He felt a burning sensation and his visions turned black. He was secretly shocked at the might of the old man’s blows.

All of a sudden he saw the old man attack him once more with his eyes staring at him. The old man’s palms were sweating profusely what looked like blood.

At the same time, Zhan Bai suddenly recalled that in the Martial Fraternity, there was a type of extremely poisonous palm stance called the ‘The Red Sloe Blood Skill Palm’. Anyone that was struck by it would feel like he was burning and then finally all five of his organs would turn to black like charcoal before finally perishing. It was poisonous beyond imagination. It was hinted only in rumors and never seen.

Now that Zhan Bai had seen that the old man’s palms turning as red as fire and after he had traded blows, he could feel his the fire spreading from his hands to his body. It was a sensation that he had never experienced before. When he had thought of that, cold chill shook him…

At the same time, he had also thought of when he was in grave danger, Young Master Anle had lent him a righteous hand. Therefore he was his benefactor. If he stirred a misunderstanding with his men then won’t the misunderstanding be even harder to resolve?

Then won’t they have the chance to have a cordial meeting together in future? Moreover the present situation was hard to explain in mere words. Why did he not move away from here first and maybe explained in the future…

All those thoughts happened in the twinkle of an eye but the old man’s ‘The Red Sloe Blood Skill Palm’ had its force mustered to its zenith. A tremendous torrent of windforce like the hurricane began to deliver upon Zhan Bai as the old man howled aloud, “Heh!”

Zhan Bai extended one hand out and gentle grasped the incoming attack before he borrowed the force to turn himself away and he shouted, “Sorry, I got to go!” And he headed towards the window.

“Where do you think you are going?” The old man behind him shouted in a maddening rage…

But before Zhan Bai could escape through the window, there were three studding sounds as he spotted three silvery white light flying towards him. Using the ‘Flipping in the Cloud’ to raise himself three more inches, he managed to dodge the flying projectiles as he spotted three razor thin needle hitting the edge of the window.

When Zhan Bai had landed on the ground and lifted his head to take a look, he got a terrible jittery and shock…

Ch14 End

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

Chapter 13: Living Dead Man and Dead Living Man

Zhan Bai had chased the old man that was riding a donkey for forty to fifty miles before he lost sight of him.

But a miraculous thing happened. Although the old man had disappeared, he found his ‘Heartless Sword’ thrust on a pine tree.

Zhan Bai almost could not believed his very own eyes. How could such a strange thing happen in this world? The sword that he had lost, would actually be found on the top of the tree, waiting for him to retrieve?

But that was the truth that his eyes had seen – The golden edge of the scabbard, the green scale fish leather scabbard! The Heartless Sword was in indeed hanging right here!

Zhan Bai thought he had developed a blurry vision. He thought because of his constant longing for this sword caused him to develop hallucinations. So he rubbed his eyes and lifted his head again and saw that the Heartless Precious Sword was still hanging up there.

One month or so ago, [Cruel Hand Midget] had stolen Zhan Bai’s sword and his small sack and even thrown the contents away.

The distance between the sword and him was four yards but because he was trying to verify if the sword was real, he had no time to think and jumped up to retrieve the sword.

Actually he had not paused to consider that the height was too high. So when he had jumped and caught the sword, he was surprised and exclaimed. “What excellent swiftness movement skill!” As he praised himself, astonished that his lightness feat had suddenly improved by so much.

But as he landed, there was a shout behind him that startled him.

The sword that was now in Zhan Bai’s hand had twice been stolen away from him. The experience scarred him badly. Therefore thinking again, that he would be so unlucky as to lose his sword once more, he got a big fright much like a bird that was being fired upon by an arrow.

Quickly, he turned around and drawn his sword, displaying a stance, ‘Fending in Eight Directions in the Dark’ as soon as he turned around, sending a blink of light as he unsheathed his sword. Next he looked at what had occurred.

Goose pimples broke out.

For standing behind him were two strange men in white hemp cloth and both of them were looking idiocy at him with their pale white faces that did not even have any hint of any blood.

These two weird men had suddenly appeared behind him without a single sound like a spectral. Moreover these two weird men carried a ghastly aura. What was more, with their appearance, even the forest of pine woods suddenly became eerie.

Although it was now a beautiful afternoon but Zhan Bai could not help feeling like he was in hell and all his hair was standing.

What was even weirder was that those two men were almost identical whether in appearances or dressing. It was like a person playing the role of two persons.

Just when Zhan Bai was still startled, one of the weird man began to flash his teeth to laugh.

But his laugh was even scarier. His facial expressions did not even tweaked, showing forth his teeth.

As for the another man, he extended forth a hand and eerily shouted. “Hand it over!”

Zhan Bai took a step back and placed his sword in front of his chest. He thought to himself. “No matter what happen this time round, I must not lose my father’s sword again. Even if I have to die, I would not bulge!” As he thought, he said. “I am not acquaintance with the two of you. I do not know what you want me to hand over?”

“Ke!Ke!Ke!…” The two weird men began to laugh aloud, shivering Zhan Bai.

“The first thing you have to do is to hand over the sword!”

“The second thing you have to do is to hand over your life. But I think it is wiser for you to hand over the sword first, or else after you have died, fancy a old man like me will have to bend over to pick the sword!”

The tone of the words was filled with arrogance. After Zhan Bai had heard it, he began to furrow deeply and he was now filled with rage. As he had already cast away life and death, he laughed coldly and said. “What a thing to say! Hurry and report your names! I, Zhan Bai, will never tainted my sword with killing nameless ghosts!”

When both of them heard Zhan Bai’s name, they glanced at one another and their expressions suddenly tweaked. And asked at the same time. “What! You are named Zhan too! Is it real?”

“Ridiculous!” Zhan Bai thought. “Will a surname be fake?”

Therefore he exclaimed proudly. “Is it because the two of you have used a fake name, therefore you did not dare to say aloud your names?”

But who would expect that it would cause a distress in their innermost hearts. One of them began to shout. “I am called [Living Dead Man]!”

The another man thundered. “I am called [Dead living Man]!”

The two of them exclaimed at the same time. “We are really nameless and without surnames as well. But if we tell you our real nicknames, it is the time for you to meet your maker!”

Even as the both of them spoke, they had sprang forward and attacked Zhan Bai ferociously with palm and gripping attacks.

Zhan Bai tightened his grip on the hilt and started parrying left and right. After continuously displaying five, six strokes only then did he managed to fend them off.

Even though Zhan Bai had encountered many top pugilist exponents recently but he had never seen such weird strokes that were being displayed by those two weird men. When they attacked, it changed from gradually slow to fast rapid attacks. When they extended out their palms and fingers, it suddenly became as fast as a fast moving hurricane.

And so each time they attacked with a single stance, Zhan Bai was forced to parry with another three to five stances. Therefore when they attacked with two to three stances, he found himself in a frenzied state.

At that moment of time, Zhan Bai totally lost his state of calmness when he was facing the [One leg Flying Heretic]. It was because even though the [One leg Flying Heretic] strokes may be very fast, but there were still some breathing spaces for him to parry. But now, those two weird men when they attacked, they left no thinking time for him to pause and consider.

Zhan Bai martial arts were originally very complex. In the beginning, he had spend more than ten years training in hardship in his martial arts. But a lack of guidance from a Enlightened Master restricted his martial skills to the most ordinary ones.

But then after he had practiced hard the orthodox intricate formulas in the [Sacred Manual], his inner strength tremendously increased. His eyes and ears became sharp and focus, becoming extraordinary in the process and he finally had the potential to practice the higher forms of martial arts.

However, he still could not comprehend all those strange and wondrous sword and unarmed techniques. And then, after quite a few encounters with the top exponents, he managed to grasp a few strokes and stances due purely to a moment’s inspiration. For the gaps in between the strokes, he tried to alleviate by filling it with possible strokes as he fought along.

But now, under the fierce attacks of those two men that were using a weird and wondrous attacking stance that severely crippled Zhan Bai ability to hold his ground as he tried his very best to parry in all directions.

After tens of strokes fly past, Zhan Bai was now parrying more than he could retaliate. His sword could not even aim accurate at them as powerful windforce caused by those two men defrayed the sword.

Zhan Bai was feeling panicky now. Suddenly he started to see white images of them attacking him as they split from two to four, from four to eight, from eight to sixteen, from sixteen to much much more as they started to surround him.

Naturally Zhan Bai understood that the illusions were caused by the two weird men’s illusionary swiftness movement skills. But he did not know which were the actual and which were the illusions. He could only danced his Heartless Precious Sword all around him continuously in a bid to protect himself.

Zhan Bai’s ‘Three Flair Swordplay’ was a most ordinary swordplay but when he had displayed it, sword energy chillingly radiated from it as it thundered like thunder in the thunderstorm. It was like a furious dragon in a maelstrom.

The two weird men were no less startled than Zhan Bai who was equally startled by their martial art skills. It was because very few people could even ten strokes of their collective display of the ‘Trilateral Equilibrium Soul Snatching Palm’.

And Zhan Bai could actually have the ability to fight with them for more than ten strokes and not be defeated!

In a blinking flash, another five, six strokes scurried by.

[Living Dead Man] was patience enough and he was not in a hurry as he attacked Zhan Bai stroke by stroke, stance by stance. [Dead Living Man] however was by natural an impatience man.

After witnessing that Zhan Bai was still undefeated, he suddenly gave a thunderous shout as he executed a stance named ‘Dividing the Mortals’ as he forcefully barged towards and aimed at five of his vulnerable accupoints as he sliced with his left hand and chopped with his right hand.

This stance of his were extraordinary swift and deadly. Zhan Bai was already dazzled by those two weird men that he did not even know where all the incoming strokes were coming from. His only natural reflex was to dance the Heartless Precious Sword around him non stop like a gale, seeking self preservation instead of attempting to hurt his opponents. Therefore when this deadly stance was displayed, he was unaware of it.

He was an exemplar of a blind man riding a blind horse. He did not even know that he had walked into a treacherous road…

However [Living Dead Man] was looking out for Zhan Bai with a hidden agenda and he fended off all the killer strokes executed by the [Dead Living Man]. Just when [Dead Living Man] was about to fly into a temper, [Living Dead Man] snatched the bundle off Zhan Bai’s sword and retreated backwards.

[Dead Living Man] did not know why [Living Dead Man] had suddenly retreated but they had always assaulted and retreated together. So when he saw [Living Dead Man] had back off, he was filled with displeasure and did the same as well.

Zhan Bai suddenly felt as though a heavy pressure had been lifted off him as the illusionary white figures had started to vanish. And he stood rooted to the ground vigilantly with his sword.

Then the two weird men began to open up the bundle and casually took a bundle of hair from it and looked at one another before they finally turned towards Zhan Bai and asked. “What is it?”

However when Zhan Bai had saw them picked out the bundle of hair from inside the bundle, he was furious and stared at them with blood shot eyes.

It was indeed the clues and the items left behind by his father that he had been painstaking seeking all this while!

“Return it to me!” Zhan Bai thundered. “Where did the both of you find it from?”

The two weird men did not expect Zhan Bai to become suddenly so fierce and threw the hair in front of him, coldly said. “You can have it if you want it. This isn’t any good stuff anyway.”

Immediately after they had said that, they took out a thread of silk strings and once again, they looked at one another. They turned and looked at Zhan Bai without expressions to ask. “What is this then?”

“Hurry and return it to me!”

Zhan Bai did not notice that the bundle was snatched from his sword hilt. He only felt strange that how could these two weird men possibly could have his deceased father’s possession? Therefore he became very agitated and shouted continuous. “All the things in that small bundle are mine!”

But the two men ignored the yelling pleas of Zhan Bai and reaching into the bundle and threw a iron pearl and a copper button from inside the bundle at him.

Suddenly the two of them began to dance madly in a hilarious manner, all the while screaming.

Zhan Bai was startled. Why did they suddenly become crazy?

Suddenly the two men caught hold of Zhan Bai by his arms, from two sides and they started to grip him tightly. But Zhan Bai bit his teeth tightly and did not mutter a single sound e even though he was in terrible pain.

How did they catch hold of him so easily? Firstly, he was caught by surprise and did not guarded against them. Secondly, they were simply too fast.

“Is this the Precious Heartless Sword?” [Living Dead Man] asked in a shrieking sorrowful voice as he gripped Zhan Bai’s on his right shoulder.

Zhan Bai tried to resist as he protested. “Let go of me!”

“Are you the descendant of the Great Hero Zhan Yuntian?” Asked the [Dead Living Man] as he asked in an equally sorrowful voice as he gripped him on his left shoulder.

Grieved at the mention of his late father but still Zhan Bai refused to say a word more.

Suddenly the two weird men let go of Zhan Bai and together, they bowed at him. And then, [Living Dead Man] lamented sorrowfully. “Heaven is not blind after all, our benefactor has a heir!”

[Dead Living Man] was lamenting loudly as well. “Heaven is blind, our benefactor have been wronged so unjustly that it can sink to the bottom of the ocean!”

“What else!” [Living Dead Man] clenched the copper coin in his fist tightly. He lamented aloud in terrible grief. “Brother, what do think is this?”

Suddenly, [Dead Living Man] was hollowing even more loudly and his shrieking voice was as though it could shatter rocks and penetrated to the clouds.

“Us two brothers, try as we try, we still cannot find out who killed our benefactor and he had to die in limbo.” [Dead Living Man] seemed to finish lamenting as he sunk his voice painfully to add. “Rather than live in this world to suffer the indignant of not avenging our benefactor that is worse than death, that is why we hide our real names and use the nick of [Living Dead Man] and [Dead Living Man]. But today after witnessing these objects…”

[Dead Living Man] looked even more sorrowful as he pointed at the copper coin that [Living Dead Man] was holding and he was weeping. “Now that we already know who to seek vendetta with but we are unable to avenge for our benefactor. Can we still face anyone in life? Do we still deserve to live in this world?”

“That is right!” [Living Dead Man] too began to lament in great sorrow as he questioned. “My brother! Do we still have anything that deserve to live for in this world?”

As they said, they began to hug one another to weep uncontrollably…

Never did Zhan Bai expect that these two ghastly weird men that radiated such an eerie and cold demeanor, would have such warm heartfelt affection! Moreover, judging from their tone and mannerism, it was quite obvious that they were his father’s friends.

Therefore by now, Zhan Bai had already cast away his dislike and feeling of repulsive for them. Instead, he felt so intimate with them as though it was like his father meeting with his best of friends.

He tried to comfort them by saying. “Do not grieve. There is a saying: It never too late for a gentleman to avenge a wrong even if it were ten years late. As long as the two of you have this heart, not to mention myself but also my late father will be extremely grateful in the underworld!”

It would be better if Zhan Bai did not comfort them for it upset them even more as they hollowed loudly with tears. “What a great shame, how can we face his family! What a great shame, how can we face his family!…”

Suddenly [Living Dead Man] as he lamented began to bang his head headlong into a pine tree.

It was obvious that he was too deeply overcome with grief and was now trying to commit suicide by rushing headlong into a pine tree which width required two men to surround with their hands.

Zhan Bai was too late to [Living Dead Man] and when he tried to hold him back, [Dead Living Man] had rushed into a giant pine tree on the other side!

There were a series of loud crashing sound caused by the two men as they attempted to bang their heads again and again!

Zhan Bai was secretly stunned. The force of these men when they banged into the trees were like thousand weight force.

Seeing that they could not succeed in their suicide, they lamented aloud as they shrieked before finally making their way out of the pine forest in extreme grief.

After Zhan Bai had saw them went afar and after standing on the same spot for some time, did he recovered his thoughts as he thought. “It really so unthinkable that these two ghastly men are actually men of blood and tears!”

“Alas!” Zhan Bai sighed aloud as he thought. “From their tone, it seem that they had already known who killed my father. But why did they say, they can’t avenge for my father…”

When Zhan Bai had thought of that, he suddenly stomped his leg and shouted. “Alas Ah! Why did I forget to ask them…”

“Little rascal! Who did you forget to ask?” Someone replied him from his back. “You are actually talking to yourself!”

Zhan Bai turned around and his blood ran cold for standing right in front of him was the [Cruel Hand Midget].

Zhan Bai furrowed his eyebrows puzzling over the prospect of his luck.

[Cruel Hand Midget] laughed aloud and looked extremely happy as he said. “Little fellow, you seem none too please to meet an old man like me?”

Zhan Bai did not bother to answer him.

“But, who will expect that we can actually encounter one another again! Moreover it is the same place. Little Fellow, can you not say that it is not Heaven’s Will after all?”

Zhan Bai was jolted. He suddenly remembered this was the same place that he had encountered the [The Outrageous Flying Cloud]. It was also the very same place that they had tried to raid his escorts. Recalling all these things that had occurred one month ago, he was crestfallen and a feeling of sadness overwhelmed him!

“Since we have so much fate,” [Cruel Hand Midget] jeered, ignoring Zhan Bai that looked so depressed and said. “Then surrender it now!”

Zhan Bai stumbled backward at his words as he thought. “Not again!” He bitterly said. “Old senior! You have thrown junior’s things away and caused me untold grief. Don’t you feel that is enough already? Now you want to take things from me again! What do you want? I really do not have anything on me…”

[Cruel Hand Midget] giggled and pointed at his Heartless Precious Sword. “I promise this time I do not want your smell stuff anymore! Hand over your sword and let me have a look!”

Zhan Bai was furious and he thought. “Must I be manipulate and let other snatch my things like that?” And he stared at him and said aloud. “Everyone in the Martial Fraternity knows that a pugilist’s weapon is his second life! For an old senior like you to mutter such a thing, don’t you feel ridiculous at all?”

[Cruel Hand Midget] tweaked his face as his jovial expression disappeared and he solemnly said in a deep voice. “I only ask you this. To surrender it? Or not to surrender it?”

Zhan Bai laughed coldly and replied proudly. “Then you have to ask my sword to see if it is in agreement!”

[Cruel Hand Midget]’s eyes were filled with malevolent air. Because Zhan Bai thought that he was about to attack him, he secretly channeled his inner force throughout his body as a precaution.

Suddenly [Cruel Hand Midget] turned panicky as he caught sight of the huge pine trees lying all over in pandemonium. He pointed his finger around and asked. “What is going on around here? How did these trees fall?”

Zhan Bai really felt laudable at himself. He had been so nervous for quite awhile and this [Cruel Hand Midget] suddenly switched his attention and asked about those fallen trees. He thought that this old man was really unreasonable and he did not want to waste anymore time with him.

“Then…” Zhan Bai said. “I plead with old senior to spend some time investigating and to ponder over it! Junior still have other matters to attend to and I take my leave now!” After saying, Zhan Bai turned his head around and walked away.

There was a hum and a shadowy flash as [Cruel Hand Midget] made his way in front of Zhan Bai. He thundered loudly. “Little rascal! Are you thinking of running again? You dare to play punk with me right in front of my very eyes? Then you are asking for trouble!”

Zhan Bai waved his Heartless Precious Sword and coldly replied. “Then, may I ask you for some instructions! I will simply fight and not back off!”

[Cruel Hand Midget] hummed aloud from his nostril as he exclaimed none too please. “Little rascal! You dare to exchange blows with me?”

Zhan Bai straightened his back and answered without hesitating. “I can’t wait in fact to take a look at some of old senior’s epitome strokes!”

[Cruel Hand Midget] looked undecided and his eyes were looking left and right around him…

However Zhan Bai knew that the [Cruel Hand Midget] might be weird but he was actually a very cunning man. Afraid that he might use some sneak attacks on him, he immediately focussed his attention and circulated his inner strength throughout his entire body to ready himself for any attacks.

Suddenly the [Cruel Hand Midget] noticed some words on the ground tens of yards away. And slowly he began to walk towards it as if curiosity got the hand of him. He was heard muttering. “Alas! Who wrote these words on the ground?”

Because the Midget had relaxed his malevolent air, Zhan Bai found himself relaxing from his tight tension as well. He suddenly found himself unable to smile. Even if he were to cry, there would be no tears. Not in the least having the curiosity as the [Cruel Hand Midget], he began to storm out of the surrounding pine woods in broad strides…

At the same time, Zhan Bai hardened his heart and said to himself if the [Cruel Hand Midget] tried to stop him again, he would surely circulated all his internal force and stabbed him in the chest with his sword. Even if this freak were to confuse him and muttered sweet nothings to him, he would never even kindled his eyebrows to ponder…

As soon as his heart was hardened, it became soft again as he walked in strides away. Only this time, the [Cruel Hand Midget] did not try to stop him but he began to read out some words that could barely considered sentence, causing him to pause and turned back!

“The act of avenging thee father…must…gold…be left avenge…do not be rush…Donkey…Gut…”

[Cruel Hand Midget] was heard scolding as he jumped up and down. “It made utterly no sense at all!”

But to Zhan Bai, it made perfect sense as blood rushed to his head and his heart pounded. “Alas ah! Isn’t it obviously the hints of the old man with the donkey? He is trying to tell me who killed my father!”

Zhan Bai rushed back immediately as the [Cruel Hand Midget] began to erase the words by his jumping! But it was too late!

He shouted hilariously. “Old senior! Do not erase all those words!”

Even though he had rushed back as quick as lightning but [Cruel Hand Midget] had totally caused all the words to vanish from the ground!

He looked at Zhan Bai to say, “What is the matter with you, little fellow? Are you the one that wrote all those words on the ground? It really made no sense at all! Didn’t you study at all when you are little? To think you are an adult now!”

How would Zhan Bai still have the mood to argue with him? He only bowed his head low at the ground that just moment ago contained the clues to his father’s death as he exclaimed anxiously. “Old senior! What must you pit yourself against me! Why expended so much efforts on me? Really! It was really…”
Zhan Bai kept scolding ‘Really’ for some time in repetitious not knowing what to say.

But the [Cruel Hand Midget] began to applaud with his hands after witnessing how frustrated Zhan Bai was. He thought that it was the most fun thing that had happened.

“Alas!” Zhan Bai let go of a long sight as he thought. “Why wasted so much time on him. It is better if I stay away from him, the faster the better! Since that old man that rides the donkey has left his sword and words behind for him, surely he is trying to help him secretly. Even though those words are not clear but his father’s killer must surely be at Nanjing (gold can be pronounced Jin). Why don’t he take a trip down to Nanjing? Maybe he can find some clues there…”

As he was thinking, he began to turn back to walk away…

But the [Cruel Hand Midget] suddenly blocked his way and shouted. “Little rascal! If you do leave your sword, don’t even think of leaving here! Do you think you are able to leave on your own?”

Zhan Bai was really pushed to a corner by him and he snapped by executing ‘Sword Finger of the Heavenly South’. He was so angry that he was speechless now and he attacked the [Cruel Hand Midget] who responded by shouting. “Wonderful attack!”

Suddenly [Cruel Hand Midget] swayed aside, avoiding his sword stance and attacked fiercely toward Zhan Bai right wrist with his left hand.

This counter attack was exactly a technique known as the ‘Hand grasping and weapon clenching style’ for unarmed fighter to fight against some one with a weapon in hand. At the same time, his right hand swiftly and fiercely reached out and hit violently at Zhan Bai’s left chest.

Indeed, the [Cruel Hand Midget] was not to be trifled with. In a mere instant, he had countered, counter attacked and his strokes were all secretive and marvelous. It was indeed very extraordinary to behold.

Zhan Bai was taken aback. Even with a sword in his hand, he could not gain an edge over him. Not only did the [Cruel Hand Midget] not retreat in the face of his deadly and swift swordplay, he had even successfully counter attacked and put him at a disadvantage.

All Zhan Bai could do was to muster all his strength and swung his sword in a defensive position in a bid to withdraw his attacking stance. But it was already too late and his right wrist was hit by the [Cruel Hand Midget] and he felt his chest experiencing a painful sensational as if his bones had cracked. He felt his upper body growing numb and his Heartless Precious Sword almost dropped from his hand…

It was a lucky thing that after Zhan Bai was struck in the chest, his right wrist was not gripped by the [Cruel Hand Midget] or it would well be fatal.

Zhan Bai was panicky and he lifted his left hand to parry his attacker remaining blows. Both of them were knocked back three steps.

Because both of them were still in the process of exchanging blows and had not used all their might, they could not gain an immediately edge over one another.

In Zhan Bai’s panicky state, he had seal off the remaining blows with a powerful stretch thus saving him from a perilous situation. He did not think much about this exchange but as for the [Cruel Hand Midget], it wounded his pride.

With his consummate skills and present state of cultivation, how could Zhan Bai had the strength to knock him back? It was something that was impossible.

He thundered at Zhan Bai, “Good rascal! Hats off to you! What about taking a blow from my hands!” Upon saying, he raised his strength of cultivation to eight folds and violently struck out.

A streak of windforce that hallowed as he extended his hands. The [Cruel Hand Midget] palm strike was startling!

Zhan Bai had unconsciously pushed the [Cruel Hand Midget] backward. Therefore he received a boast to his confidence and he quickly switched his sword to his left hand and let his right hand received the incoming blow.

There was a thunderous clap as sand flew in all directions.

Zhan Bai was still standing firmly on the same spot while the [Cruel Hand Midget] was knocked back five to six steps backward before he could steady himself.

This time round, the [Cruel Hand Midget] was startled and he thought. “I have found fame in the pugilist world for many years and rarely meet any worthy opponents. How could I be knock back by such a unremarkable young man?”

One month ago, he had encountered this young man and had already known that his skills were ordinary. Therefore, how was it possible for Zhan Bai to improve so tremendous in a single month?…

If this got out to the pugilist realm that he was jerked backward by this unknown young man, how would he going to face anyone in the future? This was too great a blow to his pride.

When the [Cruel Hand Midget] analyzed up to this point, his eyes turned murderous and stray of his hair were standing up. This was a sign that his internal force had been cultivated to the level of finesses. “Rascal! Not bad.” And then he thundered aloud. “What about taking another blow from me!”

Zhan Bai knew instantly that this old man had used all his might. Wishing to know the extent of his internal cultivation as well, he lifted the energy from his diaphragm and used ten fold of his strength by exercising the Sacred Manual consummate skills.

The [Cruel Hand Midget] laughed, “I see that you have readied yourself!”

Zhan Bai did not know that the [Cruel Hand Midget] was planning a ruse so he replied. “Old senior, please exhibited your blow! Junior I…”

But who would have thought that when Zhan Bai was still speaking in mid sentences that the [Cruel Hand Midget] would suddenly attack him suddenly as he shouted. “Heh!”

Zhan Bai was taken completely by surprise as he hurriedly raised his vital energies around him in a quick attempt to take the incoming blow.

“Pang!” A thunderous sound was heard.

Zhan Bai began to see stars as he was dazzled by the furious amount of impact. He found himself almost unable to stand still. The pressure of that blow was like the sudden rushing of the great river Changjiang that had rushed upon him. He knew that if he was in grave danger now. If he could not handle this blow, he would die instantly.

Therefore he focused his thoughts and mustered all his vital energies from his diaphragm as he tried to perform the Thousand Weigh Fall to steady himself while at the same time, he circulated the vital energies to both his shoulders and then to his both his hands. Surprisingly, he managed to withstand the attack in its entirely and the danger faded.

Although the [Cruel Hand Midget] did not think much of Zhan Bai nor did he placed him in high regards, he knew by now that this young man was not to be underestimated.

In this third round of fight, he tried to use a little ruse; While Zhan Bai was talking, he would attack because while talking, vital energies would leak away. It was an excellent opportunity to kill Zhan Bai on the spot and he would preserve his pride as well.

Therefore he lifted and used all forty to fifty years of his internal power and extended both his hands into a blow while thinking. “Rascal, you are finished this time…”

But who would expect that Zhan Bai would suddenly managed to calm his explosive force down and reversed the force at him!

The [Cruel Hand Midget] was greatly startled and he immediately calmed himself down and mustered his remaining strength to both his hands…

Zhan Bai too readied all his internal strength to resist…

It was now a contest of vital energies as they froze in a posture with hands extending together. Those who did not know might have wondered why an old man and a young man were posturing for in the forest!

On closer look, both men were looking extremely anxious and were shaking slightly. The old man was staring with murderous intent at Zhan Bai.

The internal skills that Zhan Bai had mastered was the Sacred Manual containing all the orthodox upper echelon intrinsic formula and it was passed down by the Lord of the Only Eye.

At such, the book was the most marvelous in the world. The martial skills that were recorded in it were all rarely seen but were all first class. It had the powers of the monastic order to subdue demonic forces.

What more, Zhan Bai had a most extraordinary encounter. He was attacked by Zhang Shipeng’s Enchanting Lyrical Flute Display that caused his vital energies to reverse upon himself. Lucky, Master Lingfeng had unwittingly dealt him a blow and cleared his eight wondrous meridian channels.

Therefore Zhan Bai inner martial arts underwent a tremendous increase. It was not beneath some one that had forty to fifty years of internal cultivation and practice.

Once again, they were equals in this standoff.

The [Cruel Hand Midget] too was experiencing that Zhan Bai’s internal force was like the great river Changjiang that were rushing at him. He bit his teeth and concentrated on dealing with the pressure. Not only was he startled, he was enraged!

What amount to the time to boil a hot teapot passed as the both of them fought a physical and mental contest to see who would be the first to go under. The surrounding woods had suddenly became eerily quiet.

Suddenly Zhan Bai remembered that the Soul Destroyer Sacred Manual had two lines of secret formula that formed: “An illusion that is not, the weakness that is not.” Did the intrinsic formula meant it as ‘Suck’?

Therefore Zhan Bai thought. “I need to go Nanjing. If I contest with him painstakingly in this manner, I wondered when would it ended? Why don’t I attempt to use this ‘Suck’ method. It would well be my liberation to leave this place!”

Because Zhan Bai was still young and impatience, he did not pause to think that this was a life and death matter. What he had thought of, he acted upon it. Therefore at this moment of time, he reversed all his vital energies backward and he could feel a suction in the [Cruel Hand Midget]’s palms as well.

The energy that was reversing was like tens of thousands of rivers rushing forth and it was rushing at him! Zhan Bai was greatly startled…

Ch13 End

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]