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