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?”