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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

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