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Chapter 22: Divine Donkey vs the Divine Ape

At this moment, Zhan Bai was pleased with himself but at the same time, he was disappointed.

He was pleased that his martial arts had shown improvement and he could defeat Jin Jiu’s direct successor Meng Ruping.

He was disappointed because he had witnessed the martial levels of the [Twin Ironguards of the Jin Residence] and their martial level were simply too high and had no way to win. Moreover, there were so many highly accomplished exponents in the Jin Residence. How could he alone defeat everyone? It seemed beyond his reach to avenge for his father…

And in his mind, the images of Jin Caifeng often appeared to him. He thought often of her lovely deep affections for him. It made him sweet and bitter at the same time, joy and sadness…

Zhan Bai walked slowly towards the Mountain Rocks of the Twelve Caves. The reason why he did not hurry was because he did not know where to find Old Senior [Divine Donkey with the Iron Gut] Dong Qianli and secondly, he had many things on his mind.

He walked past many caves and even though all those caves were deserted but there were signs and markings left behind by travelers and tourists. He began to feel that the information by Old Senior [Living Dead Man] was unreliable. A reclusive hero like Dong Qianli would never like to be in the company of noisy and troublesome travelers. He had made a futile trip…

But still he did not give up and even though he knew it was useless, he continued to search the mountains. After another three caves, he went deep inside the mountains.

When he walked past a peak, suddenly he could hear the melodious voice of a young maiden, “This round is not counted! Once more!”

Then an old man voice said, “Why do you have so many funny ideas, young girl? Are making taking an old man like me for a monkey? No way I am not going to do it again!”

Another old man’s voice was heard laughing aloud, “Don’t you deny it! If you do not do it again, then admit that you have lost!”

“I won’t let you win me that so easily! Even though I am an old man that do not have any legs but it is not something that can bow me over!” When he had finished, there was a breeze coming from that direction!

When Zhan Bai had heard those three voices, a feeling of familiarity struck him but he could not recall who they were. He was more curious why three people would hide in the mountains and gambled in secret?

Therefore he hastened his steps and when he was near, he moved silently and out of sight. Then he saw in front of him was a gigantic boulder on the ground, as though it was man made arena.

Then he saw a young maiden in white, a thin old man with white hair and another old man with no legs.

That old man with no legs was standing with his hands and he was hopping around like he was jumping and flying! He was really weird and looked like he was doing the devil dance under the moonlight!

Under the moonlight, coupled with Zhan Bai superior eyesight, he could see quite clearly. That old man without any legs was the strange old man that had chased the [Jiangnan Two Extraordinary] three days earlier.

As for the thin old man with white hair, it was too far for Zhan Bai to identify him.

As for that young maiden in white, with her beautiful hair fluttering, was the delicate and innocent Zhan Wan’Er.

“Why did she come to the wilderness with two old men? What game is she after?…”

The old man without legs, grasped his clutches proudly and said, “What do you think? Even though an old man like me has no legs, I can still do it!”

“Alas!” Wan’Er sighed deeply before saying, “I think both of you have comparison martial powers. It is really hard to determine an outcome. Why not give it up!”

“What do you mean by comparison?” The old hair old man protested. “Little girl! Why don’t you pointed out who has the higher martial prowess! But no matter, I insist on proving which among us, have the truly superiority!”

“That is right!” The other old man with the clutches exclaimed. “We have already contested for three days and three nights, I bet you have already taken out all your skills. I bet you do not have any masterstrokes in your sleeves anymore! I must fight it all out with you!”

“But what is there to contest anymore?” Zhan Bai said, “Fist, palm, weapon, secret projectile, internal power, internal vital energies, swiftness agility and movement, what else is left? I think, why don’t both of you just admit that you are equal and make it a tie!”

“No way! No way!” The thin and white hair old man shook furiously as he repeated himself twice. Then he suddenly said, “Now the topic has arrived. Earlier, a man has just arrived and he is now watching us in secret…”

Without waiting for the thin and white old man to finish, the old man with the clutches interrupted, “I have already known that! Haha! He is just hiding behind that big tree on that mountain slope!” And he waved his clutch towards the direction of Zhan Bai.

Zhan Bai was startled. He was very sure he had concealed himself perfectly but who could expect that he was still unable to mask it from those two old men. Just when he was about to come out of his hiding place, the thin and white hair old man panicky shouted, “Wait! Wait a minute! Just stay where you are and don’t reveal yourself just yet!…”

Zhan Bai was even more startled. He thought, “I didn’t even move and he could guess what is in my mind? Does this old man have the ability to ‘Inspect the Heavens and Listening to the Earth’? How else then would he able to know what is on my mind!…”

“Let us guess the identity of this unknown person,” the thin old man said. “How old is this person? Is it male or female? Who can correctly guess it is the winner and the one that deduct wrongly is considered the loser! Old freak, what do you think of this idea?”

The old with the clutches began to laugh aloud. “You sly old man that rides a donkey! No matter how smart you are, you will never fool me! Someone that you have known has arrived, do you think I do know yet?”

When Zhan Bai heard that the thin old man was the one that rode a donkey, he immediately concluded that this eccentric old man must be the reclusive master Dong Qianli of the [Iron Guts Divine Donkey] fame that he had been searching for all along!

Therefore, he sprang onto the platform while shouting, “Old Senior Dong! I, Junior, have been searching for you in despair all this while!” He had forgotten that they were in the midst of a contest.

Dong Qianli stared blankly for instance. His martial accomplishments were said to be unequaled and his six senses were extremely sensitive. By listening to the footsteps of the intruder, he deducted it must be a young personal and definitely a man.

Therefore he wanted to use his superior deductions to win this old man with the clutches. But he never expected anyone to recognize him; that was because he had been concealing his whereabouts for decades. Even in the present pugilistic fraternity, very few would know of his name now.

Now that Zhan Bai had greeted him by his surname and further confirmed the prediction of the other old man, making him stumped for words. He asked, “How did you know my name?”

Before Zhan Bai could reply, the other old man was mocking, “There is no need for further play acting! I bet you have run out of ideas therefore you secretly ask a junior to hide down there so as to trick me. You can’t even food a three year old kid…”

Dong Qianli the [Iron Gut Divine Donkey] was indignant and he gently waved his palms while exclaiming in anger, “Old freak! Don’t blather non-stop and try taking a few blows from me!”

When Dong Qianli attacked with his palms, there was no windforce, for it was a soft and supple type of skill. But the impact of his palm strength was extremely shocking!

“I won’ cares a hoot even if it were a few hundred blows!” While the other old man had said, his five fingers too emitted an invisible soft gentle wave!

When their gentle wave clashed against one another, there were titanic thunderclaps! Amidst the first wave, they exchanged a further three blows that were so fast, fury that the surrounding mountains echoed with their titanic clash!

Zhan Bai was secretly startled. It was already so astonishing that they were so fast that he could not see clearly. Their gentle flurry palm strength could give off such startling power, it was out of the world!

When Wan’Er saw Zhan Bai appearing before her eyes, she was both thrilled and astonished. For a moment, she was dumbfounded. Then when the two old men had started fighting and Zhan Bai was looking as though he was entranced and did not look at her, she could not help remarking in melancholy, “Alas! They have started fighting once more. It looks like this is going to be another endless and futile fight again. They are already so old yet their tempers are still so uncontrollable huh!”

Zhan Bai sighed nonstop when he saw that the old man with the clutches was so dexterous and his martial abilities were not beneath that of the [Iron Gut Divine Donkey]. A cripple that could have such accomplishments was indeed worthy of praise and envy!

The more he looked, the more bewildered he was. He could not help asking, “Why did they want to fight with one another?”

Wan’Er replied, “I myself do not know what and why are they fighting for. I come here to look for you but to no avail. Instead, I come into them. And they been fighting for three days and three nights now. Virtually all types of unarmed and armed combat, all types of martial and internal martial skills have been fought over with but there is still no outcome. When you just arrived, I wanted to test them on the ‘Walking in the Air’ movement technique skill but the old man without any legs is still able to do it by replacing his legs with his hands huh!”

Now that Wan’Er had cleared some the air, Zhan Bai finally understand some of the situation. But he still did not know what cause these two old men to fight in the first place? Suddenly, he was interrupted by a curious thought and turned to her, “Wan’Er, you say you have been looking for me. Why are you looking for me?”

Wan’Er’s eyes turned starry, her heart was sore and she almost shed tears. She thought, “To save you, I almost lost my life and yet you do not even know huh?”

But she kept hidden her thoughts and said melancholy, “Let me ask you instead. When you are at the Xinglu Tavern and had been wounded by the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] with his red sloe blood skill palm, who save you?”

“Oh!” The realization dawned upon Zhan Bai and he said, “It is Wan’Er that saved me! Then you must have seen the [Living Dead Man] too? Why did I not see you when I regain consciousness?”

Wan’Er turned red and now when she recalled her humiliations and ordeal at the dead men dwelling place, she almost cried out…

“You two babies over there! Stop chattering nonstop!” Even though the [Iron Gut Divine Donkey] was in the midst of a dangerous fight, he found the time to shout at them. “Hurry and get away from here! I am going to use my killing masterstroke now!”

“I say!…” The another old man laughed merrily, “Old man that rides a donkey! Enough of the bluff! If you really have any shit masterstrokes, just use it will do! I will surely return you blow by blow!”

This made the [Iron Gut Divine Donkey] furious and suddenly there was sounds of wind and thunderclaps as his palm strength increased in manifolds! On the top of the platform where Zhan Bai and Wan’Er was standing, the wind was extremely strong and they could not find their footings!

Therefore they were forced to jump down from the platform and retreated to the top of a big pine tree that was tens of yards away to continue their conversations and at the same time, were speculators in their fight.

The two old men strokes and stances were simply too astonishing fast. Their windforce was especially strong and powerful. Their martial path was that of the soft yin types and not the earth shattering hard yang types but it could duplicate the power of the hard yang types! Not only that, under the moonlight, they were a blurry image and a twister sprang up from beneath them!

It was hard to believe that there were actually two men inside the twister, competing for martial superiority!

Zhan Bai had been trained in the Orthodox Intricate Formula of the Soul Binder Scripture and moreover, he had his eight wondrous meridians cleared and his eyes, ears were now extremely sharp now. He could see in the dark and moreover he was aided by the moonlight. But he still could not see clearly their intricate strokes and wondrous stances.

As for Wan’Er, she could not see clearly at all.

The old man with the clutches laughed hilariously, “[Iron Guts Divine Donkey], your ‘Wondrous Hand’ skill is just so and so. Do you still have any fresh techniques to bring out for me to appraise?”

This really infuriated Dong Qianli who had been fighting with him over three days. And he really was upset now. “Old freak, don’t be too arrogant yet. Catch my Iron Guts!” And a cold wave that rung a tingling sound rushed towards the old man with the clutches. He had released two powerful secret projectiles of his own invention – Iron Guts.

Although the old man with the clutches were initial shocked, he managed to deflect it and when he regained his composure, he laughed, “This is just a projectile used by little girls and is too easy for an old man like me!”

[Iron Guts Divine Donkey] released two more ‘Iron Guts’ and this time, it spin in mid-air before it flew like meteor fire towards him.

“Haha!” The weird old man with the clutches laughed, “It is a little interesting! Old Donkey, this is slightly better than what a little girl is capable of!”

This odd and bizarre style of shooting secret projectiles was totally unheard of and its power could not be described for no one was capable of doing it!

Zhan Bai and Wan’Er were sitting on the thick branch of the pine tree and looking. And they were shaking to the core as they stared wide-eyed as their spirits and souls were carried away by this display. They had even forgot to talk with one another!

[Iron Guts Divine Donkey] taunted aloud, “How about trying something even more dangerous so as to bring this game to a higher level of fun?” And it released three Iron Guts with even more startling power as three golden lights blinked from him and flew everywhere in circles towards the old man with the clutches.

This made the old man with the clutches was little panicky as he deflected the Iron Guts constantly as it flew back in circles no matter how many times he could deflect it! But fortunately, he had reached the point of reacting with his will and his body would automatically reacted! Therefore it was not impossible for him to dodge and deflect constantly!

But when the Iron Guts were deflected and went for another round towards the old man with the clutches, he had suddenly vanished from the thin air!

[Iron Guts Divine Donkey] was stunned and he composed himself for a second before he withdrawn his Iron Guts.

Then suddenly he had heard a cold and icy voice behind his back, “Your area attacking balls are nothing compared to my ‘Shadow Evasion and Invisibility’ special swiftness movement skill. If not for the fact that I have considered my reputation, you would have been severely injured if I were to strike you!”

[Iron Guts Divine Donkey] was solemn for a second before he turned around with his palm extended with an invisible eruption as the surrounding rolled like an angry tsunami.

Suddenly the old man with the clutches cried out in fear as he vanished, “Thunderclaps of the Buddha!”

A powerful tsunami-like windforce sped past from the hand of the [Iron Guts Divine Donkey] as it stuck a gigantic pine tree. Not only did it fell the gigantic pine tree with a thunderous sound on the right side of the platform, leaves and dust whirled around non-stop. The thunderclap sounds was like sonic as it echoed throughout the mountains and did not dissipated for quite some time!

Zhan Bai stumbled for words as he excitedly exclaimed, “What an awesome palm force! If a person can practice martial asceticism into such a level, it is really unconceivable and unfathomable!…”

Wan’Er nodded and said, “My father have many proteges under him and many of them topped the list as legendary fighters in the martial fraternity. I often bear witnesses to their duels and the force of their palms could not compare to this awesome power being unleashed!”

‘Your father!” Zhan Bai had suddenly recalled that Murong Han the [Meteor Hand] was among his father’s killers! Therefore he could not help asking, “Your father’s name is Murong Han the [Meteor Hand]?”

Wan’Er battled an eyelid at him and was melancholy, “Obviously you know. Why did you ask huh?”

“Then why are you not a Murong like your father,”Zhan Bai asked, “And is a Zhan instead?”

“Are you really so forgetful or are you pretending to be confused?” Wan’Er unhappily replied. “Didn’t I tell you before that I am following my mother’s clan name?”

“Everyone in the world usually follows their father’s clan name and not their mother’s clan name.” Zhan Bai blabbered out in bewilderment, “Wan’Er maiden, maybe you are not the real daughter of the [Meteor Hand]!”

Wan’Er expressions changed and she furiously said, “You are doubting me! Do you think I will lie to you?”

For awhile, Zhan Bai was too sad for words and he thought, “Wan’Er is such an innocent and kind heart-hearted girl. Moreover she have twice saved my life. If I am going to avenge for my father and kills her father, I wonder how abhor she will feel towards me…”

Wan’Er loved Zhan Bai deeply in her heart or else she would not have secretly left her home and had to endure bitter hardships in search of him.

But Zhan Bai’s questions earlier caused her to be extremely upset therefore she blunt out impolitely to contradict him. Now she saw that he was silence and was furrowing his brows, she assumed that he was angry with her. Therefore she hurriedly added, “Zhan Gege, are you upset with me huh?”

Zhan Bai shook his head and let go of a sight. “It is not that I am angry with you but…just alas!”

Suddenly Zhan Bai paused and grasped aloud for he had suddenly saw that the duel had intensified to such an extend that it had reached the point of life and death!

Wan’Er followed Zhan Bai’s glance and looked at the platform and saw that the two old men were now encircling one another in an extremely slow movement like two cocks fighting.

The duel had progressed from lightning fury attacks to another opposite extreme. It took them ages to unleash an attack! But each attack once it was unleashed echoed through the air like thunderclap and the force released was earth shaking!

Both Zhan Bai and Wan’Er knew instantly what was going on and knew that this type of fighting was based on their vital internal energies. There were no techniques at all. Each blow could shatter rocks and grind it to dust! If it strike a person, it would mean instantaneous death!

Zhan Bai wanted to seek vendetta for his father and he was especially concerned for [Iron Guts Divine Donkey] and hoping for his victory. He recalled his father’s horrible death and knew that given his poor martial skills, it was impossible for him to avenge him.

That was why he wanted to entreat this old man to include him as his protégé. Whether he could avenge for his father, his hope was totally rested upon this old man now.

If [Iron Guts Divine Donkey] were to be defeated now, all his hopes would be dashed. Therefore Zhan Bai was so nervous that his tightened fists broke into cold sweat!

The old man with the clutches was also a top exponent that hardly existed in the mundane world but Zhan Bai had never thought of entreating him as his Master for he carried an air of evil around him. His martial skills did not look orthodox to him and moreover, he would not know about the truth of his father’s death.

Therefore, although both old men did not have any relationship with him, he wished that the [Iron Guts Divine Donkey] would be the one that emerged victorious.

Wan’Er was not the least concerned about them and she threw all her heart instead upon Zhan Bai. When she saw that Zhan Bai was shaking and breaking into cold sweats, she comforted him with soft and emotional affections, “Zhan Gege, why are you so nervous? They are all old freaks. No matter what is the outcome, does it matter to us?

As Zhan Bai was totally focusing on the platform, he did not heard Wan’Er honey sweet affections and instead, he pushed her slim body aside and jumped down from the pine tree and headed towards the platform.

“Zhan Gege! It is too dangerous to go!”

Wan’Er was startled and cried out towards Zhan Bai but he did not take notice. Therefore she jumped down from the pine tree and sprang towards him.

At this moment, the two old men were no longer encircling one another but were now facing one another with both their palms extended out. Their internal power and internal vital energies were seen flowing through their hands! Their heads were wisping with hot air and everyone footstep they took left a deep mark three feet into the stone platform!

This was going to be last stage and also the most dangerous part when both their vital internal energies clashed with one another! This life and death situation would instantly be let known soon!

Zhan Bai knew that it was a dangerous contest. The one with the weaker vital internal energies would have his internal organs damaged by the strong vital internal energies and die! If both internal powers equaled one another, the result would be double fatalities!

Therefore he shouted anxiously, “Old Seniors! Is there anything that you cannot sit down and discuss. Why must it end in fatalities for both?”

But they were now in a critical stage and had to be in full focus. Even if they had heard Zhan Bai, they could not reply and remained in their combatant stance.

Now Zhan Bai was extremely worried and he moved forward. His intention was to separated them…

Just when he had taken two steps, Wan’Er pulled him and said, “Zhan Gege, it is unwise for you to go! At this moment, they have exercised their martial powers to its peak and are now surrounded by inertia barrier. Even before you can reach them, you will be jolted by it!…”

Zhan Bai wrangled free from her and said, “I can’t possible bear to see these two old men end up in double fatalities right before my own eyes!” And then he moved forwards.

But when he was about two yards away, he felt an invisible great pressure in front of him, halting him.

Zhan Bai was startled but did not lose hope and continued to force himself forward with all his might. There was a loud thunderclap sound and instead of moving forward, he was forced backward by several steps. He could feel his vital energies and his blood reversing. “So powerful!”

Wan’Er immediately caught hold of him, “Zhan Gege, are you injured?”

Zhan Bai shook his head, “It not serious…”

But before Zhan Bai could finish replying, both old men gave a great earth-shaking shout and there was a huge air explosion and tens of mini whirlwinds sprang out and scattered in all directions!

Both Zhan Bai and Wan’Er was knocked off the ground and was forced to move back by several steps. It took them a while before they had channeled their strength and to get their footings onto the ground.

When they did, they immediately looked at the platform and the scene horrified them!

[Iron Guts Divine Donkey] Dong Qianli had turned white and he had blood on his mouth and hair. He was now sitting on the ground with both his eyes shut. It was very obvious he was severely injured.

The another old man was also sitting on the ground with his eyes shut. His face was a ginger yellow, his mouth and edge of his clothing was covered with fresh blood.

It was all too obvious that both old men had sustained serious injuries!

Zhan Bai hurriedly asked as he walked to [Iron Guts Divine Donkey], “Old Senior Dong, are you injured?”

[Iron Guts Divine Donkey] did not open his eyes or say a word. It took him a while before he reacted by popping some pills into his mouth. Only then did he open his eyes and he smiled bitterly, “Old freak, are you still alive?”

“Don’t you worry!” The other old man opened his eyes and he too smiled bitterly. “As long as Donkey Old Man did not die, I will definitely not die as well!” And he too took out a bag of powder and swallowed it. “Alas!”

Dong Qianli let go of a long sigh, “Old freak, I have never met my match in my lifetime except for you! You are my worthy strong opponent!”

“The same goes for you!” The another old man exclaimed as well. “I have profess myself the invincible in the martial fraternity but never would I expect to encounter you just before I pass away. Even though both of us can’t live for long but the fight is really absolutely fabulous and immensely satisfying! For a martial person, to be able to die in the hands of martial, is so absolutely gratifying!”

“But,” Dong Qianli said, “How is that I am a total stranger in my impression for you. I have never heard of anyone in the pugilist fraternity talking about you. What is your name? If you can tell me, at least our fight will not be in vain…”

The another old man laughed aloud for awhile even though his laughter had weakened a lot since earlier. “To think you are called the [Divine Donkey]. Have you never heard of the [Divine Ape] before?”

Dong Qianli grasped out and suddenly he saw the light. “You are that from that southern wilderness, from Mount Li Gong, that [Divine Ape] Tie Ling. Your renown had already been known decades ago!”

“Indeed I am!” He said, “Southern Ape, Northern Donkey. Even though we have never met but decades ago, people of the pugilist fraternity have already put our names on par with one another!”

When Zhan Bai and Wan’Er had heard that this was the resounding Tie Ling of the [Divine Ape] fame, they were startled. It was because even though the [Divine Ape] had not appeared or seen in the pugilist fraternity for decades but his fantastic iron deeds were often discussed enthusiastic by the older pugilist generation!

Who would expect to see a legend right before their very eyes! Before they had merely heard of him but had never seen him before. Now that they noticed, with his round face, monkey mouth and a fiery pair of eyes, he did indeed bear resembled a monkey. Even though he looked comical, but they were unable to laugh…

Dong Qianli suddenly laughed aloud, “Actually, decades ago, I have wanted to find you but because I was entangled with too much affairs, I did not get my wish. But who would expect that decades later, I would finally have this opportunity. Now the two of us who are the older generation can finally have our wish and die without regrets!”

[Divine Ape] stared blankly for awhile before he said, “Indeed, before I die, I can finally meet up with the [Divine Donkey] is really my wish but I can’t say it is not without regrets!”

[Divine Donkey] Dong Qianli was startled. “I am almost a hundred. I believe that you are not younger than I am. It is really not an easy thing for us to roam in the iron blades of the pugilist fraternity and survive to this age. Moreover, just before we die, we can even die under the hands of our generation. What is there left to regret for?”

[Divine Ape] Tie Ling sadly said, “I am not as lighthearted as you. Just think about it. We are about to die in the wilderness and with no one to pick our corpses. If we have to die, sure we die but are we going to let the vultures and the wild beasts humiliate us? This is not a peaceful death at all!”

[Divine Donkey] Dong Qianli became sad as well, “Take me for example. In my life- time, I am a recluse and spend my time in leisure. I have no sons or daughters, moreover I did not have any protégé disciples too. My bones, it seem, is destined to be fed to the dogs! But you are different. Long ago, I have heard that you have two protégé disciples. Can’t they collect your corpse for you?”

When his protégé disciples were mentioned, [Divine Ape] expressions turned vicious and he hatefully clenched his teeth, “The mere mention of my evil heretic apprentices make me want to eat their flesh alive! Alas! Look!” He pointed at missing legs. “They crippled me and caused me extreme miseries that for decades, I cannot roam the pugilist fraternity freely!”

When Zhan Bai and Wan’Er heard this, they too were filled with indignant at this unrighteousness!

“The benevolent teacher is like one own benevolent father! Is there anyone with such vicious, ungratefulness, so cruel and unscrupulous as to cut off their benevolent teacher’s legs?”

Dong Qianli was even more indignant as he shouted loudly, “Don’t spare those evil heretic apprentices of yours lightly!”

Tie Ling stared at him for a second, “Wah! If not for you, I would have let them die under my clutches and they would not have escaped!”

Dong Qianli looked startled and cried out, “You mean that three days ago, the three men that you almost cornered, are your two evil heretic apprentices! There is a dwarf among them. Who is he?”

[Divine Ape] disappointing said, “That dwarf is their apprentice. If you have not stopped me from killing them that day, I would not be this infuriate with you. Therefore I immediately fought with you. At that time, you may thought that I was beyond reasoning…alas!”

He sighed and was filled with remorse as he said, “At that time, I was really too impatient. Without explaining things, I started to fight with you. When I come to recognize that you are the [Divine Donkey], all the more I am unwilling to let off of such an excellent opportunity to compete with you as I have long wanted that chance. It resulted in their escape. Now that I can’t cleanse these evil heretic apprentices out of my door, when I have died, they would surely plunged the pugilist realm into chaos.”

When he had finished, he kept sighing non-stop.

[Iron Guts Divine Donkey] Dong Qianli was also deeply remorseful. “Alas! I was only thinking of saving lives but I have never expected to save the lives of two rotten eggs! Heroics does not pay…”

Ch22 End

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Chapter 21: The Intense Duel

When Meng Ruping saw that Zhan Bai’s sword was no ordinary sword, he was still determined to channel all his internal power to his wrist and hacked towards Zhan Bai while still in mid-air.

There was a shower of brilliant golden sparks as both swords clashed towards one another. The brightness was similar to a burning tree and the imagery was like a mirage!

Both felt their shoulders growing numb at the same time and the power of their strength was actually equaled!

As Meng Ruping had the advantage of the brilliant light in mid-air, he quickly tumbled eight yard away.

Both quickly started to inspect their swords for damage!

Zhan Bai’s Heartless Precious Sword was still as crystal like as water and did not seem to be damaged in any way while Meng Ruping’s black long sword was still as dark and also did not have any damage.

Therefore, both of them instantly knew that the other side had a precious sword in their hands and gave up the idea to damage the other’s weapon. And both decided to use all their best martial skills and once again they began to enter the melee.

Everyone could only glimpse the rainbow glare of Zhan Bai’s Heartless Precious Sword and Meng Ruping’s black long sword was like a black dragon flashing everywhere. Two powerful sword energies were flaring and its heat was radiating from the area!

When both were fighting fast and furiously, no one could see where they were except for their sword energies!

In a twinkle of the eye, they had exchanged more than forty strokes.

[Crouching Iron Back Dragon] was staring at the area and was shouting in a loud voice as he appraised both their swordplay, “Heh! Very good, young fellow! This stroke, ‘The Golden Needle holding the Seas’ is indeed well executed and worthy!”

“Alas! What a pity! Ruping! This stroke ‘Hacking the Prawn in the Waves’ is only lacking two inches and it could not harm the opposition…”

[Iron Wing Bird] was very solemn but his sharp brilliant small eyes were staring unblinking at the fight. He was biting his lips tensely but refused to say anything.

Jin Caifeng the [Jiangnan Most Beautiful Maiden] knew that her older protégé brother had inherited her father’s best skills and she was secretly worried for her admirer. Her big water eyes were looking unblinking at them and her fists were grasped tightly, so much that her fists broke into cold fragrance sweat.

As for the maids and man servants that were in the area trying to see the commotion, they were all dumbfounded as they stared wide-eyed. Even though they had seen many furious duels before but they had never seen one so tense and furious before.

The cold piercing sword wave and the windforce that was generated was extremely cold and its light too flaring. Quite a few was scared by it and could not stand properly. Unconsciously, they had begun to step back continuously.

And Zhan Bai and Meng Ruping was now at the most critical stage of their life and death.

Meng Ruping swordmanship was extremely high and moreover his swiftness movement arts were also agile. The way he moved was like an extremely agile monkey moving around and his swordplay was extremely vicious. All his strokes were aimed at Zhan Bai’s vulnerable positions. He could not wait to kill Zhan Bai hence removing this love foe.

Zhan Bai’s internal strength was vigorous therefore his breathing and execution was steady. His swordplay was orthodox and his hands, eyes, body, stroke, steps and in all ways were all extremely steady as though he had practiced long and hard before. As his swordplay was orthodox, honorable and aboveboard, there seemed to be an air of graceful poise and he seemed have a demeanor of a grandmaster.

As Meng Ruping fought with him, he was feeling weirder and weirder for Zhan Bai’s swordplay was the most commonly seen swordplay in the martial fraternity called the ‘Thrice Swordplay’. He only added a few weird additional modifications to it and it was not at all useful and brilliant.

He had always thought highly of his swordplay and was renowned as a swordsman too but still, he could not gain any advantage over him at the moment! He had already carried out several secret killer strokes and yet Zhan Bai did not panic and remained extremely composed as he used a simple stroke from a simple swordplay and neutralized his intricate killing strokes.

At this moment of time, they had battled close to a hundred exchanges without an outcome.

As Meng Ruping was growing impatience and coincidentally when Zhan Bai executed a stroke from the ‘Cosmos Return’, and hack across onto his head, this gave him an excellent opportunity!

Suddenly he blended over his body. Not only did he avoided Zhan Bai’s attack, he also counterattacked with a stroke from the ‘Moon’s Reflection’ and hurriedly hacked at Zhan Bai’s underneath!

Zhan Bai reacted by springing upwards and he displayed the ‘Meteorite over the Moon’ and once again aimed at the top of Meng Ruping’s head once more.

According to convention thoughts, Meng Ruping should have immediately use ‘The Evading Wind’ or the ‘Divine Bee’ to avoid Zhan Bai’s ‘Meteorite over the Moon’.

But he was too eager to claim a victory and therefore he thought he would try a risky stroke so as to achieve victory. Therefore he did not dodge or move and thrust his sword upwards with a stroke, the ‘Million flowers Meeting the Buddha’ and aimed directly at Zhan Bai’s chest.

Indeed, this stroke was extremely risky. If Zhan Bai swiftness arts were higher and he could change his position in mid air, and hovered upwards by three more inches, he would have pierced the top of Meng Ruping’s head.

But after close to a hundred strokes of exchange, Meng Ruping had figured out how the extend of Zhan Bai Zhan Bai swiftness agility. He had calculated that Zhan Bai could not know how to change his position in mid air nor could he hovered upwards, therefore he executed this risky stroke.

But did Zhan Bai really do not possess the ability to change his position in mid air? He could! It was because his martial arts and internal power had improved too rapidly that he himself did not know the potential of his internal power! Moreover he was also lacking in fighting experience and he expected Meng Ruping would dodge his attack.

But when Meng Ruping did not back off and thrust his sword horizontally towards his chest and Zhan Bai knew that he could not evade it and saw that he was about to be killed…

Those with average martial skills would never have saw how risky this stroke was but the [Twin Ironguards of the Jin Residence] and Jin Caifeng knew that this stroke was risky beyond compare and all of them gave out a startled cry.

“Ruping!” [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] gave a great shout, “What sort of fighting style is this!” And he sprang forward…

It was too late.

Zhan Bai panicked and he tried to muster all his internal powers onto his wrist and hand, channeling all the surrounding vital internal energies into his sword and swung it, knocking Meng Ruping’s black long sword away onto the ground leaving Meng Ruping stunned with his mouth opened.

Zhan Bai immediately flinched his wrist and landed the cold blade of the Heartless Precious Sword at Meng Ruping’s throat.

When Meng Ruping had saw that he was defeated, he was so miserable that he could feel as though a million arrows had just pierced him. This was the first time that he had been defeated in such a miserable state! And his beautiful face turned gray.

Zhan Bai had not expected he could freely muster and withhold his internal power to this stage. So when he placed the Heartless Precious Sword onto Meng Ruping’s sword, he too, was stunned and did not continued anymore.

“Hahaha!” [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] arrived like the wind and he was in front of them. He laughed heartily before he said, “Young fellow, you are really something! You have won and it is such an admirable victory! But it is just a duel to display both your inherent talents. Since both of you do not have any enmity with one another, that is enough. You can now sheathed your sword!”

Even though the [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] was very old, he had a ruddy red face and his bearing was majestic and commanding. His voice too was like a loud thunder and he had a charismatic presence.

Zhan Bai did not wish to kill someone who could not retaliate and moreover his plot to avenge his father was still undiscovered, he was still a guest in the Jin Residence. Also, he did not to be accused of killing an innocent. Of course, [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] played an important role with his commanding voice as well.

Therefore he sheathed his sword and stepped eight yards back before saying, “I will pay heed to old senior.” But he continued to face Meng Ruping and coldly said, “As long as you do not consider everyone else beneath you and to go about with your nose in the air…”

“Filthy rascal! Don’t be a too sure of yourself!” Meng Ruping thundered, “See if you can handle this or not!” He waved his left hands and a multitude of dazzling green light furiously flied towards Zhan Bai.

Meng Ruping used the ‘Showering the Skies’ method to launch the secret projectiles of the [Heavenly Bronze Coin] that was so famously known throughout the pugilist fraternity as the ‘Golden Coin Darts’.

“Older protégé brother! How dare you!…” Jin Caifeng exclaimed in startled cries…

[Crouching Iron Back Dragon] was equally shocked, “Ruping!” Zhan Bai was a guest of the Jin Residence and he had heed his advises and sheathed his sword. But he never expected that his own people did not respect his reputation and took the opportunity to make such a vicious sneak attack!

Therefore he thundered out angrily, “What are you trying to do…” And at the same time tried to knock down the darts with his windforce from his palms.

But the ‘Golden Coins Darts’ were specially made and the method of throwing was equally unique. Even the powerful windforce of the [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] could not knocked all the darts down! And several darts sped past him faster than before like meteor showers and aimed towards Zhan Bai!

There were three golden clanks of metals and three golden flare as three of the golden coin darts were knocked down by Jin Caifeng! It was because she had already prepared three golden coin darts in case of an emergency earlier.

When she saw that old senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] failed to knock down all the darts, she had launched hers.

But there were still four darts that were left! The golden coin darts were aiming at Zhan Bai’s shoulders and his legs!

When Jin Caifeng tried to take out more of her golden coin darts to save Zhan Bai, it was already too late. Her beautiful crescent face turned pale…

Zhan Bai tried to dodge the darts by tumbling but could only dodge three of them. He was struck on his left shoulder and the dart went deeply into his shoulder as fresh blood oozed out!

Zhan Bai felt a chilling energy on his injured shoulder and it went straight into his organs! He knew instantly that the secret projectile had been coated with poison! He was startled immediately but he clenched his teeth tightly and endured the pain. Quickly, he sealed his accupoints on his left shoulder and with his right fingers and then secretly used the ‘Golden Vest’ hand method to force the dart out.

“Young Hero Zhan!” Jin Caifeng quickly took out a pill and melancholy cried out, “This is the antidote. Hurry and administrate it! Or else…”

Zhan Bai clenched the golden coin dart that he had forced out and his expressions were terrible. And there were tears of blood flowing from his eyes. He did not even noticed Jin Caifeng soft and demure voice…

Jin Caifeng was flabbergasted when she saw the terrible expressions on Zhan Bai. She could not help but feel a chill in her heart.

She said in a trembling voice, “Young Hero Zhan, please do not be like this! It is my older protégé brother that wronged you. Wait for my brother to come back and I will surely inform him and asked him to administrate justice on your behalf!”

As she said, she tore off the clothes from his injured shoulder and administrated the antidote into the wound. She used her jade hand and massage continuously…

But Zhan Bai was not paying any attention. His mind was far away and was thinking of a sorrowful thing. But no one else knew what was in his mind…

When Meng Ruping had saw how concerned Jin Caifeng was towards Zhan Bai, his jealousy was once again ignited and he was prepared to use the golden coin darts once more.

“Ruping!” Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] thundered aloud, “What are you doing? Are you not showing me at least a little respect and really wants me to make a move on you?!”

But Zhan Bai was not aware of the commotion and when Jin Caifeng helped him to administrate the antidote, he did not notice too. It was because he suddenly remembered how terrible his father had died. This golden coin dart was similar to the bronze coin and one of the six objects that his father had given to him just before he had died!

Immediately, he had imagined how his father was surrounded and had fought six powerful exponents. It was such a bloody scene. His father, Zhan Yuntian of the Thunderbolt Sword fame with his Heartless Precious Sword was trapped in the midst of the six most powerful exponents of his time. Did they attack him at the same time or did they use a wolf pack tactic to wear him off?

He really would not guess but he was sure that his father fought till the very end and exhausted all his vital internal energies before Jin Jiu or maybe others as well began to use their secret projectiles on him! Finally they began to descent upon him and began to hack…

But why did these people of the Jiangnan Seven Heroes fame who had sworn together in a brotherhood and swore to die together suddenly decided to gang up against his father? It was a mystery that was hard to figure it out!…

Zhan Bai continued to think. If his father did not die, he would share equal fame and renowned with the Jiangnan Seven Heroes and he himself, would grow up too with the status that was accorded to the present four young masters of the martial fraternity. At the very least, he would be travelling alone with his parents as they sojourned across the pugilist fraternity joyfully and led a carefree life. Unlike now, he was forced to wander in a downcast manner across the pugilist realm and had no place for him to settle. He was really pitiful!…

But Zhan Bai had a sudden realization. He was now without doubt that this golden coin dart was indeed Jin Jiu’s bronze coin dart! This proves that this Jin Jiu was without doubt his father’s killer and although he took a risk by entering the Jin Residence, he did not have the opportunity to see Jin Jiu yet.

But if he were to kill jin Jiu’s favorite disciple, he would surely appear! Now that he had this opportunity, why not take this chance to avenge for his father? If not, would he have any more chances in the future?

When his thoughts cleared, Zhan Bai suddenly shouted, “Stand where you are!”

This explosive shout was burst out from Zhan Bai vented up hatred and infused with his vital internal energies. His voice was like thunderbolt and it deafened the ears of all the others, causing them to feel a piercing breaking pain!

After Meng Ruping was yelled by Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon], he picked his black long sword and turned to move away. But after he took two steps, he was halted by Zhan Bai’s shout and he immediately turned around and stared viciously at him. “I will surely stand where I am! Hehe! Do you really think with your lousy swordplay, you can really win? That is because I am careless, that is why you managed to this small opportunity for victory. If it isn’t for the sake of Old Senior Gongsun, you will surely have died earlier!”

Zhan Bai unsheathed his Heartless Precious Sword and said, “There is no need to be so courtesy. We can start afresh and who is the strong, who is weak, there will be an outcome soon enough!”

Meng Ruping flashed his black long sword in his hand and exclaimed, “Do you think I am afraid of you!”

“Young Hero Zhan!” Jin Caifeng anxiously pleaded, “You are carrying an injury now. Do not be bothered with him…”

Even Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] said, “Let get over this. We have already seen everyone’s strength and what is the point of another fight? This is not a vendetta…”

Zhan Bai pushed Jin Caifeng away and said, “Today, no one can stop us! If he do not die, then I will perish then!”

Everyone was astonished and thought that they were really going to kill one another. But they did not know the vendetta in Zhan Bai’s heart and the fire of jealousy in Meng Ruping’s heart had both ignited a burning fire that was three thousands feet high.

“Good!” Meng Ruping shouted, “Today, I will surely end this with you!” And he charged at Zhan Bai with a stroke ‘The Fire Prawn Piercing the Sun’.

Zhan Bai knew by now that Meng Ruping’s internal strength was not as solid as his foundation. He had depended on the mysteries and intricacies of his superior swordplay. Not wanting to lose his opportunity for as time flew, he might be on the losing end, he too, charged into the fray a ‘Making Waves off the Southern Seas’.

This type of swordmanship and fighting style was an extremely rare sight in the martial fraternity. Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] was overjoyed while Jin Caifeng was startled. Even Old Senior [Iron Wing Bird] was showing emotions on his face as they all grasped.

Both Zhan Bai and Meng Ruping were both attacking furiously. They scattered the vases and various decorations in the court as they fought from one end to the other.

At first, it was Zhan Bai that was making all the attacks for more than ten strokes, and Meng Ruping was in a state of panicky as he tried to fend it off. Then when Meng Ruping got a breathing space, it was his turn to attack Zhan Bai continuously with his many superior swordplay, all of it extremely vicious and aimed at Zhan Bai’s most vulnerable positions.

But when it was Zhan Bai’s turn again, he too responded again with hurried attacks.

The people in the martial fraternity had never witnessed a fight like this one. Even the [Twin Ironguards of the Jin Residence] and all the veterans of the pugilist fraternity here who had seen and been to countless number of fights had never saw such a level of crazy fight before! For awhile, everyone was looking dumbfounded and even forgot to stop the fight…

Jin Caifeng was in a state of panic and she did not know what to do. She did not want Meng Ruping to hurt Zhan Bai but she also did not want Zhan Bai to hurt Meng Ruping. No matter, among all the others, she was the most anxious.

But both of them were fighting like crazy tigers and her voice was hoarse from shouting but they did not seem to bother and was focused on their intense and vicious fight.

Both their fighting style was exceptional unique. One made use of his great agility and superior swordplay, the other had a good foundation in his internal power and steady swordplay.

The entire court was now in a chaotic mess as more than a hundred strokes had been exchanged by both sides. It seemed that even if two hundred strokes were to be exchanged, there would still be no outcome.

Many started to heave and sighed. This fierce battle was a once a lifetime scene. Quite a few began to wonder what might the result be once the battle concluded at the end?

The [Twin Ironguards of the Jin Residence] were too engrossed in the fight and forgot their supposed responsibilities and duties. Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] was gesturing with his hands and responding with praises while the solemn face of Old Senior [Iron Wing Bird] was excited beyond measuring; he was staring intensely with his small eyes at the crazed battle that was going on.

But before long, Meng Ruping was sweating and beads of perspiration flowed from his head as his internal strength was inferior to Zhan Bai.

Zhan Bai battled more and more courageous even though blood was dripping down from his injuries on his left shoulder. He attacked furiously as though his internal power improved the more he used it.

But now, Zhan Bai had corned Meng Ruping with the light of his sword.

Meng Ruping saw that he was surrounded by the imagery of Zhan Bai’s sword and he began to feel pressurized. He began to grow anxious and knew that if it were to continue, he would surely be defeated. This was not just a matter of pride! Not wanting to be defeated, not wanting to lose his beloved, it did not matter if he lost the respect of others, even his life would not matter!

He had secretly decided to harden his will to kill and he had taken out the golden coin darts and placed it in his hand secretly!

Jin Caifeng was so hoarse from shouting that she could no longer shout anymore. Now that Zhan Bai had the upper hand, she could tell from his expressions that if he had won, he would not hesitate to kill Meng Ruping.

And Meng Ruping’s expressions were equally vicious. He had already put the golden coin darts that her father had given him into his palms. Once this life pursuing golden coin darts were released, Zhan Bai would surely die or wounded by it!

She did not want anyone of them to be dead or wounded. Therefore she was in a state of great anxiety and her beautiful face had turned ashen. She had been too anxious and when she regained some of her composure, her intelligent mind reminded her that since her brother was not around, there was still the [Twin Ironguards of the Jin Residence] that was around. Only they had the power and ability to stop this fight. She looked at Old Senior [Iron Wing Bird] who was looking intensely at the fight and said, “Uncle Ba! Will you please stop them! Or else…”

When she saw that Old Senior [Iron Wing Bird] was too engrossed to take notice of her, she suddenly remembered that he was a weird person and sometimes did certain thing that was beyond the comprehension of the others. Therefore she turned towards Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] and said, “Uncle Gongsun! Will you please step in and stop them from fighting!”

Gongsun Chu the [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] began to laugh happily, “Maiden, don’t you worry. Although they are fighting intensely but for the time being, the outcome…oh shit!”

Before he could finish, there was a horrible loud scream and blood was scattered everywhere!

Meng Ruping had turned horribly white and his left shoulder had been hacked off! Even though his right hand was still clutching his sword, it was now shaking uncontrollable!

When the servants of the Jin Residence saw their Master’s favorite disciple was injured, there was cries of panicky and anxiety…

When Jin Caifeng was asking Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] for help, Zhan Bai had saw Meng Ruping reaching out for the golden coin darts. He had continued with a few violence and furious sword strokes before he displayed ‘Slant Abandoned’, a sword stroke from the Wind Chaser Swordplay.

This unique masterstroke was actually a superior swordplay from the Wind Chaser Swordplay using the principle of ‘There is falsehood in the Truth and there is Truth in falsehood’. Somehow Zhan Bai had picked it up from the Fan Brothers. He had a knack of learning any skills even in duress and it was not just mimic and could apply it and modified it to his own use without knowing the techniques involved.

Meng Ruping had saw Zhan Bai’s sword towards his right side and when he wanted to throw the golden coin darts, Zhan Bai had reversed his body and now his right was his left and caught by surprise, his arm was hacked off as he could not avoided Zhan Bai’s sword in time!

And the golden coin darts, together with his arm scattered on the ground.

It was really a coincidence. If Jin Caifeng did not try to ask Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] for help, he would not be distracted and would surely have helped Meng Ruping and not let Zhan Bai hurt him.

Even though Old Senior [Iron Wing Bird] had seen it but he did not want to stop it. It was because if two sides battled with one another and one side were to perish, the person that perished deserved to die for his lack of skills and should not blame it upon others. Even if it were his own son, he would not care a hoot and he deserved it! It was because he had this view that a duel without blood was a disappointment instead.

When Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] had seen that, he knew a troublesome tragedy had occurred. He immediately sprang forward into the scene and while in midair, extended his palm towards Zhan Bai. He was afraid that Zhan Bai might take advantage of Meng Ruping in his injured state therefore he entered the fray to interfere.

But Old Senior [Iron Wing Bird] was even swifter than him and like a flying bird descending upon a prey, was on top of Zhan Bai in an instant! He was like a mountain crashing down onto him!

Two powerful hurricane windforce, one left and one right descended upon Zhan Bai.

When Zhan Bai had caught sight of such a startling power, he dared not to engage in close melee and therefore he sprang back a yard away.

There was such a thunderous clap when both Old Seniors accidentally struck one another with their palm and claw that dust flew all over the place!

When they discovered that Zhan Bai had sprang backwards, they withdrawn in time half of their might but the power generated was still so awesome. The foundation of their internal power was indeed absolutely startling!

But Zhan Bai shown no sight of being afraid and he waved his sword to say, “Does the two Old Seniors wish to interfere and fight with me as well?”

Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] sealed the accupoints of Meng Ruping’s accupoints on his upper left shoulder to stop his blood loss. Next, he immediately two servants to hurry and get some medicines…

As for Old Senior [Iron Wing Bird], he said coldly to Zhan Bai, “Rascal! Why don’t you hack off your shoulder now to save me the troubles of doing it later!”

Zhan Bai waved his sword but before he could say anything, Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] interrupted with a laughter. “Second brother Ba! Let them settle it themselves! Why should we interfere? If this gets out to the pugilist fraternity, won’t we be a laughing stock and others would say we are using our seniority to bully the weak! Let these junior pugilists handle it on their own!”

Meng Ruping who just had some medical aid from the servants now walked towards Zhan Bai. He stared at him viciously and said, “I will never forget this vendetta, I will surely take vengeance for the loss of my arm!”

Zhan Bai retorted, “I will surely welcome you anytime, anywhere!”

Surprising, Old Senior [Iron Wing Bird] seemed to be extremely obedience to Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] and did not say a word more now.

As for Jin Caifeng, her beautiful face had turned pale and she did not know what to do now…

Zhan Bai paid a respect to Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] with his hands and said, “Old Senior, if there isn’t anymore thing, I take my leave now!”

Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] was taken aback, “Young Fellow, why not wait till tomorrow? Wait for our Young Master to be back before leaving, alright?”

“I really have urgent matters to attend to and cannot afford to wait any longer,” Zhan Bai replied. “My sincere apologies and many thanks to you. I will now take my leave.

When he had finished, he sheathed the Heartless Precious Sword and once again, bowed with his hands and turned around to leave…

“Young Hero Zhan….” Jin Caifeng called out hurriedly thrice but Zhan Bai did not for once turn his head around and walked away.

Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] stared at Zhan Bai all the way till he had vanished from sight but he did not say anything more to hold him back…

When Zhan Bai left the Jin Residence, he did not attempt to stay in any Inns for the night but he traveled throughout the night towards the Mountain Rocks of the Twelve Caves.

Ch21 End

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Chapter 10

But…” She sobs and said. “Don’t you know that what you going to do have a heavy price…From now on, you have become the traitor to the Pugilistic Fraternity. No one will forgive you…just like…no one will forgive me. You are still young…And you still have a very bright future…You should be respected by others…admired by people…In this vast Pugilist, there is no other person that have a future as bright as you…handsome, young, wealthy…born from a aristocracy family, comes from a respectable Orthodox Clan…Why did you want to throw everything away, just…so…because…of…me…”

Even in her sorrowful speech, her voice could not have been much clearer.

Nangong Ping lifted his head to the skies and he solemnly said. “You don’t have to say it anymore. As long as I can face my conscious, I will not care for the insults of others. For the sake of the justice of the Pugilistic Fraternity, I can even sacrifice my future. What does everything matter.”

When he thought of this, in his innermost heart there was a chill. Because the extreme loneliness was something that not even a hero could endure. But his voice remained as steady and his weak body became a body of will that could stand firmly even if it was a hundred blows coming. Even if he would die, he would not regret it.

Now he was beginning to understand this ‘Cold Blood’ maiden. He strongly believed that beneath her icy cold surface hid a warm heart that was like a fire – But this was not easy to be found out for because of the ignorant of others, she had long ago hidden this warm heart.

He unwittingly reached out his hands to softly comb her long flowing hair.

“Loneliness can be easily put aside, but wrongs are very hard to endure…” Mei Yinxue softly said. “All these, I have long endured. These heart breaking pain, you…still young. You will not understand how much willpower you will need to hold yourself together.”

Her voice had by now started to be composed but her words leaked out more of her heartbreaks.

Nangong Ping sighed and said. “The span of a human life will be over in a fickle of a finger. I only want to live a life of knowing what is good and evil, no sense of guilt just like Protégé Master and that is enough.”

Mei Yinxue lifted her head and at the same time, four eyes strangely gentle merged together. At that instant of time, they forgot all the happy and unhappy feelings, beyond the pains of life, death and sickness. They even forgot their status, place and age!

Therefore, they enjoyed a moment of golden silence.

At the same time, far away, slowly stood up a man in black. He looked idiocy at this man and woman almost to the point of complete stoniness. His eyes were admiring yet at the same time felt pity, yet there was a small trace of envy.

Therefore he could not resist sighing.

Nangong Ping and Mei Yinxue was suddenly startled and got up and said at the same time. “Who?”

And they saw a shadowy figure from far away running over to them. In an instant, he was here.

Nangong Ping exclaimed. “It is you.”

Mei Yinxue tears had dried and her face regained her composure. She coldly said. “How would Mount Tian disciple be this sneaky?” In her all life, she liked to act strong and most afraid of her tears being seen by others. Therefore she at this moment was most afraid that this Mount Tian disciple who had suddenly appeared had secretly heard her and saw her composure.

Di Yang, who had been sighing earlier, was now covered with a laughing and smiling face. “The words of the Cold Blood Concubine are indeed very chilling to the bones…” He ceased his laughter and said in a serious tone. “But when I arrived here, I have no intention to sneak.”

Mei Yinxue coldly hummed and turned her head back.

Di Yang felt a heart wrenching pain in his heart but still he laughed merrily. “Mei Yinxue, do you know why I am here for?”

Nangong Ping paled and asked. “Are you here too for…”

Di Yang laughed. “Wrong, wrong. Even if you don’t say it out, I know you are wrong.” He ceased his laugh and said solemnly. “Although you and I only meet once but I strongly believe that what you been doing, will definitely not be a disgrace to the righteousness of the Pugilistic Fraternity. So how will I come to with ill intention!”

Nangong Ping was silence for awhile and could not help sighing. He slowly said. “I did not expect that in this whole wide world, there is another person that understands my difficulties…” His words were filled with gratefulness. And this telling sign of a friendship caused the breeze to be filled with a warm feeling.

Mei Yinxue turned her head, softly laughed awhile and said. “Then…I must have really wronged you!”

Her frosty face had suddenly changed to a smiling face. It was really like a barren desert that suddenly bosomed forth a flower. From now on, if anyone were the bosom friend of Nangong Ping, so would he be her bosom friend. Even though she might loathe a person but if that person could praise Nangong Ping, she would also turned her loathing to a smile.

Di Yang really did not dare to look at this smile that was like a flower. He lowered his head and suddenly laughed merrily. “Do you know that I have come to report my contribution?”

Nangong Ping was slightly startled. Only to hear Di Yang laughed and said. “Do you know what cause that big fire to start?”

Nangong Ping was filled with appreciation in his heart. If it were not for that big fire, now he would not know where would he be.

This appreciation that was so delightful that it caused Nangong Ping to bow to Di Yang. Although he was filled with gratefulness but he did not know what to say.

Di Yang smiled. He knew that this soundless appreciation was even more esteemed than speech. It was so heavy that he did not know how to do with it so he could only try to laugh it off to calm his heart that was very touched by his gesture.

“When I descended from Mount Hua,” he laughed. “I too, have reached Xian. But I arrived late and Xian City was already in a state of pandemonium. I tried to squeeze in and asked what happened. When I secretly took a peek above, I saw the Chief of Zhongnan Sect and you in a painstaking duel. I analyzed the situation and knew that it cannot be resolved. And it was also impossible to lend you a helping hand. Therefore…haha, therefore I could only sneak around and set the fire.”

Nangong Ping looked at Mei Yinxue from the sides of his eyes. Mei Yinxue said. “Just now I have already said, I have wronged him.”

Di Yang laughed. “Don’t worry, don’t worry. This ‘sneak’ word, I unintentionally used it.” He merrily laughed and said. “That ‘Eternal Restaurant ’ although it was built grandly but who would expect that, it would not hold the fury of the fire. I only set three, four torches and the fire spread like wildfire. When I saw the two of you escaping out from Xian City, I would not resist the temptation to follow. After searching for quite a few, I finally found the both of you. Actually I just want to meet you and there is no other reason.”

Mei Yinxue softly sighed. “You are not here to simply talk to him. You are afraid he would be badly injured and I am unable to take care of him…Haiz. I didn’t expect you to be such a good friend. But a pity…a friend such as you, is very rare in this world.”

Although Di Yang felt very touched in his heart but his mouth laughed merrily. “Maiden Mei, although you can be uncanny accurate but you think of me as too kind.”

Although Nangong Ping too was feeling touched but his mouth said. “I was slightly hurt but now I am alright now.”

These two young men although they had a warm heart but they were also haughty. Although they felt very touched but was unwilling to display it on your face. Although they were filled with a warm feeling, they acted like they were nonchalance.

Mei Yinxue smiled and smiled. “Is my guess wrong?”

Before she could finish, there were a eerie laughter coming from afar. And a man coldly said. “Naturally you have guessed wrongly. Those that secretly set fire, would he be a hero and a real man? How could he be a good man!”

Nangong Ping, Mei Yinxue and Di Yang were startled at the same time and turned their body!

In the darkness was a man with a snowy white fan. He was like a phantom that slowly made his way to them.

Di Yang straightened his body and immediately plunged forward like an eagle and attacked with his powerful hands.

The man in black laughed and commented. “What an extraordinary fast swiftness movement skill!” And he avoided Di Yang’s attack and reached the front of Nangong Ping.

Nangong Ping greeted him. “It is Hero Ren!”

Di Yang lowered his hands. He knew now that it was a friend and not a enemy.

‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping laughed. “Who will expect that the person that set the fire is from the Mount Tian Clan!”

Nangong Ping did not expect that this person would be here so he introduced him to Di Yang.

Ren Fengping laughed aloud. “Young hero Di, the one that constructed the Eternal Restaurant did not use inferior materials. It just that I have added some combustible materials that the fire spread like wild fire!”

Di Yang laughed and said. “People said that ‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ is an extraordinary hero from beyond the Pass. Now that I have seen it, it is indeed true.”

Ren Fengping said. “I am concerned about the whereabouts of Nangong Ping and this man who set the fire. Therefore I have followed!”

He took a glance at Nangong Ping, Mei Yinxue and Di Yang for awhile before he said solemnly. “After today, Mei Yinxue and Brother Nangong will find it difficult to move around in the Pugilist. I wonder what are your plans for the future?” His speech seemed honest but in his eyes he seemed to disguise something.

Nangong Ping sighed. “After today’s matter, I know that I will not be forgiven by the people in the Pugilist. But as long as I am without guilt, it doesn’t matter anything to me. Most probably I will visit Zhijiao Manor once. If I got the time, I will go to my hometown to pay my parents…”

Ren Fengping said. “Other places you can go but these two places you cannot go.”

There was a slight change in the expression of Nangong Ping as Ren Fengping explained. “Do not blame me for being straightforward. When Maiden Mei roamed the Pugilist doing whatever she cared to do in the past, she really made a lot of enemies. I believe that after what happened in Xian today, in a matter of days, the whole of the Pugilistic Fraternity will come to know that Maiden Mei is alive and her enemies will come knocking. If they cannot find the two of you, they will most likely to come knocking into those two places. Although the both of you are highly skilled, but you cannot win the masses…Haiz! Moreover Brother Nangong fellow clan brothers and sisters…” He solemnly sighed and then stopped.

Nangong Ping seemed to ponder while Mei Yinxue coldly laughed and asked. “Therefore, in Hero Ren opinion, what should we do?”

Ren Fengping paused for awhile to consider as he knew that in front of this clever maiden, he must not say the wrong words.

“I am stupid therefore I can only provide some ideas.” He smiled and solemnly said. “Maiden Mei made many enemies during her time in Pugilist. Although they are the same enemies but times have changed now.”

Mei Yinxue looked puzzled and asked. “How do you explain it?”

Ren Fengping explained. “At that time, these people are scattered all over. Among themselves, they do not know who is the also the enemy of Maiden Mei. Moreover owing to the circumstances at that time, no one will be willing to say it loud. But after ten years, the times are different. If those people know that Maiden Mei is still alive, they will be sure to group together to seek vengeance.”

There was suddenly a very mysterious smile on her smiling face as she slowly added. “Are they all coming just so for vengeance? I afraid…” Suddenly she looked at Nangong Ping and immediately stopped.

Ren Fengping said. “No matter what. In my humble opinion, just the two of you will surely face many dangers…”

Nangong Ping interrupted. “You mean to say that we should seek shelter in…another Clan?” His voice was solemn and unhappy.

Ren Fengping smiled awhile. “With the status of two of you. I won’t say the word ‘Shelter’ even if I have the guts to say so.”

Mei Yinxue coldly said. “Hero Ren. If there is anything please say it out directly. Isn’t better than going around the bushes?”

Ren Fengping laughed. “In the presence of the smart people, there is no need for secrecy. If there are no friends that stand by you, I afraid it will be very hard for you to walk around in the Pugilist in the future. The two of you have a bright future. If you carry on like this, it will be such a waste.”

Nangong Ping sighed. “In this world, other than the two of you as my righteous friends, where can I find more.”

Di Yang laughed and said. “I am minor but Brother Ren…Hehe. He is indeed a undeniable hero of the pugilists and a Hero from the beyond the Pass.”

Ren Fengping smiled in appreciation. “What I have is only a title. How can I ever possibly be compared to you? Both of you are young, handsome heroes–” Suddenly he stopped and solemnly added. “But I have the fortune to know a friend. He is really a talent among talents. And he has a most heroic heart. He even knows the formation stratagems, music, chess and painting. As for his martial skills, it is even more extraordinary; he could use a leaf or a flower to wound others. He loves to make friends and his hospitality greatly exceed that of mine.”

Mei Yinxue secretly laughed coldly in her heart while Nangong Ping and Di Yang was impressed.

If it were others who said a similar thing like this, it would seem unbelievable. But from the mouths of ‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping, the temptation to know was different.

Therefore the two of them asked at the same time. “Who is this man?”

Ren Fengping smiled. “He stays beyond the Pass. Very few people know of his name but the name of Shuai Tian Fan would be known far and wide in future.

Di Yang commented. “What a dashing name.”

Nangong Ping said. “If such an extraordinary person will to come to the Central Plains, I will surely want to know him. Unfortunately I do not know him.”

Mei Yinxue asked. “Then Hero Ren, your meaning is, if we can make such a man as our friend, then all our troubles will be over?” Her tone was still cold and icy.

Ren Fengping said. “Brother Nangong, the Pugilist Fraternity is like a scattered sand. Kunlun has long been dominating the western region, Shaolin dominating the Central Plains, Wudang dominating in the areas of Jiangnan. Further south is Diancang and to the east is Huangshan. To the north is Mount Tian and to the west is Zhongnan. All of them possess their own techniques. All of them have long wanted to dominate the entire Pugilistic Fraternity and potentially caused the entire realm to enter into chaos.

It was only of what happened in Huangshan in the past that caused grievously the loss of so many pugilists and because the ‘Divine Dragon and the Phoenix’ had been leading the Pugilistic Fraternity that the realm is currently at peace.”

Although his words had left the topic but Nangong Ping and Di Yang listened on with interest.

Ren Fengping added. “But now the various Sects and Clans are slowly regaining their lost strength and secretly on the move. Now that the Divine Dragon had disappeared, the balance that is holding the Pugilistic Fraternity is gone. If within a year, there is no one to hold the balance, the entire realm will be in a state of chaos.”

His words were like gold that impressed deeply in the hearts of men. Nangong Ping and Di Yang felt their hearts stirring.

Ren Fengping glanced at them and was secretly feeling happy at their expression. He added. “What have been divided will be whole again. Peace will come again after chaos. This will occur naturally. If during this time of chaos, there is no one in the Pugilist that could uphold righteousness, then the chaos caused by the hundred clans would not only cause chaos, plunder and rape would also be inevitable. If it still descended into chaos and no one can stop it, then how sorrowful will it be?”

Nangong Ping sighed. “Indeed. This is an excellent foresight.”

Ren Fengping smiled and said. “I don’t have the hidden talent of a crouching dragon. That Shuai Tianfan is the real Zhuge (Zhuge Liang (AD 181 – 234) was one of the greatest Chinese strategists of the Three Kingdoms period, as well as a statesman, engineer, scholar, and inventor. Zhuge is an uncommon two-character compound family name. His name (or even just his surname) has become synonymous with intelligence and wit in Chinese culture) from beyond the Pass. Although he has not even stepped into the Pugilistic Fraternity but his ability to analyze the situation of the realm is the same as actually witnessing it. To be honest with the two of you, I have stepped into Yumen, acting under orders to search from among the numerous pugilist heroes, to find those with the guts and enlightenment to resolve this situation. So that in future, we can uphold justice and righteousness for the entire Pugilistic Fraternity.”

Di Yang narrowed his brows and added. “Excellent thoughts for righteousness. But a pity there is no wine here or I will want to merrily toast you three times.”

Nangong Ping was perplexed in his heart and he became silence with many thoughts in his mind.

Mei Yinxue could not help but coldly laughed awhile and secretly thought. “I see that this Ren Fengping is a persuader for that Shuai Tianfan to buy over the hearts of others. Alas, alas, this Shuai Tianfan wants to dominate the Pugilistic Fraternity. He has such a wild ambition.” She paused to consider. “The appearance of Ren Fengping is most extraordinary, his martial skills outstanding. Even his words are inspiring and are anything but ordinary. What is more, he is also a heroic figure with a warm heart. No matter which angle I analyze, he can be considered a talented hero. Even that ‘Manshan Two Brothers’ listen to him. And he is only a persuader for that Shuai Tianfan. From these, that Shuai Tianfan martial prowess, talents and intellect are indeed unfathomable!”

When she had thought to this point, she could not help but felt astonished in her heart. She noticed that Ren Fengping did not say anything now but was like a speculator that was looking at their reaction before he said. “Brother Nangong, with your martial skills, talent and intellect, with your family wealth, the future of the Pugilistic Fraternity will definitely be yours. But you are unfortunately to be involved in a messy situation that could not find the understanding of your fellow pugilists.”

“Even your fellow clan brothers will not be able to understand. You cannot move front or back, surround by enemies from left and right. Even if you have a thousand grievous but you still cannot earn the trust of the world. But if you will to co-operate with Shuai Tianfan and with the aid of this heroic Brother Di, there is no difficulty that cannot be resolved! Once the matter is over, not only can you uphold justice and righteousness for the Pugilistic Fraternity but also summon all the fellow pugilists and explain the head and tail from the beginning to the end. At that time your status will be different and your words will be golden instead. Will there be anyone in the Pugilistic Fraternity that dared to say a word of disrespect to you? Not only will you not be in any danger; you will also be famous throughout the world. Even ‘Zhijiao Manor’ will hold a important place in the Pugilistic Fraternity realm forever because of your fame!”

His words although said in a grave tone but every single word seemed to move the hearts of the listeners. It really caught the attention of the listeners and once they had listened, they could help but feel moved.

Ren Fengping looked at Nangong Ping and Di Yang, observed their expression and laughed aloud. “As the saying goes, if the hearts of two joined, it can severe gold. If the two of you will to join forces with me, in the future, the whole world will belong to us brothers!”

Mei Yinxue rolled her eyes and softly laughed. “According to Hero Ren, in less than ten years, this exceptional talented Shuai Tianfan will be the Alliance Chief of the entire Pugilistic Fraternity?”

Ren Fengping laughed. “If we could have the aid of the young hero Nangong Ping, in less than ten years, we can indeed control the situation of the Pugilist in our hands.”

He was very satisfied and proud, very sure that these two men would be moved by him.

Mei Yinxue softly laughed. “This Hero Shuai lead a recluse life outside the frontier, have not yet stepped into the Central Plains but already have the lofty aspirations to dominate the Central Plains and the Pugilistic Fraternity. It is really very impressive and worthy of respect.”

Although her smiles were very demure, beautiful and sweet but her words were actually that of disdain. But Ren Fengping, who was feeling sure, did not noticed it all.

He smiled and said. “The three of you are very intelligent people. I am sure you will understand my efforts…”

Mei Yinxue rolled her eyes again and softly laughed. “Hero Ren kind intentions, we are indeed very moved but…” She looked at Nangong Ping who did not show any expression and was in thoughts.

Therefore she softly laughed and added. “We are in a very critical situation now and we are on the run. But Hero Ren grand plans are so far from being fulfilled. And that Hero Shuai is not even in the Central Plains yet…”

‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping laughed and added. “Since everyone have the intention to participate in this grand scheme, I as brother will not dare to hide anything from everyone.”

He ceased his laughter and said solemnly. “Although it appeared that I have only been in the Pugilist for a few months but in fact, I have been within the Pass for five years. These five years, I have established in the Pugilist some foundations. But because the time is not ripe, therefore there are no one in the Pugilistic Fraternity that know about it.”

Mei Yinxue giggled. “Putting other things aside, just Hero Ren unfathomable martial skills alone is an amazement!”

Ren Fengping looked pleased and said. “For my selections of talents, those ranked in the middle I have found quite a few friends but those ranked on the upper echelon, are so few. Therefore it is the reason why I need the great support of the three of you because very soon, that Shuai Tianfan will enter the Pass.”

Although he thought of himself as brilliant but he did not know that the demure Mei Yinxue was drawing him to relax his guard with her beautiful smiles and her alluring eyes had already captivated him.

Nangong Ping and Di Yang had a slight change in their expression but Ren Fengping eyes shone brightly in a dazzling light. He added. “Not far from here, I have a villa. Although it is simple but it is quiet. I am sure no one will disturb the three of you. Unfortunately I have to remain in Xian City for awhile therefore I am unable to accompany you.”

Mei Yinxue purposely sighed in disappointment and slowly added. “Then what shall we do?”

Di Yang looked on seemingly frustrated while Nangong Ping knew her she had always been like that therefore he kept quiet and waited what would happen next.

‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping smiled. “No to worry. Although I am unable to accompany the three of you but there will be someone to lead…”

Suddenly he stopped and he looked at the three of them.

The smiles on Mei Yinxue face grew even sweeter while Nangong Ping kept his composure. Although Di Yang was getting impatience, for the sake of Nangong Ping and Mei Yinxue, he endured.

Ren Fengping was pleased with their expression therefore once again he recovered his smiling face and reached into his clothing and slowly said. “Although I want to be eager friend with the three of you but you may not believe yet…” His hand took something from within his clothing. Mei Yinxue, Nangong Ping and Di Yang took a glance and saw that he had a taken out three colorful sacks that shone like gold.

Mei Yinxue laughed lovable for awhile and then asked, “It so beautiful. What is it?”

Ren Fengping solemnly said. “Until now, those in the Pugilist that have seen this is rarer than rare…” He respectfully opened one of the sack and everyone caught a strange sweet aroma coming from the sack. From it, he took out a square ordinary purple wooden tablet and respectfully put it into Mei Yinxue’s hand.

Mei Yinxue lowered her head and noticed that this ordinary looking tablet had an exquisitely workmanship. On the surface was a craving of a picture. On top it was a Buddha that sat on the high clouds above the peak of a tall mountain. And behind the image, was the setting sun. And in the cloud was a man whose looks were impossible to tell although it was very bright around him.

On the other side of the tablet were the lines of a Tang poet Gao Shi taken from the Song of a Sparrow. A man should have roamed carefree in the turmoil of the Pugilist realm.”

Mei Yinxue had been looking at it for sometime now with her head down. She looked up and laughed. “The man that was on the tablet, is it that of Shuai Tianfan?”

Ren Fengping nodded his head and replied, “This ‘Fragrant of the Wind and Rain Tablet’ belongs to Shuai Tianfan.”

He smiled and gave the two other sacks to Nangong Ping and Di Yang. “Because I want to gain the trust of the three of you, I make an exception to ignore any paper works and entrust these tablets to you.”

Mei Yinxue played with the tablet gently with her hand and then laughed. “What paper works?”

Ren Fengping replied. “Once the three of you reached the villa, you will know naturally!”

He suddenly clapped his hands with both his hands and there was a loud noise as the figure of a man that moved very fast appeared. He was one of the ‘Manshan Two Brothers’ Chang Sun Dan!

He moved lightning fast and was besides Ren Fengping in an instant. He looked maliciously at Mei Yinxue but when he saw the tablet on her hand, he was startled.

Ren Fengping smiled. “Brother Chang Sun, I know you have a misunderstanding with Maiden Mei but from now on, we are a family. Brother Chang Sun, you should forget about the past.”

Chang Sun Dan paused to consider for awhile before he coldly said. “I have already forgot about it.”

Mei Yinxue laughed lovingly and said. “Wow, what amazing speed!”

Ren Fengping laughed. “Can I bother Brother Chang Sun to accompany them to the ‘Fragrance Scent Manor’. I have some business at hand in Xian but I will hurry to meet up with everyone after I am done!”

Chang Sun Dan said. “Then…the sword…”

Ren Fengping laughed. “Brother Nangong, the precious sword that you have left behind in Xian City, I have sent my people to find it for you already.”

Nangong Ping who was in deep thoughts was startled to hear that.

Chang Sun Dan took a long sword from behind his back and coldly said. “The scabbard may not fit.”

Ren Fengping took the sword and handed it over to Nangong Ping and smiled. “Just now when I entered your room at the villa, I had already saw this famous precious sword. Later, I did not see Brother Nangong carrying it besides you. I hope I did not offend you by bringing it to you.”

He did not wait for Nangong Ping to appreciate his thanks and turned to Di Yang to ask. “Brother Di, do you know what so special about the wooden tablet?”

Di Yang who had been looking perplexed coldly laughed. “No matter how special this wooden tablet is, I will never become the claw of some one that want to dominate the Pugilistic Fraternity. Humph, humph…” He turned over his hand and threw the sack down on the ground and looked in the sky and refused to take a second look at Ren Fengping.

Ren Fengping was startled and his expression changed. He croaked. “Brother Di, you…you…”

Nangong Ping took a deep sigh and said. “I am really appreciative of Brother Ren kindness. If that Hero Shuai is to come through from the Pass, I hope that I can be friend with such a great heroic figure but…” He sighed again and handed over the sack to Ren Fengping and added. “I am stupid, have no talent and moreover I am too willful. Therefore I am afraid I am unable to participate in Brother Ren grand plans. But, alas…I will never forget your kind gestures.”

He was born to be appreciative and kind. Although he appreciated the kind intention of Ren Fengping but he was not willing to be brought over by someone.

But he felt he owe something to this man therefore he was sighing.

Ren Fengping turned bronze green, clenched his hands tightly and seemingly almost crashed the sack that he was now holding. He turned slowly and looked at Mei Yinxue.

Mei Yinxue laughed and said. “I am for anything…” She gently laughed and returned the wooden tablet to the sack.

Nangong Ping expression had a sudden change while Ren Fengping eyes shone.

Mei Yinxue laughed and added. “But I don’t have any ambitions and guts therefore I can only give a thank of appreciation to Hero Ren. But…” She suddenly placed the sack into her dress and lovingly laughed. “I like this sack and wooden tablet very much so I am loath to return it to you. Since you have been so generous in giving it to me, I am sure you will not be so petty as to take it back. Hero Ren, do you agree?”

Di Yang could not resist making a laugh and noticed that Ren Fengping turned very pale and was stunned.

Ren Fengping slowly stretched down, picked the sack that was on the ground and looked very downcast.

Nangong Ping felt sorry for him and solemnly asked. “Brother Ren, if you need anything in future…”

Before he could finish, Ren Fengping burst out in hilarious laughter. It was icy and shrieking.

“Very good!” He laughed. “It seem that I am blind today. I see that the three of you have been making a fool out of me…”

Suddenly his laughter ceased and he slowly said word by word. “But since the three of you have known of my secrets, do you think you can leave here alive? Hehe! Do you really think Ren Fengping is an idiot!” He clapped his hands and he moved back seven feet!

From all around, in the shadows, more than ten men appeared with maces.

Nangong Ping, Di Yang, Mei Yinxue was startled while Chang Sun Dan remained solemn and flashed a sword!

Ren Fengping said in jest. “If I have no confidence to seal your mouths, would I dare to reveal those secrets in front of you?” He made a signal and his men surrounded Nangong Ping, Di Yang and Mei Yinxue.

Nangong Ping swept his eyes around and suddenly coldly laughed. “The feeling of appreciation and gratefulness have now been washed away by your this gesture!”

Ren Fengping coldly laughed. “It doesn’t matter if you are grateful to me, humph, humph! There is no difference now.”

Nangong Ping laughed. “Hundreds of pugilists surrounded me at Xian City. Will these tens of men cause me to lose my life here?”

Di Yang said aloud. “For those with the guts, they can also have the taste of the Mount Tian Divine Sword!”

Ren Fengping coldly laughed. “Let me show you the result of five years of my painstaking effort whether it is any different from those rubbish in Xian City.”

Mei Yinxue solemnly said. “Don’t try to attack first, use inaction to counter action.
If there is anything wrong, clear a path out of the formation first…”

Ren Fengping said aloud in a clear voice. “Heaven!” then “Earth!” Tens of men attacked at Nangong Ping, Di Yang and Mei Yinxue at the same time in a tremendous show of force that startled them.

Nangong Ping shouted as he drew his long sword on his right hand. Mei Yinxue dress fluttering in a dance while Di Yang readied his fists as the three of them stood back to back with one another.

“Wind!” Hissed Ren Fengping.

The attacks grew even fiercer with the chains swinging and making ding dang sound.

Suddenly Di Yang cried out as a silver chain appeared like lightning struck him.

This formation was very deadly. It made use of the silvery reflective light of the maces, the sound of the strong wind caused by it and the ding dang sounds of the chain made this formation truly terrifying.

Mei Yinxue said in a startled voice. “Not good!”

Before she could finish, Di Yang tried to stand but another chain struck him. Without pausing to think it over, he caught hold of the mace with both his hands and his hands felt terrible. He was suddenly in pain from his left waist as well. But he charged to the black clad man with the mace he caught and both of them fell startled to the ground!

Nangong Ping used the sword to protect his body. Although the Fallen Autumn Leaf was a precious sword, it was not because it was renowned for its sharpness but because it was the sword of a famous man. But at this moment when Nangong Ping slashed it with all his might, its power was extraordinary!

There were a few sounds and three of the strange looking weapons which were really Morning Stars were fell by him. He turned around and saw Di Yang had fallen to the ground in a startled cry.

When Mei Yinxue saw that those men were using Morning Star Maces, she thought. “No wonder Ren Fengping does not seem worry!”

One must know that the Morning Star Mace was a type of weapon that was rarely seen in the Pugilist. Not only were it hard to be proficiency in it but when there were many people, it could even hurt the wielder. But if one manage to specialize in it, the power of the mace would be doubled.

Since those men were able to use such a weapon, it would appear that they had been highly proficiency in it. Not only were they co-operating very well, they would not even hurt themselves, and the display naturally were most extraordinary.

Mei Yinxue was worldly wise with experience that she had gained while she was roaming the Martial Fraternity therefore when she saw this formation; she actually had the intention to retreat. But when she saw Nangong Ping standing up to fight, she did not know why her heart was aroused too. Now she did not care for her own safety anymore and with a soft shout, she floated speedily in a wave of strong wind and blocked off the seven maces for Nangong Ping that were aiming at him!

Nangong Ping raised his long sword in all directions and ran towards the side of Di Yang who had fallen.

Mei Yinxue became very pale because she knew that the next instant when the maces struck, Nangong Ping will surely be wounded by those maces!

 Now there were silvery light everywhere in that instant when she had been in thoughts. She heard Ren Fengping shouted. “Frost!”

Mei Yinxue turned her body around and dashed across to Nangong Ping. She heard a shout and immediately the waves of morning stars were withdrawn and all the attackers took ten steps back.

Ren Fengping who was directing the formation noticed something went wrong with his Array and was startled. This ‘Heaven Wind Silvery Rain Array’ was created to dealt with the top exponents of the Pugilist therefore a lot of efforts had been expended on it. What most intricate about this formation over the ‘Eight Array Formation’ was the use of ‘Heaven, Earth, Wind, Rain, Sun, Moon, Cloud, Snow, Frost’ totaling nine changes that could constantly attack and aided one another. Although the changes were not complicated but he strongly believe the strange array and formation created, had the ability to bring down any top exponent!

As he did not saw Di Yang who wounded by it and deeply afraid that this painstaking formation would be destroyed, therefore with a shout, he dispersed the formation. Now he gently floated into the middle of the array…

Nangong Ping lowered his body to inspect Di Yang who was bloodied but his left hand was holding the throat of a strong man in black Di Yang was holding so tightly that his fingernails continuously had blood flowing out. That man wore a leather glove on his left hand and his mace was clenched by Di Yang’s right hand high in the air and it crashed onto the head of the man.

Nangong Ping was startled in his mind and he caught hold of Di Yang by his wrist and when Di Yang turned his head over, he noticed that he was covered with blood. This young man was wounded for the first time and it was also the first time he had ever killed some one. Therefore when he saw his own blood, his senses were in a state of confusion and he looked shockingly at Nangong Ping and at the mace.

The blood dripped from the mace coldly on Nangong Ping’s hands. The icy cold blood affected him as much as Di Yang. From now on, he would never treat the lives of others lightly.

Ren Fengping who had drifted to the middle saw the scene and laughed coldly. “I see that ‘Mount Tian Divine Swordplay’ is really nothing at all!”

Mei Yinxue coldly laughed. “But the so and so Mount Tian Divine Swordplay has caused your array to be in a state of confusion. It lucky that you have the foresight to disperse the array or else…hehe.”

Although she laughed it off but actually in a heart, she was secretly startled by the power of this array. She added. “Look at the broken head of your man, are you not afraid…”

Before she could finish, Ren Fengping broke into an eerie and hilarious laughter.

Nangong Ping appeared vex and said aloud. “Why are you laughing? Do you think that the loss of lives and blood is a funny matter?”

Ren Fengping ceased his laughter and coldly said. “Do you know flowers and trees need to undergo trials to grow?”

Nangong Ping was startled for he did not why he suddenly said something so irrelevant.

Ren Fengping added. “Martial arts and arrays are the same as flowers and trees. In this world, no matter what type of martial skills, no matter what type of arrays if they are not tested in blood, they will never be nurtured and grow. Although one of my men had died but his blood will cause this ‘Heaven, Wind, Silvery Rain Array to be more developed. It is indeed a joyous matter, why don’t you laugh?”

This explanation caused Nangong Ping to be very upset and sorrow at the same time. Sorrow because he suddenly remembered the martial skills that he had learnt was developed in blood too. He could not help but sighed. Every single words of this Ren Fengping were as sharp as blades that pierced deeply into the heart.

‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping smiled and said solemnly, “I am not here to make enemies of the people in the Pugilist realm. Therefore this Heaven, Wind, Silvery Rain Array is really not meant not to be used…”

He suddenly sighed deeply and added. “In Xian City, thousands of pugilists surrounded you and even your protégés are not understandable towards you. Only I, Ren Fengping at the risk of offending the wrath of everyone…alas! You have caused me to go against my own intention and was now trapped by my array!”

Nangong Ping sighed deeply.

Mei Yinxue coldly laughed and added. “You failed to intimidate us and are you trying to use a soft approach now?”

Ren Fengping said solemnly. “Since the three of you refuse to listen to my sound advise, therefore I will let you witness the true power of my Heaven Wind Silvery Rain Array.”

Mei Yinxue softly shouted. “Hold it!” And her body floated in an elegant flash, seemingly like she was flying across the field.

Ren Fengping secretly exclaimed. “What a terrifying swiftness skill!” And Mei Yinxue had landed in front of him. He laughed aloud. “Do you really think by retaining me in the middle of this Array, it will not be able to unleash its power?”

Mei Yinxue replied. “That is right.” She softly laughed and added. “I want to retain you here.” And her hands moved to hit Ren Fengping on his Ping Jian Jin accupoint!

Ren Fengping lowered his glance, as he did not dare to look at the captivating smile on her face as he tried to evade. At the same time his left hand reached toward her beneath her waist as he said coldly. “Forgive me for not accompanying you!” And he lifted his body up by the force of his right leg.

Mei Yinxue laughed most lovingly as she exclaimed. “You will not be able to leave.” She lifted herself up like a python using the strength of her right shoulder as her dress fluttered as she hit his ankle!

Ren Fengping was very startled as he immediately once again tried to lift up again and his hands homed toward her but could only hit her sleeve.

Mei Yinxue captivating laughed as she danced in mid-air. “You should come down!” And some bits of the clothing from her sleeve dropped to the ground.

Before she had finished, Ren Fengping was forced to the ground and guarded his front with two hands. He looked intently at Mei Yinxue. Just now when she exhibited the stance of ‘Flying Cloud swiftness skill’. It was done so casually but her mastery of the gravity, her flow of vital energies was actually in the acme of perfection. Even the present Chief of the Wudang Sect, Priest Tingxin did not have her martial ability.

Nangong Ping was secretly startled. Until now, he had never witnessed Mei Yinxue actual martial ability. It was much higher than he original thought. When she hit the ankle of Ren Fengping in such a causal way with her hand, she seemed to guise several other moves as well but because she had not meet any worthy opponent, she did not use any.

He was puzzled and at the same time admiring her. During those ten years while she lay in that dark narrow coffin, not only was it suffocating to be inside, it could drive anyone insane.

But then this strange extraordinary maiden had not only regained her destroyed martial ability, it was such a painstaking and hard thing to do, she also managed to master the hardest skill in the inner strength category, the art of longevity. And her stances and strokes also seemed to have been greatly improved tremendously.

He really could not guess how she managed to lay her hands on such a secret and extraordinary martial ability to create this miracle that was never seen for the hundred of years in the Pugilistic realm.

All those thoughts flashed in his mind while Di Yang slowly got up.

Ren Fengping coldly laughed and slowly said. “Do you wish to surrender or fight, decide it now.”

Mei Yinxue exclaimed. “I purposely want to delay the time! Is it not allowed?”

Ren Fengping coldly added. “Then you should hastily prepare for the burial of Di Yang!”

Nangong Ping was startled and asked in shock. “What did you say?”

Ren Fengping looked up at the sky and then slowly added. “On the surface of the silver mace, there is poison. If it contact with blood, it will act. There is no antidote…” He looked at Nangong Ping and continued. “If you wish to save your friend, you should make a decision now!”

As he was afraid of Mei Yinxue martial skills therefore he finally revealed this secret weapon of his.

Nangong Ping grew very pale and turned over to glance at Di Yang who was now looking rigidly and losing his normal countenance.

Mei Yinxue rolled her eyes around and coldly said. “I will not be bowed by mere words!”

Ren Fengping coldly laughed. “I afraid that in your heart, you know that it is not mere words! Although you are cold hearted and cold blood, you don’t even care about the life and death of your friends but…”

He looked at Nangong Ping and added. “Nangong Ping, are you such a person too?”

Nangong Ping felt his heart stirring.

Mei Yinxue softly exclaimed. “If I capture you, will I be afraid that you will not hand over the antidote?”

Ren Fengping coldly laughed and said. “I don’t have the antidote on me and moreover…Hehe! Can you really capture me?”

Mei Yinxue looked perplexed and suddenly laughed coldly. “It really so funny. Alas it is so funny! I thought how great is ‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping but he is only so and so!”

Ren Fengping pretended not to hear while Mei Yinxue coldly laughed. “Using this method to force others to join you is the dumbest thing to do. Even if others will to join you, will not that person betray your secret after that? When that moment occur, you will deeply regret it.”

Ren Fengping laughed. “Not to worry you, maiden. If I do not have the ability to subdue dragons and tigers, I will not suggest it.”

Mei Yinxue secretly exclaimed. “Haiz!” She knew that her stratagem of attacking him using psychology did not work.

The two of them were strong willed and in this round, none of them managed to use words to move one another. As they were astonished by the ability of one another, they tried not rushed into a senseless fight first and hope to use words to move one another, hoping to score a victory without a fight.

Mei Yinxue was once again filled with a beautiful captivating smile. She suddenly had a thought. She would first attack Ren Fengping unprepared and hit his accupoints. If she did not succeed in the first attempt, she would immediately back off and before the Array could be activated; she would take Nangong Ping with her and break free of the Array.

But suddenly there was a sudden shrieking from the sky. It came from a crow!

Mei Yinxue was startled for this crow suddenly plunged on Ren Fengping face and seemingly wanted to gouge his eyes.

Although Ren Fengping was startled, he immediately retaliated with his hand! This hand was so fast and this crow was flying headlong towards him and could not have avoided it. But the crow suddenly evaded his attack by flying backward! And it flew up into the clouds and disappeared!

Ren Fengping looked on in shock. His hand was still in a offensive position and he seemed reluctant to put his hand down. Although there were many strange and wondrous creatures but a crow that can fly backward, from ancient times till now, there were never any occurrences! He thought. “Can this bird be a wondrous bird that looked like a crow?” He could not help wondering over it.

On the other hand, Mei Yinxue and Nangong Ping were puzzled as well.

Suddenly there was a queer shout coming from afar. “Move aside, move aside!”

And there was some initial confusion in the Array as they opened a path.

‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping looked on unhappy and said aloud. “To be confused even before a fight cannot be forgiven. Have you all forgotten?”

Even before he had finished, a white hair thin priest in robe of blue walked in strides into their midst all the while shouting. “Move aside, move aside!”

This priest looked imposing and his left hand was on his front. On that hand sat a crow. When Ren Fengping glanced over, he noticed that the queer sound came from the crow. He was suddenly very startled within him and he broke into cold sweat. A crow that could fly in reverse direction was startling enough. But a crow that could talk was even more startling. Ren Fengping had a wealth of experience from roaming the Pugilist and his cunning was even more unfathomable. But at this moment, his countenances underwent a great change.

Mei Yinxue rolled her eyes to glance and immediately she too lost her composure.

This priest carried a smile on his face but it was his crow that shrieked. “The moon is not dark, the wind is not high, how can you commit murder and arson in the vicinity of Xian City?”

Although its voice was crude but every single word was clear.

Mei Yinxue felt her legs growing soft and she almost wanted to cry out in surprise.

As for Nangong Ping, he too was very startled and he immediately thought of one man and he said. “You…”

The priest looked at him and silenced him, therefore Nangong Ping stumbled and looked at the priest startled.

Ren Fengping tried to suppress the terror in his heart and he asked. “What tidings brings a secular priest here?”

That priest laughed merrily while that crow shrieked. “Why did you only greet him, did you not see me?”

Ren Fengping was shocked beyond words. To greet a crow was really very ridiculous.

The white hair priest laughed. “My crow friend here is haughty but his seniority is very high. Even if you greet him, what does it matter?”

Ren Fengping was stunned for awhile before he raised both hands in the most unwilling manner to greet the crow. He seemed to be deeply affected by the strange crow and the expression of the priest therefore he obeyed.

There was a tingle of laugh in Nangong Ping’s eyes, as he seemed to think it was very funny. Mei Yinxue was secretly puzzled for she knew that with his character, he would never poke fun at a senior pugilist. Therefore her suspicious was aroused. Although she was exceptional smart, she could not guess the reason.

The white hair priest laughed. “Very good. Very good manner child. It seem that my trip is not being made in futile.” He looked solemnly at Ren Fengping and said. “By accidental, I saw an ominous outlook here as I was passing through. As I could not bear to witness the calamity that is to befall a hero therefore I am here.”

Ren Fengping looked confused and slowly asked. “I do not quite understand the meaning of the words of Senior.”

White hair priest sighed. “Do you know that your luck is at its lowest now and if you are involved in bloodshed, you are sure to invite calamity. Although you and them have a deep grudging vendetta but today you should try to wash your hands, the earlier the better.” He did not look at Nangong Ping and Mei Yinxue, seeming disliking them. He solemnly added. “If the two of them try to fight you, for the sake of that respectful greeting, I will help you to fend them off.”

Ren Fengping expression changed and he was seemingly shocked for words before he slowly asked. “But…”

The white hair priest looked perplexed and said aloud. “But what? Do you not believe me?”

“Calamity befalls and still do not wake up from your senses. What a pity, what a pity.” The crow shrieked.

Ren Fengping remained rooted to the ground and he was terribly pale. He looked at Nangong Ping, Mei Yinxue and then at the priest and the crow and slowly said. “It is not that junior do not believe you but today I have to settle something and…”

The priest coldly added. “And what I say, is too mysterious and you find it too hard to believe, right?”

Although Ren Fengping did not say anything but in fact, his silence was the best indication that the priest was correct.

The priest laughed aloud. “In my entire life, there are no one that ever doubted my predictions because I have never predicted anything wrongly. Since you do not believe, are you really trying to end your own life?”

The crow shrieked and laughed in a strange manner. “Since you want to die, it is really easy, easy…”

Suddenly Ren Fengping thought of a person and he became very pale. “Senior, are you the renowned Heavenly Crow Priest who know all things in advance and whose prediction is always correct that is so famous in the Pugilist years ago?”

The priest laughed. “Very good. At least you know my name. That is right. I am that Heavenly Crow priest that reported disasters and not fortune!”

Ren Fengping slowly asked. “But…but according to the rumors of the Pugilistic Fraternity, Senior had long…passed away…”

The priest laughed. “More than ten years ago, I am weary of the illusion of living, therefore I fake my own death. I can’t believe that so many in the Pugilist actually believe that.”

Still Mei Yinxue was feeling very surprised inside of her. She had long ago heard of this priest that was so famous in the Pugilist for his uncanny ability to predict the future. He only predicted disasters and was never for once wrong. As long as he told someone that a disaster would befall him, it would surely happen. Therefore the people in the Pugilist nicked him as the Heavenly Crow Priest. Although crow sounds disrespectful but everyone in Pugilist lavished him with much respect.

The doubts in Ren Fengping mind totally disappeared.

The priest turned over and asked Mei Yinxue. “Did the two of you heard me?”

Mei Yinxue glanced at Nangong Ping and gently nodded.

The white hair priest ‘Heavenly Crow Priest’ continued. “I have the intention of rescuing him from this calamity, do you have any objections?”

Mei Yinxue was more than intelligent. How could she not know the priest was secretly helping them? Therefore she replied, “Since Senior has spoken, naturally there will be no objection.”

The white hair priest ‘Heavenly Crow Priest’ waved his hand slightly and turned to look at Ren Fengping. “Then leave while you can. If you delay it, it will be too late.”

Ren Fengping secretly sighed. “I am grateful by the kindness of Senior and I will want to extend my thanks to you again at some other time.” He shouted. “Let go!” He had a upper hand in this situation but now he left in a mercifully released manner and he did not even harbor any hatred or unhappiness. In fact he was very grateful to the Heavenly Crow Priest.

Ren Fengping men had long wanted to leave ever since they had saw the talking crow for they were frightened by it. So when they heard the order to retreat, it seemed like a pardon from the emperor and they respectfully bade the priest goodbye before they left hurriedly.

Ren Fengping looked viciously at Mei Yinxue for awhile as if he wanted to say something but at last, he sighed deeply, turned and left hurriedly. In a flash or two, he had disappeared into the darkness

Nangong Ping did not say anything till Ren Fengping was far away. He suddenly sighed deeply. “You have use trickery again, alas! If it isn’t for the sake of Brother Di, I…” He suddenly felt so guilty.

Mei Yinxue was left wondering by Nangong Ping.

That white hair priest suddenly laughed. “This is a tooth for a tooth. To dealt with such a cunning heretic, what wrong with tricking him one or two times?”

Nangong Ping sighed. “It’s not honorable…to trick”

Mei Yinxue was startled. And she was even more puzzled and could not resist asking. “What trick?” Although she possessed the fruit of wisdom but she could not tell what was the trick all about.

As the white hair priest knew the character of Nangong Ping, therefore he did not blame him for faulting him. He gently pat the crow feathers and laughed. “Crow friend, crow friend. It is all thanks to you!” He turned his wrist as though he wanted to severe something and raised up his right hand. “Go now!”

That crow shrieked and spread its wings to soar into the darkness.

When Mei Yinxue saw that he set such a wondrous spiritual bird away, she was very startled and puzzled inside. Therefore she could not resist asking. “Haiz…will it still return?”

The white hair priest laughed and laughed. “Maiden, you don’t have to feel pity. There are so many crows around, I can capture ten of them anytime I want.”

Mei Yinxue glanced at Nangong Ping and slowly added. “What is going on around here, I really cannot figure it out…” She was so sure of her unrivalled intelligence that when she encountered something that she could not solve, she could not help feeling frustrated.

The white hair priest laughed. “It is a form of psychology attack that is used on a strong foe. It really unbelievable that this trick of mine managed to fool the ‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping and that even the world famous Peacock Concubine was fooled.”

Nangong Ping sighed. “After seven years, I really did not expect to see you again outside Xian City. And you even rescue me from this difficulty. And I really did not expect…alas! It been many years and your behavior did not changed at all…” He sighed and shut up. His speech was filled with delight but also regret.

The old white priest ceased his smiles and slowly said. “To tell the truth, I did not use this trick for many years already. But when I saw the crisis that had befall you, I am forced to…”

Nangong Ping sighed. “You have come to save me, naturally I am grateful. But this method of yours, is not honorable. You have drifted in the Pugilist all your life, don’t you want to create for yourself a respectable, honorable, righteous reputation and did something earth shaking so that future generations will know?”

Although Nangong Ping voice was composed but it was sparking with righteousness and the white hair priest countenance was sunk and he lowered his head.

Nangong Ping slowly walked up to him and patted him on his shoulder. “If my words are strong, please do not blame me. You must know that if I do not feel proud of a friend such as you, I will not say it. Moreover, your kindness caused me to feel extremely grateful in my heart.”

The white hair priest lifted his head and smiled and basked in the light of friendship. He grasped Nangong Ping’s hands and asked. “All…these years, are you good?” He asked with great concern.

Nangong Ping nodded and replied. “I am good. What about you?” His calm composure was moved as well and his eyes shone with tinge of reflective light.

Mei Yinxue was lost in deep thoughts of her own. Suddenly she clapped her hands and softly laughed. “I know it!” She turned around and was besides the white hair priest in an instant as she caught hold of his wrist.

Nangong Ping asked solemnly. “What is the matter?”

Mei Yinxue captivating laughed. “You look, there is really a black string in his hand. Haha! The crow that can fly in reverse was actually caused by the string in his hand when he pulled it.”

The white hair priest laughed. “Maiden you really have a most exceptional intelligence, there is nothing that can hide from you.”

Mei Yinxue was smiling proudly while Nangong Ping looked at her. She looked more delighted than any child that was given delicacies and beautiful clothing did. He could not help thinking. “Although she look very cold and frosty and unapproachable. But in reality, she has an innocent heart but…Alas! The people in the Pugilistic Fraternity only know of her cold outlook but none of them know the kind heart that is within her.”

Mei Yinxue ceased her laughter and she looked perplexed. “But…that crow that knows how to speak in our tongue really muddle me!”

White hair priest laughed aloud and he suddenly used that strange shrieking sound and said. “Maiden you have been walking in the Pugilist for a long time. Did you ever heard of a strange magic trick used by wandering peddlers?”

Mei Yinxue listened carefully and observed that from the chest of the white hair priest echoed the shrieking sound of that crow. She was immediately stunned and asked. “What magic trick?” Although she had long roamed the Pugilist realm but all her associates were top exponents in the Pugilistic Fraternity, naturally she did not know of this unorthodox trick.

Nangong Ping explained. “This skill is call ‘Ventriloquism’. It makes use of the air channels in the body and emit is out from the muscles inside. It is a high art in the eyes of the wandering peddlers and also extremely hard to train…”

The white hair priest laughed it off. “It’s just an unorthodox skill, there is nothing to be proud of it.”

Nangong Ping said solemnly. “Any skills that are mastered are not to be taken lightly. It just depends if it is used correctly.”

Mei Yinxue softly sighed and slowly said. “I will never expect to know that from the lower echelons of the pugilists, there is such an wondrous skill. If you say it is an unorthodox skill, I think otherwise and feel that it is a amazing skill. But a pity that I have never heard of it before.”

Nangong Ping slowly added. “The world is big and the creatures that dwell in it wondrous. It is not something based on just a person foolish intelligence to grasp all its mysteries. Those people that try to know everything, usually do not know anything.” (Referring to Mei Yinxue)

The white hair priest sighed, feeling grateful inside.

Mei Yinxue secretly sighed in her heart but still she retained a captivating smile on her face and asked. “Since you are not that ‘Heavenly Crow Priest’, then who are you?” She had always been very strong willed. Although her most innermost thoughts had been hit right on the mark by other but she did not show it.

Nangong Ping composed face floated a smile. He seemingly almost wanted to burst out in laughter at the thought of that priest name.

The white hair priest sighed and replied. “My name is Wan Da, a guest under the residence of Nangong Master.” He suddenly smiled. “But the people in the Pugilist nicked me as some one who knows everything, therefore I am forced to be acknowledged as Wan Shitong (Someone who knows many things).”

In his laughing fits, he lifted his glance and saw that Mei Yinxue remained solemn and did not have any tinge of jest. So he asked. “Don’t you feel it is a funny name, maiden?”

Mei Yinxue sighed and said in a serious tone. “Unless it is someone who is exceptional brilliant, unless it is someone that pursue knowledge, unless there are tens of years of hard work, how will anyone nick you as “Wan Shitong”. I greatly admire this name and I don’t find it to be funny.”

Wan Da was startled and he was greatly moved for he found someone that could understand him.

Nangong Ping sighed. “If it not someone who is exceptional brilliant, who else is able to say aloud such an extraordinary line.” (Referring to Mei Yinxue)

Mei Yinxue was delighted and she laughed captivating for awhile.

Wan Da sighed. “Ever since you become the protégé of the Divine Dragon Clan, those who were your proteges had now scattered. I wandered throughout the Pugilistic Fraternity with no accomplishments…Alas! Today I come to the Northwest hoping to witness the duel between the Phoenix and the Divine Dragon. And at the same time pay you a visit. But I was late and when I arrived at Xian City, I heard that the Peacock Concubine has returned to the Pugilist realm. I also heard of your heroic duel with the Chief of the Zhongnan Sect at the Eternal Restaurant.”

He sighed and added. “I know then you have finally accomplished something in your martial ability after many years. I feel very happy but I was also very worry for your safety therefore I searched the fringe of the city hoping for your news. But…”

Mei Yinxue laughed and interrupted. “But your psychology attack aided us to beat off Ren Fengping or else even if we were all injured, it seemed that we would still unable to break loose of that…”

Suddenly Nangong Ping shouted. “Oh no!” As he rushed to Di Yang and under the starlight, Di Yang countenance had darkened.

Ren Fengping did not lie when he said that the mace had been applied with poison.

Nangong Ping asked Di Yang with great anxiety. “Brother Di, how are you?”

Di Yang eyes were in a daze and he could not hear him.

Nangong Ping clenched his fists tightly and broke off in cold sweat.

Wan Da took a look and immediately his countenance changed. Nangong Ping turned around and asked solemnly. “Is there any hope?”

Wan Da was silence for awhile before he sighed. “The poison that was afflicted to him is not the type that is commonly used in the Central Plains. And the poison has already been…I afraid…afraid…”

Nangong Ping exclaimed palely. “Is there really no hope?”

Wan Da sighed. “Unless we have Ren Fengping secret antidote, and the long gone miraculous pill ‘Against Heaven’s Will’ by the Saint of the Physicians, I afraid that even the wondrous saving pill of physician ‘Pu Ling Xian’ cannot neutralize such a strong acting poison. I can temporary stop the poison from reaching the heart but…”

Before he had finished, Nangong Ping was already on his feet. Mei Yinxue gently blocked him and asked. “What are you trying to do?”

Nangong Ping said solemnly. “Brother Di was injured because of me. How can I watch him die?”

Mei Yinxue expressions changed and said. “If you want to get the antidote from Ren Fengping, would not it be as difficult as negotiating with a tiger?”

Nangong Ping coldly replied. “Even if it meant negotiating with a tiger, I have to try.”

Mei Yinxue melancholy sighed. “Then…let me accompany you.”

Nangong Ping exclaimed. “You are now the target of the entire Pugilistic Fraternity. How can you risk yourself?” Although he was expressionless but he accidentally leaked his concern.

Mei Yinxue asked. “Why must you always think of others and not think of yourself?”

Nangong Ping sunk his expression. “If everything is for ourselves, then life will be very pitiful.” He looked up and saw that the ‘Cold and Frosty’ Cold Blood Concubine was filled with looks of concern and emotions. So he unwittingly changed his tone. “Wait here awhile with Brother Wan, if I did not succeed, I will be back very soon.”

Mei Yinxue lovingly laughed and asked. “If you do not succeed, will you be back?”

Nangong Ping said aloud. “I will definitely be back!”

Mei Yinxue melancholy sighed. “If you promise me that if you do not succeed with the first attempt, you will retreat. Only then will I not follow you.”

A hundred emotions flooded in the heart of Nangong Ping, as he could not control it anymore. He slowly said, “Even if I were to crawl, I will crawl back. But…you must be careful too.”

Mei Yinxue slowly moved her body aside for Nangong Ping. She lowered her head and said. “We will be careful!”

Nangong Ping looked at her intensely only to hear her said in a clear voice. “If you are not careful with yourself, I…I…anyway I will wait here for you, no matter how long.”

Nangong Ping slowly extended his hands but suddenly he lowered it and he solemnly said. “I go now.”

Wan Da who was looking intensely sighed. “Is this maiden, really the Peacock Concubine?”

Nangong Ping was startled. “Naturally it is real.”

Wan Da said. “If I did not witness it myself, I really cannot believe that the Peacock Concubine will…” He sighed and shut up. He really could not believe that the Cold Blood Concubine Mei Yinxue would show such heart wrenching concern and feeling for anyone.

Nangong Ping was standing rigid onto the ground. He could only felt an unspeakable warm feeling coming from his heart. Once again he looked at Mei Yinxue and said. “I’ll go now!” As he left.

Mei Yinxue held her dress as she watched him disappeared into the darkness. She softly said. “Do you think that he will…Alas! If you really the ‘Heavenly Crow Priest’, it will be best. You can tell me what facing him will be a fortune or a calamity!”

Even if it were the most intelligence person, when they encountered something that really concerned them, they would unconsciously inquire the Fates. The Cold Blood Concubine was carefree and did not concern herself with the lives of others. Therefore the thing that everyone believed, she did not. Because she did not have feeling for anything therefore she did not have anything to concern or worry about. She had no fears and having no fears, she would not respect the Fates and the lives of others.

Now that she had beginning to show signs of concern and fear. She started to regard his life much more precious than hers had ever been. This feeling had came so sudden and dyed red the plain white environment of her life.

Wan Da sighed deeply and slowly said, “Nothing can overcome his righteous heart. Maiden, do you agree?”

He looked at her and saw that Mei Yinxue was looking in the sky for Heavens to protect his well being and did not heard him.
Ch10 End

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Chapter 20: The Pleading Phoenix

Time passed and for how long, Zhan Bai did not know when he had awakened. When he opened his eyes, he found himself lying on a bed.

Even though the bed was not as serene as Young Master Lingfeng’s room but its grandeur surpassed it.

He felt his throat dry and husky and his internal organs were still burning. He unwittingly said, “Water…”

A young boy with outstanding bearing and an extremely beautiful little girl was happy that Zhan Bai had awakened. They are none other than Mingming and Lanlan.

They turned around and ran out, all the while yelling, “Aunt! Aunt! He has awakened!”

And a beautiful person in mild dress entered the room. She was none other than Jin Caifeng, the [Most Beautiful Maiden in Jiangnan].

Today, she worn simply with a green ribbon on top, her long hair breezed along her. She did not have a single accessory on her and there was not a trace of cosmetics on her. But all the more, it displayed her outstanding beauty.

Indeed, her divine fragrance beauty was unrivaled! No wonder she was regarded as Jiangnan most beautiful maiden! There was a common saying, that a real beauty had no need for cosmetics and beautiful accessories. It was all too true.

When she entered the room, she looked at Zhan Bai with her wide eyes. Her watery autumn eyes were soft and mysterious. Her teeth was lustrous when she smiled at him.

When he set sight on the ever beautiful Jin Caifeng, he could not helped praising her in his heart, “So beautiful!…”

Her smiles were like a hundred flowers blossoming and her voice like golden oriole as she said, “Alas, finally you have regained conscious! Xiaohong, hurry and serve the tea!”

Zhan Bai was really thirsty and he was feeling unbearable but even before he could say it, she knew what he needed.

That Xiaohong, was the maid that he had unwittingly pushed into the pool because he had thought she wanted to snatch his secret soul binding manual! But for now, he had no other concerns except to quench his thirst first.

He snatched the cup and finished it immediately but after drinking, he was still feeling very thirsty so he used his tongue to lick the cup…

Jin Caifeng laughed, “I guess that you must be really thirsty. Xiaohong, serve him another cup!”

She was extremely beautiful, her intellect was also in the extreme. What others were thinking, she would have thought of. It was like, there was no need to say it out for her…

Even before Xiaohong could turn her body, Mingming and Lanlan had barged in and they were shouting, “Come on! Bring the tea!” They had brought a hot pot of tea.

It caused Xiaohong to be panicky and she angrily said, “Alas! My young ancestors! It is not of consequences to smash the teapot but if it were to scald your legs, it would not be funny anymore!”

Mingming artfully said, “Sister Hong, don’t you look down on others! Even if I let the pot slipped out of my hands, the water will not splash out!”

When Mingming had said that, he started to toss the pot towards Xiaohong.

“Alas!” Xiaohong’s expression underwent a great change. If it were an incoming secret projectile, she would have used her palm to knock it down or dodged it. But this teapot was from the imperial palace and was extremely precious. In fact, it was bestowed by the present Emperor and now Mingming had tossed it.

If she did not catch it well, not only would her fingers be scalded, the teapot would be broken as well! Even though her martial finesse was excellent in level but still, she was startled enough to cry out.

Just when Xiaohong was spreading her hands and was at a loss how to salvage the situation, Jin Caifeng was smiling and scolding at the same time, “Mingming! You are so naughty!”

As she said, she waved and the windforce from her palms lifted the teapot in the air by three feet and with the handle facing towards Xiaohong.

Xiaohong managed to catch the teapot by the purple gold handle. Not a drop of tea spilled over but she was so startled that she burst into cold sweat.

Zhan Bai lamented on the bed after watching the scene. These women and weaker sex had such martial abilities. Indeed, he must not underestimate them.

Zhan Bai finished the tea served by Xiaohong. He seemed to feel better but still, his limbs felt soft and lifeless.

Just then, four maids in green entered in chorus into the room. One of the maids bowed and respectfully said to Jin Caifeng, “Regards to Mistress, Young Master is here!”

“Amazing! His news is so well-informed indeed!”

Even before she had finished, Young Master Qilin had marched in followed by [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] and the [Iron Wing Bird].

“Brother Zhan, you have awakened!” When Young Master Qilin marched in, he went directly to the side of Zhan Bai’s bed and he appeared to be extremely concerned about him.

But Zhan Bai purposely avoided him and looked instead at the ceiling, ignoring him completely.

However, Young Master Qilin did not seem to mind this haughty attitude from him and he continued to express warmly, “Brother Zhan you have mistakenly bath with the “Frosty Spring water’ and the frost from the water obstruct all your vital channels. The fiery effects of the three cups of wine forcefully pushed through your channels therefore you temporary lose consciousness. But do not panic, even though your muscle and tendons have been affected and temporary is unable to move but I do have the antidote to remove the frost poison. In three days, you will recover. And…”

But Zhan Bai interrupted and replied coldly, “It is too much of a coincidence!”

Zhan Bai was extremely sarcastic when he said that. Even an unflustered person like Young Master Qilin was taken aback. But he immediately he regained his composure to said, “No wonder Brother Zhan is suspicious. And it also so coincidence that [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] had told a bad joke at the same time. This caused Brother Zhan to think that the wine had been poisoned and you had collapsed on the spot in the company of everyone. Not only me, but I Xianglin, was also fooled. I had heard from Xiaohong that Brother Zhan had mentioned that you was not used to being attended to, therefore you went on your accord to release the bath water yourself. I guessed that you must have released the wrong one and misunderstood the frost spring water for the warm one. That was why the incident happened!”

And when Young Master Qilin had finished, he laughed but he was also apologetic.

Old Senior [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] laughed as well, “But I am really impressed with you, young yellow! You actually have the courage to face death with equanimity! Impressive! Impressive!”

And this hunchback old man who was so renowned in the martial fraternity for his fighting skills burst into a thunderous laughter and gave Zhan Bai a thumb up.

However, Old Senior [Iron Wing Bird] commented coldly, “You don’t have to be so suspicious. Young Master Qilin is a true wuxia hero. Not only is he respectful to others, he is also renowned throughout the entire fraternity. If he really wanted to create trouble for you, he need not have poisoned the wine. This is all a coincidence and you have no choice but to believed it as the truth!”

Both the [Crouching Iron Back Dragon] and the [Iron Wing Bird] was known as the Twin Ironguards of the Jin Residence. Their status in the Jin Residence was highly exalted and everyone in the pugilist fraternity knew of that too. Since both of them had believed that it was a coincidence, surely there wasn’t a plot?

But still Zhan Bai refused to believe and icily replied, “It is true that I, Zhan Bai did not like to be attended upon. But the water from the bathroom is not released by me. That is the truth! I believed that both Old Seniors have always been high esteemed and words from your mouths are the golden truth. Moreover, The Jin Young Master is a true gentleman and he would not secretly plot to harm others. So then to say, I Zhan Bai, must have suffered a stroke on my own!? I would faint on my own then! Or is it because I can’t drink at all and three cups of wine is enough to drunk me?”

Even though Zhan Bai did not fault any but everyone would hear the contempt in his words.

One must imagine this. A person such as Young Master Qilin had such a high standing in the martial fraternity and allowed Zhan Bai to sullen his reputation and treat in contempt?

Even Jin Caifeng’s expressions had changed.

The [Twin Ironguards of the Jin Residence] was even more aroused to anger. And their faces were seething with rage and at anytime, they would fly into a rage…

Young Master Qilin was surprising composed and he did not seem to have the intention to revile Zhan Bai. Instead, he turned his head around to Xiaohong and told her, “Lying to your Master, disrespect to our guest and by displaying arrogance, do you know you have committed a unforgivable mistake. What are you waiting for?

Xiaohong understood immediately and her face turned ashen. She was momentum stunned for awhile before she turned around and left the room without saying a word. Suddenly there was a loud knocking sound, similar to something crashing into a hard object that came from the outside.

From the sound, it had dawned upon Zhan Bai what had happened. He could not tell feeling stunned and he exclaimed to himself in a startled revelation, “Just because Young Master Qilin softly had said a few words, she would actually choose to commit suicide? The clan laws of the Jin Residence is really strict and severe!…”

While Zhan Bai was shocked by it but no one in the Jin Residence felt any remorse or moved by it. It was as though nothing had happened!

Young Master Qilin rose up to say, “Brother Zhan, in three days, I assured you that you would recover. Please recuperate and rest well!” When he had finished, he left with the [Twin Ironguards of the Jin Residence] and the four maids without even turning his head back.

Mingming and lanlan had already gone out to play without anyone noticing.

Now only Zhan Bai and Jin Caifeng was left in the bedroom since everyone had left.

Jin Caifeng looked at Zhan Bai and said melancholy, “What my brother did, is considered flattering to others. But instead, you are irked by it!”

“Please be more specific!” He said.

Originally, Zhan Bai had already nursed the Jins. Now that he had seen such a cruel chapter in their lives, his hatred for them deepened. Therefore, his tone and mannerism was extremely icy and cold towards this Jiangnan beauty.

“Even though Xiaohong is just a maid, her position is not low at all. Because on purpose, she is negligent towards the guest therefore my brother bestowed death upon her. In most pugilist clans, isn’t this considered to be a reward already? In order for my brother to win the friendship and fellowship of the people, it is considered to be justified. Only then would they faithfully render their services to our family. But you are different…”

Jin Caifeng was about to go on when Zhan Bai interrupted her with a cold laugh, “I am not a cold blooded person. I would never use another person’s life so as to win the fellowship of the pugilists in the fraternity. Your brother wishes to use the life of another to win over my fellowship so that I would feel grateful and repay him for his special favor. But I can tell you this: Dream on! I feel especially irked by it.”

Jin Caifeng answered, “But my brother did this in a fair manner and address it according to the circumstances. He has no intention to buy your fellowship on purpose. Xiaohong lied to her lord and cannot be forgiven. Not only is she negligent to our guest, she even plotted against our guest. It is considered to be disrespectful. Since she is disloyal and disloyal and her veil is exposed, she has no face to carry on. Since she is willing to die as a penance for her deeds to purge her name, it is considered a good way for penance. There is nothing wrong with it and it is not my brother blame as well. Why did you want to view my brother with such hatred? Unless you have another reason for that or else it is hard to explain!”

The way Jin Caifeng analyzed things was way too uncomfortable for Zhan Bai. Therefore he did not want to talk too much with her and feared that even before he could unravel the opposition first, his own purpose would be discovered first. It would bring great inconvenient to his vengeance plan in the future.

But suddenly he was startled by a thought that dawned suddenly upon him and he asked, “If that frost spring water has a frost poison in it, why then is it connected to the bath? Unless, it is…”

Jin Caifeng laughed gracefully, “Even if the Jin Residence would want to set a secret mechanism to harm another, there is no need for it to be put inside the bath pools. That is for purpose of my father’s martial practice use!”

“Your father!” Zhan Bai eyes were wide-opened as he asked. “Why then did I not seen your father? Is he not at home?”

“My father is right at home now!” Jin Caifeng replied curiously and was puzzled at the question. “It is because it is not convenient for him to move around therefore he did not want to meet any guests. That’s all!”

“Then at which part of the residence is he now?” Suddenly Zhan Bai regretted asking too hastily.

“Huh?” Jin Caifeng was even more surprised, “Does Young Hero Zhan knows my father?”

Zhan Bai had a bitter smile as he tried to explain, “Who doesn’t know Jin Jiu the [Heavenly Bronze Coin]? Everyone in the pugilist fraternity has heard of his resounding name!”

Jin Caifeng smiled as well and said, “So you have heard but not seen him personally?”

Zhan Bai could only nodded his head as a reply to her statement.

Jin Caifeng said, “This is more like it. My father has not been out for more than ten years. From your age, it is not likely that you could have met my father before!”

Zhan Bai asked curiously, “Why is that so?”

Jin Caifeng shot a suspicious eye upon him and asked astonishing, “Young Hero Zhan, you seem to be extremely concerned about my father?”

Zhan Bai turned red immediately and knew that his question had been too thinly veiled and careless. Now he had aroused her suspicious. He shook his head to deny, “I am just being curious. With your father’s prestige and renown in the pugilist fraternity, I wonder why did he stay at home for more than ten years?”

It immediately put a rest to Jin Caifeng’s suspicious and her beautiful face once again regained her serenity and composure. “The reason why my father did not go out for many years is because he has a strange illness that cause both his legs to be useless. Since he can’t move, he has to stay at the ‘Harmony Court’ to recuperate.”

Now he understood the reason, he was determined in his heart not to ask further in order not to arouse any suspicious.

Since then, he had been recuperating at the Jin Residence and Jin Caifeng visited him often to take care of him. As for Young Master Qilin, he had frequent visits from the heroes of the pugilist fraternity, he did not come that often.

In a twinkle of an eye, it was now the evening of the third day. By now, Zhan Bai had totally recovered his health and body. And he had decided to leave now.

Because Young Master Qilin was not home, he could not bide farewell to him. Even though Jin Caifeng tried a hundred reasons to retain him but he had already made up his mind to say goodbye.

From her reluctant for him not to leave and from her expressions, the striking beautiful Jin Caifeng the [Jiangnan Most Beautiful Maiden] seemed to have fallen for him over the past two days.

Towards this uniquely beautiful maiden that everyone else envied and admired, Zhan Bai was not bothered in his heart. As for Jin Caifeng’s soft whispering words, her million affections and sentiments, he was unwilling to even look.

But the more Zhan Bai was not bothered and unmoved, the more Jin Caifeng thought of him as an exceptional above all the others and the more she loved him so.

“Very well. Are you really in a rush to leave here?” Jin Caifeng eyed him with a mystified eyes, “Can’t you just wait in my house for a few more days?”

“No!” Zhan Bai replied cruelly. “This is because I have important matters to attend to!”

“Is it because my house is not that pleasing and comforting or it is…” Jin Caifeng cried.

“I did not say anything of that sort.” Zhan Bai said, “But I cannot allow myself to be delayed in your distinguished residence for long, that’s all.” His tone remained icily cold.

“Can’t you stay for just one more night?…” When Jin Caifeng had said to this point, her beautiful eyes were now glittering with tears.

When Zhan Bai saw her beautiful facial became distorted and her tears were so alluring and touching, he could not but feel his heart softened. He sighed and said, “Alas! This…this is truly impossible!”

At this moment, he had finally understood. It was not because he did not love this [Jiangnan Most Beautiful Maiden]. Everyone adored beauties and moreover she was deeply in love with him! But the vengeance in his heart forced him not to accept her love.

That was why under this innumerable emotions, he had said that even though it made no sense other than to himself.

When he had finished speaking, he saddled the Heartless Precious Sword onto his back and walked with great strides and never to look back again.

It was because his heart understood that could he stay for any moment longer, he would never have the heart to leave the Jin Residence again. Should he fell in love with the daughter of his father’s killer, what a dilemma he would be in! He could not avenge for his father and if he could not avenge for his father, his conscious would never be at peace. All these would be too unthinkable for him!

But after Zhan Bai took two steps, Jin Caifeng had suddenly caught hold of his arm and cried out in sorrow, “Wait a while. Can you wait for me to say something first?…”

Before Zhan Bai could reply, a shadow came through the window like a flurry breeze!

When the shadow had lands, both Zhan Bai and Jin Caifeng would see that it was the [Heavenly Bronze Coin] favored disciple and who also grown up together with the Jin Brother and Sister – Meng Ruping the [Junior Money Jade Face]!

He was all dressed up in deep black and his handsome face was haughty. He said solemnly, “Protégé Sister, let go of him!”

“Who needs you to interfere in my affairs!” Jin Caifeng voiced out unhappily. “Hurry and get out of here!”

Meng Ruping was stunned. He had never expected that the little protégé sister that he had grown up with would tell him off rudely! Therefore it aroused his fury and he said viciously, “Older Protégé Brother is not at home and I don’t care a hoot who is to disciple you. Do you really want to cast the Jin Residence in utter disgrace…”

There was a loud pang and Jin Caifeng had slapped him tightly on the side of his face but her voice was serene as she said, “In what way am I being disgraceful? Even my brother will never dare to tell me off in this manner!…”

Meng Ruping never expected her to hit him and he stood there in stunned silence. When he had finally realized it, five red finger marks were seen on his face.

Now he turned green with envy and anger. He stared viciously at her for awhile before turning around to stare at Zhan Bai, “Little rascal, if you do not leave the Jin Residence today, I will make sure you die in the wilderness and your body scattered all over the places!”

When he had finished, he stormed out of the door.

“So it seems then,” Zhan Bai replied with a bitter smile. “That I, Zhan Bai could no longer stay in the residence today!”

But Meng Ruping had already walked off and there was no sight of him.

But Jin Caifeng said to him by his side, “Young Hero Zhan, please rest assured that with me around, he will never dare to touch even a single hair of yours!”

Zhan Bai coldly mocked, “Without young mistress flattering help, I have faith that I can still handle this on my own!”

There was a strange glow in Jin Caifeng’s beautiful big eyes and she looked at him for awhile before she shook her head to sigh, “I am not trying to praise myself. Those that have looked upon me, will all praise me for being beautiful and they will all flock to me to heap praises upon me or to curry favors upon me. Moreover, countless young men have tried to get near to me but I have never before love alone.”

She paused for awhile, “But ever since I have seen Young Hero Zhan, I do not know why, I…”

Even Jin Caifeng was from a martial aristocracy clan, a daughter of the pugilists. Her boldness and grace exceeded would naturally surpassed that of an ordinary young mistress from a rich or noble family.

But still, she was flushing with red and could not continued.

When Zhan Bai saw her coyness and shyness, it was like so beautiful like a blossoming flower. She was indeed the most beautiful girl that he had seen among all the others. What more, her heart was for him and only. It was something that even a million gold could not buy and a wishful fate that one would only hope for but not has!

He suddenly recalled from an old man in the escort agency that he once worked, telling him, “In a person lifetime, he would meet a lot of people and have a lot of friends. A blossom friend is difficult to find. And an intimate girlfriend that understands you is even more difficult to find. If a exceedingly beautiful maiden is also one that understands you, do you know how many cycles of good karma that one have to undergo so as to have that!”

But now that Zhan Bai had finally known an intimate girlfriend but she was also the daughter of his father’s killer! Therefore he could not accept her affections. This is such a woeful fate!”

Zhan Bai was left in stunned silence for a while, not knowing what to say, would be the best…

Just when both were left wordless and was embarrassed alone with one another, there was a loud laughter that caused the windows to vibrate that came from outside the door.

“Virtuous niece, I have heard that you have disgraced our Jin Residence! That little rascal…”

When Jin Caifeng and Zhan Bai heard that voice, they almost turned ashen at the same time and bolted out of the door.

“Meng Ruping!” Jin Caifeng was so angry that she turned white. She rebuked him in a shrieking voice, “How dare you slander me! From now, I, Jin Caifeng will not recognize you anymore as my older protégé brother!”

Zhan Bai laughed aloud. “I thought that you have some great means to get back at me but all you know is to slander and tell tales! And you have to ask for accompany to help you!…”

When Meng Ruping had heard Jin Caifeng scolded him in such an unforgiving manner and Zhan Bai further aggravated him further. He was so aroused to anger fit that he felt he was bursting. So he shouted loudly, “I have invited the two old seniors to bear witness! You filthy rascal Zhan, do you think the Jin Residence is a place for you to display your atrocious ways? Just me alone can take away your filthy life!”

And he drawn out his sword from his sheath and displayed a stance, ‘Displaying the Water Divine Dragon’ and attacked Zhan Bai.

Zhan Bai was no less slow and he tried to take his Heartless Precious Sword from behind his back.

But Meng Ruping did not wait for him to fully drawn out his sword and continued with ‘Dark Clouds over the Moon’, ‘Smiling Finger Southern Sky’ and ‘Punitive Bird Attack’ and attacked Zhan Bai in a lightning flash in three of his most vulnerable positions!

For a momentum, Zhan Bai lost an upper opportunity and he had to evade, block, parry and dodge all at the same time. Finally on the last stroke was he able to sprang a yard back but still he was still slower and a piece of cloth was sliced from his robe and he almost lost his leg!

Zhan Bai broke into beans of cold sweat as he narrowly avoided losing his leg and now the Heartless Precious Sword was now in his hand but it was still sheathed.

Jin Caifeng turned white with startled fright when she saw Meng Ruping almost hacked off Zhan Bai’s right leg but when she saw that Zhan Bai had just managed to avoid it narrowly, she told him off, “Are you trying on purpose to shame and disgrace the Jin Residence?”

“In what way did I shame the Jin Residence?” Meng Ruping replied defiantly, “Unlike you, you have really shamed and disgrace the Jin Residence!”

Jin Caifeng was so upset by his remarks that her jade face flustered and she hatefully replied, “You have no right to meddle into my own affairs! But when you fight with the other, even before he has drawn his weapon, you have launched such fiery pre-emptive attacks! Even my father will feel extremely ashamed of you!”

“Shut up!” Meng Ruping shouted thunderously, “He has only to blame for his poor martial skills. When fighting with others, he can’t even draw his sword out properly. Do you expect others to put a sword on his hand first instead?”

As they continued to bicker, Zhan Bai made use of this breathing space and unsheathed his Heartless Precious Sword from the scabbard.

As it was now evening, the darkness had already descended on the place. The servants of the Jin Residence had hung many lanterns to light the place. And they had also gathered around to watch with great interest as well. They did not seem the least surprised or startled by this latest commotion. It was a common thing that frequently happened in the Jin Residence.

A cold piercing light unsheathed from Zhan Bai’s Heartless Precious Sword as he yelled, “Young Mistress Jin, please move aside! Tonight, I, Zhan Bai will like to meet this so call expert!”

“How wonderful!” Not only did the [Twin Ironguards of the Jin Residence] not stop the fight, they were eager to witness the fight as they shouted.

[Crouching Iron Back Dragon] was shouting, “Young fellow! That is the right spirit! Go on and fight!”

Not waiting for Jin Caifeng to say a word more, Meng Ruping quickly thundered, “Now you have a sword in your hand, you have nothing more to add. Now filthy rascal, prepare to surrender your life!”

Suddenly as he said, he sprang into mid-air and a green glow of light emitted from his sword as he prepared to hack right into Zhan Bai’s head!

When Zhan Bai had seen his agile movements, his vicious swordplay and even before his stroke was bore to fruition, he could feel the icy cold sword energy on his face. He immediately recited the ‘Calming Meditation’ verse and executed a stance with his Heartless Precious Sword, ‘Reversing Heaven and Earth’.

Now the Heartless Precious Sword was indeed a divine weapon. And it immediately halted the advances of Meng Ruping glaring swordplay and stopped the incoming glow!

Ch20 End

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Chapter 19: Poisoned Wine

Zhan Bai was shocked that the four maidens had started to undress themselves in front of a stranger. What more, they did it under his watchful eyes as they stripped to nothing! Except for an extremely short underwear and a red cloth in front of their chest, there were practically nothing else.

Zhan Bai eyes were wide-opened at this suddenly display and he was dazzled by it. He could not even mutter anything.

The four maidens acted as if it were a routine chore for them. They had already prepared the towels but when they saw that Zhan Bai still did not take off his clothes but stared at them, they laughed and their eyes looked at him, “If you want to shower, why did you not take off your clothes?”

Everyone had something that they ought to be ashamed for. As a man that stared at unknown girls undressing themselves in front of him, unless he was crazy, no one would have the guts to do it so broadly.

Even if you were a courageous hero, if you were to be in this situation, you too would feel awkward; even though Zhan Bai had once torn off his clothing in front of a girl. But that was caused due to the effects of the ‘Enchanting Lyrical Soul Devourer Flute Play’ by [The Soul Snatching Silver Flute] Zhang Shipeng, thus causing him to lose his conscious and self-awareness.

But now he was conscious and all too aware. So how could he muster the courage to take off his clothing in the presence of four partial naked maidens? Moreover, they were looking at him.

At the same time, from beyond the bathroom door, echoed a swallow voice, “The feast has been laid, please notified our honor guest that the feast can start!”

The four naked maidens began to laugh together, “He…has not yet begin to wash yet!” When they finished, they began to laugh in chorus for several moments.

“What is the matter? After ages, the four of you have not even begun to serve…” The person stopped when she barged in through the door. When she saw that Zhan Bai was still fully clothed, she stood stunned in the center of the bathroom.

But soon after she began to laugh merrily, “Look at the four of you! Even before you have helped our guest to undress, you have helped yourself to undress first! Really! All of you are not doing any work anymore!”

Zhan Bai saw a maid dressed like the other four entered the bathroom. She was about twenty, slightly older than the other four maidens, had an elegant bearing and was graceful. Even her dress and accessories were more exquisite than the others. He supposed she must be a maid of higher position.

What shocked him was that she began to untie and loosen his clothing immediately, which made him extremely awkward and embarrassed.

In his startled posture, he tried to dodge away when the maid tried to untie his clothing on his body. But this maid was clever; it was as though she had already guessed that Zhan Bai would attempt to cower away therefore, she twisted her fingers slightly and when he cowered away, his clothing would be loosened.

She giggled and said, “Honor guest, it is the first time you have visited the Jin Residence therefore you may be unused to being attended upon. Please allowed us to attend to your needs!” And she had already removed his outer garments.

Zhan Bai was even more startled. Never did he expect a maid from the Jin Residence would possess such remarkable martial finesse.

Even though he would have easily protest with his martial skills but he would never bring his heart to injure the maid even though the owner of this residence, Jin Jiu, was his hatred enemy.

Therefore, he could only brushed in embarrassment and told her off, “Maidens! All of you go out. I can do it on my own…”

But before he could finish, something dropped on the ground from his garments. It was the colorful book…

“Yo, what is this pornographic book that it will held your attention?!” She asked and bent down to pick.

Zhan Bai was alarmed and startled at the same time! He knew that he was now in his foe’s home. Here is a place of hidden dragons and crouching tigers, everywhere there was people of extreme talents and highly accomplished martial masters.

And this Soul Binding Book was the number one book that everyone in the martial fraternity would die to have! So how could he allow others to view it?

In his panicky state, he pushed the maiden away on her shoulders and she was knocked back five to six steps and into the pool.

And this maiden came out of the pool with her silk dress all wet and translucent.

The other four maidens clapped their hands and burst into merry laughter.

“Why are you four wrenches laughing at?” The maid stared a Zhan Bai with a vicious look. Since she was unable to scold Zhan Bai, she turned around to scold the young maids, “Hurry and lift me up, change the water and attend to our guest and help him to shower!”

The four naked maids seemed rather scared of her and they immediately stopped laughing and lifted her up from the pool. They drained the water from the pool and replaced it with fresh water.

Suddenly she said, “This guest is our Young Master’s honor guest. Pouring the “Jade Spring” is not respectful enough. Use that “Gentle Home Return” instead!”

When the four maids heard what she said, they were all startled for a moment but after seeing her staring at them in a strict manner, they bowed their heads low and walked away to press a button at the other side of the bathroom door. And a gush of fresh crystal clear water came forth from the vase of the half nude statue.

But Zhan Bai did not pay attention to her. He was distracted by her white flesh and figure as she was lifted up of the pool. She was beautiful enough but now she looked miserable.

Unable to bear to see her in this state, he apologized to her, “I really can’t have you looking at the book. In my hastiness, I was too rough. Maiden, please forgive me for being rude!”

She replied icily, “We are all meant to be servants of you Masters. If our service is not to expectations, we deserve to be scolded and beaten as you wish. We can only blame our parents for giving us a life of servitude!”

But Zhan Bai knew that she had her difficulties and she must have felt wronged.

Therefore he did not mind at all and with all sincerity said to her, “I am born in poverty since young and never have anyone waiting on me before. I would like to ask everyone to go out and I will bath on my own.”

She looked in suspicious for awhile before she replied, “Your wish is my command. Since guest is afraid that our services are not as good as expected, we have to leave then.”

Then she turned around and said to the four other maids, “Dress up and then we will go!”

The four maids did not hesitated against her orders and immediately dressed up.

Just before she left, she said to Zhan Bai, “I hope that sir would hurry up and shower so as not to allow our Young Master to wait for you at the feast!”

Zhan Bai bathed hurriedly and he did not even wear the new garments that the Jin Residence had prepared for him. He wore his old clothing and left the bathroom.

Once again, he saw the four maids; they were waiting for him outside the door. Therefore he followed them to the grand hall.

Even before Zhan Bai had entered the hall, he could hear the loud merry voices of the pugilists. When he paid heed to these voices, he noticed that they were discussing about him. One said, “Although I could not tell his martial history but this young rascal is really something. Who would expect that Liang You the [River Dragon] could not even take one hit from him!”

Another continued, “His strokes are too mixed. I wonder how someone so young like him would have mastered all that?”

Then there were a series of praises.

When Zhan Bai heard that someone was praising him, he couldn’t help but feel comforted and be gratified. But then suddenly, someone in a loud voice interrupted over, “Stop blowing his trumpet! He could not even hold against one stance from our Master Ba Tianhe the [Iron Wing Bird]!…”

Just then, Zhan Bai had entered the hall and tens of watchful glances were upon him. There was a glow in their eyes. Who would have expected that the messy young man with unkempt hair that they had known earlier would emerge now with such jaded and polished face? What was more, he radiated a heroic spirit and remarkable handsome to look upon!

Even though he was still in that old clothing but there was no mistaking who he was.

Everyone was enthralled by Zhan Bai unearthly bearing and was staring wide-eyed at him, especially Jin Caifeng the [Most beautiful Maiden in Jiangnan]. Her beautiful watery eyes were looking at him and blinking from time to time at him. There was a strange and mystified look in her eyes…

Young Master Qilin was already on his feet and he bowed with his hands to invite Zhan Bai to the feast as well as introduced him to everyone present.

Zhan Bai glanced around and he saw many pugilists. All of them looked spirited and their piercing eyes were extremely intimidating. He knew instantly they were all the top martial exponents of the fraternity.

He bowed to them with his hands and heard Young Master Qilin making introduction for him,“This is Senior Master Gongsun Chu the [Crouching Iron Back Dragon]!”

Zhan Bai saw that this old man mannerism was bold and powerful, his glances were like lightning. He knew that he was definitely an extremely powerful martial exponent. He bowed with his hands and said, “Old Senior Gongsun, I have long heard of your fame!”

[Crouching Iron Back Dragon] began to laugh aloud and his voice thundered the hall, “Good fellow, do not be too polite!”

“And this is Senior Master Ba Tianhe the [Iron Wing Bird]!” When Young Master Qilin mentioned his name, he was especially polite and he was extra respectful. “Just now, Brother Zhan you have met him and as the saying goes, “Only through fighting, does one makes acquaintances”! I hope in future, the two of them will be extra close to one another.” He laughed jokingly.

Zhan Bai could feel his face flushing red as he recalled feelings of humiliation and resentments. He suppressed his emotions and did not let it surface.

Instead, he blamed himself, “Oh Zhan Bai, Zhan Bai! You can’t even defeat a guest from their residency, how could you hope to seek vengeance on their Master?…”

Zhan Bai was upset emotionally and Young Master Qilin continued to make several introductions. The people that Young Master Qilin introduced, any one of them could rampage and startled the martial fraternity with their names.

But he did not pay heed and stood in stunned expressions. It was because his heart was boiling with raging, heart wrenching emotions. Therefore he even forgot to pay the due etiquette as required of him.

Suddenly, there was a deep hum and even though the voice was too loud but it was icy cold. It came from a handsome young man in black. “He did not possess true martial knowledge and skills, did not even know the proper etiquette of the pugilist fraternity, yet he dare to sit in high statute here!

The young handsome man was no more than twenty but judging from his bearing and that he could sit among the top exponents here, his martial foundation was definitely not weak!

It was because this handsome young man was Jin Jiu favorite disciple. Meng Ruping is his formal name. He had grown up in the Jin Residency since he was little. The love that Jin Jiu showered him was no less than his only son, Jin Xianglin. Moreover, he handed his most powerful martial knowledge to him. Even though he was young but he was already highly accomplished in martial skills. He was thoroughly versed in Jin Jiu’s secret projectile skill and could execute it to perfection. What was lacking was his internal power maturity. But among the young martial experts in the martial fraternity, he was already well known and he was given a nick, [Junior Money Jade Face]!

He was similar in age to both the Jin Brother and Sister. In fact, he was younger than Young Master Qilin by two years and older than Jin Caifeng by a year. He grown up with both siblings and he had developed feelings and affections for Jin Caifeng who was as beautiful as a fairy, therefore he had eyed her as his other pair.

Jin Caifeng was also affectionate towards him, often calling him, “Big Brother Ping” nonstop. But still he could not feel satisfied for he could tell that the affections that Jin Caifeng had showered him were that of a sisterly relationship and was that of a lover.

Moreover, as Jin Jiu’s youngest child, she was also the favorite of her father and was allowed to do freely whatever things she had wished. And she would travel to and forth among the people in the pugilist fraternity and was eager to recruit young and excellent fighters to their cause.

But in his eyes, it was a cause of jealousy and concern to him.

And today, he noticed that she was looking at Zhan Bai with interest. Even though all the young competitors in the past did not snatch the [Most beautiful Maiden in Jiangnan] from his hands, this down and crestfallen newcomer was giving him an uneasy feeling.

And when he saw that everyone was praising Zhan Bai, he could not help but said loudly earlier, “He could not even hold against one stance from our Master Ba Tianhe the [Iron Wing Bird]!”

Now that Zhan Bai was led to the most honored seat in the feast and he did not adhere to protocol and stepped down, this gave him an opportunity to use his hand sword to remove this needle once and for all!

Zhan Bai was already feeling ill at ease here, even though he did not show it. But when he heard those strongly worded sentences from Meng Ruping, he could not suppressed his ill feelings any longer.

He bowed with his hands and said, “It is not my intention to come to this esteemed residency. Since I am not welcome, I take my leave now!”

And he slipped his robes and turned around to leave…

But Young Master Qilin hurriedly attempted to stop him. He had a smile on his face as he tried to say, “Brother Zhan, is it because I am not sincere enough? Now that the feast is ready, no matter what, I would like to offer Brother Zhan a few cups of wine and water. Please allow me to fulfill my responsibilities as a host!”

Upon seeing that Young Master Qilin was sincere towards him and he was instantly sorry in his heart. He thought, “The [Ever Hospitable Xianglin] is sincere and this comes from his heart. It is not nothing that a hypocrite could be capable of!”

But still, he said, “Brother Jin, I’m really appreciative of you! But really, I have important matters to attend to. Allow me to pay you a visit in the future!” And he continued to walk away.

But even before Young Master Qilin could speak, Meng Ruping exclaimed coldly, “If you want to leave, please leave. Why make so many fake formalities! Do you think the Jin Residence would miss one esteem guest like you?”

“Senior protégé brother!” Jin Caifeng could not resist speaking. “What are you trying to do? My brother is trying to retain our guest, yet you are driving our guest away!”

Young Master Qilin too stared at Meng Ruping for a second before he pulled Zhan Bai with all sincerity and said, “My younger protégé brother is hot tempered by nature and therefore rude. Please do forgive him for that! Brother Zhan, even if you have urgent matters to attend to, please do drink a cup or two of drinks before you leave. Or else, I would think that Brother Zhan is looking down on me, Xianglin!”

Even though Zhan Bai wanted to leave but he could not find the heart to say so. Moreover by now, several senior martial masters had also spoken up for him to stay. But he did reply just yet.

[Crouching Iron Back Dragon] was a famous drunkard. When he saw that the wine was not about to be serve and he could not lay his hands onto it, he was getting impatience, “A young man shouldn’t be such a puss! It is not straightforward at all! Are you worried that this feast is actually a Hongmen Banquet (A banquet that is setup with the aim of murdering the guest) and that the wine is poisoned? Therefore you did not dare to drink from it!”

Zhan Bai was infuriated by him and he replied, “Old Senior Gongsun meant to say that I am given no choice but to drink three cups. But I must make it very clear. After drinking three cups, I will immediately leave. I don’t want anyone to laugh and think that I, Zhan Bai is someone that is afraid to die and is a coward!”

When he had finished, he lifted the wine cup and raised his hands to everyone, “Come on everyone! As a junior before everyone, I respectfully offered all the seniors a toast!” And he gulped the drink.

Jin Caifeng giggled and said, “Am I considered to be an old senior too?” With that, she too drank a cup.

Zhan Bai flushed with redness. When he had taken a drink, he felt as though his stomach was toasting in flames. He felt a warm and burning sensation rippling inside. He suddenly had a thought, “Is this wine really spiked with a powerful poison?”

But he suddenly thought that it was highly impossible. Young Master Qilin did not know of his true identity and he did not have reason to kill him. Moreover, as one of the Four Young Masters of the Martial Fraternity and in the presence of many top notch fighters, would he still use such a despicable method?

When he came to this and under the roars and praises from the crowd, once again, he lifted a second cup and said, “I, Zhan Bai, is still a greenhorn and did not display proper etiquette just now. The first cup is for the seniors. The second cup is for those of my seniority!”

Jin Caifeng smiled delicately and said lovingly, “Now, it is closer to the truth!” When the eyes of this [Most Beautiful Maiden in Jiangnan] looked at Zhan Bai, there were a million affections in her expressions.

However, Zhan Bai did not notice it and continued to gulpe the second drink down hastily.

But it was noticed by Meng Ruping and he was filled with hatred for Zhan Bai. He really would want to beat him to a pulp.

How could Zhan Bai have known that Jin Caifeng’s million affectionate eyes would ignite upon him a fire of jealousy?

But after drinking this second cup, Zhan Bai could feel like he was burning on fire and throughout his five organs. An indescribable feeling of rush and lusts began to arouse in him….

But Zhan Bai thought that this Young Master would never in the presence of everyone attempted to secretly plot against him, therefore he did not mind at all. It must be because he tried to drink wine on an empty stomach…

But Jin Caifeng had already seen that something was not wrong here. She too, had drunk two cups and knew that these wine was the family best graded “Nǚ’érHóng” that was stored in the residency. The alcohol was not strong. Even if Zhan Bai were to drink eight to ten cups, it would not matter. So why did he just drink two small cups, his face would turn instantly as red as a red cloth? Moreover his eyes were emitting a strange glow and his body was unstable now.

“Ayah…” Even before she could ask for the reason, Zhan Bai had already lifted the third cup up and gulped it down his throat. She was left alarmed and frightened.

“Excellent wine!” Zhan Bai exclaimed. His body was now like charcoal and his fever caused him to be in a semi-dazed condition.

He had already felt something was not right here and he felt pain all over. Immediately, he knew he had fallen into a trap. Who would expect that Young Master Qilin, a person of such commanding high status in the martial fraternity would use such a despicable underhand undertaking on him?

When he mused over that he had fallen alone into his enemy’s hands and the results were disastrous! — He had died, his family line was also cut off, he could not avenge for his father, he could not help but scolded in resentment and rage, “What excellent wine from the Jin Residence! Three cups are enough to break the intestines and to kill! What a pity that…”

Before he could finished, he had flipped over, collapsed and lost consciousness!…

Ch19 End

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Chapter 18: Jiangnan most beautiful Maiden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lanlan then stick her tongue out and smiled at Mingming.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hundreds of people began to laugh merrily.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Thank you Young Master!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Ch18 End

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Chapter 17: Who is the Antagonist?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Living Dead Man nodded his head.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Living Dead Man saw Zhan Bai kneel suddenly in front of him, he was panicky and could not stop him in time. He too kneel and hastily said, “Young Benefactor, please rise. You are as good as killing me!”

Zhan Bai thought that Living Dead Man could not accept him as his disciple and he stubbornly refused to get up. In the End, Living Dead Man had to forcefully carried him up and put him onto a chair.

He solemnly said, “It is not that I am refusing to teach you martial arts. I have very valid reasons not to. With my martial skills, if I were to fight against second or third rate fighters, it can still be considered useful. But by no means, I am a match for those first rate fighters. Even if I were to teach you all my martial skills, it would still be useless to you. Moreover you must know, in the martial fraternity, once a person is your Martial Master, forever is your Martial Master. I will be destroying Young Benefactor’s future if I do. This is the first reason.”

“Moreover, my brother and I is considered servants to our Benefactor Hero Zhan. Strictly adhering, young benefactor, you can still be considered as my young master. So how can I as your servant be your Martial Master?”

Zhan Bai knew that what Living Dead Man had said made sense and he could not force him to accept him. Even though he was very disappointed, he did not say it.

“Actually, young benefactor, you do not need to be disappointed. Don’t you have a manual that is even better than any famous martial masters?”

Reminded by Living Dead Man, Zhan Bai suddenly realized that he had the Bones Blinder, Soul Destroyer Secret Manual. He immediately reach within his robe for it but was startled and his heart gone cold when he realized he did not have it…

Then Living Dead Man took out the Bones Blinder, Soul Destroyer Secret Manual and said, “This is the most wondrous martial book in the entire world. May I know how did Young Benefactor come in possessions of it?”

“It was given to me by a Lei Dashu,” replied Zhan Bai. He was instantly relieved that he had not lost the book.

As they chat, Living Dead Man began to flip the book. But after taking a few glances, he quickly closed the book and closed his eyes to regain his composure. After awhile, he opened his eyes and said, “That was a close shave! This book can create delusions and caused others to go berserk. Young Benefactor, you are so young, how did you manage to read this book at all?”

“Junior I, read it by feeling it in the darkness.” Zhan Bai had a kind soul and was not suspicious of others. Therefore he was honest and did not conceal in all matters.

When Living Dead Man first heard that Zhan Bai mentioned that he had feel it to read it, he did not believed it at first but after he used his fingers to feel the inside of the book, he too come to the revelation. But a flash of greed appeared in his countenance.

Zhan Bai saw it as well.

Living Dead Man returned the book to Zhan Bai. He pondered for awhile before asking, “Who is this Lei Dashu? He is generous indeed!”

Zhan Bai described Lei Dashu’s characteristics and features to him.

“Oh!” Living Dead Man cried out. “Lei Zhenyuan!”

“Old Senior, you know him?” Zhan Bai interrupted.

“How can I not know him! Your father and him are bosom friends! When my brother and I are with our Benefactor in the martial fraternity, he was always with us!……”

“May I know if I can know Old Senior name? At least we have the fate of encounter and I can at least know.” Zhan Bai asked.

Suddenly Living Dead Man was solemn and expressionless once more. He sighed deeply and said, “I hope young benefactor will forgive me for this slight. My brother and I once made an serious oath that before we could avenge for our Benefactor, we would never mention our names ever again. You can address us brothers as the Living Dead Man and Dead Living Man.”

Zhan Bai upon seeing that he would not reveal his name, did not force him. He paused for awhile before asking, “Old Senior, how did you know who are the culprits behind Junior’s father death…”

Without waiting for Zhan Bai to finish, Living Dead Man interrupted, “It all thanks to Old Senior the [Divine Donkey with the Iron Gut] Dong Qianli that we know it. When we first heard of it, we did not believe it as well but after Old Senior Dong verified it, only then did we know that it is true.”

“When we saw Young Benefactor a few days ago and from that bronze coin, we recognized that it was the secret projectile of [Heavenly Bronze Coin] Jin Jiu. We have no choice but to believed that the news is the truth!”

“[Divine Donkey with the Iron Gut]!” Zhan Bai muttered, “Is Old Senior Dong dressed in silk floss, looks like a peddler and rides a donkey?

Living Dead Man answered, “Indeed, it is him.”

Suddenly, Living Dead Man exclaimed loudly as if he was reminded of something, “Old Senior Dong is over a hundred years old and he is a extraordinary man. He had three pieces of iron guts and the Sixty-four stances of his ‘Wondrous Hand’ plus his highly accomplished martial skills, I afraid none in the martial fraternity can be comparable to him at all. Just now, young benefactor, you have said that you are looking for a Martial Teacher. Why not plead with him to accept you as his disciple?”

Zhan Bai was extremely happy that he did have a ray of hope and asked joyfully, “Where does he resident at?”

“Even though he has no fixed dwelling place but he frequents near Nanjing Sparrow shore banks and the Mountain rocks of the Twelve Caves. If Young Benefactor will to go there, you may find him…”

Zhan Bai did not wait for Living Dead Man to finish and got up immediately, gave a respectful bow, “Then, Junior will take my leave now! Thanks for Old Senior to come to my aid in my hours of need and for guiding me. All these acts of kindness, I, Zhan Bai, will always remember deep in my heart…”

Zhan Bai had exited the ‘Dead Man Dwelling Place’ even before he had finished speaking.

“Young Benevolent!…” Living Dead Man was shouting for him behind him, wanting to tell Zhan Bai that there was a young maiden that had come with him. Suddenly, he remembered that it might be inconvenient for him to explain the circumstances just now, he immediately paused to think for awhile. While he was pausing, in that split second, Zhan Bai had sprung down the mountains.

As Zhan Bai was anxious and excited, he did not think of anything unusually of a red mare that was eating grass just outside the house. Zhan Bai just thought that it was just a horse owned by Living Dead Man. If he had carefully think about it, he would realize that such majestic and colorful horse would not have suited the character of Living Dead Man…

Chapter 17 Ended

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Chapter 16: Between Life and Death

A beautiful red handsome horse was galloping in great haste on the main road. On the horse was a captivating young maiden in a cotton garment and in her embrace was a young man. She did not seem to be avoiding attention and thus attracted a great deal of attention.

But the horse she was riding on was simple too fast. Even though people wanted to have a good look at them but in a blink of an eye, they were gone like the wind. Only dust covered the back of the vanishing horse.

The young maiden was sterling the horse and at the same time kept lowering her glances to look at this young man. Her face was full of care and love! If the unconscious young man would regain conscious and witness such a captivating young maiden looking at him with such concern and love that was so protective, he might feel that he was the most blissful man in the entire world!

However this young man was in an unconscious state therefore even though the young maiden had displayed a million types of tenderness and affections, he would never know. Moreover, his face was burning red like fire, his breathing was rough and his chest was heaving rapidly. It was obvious that his life was in terrible danger!

The young maiden became even more anxious when she had seen that the young man in her embrace could no longer make it anymore; His temperature was gradually getting higher and higher. It was just like she was carrying a burning fire.

So she became even more restless as she traveled. She thought, “From the looks of it, I don’t think I can make it back in time back home. But in this wilderness, where should I find a physician to treat Brother Zhan’s illness…”

“Oh curses!” She began to think aloud, “If only I had brought a couple of our family ‘The Vigor Rejuvenate Pill’ that my ancestors had passed down; It is most useful for treating injuries. Then I will not have to rush so relentless now!”

“Aiya!” When the young maiden thought of her ancestor’s divine medicine, she was reminded that the red face old man had given her an antidote. It was because she was too sure of her ancestor’s divine medicine that till now, she did not feed it to Zhan Bai yet. Why don’t she first feed this antidote to Zhan Bai to save his life…

When she had thought of this, she gave a grasp for she was scolding herself for being so muddle-headed. So she looked around with her watery eyes around her hoping to spot a household so that she could ask for some boiled water so that Zhan Bai could gulp the antidote.

But it was wilderness all around. Except for tall grasses and some pots of farmlands, there was not a single household to be seen.

Then she spotted a ridge that was five to six miles away. Although the young maiden rarely ventured far from home, she was bright beyond comparison. In her home, she was a pampered mistress that had all the finery and riches but her senses were exceptional honed and sharp. So she immediately thought of riding to the ridge and looked around to see if there were any households around. It was better than riding blindly like what she was doing now!

The big red horse that she was riding was the famed ‘Thousand Mile Equine’. Its footings were very swift. Even though they were now traveling across the wilderness but in a twinkle of an eye, they had traverse five to six miles.

She got down and looked around her. Green hills and crystalline ravines dotted the back of the ridge. Then she spotted the red edge of what seemed to be a red building in the hills and mountains. But that place was tens of miles away. Other than that, she could not see any other households in this wilderness.

Therefore, she got on her horse again and rode towards that red edge!

Her equine was indeed a treasure. Not only could it gallop like it was flying along leveled ground but in this rocky wilderness, it was still the same. In a twinkle of an eye, they had reached the location of the red edge.

The young maiden in cotton garment immediately carried the unconscious young man down from the horse and walked to the front of the entrance to take a look. Suddenly, she turned ashen!

This house was very unique. It was red from top and had white stones as its walls. Even the wooden door was white. But on the white door were three words written with ink ‘Dead Men Dwelling’!

Even though the young maiden was highly skilled in martial arts but she rarely wandered in the pugilistic fraternity. So how could she have known of such a strange place? Even though this place was built along the mountain slopes but it was not a temple. It did not look like a cemetery either yet on its door hang the characters ‘Dead Men Dwelling’.

This caused the young maiden to be momentarily stunned in front of the door. She really did not know whether should she retreat or enter. Therefore she could only stared with a stunned expression with her big lovely eyes!

She pondered how could there be such a weird place as this? Who would hung such a thing as a ‘Dead Men Dwelling’ on their own door? Even if it were a cemetery, it should not be written in this manner?

But such a thing and fact existed and it was right in front of her. The world was filled with strange and wondrous things indeed!

Just when she was pondering what to do, the young man in her embrace gave a painful moan as he jerked for an instant…

This shook the stupefied young maiden as she thought carefully. What was most important was to save a life. Why should she care if it were a dead man or living man inside? She decided to enter the house and decide what happened next!

The power of love was indeed magnificent and selfless! The pampered and rich young mistress gained the will to cast away all her fears and sense of dangers because of her love for this young man, decided to venture alone in the ‘Dead Men Dwelling’ now!

Leaving her horse behind to feed on the grass itself, she pursed her lips and with a firm conviction, she carried the unconscious Zhan Bai and shouted in front of her. “Is anyone there?”

She shouted many times and could only hear the echoes coming back from the mountains. No one answered her calls. She mustered her courage and tipped slightly with the tip of her shoe and the white wooden door swung opened with a crackling sound!

Inside the door was a small courtyard and she saw dying flowers and trees It gave a eerie and creepy atmosphere. It was unusual quiet and it generated a terrible horrible feeling!

In the courtyard, there was a pavement leading to a red house. The red house had its door and windows shut tightly and it seemed to hide something mysterious!

But this young maiden mustered a courage that exceeded the norm and actually walked towards the mysterious and terrible red house all the while carrying the unconscious young man!

When she walked to the door of the red house, written on the white wooden door was the same characters painted in black, “Dead Men Dwelling, Forbid to the Living”.

The young maiden crunched her teeth and yelled aloud, “Yo dead men! You got a living visitor!”

Suddenly there were a series of shrieking sound caused by a strange bird. It cuckoo twice before flying off from the roof towards the back of the hills.

The young maiden was so startled and frightened by it that her guts almost jumped out! But after a while, upon seeing that there was nothing in it and that there was no one, she mustered her courage once more. She pushed the door opened with the tip of her foot.

Like the door to the courtyard, the door to the house was not locked. But the interior was tidy and without any dust. Needless to ask, this ‘Dead Man’ must be fond of cleanliness.

The young maiden remained guarded and alerted while scanning her big eyes around to survey the hall. She saw white furniture, white table and besides it were two white chairs. All these were made of white wood. Just like the doors and windows, all these were made from the woods from the mountain forest and no paint was added. However the scent from the hall reminded her of coffins. That was because, that was precisely the same scent as that of a shop that sold coffins!

After surveying for a while and observed that nothing was amiss, she put the unconscious young man onto the white chair. That was because even though she was well trained in martial arts but after carrying him for half a day, her two shoulders felt numb.

She put down the unconscious young man and let him on the chair. Finally she heaved a sight of relief and thought, “This deserted ghost place! Fancy it being a ‘Dead Men Dwelling’ but yet there was not even a sight of even a dead man!…”

Unconsciously, she began to take a look around her once again and noticed that towards the middle of the wall, hung a curtain. When the wind blew slightly in, the curtain began to flutter and something seemed to be behind the curtain.

Out of sheer curiosity, she mustered her courage and reached out to pull the curtain aside. Behind the curtain looked like a shrine to something and there was a tablet in it. The tablet too, was made of white wood and the words that were carved on it were extremely intricate; it read ‘The divine resting place of our benefactor, The Great Hero Zhan of the Thunderous Sword fame, Zhan Yun Tian!’

The young maiden almost cried out. She remembered very clearly when she saved her Brother Zhan, she had asked about his background. At the moment, Lei Dashu had barged in from the window and griped his hands and asked hurriedly, “Who is Zhan Yun Tian to you?…”

This was a shrine to Zhan Yun Tian in this ‘Dead Men Dwelling’. Was there an intimate relationship between this Zhan Yun Tian and her Brother Zhan?

So this young maiden was none other than WanEr. She had fallen in love with Zhan Bai but because she was terrible upset that Zhan Bai was with Fan Suluan that she stormed all the way to her room. But later, when she had heard that Zhan Bai was taken away by the [Divine Donkey with the Iron Gut] Dong Qianli, she felt extremely uneasy. So she secretly rode off with her father’s Thousand Mile Horse ‘Chi Hualiu’ and left her home to search for Zhan Bai.

Even though she had developed a deep understanding in martial theories and had mastered several powerful martial skills but she had never been away from home before. Moreover, it was the intrigue pugilist world. When she had left her home, she did not really know in which direction should she begin her search for Zhan Bai. But as luck would have it, she found Zhan Bai at the Town of Xin Lu.

At that time, she was dining at a wine tavern. It just that she was upstairs while Zhan Bai was downstairs. Therefore they had not seen one another. But afterwards, when the crowd had gathered and she heard the clanging of weapons, did she run down to take a look. She found Zhan Bai fighting with tens of top martial exponents, his composure steady and seems to have the upper hand.

Therefore she stayed away from view. Only when the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] had tried to harm Zhan Bai after the three palm strike, did she unleash her whip in a bid to save him.

And now, once more, she had in a stroke of luck, ran into this ‘Dead Men Dwelling Place’ and also chanced upon the spiritual tablet of Zhan Yun Tian. And this was something that had to do with her Big Brother Zhan, so how would she not be concerned?

She looked around in her surroundings in a careful manner, forgetting that she supposed to find water for her Brother Zhan to go with his medicine. On the shrine, were flowers that had some water vapor on it, fresh fruits and joss sticks that were burnt halfway. It was obvious that some one had recently paid their respect.

Beyond the shrine was a hallway and there were two doors on the left and right. The doors of the hallway were made of white wood as well. The door on the left side had a piece of white paper hanging on top of it with the inscription in black ink, ‘Living Dead Man’. The door to the right had a similar paper but with the words, ‘Dead Living Man’ written on it. Both doors had an couplets on both sides, with the inscriptions, ‘If kindness is not repaid, it is as good as dead.’ The other couplet read, ‘It is humiliating that vendetta cannot be seek. Vengeance must be pursued and kindness must be repaid.’

After WanEr had seen those words, she could begin to comprehend half of it. The one that stayed in this Dead Men Dwelling Place was not a dead person but because he was indebted to Hero Zhan but now that he had been wrongfully killed, he was unable to find the killer to avenge him; the kindness and benevolent that he received could never be repaid, hence he called himself a dead man…

When WanEr had concluded to this point, suddenly she felt it strange that she saw no sight of either the [Living Dead Man] or the [Dead Living Man]. Unconsciously, she had walked to the left side of the hall and used her hands to push open the door.

In the room were a table and a chair. The room had just a simple setup. There was no bed or even bedding. But at the corner of the room was a white coffin!

The white coffin was sealed very tightly. After looking around for a while and finding nothing, she turned around and walked into the door to the right to take a look.

Who would expect that the other room was exactly the same and equally identical! Both rooms just had a table, chair and a white coffin!

In such a big house, there was no one and there were two big white coffins in the rooms. Having such an unsightly name like the ‘Dead Men Dwelling Place’ was weird enough. To a young maiden like WanEr that had never stepped away from long distances from her home, it was extremely eerie and creepy. It frightened her and caused her mind to wander, unable to calm down to think.

Just when WanEr was still feeling dumbfounded in the room to the right of the hall, she heard a loud ‘Dong’ sound coming from outside. It caused her to be startled and with her left hand holding her chest, she sprang out of the room only to see her Brother Zhan lying on the ground, after falling down from the chair.

Without any hesitation, she sprang to his side and saw his face burning red. His breathing was extremely weak and blood was snoozing from his mouth…

WanEr was shocked and stunned at the same time. She examined Zhan Bai carefully but found no visible wounds on him. She concluded that when she left to investigate the rooms, her Brother Zhan must have fell on his own. She scolded and blamed herself silently. Why did she have to do the most trivial things and left the most pressing matters undone?

She carried Brother Zhan tightly and carried him to sit on the chair. She took out the green color antidote that the red face old man had given her. But because she could not find any water in this moment of need, she pondered for a while before she opened her small mouth, using her saliva to substitute as water. Mouth to mouth, the antidote was sent down Zhan Bai’s throat.

Because WanEr’s heart was innocent and pure, she did not even think that between a man and a woman, such a thing, could only be done between a man and a wife. Moreover, it was also because WanEr loved Zhan Bai from the bottom of her heart.

And because it was urgent, without pausing to consider much ado, she used her saliva to substitute it as water for Zhan Bai, for fear that he might lose unconscious and could not swallow the pill down his throat.

Immediately afterwards, she began to use her palms to massage Zhan Bai on his chest. Just then, she felt something between her fingers.

WanEr did not know what Zhan Bai had hidden in his clothes, so she reached for and retrieved out a book with multi color cover.

WanEr unwillingly giggled and thought to herself, “This Brother Zhan of mine is like a small kid. He is so big yet he is still looking at picture book!…Huh!”

As WanEr was thinking to herself, she carelessly flipped the book. She did not expect that in the book was all drawing of maidens in the nude. The posture was extremely mesmerizing, beautiful, heart-stopping and beholding…

WanEr had a dumbfounded expression on her face as she flushed. She muttered in a low voice, “So disgusting! You…” She forgot that Zhan Bai was unconscious and threw the book back to him. The book hit Zhan Bai and fell to the ground…

Suddenly there was a thunderous shout, “Who is so outrageous and bold? There is actually someone that dared to disturb the Dead Men Dwelling Place!”

Even before WanEr could turn her back, she could feel a gush of wind flurrying towards her.

As she was afraid that her Brother Zhan would come to harm by the stranger, without dodging and pausing to inquiry, she displayed the stroke ‘Reversal’ and flipped around with both of her hands extending out to welcome the gush of flurrying windforce.

“Omg! It’s young benefactor…”

The instant WanEr turned her body, the stranger had already clearly seen Zhan Bai’s face and immediately shouted, withdrawing his attacks.

But still, it was still too late as the pair of palms clashed with one another. WanEr’s arms were sore from the clash!

She was startled and thought, “Such powerful palm force!” She lifted her head and saw two weird looking men that dressed themselves in white clothing. They looked eerie and had a dead expression on their faces. They stood exactly besides one another, left and right in front of WanEr, looking like a zombie. WanEr felt a chill running down her spine.

The two weird men began to stared coldly at WanEr and then at Zhan Bai. And then back to her.

As they looked terrifying and eerie, with crafty eyes, WanEr was afraid that they might have malicious intentions towards her Brother Zhan. Even though she knew she was not their match but in order to protect her Brother Zhan, she mustered her internal power to prepare a final showdown. She did not have any trace of fright or any intention to run but instead was determined to fight. If the two men were to raise their hands against her Zhan Bai, she would immediately fight it all out with them…

“Young benefactor looks like he is badly injured!” The weird man on the left said to no one in particular.

“So I say we mustn’t die. We should continue our meager existence for there are still many things for us to do!” The weird man on the right exclaimed.

WanEr was puzzled at their behavior and speech. She looked at their icy cold stares and then took a glance at her Brother Zhan.

“Young lass! Are you the one that injured young benefactor?” The weird man on the right suddenly thundered.

“Just who are you?” Instead of replying him, WanEr retorted. She continued, “Why would I injure Brother Zhan?…Huh!”

The weird man on the right suddenly shouted at her in a thunderous voice and then charged at her, using his left hand to push WanEr aside and then plunged towards Zhan Bai.

“What are you trying to do?” WanEr was afraid that the weird man would try to harm her Brother Zhan, therefore she shouted, ‘Opposing the Tidal Force’ as she reached out her right hand to grip the weird man’s shoulder.

As WanEr had hurriedly attacked, this stance used all her strength. Needless to say a human’s shoulder, even an iron would be blend by her.

But the weird man seemed not to notice this all almighty attack from WanEr; he did not dodge and evade. Instead, he continued to plunge towards Zhan Bai.

WanEr hit his left shoulder but it was as solid as steel. It caused her upper body to be numbed with paralysis. She was knocked back five to six steps before she could regain her balance. Her hands were crying out with excruciating pain!

She saw the weird man came in front of Zhan Bai and hit his front vulnerable points with his big hands.

WanEr was startled and panicky. She cried out aloud, “Old ugly monster! Dare you to touch my Brother Zhan! I will fight it out with you!”

WanEr attacked him again with all her might but he just nudged off her attacks like it was nothing.

“Young lass! Restraint yourself! You…” As he knocked WanEr backwards against a wall.

WanEr almost fainted after being knocked backwards. She found her vision growing dim. Hurriedly, she tried to circulate her breath before she opened her eyes and was horrified to see the weird man pressing her Brother Shane’s ‘Life Channels’ accupoints.

One must know that the ‘Life Channel’ was the death accupoint of a human being. Should the weird man hit hard on this point, Zhan Bai would instantly lose his life. Tears began to drip from WanEr’s eyes in her moment of helplessness…

But when she took a closer look, she finally realized that the weird man was not trying to harm her Brother Zhan but was trying to use his life force energy to help Zhan Bai to clear his channels. It was because she had noticed that the redness from Zhan Bai’s face had retreated and his eyes were fluttering.

WanEr could not help it but muttered in her heart, “Such embarrassment!” She leaned backwards on the wall and used the opportunity to regain the circulation of her breath…

The other weird man had walked near to Zhan Bai but his eyes were on the multi color book that was beneath his legs.

“Alas!” That weird man picked the book. With only one glance at the book, he began to exclaimed excitedly, “Bones Blinder, Soul Destroyer Secret Manual! Elder Brother! Elder Brother! Come and have a look…”

He looked up and saw wisps of steam floating above his brother’s head. He seemed to be in full concentration trying to clear Zhan Bai’s blood channels. And it was now at the most crucial part. Therefore he immediately left his sentence unfinished.

But even then, his icy cold face had an excited, uncontrollable expression. His eyes were glowing and even the hands that were holding the book were trembling!

He was startled and lifted his head, only to see his elder brother had a wisp of steam rising from his head. It is obvious that he had reached a crucial point of helping Zhan Bai to clear his blood channels. He immediately halted what he was trying to say.

But his cold and eerie expression was full of excitement. His eyes were beaming and even the hands that were holding the book were trembling.

Even WanEr, who was leaning against the wall and was trying to regain her breathing circulation, received a sudden jolt when she suddenly heard the weird man suddenly shouted, “Bones Binder, Soul Destroyer Secret Manual!”

That was because she had once unintentional overheard her father conversing with his protégé guests on the affairs of the martial fraternity that two hundred years ago, there was a Martial Fraternity Sage by the name of the Lord of the Only Eye. He left behind a manual called the ‘Bones Binder, Soul Destroyer Sacred Manual’

This manual had been acknowledged by the martial fraternity as the most wondrous book ever. Whoever could obtain this wondrous book and learnt the skills within it, would dominate the martial fraternity as the most powerful martial arts expert…

WanEr was bewildered at this point. That was because she had just browsed through the book and within the book, were all pictures of women in the nude. There weren’t any martial formula. Could it be that the posture of the naked women be martial stances?…

WanEr’s mind was pacing with thoughts and was making plenty of wild guesses as she looked at the weird man; he was flipping the pages one by one, reading with his hands trembling…

On closer look, the weird man began to have a strange expression on his face. His eyes were darting and his mouth was trembling. His eyes had a strange kind of glow and his white and colorless face began to flutter in tint red…

Slowly, the weird man began to shiver as though he could no longer control the powerful excitement. Finally he closed his eyes…

WanEr was momentarily distracted by the another weird man that was treating Zhan Bai. The weird man’s head was now thick with steam and he had three wisps of white cloud above his head. From afar, it looked like three white lotuses.

WanEr was startled. She knew that this is the ‘Halo of the Three Flowers’. Unless one had practiced inner strength to its peak, this phenomenon would never appear! She would never imagine that this man that looked like a ghost would have such unbelievable depth of inner strength. As a result, she was mesmerized by the scene…

Suddenly, she sensed two sharp beam of light nailing her body. She turned her head around and saw that the another weird man that was reading the ‘Bones Binder, Soul Destroyer Sacred Manual’ earlier, had opened his eyes.

His entire face was red and he was trembling. His eyes were looking intently at her body. Suddenly, he started to walk towards her…

WanEr was a naïve young girl whom innocent had not yet been shed. How could she have known that man when they were thirsted for sex, would be so bestial and crazed?

This weird man was a martial recluse and moreover, he had decades of martial training. Only a few in the martial fraternity could match his martial prowess and the strength of his willpower. Who would expect that a book would cause him to lose control of his self-will!

At the moment, his lust was at its pinnacle and he had broken free of his decades of self-restraint. He could no longer restraint his lust that was like a fiery fire. Facing a young and beautiful young maiden like WanEr, he had actually forgotten his very own identity. He even forgot about his life promises. He had even forgotten that his brother was just besides him. He had also forgotten his benefactor’s son…

His lust had consumed him and caused him to lose his reasoning. He was now like a hungry tiger that was plunging towards a sheep.

WanEr was startled and quickly displayed a ‘Enclosure’ stance as she gathered and circulated her inner strength as she extended her hands towards the crazed weird man’s chest in a furious and panicky manner.

There was a thunderous loud sound as the weird man took the impact of WanEr’s palms without questioning and dodging.

WanEr had displayed at least five hundred to six hundred catty of strength through the deliverance of this stance but against this weird man, it just caused his body to shutter two times in quick succession but it failed to halt his advance. In response to this attack, it was like his movements had quickened instead as he opened his arms and pushed WanEr’s slim body into his embrace.

WanEr felt like she was being pressed against steel and the pressure in her chest was so heavy that it caused her circulation to be disrupted. Because her hands and legs could not moved, she was stunned and in great anxiety. Eventually and finally, she passed out…

The weird man who had been consumed by the fires of lust was like a crazed person as he started to tear apart WanEr’s embroidered silk dress. He was now panting very hard as he finally tore off the embroidered silk dress that was worth a thousand gold, revealing WanEr snow white body…

WanEr was as alluring as a flower. Now that she was unconscious, she even had to brave through the cruelty of the thunderstorm and the hurricanes that was about to become her fate. She was like a flower that was quickly going to be despoiled. It was cruelty at its extremity…

Suddenly, there was a chilly heng. It was by the weird man that was helping Zhan Bai to treat his injuries. He sprang in a startling flash of revelation with his fingers extending out and struck furiously on the spine accupoints of the other weird man who was embracing WanEr.

There was a loud crashing sound as the struck weird man collapsed onto the floor. He then proceeded to hit three of his major accupoints; “Chang Qiang”, “Ling Tai”, “Shen Men”. After that, he lifted him up and sprang in a startling movement into the room on the left before throwing him into the coffin.

Like a wind, in a blink of an eye, he proceeded to lift and carry WanEr into the coffin to the room on the right. At the same time, he had also picked the “Bones Blinder, Soul Destroyer Secret Manual” and stuffed it into his garment. Next, he continued to pat furiously on Zhan Bai’s twelve accupoints on various parts of his body.

It was as though nothing had happened in the hall.

When Zhan Bai had awakened and his first sight was the ghastly weird man, he was too stunned for action.

“Young Hero Zhan, do you still recognize me?”

Zhan Bai was instantly jolted as he recalled how he had tried to steal his sword in the Pine Forest and how both of them had tried to commit suicide by banging their heads against the trees but failed. He asked in a startled voice, “How did I come to be here? And where is your other companion?”

The weird man shook his head and said, “That companion of mine has gone out and yet to return. As for why you are here, you have to ask yourself!”

“Have to ask myself?” Zhan Bai was puzzled. He could only remembered how he had encountered a red face old man in a little town and took his blows from him. After that, he was engulfed in a strange burning sensation and had passed out. Then how did he manage to come here? A thought struck him and he asked, “Old Senior, is that you who has saved me?”

“I myself do not know who have delivered you. But I did lend you a helping hand here. Young Hero Zhan, why not you tell me after we had parted, where else had you been to?”

Therefore Zhan Bai began to relate to him his encounters.

After listening, the weird man began to sigh and said, “Is it all really pre-destiny? I have tried to commit suicide many times but failed to. Is it because I am meant to preserve my wretched life for my benefactor’s descendant!” Upon finishing, he led Zhan Bai to the spiritual tablet of Zhan Yun Tian and said, “This benefactor of mine is in fact your father!”

When Zhan Bai saw his father’s tablet, he began to shed his tears uncontrollable as he fell into his knees to kowtow thrice. In that instant, he started to recall all his humiliations and tribulations that happened to him all these years. Unable to hold back his emotions, he began to cry out loud in great sorrow.

When the weird man saw Zhan Bai’s sorrows, he too began to recall how he had chosen to hide his name and identity, unable to face the world, forced to stay in the Dead Men Dwelling and to sleep inside the coffin. He too, was heart wrenched and cried out, beating his chest like Zhan Bai.

 

Ch16 End

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The Evil Heretic Sects were exterminated by the Virtuous Orthodox Clans. Peace had finally returned to the Martial Fraternity. Leading the Virtuous Orthodox Sects were the Four Martial Aristocracy Families that competed with one another to be the Alliance Leader of the Entire Martial Fraternity.

Each of the Four Martial Aristocracy not only surpassed the existing Virtuous Orthodox Sects, they had with them numerous followers and Reclusive Martial Grandmasters, every single of them are equaled in martial ability with the Sect Leader of Wudang and Shaolin!

Chapter 15: The Red Sloe Blood Skill Palm

As Zhan Bai tried to leap out of the window, in came three incoming secret projectiles, suddenly a dark overwhelming darkness that carried windforce, came crashing onto his head like a furious falling mountain.

Zhan Bai was extremely shocked as he did not know what came crashing through that in his panicky state, he raised his ‘Heartless Precious Sword’ to display the ‘The skill of moving Tremendous Force with a Fractional Force’.

The tip of his sword impaled with a tinkling impact as he raised it upward to meet the unknown.

At the same time, he turned his head upward to take a look and saw a big fat monk wielding a very big placard and he landed behind his back.

This monk was very big, rough looking and really looked very impressive. On the top of his head were eight dots that denoted the eight monastic restrictions of the monastic order. The monk was now staring at him viewing him with surprise.

Suddenly Zhan Bai remembered that in the pugilist realm, there was a [Iron Signboard Monk]. His weapon was an iron placard that weighed a thousand catty. He could mobilize ten thousand catty of force. In his ignorant state, he had used the tip of his sword to still such a heavy pressurized force. Needless to say, the [Iron Signboard Monk] was stunned and even he did not believe it himself.

At the same time, tens of men had by now surrounded the Inn Tavern and as Zhan Bai was just adjusting to his situation, two bright light flashed like the brightness of meteor flew furiously at Zhan Bai’s head, aiming at his ‘Tai Yang’ fatal accupoints!

Zhan Bai squatted down immediately and parried his Precious Heartless Sword upward with the ‘Spire Fire that burns the Heaven’.

There were two clanging clash of metals as a two morning stars attached to a chain was parried quite far aside.

There were a series of howling rage as three beams of light, two swords and one blade slashed together at the same time on Zhan Bai.

Zhan Bai wielded his sword as he followed his sword as the Heartless Precious Sword exuded a brilliant flare of light as it slashed fiercely at the three types of weapons.

But the attackers knew by now the dangers of the Heartless Precious Sword and they withdrawn their strokes hurriedly before jumping backward…

Suddenly there was a strong windforce fanning towards Zhan Bai at the same time. Because he had already brandished his stance and sword, he could not retract immediately. Therefore he extended his left hand from his chest to receive the incoming attack.

There was a thunderous clap! It came from another old man that looked around fifty of age as he was knocked backward three steps loudly. He eyed Zhan Bai with eyes wide-opened.

This came from the [Iron Fist]  Lu Liu Shun that had practiced the ‘Iron Breaker Palm’ diligently for twenty to thirty years. He was very proud of his namesake [Iron Fist].

He had noticed that Zhan Bai was a young man that had managed to keep five men at bay just because he had a precious sword that were sharp and durable. Therefore the amount of practice that Zhan Bai had with his hand to hand combat and his internal strength would definitely not be as good as his swordplay and that he was only trying to show off his skills in front of the others.

So he picked an opportune time to attack Zhan Bai when he saw his sword attacking forth in another direction and he could surely not be able to swing his sword in time.

So seizing this opportunity, he unleashed eight folds of his strength with a blow at Zhan Bai.

But who would expect that Zhan Bai took this blow of his directly and he was using only his left hand! What more, it seemed so easy and relaxing, knocking him three steps backward! Because Zhan Bai was so young, even if he were just born and started training his internal power, surely he would not be stronger than him! This caused the proud and self-confident [Iron Fist] Lu liu Shun that liked to show off his skills most, to be bewildered!

Zhan Bai’s stomach was growling with hunger. He did not have anything to eat and yet he was besieged by people from all sides. They did not give him any breathing space and he was feeling extremely hungry as well. He was now feeling angry and he stared with his eyes at the tens of martial pugilists as he swept his surroundings. When his Heartless Precious Sword suddenly moved…

Actually Zhan Bai had not readied a stroke yet but when his sword moved, everyone thought that he was going to attack therefore everyone moved one step backward with fright…

Zhan Bai could not resist laughing aloud when he saw all those fierce looking men taking a frightful step backward even before he had readied a stroke when his sword flinched a little.

After Zhan Bai had laughed, everyone began to regain their composure. Everyone of them were courageous men of the Martial Fraternity that lived under constant threats of weapons and death. How could they display such a cowardly attitude in the face of a opponent?

Therefore everyone was fast turning red with embarrassment. Some others were reacting with anger and rage. All of a sudden in a thunderous explosive commotion, shadowy movements of blades, swords, maces, claws and countless numerous weapons came scurrying like the torrid hurricane and rain at Zhan Bai.

In panicky, Zhan Bai executed the ‘The Swift Wind Felling the Grass’ and a white shiny wall flashed forth. There were two to three people that could not stopped in time and the weapons in their hands were instantly sliced apart. Everyone received a jolt and stunned cries could be heard as they moved back together…

This ‘The Swift Wind Felling the Grass’ stroke was picked up at the Baotu Manor when Fan Jie had twice displayed it after Zhan Bai had seen it. He had stolen it by seeing it. Even though he had not totally understand the intricate and the essence yet but his grasp of this swordplay was already more or less! He just did not expect that when he had executed it, the force of this swordplay would be this big!

After this success and just when Zhan Bai decided to charge out of the enclosure, he heard someone giving a great shout, “Hold it!”

The voice was deafening and ear-shattering. When Zhan Bai turned to have a look, he saw the reddish face old man walked hurriedly towards him. He was followed by a handsome young man.

The reddish face old man pointed at him and asked, “Whose protégé are you under? What relationship did you have with Zhenjiang (A city in the Jiangsu Province) Master Fan? Make yourself clear or else it would cause a misunderstanding!”

“I do not know any Master Fan from Zhenjiang!” Zhan Bai replied. “As for my Protégé Master, please forgive me for not unable to reveal it.”

Zhan Bai was an honest young man and did not know the treacheries of the pugilist fraternity. What came to his mind, he would speak his mind.

Actually he was focusing on building up his martial foundations but unfortunately did not have the opportunity to find a Protégé Master. He was taught here and there, secretly copied his skills from various sources so naturally he did not really consider having a Protégé Master.

The reddish face old man began to roar with laughter as he exclaimed, “Young fellow, you are indeed something! But do you know who I am?”

“Please forgive me for being blind. I really do not know who old…respected sire is!” Zhan Bai had wanted to address him as an old senior but when he noticed the way he was looking at him, he changed the form of address and his tone did not sound respectful.

“Little fellow, you who have just come out of your mother’s weaning!” The reddish face old man began to roar with laugher as he said, “Old man I, really do not believe that the [Cruel Hand Midget] would be defeated in your hands! I have no other intentions. If you can receive three blows from an old man like me, you are free to wander to the regions of Su, Lu as you please. I will definitely not harass or stop you. Little fellow, what do you think of this idea?”

Zhan Bai did not know this reddish face old man. In actuality, this reddish face old man was extremely well known and feared in the regions of Su and Lu. He was nicked the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand]. Not only was he thorough in ‘The Red Sloe Blood Skill Palm’, he carried secret projectiles coated with gunpowder too!

He was truly unique in the pugilist fraternity and could hold his ground against everyone. He had a strange unorthodox weapon on his back that looked like a human fist but was bigger. He could use this to execute the ‘Eight Directional Wind Chaser’. This weapon of his was used specially to hit accupoint pressures and to disarm his opponent’s weapon.

What more, concealed in the fingers of this unorthodox fist, was extremely powerful secret firearms. When he fought with his opponent, in the midst of trading blows, he would release the secret projectiles from the fingers.

Because his opponents did not expect it, they would be caught unaware and could not defend against it. It could be said to be unreasonable powerful. He named this weapon of his, the ‘Cactaceae’. There were many martial exponents that fell victim to this weapon of his. He had traveled the Region of Lu and Su and had never met anyone that could be said to be his match!

That was why it fuelled his arrogance and bred into him a haughty attitude.

This [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] was the dominant figure of the Region of Lu and Su. How did he come to join the Young Master Anle as his retinue? Because he was outside the sphere of influence from the ‘Yunmo Manor’ that was in Suzhou, he could decide all things big and small here.

Today, he had suddenly heard one of his men reporting to him that a young man carrying a sword had killed the [Cruel Hand Midget] Fei Yitong in the dense woods to the north of the town. He simply could not believe his ears!

That [Cruel Hand Midget] Fei Yitong was one of the top notch martial fighters pledging allegiance to Young Master Anle. In the Martial Fraternity, his status and martial abilities were very high. Even he had no confidence of winning him.

Therefore, he was doubtful and suspicious of the report. So he ordered his men to keep a lookout for a young man with a sword. On the other hand, he sent someone to go to Suzhou to inform Young Master Anle.

Later when he had heard his men reporting that a young man with a sword that was behaving strangely had shown up at this Xinlu Town. Therefore together with his disciple, the [Jaded Face Nezha] Song Xiao Fei , they rushed here to check on Zhan Bai.

Just now when Zhan Bai had brandished the ‘Wind Chaser Swordplay’ belonging to the Zhenjiang Fan Aristocracy Family, he stepped in to interrupt. That was because Young Master Anle and the Zhenjiang Fan Aristocracy Family had deep ties with one another. He had thought that Zhan Bai was from the Zhenjiang Fan Aristocracy Family. Afraid to cause a misunderstanding with the two families, he shouted to interrupt.

Who would expect that Zhan Bai to deny it and he sounded haughty. This incited the fury of the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] and now he wanted to trade three blows with Zhan Bai to determine the outcome of victory and loss.

Zhan Bai was born with a stubborn trait and he did not how high was the sky. When he noticed that the reddish face old man had looked down on him, he replied immediately in a haughty tone, “No matter what are your intentions, I will take the challenge!” After speaking, he sheathed his sword into the scabbard and prepared to take the blows.

“Very good little rascal! You do have courage!” The [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] thundered as he shifted his shoulders and a loud cranking sound could be heard. And then he started to bend his body like a bow that had been bent. His white hair on his head appeared to be standing straight and his face that was originally quite red turned even redder.

He extended forth his hands that now looked like blades and his palms were as red as burning fire as he howled, “Be careful! This is the first blow!”

In between his howling, The [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] displayed his famous ‘The Red Sloe Blood Skill Palm’ that shook the pugilist fraternity by storm, mustering five folds of his strength. With a howl, he extended his right hand like a torrid hurricane furiously towards Zhan Bai.

There was a thunderous clapping sound as both hands met, sending flurrying of windforce ripping around as rocks and sands stirred from the ground.

Zhan Bai remained standing but a flow of sensational warm heat could be felt through his palm. At the same time, he felt as if his whole body was on fire and was feeling unbearable. He felt thirsty, his tongue was dry and was dizzy.

However that [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] was knocked two steps backward by the impact. That was because he had not used his full strength yet and he mustered only five folds of his internal power.

But Zhan Bai was using ten folds of his internal strength! This further infuriated him and fanned his rage. He stared angrily before shouting aloud, “Very good little rascal! Why not try my second blow!”

This time round, the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] flipped his left hand in a gesture as he mustered eight folds of his strength as he howled loudly. It was obvious that the windforce emitting from this posture was even more powerful than the first blow.

Old pugilists who were rich and wise in battle experience, when they fought with unknown exponents on the initial fight, most would be reluctant to use their full might. Usually they would only use four to five folds of their internal power to gauge how strong or weak was their opponent. And then they would slowly increase their might and strength.

Therefore, it was the reason why the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand]’s second blow seemed to have its power increased tremendous! That was because in this way, it would allow them to fight more and more courageous!

That came from the same meaning as the first beat of the drum would cause morale to be at its highest, the second drum becoming weaker thus affecting morale and then the third drum becoming a spent energy.*

*In the Autumn & Spring Period of the Zhou Dynasty, a strategist from a smaller army beat a superior army by playing the drums in an reverse order, starting from weak to strong. His opponent charged mightily with the beating of the drums on the initial charge. As the battle proceed, the smaller army whose drums are beating stronger and strong received tremendous boast to their morale by the beating of their drums, fought more and more courageous. This story later a famous saying and was studied for its application. It was also famous because a smaller army defeated a bigger army in a field battle. Sun Bi during the Warring States Period of the Zhou Dynasty had a similar recounting.

But Zhan Bai did not understand this reasoning. In his first blow, he had used all his might and when the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand]’s second blow came with its almighty force and power, on the another hand, he felt his strength receding. But because he was someone that did not like to give up and did not want to evade the blow, he used his left hand to receive this blow.

There was a thunderous clap that shook like thunder as the two hands impacted on one another. Windforce ripped all around in a strong and force manner that even the tens of top exponents could not stand properly and had to hurried backward…

The [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] imposing body did not move at all. Instead, it was Zhan Bai that had been forced back two steps back. The heat from his blow was still circulating around and Zhan Bai felt his left hand burning like fire. He was now covered with sweat; he was feeling dazed and almost toppled over…

Zhan Bai had tried to match the two blows from the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] forcefully. Although his internal organs were already injured by the pure invigorate energy of the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] but he remained standing. This fact stunned the tens of martial experts that were all around.

Everyone was muttering and thinking, “This little fellow is really something! He can actually take two blows from the earth shattering [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] that resound throughout the Region of Lu and Su…”

But the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] had already sensed that Zhan Bai could not be able to muster anymore strength. He would have lost his esteem and prestige since he had loudly proclaimed to be able to beat this young lad in three blows. Unwilling to let Zhan Bai had a breather, he immediately proceeded to continue on his third blow. He shouted, “Here is the third blow! Little rascal! Down you go now…!”

The [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] circulated and mustered all his internal power in both hands as he pushed fiercely towards Zhan Bai.

Only then was the true power of the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] revealed as windforce the sound of the wind echoing through the ravines were heard as it came like the torrid endless seas waves, creating a high pressure upon Zhan Bai’s chest.

Even before the windforce had reached Zhan Bai, he had already felt the heat generated by the windforce flurrying on him. Even his breathing was becoming difficult.

Zhan Bai knew that he could not be able to take the third blow at all. But because he was stubborn by nature, even though he knew he was no match, he was not willing to display any weakness in front of anyone. He actually raised both his hands in a similar manner to coincide…

“Pong!” A thunderous sound echoed. Suddenly everything within five inches from the impact scene including the thick cotton window curtains were tore apart by this clash of blows. One could really see the power of both their palm skills!

The dust and sand of this aftermath were stirred as high as two to three yards high, causing everyone blurry visions and able to see the duel clearly.

And then when the dust storm that was created by the windforce of the impact settled down, everyone could see clearly that both the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] and the young man Zhan Bai was still standing at a face off with one another. No one had fall.

The faces of everyone began tweaking in surprise and disbelief as they immediately broke into a discussion, “How did this young man gets his martial ability from?…”

“He can actually take three blows from Old Hero Yao…”

Everyone was startled for they had never seen such a powerful and magnificent display of palm windforce before. Moreover the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] was a highly competent Martial Fraternity fighter and had gained prominent fame tens of years ago. Moreover his opponent was an unknown young man…

But on closer observation, they finally noticed that Zhan Bai composure looked strange. His face was very red and his eyes were in a daze. Although his eyes were opened but it was without life.

A thought dawned upon the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] as he realized that Zhan Bai had been knocked conscious after the tremendous clash. The only why he did not fall was because just behind his back was a dark shadowy wall. Moreover because his windforce generated was so great, it rebound back at him after hitting the wall and due to an extreme intricate coincidence, that young man did not fall as the rebound windforce supported him…

“Hey! Little rascal! What do you think of these three blows coming from an old man like me?”

Zhan Bai did not move nor did he say anything.

“Hahaha!” The [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] burst into a thunderous roar of laughter. He was looking extremely proud of himself as he said, “I think you are unable to answer me at all. But the strange thing is, I wondered what sort of a virtuous righteous man are you that when you die, you did not fall?”

Even when he was talking, he was already on the move by extending out one of his finger in a furious manner to hit Zhan Bai on his forehead fatal accupoint!

This move of his had two purposes. If Zhan Bai had died, then he should be on the ground so that he could ask his henchmen to dispose of the corpse. If he did not fall and remained standing, how ridiculous it would be, moreover a corpse could not possible talk and declared himself dead. If Zhan Bai had not died but was only severely injured because of internal injuries then this finger of his would surely ended his life.

One must know that Yao Bin Kun who was also nicked the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] was well known in the pugilistic fraternity for his ruthlessness. When he fought with his opponents, he never left a single survivor. He would make sure that his foes were all dead and weed out all descendants.

For that, he had his own theories; if he were benevolent to his enemies, it would be cruel and mean to himself. Another theory that he likes to quote; If one did not weed out the grass to its roots, when spring comes, it would grow again.

If he did not enter into conflict with others, then it would be good. But once he fought with his foes, he would never rest until he had his foes dead. To him, it was pointless to leave behind a malicious growth just because he was once benevolent.

But when his body had just started to spring forward and before he could hit Zhan Bai on his forehead, he suddenly heard a captivating grasp, “Old Ghoul! You dare?”

In the midst of the captivating grasps were several series of windforce and sounds speeding through the air and a dark shadowy figure reached out to hit the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] on his ‘Yin Du’ accupoint that was on his right shoulder.

Indeed the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] was no ordinary martial expert. He could react accordingly and not be confused. So he changed his bodily movement and turned over using the ‘Flipping in the Cloud’ as he did a somersault before his feet returned to the original position.

There were a series of grasps and startled reactions. When the commotion had ended, everyone’s eyes were dazzled because standing between Zhan Bai and the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] was a lovely young maiden whose looks were beyond comparison dressed in a cotton garment!

Earlier there were a series of whacking sounds. It was caused by a horse whip that was three inches long. And this young girl was holding the whip in her hand.

Suddenly the [Iron Signboard Monk] gave a loud startled cry as he felt a pain on his ear. He had reached out and saw blood. Because he was a rough man, he did not control his emotions and cried out aloud. The horse whip had struck him while he was looking intently between the duel between Zhan Bai and the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand].

She whipped her whip again and this time, everyone could see that it had pierced three to four inches into the thick wall. One must know that a horse whip was a soft object and when this young girl in cotton garment and dress appeared, she could bypass everyone like a shooting arrow, into the overlapping buildings and injured someone on the way in. There was no doubt that her wrist power was shockingly unbelievable and her martial abilities were extremely high as well.

Everyone could not resisted being startled and their eyes were staring wide-opened at this young girl.

Her skin was pure white and so were her teeth. She was slim looking and wearing a cotton garment and dress. She adored her hair in a beautiful way and she looked like she was only sixteen or seventeen. She looked extremely lovely and captivating. In her captivating look, she exudes a certain nobility air. It was exactly like the saying, “More beautiful than the flowers could describe, more fragrance than even the Jades”.

She looked extremely innocent, carried a certain exquisite aura and bore a coquettish manner. Even if she were now looking angry, her mouth still carried a tinge of a smile and she looked extremely cute indeed!

“From whose family are you from, destitute girl? When the [Red Dragon with the Blood Hand] had seen clearly by now that it was a captivating lovely young girl that had caused him to be in a panicky with his hands and legs and even wounded one of his top fighters serving him, he was solemn and shouted angrily, “How dare you interrupt me and display such arrogance?”

“Red face old man! Don’t you try to be proud first!” The young girl in cotton placed one of her hands on her waist and a finger pointing at his nose before saying, “First, let me ask you this. As an elder, what you say, does it count at all?”

“Heng!” He hummed coldly before saying, “Undisciplined destitute girl! How dare you mutter nonsense in my presence! Do you know how to respect your elders at all? Don’t blame me for killing you with my hand!”

“Heng! Deplorable old man that enjoy lying.” She began to mimic his speech and continued, “Don’t mention that hand of yours that cannot even touch me. You can’t even take one blow from me. If you can take one blow from me, then I let you wander throughout the Six Northern Regions and the Seven Southern Regions freely in these thirteen regions. I will definitely not harass or stop you…”

“Shut up!…” This infuriated him as he shouted for he knew that the girl was trying to mimic his speech earlier. It caused his rage to reach boiling point and just when he was about to attack her…

“Outrageous little maid! How dare you tear my ear! I make you pay for this with your life!” The [Iron Signboard Monk] howled with explosive rage as he interrupted the [Red Dragon with the Red Hand] as he lifted his iron placard that weighed a thousand catty on a shoulder as he swung it to crash it on the young girl’s head.

The young girl remained on the same spot, smiling and laughing at the same time. It was as though she did not see the iron placard that weighed a thousand catty coming at her. Only when the iron placard was two inches away from her, there was a blur flash and no one knew what swiftness movement skill that could have helped her to bypass the iron placard to reappear on the top, flicking over once in mid-air in a graceful manner.

She stood on the top of the iron placard as she said, “What a stupid monk! Lacking a weapon to fight, you actually take down the signboard from the temple!”

The [Iron Signboard Monk] began to swing his iron placard in a wild frenzy in a bid to force her to come down.

That young girl began to leap, jump and tip toe on the iron placard. She was actually seen dancing on it as she was giggling merrily, “Gosh so fun! Really very fun!…huh.”

This scene was really too good to be missed. As the streets were brightly lit and a big rough looking monk was swinging his hands in a wild dance with the iron placard.

On the top of the iron placard was a captivating lovely young girl dancing merrily and with much grace. She was giggling and laughing heartily. Those that did not know actually though she was a street performer and that she was performing a special performance!

At this moment it was not just the [Red Dragon with the Red Hand] that was in the scene but many common people had actually came out of their homes and from the streets to take a look. At first, they had thought that it was a vendetta between the pugilists of the pugilistic martial fraternity so they stay out of sight. But when they seen such a scene, everyone came out to join in the commotion as speculators…

[The Iron Signboard Monk] was getting frustrated when he could not hit the young girl after such a long time. He knew that this method was not going to work in getting her off and so he hatched a perverted thought.

He used one hand to support the iron placard and all of a sudden, used another hand forming a fist to reach into the skirt of the young girl but he cursed in his mouth instead, “You bitch! How dare you make a fool out of me! Down you go!”

For a young innocent girl, this stance by the [Iron Signboard Monk] was indeed a pervert display. She flushes as her red turned red and she could no longer laugh. Switching to the ‘Zhang Fei stealing the horse’, she lifted one leg up to avoid getting hit by the monk’s fist while another leg touched the iron placard giving it a push as she somersaulted two yards away.

Now the [Iron Signboard Monk] did not know that when the young girl had pushed the iron placard down at the same time, she exerted the ‘Thousand Weight Fall’ through. It broke his fingers that were holding the iron placard and also broke his other fingers as he tried to use his other hand to support himself from falling down. That was because his two legs were broken when she gently tipped the iron placard.

The [Iron Signboard Monk] was now howling with pain as his body bent in an awkward position on the ground…

The young girl had landed in front of the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] Yao Bin Kun. She started to brush her stray hairs and at the same time exclaiming to him, “Red face old man. I see that you do have some renown in the pugilistic fraternity. The agreement that you have made with young hero Zhan, do you still adhere to it?”

When the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] had seen the swiftness movement skill that she had displayed when she was playing a fool out of the [Iron Signboard Monk] was actually the ‘Walking in the Air Miracle’.

Suddenly he recalled that a powerful martial family that was in the martial fraternity and this ‘Walking in the Air Miracle’ was a secret skill that was not passed to outsiders. And since this young girl knew this type of movement skill, surely she had very familiar ties with that martial family. Not to mention himself, even his Protégé Master, Young Master Anle could not afforded to offend this family.

Therefore he swept his pride and rage under the carpet and his face had a sudden transformation. He began to brighten and laugh, “Maiden! As long as you know that old man, I have some renown in the pugilistic fraternity, that itself is enough. Why don’t you explain yourself, what makes me a liar?”

[Red Dragon with Red Hand] was indeed a cunning old man. Even though he seemed to give way to the young girl in cotton garment and dress, he was also extolling himself.

“Humph!” The young girl raised her nose and hummed before saying, “Despicable old man, don’t you try to paste gold on your face! And don’t try to make a pretense! Just now you made an agreement with young hero Zhan that should he take three blows from you, you would allow him to wander freely throughout the Regions of Lu and Su and would definitely not harass him at all. Now that young hero Zhan had taken three blows from you, what do you have to say now?”

The [Red Dragon with Red Hand] began to roar with laughter, “My conversations with that lad were overheard by maiden. Since that is the case, just base on this point raised by maiden, I will let this lad on his way then!”

“Now this is indeed humane!” The young girl said, “Then, please ask your men to give way!” As she said, she blew a whistle. It was a high pitch whistle and immediately a big red horse appeared as it galloped from view.

This red horse was extremely magnificent and unusual. It galloped besides the young girl and began to rub softly against her body in an extremely intimate way.

Among the tens of iron men, many were also lecherous men. When they had seen this young girl that was as beautiful as a fairy, captivating and innocent that was also unreasonable and unruly. Even their leader the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] had to burrow into her good books, even though they had lecherous thoughts on her but they did not dare to step forward to harass.

Therefore they swallowed their lust in bitterness but when they seen this red horse that was so intimate with her, it was indeed ‘Man is no better off than a Horse’. Many sighed…

The young girl used her jaded white hand to pat the horse on its neck before she flew in a startling speed to extract her horse whip from the wall before she returned back to the side of the horse. This movement was like lightning. No one could see her leg touching the ground nor did they see her fingers touching the wall. Just this swiftness skill alone caused the martial pugilists that had gathered here to sigh continuous in inferior complex.

But for this young girl, she did it so effortlessly in front of tens of pairs of eyes. After retrieving her horse whip, she pulled the horse besides Zhan Bai. Upon seeing his face bubbly red and his idiotic eyes, her eyes began to water in sympathetic. She grasped softly and gently, “Big Brother Zhan! You are injured?” But Zhan Bai did not move or reply.

“Big brother Zhan, are you severely injured? Why don’t you say anything?” Zhan Bai did not response at all. Even his eyeballs did not bulge.

Upon witnessing such a reaction, her eyes began to redden and she shed a few tears as she said hatefully, “Humph! It must be this old despicable man that had injured you until you are like this! When your little sister sends you back home for treatment, I will come back again to seek vendetta for big brother!”

As she said, she even turned around to look hatefully at the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] before she sprang like she was flying onto the horse as she effortlessly and gently positioned Zhan Bai on the horse bridle. Then she embraced Zhan Bai with one hand and used another hand to hold the stirrups to leave…

“Maiden, wait don’t go yet!” The [Red Dragon with Red Hand] moved one step forward as he shouted loudly.

“What is the matter?” The young girl was obviously not too pleased and she furrowed her eyebrows before she coldly asked, “Despicable old man! Are you going to go back on your word again?”

[Red Dragon with Red Hand] had a bitter smile on his face as he said, “Maiden. You keep saying old despicable man on and off, isn’t it too disrespectful to an elder?…”

“Is there anything you want to say?” She interrupted him. Obviously she was growing impatient.

“Outrageous little maid! Don’t you push your luck too far!” [Jaded Face Ne Zhai] Song Xiaofei shouted at her as he could not stand her insulting his protégé master anymore. He flew into a rage and step forward, yelling and cursing, “Today I will surely…”

“Fei Er, don’t you interrupt!” The [Red Dragon with Red Hand] pacified his disciple Song Xiaofei before saying to the young girl, “Maiden, I am only giving face due to your family background. If you are not willing to listen, then I will not say more. This young lad Zhan has been injured by my ‘Red Sloe Blood Skill Palm’. If without any antidote, not even three days had passed, his internal organs would surely turn black like charcoal and died. Now I will be a good man and do a good deed till the very end; I will present to maiden an antidote. Take it and let him swallow it. After a few days of recuperation, he will recover!” As he finished saying, he took out a small gourd and took out a small green pill from it. He extended his fingers and shot the pill towards the young girl!

The young girl smiled for a while before she extended she caught the pill gracefully with two of her beautiful fingers.

This might be an ordinary pill but from the fingers of the [Red Dragon with Red Hand], the force imbued through it was indeed no ordinary.

Moreover, the pill was so small and it shot so fast but yet this young girl had used only two fingers and she had caught it. Her eyesight, the pureness of her internal power and the intricate movement of her fingers and her accuracy finally caused the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] to really impress by her.

He secretly sighed before turning back to look at his disciple, the [Jaded Face Ne Zhai].

After Song Xiaofei had witnessed this display by the young girl in silvery cotton garment and dress, he looked down in shame…

But who would expect that after the young girl got hold of the antidote, she looked at it in her palm for awhile before she asked, “How shall I know if this pill is for real? What if you have given me a poison pill? Huh…”

Actually the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] did not become benevolent all of a sudden and wanted to save the life of Zhan Bai. It was because he knew that this young girl’s family was very influential and powerful. When he had seen how concern this young girl was towards Zhan Bai, he had guessed that their relationship might be highly unusual. If he did not save Zhan Bai, surely this young girl would come for him for vengeance.

Therefore, he pretended to be benevolent and appeared to do a favor to them. This was to ensure that this young girl would not come back to him for vendetta next time. Who would expect that he had humbled so much now and even planned this part in such a well manner, this young girl would say such an infuriating thing?

So his face lost his composure and he coldly said, “If I am not sincere to save him, even if I do not give him any poison, he would not live…”

“From the way you say it, then I must really thank you, am I right? Old despicable man!” The young girl had now ascertained that this was indeed an antidote so without waiting for him to finish, she raised the saddle and galloped away.

The horse galloped like the wind and in the twinkle of an eye, they disappeared from the streets and into the darkness. But not before sending the [Red Dragon with Red Hand] infuriating with rage and his eyes bulging out as she called out again, “Old despicable man!”

 

Ch15 End

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Chapter 14: The truth is difficult to explain

Inside Fei Yi Tong’s innermost thoughts, he was hilariously happy when he felt Zhan Bai palm force receding. He had thought that Zhan Bai internal strength was giving way, therefore he hallowed in joy.

“You will go…”

But before he could say ‘Down’, he suddenly felt a tremendous force rebounding back from Zhan Bai. Like a thousand ton crashing upon his body, his eyes turned black and his ears thundering aloud, he found himself no longer able to withstand anymore.

He screamed aloud as he was knocked back. There was a loud ‘Pong’ sound that clapped like thunder as he was thrown a yard away and landed on the ground.

When Zhan Bai had used the ‘Suck’ intrinsic formula, he immediately sensed something was not right. In a bid to salvage the situation, he accidentally executed the ‘Reality that is, Strong enforcing Strong’ in the Sacred Manual that formed the intrinsic word ‘Rebound’ and instantly knocked back Fei Yitong.

This was something that Zhan Bai had not expected. He heard the screams of Fei Yitong after that for he himself was knocked backward onto the ground. He got up and circulated his breathing first before he walked over to check upon him and saw that blood was bleeding from his veins, nose, mouth and ears; Fei Yitong was dead now.

Although Zhan Bai had previously roamed the pugilistic realm for many years but this was actually the first time he had killed some one. Therefore when he saw that Fei Yitong was bleeding from his seven senses and died in such a terrible manner, he was panicky.

To someone that had bullied him on numerous times, he was feeling apologetic at the moment as he muttered in prayer. “Old senior, why must we come to this stage? You have caused me numerous troubles, alas! I have misjudged and accidentally killed you…”

As he muttered, he thought. “I have better buried him in case his body is exposed to the wilderness and eaten by the wild beasts…”

Therefore, he drawn the Heartless Precious Sword to use as a spade and dug a pit in the forest ground. Just when he had thrown the corpse of Fei Yitong into the pit, suddenly there was a series of wicked laughter coming from three big burly men.

“What a good thing that you have done!”

A burly man that seemed to the leader of the ground said. “To think that someone after murdering a man in broad daylight has decided to destroy all traces of the evidence. Don’t try to deny this thing anymore, rascal!”

Zhan Bai was taken aback while another burly man with an alert face was grinning. “Friend, which fraction do you belong to? After you got yourself such a loot, don’t try to seize all of it for yourself!”

The third burly man that had a pale face coldly said. “Witnesses have a share in the loot too. Take out all the loot no matter how valuable or minor and share with us!”

Although Zhan Bai had previously mixed with the unorthodox fractions in the past not more than a few days but he did understand their meanings.

When he heard that these burly men had thought of him as a fellow bandit and even asked to have a share in the loot, he was feeling misery.

So he replied. “There is no loot to be shared here. The one that died is my companion. He had died during the travels and I am burying his corpse for him!”

The three burly men refused to believe what Zhan Bai had died and walked over to take a look. When they saw the horrid expressions of Fei Yitong, the burly man with the alert face laughed. “There is no need to play a covert games with the knowing. Friend, this companion of yours did not died of illness, right?”

“Oh gosh!”

Before Zhan Bai could reply, the man with the pale face startling called out. “Isn’t this dead man, old senior [Cruel Hand Midget] Fei Yitong!”

The other two were speechless and opened their eyes wide opened and took a closer once more. After verifying that it was really the [Cruel Hand Midget] Fei Yitong, they immediately took two steps back and they drawn their sabres from the back of their body.

And they immediately surrounded him.

“You rascal, how could you have killed old senior Fei?” The leader pointed his finger at Zhan Bai and said aloud. “Why don’t you honestly confess it now!”

“Laoda! (Leader)”

The other two men shouted together. “There is no need to ask anymore! A life for a life for old senior Fei’s life!”

And they had firmly surrounded Zhan Bai now.

“Hold it!” Zhan Bai shouted. “I was dueling with old senior Fei when I misjudged my strength and accidentally hurt him…”

“Rascal! Do you know that telling tell tales will cause your tongue to rot!” The pale faced man coldly said eerily. “In a fair duel, how would you ever be a match for old senior Fei? You must be using some underhand means to kill old senior Fei!”

“Rascal! A life for a life!” The alert face man suddenly hacked his sabre at Zhan Bai.

Zhan Bai had barely dodged it when the other two men too started hacking him from his left and back.

Zhan Bai saw that these three men were proficiency with their sabre techniques therefore he unsheathed the Heartless Precious Sword from the scabbard and displayed a stroke ‘Crossing the River, diverting the Flow’.

There were two ‘Clang’ sound as two sabres were severed from its hilt by the Heartless Precious Sword.

The three burly men were startled as they back off one yard away as they stared at Zhan Bai in a state of panic.

This time round, they did not dare to underestimate Zhan Bai anymore for they had witnessed him severing their sabres with his sword.

The three of them were furious and two of the men with the severed sabres charged towards Zhan Bai.

They attacked Zhan Bai on all sides again.

Upon seeing how frantic were their attacks, Zhan Bai did not dare to use his hand to handle the attacks. So he moved his body and used the ‘Ripple of the White Heron’ swiftness skill to dodge the two severed sabres.

Zhan Bai lifted gave a flying kick towards the third man and he was knocked backward to the ground.

The three men had by now lost all their morale and were frightened. They quickly moved backward as they were afraid that Zhan Bai would kill him.

Seeing that Zhan Bai had no wish to pursue them, the pale faced man shouted fiercely. “If you have the guts, leave behind your name!”

“Zhan Bai is my namesake!” Zhan Bai had by now knowingly understood that his martial skills had improved tremendously; his bodily co-ordination and execution of his skills were excellent. Therefore he started to feel proud in his heart and he replied. “Do you still have any opinion to express?”

“Don’t be too sure of yourself yet! We may have admitted defeat for now! But you better watch out!”

As they exclaiming, they were in fact running hastily away.

Zhan Bai laughed on his own and thought. “To think that I, Zhan Bai finally have the opportunity to be famous now…”

After he had finished burying Fei Yitong and ascertaining the way to Nanjing, he was soon on his way.

When the darkness descended, Zhan Bai had walked into a big town. However, he did not know what was the name of this town. But he could see that the streets were lit in a beautiful glow and crowds of people were moving around. It was a bustling town with many traders and people.

As Zhan Bai had hurried hastily here, he was feeling very hungry for quite some time. Taking a good look around hoping to spot a tavern or a Inn to rest and then when dawn came tomorrow, he would continue on his way.

Along the way, Zhan Bai was looking all around for a Inn Tavern and did not notice that quite a few men in short garment were staring at him.

Finally, Zhan Bai spied an Inn Tavern with a big golden sign board with the inscription ‘Gathering of the Heroes’. The merry sounds of people that were making a din out of guessing fists and the fragrance of wine attracted Zhan Bai.

Therefore, he began to walk in bold strides towards this ‘Gathering of the Heroes.’

When Zhan Bai entered through the entrance, a bulky man in short sleeves stopped him and asked. “Are you here to drink or stay?”

Zhan Bai took a glance at him and the bulky man did not look like he was drunk. Therefore he replied, “I am here to drink as well as to stay for the night.”

The bulky man in short sleeves looked up and down at Zhan Bai for several moments before he coldly said, “Very sorry! Our tavern is fully occupied at the moment and so are our rooms. Please go to other Inn Taverns!”

Zhan Bai noticed that this bulky man did not look like the type that was in the Inn business and he saw that a few people inside looked frightful.

Therefore he only stood at the entrance and did not dare to enter. He was filled with suspicious but since he was told that it was fully occupied inside, he was naturally shy to barge inside. So he turned his head around to walk away.

But after Zhan Bai had approached five to six other Inn Taverns, he was filled with disbelief after he was told that every single of them were fully occupied and asked him to approach other Inn Taverns.

He walked to the last Inn Tavern at the edge of the town and he saw the darkness approaching swiftly and there were no lights at all even from the various households.

Zhan Bai was immediately filled with suspicious and he saw the last eatery was half empty therefore he dared to walk boldly inside.

Suddenly a muscular man walked up to him and blocked him, yelling. ‘Friend! Why are you looking so panicky? What do you want here?”

Zhan Bai suddenly had an inspiration in his head and he replied. “To look for someone!” This time round, he did not say he was here to drink or to stay.

That was because he had already observed that all the bulky men that had blocked him along the way were not in this business. Therefore he just wanted to enter the tavern and to order food and drinks before he explained himself.

But alas, the muscular man did not move aside and remained blocking him. He coldly asked, “Who are you looking for?”

Zhan Bai was stunned but he replied, “Why must I tell you who I am looking for?”

The muscular man laughed for a second before saying, “If you are looking for someone, I will dispatch my guys inside to search for you. You shouldn’t be let loose inside on your own!”

Zhan Bai thought, “Why are there so many rules?” But he had already noticed that these people are troublemakers and therefore he pretended to be dumb as well. “I am looking for the Steward of the Inn Tavern!”

The muscular man looked stunned for a second, as he did not expect Zhan Bai to say something like this. But after a while, he knew Zhan Bai was making a fool of him. He stared at Zhan Bai and shouted, “What are you looking for the Steward of the Inn Tavern for?”

Zhan Bai suppressed his anger and he said slowly, “Naturally it is for eating and to stay in the tavern.”

“Friend! To tell you honestly!” The muscular man laughed coldly at him, “There is no food for you to eat here nor is there any room for you to stay. You have better go elsewhere instead!”

Zhan Bai flinched with anger and he was losing control of his rage. So he laughed coldly as well and said, “When I eat, I’ll pay for my food. When I stay in the tavern, I’ll pay for my lodging. Therefore, why should I bother you to meddle in my affairs?”

As Zhan Bai said, he began to bypass the muscular man to walk into the tavern directly.

“When I command that you cannot stay for the night, you surely can’t stay!” The muscular man began to attack Zhan Bai with his hands in a clawing gesture.

How could Zhan Bai let him have the chance to grip him? He dodged the attack and the muscular man followed by a fist after his attack missed.

This fist of his was not only powerful and forceful. It carried a windforce and it was swift and fast as well.

Zhan Bai waited for the muscular man’s fist to be near before he counter-attacked by extending his hand to twist his wrist and pushed him backward, exclaiming. “Out you go!”

And that huge muscular man was indeed obedient, with a scream, he was thrown out of the entrance.

The muscular man crawled back and he pointed at Zhan Bai, cursing loudly at him. “Very good rascal. If you have the courage, don’t run away.” After cursing him, he left hurriedly.

Zhan Bai smiled and he walked majesty into the Inn Tavern and began to sit down. The guests that were in the Inn Tavern were all staring at Zhan Bai with wide-opened eyes. The shop assistants had saw him sitting down but did not dare to approach him to take his orders.

“Hello!” Zhan Bai said after he had sat for quite a while and saw that no one approached him to take orders. So he said loudly, “Where is the drink and food? Serve it to me!”

The shop assistants and the tavern accountants looked at one another for awhile before a brave one dare to approach him and said to him. “Distinguish guest! May we request for you to go to other places to have your meal, alright! Our insignificant shop did not dare to serve you!”

“Rest assure!” Zhan Bai said to him, “Just bring forth the drinks and food. I will shoulder all the troubles incurred and will not drag you into it.

The shop assistant had a bitter smile on his face. “Distinguish guest! You are not wrong in what you say but if we allow you to have your drinks and meal here, we can forget about opening for business in the future.”

“What’s dealings did that fellow have and why are you all so afraid of him?” Zhan Bai asked him. “Is there no imperial law around here?”

“The imperial law do exists here!” The shop assistant replied, “Distinguish guest, have you heard of the name of the ‘The Dashing Joy Seeker’?”

Zhan Bai received a jolt in his head and he began to understand much more clearly now. He thought, “Ah! No wonder! No wonder why these people are so frightened! It is because that fellow is the protégé of Young Master Anle!”

A thought descended upon Zhan Bai that set him thinking again. “A few months ago, I chanced upon Young Master Anle (Chapter 2). Not only is he noble looking, he looked cheerful and heroic as well. Why is that his henchmen are behaving in such a ridiculous manner and yet he did not seem to know?…”

As Zhan Bai pondered, he could not resist asking, “The Young Master Anle that you are referring to, is he from this town?”

The shop assistant smiled when he noticed that Zhan Bai had recognized the name of Young Master Anle. Therefore he laughed and said to him, “Distinguish guest, it is good that you know. Even though Young Master Anle is not at this place but half of this town belongs to him and he is like our foster parents providing food and clothing to us. How did we dare not to respect him?…”

Zhan Bai was listening and thinking at the same time, “Maybe these henchmen are borrowing the prestige and fame of the Young Master Anle and abusing it. Since this shop steward has said that Young Master Anle did not stay in this town so even if I said that I knew him, no one would believe me. It seems that today I am going to starve!…”

Zhan Bai’s eyes were looking around at the same time. He spotted ready made duck, geese and roasted meat. Suddenly a thought struck him and he said, “Since that is the case, I will not put you in a tight spot. Just bring me two catty of roasted meat and some buns for me. I will bring it along to eat!

But the shop assistant did not bulge at all and he was just nodding his head in a continuous bittersweet smile…

“Don’t push me to the extreme!” Zhan Bai stared at him as divine light shone forth from his eyes as he shouted, “Hurry and bring the food here! If you not hurry, don’t blame me for being ungracious…”

“So what if you are ungracious. What then will you do?”

Before Zhan Bai could finish what he was trying to say, two well dressed men had appeared all of a sudden, much like a candle which light shone the instant it was lit.

It was an old man and a young man. The old man was around sixty and his hair was pure white. But his face was reddish and he had thick eyebrows. His eyes were sharp and piercing; he was fierce to behold. On his waist was an unorthodox weapon that was shaped like a cross and he had iron bangles around his belt. It was glittering and it enhanced the malevolent air of the old man.

The young man was twenty plus of age. He had a jaded face and his eyebrows crossed like the clash of swords. He looked handsome but he could not disguise the fierce look on his jaded face. What more, his lips looked like he was of the vicious type and on the whole, he looked proud and arrogant. He stared at Zhan Bai and he was looking none too pleased with him.

When these two men appeared, the shop assistant that was besides Zhan Bai began to step backward slowly…

Zhan Bai rose from his seat but before he could open his mouth, the old man with the reddish face shouted deeply at him, “You are the one that specialized in secret projectiles and killed the [Cruel Hand Midget]?”

The old man speech was powerful and electrifying. It was loud, thunderous and deafening!

Zhan Bai had a bittersweet expression on his face as he listened. It was obviously the [Cruel Hand Midget] had died in a melee fight yet these people were trying to demonize him by suggesting that he won by despicable methods. Therefore he laughed bitterly for a second before exclaiming, “This is a misunderstanding. I am an acquaintance of Young Master Anle. If only I can have a audience with him….”

The arrogant young man with the jaded face coldly hummed as he interrupted, “How could Young Master Anle know a nameless nobody like you? Rubbish aside! Surrender your life as payment in exchange for Old Senior Fei’s life!”

When he had finished, he had suddenly purged forward and attacked Zhan Bai on his right wrist, attempting to grapple him.

Zhan Bai noted that he was not weak and he made an intricate movement, turned his body and he was out of harm’s way.

The arrogant young man began to convert his claw to a palm attack as he followed Zhan Bai. It was the ‘Golden Flake Hand’ as he attacked him furiously. At the same time when he had plunged forward, his right hand turned into a slicing blade as he aimed Zhan Bai’s ‘Jian Xue’ that if hit, would be very grievous indeed. (Shoulder blade).

This one stance, two strokes were not only swift like the striking of flint and steel, it also carried the brokering sound of the windforce. It was very obvious that the arrogant young man possesses extraordinary internal strength as well.

If it were one month ago, these two strokes would surely cause Zhan Bai to be defeated on the spot. But the Zhan Bai now was not the weakling that he once was! When he had seen the displaying his two killer strokes, he immediately extended his hands. There were two clanking sounds as he gripped the arrogant young man by his wrists.

The arrogant young man’s countenance underwent a tremendous change as he turned green and he was perspiring profusely. What was lacking was that he did not let go of a terrifying scream to the scene.

This wondrous technique of Zhan Bai was called the ‘Intricate Chain and Shackles’. It was a skill that Zhan Bai had stolen from the [One Leg Flying Heretic]. He did not expect to use this technique at all here and the instant he had executed it, he had suppressed this proud and arrogant young man that held his head high above all and belittled all others.

Because this stance of Zhan Bai had gripped the arrogant man’s two wrists and caused him unnerving pain, even if he had many powerful martial moves, he could not muster anymore.

Zhan Bai did not want to bully him. Just when he wanted to say a word or two before he released the arrogant young man, there was a powerful windforce coming behind his back.

At the same time, he heard the reddish old man shouting, “Release him!”

Actually even if the reddish old man did not shout, Zhan Bai knew that it was him that was attacking him from behind his back. He immediately let go of the arrogant young man and leapt back five feet away from the attack.

There was a powerful pang sound as the reddish face old man who was unable to stop himself because of the tremendous force that he had mustered, hit the arrogant young man on his chest as Zhan Bai dodged out of the way.

The arrogant young man was sent flying more than one yard away before he landed with a studding sound as he crashed headlong on the wall. He was seen dropping lifelessly on the ground and not a sound was heard. It seemed that he was not far from dying…

The shop assistants and the guests were in a state of confusion as they began to bellow aloud. “Someone is killed!…”

The reddish face old man saw that he had yet to land a finger upon Zhan Bai and instead he had injured his beloved disciple. He was now extremely furious and was in terrible rage now. His eyebrows looked like it would explode at anytime. He crackled his knuckles before he plunged at Zhan Bai.

Zhan Bai did not expect that the reddish face old man would continue to attack him even though he had just killed that arrogant young man and even after he had dodged his attacks. He saw that the old man was in such a terrible rage and his palm attacks were like the flooding of the Great River that he decided to dodge.

But the reddish face old man was like a maddening tiger refusing to let Zhan Bai go. He let go of a thunderous shout, “Where do you think you are going! Exchange blows with me!”

Because the tavern was small, narrow and there were many tables and chairs blocking Zhan Bai. Coupled with the fact that the old man blows were fast, furious and his power extended even to a yard, Zhan Bai found himself unable to dodge anymore and he was forced to take his blows as he extended his two hands out.

There were a thunderous ‘Pong —— Pang!’ when they landed their four hands at one another, sending the bowls, plates, cups, dishes, spoons and chopsticks that were on the table flying all over as explosive ripples shook the place.

There were a series of cries and screams as many of the guests and shop assistants that were in the tavern were injured by this powerful impact. Everyone tried to scurry for the exit like a swarm of homing bees. Many were injured by the impact of the blows and the flying objects that were in the place. It was pandemonium…

Zhan Bai felt the power of the reddish face old man’s internal power when both their hands had impacted. He felt a burning sensation and his visions turned black. He was secretly shocked at the might of the old man’s blows.

All of a sudden he saw the old man attack him once more with his eyes staring at him. The old man’s palms were sweating profusely what looked like blood.

At the same time, Zhan Bai suddenly recalled that in the Martial Fraternity, there was a type of extremely poisonous palm stance called the ‘The Red Sloe Blood Skill Palm’. Anyone that was struck by it would feel like he was burning and then finally all five of his organs would turn to black like charcoal before finally perishing. It was poisonous beyond imagination. It was hinted only in rumors and never seen.

Now that Zhan Bai had seen that the old man’s palms turning as red as fire and after he had traded blows, he could feel his the fire spreading from his hands to his body. It was a sensation that he had never experienced before. When he had thought of that, cold chill shook him…

At the same time, he had also thought of when he was in grave danger, Young Master Anle had lent him a righteous hand. Therefore he was his benefactor. If he stirred a misunderstanding with his men then won’t the misunderstanding be even harder to resolve?

Then won’t they have the chance to have a cordial meeting together in future? Moreover the present situation was hard to explain in mere words. Why did he not move away from here first and maybe explained in the future…

All those thoughts happened in the twinkle of an eye but the old man’s ‘The Red Sloe Blood Skill Palm’ had its force mustered to its zenith. A tremendous torrent of windforce like the hurricane began to deliver upon Zhan Bai as the old man howled aloud, “Heh!”

Zhan Bai extended one hand out and gentle grasped the incoming attack before he borrowed the force to turn himself away and he shouted, “Sorry, I got to go!” And he headed towards the window.

“Where do you think you are going?” The old man behind him shouted in a maddening rage…

But before Zhan Bai could escape through the window, there were three studding sounds as he spotted three silvery white light flying towards him. Using the ‘Flipping in the Cloud’ to raise himself three more inches, he managed to dodge the flying projectiles as he spotted three razor thin needle hitting the edge of the window.

When Zhan Bai had landed on the ground and lifted his head to take a look, he got a terrible jittery and shock…

Ch14 End

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