The Young Master of the Nangong Aristocracy Family had arrived at Lin Xuan!
This piece of news took Lin Xian Town by storm. There were some that envied his background, some that were envied of his fame, some jealous, women that want to see his dashing appearance and women that like his wealth.
Inside Fast Wine Tavern, there were countless numbers of people who want to take a peek at Nangong Ping in person.
Nangong Ping had started to regret why he had revealed his identity so openly now.
Similarly like Nangong Ping, Mei Yinxue too took Lin Xuan by storm.
Hardly anyone could scarcely believe their eyes that in this life, they would actually witness this extraordinary beauty that simply looked like a fairy.
Nangong Ping quietly walked down the stairs of Fast Wine Tavern to ask a shop assistant softly. “Did you see a strong man and three other young men and women that come to Lin Xuan?”
The shop assistant respectfully shook his head and he solemnly said. “Go check it out.” And the shop assistant respectfully nodded. He then asked. “Have that coffin been settled? Did you invite the old man from the small shop here?”
The shop assistant countenance changed. For no one remembered the old man in that small shop.
Nangong Ping countenance changed. And at the same time, the crowd who saw a handsome young man in a clean cloth but not flashy walking down the stairs to talk to a shop assistant. Then someone shouted. “Look! That is Nangong Young Master!” As shouts and praises came from the crowd. But Nangong Ping had already sneaked out from the back of the shop!
Because it was dark now, he managed to avoid the crowd and arrived back to the small shop down the street. But strange, why was there such a crowd outside the small shop?
Feeling puzzled within, he hesitated for awhile before he could not resist the temptation to walk in and saw the gruesome sight!
There was a funeral procession that was walking out of Lin Xuan City, on its way to the ancient tomb that was outside this Xian ancient city.
On the funeral parlor was the word “The benevolent of Old Du will be remembered forever”. But who had died? And for whom? Some people began to wonder about it and search for the name of Old Du but it was a most ordinary name. So everyone felt even more puzzled.
A man in black appeared at the front of the funeral procession. And some people knew him as Young Master Nangong from the Nangong Aristocracy Family!
But the strange thing was for whom was he mourning?
For a dead bird, Nangong Ping was willing to bury it. Needless to say when he saw the corpse of the kind old man, he felt very heavy and sorrowful. He could not guess how the old man got killed but he had a feeling that the old man died because of him.
He knew that this old man lead an ordinary life, a quiet livelihood. He could never expect a slight happenstance would cause this old man to lose his life. This feeling of guilt caused the benevolent Nangong Ping to blame himself and to lose sleep. He could only host a grand funeral for the old man and to make up for the sorrow when he was alive.
Suddenly there was a commotion on the road in front as a man in white made his way through. Nangong Ping lifted his head only to see him pay respectfully to him and said. “Your humble servant is Wei Chuan En, who have been taking care of Xian City business for Master…”
Nangong Ping said solemnly. “Now is not the time to talk…”
Wei Chuan En anxiously said. “Your humble servant heard the news yesterday and specifically come to welcome Old Master Du spiritual funeral and to clear a path but who would expect…”
Nangong Ping said in a tranquil manner. “It been hard on you, stand up and talk.” But he continued to walk but after walking a few steps, he noticed that there were several big tables with incense and funeral papers (altar). But now it was in a mess and some of the tables were even destroyed.
He became perplexed and looked at Wei Chuan En who looked awful but was still besides him. He turned and asked him solemnly. “What is going on here?”
Wei Chuan En lowered his head and said. “Your humble servants yesterday when we knew that Master is holding a funeral, so we busied throughout the night to prepare the sacrifices. But who would expect that there is another group of people from outside Xian City that is holding another funeral too. And they are planning for it to be very grand too and brought almost all the sacrifice materials from all the funeral shops in Xian. Your humble servant put forth a pricier offer and managed to buy back some of it.”
Nangong Ping said. “It must be very hard for you all. With such a good intentions, it is enough.”
His mannerism and attitude was peaceful and spoken like a gentleman.
Wei Chuan En did not expect that this Nangong Master who was so famous in the world, whose wealth equaled a kingdom would be so courtesy, so he was startled. But he soon recovered and said. “Master you are indeed benevolent and did not blame upon your humble us. But we are afraid that if the funeral procession is early so we already camped outside here throughout the night. But last two or four hours, there were another funeral procession and we thought it was yours. But…”
Nangong Ping asked solemnly. “Some one creating trouble for even a funeral?”
Wei Chuan En sighed and said. “Coming from the sandstorm, there was seven to eight men riding strong horses and in black. And they carried a small red flag…”
Nangong Ping was slightly startled and thought. “There riders, could they be the Red Flag Escort Agency, Sima Zhongtian’s men?”
Wei Chuan En was still relating. “From what I could see, these men do not look upright therefore I avoided them.”
Nangong Ping hummed a sound. Although he did not say it aloud but he felt unhappy in his heart. “These men braved the hardship of long journey and served as armed escorts, earning their keep. How could they not be upright!”
“But who would expect that when these people saw us, they got off from their horses and knee before us and shouted. ‘Old Master, us juniors have arrived late!’ Some even lay on the ground to cry aloud. Therefore we feel strange about it and asked them for who funeral they are for? But when they lifted their heads and saw the words on the spiritual tablet, they flew into a rage when they got up and scolded us nonstop. I told them that the one who mistaken the spiritual tablet is you, why did you have to scold others? These men when they heard me, without any reasons at all started to fight with us. We are not their matches and some of us are even beaten up badly and are sent for treatment. And they got on their horses and rode off. Those of us who are still able to stand started arranging the tables and to wait for Master…therefore…It is the mess that you witness now and may Master forgive us.” When he finished, he and all the men in white kneeled on the ground.
Nangong Ping swept his eyes around and saw that although they were not badly injured, they looked awful.
He said in a tranquil manner. “Everyone please get up.” In his heart he questioned angrily. “These Red Flag Knights, why are they so barbaric? They had seen the wrong spiritual tablet yet blamed it on others. I should really ask Old Chief Sima.”
But then Nangong Ping had another thought. “The Red Flag Escort Agency has long been established and build up quite a reputation for itself in Pugilist. Moreover, Red Flag Iron Lance Sima Zhongtian is well known for his chivalrous ways. So his followings under his Escort Agency will surely not be that rude. It is well possible that these shop assistants have long been haughty and offended the others with their words. How can I have such a thought to blame others without checking out matters. How can I make friends in Pugilist in future? How can I find a footing in Pugilist?” After thinking, he had a cold sweat.
He had always been righteous. When he encountered problems even before he blamed on others, he would blame himself first. He had never brought into account that he was born in an aristocracy or his connection with a famous Clan. He would try to deal with it personally and in a fair manner. Therefore when he thought that he would almost become an unrighteous person, he grew afraid in his heart.
As he was approaching ever closer to Xian City, he had another thought. “The Red Flag Knights seemed to be in great haste. I wonder which prominent figure had passed away…Alas! It seemed that there will be frequent troubles arising in Pugilist…” Therefore he became heavy in his heart as he felt sorry for the lives that could possible be lost.
Suddenly a few shouts interrupted his thoughts and Nangong Ping saw a few figures standing in front blocking his way.
The one who was leading them was a pale man in a black gown and dark shoes. His pair of eye was like fire and shot toward Nangong Ping, coldly said. “Please halt your advance!”
Nangong Ping swept his eyes as he bowed with his hands and asked. “What may it be?”
The stranger with a sharp expression shot past Nangong Ping’s shoulder and glanced at the banner behind him and said solemnly. “I suppose you are the steward of this funeral?”
Nangong Ping said. “I beg to differ!”
The stranger said. “I have a matter to ask for…”
Nangong Ping replied. “Please free to say!”
The stranger asked. “Will you lead the funeral procession to the West Gate?”
Nangong Ping suppressed his moaning and said. “Isn’t the East Gate just in front?”
The stranger said. “That right, the East Gate is in front. But the East Gate currently has many pugilist friends that have gathered to send an old prominent pugilist master off. If you do not take another track, it will create inconvenient.”
“Inconvenient…?” Nangong Ping asked. “If I change my track, then will it not inconvenient myself. The road is meant for all, I afraid I cannot comply with your request.”
The stranger looked at him carefully for awhile before solemnly said. “If you do not change your track, it has nothing to do with me. But that group of pugilist friends are very rough…”
He did not wait for Nangong Ping to reply, looked up the sky and said. “If you pause to consider awhile, if it is not some one prominent that had died, how can these pugilist friends gathered here to perform such a grand rite? Since it is for an earthshaking hero, these pugilist friends, how will they let other funeral procession go through and spoilt their rites? If you are but a normal traveler, it can still be understandable but with a funeral procession…hehe, it best that you change your track.”
Nangong Ping looked at him carefully and noticed that other than he is pale, he was not that old either. But his attitude carried an air of intimidation. One look and he knew that he was not an ordinary man. If it were a rite for a prominent hero in front, if he changed his track, it would also be a mark of respect for the old pugilist master
But before he could voice out his thoughts, the stranger coldly added. “I am afraid that my friends will offend you therefore I have come to warn you…”
The big hulk in black that had been standing besides him added. “Big Brother Ren has such a good intention towards you. Friend, you should know where to stand!”
Nangong Ping appeared to be perplexed and did not glance at the hulk, solemnly said. “In Pugilist, righteousness and benevolent come first. If it is an upright and earthshaking hero, could he so much as to force the weak to give way to the strong? I afraid that even if he had died, he would not have wanted others to do such things right.”
The stranger countenance started to change and once again, he looked carefully at Nangong Ping. Suddenly he said in jest. “That is right. You are young, handsome and frank.”
Nangong Ping asked. “Then please give way…”
The stranger waved his hand and said. “Although you are frank but the funeral procession still have to change its course…” He smiled and said. “When two person crossed the bridge, the young should let the old cross first, when two enter a one feet door, the junior should let the senior. The person that we are holding rite for, whether it is fame or standing, I afraid are several notches higher than the person in your funeral procession. Therefore, if you change your track, what does it matter?”
Till now, his attitude had been cold and haughty. But his voice was tranquil.
Nangong Ping solemnly said, as he stood upright. “That is right. You are right on the spot!”
The stranger laughed but suddenly he thought that he might use the same words on him, so his laugh immediately ceased!
Nangong Ping pretended not to see and solemnly said. “The old man that lies in this funeral procession, whether in terms of fame and standing, may not be compared to others. But in terms of righteous and benevolent, it is earthshaking and even Gods and Demons know. I afraid it is not less than the one you are paying respect to…”
The stranger coldly said. “Really?”
Nangong Ping added. “Moreover, if you compare it with the fame and standing of the Pugilist, not only our funeral procession, no one will even side track.”
The stranger looked icily at Nangong Ping for awhile before he smiled and added. “Since you are not willing to listen to my good advice, I wash my hands off this matter!” As he turned and walked off.
Nangong Ping did not expect him to just walk away so suddenly. So he was stunned and that big hulk shouted. “Since Big Brother Ren do not want to meddle into this matter anymore, let me ‘Pillar of Heaven’ Xue Bao Yi take care of it instead. Friend, are you willing or not to change your track!”
Even before he had finished, he started to extend his hands to push Nangong Ping on his shoulder.
Nangong Ping expressions undergo a change as he avoided this attack effortlessly. He said. “I have no conflicts with you and I do not want to hurt you. Please make way.” He really did not want to hurt anyone and it came from the bottom of his heart.
This big hulk Xue Bao Yi laughed hilariously at him and said aloud. “Little friend, Uncle Xue can’t bear to hurt you too so it best if you change your track!
Nangong Ping paled and asked. “What did you say?”
Xue Bao Yi laughed strangely and said. “This!” As he sent another palm attack at Nangong Ping. “I see that you also know some martial arts therefore your Uncle Yi is willing to accompany you to play around.” But even before he had finished, his speech lost its jeering for the way Nangong Ping avoided his attack was simply unbelievable.
‘Pillar of Heaven’ gathered back his force and said aloud. “Excellent display!”
The other men that were blocking the road, now attacked at the same time as Xue Bao Yi.
Nangong Ping remained as steady as the mountain as he knocked Xue Bao Yi and two other men on the ground.
Xue Bao Yi was stunned for he did not know how he fell as he witnessed more men fell by Nangong Ping.
Nangong Ping by now realized that the Big Brother Ren when he said. “Wash his hands” mean asking them to attack him. Now he was curious about the background and identity of this Big Brother Ren.
Nangong Ping swept his eyes and saw that ‘Big Brother Ren’ had brought two elderly men in black to the scene and although he looked very calm but his eyes betrayed his surprise. He leapt to him and said in a low voice. “The strong bully the weak, employing wolf pack tactics. Is there no more justice in the Pugilistic Fraternity?”
The ‘Big Brother Ren’ remained composed. Although he was younger than the two elder men but he carried much more air. If he did not speak, the other two elder men would not speak or ask. Just then more than ten men plunge toward Nangong Ping’s back but that Ren surname man waved and they ceased their attacks and none of them moved.
Under the sandstorm, Nangong Ping could see that both the elder men were thin and pale but possessed sharp eyes. It seemed that they were prominent heroes in Pugilist who had not yet retired.
The man with the surname Ren smiled. “Your martial skills are not weak and you are actually one of us.”
He said in jest. “Since you are also from Pugilistic Fraternity, things will be easier to settle.” As he pointed to the slightly taller elder man and added. “This is one of the Man Shan Two Brothers, ‘Iron Palm Golden Sword Solitary Swordsman’ Chang Sun Chan, Master Chang Sun Da.”
He pointed to the right hand man and continued. “This is naturally ‘Startled Soul Twin Sword Wind Chaser Swordsman’, Chang Sun Kong, Master Chang Sun Er.”
Nangong Ping clenched both hands in respect and said. “I long heard of your name…” But he thought that it was really very strange that those two recluse swordsmen would be here. And why did he mention their name?
The Ren man smiled and said. “Although I am but a nobody but the one that can cause these two to come from a thousand mile away to attend the funeral rite, how many people in Pugilist are capable of it? Can’t you guess?”
Nangong Ping appeared to be in deep thoughts as he pondered. “Who is he? That can cause the Man Shan Two brothers to come?” Therefore he could only laugh half-heartedly and said. “I am poor in knowledge and cannot guess the identity. But please enlightenment me!”
The Ren fellow suddenly became very solemn and sighed deeply. “This man who died, is a great loss in Pugilist, a loss that equaled a city. This man is famous throughout the nine provinces, whose skills are unrivalled in the world, with the sword Fallen Autumn Leaf dominate Pugilist for tens of years, the Immortal Divine Dragon Old Master Long…Alas! Since you are also part of the Pugilistic Fraternity, for the sake of this Old Master Long heroic spirit and change your course, is appropriate!” He suddenly noticed that Nangong Ping looked very stunned and did not say anything. Therefore he felt very strange and asked. “Do you know this Old Master Long…”
Nangong Ping suddenly dashed past them lightning fast.
‘Man Shan Two Brothers’ turned pale as they turned toward Nangong Ping. But that Ren man waved his hand and laughed. “Don’t bother to go after him. This young man must be somehow related to the Immortal Divine Dragon. He has no ill-intention and is only attending a funeral rite.”
He looked at the shadowy figure of Nangong Ping from a distant and softly sighed. “This young man is a dragon among men. You must take care to observe him. Hopefully he can be our friend or else…” He did not say more as his eyes turned sharp and cold.
There was a tall and imposing old man who stood in the middle of a crowd. He looked very solemn and his eyes were sorrow. And he did not notice Nangong Ping as he approached. He seemed to be in silence for quite a while before he said aloud. “The Immortal Divine Dragon had been a hero and we should not behave like sassy girls and caused his heroic spirit to be unhappy. Brothers, let hurray aloud for the Immortal Divine Dragon!” And an earthshaking shout echoed all around.
Nangong Ping felt confused within. He did not know whether to feel sorrow or happy. He sighed deeply as he stepped forward to the large table in front.
The tall and imposing man was startled and yelled. “Where did this animal come from and dare to come to disturb the spiritual tablet. Take him down!” His voice was solemn and imposing much alike to the Immortal Divine Dragon. After he had shouted, more than ten men from all sides rushed to Nangong Ping.
Nangong Ping shouted aloud. “Wait!” His voice was startling and caused the men from all sides to halt.
The imposing old man shouted angrily. “Waiting for what, hurry…”
Nangong Ping swept his eyes across and saw that thousands of angry eyes were now eyeing him. He felt startled within and did not how to untangle from this situation.
But men were rushing upon him from all sides now and interrupting his thoughts. All these men were no doubt all highly skilled and Nangong Ping was forced to dodge from all their fierce attacks.
The imposing man angrily said aloud. “I want him alive so that I can question him…” Before he could finish, two other big hulk were by his side and said something in a low voice and his rage seemed to disperse. Looking at Nangong Ping, he saw that although he could not retaliated but no one managed to touch him yet. But more and more pugilists by now had rushed forth to capture this rude young man.
Nangong Ping was perplexed as he tried to dodge and shout at the same time. “Everyone wait…” But how could he explain in such a circumstance?
But unexpectedly, the imposing old man shouted. “Everyone hold it!”
This shout was very loud and startling. And everyone immediately ceased but the thousands of angry looks remained.
Nangong Ping sighed, as he felt touched for the achievements of his Protégé Master in Pugilist. He turned around and respectfully bowed to the imposing old man.
The imposing old man asked suddenly. “Are you the fifth disciple from the Divine Dragon Clan, Nangong Ping?” His words were very clear as it echoed to everyone who was startled by this revelation.
“This young man is really from the Divine Dragon Clan?” And the pugilists whispered among themselves. One must know that Nangong Ping after he became the protégé of the Divine Dragon Clan, had not roamed the Pugilist realm yet.
Therefore the people of the Pugilist fraternity did not know him. Although everyone knew that he was the heir of the Nangong Aristocracy Family but none knew that he was also the disciple of Immortal Divine Dragon.
Nangong Ping thought it was strange that this old man would suddenly recognized him and he said still bowing. “Junior is indeed Nangong Ping!”
The imposing old man appeared to be perplexed and said sternly. “Since you are from Divine Dragon Clan, don’t you know that I am conducting a rite for your Teacher? Why are you behaving outrageously here? Change to a filial funeral dress and apologize to the heroic spirit of your Benevolent Master in Heaven.”
Nangong Ping expression was stone heavy and bowed again but said in a clear voice. “The kind treatment that is shown by all the seniors, is greatly appreciated by junior but…” His eyes swept around and he said firmly. “Benevolent Master actually did not pass away…”
Suddenly there were a commotion all around and the imposing old man clapped on the table and he said. “Divine…Dragon…didn’t…die…?” He suddenly turned over and shouted. “Li Shuai, Wang Ben Guang, come over here!”
Nangong Ping lifted his sight and saw that behind the imposing old man walked out two other men in black robe. They were the coffin carriers of Zhijiao Manor!
It seemed that after Nangong Ping was chasing the priest, Long Fei, Shi Chen, Guo Yuxia and Gu Yihong went up the peak in an attempt to find their Benevolent Master. Those two hulks had waited quite a while before they decided to descent the mountain.
The two of them took the main road down but before they could reach the foot of the mountain, they saw many people from the Pugilist Fraternity. They knew that the Immortal Divine Dragon had a ten-year sword duel, therefore they came from thousands of miles to await news of the duel between Divine Dragon and Phoenix. Because they knew the temper of the Immortal Divine Dragon, therefore none of them dare to ascend the mountain.
Therefore the news that the two coffin carrier hulks brought to them came as a tremendous surprise to them! “Phoenix had died.” “Immortal Divine Dragon had been tricked by the ruse of the followers from Phoenix Clan.” And he even left behind a Will. And now, members of the Divine Dragon Clan had been scattered!
This unconfirmed yet exaggerated news spread like wildfire and became the hot topic among the pugilists. In less than two hours, this news spread throughout the entire fraternity by fast horses!
The hero of Xian, who was well known in pugilist as the Northwest Divine Dragon, ‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi, Master Wei Qi although he was nicked by fellow Pugilists as a Fake Dragon but he did not place it to heart. And felt even proud to be associated with the Immortal Divine Dragon. When he heard this most unfortunate news, he immediately summoned the heroes of Pugilist and to organize this grand rite in the ancient city.
Those who had heard of the news and from the Pugilist fraternity all rushed here to attend the rite.
And adding honor to this grand rite, was from outside the Yumen Pass, a mystical person known as ‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Feng Ping, who came hurriedly together with two Kongtong swordsmen, the Manshan Two Brothers!
At this moment ‘Fake Dragon’ Wei Qi flew into a rage as he summoned the two coffin carrier hulks – Li Shuai and Wang Ben Guang.
Nangong Ping thought to himself. “No wonder he knew of the news of the passing of my Protégé Master. No wonder he suddenly knew of my name…”
‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi said aloud. “Is the news of the death of Immortal Divine Dragon muttered by the two of you?”
Li Shuai and Wang Ben Guang nodded at the same time!
“But why did your Fifth Master say that the Divine Dragon had not died?”
Li Shumph and Wang Ben Guang looked at one another. None of them dared to speak.
Wei Qi questioned. “Did you really see the Divine Dragon dies?”
Li Shuai, Wang Ben Guang lowered their head even lower. Only to hear Li Shuai muttered. “Your humble servant…your humble servant did…not…”
Wei Qi angrily said. “What audacious servants, you did not witness it yourself and talked rubbish making a fool out of me!”
In his rage, he left palm slammed the table and sent the offerings to fly in all directions!
Li Shumph and Wang Ben Guang became as white as sheet.
Nangong Ping said in a clear voice. “Old Senior please restraint. This is not really their fault…”
Wei Qi angrily said. “Don’t blame them, then it is my fault? If the Immortal Divine Dragon really come, won’t he think that I, Fake Dragon is cursing him to die the sooner the better!”
Nangong Ping secretly sighed. “So this man is the ‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi…” And look carefully at him and noticed that he had some characteristics that resembled his Protégé Master. But he lacked the splendid aura of his Protégé Master.
He recovered from his thoughts. He was still very respectful towards this old man. Although he could be compared to his Protégé Master but at least he was an old hero in Pugilist. So he said. “It is really hard to explain in short notice. In Junior’s heart, I did not think that Old Senior did not handle it wrongly. In fact, I think that Old Senior is worthy of much praise.” He looked around at all the people presented and said. “I believe that the heroes and friends, Seniors of the Pugilist in their hearts feel the same as Junior!”
‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi looked at Nangong Ping and then looked at the two coffin carrier hulks and waved his hands. “Go, go, go…”
The two men bowed and walked away in shame.
Suddenly there was laughter coming from the back and the same person said. “So I see that you are from the Divine Dragon Clan. It seem that my first trip into Yumen, I will have the chance to meet such a young hero. It really such a joyous thing. Although the news of the death of Immortal Divine Dragon is falsely circulated but his heroism is an eye opener for me, therefore it is an even more joyous thing…”
Nangong Ping turned to look and he was suddenly startled. For he once again saw the Ren man but the people besides him were not the Manshan Two brothers but were a man and a woman. The man was tall, regal and his expression quiet. The woman was captivating and beautiful with beautiful eyes. She was actually his Sister in law Guo Yuxia and his third protégé brother – Shi Chen!
He opened a fan and laughed merrily. “What makes me, Ren Fengping most happy, is that I accidentally meet two other disciples from Divine Dragon Clan. Who is these two? Haha, I am sure everyone knows them too!”
There was another wave of commotion as Guo Yuxia and Shi Chen made their debut.
One person was heard saying. “People say that the wife of Iron Hero is very beautiful. Now that we know it is true…” As all eyes turned to look at Guo Yuxia.
‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi laughed and said. “Good, good. It amazing that Hero Ren brought along two disciples of the Divine Dragon.” And he extended his hands to pay his respect. “The two must be the Zhijiao Twin Swords that is so famous in recent Pugilist history!”
Shi Chen countenance had a slight change as he lowered his head.
Guo Yuxia softly laughed and said. “Junior…I…”
Nangong Ping stepped forward and introduced. “This is Junior’s Sister in law. And this is Junior’s third protégé brother and is also one of the Zhijiao Twin Sword, who is also nicked the ‘Quiet Swordsman’ Shi Chen!”
‘Fake Dragon’ Wei Qi looked at the two of them a few times and said. “Sister in law…” He laughed aloud and said. “This is the wife of the ‘Iron Hero’? Excellent, oh how excellent! Although I stay far away in the Northwest but I do have heard people in Pugilist praising ‘Iron Hero’ as Lu Bu* and the girl as Dian Chan*…” Even before he had finished, people around started to break into laughter.
*Characters from the Three Kingdom Period.
Nangong Ping unwittingly secretly laughed and thought. “This old man although he is wise with age but his language is so crude.”
Ren Fengping smiled and said in a clear voice. “In Pugilist, although there is many nicks that are unlike the person but the nicks of the Divine Dragon’s disciples are all so true. Take this Hero Shi who is nicked the Quiet Swordsman. He is really as quiet as stone…”
Although he was praising Shi Chen, he was in fact looking at Nangong Ping.
“This young and handsome man is also from Divine Dragon clan and his name must be prominent as well. May I be introduced to him?”
When Nangong Ping saw Shi Chen and Guo Yuxia but did not saw Long Fei, in his heart, he had many questions to ask. But because this Ren Fengping looked refined and had an extraordinary air, he thought that he must be someone very important and unwittingly a touch of appreciation overtook him. So he smiled and said. “I am Nangong Ping, just become protégé of the Clan not too long ago. How can I possible be compared to my Sister in law and Third brother…”
Guo Yuxia softly laughed and said. “Although my this Fifth Brother just joined the Clan, he is better than all of us!”
Wei Qi laughed and said. “The disciples of the Divine Dragon are all outstanding. You are all too humbled. Let me ask you. Since the ‘Divine Dragon’ is not dead, where is he now?”
Guo Yuxia melancholy sighed. “Although Protégé Master is well possible be alive but as for where he is now, we as juniors, do not know!”
Wei Qi widened his eyes, surprised at the reply.
Guo Yuxia added. “Yesterday night, we been combing the mountain for Protégé Master and at the same time anxious for Fifth Brother’s whereabouts!”
Wei Qi looked puzzled and asked. “He is not with you?”
Guo Yuxia melancholy sighed. “No.”
Wei Qi looked at Nangong Ping and questioned him looking startled. “Your Protégé Master whereabouts is unknown, his fate undetermined, you do not make an effort to search and yet busied yourself with the funeral of others…Haiz, haiz! What sort of disciple are you?”
Nangong Ping was stunned and wanted to explain but how could he explain what happened in that single day which was not only complex and involved the reputation of his Protégé Master.
Guo Yuxia softly sighed. “Fifth Brother is still young and…” She sadly sighed but did not elaborate.
Wei Qi hummed in disapproval and did not look at Nangong Ping, asked. “That ‘Iron Hero’ Long Fei, I have long heard of his fame. Why is he not here?”
This was also the same question that was haunting Nangong Ping.
Although the attitude of Wei Qi changed towards him but he did not mind and thought. “I am about to ask for Big Brother whereabouts. It good that he has asked.”
At this time, the unusual guest that came from beyond Yumen Pass, ‘Fragrance from a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping who was watching coldly by the side, thought that it was strange. “Is there some conflicts between the disciples of the Divine Dragon Clan?” And a smile floated across his face.
But Guo Yuxia only rolled her eyes to express her reply.
Wei Qi pondered in frustrated and said. “Then where is Long Fei? Is his whereabouts a secret? Where did he go?”
Guo Yuxia sighed and said. “My Big Brother…Alas! My Big Brother he accompanied my Fourth Sister to stay at the back but I wonder why they are not here yet!” She sighed again and lowered her head. Her voice although was normal but her speech was marred by many tell tale signs that all were not well and hiding many other reasons.
Nangong Ping grew perplexed and he became suspicious. But ‘Fake Dragon’ Wei Qi asked. “Why did he not accompany you but instead accompanying another girl?”
Guo Yuxia melancholy sighed. “Jun…Junior do not know!”
Suddenly among the wind and the sand, a white carriage appeared.
Although the carriage was small, it was pulled by a young horse and seemingly pulled by no one. On closer look, extended inside it, a beautiful hand was holding a rope.
Although the carriage curtains were pure white but this hand was as white as the luster of a jade.
Nangong Ping who was looking at a distant countenance slightly changed and Guo Yuxia noticed it and laughing asked. “Whose daughter may this carriage seated? Fifth Brother do you know?”
Before she finished, the curtains of the carriage were slightly drawn and an extremely beautiful woman with watery eyes and long hair that seemingly flowing like the cloud was seen carelessly slanting by the side. Her watery eyes rolled and looked around and then fixed upon Nangong Ping and said. “Hello, have you finished talking yet?”
The people from the Pugilistic Fraternity, who had been secretly admiring Guo Yuxia, were all stunned into silence as thousands of eyes turned their attention upon this extremely beautiful woman.
Earlier when they saw Guo Yuxia, they all thought that she was a peerless beauty but this woman were even more beautiful than her by several notches. Guo Yuxia beauty can be described with words but this woman beauty was out of this world and more like a heavenly fairy that had descended upon the mortal realm.
Now that Mei Yinxue had arrived, although Nangong Ping appeared calm but he did not know what to say.
Guo Yuxia said, “I was thinking where Fifth Brother go to, now I see…”
She softly laughed and added. “This girl is so beautiful. Fifth Brother, you are so capable. In the pace of a day, you manage to be acquaintance with such a beautiful beauty and she seems to be very friendly with you!”
‘Fake Dragon ‘ Wei Qi hummed and solemnly said, “Noble Hero Ren, Brother Shi, I staying in Xian City. Please come and attend a feast later!” As he turned to leave without looking at Nangong Ping and extended his hands together to everyone presented. “Thanks for making this difficult journey and follow me to the city to enjoy a feast for some ordinary wine.” He walked away in strides.
There was some initial confusion among the pugilists as they scattered.
Nangong Ping had a stumbling block in his mind. He was haughty in his heart, how could he stand this humiliation, this cold treatment? And he could not even explain it to anyone.
Guo Yuxia as she returned the courtesy to Wei Qi, her face could not help but felt proud. Only when Wei Qi had walked far did she turned over and walked to the carriage and said in jest. “This maiden, what is your surname. What brings you here to look for our Fifth Brother?”
Mei Yinxue did not even move and remained slanting by the side of the carriage. Her watery eyes looked at her casually while her beautiful hand holding a rope as though she did not heard.
Nangong Ping secretly sighed and walked over. “This is my Sister in law. This is Maiden Mei, is…is…” How could he reveal the background of Mei Yinxue?
“Maiden Mei,” Guo Yuxia smiled. “Our Fifth Brother who is able to know you. I as his Sister in law feel very happy as well.”
Mei Yinxue coldly laughed awhile and looked at her. “Now that the old man has left, you should be very happy right?”
Guo Yuxia was stunned and her countenance changed.
Nangong Ping who was benevolent naturally was still filled with great respect for his Sister in law. But he knew Mei Yinxue eccentric temper therefore he stood on the tight spot, not knowing what to do.
So he anyhow said anything, laughed and said. “Sister in law, where exactly did Big Brother go?”
Guo Yuxia stared at Mei Yinxue and then suddenly turned around. “You should go and ask your Fourth Sister!”
Nangong Ping was startled and thought. “What sort of a reply is it?”
He saw that Shi Chen was standing at a side, indifferent to anything while Ren Fengping was smiling. Although most of the pugilists had departed but there was still many that remained. And they were now looking at them.
He lowered his eyes but suddenly there were two flashes of lightning as two shadows dashed past and stop in front of the carriage. They were the two Kongtong Swordsmen ‘Manshan Two Brothers’! But now their eyes were like blades and swords looking intensely at Mei Yinxue. After awhile, Chang Sun Kong slowly said. “Ten years of parting and now this familiar face is seen again.” His stares were filled with malicious.
Chang Sun Kong solemnly asked, “Maiden, is your surname Mei?”
Nangong Ping was startled and thought, “Did they recognize her?”
Mei Yinxue remained as compose as before and nodded her head.
Chang Kong Sun paled immediately and his hands were shaking as he said, “Mei Yinxue, you…you…” As he drawn out a soft sword from his waist as he shouted. “You come down!”
Chang Sun Dan too undergo a terrifying change.
Guo Yuxia was startled and turned to look at Nangong Ping. “She is really the Cold Blood Concubine?”
Nangong Ping was frightened in his heart and looked at Mei Yinxue who was still as composed as ever as she laughed. “Who is Mei Yinxue, Mei Yinxue is who?”
Chang Sun brothers looked at one another in bewilderment. Chang Sun Kong’s sword slowly lowered. Ten years ago, the Cold Blood Concubine Mei Yinxue played a fool out of the two brothers and they hated her even now. But their memories of her features had been clouded with the passing of a decade. Now that she had asked, the two of them were unable to come out with an answer.
‘Fragrance from a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping smiled and said, “The Peacock Concubine has found fame long ago. This maiden is not more than twenty. Chang Sun brothers, it is most likely that you have made a mistake!”
Chang Sun Kong looked perplexed and added. “Although I knew that Mei Yinxue had been killed by Divine Dragon but…this person she is surnamed Mei as well and they looked so alike…”
Chang Sun Dan looked at Mei Yinxue and asked, “Are you the kin of Mei Yinxue and what is your relationship with Mei Yinxue?”
Mei Yinxue smiled and asked, “Those with the surname Mei, are they all related with her?”
‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping laughed and walked over in strides as he separated the two brothers. “In this world, there is many people with the same surname and those that look alike are not few either. Chang Sun brothers, you have been mistaken. It is best that you apologized to this Maiden Mei.”
Although he had said like this but he secretly pulled the Chang Sun brothers aside because he knew that the Chang Sun brothers who had found fame long ago would never apologize to a nameless girl.
Mei Yinxue laughed forth awhile before coldly added. “These two great heroes, great swordsmen, how would they apologize to a nameless person like me. You really should secretly pull them away.”
Ren Fengping was stunned. Although he was very composed in all matters now his countenance had a slight change as he tried to forcefully laugh it off.
Mei Yinxue waved her hands at the pure white curtain as it fell.
Guo Yuxia eyed the heavy curtain strangely as she thought. “What an attentive and alert girl, what a sharp tongue!”
She was proud of her beauty and proud of her intelligence and words. But when she saw this extremely beautiful girl who was so cold in demeanor, she felt she lost something. Her thoughts recovered and she lifted her head and said. “Fifth Brother, after this matter is over. Are you going to go back to Zhijiao Manor?”
Nangong Ping replied, “After I have finished the funeral, naturally I…” But then he suddenly remembered that at the end of March, he had to meet that Maiden Ye Manqing at the foot of Mount Hua to fulfill three unfinished wishes of his Protégé Master. And he also remembered that he had to protect Mei Yinxue who was in the carriage and never to leave her a single step, he became speechless.
Guo Yuxia added. “Since Big Brother is not here, you should travel with me. If not if I am seen with Third Brother alone by the pugilists, there are bound to be gossips.”
She melancholy sighed and said. “Third Brother, what do you think?”
Shi Chen lifted his head and said plainly, “Yes.” And he lowered his head again.
When Nangong Ping saw his expression, he thought that it was because everyone was still in a state of confusion over what happened to his Protégé Master.
He said, “But after March I have to…”
Suddenly there was an icy cold voice coming from the carriage. “Hello. Will you hurry and finish the old man funeral. I want to go Jiangnan.”
Guo Yuxia coldly replied, “If you want to go Jiangnan, please go yourself…”
Nangong Ping slowly said, “I afraid…I afraid that I have to go Jiangnan too.”
Guo Yuxia expression changed and asked solemnly. “What did you say? Don’t tell me that when Big Brother is not here, I am no longer your Sister in law?”
She was already jealous and afraid of Mei Yinxue looks and talents.
Therefore she did not want such a girl to be by the side of Nangong Ping. Because that will disrupt her plans in the future and even discovered her secret. Therefore she tried to make Nangong Ping stay by her side.
Nangong Ping by now was very confused in his thoughts and was in a very tight spot. “Naturally I have to listen to Sister in law but…”
Suddenly a man in black approached and asked, “Master, do we continue the funeral procession to the cemetery?”
Nangong Ping said, “Naturally to the cemetery.” As he took the opportunity to slip away. “After I take care of the funeral, I will come back to discuss with Sister in law.” He extended his hands and said to Ren Fengping. “Hero Ren, I make a move first.” As he hurriedly walked off with the man in black.
Ren Fengping fanned his fan and smiled and said in a clear voice. “Finish your task, I will pay you a visit some other time.” As he and the two Manshan Two Brothers moved to the direction of Xian City,
the rope leading inside the curtain of the carriage was lifted gently when the horse carriage make a turn before it moved off.
Guo Yuxia looked perplexed and purposely said melancholy. “When I was a maiden, I have never heard of any unmarried girls that followed a man. It seem that in such a short period of time, the world have become so decadent.”
But a merry laugh was heard inside the carriage. “After one have become another’s wife, a good conduct has to be observed. When one is a maiden, nothing matters.”
Guo Yuxia angrily said. “What did you say?” But the carriage had gone far and only left behind a pack of dust that lingered on her face.
Shi Chen sighed and said, “Sister in law, I…we should search for Big Brother!”
Guo Yuxia appeared to be startled for awhile before she turned and coldly said. “Are you still thinking of your Fourth Sister?”
Shi Chen said, “I…” But he got nothing to say therefore he sighed.
Guo Yuxia said, “Listen to me and be a good child. Only then will Little Protégé Sister like you.”
Her eyes rolled and she paused to considered. “First we will go to the house of that Master Wei Qi. I don’t believe that Fifth Brother will not go to Xian City.” She looked at the scattering crowd she secretly held Shi Chen by his wrist and softly said. “Good child, follow me there.”
Shi Chen replied, “I…I…” Nevertheless he still follow her there.