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The Flower Guarding Bell - Chapter 17

Chapter Seventeen - Heartbreaking Moments

Nangong Ping and Mei Yinxue cuddled tightly around one around for a long time until Qi Ge slowly rose up and walked to Feng Mantian and to kowtow three times respectfully.

Feng Mantian tried to smile. “It time for you to go?” Qi Ge exclaimed. “I am going soon!”

Feng Mantian replied. “Good, good, this…”

Among the four of them, Qi Ge martial ability was the weakest therefore his poisoning also acted the fastest. He nodded at Nangong Ping and Mei Yinxue before he jumped into the sea. Before he had jumped, his countenance had already turned black and he was vomiting blood in mid-air.

Nangong Ping and Mei Yinxue held one another’s hands even more tightly for they knew that Qi Ge was unable to endure the pain when the poison reacted therefore he seek an early release.

Nangong Ping knew that the next to follow would be him as his martial foundation was the weakest of the three. He was glad he did not need to watch Mei Yinxue die before him but how could he bear to let Mei Yinxue endure the pain of watching him go?

Suddenly Mei Yinxue softly laughed. “Good, is it my turn to go already?”

Nangong Ping was jolted and turned his glance at her. Her snow-white face was turning ghastly now. But Mei Yinxue forced out a smile and said. “I am only afraid that you will go before I go. That pain, I am unable to endure. But now…I…I…” She bit her teeth and could not say anymore. Her frail body was as weak as the autumn leaf and she was trembling. But her body also seemed hot to touch.

Nangong Ping held Mei Yinxue tightly in his embrace as his tears flowed.

Her body was now rigid. “Yinxue, Yinxue…wait for me…”

Feng Mantian extended his hand to hit Mei Yinxue on her ‘Sleep’ accupoint.

He wanted to let this affectionate maiden sleep peacefully in the embrace of her most love one before she passed on.

Therefore Mei Yinxue slumbered into unconsciousness but in her face, was a smile even though she was now hovering between death’s door.

Nangong Ping held her even tightly and he lost his voice due to grief. He tried to shout. “Old Senior Feng, I beg of you to let me…”

He turned his glance and saw that Feng Mantian was sitting rigidly and his face was dark.

Nangong Ping grasped in shock. “Old Senior Feng, what happen to you?”

Feng Mantian opened his eye and said. “I…” It seemed that the poison had already reacted inside him and he was just biting his teeth to endure the pain.

Nangong Ping quickly reached out to hit Feng Mantian on his ‘Sleep’ accupoint.

Feng Mantian muttered. “Thanks…” And he toppled over.

In this vast heaven and earth, only Nangong Ping was left. Nangong Ping began to hallow his sorrows to the heavens. “Heaven alas heaven, why did I not die yet?”

He held Mei Yinxue very tightly and quietly waited for the poison to enact but that did not happen…He began to think that heaven was so unfair. He really could not think of any reason why he had not died yet. Unbeknownst to him, fate had a hand in playing around with him…

The reason he did not die was because in the dark woods of the Nangong Manor, he had accidentally taken a sniff of Lady Proudness deadly poison that was used to kill the Heartless Twin Evil. When the jade box had flown past him, he had accidentally taken a sniff of its fragrant but he did not notice it.

After that sniff of poison entered his body, it did not enact for along time because the type of poison Lady Proudness had used was called the ‘Negative Soul’; it was the world’s most negative poison. But the internal strength that Nangong Ping had practiced was the Pure Positive Vital Energy, and he unwittingly contained that small trace of poison in his heartbeat.

Today the poison that Nangong Ping and the rest had been afflicted was the ‘Positive Soul’ that caused Mei Yinxue’s body to emit heat.

This ‘Negative Soul’ and ‘Positive Soul’ were the two most extreme poisons in the world. If one was poisoned by either of them, there was no antidote that could possible cure it. But these two poisons were able to act as an antibiotic against one another. These two poisons reacted inside Nangong Ping’s body and neutralized one another but Nangong Ping did not know of it.

At the moment, Nangong Ping was feeling worse than death. This sorrow, this grief, this darkness, this chill all the more caused him unable to endure.

Nangong Ping stood besides Mei Yinxue, Feng Mantian and muttered. “I am coming too…” And he was about to hit his Tian Ling (Top of the head) when he heard a sharp voice coming from the ocean. “Feng Mantian, is that you who has returned?”

Although this voice was very far away but it was very clear in Nangong Ping’s ears.

He was jolted and thought. “I have reached The Divine Creator Island!” But he was more fearful that he would be saved and proceeded to hit himself on his head!

Along the sheer cliffs of the seas, built upon its precipice was a cottage but there was not even a window on the four sides its walls.

In the intense cold of the night, there was a ray of light from the cottage. Inside the cottage, there was a big hall, inside the hall, was a couch, lying on the crouch was a peerless beautiful woman. Her face was all white; her eyelids were closed and seemed to be in a state of unconsciousness. She was Mei Yinxue, who had been poisoned and passed away.

Slowly she rose up from the couch. Was this the mortal realm or the spirit realm?

She opened her eyes was startled. She took a glance around her. Was she alive? Or dead? Was mortal? Or Ghost?

She ran to the corner of the hall and rested her hands on the table to support herself. She glanced on the table and saw a spirit tablet ‘Divine Lord of the Marvelous Seven’.

She was stunned because she knew how famous and bright this name had once been in the Fraternity many years ago. Were all these jars on the table, the ashes of those heroes of their times? What was this place and how did she come here? She hurriedly walked another two steps and saw another two jars but it were not placed together. On their spiritual tablets wrote ‘Husband and Wife Liu Heting and Tao Chunchun’.

Those names were also well known to her. She had never expected to see the spiritual tables of these three heroes of their times here. Why and how come their spiritual tablets and ashes would be here? Was it because this place was not a mortal realm? When she thought of it, she could not help shivering a few times.

Slowly she calmed herself down and continued to take a few looks. Another spiritual tablet wrote ‘The Heretic Lord Zhu Wujue of the Malicious Fame’

‘The spiritual tablet of Ximen Bao, Demon with a thousand type of poison’ ‘The spiritual tablet of Lonestar Pei Jue’

‘The spiritual tablet of the Sentimental Gentleman Xu Yuanping'

And a long list of other names too. Some she had heard before, some she had not. But she knew that they were the past heroes tens of years ago and even hundreds of years whose fame was very nigh during their heydays. They were all the heroes of their times and had dominated the Fraternity with their deeds. She had already decided that it was not the mortal realm. If it was the mortal realm, how could there be so many spiritual tablets and ashes from so many different dynasties, so many clans, and so many different people!

Her worries were secretly put to rest. If this were Purgatory then surely Nangong Ping would not be here. If he was not here, then surely he was not dead yet. She did not blamed him for not following her to the death by killing himself for love. That he was still alive caused her to be extremely relieved. She sighed aloud and pray to the heavens to protect Nangong Ping for the rest of his life.

Because she had firm confidence in his affections for her, she believed that no matter if he alive or dead, no matter if it was in the Mortal Realm or the Purgatory, he would never forget her forever. And it was exactly the same for her; she would never forget Nangong Ping for eternality.

Therefore she moved her glance at another spiritual tablet and her expressions suddenly changed and she grasped out in fright. She fell to the ground with her tears flowing freely. She was trembling and muttering at the same time. “You have die too? You…but where, where are you…”

For inscribed on the spiritual tablet were the words ‘Nangong Ping…” These three words really pierced her heart like three very sharp blades.

In that instant, her entire body had turned cold and then she heard the opening of the bronze door in the hall.

A very thin old man clothed in hemp walked in like a ghost. Although his eyes were bright but it was icy cold. There were not even traces of human emotions in him. Even the look on his face was icy cold and not a tinge of emotion. Even a zombie that had climbed from the grave looked livelier than he did!

He looked at Mei Yinxue coldly. “You have awakened?”

Mei Yinxue said. “I have woke up already…Am I not dead yet?” Suddenly she received a jolt to her spirit and she cried aloud. Since she was awakened, then surely she had not died. Since she had not died, then Nangong Ping would have died!

When the old man in hemp clothing saw her crying, he did not say anything.

Mei Yinxue plunged forward and asked in grief. “Where is his body? I…I want to die together with him!”

Although the old man did not appeared to have moved, but he had already moved three feet away and coldly said. “Have you cried enough?”

Mei Yinxue said. “Nangong Ping, do…you know where is he…”

The old man solemnly said. “If you have not cried enough, you can continue to do so. When you have cried enough, I will take you to a ship. You don’t have to ask me about any other things.”

Every single word from him was icy cold and he did not seem to care for anything.

Mei Yinxue wiped her tears and stood upright. She said aloud. “If you are unwilling to reply me, I will search myself. I don’t need you to bring me to the ship.” A cold demeanor had now replaced her grieving countenance. One must know she was not a weak maiden. Although she was feeling grief but when she saw how emotionless this old man was, she forced herself to suppress her feeling. Everyone in the Fraternity had nicked her ‘cold blood’ but they had also added a ‘concubine’ as a mark of respect to her. Who would ignore her like this old man?

When she was about to walk away to the door, the man floated in front of her and coldly said. “You cannot go!”

Mei Yinxue laughed coldly for awhile before she replied. “When I want to go, I will go. Who say I cannot go?”

The old man coldly said. “If you are to walk on this island for even a step, I will break your legs.”

Although Mei Yinxue had by now recovered all her vital energies but no matter what swiftness movement skills she had used, the old man was like a rock that was always standing in front of her. Mei Yinxue was secretly afraid now! She began to wonder who was this old man and his background?

One must know that her swiftness skill was already peerless in the Fraternity, then was not this old man’s swiftness skills even more unbelievable?

The old man said. “Don’t blame me for being rude if you do not board the ship and leave this place.”

Mei Yinxue rolled her watery eyes and suddenly smiled most captivating. “Don’t you feel ashamed that such a grown up man would want to force a young girl like me?” Her voice and sweetness in that instant was totally different from earlier. It was as though she had become another person.

The old man was stunned and before he could say anything, Mei Yinxue had sprung forth like the wind and through the door that was left ajar. It was dawn now and she saw that she was in a cottage on a steep cliff. She saw many such cottages in the distance as well.

She hurriedly took a glance for she did not dare to stop. When she had sprang down the cliff, there was a cold voice behind her. “What a wild girl…” Then in front of her was the old man that seemingly floated in front of her.

He flinched his robes to send a soft wind against her. “Go back!”

Although the windforce looked gentle and harmless but it was powerful and irresistible. But Mei Yinxue waved her hand and another sharp windforce flew from her fingertips and cut the windforce into two.

This maiden who was so young in age would possesses such unfathomable martial ability startled the old man.

Mei Yinxue said. “Although you look honest and respectable but never to expect that you are such a vile and petty person.” The old man angrily said. “What did you say?”

Mei Yinxue said. “If you are not vile and a petty person, why do you lack a benevolent heart and bully a pitiful widow…” When she said ‘Widow’, her heart felt an intense sorrow and her watery eyes moved, tears began to flow out and carried away by the wind. She really looked very pitiful now.

The old man appeared to be softened for an instant but he soon recovered his icy cold composure and seemed unmoved by her.

Mei Yinxue said. “He has already died, why did you not let me see his corpse? Are you…really…that…heartless…” She cried out her words out and her tears flowed at the same time. Even if a steel-hearted person would to hear it, he would more or less be touched.

But the old man remained expressionless and he clapped his hands. Another big sized man appeared from the side of the cliff. He wore only a leopard-skin short, other than that he wore nothing and his hairs were all golden in color. He did not look human to her. He asked. “Master what orders do you have for me?”

The old man asked. “Have you unload all the goods yet?”

The man that looked like a beast replied respectfully. “Not yet!”

The old man waved his hand and said. “Go now!” Suddenly he hit towards Mei Yinxue ‘Ruan Ma’ accupoint even before his hand gesture had ceased.

Mei Yinxue cried out in a surprise and she crumbled to the ground!

The old man carried her with one arm back to the cottage and put her on the couch. He coldly said. “Once the cargoes have been unloaded, I will carry you to the ship. I have used a divine pill to save your life, it is already not easy. You should be satisfied!”

Why did this old man who was so cold use a rare medicine to save Mei Yinxue’s life? What was this place? Why was it filled with an air of mysterious aura?

Mei Yinxue was pacing with thoughts. Suddenly she leapt from the couch. It seemed that when before the old man had hit her on her accupoints, she had already guarded against it by closing all her accupoint channels. When the old man touched her dress, she simply moved a little, back a little. Her movements were so intricate and marvelous. But still, she was numbed momentarily. She secretly circulated all her vital energies to several channels so that her blood channels could now flow unrestricted. If that old man had used another three folds of vital strength, she would really be unable to move now.

A mysterious and powerful force enabled her to suppress the grief in her heart as she tried to push the door opened. But alas…the door had been locked from the outside and she could not even bulge it a single bit.

All the sides of the walls were made of bronze as she touched the walls. Other than this door, there was no other opening. In that instant, she found herself back to the coffin. Other than this room was roomier than the coffin; it was really not much of a different from a nailed coffin.

After trying several times, she finally lost all hopes. Although she was typically a strong will person but she was crying now. Once again, she began to look at those spiritual tablets. Suddenly she had a jolt. If the cargo on board the ship had not been unloaded yet, how did his corpse became ashes so quick?

Therefore she searched for that spiritual tablet again and found out that written on it was ‘The spiritual tablet of Nangong Pingyi’.

With one look, her grieves and heartbreaks flew away.

“He has not died. He has not die yet, this is but someone else’s spiritual tablet!”

She was so happy and joyous inside her. Suddenly she heard the bronze door opening and she immediately hid under a table - The tablecloth hid her body from view.

There were a few steps and then the same old man clothed in hemp said. “Where is she? I don’t believe that she can fly out of this hall!”

Another man added. “If she has not sprout wings, then does she know invisibility?”

The voice came from the man in front of her table and she recognized his voice as that of Feng Mantian!

The old man coldly said. “On the Divine Creator Island, for hundreds of years, no woman has ever walked on this island. Since this maiden was brought back by you, you need to bring her out of this place.” And he started to move out.

Feng Mantian said, “Wait a minute. Now that she has gone, how do I know it isn’t you that let her go?”

The old man said, “She is right underneath the table that you are blocking.

Heng, heng! Just now when we entered through the door, the table was moving. Do you think that I did not notice? Although you had rushed to block it from my view but it was already too late.”

Before he had finished, the tablecloth was flunked aside and Mei Yinxue had crawled out and caught hold of Feng Mantian by his wrist. Her voice was trembling when she asked. “He did not die? Where is he now?”

Feng Mantian was expressionless. He was now holding a wooden crutch and was also wearing clothing made of hemp.

The another old man turned around and said. “That is right. Although he is not dead but you can never see him again forever!”

Mei Yinxue was startled and asked. “Really? Old Senior Feng, what he has said, isn’t true?” Feng Mantian said. “That is right!”

Mei Yinxue tore herself from his hand and said. “He is my husband, why can’t I see him?”

Feng Mantian looked straightly in front of him; he dare not looked into Mei Yinxue’s eyes.

Mei Yinxue laughed coldly for awhile and said in a slow manner. “Old Senior Feng, what I am asking you now, please don’t misunderstand that I am using my status as your savior as a leverage to ask of you. Because the person I want to save is not you. I am only asking you as someone who shared woes and tides aboard the same ship.”

There were flusters on Feng Mantian face.

Mei Yinxue added. “I am just a weak girl and I cannot win both of you in martial. Your words are just like a command, naturally I have powerless to reject it. Although I cannot live to see him but can you please send my corpse to see him.”

The old man asked. “Do you want to die here?”

Mei Yinxue replied. “Although I have no choice in other matters but at least death is something I can decide.”

The old man said matter of fact. “Even when you have died, I will still send your corpse on board the ship. Even if you have died ten times, you still will not be able to see him.”

Mei Yinxue was nicked ‘Cold Blood’ but this old man blood was a hundred times even colder than hers was. Mei Yinxue grief and indignation had reached boiling point but she smiled. “Alas! Old man you are indeed a great hero, great man! …”

And then she suddenly attacked with all her might lifting her leg, hand, and fingers. This one stance three attacking strokes were as swift as the wind when she used on the old man.

Although the old man managed to dodge her attacks but she continued with more moves. Unexpectedly Feng Mantian interrupted her by moving in front of her.

Mei Yinxue exclaimed. “Good, good. The two of you are such great heroes…”

Feng Mantian suddenly yelled. “Come with me!” Mei Yinxue and the old man grasped. “To where?”

Feng Mantian solemnly said. “I will bring you to see him!”

Mei Yinxue was stunned for awhile before she expressed her delight out. “Real…Really?”

The old man in hemp clothing interrupted. “It is not real!” Feng Mantian turned his body around and faced the old man. He stared intently at him, his stares were forceful and were like a pair of sharp swords!

The old man slowly rebuked. “Suppress all feeling, suppress all desires, suppress all fame, suppress all self interest! These are the four commandments of the Divine Creator Island for generations. Have you forgotten about it?”

Feng Mantian replied. “I have never once forgotten about it.” The old man asked. “Why then did you…”

Feng Mantian laughed coldly awhile before he spoke. “Forty years ago, there is already no room for self-interest, desire and fame in my heart. But only this ‘feeling’ is something that I can never forget. Later when I bring her to him, I will take full responsible for it. You don’t have to worry I will drag you into it.”

After staring for a long time, the old man said. “Since you want trouble to be afflicted upon you, I just have to let you…” He shifted his eyes and looked upon Mei Yinxue. “I am afraid that after you have seen him, you will experience even more grief.”

When he finished, he walked out of the door. Mei Yinxue and Feng Mantian walked down the cliff and turned left for thirty feet before he halted.

They were in sight of a cave. Feng Mantian pointed to the cave and said. “We have reached!”

Mei Yinxue cried out in delight as she sprang into the dark cave. In the deepest recess of the cave, there was an iron barrier and Nangong Ping was sitting inside the barrier in hemp clothing. Wrapped around his head was a white cloth but on the top of his head, it was tainted with dry blood.

Mei Yinxue hollowed in sorrow, her heart was painful to see him like that. “You…what wrong did you commit that they want to lock you here?”

There were slight movements on Nangong Ping’s expressions. He appeared to be in pain as well but did not open his eyes.

Feng Mantian said. “No matter who is it, once they reach the island, they must mediate in this cave for a hundred days before they can go out…”

Mei Yinxue gripped the barriers with both of her hands and called out for him. “Why did you…you not open your eyes…is me, I have come…”

Nangong Ping closed both of his eyes tightly and without a word.

Mei Yinxue started to shake the barriers wildly. With tears flowing on her face, she said in a trembling voice. “Why are you…why are you ignoring me…”

The old man said. “Since you have already seen him and he does not wish to talk to you. Now it is the time you should leave.”

Mei Yinxue turned her slim body around and said. “Good, I will leave now but I want to ask you something. You neutralize the poison in me and save my life. Is it because he promises never again to pay attention to me?” The old man coldly replied. “You are indeed very smart.”

Mei Yinxue forced a smile and looked at Nangong Ping. “Xiaoping, you have made a big mistake. Do you know that I rather want to die together with you, to die in your embrace than let his rough hands save me!”

There were more tweaks on Nangong Ping’s face.

The old man said. “After you have left the island, to live or die is up to you.

But for now, you must leave!”

Before he had finished, he had reached his hands to hit Mei Yinxue on her Jian Jing accupoint.

Feng Mantian exclaimed aloud. “Wait a minute!” And the crutch in his hands intercepted the old man’s fingers.

The old man asked. “Brother Feng, are you forgetting about…”

Feng Mantian did not even look at him and coldly said. “What did I forget?”

The old man said. “Have you forgotten about the commandments on the island? With only the two of you, can you fight against the commandments of the Divine Creator Island? It is a dream! If you happen to alarm the elders of the Inner Sanctuary, then even if the two of you were to beg for your life but it will not given to you. When you want to beg for your death, it will be denied too! Not only will you be harming yourself, you will also be harming the others.”

Feng Mantian expression changed and lowered his wooden staff.

Mei Yinxue said. “Xiaoping, aren’t you willing to die with me? Let us die together, it is better than to suffer here. If you are to open your eyes to look at me, even for just awhile, even if I am to die, I will be most willing. You…”

But Nangong Ping did not opened his eyes.

Mei Yinxue said pitifully. “The most convenient in a person’s life is to die.

Why did you placed that vow so highly?”

Nangong Ping was like a corpse and did not react.

The old man coldly said. “Even though you want to die with all your heart but others may not seem to be so willing.”

Mei Yinxue was stunned and suddenly she wiped her tears. “Fine! I will leave!”

The old man said. “Follow me then!” And the two of them headed to the beach.

Mei Yinxue was heartbroken. She did not turn her head back and her tears did not flow anymore.

When Nangong Ping had heard her footsteps grew fainter in the distant, he slowly opened his eyes and mouth. He was trembling and he vomited blood. “Yinxue, I…I am so sorry to you…”

Feng Mantian stood on the same spot as though he was dead before he slowly said. “I hope she will know our difficulties…”

Tears were flowing non-stop on Nangong Ping’s face. “I know that she will surely hate me forever but I will never fault her. But….but how I really wish she would know why I am treating her like this!”

Feng Mantian slowly said. “Forever she will never know…”

Would Mei Yinxue forever really never know? At this moment of time, she was now drifting in the open seas. Whether she would live or die, it was unpredictable to know but one thing for sure, she would carry her broken heart forever till her life had ended!

But Nangong Ping, Feng Mantian all these upright man that feared nothing, why did they want her to be heartbroken? Did they not face death with a laugh before? Did they not face death with a show of their heroic spirit before?

Nangong Ping was still sitting in the cave. He had to endure the bugs and the cold. For the first few days, he was still upset and grieving about the matters of the heart. But awhile, he grew numb. Even his clothing had turned to rags. But he did not care.

Ever since that day had passed, he had not seen Feng Mantian or that other old man. One day while he was mediating to suppress all his hunger, cold and to enter the state of divinity of serenity, another old man in hemp clothing appeared at his cave and said to him, “Congratulations to you, you have officially become a member of the Divine Creator.” Although the old man appeared to congratulate him but he had shown no sign of any emotion.

Nangong Ping rose up and the old man added. “From this day onward, you will have a change of a dwelling place.”

Therefore Nangong Ping followed him into the dense woods and saw a path, which they took. After walking for a time, he saw twenty to thirty wooden cottages. On the entrance of every cottage sat a white hair old man in hemp!

All these old men were different in sized. Only their expressions were uniform – cold, icy and emotionless. Some were looking blankly in the sky, some were quietly reading books. There were even ten old men sitting in a group but none of them moved a glance at Nangong Ping and not even a sound.

The old man brought Nangong Ping to a wooden cottage in the far corner. There were two words on the door ‘Zhi Shui’. (It means as still as water). The old man said. “It shall be your abode.” And then he pointed to the door and added. “And this is your name from now on. When it is time for you to enter the sanctuary, I will bring you inside. But when the time has not come, you must not leave this place even a single step.” Nangong Ping hummed in response.

The old man asked. “What other things you want to ask of me?” Nangong Ping coldly said. “Nothing!”

The old man looked at him for awhile before replying. “Good.” And he took his leave.

All the old men here, the hemp on their bodies was golden in color. Only this old man that took Nangong Ping to his new abode was purple. It was because Feng Mantian and he were one of the seven stewards. And each steward had a follower that looked like a freak. Qi Ge was the follower of Feng Mantian.

Naturally, all these Nangong Ping would only learnt later and not now.

When he opened the door to the small dwelling, he saw the house was sparse with just a few necessities like a couch, a wooden bowl, hemp cloths, a book etc.

Even the bed was not more than five feet and covered with a straw mat.

Nangong Ping looked around and saw that those old hair old men were sitting in a daze and thought. “Is this the ‘Divine Creator Temple’ a legendary martial sacred place that everyone in the Fraternity is talking about? Is this the life style of the people of the Divine Creator Temple? No wonder Feng Mantian heart get heavier and heavier the closer he is to the Divine Creator Island! Because other than himself, there is no trace of any human emotions!”

Luckily for him, he had learnt how to endure the wait during his hundred days of mediation. He took the book that was lying casually around and opened it. He tried to emulate some of the old men by picking a book and reading it at the entrance of the wood hut. When he opened the book, his heart almost jumped out of his heart! Because what written on the book was called ‘The Eighteen Stances of Damo’!

One must know that The Eighteen Stances of Damo was the secret epitome skill of Shaolin. Those who had seen this epitome technique were rarer than rare. Those who knew it were actually nonexistent. If this book were to appear in the Fraternity, it would immediately cause a tidal wave like bloodshed. Countless number of pugilists will lose their lives just to fight over this book. But at this moment of time, this legendary secret manual that everyone in the Fraternity had so desired was tossed carelessly around like it was a waste paper.

Nangong Ping did not want to shift his glance away from the book for even once. He was mind and spirit engrossed in reading and discovering the mysterious epitome of this set of martial skill.

When afternoon came, a golden fur beastman brought two tugs of food, all the old men would take their bowl and had their lunch. They did it so silently and without sound. They did not even exchange any words among themselves.

After three days, just before dawn, the same golden fur beastman changed the books in every hut. Nangong Ping was devastated and greatly troubled. But who could know it when he opened the new book, it was the ‘Shadowless Divine Fist Manual’, a long lost martial technique that had disappeared from the Fraternity!

After fifty to sixty days, Nangong Ping had read and studied over twenty secret manuals. All the secret manuals contains the most marvelous and most extraordinary martial skills and techniques. Nangong Ping bit his teeth and had remembered all of them!

One must know that all these old men before they had come to the Divine Creator Temple had their glorious past. Everyone of them was the best martial exponents during their times. After they had come to the Divine Creator Island, no one could leave the island alive. Therefore the priceless secret martial manuals that everyone in the Fraternity wanted so much, would be treated so lightly in this place. Some old men just read it as leisure, some did not even bothered.

He had been here for quite some time but he had never heard anyone talking. He really wondered at times if everyone was simply just a corpse that could walk. One day when it started to rain, these old men did not even seem to take notice and did not even enter the hut to take shelter. Even in late autumn, they were still wearing just a hemp cloth and there were no indications that they were cold.

But Nangong Ping was different; he was shivering from the chill. So he had to secretly circulate his breathing to endure the cold. After three to five days, he actually started to get use to it. Only then did he know that his martial ability had underwent a speedily improvement. All those startling martial secret manuals had been absorbed and incorporated into his body much like those plain food and water on the island.

Therefore he started to sleep lesser, eat even lesser but his mental abilities were even sharper and alert than ever before. Sometimes during the night when the dreams of his past heartbreaking events came to haunt him, he could only clench his teeth hard and silently endured it. It was because he knew that his future was bleak.

One day, during dawn, he suddenly discovered that the old man opposite his hut was gone. No one knew where the old man had gone. No one even bothered to ask. Life and death did not mattered little to these old men. Even if a man would to lose his head in front of them, they would not cast their glance to take notice.

Yet another hundred days went by, the same old man that lead him here in the first place appeared at dawn and said to him. “Follow me!”

Nangong Ping did not even ask what it was all about and he rose up to follow him.

He suddenly discovered that some of old men had actually lift their heads to look at him. Their eyes betrayed tinge of envy.

Nangong Ping thought to himself in surprise. “I see that all these people do have feeling after all. It just that everyone conceals it very well.” He gathered his thoughts and asked himself. “Why the envy look? Is it because of the place I will be going?”

After several passing through the dense woods, the heaven and earth was starting to be filled with a mysterious malevolent air, Nangong Ping knew that they were now heading to the heart of the island –The Divine Creator Temple.

Therefore he unwittingly felt nervous.

When they passed through a huge tree, Nangong saw Feng Mantian hanging upside down on its tree branch! He was hung up by a white string and a golden fur beastman was lashing him with a whip and muttering, “twenty-eight…twenty- nine…” Suddenly the white string broke and Feng Mantian fell to the ground.

Without a word, the golden fur beastman tied another white string. hung him up again and started whipping once more. “One…two…”

That piece of white string was so soft and thin and the whip was so big and rough. Even if Feng Mantian had supreme internal power, the fact that he could remain hanging was already not easy. Moreover he had to endure the lashing.

Nangong Ping was shocked to witness the scene and was stunned. His hands broke into a cold sweat but Feng Mantian remained expressionless and silently endured it.

The whip sound carried on but Nangong Ping could not bear to watch anymore.

The old man coldly said. “Every day he will be whipped thirty-six times for three hundred sixty days. Every time the white string breaks, the whipping will start all over again. Those that break the rules here must first ask themselves, do they have the martial ability and courage to take the whipping.”

Nangong Ping closed his mouth tightly and did not say anything. At the end of the dense woods, a mountain cliff blocked them. There were no houses in sight. Then the old man reached out to a rock along the side of the cliff and patted it gently three times. The amazing thing happened, a door opened up along the cliff and a passage was seen inside.

Nangong Ping walked inside and heard a ‘pong’ sound and the door to this secret passage closed again. He turned around and discovered that the old man was not with him. So he carried on walking down for he spotted a copper door in the distant.

There was a sharp echo around him. “Have you come?”

Even before the voice had ended, the door at the end of the passage swung opened. As Nangong Ping walked through it without a care and saw two passages. Both of the passages leaded to a big cavern. He could see many caves in the cavern. Some of the caves had people in it, while some were emptied.

The sharp voice said again. “Walk to the front and do not turn your head!” Nangong Ping did as he was told but sighed secretly in his heart. “Divine

Creator Temple! This is the Divine Creator Temple! If others in the Fraternity were to glimpse it, they will be very disappointed…”

Before he could finish thinking, the voice echoed again. “Here it is! Up here!” And the voice seemed to come from above.

Nangong Ping lifted his head up and saw that at the top of this cavern, several feet high above was another cave. He bent his body to jump to the cave. He was really surprised that he could actually jump in a single leap. He was planning to change his circulation of vital energies in mid-air so as to reach the cave in several jumps.

Somehow he knew that he had entered the abode of the mysterious person that control this mysterious island.

The sour stench that was in this cave was stronger than elsewhere. He bowed and said. “I am Nangong Ping…”

An old man with white hair said. “Zhi Shui, your name is Zhu Shui, remember? The minute you enter this island, you have broke away from the material world. From now, you must forget everything that is in your past.” Although he spoke hurriedly and sharp but there was something irresistible in his words.

Nangong Ping nodded and looked at this old man.

The old man suddenly laughed. “You are indeed very fortunate to live in the abode of Zhi Shui. It really such a wonder thing. Do you know that previous owner of Zhi Shui is the Divine Condor Hero?”

Nangong Ping coldly said. “I have long forgot about the fame and glory of the material world.”

The old man laughed merrily. “Good, good.”

It was the first time that Nangong Ping had heard the sound of some one laughing since he first came to the island. So he was puzzled.

The old man added. “Just this word alone, you deserve a toast!” He clapped his hands and said. “Bring me the wine!”

Nangong Ping was even more puzzled to know that this place actually had wine. He was dumbfounded to see the person that had served him wine looked either like a human or monster. He was covered in fur, had only two fingers and looked ebony. He was wrapped around in white cloth.

The old man laughed. “Have you ever seen a human such as him before?” Nangong Ping replied. “I do not have such misfortunate yet!”

The old man laughed. “That is. Of course you have never seen one before.

Do you know that he is not a human and is only a beast…”

Nangong Ping felt a shiver down his spine and said. “Do you mean that, that Qi Ge and all those…”

The old man laughed. “They are all beasts. They are created by my ‘Hua Tou Divine Arts’. It takes me several years of my painstaking effort to successfully made more than ten beasts to be like a human…”

Nangong Ping was startled and asked. “But…”

The old man interrupted. “One hundred and ten years ago, there was a person in the Fraternity who could shift the limbs of a human around. He could shift your hand to your head, your nose to your hand and could even let it grow over there. Therefore he had created quite few freaks. And he himself became a freak in the eyes of everyone.” He smiled proudly for awhile and then added. “But this technique of his when compared to me, is child play. That is because he can only change the skins and limbs around a person. As for me, I can give life to the beasts. I can safety assume that even if Hua Tou was alive today, he will find it hard to match my achievements!”

Nangong Ping was getting chiller every minute he was listening. Finally he knew why Feng Mantian had to send wild beasts to the Divine Creator Island and he finally understood why there was a sour stench.

Suddenly the old man smiles ceased and he became solemn. “The people is so unfortunate because there is too many fake physicians around with dubious knowledge. Eighty years ago, a dubious physician harmed me. Therefore I went through painstaking efforts to search for the Hua Tou Divine Arts. Twenty years ago, finally I could modify a mountain goat to a mule and a mule to a mountain goat. Today I can modify their brains, vocals and let them immerse with human thoughts and sound. In another word, if I want to change a human to a beast, naturally it will be even more easily…”

Nangong Ping felts all his limbs grew weak and cold. Ever since he had entered this island, he had seen many strange things therefore he did not feel strange anymore. But when he had heard this never heard before thing and such a frightening experiment, he was now trembling. He felt like he had just entered hell and wanted to bolt out of this cave immediately.

The old man smiled and said. “All these extraordinary things that I am telling you now, you may not understand it yet but soon you will slowly begin to understand. Although everyone in this island are all the famous heroes of the Fraternity but not many people can actually step into this cave. For tens of years, the Nangong Aristocracy Family funds all the island’s expenses. Therefore I am treating you a little special.”

Nangong Ping said. “Ever since I come here, I have no other wishes. But there is one thing that I am constantly unable to put it down. That is to see my Grand Uncle!”

Although he looked calm when he said that but inside him, he was affected by a burning emotion. One must know that the reason why he did not open his eyes to look at Mei Yinxue was because of the safety of his Grand Uncle.

That day, when he was holding Mei Yinxue’s lifeless body, he felt so grieved that he really no more desires to live. Therefore he raised his hand to hit himself on his head. Maybe it was because he was too distracted, he had merely fainted from the concussion. When he had awakened, there was another old man clothed in hemp aboard the ship and that old man was saving Feng Mantian with a divine pill.

Therefore he was so delightful that he jumped out and said. “Old Senior, do you have one more extra divine pill that can neutralize poison?”

That old man said. “You are not poisoned, why did you want a divine pill that can neutralize poison for?”

Nangong Ping pointed at Mei Yinxue and said. “But…”

Before he could speak, the old man had coldly added. “This maiden has nothing to do with the Divine Creator Island. Why should I want to save her?”

Nangong Ping begged and pleaded for quite some time but the old man only pretended not to hear or see. In his anxiety, Nangong Ping tried to snatch the divine pills from him but he was no match for him. Therefore he carried Mei Yinxue and intended to jump into the sea so as to die together with her.

Only then did the old man’s expressions begun to change and said. “You have the courage to die with her but your courage cannot save her. Therefore are you trying to sacrifice your courage?”

Naturally Nangong Ping replied. “Yes!”

The old man asked. “If you promise to swear allegiance to the Divine Creator Island forever and not to pay her any attention. Only then will I save her life.”

To save Mei Yinxue’s life, naturally Nangong Ping agreed.

But the old man added. “Since you have agreed but once you heard her voice, I am afraid that you will forget all that you have promised me. Because all you want now is to save her life but when the moment comes when you have to part with her, I am afraid you will choose to die with her instead.

Although this old man was icy cold but he seemed to know very well the relationship between a young man and a young maiden. Nangong Ping was startled and thought for a while. He really did not know how to reply him.

The old man added. “But if you swear a sacred oath, I will not be afraid that you will break your promise. Because anyone that breaks their oath in the Divine Creator Island, they will implicate all their relatives as well. Do you know who is your kin on the island?”

Nangong Ping said. “When did I have a kin on the island…” Suddenly he remembered his Grand Uncle who had went to the Divine Creator Temple a generation ago. He was his kin! He said. “I know now.”

The old man said. “It is good that you know.”

Therefore Nangong made the vow and when the ship arrived at the Divine Creator Island, the old man bandaged his head for him and gave him fresh clothing. He was next brought to a cave and was told to mediate inside for a hundred days.

When Mei Yinxue arrived, he wanted to open his eyes so much. Thousands of times he wanted to do so and tell her he was willing to die together with her. But how could he because of his own personal feeling, caused the death of his Grand Uncle? Although he did not placed his own life above self but the lives of others were extremely precious to him.

He had many things to say but it had to wait until he had the chance to meet his Grand Uncle.

But now, this white hair old man who controlled the lives of everyone in the Divine Creator Island asked. “Do you really want to see your kin?”

Nangong Ping said. “Definitely!”

The old man laughed coldly. “Since you have forgot your past, why must you bother to see your kin in the material world?”

Nangong Ping was startled.

The old man said gravely. “You must know that I require everyone on the Divine Creator Island to forget about feeling, interest, fame and desire. Everyone that I have invited to the island, is the best of the best in the Fraternity. That is the reason why I have these four rules.”

Nangong Ping coldly said. “I really don’t see why there are causes for this reason. And I also cannot see how Senior, you are going to explain the logic to these rules!”

The old man said. “It is because I want to build many unprecedented achievements on this Divine Creator Island. I require everyone to give their very best and don’t to be distracted by world interference. If this foundation of mine succeed, then all the achievements of past emperors and generals cannot be compared to mine. I only find it laudable the people of Fraternity thought of the Divine Creator Temple as a place of refuge and solitaire.”

Nangong Ping could not resist asking. “What foundation?”

Light shone in the old man’s eyes as he explained. “When everyone is but a little child, they will have many fantastic dreams. When they grown up, this fantasy will be even grander and beautiful. When you are a child, did you ever fantasizing about turning iron to gold or even turn invisibility? And all the most ridiculous things that you can think of?”

Nangong Ping could not help giving a smile as he thought of the times when he was a child but he said. “So what?”

The white hair old man said. “Turning iron to gold and becoming invisible are the two most commonest fantasy of mankind. No matter who it is, in his entire lifetime, in his deepest recess of his heart, he is sure to have this kind of fantasy. Some fantasies are not that crude compared to these two examples. When I thought of it, I will feel very delightful. Some people hope that that without reading a book, just by burning it to ashes, mixed it with water and drink it, they can absorb all the knowledge. Some others hope that without using candles and oil, they can cause the surrounding to have light. Some others hope that horse carriage can fly and they can then roam the world freely. Some others hope that just by eating a pill, they will become very smart and or they do not need to eat anymore food.”

He paused for awhile before continuing. “Long ago there is a funny joke.

Surely you have heard of it before. Someone say if your eyebrow can grow on your fingers, then you can use it to brush your teeth. If the nose is upside down, then your nasal mucus will not leak. If your eyes can grow in front of you and also at the back, then you don’t have to turn your head anymore. This funny joke is my fantasy but this fantasy has now become a reality. If you want your eyebrows to be on your fingers, your nose to be upside down, I will help you to do that. If you do not believe, you are free to try it.”

And his shoulders began to stretch as though he wanted to rise.

Nangong Ping immediately said. “I think it is better if my nasal mucus can flow and it not bothersome for me to turn my head too.”

The old man laughed. “Not only is my fantasy a reality now but the fantasy of others are also soon to be a reality.”

Nangong Ping was startled and he asked in fright. “Really?”

The old man said. “After I have removed their world desires, I take them here to research…”

He pointed to the stone caverns on both sides and added. “All these caves are where they are working on their research. Why don’t you close your eyes for awhile and think what happens when their fantasy become a reality? Surely it will be known to all throughout the ages.”

Nangong Ping was stunned. He did not know if this old man was a superhuman or a madman.

Suddenly the old man became solemn and lifted his hand. “Today I have talked too much and my work has been delayed. After you entered this place, your movements and speech will not be restricted and every year you are allowed to go out only once. For now, why don’t you go around and take a look. You can also stay in any of one of the caves until I summon for you tomorrow.”

Nangong Ping was still recovering from shock. He looked around his surroundings. Although he was curious about what they were doing but he dared not face them. It was because he dare not imagine what they were doing. If all these fantasies were to become realities, then what would become to the world?

He thought. “No wonder Feng Mantian wanted to buy all those weird things.

No wonder the Devil Flock Island wanted to stop all those chests from reaching here. I think that is because they had some news of what is going on here and are afraid that once they can turn fantasies into realities, then the people on the Devil Flock Island will become the slaves of the Divine Creator Temple.”

He unwitting walked into a cave while he was thinking. He saw that this cave was quite big and airy. Two old men sat inside with books and papers. When they saw Nangong Ping, they did not seemed to be startled. Nangong Ping did not dare to ask them for their names and only asked them what were they researching.

One of them old men began to patiently explain to him that they were researching a new way to build a house. It started from the roof instead and then slowly constructed to the base. He explained that this building method was the same as what was used by the bees and spiders, two of the world’s most brilliant insects.

Nangong Ping thanks them and went to another cave. Another two old men told him that they were researching a type of medicine water that could replace hunger and thirst for ten days. They had some problems with the medicine water because the mixture did not seem right but the day when they would succeed was forthcoming.

He went to another cave and saw an old man who had been researching invisibility for the past sixty years. And the old man began to explain the principles of invisibility to him. Although he looked like he was listening but in fact he was too distracted to listen – He was confused and did not know whether to laugh or cry. He really did not know if they were all superhuman or madman.

There were all kinds of research going on, all kinds of ideas, some he had not even heard of it before. He wondered if some of the ideas might or might not come to reality in the future.

But there were some traces of curiosity left in his heart, therefore he unwittingly walked into another dark cave. Just when he was about to turn his body to walk away, he heard a low but solemn voice asking. “Who?”

Nangong Ping focused his eyes and saw that there was someone in the corner. So he thought to himself. “I wonder what this madman is researching.” Therefore he asked what he was doing.

Then the old man started to mutter. “I am researching how to change air to food. Air…do you know what is air! Air is something that exist between the heaven and the earth…” Suddenly he stopped and slowly rose up. He asked in a trembling voice. “Pinger, is…that…you…”

Nangong Ping was jolted and move back three steps. “You…” Suddenly he fell down from the cave. He mustered all his vital energies and somersaulted in mid-air. And then jumped up to the cave again. He saw the white hair old man in the cave looking at him most intensely.

The eyes were so familiar, so deeply engraved into his heart. Nangong Ping looked for awhile before his whole body started to tremble and he sprang forward. “You…you…Mentor Master!”

He kneel down on the ground, at this white hair old man – he was actually Nangong Ping’s benevolence teacher, the number one warrior of the entire Pugilist, the Immortal Divine Dragon Long Bushi!

It was so unbelievable that the two of them would meet under such circumstances. Both of them were so shocked, so happy and so curious and it seemed a dream. It was more wondrous than a dream yet so real.

Nangong Ping asked. “Mentor Master, how did you come to this place?”

Long Bushi said. “Pinger, how did you come here?” He was even more curious to know about Nangong Ping. Never in his wildest dreams, did he expect a young man like Nangong Ping to be on the Divine Creator Island that was peopled by reclusive old men.

After Nangong Ping had calmed down, he began to relate all his happenstance from tail to head. He added. “Your disciple has one more thing to report to you. Your disciple have already married.”

Long Bushi was surprised and happy. “Who is that girl?” Nangong Ping replied. “Mei Yinxue!”

Long Bushi was even more surprised. Only when Nangong Ping had related everything to him did he sighed deeply. “People say that a beauty is borne under a unlucky sign. This girl is really the unlucky of the unluckiest. I only hope that she will have a tranquil happiness that will compensate her for her entire life of misfortunes and wrongs. But…” He sighed and did not continue.

Nangong Ping was grieved to his innermost. Master and disciple began to sit in silence to reflect upon their sorrows and grief. That was because the two of them shared the same sorrows and grief regarding their loves.

Nangong Ping tried to move the topic to other things. “When your disciple saw the message ‘Guest of the Heavenly Emperor’, I thought that Mentor Master has gone to a faraway place. I wonder what happen on that day on the Huashan Peak? How did Mentor Master get here?”

Long Bushi closed his eyes and lowered his head. He muttered. “Huashan Peak, Huashan Peak…” He covered his eyes with his hand and did not say anything.

Nangong Ping knew from his expression that it had to do with his grief and sorrows therefore he did not ask anymore. He had wanted to ask what happened to Danfeng Ye Qiubai.

After a long silence, Long Bushi sighed again and said. “Forty years ago, when I first heard of the name of Divine Creator Temple, I was filled with fantasies and hopes. But now when I am here, I am really disappointed but…alas! It is now too late.”

Nangong Ping tried to lighten the mood by saying. “Mentor Master, air is an invisible thing between the heaven and the sky. What method did you use to convert air to food? Then there will not be hungry people in the world anymore!”

Long Bushi finally laughed. “Pinger, do you know that most of the people on this island are madmen? Even if they are not madmen but after that one hundred days of imprisonment and brainwash, they are as good as walking corpse…”

When Nangong Ping thought of those white hair old men sitting outside the wooden huts, he began to sigh deeply for it was such an unbearable loneliness.

Long Bushi said. “The craziest among all these madmen is the Lord of this island. Under his jurisdiction, anyone who has a clear mind will be deemed a madman. When I reached here and saw all these, I really cannot bear to go back to face all those walking corpses out there, therefore after thinking for a long time, I propose a ridiculous theory to him!”

Nangong Ping laughed. “What kind of theory?”

Long Bushi said. “I told him that the reason why flowers and trees can thrive so well is because they can absorb the nutrients in the air. If humans can be like the plants and convert the air to food, then it will really save a lot of manpower and resources since the air is limitless. And it can be used to save the lives of hungry people as well.”

He laughed. “When the Lord of the island heard my theories, he was really very happy and heap praises onto the project. He thought that it was the most magnificent project ever. He promises to give me anything that I need. Therefore I have many delicious wines over here.” Although he was laughing but he could not hide his loneliness. This number one warrior in the Martial Fraternity had actually tried to drown his sorrows with wines.

Although Nangong Ping would like to laugh with him but he really could not laugh.

The people of the Divine Creator Island, were they all geniuses or madmen, were they the superior one, or the weaker one, Nangong Ping really could not tell anymore.

When Long Bushi noticed that he was sighing, he ceased his laugh and said gravely. “Pinger, although I drown my sorrows with wine but never once did I lost any hope. I am always waiting for a chance. When that Lord of this island summon you into his audience again, ask him for permission to be sent here to research the ‘mysterious food’. We will have a chance in another few months time. When that time comes, with the two of us, our chances of succeeding will be much higher.”

It was because every year there was a day that was called the Wild Day. On that day, everyone could freely move around.

The next day the Lord of the Island summoned Nangong Ping to his presence. He had wanted to give a special function to him because he was a member of the Nangong Aristocracy Family but hearing from him that he wanted to partake in that ‘Grand Project’, he immediately agreed.

Time passed, although the days seemed unbearable long but Nangong Ping had learnt to endure. From time to time, that Lord of the Island would summon him into his presence but only just to look at him for awhile and just said a few words. He had noticed that the mysterious Lord’s eyes showed signs of confusion and anxiety. And every time he was summoned, this type of confusion and anxiety in his eyes would increase. He thought. “Did the Lord of the Island discovered the dangers that were lurking on the island?”

During those days of waiting, Long Bushi did not say many things. He told Nangong Ping to adapt to changes for the walls had ears.

Therefore during those days of waiting, Nangong Ping began to refresh all the instructions of the secret manuals that he had completely memorized into his heart. He found out that his eyesight had become sharper and his body gradually become lighter. He did not know how much his martial abilities had improved. Sometimes he would sigh when he thought of those that were his kin and friends that were thousands of miles away.

One day while he was mediating, he suddenly heard a loud sound of applause. And a great deal of old men began to spring past him muttering. “The day has arrived!”

Nangong Ping asked. “What day has arrived?”

An old man stopped to reply him coldly. “What you want to do, you can do.

The day has arrived.” And he was gone in an instant.

Nangong Ping was startled and muttered. “How much does he actually know? …” (Referring to the Lord of the Island)

Long Bushi coldly hummed behind him. “No matter how much he knows, after today, he will not know anything.”

Nangong Ping asked. “By removing him?”

Long Bushi said. “That is right!” He gently tapped his shoulders and said. “Wait for a chance and adapt yourself to changes. If you cannot see any ship or raft, even if we have to swim, we have to get out of this place!”

When Nangong Ping heard his Mentor Master’s firm conviction, he began to believe that nothing was impossible. They sprang out of this cavern in an instant. Along the way, they spotted many old men that were walking quietly. Except for their eyes, they were really like a walking corpse.

After exiting from the secret door, Nangong Ping was glad to breathe in the fresh air and embraced in the wind. It was like his life was being energized. He looked around him and secretly swore that in order to exchange for this life and freedom, he would be willing to sacrifice anything.

Long Bushi had since sprang in front of him and had already disappeared from view. Nangong Ping scouted the other areas for possible areas for escape. Finally he was back to that wooden hut but for now the area was totally changed. The old men were feasting and drinking, their eyes looked delight although they still did not say anything. At this moment of time, fine wine and delicious food were many times more valuable than precious stones. Although precious stones were definitely very precious in the material world but it were worthless here.

Nangong Ping saw their eyes darting around and thought. “Are they trying to run away too because they too find the life here too unbearable?”

Therefore he instantly discovered that among the feasting, there was indeed a kind of malevolent air hidden within it. His heart jumped and he looked around for his Mentor Master but he was nowhere to be seen.

Suddenly he heard laughter coming from behind the trees. Suddenly his mind jolted and he turned around and saw Feng Mantian sitting under a giant tree. He looked very haggard and fragile and had undergone countless days of torture.

He had suddenly discovered that tried as he could, he could not numb his feelings. He bowed respectfully to him and said. “Senior, because of me, it has been very hard on you.”

Feng Mantian smiled. “Hard on me? …” Suddenly his laughter became very sharp and he said. “It good that it have been hard on me. The pains have caused all my feelings that are numbed to revive once more. All these pains have jolted me and given me the courage to resist!”

He caught hold of Nangong Ping’s shoulders and asked excitedly. “Child, take a look over there. Did you see anything strange about those old men over there?”

Nangong Ping had noticed the excitement in his voice and he recalled the mysterious looks of those old men. In that instant, he almost jumped up. “Are all of you…”

Feng Mantian nodded. “That is right! I have secretly fanned their rage and ambitions. Today, yes today, there will be a grand show on this island between those old men from inside the mountains and us. Either we are going to send them to hell or we will die! Even if we are to die, we don’t wish to live a life like this anymore, am I right?”

Nangong Ping nodded his head and suddenly he remembered something. “Where is the ship? Is there a ship around here…”

Feng Mantian asked. “Ship! What do we want a ship for?”

Nangong Ping was startled. “If there is no ship, how are we going to go back? Do we have to sprout wings and fly across the ocean?”

Feng Mantian laughed awhile and then coldly said. “Go back? Who say anything about going back?”

Nangong Ping was startled again.

Feng Mantian sighed deeply and explained. “Have you ever thought of this before. If you let all these eccentric old men go back to the Central Plains, won’t the entire Fraternity be plunged into a turmoil?”

Nangong Ping lowered his head. He really did not even dare to think about

it!

Feng Mantian laughed. “Go have some wines first and then quietly wait for

a nice show.”

Nangong Ping said. “Senior…”

Feng Mantian said. “I know what is in your heart. But a pity without a boat or a ship, you are unable to go back.” He extended his wooden staff and sprang away.

Nangong Ping leaned against the tree, looking downcast and absorbed in his thoughts. After awhile he heard the sound of drums and saw five elderly men with golden headdress appearing followed by five golden fur beastmen at the back. They were carrying a stone bed. On top of the stone bed sat the Lord of the Divine Creator Island.

Although it was noon, but his complexion was very pale, almost transparent. He seemed to be afraid of the sun and ordered the beastmen and the elderly men to take him to the shade. Suddenly there was a hilarious laughter among the crowd.

On the Divine Creator Island, laughter was almost a non-existent thing and yet this hilarious laughter was so audacious.

The Lord of the Divine Creator Island immediately swept his glance around and he soon pinpointed the source of the laughter. He questioned gravely. “Shou Yuan, why are you laughing?”

Feng Mantian stomped the ground with his wooden staff that he had been using as a crutch. He walked out of the crowd and said aloud. “Feng is the surname of my ancestor. Mantian is the name given to me by my parents. A real man will never change his name, much less his surname! I am Feng Mantian, who is Shou Yuan?”

Although everyone looked emotionless but because it had been so many years since they had last heard such straightforward and frank words that burning fire once again incited their dead eyes!

The Lord of the Divine Creator Island said gravely, displaying no traces of any emotions. “Good! Feng Mantian, why are you laughing?”

Feng Mantian laughed hilariously once more. “It is so laudable alas, it is so laudable. All the people on this island used to be such great heroes in the past. But now they have all become a walking corpse and even have to listen to a half- insane, half-idiot and he is a half-cripple freak as well. If I were to tell it to the outside people, surely no one will even believe me. Don’t you find it laudable too!”

The Lord of the Divine Creator Island was now staring at Feng Mantian with his piercing eyes but he did not say anything yet.

Feng Mantian straightened his body and his laughter suddenly ceased. “The reason why I come here is because I am weary of the material world and come here for solitaire. I didn’t come here to be under your tyrannical rule and to be live like a prisoner. Let me ask you this, what virtue and capability do you have to lord over these best of the best heroes of the Fraternity?”

Although all the old men did not say anything but their spirits received a jolt.

Nangong Ping was even more so and almost clapped his hands in thunderous applause!

Without lifting his eyes off him, the Lord of the Divine Creator Island slowly said. “Marvelous, since you dare to laugh like this, surely you must have some confidence. So…” He suddenly swept his eyes around. “If anyone else share his opinion, please step forward!”

Nangong Ping was standing behind some trees, therefore he could not see his eyes but noticed that his voice seemed to have some mysterious ability to dazzle people. He looked around and saw that all those old men that were standing in front had become emotionless again. They did not even have the intentions to step forward and instead took a few steps back.

The Lord of Divine Creator coldly said. “So it is only you?”

Feng Mantian expressions changed and he turned around to shout. “What are you all afraid of? What happen to our plans that we have discussed for many a days? Have you all forgotten about it?”

No one said a word…

Feng Mantian was as white as sheet and clutched his wooden staff tightly.

The Lord of the Divine Creator Island coldly said. “So it seems that you have the intention to usurp the position of the Lord of the Lords for yourself. That is only too easy…”

Suddenly he laughed eerily and the five elderly men with golden headdress had instantly surrounded Feng Mantian from all sides.

The Lord of the Divine Creator Island said. “If I simply order them to capture you, surely even if you were to die, you would not rest in peace. All these years, as one of the Seven Stewards, surely your martial techniques may not be inferior to me. Therefore as long as you can defeat me, from now on, all matters pertaining to the island will be decided by you!”

Feng Mantian clenched his fists tighter and tighter and his fingers looked even whiter and whiter. He slowly lifted his hands but he was trembling. He lifted his staff that looked like a hook and pointed at the Lord of the Lords.

The Lord of the Divine Creator Island looked at him like a hunter looking at a prey. Both of them did not move an inch yet but Feng Mantian looked more and more grave.

Everyone was looking more and more nervous as well…

One must know that they were using supreme martial techniques in a life and death fight! Although Feng Mantian staff appeared to be shaking slightly but each slight movement had the potential to unleash a mighty stroke. As long as the Lord of the Divine Creator Island would show even a slight opening or weakness, victory was his! Indeed as the saying goes, when top exponents of the Fraternity were to duel, it all lies with a single stroke at that instant of time!

Both of them were intently searching for any signs of weakness and opening.

Both of them were trying to use their physiological aura to weaken the mental strength of one another. This duel not only concerns their life and death but it also involved all the fates of all the best top exponents in the Fraternity who had long retired.

Feng Mantian breathing slowly became steady. Although many times he wanted to use all his might to exhibit a stance but this Lord of the Divine Creator Island had no weakness and opening to explore. How could he dare to simply use his stance? The one dead would surely be him if he would to recklessly attack.

Nangong Ping was constantly looking afar. He kept repeating his Mentor Master last order into his heart. “Adapt yourself to changes!” Now that his Mentor Master was not around, how could he recklessly act?

The Nangong Ping of the present was now different from his past. His brain had absorbed the knowledge of a hundred different martial schools. He had long noticed that the trembling staff of Feng Mantian, each slight tremble hid a marvelous wondrous stroke! But he did not attack because he had placed his senses above strokes, to use sense before stance.

Although he was very happy that he could actually senses Feng Mantian martial techniques now but he was also very worried. Because every stroke that was unleashed would surely be earth shaking. But Feng Mantian did not dare to attack recklessly, then would it not mean that the Lord of the Divine Creator Island who was sitting down there without moving, his martial skills would reached the point of acme, into the point of unfathomable?

Feng Mantian secretly sighed in his heart. “I give up!” And he lifted his staff to begin the life and death struggle.

Suddenly there was a great shout from the back. “Wait a minute!” It was Nangong Ping who had sprang out. It was because he had remembered all the good things and care that Feng Mantian had given him. How could he stand behind and watch him die?

Everyone was slightly startled.

Nangong Ping said in a clear voice. “Nangong Ping will stand alongside with Senior Feng on the same side!” And he stood in front of Feng Mantian.

The Lord of the Divine Creator Island coldly said with his eyes wide opened. “You have come to take this position of the Lord of the Lords as well?”

Nangong Ping said matter of fact. “Wrong! I support Old Senior Feng in his deeds and words. If because of fear, I did not dare to say it loud, it would be really unbearable much like pain sticking in my back and my throat would feel like it has been straggled by a whip!”

The Lord of the Divine Creator Island laughed coldly. “What a good examples. Do you know that what place is this? Look around you, all these top martial experts that are around you, which of them isn’t a hero of their times? Is there a room for you to talk?!”

Nangong Ping said aloud. “If Old Senior Feng is wrong, even if all the people here are the weak and the elderly, I will still do the same. But if Old Senior is right, even though all the people here are the top exponents of the Fraternity, I will still stand up and support! I only ask what is right and wrong, not to advance my own interest. Although my martial ability is not high but at least my conscious is better than all these earth shaking top martial exponents!”

Some of the old men began to feel ashamed.

The Lord of the Divine Creator Island gravely said. “You are so young, do you not know how to treasure your own life?”

Nangong Ping laughed aloud. “Rather than suffer humiliations and indignation, it is better to die now!”

Feng Mantian shouted. “That is the way of a true man!”

The Lord of the Divine Creator Island said coldly. “Don’t you regret what you have done!”

Nangong Ping said. “I have already placed my life and death far aside.

Would I still regret it?”

“That is the way of a true man!” This shout came from afar.

A man sprang towards them much like an eagle and was instantly by Nangong Ping. It was the number one warrior of the Pugilist realm, the Immortal Divine Dragon Long Bushi!

The Lord of the Divine Creator Island said coldly. “So you have come too!” Long Bushi thundered. “That is right, I too have come. Pinger, Brother Feng,

move aside so that I can know how fathomable is his martial techniques!” He was not willing to say a word more and snatched away Feng Mantian staff and bowed with his hands. “After you!”

The Lord of Lords was startled for awhile because he had never saw such a person as him before. “You want to fight with me?”

Long Bushi thundered. “That is right!” Before he had finished, he had attacked with a stroke using the staff!

The Lord of the Divine Creator Island had not expected him to dare to fight with him much less attack him without any hesitation or care. He simply swung his robes and he had moved away three feet from Long Bushi attacks.

Long Bushi wielded his staff much like a sharp sword and there were very strong windforce all around his staff. In that instant he had made seven attacking strokes, windforce from his staff grew even more furious but the leaves on top of the tree did not even move. It was because all of Long Bushi vital strength was upon the Lord of the Divine Creator Island. Not even one inch of his vital force was leaked or wasted!

His stances and strokes were filled with changes and flexibility. It was unparalleled throughout the Fraternity but when he attacked, it was without hesitation and doubt. He did not pay much attention for his own safety as compared to the styles of other top exponent experts.

Feng Mantian sighed and said. “No wonder the pugilists in the Fraternity give your teacher the title of the number one warrior in the Pugilist realm. Now that I have seen it today, he indeed lived up to his name!”

Nangong Ping smiled while Feng Mantian added. “As the saying goes, the strong will defeat the weak, courage will defeat the timid. Although that Lord of the Lords martial techniques are mysterious and extraordinary but I am afraid he will not be able to block this earth shaking courage that comes from your Mentor Teacher!”

In between his talks, Long Bushi had already attack with more than ten strokes. He was focusing on attacking his opponent and placed defense as secondary. He did not seem to care for his own personal safety as well. Under his torrential fierce attacks however, he could barely saw the Lord of the Divine Creator figure.

The Lord of Lords asked. “You really do not want your life anymore?” Long Bushi attacked with another three strokes and shouted. “That is right!”

The Lord of Lords said. “If you died, then what will happen to your project?”

Long Bushi laughed. “What project? It is just a trick to fool small children!”

The Lord of the Divine Creator with an angry shout plunged forward with his right hand, broke the head of the staff and his left hand on Long Bushi’s chest.

Suddenly both of them hit one another on each other’s chest and they flew several yards away from one another. Everyone was startled and did not know what had happened.

Nangong Ping called out in shock. “Mentor Master, you…”

Long Bushi rose up and thundered. “Move aside!” And he sprang to the side of the stone bed to attack the Lord of the Lords on his chest, head and seven other major accupoints!

When the Lord of the Divine Creator saw this type of reckless attack, his expressions changed and extended his hands to parry his moves. “Go back!”

Long Bushi did not slow down at all and use attack to counter attack, he returned three strokes and shouted. “Bullshit!”

But when he opened his mouth, blood flew out. It was because he had already suffered internal injuries when the Lord of the Divine Creator had hit him on the chest just moments ago.

Nangong Ping was greatly alarmed and saw that his Mentor Master continued on his relentless attacks.

The fight aroused the fire in some of the old men in the crowd. Only those old men that resided in the mountains remained as emotionless as ever.

Feng Mantian said to Nangong Ping gravely. “If the old men in the front rows will to fight the Lord of the Divine Creator, then he will be in a grave situation. Except for a few old men who are stewards who may still fight for him, the other old men at the back would not even care.”

Nangong Ping was getting very worried for his Mentor Master’s safety. He solemnly said. “Until now, this Lord of the Lords has yet to stand up. If he is to stand up, then I afraid that benevolent teacher will…”

Feng Mantian laughed coldly. “He has already been afflicted by deviation phenomenon and both his legs are crippled. I afraid he can never stand ever again.”

Suddenly there was a two cranking sound. Long Bushi had moved back and fallen to the ground. The Lord of the Divine Creator moved back in staggered steps. It seemed that the two of them had each taken one blow. One must know that when the Lord of Divine Creator had attacked him, Long Bushi did not try to dodge it but instead he took the opportunity to attack, therefore the Lord of the Divine Creator had been hit too. If he did not sacrifice himself, how would he going to hit him at all?

Nangong Ping ran to the side of Long Bushi in great shock. “Mentor Master, how are you feeling?”

Long Bushi forced out a smile and said. “Go and take a look at him first!”

Nangong Ping turned his head around and saw that those old men had revived their fighting spirit and every one of them had surrounded the Lord of the Divine Creator but none of them were close, as the beastmen and the Stewards were near.

The Lord of the Divine Creator was sitting with his eyes closed and he was very pale. After awhile, suddenly he vomited out blood.

Feng Mantian with his eyes widened, shouted. “He has been heavily injured

too!”