The Flower Guarding Bell - Chapter 19
Chapter Nineteen - Goddess in the Wilderness
After Lady Proudness saw Mei Yinxue disappeared from view, she was so angry and cursed her nonstop. She used her hands as legs and moved inch by inch to move herself into the woods. During those few days, she would scold and scold aloud, sometimes she would cry and plead but no matter how venomous her curses were, no matter how honey sweet her words were, there was no response from Mei Yinxue.
She did not expect that on the fifth day at dawn, her channels suddenly were cleared on it own accord. In utter joy, she began to rejuvenate her strength and then searched around for Mei Yinxue. She swore once she had found Mei Yinxue, she would spill all her vexations on her.
At sunset, she finally found the woods where Mei Yinxue had been hiding. Suddenly she stepped on something among the tall grasses and tens of tree leaves began to flutter all around and then, slings of stones began to fly toward her. The windforce caused by the stones were sharp and powerful!
Startled, Lady Proudness started to evade with her body. But before she could take even take a breather, tens of stones shot from the ground! She gave a cry before she retreated out of the woods but the stones had already hit her shoulders and she was now feeling sore and painful. She cursed her aloud. “Witch by the surname of Mei, do you dare to come out?”
As her spirit had not been calmed yet from the fright she got earlier, therefore she started to scold her from the outside of the woods for quit a while. But she still dare not enter the woods.
There was a chilling cold laugh coming from within the woods and Mei Yinxue began to walk in a slow dance among the tall grasses. Her dress fluttered in the air as she danced on the tall grasses very much like a fairy that could tread lightly.
‘Flying on the grass’ was an epitome of a person’s swiftness movement skill level but it was only because they had first took in a breath of vital energy to energize themselves as they ran in terrifying speed on the grass. But this type of swiftness movement skill that could allow Mei Yinxue to move in a slow dance on the grass, Lady Proudness had never seen of it, much less even heard of it!
In that very instant, her rage and hatred was changed to fright and shock.
She trembled. “You…you…who has helps you to clear your accupoints?” Mei Yinxue softly laughed. “Do you know that all my skills have been destroyed by Long Bushi before? Yet I can still recover from it, moreover my channels have only been blocked by you.”
Not only could she take a slow stroll on the grasses, she could even talk while holding her vital breath! Lady Proudness was even more startled now. What she did not know was, hidden among the tall grasses were rows of wooden clogs! Someone with very powerful inner force could cause heavy gravity pull in the form of a ‘Thousand Weigh Pull’ or even circulated their vital energies to lift themselves up to leap, jump, sprang lighter and faster than anyone else. She was totally in awe with Mei Yinxue’s swiftness movement skill level.
Mei Yinxue smiled before she continued. “I have prepared a comfortable dwelling inside these woods. Since you have come, why not take a rest inside?”
When Lady Proudness had witnessed her marvelous swiftness movement skill that had reached such an unbelievable level in expertise, how could she dare to go in? But she was still very doubtful. Since her internal power had recovered, why was her speech so dispirited?
Mei Yinxue rolled her watery eyes and she looked even more dispirited. She laughed gently. “My internal power has not fully recovered yet. That is why when I talk, there is no strength and I sound so dispirited. If you want to chat with me, please come in and have a seat. There are no terrible traps in the woods therefore rest assured, you cannot be harmed.”
Lady Proudness was stunned for awhile. The more Mei Yinxue wished to invite her in, the more she dared not. She thought. “I see now that she is only pretending to be dispirited so as to trick me in.”
Mei Yinxue smiled. “Welcome, welcome…”
Lady Proudness suddenly laughed. “You can fool the others with your words but you definitely can’t fool me at all!” After laughing several times more, she turned around and sprang away!
After Mei Yinxue saw her figure disappeared. She wiped the beads of cold sweat from her forehead and secretly thought. “Lucky!” She had used a stratagem by the famous strategist Zhuge Kongming, the ‘Empty City Ruse’ to fool Lady Proudness away.
Naturally all these happenings were not as detailed when related by Lady Proudness.
Lady Proudness said. “That day after I got back, as I was afraid that that witch would secretly come and did a sneak attack on me, therefore I started to set numerous traps and snares around the wooden hut. Heng…heng! Although she is as cunning as a fox but am I not as cunning too? I dare not go into her woods but she did not dare to come here as well.”
When Nangong Ping had heard that Mei Yinxue was safe, he felt relieved as he relaxed his breathing. He thought. “So all these traps are meant for Mei Yinxue. Therefore, it seems like my swiftness skill is now on the same par as Mei Yinxue now. That is why I am caught in the trap.”
He did not know that his present swiftness skill had now surpassed Mei Yinxue by several notches. It was because Lady Proudness had overestimated Mei Yinxue’s swiftness skill level and Nangong Ping was not in the best of his fitness yet.
Lady Proudness hatefully said. “What is most hateful about that witch is that she is always disturbing me with the repairs of her ship and the fact that the ship is with her. I am always afraid that she may finally repair the ship and can leave this place. Then I will have to die of old age on this desolate island. But…now that you are here, I am not afraid that she will leave…” She patted Nangong Ping on his shoulder and laughed hilariously.
Nangong Ping was startled. “What you mean by this?”
Lady Proudness said. “She is a maiden with lots of affections. Since she has already married you so how would she leave behind such a handsome young man on this island with me?”
Nangong Ping shouted angrily. “Are you going to use me as a leverage to threaten her?”
Lady Proudness laughed. “You are indeed smart.” She started to carry Nangong Ping to the woods.
After awhile, Nangong Ping saw a black cliff and besides it was a forest area. He knew that in the woods was Mei Yinxue, who he had been thinking day and night. When he thought that he was going to see Mei Yinxue again, his heart started to beat very fast!
When he was about to cry out for Mei Yinxue, Lady Proudness hit him on his channels leading to his speech and said. “Be quiet!”
Next she proceeded to hide Nangong Ping behind some rocks and walked to the black cliff that was besides the woods. “Mei Yinxue…Maiden Mei, show yourself fast!” Her voice was sharp and frightened several flocks of birds that flew into the air from the woods.
There was a laugh that came from the woods and Mei Yinxue appeared carrying a tree branch. She walked slowly and she was dressed in a long robe made from the sails of the ship. Although it was a simple robe but it was very clean, just like a goddess in the wilderness. She was carrying a faint smile. “You have come again? Welcome, welcome!”
Lady Proudness giggled. “Good sister, long time no seen. You have become even more beautiful.”
Mei Yinxue laughed. “I have caught some wild rabbits yesterday. The taste is excellent. Do you want to come over my place to have a taste?”
The two of them were very intimate, filled with smiles and gentleness. But in fact, they wished to swallow one another into their stomach immediately.
When Nangong Ping heard had Mei Yinxue’s voice, he was filled with happiness but was saddened as well. He hated himself for not able to move, not able to talk. In an instant, his heart was almost torn apart as he struggled furiously.
Mei Yinxue moved her watery eyes and laughed. “You seem very happy today. May I know what is the happy occasion?”
Lady Proudness said, “That is right. When I heard that your ship has almost finished repairing, I am really very happy in my heart.”
Mei Yinxue giggled. “Alas, You are really nice. But a pity if I board the ship and leave, you will be very lonely. Moreover…when you have died, no one will prepare for your funeral. Maybe the ants will really eat you, alas! When I thought of that, my heart grieves for you."
Lady Proudness cursed her inside. “Hope you die, witch!” But her mouth was smiling. “Alas, sister, you are really so concern about me. But your sister will surely have someone to collect my corpse for me.”
Mei Yinxue laughed delightfully. “Actually I want to stay behind to help you to collect your corpse but what if you grow to an old ripe age and not die? Therefore I can’t wait anymore and have to leave…”
Lady Proudness said, “Good sister, I know you are joking. You will not leave because you want to give your ship to me and let your sister board the ship alone. Am I right?”
Mei Yinxue laughed and laughed. “Indeed, indeed. But how can you think of it?” She really thought it was a very funny thing and her eyes were even more watery.
Lady Proudness laughed aloud. “Is this a marvelous idea? Good sister, let me tell you something. This idea did not come from me but from a guest that arrived today.”
Mei Yinxue laughed. “Oh? Really? That guest of yours must be truly very brilliant. Who is he huh?”
Lady Proudness coldly said. “Nangong Ping!”
Mei Yinxue received a jolt in her body and her laughs ceased in an instant.
She grasped. “Nangong Ping? He has come?”
Lady Proudness said unhurried. “That is right. He has come. Do you want to see him? He has been thinking about you with all his heart and soul. Heh!”
Although Mei Yinxue was filled with the excitement of a hundred emotions in her but she shown no sign of it on her face.
Lady Proudness was stunned and shouted. “What! Don’t you wish to see
Mei Yinxue recovered from her thoughts and slowly said. “Why should I
wish to see him?”
Lady Proudness giggled. “That is it. I have already knew that you will surely want to see him.”
But Mei Yinxue slowly added. “Why should I not wish to see him, he is long dead in my heart. This type of heartless man, it doesn’t matter if I am to see him or not!”
Lady Proudness received a jolt this time and her laughs ceased. She turned ashen and said. “Did you forget the vows of your love? Did you forget that you are husband and wife? You once told me that you are deeply in love with him, is that all a pack of lies?”
Mei Yinxue coldly said. “That is right. I was once deeply in love with him but now I have hated him with all my heart. On that Divine Creator Island, I begged him to open his eyes to take a look at me but he refused me! So now why should I want to see him? Tell me, why should I want to see him!” Her voice was getting more and more high pitch.
Lady Proudness expressions changed and she asked in fright. “At that time, he must surely have a lot of difficulties, that is why he refused to see you. But he is really a gentle and affectionate man. What is more, he loves you with all his heart therefore you must not let him down!”
She had thought that she could use Nangong Ping to threaten Mei Yinxue. She came with high hopes and cockiness but never expected that Mei Yinxue had long forgotten about Nangong Ping!
When her hopes became hopelessness, that why her voice trembled in fright and now she was trying to defend Nangong Ping.
Mei Yinxue coldly laughed awhile. “Since you think that he is such a gentle and affectionate man, you can ask him to accompany you. Heng…heng! With such a gentle and affectionate man on the island with you, I can put aside my worries for you and set sail.” When she had finished, she turned her body.
Lady Proudness was even more frightened now and shouted. “Wait a minute!”
Mei Yinxue did not even turn her head and she coldly said. “I have already given my husband to you, what more do you want? What more do you want to say?”
Lady Proudness was filled with anxiety and all her cockiness was gone. “I
am old and ugly, how could I be a match for him? But the two of you are really the perfect match, the guy is talented and the girl beautiful…”
Mei Yinxue coldly said. “Is that all what you want to say?” She started to walk away.
Lady Proudness shouted. “Wait a minute. He has found you with much difficulty. At the very least you should see him once.”
Mei Yinxue halted her legs and said. “It doesn’t matter if I were to see him but what does one more time matter.”
Lady Proudness said. “Please wait a while. I will bring him now immediately.” She sprang away.
She had wanted to wait until Mei Yinxue had pleaded with her for a long time before she would bring Nangong Ping to her. But now, she had to plead with Mei Yinxue to bring Nangong Ping to her. It was indeed pitiful and laudable!
When Nangong Ping had heard their conversations, he had a mix of disappointment and sadness.
He thought to himself. “Even a woman like Lady Proudness can understand my difficulties but why did Mei Yinxue not understand me at all?” He was angry with Mei Yinxue all of a sudden then he had a jolt. “Could she have saw through Lady Proudness’ tricks and pretended otherwise…”
He kept guessing in his heart until Lady Proudness pulled him up, arrange his clothing and sternly said to him. “Remember to beg her and plead most sincerely. Surely you can move her heart and she will forgive you. Do you understand or else…heng, heng! You should know in your heart that I am capable of doing anything!”
Nangong Ping bit his teeth and did not say a word. Lady Proudness carried him to stand on the edge of the woods. In that instant when he saw Mei Yinxue’s back, his heart was like being weighed by a giant rock. “Yinxue, I…”
Mei Yinxue trembled slightly but she did not turn her head over!
Lady Proudness forced herself to smile. “Good sister, look! Your sister has brought him here now. Look how fragile he is now because he is always thinking about you. Even I feel sad for him when I look at his state.”
After a long while, Mei Yinxue slowly turned her back around and her face was a cold demeanor.
Lady Proudness said. “After so many events, finally the two of you have the chance to meet again, alas! It is really such a joyous thing. I am really happy, really happy.” Although she said she was happy but her face was sorrowful and her eyes were malicious.
When Nangong Ping saw that Mei Yinxue was looking at him with such a cold demeanor, all the millions of words that he wanted to say stumbled in his throat. Lady Proudness looked at him and tugged his sleeve. “Hey, say something to her! Now that you have seen her, aren’t you supposed to be happy? If there is anything you want to say to her, just say it! Do you need to feel shy?”
Mei Yinxue expressions changed and she sternly said. “What has he have to say? It is good that I have not seen him. After seeing him, I am filled with hatred for him. Hurry and bring him away!” She was really afraid that Nangong Ping would really say something and she could not control her feelings.
Lady Proudness said aloud. “Do you really want to severe all ties with him?” Mei Yinxue stated matter of fact. “Indeed you are so right.”
Suddenly Lady Proudness coldly laughed. “Since that is the case, I will use the ‘Five Negative Finger Skill’ to cripple his eight meridian channels and to let him suffer unspeakable pain and torture, then he will vomit black blood and die. I really want to see if your heart will hurts or not.” She lifted her hands to cripple Nangong Ping while the corner of her eyes peeked at Mei Yinxue to see if she would save him or not.
Mei Yinxue coldly laughed. “You are welcome but I hope that you can do it on the spot so that I can witness his torture as well. At the same time, you can also know if I will feel heartache for him.”
Lady Proudness was startled and scolded aloud. “What a heartless, unrighteous witch! You actually have the heart to even murder your own husband, no wonder everyone in the Pugilist nicked you as cold blood. Your heart is indeed more venomous than a venomous snake!”
Mei Yinxue looked up the sky and laughed heartily. “Thank you, thank you for your praises. If I were not cold blood, I would have died so many times already…”
Suddenly her laughs ceased and she took a pair of golden bells from her clothing and threw it in front of Nangong Ping.
Nangong Ping was jolted. And he heard her said. “This is the token of love that you have given to me on our wedding day. Now, I have returned it to you.
From now on, we are not related by any means and I hope you will not come to pester me!”
Nangong Ping was too stunned and it was like a sharp weapon that had suddenly ran through his body.
Lady Proudness fumed. “What a shameless witch! You actually divorce your husband! For thousands of years to the ancient times, although there are a lot of vicious and shameless women but no one can be compared to you!”
Mei Yinxue coldly smirked. “Is it true? Oh I actually thought that the most vicious and most shameless woman is you. Heh!”
Lady Proudness almost exploded in anger now. “Nangong Ping, what happen to you! Why are you like a tortoise that refused to say anything? You…you…” She started to kick the sand and stones around her feet in rage.
Nangong Ping was too heart wrenched to feel anything now. “Yinxue, I am so sorry to you. I don’t blame you for the way you are treating me. You are still young and there are many destinies waiting for you. I only hope that you will find an honest man in the future to lead an honest life and not…”
Mei Yinxue interrupted. “There is no need for you to be worry for me, there are countless number of men in the world…” Suddenly she turned around and laughed. “My ship has already finished repairing. I am going to sail now!”
She started to sprang back to the woods, all the while laughing.
Back in the woods, her laughs turned to sobs. Her slim body trembled a few times before she cried in a low voice. “Xiaoping, please forgive me. If I don’t do such a thing, I will not escape from Lady Proudness’ vicious ploys…” Before she could finish, she coughed out a mouthful of blood!
She struggled to walk a few steps before she could find a place to hide and slowly sit down. She knew very much how vicious and cruel Lady Proudness was, therefore she pretended to severe all ties with Nangong Ping so as to make her disappointed.
But this pretense of hers, she had paid a high price for it. She caused Nangong Ping to be heartbroken, so heart wrenching and painful. The last words of Nangong Ping caused her heart to break and when the pain of her heart could not be endured anymore, she coughed out blood!
She gently wiped away her blood traces and her lips floated a smile; her pretense had been successful. Although Lady Proudness was very cunning but she had fooled her after all.
She started to mutter in a low voice. “Lady Proudness, it time for you to come after me. I have set many ambushes in the woods waiting for you! Since you have thought that I am about to go, will you not come?”
And in front of eyes was a vision…
Lady Proudness had been tied upside a tree and before she had died, she had screamed. After that, she would be back to the embrace of Nangong Ping. At that time, Nangong Ping would know she had been a through a painstaking ordeal. And they were to have tears of reunion and happiness. After that, they would set sail away from this island. And after that, they would have lived a life of bliss and happiness, happily ever after, after that…Her eyes were now closed and she fainted in her blissful and beautiful dream…
It was because her mental strength had been weakened considerable by her emotions. And she had even throw up blood earlier. Now she was weakened considerably, that was why she had fainted.
After Nangong Ping had saw Mei Yinxue vanished in the distance. He felt a sudden sensational pain and he threw up a mouthful of blood…
Lady Proudness could not control her rage. “Useless man, why don’t you go after her and tied that shameless woman up the tree and then lashed her viciously with a whip…” And she started cleared his accupoints as she spoke.
But Nangong Ping remained sitting on the ground, refusing to bulge. He kept muttering. “Let her go…let her go…”
Lady Proudness fumed. “Let her go? Heh! You call yourself a real man? While you are suffering on this island, she has gone to the company of other men to seek pleasures. How would the others know that she is once Nangong Ping’s wife? Not only will you not be able to see anyone with such shame, even if you were to die, you will be too shameful to face a ghost too. What about your fellow protégés and your Mentor Master? Your ancestors? You have utterly thrown your ancestor’s face away so how are you going to face them?”
Nangong Ping clenched his fists tightly and bit his teeth. Then he slowly rose up.
Lady Proudness was delighted. “Go, hurry and go now!” She had wanted Nangong Ping to take the blunt of all the traps that were in the woods. And then she just had to follow…
But Nangong Ping was stunned for awhile before he crushed to the ground
Lady Proudness was disappointed and then she moved around the woods for
several times before she hit Nangong Ping on his accupoints. “Go over that time. Hurry!”
Nangong Ping seemed to be totally numbed. He did not even try to avoid her
She deducted that the woods would surely have a lot of ambushes but she
was determined to capture Mei Yinxue. After awhile, she came back from the black cliffs with two black flints.
Nangong Ping was startled. “You want to set a fire?”
Lady Proudness coldly exclaimed. “That is right. I want to burn down this entire forest. Then I would want to see if there are still any traps!”
One must know that she had hesitated to set a fire because Mei Yinxue could do the same to her too. When that time comes, the two of them would be left with a total wasteland and would have died together.
And she really gathered a lot of figs and dry grasses on the top of the cliff. Now she set them on fire and rolled them down the cliff into the woods! And the fire was spreading faster now, urged on by the strong winds.
Lady Proudness laughed. “I want to see what other ideas do you have, unless…”
Nangong Ping coldly interrupted. “She may be thinking of staying for half a day more. Now you set the woods on fire, she will sail off immediately. When the fire has smoothed, by the time you go in the wood, it is already too late.”
Lady Proudness was jolted and was stunned. Suddenly she laughed hilariously. “Fine, fine then. Let us all die together…” And she pushed Nangong Ping down the cliff in a crazed laughter. “Charge! Charge inside! …”
While Nangong Ping was pushed down and when he saw that he was about to roll down the burning fire below, he caught hold of the side of the cliff with his hands. He tried to flick his legs backward but who would have expected that he would accidentally entangled Lady Proudness legs.
Upon losing balance, Lady Proudness started to roll down the cliff while she was still laughing nonstop. But after rolling down for more than thirty feet, she caught hold of the vines on the cliff, in an instant, suddenly more than ten arrows pierced through her body when she gave the vine a tug…
Nangong Ping was stunned and secretly sighed with a relief. He sprang up the cliff and yelled aloud. “Yinxue, Mei Yinxue. Your traps have already done her! Did you see it?”
How he wished that that Mei Yinxue was using a diversionary tactic earlier.
Now that when she had heard his voice, she would immediately sprang to his embrace. But there was not a sound coming from the forest. Naturally, he would never expect that Mei Yinxue was unconsciousness now.
Therefore he kept shouting nonstop. He was greatly disappointed and upset that Mei Yinxue did not reply him. In a daze, he charged into the woods, forgetting that there were traps all over. Before he had even charge one yard into the woods, he triggered a trap and a large rock hit him from his back. Once again he threw out a mouthful of blood and was knocked unconsciousness on the spot.
Time passed, this island had become a burning sea of fire and it started to burn everything down. Nangong Ping, Lady Proudness, Mei Yinxue was all knocked unconscious. Very soon, the gratuitous, the hatred, the love that had existed between the three of them would soon ended with their lives and their bodies. It would be forever be buried in this burning sea of fire…
In the distant horizon, a ship appeared. Its sails were most beautiful and consisted of many colors. Even an experienced sailor that had been on the seas would never seen such a majesty sails.
Except for a young man in fine clothing on the ship, all the other crews on board that ship were all women!
“Land ahead!” A woman shouted. “Really is a land ahead?”
“Turn the sails and full speed ahead!”
Two beautiful young maidens with a bright countenance walked to the front of the ship. One of the maidens was dressed in a seven-color dress while the another was dressed in an emerald dress and garment.
While the maiden in a multi color dress was looking like she was a bride, full of smiles and joy. The another maiden in emerald dress was looking fragile and in her eyes, was boundless melancholy.
The young man in fine clothes turned his head and laughed merrily. “That is right. There is land in front!”
The young married woman in beautiful dress gently sighed. “Hopefully, that is the legendary Divine Creator Island. Then my sister over here will not be worrying day in and out. She is getting thinner and thinner now.”
The young man said. “She is not the only one that is worrying, I…” Suddenly the young man grasped in shock. “The island is on fire!”
Beautiful dressed young married woman said. “Since the island is on fire, surely there must be some traces of inhabitant. Maybe that island is the so call Divine Creator Island!”
The young maiden in emerald dress, who was looking on with a cold demeanor, blushed.
The young man hurried shouted. “Hurry, hurry to the island. The fire is spreading very fast. We must get it before the fire had spread or else…or else…” He had a bad feeling on this but after taking a look at the maiden in emerald dress, he could not find the heart to say it.
Therefore even before the ship had anchored near the cliff to the island, the three of them had sprang to the island in great haste, their movements were as swift as the wind.
The maiden in emerald dress was the most anxious, she had sprang past the cliff and into the burning woods. The young man and the woman in beautiful dress shouted aloud, “Is there any one on this island?” But there was no reply whatever so.
The maiden in beautiful dress thoughtfully said. “If there is people on this
island, there should be a reply by now. So it seems…”
Before she could finish, the young man shouted. “Look over there! You saw?” He pointed to a black figure in the middle of the cliff and below was the raging fire. He took off his garments and began to wrap himself with it on his head. She said with great concern, her expressions had changed. “Danger, you…”
The young man laughed and smiled. “In my entire life, when did I ever been cowed by dangers? Is there dangers in this world that can possible harm me?!” He was filled with a self-confidence and a heroism.
She softly sighed. “Go then but be very careful…”
The young man displayed a soft silvery spear and with a shake he jumped down the black cliff and into the burning woods below.
The girl looked on with great concern and anxiety. She was relieved when he was finally back with the dark figure. “Did you get burn?”
The young man laughed merrily. “Just this little fire, how can it burn me?”
The beautiful young maiden began to laugh too. “Look at you! Why are you always so fearless? Sometimes I wonder if it is time for you to take some bittersweet beatings!” She was filled with loveliness and tenderness when she said that. She moved her eyes and asked. “Who is this woman? She looked ugly!”
The young man said. “No matter who she is but there should be others on this island too. Unless she is the one that hang herself on those vines.”
The beautiful dressed maiden wondered. “It good if you can ask her but I wonder if she is dead?”
The young man looked at her. “Although not yet but more or less…”
Before he could finish, the emerald dress maiden cried out from afar. “He is here! Nangong Ping, he…he is really here!”
Instantly the two of them were jolted and immediately sprang over to the other side. The beautiful dressed maiden exclaimed in joy. “She has finally found him!”
And they saw the emerald dress maiden carrying a person in her embrace. She looked really very happy but she was also crying. She grasped. “Come over here, he is injured!”
They were startled and asked together. “Is he seriously injured?”
The emerald dressed maiden replied, “It quite serious but luckily it is mostly external injuries. I have given him some healing pills…”
The young man said. “Let me treat his injuries!” And he put down the ugly stranger – Lady Proudness. And he began to infuse vital energies into Nangong Ping to clear all his blood channels and to let the medicine spread throughout his body.
The beautiful dressed maiden took a hanky and helped the emerald dressed maiden to wipe away her tears. She sighed. “Silly sister. Why are you crying? You have found the person that you have been looking for!”
The maiden in emerald dress replied. “I…I won’t cry. I am…really too happy!”
Although she said she would not cry but her tears were still flowing.
After awhile, Nangong Ping began to regain conscious. He looked around and a strong sense of joy overwhelmed him. He wondered if he was dreaming.
The maiden in emerald dress looked with her watery ears to look into Nangong Ping’s eyes. She could not help trembling and she lowered her head, slowly she let go of Nangong Ping’s hands. Her watery eyes were that of joy and shyness.
Nangong Ping slowly lifted his hand and gripped the young man’s hand. “Brother Di! It has been one year since we last meet. Today I can meet you is really the most fortunate thing that can ever happen in my life!”
Di Yang laughed merrily. “In this whole wide world, who has the ability to kill us brothers? When you and I were separated, I have already known we will have the chance to gather once more.”
Di Yang laughed even merrily because he really did not want anyone to see the watery tinge in his eyes.
After many changes and disastrous events, even a steel-hearted man would be moved to tears when they were finally reunited again.
In an instant, Nangong Ping did not know what to say although many things crossed his mind!
When the beautifully dressed maiden saw that the maiden in emerald dress looked disappointed and had an air of melancholy around her, she coldly laughed. “Nangong Ping, Maiden Ye has looked all over for you, searching for you with painstaking care in a million places and even save your life. Did you not see her at all?”
Nangong Ping was startled and immediately turned his look around. “Maiden Ye, I…I…”
Nangong Ping was full of gratuitous but he did not know what to say. He could only sighed deeply and said. “Maiden Ye, I really don’t know how should I possibly repaid you!”
Di Yang laughed merrily. “With the intimate relationships between the two of you, what is this talk about repayment? Come, come, come Brother Nangong. Let me introduce you to someone.”
Nangong Ping looked at the woman in beautiful clothing and said. “This...this…”
Di Yang laughed merrily and heartily. “This bride is your Sister in law, your little brother new bride…”
Nangong Ping was started but exclaimed in delight. “Brother Di, I really never expect you to be married. Congratulations!” Di Yang laughed merrily. “Although I lose to you in all areas but at least I am faster than you in terms of marriage. If you are not willing to lose to me, you should hurry and get marry too!” And he purposely looked at Ye Manqing. But when he turned his glance at Nangong Ping, he found him to be solemn and sorrowful. “Today is our reunion day, you should be happy, why…”
Nangong Ping forced out a laugh. “From now on, in my entire life, I will never dare to marry again.”
Di Yang was stunned and then he laughed. “A real man that doesn’t fear death will be scared of marriage?”
Nangong Ping sighed. “It is because, your little brother has already…has already been married!”
Ye Manqing received a jolt while Di Yang and the beautiful dressed maiden, Yi Luo looked at one another and turn ashen. After awhile, Di Yang forcefully smiled.
“Heh…Heh…congratulations to you Brother Nangong. Where is my Sister in law now? Where…”
Nangong Ping slowly said. “Where is she…she…” He really could not control his grief that he had to laugh out hilariously. “She has even returned me our token of love. She has hated me with all her heart now. From now on, she will never want to see me again. And I don’t wish to see her too!”
When Mei Yinxue had regained conscious. She felt her surroundings to be very warm. She opened her eyes and saw that the forest was a sea of fire!
She sprang up in fright, bit her teeth and scolded herself. “Mei Yinxue ah Mei Yinxue! How did you have to faint at a time like this? If Nangong Ping is to come to harm, can you still live in this world?
She was anxious for Nangong Ping.
She could sacrifice everything, she could endure everything so long as long she could be together with Nangong Ping forever. Even if she would to cripple both her hands and legs, she would still have a blissful smile on her face.
Feeling worry for the safety of Nangong Ping, she sprang like she was flying out of the burning woods and just when she was about to shout aloud, in that instant, her sharp eyes spot the figures of many people. And that the Nangong Ping that she was so concerned about was now lying in the embrace of another maiden.
She had recognized that girl to be Ye Manqing. In that instant, she felt a heart wrenching pain within her and she began to conceal in the shade.
She had heard the conversations between Di Yang and Nangong Ping. When she had heard of the last two lines. “…She will never want to see me again. And I don’t wish to see her too!” Her head began to shake and her heart was sliced open by a knife. She lamented to the heavens. “Heavens, ah Heavens, what wrong did I commit? Why must I suffer all these retributions, all these sufferings?”
She had heard Nangong Ping laughing hilariously nonstop and then Ye Manqing, Di Yang, Yi Luo were all stunned.
Yi Luo coldly said, “Since that girl is so heartless to you, why must you suffer all these heartbreaks for her?”
Nangong Ping ceased his laughter, lowered his head and said. “I will never think of her again…”
Yi Luo laughed. “If you will not think of her again, you should be more intimate to Maiden Ye. Do you know that because of you, how much sufferings and humiliations did she has to go through?”
Nangong Ping sighed and muttered. “I know…How should I not know…” Di Yang laughed. “It good that you know. After you go back to the Central
Plains, do not forsake her.”
Nangong Ping could only nodded and sighed. But he did not say anything. After Mei Yinxue had overheard up to this point, she was heartbroken. She looked at Nangong Ping and Ye Manqing although they did not exchange a single
word, but they really looked like a couple.
She looked very fragile now. All her sufferings were for Nangong Ping but in this world, how many people really know?
Her tears flowed nonstop while she thought. “Since I already have the nick ‘Cold Blood’. Whatever things I do, I will never have the understanding and forgiveness of others. Moreover, he…he has already said such a thing out. Ye Manqing is really a perfect match for him. They are both from orthodox clans and should be husband and wife. Everyone in the Fraternity will surely feel very happy and envy for them. As for me…why must I be in their middle and be their hindering stone?”
One must know that she had already love Nangong Ping with all her heart.
Everything was now for Nangong Ping, she had forgotten about herself. In her heart, she only knew that she wanted Nangong Ping to have happiness and rather that she suffered a life of loneliness and sorrows alone.
With these thoughts in her mind, she clenched her teeth, turned her slim body and secretly prayed. “Xiaoping, I hope that you…will…always…be…blissful…” With tears, she sprang away.
She sprang to a cave. Inside the cave were many wooden chairs, tables and other things. She had spent countless lonely moons here but she had never forget about Nangong Ping.
In this place, she had shed countless tears because in her heart, there was always a tiny hope. But now she was totally hopeless.
She began to shift all the necessary things that she would need and carried it into her ship. She remembered she had expended much effort to repair this ship till her beautiful hands were covered with blisters.
Now she opened the sails, pushed the logs away so that the ship would be afloat. She had come in loneliness and now she had to leave in loneliness. When she had come, she brought nothing, when she had to leave, it was with great sorrows, grieves, heartaches and tears…
Nangong slowly rose up helped by Di Yang. He knew now that this lady was Second Mistress Yi Luo, the Glamorous Soul and also sister to Hungry Ghost Yi Feng of the Ghastly Beggars.
That day, Yi Luo had saved Di Yang by bringing him back to the Hells of Hells. Although Di Yang was heavily poisoned but Yi Luo lavished with so much attentions and care that even gold could split. Finally she managed to bring him back to life. Because Di Yang was grateful to her sincerity and affections, he stayed behind at the Hells of Hells and finally married her.
But Di Yang was a man with great heroism so he did not want to stay outside the frontier and he also missed his friends in the Pass. As for Yi Luo, she had long stayed outside the Pass and was eager to see the scenery of Jiangnan.
Therefore the two of them entered the Central Plains and at an Inn near the Taihu Lake chanced upon Maiden Ye Manqing who was looking lonely and filled with an aura of melancholy.
Because Di Yang and Ye Manqing was old friends and because he was usually a warm hearted person, when he saw how sad Ye Manqing was, he wanted to help her to find Nangong Ping. According to the rumors in the Pugilist, Nangong Ping had already set sail for the seas, to the most mysterious legendary place, the Divine Creator Temple!
After several discussions, he decided to buy a ship. Although the Ghastly Beggars had called themselves as beggars but they were in fact exceedingly rich. As Yi Feng doted on his sister dearly, he spared no efforts in their expenditure. Therefore Yi Luo brought the most magnificent ship, refurbished it and even had the most beautiful sails that the world had never seen - the five colors sail.
But after searching on the seas for a year, the three of them were disappointed and anxious. But who would have expect that the smoke in the horizon would allow them to find Nangong Ping?
Because Di Yang did not want to let Nangong Ping remembered his painful past, so he did not ask him what had happened to him. He laughed. “We can’t stay on this island for long and I am also tired of living on the sea. Let us board the ship and go back to the Central Plains!”
Before he could finish, Yi Luo hummed and laughed. “How can you forget that there is still one more person here! Although all the Ghastly Beggars are poor and ugly but none can be compared to this woman.”
One must know that Yi Luo was not being rude by saying old, ugly to anyone. It was because she had thought of taking Lady Proudness back to join the Ghastly Beggars.
Nangong Ping was startled and turned his head. “She…she has not die yet…”
When Di Yang saw that Nangong Ping had turned ashen, he could not help feeling puzzled and asked. “Who is this person? Friend or foe?”
Nangong Ping hatefully said. “She had harmed me three times and save me once. But…but I rather die than allow myself to be saved by her.”
Yi Luo asked. “Who is she?”
Nangong Ping exclaimed. “Lady Proudness!”
Di Yang and Ye Manqing was startled! As for Glamorous Soul Yi Luo, because she had been staying for a long time outside the Pass, she had not heard of this name before. Therefore she laughed. “I really don’t see why she has anything to be proud of, and she doesn’t look like a lady to me. Why then call her Lady Proudness?”
Di Yang did not reply her and sighed. “Luckily she is as good as dead soon.
If not…alas. I really do not know should I save her or not.”
One must know that standing aside and to leave a person to die was against the righteousness of the Fraternity. But if one was to save an evil person then it was as good as harming the good people. Therefore when he saw that Lady Proudness was dying, he actually felt comfortable.
But before Di Yang could finish talking, Lady Proudness had opened her eyes and said. “Nangong Ping, Mei Yinxue…Mei Yinxue, where is she now?”
Nangong Ping bit his teeth and refused to say anything. Di Yang and Ye Manqing both looked at him and thought. “Mei Yinxue is on this island too!” They started to look around with their eyes to see if there was any sign of her.
When Lady Proudness could not obtain their reply, she sighed. “I have been in a rampage across the entire Martial Fraternity for my entire life. In my lifetime alone, I have fooled countless number of pugilist heroes. I could be said to be a treacherous evil person. But today I am trick by a little girl. Mei Yinxue ah, Mei Yinxue, finally I decide to yield to you!”
She took a lot of efforts just to mouth those words.
Glamorous Soul Yi Luo coldly smirked. “Those who fools others will be fooled someday. What is so strange about it?
Lady Proudness stared at her angrily. “Who do you think you are that you will try to be so cocky in front of me.”
Yi Luo giggled. “Since you are unable to feel proud, so what if I want to feel proud? I just want to feel proud.”
Lady Proudness angrily said. “Although she has fooled me but when I fell down from the cliff, I have already see through her ruses. She pretends to be cold and heartless towards Nangong Ping just so she can fool me. When I finally fallen into her traps, then she would come out and have a reunion with Nangong Ping!”
Nangong Ping expressions changed greatly. Di Yang added. “I am afraid that you have guessed wrongly!”
Lady Proudness coldly laughed. “How would I be wrong? I even know very clearly how many intestines she has in her stomach…”
She took another breath and added. “It obviously she knows that I will never harm Nangong Ping, therefore she dare to all out with me. With her temperament, if she has really severed all ties with Nangong Ping, when she saw Nangong Ping, she would have immediately walked off and would never say a single word. If she really hates Nangong Ping then, when she saw Nangong Ping, she would have killed him instantly and Nangong Ping would never be alive and well standing here!”
After listening to Lady Proudness, Nangong Ping suddenly remembered Mei Yinxue temperament, his body began to tremble nonstop and he began to cry. “Wrong… wrong…”
Lady Proudness was asking, “Who is wrong? Who say I am wrong? It is only because you do not understand that witch temperament…”
Nangong Ping trembled. “Yinxue…I have wronged you…I have wronged you…I have wronged you…”
Lady Proudness was startled. “You…you…idiot. Don’t you know?” Nangong Ping was crying and did not appear to notice.
Lady Proudness hatefully said. “Why did I tell you…I should have let you hate her forever…”
Suddenly she laughed hilariously. “Mei Yinxue…my good sister…did you never expect that in this whole wide world, only I am your bosom friend…” In between her laughs, this evil enchantress of her times had finally drawn her last breath.
Although she had died but that cocky last laugh of her was constantly ringing in everyone’s ears…
Everyone was stoned for a long time. No one said anything. Finally Ye Manqing with her head lowered said. “She is right…right…” Nangong Ping suddenly yelled aloud and broke free of Di Yang’s hands. “Surely she must be here still…” And he began to run into the burning woods.
Di Yang was greatly startled and he caught hold of Nangong Ping’s shoulders.
Nangong Ping sobbed. “Let me go, I must find her…”
Yi Luo looked around and said. “If she is on the island, why did she not come out to see you?”
Ye Manqing sighed deeply in great melancholy. “She must have met with a sudden happenstance…”
Yi Luo secretly exasperated. “Oh you! I am helping you now yet you helping her! You are really a silly goose.” One must know that she and Mei Yinxue was not acquaintances therefore she wanted to help Ye Manqing and Nangong Ping to become a couple. Moreover she had personally witnessed Ye Manqing’s heartbreaks.
Nangong Ping trembled. “Sudden happenstance…sudden happenstance…” Even though the forest was like a burning sea of fire, he still wanted to charge into the woods.
Suddenly a woman in cotton appeared and shouted. “Lady and Master, Maiden. The road is soon blocked. If we do not leave the island now, it may be too late!”
Di Yang was downcast and solemnly said. “Step aside and don’t say too many words.”
The woman stood aside and muttered. “Others have already sailed away in a ship…”
Di Yang expressions changed and he asked. “Who has sail away? What did you see?”
The woman replied. “When I was at the top of the mast, I saw a big ship over the other side of the island sailing away…”
Di Yang interrupted, “Did you see anyone on that ship?”
The woman said, “Although the ship was very fast but I saw a woman on the
Di Yang, Yi Luo and Ye Manqing looked at one another and thought at the
same time. “Mei Yinxue has left!”
They turned and looked at Nangong Ping, who was stoned on the spot. Suddenly he trembled a few times before he coughed out blood and fainted. Di Yang hurriedly caught hold of him and sighed deeply. “Let us go now!”
Ye Manqing looked at the corpse of Lady Proudness and then she actually picked her up.
Yi Luo was surprised. “She has died, why did you carry her for?” Ye Manqing sighed. “I am going to throw her into the sea so that at least her body will be in one piece!”
No one wanted to stay on this island for an instant therefore they sprang all the way to their ship without looking back.
Ye Manqing lit three joss sticks and wrapped Lady Proudness in a white mat before throwing her into the sea. She sighed and muttered. “Thank you for saving Nangong Ping once so that I can still see him. I hope your soul will always find appeasement under the bottom of the sea.”
Ye Manqing lowered her head and slowly walked back to the ship lower
At the same time, Di Yang and his Lady was attending to Nangong Ping’s
injuries. Although Nangong Ping had slowly recovered by now but he was looking at the ocean, hoping to see Mei Yinxue’s ship as well as his Mentor Master Long Bushi and Uncle Nangong Yongle whereabouts. These old men had their vendettas for the longest time but in the end, they had to die together. Heaven really knew how to play a joke on them.
The ship had been in the seas for a month now. Nangong Ping had changed into filial clothing. He did not say anything all day long. What others were saying, he did not seen to hear too!
Di Yang, Yi Luo and Ye Manqing was naturally worried for him but there was really nothing they could do. They could only hope that Nangong Ping would finally calm himself down and forget all about his sorrows and heartbreaks.
As the ship approached the inner seas, many other ships and vassals would pause to take a look at this five color beautiful sails. Everyone thought that this magnificent ship was odd therefore they did not dare to approach it.
Nangong Ping was drinking jars after jars of wine to drown his sorrows. Not a word came from him and he was like an old monk.
Yi Luo could not resist sighing. “Brother Nangong, I am really so impress by you. For thirty days, you can remain so silence. If I were you, I be crazy in three days if I do not talk!”
Nangong Ping did not look in her direction but stared blankly. He had mastered the hardest skill in the world during his stay on the Divine Creator Island
– Silence. He tried to suppress all his pains and sufferings into the silence but his sufferings would only increase.
Di Yang laughed merrily. “My lady, I say you should learn from Brother Nangong instead.”
Yi Luo looked coquettish at him and exclaimed. “What? Did I always have so much to say?”
Di Yang laughed merrily. “Not much, not much…when you are sleeping…when you are sleeping, indeed you don’t have much to say. But when you are awake…” He laughed heartily nonstop.
Naturally Yi Luo started to protest lovingly. The two of them started to poke fun at one another. Actually they wanted to cheer Nangong Ping up but he did not even smile at all.
When Ye Manqing saw how loving the two couple was, she remembered how loneliness was her background. She was envy and her sorrows deepened.
When Di Yang saw the expressions on Nangong Ping and Ye Manqing, he really could not laugh anymore. He sighed and took a stroll. He spotted a ship with a white sail approaching them.
Di Yang thought it was strange and he puzzled over it for awhile. “Is this a pirate ship? Or else…”
Yi Luo smiled cheerfully. “I really hope that it is a pirate ship so that it can buzz us awhile. It is really so boring these few days.”
There was a man on the other ship carrying a white cloth that was shouting. “Is it Master Di Yang that is on board the ship? I have a matter to inform you. Can you invite me to your ship!”
Di Yang looked perplexed. He thought. “Our ship has not even arrived in the Central Plains, how is it possible that anyone will know I am on board this ship?”
While he was thinking, Yi Luo waved and shouted. “That is right. Who is this friend? What can we do for you?”
The man asked. “Can I board your ship to talk?”
Di Yang nodded and commanded the ship to slow down.
When the man had arrived on their ship, he swept his glances around and took a few glances at Nangong Ping.
Di Yang sternly said. “You and I are not acquaintances. How did you know that I am on board this ship?”
The man smiled and withdrawn his glances from Nangong Ping and said. “While Master Di is still at sea, your multi-color sails have already been forewarned by the people in the Fraternity of your coming from as far as a hundred miles. Therefore when I saw the sails of your ship, naturally I know of your coming.”
The eyes of this man were sharp and his manner arrogant. It seemed like ‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping had sent him.
Di Yang coldly hummed and said solemnly. “Friend, why did you pay so much attention to me and my lady?”
The man smiled and tens of bamboo carrying baskets of food were carried over to Di Yang's ship. He said. “My master knows that Master Di have been long in the open seas and therefore you must have shortage of fresh food. So we send some fresh meat and vegetables to you.”
Di Yang solemnly asked. “Who is your Master?”
Yi Luo softly laughed at the side. “He seems so filial to you.”
The man pretended not to hear what Yi Luo had said. “My Master is waiting in the shore for you. Soon you will know who he is when you meet.” He started to move back and sprang back to his ship.
Di Yang said in a clear manner. “If you don’t tell me your Master’s name, I will never accept these gifts.”
The man just smiled and said. “You will know when you meet him. He just wants me to tell you that you are a old friend of his and he is happy that you are returning.”
The crewmen on that ship seemed to be very experienced. In just a few words time, they had steered their ship away.
Di Yang called out. “Follow it!” Then he suddenly sighed and said. “Never mind.”
Yi Luo laughed. “That is right. The stuff that others send to you as a piety offering, you can’t reject it so what the point of chasing after them?”
Yi Luo walked over to the baskets and saw that it was indeed filled with fresh meat and vegetables. She heaved a sigh and said. “What a pity…” Then suddenly she started to throw everything into the sea.
Di Yang suddenly said. “Ah, I thought that you have a urge in your mouth, therefore you can’t bear to throw it away!”
Yi Luo laughed. “Am I really that gluttonous? Well, why don’t you guess who his Master is? Is it a friend or foe?”
Di Yang said. “Maybe it is a enemy, maybe it is a friend. Hard to say…”
Yi Luo interrupted with laughs. “Maybe she is a beautiful vixen who knows a thousand ways to seduce you huh? What you think?”
Di Yang laughed. “Maybe some maidens from so and so clan or gang happen to take a liking to me and specially send me all these stuffs to flatter me.”
Yi Luo stomped her feet and laughed. “Oei, you want to die is it? Maiden Ye, come and help me to tear his this oily mouth!”
This couple was really alike. No matter how serious something was, they would never say it directly with a straight face. Even though they might be carrying a million worries but they would always smile and laugh it off.
Although at this moment of the time, they were still poking fun at one another but they were very frightened and worried. It was because although that man was full of smiles but the vileness and despicable of that man had not escaped their notices.
Therefore they spent one full night discussing about it. Except to adopt a wait and see tactic, they really would not think of any other plans!
Early next morning, Di Yang and Yi Luo saw another ship approaching. Di Yang solemnly said. “If that man comes aboard again, hehe. This time I make sure he can come but not leave.”
Yi Luo laughed softly. “What a good method!”
So when the another ship was near, without waiting for the another side to say anything, Di Yang said aloud. “Friend, you are so early today. Please come aboard and talk!”
A man asked from the another ship. “Is that the graceful Master Di Yang?”
Di Yang laughed. “Other than my lady and me, in this vast ocean, who else have a ship with such multi color sails?”
The man was seen clearly now, he was big and strong and was not the man that they had seen yesterday.
This man was even more respectfully. And he his gifts were even much grander!
Di Yang was surprised and thought it was all very strange. So he did not say anything now.
Yi Luo asked. “Yesterday you have already send us some gifts and today as well. Just who is your chief? He is a little too generous.”
The man was startled. “We have just received news today that the Heroic Di is coming back to the Central Plains, therefore we rush here.”
Yi Luo asked. “It is not you yesterday?” The man shook his head.
Yi Luo said. “Just who is your chief? Can you tell us?”
The man simple said. “Your gracious will know once you reach the shore.” He too did not say who his chief was and left.
Di Yang and Yi Luo looked at one another. Yi Luo laughed. “What is this? As the saying goes, a gentleman will not accept gifts of dubious origins. Although we are not gentlemen but all these gifts with dubious origins are not to be eaten.” She proceeded to throw everything overboard.
After thinking for a while, still they had no idea that who was the person that kept sending these gifts to them. Why did he insist on sending these gifts yet did not want to reveal his name?
And it happened again and again. A total of three other different ships appeared with gifts. Yi Luo was puzzled but she also found it to be laudable. “It seems that we have suddenly become a fragrant treasure that everyone is trying to flatter us now.”
Di Yang said. “We have no dealings with the various clans and sects of the Martial Fraternity. By sending these gifts, surely nothing good will come out of it.”
Yi Luo asked. “Will it be a bad thing?”
Di Yang replied gravely. “I am still wondering.”
Yi Luo said. “It really doesn’t seem normal. Naturally we will wonder about it. I think you have better not think about it, it too draining for your mental strength. Anyway, once we reach the shore, we will know.”
Di Yang sighed. “When we reach the shore, I afraid it will be too late.”
Yi Luo laughed. “If you dare not go to the shore, then we just have to drift forever on the seas and be a heavenly ocean couple.” She turned her head suddenly and smiled at Ye Manqing. “Sister, do you think it is a good idea?”
Ye Manqing reddened and turned her head away. She turned to look at Nangong Ping – He was still sitting on a chair and it seemed that nothing else had caught his attention or even happened.
After a long while, Ye Manqing suddenly said. “There is something that is strange about all these. Did you all not notice?”
Yi Luo laughed. “What so strange about it?”
Ye Manqing explained, “There are a total of five groups of people that have sent the gifts. Every one of them appears to have great fitness but still, they are just stewards. From it, you can deduct that these five Gangs and Clans are not weak.
But after thinking about it, I still do not know of any association that they could possibility belong to.”
Di Yang said. “Maybe they are not clans from the Pugilist realm but are from the major orthodox clans in the Martial Fraternity?”
Ye Manqing grew solemn and shook her head. “It is impossible. All the orthodox clans in the Martial Fraternity are like a big family. Identity and status are something they are very fond of, they will not purposely try to conceal their name and to act so mysteriously.”
Di Yang growls. “Maybe there are five powerful clans that established themselves during the past year? It just that we do not know only.”
Ye Manqing questioned. “In one year, how is it possible for five equally strong clans to emerge. Isn’t it even stranger?”
Yi Luo laughed softly. “We are already quite near the shore and you are all still guessing. Soon we know the truth anyway.”
Di Yang and Ye Manqing slowly walked to the side of the deck and cast their eyes. Indeed, the outline of the shore was seen. Di Yang sighed, turned and looked into the eyes of Yi Luo who had just shed a couple of tears when she saw this ship sailing in the sunset, with such grandeur scenic as they finally reaching the shore. She was so touched by this beautiful and out of the world state of divinity. It seemed very intimating to her.
Yi Luo forced herself to laugh awhile. Her throat stumped. “After we return home, I will never want to come out again.”
Di Yang gently held her smooth hands and slowly breathed out a sigh of blissfulness.
Ye Manqing could sense their blissfulness and she could sense her loneliness. Therefore an uncontrollable sense of sorrow started to linger inside her. And tears appeared from her alluring eyes.
She turned her glance at Nangong Ping who was now standing idiocy at the entrance of the deck looking at the sunset. What was he thinking about? What was he thinking about – Suddenly a crew laughed behind. “Even before we have reached the shore, we have received so many gifts. I wonder what will happen when we got to the shore!” She looked very happy that she could share in the happiness of her Master.
Is Nangong Ping thinking about Mei Yinxue who loves to admire the glows of light because she had been so long in the coffin, in the darkness? Or is he envying Di Yang and Yi Luo? Nobody knows what he is thinking now, only he himself will know.
Di Yang suddenly became even more gravely.
Yi Luo laughed. “Why are you worrying? With so many of us, will we still be eaten by others?”
When it was time for embankment, there were a huge crowd of people that were welcoming them but they were all women. They were all waving and cheering.
Yi Luo growls in puzzlement. “What is going on? The chiefs of those five clans, do they really have sisters that want to marry you?”
Di Yang could not resist laughing for awhile.
But Yi Luo was not smiling at all. She coldly hummed and said. “I didn’t expect that you are such a flirt. It isn’t so long that we have been out to sea and you have so many women here to welcome you.”
Di Yang laughed. “Maybe it is Nangong Ping’s friends?” Yi Luo exclaimed. “He is not like you…”
Before she could finish, they saw that fishermen from other ships had landed too. And these women were running to embrace them. One must know that the rite that existed between men and women were not as strict as those that were from the Central Plains and Jiangnan were. These women had no such limitations when it came to hugging their loves one that had been out in the seas for days or even months. Therefore they showed their feelings more freely.
Di Yang began to laugh merrily. “What a jealous lady you are! Did you see that now? They are out to welcome those fishermen that are at sea. They are not here to welcome me!”
Even Ye Manqing who was filled with melancholy giggled unwittingly.
Yi Luo blushed and then slapped Di Yang gently on his hands. “Do you really think I am jealous? I…only want to lighten the mood for Sister Ye and to make her laugh.”
Di Yang laughed. “Although that what you say but I sure your heart is jealous.”
After a while, the bank of the shore was emptied of people and it was soon
Di Yang was surprised. “I thought that the people who send us those gifts
will be here to welcome us. So weird.”
Ye Manqing pondered. “There must be some happening going on here. But now, I have not figure out yet too.”
Yi Luo said, “So mysterious but do we need to be bother with it? When we reach the shore, we will know. But first, we must know where exactly is this place.”
Once the four of them reached the shore, they looked around. But in this strange place, this strange Inn, they suddenly found out the Innkeeper and shop assistants were very amicable to them. They even knew Di Yang’s name.
The Innkeeper mysteriously laughed. “We have prepared five courts for you.
It have already been tidied and we are just waiting for you.”
Yi Luo asked. “Such a big Inn, don’t you have other businesses? We just want two courts will do.” She really wanted Ye Manqing and Nangong Ping to be together.
The Innkeeper replied. “Although our Inn is not big but for hundreds of miles, there isn’t a second Inn.”
Di Yang asked. “How many rooms are there in a court?”
The Innkeeper said, “Every court has more than ten rooms. Honestly speaking, our Inn is actually as big as the royal palace.”
Yi Luo said, “Such a big court, one is enough. Why should we need five. We are not pirates and are not rich.”
The Innkeeper laughed. “So it seem that you have not known yet. Today five heroes turned up at our Inn and each of them booked one court each for you. They even pay double the price. Therefore I am feeling strange too. There is only Master Di and your family, why is there a need for five courts?”
Di Yang asked. “Did they leave any message for me?”
The Innkeeper replied. “Not at all. Just the silver and they left.” Di Yang asked again. “Did they leave behind their names?”
Yi Luo interrupted. “Naturally they will not…Boss, I only want to take a look at the silvers that they have left behind.”
The Innkeeper was startled. But did not dare to protest. Di Yang asked. “What so special about the silvers?”
Yi Luo laughed. “This, you do not know. Every silver or banknote, more or less you can tell something about their origins. That is because all the silvers are slightly different. If it is banknote, then all the more easier can we tell where it come from.”
Di Yang sighed. “I didn’t expect that you know more than me.” It wounded his pride to know less than his lady did.
He did not know the Ghastly Ghost Gang were specialist in looting silver and banknote from all over the place. Therefore Yi Luo was naturally more knowledgeable in this field.
The Innkeeper took out a box of silver. There were silvers and bank notes in the chest.
Everyone could see that the silver was rather pure.
Yi Luo slowly examined the silver and the banknote before saying. “These silver come from Ziqing, Cang, Kang places. The weird thing is, there doesn’t seem to have any clans that would come here.”
She added. “All these banknote seem to from everywhere including Shu, Jiangnan. Why did they come all the way here to this deserted place?” Finally she took out four bank notes with black and red flowers. She thought that the symbols were most unusual.
Di Yang, Ye Manqing was startled at the same time and suddenly Nangong Ping snatched the banknote from her. Yi Luo turned and saw that Nangong Ping was as white as sheet as he looked at the banknote. The symbols are an indication that it had belonged to the Nangong Aristocracy Family.
Di Yang forcefully smiled. “I didn’t expect that these people would have the banknote of the Nangong Aristocracy Family!”
Nangong Ping solemnly said. “Who give you these bank notes?”
The Innkeeper was startled to see Nangong Ping in such a grave expression. “It belongs to…”
Nangong Ping interrupted. “Where is the room that he used to stay?” The Innkeeper trembled. “I will lead you…”
Nangong Ping put back the banknote into the chest before exclaiming solemnly. “Let go now!”
The Innkeeper took them to another court down the street. This court looks different from the others. He asked. “Do you wish to stay in this court?”
Nangong Ping coldly said. “That's right!” And then he began to walk to the dining hall and sat down. He was back to his blank state again.
When everyone saw his expression, they did not dare to say anything to him. Suddenly there was a loud commotion outside. Curious, Di Yang and Yi Luo went outside to take a look.
They saw a crowd gathered along the shore. Some men even took off their cloths to jump into the sea.
Di Yang said. “Remain where you are. I will go and take a look.” Yi Luo said. “Why must I remain here!” And she followed him.
When they had reached the shore, they were stunned to see hundreds of thousands of fishes floating on the sea. Because their livelihood were fishing and now without expending any efforts, there were so many fishes, naturally they were very excited!
Di Yang and Yi Luo looked at one another solemnly. That was because they knew where these fishes had come from.
Di Yang tried to smile and gripped Yi Luo on her wrists as they walked out of the crowd. He said in a low voice. “You are guessed correctly. It is a lucky thing that we did not eat those things or else…” He did not say anymore.
When he saw those weird fishes, he instantly knew that those fishes must have eaten those fruits, vegetables and meat that they had thrown into the sea. And now these fishes had been carried by the waves to the shore.
Just a few tens of baskets could actually poison a million fishes. The poison was indeed very powerful. They were now shivering at the thought.
Yi Luo cuddled against Di Yang and said. “What vicious poison. I wonder who is the one that is so vicious that he resorted to such a damnable act?”
Di Yang was silence and muttered. “The truth will be out one day.”
Yi Luo sighed. “Even if we know who send the five men, we will never know who is the one that poisoned the food. Is the poisoning done by all five of them or just one?”
Di Yang said, “Paper cannot be used to wrap fire. There is nothing that can hide from other people in this world. You can be rest assured.”
Yi Luo sighed and then suddenly her expressions changed. “Oh dear!” Di Yang asked. “What is the matter?”
Yi Luo replied in startle. “Since these fishes have been poisoned, then aren’t they poisonous too? If the common people were to eat all those poisonous fishes, what is going to happen?” Di Yang turned back and saw those people exclaiming that these fishes were divine fishes sent by the deities.
Yi Luo added. “What shall we do? What shall we do now? There are so many people. Even if we tell them, they will never believe us.”
Suddenly several men in yellow robes appeared and shouted aloud several times. “The Old Immortal has decreed that all these fishes cannot be eaten! Buried all these fishes, it cannot be eaten.”
Someone asked. “Why it cannot be eaten?”
A man in yellow robe said. “The Old Immortal has said that these fishes are poisonous. It is sent by the devils to harm the people. Anyone that eat the fish will die of poisoning in half a day.”
Every one of the fisher folks turned pale. Someone said. “Luckily, the Old Immortal is here or else we are going to lose our lives.”
Yet another added. “The Old Immortal has done untold wondrous deeds.
May Heavens protect him and let him live to an old ripe age.”
Di Yang finally breathed in relief. But he was puzzled who was this ‘Old Immortal’ that could cause all the fisher folks to believe in him so easily. So he asked. “May I ask who is this Old Immortal?”
A fisher folk eyed him for awhile before he laughed. “The two of you must be from some where far away. Therefore you did not know who is the Old Immortal. He is someone who knows the astrology and the geology. He is someone who knows everything. You can’t find a second person like him.”
Di Yang thanks him and walked back to his abode while Yi Luo sighed. “This Old Immortal must be a wise man. When I am free, I am going to pay him a visit.”
Di Yang said. “What wise man? He is most probably a trickster.”
Yi Luo said. “If he is a trickster, how does he know that there is poison in the fishes? Although these fisher folks are simple minded but they are not idiots. If not why should they be willing to listen to him?”
Di Yang was not willing to argue with her because every time he would lose.
When they got back to the Inn, Nangong Ping and Ye Manqing were both sitting opposite one another in the dinning hall. They were both very quiet and did not seem to have exchanged a single word.
Di Yang and Yi Luo then related what happened earlier to them and because they did not dare to eat the food here, they went out to the streets and buy a couple of eggs and boiled it in water.
They knew that their situation was becoming more and more dire.
Yi Luo even told her crew not to shop too much in this place lest they would never be able to come back.
Although Nangong Ping did not say anything but he knew that something was not in order. He went to his room but he was not sleepy. He was still expressionless and was just lost in thoughts. He began to think of his parents, his friends and a lot of other things that he was unwilling to recall. So how could he sleep? Although the candle was now almost burnt out and the night was not early, he did not even close his eyes.
Suddenly he heard someone moving outside the window and there was a ‘Zi’ ‘Zi’ sound!
He was jolted and he immediately stood up. When he heard ‘Zi’ ‘Zi’ again, his expressions changed tremendous!
For he had remember this sound, he remembered when he first joined the clan as a protégé, in the darkness of the woods, he would play hide and seek with his protégés to train his swiftness skill!
He still remembered at that time they were all still very young, when Long Fei was a teenager, he would take them into the woods to play hide and seek.
Sometimes they wondered if they were playing hide and seek or training their swiftness skill. But this piece of fun, was so warm and kind, the intention was so good.
In that instant, his mind suddenly become so clear and he was alive again with all his feelings back.
He was exuded. “Is that my Big Brother Long Fei that is here!?” He immediately dashed through the window and saw a figure in black signaling to him with his hands.
Without hesitation, he sprang towards him and soon he was in the shadows of a giant tree.
In the darkness, he had saw that the outline of the figure was that of his Third Protégé Brother Shi Chen! He was very happy and waved. “Third brother, you…you…”
He was beaming with tears in his eyes and his throat was dry.
He had never expected to see his Third Protégé Brother here. He used to be so handsome and alert but now he had looked haggard and fragile. Even his eyes lost its shimmering brightness. He was like a walking corpse now. It was because he was weighed by his past sins and was simply waiting for death to come.
Nangong Ping was startled, delight to see him but also sorrow to see him in this state.
Shi Chen slowly said. “I have heard that you are here therefore I rushed here.” His voice was now so solemn, so slow and so dead. It was like he had lost all of his past fighting spirit.
Nangong Ping asked. “Since you have come, why don’t you come in?”
Shi Chen simply shook his head. His eyes were that of hopelessness. He slowly said. “I cannot go in. I am only here to tell you, do not listen or believe anyone, do not promise to do anything, I…I have only this much to tell you.”
Nangong Ping was stunned before he tried to ask. “You…are you doing fine lately? Where have you been lately? Are you together with Sister in law?”
Shi Chen took a long time to reply. “I am a unlucky person. I cannot be forgiven for my sins. You…you…do not have to recognize me as your protégé brother anymore. Just treat me as if I am already dead.” His eyes were that of hopelessness and forsaken.
Nangong cried out, his tears flowed as he trembled. “Protégé Brother! No matter what has happened, you are always my protégé brother…”
Shi Chen shook his head and sighed deeply. He took out a hanky and gave to Nangong Ping. “Please take care of yourself. I am going.” Before he had finished, he had sprung away and in that instant, his thin body vanished into the darkness.