The Flower Guarding Bell - Chapter 2
Chapter Two - Decree of the Golden Dragon
The only reason why Guo Yuxia was surprised by Ye Manqing was because she was too anxious to get hold of the letter. Now she felt resentment and anger within her. She wanted to say something but could not! She was just too upset for words!
Long Fei loved his wife and held her hand. It was cold when he touched her. “My dear, how are you feeling?”
Guo Yuxia tried to force a smile. “I…I…feeling fine!” Suddenly she whispered in his ears. “Hurry and take a look at the letter. If it not to our advantage, don’t read it out!”
Long Fei was taken aback and looked at his wife for a while. It was only today that he started to begin to understand his wife.
Ye Manqing coldly laughed. “Refusing to look at your Mentor Master letter and instead comforting your wife who only knows how to act, heng, heng...“
Long Fei flushed and turned his body and was about to pick the letter when Ye Manqing pierced the letter with the sword point of the Fallen Autumn Leaf!
Long Fei asked. “Why are you doing this?”
Ye Manqing coldly said. “If you are not willing to read, I will take it to the others to read!” Her eyes looking at everyone present and looked carefully at each of everyone as though she was looking for the right person to read the letter. And she walked to Wang Susu. “Take this letter and read it aloud!”
Wang Susu paled immediately. She had just fainted earlier and had not recovered from the shock. She secretly took a glance at Guo Yuxia and said in a low voice. “My Mentor Master last will, why did you want me to read!” She took the letter from the sword point, and hesitated for awhile, looking at Shi Chen, Nangong Ping before she finally tore open the letter.
Ye Manqing said. “Read it aloud, not a word less!”
Guo Yuxia and Long Fei looked at one another. And he noticed his wife hand was getting colder and colder. He sighed and said in a low voice. “Everything depends upon heaven’s will, why are you so nervous and worrying about!”
Guo Yuxia almost cried out.
Long Fei clenched his fists while Wang Susu read it in a clear crystal voice. “The swordplay match between Ye Qiubai and I have finally come. This ten year of preparation, the victor shall live, the loser shall die, both sides have no complaints whatever so. There is no hatred. If one shall fall, it is of one’s own will. All of you must not seek revenge upon Danfeng’s disciples. Or else the holder of the Decree of the Golden Dragon have the right to expel any disciples from the Clan!”
Maybe Susu was feeling nervous or overtly aggravated as her voice was shaking now. When she had read that part, she began to sigh. When she had calmed down, she continued. “Among all my disciples, Long Fei is the first to join the clan and he is also my nephew. Not only is he honest, loyal and also straightforward. But his heart is too soft and will prove fatal to him one day. So he can never accomplish great things.” She rolled her eyes to take a glance at Long Fei who lowered his head!
Wang Susu closed her eyes, hating herself for taking that look. She continued reading. “Shi Chen is perseverance, Susu is gentle and caring…” She flushed. “…Only PingEr, is borne from a noble family. Although he is used to good food and banquets but he has never complaint. What is most notably about him is that he is extremely talented, therefore I have decided…”
Suddenly Guo Yuxia interrupted by crying out. Long Fei sighed and gently held her in his embrace. She cried even louder. “I have help Zhijiao Manor in so many ways and matters…But our old man did not even mention anything about me.”
Long Fei sternly said. “My dear, what is going on today with you!”
Guo Yuxia lifted her head, her tears flowing. “I…I am really too…upset. All these years, I have worked hard for our old man but…but what did we gain? What did we gain…”
Ye Manqing who was standing near to Wang Susu could not help turned her back and laughed coldly.
Wang Susu seemed to be taken aback by the interruptions. She melancholy sighed and continued reading. “Therefore I have decided to give the “Fallen Autumn Leaf” that is constantly by my side for decades and the task to guard the heavenly coffin to PingEr till the coffin is destroyed and the person dead.”
She furrowed her eyebrows as although she did not understand and repeated again. “Till the coffin is destroyed and the person dead!”
Wang Susu continued. “I have three unfulfilled wishes. Therefore I will task it upon PingEr to finish for me. These three wishes I have already handed over to Maiden Ye Manqing.” She stopped and lifted her head to look at Ye Manqing.
She continued. “The Pugilist Fraternity have been in turmoil for several decades, even I cannot avoid the bloodshed. But I can safety say that I am above board in all matters and have never done a single harmful thing. But from now on, I am unable to meddle in the affairs of the mortals. Therefore I will hand over Zhijiao Manor which is my hard work to...“ She took a deep breathe and there was a surprise look on her face.
Ye Manqing interrupted. “Hand over to who?”
Wang Susu turned to look at her and asked softly. “You have not seen this piece of paper?”
Ye Manqing furrowed her eyebrows and said in a clear voice. “Will the disciple of Danfeng be so despicable and do such despicable acts?”
Wang Susu melancholy sighed. “I have thought you have read it beforehand. If it to your advantage, only then will you hand over to us. If it not, you will not let us read!” Her rebuke was so gentle and lovely and that no one would have the heart to rebuke her!
Guo Yuxia crying had become weaker by now. She lifted her head and asked. “Is the handwriting our Mentor Master?”
Wang Susu nodded her head.
Guo Yuxia wiped her tears and asked again. “Do you recognize Mentor Master handwriting?”
Wang Susu melancholy sighed. “For the past few years, Mentor Master have been practicing his writing every night, I…I had been by his side preparing the ink!” Before she finished, tears began to form in her eyes. Her eyes were wet with tears and just as she was about to use her hand to wipe her tears away, there was a soft tap on her shoulder. It was Ye Manqing who hand her a soft handkerchief!
Guo Yuxia was silent for awhile before she let go a long sigh. And said in a deep voice. “Who is the person that our old man has hand over Zhijiao Manor?”
Wang Susu wiped her tears, hand over the handkerchief back to Ye Manqing and gratefully smiled at her. She held the letters again and said. “From now on it will be hand over to the couple Fei and Yuxia!”
Guo Yuxia straightened her back and eyed the heavens. She felt ashamed. Long Fei softly said. “My dear, our Mentor Master has never forget about
Ye Manqing once again coldly smirked. “Till now, you have remembered
your Mentor Master and feel sad for him!”
Guo Yuxia cried even louder and Long Fei lowered his head!
Wang Susu continued reading. “Matters concerning Zhijiao is not something that Fei can handle with his honesty and straightforward character. It is not enough to command respect from all the heroes of the world. If there is no Yuxia who is smart and without her quick thinking, Zhijiao Manor will never last a hundred year of fame.”
Nangong Ping sighed. He was very impressed with his Mentor Master thoroughness. He took a glance at Wang Susu who seemed to stare blankly at the letters.
it?” Even Shi Chen had noticed it. He asked. “Fourth Sister, why don’t you read
Shi Chen exclaimed. “Our Mentor Master’s will, must be read!” His eyes were on the letter but he failed to notice that Wang Susu was looking shyly and at the same time disappointed.
Wang Susu wiped her eyes with her fingers, lifted her head and read. “The Decree of the Golden Dragon is the sacred treasure of our sect. From now on, it will be hand over to ShiEr…ShiEr and Susu. Both of them will hold it together. With Shi Chen righteousness and Susu kindness, surely they will not abuse the Decree. With the Two Swords of the Dragon Gate, their combine martial art skills will not let the Decree loses it glory!
Everything had been handled in the Manor therefore PingEr need not worry.
End of March, he is to meet Maiden Ye Manqing at the foot of Huashan and to discuss my three unfulfilled wishes with her. But he is forbidden to leave too far from the heavenly coffin, please remember!” Wang Susu had read faster and faster. With a single breath, she had read to this part.
Guo Yuxia whispered to Long Fei. “Mentor Master knows everything except Fourth Sister feeling!”
Long Fei was taken aback. “What feeling?”
Guo Yuxia said. “She would rather be with Fifth Brother to explore the Fraternity than to share the Decree with Third Brother!”
Long Fei softly said. “You seem to know everything!”
Guo Yuxia’s face suddenly became blank, bowed her head and sighed deeply. “I seem to know everything?…”
Wang Susu read. “In my life, I have done nothing wrong. I have my friends, my disciples are useful, even if I have died, I will be glad.” When she had finished, her voice was stuttering. She folded up the letters and saw Ye Manqing placed the golden dagger to her hands and said. “Please take care!”
Wang Susu blinked her eyes and said. “Thank you!”
Ye Manqing gently smiled but Wang Susu suddenly whispered to her. “I hope that from now on, you will take care of him!” Her eyes turned red and she walked off.
Ye Manqing was taken aback and stood unmoving for several moments. She finally turned and walked to Nangong Ping and without a word, thrust the “The Autumn Leaf” into the ground and coldly said. “On the sword hilt, there is yet another letter, you may read yourself!” She was pointing to the yellow silken handkerchief that was tied to the sword hilt. After saying, she walked away!
Even before Wang Susu had finished reading the Immortal Divine Dragon Will, Nangong Ping was already pondering. At this moment, although he had pulled the long sword from the ground but he was still thinking! Till Ye Manqing had already gone far. He suddenly yelled. “Maiden Ye, please halt!” And ran to her side.
Ye Manqing turned her head and coldly said. “What is the matter? Do you wish to kill me and avenge for your Mentor Master?”
The calm posture on Nangong Ping’s face began to fade as he asked. “My Mentor Master is not dead right? Where is he now?”
Ye Manqing was taken back but regained her posture. “If the Immortal Divine Dragon is not dead, why is that he has not returned?”
Nangong Ping coldly replied. “That have to ask you!”
Ye Manqing speech became even more unfriendly. “This you have to first ask yourself, that is more appropriate.” She did not even turn her head anymore and she walked to the four waiting women. “Go!” And the five of them move swiftly down the southern peak!
Long Fei, Guo Yuxia, Shi Chen and Wang Susu all came to Nangong Ping and asked together. “How did…”
While the other three became mute, only Guo Yuxia continued. “How did you surmise that our Mentor Master may not have died?”
Nangong Ping seemed to be in thoughts before he replied. “If our Mentor Master has died, why did he in the letter, say “If he have been defeated and died, and even if he have died”. Moreover…even if our Mentor Master have been defeated and died, judging by his fury character, how could he have the calmness to write such a detail and thoroughness Will?”
Wang Susu suddenly said. “The handwriting on the will, is very straight, exactly the same style as what Mentor Master writes in slow pace!”
Nangong Ping eyes shone. “That is right. Under that condition, even if Mentor Master did not die immediately, he definitely will not write in such a style in his Will. There must be a secret…” But his eyes discolored, and he sighed. “If…he did not die, why did he not return here?”
Everyone was listening intensely, even the two men that were carrying the coffin.
Under this circumstance, no one would give the priest who was still present much attention. So he charged to the other two men who were the coffin carriers, and stretched both his hands and hit them at the back of their head. The two men did not have much time to react and could only feel themselves in a daze before collapsing onto the ground!
The priest did not even bother to look at them, certain that the two men would not be unable to get up. He then carried off the purple coffin and ran down the peak! Nangong Ping was stunned as he was in deep thoughts earlier. Wang Susu shouted to the running priest. “You…You, what are you doing?” She was surprised as well. She had never thought a person would risk his life just to steal a purple coffin. Therefore she remained rooted to the ground in confusion.
But her shout had already alerted and interrupted Nangong Ping from his thoughts and shouted at the priest as he quickly sheathed Fallen Autumn Leaf into the scabbard, as he chased after him! And his speed was astonishing!
Wang Susu paled and exclaimed. “Big Brother, Third Brother…” Long Fei shouted. “Hurry and chase!”
Guo Yuxia said. “Why hurry and chase?…”
Long Fei furrowed with his eyebrows. “Naturally we have to hurry and chase!”
Guo Yuxia said. “A piece of coffin wood, although it is dyed in purple, how much can it worth?”
Long Fei angrily replied. “How can we ignore the plight of Fifth Brother?
He could be in danger!”
Guo Yuxia coldly laughed. “But what about our Mentor Master? Do we ignore the plight of our Mentor Master then?”
Long Fei halted in his steps and turned back. “What are you saying?”
Guo Yuxia gently sighed. “Just now what Fifth Brother have said, set me into thinking that it is a very good deduction. No matter if our Mentor Master is alive or dead at this moment, we should follow up and check. If he is not dead, then we should really give thanks the heavens!”
Long Fei asked. “What about Fifth Brother then?”
Guo Yuxia asked. “You seen Fifth Brother using that ‘Dragon Flying through the Cloud’ swiftness movement skill. How is that compared to you?”
Long Fei was stunned and stunned, said. “It is…”
Guo Yuxia slowly smiled. “It is…Just based on Fifth Brother martial skills, if he wants to win, it is not difficult. But if he want to use it for self-preservation, it is easy right?”
Long Fei sighed. “This conclusion…is also reasonable!”
However Wang Susu was anxious. “But that priest is willing to risk to steal that coffin. The coffin must have a secret...”
Guo Yuxia gently patted her on her head and gently said, “Fourth Sister, you are still young. There are many things that you do not understand yet. That priest is willing to risk the gamble to steal the coffin for the sake of trying to garner fame in the Pugilist Fraternity.”
Wang Susu asked. “If the coffin have no secret, why then did our Mentor Master asked him to protect the coffin with his life?” Guo Yuxia became grave and said. “Even if the coffin have a secret, is the secret more important than the life of our Mentor Master?”
Wang Susu folded her hands behind her back. Although she did not agree with Guo Yuxia but she did not know what to say.
Long Fei said, “Fourth Sister, your Sister in law is right too. I think the priest martial art skill is not that high. Therefore Fifth Brother will not come to misfortune. Looking for our Mentor Master is much more important!”
Shi Chen had a heavy look on his eyes as if he wanted to say something but when he glanced at Wang Susu, he kept silence.
Guo Yuxia smiled and patted Wang Susu again. “Listen to Sister in law, you won't get wrong. If something happen to Fifth Brother, I will take responsibility.
So don’t be anxious anymore alright?”
Guo Yuxia continued. “Third Brother, Fourth Sister, go. Let us go and find our Mentor Teacher!”
Wang Susu nodded her head and followed Guo Yuxia but her eyes were looking at the direction where Nangong Ping had vanished.
Shi Chen said, “If Fourth Sister is not willing to look for our Mentor Master, the three of us are sufficient too!”
Guo Yuxia laughed. “Third Brother, how can you say such a thing. Fourth Sister has always been the most filial to our Mentor Master and Mentor Master has always doted on Fourth Sister the most. How will she not be willing to search for our Mentor Master?”
Long Fei said, “Indeed, indeed. There is no reason why Fourth Sister is not willing to search for our Mentor Master!”
Suddenly there appeared a mountain bird that came forth from the clouds and it screamed aloud as though it was mocking the human race, mocking at Long Fei’s stupidity, Guo Yuxia’s cunning, Shi Chen’s jealousy and Wang Susu vulnerability.
Then it crashed on the side of the mountain cliffs!
Long Fei sprang forward and was the first to see the dead bird. He turned his head around and said to everyone. “This bird is really stupid!”
Shi Chen said, “The lonely bird lost its partner, rather than be lonely, killed itself. Isn’t it better in this way!”
Wang Susu melancholy sighed. “If it is me, I would rather let myself be killed by humans!”
Guo Yuxia slowly smiled. “You are all wrong. This bird is not stupid or lonely. It crashed to death because it had flown too high and was careless!”
Long Fei sighed. “Flying high will crash to death, flying too low will let hunters catch it. Come to think of that, being a human is hard enough, being a bird is not easy too!”
Nangong Ping was now very anxious. He had used all the internal power of his body just to tail the priest. Although the priest was carrying a coffin, he showed no sign of slowing down!
Nangong Ping knew that it was some time before he could even catch up with him. He really could not fathom why this priest would want to risk for a coffin and why his own Mentor Master would want him to use his life to protect a coffin!
Old tales of pugilist secrets began to stir his thoughts. Was it because the coffin hid several secrets. And one of the secrets was the whereabouts of a massive treasure, or a super sharp godly weapon, or a book on martial skills foremost secrets?
Those thoughts began to flash in his mind till the priest began to slow down. And he suddenly turned back to take a look only to see no one was following him. He could not guess why his fellow disciples did not come to lend him a helping hand. Could something have happened to them?
But at this moment, he could not afford to think about it first, and lifted his vital energy within him, as he tried to narrow the distance between the priest and himself.
Suddenly a dark shadow moved towards his shoulder. He sensed something behind him and hit back but carelessly dropped his scabbard down the steep cliffs below. It was a dead bird! Musing to himself as he thought. “The world is so big yet a small bird will fall into his hands, it may be fate.” And he picked the dead bird and hid it in his clothing. Now he was just two meters away from the priest.
The priest was carting the coffin with his right hand in front and his left hand at the back. Although he had very strong internal power but he was carrying such a heavy coffin and to and forth on this treacherous mountains. It came to no surprise that his strength had faltered by now! A voice shouted behind him. “Stop!” He turned his head and saw a beaming reflection of a long sword that was less than one meter behind him!
Suddenly an air of malevolent air was seen from the eyes of the priest and with a shout, he hurled the coffin upon Nangong Ping’s head!
This coffin was originally very heavy and the priest imbued it with his internal force, when it came down upon Nangong Ping, the force was more than a ton!
Nangong Ping was moving very fast and when it came crashing down, he
could not stop and slashed against the coffin with seven hits of his sword. Each hit seemingly reduced the amount of force. This counterattack used technique to overcome the strong. This was a form of superior form of internal swordplay that replied heavily upon technique till his sword now carried the weight of the coffin.
But the priest continued to press the coffin upon Nangong Ping. Although now the force had become balanced but in their hearts, both knew they could not afford to be careless as one false move and mistake would send them plunging down the steep cliffs.
Both of them remained like statues unmoving. Nangong Ping did not dare to pierce his sword into the coffin lest it will send the coffin toppled over to him as he held off the weight of the coffin with his sword now. Now he could felt his icy cold sword slowly turning warmer! His eyes had by now become dazed as he had already expended all his vital energies!
The priest smiled from the corner of his mouth and shouted. “Why don’t you go down!”
Nangong Ping lifted his chest and shouted. “I afraid not!”
Both of them when they spoke did not dare to use the strength from their abdomen but only from their throat. Although they were shouting but it was fuzzy and unclear.
The priest coldly said, “Afraid not…hehe. I afraid it is not far!” Nangong Ping clenched his teeth and refusing to say more!
The priest coldly said, “You are still young and if you died, then there be no one to collect your corpse. I feel so pitiful for you!”
Nangong Ping replied word by word. “I afraid the one that is going to die is going to be you!” But in his heart he sighed. “Alas, I don’t even have anyone to collect my corpse…” He wished now when he had turned his head and saw his fellow disciples right at the back “Why did they not come?” He thought.
His glances incidentally saw the long sword that his benefactor teacher had left behind for him and a feeling of loneliness overwhelmed him!
“Why did they not come, unless…” He thought. Suddenly he felt the weight of the coffin getting heavily and heavily. His heart jumped and he quickly focused his thoughts again. “This priest is trying to disturb my thoughts with doubts, how can I be allowed myself to be tricked by him!”
His thoughts refocused and under the shadow of the coffin, he could see the priest sweating now. He suddenly had a thought. “This priest is trying to use words to distract me because his strength is reaching his limits as well! If I will just endure a little longer, surely I can change defeat to victory!”
When experts fought, not only was internal power a must, perseverance, patience also came into the factors. Victory and defeat, life and death were always at a moment notice. Whoever could endure till the last instant would have the final victory. Whoever lost their morale first, naturally would be bound to lose!
Nangong Ping calmed himself down, said. “You have mustered all your strength, yet you trying to hoodwink me, do you think I do not know!”
The priest had by now turned green, and his hands on the coffin started to weaken. Nangong Ping inhaled a deep breath, jacked up his long sword and said. “Maybe your internal power is greater than me but you have carried such a heavy object for a great many distances. The internal power that you have expended far exceeded that of mine. Now you are near your limits!”
The priest pale hands had by now become red from white. And from red to purple now.
Nangong Ping secretly felt relief inside him. And continued. “If you and me continued further, although I may be in danger but you may be unable to escape death.”
He purposely emphasized the word “Death” by dragging his speech. “Just because of a non living thing, useless coffin, you lose your life. It is definitely not worth the effort. Your martial art skills are not weak and your experiences I suppose are not easy to attain. For the sake that we are pugilists, if you would let go, I will not pursue and let you go!”
Although what he said were for the sake of weakening the morale of the priest and to boasted his own morale at the same time. But some of it, really came from the bottom of his heart.
Unexpectedly, when he finished. The priest suddenly coldly laughed and said, “You want me to die alone, I afraid it isn’t that simple!” And he used his last ditch effort to hold the coffin with both his hands.
Nangong Ping was disappointed with his response.
Suddenly the priest kicked him with his right leg. Most of his strength had been concentrated on both his hands, this kick was not powerful. But the kick was directed towards Nangong Ping “Shu Qi” accupoint. (In between the leg)
If Nangong Ping avoided this kick and moved, he would have been crushed by the coffin. If he did not avoid it, how could he have endured it? In his anger, he made a yell and parried the kick with his left hand. Lucky the timing of his left hand was perfect or he would have been crushed.
But the priest withdrawn his right leg, and kicked again, this time using his left leg.
Nangong Ping parried it in time with his hand again but his head had a frightening thought. The priest obviously wished to die together with him.
Then the priest kicked again with his right leg, all the while Nangong Ping's right hand was holding his long sword, and his left hand had to hold the coffin and to parry at the same time! Altogether, the priest had kicked three times. And his right wrist could not hold the coffin anymore and his left hand was unable to cope with the lightning pace kicks anymore!
Should he let go of the sword in his hand and suddenly jump backwards, possibly he could still escape with his life. But under this life and death situation, he remembered his Mentor Master last will. “Therefore I have decided to give “Fallen Autumn Leaf” that is constantly by my side for decades, and the task to guard the heavenly coffin to PingEr till the coffin is destroyed and the person dead…"
He secretly sighed. For he no longer could think of anything that made that coffin so special. But he rather died than betrayed his Mentor Master last will and also he refused to live with the memories of humiliating defeat.
“Till the coffin is destroyed and the person dead…sacrifice himself…” He once again secretly sighed and muttered. “Is it worth it…” By now, he focused on holding the coffin and ignored the kicks of the priest. He had now put his life above self.
The priest turned pale and laughed hilariously. “Good, good. Let the three of us die together.”
Nangong Ping was taken aback. “Three people! Where is there three people?”
The priest looked at the coffin. “This is the third person!” and kicked Nangong Ping on his chest!
Nangong Ping sighed. “Never mind!” He had by now prepared to sacrifice himself with the priest together with the coffin!
Unexpectedly, something near miraculous happened...
When he said “Never mind.” The long sword that was in his hand felt light.
It was because the purple coffin had suddenly become as light as a feather.
When the coffin became light, the situation changed. The priest could feel that the coffin had a strange force that was pulling in all his internal force from his hands. Although he had all his internal power concentrated on the coffin, he felt no weight or gravity from the coffin. He was too shocked that he leapt back three feet!
Nangong Ping was taken aback too and he too leapt back three feet! The two of them retreated backward at the same time.
The priest although he was green from exhaustion but he stared unblinkingly and clenched his fists. His eyes were like fire staring at the purple coffin. But both his legs were shaking!
Nangong Ping held his sword with his right hand, and he clenched his left fist. He was shocked but at the same time was relief but he was looking at the purple coffin too! The purple coffin was still floating in mid-air even after the two of them had retreated backward. They watched it as it floated gently on the ground. It was as though there was a invisible man that was holding the coffin and guiding it to the ground. When that heavy coffin came to the ground, it was without a sound!
Nangong Ping felt a chill arising from his toes and overwhelming his entire body. He came from a noble family and had a reputable teacher. What he had seen and heard naturally was not less but he had never saw such a weird thing that happened today. If it were not for the fact that it was still daylight, he would have thought he was dreaming!
The priest was now frightened beyond words but his stares were still upon the purple coffin.
Nangong Ping was rooted to the ground. He took a deep breath and slowly walked to the coffin.
Suddenly the priest made a dry laugh. “Good…Good, so you really…did not…die!” His voice was filled with terror, fright, consolation and relief! All those different feelings when it was mixed in a single sentence caused that sentence to be exalted in a strange manner, yet filled with a mysterious feeling of terror!
Suddenly the priest flew in front of the coffin, raised both his hands to attack the ordinary purple coffin!
Nangong Ping was shocked yet he did not have anytime to think. He shouted. “What are you doing?” As he raised his long sword and purge forward as well.
As he was young, his strength recovered very fast. That made up his lack of internal power. At that moment when he attacked with his sword, it carried all the essence of his best martial arts.
The priest felt a chilling feeling entered into his bones and a flash of light flew towards him. With a look, he could tell that the swordplay had no weakness and opening for him to exploit. If he did not withdraw both his hands, he would have invite disaster upon his life.
Nangong Ping shouted. “Retreat back!”
The priest responded by moving back seven feet while Nangong Ping was standing in front of the coffin.
The priest stared at Nangong Ping’s long sword before both their eyes locked on one another and they stood unmoving on the spot.
After awhile, the priest let go a sigh and said. “You and I have no feuds, why did you want to treat me like that!” And sighed even heavily.
Nangong Ping was surprised, as he did not expect the priest to ask something like that.
The priest continued. “You and I don’t even know one another, let alone any feuds? You and I have no feuds, why then you go through all that troubles just to stop me!”
The priest continued. “If you will hand this coffin over to me, from this day on, you will be my benefactor. As long as I am alive, I will repay your kindness!
Nangong Ping looked at him for awhile before he laughed coldly. “Is it because you fail to take by force, you are trying a soft approach by begging me?”
The priest lifted his chest and said loudly. “I don’t beg from anyone in my entire life!”
Nangong Ping said. “Even if you have begged me, I will not let you approach the coffin a single step!”
The priest sighed. “Why bother…why bother…” Suddenly he sprang forwards like a bow and attacked with both his legs. Altogether he made four strokes toward Nangong Ping’s head, throat, waist and lower body, the four main vulnerable point!
Nangong Ping smiled, unmoving and swung his right hand with his long sword and cut from up to down, forming what was like a mirror wall. Although this stroke looked simple and easy, it was actually a superior attack stroke that also defends at the same time! Unbreakable and at the same time incomparable excellent!
One must know that the Immortal Dragon had undergone many big and small battles, life and death situations. Needless to say about his internal power but if one was to compare his experience on fighting, it was already incomparable in the entire Pugilistic Fraternity. Later when he retired to Zhijiao Manor, he collected the knowledge of his fighting experiences and the martial art skills that he had seen and created a set of ordinary, yet extraordinary swordplay. That was because according to his wealthy experience, he knew that flowery swordplay although can confuse opponents but once it is set against a top exponent, it become useless! Therefore the swordplay he created may look ordinary by appearances and look easy, but it was to let the guard of the opponent down and when he discovered it, it would already be too late!
Nangong Ping might look hapless but in his heart, he was already on guard. He knew the priest if he failed on soft approach might try to use the hard approach. Therefore he had already secretly infused his inner energy upon the sword. When he swung the sword, it fended off the four deadly attacks of the priest!
The priest stood unmoving on the same spot, appearing to be considering. Then he attacked again with both his hands. Left hand upon Nangong Ping’s chest “Jiang Tai”, right hand on his artery channels.
But Nangong Ping retaliated by jolting his sword and pierced the priest on two main accupoints on his shoulder. The priest flew backwards and then moves back another seven steps.
“Good sword! Very good swordplay!” The priest said.
Nangong Ping lowered his sword and said. “If the sword is not good, it is still the same!”
The Priest coldly said. “If the sword is not good, I have already broke through your sword shield and pierce through your chest!”
Nangong Ping remained calm. “If the sword is not good, just now when my sword have hit your accupoints, although your right hand have blocked the length of my sword but how do you know that I am not hiding any more powerful strokes as reserve!”
The priest coldly said. “You can try again!”
Nangong Ping remained calm, refusing to be angered. “Though I am fighting you now, I shouldn’t have used such a good sword and moreover shouldn’t have use weapon against your bared fists.” He laughed awhile before continued. “But when I am following my benefactor teacher to protect the coffin. If you still insist on pestering me, I will even use secret projectiles!”
The priest narrowed his eyebrows. In between his eyebrows, he was disappointed. He had used hard approach, soft approach and taunting tactics but he still failed to impress upon this young man’s iron steel heart!
He no longer had any idea how he was going to shake his steel like willpower. He knew that his internal power was unable to defeat him at this moment. And he felt a terror that arose from his disappointment that was spreading upon him.
Nangong Ping stared at him as though he had already see through the priest what he had been thinking in his heart.
Suddenly the priest asked. “Your Mentor Master asked you to protect this coffin with your life, do you know the reason why?”
Nangong replied. “Don’t know!”
The priest asked again. “Is it worth it?” Nangong Ping said. “Don’t know!”
The priest said. “While you and I are standing here unmoving, my internal power is slowly by slowly recovering. When my internal power is fully recovered, you will not be my match. By then you will have lose your life for nothing.”
Nangong smiled. “Really?”
The priest replied with a straight face. “Of course.”
Nangong Ping laughed. “If it is true, then why should you be telling me? When your internal power is fully recovered and then killed me, isn’t it better?”
The priest furrowed his eyebrows and shouted. “I have the heart to treasure talents but never expect you to be so unappreciated!” Nangong Ping said, “I appreciate it.”
The priest turned pale. “You really don’t believe that I really recover my internal power?”
Nangong Ping said, “To believe or not to believe, it is the same!” The priest asked. “Can you explain it?”
Nangong Ping continued. “I have already placed my life and death secondary. Even though you can recover your internal power and want to kill me, I will still not leave the coffin a single step.”
Nangong Ping smiled. “My martial art skills are enough to preserve my life but unable to get rid of you!”
The priest coldly hummed and said, “You are very frank!”
Nangong Ping said in a grave voice. “You and I harbored no hatred. If you did not try to steal the coffin but continue to stand right there, even though I have the ability to win you but I am unable to kill you!”
The priest shut his eyes for a moment before opening his eyes again. With a heavy sigh he said, “I really cannot understand why you have to go through all that troubles just to protect this coffin!”
Nangong coldly said. “I really cannot understand why you have to go through all the troubles just to steal this coffin too!”
The priest clenched his fists, bit his teeth and stared at Nangong Ping. Nangong Ping remained nonchalance and calm, and looked back at him!
After awhile, the priest sighed again. “Do you really want me to tell you the real reason before you will give up?
Nangong Ping said, “Even if you have tell me the real reason, I still will not give up!”
The priest looked into the skies and said. “There are some people in the entire life, who in their daily lives and in all matters try to do good, did not dare even to do a single wrong thing. But once they did something wrong once, they immediately become a great sinner. There are some people who are villainous but in a coincidence did a good deed and immediately people forgive all their past doings…”
Suddenly the priest laughed loudly. “Do you think that Heaven is fair?”
Nangong Ping was stunned for words. Why did this mysterious priest at this time, say something totally irrelevant to the situation here?
Then the priest pointed at Nangong Ping in an anguish manner and said. “You spend so much efforts to protect this coffin, do you know who is now lying inside the coffin?”
Earlier from the ordinary coffin, a miracle happened. Nangong Ping had already guessed that the coffin contained a secret, and slowly he had also guessed that there might be a person hidden inside the coffin!
But what made him unable to believe was, his Mentor Master had always been aboveboard and honorable. How could he have any secrets that could not be revealed to anyone, especially one that he wanted to hide throughout his entire life!
Nangong Ping muttered. “Hidden inside the coffin…is really a person?”
The priest continued. “People in the Pugilistic Fraternity are carrying tales of the number one warrior ‘Immortal Divine Dragon’ carrying a coffin because he is expecting a defeat. And it would later become the praise of everyone to remembrance. Now that the Immortal Divine Dragon had died, this legend will be remembered for hundreds of generations. But…” He suddenly laughed aloud. “But the truth is, in the entire Pugilistic Fraternity, who really knows the truth of what actually happening!”
Nangong Ping asked, “What truth?” as he could sense the priest bitterness in his laughter.
The priest laughed for awhile, then shouted. “You really think that the Immortal Divine Dragon carries a coffin in this journey, is really because he seeks defeat and death? The reason why he did it is because the coffin contains a person!
Nangong Ping paled and asked. “What type of person?”
The priest asked. “What person…” laughed even more crazed. “A woman! A despicable, a whore by nature but also an extremely rare beauty who resembled a fairy!”
Nangong Ping was taken aback. He angrily retorted. “What did you say?” The priest laughed. “I say, your Mentor Master the ‘Immortal Divine
Dragon’ Long Bushi may be the number one warrior but the reason he is carting a coffin and expecting a defeat is all a tall tale. He only did that for a woman that is an evil whore!” His laugher getting louder and louder and the mountains echoed back. “He only did that for a woman that is an evil whore…”
Nangong Ping loudly said. “In your speech, if you continue to insult my Mentor Master one more word…”
The priest interrupted. “Insult him…heng, heng. What I say just now, every single word is the truth. If you do not believe, why don’t you open the coffin lid and have a look? Thereafter you will know, who is the person hidden in the coffin!”
Nangong Ping asked, “Who is it?”
The priest said. “Even though you may be young but you should have heard of…” His speech became muted before he could finally say it out. “…The name of Peacock Concubine Mei Yin Xue!”
A breeze blew and Nangong Ping shivered. The priest continued. “What is the world most poisonous creature, who else but the Peacock Concubine…” Nangong Ping asked in a serious tone. “Is the Peacock Concubine and Cold Blood Concubine the same person?”
But the priest laughed again, not even looking at him and said. “A hundred birds flock towards the Phoenix, the Peacock alone display her magnitude…”
Nangong Ping was frustrated as he angrily said. “Just now what I ask you, did you not hear?”
The priest continued to recite. “The snowy ground display its magnitude; the Peacock Concubine blood has turned cold. Everyone knows that the Concubine blood is cold. The Divine Dragon in his rage descended down to the mortal world. The nine mountains of Huashan erupted into a terrible battle, only the reflection of swords and not the persons are seen; no one knows who are the victors.” When he recited up to this point, his speech became sharper and anguish.
Nangong Ping held his long sword tightly as he listened intensely.
The priest continued. “The Divine Dragon have Immortal as its namesake, ever victorious, the Peacock finds its magnitude unable to display, Divine Dragon with just a sword act as its echoes, thereafter the Pugilistic Fraternity is rid of a great poison, and exalt the victor as Immortal Divine Dragon!”
Nangong asked. “It seems that “Peacock Concubine” is the same as the “Cold Blood Concubine”?”
The priest stared at Nangong Ping and coldly said. “That is right. Mei Yinxue and Mei Leixue (Cold Blood) is the same person.” Suddenly he laughed. “Yinxue! Leixue, hehe. Excellent name, what an excellent name, excellent nickname, what an excellent nickname, I, Gong… really should have exposed the truth for the whore!”
Nangong Pong suddenly asked. “Gong what?”
The priest immediately turned paled and said, “It has nothing to do with
Nangong Ping sarcastic laughed. “Since you are hiding something and
unwilling to reveal your surname. I will not ask you again! But I want you to repeat what you just say again”
The priest asked. “What do you mean?”
Nangong Ping remained calm and said, “Inside the purple coffin, there is a living person and it is the Peacock Concubine Mei Yinxue, is that what you just have said from your mouth?”
The priest replied. “That is right! So?”
Suddenly Nangong Ping laughed, his wrist moved and his sword reflected the light and said. “Since you know, then why did you insist on saying those lies that insulted my benevolent teacher? Long time ago, the Peacock Concubine Mei Yinxue roamed the Fraternity fearlessly in a rampage, using her martial art skills, intelligence and beauty to cause countless people in Pugilistic Fraternity to lose their reputations. She had also caused countless number of families to break apart but there were also countless number of people that were captivated by her beauty and kowtow under her skirt.”
The Priest coldly laughed. “It seems that you do know her past!”
Nangong Ping stared at him. “Although the Pugilistic Fraternity harbored hatred towards her but at the same time were captivated by her beauty and frightened by her martial art skills. However none dare to confront her. My benevolent teacher in his rage decided to meddle in this matter. In the nine peaks of Huashan, after three days of terrifying battle, he finally emerged victorious with his superior swordplay. At that time the pugilists that were waiting under the nine peaks of Huashan when they saw him coming down from the mountain, all broke into thunderous applause. That thunderous applause was said to be heard even from ten miles away!”
Nangong Ping was filled with respect for his Mentor Master. He sighed. “It a pity at that time, I have not yet become the disciple of my Mentor Master yet. I feel so regretful that I was unable to participate in that glorious event!” His eyes shone and he said in a clear voice. “But this matter in the Pugilistic Fraternity, is known to all. Although benevolent teacher did not mention it to me but I have heard it from the mouths of others. And these people who have told me what they know are impressed with the heroism of benevolent teacher. And now you are saying, “Peacock Concubine” is still alive and is now lying inside the coffin. What evil intentions are you harboring? If you do not tell me, don’t blame me for killing you with my sword. “
The priest suddenly laughed. “What a dashing hero, whom everyone respects…Long Bushi, Long Bushi although you had died you should feel a sense of guilty conscious!”
Nangong Ping angrily retorted. “What did you say?” And he pointed his long sword towards the priest’s chest.
Although by now, Nangong Ping’s long sword was within three feet of the priest’s chest, he shown no sign of retreat. The priest said. “You are so impressed with your Mentor Master, even though I may say a million times, you still will not believe me!”
Nangong Ping said without hesitation. “Indeed!”
The priest said, “But in just a moment work, I can persuade you to be disappointed with your Mentor Master!’
Nangong Ping said aloud. “You keep talking rubbish, it really let me…”
The priest interrupted. “Although you may not believe me, but why did you not open the coffin to take a look? Just to make sure that hidden within is indeed Mei Yinxue that all in the Pugilistic Fraternity was the whore that was nicked the ‘Cold Blood Concubine’? His pitch got higher and higher as he spoke. As he finished, he was already breathless.
Deep inside Nangong Ping’s heart, he thought. “Will a person that is so confidence tell a lie?” Another thought dawned upon him. “If he is not telling any lies, then were it not mean that Mentor Master really hid the Peacock Concubine inside the coffin and deceive the whole world? Mentor Master had been a hero all his life so how could he have done such a thing?”
In his thoughts, he blamed himself for not trusting his Mentor Master yet at the same time he was feeling confused and contradicting.
The priest sighed. “If you can open the coffin and let me take a look. If inside the coffin is not the ‘Cold Blood Concubine’, I will immediately commit suicide with a sword. Not only will I die wholeheartedly, I will also definitely not blame you!”
Nangong Ping furrowed his eyebrows in thoughts. His face was filled with bewilderment and contradiction. If he opened the coffin, would it not mean that he had already disbelieved his Mentor Master whom he had greatly respected? But if he did not open the coffin, it would not dispel the doubts in his mind!
The priest eyed him with suspicious. But upon seeing the looks of bewilderment on his face, he suddenly laughed coldly. “If you do not open the coffin, then it means that you do not fully believed in the character of your Mentor Master!”
Nangong Ping angrily said, “Shut up!”
The priest acted as though he did not hear. “If the coffin is really emptied and since your Mentor Master did not forbid you to open the coffin so even if you have opened the coffin to peek inside, what does it really matter!”
Nangong Ping sighed in his heart. “If the coffin really have no one inside, do you really mean to…”
The priest interrupted. “I will immediately commit suicide in front of you…”
Nangong Ping exclaimed in a grave voice. “A gentleman word of honor!” The priest continued. “Is as white as a white dye!”
The priest took one step forward and looked at the coffin and said coldly. “Will you be the one that open it or me?”
Nangong Ping stared at the coffin and thought. “If the coffin really has a person inside, surely our conversations will be overheard. Therefore, there is no reason why there is no sign of any movements!” He calmed himself down with words and said aloud. “It is the possession of my late benevolent teacher. How can I allow you to defile it? Naturally it is for me to open.” Nangong Ping rolled his eyes and saw the priest looking nervously but his eyes were filled with self-confidence and looking unblinking at the purple coffin.
The priest said impatiently. “No need for words, please open the coffin fast.” Every word of his speech seemed to indicate that inside the coffin, was the legendary ‘Cold Blood Concubine’ that had passed away.
Nangong Ping felt his self-confidence shaken by the priest even though he just self-assured himself. He wanted to keep his long sword into his scabbard but he realized he lost it earlier.
The priest coldly said upon seeing Nangong Ping hesitating. “Why don’t you pass your long sword to me…”
Nangong Ping paled upon hearing this but the priest continued. “So you can have an easier time opening the coffin and it much more convenience for me to suicide.”
Nangong Ping coldly hummed and did not look at the priest anymore. His right hand still holding the long sword and his left hand grappling the lid of the coffin as he lifted the coffin opened while he thought. “The priest is full of self- confidence. Don’t tell me inside the coffin, really is that Peacock Concubine?”
The priest clenched his fists tightly and muttered. “Mei Yinxue, Mei Yinxue.
Today I finally have the opportunity to chance upon you…”
Suddenly Nangong Ping became stunned, relaxed his hold and said. “This coffin has already been nailed. No one else can open it!”
The priest coldly said. “If the coffin is empty, why is it nailed?”
Nangong Ping was taken aback by the question, only to see the priest moving towards the coffin. “What are you trying to do?” Before he had finished, he saw the priest extending his left hand towards the coffin. Suddenly Nangong Ping shouted. “Stop!” as he waved his sword in a flash and stabbed towards the priest.
If he did not stop, he would be dead. Therefore the priest withdrawn and said angrily. “Stabbing behind, is it honorable?”
Nangong Ping coldly laughed and lowered his long sword. “ My benevolent teacher divine coffin is not for your hands to defile!”
The priest turned paled, tried to control his anger and stared fiercely at Nangong Ping before turning back. He then spat his saliva on the ground and cold said without turning his head. “The front of the coffin have two dragon figurines. The pearls between them are the buttons to open the coffin!”
Although Nangong Ping was filled with suspicious, he did what is told. He walked to the front of the coffin indeed saw two dragon figurines. In between the figurines indeed was a dragon pearl. Although this coffin was made of expensive purple wood under the sun and wind, it appeared to be ancient. Only this dragon pearl is sparkly and shiny. Obviously had been handled many times! Nangong Ping sighed and realized that his observations were indeed inferior to the priest. He extended his left hand and gently pressed on the pearl twice!
There was a creaking sound. The priest said. “Try to lift it!”
Nangong Ping started to lift the coffin up. Immediately the priest turned his
For a moment, both of them felt their hearts pacing fast and at the same time,
their hands were both shaking and broke into cold sweat!
Suddenly Nangong Ping yelled as he pushed the coffin up and half opened the coffin. And both rushed to look inside the coffin.
The priest broke into a cold sweat as he turned paled. And muttered. “This…this…she…she…” His voice became broken and unable to continue. The coffin was emptied and where was the person?
Nangong Ping glances became icy and clenched tightly his sword. Suddenly he shouted. “You are a deceiver and a heretic!” as he flicked his sword and stabbed at the priest!
The priest looked lost so when this stab occurred, he did not dodge it as if he did not see it but his mouth muttered something. “The coffin must…” Those were the three words he had just said before Nangong Ping stabbed him on his left chest as blood spurred out. In that instant, his priest garment became dyed with blood.
The priest bit his teeth, held the sword and pulled it out before collapsing on the ground. His eyes discolored as he stared at Nangong Ping and exclaimed. “You…You will one day…will…will regret it…”
Nangong Ping turned paled and his whole body became numbed. He finally relaxed his sword and looking lost.
Finally when his mind had relaxed, he felt like throwing the long sword from his hands to the bottomless ravine below. Still stunned, he kept muttering. “I finally killed a man…I finally killed a man…a man!” That was the first time he had ever killed some one and he finally experienced the feeling of killing. The feeling was so unbearable!
Then he walked away in a daze. He did not know how long he had walked before he suddenly muttered. “I should at least bury his body…” Suddenly he did a mad run back to the coffin but although the bloodstain on the ground remained, the mysterious and pitiful priest was no where to be found.
Now he was really confused. Even more confusing was that he still could not tell what secret the ordinary purple coffin was hiding? Or how many secrets it containing?
He sat down under a tree with his hands folded. Eventually the fallen leaves calmed his spirits. He tried to understand the happenings and forgot to puzzle over why his fellow protégés did not follow him. And extended his hand into his body and took out a yellow silk handkerchief along with some feathers attracted to it.
Although he was upset but he smiled now thinking of the stupid bird as he saw the feathers. He took out the bird as well and opened the handkerchief to read at his Mentor Master last will. “I have killed countless people, among all those that I have killed they are all deserving, therefore in all my life I never feel guilty conscious…”
Nangong Ping sighed. And beginning to feel the taste of “guilty conscious”. He sighed heavily and muttered to himself. “Although this word sounds ordinary but it requires a lot of willpower, enduring much pain to achieve. But what about me!…”
He began to think about the priest. “I have harmed that person, will my heart not feel guilty?” He also recalled what the priest had said but thought. “Mentor Master in all his life, he has never feel guilty conscious, so how would he have done what the priest had said!”
Therefore his faith restored and he laughed. And continued to read. “Although no guilty conscious but there is something, I suppose can be considered guilty conscious…”
Nangong Ping paled and continued to read. “Ten years ago, there appeared a person who caused me to hate intensely. As this person had harmed one of my friends, therefore I played the role of knight-errant and swore to kill that person by my sword. But afterwards, I realized it was the wrongdoing of my friend. And that evil despicable person was in fact innocent. So I…”
The words below were dyed by blood and no longer visible!
Just when Nangong Ping had read the most important part it was missing!
Suddenly he had an uneasy thought. “Don’t tell me these blood traces are left behind by Mentor Master!”
He stood up and felt very upset. Suddenly his eyes caught the sight of the blood soaked dead bird!
For a moment, he did not know whether to laugh or to cry. And sat down on the ground. Sighing he read past the blood traces. “Therefore I will hand this person to you and hope that you will take good care of her…”
Nangong Ping puzzled. “Her…? Her…Who is she?” and continued to read. “As it is too hurried, I have no time to explain to you but I hope that one day you will know the truth. As I cannot hope to repay you is the greatest regret in my life. I hope that you will sustain from rumors and evil, be strong and strive upwards so as not to disappoint the expectations that I have of you!”
“Too hurried…” Nangong Ping muttered. “Is it because…really Mentor Master is really dead?…” As he shed two warm tears.
“One day you will know the truth…” But when would that day be? “As I cannot hope to repay you is the greatest regret in my life…” He wipe his tears and cried aloud. “Mentor Master, you have always treated me with great kindness. And I have always been grateful to you. Don’t you know Mentor Master?”
Then he aimlessly dug a hole in the mud with his hands and buried the dead bird. He said to the grave. “We are fated more or less. Or else why the world is so big and you happened to fall into my hand? This grave is able to shelter you from the wind and rain…”
Nangong Ping sighed deeply before he remembered there was still the dead priest. From now on, he will be exposed in the wilderness and to the mercy of the elements, he felt upset and clenched his sword even more tightly.
Suddenly he felt so exhausted and tired. He had been fighting with the priest all morning and the fight had drained all his inner energy in his body! A biological effect acted by nature began to take over him and he slowly relaxed and he slipped into a sleep and after an unknown period of time…
Towards the evening time, when the sun was setting, suddenly there was a creaking sound that came from the purple coffin from the woods. The coffin lid began to open...
Under this peaceful mountain, although the sound was very light, it suddenly awakened Nangong Ping from his sleep. He opened his eye and saw a shadowy figurine from the empty coffin, there was a pair of white and beautiful jaded hands, pushing open the coffin lid!
What came afterwards was a long flowing black hair, followed by a pale
Although the setting sun cast a red glow all over the place, it failed to lit that
white and pale face up. Although Nangong Ping was daring, he felt a shiver down his spine as he tried to say aloud. “Who…Who are…You?” Although he tried to muster as much courage as possible, his mouth was trembling.
The rare beauty that was in the coffin had by now began to stand slowly up.
Her weak vulnerable body yet so beautiful and moving, was dressed in a pure white long robe that was identical to her face. Under the mountain wind as her white robe flurried and danced, her body seemingly could be swept away by the wind anytime, but her pair of shining bright eyes looked as steady as the mountain under Nangong Ping’s foot!
She floated lightly down the ground from the coffin and moved one step by one step towards Nangong Ping. There was not a single expression on her face much less a smile and there was no trace of any color on her face as well. Even her small lips were white too. Under this lonely and desolate place, no one would think she come from the mortal realm but from the spirit realm!
Nangong Ping tightened both his fists as he felt his palms breaking into cold sweat. Mustering his breath from his abdomen, he exclaimed aloud. “Who are you?” And he tried to stand up from the ground.
The least expecting thing happened, the beautiful woman from the coffin suddenly laughed softly and gently said. “What are you afraid of? Do you think that I am a…” as she laughed softly again.
Her voice was like the March breeze that was so gentle and intoxicating. Her gentle laughter could even melt the most steel-hearted man and moved him. The cold and chilling feeling that she carried when she walked out of the coffin, at that moment, completely disappeared with that soft and gentle laugh.
Nangong Ping felt his eyes staring at her, her laugh, was even more moving than Ye Manqing’s smiles. Ye Manqing soft laughter may be compared to the blossoming lilies and the full boom of the peonies. But that was only the eyes, eyebrows, lips and face that was laughing but that beautiful woman from the coffin, she seemed to be laughing from her whole body, her whole heart and even her soul as well was enveloped in her smiles and laughter. Even your breathing would follow her laughter breathing and let your pulses, followed her soft laughter pitch and jumped.
But once her laughing ceased, Nangong Ping felt her whole body once again radiated a chilling aura. He could not think of a reason why such an ordinary coffin, would walk out such an extraordinary person.
He finally straightened his body and stood firmly on the ground and was now facing her face to face. And he could see clearly her features now. Therefore he once again regained his self-confidence that seemed to be second nature to him. He asked again in a low voice. “Who are you?” His voice was now firm and steady.
She rolled her watery eyes and eyed him for an instant. All of a sudden, she burst into a laugh and gently said. “Although you are young but in some areas definitely set you apart from others. No wonder Long…Grandpa Long is willing to place me in your care!”
Nangong Ping was taken aback. And thought. “Place her in my care…” He immediately flashed back to the words on the yellow handkerchief. “…Therefore I will hand this person to you and hope that you will take good care of her…”
Earlier when he asked her “Who are you?” At that moment, the answer was at hand. “She” was the extremely beautiful maiden that was now standing in front of him, the face that was so paled and white, long robe that was so pure and white and whose skin was so white as well.
There were other questions too but he had no other clues to link to it. He sighed. He had discovered that although the heaven and earth was so vast but many things were indeed so coincident. The dead bird dyed the most important portion of the letter. Was it because Heaven deliberately wished to play a prank on him?
The beautiful maiden who was dressed in white robe carried a tinge of smiles in her eyes as she sat down besides him and gently looked up the skies, muttered. “Time fly very fast, yet another day is about to pass…Alas. Actually, a human with a hundred year life span is like a flicker of a finger…Alas. Since ancient times to present, who can retain youth that was like slippery water?”
In her speech, it seemed that it was filled with self-anguish and self-worth. It seemed most unlikely that it will come from the mouth of such an well-endowed and extremely beautiful young girl. It seemed more likely to come from someone that was past her prime, mourning for her lost youth and that life was short!
Nangong Ping turned to look at her only to see between her eyebrows hid many bitterness that displayed her feeling. It seemed that it came from the bottom of her heart. Bewildered, he asked. “Maiden…Lady…”
The beautiful woman suddenly laughed for an instant and eyed him. “You don’t even know if I am a Maiden or Lady. That is indeed very strange!”
Nangong Ping stammered awhile before replying. “I and…you have never met before…”
The beautiful woman asked. “Since Grandpa Long had asked you to take care of me, did he not mention about me?”
Nangong Ping became vexed. In his thoughts were the words on the yellow silk handkerchief that was dyed by the blood of the dead bird...
“Ten years ago, there appeared in the Pugilistic Fraternity a person…” He suddenly remembered.
He thought. “Is she really the one that the priest had said, “Cold Blood Concubine”? But that Peacock Concubine had found fame ten years ago and till now will be at least thirty plus of age! But she…” And looked at the beautiful young maiden who was also looking at him. No matter how he looked, at most she was only just past twenty-year old.
He tried to avert his eyes from her only to hear her laughed gently. “Why did you not answer me?” As she reached to comb her long black hair that was touching her waist. And asked again. “In your thoughts, you must be thinking of something. Are you trying to guess my age?”