The Flower Guarding Bell - Chapter 6
Chapter Six - Guest of the Heavenly Emperor
The young man in gray kept staring at Nangong Ping. “Marvelous, marvelous!” He suddenly laughed coldly and said. “Your Mentor Master most exalted disciple in the apple of his eye, your older protégé brother spoke of a most exalted fellow disciple brother, while his Mentor Master whereabouts is still unknown, actually have the mood to sit here and listen to a girl singing. Marvelous indeed, marvelous indeed!”
Nangong Ping solemnly said. “This have nothing to do with you!”
Young man in gray laughed. “You still behave so arrogant, why don’t you admit your wrong?”
Nangong Ping said. “This depends on who you are? And what is your intention?” His countenance was calmed and his speech was neither weak nor forceful. He simply stated matter of fact. He did no wish to reveal too much to someone who he not sure whether if he was a friend or foe. It was actually the same like he would not hide anything from his friends!
The young man in gray browsed his view and saw Mei Yinxue who remained motionless on top of a tree and suddenly laughed aloud. “You want to know who I am? And what is my intention…” He laughed aloud again. “But first you have to admit your wrong!”
Nangong Ping coldly hummed and said. “If you have come to provoke, free please to drawn the soft blade hidden in-between your waist. There is no need to go around in circles.”
Mei Yinxue softly laughed awhile, seemingly approving and praising of his action.
That young man in gray halted his laughing and he seemed to be startled. He seemed to feel strange that Nangong Ping under his taunting could still be in such a calm composure. He also seemed to feel strange that an inexperience young man like him would have such a sharp observation and eyes and could see that he had hidden a rarely seen soft weapon inside his clothes!
Now he felt disadvantage and this was something out of his expectations.
Now he wished he could immediately dealt him a fierce retaliation!
He recovered his thoughts and coldly laughed. “If I am not here to provoke, you...” Before he could finish, he had another thought. Would he not give him another chance to laugh at himself? So he kept quiet suddenly. But out of his expectation, Nangong Ping did not laughed and continued to look calmly at him, seemingly guessed what he had been thinking in his heart.
Nangong Ping interrupted his thoughts, “If you do not have the intention...”
The young man in gray interrupted him and said, “Just treat that I have the intention to provoke will do!” As his body turned and when he once again faced Nangong Ping, he had with him a soft silver spear in his hand!
Nangong Ping’s long sword was still by his waist. Although his heart was not calm, he was paying a great attention to this long sword. That was because he did not wish that after losing the scabbard, he would lose the precious sword that his Mentor Master had given him!
He just smiled and said. “If you have the intention to provoke, then I have no choice but to retrospect a few strokes!” He turned his wrist and gently drawn out his sword. He did not show off his swordmanship nor did he likewise followed the usual swordsmen style of displaying how fast they could draw their sword in a feat to measure the brilliant of their swordplay!
He was calm and steady, did not have Shi Chen rashness and jealousy, nor did he have Shi Chen proneness to fall into temptations. He was also benevolent and frank but when compared to Long Fei, he knew how to hide his strength and be tactical.
He lifted his shoulder and held his sword in front of his chest while the young man in gray shook his spear and in that instant, five to seven beams of reflective light lingered.
Nangong Ping slowly extended his sword point and solemnly said. “After you!” By now he had already noticed that the young man in gray harbored neither evil intention nor his enemy and was only suppressing his frustrations. Therefore in his speech and actions, there was still some traces of courtesy!
The young man in gray thrust his spear and in the fog was a ray of light as he bypassed even the shower of reflective light. Nangong Ping admired secretly. That young man spear technique was indeed amazing fast till the point of unbelievable!
He shifted his leg movements as his sword point followed the spearhead of his opponent. There was a green light, then a silver light and a couple of clashing sounds. Suddenly the young man in gray coughed out a sound as he soared upward!
There was a ray of silver light as it followed the ascended up. Nangong Ping took a step backward as he lifted his sword.
But the young man in gray as he ascended up, his shining silver spear broke through the fog and at lightning speed thrust downward, just like a crane that was dancing in mid-air that was descending upon its prey on the ground!
Nangong Ping was startled as he said. “Tianshan Seven Forms Swiftness skill”! And he adjusted his steps to home his sword upward.
There was a flash of green light as it sealed off the silver spear path. The young man in gray jerked his spearhead and gently contacted the sword point. There was a dang sound as he once again used the opportunity to jump forth again.
Nangong Ping suddenly shouted a sound as well as he hastily hurried seven steps that placed him out of reach of the young man in gray spear attack.
His eyes focused but he did not retaliated yet as he waited patiently for the young man to descent first!
But the young man kicked backward to reverse and he extended both his shoulders much like a eagle and a ray of silver light once again came piercing in his direction.
Nangong Ping once again moved another seven steps. He was as steady as the mountain, when he moved, it were as fast as lightning. This seven steps looked like just one step as the green light of the sword in his hand beamed, being as fast as the silver spear!
The young man failed in his first attempt as his body much like an eagle landed on the ground. Now if Nangong Ping were to shift his sword up, although he may not lose but he could seize the first strike opportunity! But he only maintained his present posture when the young man landed with his silver spearhead vibrating.
The young man secretly muttered to himself. “Alas Di Yang, Di Yang, do you still want to continue to test one more stroke?”
This young man in gray was naturally Di Yang. After he had buried the corpse, he immediately rushed down the mountain. Imbued with the solo purpose of finding out what sort of a person was this ‘Fifth Brother’ that Long Fei had lavished so much praise upon.
He was naturally a forgiving person; therefore he did not put much thought whether others had doubted him. But he had the same haughtiness of most young men that when he saw Nangong Ping, he felt like pitting against him. On the other hand, he was feeling strange why this young man had the mood to listen to the singing of a girl?
But now as he was facing Nangong Ping, his heart was slowly begun to appreciate him. His spearhead was constantly shaking but in fact foreshadowed an extremely powerful stroke that he had yet to use!
Nangong Ping still maintained his posture all the while his attention was focused on the moving spearhead.
Suddenly Mei Yinxue suddenly softly laughed awhile and asked. “You are not fighting anymore?”
The two young men with their four eyes turned their attention on her. Mei Yinxue slowly stood up, her looks was so charming and lovable that just that simple posture of just standing up, caused them unable to resist to have a second look.
She walked gracefully towards Di Yang and said. “Are you not the descendant of Tianshan Divine Sword, Ninth Wing Flying Eagle Old Master Di?”
All along, Di Yang did not pay attention to her. Now it seemed that he was like a man enveloped in darkness that suddenly discovered her glamorous beauty. This glamorous beautiful woman instantly dazzled him with her beauty like lightning. He felt so startled that he just nodded and did not say anything.
Mei Yinxue softly laughed and said. “Did you see his protégé brother just now?”
Di Yang was once again startled and nodded his head again.
Nangong Ping was surprised inside him. “How did she know? How did he have known his protégé brother?” Just as he was about to ask him where he had saw him, Mei Yinxue giggled and said, “His protégé brother must have been praising him in front of you, therefore you do not feel good within and wish to test him?”
Di Yang widened his eyes and was astonished. He could only nodded again.
She asked him three questions and all hit the mark of Di Yang’s heart. It caused Di Yang who had been dazzled by her beauty to unconsciously intimidate by her superb intellect.
Inside Nangong Ping’s heart, he felt more and more curious. Only to hear her laughed softly and turned back, “That is it, what are you all fighting for!” She walked to a tree and began to sit down. Her eyes rolled and looked at the two young men and suddenly laughed. “I observed it from his martial art skills to know his origins, from his attitude and speech and guessed his intention. There is nothing so strange about it. Why are you puzzling over it?”
Her speech was modest, seemingly suggesting that it was something everyone would have guessed.
Di Yang secretly sighed in his heart and thought. “What an intelligence girl!” He laughed suddenly and said. “What an intelligence girl!” What he had thought in his heart was exactly the same as what he had said. But the language and meaning was entirely different.
Nangong Ping asked. “May I know if...“
Di Yang said. “That is right. Just as what this maiden has said, I indeed saw your protégé brother earlier. At this moment, he is still on top of the mountain peak. Now that it is soon to be morning, you should go up and conduct a search.” He did not wait for others to say anything and laughed again to say. "I am Di Yang. Now that I seen you, I am really very happy. Hope that we can meet again some other time...”
Nangong Ping asked. “Why not stay behind for awhile to talk…”
Di Yang laughed. “Earlier I have intentionally offended and now I really feel slightly embarrassing. There be much to catch up some other time but today we must part!”
When he had said ‘embarrassing’ he had already started to move away. When he had spoken the last word, he had already moved beyond the woods.
Nangong Ping looked at his direction intensely and secretly sighed. “What an extremely fast swiftness movement skill.”
Suddenly Mei Yinxue laughed lovably and said. “Do you know why he suddenly go in such a haste?”
Nangong Ping paused to consider but before he could reply, Mei Yinxue laughed again and said. “That is because he really did not dare to look at me!”
Nangong Ping was stunned for awhile but he did not turn his head and coldly said. “I afraid that may not be the case!” But his heart secretly sighed unconsciously.
Suddenly there was a sweet fragrant in his nostril as Mei Yinxue walked undetected besides him and softly laughed. “In your heart, you think that what I say is correct but your mouth refuse to admit it. Why is that so?” She carried all smiles on her face and she happily observed Nangong Ping face and thought. “Whether you admit or not, I am going to see how you are going to reply me this time.”
But even before she had finished her thoughts, Nangong Ping solemnly said. “You are always treating human characteristics as too base therefore even if I am unwilling to agree with you but I have to agree. But what I say whether it is worth a grain of salt by agreeing with you, why don’t you think about it, right?”
The revealing truth was always better than flowery words. Mei Yinxue ceased her smiles and she was startled. Only to hear Nangong Ping looked at her in her eyes as he started to carry the coffin and solemnly said. “It best if you follow me and I introduced you to my big protégé brother, then you will know that in this world, there is still a few real man!”
Mei Yinxue was still remaining stunned for awhile until Nangong Ping had carried the coffin for quite a distance. Unconsciously she began to follow him.
After awhile, she suddenly halted her steps and looked at his back view and sarcastically laughed a few times and said. “What a disciple that respected his benevolent teacher and his teachings, I see now that he is such a person!”
Nangong Ping was startled and turned his head to ask. “What did you say?”
Mei Yinxue coldly laughed and said. “I am speaking Mandarin, don’t tell me you do not understand?” Nangong Ping looked perplexed and said. “If you do not explain, it doesn’t matter to me if I listen or not!” he turned his head and continued to walk.
Mei Yinxue looked at him hatefully. Ever since she started to roam the Pugilistic Fraternity, every time she knitted her eyebrows or laughed, there were be countless number of men who got smitten by her. She had never seen a young man such as Nangong Ping before. When Nangong Ping still did not turned back and continued to walk, she could not resist the urge to follow and said. “Hello…”
Nangong Ping did not ceased his walking nor did he turned his head but he asked. “What is the matter?”
Mei Yinxue said, “Your mentor master ordered you to follow me, to protect me. Why did you choose to run up the mountain alone?” Although she sounded so frustrated but she did not ceased her steps either.
Nangong Ping stopped in his tracks. He turned around and looked at her. “Did you not follow me up as well, why did you say I go up alone?”
Mei Yinxue said, “I…I…” Suddenly she stomped her leg and said. “Who says I want to go up the mountain with you!”
Nangong Ping said, “Marvelous, marvelous…”
Mei Yinxue widened her beautiful eyes and cautiously asked, “What did you
Nangong Ping smiled and said. “If you are not willing to follow me up the
mountain, please wait for me here awhile and I can also put the coffin here too.” Mei Yinxue bit her teeth, asked. “Who say I am going to wait here for you?”
Nangong Ping said, “Then…” Whether he really did not understand a girl heart or intentionally did not understand, he did not say a single word of pleading. “Then…” He purposely pondered. “What should be done?”
Mei Yinxue said, “You will follow me down the mountain…”
Nangong Ping said, “It is naturally. Naturally I will follow you down the mountain…”
Mei Yinxue smiled and said, “Then…Let go!”
But Nangong Ping smiled too as well. “But you should follow me up the mountain for awhile.”
The smiles that was on Mei Yinxue instantly evaporated as she said angrily. “Why you…”
Nangong Ping smiled and added. “You have lay in the small coffin for thousands of days, you should really have taken a stroll. Have a look, today wind is so wonderful, the weather is so fine and the grass and trees are so beautiful. And touring under the grandeur of the peerless view of Huashan, isn’t it such a joyous thing?”
Mei Yinxue was half filled with frustration for awhile. Suddenly she bit her teeth and moved to the front of Nangong Ping and said. “Follow me!” At last she finally move up the mountain.
Nangong Ping glanced at her long fluttering hair and secretly laughed. “People in Pugilist all say that she is so cold hearted and how vicious. But I think she is just a girl who have not shed off her innocent yet.” He tried his best not to laugh it out.
But Mei Yinxue suddenly giggled in front and said. “First time listening to some one sounds fun. But…” Suddenly her laughter was no more as she turned her head. “Only this once.”
Nangong Ping said. “Indeed, indeed. Only this once.” He turned his head back as not to let Mei Yinxue saw his smiling look.
The morning sun rose above the peaks of Huashan when they found the broken down bamboo hut. Although Nangong Ping was feeling anxious, he had stopped earlier at the place where there was a deep footprint on the ground as well as the various stone figurines. Finally they had reached the bamboo hut but it was now emptied of anyone. He sighed disappointing. “They have left…”
Mei Yinxue casually said. “And you have wasted a trip!”
Suddenly Nangong Ping eyes shone and he said aloud. “That may not be the
He suddenly placed the coffin that was in his hands to Mei Yinxue. Mei
Yinxue had not the time to ponder and received it. She saw him moving to the old furniture and lifted it. Mei Yinxue did not saw that beneath the old furniture was a piece of yellow paper so she sarcastically said. “Will there be a treasure underneath?”
Nangong Ping said. “Indeed!” As he turned his body and on his hand was a piece of yellow paper. He looked at it carefully for awhile and slowly there was a comforting smile to his countenance. But his smile contained some elements of astonishment. Afterwards, he placed it in his clothing.
Mei Yinxue who was carrying a coffin had wanted to look at it too. But because she was being encumbrance, she could not do so therefore she could not resist asking. “Hello!”
Nangong Ping purposely remained nonchalance and said. “What is the matter?”
Mei Yinxue coldly hummed and raised both her hands to fling the coffin to Nangong Ping. After he had received it, she stormed out of the door.
She felt so frustrated in her heart and did not wish to look at Nangong Ping anymore. But after walking awhile, she could not resist looking back only to see Nangong Ping looking at the stone figurine that was engraved on the side of the mountain. When he had walked casually towards her, he looked very calm. It seemed that his worries earlier had largely faded.
But Mei Yinxue felt even more perplexed and after walking another two steps, she turned her head and asked. “Do you want to say it or not?”
Nangong Ping asked. “Say what?”
Mei Yinxue hummed and swung her waist a little as she stormed off several meters away.
Nangong Ping felt it was funny but she suddenly stormed back again and said aloud. “That piece of yellow paper, what on earth is written on it?”
Nangong Ping smiled and said. “You want to look at the paper, why don’t you say it sooner? If you don’t say, how should I know!”
His right hand was carrying the coffin but his left hand when it extended out, was clenching the paper. It seemed that he had already placed the paper on his hand.
Mei Yinxue was stunned for awhile and she could not help but sighed melancholy in her heart. “Although I am beautiful, but not all the men in the world are smitten by me. Although I am smart but he is not necessary stupider than me…” She looked at Nangong Ping awhile, was she feeling sorrow, angry or happy in her heart? She reached out for the yellow paper and opened it and it read. “Guest of the Heavenly Emperor, the Divine Dragon is well!”
“Divine Dragon is well…” She softly muttered and raised her voice to ask. “The Immortal Divine Dragon, he is not dead yet?”
Nangong Ping smiled. “He will not die!”
Mei Yinxue lifted her head to look at him and asked in a serious tone. “This ‘Heavenly Emperor’, how you do decipher it?”
Nangong Ping said. “Naturally is a name of a Old Master in Pugilist. Other than that, what…”
Mei Yinxue coldly added. “Who is it? Have you ever heard that there was some one in Pugilist that is nicked Heavenly Emperor?” Nangong Ping appeared to be startled while Mei Yinxue added. “Maybe…” She wanted to say ‘Heavenly Emperor’ also meant Western Paradise or maybe it was the joke of his enemies to deceive them. Or the good intention of friends that wanted to comfort their hearts.
But when she saw the expression on Nangong Ping, she found herself unable to say aloud her thoughts. “Heavenly Emperor! Heavenly Emperor!” She just said matter of fact. “Just that this name I have never heard anyone mentioning it about.”
Just when they were about to descend down the mountain, she suddenly laughed. “It better that we go down by the small road!”
Nangong Ping asked. “Why?” Mei Yinxue extended her hands to comb her long hair and gently laughed. “Look at my appearance, how can I face anyone?”
Nangong Ping looked at her for awhile, looked at her beautiful long hair that was as thick as the cloud, looked at her beautiful eyes, her pale white face under the glow of the sun and her snow white long dress, she was really unearthly beautiful. What was it and anywhere that she could not face anyone? So he muttered. “If with your appearance you cannot face anyone, then all the rest of the girls should dig a hole in the ground and hide inside it!
As he had news of the safety of Divine Dragon and as for his clan brothers and sisters, it would be a matter of time before they would finally gather again. As he was feeling quite happy, he did not say anything but followed Mei Yinxue using the small road down the mountain. Finally they reached the town of Lin Xuan.
Nangong Ping who was carrying the coffin mumbled in repetition. “This coffin is really very heavy. No wonder, Mentor Master expended so much trouble to find the coffin carriers. But they usually do not work for long before they quit!”
Mei Yinxue followed docilely besides him, her knowing eyes rolled and smiled.
Her smile seemingly contained some secrets but Nangong Ping did not noticed or paid much attention. He only added. “Do you that some of the coffin carriers are actually some who have turned over a new leaf…” He suddenly stopped and he suddenly noticed that everyone in the streets were looking at him.
A handsome presentable young man who was carrying a coffin and a maiden who was strangely attired but whose beauty was beautiful beyond comparison, were both walking down the street. If they did not attract any attention, then the people on the streets surely must all be blinded. Nangong Ping blushed and lowered his head and softly said. “If we have gone down by the main road, we can hire a carriage.”
However Mei Yinxue remained as composed as ever and smiled. “If you are afraid of being seen, there are many shops on both sides of the streets…” Her meaning explicitly speaking mean that she was already used to being look upon.
Nangong Ping said. “Indeed, indeed…” As he lowered his head and walked to the side of the street.
He suddenly spotted a wine tavern with a signboard ‘Ping Ji Fast Wine Tavern’ written in fresh red color. Even the sides of the door were in red black colors and it was differ from the other wine taverns. His countenance undergoes a slight change but he continued to walk towards it.
But even before he could enter the door, a tavern assistant came out. He was not trying to welcome him but to block him from entering. Nangong Ping was startled and asked. “What are you doing?”
The tavern assistant looked proud and hypocrite as he coldly said. “What are you trying to do?”
Nangong Ping said. “Naturally I come to eat.” He wondered in puzzlement in his heart why this shop treated its customers with such disrespect. So he asked. “Isn’t this shop opening for business?”
The thin shop assistant coldly laughed. “Sure we have to do business but for customer that bring a coffin, we do not welcome.”
Nangong Ping flurried laughed and said. “But…this coffin is emptied. If you do not believe me, I can open it for you to look!” He was about to put the coffin down when the shop assistant pushed him away and shouted. “Even if it is emptied, it is still not welcome.” Although he was skinny but he had great strength. Therefore it quite obvious that he had practiced martial arts before.
At this moment there appeared many people who had gathered to see the commotion. Nangong Ping looked perplexed and he was slowly giving way to anger but when he saw the crowd, he suppressed his anger and said peacefully. “Your boss and I are acquaintances. Do you think you can do me a favor by letting me place the coffin…”
Even before he could finish, the shop assistant was in rage. “Even if you know my boss, I will not allow it, now leave fast…”
Mei Yinxue had already noticed that Nangong Ping did not want to create any troubles so she gently tagged his sleeves and said. “This shop can’t, we can still change to another shop!”
Nangong Ping looked at the shop assistant for awhile before he made his way out of the crowd, only to hear him scolding. “You should have asked around what place is it! Who open it? And who is our Master? If you come to make trouble again, I will break your leg…”
Mei Yinxue secretly looked at Nangong Ping and saw that he was calm and did not show any hint of anger. So she felt very strange.
But when they changed to another shop, the another shop assistance told them. “Customers that Fast Wine Tavern rejected, our small shop did not stay to invite…” After changing another three shops, it was exactly the same as before. By now Nangong Ping became perplexed. The small whispering that was filled with jeering behind his back caused him a great deal of intolerant.
But still, he did not give way to anger. And make his way to another big street and finally found a small shop that was willing to accept them. The old tavern keeper served them cups and chopsticks but whispered in a low voice. “Actually, customers that Fast Wine Tavern refuse to entertain, we do not dare to receive but…Alas! You are so young and bring along your wife…Alas! I heard that their Young Master is someone, who upheld righteousness and thought little of wealth, has a rich reputation, is a wanderer and has many friends. Just now the person you meet should be Second Master You. This Second Master You is someone who is trained by the boss of the Ju Ying Hero Establishment. I heard that he even learnt some martial arts from their boss personally. Although he is a shop assistant, even their tavern keeper did not dare to offend him…Alas!”
Although he said a lot, he also at the time placed three dishes on the table. Nangong Ping still remained as calm as ever and not a trace of any expression.
After Mei Yinxue heard the old man words, she was original quite puzzled and flabbergasted. But now she found it to be quite funny.
After eating two mouthfuls from the dishes, Nangong Ping suddenly requested for paper and brush, wrote some words and carefully folded it and walked to the door and handed it over to an idle man by the street and said something in a very low voice before walking back.
Mei Yinxue looked at him and smiled captivating but she did not ask him what he was doing, seemingly she had something up her sleeves as well.
The both of them continued to eat their meal peacefully. After awhile, there was a middle age man in cotton attire who clumsily and hastily appeared. He respectfully raised both his hands to greet Nangong Ping. But before he could say anything, another man came like the wind and bowed down on the ground. He was that thin shop assistant Second Master You.
Nangong Ping rolled his eyes and slowly got up and asked. “Second Master You, what are you doing?”
The proud and hypocrite Second Master You now looked so pitiful and laudable that he could not say anything. The another man in cotton attire had an anxious look on his face, tried to lighten the mood by saying. “I didn’t expect…I didn’t expect…that Young Master will come, arrive at the Northwest.”
The old man from the little shop was startled as well ad glanced at Nangong Ping and glanced at the crowd that was gathering outside the shop. He rubbed his white hair on his head and really could not believe his eyes.
One must know that the Nangong Aristocracy Family had the wealth that could equal a kingdom. In the entire fraternity, it seemed that everywhere were their business. And the famous red black marking of the Nangong Aristocracy Family supported thousands if not tens of thousands of people but very few actually knew their Young Master Nangong Ping!
Now the paper that Nangong Ping wrote could cause that Second Master You and the man in cotton attire to feel startled and anxious as they faced their Young Master. Those two men really did not know what to say and what sort of pleading should they do.
Mei Yinxue softly laughed and said. “Now we can change another place to eat right!”
Nangong Ping lowered his head and said in jest. “Second Master You, can we carry a coffin inside?”
Of course, his henchmen would never allow their Young master to carry the coffin. So the man in cotton attire replied. “Welcome Master to first come to the shop. Your humble servant will order some men to carry the coffin after you.” He felt strange why his Master would want to carry a coffin by his side but he kept those questions to himself, as he did not dare to ask.
Nangong Ping smiled and from inside his clothing, he took out a fragrant sack and placed it casually on the table and smiled at the startled old man. “This is the payment…” He paused awhile before adding. “In two days, I will arrange for you to be the Steward of Fast Wine Tavern. I believe that you will motivate the shop assistants over there to be more kind and courtesy.”
He did not wait for the old man to thanks him and walked hurried out of the little shop with Mei Yinxue.
Only when they had disappeared from view with the crowd, this happy old man stood motionless by the entrance and it seemed that he had just had a very beautiful dream.
He sat by the side of the table and opened the fragrant sack and there was a brilliant light shining forth from it. It seemed like the ray of light from the sunrise that blinded his eyes and also lit his heart. This happiness came too suddenly yet came too late. He rubbed his wrinkles and thought of his dead wife. He did not know whether to feel happy or to sigh.
Suddenly he heard of a cracking sound, therefore he turned his head. But as soon as his eyes moved, his entire body seemed to freeze. And he dropped the fragrant sack as four shining pearls rolled toward the coffin that was at the side of the wall…
The coffin lid was now opened and a priest who was drenched with blood climbed out. The old man felt his body shook and suddenly remembered he still got his voice…but he was already too stunned by the happenstance just like he was too stunned by the happiness earlier. But even before he could shout, the priest had purged forward and extended all ten of his fingers like hooks and strangled his neck.
There was some sound before silence settled down. The priest looked around
anxiously; the streets were emptied as everyone had gone to take a peek at the dashing Nangong Young Master.
He let go of a sound of relief as he hurried upstairs to change his clothing with the old man and then sneak off, leaving the old man who had work hard for his entire life helplessly on the ground with the shining pearls… Xuan! The Young Master of the Nangong Aristocracy Family had arrived at Lin This piece of news took Lin Xian Town by storm. There were some that envied his background, some that were envied of his fame, some jealous, women that want to see his dashing appearance and women that like his wealth.
Inside Fast Wine Tavern, there were countless numbers of people who want to take a peek at Nangong Ping in person.
Now Nangong Ping had started to regret why he had openly revealed his identity.
Similarly like Nangong Ping, Mei Yinxue too took Lin Xuan by storm.
Hardly anyone could scarcely believe their eyes that in this life, they would actually witness this extraordinary beauty that simply looked like a fairy.
Nangong Ping quietly walked down the stairs of Fast Wine Tavern to ask a shop assistant softly. “Did you see a strong man and three other young men and women that come to Lin Xuan?” The shop assistant respectfully shook his head and he solemnly said. “Go check it out.” And the shop assistant respectfully nodded. He then asked. “Have that coffin been settled? Did you invite the old man from the small shop here?”
The shop assistant countenance changed. For no one remembered the old man in that small shop.
Nangong Ping countenance changed. And at the same time, the crowd who saw a handsome young man in a clean cloth but not flashy walking down the stairs to talk to a shop assistant. Then someone shouted. “Look! That is Nangong Young Master!” As shouts and praises came from the crowd. But Nangong Ping had already sneaked out from the back of the shop!
Because it was dark now, he managed to avoid the crowd and arrived back to the small shop down the street. But strange, why was there such a crowd outside the small shop?
Feeling puzzled within, he hesitated for awhile before he could not resist the temptation to walk in and saw the gruesome sight!
There was a funeral procession that was walking out of Lin Xuan City, on its way to the ancient tomb that was outside this Xian ancient city. On the funeral parlor was the word “The benevolent of Old Du will be remembered forever”. But who had died? And for whom? Some people began to wonder about it and search for the name of Old Du but it was a most ordinary name. So everyone felt even more puzzled.
A man in black appeared at the front of the funeral procession. And some people knew him as Young Master Nangong from the Nangong Aristocracy Family!
But the strange thing was for whom was he mourning?
For a dead bird, Nangong Ping was willing to bury it. Needless to say when he saw the corpse of the kind old man, he felt very heavy and sorrowful. He could not guess how the old man got killed but he had a feeling that the old man died because of him.
He knew that this old man lead an ordinary life, a quiet livelihood. He could never expect a slight happenstance would cause this old man to lose his life. This feeling of guilt caused the benevolent Nangong Ping to blame himself and to lose sleep. He could only host a grand funeral for the old man and to make up for the sorrow when he was alive.
Suddenly there was a commotion on the road in front as a man in white made his way through. Nangong Ping lifted his head only to see him pay respectfully to him and said. “Your humble servant is Wei Cheng En, who have been taking care of Xian City business for Master…”
Nangong Ping said solemnly. “Now is not the time to talk…”
Wei Cheng En anxiously said. “Your humble servant heard the news yesterday and specifically come to welcome Old Master Du spiritual funeral and to clear a path but who would expect…”
Nangong Ping said in a tranquil manner. “It been hard on you, stand up and talk.” But he continued to walk but after walking a few steps, he noticed that there were several big tables with incense and funeral papers (altar). But now it was in a mess and some of the tables were even destroyed.
He became perplexed and looked at Wei Cheng En who looked awful but was still besides him. He turned and asked him solemnly. “What is going on here?”
Wei Cheng En lowered his head and said. “Your humble servants yesterday when we knew that Master is holding a funeral, so we busied throughout the night to prepare the sacrifices. But who would expect that there is another group of people from outside Xian City that is holding another funeral too. And they are planning for it to be very grand too and brought almost all the sacrifice materials from all the funeral shops in Xian. Your humble servant put forth a pricier offer and managed to buy back some of it.”
Nangong Ping said. “It must be very hard for you all. With such a good intentions, it is enough.” His mannerism and attitude was peaceful and spoken like a gentleman. Wei Cheng En did not expect that this Nangong Master who was so famous in the world, whose wealth equaled a kingdom would be so courtesy, so he was startled. But he soon recovered and said. “Master you are indeed benevolent and did not blame upon your humble us. But we are afraid that if the funeral procession is early so we already camped outside here throughout the night. But last two or four hours, there were another funeral procession and we thought it was yours. But…”
Nangong Ping asked solemnly. “Some one creating trouble for even a funeral?”
Wei Cheng En sighed and said. “Coming from the sandstorm, there was seven to eight men riding strong horses and in black. And they carried a small red flag…”
Nangong Ping was slightly startled and thought. “There riders, could they be the Red Flag Escort Agency, Sima Zhongtian’s men?”
Wei Cheng En was still relating. “From what I could see, these men do not look upright therefore I avoided them.”
Nangong Ping hummed a sound. Although he did not say it aloud but he felt unhappy in his heart. “These men braved the hardship of long journey and served as armed escorts, earning their keep. How could they not be upright!”
“But who would expect that when these people saw us, they got off from their horses and knee before us and shouted. ‘Old Master, us juniors have arrived late!’ Some even lay on the ground to cry aloud. Therefore we feel strange about it and asked them for who funeral they are for? But when they lifted their heads and saw the words on the spiritual tablet, they flew into a rage when they got up and scolded us nonstop. I told them that the one who mistaken the spiritual tablet is you, why did you have to scold others? These men when they heard me, without any reasons at all started to fight with us. We are not their matches and some of us are even beaten up badly and are sent for treatment. And they got on their horses and rode off. Those of us who are still able to stand started arranging the tables and to wait for Master…therefore…It is the mess that you witness now and may Master forgive us.” When he finished, he and all the men in white kneeled on the ground.
Nangong Ping swept his eyes around and saw that although they were not badly injured, they looked awful. He said in a tranquil manner. “Everyone please get up.” In his heart he questioned angrily. “These Red Flag Knights, why are they so barbaric? They had seen the wrong spiritual tablet yet blamed it on others. I should really ask Old Chief Sima.”
But then Nangong Ping had another thought. “The Red Flag Escort Agency has long been established and build up quite a reputation for itself in Pugilist. Moreover, Red Flag Iron Lance Sima Zhongtian is well known for his chivalrous ways. So his followings under his Escort Agency will surely not be that rude. It is well possible that these shop assistants have long been haughty and offended the others with their words. How can I have such a thought to blame others without checking out matters. How can I make friends in Pugilist in future? How can I find a footing in Pugilist?” After thinking, he had a cold sweat.
He had always been righteous. When he encountered problems even before he blamed on others, he would blame himself first. He had never brought into account that he was born in an aristocracy or his connection with a famous Clan. He would try to deal with it personally and in a fair manner. Therefore when he thought that he would almost become an unrighteous person, he grew afraid in his heart.
As he was approaching ever closer to Xian City, he had another thought. “The Red Flag Knights seemed to be in great haste. I wonder which prominent figure had passed away…Alas! It seemed that there will be frequent troubles arising in Pugilist…” Therefore he became heavy in his heart as he felt sorry for the lives that could possible be lost.
Suddenly a few shouts interrupted his thoughts and Nangong Ping saw a few figures standing in front blocking his way.
The one who was leading them was a pale man in a black gown and dark shoes. His pair of eye was like fire and shot toward Nangong Ping, coldly said. “Please halt your advance!”
Nangong Ping swept his eyes as he bowed with his hands and asked. “What may it be?”
The stranger with a sharp expression shot past Nangong Ping’s shoulder and glanced at the banner behind him and said solemnly. “I suppose you are the steward of this funeral?”
Nangong Ping said. “I beg to differ!”
The stranger said. “I have a matter to ask for…” Nangong Ping replied. “Please free to say!”
The stranger asked. “Will you lead the funeral procession to the West Gate?”
Nangong Ping suppressed his moaning and said. “Isn’t the East Gate just in front?”
The stranger said. “That right, the East Gate is in front. But the East Gate currently has many pugilist friends that have gathered to send an old prominent pugilist master off. If you do not take another track, it will create inconvenient.”
“Inconvenient…?” Nangong Ping asked. “If I change my track, then will it not inconvenient myself. The road is meant for all, I afraid I cannot comply with your request.” The stranger looked at him carefully for awhile before solemnly said. “If you do not change your track, it has nothing to do with me. But that group of pugilist friends are very rough…”
He did not wait for Nangong Ping to reply, looked up the sky and said. “If you pause to consider awhile, if it is not some one prominent that had died, how can these pugilist friends gathered here to perform such a grand rite? Since it is for an earthshaking hero, these pugilist friends, how will they let other funeral procession go through and spoilt their rites? If you are but a normal traveler, it can still be understandable but with a funeral procession…hehe, it best that you change your track.”
Nangong Ping looked at him carefully and noticed that other than he is pale, he was not that old either. But his attitude carried an air of intimidation. One look and he knew that he was not an ordinary man. If it were a rite for a prominent hero in front, if he changed his track, it would also be a mark of respect for the old pugilist master.
But before he could voice out his thoughts, the stranger coldly added. “I am afraid that my friends will offend you therefore I have come to warn you…”
The big hulk in black that had been standing besides him added. “Big Brother Ren has such a good intention towards you. Friend, you should know where to stand!”
Nangong Ping appeared to be perplexed and did not glance at the hulk, solemnly said. “In Pugilist, righteousness and benevolent come first. If it is an upright and earthshaking hero, could he so much as to force the weak to give way to the strong? I afraid that even if he had died, he would not have wanted others to do such things right.”
The stranger countenance started to change and once again, he looked carefully at Nangong Ping. Suddenly he said in jest. “That is right. You are young, handsome and frank.”
Nangong Ping asked. “Then please give way…”
The stranger waved his hand and said. “Although you are frank but the funeral procession still have to change its course…” He smiled and said. “When two person crossed the bridge, the young should let the old cross first, when two enter a one feet door, the junior should let the senior. The person that we are holding rite for, whether it is fame or standing, I afraid are several notches higher than the person in your funeral procession. Therefore, if you change your track, what does it matter?”
Till now, his attitude had been cold and haughty. But his voice was tranquil.
Nangong Ping solemnly said, as he stood upright. “That is right. You are right on the spot!” The stranger laughed but suddenly he thought that he might use the same words on him, so his laugh immediately ceased!
Nangong Ping pretended not to see and solemnly said. “The old man that lies in this funeral procession, whether in terms of fame and standing, may not be compared to others. But in terms of righteous and benevolent, it is earthshaking and even Gods and Demons know. I afraid it is not less than the one you are paying respect to…”
The stranger coldly said. “Really?”
Nangong Ping added. “Moreover, if you compare it with the fame and standing of the Pugilist, not only our funeral procession, no one will even side track.”
The stranger looked icily at Nangong Ping for awhile before he smiled and added. “Since you are not willing to listen to my good advice, I wash my hands off this matter!” As he turned and walked off.
Nangong Ping did not expect him to just walk away so suddenly. So he was stunned and that big hulk shouted. “Since Big Brother Ren do not want to meddle into this matter anymore, let me ‘Pillar of Heaven’ Xue Bao Yi take care of it instead. Friend, are you willing or not to change your track!”
Even before he had finished, he started to extend his hands to push Nangong Ping on his shoulder.
Nangong Ping expressions undergo a change as he avoided this attack effortlessly. He said. “I have no conflicts with you and I do not want to hurt you. Please make way.” He really did not want to hurt anyone and it came from the bottom of his heart.
This big hulk Xue Bao Yi laughed hilariously at him and said aloud. “Little friend, Uncle Xue can’t bear to hurt you too so it best if you change your track!
Nangong Ping paled and asked. “What did you say?”
Xue Bao Yi laughed strangely and said. “This!” As he sent another palm attack at Nangong Ping. “I see that you also know some martial arts therefore your Uncle Yi is willing to accompany you to play around.” But even before he had finished, his speech lost its jeering for the way Nangong Ping avoided his attack was simply unbelievable.
‘Pillar of Heaven’ gathered back his force and said aloud. “Excellent display!”
The other men that were blocking the road, now attacked at the same time as Xue Bao Yi.
Nangong Ping remained as steady as the mountain as he knocked Xue Bao Yi and two other men on the ground.
Xue Bao Yi was stunned for he did not know how he fell as he witnessed more men fell by Nangong Ping.
Nangong Ping by now realized that the Big Brother Ren when he said. “Wash his hands mean asking them to attack him. Now he was curious about the background and identity of this Big Brother Ren.
Nangong Ping swept his eyes and saw that ‘Big Brother Ren’ had brought two elderly men in black to the scene and although he looked very calm but his eyes betrayed his surprise. He leapt to him and said in a low voice. “The strong bully the weak, employing wolf pack tactics. Is there no more justice in the Pugilistic Fraternity?”
The ‘Big Brother Ren’ remained composed. Although he was younger than the two elder men but he carried much more air. If he did not speak, the other two elder men would not speak or ask. Just then more than ten men plunge toward Nangong Ping’s back but that Ren surname man waved and they ceased their attacks and none of them moved.
Under the sandstorm, Nangong Ping could see that both the elder men were thin and pale but possessed sharp eyes. It seemed that they were prominent heroes in Pugilist who had not yet retired.
The man with the surname Ren smiled. “Your martial skills are not weak and you are actually one of us.”
He said in jest. “Since you are also from Pugilistic Fraternity, things will be easier to settle.” As he pointed to the slightly taller elder man and added. “This is one of the Man Shan Two Brothers, 'Iron Palm Golden Sword Solitary Swordsman' Chang Sun Chan, Master Chang Sun Da.”
He pointed to the right hand man and continued. “This is naturally 'Startled Soul Twin Sword Wind Chaser Swordsman', Chang Sun Kong, Master Chang Sun Er.”
Nangong Ping clenched both hands in respect and said. “I long heard of your name…” But he thought that it was really very strange that those two recluse swordsmen would be here. And why did he mention their name?
The Ren man smiled and said. “Although I am but a nobody but the one that can cause these two to come from a thousand mile away to attend the funeral rite, how many people in Pugilist are capable of it? Can’t you guess?”
Nangong Ping appeared to be in deep thoughts as he pondered. “Who is he?
That can cause the Man Shan Two brothers to come?” Therefore he could only laugh half-heartedly and said. “I am poor in knowledge and cannot guess the identity. But please enlightenment me!”
The Ren fellow suddenly became very solemn and sighed deeply. “This man who died, is a great loss in Pugilist, a loss that equaled a city. This man is famous throughout the nine provinces, whose skills are unrivalled in the world, with the sword Fallen Autumn Leaf dominate Pugilist for tens of years, the Immortal Divine Dragon Old Master Long…Alas! Since you are also part of the Pugilistic Fraternity, for the sake of this Old Master Long heroic spirit and change your course, is appropriate!” He suddenly noticed that Nangong Ping looked very stunned and did not say anything. Therefore he felt very strange and asked. “Do you know this Old Master Long…”
Nangong Ping suddenly dashed past them lightning fast.
‘Man Shan Two Brothers’ turned pale as they turned toward Nangong Ping. But that Ren man waved his hand and laughed. “Don’t bother to go after him. This young man must be somehow related to the Immortal Divine Dragon. He has no ill-intention and is only attending a funeral rite.”
He looked at the shadowy figure of Nangong Ping from a distant and softly sighed. “This young man is a dragon among men. You must take care to observe him. Hopefully he can be our friend or else…” He did not say more as his eyes turned sharp and cold.
There was a tall and imposing old man who stood in the middle of a crowd. He looked very solemn and his eyes were sorrow. And he did not notice Nangong Ping as he approached. He seemed to be in silence for quite a while before he said aloud. “The Immortal Divine Dragon had been a hero and we should not behave like sassy girls and caused his heroic spirit to be unhappy. Brothers, let hurray aloud for the Immortal Divine Dragon!” And an earthshaking shout echoed all around.
Nangong Ping felt confused within. He did not know whether to feel sorrow or happy. He sighed deeply as he stepped forward to the large table in front.
The tall and imposing man was startled and yelled. “Where did this animal come from and dare to come to disturb the spiritual tablet. Take him down!” His voice was solemn and imposing much alike to the Immortal Divine Dragon. After he had shouted, more than ten men from all sides rushed to Nangong Ping.
Nangong Ping shouted aloud. “Wait!” His voice was startling and caused the men from all sides to halt.
The imposing old man shouted angrily. “Waiting for what, hurry…”
Nangong Ping swept his eyes across and saw that thousands of angry eyes were now eyeing him. He felt startled within and did not how to untangle from this situation.
But men were rushing upon him from all sides now and interrupting his thoughts. All these men were no doubt all highly skilled and Nangong Ping was forced to dodge from all their fierce attacks. The imposing man angrily said aloud. “I want him alive so that I can question him…” Before he could finish, two other big hulk were by his side and said something in a low voice and his rage seemed to disperse. Looking at Nangong Ping, he saw that although he could not retaliated but no one managed to touch him yet. But more and more pugilists by now had rushed forth to capture this rude young man.
Nangong Ping was perplexed as he tried to dodge and shout at the same time. “Everyone wait…” But how could he explain in such a circumstance?
But unexpectedly, the imposing old man shouted. “Everyone hold it!”
This shout was very loud and startling. And everyone immediately ceased but the thousands of angry looks remained.
Nangong Ping sighed, as he felt touched for the achievements of his Mentor Master in Pugilist. He turned around and respectfully bowed to the imposing old man.
The imposing old man asked suddenly. “Are you the fifth disciple from the Divine Dragon Clan, Nangong Ping?” His words were very clear as it echoed to everyone who was startled by this revelation.
“This young man is really from the Divine Dragon Clan?” And the pugilists whispered among themselves. One must know that Nangong Ping after he became the protégé of the Divine Dragon Clan, had not roamed the Pugilist realm yet.
Therefore the people of the Pugilist fraternity did not know him. Although everyone knew that he was the heir of the Nangong Aristocracy Family but none knew that he was also the disciple of Immortal Divine Dragon.
Nangong Ping thought it was strange that this old man would suddenly recognized him and he said still bowing. “Junior is indeed Nangong Ping!”
The imposing old man appeared to be perplexed and said sternly. “Since you are from Divine Dragon Clan, don’t you know that I am conducting a rite for your Teacher? Why are you behaving outrageously here? Change to a filial funeral dress and apologize to the heroic spirit of your benevolent teacher in Heaven.”
Nangong Ping expression was stone heavy and bowed again but said in a clear voice. “The kind treatment that is shown by all the seniors, is greatly appreciated by junior but…” His eyes swept around and he said firmly. “Benevolent teacher actually did not pass away…”
Suddenly there were a commotion all around and the imposing old man clapped on the table and he said. “Divine…Dragon…didn’t…die…?” He suddenly turned over and shouted. “Li Sheng, Wang Ben Guang, come over here!”
Nangong Ping lifted his sight and saw that behind the imposing old man walked out two other men in black robe. They were the coffin carriers of Zhijiao Manor! It seemed that after Nangong Ping was chasing the priest, Long Fei, Shi Chen, Guo Yuxia and Gu Yihong went up the peak in an attempt to find their benevolent teacher. Those two hulks had waited quite a while before they decided to descent the mountain.
The two of them took the main road down but before they could reach the foot of the mountain, they saw many people from the Pugilist Fraternity. They knew that the Immortal Divine Dragon had a ten-year sword duel, therefore they came from thousands of miles to await news of the duel between Divine Dragon and Phoenix. Because they knew the temper of the Immortal Divine Dragon, therefore none of them dare to ascend the mountain.
Therefore the news that the two coffin carrier hulks brought to them came as a tremendous surprise to them! “Phoenix had died.” “Immortal Divine Dragon had been tricked by the ruse of the followers from Phoenix Clan.” And he even left behind a Will. And now, members of the Divine Dragon Clan had been scattered!
This unconfirmed yet exaggerated news spread like wildfire and became the hot topic among the pugilists. In less than two hours, this news spread throughout the entire fraternity by fast horses!
The hero of Xian, who was well known in pugilist as the Northwest Divine Dragon, 'Flying Rings' Wei Qi, Master Wei Qi although he was nicked by fellow Pugilists as a Fake Dragon but he did not place it to heart. And felt even proud to be associated with the Immortal Divine Dragon. When he heard this most unfortunate news, he immediately summoned the heroes of Pugilist and to organize this grand rite in the ancient city.
Those who had heard of the news and from the Pugilist fraternity all rushed here to attend the rite.
And adding honor to this grand rite, was from outside the Yumen Pass, a mystical person known as 'Fragrance of a Thousand Miles' Ren Feng Ping, who came hurriedly together with two Kongtong swordsmen, the Manshan Two Brothers!
At this moment ‘Fake Dragon’ Wei Qi flew into a rage as he summoned the two coffin carrier hulks – Li Sheng and Wang Ben Guang.
Nangong Ping thought to himself. “No wonder he knew of the news of the passing of my Mentor Master. No wonder he suddenly knew of my name…”
‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi said aloud. “Is the news of the death of Immortal Divine Dragon muttered by the two of you?”
Li Sheng and Wang Ben Guang nodded at the same time!
“But why did your Fifth Master say that the Divine Dragon had not died?”
Li Sheng and Wang Ben Guang looked at one another. None of them dared to speak. Wei Qi questioned. “Did you really see the Divine Dragon dies?”
Li Sheng, Wang Ben Guang lowered their head even lower. Only to hear Li Sheng muttered. “Your humble servant…your humble servant did…not…”
Wei Qi angrily said. “What audacious servants, you did not witness it yourself and talked rubbish making a fool out of me!”
In his rage, he left palm slammed the table and sent the offerings to fly in all directions!
Li Sheng and Wang Ben Guang became as white as sheet. .
Nangong Ping said in a clear voice. “Old Senior please restraint. This is not really their fault…”
Wei Qi angrily said. “Don’t blame them, then it is my fault? If the Immortal Divine Dragon really come, won’t he think that I, Fake Dragon is cursing him to die the sooner the better!”
Nangong Ping secretly sighed. “So this man is the ‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi…” And look carefully at him and noticed that he had some characteristics that resembled his Mentor Master. But he lacked the splendid aura of his Mentor Master.
He recovered from his thoughts. He was still very respectful towards this old man. Although he could be compared to his Mentor Master but at least he was an old hero in Pugilist. So he said. “It is really hard to explain in short notice. In Junior’s heart, I did not think that Old Senior did not handle it wrongly. In fact, I think that Old Senior is worthy of much praise.” He looked around at all the people presented and said. “I believe that the heroes and friends, Seniors of the Pugilist in their hearts feel the same as Junior!”
‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi looked at Nangong Ping and then looked at the two coffin carrier hulks and waved his hands. “Go, go, go…”
The two men bowed and walked away in shame.
Suddenly there was laughter coming from the back and the same person said. “So I see that you are from the Divine Dragon Clan. It seem that my first trip into Yumen, I will have the chance to meet such a young hero. It really such a joyous thing. Although the news of the death of Immortal Divine Dragon is falsely circulated but his heroism is an eye opener for me, therefore it is an even more joyous thing…”
Nangong Ping turned to look and he was suddenly startled. For he once again saw the Ren man but the people besides him were not the Manshan Two brothers but were a man and a woman. The man was tall, regal and his expression quiet. The woman was captivating and beautiful with beautiful eyes. She was actually his Sister in law Guo Yuxia and his third protégé brother – Shi Chen! He opened a fan and laughed merrily. “What makes me, Ren Fengping most happy, is that I accidentally meet two other disciples from Divine Dragon Clan.
Who is these two? Haha, I am sure everyone knows them too!”
There was another wave of commotion as Guo Yuxia and Shi Chen made their debut.
One person was heard saying. “People say that the wife of Iron Hero is very beautiful. Now that we know it is true…” As all eyes turned to look at Guo Yuxia. ‘Flying Rings’ Wei Qi laughed and said. “Good, good. It amazing that Hero
Ren brought along two disciples of the Divine Dragon.” And he extended his hands to pay his respect. “The two must be the Zhijiao Twin Swords that is so famous in recent Pugilist history!”
Shi Chen countenance had a slight change as he lowered his head. Guo Yuxia softly laughed and said. “Junior…I...”
Nangong Ping stepped forward and introduced. “This is Junior’s Sister in law. And this is Junior’s third protégé brother and is also one of the Zhijiao Twin Sword, who is also nicked the ‘Quiet Swordsman’ Shi Chen!”
‘Fake Dragon’ Wei Qi looked at the two of them a few times and said. “Sister in law…” He laughed aloud and said. “This is the wife of the ‘Iron Hero’? Excellent, oh how excellent! Although I stay far away in the Northwest but I do have heard people in Pugilist praising ‘Iron Hero’ as Lu Bu* and the girl as Dian Chan*…” Even before he had finished, people around started to break into laughter.
*Characters from the Three Kingdom Period.
Nangong Ping unwittingly secretly laughed and thought. “This old man although he is wise with age but his language is so crude.”
Ren Fengping smiled and said in a clear voice. “In Pugilist, although there is many nicks that are unlike the person but the nicks of the Divine Dragon’s disciples are all so true. Take this Hero Shi who is nicked the Quiet Swordsman.
He is really as quiet as stone…” Although he was praising Shi Chen, he was in fact looking at Nangong Ping.
“This young and handsome man is also from Divine Dragon clan and his name must be prominent as well. May I be introduced to him?”
When Nangong Ping saw Shi Chen and Guo Yuxia but did not saw Long Fei, in his heart, he had many questions to ask. But because this Ren Fengping looked refined and had an extraordinary air, he thought that he must be someone very important and unwittingly a touch of appreciation overtook him. So he smiled and said. “I am Nangong Ping, just become protégé of the Clan not too long ago. How can I possible be compared to my Sister in law and Third brother…”
Guo Yuxia softly laughed and said. “Although my this Fifth Brother just joined the Clan, he is better than all of us!”
Wei Qi laughed and said. “The disciples of the Divine Dragon are all outstanding. You are all too humbled. Let me ask you. Since the ‘Divine Dragon’ is not dead, where is he now?”
Guo Yuxia melancholy sighed. “Although Mentor Master is well possible be alive but as for where he is now, we as juniors, do not know!”
Wei Qi widened his eyes, surprised at the reply.
Guo Yuxia added. “Yesterday night, we been combing the mountain for Mentor Master and at the same time anxious for Fifth Brother’s whereabouts!”
Wei Qi looked puzzled and asked. “He is not with you?” Guo Yuxia melancholy sighed. “No.”
Wei Qi looked at Nangong Ping and questioned him looking startled. “Your Mentor Master whereabouts is unknown, his fate undetermined, you do not make an effort to search and yet busied yourself with the funeral of others…Haiz, haiz! What sort of disciple are you?”
Nangong Ping was stunned and wanted to explain but how could he explain what happened in that single day which was not only complex and involved the reputation of his Mentor Master.
Guo Yuxia softly sighed. “Fifth Brother is still young and…” She sadly sighed but did not elaborate.
Wei Qi hummed in disapproval and did not look at Nangong Ping, asked. “That ‘Iron Hero’ Long Fei, I have long heard of his fame. Why is he not here?”
This was also the same question that was haunting Nangong Ping. Although the attitude of Wei Qi changed towards him but he did not mind and thought. “I am about to ask for Big Brother whereabouts. It good that he has asked.”
At this time, the unusual guest that came from beyond Yumen Pass, ‘Fragrance from a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping who was watching coldly by the side, thought that it was strange. “Is there some conflicts between the disciples of the Divine Dragon Clan?” And a smile floated across his face.
But Guo Yuxia only rolled her eyes to express her reply. Wei Qi pondered in frustrated and said. “Then where is Long Fei? Is his whereabouts a secret? Where did he go?”
Guo Yuxia sighed and said. “My Big Brother…Alas! My Big Brother he accompanied my Fourth Sister to stay at the back but I wonder why they are not here yet!” She sighed again and lowered her head. Her voice although was normal but her speech was marred by many tell tale signs that all were not well and hiding many other reasons.
Nangong Ping grew perplexed and he became suspicious. But ‘Fake Dragon’ Wei Qi asked. “Why did he not accompany you but instead accompanying another girl?”
Guo Yuxia melancholy sighed. “Jun…Junior do not know!”
Suddenly among the wind and the sand, a white carriage appeared. Although
the carriage was small, it was pulled by a young horse and seemingly pulled by no one. On closer look, extended inside it, a beautiful hand was holding a rope.
Although the carriage curtains were pure white but this hand was as white as the luster of a jade.
Nangong Ping who was looking at a distant countenance slightly changed and Guo Yuxia noticed it and laughing asked. “Whose daughter may this carriage seated? Fifth Brother do you know?”
Before she finished, the curtains of the carriage were slightly drawn and an extremely beautiful woman with watery eyes and long hair that seemingly flowing like the cloud was seen carelessly slanting by the side. Her watery eyes rolled and looked around and then fixed upon Nangong Ping and said. “Hello, have you finished talking yet?”
The people from the Pugilistic Fraternity, who had been secretly admiring Guo Yuxia, were all stunned into silence as thousands of eyes turned their attention upon this extremely beautiful woman. Earlier when they saw Guo Yuxia, they all thought that she was a peerless beauty but this woman were even more beautiful than her by several notches. Guo Yuxia beauty can be described with words but this woman beauty was out of this world and more like a heavenly fairy that had descended upon the mortal realm.
Now that Mei Yinxue had arrived, although Nangong Ping appeared calm but he did not know what to say
Guo Yuxia said, “I was thinking where Fifth Brother go to, now I see…” She softly laughed and added. “This girl is so beautiful. Fifth Brother, you are so capable. In the pace of a day, you manage to be acquaintance with such a beautiful beauty and she seems to be very friendly with you!”
‘Fake Dragon ‘ Wei Qi hummed and solemnly said, “Noble Hero Ren, Brother Shi, I staying in Xian City. Please come and attend a feast later!” As he turned to leave without looking at Nangong Ping and extended his hands together to everyone presented. “Thanks for making this difficult journey and follow me to the city to enjoy a feast for some ordinary wine.” He walked away in strides.
There was some initial confusion among the pugilists as they scattered.
Nangong Ping had a stumbling block in his mind. He was haughty in his heart, how could he stand this humiliation, this cold treatment? And he could not even explain it to anyone.
Guo Yuxia as she returned the courtesy to Wei Qi, her face could not help but felt proud. Only when Wei Qi had walked far did she turned over and walked to the carriage and said in jest. “This maiden, what is your surname. What brings you here to look for our Fifth Brother?”
Mei Yinxue did not even move and remained slanting by the side of the carriage. Her watery eyes looked at her casually while her beautiful hand holding a rope as though she did not heard.
Nangong Ping secretly sighed and walked over. “This is my Sister in law.
This is Maiden Mei, is…is…” How could he reveal the background of Mei Yinxue?
“Maiden Mei,” Guo Yuxia smiled. “Our Fifth Brother who is able to know you. I as his Sister in law feel very happy as well.”
Mei Yinxue coldly laughed awhile and looked at her. “Now that the old man has left, you should be very happy right?”
Guo Yuxia was stunned and her countenance changed.
Nangong Ping who was benevolent naturally was still filled with great respect for his Sister in law. But he knew Mei Yinxue eccentric temper therefore he stood on the tight spot, not knowing what to do. So he anyhow said anything, laughed and said. “Sister in law, where exactly did Big Brother go?”
Guo Yuxia stared at Mei Yinxue and then suddenly turned around. “You should go and ask your Fourth Sister!”
Nangong Ping was startled and thought. “What sort of a reply is it?” He saw that Shi Chen was standing at a side, indifferent to anything while Ren Fengping was smiling. Although most of the pugilists had departed but there was still many that remained. And they were now looking at them.
He lowered his eyes but suddenly there were two flashes of lightning as two shadows dashed past and stop in front of the carriage. They were the two Kongtong Swordsmen ‘Manshan Two Brothers’! But now their eyes were like blades and swords looking intensely at Mei Yinxue. After awhile, Chang Sun Kong slowly said. “Ten years of parting and now this familiar face is seen again.” His stares were filled with malicious.
Chang Sun Kong solemnly asked, “Maiden, is your surname Mei?” Nangong Ping was startled and thought, “Did they recognize her?” Mei Yinxue remained as compose as before and nodded her head.
Chang Kong Sun paled immediately and his hands were shaking as he said, “Mei Yinxue, you…you…” As he drawn out a soft sword from his waist as he shouted. “You come down!”
Chang Sun Dan too undergo a terrifying change.
Guo Yuxia was startled and turned to look at Nangong Ping. “She is really the Cold Blood Concubine?”
Nangong Ping was frightened in his heart and looked at Mei Yinxue who was still as composed as ever as she laughed. “Who is Mei Yinxue, Mei Yinxue is who?”
Chang Sun brothers looked at one another in bewilderment. Chang Sun Kong’s sword slowly lowered. Ten years ago, the Cold Blood Concubine Mei Yinxue played a fool out of the two brothers and they hated her even now. But their memories of her features had been clouded with the passing of a decade. Now that she had asked, the two of them were unable to come out with an answer.
‘Fragrance from a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping smiled and said, “The Peacock Concubine has found fame long ago. This maiden is not more than twenty. Chang Sun brothers, it is most likely that you have made a mistake!”
Chang Sun Kong looked perplexed and added. “Although I knew that Mei Yinxue had been killed by Divine Dragon but…this person she is surnamed Mei as well and they looked so alike…”
Chang Sun Dan looked at Mei Yinxue and asked, “Are you the kin of Mei Yinxue and what is your relationship with Mei Yinxue?”
Mei Yinxue smiled and asked, “Those with the surname Mei, are they all related with her?”
‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping laughed and walked over in strides as he separated the two brothers. “In this world, there is many people with the same surname and those that look alike are not few either. Chang Sun brothers, you have been mistaken. It is best that you apologized to this Maiden Mei.”
Although he had said like this but he secretly pulled the Chang Sun brothers aside because he knew that the Chang Sun brothers who had found fame long ago would never apologize to a nameless girl.
Mei Yinxue laughed forth awhile before coldly added. “These two great heroes, great swordsmen, how would they apologize to a nameless person like me. You really should secretly pull them away.”
Ren Fengping was stunned. Although he was very composed in all matters now his countenance had a slight change as he tried to forcefully laugh it off.
Mei Yinxue waved her hands at the pure white curtain as it fell.
Guo Yuxia eyed the heavy curtain strangely as she thought. “What an attentive and alert girl, what a sharp tongue!”
She was proud of her beauty and proud of her intelligence and words. But when she saw this extremely beautiful girl who was so cold in demeanor, she felt she lost something. Her thoughts recovered and she lifted her head and said. “Fifth Brother, after this matter is over. Are you going to go back to Zhijiao Manor?”
Nangong Ping replied, “After I have finished the funeral, naturally I…” But then he suddenly remembered that at the end of March, he had to meet that Maiden Ye Manqing at the foot of Huashan to fulfill three unfinished wishes of his Mentor Master. And he also remembered that he had to protect Mei Yinxue who was in the carriage and never to leave her a single step, he became speechless.
Guo Yuxia added. “Since Big Brother is not here, you should travel with me. If not if I am seen with Third Brother alone by the pugilists, there are bound to be gossips.” She melancholy sighed and said. “Third Brother, what do you think?”
Shi Chen lifted his head and said plainly, “Yes.” And he lowered his head
When Nangong Ping saw his expression, he thought that it was because
everyone was still in a state of confusion over what happened to his Mentor Master.
He said, “But after March I have to…”
Suddenly there was an icy cold voice coming from the carriage. “Hello. Will you hurry and finish the old man funeral. I want to go Jiangnan.”
Guo Yuxia coldly replied, “If you want to go Jiangnan, please go yourself…”
Nangong Ping slowly said, “I afraid…I afraid that I have to go Jiangnan
Guo Yuxia expression changed and asked solemnly. “What did you say?
Don’t tell me that when Big Brother is not here, I am no longer your Sister in law?”
She was already jealous and afraid of Mei Yinxue looks and talents.
Therefore she did not want such a girl to be by the side of Nangong Ping. Because that will disrupt her plans in the future and even discovered her secret. Therefore she tried to make Nangong Ping stay by her side.
Nangong Ping by now was very confused in his thoughts and was in a very tight spot. “Naturally I have to listen to Sister in law but…”
Suddenly a man in black approached and asked, “Master, do we continue the funeral procession to the cemetery?”
Nangong Ping said, “Naturally to the cemetery.” As he took the opportunity to slip away. “After I take care of the funeral, I will come back to discuss with Sister in law.” He extended his hands and said to Ren Fengping. “Hero Ren, I make a move first.” As he hurriedly walked off with the man in black.
Ren Fengping fanned his fan and smiled and said in a clear voice. “Finish your task, I will pay you a visit some other time. “ As he and the two Manshan Two Brothers moved to the direction of Xian City.
The rope leading inside the curtain of the carriage was lifted gently as the horse carriage make a turn before it moved off.
Guo Yuxia looked perplexed and purposely said melancholy. “When I was a maiden, I have never heard of any unmarried girls that followed a man. It seem that in such a short period of time, the world have become so decadent.”
But a merry laugh was heard inside the carriage. “After one have become another's wife, a good conduct has to be observed. When one is a maiden, nothing matters.”
Guo Yuxia angrily said. “What did you say?” But the carriage had gone far and only left behind a pack of dust that lingered on her face.
Shi Chen sighed and said, “Sister in law, I…we should search for Big Brother!”
Guo Yuxia appeared to be startled for awhile before she turned and coldly said. “Are you still thinking of your Fourth Sister?”
Shi Chen said, “I…” But he got nothing to say therefore he sighed.
Guo Yuxia said, “Listen to me and be a good child. Only then will Little Protégé Sister like you.” Her eyes rolled and she paused to considered. “First we will go to the house of that Master Wei Qi. I don’t believe that Fifth Brother will not go to Xian City.” She looked at the scattering crowd she secretly held Shi Chen by his wrist and softly said. “Good child, follow me there.”
Shi Chen replied, “I…I…” Nevertheless he still follow her there.