The Flower Guarding Bell - Chapter 8
Chapter Eight - Is a Hero worth anything at all?
“But…” She sobs and said. “Don’t you know that what you going to do have a heavy price…From now on, you have become the traitor to the Pugilistic Fraternity. No one will forgive you…just like…no one will forgive me. You are still young…And you still have a very bright future…You should be respected by others…admired by people…In this vast Pugilist, there is no other person that have a future as bright as you…handsome, young, wealthy…born from a aristocracy family, comes from a respectable Orthodox Clan…Why did you want to throw everything away, just…so…because…of…me…”
Even in her sorrowful speech, her voice could not have been much clearer.
Nangong Ping lifted his head to the skies and he solemnly said. “You don’t have to say it anymore. As long as I can face my conscious, I will not care for the insults of others. For the sake of the justice of the Pugilistic Fraternity, I can even sacrifice my future. What does everything matter.”
When he thought of this, in his innermost heart there was a chill. Because the extreme loneliness was something that not even a hero could endure. But his voice remained as steady and his weak body became a body of will that could stand firmly even if it was a hundred blows coming. Even if he would die, he would not regret it.
Now he was beginning to understand this ‘Cold Blood’ maiden. He strongly believed that beneath her icy cold surface hid a warm heart that was like a fire – But this was not easy to be found out for because of the ignorant of others, she had long ago hidden this warm heart.
He unwittingly reached out his hands to softly comb her long flowing hair. “Loneliness can be easily put aside, but wrongs are very hard to endure…”
Mei Yinxue softly said. “All these, I have long endured. These heart breaking pain, you…still young. You will not understand how much willpower you will need to hold yourself together.”
Her voice had by now started to be composed but her words leaked out more of her heartbreaks.
Nangong Ping sighed and said. “The span of a human life will be over in a fickle of a finger. I only want to live a life of knowing what is good and evil, no sense of guilt just like Mentor Master and that is enough.”
Mei Yinxue lifted her head and at the same time, four eyes strangely gentle merged together. At that instant of time, they forgot all the happy and unhappy feelings, beyond the pains of life, death and sickness. They even forgot their status, place and age!
Therefore, they enjoyed a moment of golden silence.
At the same time, far away, slowly stood up a man in black. He looked idiocy at this man and woman almost to the point of complete stoniness. His eyes were admiring yet at the same time felt pity, yet there was a small trace of envy.
Therefore he could not resist sighing.
Nangong Ping and Mei Yinxue was suddenly startled and got up and said at the same time. “Who?”
And they saw a shadowy figure from far away running over to them. In an instant, he was here.
Nangong Ping exclaimed. “It is you.”
Mei Yinxue tears had dried and her face regained her composure. She coldly said. “How would Tianshan disciple be this sneaky?” In her all life, she liked to act strong and most afraid of her tears being seen by others. Therefore she at this moment was most afraid that this Tianshan disciple who had suddenly appeared had secretly heard her and saw her composure.
Di Yang, who had been sighing earlier, was now covered with a laughing and smiling face. “The words of the Cold Blood Concubine are indeed very chilling to the bones…” He ceased his laughter and said in a serious tone. “But when I arrived here, I have no intention to sneak.”
Mei Yinxue coldly hummed and turned her head back.
Di Yang felt a heart wrenching pain in his heart but still he laughed merrily. “Mei Yinxue, do you know why I am here for?”
Nangong Ping paled and asked. “Are you here too for…”
Di Yang laughed. “Wrong, wrong. Even if you don’t say it out, I know you are wrong.” He ceased his laugh and said solemnly. “Although you and I only meet once but I strongly believe that what you been doing, will definitely not be a disgrace to the righteousness of the Pugilistic Fraternity. So how will I come to with ill intention!”
Nangong Ping was silence for awhile and could not help sighing. He slowly said. “I did not expect that in this whole wide world, there is another person that understands my difficulties…” His words were filled with gratefulness. And this telling sign of a friendship caused the breeze to be filled with a warm feeling.
Mei Yinxue turned her head, softly laughed awhile and said. “Then…I must have really wronged you!”
Her frosty face had suddenly changed to a smiling face. It was really like a barren desert that suddenly bosomed forth a flower. From now on, if anyone were the bosom friend of Nangong Ping, so would he be her bosom friend. Even though she might loathe a person but if that person could praise Nangong Ping, she would also turned her loathing to a smile.
Di Yang really did not dare to look at this smile that was like a flower. He lowered his head and suddenly laughed merrily. “Do you know that I have come to report my contribution?”
Nangong Ping was slightly startled. Only to hear Di Yang laughed and said. “Do you know what cause that big fire to start?”
Nangong Ping was filled with appreciation in his heart. If it were not for that big fire, now he would not know where would he be.
This appreciation that was so delightful that it caused Nangong Ping to bow to Di Yang. Although he was filled with gratefulness but he did not know what to say.
Di Yang smiled. He knew that this soundless appreciation was even more esteemed than speech. It was so heavy that he did not know how to do with it so he could only try to laugh it off to calm his heart that was very touched by his gesture.
“When I descended from Huashan,” he laughed. “I too, have reached Xian. But I arrived late and Xian City was already in a state of pandemonium. I tried to squeeze in and asked what happened. When I secretly took a peek above, I saw the Chief of Zhongnan Sect and you in a painstaking duel. I analyzed the situation and knew that it cannot be resolved. And it was also impossible to lend you a helping hand. Therefore…haha, therefore I could only sneak around and set the fire.”
Nangong Ping looked at Mei Yinxue from the sides of his eyes. Mei Yinxue said. “Just now I have already said, I have wronged him.”
Di Yang laughed. “Don’t worry, don’t worry. This ‘sneak’ word, I unintentionally used it.” He merrily laughed and said. “That ‘Eternal Restaurant ’ although it was built grandly but who would expect that, it would not hold the fury of the fire. I only set three, four torches and the fire spread like wildfire. When I saw the two of you escaping out from Xian City, I would not resist the temptation to follow. After searching for quite a few, I finally found the both of you. Actually I just want to meet you and there is no other reason.”
Mei Yinxue softly sighed. “You are not here to simply talk to him. You are afraid he would be badly injured and I am unable to take care of him…Haiz. I didn’t expect you to be such a good friend. But a pity…a friend such as you, is very rare in this world.”
Although Di Yang felt very touched in his heart but his mouth laughed merrily. “Maiden Mei, although you can be uncanny accurate but you think of me as too kind.”
Although Nangong Ping too was feeling touched but his mouth said. “I was slightly hurt but now I am alright now.” These two young men although they had a warm heart but they were also haughty. Although they felt very touched but was unwilling to display it on your face. Although they were filled with a warm feeling, they acted like they were nonchalance.
Mei Yinxue smiled and smiled. “Is my guess wrong?”
Before she could finish, there were a eerie laughter coming from afar. And a man coldly said. “Naturally you have guessed wrongly. Those that secretly set fire, would he be a hero and a real man? How could he be a good man!”
Nangong Ping, Mei Yinxue and Di Yang were startled at the same time and turned their body!
In the darkness was a man with a snowy white fan. He was like a phantom that slowly made his way to them.
Di Yang straightened his body and immediately plunged forward like an eagle and attacked with his powerful hands.
The man in black laughed and commented. “What an extraordinary fast swiftness movement skill!” And he avoided Di Yang’s attack and reached the front of Nangong Ping.
Nangong Ping greeted him. “It is Hero Ren!”
Di Yang lowered his hands. He knew now that it was a friend and not a enemy.
‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping laughed. “Who will expect that the person that set the fire is from the Tianshan Clan!”
Nangong Ping did not expect that this person would be here so he introduced him to Di Yang.
Ren Fengping laughed aloud. “Young hero Di, the one that constructed the Eternal Restaurant did not use inferior materials. It just that I have added some combustible materials that the fire spread like wild fire!”
Di Yang laughed and said. “People said that ‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ is an extraordinary hero from beyond the Pass. Now that I have seen it, it is indeed true.”
Ren Fengping said. “I am concerned about the whereabouts of Nangong Ping and this man who set the fire. Therefore I have followed!”
He took a glance at Nangong Ping, Mei Yinxue and Di Yang for awhile before he said solemnly. “After today, Mei Yinxue and Brother Nangong will find it difficult to move around in the Pugilist. I wonder what are your plans for the future?” His speech seemed honest but in his eyes he seemed to disguise something.
Nangong Ping sighed. “After today’s matter, I know that I will not be forgiven by the people in the Pugilist. But as long as I am without guilt, it doesn’t matter anything to me. Most probably I will visit Zhijiao Manor once. If I got the time, I will go to my hometown to pay my parents…”
Ren Fengping said. “Other places you can go but these two places you cannot go.”
There was a slight change in the expression of Nangong Ping as Ren Fengping explained. “Do not blame me for being straightforward. When Maiden Mei roamed the Pugilist doing whatever she cared to do in the past, she really made a lot of enemies. I believe that after what happened in Xian today, in a matter of days, the whole of the Pugilistic Fraternity will come to know that Maiden Mei is alive and her enemies will come knocking. If they cannot find the two of you, they will most likely to come knocking into those two places. Although the both of you are highly skilled, but you cannot win the masses…Haiz! Moreover Brother Nangong fellow clan brothers and sisters…” He solemnly sighed and then stopped.
Nangong Ping seemed to ponder while Mei Yinxue coldly laughed and asked. “Therefore, in Hero Ren opinion, what should we do?”
Ren Fengping paused for awhile to consider as he knew that in front of this clever maiden, he must not say the wrong words.
“I am stupid therefore I can only provide some ideas.” He smiled and solemnly said. “Maiden Mei made many enemies during her time in Pugilist. Although they are the same enemies but times have changed now.”
Mei Yinxue looked puzzled and asked. “How do you explain it?”
Ren Fengping explained. “At that time, these people are scattered all over. Among themselves, they do not know who is the also the enemy of Maiden Mei. Moreover owing to the circumstances at that time, no one will be willing to say it loud. But after ten years, the times are different. If those people know that Maiden Mei is still alive, they will be sure to group together to seek vengeance.”
There was suddenly a very mysterious smile on her smiling face as she slowly added. “Are they all coming just so for vengeance? I afraid…” Suddenly she looked at Nangong Ping and immediately stopped.
Ren Fengping said. “No matter what. In my humble opinion, just the two of you will surely face many dangers…”
Nangong Ping interrupted. “You mean to say that we should seek shelter in…another Clan?” His voice was solemn and unhappy.
Ren Fengping smiled awhile. “With the status of two of you. I won’t say the word ‘Shelter’ even if I have the guts to say so.”
Mei Yinxue coldly said. “Hero Ren. If there is anything please say it out directly. Isn’t better than going around the bushes?”
Ren Fengping laughed. “In the presence of the smart people, there is no need for secrecy. If there are no friends that stand by you, I afraid it will be very hard for you to walk around in the Pugilist in the future. The two of you have a bright future. If you carry on like this, it will be such a waste.”
Nangong Ping sighed. “In this world, other than the two of you as my righteous friends, where can I find more.”
Di Yang laughed and said. “I am minor but Brother Ren…Hehe. He is indeed a undeniable hero of the pugilists and a Hero from the beyond the Pass.”
Ren Fengping smiled in appreciation. “What I have is only a title. How can I ever possibly be compared to you? Both of you are young, handsome heroes–” Suddenly he stopped and solemnly added. “But I have the fortune to know a friend. He is really a talent among talents. And he has a most heroic heart. He even knows the formation stratagems, music, chess and painting. As for his martial skills, it is even more extraordinary; he could use a leaf or a flower to wound others. He loves to make friends and his hospitality greatly exceed that of mine.”
Mei Yinxue secretly laughed coldly in her heart while Nangong Ping and Di Yang was impressed.
If it were others who said a similar thing like this, it would seem unbelievable. But from the mouths of ‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping, the temptation to know was different.
Therefore the two of them asked at the same time. “Who is this man?”
Ren Fengping smiled. “He stays beyond the Pass. Very few people know of his name but the name of Shuai Tian Fan would be known far and wide in future.
Di Yang commented. “What a dashing name.”
Nangong Ping said. “If such an extraordinary person will to come to the Central Plains, I will surely want to know him. Unfortunately I do not know him.”
Mei Yinxue asked. “Then Hero Ren, your meaning is, if we can make such a man as our friend, then all our troubles will be over?” Her tone was still cold and icy.
Ren Fengping said. “Brother Nangong, the Pugilist Fraternity is like a
scattered sand. Kunlun has long been dominating the western region, Shaolin dominating the Central Plains, Wudang dominating in the areas of Jiangnan. Further south is Diancang and to the east is Huangshan. To the north is Tianshan and to the west is Zhongnan. All of them possess their own techniques. All of them have long wanted to dominate the entire Pugilistic Fraternity and potentially caused the entire realm to enter into chaos.
It was only of what happened in Huangshan in the past that caused grievously the loss of so many pugilists and because the ‘Divine Dragon and the Phoenix’ had been leading the Pugilistic Fraternity that the realm is currently at peace.”
Although his words had left the topic but Nangong Ping and Di Yang listened on with interest.
Ren Fengping added. “But now the various Sects and Clans are slowly regaining their lost strength and secretly on the move. Now that the Divine Dragon had disappeared, the balance that is holding the Pugilistic Fraternity is gone. If within a year, there is no one to hold the balance, the entire realm will be in a state of chaos.”
His words were like gold that impressed deeply in the hearts of men.
Nangong Ping and Di Yang felt their hearts stirring.
Ren Fengping glanced at them and was secretly feeling happy at their expression. He added. “What have been divided will be whole again. Peace will come again after chaos. This will occur naturally. If during this time of chaos, there is no one in the Pugilist that could uphold righteousness, then the chaos caused by the hundred clans would not only cause chaos, plunder and rape would also be inevitable. If it still descended into chaos and no one can stop it, then how sorrowful will it be?”
Nangong Ping sighed. “Indeed. This is an excellent foresight.”
Ren Fengping smiled and said. “I don’t have the hidden talent of a crouching dragon. That Shuai Tianfan is the real Zhuge (Zhuge Liang (AD 181 - 234) was one of the greatest Chinese strategists of the Three Kingdoms period, as well as a statesman, engineer, scholar, and inventor. Zhuge is an uncommon two-character compound family name. His name (or even just his surname) has become synonymous with intelligence and wit in Chinese culture) from beyond the Pass.
Although he has not even stepped into the Pugilistic Fraternity but his ability to analyze the situation of the realm is the same as actually witnessing it. To be honest with the two of you, I have stepped into Yumen, acting under orders to search from among the numerous pugilist heroes, to find those with the guts and enlightenment to resolve this situation. So that in future, we can uphold justice and righteousness for the entire Pugilistic Fraternity.”
Di Yang narrowed his brows and added. “Excellent thoughts for righteousness. But a pity there is no wine here or I will want to merrily toast you three times.”
Nangong Ping was perplexed in his heart and he became silence with many thoughts in his mind.
Mei Yinxue could not help but coldly laughed awhile and secretly thought. “I see that this Ren Fengping is a persuader for that Shuai Tianfan to buy over the hearts of others. Alas, alas, this Shuai Tianfan wants to dominate the Pugilistic Fraternity. He has such a wild ambition.” She paused to consider. “The appearance of Ren Fengping is most extraordinary, his martial skills outstanding. Even his words are inspiring and are anything but ordinary. What is more, he is also a heroic figure with a warm heart. No matter which angle I analyze, he can be considered a talented hero. Even that ‘Manshan Two Brothers’ listen to him. And he is only a persuader for that Shuai Tianfan. From these, that Shuai Tianfan martial prowess, talents and intellect are indeed unfathomable!”
When she had thought to this point, she could not help but felt astonished in her heart. She noticed that Ren Fengping did not say anything now but was like a speculator that was looking at their reaction before he said. “Brother Nangong, with your martial skills, talent and intellect, with your family wealth, the future of the Pugilistic Fraternity will definitely be yours. But you are unfortunately to be involved in a messy situation that could not find the understanding of your fellow pugilists.”
“Even your fellow clan brothers will not be able to understand. You cannot move front or back, surround by enemies from left and right. Even if you have a thousand grievous but you still cannot earn the trust of the world. But if you will to co-operate with Shuai Tianfan and with the aid of this heroic Brother Di, there is no difficulty that cannot be resolved! Once the matter is over, not only can you uphold justice and righteousness for the Pugilistic Fraternity but also summon all the fellow pugilists and explain the head and tail from the beginning to the end. At that time your status will be different and your words will be golden instead. Will there be anyone in the Pugilistic Fraternity that dared to say a word of disrespect to you? Not only will you not be in any danger; you will also be famous throughout the world. Even ‘Zhijiao Manor’ will hold a important place in the Pugilistic Fraternity realm forever because of your fame!”
His words although said in a grave tone but every single word seemed to move the hearts of the listeners. It really caught the attention of the listeners and once they had listened, they could help but feel moved.
Ren Fengping looked at Nangong Ping and Di Yang, observed their expression and laughed aloud. “As the saying goes, if the hearts of two joined, it can severe gold. If the two of you will to join forces with me, in the future, the whole world will belong to us brothers!”
Mei Yinxue rolled her eyes and softly laughed. “According to Hero Ren, in less than ten years, this exceptional talented Shuai Tianfan will be the Alliance Chief of the entire Pugilistic Fraternity?”
Ren Fengping laughed. “If we could have the aid of the young hero Nangong Ping, in less than ten years, we can indeed control the situation of the Pugilist in our hands.”
He was very satisfied and proud, very sure that these two men would be moved by him.
Mei Yinxue softly laughed. “This Hero Shuai lead a recluse life outside the frontier, have not yet stepped into the Central Plains but already have the lofty aspirations to dominate the Central Plains and the Pugilistic Fraternity. It is really very impressive and worthy of respect.”
Although her smiles were very demure, beautiful and sweet but her words were actually that of disdain. But Ren Fengping, who was feeling sure, did not noticed it all.
He smiled and said. “The three of you are very intelligent people. I am sure you will understand my efforts…”
Mei Yinxue rolled her eyes again and softly laughed. “Hero Ren kind intentions, we are indeed very moved but…” She looked at Nangong Ping who did not show any expression and was in thoughts.
Therefore she softly laughed and added. “We are in a very critical situation now and we are on the run. But Hero Ren grand plans are so far from being fulfilled. And that Hero Shuai is not even in the Central Plains yet…”
‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping laughed and added. “Since everyone have the intention to participate in this grand scheme, I as brother will not dare to hide anything from everyone.”
He ceased his laughter and said solemnly. “Although it appeared that I have only been in the Pugilist for a few months but in fact, I have been within the Pass for five years. These five years, I have established in the Pugilist some foundations. But because the time is not ripe, therefore there are no one in the Pugilistic Fraternity that know about it.”
Mei Yinxue giggled. “Putting other things aside, just Hero Ren unfathomable martial skills alone is an amazement!”
Ren Fengping looked pleased and said. “For my selections of talents, those ranked in the middle I have found quite a few friends but those ranked on the upper echelon, are so few. Therefore it is the reason why I need the great support of the three of you because very soon, that Shuai Tianfan will enter the Pass.”
Although he thought of himself as brilliant but he did not know that the demure Mei Yinxue was drawing him to relax his guard with her beautiful smiles and her alluring eyes had already captivated him.
Nangong Ping and Di Yang had a slight change in their expression but Ren Fengping eyes shone brightly in a dazzling light. He added. “Not far from here, I have a villa. Although it is simple but it is quiet. I am sure no one will disturb the three of you. Unfortunately I have to remain in Xian City for awhile therefore I am unable to accompany you.”
Mei Yinxue purposely sighed in disappointment and slowly added. “Then what shall we do?”
Di Yang looked on seemingly frustrated while Nangong Ping knew her she had always been like that therefore he kept quiet and waited what would happen next
‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping smiled. “No to worry.
Although I am unable to accompany the three of you but there will be someone to lead…”
Suddenly he stopped and he looked at the three of them.
The smiles on Mei Yinxue face grew even sweeter while Nangong Ping kept his composure. Although Di Yang was getting impatience, for the sake of Nangong Ping and Mei Yinxue, he endured.
Ren Fengping was pleased with their expression therefore once again he recovered his smiling face and reached into his clothing and slowly said. “Although I want to be eager friend with the three of you but you may not believe yet…” His hand took something from within his clothing. Mei Yinxue, Nangong Ping and Di Yang took a glance and saw that he had a taken out three colorful sacks that shone like gold.
Mei Yinxue laughed lovable for awhile and then asked, “It so beautiful.
What is it?”
Ren Fengping solemnly said. “Until now, those in the Pugilist that have seen this is rarer than rare…” He respectfully opened one of the sack and everyone caught a strange sweet aroma coming from the sack. From it, he took out a square ordinary purple wooden tablet and respectfully put it into Mei Yinxue’s hand.
Mei Yinxue lowered her head and noticed that this ordinary looking tablet had an exquisitely workmanship. On the surface was a craving of a picture. On top it was a Buddha that sat on the high clouds above the peak of a tall mountain. And behind the image, was the setting sun. And in the cloud was a man whose looks were impossible to tell although it was very bright around him.
On the other side of the tablet were the lines of a Tang poet Gao Shi taken from the Song of a Sparrow. “A man should have roamed carefree in the turmoil of the Pugilist realm.”
Mei Yinxue had been looking at it for sometime now with her head down. She looked up and laughed. “The man that was on the tablet, is it that of Shuai Tianfan?”
Ren Fengping nodded his head and replied, “This ‘Fragrant of the Wind and Rain Tablet’ belongs to Shuai Tianfan.”
He smiled and gave the two other sacks to Nangong Ping and Di Yang. “Because I want to gain the trust of the three of you, I make an exception to ignore any paper works and entrust these tablets to you.”
Mei Yinxue played with the tablet gently with her hand and then laughed. “What paper works?” Ren Fengping replied. “Once the three of you reached the villa, you will know naturally!”
He suddenly clapped his hands with both his hands and there was a loud noise as the figure of a man that moved very fast appeared. He was one of the ‘Manshan Two Brothers’ Chang Sun Dan!
He moved lightning fast and was besides Ren Fengping in an instant. He looked maliciously at Mei Yinxue but when he saw the tablet on her hand, he was startled.
Ren Fengping smiled. “Brother Chang Sun, I know you have a misunderstanding with Maiden Mei but from now on, we are a family. Brother Chang Sun, you should forget about the past.”
Chang Sun Dan paused to consider for awhile before he coldly said. “I have already forgot about it.”
Mei Yinxue laughed lovingly and said. “Wow, what amazing speed!”
Ren Fengping laughed. “Can I bother Brother Chang Sun to accompany them to the ‘Fragrance Scent Manor’. I have some business at hand in Xian but I will hurry to meet up with everyone after I am done!”
Chang Sun Dan said. “Then…the sword…”
Ren Fengping laughed. “Brother Nangong, the precious sword that you have left behind in Xian City, I have sent my people to find it for you already.”
Nangong Ping who was in deep thoughts was startled to hear that. Chang Sun Dan took a long sword from behind his back and coldly said.
“The scabbard may not fit.”
Ren Fengping took the sword and handed it over to Nangong Ping and smiled. “Just now when I entered your room at the villa, I had already saw this famous precious sword. Later, I did not see Brother Nangong carrying it besides you. I hope I did not offend you by bringing it to you.”
He did not wait for Nangong Ping to appreciate his thanks and turned to Di Yang to ask. “Brother Di, do you know what so special about the wooden tablet?”
Di Yang who had been looking perplexed coldly laughed. “No matter how special this wooden tablet is, I will never become the claw of some one that want to dominate the Pugilistic Fraternity. Heng, heng...” He turned over his hand and threw the sack down on the ground and looked in the sky and refused to take a second look at Ren Fengping.
Ren Fengping was startled and his expression changed. He croaked. “Brother Di, you…you…”
Nangong Ping took a deep sigh and said. “I am really appreciative of Brother Ren kindness. If that Hero Shuai is to come through from the Pass, I hope that I can be friend with such a great heroic figure but…” He sighed again and handed over the sack to Ren Fengping and added. “I am stupid, have no talent and moreover I am too willful. Therefore I am afraid I am unable to participate in Brother Ren grand plans. But, alas…I will never forget your kind gestures.”
He was born to be appreciative and kind. Although he appreciated the kind intention of Ren Fengping but he was not willing to be brought over by someone.
But he felt he owe something to this man therefore he was sighing.
Ren Fengping turned bronze green, clenched his hands tightly and seemingly almost crashed the sack that he was now holding. He turned slowly and looked at Mei Yinxue.
Mei Yinxue laughed and said. “I am for anything…” She gently laughed and returned the wooden tablet to the sack.
Nangong Ping expression had a sudden change while Ren Fengping eyes shone.
Mei Yinxue laughed and added. “But I don’t have any ambitions and guts therefore I can only give a thank of appreciation to Hero Ren. But…” She suddenly placed the sack into her dress and lovingly laughed. “I like this sack and wooden tablet very much so I am loath to return it to you. Since you have been so generous in giving it to me, I am sure you will not be so petty as to take it back. Hero Ren, do you agree?”
Di Yang could not resist making a laugh and noticed that Ren Fengping turned very pale and was stunned.
Ren Fengping slowly stretched down, picked the sack that was on the ground and looked very downcast.
Nangong Ping felt sorry for him and solemnly asked. “Brother Ren, if you need anything in future…”
Before he could finish, Ren Fengping burst out in hilarious laughter. It was icy and shrieking.
“Very good!” He laughed. “It seem that I am blind today. I see that the three of you have been making a fool out of me…”
Suddenly his laughter ceased and he slowly said word by word. “But since the three of you have known of my secrets, do you think you can leave here alive? Hehe! Do you really think Ren Fengping is an idiot!” He clapped his hands and he moved back seven feet!
From all around, in the shadows, more than ten men appeared with maces.
Nangong Ping, Di Yang, Mei Yinxue was startled while Chang Sun Dan remained solemn and flashed a sword!
Ren Fengping said in jest. “If I have no confidence to seal your mouths, would I dare to reveal those secrets in front of you?” He made a signal and his men surrounded Nangong Ping, Di Yang and Mei Yinxue. Nangong Ping swept his eyes around and suddenly coldly laughed. “The feeling of appreciation and gratefulness have now been washed away by your this gesture!”
Ren Fengping coldly laughed. “It doesn’t matter if you are grateful to me, heng, heng! There is no difference now.”
Nangong Ping laughed. “Hundreds of pugilists surrounded me at Xian City.
Will these tens of men cause me to lose my life here?”
Di Yang said aloud. “For those with the guts, they can also have the taste of the Tianshan Divine Sword!”
Ren Fengping coldly laughed. “Let me show you the result of five years of my painstaking effort whether it is any different from those rubbish in Xian City.”
Mei Yinxue solemnly said. “Don’t try to attack first, use inaction to counter action.
If there is anything wrong, clear a path out of the formation first…”
Ren Fengping said aloud in a clear voice. “Heaven!” then “Earth!” Tens of men attacked at Nangong Ping, Di Yang and Mei Yinxue at the same time in a tremendous show of force that startled them.
Nangong Ping shouted as he drew his long sword on his right hand. Mei Yinxue dress fluttering in a dance while Di Yang readied his fists as the three of them stood back to back with one another.
“Wind!” Hissed Ren Fengping.
The attacks grew even fiercer with the chains swinging and making ding dang sound.
Suddenly Di Yang cried out as a silver chain appeared like lightning struck
This formation was very deadly. It made use of the silvery reflective light of
the maces, the sound of the strong wind caused by it and the ding dang sounds of the chain made this formation truly terrifying.
Mei Yinxue said in a startled voice. “Not good!”
Before she could finish, Di Yang tried to stand but another chain struck him.
Without pausing to think it over, he caught hold of the mace with both his hands and his hands felt terrible. He was suddenly in pain from his left waist as well. But he charged to the black clad man with the mace he caught and both of them fell startled to the ground!
Nangong Ping used the sword to protect his body. Although the Fallen Autumn Leaf was a precious sword, it was not because it was renowned for its sharpness but because it was the sword of a famous man. But at this moment when Nangong Ping slashed it with all his might, its power was extraordinary!
There were a few sounds and three of the strange looking weapons which were really Morning Stars were fell by him. He turned around and saw Di Yang had fallen to the ground in a startled cry.
When Mei Yinxue saw that those men were using Morning Star Maces, she thought. “No wonder Ren Fengping does not seem worry!”
One must know that the Morning Star Mace was a type of weapon that was rarely seen in the Pugilist. Not only were it hard to be proficiency in it but when there were many people, it could even hurt the wielder. But if one manage to specialize in it, the power of the mace would be doubled.
Since those men were able to use such a weapon, it would appear that they had been highly proficiency in it. Not only were they co-operating very well, they would not even hurt themselves, and the display naturally were most extraordinary.
Mei Yinxue was worldly wise with experience that she had gained while she was roaming the Martial Fraternity therefore when she saw this formation; she actually had the intention to retreat. But when she saw Nangong Ping standing up to fight, she did not know why her heart was aroused too. Now she did not care for her own safety anymore and with a soft shout, she floated speedily in a wave of strong wind and blocked off the seven maces for Nangong Ping that were aiming at him!
Nangong Ping raised his long sword in all directions and ran towards the side of Di Yang who had fallen.
Mei Yinxue became very pale because she knew that the next instant when the maces struck, Nangong Ping will surely be wounded by those maces!
Now there were silvery light everywhere in that instant when she had been in thoughts. She heard Ren Fengping shouted. “Frost!”
Mei Yinxue turned her body around and dashed across to Nangong Ping. She heard a shout and immediately the waves of morning stars were withdrawn and all the attackers took ten steps back.
Ren Fengping who was directing the formation noticed something went wrong with his Array and was startled. This ‘Heaven Wind Silvery Rain Array’ was created to dealt with the top exponents of the Pugilist therefore a lot of efforts had been expended on it. What most intricate about this formation over the ‘Eight Array Formation’ was the use of ‘Heaven, Earth, Wind, Rain, Sun, Moon, Cloud, Snow, Frost’ totaling nine changes that could constantly attack and aided one another. Although the changes were not complicated but he strongly believe the strange array and formation created, had the ability to bring down any top exponent!
As he did not saw Di Yang who wounded by it and deeply afraid that this painstaking formation would be destroyed, therefore with a shout, he dispersed the formation. Now he gently floated into the middle of the array… Nangong Ping lowered his body to inspect Di Yang who was bloodied but his left hand was holding the throat of a strong man in black Di Yang was holding so tightly that his fingernails continuously had blood flowing out. That man wore a leather glove on his left hand and his mace was clenched by Di Yang’s right hand high in the air and it crashed onto the head of the man.
Nangong Ping was startled in his mind and he caught hold of Di Yang by his wrist and when Di Yang turned his head over, he noticed that he was covered with blood. This young man was wounded for the first time and it was also the first time he had ever killed some one. Therefore when he saw his own blood, his senses were in a state of confusion and he looked shockingly at Nangong Ping and at the mace.
The blood dripped from the mace coldly on Nangong Ping’s hands. The icy cold blood affected him as much as Di Yang. From now on, he would never treat the lives of others lightly.
Ren Fengping who had drifted to the middle saw the scene and laughed coldly. “I see that ‘Tianshan Divine Swordplay’ is really nothing at all!”
Mei Yinxue coldly laughed. “But the so and so Tianshan Divine Swordplay has caused your array to be in a state of confusion. It lucky that you have the foresight to disperse the array or else…hehe.”
Although she laughed it off but actually in a heart, she was secretly startled by the power of this array. She added. “Look at the broken head of your man, are you not afraid…”
Before she could finish, Ren Fengping broke into an eerie and hilarious laughter.
Nangong Ping appeared vex and said aloud. “Why are you laughing? Do you think that the loss of lives and blood is a funny matter?”
Ren Fengping ceased his laughter and coldly said. “Do you know flowers and trees need to undergo trials to grow?”
Nangong Ping was startled for he did not why he suddenly said something so irrelevant.
Ren Fengping added. “Martial arts and arrays are the same as flowers and trees. In this world, no matter what type of martial skills, no matter what type of arrays if they are not tested in blood, they will never be nurtured and grow.
Although one of my men had died but his blood will cause this ‘Heaven, Wind, Silvery Rain Array to be more developed. It is indeed a joyous matter, why don’t you laugh?”
This explanation caused Nangong Ping to be very upset and sorrow at the same time. Sorrow because he suddenly remembered the martial skills that he had learnt was developed in blood too. He could not help but sighed. Every single words of this Ren Fengping were as sharp as blades that pierced deeply into the heart.
‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping smiled and said solemnly, “I am not here to make enemies of the people in the Pugilist realm. Therefore this Heaven, Wind, Silvery Rain Array is really not meant not to be used…”
He suddenly sighed deeply and added. “In Xian City, thousands of pugilists surrounded you and even your protégés are not understandable towards you. Only I, Ren Fengping at the risk of offending the wrath of everyone…alas! You have caused me to go against my own intention and was now trapped by my array!”
Nangong Ping sighed deeply.
Mei Yinxue coldly laughed and added. “You failed to intimidate us and are you trying to use a soft approach now?”
Ren Fengping said solemnly. “Since the three of you refuse to listen to my sound advise, therefore I will let you witness the true power of my Heaven Wind Silvery Rain Array.”
Mei Yinxue softly shouted. “Hold it!” And her body floated in an elegant flash, seemingly like she was flying across the field.
Ren Fengping secretly exclaimed. “What a terrifying swiftness skill!” And Mei Yinxue had landed in front of him. He laughed aloud. “Do you really think by retaining me in the middle of this Array, it will not be able to unleash its power?”
Mei Yinxue replied. “That is right.” She softly laughed and added. “I want to retain you here.” And her hands moved to hit Ren Fengping on his Ping Jian Jin accupoint!
Ren Fengping lowered his glance, as he did not dare to look at the captivating smile on her face as he tried to evade. At the same time his left hand reached toward her beneath her waist as he said coldly. “Forgive me for not accompanying you!” And he lifted his body up by the force of his right leg.
Mei Yinxue laughed most lovingly as she exclaimed. “You will not be able to leave.” She lifted herself up like a python using the strength of her right shoulder as her dress fluttered as she hit his ankle!
Ren Fengping was very startled as he immediately once again tried to lift up again and his hands homed toward her but could only hit her sleeve.
Mei Yinxue captivating laughed as she danced in mid-air. “You should come down!” And some bits of the clothing from her sleeve dropped to the ground.
Before she had finished, Ren Fengping was forced to the ground and guarded his front with two hands. He looked intently at Mei Yinxue. Just now when she exhibited the stance of ‘Flying Cloud swiftness skill’. It was done so casually but her mastery of the gravity, her flow of vital energies was actually in the acme of perfection. Even the present Chief of the Wudang Sect, Priest Tingxin did not have her martial ability.
Nangong Ping was secretly startled. Until now, he had never witnessed Mei Yinxue actual martial ability. It was much higher than he original thought. When she hit the ankle of Ren Fengping in such a causal way with her hand, she seemed to guise several other moves as well but because she had not meet any worthy opponent, she did not use any.
He was puzzled and at the same time admiring her. During those ten years while she lay in that dark narrow coffin, not only was it suffocating to be inside, it could drive anyone insane. And then this strange extraordinary maiden had not only regained her destroyed martial ability, it was such a painstaking and hard thing to do, she also managed to master the hardest skill in the inner strength category, the art of longevity. And her stances and strokes also seemed to have been greatly improved tremendously. He really could not guess how she managed to lay her hands on such a secret and extraordinary martial ability to create this miracle that was never seen for the hundred of years in the Pugilistic realm.
All those thoughts flashed in his mind while Di Yang slowly got up.
Ren Fengping coldly laughed and slowly said. “Do you wish to surrender or fight, decide it now.”
Mei Yinxue exclaimed. “I purposely want to delay the time! Is it not allowed?”
Ren Fengping coldly added. “Then you should hastily prepare for the burial of Di Yang!”
Nangong Ping was startled and asked in shock. “What did you say?”
Ren Fengping looked up at the sky and then slowly added. “On the surface of the silver mace, there is poison. If it contact with blood, it will act. There is no antidote…” He looked at Nangong Ping and continued. “If you wish to save your friend, you should make a decision now!”
As he was afraid of Mei Yinxue martial skills therefore he finally revealed this secret weapon of his.
Nangong Ping grew very pale and turned over to glance at Di Yang who was now looking rigidly and losing his normal countenance.
Mei Yinxue rolled her eyes around and coldly said. “I will not be bowed by mere words!”
Ren Fengping coldly laughed. “I afraid that in your heart, you know that it is not mere words! Although you are cold hearted and cold blood, you don’t even care about the life and death of your friends but…” He looked at Nangong Ping and added. “Nangong Ping, are you such a person too?”
Nangong Ping felt his heart stirring.
Mei Yinxue softly exclaimed. “If I capture you, will I be afraid that you will not hand over the antidote?”
Ren Fengping coldly laughed and said. “I don’t have the antidote on me and moreover...Hehe! Can you really capture me?”
Mei Yinxue looked perplexed and suddenly laughed coldly. “It really so funny. Alas it is so funny! I thought how great is ‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping but he is only so and so!”
Ren Fengping pretended not to hear while Mei Yinxue coldly laughed. “Using this method to force others to join you is the dumbest thing to do. Even if others will to join you, will not that person betray your secret after that? When that moment occur, you will deeply regret it.”
Ren Fengping laughed. “Not to worry you, maiden. If I do not have the ability to subdue dragons and tigers, I will not suggest it.”
Mei Yinxue secretly exclaimed. “Haiz!” She knew that her stratagem of attacking him using psychology did not work.
The two of them were strong willed and in this round, none of them managed to use words to move one another. As they were astonished by the ability of one another, they tried not rushed into a senseless fight first and hope to use words to move one another, hoping to score a victory without a fight.
Mei Yinxue was once again filled with a beautiful captivating smile. She suddenly had a thought. She would first attack Ren Fengping unprepared and hit his accupoints. If she did not succeed in the first attempt, she would immediately back off and before the Array could be activated; she would take Nangong Ping with her and break free of the Array.
But suddenly there was a sudden shrieking from the sky. It came from a
Mei Yinxue was startled for this crow suddenly plunged on Ren Fengping
face and seemingly wanted to gouge his eyes.
Although Ren Fengping was startled, he immediately retaliated with his hand! This hand was so fast and this crow was flying headlong towards him and could not have avoided it. But the crow suddenly evaded his attack by flying backward! And it flew up into the clouds and disappeared!
Ren Fengping looked on in shock. His hand was still in a offensive position and he seemed reluctant to put his hand down. Although there were many strange and wondrous creatures but a crow that can fly backward, from ancient times till now, there were never any occurrences! He thought. “Can this bird be a wondrous bird that looked like a crow?” He could not help wondering over it.
On the other hand, Mei Yinxue and Nangong Ping were puzzled as well.
Suddenly there was a queer shout coming from afar. “Move aside, move aside!” And there was some initial confusion in the Array as they opened a path. ‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping looked on unhappy and said
aloud. “To be confused even before a fight cannot be forgiven. Have you all forgotten?”
Even before he had finished, a white hair thin priest in robe of blue walked in strides into their midst all the while shouting. “Move aside, move aside!”
This priest looked imposing and his left hand was on his front. On that hand sat a crow. When Ren Fengping glanced over, he noticed that the queer sound came from the crow. He was suddenly very startled within him and he broke into cold sweat. A crow that could fly in reverse direction was startling enough. But a crow that could talk was even more startling. Ren Fengping had a wealth of experience from roaming the Pugilist and his cunning was even more unfathomable. But at this moment, his countenances underwent a great change.
Mei Yinxue rolled her eyes to glance and immediately she too lost her composure.
This priest carried a smile on his face but it was his crow that shrieked. “The moon is not dark, the wind is not high, how can you commit murder and arson in the vicinity of Xian City?”
Although its voice was crude but every single word was clear.
Mei Yinxue felt her legs growing soft and she almost wanted to cry out in surprise.
As for Nangong Ping, he too was very startled and he immediately thought of one man and he said. “You…”
The priest looked at him and silenced him, therefore Nangong Ping stumbled and looked at the priest startled.
Ren Fengping tried to suppress the terror in his heart and he asked. “What tidings brings a secular priest here?”
That priest laughed merrily while that crow shrieked. “Why did you only greet him, did you not see me?”
Ren Fengping was shocked beyond words. To greet a crow was really very ridiculous.
The white hair priest laughed. “My crow friend here is haughty but his seniority is very high. Even if you greet him, what does it matter?”
Ren Fengping was stunned for awhile before he raised both hands in the most unwilling manner to greet the crow. He seemed to be deeply affected by the strange crow and the expression of the priest therefore he obeyed.
There was a tingle of laugh in Nangong Ping’s eyes, as he seemed to think it was very funny. Mei Yinxue was secretly puzzled for she knew that with his character, he would never poke fun at a senior pugilist. Therefore her suspicious was aroused. Although she was exceptional smart, she could not guess the reason.
The white hair priest laughed. “Very good. Very good manner child. It seem that my trip is not being made in futile.” He looked solemnly at Ren Fengping and said. “By accidental, I saw an ominous outlook here as I was passing through. As I could not bear to witness the calamity that is to befall a hero therefore I am here.”
Ren Fengping looked confused and slowly asked. “I do not quite understand the meaning of the words of Senior.”
White hair priest sighed. “Do you know that your luck is at its lowest now and if you are involved in bloodshed, you are sure to invite calamity. Although you and them have a deep grudging vendetta but today you should try to wash your hands, the earlier the better.” He did not look at Nangong Ping and Mei Yinxue, seeming disliking them. He solemnly added. “If the two of them try to fight you, for the sake of that respectful greeting, I will help you to fend them off.”
Ren Fengping expression changed and he was seemingly shocked for words before he slowly asked. “But…”
The white hair priest looked perplexed and said aloud. “But what? Do you not believe me?”
“Calamity befalls and still do not wake up from your senses. What a pity, what a pity.” The crow shrieked.
Ren Fengping remained rooted to the ground and he was terribly pale. He looked at Nangong Ping, Mei Yinxue and then at the priest and the crow and slowly said. “It is not that junior do not believe you but today I have to settle something and…”
The priest coldly added. “And what I say, is too mysterious and you find it too hard to believe, right?”
Although Ren Fengping did not say anything but in fact, his silence was the best indication that the priest was correct.
The priest laughed aloud. “In my entire life, there are no one that ever doubted my predictions because I have never predicted anything wrongly. Since you do not believe, are you really trying to end your own life?”
The crow shrieked and laughed in a strange manner. “Since you want to die, it is really easy, easy…”
Suddenly Ren Fengping thought of a person and he became very pale. “Senior, are you the renowned Heavenly Crow Priest who know all things in advance and whose prediction is always correct that is so famous in the Pugilist years ago?”
The priest laughed. “Very good. At least you know my name. That is right. I am that Heavenly Crow priest that reported disasters and not fortune!”
Ren Fengping slowly asked. “But…but according to the rumors of the Pugilistic Fraternity, Senior had long…passed away…”
The priest laughed. “More than ten years ago, I am weary of the illusion of living, therefore I fake my own death. I can’t believe that so many in the Pugilist actually believe that.”
Still Mei Yinxue was feeling very surprised inside of her. She had long ago heard of this priest that was so famous in the Pugilist for his uncanny ability to predict the future. He only predicted disasters and was never for once wrong. As long as he told someone that a disaster would befall him, it would surely happen. Therefore the people in the Pugilist nicked him as the Heavenly Crow Priest.
Although crow sounds disrespectful but everyone in Pugilist lavished him with much respect.
The doubts in Ren Fengping mind totally disappeared.
The priest turned over and asked Mei Yinxue. “Did the two of you heard
Mei Yinxue glanced at Nangong Ping and gently nodded.
The white hair priest ‘Heavenly Crow Priest’ continued. “I have the
intention of rescuing him from this calamity, do you have any objections?”
Mei Yinxue was more than intelligent. How could she not know the priest was secretly helping them? Therefore she replied, “Since Senior has spoken, naturally there will be no objection.”
The white hair priest ‘Heavenly Crow Priest’ waved his hand slightly and turned to look at Ren Fengping. “Then leave while you can. If you delay it, it will be too late.”
Ren Fengping secretly sighed. “I am grateful by the kindness of Senior and I will want to extend my thanks to you again at some other time.” He shouted. “Let go!” He had a upper hand in this situation but now he left in a mercifully released manner and he did not even harbor any hatred or unhappiness. In fact he was very grateful to the Heavenly Crow Priest.
Ren Fengping men had long wanted to leave ever since they had saw the talking crow for they were frightened by it. So when they heard the order to retreat, it seemed like a pardon from the emperor and they respectfully bade the priest goodbye before they left hurriedly.
Ren Fengping looked viciously at Mei Yinxue for awhile as if he wanted to say something but at last, he sighed deeply, turned and left hurriedly. In a flash or two, he had disappeared into the darkness
Nangong Ping did not say anything till Ren Fengping was far away. He suddenly sighed deeply. “You have use trickery again, alas! If it isn’t for the sake of Brother Di, I…” He suddenly felt so guilty.
Mei Yinxue was left wondering by Nangong Ping. That white hair priest suddenly laughed. “This is a tooth for a tooth. To dealt with such a cunning heretic, what wrong with tricking him one or two times?”
Nangong Ping sighed. “It's not honorable…to trick”
Mei Yinxue was startled. And she was even more puzzled and could not resist asking. “What trick?” Although she possessed the fruit of wisdom but she could not tell what was the trick all about.
As the white hair priest knew the character of Nangong Ping, therefore he did not blame him for faulting him. He gently pat the crow feathers and laughed. “Crow friend, crow friend. It is all thanks to you!” He turned his wrist as though he wanted to severe something and raised up his right hand. “Go now!”
That crow shrieked and spread its wings to soar into the darkness.
When Mei Yinxue saw that he set such a wondrous spiritual bird away, she was very startled and puzzled inside. Therefore she could not resist asking. “Haiz…will it still return?”
The white hair priest laughed and laughed. “Maiden, you don’t have to feel pity. There are so many crows around, I can capture ten of them anytime I want.”
Mei Yinxue glanced at Nangong Ping and slowly added. “What is going on around here, I really cannot figure it out…” She was so sure of her unrivalled intelligence that when she encountered something that she could not solve, she could not help feeling frustrated.
The white hair priest laughed. “It is a form of psychology attack that is used on a strong foe. It really unbelievable that this trick of mine managed to fool the ‘Fragrance of a Thousand Miles’ Ren Fengping and that even the world famous Peacock Concubine was fooled.”
Nangong Ping sighed. “After seven years, I really did not expect to see you again outside Xian City. And you even rescue me from this difficulty. And I really did not expect…alas! It been many years and your behavior did not changed at all…” He sighed and shut up. His speech was filled with delight but also regret.
The old white priest ceased his smiles and slowly said. “To tell the truth, I did not use this trick for many years already. But when I saw the crisis that had befall you, I am forced to…”
Nangong Ping sighed. “You have come to save me, naturally I am grateful. But this method of yours, is not honorable. You have drifted in the Pugilist all your life, don’t you want to create for yourself a respectable, honorable, righteous reputation and did something earth shaking so that future generations will know?”
Although Nangong Ping voice was composed but it was sparking with righteousness and the white hair priest countenance was sunk and he lowered his head.
Nangong Ping slowly walked up to him and patted him on his shoulder. “If my words are strong, please do not blame me. You must know that if I do not feel proud of a friend such as you, I will not say it. Moreover, your kindness caused me to feel extremely grateful in my heart.”
The white hair priest lifted his head and smiled and basked in the light of friendship. He grasped Nangong Ping’s hands and asked. “All…these years, are you good?” He asked with great concern.
Nangong Ping nodded and replied. “I am good. What about you?” His calm composure was moved as well and his eyes shone with tinge of reflective light.
Mei Yinxue was lost in deep thoughts of her own. Suddenly she clapped her hands and softly laughed. “I know it!” She turned around and was besides the white hair priest in an instant as she caught hold of his wrist.
Nangong Ping asked solemnly. “What is the matter?”
Mei Yinxue captivating laughed. “You look, there is really a black string in his hand. Haha! The crow that can fly in reverse was actually caused by the string in his hand when he pulled it."
The white hair priest laughed. “Maiden you really have a most exceptional intelligence, there is nothing that can hide from you.”
Mei Yinxue was smiling proudly while Nangong Ping looked at her. She looked more delighted than any child that was given delicacies and beautiful clothing did. He could not help thinking. “Although she look very cold and frosty and unapproachable. But in actuality, she has an innocent heart but…Alas! The people in the Pugilistic Fraternity only know of her cold outlook but none of them know the kind heart that is within her.”
Mei Yinxue ceased her laughter and she looked perplexed. “But…that crow that knows how to speak in our tongue really muddle me!”
White hair priest laughed aloud and he suddenly used that strange shrieking sound and said. “Maiden you have been walking in the Pugilist for a long time. Did you ever heard of a strange magic trick used by wandering peddlers?”
Mei Yinxue listened carefully and observed that from the chest of the white hair priest echoed the shrieking sound of that crow. She was immediately stunned and asked. “What magic trick?” Although she had long roamed the Pugilist realm but all her associates were top exponents in the Pugilistic Fraternity, naturally she did not know of this unorthodox trick.
Nangong Ping explained. “This skill is call ‘Ventriloquism’. It makes use of the air channels in the body and emit is out from the muscles inside. It is a high art in the eyes of the wandering peddlers and also extremely hard to train…”
The white hair priest laughed it off. “It's just an unorthodox skill, there is nothing to be proud of it.”
Nangong Ping said solemnly. “Any skills that are mastered are not to be taken lightly. It just depends if it is used correctly.”
Mei Yinxue softly sighed and slowly said. “I will never expect to know that from the lower echelons of the pugilists, there is such an wondrous skill. If you say it is an unorthodox skill, I think otherwise and feel that it is a amazing skill. But a pity that I have never heard of it before.”
Nangong Ping slowly added. “The world is big and the creatures that dwell in it wondrous. It is not something based on just a person foolish intelligence to grasp all its mysteries. Those people that try to know everything, usually do not know anything.” (Referring to Mei Yinxue)
The white hair priest sighed, feeling grateful inside.
Mei Yinxue secretly sighed in her heart but still she retained a captivating smile on her face and asked. “Since you are not that ‘Heavenly Crow Priest’, then who are you?” She had always been very strong willed. Although her most innermost thoughts had been hit right on the mark by other but she did not show it.
Nangong Ping composed face floated a smile. He seemingly almost wanted to burst out in laughter at the thought of that priest name.
The white hair priest sighed and replied. “My name is Wan Da, a guest under the residence of Nangong Master.” He suddenly smiled. “But the people in the Pugilist nicked me as some one who knows everything, therefore I am forced to be acknowledged as Wan Shitong (Someone who knows many things).”
In his laughing fits, he lifted his glance and saw that Mei Yinxue remained solemn and did not have any tinge of jest. So he asked. “Don’t you feel it is a funny name, maiden?”
Mei Yinxue sighed and said in a serious tone. “Unless it is someone who is exceptional brilliant, unless it is someone that pursue knowledge, unless there are tens of years of hard work, how will anyone nick you as “Wan Shitong”. I greatly admire this name and I don’t find it to be funny.”
Wan Da was startled and he was greatly moved for he found someone that could understand him.
Nangong Ping sighed. “If it not someone who is exceptional brilliant, who else is able to say aloud such an extraordinary line.” (Referring to Mei Yinxue)
Mei Yinxue was delighted and she laughed captivating for awhile.
Wan Da sighed. “Ever since you become the protégé of the Divine Dragon Clan, those who were your proteges had now scattered. I wandered throughout the Pugilistic Fraternity with no accomplishments…Alas! Today I come to the Northwest hoping to witness the duel between the Phoenix and the Divine Dragon. And at the same time pay you a visit. But I was late and when I arrived at Xian City, I heard that the Peacock Concubine has returned to the Pugilist realm. I also heard of your heroic duel with the Chief of the Zhongnan Sect at the Eternal Restaurant.”
He sighed and added. “I know then you have finally accomplished something in your martial ability after many years. I feel very happy but I was also very worry for your safety therefore I searched the fringe of the city hoping for your news. But…”
Mei Yinxue laughed and interrupted. “But your psychology attack aided us to beat off Ren Fengping or else even if we were all injured, it seemed that we would still unable to break loose of that…”
Suddenly Nangong Ping shouted. “Oh no!” As he rushed to Di Yang and under the starlight, Di Yang countenance had darkened.
Ren Fengping did not lie when he said that the mace had been applied with poison.
Nangong Ping asked Di Yang with great anxiety. “Brother Di, how are
Di Yang eyes were in a daze and he could not hear him.
Nangong Ping clenched his fists tightly and broke off in cold sweat.
Wan Da took a look and immediately his countenance changed. Nangong
Ping turned around and asked solemnly. “Is there any hope?”
Wan Da was silence for awhile before he sighed. “The poison that was afflicted to him is not the type that is commonly used in the Central Plains. And the poison has already been…I afraid…afraid…”
Nangong Ping paled and exclaimed. “Is there really no hope?”
Wan Da sighed. “Unless we have Ren Fengping secret antidote, and the long gone miraculous pill ‘Against Heaven's Will’ by the Saint of the Physicians, I afraid that even the wondrous saving pill of physician ‘Pu Ling Xian’ cannot neutralize such a strong acting poison. I can temporary stop the poison from reaching the heart but…”
Before he had finished, Nangong Ping was already on his feet. Mei Yinxue gently blocked him and asked. “What are you trying to do?”
Nangong Ping said solemnly. “Brother Di was injured because of me. How can I watch him die?”
Mei Yinxue expressions changed and said. “If you want to get the antidote from Ren Fengping, would not it be as difficult as negotiating with a tiger?”
Nangong Ping coldly replied. “Even if it meant negotiating with a tiger, I have to try.”
Mei Yinxue melancholy sighed. “Then…let me accompany you.” Nangong Ping exclaimed. “You are now the target of the entire Pugilistic
Fraternity. How can you risk yourself?” Although he was expressionless but he accidentally leaked his concern. Mei Yinxue asked. “Why must you always think of others and not think of yourself?”
Nangong Ping sunk his expression. “If everything is for ourselves, then life will be very pitiful.” He looked up and saw that the ‘Cold and Frosty’ Cold Blood Concubine was filled with looks of concern and emotions. So he unwittingly changed his tone. “Wait here awhile with Brother Wan, if I did not succeed, I will be back very soon.”
Mei Yinxue lovingly laughed and asked. “If you do not succeed, will you be back?”
Nangong Ping said aloud. “I will definitely be back!”
Mei Yinxue melancholy sighed. “If you promise me that if you do not succeed with the first attempt, you will retreat. Only then will I not follow you.”
A hundred emotions flooded in the heart of Nangong Ping, as he could not control it anymore. He slowly said, “Even if I were to crawl, I will crawl back. But…you must be careful too.”
Mei Yinxue slowly moved her body aside for Nangong Ping. She lowered her head and said. “We will be careful!”
Nangong Ping looked at her intensely only to hear her said in a clear voice. “If you are not careful with yourself, I…I…anyway I will wait here for you, no matter how long.”
Nangong Ping slowly extended his hands but suddenly he lowered it and he solemnly said. “I go now.”
Wan Da who was looking intensely sighed. “Is this maiden, really the Peacock Concubine?”
Nangong Ping was startled. “Naturally is real.”
Wan Da said. “If I did not witness it myself, I really cannot believe that the Peacock Concubine will…” He sighed and shut up. He really could not believe that the Cold Blood Concubine Mei Yinxue would show such heart wrenching concern and feeling for anyone.
Nangong Ping was standing rigid onto the ground. He could only felt an unspeakable warm feeling coming from his heart. Once again he looked at Mei Yinxue and said. “I'll go now!” As he left.
Mei Yinxue held her dress as she watched him disappeared into the darkness. She softly said. “Do you think that he will…Alas! If you really the ‘Heavenly Crow Priest’, it will be best. You can tell me what facing him will be a fortune or a calamity!”
Even if it were the most intelligence person, when they encountered something that really concerned them, they would unconsciously inquire the Fates. The Cold Blood Concubine was carefree and did not concern herself with the lives of others. Therefore the thing that everyone believed, she did not. Because she did not have feeling for anything therefore she did not have anything to concern or worry about. She had no fears and having no fears, she would not respect the Fates and the lives of others.
Now that she had beginning to show signs of concern and fear. She started to regard his life much more precious than hers had ever been. This feeling had came so sudden and dyed red the plain white environment of her life.
Wan Da sighed deeply and slowly said, “Nothing can overcome his righteous heart. Maiden, do you agree?”
He looked at her and saw that Mei Yinxue was looking in the sky for Heavens to protect his well being and did not heard him.