Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre - Chapter 20
Chapter 20 - Help From the Son To Fight the Enemies*
Zhang Wuji followed her a few steps, towards the bed. That little servant girl opened the curtains and got on the bed, still holding Zhang Wuji’s hand. Zhang Wuji became shocked, thinking that although this servant girl is very ugly, she’s still a girl. How can he be in the same bed with her? Besides, he needs to chase the enemy. So he took his hands off of hers. That servant girl said quietly, “The secret entrance is on the bed!” When he heard these words, he gathered himself, and forgot all about the fact that man and woman should be apart. As he saw her opened the covers and lied on the bed, he followed suit. The girl then pushed some sort of switch, the bed shook, and the two of them fell down. Although it was a drop of several meters, padding on the ground broke their fall. So he felt no pain. Only to hear a loud thud, as the bed reverted to its original position. He thought, “This entrance really is exquisite. Who would’ve thought that the entrance would be on the bed of the young lady’s room?” He held the servant girl’s hand and ran forward quickly, only to hear the chains on the servant girl’s legs drag on the ground. He suddenly remembered, “This girl’s legs are crippled, so how can she keep up?” He immediately stopped. That girl figured out what he was thinking, and said with a smile, “I was faking my cripple in front of master and the young lady.” Zhang Wuji thought, “No wonder my mom told me that all women lie, even Sister Bu Hui sneaked up on me today.” But with his mortal enemy ahead, he stopped thinking about it, and continued to run forward. They quickly reached the end of the path. Yet he could not see Yuan Zhen.
That servant girl said, “I’ve been here before. Although I’m sure there’s more to this path, I have never found the switch to open it.” Zhang Wuji held his hand out and searched around. He tried to push at different parts of cave walls, but couldn’t move them. That servant girl said, “I’ve tried tens of times. Never did find a secret switch. So where could that monk have gone?”
Zhang Wuji sighed, gathered his chi, pushing the left side of the wall, with no success. Then he pushed the right side, and saw the wall move a bit. He was ecstatic, and immediately gathered in two more breath of chi. This time he pushed open the door. This door is actually the best kind of secret door. There’s no hidden switch. But if you don’t have an amazing amount of inner strength, it’s impossible to open. Now that Zhang Wuji has learned the complete Jiu Yang Shen Gong*, his push utilized a tremendous amount of energy, so obviously the door opened. After opening the door a few inches, Zhang Wuji pushed out his palm into the opening, to prevent Yuan Zhen from sneaking up behind the door, then slid through the opening. A new long path opened up. As the two people ran forward, they felt the path going downward. After running for about 50 meters or so, they came upon a branch with seven paths. Just as Zhang Wuji wondered which way they should go, he heard a light cough from the left side. Although low and short, the sound was obvious when heard inside such a quiet place.
*Jiu Yang Shen Gong is the inner power kung fu Zhang WuJi learned from reading [Jiu Yang Zhen Jing].
Zhang Wuji said quietly, “This way!” Then followed the left-most path, This path is very uneven, sometimes going up, sometimes going down, only to hear the clanking of the chains behind him. He turned around and said, “It’s dangerous ahead, why don’t you slow down as I go on ahead?” That servant girl said, “If there’s danger, we’ll face it together. What’s there to be afraid of?”
Zhang Wuji thought, “Are you lying to me too?” but then kept going, following the left path every single time. The path suddenly became steeper and steeper, until it seemingly became a well. Suddenly, he felt a huge wind pushing from behind, immediately grabbed that girl’s waist, then dashed quickly downward. Whether it’s a bottomless pit down there or a hard wall, he never thought about it. Thankfully there was a room down there for them to fall into. Only to hear a loud thud, as dirt and pebbles landed on their face. Zhang Wuji gathered himself, and heard the servant girl say, “That was close. The old bastard hid to the side, then tried to kill us using a boulder.” Zhang Wuji went to where the boulder got stuck to, and heard Yuan Zhen’s voice from behind, “You little bastard, today you get to be buried alive here, but at least you have a girl to die with you. So consider yourself lucky. I don’t care how much strength you have, do you really think you can push this boulder? If that’s not enough, how about another one?” Only to hear another stone falling down, on top of the last one. Zhang Wuji tried to find any holes he might go through, but couldn’t fit anything more than an arm. He gathered some chi and pushed, but while the stones shook, they didn’t budge. With thousands of pounds of stone, not even his Jiu Yang Shen Gong can break through. Only to hear Yuan Zhen breathing heavily, asking, “Little boy… what’s…. your… name…?” After he said ‘name’, he couldn’t speak anymore.
Zhang WuJi thought, “Even if he wanted to save us, he can’t now. No need to keep talking to him.” He then started to walk around, looking for other exits. The servant girl said, “I have some flint and tinder, but no torch to use it on.” Zhang WuJi said, “No need for fire yet.” He started to search around, finally finding a torch. He said happily, “I got it!” He found lots of dust on it, but doesn’t know what it really is. Picking up the wood, he said, “Here, light the fire.” The servant girl took out her things to light the torch, which caught fire extremely quickly, and sparks flew around. The two people were both shocked, and they began tosmell something stinky. That servant girl said, “It’s gunpowder!” Then raised the torch, looking closely at the contents of the nearby chest, filled with gunpowder. She chuckled quietly and said, “If we had lit the fire here, I bet even that old monk would’ve been blown up by now.” Only to see Zhang WuJi staring intently at herself, his expression filled with surprise. So she said with a smile, “What’s wrong with you?” Zhang WuJi sighed, “So you’re… you’re this beautiful?” That servant girl curled her lips with a smile, “Oops. I was so scared that I forgot to put on my ugly expression.” As she said this, she stretched her body. It turns out that she wasn’t a cripple, nor a hunchback, nor even ugly. In fact, she really is incredibly beautiful, except she’s still a bit young, so she’s not fully developed. Zhang WuJi asked, “Why do you pretend to be like that then?” That servant girl said, “The young lady really hates me, but when she sees my ugly look, she becomes happy. If I don’t act like this, she would’ve killed me a long time ago. Zhang WuJi asked, “Why does she want to kill you?” That servant girl said, “She kept thinking that I’m scheming to kill her and old master.” Zhang WuJi shook his head, said, “She really worries too much. When you had the sword in your hand earlier, and she couldn’t move, you didn’t kill her. So from now on, she won’t distrust you again.” That servant girl said, “Young lady will only get more suspicious now that I’ve taken you here. But we don’t even know if we can get out of here, so I won’t worry about that for now.” As she said this, she held the torch high up into the air, scanning the area. Weapons filled this stone room. As they checked the area once more, they saw no signs of another path. Obviously, Yuan Zhen’s cough is to lure them into this room.
The servant girl said, “Young master, my name is Xiao Zhao. I heard the young lady call you ‘Brother WuJi’, does this mean your name is WuJi?” Zhang WuJi said, “That’s right. My surname is Zhang…” He then got an idea, and picked up a spear. He tested its weight, seeing that it’s quite heavy, about 50 pounds. He said, “These gunpowder just might just save our lives. Let’s see if they can crack the boulders.” Xiao Zhao clapped her hands, “Great idea!” As she clapped, the chains on her wrists clanked together. Zhang WuJi said, “These chains are really bothersome. Let me take them off.”
Xiao Zhao said alarmingly, “No! Master will be very mad.” Zhang WuJi said, “Just tell him I broke the chain. I’m not scared of him at all.” As he said this, he pulled on the chains. Those chains are only about the thickness of chopsticks, and Zhang WuJi applied at least four to five hundred pounds of force, yet the chains did not break. He took a deep breath, then applied more force, yet still couldn’t break the chains. Xiao Zhao said, “These chains are very strange, even sharp swords and sabers can’t break it. The key is in the young lady’s possession.” Zhang WuJi nodded, “If we get out of here, I’ll ask her to unlock the chains for you.” Xiao Zhao said, “I’m afraid she wouldn’t consent.” Zhang WuJi said, “She and I are very close friends, so she’ll definitely listen to me.” As he said this he picked up the spear again, walked over to the boulders, then stopped. When he did not hear Yuan Zhen’s breathing, he stuck the spear into the crack, trying to make a little hole. He put a bunch of gunpowder into the hole, then used some gunpowder to make a path into the room.
He took the torch from Xiao Zhao, and she immediately put her hands over her ears. Zhang WuJi shielded her as he lit the gunpowder, and a huge explosion followed, prompting him to fall back two steps, but Xiao Zhao began to fall down. However, Zhang WuJi prepared for this, and held on to her waist tightly. The smoke filled the room. The torch blew out.
Zhang WuJi said, “Xiao Zhao, are you alright?” Xiao Zhao coughed a few times, then said, “I… I’m fine.” Zhang WuJi heard some stutter in her voice, and thought it was odd. He lit the torch again, and saw her eyes all red. So he asked, “What happened? Do you feel uncomfortable?” Xiao Zhao said, “Young master Zhang, you… you and I are just strangers, why are you so good to me?” Zhang WuJi found this question strange, and said, “Why do you say that?” Xiao Zhao said, “Why did you shield me? I’m just a worthless servant, you… your health is much more precious. There’s no reason to do that.”
Zhang WuJi chuckled, said, “What’s so precious about me? You’re just a little girl, of course I should protect you.”
The smoke clear out a bit, so he walked over to the boulders, only to see them still there, with simply a small crack adding to the side. Zhang WuJi sighed. “Looks like we need repeat this at least seven or eight more times before we can get through. Yet there’s only enough powder for two more blows. He started to randomly poke at the boulder with the spear. As he did this, he accidentally poked the side of the nearby wall, and some stone fell off. Surprised and happy, he immediately went and pushed down more blocks, revealing another path. While the gunpowder didn’t break apart the boulders. It did soften the wall by it.
He entered the new path, and then asked Xiao Zhao to come through. This time, he held up the spear in front of him to guard from Yuan Zhen. After walking a while, they came upon another stone door. Zhang WuJi gave the torch to Xiao Zhao and pushed open this one. The next room looks bigger. As he took the torch from Xiao Zhao again, he scanned the area, seeing two skeletons on the floor, a woman and a man.
Xiao Zhao became really scared, and held on to his side. Zhang WuJi raised the torch again and searched the area, said, “Looks like another dead end. I wonder if we’ll ever find an exit.” He started to poke the walls with his spear, but with no success. None of the walls are hollow.
He walked close to the two skeletons, saw that the woman held a dagger in her hand. The dagger apparently pierced into her body. He immediately remembered Yuan Zhen’s story. Yuan Zhen and Lady Yang met secretly here, and Yang DingTian found out. In his anger, Yang DingTian got fire deviation and died. Lady Yang then followed her husband by committing suicide.
“Could this be the Yang couple?” he thought. As he walked up to the man, he saw the hand holding a piece of sheepskin. Zhang WuJi picked it up, looked at it, and saw that it’s blank. But Xiao Zhao quickly took it from him, and her face started to be filled with happiness. She said, “Congratulations, this is the Ming sect’s most powerful kung fu manual.” As she spoke, she made a cut on her finger with Lady Yang’s dagger, spreading her blood onto the skin. Slowly words appeared, the first line said, “The Ming sect Holy Fire manual, Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi.” Although Zhang WuJi accidentally found the powerful Ming sect kung fu manual, he felt no happiness. He thought, “This room has no food or water. If we don’t leave, we’ll last no more than seven to eight days. Since we’re going to die here, no kung fu is useful.” He stared at the skeletons again, wondering, “Why didn’t Yuan Zhen take this manual? That’s right, he probably felt bad about the whole thing, and was too scared to visit the Yang couple. Of course, there’s no way he would know that the sheepskin was the kung fu manual. Or he would’ve definitely taken it.” Zhang WuJi then asked Xiao Zhao, “How do you know the secret of this sheepskin?” Xiao Zhao lowered her head, said, “I overheard the master speaking about it with the young lady, They’re both members of the Ming sect, so they can’t come down here to look for it.” Zhang WuJi looked at the skeletons again, and said, “Let’s bury them.” So they put the bones together and gathered some dirt to cover them. As they did so, Xiao Zhao picked up something. “Young Master Zhang, there’s a letter here.” Zhang WuJi took the letter, and saw the words “To my wife” on it. He said, “Looks like Lady Yang killed herself before getting a chance to open the letter.” He then put the letter back with their body, and was about to cover them with dirt. But Xiao Zhao said, “Wait, let’s read it. Maybe it’s something important left by old leader Yang.”
Zhang WuJi said, “But that would be disrespectful to their bodies.” Xiao Zhao said, “If he has something he wanted to do but couldn’t, you can tell the young lady and master. So they can take care of it for Leader Yang.” Zhang WuJi thought she’s right. So he opened the letter and looked at the contents. “To my wife: After you have entered the Yang family, we have often been separated, as I have neglected you, I’m truly sorry, I hope you understand. But the thirty-second leader Yi left me in his will: when I have fully learnt Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi, I will lead our troops to Persia to retrieve our Holy Fire Commandment. Although our sect originates from Persia, we are now deeply rooted here in China, and have been independent for over a hundred years. Today the Mongolians rule over our land, so we must fight them to the end, and disobey our orders from the Persian Ming sect. Once the Holy Fire Commandment enters our hand, we shall finally be able to break away from the Main sect.” Zhang WuJi thought, “This old leader would disobey the main sect to fight the Mongolians. He really is a great man.” With a feeling of admiration, he read on. “Today I finished the fourth level, but due to the event with Cheng Kun, I have fire deviated, unable to control my inner chi.” When Zhang WuJi read to here, he sighed lightly, “So Leader Yang knew about his wife and Cheng Kun’s meetings when writing this.” When he saw that Xiao Zhao wanted to ask, but was afraid, he explained the events between them. Xiao Zhao said, “I say it’s all Lady Yang’s fault. If she really loves Cheng Kun, she should’ve married him instead. But once married to Leader Yang, she should’ve stopped seeing Cheng Kun.” Zhang WuJi nodded, thought, “Although she is young, she is quite wise.” He then read on, “Today my life is near the end, and as I cannot complete Leader Yi’s will, I am a criminal of the Ming sect. My only hope is to give this letter to my wife, so she can gather the Left and Right Guard, the four Protector Lords, the head of the Five Colored Flags, so they can adhere to my will. ‘Whoever obtains the Holy Fire Commandment will become the thirty-fourth leader of the Ming sect. Anyone who disagrees will be executed immediately. The interim leader of the sect will be Xie Xun.” Zhang WuJi felt a surge in his body, and thought, “So he chose my godfather to be the next leader. My godfather is great at everything, and one of the most powerful person in the Ming sect. Unfortunately, Lady Yang did not have a chance to read this letter. Or the Ming sect would never have reached this stage of inner turmoil.” He was quite happy that Leader Yang was so appreciative of his godfather, but also felt sad at the same time. After a while, he continued to read on, “The [Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi] manual will be passed on to Xie Xun, so he can give it to the next leader. Brighten our sect, Do good deeds, Destroy evil, Uphold the righteous, spread our Holy Fire to all the people in the world. This, the new leader must adhere to.”
Zhang WuJi thought, “From the looks of this letter, the Ming sect is very righteous. So the six sects really should not be causing trouble for the Ming sect.” Only to read further,
“ With my remaining powers, I will close off the remaining path to this room and die here with Cheng Kun. My wife can then escape with my map. Since only those who knows Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi has my energy, no one else can open this door at the ‘Wu Wang’ location. But anyone who later learns this can do so. Sincerely, Yang Ding Tian.” The last line was filled with small words, “Although my name is Ding(top) Tian(sky), I couldn’t learn much kung fu, nor could I brighten the sect, nor could I make my wife happy, I really am useless.”
On the back of the letter is a map, detailing every single door and passageway. Zhang WuJi became ecstatic, said, “So Leader Yang wanted to die with Cheng Kun here, except he couldn’t hold up long enough, dying first. But at least this means that we can now escape with this map.” He found his location on the map, then checked for the exit. Unfortunately, the only exit route is the one Yuan Zhen blocked. So it’s useless after all. Xiao Zhao said, “Don’t worry about it, young master. Maybe there’s another exit.” She took the map and examined closely, but couldn’t find anything else either. Zhang WuJi saw her disappointment, and said with a bitter smile, “Leader Yang mentioned that once one learns Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi, he can open the stone door. Yet only Left Guard Yang has learnt this technique, and only a tiny bit at that. Even if he’s here, we’re still probably stuck. Besides, I have no clue where this ‘Wu Wan’ position is.”
Xiao Zhao said, “Wu Wan position? That’s one location within the ‘Fu Xi sixty-four Gua’*, Let’s see, it should...” As she said this, she walked to an area in the northwest corner, then said, “It should be here.”
*Note: I looked up the web for an hour on the explanation of this particular Gua. Suffice to say I got nothing useful. Honestly, I have no knowledge of Taoism. But it doesn’t really matter too much.
Zhang WuJi said, “Really?” He picked up a big axe from the stack of weapons, went over to the area and wiped away the dust. A crease appeared, showing a door. He thought, “Although I don’t know Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi, I do know Jiu Yang Shen Gong. My power might be enough.” So he gathered his chi and his fists shot out, pushing the door. After a long time, the door still showed no signs of movement. No matter where he positions his hands and feet, how he applied his chi, the door won’t budge. After becoming sore from all the pushing, he finally stopped.
Xiao Zhao said, “Young master Zhang, you don’t need to keep trying. Let me go get the rest of the gunpowder.” Zhang WuJi said excitedly, “Oh, I forgot about that!” The two people put the remaining gunpowder next to the door, then let it explode. Although it blew a huge hole, it still did not penetrate the door. Zhang WuJi finally gave up, held on to Xiao Zhao’s hand and said tenderly, “Xiao Zhao, it’s all my fault. It’s because of me that you’re stuck here.”
Xiao Zhao’s bright eyes stared closely at Zhang WuJi, “Young master Zhang, you should be scolding me instead. If I didn’t take you here, then… then you wouldn’t…” She cried when she got here, and used her sleeves to wipe away her tears. After a while, she began to smile through her tears, “Since we can’t leave anyway, let’s not worry too much. How about I sing you a song?” Zhang WuJi really isn’t in the mood to listen to a song, but he couldn’t bear to say no. So he smiled and said, “Ok!” Xiao Zhao sat by his side, and began to sing.
“Things in the world are hard to describe through logic, life filled with unexpected, for nothing will keep one’s interest very long, there’s danger within good fortune, good fortune within danger.” When Zhang WuJi heard the last phrase, he couldn’t help but think that this is how his life has been. He listened some more, hearing her soothing and clear voice. His worries became less and less, listening intently.
When Xiao Zhao was finished, Zhang WuJi said, “Xiao Zhao, your song was great. Who wrote the lines to this song?” Xiao Zhao smiled, “You’re just kidding. What’s so great about my singing? I just heard some other people sing it, and then started singing myself. So not even I know who wrote it.” Zhang WuJi then started to hum a bit himself. Xiao Zhao said, “Do you really like it, or just pretending?” Zhang WuJi laughed, “Of course I really like it. Why would I pretend?” Xiao Zhao said, “Really? Ok. I’ll sing another piece.” She began to sing again, “Put away your worries, don’t be so bitter, even if you’re beautiful today, you will still be old some day, life has always been like this, who cares for money and fame.”
“In the end, you still can’t escape fate. Like flowing water, what goes around comes around.”
These words are very deep and felt like spoken from personal experience, very inappropriate for a young girl like Xiao Zhao. Obviously, she memorized it from listening to someone else. Although Zhang WuJi is still young, he has been through so much already in his life. He thought about the “In the end, you can’t escape fate.” In the past, he has never cared much for life and death. Before, his death would never affect anyone else. Yet today, he not only pulled in this innocent girl to die with him, but also would die not knowing what would happen to the Ming sect, to the safety of Yang Xiao and Yang BuHui, the revenge of his godfather. Unlike previous occasions, he really didn’t want to simply die at this moment. So he stood up and tried the door again. Yet no matter how hard he tries, the door still won’t budge.
It’s at this time that Xiao Zhao cut open her own finger again, spreading her blood onto the sheepskin, then said, “Young master Zhang, why don’t you try learning this? Perhaps you’re a genius, and can therefore learn this in a short time.” Zhang WuJi smiled, “The old Ming sect leaders were all some of the best martial artists in the world, yet they couldn’t even learn this in a short time. How could I compare to them?”
Xiao Zhao sang in a low voice, “Learning a little bit means a little bit more knowledge. Even if it is useless, it doesn’t hurt to try.” Zhang WuJi chuckled, took the sheepskin from Xiao Zhao, and started reading. Only to see all the text contains information on utilizing one’s chi, to make them flow easily within your body. So he followed it, and quickly finished the first level without any trouble. Then he saw the sheepskin said, “This first level requires at least seven years for experts, lesser people require fourteen years.” Zhang WuJi felt strange, wondering how this can be so.
He followed by reading the second level, and felt his inner chi flow easily through his body. Then he felt as if icy particles shot out of his ten fingers, finishing the level. Yet on the parchment, it said, “Experts require seven years, lesser people require fourteen years. If you can’t finish in twenty one years, you should give up, or risk fire deviation.” Zhang WuJi, surprised and happy, began to learn level three. This time the words have begun to fade. Just as he was about to cut his finger, Xiao Zhao dropped her blood onto the sheepskin first. Zhang WuJi followed the directions and quickly finished level three and four. When Xiao Zhao saw that half of his face is bright red, while the other half is green, she felt scared. Yet she saw that he still has much energy, as if nothing’s going on. Then when he was learning the fifth level, his faces sometimes turn red and sometimes green. When it turns green, his face becomes cold as ice. When it becomes red, sweat poured down his face.
Xiao Zhao took out a handkerchief, wanting to wipe some sweat off from him, but when it touched his forehead, she felt a shock, and thrown back, almost falling down. Zhang WuJi stood up and began to wipe his sweat with his sleeves, not really knowing what happened, He had completed level five of this kung fu. This Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi really is simply a cunning way of utilizing one’s power. The basic theory lies in one’s natural ability. Everyone has a huge amount of innate strength. However, most of the time, you’ll never use it. Yet when there’s an emergency, like when you’re saving someone’s life, a weak person maybe able to life a thousand pounds. Zhang WuJi, after learning Jiu Yang Shen Gong, has more natural ability than anyone else in the world. It’s just that he never received advice from experts, and therefore cannot utilize most of his abilities. This time as he learns Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi, his innate power finally released.
This particular kung fu is very difficult to learn. A single mistake can lead to fire deviation. This is due to the inner power requirement for utilizing the technique. For if you ask a young child to lift a hundred pound hammer, he’ll fail, end up hurting himself no matter how well he grabs and lifts it. But if you ask a weightlifter to do the same, he’ll accomplish it easily. The idea is easy in theory, but does not work if you don’t have the means. Every older leader of the Ming sect knows this, but they all felt that if they try hard enough, they would eventually succeed. This is why Zhang WuJi could learn the skill so fast, while many people smarter than he fails. Zhang WuJi simply had enough inner power, while the others do not. After learning level five, Zhang WuJi found himself very relaxed, as if he can do many things quickly and easily. He even forgot about the door, and concentrated on level six. Two hours later, he reached level seven. Level seven is many times more difficult then level six, prompting him to think a lot before learning. But it’s a good thing he is an expert in medicine, and can figure these things out. But after finishing the majority of the text, he found his blood began to boil, his heart pounding fast. He stopped for a while, and tried again. This time, the same thing happened. He never had experienced this before while practicing. So he skipped that sentence. The next one was fine. But he could not figure out the one after that. Overall, he had to skip nineteen sentences when finished the last level. Zhang WuJi rested for a while, then put that sheepskin on the stone, and kowtowed to it. He said, “Student Zhang WuJi accidentally found this secret manual, and learned it only because I seek to live, not because I want to steal your manual. When I leave, I will use my new power only to help the Ming sect, as to thank the former leaders of the Ming sect for saving my life.” Xiao Zhao also kowtowed a few times, and said quietly, “Former leaders of the Ming sect, please protect young master Zhang in his effort to rebuild the Ming sect, returning it to the glory of the past.” Zhang WuJi stood up and said, “I’m not a member of the Ming sect, and because of the promise to my martial grandfather, never will be. But after reading Leader Yang’s will, I know that the Ming sect really is a righteous sect. So I will do my best to arbitrate their misunderstandings with the six sects.” Xiao Zhao said, “You said you couldn’t finish nineteen sentences, why don’t you rest and try once more?” Zhang WuJi responded, “Although I missed nineteen sentences, and feel a bit empty, but why dwell on it? I have learned so much. There’s no need to ask for more.”
Xiao Zhao said, “Young master’s right.” She took the sheepskin, asked him to point out those nineteen sentences, and memorized them. Zhang WuJi laughed, “Why are you trying to remember these?” Xiao Zhao’s face became red, and said, “It’s nothing, I just thought that if even you can’t learn it, then it must be extremely strange.”
Who would’ve thought that since Zhang WuJi is never greedy, he was able to avoid major problems. For you see, the original creator of Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi only learned to level six. So he can only conjecture how one should practice level seven. The nineteen sentences that Zhang WuJi skipped just happened to be mistakes that person made while writing down level seven’s directions. So had Zhang WuJi continued, he would’ve fire deviated, perhaps losing his life.
After the two of them finished burying the Yang couple, Zhang WuJi walked over to the stone door. Following the directions of Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi, he opened it with just one hand.
Xiao Zhao excitedly clapped her hands, praising Zhang WuJi’s powers, her chain clanked together again. Zhang WuJi said, “Let me try breaking them apart again.” Xiao Zhao said happily, “This time you’ll definitely succeed!” Zhang WuJi held the chains between her hand, and pulled. Yet for some reason, the chains only became longer and longer, not breaking. Xiao Zhao yelled, “Wait, this isn’t good. I’ll be in even worse condition with a longer chain.” Zhang WuJi said, “This chain really is strange.” When he saw Xiao Zhao sigh, Zhang WuJi tried to make her feel better, said, “Don’t worry. I promise I’ll get you the key. If we can go through death together, how are some chains going to get in our way?” He wanted to find Yuan Zhen for revenge, but found that he still couldn’t move those two boulders. So they left through the other door. As they got outside, both squinted their eyes, trying to adjust to the brightness. When they could see again, both saw sunlight reflecting off the snow on the ground. Xiao Zhao blew out the fire on the torch, then buried it inside the snow, and then said, “Thank you little torch. Thank you for shining the way for young master Zhang and myself. If it weren’t for you, we’d be dead already.”
Zhang WuJi laughed at her, but then immediately thought, “There are so many devious people in this world, yet this little girl would even thank a torch. She must be a very kind person.” So he smiled. With the snow reflecting the light onto her face, Xiao Zhao looked even more radiant, showing her great beauty. He couldn’t help but say, “Wow. Xiao Zhao, you’re so very pretty.” Xiao Zhao said happily, “Young master Zhang, you’re not lying to me, are you?” Zhang WuJi said, “Please don’t pretend to be a hunchback and a cripple, I like you just like this.” Xiao Zhao said, “If you tell me to be like this, I’ll stay like this. Even if young lady kills me, I still won’t pretend.” Zhang WuJi said, “Oh, don’t say that. Why would she kill you?” After looking at her some more, he found her skin especially white, her nose a bit taller, her eyes as blue as the sea. He said, “You’re originally from Xi Yu*, aren’t you? You have an unique attractiveness that the mid-plains girls don’t have.” Xiao Zhao said, “But I’d rather look like the girls from the mid-plains.” As they walked further, Zhang WuJi saw some people lying on the ground to the north. Zhang WuJi said, “Let’s go over there and take a look.” He then held Xiao Zhao’s hand and immediately started to run. Now that he has mastered the seventh level of Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi, his whole body moves effortlessly. Making the impossible seemingly easy. Even while holding another person, his movement is still quick and agile. They soon arrived at the location of the bodies. Three has the clothes of the Ming sect, while one looked like a Shaolin monk. Zhang WuJi said with shock, “Oh no! We’ve been in the cave for so long. The six sects might have reached the mountain top now!” He touched the bodies, and realized that they’ve been dead for a while. So he started to run quickly, while holding on to Xiao Zhao. Zhang WuJi said, “I wonder what has happened to Mr. Yang and Sister BuHui?” He ran faster and faster, as if carrying Xiao Zhao in midair. On the way they saw many corpses. The majority are Ming sect members, but quite a few are also among the six major sects. Obviously, without the guidance of the likes of Yang Xiao and Wei YiXiao, the Ming sect had a lot of trouble holding off the enemy. But since they would rather die than surrender, the six sects also suffered major casualties. He suddenly heard noise of weaponry, thinking that it’s a good thing the battle hasn’t reached the main hall.
*Xi Yu is the location of the Ming sect. It’s in the western area of china. Not sure of the exact location, though.
As he kept going on, he heard two darts from behind, and someone yelled, “Who is it? Stop!” Zhang WuJi did not slow down, simply waved his sleeves to blow away the darts. Only then did he hear a scream. He stopped, turned around, and saw a monk on the ground, with two darts on his right shoulder. Zhang WuJi felt astonished, as he did not know that a wave of his arm could have so much power behind it. He hurried to the monk and apologized, “I’m sorry that I accidentally hurt you.” And then took out the two darts.
Yet this monk suddenly struck out at him, his right foot struck at Zhang WuJi’s left waist. Zhang WuJi didn’t expect this, and couldn’t dodge it. Yet for some reason that monk instead bounced away, hitting a tree behind him. His right foot broken, his mouth filled with blood. By now, the chi inside Zhang WuJi is even more fluid, so his defense power was much better than when Jing Xuan* kicked him That’s why the monk’s injury was much severe.
*This happened right before ZWJ took the three palms from Mie Jui. Jing Xuan is the top disciple of Mie Jui.
When Zhang WuJi saw this, he felt even worse. He tried to go up and apologize again, but that monk only looked at him venomously. Hearing more noise coming from afar, he stopped caring for the monk. Picking up Xiao Zhao, Zhang WuJi immediately darted to the location of the sound. After going through the front door, he passed two buildings, and finally into a large square. The square is filled with people. The people on the west are less in numbers, and most are wounded. The people on the east are separated into six groups, with a lot more in numbers. Zhang WuJi saw the likes of Yang Xiao, Wei YiXiao, Monk Peng, and Shuo BuDe* all in the Ming group. From the looks of it, they still have trouble moving. Yang BuHui sat by her dad’s side. In the middle of the square, two people are fighting. As everyone’s attention is on the fight, no one them. Zhang WuJi got closer to see clearly. He saw that both combatants used bare fists, but their strikes carried the wind, power unimaginable. Obviously both people are two of the top fighters in the world. Those two people’s body moved quickly, their strokes extremely fast. Then suddenly, the four palms struck each other, all movement stopped immediately in a flash. The spectators all yelled together, “Great!”
*For those who don’t remember them, Wei YiXiao is the Green Bat King. Shou BuDe(Can’t Say) is the person who carried ZWJ in his sack. Monk Peng is another member of the ‘Wu San Ren’,
Zhang WuJi was shocked when he saw the faces of the combatants. The short middle-aged man with a determined face is Wu Dang’s fourth hero Zhang SongXi. His opponent is and old man, whose long brows look whiter than snow, his nose crooked, like an eagle’s beak. Zhang WuJi thought, “Since when did the Ming sect have another person this powerful? Who is he?” Suddenly, he heard someone in the Hua Shan sect scream, “Old man white-brow, give up now, how can you be a match for the fourth hero of Wu Dang?” When Zhang WuJi heard the name ‘old man white-brow’, he immediately figured it out, “Oh, so he… he’s my grandfather. White-browed Eagle King!” He wanted to go up and embrace him. But they’re still matching inner strength as of right now. On one side you have one of the Ming sect’s Four Great Protection Lords, on the other you have one of Zhang SanFeng’s top student. As the battle seemingly near the end, both sides started to hold their breath, concerned for their own side’s fighter. This battle is not only a match between Wu Dang and the Ming sect, but the fighters’ healths are at risk too. Only to see both people still as statues. Zhang SongXi knows that Yin TianZheng has twenty extra years of inner power cultivation, but he has the advantage of youth and a body in his prime. He didn’t realize that Ying TianZheng is a prodigy at martial arts. Although he is quite old, his body still has the stamina of a youngster. Waves of chi strikes came continuously at Zhang SongXi. When Zhang WuJi first saw them, his reaction was pure joy. But that soon turned to worry. One is his grandfather. One is his dad’s martial brother, who treated him like a son. When he was still suffering from Xuan Ming Palm, all the Wu Dang heroes took turns sacrificing their own inner power to prolong his life. No matter who dies, he would be deeply miserable.
Just as he was about to go break up the fight, both Yin TianZheng and Zhang SongXi yelled, the four palms broke apart, and each person retreated six to seven steps. Zhang SongXi said, “Elder Yin’s power is simply amazing. You have my admiration.” Ying TianZheng said, “Brother Zhang’s inner power skill has no equal, I must say that mine is no match. You are the martial brother of my son-in-law. Do we really have to fight to the death here?” When Zhang WuJi heard him talk about his father, his head kept yelling, “Stop! Stop!” Zhang SongXi said, “I retreated one more step than you did, so I admit defeat.” After bowing, he retreated to his group.
Suddenly another person came out from the Wu Dang sect. He pointed at Yin TianZheng, “Old man Ying, if you hadn’t brought up my fifth brother, I would have let that slide. But my third and fifth brother were both injured because of your Heavenly Eagle sect. If I don’t have my revenge here, I don’t think we would deserve our nickname of the ‘Seven Wu Dang Heroes’.” As he spoke, his sword came out. Under the bright sun the sword sparkled as he moved into the starting ‘Wan Yue Chao Zong’ position. This is the normal Wu Dang position when dueling against elders. Although Muo ShengGu is incredibly angry, he still did not lose his cool in front of the masses. Making sure he pays the proper respect to an elder. Yin TianZheng sighed, as his face showed much sadness. “After my daughter died, I stopped caring to use swords. But if I face your sword with bare fists, that would be too disrespectful.” He pointed to a Ming member who uses the iron staff, “Can I borrow your staff for a moment?” That Ming member presented it to him with both hands. Yin TianZheng took the iron staff, and then use his hand to break it in two.
All the spectators ‘wowed’ at that action. No one thought that after so many fights, this old man still have such amazing strength. Muo ShengGu knows that he won’t attack first, so his long sword rose, attacked with the stroke ‘Hundred Bird Flying in the Wind’. Only to see the sword point move in different directions, suddenly changing into tens of sword point, aiming towards the opponents mid area. Although this stroke is very powerful, it’s still a very respectful stroke. Yin TianZheng blocked with his left broken staff, and said, “You don’t have to be so respectful.” And followed by a counter with his right broken staff. After several moves, they saw that Muo ShengGu’s swords strokes are incredibly elegant, agile, sometimes light, sometimes heavy, really is befitting of a major sect. Yin TianZheng’s staff is already quite heavy, and his strokes look quite dumb and ordinary. But in the eyes of the experts, they see that his martial arts has reached an astonishingly high level. His steps are also quite slow and unmethodical. Muo ShengGu attacked from all directions, in just a few moments, he has unleashed over sixty lethal attacks.
After some time, Muo ShengGu’s strokes became faster and faster. Kun Lun and Er Mei has long been known for their sword art, but they too were amazed at just how powerful Muo ShengGu’s sword art is, thinking, “Wu Dang’s fame really is quite deserving. Really glad to see it today.” Yet no matter how hard he tries, Muo ShengGu still could not break through Yin TianZheng’s blockade of two broken staffs. He thought, “This person had already fought three top fighters of Shaolin, plus he wasted much energy while matching palms with fourth brother He’s already at a severe disadvantage. If I can’t beat him now, where’s the face for our sect?” He suddenly changed his sword form, as the long sword seemingly became a strand of silk, light as a feather, flowing effortlessly up and down. This is Wu Dang’s seventy-two stroke ‘Finger Spinning Soft Sword’. After twenty or so attacks, Yin TianZheng could no longer stand fairly still, and began to utilize his lightness kung fu, matching him speed for speed. Suddenly he saw Muo ShengGu’s sword came aiming at his chest, yet in the middle, it suddenly changed directions, aiming towards his right shoulder. Yin TianZheng hurriedly tried to dodge this, yet for some reason, the sword bounced back to its original direction, striking YinTianZheng’s left shoulder. Yin TianZheng’s shot out his right hand, grabbed Muo ShengGu’s wrist, twisted it, and grabbed his sword. His left hand then grabbed his ‘Jian Zhen Point’. White-browed Eagle King’s Eagle Claws is unrivaled in the martial world. If he simply applied a bit more pressure, Muo ShengGu’s bones would crack, and forever be crippled. The other Wu Dang heroes wanted to go up and save him, but knew it’s too late.
Yin TianZheng sighed, said, “Why bother…” and released his grip. His right hand took the sword out of his left shoulder, and blood came pouring out. He said, “You know, in my whole life, I have never been beaten in terms of techniques. Zhang SanFeng really is incredible!” He was commenting that he could not block Wu Dang’s ‘Finger Spinning Soft Sword’. Muo ShengGu stared at the ground. Although he did deliver the first blow, he lost at the end. After a moment, he said, “Thank you for not taking my life.” Yin TianZheng did not speak, returning the sword to him. Muo ShengGu had always been a prodigy at the sword art. He felt terrible that his sword was taken, and couldn’t bring himself to accept it before backing down. Zhang WuJi ripped a piece of sleeve from his shirt, about to go treat his grandpa’s injuries. But the top hero of the Wu Dang sect, Song YuanQiao, came out first and said, “I’ll treat your injuries.” He then took out some blood- stopping medicine, and covered up his wound. Heavenly Eagle sect and the Ming sect both saw his righteousness expression, knows that he wouldn’t try to hurt Yin TianZheng in the process. Yin TianZheng said, “Thank you!” Zhang WuJi became ecstatic, thinking, “My uncle Song treated grandpa’s wounds for not taking uncle Muo’s life. I bet they’ll stop fighting now.” Who would’ve thought that after patching his wounds, Song YuanQiao backed off a bit and said, “I will now challenge you to another duel!” This really is something Zhang WuJi did not expect, and he immediately blurted out, “Hero Song. This is not fair that you’re all fighting him one after the other!”
As he said this, everyone turned towards him. Other than a few, like the Er Mei sect, Yang Xiao, Song QingShu, Yin LiTing, and others, no one else knows who he is.
Song YuanQiao said, “This boy is correct. Although Wu Dang and Heavenly Eagle sect are enemies, we’re here to fight the Ming sect. So our differences can wait.” Yin TianZheng looked back to his group, seeing Wei YiXiao, Yang Xiao, and the others still heavily wounded, his own son unconscious. Other than himself, no one else can possibly put up a fight against Song YuanQiao. But after fighting five times already, his energy has mostly been depleted. Besides, this shoulder wound really is quite severe.
Just as he was thinking these things, an old, short man came out from the Kong Dong sect. He said, “Since you’ve lost already, why don’t you just surrender now? Reverend Kong Zhi, let’s go burn the place!” Kong Zhi is the leader of the Shaolin group that came to fight the Ming sect. The others all look up to him for guidance.
Before Kong Zhi could respond, someone in the Hua Shan sect said, “Who cares whether they surrender or not? Just kill them all.” Yin TianZheng tried to recover some strength, but he felt sharp pain on the shoulders. He knew that Song YuanQiao is the eldest disciple under Zhang SanFeng. Even at full strength, he’s not sure if he can win. Yet with everyone else injured or dead, he’s the only one who can put up any resistance. So his only choice is to fight to the end. Although he’s not afraid of death, but to lose everything he’s worked for is hard to take. Song YuanQiao then said, “Elder Yin, although Wu Dang and Heavenly Eagle Sect are enemies, that is not the purpose of this visit. We are here to fight the Ming sect. Since you have already left the Ming sect, you really don’t have to be here. If you leave now, we won’t stop you.”
Everyone knows thee story about Heavenly Eagle sect harming Yu DaiYan* to become the enemy of Wu Dang. So everyone was surprised to hear Song YuanQiao say these words. But they also know that Song YuanQiao is a righteous peson, and doesn’t want to take advantage of him.” Yin TianZheng laughed, “I thank your kindness. But I am one of the Great Protection Lords of the Ming sect. How can I ignore the Ming sect when it’s in trouble? I can only die defending today.” As he said this he stepped up, his hands by his shoulders. Song YuanQiao said, “If that’s the case, then I’m sorry!” As he said this, his hands shot out, using the move ‘Qing Shou Shi’. This is Wu Dang’s opening palm move against elders, again to show respect. Yin TianZheng said, “No need.” And moved his hands in position to block. Although in order to facilitate this strike, Song YuanQiao needed to move up another step, but instead he did not move his feet. So this palm is still inches from Yin TianZheng’s body.
*Yu DaiYan is the third brother of Wu Dang, who was poisoned and sent back by Yin SuSu.
Yin TianZheng thought, “Could it be that his palm is so powerful it can hit through air?” He doesn’t want to take the chance, and used his chi onto his right palm to meet the opponent. But for some reason, Song YuanQiao’s palm did not carry any extra inner power with it. Just as he was wondering what’s going on, Song YuanQiao said, “My master heard your inner power cultivation is one of the best in the world. However, after battling so many people, it’s unfair for someone as fresh as me to fight you. So let’s just compete in techniques, not inner power.” As he said this, his foot shot out. Although it did not aim at the opponent, it’s still precise and quick, making it difficult to block had he used it for real. Yin TianZheng said, “Great!” He decided to use attack as defense. Trying to gain the initiative. Song YuanQiao dodged left and right before returning a palm. Although they’re not touching each other, they both know what the results of each strike and counters were.
The spectators include many top martial artists. They see that Song YuanQiao used soft to counter hard, his movement incredibly fast. Yin TianZheng’s style is pure power, yet he also kept up the speed. Only to see both attack and defend quickly. Although seemingly like two people practicing, they are actually in a very heated battle.
When Zhang WuJi first saw Yin TianZheng fought Zhang SongXi and Muo ShengGu, he cared too much for their safety to actually look at their fighting style. But now that there’s no worry about anyone’s lives, he can concentrate on their techniques. Yet the more he watched, the more he doesn’t get it. “My grandfather and Uncle Song are two of the best fighters in the world, so are there so many flaws in their moves? If grandpa only aimed that last attack a bit left, he would’ve hit Uncle Song’s chest. If Uncle Song had held back this attack a bit longer, he would’ve hit my grandpa’s shoulders. Could it be that they’re purposely holding back? But that doesn’t seem to be the case.” In actuality, both Yin TianZheng and Song YuanQiao are fighting with all their concentration. But after learning Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi, his abilities have raised another notch. There are many flaws in Song and Yin’s moves, but also none. The only reason Zhang WuJi thinks this way is because of Jiu Yang Shen Gong. His methods for beating the enemy might succeed, but certainly no better than the ones Yin and Song are using. Because no one else can use them. It’s the same as a bird watching a lion fight a tiger, thinking why doesn’t one just fly up and attack from above? Although lions and tigers are powerful, they still cannot fly. Zhang WuJi is hardly knowledgeable about these things, so he couldn’t figure it out. Suddenly he saw Song YuanQiao’s moves changed, his hands danced in the air, soft and without power. This is Wu Dang’s ‘Soft Palms’. Yin TianZheng still used his same palm style. One trying to counter soft, while the other trying to counter hard.
In the middle of the fight, Song YuanQiao attacked with his left hand, his right hand followed, but attacked faster. Then his left hand then reached around and caught up with the right hand. Yin TianZheng could not find a way to escape, so he shot out both of his palms forward. Their palms facing each other, and stopped moving. At this moment, there’s nothing to do but to match inner strength. Except their palms did not meet. Song YuanQiao smiled, putting down his arms, said, “Your palm really is quite magnificent. You have my admiration!” Yin TianZheng also took back his palms and said, “Wu Dang’s palm art really is the best in the world.” They agreed not to match inner powers, so they had to stop here. Wu Dang still has Yu LianZhou and Yin LiTing still available, but Yin TianZheng’s face became red, sweat pouring down his body. Although it was not an inner power match, the opponent was too strong. So he had to waste a lot of strength anyway. At this moment, no matter which other Wu Dan hero comes forward, they would easily win, and become famous for defeating the White- browed Eagle King. Yin LiTing and Yu LianZhou looked at each other, both shook their head, thinking, “How can we possibly fight an injured person?”
Although they wouldn’t step forward, it doesn’t mean others would follow suit. A small man from Kong Dong stepped forward and said, “Let me play around with you a bit!” His voice full of disrespect.
Yin TianZheng thought, “Ordinarily, they’re not even worth fighting me. But now the situation is different. Had I died in the hands of Wu Dang, it wouldn’t have been too bad. But how can I let you Tan WenLiang achieve this fame?” Although he felt dizzy, he still gathered his strength to stand up. “Little guy, go ahead!” Tang WenLiang saw that his energy has been mostly depleted, that if he simply wait a bit longer, Yin TianZheng will probably collapse himself. So he quickly got behind Yin TianZheng, aiming towards the back of his heart. Yin TianZheng turned to block, but Tang WenLiang had already left his original spot, moving around like a monkey, not giving him a good target. After a while, Yin TianZheng’s eyes saw only black, his mouth coughed some blood, and fell down. Tang WenLiang excitedly said, “Yin TianZheng, today you’ll die in my hands!” He jumped down to attack. Zhang WuJi saw what’s going on, began to help, but then saw Yin TianZheng’s right hand reached up, using a perfect technique against an attack from above, grabbed Tang WenLiang’s arm. Followed by two ka-cha sounds, as his Eagle Claw broke Tang WenLiang’s shoulders, followed by his two legs. Tang WenLiang fell to the ground, unable to get up. People all felt awe that he was able to do such a thing in such condition. Members of the Kong Dong sect all looked pale. Although they’re close to Tang WenLiang, none dared to go up and retrieve him. After a while, a tall person from the Kong Dong sect came out, picked up a stone, and threw it at Yin TianZheng. This is Zong WeiXia, the second Kong Dong elder. He said, “Old man White-brow. Let’s take care of some old business.” This stone shot over and hit Yin TianZheng on the face, blood came out. Everyone became shocked, as no one thought it would actually hit him. But apparently, in his semi-conscious state, Yin TianZheng couldn’t even see the stone coming, much less avoid it. At this moment, almost anyone could go up and kill him. But before Zong WeiXia can do anything, a person came out from the Wu Dang sect. This is the second Wu Dang hero Yu LianZhou. He said, “Brother Zong, he’s already very injured. To kill him now is a terrible thing to do. Since he and us Wu Dang has some issues, why don’t you leave him to me?” Zong WeiXia said, “What injury? He’s faking it. Otherwise, how could he cripple my third brother?” I have to hit him three times for revenge.” Yu LianZhou didn’t want such a heroic person to die in such circumstances, and then thought of Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu, said, “Your Qi Shang Fist is world famous, how can he stand three blows?”
Zong WeiXia said, “Fine then. He crippled my brother. I’ll just cripple him. Eye for an eye!” He saw disagreement on Yu LianZhou’s face, then said, “Second hero Yu, we came here to take out evil. How can you protect them instead?” Yu LianZhou sighed, said, “Fine then. But when we get back, le me test out your Qi Shang Fist.” Zong WeiXia thought, “Why is he protecting this old man?” Although he’s afraid of Wu Dang, he couldn’t show it in front of the masses. So he laughed coldly, “Nothing in this world is above the word ‘reason’. Although you’re powerful, you still cannot use it to force others to agree with you.”
Song YuanQiao said, “Second brother, let it go.” Yu LianZhou said, “Great hero! Great man!” Then left. These words are obviously meant to praise Yin TianZheng. Zong WeiXia doesn’t want to make enemies of Wu Dang, so he pretended to not hear it. Once Yu LianZhou left, he went towards Yin TianZheng.
Shaolin’s Kong Zhi started yelling orders, “Kong Dong and Hua Shan people. Finish the remaining people. Wu Dang, search left for those in hiding. Er Mei go right and do the same. Kun Lun, get some fire and burn this place. Shaolin disciples, prepare to guide the dead on their journey.” Everyone thought that after Yin TianZheng dies, they can go on destroying the place. And the plan will be a success. All the Ming sect members who weren’t terribly injured raised their arms, ten fingers apart, holding them in front of their chest. They then followed Yang Xiao in saying the sacred Ming text, “Come to me, Oh holy fire, What joy is in life, what pain in death, for righteousness against evil, happiness and sadness, as we return to earth, hopefully the living, will receive happiness.” Everyone chanted along, seemingly feel nothing about dying.
Yu LianZhou thought, “This must be their sacred chant before they die. That really is righteous of them. Actually, the Ming sect used to be filled with heroes. It’s just that recently, many members have become evil.” Zhang WuJi originally was afraid to appear in front of so many elders of the six sects. But after Kong Zhi said those commands, and Zong WeiXia now walking towards Yin TianZheng, he can’t possibly hold back. Without thinking, he jumped in front of Zong WeiXia, said, “Hold on! How can do this to such an injured person? You’re not afraid that people will laugh?” He said these words loud and clear. Although everyone was intent on doing their duties, they all turned around when they heard this. When Zong WeiXia saw that it’s a youngster with a dirty shirt talking, he ignored him, and tried to push him away. Zhang WuJi saw Zong WeiXia trying to push himself, so he lightly held out with his palm, after a ‘peng’ sound, Zong WeiXia fell back three steps. Tried to get his balance back, but this push really is too strong. So every time he desperately to regain his balance, he fails. So he had to retreat further a few steps before getting back up. By that time, he’s already quite far from Zhang WuJi. His mind couldn’t explain what happened, while the others wonder what he’s doing. Even Zhang WuJi himself didn’t realize how much power he had. Zong WeiXia thought for a moment, and then said to Yu LianZhou, “Hey, a man should be righteous. How can you harm me like that?” He thought it must be Yu LianZhou doing something sneaky, with his brothers probably. Otherwise, how can anyone have this much power? Yu LianZhou felt awkward, not knowing why he would make up something like that. Zong WeiXia stepped up and said, “Little kid. Who are you?” Zhang WuJi said, “My name is Zeng AhNuo.” As he said this, he used his palm to shoot his chi into Yin TianZheng’s body. Jiu Yang Zhen Chi is thick and pure, so Yin TianZheng was able to open his eyes after a few moments. He looked at this youngster, wondering who he is. Zhang WuJi simply smiled at him, an began to sent his chi even faster. After only a few moments, Yin TianZheng was able to stand up, and said, “Thank you, little friend!” Then he said, “Mr. Zong, your Qi Shang Fist is nothing, I’ll take it right now!”
Zong WeiXia never thought Yin TianZheng could stand back up again. Seeing that he’s no longer at an advantage, plus afraid of his Eagle Claws, Zong WeiXia said, “If my Qi Shang Fist is indeed nothing, then let’s match fists.” He wanted to make Yin TianZheng stick to just fist, not claws. This way, he can win due to superior inner power. When Zhang WuJi heard him talk about Qi Shang Fist, he thought back to that night when his godfather told that story about killing Reverend Kong Jian, then later forced him to memorize the formula. When he couldn’t memorize correctly, he even got scolded. But now, he has figured out the workings of this fist form. After all, no inner power in the world can match Jiu Yang Shen Gong. Plus, Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi is made to point out how best to utilize one’s power, combining all the intricacies of all the martial arts in the world. So knowing that means knowing all other martial arts. Which is why all the martial arts in the world are like open books to him. He then heard Yin TianZheng said, “Forget three fists, I can take thirty!” He then said to Kong Zhi, “Reverend Kong Zhi, I’m still alive. Are you going back on your promise?”
Kong Zhi waved his hand, said, “Everyone stop for a moment.” Apparently, after Yin TianZheng found out what happened on the Brightness Peak, he had to trap Kong Zhi with words. Saying that they can’t try to win by numbers. And proposed one-on-one match ups. But the remaining top level Ming fighters still could not handle their opponents. And in the end, only Yin TianZheng remained. Zhang WuJi realizes that although his grandfather is much better now, he still cannot utilize his inner chi. He’s only matching palms with Zong WeiXia because he has to, in order to defend the sect. Therefore he said, “Elder Yin, I’ll go take those fists for you. If I can’t handle him, then you can go.” Yin TianZheng realizes that this youngster’s inner power is astonishing, much higher than himself even at full strength. But no matter how good he is, he still cannot fight every single person in the six major sects. So in the end, this youngster will turn out just like himself, half dead. Although he is willing to die for the Ming sect, there’s no reason for an outsider, especially someone so young and skillful, to do the same. He asked, “Which sect are you from, little friend? You’re not a Ming sect member, are you?” Zhang WuJi said, “Although I am not a Ming sect member, nor a Heavenly Eagle sect member, I have always respected you. I am willing to help out.” Yin TianZheng can’t figure out what’s going on, but just as he wants to ask more, Zong WeiXia said, “Here comes my first fist, old man.”
Zhang WuJi said, “Elder Yin said you’re not worthy of fighting him. You have to beat me first.” Zong WeiXia immediately became angry, said, “Who the hell do you think you are? Let me show you the power of my Qi Shang Fist.” Zhang WuJi thought, “Only by bring up the plan of Yuan Zhen can we solve this misunderstanding. Otherwise, how can I possibly beat all these people? Besides, how can I possibly fight my martial uncles?” So he said, “I’ve long known the power of Kong Dong’s Qi Shang Fist. After all, didn’t Reverend Kong Jian die from your Qi Shang Fist?” This sentence startled the Shaolin sect. They knew that from looking at the body, Kong Jian did indeed die from the Qi Shang Fist. Kong Wen, Kong Zhi, and Kong Sheng discussed this for a long time, finally decided that no one in the Kong Dong sect has the power to kill someone who has learnt the ‘Golden Invincible Body’ skill. Later they found out that the Kong Dong elders were in the southeast area, while Kong Jian died in Luo Yang*. Other than the five Kong Dong elders, no one else can even come close to harming Kong Jian, so they let it go. Besides, there are the words ‘Cheng Kun killed Kong Jian’ nearby. So when they found out that it’s Xie Xun who pretended to be Cheng Kun, it all became clear. Only now, when Zhang WuJi brought this up again, did they all become startled. Zong WeiXia said angrily, “Everyone knows that Xie Xun is the killer. What does this have to do with us?” Zhang WuJi said, “Were you there to see this? Did you help him out?” Zong WeiXia thought, this little kid doesn’t look like a beggar, nor some farm kid, what’s he doing here? I bet it’s the Wu Dang people who sent him, trying to cause problems between Shaolin and us. I better be careful.” He said seriously, “Kong Jian died in Luo Yang. Us five elders were at Yun Nan* How can we have seen it?”
*Luo Yang was the capital of the Tang dynasty, and roughly in the central regions of China today. Yun Nan is a lot more to the south. Just felt like sharing some of the very miniscule knowledge I have of China’s history and geography.
Zhang WuJi said loudly, “That’s right! If you were at Yun Nan, then how do you know Xie Xun killed Kong Jian? Everyone knows that he died in the hands of the Qi Shang Fist. Xie Xun is not a member of the Kong Dong sect. How can you pin this crime on him?” Zhong WeiXia said, “Because the words ‘Cheng Kun killed Reverend Kong Jian’ appeared at the murder scene. Everyone knows that Xie Xun did all these crimes.”
Zhang WuJi thought, “My godfather never told me this. He felt only pain and regret for killing Kong Jian. How could he possibly write something like this?” He then laughed, said, “Everyone can write these words. I can say that you wrote those words. It’s easy to write words, but hard to learn Qi Shang Fist.” He then turned to Kong Zhi and said, “Reverend Kong Zhi, isn’t it true that Reverend Kong Jian was killed by Qi Shang Fist, and that Xie Xun was not a disciple of Kong Dong?”
Before he could respond, another monk came out, holding an iron staff in his hand. He yelled, “Little kid, which sect are you under? You think you’re worthy of talking to my teacher? This just happens to be Yuan Yin. Back when Shaolin and the others went to Wu Dang to get Xie Xun’s location, he’s the one who said it was Zhang CuiShan who killed those Shaolin disciples. Zhang WuJi remembers this person, and his blood immediately began to boil. He kept thinking, “Zhang WuJi, oh Zhang WuJi. You’re here to settle this misunderstanding, not to seek revenge. Otherwise, it can turn out really bad. You can settle this with Shaolin later.” Although he knows what’s the right decision, the tragic death of his parents keep appearing in his head. Sweat came down his face.
Yuan Yin then said, “If you aren’t a Ming sect member, get out of here now. The Buddha is lenient. We won’t stop you if you don’t interfere.” Zhang WuJi said, “Where’s Reverend Yuan Zhen? Ask him to come out. I have some questions.” Yuan Yin aid, “Brother Yuan Zhen? Why do you want him? Get out of the way. I don’t have all day for rascals like you. Which sect are you under?” He saw the way Zhang WuJi pushed Zong WeiXia, knowing his teacher must be very good. Which is why he kept asking for his sect. Zhang WuJi said, “I’m not a Ming sect member. But I do know that someone purposely provoked the six major sects into fighting the Ming sect. I just want to settle this misunderstanding. Although I’m young, I do know the truth.” After he said this, everyone in the six major sect began to laugh at him. With many people saying things like, “This kid’s crazy. What’s he blabbering about?” “Who does he think he is? Abbot of Sholin? Master Zhang of Wu Dang?” “Did he get the Dragon Saber in his dreams?” “Haha! Haha!” “He thinks we’re all little kids. Oh man, my stomach hurts from the laughing!” Only Er Mei’s Zhou ZhiRuo held her head low, not saying anything. Ever since she found out Zhang WuJi’s identity, knowing he’s the little boy she met on the boat, she has thought of him as an old friend. Later when he took her master’s three palm strikes, saving those under the Golden Flag, she felt great admiration towards him. Now, seeing the crowd laughing, she cannot but help feel bad and sympathetic.
Zhang WuJi did not back down, said, “Only when Yuan Zhen comes out can the truth be known.” Even though he said this amidst all the laughter, everyone can still hear him clearly. Everyone in the six major sect immediately held back their laughter a bit, knowing that this youngster is not as simple as he seems, thinking, “How can someone so young have such amazing inner power?” When the laughter died down, Yuan Yin said, “You little punk, you knew Yuan Zhen brother is dead, yet you still asks for him? Why don’t you ask for Wu Dang’s Zhang CuiShan to come out too?”
Just as he said this, Kong Zhi immediately yelled, “Yuan Yin, be careful when you speak!” But Hua Shan, Kong Dong, and Kun Lun people have already started laughing again. Only Wu Dang remained still. Apparently, Yuan Yin, after Yin SuSu hit his eyes with her darts, still thinks Zhang CuiShan did it. And therefore felt deep hatred for him.
Zhang WuJi could not hold back his anger after hearing him ridicule father, yelled, “How dare you speak to Fifth Hero Zhang like that?” Yuan Yin laughed coldly, “He’s just a lecherous fool, getting hooked by the beauty of an evil woman…” Zhang WuJi knows that he cannot harm anyone in order to stop this bloodshed, but how can he possibly hold back after that comment? He dashed forward, his left hand reached out and held up Yuan Yin at the back of his waist, his right hand reached out and took his staff. Yuan Yin could not fight back. But just at this time, two Shaolin disciples came out, their staffs aiming towards the left and right side of Zhang WuJi. Their moves aimed towards saving someone in the grasp of an enemy. These two disciples are Yuan Xin and Yuan Ye. Zhang WuJi held Yuan Yin in one hand, his staff with the right, jumped up, and kicked at the point of Yuan Xin and Yuan Ye’s staffs. Only to hear two sounds, as Yuan Xin and Yuan Ye both fell to the ground, their staffs bouncing back and hit them. Thankfully both of their inner powers are quite good, so they did not suffer internal injuries. Zhang WuJi twisted in midair, then gently floated down. Many people in the six sects immediately yelled, “Wu Dang’s ‘Cloud Stairs’!” Zhang WuJi learned Wu Dang’s entrance fist form ‘Wu Dang Long Fist’ from his dad, martial grandfather, and fellow martial uncles. Although he had since seen many other skills, he’s still most familiar with Wu Dang’s kung fu. For the likes of Yu LianZhou and Zhong SongXi, it’s not difficult to use ‘Cloud Stairs’ as well as Zhang WuJi. But for them to do so while holding another person is simply impossible.
By now, he’s quite far from the Shaolin group. So the only way to reach him is through darts. But Zhang WuJi only needs to use Yuan Yin as a shield to borrow Shaolin’s hand for killing him. Even with the likes of such experts as Kong Zhi and Kong Sheng, no one has any way to save him. Only to see Zhang WuJi’s face filled with hatred as he raised the staff. Yet didn’t bring it down. It’s as if he has a hard decision to make. But then after a while, his expression calmed, and lowered the staff slowly. He thought, “If I kill just one person here, I will become the enemy of the six major sect, and can no longer be an arbitrator. This bloodshed will then continue. That’s why I must endure, endure no matter what. This is what my parents would’ve wanted me to do.” Once he thought this through, his put down Yuan Yin, said, “Reverend Yuan Yin, your eyes were not blinded by Fifth Hero Zhang, why do you hate him so? Besides, he had already committed suicide, so any grudge should’ve been settled at that point.
After his escape from death, Yuan Yin could only stare blankly at Zhang WuJi, unable to speak. When Zhang WuJi threw him his staff, he took it and returned to his group, thinking he really did go overboard with his hatred the past years. When the high reverends of Shaolin and the heroes of Wu Dang heard this, they all nodded silently.
End of Chapter 20.