Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre - Chapter 8
Chapter 8 - The Journey Home after Ten Years
Xie Xun continued, “I still remember that night as if it were yesterday. I sat in my hotel room, circulating the inner chi in my body, and thought about the ‘Fists of Seven Damages’ in my head a few more times. Fifth brother, you’ve never seen my ‘Fists of Seven Damages’. Do you wish to take a look?” Before Zhang CuiShan could answer, Yin SuSu cut in, “I’m sure it’s without doubt an exquisite fist technique, unparalleled in power. Big brother, how come you didn’t go kill Eldest Hero Sung that night?”
Xie Xun chuckled, said, “You’re afraid that when I demonstrate, I might hurt your husband, right? Don’t worry, if I can’t release and retract my power at will, then what kind of ‘Fists of Seven Damages’ would it be?” As he spoke, Xie Xun stood up, and walked over to a large tree. Accompanied by a roar as loud as the thunder, he punched the tree on the trunk.
Considering Xie Xun’s ability, he could at least make a hole in the trunk, if not break the tree outright. Who’d have thought that when Xie Xun retracted his palm, the tree remained perfectly fine. Not even a piece of tree bark fell off. Yin SuSu felt badly for Xie Xun, thought, “Looks like after living on the island for nine years, big brother’s kung fu has deteriorated greatly. Well, it’s hardly surprising. I’ve never seen him practice kung fu.” But afraid that he’ll be sad, she still applauded him.
Xie Xun said, “Fifth sister. Your applause didn’t seem very sincere. You’re thinking that my ability is not what it used to be, right?” Yin SuSu said, “On this island, there’s only the four of us. What’s the need for kung fu?” Xie Xun asked, “Fifth brother, can you see the profoundness in my punch?” Zhang CuiShan said, “You performed this punch using great power. Yet not a single leaf vibrated upon impact. I’m not certain why this is so. Even had WuJi punched the tree, the leaves would have moved.” WuJi yelled, “Yes, I can do that!” He swiftly ran over to the tree and punched on the trunk. The leaves really did move around, causing their shadows to shiver under the moonlight.
Upon seeing the power of their son’s punch, Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu were both delighted. Both gazed upon Xie Xun, seeking his explanation.
Xie Xun said, “Three days later, the leaves will turn yellow and wither. Half a month later, the tree itself will shrivel up and die. My punch had broken the veins of the tree.”
Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu both were hesitant to believe him, but they knew Xie Xun to be a man of his words. So he must be right. Xie Xun grabbed the Dragon Saber, unsheathed it, and ‘Swoosh!’ cut the tree in half. Then came a loud crash, as the tree fell down. Xie Xun put back his saber, said, “Can you see the power of my ‘Fists of Seven Damages’ now?”
Zhang CuiShan and his family walked over to examine the inside of the tree, only to see most of the tree’s water passageways wrecked: some bent, some shattered, some broken into pieces, some only semi-broken. Signs that this punch incorporated many different simultaneous forces. Zhang and Yin were both very impressed. Zhang CuiShan asked, “Big brother. This was an amazing demonstration.”
Xie Xun couldn’t help but respond in a proud manner, “This punch contained seven different types of force, some hard, some soft, some contain softness within hardness, some contain hardness within softness, some forces sweep across, some strike vertically, and some shrivel. An enemy might block the first force, but not the second one. If he blocked the second one, then how does he deal with the third force? That’s where the name ‘Fists of Seven Damages’ came from, as one can damage the opponent in seven different ways. Fifth brother, remember that day when you matched palms with me? Had I used ‘Fists of Seven Damages’, you would’ve immediately lost.” Zhang CuiShan said, “You’re right.”
WuJi wanted to ask his father why he matched palms with godfather, but Yin SuSu immediately shook her head at him, telling him not to inquire further. However, WuJi couldn’t help but ask, “Godfather, can you teach me this ‘Fists of Seven Damages’?” Xie Xun shook his head, said, “No!” WuJi was disappointed, and wanted to plead some more. Yin SuSu said with a smile, “WuJi, don’t be silly. This kung fu is too difficult for you. Unless you have incredible inner power, how can you possibly learn it?” WuJi said, “I see. In that case, I’ll first make sure to acquire superior inner power first, and then learn it.”
Xie Xun shook his head, said, “Actually, there’s no need to ever bother with this ‘Fists of Seven Damages’! Everyone’s body has two chi, yin and yang, plus ‘Gold-Wood-Water-Fire-Dirt’ five major regions. Your heart belongs to fire, lungs belong to gold, kidneys belongs to water, spleen belongs to dirt, and liver belongs to wood. Seven injuries to one person, or injuries to seven people. Unfortunately, every time you practice this Fists of Seven Damages, you will damage your own body. The ‘seven damages’ here means seven damages to your body first, then seven damages to your opponents. Had I not injured my veins while practicing ‘Fist of Seven Damages’, I would’ve never had problems with madness.”
Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu now realized why despite being such an intelligent, powerful person, Xie Xun would lose his mind on occasions.
Xie Xun continued, “Had my inner power been really high, to the point of Reverend Kong Jian, or perhaps Wu Dang’s Taoist Zhang, I wouldn’t have hurt myself like this. Unfortunately, I was too keen on revenge in my youth. I stole a copy of the from the Kong Dong Sect. Upon getting the manual, I immediately began to practice hastily. I was in a hurry, in case my master would pass away before I complete my training. By the time I realized the side effects, it was already too late. I should’ve recognized something from the beginning. Why would the Kong Dong Sect have such a powerful fist manual, yet couldn’t dominate the martial world? In addition, I realized that the sound of the punches were thunderous and crisp, which was very useful. Fifth sister, do you know why I say this?”
Yin SuSu thought for a moment, then said, “Because its similar to your master’s kung fu?”
Xie Xun said, “You’re right. My master’s nickname is ‘Lightning Hands of the Originating Formation’. His palm carries wind and thunder, its power unimaginable. Once I find him, and use the ‘Fists of Seven Damages’ on him, he would surely mistake it for the kung fu I learned from him. By the time he finds out, it would be too late. Fifth brother, don’t blame me for being so devious. Although my master looks coarse, he’s one of the most devious person you’ll ever find. If I don’t try to trick him, how could I get my revenge… sighs, so I’ve told you some of what happened afterwards, right? Anyway, I haven’t gotten to Reverend Kong Jian yet. That night I went over the inner power circulation for ‘Fists of Seven Damages’ three times, and jumped out the wall to look for Song YuanQiao.
“In the middle of the jump, before I hit the ground, a person suddenly tapped my shoulder from the back. I was quite astonished, for I couldn’t imagine anyone capable of doing that without me noticing. WuJi, think about this for a moment. Had he used his full force to attack me, he could’ve at least seriously injured me. I reached with my hand to grab his arm, only to find nothing there. I then tried to turn around and punch him, but of course didn’t hit anything. So I turned back. Just at this moment, my shoulder was tapped once again from the back. At the same time, a person sighed, said, “ ‘The Sea of Misery is endless, turn around towards the shore.’”
WuJi found this pretty funny, and laughed. He said, “Godfather, is this person playing a game with you?” Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu both knew that this must be Revered Kong Jian.
Xie Xun continued, “At that moment, I was scared stiff. It was obvious that he could kill me any time he wants to. He spoke ‘the sea of misery is endless, turn around towards the shore’ in a time to blink an eye. Yet he spoke it in a very coherent manner, so I heard every single world clearly, in addition to his merciful, compassionate tone. But at that time, I only felt anger. So I turned around quickly, only to see a white-robed monk standing about thirteen meters from me. As I turned, he was at most two or three feet away from me. Who’d have thought that after that tap, he immediately flew backward thirteen meters. I’ve never dreamed of speed and agility like that.
“At that moment I thought of only one thing, ‘He must be a ghost, someone I killed who’s haunting me now!’ For surely no living person could have this level of lightness kung fu. Once I figured that he was a ghost, I became braver, yelled, “Look, I don’t care if you’re a phantom or a ghost. Your old man I am afraid of neither the Heaven nor the Underworld. So do you think a ghost can scare me?’ That white-robed monk put his palms together, said, ‘Mr. Xie, my name is Kong Jian.’ When I heard the words ‘Kong Jian’, I recalled the saying ‘Shaolin’s Divine Reverends, Jian-Wen-Zhi-Sheng’. As the first among the four divine reverends, no wonder his kung fu is so formidable.”
Zhang CuiShan remembered that this Reverend Kong Jian later died in his big brother’s hands, and could help but feel uneasy.
Xie Xun continued, “So I asked, ‘Are you Shaolin’s Divine Reverend Kong Jian?’ That white-robed monk answered, ‘I don’t deserve the title Divine Reverend. However, I am Shaolin’s Kong Jian.’ I said, ‘We have never met before. Why do you toy with me so?’ Kong Jian said, ‘I do not dare toy with Mr. Xie. Mr, Xie, may I ask where are you going?’ I said, ‘Where I go is none of your business.’ Kong Jian said, ‘If I guessed correctly, you are trying to kill Wu Dang’s Hero Song YuanQiao tonight, right?’
“I was surprised that he knew of my intentions. He added, ‘You want to commit another crime, one that would shock the entire martial world, so ‘Lightning Hands of the Originating Formation’ Cheng Kun would appear, allowing you to avenge your family’s death, right?’ I couldn’t believe he said my master’s name, for I had never told anyone about my master murdering my family. Since this was a hideous crime, my master would surely not tell anyone either. So how could this reverend know?
“At that moment I shuddered, said, ‘If reverend can point out my master’s location, I will repay you in any way you wish.’ Kong Jian sighed, said, ‘Cheng Kun’s crime was indeed horrifying. Yet for revenge, you have killed so many people, done so many terrible deeds.’ I wanted to say, ‘Who asked for your opinion?’ But then I remembered his kung fu skills, plus the fact that I needed to ask him for a favor. So I held my anger in check, said, ‘I was forced to do these deeds, for Cheng Kun had gone into hiding. With the world so vast, how can I possibly find him?’ Kong Jian nodded, said, ‘I realize that your heart is filled with bitterness, and nowhere to release them. Hero Sung is the eldest disciple under Wu Dang’s Taoist Zhang SanFeng. If you kill him, your crime will be too immense.’ I said, ‘That is just what I want. The bigger the crime, the more likely I can get Cheng Kun to reappear.’
“Kong Jian said, ‘Mr. Xie, if you kill Hero Sung, Cheng Kun would indeed have to appear. Yet the Cheng Kun today is no longer the Cheng Kun of the past. You kung fu is nowhere near his level. You can’t possibly get your revenge.’ I said, ‘Cheng Kun’s my master. Surely I can judge his kung fu better than you can.’
“Kong Jian shook his head, said, ‘He has sought after another master, so his martial arts has grown immensely. Although you learned Kong Dong Sect’s ‘Fists of Seven Damages’, you still can’t hurt him.’ I didn’t know what to make of this person. I had never seen him before. Yet he seemed to know everything about me. I hesitated for a moment, then asked, ‘How do you know about that?’ He said, ‘Cheng Kun told me.’”
At this moment, Zhang and Yin both gasped.
Xie Xun said, “You must’ve been quite surprised to hear this. When I heard it back then, I immediately jumped up, and yelled, ‘But how did he know?’ He said, ‘For the past few years, he has been following you. Only he kept changing his disguises, so you never recognized him.’ I said, ‘Are you kidding me? I can’t recognize him? He can turn into dust, and I’d still recognize him.’ He said, ‘Mr. Xie, you are certainly a very perceptive person, but for the past years, you cared only for learning martial arts and revenge. You never tried to examine your surroundings. In addition, you were in the light, while he was in the dark. It’s not that you can’t recognize him, but rather you never attempted to recognize him.’ “What he said made a lot of sense. Besides, Reverend Kong Jian is a world- renowned reverend. He can’t possibly lie to me. I said, ‘If so, then how come he just didn’t kill me?’ Kong Jian said, ‘He could have easily killed you had he wanted to. Mr. Xie, you have tried to fight him two times for revenge. Each time he defeated you. Why did he not kill you then? Besides, when you were stealing the , you matched palms with three of the ‘Five Elders of Kong Dong’. Where were the other two elders? Had the other two elders also appeared, do you think you could have escaped?’
“That day after I injured three elders of Kong Dong, I found the other two also injured, which was quite strange. I thought that perhaps Kong Dong Sect had some sort of internal conflict, or another kung fu expert had helped me. So when I heard Reverend Kong Jian spoke of the matter, my mind stirred, said, ‘Did Cheng Kun injure the other two elders?’”
Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu found the story more and more bizarre. Despite their experiences in the martial world, neither could figure this particular story out. Both thought Xie Xun was one of the impressive people they’ve ever seen. Yet his master Cheng Kun seemed even more impressive.
Yin SuSu said, “Big brother, did your master really injure the other two elders?”
Xie Xun said, “When I asked Kong Jian, he said, ‘Did you see their injuries that night? What did their faces look like?’ I thought about it for a while, then said, ‘So they really were injured by my master.’ That night, I saw the two elders lying on the floor, their faces filled with blood spots. From their appearance, they seemed to have used a powerful Yin-style inner power to attack someone, but an expert forced it back with the ‘Art of Origination’. Other than having one’s force repelled with ‘Art of Origination’, only a select few illnesses could provide the same symptoms. Yet that same morning, all five of them were perfectly healthy, so they certainly did not get ill. In the martial world, only the my master and I know the ‘Art of Origination’
“Reverend Kong Jian nodded, sighed, said, ‘Your master became mad after drinking too much, and unknowingly killed your family. Afterwards he felt incredibly guilty. That is why he did not kill you during those fights. But since you fought so wildly, he had no way to escape unless he injured you. Afterwards he followed you for a few years. You later encountered three major perils. Each time he helped you live through them.’ I thought about it, and found that I did go through three life-and-death situations. Each time, my enemies miraculously retreated. Reverend Kong Jian continued, ‘He knows that his crimes are too severe, and does not ask for your forgiveness. His only hope is that with time, your pain will lessen. Who knew that your thirst for revenge magnified instead, killing more and more people. Should you kill Hero Song YuanQiao, it would be impossible to clean up this whole mess.’
“I said, ‘If so, then ask my master to come see me, so we can settle our differences.’ Reverend Kong Jian said, ‘Your master says that he has no face to see you. Besides, you are hardly his match anyway. So seeing him would be pointless.’ I said, ‘I know you are a venerable reverend. You should know about right and wrong. Are you telling me that I should simply forget the death of my family?’ He said, ‘I am also saddened by your misfortune. But your master did not willingly commit those crimes. Besides, he has since repented. On the account of your past master-disciple relationship, he hoped you would leave him be.’ I became quite angry, said, ‘If I cannot defeat him, then he can just go ahead and kill me. I would rather die than leave my family unavenged.’
“Reverend Kong Jian thought for a long time, then said, ‘Mr. Xie, your master’s kung fu is not what it used to be. Even though you’ve learned the ‘Fists of Seven Damages’, you are still not his match. If you do not believe me, then try hitting me a few times.’ I said, ‘I have no quarrel with you, why should I hit you? Although my kung fu is low, the ‘Fist of Seven Damages’ is nonetheless not easy to absorb.’ He said, ‘Mr. Xie, let us make a wager. Your master killed thirteen people in your family. Today you can hit me thirteen times. If you can injure me, I will get out of your way. Your master will then come out to see you. Otherwise, you must promise to let go of revenge.’ I did not respond. His kung fu is amazing. If my ‘Fists of Seven Damages’ could not hurt him, then what about my revenge? Reverend Kong Jian added, ‘Let me be frank with you. Since I decided to concern myself in this matter, do you really think I can let you keep hurting others? If you go back to doing good deeds, and give up on vengeance, I can forgive for your past crimes. Otherwise, if you can seek revenge, what about the relatives of those you killed? Do they not deserve their vengeance too?’
“Upon hearing his voice becoming stern, I got quite annoyed, yelled, ‘Fine, I will go ahead and give you thirteen punches! You can give up any time you want to. However, do not go back on your promise. You better ask my master to come see me.’ Reverend Kong Jian smiled, said, ‘Please go on ahead!’ His body was very short and thin, with white hair and white eyebrows, and a gentle, compassionate face. I didn’t want to really hurt him. My first fist only used thirty percent of my power. Pang! The fist landed on his chest.”
WuJi gasped, yelled, “Did you use the ‘Fists of Seven Damages’ that destroyed the tree?”
Xie Xun said, “No! I used my master’s ‘Lightning & Thunder Fist’. When my punch landed, his body lightly shook, and retreated a step. Realizing that this punch can make him back off, I figured the ‘Fists of Seven Damages’ would probably kill him in three punches. So I added a bit more power to my second punch. Again his body lightly shook, and retreated another step. My third punch incorporated seventy percent of my power. But once again, his body just light shook, and retreated a step. I was surprised, as I have more than doubled my power, yet his expression remained the same. Considering his thin body, my punches should at least break his bones. Yet I found no signs of a competing force to negate my punch. It’s as if his body simply absorbed my power.
“I thought that to hurt him, I must use all my power. But if I used full power, he will likely die. Even though I’ve done many evil deeds, I respected his kindheartedness. So I said, ‘Reverend, I cannot stand the fact that you do not return any blows. For taking three punches, I promise that I will not seek out Song YuanQiao.’ He said, ‘Then what about Cheng Kun?’ I said, ‘Nothing can change my mind on revenge. Only one of us can live.’ I paused for a moment, then added, ‘Out of respect for you, I will only look for Cheng Kun himself, and no longer hurt any innocents.’
“Reverend Kong Jian put his palms together, said, ‘That is great. I am glad that you feel this way. On behalf of the martial world, I thank you. It’s just that I really wish to resolve this issue. So please go ahead and finish the rest of your punches.’
“I realized that only by using the ‘Fists of Seven Damages’ could I make my master appear. Thankfully, I can retract the ‘Fists of Seven Damages’ power at will. So I said, ‘I am sorry to offend you!’ and followed with my fourth punch. This time I used the ‘Fists of Seven Damages’. His chest tightened, and then he stepped forward.”
WuJi said, “That’s strange. How come he didn’t retreat like before?”
Zhang CuiShan said, “Did he use Shaolin’s Divine Art ‘Diamond Armor Invincible Body’?”
Xie Xun nodded, said, “Fifth brother, you really are knowledgeable. That’s correct. When this punch connected, I felt totally different from the previous three punches. This time, his body produced a protective counterforce, which sent a tremor all the way into my inner organs. I knew that he must’ve had no other choice, and had to use this divine art to protect from the Fists of Seven Damages. I have long heard that Shaolin’s ‘Diamond Armor Invincible Body’ is one of the five top divine arts in history. It certainly lived up to its reputation. Then I unleashed my fifth punch, purposely made it carry more soft-yin force. Once again he stepped forward, and I had to spend a long time neutralizing the counterforce from his body.”
WuJi said, “Godfather, this old monk promised not to fight back. So why did he still try to hurt you by countering your punches?”
Xie Xun rubbed his hair, said, “After my fifth punch, Reverend Kong Jian said, “I never expected the Fists of Seven Damages to be so powerful. If I don’t use my inner power to counter your punches, I could not remain injury-free.’ I said, ‘I am already grateful that you have not tried to hit me.’ Immediately afterwards, I sent out the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth punches in one swift motion. Reverend Kong Jian really is amazing. He countered each and every one of those punches, using just the right blend of yin and yang for his counter.
“Shocked at his ability, I yelled, ‘Watch out!’ and the tenth punch floated out lightly. He nodded, and before my punch reached his body, stepped forward two steps. At this moment, he actually gained the initiative.”
WuJi obviously did not know the importance of these two steps. But Zhang CuiShan realized that when experts exchange blows, it is very difficult for one person to anticipate an opponent’s attack before it comes out. The ability to do so, even for one move, could very well mean a victory. He nodded, said, “Incredible, incredible!”
Xie Xun continued, “I used all of my power in this tenth punch. Yet when he stepped up and shocked me, I had to back off a couple of steps. Although I couldn’t see my own expression, one can easily imagine just how pale I was. Reverend Kong Jian sighed, said, ‘Don’t be too hasty with your eleventh punch. Recover your strength first.’ Despite my combative nature, I had to follow his advice, for I really lacked the energy for another punch.”
Zhang CuiShan and his family all worried for Xie Xun at this moment. WuJi suddenly said, “Godfather, I think you should just give up on the last three punches.” Xie said, “Why?” WuJi said, “This old monk is a really good person. You would feel guilty if you hurt him. If you end up hurting yourself, that would be bad too.” Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu glanced at each other, surprised that their child could have such insight at his young age. Zhang CuiShan rejoiced at WuJi’s compassionate nature, and his ability to comprehend good and evil.
Only to hear Xie Xun let out another sigh, said, “I can’t believe that at the time, I didn’t even have the sense of a child. My heart was filled with revenge, and would not give up until I find my master. I knew one of us would end up either dead or seriously injured, but it didn’t matter at the time. Once I regained my energy, the eleventh punch shot out. This time he stepped up sideways, and met my punch with his waist. His eyebrows rose up, as if in quite a bit of pain. I knew his reason for this. It would hurt me too much should he counter at the chest. But the force exerted by his waist is much smaller, but this way, the force he had to absorb increased a great deal too.
“I froze for a moment, said, ‘Considering my master’s terrible sins, why do you insist on helping him?’ Reverend Kong Jian adjusted his breathing, said with a bitter smile, ‘I just want to take two more punches from you, and resolve this issue.’ At this moment, a thought suddenly came to me, ‘Looks like he can’t speak when using Diamond Armor Invincible Body. Why don’t I trick him into talking, and punch him at that time?’ So I said, ‘If I do manage hurt you in thirteen punches, would my master really come out?’ He said, ‘He personally told me that…’ Before he finished speaking, I immediately punched his waist. This punch came very fast, and toward a low point on his body, so he won’t have time to raise his protective divine art.
“Who’d have thought that his protection raises by the will of the heart. When my punch landed, his protective armor had spread throughout his body. I felt my head spinning around, my organs splitting apart, and unwillingly retreated seven or eight steps. My retreat only stopped upon hitting a tree.
“At this moment of such utter defeat, my heart sank, said, ‘I give up. Looks like there is no way for me to get my revenge now. So what is the need for me to remain in this world?’ I raised my hand, aimed it on my forehead, about to push it down.” Yin SuSu yelled, “What an ingenious idea!” Zhang CuiShan asked, “Why so?” but then instantly understood, and said, “But, to do this to such a venerable reverend, isn’t that too cruel?” He also figured out that should Xie Xun tried to commit suicide, Kong Jian would obviously try to stop it. Xie Xun could take advantage of this, and attack right when Kong Jian is saving him. Zhang CuiShan’s cleverness does not take a backseat to his wife. He just never thinks about devious things, and therefore takes longer to realize such things. Xie Xun said sadly, “I was indeed using his kindness against him. You both guessed correctly. But it was a dangerous gambit. If this palm came down too slowly, he would see through the ruse, and refuse to help me. I had only one punch left. How could I possibly break his invincible armor? If so, then I would simply have to forget all about vengeance. At that moment, I really did use all my palm power. Had he not interfered, I would have killed myself. Of course, I wanted to die anyway should revenge no longer be a possibility.
“When Reverend Kong Jian saw my abnormal actions, he yelled, ‘Hold on! There’s no need to…’ and flew toward me. His left hand reached out immediately to block my right palm. My left fist came out at the same moment. Pang! It hit him directly in the chest. He was indeed defenseless at the moment. I doubt he even gave applying the armor a passing thought. How could he possibly withstand my punch like this? Immediately his inner organs crumbled, and he fell down onto the ground.
“After this punch, upon realization of his certain death, I suddenly found my conscience. I came to his side and began crying, yelled, ‘Reverend Kong Jian, I am such an ungrateful ingrate. I don’t deserve to be human!’”
Zhang CuiShan and his family sighed. They all felt that he was terribly wrong to kill the reverend in such a despicable manner.
Xie Xun said, “When Reverend Kong Jian saw me cry, he smiled, and try to calm me down, ‘Who on this world does not die? Why are you so sad? Your master will soon come. Try to compose yourself.’ With his reminder, I realized that I must prepare for my enemy instead of agonizing. So I immediately started to mediate, to recover my strength. Yet after a long time, my master still did not come. Surprised, I looked at Reverend Kong Jian.
“With what little life he had left, Reverend Kong Jian said, ‘I… I cannot believe that he… he failed to keep his promise… could someone have… have blocked his path?’ I yelled angrily, ‘You tricked me. You tricked me into killing you, for my master still haven’t came out to see me.’ He shook his head, said, ‘I did not trick you, but I have wronged you.’ In my rage, I wanted to keep yelling at him. But then I thought, ‘Why would he want to trick me into killing him? Plus, in response to killing him, he only tried to apologize.’ Feeling incredibly ashamed, I kneeled in front of him and said, ‘Reverend, if you have any wishes, I will carry them out for you.’ He smiled slightly, said, ‘Hopefully, whenever you wish to kill someone, please remember me.’
“This reverend not only have unparalleled martial arts ability, but also great wisdom. He knew that I would not give up on revenge, and therefore did not bother to request it. He only wanted me think of him when I wish to kill. Fifth brother. Remember when we matched palms on the boat? The reason I didn’t kill you was because I remembered Reverend Kong Jian.”
Zhang CuiShan never imagined that Reverend Kong Jian saved his life. His respect for this reverend grew even more.
Xie Xun sighed again, said, “His heartbeat became slower and slower. I put my palm on his ‘Ling Ti Pressure Point’, began infusing my inner power to extend his life. He suddenly took a deep breath, and asked, ‘Is your master still not here?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Then he is not going to come.’ I said, ‘Reverend. Be assured that I will never again kill anyone to make him appear. But even if I have to walk to the end of the world, I will find him.’ He said, ‘But, you are no match for him. Unless… unless…’ At this point, his words became too soft to hear. I put my ear by his mouth, only to hear him say, ‘Unless you can find the Dragon Saber, and find… find the secret inside…’ At this moment, he stopped his breathing, and died.”
Finally, Zhang and Yin knew why Xie Xun tried so hard to find the secret inside the saber. Why he’s normally very courteous, but occasionally gets mad like a wild animal. Why he has such incredible kung fu, yet spends his days in sadness…
Xie Xun said, “Later, I found out the location of the Dragon Saber, and went to Wang Pan Island to take it. Fifth sister, your father was one of my dearest friends. We were the renowned Eagle King and Lion King. Later we became enemies, but that story is long and involves too many other people. I can’t tell you about them. Before I took the saber, my only wish was to find my master. Yet after obtaining the saber, my only fear was that my master might find me. That’s why I had to find a deserted island, so I safely find the saber’s secret. Afraid that you might reveal my secret, I had to take you along. Who’d have thought that ten years would pass in the blink of an eye, and I have yet to accomplish a single thing!”
Zhang CuiShan said, “Reverend Kong Jian might not have said everything he wanted before death. Perhaps he had something else in mind.”
Xie Xun said, “I’ve thought of every single possibility. No matter how ludicrous. Yet nothing fit. I don’t doubt that there’s a huge secret within the saber. But I just could not find it.”
After this night’s conversation, Xie Xun never touched the subject again. He also became stricter when teaching WuJi martial arts. WuJi is only nine at this moment. Despite his intelligence, there was no way WuJi could learn Xie Xun’s powerful martial arts in such a short time. Xie Xun also taught him ways to exchange his pressure points, and how to break free a sealed pressure point. These are some of the deepest martial arts abilities in the world. WuJi didn’t even know what pressure points are, plus he has almost no inner power. So how could he learn them? Even so, Xie Xun yelled at him and hit him for mistakes. And he showed no signs of letting up.
Yin SuSu felt dreadful upon seeing the marks on her son. She said to Xie Xun, “Big brother, your kung fu skills are too complicated. How can WuJi learn them all in such a short time? We have all the time in the world on this island. Don’t be so hasty.” Xie Xun said, “I’m not teaching him. I’m just asking him to memorize everything.” Yin SuSu said in surprise, “You mean, you haven’t taught him any kung fu?” Xie Xun said, “It will take too long to teach him step by step. That’s why I simply want him to memorize everything.”
Yin SuSu didn’t understand Xie Xun’s reasoning, but trusted him to make the right decision. Whenever her son finished his lessons with injuries, she’d embrace him tenderly. WuJi seemed to be quite understanding of this matter. He said, “Mom, godfather only wanted the best for me. The stricter he is, the more I can remember.”
Another several months passed like this. One morning, Xie Xun suddenly said, “Fifth brother, fifth sister, in another four months, the wind will start blowing south. Let’s start building a raft now. Zhang CuiShan, happy and surprised, asked, “Do you think we can get back to the mainland this way?” Xie Xun said coldly, “That depends on what the Heaven thinks. As the saying goes, ‘Planning depends on man, Success depends on Heaven’. Succeed, and you’ll arrive at mainland. Fail, and you’ll die in the sea.”
There’s no reason for him or Yin SuSu to go back. They lived happily here on the island. But WuJi needs to get married and have children. It would be a shame for him to grow old and die alone on this island. When Zhang CuiShan thought of WuJi’s future, he happily began to make the raft. The trees on this island are mostly very old. Due to growing in such a cold climate, their trunks are incredibly hard and sturdy. Xie Xun and Zhang CuiShan cut down the wood, while Yin SuSu use animal skins to sew a sail. WuJi simply did odd jobs to help out.
Yin SuSu is hardly the spoiled little girl of ten years ago, but she never did have formal sewing training. So it was very difficult for her to make this sail.
While processing the wood to make the raft, Xie Xun would always have WuJi stand by his side. This way, he could test WuJi’s memorization. Of course, Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu could no longer stay away, so they heard Xie Xun ask questions, while WuJi answers them. Xie Xun wanted to WuJi to memorize all sorts of sword techniques, saber techniques and numerous other things. It’s already strange that Xie Xun would teach martial arts in a ‘scholarly fashion’. Yet he never even tried to explain anything, and taught like a terrible teacher, by simply making his students memorize everything without understanding. Yin SuSu felt sorry for her son. She thought that even a kung fu expert probably can’t even memorize this much stuff. Besides, what’s the use of memorizing the wording without demonstrations? Surely talking about martial arts isn’t worth anything in a true battle. Even worse is that every time WuJi makes a mistake, Xie Xun would slap him on the face. Although Xie Xun didn’t apply any inner power to his hand, the slaps would still leave a red mark for half a day.
After two and a half months, they managed to finish the base of the raft. Then they took another half a month to put on the mast. Finally, they began to start to store food and water for the trip. By now, the days were already quite short. Yet the wind still blew northward.
By now, Xie Xun stayed with WuJi every single moment, even forcing WuJi to sleep with him. Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu could only bitterly smile at Xie Xun’s mix of tenderness and sternness.
One night, Zhang CuiShan woke up from his sleep, found the wind oddly different. He sat up, and realized that the wind indeed now came from the north. Zhang CuiShan quickly woke up Yin SuSu, said happily, “Listen to the wind!” Before Yin SuSu could respond, they suddenly heard Xie Xun yelled outside, “The northern wind’s blowing!” His voice was mixed with tears, which sounded very odd.
The next morning, Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu quickly gathered everything for the journey. Part of them didn’t want to leave. After all, they had lived here for ten years. Zhang and Yin finished putting food and water on the boat by noon. They then pushed the raft into the sea. WuJi first jumped onboard, and Yin SuSu followed.
Zhang CuiShan grabbed Xie Xun’s hand and said, “Big brother, the raft is about six feet from us. Let’s jump on together!”
Xie Xun said, “Fifth brother, we shall part here. Please take good care of yourself.”
Zhang CuiShan’s heart jumped, as if someone had just punched him in the chest. He said, “You… you…” Xie Xun said, “You have a good heart, and should have a good life. But your views on good and evil are too idealistic, and therefore must be careful. WuJi is open-minded and tolerant, so I trust him to make good decisions when he grows up. Although fifth sister is a woman, she will never get the short end of the stick on things. Quite frankly, the person I fear for the most, is you.” Zhang CuiShan felt shocked. He yelled, “Big brother, what are you saying? You’re not going to… going to come with us?” Xie Xun said, “I said this a few years ago. Don’t you remember?”
To Zhang CuiShan, these words felt like thunder roaring in his ears. He did remember Xie Xun’s words about remaining on the island. At the time, neither he nor Yin SuSu thought much of it. Afterwards, Xie Xun never repeated this sentiment. So these came as quite a shock to him. Zhang CuiShan said in a hurry, “Big brother, what’s so great about staying on this island alone? Jump on the raft, quick!” As he spoke, Zhang CuiShan pulled on Xie Xun’s hand. But Xie Xun remained at his spot firmly.
Zhang CuiShan yelled, “SuSu, WuJi, get back! Big brother said that he wouldn’t go with us.” Yin SuSu and WuJi both gasped, and jumped back to shore. WuJi said, “Godfather, why won’t you go with us? If you don’t go, then I won’t go either.”
Of course, Xie Xun didn’t want to leave them. After parting, they certainly would not return. To live alone on this island is possibly worse then death. But after becoming a sworn brother to Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu, he cared more for them than himself. And he loved WuJi as his own son. However, after thinking thoroughly, he knew that he had to stay. There are too many enemies back in the mainland. Plus, it’s quite possible that people knew that the Dragon Saber is in his hands now. Should he go back, just about everyone in the martial world would want his life. In the past, he would just shrug off the danger. But with both eyes blinded, he can’t possibly hold off his enemies. Besides, Zhang and Yin would certainly not see him die alone, and might fight with him to the end. He concluded that they would probably not live for more than a year back in mainland. Of course, Xie Xun didn’t care to share this. He would just go ahead and decided stay at the last moment. When he heard WuJi’s words, Xie Xun picked him up and said, “WuJi, you’re a good kid. Listen to your godfather, ok? Your godfather’s too old, and he is blind. I can live a carefree life here. But would feel uncomfortable living on the mainland.” WuJi said, “Don’t worry, I’ll will take care of you after we get back, and never leave your side. If you want to eat or drink, I’ll bring them to you. So you can live the same life.” Xie Xun shook his head, said, “No. I would still be happier here.” WuJi said, “I’m happy here too. Mom, dad, let’s just stay here, ok?”
Yin SuSu said, “Big brother, why are you so adamant on staying? If there’s a problem, share it with us. But we can’t let you stay alone.”
Xie Xun thought, “Looks like it’s impossible to reason with them into leaving. So what should I do?”
Zhang CuiShan suddenly said, “I know you’re afraid of your enemies, right? We can just find an obscure place to settle down, so they won’t find us. Actually, we can simply go to Wu Dang Mountain. No one would expect you to be there.” Xie Xun said, “Humph. Although your big brother is useless, but at least he doesn’t need your master’s protection.” Zhang CuiShan knew he spoke the wrong words, and hurried said, “Big brother’s kung fu is my master’s equal. Why would you need his protection? Besides, we can go anywhere. There are many places for us to settle.”
Xie Xun said, “If you want me to find an obscure place to live, what could be more obscure than this island? Look, are you three going or not?”
Zhang CuiShan said, “If big brother won’t leave, neither will we.” Xie Xun sighed, said, “Fine. We’ll all stay. You can wait till I die, and then leave.” Zhang CuiShan said, “Alright. We’ve already lived here for ten years. And are certainly not in a hurry to leave.”
Xie Xun yelled, “Are you certain that you’ll leave after I die?” At this moment, the three of them saw Xie Xun’s hand flashed, as he unsheathed the Dragon Saber, and sliced at his own throat.
Zhang CuiShan yelled in shock, “Don’t hurt WuJi!” He knew that he could not physically his brother from committing suicide. The only way to stop him is by this lie. Xie Xun immediately froze, put down his saber and yelled, “What?”
Zhang CuiShan realized that he can’t change Xie Xun’s mind, and said with tears, “If big brother’s so adamant about it, then I will respect your wishes, and part.” As he spoke, Zhang CuiShan kneeled down and kowtowed several times. But WuJi yelled, “Godfather, if you don’t go, then neither will I! If you can commit suicide, so can I. A man of his words does what he says. I can slash my own throat too.”
Xie Xun yelled, “Little fool. Don’t be ridiculous!” He instantly grabbed WuJi, and threw him onto the raft. Xie Xun then stepped up, and pushed both Yin SuSu and Zhang CuiShan onto the boat also. He yelled, “Fifth brother, fifth sister, WuJi! I wish you a safe journey. Hopefully, you will peacefully return to the mainland.” Then he added, “WuJi, after you get back to the mainland, you must call yourself Zhang WuJi. Only keep the name ‘Xie WuJi’ in your heart, never to be spoken.”
WuJi yelled as loud as he could, “Godfather, Godfather!”
Xie Xun raised his saber and said, “If you dare return to shore, our relationship ends immediately.”
Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu knew that their sworn brother’s mind is set. They could therefore only wave goodbye. By this time, the wind had begun to carry them away from the island. They saw Xie Xun’s body becoming smaller and smaller, until he disappeared into the distance. Only then did the family of three turn around. WuJi rested in his mother’s embrace, cried for a long time, before falling asleep.
The raft drifted in the sea, where the northern wind continuously carried them southward. None of them knew exactly where they are, but since the sun kept rising from the left, sets on the right, the North Star always behind them, and the raft kept moving. They knew that the mainland is closer with each passing day. Afraid that they might run into icebergs, Zhang CuiShan had only a small portion of the sail up. Although this made the journey longer, but also made it much safer. They still rarely bump into icebergs, but always just a light graze, before slipping away. After they left the region of icebergs, the sails went up fully.
The wind direction never changed. And thankfully, they encountered no storms. Everyone was optimistic about reaching the mainland. Not wishing to make WuJi upset, Zhang and Yin never brought up Xie Xun.
Zhang CuiShan thought, “It’s uncertain just how useful big brother’s teachings are. So when WuJi returns, he still must enter the Wu Dang Sect.” With nothing to do on the raft, Zhang CuiShan began to teach his son basic Wu Dang martial arts. He taught in a much more detailed manner than Xie Xun, and rudimentary Wu Dang martial arts are quite simple. WuJi learned them quickly. For much of the journey, father and son spent their time on the raft practicing techniques.
When Yin SuSu saw the wind continuously blowing southward, she couldn’t help but say, “Big brother’s knowledge of nature is also incredible. He certainly is a genius.”
WuJi suddenly said, “If the wind blows southward half the year, and northward half the year, then we can go back to visit godfather next year.” Zhang CuiShan said happily, “You are right. When you grow up, let’s go back north together…”
Yin SuSu suddenly pointed southward and yelled, “What’s that?” Only to see two black dots in the distance. Zhang CuiShan gasped. He said, “Could they be whales? If they ram into the raft, we’re goners.” Yin SuSu stared for a while, then said, “Not whales. I didn’t see water coming out.” The three of them stared at the dots intently. More than hours later, Zhang CuiShan suddenly yelled, “They’re boats! Boats!” He immediately stood up, and did a cartwheel on the raft. After WuJi was born, Zhang CuiShan had never acted so silly like this. WuJi laughed out loud, and did two flips himself. After another couple of hours, they saw the boats clearly. Yin SuSu’s body suddenly trembled, and her face turned pale. WuJi asked, “Mother, what’s going on?” Yin SuSu’s mouth moved, but did not speak aloud. Zhang CuiShan grabbed her hand, his face filled with concern. Yin SuSu sighed and said, “What a coincidence, just when we came back.” Zhang CuiShan asked, “What do you mean?” Yin SuSu said, “Look at that mast.”
Zhang CuiShan looked at the ships closely. Only to see a large, black eagle drawn on the left ship’s mast. He suddenly remembered the Heavenly Eagle Sect’s flag on Wang Pan Island, and said, “Is it… the Heavenly Eagle Sect?” Yin SuSu whispered, “Yes. It’s my dad’s ship.”
In this instant, thousands of thoughts passed through Zhang CuiShan’s mind. “SuSu’s father is the leader of the Heavenly Eagle Sect. This sect does so many evil deeds. What should I do upon seeing my father-in-law? What would my master think of my marriage?” He felt Yin SuSu’s hands shake, realized that she must also be pondering a lot things at this instant. He said, “SuSu, look at how old our son is already. ‘In Heaven or Hell, never to part’. What are you afraid of?” Yin SuSu let out a long sigh, smiled, and whispered, “Hopefully there won’t be any problems on my behalf. Just do what’s best for WuJi.”
WuJi has never seen a boat before. He stared at them curiosity, and didn’t hear his parents’ words.
As the raft drifted closer, they saw that the two boats are next to each other, as if they’re together. Unless they changed their course, the raft would pass about thirty meters to the right of the boats.
Zhang CuiShan said, “Do you want hail them. Maybe we can find out about your dad.” Yin SuSu said, “No. Let’s get back to the mainland first. Then I’ll take you and WuJi to see my dad.” Zhang CuiShan said, “That’s fine too.” Suddenly, swords glittered on the boats, as four or five people were fighting. So he added, “There’s fighting on the ships.” Yin SuSu looked for a while, and was concerned. She said, “I wonder if my dad’s there.” Zhang CuiShan said, “Since we’re here, we might as well take a look.” He changed the raft’s direction, so it now drifted towards the ships.
The raft drifted very slowly, so it still took them a long time to get close.
Suddenly, someone on the Heavenly Eagle Sect’s boat yelled, “We’re just doing normal business here. Outsiders should mind their own business.” Yin SuSu yelled, “Sun and Moon shines down, Heavenly Eagle spreads its wings, Holy fire rises up, Brings blessings down to us. I am a Hall Leader. May I ask which branch is burning incense and lighting fire?” A man on the boat immediately said courteously, “On this boat are Heavenly City Hall’s Leader Li, leading Green Dragon Branch’s Leader Cheng and Divine Snake Branch’s Leader Feng. Is the Heaven’s Secret Hall’s Leader Yin here?” Yin SuSu said, “I am Purple Secret Hall’s leader.”
The people on the boat became chaotic upon hearing these words. Soon, many people shouted, “Hey, Miss Yin’s back, Miss Yin’s back.”
Although Zhang CuiShan married Yin SuSu for ten years, she had never talked about the Heavenly Eagle Sect. Only now did he realize that she is Purple Secret Hall’s hall leader. Looks like a ‘hall leader’ is more powerful than a ‘branch leader’. He already saw the abilities of branch leaders Bai and Chang, and knew their skills to be above Yin SuSu’s. He figured that she’s only hall leader because her father is the sect leader. Zhang CuiShan also reckoned that this ‘Heavenly City Hall’ Hall Leader Li must be a powerful person.
Only to hear an old voice say, “Looks like my sect leader’s daughter have come back. Why don’t we call a truce for now?” Another loud, crisp voice said, “Fine! Everyone stop fighting.” The sounds of weapons clashing immediately stopped, and the combatants backed off. Zhang CuiShan thought that crisp voice sounded familiar. He yelled, “Are you Brother Yu LianZhou?” That person on the boat yelled, “I am indeed Yu LianZhou. Who… oh… you… you…” Zhang CuiShan said, “Your little brother Zhang CuiShan!” The raft is still several tens of meters from the boats. But in his excitement, Zhang CuiShan picked up a wood from the raft, threw it into the water, and used it to jump onto the boat.
Yu LianZhou quickly came to greet him. After ten years of separation, with Zhang CuiShan’s fate unknown, one could expect their exhilaration upon being reunited. Their four hands grasped each other. One yelled, “Second brother!” One yelled, “Fifth brother!” Their eyes filled with tears, as no more words could come out.
Meanwhile, the Heavenly Eagle Sect held their welcome celebration for Yin SuSu. Eight horns blew loudly in the back, while Hall Leader Li stood in the front. The two branch leaders, Feng and Cheng, stood directly behind him, with the others further back. They now prepared some boards to connect onto the raft, with several people holding on to them using long hooks. Yin SuSu and WuJi jumped onto the boat.
The Heavenly Eagle Sect divides into three inner halls and five outer branches. Each division has their own people. The three inner halls divide into Heaven’s Secret, Purple Secret, and Heavenly City halls. The five outer branches divide into Green Dragon, White Tiger, Black Valiant, Red Sparrow, and Divine Serpent branches. Yin TianZheng’s eldest son, Yin YeWang, heads the Heaven’s Secret Hall. Yin SuSu heads the Purple Secret Hall. Yin TianZheng’s little martial brother Li TianYuan heads the Heavenly City Hall.
Seeing Yin SuSu dressed in such strange clothing, holding a kid with her, Li TianYuan froze for a moment. Then a smile came to his face, as he said, “Thank heavens you’ve come back. You have no idea how worried your father had been these ten years.”
Yin SuSu got on her knees and bowed, said, “Nice to see you, martial uncle.” Then she said to WuJi, “Hurry and kowtow to your martial granduncle.” WuJi quickly got on his knees and kowtowed several times. Meanwhile, his eyes stared at Li TianYuan, quite curious to see all these people on the boat.
Yin SuSu got back up and said, “Martial uncle, this is your niece’s son. He’s called WuJi.”
Li TianYuan stuttered a bit, and then started to laugh loudly, said, “Great! Great! Your father will be so delighted. Not only is his daughter back, but he also gained such a handsome little grandson.”
Yin SuSu saw several dead people on the deck, and asked quietly, “Who are we fighting? What’s the reason?” Li TianYuan said, “They are members of Wu Dang and Kun Lun sects.” When Yin SuSu heard her husband yell ‘Brother Yu’, and then met up with someone on the other boat, she knew Wu Dang’s involved. So she said, “Try to resolve this peacefully if possible.”
Li TianYuan said, “Yes.” Although he’s the martial uncle, his hall ranks below Yin SuSu’s. Hence, on official sect matters, Yin SuSu has power over him.
Only to hear Zhang CuiShan yell, “SuSu, WuJi, come see my martial brother.” Yin SuSu grabbed WuJi’s hand, and walked over to the other boat. Li TianYuan was afraid for her safety, and followed.
Only to see eight people on the other boat. A tall, skinny man of about forty is holding hands with Zhang CuiShan, showing a close relationship. Zhang CuiShan said, “SuSu, this is second brother Yu I always tell you about. Second brother, this is your sister-in-law and your nephew WuJi.” Yu LianZhou and Li TianYuan were incredibly shocked to hear these words. The Heavenly Eagle Sect and Wu Dang are in the midst of fighting, yet an important person from each sect is actually a couple. Not only that, they even have a child.
Yu LianZhou knew that it’s impossible to tell the whole story at this time. So he went ahead and introduced everyone first. He introduced a short, chubby Taoist with a yellow hat as Kun Lun’s XiHua Zi. A middle-aged woman is XiHua Zi’s martial sister, Wei SiNiang*. People in the martial world call her ‘Lightning Madame’ behind her back. Both Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu had heard of these two people. The others are also expert swordsman from Kun Lun Sect, but not as famous as XiHua Zi and Wei SiNiang. Although XiHua Zi’s fairly old, he seemed to lack manners. His first words were, “Fifth Hero Zhang, where’s that bastard Xie Xun? You should know, right?”
Note* ‘Si’ means ‘four’. ‘Niang’ means ‘Madame’, except it’s not as formal. So SiNiang is not her given name.
Zhang CuiShan hasn’t even set foot on the mainland, and already two huge dilemmas are presented to him. First, Wu Dang and the Heavenly Eagle Sect are enemies. Second, people are already asking about Xie Xun. He didn’t know how to respond, and asked Yu LianZhou, “Second brother, what’s going on here?”
When Zhang CuiShan didn’t respond to his question, XiHua Zi became furious. He yelled, “Did you hear my question? Where’s Xie Xun?” He ranks quite high in the Kun Lun Sect, and has very good kung fu. So XiHua Zi is used to ordering people around.
Two of Branch Leader Feng’s men just died in XiHua Zi’s hands. So he’s already angry with XiHua Zi, said coldly, “Fifth Hero Zhang is my sect leader’s son-in-law. You might want to watch your mouth when speaking.” XiHua Zi yelled, “How could a demonic woman of an evil sect be married to a member of a righteous sect? There must be something suspicious behind it.” Branch Leader Feng chuckled, said, “Sect Leader Yin already has a grandson, and yet you still spew this sort of crap?” XiHua Zi yelled, “This demonic woman…”
Wei SiNiang knew of Branch Leader Feng’s intentions. He wanted to separate the bond between Kun Lun and Wu Dang. At the same time, he also gets to please Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu. Things can only get worse should XiHua Zi keep talking. So she quickly cut in, “Martial brother, no need to waste time arguing. Let’s hear what Second Hero Yu has to say.”
Yu LianZhou looked at Zhang CuiShan, then at Yin SuSu. He didn’t know what to think either, and therefore said, “Let’s get into the cabin to discuss this matter. Also, we can use this time to heal the injured.”
On this boat, the Heavenly Eagle Sect is guest. And the highest ranked member of the Heavenly Eagle Sect is Yin SuSu. She entered the cabin first with WuJi, with Li TianYuan following.
When Branch Leader Feng entered the cabin, he felt a strong wind coming towards his waist. Branch Leader Feng is very experienced, knew immediately that XiHua Zi ambushed him. Instead of blocking, he simply dashed forward, while yelling, “Huh? Are you attacking me?” He evaded XiHua Zi’s ‘Triple Lunar Hand’, and with the yell turned all attention towards them.
Wei SiNiang glared at XiHua Zi, only to see his face all red. It was agreed that the Heavenly Eagle Sect members are guests on this boat. So XiHua Zi’s actions, especially as a member of a righteous sect, is quite shameful. Everyone sat down in the cabin, separating into two groups, guests and hosts.
Yin SuSu is the head of the guests, and sat in the front with WuJi. On the host side, Yu LianZhou led the group. He asked Wei SiNiang to bring an extra chair, then said, “Fifth brother, sit here.” Zhang CuiShan said, “Yes” and sat down.
This separated Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu, and put them into two different camps.
For the past ten years, Yu DaiYan never left due to his injury. Zhang CuiShan disappeared, his fate unknown. Yet the remaining five heroes became even more famous. Although Song YuanQiao and Yu LianZhou are second-generation disciples, their position in the martial world rivals even the reverends at Shaolin. Therefore, out of respect for the Five Heroes of Wu Dang, the Kun Lun participants offered Yu LianZhou the front seat.
Yu LianZhou thought, “Looks like during the ten years fifth brother disappeared, he married Heavenly Eagle Sect’s Leader Yin’s daughter. I’m sure there are a lot of details involved. He might not want to disclose everything to the public.” So he said, “Including Shaolin, Kun Lun, E Mei, Kong Dong, Wu Dang five major sects, Divine Fist, Five Winded Saber, and seven other minor sects, Sea Sand, Huge Whale, and five other clans, a total of twenty-one groups wanted to find the location of ‘Golden-Haired Lion King’ Xie Xun, Heavenly Eagle Sect’s Miss Yin, and my own sect’s martial brother Zhang CuiShan. We had some misunderstanding with the Heavenly Eagle Sect in the process, and ended up as enemies. This had been going on for ten years now…” He paused for a moment, then added, “Thankfully, Miss Yin and Brother Zhang both have appeared, so we can clear up our misunderstanding. However, it will take a long time to discuss the details. So I propose that we return to land first. Let Miss Yin first see her sect leader, my martial brother see his master, and then have everyone meet to discuss things peacefully. Hopefully, we can then resolve this issue…”
XiHua Zi suddenly cut in, “Where is that bastard Xie Xun? We want the location of that bastard.”
Zhang CuiShan felt uneasy after hearing about all these conflicts, knowing that he’s partially responsible for them. He also didn’t know how to respond to XiHua Zi’s question. If he tells the truth, countless people will go to Fire- Ice Island for revenge. But to not say anything would bring about suspicions on his family. Yin SuSu suddenly said, “The vicious, murderous Xie Xun died nine years ago.”
Yu LianZhou, XiHua Zi, Wei SiNiang, and everyone else all let out a gasp, “Xie Xun’s dead?”
Yin SuSu said, “That day I was giving birth. Xie Xun’s insanity acted up. Just as he was about to kill fifth brother and I, my son began to cry. This murderous, vicious Xie Xun developed a heart problem, and died. Zhang CuiShan realized what Yin SuSu’s trying to say. She didn’t lie, as the ‘vicious, murderous’ Xie Xun did indeed ‘die’ that day. The ‘good’ Xie Xun remained.
XiHua Zi let out a humph. Since Yin SuSu’s a demonic woman in his mind, her words could not be trusted. He asked loudly, “Fifth Hero Zhang, is Xie Xun really dead?”
Zhang CuiShan said, “Yes, that murderous Xie Xun really did die that day.”
WuJi heard the whole conversation and was quite upset. Although he’s very intelligent, WuJi doesn’t know anything about the ways of the world. Xie Xun treated him like his own son, yet these people are cursing him, and even his own parents say that he’s dead. WuJi couldn’t help but cry out, “Godfather’s not vicious. He’s not dead.” These words stunned everyone in the cabin.
In her rage, Yin SuSu slapped WuJi across the face, yelled, “Close your mouth!” WuJi cried, “Mom, why do you say that godfather’s dead? Isn’t he still alive?” He’s only lived with three other people all his life, and had never touched upon the evils of the society. Even a boy of average intelligence, growing up in the martial world, would know that lying is normal, and not make such a huge blunder. Yin SuSu scolded, “When adults are talking, a child should not cut in. We are talking about that vicious, murderous Xie Xun, not your godfather.” WuJi didn’t understand, but stopped speaking nonetheless.
XiHua Zie laughed coldly, said, “Little brother, Xie Xun’s your godfather, right? Where is he?”
WuJi saw the grave expressions on his parents’ face, and knew that they are in a middle of an important discussion. When XiHua Zi asked his question, he shook his head, and said, “I won’t tell you.” The words “I won’t tell you” further proved that Xie Xun is still alive.
XiHua Zi stared at Zhang CuiShan and said, “Fifth Hero Zhang, is this Miss Yin really your wife?” Zhang CuiShan didn’t expect such question, and said, “Yes. She is my wife.” XiHua Zia said, “Your wife injured two disciples of my Kun Lun Sect. They’ve now become half-dead, half-retarded people. How do we resolve this issue?”
Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu both gasped. Yin SuSu yelled, “That is nonsense!” Zhang CuiShan said, “There must be some misunderstanding here. My wife and I have been away from the mainland for ten years now. How could we have injured your sect’s disciples? XiHua Zi said, “Then what about ten years ago? It’s been ten years since Gao ZeCheng and Jiang Tao were injured.” Yin SuSu said, “Gao ZeCheng and Jiang Tao?” XiHua Zi said, “Does Mrs. Zhang still remember them? Perhaps you’ve killed too many people in your life, and couldn’t remember all of them.” Yin SuSu said, “What happened to them? Why do you accuse me for their deaths?”
XiHua Zi let out a laugh, then said, “Accuse you? Ha! Although Gao and Jiang are now retarded, they still remember one thing, and could say one name, to tell us who injured them. That name is “Yin… Su… Su…” He said this in a very venomous tone, as if he’d kill Yin SuSu immediately if given the chance.
Branch Leader Feng suddenly cut in, “How can you, an old Taoist, speak the given name of my sect’s hall leader? You don’t even adhere to your own Taoist rules, yet still pretend to be some elder in the martial world? Brother Cheng, do you think there’s anything more despicable than this?” Branch Leader Cheng said, “No. It’s a shame that a righteous sect could teach such an undisciplined disciple.”
XiHua Zi yelled madly, “Are you talking about me? You dare ridicule me?”
Branch Leader Feng didn’t even bother to look at him. He said, “Brother Cheng, even if someone learns some simple sword techniques, he should still speak like a human, right?” Branch Leader Cheng said, “After the passing of Taoist Ling Bao, Kun Lun Sect has become worse and worse with each generation.”
Taoist Ling Bao is XiHua Zi’s martial grandfather, very respected in the martial world. XiHua Zi knew he needed to choose his answer carefully. Otherwise, he might end up saying that he’s more respected than the venerable martial grandfather. XiHua Zi quickly stepped to the cabin entrance. Swoosh, his sword came out, and yelled, “Evil sect’s demons. If you got the guts, come out and fight!”
Branch Leaders Feng and Cheng purposely enraged XiHua Zi to help out Yin SuSu. They thought that since Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu are now married, Wu Dang would surely no longer be their enemy. Even if they don’t help the Heavenly Eagle Sect, Yu LianZhou and Zhang CuiShan would at least stay neutral. The Heavenly Eagle Sect can easily take care of these Kun Lun folks.
Wei SiNiang frowned. She also knew that there was no way the Kun Lun disciples here alone could defeat the Heavenly Eagle Sect. Besides, Zhang CuiShan could easily fight on the other side. She said, “Martial brother, don’t be so rash. They are our guests. Let’s follow Second Hero Yu’s orders.” She purposely brought up Yu LianZhou, thinking that considering Yu LianZhou’s fame, he would certainly stay on their side. But XiHua Zi did not understand her intentions, and yelled, “Wu Dang and the Heavenly Eagle Sect are now relatives by marriage. He’s on their side now, so why should I listen to him?”
Yu LianZhou rarely displays any expression on his face. And upon hearing XiHua Zi’s word, he simply remained silent.
Wei SiNiang said in a hurry, “Martial brother, how can you say such a thing? Wu Dang and Kun Lun had been working together for the past ten years. Who doesn’t respect and know the fame of Second Hero Yu? We can trust Wu Dang’s Five Heroes to be objective.” XiHua Zi let out a humph, said, “I wouldn’t be so sure!” Wei SiNiang screamed madly inside at XiHua Zi, for being such a fool. She said, “Martial brother. Why do you insist on offending the Wu Dang’s Five Heroes? Don’t blame me if master reprimand you for this.” She kept on saying ‘Wu Dang’s Five Heroes’, obviously excluding Zhang CuiShan. XiHua Zi really did stop yelling upon hearing about his master. Yu LianZhou said calmly, “This issue concerns most of the major sects and clans in the martial world. Surely I cannot make a major decision alone. Since we’ve waited for ten years already, another year or two won’t matter. I’ll take my martial brother back to Wu Dang, so my master can decide on what to do.”
XiHua Zi said with a smirk, “What a great defensive ‘Close Off by Enveloping’ by Second Hero Yu.”
Yu LianZhou almost never gets mad. But this ‘Lock Away by Enveloping’ is a famous protective Wu Dang technique. To speak of it in such a manner meant ridiculing his master. But then Yu LianZhou thought, “I can’t be too rash on handling this matter, or the results might be disastrous. No need to argue with this wild Taoist.”
After speaking, XiHua Zi saw Yu LianZhou’s eyes glowed like lightning for a moment, and shuddered. XiHua Zi thought, “My master and sect leader martial uncle are the two best fighters of Kun Lun. Yet the expression in their eyes could not match the deadliness of this person.” Yu LianZhou’s expression calmed, and said, “If brother XiHua has a good suggestion, I’d like to hear it.” XiHua Zi turned to Wei SiNiang and said, “Martial sister, what do you think? Should we just forget about Gao and Jiang?”
Before Wei SiNiang could respond, sound of horn came from outside. A Kun Lun disciple came in and said, “E Mei and Kong Dong sects are here.” XiHua Zi and Wei SiNiang were overjoyed. Wei SiNiang said, “Second Hero Yu, why don’t we hear what Kong Dong and E Mei has to say?” Yu LianZhou said, “Fine.”
Li TianYuan and Branch Leader Cheng glanced at each other. Both frowned.
Zhang CuiShan became more troubled. He didn’t mind E Mei too much, but Xie Xun is Kong Dong Sect’s major enemy. He had once injured three elders of Kong Dong, plus stole their . No wonder Kong Dong Sect wanted Xie Xun’s location.” Yin SuSu contemplated about the same things. She thought that everything would be easier had WuJi not interfered. But since WuJi had never lied before, and loved his godfather dearly, his reaction was perfectly normal. Upon seeing his red cheek from her slap, Yin SuSu felt bad for being so harsh. She embraced him in her arms. WuJi is still quite scared. He whispered into his mother’s ear, “Mom, godfather’s not dead, right?” Yin SuSu whispered into his ear, “Of course not. Your mother was lying to them. These are all bad people. They want to hurt your godfather.” WuJi immediately realized what’s going on. He glared at everyone in front of him, and thought, “Oh, so you are all bad people. You want to hurt my godfather.”
From this day on, Zhang WuJi truly entered the martial world. He began to realize just how devious humans could be. He also knew that although his mother slapped him, the real culprits are these people in front of him. Living under the love of his family, he had never really understood the concept of a ‘bad person’. Even though Xie Xun told him about Cheng Kun, the idea still never really registered in his mind until now, when he’s actually facing one.
End of Chapter 8.