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The Return of the Condor Heroes - Chapter 8

Chapter 8 – Girl in White

Yang Guo quietly opened the window and slipped inside the room of the two Taoists. He saw two bags on the bed, he lifted one up and felt its weight, there were about twenty taels of silver and thought, “Just what I need for traveling expenses.” He took it and placed it into his pocket. The other bag was around four feet long; it held two long swords. He took each one out separately and easily snapped the two swords; then placed each back into their sheath. He then wrapped the swords up. He was about to leave the room when another thought crossed his mind, he took off his trousers and urinated all over the Taoists' quilts and blankets.

He heard the sounds of someone climbing up a wall, and knew that the Taoists’ lightness kung fu was very ordinary; they weren’t able to clear the wall in a single leap. They had to first climb up on top of the wall and then leap down. He quickly darted back into his room, quietly closing the window. The Taoists did not notice anything. Yang Guo placed his ear against the wall to hear what was happening. He heard the Taoists quietly talking; they seemed to think that victory in tomorrow’s duel was in their grasp. They were undressing when suddenly Pi Qingxuan called out, “Hey, why are the blankets damp and wet? Ah, it stinks, apprentice brother Ji, why are you so lazy; wetting yourself on the blankets?"

Ji Qingxu spat out, “What wetting yourself?” He picked up the blanket and called out, “When did a stinking cat urinate here?”

Pi Qingxuan said, “How can a cat urinate so much?”

Ji Qingxu said, “Hmm, that’s strange; where’s our money?” Suddenly the room was turned upside down as the two searched for their money. Yang Guo sniggered.

He heard Pi Qingxuan call out loudly, “Inn owner, inn owner, this is an evil inn, isn’t it? Stealing money from guests in the middle of the night?”

They called out a few times; the inn owner woke up from his sleep and came to ask what they wanted. Pi Qingxuan grabbed his chest and said that he was running an evil inn. The inn owner made a clamor, and alerted the inn’s waiters, kitchen staff and the attendants. The guests of the inn also all came out to see what it was all about. Yang Guo hid himself amongst the crowd, and saw the inn owner having his way in the argument, his mouth and tongue couldn’t stop moving, refuting so much that the two Taoists couldn’t get a word in edgeways. That inn owner loved to argue; normally he would stir up trouble with others even when nothing had happened. Now someone had started to provoke him first, in spite of the fact was that justice was completely on his side. He spoke until his mouth started to foam up, and his spirits were becoming more and more intense. The two Taoists were angry and embarrassed; they wanted to use force but they remembered the rules of their sect. They were now at the foot of Mount Zhongnan, how would they dare start trouble? They could only swallow their anger, close their door, and sleep for the night. The inn owner continued to chatter and grumble outside non-stop.

The next morning Yang Guo got up and ate a bowl of noodles. The chatty inn owner came over to greet him and he kept on mumbling curses and insults under his breath. Yang Guo smiled and asked, “How are those two villainous Taoists?”

The inn owner brashly said, “Real bastards. Those Taoists wanted to eat and live here free and so in respect for the Chongyang Palace I was going to allow it. But they dare to say that I am running an evil inn. Huh, I’m definitely going to tell the Chongyang Palace. The Taoists of Quanzhen are thousands and thousands in number, which one of them doesn’t adhere to the strict rules and regulations? I can clearly remember the two villainous scoundrel Taoists’ faces; I’m definitely going to point them out…” Yang Guo was amused and stirred in a few words of his own; he gave him the money for the room and food, and then made sure he knew the way to ‘Wolf Valley’ and he left.

In the wink of an eye he had already traveled over thirty li and wasn’t far from the ‘Wolf Valley’. He looked up at the sky and saw that it was still early. He thought, “I’ll first hide off to the side and watch how Gu Gu copes with the enemy. It’s best if Gu Gu does not recognize me at first.”

Yang Guo thought about the day when he fooled Hong Lingbo, and felt pleased with himself, and decided to do the same once more. He went to a nearby farmer’s house, and looked around in the back garden, he saw a large bad tempered bull, its horns knocking into the  bull  pen and making  loud noises. Yang Guo’s brain lit up and thought, “I’ll pretend to be a farmer, and Gu Gu will definitely not be able to recognize me.”

He quietly sneaked into the house. In the house he saw two babies playing on the floor so he didn’t dare make any sort of noise. He found a set of farmer’s clothes and changed into them and then put on a pair of grass shoes. He got some dirt and rubbed it onto his face. On the wall was a bamboo rain hat, which he took and wore. He picked up a grass rope and tied it around his waist, and then inserted a short flute in it. He went out and opened the gate to the bull pen. When the bull saw him coming, it began to get angry and when it saw the gate was open, it charged forward aiming to ram into his body. Yang Guo’s left palm pushed down on the bull’s head, and he flipped onto its back. The  bull  was  tall  and  bulky;  each  leg weighed nearly one hundred kilos, its tail long and horns sharp. It was extremely large. In the blink of an eye it had already charged onto the main road. It was angry, violent and hot-tempered at this moment in time; it used all its strength to jump upwards, wanting to buck Yang Guo off its back. Yang Guo rode on it’s back steadily, and was extremely pleased with himself. He laughed and said, “If you don’t obey you are going to suffer.” He raised his palm, and chopped down on the bull’s head. He only used twenty percent of his strength, and the bull could not endure it and bellowed. It wanted to jump again but Yang Guo sent down another chop. He chopped it on the head about ten or so times and the bull eventually did not dare to retaliate. Yang Guo then poked the bull’s neck with his finger on the left side and it turned right; when he poked it on the right side of the neck, it turned left, when he poked it on the back it moved forward, and when poked at the front it moved back. He was able to control its movements with his finger. Yang Guo then used his strength to poke its behind and the bull headed forward fiercely. It dashed ahead as if it were a horse. In a short while they passed a forest, and came to a  valley surrounded by  mountains. It was how the inn owner described it. He leapt down from the bull’s back, and allowed it to graze on the grass on the mountain slopes. His hand held the rope as he lay down on the ground.

He looked at the sun and saw it gradually approaching the middle of the sky. He was becoming more and more nervous; he was afraid that Xiao Longnu would ignore the meeting and wouldn’t show up. It was quiet and peaceful all around, with only the bull making a few snorting noises. Suddenly, at the entrance to the valley were the sounds of palms clashing, followed by more sounds of palms clashing from the south side. Yang Guo was lying on the slope, one muddy leg crossed over his knee, his bamboo hat was covering his face, only his right eye was revealed.

After a while, three Taoists appeared at the entrance to the valley. Two of them were the Taoists from last night at the inn, Ji Qingxu and Pi Qingxuan, the other was about forty years old, he was quite short. He was probably Martial Uncle Shen. Yang Guo studied his face and remembered that he saw him at Chongyang Palace before. Two men followed. One was a rugged looking man; the other was an old man with a head full of white hair. They were the Beggar Clan members Chen and Han. The five walked closer and saluted each other. Then they formed a line, all looked around.

At that time, a quiet trotting sound was heard from outside the mouth of the valley. The five men all looked at each other and stared at the entrance to the valley. They heard the sound getting closer and closer; then there was a black and white object at the entrance of the valley. It was a girl in white riding on top of a black donkey coming forward.

When Yang Guo saw this his heart quivered, “It’s not Gu Gu! Could it be another one of their team?” He saw the girl rein in the donkey a few feet away from the five. She glanced at them coldly; her face was filled with contempt and it looked like she didn’t want to speak to them.

Ji Qingxu called out, “Little Bitch, well, well, well, you do have guts; you might as well call your help out.”

The girl chuckled, a ‘shua’ sound was heard as she pulled out a small thin saber from her waist; it looked like the curved moon, the silver glittering in one’s eye.

Ji Qingxu said, “There are five of us, we can’t wait patiently for your help to arrive.”

The girl waved her saber and said, “This is my help.” The saber producing a ‘weng’ noise as it was waved in the air.” When she said this, the six of them were shocked. The five were shocked at the fact that a girl, by herself, would have the guts to fight five skilled fighters without any help. Yang Guo was extremely disappointed and hurt, he was sure that he would see Xiao Longnu. How could he know that the so-called ‘beautiful girl in white’ was another person? The air in his chest surged up; he wasn’t able to control it anymore and called out. When he called out, the other six were alarmed; but all they saw was a farmer letting his bull graze on the slope and they didn’t take any notice of him. They thought that is was just a young country bumpkin who had suffered some problem and was crying out.

Ji Qingxu pointed at the one named Han and said, “This is the Beggar Clan’s hero Han.” He pointed to the one named Chen and said, “This is the Beggar Clan’s hero Chen.” He then pointed to ‘Martial Uncle Shen’ and said, “Our Martial Uncle Shen Zhifan, you’ve seen him before.”

The girl ignored him, her eyes cold, she glanced at them a few times, treating them as nothing.

Shen Zhifan said, “You came on your own; so we can’t fight with you. We’ll give you a deadline of ten days. In ten days you need to bring four helpers to meet us.”

The girl answered, “I’ve said I’ve already got my help; against you bunch of nobodies why do I need to get more people?”

Shen Zhifan angrily said, “Little girl, you really are bold.” His words were meant to be insults and he managed to force himself to ask, “Are you from the Ancient Tomb sect?” The girl said, “So what if I am? So what if I’m not? You stupid old Taoist, do you have the guts to fight with me or don’t you?”

Shen Zhifan saw that she was alone but was sure that she had strong back-up and had them nearby. He was also afraid that he would invite trouble from the Ancient Tomb’s Li Mochou so he said, “Miss, I have a question; why did you hurt members of my sect for no reason? If it was our fault, then I will publicly apologize to your master, but if Miss can’t give a good reason then forgive us for being impolite.”

The girl chuckled and said, “Of course it was those two bullish Taoists’ fault and I just taught them a lesson. If there weren’t so many scoundrels in the world, why would I cut off their ears?”

Shen Zhifan saw that she was extremely brash and couldn’t help being startled. The beggar named Chen was old but he still had a temper; he took a step forward and shouted, “Little girl, you are talking to Seniors here, how come you haven’t got off your donkey?” As he said this he shot forward towards the black donkey and stretched out a hand to grab her right arm. His hand came out extremely quick. The girl wasn’t able to dodge it and she was grabbed immediately. Her right hand was also the hand that was holding her blade, so she wasn’t able to use it to repel the attack. Unexpectedly, the cold light of the saber moved, the girl’s arm twisted and the curved blade sliced down. Beggar Chen was startled and quickly let go. At least he was alert, and quickly changed his stance but the blade had cut two fingers. He quickly leapt back and drew out a saber and called out, “Bitch, you must be bored with your life.” The beggar named Han drew out a lead hammer, and Shen Zhifan drew out his sword. Ji Qingxu and Pi Qingxuan took hold of their swords’ handles and pulled them out. But they felt that something was wrong with the sword’s weight. Both of them called out ‘Ai!’ in shock, the swords in their hands were broken.

When the girl saw the two Taoists’ expressions she couldn’t stop herself from laughing. Yang Guo was lamenting at this time, when he heard the girl laugh he looked at the two Taoists’ embarrassed expression. He couldn’t stop himself from turning his tears into laughter. He saw the girl bend her waist and hack down with her saber at Pi Qingxuan’s head. Pi Qingxuan quickly pulled back his head but he didn’t know the move wasn’t finished, a slight turn of the wrist and the saber turned in the air and eventually cut Pi Qingxuan’s right cheek; blood started to flow from it. The other four were alarmed and angry, they quickly surrounded her. The Taoists Pi and Ji retreated to the rear, their hands holding onto the broken swords. They didn’t want to throw them away but they weren’t much use. They didn’t know what to do.

The girl called out clearly, her left hand pulled on the reins and the donkey dashed forward. Beggar Chen and Han were the closest, the blade and the hammer both attacked. Shen Zhifan followed and used Quanzhen’s sword techniques, every stance aiming for the important points of the enemy. Yang Guo saw that although his sword skills were vicious, compared with Zhao Zhijing and Yin Zhiping, their skills were far apart. Out of the Taoists with the name Zhi, he was the lesser skilled. Yang Guo was now calm, he studied the girl’s face carefully; he saw that she had a pretty oval face and she was younger than him by a year or so. It’s no wonder the inn owner didn’t believe that the ‘beautiful girl in white’ was his older sister. Though she wore white, her skin was slightly dark; it was very different from the brilliant snow white of Xiao Longnu. He saw that her saber stances were light and swift and seemed to be derived from the Ancient Tomb sword stances; there were more stabs and thrusts and rather less chops and hacks.

Yang Guo watched for a few stances and thought, “Indeed she is using our sect’s kung fu, could it be that she is a student of Li Mochou?” Yang Guo thought that both sides weren’t good people and he didn’t care less who won or lost; but then another thought entered his mind. “How could you be the ‘beautiful girl in white’? You're not even worthy to be my Gu Gu’s maid.” He folded his arms behind his head and lay down facing the sky, watching the battle.

For the first ten moves or so, the girl was able to hold her own; she was on the donkey’s back, attacking from above with the saber. The five of them had no choice but to jump back and dodge. Another ten moves passed, Ji Qingxu saw that the broken sword in his hand was useless, then thought suddenly entered him and he called out, “Apprentice brother Pi, follow me.” He quickly headed to the nearby woods and picked a fine small tree; he chopped its roots and branches with his broken swords and made a large club. Pi Qingxuan did the same. The two attacked from the left and right, thrusting toward the donkey.

The girl quietly said, “Shameless!” She waved her saber at them to fend them off and became distracted. Beggar Han’s hammer and Shen Zhifan’s sword arrived. The girl quickly used a risky technique; she lowered her head and slanted her body, the hammer’s wind swept over her face. A clashing sound was heard as the saber met with the sword and at that moment the black donkey cried out in pain and reared. Ji Qingxu had struck it with the club. Beggar Chen did a roll and used his saber techniques. The flat side of his saber struck heavily down on the donkey’s leg; the donkey immediately rolled over. The young girl was now unable to fight them from the donkey’s back. She saw a sword coming straight at her and immediately flew away; she grabbed Pi Qingxuan’s stick and snapped it in half. Her legs landed on the ground and she slashed across with her saber, repelling beggar Chen’s chop.

Yang Guo was startled, “What? Is she hurt?” The girl was actually slightly lame in her left leg, from the leap, one could see her restricted movements, and this is why she had refused to come down from her donkey. Yang Guo’s heroic nature was moved and he wanted to intervene and help her. But a thought entered his mind, “Gu Gu and I were fine living in the tomb; it was that evil woman Li Mochou who caused us to be in this situation. That girl pretends to be my Gu Gu, wanting people to call her the ‘beautiful girl in white’, she’s shameless!” He turned away and stopped watching.

But he kept on hearing the continuous sounds of clashing weapons and wasn’t able to curb his curiosity, he turned his head again. He saw that the situation had now changed, the girl was now dodging east and evading west, and she was defending more than attacking. Suddenly the Han beggar’s metal hammer came flying in, the girl moved her head and dodged it, at the same time, Shen Zhifan’s sword slashed across. A ‘ding’ sound was heard, her silver hair loop was cut; half her hair swept down. The girl’s brows raised, her mouth opened, a frosty look came upon her face as she turned her hand and slashed across.

Yang Guo saw her angry expression and his heart shook, “When Gu Gu was angry, she looked exactly like this.” Because the girl became angry Yang Guo decided to help her. He picked up seven or eight stones and placed them in his pocket. He glanced at her again and saw that she was in a frantic situation.

Shen Zhifan called out, “What exactly is your relationship to the ‘Scarlet Serpent Deity’ Li Mochou? If you don’t tell us truthfully, don’t blame us for our actions!”

The girl’s saber slashed across, hooking across the back of his head. Shen Zhifan couldn’t predict that she would do this and wasn’t able to block. Beggar Chen quickly called out, “Careful!”

Ji Qingxu fiercely struck the curved saber with his large stick and managed to save the life of Shen Zhifan. The five saw that her stances were all ruthless, not leaving anything to chance. In a short while, the girl continuously unleashed a series of dangerous stances. Shen Zhifan was sure that she was connected to Li Mochou somehow; if news of this ever got to that evil woman, he would have boundless troubles. He saw that she indeed did not have any back up, now was a good chance to kill her and seal her mouth. Every stance he used was aiming to wound the girl.

Yang Guo saw that the girl was now staring danger in the face; he had no time to delay so he flipped up and got on the bull’s back. He hung his legs from its back and dangled down underneath and then poked the bull in the buttocks. The bull started to dash at the six.

The six of them were absorbed in battle when they suddenly saw a mad bull rushing forward; they were all alarmed and leaped out of the way. Yang Guo was dangling below the bull and saw the pressure points on the backs of the five men, the pebbles shot out, they were struck in the ‘Soul Entrance’ and the ‘Spirit Hall’ pressure points. He heard calls of ‘Ai Ya!’ and the five felt their arms become numb; their weapons dropped from their hands. Yang Guo then sent the bull up the slope. He dropped down from the bull’s stomach onto the ground and called out, “Oh no, the bull’s gone mad!”

Shen Zhifan’s pressure points were sealed and his weapon escaped from his hand; but he didn’t see the enemy do this and thought that this was the deed of the girl’s backup. That person was highly skilled, how did he dare to fight anymore? Luckily his legs were still able to move, he quickly ran away but he still remembered his friends and called out, “Brother Chen, Brother Han, let’s go!” The others didn’t think about it and followed. Pi Qingxuan lost his bearings and was actually running towards the girl. Ji Qingxu called out, “Apprentice brother Pi, over here!” Pi Qingxuan was about to turn around when the girl took a step forward and chopped down with her saber. Pi Qingxuan was alarmed, he didn’t have a weapon and quickly dodged to the side, but how would he know that the girl’s saber wasn’t chopping down in a fixed direction, it went east and then west, the light of the blade glimmered as it was about to slash down across his face. Pi Qingxuan raised his arm; a ‘ca’ sound was made as the saber hacked off four fingers. He had yet to feel the pain as he quickly turned around and ran away.

Beggar Han ran ten or so steps and saw that the girl did not follow and thought, “That Bitch is lame, how can she chase us?” When he considered that she was lame, he glanced at her left leg, then turned around and hurried away. How would he know that look angered the girl, she couldn’t contain her fury and shouted out, “Scoundrel, don’t you think I can’t catch up with you?” She lifted her saber and swung it around a few times; a ‘fu’ sound was made as she threw it. She saw the saber glimmer in midair, a ‘pu’ sound was heard as the saber plunged itself in the left shoulder of beggar Han. That person kept on running with the saber in his back. In a short while, the five of them had escaped into the forest.

The girl chuckled but was suspicious, “Could there be someone nearby? Why did they help me?” The beggar named Han had taken the saber that she normally used away; she felt that it was such a pity. She picked up the saber that Beggar Chen had left and quickly went over to the forest to take a look but there wasn’t a trace of anyone around and returned to the valley. She saw Yang Guo sobbing miserably on the ground, calling and shouting out that woe is me.

The girl asked, “Hey, little farmer, what woe are you talking about?” Yang Guo said, “The bull’s gone mad, it’s skin and body is ripped and bruised, when I get back to Master’s house he's definitely going to kill me.”

The young girl took a look at the bull, but saw nothing was wrong with it and said, “Fine, your bull did help me out, I’ll give you some money.” As she said this she took out some money and threw it down to the ground. She thought that Yang Guo was going to thank her, but she didn’t predict that Yang Guo would still have the same expression on his face, shaking his head not picking up the money.

The young girl said, “What’s wrong with you fool, its money.”

Yang Guo said, “One ingot is not enough.” The girl took another ingot and threw it down to the ground. Yang Guo wanted to tease her some more and shook his head.

The young girl got angry and raised her eyebrows, and shouted, “I’ve no more fool!” She turned around and walked away. When Yang Guo saw her angry expression, he couldn’t stop the blood in his chest and head rushing. His eyes ached, he remembered the expression that Xiao Longnu had when she scolded him, he made a decision, “If I can’t find Gu Gu for the time being, I might as well look at that girl’s angry look.” He stretched out and grabbed her right leg and called out, “You can’t go!”

The girl tried to pull away but he held her so tightly that she wasn’t able to escape; she became even angrier and shouted, “Let go! Why are you holding onto me?”

Yang Guo saw that her anger was growing and he became happier. He called out, “I’m not going to return home, save me.” He then loudly called out, “Save me, save me!”

The young girl was angry but was amused at the same time, she raised her saber and called out, “If you don’t let go I’ll chop you to death in one go.”

Yang Guo held on even tighter and pretended to cry, he said, “Chop me to death, I’ll be dead anyway if I return home.”

The girl said, “Where do you want to go?” Yang Guo said, “I don’t know, I’ll follow you.”

The young girl thought, “There’s no reason to have a little idiot following me around.” She raised her saber and hacked down. Yang Guo thought that she wasn’t really going to do it so he held tightly to her leg. He couldn’t have guessed that the girl was ruthless; her chop was really heading for his head. Although she didn’t want to kill him she did want to cut down on his head and let him suffer a little so he won’t dare to bother her again. Yang Guo saw the saber coming down on him, when there was just a few inches between his head and the blade he rolled away and called out, “Murderer, murderer!”

The girl became angrier and dashed forward wanting to slash down again. Yang Guo was lying on the ground, his legs flying everywhere, he called out, “I’m dead…I’m dead!” His muddy legs and hands were scrambling about everywhere; he made himself look as dreadful as possible. But when the girl came hacking down with her saber, his leg would kick her wrist and in the end she wasn’t able to hack down again. Yang Guo saw her angry expression; it was what he wanted to see and he stared at her. The girl saw that he was looking weird and shouted, “Get up!”

Yang Guo said, “Are you going to kill me?”

The girl said, “Fine, I won’t kill you.” Yang Guo picked himself up and gasped deeply, he secretly restricted his blood flow, and his face became pale, as if he was scared to death.

The young girl was pleased with herself and gave an ‘humph’ sound, and said, “Let’s see if you'll still dare to trouble me.” She raised her saber and pointed to the slope where Pi Qingxuan’s fingers were hacked off and said, “I’m fierce and violent; I slashed off his fingers.” Yang Guo pretended to be frightened and worried, he kept on shuffling backwards. The girl placed the saber in her belt and turned around to search for her black donkey, but the donkey had long disappeared. She could only travel by foot.

Yang Guo picked up the money and placed it in his pocket. He held the bull’s rope and followed her and said, “Gu Gu, take me away.”

The girl ignored him and sped up, in a short while she had left him without a trace. Who could have guessed that while she was taking a little break, he was hurrying towards her with the bull calling out, “Take me away…take me away.”

The girl eyebrows raised and then utilized her lightness kung fu, in one breath she had gone a few li, and knew that he wouldn’t be able to catch up. But in a short while she could hear a quiet call of "Take me away!” The girl became furious; she turned around and took out her saber, raising it in the air.

Yang Guo called out, “Oh no!” He held his head and ran away. The girl just wanted him to stop following and that was it, she then turned around and walked away. Soon, she heard the snort of a bull; she turned around and saw Yang Guo about forty steps away, holding on to the bull following behind her. She stopped and waited for him. When Yang Guo saw her stop, he stopped moving as  well,  when  she  walked,  he followed and when she chased after him with the saber  he  ran  away.  This  stopping  and  following continued until it started to get dark; the young girl was still unable to escape from Yang Guo’s pursuit. The girl saw that although he looked dumb, his pace was not ordinary and she thought that he must be used to running around in the mountains. She wanted him to catch up to her so she could knock him out or hurt his legs but each time he was able to roll out of the danger and escape.

After a few while, the girl was becoming tired; her left leg was lame and moving was troublesome. She had an idea and called out, “Fine, I’ll take you away, you have to listen to what I say.”

Yang Guo said delightedly, “You really are going to take me away?”

The girl said, “Yes, why would I lie to you? I’m tired; you ride on the bull and then let me ride with you.”

Yang Guo lead the bull forward and caught up, under the cloudy skies, he saw her eye glistened and knew that she was up to something. He climbed onto the back of the bull. The girl’s right leg pushed up and she lightly flew up onto the bull’s back, sitting in front of Yang Guo. She thought, “My donkey is gone, riding on this bull won’t be bad.” She kicked the bull hard in the side. The bull felt pain and dashed forward quickly. The girl chuckled and suddenly elbowed backward with strength, hitting Yang Guo in the chest. Yang Guo called out ‘Ai Ya!’ and rolled off the back of the bull.

The young girl was extremely pleased and thought, “You little scoundrel, you suffered at my hands in the end.” She poked the bull in the side and the bull hurried forward even faster. She suddenly heard the calls and shouts from Yang Guo, and the voice was just behind her, she turned her head to look around and saw him holding tightly onto the bull’s tail, his legs in midair. He was towed in the air by the bull and his face was full of dirt and mud. Tears flowed from his eyes; he was extremely frantic but he still held onto the bull’s tail tightly. The young girl had no other ideas and so raised her saber aiming to slash down at his arm. She suddenly heard a clamor; the bull had reached a little town.

In the crowd of people the bull had nowhere to go and stopped. Yang Guo wanted to tease the young girl and see her angry face; he lay on the ground and called out, “My chest hurts, you’re beating me to death!” The town’s people all gathered around and asked why.

The girl was going to take this chance of being surrounded by people and slip into the crowd and escape; but she didn’t foresee that Yang Guo would pick himself up and hold onto her right leg. He called out, “Don’t go… don’t go!” Yang Guo called out, “She’s my wife; she doesn’t want me and beats me.”

A person said, “A wife beating her husband, what is the world coming to?” The girl’s eyebrows raised and she kicked out with her left leg. Yang Guo clambered up to the side of a burly man and gave him a push; the kick landed on his waist. The burly man shouted, “Little Bitch, kicking people?” He raised his massive fist. The young girl held the man’s elbow and used his strength to fling him away. The hundred kilo body flew into the crowd, causing the people in the crowd to scream and shout, making quite a scene. The girl used all her strength to pull free but how could she when Yang Guo was holding on with all his life? She saw that another five or six people were coming up towards her, adding to her problems. She could only lower hear head and say, “I’ll take you away, quickly let go.”

Yang Guo said, “Are you still going to beat me?”

The young girl said, “Fine, I won’t!” Yang Guo loosened his hand and stood up. The two of them rushed out of the crowd and headed out of the town. They heard shouting from behind. Yang Guo had managed to hold on to the bull.

Yang Guo laughed, and said, “People say that the wife cannot beat the husband.”

The young girl angrily said, “Stupid Sha Dan [Dumb Egg]! If you keep on talking this rubbish, saying I’m your wife and what not, just watch me cut your head off.” She raised her saber as she said this.

Yang Guo held his head and jumped to the side and pleaded, “Miss, I won’t say it anymore.”

The girl said, “Look at you, even an ugly old hag wouldn’t marry you.” Yang Guo laughed foolishly and didn’t reply.

Now, the sky was dark, the two stood in the unkempt land; they turned around, and saw smoke from cooking rising up from the town and both felt hungry.

The young girl said, “Sha Dan, go to the market and buy ten buns.” Yang Guo shook his head and said, “I won’t go.” The young girl’s face turned angry and she said, “Why not?” Yang Guo said, “I won’t go! You are tricking me to go buy some buns so you could sneak off.” The young girl said, “I said I won’t slip away so I won’t.” Yang Guo shook his head. The girl curled up her fist wanting to hit him but he quickly jumped to the side. The two of them ran around the bull like they were playing hide and seek. The girl was lame and it wasn’t easy for her to move. She saw the boy tripping up in front of her crying and shouting out, yet, although she possessed lightness kung fu, she was still unable to catch up with him.

The girl was furious, she thought about her martial arts, yet for some reason, she had allowed an ugly and smelly country bumpkin Sha Dan to stay on her tail. She had no way to escape, it might be said that she was incompetent. Yang Guo had made himself so much like the character he was supposed to be that when the girl failed three or four times to kill the Sha Dan, she was not suspicious. She followed the main road south and she saw that Yang Guo was holding onto the bull and catching up. She thought that she must find a way to kill him unexpectedly. In the short time it takes to cook rice, the sky had become even darker. She saw an old and run down stone house; it looked abandoned and thought, “Tonight I’ll sleep here and when that idiot is sleeping in the middle of the night, I’ll kill him with one slash.” She walked towards the house and entered, dust entered her nose, the chairs and tables were broken and it appeared that this house was deserted long ago. She cut some grass and wiped a long table clean; she lay on the table, closed her eyes and rested. She saw that Yang Guo hadn’t followed her, and called out, “Sha Dan! Sha Dan!” She didn’t hear a reply and thought, “Could it be that the fool knows that I was going to kill him and left!” She wasn’t concerned with it, and after a while she fell asleep. Suddenly the smell of cooking meat entered her nose. She got up and went outside. She saw Yang Guo sitting in the moonlight holding a piece of meat and opening his mouth to bite into it. Before him was a fire, on top of the fire was an array of branches, meat was roasting on it, the smell of it floating towards her.

Yang Guo saw her come out and laughed, and said, “You want some?” He picked up a roasted piece of the meat and threw it towards her. She caught it with her hand and looked at it, it was a shank of meat, and she was hungry and started to eat it. Although it had no salt, it was still tasty. She sat by the fire and politely ate the meat. She first tore the meat off the shank, and then placed it into her mouth slowly, but she saw Yang Guo munching noisily, annoying her. She was hungry so she turned around and looked away from him. When she finished her meat, Yang Guo gave her another piece.

The young girl said, “Sha Dan, what’s your name?”

Yang Guo said, “Are you an angel? How do you know I’m called Sha Dan?”

The young girl laughed and said, “Ha, so your name is Sha Dan. Where are your parents?” Yang Guo said, “They’ve been dead a long time. What’s your name?”

The young girl said, “I don’t know. Why are you asking?”

Yang Guo thought, “Since you won’t say then I’ll anger you.” He said brashly, “I know, you are called Sha Dan too, that’s why you won’t say.”

The young girl got angry. She got up and punched him in the head and scolded, “Who said I’m called Sha Dan? You are the Sha Dan.”

Yang Guo cried out and covered his head and said, “When someone asks me what I’m called, I say I don’t know so other people call me Sha Dan; since you don’t know, that means you are a Sha Dan as well.”

The young girl said, “Who says I don’t know? I just don’t want to tell you. Do you know that my surname is Lu?”

This young girl was the little girl who was picking lotuses in Jiaxing’s South Lake, Lu Wushuang. When she was plucking flowers with her cousin Cheng Ying and the Wu brothers, she broke her leg. While Madam Wu was helping to set her leg bones back together, Hong Lingbo arrived to take their lives, so her leg bones weren’t set properly. When it healed, her left leg was shorter by an inch or so. Because of this she walks like a lame person. Although her skin was not white, she was still beautiful. When she was grown up she was even more so, but because her leg was lame, she was hateful.

When Li Mochou killed her parents and took her away, she was going to kill her but when she saw the handkerchief on her neck she remembered Lu Zhanyuan, and so she did not kill her. Lu Wushuang was clever; she knew that her life was hanging on a thread now that she was in Li Mochou’s grasp. That witch goes and comes like the wind; she would not be able to run away, so she pretended to be obedient and tried to please her. Eventually the urge to kill the ‘Scarlet Serpent Deity’, who kills without blinking, calmed down. Sometimes Li Mochou remembered the hurtful events of the past and would summon Lu Wushuang and shout at her for a while. Lu Wushuang would put on a pitiful face and limp along. When Li Mochou saw her sorry look and after shouting at her and getting rid of her anger that would be it. Lu Wushuang pleaded to stay with her, and because she was just a little girl, Li Mochou did eventually allow her to stay. She buried her thoughts of revenge for her parents in her heart. If Li Mochou asked her about it, she pretended that she had forgotten all about them. When Li Mochou and Hong Lingbo were practicing kung fu, she would stand to the side and pass over swords and towels, tea and fruits, concentrating on the practice. She already had a decent foundation, when she watched them practice she noted everything, and when Li Mochou and Hong Lingbo went out, she would secretly practice. She would normally try to get in Hong Lingbo’s favour. Later Hong Lingbo took advantage of the mood that Li Mochou was in and pleaded on behalf of Lu Wushuang. Eventually she became her disciple. A few years passed, Lu Wushuang’s kung fu improved every day, but Li Mochou was still suspicious of her so did not teach her the most advanced skills. Even the intermediate skills were not passed on. Hong Lingbo took pity on her and would give her some pointers in secret. Although it couldn’t be said that Lu Wushuang’s skills were high, her skills were not low either. That day when Li Mochou and Hong Lingbo went to the tomb to search for the “Jade Heart Manual”, Lu Wushuang noticed that they did not return for a long time, so she decided to escape and go to Jiaxing in search of news of her parents. Although she saw with her own eyes Li Mochou seriously wounding her parents, she had not seen them die; there was still a glimmer of hope. She held onto this glimmer of hope and went to find out the truth. Before she left, she thought she might as well go all the way, and took Li Mochou’s book, the ‘Five Poison Codex’; it was a copy of a list of poisons and their antidotes.

Her left leg was lame, and she  hated those  who looked at  it. One  day in an  inn, two Taoists  looked at her leg and she immediately shouted at them. The two Taoists did  not  have  good  tempers,  so  after  a  few words they used force and they started to fight. With her curved saber, she cut off their ears and agreed to meet them at Wolf Valley the next day.

That day when Li Mochou took her away and headed north, she and Yang Guo met each other at the entrance to the cave. They were both young, their faces had now changed; they weren’t able to remember their encounter of years ago.

Lu Wushuang was full after she finished the second piece of roasted meat. Yang Guo used the light of the fire to look at her face, “Where on earth is my Gu Gu? If the girl in front of me was Gu Gu, and I was roasting meet for her, wouldn’t that be wonderful?” He was deep in thought, and stared at her as if he was mad.

Lu Wushuang thought, “I’ll endure your disrespectful stare for now; I’ll kill you later in the middle of the night.” She then returned to the stone house and slept.

In the middle of the night, she quietly got up; she went outside and saw Yang Guo by the fire not moving. The fire had gone out long ago. She went over to him and slashed him with her blade across his back. Her wrist suddenly shook, it started to ache; she couldn’t hold onto the saber and let it go. She felt that the place she slashed across was like metal or stone. She became extremely frightened and leapt away, and thought, “Could it be that Sha Dan has reached the state of being impenetrable by blades and spears?” She moved away tens of feet, but Yang Guo had not chased after her. She turned around; he was still by the fire, not moving an inch.

Lu Wushuang was suspicious and she called out, “Sha Dan…Sha Dan, I have something to say to you.” Yang Guo did not reply. She took a careful look, and saw Yang Guo’s body had formed a circle, it looked extremely strange, she boldly went over and saw that it did not look like the body of a person, she stretched out her hand and touched him, it felt like the clothes were placed on top of a rock. She grabbed the clothes and lifted up; indeed there was a large rock below. Where was Yang Guo?

She stood there for a while and called out, “Sha Dan, Sha Dan!” She didn’t hear a reply so she listened carefully; there seemed to be a snoring noise coming from the house. She went over there quietly and saw Yang Guo sleeping on the table that she had just slept on. His back towards her and he was snoring loudly in a deep sleep.

Lu Wushuang was angry, and didn’t even think about how he ended up sleeping on the table.  She immediately leapt forward raising her saber, and pierced into his back.

The saber’s tip had plunged into flesh but she didn’t feel any resistance in her hands. She heard Yang Guo snore a few times and then said in his sleep, “Who’s scratching my back, don’t, don’t, I’m scared.”

Lu Wushuang turned pale, her arms quivered, thinking, “Is this person a demon?” She turned around to run but her legs didn’t listen. She then heard him say, “There must be a mouse on my back trying to steal my meat.” He stretched out his hand to his back and took out a lump of meat, and threw it onto the ground.

Lu Wushuang finally breathed out and understood, “So that Sha Dan put the meat on his back and just now I stabbed into that, I’ve just suffered a fright for no reason.”

She had failed twice to stab him and she hated him even more, she clenched her teeth and quietly said, “Rotten Sha Dan, see if I’m able to kill you this time.” She dashed forward and raised her saber, then slashed down across his back. In the midst of the snoring, Yang Guo turned his body, the saber slashed down deeply into the wood. Lu Wushuang circulated her chi around her hands trying to remove the saber. Yang Guo pretended he was having a nightmare, “Mum, mum, the little mouse is biting me.” His muddy legs shot out, the left leg striking Lu Wushuang’s ‘Crooked Reservoir’ (qu chi) pressure point on the side of her body, his right leg landing on her shoulder sealing the ‘Shoulder Well’ (jian jing) pressure point. Those two points are two of two of the body's important pressure points. When those legs came out, of all the places to hit, they hit precisely those two places. Lu Wushuang wasn’t able to move, she stood there, becoming a support for his legs.

Lu Wushuang was furious, although her body wasn’t able to move, her mouth still could, she shouted out, “Hey Sha Dan, quickly move your stinky feet away.” She  just  heard  his  snoring  becoming  louder.  She didn’t know what to do, in anger she opened her mouth and spat at him. Yang Guo moved his body; his right foot brushed across and struck her ‘Large Bone’ pressure point. Lu Wushuang’s body immediately became numb all over, even her mouth wasn’t able to open, the stench from his feet flowed into her nose.

In a short while, Lu Wushuang's anger stirred up again, and she swore to herself, “Tomorrow when my pressure points are unsealed, I’m going to chop up Sha Dan into seventeen or eighteen pieces.”

After a while, Yang Guo felt that he’d had enough fun, he released his legs and turned around, although it was dark, he was still able to look at her angry expression clearly. The angrier she got, the more she looked like Xiao Longnu. Yang Guo stared at her in a daze, how would he be able to close his eyes? In actual fact, Lu Wushuang and Xiao Longnu did not look like each other. It’s just that when girls get angry they all have a similar look. Yang Guo missed his master and looking at Lu Wushuang’s angry expression reminded him of Xiao Longnu. It was like looking at a picture of her.

After a while, the moon was in the west, its light shooting into the room. Lu Wushuang saw Yang Guo’s eyes were open, staring at her in a daze and shivered, “Could that Sha Dan be pretending to be mad? He sealed my pressure points, could it be that it wasn’t an accident?” When she thought about this, she couldn’t stop herself from breaking out in a cold sweat. At this moment in time, she saw Yang Guo’s eyes looking at the floor; she followed his eyes and saw three shadows. There were three people standing at the entrance. She looked carefully and saw that the three shadows were holding weapons, she secretly cursed herself, “Crap, the enemy has to come now when Sha Dan has sealed my pressure points.” Although she was suspicious, she couldn’t believe that this dirty and humble farmer possessed a set of good martial arts.

Yang Guo closed his eyes and snored loudly. He heard someone call out from the door, “Little Bitch, come out, do you think this Taoist Master will let you off by standing still?”

Yang Guo thought, “Oh, it’s him again.”

Another person said, “We don’t want your life, we just want to cut off your two ears and three fingers.” The third person said, “This Old man is waiting for you outside; just get it over and done with.” As they said this they moved outside. The three of them stood in a semi circle.

Yang Guo stretched up and slowly sat up and said, “Why are you calling outside, Miss Lu, you are here? Why are you standing there without moving?” He pushed her in the back a few times. Lu Wushuang felt a surge of strong chi running into her body, her body shook and the three pressure points in  her  body unsealed. She didn’t bother thinking about what had happened and immediately got up and took up her saber. She leaped out of the house and saw three men with their backs facing the moon. She didn’t say anything and flipped her wrist and thrust out at the person on the left. That person was holding a chain and saw the saber slashing towards him. His chain was  heavy,  its  power  was  great  and  so  was  its accuracy. A clashing sound was heard as Lu Wushuang’s saber flew out of her hand. Yang Guo was lying across the table and saw Lu Wushuang leap to the side, her left hand stretched out and thought, “Good, that Taoist will not be able to hold on to his sword.” Indeed when  her  wrist  turned  up,  she  used  the Ancient Tomb sect’s kung fu, and she had taken the Taoist’s sword. She chopped down, a ‘pu’ sound; the Taoist's shoulder had been struck by the sword.

Lu Wushuang used the sword and fought with the man who used the chain. The other short man held a spear; he pierced east and west, but was out of the order and stayed back. The man using the chain had good martial arts, after ten moves or so, Lu Wushuang gradually felt that she wouldn’t be able to stand still. That person’s steps seemed to be measured, he honored his status, Lu Wushuang had failed to get at him many times yet he didn’t force the issue.

The Taoist wrapped up his wound, pointed at Lu Wushuang and cursed, “Ancient Tomb Bitch, such evil attacks!” He ran towards her attacking with his fists and legs. A white light glimmered; the Taoist’s back was pierced by the sword. At that time, the short man thrust his spear at Lu Wushuang’s back, and the man using the chain smashed down on her shoulders.

Yang Guo thought, “Oh no!” His picked up two stones and flicked them out, one at the spear, the other at the man’s right wrist. He didn’t know that the man was skilled, once the stone struck his wrist, he wasn’t able to smash down with his chain, but his left palm came out like lightning and struck Lu Wushuang on the chest. Yang Guo was alarmed, he was young and inexperienced and wasn’t able to tell that the man’s fists and palms were good. He quickly dashed out and grabbed onto the man’s neck, the man’s body suddenly flew up and was flung away tens of feet. The Taoist and the short man saw that Yang Guo was powerful; they picked up the man and ran away without turning back.

Yang Guo lowered his head and took a look at Lu Wushuang, he saw that her face was golden and she was breathing weakly, her injury was serious. He put his arm around her back and slowly sat her up. He heard ‘ge la’ ‘ge la’, two light sounds, it was the sound of bones grinding. Two of her ribs had been broken by that man. She had passed out but once the bones moved, the pain was intense and woke her up; she gave out a quiet groan. Yang Guo said, “What is it? Does it hurt?”

Lu Wushuang was in extreme pain, she clenched her teeth and scolded, “Why are you asking? Of course it hurts. Carry me into the house.”

When Yang Guo picked her up, it was unavoidable that there was going to be some movements. Lu Wushuang’s ribs touched each other and the pain ignited again, she scolded, “Fine, bastard Sha  Dan, you…you want to torture me. Where have the three scoundrels gone?” When Yang Guo used his skills, she had already fainted and didn’t know that it was him that saved her life.

Yang Guo laughed, and said, “They thought you were dead, they clapped and left.”

Lu Wushuang scolded, “Why are you laughing? Bastard Sha Dan, the more pain I’m in the happier you are, is that it?” Every time she shouted at him, Yang Guo would remember how Xiao Longnu would scold him. He lived in the Tomb of the Living Dead for a few years with Xiao Longnu and it was the happiest time in his life. Each time Xiao Longnu scolded him; he couldn’t help but be moved as he knew that his Master was treating him with her heart. At present he wasn’t able to find his Master, but at this time when he was alone, he had at least bumped into another girl in white. In actual fact, Xiao Longnu was cold and detached; when she scolded him it was just a few calm words. How was she like Lu Wushuang who screamed and shouted out insults and curses? In Yang Guo’s present state, having a young girl scolding him was better than having no one, he ignored her insults and curses and just smiled, he placed her on the table. When Lu Wushuang lay on the table, her broken ribs moved again, she couldn’t endure the pain and called out. When she called out in pain her lungs breathed out and this disturbed the ribs again causing further pain. She clenched her teeth as cold sweat poured off her head.

Yang Guo said, “Shall I fix your ribs back in place for you?”

Lu Wushuang scolded, “Rotten Sha Dan, what bones do you know how to fix?”

Yang Guo said, “My dog at home fought with the neighbor’s dog. Its bone was bitten in half and it was me who fixed his bone back in place. Also, when Uncle Wang’s sow had its rib broken, it was me who fixed it back into place.”

Lu Wushuang was angry, but she didn’t dare to shout out loudly, she huskily said, “You’re calling me a sow, a dog. You’re the dog, the sow.”

Yang Guo laughed and said, “Even if I was a pig, I’d be a boar. Furthermore, that dog was a bitch; a male dog won’t be like that.”

Although Lu Wushuang was clever and quick with words, every time she spoke a word her chest would hurt, she wanted to argue with him but she had no strength left, she closed her eyes and endured the pain and ignored Yang Guo.

Yang Guo said, “Once I fixed that dog’s bone it recovered after a few days. When it fought again, it was as if its bone had never been broken.”

Lu Wushuang thought, “It could be that Sha Dan really knows how to connect bones. If no one heals me I’ll be dead. But if he helps to fix my ribs, he’s going to touch my chest, how can I let him? Hmm, if he doesn’t cure me, then we’ll die together, if he does cure me, I won’t let one who’s seen my body live.”

She’d had a tragic life since she was young. She endured it and fought for her life. Her character was different to others; she had been with Li Mochou a long time, her ears and eyes had endured many things. She had learned Li Mochou’s ruthless and vindictive streak and at such a young age she was already filled with many evil thoughts. She quietly said, “Fine! If you lie to me Sha Dan, your death will be painful.”

Yang Guo thought, “If I don’t make it hard for her now, I’m not going to have a chance again.” He calmly said, “When Uncle Wang’s sow broke its ribs, his daughter begged and pleaded with me for help, she called me ‘Big Brother’ one hundred times, and then I helped her”

Lu Wushuang said, “Bull, bull, bull, rotten Sha Dan… rotten Sha Dan, ai ya” her chest was filled with severe pain again. Yang Guo laughed and said, “If you won’t call me that then fine. I’m going home now, have a nice rest.” He got up and turned towards the door.

Lu Wushuang thought, “If that person goes, then I’m definitely going to die.” She had to hold down her temper and said, “What do you want?”

Yang Guo said, “Originally, all I wanted was for you to call me ‘Good Brother’ one hundred times, but all along you have scolded and insulted me. I’ll help you if you call me that one thousand times.”

Lu Wushuang planned it in her heart, “I’ll promise him now, once I get better, it won’t be too late to get rid of him.” So she said, “I’ll call good brother, good brother, good brother ai ya ai ya”

Yang Guo said, “Fine, there are still nine hundred and ninety seven times left, remember that, you can finish it when you are better.” He walked over to her, and stretched out his hand to take off her clothes.

Lu Wushuang automatically cringed back, she was alarmed and said, “Go away, just what are you doing?”

Yang Guo took a step back and said, “I don’t know how to put your bone back in place with your clothes in the way, the dog and sow didn’t have clothes when I fixed their bones.”

Lu Wushuang thought this was funny but she would be embarrassed if she allowed him to take her clothes off. After a while she lowered her head and quietly said, “Fine, I won’t trouble you.”

Yang Guo said, “If you don’t want to be healed, then don’t. I don’t care…”

As he said this, he heard someone suddenly say from outside, “That little Bitch must be within twenty miles of here, we’ll quickly search around here…” when Lu Wushuang heard this voice she  immediately turned pale with fright, she didn’t care about her pain and covered Yang Guo’s mouth, the person who was talking outside was Li Mochou.

When Yang Guo heard this voice he too was alarmed. He heard the voice of another girl say, “The saber that was planted in that man’s shoulder looked like the silver saber of apprentice sister, and it’s a pity that we couldn’t get it for a closer look.” That person was Hong Lingbo.

After the two left the tomb, they returned to Scarlet Cloud Manor, and discovered that Lu Wushuang had escaped, Li Mochou wasn’t too bothered, but they didn’t expect that she had also stolen the ‘Five Poison Codex’. When Li Mochou roamed Jianghu, what the martial artists of the Jianghu world were afraid of was not her kung fu, but her ‘Divine Five Poison Palm’ and her ‘Soul Freezing Silver Needles’. In the ‘Five Poison Codex’, it had the types of poison, its concentration, the antidote and the processing technique of the ‘Divine Five Poison Palm’ and ‘Soul Freezing Silver Needles’. If the secrets were leaked, the ‘Scarlet Serpent Deity’ would be like a poisonous snake without its fangs. She had long ago memorized the contents of the codex; there was no need to take it with her, and she hid the codex in a secret place in the Scarlet Cloud Manor. But she didn’t know that Lu Wushuang was especially aware and noticed every detail, and knew her master’s hiding place. When she decided to escape, she took the book with her.

Li Mochou was furious; she took Hong Lingbo and chased after her night and day. But Lu Wushuang had left long ago, and she kept to the small roads. Li Mochou and her disciple went north and then south, she searched east to west, and then she went over the places again several times but still couldn’t find any trace of her.

One night, by coincidence, the two of them were near Tongguan, and heard members of the Beggar Clan spreading news that there was going to be a meet for the members along the western roads. Li Mochou considered the fact that there are numerous Beggar Clan members everywhere, their ears and eyes see and hear everything; there must be someone who had seen Lu Wushuang. The two rushed to the meeting place to scout for news. On the way there they saw a fifth band disciple being carried by another Beggar Clan member, around them was seventeen or eighteen Beggar Clan members escorting them. Li Mochou saw the person had a saber in his back; it was Lu Wushuang’s silver saber. She slipped to the side to listen in, and heard a few angry Beggar Clan members talking, saying that it was a lame little Bitch who did this. Li Mochou was delighted when she heard this, she knew that this person was recently wounded so she quickly left and scouted around, eventually coming up to the stone house. When she got there, she saw the remains of the fire and smell of fresh blood and under the moonlight she saw drops of blood on the floor, they were new stains. It displayed the signs of a recent battle. Li Mochou tugged her disciple’s sleeve and pointed to the house. Hong Lingbo nodded; she took out her sword and charged in.

When Lu Wushuang heard the voices of her Master and apprentice sister she knew that she had ran out of luck, she decided to lay there and wait for her death. She heard the sound of the door, a person in yellow dashed in, it was her apprentice sister Hong Lingbo. Hong Lingbo had friendly sentiments towards her apprentice sister, but she knew that this time her master would use every method that she knew to torture her and then slowly kill her. She saw that Lu Wushuang was lying on the table and thrust a sword at her chest to spare her the pain. As the sword tip was about to pierce her chest, Li Mochou stretched out her hand and patted Hong Lingbo’s shoulder; her hand lost all her strength immediately and lowered. Li Mochou chuckled, “Do you think I won’t kill her? Why do I need you to rush into it?” She faced Lu Wushuang and said, “You see your Master in front of you and you don’t greet her?” Although she was furious, her tone was normal.

Lu Wushuang thought, “Now that I’m in her clutches, even if I beg or plead, I’m going to suffer.” She calmly said, “You and my family had deep feuds over the years, there is no need to say anything.” Li Mochou stared at her; one couldn’t tell if her eyes were filled with joy or hate. There was an expression of pity on Hong Lingbo’s face. Lu Wushuang’s lips curled up, her expression was one of pride.

The three of them stared at each other and after a while Li Mochou said, “Where’s the book? Give it to me.”

Lu Wushuang said, “An evil Taoist and a beggar took it!” Li Mochou was startled inside. Although she hasn’t done anything to offend the Beggar Clan, she’s had run ins with the Quanzhen. She knew that the Beggar Clan and the Quanzhen sect had a deep history; what’s going to happen now that her book has fallen into outsiders hands? Lu Wushuang saw a wry smile on the face of her Master and knew that she was thinking up ideas of how to torture her. All along during her escape, the only thing she was afraid of was that her Master was going to catch up with her and now she has. Instead of first feeling fear she thought, “Where’s Sha Dan? Where  did he go?” She  is facing death and when  she thought about the  ugly and dumb farmer, unwittingly she felt a warm feeling inside her. Suddenly a light from a fire appeared, a rumbling sound was heard.

Li Mochou and Hong Lingbo turned around to see a large bull heading inside. On the bull’s right horn there was a saber attached to it, on the left horn was a torch; the force it was approaching at was frightening. Li Mochou immediately leapt to the side but saw the bull turn around in the house and rush out. When the bull first entered it was dashing ferociously, when it left it rushed away with the same speed. In the wink of eye it had traveled tens of feet. Li Mochou looked at the image of the bull running away and at first wondered, “Who attached the saber and torch to the bull’s horn?” She turned around and both she and Hong Lingbo called out in shock, the body of Lu Wushuang that was lying on the table had disappeared.

Hong Lingbo searched the house and leaped up onto the roof. Li Mochou thought that it must  have something to do with the bull so she chased after it. In the darkness she saw the light of the torch on the bull’s horn entering the forest. By the light of the torch she saw that no one was on the bull’s back, Lu Wushuang had not escaped on the bull. She then thought, “It must be, someone outside sent the strange bull in to divert my attention and then rescued her.” She didn’t know which direction to chase after, she then sped up and in a flash she had caught up with the bull. She leaped up onto the bull and saw that there wasn’t anything strange so she leapt down again. Then she kicked  the  bull  in  the  behind.  She whistled and signaled Hong Lingbo, one was going to scout north to south, the other west to east.

Of course it was Yang Guo who sent the bull into the house. When he heard the voices of Li Mochou and her disciple, he slipped out through the backdoor and listened in through the window,  after  just  one sentence he knew that Li Mochou had come to take Lu Wushuang’s life. He immediately thought of a plan, he went over to the bull and attached the saber that Lu Wushuang had earlier dropped to the bull’s horn, he then gathered some twigs and attached it to the other horn and lit them. He then hung below the bull and forced the bull to rush into the house; quickly he grabbed Lu Wushuang and hid underneath the bull, exiting the house. His movements were quick and the bull looked weird, Li Mochou had good eyesight but was caught unaware and didn’t notice anything wrong. By the time Li Mochou had caught up with bull, Yang Guo had carried Lu Wushuang into the long grass and hid. When she moved, she was in severe pain, so all of the things that had happened;  how Yang Guo rescued  her, how they hid  underneath the bull and how they dived into the grass was all unclear to  her. After  a while she  regained her  awareness and  called out an ‘ah’ sound. Yang Guo quickly covered her mouth and whispered into her ear, “Don’t make a noise!” They heard footsteps and Hong Lingbo’s voice saying, “How can someone disappear in the flash of an eye?” Further away Li Mochou said, “Let’s go. That little Bitch must have gone far away.” They heard the footsteps of Hong Lingbo gradually moving away. Lu Wushuang was being smothered and was in pain. Yang Guo still held his hand over her mouth without loosening. Lu Wushuang struggled for a little. When she felt that she was being held in his arms she was embarrassed and anxious, she wanted to hit him.

Yang Guo whispered in her ear, “Don’t move, your Master is lying.” As soon as his words were said, they heard Li Mochou saying, “She really isn’t here.” Her voice was extremely close by; it seemed that they were right next to them.

Lu Wushuang was startled and thought, “If it weren’t for Sha Dan, I would be dead!”

Li Mochou had suspected that she was hiding nearby. While she was talking far away, she immediately used her lightness kung fu without making a sound and arrived close by. Lu Wushuang almost fell into the trap.

Yang Guo carefully listened, when the two had really gone he removed his hand and laughed, “There’s no need to be scared now.” Lu Wushuang said, “Let me go.”

Yang Guo lightly placed her flat onto the grass and said, “I’ll immediately push your bones back into place and then we’ll leave this place. If we wait until tomorrow we won’t be able  to  escape.”  Lu  Wushuang nodded.

Yang Guo was afraid that she would call out in pain when he pushes the bone back into place and alert Li Mochou and her disciple. He sealed her numbing pressure points and stretched out his hand to take off her clothes, and said, “Don’t make a noise whatever you do.”

After taking off her outer garment, a white undergarment was revealed, removing this revealed an apricot yellow brassiere. Yang Guo didn’t dare to take it off and looked up, and saw Lu Wushuang’s eyebrows wrinkled, her eyes closed tightly, she was embarrassed and scared. Yang Guo had his first awakening of lust; when he smelled the fragrant scent of a virgin girl, his heart pounded wildly.

Lu Wushuang opened her eyes and quietly said, “Just cure me!” After she said this, she closed her eyes again and turned away. Yang Guo’s hand shook as he unbuttoned her underwear; when he saw her breasts, he didn’t dare to touch her chest. Lu Wushuang waited a while but felt a cool breeze brushing across her naked chest, she felt cold and turned around opening her eyes, and saw Yang Guo looking at her in a daze, she angrily said, “What…What are you looking at?”

Yang Guo was startled; he stretched out his hand and touched her ribs, when his hand touched her skin he shivered, like as if his hand was touching a fire, he immediately pulled back.

Lu Wushuang said, “Quickly close your eyes, if you look at me again I’ll… I’ll…” When she said this, tears flowed from her eyes.

Yang Guo quickly said, “Yes, yes, I won’t look anymore, don’t cry.” He closed his eyes and felt out the broken ribs and pushed them back into place, he quickly covered up her chest with her underwear and calmed down. He gathered four sticks and placed two across the front of her and two behind. He then got some vines and tied the sticks tightly into place so the bones won’t move out of place. He then buttoned up her garments and unsealed her pressure points.

Lu Wushuang opened her eyes and saw the moonlight on Yang Guo’s face. His cheeks were red, he was blushing, he looked at her face and their eyes met, he quickly turned away. Her bones were now fixed into place, although they still hurt, it wasn’t as painful as before. She thought, “That Sha Dan does know how to seal pressure points.” She now could see that Yang Guo isn’t an ordinary person, he is definitely not a ‘Sha Dan’, but ever since she met him she had insulted him and looked down on him. Now she had seen him save her yet she didn’t change the way she talked to him.

She asked, “Sha Dan, what do you think we should do now? Shall we wait here or run away and hide.” Yang Guo said, “What do you think?”

She replied, “Of course we should run. Are we going to wait here for our death?” Yang Guo said, “Where?”

Lu Wushuang said, “I want to go Jiangnan. Can you accompany me there?” Yang Guo said, “I need to find my Gu Gu, I can’t go far.”

When Lu Wushuang heard this, her face dropped and said, “Fine, leave! Let me die here.”

If Lu Wushuang had kindly asked him Yang Guo would of course reject her request, but when he saw her angry face, it reminded him of Xiao Longnu. It was hard for him to reject her and he thought, “Maybe Gu Gu headed south, if I escort Miss Lu there, maybe good deeds will be repaid, and the heavens might pity me and let me see Gu Gu again.” He knew that this was a remote possibility but he had no way to reject Lu Wushuang’s request, so he convinced himself, sighed, and then picked her up.

Lu Wushuang angrily said, “Why are you picking me up?” Yang Guo laughed, “I’m carrying you to Jiangnan.”

Lu Wushuang gave a smile and was delighted, she said, “Sha Dan, Jiangnan is far from here, can you carry me all the way there?” Though she said this, she was leaning on Yang Guo peacefully without moving.

The large bull had disappeared. Yang Guo was afraid that they might bump into Li Mochou and her disciple so he kept to the small paths. Although his legs were quick, his upper body did not move and did not disturb Lu Wushuang’s wound. Lu Wushuang saw the trees by her recede, he was hurrying along the path like a dashing horse. He was much faster than she would be without carrying anything. His lightness kung fu was not below her Master’s; she was curious and thought, “So this Sha Dan is highly skilled, how could he learn to such a level at such a young age?”

Not long after, the east began to lighten, she lifted her head and saw that although his face was dirty, he was handsome, his eyes captivating, and her heart was moved. She gradually forgot about the pain and after a while she fell into a deep sleep.

When the sky became bright, Yang Guo felt a little tired, he dashed over to a large tree and placed her gently down, and then rested next to her. Lu Wushuang opened her eyes and smiled, she said, “I’m hungry, aren’t you hungry?”

Yang Guo said, “Of course I’m hungry, let’s find a restaurant and get something to eat.” He got up and picked her up again, but because he had carried her for half the night his arms felt numb so he lifted her onto his shoulders and slowly walked.

Lu Wushuang’s legs were bouncing off lightly off Yang Guo’s chest, she laughed and said, “Sha Dan, what exactly is your name? If you don’t tell me I’ll call you Sha Dan in front of others.”

Yang Guo said, “I don’t have a name, everyone calls me Sha Dan.”

Lu Wushuang hurtfully said, “If you don’t want to say, fine! Who’s your Master?”

When Yang Guo heard the word ‘Master’, he didn’t dare mess around because he respected Xiao Longnu so much, he turned serious and said, “My Master is my Gu Gu.”

Lu Wushuang believed him and thought, “So his skills are passed on from his family.” She asked again, “What family or sect is your Gu Gu from?”

Yang Guo dumbly said, “I don’t know whether she is at home or what rank she is.” (Yang Guo is playing on her words, the word for family can also mean home, the word for sect can also mean order.)

Lu Wushuang angrily said, “You idiot! I ask you, from whose school of martial arts have you learned?”

Yang Guo said, “Are you asking about my family’s main door? It’s made out of wood.” (Again, a play on words)

Lu Wushuang’s heart sank and thought, “Could this person really be a Sha Dan (Dumb Egg / idiot)? His martial arts are good but he’s dumb?” So she softly said, “Sha Dan, tell me honestly, why did you save my life.”

Yang Guo couldn’t think of a reply, after a while he said, “My Gu Gu told me to save you so I saved you.” Lu Wushuang said, “Who is your Gu Gu?”

Yang Guo said, “Gu Gu is Gu Gu. Whatever she tells me to do I’ll do it.”

Lu Wushuang sighed, and thought, “This person really is dumb.” She had some warm feelings for him but now they turned into loathing.

Yang Guo didn’t hear her say anything and said, “Why aren’t you speaking?” Lu Wushuang gave a grunt. Yang Guo asked again.

Lu Wushuang angrily said, “If I don’t want to speak, I won’t speak! Sha Dan, shut your mouth!”

Yang Guo knew that her face right now was a nice sight, but since she is sitting on his shoulders he wasn’t able to see, he couldn’t help but think, ‘What a pity.”

Not long after, they reached a little town. Yang Guo found a restaurant and ordered rice and dishes, and the two sat down together. Lu Wushuang smelled the stench of cow shit on him and wrinkled her eyebrows, and said, “Sha Dan, sit over there, don’t sit at my table.”

Yang Guo laughed and sat at another table. Lu Wushuang saw that he was still looking at her, she was vexed, the more she looked at him the more loathsome he was, she hid her face and said, “Don’t look at me.” She pointed at a faraway table and said, “Sit over there.”

Yang Guo gave a laugh and grabbed his bowl and sat at the entrance of the inn, and ate his rice.

Lu Wushuang said, “That’s better.” Although she was hungry, her chest hurt, it was hard to swallow. She felt an urge to take her anger out on Yang Guo but he sat faraway, she wasn’t able to shout at him. Just as she was feeling troubled some people were outside singing, “Little Miss do good deeds.” Another person followed, “Give the beggar a bowl of rice!”

Lu Wushuang raised her head and saw four beggars outside lined up all looking at her, she could tell from their eyes that they had come with ill intentions; she was secretly alarmed. She heard the third beggar singing, “The path of heaven is not for you!” The fourth one sang, “Hell has no doors yet you’ve entered through!” The four beggars were singing the ‘Lotus Falling’ begging tune, each one holding a bowl in their right hand and a stick in their left. There were four coarse pockets on their shoulders. Lu Wushuang once heard her apprentice sister say that the Beggar Clan members use the coarse  pockets  to differentiate between rank within the clan, fourth band members will have four pockets, these beggars were fourth band members. She remembered how she fought beggars Han and Chen yesterday at Wolf Valley, they had five pockets; it seems they were a level higher than these people in front of her. If she wasn’t injured, she wouldn’t fear the beggars; now she hardly had the strength to pick up chopsticks. How could she fight the enemy? Sha Dan’s lightness kung fu maybe excellent, but he acts mad. Even if he knows martial arts it won’t be too high a level. She couldn’t help but be at a wits end.

Yang Guo was worrying about his stomach; it was as if he hasn’t seen the beggars yet. After he finished his bowl he went over to the rice bucket and filled another, he stretched out his hand and picked a fish up from the plates in front of Lu Wushuang, the soup and juices of the fish spilled all over the table, he laughed foolishly and said, “Ha-ha, I’m going to eat a fish.”

Lu Wushuang frowned slightly; she had no time to scold him. She heard the four beggars sing again, singing ‘Little Miss’ again. The four beggars repeated this three times, the eight eyes all fixed on her. Lu Wushuang didn’t know how to deal with them, she slowly spooned the rice, pretending that she didn’t hear but she was extremely worried inside.

One of the beggars loudly called out, “Little Miss, if you won’t spare a bowl of rice, then how about sparing a curved saber.” Another one said, “Come with us and we won’t make it hard for you. We just want to clear a few things up and come to a fair conclusion.” After a while someone said, “Just quickly come, do you really want us to use force?” Lu Wushuang thought that it would be no use whether she replied or kept quiet; she didn’t know what to do. The fourth beggar said, “We won’t use force against you, the heroes of Jianghu would laugh at the four of us for bullying a little girl, we just want you to come along and talk.” From their tone, Lu Wushuang knew that they were about to attack, she knew that it would be hard for her to fight them off, yet she couldn’t wait for defeat. Her left hand held the bench, when the enemy came she would use the bench to fight them off.

Yang Guo thought, “Time for me to do my stuff!” He ran over to Lu Wushuang’s table and picked up the bowl of soup, his mouth was biting down on the fish, he mumbled, “I’m…I’m going to spill the soup!” The bowl tipped and half the hot soup spilled on the Lu Wushuang’s right arm. She was facing east, her arm was slightly inwards, and when the soup came she immediately pulled back and turned around to take a look.

Yang Guo called out, “Ai Ya!” He used his right arm and wiped her arm and leg and at the same time, his left hand waved, four bamboo chopsticks flew out, each one shooting out at the beggars. The four chopsticks were extremely fast; before the beggars could see it their arms were in pain, a crashing sound was heard as four bowls crashed onto the floor. Yang Guo used his garment and wiped Lu Wushuang’s sleeve continuously and said, “Don’t…don’t get angry…I’ll…I’ll…I’ll wipe it clean.”

Lu Wushuang scolded, “Don’t mess around!” She turned around to look at the beggars and was alarmed. She saw the backs of the beggars going around the street corner and disappearing, the floor covered with the remains of broken bowls.

Lu Wushuang questioned, “Those four beggars are strange; why did they leave all of a sudden?” She saw Yang Guo’s hands was filled with fish soup and vegetable sauce, and was wiping frantically on the table, she scolded, “Go away, aren’t you embarrassed?”

Yang Guo said, “Yes, yes!” He wiped his hands on his clothes.

Lu Wushuang frowned and asked, “Why did the four beggars go?”

Yang Guo said, “They saw you were short tempered and wouldn’t spare anything, there wasn’t any use in begging anymore so they left.” Lu Wushuang pondered for a while and didn’t understand, she took out some money and told Yang Guo to buy a donkey with it. After she paid her bills she got on the donkey. As soon as she got on the donkey, her ribs moved and she shouted out in pain.

Yang Guo said, “It’s a pity that I’m dirty and smelly, otherwise I could support you.”

Lu Wushuang said, “Humph, still talking crap.” She pulled on the rope, the donkey was extremely stubborn, and it leaned against the wall and forced her against the wall as well. Lu Wushuang had no strength in her arms and legs, she called out and fell off the donkey. Her right leg landed on the ground and slowly stood up, her wound was disturbed again and she was in pain. She angrily shouted, “You saw me fall yet you didn’t help me.”

Yang Guo said, “I’m dirty.”

Lu Wushuang said, “Can’t you wash first?” Yang Guo gave a stupid laugh and didn’t say anything. Lu Wushuang said, “Help me get on the donkey.” Yang Guo did as he was told and helped her onto the donkey. As soon as the donkey felt someone on its back it immediately started to buck. Lu Wushuang said, “Quickly lead the donkey.”

Yang Guo said, “No, I’m scared that the donkey is going to kick me. It would be better if it was my bull.”

Lu Wushuang was exasperated and thought, “He’s not completely stupid. Obviously he wants to hold on to me.” She had no alternative and could only say, “Fine, you can ride on the donkey as well.”

Yang Guo said, “Remember you told me, don’t shout at me for being dirty and smelly.” Lu Wushuang said, “Yes, why are you wasting time?”

Yang Guo laughed and climbed onto the back of the donkey, his arms gathered around her, he kicked with a bit of strength in his legs, the donkey felt pain and didn’t dare to cause trouble anymore and obediently walked forward. Yang Guo said, “Which way are we going?”

Lu Wushuang had already planned out her route, she wanted to go east through Tongguan and then through Zhongzhou and then go south following the main road. But after seeing the four beggars, she knew that she would encounter more Beggar Clan members along the way so she thought about going along the small paths. Go through the bamboo forest and towards Colt Dragon Stockade and then south via Purple Meadow. Although this would make the journey longer, it was a lot safer and it would be harder for her Master to catch up with her. After pondering for a while she pointed southeast and said, “That way.”

The donkey trotted along slowly, as soon as they left the town, a small child rushed up to them and called out, “Miss Lu, I have something for you.” As she said this she flung a flower to them, and then turned around and ran away. Lu Wushuang stretched out her hand and caught  it,  and  saw  a  letter  wrapped around it, she quickly opened the envelope and saw a yellow piece of paper, it read; “Your Master will be here shortly, quickly hide!” The yellow paper was coarse but the writing on it was elegant. Lu Wushuang gave out an alarmed shout, she pondered, “Who is that little kid? How does he know my name is Lu? And how do they know that my Master is going to be here shortly?” She asked Yang Guo, “You know that child don’t you? It was your Gu Gu who sent him isn’t it?”

Yang Guo had already read the letter from behind her and thought, “That kid was just a normal country kid, he must have been ordered to take the letter to us by someone. But who wrote the letter? It looks like it has good intentions. If Li Mochou really caught up, what should I do?” Although he had learned the “Jade Heart Manual” and “Nine Yin Manual”, and possessed two of the greatest  skills  in  the  world  of Wulin, he had only practiced them for a short time. Though he understood the essence behind them his internal energy wasn’t deep enough. If Li Mochou caught up he would not be a match for her and in broad daylight there wasn’t anywhere to hide. He was pondering but had no idea. When Lu Wushuang asked him he replied, “I don’t know that little Sha Dan, but my Gu Gu did not send that kid.”

As soon as he said this, he heard a noise; ahead was a carriage. Tens of people were crowding and pushing around; there was a wedding taking place. Although it was the countryside, the event was done with an extravagant air; it was done with much enthusiasm and energy.

A thought suddenly popped up in Yang Guo’s mind, he asked, “Do you want to be a bride?”

End of Chapter 8.