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The Sword and Exquisiteness (Mingjian Fengliu) - Chapter 16

Chapter 16 Winning against all odds

Guo Pianxian took her hand and asked:"Did you use the right kind of poison?"

Silver Blossom shouted:"Disciples of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect never make such mistakes."

The man carrying the lantern came closer and said:"Do you think mere poison can harm us?"

The other man laughed:"We came back to take you to the grave with us."

Now they stood close enough, Yu Peiyu, Guo Pianxian saw that blood was flowing from their eyes, nose, mouth and ears.

Guo Pianxian shouted:"Well, you've returned from the dead, now you can go back again."

He waved his hand and ten poisonous needles shot from his sleeve. The two men cried out and fell down.

Guo Pianxian laughed:"Some ghosts, can't even take a few needles."

Silver Blossom said softly:"They were already dead once, how come they were still alive."

Yu Peiyu suddenly thought of something and said:"Could other disciples of your sect have an antidote too?"

Silver Blossom got up and walked to inspect the bodies and started to laugh loudly.

Guo Pianxian asked:"Why are you laughing? Isn't that blood on their faces?"

Silver Blossom didn't answer and smiled:"Father, are you here? Why won't you come out?"

Nobody answered.

Silver Blossom said:"Father, you were following me all the time. You must have seen where I have hidden the treasure and when I poisoned these two bums you rescued them. You knew I would return sooner or later so you instructed them to give me a scare."

She continued to giggle:"Well, I have had my punishment. You almost scared me to death, please come out and let me see you."

Suddenly a cold voice said:"You dare to keep the treasure to yourself. Don't you know that this treasure belongs to our sect. This is was just a small punishment, for the crime you have commited you deserve to die. If you weren't my daugther I would have taken your life."

The voice slowly died out.

Silver Blossom said softly:"He took everything....."

Guo Pianxian was silent for some time but soon laughed:"A father who scares the living daylights out of his own daughter. What a laugh!"

Silver Blossom sighed:"Do you think he just wanted to scare me?"

Guo Pianxian asked:"Well, didn't he?"

Silver Blossom said:"He thought I was alone, after I would have the scare of my life, in which I would probably pass out. He will have dealt with me according to sect regulations. I would have died without knowing who killed me, that's the way of our sect."

Yu Peiyu frowned:"But he's your father."

Silver Blossom said casually:"Father? In his eyes I'm no different from all his other subjects, there is no love in the Heavenly Silkworm Sect only regulations. He didn't kill me today because he still had some reservations about the two of you."

She giggled:"If he was an emotional man, he wouldn't become the hierarch of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect."

Guo Pianxian sighed:"Very formidable! The hierarch of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect is indeed a ruthless man. My respects."

Silver Blossom giggled:"Like father, like daughter. I'm a chip of the old block. I don't blame him for trying to kill me, in fact I feel proud to have a father like him."

Guo Pianxian coldly said:"You're penniless, what is there to be proud of."

Silver Blossom giggled:"We do look alike, you're thinking without money I have no use. But you're wrong......"

Guo Pianxian suddenly asked:"Did you hide your treasure somewhere else?"

Silver Blossom nodded and smiled:"Well, I didn't know if anyone was following me. So I divided the treasure into two halves and the other half is somewhere else."

Guo Pianxian asked:"Where?"

Silver Blossom smiled:"Somewhere you will never guess."

Hiding a treasure in a coffin was strange and eerie enough, where could this other place be?

Silver Blossom lead them to a small village, Guo Pianxian, Yu Peiyu and Zhong Jing were surprised.

Silver Blossom smiled:"You were thinking I was leading you to some dark mysterious place, but now our business is right here in

this small town."

She continued:"This is the Family Li Village, up ahead is the family Li inn. I lodged there some time ago for a few days."

Zhong Jing asked:"You hid the treasure in an inn?"

Silver Blossom said:"Correct, I used a large black cloth to wrap up my precious belongings and put it on a beam on the roof top."

Zhong Jing scoffed:"Some safe place! Even a small child can find it."

Silver Blossom laughed:"Sister Zhong, you're an intelligent girl. But there are many things you still have to learn. Ask him?"

Zhong Jing turned to Guo Pianxian, Guo explained:"No one will go look for the most obvious places for anything valuable. They expect you to put somewhere secretive."

Silver Blossom said:"No one will expect me to put the treasure on the roof top of the main hall in this inn."

Silver Blossom smiled:"Do you understand now?"

Zhong Jing sneered:"I will never understand these underhanded tricks."

Silver Blossom said:"You're right, you just know how to become jealous."

Zhong Jing was furious but again didn't know what to say.

Silver Blossom said:"We should go up the roof of the neighbouring residence. From there we can see whether it is safe to go in."

Guo Pianxian praised:"You're also a very cautious woman."

Silver Blossom said:"Cautious people live longer. Besides the three of us are very cautious men and women."

The four of them had no difficulty getting up the roof, this was the same spot where Mei Simang and Jin Yanzi spied on Silver Blossom and the Four Beasts.

However just like Mei Simang and Jin Yanzi they were stunned too about what they saw.

They saw a fairly large group of men and women standing around two old men. The two old men were playing a game of go.

The two players are Yu Fanghe and Tang Wushuang.

The people watching are all famous martial artists, the four of them were absolutely shocked and Guo Pianxian and Zhong Jing were also very much afraid.

Guo Pianxian was also surprised to see Yu Fanghe and Tang Wushuang playing go. He thought their secret meeting was about something important. It seems they were just playing a game of chess.

Yu Peiyu was startled to see Tang Wushuang, he wondered if this Tang Wushuang was an imposter too.

Silver Blossom was the most disappointed and shocked and sighed:"Of all the places why must they play go here! We can't retrieve my stuff."

Guo Pianxian said:"Let us leave!"

Silver Blossom said with surprise:"Leave?"

Guo Pianxian whispered:"We don't know when they're finished, and when they're done they won't leave immediately. We can't stay here the entire time."

Yu Peiyu said:"We won't leave."

He was determined to find out whether this Tang Wushuang was real or a fake.

Silver Blossom added:"Right, we should stay here and wait."

Guo Pianxian said:"They can see us in the morning."

Silver Blossom retorted:"Not if we stayed in a room."

She gently moved to the window of this house and found out the window wasn't closed. She pushed it open and entered, Yu Peiyu felt trespassing was not the right thing to do. But there was no other alternative. It was pitch dark inside, Silver Blossom took out her flint and lit one of her candles.

She assumed the residents of his house were asleep but when the light was lit. Four eyes were looking at her, she was startled and almost dropped the candle.

The house looked clean and there was a large bed, in the bed was a sick looking man.

And sitting next to a bed a young girl who looked about 12, 13 years old. She kept looking at these trespassers with her bright and pretty eyes.

Silver Blossom asked:"Why aren't you sleeping yet? It is quite late now."

The girl just hemmed.

Silver Blossom asked:"Why won't you light the candles?"

The girl just shook her head, the sick man smiled:"We don't have any candles."

Silver Blossom said:"No candles?"

The sick man sighed:"My life is hanging on a silk thread, why should I need light. I rather await death in the dark, that way I will feel more assured."

He sounded very weak and he really did sound like he was going to pass away at any time."

Silver Blossom said:"Aren't you afraid? I mean a bunch of strangers coming into your home."

The sick man smiled:"I'm a dying man why should I fear anything else anymore."

Silver Blossom said:"You're right! There are many advantages of being a dying man. For instance I was going to kill you but now I don't have to anymore."

She put her hand the girl's head and asked:"Aren't you afraid?"

The girl thought for awhile and answered:"If my third uncle dies, I don't want to live anymore either."

Silver Blossom said:"You're not afraid either."

The girl said resolutely:"No."

Silver Blossom laughed:"If you're not afraid, I suppose you won't scream and so?"

The girl said:"My third uncles likes peace, I never speak loudly."

Silver Blossom praised:"Marvellous! That way you will live longer too."

She now ignored the two, and was observing the family Li inn.

She could hear that Yu Fanghe and Tang Wushuang were still playing go.

Yu Peiyu asked gently:"Little Miss, what's your name?"

The girl said:"There is no need exchanging names. We have just met and will probably never see each other again. No need for formalities."

Yu Peiyu was surprised that she would say such wise words, and looked at her. The girl looked at him too for some time and said:"But since you asked I might as well tell you. My name is Zhu Lei'Er (Lei as in tears). I often cried when I was a little girl so hence this name."

Yu Peiyu wanted to say something but Zhu Lei'Er continued:"But now I don't cry anymore. Maybe I have run out of tears."

Yu Peiyu sighed:"How long has your uncle been ill?"

Zhu Lei'Er said:"For about 7 years now."

Yu Peiyu said:"Have you been taking care of him all that time?"

Zhu Lei'Er nodded, Yu Peiyu asked:"Isn't there someone else to help you out?"

Zhu Lei'Er said:"My third uncle only has me as his only relative."

Yu Peiyu sighed and thought:Seven years ago this girl was about 8 years old or so. She had to spend her childhood taking care of her sick uncle.

Yu Peiyu felt sad for her.

A new day dawned, Zhong Jing slept in the arms of Guo Pianxian. Guo was looking at the sick man and was looking pensive.

Silver Blossom strechted herself and said:"The two are still playing go, when will the finish the game. At this rate they won't be finished untill next year."

She turned to Zhu Lei'Er and said:"Be a good girl and prepare some congee and some dishes for aunties and uncles."

Zhu Lei'Er said:"No, I won't leave third uncle."

Silver Blossom smiled:"Be a good girl and listen! As a child you have to listen to grown-ups."

Zhu Lei'Er said:"No, I won't go."

Silver Blossom said very gentle:"You are not afraid of me, are you? That's why you won't listen to me, right?"

After saying this she slapped Zhu Lei'Er very hard, leaving a imprint on her sweet little face.

But she still didn't move, Silver Blossom smiled:"What? Didn't I slap you hard enough?"

She raised her hand and was about to slap her again but this time Yu Peiyu grabbed her hand.

Silver Blossom sighed:"I knew you would interfere."

Yu Peiyu said coldly:"If you want me to stay on your side, you would be......"

Zhu Lei'Er yelled:"Ouch! You slapped me very hard."

Silver Blossom said:"Now, you're feeling pain?"

Zhu Lei'Er rubbed her cheek and said:"It hurts."

Silver Blossom looked at her and forgot about breakfast. She thought:Now she feels the pain, is there something wrong with this girl?

The sick man sighed:"You should have listened to her, if you did you wouldn't get slapped. Go downstairs and prepare breakfast."

Zhu Lei'Er said:"It is because my third uncle told me. I wouldn't cook for you even if you threatened to kill me."

Yu Peiyu watched her as she went downstairs and sighed.

Silver Blossom smiled:"She reminds me of when I was a little girl. But if she is like me the breakfast will be very lethal. I'll check on her now."

Yu Peiyu frowned:"She's just a young girl."

Silver Blossom laughed:"When I was her age, I had already poisoned at least 70, 80 people."

Yu Peiyu said coldly:"She is not afraid of you, but you seem to be a bit afraid of her."

Silver Blossom couldn't explain her worries about that girl. Somehow she felt uncomfortable around her.

She was silent for a moment and smiled:"Anyway it never hurts to be extra careful."

Yu Peiyu sighed:"I'll go instead of you."

Yu Peiyu saw Zhu Lei'Er in the kitchen she was washing the rice and was preparing breakfast. He felt very sad for that she had to endure so many hardships at her young age.

Yu Peiyu said in a gentle voice:"Do you keep the entire house tidy and clean every day?"

Zhu Lei'Er said:"I can't stand dirt, if I see something disgusting I will hate it. But who wants to hang around disgusting people if they had a choice. Do you agree?"

Yu Peiyu said:"You're right." But Zhu Lei'Er words were hinting towards his present situation.

Zhu Lei'Er said softly:"But why are you in the company of disgusting people?"

Yu Peiyu didn't know what to say, this strange young girl was a very wise and knowledgeable person.

Zhu Lei'Er said:"Although I don't go out often but I see a lot of strange things happening. I always tell my uncle what I see, that way he won't feel lonely."

Yu Peiyu asked:"Do a lot of strange events happen here?"

Zhu Lei'Er said:"For example I saw a pretty young woman using a strange method killing four vicious robbers some time ago"

Yu Peiyu said:"You must be talking about the woman who slapped you."

Zhu Lei'Er said:"Did someone slap me? I have forgotten that. If you're hit and you cannot take revenge. The best way is to forget, so you won't feel bad about that."

Yu Peiyu said:"But what about feeling pain?"

Zhu Lei'Er said:"If you're hit you're bound to feel pain. I believe feeling pain later is better than feeling pain right away. Because that way you can take away the joy your attacker has."

Yu Peiyu was stunned that a young girl like her had so many strange thoughts and ideas.

Suddenly there was a loud noise coming from next door, Yu Peiyu said:"Let's see what is going on?"

Yu Peiyu saw a lot of Wulin people entering the family Li inn. Silver Blossom said:"What do these people want here?"

Guo Pianxian said:"Everyone wants to see the chancellor of Wulin playing go with the leader of the Tang Clan. If word gets out everyone will rush over here within three days."

Silver Blossom said angrilly:"Who is the son of a ...... who spread the word."

No one answered her of course.

Yu Peiyu knew of course that Yu Fanghe must have spread the word himself. He wants to assure the Tang disciples that their beloved father, teacher is allright and is playing go near their own mansion.

This way the fake Tang Wushuang will easily become the real Tang Wushuang.

They could hear some Wulin people say:"This is the new chancellor of Wulin. He looks very impressive and distinguished. No wonder that even Hong Lianhua praises him."

Some other people were asking:"Could we ask chancellor Yu to speak to us?"

Lin Shoujuan said:"Well, this is an interesting game they're playing. By the looks of it they will be busy for another few days. But after the game chancellor Yu is too happy to able to talk to you, if you have any problems he will happy to be of any assistance."

The people were cheering and felt that Yu Fanghe was a true gentleman.

The talking went on:"That is Mr. Lin Shoujuan, the Flowered Chestnut Sword. His daughter is a famous beauty in Wulin."

"Right, wasn't she supposed to marry young master Yu. The son of the chancellor."

"Yes, that was the idea. But Yu Peiyu died at Murder Manor."

"Didn't chancellor Yu want to take revenge?"

"It seems that Yu Peiyu was very strange and bizarre. Chancellor Yu was very disappointed in him. Perhaps it is a good thing that he's dead. That way Miss Lin doesn't have to marry a madman."

Yu Peiyu was angry and sad, but he couldn't do anything. Silver Blossom said:"When will these people leave? How long do we have to wait here?"

Yu Peiyu said:"Not long anymore." He got up and started to walk downstairs.

Yu Peiyu said calmly:"No need to hide and wait anymore. I think it is time to be a bit more daring and open."

Silver Blossom laughed:"What are you talking about?"

Before she knew what happened, Yu Peiyu was downstairs and opened the door. He walked to the family Li inn.

Zhong Jing was filled with amazement:"What a bold move."

Guo Pianxian smiled:"With a friend like me he is bound to be brave."

Silver Blossom said in a melancholic tone:"Before he had you as his friend he was a very brave and courageous man."

When Yu Peiyu entered the inn everyone looked at him in awe, they had never seen such a handsome young man before.

Yu Peiyu just put up a smile and walked straight ahead, Lin Shoujuan approached him and said:"May I help you? The chancellor is....."

Yu Peiyu interrupted him:"My name is Yu Peiyu."

When everyone heard the name Yu Peiyu they were all shocked. Lin Shoujuan looked pale and Yu Fanghe and Tang Wushuang looked up. They both gave Yu Peiyu a good look.

Yu Peiyu was certain now that Yu Fanghe didn't recognize him and this Tang Wushuang was a fake too.

This Yu Fanghe smiled:"Yu Peiyu? It's surprising that you have the same name like my late son."

Yu Peiyu looked at Tang Wushuang and Yu Fanghe and his heart was practically bleeding but smiled:"That is a coincidence and I feel honoured."

Yu Fanghe asked with a smile:"What can I do for you, young master Yu?"

Yu Peiyu said:"I came here to retrieve something."

Yu Fanghe stroked his beard and smiled:"What is here that belongs to young master Yu?"

Yu Peiyu said:"Some time ago when I lodged here I accidentally left a parcel here."

Yu Fanghe thought it was quite funny and said:"A lot of people come in and out in an inn, I do hope your belongings are still here."

Yu Peiyu said:"With your permission chancellor Yu, I would like to...."

Yu Fanghe smiled:"If it still here, of course you can retrieve it."

Yu Peiyu smiled:"Thank you, chancellor Yu. Sorry for the inconvenience."

Suddenly it seemed like Yu Peiyu's body shot up, without bending his knees or anything. He flew up the beam and took the parcel.

This style of the art of levitation was called The Heavenly Meteoric Rise, the form of this art is studied by numerous people in Wulin. The disciples of Shaolin, Wudang, Diancang all knew it.

Yu Peiyu used this no to show off his martial arts but to conceal his martial arts school, just in case.

Yu Fanghe praised:"Excellent!"

When everyone heard that the chancellor was praising they too called out.

Only Silver Blossom was not paying attention to this, she had her eyes fixed whether her parcel was still there. Suddenly she was very happy, she saw that Yu Peiyu had retrieved the parcel.

Guo Pianxian smiled:"Your parcel is there."

Silver Blossom laughed:"I knew nobody would find it."

Guo Pianxian smiled and praised:"This Yu Peiyu is really something. He has courage and intelligence, now he has retrieved the parcel in public no one including Yu Fanghe can take it away now."

Silver Blossom said:"Right, he's coming back now. Damn!"

Guo Pianxian asked:"What's the matter? Is Yu Fanghe giving him trouble?"

Silver Blossom cursed:"That sly old devil wouldn't dream of giving him trouble. But he would like to take this opportunity to befriend himself with Yu Peiyu, he is requesting him to stay here and join him."

Guo Pianxian asked:"What is Yu Peiyu doing now?"

Silver Blossom said:"He looks very calm and is still smiling......

He is saying that he will come back when they've finished their game of go."

Guo Pianxian was surprised and said:"You can hear him talk?"

Silver Blossom said:"No, of course not. But I can read his lips and deduct the rest what I cannot see clearly."

Guo Pianxian praised:"You're also a woman with many hidden talents."

Silver Blossom said:"Damn! The old goat used his sleeve to brush away the go pieces. And he said he would rather talk to a new young hero like Yu Peiyu than play go."

Guo Pianxian frowned:"This way Yu Peiyu has to stay."

Silver Blossom was a bit panicky and said:"He cannot stay there, and he can't offend Yu Fanghe at this moment. He looks a bit troubled."

Suddenly a loud clear voice said:"It would be a shame to stop such a marvellous game of go. I think this game would go into the analects of Wulin, if chancellor Yu stopped now we would all be very disappointed."

Guo Pianxian quickly asked:"Who is that?"

Silver Blossom looked pleased and said:"This man has put the go pieces back on the board and on the right places too. He is very smart......."

Guo Pianxian walked to the window and looked out too, he saw a young handsome beggar. This was of course the famous leader of the Beggars Association Hong Lianhua.

They could hear Yu Fanghe laughing:"I never though master Hong Lian had such an interest in go, you leave no choice but to continue my game."

Guo Pianxian quickly moved away from the window and broke out in a cold sweat. Silver Blossom laughed:"Why are you that afraid of him?"

Guo Pianxian sat down and didn't answer.

Silver Blossom said softly to herself:"That is strange.....If Hong Lianhua and Yu Peiyu are friens why did he allow Lin Daiyu to injure Yu Peiyu. Why did he just help Yu Peiyu?"

The door downstairs opened and Yu Peiyu walked up the stairs, when Guo Pianxian saw that he was alone he felt relieved.

He asked:"Did Hong Lianhua see you enter this place?"

Yu Peiyu was surprised and said:"Why would he pay attention to me?"

Guo Pianxian asked:"Doesn't he know you?"

Yu Peiyu sighed:"How would I know him."

He felt quite sad not to be able to acknowledge his good friend, and had to quietly sneak away.

But at least he knew that this Tang Wushuang was an imposter too, he was hoping that the real Tang Wushuang was still alive.

Silver Blossom took her parcel from Yu Peiyu and said:"We should leave this place at once. We got what we came for."

Guo Pianxian said:"We can't leave if Hong Lianhua is still around."

Silver Blossom smiled:"You're afraid but I'm not."

Guo Pianxian said resolutely:"You won't leave either."

Silver Blossom smiled very sweetly:"Of course if you're still here, I don't want to go either."

She kept her hands tightly to her parcel, she was afraid to loose it again.

Guo Pianxian said coldly:"You can leave if you want to and take your treasure with you."

Silver Blossom was stunned and said:"What?"

Guo Pianxian said coldly:"Open it and you'll understand."

Silver Blossom smiled:"I know what is inside, I don't need to look at it."

But still she was a bit suspicous after hearing Guo Pianxian's words, she opened the parcel and called out:"NO!"

There were only roof tiles in her parcel. She almost fainted with anger and Yu Peiyu was surprised too.

Guo Pianxian was smiling coldly.

Silver Blossom asked:"How did you know?"

Guo Pianxian said:"When brother Yu walked up the stairs I knew already that that parcel didn't contain any valuables. The sound of the steps reveal a lot, my ears and eyes are not as useless as your ears and eyes."

Silver Blossom angrilly said:"Who took my stuff? That day only I knew where I put the parcel away."

After some time she said:"Could it be Yu Fanghe? .......Yes, of course before the sly dog lodged he must have instructed his men to search the inn."

Yu Peiyu said:"If it is in his possession, there is no way you can get it back."

Guo Pianxian only had his eyes on the sick man, and didn't speak anymore. Silver Blossom now looked into the same direction.

She suddenly saw that the sick man had something hidden under his blankets.

Silver Blossom laughed:"There is really something wrong with my eyes."

She walked to the bed of the sick man, Yu Peiyu frowned:"What are you doing?"

Silver Blossom smiled:"There is something good under the blankets I just want to have a look."

She wanted to pull away the blankets, the sick man opened his eyes and said:"I can assure you if you pull away the blankets you will suffer a terrible death."

All of a sudden the sick old man had a heroic, majestic grandeur.

Silver Blossom didn't dare to pull the blankets and stepped away from his bed.

The sick man closed his eyes again, Silver Blossom said with a smile:"I really can't remove your blankets."

She regained her confidence again.

The sick man said:"No."

Silver Blossom smiled:"If you tell me that I can't do something, I will do it anyway just for fun."

The sick man sighed:"Allright! Lei'Er show her."

Zhu Lei'Er who was still downstairs immediately walked up and looked at Silver Blossom.

She asked:"You really want to have a look? You won't regret your decision?"

Silver Blossom said:"No I won't regret it. And yes I want to have a look. I just want to see what kinds of demons or goblins you have been hiding."

Although she was giggling like usual but she was still a bit nervous.

Somehow she was afraid of this young girl and this sick old man, she couldn't explain why she had this fear for them.

Zhu Lei'Er went downstairs took a big bucket of water and took out a little box. She took a bit of powder out of the little box and threw it into the water. The water turned black instantly.

Silver Blossom had no idea what she was doing and was quite curious.

Zhu Lei'Er put the bucket in a corner and smiled to Silver Blossom:"Just watch."

There was something mysterious about her smile, even Yu Peiyu was a bit anxious and curious. Silver Blossom stared at the bucket with fascination.

Suddenly the blankets were moving, and it kept moving harder and harder.

The entire room was filled with fear, Zhong Jing held Guo Pianxian's hand tightly. Silver Blossom stuttered:"I....I...don't want....to know....what's under the blankets anymore.."

Zhu Lei'Er said calmly:"It is too late, you must and shall watch."

Suddenly a centipede crawled out of the blankets, it was not a very big centipede but it was entirely red. It was so red actually seemed it was glowing.

After that centipede another 20, 30 centipedes crawled out with different shapes and different bright colours. Needless to say these creepy crawlers were very venomous.

Silver Blossom giggled:"I thought it was something scary, I played with centipedes like these when I was three years old."

This wasn't a lie, disciples of the Heavenly Silkworm Sect weren't afraid of centipedes.

But still she was still a bit afraid, and the other centipedes followed the red one like it was their captain.

Suddenly 20, 30 scorpions came out and followed the centipedes too, and after the scorpions a large number of snakes, toads, etc. came out of the blankets. Some of these creatures were so rare that even Silver Blossom had never seen before.

But all of these creatures just slowly marched to the bucket of black water.

Silver Blossom couldn't laugh anymore, and Zhong Jing shrieked and passed out again.

Nobody would have guessed that the bedridden man had so many venomous creatures under his blankets. How could he sleep there peacefully.

Even Silver Blossom got goosebumps, she played with poisonous creatures ever since she was a little child. But sleeping with hundreds, thousands of venomous critters like this, she didn't have the courage to do that.

Zhu Lei'Er put two pairs of chopsticks against the bucket and the all these animals used the chopsticks as a bridge.

The first centipede fell into the black water and twirled in the bucket and crawled out the other side, looking very weak and feeble.

Now this way every strange critter did the same thing and crawled out again and went straight back to the blankets.

The water slowly began to change from black to white and it was emitting smoke.

Guo Pianxian was sweating, and when the last snake returned under the blankets everyone was silent and stunned.

Zhu Lei'Er took a bowl of that white water and giggled:"The congee isn't ready yet, care for a bowl of water. I put extra ingredients in it, it tastes better than chicken soup."

Silver Blossom paced backwards very quickly and shook her hands and said:"No, thank you. I will pass."

She now knew that the powder she put must be some sort of antidote or even another strong poison to balance out the poison of those creatures.

She also knew that the bucket water was very dangerous, even the mere smell or touch could kill. Let alone drink it.

Zhu Lei'Er smiled:"Since nobody wants to drink it, I will have to drink it alone. Such a waste that nobody wants to try such a delicacy."

She drank the bowl of water with with no hesitation, everyone was thinking what is her stomach made of? Iron, diamond?

After she finished that bowl she said calmly:"My third uncle has been ill for many years, he uses the cold venom of these pets to prolong his life. Please forgive us for being rude."

Silver Blossom smiled:"What has your uncle contracted? What is the name of this strange illness?"

Zhu Lei'Er said:"There is no name for this disease."

Suddenly a voice from outside was calling:"Young master Yu, our leader master Hong Lian would like to speak to you."

Yu Peiyu recognized the voice it was Mei Simang, an elder of the Beggars Association.

Yu Peiyu was very happy, and wondered why Hong Lianhua wanted to talk to him about. Guo Pianxian said:"You go downstairs to delay them from coming here. I'm off."

All of a sudden a voice of woman said:"Young master Yu, please open the door. Madame Hai Tang wishes to speak to you."

Madame Hai Tang was here too, Guo Pianxian rushed to the window and looked out through a crack and saw a group of men and women surrounding this house.

Several voices said:"Master Hong Lian and Madame Hai Tang both wish to speak to young master Yu, please open the door."

Guo Pianxian pulled Yu Peiyu's arm and asked:"Do they know that I am here?"

Yu Peiyu said with a slight indignation:"How should I know?"

Guo Pianxian asked:"What do they want from you?"

Yu Peiyu said:"Again how would I know?"

Guo Pianxian said:"They have surrounded us, these people have some issues with us. You and I have joined forces......you.....you....cannot open the door."

Yu Peiyu sighed:"If I don't open the door, they can storm inside too."

Some girls were saying:"Young master Yu, we have been polite up till now. But if you don't open the door we will have to use force."

Silver Blossom smiled and said loudly:"Young master Yu is in the lavatory doing his business...You cannot storm the lavatory as well. You can come back when he's done, why the rush?"

The girls downstairs giggled:"Very well! We will come back after a short while."

Yu Peiyu turned to Guo Pianxian and asked:"You don't even want to face Madame Hai Tang. What happened between you?"

Guo Pianxian was coughing now and Zhong Jing who woke up now looked very worried.

Yu Peiyu sighed:"Anyhow, they will come back very soon. We have to do something."

The bedridden man opened his eyes and said:"I have a plan."

Guo Pianxian was very happy and asked:"You have a plan, sir?"

The bedridden man said:"Come closer and I will tell you."

Guo Pianxian walked closer but suddenly backed away again, he too was afraid of this strange bedridden old man.

Zhong Jing rushed to his help and stood in front of him and said:"Sir, if you have a plan to save him you can tell me. We will be most grateful for your help."

The man frowned and asked:"Who are you? And to what school do you belong?"

Zhong Jing was hesitant for a minute but said in the end:"I'm Zhong Jing of Huashan."

The bedridden man said softly:"Huashan an orthodox school......come closer and I will tell you."

Although Zhong Jing was afraid of those creatures but for the man she loved she had to be brave.

The bedridden man asked:"How long have you learnt martial arts?"

Zhong Jing replied:"About 11 years." She was surprised why he would ask a question like that.

The man smiled:"Good...good...."

He suddenly grabbed her hand with incredible speed, even experts like Guo Pianxian and Yu Peiyu were surprised.

Yu Peiyu asked:"Sir, what do you want?"

The man closed his eyes and held on to the hand of Zhong Jing and didn't do anything else.

Zhong Jing couldn't break free from his powerful grip but stayed as calm as she could.

She asked:"Sir, what is it you want from me?"

The man still had his eyes closed and said:"Don't open the door."

Zhong Jing said:"That is your plan?"

The man said calmly:"You don't have to open the door, because no one in the realm dares to set foot in this house."

Zhong Jing felt that this man was too arrogant but believed a bit of his words. This man was filled with mystery.

But she didn't know her face was slowly becoming very pale, and the man regained some colour in his face.

No one saw the change in their faces and the people downstairs were requesting an audience again.

Mei Simang said:"Chancellor Yu and old Mr. Tang would like to see you too. Won't you come out?"

Yu Peiyu wanted to go down but wasn't sure anymore at this point.

The girl who spoke earlier:"We have no ill intentions, we just like to speak to you. There are so many people who wishes to talk to you why refuse to see anyone?"

These people weren't here for Guo Pianxian that was obvious now, but they were not willing to break down the door either. But they seemed very anxious to speak to Yu Peiyu. That made Yu Peiyu suspicous again.

Suddenly there was a soft scream and they saw Zhong Jing fall down.

Guo Pianxian picked her up and asked:"What happened?"

She was very weak and looked very pale and couldn't move.

Zhong Jing stuttered:".....He....he...is...is...a mon....monster.."

She couldn't say anything else anymore.

The bedridden man looked very healthy and strong again but still had his eyes closed. Guo Pianxian understood now, he somehow managed to absorb Zhong Jing's internal strength.

Zhu Lei'Er was standing by her uncle now, Silver Blossom walked towards Guo Pianxian and Yu Peiyu and asked:"What happened?"

Guo Pianxian said with fear:"This is the evil skill that absorbs the martial arts of others and use it for themselves. I never thought that this type of skill existed. We should kill him now before all of us will die here."

Silver Blossom sighed:"If you would attack first I'll certainly help you."

Guo Pianxian stood there and didn't move, Yu Peiyu who wanted to move heard a voice now.

It was Yu Fanghe:"They are not willing to come down, they must be in cahoots with them. Let us attack now before it is too late....."

Madame Hai Tang asked:"Chancellor Yu, are you sure about this?"

Yu Fanghe said:"We have seen the evidence and heard the witnesses. Master Hong Lian, do you agree?"

Hong Lianhua didn't speak, in other words he agreed too.

Yu Peiyu was still confused about what they are talking about when suddenly 10 iron balls as big as water-mellons flew into the house. There was smoke and sparks emitting from them.

Yu Peiyu, Guo Pianxian and Silver Blossom didn't know what those were and didn't know how to counter them. They quickly moved aside.

The bedridden man raised his hand and snapped his fingers ten times, they heard a whoosing sound and the ten iron balls flew out the same way they came in.

Guo Pianxian and Yu Peiyu now understood that this man generated his energy to shoot invisible energy blasts.

It was unbelievable that he was able to shoot ten blasts, even the famous Divine Finger Snap was not this impressive.

They have heard of this level before, and never thought they would have the chance to see this level of the energy forming a sword.

Suddenly there were ten large bangs, even the house shook and they saw sparks of fire everywhere.