The Celebrity - Chapter 22
Chapter 22 – Seemingly Real, Seemingly Imaginary
This gambling establishment was brilliantly illuminated, each gambling table was fully crammed. This was the gambling establishment’s liveliest time. Every gambling establishment in the world was like this.
But when Tian SiSi saw this situation, she was ten times more startled than when she saw this room full of monks just a moment ago.
She was stunned for a very long time before she turned around.
Qin Ge stood behind her with open mouth, big staring eyes, and the face expression of someone who had just been kicked in he stomach.
Tian SiSi licked her dry lips and said, “What do you see?”
Qin Ge said, “One ......crowded gambling establishment.”
Tian SiSi said, “You really see that?”
Qin Ge show a forced smile and said, “Who knows whether it is real or not? Maybe only the ghost knows.”
Tian SiSi wanted to speak further when she saw a person walked to them with a grin.
The person who put on a very elegant air carried a snuffbox. His stature was big, with heavy beard, when you saw how he walk, his wugong was not weak.
Tian SiSi did not wait for him to arrive, she first greeted him and said, “How long has this gambling establishment opened?”
This person seemed to regard her question as strange, after looking at her several times he said with a smile, “This gambling establishment was opened for business maybe since you were still a child.”
Tian SiSi felt alarm in her heart and said with trepidation, “Ever since this gambling establishment was open for business, you have been here?”
This person said with a smile, “I welcomed the first visitor of this gambling establishment.”
Tian SiSi said, “You were here all the time?”
This person, “Except when I slept.”
Tian SiSi said, “This afternoon?”
This person, “I had planned on having a nap in the afternoon, but there were several friends coming today, so I was with them today.”
Tian SiSi clenched both of her fists and suddenly turned around, “You ......You ......Did you hear him?”
Qin Ge’s complexion had also turned white, saying sternly, “You better say the truth!”
This person’s complexion changed color and said, “Why wouldn’t I say the truth?”
Tian SiSi said, “Actually who are you?”
This person, “I am surnamed Jin (gold) ......”
Tian SiSi said, “Surnamed Jin? How are you related to the golden beard?”
This person traced his beard and said with a smile, “I am precisely the golden beard.”
Tian SiSi really could not bear this and screamed, “You are not the golden beard, no!”
This person appeared startled and said, “Who am I if I am not the golden beard?”
Tian SiSi said, “No matter who you are, you are not the golden beard!”
By this time, there were some people who had circled them.
Tian SiSi had not looked clearly who they were, she only saw grinning faces, ugly smiles, and strange feelings.
This person was also smiling and said suddenly, “How does the girl know that I am not the golden beard?”
Tian SiSi said, “Because I recognize the golden beard, he does not have any beard at all.”
This person suddenly laughed loudly and pointed at her, “This girl said that the golden beard does not have any beard. “
All the people surrounding them laughed loudly, as if they had just heard some good jokes.
“How can the golden beard not have any beard?”
“If he does not have any beard, how can he be called the golden beard?”
The laughter was coarse and grating.
Tian SiSi were so anxious that she felt she was going insane with rage very soon. Exhausting her whole body strength, she called out loudly, “Not only the golden beard does not have any beard, but he has also become a monk.”
When she said this, everybody laughed aloud, laughed so hard that they had to bend their waists to gasp for breath. If the golden beard had become a monk, probably everybody had also become a monk.
“If this girl has not mistakenly identify a person, maybe she must have suffered a heat-stroke that caused her head to be dizzy!”
Tian SiSi jumped and said, “I am not confused nor have I made a mistake, I saw that with my own eyes.”
That person with a beard said with a smile, “What did you see?”
Tian SiSi said, “I saw the golden beard became a monk.”
Someone said, “Why did he want to become a monk?”
Tian SiSi said, “Because someone compelled him.”
The person with a beard said, “Who was compelling him?”
Tian SiSi said, “......A monk.”
The laughter grew louder and louder, this grating sound caused her headache to grow too. The strange matters that she encountered today seemed to be a bunch of lies too, that she could no longer distinguish clearly.
Suddenly someone said, “You were saying a monk?”
This voice was slow and calm. It was loud but not yelled, even among the boisterous laughters everyone could hear his words clearly, like he was speaking directly to their ears. Even a simple person could see that this person surely had strong internal cultivation.
The people surrounding them immediately dispersed very quickly as if they had prior agreement. Then they could see that the speaker was unexpectedly also a monk.
This monk was withered, diminutive, emaciated, looking like he had just recovered from a major illness, he was almost shorter than other people by a head.
But whoever saw him would not have shown even the slightest contempt of him.
This was not because his eyes were particularly sharp, nor because of two dignified, calm middle-aged monks standing behind him. Also not because these monks were wearing very magnificent and expensive robes, or that the string of rosary in his hand was dazzling with golden light.
Not for any particular reason, whoever had seen him would give him respect.
Tian SiSi was not an exception.
Although she had not met this monk, nor did she know who this monk was, but she felt that he must surely be an eminent enlightened monk.
An eminent monk was like a famour writer, you paid attention to him wherever you were.
What was strange was that nobody saw them a moment ago, this room did not have any monk before. Nobody saw where they had come from.
Tian SiSi blinked and said, “You were asking me a moment ago?”
The senior monk nodded and said, “Female benefactor has mentioned about a monk a moment ago?”
Tian SiSi said, “Yes.”
The senior monk said, “What type of monk was that?”
Tian SiSi hesitatingly said, “That monk had a round face, maybe with a dimple.”
The senior monk said, “He was old?”
Tian SiSi said, “Not very old, but he looked very important.”
The senior monk said, “A taoist priest was also with him?”
Tian SiSi said, “Not only a taoist priest, but also a scholar.”
The senior monk said, “Where are they now?”
Tian SiSi said, “I have not seen the scholar and the taoist priest, but that monk ......”
She gave a long sigh and then said, “That monk has died!”
That senior monk did not show any change in his expression, but suddenly “crack”, the chair he was sitting unexpectedly disintegrated!
This senior monk actually still showed the same sitting posture without moving.
Everyone gulped secretly, no one dared to laugh.
After a very long time, this senior monk slowly said, “Where did he die?”
Tian SiSi pointed toward the leafed door behind her.
As quickly as her finger pointed it out, the two middle-aged monks behind the senior monk had rushed across quickly. With a whooshing sound, the clothes of many people were blown away, some hats actually flew away.
Tian SiSi stole a secret look at Qin Ge.
Qin Ge’s complexion was also very serious, the red silk handkerchief seemed to be drenched in sweat.
That two middle-aged monks walked in from the door while carrying that monk's corpse.
Although they tried to stay calm, but their faces were filled with anger.
The senior monk only took a look once, dangled his head, put both palms together, and chanted a low voice of prayer. When the eyes opened again, Tian SiSi suddenly felt as if they flashed outward with piercing glances.
The senior monk suddenly arrived in front of her, and said, “What is the female benefactor’s name?”
Tian SiSi gently coughed twice and said, “I am surnamed Tian, called Tian SiSi.”
The senior monk calmly looked over her before shifting his vision at Qin Ge and said, “This benefactor?”
Qin Ge said, “The lowly one is Qin Ge.”
The senior monk said, “Qin for dynasty? Ge for that generous sorrowful song?”
Qin Ge said, “Precisely.”
The senior monk nodded gently, suddenly his blue veins sticked out on his sickly face.
But his voice was very calm as he said, “Good, good wugong, fine skills, you really live up to your reputation.”
Tian SiSi could not bear calling out, “He did not kill this monk, you must not make that mistake.”
The senior monk said, “If he did not commit murder, would it be you?”
Tian SiSi said, “How could it be me, when I went in, he had already died.”
The senior monk said, “Going in where?”
Tian SiSi said, “Inside that room.”
The senior monk said, “At that time benefactor Qin was already in room?”
Tian SiSi said, “When I went in, he was not there. He went in later.”
That bearded man suddenly said, “That is my private room, there is no other way of entry, how did Hero Qin went inside since none of us knew?”
Tian SiSi said, “He did not go in from here.”
The senior monk said, “This benefactor just said a moment ago that the room had no other entrance.”
Tian SiSi said, “He ......He was underground.”
She felt that people would not believe this answer, therefore she immediately explained, “This afternoon when we came, this monk had not died, but while speaking with us, he suddenly fell into a tunnel below.”
The senior monk said, “Then?”
Tian SiSi said, “Later Qin Ge had fallen as well. There was no one else in this room, all the monks had left, therefore I went in to find them, only to find that this monk had died inside. But when I went to get back outside, this door had been locked from outside.”
She spoke in one breath quickly, only to find these other people were staring with big eyes at her.
Everyone seemed to be unable to smile.
Only that senior monk did not show any mirth and said with a lower voice, “Miss came here this afternoon?”
Tian SiSi said, “At that time it was just about noon, maybe one and a half hour ago.”
The senior monk said, “There were people in this room?”
Tian SiSi said, “Right.”
The senior monk said, “These people?”
Tian SiSi said, “No. It was a houseful of monks, including the golden beard.”
That bearded man could not bear to smile and interrupted, “I am never a monk, everybody here can attest to that.”
The senior monk said, “Can anyone provide the proof for Miss? That houseful of monks?”
Tian SiSi said, “All ......All had left.”
The senior monk said, “Gone where?”
Tian SiSi said, “I do not know.”
The senior monk said, “After they left, was there anyone here?”
Tian SiSi said, “No, no one!”
Before saying this, she found that some people were smiling secretly.
After saying this, some people was smiling and laughing.
The senior monk’s vision flashed, looking around he said, “Where were you all this afternoon?”
Several dozens of people cried together, “Here!”
The senior monk said, “When did you come?”
Some people said, “In the afternoon.”
Also someone said, “Yesterday evening.”
The senior monk said, “Did anyone leave?”
Everybody said, “No one, absolutely no one did.”
When the gamblers were betting happily, even if you were using the whip to chase him away, you still would not be able to get him to leave.
Tian SiSi was so mad she felt she would go crazy, she screamed, “They are talking nonsense! There was no one here this afternoon— these persons were not here.”
The senior monk looked at her coldly and said, “There are 70-80 benefactors here, and they are all talking nonsense, only you have not talked nonsense.”
Tian SiSi said, “Why do I want to talk nonsense?”
The senior monk said, “Do you know the monk who is dead?”
Tian SiSi said, “I do not know.”
The senior monk’s eyes were filled with grief and indignation and said, “His religious name is Wu Ming (nameless), he is my younger brother.”
That bearded man suddenly blurted out, “Is it possible that he is the hero monk, meddlesome monk, Shao Lin’s Master Wu Ming?”
The senior monk nodded, “Since he is a monk, why also be a hero? Since nameless, why also be meddlesome? If he does not enter hell, who will enter it?”
The heavily bearded man changed countenance and said, “Then, master you ......”
The senior monk said, “I am Master Wu Se, from Shao Lin.”
When he said his name, suddenly nobody spoke or smiled.
Any people in jiang-hu knew the names of Shaolin Temple’s two protectors.
Tian SiSi was getting very angry, was flying into rage just now. But at present, she could not help but stay quiet.
Because she suddenly felt an ice-cold chill in the air, as if she was engulfed in freezing water which were turning into ice.
Whether this place was a gambling establishment or a temple was fine. Whether that person was the golden beard or not was also fine. It was not a big problem.
But if someone had killed a Shaolin Temple's disciple, had killed the famous hero monk in jiang-hu, that was a totally different proposition.
At that moment, Tian SiSi suddenly realized that this strange matter was a carefully well-laid evil plot. This plot was not only fearful, it could yield really awful conclusion.
She was thrust into this obviously awful plot with Qin Ge, it would not be easy to extract themselves out of this mess.
She now truly understood how fearful it was to be treated unjustly by other people.
Everyone was all starting at her, their glances were completely different from a moment ago.
A moment ago, everyone was treating her as a girl who acted and lied like a madman, that was humorous. But presently, they were looking at her like she was a dead person.
“Why did I want to lie?”
“You must certainly have lied, because you could not admit guilt to the killing of Master Wu Ming.”
Tian SiSi said in a trembling voice, “I have no hatred or enmity with you all. Why do you keep accusing me?”
The heavily bearded man cast a cold sidelong glance at her, slowly receeding from her. Other people also went backward, as if she were the plague, they could not afford to be stained by her.
Tian SiSi rushed forward and seized a person’s front clothes and said, “I know that you are an honest and good person, why don't you tell them, that you were simply not here this afternoon, that no one was here at that time!”
All of her life she had never asked anything from anyone, but in this moment she had entreated earnestly.
Although this person’s face had turned white, he actually stuck to what he said and coldly said, “If I were not here this afternoon, how could I have lost 500 taels?”
Tian SiSi’s eyes became clearly red, she could not resist slapping his face.
This person traced his face, but did not show anger or retaliation.
Nobody could retaliate against a dead person.
That senior monk might have become enlivened at that time, but instead he closed his eyes and chanted the prayer for Master Wu Ming.
He certainly did not need to worry.
These two persons could not escape anywhere.
Tian SiSi ran to him and said loudly, “Fine, let me ask you one thing then, if I have no enmity with him, I do not even know his name, why should I kill him?”
Master Wu Se was silent for a very long time and said slowly, “It is said that he had entered Shan Liu (mountain flow).”
Tian SiSi said, “If he had entered Shan Liu, therefore I must have killed him?”
Master Wu Se sighed, “People who wanted to kill him are not just you, as soon as one enters Shan Liu, that is no different than giving up himself into hell.”
Tian SiSi jumped and said loudly, “There goes your imagination, I do not even know what Shan Lu is all about.“
Master Wu Se sank his face and said, “In front of old monk, nobody dares to be so impolite.”
Tian SiSi said, “It is you who is unreasonable, not me. If I had wanted to kill him, I still would not have had the capability.“
Qin Ge had just stood there like a statue, but at this moment he heaved a heavy sigh and suddenly said, “It is useless.”
Tian SiSi said, “What is useless?”
Qin Ge said, “Whatever you say is useless.”
Tian SiSi said, “But I ......”
Qin Ge said, “Although you do not have the capability to kill him, I have.”
Tian SiSi said, “But you have not killed him.”
Qin Ge said, “Besides you, who can prove that I have not killed him?”
Tian SiSi was stunned.
Qin Ge laughed wildly suddenly and said, “I have about 500 knife cuts big and small, why should I care about this additional stab in the back.”
Master Wu Se lowered his voice, “The old monk has long heard that benefactor Qin is a dauntless man ......”
Qin Ge laughed, “Right, the real man should show why he is a real man, if you insist that I must have killed him, why not act as if I had killed him.”
Master Wu Se said, “Good, such being the case, I am asking the benefactor to return to Shao Lin with me.”
Qin Ge said, “If we are going, let us go, to Shaolin Temple no matter how difficult and dangerous is the situation, I am surnamed Qin will also go with you.”
Tian SiSi held back his sleeves and said, “You ......Why should you return to Shaolin Temple with him?”
Qin Ge smiled, “To do what they want.”
Tian SiSi clenched her teeth and said, “They want your life.”
Qin Ge said, “They can pluck my life.”
Tian SiSi said, “You should not give up your life so easily, why should you yield to the person in this unclear manner?”
That dignified middle age monk suddenly injected, “Miss must not forget, revenge for a murdered person is not only a natural justice, it is also the law of the land.”
Tian SiSi said, “Have you forgotten that you are a Buddhist, how can you keep on proclaiming anger and revenge, in Buddhism a person should not take someone’s life recklessly, haven’t your master taught you this?”
The middle-aged monk coldly said, “Miss, you have formidable tongue.”
Tian SiSi said, “This strange monk's eyes are too flawed, they cannot distinguish clearly between the good person and dishonest people.”
The middle-aged monk lowered his face and said sternly, “Although the Buddhist's tongue is flawed, but ......”
Master Wu Se roared suddenly, “Stop talking! You have led a pious life of many years, how can you still enter into a useless argument?”
The middle-aged monk put together his palms, bowed and said, “The disciple admits guilt.”
By now, everyone had drawn two conclusions.
Shaolin Temple’s discipline was really stern, but it would not tolerate anybody committing crime against them.
Qin Ge was really a dauntless man.
But how would this matter be concluded? Nobody knew.
Master Wu Se lowered his voice, “Because the old monk does not want to take life recklessly like in the buddhist commandment, therefore this time I must bring back benefactor Qin.”
Tian SiSi said, “What will you do after bringing him back?”
Master Wu Se said, “To present him to the legal official trial.”
Tian SiSi said, “He is not a Shao Lin’s disciple, how can you punish him by legal official trial?”
Master Wu Se said, “The disciple is murdered, this authorizes the use of the legal official trial.”
Tian SiSi said, “Who saw him murder your Shaolin Temple monk?”
Master Wu Se said, “The fact is very clear, why should we need a personal witness.”
Tian SiSi coldly said, “What is called the clear fact? Did someone see him murder the meddlesome monk, who could prove that he was the instigator?”
Master Wu Se said, “Only both of you have the time and the opportunity.”
Tian SiSi said, “Why?”
Master Wu Se said, “At that time only both of you were with him.”
Tian SiSi said, “Where were you at that time?”
Master Wu Se said, “I was on the way.”
Tian SiSi said, “Since you were on the way, how would you know what happened here? How did you know that no one else had gone in into that room?”
Master Wu Se’s face showed anger and said, “How can Miss quibble about this?”
Tian SiSi coldly said, “It is the senior monk who quibbles, not me.”
Master Wu Se scolded, “You have a very sharp tongue, little woman. My arguments are not as good, but I can still conquer the evil.”
He seemed to have forgotten the words he said to his apprentice a moment ago.
That middle-aged monk casts down his eyes, not even daring to look toward him.
Tian SiSi sneered, “So only the senior monk can act rashly and become angry, the lesser monk cannot ......”
Master Wu Se said sternly, “Stop talking! If some people dare again to be unreasonable, do not blame the old monk if he becomes heartless.”
Tian SiSi said, “You want to resort to violence? Good!”
She turned around to pat Qin Ge’s shoulder and said, “He wants to resort to violence, you have heard him?”
Qin Ge said, “Yes.”
Tian SiSi said, “Are you afraid?”
Qin Ge said with a smile, “I can only fight originally, I cannot debate.”
Tian SiSi clapped and said with a smile, “This is right, a dauntless man would rather have his head broken rather than being treated unjustly, otherwise he cannot be called a dauntless man, he can only be called the bean curd.”
Qin Ge said, “I am listening to you.”
Qin Ge had not finished the words before he attacked. He hit the face of that middle-aged monk on the left. He attacked very quickly, but that middle-aged monk was actually not a weak one, he lowered his body like sitting on a horse, raised his left hand to block and then swung an upper-cut with his right fist.
Shaolin Temple became the world-famous place for the fist styles, this style was precisely the essence of Shao Lin’s “fu-hou-luo-han-quan (crouching tiger Luo Han fists)”.
Who knew that Qin Ge would not evade or dodge this fist and met this tough fist head-on.
“Thud”, that middle-aged monk's fist had hit his stomach.
People watching this called out in alarm, as they were in dismay that such a bright powerful person like Qin Ge could be hit so easily by that person.
Although some people called out in alarm, the person under the attack never made any noise.
When that middle-aged monk hit with his fists on his stomach, it was as if he had hit a big stone, he was just stunned ......
Master Wu Se yelled, “Careful.”
Even before that yell this middle-aged monk's fist was already covered by Qin Ge.
Then, Qin Ge’s fist had also landed on his stomach.
This middle-aged monk did not suffer this as well as Qin Ge, he staggered backward, both of his hands covered his stomach, sweat beads as large as soybeans flowed down his face as he could no longer stand up straight.
Tian SiSi relaxed at last and said with a smile, “What did you use that time?”
Qin Ge said, “This is called letting oneself be attacked.”
Tian SiSi said, “Letting oneself be attacked is also a skill?”
Qin Ge said, “You may not understand this, but you should not learn how to hit a person first, instead you should learn how to be attacked, that way I can suffer not only the fist attacks but also the knife stabs.”
He indeed had been stabbed, no one could deny that.
He had endured 472 knive stabs at least.
Tian SiSi said with a smile, “Right, you hit him with a fist, he has also hit you with a fist, both sides did not get any advantage, but it is only a pity that he did not come up as well as you under the attack.”
Qin Ge said with a smile, “You have finally understood this truth.”
Master Wu Se with a pale face had walked slowly forward, he sneered, “Good, the old monk wants to see how much you can suffer.”
Qin Ge replied, “You also want to try?”
Master Wu Se said, “Please!”
Qin Ge said, “Good!”
His fist went into attack immediately, with the same style as in a moment ago.
Master Wu Se lowered his body as if sitting on a horse, the left hand went up to block, the right hand made the counter-attack.
This move was entirely alike to the one used by the middle-aged monk a moment ago.
But when the expert showed his hand, the quality of the goods looked entirely different.
Although Master Wu Se's stature and fist were all much smaller than the middle-aged monk, but this heavenly feet movement and strong embodiment, was strong enough to blast even a big chunk of wood into a pulp.
Who knew that unexpectedly Qin Ge decided not to be attacked this time.
He leapt up high over the head of Master Wu Se gently and swiftly, and pointed a couple of finger like a sword at the accupoint of Master Wu Se’s head “the protrusion of the occipital bone accupoint”.
Not only this move was steep and superb, the way he attacked was also very quick and quite different from the style he used a moment ago.
Master Wu Se gave a low exclamation, “Good!”
As he exclaimed, he laid back his body and with a “ding dong” sound, the iron rosary had swung into Qin Ge.
Immediately Qin Ge’s legs kicked backward and his body suddenly slid sideways three feet, and using a person’s shoulder had flown again into the sky.
Who knew that Master Wu Se's iron rosary had also followed him, swirling menacingly like the wind of a golden sabre.
Even if Qin Ge could fly quickly, he would still be slower than the wind of the flying iron rosary. Even if he could really suffer the stings of this iron rosary on his body – wherever it hit him on the body would not feel any good.
Tian SiSi had called out in alarm, but who knew that at this moment, suddenly “crack” the roof had opened up a big hole. A hand had extended from the hole and grabbed suddenly that string of rosary.
Master Wu Se shouted angrily, “Who is it?”
Someone on the roof said with a smile, “A person who must knock on the monk’s head, in particular a meddlesome monk.”
Tian SiSi called out loudly, “Do not let him leave, perhaps he is the killer of Master Wu Ming.”
She really did not need to call out, because immediately Master Wu Se shed his robe and soared with “a solitary crane to the heaven” move, with hands extended like pulling up the onions, he had flown like a crane to the big hole on the roof.
In that same instant, several cold stars flew in from the roof, “ding! dang! dong!” A succession of menacing sounds ensued and all the lights in the room had been extinguished.
In the darkness the crowd grew loud and confused.
Tian SiSi luckily had already estimated where Qin Ge would land, she ran over immediately and said in a low voice, “Where are you?”
A hand extended and gripped her hand.
Tian SiSi said, “We should not wait for them to settle this muddled accusation, let us leave.”
Qin Ge said, “If we leave now, wouldn’t it be like admitting to the murder?”
Tian SiSi said, “If you do not leave, others will still accuse you of murder.”
Qin Ge sighed and said, “Fine, let us go.”
The door was open.
Outside the door the stars lighted up the sky.
Tian SiSi pulled Qin Ge to run, suddenly someone ahead of them blocked the entrance, his hand held a sharp sabre, this heavily bearded face shouted out, “These two people wanted to escape, block them quickly!”
While shouting, his sabre moved toward Qin Ge.
Qin Ge sneered and quickly ran to him, welcoming the swinging sabre.
If anything, he did not fear the sabre.
No matter how quick was the sabre.
Instead that person was completely flustered, the sabre had not chopped down, this sabre in his hand had been deprived of by Qin Ge.