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Blade-dance of the Two Lovers Chapter 5 (End)

Chapter 5 (End)

The tenth day of the third month was the day of Jinyang’s hero Xiao Banhe’s 50 birthday. Guests filled the Xiao mansion, a multitude of heroes came to congratulate him. Xiao Banhe, dressed in long gown and magua[1], was receiving every guest in the hall. He greeted chivalrous gentlemen and great people of the underworld, seniors and juniors... and a lot of others, whose origins were unknown to Xiao Banhe, but who were admiring his reputation and came to Jinyang to congratulate him.

In the rear hall, Ms. Yuan, Ms. Yang and Xiao Zhonghui also were jubilating. They were elegantly dressed in new gowns. Both ladies were occupied with all kinds of birthday presents, that were continuously delivered. Xiao Zhonghui was facing the mirror, which reflected a flower hairpin on her head; noticing it she blushed suddenly, and said in a low voice: "The girdle ornament is swaying in the cool breeze, while she is descending from the jade terrace, moon shines into the Golden House."

Ms. Yuan and Ms. Yang looked at each other, thinking: "Since this girl came home after seizing one of the Twin Sabres, she is sometimes happy, then after a minute she is worried; something is weighting upon her heart. She turned 18[2]that year, certainly she met outside some young playboy of rich family, for whom she has tender feelings".

Ms. Yang looked at her flower hairpin, which was not as good as the old one, and suddenly discovering that the previously worn piece of jewellery was missing, asked: "Hui, dear, where is this golden hairpin your Aunt gave you?" Zhonghui giggled: "I offered it to someone." Ms. Yuan and Ms. Yang again looked at each other, thinking: "Just as we expected, this girl even gave her possession to a stranger”. Ms. Yang asked: "Whom did you give it?" Zhonghui laughed and she looked like a flowering branch trembling in the wind. She said: "He ... he? Most likely he will come today to offer Daddy birthday felicitations, these people are famous, extremely important."

Ms. Yang wanted to ask again, but a servant called Mother Zhang came in, holding with both hands a wrought case, and observed: "This birthday present is really strange, how can someone deliver only a golden hairpin to Master?" Ms. Yuan and Ms. Yang simultaneously walked nearer, they saw a box containing an object on which a pearl was brightly glittering; it was precisely Zhonghui’s hairpin. Ms. Yang turned her head and saw that her daughter’s face looked happy and she was smiling very pleased. Ms. Yang hurriedly asked: "Who gave this gift?" Mother Zhang said: "He is in the hall, speaking to Master."

Ms. Yuan and Ms. Yang, both impatient to see this person, with whom their daughter was so much infatuated, nodded their heads and walked to the screen placed at the back of the hall, only to see a man stammeringly saying: "This insignificant person called Gai Yiming, nicknamed Toad Chaser - Purposeful Competitor - Unmarked by the Avalanche - Flying over Water on One Foot - the Unparalleled Twin Splints in Seven Provinces together with his three elder brothers came today to old hero Xiao to congratulate him on his birthday." Two ladies staying quietly behind the screen, saw the thin, short man, beside whom sat three weird people. Xiao Banhe stroking his beard smiled and said: "Four Heroes of the Grand Mountain, you honour me with your presence. You also gave the old man a precious gift, golden hairpin. I am really not worthy of such a valuable present." Gai Yiming replied: "You're too kind, you're too kind!"

Ms. Yuan and Ms. Yang were full of wonder, could their daughter have a preference for this man, who was actually a dwarf? Both were experienced and knowledgeable, they knew that you can't judge a book by its cover. According to the man's nickname, which was said very loudly, his martial arts should be good, and the title of hero suggested that his character also must be irreproachable.

Among the sound of music, three people came in, joined hands and bowed to Xiao Banhe. A handsome scholar said with a clear voice: "Juniors Lin Yulong, Ren Feiyan and Yuan Guannan congratulate senior Xiao. May his good fortune be as immense as the East sea, and his longevity as high as Mount Nan![3]Senior Xiao, please kindly accept my meager gift."

While speaking he offered a long box and opened its lid. Xiao Banhe thanked, took a look, could not help but to stare blankly and finally blurted out the words: "Twin Sabres!"

[1] Buttoned mandarin jacket of the Qing dynasty.

[2] Actually in the text it is 20, but later it will be said more than once, that she was 18.

[3] Conventional birthday greeting.

In back garden of Xiao mansion, Lin Yulong was teaching Yuan Guannan, and Ren Feiyan was teaching Xiao Zhonghui. It took most of the day, as Lin and Ren wanted to teach the remaining 60 stances of Couple's Saber technique, passing to Xiao Zhonghui and Yuan Guannan everything they had learned themselves. Guannan and Zhonghui were diligent and had a good memory, but at this time they were wholly absorbed with another thing, because Xiao Banhe, after receiving the sabre asked about the earlier events, and after a discussion with his both wives, betroth his daughter immediately to Yuan Guannan, to add more joy to his birthday celebrations.

Two people were extremely happy, but it seemed they were not aware of this sword technique’s formidable power, and also were not in the mood to study martial arts at that moment. Moreover, to study martial art together was not consistent with worldly etiquette, unmarried people should avoid doing anything that may arouse suspicion, should not even meet.

"The sword reflecting light resembles a peacock spreading its tail, love bonds are delicate like a silk fabric but strong like a big tree... Two phoenixes sing within the jade green bamboo flute, lady’s face resembles piece of jade..."

When Lin Yulong’s and Ren Feiyan’s teaching was over, they permitted the unmarried couple to practice the sword on their own. This husband and wife actually received a couple of disciples, in their hearts they were delighted.

Four Heroes of the Grand Mountain from the beginning were standing at the side to see them practice. Xiaoyaozi and Gai Yiming were continuously gesticulating, repeating that there were flaws in this stance, there was a weak point in that stance. Lin Yulong was enraged, he wiped the sweat from his forehead and said: "Brother Gai, we, husband and wife, give this sword technique as a wedding gift to brother Yuan. What gift are you, Four Heroes of the Grand Mountain, giving, ah?" When Four Heroes of the Grand Mountain heard this remark, their hearts trembled and for a moment they were unable to find the words to answer. Speaking about gifts was really the thing they wanted to avoid.

Ren Feiyan, intending to joke, said: "Over there, in dirty mud of the river, live Green-blooded Golden Toads. People in martial art world know that taking one dose of its blood can make up for 10 years of training, but it's extremely difficult to catch it. Brother Gai is known as Toad Chaser -- Flying over Water on One Foot, why not catch a few and give them to the newly-weds, would it not be a precious gift?" Gai Yiming rejoicing, said: "Really?"

Lin Yulong replied: "How can we deceive each other? Only it is a pity, that our lightness skill is not good, we can’t pass through the water, nor do we dare to go into the water to catch the toad." Gai Yiming said: "Lightness skill, that enables to walk on the water, really requires an expert.

Eldest Brother, Second Brother, Third Brother, let’s go at once!". Ren Feiyan laughed: "Ha, ha, Brother Gai, it seems that you are amateurs. That Green-blooded Golden Toad have to be caught at midnight, just when it comes out from its hole to absorb moonlight essence. In broad daylight how can you catch it?" Gai Yiming said: "Yes, yes. I know this, I only temporarily forgot about it. If it could be easily caught during the day, what would be there to be cherished?"

The hall was illuminated with high, red candles, in the middle of the wall was hanging a large golden "Shou[1]" character. When the guests had finished offering birthday felicitations, Xiao Banhe, stroking his long beard and smiling, announced a good news: his only beloved daughter, Xiao Zhonghui, was going to marry that night young hero Yuan Guannan. He invited all present friends to drink a cup of birthday wine, and then a cup of wedding wine.

Among the cheers of guests and friends, Yuan Guannan knelt on the red rug, to pay respects to his father-in law and mothers-in-law. Xiao Banhe, smiling happily, took out an agarwood fan and presented it as a welcome gift. Yuan Guannan thanked him and received the fan. Ms. Yuan, also smiling happily, took out a jade ring. Yuan Guannan thanked her and hold out a hand to receive it...

Suddenly a clang was heard as the jade ring fell to the ground. Yuan Guannan’s face became pale and he gazed at Ms. Yuan's right hand. There was an additional finger next to Ms. Yuan’s right hand’s little finger. He grabbed Ms.

Yuan's left hand and saw that there also was an additional finger next to her little finger.

Yuan Guannan trembling said: "Mother-in-law... mother-in- law, do you... do you know... this person?" While talking, he put his hand to the back his neck, and took out a thin golden chain with jade lion hanging on it. Ms. Yuan, as if hit by lightning, seized the lion and exclaimed: "You ... you are Shiguan[2]?" Yuan Guannan said: "Mother, I am exactly the child, which you have missed so much!" They embraced each other and burst into tears.

Everyone in the hall was silent. Looking at this meeting of mother and son, everybody was at once sad and happy, but in the first place: surprised. They heard Ms. Yuan cry: "Shiguan, Shiguan, over the last 16 years, where were you, ah? All the time, I was unable to stop thinking about you." Yuan Guannan answered: "Mother, I walked all the land under heaven, everywhere inquiring about your whereabouts. I was afraid... I was afraid that in this life, I will never see my mother again."

Xiao Zhonghui hearing Yuan Guannan shout "mother" shook and almost fell, in her mind a voice was ringing: "So he is my brother, it turned out he is my older brother ... he is my older brother..."

Lin Yulong whispered to his wife: "What? Master Yuan is Madam Xiao’s son? I’m confused." Ren Feiyan said: "Didn’t Master Yuan say that he was looking for his mother? He even thanked us for helping him in inquiring after her, and said that his mother had on every hand an additional finger next to her little finger. Haven’t Madam Xiao recognized him? "Lin Yulong scratching his head asked: "Why is his surname Yuan, while his father’s surname is Xiao?" Ren Feiyan said: "Fool, Master Yuan said, he was three years old when he lost his mother, three years old child doesn’t know his surname, he just picked a surname for himself at random." Lin Yulong observed: "So, Miss Xiao is his younger sister. How can brother and sister marry?" Ren Feiyan replied: "Since they are brother and sister, how can they get married? Aren’t you speaking nonsense?" Lin Yulong angrily replied: "Pooh! You are speaking nonsense."

The two were arguing more and more loudly. Xiao Zhonghui could not bear it anymore, she cried: "Ah," and covering her face she rushed out. Xiao Zhonghui’s mind went blank, she only saw black drizzle before her, and felt that life is meaningless for her. She rushed out of the door and walked at quick pace, suddenly "bang", she hit someone with her shoulder. She cried: "Ah yo" and thought: "Not good! I’m a pugilist, I might have injured the man." Hastily she reached out a hand to help him up.

Suddenly her wrist was caught, she felt pain in her left arm, it turned out that her blood vessels were pressed by this man. Surprised, she looked up, her right hand automatically went to strike. The man turned over her left palm, making it impossible for her to move it, and at the same time caught her right wrist’s blood vessels. At his moment she already saw it clearly, the man was Zhuo Tianxiong.

Zhuo Tianxiong burst into loud laughter and cried: "Weixin, take the first one!" Zhou Weixin responded and untied a shorter Twin Sabre, hanging at Xiao Zhonghui’s waist.

Zhuo Tianxiong said: "Xiao Banhe is famous in Jianghu, today is his 50 birthday, his mansion is full of martial arts experts. Weixin, do you have guts to pick the longer of the Twin Sabres?" Zhou Weixin replied: "Disciple now have uncle’s support, even if it was dragon’s pool or tiger’s cave, he would dare to go. There is a saying in Jianghu: "It’s easy to ride a horse on a wide road, it’s easy to find a shadow under big tree." Zhuo Tianxiong snorted and laughing observed: "Good for nothing, relying only on his martial uncle!" In his entire life he has been conceited, rarely coming across a worthy opponent, but after Yuan Guannan and Xiao Zhonghui defeated him using "Couple’s Saber", he could not help being discouraged. At this time, accidentally encountering Xiao Zhonghui, he thought to himself: "When this man and woman fight together, they are certainly powerful, but I've already captured one of them, only this boy Yuan Guannan is left, there is nothing to fear. Moreover, with Xiao Zhonghui in our hands, there is no reason to be afraid of Xiao mansion’s numerous staff, and Xiao Banhe will certainly obediently hand over that long Twin Sabre."

Presently Zhuo Tianxiong detained Xiao Zhonghui in custody, assembled men given to him by the head magistrate of Yamen together with Zhou Weixin’s escorts and directed himself to Xiao mansion.

When visiting card with words "Zhuo Tianxiong," was delivered, Xiao Banhe glanced at it fearfully and trembled, then ordered: "Quickly invite him in!" After a little while, Zhuo Tianxiong walked into the hall with spirited and vigorous step. When Xiao Banhe rushed to welcome him, with a glimpse of an eye he saw his daughter with her hands behind her back, and a big man pressing the short Twin Sabre against her heart.

[1] Long life

[2] “Guan” means “lion”. It’s different from “guan” in “Guannan” name, which means “head” or “crown”. 

Although Xiao Banhe was inwardly alarmed, he showed no sign of it and with a smiling face said: "May this lowly rustic man venture to ask, why respected imperial bodyguard toils his jade toes?"

Zhuo Tianxiong have heard a long time ago about Xiao Banhe in the capital, but seeing his majestic figure, his cheeks covered with really formidable beard, he extended his right hand and said: "It’s swordsman’s Xiao birthday, your brother arrived late to congratulate you, I hope you would forgive me." Xiao Banhe smiled: "You're too kind, you're too kind." He hold out a hand and they shook hands.

Both men used their internal energy, arms vibrated and they both felt pain in their bodies. This turned out to be a force contest between the two men. As it happened, they were equally powerful, none of them was loosing to the other, and they advanced together, hand in hand, into the hall.

Both people were surprised, but especially Zhuo Tianxiong, who used "30 palms shaking heavens" and "Huyan's 18 whips" techniques. Only "Confused internal force" (called so, because its essence consists in increasing and decreasing internal heat) can match "30 palms shaking heavens" and Xiao Banhe was actually using this very technique, "Confused internal force". But "Confused internal force" can only be practiced by a boy, who knows nothing about male-female relations; immediately after marriage this ability disappears. Because one has to train so hard to obtain it, but can lose it very easily, therefore very few people in martial arts world were practicing this skill. Before he came to Xiao mansion, he inquired about Xiao Banhe and his wives; Xiao’s daughter already reached the maturity, how was he able to still retain this child’s "Confused internal force" martial skill, wasn’t it a biggest marvel of martial art world?

Yuan Guannan, seeing Xiao Zhonghui controlled by others, was naturally greatly concerned. He quietly maneuvered in the crowd until he arrived to a place behind the escorts, where he wanted to wait for an opportunity to save her. But Zhuo Tianxiong’s eyesight was sharp, he saw everything and shouted: "Yuan, come near me!" And to Zhou Weixin he said: "If anyone starts a fight, immediately kill this girl with a sabre!" Zhou Weixin answered: "Yes. Jianghu has a saying: When the Strong meets the Strong and the Evil meets the Evil ... " Perceiving that this sentence was not very much to the purpose, he swallowed the rest of it, which was: "a fight ensues [1]". Yuan Guannan feared that these people really hurt Xiao Zhonghui, how would he venture to approach a single step?

Zhuo Tianxiong said: "Swordsman Xiao, let me say this clearly and frankly. Your brother today visits your respected manor, on one hand to congratulate you on your birthday celebration, on the other hand because he wants to exchange one priceless treasure for another valuable treasure." Xiao Banhe answered: "This simple-minded lowly person fails to understand respected Zhuo’s meaning."

Zhuo Tianxiong, with supercilious look, replied: "That priceless treasure, your precious daughter, and that precious long Twin Sabre. Your brother has no grievance nor hatred towards swordsman Xiao, he only wants to be able to deliver to the Emperor his commission and preserve this numerous brothers’ lives. He also hopes that swordsman Xiao would raise his noble hand and assist him to save brothers." While talking he cupped his hands in salute. In his words he tried to be humble, but his expression was extremely arrogant.

Xiao Banhe hold out a hand towards a chair at his back, and pushed it, a clicking sound was heard and the chair immediately shattered into small pieces. He smiled and said: "Respected Zhuo is a renowned figure in martial arts world, how came he is so confused today? Twin Sabres are not in the hands of this insignificant person, neither is that young lady his daughter. How can a man who practice boy’s "Confused internal force", be able to bear and raise children?" While talking he flicked his sleeves, inciting a violent wind. Zhuo Tianxiong leaned the body to evade, inwardly observing: "Not at all false, this really is boy’s "Confused internal force"."

After Xiao Zhonghui had heard that Yuan Guannan was her elder brother, her heart was already bleeding. Now, seeing that her father, not willing to exchange the Twin Sabre for her, in order to save her, is not recognizing her as his daughter, she could not help but exclaimed: "Daddy!"

At this moment, a shout was heard outside: "You won’t run away from us, evil rebel Xiao Yi!" Among human shouts and horses’ neighing a big army troop arrived at Xiao mansion gate. Xiao mansion’s numerous servants flustered and exasperated rushed inside shouting: "Master ... not good! Many officers and men ... officers and men surrounded the gate of the mansion."

When Zhuo Tianxiong heard the phrase: "You won’t run away from us, evil rebel Xiao Yi!", he finally saw the truth. He shouted: "Well, Xiao Banhe? So you are the evil rebel Xiao Yi, pursued for 16 years by the court!" Shadows of people moving near the gate appeared and four imperial bodyguards rushed in. Their leader shouted: "Eldest Brother Zhuo, this is evil rebel Xiao Yi, why don’t you capture him?"

Xiao Banhe burst into loud laughter and said: "After 16 years of disguising myself, today I can show my real face of Xiao Yi." He touched his face with a hand; everybody who saw it, was frightened and surprised. The hall has been already in confusion, but now everyone gazed at Xiao Banhe in absolute silence. In the wink of an eye, Xiao Banhe was transformed into another person, he had had a thick beard, but now, with only a touch of the palm, it disappeared and his chin was perfectly smooth, without a single hair.

[1]When two people of a similar kind are opposed, there is a struggle for supremacy.

Twin Sabres used to perform "Couple’s Sabre" were really a force that could not be withstood, where the two hit, there were soldiers or escorts injured. Out of 72 stances of this technique, they did not use even half, but whenever they attacked the enemy already was running to the door and escaping. 

This technique had its particularity: wounding somebody was very easy, but killing was extremely difficult, and the wounded parts of the opponent’s body were not vital ones. Supposedly, that heroic couple which created this sword technique was benevolent and didn’t want to take people’s lives; thus although every single stance of this technique was extremely powerful, yet they all served only to keep the enemy off.

After a short time, the only foe remaining was Zhuo Tianxiong, who was fighting obstinately. Yuan Guannan and Xiao Zhonghui suddenly turned to him, one attacking his left shoulder, one cutting towards his right leg. Zhuo Tianxiong took out a steel whip from his waist area and a crash sound was heard, as Xiao Zhonghui’s short sabre’s end was cut off. How marvellous was the stance "Love bonds are delicate like a silk fabric but strong like a big tree"! Yuan Guannan’s long knife cut Zhuo Tianxiong’s calf, the wound was so deep that the bone was visible, and immediately the blood flew.

Zhuo Tianxiong calf injury was not light. Not daring to go on fighting, he directed his fist towards Xiao Zhonghui. When she inclined her body to dodge, he was already fleeing to the courtyard, and jumped on the roof. If Xiao and Yuan, acting harmoniously, made a move "Matchless hero and outstanding husband," Zhuo Tianxiong could be stopped, but the end of Xiao Zhonghui’s sword had already been broken, using this stance was irrelevant.

Xiao Banhe saw that the hall was completely ruined. Fortunately, only seven or eight people at each side were injured and no one was killed. Immediately he loudly announced: "My good friends, although the soldiers temporarily withdrew, soon they will certainly come back again, this place is not safe. Let's quickly retreat to the Zhongtiao Mountain, and then decide what to do." Everyone agreed.

After packing up the valuables, Xiao Banhe led his family out and put the fire in his mansion. The flames rose to the sky, causing chaos inside the city walls; everyone rushed to the East Gate and ran towards Zhongtiao Mountain.

In a large cave hidden by the rocks, Xiao Banhe, Ms. Yuan, Ms. Yang, Yuan Guannan, Xiao Zhonghui, Lin Yulong with his wife and son, twenty disciples of Xiao, and 300 guests sat around a fire. On the fire roasted a yellow water deer and its delicious aroma filled everybody’s nose.

Xiao Banhe coughed and held out a hand to stroke his beard. It has been his custom for 16 years; every time there was something important to say, he always stroked his beard. But this time his hand touched the emptiness, his chin was hairless. He smiled slightly and said: "Because of my friends’ esteem, I, Xiao Yi, am considered in the martial arts circles to be a top pugilist. But who would have imagined that I, Xiao Yi, was a palace eunuch?" Everyone was surprised to hear it and thought, that they had misheard, but Xiao Banhe’s face was serious, he was not joking. Ms. Yuan and Ms. Yang looked at each other and lowered their heads. Xiao Banhe continued: "Yes, I, Xiao Yi, was a palace eunuch. I was 16 years old when I entered the palace to wait upon the Emperor, for the purpose of assassinating Manchu Emperor to avenge my late father.

My father was unable to co-exist with the Manchurian Qing dynasty and finally was miserably killed. My father's seven sworn brothers drank blood to make on oath, they vowed to take revenge for my late father, but Qings are powerful and none of my seven uncles could obtain this virtuous goal.

They didn’t die while fighting Imperial Bodyguards, but were arrested and executed by death of a thousand cuts. Thus the hatred became even more profound.

I pondered and trained diligently to achieve martial arts similar to that of my father and seven uncles. But even if I exhausted the time of my whole life I might not necessarily be able to obtain it, and even if I gained this proficiency in martial arts, I might not necessarily be able to revenge the ocean of blood, thereupon I resigned myself to castration, to be a humble, despised by all eunuch." On hearing this, everyone admired him for his painstaking efforts and sacrifices.

Xiao Banhe continued: "But what restrictions are inside the palace, how strict security, I wasn’t able to imagine. Not to mention coming close to the Emperor, even seeing him from the side is not easy. More than ten years I lived in the palace, and although every day and every night I was waiting for an opportunity, it never occurred. One night, 16 years ago, I overheard two Imperial Bodyguards’ conversation. They said, that the Emperor was informed that there was a pair of Twin Sabres and the one who possessed them could be invincible. This pair of Sabres was divided, one was in hands of a hero surnamed Yuan and the other was in hands of a hero surnamed Yang. As a result, Emperor ordered to arrest the whole family of both Yuan and Yang, to coerce them to hand over precious swords, but two great heroes didn’t yield and died, whereas their wives were detained in prison."

When his narration reached this point, tears rolled down from eyes of Ms. Yuan and Ms. Yang, suddenly they embraced each other and cried loudly.Yuan Guannan and Xiao Zhonghui looked at each other, their hearts were both happy and sad.[/FONT]

Xiao Banhe added: "At that time I thought, that instead of seeking revenge for the dead, it is indeed better to save someone’s live, so I sneaked into prison, killed several guards, and rescued two ladies. Because both prisoners were females, the guard was not strict, and prison officials absolutely could not imagine that an eunuch can violate Emperors orders, so everything went smoothly. But enemy had great power, when we were fleeing in panic, Ms. Yuan’s son was lost.

This matter troubled my mind for the rest of my life, who could have thought that Master Yuan has grown up and learned a superior martial arts; this really is an extremely happy thing. As for you Zhonghui, you are 18 this year, but when I first saw you, you were two years old. Your dad’s surname is Yang, he was the eldest of three famous Yang brothers from Hunan province.

Yuan Guannan and Xiao Zhonghui (or rather Yang Zhonghui [1]), each hugging his own mother, felt great grief and indignation and desire to avenge their fathers. At the same time, when they thought of Xiao Banhe’s righteous spirit, both were endlessly grateful.

Xiao Banhe then said: "When we escaped from Beijing, the Emperor naturally sent spies to find us and the vigilance was increased; we were to be hunted and arrested. In order to fool the eyes and ears of the Qing court, I started to wear a beard and wronged heroes Yuan and Yang by taking their wives as mine. Fortunately, old Xiao is an eunuch, so this interim step will not disgrace the Yuan and Yang name." Yuan Guannan and Xiao Zhonghui looked at each other with a smile, thinking: "Who said we are brother and sister, ah?"

Xiao Banhe patted his thigh and continued: "Xiao is an eunuch and he admires great Ming eunuch Zheng [2] He’s expedition to a foreign land, to proclaim China’s virtue and power. Therefore I changed my name into Banhe [3], meaning that I would like to be half as great a hero as Admiral Zheng. Hey, it was the old Xiao's wishful thinking.

All these years, we did have peace and security. Then Twin Sabres reemerged and old Xiao wholeheartedly wanted to seize precious sabres to comfort the souls of the two heroes Yuan and Yang. I no longer cared to conceal my identity, and finally the Qing court discovered the truth, but now it doesn’t matter. Twin Sabres are only two sabres. Hui, dear, that short sabre is of course false, otherwise how could it be broken? We could have handed it over to that traitor, Zhuo Tianxiong, but unfortunately we did not stop him."

Then the aroma of roasted deer became more intense, and Ren Feiyan took out a sword and cut it into small pieces. Lin Yulong suddenly said to Yang Zhonghui: "Wasn’t my theory correct? You said your father and mother never fought, and I said that a husband and wife that do not quarrel cannot really be a married couple. Your elder brother Lin had an incredible foresight and his words were justified, isn’t it?"

Ren Feiyan pierced with a sword a piece of deer meat, and using the sword to transport it to his mouth, shouted: "Eat deer meat, instead of talking rubbish!" Lin Yulong wanted to refute, but his mouth was full of meat, and he could not speak.

[1] The name of “Twin Sabres” is pronounced Yuanyang Dao. Observe, that the main characters’ family names are actually Yuan and Yang, although the surnames of both people are pronounced in another tone and written with different signs than the name of the weapons.

[2] Zheng He (1371-1433), famous early Ming dynasty admiral and explorer

[3] „Ban” means „half”

Everyone was amused, when suddenly, they heard a disciple, who was keeping the watch in the forest outside, shout: "Who is it?" Another person shouted: "Four Heroes of the Grand Mountain!" Yang Zhonghui laughed. Four Heroes of the Grand Mountain appeared all covered with mud, carrying a wooden stick with a large fishing net. Inside the net was a big black object, nobody knew what it was. Yang Zhonghui laughed: "Four Heroes of the Grand Mountain, what treasure do you carry, ah?"

Gai Yiming immensely proud of himself announced: "Master Yuan, Miss Xiao, we, four brothers, went to that muddy river to catch a Green-blooded Golden Toad, which we wanted to offer you as a gift. We didn’t catch the Toad, but while we were there, we observed someone passing by. This person had an injured leg, he was groaning and supported himself on a stick while walking. We glanced at him. Hey, is it not Zhuo Tianxiong? We quietly came closer and suddenly entangled him in a fishing net; now we present him to you as a gift."

Everybody was surprised and delighted. Yuan Guannan hold out a hand to Zhuo Tianxiong’s waist and extracted a short sabre; it was gloriously dazzling, not at all smeared with mud, naturally it was the true Twin Sabre.

Ms. Yuan took both Twin Sabres, sighed and said: "The Manchu Emperor heard, that there was a big secret inside Twin Sabres and the one who knew this secret would be invincible. It really is true, but if he knew the secret, would he be able to act in accordance with it? Everyone, please see!"

Everyone leaned close to see. They saw the word "Benevolent" engraved on the blade of one Twin Sabre and on the blade of the second one the word "Invincible". "The benevolent are invincible!" This is the big secret of being unequalled under heaven. 


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