Use the translation feature to translate novels into different languages

Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain Chapter 2.2 Summit

Chapter 2.2 Summit 

They now all began to ponder, "How fierce a fighter can this Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain really be?"

Tree and the man, thus engaged in conversation, were leading the way. After winding their way round several snow-covered pine trees, the group found themselves standing in front of a large, five-chambered, stone building, with shining white snow covering both the front and the back of the house.

The Company passed through the doorway, and walked along a long corridor before coming to the front hall. The hall was enormous. In each

corner was planted a huge brazier, with flames blazing above the burning coal. In the centre of the hall hung calligraphic scrolls, each line of verse was inscribed on a separate wooden tablet:

Before Crossing The Manchurian Border,

I Considered Myself Invincible Under the Sky. After Sojourning in the Northeast,

I Became Aware of Other Heroes in the Universe.

A sentence in small, light print was written in the upper right hand corner reading, "Presented to Senior Brother Wish with due respect, hoping to receive his comments and criticism." And in the lower left hand corner was a sentence in small, light print reading, "Scribbled in extreme intoxication by Phoenix Miao, the Abandoned and Incorrigible, now deeply regretting the wild talk of bygone years."

All present were outlaws and rustics. They failed to comprehend the meaning of the inscription on the tablets. They somehow had the impression that Phoenix Miao was ashamed of his own name. Every

character was cut deep into the wood; without question the work of sharp knives.

Tree's face paled slightly, and he cried, "So your Master and the Gilt- faced Buddha must be on very intimate terms then?"

"Yes," returned the long-necked fellow boldly. "The Master of this eyrie has known Phoenix the Knight-errant for several decades."

"I see," commented Tree simply.

Hawk's heart was throbbing violently. He thought to himself, "So I have finished up by coming to the dwelling place of the friend of Phoenix. It is likely that I, now old, will lose my life." Soon he felt his palms begin to

sweat profusely.

Now that they had all taken their seats, the long-necked fellow ordered tea to be served, and he himself stood humbly to one side.

"This Gilt-faced Buddha who was bold enough to call himself the Invincible Under the Sky years ago," commented Tree, "was once rather vain and arrogant. From what was written on the scrolls, he lived to regret it."

"No," interrupted the man with the long neck. "The lord of this eyrie said that Phoenix the Knight-errant was being modest. If it had not been such a mouthful, the epithet, 'Since Time Immemorial and Throughout Eternity'

would also have been included in the sobriquet of Phoenix the Knight- errant."

"Hm," sneered Tree. "In the Sutras, it is said that the minute the Gautama Buddha was born, these words came to his mind, 'I, As a Human Being, Am the Supreme, from Heaven to Hell.' Do you not think this is a superb match for the 'Invincible Under the Sky, Since Time Immemorial and Throughout Eternity'? They form a nice couplet."

Curio knew he was trying to be sarcastic and laughed aloud. The long- necked fellow stared him in the face and asked, "Will our honourable guest please show others due respect?" Curio was taken aback by his remark. "And if I won't?" he demanded.

To this the man replied, "If the Gilt-faced Buddha learns that you are mocking him, I am afraid the honourable guest will be in some danger."

"There is no ultimate in martial ability," returned Curio, defending himself. "One must admit that there is a sky beyond the sky, a Master above another Master. The Gilt-faced Buddha is only a human being. No matter how excellent he is, he still cannot be called the Invincible Under the Sky."

"I have not seen much of the world; I am not well-read; my views may be shallow. If my Master considers the name befitting, I think he must deserve it." The man who spoke sounded deferential but his manner was full of insolence.

Anger filled Curio's breast and he was flushed with rage.

"I am Grand Master of an established school," he pondered. "I shall take no nonsense from a low-bred servant like him, used only to be at the beck and call of others."

And he immediately retorted with a sneer, "Are we to assume then that, with the exception of the Gilt-faced Buddha, your respectful Master is the champion under the sun. Ha, ha, ha, how funny!"

To this the man replied, "Not at all."

Reaching out his hand, the man then tapped the backrest of the chair in which Curio was sitting. It vibrated, throwing Curio off his balance. He

started up from his chair. Still holding a tea bowl in his hand, Curio was

caught off his guard. The bowl immediately slipped from his grasp, and just as it was on the point of shattering to pieces on the ground, the man bent

and caught it with a clenched hand.

"Will our honourable guest please take care?" said the man. Curio reddened. He turned his head away, paying no heed to the incident. The man then put the tea bowl down on the teapoy.

Tree behaved as if he had not witnessed what had taken place. He turned to the man with the long neck and asked, "Who else, besides the Gilt-faced Buddha and I, the monk, has your Master invited up here to lend aid?"

"Before the Master departed," answered the man, "he gave this servant instructions to expect Profundity the Taoist Phongie of the Kokonor-Tibetan School, Spirituality the Buddhist Devotee of the Altyn Tagh in Chinese Turkestan, and Jiang the Senior Mentor in Pugilism of the Absolute Lodge south of the Caramoran, to arrive on the mountain within a few days. My Master has also instructed my humble self to tend to them properly. Your Eminence is the first to arrive, and this shows us your great kindness. When my Master learns about it, he will appreciate it greatly."

Tree the Great Master was here at the invitation of the Master of the eyrie. He believed that once he presented himself, all problems, even

though they might be extremely taxing, could be easily solved. What he had not realized was that apart from himself, the Master had also invited many other famous personages, most of whom he had never met, although he had already heard much about them. All were first-rate adepts of the Martial

Brotherhood. Had he known so many others had already been invited at the express request of the Master, he would not have come at all. As for Phoenix, the Gilt-faced Buddha, Tree had no intention of running into him. The further he could keep himself from Phoenix, the better. What bothered him was that he had come such a long way to help, yet the Master was not home to receive him. He considered this disrespectful, and was extremely unhappy about it.

"This old monk cannot make himself useful: that is an indisputable fact," said Tree self-deprecatingly. "All problems will be solved once the Gilt- faced Buddha gets here. Why take the trouble to invite the others?"

To this the man replied, "My Master said he would like to take this opportunity to arrange for heroes of different Schools to meet each other. Fan the Ringleader of the Cathay Outlawry will also be here."

Tree shuddered involuntarily and asked, "Fan the Ringleader will also be here? How many hands has Fox invited?"

"It is said that he has not enlisted any help. He will be here alone," answered the man.

Valour, Fortune, Century, and the others were all experienced hands who had roamed the world and faced numerous dangers. When they learned that Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain was going to meet the challenge single- handed and that the Master not only had many pre-eminent fighters waiting for him, but also had enlisted the help of the Gilt-faced Buddha and Fan the Ringleader of the Cathay Outlawry, they considered it pointless to have gone to this amount of trouble. They felt that Tree the monk was such an

adept that he alone would probably be able to deal with Fox. Now that they were also up on the mountain, they would most likely lend a hand when the time presented itself. It was simply that it had never occurred to the Master that so many uninvited guests would be there at the same time.

Hawk, among all those present, found himself in a mental flurry of indecision, the reason being that the Outlawry had always been at enmity with the Imperial Court. The adjunct Cathay adopted in compounding the title the Cathay Outlawry, to show the pro-Cathay sentiments of the gang, was, in fact, employed to display their anti-Manchu feelings. A month before, Sai, Commissioner of the Imperial Guardsmen, had personally led eighteen Champions of the Imperial Court to have Fan, the Ringleader of the Cathay Outlawry, captured and locked up in the Imperial Jail. The plan was executed with the utmost secrecy. Hardly any of the outlawry knew

anything about it. Hawk himself was one amongst the eighteen picked hands on that mission. Finding himself now in a precariously dangerous place, though how he had ever managed to get there still remained a mystery, Hawk knew he was not going to be lucky.

Seeing Hawk's colour drain from his face when he heard the name Fan the Ringleader, Tree asked him, "Is Master Hawk in any way acquainted with Fan the Ringleader?"

"I know him not," replied Hawk in a hurry. "I have only heard of Fan the Ringleader as a far-famed hero of the Northern School, and I know no more than that. He did, at one time, fight two ferocious tigers, practising the

Grappling Claws of the Dragon."

Post a Comment