Use the translation feature to translate novels into different languages

Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain Chapter 6.3 Encounter

Chapter 6.3 Encounter 
The party standing by the edge of the cliff grew quiet. Suddenly Lute, Orchid's personal maid, cried out, beckoning down the mountain, "Look, Miss Miao! It seems as if somebody is ascending the mountain."

The Company all stood in awe, thinking to themselves, "We have yet to descend the mountain; how can anyone already be scaling it?" Thereupon, they raced to the edge of the cliff and looked down. They saw a blurred

white shadow clambering speedily up the mountain. When they looked closer, it was a man swathed in matte white fabric.

"Sister, could this be your father?" asked Sign.

Orchid shook her head, saying, "No, my father never dresses in white."

While they were thus engaged in their conversation, the man had almost attained the summit, and was moving steadily closer. Soon, the steward

cried out, "Please identify yourself!"

Suddenly the sound of roaring laughter came from below, sonorous and clear, shaking the valley like thunder and covering the mountain with peals and peals of laughter.

On seeing Tree standing on the edge of the cliff, grasping the iron casket, Valour gave Curio's hand a slight tug, pointed at his back and described a thrusting gesture with his right arm. Curio immediately understood: Valour wanted him to push Tree down the mountain. This ruffian would certainly finish up rolling down a mountain over one hundred thousand feet high,

with all his martial ability being of no avail. The iron casket and the poniard, both being unbreakable, could be recovered later. Thereupon, Valour and Curio signalled to each other by nodding their heads. They at once got to their feet and made all speed, aiming true and fast at the old

monk's back. Tree, standing no more than a foot from the edge of the cliff, was gazing down the mountain, not suspecting that someone would launch a clandestine attack from behind.

Tree was following with awe the gait and movements of the white figure ascending the precipitious slope. By the time he sensed the impending footsteps behind his back, Valour and Curio were already charging full speed at him. Tree was suddenly alive to the imminent danger.

Nevertheless, he maintained his sense of proportion in the face of such danger and effortlessly moved into the Suspension Iron Bridge, tilting his body to the left. The Suspension Iron Bridge is the ultimate trick for foiling mortal attack, designed originally as a counter measure to parry clandestine weapons. If, at the moment of a brutal onslaught, with the secret weapon

already whistling from the assailant, one fails to make a timely escape by

either leaping clear off the ground or dodging to the side, the last resort is to straighten and tense one's body, then suddenly thrust it slanting backward

with face towards the sky and both feet securely on the ground, thus

allowing the swishing weapon to sweep past, almost glancing the face. The more advanced one becomes in this martial feat, the closer one reaches one's back to the ground. The crucial rule of this move rests with the lightning movements in thrusting and recovering one's back as well as the

straightness achieved by the body, as the command for this move runs: "The feet are as strong as cast iron and the body as stiff as a ramp, suspended like a bridge." Tree also practised his version of the Suspension Iron Bridge differently from the others: instead of slanting his body backward, he thrust it to the left, anchoring his feet by the edge of the cliff and suspending his body in mid air, balancing almost half of his weight over the snow-laden mountain.

Just as Valour and Curio were about to celebrate their success in their clandestine attack, they suddenly felt their shoulders lunging into a void.

Valour, being martially accomplished, abruptly somersaulted, rolling his body to the side. Curio, unfortunately failing to apply a timely brake to his feet, continued whirling straight through, disappearing down the snowy mountain.

Amid cries of alarm, Tree straightened his back and stood up, chanting, "Amitahba, pardon my sin, pardon my sin." His back had already broken into a cold sweat.

This sudden turn of events scared Sign tremendously: she dropped unconscious to the ground. Peace, standing next to her, immediately reached out his hand to raise her.

The Company all gave vent to hysterical screams on seeing the sturdily- built Curio gravitating helplessly towards the base of the mountain, surely to be shattered to pieces, when suddenly the man clad in white snapped up his left hand and thrust it against the cliff face, hooking his feet to the rope. The rope at once swayed, bearing the white figure with it and swinging him towards Curio.

It was indeed a propitious play of strength. The man in white immediately reached out his right hand, seizing Curio's back. Curio's heavy weight induced a violent reaction: in a trice, his garment tore open with a

snap and down he plunged again. The white figure at once stretched himself to the limit, whipping out his hands at the last moment, grasping Curio's right Achilles' heel. Suddenly, the two figures were plummeting, their size diminishing second by second, dropping several hundred feet in no time. At the rate they were falling, the man in white stood little chance of hooking onto the rope by merely utilising the strength of his leg. His only hope of

surviving the ordeal lay in loosening his grip on Curio. While the spectators on top of the cliff were all watching in bewilderment, he suddenly swept out his right hand, hurling Curio's body around and over the rope.

Curio, already lapsing in and out of unconsciousness, speedily clung to the rope. He seemed like a man frantically grasping the instant his fingers sense a weed in the water. He will not relax his grip even when breathing his last. This is a true survival instinct. Curio, by holding onto the rope

alone, could never be martially strong enough to counter the grativational force dragging them speedily towards destruction. However, the amount of power he was able to muster in the face of danger was suddenly multiplied several-fold. The rope swept far out on the instant, whirling both of them to the left.

The white creature then summoned the strength at his waist, reversing his body, and in no time, grasping the rope with his left hand also. Next he

whispered something in Curio's ear and patted him on the back.

Though Curio was still in a state of shock, the message struck him like an imperial decree. He immediately set to scaling the cliff, busily crisscrossing his hands, moving them forward in an overlapping zig-zag pattern, until finally he managed to scramble back onto the edge of the cliff-top.

The thrilling epidsode down the cliff had turned everyone standing on the edge of the mountain speechless with terror. Fortune and Radiant grasped

Curio's hands the minute he clambered over the ridge, hauling him right up on the top.

"Who is the man in white?" asked the Company. Curio answered, puffing, "The hero fighter ordered me to report to you all that ... Fox Hu, Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain, announces his presence."

The very mention of the name of the man clad in white struck the

Company with awe, rooting them to the ground and freezing them in mortal terror. Suddenly, one member of the Company broke out in a cry, "Oh! No!" Immediately he fled inside the eyrie.

The remaining Company fought immediately for the doorway, without a moment's reflection. Century, Hawk and Valour were pushing and elbowing each other furiously at the gate. Curio rushed forward to carry Sign in,

exchanging a few blows with Peace in the hubbub. The commotion brought almost everybody immediately indoors. The steward and Lute, who were helping Orchid along, were the last to cross the threshold. They were almost locked out of the eyrie.

As soon as Hawk had slammed the door behind him, Fortune picked up a bar with which to bolt the gate. Century propped up the bar with his hands, fearing that it might give way.

Sign soon regained consciousness. She commented naively, "Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain has never been an acquaintance of ours. Why then should we fear him?"

Valour cast her a glance from the corners of his eyes, remarking, "Never an acquaintance? Hm! Your father and his father were deadly foes. Do you think that he will let you go?"

Hawk also joined in, "We wounded Quad. Do you think that Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain will so easily let the matter drop?"

Suddenly, Peace pointed at the top of the wall, alerting the others, "We are all now propping up the door; do you not think he can enter from

above?" To this, Valour readily agreed, "Yes! Brother Peace, please go up and keep watch there."

Peace answered with a leer, "As Uncle Valour is martially accomplished, it would only be right for you in your honoured age to go up." No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the bolt on the gate snapped with a loud cracking sound. In no time, the two leaves of the gate had been flung open with a crash.

Thereupon, all the Company fled to the inner court, in utter panic.

Everyone vanished from the central main hall in no time. The moment they had learned about Gully's past from Quad, the brazen fighters assembled on the mountain felt eager to meet his bereaved son.

However, when Fox finally announced himself on the summit they were all panic-stricken. They scared each other by running away, thus creating more fear in each other. The warriors, of brazen and forthright characters,

appeared simply to have vanished into thin air.

Meanwhile, the steward of the eyrie was hunting for Tree, intending to ask him to help temporarily to defend them against the impending danger.

But Tree was nowhere to be found, apparently having already gone into hiding somewhere. The steward went over this in his mind, "The Master has entrusted me with all matters on this eyrie. My first and foremost duty is not to allow any disgrace to tarnish my Master's reputation, even if it means laying down my own life."

Having formed this resolution, he whispered to Orchid, "Miss Miao, hurry, quick! Go to the matron's room and hide with her in the secret nook in the cellar. Do it all quietly. The other souls here all harbour ill-intentions. I shall go now to meet the visitor."

Orchid looked at Third and Sign, and then said, "Let me take these two sisters along to the cellar."

The steward immediately shook his head disapprovingly. He whispered into her ears, "Please do not take them along. I am afraid that these two

women may be bad people. You, madam, and the wife of the lord are the only ladies of good family and fine upbringing. Please leave those two here alone."

Orchid answered the steward calmly, "If that man bearing Hu as his last name is going to commit murder and arson here, are you able to prevent him?"

Gripping the tang of the single-edged knife at his waist, the steward responded sentimentally, "Here comes the hour for me, a man bearing the family name Yu, to lay down my life to repay my Master. All I am asking is that everything should remain well with the matron and you, young lady, so that my humble self will not bring dishonour to the Master."

Orchid went over this in her head for a while before coming to a resolution. "I shall go with you to greet him out there."

Thereupon, the steward hastened to stop her, "Miss Miao, were we not informed by the old monk that your father, Phoenix the Knight-errant, and he are inveterate enemies, with some old debts to settle over the deaths of their fathers? If you do not go into hiding now, you may end up in his hands, then ... then ..."

Thereupon, Orchid responded, "Ever since I heard those stories about

Uncle Gully from my father, I have been looking forward so much to seeing his child still alive and hoping also to meet him one day. I am aware that things have become extremely hazardous, but if I miss this opportunity of

seeing him now, I shall regret it the rest of my life."

Orchid delivered these words softly and calmly, and yet her tone was resolute, making it impossible for the steward to deny her request. The

steward thought to himself, "This young lady does not even seem strong

enough to bind a chicken, and yet she is daring and determined. She has not lived as the daughter of the Gilt-faced Buddha in vain. As for fellows like the Commander of the Eastern Border and the Might of the Southern Sky,

so laudible are their sobriquets, and yet they should all be shamed to death by Miss Miao if only they were not so brazen-faced."

The announcement of the arrival of Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain at the eyrie had given the steward quite a shock. However, on seeing that

Orchid was as calm and as sensible as could be, he also felt his fear diminish. Thereupon, the steward tightened his girdle, placed two exquisite celadon bowls with lids on a tray, and then poured some tea into each bowl before heading for the main hall. Orchid walked behind him.

Post a Comment