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Ode to Gallantry Chapter 13

Chapter 13 - Parental Love
Shi Potian was continuously looking at Min Rou, his mind was filled with all sort of suspicion.

Her eyes were filled with tears and at the same time she said with a smile: "silly child, you You have not recognized your father and mother?"

She stretched out her arms and hugged him. Shi Potian knew little about human affairs but a few people have shown him any kind of kindness, his heart filled with warmness, he hadn’t felt anything like this before. He did not know what to say, thought for half of the day, only then said: "he
......master Shi is my father? I did not know. However ......However      You
are not my mother, I am still looking for my mother."

Min Rou listens to him not recognizing her, she felt really sad in her heart, more tears fell from her eyes she said: "poor child, this is no wonder we
are separated for so many years, you can still remember you father but can’t remember your mother.

When you left the Xuan Su manor, the top of your head only came up to your mother’s chest, now you might be almost as tall as your father. Your facial appearance has also changed over these years. In the temple of village god if we had not seen you captured by Bai Wanjian even we might have some difficulty to recognize you."

Shi Potian listened to her talking, but he remembered her mother’s swollen face, her short stature, on the other hand Min Rou’s face was a lot different from her. How can he make such a mistake?

He spoke haltingly: "Madam Shi, you are mistaken, I ......I ......I am not your son!"

Min Rou turned toward Shi Qing and cannot restrain herself. Tears flowing copiously, she trembled and said: "Senior brother, you look at this child
As soon as Shi Qing heard Shi Potian not recognizing his own parents, he thought: "this child is really crafty, he is not recognizing his parents, surely there is some deep meaning in it. Is it possible that after he had done all kinds of evil things in the Snow mountain sect and as the chief of "clan of eternal happiness", he feels discredited and didn’t want to his parents to recognize him? Does he fear that we might punish him or he fears that he might implicate his parents?"

He asked: "Then you are chief of "clan of eternal happiness" Shi bangzhu?"

Shi Potian said: "everybody said that I am Shi Bangzhu, actually I not. They are all mistaken."

Shi Qing asked: "then what is your name?"

Shi Potian was at loss, his complexion changed still he said: "I don’t know. My mother used to call me bastard."

Shi Qing and Min Rou glanced at each other, saw Shi Potian saying everything sincerely and it didn’t looked as if he was trying to deceive them intentionally.

Shi Qing signals with his eyes towards Min Rou, both people went out ten steps. Shi Qing said in a low voice: "is this child our son? We only got information that our son has become the chief of "clan of eternal happiness. Isn’t this it stupid to think it might happen?"

Min Rou sobs and said: "Our son left his parents about ten years ago, in that time a child can age in a big way, the facial expression is ever changing, but
......but      I recognized that he is my son."

Shi Qing hesitated and said: "In your heart, you have no doubt?"

Min Rou said: "I do have my suspicions, but how I don’t know. I believe. he is our child. What’s the truth, I actually cannot tell."

Shi Qing thinks of some incident suddenly, said: "Younger sister ..that … that lowly person came to harm you the same day that day "
This was Shi couple's lifetime matter of regret. Both people do not forget it frequently but actually were never willing to mention it.

Shi Qing said to her but he kept looking downwards, no longer looking at her.

Min Rou came to her senses immediately, said: "good, I will say to him."

She came to Shi Potian, sat at a stone nearby and said to Shi Potian: "child come hear, I have to speak with you."

Shi Potian came near her and sat beside her on the stone.

She said: "child, that year you had just turned a year old, a female thief came to harm your mother. Your father was not at the home; your mother had given birth to your younger brother and didn’t have the strength to fight her.

That female thief was very wicked, not only she wanted to kill your mother, but also you and your younger brother."

Shi Potian said: "to kill me?"

He laughed in spite of trying not to and immediately said: "I am really confused, then how am I alive."

Min Rou didn’t smile, and continued saying: "I was holding you in my left hand and holding sword in right, desperately trying to fight her, her martial- arts were extremely good. At that critical moment, your father came back. That female thief threw out three darts, two pounded to your mother but the third actually hit on yours small buttocks.

I was really weary and fainted there only but that female thief saw your father and ran away, unexpectedly her heart was really ruthless, she ran away conveniently holding your younger brother in her hand. Your father was busy rescuing me, also feared that she might have some secret helper waiting to seize the opportunity to harm me so he didn’t dare to pursue far.
He thought that female thief......That female thief will not harm his son, but has only taken their son to scare them, but unexpectedly within three days that female thief has delivered your younger brother's corpse, in the pit of the stomach were inserted two swords. One a black sword and other white sword, on the sword were engraved your father and your mother's name

As she said these words, she started crying.

Shi Potian heard her words and filled with righteous indignation, got angry and said: "this female thief is seriously hateful, what does a young child understands? If I had these poisonous hands then actually could have killed her with one strike, otherwise I would have a younger brother. Madame Shi, this matter my mother never told me."

Min Rou was still crying, she said: "child, have you really forgotten your own mother? I I am your mother."

Shi Potian stared at her face, shook his head slowly, and said: "No. You
are mistaking me for someone else."

Min Rou said: "that day this female thief has hit a dart on your left buttock, although you have grown up, but that dart mark would be still there, so can you loosen a your trousers so I can have look."

Shi Potian said: "I ......I "

He remembered that he got his nipped shoulder by Ding dang and had a scar.

He also remembered he got a scar on his leg when he was wounded by Snow mountain sect disciple Liao (although he didn't remember it himself) when he executed the move "six snowflake", but these happened long ago, he even forgot those. He didn’t knew any scar on his back, when Madam Shi said that she wanted to check his buttocks for scar marks, he didn’t know if there ever was mark in there or not.
He puts out a hand to separate the clothes to trace his left buttock and check if there is trace of any scar. He was really confused about this entire situation and was hesitant to drop his trouser in front of Madam Shi

Min Rou said with a smile: "I am your own mother, don’t you know how many times I have cleaned your excrement and soiled cloths when you were a child. What are you afraid of? Good, Let your father go and have a look at you."

As she was saying she moved away several steps from him.

Shi Qing said: "Child, now loosens your pants and let me have a look."

Shi Potian had already feeling for scars and didn’t felt any of it. He untied the belt, slipped off the pants, turned his head to look, he only saw above the left buttock pointed scars. It was on the light side and not so obvious. At once, in his heart he was panic-stricken, he felt as though his entire world is revolving, as if suddenly he had turned in to another person, but actually did not know when. He cried out loudly.

Min Rou turns around hurriedly. Shi Qing nodded to her and said: "he is really our son."

Min Rou was really happy at the same time tears flowing from her eyes, she snatched him to her side, hugs him and burst into tears, said: "son, my son, don’t fear, I know it’s a huge matter but your mother and father are here to take responsibility to you."

Shi Potian cried loudly and said: "what past matter, I hadn’t done anything. I did not know that you are my mother, did not know that he is my father, did not know that I have scars on my buttocks. I did not know anything

Shi Qing said: "you have this profound internal energy, where have you learnt it?"

Shi Potian shook his head and said: "I do not know."
Shi Qing again asked: "this poisonous palm of yours, how did you get it, who had taught you this?"

Shi Potian stammered and said: "nobody taught me Am I really Shi Potian? Shi Bangzhu? Shi...shi…am I surnamed Shi, am I your son?"

He was frightened and confused, he had held his trousers by his hand, and for a moment he forgot that he hasn’t yet tied the belt and left it. His trouser fell down to his knees.

Both the Shi couple saw his frightened appearance. Min Rou was filled with sympathy and caressed the top of his head lightly and said gently: "son, do not fear, do not fear about it!"

All these years Shi Qing was really angry with his son but when he saw him in this state he threw aside all his hate and anger and thought: "I once saw some person got hit on his head, received a serious injury, afterwards when he recovered he got this big sickness, he forgot completely about his past, heard that it is called `the soul sickness '. It is extremely difficult to restore the memory Has our son contracted this illness?"

In his heart he had these thoughts but didn’t dare to mention it to his wife for a while, unexpectedly Min Rou actually was also thinking about same.

The couple looked at each other and blurted out as though by prior agreement: ‘the soul sickness’!"

Shi Qing knew a bit about the person who suffered from this kind of illness, if people keep on urging him to remember things than instead the person goes in to deep mental trauma. Only if things are told one by one, gradually the person starts to remember the forgotten things over a period of time.

He immediately said in a very gentle voice: "Today all of us are having a reunion after such a long time. It’s a matter of happiness, child, you must be hungry, why don’t we get some food and eat."

Shi Potian was still scared witless, asks: "I      Who am I?"
Min Rou puts out a hand to his waist, tied the belt, and said kindly: "child, you shouldn’t try to think too much about past, do you will feel any pain in your head? Had you sustained any injury on your head earlier?"

Shi Potian shook his head and said: "no...Don’t have any head injury."

Min Rou asked: "then in these years, had you suffered any serious illness? Has gotten a high fever?"

Shi Potian said: "Yes! Several months ago, my whole body had very high fever, earlier it seemed ad though I was roasting in a big stove, afterward the whole body felt cold, that day ......That day, I fainted in the barren hill, and henceforth I don’t remember anything."

Shi Qing got the answer to his question and he though that illness might be the reason of this memory loss. In his heart he happy at least he knew what’s going on.

Min Rou said to him slowly: "child, you do not fear, you had a severe illness and high fever that’s why you have forgotten all about the past."

Shi Potian was half believing and half doubting, he asked: "then you are really my mother, Shi Manor master Shi is my father?"

Min Rou said: "Yes child, he is your father. He and I were looking for you everywhere, today the heaven pities me, and let our entire family meet.

You     you haven’t called him yet father?"

Shi Potian deeply believed that Min Rou will not deceive him in any way. He also originally hadn’t met his father, he hesitated slightly but then called out to Shi Qing: "father!"

Shi Qing smiled and said: "child, now call her mother."

He wanted to call Min Rou her mother but it was much more difficult. He remembered clearly, his own mother’s facial expression and Min Rou were completely different. Now several years has passed on, by now her hair might be already grayish white, unlike Min Rou’s silky hair. His mother
was crueler, often will yawn and then scold him, puts out a hand to hit him, on the other hand Min Rou was such polite and gentle but when he saw the face of Min Rou, a look of hope on her face that he will call her mother, she had waited for this meeting with her son for such a log time, her eyes were already red. He cannot help to look at her and called out in a low voice: "mother!"

Min Rou was extremely happy. She puts out her hand to hug him and called out: "good child, clever son!" beads of tear flowing from her eyes.

Shi Qing also had his eyes moist, he thought: "Depending on this child deeds in Snow mountain sect and clan of eternal happiness, I will be damned, how can one say "good child, clever son"?"

He has suffered a lot from this sickness and we meeting after such a long time suddenly a phrase came to his mind "return of the prodigal son". We will teach him well in the future, perhaps then he will repent for his misdeeds. He was far away from his parents since childhood; I never had opportunity to give him some pointers. He had ruined the name of Xuan Su manor, I hope now he can resurrect it again in the realm of rivers and lakes.

He felt as though he was happy and sad at the same time.

Min Rou saw her husband’s complexion and understood his concern. She feared that he might ask her son regarding those misdeeds and said: "senior brother, son, I am very hungry, come lets look for some food."

Shi Qing whistled and the white-black pair of horses rushed towards them.

Min Rou said with a smile: "child, let’s ride this white horse together with your mother."

Shi Qing saw his wife looking really happy after all those years. He too smiled faintly and leapt to sit on the black horse. Shi Potian and Min Rou rode on white horse and took the main road.

Shi Potian was full of suspicions and thought: "is she is really my mother? Then who raised me since childhood, isn't she my mother?"
All three people rode the two horses for several miles. They saw a small temple nearby.

Min Rou said: "we should go to this temple to pay our respects to Bodhisattva."

She came down from her horse and entered the temple. Shi Qing and Shi Potian also followed her in the temple. Shi Qing knew for some time that her wife didn’t believed Buddha. He actually saw her entering Buddhist temple hall and kowtowing in front of Tathagata image of Lord Buddha, he turned his head to look towards Shi Potian.

In his heart he felt a sense of gratitude towards him and thought: "this child, although he is unfillial, had committed evil acts, but still I like him a lot even more than my own life. If some people try to injure him, I will give up my life to save him.

Today we father and son are reunited, Bodhisattva has blessed us, and I am really grateful and pay my respect."

He too kowtowed in front of the Bodhisattva.

Shi Potian stood in one side, he heard Min Rou praying in a very low voice: "Tathagata Buddha blesses us, I hope my son recovers from his illness soon, he is ignorant, for whatever sins he had done, give its punishment to her mother, I am ready to withstand it. Even if I am cut to pieces I will endure it willingly but just ask my son to turn over a new leaf from now on, his life does not have to be a disaster now on and should be safe and pleasant."

Min Rou prayed in extremely low voice, her lips barely moved but Shi Potian has extremely good internal energy so he was able to hear it clearly. He was able to hear her clearly, each character said in a very refined language and with utmost sincerity. As he heard his heart filled with warmness, he immediately thought: "she, if not for my own mother, who else will pray something like that in front of god and I was not willing to call her mother. This is really such a mess."
Excitedly he went forward and threw his arms towards Min Rou to hug her and called out: "mother! Mother! You are really my mother."

Earlier when he called her mother it looked as he was reluctant but this time when he called her as though he was crying out with his innermost feelings.

Min Rou reached behind his back to grasp him, called out: "my cruel fated child!"

Shi Potian remembered how he lived his childhood in that barren hill with her mother for more than ten years. Although it wasn’t that good still both the mother and child have been bound by a common destiny for that many years.

He could not restrain himself from asking: "what about my previous mother? Was. was she deceiving me?"

Min Rou caressed his hair, said: "what previous mother are you talking about. do you remember something from your past."

Shi Potian said: "she ......Her hair has been somewhat white, has been shorter than yours. He didn’t now much martial-art, but she was often angry, often used to hit me and called me names."

Min Rou asked: "she said that she is your mother, and also called you ‘son’?"

Shi Potian said: "No, she used to call me bastard!" As they heard it Shi Qing and Min Rou got anxious.
Min Rou said: "this woman used to call our son bastard. This means that she hated us husband and wife, is it possible that Is it possible she is that

Min Rou said: "Is that woman had a oval face, her skin is white, the facial expression is very beautiful, when she smiles there is dimple on her face?"
Shi Potian shook his head and said: "No … my mother’s cheek are fat, somewhat yellow, somewhat black, she keeps a long face entire day and rarely smiles. What is a dimple?"

Min Rou said in a soft voice: "No, she not that woman. Child, that day in the temple of village god your mother was not careful and stabbed you by mistake. What kind of injury you had?"

Shi Potian said: "That injury was very light, it went away in a few days."

Min Rou asked: "how do you escaped from the hands of Bai Wanjian? Our child is seriously amazing; he got better of that ‘frost of the north-west’ Bai Wanjian."

As Shi Qing heard these words he felt extremely proud. Shi Qing and bai Wanjian has fought about thousand moves in that temple of village god so he knew he was extremely capable swordsman.

He approved her words still he only said: "too do not praise the child, you have spoiled him enough."

Shi Potian said: "It is not that I ran away but Grandpa Ding Busan and Ding dang saved me that day."

The Shi couple knew about the bad reputation of Ding Busan. He coldly asked about the details.

Shi Potian immediately told them the entire story from beginning to end, how Ding Busan and Ding dang saved him and then how Ding Busan threatened to kill him and Ding dang taught him the Ding family’s seizing techniques, Then how he was thrown in to another boat.

Min Rou asked in reply about the antecedent. Shi Potian then recounted how he bowed to heaven and earth with Ding Dang, he was captured by Bai Wanjian in the clan of eternal happiness. He also told how he met A’Xiu and Grandma Shi on that boat in Yangtze River, how he contested with Ding Busi and then later landed on Azure Mist island.
He told them he became the disciple of Golden phoenix sect and his fight with Bai Wanjian. Afterwards he told them about that ship full of corpses of flying fish sect, how he swore brotherhood with those two people and what happened in the main hall of Iron Fork sect and finally how he entered Shan Qing temple to steal food and listened them. He ran into numerous people in the martial-arts world in these last few days. He told them about everyone obviously in a disorderly manner, but Shi Qing and Min Rou interrogated him item by item and understood finally. The couple were more and more astonished.

They asked him how he arrived at the clan of eternal happiness.

Shi Potian then recounted how he practiced martial-arts on the skyscraping cliff. He then recounted past events of how she presented him as a gift some silvers in the past in cake shop in Outer Mongolia. How they came on their black and white horses.

The couple could not believe that in the past in Hou Jianji the child they saw that dirty young beggar unexpectedly was their son. Min Rou recalled this young beggar and also one felt really sad.

Shi Qing thought: "on time date calculation, when we met in Hou Jianji, it was precisely the time when this child ran away from Snow mountain sect. How is it that Geng Wanzhong didn’t recognize him?"

He looked carefully at the appearance of Shi Potian and tried to remember how he looked when he saw him in Hou Jianji. He did remember he saw that young beggar but after that his memory was really fuzzy. He only remembered that he was wearing some rags, his dirty face and thought: "After he ran away from Snow mountain sect he might have been intentionally begging for food and changed his appearance to a dirty beggar, so that Geng Wanzhong and others can’t recognize him. We husband and wife had not seen him for some years but those people had just seen his recently, still they didn’t managed to recognize. This boy is really good."

He asked: "that day outside the cake shop, you saw your teacher’s younger brother Geng Wanzhong and others, didn’t you felt afraid in your heart that they will seize you?"
Min Rou was not willing that her husband should raise the matter of snow mountain sect but he had already mentioned it so she couldn’t do anything now. Her delicate eyebrows pressed slightly, she feared that Shi Qing might be stern with him and will start interrogating him about that matter.

Shi Potian said: "Geng Wanzhong? They are seriously my teacher's younger brother? I did not know at that time that they were looking for me obviously I didn't fear them."

Shi Qing asked: "you did not know at that time they were there to seize you? You ......You did not know that Geng Wanzhong is your teacher's younger brother?"

Shi Potian shook his head said: "I didn’t know!"

Min Rou saw the change in the complexion of her husband. She knew that he was trying to suppress his anger and in fact he was really angry.

She said quickly: "child, to err is human?

It’s the greatest trait of human to recognize his mistake and try to change it. Whatever happened in the past is now done; it won’t correct the things if you try to hide it. Father and mother both like you lot and will help you to start a new life, you should not conceal anything and should tell everything truthfully.

Shi Potian remembered that once he listened to his father and Bai Wanjian talking in temple of village god.

He said: "Are you talking about ‘Dragon of wind and fire’ Feng Wanli? I heard you talking to master Bai Wanjian about him but I have not seen him."

Shi Qing and Min Rou looked at each other, Shi Qing asked: "Grandpa Bai? His temperament is hot tempered, isn’t?"

Shi Potian shook his head and said: "I do not know any Grandpa Bai, has not seen him."
Shi Qing and Min Rou asked him about the Lingxiao city and Snow mountain sect. Shi Potian unexpectedly did not know anything about it.

Min Rou said: "senior brother, so he had this sickness since then."

Shi Qing nodded and kept silent. Both people understood that when he ran away from Snow mountain sect then only he lost his memory. They couldn’t guess the reason maybe excessive fear or some injury but he had forgotten about the past events. He said that he got that high fever in the skyscraping cliff and clan of eternal happiness but the actual illness got him several years ago."

Min Rou asked him about his childhood, Shi Potian kept on repeating that over and over again, how he used to go for hunting in the barren hill and caught games, how he used to roam with his dog, but couldn’t tell any thing more about where he actually came from and where he was born. It was already several years and he didn’t remember much.

Shi Qing asked: "Child, This matter is very important, your life and death depends on it. How much Snow mountain sect martial-arts do you know?"

Shi Potian said in a dull voice: "When I was in the temple of village god, I saw them practicing their sword skill, in my heart I remembered some. They were really angry to me and wanted to kill me? Father, that master Bai Wanjian asserted that I am a snow mountain disciple. He even show a scar on my leg actually of snow mountain sword skill ….!"

Shi Qing said to his wife: "Younger sister, I will test his sword skill again using Snow mountain sword skill."

He drew out his sword and said: "you also use the snow mountain sword skill and don’t conceal anything with your father."

Min Rou gave her sword to Shi Potian; faintly smiled at him. Shi Qing stabbed at him slowly as soon as Shi Potian lifted his sword to keep him off, which made Shi Potian to use the Snow mountain sword move "north wind gets up suddenly", his sword move was full of numerous flaws.
Shi Qing wrinkled his eyebrows, moved his sword to make another move and said: "your move is very good!"

Shi Potian said: "really!"

He slanted his sword and made a move from the Golden phoenix sword skill. Obviously it was not Snow Mountain sect’s sword skill but it was attacking at his strategic point.

Shi Qing quickly changed his move and thought: "this child is really smart, also gave up the idea that he is hiding anything from his, a person facing a crucial moment in fight can not fake his sword skill."

For each of his move Shi Potian attacked on the strategic point of his body. Shi Qing somehow managed to stay out of trouble. Golden phoenix sect’s sword skill was made to negate the snow mountain sect. Whatever move Shi Qing started Shi Potian naturally had a counter move for it.

Shi Potian knew that this was just a tactical fight so he was not using any internal energy. If he was using the Golden phoenix sword skill with his full internal energy then Shi Qing was no match for him. Even if he was using his sword skill properly still Shi Qing was no match to him, he could have stabbed his chest in the 11th move, on the 23rd move he spared his head when a horizontal swipe could have easily done the job. On the 28th move, Shi Potian had the opportunity to attack his lower abdomen, his left shoulder and his right leg, all were exposed. Shi Qing looked at his wife, shook his head and stabbed at the lower abdomen of Shi Potian with his sword.

Shi Potian was thrown into confusion, he brandished his sword randomly, suddenly with a loud sound both the sword collided and the sword flew out of the hand of Shi Qing immediately. He felt a blockage in his chest and just couldn’t manage to breathe. Shi Qing drew back immediately about four five steps and couldn’t manage to stand.

Shi Potian called out: "father! You......You"
He dropped out his sword and moved forward to support him. Shi Qing felt dizzy; he stopped breathing hurriedly, waved his hands to stop Shi Potian coming towards him and to move away. Originally Shi Potian and Shi Qing were not competing very violently and also Si Qing had good internal energy but the moment Shi Qing got confused and started to brandish his sword, he sent out the vicious poison with it too.

Shi Qing understood the reason pretty quickly so he moved away and stopped his breathing, fortunately he didn’t fainted by that poisonous gas and but felt dizziness.

Min Rou really cared about the husband, she went forward to support him, turns her head to Shi Potian and said: "Your father was just testing your martial-arts, why are you so tactless and tried to hurt him?"

Shi Potian was really terrified, he said: "father, it is not good! You
......You have not been injured?"

Shi Qing saw him really concerned about him, felt very happy, smiled faintly and took a breath and said : "Younger sister, you cannot blame him, he has really not learnt any Snow mountain sword skill. He was not impolite to me, it’s just that his internal energy is really strong, In martial arts world, there are not many people who can match him."

Min Rou knew that her husband was a real gentleman and his knowledge in martial-arts was really high. When she heard him praising their son, she cannot help to restrain her smile, said: "but his martial-art is also too unfamiliar, it looks he had learnt something from his father."

Shi Qing said with a smile: "you have already taught him in that temple of village god, looks like you instructed your mischievous son really well, even his father is inferior to his loving mother."

Min Rou laughed and said: "fine, come lets eat, I am hungry."

All three people started eating food, Min Rou really enjoyed eating with her family and even made an exception and unexpectedly ate a full bowl.
After eating the food they arrived at a desolate place within mountains. Shi Qing wanted to instruct Shi Potian about sword skill so he took out his sword and asked him listen and watch. It had been quite some time when Shi Potian was taught by a master.

Shi Qing was a top martial-art veteran and had comprehensive knowledge of various martial-art skills. As soon as she started to give instruction Shi Potian immediately started to understand. Although Grandma Shi taught him in person but still she was there for a very short period. After teaching 73 moves of Golden phoenix sword skill, she went away even without saying good-bye.

He didn’t have time to get the detailed directions about various moves from her like Shi Qing. Apart from that the sword skills of Golden phoenix sect were precisely to restraint snow mountain sect sword skill and she taught it him with that mindset. Also Shi Qing didn’t learn anything apart from sword skills from her.

The Shi couple saw him using Snow mountain sect’s sword skill, observed the flaw in his strategic move, they noticed it but kept silent and compared it to the same day when he was sparring with Min Rou in the temple of village god and she taught him some moves. They were exactly same but much quicker. Shi Potian felt some doubts about a move and asked them immediately.

Both of them listened him asking about a very shallow move and didn’t understand. Shi Potian told them that this move was used by Bai Wanjian in their fight on Azure Mist Island. Actually these were the same sets of moves used in training martial-arts which Shi Potian didn’t understood and lost the fight. When they learnt that so called master was so mean spirited and used this stupid move to defeat him, got extremely angry.

Shi Potian had strong internal energy; he kept on practicing from afternoon to night without any break, not even a slightest fatigue, even after such a long time his face didn’t turned red and was not breathing quickly. Both of them took turns to instruct him some moves and when got tired switched between themselves.
His ability to learn martial-art was really good and soon he made rapid progress. Both his parents saw his felt extremely proud to him learning so fast.

In these last six seven days, both Si Qing and Min Rou apart from eating and resting always enticed Shi Potian to recount the past events, hoped that it might help him to restore his memory, but Shi Potian was not able to remember anything new. In fact he remembered everything after he escaped from clan of eternal happiness; even the minor details but he had the same information about his childhood and no information about Snow mountain sect and LingXiao city.

That day in the afternoon, after all three people have eaten meal, they arrived near a willow tree to sit and chat. Min Rou picked up a small branch and wrote on the ground "Black and white clearly demarcated" these four characters and asked: "son, you remember these four characters?"

Shi Potian shook his head and said: "I am not literate."

Both of Shi couple were shocked, when as child he left home, Min Rou had taught him, he knew "the three classics", the Tang poems and so on.

How can he say "I am not literate" these words?

These "Black and white clearly demarcated" four characters were written on a large plaque in the main hall in Xuan Su Manor, written by a famous elder from martial-arts world. These words and the black and white double sword were their identity in the martial-art world and depicted the reputation of both husband and wife to uphold and to promote justice.

In the past when their son was four years old, Min Rou hugged him in her bosom and looked at the big plaque and taught him these four characters. Even at that time Shi Potian recognized these letters and the Shi couple approved him to be intelligent.

At this moment she writes these four characters, and hoped that he can recall the past events but saw that unexpectedly he can’t remember something he knew when he was four years old.
She used the branch to immediately write the "one" character, smiled and asked: "at least you remember this character?"

Shi Potian said: "I don’t know any characters, nobody ever taught me." Min Rou felt extremely sad and tears rolled in from her eyes.
Shi Qing said: "Son, don’t worry rest or some time."

Shi Potian said yes but actually took the sword and started practicing the sword moves.

Shi Qing urged to his wife saying: "Younger sister, this illness of our son is really deep, you can’t expect him to remember everything in a day."

He also said: "Even if he had forgotten all about the past deeds but actually I see a change in his personality.

Earlier he was a lot careless and willful however now at this moment he is a little ......a little mixed up in his mind but is actually much steady and calm. He had improved a lot."

As soon as Min Rou thought about these words of her husband, she in fact felt better and happy. She thought: "what if my son is illiterate? I can again teach him from the start."

She remembered how much she has suffered for her child in past years and cannot help but shivered in her heart, although this moment he was already grown up but in her heart, her son was naïve and weak, right now ignorant but still very lovable.

Shi Qing said: "There are some matters I don’t understand. This child's amnesia started about the time he left the Lingxiao city and Snow mountain sect and afterwards with that high fever his condition deteriorated but still I think something …but …but "

Min Rou listens to her husband to say these words in deep sorrow; she too was unable to restrain her worry and asked: "what have you thought of?"
Shi Qing said: "Our son doesn’t know a single character, his martial-arts is also not extraordinary apart from his strong internal energy, speaking of the position and reputation of clan of eternal happiness his manners or intelligence to hold the position of chief. The clan of eternal happiness has risen in past eight nine years, how could "

Min Rou nodded and said: "How can he become the chief of such a sect?"

Shi Qing hesitated and said: "That day when we met Hero Lu Dong San in Xuzhou, he told us that clan of eternal happiness was created by that person called chief Situ and whatever it looks from outside but ‘bring back dead to life’ Bei Haishi was helping him. He didn’t know what happened that suddenly this young person was made the chief.

Hero Lu Dong San also said that this youth is really lascivious in nature and is extremely crafty and sly in his affairs, his martial-arts is also really good but nobody actually know his origin.

Afterwards that female disciple of Snow Mountain sect, Hua Wanzi went to investigate this matter and admitted that she recognized Shi Potian and he is in fact Shi Zhongyu and then Bai Wanjian and rest of Snow mountain disciple visited clan of eternal happiness. At this moment it looked like
`handles affairs in martial-arts cunningly ', these character really suited him."

Min Rou tightened her eyebrows and said: "although at that time we thought our Yu’er was young but his scheming is really fierce, his martial- arts is really strong and he did all this to get away from Snow mountain sect, but his this appearance "

He took a deep breath, waited for a moment and suddenly said: "senior brother, there is certainly some conspiracy. You too thought that ‘bring back dead to life’ Bei Haishi such an astute and competent person why will he assist someone so young......" as she spoke, in her heart she felt afraid and her voice shivered.

Shi Qing folded his hand behind his back and started pacing around the willow tree, in between he was talking to himself: "clan of eternal
happiness has made this young child there chief, for what? For what?"

By the time he was making fifth round, in his heart he already got knew what is behind all this, he was not able to digest it and felt extremely fearful and actually did not dare to say anything.

On his seventh round he looked at Min Rou, saw her looking at him. Both people looked at each other and both their eyes betrayed the fear in their hearts.

The couple looked at each other for some time and then simultaneously said: "Command of reward and punishment!"

Both these people said the same four characters together and made loud sound. Shi Potian was practicing at a distant place, still he heard so he approached both of them and asked: "father, mother, what is this ‘Command of reward and punishment’? Are they really so bad and wicked? I listened about them in Iron fork sect meeting and also in the Shan Qing temple; the Taoists mentioned it several times."

Shi Qing didn’t answer him immediately and asked him: "Those people Zhang San and Li Si, you swore brotherhood with, did they knew that you are the chief of clan of eternal happiness?"

Shi Potian said: "they had not raised this matter so I didn’t tell them."

Shi Qing said: "they and you betted on drinking that poisoned wine, how? Tell me in detail about it."

Shi Potian told them: "that was poisoned wine? How haven't I been poisoned?"

He then told how he met Zhang San and Li Si, how they ate meat and drank wine and so on, from the beginning to end in detail.

After Shi Qing heard him he hesitated for half of the day, only then said: "Yu’er, there are some matter which you don’t understand, I will tell you so do not get afraid." He continued and said: "Thirty years ago, in the martial
arts world many big schools and big sect's heads received an invitation from Island of heroes in South China sea to eat ‘Eight meat gruel’ on eighth of the twelfth month."

Shi Potian nodded and said: "yes, as soon as everybody hears about eating ‘eight meat gruel’ they get afraid. I did not know that was the truth? This ‘eight meat gruel’ is this extremely poisonous?"

Shi Qing said: "that nobody knows. These big schools, the big sect's heads received the bronze medal invitation "

Shi Potian interrupted to ask: "bronze medal invitation? Is that two bronze medals?"

Shi Qing said: "good, now you know about the bronze medals you took from Elder brother when he was unconscious. One has a sign engraving of a smiling face, that is `reward ' meaning friendly; On another sign is a angry facial features, that is `punishes wickedly '. These were delivered by two thin young people."

Shi Potian said: "young?" He had guessed correctly that Shi Qing was talking about Zhang San and Li Si but he said young people.

Shi Qing said: "that was thirty years ago, obviously they were young at that time. Various schools and sect’s heads receive those people and the person of the bronze medal invitation and agreed to go to Island of heroes otherwise his school or sect’s was in imminent danger, whichever school or sect refused the invitation faced something really terrible.

The head of Qingcheng sect from western Sichuan, Taoist priest Renxu Shan received the medals, smiled at it and took the two bronze medals in the hand and utilized his internal energy to melt the two bronze medals in to one. He actually thought that he will show off his internal strength to frighten these two young fellows.

Who would have thought that just as he just pinched to destroy the bronze medals, these two youth struck with their four palms suddenly, strikes on
his chest and immediately this master of Qingcheng sect died in a single strike!"

Shi Potian said: "Ahhh…so vicious!"

Shi Qing said: "the Qingcheng sect disciples rallied to attack on them, at that time these two young people martial-art was not at its peak, they snatched two swords immediately and killed three Taoist priests in a flash and ran away saying what kind of a people are in Qingcheng sect, what is the fame of the Taoist priest Renxu Shan, two nameless youth visited this place killed him and returned back. Within a half month this news spread like fire in the entire martial arts world.

Twenty days later, in west Yuzhou, a Sichuan escort house had given a big banquet and was celebrating for Old Master Diao Biaotou turning sixty years old, there were numerous guests. These two youths came there to hands over the bronze medal. Audiences were celebrating with the guest and were actually discussing this matter originally, as soon as they saw him; the public moved towards them in indignation, everybody went forward to besiege them. Unexpectedly these two youths calmly escaped.

Three days later, in that Sichuan escort house, there was no one alive in that escort office, the old master Diao Biaotou, the escorts….everyone, all thirty people died a violent death, they didn’t only killed them but also in addition the old and the weak women and children. On the escort office’s front door, two bronze medals were nailed."

Shi Potian sighed and said: "I also saw two bronze medals nailed on the cabin door of that corpse ship which had flying fish sect people’s corpses on it, could not think ......Could not think that unexpectedly Yama had sent its envoys to them."

*Yama – king of hell (normally he sends Yamdoots ...his envoys to take life, this is Indian mythology…don’t know what the Chinese say)

Shi Qing said: "as soon as news of this matter spread in the martial-arts world, everybody went to go to ask Shaolin temple to send Head abbot master Fang Zhang to take the lead to cope with them.
When they arrived at Shaolin Temple, the Buddhist priest said that abbot master had gone out and had not returned.

Everybody then went to Mount Wudang, looking for Wudang sect to send their Head Taoist priest Yu Cha, unexpectedly the Taoist priests in the Wudang were also distressed, they too also said that their Master had left unobserved.

As soon as the people thought it over, they understood that two of the present age martial arts world’s top experts are suddenly missing. If they are not hit by violent treachery of the envoys of Island of heroes, then definitely they are hiding to evade the calamity.

Immediately they looked for Elder Shan Ben of Mount Wutai and Taoist priest Ku Bai of Kunlun sect to invite the martial-arts world, each big school heads and discuss a plan to cope with these envoys and simultaneously look for the messenger's whereabouts.

But these two messengers mysteriously appear and disappear, when opposite party were prepared, they could not find these people’s shadow, but if they are even a bit negligent, then did not know what got them and people will find those bronze medals with their dead bodies.

These two people were good with the poison. When Elder Shan Ben and Taoist Ku Bai received the bronze medal, they destroyed it; at that time nothing happened but within a month successively caught a foul disease and died.

Only when people thought afterwards, then only they concluded that the martial-arts of Elder Shan Ben and Taoist Ku Bai was too high, so the two envoys of ‘command of reward and punishment’ used poison to kill as they couldn’t have killed them in a fair fight. Those two bronze medals had extremely different kind of highly lethal poison, when Elder Shan Ben and Taoist Ku Bai touched the bronze medals with their hands, the violent poison got to their upper body and finally acted later and they died."

Shi Potian heard it and was absolutely terrified, he said: "I thought elder brother Zhang San and Li Si were righteous, unexpectedly unexpectedly
they are such vicious people? They are harming these many school and sect’s head, but for what reason?"

Shi Qing shook his head and said: "for thirty years, no one is able to find answer to this important matter. Shaolin temple head abbot

Master Fang Zhang and Wudang sect Head Taoist priest Yu Cha are still missing, many years later the news leaked in the martial-art world that indeed the these two masters really accepted the invitation and went to Island of heroes.

Shaolin Temple had numerous skilled fighters who can fight for days. On top of Mount Wudang there were too several fighters who were ready fight on single sign from Head Taoist priest Yu Cha.

Both these people were the best martial-arts experts in the realm of river and lakes and rarely met worthy opponents.

In addition to them the chief of Qingcheng sect Renxu Shan, Old master Diao Biaotou from west Sichuan escort house, Elder Shan Ben of Mount Wutai and Taoist priest Ku Bai of Kunlun sect were all other top martial arts world characters and all were either missing or dead. All these six senior masters have received the invitation from Island of heroes to eat ‘Eight meat gruel’.

These two envoys usually said: `your Excellency kindly consent your presence to Island of heroes, it will be a big honor for us, on so and so day of some month please meet us on Island of heroes to eat ‘Eight meat gruel’. That way they killed at least fourteen heads of sects who didn’t receive their invitation. In addition some thirty-seven people went to the feast on invitation. Of all those thirty-seven people, there is absolutely no trace of any of them or even any least bit of news."

Shi Potian said: "Island of heroes in the South China Sea… what place is this? Why not to call together a lot of people and try to rescue those thirty- seven people?"
Shi Qing said: "’Island of heroes’ these three characters, everyone in the martial-art world have been looking for. The great sea navigator Old Yu hang too have never heard of it. Also no other person had ever heard of this place or island, looks like that there is really no such place or island, it is only those two youths talking nonsense. In past year after year, the juniors family member who experienced this calamity and several others have tried in vain but gradually it fades from the memory. Unexpectedly every ten years, these two bronze medal invitations again appear."

Next time they came after ten years; this time again they have hit big, only within ten days, three schools who have refused to accept invitation to feast, the old and the young several hundred people were killed cleanly.

On the realm of rivers and lakes several groups of people are trying to get them but no one was successful yet. Emei sect sent three elders who called together thirty masters to ambush these two in the Henan; they were waiting at Red spear society for these two murderers to arrive.

From what I know these two envoys have unexpectedly avoided the red spear society, even did not step into the Henan Province boundary, but the bronze medal was still delivered everywhere else.

So long as one receives the bronze medal and complies to attend a meeting, his school or sect is safe, otherwise, no matter how you guard against them, they will always manage to wipe out the entire sect by violent treachery."

"That year in Heilongjiang; Sha Bangzhu too received the bronze medal. He at that time readily agreed, later he secretly informed the time and place from where he was supposed to embark to the Red spear society. That day thirty masters rushed at the appointed time, but when the time comes nobody was there to greet them."

"The people waited for several days, but actually got poisoned and started dying one after the one.

Sha Bangzhu got afraid, they all dispersed immediately, has not gotten to their home, on the road they then heard the news, not only his entire family is dead but also his entire sect has been exterminated by those two people.
After this event, nobody dares to resist, receives the bronze medal, then tries to deceive them. That year altogether forty-eight people went by boat to proceed toward the Island of heroes and again no trace of any of them and also not a least bit of news. This is really the biggest catastrophe of martial-art world!"

Shi Potian just could not believe that but he himself had seen the flying fish sect people, all dead, numerous corpse in that ship Again he saw the entire Iron fork sect being annihilated, not only was he a witness but he only exterminated the iron fork sect people and have accidentally become a accomplice of Zhang San and Li Si.

Only listens to Shi Qing saying: "After another ten years passed, In Jiangxi, the Wuji sect received the first bronze medal invitation. One year ago, each big school and sect’s head had already discussed and decided that if one won’t enter the tiger's den, then won’t catch the tiger. They made up their mind that whatever the outcome everyone will accept the invitation and go to Island of heroes. If everybody works with one mind in a joint effort then they will definitely succeed.

The good and evil of the martial arts world all agreed to join hands against this public enemy. That year wherever they went to invite everyone accepted the bronze medal in one visit, and no one got injured. Altogether a total of fifty-three people received the invitation and all went to attend the meeting. These fifty-three heroic men, some of them had outstanding martial-art, some were excellent in strategies, after they went there was again no news or trace of them as though all of them vanished in thin air.

This Island of heroes is a calamity to the realm of river and lake.

All over the martial-art world, people are unexpectedly at a loss; fortunately the butcher arrives only each ten years. I have deep connection with Shan Qing temple. In the outside world, people actually use Xuan Su manor to identify us but your father and mother’s martial-art is originated from Shan Qing temple. Although our elder brother’s martial-art is high; but still lacks in comparison to these people.
In Shan Qing temple all the fellow-disciples and the apprentices still need him, but the martial-art of these Taoist is not good enough to……."

Shi Potian asks: "Do they fear Island of heroes?"

Shi Qing moved gently and his complexion changed slightly in an awkward color, he hesitated and said: "Elder brother Tian Xu and other senior fellow disciples usually stand aloof from the world and had become Taoist priest to devote to god, they do not admire this martial arts world originally and all the unwarranted reputation. But if said that they feared the island of heroes then it won’t be wrong too, no matter what you are with numerical strength, in terms of martial-art skill these three characters ‘island of heroes’ will make even the bravest off all shiver. Who could have thought that Shan Qing temple has to conceal its strength to survive, actually it’s really difficult to run away this way."

He sighed as he was saying these words.

Shi Potian asked: "father, mother, you went to head of Shan Qing temple to get those Bronze medals and you wanted to investigate this mystery of Island of heroes. In the past thirty years three batches of people with exceptional ability and martial-art skills had left for that island and no one actually returned. This matter is extremely difficult to manage, why were you insisting on it?"

Shi Qing said: "Obviously it extremely difficult, but we have to face the difficulties and danger to help people overcome this situation. It was our duty to help Shan Qing temple and help them in time of crisis, otherwise how can we face ourselves…it’s a matter of principle. I and your mothers thought that the God couldn’t help these evil people all the times; ultimately there luck will run off. Your parent’s martial-arts is nothing compared to Shaolin abbot Master Fan Zhang and Wudang head priest Yu Cha, certainly these people have very high martial-art skills, but evil cannot vanquish good for a long period of time. At the end good will prevail, perhaps God has chosen your parents to exterminate these people of Island of heroes."

As he spoke these words Min Rou looked at him and both have same thought in their minds, they thought: "we are willing to give up our life to
do this important matter, but it actually for you. You were a crafty and evil person, lascivious in nature, defied and bullied your teachers and superiors. It is for you that we two people cannot show our face in the martial-art world and don’t have the courage to see in the eyes of our friends and foes in the realm of rivers and lakes. That’s why we want to go to Island of heroes, if we are not up to the task and fail and deliver our life for this cause it would be a great merit for the martial arts world. Perhaps they will think of us and no longer investigates your offense."

They wanted to save their son but obviously they couldn’t tell these things to Shi Potian.

Shi Potian hesitated for half of a day, said suddenly: "So my sworn brothers Zhang San and Li Si are the envoys of Island of heroes who give the bronze medals and invite people to eat ‘Eight meat gruel’?"

Shi Qing said: "certainly without doubt."

Shi Potian said: "But they are not the evil people, why were they willing to swear brotherhood with me?"

Shi Qing could not help to restrain himself, smiled and said: "At that time they fell for you’re stupid talks and consented to swear brotherhood, somehow got entangled and could dodge. I am sure they must have called false witnesses, you cannot take that seriously."

Shi Potian said: "what is false witness?"

Shi Qing said: "Zhang San and Li Si are not their actual name, in fact it is a fictious name, and they would have said Zhang San will die and Li Si will rot in hell all those kind of things, but if the name is false then obviously all the rest of promises and event are void."

Shi Potian said: "so that's how it is!"

He remembers those two people and thought of them as evil people and was unable to restrain his sadness, but thought that its possible that his father’s deductions are not incorrect.
He said: "Fine, next time when I will see them, I will ask them and confirm it."

Min Rou had kept silent by now, but she anxiously interrupted him and said: "Yu’er, if you see those people next time you should be extremely careful. These two people kill others without batting an eye, clearly they fight extremely skillfully, and are very good with strategies too, they can sneak attack, can use poison and are extremely ruthless and sinister."

Shi Qing said: "Yu’er, you must remember your mother's words. Let alone you are so upright honest, people hundred times smarter than you have met these two envoys and found it difficult running away from their violent treachery. Speaking of keeping guard, it is virtually impossible to guard against these two, as soon as you see them next time, should immediately make a move and kill them immediately, one who strikes the first blow has the advantage, even though you might manage to kill person, still it would be great service to the martial arts world to even get rid of one big evil."

Shi Potian said: "we swore brotherhood, they are my elder brothers, how can I kill those people."

Shi Qing sighed, he no longer said anything and thought that he wants his son to kill his sworn brothers; this kind of words cannot be said loudly.

Min Rou said with a smile: "senior brother, you said that my Yu’er is uprightly honest. Our child has seriously changed; anyway he was clever from his childhood, isn’t it?"

Shi Qing nodded, said: "Yes, he was clever, but then some people have been trying to use him to keep off the disaster and to help overcome difficulties. Yu’er, you may know that clan of eternal happiness were making you their chief, what was their intention?"

Shi Potian was originally not that stupid. It’s only that he had his childhood with his mother in a out-of-the-way place on a barren hill. In his youth, thanks to Xie Yanke he was leaving again away from civilization on the skyscraping cliff, two people spoke rarely so he knew nothing about the worldly affairs and human sentiment.
At this moment when he listened to Shi Qing hinting about some matter and immediately realized, he said quickly: "they wanted me to be their chief so they can send me to the island of heroes, is it possible that ......Is it possible that wants me to be the scapegoat?"

Shi Qing sighed and said: "Actually one should not judge people before knowing the entire truth, who can measure the heart of a person in the realm of rivers and lakes. But if not so, Clan of eternal happiness have numerous people with outstanding ability, how can they appoint a youth their chief, a person who is not even well versed in worldly affairs?

I guess that Clan of eternal happiness has been quite prosperous in recent years, they might have calculated that this time they will be getting the bronze medal invitation from Island of heroes depending on their increasing reputation, they might have decided that they will receive the invitation but will instead look for a person from outside the sect of some unknown origin and will make him their chief, this way they will be able to survive these ‘Command of reward and punishment’."

Shi Potian could not believe these and thought how it possible that people are unexpectedly so dangerous and vicious, but his father's thoughts too looked extremely fair and actually cannot help but believe him.

Min Rou also said: "Yu’er, the reputation of Clan of eternal happiness in the realm of rivers and lakes is not that good, although they insist that they had not done any evil but in fact they rely on their numerical advantage and superior skill to rob people and even commit murders if people don’t agree to support them.

Several people in the martial arts world really despise them. I think the actual chief of this sect is evil person and that’s why they have planned to rope in you as their chief and get away from the trap of ‘Command of reward punishment’, actually they arranged this plot, it’s not much of a surprise."

Shi Qing said: "To ask an outsider to take the fall is the most obvious thing they will do. Yu’er is actually the most appropriate candidate. He has forgotten about the past events, he is ignorant about these dangerous
disturbances in the martial-art world. It only that they did not expected that this little boy is from Xuan Su manor and son of Shi Qing and Min Rou. It was wishful thinking but we won’t let it happen."

As he was speaking he pressed the sword hilt, looks in the east direction, which was precisely the way to clan of eternal happiness."

Min Rou said: "It good that we already suspect their deceitful stratagem, but no need to worry about it yet. Yu’er has not yet received the bronze medal invitation, but senior brother what should we do now, what should be our next step?"

Shi Qing hesitated and said: "If we three people just go to Clan of eternal happiness and reveal this matter, not only they will get angry out of shame, maybe even resort to violence. We three people will be overwhelmed by sheer numbers; moreover several people in the martial arts world might make a testimony in their side, so again it will be difficult matter for Yu’er in future too."

Min Rou said: "South of Yangtze River, in Songjiang District, government officer silver halberd Elder brother Yang Guang loves to make friends and he is also our good friend. We should visit him and might ask him to come along with us to Clan of eternal happiness in official capacity, this way we can visit and pay out respects too."

Shi Qing said: "this idea is really good. In the area south of Yangtze river, we have several friends in the martial arts world too; at least they will give us husband and wife some face."

The personal connection of the Shi couple was extremely good in the martial arts world, for 20 years they were generous in aiding other people, faced difficultly themselves to help other people overcome their difficulties, not only that they were always busy helping someone but never asked others for help for any matter. They were sure that if they need help, they will definetly find people to help them so they decided to leave for Songjiang

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