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Phantoms’ Mountain Manor Chapter 5

CSI

Chapter 5 – No words to describe a painful situation

Yesterday was Hook’s seventieth birthday, and as he awoke today with a hangover, he suffered a splitting headache and rush of sexual adrenaline.

The first symptom indicated that he was already old.

Yesterday he’d only drunk forty jin of Shaoxing wine, but today his head hurt so much that he longed to take a sabre to it and split it apart.

Ten years ago, he’d had the record of downing eighty jin of Shaoxing wine in one night, and still be full of energy after four to six hours of rest; with one hand, he’d been able to snap the throats of twenty three of the thirty six Taixing Friends.

When he thought of that, he was full of hatred, hating heaven and earth, hating himself – why does a person like me have to grow old?

However, when he realized the second symptom, he felt comforted; at least one part of his anatomy was as rock-hard as the hook inserted up his right wrist.

How many seventy-year-olds could be as strong as he?

A pity there were very few women here, and even fewer who could catch his fancy.

In truth, there were only three he was attracted to, and these three damn women always enjoyed leading him along on purpose.

Especially that naughty and coy little fox, who had already promised him thrice to come to his room and made him wait in vain for three nights.

When he thought of that, he felt even angrier and wished he could grab that little fox right now and press her firmly down on the bed.

Thinking like this made him swell painfully; if he didn’t get some form of release today, he might die of suppression.

He was still entertaining thoughts of that little fox with her sweet smiles, and her cold as frost sister, along with that over-ripe Flower Widow…

He was about to stretch out his hand when suddenly someone knocked insistently on the door.

Only two or three people dared to knock on his door like this, it was either Housekeeper or Cousin.

Even though these two were his buddies, he still couldn’t help feeling rage well up within him.

When sexual desire is interrupted, it often turns into rage.

He pulled a thin blanket over himself and growled in a low voice: “Come in!”

Hands behind his back, Cousin stood outside the door, his shiny, fair-skinned face looking just like a freshly shelled egg.

Nobody could guess his age upon seeing that face.

He was always very proud of this point, sometimes even he forgot about his own age.

Hearing Hook’s angry growl, he just knew that this old bugger was experiencing stirrings of love.

With a smile, he pushed open the door and walked in. Seeing that hint of a bulge beneath the blanket, he grinned and said: “Looks like you’re in good shape today, should I pluck two leaves for you?”

“Shut your thieving eyes and stinky mouth,” Hook roared. “If I want to find girls, I’ll find them myself.”

“How many have you found?” Cousin asked.

Hook was even angrier as he leapt up and dashed over to Cousin and pressed the hook of his right hand up Cousin’s belly. Gnashing his teeth, he said: “Say one more word and I’ll rip your heart and intestines out.”

Cousin was not in the least afraid as he laughed merrily. “I’m not annoying you, in fact I want to cure your illness. See, you’ve gone all soft.”

Hook glared at him, but suddenly roared with laughter and released his hold. “You don’t have to get cocky either. Were it not for the men here outnumbering the women, your illness would be worse than mine.”

Cousin crossed over slowly and sat down in a chair by the window, said leisurely: “It’s a pity the number of men here is decreasing, there’s only maybe one who has caught my eye.”

“Would that be General?” Hook asked.

Cousin gave a cold laugh and shook his head. “He’s too old.”

“Is it Xiao Qing?”

“He’s got the looks but no substance.”

“Don’t tell me it’s Housekeeper?”

Cousin laughed again and said: “He’s an old lady himself. I’d be grateful if he leaves me alone.”

“So whom exactly are you referring to?”

“Lu Xiaofeng.”

“Lu Xiaofeng?” Hook yelped. “That Lu Xiaofeng with four eyebrows?”

Cousin narrowed his eyes and smiled. “Other than him, who else could tempt me?”

“How did he end up here?”

“It seems it’s because he had an affair with Ximen Chuixue’s wife.”

“Have you seen?” Hook asked.

“Only stole a few glances.”

“What is he like?”

Cousin’s eyes narrowed again and he said: “Of course he’s a real man, the cream of the crop.”

Hook had just sat down but he stood up again and walked barefoot to the window.

Outside, it was foggy and desolate.

Suddenly he turned his head around and stared at Cousin, said: “I want to kill him!”

Cousin jumped up too. “What did you say?”

“I said I want to kill him.”

“You want to kill people just because you’ve got no women?”

Hook’s fists clenched as he said: “He’s probably only thirty or thereabouts this year; I’m already seventy, but I’m confident I can definitely kill him!”

Seeing the expression on his face, anyone could tell his desire to shed blood was not only because he wanted to vent his anger, he also wanted to prove he was still young.

– This is most probably the reason why many old men desire young girls.
– However, they have forgotten something: youth may be glorious, but old age has its fun side too.

A Western sage once said something that the elderly should take note:
– The passing of years is not a gradual process of decline; rather it is the fall from one plain to another. This might upset some, but when we stand up and realize that our bones are not broken and before our eyes is yet another splendid new world, with many wonders still for us to explore, might this not also be a beautiful thing?

Hook, of course, had not heard of this, and neither had Cousin.

He gazed at Hook’s expression and finally sighed, saying: “Fine, I’ll help you kill him, but you have to help me do him first.”

“Fine!” said Hook.

Suddenly, they heard someone laughing coldly from outside the door. “That’s all well and good, but a pity that both of you are too late.”

Following the laughter in was a tall, thin hunchbacked man with an eagle nose.

Cousin sighed again. “I just knew that you, Housekeeper, would come and poke your nose into our business.”

“I’m merely here to relay some news,” Housekeeper said.

“What news?” Hook cut in.

“That black dog has already gone to find Lu Xiaofeng, so even if he doesn’t succeed, there’s still General.”

Cousin was startled. “What has General prepared?”

“He’s prepared a Hongmen banquet[1] and is waiting for Lu Xiaofeng,” Housekeeper said.

The night was still the same, as were the fog and mountain valley.

But Lu Xiaofeng was feeling differently.

Strolling side by side with a sweet and intelligent girl was definitely more pleasant than following behind a dog.

Ye Ling glanced sideways at Lu Xiaofeng. “You seem happy.”

“At least I’m happier than just now,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“Because you know I won’t bite you?” Ye Ling asked.

“You’re also prettier than that dog,” Lu Xiaofeng said. “Prettier than any dog.”

Ye Ling laughed sweetly. “Am I only that little bit better?”

“Of course there are other merits,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

“Such as?”

“You can talk. I enjoy listening to you talk.”

Ye Ling batted her eyelids and said: “What do you like me to talk about? The secrets of this place?”

Lu Xiaofeng laughed.

One could attribute many meanings to his laughter, but denial was not part of it.

“Where do you want to start?” Ye Ling asked.

“How about we start from Hook?”

Ye Ling’s eyes widened and she stared at him in shock. “You know about Hook? How did you know?”

“Not only do I know of Hook, I also know of General, Cousin and Housekeeper,” Lu Xiaofeng replied leisurely.

Ye Ling crossed over to pluck a leaf from the tree and returned, then suddenly sighed and said: “You know too much. However, if you must ask, I can still tell you.”

“Then you’d better start from Hook,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“He’s a murderous one, and also a lusty wolf. The thing he most wants to do is to rip my pants apart and press me down on the bed.”

Lu Xiaofeng sighed and said: “Actually, you didn’t have to be so honest.”

Ye Ling widened those innocent eyes of hers and said: “I’ve always been an honest woman, and it so happens also one who understands men the best.”

Lu Xiaofeng sighed again and gave a forced smile. “What a coincidence, but I don’t want to hear how many men want to rip off your pants.”

Ye Ling batted her eyes and said: “If someone wants you to take off your trousers, would you want to listen?”

“That’s a pretty common thing,” Lu Xiaofeng laughed. “Not the first time I’ve encountered that.”

“If the person who wants you to take off your trousers is a man?”

“A man?” Lu Xiaofeng yelped.

Ye Ling said sweetly: “I was wrong. It’s not one man, it’s two.”

Lu Xiaofeng couldn’t even yell out. Only after a long while did he dare to ask: “Are they Cousin and Housekeeper?”

Ye Ling’s eyes widened again. “How did you know?”

Lu Xiaofeng gave a forced smile. “These two names sound rather perverse.”

“But the most frightening one isn’t either of them.”

“Oh?”

“Have you seen anyone who could tear apart a live bull into half?” Ye Ling asked.

“No,” Lu Xiaofeng shook his head immediately.

“Have you seen anyone shatter someone’s brains with just a mere finger?”

“No.”

“Well, you’ll see that soon.”

Lu Xiaofeng swallowed hard. “Do you mean General?”

“That’s right,” Ye Ling replied.

“He’s waiting for me too?”

“Not only that, but he’s getting annoyed at having waited for so long, so you’d better go find a huge pot first.”

“What do I need a pot for?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“To cover your head.”

General was standing on the high dais.

He stood at eight feet ten inches, weighed one hundred and seventy three jin, had broad shoulders and a deep chest, along with thighs thick as tree trunks. When he stretched his palms out, they were as large as palm-leaf fans. The calluses on his palms were over an inch thick, no matter how sharp the weapon, once in his hand he’d snap it instantly!

There was indeed a huge steel pot in front of him!

The steel pot rested on a stove, which was on the dais in the great hall.

The height of the great hall was 13.4 meters, while the dais’ height measured at seven feet, and over three feet for that of the steel pot.

The fire in the stove was burning merrily as meat cooked in the huge pot, its aroma was so fragrant that man and dog within a ten-mile radius would be attracted over.

When Lu Xiaofeng walked in, General was using a big wooden ladle to stir the meat in the pot.

He set down the ladle the moment he saw Lu Xiaofeng, glared at the latter and roared: “Lu Xiaofeng.”

The roar was like a thunderbolt from the sky, but Lu Xiaofeng didn’t even bat an eyelid and roared back: “General?”

“Are you coming or not?” General asked.

“I come,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

He really walked over, his strides larger than usual.

General glared at him and said: “There’s meat in the pot.”

“It’s meat,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“You eat meat?”

“Yes.”

“Eat a lot?”

“Lots.”

“Good, you eat!”

General handed the ladle over to Lu Xiaofeng, who took a full scoop of it.

One scoop was enough to fill a bowl of meat, sizzling hot meat.

Lu Xiaofeng wasn’t afraid of it being hot and finished it quickly. When he was done, he let out a breath and said: “Good meat.”

“Of course it is,” General said.

“You eat meat too?”

“Yes.”

“You eat a lot too?”

General snatched the ladle over and helped himself to a full scoop of meat, looked upwards and roared: “Good meat.”

“It is good meat,” Lu Xiaofeng agreed.

“You know what meat this is?” General asked.

“No.”

“You’re not afraid this is human flesh?”

“I’m afraid.”

“And you still want to eat it?”

“It’s better to eat others than to be eaten,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

General stared at him for a long time and said: “Fine, you eat!”

A scoop of meat filled a bowl, and a bowl of meat weighed one jin; Lu Xiaofeng ate another scoop.

General ate another scoop too, and he did as well.

In a short while, at least five jin of sizzling hot meat had gone down his stomach.

At the sixth scoop, General asked: “You can still continue?”

Lu Xiaofeng didn’t answer, but suddenly began doing somersaults, three-hundred and sixty of them at one go, then stood up to reply: “I can still eat.”

“Fine, let’s continue eating,” General said.

Lu Xiaofeng ate and ate, five somersaults per scoop of meat; after two thousand somersaults, he was still in good shape.

General, however, was startled. “Good somersaults.”

As soon as those words were said, a splitting sound could be heard as the belt around his tummy snapped into two.

“Can you still eat?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

General didn’t answer, but leapt off the high dais and seized the legs of the stove. The stove was made of raw bronze, and coupled with the steel pot on the stove, must have weighed at least five hundred to seven hundred jin!

He lifted it with just one hand, set it down, then lifted it, for a total of three hundred and sixty times before he set it down. Then he snatched over the ladle and said fiercely: “Watch.”

This time, he ate two scoops.

Lu Xiaofeng gazed at the ladle in his hand, seemingly dazed, but suddenly also seized the stove and raised it, then put it down for three hundred and sixty times, grabbed the ladle and ate two scoops of meat.

General’s eyes were stunned.

“More?” Lu Xiaofeng panted.

General gritted his teeth. “More!”

He took the ladle and shoved scoop by scoop down his throat, and again there was a clattering sound. This time it wasn’t his belt, but that the ladle had reached the bottom of the pot.

A scoop of meat was equivalent to one jin, and a pot of meat had at least thirty to fifty scoops, all swept clean by the both of them.

Lu Xiaofeng expelled a long breath as he smoothed over his protruding belly and said: “Good meat.”

“Of course it is,” General said.

“Although, no meat is better than having meat,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

General glared at him, but suddenly laughed loudly. “Much better.”

Both of them roared with laughter and suddenly fell down together, stretched out on the stone dais and still laughing.

There were still people standing below the dais, all with wide eyes and open mouths as they gazed at each other, unable to say anything.

Suddenly General said: “Your tummy hasn’t burst?”

“No,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“Couldn’t tell that such a small tummy could hold so much meat.”

“I ate one more scoop too,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“My scoops were bigger than yours,” General said.

“Not necessarily.”

General suddenly leapt up and glared at him.

Lu Xiaofeng still lay on the dais calmly.

“Stand up,” General said. “Let’s cook another pot and compete.”

“No need,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“You’re admitting defeat?”

“I’ve already won, why compete again? I’ve already triumphed, so why should I admit defeat?”

General glared at him, the veins on his forehead popping out, each green line thicker than most people’s.

Lu Xiaofeng said lightly: “So not only has your tummy burst, your head is swelling too.”

General’s fists clenched and his bones crackled like firecrackers; already at eight feet ten inches, he seemed to have grown an extra half feet.

It looked as though this man not only possessed innate superhuman strength, he’d also perfected his skills.

Lu Xiaofeng laughed instead. “You want to fight?”

General shut his mouth.

Now he’d concentrated all the strength within him, and if he spoke, all that strength would disperse.

Lu Xiaofeng said: “I’ve lost interest in eating meat, but fighting, I can still oblige.”

General suddenly bellowed and struck with his fist.

He’d stored up his energy for long and was just like the bow when drawn tight. The force of this fist was near unimaginable.

A flurry of noises ensued as the stove and pot toppled over, even the zhang-wide table and chairs had fallen down; the cutlery and lamps on the table had either smashed to the floor or crushed to bits on the table.

Lu Xiaofeng, too, had nearly been blown outside by the force of that fist, travelling over at least three or four long tables, over the heads of more than ten people, across more than ten zhang of the great hall, just like a kite with a string that had snapped.

Immediately, a burst of applause sounded in the great hall. General stood on the high dais looking even more majestic, awe-inspiring and domineering.

But at this moment, there was a “whoosh” sound and Lu Xiaofeng was back in front of him, a smile on his face as he said: “That blow really cooled me up, how about another one?”

General roared with rage and struck three times in quick succession.

His blows were not fancy or tricky, but every fist struck was solid and effective.

Although these three blows were not as powerful as the first one, they were far quicker than the first blow.

Lu Xiaofeng was once again blown off, but not to outside the hall; suddenly he somersaulted in the air and landed behind General.

General might be bulky but he was agile and his actions quicker. Feet apart, knees bent and arms akimbo, he shed his robe, pulled back as though he was shooting at the moon, and released another three blows in rapid succession.

These were the most basic of fist skills, but coming from him they were not blows that could be countered by ordinary people.

Fortunately, Lu Xiaofeng was not an ordinary person, indeed it would be impossible to find another Lu Xiaofeng in the world.

He darted aside in a flash and suddenly reached a hand out to grasp General’s elbow before ramming his head against General’s ribs.

He actually caused General’s one hundred and thirty-seven jin body stumbling backwards, almost falling off the high dais.

But Lu Xiaofeng was even more shocked.

He suddenly realized that this person possessed unusual strength; ramming his head against that body was like crashing into a stone wall and he was seeing stars.

And because he was dizzy and shocked, he laughed even louder, saying: “You lost again.”

“Rubbish,” General said.

“I almost knocked you down, you still won’t admit defeat?”

“What boxing skills did you use?”

“Head-boxing,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

“What sort of skill is that?”

“That’s a fighting skill. So long as the opponent is knocked down, any skill can be used.”

General laughed coldly. “I’ll see what else you can still use.”

He got back to the same stance and struck again, his blows coming thick and fast, purposely establishing an advantage for himself.

This time, as he gave free play to his skills, one could see the true depth of his power.

Lu Xiaofeng had no way of breaking through, not with the way this was evolving. Lu Xiaofeng seemed to have realized this point as well, so he abandoned attacking and retreated to one corner of the stone dais, suddenly bent over double and clutched his stomach: “I can’t, my stomach is hurting like crazy.”

In truth, he knew that even if he died of stomach pains, nobody would care.

General shot forward like an arrow, raining blows.

At the point where he leapt up, Lu Xiaofeng had already slipped under his legs like a fish, then pressed his hands to the floor and arched upwards, slamming his bum against the other’s.

General was already fully focused on the attack and could not withdraw the force exerted, so this time he was actually knocked off the dais by Lu Xiaofeng.

Lu Xiaofeng clapped his hands and laughed loudly. “You lost again.”

General’s face was red with fury, his lips trembling.

“Why don’t you ask me this time what sort of skill I used?”

General didn’t ask, didn’t open his mouth.

“It’s bum-boxing,” Lu Xiaofeng said. He smiled and continued: “Next time if you see someone using his bum in a fight, you’d better stay far away, because you would definitely not be his match.”

General roared again and struck out once more. This time his target was not a person, but the stone dais.

The dais, made of green stone, was now smashed to smithereens that scattered in all directions. He leapt up as well and struck the second blow while in mid-air.

While such a strike was powerful, it also easily exposed one’s weaknesses, and was actually best used against a weaker opponent.

Lu Xiaofeng was definitely not weaker than he, so this was a cautious move on his part because he knew Lu Xiaofeng couldn’t hold his balance.

Nobody could stand properly on that crumbling dais with all that crushed stone scattered about like darts. That also meant one could not strike properly and could only retreat and hide. No matter how one hid, one would be unable withstand being swept away by the force of his blows.

Although this move was extremely cautious, it was however a definite killer!

Lu Xiaofeng had not recovered from his injury and his body was still very weak; he would surely be unable to withstand General’s aggression.

He didn’t.

He could actually still retaliate, in circumstances that were completely unimaginable, he fought back.

General was vastly experienced and could decide battles in a very short time, and he’d been certain of victory.

A pity he had miscalculated this time.

Lu Xiaofeng was always unpredictable and always did things that people thought would be impossible to do.

Unique Lu Xiaofeng, unparalleled Lingxi Fingers.

His body suddenly flew up diagonally, used his index finger gently flick General’s fist and his middle finger to flick General’s chest.

What was the use of doing that against an iron fist that could smash the stone dais or a chest that couldn’t even be cut up with a steel sabre?

It worked.

Nobody could imagine the amount of power that went into these two finger flicks.

General roared, flew up, crashed down heavily on the heap of crushed stone.

There were still thirty six people in the great hall, all staring at Lu Xiaofeng, an odd expression in their eyes.

Lu Xiaofeng had a forced smile on his face.

He could only smile like that, because he knew that even if those people weren’t General’s friends, they’d now become his enemies.

When a newcomer comes to a foreign place and suddenly has thirty six enemies, it can’t have been a pleasant thing for anyone.

He could only hope General wasn’t too badly hurt.

When he turned his head around, General who had been lying on the crushed stone had disappeared.

He turned around again and saw a man clothed in grey making his way slowly towards the doorway; General was in this man’s arms.

Lu Xiaofeng’s sharp ears had not at all picked up where this man had materialized from, how he had managed to carry General away and reach the doorway.

Lu Xiaofeng was stunned.

The man in grey was already out of the door.

The thirty six people in the great hall had all stood up and followed him out slowly; nobody turned around to spare Lu Xiaofeng a glance, as though already regarding Lu Xiaofeng as a dead man.

No matter how pretty a corpse, nobody was willing to look at it even once.

Lu Xiaofeng also suddenly felt as though he was standing in a tomb, there was neither man nor noise, and although the lights were still there, the place seemed darker than darkness.

If you couldn’t see anything, not even a sliver of hope, what use is light to you?

He was still standing there dumbly after a long while, unmoving.

This was a foreign place, so where could he go?

He was on the path of no return, so where else could he go?

At this point, he saw a pair of eyes and a hand.

A small and fair hand, a pair of laughing eyes, and Ye Ling was at the doorway waving at him.

Lu Xiaofeng immediately crossed over.

Even if there were a thousand traps outside, a million ambushes waiting for him, he’d walk out without hesitation.

He’d suddenly realized that the despair and helplessness of being alone was infinitely worse than death.

There was nothing outside, only a person, a patch of darkness.

In the darkness, Ye Ling’s eyes seemed to shine like the first star rising from the Mid-Autumn night.

She gazed at Lu Xiaofeng and smiled, then suddenly said: “Congratulations.”

Lu Xiaofeng didn’t understand. “Why congratulate me?”

Ye Ling said: “Because you haven’t died. So long as one is alive, that is something worth congratulating.”

“I should have been dead?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Ye Ling nodded.

“And now?”

“Now at least you can live on in the Mansion of Spirits.”

Lu Xiaofeng expelled a breath and couldn’t help asking: “Who was that man in grey just now?”

“You couldn’t guess?”

“It was Old Sabre Honcho?”

Ye Ling’s expression shifted and she countered: “What kind of a man do you think he is?”

“A frightening one,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“What about his skills?”

“I couldn’t tell.”

“Even you couldn’t tell.”

Lu Xiaofeng sighed. “Precisely because I couldn’t figure it out, so it’s frightening.”

“What kind of a person do you think Old Sabre Honcho should be?”

“A very scary one, of course!”

Ye Ling laughed and said: “Then he should be Old Sabre Honcho, so you needn’t have asked.”

Lu Xiaofeng was smiling too, but it wasn’t pleasant at all.

It couldn’t be a good feeling for a highly-skilled martial artist as he to discover that there was someone whose skills far surpassed his.

Ye Ling’s expression grew somber and she said coldly: “You got into a fight on your first day here. He would have killed you but for someone pleading on your behalf, otherwise you’d have died twice.”

“Who pleaded for me?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Ye Ling pointed at her own nose. “It’s me.”

Lu Xiaofeng sighed again. “Of course it’d be you, I knew that.”

Ye Ling smiled merrily. “Since you know, how do you plan to repay me?”

Lu Xiaofeng smiled and said: “I plan to bite off your nose.”

Ye Ling stared at him and suddenly leapt up. “Scram, buzz off back to your dog hole and don’t come out until the bell tolls.”

“That’s what Old Sabre Honcho said?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“Mm.”

“So can I see him?”

“No.”

She made a face and said: “But when he wants to meet you, you won’t be able to get out of it.”

Lu Xiaofeng sighed and said: “Actually it’s not bad to get some rest in the house, but it’s a bit hard since there’s no food.”

“You have food, three meals a day, six dishes and soup. Take your pick.”

“I can order tomorrow’s menu?”

“You can.”

“I want to eat braised pork shanks, yellow lamb stew, Sanxian duck, fried tofu dumplings, prawns in black ginseng, five-plum pigeon, and a bowl of cucumber and meatball soup.”

Ye Ling gazed at him oddly, as though feeling puzzled.

“Well, these are good dishes,” Lu Xiaofeng explained. “So what’s so strange about that?”

“I’m just curious about one thing,” Ye Ling said.

“Oh?”

“I’m wondering why you don’t want to eat my nose?”

The lights had gone out.

Lu Xiaofeng lay in the darkness; this was his first night in the Mansion of Spirits.

He’d only been here half a day, but had encountered many strange and frightening things, and many odd and scary people.

Especially the Soul Collector and Old Sabre Honcho, these two were so highly-skilled it was beyond imagination.

He was still alive now, but what about the future?

Who knows how many more dark, lonely and scary nights he would have to endure?

He didn’t want to think anymore.

He suddenly felt an unspeakable kind of dread…

[1] Hongmen banquet (鸿门宴, hong2 men2 yan4): a dinner party intended to kill the guests. Hongmen (鸿门) is located in modern day Xi’an, Shaanxi province. In BC 206, Xiang Yu’s armies marched into Hongmen to eliminate Liu Bang. After mediation by Xiang Yu’s uncle Xiang Bo, Liu Bang personally went to Hongmen to meet Xiang Yu, who threw a banquet in his honor. At the banquet, Xiang Yu’s adviser Fan Zeng ordered Xiang Zhuang (Xiang Yu’s cousin) to assassinate Liu Bang, under the guise of performing a sword dance. Xiang Bo realized the danger and joined the sword dance to protect Liu Bang. Later on, Liu Bang escaped back to his camp on the pretext of going to the latrine. 鸿门宴 is later used to refer to a trap or a situation ostensibly joyous but in fact treacherous.

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