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The Phoenix Dances in the Nine Heavens Chapter 16


Chapter 16 – Back on the Island

The Old Fox’s happiness did not last very long.

Because when they reached the place where they met the storm last time, Lu Xiaofeng got onto the little boat alone, bringing a bottle of fresh water and a pouch of dry rations, and rowed the boat away.

This time they did not meet any storm. Lu Xiaofeng decided to go alone, letting the little boat drifted on the wave.

He remembered when he was on the island, the little old man told him, “It was also because of this warm current that you could come here.”

Therefore, he continually put his hand into the water to feel the water temperature.

He had already tested the water 276 times, but the water was still cold, not warm at all.

He started to get anxious.

He started to doubt whether he could drift to the island following the current.

He started to regret, regretting the fact that he repeatedly forbade Sha Man from coming with him.

If Sha Man were by his side, why would he care about drifting on the current? Why would he care about where they were drifting? It would be best if they could drift to the end of the world, drift to a blessed country, drift to the legendary Penglai[1], the island of the immortals.

He longed to have Sha Man by his side.

The sun was so bright, the sea was so blue, the waves rocked the boat up and down, occasionally rippled into a flash of silver.

If Sha Man was by his side, this would be a very beautiful setting!

Sha Man! Sha Man! Did he really love Sha Man?

He laughed.

By this time, has the Old Fox’s ship returned to port?

Sha Man was on the Old Fox’s ship. Was she thinking about him too? Did she tell Xiao Yu that she missed him? Or probably she was joking around with Honest Monk?

Thinking about Honest Monk, Lu Xiaofeng sat up immediately.

What if Honest Monk was not really honest?

‘Slap! Slap!’ It was the sound of Lu Xiaofeng slapping himself left and right.

Could Honest Monk be dishonest? Perhaps he would swindle other people, but could Lu Xiaofeng doubt him? Didn’t he rescue Lu Xiaofeng and Sha Man?

Lu Xiaofeng raised his palm again, ready to give himself two more slaps, when suddenly he stopped his hand midair.

Because he saw a faint grey small dot ahead.

Lu Xiaofeng’s heart jumped. Was that the island he went last time?

Stars. The sky was full of stars. Twinkling stars. Bright and clear stars. Gazing at stars from the ocean was indeed a very pleasant thing.

Of course, if Sha Man was around, it would be even better.

However, Lu Xiaofeng had no regret at all.

Because, before sunrise, he had to be clear about one thing.

One thing pertaining to Yue Yang, pertaining to the Little Old Man, pertaining to Gong Jiu, pertaining to Beef Soup, pertaining to the missing treasure, pertaining to the 103 missing Wulin’s martial art masters.

When he was approaching the edge of solution to a problem, Lu Xiaofeng’s action has always been that of a man of character.

— The issue at hand, he could not afford to put down.

— The most important things was: he was able to be unruffled by sentiment, he was able to relinquish love.

It was the character of a real hero.

In the face of the enemy, if one was still wishy-washy, still reluctant to leave feelings and romantic love behind, one would definitely suffer defeat in the hands of the enemy.

Lu Xiaofeng had been undefeated.

Lu Xiaofeng would only talk about love when it’s time to talk about love. He only made love when it’s time to make love.

And now it’s time to analyze the situation of the enemy.

Therefore, although Sha Man was not by his side, Lu Xiaofeng did not have any regret.

He thought about the 103 missing people.

These 103 people must be on the island; however, they must have lost their ability to move.

When one can only drink a spoon of beef soup every day, can their hands and feet still have the strength to move?

Beef Soup treated them like that, for what reason?

Why didn’t she just go ahead and kill them?

Letting them struggling on whilst at the death’s door, what was her purpose?

He thought about that thirty-five million taels worth of gold, pearls and jewels.

What a huge sum!

Such a big robbery!

It was very clear that the mastermind behind this heist must be the Little Old Man.

Yue Yang was just a small pawn whose role was to escort the transport of the treasure. In his robbery, he was not a significant player.

There were only two significant players.

The Little Old Man and Gong Jiu.

The Little Old Man was the mastermind, Gong Jiu was the operator.

Relying on the cloud of martial art masters on the island, robbing this treasure was not a difficult matter at all.

However, the most important issue was not that.

The most important issue was: who killed Cui Cheng?

Lu Xiaofeng suddenly recalled something.

Something that the Little Old Man said.

— There was only one way to kill.

— After the killing, not only the killer must be able to get away, he must not leave any trace at all. Therefore, although there are many tools that can be used in murder, there is absolutely only one proper method to do it.

— This not only required great skill, it also required an extremely precise planning, enormous intelligence and great patience.

Was the Little Old Man Cui Cheng’s killer?

He couldn’t be.

The Little Old Man did not need to act personally.

Was it Gong Jiu?

He ought to be. But … how did he kill Cui Cheng?

Outside Cui Cheng’s secret room, there were five layers of tightly guarded iron gates. Those with free access to his room were only Cheng Zhong and Xiao Hongzu.

Did Gong Jiu bribe Cheng Zhong and Xiao Hongzu?

It was possble.

But why did when they enter the secret room, Cheng Zhong and Xiao Hongzu were already dead?

They couldn’t possibly kill themselves!

Moreover, the four walls of the room were blocks of granite. Not only the iron doors were guarded day and night, they were fitted with large padlocks manufactured by famous craftsmen.

Such a tight security, who could enter and kill?

Even the Little Old Man could not enter!

Only one kind of men can go in!

The invisible men!

That’s right, an invisible man!

Lu Xiaofeng was excited! He knew that only the Little Old Man knew how these people can be invisible. Therefore, his first order of business tomorrow morning was to find the Little Old Man.

Right now, he only needed plenty of sleep.

The morning sun was rising.

Sunshine pierced Lu Xiaofeng’s eyes. He stood up, stretched out his muscles and bones, and felt that he had slept very well last night. This morning he was in great spirits.

He started by walking toward the vine-covered cliff. Pushing aside the vines, he entered the small path, and walked along the grassy ground.

Green grass, running water, everything was the same as the last time. Except one.

— There was no Yue Yang meeting him this time. Not only there was no Yue Yang, he did not see not even a human shadow.

Quiet. Extraordinarily quiet.

Amidst the gurgling sound of water, Lu Xiaofeng could almost hear the sound of the grass growing and the flowers blooming.

“Quiet enough to hear the sound of the grass growing and the flowers blooming, isn’t it?”

Lu Xiaofeng jumped in fright.

He turned around and saw the person speaking.

Still with a round face, half-bald head, his face still had that kind of kind and gentle smile, his body still wore that kind of high-quality clothing.

— The Little Old Man.

Lu Xiaofeng looked at the Little Old Man and said with a smile, “Do you always appear abruptly like that?”

The Little Old Man said, “Last time you were on this island and saw all those things; do you think that was very strange?”

“Extremely strange,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

“Isn’t this island very mysterious?” the Little Old Man asked.

“Very mysterious,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

“I am the master of this island,” the Little Old Man said.

“Therefore,” Lu Xiaofeng said, “By rights, you should be able to reveal the mystery?”

“Absolutely right,” the Little Old Man replied.

“This time I am back on the island, do you know what my purpose is?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“Of course I do,” the Little Old Man replied, “You have a lot of questions, and you need me to give you answers.”

“Will you give me the answers?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“What do you think?” the Little Old Man asked.

“You will,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“Why?” the Little Old Man asked.

Lu Xiaofeng said, “Based on your martial art skill, based on your intelligence, you should not need to conceal anything.”

“You are very right,” the Little Old Man said, “But I also have another hope.”

“What hope?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“I hope this time you come back here to tell me one thing,” the Little Old Man said.

“What is it?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“That you agree to join me in this line of business,” the Little Old Man replied.

“Then I’ll have to disappoint you,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“I know,” the Little Old Man said.

“How do you know?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

The Little Old Man said, “Because you come back alone.”

“Oh?” Lu Xiaofeng said.

The Little Old Man said, “If you were willing to join me in this business, you would bring Sha Man back. But you did not.” With a slight disappointment on his face, he continued, “I hope that my disappointment is temporary.”

“In regard to your disappointment,” Lu Xiaofeng said, “I am so sorry that I cannot give you any promises.”

The Little Old Man nodded, “I know,” he said.

“You do?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

The Little Old Man said, “Because you are not someone else, you are Lu Xiaofeng. Lu Xiaofeng always put his promise in the highest regard.”

In his heart Lu Xiaofeng was thrilled. If it were some other people appreciating him, he would not give it too much thought. But this incomparably extraordinary talent, the Little Old Man, said those words, how could Lu Xiaofeng not be happy?

The Little Old Man said, “You were able to escape Gong Jiu’s attack on the ship, I believe that your intelligent is absolutely higher than mine. I am convinced that in the case of those stolen treasure, you must already have a lot of clues.”

“I only know one thing,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“Which one?” the Little Old Man asked.

“That you are the mastermind behind this heist,” Lu Xiaofeng replied, “Those missing treasures and the missing people are all on this island.”

“You’re only half-right,” the Little Old Man said.

“Which half?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“The first half,” the Little Old Man replied.

Lu Xiaofeng was shocked. “You mean, treasures and people are no longer on the island?” he said.

“That’s right,” the Little Old Man said.

“Gong Jiu already removed the treasures and the people back?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

The Little Old Man said, “People, Gong Jiu has other ideas. Treasures, he can always spend it.”

“How can one person spend that much?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“Not one person, a lot of persons,” the Little Old Man replied.

Lu Xiaofeng suddenly realized, “No wonder there is no one remains in here,” he said, “Turns out they all left to spend the money.”

“Therefore,” the Little Old Man said, “In my mind, my ideal successor, there is only one.”

“Who?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“You!” the Little Old Man said.

“Why only me?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

The Little Old Man replied, “Because they all won’t be content with solitude. People who love to eat, to drink, to play and to make commotion are very easy to fall under other people’s control.”

“Based on what you said,” Lu Xiaofeng said, “Aren’t those people ideal?”

“They are,” the Little Old Man replied, “But I also like solitude.”

“Because you can’t find people who meet your work ethic and be the leader of your people?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“And that’s why I like you very much,” the Little Old Man said.

Lu Xiaofeng smiled, but he did not respond.

“Concerning this heist, what questions do you have for me?” the Little Old Man asked.

Lu Xiaofeng said, “Based on your manpower and their martial art skills, I know that stealing these treasures was a piece of cake. Therefore, I only have one question I don’t have the answer.”

“What problem?” the Little Old Man asked.

“Cui Cheng’s death,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

The Little Old Man laughed and said, “Do you remember what I told you about the invisible man?”

Lu Xiaofeng nodded. “What I mean is,” he said, “The man who killed Cui Cheng, how did he become invisible?”

The Little Old Man did not answer.

Lu Xiaofeng did not press either.

Lu Xiaofeng knew that people like the Little Old Man, if he was willing to tell the answer, he would not give it any consideration and would just answer it. If he was not willing to answer, no matter how you ask, he would not give you the answer.

Therefore, he stayed with the Little Old Man, drinking and chatting.

The boat slowly departed, Lu Xiaofeng stood on the aft, watching his clothes and sleeves fluttering in the sea breeze.

[1] Penglai, one of the three fabled islands in Eastern sea, abode of immortals, fairyland.

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