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The Phoenix Dances in the Nine Heavens Chapter 10

CSI

Chapter 10 – Aware of imminent death

Xiao Yu laughed. She seemed to forget that pair of scary hands already.

But Lu Xiaofeng let her go. With a deliberate straight face he said, “Indeed you cannot tell lies. I don’t like you.”

Xiao Yu looked at him; she rolled her eyes, and suddenly said, “You think I was really scared that you might like me?”

“You aren’t scared?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Xiao Yu shook her head; she said unhurriedly, “I told you all those things, it was because I can’t tell lies to begin with.”

Lu Xiaofeng guffawed.

The sun had just risen, illuminating her apple-like face, it also illuminated her nicely budding breasts.

Lu Xiaofeng laughed and said, “Whether you are telling the truth or not, you’d better put on your clothes now.”

Xiao Yu blinked. She said, “You have looked at me anyway, why should I put on my clothes?”

She untied the dark green turban on her head, letting her jet-black, soft and shiny long hair fell loose. Turning toward the sun, she said, “I have never basked in the sun here, I really want to strip naked and have a full-body sunbathing.”

The sun was shining bright, the sea was deep blue; to be able to strip naked and bathing in the sun was a delightful thing indeed. But Lu Xiaofeng cried out, “You must not do that!”

“Why?” Xiao Yu asked.

Lu Xiaofeng said, “Because … because I am a wolf [i.e. lecher].”

Xiao Yu said, “I am not afraid of wolf, could it be that the wolf is afraid of me?”

Lu Xiaofeng sighed and said, “The wolf is not afraid of you, but the wolf is afraid that he himself might …”

He has not finished this sentence when suddenly his countenance changed, because he suddenly discovered that water has entered the bottom of the boat.

“Can you swim?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“I can’t,” Xiao Yu replied.

“This time it looks like we are finished,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“What do you mean finished?” Xiao Yu asked.

Lu Xiaofeng said, “That Gong Zhu [see Chapter 9] of yours, not only she wanted to kill me, she wanted to kill you to close your mouth as well.”

“I know,” Xiao Yu drily said.

“You do?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Xiao Yu said, “She bored two holes at the bottom of this boat and sealed them with wax. Soaked in seawater, the wax dissolves, seawater bubbling up, then this boat will sink.”

Lu Xiaofeng cried out; he said, “Since you already knew it, why do you still want to ride on this boat?”

Xiao Yu said, “Because I have been wondering for a long time, how does it feel to drown in the sea?”

Lu Xiaofeng was dumbstruck. He had never imagined that this little girl, who appeared very clever and quick-witted, was actually a muddle-headed little ‘muddled egg’.

Xiao Yu said, “I know that in your heart right now you are cursing me as little ‘muddled egg’. Actually, if you did not meet me, you would still be drowning in the sea. And now you have someone to accompany you; what’s not good about it?”

With a wry smile Lu Xiaofeng said, “I just have a little regret.”

“What is it?” Xiao Yu asked.

“I regret that just now I did not like you for real,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

Xiao Yu blushed; but she could not help giggling.

Lu Xiaofeng stared at her. “What are you laughing at?”

Xiao Yu did not answer. She fished out a large lump of yellow wax from a board on the bow, and cut it into two-halves, kneaded the wax until it turned soft, and used it to plug the holes at the bottom of the boat. “When this wax dissolves, what are we going to do?” she muttered to herself.

“I don’t know,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“I know,” Xiao Yu said, “I have prepared seventeen, eighteen pieces of wax like this.”

Lu Xiaofeng was pleasantly surprised. “Turns out you are not a little ‘muddled egg’, but a little fox,” he said.

Xiao Yu made an exaggerated sigh and said, “Although I want to know what it feels like to drown in the sea, but I have never had anybody like me; if I die without rhyme or reason, don’t you think I’d die in vain?”

Lu Xiaofeng roared in laughter and said, “If that Gong Zhu of yours see you back alive and well, I wonder if she will be scared to death?”

“She won’t,” Xiao Yu said.

“How do you know that she won’t?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Xiao Yu said, “Because each time she sends me to do something for her, she always tries to kill me to shut my mouth; too bad each time I did not die. Each time she sees me back alive and well, she seems to be very happy instead, because she knows that she can send me to do something else for her.”

“Since you knew that she always tries to kill you, why do you keep doing things for her?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Xiao Yu sighed. “Because if I don’t,” she said, “I will die for real very quickly.”

Lu Xiaofeng also could not help sighing. To be together with that Honeybee, it was really not easy to keep on living. He knew that when he was back on the island, the Honeybee would definitely come after him. He can’t even think of a place to hide.

Xiao Yu stared at him. Suddenly she said, “You are a good man.”

Lu Xiaofeng laughed. “Finally; your vision is indeed not bad,” he said.

Xiao Yu said, “Although your two strips of moustache that look like your eyebrows are a bit annoying, but all in all you cannot be considered ugly.”

Lu Xiaofeng said, “When you grow up a bit, I can’t say for sure, but you might like my moustache.”

Xiao Yu sighed again. She said, “Too bad you are Lu Xiaofeng.”

“What’s so bad about me being Lu Xiaofeng?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Xiao Yu said, “If you are not Lu Xiaofeng, I will definitely marry you. Even becoming your little concubine, I don’t care.”

Lu Xiaofeng said, “So I am Lu Xiaofeng, why can’t you marry me?”

“Because I don’t want to be a widow,” Xiao Yu said.

“Marrying Lu Xiaofeng becomes a widow?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Xiao Yu sighed and said, “That Gong Zhu of mine is intent on taking your life, Ninth Young Master also does not necessarily want you to keep on living. If I married you, perhaps not even three days I would already become a widow.”

Noon.

The skiff finally reached the shore. The two of them were so tired that their muscles were weary and their strength exhausted; they lay down on the beach like dead people.

Nobody knows how much time has passed. Suddenly Xiao Yu said, “Being a widow seems to be fun.”

“It’s not fun,” Lu Xiaofeng said, “Not fun at all.”

“It’s fun,” Xiao Yu insisted, “It must be very fun.”

“Why?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Xiao Yu said, “Sooner or later a woman must get married. After she got married she’ll have a husband. But a widow does not. If one can live a free and easy life, with nobody to mind her business, and she can even steal someone else’s husband, won’t that be very fun?”

Lu Xiaofeng was dumbstruck again. In all honesty he has never imagined that this little girl could have this kind of thought. That being a widow was very fun, this was the first time he had ever heard such concept.

“Why don’t you say anything?” Xiao Yu asked, “Don’t you think what I said makes a lot of sense?”

With a bitter laugh Lu Xiaofeng said, “Turns out not only you are a little fox, you are a little ‘muddled egg’ as well.”

Xiao Yu laughed. “But don’t you worry,” she said, “This little ‘muddled egg’ does not wish to marry you, a big ‘muddled egg’.”

She sprang up and said, “I want to go home, what about you?”

“I …” Lu Xiaofeng said. He was unable to continue, because he really did not know where to go.

He was not afraid that someone would harm him, he was used to this kind of thing long ago. But today was the day Sha Man got married. To have him watch Sha Man was married to another man, he really cannot bear it.

Wave after wave came crashing onto the beach; he suddenly realized that this was the beach he first landed on this island.

Xiao Yu asked, “Are you going to come with me or not?”

Lu Xiaofeng said, “I have a very nice house around here, do you want to see?”

“You are lying,” Xiao Yu said, “I don’t like men who lie.”

“I also have a friend waiting for me in that house,” Lu Xiaofeng said, “His belly is big, not only he is very fun, he never tell lies either.”

Xiao Yu doubled over in laughter. She said, “Turns out not only you can tell lies, you can toot your horn really loud as well. There are all kinds of men in the world, but men who don’t lie, I have never seen any.”

Lu Xiaofeng said, “If you don’t believe me, why not see for yourself?”

“Alright,” Xiao Yu said, “Going is going, what’s the big deal? Besides …” She puckered her lips and laughed, and then continued, “Besides, I am not afraid of you, it is you who are scared of me.”

The spring was still bubbling with fresh water, his straw hut was still standing unharmed like before. There are actually a lot of things on this earth that is never going to change.

Xiao Yu doubled over in laughter again. “Is this your very nice house?” she asked.

Lu Xiaofeng said, “This house is pleasantly cool and airy. Tell me, which part of it is not nice?”

“Very … very … very shameful,” Xiao Yu said.

Lu Xiaofeng guffawed. He pulled Xiao Yu’s hand and took her inside. The big-bellied Buddha Maitreya was still lying on its place, his mouth was still smiling wide.

“And this must be your friend?” Xiao Yu asked.

“You think he can tell lies?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“He can’t,” Xiao Yu replied.

“Therefore, I did not lie to you,” Lu Xiaofeng said. Stooping down, he patted the Buddha Maitreya’s belly, and said with a laugh, “Good friend, I knew that you will definitely wait for me here. Not only you can’t tell lies, you won’t sell out your friend either.”

The Buddha Maitreya looked at him with a grin; suddenly he said, “But I can bite.”

The sound was coming from the Buddha Maitreya’s mouth. Lu Xiaofeng was really shocked. Since when can this Buddha Maitreya speak?

The Buddha Maitreya suddenly sighed and said, “Not only I can bite, I can also tell lies.”

Suddenly Lu Xiaofeng jumped up, he grabbed the Buddha Maitreya and lifted him up. He was jumping up and down and laughing at the same time.

Xiao Yu looked at him in shock; she thought he was sick.

Lu Xiaofeng was indeed sick, the disease of happiness. Of course Buddha Maitreya cannot talk, but the person hiding inside him can. Lu Xiaofeng could hear this person’s voice clearly.

This person was Sha Man.

Sha Man’s face was still pale. Although she appeared more haggard than before, her eyes were shining with joy.

Lu Xiaofeng stared blankly at her. Nobody knew for how long. Finally he said, “How can you be here?”

Sha Man winked. She said, “You can come to my house, why can’t I come to your house?”

Lu Xiaofeng laughed and said, “Of course you can come; you can come any time, it’s just that …”

He suddenly felt sick in his stomach again. “Today you are not supposed to be here,” he continued.

“Why?” Sha Man asked.

Lu Xiaofeng wanted to force a laugh, but he simply could not laugh. “Isn’t today the day you are getting married?” he asked.

Sha Man chuckled. “Didn’t I just tell you?” she said, “Not only I can bite, I can also tell lies.”

Lu Xiaofeng was dumbstruck.

Xiao Yu could not resist from interrupting, “Now I understand why you like a girl who can tell lies, it is because you like Miss Man.” She winked, and then continued, “And now the two of you can really like each other, but I have to go. Otherwise, I am afraid you might catch up with me.”

This little girl was very tactful. As soon as she said she wanted to leave, she just left. Of course this time Lu Xiaofeng did not try to hold her back.

When Xiao Yu was out of their sight, Sha Man asked, “The two of us can really like each other; what did she mean by that?”

Lu Xiaofeng replied, “Exactly like this.” And then he suddenly pounced forward, wrapped his arms around her, and the two of them rolled around on the soft leaves.

The sea breeze was warm and moist, the waves gently lapped the beach, gentle and tender, just like a lover’s breath.

But their breathing was not as gentle and tender as the sea breeze. Their breathing was short, and rapid. Just like the beating of their hearts.

— Why did you lie? Why did you kick me out?

— Because I wanted to test you, but I knew that you would come back.

These questions, they did not need to ask, neither did they need to answer. There was no need to explain anything.

What they were doing right now was the best explanation. In the deepest part of the hearts of two people who loved each other, there has never been any explanation better than this.

The sea breeze was still as gentle as before, their breathing has become as gentle and tender as the sea breeze. This tiny thatched hut was their palace. In their palace, there was only peace, only love. All the cruel, evil things in the world, seemed to be very distant, very far away from them.

But they were wrong. Just then, their palace – the Palace of Love, suddenly collapsed; the roof fell on top of their bodies.

Lu Xiaofeng did not move. Sha Man did not move either. They were still embracing each other tightly, as if even the sky fell down on them, crushing them, they did not care. Because they have found the one thing that their hearts desired the most – real passion, real love.

They have satisfied the other’s desire. They did not even seem to hear the voice outside.

Actually, it was not that they did not hear it, but they did not wish to hear. It was the voice that they did not wish to hear the most. Because for them, there was nothing more unpleasant to hear than the sound of Beef Soup’s laughter.

The sound from the outside right now was exactly the sound of Beef Soup’s cold laughter.

Not only Beef Soup was sneering, she was also talking. The thing that she said was even sharper, even more ear-piercing, than the sound of her cold laughter. Not only that, she even clapped her hands!

“Wonderful! Marvelous! If your martial art skills are half as good as what you have just done, absolutely nobody would be able to stand.”

Finally Lu Xiaofeng sighed; with one hand he pushed aside the straw roof on top of their bodies.

Beef Soup was standing above their heads, looking at him. Her eyes were brimming with hatred and jealousy.

“How are you?” Lu Xiaofeng asked. [Translator’s note: in Chinese ‘how are you?’ is ‘ni hao’ – are you well?’]

“I am not good,” Beef Soup replied.

Lu Xiaofeng laughed. “Now that’s a true statement, you are indeed not a good person.”

Beef Soup’s cold laugh suddenly turned into an enchanting smile. “I just want an honest answer from you.”

“What is it?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Beef Soup said, “In this kind of thing, am I better, or is she better?”

“The two of you cannot be compared,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

“Why?” Beef Soup asked.

“Because there are two ways to do this kind of thing,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

“Which two?” Beef soup asked.

Lu Xiaofeng replied, “One is as human, the other is as beasts.”

Beef Soup’s enchanting smile turned into a cold laugh. “And if the human died after that?” she said.

Lu Xiaofeng said, “I remember someone said that ten thousand dead people can’t be compared to one live b1tch.”

“It must be a very smart person who said that,” Beef Soup said.

“Whether you are a human or a b1tch, maybe I am not too clear myself,” Lu Xiaofeng said, “I only know one thing.”

“What is it?” Beef Soup asked.

“That we are still alive, at least right now we are still alive,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

“For how much longer?” Beef Soup asked.

Lu Xiaofeng said, “As long as we can live one day, it will be better than you living for ten thousand years.”

“You are wrong,” Beef Soup said.

“Oh?” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Beef Soup said, “Perhaps the two of you can still live a day and a half.”

“Oh?” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Beef Soup said, “This is a very big island.”

“Oh?” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Beef Soup said, “In our estimate, there are at least 5,700 places where you can hide yourself.”

“Oh?” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Beef Soup said, “As long as you can hide for 18 sichen [36 hours], then you might be able to live for 180 years.” With a cold laugh she added, “Too bad that you won’t be able to hide.”

“Why?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Beef Soup said, “Because the two of you are already considered two ants, he will be able to find you and squish you dead within half a sichen [1 hour].”

“Is it he? Or you?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“He,” Beef Soup replied.

“And by ‘he’ you mean your Ninth Brother?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“Certainly is,” Beef Soup replied.

Her eyes were brimming with conceit, “He is even willing to give you half a sichen advantage,” she said.

“How?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Beef Soup said, “Starting from now, in half a sichen he will absolutely not run after you.”

“Absolutely not?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Beef Soup said, “Whatever he says, each word is like a nail on the wall, one nail one small hole.”

“I believe you,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Beef Soup said, “Even if you don’t, at least the person who has just slept by your side should believe.”

Suddenly her voice became very gentle and soft, “Because I seem to remember she has also slept by my Ninth Brother’s side.”

Lu Xiaofeng was not offended at all.

If there is complete trust between two people who have real feeling and real love to each other, there is nothing in the world worth their feeling offended.

But if you said that Lu Xiaofeng was not mad at all, that is also not a true statement. At least his countenance has changed somewhat.

Beef Soup was laughing. Lu Xiaofeng said, “Is that all you wanted to tell me?”

Beef Soup nodded. Lu Xiaofeng said, “And now I have heard it all.”

“Have you heard every word clearly?” Beef Soup asked.

“Every word,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

“Do you want to bet with me?” Beef Soup asked.

“Bet what?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“I want to bet than in less than three sichen [6 hours], Ninth Brother will be able to find you,” Beef Soup said.

“And then he’ll squish me dead like squishing an ant?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“Exactly right,” Beef Soup replied.

The sea breeze was as gentle as before, their breathing was just as gentle, but their mood was totally different.

Gong Jiu’s [‘jiu’ means nine] sword, Gong Jiu’s method of killing people, naturally Sha Man knew a lot better than Lu Xiaofeng.

But right now, the matter she had in mind was nothing to do with Gong Jiu.

She was thinking about what Beef Soup was saying a moment ago.

— In this kind of thing, am I better, or is she better?

Up to this moment, unexpectedly she was still drinking vinegar [i.e. jealous].

Actually, it was not surprising at all.

No matter when, if you want a woman’s life, it is not a difficult matter at all, but if you want a woman not to drink vinegar, then you can simply keep on dreaming.

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