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The Phoenix Dances in the Nine Heavens Chapter 12

CSI

Chapter 12 – Monk’s magic trick

Lu Xiaofeng was dumbstruck. Sha Man’s hands felt icy-cold.

They immediately realized that that was the only chance for them to escape from this place.

A lost opportunity, never to come again.

Honest Monk sighed again and said, “Two little chicks, one bald donkey [derogatory term for Buddhist monk], if all of us die in here, then …”

He suddenly closed his mouth. Lu Xiaofeng sprang up. Although Sha Man did not move, her heart was pounding; it was pounding really fast.

They heard the sound of footsteps outside the door, like the footsteps of five or six people.

The footsteps were coming toward this room. Soon they could see light penetrating the cracks on the door; the light was getting brighter and brighter.

Lu Xiaofeng flashed toward the chest, lifting the lid, he said in the lowest possible voice, “Hide inside.”

Sha Man fled into the chest, and then he himself entered in before gently putting the lid down.

Just then, the door opened.

He heard the sound of the opening door, he also heard footsteps coming in; altogether there were five people.

The first to speak was a woman. Her voice was harsh, “Who told you to bring this chest here?”

Lu Xiaofeng’s heart jumped. He could hear clearly that this voice belonged to Xiao Yu.

Xiao Yu herself was not infuriating, but what she said was really infuriating.

“It was Miss Man.”

Naturally the man who replied was one of the two men who brought the chest in a moment ago.

“Miss Man?” Xiao Yu laughed coldly, “Are you obeying the Ninth Young Master’s order? Or Miss Man’s?”

Nobody dared to respond.

“Do you know that Miss Man does not belong to Ninth Young Master anymore?” Xiao Yu’s voice was even harsher.

Lu Xiaofeng’s heart sank even deeper.

He still did not understand, obviously no one investigated this matter, how did this little girl[1] find out?

This girl has just been through mortal danger and escaped alive, why did she come to meddle in this kind of business?

Lu Xiaofeng really wished he could sew this girl’s mouth shut.

“Take it out.”

Xiao Yu cried out loudly again, “Quickly take this chest out!”

“Where?”

“From wherever you took it out, take it back to that place.”

As soon as she said that, Lu Xiaofeng immediately realized he was wrong.

Such a lovely little mouth, how could he sew it shut? He ought to give this little mouth a little kiss. Even an extra kiss or two was fine, she deserved it.

The chest was brought down from the ship, and in four more hours, the ship was going to set sail again. If the chest was sent back to the ship, then they would also leave with the ship.

“Then after five days, the two chicks can both go home.”

Lu Xiaofeng was so happy that he nearly could not refrain from shouting, “Long live Xiao Yu!”

Only now did he realize that Xiao Yu was doing them a favor. This crafty little rascal must have known early on that they were hiding inside the chest.

His heart was brimming with joy and gratitude; he believed Sha Man must be equally grateful.

He could not help wanting to hold her hand in his.

Although it was very dark inside the chest, he did not care, because even if he touched the wrong place, it did not matter.

And he indeed touched the wrong place. A terribly wrong place; an annoying mistake, a mistake that made him wanted to die.

He touched a bald head.

The person hiding inside the chest with him was not Sha Man, it was Honest Monk!

Lu Xiaofeng really wanted to cry out. Too bad that as soon as his hand touched the bald head, Honest Monk’s hand already sealed three of his acupoints; the three major acupoints.

Not only he was unable to shout, he could not even move his finger.

What about Sha Man? Where was Sha Man?

The chest has been lifted up. Xiao Yu did not stop urging, “Quick, quick, quick!”

Lu Xiaofeng was so anxious he felt he was going crazy.

Seeing the chest was being carried away, Sha Man must be going crazy too, but like him, she could only watch helplessly.

Thinking about it, Lu Xiaofeng’s heart broke to pieces.

Sha Man’s heart must be broken to pieces too.

But what good is a broken heart? Even if he crash his head and die, even if he crush his body to pieces, it was just as useless.

He finally understood the real feeling of the four-word ‘have no way out’. The feeling was simply unbearable.

Nobody knew what kind of drug these two men who carried the chest took, once they lifted the chest, they walked away very fast.

Unexpectedly Honest Monk held Lu Xiaofeng’s hand in his, and he lightly patted him, as if Lu Xiaofeng was a little child and Honest Monk was comforting him, telling him to listen nicely.

But Lu Xiaofeng only wanted to listen to one thing: he wanted to hear this monk’s bald head cracking open, just like an egg shell being cracked open.

Too bad that not only the two men carrying the chest were walking very fast, they were walking very steady; as if they had been learning how to carry chest since they were in their mother’s womb.

Honest monk sighed softly, as if he was very comfortable, and very pleased.

“Thins monk is indeed fated to be my black star; as soon as I saw him, I knew that sooner or later I would meet some danger.”

In term of cursing people, Lu Xiaofeng could not be considered an expert. Of all kinds of cussing words and swearing of seven southern, six northern, thirteen provinces in all, he only knew a little bit; added together, perhaps he only knew about six or seven hundred words.

He had already used up all these six, seven hundred cussing words in his heart, it’s just too maddening that he was unable to curse out loud.

— What about Sha Man?

— Watching helplessly as she and her little rooster were being separated by other people, how did she feel?

— Was she going to die?

— Perhaps dying was better instead, because if she didn’t, how would she pass the time alone?

— Perhaps she would find a way to sneak into the ship; her ability was actually a lot better than what people think.

— If she could not get on board the ship, would she climb onto other people’s bed?

Lu Xiaofeng’s heart felt like it was deep-fried in oil, the more he thought, the more painful it was, the more he thought, the more he felt the pain was unbearable.

Originally he was not this kind of narrow-minded person, but meeting with Sha Man has changed him.

When a man found his true love, why is it that he always changed that now he take everything too hard? Now he became narrow-minded?

The two men carrying the chest suddenly opened their mouth in curses.

“Curse this chest! We didn’t even have the chance to enjoy a good meal.”

“Damn it, it’s just like meeting the big headed ghost in person.”

“We might as well find a secluded place and throw it into the ocean, lest it creates more trouble for us.”

It was only natural that these kind of veteran sailors, who had been through the wind and the waves for a long time, were not people of good moral character; there was a good chance that they would actually do that kind of thing.

But Lu Xiaofeng did not care at all, on the contrary, there was a little part of him that wished that they would really do it.

Who would have thought that these men changed their mind?

“But at least we have to look at the chest to see what the hell is inside.”

On second thought, Lu Xiaofeng felt that this idea was not too bad either. Too bad Xiao Yu already put padlock on the chest.

“Can you open this lock?”

“I can’t.”

“Do you dare to smash the lock open?”

“Why not?”

“If Ninth Young Master asked, who’s responsible?”

“You.”

“F*ck your mother.”

The other man half-laughing half-cursing said, “I always knew you are a b@stard.”

“You are more or less the same.”

“Therefore, we might as well bring this chest back nicely, dump it in the bottom hold, and then the whole world will be at peace.”

‘Thud!’ the two men unceremoniously dumped the chest on the floor; from the sound of it, underneath was a wooden floor.

The two men heaved a deep sigh together. This place was obviously the bottom hold of Gong Jiu’s ship.

Their task accomplished, finally the whole world will be at peace.

Honest Monk also let out a sigh softly, as if saying, “In three, five days, the little rooster and the bald donkey will be home safe and sound.”

And so his world will also be at peace.

But what about Lu Xiaofeng?

It seemed like Lu Xiaofeng did not even have any breath left. Putting his hand on his nostrils, Honest Monk indeed felt no breath.

Honest Monk was shocked. “What’s going on?” he asked.

No response, no breath. Can a person really die of anger?

“You must not die,” Honest Monk said, “Monk does not wish to be stuffed inside the chest with a dead man.”

Still no response, still no breath. Yet Honest Monk suddenly burst in laughter, “If you want to deceive me, so that I’ll unseal your acupoints, then you are dead wrong.”

His laughed with even more glee, “Good people don’t live long, bad people last for a thousand years. I know you are not dead yet.”

At last Lu Xiaofeng let out a breath. The chest was stuffy to begin with, holding his breath made it even more unpleasant. He did not want to really die of anger.

Honest Monk’s laughter was even more cheerful, “Although I have no wish to fight you inside this chest, talking to myself is boring. As long as you promise to be nice, I’ll unseal your mute acupoint.”

Lu Xiaofeng was very nice.

If someone had his three vital acupoints sealed, even if he did not want to be nice, he could not.

Indeed Honest Monk was a man who kept his words. Immediately he unsealed Lu Xiaofeng’s mute acupoint.

“You, bald donkey, why didn’t you drop dead immediately?”

It was actually the first thing Lu Xiaofeng wanted to say, but he decided not to.

Sometimes he was also a profound man, he also had deep thoughts, he did not want Honest Monk to seal his mute acupoint at all. Even his voice did not show the least bit of anger.

“Actually, you did not have to do that,” he said indifferently.

“Did not have to do what?” Honest Monk asked.

“Did not have to seal my acupoints,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“But Monk was afraid you might get angry,” Honest Monk said.

“Why would I be angry?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Honest Monk said, “Little hen suddenly turned into a bald donkey, inevitably little rooster would be angry.”

Lu Xiaofeng also laughed. “You are wrong,” he said.

“And I was wrong because …?” Honest Monk said.

“Long ago the little rooster is not a little rooster anymore,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“What is it then?” Honest Monk asked.

“Old rooster,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

“So what’s the difference between little rooster and old rooster?” Honest Monk asked.

“There are a lot of differences,” Lu Xiaofeng said, “The biggest one is, old rooster has seen no one knows how many hens, big and small, but he has only one bald donkey as a friend.”

He spoke very sincerely, “What’s more, she is originally from here, so there’s no harm in her staying here. You, the bald donkey, on the other hand, if you stay, you may become dead bald donkey. I simply cannot watch a friend turns into dead bald donkey.”

Honest Monk grabbed Lu Xiaofeng’s hand again, apparently he was moved. “Indeed you are a good friend.”

“You shoul have known early on,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“Still, knowing now cannot be considered too late,” Honest Monk said.

“If you unseal my acupoints now, it can’t be considered too late,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Honest Monk immediately agreed, “Indeed it is not not late.”

Lu Xiaofeng smiled. He waited for him to make his move.

But Honest Monk continued slowly, “Although it is not too late at all, but unfortunatey it is still a bit too early.”

“Still too early?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“Still too early,” Honest Monk replied.

“What are you waiting for?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Honest Monk said, “At least until the ship sets sail.”

Lu Xiaofeng shut his mouth tight; he was very afraid he could not stop himself from raining curses on Honest Monk, because he knew that no matter how he cursed, he could not curse this bald donkey to death.

He could only keep cool, and waited.

If you were Lu Xiaofeng, and you were locked inside the chest with this monk, would you find it bearable or unbearable?

Lu Xiaofeng suddenly said, “I was wondering, would you do me a favor?”

“Speak up,” Honest Monk said.

“Could you seal one other acupoint of mine?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“Is your qi blocked and you feel ill?” Honest Monk asked.

“No,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

“But you really want me to seal another acupoint?” Honest Monk asked.

“I do,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

“Which acupoint?” Honest Monk asked.

“Sleep acupoint,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

At this kind of moment, what on earth could be more pleasant than a good sleep?

Honest Monk sighed. “Apparently your luck is not bad at all,” he said.

Lu Xiaofeng almost could not refrain from shouting, “You still say my luck is not bad?”

Honest Monk nodded. “At least you still have a friend who could seal your acupoint,” he said, “Monk does not have any.”

Lu Xiaofeng stared blankly at him. Listening to that kind of words, he really did not know whether he should cry three times, or he ought to laugh three times.

He neither did cry nor laugh. Because he had fallen asleep.

Darkness.

The dream in his sleep was a complete darkness. When he awoke, it was still darkness. The darkness in his sleep was a nightmare, the darkness after he awoke was still a nightmare.

— What happened to Sha Man?

In his dream he seemed to see Sha Man on the run constantly, but he did not know where she was running to? He did not know either what was she running from?

He wanted to run after her, yet the distance between them kept growing, until what’s left of her was a hazy shadow.

When he woke up, he could not even see her shadow.

He seemed to have a floating feeling; obviously this ship has set sail and they were now on the ocean.

Surprisingly, he felt that he could move his limbs.

But he did not move. He was thinking about how to pay Honest Monk back.

In the end this bald donkey did keep his words; as soon as they were out to sea, he unsealed Lu Xiaofeng’s acupoints. But if it were not for this bald donkey, how could a pair of lovey-dopey little chicks get separated?

Thinking about the nightmare just now, thinking about Sha Man’s plight right now, Lu Xiaofeng really wished he could put a big hole on that bald head.

But even if he made seventy, eighty big holes, what good would that bring?

Lu Xiaofeng sighed inwardly. No matter what, that bald donkey was his old friend, not only that, he could not be considered a bad person anyway.

Although Lu Xiaofeng had to suffer a little bit of pain, he must not violate the big principle.

The ship sailed very smoothly; apparently it was a day with moderate wind, beautiful sun.

Lu Xiaofeng quietly stretched out his hand; he was thinking to seal Honest Monk’s acupoint to have him suffer a little bit of pain.

But as soon as his hand was stretched out, Lu Xiaofeng instantly felt something was not right.

This chest suddenly smelled very fragrant, it was inundated with the aroma that he was very familiar with.

It was definitely not the smell of Honest Monk. No matter what, no matter which monk, his body odor could not possibly be like this.

Even a Buddhist nun would not smell like this.

When he reached out, he caught a hand. A smooth, soft and slender jade-like hand.

It can’t possibly be Honest Monk’s hand.

Lu Xiaofeng’s heart was thumping like crazy; he suddenly heard a voice in the darkness, “Finally you are awake.”

It was a gentle and beautiful voice, brimming with joy.

Lu Xiaofeng’s voice was trembling due to excessive excitement; he almost could not stop his body from trembling as well. “Is it you? Is it really you?”

“It’s really me.”

Lu Xiaofeng could not believe it. He did not dare to believe it. It was as plain as day that Honest Monk was inside the chest; how could he suddenly become Sha Man?

But this voice, it was really Sha Man’s voice.

She took his hand away from her hand, she wanted him to stroke her face, her breasts. Her body also shivered.

Such a shiver of ecstasy; it was also a feeling he was familiar with. He did not care about anything else anymore, with all his strength he embraced her tightly.

Even if it was only a dream, it was a sweet dream. He really wished he would never wake up from this dream.

He hugged her very tight.

This time, he would never let her slip away from his bosom.

She was also hugging him very tight. She was crying, and laughing, and kissing him. She kissed his entire face. Her lips were warm and soft.

“This is not a dream. This is real.” She was in tears. “This is really not a dream, this is as real as it could be.”

Yet this sort of thing was even stranger than the most absurd dream.

“How did you get here?”

“I don’t know?”

“Where is Honest Monk?”

“I don’t know.”

She really did not know. “I was hiding under the bed, I saw them lifting the chest and taking it out. I was so anxious that I passed out.”

“And then what happened?”

“When I woke up, I am already back inside this chest. This really feels like a dream.”

“But it’s not a dream!”

“Absolutely not.”

This was indeed not a dream. She bit his lips. It hurt. A kind of sweet pain.

Could it be another miracle performed by Xiao Yu? Could she have that great of a power?

Although they could not explain all these questions, it did not matter anymore. The only thing that mattered was that they were now together again.

They were embracing each other tightly, as if they were determined to embrace each other for the rest of their lives.

Right this moment, suddenly they heard a ‘thump!’ from the outside. It looked like someone was kicking the chest.

The chest shook.

Lu Xiaofeng did not move. Sha Man did not move either. They still embraced each other tightly. But he could feel that her lips were turning icy-cold.

And then they heard another ‘thump!’ This time the chest shook even more violently.

Who was kicking the chest?

Sha Man licked her cold and dry lips. “It’s not Gong Jiu,” she said quietly.

“Oh?” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Sha Man said, “He can’t possibly kick the chest. He can’t possibly do such a senseless thing.”

Lu Xiaofeng laughed coldly.

Suddenly he felt a bit of anger in his heart, a bit sour.

— Why is it that when she mentioned this man, the tone of her voice was respectful?

He suddenly straightened himself up, and forced the chest open.

Who would have thought that the lock outside the chest has been removed? As soon as he straightened his waist up, he burst out of the chest.

The dark hold was littered with messy piles of junks and several wooden chests.

Surprisingly, there was no one outside their chest, but someone was hanging from the horizontal beam above, just like a dead fish hanging on the fishhook. Right now he was still swaying from the hook. Right now he was swinging, trying to kick the chest.

“Honest Monk!” Lu Xiaofeng cried out. He almost could not believe his eyes.

Sha Man suddenly entered the chest, while Honest Monk, who was in the chest, suddenly was hanging outside.

What’s going on?

Honest Monk’s mouth was full of bitter water. When Lu Xiaofeng took out the rags stuffed in his mouth, he threw up.

“Only the Heaven knows what’s going on.” His astonishment and confusion did not look to be faked. “I was fully awake; for some reason, I suddenly felt very sleepy and fell asleep.”

“And when you were awake, you were already hanging like this?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Honest Monk sighed. “Fortunately you are still in the chest; otherwise, I don’t know how long I would have to hang like that?” he said.

“And now you still don’t know?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Honest Monk was startled. Immediate he put out his most friendly smile as he said, “I know.”

He smiled until the muscle on his face felt numb. “I know you will definitely help me down.”

“I am not in a hurry,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“But I am a little anxious,” Honest Monk said.

“So hanging like that does not feel comfortable?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Honest Monk desperately shook his head.

He was really anxious; cold sweats were flowing like crazy.

Unexpectedly Lu Xiaofeng sat down. He sat on a wooden plank, looking up at him, and leisurely asked, “Is up there nicer and cooler than down here?”

Honest Monk shook his head until it felt numb; he could not help shouting loudly, “It’s very nice and cool; it is simply extremely nice and cool.”

“Then why are you sweating?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“Because I am mad,” Honest Monk replied, “I am mad at myself, why did I make friends with such a good friend.”

Lu Xiaofeng laughed. A big laugh.

Seeing Honest Monk was angry, his own anger dissipated by one half. He was prepared to take the monk down first and deal with him later.

Who would have thought that right this moment, they heard a cough echoing outside the hold. It looked like someone was about to enter the hold.

Lu Xiaofeng immediately got into the chest, gently lifted the lid, and slowly lowered it down.

Before the lid was even fully closed, he saw the door to the hold was pushed open, two people walked in.

The one in front looked like one of the men who brought the chest in a moment ago.

Lu Xiaofeng was secretly praying, he hoped this time they were not going to take the chest away.

Inside the chest was total darkness, not the least bit of noise was heard from the outside.

Why did they come here?

Suddenly seeing a monk hanging from the beam, how come there was no reaction at all?

Lu Xiaofeng grabbed Sha Man’s hand. Her hand was icy-cold.

His hand was not nice and warm either. He had already had regret; he should have had Honest Monk down just now.

Only now did he finally understand, when one is always thinking of how to fix others, oftentimes the one who get fixed would be himself.

After waiting for half a day, there was still nothing stirring outside. He grew more anxious; he almost could not restrain himself from opening the lid a crack, just to see what’s going on out there?

Just then, suddenly someone was knocking on the chest. ‘Knock, knock, knock’, the knocking was very light. Obviously it was not a kick with a foot. Naturally it couldn’t be Honest Monk, whose hands and feet were bound.

This kind of knocking sounded more like a very polite guest waiting outside the door.

Too bad the host did not welcome the guest at all.

The host actually wanted to open the door, but the hostess was adamant on holding his hand back.

Since the host did not open the door, the guest did not have any choice but to open it himself. He only opened it a crack.

A very little crack.

Lu Xiaofeng wanted to look outside from the crack, but there was a whiff of steam blowing from the outside. A sweet-smelling and rich steam; it smelled so good that those who smell it will have their mouths water. Even people who had never had beef soup before would be absolutely certain that the aroma was that of the beef soup.

[1] Little girl, orig. ‘yatou’ – girl or servant girl, may be derogatory or term of endearment.

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