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The Phoenix Dances in the Nine Heavens Chapter 2

CSI
Chapter 2 – Fox Den

Lu Xiaofeng had not gone out to sea, he was afraid of seasickness, he picked the largest and the most stable ship, and right now the ship was being loaded.

The captain of the ship had received his five hundred taels of silver, a sly old fox, his eloquence was especially good!

“The more goods on the ship, the more stable it will be. Even if you have never been out to sea, you won’t be seasick. You are not in a hurry anyway, so what is two more days of wait?”

With his full-of-calluses hand, he whacked Lu Xiaofeng’s shoulder. “I may take you to a good place. When you get there, perhaps you won’t want to leave.”

Lu Xiaofeng could not bear not to ask, “What’s in that place?”

Squinting his eyes, the Old Fox looked at him, “As long as you can think about it, that place has it.”

Lu Xiaofeng laughed and said, “That place, did you or did you not open it?”

The Old Fox also laugh, a big hearty laugh, he said, “You are a smart person. That’s why when I first saw you, I have already liked you.”

Naturally it was he who opened that place, that’s why it was called ‘The Fox Den’.

And so Lu Xiaofeng was waiting in ‘The Fox Den’ for him to finish loading the ship. He had already been waiting for three whole days.

In people’s mind, fox is the most intelligent, cunning animal, but very selfish; therefore, their den ought to be a bit more comfortable than other animal’s.

Actually, it was a fact.

People who spent their lives on the sea all year long, as soon as they heard ‘the Fox Den’, three words, their face would reveal a mysterious smile, their heart might be burning hot, as if they had just drank a cup of strong liquor.

Whatever men could think of, they could find it at the Fox Den.

The things that men could think, usually are not good things.

There were altogether more than twenty rooms constructed with wooden-board walls. The four bungalows at the front were comparatively bigger than the rest, they could be considered front lobbies.

Although the rooms were shabby, nobody cared. People came here not to look at the building.

Warm and humid breeze was blowing from the window facing the sea, carrying with it a kind of pleasant saltiness, just like the old Papa’s sweat.

The room was foggy with smoke, the wood shavings oil fragrance on the women’s hair mixed with the smell of broiled fish, enough to arouse all kinds of desire in the men’s hearts.

Everybody was gambling very hard, they were also drinking very hard, those who were there for women looked even more like hungry tigers.

Except for one person.

He was still very young, with a dark and handsome face. There was a bit of haughtiness, but also a bit of feral air; his eyes black, his hair dark blue, his thin lips appeared strong and cruel.

At first the women were very interested in him, but very soon they discovered that although his appearance was like a vigorous leopard, he was actually as cold as a block of ice.

As soon as Lu Xiaofeng walked in, he saw him; he was peeling the shell of a hard-boiled egg.

He only ate hard-boiled egg, and drank only plain water.

Lu Xiaofeng did not blame him at all, both of them came from the same background. Lu Xiaofeng had personally experienced how in a short period of half a day he almost delivered his life three times. If not for his exceptionally fast reaction, by now he had died three times.

Naturally he could not be not especially careful.

A very young-looking girl with well-endowed chest and very slim waist passed by him, carrying a tray with a bowl of beef soup on it. With eyes brimming with passion, she said gently, “Beef are hard to come by in this place; eat some.”

Without looking at her, he simply shook his head.

She was still unwilling to give up, “I am giving this to you, no need to pay, you have no choice but to eat it.”

It looked like she may be young, but her experience in dealing with men was not shallow. Suddenly a very professional-looking enchanting smile appeared on her face. With two fingers, which cannot be considered ugly at all, she picked up a piece of beef and stuffed it onto his mouth.

Lu Xiaofeng immediately knew that it was a bad move. Dealing with this youngster, she simply could not use the technique she used to deal with other men.

He had just had this thought when the whole tray of beef had covered her face.

The beef was still hot, the soup was dripping on her erect breasts, just like a volcano discharging smoke.

The men in the room roared in laughter, some yelled, but the girl burst into tears.

The young man was still sitting coldly, all along he did not even cast a single glance toward her.

Two strong-looking men, with face full of water rust, obviously wanted to come to the aid of this damsel in distress; but then perhaps they were driven by 30% drunkenness.

Lu Xiaofeng also knew that things would turn bad. And just like last time, as soon as he had that thought, those two walrus-like big men already flew out; one flew straight out the window and landed heavily on the ground, while it seems like the other was about to crash onto Lu Xiaofeng’s table.

Lu Xiaofeng lightly stretched out his hand to push, sending this man also flying out of the window.

Finally the young man raised his head and shot him a cold look. Lu Xiaofeng smiled; he was thinking of walking over to eat eggs with him when the young man’s countenance fell and he started to peel the second egg’s shell.

Lu Xiaofeng has always been easy to make friends, but toward this young man, it seemed as if he was bumping into a wall; there was not the least bit of response.

Undoubtedly, Lu Xiaofeng himself was a man who could arouse women’s interest. As soon as he found a seat, two women dressed like ‘swaying flowering branches’ came over. The wood shavings oil on their heads emitted strong fragrance, so strong that it made people sick.

It’s just that Lu Xiaofeng has always been a gentleman; a gentleman would never make a woman feel bad about herself.

However, he did not wish to smell the wood shavings oil mixed with wine either. He only need to ‘graft flowers onto a tree’, by changing the subject, “Who was that girl?”

“There are several dozen girls in that place; how do I know which one you are asking about?”

“The one who got beef soup on her face.”

After paying a little bit of ‘hush up money’, those two women with wood shavings oil were replaced by the one with beef soup on her face. Obviously there was no more beef soup on her face, but there was no smile either. Toward this man, whose moustache looked like a pair of eyebrows, apparently she did not have too much interest.

Fortunately, Lu Xiaofeng’s interest was not on her either. After several sentences of as meaningless as the ones he talked with the two wood shavings oil women, Lu Xiaofeng finally brought the conversation to his topic of interest.

“Who is that young guy who ate hard-boiled eggs? What’s his surname? What’s his given name?”

According to the inn’s register, the young man’s name was Yue Yang, the ‘yue’ [peak] of ‘shan yue’ [mountain peak], the ‘yang’ [ocean] of ‘hai yang’ [also ‘ocean’].

“I wish he would choke to death by the eggs.” This was her final conclusion about the young man.

Unfortunately, for the time being he would not choke to death, because right now he was not eating boiled eggs anymore. He stood up and was ready to go.

Right this moment, suddenly there was ‘crack’ sound from the window, a row of nine cross-bow arrows flew in, straight toward his back.

The sound of arrows splitting the air was very intense, naturally the power behind the arrows was very strong.

Lu Xiaofeng was drinking, two of his fingers flicked, the cup in his hand flew out, one cup suddenly shattered into six, seven pieces; all pieces happened to strike the arrows, one piece of wine cup fragment knocked one arrow down.

A series of ‘ding, ding, ding’ was heard, seven arrows fell to the floor. Naturally the remaining two arrows were not able to harm the young man either.

Like an arrow Lu Xiaofeng also shot out, in fact, he was even faster than an arrow. But when he was outside the window, he did not even see a shadow. When he got back, the young man Yue Yang was also gone.

“He’s gone back to his room to sleep. He slept very early every day.” The one who talked was the girl whose face did not have any beef soup. She seemed to have a sudden interest toward Lu Xiaofeng.

Young girls, how many of them did not adore a hero?

She looked at Lu Xiaofeng, there was passion in her eyes. Suddenly she asked in tender voice, “Do you want to eat beef?”

Lu Xiaofeng laughed; he also lowered his voice as he said softly, “I want to go to sleep too.”

The more than twenty rooms at the back were even worn out, but people who came here did not care.

For these men, who drifted in the sea all year round, as long as there is a bed, it is enough.

Niuroutang [lit. beef soup] pulled Lu Xiaofeng’s hand. “My (maternal) grandmother often said, to win a man’s heart, the fastest route is through his stomach.” She sighed, “But why is it that the two of you did not have any interest, even toward food?”

“It’s because I am afraid to get fat.”

They stopped in front of a room. She did not open the door though.

Lu Xiaofeng could not bear not to ask, “We are not coming in?”

“Right now there are still people inside, we must wait a while.” With contempt on her face, she continued, “But these men are just like hungry dogs, we won’t have to wait long.”

Naturally using the bed that had just been used by a hungry dog gnawing a bone won’t feel good.

Lu Xiaofeng was ready to leave, but then she told him that that Yue Yang’s room was exactly next door, he immediately changed his mind.

He was very interested in that young man; this young man’s style was almost the same as his own when he was young. The only difference was that he would never shove a tray of beef onto a girl’s face.

Sure enough, very soon afterwards the door opened, a big burly man that looked like an orangutan, followed by a girl that looked like a chick, came out.

Funny thing is, the chick looked fresh and alive, with springs in her steps, while the orangutan looked like his legs had turned to jelly.

The two girls giggled and secretly exchanged winks.

“Those things above your mouth, are they eyebrows? Or moustache?” The chick looked like she was having a strong urge to touch his face.

Lu Xiaofeng hurriedly pushed her hand. Suddenly they heard ‘bang!’ the door of the next room was pushed open, followed by ‘smack’ something was thrown heavily to the ground. To everybody’s shock, it was a viper.

The girls screamed and ran away. Lu Xiaofeng flew over. He saw Yue Yang stood on the doorway, his countenance was a bit pale.

The quilt on the bed was raised; obviously he had just snatched the viper away from inside the quilt.

This was the fifth time someone was trying to take his life.

Lu Xiaofeng could not help sighing. “What did you do exactly?” he asked, “Did you rob someone’s rice bowl? Or did you steal someone’s wife?”

Yue Yang looked at him coldly, while still standing on the doorway, as if he was determined not to let him in.

Lu Xiaofeng was also standing at the door, determined not to let him shut it. “Others want to take your life, you don’t care at all?”

Yue Yang still looked at him coldly, he did not open his mouth.

Lu Xiaofeng asked, “Don’t you want to know who are the people who plot against you?”

Yue Yang suddenly said, “I only care about one thing.”

Lu Xiaofeng asked, “What is it?”

Yue Yang replied, “If there is someone who likes to meddle in my business, I really want to deal with him so that in the future he won’t be able to meddle in other people’s business forever.”

Suddenly he made his move, as if he wanted to slice Lu Xiaofeng’s throat, but then his hand turned and his fingertips already reached the space between Lu Xiaofeng’s eyebrows. Lu Xiaofeng only sidestepped, and was forced to take a half step back, ‘bang!’ the door was shut.

And then there was another ‘bang!’ inside the room. It seemed that he also closed the window.

Lu Xiaofeng stood in front of the door, while staring blankly for half a day. Suddenly he turned around, picked the dead snake from the ground, and examined it carefully for half a day under the lantern hanging on the corridor, before he finally put it down gently on the ground again.

Seven inches of the snake was broken, it was pinched by two fingers. This type of snake was not only unusually poisonous, the skin was extremely hard, ordinary blade may not necessarily able to cut it off. This young man’s two-finger skill was unexpectedly similar to Lu Xiaofeng’s.

Lu Xiaofeng could only smiled wryly, “Fortunately he is also approximately twenty, otherwise, won’t others think that he is my son?”

Perhaps he himself thought that this young man was his son.

Finally the night arrived.

Just now someone was knocking on his door. Lu Xiaofeng pretended to be asleep. After a long time knocking, finally he heard that passionate little girl gave a hateful kick on the door, and with a hateful voice said, “Turns out these two men are dead men.” And then her footsteps died away.

Right now the only noise left outside was the sound of the waves lapping the beach; from the opposite room came the sound of a man’s snoring, from the room on the left came the sound of a woman gasping for breath, from the room on the right, where Yue Yang stayed, however, not the least bit of sound was heard.

Not only this young man had a very high martial art skill, the way he moved was also very strange; not only his movement was weird, his temperament was even more weird.

Actually, what was his background? Why did those people want to kill him?

Lu Xiaofeng’s interest was greatly aroused, even sleep had left him.

For people who can’t sleep, it is very easy to feel hungry; he suddenly discovered that he was hungry as hell.

Although the night was deep, in this kind of place, there would always the be the possibility of finding something to eat. Who would have thought that his door was locked by the Beef Soup. Fortunately the room still had window.

Such a warm weather, naturally he would not want to sleep with closed window like the young man next door.

Since there was nobody else in the room, he did not feel like tiptoeing toward the window either. With one turn of his body, he already flew out of the window.

The crescent moon of the early days of the month hung high in the sky, bathing the big waves of the sea with silvery glitter.

Suddenly he realized that someone was crouching outside Yue Yang’s window, with something that looked like a red-crowned crane’s beak in his hand. The beak of that thing was directed inward; he was blowing something into the room.

Lu Xiaofeng had been roaming the Jianghu since he was a teenager, naturally he knew that the thing that the man was holding was the ‘Soul Fragrance Rooster Cry of the Fifth Watch [between 3-5am]’ that only the bottom five schools of Jianghu would ever use.

This person also realized that there was someone else; he turned his head, and the moonlight happened to shine on his face.

It was a long and narrow horse face, with an unusually long and big eagle-beak nose; no matter who, once one sees him, it will be difficult to forget.

Lu Xiaofeng leaped high and pounced at him.

Who would have thought that not only this person’s reaction was very fast, his qing gong [lightness skill] was also exceptionally superb. Once his arms flapped, like light smoke he flitted across the roof ridge.

A fifth class little thief, how could he possess such a high level of qing gong?

Lu Xiaofeng did not give this fact a careful consideration, right now he was only worried that Yue Yang had been knocked unconscious by the fragrance.

Yue Yang was not unconscious. When Lu Xiaofeng landed on the ground, he found the window open, Yue Yang was standing at the window, while looking at him coldly.

Someone blew knock-out incense into his window, yet unexpectedly this young man was able to stay calm; he simply waited until the person left and then he opened the window.

Lu Xiaofeng really did not understand what kind of man he is.

Suddenly with a cold laugh Yue Yang said, “I really don’t understand what kind of man are you? In the depth of the night, why haven’t you slept?”

Lu Xiaofeng could only smile bitterly, “Because I took the wrong medicine.”

The night had not passed, Lu Xiaofeng’s trouble had not passed either. When he returned to his room, he found that the Beef Soup was sitting on his bed, waiting for him!

“What wrong medicine did you take? Aphrodisiac?” She stared at Lu Xiaofeng, “Even if you took aphrodisiac, you should have come looking for me; why did you look for a man? Do you have some kind of sickness?”

Lu Xiaofeng could only smile wryly, “My sickness is not only one.”

“What other sickness do you have?”

“Hunger!”

“This kind of sickness is not a problem.” She already broke into laughter, “I happen to have the exact drug to cure this kind of sickness.”

“Beef?”

“Beef-filled mantou [steamed bun], plus a large pot of ice-cold glutinous rice wine that was cooled in the seawater to send it down your tummy. What do you think?”

Lu Xiaofeng sighed, “I think there is no better medicine on earth than that.”

Drinking too much, sleeping too little, Lu Xiaofeng woke up with bloated feeling in his belly, plus he had a splitting headache.

It was not even noon, the front lobby was empty. The newly swept hall looked like a newly-washed broken pot. Although the soot and ash remnant had already been washed clean, it looked even more shabby and ugly.

He thought of getting a pot of boiled water and brewed some tea. He had just had two mouthfuls when he saw Yue Yang and another man came out into the fresh, bright sun.

The two men were chatting, Yue Yang looked very happy, he seemed to be doing most of the talking.

The man who made him this happy was surprisingly the one who dealt with him the ‘Soul Fragrance Rooster Cry of the Fifth Watch’ the previous night; the one with a long and narrow horse-face. Lu Xiaofeng remembered him very clearly.

Lu Xiaofeng was dumbstruck. Who is the one with real sickness here? As a matter of fact, he had never seen anybody with more sickness than this young man.

Catching a glimpse of Lu Xiaofeng, Yue Yang’s countenance immediately fell. The two men whispered a few words. Yue Yang then unexpectedly came over and sat down opposite of him.

Lu Xiaofeng was a little flattered; he could not help asking, “That man is your friend?”

Of course, he was asking about that long-face, who, at this moment, was walking along the beach to the west; he was walking very fast, as if afraid Lu Xiaofeng might catch up wth him.

“He is not my friend,” Yue Yang replied.

Lu Xiaofeng exhaled; this young man, after all, was still able to distinguish good from bad, virtue from evil, he still knew who was his friend, and who was not.

“He is my big brother,” Yue Yang continued.

Suddenly Lu Xiaofeng felt foolish. He was about to ask further: I wonder what was this big brother doing last night? Yet Yue Yang was not interested in talking about this matter. He suddenly asked, “You also want to go out to sea?”

Lu Xiaofeng nodded.

“You also want to ride on the Old Fox’s ship?” Yue Yang asked.

Lu Xiaofeng nodded again. It was only then did he find ou that that this young was also a passenger on that boat.

Yue Yang maintained a calm and collected expression, he said coldly, “It would be best for you to find another ship.”

“Why?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Yue Yang said, “Because I have paid five hundred taels to charter that ship.”

With a bitter laugh Lu Xiaofeng said, “I really wish I can change the ship, too bad I have also paid five hundred taels to charter the ship.”

Yue Yang’s countenance changed. Right this moment, the not-sober-yet, barely-wake-up Old Fox happened to appear. Immediately Yue Yang went over to ask the Old Fox: what the hell is going on?

In the Old Fox’s mind, this matter was very simple. “That is a big ship, one extra person riding on it will not make it sink. Besides, both of you, gentlemen, are in a hurry to go to the sea.”

Again, with his full-of-calluses hand, he whacked the young man’s shoulder, “The more people we have on board, the more exciting will it be. Besides, being able to cross the ocean together is the cultivation of five-hundred year karma. If you want to change ship, I can refund your money to you, but at most I can only pay you back four hundred taels.”

Yue Yang did not say a word; he turned around and left.

The Old Fox looked at Lu Xiaofeng with squinted eyes; he giggled and said, “What?”

Holding his head in his hands, Lu Xiaofeng replied with a sigh, “Nothing.”

The Old Fox roared in laughter, “I think you must have drunk too much beef soup.”

When lunch time arrived, Lu Xiaofeng forced himself to get something down his tummy. Unexpectedly Yue Yang came back for him. He put down a large bundle on the table and pushed it toward Lu Xiaofeng, “Here is five hundred taels, just consider I refund the money you used to hire the ship. You must find another ship.”

He would rather pay Lu Xiaofeng five hundred taels than taking a hundred taels loss by accepting the four hundred taels from the Old Fox. Why is that?

Lu Xiaofeng did not understand, “So you are determined to take the Old Fox’s ship? And you are determined not to let me go on board?”

Yue Yang’s response was very blunt, “Yes.”

“Why?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“Because I don’t like people who meddle in other people’s business,” Yue Yang replied.

Lu Xiaofeng looked at him. He stretched out his finger and pushed the bundle on the table back to him.

Yue Yang’s countenance changed, “You won’t take it?”

Lu Xiaofeng’s response was equally blunt, “Yes!”

“Why?” Yue Yang asked.

Lu Xiaofeng chuckled. He suddenly said, “Because that is a big ship, one extra person riding on it will not make it sink!”

Yue Yang stared at him. Suddenly his eyes revealed a strange expression, “You won’t regret it?”

Lu Xiaofeng indifferently said, “In all my life I have never had any regret. Not even once.”

In all he did, indeed he had never had any regret, but this time perhaps he would regret it. It’s just that naturally it was a matter of the distant future.

From noon until that evening, the day dragged on ever so slowly, everything seemed to be very boring.

When one had too much drink one night, one would always feel especially bad the next day. The only exciting thing that happened was when the Old Fox suddenly announced, “The goods have been loaded, we will set sail early tomorrow.”

Very early in the morning the next day, Lu Xiaofeng got up before dawn. Surprisingly, for the entire night the Beef Soup did not come to harass him; indeed it was quite beyond his expectation.

Although he did not sleep well that night, his head did not ache, instead, his spirit was trembling with excitement, his heart was filled with anticipation.

Such a wide and spectacular ocean, such a mysterious and enchanting ocean scenery, just waiting for him to discover and admire.

After so many dangerous, frightening, and complicated matters, at long last not only he was alive, he was able to break away from everything. And now he was about to go out to sea.

His destination, the island nation Fusang[1], what kind place it actually is? The people on the islands, are they the same as the people on the Central Earth? Is it true that they are the descendants of four hundreds virgin boys and girls brought from the Central Earth by the Court Scholar Xu Fu[2] who was sent by Qin Shi Huang [first emperor of unified China] to find the elixir of life?

They say that the girls in that place, not only they were beautiful and passionate, they were even more tender to men; when the husband was about to go out the door, the wife would always kneel at the door to send him off, when the husband returned home, the wife was already kneeling at the door, waiting to take his shoes off.

Thinking about it, Lu Xiaofeng was so excited that all worries and care in his mind was tossed beyond the topmost clouds.

A whole new world was waiting for him to discover, a new life has just begun.

Although the sun had not brightened the day, by the time he pushed the door to go out, he saw Yue Yang was already standing at the beach, facing the sea in deep thought.

What was the concern loading this young man’s mind? Why did he want to go to sea?

The first thread of sunlight broke through the cloud, the surface of the sea resplendent with golden ray; it was indeed a glorious sight.

He suddenly turned around and walked away slowly following the water line.

At first Lu Xiaofeng was thinking of catching up with him, but after another thought he changed his mind. They were going to ride on the same ship, crossing the ocean together anyway; there would be plenty of opportunity later on.

Amidst the morning breeze, he seemed to smell the aroma of beef soup. Lu Xiaofeng could not restrain smile from forming on the corner of his mouth. Before boarding the ship, it would be a really pleasant thing if he could drink a bowl of hot beef soup.

Yue Yang was still walking slowly along the beach. The waves crashed onto the beach, the water wet his shoes, wet his trousers, yet he seemed to be oblivious of it all.

There was indeed something in his mind. He was much more excited than Lu Xiaofeng, he was much more nervous as well.

This time he went out to sea the changes in him would be great, just last night he nearly changed his mind, he wanted to give up, to leave in the middle of the night and go home, to be a filial son who was content with his lot in life, to enjoy the worldly glory, splendor, wealth and rank.

As long as he was being obedient, he would get whatever he wanted.

Too bad what he wanted was not a life of pleasure; rather, he wanted a full and independent life, a full and independent personality.

Thinking about his gentle and virtuous mother, who has suffered enough grievances in her life, when he woke up this morning, there were tears in his eyes.

But now, everything is too late.

He had made up his mind not to think about things that he was unable to change. Looking up, he saw Hu Sheng was waiting for him under a big rock ahead.

Under the light of the rising run, Hu Sheng’s long and narrow face looked bright.

Looking at this young man walking over, he had an unspeakable delight mixed with pride in his heart.

This was an outstanding young man; intelligent, strong, cool-headed, plus an almost-animal instinct, who was able to feel disaster in advance and smell where the danger is.

He knew that this young man would definitely become a flawless expert, who will be extremely valuable to him, as well as to his friends.

Young people nowadays increasingly prefer life’s enjoyment; those who can be trained to be experts are not many anymore.

With praise in his eyes, he fixed his gaze on this young man as he stopped in front of him, “Did you sleep well last night?”

“Not good, I did not sleep well,” Yue Yang replied.

He was telling the truth. In front of his big brother, he has always been telling the truth. Usually those who are truthful are the ones who can earn people’s respect.

To this fact, obviously Hu Sheng was also very pleased, “Did that four eyebrows come to harass you?”

“He did not,” Yue Yang replied.

Hu Sheng said, “Actually, you don’t have to worry about him, he is simply a nobody.”

“I know,” Yue Yang replied.

In other people’s eyes, Lu Xiaofeng has turned into a nobody; perhaps this was the first time this thing ever happened.

From his pocket Hu Sheng took out a sealed envelope and handed it over to Yue Yang, “This is the last directive for you before you board the ship. As soon as it is accomplished, you can get on the boat.”

Yue Yang took it, opened the envelope, read it, and suddenly terror appeared on his handsome face, his hands also started to tremble.

“What is the directive telling you to do?” Hu Sheng asked.

Yue Yang did not reply. After a long time, gradually he restored his calm. Tearing down the envelope and the paper, piece by piece he put it into his mouth, which he chewed and slowly swallowed it down into his belly.

Hu Sheng’s eyes showed approval. The directives are meant to be for one person only. Apart from this man and the recipient himself, no third person was to be allowed to know.

Yue Yang undoubtedly had accomplished that.

Hu Sheng asked again, “What are you supposed to do this time?”

Yue Yang looked straight at him. After another long while, he spoke word by word, “I must kill you.”

Hu Sheng’s face suddenly twitched, as if he had just been whipped, “You can be who you are today, who brought you to this day?”

“It’s you!” Yue Yang replied.

“Yet you want to kill me!” Hu Sheng said.

Yue Yang’s eyes was brimming with pain, yet his voice was still as calm as ever, “I don’t want to kill you at all, but I simply cannot not kill you!”

“Nobody will find out anyway,” Hu Sheng said, “Can’t you just defy the order just once?”

“I can’t,” Yue Yang replied.

Hu Sheng looked at him; his gaze became as cold as blade. He slowly said, “In that case, you should not have told me.”

“Why?” Yue Yang asked.

Hu Sheng coldly said, “If you seized the opportunity to strike surreptitiously, perhaps you still have a chance of success, but now that I know, the one who die will be you.”

Yue Yang closed his mouth, his thin lips looked even more cruel; suddenly, like a leopard, he pounced.

He knew that the opponent was capable of even more vicious and cruel move, only by close hand-to-hand combat he would be able to subdue the opponent.

Obviously Hu Sheng did not expect this move. When martial art experts fought, they would not have used this kind of method.

By the time he was on guard, Yue Yang had already pounced on him. The two men immediately rolled around together, from the sharp and lofty rock rolled down into the sea, tearing and biting at each other like beasts.

Hu Sheng had begun to gasp for breath; he was a lot older than this young man, unavoidably his physical strength was somewhat worse, and apparently his movement was not as good as this young savage.

He wanted to clutch the opponent’s neck, but Yue Yang’s elbow suddenly struck the softest part of his flank, and then backhandedly he struck Hu Sheng’s throat, followed by a roll of his body so that now he was riding on him. His fist was punching toward the bridge of Hu Sheng’s nose.

Before this punch arrived, Hu Sheng suddenly cried out, “Wait, read the other directive I have first!”

Yue Yang hesitated only so slightly, the punch still continued. When Hu Sheng’s face splattered with blood and he was powerless to fight him anymore, he groped Hu Sheng’s pocket and took out another sealed envelope. Still riding on Hu Sheng’s body he tore the envelope using only one hand and read.

His countenance changed again. Slowly he stood up; it was not clear from his expression whether he was grateful or sorrowful?

Hu Sheng also struggled to sit up; still gasping for breath he said, “ This is just to test you, to see whether you can absolutely follow the orders.”

His face was bloody, the bridge of his nose was broken, making his face appeared crooked and awful.

Yet he was laughing, “Now you have passed the test, and are fully qualified. Go aboard the ship.”

Yue Yang immediately turned around and left in large strides.

When he turned around, there seemed to be glistening tears in his eyes, but he steeled himself to show restraint.

He made a vow never to shed tears again. Everything was of his own choosing, he must not complain, and he must not be sad either.

To him, ‘feeling’ has become a luxury. Not only a luxury, but it was dangerous as well. Dangerous enough that it may be fatal to him!

He must stay alive. If someone must die, it can’t possibly be him!

The departure time was changed, now it was scheduled to be afternoon, because the last batch of goods had not made its way to the ship yet.

Already the boatmen and sailors who were ready to set sail went back to gamble, drink wine, and took liberties with women; taking the last opportunity before going out to sea, to have as much merriment as possible, because after this, they would have to pass their days like monks or the ascetics, when waking up in the middle of the night with lust, they could only resolve the problem manually.

The beef soup in Lu Xiaofeng’s stomach has been completely digested; while he was thinking of finding something fun to pass the time, he saw Yue Yang, whose clothes were smashed to pieces, whose face was covered all over with blood, was walking over from the beach.

How did he become like this? What did he do just now? Did he fight to the death with others? If so, with who? Could it be with that big brother with long face like a horse?

This time surprisingly Lu Xiaofeng was able to restrain himself and did not ask, he even did not show the least bit of astonishment, as if he did not see anything.

Yue Yang was looking for water to drink. No matter who, anybody who had just swallowed two pieces of paper would want to drink some water.

Fortunately there was a pot of water on the counter. Originally, that place was where the teacups and kettle were arranged, it’s just that so few people were actually using it; people in this place preferred to drink wine.

This pot of water had just been brought out by a one-eyed old fisherman, all along nobody else has touched it.

Right now Yue Yang was in dire needof this kind of a pot full of water, so much so that he did not care to find a tea cup, he wanted to drink the water straight from the spout.

When one had just been through a life and death fight, his spirit, as well as his physical strength, were in exhausted state, inevitably his vigilance was a bit relaxed. Much less he felt that he was absolutely safe.

Lu Xiaofeng, however, suddenly remembered something.

In the last two days, that one-eyed old fisherman did not even drink a drop of water, why did he bring the pot out?

This thought also made Lu Xiaofeng noted something else: in the Fox Den, only this young man drank water. His drinking was not worth watching, yet all along the one-eyed old fisherman has been secretly watching him. The expression on his face seemed like he was itching to have Yue Yang drink the entire pot of water at once.

Yue Yang’s mouth had already been in contact with the spout of the pot. Lu Xiaofeng’s arm suddenly reached into his pocket, his two fingers flicked, a silver ingot shot out, ‘Ding!’ it struck the water pot.

The spout was struck askew, and was flattened.

Yue Yang only felt a jolt on his hand, the pot fell to the floor, water sploshed out, several beads of water splashed onto his hand. He brought his hand to his nose to smell, his countenance immediately changed.

Lu Xiaofeng did not need to ask, he knew the water must be poisoned.

The one-eyed old fisherman turned around, he wanted to slip out quietly. Lu Xiaofeng already swept pass. The old fisherman sent out a punch to strike back, his movement was very fast, the power behind the strike was also very strong, too bad his opponent this time was Lu Xiaofeng.

Lu Xiaofeng was even faster, with one stretch of his hand he already twisted the old fisherman’s arm, and with the other hand he caught his entire body and pushed it in front of Yue Yang. “This man is yours!”

Yue Yang looked at him, seemingly oblivious of what Lu Xiaofeng was talking about. He said coldly, “Why do I want this man?”

“Don’t you want to know who wanted to harm you?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“I don’t need to ask, I know who wanted to harm me!” Yue Yang replied.

“Who?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

“You!” Yue Yang replied.

Lu Xiaofeng felt foolish.

Yue Yang coldly said, “I wanted to drink, but you knocked down my water pot. If it wasn’t you who wanted to harm me, who else?”

The old fisherman slowly stood up; he said, “Not only you harmed him, you also harmed me. You twisted my upper arm that it almost broke. I want you to pay me.”

Lu Xiaofeng suddenly laughed. “I’ll pay, I’ll pay. Just consider I give this silver ingot to you to pay for your drink!”

Unexpectedly the old fisherman was not polite at all, he picked up the silver from the floor and left; he did not even cast a single glance toward Yue Yang.

Unexpectedly Yue Yang did not look at him either; he stared hard at Lu Xiaofeng. Suddenly he asked, “Can I ask you a favor?”

“Speak!” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Yue Yang said, “Leave me alone. The farther the better.”

Yue Yang sat down. Right now Lu Xiaofeng had left him very far away. In fact, Yue Yang did not even see Lu Xiaofeng’s shadow. This man, who by nature loved to meddle in other people’s business, whose business he was meddling this time?

The one-eyed old fisherman had also vanished without any trace.

Yue Yang suddenly sprang up and rushed out.

He must stop Lu Xiaofeng, he must block Lu Xiaofeng from questioning the old fisherman.

His guess was not incorrect, Lu Xiaofeng was indeed looking for that old fisherman. They found him almost at the exact same time.

Because they heard a scream from the beach over there. By the time they got there, the old fisherman, who spent most of his life on the sea, had been drowned alive.

If even good swimmers can drown in water, then anybody can drown.

However, he was going to drink wine, how come for no rhyme or reason, fully dressed, neat and tidy, suddenly jumped into the sea?

Lu Xiaofeng looked at Yue Yang. Yue Yang looked at Lu Xiaofeng. Suddenly they heard someone shouting in the distance, “Set sail, set sail!”

[1] Fusang, mythical island of ancient literature, often interpreted as Japan.

[2] Xu Fu, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xu_Fu

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