Use the translation feature to translate novels into different languages

The Phoenix Dances in the Nine Heavens Chapter 9


Chapter 9 – Falling under an evil scheme

Lu Xiaofeng looked at the ice flower, suddenly an unspeakable bad feeling arose in his heart, but it was unclear whether he felt bad for the arrogant but sentimental man? Or was it for himself?

He did not look at her expression.

He was afraid to look.

But he could not bear not to ask, “Is it him?”

Sha Man slowly nodded. Unexpectedly her pale face was devoid of any emotions.

“Actually, what kind of man is he?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Sha Man’s voice was equally emotionless, “Why must we talk about other people’s business? Why don’t you tell me about yourself?”

She buttoned the front piece of Lu Xiaofeng’s gown, with a very sweet smile she said, “There is a tiny kitchen at the back, let me prepare some dishes for you. There’s a bit of wine in the cabinet, I may be able to accompany you for two cups.”

Lu Xiaofeng looked at her. Not only he saw her beauty, he also saw the feeling she had for him. His own heart felt like it was so full of emotions that it was about to burst; he could not help hugging her again.

Suddenly a sound of knocking echoed from the outside, someone said in low voice, “This is Xiao Yu [little jade], Ninth Young Master sent me here specifically to invite Miss Man to dinner.”

The smile immediately vanished from Sha Man’s face; she said coldly, “I am not going, I don’t have time.”

Xiao Yu was still unwilling to leave; she implored from outside the door, “If Miss Man is not coming, Ninth Young Master is going to scold me.”

Sha Man suddenly rushed toward the door and opened it. “Didn’t you see that I have a guest here?” she said.

Xiao Yu looked up, and was shocked to see Lu Xiaofeng. “I … I …” she stammered.

With a calm expression Sha Man said, “You should have seen it yourself, in fact, he has also seen it himself. If he really wanted to invite me to dinner, why didn’t he tell me himself just now?”

Xiao Yu did not dare to speak anymore, with head hung low she walked away quietly; but while she was leaving, she could not resist stealing a glance toward Lu Xiaofeng. She seemed to be surprised, but also curious; as if she would never have imagined that she would see another man in Miss Man’s room.

But Sha Man really was not afraid other people would see her actions, she was not afraid anybody would know. If Sha Man was determined to do something, she could not care less about what other people would think or what their opinion would be.

Shutting the door, she suddenly turned around and asked Lu Xiaofeng, “Can you wait for me here? I am going out for a moment, and will be back soon.”

Lu Xiaofeng nodded.

She ought to go. After all, they had several years’ worth of feeling between them, not to mention he had just returned from a faraway journey.

Sha Man could clearly see his thought; she said, “I am not going to have dinner at all, but there is something I must talk to him.”

She quickly dressed, picked up the melting ice flower, and went out the door. She turned her head around and said to Lu Xiaofeng, “You must wait for me here.”

Lu Xiaofeng found wine in the cabinet. Alone he sat down, but he could not even drink wine. He only felt that this elegant room has suddenly turned into an unspeakably hollow and lonesome place, forcing him to ask himself, “Actually, what kind of man am I? By doing what I did, am I harming others? Or myself?”

Although the little old man told him that he ought to decide about everything himself, yet the fact was that his fate was completely under other people’s hands; right now he was powerless to even protect himself, how was he going to protect her?

But right now he had no choice but to let her fall into difficulty. In this place, that Ninth Young Master definitely held the power to manipulate other people’s fate.

He wanted to leave, but could not bear to go. He stood up, and sat back down. He poured a cup of wine and was about to drink when suddenly he heard someone said with a laugh, “Won’t it be too boring to drink alone? Why don’t you pour another cup for me?”

Although he had not heard her laughter for a very long time, he still recognized her laughter clearly.

With laughter as clear as silver bells, Beef Soup walked in. Her smile looked radiant. When she was laughing, she was a lot more mesmerizing than when she was not laughing.

But Lu Xiaofeng only shot her a cold look. “And now you recognize me again?” he asked.

Beef Soup said, “Even if you burn to ashes, I will still recognize you. It’s just that in front of other people, how can I show any affection to you?”

She snatched the cup in Lu Xiaofeng’s hand and plopped herself down on his lap. In a tender voice she said, “But now we can show affection to each other. You may show your affection any way you want.”

Lu Xiaofeng said, “Your Ninth Brother has come back, why don’t you drink with him?”

Beef Soup laughed. “Are you drinking vinegar [i.e. jealous]?” she asked, “Do you know what is he to me? He is my sibling.”

Lu Xiaofeng was clearly taken aback; he could not help but ask, “What kind of man he really is?”

He had asked this same question to Honest Monk, and he had asked Sha Man, but they did not give him any answer.

Beef Soup let out a soft sigh, she said, “Actually, I myself can’t say for sure what kind of man he really is.”

“Why?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Beef Soup replied, “Because in all honesty he is too complex, too strange; but even that treasured Papa of mine also said that he is such an amazing talent.”

Speaking about this man, immediately her eyes shone. She continued, “Sometimes he seems to be very stupid, oftentimes he got lost, he could not even tell east from west. If you asked him: from a hundred people, seventeen died, how many left? Probably he is going to find a hundred people, kill seventeen, and count the remainder, before he could give you the answer.”

She went on, “But no matter how difficult any martial art skill is, as soon as he trains, he will master it. No matter how tightly guarded any place is, he can come and go as he pleases. No matter what it is that you are thinking, before you say it, he already know. If you want him to kill someone, no matter where that person is hiding, no matter how many people are protecting him, he will not fail.”

“Never fail?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Beef Soup chuckled. “Perhaps you don’t believe me,” she said, “But certainly Honest Monk knows.”

“Did they fight?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Beef Soup said, “Someone with Honest Monk’s level of martial art skill, they would not last three moves under his hands.”

Lu Xiaofeng was silent. He knew that she was not bragging at all, he had seen Honest Monk coming out of the chest with his own eyes.

Beef Soup said, “He does not gamble, he does not drink, he does not like other things that men like to do.”

Lu Xiaofeng coldly said, “Other than murder, what else does he do?”

Beef Soup said, “When he is not doing anything, he usually sits alone on the beach, staring at the sea. Sometimes two, three days he did not say anything, sometimes he sat by the sea for three days, not only he did not eat a thing, he did not even drink a drop.”

Lu Xiaofeng said, “Maybe he secretly sate a few fish, it’s just that you did not see it.”

Beef Soup said, “Maybe you won’t believe me, but his endurance is really something that nobody else can do; he is able to stay at the bottom of the ocean for a day and a night without coming out.”

“Are you saying that he is a fish, who can breathe under water?” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Beef Soup said, “He is just like someone who doesn’t need to breathe. One time for some reason my old man was very angry with him, he nailed him inside a coffin, and buried him four, five days. Later on other people could not bear it, they dug the coffin out and opened the lid to look inside.” She looked at Lu Xiaofeng, “Can you guess how he was?”

With a straight face Lu Xiaofeng said, “He had turned into a zombie; perhaps all along he has always been a zombie.”

Beef Soup laughed and said, “He simply stood up, patted his clothes, and walked away. He did not speak even one word.”

Although with his mouth Lu Xiaofeng spoke sharp and unkind words, in his heart he actually could not help but admire this man.

He also knew that it was not a myth, if someone practiced Indian Yoga to perfection, they could do some incredible things. He had personally seen an Indian fakir put into a metal trunk, and was drowned into the bottom of the sea. Three days later unexpectedly came out from the metal trunk, alive and well.

Beef Soup said, “Although he is eccentric and reclusive, everybody here loves him very much, because he often did a lot of things for other people, while he himself never asked for a single thing. Concerning wealth, he did not have any regard at all. You only need to open your mouth, as long as he has it, doesn’t matter how much, he will give it all to you.”

She said, “Girls are helplessly drawn to him, it’s a pity that other than that future sister-in-law of mine, he never has any regard to these girls.”

“Who is that future sister-in-law of yours?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Beef Soup said, “It’s the woman you were together with just now.”

Lu Xiaofeng was stunned. It was a long time later that he could not bear not to ask, “Are they engaged?”

Beef Soup nodded and said, “Can you guess what kind of place my Gege [older brother] rescued her from?”

Lu Xiaofeng was unwilling to guess.

Beef Soup said, “From a shameful whorehouse.”

She sighed softly before continuing, “At that time she was sold into the brothel by her own Gege; if not for my Gege, I don’t know what condition she would be wasted into.”

Lu Xiaofeng suddenly felt sick in his stomach and almost could not stop himself from vomiting.

Beef Soup continued, “My Gege is that good to her, she ought to at least show a bit of appreciation; who would have thought that she always make my Gege the recipient of her anger. A man like my Gege, unexpectedly he loves a woman like her, don’t you think it’s strange?”

“Not strange,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Beef Soup stared at him with eyes opened wide.

Lu Xiaofeng coldly said, “She is a lovely woman, at least she won’t speak ill about anybody behind their back.”

Beef Soup sighed, and then she said, “Turns out you also like her. This is a bit of a problem. I originally thought you were determined to go home; therefore, I secretly found a boat for you.”

“What are you talking about?” Lu Xiaofeng cried out.

Beef Soup flatly said, “Now since you like her, it’s only natural that you would want to stay here; what else can I say?”

She slowly stood up, and to his surprise, started to walk away.

Lu Xiaofeng grabbed her hand and said, “You … you really found me a boat?”

Beef Soup said, “It’s not much of a boat, no big deal, it’s just that …”

“It’s just what?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Beef Soup said, “It’s just that people like you, even if there are twenty or thirty of you, the boat will still be able to take all of you home.”

“Where is the boat?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Beef Soup said, “Since you don’t want to leave, why must you ask?”

“I …” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Beef Soup said, “Since you like her, why must you go?”

She flung Lu Xiaofeng’s hand and said coldly, “But I must go, otherwise, when other comes back and sees us, she will drink vinegar.”

Lu Xiaofeng felt his mouth was both sour and bitter; watching her walking out of the door, he could not help rushing forward to grab her hand again.

With a straight face Beef Soup said, “As a grown man, if you want to stay then stay, if you want to leave then leave. Why do you take my hand inappropriately like this?”

“Alright,” Lu Xiaofeng said, “I’ll come with you!”

As soon as he said that, when he looked up, he saw Sha Man outside the door, looking at him.

The night was deep, the silhouette of the flowers looked blurry. Sha Man was calmly standing in the middle of a cluster of flowers. Her pale face looked so white that it was almost transparent. Her beautiful eyes were brimming with sorrow.

By the time Lu Xiaofeng saw her, she already looked down as she slipped into her own room by their side. She did not cast even a single glance toward Lu Xiaofeng.

She did not speak, not even a single word. What could Lu Xiaofeng say?

Beef Soup looked at them; she said, “Since you want to leave, why haven’t you left?”

Lu Xiaofeng suddenly rushed over, pulled Sha Man’s hand, and cried out, “Leave, let us  go together!”

Sha Man had her back toward Lu Xiaofeng, she did not turn her head, but he could feel that her body was trembling. Suddenly she said coldly, “Go, quickly go, I … I am getting married tomorrow, I must not see you anyway.”

Lu Xiaofeng’s hand suddenly felt icy-cold. It was a long time before he slowly let go of her hand. Suddenly he laughed aloud and said, “This is a happy occasion. Congratulations. Too bad I cannot drink your celebratory wine.”

He fished out all the banknotes from his pocket and put it on the table. “This is a mere trifle, just consider it my wedding gift to you.”

“Thank you,” Sha Man said.

Thank you! Wonderful, just wonderful.

A man was just willing to give everything to you, and now, because you gave her congratulatory gift on her wedding, she thanked you. Yet the gift that you gave her happened to be the thing that normally she did not have any regard. Won’t you say that this is just wonderful? So wonderful that it would make you feel lile banging your head to kill yourself?

But Lu Xiaofeng did not bang his head and died. He followed Beef Soup to the seaside.

This time indeed Beef Soup did not lie to him. Sure enough, there was a boat by the sea, and there were six, seven boatmen on the boat.

Beef Soup pulled his hand and said, “Do you know why I let you go?”

“I don’t know,” Lu Xiaofeng replied.

“Actually, I did not want to let you go,” Beef Soup said, “But now I cannot not let you go.”

“I know,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

“Do you really?” Beef Soup asked, “Or you still don’t know?”

Lu Xiaofeng said, “I know, but I don’t know.”

Beef Soup sighed. She said, “I should have known.”

“What did you know?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Beef Soup said, “I know that in you heart you must be grieving, but if you stayed here, inevitably there will be a day that you die under my Ninth Brother’s hands.”

“I know,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Beef Soup said, “When you are home, please find a way to reward these boatmen; they are very reliable.”

“I know,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Beef Soup said, “If the old man knew that I let you go, he would be angry; perhaps he would bury me alive. But …”

She sighed, and then continued, “But on the whole you and I have a period of deep affection. If it were me who killed you, I can’t bring myself to do it. If it was other people who killed you, I will certainly be very grieved.”

“I know,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Beef Soup chuckled and said, “Now you seem to know everything.”

“Actually, I don’t know anything,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

He really did not know anything. Because his heart was in a mess, a complete mess.

He was intelligent, a free spirit, brave, staunch, and decisive. He loved life, he loved adventure. He was not a scoundrel like a lot of people think. But he had one great weakness.

His heart was too soft.

Why is it that the stronger the character a man has, the weaker he is?

Why is it that the smarter a man is, the easier it is for him to do something stupid?

And now finally Lu Xiaofeng was at the sea.

The vast, spectacular ocean is always able to make a man forget all his sorrows.

But Lu Xiaofeng has not forgotten.

Right now it was the time when the night was deepest, dawn was just around the corner, but his mind wandered to the previous dusk.

The dusk that he would never forget.

Why would she do that to him? Why was it that at first she wanted him to leave, and then she did not want him to leave, finally she let him leave?

Is one’s emotion really that easy to change?

If the fact cannot be trusted, is there anything on earth that a man can put his trust in?

To be able to go home, of course, it was an irresistible temptation.

When he was back, he would be the world-famous Lu Xiaofeng again. On this barren island, he was considered a nobody.

When he was back, he would receive the welcome of many, many people. Those people who did not want to open their wine bottle for others, they would open it for him. Matters that were impossible for other people to accomplish, he could accomplish.

But if he went back, would he really be happy?

For the last several years, his glory was already too much; anybody who mentioned the Four-Eyebrowed Lu Xiaofeng would mentioned it with admiration, with envy, but also with jealousy.

Whether he was really happy or not, only he alone knew.

If one cannot be together with the one he really love, even if all the honor, glory wealth in all the earth was given to him, when the night was deep and the dream returned, inevitably it would turn into the time when sleep failed, the time when tears would flow.

Even though he might not have any tears in his eyes, he could shed tears in his heart.

If one can be together with the one he really love, even if he lived in a crowded room, it would feel better than a vast, thousand-acre mansion.

This kind of feeling is definitely not one that smart people would understand.

If you talk to a smart person about this kind of feeling, he would definitely laugh at you, calling you an idiot, an @sshole; why would you want to give up everything for a girl?

Because they did not know that sometimes a girl was everything a man has.

Even if all the treasure, all the wealth, all the power and and all the honor on the earth was given to him, it can’t compare to true happiness.

This kind of feeling, only a genuine, sincere, and true to himself, man could understand.

As long as he could understand, it did not matter if others insulted and sneered at him, saying that was an idiot, an @sshole; he would simply ignore them.

Lu Xiaofeng was exactly this kind of idiot.

Lu Xiaofeng was exactly this kind of @sshole.

The night bleak and hazy, the ocean was boundless, yet ‘splash!’ he suddenly jumped into the sea.

No matter what, he simply must go back and see her one more time. Even if after seeing her he had to quietly leave again, he would be most willing.

Even if he could not leave again, he would be most willing.

A man who was not stupid at all, a wanderer without root, a calm and cool-headed chivalrous man, a man who squandered money like dirt, a playboy who despise worldly conventions, a man who had already obtained the wealth, reputation, power and success that other people could only dream about, why would he do such thing?

Because he was Lu Xiaofeng.

If he did not do such thing, he would not be Lu Xiaofeng.

He would be a dead man!

The seawater was icy-cold.

After jumping from the boat, he swam for quite a distance before remembering one thing, a terrible thing.

When the boat set sail, it was deep into the night. Right now it was almost dawn, the boat has been sailing for at least two hours or so. If he wanted to swim back, who knows how long he has to swim? Perhaps six or ten hours; but perhaps even if he swam forever, he might never come back.

If he turned around and tried to catch the boat, he might overtake it soon, or he might never catch it.

He suddenly found that he was hanging between the heaven and the earth, going forward would be terrible, going back would be horrible.

Right this moment, he heard a loud ‘Boom!’. When he looked back, he saw a green-blue flame was rising from the direction of the boat, blazing flame suddenly filled the sky.

The seawater was icy-cold, but he felt his body was even colder than the seawater. He could only see the boat slowly sank into the water.

If he were still on the boat, perhaps he had been blown into flying ash. This time he went through another narrow escape.

It’s just too bad his situation right now was not much better. If he wanted to go back to the island, it would be as difficult as ascending the heavens. But if he wanted to sink into the bottom of the sea, it would be much more easier.

Based on his current situation, it looked like sooner or later he would sink into the bottom of the sea.

The boat he rode on also looked like sooner or later it would sink into the bottom of the sea.

Beef Soup’s method was clearly very crude, much more crude than her father’s.

Lu Xiaofeng sighed. Suddenly he felt that he had another weakness. He was always too easy to trust others, always considered others too good and honest, always did not believe that in this earth there was no such thing as truly evil person beyond cure. He had forgotten that a father would, of course, understand his own daughter better than anybody else.

He thought that Beef Soup would be perfectly satisfied by driving him away, it had not occurred to him that she was determined to kill him.

The long night was over, a streak of sunshine appeared on the eastern horizon, its golden light painted ten thousand ripples of waves; it was an enchanting and magnificent sight.

Could he still see the sun tomorrow? Lu Xiaofeng himself did not have the slightest confidence.

He relaxed his four limbs ss much as possible, floating along the sea current half floating, half sinking; he was hoping that the tide would bring him back to the island. At this point he did not even dream that there would be any boat passing through here.

Who would have thought that there was indeed a boat on the surface of the ocean? It was just like the last time he fell into the sea, Yue Yang tossed him that life-saving skiff. On the skiff someone was rowing hard; obviously that person has never imagined that there was a living, breathing human being in the water.

All of a sudden Lu Xiaofeng jumped out of the water and into the skiff. The person was so startled that he screamed, as if he had just seen a ghost.

He seemed to be only a child, naturally his courage was not too big. He wore black clothing and his hair was tied under a dark green turban. He was none other than the little servant who did odd jobs on the boat.

When he went on board, Lu Xiaofeng had already felt that this little servant was kind of sneaky, his appearance seemed a bit familiar. It’s just that at that time Lu Xiaofeng himself was a bit out of his wits that basically he did not pay close attention to this kind of matter.

The little servant’s face was fair and clear, a bit delicate even, not at all like someone who was accustomed to rough work. When the boat sank, unexpectedly he was still able to get onto the lifeboat. His luck was indeed not bad.

The little servant was so shocked to see Lu Xiaofeng, his lips turned white as he said, “You … you didn’t die?”

“I am already dead,” Lu Xiaofeng said, “I am looking for the guy who killed me.”

Half-believing, half-doubting, still afraid in his heart, the little servant said, “Why are you looking for me?”

“Because you are the one who sank that boat,” Lu Xiaofeng said.

Immediately the little servant denied in loud voice, “It wasn’t me, I don’t know anything.”

Lu Xiaofeng chuckled; suddenly he rushed forward and grabbed the little servant, and pulled the lapel of his gown, exposing sparkling and translucent, fair and delicate chest, a pair of tiny, budding breasts. Unexpectedly, this child was Xiao Yu, who the previous night invited Sha Man on behalf of the Ninth Young Master.

Naturally she was no longer a child, but a teenager whose amorous feeling had just been awakened. Suddenly a strong, grownup man undid her clothes and had her in his arms, her entire body went weak. In her heart she was scared, angered, but was also shy, and anxious. In a trembling voice she said, “You … you … what do you want?”

“I don’t want anything,” Lu Xiaofeng drawled, “But I have always been known as a famous wolf [i.e. lecher]. Everybody knows that.”

Xiao Yu was so scared that she almost pass out, yet there was also an unspeakably weird feeling in her heart that she did not pass out.

Lu Xiaofeng said, “My favorite is little miss who loves to tell lies. I don’t know if you can tell lies or not.”

He deliberately squinted and grinned wickedly, putting up his best big wolf face, as if he wanted to swallow her whole in one bite.

Instantly Xiao Yu shook her head. “I can’t tell lies,” she said, “I have never told lies.”

“You really cannot tell lies?” Lu Xiaofeng asked, “Alright, let me test you. I ask you: how could the boat catch fire?”

Xiao Yu looked as his hands, his hands did not look like the kind of hands that follow compass and set square; his expression really made other people’s skin crawl. In the end she let out a sigh and said, “At the bottom of the hold, there were barrels of Jiangnan Pi Li Tang’s [lit. hall of thunderbolt] gunpowder, there were also several barrels of black oil. As soon as the gunpowder’s fuse was lighted, the ship started to burn.”

“And who lighted the fuse?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Xiao Yu said, “It was not …”

“It was not you?” Lu Xiaofeng said.

His hands suddenly did some scary things. Xiao Yu’s body turned even softer. “Not someone else,” she whispered.

Lu Xiaofeng did not seem to quite understand. “Not someone else?” he said, “Are you saying that it was you?”

Xiao Yu bit her lips. Finally she nodded.

Lu Xiaofeng said, “Who told you to do such thing? Was it your Ninth Young Master?”

“Not him,” Xiao Yu replied, “It was the Princess [公主].”

Lu Xiaofeng said, “Her old man is not the Emperor, why do you call her the Princess?”

Xiao Yu said, “Not Princess [公主], but Gong Zhu [宫主], the ‘Gong’ of Huang Gong [皇宫, imperial palace][1].”

“Why is she called ‘Gong Zhu’?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Xiao Yu replied, “Because her surname is actually Gong, and her name is Gong Zhu.”

Lu Xiaofeng laughed. “Previously, I also know a little old man [orig. xiao laotou 小老头, lit. ‘little old head’,” he said, “Can you guess his name?”

“What was his name?” Xiao Yu asked.

Lu Xiaofeng said, “His name is Lao Touzi, because his original surname is Lao [old], and his name is Touzi [man, boss, gang leader; together 老头子 (Laotouzi) means ‘old man’ (usually in vulgar/derogatory way)].”

[1] The word Gong Zhu [宫主] literally means ‘master [主] of the palace [宫], or ‘imperial empress, milady’; however, so far, everybody has always called her Gongzhu [公主, Princess (usually of royal household)].

Post a Comment