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The Return of the Condor Heroes Chapter 5


Chapter 5 – Tomb of the Living Dead
Yang Guo climbed onto the bed; his body shivered and his teeth chattered noisily. He saw Xiao Long Nu take out a rope, and tied one end to a hook on the eastern side of the room, and tied the other end to a hook on the western side of the room, the rope was off the floor at a height similar to that of a person. She lightly jumped up and lay across the rope, using it as a bed.

Yang Guo had fallen down the hill, and rolled into the forest’s long grass, he passed out, he didn’t know how much time had passed when he suddenly felt his body being pierced, he opened his eyes and saw countless white bees flying around his body, he heard the buzzing sounds, then he felt his whole body itch to the bone, a white blur was all he saw, he didn’t know whether it was real or an illusion, and he fainted again.

Some time passed when he suddenly felt a cold and fragrant liquid in his mouth, slowly flowing into his throat and then into his stomach but felt that he couldn’t speak; he opened his eyes and suddenly saw just two inches in front of him an ugly face full of warts and pimples, the eyes were fixed on him. Yang Guo was startled, and fainted again. The ugly person stretched out the left hand and held his jaw, the right hand held a container, and then poured some more of the sweet liquid down his throat.

Yang Guo felt that the strange itching pain he had slowly diminish, and noticed that he was now sleeping on a bed, and knew that the ugly person had rescued him, he smiled, trying to say thank you. The ugly person also smiled, she finished feeding him the liquid and then put the container down on a table. Yang Guo saw that her smile was also extremely ugly, but within the ugliness was a soft and gentle look, he was touched and there was a warm feeling in his heart, he pleaded, “Grandma, don’t let my master catch me!”

The ugly old maid softly said, “Child, who is your master?” Yang Guo had not heard such a soft and caring voice for such a long while, he became hot and started to cry. The old maid’s left hand held his hand, she didn’t say anything to console him, she just smiled and looked at him, her eyes were full of love and care; she waited for him to finish crying and then said, “Do you feel better?”

Yang Guo heard her tender voice; he couldn’t help it and cried again. She wiped away his tears and comforted him, “Good child, good child, don’t cry, don’t cry, the pain will go away in a little while.” The more caring she was, the harder Yang Guo cried.

Suddenly a soft voice from outside a hanging curtain said, “Grandma Sun, the child doesn’t stop crying, what is wrong?”

Yang Guo raised his head; he saw a white jade hand lift the hanging curtain, a girl entered. The girl wore an old fashioned delicate white dress, it was as if her body was covered with smoke and mist, she looked like she was about sixteen or seventeen years of age. Apart from her black hair, her body was as white as snow, her face was extremely beautiful, with just a hint of redness on her cheeks, and her face was pale and white. Yang Guo blushed, he immediately stopped crying; he lowered his head and felt slightly embarrassed. From the corner of his eyes he took a quick peek, and saw that she was looking at him; he quickly lowered his head.

Grandma Sun laughed and said, “I don’t have any ideas, you better take a look.” The young girl came by to the bedside, she looked at the wounds that were caused by the bee stings; she stretched out her hand and touched his forehead and felt that he wasn’t feverish. When her hand touched Yang Guo’s forehead, he felt that it was extremely cold; he couldn’t help but shiver a little. The young girl said, “It is nothing. You’ve already drunk the Jade Bee honey; you’ll recover in half a day. Why did you enter the forest?”

Yang Guo raised his head, and looked into her eyes, he thought that she was beautiful, without comparison, but she exuded an icy and emotionless aura. She was as hard and as cold as ice and it was difficult to tell whether she was pleased or angry, a friend or foe. He thought, “Is that girl made out of crystal or made out of snow? Is she a person, a ghost, or an angel?” Although he heard her voice was soft there was no warmth in it, he didn’t dare to reply.

Grandma Sun laughed and said, “Sister Long is the owner of this place, if she asks you something, you’d better reply!”

The beautiful girl in white was the owner of the Tomb of the Living Dead, Xiao Longnu. In reality her eighteenth birthday had passed, but because she had lived in the tomb since she was little and hadn’t seen the light of day, the internal energy skill she has practiced restricted her emotions. That is why she looked younger than she really was. Grandma Sun was her teacher’s maid, but since her teacher left the world, the two looked after each other. She heard the bees, and knew someone had entered the forest near the tomb, so Grandma Sun had come out to see who it was. She saw Yang Guo poisoned and unconscious on the ground; she rescued him and brought him back here. According to their sect’s rules, no outsiders can enter the tomb even one step; a man entering the tomb was even worse. But Yang Guo was young, and she saw that his whole body was covered with wounds, so Grandma Sun could not ignore him and broke the rules to save him. Yang Guo got up from the stone bed and got onto the floor. He kowtowed to Grandma Sun and Xiao Longnu and said; “Disciple Yang Guo greets Grandma Sun, and greets Gu Gu (Auntie) Long.”

Grandma Sun laughed then quickly went over to pick him up and said, “Ah, your name is Yang Guo, there is no need for such formalities.” She has lived in the tomb for a few years, and had never interacted with outsiders, she saw that Yang Guo was handsome and polite; she was pleased. Xiao Longnu only nodded her head, and sat on a stone chair next to the bed.

Grandma Sun said, “How did you get here? How come you are wounded? Who beat you like this?” After she asked her questions she didn’t wait for him to reply and went out to get some dim sum and cakes, and insisted on him having some.

Yang Guo ate a few delicacies, and told her his life story from start to finish. He was good with words, his story was already engaging, he added his emotions to it and it became even more touching. Grandma Sun kept on sighing, sometimes she would add her own comments, and her words all favored Yang Guo. She said that Huang Rong was a biased woman and unjust in her actions, and commented that Zhao Zhijing was narrow minded, bullying a child. Xiao Longnu didn’t make a sound and sat still on the chair, but when Yang Guo mentioned Li Mochou, she and Grandma Sun looked at each other. When Grandma Sun heard Yang Guo finish, she stretched out her arms and hugged him, and said, “My poor child.”

Xiao Longnu slowly got up, and said, “His wounds are not serious, Grandma, send him out!” Both Grandma Sun and Yang Guo were startled. Yang Guo loudly said, “I won’t return, I’d rather die.”

Grandma Sun said, “Miss, if he returns to Chongyang Palace, his master will punish him.”

Xiao Longnu said, “You return with him, find his master and tell him there is no need to punish the child.”

Grandma Sun said, “Ah, it’s another sect’s business, we can’t do anything about it.”

Xiao Longnu said, “Take a bottle of Jade Bee honey with you, and then tell them, the old Taoist will listen.”

Her words seemed to be suggestions, but there was strictness within her tone, it was hard for a sect member to disobey. Grandma Sun sighed, she knew she always spoke her mind, and there was no use to try to argue. When she looked at Yang Guo; her eyes had a different intent.

Yang Guo got up and made a bow, and said, “Thank you Grandma and Gu Gu for tending to my wounds, I’ll leave now!”

Grandma Sun said, “Where are you going to go?”

Yang Guo stood still for a while and then said, “The world is a big place, and there are many places for me to go.” But he didn’t really know where he would go, his face revealed a mournful expression.

Grandma Sun said, “Child, it’s because Miss doesn’t dare to let you stay, it’s a rule of our sect not to allow outsiders, don’t be sad.”

Yang Guo raised his head and said, “Grandma why do you say this? We’ll meet again some day.”

He spoke like an adult, but his voice was young, when Grandma Sun heard him she thought it was funny, but also felt sorry for him. She saw that his eyes were watery, and he was holding back the tears. She said to Xiao Longnu, “Miss, it’s the middle of the night, why don’t we let him stay until morning and let him leave then?”

Xiao Longnu shook her head and said, “Grandma, have you forgotten the rules set by Master?”

Grandma Sun sighed and got up, she quietly said to Yang Guo, “Come, child, I’ll give you an object to play with.”

Yang Guo stretched out his hand and wiped his eyes, he lowered his head and rushed out of the door and said, “I don’t want it, I’d rather die than return to the Taoists.”

Grandma Sun shook her head and said, “You don’t know the way, I’ll lead you out.” She held his hand. Outside the room, all Yang Guo saw was darkness, he was led by Grandma Sun, he felt them going around one corner and then another, he didn’t know how Grandma Sun recognized her way in these dark and twisty paths.

Although the Tomb of the Living Dead was called a tomb, in actual fact it was a large spacious underground storeroom. Before Wang Chongyang had started to fight the Jin, he had used thousands of man-hours and many years to construct the tomb. He secretly stored some supplies there, and it became an important base in the area. From the outside it looked like a tomb, but this was to disguise the building from the ears and eyes of the Jin, and even if they did enter, the tomb had countless traps to repel the invaders.

If Wang Chongyang’s soldiers failed in battle, they would retreat into the tomb. There were many rooms within the tomb, there were complicated tunnels, if outsiders entered, in the dark or even with bright torches and candles they would get lost easily.

The two exited the tomb, and in the middle of the forest they suddenly heard someone from the outside clearly shouting out, “It’s Quanzhen’s disciple Yin Zhiping, master has ordered me to greet Miss Long.” The voice was spaced out; it came from a distance.

Grandma Sun said, “There are people outside looking for you, don’t go out.”

Yang Guo was angry and alarmed, his body shivered and said, “Grandma, don’t worry about me. A person should be responsible for their actions, I accidentally killed someone, let them kill me.” When he finished he ran out.

Grandma Sun said, “I’ll follow you.”

Grandma Sun held Yang Guo’s hand and exited the forest, arriving in the open land in front of the forest. Under moonlight they saw six or seven Taoists standing together, another four of them were holding torches, and they carried the heavily wounded Zhao Zhijing and Lu Qingdu. The Taoists saw Yang Guo, they said a few quiet words amongst themselves and all took a few steps forward.

Yang Guo escaped from Grandma Sun’s grasp and ran forward and said, “I’m here, if you want to kill or torture me, it’s up to you.”

The Taoists could not believe that such a small child was so bold; it was completely unexpected. A Taoist came forward and grabbed Yang Guo’s neck and dragged him. Yang Guo chuckled and said, “I’m not going to escape, what’s the hurry?” That Taoist was Zhao Zhijing’s eldest student; he knew that his teacher suffered the pain of the Jade Bee’s sting because of Yang Guo. He was in extreme pain and didn’t know whether his life could be saved. He had always respected his teacher, and felt that the worst offence anyone can do is to rebel against their teacher. When he saw Yang Guo coming, he threw a punch at Yang Guo’s head.

Grandma Sun and the Taoists had always been on relatively good terms, but when she saw Yang Guo being dragged; she wasn’t pleased at all. Now he is being beaten, how could she control her temper? She immediately took a large step forward; she swept her sleeve and brushed away the Taoist’s hand. The Taoist felt a severe pain in his wrist, and automatically loosened his hand. He was about to shout when Grandma Sun picked up Yang Guo, turned around, and walked away.

When they first saw her, they thought that she was just an old and feeble maid, but she was rapid in her movements in taking Yang Guo. The Taoists stood still for a while; she had already taken Yang Guo about ten feet away. Three Taoists angrily shouted, “Let him go!” and rushed forward.

Grandma Sun stopped and turned around; she chuckled and said, “You men want to stop us?”

Yin Zhiping knew that the people of the Tomb of the Living Dead and his sect had a deep affiliation, and didn’t dare to offend them, he quickly stopped everyone and said, “Everyone spread out, and show manners in front of Senior.”

He then walked up, and greeted Grandma Sun and said, “Disciple Yin Zhiping greets Senior.”

Grandma Sun said, “What do you want?”

Yin Zhiping said, “That child is a disciple of the Quanzhen, can Senior please return him.”

Grandma Sun’s brows rose, she yelled, “You beat him when you were still in front of me. When you take him back to your palace, you are going to find ways to torture him. You want me to release him; not in a million years!”

Yin Zhiping kept his temper and said, “That child is extremely disobedient and mischievous, he showed no respect for his seniors, and broke the rules of our sect. In the Wulin world, one of the most important rules is to respect your master and seniors, it is right to blame him for his troubles.”

Grandma Sun shouted, “Not respecting seniors; its just words.” She pointed to the Taoist lying on the stretcher, Lu Qingdu, and said, “The child dueled with that fat Taoist, it was your Quanzhen sect’s rules. To start with, he didn’t want to compete, but you lot forced him into the arena. If you are going to fight, of course there is going to be a winner and a loser, if that fat Taoist is useless, who else can you blame?” She was already ugly, but now she was angry and swelled up, she was even more frightening. In the middle of her words, another ten Taoists came and stood behind Yin Zhiping, discussing the situation; they didn’t know who the loud ugly old woman was.

Yin Zhiping thought to himself, hurting Lu Qingdu wasn’t Yang Guo’s fault, but he couldn’t admit they were wrong in front of outsiders and said, “This matter is complicated, we will inform our leader, and let him be the judge of this. Can senior please return the child?”

Grandma Sun chuckled, “How could your leader be a fair judge? The Quanzhen sect from Wang Chongyang to now, there hasn’t been one good person. Otherwise, how could you live so close and yet you don’t associate with us?”

Yin Zhiping thought, “It’s your sect who don’t associate with us, how can you blame our Quanzhen sect? You’ve insulted our sect leader with your words and that may be a bit too disrespectful.” But he didn’t want to say anything to harm the relationship between the two sects, and said, “Senior please forgive us, if our sect has offended you, then our sect leader will apologize to you publicly.”

Yang Guo held Grandma Sun’s neck and whispered into her ear, “That Taoist is sly, grandma don’t fall into his trap.”

Grandma Sun had brought up Xiao Longnu for the last eighteen years, and she had a desire to bring up a boy. Yang Guo was warm towards her like she was towards him; she was extremely pleased. She made up her mind and thought, “Whatever they say, they are not going to take the child away.”

She then called out. “You insist on taking the child, how exactly are you going to torture him?”

Yin Zhiping was startled, and said, “This disciple here and his father are from the same sect, I wouldn’t dare to harm a friend’s son, senior you can relax.”

Grandma Sun shook her head, “This old woman never listens to outsider’s words, leave me.” As she said this she continued on her way into the forest.

Zhao Zhijing was lying on the stretcher, the wounds from the Jade Bees were unbearable but he knew what was going on. He heard that Yin Zhiping couldn’t argue with Grandma Sun and the more he heard the angrier he got, he suddenly leapt off the stretcher, chased after Grandma Sun and shouted, “He is my disciple, if I want to beat him and insult him, it’s my choice. Not letting the master order his disciple, where is there such a rule in Wulin?”

Grandma Sun saw his face had swollen so much that he looked like a pig. When she heard these words, she knew that he was Yang Guo’s master, she didn’t have anything to say at the moment and could only make her way forward thinking, “I won’t let you order him, what can you do?”

Zhao Zhijing shouted, “What relation is that child to you? How can you stick your nose into this matter?”

Grandma Sun was startled, and shouted, “He isn’t a member of the Quanzhen sect anymore. He is now a member of our sect and has elected my master Xiao Longnu as his master; under heaven only Xiao Longnu can command him. There’s no need for you to meddle.”

When she said this, the Taoists were shocked. According to the rules of Jianghu, without the consent of your teacher, one must not have another teacher, even if that other teacher is ten times more skilled than their teacher. You are not allowed to do as you please and spread your wings whenever you want; to do so, they will have committed one of the worst offences there is. They will be despised by their peers in the Jianghu world.

When Guo Jing took the Jiangnan Seven Freaks as his masters, and later learned from Hong Qigong, he didn’t call him master. Only later did Ke Zhen’E and the others allow this and he and Hong Qigong had a master disciple relationship.

Because Zhao Zhijing had made Grandma Sun speechless, and because she had never associated with people of Wulin she didn’t know any rules. When she said what she said she didn’t know she had broken a major rule.

Most of the Taoists originally felt sorry for Yang Guo, and felt that Zhao Zhijing had not done the right things. But when they heard that Yang Guo had openly expelled himself from the sect…well, there hadn’t been such a thing since the founding of the Quanzhen sect and they were incensed.

Zhao Zhijing’s wounds reacted to his anger and he was in pain; it was difficult for him to bear and he felt like dying, but he suddenly said, “Yang Guo, is this the truth?”

Yang Guo did not know how high the sky was or how deep the earth was, he only knew that Grandma Sun was arguing with Zhao Zhijing to protect him. Even if she said he did thousands or millions of wrong things, he would have said he did them. Now it’s just a matter of changing sects and it was what he had wanted. She said he had made Xiao Longnu his master. Even if he was going to take a pig or a dog his master he wouldn’t delay, he said, “Rotten Taoist, scoundrel face, dog brain, bull nose old goat, you hit me; why should I acknowledge you as my master? It’s correct, I have already kowtowed and accepted Grandma Sun and Miss Long as my masters.” Zhao Zhijing’s temper flared up, he flew over, his hands aiming to grab his shoulders.

Grandma Sun insulted, “Scoundrel, you want to die?” Her right arm came out, aiming for Zhao Zhijing’s wrist. Zhao Zhijing was Quanzhen’s third generation’s highest skilled fighter, when it came to martial arts he was above Yin Zhiping; although he had a serious injury, he was still able to produce a fierce attack. The two clashed, and both took two steps back.

Grandma Sun gave a ‘humph’ sigh, and said, “Scoundrel, you’re not weak either.”

Zhao Zhijing’s first attack failed, and so launched a second. Grandma Sun didn’t dare to clash with him and stepped aside, her leg came out of nowhere from under her skirt. Zhao Zhijing heard the wind sound, and tried to dodge but his wounds from the Jade Bee stings started to itch, he called ‘ai’, held his head and crouched down. Before he finished his shout he was kicked by Grandma Sun in the side of his body. Zhao Zhijing flew into the air; whilst in the air he called out ‘ai’ again because of the itching pain.

Yin Zhiping rushed forward two steps, stretched out his arms, caught Zhao Zhijing and passed him on to the other disciples. He saw that the ugly old woman’s skills were extremely strange, he was up against a strong opponent, he made a signal, and six disciples came up and circled them, and formed a “Big Dipper Formation”, with Grandma Sun and Yang Guo in the middle.

Yin Zhiping called out, “Apologies!” As the ‘Tian Shu’ and ‘Yao Guang’ Taoists on either side of him attacked. Grandma Sun didn’t know the formation, after just a few stances she knew she was dealing with something powerful. She could only fight with one hand; the danger became evident after twelve or thirteen moves. Every attack she made was neutralized by Yin Zhiping’s command of the formation, and the attack of the formation was relentless. Ten moves passed then Grandma Sun’s right palm was trapped by two Taoists; from her left another two Taoists attacked, she had to drop Yang Guo and fend them off with her left hand. A whistle came from within the formation; two Taoists burst forward and grabbed Yang Guo.

Grandma Sun was alarmed and thought, “Those rotten Taoists do have some skill, and this old woman here can’t handle it.” She kicked away two of them, and a low ‘weng’ moaning noise was produced from her mouth. That moaning noise was initially quiet, and the Taoists did not take any notice of it, but after this noise, she made an opposite sound, high and low, the sound became louder.

Yin Zhiping raised his hands against Grandma Sun to guard himself. He knew the senior that used to live in the tomb had great skills and had competed with his sect’s founder to see whose were greater; he knew that her descendants must not be ordinary. When he heard the noise, he knew that this was a type of resonating sound skill, he quickly prepared himself in case the enemy tried anything; he listened for a while and her sounds were getting louder, he didn’t feel anything was wrong with himself and thought that this was strange. He suddenly thought of something and immediately became pale with fright. He was about to order the Taoists to leave, when he heard a ‘weng’ noise from far away, similar to the noise coming out of Grandma Sun’s mouth, and then immediately called out, “Run quickly!”

The other Taoists all stopped, and thought, “We have the upper hand here, we have captured the young and old in a short time, the old woman is just calling out madly, what is there to be afraid of?”

Suddenly a grey blur emerged from the forest, out came a swarm of Jade Bees, all aiming to land on the Taoists’ upper body. The Taoists had all seen the suffering of Zhao Zhijing, they all were frightened out of their wits, and immediately scattered and ran away. The swarm of bees chased after them.

When Grandma Sun saw that the Taoists could not escape, she laughed loudly. She suddenly saw an old Taoist dashing out of the forest, his hands holding two torches; thick smoke came out of the flames and he waved them at the swarm of bees. The black smoke smothered the bees, their formation became disorganized, and they couldn’t hold together and flew away.

Grandma Sun was alarmed, she looked at the old Taoist, and she saw that he had white hair and eyebrows, his face was long and he looked like one of the highly skilled fighters of the Quanzhen sect. She shouted, “Hey, who are you old Taoist? You scattered away my bees.”

The old Taoist laughed and said, “This old Taoist is Hao Datong, greetings Grandma.”

Grandma Sun did not associate with any people of the Wulin world. But because she lived a stone throw away from Chongyang Palace, she knew that Hao Datong was one of the seven disciples of Wang Chongyang. She thought how Yin Zhiping, Zhao Zhijing and the other Taoists’ abilities were not below hers, but now that old Taoist came and it would be troublesome. She smelled the thick smoke from the torches, it stank and almost made her vomit, and she then realized it was made from herbs that are used to kill insects. She saw that there were no bees around so she had to leave while she could, she shouted, “You’ve harmed my Mistress’s bees, you’ll pay for the damage, I’ll resolve this with you later.” She picked up Yang Guo and entered the forest.

Yin Zhiping said, “Martial Uncle, shall we follow or not?”

Hao Datong shook his head and said, “Our founder had set a strict rule, no one can enter the forest, we’ll return to our palace and discuss what’s to be done there.”

Grandma Sun held Yang Guo’s hand and took him back inside the tomb. The two had just shared a difficult situation and had become closer. Yang Guo was worried that Xiao Longnu will not allow him to stay. Grandma Sun said, “Don’t worry; I’ll be able to convince her to let you stay.” She then ordered him to rest in a chamber, and then went to look for Xiao Longnu to inform her of the situation.

Yang Guo waited a long time, but still did not see her return, he became anxious and thought, “Long Gu Gu most probably decided not to accept me, even if Grandma Sun forced her to accept, there would be no point in me staying here.” He thought for a long while and eventually made up his mind, he quietly went outside.

As soon as he left the room, Grandma Sun came over and asked, “Where are you going?”

Yang Guo said, “Grandma, I’m going now, when I get a bit older, I’ll come and see you again.”

Grandma Sun said, “No, I’ll take you to a place, and tell people not to bully you.”

When Yang Guo heard those words, he knew Xiao Longnu had not allowed him to stay, he was disappointed and sad, he lowered his head and said, “There’s no use. I’m a mischievous child, where ever I go, no one will want me. There’s no need for Grandma to waste your energy.”

Grandma Sun had argued with Xiao Longnu for half a day, she saw that she will not be moved, she was troubled and didn’t know what to do. She felt sorry for Yang Guo, her blood rose and said, “Child, if no one wants you, Granny wants you. You follow me, where ever you go, Grandma will follow you.”

Yang Guo was delighted, he extended his hand and grabbed her’s, the two of them exited the tomb. Grandma Sun was still angry and did not turn back to collect some luggage, she scoured around in her pockets and touched a container, and remembered she had to give Zhao Zhijing the antidote for the bee stings. She thought that the Taoist was detestable but death was maybe a bit too extreme and she didn’t want to leave the trouble behind in case it caught up with them. So she took Yang Guo, and headed for Chongyang Palace.

Yang Guo saw that they were hurriedly heading for Chongyang Palace, he was frightened, he quietly said, “Grandma, why are you going there?”

Grandma Sun said, “I have to give your rotten master the antidote.” After a few paths, they had arrived. She leapt onto the roof, and was about to go for the courtyard, when suddenly the bell started to ring in the darkness, and she heard whistle sounds near and far. In a second noises came from everywhere, and knew that she was heavily surrounded; she became alarmed.

The Quanzhen sect is Wulin’s number one orthodox sect, they were normally well guarded, but things had happened recently and so they were more alert. There were lookouts everywhere and when they saw someone enter the palace, they sounded the alarm. The palace’s disciples all came to repel the foe. Another group of Taoists scattered around, one, so they surrounded the enemy, and secondly, so they can repel any reinforcements that the enemy might have brought along.

Grandma Sun quietly cursed, “This old woman here has not come to fight; who are you trying to scare?” She loudly called out, “Zhao Zhijing, quickly come out, I have something to say to you.”

Someone called out from the main hall, “Coming here in the middle of the night, what do you want?”

Grandma Sun said, “This is the antidote for the bee stings, take it!” She threw over the container.

A Taoist caught it, and believed her but then thought, “Does she have good intentions in coming back to give us the antidote.” He called out clearly, “What medicine is this?”

Grandma Sun said, “Don’t ask so many questions, just give it to him to drink, and you’ll see the results.”

The Taoist called out, “How do I know whether you’ve come with good or bad intentions, and how do I know if this is actually medicine not poison. Apprentice brother Zhao has been tortured enough by you, when did you gain the heart of Buddha?”

Grandma Sun heard his words, her good intentions had turned into some evil intent, she was furious and put Yang Guo down on the roof, then quickly jumped in front of the Taoist and snatched the bottle back. She opened the bottle, and said to Yang Guo, “Open your mouth!”

Yang Guo didn’t understand but did as he was told. She tipped the bottle and poured the bee honey into his mouth and said, “Fine, just in case you think its poison. Guo’Er lets go!” She held Yang Guo’s hand and ran to the edge of the roof and jumped down.

That Taoist was called Zhang Zhiguang, and was Hao Datong’s second disciple, he was cursing himself. He regretted his words when he realized that she had bought along the real antidote, Zhao Zhijing now had no antidote and it would be difficult for him to survive, he quickly followed and blocked them with his hands. He smiled and said, “Old Senior, why are you so furious? I was just joking, there’s no need to take it seriously. We are neighbors, and have seen each other a few times, ha-ha, please bestow the medicine to us.”

Grandma Sun did not like his smooth talk, she stopped, and chuckled, “There is only one bottle of medicine, if you want some more, there isn’t any. You can find your own way to cure Zhao Zhijing’s wounds!” As she said this she sent out her hand and said, “Since you don’t greet a senior, I’ll teach you a lesson.” The palm was extremely quick, Zhang Zhiguang couldn’t avoid it, a clashing sound was heard, he was struck on the cheek, and his face was stinging.

By the door the two Taoists’ faces changed and both of them said, “Even if you are a senior, how can we let you do what you want in Chongyang Palace?” One sent out his left palm, the other his right, the two of them attacking together from two sides. Grandma Sun had fought the “Big Dipper Formation” before and knew it was powerful; she knew it would be best to avoid it. If she went to attack them, how could she fight them all in their formation? She dodged past the two palms, and picked up Yang Guo and headed for the rooftops. She saw that there was no one on the roof; she wanted to escape via this route when suddenly someone jumped up on the roof and shouted, “Drop down!” sending two palms out. Grandma Sun was in midair, she had nothing to lean against, and could only fight with her right hand, one palm clashed with two, both of them were forced back, each of them on either side of the wall. Six or seven Taoists whistled, and crowded her into the corner.

These Taoists were the best fighters of Quanzhen’s third generation, and had come out to protect the main hall. In a flash, they moved back, and then rushed forward; the Taoists used a storming tactic and attacked many times. Grandma Sun was forced into the corner, and tried to break out with Yang Guo in her hand, but the Taoists formed a human wall and kept her back, she tried to break through many times but was forced back each time.

Ten moves passed. The one in charge of guarding the main hall Zhang Zhiguang knew that the enemy could not do anything and immediately lit a torch. Ten large candles were lit up all around the main hall, and shone on Grandma Sun’s pale face, an ugly face of a frightful person who hides in the forest.

Zhang Zhiguang called out, “Retreat.”

The seven Taoists who were attacking Grandma Sun took a step back, their hands across their chests, each holding their position. Grandma Sun caught her breath and then chuckled, “The Quanzhen sect is famous throughout the world, indeed they live up to their name. Over ten young and athletic men teamed up together to bully an old woman and a child. Ha-ha, so powerful, so powerful!”

Zhang Zhiguang’s faced turned a shade of red and said, “We are only trying to catch an intruder in the palace. We don’t care if it’s an old woman or a young man, if they were tall when they enter, they’ll be short when they leave.”

Grandma Sun chuckled and said, “What do you mean ‘short when they leave’? You want me to crawl out of here, is that it!”

Zhang Zhiguang had just been slapped painfully by Grandma Sun, he wasn’t going to let her off lightly, and said, “If you want me to let you go, its not hard, just agree to three things. One, you called your bees to hurt brother Zhao; you have to leave the antidote. Two, that child is a student of the Quanzhen sect, how can he expel himself from the school without the permission of our leader? You’ve got to leave him here. Three, you broke into Chongyang Palace, you have to kowtow in front of ancestor Chongyang to apologize.”

Grandma Sun laughed loudly and said, “I have long said to Mistress Long that none of the Taoists here have a good future, aren’t the old woman’s words true? Come, come I’ll go and kowtow.”

Grandma Sun lowered herself and began to kneel down. For Zhang Zhiguang this was unexpected, he was stunned, he saw Grandma Sun lowering her head, when suddenly he saw a flash, a projectile was thrown straight at him. Zhang Zhiguang cried out ‘ai ya’, he had tried to move out of the way quickly but the projectile was extremely quick and hit the corner of his left eye, his forehead was full of blood.

Grandma Sun had scoured her pocket and had grabbed the empty bee honey bottle, and calmly used her sect’s projectile throwing technique to send the projectile out. Her sect’s kung fu was designed for females, the techniques were all soft and of a ying nature, the changes mysterious, this stance “First Bow Greet After” (qian ju hou gong) was unexpected. Though it was just an empty bottle, but because of the short distance it was shot out from, Zhang Zhiguang did not expect it and could not avoid it.

The Taoists saw that Zhang Zhiguang’s head was covered with blood, they all shouted at the same time, and took out a weapon. Quanzhen’s Taoists all used swords, the courtyard lit up with the blades light. Grandma Sun got up and chuckled, she knew that it would be hard for her to complete this day. But she was strong and stubborn, she wouldn’t surrender, she turned her head and asked Yang Guo, “Child, are you afraid?”

When Yang Guo saw the long swords brandished, he had already thought to himself, “If Uncle Guo was here, even if there were more Taoists I wouldn’t be scared. But with Grandma Sun’s skills, we will not be able to break out.” When he heard Grandma Sun ask him the question, he clearly replied, “Grandma, just let them kill me. This business has nothing to do with you, leave quickly.”

Grandma Sun heard the child’s proud resilient air, and his concern for her, and loved him even more, she loudly said, “Grandma will die with you to grant the rotten Taoists their wish.” She suddenly shouted out “Now!” and dashed forward, she stretched out her arms, and caught hold of two Taoists’ wrists; she twisted them and snatched their swords. Her “Empty Hands Entering a Hundred Blades” kung fu was extremely strange; it was reckless yet it was mystifying and not ordinary. The two Taoists could not defend against this, and all of a sudden they had lost their weapons.

Grandma Sun gave one of the swords to Yang Guo and said, “Child, do you dare to fight against the rotten Taoists?”

Yang Guo said, “Of course I’m not afraid. It’s a pity that there are no other people here.”

Grandma Sun said, “What other people?”

Yang Guo loudly said, “The Quanzhen sect is world renowned, such a heroic deed as bullying an orphan and an old woman, isn’t it a pity that there’s no one to spread this story?” He had heard how Grandma Sun and Zhang Zhiguang argued, and understood one of the points raised. His words were clear and simple, his voice was bright and loud.

When the Taoists heard his words, half of them felt ashamed, they thought that ganging up on a small child and an old woman was a shameful thing to do. Someone quietly said, “I’ll go and tell our leader, and hear his decision.”

Right now Ma Yu was ten miles away at the far side of the mountain meditating in a small room; the sect’s affairs were handed to Hao Datong. The Taoist who said this was a disciple of Tan Chuduan, he felt that the situation has got out of hand and now the sect’s reputation was on the line. This matter had to be dealt by their sect’s leader personally.

Zhang Zhiguang’s face was struck by the empty jar and his left eye was covered in blood; he was furious and acted out on impulse. He knew that their sect leader was peaceful and he would order them to release Yang Guo and Grandma Sun. He will have suffered for no reason. He called out loudly; “First we’ll catch that evil witch, then we’ll let leader decide what to do. Everyone, catch them.”

The “Big Dipper Formation” gradually shrank back; they saw that she only had one hand to fight with but who would guess that when the seven of them rushed to within three paces of her, her sword swirled, and defended tightly; they couldn’t advance another step. The formation was led by Zhang Zhiguang, and needed a change of direction, but he was afraid that the projectile that struck him had poison on it. If he fought then the poison would spread faster, he closed his left eye and stood to the side controlling the formation. Since he had decided not to fight, the formation’s power weakened. The Taoists fought for a long time but couldn’t make any progress and began to get impatient. Suddenly Grandma Sun gave a shout and flung her long sword away, she dashed forward three steps and dodged pass the Taoists’ swords, and grabbed a young Taoist’s chest and picked him up, she shouted, “Scoundrels, will or will you not let us pass?” The Taoists stopped, but suddenly a body flew out from behind them, stretched out their arm and attacked Grandma Sun’s wrist. Grandma Sun did not see that person’s face clearly; she felt a numbing sensation in her wrist and the young Taoist she had in her hands was taken by him. She felt a strong wind coming towards her, the person was sending out a palm to attack her. Grandma Sun thought, “That person’s palm is extremely fast.” She quickly pushed out her own palms to repel the attack. The two palms met and made a clashing sound, and Grandma Sun took a step back. The person also took a slight step back, about an inch or so, then immediately followed with a second palm without a pause. Grandma Sun also sent out her palms to attack, and was forced back another step. The person took half a step forward and sent out a third palm. The three palms sent out were faster than the last, and forced Grandma Sun back three steps, she didn’t have a chance to see who her opponent was, by the fourth palm, Grandma Sun’s back was forced up against the wall; she had nowhere to retreat. The person sent out a right palm, and locked palms with Grandma Sun, and he calmly said, “Grandma, leave the antidote and the child here!”

Grandma Sun raised her head, and saw that the person had a head full of white hair and white eyebrows, his face was purple, it was the man who had earlier used poison smoke to fend off her bees, Hao Datong. After the first three palms, she knew that his internal energy was profound, and above hers, if he increased his palm’s power, she would not be able to hold on, but she was strong and stubborn, she would rather die than give in, she shouted, “If you want me to leave the child, first you have to kill me.”

Hao Datong knew their sect and his teacher had a deep history and didn’t wish to harm her, he held back on his palm, and said, “We have been neighbors for over ten years, why risk our friendship over a small child.”

Grandma Sun chuckled, and said, “I originally came here to give you the antidote, so ask your disciples, what this is all about.”

Hao Datong turned his head around to ask his disciples when suddenly Grandma Sun sent out a kick, aiming for his legs. That kick came out of nowhere, her body or skirt didn’t move, the opponent’s leg was coming into his stomach, there wasn’t time to move back, under this threat he reacted, and channeled more strength into his palm, a ‘hey’ sound was heard as Grandma Sun was pushed backwards. His push contained all the internal energy he has cultivated over the years using Quanzhen’s advanced internal energy cultivation techniques. He heard a thudding sound as dust from the upper part of the wall fell down. Grandma Sun spat out a pool of blood, and slowly dropped down onto the floor.

Yang Guo was shocked, and hugged her body and said, “If you want to kill someone, kill me. There is no need to harm Grandma.”

Grandma Sun opened her eyes and chuckled and said, “Child, looks like we are going to die in the same place.”

Yang Guo loosened his arms, and guarded her, his back to Hao Datong and the others, he ignored his own safety. Hao Datong’s palm was serious, he saw that his opponent was injured and was very regretful about his attack. He wanted to go over and take a closer look at Grandma Sun’s injury, and give her medicine to heal the wound, but Yang Guo blocked his way and he couldn’t get close. He softly said, “Yang Guo, move out of the way, let me take a closer look at Grandma.”

Yang Guo didn’t believe him and held Grandma Sun tightly. Hao Datong tried to persuade him a few times but saw that Yang Guo was ignoring him; he became impatient and stretched out his arm to pull him away. Yang Guo loudly shouted, “Rotten Taoists, scoundrels, you can kill me, I won’t let you harm Grandma.”

Just as he was saying he won’t surrender Grandma Sun, a cold voice from behind suddenly said, “Bullying a child and an old woman, how heroic is that?”

Hao Datong heard the cold and icy voice, his heart shivered. He turned around to take a look and saw an extremely beautiful young girl standing at the entrance to the main hall. Her clothes were as white as snow, and her eyes froze those who looked at her. Once the palace’s bell rang, within ten li, the area would be tightly guarded. Yet the girl managed to enter without alerting anyone. No one knew how she managed to enter without making a sound.

Hao Datong asked, “Miss, who are you? What do you want?”

The young girl glanced at him and didn’t reply, and went over to Grandma Sun. Yang Guo raised his head and mournfully said. “Long Gu Gu this evil Taoists killed Grandma!” The girl in white was Xiao Longnu. She had witnessed everything clearly from Grandma Sun leaving the tomb with Yang Guo, going to the palace, and Grandma Sun fighting. If Hao Datong had not used such a lethal move, she would not have shown herself, but now Grandma Sun had suffered a serious injury. Had she wanted to come and help it was now too late. She had seen with her own eyes how Yang Guo had disregarded his life to protect Grandma Sun; his eyes were full of tears. She nodded and said, “Everyone dies, there is nothing special about death.”

Grandma Sun had brought her up by herself and treated her like a daughter; but Xiao Longnu had lived in a detached state for these eighteen years, and cultivated the sect’s internal energy; she didn’t have a touch of grief or anger in her. She saw that Grandma Sun was beyond help and so there was no need to feel sorrow. However, for a split second, she felt grief for a loved one, but no emotion was shown on her face. Hao Datong heard Yang Guo had called her ‘Long Gu Gu’, and knew that it was the Xiao Longnu who had chased Prince Huo Dou away, and he was surprised. The news of how Huo Dou had been forced to run away had spread throughout the world of Jianghu. Though Xiao Longnu had never taken a step away from Mount Zhongnan, her name was now known throughout the Wulin world.

Xiao Longnu turned her head around slowly, and looked at the Taoists. Hao Datong’s internal energy was deep and he was able to keep a still body and mind. When the other Taoists saw her clearly, and looked into her frosty and captivating eyes, they could not stop their hearts from trembling.

Xiao Longnu stooped down to take a closer look at Grandma Sun and asked, “Grandma Sun, how are you?”

Grandma Sun sighed and said, “Miss, I have never requested anything from you in my entire life, I beg you, will you allow me a request or won’t you.”

Xiao Longnu wrinkled her elegant brows slightly and said, “What do you want me to do?”

Grandma Sun nodded her head, and pointed to Yang Guo, she wasn’t able to speak for the time being.

Xiao Longnu said, “You want me to take care of him?”

Grandma Sun forced a deep breath and said, “I beg you to look after him forever, don’t let others harm him, can you promise me that?

Xiao Longnu hesitantly said, “Look after him forever?”

Grandma Sun sternly said, “Miss, if this old woman doesn’t die, I will look after you forever. Who clothed you, fed you and changed you when you were little, wasn’t it all done by this old woman? How…how…how have you repaid me?”

Xiao Longnu bit her lip and said, “Alright, I promise.”

A smile crept upon Grandma Sun’s face. Her eyes looked at Yang Guo; she wanted to say something but couldn’t catch her breath. Yang Guo knew what she wanted and lowered his ear to her mouth and quietly said, “Grandma, you want to say something to me?”

Grandma Sun said, “Lower your head a bit more.”

Yang Guo lowered himself further, and placed his ear right by her mouth.

Grandma Sun whispered, “Your Auntie Long has no one to depend on, you…you…” when she got up to this point she couldn’t say anything more. She suddenly spat out a mouthful of blood, Yang Guo’s face and clothes were speckled with blood, her eyes closed and she passed away.

Yang Guo shouted, “Grandma, Grandma!” He was grief stricken; he held her body and sobbed.

The Taoists who saw this felt a touch of sorrow, and Hao Datong was even more regretful, he went up to Grandma Sun and paid his respects and said, “Grandma, I didn’t mean to hurt you. This sin that has come upon me is ruled by your fate. Grandma, go peacefully!”

Xiao Longnu stood up, but didn’t say anything and waited for him to finish. The two of them stared at each other. Half an hour passed then Xiao Longnu frowned again and said, “What? You are not going to kill yourself to repay your debt; you want me to do it for you?”

Hao Datong was startled and said, “What?”

Xiao Longnu said, “You killed someone so you need to pay the life back, kill yourself and finish this and I’ll spare the lives of all the Taoists here.”

Before Hao Datong could reply, the Taoists that were around him spoke out. There were about thirty or forty Taoists here in the main hall, all saying; “Little girl, leave quickly now and we won’t make it hard for you.”

“What crap! Kill yourself and finish this, and you’ll spare our lives” “This young girl does not know how high the sky is or how deep the earth is.” When Hao Datong heard the Taoists clamor he quickly waved his hand to tell them to be quiet.

Xiao Longnu ignored all the Taoists’ comments, and slowly took out a silk object from her pocket, the object was a glove and she slipped it on her right hand. She separated her hands, with her right she placed a silk belt into her left hand and she quietly said, “Old Taoist, you are a coward, you are afraid of killing yourself, take out a weapon and get ready to fight!”

Hao Datong smiled and said, “This old man hurt Grandma Sun by accident, I don’t want to fight with you, take Yang Guo and leave this place.” He thought that although she has become famous for forcing Huo Dou to run away, she just relied on the threat of her Jade Bees. She is of a young age, even if her skills have their fine points, she would not be any better than Grandma Sun. So he decided to let her leave; firstly because of their sect’s first generation’s relationship, secondly he was troubled by accidentally killing Grandma Sun; it was for the best.

He didn’t guess that Xiao Longnu would not take any notice of his words, her left arm raised, a strip of silk suddenly flew out from the floor, heading straight for Hao Datong’s face. That move came without making a noise and out of nowhere, there was no warning. Under the candlelight, he saw a gold coloured sphere tied to the silk belt. Hao Datong saw that she unleashed her move extremely quickly, and the weapon she used was extremely strange, and was uncertain on how to react. He was old and the years had made him more prudent; although he had faced many skilled fighters before, he didn’t dare to receive the attack head on and moved to the left.

He didn’t know that Xiao Longnu’s belt could change direction in midair. Hao Datong leaped to the left, the belt followed him to the left, three sounds were heard as the gold sphere shook three times, and hit his face’s ‘Meeting Fragrance’ (Ying Xiang), ‘Receiving Tears’ (Cheng Qi) and ‘Central’ (Ren Zhong) three pressure points. The moves used to hit the pressure points were extremely fast, nothing more could be done during this time. It was one of the best skills in the Wulin world. He heard the gold sphere rattle two times, and although it wasn’t loud it was extremely strange. As it entered the ear it moved the heart and shook the soul. Hao Datong was alarmed and quickly used the “Metal Board Bridge” (tie ban qiao), his body moved backwards; the silk belt swept swiftly inches away from his face. He was afraid of the gold sphere pursuing and attacking him. His kung fu was refined, and as he was stepping back he suddenly leaped up three meters. Xiao Longnu didn’t predict this; a ‘zheng’ sound was made as the sphere hit the floor. Her pressure point hitting technique with the sphere was all linked and continuous, but in the midst of danger, Hao Datong managed to luckily escape. Hao Datong straightened his body, his face changed colour. The surrounding Taoists were either his disciples or were his martial nephews and they all respected his skills. Though he wasn’t harmed, they were astonished at the way he scampered out of the last attack. Four Taoists raised their swords and aimed for Xiao Longnu.

Xiao Longnu said, “Yes, you should have used your weapons long ago!”

She waved her hands, two silk belts moved out like snakes, two ‘ting’ sounds were heard, the ‘Spirit Channel’ (ling dao) pressure points on their wrists were struck, and the four swords struck the floor. The Taoists’ faces changed color, none of them dared to attack again after that move.

Hao Datong had initially thought Xiao Longnu’s skills were ordinary, but didn’t think that he would almost lose to her. His dislike for the enemy increased and he took a long sword out of the hands of one of the disciples, and said, “Miss Long’s skills are excellent, this old Taoist applauds, come, come, let the old Taoist test some of Miss Long’s advanced skills.”

Xiao Longnu nodded her head, two ‘ting’ sounds were heard, the two belts swept in from the left and right.

According to seniority, Hao Datong was one level above Xiao Longnu and out of respect for dueling with a senior, Xiao Longnu should hold back on the first three moves. But her stances were full of killer intent immediately, and ignored any rules of the Wulin world.

Hao Datong thought, “Although the girl’s skills are not weak, she doesn’t seem to understand rules. She hasn’t had much battle experience; I doubt that she can show much more ability in this battle.” His left hand followed the sword as his right hand held it, and he fought against the white silk belts.

The Taoists all circled around and watched the battle closely. Under the flickering candlelight, one could only see a girl dressed in white, an old Taoist in grey. The belts looked like rainbows and the sword moved like lightning as they engaged in battle.

Hao Datong had put sweat and blood into training his sword skills. When it came to sword skills, his were ranked third or fourth. But Xiao Longnu flipped and rolled and avoided many of his stances, he wasn’t able to gain any advantage. Xiao Longnu’s silk belts were like sinuous snakes circling around, and the two gold spheres continuously sent out ‘ting’ sounds which was even more disturbing for the opponent.

Hao Datong had fought for a long while without gaining the upper hand. Although he wasn’t losing, it was slightly embarrassing. He thought about how he was well known as a skilled fighter in the world of Wulin, yet he had fought over one hundred stances with the young girl but still was unable to gain any advantage. He became impatient and changed his sword style, fast became slow, though his stances became much slower than before, the force behind the sword increased many times over. At first he was only able to avoid his sword tip being trapped by the silk belts; now the sword strength increased, he was able to cut and chop the belts.

More stances passed when suddenly a clashing sound was heard as the sword tip clashed with a golden sphere. Hao Datong’s internal energy was profound and he knocked the golden sphere out of the way, hitting it towards Xiao Longnu. He then attacked forward. The Taoists saw the sword pass the advance of a silk belt, heading for Xiao Longnu’s wrist. They thought that she had to let go of the silk belt otherwise her wrist would be pierced.

Who would have guessed that Xiao Longnu’s right hand turned over and caught the blade of the sword; a ‘ka’ sound was heard as the sword snapped in half.

The Taoists all gasped in surprise. Hao Datong quickly jumped backwards, his hand holding the snapped sword, and was left standing in shock. He didn’t know that the opponent’s glove was made out of an extremely fine and extremely tough white gold thread; it was a unique weapon that was passed down by her ancestors. Although it was fine and light, no blade or spear could pierce it; not even precious knives or sharp swords could damage it. She had held the sword’s blade and used her strength to break it.

Hao Datong was pale; he had just suffered a great defeat. He didn’t realize that there was something special about her glove and thought that she had mastered the advanced skills of being impenetrable by swords and spears. His voice quavered as he said, “Good, good, good, this old Taoist admits defeat. Miss Long, take the child and leave.”

Xiao Longnu said, “You’ve killed Grandma Sun; now just a word admitting defeat and that’s it?”

Hao Datong laughed out at the sky and said, “I’m really stupid!” He raised his broken sword and aimed for his neck.

A sudden noise was heard, his hand shook severely; a coin had come from beyond the walls, and knocked the sword out of his hand onto the floor. His energy was profound, how easy could it be for someone to knock the sword out of his hand?

Hao Datong shivered, from the ability to use a coin to knock the sword out of his hand, he knew his martial brother Qiu Chuji had arrived. He raised his head and said, “Martial Brother Qiu, little brother is useless.” He heard a long laugh coming from outside the walls, followed by, “Winning and losing are normal; if those who lost cut their throats then even if your Martial Brother had eighteen necks they all would have been cut long ago.”

Qiu Chuji leaped over the wall and into the scene, his hand holding a long sword. He was a very straightforward man, he hated unnecessary talk, and stretched out his sword, pointing it at Xiao Longnu’s arm and said, “Quanzhen’s Qiu Chuji wishes to test our neighbor’s great skill.”

Xiao Longnu said, “You are very straightforward.” She stretched out her left palm and held Qiu Chuji’s sword.

Hao Datong quickly warned, “Apprentice brother, careful!” But he was too late, Xiao Longnu exerted her energy, and Qiu Chuji channeled his energy into his sword. The two of them competed; a ‘ka’ sound and the sword broke in half. But Xiao Longnu’s arm was shaken and was slightly numb; she felt a pain in her chest. Within this stance, she knew that Qiu Chuji’s ability was well above Hao Datong’s. She herself has not finished studying the “Jade Heart Manual”, and she would not be able to beat him. She threw the broken blade onto the floor. Her left hand lifted the body of Grandma Sun, her right hand Yang Guo; then she leapt up and soared into the air, flying away gracefully from the top of the wall.

Qiu Chuji, Hao Datong and the others saw her demonstrate her lightness kung fu and they looked on in astonishment. Qiu Chuji and Hao Datong had fought with her; they knew that she was blessed with refined skills. But her martial arts level was still significantly weaker than theirs; however they had never seen such an admirable display of lightness kung fu.

Hao Datong sighed, and said, “It’s finished, it’s finished!”

Qiu Chuji said, “Apprentice brother, you have studied Taoism for many years, how could it be that you are not able to see past a small mistake? Our brothers and sister in Shanxi, didn’t we have another set of problems?”

Hao Datong was alarmed and said, “What? Was anyone hurt?”

Qiu Chuji said, “It’s a long story, we’ll go and see apprentice brother Ma first.”

After Li Mochou killed the Lu family she traveled to Shanxi, in Jinbei she killed a few more heroes of the Wulin world. She eventually provoked public indignation; the leaders of the Wulin world in that area sent our heroes invitations, inviting them to attack her. The Quanzhen sect was the receiver of one of these hero invitations. At that time, Ma Yu and Qiu Chuji discussed how Li Mochou has done many evil deeds, and though her sect and theirs had a long history, it would be best if they solved it and give her a chance to turn over a new leaf. Liu Chuxuan and Sun Bu’Er were at Meibei. However Li Mochou hid her tracks, and traveled around discreetly, Liu Chuxuan and Sun Bu’Er couldn’t stop her and she hurt some more good men of Jinnan and Jinbei. Eventually Qiu Chuji and Wang Chuyi brought with them ten disciples, and rendezvoused with Liu Chuxuan and Sun Bu’Er. Li Mochou knew that it would be difficult for one person to fight off so many good fighters, and so she agreed with Qiu and Wang to a duel. The first day’s duel was with Sun Bu’Er. Li Mochou secretly used her ‘Soul Freezing Silver Needles’ and pierced her. She immediately went up to them and gave them the antidote, and told Qiu Chuji they must accept it. This meant that they accepted a favour from her. According to the rules of Jianghu; they wouldn’t be able to chase after and fight her. The Taoists could only laugh bitterly as they made their way back. It was lucky that Qiu Chuji hurried back by himself, not traveling with the group, and managed to arrive in time to save Hao Datong’s life.

After Xiao Longnu left Chongyang Palace, she put Yang Guo down and carried Grandma Sun’s body back to the Tomb of the Living Dead. She put her body on the bed that she normally slept on, and sat down on the chair in front of the bed and didn’t speak a single word. Yang Guo threw himself on Grandma Sun’s body and cried incessantly. After a while Xiao Longnu said, “She’s already dead, why are you crying? Even if you cried some more, she wouldn’t know about it.”

Yang Guo was startled, and felt that her words were cold and emotionless, but when he thought about it her words made sense; then he was struck with grief once more and burst out crying again.

Xiao Longnu looked at him coldly, her expression remained the same, after another while she said, “We are going to bury her, follow me.”

She picked up the body and exited the room. Yang Guo wiped away his tears with his sleeve and followed her. The tomb’s passageways were pitch black, he opened his eyes wide but could only see the ghostly white image of Xiao Longnu, he could only follow closely, he didn’t dare to lose track of her.

She twisted east and winded west, after half an hour, she pushed open a heavy stone door and from her pockets she took a match and lit two oil lamps on a stone table. Yang Guo took a look around and shivered, he saw a large empty room with five stone coffins. He took a closer look and saw that two of them were tightly closed, the other three were half open, and he didn’t know if there were corpses inside.

Xiao Longnu pointed to the first coffin on the right and said, “Ancestor Grandma lies there.” She pointed to the second one and said, “Master lies there.”

Yang Guo saw her pointing to a third coffin, his heart jumped, he didn’t know who she was going to say lies in that one. The lid was not closed; if there was a corpse inside wouldn’t it be extremely putrid? He heard her say, “Grandma Sun will lie in that one.”

Yang Guo knew it was an empty coffin, and let out his breath. He saw the other two coffins and became curious, he asked, “What about those two coffins?”

Xiao Longnu said, “One is for my apprentice sister Li Mochou, the other is for me.”

Yang Guo froze and said, “Li Mochou! Miss Li is going to return?”

Xiao Longnu replied, “My teacher planned it all, she will return. There is one coffin short because my master didn’t plan for you.”

Yang Guo was shocked and quickly said, “I don’t want one…I don’t want one!”

Xiao Longnu said, “I promised Grandma Sun that I was going to look after you forever. Since I won’t leave, then that means you won’t either.”

Yang Guo heard her talk about his life and death; he lost any sense of concern and said, “Even if you don’t let me go, when you die, I’ll be able to leave.”

Xiao Longnu said, “I promised to look after you forever, I won’t die before you.”

Yang Guo said, “Why not? You are older than me!”

Xiao Longnu calmly said, “Before I die, I will kill you.”

Yang Guo’s heart jumped into his throat, and thought, “Maybe not. People have got legs, won’t I run away?”

Xiao Longnu went up to the third coffin and opened the lid, she then picked up Grandma Sun and placed her inside. Yang Guo didn’t want to abandon her just yet and said, “Let me take another look at Grandma.” Xiao Longnu knew they had just known each other for a over a day yet they managed to become so closely bonded, she agreed to his request. She frowned and picked up the corpse of Grandma Sun unmoved. Yang Guo looked at Grandma Sun under the dim light, and wanted to cry again. Xiao Longnu looked at him, then placed Grandma Sun’s body into the coffin; she pulled the lid over, a click sound, and the lid locked into place tightly sealing the coffin.

Xiao Longnu was afraid that Yang Guo would cry again and said, “Let’s leave!” She waved her left sleeve, the two oil lamps in the room were put out, and the room was plunged into darkness. Yang Guo was afraid that she would trap him in there and quickly ran out.

In the tomb, there is no difference between night and day. The two of them had a long day and were tired. Xiao Longnu ordered Yang Guo to sleep in Grandma Sun’s room. Yang Guo had wandered around Jianghu by himself since he was very young; he would normally sleep rough or in old temples, and was brave. But now, sleeping by himself in this room, he began to think about the dead people in the coffins and was frightened out of his wits. Xiao Longnu said a few words but he did not reply.

Xiao Longnu said, “Did you not hear me?”

Yang Guo said, “I’m scared”

Xia Long Nu asked, “Scared of what?”

Yang Guo replied, “I don’t know. I’m afraid to sleep by myself.”

Xia Long Nu frowned and said, “You can sleep with me in my room.” She then led him to her room. She was used to the darkness and would not usually light a candle, but because of Yang Guo she lit a wax candle. Yang Guo saw that she was beautiful, the clothes she wore were as white as snow, with not a speck of dust, and he thought that her room must be very elegant and refined. When he entered however, he was disappointed; he saw that her room was empty and was like the room with the coffins. There was a blue green stone bed with a cover of long grass, a white cloth for use as a blanket, and apart from these objects there were nothing else in the room.

Yang Guo thought, “Where am I going to sleep? I’m afraid that she wants me to sleep on the floor.” Then Xiao Longnu said, “Sleep on my bed!”

Yang Guo said, “That’s not right. I’ll sleep on the floor.”

Xiao Longnu’s face changed and said, “If you want to stay here then you have got to do as I say. If you want to fight with the Taoists of Quanzhen, it’s up to you. If you argue with me, I’ll immediately punish you with death.”

Yang Guo said, “If you say you won’t use that terrible punishment, then I’ll listen to you.”

Xiao Longnu said, “You dare to talk back?”

Yang Guo saw that she was young and beautiful, but she was strict and domineering, he stuck out his tongue and didn’t say a word.

Xiao Longnu saw and said, “Why are you sticking out your tongue? You refuse to obey is that it?”

Yang Guo didn’t say anything, he took off his shoes and climbed onto the bed and went to sleep. He slept on the bed a while and then awoke as he felt his bones chilled, he was alarmed and quickly jumped off the bed. Xiao Longnu saw that he was frightened out of his wits and sympathized with him, but there was a slight smile on her face as she said, “What is it?”

Yang Guo saw that smile on her face, he smiled and said, “There’s something strange with that bed; you wanted to make a fool out of me.”

Xiao Longnu became serious again and said, “Who’s making a fool out of you? The bed is like that, quickly, go to sleep.” As she said this she took out a broom from behind the door and said, “If you get off the bed again, you will get ten whacks with this broom.”

Yang Guo saw that she was serious, and could only climb onto the bed again, but this time he was prepared and wasn’t shocked. It was as if there was a block of ice underneath the layer of long grass; the longer he slept the colder he became, his body shivered and his teeth chattered noisily. After a while, the coldness went into his bones, he couldn’t endure anymore and got off the bed again.

He turned around and saw Xiao Longnu looking at him; her face seemed to smile but didn’t smile. She had a punishment in mind for him, he secretly cursed himself in his heart and he clenched his teeth tightly and used all his strength to resist the coldness of the bed. He saw Xiao Longnu take out a rope, and tie one end to a hook on the eastern side of the room, and tied the other end to a hook on the western side of the room. The rope was off the floor at a height similar to that of a person. She lightly jumped up and lay along the rope, using it as a bed. She waved her left palm and the wind of the palm blew out the candle.

Yang Guo was in awe and said, “Gu Gu, could you teach me this skill tomorrow?”

Xiao Longnu said, “This skill is nothing. Practice hard, I have many great skills to teach you.”

When Yang Guo heard that Xiao Longnu was going to sincerely teach him martial arts, he then immediately wiped away his initial feelings about her. He was grateful and tears were forming in his eyes, and said, “Gu Gu, you treat me very well, before I hated you.”

Xiao Longnu said, “I forced you out of the tomb, of course you would hate me, what is so strange about that?”

Yang Guo said, “I thought you were going to be like my previous master, teaching me useless kung fu.”

Xiao Longnu heard him shiver as he talked and said, “Are you cold?”

Yang Guo said, “Yes, there’s something strange underneath this bed, why is it so cold?”

Xiao Longnu said, “Do you like it or don’t you?”

Yang Guo said, “I…I don’t.”

Xiao Longnu chuckled and said, “You don’t like it, yet there are many skilled fighters on this earth who wish they could have the chance to sleep on this bed.”

Yang Guo asked, “You aren’t punishing me?”

Xiao Longnu said, “I treat you well, and you think I’m punishing you, you really don’t know what’s good for you.”

From her tone, it seemed as she was saying that sleeping on this bed was a blessing, so he softly asked, “Gu Gu, what is so good about this cold bed, can you explain it to me?”

Xiao Longnu said, “If you sleep on this bed for the rest of your life, you’ll find out the benefits for yourself. Close your eyes, don’t speak anymore.”

In the darkness he heard her clothes rustle lightly, it seemed like she was turning over; she was sleeping on a rope in midair, yet was able to turn over when she wanted to. It was uncanny.

Her last two sentences were said with a strict tone, Yang Guo didn’t dare to question any further. He closed his eyes to sleep, but the coldness from below advanced on him; then he thought about Grandma Sun and he was depressed again, how could he sleep? After a while he quietly called out, “Gu Gu, I can’t stand it.” He heard Xiao Longnu’s slow breathing; she was asleep. He quietly called out twice, but there was no reply and he thought, “If I get off the bed and sleep on the floor, she wouldn’t know.” He then quietly sneaked down from the bed, and stood on the floor, not daring to breathe out.

As soon as his feet touched the floor, a ‘se’ sound was made as Xiao Longnu leapt down from the rope, and bent his left arm behind his back, and forced him onto the floor. Yang Guo shouted in shock. Xiao Longnu grabbed the broom, and hit his backside with force. Yang Guo knew there was no use in pleading so he clenched his teeth and took the blows. The first five were very painful, but by the sixth hit Xiao Longnu held back a little, and by the last two hits she was afraid that he won’t be able to endure it anymore and they were even lighter. After the ten blows, she put Yang Guo on the bed and said, “If you get off the bed again, I’ll hit you again.”

Yang Guo lay on the bed, and didn’t make a noise; he heard her place the broom in the corner and then leaped back onto the rope. Xiao Longnu thought that he would definitely cry, but didn’t think that he wouldn’t make a sound. She was surprised and asked, “Why aren’t you making any noise?”

Yang Guo said, “What is there to cry about, you said you were going to beat me, you beat me, even if I begged it wouldn’t be of any use.”

Xiao Longnu said, “Humph, you are cursing me secretly in your heart.”

Yang Guo said, “I am not cursing you secretly in my heart, you are much better than my previous master.”

Xiao Longnu asked, “Why?”

Yang Guo said, “Although you hit me, you cared for my well being. The hits became lighter, you were afraid that I would be in pain.”

Xiao Longnu blushed slightly when she heard those words, it was lucky that it was dark and Yang Guo didn’t see her, she scolded, “Humph, who cares for you, the next time you are disobedient I’ll beat you even harder.”

Yang Guo heard her gentle tone and smiled and said, “If you beat me harder, I’ll like it even more.”

Xiao Longnu spat out, “Little rascal, I’m afraid you won’t be able to sleep each day without a beating.”

Yang Guo said, “It depends on who beats me. If it was someone who cared about me, then I won’t be angry, I’ll be pleased instead. If it were someone who hates me, insults me one word, when I grow up, I’ll take my revenge on them.”

Xiao Longnu said, “Listen to your words; who’s going to hate you and who’s going to love you.”

Yang Guo said, “This is all clear in my mind. There is no need to mention those who hate me; there are countless people. The people who love me are my deceased mother, Uncle Guo, my Godfather, Grandma Sun and you.”

Xiao Longnu chuckled and said, “Humph, I won’t love you. Grandma Sun told me to take care of you; I will take care of you. There is no point in hoping that I will treat you well.”

Yang Guo was feeling cold already, but when he heard those words it was like someone had poured a bucket of cold water over him. He asked, “What’s wrong with me? Why do you hate me?”

Xiao Longnu said, “Whether you are feeling good or bad, what is that to do with me? And I don’t hate you. I have lived in this tomb all my life, I don’t love anything, and I don’t hate anything.”

Yang Guo said, “Is there anything fun around here? Gu Gu, have you ever been outside?”

Xiao Longnu said, “I have never left Mount Zhongnan, there’s just trees and mountains, the sun and moon outside, what is so good about that?”

Yang Guo clapped his hand and said, “Ah, then you haven’t lived properly. There are many colorful and interesting objects in the city, you should see them.” Then he described all the things he had seen in his life. He was a good speaker, he added his own colorful descriptions and the objects he was describing sounded even more interesting and strange, he described hundreds of things. It was fortunate that Xiao Longnu had lived in the tomb for the past eighteen years; she didn’t question his descriptions and believed them all, after he had finished, and she gave out a sigh.

Yang Guo said, “Gu Gu, I’ll take you out to play, how about that?”

Xiao Longnu said, “Don’t say such things! Ancestor Grandma passed down a rule; those who have lived in the Tomb of the Living Dead must not leave Mount Zhongnan one step.”

Yang Guo was shocked, and thought, “Peach Blossom Island is an island in the middle of the sea, I went there and was able to leave, how can this large tomb keep me here?” and he asked, “Miss Li Mochou is your apprentice sister, she lived in the Tomb of the Living Dead, how did she leave Mount Zhongnan?

Xiao Longnu said, “She didn’t obey my Master, it was my Master who sent her out of the tomb.”

Yang Guo was pleased and thought, “If there is such a rule, when I want to leave all I’ve got to do is disobey you and you will send me out of the tomb.” He thought how he mustn’t let this slip otherwise his plan wouldn’t work.

The two of them talked, just for a moment, Yang Guo forgot all about the cold, but after a while his body started to shiver and shake. he then pleaded with Xiao Longnu, “Gu Gu, spare me please. I don’t want to sleep on this bed.”

Xiao Longnu said, “When you were fighting with your master in the Quanzhen sect, you didn’t say a word about mercy, why are you like this now?”

Yang Guo laughed and said, “Those who ill treat me, even if they beat me I won’t say a word. Those who treat me well, I’ll be willing to die for them, what’s a word of mercy compared to that?”

Xiao Longnu gave a ‘humph’ and said, “Little rogue, who’s going to treat you well?”

Xiao Longnu was brought up by her teacher and Grandma Sun, and for these last eighteen years they were her only company. The two of them treated her well but because her Master wanted her to learn the “Jade Heart Manual” so, ever since she was small, she was told to purge her emotions. When she cried or smiled she would be punished heavily. Grandma Sun was a warm person but she didn’t dare to disturb her refinement of the skill, and so Xiao Longnu became a cold, unfeeling, lonely girl. Now Yang Guo came. He was a young hot-blooded, emotional person, and the way he spoke was completely the opposite of Grandma Sun and her Master. Xiao Longnu heard him speak; she was aware that something was strange but she listened to him talking and forgot about their tiredness. When she first agreed to take in Yang Guo, it was at the request of Grandma Sun. Later on when she heard Yang Guo say that she treats him well, she felt that she indeed did treat him well.

Yang Guo heard her tone had no more strictness within it, he said loudly, “Its cold…its cold, Gu Gu, I can’t endure it anymore.” Indeed he was cold, but it wasn’t anything too serious.

Xiao Longnu said, “There’s no need to be noisy, I’ll tell you about the bed.”

Yang Guo was pleased and said, “Great, I won’t call out anymore, please tell Gu Gu.”

Xiao Longnu said, “I said that there are many fighters who wished that they had the chance to sleep on this bed, that wasn’t a lie. The bed is made out of an ancient Chilled Jade; it aids those who practice advanced types of internal energy.”

Yang Guo asked, “Isn’t it just a stone?”

Xiao Longnu chuckled and said, “You’ve said that you have seen countless strange and wondrous objects, haven’t you ever seen an icy cold piece of rock before? It was Ancestor Grandma who spent seven years of blood and sweat in the extreme cold of the northern plains to dig out the Chilled Jade from under thousands of feet of ice and snow. If you practice your internal energy on this bed, one year is equivalent of ten years of normal practicing.”

Yang Guo was surprised and said, “Oh, so it has such benefits.”

Xiao Longnu said, “When you first sleep on it, it is extremely cold and hard to endure. Only by circulating your chi to oppose it and slowly getting used to it, you’ll be able to practice your internal energy in your sleep. A normal person who practices internal energy, even the most energetic, will have to spend a few hours each day in sleep. You have to be aware that practicing internal energy is opposing the natural flow of things, chi and blood intermix; it is completely different to what happens normally. But each night when you sleep, the chi that is produced in your sleep does not waste the energy you have accumulated in the day, it enhances your internal energy.”

Yang Guo understood and said, “If you sleep on ice and snow at night, then you will have the same effect.”

Xiao Longnu said, “Not so. Firstly, when you sleep on ice or snow, your body’s heat will eventually melt the snow and ice into water; secondly, the Chilled Jade is much colder than ice and snow. When you are refining internal energy, the most important thing to avoid is fire deviation; when you are practicing normally, half of your refined energy clashes with the fire in your heart. The Chilled Jade Bed is the world’s most yin and cold object. When sitting on the bed and refining your internal energy, the fire in your heart is cooled and neutralized. That means you will be able to press on further when cultivating your internal energy; how can that not be faster than practicing internal energy normally?”

Yang Guo was delighted, and said, “Gu Gu, you treat me very well, you lend the bed for me to sleep on, that means I won’t be scared of the Wu brothers and Guo Fu. Although Zhao Zhijing and the rest of the Taoists have practiced martial arts for so long, I still will be able to catch up with them.”

Xiao Longnu calmly said, “One of the decrees that Ancestor Grandma passed down was that once you have lived in the tomb, you must forget your struggles with other people.”

Yang Guo quickly said, “Even though they bullied me and killed Grandma Sun, we will just leave it just like that.”

Xiao Longnu said, “Everyone will die. Even if Grandma Sun did not die at the hands of Hao Datong, in a few years she would die of old age. Live a few more years or live a few less years, what difference does it make? Don’t mention anything about revenge to me again.”

Yang Guo felt that, although her words made sense, he could not let go; but he wasn’t able to think of a reply to what she said. Then, the coolness of the bed entered his body again, he shook continuously.

Xiao Longnu said, “I’ll teach you a method to oppose the coolness of the bed.”

She then passed on the formulae and the way to practice internal energy to him; it was their sect’s foundation kung fu. Yang Guo practiced according to the instructions. He had only practiced it for a while when he felt the coolness retreating; by the third repetition, his body felt like it was on fire. He didn’t feel the bed’s coolness, and instead felt that sitting on the bed was extremely comfortable, his eyes closed, and slowly he fell asleep. He slept for half an hour; his hot chi disappeared, and was wakened by the bed’s coolness. He then repeated the method again. He spent the night this way, falling asleep and waking up again, but when he suddenly woke up he didn’t feel any tiredness. In just a night, his internal energy level increased further.

The two of them ate breakfast, and then Yang Guo took the bowls and chopsticks into the kitchen and washed them, before returning to the main hall.

Xiao Longnu said, “There is one thing you must understand. If you really want me to be your master, you must obey me for eternity. If you don’t want me to be your master, I will still teach you martial arts. If in the future you become better than me, then you can leave the tomb because of your skills.”

Yang Guo replied without considering, “I am willing to take you as my master. Even if you don’t teach me a drop of martial arts, I will still do as you say.”

Xiao Longnu asked, “Why?”

Yang Guo said, “Gu Gu, don’t you think I know that you care for me?”

Xiao Longnu made a face and said, “Whether I treat you well or not, don’t talk about it. Since you’ve decided to enter my sect, then follow me and you will undergo the ritual.”

Yang Guo followed her into the back hall, only to see it was sparse and empty, apart from two paintings on the eastern and western wall. On the western wall was a picture of two girls. One of them was around twenty five or six years of age, facing a mirror combing and adorning her hair. The other was a fourteen or fifteen years of age maiden, her hand holding a bucket, standing to the side. The tall girl looking in the mirror was extremely beautiful, her eyebrows tidy, yet in her eyes there was an air of death. Yang Guo took a few glances at the painting, and felt fear and respect towards the girl.

Xiao Longnu pointed to the tall girl in the painting and said, “That is our Ancestor, kowtow to her.”

Yang Guo strangely asked, “That’s our Ancestor, why is she so young?”

Xiao Longnu said, “She was young in the picture, later she wasn’t as young anymore.” Yang Guo focused on the two sentences, ‘She was young in the picture, later she wasn’t as young anymore’, he felt sorrow and regret in his heart and tears came to his eyes.

Xiao Longnu didn’t notice that he was thinking and pointed to the young girl and said, “That is my Master, quickly kowtow.” Yang Guo looked at the painting, and saw the young girl, who could believe that she would become Xiao Longnu’s Master; he didn’t hesitate and immediately kowtowed.

Xiao Longnu waited for him to stand up and then pointed to the painting hung on the eastern wall and said, “Spit on that Taoist.” Yang Guo took a look at the painting and saw the Taoist was quite tall, a long sword by his side, the index finger on his right hand pointing to the north eastern corner, his back facing out, his face could not be seen.

He was curious and asked, “Who’s that? Why should I spit on him?”

Xiao Longnu said, “That is the Quanzhen sect’s founder Wang Chongyang, our sect has a rule, after kowtowing to our Ancestor we need to spit on him.”

Yang Guo was pleased, he hated the Quanzhen sect, he felt this rule of the sect was a suiting finish; he spat out at the painting, and felt that this was not enough and spat out twice. He was about to do it again when Xiao Longnu said, “Enough!”

Yang Guo asked, “Did our Ancestor really hate Wang Chongyang?”

Xiao Longnu said, “Yes.”

Yang Guo said, “I hate him as well. How come the painting is hung on the wall but not destroyed?”

Xiao Longnu said, “I don’t know, I only heard from Grandma Sun and my Master that there isn’t one good man on earth.”

Her voice suddenly became strict and she said, “When you become older and do bad things, shall I spare you or not?”

Yang Guo said, “Of course you’ll spare me.”

Xiao Longnu originally meant this as a warning, she didn’t know he would answer, she was startled and didn’t know what to do with him and said, “Quickly greet your Master.”

Yang Guo said, “Of course, I must kowtow to my Master. But first you have to got to promise me one thing otherwise I won’t kowtow.”

Xiao Longnu thought, “According to Grandma Sun, before accepting a disciple, only the Master can request things from the disciple, how can it be turned around and the disciple requests something from the Master?”

She was an emotionless person and didn’t get angry, she said, “What is it? Let me hear what you’ve got to say.”

Yang Guo said, “I regard you as my Master, I respect you and obey you, but I don’t want to call you Master, I want to call you Gu Gu.”

Xiao Longnu was bemused again and asked, “Why?”

Yang Guo said, “I had taken that rotten Taoist from the Quanzhen sect as my Master, he didn’t treat me well at all, in my dreams I curse my Master. That’s why I want to call you Gu Gu, in case I mistakenly insult you when I insult my Master.”

Xiao Longnu smiled slightly and felt that the way in which this child thinks was amusing, and said, “Fine, I agree to this.”

Yang Guo then knelt down grandly, and kowtowed loudly eight times in front of Xiao Longnu and said, “Disciple Yang Guo hereby pays respect and acknowledges Xiao Longnu Gu Gu as my Master. Yang Guo will obey her words forever, if Gu Gu is in any sort of danger, I will give up my life to protect her, if someone insults Gu Gu, then I will kill them.” In reality Xiao Longnu’s skills were better than his by ten fold, but he saw that she was a beautiful, gentle and fragile girl, a feeling of duty to protect weak girls stirred, and he came out with those words.

Xiao Longnu heard his sincere words, although he spoke with a childish tone, she was touched nonetheless.

Yang Guo finished kowtowing and picked himself up, his face full of glee.

Xiao Longnu said, “Why are you so pleased? My skills can’t compare with Quanzhen’s Qiu Chuji or your Uncle Guo.”

Yang Guo said, “I don’t care if they were even more skilled, you are really going to teach me kung fu.”

Xiao Longnu said, “Actually there isn’t much use in learning kung fu. It’s just that there isn’t much to do in the tomb, that’s why I’m teaching you.”

Yang Guo said, “Gu Gu, what’s our sect called?”

Xiao Longnu said, “When our Ancestor came and lived in the tomb, she didn’t have any contact with the Wulin world, our sect didn’t have a name. Later my apprentice sister Li Mochou left and wandered around the world of Jianghu, others said she was a disciple from ‘Gu Mu Pai’ (Ancient Tomb sect), so let’s call our sect the Ancient Tomb sect!”

Yang Guo shook his head, and said, “Ancient Tomb sect isn’t a good name.”

He had just entered the sect and found fault with the name, but Xiao Longnu wasn’t too concerned and said, “Does it matter if the name is good or not? Wait here for me; I’m going outside for a while.”

Yang Guo remembered that he would be on his own in the tomb and became scared and said, “Gu Gu, I’ll go with you.”

Xiao Longnu looked at him and said, “You said you’ll obey for eternity, my first order and you don’t listen?”

Yang Guo said, “I’m scared.”

Xiao Longnu said, “You are a man, what is there to be afraid of? You said you were going to help me get rid of bad people.”

Yang Guo thought for a while and said, “Fine, come back quickly.”

Xiao Longnu calmly said, “I can’t be certain how long I’ll be; I don’t know if I can catch them so quickly.”

Yang Guo said, “Catch what?” Xiao Longnu didn’t reply and walked away.

As soon as she left, there wasn’t a sound in the tomb. Yang Guo wondered what on earth she’s going to catch. She said she will never leave Mount Zhongnan, which means she was going to catch a Quanzhen Taoist, but who could it be. After capturing him I’ll torture him for a while, that’ll be fun; but Gu Gu is by herself, she might be in danger. He thought wildly for a while, and then exited the hall and headed west in the passageways. After ten or so steps, it was pitch black in front of his eyes. He was afraid that he was going to get lost, he touched the wall and made his way back but after twenty steps or so he lost the light of the main hall. He was afraid, and walked forward faster. He had originally been on the wrong path, but as he carried on, he became even more lost. He ran faster and faster, he crashed into the east and bumped into the west, but felt that there were paths everywhere; he was never going to reach the main hall again. He then loudly called out, “Gu Gu, Gu Gu, save me quickly.” The echo resonated for a while before disappearing.

He ran around again for a while, but then felt the ground was damp, his foot had stepped into some mud. He wasn’t on the level of the tomb but had run into one of the passageways underground; he was scared and thought, “If I got lost in the tomb, Gu Gu will be able to find me. Now that I’m running around, she won’t be able to find me, and when she finds out I escaped she will be very upset.” He didn’t dare run around anymore; he felt out a stone and sat down, he wanted to cry out but he couldn’t.

He sat there for over an hour when he suddenly heard the faint calls of “Guo’er, Guo’er!” Yang Guo was delighted and quickly got up and shouted, “Gu Gu, I’m over here!” The calls of “Guo’er, Guo’er” became fainter. Yang Guo was in a rush and shouted at the top of his voice, “I’m over here!” After a while, he didn’t hear anything, when suddenly he felt his ear being tugged, someone was pulling on his ear.

At first he was alarmed but now he was pleased and shouted out, “Gu Gu, you’ve come, how come I didn’t notice anything?”

Xiao Longnu said, “Why are you here?”

Yang Guo said, “I took a wrong turn.”

Xiao Longnu sighed and took his hand and walked, though it was pitch black, it was as if she was under the sun, she went around corners and changed paths, she walked extremely fast.

Yang Guo said, “Gu Gu, how can you see in here?”

Xiao Longnu said, “I grew up here in the darkness, so I don’t need any light.”

Yang Guo had sat there for over an hour and was frightened and regretful, now that he was rescued, he was delighted but he didn’t know what to say.

After a while, Xiao Longnu took him to the main hall again. Yang Guo sighed and said, “Gu Gu, just now I was really worried.”

Xiao Longnu said, “Worried about what? I’d eventually find you.”

Yang Guo said, “I’m not worried about that, I was afraid that you might have thought that I had escaped and become sad.”

Xiao Longnu said, “If you did escape, I wouldn’t be able to keep the promise I made to Grandma Sun, what is so sad about that?”

Yang Guo heard this and knew there was no use, and said, “Gu Gu, you’ve caught it then?”

Xiao Longnu said, “I’ve caught them.”

Yang Guo said, “Why did you go and catch them?”

Xiao Longnu said, “I caught them so you can start learning kung fu. Follow me!”

Yang Guo thought, “So she has caught a Taoist to fight with me; that will be interesting. It will be best if she caught that Zhao Zhijing; after being taken care of by Gu Gu, he will have to endure my punches and kicks without being able to retaliate, that’ll be great fun.” As he followed Xiao Longnu, the more he thought about it, the happier he was.

Xiao Longnu turned a few bends, pushed open a door, and entered a chamber lit with candles. The room was small; it was difficult to turn around with the two of them in there. The ceiling was low, and if Xiao Longnu stretched out her arm she would be able to touch the ceiling. Yang Guo didn’t see any Taoists; he was slightly disappointed and asked, “Where is the Taoist you caught?”

Xiao Longnu said, “What Taoist?”

Yang Guo said, “Didn’t you say you were going to catch some people to help me practice kung fu?”

Xiao Longnu said, “Who said anything about people? It’s in there.” She went over the corner of the room and picked up a bag; she untied the bag and tipped it upside down, three sparrows flew out.

Yang Guo thought, “Oh, so Gu Gu went out to catch some sparrows.”

Xiao Longnu said, “Catch the three sparrows and give them to me. You mustn’t harm their wings or claws.”

Yang Guo said, “Fine!” He threw himself forward to catch them. But the sparrows were swift and quick; they flew to the west and darted to east. Yang Guo was out of breath, his head covered with sweat, yet he couldn’t even touch a feather of theirs.

Xiao Longnu said, “You won’t catch them like that, I’ll teach you a way.” She then taught him the technique to jump high and dart low, and the ability to catch things quickly. Yang Guo had realized that she caught the sparrows to teach him kung fu; he made sure he remembered this. Although he understood the formulae and method, it wasn’t easy to use it straight away. Xiao Longnu let him practice, and left the room.

On the first day Yang Guo wasn’t able to catch one. After supper he practiced on the Chilled Jade Bed. On the second day, he could jump higher than before, and his arm movements were much quicker. On the fifth day he eventually managed to catch one. Yang Guo was excited and quickly told Xiao Longnu. He couldn’t guess that she wouldn’t have any words of praise or encouragement. She calmly said, “What use is catching one; you must catch all three.”

Yang Guo said, “I’ve already caught one, how hard could it be to catch all three?” He was mistaken; he tried for two days but wasn’t able to catch them. Xiao Longnu saw that the sparrows were tired, so she fed them and then let them fly off. She then caught another three for him to practice with. By the eighth day, Yang Guo managed to catch all the sparrows in one go.

Xiao Longnu said, “It’s time to go up to Chongyang Palace.”

Yang Guo was alarmed and said, “Why?”

Xiao Longnu didn’t reply and took him out of the tomb. Yang Guo had not seen daylight in seven days, when he was in the daylight again, he struggled to open his eyes. The two of them arrived at Chongyang Palace. Yang Guo was worried, he kept on glancing at Xiao Longnu but she was expressionless, he couldn’t tell what she was thinking. Then he heard her call out in a clear voice, “Zhao Zhijing, come out quickly.”

When they arrived at Chongyang Palace, there were people who had gone in and gave the message of their arrival. After she finished speaking, out came tens of Taoists. Two young Taoists supported Zhao Zhijing, his face was haggard, his eyes deep, he had no way of standing up by himself. When the Taoists saw the two of them, they all held their weapons tightly and angrily glared at them.

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