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The Return of the Condor Heroes Chapter 9


Chapter 9 – A Hundred Ideas to Avoid the Enemy
Lu Wushuang seemed to still feel the pain of her broken ribs in her dreams. When Yang Guo saw her face like this he immediately remembered Xiao Long Nu and then remembered the oath he swore. He broke out in a cold sweat and two slapping sounds were heard, he had slapped himself heavily across his cheeks.

Lu Wushuang was frightened at this moment in time, when she heard him ask such a stupid question she angrily said, “Sha Dan! What the hell are you talking about?”

Yang Guo laughed and said, “Let’s play bride and groom. Why don’t you pretend to be a bride? Won’t that be beautiful? With a red veil covering your face, when people look they won’t see your face.”

Lu Wushuang was startled and said, “You’re instructing me to pretend to be a bride to avoid my master?”

Yang Guo laughed and said, “I don’t know, you pretend to be a bride and I’ll be the groom.”

This was an urgent matter, Lu Wushuang had no time to scold him, she thought, “Sha Dan’s idea is a strange one, but apart from this idea, there’s nothing else.” She asked, “How should we do it?”

Yang Guo didn’t want to waste time, he lashed the donkey and it hurried forward. The small roads of the countryside were tight and narrow, with eight people carrying the sedan chair lining up along the road; the two groups had nowhere to pass. When the people saw the donkey charging forward they all shouted, telling the riders to rein it in and slow down. Yang Guo squeezed his legs, and urged the donkey to go even faster, in a flash it had come up to the crowd. Two strong men had earlier stepped up wanting to pull the donkey back so that it won’t knock into the sedan chair. Yang Guo’s rope lashed out and wrapped around the two men’s arms, he raised his arm and let go, the two men fell onto the ground. He turned around to Lu Wushuang and said, “I want to be a groom.” He leaned forward and stretched out his hand to grab the groom who was riding on a white horse. The groom was about seventeen or eighteen years of age, he was fitted out with new clothes and with gold flowers on his head; the sudden grab by Yang Guo frightened him. Yang Guo lifted his body and flung him up, his body flew up over a distance of ten feet, when he was about to land, the people shouted and called out, stretching out their arms to catch him. There were about thirty people who were helping to celebrate, half of them were tall strong men of Guanxi but when they saw his skills and the groom in his hands, how did they dare attack? An experienced old man dashed up; thinking it was bandits, he said, “Please spare the groom Da Wang (king). The amount of money that Da Wang wants, we can discuss it.”

Yang Guo turned around to Lu Wushuang and said, “Wifey, why are they calling me Da Wang? My surname is Da? I think he’s even more stupid than me.”

Lu Wushuang said, “Don’t waste time, I think I can hear the bell of my master’s donkey.”

Yang Guo was startled, he listened carefully, and indeed he could hear a faint ringing sound. He thought, “She’s quick.” He then said, “Ling Zi (Bell) What Ling Zi? It’s a sweets seller? Great, let’s buy some sweets to eat.” He turned around to the old man and said, “If you listen to my instructions then I’ll let you go, otherwise” he lifted up the groom and threw him up in the air. The groom was so frightened that he began to cry. The old man made a bow and said, “We’ll do as Da Wang instructs.”

Yang Guo pointed to Lu Wushuang and said, “That’s my little Wifey, when she saw that someone was getting married she thought that it was amusing, she herself wants to take part too.”

Lu Wushuang scolded, “Sha Dan, what did you say?”

Yang Guo ignored her and said, “Quickly take the bride’s clothes and put them on her, I’ll be the groom.”

It’s not unusual for kids to pretend to be a bride and groom. But who would think that a bandit on a narrow road would suddenly want to play this game? The people all looked at each other in dismay, and refused. Looking at the two, one was a young man, the other was a young girl, and one could describe them as a married couple. But the crowd of people didn’t care. Yang Guo heard the ringing of the bell getting closer so he leapt off the donkey and placed the groom on the saddle letting Lu Wushuang guard him and went over to the sedan chair, he pushed aside the curtain and pulled the bride out. The bride screeched out in fright, her face was covered with a red veil and didn’t know what was happening outside. Yang Guo brushed aside her red veil and saw a face like the moon, a face full of joy. He laughed and said, “The bride is beautiful.” He lightly touched her cheek. The bride froze in fright and didn’t make a sound.

Yang Guo’s left hand held up the bride and called out, “If you want me to spare her, quickly take her clothes and give them to my Wifey to wear.”

Lu Wushuang heard the ringing of her master’s donkey getting closer, she gave him a stare and thought, “That Sha Dan doesn’t know how high the sky is or how deep the earth is and his mouth is still joking at this time?” She heard the old man following his instructions, “Quick, quick! Quickly change the bride’s clothes.” The nanny accompanying the bride quickly took off her phoenix headdress and her bridal costume and dressed Lu Wushuang with them. Taking off the groom’s costume, Yang Guo changed himself. He turned around to Lu Wushuang and said, “Good Wifey, enter the sedan chair.” Lu Wushuang told the bride to enter the sedan chair first and then she entered, lowering the curtain afterwards.

Yang Guo took a look at his grass shoes and wanted to change them when he heard the ringing sound from just around the bend in the road, he called out, “Turn around and head in a southeast direction, quickly! If someone comes and asks about us don’t say you’ve seen us.” He leapt onto the white horse and rode along with the groom on the donkey. When the crowd saw the couple had fallen into their hands, they didn’t dare to disobey; they raised their gongs and cymbals and started their tune.

The sedan chair was picked up and turned around but after about a hundred feet, the ringing sound was becoming quicker, two donkeys trotted after them. Lu Wushuang was thinking about whether she would be able to escape from this danger and heard the now much closer ringing sound; her heart jumped and she carefully listened to the activities of outside.

Yang Guo pretended to be embarrassed and lowered his head looking at the horse’s neck. He heard Hong Lingbo call out, “Hey, have you seen a lame girl walking past here?”

The old man from the crowd called out, “No…no…”

Hong Lingbo asked again, “Have you seen a girl on an animal pass by?”

The old man said, “No.” The two passed the crowd and rushed on by. After a short while the two pulled the donkeys around and returned. Li Mochou’s fly whisk flew out and wrapped around the sedan chair curtain, she pulled back and after a ‘chi’ sound, the curtain ripped in half. Yang Guo was alarmed and rushed forward, as soon as the fly whisk comes out a second time he will make his move and rescue her. He didn’t know that after one look in the sedan chair, Li Mochou would smile and say, “The bride is handsome.” She raised her head and said to Yang Guo, “Little punk, your luck isn’t bad.” Yang Guo lowered his head not daring to face her, but heard them trotting away.

Yang Guo wondered, “Why did she spare Miss Lu?” He opened the sedan chair curtain only to see the bride scared out of her wits, and Lu Wushuang had disappeared. Yang Guo was even more baffled and called out, “Ai Ya, where’s my Wifey gone?”

Lu Wushuang laughed and said, “I’ve disappeared.” He saw the bride’s dress move and Lu Wushuang darted out; she had hidden underneath the bride’s gown. She knew that her master was very meticulous and careful, she would examine all possibilities; she knew that her master would come back so she hid.

Yang Guo said, “You can relax and be the bride from now on, sitting in the sedan chair is much more comfortable than riding on the donkey.”

Lu Wushuang nodded and said to the bride, “You are suffocating me, quickly get out.” The bride could do nothing and exited the sedan chair and rode on the donkey that was previously ridden by Lu Wushuang. The bride and the groom had never met before, the groom saw that the bride was healthy and attractive, the bride saw the groom and she too was pleased. The two were delighted even with their fear, and soon forgot that they were being held hostage by a bandit.

They walked on for about twenty li (10 km/6.2 miles) and the sky gradually became dark. The old man kept on pleading with Yang Guo to let them go in case they missed the wedding’s lucky period.

Yang Guo scolded, “Why are you so annoying?” As soon as he said this, something flashed by the roadside and two people hurried into the forest. Yang Guo was suspicious and chased after them. Indeed he saw the backs of two people, their clothes were old and torn, and they looked like beggars. Yang Guo reigned in his horse and thought, “Could the Beggar Clan have seen through us and set up a trap ahead? But at this moment in time, all we can do is head forward.”

Not long after, the sedan chair caught up with him. Lu Wushuang poked her head out and asked, “What did you see?”

Yang Guo said, “Your curtain is torn and your face is not covered by the red veil. To be a proper bride one must cry and sob, even if the bride wants to get married, tears should flow and noses should run, calling out for your father and mother but not daring to leave. Where can you find such an unabashed bride as you under heaven’s skies?” Lu Wushuang heard his words and understood the meaning behind it, their movements seemed to have been discovered. She lightly called out ‘Sha Dan’ and didn’t say anymore. After a while the mountain path in front of them became steep, narrow and rugged, the people leading the procession were extremely tired long ago but didn’t say anything in case they incurred Yang Guo’s wrath.

In the wink of the eye the sun was now above the mountain, crows screeched as they flew in the sky. Suddenly, voices were heard around the mountain, they were singing, “Little Miss do a good deed, please spare us a silver saber.”

Lu Wushuang’s face turned pale, and she thought, “So the four beggars are hiding around here.”

After the sedan chair turned a corner, three men could be seen in front of them, they were beggars. They were tall and strongly built; they were completely different to the four beggars they previously encountered.

Yang Guo saw that there were five pockets on their shoulders and thought, “These three five pocket beggars must be better than the other four, it looks like I’m going have to use my real skills.”

The crowd carrying the couple had waited impatiently, one of them had taken a whip and lashed out at one of the beggars calling out, “Move out of the way… move out of the way!” The beggar did not move, he held the tip of the whip and pulled, the person holding the whip fell down. If this happened normally the crowd of people would have rushed up, but they had been frightened by Yang Guo previously and all thought, “So the three beggars are with him.” No one dared to move forward and instead took a few steps back.

One of the beggars clearly said, “Congratulations Miss, little beggar here just want to beg for some money.”

Lu Wushuang quietly said, “Sha Dan, I’m injured at the moment and can’t fight, get rid of them for me.”

Yang Guo said, “Fine.”

He galloped forward on his horse and said, “Today is my wife’s special day, she doesn’t want any beggars to spoil it, now move.” One of the beggars took a few glances at Yang Guo but couldn’t recognize him from anywhere. The four beggars who had been struck in the wrist by the chopsticks all thought it was Lu Wushuang who did this and so did not tell their Martial Uncles about Yang Guo.

One of the beggars waved out his right hand. Yang Guo’s horse was frightened and reared up. Yang Guo pretended to wobble and fell off the back of the horse and didn’t pick himself up for a long time. The three beggars all thought, “So that person really is the groom.”

The Beggar Clan is a righteous and chivalrous clan; they have always helped the weak against the strong and aided those who were in danger. They had only decided to go after Lu Wushuang because she hurt a member of their clan. When they saw Yang Guo falling onto the ground and didn’t seem to know ANY martial arts they all felt apologetic, one of the beggars stretched out a hand to pull him up and said, “Sorry.”

Yang Guo mumbled, “What’s wrong with you people, if you want to beg for money then beg for money, why are you scaring my horse.” He took out some change and handed it out. The three beggars thanked him according to the clan’s rules.

Yang Guo laughed and said to Lu Wushuang, “You told me to give them money, I’ve already done it.”

Lu Wushuang angrily said, “What use is there of pretending to be stupid to me?”

Yang Guo said, “Yes, yes!” He stepped to the side and brushed off the dirt off his body.

Lu Wushuang saw the three beggars were still blocking the way, she calmly said, “What do you want?”

One of the beggars said, “Miss is a skilled fighter of the Ancient Tomb sect, the three of us admire your skills and want a few pointers.”

Lu Wushuang said, “I have a serious wound, how can I fight with you? If you don’t like it, then we can arrange a later date and test out each other’s skills after my injury has healed. You are skilled fighters of the Beggar Clan, today you are ganging up on an injured young girl; can you still call yourself a hero?”

After hearing her words, the three beggars felt that they were indeed in the wrong. Two of them said, “Fine! We’ll come back for you after your wound has recovered.”

The other beggar said, “Wait, where exactly are you injured? You have to let me take a look to see whether it’s real or fake. If it is a real wound then I’ll spare you today.”

He didn’t know that she was hurt in the chest; his words had no harmful intentions. But Lu Wushuang’s cheeks immediately turned red, and couldn’t stop herself from being angry. Feeling this anger she wasn’t able to think of anything to say, after half a minute she scolded, “In Jianghu the Beggar Clan is known to be heroic and chivalrous, this is a lie, you people are in fact shameless scoundrels.”

When the three heard her denigrate the Beggar Clan’s name their faces immediately changed, one of them was rash and impatient; he dashed forward, stretching out his hand wanting to grab her out of the sedan chair. Yang Guo saw that the situation had become urgent, he called out, “Wait… wait. You lot asked for money, I gave you money, why are you still arguing with my wife?” He dashed forward in front of the sedan chair and said, “Although you three are beggars now, according to your faces you will became rich and become officials in the future, how can you do such disgraceful things and treat my new wife with such disrespect?”

The three beggars were startled and had no reply. The impulsive beggar said, “Move out of the way, we just want to test out the Ancient Tomb’s kung fu, who’s bullying who?” He lightly pushed out his hand. Yang Guo called out loudly and dropped to the side. The Beggar Clan has a rule, one must not hit out at someone who doesn’t know martial arts. The beggar didn’t know that this groom was so useless, just a light push and he fell onto the ground. If he was seriously hurt he would be punished within the clan and the other two would not be able to escape punishment as well. The three of them were startled and went over to pick him up.

Yang Guo shouted and called out, “Ai Ya, Ai Yo, mum!” The three beggars could not see clearly if he was hurt or not.

Yang Guo called out in pain and said, “You three are stupid, my wife is shy; how can she speak to strangers? And about this, what do you want to test out? First tell me. I’ll then go and ask my wife and then come back to speak with you, is that alright?” The three of them saw that he was dumb but not stupid, they had had enough of this but it wasn’t suitable to attack him. The oldest of the beggars thought, “That Lu girl is pretending to be a bride; if that young man really is the groom then he should help her. But if he is pretending to be a groom then he shouldn’t be so useless.” He carefully studied him but couldn’t find anything wrong. The impulsive beggar waved out his hand and shouted, “Are you going to move?”

Yang Guo spread out his two hands and loudly said, “You can’t harm my wife.”

Another beggar said, “Miss Lu, are you ordering this Sha Dan to block for you, could it be that you think we won’t be able to get to you with this obstruction? Just get it over with and come out here.”

Yang Guo said, “Oh, you know that I’m called Sha Dan, how strange.”

The impulsive beggar faced Lu Wushuang and said, “We don’t have to fight, we just want to see how you used your saber to hack into someone’s shoulder, what is this move called?”

Lu Wushuang knew that Yang Guo was trying to annoy them but without results, she was thinking about how to escape when she heard the beggar’s question and replied without thinking, “It’s called “The Mink greets the Moon”, what about it?”

Yang Guo interrupted and said, “Correct, once my wife’s saber comes out, with a ‘fu’ sound, it will be in your shoulder.” His right hand extended out and found its way to the beggar’s shoulder. He pushed downwards and the palm of his hand lightly touched the shoulder. When the three beggars saw this move they were all startled, and all thought, “He pretended to be a fake groom all along to trick us.”

Although Yang Guo had not put any strength into his palm, the impulsive beggar who was struck felt embarrassed, and called out, “Fine, you scoundrel, pretending to be dumb, come, let me first test out your skills.”

Yang Guo said, “You said you wanted to fight with my wife first, why do you want to fight with me now?”

The beggar angrily said, “It’s all the same if I fight with you.”

Yang Guo said, “Oh no, I don’t know what to do.” He turned around to Lu Wushuang and said, “My darling wife, my little Wifey, tell me what should I do to them?”

Lu Wushuang was beyond doubt now, she knew that he must be highly skilled, the palm he had just demonstrated was crisp and clean, she couldn’t manage something like that but she didn’t know what his martial arts origins were so she just said, “Do another stance of “The Mink greets the Moon” (diao chan bai yue).”

Yang Guo said, “Fine!” He bent his waist and extended his hand, a clapping sound was heard as he struck down on the beggar’s shoulder again. The three beggars were astonished with that last attack. Yang Guo was definitely facing away from them and he didn’t take a step to turn around, all he did was stretch out his hand and the chop came down on the Beggar’s shoulder; that palm technique was extremely strange.

Lu Wushuang’s heart shook, “That’s definitely my Ancient Tomb sect’s kung fu, how does he know it?” She then said, “A stance of “The West Offers the Heart” (Xi Shi Peng Xin).”

Yang Guo said, “Alright!” His left fist came out, and landed on his opponent’s chest. The beggar who was struck in the chest felt a strong force pushing him forward; he couldn’t stop himself from flying away about a ten feet. He struggled to stay on his feet but the area of his chest where he was struck was not in pain, it was if someone had carried him and placed him further away. The other two beggars dashed up.

Yang Guo called out urgently, “Wifey, I don’t know how to deal with them, teach me.”

Lu Wushuang said, “The Illustrious Gentlemen Pushes Out” (zhao jun chu sai), “The Numb Nun Offers Life” (ma gu xian shou).”

Yang Guo’s left hand rose and slanted, the fingers on his right hand stretched out, his form was in the position of strumming a zither, his five fingers flicked out at the beggar on the right, this was “The Illustrious Gentlemen Pushes Out”. He immediately moved across and kicked the beggar on the left, his fists came together and pushed upwards, a clashing sound was heard as his fists struck the opponent’s jaw. He then called out, “This is “The Numb Nun Offers Life”, isn’t it?” He didn’t want to hurt anyone so he didn’t put any strength behind his attacks.

The four stances he used were all exquisite stances of the Ancient Tomb’s “Beauty Fist Techniques”. Ever since Lin Chaoying founded the Ancient Tomb sect, all the arts were passed on to females, never males. Lin Chaoying’s “Beauty Fist Technique” took the names of famous beauties for the name of its stances. When it is used it is elegant, graceful and enchanting, yet it was deadly at the same time. Yang Guo learned martial arts from Xiao Longnu so of course he learned this set of fist techniques. He felt that although it was a refined set of skills, its nature meant that when a man practiced it, it wasn’t appealing. When he was practicing he inadvertently changed its soft nature to hard and yang; its changes became swift and stylish, though the nature of it was slightly different, the technique of this set of fists remained intact.

The three beggars were all struck by the stances without knowing what happened but they didn’t feel any pain from the stances. They weren’t in awe of Yang Guo’s skills; they whistled and attacked all at once. Yang Guo dodged to the east and darted to the west, he called out, “Wifey, it looks like it’s becoming desperately serious; you are going to be a widow today!”

Lu Wushuang scoffed and said, “Heaven’s Grandson Weaves Cotton”! (tian sun zhi mian).

Yang Guo’s right hand wiped his left, his left pushed the right, and his stance resembled a loom weaving cloth, one scatter one push; his hands struck the beggars on the shoulders again.

Lu Wushuang called out again, “”The Civil Gentlemen as a Stove” (wen jun dang lu), “The Concubine is Drunk” (gui fei zui jiu)!”

Yang Guo raised his hand as if he was pouring wine and cut down on the impulsive beggar’s forehead and caught his body; he twisted him around and flung him out to the right, his shoulder hitting another beggar squarely in the chest. The three beggars were alarmed and angry, the three of them used the kung fu they had obtained throughout their lives, yet now they couldn’t even touch this kid’s clothes. The boy looked and his hand waved out, whoever he wanted to hit he struck; although it wasn’t painful when they were hit, it was extremely weird.

Lu Wushuang called out three stances in a row, “‘Foolish Jade Blows the Flute’ (nong yu chui xiao), ‘The Descending Goddess Encroaches the Wave’ (luo shen ling bo), ‘Enticing Shoot Holding Fist’ (gou yi wo quan).” Yang Guo did as he was told. Lu Wushuang was in awe, she deliberately gave him a hard stance, as Yang Guo was throwing out his fist, she immediately called out, “‘Ruling Sky Hangs’ (ze tian chui).” According to his form at the moment, it was impossible to use this stance, but because Yang Guo’s internal energy was much higher than the enemy’s, he actually managed it; his body went forward, his palms hanging down. The three beggars saw that his chest was exposed and there was a weakness, they were delighted and dashed forward, but they didn’t know that his internal energy would hold them back and force them to retreat a few steps.

Lu Wushuang was pleasantly surprised and called out, “‘One Laugh Overturns the Country’ (yi xiao qing guo)!” This was a stance that she had just invented. A captivating beauty could overturn cities and countries with a smile, but how could this be used to fight with others?

Yang Guo was startled; he immediately laughed out loud, “Ha-ha-ha-ha, hei-hei-hei-hei, hu-hu-he-he”, and circulated the profound internal energy of the “Nine Yin Manual”. Although he hadn’t refined this internal energy to a good level that could be used to fight off skilled fighters, the three band five beggars were just run of the mill fighters. When they heard this strange laugh, they couldn’t stop their heads from shaking and eyes from being dazzled; their bodies shook a few times and they fell down onto the ground. Every person has a moon shaped small object in their ear which controls the person’s balance, if this object is forced to shake, headaches and feeling light headed will be unavoidable. Eventually they won’t be able to stand upright. Yang Guo’s laugh was created by his strong internal energy, everyone’s eardrums were being shaken continuously, and it was like the earth and sky were flipping over. Lu Wushuang felt faint and urgently grabbed onto the carriage to support herself. Calls of ‘ai ya’ and thudding noises all sounded together, the well wishers of the wedding, the bride and groom all fell onto the ground.

Yang Guo’s laughter stopped, the three beggars got up, their faces grey and they ran away without turning their heads back. The rest of the party rested for half an hour and then carried the sedan chair on, now they treated Yang Guo’s order as words from the gods, they didn’t dare to revolt.

At ‘er geng shi fen’ (I assume its nine o’clock in the evening) they reached a town and Yang Guo let the people go. The people knew that they would be detained after being captured by this bandit, and would most likely suffer his wrath. How were they to know that this bandit really wanted to have a laugh and pretend to be a newly wed? They were surprised and all thanked and expressed gratitude to Yang Guo. The nanny was much more vocal and said, “Da Wang and his wife would stay together for hundred of years until both of you are old with white hair. You are going to have many little ‘Da Wangs’.” This made Yang Guo laugh; Lu Wushuang was embarrassed and angry with this.

Yang Guo and Lu Wushuang found an inn and called for some rice and other dishes. They were about to eat when they saw someone enter and after seeing the two of them, immediately turned around and walked away. Yang Guo knew something was wrong and went over to the entrance and saw two people standing in a pavilion. It was the two Taoists who fought with Lu Wushuang at Wolf Valley, Shen Zhifan and Ji Qingxu. The two of them took out their long swords and darted forward.

Yang Guo thought, “Why are you two trying to make trouble for me? Are you looking for pain?”

The two approached but slanted their body and brushed past him; they hurried into the hall and headed for Lu Wushuang. At this time, the ringing of a bell was suddenly heard, ‘ding ling’ ‘ding ling’.

By the time the ringing sounds were in their ears, the source had arrived. The two Taoists’ faces changed and they glanced at each other. They darted to the first room of the western wing and closed the door, and didn’t come out again.

Yang Guo thought, “Rotten Taoists, you’ve probably tasted Li Mochou’s pain before, that’s why you’re acting like this.”

Lu Wushuang quietly said, “My master is near, Sha Dan, what should we do?”

Yang Guo said, “What shall we do? Let’s run!” As soon as he stretched out his hand to help her up, the ringing sound had arrived at the entrance of the inn. They heard Li Mochou say, “Guard the roof.”

They then heard the waiter say, “Angelic priestess, old senior’s room, ai ya, I …” A thudding sound was heard as he landed on the floor, there wasn’t another sound. He didn’t know that Li Mochou hated people who mentioned the word ‘old’. What about when someone called her ‘old senior’? The fly whisk was waved and robbed the old waiter of his life. She asked another waiter, “There’s a lame girl here, where is she?” That waiter was already scared out of his wits, he couldn’t reply and just said, “I…I…” Li Mochou kicked him away with her left foot; her right foot kicked open the door of the first room of the western wing. She went in and took a look; it was where the Taoists Shen and Ji were staying.

Yang Guo thought, “It’s best if we leave by the backdoor, although Hong Lingbo will see us, it won’t be too much trouble.” He quietly said, “Wifey, escape with me.”

Lu Wushuang looked at him and got up, thinking that if she was able to escape this time then heaven must be looking out for her. As soon as the two got up, a guest from the table in the eastern corner came up to them and quietly said, “I’ll lure the enemy away, quickly think of a way to escape.” That person sat in an out of sight place, Lu Wushuang and Yang Guo couldn’t see his face. When the person was speaking his face was turned away, as soon as they finished speaking, he immediately left through the main door. They could only see the person’s back. That person wasn’t tall; he wore a flowing blue green gown. Yang Guo and Lu Wushuang looked at each other and then heard the bell ringing, going towards the north.

Hong Lingbo called out; “Master, someone’s escaping.” A yellow blur came out of the room; Li Mochou dashed out of the inn and chased after the escapee.

Lu Wushuang quickly said, “Quickly run!”

Yang Guo thought, “Li Mochou’s lightness kung fu is extremely quick, she will be able to catch up with that person in just a second, and then she will return here. I won’t be able to go that fast with Miss Lu on my back; we won’t be able to run away.” An idea dawned on him; he dashed into the first room of the western wing. He saw the Taoists Shen and Ji sitting by the bed, their faces’ were still carrying the shocked look from before. There was no time to delay, Yang Guo didn’t allow for the two to get up and ask questions as he dashed forward and moved his finger, sealing the two’s pressure points, keeping them still. He called out, “Wifey, enter.” Lu Wushuang entered the room. Yang Guo closed the doors and said, “Quickly take off your clothes!”

Lu Wushuang’s face blushed and hissed, “Sha Dan, what are you saying now?”

Yang Guo said, “It’s up to you whether you want to take off your clothes or not, I’m going to.” He took off his outer garment and put on Shen Zhifan’s Taoist gown and hat.

Lu Wushuang then understood, and said, “Fine, we’ll pretend to be Taoists to fool my master.” She stretched out her hand and undid her buttons. Her face turned red and she kicked Ji Qingxu. She said, “Close your eyes you filthy Taoist!” The two Taoists could not move but still had control of their five senses. They closed their eyes immediately; how would they dare to look at her?

Lu Wushuang said, “Sha Dan, turn around, don’t watch me change.”

Yang Guo laughed and said, “What are you worried about, I helped you fix your ribs back into place, haven’t I already seen you?” As soon as he said this he felt that he was impolite and had offended her, he couldn’t stop himself from feeling a bit embarrassed. All Yang Guo had to do was to lower his head and move away but he was in a trance, a slap came and he was heavily struck on the left cheek. Lu Wushuang thought that she could never have hit him in a million years, still she didn’t hold back. She felt apologetic; she laughed and said, “Sha Dan, does it hurt? Who told you to speak such crap?”

Yang Guo touched his cheek and laughed, he turned around.

Lu Wushuang changed into the Taoist gown and laughed, “Take a look! Don’t I look like a young Taoist?”

Yang Guo said, “I can’t see so I don’t know.”

Lu Wushuang said, “Sha Dan, turn around.”

Yang Guo turned around and saw her Taoist gown was flowing, it showed off her figure even better, he was about to say something when Lu Wushuang gave a grunt and pointed to the bed, and saw a Taoist’s head sticking out of the covers, it was the Taoist whose fingers had been cut off by her, Pi Quanxuan. All along he had been lying on the bed resting, when he saw Lu Wushuang enter, he immediately hid his head under the covers. The two of them were preoccupied with changing and didn’t notice him.

Lu Wushuang said, “He…he…” She wanted to say ‘he saw me changing’ but couldn’t say the words. At this time, the donkey’s bell was heard. Yang Guo listened and knew that Li Mochou had taken the donkey back. When the guest in blue green rode the donkey, the bell’s ringing was scattered, when Li Mochou rode her donkey, though she rode it fast the bell’s ringing was ordered. An idea came; he picked up Pi Quanxuan and sealed his pressure point at the same time. He opened the compartment underneath the bed and placed him in there. It’s cold in the north, on winter nights the bed will be warmed by a fire underneath it, it was now summer, there was no need to light a fire but there was ash and coal beneath, Pi Quanxuan’s face was covered with grey ash. The ringing sound of the bell stopped, Li Mochou had come back to the inn.

Yang Guo said to Lu Wushuang, “Sleep in the bed.”

Lu Wushuang’s brows raised and said, “A smelly Taoist has slept there, its dirty, how can I sleep in it?”

Yang Guo said, “It’s up to you!” As he said this he stuck Shen Zhifan underneath the bed as well and unsealed Ji Qingxu’s pressure point at the same time. Though Lu Wushuang felt that the bed and covers were dirty, she thought about how venomous her Master was so she got into the bed, facing the wall. As soon as she pretended to sleep, Li Mochou kicked open the door and come to search the room for a second time. Yang Guo took a tea cup and lowered his head, drinking tea, his left hand covering the fatal pressure point on Ji Qingxu’s back. Li Mochou saw that there were still three Taoists, Ji Qingxu’s face was grey and was shaking; Li Mochou laughed and searched the second room.

When she searched the room for the first time, she had studied the faces of the three Taoists carefully afraid that Lu Wushuang had disguised herself as one of them; she didn’t take a closer look the second time.

That night Li Mochou and her disciple searched the town’s inns, disturbing everyone. Yang Guo and Lu Wushuang lay on the bed with their heads together; he smelt her womanly scent and was happy. Lu Wushuang had many thoughts, she felt that Yang Guo was an extremely strange person, if one said he was a ‘Sha Dan’, he was extremely clever, if one said he was intelligent, he would act mad and crazy. She lay on the bed not daring to move, thinking that Sha Dan would definitely try to hug her, what would she do then? A while passed but there was no movement from Yang Guo, she was actually disappointed. She smelt the manly scent of Yang Guo and was captivated by it; time passed as she slowly fell asleep.

When Yang Guo woke up the sky was bright, he saw Ji Qingxu in deep sleep across the table; Lu Wushuang was quiet, her cheeks were rosy, her red lips slightly apart, he couldn’t stop himself from being moved and thought, “If I lightly kiss her, she won’t know.”

He’s a young man who is experiencing his first awakenings of desire (qing dou chu kai). He had never been close to a girl before and right now he was at his most emotional state. He thought about the time when he was fixing her ribs and saw her naked breasts, it was even harder for him to resist. Yang Guo moved his head forward, wanting to kiss her on the lips. Before the lips met he smelt a fragrant scent, his heart stirred, his blood rushed, then her brows crinkled; she seemed to still feel the pain of her broken ribs in her dreams. When Yang Guo saw her face like this he immediately remembered Xiao Longnu and then remembered the oath he swore, “I will only have Gu Gu in my heart in my lifetime, if my heart changes, there will be no need for Gu Gu to kill me, when I see her face I will kill myself.” He broke out in a cold sweat and two slapping sounds were heard, he had slapped himself heavily across his cheeks and leapt off the bed.

This woke up Lu Wushuang; she opened her eyes and asked, “Sha Dan, what are you doing?”

Yang Guo was feeling embarrassed and guilty, he mumbled, “Nothing, it’s just a mosquito biting my face.”

Lu Wushuang remembered how she slept with him last night, her face suddenly turned red, she lowered her head and gently said, “Sha Dan, Sha Dan!” Her voice carried a soft and caring tone. After a while she raised her head and asked, “Sha Dan, how come you know the Ancient Tomb’s “Beauty Fist Technique”?”

Yang Guo said, “When I dream at night many beautiful women and minks came and taught me a stance, that’s how I know.”

Lu Wushuang gave a ‘humph’ sound; she knew that he wouldn’t answer anything about it if she asked again. Just as she was about to change the subject, she suddenly heard the ringing sound of Li Mochou’s donkey. They headed in a northwest direction and then returned. Li Mochou thought about how the ‘Five Poison Codex’ was in Lu Wushuang’s hands; another day without the book meant another day of danger, she didn’t dare to waste any time. Before the sky became bright she rode her donkey and searched everywhere nearby.

Yang Guo said, “When she can’t find us she will leave. It’s a pity that you’re hurt and can’t move much, otherwise we would steal a pair of horses and gallop for one day and one night, how would she be able to catch up then?”

Lu Wushuang angrily said, “You’re not hurt, why don’t you go and steal a horse and gallop for a day and night?”

Yang Guo thought, “This girl takes everything to heart, I just said something without thinking and she got angry.” But he wanted to see her angry expression and wanted to anger her further and said, “If it weren’t for you begging me to take you to Jiangnan, I would have long gone.”

Lu Wushuang was furious and said, “Just go, go! Sha Dan, just looking at you makes me angry, just go and die by yourself.”

Yang Guo laughed and said, “Huh, I’ll miss you if you die.” He was afraid that Lu Wushuang was going to get angry for real and aggravate her injury so he laughed and exited the room. He found an ink block and returned to the room. He placed the ink block in a basin of water and rubbed it about, and then suddenly he touched Lu Wushuang’s face. Lu Wushuang wasn’t prepared for this hand coming towards her and touching her face, she scolded, “Rotten Sha Dan, bastard Sha Dan.” She then saw him take out a pile of ash from underneath the bed, he smeared the ash and brushed the water on his face, his face was dirty and unsightly, as if his face was full of pimples and boils.

She then understood, “Although I’ve changed into Taoist clothes my face hasn’t changed, if my master catches up with me, how could she not recognize me?” She then smeared the ink water over her face. Girls naturally love to make themselves as beautiful as possible, although she was smearing ink water, she applied it as if she was applying make up.

The two finished with their disguises. Yang Guo stretched out his leg underneath the bed and unsealed the two Taoist’s pressure points. Lu Wushuang saw that Yang Guo didn’t even take a look and after some kicks the two Taoists made a relieved grunt. She was secretly in awe of him and thought, “That Sha Dan’s kung fu is ten times better than mine.” But she didn’t show any sign of this and instead kept on scolding him, as if she thought nothing of him. Yang Guo went to the market to look for a cart but the market was too small, there were no carts for rent, he could only buy two horses. That day, Lu Wushuang’s injury had eased; both of them rode on the horses and slowly went southeast.

They rode for a few hours; Yang Guo was afraid that she was tired so he helped her down off the horse and sat on a rock and rested. He remembered how he almost treated Lu Wushuang with disrespect; although he felt that treating Lu Wushuang with disrespect wasn’t anything serious, he would have done something disrespectful to his Gu Gu. He was a bastard. He was insulting and cursing himself when Lu Wushuang suddenly asked, “Sha Dan, why aren’t you talking to me.”

Yang Guo smiled and didn’t reply. He suddenly thought of something and asked, “Ai ya, crap, I’m so dumb.”

Lu Wushuang said, “You are dumb!”

Yang Guo said, “When we disguised ourselves, the three Taoists saw us. If they tell your master, won’t that be a disaster?”

Lu Wushuang pursed her lips and smiled, then said, “Those three Taoists rode past us long ago and my master is still behind us. What’s wrong with you Sha Dan, what were you in a daze about, you didn’t even see them ride past us.”

Yang Guo gave an ‘ah’ sound and laughed. Lu Wushuang felt that his laugh had a hidden meaning behind it, she remembered the words she just said, “What’s wrong with you Sha Dan, what were you in a daze about”, she couldn’t stop her face from turning red. At this time, they suddenly heard the neigh of a horse.

Lu Wushuang turned around and saw two beggars approaching from around the corner. Yang Guo took a look and saw a head peep out and withdraw back behind the edge of the mountain, it was Shen Zhifan and Ji Qingxu. He thought, “So the three Taoists told the Beggar Clan that we’ve dressed up as Taoists.”

He held up his hand and said, “Beggar masters, if you want to ask for food or money, old Taoist here has already given as much as he could today, you’ll have to leave empty handed.”

One of the beggars had a voice like an overwhelming bell, he said, “Even if you shaved your head and disguised yourselves as a monk or a nun, you won’t be able to get past my eyes and ears. Don’t play dumb anymore, just get it over with and come with us to see the elder and sort this matter out.”

Yang Guo thought, “Those two old beggars have eight pockets on their back, I’m afraid that they might be very skilled.”

The two beggars were eight band members, they saw that the two of them were at most twenty years old yet they managed to defeat four band four members and three band five members. They thought that there must something strange going on here.

Both sides were suspicious of each other. In the northwest the ringing of a gold bell could be heard, ‘ding ling’ ‘ding ling’, it was light and swift, it was pleasant to the ear.

Lu Wushuang thought, “Crap… crap. Although I have disguised my face, I had to bump into those two old beggars at this time, if they’ve uncovered my identity, how will I be able to escape from my master? Oh crap, I’m really out of luck this time. There had to be someone with nothing better to do with themselves once they’ve been fed, they just had to come and find me.”

In a short while, the bell’s ringing became closer. Yang Guo thought, “I won’t be able to beat her, the only thing I can do is to quickly find a path to escape on.” He said, “You two aren’t begging for alms, and you won’t come close, just let us pass.” As he said this he took large steps forward. The two beggars saw that his steps weren’t solid; it seems that he didn’t know any martial arts; each one stretched out their arm and grabbed him.

Yang Guo chopped out his right hand and clashed with the two palms, the three palms pulled back and each one took three steps back. The two eight band Beggar Clan members have practiced martial arts for tens of years, their internal energy was profound, in the world of Jianghu there were few who could match them. In terms of kung fu foundation they were ahead of Yang Guo but when it comes to the mastery of exquisite stances, they weren’t a match for him. Yang Guo borrowed strength to use strength and dispersed the two’s palms but if he wanted to dash pass them, it would be impossible. The three of them were secretly startled. At this time Li Mochou and her disciple had arrived at the scene.

Hong Lingbo called out, “Hey, Beggar, Taoist, have you seen a lame girl pass by here?”

The two beggars had a high status in the world of Wulin, when they heard Hong Lingbo question them like this they became angry but the Beggar Clan had strict rules, the members mustn’t get into feuds with others as they pleased so the two just replied, “No!”

Li Mochou’s eyes were sharp and saw the back of Lu Wushuang, she was suspicious and thought, “I think I’ve seen those two before?” She saw the four facing each other, their weapons braced as if they were about to fight, she thought she should stand aside and see what happens.

Yang Guo glanced over and saw that she had a wry smile on her face, standing by watching the battle, he had a thought, “I’ve got it, and if I do this I’ll erase her suspicions.” He turned around and went over to Hong Lingbo to ask her something, he disguised his voice and said, “Greetings Taoist friend.” Hong Lingbo returned the greeting.

He said, “This Taoist was just passing by when these two evil beggars started to cause trouble, wanting to fight me. This Taoist has not got weapon, I hope you will lend me a weapon in respect of Lao Jun.” As he said this he made another bow.

Hong Lingbo saw that his face was black and ugly, but he was respectful and modest, he referred to the Taoist’s Tai Shang Lao Jun. It didn’t seem right to reject his request so she held out her sword and glanced at her master. She saw that she was nodding her head and so handed the sword to him. Yang Guo bowed as he received the long sword, the tip pointing to the ground, he said, “If this Taoist can’t fight off the enemy, I hope that Taoist friend here will look upon the fact that we are people of religion and will assist me.”

Hong Lingbo raised her eyebrows and gave a ‘humph’ sound without replying.

Yang Guo turned around and loudly said to Lu Wushuang, “Apprentice brother, sit by the side and watch and don’t move, I’m going to teach the Beggar Clan beggars the skills of our Quanzhen sect.”

Li Mochou shivered, “So the two Taoists are from the Quanzhen sect. But Quanzhen sect and the Beggar Clan have always been good friends, why are they arguing?”

Yang Guo was afraid that the two beggars would speak and reveal who Lu Wushuang was so he raised his sword and dashed forward, calling out, “Come, come, come, I’ll fight two by myself.”

But Lu Wushuang was concerned, “Sha Dan doesn’t know that my master has fought Quanzhen sect on many occasions, how would she not be able to recognize the stances of the Quanzhen sect? There are many Taoist sects in the world, Zhengyi, Dadao, Taiyi, they are all good choices for our cover why the hell did he pick Quanzhen?”

The two beggars heard him say ‘From the Quanzhen sect’ and were alarmed, the both called out, “Are you really from Quanzhen sect? You and…”

Yang Guo didn’t allow them to mention Lu Wushuang and thrust his sword forward, separately attacking the stomachs of the two; it was Quanzhen’s “Di Chuan” sword skills. The two beggar’s status was high, they could gang up and fight a young boy like him but Yang Guo’s stance came out extremely quick. They had to attack together with their sticks. As the metal rods were raised, Yang Guo’s sword darted through the gap and aimed for their chests. The two beggars could never have predicted that his sword skills were extremely quick; they quickly retreated. Yang Guo didn’t hold back, he kept on applying the pressure, in a flash he had unleashed eighteen swords, every stance had two intentions, when the sword comes out it was one stance, but within it was artifice, the sword stance separated into two. This was Quanzhen’s “One Sword into Three Distinctions” (yi jian hua san qing) technique; every stance can be made into three. Every stance that Yang Guo threw out, the beggars moved back three steps, after the eighteen stances had been unleashed, the beggars had not even attacked back once, and they had retreated back a total of fifty-four steps. The kung fu of the “Jade Heart Manual” was designed to counter Quanzhen’s kung fu. Before Yang Guo practiced the “Jade Heart Manual” he practiced the kung fu of the Quanzhen sect. But because he had not practiced enough and it wasn’t refined enough, he wasn’t able to do “One Sword into Three Distinctions”, but he was good enough to turn it into two distinctions.

Li Mochou saw that the young Taoist’s sword skills were refined, she couldn’t help being shocked and thought, “No wonder Quanzhen’s name is so famous, there are able people from the sect, in ten years time how will I be able to beat him? It looks the mantel of the Quanzhen sect is going to fall into his hands in the future.”

If she fought with Yang Guo, she would know that although the stances were real on the outside, underneath it was the Ancient Tomb’s kung fu, but from its appearance, it was hard to distinguish between the two. Yang Guo had learned the Quanzhen song from Zhao Zhijing, and practiced it afterwards, and so his Quanzhen kung fu wasn’t completely a fake. Lu Wushuang and Hong Lingbo looked on, dazzled.

Yang Guo thought, “If I slow down and allow the two beggars to talk, we’ll be finished.” Once the eighteen stances had passed, the long sword quickly turned around and attacked the two beggars backs, another set of two distinctions. The two beggars quickly turned around to attack. Yang Guo didn’t allow the metal rods and the sword to collide, he quickly darted behind the two’s backs. The beggars turned around, Yang Guo darted behind the beggars again. He knew that if it came to a real kung fu contest, he would not be able to handle one beggar let alone two; he utilized his lightness kung fu and circled around the two beggars. In the Quanzhen sect, as soon as one has refined their kung fu to a high level, they will practice lightness kung fu so later on they will be able to use it when practicing the “Big Dipper Formation”. Although Yang Guo is now using the steps of Quanzhen’s kung fu, but his breathing and circulation are from the formulae of the ”Jade Heart Manual”. The Ancient Tomb’s lightness kung fu was second to none in the world, as soon as he used it, the two skilled Beggar Clan fighters were not able to catch up, they saw him moving like lightning, a white blur, the sword piercing forwards. If he wanted to kill them, even if twenty beggars were here he would be able to kill them. The two beggars quickly turned around and waved their rods in defense, right now they weren’t able to defend against the incoming stances; they used all their strength in defense and hoped that heaven was on their side. They ran around like this for around ten loops, the two beggars were dizzy and dazed, their feet rapid, they felt that they were about to faint.

Li Mochou chuckled and said, “Hey, my Beggar Clan friends, I’ll teach you a method, stand back to back so you won’t have to keep on turning around.” With this pointer, the two beggars were filled with joy, they were about to follow this method when Yang Guo thought, “Crap! If this happen I’m going to lose.” He stopped circling them, two stances in one, as the sword was thrust forwards aiming for their backs. The two beggars heard the wind sound from the sword; they weren’t able to use their rods to block it so advanced forward. As soon as they took a step the stance arrived, they were shocked and quickly hurried out of the way. How could they have predicted that Yang Guo’s sword was like a shadow, no matter how fast they ran away, the sword remained behind their backs? The two’s steps slowed, their backs were pierced by the sword. The two beggars knew that Yang Guo didn’t want to kill them; otherwise all he had to do was just add an ounce more strength. The sword would have moved an inch further; wouldn’t the sword have gone through their chests? But they still didn’t dare to slow their steps. The three used their energy and in a flash they had moved over two miles, leaving Li Mochou and the others behind. Yang Guo suddenly sped up and dashed in front of the two. He laughed and said, “Walk slowly, be careful of tripping!” The two threw out their rods at the same time. Yang Guo stretched out his left hand and held onto one of the rods, at the same time he extended the flat side of his sword and hit the metal rod to the left. His left palm opened and held the two rods. The two beggars felt something was wrong and quickly distributed their chi. Yang Guo’s internal energy wasn’t a match for theirs, he didn’t dare to try and match them, and swept the long sword across. If the two beggars didn’t let go, their eight fingers would be slashed off immediately, they could only let go and jump back. Their faces had an expression of embarrassment. Not being able to win and using such a way to escape may have been going too far.

Yang Guo said, “My sect and your clan have always been friends, please don’t believe what others say my friends. Every event has its source, the Ancient Tomb’s ‘Scarlet Serpent Deity’ Li Mochou is over there, why aren’t you questioning her?”

The two beggars did not know Li Mochou but knew that she was ruthless and vindictive, when they heard Yang Guo say this they both shivered and said at the same time, “Is this true?”

Yang Guo said, “Why should I lie? That witch chased this Taoist until I had nowhere else to run, that’s why I had to fight with you two.” As he said this, he raised the metal rods and politely gave them back to the beggars. He said, “It is well known what objects the ‘Scarlet Serpent Deity’ always carries with her, haven’t you two heard about this?”

One of the beggars understood and said, “Yes, she holds a fly whisk, her donkey has a golden bell. The woman is in yellow isn’t she?”

Yang Guo smiled and said, “Correct, correct. The girl who used the silver saber to hurt your clan member is her disciple.” He then made his voice slightly deeper and said, “I’m afraid that it’s ominous, it ominous.”

The beggar with the voice like an overwhelming bell was impatient and asked, “What are you afraid of?”

Yang Guo said, “Ominous, ominous.”

The beggar urgently asked, “What’s ominous?”

Yang Guo replied, “Li Mochou is notorious in Wulin, everyone is afraid of her. Your clan may be powerful but no one is her match. Since it was a disciple of hers who injured one of your members, it would be best to leave it.”

He angered that beggar; the beggar raised his metal rod and said, “Huh, I don’t care if she’s the ‘Scarlet Serpent Deity’ or ‘Lizard Deity’, I must fight her today.” As he said this he headed back towards the path. The other beggar was more cautious, thinking how they could not overcome a young man, if they incurred the wrath of the ‘Scarlet Serpent Deity’ are they not signing their death warrants? He held the other beggar’s arm and said, “There’s no need to rush, let’s go back and plan this first.” He made a salute to Yang Guo with one hand and said, “Please can we have the pleasure of knowing your name.”

Yang Guo smiled and said, “My surname is Sa, first names Huazi. Hope we’ll meet again.” He made a bow and turned around hurrying back to the others.

The two beggars mumbled, “Sa Huazi, Sa Huazi? I have never heard this name; this person’s skills are excellent at such a young age…” One of the beggars suddenly leaped up and cursed, “Scoundrel, animal!”

The other beggar asked, “What?”

The beggar replied, “He’s called Sa Huazi, it means kill beggars (Kill a beggar has the same Pinyin as Sa Huazi), we’ve been insulted without knowing it.” Though the two cursed, they didn’t dare to return to finish this matter with him.

Yang Guo laughed on the inside, he quickly returned and saw Lu Wushuang on top of the horse looking to the side, revealing how anxious she was. As soon as she saw Yang Guo her spirits immediately raised, she quickly met him on the horse and quietly said, “Sha Dan, leaving behind me, that was so thoughtful!”

Yang Guo smiled and offered the long sword back to Hong Lingbo with the handle end facing towards her. He bowed and said, “Thank you for the sword.” Hong Lingbo stretched out her hand to receive it. Yang Guo was about to turn around when Li Mochou suddenly said, “Wait.” She saw that the young Taoist was skilled; she thought that if she let him go now he would become a problem in the future. While his kung fu was still lower than hers, she would get rid of the potential problem now.

As soon as Yang Guo heard the word ‘wait’ he knew something was wrong, he lowered the sword a few inches into Hong Lingbo’s hand and immediately took his hand away. Hong Lingbo could only take the handle of the sword and smiled, she said, “The young Taoist has some fierce skills.”

Li Mochou originally wanted to anger him into attacking and kill him in one stroke with her fly whisk. But now he did not have a weapon. She was of a high status and so could not use her weapon to harm him. She flashed her fly whisk to one side and asked, “Which of the Quanzhen seven masters is your master?”

Yang Guo smiled and said, “I’m Wang Chongyang’s disciple.” He had no good feelings towards the Quanzhen sect; he had no respect for them. Although Qiu Chuji treated him fairly well, he was only with him for a short while, but before he left he was strictly scolded by him. He knew he didn’t mean any harm but in his heart he was still angry. When he remembered Hao Datong and Zhao Zhijing, he became even angrier. In the Ancient Tomb he had practiced the important aspects of the “Nine Yin Manual” left by Wang Chongyang, so technically he could say that he was his disciple. But according to his age, he could only be the disciple of Taoists in Zhao Zhijing’s and Yin Zhiping’s generation. When Li Mochou saw that his skills weren’t weak and asked him which one of the Quanzhen seven masters was his master, it was holding him in a lofty light. If Yang Guo replied Qiu Chuji or one of the others, Li Mochou would have believed him. But he didn’t want be a generation lower than the Taoist who killed Grandma Sun, Hao Datong, so he said Wang Chongyang. Wang Chongyang was the person who founded the Quanzhen sect. In his lifetime he had only taken in seven disciples; everyone knew this in the Wulin world. When this young Taoist was born Wang Chongyang had left the world long ago.

Li Mochou thought, “This ugly freak doesn’t know how high the sky is or how deep the earth is, and he doesn’t know who I am, how dare he talk such nonsense in front of me.” She then thought, “How could a Quanzhen Taoist use their founder for a joke? And how could they dare to say the words ‘Wang Chongyang’? But if he isn’t a disciple of Quanzhen, then how come each of his stances were from Quanzhen?”

Yang Guo saw that although she had a smile on her face, she was frowning and she was in deep thought. He thought about the day when he pretended to be a farmer to trick Hong Lingbo, and in the tomb they had exchanged blows. He couldn’t let them find out who he really was through his words so without delay he carried on; he raised his hands in respect. He turned around and leapt onto the horse, and was about to gallop away.

Li Mochou floated over in front of his horse and said, “Come down, I have something to say to you.”

Yang Guo said, “I know what you want to ask me. You want to ask me have I seen a pretty girl, who is lame in her left foot, isn’t that it. And where has she taken your book?”

Li Mochou was shocked and calmly said, “Yes, you are clever. Where is the book?”

Yang Guo said, “Just now, my apprentice brother and I were resting by the side of the road, we saw that girl fighting with three beggars. One of the beggars suffered a slash from the girl but when the other two beggars joined in, she wasn’t a match for them. Eventually she was captured by them.”

Li Mochou was always calm no matter what, but when she thought about Lu Wushuang being caught by the beggars and her ‘Five Poison Codex’ falling into their hands, she couldn’t stop herself from showing signs of being alarmed.

Yang Guo saw that the lie worked and continued, “One of the beggars fished out a book from the girl’s pockets, she wouldn’t give it to them and suffered disrespect from him.”

Lu Wushuang glanced at him and thought, “Fine Sha Dan, talking rubbish about me, you think I won’t do anything to you?”

Yang Guo knew that she was frightened but deliberately asked her, “Apprentice brother, doesn’t it get people mad? That girl was touched all over the place by the beggars and suffered great insults didn’t she?”
Lu Wushuang hung her head down and gave a grunt. As he said this, there were the sounds of horse hoofs around the hill, a crowd of horses and people came up. It was a group of Mongolian soldiers. Once the Jin were overthrown, everything north of the Mie River was under the control of the Mongolians. Li Mochou didn’t care about the soldiers, but she was in a rush to find out the whereabouts of Lu Wushuang. She didn’t want anything to delay her so she stood aside feeling the ground shaking as over a hundred Mongolian soldiers escorting an official passed by. The Mongolian official wore a bright garment, a bow hung from his waist, his horse riding technique was excellent and he exuded an air of calmness as he rode past. Once the soldiers passed, Li Mochou wiped the dust away from her body using her fly whisk. Every time the fly whisk waved, Lu Wushuang’s heart missed a beat, she knew if the fly whisk was waved at her and not the dust, her head would have split open immediately.

After she finished cleaning herself up she asked, “And then?”

Yang Guo said, “The beggars took the girl and headed north. This young Taoist couldn’t just stand by and tried to interfere, and two of the beggars stayed behind to fight with me.”

Li Mochou nodded her head and smiled, she said, “Good, thank you. My name is Li Mochou, people in Jianghu call me the ‘Scarlet Serpent Deity’, and some call me the ‘Serpent Demon’. Have you heard my name before?”

Yang Guo shook his head and said, “I have never heard of you. Miss, with your beauty you are like a deity, how can you be a demon?”

Li Mochou was thirty, but she had profound internal strength, her skin was soft and tender, her face had no wrinkles and one could mistake her for a twenty year old. She had always regarded herself as beautiful and when she heard him praising her like that she was pleased, she fluttered her fly whisk and said, “You joked with me. Saying that you are the disciple of Wang Chongyang, I should make you suffer and then kill you. Since you’ve said this, I’m going to teach you a lesson with my fly whisk.”

Yang Guo shook his head and said, “That won’t do, that won’t do, this young Taoist cannot fight with someone in a lower generation than he is.”

Li Mochou said, “You are about to die and you still joke. How am I in a lower generation than you?”

Yang Guo said, “My master is elder Chongyang, he is in the same generation as your ancestor; how am I not in an older generation than you? You are just a pretty young girl; an old man can’t bully you.”

Li Mochou gave a wry smile and said to Hong Lingbo “Let him borrow the sword again.”

Yang Guo waved his hand and said, “That won’t do, that won’t do, I…” Before he finished his words Hong Lingbo pulled out the sword from its sheath, a ‘ting’ sound was heard; her hand holding only the handle, the blade remained in the sheath. She was startled but then understood, when Yang Guo returned the sword he had done something to it; he broke the sword but kept the handle intact. As soon as someone applied some force to the sword, it immediately broke. Li Mochou’s face changed colour.

Yang Guo said, “Originally I didn’t want to fight pretty girls who are beneath me, but since you are forcing me to fight, then so be it! I’ll face three stances of your fly whisk empty handed. Let’s make it clear first, as long as you can receive my three stances then I’ll let you go, but once the three stances are over, you can’t trouble me anymore.” In this present situation he knew that he must use force otherwise he won’t be able to get out of this situation. But if they really fight, he won’t be a match for her. So he acted like a senior and made her promise that she will only use three stances and not more. He was not her match anyway so it didn’t matter if he had a weapon or not; hopefully she would not use her most lethal fly whisk stances.

How could Li Mochou not understand his intentions, she thought, “You think you can receive three of my stances?” She said, “Fine, senior, let junior experience your skills.”

Yang Guo said, “You’re too kind” but suddenly he saw a yellow blur; there were traces of the fly whisk everywhere. This stance of Li Mochou’s is called “No Holes that can’t be Penetrated” (wu kong bu ru), attacking the enemy’s bones all over their body. Although this is one stance, the threads were all over the place, so in one stance it included tens of stances, attacking all the body’s main pressure points. She had seen him fight with the beggars and saw that his sword skills were refined, he wasn’t a weak opponent. Hurting him in three stances was not going to be easy so she used the techniques that she was most proud of, “Three Without Three Without Hands” (san wu san bu shou). She had invented these three stances; even Xiao Longnu had never seen these stances before. When Yang Guo saw this he jumped back in shock. There was actually no defense to this stance. Moving to the left and right would result in one’s pressure points to be sealed; moving forward would result in the pressure points on the back being harmed. Only fighters who were much more skilful than she was could force her back. Attacking her front ruthlessly would force her to use her fly whisk to defend. Yang Guo did not have this ability. In this urgent situation he flipped around, his head below his legs and used the skill that Ouyang Feng taught him, “Reversal of the Veins”. His pressure points were all closed; he felt all his pressure points ache a little and then nothing more. He quickly flipped over and gave out a flying kick. Li Mochou had seen that she had hit many of his pressure points but he still had the ability to counter attack. She was shocked and followed with a stance of “Penetrate Everywhere” (wu suo bu zhi). This stance attacked all the pressure points on his sides. Yang Guo’s head was on the ground, he stretched out his left hand to seal her right knee’s ‘Central’ pressure point. Li Mochou was even more shocked and leapt away. The “Three Without Three Without Hand” technique’s third stance “Stop At Nothing” was immediately used.

This stance does not aim to seal pressure points; instead it attacked the eyes, throat, stomach, the groin and all the places that are soft and delicate. That’s why it’s called “Stop at Nothing”, it was ruthless and showed no respect towards the opponent. When she refined this skill she did not know that there were people who knew how to fight upside down. When she rushed out in this stance, she used it as she normally would, but there was no way the attack hit the eyes, it struck the leg, where it attacked the throat it struck the lower thigh, where it attacked the stomach it struck the upper thigh, where it attacked the groin it struck the chest, it aimed for the soft points but struck the hard and the stance was not effective at all.

This shocked Li Mochou to the extreme. She had seen many battles in her life, she had met those who were better fighters than her so she knew what the enemy would do, how they attacked, defended, dodged, she knew it all; but she couldn’t have guessed this young Taoist had such unimaginable kung fu. As she stood there in a daze, Yang Guo opened his mouth and bit down on the fly whisk; he flipped his body and stood up. Li Mochou’s hand shook; her fly whisk was taken away.

At the second Mount Hua competition, Ouyang Feng reversed his veins and bit down on Huang Yaoshi’s finger. When one reverses their veins, chi is distributed through their lips, the mouth will open and close, the intent to bite someone is automatically created. In the body, nothing can compare with the strength of teeth biting down; the teeth can shatter and tear things that hands can’t. Because of this, although Yang Guo’s internal strength was weaker than Li Mochou’s, once his teeth bit down on the fly whisk; he was able to pull it from her hands.

This move shocked Lu Wushuang and Hong Lingbo, both of them called out in surprise at the same time. Li Mochou was also shocked but she didn’t show any fear, her palms lightly came out, she was using her “Diving Serpent Palm” and jumping forward to snatch back her fly whisk. She was about to hit out with her palms when she suddenly called out, “What! It’s you! Where’s your master?”

Yang Guo’s face had been covered in dirt but after a series of quick flips, some of the dirt was brushed off, revealing half of his face. At the same time Hong Lingbo recognized Lu Wushuang and called out, “Master, it’s apprentice sister.” Before, Lu Wushuang had dared not to face Li Mochou and Hong Lingbo. When Yang Guo and Li Mochou were fighting, she was concentrating on watching the fight and forgot about hiding her face from Hong Lingbo.

Yang Guo’s left foot touched the ground lightly and flew onto Li Mochou’s donkey, at the same time his left hand flicked out, a ‘Jade Bee Needle’ was shot at the head of Hong Lingbo’s donkey. Li Mochou was furious and flew over to Yang Guo who flew away from the saddle and flipped the fly whisk around, a ‘pu’ sound was heard as he struck the donkey on the head and called out, “Wifey, quickly take your husband away.” He leapt on the back of the horse and he waved the fly whisk madly behind him. Lu Wushuang immediately spurred the horse on. Once Li Mochou utilized her lightness kung fu, she could catch up to four legged animals that were within half li or so. But after being shocked by Yang Guo’s strange stances she didn’t dare to chase too closely, she just used her trapping hand kung fu to snatch back her fly whisk. On her fourth stance three of the fingers on her left hand managed to grab hold of the threads of the fly whisk; she turned her hand and pulled. Yang Guo couldn’t hold on and the fly whisk flew out of his hand.

Hong Lingbo’s donkey had been struck with the ‘Jade Bee Needle’, it suddenly went mad, and it rushed up to Li Mochou and started to bite.

Li Mochou shouted, “Lingbo, what are you doing.” Hong Lingbo said, “The donkey is resisting.” She pulled the reigns with all her strength causing the donkey to have a mouthful of blood. Suddenly the donkey’s legs became soft and it fell over, Hong Lingbo leapt up and called out, “Master, let’s chase after them!” But by then Yang Guo and Lu Wushuang were half a li away, they weren’t able to catch up.

Lu Wushuang and Yang Guo rode hurriedly for a while. She turned around and didn’t see her master chasing after them and said, “Sha Dan, my chest really hurts, I can’t stand it anymore!”

Yang Guo leapt off the horse and placed his ear against the ground, there weren’t any sound of footsteps behind and he said, “There’s no need to be afraid, let’s go slowly.” The two then carried on normally. Lu Wushuang sighed and said, “Sha Dan, how did you manage to take my Master’s fly whisk?”

Yang Guo said, “I threw out some words of praise which pleased her and so she gave the fly whisk to me. Old man didn’t feel right taking the young girl’s things so I gave it back to her.”

Lu Wushuang said, “Huh, why was she pleased, she thought you were handsome?” As she said this she blushed.

Yang Guo laughed and said, “She saw that I was an interesting fool, that’s why.”

Lu Wushuang said, “Crap! What’s so interesting about you?”

The two traveled slowly for a while but they were afraid that Li Mochou would catch up so they rode fast. They did this slowing down and speeding up until it was dusk.

Yang Guo said, “Wifey, if you want to save your little life, you’ll have to endure the pain in your chest and ride throughout the night.”

Lu Wushuang said, “If you talk crap again, just see if I continue to pay attention to you.”

Yang Guo stuck out his tongue and said, “It’s a pity that our horse is tired, another night of riding and we could escape.”

It was now getting dark but suddenly, the sound of horses could be heard ahead, Yang Guo was delighted and said, “Let’s change horses.”

The two hurried on for about a mile and saw over a hundred horses outside a village. It was the group of Mongolian soldiers that they had seen earlier. Yang Guo said, “Wait here, I’ll go and take a look.” He leapt down from the horse and headed towards the village. He saw a light coming from the window of a large house. Yang Guo darted forward and looked inside; he saw a Mongolian official sitting in the room with his back facing the window.

Yang Guo’s mind suddenly lit up, “If we’re going to change horses why not change people.” He waited for a while and saw the Mongolian official stand up, walking up and down across the room. That man was about thirty years old; it was the official in bright clothing he had seen earlier in the day. He had an air about him; it appeared that his post wasn’t low. Yang Guo waited until he turned his back and quietly opened the window and slipped in. The official heard a wind sound behind him, he took a step forward and raised his left hand for protection and turned around, and his ten fingers like an eagle’s claws came out ferociously. It was the lethal technique of the “Vigorous Eagle Claw Stance”. Yang Guo was slightly surprised by this, he didn’t know that a Mongolian official would know some kung fu; he slanted his body and dodged past his hands. The official clawed out many times but each time they were calmly dodged. That official had been under the tutelage of the Eagle Claw sect when he was younger, his kung fu was quite good, but after exchanging many stances with Yang Guo, he had no way of using his moves. Yang Guo saw that his hands were coming in ferociously once again, he suddenly leapt up, his left hand grabbed the man’s left shoulder, his right hand grabbed the man’s right, he circulated his chi through his arms and shouted, “Sit down!” The official’s knees became weak and he sat down on the floor. His chest felt like he was being smothered, it seemed like a surge of blood was rushing up to his head. Yang Guo stretched out his hand and rubbed the pressure points on his chest. The official immediately felt his chest loosen, a breath of air was released and he slowly got up. He stared at Yang Guo, startled. After a few minutes he asked, “Who are you? Why are you here?” Those two phrases in Han were spoken quite clearly.

Yang Guo laughed and asked him some questions instead, “What is your name? What post do you hold?” The official’s eyes lit up in anger, he was about to jump out at him again. Yang Guo ignored him and sat down on the seat that the official had previously sat on. The official’s arms came out waving up and down, attacking ferociously; Yang Guo just waved out his hands without trying and didn’t use any strength to neutralize his attacks. He said, “Hey, you’ve got a wound on your shoulder, its better if you don’t use any energy.”

The official was startled and said, “What wound?” His left hand rubbed his right shoulder, there was a slight pain there, he quickly stretched out his right hand and checked his left shoulder, and there was an identical pain. He had not moved his shoulders so didn’t notice the wounds; when he used his fingers to touch his shoulder, there was a small area that ached to the bone. The official was shocked, he quickly took off his garment and looked over his shoulder; he saw a red dot on his left shoulder and there was a similar dot on his right. He understood, just know when Yang Guo held his shoulders, he had a concealed weapon in his hands and now had fallen into his scheme. He was startled and shocked, he shouted, “What weapon did you use? Does it have poison or not?”

Yang Guo gave a wry smile and said, “You’ve learned martial arts, how come you don’t know the rules? Large concealed weapons have no poison, small ones of course have.” The official believed him but hoped that he made it up to scare him. His face’s expression seems to be convinced but also seemed to be suspicious.

Yang Guo smiled and said, “Your shoulder has fallen victim to my divine needle, its poison deepens an inch every day, by the sixth day the poison will have reached the heart, then you’ll be dead.”

The official wanted him to cure the poison yet he didn’t dare ask. In anger he shouted, “Since it has ended up like this then this Master is going to take you with me.” He threw himself forward again. Yang Guo slipped past him.

He took out two ‘Jade Bee Needles’ and waited until his claws came out again, the hands came out, he sent the needles into his palms. The official felt a pain in his palms and stopped, he raised his hands to take a look and saw a fine needle in his palms. He immediately felt his palms go numb; he was shocked and didn’t dare to attack again. Another half hour passed before he said, “Fine, I admit defeat!”

Yang Guo laughed out loud and asked, “What’s you name?”

The official replied, “My name is Yelu Jin, can I have the honour of knowing the hero’s name?”

Yang Guo replied, “My name is Yang Guo. What post do you hold within the Mongolian government?”

Yelu Jin told him everything. He was the Mongolians Prime Minister Yelu Chucai’s son. Yelu Chucai aided Genghis Khan and Wo Kuo Tai (Ogedai) to take over many lands. His achievements were outstanding, that is why although Yelu Jin was of a relatively young age, he held the high position of ‘Bianliang Jinglue Emissary’ (Military Governor of Bianliang city), he had come south to Henan to complete a mission.

Yang Guo didn’t know what kind of position this was, he just nodded his head and said, “Fine, fine.”

Yelu Jin said, “I don’t know what I have done to disrespect the hero, please forgive my ignorance. If the hero has an order please say it.”

Yang Guo laughed and said, “You haven’t done anything.” He suddenly darted out of the window.

Yelu Jin was shocked and called out, “Hero Yang” and ran to the window, but there was no trace of Yang Guo. Yelu Jin was troubled, “This person comes and goes as he pleases. I’ve fallen victim to his poison needles, what should I do?” He quickly took out the needles from his palm and felt the numbness in his palms and shoulders to begin to feel unbearable. In the midst of all this the window opened, Yang Guo suddenly returned and the room had another person, it was Lu Wushuang.

Yelu Jin said, “Ah, you’ve come back.”

Yang Guo pointed to Lu Wushuang and said, “She is my Wifey, kowtow to her!”

Lu Wushuang shouted, “What did you say?” She turned her hand and gave him a slap. If Yang Guo wanted to avoid it how would she be able to hit him? For an inexplicable reason, when he was slapped and scolded by her he felt good. He didn’t move and a slapping sound was heard as his cheek was hit. Yelu Jin didn’t know that these two always argued like this. He assumed that Lu Wushuang’s kung fu was stronger than Yang Guo’s; he stared in a daze at the two.

Yang Guo rubbed his cheek and laughed at Yelu Jin. He said, “You’ve suffered the poison of my divine needles, but you won’t die straight away. All you’ve got do is listen to my orders and then I’ll heal you.”

Yelu Jin said, “I’ve always admired heroes and good men, but I have never seen people with such abilities. Today I have finally met someone worthy of this title, it is an honour. If hero Yang doesn’t tell me to live, I could still die with my eyes closed.” These words maintained his high status but praised the other at the same time. Yang Guo had never spoken with officials before and he didn’t know that they’ve all learned how to praise their superiors; the higher the official, the better they are at flattery without being obvious. The officials from Mongolia were rough and coarse people but after they entered the central plains, they learned the ways of the officials of China. After some words of praise, Yang Guo was pleased, he raised his finger and said, “Well, I didn’t guess that you are a man of honour as well. Come, I’ll immediately cure your poison.” He then used a sucking metal stone to remove the needles from his shoulder and then applied the antidote to the wounds.

Lu Wushuang had never seen the ‘Jade Bee Needles’ before; she saw that the needles were as fine as hair and it looked as though if one placed the needles on water, they will float. She thought, “A gust of wind can blow that away, how can you use it as a concealed weapon?” She was even more in awe of Yang Guo but the words from her mouth said, “That type of evil weapon isn’t honorable, aren’t you afraid of others laughing at you?”

Yang Guo laughed and ignored her, he said to Yelu Jin, “The two of us want to rely on you, your honour and be your attendants.”

Yelu Jin was startled and quickly said, “Hero Yang jokes with me, whatever you want just tell me.”

Yang Guo said, “I’m not joking, I really want to be your attendant your honour.”

Yelu Jin thought, “So the two want work for the government and gain something for themselves.” He couldn’t stop himself from being pleased, he gave a cough and returned to a serious face and said, “Hmm, you’ve learned great martial arts, working for our king will lead to great prospects.”

Yang Guo laughed and said, “You’ve got it all wrong. We are being chased by an extremely powerful foe. We can’t beat her and want to disguise ourselves as your attendants to evade her.”

Yelu Jin was disappointed, his serious face loosened then he chucked and said, “With your martial arts, who gives a care about enemies. If there are too many of them I’ll gather my troops and catch them and let you decide on what to do.”

Yang Guo said, “Even I can’t beat them, there is no need for you worry about it your Honour. Quickly order your attendants to give us some clothes to change into.” He said this casually but there was a stern tone within his voice.

Yelu Jin ordered his attendants to bring some clothes for them to change into. Yang Guo and Lu Wushuang went to another room to change. Lu Wushuang got a mirror and examined herself, the person in the mirror was dressed in bright clothes, their eyes sparkled; it looked like a handsome Mongolian general. She felt that this was going to be interesting. They left early next morning. Lu Wushuang and Yang Guo were in a sedan chair lifted by attendants, Yelu Jin was still on horseback, before noon they heard the faint sounds of a ringing bell, from afar it came near, and it brushed past the crowd of people.

Lu Wushuang was delighted and thought, “Comfortably sitting here in the sedan chair resting my wound is an ideal situation. Sha Dan’s mad idea has its good points. I’ll let them carry me to Jiangnan.”

They traveled like this for two days and didn’t hear the bell sounds of Li Mochou again. Li Mochou must have gone straight ahead without turning back. There were also no traces of the beggars and Taoists that were looking for Lu Wushuang. By the third day they arrived at the Colt Dragon Stockade. This was an important trafficking point, many towns and cities flourished around here. After supper, Yelu Jin entered Yang Guo’s room and asked for martial arts advice. Words of flattery were said to Yang Guo, praising him highly. Yang Guo gave one or two pointers to him. Just as Yelu Jin was about to listen intently an attendant rushed in and said, “Your honour, our master has sent a letter here.”

Yelu Jin was delighted and said, “Fine, I’ll come now.” He was about to stand up and say goodbye to Yang Guo when he had a thought, “If I open the letter in front of him and show that I don’t treat him as an outsider, he’ll definitely teach me with all his efforts.” He then said to the attendant, “Send the messenger in.”

The attendant had a look of surprise on his face and said, “That …that…”

Yelu Jin waved his hand and said, “Don’t delay, and tell him to enter.”

The attendant said, “It’s the master himself.”

Yelu Jin’s face fell and he said, “Why are you still wasting time, quickly go” before he finished someone laughed from outside and entered, and said, “Jin’er, you couldn’t have guessed that it was me.”

Yelu Jin was shocked and pleased, he quickly dashed forward. He said, “Father, why are you…” That man laughed and said, “Yes! I’ve come here in person.” That person was Yelu Jin’s father, the Mongolian Prime Minister Yelu Chucai.

Yang Guo heard Yelu Jin call that man father, but didn’t know how powerful that person was. He was under one person but above millions; the person with the most power in court, the Prime Minister. He saw that he wasn’t very old, his face elegant, within his air of authority was an air of peace; he couldn’t stop himself from respecting this person.

As soon as that person sat down on a chair, two other people entered, they greeted Yelu Jin and called him ‘Big Brother’. It was one male and one female. The male was around twenty-three or four years of age, the female was about the same age as Yang Guo. Yelu Jin was pleased and said, “Brother, sister, you are here as well.” He said to his father, “Father, I didn’t have a clue that you had left the court.”

Yelu Chucai nodded and said, “Yes, there is some important business that must be attended to; if I didn’t do it myself I wouldn’t be able to relax.” He looked at Yang Guo and the rest of the attendants, indicating that he wants them to leave.

Yelu Jin was in a dilemma, he should tell his attendants to leave but Yang Guo was a person you couldn’t mess around with, his face had an expression of being unsure of what to do. Yang Guo knew what he was thinking; he laughed and exited the room by himself. Yelu Chucai was aware of Yang Guo, when he entered by himself all the other attendants greeted and bowed to him except for one, the person did as he pleased and had a proud air, he couldn’t stop himself from being wary and asked, “Who is that?”

Yelu Jin was a high official, if he said who Yang Guo was in front of his brother and sister he will have lost face, he answered ambiguously, “He is a friend that I made along the way. Father has made the trip to Henan personally, what is this about?”

Yelu Chucai sighed; his face looked troubled and slowly explained everything. When Genghis Khan died, his third son Wo Kuo Tai (Ogedai) succeeded him. Wo Kuo Tai was the Khan for about thirty years before he too died, his son Gui You (Guyuk) succeeded. Gui You lost himself in drink and died just after three years of being the Khan, his queen (Oghul Ghamish) took over the affairs of state. The queen trusted very few, the first generals and ministers caused chaos in the court. Yelu Chucai was a senior member of the court, and was one of the people who founded the state; whenever the queen made a wrong decision he would speak up truthfully. The queen saw that he opposed her orders, and of course was angry, but because he was a powerful minister and what he said was right, the queen could not take action lightly. Yelu Chucai knew that once he offended the queen the hundred or so lives of his family would be in danger and so he thought of a plan. He said that Henan in the south was not under control; a minister was needed to go down there and sort it out and he nominated himself. The queen was delighted, thinking the further this person goes the better and she can avoid getting angry everyday. So she agreed to the order. So Yelu Chucai took his second son Yelu Qi and daughter Yelu Yan to Henan. Officially he was down here to dissipate the unrest, but unofficially he was down here to avoid a disaster.

Yang Guo went into another room and chatted and joked with Lu Wushuang but Lu Wushuang turned away and ignored him. After getting no reply, Yang Guo crossed his knees, sat down and meditated. Lu Wushuang wasn’t interested. She saw that he closed his eyes and didn’t move for half a day and said, “Hey, Sha Dan, why are you meditating now?” Yang Guo didn’t reply. Lu Wushuang angrily said, “There is no need to rush your kung fu, are you going to chat with me?” As she was about to move him with her hand, Yang Guo suddenly leapt up and quietly said, “There’s someone on the roof!”

Lu Wushuang didn’t hear anything, she raised her head and look up at the roof, she said, “Are you lying again?”

Yang Gu said, “No, they’re on the roof two buildings over.”

Lu Wushuang didn’t believe him. She laughed and quietly scolded him, “Sha Dan.” She assumed that he was playing dumb.

Yang Guo tugged her sleeve and quietly said, “Let’s hide before your Master finds us.”

When Lu Wushuang heard the word ‘Master’ and her back broke out in a cold sweat and she followed him to the window. Yang Guo lifted his head to the west, Lu Wushuang also lifted her head, and indeed, she saw someone in black on the roof of the building two rooms over. It was now the middle of the night, there was no light from the moon and stars; if one didn’t carefully examine the roof, it would be hard to spot anything. She admired him secretly, “How did Sha Dan detect this?” She knew that her Master held herself very highly, when she moved at night she would still wear her apricot yellow gown, she would never wear black. She bent over to Yang Guo’s ear and whispered, “It’s not Master.”

As soon as the words were spoken, the person in black suddenly got up and flew across the roofs arrived outside the window of the room that Yelu Chucai was in. She kicked open the window, and leapt in holding a saber, she called out, “Yelu Chucai, I’m going to take you to hell along with me.” It was a girl’s voice.

Yang Guo’s heart shook, “That girl’s movements are extremely fast, her skills are above Yelu Jin. His father is afraid that his life will be in danger.”

Lu Wushuang called out, “Let’s go.” The two hurried to the scene and witnessed what was happening through the window. He saw that Yelu Jin was holding up a bench moving back and forth, battling with the girl in black. The girl was young but her saber techniques were vicious, the Willow Leaf Saber in her hand was extremely sharp, a series of slashes hacked off the four legs of the bench. Yelu Jin saw he that wasn’t going to hold her off and called out; “Father, run away!” He then shouted, “Men, men!” The girl threw out a kick; Yelu Jin was not prepared for it and was kicked in the waist, his body flipped as he fell onto the floor. The girl dashed forward and raised her saber above Yelu Chucai’s head and slashed down.

Yang Guo thought, “Oh no!” Thinking that he should rescue that person first and then talk about it later, he held a ‘Jade Bee Needle’ and was about to shoot it out at the girl’s wrist when he heard Yelu Chucai’s daughter Yelu Yan called out, “This one mustn’t have any manners!” She chopped out at the girl’s face with her right palm; her left hand used “Empty Hands Entering a Hundred Blades” kung fu to take her saber. Those two moves suited each other exquisitely, the girl moved her head to avoid the palm and her wrist was held by Yelu Yan, she quickly threw out a kick, Yelu Yan had to move back, her blade wasn’t taken away. Yang Guo saw that the two girls’ attacks were swift and quick and was slightly surprised. In a flash the two had hacked and slashed and seven or eight moves had passed.

At that time, ten guards burst into the room; when they saw the two girls fighting, they dashed forward. Yelu Jin said, “Wait! Sister doesn’t need your help.”

Yang Guo quietly said to Lu Wushuang, “Wifey, those two girls’ skills are better than yours.”

Lu Wushuang was angered and threw out a palm. Yang Guo slipped away and laughed, he said, “Don’t get angry, it’s better to watch them fight.”

Lu Wushuang said, “Tell me the truth, am I better or are those girls better.”

Yang Guo quietly said, “One on one, the two girls’ have nothing on you. Two on one, based on kung fu only, you will lose. But they are too honest in their attacks. They can’t compare with your tricks, ruthlessness and viciousness, and so you would win.”

Lu Wushuang was pleased, and whispered, “What ‘tricks, ruthlessness and viciousness’, that doesn’t sound too nice! When it comes to trickery, no one can compare with Mister Sha Dan.”

Yang Guo smiled and said, “Doesn’t that mean you are Mrs. Sha Dan?” Lu Wushuang gave a quiet grunt.

They watched the two girls battle. Yelu Yan did not have a weapon and after many tries still could not take the girl’s saber away, and now she was forced to defend and evade with no way to attack. Yelu Qi said, “Sister, let me try.” He slanted his body and moved forward, his right hand threw out three palms in succession. Yelu Yan stood by the wall said, “Fine, let’s watch you.”

After Yang Guo saw Yelu Qi’s three stances, he couldn’t stop himself from being slightly surprised. His left hand was planted on his waist not moving, his right hand extended and pulled back, his feet didn’t move. He was able to fend off the girl’s saber, his stances were refined, and positioning accurate, he wasn’t ordinary. Yang Guo thought, “That person is exceedingly good, his skills looks like Quanzhen yet there are some things different.”

Lu Wushuang said, “Sha Dan, his skills are much better than yours.” Yang Guo was in a trance as he watched and he didn’t even hear what she had said.

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