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The Silver Hook Gambling House Chapter 10

Chapter 10 – Enlightenment Before Death

Night, winter night.

The dark and long alley was quiet, there was nobody, there was only a lantern.

An old, battered white lantern, so old that the white had turned into a deathly grey, hanging in an angle above the narrow door at the very end of the long alley. Actually, there was a shiny silver hook dangling under the lantern, just like the fishhook that the fishermen use to catch fish.

The silver hook kept swaying in the cold wind. The wind seemed to sigh, sighing over why would there be so many people in this world who were willing to let themselves being caught by this silver hook?

From the gloomy and damp cold fog outside, Fang Yufei entered the brilliantly illuminated Silver Hook Casino. Taking off his white cloak, he revealed an extremely well-fitting, specially tailored, exquisite silver-colored satin garment.

Every day, he was happiest around this time, especially today.

Because Lu Xiaofeng had returned. Lu Xiaofeng had always been a friend he was most fond of, a friend he respected the most.

Naturally Lu Xiaofeng himself was even happier, because he was back, back from the frozen wasteland, the faraway ice country.

The luxuriously decorated hall was brimming with warmness and gaiety. The aroma of wine mixed with the fragrance of high-quality cosmetics; the intermittent jingling of silver coins was pleasant to the ears, no music in this world was more melodious than this kind of noise.

Lu Xiaofeng liked to hear this kind of noise, just like the majority of people in the world, he also liked luxury and enjoyed life to the fullest.

Especially now.

After going through many days of arduous journey and back to this place, he was like a lost child who was back to his warm home, back to his mother’s bosom.

That he was able to return safe and sound, in itself was truly not an easy matter.

He had just taken a hot bath, and changed into a brand new set of clothes. The fake beard under his chin, the fake wrinkles on the corner of his eyes, the white powder on his hair, everything had been completely washed out.

Right now his face was glowing, his body was full of energy; indeed, even he himself was very pleased with his appearance.

In the main hall there were several women who were stealing glances toward him from the corner of their eyes. Although all of those women were middle-aged, they still looked attractive. Lu Xiaofeng flashed them his most moving smile.

As long as he could make others happy, while not bringing any harm to him, he had never refused to do so.

Seeing his smiling face, even Fang Yufei was very happy. “You seem to like this place very much,” he said with a laugh.

Lu Xiaofeng: “It seems to me that the number of people who like this place is growing.”

Fang Yufei: “Indeed the business of this place has grown by leaps and bounds. Perhaps it’s nothing more than because nowadays everybody has quite some extra time in their hands and live rather comfortably, plus the weather is cold; nothing is better than staying inside, gambling and drinking wine.”

Lu Xiaofeng laughed. “Is it true that many women come here especially to see you?”

Fang Yufei burst out in laughter.

He was indeed a very attractive man, his appearance was clean, his clothing impeccable, his figure was always well-maintained. Although sometimes he looked somewhat artificial, his type was exactly what middle-aged women of high and respected position liked most.

Lowering his voice, Lu Xiaofeng said, “I believe you have attracted quite a few of women in this place!”

Fang Yufei did not deny at all, he smiled and said, “From all the people who day in and day out come and go to the casino to gamble, how many are decent and honorable?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “How about people who operate a casino? Are they also …”

He stopped abruptly because right that moment he saw someone with a dagger in his hand was pouncing Fang Yufei from behind, with the dagger lunged toward his lower left waist.

Fang Yufei did not see the attack, because he did not have eyes on his back.

By the time Lu Xiaofeng saw it, it was already too late because this man’s dagger was already less than a foot from Fang Yufei’s waist.

This part is a vital point of the human body, one dagger stab may be fatal; even Lu Xiaofeng could not help but shed some cold sweats.

Who would have thought that in a flash Fang Yufei’s waist twisted suddenly and reaching backward, he grabbed the dagger-holding wrist of that man. ‘Ding!’ the dagger fell down to the floor. The man opened his mouth to curse, but he only managed to shout one word, his mouth had already covered by two large men who suddenly appeared behind him. With one man on each side, he was dragged outside immediately.

Surprisingly, Fang Yufei’s expression did not change at all. With a smile he said, “This kind of matter happens every day in this place.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Do you know why he wanted to kill you?”

Indifferently Fang Yufei replied, “If he is not drunk, then he must have lost a lot of money.”

Lu Xiaofeng chuckled, “Or perhaps he is simply wild with rage!”

Fang Yufei: “Why is that?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Because you made him to wear a green hat!” [cuckold, a man whose wife was cheating on him] Fang Yufei laughed aloud.

In his opinion, making a man to wear a green hat was undoubtedly a very honorable achievement, something which would give him a lot of face. Whoever able to do it would not need to be ashamed nor feel sorry.

Lu Xiaofeng looked at him as if it was the first time that he saw this person.

The incident just a moment ago happened so quick and also finished very suddenly, but it had created a small disturbance nonetheless, particularly to those people who gambled on the nearby tables. Most people left their seats and talked about what had happened in low murmur.

Only one person did not move, he was still sitting on his seat, staring at the two tiles of ‘Pai Jiu’ [Pai Gow, Chinese dominoes] in front of him as if he was entranced. Apparently in this game of Pai Jiu, if he had not won big, then he must have had lost not a few.

The man was wearing a mink fur cap on his head, an inside out large fur-lined coat and he had a full beard. Obviously he was a ginseng picker who had just returned from outside the great wall. The folding purse inserted in his trouser belt on his waist was packed with hard-earned money after toiling for half a year, which he was prepared to lose in just one night.

Fang Yufei also lowered his voice, “Looks to me you are eager to win his money.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Spending money won on the gambling table is the most fun; how can I let this kind of opportunity pass?”

Fang Yufei: “But my brother-in-law has been waiting for you inside for a long time, I also heard that those three old freaks are already here early on!”

Lu Xiaofeng: “They can wait, but this man’s money cannot, he may spend it all very soon!”

Fang Yufei laughed, “Make sense!”

Lu Xiaofeng: “That’s why you’d better go in and tell them that I will be there in a moment!”

Without waiting for Fang Yufei to reply, he had already walked over to join the Pai Jiu table, and happened to sit right next to the bearded ginseng picker. “What do you say, other than playing against the dealer, we also play against each other?” he said with a smile.

“You’re on!” the large bearded man agreed immediately, “The bigger the stake, the more fun it is for me. How much do you want to bet?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “If we want to have a satisfying game, whatever your bet, I will match you!”

Looking at them, Fang Yufei smiled and shook his head. Suddenly he felt his own hands were itching to play.

When he had walked around the table to go to the back, Lu Xiaofeng suddenly gripped this bearded man’s hand under the table.

The Blue Beard was admiring his own hands.

He had always taken a very good care of his hands, the nails were well-manicured, the fingers were slender and elegant.

Truly a very attractive pair of hands, without a doubt, it was also a very sensitive pair of hands.

His hands were laid flat on the table, where Fang Yuxiang could see them clearly. Even Gu Song, Ku Zhu and Han Mei could also see them clearly.

Although they were all looking at the same pair of hands, the thought they had in their hearts were completely different.

Even if she wanted to, Fang Yuxiang could not deny that these hands were indeed very attractive, very clean, but who knows this pair of seemingly clean hands had done how many dirty works? Killed how many people? Taken off how many girls’ clothes?

Thinking about the last thing, her face blushed slightly. She recalled the first time this pair of hands took her clothes off, and her feelings when the hands gently caressed her body. Even she herself was not sure what kind of feeling exactly did she feel?

Sui Han San You were asking themselves, “Other than caressing women and playing tiles [Translator’s note: ’tiles’ as in ‘mahjong tiles’ or ‘Chinese domino tiles’], what else is this pair of hands capable of doing?”

This pair of hands did not look like hands that were trained hard in martial arts, but what difference did it have with Lu Xiaofeng’s hands?

And what was Blue Beard himself thinking? It seemed like nobody has ever been able to see through his mind.

Fang Yufei had been there for a long time. Finally he could not bear not to cough lightly, “He is here!”

Fang Yuxiang: “Where is he? Why didn’t he come in?”

Fang Yufei smiled, “Because incidentally he saw the Pai Jiu table, and also incidentally saw a fool with more money than senses!”

Just like anybody who loves to gamble, if he sees these two things at once, even if his wife is expecting their first child, he will immediately forget his child.

With a cold laugh Han Mei said, “Turns out he is not only a follower of wine and women, he is also a compulsive gambler!”

Fang Yufei: “Men who love wine and women but do not gamble, I am afraid there are not too many.”

Fang Yuxiang cast a glance at him and said, “You seem to understand these kinds of people very much, because you are one of them.”

Fang Yufei sighed and said, “The crows in the world are all black, as a matter of fact, not one of us, men, is a good thing!”

Actually, it was the scold women use against men, but had scolded himself first.

Fang Yuxiang also laughed. Obviously she was a good sister, not only she was very fond of her older brother, she was also very affectionate.

Blue Beard suddenly asked, “What kind of man is this fool?”

Fang Yufei: “He is a ginseng picker from outside the Wall, he is surnamed Zhang, called Zhang Bin.”

Blue Beard: “Does this man wear a mouthful beard?”

Fang Yufei: “That’s right!”

Blue Beard drily said, “If the beard is not wrong, then you are wrong!”

Fang Yufei: “In what way am I wrong?”

Blue Beard: “In what way you are wrong? That man is not a ginseng picker, and his name is not Zhang Bin!”

Fang Yufei: “Oh!”

Blue Beard: “He is an escort, his surname is Zhao, he is called Zhao Junwu!”

Fang Yufei thought for a moment then asked, “Is he the Hei Xuan Tan Zhao Junwu?”

Blue Beard: “There is only one Zhao Junwu!”

Fang Yufei: “Has he been here before?”

Blue Beard: “Escorts who pass by this area, at least nine out of ten have visited this place!”

Fang Yufei: “If he has been here openly before, why does he have to be in disguise this time?”

Blue Beard: “Why don’t you go ask him yourself?”

Fang Yufei did not say anything, his eyes revealed some kind of very strange expression. By this time Blue Beard had already put his hands below the table, but Gu Song actually stretched out his hand.

At long last Lu Xiaofeng came in.

Gu Song put out a hand, “Give it to me.”

Lu Xiaofeng laughed, “If you want money, this is not a good time, because incidentally, all my money has been wiped out clean.”

Surprisingly, Gu Song was not angry, he indifferently said, “Probably in the beginning you wanted to win other people’s money.”

Lu Xiaofeng sighed, with a bitter smile he said, “It was exactly because I wanted to win other people’s money that I ended up losing it all. People who can lose everything are usually those who want to win everything!”

With a cold laugh Gu Song said, “Don’t tell me you also lost the Luocha Tablet!”

Lu Xiaofeng: “If I have the Luocha Tablet with me, perhaps I would also lose it!”

Gu Song: “You don’t have the Luocha Tablet with you?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “At first I had it!”

Gu Song: “And now?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “And now it’s gone!”

Gu Song looked at him, his face did not show the slightest bit of emotion, but the pupils of his eyes suddenly shrank.

Yet Lu Xiaofeng only laughed, “Although the Luocha Tablet is gone, I still am not dead yet!”

Gu Song coldly said, “Why don’t you die?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Because I am still prepared to get the Luocha Tablet back for you!”

Gu Song could not restrain his countenance from changing. “You can get it back?”

Lu Xiaofeng nodded. “If you really want it, I can get it back for you any time, but …”

Gu Song: “But what?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “I suggest you’d better not look for it, because if you get it back, you will certainly be even angrier!”

Gu Song: “Why?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Because that Luocha Tablet is also fake!”

Blue Beard raised his hands above the table again, Gu Song also raised his hands above the table.

Lu Xiaofeng sighed, “Altogether I found two Luocha Tablets, it’s just too bad that both are fakes!”

Everybody was listening, they waited for his explanation.

Lu Xiaofeng: “The first tablet I found from inside the frozen river, so we can call it the Binghe [frozen river] Tablet for the time being. The second tablet I snatched away from someone else’s hand with a horsewhip, so there is no harm in us calling it the Shenbian [divine whip] Tablet, because people say my whip technique is simply divine!”

Gu Song: “The Shenbian Tablet was stolen by Li Xia, and it was swapped with the Binghe Tablet by Chen Jingjing, which was then fallen into your hand!”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Absolutely correct!”

Gu Song: “Then it is definitely not fake!”

Lu Xiaofeng sigh: “I also thought that it was impossible for it to be fake, but the fact is: it is fake!”

Gu Song sneered, “How can you tell whether the Luocha Tablet is real or fake?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Indeed at first I could not, but in the end I can!”

Gu Song: “How can you tell?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Because I happen to have a friend by the name of Zhu Ting, and he happened to be the one counterfeiting the Shenbian Tablet!”

Gu Song: “Do you happen to speak about Zhu Ting whose nickname is ‘The Boss’?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “You know him?”

Gu Song: “I have heard!”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Although this man has never wished to do anything exceptional, he is actually a hundred-percent genius. Whatever strange, bizarre object you can think of, he can make it for you. Counterfeiting painting, calligraphy, or some jade and stone, he is simply the best in the world.”

Talking about this man Zhu Ting, he could not restrain his face from revealing a smile.

Zhu Ting was not only his old friend, he was also his good friend. In the ‘Princess Danfeng’ case, if not because of Zhu Ting, he might still be locked up in the Green Shirt Pavilion headquarters at the back of the waist of the mountain even until now.

Lu Xiaofeng sighed again, with a wry smile he said, “If not because of him, I would not have these many troubles right now, he has given me a lot of troubles, he gave me practically a lot more troubles than all my friends put together!”

Gu Song: “He is also your friend?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Uh huh.”

Gu Song: “Who wanted him to forge the Shenbian Tablet? Have you asked him?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “I haven’t!”

Gu Song: “And why?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Because we haven’t spoken to each other for at least a couple of years.”

Gu Song: “You and he are friends, yet you do not speak to each other?”

With a bitter smile Lu Xiaofeng replied, “Because he is a big bad egg, and probably I am not much different.”

With a cold laugh Gu Song said, “If anybody believes you, then he is also a big bad egg!”

Lu Xiaofeng: “You don’t believe me?”

Gu Song: “I don’t care if that Shenbian Tablet is a fake article or not, I simply must see it with my own eyes.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “I told you, if you really want it, I can get it back to you any time!”

Gu Song: “Where are you going to get it?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Here!”

Gu Song’s countenance fell, “In this room?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Perhaps right now it is not here yet, but when I blow out the lamp and read some incantation, by the time the lantern is shining again, that jade tablet will certainly be on this table.”

Blue Beard laughed, Fang Yufei also laughed; this kind of out-of-the-world matter, if anybody believed it, it was just like seeing ghost in the middle of the day.

Fang Yuxiang also could not bear not to laugh, “Do you really think anybody would believe this kind of nonsense?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “There is at least one person who will believe me!”

Fang Yuxiang: “Who?”

Gu Song suddenly stood up and blew the first lantern, “Me.”

There were three lanterns in the room, when all three were snuffed out, the secret room, which was underground to begin with, became pitch black that nobody could even see their own fingers in front of their noses.

In the darkness, they only heard Lu Xiaofeng’s low voice drone on and on. Perhaps it was really some kind of mystical magician’s spell, yet if one was listening carefully, one seemed to hear some names being repeated over and over, ‘Laohekou [city in Hubei], Tongde Hall, Feng family shop, Blind Feng Erzi [number two kid …” But whatever he was saying, his voice sounded really mysterious and weird.

Everybody seemed to hear everybody else’s heartbeat, and one or two persons’ heart seemed to beat faster and faster, as if they started to get really anxious. It was a pity that the room was just too dark, nobody could see anybody else’s expressions, let alone guess which one was it.

While this person’s heart was beating faster and faster, Lu Xiaofeng’s incantation was also getting faster and faster. Over and over, nobody knew how many times he muttered the same thing. Suddenly he shouted, “Light up!”

A flame flickered, one of the lantern was lighted up. Unexpectedly there really was a piece of jade tablet under the light.

Under the bright light of the lantern, the jade tablet’s gloss looked soft and beautiful, while the faces of the people were actually so pale that there was a hint of green in their white faces.

Everybody’s expressions looked about the same, their eyes brimming with amazement.

Lu Xiaofeng laughed smugly while sweeping everybody’s face with his gaze. He suddenly said, “And now, do you all believe in my nonsense?”

Fang Yuxiang sighed and said, “Actually, I should have believed you, because you are in actuality a living ghost.”

Gu Song coldly said, “But this piece of jade is not ghost, even more, it is not alive, it cannot fly by itself from outside.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Of course it can’t!”

Gu Song: “Then how did it end up in here?”

Lu Xiaofeng chuckled, “It’s none of your business. If you ask too much, perhaps it will suddenly fly away again!”

Of course it would not fly away on its own, just like it was impossible for it to fly in on its own, but Gu Song really did not ask again. This was exactly what he was asking for, now that he got it, why would he ask too many questions?

He stared at the jade tablet on the table, but actually did not reach out, he did not touch it even once.

From Yu Tianbao’s hands this jade tablet was handed over to the Blue Beard, which was then stolen by Li Xia and taken away. In turn, it was swindled by Chen Jingjing, and again passed through Chuchu’s hand, followed by Lu Xiaofeng and Ding Xiangyi, and in the end, whose hands had it fallen to?

Under the bright light of the lantern, although it was still spotless, sparkling and translucent, actually it had been dyed red by blood; the blood of ten human beings, ten lives. Was their sacrifice worth it?

Gu Song suddenly heaved a deep, deep sigh, “Unavoidably all those people’s deaths are too unjustifiable.”

Blue Beard: “All those people?”

Gu Song: “All those people who died for it!”

Blue Beard: “Actually, is this jade tablet a genuine article or a fake one?”

Gu Song: “It’s fake!”

Then he slowly continued, “The carvings on the top indeed can be confused as the real one, but the substance of the jade lacks too much from the real one!”

Blue Beard was silent for a long time. Finally he turned his gaze toward Lu Xiaofeng and asked, “Did you really snatch this tablet away from Jingjing’s hand?”

Lu Xiaofeng nodded.

Blue Beard also sighed, he sadly said, “She was still young and very bright, actually, she might have a very bright future, but she sacrificed her own life for this fake article not worth a ‘wen’ [copper coin], was it really worth the trouble?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “She did all that because she had never thought that this jade tablet is a fake.” Blue Beard agreed.

Lu Xiaofeng: “She was a very careful person, if she had the least bit of suspicion, she would never have braved this kind of danger.”

Blue Beard also agreed, “Indeed the way she conduct her business was always very meticulous.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “But this time she did not suspect anything, only because she knew that the jade tablet was indeed stolen by Li Xia from your place in here. It is very possible that that time she was at her side, witnessing everything.”

Blue Beard sighed, “Too bad Chen Jingjing has forgotten that Li Xia was also a very astute and cautious woman.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “You think the real Luocha Tablet was taken away by Li Xia?”

Blue Beard: “You think otherwise?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “I only know that Ding Xiangyi and Chen Jingjing had known her since they were little girls, no one knew her like they did. Their view of her must not be wrong.”

Blue Beard: “And their view of her was …?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “That other than gold and men, she did not care much about anything else. It was even more impossible for her to venture into this kind of trouble.”

Blue Beard: “So you are telling me that the Luocha Tablet Li Xia stole was a fake one?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “That’s right.”

Blue Beard: “Well then, where is the real Luocha Tablet?”

Lu Xiaofeng chuckled, then suddenly he replied that question with a question: “On this plate there is a stuffed steamed bun, and then there is a plain steamed bun; if I ate one and the stuffed steamed bun is still on the plate, what does that mean?”

Blue Beard also chuckled, “If you ate the plain steamed bun, naturally the stuffed steamed bun is still on the plate.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Isn’t this logic very simple?”

Blue Beard: “Very simple.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “If the Luocha Tablet Li Xia stole was a fake, the one Chen Jingjing swapped was also a fake, where is the real Luocha Tablet?”

Blue Beard: “I also cannot think it through.”

Lu Xiaofeng chuckled again, “Actually, the logic behind it is as simple as the stuffed steamed bun on the plate; if you do not suddenly turn stupid, you should be able to think it through.”

Blue Beard: “Oh?”

Lu Xiaofeng said matter-of-factly, “If all the Luocha Tablets in other people’s hands are fake then the real one is without a doubt still in your hands.”

Blue Beard laughed.

He was always polite, always graceful; his laughter was equally polite and graceful.

But when he laughed, he had never looked at others; he had always looked at his own pair of hands.

Wasn’t this pair of hands similar to the Luocha Tablet on the table? Although the hands looked spotlessly white and neat, they were actually reeking with blood.

Lu Xiaofeng: “You deliberately created the opportunity for Li Xia to steal the fake Luocha Tablet …”

Still smiling, Blue Beard interrupted him, “Why would I do that?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “This is precisely the most crucial point of your grand plan. After Li Xia fell into your trap, only then your plan has proceeded step by step.”

There was wine on the table.

Blue Beard poured a cup full then used both his hands to lift it up and let the heat from his palms to slowly warm the wine; only then he slowly drank it down.

Each one of his movements was very graceful, his facial expression was even more relaxed, as if he was listening to a very amusing story.

Lu Xiaofeng: “For a long time you have loathed Li Xia and have been weary of her, because as she grew older, her need of men also grew bigger. You wanted to take this opportunity to let her go away as far as possible on her own account, as well as forever she would not dare to come back and see you again. This is exactly the first step in your plan.”

Blue Beard slurped his wine noisily, and then he sighed and said, “Good wine.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “You knew the relationship between Li Xia and Ding Xiangyi, you have predicted that Li Xia would definitely go to look for her. This is also another step of your plan, because you have known early on that she was not being faithful to you, you wanted to use this opportunity to test her, to find out who her lover was.”

Blue Beard laughed, “Why would I want to test her? She was not my wife.”

Lu Xiaofeng also laughed, “She was not?”

Blue Beard: “Her husband is Fei Tian Yu Hu, not me.”

Lu Xiaofeng stared hard at him, he said word by word, “Who is Fei Tian Yu Hu? Not you?”

Blue Beard burst out in laughter, as if he had never heard such a ridiculous matter before; he laughed until he was nearly choked by the wine.

But Lu Xiaofeng no longer laughed, he slowly said, “Fei Tian Yu Hu is an extremely ambitious man; he cannot coexist with the Western Region Devil Cult. But this time he did not join the race to get the Luocha Tablet, because he knew early on that the Luocha Tablet fight was over a fake one.”

Blue Beard was still laughing, but suddenly ‘Crack!’ the wine cup in his hand broke since he squeezed it.

Lu Xiaofeng continued, “Ding Xiangyi did not know that Fei Tian Yu Hu is the Blue Beard, because when she met the Blue Beard, what she saw was a big man with face full of beard. She had never suspected this point, because, just like everybody else, she had always believed the Blue Beard is someone with beard, otherwise, why would he be called the Blue Beard?”

He continued in a cold voice, “Perhaps the only person who knew your secret is only Fang Yuxiang. It is even possible that she found it out only after a very long time, because it was just recently that she found you in here.”

Fang Yuxiang’s face did not show any emotion. She slowly stood up to get a golden cup from the cupboard behind them and wiped it clean with a pure white handkerchief before pouring a cup of wine for the Blue Beard.

Blue Beard gently held her hand, unexpectedly, his eyes suddenly turned warm and gentle.

Lu Xiaofeng: “You used Blue Beard’s identity as a cover. Originally it was very difficult for other people to uncover his secret. When she found you, originally you wanted to kill her to shut her mouth, but you did not have the heart to do so, because in all honesty she is very captivating. You were afraid she might reveal your secret out of jealousy, so you were forced to send the other four women away.”

Fang Yufei had been standing quietly on the side, listening to them. When even Han Mei and Ku Zhu did not open their mouths, naturally his chance of butting in was even slimmer.

But now he suddenly asked a question which should not be asked, “Since you have acknowledged that his use of the Blue Beard identity as a cover is a very intelligent move, how did you find out this secret?”

Blue Beard’s countenance changed abruptly; Fang Yufei’s question was nothing other than admitting that he also knew that Blue Beard and Fei Tian Yu Hu were identical.

But Lu Xiaofeng only laughed and said indifferently, “I don’t care how thorough his plan was, unavoidably there are some flaws.

Lu Xiaofeng continued, “Actually, he should not have ordered you and Fang Yuxiang to deal with Ding Xiangyi. If Ding Xiangyi was not his wife, he would not tell you to deal with her with such cruelty, even more, he should not mind other people’s business.”

Fang Yufei’s eyes seemed to show a painful feeling; he slowly lowered his head and no longer said anything.

Blue Beard coldly said, “How do you know I was the one sending him out? How do you know he is not Fei Tian Yu Hu?”

Lu Xiaofeng’s answer was plain and simple, “Because I am his old friend.”

Blue Beard also closed his mouth.

Lu Xiaofeng suddenly chuckled and said, “I also have another friend, you know him too; seems like you lost to him several hundred taels of silver.”

Blue Beard: “Are you talking about Zhao Junwu?”

Lu Xiaofeng nodded, “He has met the Blue Beard, who was also a big man with face full of beard. Naturally other people also see the same.”

Blue Beard coldly said, “Yet the Blue Beard you met did not have any beard.”

Lu Xiaofeng smiled, “You must know that for some people, even a single grain of sand will not enter their eyes, much less a large clump of fake beard.”

Blue Beard: “And you are one of those people?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Don’t tell me you are not?” Blue Beard only laughed coldly.

“Not only you have known about Ding Xiangyi’s affair for a long time, you also knew who her lover was. By doing what you did, not only you seized the opportunity to kill them, you could also divert other people’s attention.”

Gu Song suddenly said coldly, “What you mean by ‘other people’ must be me.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “That’s exactly what I meant.”

Gu Song: “What about you?”

With a bitter smile Lu Xiaofeng said, “I am merely the puppet he exploited as bait, nothing more than the rabbit some people would release when they are hunting for a fox.”

If one was comparing oneself to a rabbit, it must be because one’s heart was extremely upset. Whoever discovered that he had just been exploited by others, naturally would not feel good in his heart.

Gu Song: “But the rabbit will always run all over the place in the front, wherever it goes, the fox can only run after it.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “When you see he spared no effort just to get me to retrieve the Luocha Tablet for him, naturally you would not suspect that the Luocha Tablet is still in his hands.” Gu Song agreed.

Lu Xiaofeng: “Whether I can get the Luocha Tablet back, whether the Luocha Tablet I found is genuine or a fake, it has nothing to do with him, because he has already shifted all responsibility on me.”

Gu Song: “And if anything went wrong with the Luocha Tablet in your possession, the one we are going to look for definitely will be you.”

Lu Xiaofeng sighed, “The journey was truly long, it was practically the same as if we were being banished from the civilization. Along the way we were cold and hungry, while he was sitting comfortably by the fire waiting for us. By the time the seventh of the first month has come and gone, even if someone can uncover his secret, the most he could do is to stare at him.”

Gu Song: “Because by that time he is already the Cult Leader of the Western Region’s Luocha Cult.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “By that time not only he is the Cult Leader of Luocha Cult, but also the Clan Leader of the Black Tiger Clan. It’s a pity …”

Gu Song coldly said, “It’s a pity right now he is not.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “It’s truly a pity.”

Gu Song: “Right now he is no more than a turtle in a jar, a fish in the net.”

Suddenly Blue Beard also sighed and said, “It’s a pity, truly a pity.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “What is it that you feel pity?”

Blue Beard: “It’s a pity we are all blind.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “We?”

Blue Beard: “What I mean by ‘we’, is you and me.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Me …?”

Blue Beard: “Only blind men can make a mistake in choosing a friend.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “I made a mistake in choosing a friend?”

Blue Beard: “A very grave mistake indeed.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “And you?”

Blue Beard: “I am even more blind than you are, because not only I made a mistake in choosing a friend, I made a worse mistake in marrying a wife.”

He had not finished speaking the word ‘wife’ when fast as lightning he made his move by grabbing the main artery on Fang Yuxiang’s wrist and fiercely said, “Take it out!”

Fang Yuxiang’s beautiful face turned grayish green from the fright as she said, “I don’t know where the real Luocha Tablet is, what do you want me to take out?”

Blue Beard: “The one I want is not the Luocha Tablet, it’s …”

Fang Yuxiang: “What is it?”

Blue Beard did not reply, he did not even open his mouth, even his breathing seemed to have stopped, as if suddenly there were a pair of invisible hands gripped his throat tightly.

His usually calm and composed face was also suddenly twisted and turned into indescribably eerie bluish green.

Fang Yuxiang looked at him in shock, “You … what do you want from me?”

Blue Beard’s mouth was tightly closed, cold sweats dripped down like rain.

Fang Yuxiang’s eyes suddenly filled with gentleness and compassion; in a tender voice she said, “I am your wife, whatever it is you want from me, I will give it to you, why do you have to be angry?”

Blue Beard only stared at her. Suddenly the corner of his eyes burst apart. Instantly blood started to flow from the corner of his eyes, the corner of his mouth, his nostrils and his ears.

It was blood all right, but it was not scarlet.

Strangely, the color of his blood had also turned into an eerie bluish green.

He was not able to sit anymore and slowly fell backward.

Fang Yuxiang gently propped him up while prying his hand off. Fang Yufei also hastily helped him up.

“What happened? You …”

They did not continue asking, because they knew a dead person would not be able to reply or say anything.

In one instant they saw the Blue Beard made his move like a lightning, in another instant he had turned into a dead man.

But it looked like his bulging eyes were still staring at Fang Yuxiang; a stare filled with grief and indignation, but also accusation.

Looking at him, Fang Yuxiang drew back step by step, with crystal clear tear drops flowed down on her face like a mountain spring.

“Why did you do this? Why did you do this?”

Her voice was unbearably sad. “Whatever it is, it is not unsolvable; why did bring your own destruction?”

The room was quiet save for her sorrowful wailing.

The rest of them had not recovered from this shock.

The Blue Beard was dead. This turn of events was truly more shocking than everything that had happened just a moment ago.

Strangely, Lu Xiaofeng was not shocked. Even the least bit of astonishment did not appear on his face.

The one with the most painful expression was Gu Song. In a low voice he mumbled, “The real Luocha Tablet must still be in his possession. He must have hidden it in a very secret location. He must be the only one knew this secret. But now he is dead …”

Suddenly Lu Xiaofeng said, “It doesn’t matter whether he is dead or not.”

Gu Song: “Doesn’t matter?”

Lu Xiaofeng lightly said, “He is not the only one who knows his secret.”

Gu Song: “Who else would know?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “I do.”

Gu Song sprang up suddenly, but slowly sat back down. His expression was back to normal as he slowly asked, “You know where he hid the Luocha Tablet?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “He was such a shady and sly person. A sly person is usually over suspicious; therefore, the only one he would trust perhaps is himself.”

Gu Song: “And so he must have kept the Luocha Tablet on himself?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “He must have.”

Gu Song sprang up again and was about to rush over.

But Lu Xiaofeng cut him off, “If you search him right now, I guarantee you won’t find it.”

Gu Song: “But you just said that the Luocha Tablet must be on him?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Then was then, now is now; in just a short moment many things can change.”

Gu Song: “And so the Luocha Tablet was on him a moment ago, but now it is gone?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Definitely gone.”

Gu Song: “Where is it now?”

Suddenly Lu Xiaofeng turned toward Fang Yuxiang and slowly stretched out his hand in front of her, “Take it out.”

Biting her lips, Fang Yuxiang bitterly said, “Even my husband’s life has been taken by you, what else do you want from me?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “What he wanted a moment ago indeed was not the Luocha Tablet, because at that time the Luocha Tablet was still on him.”

Fang Yuxiang: “Do you know what he wanted?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Yes, he wanted the antidote.”

Fang Yuxiang: “Antidote?”

Lu Xiaofeng smiled while picking up the gold cup Blue Beard used to drink his last wine, “He had always been a very cautious person, it was truly not easy for anybody to poison him, but this time …”

Fang Yuxiang: “Could it be that this time somebody poisoned him?”

Lu Xiaofeng nodded. “This time he was poisoned because he was so sure that there was no poison in the wine, there was also no poison on the cup.”

Fang Yuxiang: “If that’s the case, then how did he get poisoned?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Because he had forgotten something.”

Fang Yuxiang: “What thing?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “He had forgotten than the gold cup was fetched by you, moreover, that you have wiped it with your silk handkerchief.”

He looked at the handkerchief tucked into Fang Yuxiang’s lapel and slowly added, “He forgot, although there was no poison in the wine, there was also no poison on the cup, your silk handkerchief is poisonous.”

Fang Yuxiang was silent. Only after a long time did she softly say, “I just want to ask you something.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “I am listening.”

Fang Yuxiang: “I am asking you: people like Fei Tian Yu Hu, do they deserve to be killed?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “They do.”

Fang Yuxiang: “In that case, even if I killed him, you should not blame me.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “I have never blamed you, I only want you to take it out.”

Fang Yuxiang: “Take out what?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “The Luocha Tablet.”

Fang Yuxiang: “The Luocha Tablet? Where would I get such Luocha Tablet from?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Indeed you did not have it, but now you do.”

Fang Yuxiang: “What you want is …”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Is the piece you groped from Blue Beard’s body just a moment ago.”

Fang Yuxiang fell silent again for a long time before she finally sighed softly and said, “Apparently Lu Xiaofeng truly deserves to be called Lu Xiaofeng, seems like nothing can be concealed from you.”

Lu Xiaofeng smiled, “Although sometimes my eyes are blind, fortunately most of the time they are wide open.”

Fang Yuxiang bit her lip, she looked at Lu Xiaofeng, and then looked at Sui Han San You, finally she stomped her feet and called out, “All right, you want me to take it out, I’ll take it out. This evil thing can only bring bad luck to people anyway.”

She really took out something from her pocket, an amazingly crystal clear jade tablet. The beauty of this jade tablet indeed far exceeded the other two tablets.

The jade tablet had just fallen onto the table, like a floating cloud Gu Song’s long sleeve flew out.

The jade tablet on the table immediately vanished into his sleeve.

Lu Xiaofeng smiled as he looked at him, “The mission accomplished, the tablet is returned, fortunately I do not bring disgrace to myself.”

Gu Song: “Bygone enmity and old grievances have been wiped out herewith with this word ‘accomplished’.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Thank you.”

Gu Song: “Thank you.”

With a wooden expression Fang Yuxiang coldly said, “Now Fei Tian Yu Hu is dead, the Luocha Tablet has also been returned to you, what are you waiting for?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “You want us to leave?”

Fang Yuxiang bit her lip, “What else do you want? Could it be that you want me?”

Lu Xiaofeng laughed, “If you ask me, of course I want you, but there is a minor problem.”

Fang Yuxiang: “What problem?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Are you really a human being?”

Fang Yuxiang laughed, Lu Xiaofeng also laughed.

He was laughing out loud while walking out. Suddenly he turned his head and patted Fang Yufei on the shoulder, “Chen Jingjing is a very smart girl. Since you like her, you should treat her well.”

Fang Yufei: “Chen Jingjing? Which Chen Jingjing?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Of course the Chen Jingjing we both know.”

Fang Yufei: “Then you should know that she died in the fire.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “No, she did not.”

Fang Yufei: “She did not?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “There was indeed a woman’s body in the fire, but it was not Chen Jingjing’s.”

Fang Yufei: “Oh?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Chen Jingjing was hit by Chuchu’s three bone-penetrating needles, that woman’s skeleton did not have even one needle. Before you burned her to death, would you still have time to extract the secret projectiles first?”

Fang Yufei chuckled, “I do not have that kind of ability.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Therefore, the woman died in the fire was not Chen Jingjing.”

Fang Yufei was still laughing, but his laughter was somewhat forced. “If Chen Jingjing did not die, where did she go?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Since the stuffed steamed bun is still on the plate, the one you ate must be the plain steamed bun.”

Fang Yufei: “Since Chen Jingjing did not die in the fire, someone must have carried Chen Jingjing away.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “I told you, this logic is very simple.”

Fang Yufei: “Do you also know who carried her away?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “You.”

Fang Yufei could not say another word.

Lu Xiaofeng: “At first I did not have any suspicions on this matter, but actually you should not kill that child.”

Fang Yufei lowered his head, he looked at his own hands.

Lu Xiaofeng: “I’m sure you also knew that that child was an idiot, there is no way he would recognize your appearance, but you still did not want to take any risk and thus killed him to close his mouth, just because you were afraid he might tell me that the Auntie who was supposed to give him some candy did not die. Although he was stupid, he would certainly be able to tell this little fact.”

Fang Yufei: “And you started to suspect me from then on?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “That’s why I went back to the fire to take a look, and only then did I discover the woman’s skeleton was not Chen Jingjing’s.”

Fang Yufei: “But you still could not prove that I was the one who carry Chen Jingjing away.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “That’s why I employed Zhao Junwu’s help to find some information for me.”

Fang Yufei: “What information?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Chen Jingjing was seriously injured, if you want to keep her alive, you would certainly find a doctor for her, and the number of doctors who are able to treat that kind of injury is truly not many.”

Fang Yufei: “Within several hundred li around that place, perhaps there is only one.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Exactly one.”

Fang Yufei: “Laohekou, Tongde hall, Feng family shop’s Blind Feng number two.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “The best part is: because he is a blind man, blind man cannot see the shape of the secret projectile.”

Fang Yufei indifferently said, “Perhaps because of this fact that he is still alive.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Only it’s too bad that Chen Jingjing was hit by a bone-penetrating needle from a unique school, a very rare type of secret projectile.”

Fang Yufei: “Therefore, as soon as Zhao Junwu asked around, he found the information.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “From this, it can be seen that Ding Xiangyi was killed by you, her lover is also you.”

Fang Yufei: “Oh?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Because the jade tablet I showed to her has fallen into your hands. Therefore, when a moment ago I mentioned the Blind Feng number two, you promptly took it out like an obedient child.”

He chuckled, and then continued, “Actually, my incantation was completely useless to others, but to you, it was a threat.”

Fang Yufei: “Saving others’ life is not a disgraceful matter, why would I feel threatened by you?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Because you are afraid someone might find out.”

Fang Yufei: “I … I am afraid who would find out?”

Lu Xiaofeng laughed, he turned his face toward Fang Yuxiang.

Fang Yuxiang’s countenance had turned ashen.

Lu Xiaofeng patted Fang Yufei’s shoulder again, and said with a smile, “I told you that Chen Jingjing is a very lovely girl, not only she is smart and pretty, she is also gentle and considerate toward others. Since you have taken the risk to save her, you should treat her well, don’t you agree?”

Fang Yufei: “Right, absolutely right.”

He smiled again, Lu Xiaofeng was also smiling, yet those two people’s smile definitely did not have anything in common.

Thereupon Lu Xiaofeng walked out with a smile on his face.

“Wait!” Fang Yuxiang suddenly called out loudly.

Lu Xiaofeng stopped.

Fang Yuxiang: “You have also forgotten something.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Oh?”

Fang Yuxiang: “You forgot you said you are going to give him something.”

By ‘him’, she meant Fang Yufei.

Previously, when she looked at Fang Yufei, her eyes were always brimming with sweetness and affection, but now not even the least bit of a smile remained.

Now, there were only pain, jealousy, and hatred in her eyes, the kind of jealousy and hatred that almost reaches madness.

Word by word she continued, “You forgot to give him an a$$h01le.” [see end of Chapter 4]

The wick of the lanterns was in need of trimming, resulted in the dimmed light.

The room became suddenly still, as still as the grave.

Fang Yufei stood motionless where he was; no emotion was shown on his face, but for some reason, his exceptionally handsome and attractive face somehow looked gloomy and unspeakably dreadful.

Even Fang Yuxiang did not dare to look at him anymore.

She turned toward Lu Xiaofeng and said, “I know you said you were going to give him one.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “I did say that.”

Fang Yuxiang: “Will you?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “I will.”

Fang Yuxiang suddenly burst out in laughter, a mad kind of laughter, she laughed so hard that tears flowed down her face.

She used the handkerchief tucked in her lapel to wipe her tears. “I would rather be blind than seeing you and that whore together.”

Her voice became raspy as she shouted loudly, while blood started to appear on the corners of her mouth.

She used the handkerchief to wipe the corners of her mouth.

“Actually, I should have known early on that you were only using me, but I have never thought that you would like that whore.”

She started to cough. “All along you have hidden the truth from me, I suppose you were afraid I might leak your secret. As soon as our business is over, I will definitely die without a burial place, because in reality, I know your secret too much, too much …”

She still wanted to continue, but her throat was closing down, as if suddenly there were a pair of invisible hands gripping tightly gripping her throat.

And then her pretty face started to twist, blood also started to flow out from her orifices.

But the blood was not scarlet, but eerie bluish green. When she fell down, she happened to fall onto the Blue Beard’s body.

Fang Yufei saw her falling, he was still not moving, his face was devoid of any emotion.

Lu Xiaofeng could not refrain from heaving a sigh and mutter, “There are things I did not want to say, too bad …”

Fang Yufei suddenly cut him off, “Too bad you have suspected me a long time ago.”

Lu Xiaofeng nodded, “You are the real Fei Tian Yu Hu, the Blue Beard was nothing more than a puppet you exploited.”

Fang Yufei: “You also knew early on that she was not my Meimei.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Chuchu, Jingjing, Xiangyi, they all grew up with her, but they have never mentioned she had any Gege!”

Fang Yufei: “You are very attentive.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Whenever Fei Tian Yu Hu appeared, you were always nearby, but the Blue Beard had never left this place.”

Fang Yufei did not deny.

Lu Xiaofeng: “You knew the Luocha Tablet was in Blue Beard’s possession, so you told Chen Jingjing to incite Li Xia to steal it. Using Fang Yuxiang as bait, you trapped me, and then you led Li Xia to deal with Jia Leshan. Finally you wanted to use the Blue Beard as your scapegoat. In the end, naturally their riches would belong to you.”

Fang Yufei indifferently said, “You should have known that my expenses are always very big, I have to support many women, all women know how to spend money, especially women who are both beautiful and smart.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “These women, no doubt they all are very intelligent, but actually, in your eyes, they are …”

Fang Yufei: “They are no more than a bunch of b**ches.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “No matter what, your being able to use these many women, your ability is truly not small, it’s a pity …”

Fang Yufei cut him off again, “It’s a pity that in the end it was a woman who brought me harm.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Actually, the one bringing harm to you is not Fang Yuxiang.”

Fang Yufei: “If not her, then who?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Chen Jingjing.”

Fang Yufei: “She …”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Only she can bring you harm, because only to her you were being sincere. If not because of her, how could you reveal that many secrets?”

Fang Yufei closed his mouth. Although his face was still devoid of any emotion, he was clearly struggling hard to control himself.

Lu Xiaofeng: “Because you still have this little bit of sincerity, I am going to give you an opportunity.”

Fang Yufei: “What opportunity?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Toward a man like you, actually we do not need to speak about righteousness and justice of the Jianghu. There are four of us in here, if we make our move together, no doubt you will die in the blink of an eye.”

Fang Yufei did not deny.

Lu Xiaofeng: “But now I am willing to give you the opportunity to have a fair duel.”

Fang Yufei: “You and me?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “That’s right, you and me, mano a mano.”

Fang Yufei: “If I win?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “If you can defeat me, I am dead, you are free to go.”

Fang Yufei turned his gaze toward Sui Han San You.

Gu Song coldly said, “If you can defeat him, he is dead, you are free to go.”

Fang Yufei: “You say it and mean it?”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Definitely I won’t renege on my words!”

Suddenly Fang Yufei laughed and said, “I know why you want to do it this way.”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Oh?”

Fang Yufei: “Because you want to kill me with your own hands.”

Lu Xiaofeng did not deny.

Fang Yufei smiled and said, “But you are wrong!”

Lu Xiaofeng: “I have often done wrong things, luckily once in a while I can also do the right thing.”

Fang Yufei: “But this time you are wrong, very wrong!”

Lu Xiaofeng: “Oh?”

Fang Yufei: “You will not defeat me, once you make your move, you will no doubt die.”

Lu Xiaofeng also laughed.

Fang Yufei: “I clearly understand your martial art skills, your magical finger is completely useless against me, but I have a special strategy to deal with you.”

Lu Xiaofeng only smiled as he listened to him.

Suddenly Fang Yufei turned his body around, and when he turned back, his hands were covered by a pair of silvery and glittering gloves. Not only the gloves were covered with needle sharp thorns, the fingers were equipped with tiger claw hooks.

Fang Yufei: “I developed this especially to deal with you. Your finger only needs to make one contact with this, in less than three steps, you will definitely fall down and die.”

Lu Xiaofeng laughed, “Can I not touch it?”

Fang Yufei: “You can’t.”

He continued slowly, “Clamping down the opponent’s weapon with your fingers has always been your usual practice. A usual practice of many years will not change in just a short moment, especially in the face of a danger. And I guarantee you will face a lot of danger.”

Lu Xiaofeng looked at his silvery gloves; in the end he sighed and with a bitter smile he said, “Looks like my death has been decided.”

Fang Yufei: “I have no doubt. You will definitely die.”

His voice and manner were full of confidence. When martial art masters were having a duel, confidence was actually a very formidable weapon, even more formidable than his pair of fantastic silver gloves.

The smiling expression on Lu Xiaofeng had disappeared.

At this moment, Fang Yufei already struck.

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