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The Thrush Chapter 16


Tangled and Complicated

Smiling wryly, Hu Tiehua said, “That’s right, I am Hu Tiehua, I didn’t expect you to still recognize me.”

As soon as he said his name, the delicate girl immediately put down her chess pieces, and stood up abruptly, and then the three persons stared at him together.

Hu Tiehua heaved a sigh, he said, “I also know that you are Su Rongrong, you are Li Hongxiu, and you are Song Tian’er. The last time I saw you, you were still kids. I never thought you have grown so big now.”

Li Hongxiu sweetly said, “Everyone will grow up, right?”

Hu Tiehua sighed and said, “I’ve wanted to see you for a long time, only too bad this time is really not good, this place is even worse.”

Miss Ping put him down in front of the iron bars, she laughed and said, “You guys old friends meet, chat some more!”

As her mouth spoke she lightly tapped the ground with her toes, the piece of slab suddenly flipped over like a seesaw, Hu Tiehua’s person slid like a ball toward the iron bars.

Li Hongxiu and Song Tian’er rushed over to help him up and untied the beef tendon that was trapping him. The two persons ‘zhi-zhi-cha-cha’ [in case you cannot imagine, it is meant to be squeaking or twittering/chirping …] asked, “How come you are here too?”

Smiling wryly, Hu Tiehua replied, “I was thinking of asking you the same thing.”

Song Tian’er rushed to answer, “We went to the desert and saw all the horses turning around, we thought …”

She ‘zhi-zhi-cha-cha’ a string of words, suddenly she stopped, sighed and said, “I’m afraid you don’t understand what I say, so let them talk!”

Li Hongxiu said, “To make a long story short, in summary, we went to the desert to play for a while, then came back to look for Chu Liuxiang, but on the way we met Li Yuhan and Liu Wumei, husband and wife.”

Hu Tiehua said, “You know husband and wife, two persons?”

Li Hongxiu sighed and said, “Who would know them! It’s just that that day when we went to Kuaiyi Lou [lit. House of Delight] to look for Little Meng Chang to make some inquiries, they happened to be there.”

Hu Tiehua sighed inwardly, he said, “I’m afraid they didn’t happen to be there by chance that day, they were waiting for you on purpose.”

Li Hongxiu said, “We originally thought that these husband and wife, two persons looked all right, plus we heard that they were the children of a famous family influential for generations, naturally we did not guard against them at all.”

She stopped suddenly, looked at Hu Tiehua and said, “If you did not know how they conduct themselves, would you guard against them?”

Smiling wryly, “I wouldn’t either, just because we are both not as smart as Chu Liuxiang, nor as cautious as him.”

Li Hongxiu said, “Because of that, when he said he wanted to travel with us all the way, we immediately agreed. Who would have thought that they unexpectedly put a knockout drug in our teapot in secret? By the time we woke up, we had already been sent here. I really never thought that children of a famous family influential for generations like them would use such despicable, shameless trick.”

Hu Tiehua sighed and said, “If it were me, I would never think either.”

Li Hongxiu said, “The strangest thing is that until now, we still don’t know what intention they are harboring in their heart, just because since we are locked in here, unexpectedly we have not seen them.”

She pointed to Song Tian’er and added, “Although this Xiao Biao [little (maternal) cousin] curses every day, makes noise every day, no matter how she curses, the Li Family people seems to be all dead, not even a single one is willing to show up. We are so angry that we drew three big turtles on the wall, who would have thought that unexpectedly they are like becoming real turtles, shrinking their heads in, hiding and not daring to see people.”

She also sighed and said, “You think, what is it that they are trying to do?”

Hu Tiehua’s belly was full of bile, he really did not know how to answer.

Su Rongrong suddenly said, “You have seen Chu Liuxiang, haven’t you?”

She stared at him without blinking, Hu Tiehua only felt that her pair of gentle and soft fluid glance suddenly became incomparably bright, unexpectedly it made people could not lie in her presence.

Hu Tiehua could only nod, he said, “I have already seen him.”

Su Rongrong said, “Where is he now?”

Hu Tiehua hung his head down, avoiding her gaze, he said hesitatingly, “I … I am not too clear myself.”

Su Rongrong walked up to him and said word by word, “I am sure you know, I hope you don’t hide it from us. No matter what happened to him, I hope you tell us, because we have the right to know.”

Although her voice was still so gentle and soft, but toward the end, it became anxious and sharp, as if she sensed something ominous had happened.

However, how could Hu Tiehua bear to tell the bad news about Chu Liuxiang in front of them?

Only too bad he was not a person who was good at hiding his emotions. Although he did not say a word, Su Rongrong’s countenance gradually changed.

She seemed to have suddenly lost her center of gravity, her body could no longer stand up, suddenly she collapsed, Song Tian’er and Li Hongxiu cried out in alarm and rushed over to hold her up.

They heard a light shout, Hei Zhenzhu suddenly came over and grabbed Hu Tiehua’s throat. Her pale face no longer had the slightest bit color of blood, she glowered at Hu Tiehua, snorted and said, “What exactly happened to him? You don’t tell us, I’ll kill you first.”

Su Rongrong struggled to get up, her voice trembling, she said, “Let him go, let him go … He has no malicious intentions.”

Hei Zhenzhu said, “But why is he unwilling to tell us? What exactly is he trying to hide?”

Tears already flowing down Su Rongrong’s eyes, she spoke sadly, “I know he does not want to tell us, because he is afraid that we will be broken-hearted.”

She had not finished speaking, her voice already choked, Li Hongxiu, Song Tian’er, Hei Zhenzhu, all three seemed to be unable to stand, all three stared at Hu Tiehua.

Seeing that kind of gaze, Hu Tiehua felt as if his heart was being pricked by a needle. It was not until this moment that he understood the feeling of broken heart.

Suddenly, someone was rushing in as if flying.

Shockingly, this person was indeed Li Yuhan.

As soon as they saw him, Li Hongxiu and the others’ eyes seemed to emit fire.

Li Hongxiu said loudly, “You evil thief, surprisingly you still dare come to see us?”

Song Tian’er spoke in trembling voice, “What have you done to our Chu Liuxiang?”

Hei Zhenzhu spoke sternly, “You better kill me quickly, otherwise, sooner or later, there will come a day when I will kill you.”

Hu Tiehua shouted angrily, “Bad thief, do you dare to decide life and death with me?”

Four people cursing and yelling, unexpectedly Li Yuhan was still completely oblivious.

They saw that his face was unexpectedly more sorrowful, more terrified than Li Hongxiu and the others, his eyes were bloodshot, and his whole body kept trembling.

Hu Tiehua and the others could not help feeling very strange instead. While they were at a loss as how he became like this, Liu Wumei suddenly rushed in as well, trembling.

Her expression was, not only very sorrowful, but also looked very panic-stricken.

She unexpectedly rushed in front of Li Yuhan, hugged him tightly, and said in a trembling voice, “I am the one who hurt you, I am the one who hurt you.”

Li Yuhan did not say anything, he merely gently stroked her messy hair, his eyes were full of grief, also full of pity.

Liu Wumei suddenly let go of him, and pulled out a shiny dagger from her own sleeve.

Unexpectedly she stabbed the blade into her own heart.

As if he was mad, Li Yuhan hugged her, he snorted and said, “How could you do this? Stop quickly.”

Her cheeks already streaming with tears, Liu Wumei said, “I have been a burden to you for so long, I beg you, let me die, after I die, others will forgive you.”

Stomping his feet, Li Yuhan said, “After you die, can I still live?”

Liu Wumei’s body burst into a shudder, ‘Dang!’ the dagger in her hand fell onto the slab of stone, she also hugged Li Yuhan tightly and burst into tears.

Watching this, Hu Tiehua and the others were all stunned, no one could guess what in the world happened to these husband and wife, two people that became like this? Could it be that they were acting again?

They heard Liu Wumei crying bitterly and said, “Actually, how could I be willing to leave you? It’s just that I feel that you have sacrificed too much for me, how can I bear to let you suffer for me any longer?”

Li Yuhan spoke softly, “Since you came, every day, every sichen, I have been happy, how could you say that I am suffering?”

Liu Wumei said, “In that case, we’d better go! Let’s find a place where we can live peacefully and quietly, no one will see us.”

Li Yuhan said, “But you …”

Liu Wumei laughed in distress, she said, “I may still live for a few months, these few months …”

Li Yuhan suddenly cut her off, he spoke softly, “I can’t let you die no matter what, I want you to live forever.”

Liu Wumei said, “But now …”

Li Yuhan said, “Now we have not given up all hope, we still have at least these five people in our hands.”

The more Hu Tiehua and the others listened, the more they did not understand. They more they listened, the more they felt strange.

Why did Liu Wumei have to die? Why did they …

They suddenly heard Li Yuhan shouting loudly, saying, “Stop, if you dare to go any further, I will kill them.”

No one knew when, but he suddenly had the Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nails aimed accurately at Hu Tiehua and the others, while with his other hand he held Liu Wumei tightly, as if he was afraid of losing her.

On the stone steps, somebody sighed and said, “Until now, you are still unwilling to let go? Why bother?”

Shockingly, this voice unexpectedly belonged to Chu Liuxiang.

Chu Liuxiang unexpectedly did not die.

Who saved him?

Hu Tiehua and the others were both surprised and delighted, they blurted out, “Chu Liuxiang, is that you?”

They did not need any answer, just because they finally saw Chu Liuxiang again.

Chu Liuxiang was standing on the lowest step of the stone stairs, he really did not dare to take another step down, because he deeply knew the formidable power of the Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nails.

Now, Hu Tiehua and the others, five people were crammed into a small stone room, and everyone was under the control of the formidable power of the Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nails.

They practically had no wiggle room at all.

Hu Tiehua jumped up and laughed heartily, “Old stinky bug, you really are not dead, I know you cannot die, no one in the world can take your life.”

Although Chu Liuxiang was smiling, he could not help sighing, he said, “But if someone did not save me this time, my life would have been taken away for real.”

Hu Tiehua said, “Someone really came to save you? Who was it?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “You won’t be able to guess.”

Hu Tiehua said, “I really can’t guess.”

Chu Liuxiang sighed and said, “Naturally you can’t guess, just because I myself never thought that the person who saved me was Li Guanyu, Li Lao Qianbei.”

Hu Tiehua was stunned again, he blurted out, “The son wanted your life, how could the old man save you?”

Smiling wryly, Chu Liuxiang said, “He practically did not know about this matter, he did not have any intention to take my life even more. Everything was arranged by this Li Gongzi, the virtuous husband and wife, two people.”

“But,” Hu Tiehua said, “Shuai Yifan, those people, didn’t they come because they were entrusted by Li Guanyu?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “That was just Li Gongzi passing on fake imperial edict, that’s all. When the son speaks on behalf of his old man, others will naturally not doubt it.”

Hu Tiehua said, “Then why didn’t Li Guanyu deny it?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Just because Li Lao Qianbei suffered fire deviation during martial art training seven years ago, his whole body became rigid, he can’t even speak.”

The more Hu Tiehua listened, the more he felt strange, he said, “Since his entire body is stiff, how could he make his move to save you?”

Chu Liuxiang sighed and said, “Li Lao Qianbei has been upright all his life, he put emphasis on righteousness and justice the most, when he saw injustice was happening in front of his eyes, and it was committed under his name, the uncomfortable feeling and fury in his heart, I’m afraid you and I cannot imagine, yet he could only watch helplessly, unable to move a single step.”

Hu Tiehua slapped his hand and said, “Could it be that under extreme anger, the true qi that had been choked to death for a long time, unexpectedly was stirred up by his fury?”

Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “Exactly right.”

Hu Tiehua laughed and said, “What happened next, even if you don’t tell me, I also know.”

“Oh?” Chu Liuxiang said.

Hu Tiehua said, “When Liu Wumei was about to kill you, she saw that Li Lao Qianbei was suddenly able to move and talk again, naturally she was shocked. When someone saw that his own conspiracy was about to be exposed, anybody will be afraid.”

“That’s right,” Chu Liuxiang said.

Hu Tiehua said, “When she wanted to kill you again, naturally those five old men can’t possibly not let her make her move. At that time, Li Yuhan was even more scared that he even lost his soul, hence he immediately chased over to here.”

Chu Liuxiang smiled and said, “Unexpectedly your guess is 90% correct, this is really very rare.”

Hu Tiehua said, “But since you can find this place, why don’t you bring those old men that have been fooled along here?”

Chu Liuxiang said slowly, “My own affairs, naturally I should resolve it myself.”

Hu Tiehua said, “Can you resolve it?”

Chu Liuxiang laughed indifferently and said, “I don’t know if there is really something that can’t be resolved in the world, at least so far I haven’t encountered any.”

This matter could be discussed later, yet all along the two men have been talking about it incessantly. Unexpectedly they seemed to have forgotten what time and what place this was. Furthermore, they did not seem to realize that Li Yuhan and Liu Wumei were still glaring like a tiger watching its prey from the side. Watching this from the side, Song Tian’er and the others felt very strange.

What saddened them the most was that not only Chu Liuxiang did not talk to them, he did not even look at them, instead, he spoke with Hu Tiehua incessantly.

Among them, only Su Rongrong knew Chu Liuxiang’s intentions, she knew that this moment they were trying to use this talk to distract Li Yuhan’s attention.

As soon as Li Yuhan was slightly negligent, Chu Liuxiang could immediately snatch the ‘Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nails’ from his hand. How fast Chu Liuxiang could make his move, Su Rongrong knew very well.

However, Li Yuhan’s eyes were still staring at Chu Liuxiang without blinking at all, his hand was still tightly clasping the box of ‘Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nails’.

No matter what Chu Liuxiang was talking about, unexpectedly he did not seem to hear it, but as soon as Chu Liuxiang’s hand moved, his ‘Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nails’ would immediately be released.

Su Rongrong could not help sighing secretly, because she could see that if Chu Liuxiang wanted to take the ‘Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nails’ from Li Yuhan’s hand, perhaps it would be more difficult than pulling teeth from a tiger’s mouth.

Suddenly, Li Yuhan spoke sternly, “Are you finished talking?”

Hu Tiehua said, “Could it be that you want to talk too? All right, then let me ask you first, what kind of enmity do you have against Chu Liuxiang? Why do you want to harm him like this?”

Surprisingly, Li Yuhan also let out a long sigh, he said, “Between he and I, there was no grievance in the past, and there is no enmity in the recent days. I want to kill him, it is really an action against my will.”

Hu Tiehua said angrily, “Are you talking, or are you farting?”

Li Yuhan was not angry, unexpectedly he sighed again and said, “There are many things that I know you will never understand.”

Chu Liuxiang chuckled, he said, “There are many things that at first I really pondered a hundred times without gaining an understanding, but now I have gradually figured it out.”

“Oh?” Li Yuhan said.

Chu Liuxiang said, “The thing that puzzles me the most is, since you guys let me off, why do you want to kill me again?” He chuckled again, and then said, “I only figured it out later, because I already found out that you did not save me at all.”

Liu Wumei said, “You … could it be that you forget that in Shi Guanyin‘s secret valley that day …”

Hearing her, Chu Liuxiang said, “That’s right, you did kill quite a few people that day, but it was not to save me, because at that time I have already escaped, even if you did not kill those people, I could still escape.”

Laughing coldly, Liu Wumei said, “You are not willing to accept my kindness, there’s nothing I can do.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Although you did not save me, I’m still very grateful to you, because if you hadn’t made your move to help, King of Qiuci, father and daughter, and Hu Tiehua, I am afraid they would have died from Shi Guanyin‘s poisonous wine.”

Liu Wumei said, “Surprisingly, you have not forgotten about this matter, it is very rare.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Naturally I won’t forget, because all along I felt strange, after seeing Su Rongrong and the others, you guys went to the desert. How can you, as soon as you arrived at the desert, able to find Shi Guanyin‘s secret valley? That secret valley is not only remote and inaccessible [orig. men’s footprints are rare (idiom)], moreover, the roads in the valley are tangled and complicated, yet you seem like driving a lightweight chariot on a familiar road [idiom], able to come and go at will. Isn’t that strange?”

“That’s right,” Hu Tiehua excitedly said, “Now that you mentioned it, I also find it strange.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Also, Shi Guanyin’s skill in using poison is extremely exquisite, the poisonous wine she concocted is naturally impossible for others to resolve. Therefore, after seeing Hu Tiehua and the others drank her poisonous wine, she immediately left, because she believed that absolutely no one in the world could neutralize their poison, hence she was not worried.”

His gaze was fixed at Liu Wumei, he spoke slowly, “Yet treating it as no big deal, you neutralized their poison, isn’t that strange?”

Raising his hand, Hu Tiehua said, “That’s right, if she did not know the nature of the poison in Shi Guanyin‘s wine, how did she know how to neutralize our poison?”

Liu Wumei’s pair of spring-flower like lily-white hands tightly clutched the front piece of her own gown, she said, “These two things, could it be … could it be you have figured it out?”

Chu Liuxiang laughed indifferently, he said, “Although these two things are difficult to explain, they are the only loopholes you have left. Were it not for these two things, I am afraid I would never guess your real identity.”

Liu Wumei’s knuckles already loosened up, but her pair of hands was still trembling incessantly, she said, “You … could it be you have guessed my true identity now?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Let me ask you first, if someone has never been to Shi Guanyin’s secret valley at all, can he come and go freely in the valley?”

Biting her lip, Liu Wumei replied, “No.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “If someone does not know the composition of Shi Guanyin‘s cup of poisonous wine, can he neutralize the poison of that cup of wine?”

Liu Wumei said, “No.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “If it was not someone who was very close to Shi Guanyin, he would not know how to get in and out of the secret valley, nor would he know the composition of the poisonous wine, right?”

Liu Wumei suddenly burst out laughing.

She seemed to be unable to control herself, and has been giggling nervously non-stop.

Hu Tiehua could not help asking, “She … Who is she?”

Chu Liuxiang let out a long, long sigh, he spoke word by word, “Could it be that you have not figured out that she is also a disciple of Shi Guanyin?”

Liu Wumei was unexpectedly also Shi Guanyin’s disciple.

When these words came out, even Hu Tiehua was shocked.

Li Yuhan’s countenance changed greatly even more, he spoke sternly, “If she is also Shi Guanyin’s disciple, why did she kill all her martial sisters that day?”

Laughing coldly, Chu Liuxiang said, “Since Shi Guanyin already thought that she would proclaim herself king of the Qiuci Kingdom, taking that many disciples, wouldn’t it become a burden instead?”

Li Yuhan said, “You … you think it was Shi Guanyin who told her to kill all those people?”

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