Use the translation feature to translate novels into different languages

The Thrush Chapter 5

CSI

The Sick Hero

Not only was Hu Tiehua unable to move his hand, but half of his body was numb. ‘Plop!’ he sat down on the chair and stared at Chu Liuxiang with wide eyes.

Li Yuhan, husband and wife felt very strange as well.

Liu Wumei sweetly said, “Could it be that Chu Liuxiang is afraid that there is poison in my pot of wine too?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Even if there is no poison in the wine, there is already poison in his body.”

Emotionally moved, Li Yuhan said, “Could it be that Hu Xiong already drank a cup of poisoned wine?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “It wasn’t the wine that harmed him this time, but his hand.” It was only this moment that everyone found out that Hu Tiehua’s hand was swollen, furthermore, there was a faint dark color seeping through.

His countenance paled, Li Yuhan said, “How did Hu Xiong get poisoned?”

With his other hand Hu Tiehua rubbed his nose, smiling bitterly, he said, “I’m afraid I ran into a big-headed ghost.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Didn’t you pull out the Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nails from the ground one by one with your hand?”

“Uh huh!” Hu Tiehua said.

Heaving a deep sigh, Chu Liuxiang said, “That’s right, you thought that since your hand was not cut, the poisonous qi would not penetrate into your hand, but you did not know that the poison on the needle has penetrated through your fingernails.”

Li Yuhan could not help interrupting, he said, “However, as far as I know, the Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nails have never had poison on them, simply because the power of this secret projectile is too fierce, even if it has no poison, the person hit by it will die without any help.”

Chu Liuxiang sighed again and said, “Although Li Xiong is right, this Renxiong [brother, of approximately the same age, ‘my dear friend’] was still afraid that I will not die fast enough, so he has dipped the Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nails in a highly-toxic substances.”

Li Yuhan, husband and wife looked at each other, they no longer spoke, but moved the oil lamp next to the pile of Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nails. Liu Wumei pulled a silver hairpin from her hair and gently picked up a Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nail. She looked at it carefully for half a day. Under the light, they saw the two persons’ faces were getting heavier.

Hu Tiehua coughed lightly and said, “Is it really poisonous?”

Li Yuhan, husband and wife looked at each other again, Liu Wumei said, “Uh huh!”

Chu Liuxiang said, “I have long heard that Li Lao Qianbei’s knowledge surpassed Man and Heaven. Although he disdained using poison to hurt people with secret projectile, he has done a lot of research on it. With Li Xiong’s family background, your knowledge can’t be comparable to ordinary people.”

Smiling wryly, Hu Tiehua said, “That’s right, since you two, husband and wife, also said there is poison on the nails, you absolutely can’t go wrong.”

Chu Liuxiang spoke heavily, “Therefore, Zaixia want to ask for Li Xiong’s guidance, what kind of poison is this secret projectile dipped in?”

Li Yuhan also sighed and said, “The types of poisons in the world are simply too many that I’m afraid even my father could not differentiate one from another.”

Hearing to this point, Chu Liuxiang seemed to be speechless as well.

Hu Tiehua’s eyes grew big, he said, “In that case, there is no way I can neutralize this poison?”

Forcing a laughter, Liu Wumei said, “Who said there is no way?”

Hu Tiehua said slowly, “No need for you to hide it from me, do you think I’m a child? Since you don’t even know what poison hit me, how could you neutralize the poison in me?”

Li Yuhan, husband and wife looked at each other in dismay, they could not say anything anymore.

Rolling his eye, Hu Tiehua suddenly roared in laughter and said, “All of you pull a long face, what for? At least for now I’m not dead yet! Come, let’s live in the moment [orig. having wine this morning, get drunk this morning; carpe diem], let’s drink to our heart’s content now and talk later.” He still had one hand that could still move, surprisingly he wanted to use this hand to pick up the wine pot, but Chu Liuxiang pulled and stopped this hand again.

Hu Tiehua said, “Why don’t you let me take advantage of this time drink two more cups? When I die, even if you pour the wine on my grave every day, I will not even be able to taste a drop.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Now, I have sealed all the poison qi in your arm, as long as you don’t drink wine, within a couple of sichen, the poison will definitely not spread …”

Hu Tiehua said, “What about after a couple of sichen? Within these twelve sichen, could it be that you will be able to find someone who can neutralize the poison in me?”

Lowering his head, Chu Liuxiang said, “In any case, this is better than despair.”

Hu Tiehua roared in laughter again and said, “Good brother, you don’t need to go begging for me, a useless person, if you let me drink this pot of wine, I will definitely not die.” He suddenly drew a dagger from his boot, and said with a laugh, “Look, this is my way to neutralize the poison, won’t nothing be better than this?”

Chu Liuxiang blurted out, “Are you going to …”

Hu Tiehua laughed aloud and said, “There is a saying: a venomous snake bites a hand, a warrior [hero, strong, courageous person] cuts off his wrist. What’s the big deal, why would you be greatly alarmed and feel defeated?”

Chu Liuxiang looked at the bright-as-snow dagger in his hand, his brows were already beaded with sweat, yet Hu Tiehua’s countenance did not even change.

Heaving a deep sigh, Li Yuhan said, “Hu Xiong really deserves to be called a warrior, it’s just that …”

Liu Wumei suddenly cut him off, “It’s just that you must wait another twelve sichen.”

“Why?” Hu Tiehua asked.

Liu Wumei replied, “Because I already recall someone who can neutralize the poison in you.” Without waiting for anyone to speak, she glanced at Li Yuhan out of the corner of her eye, and hurriedly said, “Could it be that you forget about that Qianbei [Senior, older generation] with seven fingers?”

Li Yuhan’s eyes flashed. Greatly delighted, he said, “That’s right, unexpectedly I nearly forget, two days ago Si Biaodi [fourth younger (maternal) cousin] still mentioned this Qianbei, saying that he, Laorenjia [Senior, polite term of older man/ woman] had already fought fiercely over wine with Xiong Laobo [old uncle, older than one’s father] at the Gu Song Zhuang [Ancient Pine Village/Manor] for seven days and seven nights, but victory or defeat is still undecided, as long as he has not left, Hu Xiong will definitely be saved.”

Liu Wumei laughed and said, “Since victory or defeat is still undecided, even if he wanted to leave, Xiong Laobo will never let him go.”

Hu Tiehua could not help asking, “Where is Gu Song Zhuang? Who is Xiong Laobo? Who is the Qianbei with seven fingers? These people you mentioned, why I have not heard of?”

Li Yuhan replied, “Although this Xiong Laobo is good friends with many Wulin Qianbei of my father’s generation, he is not Jianghu person at all, naturally Hu Xiong has not heard of him.”

Liu Wumei said, “As for the seven-fingered Lao Qianbei, Hu Xiong must have heard of his great name. It’s just that he, the Senior, due to some grievous matter in recent years, has not allowed other people to mention his name and surname.”

Smiling apologetically, Li Yuhan said, “Although this Lao Qianbei is warm-hearted, he has a very strange temper. If we know that we violated his taboo behind his back, I am afraid we, husband and wife could forget about passing another auspicious day in our lives.”

Hu Tiehua laughed and said, “This person’s temper is so weird, plus he and I are total strangers, if I go back to hit a big nail, wouldn’t it be much more unbearable than death?”

Liu Wumei sweetly said, “No need for you to hit the nail, we will go, and that should be enough, as long as I sauté a couple of dishes for him to eat, he will definitely not refuse.”

Li Yuhan laughed and said, “That’s right, but we have to go quickly. Although the way to Gu Song Zhuang is not far, it is not near either. Besides, you will at least need a sichen to make the dishes!”

Hu Tiehua heaved a sigh and said, “Gentleman and lady are so enthusiastic, if I still push-three and block-four, I will be a worthless nobody, but … old stinky bug, you should also accompany him to a visit, that’s the right thing to do.”

Liu Wumei said, “No need, Chu Xiong had better …”

She stopped abruptly, because she suddenly realized that although Chu Liuxiang was sitting there upright, his whole body was trembling, and his face was like golden paper.

Hu Tiehua was simply so scared that he stared blankly, and spoke in a trembling voice, “You … you …” Before he could say anything, Chu Liuxiang had already collapsed.

Li Yuhan and Liu Wumei both rushed over to help him up, but when they touched him, they felt that even through his clothes, his body was more scalding than a flatiron.

Hu Tiehua finally rushed over, he hissed, “Could it be you are poisoned as well?”

Chu Liuxiang shook his head.

Hu Tiehua said, “If it’s not poison, then what is it? Li Xiong, you quickly look at him, quick …”

Chu Liuxiang clenched his teeth, but he still forced a smile and said, “Could it be that you have never seen someone get sick? There’s no need to make a fuss about nothing.”

Hu Tiehua said, “But your body has always been like an ox, for the past many years, I have never seen you fall ill, how could you be sick this time?”

Smiling wryly, Chu Liuxiang said, “This time it’s really not the time for me to get sick.”

When Hu Tiehua was about to cut off his own arm, he was still talking and laughing as though nothing had happened, but at this moment he was so anxious that his brow was beaded with sweat. He spoke hoarsely, “People who never get sick, once they are sick, it won’t be light, Li Xiong, you …”

Liu Wumei spoke softly, “No need to be too anxious. I think due to excessive work in the past few days, Chu Xiong has caught cold. On top of that, he is anxious for you, hence he fell ill.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “That’s right, this illness is not … it’s not serious, gentleman and lady had better … had better gone first to look for … look for the antidote, it’s more important.”

Although he said ‘not serious’, his lips were trembling so much that he could not speak clearly.

Hu Tiehua said, “It’s my poison that is not serious, you should treat his illness first, it’s more important.”

Knitting his brows, Chu Liuxiang said, “Nonsense.”

Hu Tiehua said loudly, “If you won’t let them to treat your illness first, even if you bring the antidote, I won’t take it.”

Chu Liuxiang said angrily, “You have been living to such an age, how come you still don’t know what’s important? Even if … even if we waited for three days before treating my illness, it won’t be a problem, but your poisoning cannot wait even for a moment.” He struggled to stand up, but as soon as he stood up he fell again. Hu Tiehua hurriedly helped him up, he could not even say anything, only stomping his feet repeatedly.

Letting out a long laughter, Li Yuhan said, “Two gentlemen’s yiqi [spirit of loyalty and self-sacrifice, code of brotherhood] is like the cloud, it’s just that …”

Liu Wumei said, “It’s just that Chu Xiong‘s illness, the biggest taboo is to get angry. If we don’t do as he said, we will only make his illness worse. Fortunately, I still have some ‘Qing Miao San’ [clear/pure wonderful powdered medicine], which is most effective for treating this kind of illness.”

Li Yuhan immediately caught on, “That’s right, as long as Chu Xiong takes a packet every one sichen, even if he may not recover completely, but before we come back, his condition will definitely not get worse.”

If the four characters ‘du ri ru nian’ [a day drags past like a year] were used to describe Hu Tiehua’s mood at the moment, truly nothing could be more appropriate. First, Liu Wumei’s illness flared out, and then there was the unknown assassin’s killer secret projectile, and now not only he himself has been poisoned, but even Chu Liuxiang has fallen ill in bed and must not move.

So many vexing things were lumped together, yet he clearly could not even drink a cup of wine to drown his sorrows. How was Hu Tiehua going to pass this day?

After waiting with great difficulty for two sichen, Hu Tiehua held the tea cup and the Qing Miao San with one hand, who would have thought that Chu Liuxiang could not even hold the medicine, it was all scattered on the ground.

Fortunately, although Chu Liuxiang did not take medicine, his condition did not worsen, instead, he gradually fell asleep. Hu Tiehua was so hungry that he ordered room service.

The shop attendant plainly wanted to fawn on him, he said with a laugh, “Yesterday Keguan [polite appellation for hotel guest] drank the top quality Fenjiu [sorghum-based wine], this small shop happened to still have a jar, and it is genuine Shanxi product.”

If he did not mention ‘wine’, it might be all right, but as soon as the word ‘wine’ was mentioned, Hu Tiehua’s belly was full of grievances and had nowhere to go, he jumped up and roared, “Laozi [I, your father] is not a drunkard [wine ghost], in broad daylight, drinking what bird wine?” [Note: Chinese have special fascination with ‘bird’, so they used ‘bird’ as cuss word a lot.]

The shop attendant did not understand how his patting the horse’s butt [flattery] could turn into patting the horse’s leg, he was so scared that he stumbled and ran away, and when he came back to bring the food, he did not dare to come in.

Unexpectedly Chu Liuxiang slept for five sichen and only woke up slowly at dusk. Originally Hu Tiehua almost thought he had fainted instead of sleeping, only then he breathed a sigh of relief and asked, “Do you feel better?”

Chu Liuxiang chuckled, but did not say anything.

Hu Tiehua said again, “You don’t have to worry about me, my poisoning is not a problem, except that this arm has the acupoint sealed by you. Other than it cannot move, I can still eat, no different from a healthy person.”

By this time, the room was gradually darkening, Hu Tiehua lit the lantern to let Chu Liuxiang eat a bowl of porridge. Chu Liuxiang’s hands were still shaking, he could not even hold the bowl.

Although on his face Hu Tiehua was smiling, his mood could not help getting heavier and heavier.

Gaspin for breath, Chu Liuxiang said, “They haven’t come back yet?”

Looking at the night scene outside the window, Hu Tiehua was silent for half a day. Finally he could not help saying, “Where has there been any seven-fingered Wulin Qianbei in Jianghu? I could not think of one. Although there was the ‘Seven-Fingered Thief’ in the past, but it was not like he really had seven fingers, only there were two extra fingers on his right hand, as if he had a total of twelve fingers. Besides, not only this man could not neutralize poison, he has been dead for a long time.”

“In that case,” Chu Liuxiang said, “You think these husband and wife, two persons were lying?”

Hu Tiehua laughed, he said, “Why are they lying?”

Chu Liuxiang sighed, and then he closed his eyes.

Hu Tiehua laughed and said, “I just hope they come back soon, otherwise if that renxiong [dear friend] of last night crashes in again, I am afraid the two of us would only allow him to slaughter us.”

Once these words were uttered, Chu Liuxiang was still all right, Hu Tiehua however, could not help shivering. This moment, Chu Liuxiang could not even hold the bowl, while he himself only had one hand left that could move. If the mysterious assassin came again, the two of them would not even have the strength to fight back.

“But since this person is plotting actively to kill me like this, one time he did not succeed, there must be the second time.” When Chu Liuxiang said those words, Hu Tiehua did not think anything of it, but now the more he thought about it, the more terrified he was, unable to restrain his emotions, he closed the window tightly.

Only to hear Chu Liuxiang sighed and said, “If he wants to come, even if you close the window, what’s the use?”

Hu Tiehua stared blankly for half a day, cold sweat seeped out of his forehead again.

After a while, the moon and the stars stopped rising, but raindrops were falling. Voices from all sides immediately quieted down, only the sound of the raindrops striking the windows was getting faster, getting louder, until finally it was like a battle drum beating lightly, stirring up the people’s blood.

At this time, if there was any nightwalker, not only they would not be able to hear his footsteps, they could not even hear the sound of his big sleeves fluttering in the wind.

‘Steal the rain, but not the snow.’

Rainy night was precisely a good time for nightwalkers to come and go.

Hu Tiehua suddenly pushed open the window. Opening his eyes wide, he looked out of the window without blinking. It was as if the wutong tree in the courtyard also turned into flickering phantom, staring at him.

Suddenly he heard a ‘whoosh’, a dark shadow ran past the window.

Hu Tiehua was startled. By the time he saw that it was just a cat, he was so scared that his body was drenched in cold sweat.

Chu Liuxiang also blurted out, “Is anyone coming?”

Forcing out a laughter, Hu Tiehua said, “Just a stupid cat.” Although he sounded relaxed, but the grievance in his heart was actually unspeakable.

The two of them crisscrossed the Jianghu, laughing proudly at life and death, and never considered others worthy in their eyes, even facing magnificent army with thousands of men and horses, they would not knit their brows.

But now, just a cat, and he was so scared that he broke out in cold sweat.

The night rain and autumn lantern, the lantern looked like a sacrificial vessel. Peerless hero, unexpectedly was trapped by sickness in this desolate tiny room, Hu Tiehua cast a glance at Chu Liuxiang and almost could not help shedding tears.

The night rain and autumn lantern, the lantern looked like a sacrificial vessel.

But those twenty-seven ‘Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nails’ were still flickering on the table, as if it was a show of force against Hu Tiehua.

Hu Tiehua’s eyes suddenly lit up, “This secret projectile can kill people, hence it can also defend ourselves. Now that it’s in my hands, why can’t I use it to kill others?”

Although he only had one hand that was able to move, but this hand has undergone strict training. The five fingers, each one was very nimble, very useful.

Although he had never seen this ‘Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nails’, but since he was about ten years old, he had taken apart the crossbow cylinder of all kinds of spring-loaded arrows concealed in the sleeve in Jianghu to study it.

In less than the time to eat a meal, he already opened the crossbow case of the Rainstorm Pear Blossom Nails, and used chopsticks to pick the silver nails into the nail grooves of the crossbow case.

After another time needed to drink cup of tea, he already reloaded the crossbow case.

Arriving at this moment, he leaved a deep breath and muttered to himself, “All right, if you, this kid, want to come, then come!”

Suddenly, there was another ‘whoosh’ noise. Another dark shadow flitted past the window.

Hu Tiehua was much calmer this time, he could already see that the shadow was just a stray cat. Who would have thought that this time the cat unexpectedly ran straight into the window?

Hu Tiehua laughed and cursed, “The tiger fell onto the plains, even you, this stupid cat, want to come and bully people?” He waved his hand to chase the cat, who would have thought that the cat suddenly dropped from the air and fell on the table, ‘Bang’, the lantern on the table was almost knocked out.

Hu Tiehua’s hand went out to hold the lantern, but his eyes looked at the cat, only to see the cat was lying on the table and did not move. Unexpectedly it was at its last gasp and was about to die.

A piece of paper was tied around the cat’s neck.

Hu Tiehua untied it and took a look, only to see, to his shock, it said, ‘Chu Liuxiang, Chu Liuxiang, look at yourself now, don’t you think the difference between you and this cat is very little, you still think that you can continue living?’

Hu Tiehua was shocked and angry, he nearly could not help shouting and cursing loudly, but he was afraid to disturb Chu Liuxiang, so he could only hold back with gritted teeth.

This note was not only a talisman hounding them to death, but also simply one kind of insult. If Chu Liuxiang saw these words, what would he feel in his heart?

Hu Tiehua knew that as soon as the note arrived, the people from the other side would also come very soon. This time, unexpectedly they no longer used despicable means to plot against them. Instead, they came openly, in a dignified manner, to challenge the opponent to fight. Naturally, they had already calculated that not only Chu Liuxiang had already lost the strength to fight back, there was practically no way to escape.

He looked at the dying cat on the table, and then looked at Chu Liuxiang on the bed, suddenly he grabbed the ‘nail case’ and rushed out the window.

Rather than waiting for the other side to come in, it would be better to simply go out and stake everything to fight with them to the death. Hu Tiehua’s character that he would rather be broken jade [than whole roof tile] was something that could not change even by death.

He only felt that the blood in his entire body was boiling, unexpectedly he forgot that this moment Chu Liuxiang did not have the strength to resist. After he rushed out, if someone came to silently take Chu Liuxiang’s life, wouldn’t it be like feeling in their pocket and taking it, stretching a hand and grabbing it [both are idioms: very easy]?

The fine drizzle made the already dark night into an even heavier hanging screen, there was a faint laughter of a woman in the neighboring courtyard, which further highlighted the desolation and loneliness of this courtyard.

Hu Tiehua flew out of the window, swept up to the roof ridge, and spoke sternly, “Friend, since you already came, if you have guts, come and determine high and low [superiority/inferiority] with the one surnamed Hu first. Hiding in the dark, not daring to see anybody, cannot be considered a hero, a strong and courageous person.”

For fear of disturbing Chu Liuxiang, he did not dare to speak too loudly, but afraid that the other side would not be able to hear him, while he spoke, he also stomped his feet.

Who would have thought that before he finished speaking, a ‘Chi’ laughter suddenly came from behind?

A person said with a cold laugh, “I’ve been waiting for you in here for a long time, whose fault is it that you cannot see me?”

Hu Tiehua suddenly turned around, only to see a figure flashing, and already reached the back of the roof of another house. The person’s whole body was wearing black clothes, his face was covered in black mask. He laughed coldly and said, “If you want to fight with me, why don’t you come over?”

Hu Tiehua shouted angrily and pounced over, but when he swept over the roof ridge, the person was already seven or eight zhang away, looking at him and did not stop laughing coldly.

The two persons, one fleeing and the other chasing, in the blink of an eye they already left the inn far away. Although Hu Tiehua had the most overbearing secret projectile in his hand, he could not do anything to the person who always kept a seven or eight zhang distance from him. Hu Tiehua could not catch up, plus he was afraid that the secret projectile would not have enough power, this secret projectile was his last killer move – how could he dare to act blindly without thinking and stake all on one throw?

It should be noted that Hu Tiehua’s qinggong was actually not bad, but at this moment, the acupoint on one of his arms has been sealed, not only his qi and blood could not flow smoothly, but while flying and sweeping, he could not maintain balance either.

Even though he exhausted all his strength, the distance between the two was getting farther and farther instead.

The person in black suddenly swept down the roof ridge again, instead of taking the big street, he bored through small alleys, only to see his figure was like a swimming fish, slipping to the east, bending to the west, and suddenly disappeared.

Hu Tiehua roared, “Since you want to kill me, and I’m right here, why don’t you come and make your move?”

Before he finished speaking, another ‘Chi’ laughter suddenly came from the street corner ahead.

The person stuck out half of his head and said with a cold laugh, “I’m still waiting for you, why don’t you come over?”

Without waiting for him to finish speaking, Hu Tiehua exhausted all his strength to pounce over. His body had just turned the corner, he only saw an old man selling wonton noodles on shoulder pole was coming directly at him.

He was thinking of stopping his momentum, but it was too late.

Only to hear ‘crash bang!’, his body already collided with the wonton shoulder pole, the hot soup inside the pot, plus the soy paste and vinegar on the rack, all were poured on him, a large pile of noodles was also falling down and splattered completely. After the rain, the cobblestone street was originally already very slippery, plus with the sesame oil all over the ground, as soon as Hu Tiehua knocked it over, how could he still be able to stop?

Post a Comment