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The Vast Desert Chapter 27


Chapter 27 – Sitting Down with Steady Heart

Chu Liuxiang said, “I sigh because I am afraid others would say I am bragging.”

The Stone Guanyin could not help being stunned. She laughed and said, “Bragging …? I usually always understood what others are saying, but hearing this remark, I really cannot say that I understand.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “If in the future someone asks me, ‘Have you seen Shi Furen?’ Naturally I would say, ‘I have’. But if that person asks me further, ‘What does Shi Furen look like?’ I would not know how to answer it.”

He smiled wryly and went on, “When the person sees me suddenly humming and hawing, he must have thought that I am bragging, but he does not know how beautiful Madame’s countenance is. There is no one on earth capable to describe it.”

The Stone Guanyin said sweetly, “I have heard a lot of praise in my life, but there is none that can make me happy like this.”

Naturally there was a bed in the room; spacious and comfortable.

The Stone Guanyin slowly sat down, she quietly looked at Chu Liuxiang.

She was just sitting quietly, she was just looking quietly; without any words, without any movement. But it was more seductive than all seductive movements or seductive words in the world.

She was still wearing light and graceful gauzed clothes covering her body, exposing only a pair of soft, seemingly without any bones – lily-white hands, and a pair of delicate and beautiful ankles. But it was more moving than any naked beauty on earth.

Chu Liuxiang was unable to take his eyes off her; unexpectedly he looked like an idiot staring at her.

Smiling sweetly, the Stone Guanyin said, “You have heard my name a long time ago, haven’t you?”

“Hmm!” Chu Liuxiang responded.

“But it’s only now that you see my true identity,” the Stone Guanyin said.

“Hmm!” Chu Liuxiang responded.

“Are you disappointed?” the Stone Guanyin asked.

Chu Liuxiang sighed. “Furen,” he said, “Do I look like a disappointed person?”

The Stone Guanyin said, “You … you don’t feel that I am old?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “To a woman, ‘old’ is indeed the most terrible enemy, but Furen has apparently conquered this terrible enemy.”

The Stone Guanyin chuckled; she went on, “Do you know what place is this?”

Chu Liuxiang replied, “Other than Furen’s boudoir, how could there be such place on earth?”

The Stone Guanyin said, “Do you know why I took you here?”

This time Chu Liuxiang only nodded his head.

The Stone Guanyin’s fluid glance suddenly became hazy, she spoke softly, “Since you do, why haven’t you come over?”

On earth, there was not a single man who could resist this kind of temptation, is there?

Chu Liuxiang finally embraced her.

Her body was light and graceful as if it could really dance on his palm. Her eyes seemed like shrouded by a vast misty fog, she spoke softly, as if she was whispering – into his ear, “No matter what the future will be, what happens tonight, you will never regret it.”

“I never had any regret,” Chu Liuxiang replied.

He suddenly exhausted all his remaining strength to throw her as far away as possible.

The Stone Guanyin’s body was like a leaf. Although he threw her heavily, she still landed lightly. Only her countenance changed.

Not only she was angry, she was surprised even more. In all her life, she has had some absurd, even bizarre dreams, but never in her dreams would she expect that Chu Liuxiang might throw her off.

Grinning, Chu Liuxiang looked at her, saying, “Looking at your expression, it seems like you are thinking that I am a lunatic, isn’t that right?”

In a flash, the Stone Guanyin already recovered her usual graceful charm; she spoke indifferently, “Are you saying you are not a lunatic?”

Chu Liuxiang laughed heartily and said, “My only regret is that right now I don’t have any strength; otherwise I would have thrown you a bit farther off.”

“Do you have the heart to do that?” the Stone Guanyin spoke softly.

She stood up gracefully. The mist-like gauze clothes hence slipped off her shoulders, exposing the naked body, which was like it was carved from ivory.

Chu Liuxiang’s breathing suddenly became ragged; he nearly did not believe that unexpectedly there was such a perfect naked body in the world. Such a slender waist, such beautiful legs … this sleek and warm naked body already wrapped itself around him like a slithering snake; firm and upright pair of peaks already pressed against his chest, while the elegant voice was speaking softly in his ear, “You are a very experienced man, aren’t you?”

“Hmm!” Chu Liuxiang responded.

The Stone Guanyin muttered so softly, as if she was talking in her dream, “Then you should know how much I want you right now. Do you have the heart to turn me down?”

Chu Liuxiang’s hand was lightly slipping down along her spine; her whole body shuddered. Nothing in the world was more exhilarating than this shudder, which evolved from the depth of her soul.

Her fluid glance already glazed over, she buried her head on Chu Liuxiang’s shoulder, her voice trembled as she said, “This is paradise; what are you waiting for?”

Chu Liuxiang sighed. “That’s right,” he murmured, “A beauty’s naked body, is indeed a man’s paradise … too bad this paradise is too close to hell.”

He suddenly pinched the sleekest, the softest, and the most alluring place on her body heavily and also pushed her heavily onto the bed.

The Stone Guanyin lay on her back on the bed, the lantern was sprinkling its soft light over her milky white naked body, yet also leaving several parts in the shadow.

The shadow that would seduce people crazy.

She was waiting. This was a waiting posture, an inviting posture.

Who would have thought that unexpectedly Chu Liuxiang suddenly grabbed the golden cup by the head of the bed, raised it high, and slowly tilted it over. The amber-colored wine in the cup, like a piece of thread, flowed out and drenched her body.

Chu Liuxiang laughed aloud and said, “Now you are thinking that I have gone mad, right?”

The Stone Guanyin lay quietly, she did not make any movement, allowing the ice-cold wine to flow along her erect breasts and to her smooth lower abdomen … she only took a long, long sigh and said, “You are not mad, you are just an idiot, that’s all.”

Chu Liuxiang smiled and said, “You think that a normal man would absolutely be unable to refuse you, right?”

“Never, ever,” the Stone Guanyin replied.

Chu Liuxiang sighed. He said, “Those slaves in the valley, perhaps it was because they were too normal.”

The Stone Guanyin suddenly sat up. “What did you say?” she asked.

Chu Liuxiang replied, “If I did not refuse you, I would be like them, sweeping the sand blown by the wind that will never be swept clean until the day I die. Because when you see a special man, you immediately want to conquer him, to possess him; you want his soul and spirit to be dedicated for you. But when the man really devotes everything to you, you would think that this man was too mean and low; at best, he is only worthy to sweep the floor for you.”

The Stone Guanyin stared at him; she did not say anything for a long, long time.

Chu Liuxiang said, “Perhaps this is because your spirit is too empty; therefore, you are constantly searching, you want to find a man who can fill this emptiness. But you will never find him.”

The Stone Guanyin suddenly laughed again; she spoke softly, “Maybe the man I am looking for is you.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Now, perhaps you think that I am somewhat different from other men, but by the time I have been conquered by you, I would be the same as them.”

The Stone Guanyin laughed tenderly and said, “Could it be that you do not have the least bit of confidence in yourself?”

Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “It’s not that I do not have confidence, it’s just that I do not wish to take this risk, that’s all.”

The Stone Guanyin said, “I … I am not worth you taking the risk?”

Rubbing his nose, Chu Liuxiang said with a laugh, “Perhaps there is no woman in the world that worth my risking my life for her.”

The Stone Guanyin unhurriedly said, “What about Su Rongrong?”

Chu Liuxiang’s heart sank, but on the surface he was still without a word or movement; laughing indifferently, he said, “In my eyes, they [feminine] are not just women, but they are my good friends. For a good friend, most men may risk their life.”

The tender smile on the Stone Guanyin’s face suddenly disappeared; she spoke coldly, “But you did not know, what the consequences be for the men who rejected me?”

Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “Other than me, could it be that another man has rejected you?”

“There was one,” the Stone Guanyin replied, “Many years ago, there was one.”

Her eyes suddenly revealed a malicious smiling expression, “Do you know what I did to him?”

“You killed him?” Chu Liuxiang said.

With an evil grin, the Stone Guanyin replied, “Killing him, that would be too easy … I stripped him naked and tied him on the bare ground under the scorching sun, letting the scorching sun burned and destroyed his face, burned and destroyed his eyes, and then I had him pulling the grindstone like a mule, without allowing him to take a moment’s rest, ever …”

She giggled and then went on, “Do you know what he looked like in the end?”

The shadow of ‘Shi Tuo’ floated in Chu Liuxiang’s mind. Heaving a deep sigh, he said, “I know.”

“Could it be that you want to be like that?” the Stone Guanyin asked.

Chu Liuxiang replied indifferently, “I only know that he did not die; later on he finally escaped. I also know that although he is suffering now, but he is much better than those men who sweep the ground.”

The Stone Guanyin’s countenance changed, gnashing her teeth, she said, “But you … you can forget about escaping alive.”

Chu Liuxiang smiled and said, “I also know, right now your heart has not completely died on me, you won’t torture me like that.”

The Stone Guanyin suddenly picked up a pillow and threw it over to him, while shouting loudly, “Get lost! Get out of here before I kill you.”

Chu Liuxiang smiled and bowed, “Order received!” he said.

He walked out with a smile, only to hear the Stone Guanyin was panting behind him.

Step by step Chu Liuxiang walked back to the house. This famous hero, whose qinggong was the first under the heavens, at this moment, every step he took seemed to exhaust all the strength of his whole body.

Two young girls followed behind him, far behind him, as if they were afraid that if they were walking closer to him, disaster might strike.

Chu Liuxiang suddenly stopped, looked back and said, “I can’t walk anymore, Guniang, how about helping me?”

The girl scowled at him and said, “It’s just ahead; could it be that you can’t even take these couple of steps?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Could it be that Guniang is this heartless, and wanted me to crawl over?”

The other girl said, “Da Shaoye [big young master], we are begging you, can you not look for trouble for us? There are already two who lost their lives because of you, and one who lost a hand for you; you are still dissatisfied?”

Smiling wryly, Chu Liuxiang said, “But now … I am only asking Guniang to help me for a couple of steps … otherwise I won’t have any choice but to sit down here.”

The girl stomped her feet and said, “You are really a devil star; women meeting you is indeed a bad luck.”

Seeing two girls helping Chu Liuxiang coming in, and unexpectedly Chu Liuxiang looked like he was on his dying breath, Ji Bingyan was angry, but was amused as well; he could not help speaking coldly, “Looks like you really put out a lot of energy for that Shi Furen.”

Chu Liuxiang sighed. He said, “I can’t believe your imagination is this rich; too bad you thought it all wrong.”

Before he even finished talking, both of his elbows suddenly struck outward lightly, the two young girls did not even have time to cry out in surprise, they already collapsed on the ground.

Chu Liuxiang sighed and said, “Terribly sorry, although Zaixia did not wish to bite the hand that feeds me, but in order to save my life, I have no other way.”

Shocked, Yidian Hong and Ji Bingyan stared at him wide-eyed.

Ji Bingyan blurted out, “You … where did you get your strength from?”

Chu Liuxiang chuckled, he said, “It seems to be innate.”

Ji Bingyan said, “But … but that knockout fragrance …”

Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “You think I was really like you, being knocked over by that seeing-ghost fragrance?”

Ji Bingyan was stunned. And then he smiled wryly and said, “That’s right, naturally you were pretending; otherwise, how could you faint ahead of us but wake up later than us? But when Shi Guanyin had not returned yet, why didn’t you run away?”

Chu Liuxiang unhurriedly said, “At that time I still wanted to see her face!”

Although his mouth said those words, Ji Bingyan knew that the reason he did not run away that time was because he was afraid that after he escaped, she might harm them.

Chu Liuxiang also said, “Now that I have driven that Shi Guanyin crazy, within this half a sichen, she can’t possibly come over, if we want to leave, we have to take advantage of this time.”

Ji Bingyan sighed and said, “But we still don’t have strength; I’m afraid we cannot go out.”

Chu Liuxiang did not answer immediately, but he untied the two girls’ belt first, and then spoke heavily, “You tie Hong Xiong on your back first, use this belt to fasten him really good, and then I’ll carry you on my back … you should have enough strength to stand up?”

It was a stone house, with a stream of clear spring inside, flowing into the pool from a tiger’s mouth above the stonewall. Two naked girls were taking a bath under the clear spring.

Although their appearance could not be considered beautiful, they had strong body, brimming with youthful charm. They were splashing water at each other, and were giggling happily.

Suddenly, three men barged in.

The three men were stacked together, as if they were a stack of yuanbao.

The girls were startled; they stared wide-eyed, their mouths agape, they could no longer laugh. One of them squatted down and used her hands to cover her breasts, while the other scrambled to get her clothes.

Chu Liuxiang smiled and said, “Guniang, please don’t worry, Zaixia are all upright gentlemen, our eyes will never look about indiscriminately.”

His hand flicked, the girl only felt half her body went numb, the clothes she had just picked fell down again. The girl blushed so deep that the roots of her ear went red, she spoke in trembling voice, “If you are upright gentlemen, why … why did you not allow others to wear clothes?”

Chu Liuxiang spoke softly, “It’s only because Zaixia knew that when one is naked, there’s great chance that one would not tell a lie.”

Ji Bingyan added, “Plus one must be embarrassed to make his move.”

The girl bit her lip and could only squat down as well.

Chu Liuxiang looked up to the sky and said, “Now I just want to ask Guniang, where did Shi Furen hide Su Rongrong, Li Hongxiu and Song Tian’er, three persons?”

The girl was stunned. “Three persons?” she asked, “Are they men or women?” [Translator’s note: it’s hard to carry over to English, because in Chinese, ‘person’ is genderless.]

Chu Liuxiang sighed and said, “Naturally they are women.”

The girl bit her lip again and said, “Our Furen has never hidden any women.”

The other girl said, “In here, there are altogether fifty or sixty sisters, but none has surname Su.”

Chu Liuxiang knitted his brows; he looked back and asked, “Do you think they are telling the truth?”

Ji Bingyan replied, “Under such circumstances, the number of women who can tell lies is really not many.”

Chu Liuxiang heaved a deep sigh and said, “In that case, they are really not here.”

He cast a glance at the girls, and then sighed again and said, “There are at least ten people dying of thirst every day in the desert, yet Guniang are taking a bath in here … Ay!”

When he was sighing, his fingers lightly flicked again.

The long corridor was extremely quiet without any human voices. Ji Bingyan spoke heavily, “Do you know the way out?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “When they carried me in, I memorized it.”

Ji Bingyan said, “Since Rong’er is not here, why haven’t you left quickly? All the women’s here, their martial art skill is not weak, if you come across several with clothes on, I am afraid we will be in trouble.”

Yidian Hong suddenly said, “I want to find someone.”

Frowning, Ji Bingyan asked, “Who is it?”

But Chu Liuxiang smiled and said, “Could it be that Qu Guniang?”

Yidian Hong seemed to be sighing. He said, “I just think that she can’t stay here.”

“But do you think she’ll come with us?” Ji Bingyan asked.

Yidian Hong was silent for half a day. “I am afraid not,” he replied.

Ji Bingyan said, “Since you are fully aware that she would not come with us, why do you still want to look for her?”

Yidian Hong spoke heavily, “But I know that at least she won’t stop us …”

Suddenly they heard someone laughing coldly; she said, “What makes you think that she won’t stop you? Based on your, three men’s look, if you could escape, perhaps this place would have become a pile of rubble early on.”

Hu Tiehua fell on the pile of sand, gasping for breath. Now perhaps very few people would recognize him as Hu Tiehua, simply because even he himself did not recognize himself.

He only felt dirty, tired, and hungry. His throat was burning like fire; burning him so that his entire body was about to go crazy, his entire body felt like it was going to split open.

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