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Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils Chapter 29

CSI
Chapter 29: Bug Congealing Cold, Palm Shooting Frost
You TanZhi carried the gourd and travelled quickly back to Nanjing, he reported back to AhZi, saying that he has caught the frost silkworm.

AhZi was overjoyed, she ordered him to rear the silkworm in the clay urn, currently it is mid-summer, the weather is burning hot, but when the frost silkworm is being kept in the urn, the Palace gradually got colder and colder, not long after, even the teapots, cups and the tea water all turn into ice. During one night You TanZhi shivered in his bed, he was freezing and could not sleep, he thought: "This silkworm is really strange, it rarely seen in this world. If Miss really let it suck my blood, even if i don’t get poison, i will also freeze to death.”

AhZi caught several poisonous snakes and bugs to fight with the silkworm, the silkworm simply move around and all the bugs freeze to death, the silkworm feasted on their juice, this went on for ten days, not a single poisonous bug was able to resist. One day AhZi came into the main hall of the Palace and said: “Iron Clown, we will kill this silkworm today, go stick your hand into the urn and let the silkworm suck your blood!”

You TanZhi was worried about this day, when his dreaming at night, he feared this exact moment, eventually AhZi did not show any mercy and wanted to sacrifice him along with the frost silkworm, his heart is dejected, he gaze at AhZi, he did not move or reply.

AhZi pondered: "I acquired this treasure by accident, the poison palm skill i am training now, it might be even more powerful than my master." She said: “Stick your hand into the urn!” You TanZhi was tearful, he knelt and kowtow, he said: "Miss, when you mastered this poison palm, please don’t forget your subordinate who died for you. My surname is You, my name is TanZhi, i am not Iron Clown." AhZi smiled and said: “Fine, you are called
 
You TanZhi, i will remember it, you are very loyal to me, very good, you are a loyal and devoted lackey!”

You TanZhi listen to her praise, he felt comforted, he gave another two kowtow and said: "Thank you Miss!" but he was not willing to give up without a fight, immediately he flipped his body upside down, his head went between his legs, his left hand clutched his leg, right hand reached into the urn, in his mind he is thinking about the small arrowheads on the two words beside the monk in the book’s drawing, suddenly he felt an itch on his index finger, a stream of cold energy shot out like an arrow, it started from his arm and swiftly went to his chest, You TanZhi kept thinking about the direction of the small arrowheads, the stream of cold energy followed the meridian path directed by his thoughts, it went from his finger to his arm, and from his chest to the top of his head, the cold energy chilled him to his bones wherever it goes.

AhZi saw his odd posture, she found it funny, after a long time, he still maintained the posture, she became curious and approach his body, the frost silkworm is still biting his index finger. The frost silkworm body is transparent like crystal, she saw a thread of blood entering its mouth, it pass by its left body , made a u-turn, and pass by its right body and back to its mouth, flowing back into You TanZhi index finger.

After a while, a thin layer of frost formed on You TanZhi’s iron mask, clothes and limbs, AhZi pondered: "He must be dead. A living person will have body heat, how can frost form on him?" but she saw blood still circulating within the frost silkworm, apparently it’s still sucking blood, suddenly, wisps of hot steam issued from the frost silkworm.

In the midst of her surprise, there was a gentle clattering sound, the frost silkworm fell off You TanZhi index finger. AhZi had already prepared a stick, she ram down hard. She thought this super natural frost silkworm would not die with this one stroke, but who knew that when it fell into the urn, its belly face the sky, it just stayed there and did not turn around. The silkworm was pounded into pulp in one move.

AhZi rejoiced and quickly stuck her hand into the urn, she stuffed the silkworm’s fluid and blood onto both her palm, closed her eyes, circulated
 
her energy and absorbed all the blood and fluids.

She channeled for half a day, stretch out her hands and stood up, she saw You TanZhi was still upside down his head between his legs, body covered with frost. She is extremely astonished, she reach out and touch his body, his hands emit a strange coldness, his clothes frozen stiff. She is shocked but found it funny at the same time, she summoned the attendant and ordered him to bury You TanZhi.

The attendant led a few Khitan soldiers and they put You TanZhi corpse on a horse carriage, they went outside the city. AhZi did not instruct them to give a proper burial, thus the attendant did not bother to dig a grave and simply threw the corpse into a small brook, they went back to the city.

This act of laziness from the attendant actually saved You TanZhi’s life. When You TanZhi was bitten by the silkworm, he immediately used the energy circulation method from the [Tendon-Changing Sutra], the poison gas was neutralized, his blood was suck by the frost silkworm and return back into his finger and the deadly frost poison of the silkworm was absorbed by him. Thus, the blood and fluids absorbed by AhZi was completely ineffective and she wasted her effort. If You TanZhi had completely mastered the energy circulation method of [Tendon-Changing Sutra], he would be able to slowly neutralize the frost poison absorbed by him and greatly increase his internal energy, but he only learnt one method, thus he can’t expel the poison. The strange frost poison is the number one most Yin and cold element in the world, it froze his body solid immediately.

If the attendant really buried him in the soil, even after a few hundred years, he might not defrost and might not actually die. Currently his body is submerged in water, it slowly flow downwards, after around 10 li, the creek made a turn and his body was trapped by reeds at the side. After a while, the water surrounding his body all turn into ice, forming a crystal coffin. Water continued to rush and wash over him, bit by bit the cold air wash away, eventually the ice covering his body started to melt.

Luckily, his wearing an iron mask on his head. Iron transfers heat and cold quickly, thus ice covering his mask melted first. Water rush onto his head and he started coughing, he was conscious and clear headed again, he climb
 
out of the brook, “Ding Dang” sound came from his body, evidently he still carried a lot of ice on his body. Initially when his body froze, he did not lose consciousness, but he was stuck in the ice and could not move. After being frozen for a long period of time he lost consciousness, now that he safely escaped, he felt as if he just woke up from a long dream.

He sat by the side of the brook, he thought about his loyalty and devotion to AhZi, he willingly risk his body to feed poisonous bugs to help her practice her skills, but when he died, AhZi did not even give a sigh, looking out from within the ice, he saw her beam with pleasure and took all the silkworm’s fluid and blood, spread it on her palm and practice her skills, she only look sideways at him, thinking that he died in a fun and strange way, there wasn’t the slightest bit of pity from her.

He pondered: "This frost silkworm is exceptionally poisonous, it’s worth more than a thousand poisonous bugs and snakes, after absorbing the poison into her palm, Miss will naturally master her poison palm. If i go back and see her …" Suddenly, his body trembled, his heart grew cold and he thought: "Once she sees me, she will definitely test her poison on me. If she mastered the poison palm, she will naturally kill me with one stroke. If she has yet to master it, she will definitely ask me to catch more poisonous bugs and snake until she mastered her palm, until she can kill me with a single palm stroke. I will die either way, why should i even go back?”

He stood up and jump a few times, shaking off all the ice on his body, he thought: “Where should i go?”

He dare not seek Qiao Feng for revenge anymore. At the moment his undecided, he wandered around the wilderness and mountains, picking wild berries and catching birds and small beasts for food. During the night on the second day, he felt bored, he took out the Sanskrit [Tendon-Changing Sutra], he thought of following the posture of the monk in the drawing.

The book is completely soaked, he flipped the page cautiously for fear that he might damage the page, but he was surprised as he saw drawings of the monk on every single page, their postures all different. After some deep contemplation, he finally understood, the drawings will only appear when wet, he was not save by Buddha. Starting from the first page, he copied the
 
posture, when he thought about the small red arrowhead on the strange words, he felt a faint thread of cold ice traveling around his limbs and bones, it was as if the frost silkworm was alive and crawling in his body. He became fearful and quickly stood up, the frost silkworm inside his body vanished immediately.

For four hours he kept thinking: "The frost silkworm inside my body, has it left?" but he can’t touch, feel or even track it, he couldn’t bear it anymore and started to imitate the odd posture and contemplate on the small red arrowhead on the strange words, after a while, the frost silkworm start crawling inside his body again. He gave a loud cry and stopped contemplating on the arrowhead, the frost silkworm vanish again, when he start to think about the arrowhead, the frost silkworm crawls again.

Every time, when the frost silkworm crawls, his body felt comfortable and unrestricted. The book contains many different postures of naked monk, the small arrowhead on the strange words twist and turn, its variation complicated. He followed the various different postures to activate the frost silkworm, his felt cool yet warm, he was comfortable and at ease.

Time flies and a few month pass, when capturing beasts he felt his hands and feet becoming lighter and more nimble, he leap and jump further, his running speed greatly exceeds what he was capable of in the past.

On a certain evening, a hungry wolf came out to hunt for food, it pounced towards him. You TanZhi was shock and fled quickly, the claws of the wolf had already reached his shoulders, it exposed its fangs and bite towards his throat. He panic and randomly threw out a palm, hitting the wolf on the top of its head. The wolf roll and twisted a few times and stopped moving. You TanZhi turn around and move back a few zhang, he saw the wolf did not move at all, feeling curious he picked up a stone and cast it out, the stone hit the wolf’s body but it still did not move at all. He was pleasantly surprised and went over to inspect, the wolf was dead. He never expect this effortless palm stroke from him had this much power, he turn and inspected his palm repeatedly but did not see anything special, he cannot help but cry out: “The spirit of frost silkworm has shown itself!”
 
He thought that when the frost silkworm died, its spirit resided within his body, resulting in his amazing feat, he did not realize it was purely due to his [Tendon-Changing Sutra], in addition the frost silkworm possess one of the deadliest poison in the world, this Yin-poison had been absorbed by him, combined with the superior internal energy cultivated by the [Tendon- Changing Sutra], his internal energy contains an extremely fierce Yin- strength.

The [Tendon-Changing Sutra] is the most treasured supreme manual of martial studies, but its cultivation method is extremely difficult, it requires the dissolution of distinction between self and others, in addition, the practitioner must not have the slightest desire to learn the martial arts of the sutra. But only first-class martial monks will get the chance to practice the sutra, all of them are valiant and eager for success, who doesn’t want to master the sutra as soon as possible and reap its benefits? Hence, it’s extremely difficult for them to not have the slightest desire to learn the sutra.

For several hundred years, many Shaolin eminent monks practiced the [Tendon-Changing Sutra], but years after years of diligent practice yielded negligible results, thus all the monks thought the sutra was wholly ineffective, when the sutra was stolen by AhZhu, although the eminent monks were extremely angry, but they did not consider it to be a major loss.

One hundred years ago, Shaolin Temple had a monk, this person became a monk since childhood, his dull-witted and crazy. His teacher could not master the [Tendon-Changing Sutra] and threw it away in anger. The crazy monk picked up the book thrown by his teacher, he laugh and practice the contents, eventually he became a top martial art expert of his generation. Although his martial arts were outstanding, till his death, he did not know the exact reason, and nobody knew it was due to the [Tendon-Changing Sutra]. You TanZhi did not have the desire to learn martial arts, he followed the methods in the sutra purely for the sake of activating the frost silkworm within his body as he found it fun and interesting, unwittingly his martial arts improved day by day, he followed the exact same route taken by the crazy monk many years ago.
 
Days after, he killed several more wild beasts, he knew his palm strength was exceedingly strong and he became bolder, he kept on travelling south, he feared that if he does not summon the frost silkworm spirit for a single day, the “silkworm spirit” will automatically leave him, thus he use his palm everyday and dare not stop. The “silkworm spirit” was marvelous and strange and always came when summoned.

You TanZhi drifted south, on this day he reached the borders of Henan province in Central Plains. He knew his iron head will scare people off, thus during the day he rest in caves within wild forest, as night falls, he came out and stole food from homes. His body is exceptionally agile and nobody detected him.

On this day, he is sleeping in a small dilapidated temple beside the road, suddenly, he heard the sound of footsteps, three people entered the temple.

He quickly hid behind a shrine as he dare not let others see his appearance. When the trio entered the temple, they sat down immediately and start chatting. The trio rambled and talked about gossips in the martial world, suddenly a person ask: “Where do you think Qiao Feng is hiding, one year has pass but we didn’t even hear single news about him?”

When You TanZhi heard the word "Qiao Feng", his heart grew cold, he immediately paid attention to their conversation. Another person replied: "He committed all sorts of evils, he felt guilty and hid himself, i guess we will never see him again." The first person said: "It might not be true. His biding his time, once someone is down and out, he will strike immediately. Do your math, after the battle at JuXian manor, he killed how many people? Elder Xu, Grandpa and Grandma Tan, Zhao QianSun, Taishan Iron-Face Judge and his entire family, Tiantai Mountain Monk ZhiGuang, Beggars Clan Madam Ma, Elder Bai ShiJing, sigh, countless lives!”

When You TanZhi heard the word “Battle at JuXian Manor", his heart ached and he lost his interest in the conversation, after a while, he heard a hoarse voice said: "Clan leader Qiao has always been benevolent and righteous, i never expect…sigh…i never expect, this is all predestined fate. Let us just go.” He finish speaking and stood up.
 
Another person said: "Old Wang, you said our Clan is recommending someone to be the new Clan leader, who is it?" the hoarse voice replied: "I don’t know! We been recommending numerous people for over a month, but we just can’t find a suitable hero that can gain the respect of the entire Clan, sigh, we can only wait and see." another person said: "I can read your mind, you are hoping that Qiao Feng will come back and be our Clan leader again. You better abandon that idea and stop dreaming, if these words reach Hall-Master Quan, your life cannot be guaranteed." Old Wang got anxious, he said: “Xiao Bi, you said these words yourself, when did i say i want Clan leader Qiao to be our Clan leader again?" Xiao Bi sneered: “You still address him at Clan leader Qiao, you dare say you don’t want him to be the Clan leader again?" Old Wang raged: “If you keep spewing nonsense i will beat you to death.” The third person step in and mediated: "Enough, enough, we are all brothers, let’s not spoil the relationship. How can Qiao Feng become our Clan leader again? His a Khitan dog, everyone will fight till death if they sees him again. Moreover, even if we invite him to be our Clan leader, you think he will agree?" Old Wang sigh and said: “You are right.” As he finish the trio left the temple.

You TanZhi pondered: "The Beggar Clan is searching everywhere for Qiao Feng but they can’t find him, how would they know his already the Lord of Southern Chancellery in Liao Empire. I will tell them this information. The Beggar Clan have overwhelming numbers, along with a few experts from Central Plains, we might be able to kill that traitor. I will follow them and kill Qiao Feng.” When he thought about returning to Nanjing he thought of seeing AhZi again, his chest immediately heat up like an oven.

He tiptoed out of the temple, he saw the three Beggar Clan members walk on the road and heading west, he followed behind quietly. It’s already dusk, there is no one around, he travelled for a few li and came to a low-lying land, he look to the distant and saw a bonfire within the mountain valley, You TanZhi pondered: "My iron mask is very strange, they will make a mountain out of a molehill if they see me, i should hide within the vegetation and eavesdrop." He jump into the grass bush and slowly crawled towards the bonfire. He crawled for a few zhang and stop, he gradually crawled closer again, but he heard a huge commotion, a large number of people gathered at the bonfire. You TanZhi experience great sufferings
 
recently, he dare not be careless, as he got closer to the bonfire he crawled even slower, he crawled behind a large rock and was separated a few zhang from the bonfire, he dare not move closer anymore, he laid low and listen.

Among the crowd by the bonfire, someone spoke. You TanZhi listen for a while, it seems to be members from the Hall of Great Wisdom of the Beggar Clan, they gathered here to discuss who to recommend as the next Clan leader. Some push for Elder Song, some push for Elder Wu. Another person said: "Speaking of wits and courage, we should recommend Hall- Master Quan, unfortunately Hall-Master Quan was expelled by Qiao Feng, we still haven’t settle how to let him rejoin the Clan again." Another person replied: “The treacherous affair of Qiao Feng was exposed by Hall-Master Quan, he rendered a huge service to our Clan, it should be easy to let him rejoin. Once the General Assembly starts, we will first settle the matter of letting Hall-Master Quan rejoin the Clan, we will bring up his great contribution and then recommend him as the next Clan leader.”

A cool and bright voice said: "It’s possible for me to rejoin the Clan. But you cannot recommend me for the position of Clan leader, people might gossip and say that i expose Qiao Feng for selfish reason of displacing him as the next Clan leader." A person said loudly: “Hall-Master Quan is a person who does not shirk responsibility. Although our Clan Elders have better martial arts, but when it comes to resourcefulness, no one can be compared to you. Against Qiao Feng, we can only pit our wits against him, not force, so Hall-Master Quan ……" Hall-Master Quan replied: "Brother Shi, i have yet to officially rejoin the Clan, you can’t call me Hall-Master Quan.”

Two hundred beggars around the bonfire chip in: "Elder Song has instructed, temporarily, you are still Hall-Master, so why can’t we call you Hall-Master Quan? In the future when you become the Clan leader, you no longer need to care about this Hall-Master position."

“Even if Hall-Master Quan does not become the Clan leader, at least you can be promoted to Clan Elder, and you can still continue to lead your former Hall.”
 
"Correct, even if Hall-Master Quan becomes the Clan leader, you can still take up additional responsibility as Great Wisdom Hall-Master.”

As the crowd was getting lively, a Clan member came from the entrance of the valley and said: “Reporting to Hall-Master, Prince Duan from Dali Kingdom is requesting an audience.” Hall-Master Quan immediately stood up and said: "Prince Duan from Dali Kingdom? Our Clan normally does not have dealings with Dali Kingdom. Brothers, the Duan family from Dali is well known for its martial arts, since Prince Duan is personally requesting an audience, everyone should go and greet him.” He led all the members to the valley’s entrance.

A young man stood smiling at the entrance, his accompanied by seven to eight people. This young man is Duan Yu. Both men cupped their hands and paid their respects, they met each other before at the apricots forest in WuXi. At that time, Quan GuanQing did not know Duan Yu’s identity, but his embarrassingly affair of being expelled by Qiao Feng was seen by Duan Yu, he cannot help but feel slightly embarrass, but he immediately calm down, salute and said: "I didn’t expect Prince Duan to come visit, you came from such a far place, i ask for your forgiveness.”

Duan Yu smiled and said: "Its fine, its fine. Junior receives orders from my father to inform your honourable Clan of a certain matter, i hope it won’t be an inconvenience.”

Both of them exchange a few pleasantries, Duan Yuan was accompanied by Gu DuCheng, Fu SiGui and Zhu DanChen. Quan GuanQing invited Duan Yu to sit down on a rock by the bonfire, Clan members brought and served wine.

Duan Yu took a drink and said: "A few months ago, my father was at the residence of Deputy-leader Ma in XinYang, he encountered a strange affair, he personally witnessed the death of Bai ShiJing from your honourable Clan. But my father had sustained some injuries, he is still recuperating, the movement of your Clan’s Elders is not fix and we did not have the opportunity to meet them, thus my father could not present the letter he wrote. A few days ago, we heard that your Hall is gathering here and i was
 
ordered to come here quickly." He retrieved a letter from within his sleeve, quickly stood up and presented it.

Quan GuanQing also stood up immediately and receive it with both hands, he said: "I am sorry to have troubled Gentleman Duan to personally deliver this letter, I thank Prince Duan for showing great concern to my humble Clan." He saw the letter is sealed, it bears the word: "To Be Personally Opened By Beggar Clan’s Elders", he knew that it was not appropriate for him to open the letter, he said: "Our Clan will be holding a General Assembly soon, all the old and young will be coming, i will then personally present Prince Duan’s letter to our Clan’s Elders." Duan Yu said: "I am sorry to trouble you, junior will take his leave now."

Quan GuanQing quickly said his thanks and said: "Our Clan’s Elder Bai and Madam Ma died under the treacherous hands of Qiao Feng, Prince Duan personally witness this matter?" Duan Yu shook his head and said: "Elder Bai and Madam Ma was not killed by my big brother Qiao, Deputy- leader Ma was harmed by someone else. My father explained all these in the letter, Hall-Master Quan will know the full details in the future after reading the letter." Duan Yu thought: "This matter cannot be explained with just a few phrases, you are not a good person, i don’t need to waste time and explain it to you. I don’t think you have the guts to hide my father’s letter." He cupped his hands towards Quan GuanQing and said: "Till next time, you don’t have to see us off.”

He turn around and walk to the valley’s entrance, he met two Beggar Clan members and two men.

The two men gave each other a look, the move a few steps forward and bow towards Duan Yu, they presented a red invitation card.

Duan Yu took it and peruse it, the card wrote the words:

"Su XingHe respectfully invites all the world’s most talented chess player, on the 8th day of the 2nd lunar month, to be at Henan’s LeiGu Mountain to play chess” he said: "Excellent, junior is not burdened with any important matters, i will definitely be at the chess meet. But how did you two find out that i can play chess?” the expression of the two man were delighted, “Yi Yi
 
Ya Ya” sound came from their mouth, they made huge gestures, it seems both of them are mute. Duan Yu could not understand their gestures, he smiled and ask Zhu DanChen: “LeiGu Mountain is not far from here right?” and he handed the invitation card to him.

Zhu DanChen took a look at the card, he cupped his hands towards the two man and said: "The son of Prince ZhenNan of Dali pays his respect to Mr Intelligent, he express his gratitude and he will promptly visit at the appointed date.” He pointed his hand at Duan Yu and made a few gestures.

The two man bow again to pay their respects to Duan Yu, they took out another red invitation card and presented it to Quan GuanQing.

Quan GuanQing took a look at the card, he respectfully gave it back to the man, he wave his hands and said: "Quan GuanQing from the Hall of Great Wisdom of the Beggar Clan pays his respects to Mr Intelligent, my chess skill is shoddy and laughable, i dare not go to the chess meet, i hope that Mr Intelligent will be understanding." The two man bow towards him, the bow towards Duan Yu again and they left.

Only now did Zhu DanChen answer Duan Yu’s question: " LeiGu Mountain is to the south of SongXian, North-east of QuYuan Ridge, it’s not far from here."

Duan Yuan took his leave from Quan GuanQing and exit the valley, he ask Zhu DanChen: “What kind of person is Mr Intelligent Su XingHe? Is he the national Go (Chess) champion of Central Plains?” Zhu DanChen replied: “Mr Intelligent is also known as the Deaf Mute Old Man.”

Duan Yu gave an "Ah" sound, he heard his father and uncle discussing about the ‘Deaf Mute Old Man’ before, his a prestigious expert within Central Plains, his deaf and mute but his martial arts is exceedingly high, his uncle was extremely respectful when mentioning him. Zhu DanChen continued: "The Deaf Mute Old Man is disabled, but he insist on calling himself Mr Intelligent, it seems he thinks his wits and penmanship will beat people’s hearing and debating skills.” Duan Yu nods his head and said: “It seems reasonable.” After walking a few steps he gave a long sigh.
 
He listened to Zhu DanChen say that the Deaf Mute Old Man’s wits and penmanship will beat people’s hearing and debating skills, he cannot help but thought of Wang YuYan’s “Narration Martial Art” beating people’s fist and weaponry skills.

After rescuing the Beggar Clan members in WuXi with AhZhu, Bao BuTong and Feng BoE arrived and met up with them, the five of them headed north to search for their Young Master Murong. Duan Yu naturally wanted to follow them. Feng BoE was grateful towards him for sucking the scorpion’s poison and he welcome Duan Yu. But Bao BuTong was extremely unforgiving, he blamed Duan Yu for disguising as Young Master Murong and tarnishing his great reputation, later he even threatened to beat him up unless he scram, Wang YuYan was only interested in finding her cousin and discussed endlessly with Feng BoE, she turned a blind eye to Duan Yu’s situation.

Duan Yu was helpless and could only grudgingly part with Wang YuYan, but he still travelled north and thought: "You guys want to go to Henan to search for Murong Fu, it so happens that i am also going to Henan, Henan province does not belong to your Murong Family, if Murong Fu and Bao BuTong can go, why can’t Duan Yu go as well? If it so happens that i run into you guys again, then it must be fate and Mr Bao cannot blame me.”

But fate did not want him to meet Wang YuYan just shortly after their recent parting. During the entire month, Duan Yu wandered around Henan, he termed it sightseeing tour but in actual fact his just looking around in all direction, hoping to see a strand of hair from Wang YuYang, or just a corner of her clothes, as for the beautiful mountains and sceneries he didn’t even give it a glance.

One day, Duan Yu was at the White Horse Temple in LuoYang, he was discussing “Agama” with the abbot, they discussed about Buddhist teachings on “Seven Treasures of the Chakravartin”. Duan Yu was interested in the Jade Maiden treasure that is said to be “Neither long nor short, neither black nor white, a body that is warm during winter and cool during summer”. The abbot shook his head repeatedly and said: “Buddhist Duan, this is an analogy in Buddhist teachings, moreover Buddha said that the seven treasures is in impermanence … " but he did not finish as three
 
men suddenly entered the temple, they were Fu SiGui, Gu DuCheng and Zhu DanChen.

When Duan ZhenChun left the residence of Ma in XinYang, he met up with Ruan XingZhu and recuperated under her care, when he thought about how Xiao Feng was wronged by the Beggar Clan for killing Ma DaYuan, he had to vindicate him, thus he wrote a letter and ordered the trio to deliver it to the Beggar Clan.

Fu SiGui and company came to LuoYang, they did not see any leading figures at Beggar Clan’s main Hall, they gathered information and knew that the Hall of Great Wisdom of the Beggar Clan is gathering nearby, they hope to deliver the letter there, but in a restaurant they heard another amusing news about a daydreaming gentleman, the description of the appearance and behavior of the man seems to be very similar to Duan Yu, they ask the whereabouts of this gentleman and they came searching in the White Horse Temple.

The four of them met up and was very happy, Duan Yu said: "I will accompany you to deliver the letter, after that quickly bring me to see my father." When he learn that his father is currently in Henan, naturally his anxious to meet him, but all these days he hope to hear the slightest news about Wang YuYan, he kept thinking about her day and night, he pray that he might be able to meet her at the Beggar Clan’s gathering, but this hope eventually came to nothing.

Zhu DanChen saw him sighing, he assume his thinking about Mu WanQing but he can offer no consolation, he thought of diverting his attention and said: "That Mr Intelligent is widely distributing these cards and inviting people to play chess, his chess skills must be extremely high. Young Master, after meeting Prince ZhenNan, why don’t you go and meet this Mr Intelligent and play a few rounds with him?”

Duan Yu nodded: "Yes, playing chess can relief your worries. But although she is familiar with all the martial arts and all the weaponries, she can’t play chess. She definitely won’t go to Mr Intelligent’s chess meet.”
 
Zhu DanChen was baffled, he did not know who Duan Yu is referring to, along the way Duan Yu was absent-minded, his speech incoherent, and he dare not inquire anymore.

The group travelled north-west. Duan Yu was frowning and suddenly he nod and smiled, muttering: “There’s a saying in Buddhist scripture: Thinking about beauty, her body filled with blood, a hundred years later, turning into bone and dust', although the saying is true but even if she turns into bones after a hundred years, she’s still an incredibly beautiful bone." As he fantasized about Wang YuYan’s skeleton, he suddenly heard the sound of horse’s hoof behind him, two people came galloping on horses, but he can’t see their appearance clearly in the darkness.

The two horses seemed to be out of control, they rushed towards the group. Fu SiGui and Gu DuCheng stretch out their hands and they each rein in the horses, the riders of the horses were motionless. Fu SiGui was slightly surprised, he lean over to check, the first rider turn out to the messenger of Mr Intelligent, his face revealed a faint smile but he died long ago. Just a few moments ago, this man had personally delivered the invitation card to Duan Yu, how did he die for no reason? The other dead rider is also the messenger of Mr Intelligent, he also died with a strange smile. When Fu SiGui and the rest saw this they knew these two men must have been killed by an extremely deadly poison, they quickly rein in their horses and move back two steps, they dare not touch the corpses.

Duan Yu was furious: "That Hall-Master Quan from Beggar Clan is really vicious, why did he harm these men? Let’s go and reason it out with him." He turn his horse around and was about to go find Quan GuanQing and interrogate him.

Suddenly a voice spoke out within the darkness: "Little boy you are ignorant, in the entire world except for the Divine Elder of XingXiu and his sect, who has the ability to kill without leaving a trace? It will be fine if the Deaf Mute Old Man obediently hides himself, if he dares come out, Divine Elder of XingXiu will never let him survive, kid, this matter is none of your concern, its best if you leave quickly."
 
Zhu DanChen whispered: "Young Master, this is the affair of XingXiu Sect, it does not concern us, let's go."

Duan Yu already lost his interest when he can’t find Wang YuYan, if these messengers were in danger he would definitely step in and save them, but since they already died he did not want to stir up more trouble, he sigh and said: "It’s not sufficient to be deaf, their eyes must not see anything, their nose can’t smell any scent, their mind incapable of any thought, only then can they break away from their trouble.”

His speech was referring to Wang YuYan, since he already heard her voice, saw her smile and movement, all these etched deeply into his mind, even if he was deaf and mute, he still can’t break away from thinking about her. Unexpectedly, the man laughed and applauded: "Yes, Yes! You are right, i should prod their eyes blind, cut off their nose, and beat them up so badly that they can’t even think.”

Duan Yu gave another sigh: "It’s useless to use external force. You need to cultivate your inner self, ‘Do not allow colour, sound and smell to stir your heart', but if you can let go of all self, you already reached Buddhahood. I am only a layman, how can i reach such attainment? Resentment, hate, love, parting, powerless, the five evil, the great sufferings of life."

You TanZhi was hiding behind the vegetation, he saw Duan Yu and his entourage come and go, someone was shouting in front, two Beggars Clan members quickly ran over and quietly reported to Quan GuanQing: “Hall- Master Quan, the two mute men died for no reason, the perpetrator claims his from XingXiu Sect and his a subordinate of someone called Divine Elder of XingXiu.”

Quan GuanQing got a huge shock, his expression change instantly. He heard of Old Freak of XingXiu, this person employs deadly poison, his martial art is also exceedingly high, he pondered: "He killed the messenger of Deaf Mute Old Man, this matter does not concern us, its best if we don’t stir up any trouble.” He replied: “Ok, they are ghost, fighting another ghost, we need not bother.”
 
Suddenly, someone spoke in front of him: "Scoundrel talking nonsense, how dare you curse me as ghost when you know i am the subordinate of Divine Elder of XingXiu? You are tired of living." Quan GuanQing was surprised and he cannot refrain from taking a step back, under the light from the torch, he saw someone standing upright in front of him but it was his own subordinate from Beggar Clan, he fixed his concentration and finally saw him, the person had a faint smile, his appearance strange, he was standing right behind another person, he shouted: “Who are you, pretending to be a ghost, what are you doing here?”

The person behind the Beggar Clan member replied: "You are really bold, you said the word ghost again! I am the subordinate of Divine Elder of XingXiu. Divine Elder of XingXiu is arriving in Central Plains, he needs 200 poison snakes and 100 poison bugs. Your Beggar Clan is always well- stocked with poison snakes and bugs, offer them immediately. Divine Elder of XingXiu will spare you lot of beggars if you respectfully present the items to him. Or else, heng heng, you will become like this person!”

Bang, the Beggar Clan member in front of him immediately flew off and fell beside the bonfire, his motionless, apparently he died long ago. When the Beggar Clan member flew off, a dwarf wearing poplin shirt was revealed, nobody knows how he killed the Beggar Clan member and then hide himself behind the Clan member.

Quan GuanQing was startled and angry, in a split second, many thoughts came into his mind: "Old Freak of XingXiu mess with our Beggar Clan, if we don’t give in to their demands we have to fight it out. Although it’s dangerous, but if i cave in to his threats and offer the poison snakes and bugs, my Clan members will forever look down on me. My hopes of becoming Clan leader will be dash, i can’t even maintain my current standings in the Clan. Luckily the Old Freak of XingXiu has yet to arrive, this person is alone, i don’t need to be afraid of him.” Immediately he laughs and said: “So you are from XingXiu Sect, may i know your name?”

The dwarf said: "I am called Tian LangZi. Quickly go and prepare the poisonous snakes and bugs.”
 
Quan GuanQing smiled and said: "It’s only poisonous snakes and bugs, small matter, we don’t need any major preparation." He picked up a bag from the ground and said: "There’s a few snakes here, please check it, is it suitable for Divine Elder of XingXiu?”

The dwarf heard Quan GuanQing said “Divine Elder of XingXiu”, he was very pleased, seeing his expression respectful he thought: "It’s said that Beggar Clan is the number one clan in Central Plains, but when they heard my master’s name they immediately turn limp. I will take these poison snakes, master will definitely like it, he will surely praise me for being competent. Nevertheless, it’s all due to the fierce reputation of master.” He immediately stretch his neck to look into the bag.

Suddenly all he saw was darkness, the cloth bag had already covered his head, Tian LangZi was shocked, he immediately strike out with his palm but he hit nothing, but at this moment, his cheek and neck felt a slight pain, he was bitten by the poisonous bugs in the bag. Tian LangZi did not have time to remove the cloth bag, he ferociously sent out both his palm and retreated quickly. As his head was covered with the cloth bag he can’t see a thing, both his palms were attacking randomly, his face and head received another series of bites, he panicked, he extended his legs and fled, but his legs threaded on empty air, he lost his footing and roll down the steep slope, with a splashing sound he fell into the river at the bottom of the mountain and got wash away by the current.

Quan GuanQing thought of killing him, he didn’t expect him to escape, but the person was stung by poisonous scorpion and subsequently fell into the river, his mostly probably dead, but since members of XingXiu sect are poison experts they might have special detoxification method, since they live at XingXiu Sea they would also know how to swim, if the person manage to survive, XingXiu sect will definitely come back and seek revenge. He said to everyone: “At this moment, we can only deploy the giant python formation and stake it out against Old Freak of XingXiu. Could it be possible that we can’t fend for ourselves without Qiao Feng and have to be humiliated by others? XingXiu Sect are experts in using deadly poison, we can’t use our weapons and fists against them, we have to use poison to counter their poison.”
 
The Beggar Clan members shouted out in agreement, immediately they disperse, they arrange into their battle formation a few zhang away from the bonfire, everyone sat down and cross their legs.

You TanZhi saw Quan GuanQing use the cloth bag to defeat Tian LangZi, he pondered: "There’s probably numerous poisonous bugs in the bag, they have so many bags here, are they all filled with poisonous bugs? It’s not surprising for the beggars to be proficient in catching poison bugs. If i can steal a few of these bags and present them to Miss AhZi, she will definitely like it very much.”

Once the Clan members sat down, they did not make any sound, everyone had a few cloth bags beside them, some of the bags are extremely huge, some had creatures squirming and moving inside, You TanZhi’s hair stood on its end when he saw all these. The atmosphere was silent, if he move now he will surely be detected by the crowd, he thought: "I won’t be afraid if they cover me with those bags, i have the protection of the iron mask, but if they stuff my entire body into the bag then i will be in trouble.”

After a few hours, nothing happen, after a while the sun started to rise, covering the hills and vegetation with bright light. Birds were chirping on the trees, suddenly Quan GuanQing said softly: "They are here! Everyone be careful!" he was kneeling on a rock outside the formation, holding onto an iron flute.

Music came from the north direction, a group of people walk unhurriedly, they were playing their wood instruments and drums, the music was melodious and pleasant. You TanZhi pondered: “It is a wedding procession?”

The music got nearer and nearer, when it was 10 zhang away it stopped, several people said in unison: "Divine Elder of XingXiu arriving in Central Plains, Beggar Clan members, kneel down and greet him!" once they finish, the drums start thundering. After 3 rounds of drum roll, there was a gong sound, the drums stopped, ten people said in unison: “We respectfully invite Divine Elder of XingXiu to display your great skills, subdue these demons and clowns from Beggar Clan!”
 
You TanZhi pondered: "It’s quite similar to Taoist ritual." He quietly peered out from the rock, he saw twenty people lining up in the northwest corner, some holding percussion instruments, some armed with long streamers and banners, red and green colour pleasing to the eye, from afar the banners were embroidered with words such as, “Divine Elder of XingXiu ","Almighty”, “Limitless Power”, “Inspiring Awe Throughout The World”, etc. As the music played out, an old man slowly stroll out, a dozen people arranged into two rows, they followed behind him, separated by a few zhang.

The old man was waving a goose feathered fan, sun shine on his face, his face was ruddy, head full of white hair, three silver whiskers on his chin, he really look like an immortal depicted in pictures. The old man walk towards the Beggar Clan crowd and stop moving when he’s 3 zhang away, suddenly he issued a few sharp whistle, he flick his fan and wave away the whistle sound, four Beggar Clan members sitting on the ground immediately collapsed.

You TanZhi had a huge shock: "This Divine Elder of XingXiu really have powerful magic!”

The old man’s face revealed a faint smile, with another “Zi” sound, he wave his feathered fan and another group of beggars collapsed. The old man’s whistle seems to be hiding some kind of lethal poison, in an instant, another 6-7 beggars collapsed.

The crowd behind the old man cried out their praises: "Master’s skill will be remembered throughout all ages! These beggars pit themselves against us, it’s akin to a firefly pitting its light against the sun! Or a mantis blocking a cart, they vastly overrated themselves, laughable, laughable!"

“Master you only need to laugh and chitchat and these demons and clowns will die immediately, such effortless crushing victory, disciple has never seen or heard such thing before."

"This is a great achievement never seen before in the world, if Master did not reveal it, the people from Central Plains will never know such skills
 
exists." They keep singing their praises, feeling very smug, they start playing their instruments again.

Suddenly there was a “Xu” sound, Quan GuanQing brought the iron flute to his mouth and started blowing. You TanZhi pondered: "What’s he playing the flute for? Supporting the Divine Elder of XingXiu?" suddenly noise came from the ground, a few brightly coloured large snakes slithered towards the old man. The group of disciples beside the old man shouted: "Snakes, there are poisonous snakes! Master, these snakes seems to be heading towards us!" numerous poisonous snakes came slithering out of the cloth bags, some are big while others are small, all of them rush towards the old man and his disciples. The crowd panic and start screaming and howling randomly.

The disciples of XingXiu sect raised their steel staff, they pounded at the oncoming snakes, the old man’s expression was calm, he still carried on whistling and waving his fan to repel his enemies. Quan GuanQing did not stop blowing his flue, his clan members all shouted to show their support.

More and more snakes gathered, within moments, XingXiu sect members were surrounded by a few hundred snakes, 5-6 of these snakes are giant python. A few giant python move near, they coil their tails and immediately trapped two people, another two men was trap subsequently. If these XingXiu members turn their back and flee the snakes will not be able to catch them, but their Master is still fighting and they dare not leave, they can only brandish their weapons and pound randomly, they killed 8-10 snakes but 7-8 of them was also bitten by the snakes. The giant pythons are even more dangerous, their skins are rough and their body thick, they behave as if nothing had happened when stuck by the steel staff, they coil their body around the men and constricted, not letting them go. As the flute keep blowing, more giant python came out of the cloth bags, there’s already 27-28 of them.

The old man saw the situation was unfavourable, he wanted to move back and attack Quan GuanQing, suddenly two small snakes bite towards his face. He shouted angrily: "How dare you!" he wave his fan and brought down the two snakes, suddenly he felt something soft coiling around his ankle. He knew he is in trouble and quickly leap into the air. He heard
 
another “Xu” sound from the flute, four pythons raised their tails and coil towards him. The old man was in mid-air, he strike out with both palms, it hit the snake in front and to his left, his body flash and he landed 2 zhang away. At this moment, the tail of the 3rd and 4th giant python attack him simultaneously. Under such pressing situation he exerted his strength and send out another palm, the palm force arrive and one giant python was struck on its head and its brain turn into pulp.

The mass of snakes gush in like flowing river. The old man killed another three python, but his waist and right leg was trapped by two giant python. He gathered his internal energy and gave a loud cry, he clawed open the belly of the python on his waist, his body was splash with blood. But the python is very resilient, even though its belly is split open it endured the pain and constricted even more, the old man’s pelvic bone was about to fracture under the pressure. He struggled to break free, but another two giant python wrap themselves around his body, even his arm was trapped, he could not struggle anymore. Seeing such horrifying scene, You TanZhi was so shock that he could hardly breathe.

Quan GuanQing was very happy, his enemies were all trapped and bound by the giant python, they can no longer resist and they cursed in rage, he stop playing his flute, he laugh and said: "Old Freak Of XingXiu, your XingXiu Sect and my Beggar Clan normally don’t mess with each other, why did you provoke us for no reason? What should we settle this?”

This healthy old man is the most hated person in Central Plains, the Old Freak of XingXiu Ding ChunQiu. One of the three treasures of his Sect the [Divine Wooden King Tripod] was stolen by AhZi, he sent out numerous disciples to hunt her down, even his head-disciple Zhai XingZi was dispatched. But the returning news was always very discouraging. He last heard that AhZi had the backing of Qiao Feng and they heavily injure Zhai XingZi, Ding ChuQiu was shock and angry, Ding Chunqiu knew the Beggar Clan is the number one clan in Central Plains and they are not easy to deal with, he also heard the Deaf Mute Old Man is particularly active around Xing Lake in recent years, the Deaf Mute Old Man is a thorn in his side and he can never rest in peace with him around, thus he thought of retrieving the [Divine Wooden King Tripod] and then resolve all these
 
matters once and for all, hence he brought his disciples and personally travelled east to Central Plains.

He practiced the [Great Energy Dissolving Skill] and he frequently require poisonous fluids of poison creatures to be smeared on his palm and absorbed into his body, if he does not absorb any poison fluids for seven days, not only will his internal energy decrease, the poison accumulated in his body will also gradually flare up as its not suppressed by new poison, the repercussion is deadly, the [Divine Wooden King Tripod] has a very special scent, coupled with the incense burnt, it will be able to immediately attract poisonous bugs, all poisonous creatures within 10 li radius will not be able to resist being attracted by the fragrance.

With this tripod, Ding ChunQiu can catch poisonous bugs without any effort, his [Great Energy Dissolving Skill] naturally become more and more profound. Previously, Ding ChunQiu had a very talented disciple, he imparted his skills to him and taught him the [Great Energy Dissolving Skill], but after some achievements in the skill the disciple became self- conceited and was very disrespectful towards him. Ding ChunQiu subdued the disciple, he did not torture him but merely imprison him within a stone house so that he can’t capture any poison bugs, eventually the poison within his body flare up, it was extremely unbearable and he cannot help but tear his own muscles off to relief himself, he moaned and wailed and eventually died after 40 days. Although Ding ChunQiu was delighted, he cannot help but feel fear, he guarded himself and never imparted his [Great Energy Dissolving Skill] to anyone. Thus, Zhai XingZi and the rest of the disciple did not know the skill, AhZi wanted to learn the skill and she had to eavesdrop secretly and also steal the tripod.

AhZi was adept at scheming, when her master had finish absorbing fresh poison she bid him farewell and travelled east, when the Old Freak of XingXiu realized the tripod was stolen, it was already 7 days later and AhZi had escape to a faraway place. She only travelled on remote route, even though the disciples pursuing her had higher martial arts, their resourcefulness is way inferior to hers and she managed to bluff her way through, she employed numerous decoy tactics and threw off all her pursuers.
 
The residence of the Old Freak of XingXiu is a gloomy and damp ravine, the area is rich with poisonous bugs and snakes, although the tripod was lost, it still not too difficult to catch poisonous bugs and replenish his supply of poison, however he can only hope to catch common poison bugs, without the aid of the tripod he can no longer catch rare bugs which possess deadly poison. One matter cause him endless worries, his afraid that experts from Central Plains might discover the origin of the tripod and they will seek to destroy it, thus he hope to resolve this matter quickly so that he can stop worrying.

He met a bunch of his disciples at the borders of ShanXi. His head-disciple Zhai XingZi was fortunate to preserve his life but he lost all his martial arts, he was beaten and humiliated by fellow martial-brothers, his second disciple Shi BiRen temporarily took over the post of head-disciple, all the disciples saw their master and was scared of being punished as they failed to complete their task, fortunately the Old Freak of XingXiu needs all the help he can get and he postponed all punishments and hope his disciples can redeem themselves by performing a good service.

Along the way, the group inquired about the Beggar Clan. But firstly, their appearance was strange and their behaviors deplorable, no one was willingly to reveal the information to them. Secondly, Xiao Feng was in Liao Empire and became the Lord of Southern Chancellery, but people from the martial world did not know about this matter, thus they could not find any news about the Beggar Clan and they can’t even find the main branch of the clan.

On this day, Tian LiangZi inadvertently found about the gathering of the Great Wisdom Hall of Beggar Clan, he wanted to claim credit for this piece of information and he infiltrated the Beggar Clan alone, but he eventually fall prey to Quan GuanQing’s schemes. Luckily his body already contained essence of poison and the scorpion’s poison failed to kill him, he escaped and reported the matter to his master. Ding ChunQiu immediately rush over, but he did not expect that with his deadly poison and profound martial arts, he was subdued by giant python and immobilized.

Ding Chunqiu did not answer Quan GuanQing’s question, he said coldly: "There’s a person called Qiao Feng in your Beggar Clan, where is he?
 
Quickly ask him to come out and see me."Quan GuanQing heart was shaken, he ask: "You want to see Qiao Feng, what for?” Ding ChunQiu said proudly: “Divine Elder of XingXiu is asking you a question why aren’t you answering? You keep asking useless questions, where is Qiao Feng?”

Quan GuanQing saw Ding ChunQiu was immobilized by the python, he had already lost the power to resist, but his manner is still arrogant and ferocious, such courage is really rare in this world, he said: "It’s said that the Old Freak of XingXiu is all knowing, but i think it’s just undeserved reputation, you can’t even handle a few small snakes. I am sorry, we have to help the world get rid of a great evil today.”

Ding ChunQiu smiled and said: "Old man is careless, i fell into the trap of these cold-blooded reptiles, i will die today, its really fate……”

But he did not finish as one of his disciple who is trapped by the python suddenly shouted: "Heroes of Beggar Clan, please release me, you will have great benefit. My master is proficient in trickery, you can never guard against him. Just a minor slip-up and you will fall into his trap.” Quan GuanQing said coldly: "And how do we benefit by releasing you?" The person replied: "There are three treasures in my XingXiu Sect, they are called XingXiu Three Treasures. Only the Old Freak of XingXiu and me knows its hidden location. If you release me, i will help you kill the Old Freak of XingXiu and offer you the treasures. If you kill me, you will never find the treasures.”

Another XingXiu disciple cried out: "Great hero, great hero, don’t be fooled by him! One of the three treasures is already stolen. It’s better for you to release me. I am the loyal one, i will never lie to you.”

In an instant, numerous XingXiu disciples clamoured: "Heroes of Beggar Clan, its best if you spare me, neither of them are loyal, i will serve you wholeheartedly."

"Great hero, i know most of the martial arts of XingXiu Sect, i will tell you everything, i won’t hide them from you.”
 
“There’s a great conspiracy surrounding our arrival in Central Plains, the main purpose is to deal with Beggar Clan. Great heroes, do you want to know all the inside information?”

“Our XingXiu Sea hides unlimited gold, silvers and rare treasure, i know the hiding spot of every treasure. I will lead all of you there and dig it out, heroes of Beggar Clan you no longer need to beg for food anymore.”

These people kept boot-licking and tried to pledge their loyalty, some tried to offer treasures, some tried to stir up curiosity by revealing secret plans, some of their words are outright lies and completely absurd. Some XingXiu disciples are on the verge of death due to being poisoned and constricted by the snakes, they struggled for air to beg for forgiveness.

Members of Beggar Clan did not expect that the disciples of XingXiu are so spineless, thus they despise them, but their sense of curiosity was aroused and they move closer to listen attentively. Quan GuanQing said coldly: "You are not loyal to even your own master, how can you pledge loyalty to total strangers? Aren’t you ridiculous?”

A XingXiu disciple replied: "No its different, very different. The Old Freak of XingXiu has lousy skills, what’s the future prospect in following him? What the benefit in following him? How can the Old Freak of XingXiu be a match for Beggar Clan?"

“Yea, Beggar Clan taking in disciples of XingXiu Sect, Western and Central Plains will be in shock, who dare not admire the heroes of Beggar Clan?"

“The word ‘Hero’ is not sufficient to describe you, we have to refer you as ‘Chivalrous Hero’ ,’Saint’, ‘Saviour of commoner’!”

“I am articulate and good with words, i will travel to the four corners of the earth and spread the words about your great kindness, the chivalrous heroes of Beggar Clan will be renown throughout the entire world.”

“Pei, the chivalrous heroes of Beggar Clan is already famous throughout the world, why do they even need you to advertise? I thought of the title of
 
’Saint’ and ‘Saviour of commoner’ for them. They bestow intelligence upon me.”

A five-pouch Beggar Clan disciple frowned and said: "You lot of scumbags, making so much racket, listening to you lot made us fed up. Old Freak of XingXiu, you are really good for nothing, why did you accept these shameless people as disciples? I’ll send you to heaven first, and then i let these lot of scumbags follow you, i am going to slaughter you whole lot today!” as he finish, he gave a shout and send his palm towards Ding ChunQiu.

This palm strike was accompanied by rapid wind, the strength behind it extremely strong and fierce, it landed on Ding ChunQiu’s chest. But Ding ChunQiu was completely unharmed, the beggar felt his knees soften and he collapsed onto the ground, he curled up and started twitching, after a while he was motionless. The crowd of Beggar Clan members were surprise, they shouted: “What happen?”, two beggars came out to help him up. When the two men touched his body, they started shaking and also collapsed after a while. Three nearby beggar clan disciples naturally stretch out their hands to support them, but when they touch the two men, they also collapsed. The rest of the crowd was stunned, they no longer dare to touch their fallen comrades.

Quan GuanQing shouted: "There poison on this old man’s body, we can’t touch his body, release the projectiles!”

Eighty nine 4-5 pouch disciples pulled out their hidden weapons, steel darts, flying knives, sleeve arrows, cobblestones, they threw all these weapons at Ding ChunQiu. Ding ChunQiu gave a loud shout and turn his head sharply, he swung his white hair out, his hairs were like soft whiskers and repelled 10 of the projectiles thrown at him. But there was multiple “Ah Yo” cries, 6-7 beggars were struck by hidden projectiles. These projectiles did not hit their vital spots, some was gazed on their flesh, but these men immediately collapsed and died.

Quan GuanQing shouted: "Move back, move back!” suddenly there was a swishing sound, it was caused by the shooting of a steel dart, Ding ChunQiu used his hairs to grip the dart and shoot it towards him. Quan GuanQing
 
hastily use his iron flute to deflect it, there was a ringing sound and the dart was repelled far away. He thought this Old Freak of XingXiu is really powerful, he can only rely on his giant python to kill him, he brought his flute to his mouth, as he was about to blow, his lips suddenly felt numb and he instantly became dizzy, he knew something was wrong and hastily threw away the iron flute, there was a thud sound and he collapsed. The Clan members was shock, immediately two men move forward to help him up. Quan GuanQing said drowsily: "I … I am poisoned, Every … everyone… quick…quickly…leave” the Clan members were scared out of their wits, they carried him and fled, abandoning all the bodies, snakes and cloth bags.

You TanZhi is still squatting in the bushes, his so shock by the ongoing that he dare no move an inch. The surrounding was a total silence, a dozen poisoned Clan members curled into a ball like porcupine, apparently they had already died.

The remaining giant python are no long under the control of Quan GuanQing’s flute sound, they will not harm anyone and only immobilized Ding ChunQiu and his disciples. No one in the XingXiu Sect dared to move or struggle for fear of provoking the vicious nature of the snakes and getting bitten.

The silence remain for a while, finally someone spoke: "Master, your divine skill is unrivalled throughout the world, you easily slaughtered all these evil and vicious beggars and drive them all away …"

Before he could finish another disciple interrupt him and said: "Master, don’t listen to his bullshit, his the one that praised the beggars as 'Chivalrous Heroes' and 'Saints'"

Another disciple said: "We followed Master for so many years, how can we not know his ability to split the heaven and earth? We talk nonsense and fooled the beggars just now to distract them so that Master can display his unparalleled skills.”

Suddenly someone burst into tears and wailed: "Master, Master! Disciple deserves to die, disciple is confused, i was afraid of death and surrendered
 
to the enemy, i sincerely regret it now and i am willingly to die with the poison snakes, i dare not ask Master for mercy anymore.”

The rest of the disciples immediately came to an understanding: Their Master hated people who explain away and whitewash their mistakes, only by condemning themselves and admitting to all sorts of mistakes can they hope to receive their Master’s mercy and forgiveness. In an instant, all the disciples start cursing themselves, they curse their own evil intentions and how they deserve to die. You TanZhi eavesdrop from the bushes, he was utterly baffled by them.

Ding ChunQiu gathered his internal energy, he thought of bursting through the 3 giant python binding him by using pure force. Unfortunately, the python’s body is elastic and flexible. When Ding ChunQiu exerted his strength, the snakes only lengthen, their bodies did not break. Ding ChunQiu was covered with poison, his hair and clothes all contained deadly toxin. When the beggars attacked him with their weapons, all of them came into contact with his poison, however the python’s skin is thick, tough and slippery, his poison could not penetrate it. As he listen to his disciples endlessly talking, he raged: “If someone can come up with an idea to drive away the snakes, i will spare him. You lot still don’t understand my temper? I will never kill people who are useful to me. You people only know how to talk nonsense and crap, what use is it?”

As he said this, the group of disciples immediately quieten down. After a while, someone said: "We need someone to use a torch and burn the bodies of these snakes, they will definitely run off." Ding ChunQiu scolded him: "You are farting! We are out here in the wilderness, there’s no village or shop nearby, who will come by? Even if someone did come by, once they see so many snakes, they will get scared and run off, why would they even bother to bring a torch and burn them?" the rest of the disciples kept suggesting ideas, but all the ideas were lousy and limited, everyone just kept on talking. They hope to curry favour with their master and show that they follow his orders and make themselves useful by suggesting ideas.

After a long time, a disciple was bound so tightly that he could not breathe anymore, in his dizzy state he randomly bite the snake. The python felt pain and retaliate by biting his throat, that disciple gave a tragic cry and died.
 
Ding ChunQiu was getting more and more anxious. If he was surrounded by numerous enemies, he could employ devious tricks and schemes, but these snakes are completely immune to tricks and schemes, he feared the snakes might get hungry and eventually swallow him.

His fear is indeed accurate, after not being influence by the flute sound for a long time a giant python is extremely hungry, it open its mouth and bite a XingXiu disciple. The disciples cried out: "Master save me, Master save me!" his two legs had already been swallowed by the snake. His body was also swallowed, his waist entered first and it slowly move to his chest, as his still not yet dead he cried out loudly, his cry shook the wilderness.

Everyone knew the same thing was about to happen to them, the sight frightened them greatly. One disciple saw the Old Freak of XingXiu is also at his wits end, his resentment rose and he openly derided him, he blame Ding ChunQiu for implicating him, he was originally a shepherd at XingXiu Sea but was threatened and coerced into joining XingXiu Sect, since his about to die, he poured out all his resentment and dissatisfaction against Ding ChunQiu.

As he began cursing, the rest of the disciples also joined in. All the disciples suffered regular ill-treatment under Ding ChunQiu, they held the grudge in their heart and dare not voice it out. Since everyone is about to die together, they started to scold him to vent their frustrations. One disciple was cursing loudly and his body stirred, this provoke the python and it retaliate by biting him on the shoulder, the man scream: "Ah Yo, Ah Yo! Save me, save me!”

You TanZhi saw these people are completely immobilized by the python, his heart did not have anymore misgivings and he stood up, the place is not suitable for staying and he wanted to leave quickly.

The XingXiu disciples suddenly saw his iron mask, they had a shock, but someone remembered that he can help save them, he exclaimed: “Great hero, chivalrous man, please gather some dried leaves and light a fire to drive away these snakes, I immediately give you … give you 1000 taels of silver." another person said: "1000 tael is insufficient, we have to give 10 000 taels” and another person said: "This gentleman is a chivalrous person, his conscience is the best, he will definitely carry out righteous act,
 
moreover there’s nothing dangerous about lighting a fire to burn the snakes." In an instant their praise got louder and louder, the previous rewards quickly increased to 1 million taels of gold.

The cursing ability of these disciples is first class, their flattering and bootlicking ability is even better and well honed. You TanZhi has never heard anyone call him "Hero", "Chivalrous", "Benevolent and Righteous", "Peerless Hero”. Under their praise, his body felt light, as if he was floating, he suddenly felt he possess the spirit of “Great Hero” and “Chivalrous Person”, he did not care for the gold, he only felt regret that AhZi did not hear these people immortalize him.

At once he set off and start picking up dried leaves, but he saw there’s many fierce python, he was scared of accidentally provoking these snakes and getting trapped by them, after thinking for a while, he gathered dried twigs and made a huge fire in front of him, he picked up one burning twig and threw it at the nearest python. He hide behind the fire, his body poised, if the snake rush towards him, he will immediately run and escape, whatever “Great Hero” or "Chivalrous Person", he didn’t care about it anymore.

The python is indeed afraid of fire, once it saw the fire burning, it released the XingXiu people and slithered into the bushes. You TanZhi saw his initial attempt was successful, along with the cheering of the XingXiu disciples, he lit several more twigs and threw them at the python. All the snakes started to flee, even the giant pythons can’t withstand the fire, it released its captives and slithered away. Moments later, hundreds of snakes and giant pythons all fled the scene, not a single one remained.

The XingXiu disciples celebrated and cheered loudly: "Master is extreme wise. Master has great foresight, the fire method is indeed the most effective."

"Master has great fortune, he turn ill luck into good!”

“Its all due to Master graceful manner, he directed with perfect ease. He saved out insignificant lives!”
 
They kept praising and piling credits on Ding ChunQiu, they did not mention about You TanZhi’s effort in freeing them.

You TanZhi stood rooted to the ground, he felt strange, he pondered: “Just a few moments ago you people curse your Master, but now you praised him to the heavens, and now you completely forgotten about me, what happen to the ‘Great Hero’ and ‘Chivalrous Person’?”

Ding ChunQiu wave his hand to beckon him over and said: “Iron-head guy, come over here, what’s your name?” You TanZhi was used to being humiliated, even though Ding ChunQiu was rude he did not care and reply: “My name is You TanZhi.” And he walk a few steps towards him. Ding ChunQiu said: “Are those beggars dead? Go check to see if they are still breathing.”

You TanZhi said: “Ok” he bend over his body and stretch out his hand to check the breath of a beggar, he didn’t feel any breath, the person was long dead. He tried another beggar, his breath also stopped long ago, he said: “All of them are dead, they are not breathing.” He saw the expressions of the XingXiu disciples are strange, they seem to be gloating at his misfortune. He did not understand the reason behind it, he repeated his words: “All of them are dead, they are not breathing.” After a while the smug look on their faces slowly died off, replaced by expression of shock and disbelief.

Ding ChunQiu said: “Go examine every single beggar, see if any one of them can be saved.” You TanZhi said: “Ok” he examined all the beggars, he shake his head and said: “All of them are dead. Elder’s skill is indeed formidable.” Ding ChunQiu smile sarcastically and said: “You poison- resisting skill is also formidable.” You TanZhi felt curious and said: “My… what…poison resisting skill?”

He was very puzzled, he did not understand the meaning of Ding ChunQiu’s word. He did not realize that when he checked the beggar for breath, it was the same as going to the gates of hell. When Ding ChunQiu was immobilized by the python, he could not escape and had to be rescued by You TanZhi, if news of this spread out he will definitely lose face, thus when the snakes left he immediately thought of silencing You TanZhi.
 
Unexpectedly, for the past few months, You TanZhi kept on practicing the [Tendon-Changing Sutra], the poison of the frost silkworm had also merged flawlessly within his body, thus the poison on the beggars could not harm him at all.

Ding ChunQiu pondered: “Looking at his skin and listening to his voice, his extremely young, he definitely won’t have any real skill or ability, mostly probably his carrying anti-poison pearl or some other treasures that repel poison, or he had previously consumed some miracle antidote.” He said: “Brother You, come over here, i have something to say.”

You TanZhi saw his speech was sincere, but he personally witnessed how he viciously killed all the beggars, his disciples also cursed and flattered randomly, he felt these people are extremely difficult to deal with and its best to stay far away from them, he said: “Junior has something to do, i can’t stay, i have to go now.” He cupped his fists and walk away.

He only walk a few steps, a light breeze swept past his body, both his wrist was caught by someone. You TanZhi raise his head, he saw the person was a large man from the XingXiu Sect. He did not know his intention, but saw him laugh grimly, he knew he was in trouble and cried: "Let me go!" and he gave a tug.

There was a whooshing sound over his head, a large body flew over his head, with a loud bang the body slam onto the opposite cliff, the skull was crushed immediately, the brain and skull mixed into a slurry.

You TanZhi saw the person slam the cliff with an extremely violent force, he found it hard to believe, he was even more astounded that the person was the one holding his wrist moments ago, he was puzzled: "This man is perfectly fine, why did he bang his head on the cliff and commit suicide? Is he mad?" He never suspected that when he gave a tug, his fierce strength threw the large man out onto the cliff.

The group of XingXiu disciple gave an “Ah” sound, their faces change color.
 
Ding ChunQiu saw the way You TanZhi threw his disciple, it was flimsy, not first-class skill, but the physical strength is highly unusual, he thought You TanZhi must be gifted with innate superhuman strength, but his martial arts is mediocre, his body flash and he extended his hand to push down on You TanZhi’s head. You TanZhi was caught off guard, he was forced to kneel on the ground, he tried to straighten his body to stand up but he felt as if a ten thousand pound stone mountain is sitting on his head, he could not move at all, he pleaded: "Elder please spare my life."

Ding ChunQiu heard him plead for mercy, he felt assured and ask: "Who is your teacher? You are really bold, how dare you kill my disciple?” You TanZhi said: " I …… I have no master, i dare not kill Elder’s disciple."

Ding ChunQiu did not want to waste time talking to him, it will be easier to simply kill him, he release his hand to let You TanZhi stand up, immediately he wave his palm and strike towards You TanZhi’s chest. You TanZhi had a huge shock and he hastily extended his right hand to deflect the palm. Ding ChuQiu’s palm was slow, You TanZhi extended his right hand and both their palms met. Ding ChunQiu wanted their palms to meet, he gathered his internal energy and sent it out together with the poison in his hand, this is his famous [Great Energy Dissolving Skill], the victim will either contract deadly poison, or sustain damage to his meridians and become incapable of exerting internal energy, the victim will feel as if all his internal energy is dissolved, the outcome is completely controlled by Ding ChunQiu. Ding ChunQiu killed countless people with this skill. When martial artists hear the word [Great Energy Dissolving Skill], they will feel great loathing and fear.

Both their palms clashed, You TanZhi’s body shook and he retreated 6-7 steps, he tried to stand his ground but was forced to sit down, but the opponent’s force did not dissipate, his arm hit the ground and his back also followed, his head also hit the ground and he somersaulted three times, he finally managed to stabilize himself and he kowtow and said: “Elder please spare my life.”

When Ding ChunQiu clash palms with him, he felt his internal energy is extremely strong, the energy possess a strange coldness which also contains deadly poison, although You TanZhi fell down pathetically, but the poison
 
palm from Ding ChunQiu can’t harm his opponent meridians, he can’t stop him from exerting internal energy, in terms of internal energy and poison, You TanZhi was not at a disadvantage, why the need to beg for mercy? Could it be that he deliberately ridiculed him? He walk a few steps towards You TanZhi and ask: “You are asking me to spare you life, is it the truth or your faking it?”

You TanZhi kowtow and said: "Junior is sincere, i beg Elder to spare my life."

Ding ChunQiu pondered: "I don’t know what strange encounter this man met, he accumulated more poison than me, his a rare treasure. I need to recruit this man find out how he how he practice his skills, and then absorb all the poison from his body, and then kill him. Won’t it be a waste if i just kill him like this?" He press his palm on You TanZhi’s iron head, channeled his internal energy and said: "Unless you accept me as your Master, else why should i spare you life?”

You TanZhi felt as if his head was being roasted, his face felt extremely hot, he was very scared. After being tortured by AhZi, he had long resigned himself to adversity, whatever good or evil, unyielding integrity, he forgotten all about them, he only hope to preserve his life, he quickly said: "Master, You TanZhi is willing to be your disciple, i beg Master to accept me.”

Ding ChunQiu was overjoyed and said: "You want me to be your Master, why not. But our Sect has many rules and regulation, can you abide all of them? Do you wholeheartedly accept my orders and never dare to defy?" You TanZhi said: "Disciple is willing to abide by the rules and follow Master." Ding ChunQiu said: "If i want to take your life, you are willing to give it up?" You TanZhi said: "This … this … … " Ding ChunQiu said: “Think through it properly, if you are willing just say you are willing, if you are not willing just say so.”

You TanZhi pondered: "You want to take my life, of course i am not willing. If it really reach such a state, then i will simply escape, if i fail to escape then even if i am not willing there’s nothing i can do about it." He
 
replied: “Disciple is willing to die for Master." Ding ChunQiu laugh and said: "Very Good, very good. Tell me all about your life experiences."

You TanZhi did not wish to talk about his life experiences or recent misfortune, he said his a farm boy, he was captured by the Liao during their raid and they put a iron mask on his head. Ding ChunQiu inquired about the strange poison in his body, You TanZhi only revealed how he met the frost silkworm and Monk HuiJing, how he stole the frost silkworm, he lied that he was accidentally bitten by the silkworm, thus his body was frozen solid and the silkworm just died, he did not mention about AhZi or how she use him to train her poison palm. Ding ChunQiu press for more details about the appearance and shape of the frost silkworm, his face revealed envy and admiration. You TanZhi pondered: "If i talk about the book with strange drawings, he will definitely snatch it and not return it.” Ding ChunQiu ask him about his strange martial arts but he did not reveal the truth.

Ding ChunQiu did not know about the martial arts of the [Tendon-Changing Sutra], he saw You TanZhi martial art was only mediocre, but his Yin-Frost internal energy is purely due to the miraculous effect of the frost silkworm, he cursed in his heart: "This divine silkworm, to think it was absorbed by some strange coincidence, its really a pity.” After thinking for a while, he ask: “The monk who captured this frost silkworm, his from MinZhong Temple in Nanjing?” You TanZhi said: “Yes.”

Ding ChunQiu said: "This HuiJing monk said the frost silkworm originated from the summit of KunLun Mountains. Very good, since 1 frost silkworm came from there, there must be 2 or 3 more. But KunLun Mountain’s radius is a few thousand li, without an experience guide to point the way it would be difficult to catch the frost silkworm." He personally experienced the divine effect of the frost silkworm, he felt it was even more valuable than the [Divine Wooden King Tripod], the prime task is to first capture Monk HuiJing and ask him to lead the way to KunLun Mountain to capture the frost silkworm. Monk HuiJing is from Shaolin, originally its a messy affair to mess with him but luckily his currently based in Nanjing and this makes it easier to capture him. At once he ordered You TanZhi to perform the rites and formally take him in as his disciple.
 
The rest of the disciples saw their Master especially attentive towards You TanZhi, naturally they heap tons of praises and tried to get into his good books. These bunch of disciples had openly curse their Master and surrendered to the enemy, Ding ChunQiu still have uses for them and thus he pretended to forget about their betrayal, moreover he had foresaw their betrayal and he was not too angry about it.

The group travelled north east. You TanZhi followed behind Ding ChunQiu, he saw his sleeves fluttering in the wind his footsteps light, he look like a god, he felt his admiration rising: "I have such an incredible Master, it’s really due to the good fortune accumulated by my previous life.”

They travelled for three days, on this afternoon, the group rested and quench their thirst at a pavilion, suddenly they heard the sound of horses, four people came riding on horses.

The four of them rode their horses near the pavilion, the person on the lead horse shouted: "Elder brother, second brother, there’s water in the pavilion, let drink a few bowls and let the horses regain their stamina." He dismounted from the horse and walk into the pavilion, the other three also dismounted. The four of them saw Ding ChunQiu and his group of disciples, they nod their head to show courtesy and walk to the vat of water, they use the clay bowl and scoop the water.

You TanZhi saw the first person dress in black, his figure thin and small, he has a moustache and he looked agile and brave. The second person is dress in yellow robe, his figure is thin but his stature tall, both his eyebrow slanted downwards, he look sickly and has a vicious expression. The third person is dress in red robe, his figure tall and sturdy, his ears big, he has a thick white beard, he look like a rich merchant. The last person is dress in green scholar robe, he look around 50 years of age, his eyes are narrow perhaps due to studying too much, he did not scoop the water but drank from his own wine gourd.

At this moment, a monk came walking with big strides on the road, he stop outside the pavilion, join both his hands together and respectfully said: "Benefactors, junior monk is thirsty, i wish to rest in the pavilion and drink a bowl of water." the black-robe person smiled and said: "Master don’t need
 
to be so courteous, we are all passers-by, this pavilion is not built by us, come in and drink some water." The monk replied: "Amituofo, thank you very much." He entered the pavilion.

The monk is around 25 years of age, dense eyebrows and big eyes, a big sinking flat nose, his appearance rather ugly, his monk robe had numerous cloth patch and is extremely clean. He waited for the three men to finish drinking before approaching the water vat, he scoop a bowl of water, press both his hands together and lowered his head, he respectfully said: "When Buddha gaze upon a bowl of water, he sees 84 thousand bugs, if i don’t chant this mantra i will be breaking my oath of abstinence from meat" he chanted the mantra: “Yan Fu Xi Bo Luo Mo Ni Sha He” after he finish chanting he drank the water.

The black-robe man felt curious when he saw it, he ask: "Little master, why are you chanting?" The monk said: "Junior monk is chanting the mantra for drinking water. When Buddha gaze upon a bowl of water, he sees 84 thousand bugs, monks are forbidden to kill, thus i have to chant this mantra before drinking the water." the black-robe man laugh and said: “Little master you really like to joke, this water is very clean, there’s no bug" the monk replied: "Benefactor you don’t understand. With our mortal eyes, you can’t see any bugs in the water, but with the divine eye of Buddha, he can see thousands of bugs in the water." The black-robe man laugh: "After chanting the mantra, you drink all the 84 thousand bugs into your stomach, the bugs won’t die anymore?" The monk hesitated and said: "This….this… my master didn’t teach me. Most probably they won’t die.”

The yellow robe man interrupted and said: “Not true, not true! The bug still has to die, but when little master chanted the mantra, the 84 thousand bugs will all go to heaven, little master drink a bowl of water and help 84 thousand soul find peace. Great achievement, great achievement!”

The monk did not know whether his words are true or false, both his hands held onto the bowl of water, he stared blankly and muttered: “Drink a bowl of water and help 84 thousand soul find peace? I don’t have such great powers.”
 
The yellow robe man stood beside the monk and took the bowl from his hand, he inspected the bowl and counted: "One, two, three, four, five, six,
……one thousand, two thousand, ten thousand, twenty thousand … Not true, not true! Little master, the bowl has 83 999 bugs, you counted 1 extra.”

The monk said: "Namo Amituofo. Benefactor you must be joking, you are a mortal how can you possess the divine eye?" the yellow robe man said: "So you have divine eyes?" the monk said: "I don’t have it." The yellow robe man replied: "Not true, not true! I think you have divine eyes, or else how would you know i am a mortal and not Bodhisattva?” the monk look at him to the left and right, his expression utterly perplex.

The big red robe man walk over, took the clay bowl and return it to the monk, laughing: “Master please drink the water! This brother of mine is only pulling your leg, don’t take it seriously.” The monk accepted the bowl and said respectfully: “Many thanks, many thanks.” But his heart felt uncertain and he did not drink the water. The big man said: “I saw little master footstep is sturdy, you possess martial arts, how should i address you, where did you become a monk?”

The monk put the bowl on top of the cover of the water vat, he bow and said: "Junior monk is Xu Zhu, i am from Shaolin Temple.”

The black robed man shouted: "Terrific, terrific! So you turn out to be an expert from Shaolin, come, come, come! You and i will spar!” Xu Zhu wave his hand repeatedly and said: “Junior monk’s martial arts is lowly, how would i dare to fight with sir?” the black robed man said: “I didn’t get into fights for many days, my hands are itchy, we are only sparing, its not a real fight, why are you so scared?” Xu Zhu retreated two steps and said: “Although junior monk practiced martial arts for a few years, but it purely for strengthening my body, i really can’t fight.” The black robe man said: “All the monks from Shaolin are experts in martial artists. Monks who just started learning martial arts are forbidden to leave the temple. Since little master is able to leave the temple, then you must be a top expert. Come, come! We will only spar for 100 moves, it doesn’t matter who win or lose.”
 
Xu Zhu retreated another two steps and said: “Benefactor you don’t understand, junior monk is able to leave the temple not because of my martial arts, but because the temple currently lacks people to deliver letters. Junior monk is force to help out in delivering the letters. Junior monk is to deliver 10 ‘Heroes Invitation Card’, my master ordered me to return immediately once they have been delivered, i am forbidden to fight, i had delivered 4 of the cards, i still have 6 cards with me. Benefactor you martial art is superb, please accept this invitation card.” He retrieved an oilcloth bag from within his bosom, he open the bag and took out a big red card, he respectfully presented it and said: “May i ask for your name so that i can account for it when i report back to my master.”

The black robe man did not take the card, he said: “You did not fight with me, how you know i am a hero or coward? Let spar for a few moves, i will accept this card after i beat you.” He took two step forward, his left fist made a false move, his right fist swung towards Xu Zhu. As he fist was about to reach Xu Zhu, he immediately held it back and shouted: “Quick retaliate!”

The burly red robe man heard Xu Zhu mentioned about ‘Heroes Invitation Card’, his interest was piqued and he said: "Fourth younger brother, there’s no hurry to compete, let’s take a look at what is on the invitation card." He took the card from Xu Zhu and saw the words written: “Shaolin Temple’s abbot XuanCi, respectfully invites heroes from all over the world to gather on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month, the Chongyang Festival, at Songshan Shaolin Temple to challenge the reputation of Gu Murong’s ‘Returning you with your own move’”

The burly man gave an “Ah” cry, he gave the card to the scholar beside him and said to Xu Zhu: “So Shaolin is holding this ‘Heroes Meet’ to challenge Gusu Murong family…..” the black robed man shouted: “Excellent, excellent, i am called ‘Gust of Win’ Feng BoE, i am the subordinate of Gusu Murong family. You don’t need any ‘Heroes Meet’, i will personally ask for advice from Shaolin expert now.”

Xu Zhu retreat another two steps, his left foot is outside the pavilion, he said: “So you are Benefactor Feng. My master told me, Shaolin Temple is requesting Mr Murong’s esteem presence at the temple, but we dare not
 
offend him. Its only that rumours been spreading around and many people have died in recent years under Gusu Murong’s divine skill in ‘Returning you with your own move’. My martial grandfather Master XuanBei died in Dali, we don’t know if it’s related to the Murong family, except for our abbot, everyone had suspicion in their heart, thus he….”

The black robe man interrupted and said: “This matter is not related to our Gusu Murong family, but you will most probably not believe me even if i tell you. Since we can’t fully explain the ongoing of this matter, we will settle through martial arts. Let’s do it this way, both of us will spar right now, it’s like drumming up support and setting the stage for the main show. On Chongyang Festival, i will then visit Shaolin Temple and fight every single challenger, joyful, joyful! But after going through 17-18 challenger i will most probably be heavily injured and immobile and won’t have the chance to fight with your abbot XuanCi, sigh i don’t have the fate, pity, pity!” as he finish he rub his firsts to get ready for the fight.

The burly man said: “4th younger brother, hold on, we will clarify first, its not too late to fight afterwards.”

The yellow robe man said: “Not true, not true. If we clarify the matter then there’s no need to fight. 4th younger brother, this is a good opportunity, if you want to fight you cannot clarify the matter.”

The tall and sturdy man ignored both his brothers and said to Xu Zhu: “I am Deng BaiChuan, the person over there is my second younger brother GongYe Gan.” As he finish he pointed at the scholar, then he pointed at the yellow robe man and said: “This is my 3rd younger brother Bao BuTong, we are all followers of young master Murong.”

Xu Zhu paid tribute to all four men, he said: “Benefactor Deng, Benefactor Gong…” Bao BuTong interrupted: “Not true, not true. My second brother surname is GongYe, you call him Benefactor Gong, that is wrong.” Xu Zhu quickly said: “Pardon me, pardon me! Junior monk is poorly educated, Benefactor GongYe please don’t be offended. Benefactor Bao….” Bao BuTong interrupted again: “Wrong again. Although my surname is Bao, but i have never given alms to monks or nuns in my entire life, thus you cannot address me as Benefactor.” Xu Zhu said: “Yes, yes. 3rd Senior Bao, 4th
 
Master Feng.” Bao BuTong said: “Wrong again. My younger brother Feng will fight with you later, no matter who win or lose, you will gain some experience, your martial arts will definitely have some progress, isn’t he making a donation to you?” Xu Zhu said: “Yes, yes. Benefactor Feng, junior monk really cannot fight. Monks should focus primary on cultivating inner self, martial art is secondary, it doesn’t matter if my martial art is lousy.”

Feng BoE sigh: “You don’t take martial arts seriously, your skill is most likely ordinary, there’s no need to fight anymore.” As he finish, he shakes his head repeatedly, his enthusiasm dulled. Xu Zhu breathe a sigh of relief, his expression joyful and said: “Yes, yes.”

Deng BaiChuan said: “Master Xu Zhu, this invitation card, i will accept it on behalf of my young master. My young master should have visited your temple a few months ago, could it be that he never came?”

Xu Zhu replied: “He didn’t visit. The abbot long for his arrival but he didn’t come, twice we sent our people to visit your residence, but we only heard that senior elder Murong had died and your young master had left the residence. This time, the abbot requested the Head-Monk of DaMo Hall to visit your residence in SuZhou to deliver the invitation card, he’s afraid that your young master is still not at home and he could only try to widely circulate the invitation card within the martial arts fraternity, i hope you can explain this indiscretion to your young master. When Benefactor Murong visits our temple next year, our abbot will personally offer his apology.”

Deng BaiChuan said: “Little master don’t need to be so polite. The appointed date is still a long time away, my young master will definitely visit ShaoLin Temple at the appointed date and pay his respects to the abbot.” Xu Zhu join his hands together and bow, he said: “Our abbot greatly welcomes young master Murong and all of you to visit ShaoLin Temple.”

Feng BoE saw Xu Zhu is outdated and overly formal, he didn’t have the least bit of passionate straightforward behaviour of martial artists, although he may be a monk, but he doesn’t look like a world renowned “Shaolin Monk”, he could not tolerate him and ignored him, he turn and look at Ding ChunQiu and his group of disciples. The XingXiu disciples all carried
 
weapons, obviously they are martial artists, Feng BoE should be able to select a few and fight with them.

When You TanZhi saw Feng BoE and the rest entered the pavilion, he immediately hide behind his master. Ding ChunQiu is tall and large and is able to hide him, Deng BaiChuan and the rest did not see his weird iron head. Feng BoE saw Ding ChunQiu was healthy in old age, he had an immortal aura about him and look like a top master, Feng BoE felt his admiration rising, but he still step ahead and challenge: “May i know the name of this elder?” Ding ChunQiu smiled and said: “My surname is Ding”

At this moment, Xu Zhu suddenly gave an “Ah” sound, he shouted: “Martial grandfather, you are here!” Feng BoE turn his head, he saw 7-8 monk travelling on the road, leading the group was two elder monk, two monks at the rear carried a stretcher and someone was lying on it. Xu Zhu quickly step out of the pavilion and paid his respects to the two elder monk, he also reported about Deng BaiChuan and his group.

The monk on the right nod his head, he entered the pavilion and said to Deng BaiChuan: “Old monk is XuanNan” he pointed to another elder monk and said: “This is my junior martial brother XuanTong, its fortunate that we get to meet four great virtuous people from Gusu Murong family.”

Deng BaiChuan and the rest has long heard of XuanNan’s reputation, his face was full of wrinkles, his gaze deep and clear, they quickly paid their respect. Feng BoE said: “Great Master is Head-Monk of Shaolin Damo- Hall, i have long heard of your divine skills, i wish to ask for some advice.”

XuanNan gave a slight smile and said: “Old monk and junior XuanTong receive the orders of our abbot to travel to JianNan’s Basin of Swallows, the residence of Murong family, to deliver the invitation card, this is the 3rd time our temple has send someone to the Basin of Swallows. But unexpected we met here by chance, our fate is really deep.” As he finish he took out a red invitation card from his bosom.

Deng BaiChuan accepted the card with both hands, he saw the words on the card: “Respectfully inviting Benefactor Murong from Gusu Basin of Swallows”, he knew the contents must be similar to the card delivered by
 
Xu Zhu, he said: “Both of you are eminent monks of Shaolin Temple, you enjoy great reputation in the martial arts fraternity, it’s a great honour for our Murong family to have you personally deliver the card. We have already gotten the invitation card from that little master, we should have responded quickly. On Chongyang Festival, my young master Murong will definitely pay his respects at Shaolin Temple, he will personally express his thanks to all eminent monks of Shaolin and clarify all misunderstandings.”

XuanNan pondered: “You said to clarify all misunderstandings, could it be that senior martial brother XuanBei was not killed by your Murong family?” suddenly he heard someone shout behind him: “Ah, Master, its him!” XuanNan turn his head, he saw a weird looking man point his finger at the stretcher, the man whispered something to the white-hair old man.

You TanZhi whispered to Ding ChunQiu: “The fat monk on the stretcher, he is the one who captured the frost silkworm, but i don’t know how he ended up being stretchered away by Shaolin.”

Ding ChunQiu heard this fat monk is the original owner of the frost silkworm, he was overjoyed and whispered: “You didn’t mistake him for someone else?” You TanZhi said: “No, his called HuiJing. Master look, his body is fat and his belly round.” Ding ChunQiu saw HuiJing’s belly is even larger than pregnant woman, with such a large belly, no one will ever forget it once they see it, they won’t mistake him for someone else, Ding ChunQiu said to XuanNan: “Great Master, i am a friend of this monk HuiJing, is he sick?”

XuanNan press both his hands together and said: “May i ask the name of Benefactor, how did you know my martial nephew?”

Ding ChunQiu pondered: “This HuiJing is with a group of Shaolin monks, this is very troublesome. Luckily we met him here, we can kidnap or seize him, much easier than trying to infiltrate Shaolin to capture him.” As he thought about the miraculous effect of the frost silkworm, he chest felt hot, he said: “I am Ding ChunQiu.”

As he said the word “Ding ChunQiu”, XuanNan, XuanTong, Deng BaiChuan, GongYe Gan, Bao BuTong, Feng BoE, all six of them
 
simultaneously gave an “Ah” sound, their expression became grave. The evil reputation of the Old Freak of XingXiu is renown throughout the world, they did not expect him to be a person with such graceful manner and elegance, even more unexpected is to be able to meet him at this pavilion. The six of them immediately became alert to guard against him.

XuanNan calm down in an instant, he said: “So its Mr Ding from XingXiu Sea, i have long heard of your name, it’s really well known.” He did not say “it’s fortunate to meet you” or other pleasantries, XuanNan thought: “Whoever meets you, it really their great misfortune.”

Ding ChunQiu said: “I don’t dare, Head-Monk of Shaolin Damo-Hall ‘Shifting Heaven and Earth within the Sleeves’, renowned all over the world, truly well known and respected. This monk HuiJing, i am looking all over for him, to think we can meet here, excellent, excellent!”

XuanNan’s eyebrows slightly narrowed, he said: “It’s unfortunate, martial nephew HuiJing did not obey the teachings of Shaolin Temple, he broke excessive rules. A year ago, he left the temple without permission and committed numerous evil. The abbot dispatch several people to look for him, after much effort they finally found him and now we are bringing him back to the temple. Mr Ding, you have met him before?” Ding ChunQiu said: “So his not sick, he was injured by you people, is he injuries serious?” XuanNan did not reply immediately, after a while he said: “He refused to accept the orders of the abbot, he even injure others.” XuanNan pondered: “If he associated with evil demons like you, he broke another great commandment.”

Ding ChunQiu said: “I was at Kunlun Mountain, i spent a lot of effort before capturing a frost silkworm, its an extremely important object, but it got stolen by monk HuiJing. I travelled from XingXiu Sea to Central Plains just to retrieve the frost silkworm ……”

He did not finish his words as HuiJing shouted: “Where is my frost silkworm? You seen my frost silkworm? I found the silkworm after much painstaking effort at Kunlun Mountain….you…you…you stole it?”
 
Ever since You TanZhi revealed himself by shouting out, Feng BoE kept looking and examining his iron mask, he did not bother about the conversation between XuanNan, Ding ChunQiu and HuiJing. He walk a few rounds around You TanZhi, he saw the iron mask was very well made, it cannot be remove from his head, he wanted to stretch out his hands to knock on the mask, after examining a while he said: “Hello friend, how are you!”

You TanZhi replied: “I….i am fine!” he saw Feng BoE was very energetic, jumping and moving around, he was scared. Feng BoE said: “Friend, this iron mask, how did you put it on? I have travelled all over the world but i have never seen such face mask before.” You TanZhi felt ashamed, he lowered his head and said: “This…my….this was not under my control, i did not put it on myself.”

Feng BoE listened to his pitiful plight, he was angered: “Who played this kind of joke on you? I will personally pay him a visit.” he stared at Ding ChunQiu, thinking that it must be the doings of the old man. You TanZhi quickly said: “No…no its not my master.” Feng BoE said: “You are a proper man, what’s the big idea in putting on this iron mask? Come, I’ll remove it for you.” He retrieved a dagger from his boots, the blade glimmered brightly, obviously its extremely sharp, he was about to use it to remove the mask.

You TanZhi knew the mask is stuck onto his face and the back of his head, its interlinked with his flesh and blood, his life will be in great danger if its forcibly removed, he quickly said: “No, no, you cannot remove it!” Feng BoE said: “Don’t be scared, this dagger of mine can cut through iron as if it was made of mud, i won’t harm your skin and flesh when i remove the mask.” You TanZhi shouted: “No, you cannot do it.” Feng BoE said: “You are scared of the person who put this mask on you, correct? When you see him next time, just say that Mr Feng forcibly removed it and its beyond your control, ask the evil person to come find me.” As he finish speaking, he held onto You TanZhi’s left wrist.

You TanZhi saw the dagger flash brightly, he was extremely shock and shouted: “Master, master!” he turn his head to seek help from Ding ChunQiu. Ding ChunQiu was standing beside the stretcher, his attention
 
focused solely on HuiJing, he did not hear his pleas for help. Feng BoE raised his dagger, he shave the iron mask with it. You TanZhi panicked and wave his right palm, he wanted to push him away, there was a “Pai” sound, he hit Feng BoE right in the middle of his left shoulder.

Feng BoE was preoccupied with shaving the iron mask, he feared he might slip and injure You TanZhi’s face, he did not guard against the palm. The strength in the palm was exceptional, Feng BoE groaned and fell down. He use his left hand to push off the ground and got back up, with a “Wa” sound, he vomited a mouthful of fresh blood.

Deng BaiChuan, GongYe Gan, Bao BuTong, the three of them saw You TanZhi’s sneak attack, their 4th younger brother had a huge disadvantage, they were extremely shock, when they saw Feng BoE deathly pale face they became even more worried. GongYe Gan took his pulse, the pulse was rapid and irregular, there seems to be a faint trace of poisoning, he pointed at You TanZhi and cursed: “Good kid, top disciple of the Old Freak of XingXiu, requite kindness with ingratitude, you use such vicious method to injure people.” He took out a small bottle from his bosom, remove the bottle cap and took out a detoxification pill, he fed it to Feng BoE.

Deng BaiChuan and Bao BuTong body flashed, they block You TanZhi and Ding ChunQiu. Bao BuTong secretly gathered internal energy in his left hand, his fingers formed a claw, he was about to grab You TanZhi’s chest. Deng BaiChuan said: “3rd younger brother, stay your hand!” Bao BuTong did not attack, his eyes shifted towards his elder brother. Deng BaiChuan said: “Our Gusu Murong family has no feud with XingXiu Sect, our 4th younger brother has good intentions in removing the iron mask, why did your XingXiu Sect injure him? I want to seek Mr Ding for clarification.”

Ding ChunQiu saw his new disciple only need 1 palm stroke to injure a good fighter from Gusu Murong family, XingXiu Sect thus commanded awe-inspiring authority, he was secretly pleased and admired the miraculous effect of the frost silkworm even more, he smiled and said: “Master Feng is brave and relentless, but he also likes to poke his nose into other’s business. This disciple of of mine likes to wear an iron mask, how did it obstruct your Gusu Murong family?”
 
GongYe Gan had supported Feng BoE into sitting position, but his whole body was shivering, his teeth chattering and grinding, it was as if his in a freezer, after a while, his lips turned purple, his face also gradually turn from white to green. GongYe Gan’s detoxification pill has miraculous effects, but after being consumed by Feng BoE, it seems to vanish without a trace and had absolutely no effect at all.

GongYe Gan was desperate, he place his hands near Feng BoE to check his breathing, suddenly a burst of cold air entered his palm, the chill penetrated into his bones. GongYe Gan quickly withdraw his hands and said: “Not good, why is the cold so powerful?” even the air exhaled by Feng BoE was so cold, the frost poison in him must be very serious, the situation is very dangerous, there no time to debate who’s right or wrong, he turn around and said to Ding ChunQiu: “My younger brother is poisoned by your disciple, please give us the antidote.”

The poison contracted by Feng BoE is the deadly poison of the frost silkworm, force out by the internal energy of You TanZhi’s [Tendon- Changing Sutra], not to mention that Ding ChunQiu did not have the antidote for it, even if he did had it why would he surrender it? Ding ChunQiu raise his head and laugh towards the heaven and shouted: “Ah Wu Liu Lu Gong! Ah Wu Liu Lu Gong!” and flick his sleeves, generating a burst of wind. Suddenly the XingXiu disciples all rush out of the pavilion and quickly ran away.

Deng BaiChuan and the rest of the Shaolin monks felt this gust of wind irritated their eyes, it’s really hard to bear and their tears rolled down endlessly, they could not open their eyes, they secretly curse: “Not good!” they knew Ding ChunQiu’s sleeve contains poison powder, with this flick of his sleeves, all the poison got scattered. Deng BaiChuan, GongYe Gan, Bao BuTong, all 3 of them block in front of Feng BoE, they were afraid the enemy might harm him. XuanNan shut his eyes and push out with his palm, it happen to hit the pillar of the pavilion, the pillar snapped immediately and half of the pavilion collapsed and came crashing down, roof tiles and mud rain down. Everyone struggled to open their eyes, Ding ChunQiu and You TanZhi had disappeared.
 
A few Shaolin monks shouted: “Where is HuiJing? Where is HuiJing?” it seems during the confusion, HuiJing was abducted by Ding ChunQiu, the empty stretcher covered the head of one Shaolin monk. XuanTong was furious: “Give chase!” and he rush out of the pavilion. Deng BaiChuan and Bao BuTong followed him and give chase as well. XuanNan wave his left hand and led the rest of the Shaolin monks to follow and provide assistance.

GongYe Gan was taking care of Feng BoE, both of them resting at the other intact half of the pavilion, GongYe Gan felt stinging pain in his eye, tears kept on flowing. He saw cold sweat seeping through Feng BoE’s forehead, after a while it became frost. As he was getting scared and anxious, he heard the sound of footsteps, GongYe Gan raise his head, he saw Deng BaiChuan supporting Bao BuTong, they walk quickly. GongYe Gan had a huge shock, he said: “Big brother, 3rd younger brother is injured?” Deng BaiChuan said: “He got poisoned by that iron-head man.” After a while XuanNan and the rest of the monks also return to the pavilion. XuanTong was leaning on Xu Zhu’s back, his teeth was making chattering sounds. XuanNan, Deng BaiChuan and GongYe Gan look at each other in fear, they were at a loss on what to do.

Deng BaiChuan said: “That iron-head man and 3rd younger brother clash palm, after that he also clash palm with Master XuanTong. We didn’t expect….didn’t expect the poison of XingXiu Sect to be so powerful.”

XuanNan took out a small box from his bosom, he said: “Our school’s [Six Solar Energy Pill] is effective in countering frost poison.” He remove the lid of the box and took out 3 blood-red pills, he gave 2 of them to Deng BaiChuan and fed the 3rd pill to XuanTong.

Using the time required to eat a meal, XuanTong and the other two men slowly combat the chill until it stop. Bao BuTong curse loudly: “This iron- head man, da….damn it, what kind of palm strength is that?” Deng BaiChuan said: “3rd younger brother, curse later, focus on channelling your energy.” Bao BuTong said: “Not true, not true! If i don’t curse now, once i die, i can’t curse anymore.” Deng BaiChuan smiled and said: “Don’t worry, you won’t die!” as he said this he press his palm on his back, on his ‘ZhiYan’ acupoint, he use his internal energy to help him drive out the frost
 
poison. GongYe Gan and XuanNan also use their internal energy to assist Feng BoE and XuanTong to drive out the poison.

XuanNan and XuanTong had deep internal energy, after a while, XuanTong gave a long sigh and said: “Its done!” and he stood up, he continued: “Such power!” XuanNan wanted to assist Bao BuTong and Feng BoE to drive out the poison, but the other party did not request for his help, if he carelessly tried to offer his help it might be seen as looking down upon their internal energy, this is seen as breaking of taboo in the martial arts franity.

Suddenly, XuanTong’s body swayed, his teeth start chattering again, he immediately sat down and channelled his internal energy and said: “Martial….martial brother, this frost…..frost poison is…..is very odd….” XuanNan quickly channelled his internal energy to assist him. The 3 of them circulated their internal energy continuously, the frost poison felt better for a moment, but it flare up again immediately, this went on until dusk, the three of them had already consume 3 [Six Solar Energy Pill], but the frost poison was not repelled at all. XuanNan brought 10 pills with him and his left with 1, he divided it into three parts and gave the three of them 1 each. Bao BuTong refuse to take it, he said: “Even if i consume 100 pills, it….it won’t….”

XuanNan was at his wits end, he said: “Benefactor Bao is correct, this [Six Solar Energy Pill] is not the correct remedy, our internal energy also can’t suppress this Yin-poison. In my opinion, we have to invite Divine Physician Xue, nickname ‘Enemy of King of Hell’, he can cured whatever difficult illness.” Bao BuTong said: “Great Master, you know the whereabouts of this Divine Physician?” XuanNan said: “Divine Physician Xue live in Ancestor-Willow Town at YangZhiXi, its not far from here. Old monk have met him many times before, if we go to him and ask for treatment he mostly probably won’t reject. Gusu Murong family is renown throughout the world, Divine Physician Xue long admires you, he will definitely be gratified if he can become friends with the four of you.”

Bao BuTong said: “Not true, not true. If Divine Physician Xue sees us all, he might not be gratified. Nevertheless, everyone is afraid of my young master’s ‘Returning you with your own move’, but Divine Physician Xue is not afraid. In the future, if the Divine Physician is dying, he only have to
 
find my young master and with his ‘Returning you with your own move’, his…..his…his old life can be saved.”

Everyone laugh out loud, they left the pavilion. They reach a small town and hired 3 carriages to let the three injured men to rest and recuperate. Deng BaiChuan also bought a few horses and gave them to Shaolin monks to ride.

After travelling for 4-6 hours, they group have to stop and assist XuanTong and the other injured men to combat the frost poison. Eventually, XuanNan did not have any inhibition and he used the divine skills of Shaolin to help Bao BuTong and Feng BoE to combat the poison. Although the route to Ancestor-Willow Town is not too far, but it pass through rugged mountain path and they had numerous delays, they finally reach the town at dusk on the 4th day. Divine Physician Xue lived within the remote mountain 30 li north of the Ancestor-Willow Town, luckily the Divine Physician explain the route in detail to XuanNan when they met at JuXian Manor. They group did not spend too much effort searching and they arrived outside the home of Divine Physician Xue.

XuanNan saw several large houses erected beside the river, there’s a huge medicine garden in front of the houses, he knew he had arrived at the home of Divine Physician Xue. He dismounted and step forward, he saw two large white lanterns hanging by the door. He was surprised: “The Xue family has a sick family member?” he rush forwards a few zhang, he saw a few sackcloth hanging over the door, a paper streamer to call back the spirit of the dead was inserted beside the door, it seems the family is holding a funeral. He saw two rows of words written on the paper lanterns: “The funeral of Xue MuHua, died at the age of 55.” XuanNan had a huge shock: “Divine Physician Xue can’t cure himself and hence he pass away, this is terrible.” As he thought about the passing of this old friend, from now on they are separated by the nether world, he cannot help but feel sentimental and sorrowful.

Following behind him is Deng BaiChuan and GongYe Gan, they came riding on horses, both of them gasp in unison: “Ah Ya!”
 
Suddenly they heard cries from within the house, its the widow: “My husband, you have divine medical skills, who would have expect you to contract this acute disease, you abandon me and left alone. Husband, although you are called ‘Enemy of King of Hell’, you still can’t beat the King of Hell, when you go to the nether world, the King of Hell will settle this score with you, you are in for a hard time!”

After a while, the 3 carriages and 6 Shaolin monks arrived. Deng BaiChuan dismounted and said loudly: “Master XuanNan from Shaolin Temple, along with some friends, we have some matters and seek the help of Divine Physician Xue.” His voice rang out like a large bell, the cries from within the house stopped.

After a while, an elder step out of the house, his dressed like a servant, tears flowing down his face, his is very sad, he beat his chest and said: “Old master died yesterday afternoon, you all…..you all can’t see him anymore.”

XuanNan press his hands together and ask: “What is the illness contracted by Mr Xue?” the old servant replied: “I don’t know, he just suddenly stop breathing. Old master provides treatment for others, whatever medicine he prescribes the illness will be cured….but….but….for himself….” XuanNan ask again: “Is there anyone left in Mr Xue’s family?” the old servant replied: “None, no one.” Deng BaiChuan and GongYe Gan gave each other a glance, they felt the servant’s tone did not contain any sadness when he said it. Moreover, they heard the cries of the widow just now. XuanNan sigh and said: “Life and death is predestined, please lead us to his coffin and let pay our last respect.” The old servant said: “This…..this…..ok.” he led the group and entered the house.

GongYe Gan was 1 step behind, he whispered to Deng BaiChuan: “Big brother, i think there’s something odd about this incident, that old servant’s behaviour is suspicious.” Deng BaiChuan nod his head and followed the old servant to the mourning hall.

The furnishings in the mourning hall is crude, some items were not place correctly, the spirit tablet contains the words: “Memorial tablet of Xue MuHua”, the words were strong and forceful, obviously its written by someone with deep learning, definitely not written by the old servant. Deng
 
BaiChuan noted all these details but he did not comment. All of them paid their respects before the memorial tablet. GongYe Gan turn his head, he saw over 10 clothes hanging on a bamboo pole in the courtyard, there is clothes for married woman and a few clothes for children, he thought: “Divine Physician Xue obviously had a wife and children, why did that old servant say there’s no one in the family?”

XuanNan said: “We came from afar to seek treatment from Divine Physician Xue, we never expect Mr Xue to pass away, this is really sad. It’s getting late now, we wish to stay for the night in your esteemed home.” The old servant look very reluctant, he said: “This…..this……en, fine! I invite all of you rest in the hall, i will go prepare the meals.” XuanNan said: “Housekeeper you don’t have to spend too much effort, simple rice and vegetables is enough.” The old servant replied: “Yes, yes! Everyone please sit down and rest.” He led the group to the outer hall, he then entered the inner hall.

After a long time, the old servant did not come out to serve tea. XuanNan pondered: “This old servant just experience the death of his master, its unavoidable that his confuse. Sigh, my martial brother XuanTong contracted this frost poison, how should we deal with it?” the group waited for over an hour, but the old servant still did not appear. Bao BuTong felt restless, he said: “I will go find some water to drink” Xu Zhu said: “Mr Bao, please sit down and rest. I will go help the old servant to boil the water.” He stood up and entered the inner hall. GongYe Gan wanted to examine the movements around the house, he said: “I will accompany you.”

Both of them entered the inner hall. The residence of Xue is quite large, they have five hall, but they did not see the slightest trace of a person’s persence. Both of them entered the kitchen but the old servant could not be found anywhere.

GongYe Gan knew something is not right, he quickly went back to the outer hall and said: “Something is not right in this house, i think Divine Physician Xue might be faking his death.” XuanNan stood up and ask: “What should we do about this?” GongYe Gan said: “Great Master, i want to examine the coffin.” The group rush to the mourning hall, he extended his hand to lift the coffin, suddenly he had a strange thought, he quickly withdraw his
 
hand, he took a shirt hanging on the bamboo pole and wrap it around his hands. He gathered his internal energy and lifted the coffin, he felt it was very heavy, the coffin definitely did not contain a corpse. He said: “Divine Physician Xue really faked his death.”

Feng BoE took out his blade and said: “Pry open the coffin lid and look inside.” GongYe Gan said: “This person is known as Divine Physician, his definitely an expert in poison, 4th younger brother, you have to be careful.” Feng BoE said: “I will keep that in mind.” He inserted the tip of the blade between the lid and the coffin, he push upward, there was a creaking sound and the coffin lid is slowly lifted. Feng BoE held his breath, his afraid poison powder might come out of the coffin.

Bao BuTong walk to the courtyard and caught two chicken, he return to the mourning hall, he raise his hands and threw the two chicken, the chickens crow loudly and move pass the coffin and landed in front of the memorial tablet. The chickens move towards the direction of the courtyard, but after a few steps it collapsed, their feet twitch a few times and it stop moving and died. The wind blew from the corridor, the feathers on the chickens all scattered and flew up in the air. Everyone was dumbstruck when they saw this. The chickens just died of poisoning and all its feathers immediately drop off, it can be said that the poison is really violent. No one dare to go near the coffin.

XuanNan said: “Benefactor Deng, what is the reason behind this? Why did Divine Physician Xue fake his own death?” as he finish he leap upward, his left hand grab the crossbeam, he look inside the coffin, the coffin is filled with rocks, within the rocks is a big bowl, the bowl is filled with clear water. This bowl of clear water is obviously the poison. XuanNan shook his head and jump down, he said: “Even if Benefactor Xue refuses to provide treatment, there’s no need to lay such elaborate trap to harm us. Shaolin had no grievance with him, this kind of behaviour, isn’t it unjustifiable? Could it be…..could it be…..” he said ‘could it be’ twice and shut his mouth, he thought: “could it be he has some huge grievances with Gusu Murong family?”

Bao BuTong said: “There no need for you to guess, my young master Murong has never met Divine Physician Xue, there’s no need to even
 
mention hatred or vengeance. If his our enemy, even if our poison is 10 times more unbearable, we will never come here and beg him for treatment. You think the one surname Bao and surname Feng is garbage?” XuanNan place his hands together and said: “Benefactor Bao is correct, old monk guess wrongly.” His an eminent monk, since his heart did suspect them, even if he did not say it out loud, he should still shoulder the blame.

Deng BaiChuan said: “Poison gas is filling the entire area, its not convenient to stay here, let’s go back to the inner hall.” The group went to the inner hall, they discuss with each other but still could not guess why Divine Physician Xue fake his own death and lay down the poison trap. Bao BuTong said: “This Divine Physician Xue is so vicious, let’s just use fire and torch this entire place down.” Deng BaiChuan said: “We can’t do that, Divine Physician Xue is still considered to be a friend of Shaolin, since Master XuanNan is here we cannot act rashly.”

Currently, the surroundings is pitch black, there’s no light in the hall, everyone is thirsty and hungry but they dare not drink the tea and water found in the house. XuanNan said: “Let’s go to a nearby farm house to ask for some water and food. Benefactors what do you think of this idea?” Deng BaiChuan said: “Yes. But its best that we don’t eat any food or drink within 3 li radius. This Divine Physician Xue put alot of effort in his schemes, he won’t stop at just putting a coffin, we will feel terribly apologetic if great master gets implicated again.” Although he and GongYe Gan knew the trouble was not caused by them, but the reputation of Gusu Murong’s ‘Returning you with your own move’ is simply too great, they made quite a lot of enemies in the martial arts franity, some relatives of Divine Physician Xue might have been accidentally killed and this blood- debt is place on Gusu Murong’s family.

All of them stood up and walk towards the front door, suddenly they saw bright light flashing in the west, a stream of flame dispersed and turn into green colour, it covered the entire sky and came raining down, its magnificent and beautiful. Feng BoE said: “Yi, who release this firework? Now is not the Lantern festival or the Mid-autumn festival, why are people releasing fireworks?” after a while, orange-yellow fireworks rise up to the sky, it look like thousands of flying stars colliding with each other.
 
GongYe Gan thought about it and said: “This is not fireworks, it the signal from the enemy to execute a surprise attack.” Feng BoE shouted: “Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Let’s fight to our hearts content!”

Deng BaiChuan said: “3rd brother and 4th brother, go wait in the hall, i will block the entrance, 2nd brother will block the rear. Master XuanNan, this matter does not concern Shaolin, please just stand aside and watch, there’s no need to help, our Murong family thank you for your great kindness.”

XuanNan said: “Benefactor Deng why are you saying this? Even if the enemy has some hatred towards you, there must be some truth and falsehood or misunderstanding, we have to be impartial, we cannot allow them to take advantage of your misfortune and rely on their numbers to win. If it’s the gang of people dispatch by Divine Physician Xue, they lay down this trap and tried to poison us, we share a common enemy, how can we stand by and do nothing? Everyone, prepare yourself to meet the enemy!” HuiFang, Xu Zhu and the rest of the monks agreed in unison. XuanTong said: “Benefactor Deng, i and your two brothers share the same poison, we should collaborate and repel the enemy.”

As they were talking, another two fireworks rise up into the sky, this time it was much nearer. After a while, another two fireworks appear, a total of six fireworks had been fired. The shape and colour of the fireworks were different, some look like a large pen, some look chessboard, some look like an axe, some look like large peony. After the fireworks had been fired, the sky was pitch black again.

XuanNan ordered the six Shaolin disciples to guard all four sides of the house. But after a long time, they did not hear any movement from the enemy.

Everyone held their breath and focus their attention, after the time taken to eat a meal, they suddenly hear a female voice singing to the east: “For days my eyebrows are unpainted, and my handkerchief soaked in tears. Since your Majesty cares nothing for me, why should I care for my looks? How can a mere chest of pearls bring solace to my lonely existence?”
 
When the voice finish singing the song, immediately it turn into the voice of a man and said: “AiYo, Lady Jiang, I have not seen you for a long time, i miss you very much, i bestow you a string of pearls, Lady Jiang please accept it.” After finishing, the voice turn into a female and said: “Your Majesty already have Consort Yang as your companion, you even abandon your court sessions, when did you ever place this ill-fated woman in your heart, sigh……” as she said this, she starting crying.

Xu Zhu and the rest of the monks are unfamiliar with worldly affairs, the person suddenly became male and female, not knowing what kind of trick it is, they felt miserable. Deng BaiChun and the rest knew the person was acting out the story between Emperor Ming of Tang and the Plum Consort, suddenly becoming Plum Consort, suddenly becoming the Emperor, the voice and tone remarkably accurate, but this person suddenly appear at this juncture, they have some misgivings and unsure about the person’s intentions.

The person said: “My lady, don’t cry, quickly prepare a feast, you will play the flute and i will personally sing a tune for you to relieve your worries.” The person’s voice change to a female and said: “Lowly concubine wash her face with tears every evening, i only hope to see your Majesty again, now that i get to see you again, i will die contented, goodbye, cough……
*cough*…..”

Bao BuTong shouted loudly: “I am An Lushan! Tang Emperor Li Longji, you are a muddleheaded emperor, quickly hand over Yang Yuhuan!”

The person stop crying immediately and gave an “Ah” sound, apparently he had a huge shock.

The surroundings is silent again.

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