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Ode to Gallantry Chapter 18

Chapter 18 - A Request
A’Xiu and Shi Potian came out of that stone prison and moved towards the hall.

Shi Potian asked: "A’Xiu, Everybody saw me and said that I am that Shi ZhongYu. Even Master Shi Qing and Madame Shi cannot distinguish between us but you actually haven’t admitted your mistakes?"

The face of A’Xiu suddenly whitened and she stopped at the same place. At this time both people were walking on a garden trail, A’Xiu puts out a hand to hold the a tree, the complexion of her face turned pale. She calmed down and said: "That Shi ZhongYu once tried to bully me, I was mad and threw myself down the cliff to commit suicide. Eldest brother, you actually took his place and came here. You have to kill him"

Shi Potian hesitated and said: "He is the beloved son of the Shi Qing couple and their only son; Master Shi Qing and Madam Shi were extremely good to me, I ...... I I can’t kill their son."

A’Xiu lowered her face, two lines of tears ran down her cheeks and she sobbed: "This is the first time I am asking you something and you do not consent ......You will also certainly bully me as my grandfather treats my grandmother. I ......I will go and tell grandmother and mother about this matter." As she said these words she covered her face and rushed ahead.

Shi Potian said: "A’Xiu…. A’Xiu…., listen my words."

A’Xiu sobbed and said: "If you do not kill him, I will forever ignore you." She didn’t stop and ran towards the hall.

Shi Potian too followed her in to the hall. He only saw that bright sword light was flashing in the hall, four people were fighting vigorously. He recognized that Bai Wanjian and three more people were fighting. He immediately noticed that actually three people with long swords in their hand were fighting together with a short old man in blue gown.
The moment he recognized the old man he called out: "Grandpa, how are you, I often think about you." This old man was the Skyscraping resident Xie Yanke.

Xie Yanke was right now besieged by three senior masters of the snow mountain sect and he was holding the three long swords without any weapons. Suddenly he heard Shi Potian calling and raised his eyes to look to him and cannot restrain himself to get shocked and called out: "What's wrong. How come there are two of them?"

When master fight then the result is often decided by a single mistake, how could one take his mind off and divert his attention? Xie Yanke getting startled was a no small matter, the momentum changed suddenly and the Snow mountain disciples got the opportunity. The three long swords immediately moved to seize the opportunity to stab his lower abdomen. All the three people executed a move called "racing camel and fine steed", the sword speed was quick and also ruthless and they saw with their own eyes that the sword point has bumped into his blue gown.

Shi Potian shouted: "Careful!" The moment he saw them starting their move Shi Potian shouted and leapt to hold Bai Wanjian by his left shoulder and stiffly pulled him backward for several steps.

He suddenly heard two clank sounds as Xie Yanke put forth his unique skill 'Green Needles Clean-Palm Technique' in the emergency. He waited for the two swords to come together and then with his right palm attacked the swords.

Although his palm strike was quick but his blue gown has been cut in to two from the front by those two swords. He turned over his palm and went on an all out attack on those two people. In a moment both of them were flying in the air non-stop and collided with the wall of the hall. The intensity was such that the roof of the hall shook and some thin bamboo started to fall resembling like a sudden downpour. Suddenly Xie Yanke heard a patting sound as Shi Potian let go Bai Wanjian’s shoulder; Bai Wanjian has actually hit him on his face backhandedly.
Xie Yanke looked at Shi Potian and then looked at Shi ZhongYu sitting at the corner and then again at Shi Potian. He was still surprised and could not decide, he said: "You You two people are entirely alike?"

Shi Potian was really happy and he said with extreme happiness on his face: "Grandpa, are you here to rescue me? Many thanks to you! I am fine, they have not killed me. Dingdang, Brother Shi, you also have come. Master Shi Qing and Madame Shi, you are not injured, I am extremely relieved! Master, grandfather have put on the foot shackles and handcuffs and is not willing to come out, he wants you to go to Azure Conch Mountain."

In a moment, he was thanking Xie Yanke, than he spoke to Shi ZhongYu the next moment he spoke to Shi Qing and then relayed Bai Zizai’s words to Grandma Shi. He said all these words jubilantly; people were really surprised to listen him speaking to so many people at the same time.

Xie Yanke was practicing ‘Green Needles Clean-Palm Technique' on the skyscraping cliff on the day when Bei Haishi arrived. He was actually trying to test the extent of his internal strength so he used up all his internal strength. In the meantime Bei Haishi came to the skyscraping cliff with eight skilled people. He said that he wanted to meet the leader of the Clan of eternal happiness. Xie Yanke refuted that he has any knowledge of the whereabouts of their sect leader and engaged in fight with Bei Haishi. However Xie Yanke had already exhausted his internal energy so couldn’t manage to win and instead withdrew back.

Although he retreated but one cannot say that he got defeated but he was bullied away from his sky scrapping cliff by these people. It was actually a great lifetime shame for him personally. He had exhausted his internal energy so there was no way he could have defeated Bei Haishi let alone the other martial art experts from clan of eternal happiness so he left the sky scrapping cliff.

However after careful consideration, he decided to perfect his ‘Green Needles Clean-Palm Technique’ and then only wanted to go to clan of eternal happiness. He thought that a true man can wait ten year for revenge and shouldn’t act on impulse therefore he went out-of-the-way and spent several month on practicing ‘Green Needles Clean-Palm Technique’. After
that he went to Zhenjiang and arrived at the clan of eternal happiness. He injured four of the disciples standing as guard and called the sect leader to see him.

In the meantime after Dingdang deceived Shi Potian and exchanged him with Shi ZhongYu, they wanted to go to some faraway place but unexpectedly clan of eternal happiness has people everywhere to look for their sect leader. In less than half day, they met some of them and were forced to go back.

Bei Haishi and others hereafter monitored his every movement really tightly, they thought that this boy at that time in front of those envoys spoke big words but now he is frightened and don’t want to go to island of heroes and might try to escape.

Dozens of people were always on guard and did not leave him out of sight day or night, no matter how crafty Shi ZhongYu was he was not able to sneak off again. Shi ZhongYu somehow managed to escape the disaster of Ling Xiao city but again he was trapped and now might have to go to island of heroes. Needless to say that he was quite worried.

He discussed this matter with Dingdang several times. The two people agreed that he can’t go to the island of the heroes in any case but it also has been hard to sneak off from the sect without drawing any attention.

For the time being Shi ZhongYu pretended to be Shi Potian. He was a quick-witted person but several people knew him well in the sect and he feared that they might recognize him eventually. However it might have been difficult for Shi Potian to disguise and pretend as Shi ZhongYu but it was actually hundred timed easier for Shi ZhongYu to pretend as Shi Potian. He has a guilty conscience after all, so he did not dare to behave haughtily like in the past and hid every day in the room and fooled around with Dingdang.

When some people came to ask his help about important matters, he will simply say yes…yes and ignored giving some suggestions.
The people from clan of eternal happiness only wanted this person to keep his appointment with the envoys of island of heroes and were glad that he is paying no attention and acted as they seem fit.

When Bei Haishi first went to skyscraping cliff to meet sect leader that day, he fought with Xie Yanke for three moves. Although he was worried in his heart but after fighting three moves he thought that the internal energy of this person is pretty average and the reputation he enjoys in this martial art world is actually incompatible, so he didn’t thought much about him afterwards. After that once he detected that Shi Potian is by no means Shi ZhongYu, as the matter stood, he has truly offended a master from the martial arts world for no reason at all and he felt really bad under his heart and had a feeling of compunction, but the invitation from the island of heroes was imminent and the sect didn’t had a leader so they have to do something.

Shi Potian was suffering from Yin and Yang energy streams and was getting unconscious every now and then so he took him with him and brought back to the clan of eternal happiness.

Earlier when Shi ZhongYu initially became the sect leader with the help of Bei Haishi by defeating Situ Bangzhu and forcing him to leave the sect in humiliation, he actually tried to run away after several days but was seized by Bei Haishi. Shi ZhongYu was imprisoned stark naked for several days to teach him a lesson that he can’t run away. However Shi ZhongYu eventually managed to escape again and hide in a brothel. Bei Haishi had suffered a great internal injury in his young days so he accumulated vast amount of medicinal and injury related knowledge so although he was not a physician but still he was called Physician Bei.

He actually saw the scars on the body of Shi ZhongYu in the prison so he imitated those on the body of Shi Potian when he was unconscious; one on his shoulder, one on his buttocks and another on his leg, they were not only alike but were in fact flawless. When Dingdang, his personal enemy Bai Wanjian, even the Shi Qing couple saw that; they couldn’t recognize.

Bei Haishi only needed Shi Potian until the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month and after that he himself would have taken the command of the sect.
Actually the appearance of Shi Potian and Shi ZhongYu was similar but there were big differences between these two people but after looking at these scars fabricated by Bei Haishi, these scars had a long lasting impression on their heart.

Still some people had doubt that Shi ZhongYu was such a suave person but this person is such a simpleton but the story of the serious illness and Shi Potian losing his memory was plausible enough to convince that Shi Potian was indeed the sect leader. It’s actually human nature that they believe something if they really want to…Ding dang wanted her as her lover, Shi Qing couple found their beloved son in him and Bai Wanjian his arch enemy.

It was such a shock for Bei Haishi that the two envoys of "Command of reward and punishment" actually managed to search Shi ZhongYu in a Yangzhou brothel and unexpectedly brought him back. All the scheming and plotting of Bei Haishi was suddenly in public. Although Shi Potian continued as the sect leader of the clan of eternal happiness and saved them from disaster, Bei Haishi didn’t came out with the truth and totally avoided the conversation about his involvement in this matter. So even though this matter of exchanging Shi Potian with Shi ZhongYu was hard to hide but the truth was not actually exposed.

That day Xie Yanke came to clan of eternal happiness to challenge them. Bei Haishi heard that he has already injured four of the guards. He thought that he shouldn’t be afraid fighting with this person and left the hall to meet him but also dispatched a person of inform sect leader about him.

Shi ZhongYu kept on refusing to come out and meet the challenge of Xie Yanke. Numerous disciples came one after another to give him the news and invite him.

One person said: "Master Bei and that person surnamed Xie are fighting a very fierce battle in the hall. Bangzhu, please come out and help him quickly!"

Another one said: "Master Bei has been hit on his shoulder by Xie Yanke and his left arm is not working."
"Master Bei tore off the sleeves but Xie Yanke actually seized the opportunity to hit his chest with his palm."

"Master Bei is coughing again and again; he is spurting blood from his mouth, if Bangzhu don’t help him than master Bei will lose his life."

"That person surnamed Xie is boasting that if the sect leader doesn’t comes out now then he will set fire and burn down the entire place!"

In the meantime Shi ZhongYu thought: "If he burns the clan of eternal happiness then what more can I wish , it will be better if this person surnamed Xie butchers all of you." But he was now in front of several people and they were all urging him to come out.

He couldn’t dodge that many people so eventually he braced himself and came out with numerous skilled people close to him. He thought that if die than at first all these people should die.

Xie Yanke was surprised to see him and immediately called out: "Gouzazhong …is it you."

Shi ZhongYu saw Bei Haishi severely injured, lying wearily nearby in his own pool of blood. When he saw the blood, he got frightened and said: "Everybody; be ready to fight, no one will retreat!" he was frightened but still managed to utter gingerly: "Come on master Xie."

Xie Yanke sneered and said: "Is very good, is very good! This boy has suddenly emerged as the Bangzhu of the clan of eternal happiness!"

However he couldn’t restrain his heart and thought all sorts of frightening circumstances this boy can lead him to. He sighed and thought in his heart with great disappointment: "this is really bad, really bad! This physician Bei and this Gouzazhong are both shrewd schemer. I had already taken the oath in the past that whoever will return the black steel symbol, I will fulfill his one verbal command, no matter what."

He actually received one symbol from this Gouzazhong and arrived on the skyscraping cliff and lived with him. He never expected that this person
will end up as the leader of the clan of eternal happiness. He thought that perhaps he will ask something which is helpful for his clan. Xie Yanke cursed himself: "you think you were really wise, coming directly to this place and unexpectedly walked into a trap."

If one person reads too much in an incident, then no matter what kind of incident it is he will think that he is going to be implicated and cannot restrain himself from worrying about it. A prisoner escapes from prison, he will find that everyone is just looking at him and someone will come out and try to apprehend him. Even if he sees a Taoist priest who has forsaken the worldly matters still he will think that he has recognized him and will try to get him arrested. If a young mea and woman are deeply in love, only if someone says an innocuous word but the other person misunderstands it and think about it then they will find numerous other reason to suspect.

Although a person is extremely intelligent, still this is unavoidable. Xie Yanke never forgot that he made a grave mistake by giving out those three black steel symbols and vowing to fulfill any command for each symbol, in the meantime he was a really moody person. When he looked at Bei Haishi icily staring at Shi ZhongYu he feared that they are in collaboration and could not manage to restrain himself and thought:" If he wants me to break both my hands than I will become a half-dead disabled person, how will it be good?" He imagined himself without his hands and cannot help but slightly shivered.

If he turned around and run away from the clan of eternal happiness and this Gouzazhong immediately then they won’t be able to catch up with him henceforth he just have to make sure that he never comes across this Gouzazhong. It might not be difficult to evade him but after this incident his reputation in the martial art world will be tarnished forever. He cursed on the day when he gave out those black steel symbols and vowed.

Who would have thought that Shi ZhongYu too was terrified in his heart but when he saw that strange look on the face of Xie Yanke, he didn’t seem like he has come here to murder him. Two people looked at each other for half a day but both didn’t flinch.
After a long time, Xie Yanke finally said in a fierce voice: "Good, I have received the black steel symbol from your hand, you want me to handle any matter for you, just mention in quickly. Whatever it is…even a highly difficult matter or a common one, just tell it."

Shi ZhongYu was shocked for a moment when Xie Yanke asked him to give a wish and he will fulfill it. He actually recalled that he had heard somewhere about the black steel symbol but when Xie Yanke himself proclaimed about this matter then he understood the matter. He already understood that Xie Yanke has mistaken him for that simpleton who he has sent to Ling Xiao city as a scapegoat. He also listened that Xie Yanke said that whatever the problem is, no matter how difficult, he will accomplish it. He thought that he can ask for large amount of wealth but thought that this person has high martial art skills, I should ask for something which should really help me. He cannot help but hesitated and looked a bit confused.

Xie Yanke saw him looking pleasantly surprised and said: "I have vowed that I will fulfill one command for that black steel symbol. There is not a single person in the martial art realm that I am afraid of. Gouzazhong, you have not died unexpectedly, it is your good luck. How did you manage to regulate the Yin and Yang energy streams?"

He thought in his heart, this boy was a really stupid, how did he manage to control the Yin and yang energy streams in his body. By now they should have attacked his internal organs and he should have been dead.

Shi ZhongYu listened him saying "Gouzazhong" and about the Yin and Yang energy streams. He knew that Gouzazhong was a kind of curse which people use all the time but didn’t have any knowledge about the Yin and Yang energy stream. However he did not showed neither approval nor disapproval and immediately showed a faint smile and thought in his heart: "That simpleton will reach the Ling Xiao city and reveal the truth to Old master Bai and Bai Wanjian, Once Feng Wanli will learn about this matter, why will he give up looking for me?" He thought about his rotten luck and thought that his life will be really difficult in this martial art world. This was actually a good opportunity to get rid of those snow mountain sect people. The strength of snow mountain sect and clan of eternal happiness is
almost same and we can’t defeat them directly. I should use this opportunity to get my redemption and be free from the snow mountain sect"

He said immediately: "Master Xie keeps his words; you are truly worthy of respect. Actually this matter I want master Xie to manage is really very difficult task and little shocking but the martial art skills of master Xie is unparalleled in the world, I am pretty sure it won’t be that difficult for you."

Xie Yanke heard him saying these words and felt relieved that he is not going to harm myself and just want me to do some other task and got happy. He asked hurriedly: "What matter do you want me to handle?" He was really anxious in his heart and did not notice at all that Shi ZhongYu was talking in a very elegant manner, which is entirely different with Gouzazhong.

Shi Zhong Yu said: "I asking with master Xie to go to Ling Xiao city and kill the people from the Snow mountain sect."

Xie Yanke was slightly startled; he thought that the snow mountain sect is a famous sect in the martial arts world. The power and virtue gentleman has good reputation and also is a big master who was not extremely easy to defeat but if he has to exterminate them all then it is easier said than done. But since the opposite party has gotten down to this topic then he has to do it no matter the difficulty. He said immediately: "Good, I will do that; I am leaving." As he said he turned around to leave.

Shi ZhongYu called out: "Master Xie hold on a minute!"

Xie Yanke has turned around, said: "What's wrong?" He suspected that Gouzazhong has giving this command for extermination of snow mountain sect is purely the idea of Bei Haishi and others. He was not aware of any enmity of clan of eternal happiness and the snow mountain sect and such a bitter hatred that they want to annihilate the entire sect. He only hoped that it’s better to depart early or he was afraid that this Bei Haishi will play some other clever trick.

Shi ZhongYu said: "Master Xie, I and you should go together; I must personally see you completing this matter!"
As soon as he listened that Xie Yanke has consented to exterminate the snow mountain sect; he thought of killing two birds with one stone. This way he will have a good opportunity to get rid of the clan of eternal happiness and snow mountain sect both.

Xie Yanke swore in the past that he will complete only one wish but Shi ZhongYu said that he will travel together with him, actually this was related to his earlier task so he couldn’t reject it, he said: "Good, you come with me too."

The people from clan of eternal happiness were all greatly anxious; they all looked at Bei Haishi.

Shi ZhongYu said in a loud voice: "I have already complied to proceed toward the island of heroes on invitation; this huge burden will be shouldered by me only. I will be there at the appointed time so everybody be relieved that I will not embarrass you all."

Bei Haishi was already severely wounded, any way he couldn’t expect to hold Xie Yanke and Shi Bangzhu. He had already heard him consenting to his verbal command, so trying to detain them was out of question. He only sighed and said: "Brothers......Help the Bangzhu for the journey, once
......Once ......he takes the road ...Subordinates ......Coughs ......please don’t follow him!"

Shi ZhongYu clasped his fist and put it across his chest and greeted them and then left with Xie Yanke.

Xie Yanke sneers and said: "Gouzazhong; you are a fool, you listened to that Physician Bei and asked me to exterminate the snow mountain sect, what is your enmity with them? You said that Physician Bei presented you the leadership of the sect but he only wanted you to go to island of heroes instead of him. You are foolish to believe on that group of deceitful ominous crafty gangsters. Why don't you ask me to do something more beneficial to you?"

Suddenly he thought: "Luckily he has not called me to take the leadership of the sect and go the island of the heroes in his place instead." Although
his martial rats skills were high, but the island of heroes was a dreaded place after all, as he thought of this matter, he was secretly rejoiced and ridiculed him: "Damn, finally I am fortunate, you Gouzazhong, if had intelligence of a bull….your grandfather might have extreme bad luck!"

At this time Shi ZhongYu had already issued the verbal command so Xie Yanke did not feared him any more and started to insult him dissolutely, If this boy wanted him to handle the second matter than he was not obliged to do that.

Shi ZhongYu on the other hand did not dare to talk too much; he greeted him with smile said: "This matter might offend many people."

He thought in his heart: "Damn, grandfather you are really lucky, this is really true, if your Gouzazhong had any intelligence than grandfather really would have been in trouble"

As they left the clan of eternal happiness; Dingdang too left the clan and joined them on the road and they all came to Ling Xiao city.

Although Shi ZhongYu was traveling with Xie Yanke but they didn’t talked much. Shi ZhongYu was afraid that he might recognize so didn’t talked to him. As they reached Ling Xiao city all three people steal into the Ling Xiao city. Shi ZhongYu had once lived in the city for many years, so he was familiar with each place and pathways. However the city had suffered some big change, there was no one to defend the important highways or the main gate and three people effortlessly entered the city.

Xie Yanke came across and killed four third generation disciple of snow mountain sect as he entered the gate. They heard the people discussing diversely, some were indignant, some were afraid, some wanted to run away, some wanted to plan to face this situation. Xie Yanke and Shi ZhongYu at once knew that Ling Xiao city is some sort of turmoil and there is some huge internal struggle, they thought that this is actually a heaven- sent opportunity. They suddenly heard that the Shi Qing couple has been captured too.
Although Shi ZhongYu had a poor character but still he loved his parents very much. He immediately got hold of those people and extracted the information about the place where they were kept. Xie Yanke after all had come to kill the snow mountain people so they all went to that place and killed several people of snow mountain sect and rescued Shi Qing and Min Rou and then arrived at the hall.

In the meantime Grandma Shi, Bai Wanjian, Shi Potian and others were in the stone jail talking to Bai Zizai. Xie Yanke actually wanted to kill each person as they come but Shi Qing and Min Rou advised vigorously against it.

Shi Qing said: "Is this a chivalrous behavior of a real man, if you want to fight then face the sect leader of the snow mountain sect "power and virtue gentleman". We husband and wife cannot kill the people of a later generation first and definitely not at this moment. If people in the martial art world will hear that they will say the skyscraping resident got perturbed in difficult situation and actually bullied the weak and fears the strong opponents."

Xie Yanke sneered and said: "I have to exterminate all of them in any case; it doesn’t matter if I kill the old first and then kills the younger ones."

As soon as Grandma Shi and Bai Wanjian and others got there, they started to fight. Although Bai Wanjian had good martial art skills but he was no match to the sky scrapping resident. In a few moves, he was surrounded by perils. Cheng Zixue and Liao Zimian earlier heard Xie Yanke proclaiming that he is here to exterminate the entire snow mountain sect and immediately went forward to attack and also help Bai Wanjian. It was now three against one; still all of them couldn’t block his swift and fiercely matchless ‘Green Needles Clean-Palm Technique’. When Shi Potian entered the hall, Grandma Shi and Liang Zijin were on the verge of joining the fight. Unexpectedly Xie Yanke was greatly surprise and the fight stopped.

Shi ZhongYu saw that the martial arts of Shi Potian was really good and quite different from his and feared that the snow mountain sect will try to
settle old matters with him. Shi Potian was also feeling awkward but saw A’Xiu safe and sound and felt relieved.

Although Dingdang adored Shi ZhongYu but also detested his relentless loose character, after spending so much time with Shi Potian and seeing his behavior in retrospection, actually she also secretly liked him.

By this time Shi Qing couple has understood that they actually came with Shi Potian to Ling Xiao city earlier. They were ashamed but could not control themselves to look the irony of the situation, they have already once admitting their mistake for not recognizing him correctly but now he has actually deceived them and pretended as their son.

The couple to shook their head and thought: "the Shi Qing couple can’t even recognize their son, they will become a big joke in the martial arts world, whenever they will run into the old friend in the future, they always be ridiculed for this incident."

They asked together: "Shi Bangzhu, why you did you disguised that sore throat and exchanged place with Yu’er?"

Grandma Shi heard Shi Potian saying that her husband is not willing to come out from the prison and actually asking her to go to Azure Conch Mountain, she hurriedly asked: "Who won in that fight between you and your grandfather? Why did your grandfather wants me to go to Azure Conch Mountain?"

Xie Yanke asked: "How are there two Gouzazhong? What is this matter?" Bai Wanjian shouted loudly: "Shi Zhong Yu, what is happening?"
Dingdang said: "You have not told anything yet…you haven’t revealed the secret, isn’t it?"

Several people asked Shi Potian questions after another and he didn’t who to answer first….he opened his mouth to reply but got confused?
He saw a middle-aged woman coming out from the back of the hall and asked A’Xiu: "A’Xiu, in between these two boys, which one is good, which one is bad?" This woman was wife of Bai Wanjian and mother of A’Xiu. When she heard about A’Xiu falling from the cliff, her mental state became unstable because of grief. When the first generation disciples like Qi Zimian, Liao Zili and others revolted, no one paid attention to her. This time when A’Xiu returned to the Ling Xiao city along with her grandmother, she first went to see her mother. She was the favored daughter and her mother sobered immediately after seeing that she is safe. Now when the hall was in confusion than he at this moment she opened her mouth to ask.

Grandma Shi called out loudly: "No one quarrel, if everyone will ask at the same time than how will this matter be resolved?"

As soon as the people listened o her, they calmed down. Xie Yanke sneered but also no longer spoke.

Grandma Shi said: "You reply me first, you and grandfather contend in martial arts; who won?"

The snow mountain sect people looked at Shi Potian, under their heart they were all worried. Bai Zizai was extremely arrogant, perverse and violent, although people were very discontented but if he lost to this youth then the reputation of the snow mountain send will be swept to the floor, this was also not a small matter.

They only heard Shi Potian saying: "Naturally, grandfather won, how I can match grandfather in martial arts? Grandfather said that he will teach me some shallow skills, he hit me about 70-80 fists and also kicked me about 20-30 times but I did not manage to hit even a single fist or kick."

Bai Wanjian and others felt relieved in their heart as they listened to him.

Grandma Shi narrowed her eyes and looked at him, she asked: "Why are you not injured?"
Shi Potian said: "Grandfather had shown mercy. Afterward he got tired and sat down on the ground; I saw his breathing was irregular so I helped him. At this moment he is excellent condition."

Xie Yanke sneered and said: "So that's how it is!" Grandma Shi said: "What did your grandfather say?"
Shi Potian said: "He said: I got crazy in my arrogance, and something about sin and grave, you go from this place quickly, I henceforth want to see no but only the wall, ask your grandmother to go to Azure Conch Mountain and leave the Ling Xiao city and never return again." He didn’t know some characters and idioms so gave his own version. Bai Zizai said "sin is grave" and "conceitedly" and "faces the wall to think of faults", he was unable to repeat but other people actually guessed correctly.

Grandma Shi got angry: "This old man, what is he talking? Why would I go to Azure Conch Mountain?"

Grandma Shi was called Xiao Cui when she was young because she was pretty like a flower. Several people in the martial arts world really adored her. Bei Zizai and Ding Busi were most outstanding of the suitors. Bai Zizai as always arrogant and Shi Xiaocui did not want to marry him but her parents settled on Bai Zizai because he was more famous and better martial arts. So she was finally betrothed to the leader of the snow mountain sect. At the beginning, Shi Xiaocui often quarreled with her husband and also complained about her own parents and even said that if she was married to Ding Busi then this thing might not be happening.

Actually the conduct of Ding Busi was more eccentric, he was far worse than Bai Zizai but as they say, the grass is always greener on the other side.

Shi Xiaocui sometimes just to annoy her husband used to admire Ding Busi and intentionally exaggerate his skills and within half a minute will actually spoke of his ten skills. Bai Zizai was always greatly irritated but actually had no alternative. This matter continued but soon she gave birth to Bai Wanjian. Shi Xiaocui raised her beloved son in Ling Xiao city and
afterwards never ever mentioned Ding Busi again for dozens of years. Bai Zizai also didn’t think about this matter and actually did doubt her.

Unexpectedly after getting to this old age, Grandma Shi left the Ling Xiao city after that incident with Shi ZhongYu and A’Xiu. Bai Zizai slapped her on her face so she rescued A’Xiu and didn’t return back in anger and proceeded toward the central plains and vowed to teach her husband a good lesson.

They were passing through Wuchang prefecture when unexpectedly they ran in to Ding Busi. Both people had bid their farewell in young age and after her marriage they never got the opportunity to meet again but the circumstances were a lot different this time. Ding Busi had in his foolishness never married throughout. He invited her to Azure Conch Mountain and stay their. Both people were around sixty years old so one cannot say that his sentiments were romantic in nature but Ding Busi never let go the disappointment of not marrying Shi Xiaocui and just wanted her to set her foot at the Azure Conch Mountain once and than he can rest in peace.

Grandma Shi resisted this idea but Ding Busi did not relent. He kept on striving and afterwards this matter actually dragged on for a long time. Grandma Shi got extremely angry, after all the discussion reached a stalemate, they fought for several moves. The martial art of Grandma Shi was inferior to Ding Busi but he did not want to hurt her. Whenever there was a crucial moment, he would always show mercy. Grandma Shi was mad and also anxious to match him. She was practicing some martial arts when she got some severe internal injury and Ding Busi caught them on the river boat unexpectedly with A’Xiu. She didn’t want to go to Azure Conch Mountain so she threw herself from the boat and tried to suicide. Fortunately Shi Potian was there and he helped them to save their lives. Afterward when she saw Ding brothers and Bai Wanjian in the Azure Mist Island, Grandma Shi was not willing to meet either of them as it would have been awkward so she took A’Xiu and ran away from that mountain.

Ding Busi hadn’t seen Xiaocui for dozens of years but after meeting her again he couldn’t brought her to Azure Conch Mountain because of her stubbornness. He said that he will do anything to get her to Azure Conch
Mountain at least once. He knew that the he has enmity with her husband but if he can capture him and bring him to Azure Conch Island then she will definitely set her foot on Azure Conch Mountain. Usually his relation with his elder brother was not that good but for this task he asked for his help and both brothers came to Ling Xiao city.

When Ding brothers arrived at the Ling Xiao city, Grandma Shi had not returned. When Ding Busi received this information that she is not there, he fabricated a story that Xiaocui had arrived on the Azure Conch Mountains and had stayed there for a lot of time. He was really sad that Xiaocui didn’t come to his place so and also that he couldn’t marry when the opportunity was there. Bai Zizai was his love rival and he really wanted to hurt him. Initially Bai Zizai didn’t believe that Grandma Shi went there but Ding Busi rephrased the words of grandma Shi in his own words and spoke in a convincing manner. Everything he told fitted perfectly and he couldn’t restrain himself from believing his lies. After some time they all started fighting and both parties got injured but Bai Zizai let them go and they immediately left the city.

Although the Ding brothers left but Bai Zizai took their word to his heart. He got extremely angry and the bitterness didn’t leave his heart. And he actually became more and more mentally unstable as the days went past and created havoc in the Ling Xiao city.

After Grandma Shi returned to the Ling Xiao city and saw her husband in such pathetic condition, in her heart she regretted her decision to leave and thought that his condition is partly because his arrogance and partly because of her leaving him. When she heard Shi Potian saying that at this moment he is sitting facing towards the wall and asked her to go to Azure Conch Mountain and never come back then she thought immediately: "We have been husband and wife and have arrived at such a old age, how can it be that I can bid good-bye again? He must be punishing himself in the stone prison; I will also accompany him there and will die with him in the same place." Suddenly she changed her mind and thought: "I can take hundred million knives to let go the position of sect leader but I have to go to island of heroes and keep the appointment. If I avoid this then how can I see my disciple to lose his life futilely and A’Xiu as a widow in such a young age?
This matter is hard to be satisfactory to both sides, but what else can be done? Oh, I have to think about this matter later first let us handle this old lunatic." And she turned towards him.

Bai Wanjian missed his father and wanted to go to him immediately but first his primary attention was towards his archenemy. The sect existence was in danger today and it was a matter of life and death, so he turned towards Xie Yanke to deal with him first.

Xie Yanke took a look at Shi ZhongYu and looked at Shi Potian, he was trying to distinguish who was actually Gouzazhong but was finding pretty hard. If he went by the manner in which they spoken then Shi Potian was most likely the Gouzazhong but when he compared the martial art skills and the ease with which he drew back Bai Wanjian, his martial art skills were really profound compared to Gouzazhong when he was at skyscraping cliff. He thought how can he acquire such a level of skills in such a short time? His face turned red and he shouted in great anger: "Out of you two boys, who is Gouzazhong?" When he shouted the lime mud and thin bamboos from the roof fell as he raised his hand to kill people.

Shi ZhongYu didn’t know that "Gouzazhong" (a colloquial abuse) was in fact the name of Shi Potian. He saw that Xie Yanke was extremely angry and might get violent. He thought that his plot to destroy the Snow mountain sect is anyway doomed. He reverted back to his original tendency to pass the blame on others and in the meanwhile wait for an opportunity to escape. He said immediately: "I am not, he…he is Gouzazhong!"

Xie Yanke stared at him and sneered, he said: "Aren't you really Gouzazhong?"

Shi ZhongYu looked at him and really got scared and said hurriedly: "I am not."

Xie Yanke looked at Shi Potian and asked: "Then you are Gouzazhong?"

Shi Potian nodded and said: "Yes, grandpa, you taught me how to practice martial arts, that day suddenly my whole body sometimes felt extremely cold and sometime really hot, the pain was difficult to bear and after that I
fainted. Once I awoke I recovered and lots of strange thing happened. Grandpa, how were you doing in my absence? Who was washing your clothes and cooking meal for you. I often worry about you, I thought that how are managing your daily chores without me, it must be really painstaking you." His words were full of sincerity and care.

Xie Yanke didn’t doubt him now and thought: "This dumb kid really cares for me." He turns his head to Shi ZhongYu and asked: "You pretend to be this person, actually you asked me to do all of this…. Hmmm…your courage is not small…courage is not small!"

Shi Qing and Min Rou saw that Xie Yanke was really angry, his face was flushed red with anger and it was apparent that he was offended that this boy has deceived him, In his uncontrollable rage, even if put a hand then their son will be dead in a moment. They immediately leapt together hurriedly and stood in front of Shi Zhong and blocked his body from his attack.

Min Rou said quickly: "Master Xie, you are an elder in the martial art realm, please forgive this young child, he is ignorant, I ......I will ask him to kowtow and accept his crime to you!"

Xie in Yanke was concerned that Shi ZhongYu has fooled him and didn’t care if Shi couple were pleading in front of him. He sneered and said: "Xie bullying a young boy, how many knocks do you think that I will need to settle? Draw back!" As he said these two words "draws back", he moved both his hands and attacked both of them vigorously. Although the internal energy of Shi Qing and Min Rou was not superficial but unexpectedly they couldn’t manage to keep their foothold steady and fell several steps back.

Shi Potian saw Min Rou getting hit and was frightened incomparably, tears flowed copiously and he hurriedly called: "Grandpa, you cannot kill him!"

Xie Yanke was accumulating his internal energy in his right palm and was just making a move to attack Shi ZhongYu. Shi Potian not only saved Shi ZhongYu but also about ten-fifteen people around him in the hall. As soon as Shi Potian shouted out and asking Xie Yanke to not do a task he immediately held and turned his head to ask: "Do you want me not to kill
him?" he thought that he might have to forgive this young boy but if that means that he will be free from the vow for black steel symbol then that will be a good deal. He looked at him with happy expression.

Shi Potian said: "Yes, this person is son of the Shi couple. Dingdang also likes him very much however ......however the behavior of this person is
not good, he bullied A’Xiu and likes deceiving people, he also did a lot of misdemeanors in clan of eternal happiness."

Xie Yanke said: "You said that you want me not to kill him?" Although his martial art was such outstanding but as he spoke these words, the sound was unexpectedly somewhat trembling in fear that Shi Potian might renege.

Shi Potian said: "Good, please do not kill him. However this person always injures someone, it will better if you take him with you and teach him and make him a better person…a changed man…a good person. I want you to take him with you. Grandpa, your heart is the best; you kept me with you for several years and taught me martial arts. Since I was not able to find my mother, I was totally dependent on you and you only raised me. So long as this Brother Shi is following you, you will take good care of him surely and will turn into a good person."

"Heart is the best"…Shi Potian said these four words to thank him but Xie Yanke actually cannot restrain himself from getting angry. He thought that he only said these words to deride him and his complexion turned red but as he saw Shi Potian his mind changed and he couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry.

He knew that the Shi Potian had said these words with complete sincerity; he recalled that for several years, only he and Shi Potian were living on the skyscraping cliff. He was actually cunning to him but Shi Potian was always innocent and did not ever suspect his real intention. He thought that earlier he never paid attention but this boy was concerned about how I am cooking my food and washing my cloths in his absence. After he lost his mother, he actually stayed with him. Xie Yanke just wanted to take advantage of him but now as those memories flooded back, he was actually deeply grateful to him that he has only asked him to teach Shi ZhongYu but he thought in his heart: "Dumb kid is talking nonsense, I am always
roaming in the martial art world and come and go freely, how can I tag along this lowly youth?"

He said: "I don’t consent to this matter, you want me not to kill this person, I have done that…now I am leaving. I say goodbye and henceforth we will never meet."

Shi Potian said: "No, no, grandpa, you…. If you don’t teach him well, he will deceive people or injure someone and finally will get killed by someone else and Madam Shi and Dingdang will again be sad. I ask you to teach him and take him with you, so long as he doesn’t become a good person, you cannot leave him. My mother taught me never to ask anything thing from someone however ......however this matter is really important, I must ask you."

Xie Yanke wrinkled his brow, he thought that this matter is kind of feminine and fussy; one can say that it is really difficult and the other hand one can also say that it is really easy too but if someone is not a good person by nature then how can he make him do the right things? This Shi ZhongYu is such a deceitful person that even if he is taught by Confucius, I am afraid one can’t say that he will be successful. If I agree for this matter then it will be a burden on my head until my death. He shook his head again and again, and said: "No...No…it won’t work, this matter I can’t agree to. You set this addition condition later….I can’t grant you that."

Shi Qing laughed suddenly and said: "I thought that skyscraping resident Xie Yanke will live up to his vow and will grant any command of the person who returned him the Black steel symbol. The black steel symbol was famous in the martial art realm for some reason. So many people lost their life for that symbol in Hou Jianji…it’s such an injustice to them."

Xie Yanke wrinkled his eyebrow and said fiercely: "What you want to imply manor master Shi?"

Shi Qing said: "This little brother asks you to teach my son. That Black steel symbol was handed over to you by this little brother on the same day in Hou Jianji and we husband and wife were the witness. Apart from us Brother Geng, Brother Wang and numerous brothers and sisters from the
Snow mountain sect witnessed it. I heard about the legend of this symbol and your reputation along with it suggested it’s authenticity but I am really surprised that when this little brother asked you to do a certain task then you are actually refusing?"

Xie Yanke got angry and said: "You have given birth to such a son, you have to teach him? He has disgraced not only himself but you and your entire family. If I would have been in your place then I would have already executed cleanly him!"

Shi Qing said: "My son is stubbornly disobedient; I was not strict enough that is why I was looking for a strict teacher but it’s really hard to find one! An able person like you can carve an ordinary stone in to precious jade."

Xie Yanke said in anger: "I will carve him with my belt, in less than three months I will carve a ghost out of him! Then I will see that who is the clever one here?"

Xie Yanke talked to them in this manner because he knew that if his own parents refuse to send Shi ZhongYu with him then Shi Potian can’t force him to take this boy. He thought that the Shi Qing couple were in a awkward situation and Shi Potian will eventually accept it as fate and will say: "fine master Xie, if that is the case then you are free from the promise and can leave." As he imagined that Shi Potian will say such words, he couldn’t restrain himself and smiled.

Min Rou looked with pleading eyes towards Shi Qing and could not restrain herself and called out: "Shishu!" She thought that sending their son with Xie Yanke would be more unfortunate than fortunate and wanted her husband to stop this matter.

Who would have thought Shi Qing won’t pay attention towards her and said: "In the martial art realm, if someone will ask about Xie Yanke then everyone will approve inarguably that he is a chivalrous person and tell that Master Xie is real hero and everybody respect him. Master Xie can renege on his oath…..this is not possible…it is not in the character of the famous skyscraping resident."
Xie Yanke only the smiled but did not speak. The complexion of Min Rou changed to red and she was suddenly really scared about her son.

Xie Yanke said to Shi ZhongYu: "Boy, you are coming with me; if you do not turn into a good person then grandfather will remove a layer of your skin every day."

Shi ZhongYu was really afraid and he looked at his father and mother with teary eyes. Min Rou too was afraid; she looked at Shi Potian and hoped that he will change his command.

Shi Potian actually said: "Brother Shi, you do not need to fear, Master Xie disguises himself as a very menacing person but in reality he is the best person. So long as you cook him a meal to eat, wash his clothes, grow vegetables, cut firewood and raise chickens, he will not even put a single finger on you. I have followed him for several years, he treats me exactly like as my mother and also taught me a lot of martial arts."

Xie Yanke listened him comparing him with his mother and cannot help but heaves a deep sigh and thought in his heart: "Your mother was a crazy woman, who names her own son "Gouzazhong". The entire martial art realm trembles with fear when hear my name and this stupid boy is comparing the skyscraping resident with that crazy woman!"

Shi ZhongYu couldn’t restrain himself and cried out: "You want me to wash clothes, to grow vegetables, cut firewood and raise chickens. You also want me to cook a meal for him every day, are you serious?"

Shi Potian also said: "Brother Shi, if the clothes of master Xie are torn then you also has to sew them. Master Xie also likes a lot of variety in his food so you have to keep switching; it will be best if you don’t repeat the same food within ten days."

Xie Yanke sneered and said: "Master Shi Qing and madam Shi, you two husband and wife were also looking for that black steel symbol in Hou Jianji and wanted me to fulfill one of your command. At that time perhaps you wanted to hire me to teach your son?"
Shi Qing looked straight towards Shi ZhongYu and stared him for a moment. Shi ZhongYu was really scared out of his wits as though his father has cornered him like a mouse in cat’s paw.

Shi Qing said: "Does not dare. Actually we husband and wife had big enmity with a person and that person had killed our other child. We wanted your help regarding that matter only. This person is henceforth in concealment after that incident and we have not seen him for years. We husband and wife have looked everywhere for ten years but haven’t been successful."

Xie Yanke said: "At that time if have acquired that black steel symbol then would you have asked for revenge?"

Shi Qing said: "to ask you to kill someone, I don’t dare but Master Xie is all-resourceful, we would have asked you to look up for that person’s whereabouts."

Xie Yanke said: "If that Black steel symbol would have fallen in your hands then I would have probably thanked heaven and earth."

Shi Qing bowed in front of him with his hands clasped and said: "My son has a character to deceive others, Shi Qing feels grateful for your limitless kindness. We husband and wife will burn incense and pray hereafter and hope that master has a long life." He said these words with utmost sincerity.

Xie Yanke said: "Fine…" he put out a hand to get his baggage and leapt in the air to reach Shi ZhongYu. He moved his left hand and grabbed Shi ZhongYu by his right wrist and jumped out of the hall. They all heard the sound of Shi ZhongYu screaming ….however the sound started fading quickly as they went far and away very swiftly.

Various people were looking at each other with amazement as this happened. Suddenly Dingdang came near Shi Potian and slapped him severely on his face and yelled: "Elder brother Shi…Elder brother Shi!" and started weeping.
Shi Potian caressed his cheek and said in consternation: "Dingdang, why do you hit me?"

Shi Qing picked up the cloth wrapper, untied it and bound the famous black and white swords of theirs. Min Rou did not look happy at all and in fact she was completely soaked in tears, she said: "Shishu…Elder brother….why did you let him take Yu’er? "

Shi Qing sighed and said: "Shimei, Yu’er had turned in to this kind of a person….do you know why?"

Min Rou said: "You ......You blamed me to favor him." As she spoke these words, tears again started to flow unceasingly from her eyes.

Shi Qing said: "You were too good to Yu’er, when a person should be firm during his formative years, you were actually completely submissive. I saw him in his small age, whenever he was stubborn or disobedient; you always obstructed me to punish him. In reality it is really hard to teach him, I hardened my heart to send him to Ling Xiao city but who would have thought that his nature is too bad, instead because of his deeds, we husband and wife are ashamed to face people of the snow mountain sect. master Xie is perfect teacher for Yu’er. This method is exactly like treating poison with poison, once he becomes a good person then you will feel relieved. The skyscraping resident handles affairs in a willful manner but he is actually a very fine person. This little brother wanted him to teach Yu’er, he will do that in the best manner possible, don’t doubt about his integrity."

Min Rou said: "But ......But, Yu’er is pampered since childhood, how he will cook a meal. " As she spoke these words, she again started sobbing.

Shi Qing said: "All these problems arise only because he was too much pampered in his childhood".

Suddenly they saw Bai Wanjian and rest of people moving outside the hall as someone informed about Grandma Shi and Bai Zizai. Shi Qing bent himself closer to his wife’s ear and said in a low voice: "If I have not send Yu’er away with master Xie then this matter was not that easy to resolve.
Snow mountain sect has great enmity with Yu’er; do you think they would have let him go so easily?"

Min Rou was swayed with maternal love towards her son and didn’t look at this matter in a rational way. Once Shi told these words, she realized the truth and felt relieved, she said to Shi Potian: "You have rescued my son’s life, I ......I really did not know to thank you. He has deliberately tried to harm and deceive you but you have always helped him….If I have you ......" she wanted to say: "If I have you as my son…it would have been such a fortune." But she couldn’t manage to say these words.

Shi Potian thought about Shi ZhongYu and saw that Min Rou loves her so much and cares for him, under his heart he actually envied him. Min Rou has twice mistaken him as their son and treasured him in every possible way; he didn’t had much memory of his own mother but his own mother never treated him with such love and care. On the other hand Min Rou was even ready to give her life for her son, he felt dejected as he thought about this matter.

Min Rou asked: "Younger brother Shi, how did you disguised as Yu’er and hid the truth from us all the way!"

The face of Shi Potian turned red and he said: "Dingdang did that      "

Suddenly Wang Wanren came breathlessly and called out: "No ......It is not good, we can’t find master anywhere."

The people in the hall were all startled, they asked together: "Where did he disappear?"

Wang Wanren only said: "Master has disappeared."

A’Xiu pulled the sleeve of Shi Potian and said: "Come with me quickly!"

Both people ran towards the prison anxiously. As they reached outside, they saw that the road was firmly crammed full of the snow mountain disciples. Various people saw A’Xiu and gave her way. Both people entered inside
and saw Bai Wanjian was supporting Grandma Shi and she was sitting on the ground.

A’Xiu called out hurriedly: "Father, mother and grandmother      How?
How are you injured?"

Bai Wanjian had murder written all over his face, he went mad and shouted: "Had that traitor attacked you mother, who else could have blocked your acupuncture using this technique. Father has killed so many disciples but now he has attacked you. I am going to look for father." As he was saying these words, he jumped outside to leave. He cleared the front row of disciples and pushed through layers of disciple to move out in big strides.

A’Xiu said: "Eldest brother, you help the grandmother and unblock her acupuncture."

Shi Potian said: "Yes!" he didn’t waste any time and quickly went behind her and put out his hand to unblock the acu-point using the technique once taught to him by Grandma Shi. After some time he was able to gradually unblock all three of the blocked acu-points.

Grandma Shi called out immediately: "Everybody calm down, there is no need for this chaos, the sect leader has blocked my acupuncture point, and he is gone now!"

As soon as the people listened these words, they were completely stunned, someone said: "master has blocked the acupuncture point with his own hands, no wonder elder brother Bai was not able to unblock."

At this time the people in snow mountain sect were really confused about who exactly is their leader. They didn’t usually call the leader by his name but they were also afraid that if that old lunatic is acknowledged as the leader then he will start the slaughter again. These husband and wife have to resolve this matter immediately.

Bai Wanjian heard about this and hurried back, he asked: "mother, what happened?"
He was really disgruntled. He was really confused and embarrassed by this matter of his parents and he thought that people should instead name him the "mad of northwest" but all this matter was because of his parents and he couldn’t vent his anger on them.

Grandma Shi said angrily: "You have not done anything….how can you blame your parents?"

Bai Wanjian said: "Child does not dare."

Grandma Shi said: "Your father said his goodbye to you all and left for the island of the heroes."

Bai Wanjian was startled, he asked: "To the island of heroes? Why?"

Grandma Shi said: "Why? Your father is the genuine leader of the snow mountain sect. if he does not go, then who else will go? I arrived here and said to your father that if he wants to imprison in this prison for rest of his life then I will also like to accompany him but I have to leave for island of heroes so I can’t.

He asked the reason and told him the details. He said: "I am a leader, naturally I will go."

I urged him to further consider this matter. He said: "I was unfair to the snow mountain sect, I have killed so many innocent disciples, those two physicians, I wish I wouldn’t have killed them. I will go for the snow mountain sect and redeem my big crime and save life of my son, wife, granddaughter, granddaughter's husband and numerous disciples." He put out his hand and blocked my several acupuncture points and took the bronze medals and went away."

Bai Wanjian said: "Mother, father is old; he is not well; how can he go? I am his son and I should go."

Grandma Shi said: "You arrived just yesterday…you still don’t understand your father." As she said these words, she went outside the room.
Bai Wanjian said: "Mother, you are you going too?"

Grandma Shi said: "I am the leader of the Golden Phoenix sect; I have the qualifications to go to the island of heroes."

Bai Wanjian was utterly confused, he thought: "Whoever goes to the island of heroes, no one comes back….they all die there…is that the end."

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