Secret order in an embroidered pouch.
Original translation by Foxs
Guo Jing accompanied Qiu Chuji and his eighteen disciples, among them were Li Zhichang, Yin Zhiping, Xia Zhicheng, Yu Zhike, Zhang Zhizsu, Wang Zhiming, and Song Defang. When they went out of the palace, they saw Huang Rong and the three elders, Lu, Jian, and Liang, as well as about a thousand Beggar Clan disciples all on horseback, waiting outside the palace.
As soon as she saw Guo Jing leave the palace, Huang Rong slapped her horse to move forward, smiling she asked “Is everything all right?”
Guo Jing smiled, “My luck is not bad; Qiu Daozhang [Taoist Priest] arrived just in time, changing the Great Khan’s mood to the better,” he said.
Huang Rong paid her respects to Qiu Chuji, then she asked Guo Jing again, “I was afraid the Great Khan would kill you in his wrath, I took everybody here ready to rescue you. What did the Great Khan say? Did he agree to cancel your betrothal?”
Guo Jing hesitated for half a day before replying, “I did not ask.”
“Why?” Huang Rong was startled.
“Rong’er, please don’t get angry,” Guo Jing said, “It was because …” Right then Princess Huazheng rushed out of the palace, loudly called out, “Guo Jing Gege [big brother – a term of endearment].”
As soon as she saw her, Huang Rong’s face changed immediately. She quickly mounted her horse and galloped away. Guo Jing was about to open his mouth to explain, when Huazheng pulled his hand and said, “Weren’t you surprised I came here? Are you happy to see me?”
Guo Jing nodded, he turned his head to see Huang Rong, but she had already disappeared. Huazheng only had her eyes to Guo Jing, she did not notice Huang Rong at all; she held his hand, laughing, giggling and telling him how much she missed him.
Guo Jing secretly groaned, “Rong’er must think it was because I saw Huazheng that I did not ask the Great Khan to cancel my betrothal.” He was silent and did not hear what Huazheng was saying.
A moment later Huazheng realized Guo Jing was in a daze, she was offended, “What’s the matter with you? I came from far away just to see you and you do not pay any attention to me?”
“Meizi [younger sister – term of endearment],” Guo Jing said, “I have a very important matter I need to take care of, we will talk when I come back.” Without waiting for her answer he assigned his personal guard to take care of Qiu Chuji, then hurriedly he went back to his camp, looking for Huang Rong.
His guard said, “Miss Huang came back to take the painting, then left toward the eastern gate.”
Guo Jing was startled, “What painting?” he asked.
“The painting Master Consort frequently looked at,” his guard replied.
Now Guo Jing really freaked out. “She took away this picture that means she really severed her relationship with me. No matter what, I have to go south to look for her.” Hurriedly he wrote a letter to Qiu Chuji, then mounting his little red horse he went out of town to pursue.
That little red horse was very fast; but Guo Jing was afraid he might not see Huang Rong anymore, so he kept urging the horse to run even faster. In a short moment they had covered more than ten ‘li’s, already at the outskirt of the city; soldiers and horses’ remains scattered everywhere. Another dozen or so ‘li’s later, all he saw was a vast open prairie covered with white snow. To his delight, there were horse’s tracks on the snow heading east.
“The little red horse is so swift that no other horse in this world is its match. A little more time and I should be able to catch Rong’er,” he thought, “I will take mother, then the three of us will go south at once. I don’t care if Huazheng Meizi would blame me.”
Another dozen of ‘li’s the track suddenly turned north, and there were human footprints beside the horse’s track. The footprints were really peculiar, since the distance between two feet was about four feet; also, the size of the feet were big, but sank into the snow only lightly, only a few inches deep. Guo Jing was startled, “This person’s lightness kungfu is excellent.” Immediately he recalled something, “There is no one other than Ouyang Feng who has this kind of ability. Could it be that he is pursuing Rong’er?” Thinking of this, even though the cold wind was blowing, he could not help but sweat all over. The little red horse was truly smart, somehow it knew its master was in distress; so without Guo Jing pulling the rein it immediately ran following the tracks.
Guo Jing saw the footprints were always right by the horse’s track. Several ‘li’s later both the track and the footprint suddenly turned west, and then turned south; turning and winding around, there was not a single section that was straight. Guo Jing thought, “Rong’er must have found out Ouyang Feng was chasing her, so she tried to shake him off. But the track is imprinted clearly on the snow, Old Poison won’t have any difficulty following her.”
Another dozen of ‘li’s or so, the footprint and the horse track intermingled, they were overlapping another set of footprint and horse track altogether. Guo Jing dismounted the horse to look closer. He was able to tell which set was made earlier and which set was made later. Looking both sets of tracks stretched out far on the snow he suddenly realized something, “Rong’er must have used her father’s ‘qi men zhi shu’ [strange/wonderful/mysterious gate technique]; deliberately winding around to the east and circling to the west to confuse Ouyang Feng. Once he lost her track, she came back to her original route.”
He stood back up, his heart was happy and anxious at the same time; happy because he knew most probably Ouyang Feng would not be able to overtake Huang Rong, anxious because of the confusing horse’s track he also lost his trail. Standing on the snow he thought, “Rong’er went in circle, but eventually she must be heading east. I have to pursue to the east then.” Leaping to his horseback, he looked to the sky to find his bearing then he rode to the east.
After speeding for quite some times, the horse’s track indeed reappeared. He saw in the distance, where the blue sky met the snowy plain, a shadow of a person. Guo Jing urged his horse to run even faster and saw that the person was indeed Ouyang Feng. By now Ouyang Feng had also recognized Guo Jing, he called out, “Come, quick! Miss Huang has fallen into the quicksand.” Guo Jing was shocked, his legs squeezed his horse, and the little red horse shot like an arrow forward.
When he was still about a dozen ‘zhang’s away from where Ouyang Feng was standing, suddenly he felt his horse’s hoofs no longer tread on a solid ground, as if under the white snow was some kind of marsh. The little red horse also felt it was stepping on a softer ground, hurriedly it pulled its leg and sped forward. Guo Jing brought the horse in a big circle and came back, only to see Ouyang Feng continuously running around a small tree.
“Is he doing some kind of black magic?” Guo Jing wondered. He pulled his rein to stop the horse because he wanted to ask a question; who would have thought that his little red horse did not want to stop, but sped forward and circled back. Guo Jing realized immediately, “Turned out underneath the snow is a soft-mud marsh; we will sink down as soon as I stop.” But then his blood froze, “Is it possible that Rong’er fell into this marsh?”