Master Gongsun of the Valley.
Fan Yiweng was furious when he saw Yang Guo pick a willow branch as a weapon, treating this as if it was a game and showing no respect towards him at all. He didn’t know that within the softness of the willow branch there was also toughness and that he was going to use the “Dog Beating Stick Technique” with it. Though it couldn’t compare with the bamboo treasure of the Beggar Clan, it was a lethal weapon that matched any precious sword or saber.
Ma Guangzuo said, “Brother Yang, just use my saber!” He took the saber out of the sheath and the blade glimmered; it really was a sharp blade.
Yang Guo saluted with his arms and laughed, “Thank you! This brother isn’t a bad person; it’s just a pity that he follows the wrong Master. His martial arts are poor and just a willow branch will be enough to beat him.” The willow branch moved forward and attached itself to the steel staff.
Once again, Fan Yiweng heard him insult his Master; he was thinking that this time it will be a life and death battle; he was not going to hold anything back. He waved the staff around which generated noises within the air and started to use his eighty-one stances of the “Spilling Water Staff”. The reason behind the name ‘Spilling Water’ is that no splash or spill of water can advance; the staff stances were extremely tight and unyielding.
At first, the staff was swift and powerful, but after a few stances, he felt that the staff was gradually moving towards one side. The head of the staff felt skewed and the wind generated by the staff was becoming weaker.
Yang Guo was using the “Dog Beating Stick Technique’s” ‘coil’ theory; the branch was attached to the staff head and when the staff moved to the east, the branch moved to the east; when the staff was flipped upwards, the branch followed; but at the final stage, his internal energy forced the staff to pull or push a little more in another direction and staff head moved out of the control of Fan Yiweng. This particular ‘coil’ formulae of the “Dog Beating Stick Technique” is derived from the advanced martial art theory of ‘four liang moving a thousand jin’, subtle and ingenious, this theory far exceeded the methods of ‘using force against force’ or ‘using the current to move the boat.’
The onlookers were becoming more and more surprised; they could not believe that the very young Yang Guo would possess such ingenious martial arts. They saw that Fan Yiweng’s staff was gradually becoming weaker while Yang Guo’s willow branch was becoming stronger.
Thirty stances later, Fan Yiweng’s staff was completely under the control of the willow branch; the more strength Fan Yiweng used, the more incontrollable the staff became. In the end, he felt as if he had entered an extremely strong cyclone, making him dizzy and dazed, completely losing his bearings.
Valley Master Gongsun’s hand came down on the stone table, and called out, “Yiweng, stand down!”
The noise created was thunderous, even Yang Guo’s heart skipped a beat; he thought to himself, “I can’t let him slip away.” He then shook his arm and changed to the ‘turn’ formulae; his body froze and his wrist kept on drawing circles, turning Fan Yiweng around like a spinning top. The faster that Yang Guo turned his hands, the faster Fan Yiweng spun; the staff in his hand acted like the handle of a spinning top. Yang Guo said, “If you can stop your feet and don’t fall, then you’re a man. But if your master can’t teach, then the disciples he teaches will trip up in battle.” The willow branch lifted upwards and he leapt backwards over ten feet.
Fan Yiweng’s body and mind were not under his control at this moment in time; he was stumbling, and after a few more turns, he would fall to the floor.
Valley Master Gongsun suddenly leapt up and palmed the head of the staff in midair and lightly came back down. That move he did appeared to be ordinary and light but there was a great force behind it; he had slammed the staff two feet into the floor and stopped it spinning. Fan Yiweng grabbed the staff tightly and didn’t drop, but his body was stumbling and swaying as if he was drunk, his bearings lost for the time being.
Xiaoxiang Zi, Yin Kexi and the others looked at Yang Guo, and then looked at Valley Master Gongsun; they now knew that these two people were definitely not easy people to deal with. They planned to watch this great battle from the side without interfering. Ma Guangzuo was the only one who had intended to help Yang Guo; he called out, “Brother Yang, great kung fu! Shortie has lost!”
Fan Yiweng breathed in deeply and steadied himself; he turned around and suddenly knelt down before his Master. He then kowtowed four times and without saying a word, suddenly ran towards a stone pillar.
Everyone was shocked; no one had predicted that his character was so fiery that after suffering a defeat he would kill himself.
Valley Master Gongsun called out, “Oh no!” He leapt up from his table and stretched out his hand to grab his back; but they were too far apart and Fan Yiweng was very quick, the Valley Master could only grab thin air.
Fan Yiweng used all his strength in his effort to run into the pillar but suddenly he felt his forehead going into something soft. He raised his head and saw Yang Guo with his two palms out standing in front of the pillar.
He said, “Brother Weng, what is the most painful thing in the world?”
When Yang Guo saw Fan Yiweng kneeling down to his Master, he knew that he was up to something so he prepared himself. He was close to Fan Yiweng and managed to get ahead of him, keeping him from the pillar with his palms.
Fan Yiweng was stunned, he asked, “What is it?”
Yang Guo said mournfully, “I don’t know myself. But the pain in my heart is ten times greater than yours yet I haven’t killed myself; why are you doing this?”
Fan Yiweng said, “You’ve won; what pain have you got in your heart?”
Yang Guo shook his head and said, “What’s so important about winning and losing in battle? I don’t know how many times I’ve been beaten in my life. When you tried to kill yourself, your Master worried about you. If I tried to kill myself, my Master would think nothing of it; that is a deeply hurtful thing.”
Fan Yiweng still did not understand. Valley Master Gongsun called out sternly, “Yiweng, if you have any more stupid thoughts then you’ll be disobeying the orders of your Master. Stand to the side and watch me take care of this scum.”
Fan Yiweng did not dare to disobey his Master and retreated. He stared at Yang Guo; he himself did not know what he felt towards him…anger, loathing, or respect?
When Xiao Longnu heard Yang Guo say ‘If I tried to kill myself, my Master would think nothing of it’; her eyes turned red and more tears fell from them. She thought, “If you died, do you think I’d still be able to live?”
Valley Master Gongsun had kept his eye on her all along and now he suddenly saw her tears once again; he was jealous and angry. He clapped his hands three times and called out, “Catch that little rat.” He looked upon himself highly, thinking that it was beneath him to fight Yang Guo. The two groups of disciples from the side responded. They stood in all directions and suddenly called out; each group of four held a fish net and they surrounded Yang Guo.