Fierce fight in Xiangyang.
Yang Guo was just about to take his dagger out and stab Guo Jing when he suddenly heard three light flicks on the outside window. He quickly shut his eyes and kept still.
Guo Jing immediately woke up alarmed and said, “Rong’er? Is there some kind of problem?” No more noises came from the window.
Guo Jing saw that Yang Guo was in a deep sleep and could hear his even snoring. He saw how easily he slept and didn’t want to wake him, so he got up from the bed quietly and went to the door. He opened the door and saw Huang Rong in the courtyard signaling him with her hand. Guo Jing went to her and said quietly, “What’s the matter?”
Huang Rong did not reply and lead him to the garden. She took a look all around before saying, “I heard you and Guo’er’s conversation. He’s up to no good, do you know that?”
Guo Jing was startled and asked, “He’s up to no good?”
Huang Rong replied, “I could tell from his words that he’s been suspicious of you killing his father.”
Guo Jing said, “He may be suspicious but I’ve promised that I’ll tell him all about the reasons for his father’s death in detail.”
Huang Rong said, “Are you really going to tell him everything?”
Guo Jing said, “I have always blamed myself for his father’s tragic death. Though Brother Yang Kang went down the wrong path, we did nothing to save him.”
Huang Rong gave a ‘humph’ and said, “How could he be saved? I just wished that I’d killed him earlier. If I had, would your Masters have died on Peach Blossom Island?”
When Guo Jing recalled this bitter event, he couldn’t prevent himself from heaving a long sigh.
Huang Rong said, “Brother Zhu sent Fu’er to tell me that there’s something odd with Guo’er and she told me how you two were going to sleep on the same bed. I was worried that something might happen and I have been on guard by the window all along. It’s better not to sleep in the same room as him. You should know that people’s thoughts are hard to fathom. His father… his father died from poison as a result of striking me on the shoulder.”
Guo Jing said, “It can’t be said that you killed him.”
Huang Rong said, “Both of us had the thought of killing him in our minds and in the end he did die because of me. Although we didn’t kill him with our own hands, there’s not much difference.”
Guo Jing thought deeply for a while and said, “You’re right. I won’t tell him about this. Rong’er, you’ve been up for half the night, quickly go back to your room and rest. After tonight, I’ll move to the camp.”
He knew that his wife’s wisdom exceeded his a hundred times and although he didn’t believe that Yang Guo had any ill intent towards him, he did as she said. He stretched out his hand and put his arm around her waist and led her slowly into the inner halls. He said, “Guo’er used every ounce of strength he had to take back the position of the Chancellor of Wulin for us. He knows what’s right and wrong when it comes to matters of the country; he risked his life in saving you and Fu’er twice; how can his father compare with his heroic nature?”
Huang Rong nodded her head and said, “Yes, this is something that’s wonderful to see in this young man, but he has two clouds hanging over him. One is the reasons for his father’s death and two, his relationship with his Master. I made Miss Long leave him but Guo’er seems to be all-knowing; somehow he found her again. From their expressions, it looks like they’ll never be separated again.”
Guo Jing kept silent for a while and then suddenly said, “Rong’er, you’re even more all-knowing than Guo’er; think of a way to stop Guo’er from going down the wrong path.”
Huang Rong sighed and said, “I don’t even know what to do about our daughter let along Guo’er. Brother Jing, I just have you in my heart and you have just me in yours. But our daughter isn’t like us; she has two men in her heart, she treats each of the Wu brothers the same. This makes things difficult for us parents.”
Guo Jing accompanied Huang Rong to her room and helped her onto her bed. He covered her with a blanket and held her hand, sitting by the bed waiting for her to go to sleep. The pair had been busy with defending the country and hadn’t had a chance to spend any quiet time with each other like this. The two looked at each other, in silence, in peace.
Huang Rong held her husband’s hand and brushed it gently across her cheeks. She whispered, “Brother Jing, you name our second child.”
Guo Jing laughed, “You know I’m not good at that; why are you making fun of me?”
Huang Rong said, “You still say that you’re not able. Brother Jing, there’s no one in the world that’s better than you.” She said these words with great sincerity.
Guo Jing lowered his head and kissed his loving wife on her face gently. He said, “If it’s a boy, we’ll call him Guo Polu, but what if it’s a girl?” He thought for a while and shook his head saying, “I can’t think of one, you think of a name.”
Huang Rong said, “Elder Qiu named you ‘Jing’ so that you would not forgot the shame of the Jing Kang years. The Jin have been destroyed but now the Mongolians are threatening us. This child is going to be born in Xiangyang; we’ll call her Guo Xiang so in the future she’ll remember that she was born in this city when it was surrounded by warring soldiers.”
Guo Jing said, “Good, but hopefully she will not be like her sister. She’s grown up now and she still makes us worry about her.”
Huang Rong smiled lightly and said, “It doesn’t matter if we have to worry but…” She gave a sigh and said, “I really hope that it will be a boy so that the Guo’s will have an heir.”
Guo Jing stroked her hair and said, “A boy or a girl; will it not be the same? Just go to bed, don’t think too much.” He pulled the blanket over her and blew out the candles. He returned to his room and saw Yang Guo in a deep sleep. The chime for the third hour could be heard. He returned to the bed and slept.
How would he know that when he was talking to his wife, Yang Guo was hiding behind the pavilion and heard every single word they said? When Guo Jing returned to the inner halls with his wife, Yang Guo stood there in a daze. His mind was repeatedly going over what Huang Rong had said, “I just wished that I killed him earlier… his father died from poison as a result from striking me on the shoulder… both of us had the thought of killing him in our minds and in the end he did die because of me.” He thought, “There’s no more doubts, my father died because of the two them. Huang Rong is really wily; she’s already suspicious of me. If I don’t make my move today then I don’t think I’ll ever get another chance like this.” He then returned to the room and slept on the bed quietly, waiting for Guo Jing to return.