Three golden needles.
Yang Guo brought about the reunion of Zhou Botong and Yinggu, allowing Ci’en to die peacefully and managed to obtain the Nine-tailed Fox. Through his efforts he performed three good deeds in a row and was very happy and he went back to the Beastly Mountain Village with Guo Xiang and the Divine Eagle.
The Shi brothers saw Yang Guo carrying two foxes in his arm and were very happy and grateful, immediately slitting a fox’s leg to draw its blood. Shi Shugang consumed the blood and exercised his internal energy to recuperate.
That night the Beastly Mountain Village threw a banquet and invited Yang Guo to be the guest-of-honour, serving him dozens of exotic dishes like bears’ paws which outsiders could never have the chance to taste. They also took out a big plate and piled it up with delicious food for the Divine Eagle to eat.
The Shi brothers and the Xishan Ghosts never mentioned their gratitude to Yang Guo as they had already promised themselves in their minds, that since Yang Guo spared their lives, should he have any problems they would gladly give up their lives to help him. During the banquet they talked loudly, discussing the latest news in Jianghu.
Ever since Guo Xiang met Yang Guo, she was extremely delighted, but now she did not utter a single word, silently listening to their conversations. Yang Guo occasionally glanced at her and saw that her face was troubled, but he assured himself that it was because they had just rushed about continuously for the past few days, so it was natural that she was tired. He never expected Guo Xiang to be troubled over their impending departure after such a short meeting and hence was feeling depressed.
After drinking a few bowls of wine an ape outside suddenly screeched loudly, and caused many other apes to shriek as well. The Shi brothers’ faces became rather grave. Shi Mengjie said, “Brother Yang, Xishan guests, please remain seated, I’ll go check it out.” He then hurriedly ran outside.
They all knew a strong foe must have come to their forest, but seeing the many martial experts gathered here, they need not be afraid even if the foe is very highly skilled. The Fairy Ghost said, “It’d be best if it’s that Prince Hou Du that’s here, we can all fight him together to help Third Brother Shi get back at him.”
Before he finished saying, they heard Shi Mengjie say, “Who is this visiting our village in the middle of the night? Please stop there.” Then a female voice was heard, saying “Is there a big-headed shortie around here? I want to ask him where on Earth he has taken my sister.”
When Guo Xiang heard it was her sister who was here, she was shocked and happy; but when she saw Yang Guo’s penetrating gaze and strange expression, she felt strange and swallowed back the “Sister!” she wanted to call out.
Then they heard Shi Mengjie angrily say, “You are a rude woman, why are you not answering my question and instead causing a commotion here?”
Guo Fu shouted, “Out of my way!” There then came the clash of weapons as the two began to fight with Guo Fu trying to force her way in and Shi Mengjie trying to keep her out.
Yang Guo had last seen Guo Fu at the Passionless Valley (Jue Qing Gu) more than 10 years ago; now, as he heard her again, he felt a hundred emotions surge through him. Then the clashing sounds of weapons got further and further away as Shi Mengjie managed to draw her away.
The Big Head Ghost said, “She’s heading in my direction. I’ll go meet her.” He then dashed out of the hall, followed by Shi Jiqiang and Feng Yiweng.
Guo Xiang stood up and said, “Big Brother, my sister is here to find me, I’ve got to go.”
Yang Guo was shocked and said, “That… that is your sister?”
Guo Xiang said, “Yeah. I wanted to meet the Eagle Hero, so that big headed Uncle brought me here. I… am very happy…” She did not finish saying this and lowered her head and quickly stepped outside.
Yang Guo saw a tear drop fall into the wine cup and thought, “So she was the baby, she has grown so big now. She came to find me in the middle of the night, she must have a problem, but why doesn’t she mention it? She looks kind of troubled, I must not ignore it.” He swiftly moved out of the hall and chased her. She was about to enter the forest so he strode several large steps and caught up with her, saying, “Little Sister, if you have any problems, just say it.”
Guo Xiang smiled, “No, nothing. I’m OK.” The pale moonlight was shining on her fair and refined face and Yang Guo saw clearly the tear drops in her eyes, so he soothingly said, “So you are Hero Guo and Madam Guo’s youngest daughter. Did your sister bully you?” He thought since Guo Jing and Huang Rong were very capable and their name was well-known throughout the Central Plains, they should have no difficulty solving her problems. Most probably it was Guo Fu being overbearing, obnoxious and bullying her little sister.
Guo Xiang laughed, “Even if my sister bullies me, I’m not afraid of her. If she scolds me, I argue with her, and anyway she wouldn’t dare lay her hands on me.”
Yang Guo said, “Then why did you come to find me? Tell me.”
Guo Xiang said, “At Fenglingdu I heard the people talk of your heroic deeds. I was full of admiration and wanted to meet you; I’ve got no other intentions. Tonight during the banquet I remembered the phrase ‘tian xia mei bu san de yan xi’ (天下没有不散的筵席, there’s no meeting without a parting) and my heart became heavy. Who knew that before the banquet is over I… already have to go.” Her voice was now cracking.
Yang Guo’s heart quivered, remembering that on the very day she was born he carried her and fought fiercely with the Golden-Wheel Monk (Jinlun Fawang) and Li Mochou. Then he remembered how he and Li Mochou caught the leopard to feed her with milk. Then he took her into the Ancient Tomb and took care of her for a while. He never expected that when he met her again, she would already be a graceful young lady. As he reminisced about the past, he could not help but feel strongly about the matter.
After a while, Guo Xiang said, “Big Brother, I have to go now! I need to trouble you for a favour.”
Yang Guo said, “Just say it.”
Guo Xiang said, “When will you and your wife be reunited?”
Yang Guo said, “The start of winter this year.”
Guo Xiang said, “When you meet her, please send a message to Xiangyang and let me share your joy.”
Yang Guo was very grateful and thought that, although this lady and Guo Fu have the same mother, their characters were worlds apart. He asked, “How are your parents?”
Guo Xiang replied, “They’re fine.” She suddenly thought of a wish and said, “Big Brother, when you meet your wife, please come to Xiangyang and visit me, OK? My parents and you are the heroes of the times; they will surely want to see you.”
Yang Guo said, “When the time comes we shall see. Little Sister, about our meeting – please do not mention it to your sister… hmm… don’t mention it to your parents either.”
Guo Xiang was curious and asked, “Why?” Then she remembered that when the people were talking about the Eagle Hero at Fenglingdu her sister slighted him, so perhaps they may have some grudges, so she said, “OK I won’t say anything.” Guo Xiang smiled sweetly and said, “You treat me very well. Sister often tells people that she’s Hero Guo and Madam Guo’s daughter, I feel embarrassed for her. Although our parents are famous, we don’t have to keep on saying it all the time. But if I say the Eagle Hero is my big brother, my sister can’t imitate me.”