Refusing to acknowledge Zhang as husband.
Zhang Wuji woke up at daybreak the next morning and immediately jumped up a tall tree to scout the enemy movement. The enemy camp was bustling with activity; it seemed that they were going to launch an attack.
“Min Mei!” Zhang Wuji called.
“Mmm … what is it?” Zhao Min replied.
Zhang Wuji hesitated before saying, “Nothing, I just love to call your name.” Actually, he wanted to consult Zhao Min on how to repel the Yuan army, knowing full well that she was very resourceful; certainly she had some brilliant ideas. But then he thought, “She was a princess of the imperial court; she betrayed her father and brother to follow me. I think it is just too much to ask her to help me killing her fellow Mongolians.” Hence, he stopped himself when the words were just on the tip of his tongue.
Zhao Min noticed the change in his countenance; she knew what he was going to say. She sighed and said, “Wuji Gege, you are able to empathize with my painful predicament; I don’t have to say anything.”
Zhang Wuji went back to his room with a troubled mind of not knowing what to do. Absentmindedly he took the two bundles of book Zhao Min brought last night. He read several pages of the Nine Yin Manual; he also took a glance on the Wumu Legacy. Again, after reading several pages, he came across a title ‘bing kun niu tou shan’ five small characters [troops trapped on the Ox-head Hill]. His heart was moved. He read on and found that in this section, Yue Fei recounted his experience when his outnumbered troops were surrounded by the Jin army; how he escaped from the entrapment, how he deployed special force soldiers, how he launched a converging attack and seized an overwhelming victory, all kinds of plan explained in great details.
Zhang Wuji slapped the table, “The Heaven helps me!” he exclaimed. Slapping the book down, he started to think. The situation of this Shaoshi Peak was entirely different to the Niutou Hill where Yue Fei was trapped in the past; however, if he used the same tactics, there was no reason why he could not win by a surprise move.
His admiration grew as he pondered deeper; he thought that Yue Wumu was a Heaven-sent genius. Faced with such danger, an ordinary man would not think of such strategy. He also thought that troop’s deployment was just like martial art; if there was no expert giving guidance, no matter how smart or how dull, one would not think of such plan.
Dipping his finger into the tea cup, he drew the Temple map on the table. Although he fully realized the dangerous situation they were in, who could say that they would not be lucky and prevail against the enemy? Their side was few, the enemy was many; in the end, they would not score victory by marching out in neat formation and engage the enemy in an open battle.
Once his mind was set, he went to the Da Xiong Bao Dian [Precious Hall of Great Heroes] and asked Abbot Kong Wen to summon the heroes. In a short moment everybody had arrived.
Zhang Wuji stood up and said, “Presently, Tatars cavalry has gathered at the base of the mountain. Presumably, they will carry out a large scale attack soon. Although we have scored a small victory yesterday and have dampened their spirit, but if the Tatars pay no regards to their own lives and throng up the mountain, we will be hard pressed to withstand them. Zaixia [lit. under, the humble one] has no talent; it was by the heroes’ graciousness that I am elected to hold this temporary position as the commander in chief. Today we are united against a common enemy. I am asking everybody to obey my command.”
The multitude of heroes replied in one voice, “Please issue the order, we will follow, no one will dare to disobey.”
“Very well!” Zhang Wuji said, “Wu Qishi [Flag Leader Wu], receive my order!”
Rui Jin’s Flag Leader, Wu Jingcao stepped forward, bowed and said, “Subordinate is ready to receive the order.” While he was thinking in his heart, “Jiaozhu issues his first order to me. It is truly a great honor. No matter what kind of danger I will have to face, I will risk my life in doing it.”
Zhang Wuji said, “I assign you to lead your Flag brethren to hold the martial law. Whichever hero or warrior does not obey my order, the Rui Jin Flag’s lances and hatchets will be thrown into his body. This law also applies to seniors and elders of our own Cult, and Wulin masters and seniors. No exception.”
“Accept the order!” with a loud voice Wu Jingcao complied. He took a small white flag from his bosom and held it tight with both hands.
Both in terms of name and martial art skill, Wu Jingcao was not considered to be a first class Jianghu warrior, so previously, nobody regarded him too highly. But since the Five-Element Flags demonstrated their invincible might the other day, the multitude of heroes all knew that wherever this small white flag in his hand landed, it will immediately followed by the 500 feathered arrows, 500 javelins, and 500 short hatchets. Even if your skill is as high as the heavens, you will become mincemeat instantly. Therefore, seeing him unfolding the white flag, everybody’s heart shivered.
The reason behind this order was because when Zhang Wuji browsed through the Wumu Legacy, the first chapter started with, ‘The way to the successful training of troops starts with strict discipline.’ He knew these Jianghu warriors were proud people; each one was used to do what one’s thought right. Although individually they possessed strong martial art skill, fighting together unorganized, they were no different than a motley crowd. Without someone giving order to organize and restrain, forcing them to follow orders, there was no way they could resist the Mongolian elite troops. Therefore, his first order was to assign the Rui Jin Flag as the law enforcers.
Pointing his finger to the tall wall in front of the hall, Zhang Wuji said, “Gentlemen, Heroes, whoever excels in ‘qing gong’ and able to jump over that wall, please show your skill.”
Among the crowd of heroes, there were not a few whose face appeared dissatisfied; they thought, “What is this immaterial talk about telling us to show off our jumping ability?” Some senior masters felt that he was showing contempt toward others; they were not pleased at all.
Zhang Songxi stepped out from among the crowd and said, “I can.” And then he leaped over the wall and lightly landed on the other side of the wall. Wudang Pai’s ‘ti yun zong’ [cloud stairs] ‘qing gong’ enjoyed quite a reputation throughout the world. For someone with Zhang Songxi’s ability, leaping this wall was as easy as blowing off dust. However, he was not showing off at all, it was only an honest demonstration because he was following order. Thereupon Yu Lianzhou, Yin Liting, Yang Xiao, Fan Yao, Wei Yixiao, Yin Yewang and the other experts followed suit one by one.
Like butterflies flying over flowers the heroes jumped over the wall one after another. Some were showing off their ‘qing gong’ by performing all kinds of flowery styles midair. After more than four hundred people had leaped, it looked like nobody else was going to try.
This wall was indeed not low; without a good ‘qing gong’ it was not easy to leap over it. The multitude of heroes did not train the same martial art skill. Oftentimes they trained themselves well in fists and kicks or weaponry, so their ‘qing gong’ was ordinary. There were quite a number of Jianghu characters who made their names this way; naturally, they were not willing to show off their shortcomings.
Noticing that among these four hundred people there were about eighty to ninety Shaolin monks, Zhang Wuji thought, “Shaolin Pai truly lives up to its reputation as the number one school in Wulin. Just in ‘qing gong’ alone, they have many more masters than any other schools.” Thereupon he issued his next order, “Yu Er Bo, Zhang Si Bo, Yin Liu Shu, the three Uncles are to lead these heroes excel in ‘qing gong’ to bluff the enemy. You are to pretend to be escapees from the Temple, make the enemy troops to pursue you, and when you get to the back of the mountain …” And he detailed the next steps.