Charging down the mountain, Zhang Wuji and the others saw fluttering flags at the base of the mountain. The one on the south carried a ‘Xu’ character, while the one on the north had a ‘Chang’ character. So they know that Xu Da and Chang Yuchun had arrived.
Xu and Chang, two men were originally stationed around the Huai Si River. This time they were just moving their troops to Henan when Budai Heshang [cloth sack monk] Shuo Bude arrived with the call for help. As soon as they learned about their Cult Leader was besieged by the enemy at the Shaoshi Peak, they deployed their troops night and day. By that time, around the Henan and Hubei, the Ming Cult army had fought the Yuan army for several years; with both sides occupying overlapping regions. Since they were not too far away and left as soon as they received the news, they managed to arrive in less than two days.
Xu Da and Chang Yuchun had been in command over the Ming Cult army for a long time; moreover, their troops were large, so they were able to drive the Yuan army to the west in no time.
The other force of ten-thousand Yuan soldiers was pursuing the heroes who pretended to escape from the Temple toward the western valley. Yu Lianzhou, Zhang Songxi and Yin Liting led several hundred warriors with outstanding ‘qing gong’ fighting and retreating into the valley. The Yuan army’s ‘wan fu zhang’ [leader of ten-thousand-man unit] saw that the three sides of the valley were all steep cliffs; the valley looked dangerous. However, seeing the number of the enemy was small, he thought that even if the enemy prepared an ambush there, they should be able to deal with it. Thereupon he signaled with his hand to order his troops to pursue closely into the valley.
As Yu Lianzhou and the others arrived at the bottom of the cliff, they climbed on several dozens long ropes, which were prepared in advance. As the ‘wan fu zhang’ realized they had fallen into the enemy’s trap, he quickly ordered his men to withdraw. To his shock, however, at the mouth of the valley they were driven back by volleys of fire, poisonous sand, arrows, and poisonous water; while the Ju Mu Flag dropped logs in abundance to seal up the entrance of the valley.
Meanwhile, the second defeated army was also driven to the valley. As they saw there was no way out, they ran all over the mountain and valley, scattered to all direction. Zhang Wuji and Xu Da arrived in close succession. “What a pity!” they cried; if they had planned it properly in advance, the second ten thousand strong troops would also be driven into the valley and destroyed completely.
Zhang Wuji did not anticipate the Yuan army would divide themselves into two groups, he also did not expect the reinforcement would arrive amazingly quickly. After all, commanding troops in the battlefield was not the same as being a Cult Leader. Although the Wumu Legacy contained marvelous military strategy, in the end, it was not easy to reconcile between the theory and practice. If Xu Da and Chang Yuchun did not arrive on time, the Shaolin Temple would inadvertently meet its doom. The first ten-thousand strong Yuan army, which was trapped inside the valley, would also be eventually rescued by their allies.
Xu Da immediately ordered his troops to move dirt and rocks to seal the mouth of the valley. He also sent his archers to climb up the cliff. Occupying the higher position their arrows shot down like rain into the Yuan army below. The Yuan troops were surrounded by the valley walls, they were powerless to retaliate and could only hide underneath the mountain rocks.
Not too long afterwards, Chang Yuchun’s troops arrived. He was extremely delighted to see Zhang Wuji after a long period of separation.
“Remove the dirt and the rocks,” Chang Yuchun yelled, “We are going in to wipe out the Tatars.”
Xu Da laughed and said, “There are no food and no water in the valley. Give them seven, eight days; the Tatars will die of thirst and starvation. Why must we, brothers, painstakingly fight with them?”
Chang Yuchun also laughed, “I always prefer to kill them with my own hands.”
Although Chang Yuchun was older than Xu Da, he usually submitted to Xu Da’s intelligence; also, he noticed that Zhang Wuji did not contradict Xu Da, so he did not press on.
Xu and Chang, two men were battlefield-trained; their orders were appropriate and to the point. Zhang Wuji realized his battle experience was inferior to these two, therefore, he asked Xu and Chang to be in charge in pursuing and killing the runaway Yuan soldiers.
That evening, joyous noise shook the Shaoshi Peak, as the Ming Cult rebel army [orig. ‘yi jun’ – righteous army, or militia] and the heroes from all schools and sects celebrate their victory. After several days in a row always eating vegetarian dishes in the Shaolin Temple, they grew tired of the food. Tonight, wine and meat were overflowing; everybody could eat to their heart’s content.
During the banquet, Zhang Wuji asked Chang Yuchun about his health; he wanted to know if Chang Yuchun diligently took the medicine he prescribed to nurse Chang Yuchun’s health. Chang Yuchun laughed aloud and said, “Jiaozhu, don’t worry. Lao Chang [the Ol’ Chang] is as healthy as an ox, on one meal I can eat three catties of meat and six big bowls of rice. During the battle, lack of sleep for three days and three nights will not harm me a bit.” His implication was that he did not need any medication. However, Zhang Wuji remembered what Hu Qingniu had told him; therefore, he earnestly implored him to take the medicine for his health. Chang Yuchun only gave him a non-committal answer, because in his heart he greatly disapproved Zhang Wuji’s advice.
Xu Da poured a cup full of wine to toast Zhang Wuji. “Congratulations, Jiaozhu,” he said, “Please accept this toast!” Zhang Wuji received the cup and drank the wine.
Xu Da said, “Subordinate has always admired Jiaozhu’s courage and wisdom in dealing with others, admired your peerless martial art skill. To my surprise, your military tactic is also marvelous. This is the great fortune of our Cult to the benefit of common people everywhere.”
Zhang Wuji laughed out loud and said, “Xu Dage, no need to flatter me. Our great victory today was first, due to the amazingly speedy arrival of Xu Dage and Chang Dage; and second, due to the Yue Wumu’s Legacy. Xiao Di [little brother] truly cannot take even a half part of credit.”
“What is the Yue Wumu’s Legacy?” Xu Da wondered, “I beg for Jiaozhu’s explanation.”
Zhang Wuji took a bundle of yellowish thin paper from his bosom. It was the Wumu Legacy, which was concealed inside the Tulong Saber. He turned the page to the ‘Troops Trapped on the Ox-head Mountain’ section and handed it over to Xu Da.
Xu Da received the book with both hands and read attentively for a moment. He could not help but be stunned and impressed and the same time. “Wumu’s ability in managing the troops was truly divine, truly unachievable by the later generation,” he sighed, “If Yue Wumu was still alive today, leading the warriors of the Central Plains, we would not worry about driving the Tatars back to the northern desert.”
While saying that, he respectfully returned the book But Zhang Wuji did not want to receive it. He said, “’The most revered in the Wulin world, treasured Saber slaughtering the dragon; ruling everything under the heavens, no one dares to disobey.’ The real meaning of these sixteen characters, only today did I finally understand. The so-called ‘the most revered in the Wulin world’ is not the Saber itself, but it is the Legacy concealed inside the Saber. When this military strategy is used to face the enemy, fighting a battle will result in victory, attacking will result in subduing the enemy. Ultimately, ‘ruling everything under the heavens, no one dared to disobey.’ Otherwise, how can one rule everything under the heavens with just a single treasured saber? Xu Dage, I am passing this military strategy book to you. I hope you will use the notes Yue Wumu left behind to take our country [orig. ‘he shan’ – river and mountain] back and set up a new emperor [orig. ‘huang long – yellow dragon].”