The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 13

A gust of wind blew over and little waves of water clashed gently against the boat. Huang Rong swung her arms freely and started singing (skipped the lyrics) a song entitled ‘The water dragon’s hum” which talks about life on the lake. She finished singing the first part of the song before resting a little. Guo Jing noticed tears in her eyes and was just about to ask her the meaning of the song when suddenly, they heard a melancholic voice singing the exact same song Huang Rong was singing earlier, except that it was the second part of the song. When they looked out, it seemed like the fisherman was the one singing the song. His voice sounded was somewhat forceful yet poised. Guo Jing did not understand what both of them were singing but thought that it sounded very nice. However, when Huang Rong heard the song, she looked stunned.

Guo Jing asked, “ What’s the matter?”

Huang Rong answered, “ My father often sings this song, I didn’t expect a common fisherman to know it too. Let’s check it out.”

Both of them rowed the boat over only to see the fisherman keep his fishing rod and rowed his boat forward. When both boats neared each other, the fisherman asked, “ To think me fortunate enough to meet such special guests, can I invite you in for a drink?”

Huang Rong thought his speech sounded composed and refined, she was secretly curious, and answered, “ We are afraid to bother senior you.”

The fisherman laughed, “ It’s not easy to meet such special guests, but since we meet by chance on the lake, we should treasure it, please come over.”

The two boats sailed even closer. Huang Rong and Guo Jing rowed the boat behind the tail of the other boat and crossed over to greet the fisherman.

The fisherman greeted them whilst being seated and said, “ Please be seated. I am crippled and so can’t stand up, I apologize for any inconvenience.”
Guo Jing and Huang Rong said, “ It’s alright.”

Both of them sat down and observed the fisherman. He looked about forty years of age, had a rather thin face, and looked as if he were ill. He was very tall and even though he was seated, he was still half a head taller than Guo Jing. The servant at the tail of the boat began warming up some wine.

Huang Rong said, “ My older brother’s surname is Guo, whereas junior here is surnamed Huang. I was excited for a moment and started singing in the middle of the lake. But, I haven’t offended senior have I?”

The fisherman laughed, “ I am fortunate to be able to listen to such a clear voice. My surname is Lu. Little brother, is it your first time touring this lake?”

Guo Jing answered, “ Yes,”

The fisherman ordered the servant to bring out some dishes and wine for the guests. Although the four dishes were nothing compared to Huang Rong’s cooking, it tasted good too and the wine cups and dish plates looked very unique, and no doubt belonged to some precious collection.

Three of them started drinking. The fisherman said, “ Just now I heard little brother here singing the song ‘The water dragon’s hum’ which has such perfect lyrics. It is such a surprise that little brother here, though so young in age, is still able to comprehend the deep meanings of the words.”

When Huang Rong heard his matured tone, she gave a little smile and said, “ Ever since the Songs moved south, song writers often write sad songs for the country.”

The fisherman nodded in agreement. Huang Rong continued, “ The song ‘The six cities’ dedicated to Lake Zhang Yu has the same meaning.”

The fisherman started singing the lyrics, “ When people pass by, one would cry tears of loyalty and anger…”

He drank up three cups of wine and engaged in conversation with Huang Rong. Actually Huang Rong is just a young girl and did not experience any real sorrows caused by one’s country. She did not really identify with the deep meaning of the lyrics. It’s just that she listened to her father explain the meanings before and thus used her father’s explanation which was a very refined and sophisticated one, awing that fisherman, who could not help but give praises to Huang Rong. Guo Jing listened in one corner and did not understand a single word, but he was delighted upon hearing the fisherman praise Huang Rong. After chatting awhile, he saw that the landscape had paled and the mist surrounding the lake had thickened.

The fisherman said, “ My area of residence is just by the lake, if both don’t mind, I would like to invite both of you there for more discussions.”

Huang Rong asked, “ How about it, Brother Jing?”

Guo Jing hadn’t had a chance to speak when the fisherman said, “ My house is built amongst the backdrop of beautiful hills, since both are touring the countryside, why not drop by for a visit?”

Guo Jing saw that he looked honest and earnest and thus answered, “ Rong’er, we’ll thus have to impose on Mr Lu.” The fisherman was delighted and implored the servant to row the boat back home.

When they reached the lakeshore, Guo Jing said, “ We will have to return the boat first and collect the two camels.”

The fisherman smiled and said, “ I’m acquainted with everyone here, I’ll just hand this task to the owner of the boat.”

With that, he gestured to the servant. Guo Jing said, “ I think I’ll collect the camels since I’m more rough.”

The fisherman said, “ If you insist, I’ll wait for your arrival at my residence then.” With that, the boat rowed off and disappeared into the distance.

The servant followed Guo Jing and Huang Rong to get the things done. He got a large boat from one of the villagers, which had enough space to fit the camel as well. Six hardy fishermen rowed the boat for some distance before the front of a village came into view. They stopped the boat at the jetty, which was made of green stone. When they arrived on shore, they saw a cluster of small houses, which formed a huge manor. They crossed a large stone bridge and arrived in front of the manor. Guo Jing and Huang Rong looked at each other, as they didn’t expect a fisherman to live in such a luxurious place. Before they could reach the main entrance, they saw a man who looked about twenty years of age come up to them. About six servants followed behind him.

The youth said, “ My father had sent me to receive his guests.”

Guo Jing and Huang Rong made grateful gestures. They noticed that he wore a long robe and had similar facial features as the fisherman, except that he looked stronger and well built.

Guo Jing said, “ May we know brother Lu’s name?”

The youth said, “ Humble one here is named Guanying, please just call me by my name.”

Huang Rong answered politely, “ No, how can we?”

The three began chatting while proceeding towards the main hall. Guo Jing and Huang Rong noticed that the interior of the hall was designed and decorated beautifully. As Huang Rong walked earlier, she concentrated on the outlay of the place and it’s pathways and she looked a little puzzled.

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