The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 16

Guo Jing saw his face was red, he quickly said, “Disciple and Senior differ by two generations. If I follow Senior’s direction, people will laugh at us and ridicule me. If later on I meet Priest Ma and Priest Qiu; how could I not be ashamed?”

“You have these many considerations. You certainly don’t want to swear brotherhood with me because I am too old. Boo hoo hoo …” Zhou Botong covered his face and cried, randomly pulling his beard.

Guo Jing nervously waved his hands, “Disciple will do whatever Senior instructed.”

Zhou Botong cried even harder. “You said that because of my coercion, you reluctantly agreed; that doesn’t count. When someone asks in the future, you will say that it was entirely my fault. I know you are not willing to call me your sworn brother.”

Guo Jing was secretly amused. How could such an old man not act his age? He saw him taking up a dish and tossed it outside, did not want to eat anymore. The old servant promptly picked it up; he didn’t know what was going on and he was terrified.

Guo Jing had no choice; suppressing his laugh he said, “Since Elder Brother had shown kindness, how could Little Brother not accept? Let us use the earth in place of incense; we become sworn brothers.”

Zhou Botong smiled through his tears. “I have sworn to Old Heretic Huang that as long as I cannot defeat him, I will never leave this hole except for bowel movement or urinating. I kowtow inside, you kowtow outside,” he said.

“If you fight Master Huang all your life, then you will live in this hole all your life?” Guo Jing thought; but he did not say anything; simply knelt down on the ground.

Zhou Botong knelt alongside; with a clear voice he said, “Today the Old Urchin Zhou Botong and Guo Jing are tying a brotherhood [lit. ‘jin lan’ – golden orchid]. We will share good fortune together and will face difficulty together. If I break this oath, may my martial art perish that I can’t even fight a puppy or a kitten.”

Guo Jing heard he called himself ‘Old Urchin’, and his oath was sort of peculiar; he could not restrain his smile. Zhou Botong stared at him. “What are you smiling at? Quickly say your oath.” Guo Jing quickly recited his oath; then two people poured down the wine on the ground. Guo Jing then paid his respect to his elder brother.

Zhou Botong laughed heartily and loudly shouted, “That’s enough! That’s enough!” He poured some more wine and drank. “The Old Heretic Huang is very stingy; he served me only insipid wine. One day a little miss came and brought me some good wine; it’s a pity she never came back.”

Guo Jing remembered Huang Rong told him she stole some wine and brought it to Zhou Botong, and because of that she was scolded by her father; which caused her to leave the island in anger. It looked like Zhou Botong was not aware of it. Guo Jing had been hungry for the whole day, he did not want to drink any wine; but he ate five big bowls of plain rice. Now at least he was full. As soon as two people finished eating, the old servant cleaned up and took the leftovers back.

“Brother,” Zhou Botong asked, “How did you offend the Old Heretic Huang? Tell your big brother.”

Guo Jing then narrated how he accidentally killed Chen Xuanfeng in his childhood; how at the Cloud Village he had fought and defeated Mei Chaofeng; how Huang Yaoshi made things difficult for the Six Freaks of Jiangnan; how because of that he had made a promise to come to the Peach Blossom Island within a month to die; he told Zhou everything.

Zhou Botong loved to listen to stories; he leaned his head and narrowed his eyes to focus, he listened with enthusiasm, when Guo Jing only recounted something briefly he would ask every detail of it. Every time Guo Jing paused even for the slightest time he urged him, “Then what happened?”

“Then I arrived here,” Guo Jing finally said.

Zhou Botong hesitated a moment. “Hmm, turned out that pretty little girl is the Old Heretic Huang’s daughter. She is good to you. Why did she disappear soon after arriving at the island? Must have a reason, maybe Old Heretic Huang lock her up.”

Guo Jing’s anxiety showed on his face, “Disciple also has this thought …”

“What did you say?” Zhou Botong snapped, his face changed color.

Guo Jing knew he made a mistake, quickly said, “Little brother made an indiscreet remark, please don’t mind me, Big Brother.”

Zhou Botong smiled. “The way you address me cannot be wrong. If you call me any name, then you’d better call me ‘wifey’, or ‘mommy’, or ‘daughter’. No, can’t make a mistake,” he said. Guo Jing agreed.

Zhou Botong leaned his head and asked, “Could you guess how I ended up being here?”

“Brother is just about to ask,” Guo Jing said.

“It’s a long story, I will tell you leisurely,” Zhou Botong said. “Do you know when the Eastern Heretic, Western Poison, Southern Emperor, Northern Beggar and the Central Divinity, the five experts were having a sword meet on Mount Hua?”

Guo Jing nodded, “I’ve heard people say that.”

“It was the dead of wintertime at Mount Hua,” Zhou Botong continued. “The peak was covered with heavy snow. Five people were having a meeting there; their hands contended in martial arts straight for seven whole days and nights. In the end the Eastern Heretic, Western Poison, Southern Emperor, and the Northern Beggar admitted that my martial brother, Wang Congyang’s martial art was number one in the world. Do you know why those five people were having that sword meeting at Mount Hua?”

“This, brother had not heard,” Guo Jing replied.

“It was because of a scripture …” Zhou Botong said.

“The Nine Yin Manual!” Guo Jing exclaimed.

“That’s right!” Zhou Botong said. “Brother, you are young, but your knowledge of Wulin matters is not shallow. Do you know the origin of the ‘Nine Yin Manual’, then?”

“That I actually do not know,” Guo Jing replied.

Zhou Botong playfully pulled his ears and long hair and his face showed that he was very pleased with himself. “A moment ago you told me a very interesting story, now …”

“What I told you was not a story; that was really happening to me,” Guo Jing interrupted.

“What is the difference? As long as it is good to listen to,” Zhou Botong said. “Some people spend their lives eating, sleeping, urinating and defecating. If those people tell me every single details of their life, the Old Urchin will die of suffocation.”

Guo Jing nodded his head. “That’s true,” he said. “Then why doesn’t Big Brother tell the story of the ‘Nine Yin Manual’ for little brother to hear.”

“The Emperor Hui Zong in the year of Zheng He wanted to compile Taoist books and scriptures from all over the world. He wanted to publish the work, which consisted of 5481 Chapters altogether. They were called the ‘wan shou dao zang’ [the Everlasting Life Taoist canon]. The Emperor commissioned someone to do the work; he was called Huang Shang …”

“He was also surnamed Huang?” Guo Jing asked.

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