The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 16

Guo Jing heard the tone of his voice he became anxious, knowing that the disturbance must not be small. He opened his ears wide and listened attentively. Zhou Botong continued, “Martial Brother was aware that he could not avoid the imminent death; therefore, he arranged for us to take care of his unfinished business. He even asked me to take the Nine Yin Manual out and brought it to him. He prepared a fire and was about to burn the book down. But after stroking the book for a long time he heaved a deep sigh and said, ‘This book is the Senior’s lifelong effort; how could it be destroyed in my hand? Water can float a boat, yet it also can sink a boat; so we’ll have to see how the future generations make a good use of it. However, I forbid our Sect’ disciples to practice whatever is in this book, so that people cannot accuse me of wanting to own this book for personal gain.’ After saying those words he closed his eyes and died. That very evening, not even the third hour yet, something happened in the temple.”

“Ah!” Guo Jing uttered a cry; Zhou Botong continued, “That night I stayed up with the Quan Zhen first generation seven disciples; keeping a vigil by the side of the coffin. Around midnight enemies came. They were all skilled pugilists. The Quan Zhen Seven Masters immediately scattered out and engaged the enemies in battles. They were afraid the enemies would desecrate their master’s remains. I was the only one left guarding by the coffin side. I heard someone outside shouted, ‘Quickly hand over the Nine Yin Manual, otherwise your temple will be burned to the ground.’ I looked outside and could not help feeling cold in the stomach. I saw a man standing on a tree branch and his body was swaying following the branch movement. That was an extraordinary demonstration of lightness kungfu. At that time I thought, ‘This lightness kungfu is superior to mine; if he is willing, I’d like to take him as my master.’ But then I changed my mind, ‘It’s wrong! It’s wrong! This man must have come here to steal the Nine Yin Manual; not only I cannot bow to him to be his disciple, but I must fight him.’ I did not know him, but whether I wanted it or not, I had to fight him. So I jumped outside and fought with him on the tree. I fought him thirty, forty moves and I was getting scared; the enemy was a few years younger than I was, but his martial art was so fierce that I had a hard time keeping up with him. Finally I got hit on my shoulder by his palm and fell down the tree.”

“You have such a high martial art skill, yet you lost to him. Who was that?” Guo Jing wondered.

Zhou Botong answered his question with another question, “Can you guess?”

Guo Jing thought for a while then exclaimed, “Western Poison!”

“Ah!” Zhou Botong was amazed. “How did you guess?”

Guo Jing replied, “Little Brother thought that the people whose martial arts were higher than yours must be the people who were involved in the sword meet at Mount Hua. Benevolent Master Hong is straightforward and honest. The Emperor Duan is an Emperor, he would not stoop so low to steal someone else’s possession. The Island Master Huang’s real character Little Brother does not know really well, but he is a proud man, not the kind of person who would take advantage of someone else’s precarious condition and make a thief of himself!”

From the flower shrubs outside suddenly came a shout, clear and loud, “Little animal still has a good judgment!””

Guo Jing leaped toward that voice, but that person’s movement was so swift. Guo Jing could not even see his shadow anymore; only the trees were still swaying and the flower petals fell down to the ground in abundance.

“Brother, come back!” Zhou Botong called out. “That was the Old Heretic Huang. He’s already far away.”

Guo Jing returned to the front of the cave, while Zhou Botong commented, “Old Heretic Huang is proficient in amazing and weird five-element techniques; he had arranged these vegetation according to the lost art of garden arrangement based on Zhuge Liang’s law of ‘eight-wave diagram’ of the past.”

“Zhuge Liang’s law?” Guo Jing was amazed.

Zhou Botong sighed, “That’s right. Old Heretic Huang is well versed in music, chess, calligraphy and painting; medical, divination and astronomy, as well as farming and irrigation; economics and military strategy. Nothing is hidden from him, nothing that he is not proficient in. It’s too bad he likes to give the Old Urchin a hard time and when we fight, I will not necessarily win. Once he flies east and west among this vegetation nobody will be able to catch him.”

Guo Jing was silent for half a day. He was thinking about how amazing Huang Yaoshi was, and was unable to restrain feeling captivated. After a while he remembered the story and asked, “Big Brother, you were hit by the Western Poison and fell down the tree. What happened next?”

Zhou Botong slapped his thigh. “Right! This time you did not forget to remind me with the story,” he exclaimed. “I was hit by Ouyang Feng’s palm, the pain entered my heart and lungs, I wasn’t able to move for half a day. I saw him rushing into the mourning hall, but I couldn’t do anything, I was badly injured. But I gritted my teeth and risking my own life I chased him. I saw him standing in front of my martial brother’s coffin. He stretched his hand to take the book from the table in front of the coffin. I was secretly groaning; I was not his match, while my martial nephews have not come back from fighting the enemies outside. In this critical moment suddenly there was a loud cracking sound; the coffin wooden lid burst open and flew, leaving a gaping hole on the coffin.”

“Did Ouyang Feng use his palm to destroy Venerable Wang’s coffin?” Guo Jing asked.

“No, no!” Zhou Botong replied. “It was my own martial brother who used his palm strength to break open the lid.”

Listening to this strange and absurd tale Guo Jing’s eyes opened wide and his jaw dropped. He was speechless.

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