The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 16

Toulei continued, “Looked like the Jins have determined to kill me to avoid Mongolia and the Song Dynasty formed the alliance successfully; that the Sixth Prince himself personally led the troop to capture me.”

“Wanyan Honglie?” Guo Jing asked in surprise.

“That’s right!” Toulei answered. “He was wearing a golden helmet, I saw him clearly and even shot three arrows to him, too bad they were blocked by his bodyguards’ shields.”

Guo Jing was ecstatic, “Rong’er, Brother Kang! Wanyan Honglie is here, let us quickly find him.” Huang Rong quickly came, but Yang Kang was nowhere to be seen. Guo Jing was impatient, he shouted, “Rong’er, you go to the east, I will search to the west.” Two people launched their lightness kungfu and ran very fast opposite directions.

After several li’s Guo Jing managed to catch up with several ran away Jin soldiers. He captured one of them and found out that indeed it was the Sixth Prince Wanyang Honglie who personally led the pursuers, but that soldier did not know his whereabouts.

“We have deserted the Prince without any regard of his safety; if we went back, we will be executed. Hence we are throwing away our uniforms and try to hide among the common people,” that soldier said.

Guo Jing turned and resumed his chase. It was almost dawn, but where was Wanyan Honglie’s shadow? He knew the enemy who killed his father was near, but seemed to be unreachable. He was anxious.

He rushed forward a little bit further and arrived at a small wooded area where he saw a white shadow flashing by. It was Huang Rong. Two people met, they looked at each other and knew they did not find him. Dejectedly they decided to go back to the temple.

“Wanyan Honglie led quite a number of troops pursuing us; he was riding a fast horse. I think by now he must be going back to fetch enforcement to capture us,” Toulei tried to reason. “Anda, I am bearing my father’s decree; I can’t stay for long. Let us part here. My little sister asked me to deliver this message to you: Please go back home to Mongolia as soon as possible.”

Guo Jing agreed to what he said, but feared that it would be difficult for them to meet again in the future. His heart was heavy. He hugged Toulei, Jebeh and Bourchu farewell, but said very little. They mounted their horses and galloped away. The sound of hoof beats gradually vanished away; men and horses slowly hidden behind a cloud of yellow dust.

“Let us hide and wait for Wanyan Honglie to come back,” proposed Huang Rong. “If the troops are numerous, we will simply following them and try to assassinate him in the evening. Don’t you think it’s a good idea?”

Guo Jing was delighted. He praised Huang Rong incessantly. Huang Rong was very happy too, she smiled and said, “It was nothing, I was just using the common tactic of ‘yi an jiu chuan’ [leaving to shore to move to a ship].”

“I’ll go to the woods to hide our horses,” Guo Jing said. He walked toward the backyard of the temple, and suddenly saw something gleaming among the grass under the morning sun. He bent down to take a closer look and found that thing was a golden helmet, inlaid with three big jewels. Guo Jing picked it up and walked back to Huang Rong. “What do you think this is?” he quietly asked.

“Wanyan Honglie’s golden helmet?” Huang Rong guessed.

“Exactly!” whispered Guo Jing. “I believe he is still hiding somewhere close to this temple. Let’s spread out and find him.”

Huang Rong turned her back, her hands pressed down on the wall and she floated atop the wall in no time. “I am searching from above, you from below,” she called out. Guo Jing entered the temple.

“Was my lightness kungfu a moment ago good?” Huang Rong called.

Guo Jing was taken aback, he stopped in his track. “It was very good! Why?” he asked.

“Then why didn’t you praise me?” Huang Rong said with a laugh.

Guo Jing stomped his feet. “Oh, you mischievous kid! You still want to joke at a time like this,” he said.

Huang Rong simply laughed; raising her hands she flew to the rear courtyard.

When Guo Jing was fighting the Jin soldiers, Yang Kang had observed from the side. Despite the darkness he could recognize the Sixth Prince Wanyan Honglie. Although by now Yang Kang knew he was not his own father, but nonetheless he had raised Yang Kang for more than ten years; he had been a father’s figure for Yang Kang all this time. Yang Kang saw how Guo Jing had dispersed the Jin soldiers; if Wanyan Honglie was seen by Guo Jing, he would lose his life for sure. It was a critical time, Yang Kang did not have too much time to think; so he jumped to the battleground. At that time Guo Jing was hurling a Jin soldier’s body to the air. Wanyan Honglie’s horse got scared, so he was busy holding the rein. Yang Kang grabbed him from behind and pulled him to safety.

“Fu Wang [Father King], it’s me, Kang’er. Don’t make a sound!” Yang Kang whispered urgently.

Guo Jing was still fighting, and Huang Rong’s attention was occupied by the condors. The night was dark, so nobody saw him with Wanyan Honglie moved toward the rear courtyard of the temple.

Yang Kang quietly pushed open the door to the west wing, and equally quietly two people hid themselves there. Their ears could still hear the battle cry outside, then the noise of Jin soldiers scampered away; finally they heard the mumbling sound of the three Mongolians talking to Guo Jing.

Wanyan Honglie thought he was dreaming, “Kang’er,” he whispered, “What brought you here?”

“It was a fortunate coincidence,” Yang Kang replied. “Ah … but that man surnamed Guo meant you harm.”

By that time Wanyan Honglie heard Guo Jing and Huang Rong were going separate ways to look for him. He also saw a moment ago how Guo Jing had defeated the Three Ghosts of the Yellow River; and how fiercely and swiftly Guo Jing had beaten and killed numerous Jin soldiers. If he were discovered by those two, what would happen? He shuddered involuntarily.

“Father King, if we exit now, I am afraid we’ll run into them. Let’s just hide in here, they will eventually leave. Wait till they are far away, then we can slowly come out,” Yang Kang said.

“That’s not a bad idea,” Wanyan Honglie said. He paused, then said, “Kang’er, why did you call me ‘fu wang’ [father king], and not father?”

Yang Kang was silent. He remembered his late mother’s fate; his heart was filled with turbulent emotions.

Wanyan Honglie slowly said, “You were thinking of your mother, were you not?” He stretched his arm to hold Yang Kang’s hand; that hand was icy cold, Yang Kang’s cold sweat.

Yang Kang gently pulled his hand away. He changed the subject, “This Guo Jing’s martial art is high. He is seeking vengeance for his father; he is determined to find and kill you. He also has befriended many-many experts in martial art; it will be impossible for you to guard against him. I think it will be to your benefit that you do not go back to Beijing in the next six months or so.”

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