The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 16

Being on her home again, Huang Rong’s joy was unspeakable. “Father! Father! Rong’er is back!” she loudly shouted; beckoned to Guo Jing, then dashed forward.

Guo Jing saw her turning east and dodging west among the flowers and very soon disappear from his sight. He hastily chased her, but after several ‘zhang’ he had already lost track of her. He saw there were trails heading east, south, west and north; but did not know which one he should take.

When he arbitrarily took a path and walked for while he seemed to be returning to where he started. He recalled the pathways of the Cloud Village; Huang Rong had said that although that village was wonderfully arranged it was still pale in comparison with the Peach Blossom Island, which was designed based on yin-yang and open-close elements. If he forced himself to walk in this wonderful, almost magical place he would end up wasting his strength in vain. So he decided to just sit underneath a peach tree and waited for Huang Rong to fetch him up. Who would have thought that after waiting for half a day Huang Rong still did not come. He looked around in all directions but did not see even half a shadow of a human being; not even a single sound was heard. He was lost!

Anxiously he stood up and climbed atop a nearby tree. Again he looked everywhere; to the south of him was the sea, to the west was a barren rock hill, to the north and east were forest of flowers all kinds and colors; he could not even see the end of it. His head became dizzy. He did not see anything that resembled a wall or a chimney; did not even hear a dog’s bark. It was extremely quiet and lonely that it scared him.

Quickly he slid down the tree and ran in panic toward the dark forest; but suddenly stopped in his track and anxiously cried, “Not good! I am running around aimlessly! If Rong’er comes looking for me, she won’t find me!” Having this thought he turned around and ran back; but he was lost again! He couldn’t even find the place where he started.

The little red horse of his was following him closely, but then he ran among the bushes and climbed trees, very soon the horse was also lost. The sky was getting dark, Guo Jing did not know what to do; so he simply sat on the ground and waited for Huang Rong. It was a good thing that that place was covered with thick green grass, so he was quite comfortable sitting down.

He started to get hungry and thirsty too. His mind wandered to the delicious food Huang Rong used to prepare for Hong Qigong; he was getting hungrier. Suddenly a thought came into his mind. “What if Rong’er’s father locks her up? She won’t be able to rescue me. How can I starve myself to death in this forest?”

He recalled he still had to sort the enmity with Huang Rong’s father; also remembered he had not paid back his masters’ kindness. Then his mind wandered to his mother in a far away land of Mongolia; if he died here, who would take care of her? With these heavy thoughts he got tired and fell asleep.

It was deep into the night when he dreamt he was on a trip with Huang Rong. They visited a lake near Beijing. They got to a beautiful spot and Huang Rong was singing a tune in a soft voice. Out of the blue there came another sound singing along; it was a bamboo flute. He woke up, startled. The flute sound was still lingering in the air. Guo Jing got up and looked around. The moon shone brightly in the sky, and the sweet fragrance of the flower was thickening by the dark night. The flute sound came from a distance; he was not dreaming!

Guo Jing was delighted. He walked toward the flute sound following the path in front of him. It was a winding path, and sometimes there was no path in front of him, but the flute sound was still coming from the front. He remembered the pathways of the Cloud Village; so he ignored the winding path and just went straight to the sound. If a tree or shrubs were in front of him, he simply climbed or jumped over them.

The flute sound was getting clearer. Guo Jing walked faster. Rounding a bend, he arrived at an area of white flowering shrubs. Layer upon layer of flowers glistened under the bright moonlight, they looked like a small white lake. In the middle of these white flowers he saw something big and tall, looked massive. Here the sound of the flute suddenly changed. Sometimes high, sometimes low; sometimes the sound came from his front, sometimes it moved to his back. He thought the sound was coming from the east, but when he rushed to the east, the sound moved to the west; when he chased to the north, the sound swiftly moved to the south. It sounded like more than ten people were playing flutes around him. This flute sound really drove him crazy.

After running around like that for a while Guo Jing’s head was also spinning around, so he decided to quit running and walked directly toward that massive thing in the middle of white flowers lake. Turned out it was a grave. There was a tombstone in front of the grave with this inscription: ‘tao hua dao nu zhu feng shi mai xiang zhi zhong’ [the fragrant burial ground of Mistress surnamed Feng of the Peach Blossom Island], eleven large characters.

“This must be Rong’er’s mother’s grave,” Guo Jing thought. “Rong’er lost her when she was very small, it was really sad.” He knelt down in front of the grave and kowtowed four times to pay his respect.

The flute sound suddenly stopped when Guo Jing was kneeling down. Everywhere around him was very quiet; but as soon as he stood up, the flute sound resumed in front of him. “I don’t care if it will bring luck or misfortune, I will follow the sound,” Guo Jing thought.

Again he walked among the vegetation following the flute. And again sound of the flute changed its personality. First it sounded like laughter, but suddenly changed into anger; it affected his feelings to no end. Guo Jing’s pulse quickened, “How come this tune is so pleasant to my ears?” he was fascinated.

The tune increased its tempo, urging him to get up and dance. Guo Jing felt the urge, his face blushed, and he felt his blood was blowing even faster trough his hundreds of arteries. Immediately he sat on the ground and meditated as Ma Yu had taught him: circulating his internal energy around.

At first his heart was shaken, several times he felt the urge to stood up and dance to the tune. After breathing in and out several times, his heart calmed down, his mind became clear. No matter how the flute was changing, he heard it like the sound of the waves of the sea, or like a breeze of wind on the tree tops. He felt his ‘dan tian’ was bursting with energy; his whole body felt comfortable. No longer he felt hunger or thirst. He knew that as he reached this state, external elements would not be able to affect him anymore; so he slowly opened his eyes only to see in the darkness, about two ‘zhang’s ahead a pair of bright eyes was looking straight at him.

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