The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 16

He was startled, “What kind of beast is that?” he thought while leaping several steps back. But suddenly those eyes disappeared. “This Peach Blossom Island is really strange,” he thought, “even a quick leopard or a swift fox won’t be able to move that fast.” He hesitated for a moment and then heard a fast breathing sound; it was a human’s breathing. So he realized, “It is a human being! Those sparkling eyes were his. I didn’t see them anymore because he shut his eyes, but actually he is still here.”

Having this thought he laughed at his own foolishness; but it was unclear to him whether that person was a friend or a foe, so he did not dare to make a sound and just open his own eyes wide to observe quietly.

At that time the flute floating carrying a passionate, seducing feeling; resembled a woman sighing and groaning: sometimes murmuring softly but at other times raging wild with desire.

Guo Jing was still young, but he had trained martial arts since his childhood, hence did not know much about sexual relationship. He felt the flute was affecting his emotion; the melody was enchanting to the soul, but he did not give too much thought of it. But not so with the other man; he was gasping for breath, groaning softly. It sounded like he was struggling with all his strength just to resist the enticement that came from the flute.

Guo Jing’s heart was moved with compassion toward this man; slowly he came to him. The trees on that place were dense; the moon was bright, but the moonlight could not penetrate the thick branches and leaves. Guo Jing walked closer and only then he could vaguely see the man’s appearance. He was sitting cross-legged; his hair was long, almost touching the ground. His eyebrows, moustache and beard were long, covering his mouth and nose. His left hand was on his chest, his right hand on his back.

Guo Jing knew that was one of the positions to train/cultivate internal energy the ‘dan yang zi’ [Son of Cinnabar] Ma Yu had taught him atop that barren hill in the Mongolian desert. It was the technique to closed one’s heart and mind. Whenever someone has master it to perfection, even if thunder rumbles and the lighting flashes; or water gushes and creates landslides, it would not bother him a bit. This man looked like he knew this advanced skill of internal energy cultivation; but why couldn’t he control himself and was afraid of the flute sound?

The flute sound quickened; that man’s body swaying and twitching. Several times he jumped a few feet off the ground; finally after struggling with all his might he was able to sit down. Guo Jing saw this cycle happened several times: he would be calmed for a moment then agitated before calming down himself again; but the cycle was getting shorter and shorter. Guo Jing knew that man was fighting a losing battle, so he started to worry for him.

The flute played two intricate melodies softly. Suddenly that man shouted, “All right! All right!” he was about to jumped up. Guo Jing realized the time was critical; without thinking he rushed forward and stretched his hands pushing down on that man’s shoulder; his right hand tapped the ‘da zhui xue’ [big spine acupoint] on his neck. He remembered when he was training on that Mongolian cliff; whenever his mind was troubled and could not achieve tranquility, Ma Yu would gently stroke him on his ‘da zhui’ acupoint and that helped him to be calm. His internal strength was not as strong as Ma Yu’s, he could not help this man to overcome the flute sound; but because he struck the right spot that long-haired old man was able to calm himself. That man closed his eyes and seemed like he was under control.

Guo Jing was secretly happy, but then someone scolded him, “Little beast! You ruined my big effort!” The flute suddenly stopped. Guo Jing turned his head but did not see anybody. That voice sounded like Huang Yaoshi. He became anxious and regretted his action. “I don’t know if this long-haired old man is good or bad? I carelessly helped him, surely increased Rong’er’s father’s anger. If this old man were a monster or evil witch, didn’t I just commit a big mistake?”

He heard the old man’s breathing was slowing down to an even breathing. Guo Jing refrained himself from asking that old man question. He simply sat quietly opposite him; closed his eyes and used that time to meditate. Soon he was able to calm himself and achieve the state of emptiness. He lost track of time and opened his eyes when the morning star began to dim by the dawn sunlight.

The morning light shone through the trees and flowers above, illuminating the old man’ face. Guo Jing could see clearly now; his hair and beard were not entirely white but God knows how many years a shaving knife had not touched his head. He looked like a cave man.

Suddenly that old man’s eyes opened. His eyes were bright and twinkling. He smiled faintly and asked, “Which one of the Quan Zhen Seven Masters is your master?”

Guo Jing saw his countenance was kind, he was put at ease. He stood up and bowed respectfully, “Disciple Guo Jing pays his respect to Senior. I am the disciple of the Seven Heroes of Jiangnan.”

That old man seemed surprised. “Seven Heroes of Jiangnan? Is that Ke Zhen’E and the others? How could they teach you the internal energy cultivation of Quan Zhen Sect?” he asked.

“Actually, Venerable Dan Yang, Taoist Priest Ma had spent two years teaching disciple, but he had not included me inside the Quan Zhen Sect’s gate and wall,” Guo Jing answered.

That old man laughed heartily and then made faces. He looked so funny, like a child playing jokes. “So that’s how it is” he said, “How did you come to the Peach Blossom Island?”

“Master Huang told me to come,” replied Guo Jing.

The old man’s face suddenly changed, “What for?” he asked.

“Disciple had offended Master Huang,” Guo Jing answered. “I come here to accept my fate.”

“Are you telling the truth?” the old man asked.

“Disciple does not dare to lie,” answered Guo Jing.

The old man nodded, “Very good! Sit down!” he commanded.

Guo Jing sat on a big rock. Now he could see clearly that the old man was sitting inside a cave on the rock wall.

“Other than your Masters who had taught you martial arts?” the old man asked again.

“The Nine-fingered Divine Beggar, Benevolent Master Hong …” Guo Jing said.

The old man’s face changed again, it was so weird, like he was going to smile but restrained himself. “Hong Qigong also taught you martial art?” he interrupted.

“Yes,” replied Guo Jing. “Benevolent Master Hong taught me the ’18 Dragon-Subduing Palms’.”

The old man’s face showed happiness and envy at the same time, “You know ’18 Dragon-Subduing Palms’? This martial art is so amazing. How about teaching me that? I will take you as my master.” But then he shook his head and said, “Won’t do! Won’t do! As the Old Hong’s disciple your energy must not that strong. Did Old Beggar Hong teach you internal energy?”

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