The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 19

Guo Jing smiled, “I don’t need to try, I know Big Brother have this ability,” he said.

While they were still talking suddenly a loud crashing was heard, the door burst open and a sailor came rushing in with a terror-stricken face. He could not speak, so he just gesticulated in panic. Three of them knew something was terribly wrong, so they dashed out of the cabin.

Huang Rong wanted to have a word with Guo Jing when was pulled away by her father. She was really upset, so as soon as they arrived at their home she went straight to her room and locked the door, crying uncontrollably. In his anger Huang Yaoshi had expelled Guo Jing from the island; now that his anger had subsided he regretted his rash decision; realizing he had sent Guo Jing to his death. He wanted to comfort his daughter, but no matter how hard or how long he knocked on her door, she just simply turned a deaf ear to him. During supper he called for her, but she did not appear; he sent a servant with Huang Rong’s dinner, but she trashed the dinner to the ground, she even hit the servant a couple of times.

“Father had said that if Brother Jing ever step his foot on this island again he would kill him. I want to go out and find him, but how can I leave Father alone here? He will definitely be grieved,” Huang Rong pondered left and right, but could not come out with any idea until her stomach hurt.

Several months ago Huang Yaoshi scolded her and she ran away from the island; in her childish thinking she did not want to go back. Afterwards she met her father and saw that the number of white hair on his temple suddenly increased. It was only several months, but he looked ten years older than she remembered him. She felt really sorry, and promised in her heart never to leave him again. Who would have thought that now she was facing a difficult situation? She stayed on her bed all day, crying. She thought, “If Mother were still alive, she would take care of me; would she allow me to suffer like this?”

Thinking about her mother she decided to get out of the room, she walked through the hall to the front door. Her house on the Peach Blossom Island had a front door that was always open, night and day; unless there was storm coming. Huang Rong went out to the yard. It was a starry sky; the air was heavy with flowers’ scent. “Brother Jing must be miles away by now, I wonder when we are going to see each other again,” she wondered in her heart. She heaved a deep sigh, wiped the tears from her eyes with the end of her long sleeve, and walked toward the flower bushes at the end of their yard. Entering the bushes and brushing away the leaves she arrived at her mother’s tomb.

The exquisiteness of the coffin wood, the various plants and rare orchids, the different flowers that bloom at different seasons, everything was Huang Yaoshi’s personal choice. They glittered under the moonlight, each radiating its own unique scent. Huang Rong pushed the tombstone three times to the left and three times to the right; then exerting her strength she pushed it forward. The tombstone slowly moved to the side, revealing a long and narrow stonewalled tunnel. She went in; and after making three turns she arrived at another secret door. Beyond this door was where the coffin was placed. The room was bright from the oil lamp inside a precious stone container, illuminating Huang Rong’s mother’s memorial tablet.

Alone in that small underground room, seeing the painting of her deceased mother made by her father’s own hand, Huang Rong’s heart was filled with a roller coaster emotion; she thought, “I have never seen Mother. I wonder after I die, will I meet her? Was she really that young and beautiful as in the picture? Where is she right now? Is she at the sky above, or in the earth below, or still in this room? I am going to stay here forever to accompany her.”

Along the wall of this tomb there were precious jewels, antique collections, and paintings and calligraphy from famous artists; each worth a fortune. After his wife died, Huang Yaoshi roamed the sea and lakes to collect these precious articles. Whether it was inside the imperial palace, or inside the house of some rich government official, or in a robbers’ den high up on the mountain; as long as he knew there was a treasure, he would come and steal or take it by force. His martial art was high, he had keen eyes and sophisticated taste; hence he managed to collect quite a bit of treasures piling up inside his wife’s grave.

Huang Rong could see the bright pearls, beautiful jade, emeralds and amethysts glimmering under the firelight; she thought, “These precious jewels don’t have any feeling, yet they will live for million of years. Today I am looking at them in here, but in the future my body will turn into dust while they will still be here. Is it true that among the living things, the smart and intelligent won’t have a long life? Is it because she was so smart that my mother died when she was only twenty?”

Huang Rong stared at her mother’s picture for a moment, heaved a sigh, then blew out the light and walked toward her mother’s coffin’s side. She stroked the coffin lovingly and sat on the ground. Her heart was heavy from self-pity. She was leaning on the coffin, pretending she was cuddling by her mother’s side, relying on her for support. Earlier that day she experienced great joy and great anxiety; that night she was simply exhausted, so after a while she drifted off to sleep.

She dreamt she was inside the Zhao Palace in Beijing, alone fighting a group of martial artists; but then the scenery changed, she was in the northern area, unexpectedly met Guo Jing there. She barely said a few words with him when suddenly her mother showed up. She just knew it was her mother even though she could not see her face clearly, tried as she might. Then her mother started to fly to the sky with her calling and pursuing on the ground. Her mother was flying higher and higher and she was so scared. And then out of the blue she heard her father’s voice calling her mother. At first it was a distant sound, then the voice getting nearer and clearer. Huang Rong awoke with a start but her father’s voice could still be heard, mumbling indistinctly in front of the curtain. Then she calmed herself down and realized that it was not a dream; her father was indeed inside the tomb, talking to her mother’s spirit.

When she was little her father often took her here; he would tell her mother anything that happened outside, regardless of how trivial those matters were. In the past several years she did not go with her father as often yet it still did not surprise her to hear her father talking in front of the coffin. She was still upset with him, so she did not want to see him. She wanted to wait quietly until he left, but what she heard next surprised her.

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