The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 19

“I have found your heart’s desire,” he said, “I know you have suffered a lot that year you rewrote the Nine Yin Manual; I want to find it and burn it in your presence, so your spirit in heaven will be consoled. I have searched in vain for fifteen years, but today I have found it.”

Huang Rong was surprised, “Where did Father get the Nine Yin Manual from?” she wondered.

“I did not want to intentionally kill your son-in-law,” she heard her father continued. “But it was they who insisted to ride on that boat.”

Huang Rong was puzzled, “Mother’s son-in-law? Is he talking about Brother Jing? He rode on that boat, then what?” She opened her ears wide and listened attentively.

Huang Yaoshi recounted how miserable and lonely his life had become ever since his wife passed away and how bad he missed her. Huang Rong listened to him pouring out his heart and her own heart was filled with sorrow. “Brother Jing and I are merely teenagers and we love each other. I don’t think it is impossible to see each other in the future; but I cannot leave my father,” she thought.

Once her mind was set, she continued listening to her father. “The Old Urchin has destroyed the entire Nine Yin Manual with the strength of his hands. I thought my hope of sacrificing the manual to you was shattered; who would have thought that perhaps by divine intervention he insisted on riding the boat I made for our future meeting?” he said.

“Every time I wanted to play aboard that boat Father had always sternly prohibited me; how would he use the boat to meet Mother?” Huang Rong wondered in her heart.

Huang Yaoshi loved his wife very much. Moreover, his wife died because she wanted to make him happy. Therefore, he wanted to commit suicide as a sacrifice to her. But he knew his martial art was profound, he would not die easily by hanging himself or simply drinking a poison. Plus, if he died on the island, he was sure his mute and deaf servants would mutilate his body. Hence he went mainland and kidnapped a highly skilled boat builder to build him this fancy boat.

This boat’s keel was no different from a regular boat; except that the bottom of the boat was not nailed together with ordinary metal nails, but was put together by ropes and glue. Mooring on the marina it looked like an extremely magnificent and beautiful yacht; but as soon as it sailed to the sea, the waves would disintegrate the rope and glue, and the boat would certainly sink.

Originally he intended to put his wife’s coffin on the boat, take the boat to the sea and while the waves rock the boat, he would play with his jade flute the [jade-colored tidal wave song]; together with his wife they would be buried thousands of feet under the sea. This way he would make a clean end to his life and not disgracing his reputation as a martial art master of his age. However, every time he wanted to go he could not bear to take their daughter along; and who would raise her up if he died? Finally he decided to build a tomb and placed his wife in it. He repainted the boat every year, so it always looked new. He was going to wait their daughter to grow up before he would take his last voyage.

Of course Huang Rong did not know her father’s plan. But she kept listening anyway. “The Old Urchin was able to recite the Nine Yin Manual completely; that surnamed Guo kid could also recite it from memory. So, if I sink these two people to the sea, it would be like I am burning down two manuals for you. If your spirit in heaven knows this, you can then rest in peace. My only regret was that the Old Beggar Hong will deliver his life in vain; it is rather unfair to him. Within one day I have killed three martial arts masters for your sake. When we meet again later, you can certainly say that your husband has fulfilled his promise to you. Ha … ha … !”

Listening to this last part the hair on Huang Rong’s back stood up; her heart turned really cold. She did not completely understand what was going on, but knowing her father’s ability very well, she was sure that there must be something terribly wrong with that boat. She was anxious for the safety of Guo Jing three people on board. Her heart was filled with shock and sorrow at the same time. She wanted to stand up and beg her father to save them, but she was not able to neither stand nor speak; her legs were weak and her throat dry from fear. She only heard her father’s long and mournful laughter – sounded like a song or a cry, while he walked out of the tomb.

Huang Rong tried to calm herself down and thought out loud, “I must go to rescue Brother Jing. If I can’t make it, I am going to die with him.” She knew her father’s strange temper well, he turned crazy because of his excessive love to his deceased wife; it would be useless to ask him for help. She dashed out of the tomb toward the seashore; jumped up the boat, woke up the deaf and mute servants in charge of the boat and immediately set sail.

Suddenly she heard hoof beats coming her way, and at the same time she could hear her father’s jade flute in a distance. Huang Rong looked back; it was Guo Jing’s red horse, galloping under the moonlight. It had wandered aimlessly on the island, and at that particular night it ran toward the shore. Huang Rong thought, “Where can I find Brother Jing on this boundless sea? The little red horse has divine ability on dry land, but on the water it is completely useless.”

Hong Qigong, Zhou Botong and Guo Jing dashed out of the cabin only to find their feet were submerged in water almost to their knees. They were extremely shocked. Immediately they jumped up to the mast; Hong Qigong even remembered to snatch a couple of deaf and mute sailors along. They looked down and saw the turbulent water was coming up fast. It all happened so fast that they were at loss of what to do.

“Old Beggar,” Zhou Botong called, “Old Heretic Huang is so amazing! How did he build this boat?”

“I don’t know!” replied Hong Qigong, “Jing’er, hold the mast tight, don’t let go …”

Guo Jing was about to answer when suddenly a loud crack was heard; the boat was broken into two, and both halves slowly sank into the water. The two sailors were shocked that they lost their hold on the mast and fell down into the raging water below. Zhou Botong flexed his muscle and jumped into the water.

“Old Urchin!” Hong Qigong called, “Do you know how to swim?”

Zhou Botong’s head coming out from the water, “I guess I’ll have to try …” he laughed. These exchanges happened in the midst of blowing wind and they could not hear each other clearly.

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