By this time the mast was leaning down far enough that very soon it will hit the water. Hong Qigong called out, “Jing’er, the mast is joined with the hull; let us break it free. Come on!” Two people gathered their strength and struck the mast near its center. The mast was made from solid wood, but how could it withstand the joined forces of Hong Qigong and Guo Jing? With several strikes, “Crack!” The mast gave up. Two people held on to it and together they fell into the sea below.
They were already miles away from the Peach Blossom Island; looking at four directions all around there were great big waves as high as a mountain and no land was in sight. Hong Qigong was secretly very anxious. Drifting on the sea like this, without food or fresh water, if nobody was going to rescue them, they would certainly die in less than ten days no matter how high their martial art skill were. Hong Qigong tried to look for Ouyang Feng’s boat, but it was nowhere to be seen. He heard someone laughing hard toward the south of them, it was Zhou Botong.
“Jing’er,” Hong Qigong said, “Let’s try coming to him.” With one hand holding the mast, the other hand rowed toward Zhou Botong. The waves were quite strong in that area, as they moved dozens of feet they were pushed back dozens of feet.
“Old Urchin, we are coming!” Hong Qigong laughed. Due to his strong internal energy, his voice was heard amidst the sound of rushing waves around them. They heard Zhou Botong called out, “The Old Urchin has become a dog in the water; this is an old dog in salty soup!”
Guo Jing was amused that in such a dangerous situation like this he still had a mood to goof around; truly he did not bear the title ‘the Old Urchin’ in vain.
The sea was raging wild around them. No matter how hard they tried, they were still dozens of feet apart from each other. Only after working hard for a long time did they finally managed to gather together on the broken mast. As soon as Hong Qigong and Guo Jing saw Zhou Botong, they were unable to stifle their laughter; Zhou Botong used the sail rope to tie a piece of board to his feet, displaying his excellent lightness kungfu to tread the waves. Unfortunately the waves were too strong. Even though his body was going up and down with the waves, as if free and unrestrained, but actually it was very difficult to move forward. Zhou Botong played on the water enthusiastically, seemingly oblivious of the danger they were facing.
Guo Jing looked around only to see their boat was totally gone; along with all the crews, they were buried under the sea. Suddenly he heard Zhou Botong cried in alarm, “Aiyo! This is serious! The Old Urchin might meet a cruel death.”
Hong Qigong and Guo Jing heard his frightened voice, they asked, “What is it?”
Zhou Botong pointed his finger away and said, “Sharks! A school of sharks!”
Guo Jing grew up in the desert; he did not know how fierce a shark was. He turned around to see Hong Qigong’s face looked strange. He wondered what kind of monster a shark was, that his master and big brother Zhou who were used to face danger with smiles on their face looked so nervous.
Hong Qigong sent his strength to his palm and broke the end of the mast; then he divided the broken pieces further into two halves. Suddenly he saw a shark head appeared among the white foam of the waves; its two rows of sharp white teeth glistening under the sunlight. It was only a moment, and then disappeared into the water. Hong Qigong threw the wooden stick to Guo Jing. “Aim for their heads!” he called out.
Guo Jing groped his pocket and produced a dagger. “Disciple has a dagger!” he called back and threw the wooden stick toward Zhou Botong.
By now there were four, five sharks circling around Zhou Botong; looked like they were just assessing the situation, so no shark had attacked yet. Zhou Botong bent his waist and struck; as a result a shark’s head split open. As soon as the other sharks smelt blood they all attacked their dead comrade.
Guo Jing saw the water surface bubbled like boiling water; did not know how many thousands of sharks were there. He saw white teeth flashing and in a very short moment nothing was left of that dead shark. He was horrified. Suddenly he felt something bumped his feet. Nervously he kicked around, and a big shark jumped up the water toward him. With his left hand holding the mast he sent all his might to his right hand and with an unmatched accuracy his extremely sharp dagger made a hole on the shark’s head. Again the water boiled from a flock of sharks feasting on their dead comrade. Thousands of sharks moved and bite randomly in the water.
Three men’s martial arts were superb; surrounded by thousands of sharks they moved to the west and dodged to the east. Every time their hands struck a shark was either dead or heavily injured; while their own bodies were not even scratched. As soon as a shark bleeds, it became the others’ food and in a flash it became a pile of bones sinking to the sea. These three people’s martial arts were profound and they have great courage; yet seeing this they could not help feeling scared. The sharks were uncountable; seemed like they were killing endlessly. They did not have time to think of anything else; they needed all their energy and concentration to fight and fight and fight …
After a few hours of fighting they have killed more than two hundreds sharks, but the fog started rising from the water, the sun slowly fell to the western horizon. Zhou Botong called out, “Old Beggar, Brother Guo, once the sky is dark all three of us will go to the sharks’ tummy. Shall we make a bet? Who will be first to be eaten?”
“Is the first to be eaten the winner or the loser?” Hong Qigong asked.
“Certainly the winner,” Zhou Botong replied.
“Aiyo, in that case I’d rather be the loser,” Hong Qigong said. With the back of his hand he launched the ‘divine dragon swings its tail’ and hit a big shark on its side. That big shark weight approximately 200 jins; but by Hong Qigong’s strength it flew to the air and rolled twice before it fell down to the water, creating a big splash everywhere. That shark went belly up, killed instantly.
“Excellent palm technique!” Zhou Botong praised, “I’ll bow to you and take you as my master so you can teach me this ’18-Dragon Subduing Palms’. Only it’s too bad I won’t have time to learn. Old Beggar, do you want to compete with me?”
“I am sorry I can’t accompany you right now,” Hong Qigong said.
Zhou Botong laughed heartily, “Brother, are you scared?” he asked Guo Jing.
In his heart Guo Jing was really scared, but seeing those two people were still able to chat and making jokes in life and death situation his spirit was lifted up. “I was scared, but not anymore,” he replied. Suddenly he saw a monstrous shark came charging his way. He leaned sideways then lifted his left hand high in the air as a bait. That big shark turned around and leaped out of the water to bite his hand. The dagger in Guo Jing’s right hand moved upward and stabbed underneath the shark’s mouth, but because the shark was moving forward the dagger made a long cut along the shark’s body. Blood came gushing out like a spring of water and the contents of its stomach spilled out.