The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 19

By that time Zhou Botong and Hong Qigong each had killed another shark. Zhou Botong had not recovered from Huang Yaoshi’s blow earlier; after fighting for a long time he started to feel a severe pain in his chest. He laughed out loud and said, “Old Beggar, Brother Guo, I am so sorry I can’t accompany you much longer, I have to be the first going into a shark’s belly. Ay! Too bad you two didn’t want to bet. I should’ve won!”

Even though he was laughing, Guo Jing could hear the desperation in his voice. “All right!” he shouted, “I’ll bet with you!”

“Now, at last I can die an interesting death!” Zhou Botong laughed. He turned around to avoid a converging attack of two sharks charging together; suddenly saw a high white sail far away. Under the dim light of dusk a big boat [translator’s note: actually it was a yacht, but I wonder if the ancient Chinese has a specific word for yacht?] was cutting the waves, coming their way.

Hong Qigong also saw the boat; it was Ouyang Feng’s. They were exuberant knowing help is on the way. Guo Jing immediately came toward Zhou Botong to help him fight the sharks. A moment later the boat arrived; it lowered two small sampans to rescue the three people. Zhou Botong vomited some more blood, but he did not stop talking and laughing; pointing his finger to the sharks and cursing incessantly.

Ouyang Feng and Ouyang Ke stood on the bow of the big boat to welcome them. As far as their eyes could see, the water was full with sharks’ fins; they were secretly alarmed.

Zhou Botong was unwilling to admit inferiority, he said, “Old Poison, it was you who came and rescued us, I did not call you for help; so I don’t owe you anything.”

“Naturally you don’t owe me anything,” Ouyang Feng replied, “Today I came across the three of you on a shark killing spree; Little Brother was fascinated.”

Zhou Botong laughed, “You came across us and hindered us from playing inside the sharks’ belly; so I will call it even, we don’t owe anybody anything.”

Ouyang Ke and a snake shepherd put some big chunks of beef on an iron hook as baits and in a short period of time had fished seven, eight big sharks.

Hong Qigong pointed to the sharks and laughed, “Good, you can’t eat us, looks like we are going to eat you.”

Ouyang Ke laughed, “Little Nephew has a way to avenge Uncle Hong.” Quickly he cut some short sticks, sharpening their both ends, then pried open the shark’s mouth with a spear and stuck the wooden stick in the shark’s mouth. Next, he kicked the shark back to the water.

Zhou Botong laughed, “This way the shark won’t be able to eat anything forever; but I bet it will die within eight to ten days.”

Guo Jing said in his heart, “Such an evil plan, he is the only one who can think of it. This gluttonous shark will be starved to death in the sea. That is so cruel.”

Zhou Botong saw Guo Jing’s face showed a disgusted look, he laughed, “Brother, such a malicious method is not pleasing to the eye, is it? Well, this is called ‘a poisonous uncle results in a poisonous nephew’.”

Hearing others cursing him as evil did not bother Western Poison Ouyang Feng at all; on the contrary, he was pleased. Listening Zhou Botong he showed a faint smile, and said, “Old Urchin, this small trick is nothing compared to what the Western Poison can do. You three people were already out of breath fighting this bunch of baby sharks. Even though they are many, to me they are nothing.” After saying that he stretched his right hand; facing the sea he moved his hand in a sweeping motion from left to right and said, “Even if there were ten times more sharks than these, I can annihilate them all without breaking a sweat.”

“Ah!” Zhou Botong exclaimed, “The Western Poison blew his horn really loud! If you can prove your great prowess and really kill the sharks, the Old Urchin will kowtow to you and will call you ‘Grandfather’ three hundred times.”

“I do not dare to accept that,” Ouyang Feng said, “If you don’t believe me, why don’t we make a bet?”

“All right!” Zhou Botong almost shouted, “I’ll bet you my head!”

Hong Qigong, on the other hand, was suspicious, “Even if his skill is as high as the sky, yet it is impossible to kill millions of sharks at once,” he thought, “I am afraid he has another evil scheme up in his sleeve.”

“I don’t need your head,” Ouyang Feng said with a smile, “If I win, I want you to do something for me, and you must obey it. If I lose, I can’t decline whatever difficult matter you want me to do. What do you think?”

“I don’t care, whatever you say!” Zhou Botong shouted.

Ouyang Feng turned to Hong Qigong, “I am asking Qi Xiong to be our witness,” he said.

Hong Qigong nodded, “Very well,” he said, “But what if after the winner assigns the loser something to do and he is not able to do it?”

“Then the loser must jump to the sea to be eaten by the sharks,” Zhou Botong said.

Again Ouyang Feng showed a faint smile, he did not say anything. He signaled a servant to bring in a small wine cup. Two of his right fingers pinched the neck of his strange looking snake on his staff, forced it to open its mouth and the venom from its teeth gushed out. Ouyang Feng held out the wine cup that the venom went into it, black and thick like China ink, filling almost half of the cup. As soon as this one snake ran out of venom he took the other one and did the same; filling the whole cup with snake’s venom. When he was done those two snakes wrapped around the staff quietly, no longer slithering up and down, liked they were dead-tired.

Ouyang Feng’s servant fished another big shark and placed it on the deck. With his left hand Ouyang Feng gripped the shark’s upper jaw, while his right foot stepped on the lower jaw; prying the jaws open. That shark was about two zhang’s long [approximately 20 feet or 7 meters], but it could not resist its mouth being opened; revealing two rows of dagger-sharp teeth. Then he poured the cup of venom in his hand into the shark’s mouth, right at the gaping wound caused by the iron hook. With an abrupt movement his left hand lifted the shark on its belly and without much trouble swung it up. The 200 catties [about 100 kg.] shark flew to the air and with a loud splash fell into the sea.

Zhou Botong laughed, “Aha! I understand now,” he said, “This is the old monk’s method of killing bedbugs [lice].”

“Big Brother,” Guo Jing asked, “How did the old monk kill the bugs?”

“There was once an old monk who hawked on a Bianliang [a city in Henan province] street market selling concoction to get rid of the bedbugs,” Zhou Botong told him, “He claimed his concoction to be very effective; once the bugs ate his product they would surely die; if not, he was going to reimburse the customer’s money tenfold. Of course with this kind of guarantee his business was brisk. One of his customers went back home and scattered the concoction on his bed. Heh, heh … that night the bedbugs still came up by the thousands, biting him half-dead. That customer was upset, early the next morning he went back to the market to find that old monk, wanted him to refund his money. That old monk said, ‘My concoction is really effective, if it did not kill your bugs, perhaps you did not use it correctly.’ The customer asked, ‘How do you use it?’”

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14