Ouyang Ke thought, “You won’t allow me to stay on the Peach Blossom Island; I don’t care much about your weird skill anyway. In the next three months I will be responsible for this chart. If not careful I might lose or damage this chart; then what would I do? No, I’d better not take it!” He was going to say some nice words to decline when suddenly another thought came into his mind, “He said he is going to send someone to retrieve it; that someone must be his daughter. This is a great opportunity to get intimate with her.” He was delighted with this thought and immediately held out his hands to receive the scroll while uttering some grateful words.
Huang Rong took out the small box of dragon pill and gave it back to Ouyang Feng. “Uncle Ouyang,” she said, “This is your poison antidote pill; your niece does not dare to accept it.”
Ouyang Feng thought, “If this thing falls into the Old Heretic Huang’s hands; he would be impervious to my poisons. Although to take it back again seemed so petty, I can’t afford to let him have it.” Therefore, he held out his hand to take the pill and immediately raised his hands to say goodbye to Huang Yaoshi.
Huang Yaoshi did not hold him back; he sent them away. Walking to the door Hong Qigong said, “Du Xiong [poison brother], the end of next year will be our Sword Meet on Mount Hua. You have to conserve your energy well since we are going to have a very tight competition.”
Ouyang Feng simply smiled casually, “The way I see it we don’t need to waste our energy to fight. The title ‘the world’s number one martial artist’ has been decided early on.”
Hong Qigong was taken aback, “Has been decided? Could it be that Du Xiong has mastered a matchless unique skill?”
Ouyang Feng showed a faint smile, “With a mediocre skill, how would Ouyang Feng dare to covet the title ‘the world’s number one martial artist’? I am talking about the person who taught this Guo Xianzhi.”
Hong Qigong laughed, “Are you talking about the Old Beggar?” he said, “I’d like that, but Yao Xiong’s martial art has improved daily. For you, Du Xiong, advancing years also mean advancing skill. I am afraid Emperor Duan’s martial art skill is not getting lower either. I don’t think the Old Beggar will have any advantage.”
Ouyang Feng coldly said, “Among the people who taught Guo Xianzhi, not necessarily Qi Xiong’s martial art is the finest.”
“What?” Hong Qigong barely closed his mouth when Huang Yaoshi interrupted, “Uh, are you talking about the Old Urchin Zhou Botong?”
“That’s right!” Ouyang Feng replied, “Since the Old Urchin had mastered the Nine Yin Manual, then all of us: the Eastern Heretic, Western Poison, Southern Emperor and Northern Beggar, are not his match anymore.”
“That is not necessarily true,” Huang Yaoshi said, “Manual is dead, but martial art is alive.”
Ouyang Feng noticed earlier that Huang Yaoshi had diverted his question; he did not let Guo Jing tell them Zhou Botong’s whereabouts; he knew something was amiss; so he decided to mention it again just before he leave. Hearing Huang Yaoshi said that he knew his suspicion was not unsubstantiated; but he was crafty, so his face did not show any changes. Nonchalantly he said, “We all know the quality of Quan Zhen Sect’s martial art; we even need to ask for their advice. Now the Old Urchin has added the skill of the Nine Yin Manual to that; even if Wang Chongyang were alive, I doubt he would be his match; not to mention us. Ay! Quan Zhen is really good; even if the three of us work hard for a lifetime, we are still a notch below them.”
“The Old Urchin’s martial art is a lot better than mine,” Huang Yaoshi said, “But has not reached Feng Xiong and Qi Xiong’s level. I know this for a fact.”
“Yao Xiong do not need to be modest,” Ouyang Feng said, “You and I are ‘ban jin ba liang’ [lit. half a ‘jin’ eight ‘liang’ – comparable, equal]. You have said so yourself; that Zhou Botong’s martial art is not as good as yours. However, I am afraid …” He shook his head.
“Feng Xiong will find out next year at the Sword Meet of Mount Hua,” Huang Yaoshi smiled.
Ouyang Feng was serious, “Yao Xiong, I usually respect your martial art, but I doubt it when you said you can defeat the Old Urchin. I think with him, you’d better watch out.”
It was not that Huang Yaoshi did not know that he was being provoked, but he was a proud man; of course he did not want anybody belittle him. So with indignation he said, “The Old Urchin is actually on the Peach Blossom Island. Brother has imprisoned him for fifteen years.”
Ouyang Feng and Hong Qigong were dumbstruck. Hong Qigong simply raised his eyebrows, but Ouyang Feng actually broke up in laughter, “Yao Xiong, that was a very good joke!”
Huang Yaoshi did not say anything; he pointed his finger as if showing the way, then he exerted his strength to his feet, and flew back to the bamboo groove. Hong Qigong followed along, his left hand holding Guo Jing, his right hand Huang Rong. Ouyang Feng also pulled Ouyang Ke’s arm; together they used their lightness kungfu and not too long afterward arrived in front of Zhou Botong’s cave.
When they were still quite a distance away Huang Yaoshi had noticed that the cave was empty. “Ah!” he uttered his surprise. With a body as light as a feather he leaped up to the sky; and several jumps later he had already arrived at the cave’s mouth. His left foot landed first, only to feel he stepped on an empty space. Suddenly meeting an accident he did not panic; he kicked his right foot to the air and jumped vertically up. Again he landed his left foot gently, but again he felt he was stepping on an empty air. This time he was not able to use anything as a stepping stone, so with the back of his hand he pulled the jade flute from his belt and in one fluid motion struck the flute to the cave wall. With one push his body flew out of the cave like a flying arrow.
That vertical leap, pulling out the jade flute and flying backward outside the cave were done in a flash. Hong Qigong and Ouyang Feng saw his wonderful skill and they cheered; only to hear a “Splotch!” sound. Huang Yaoshi’s both feet fell into a hole on the ground outside the cave.
Huang Yaoshi felt his feet were stepping on something wet and soft. With a light kick once again his body flew up. While he was still on the air he saw Hong Qigong and the rest had arrived and they did not fall into any trap, so he landed gently on his daughter’s side. Suddenly a stinky stench attacked his nostrils; he looked down and to his dismay he saw his feet were covered with dung.