The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 19

Huang Yaoshi was aware that what he said was the truth; he was silent. He realized he had no reason to imprison Zhou Botong for fifteen years on the island; he also had no reason to injure him just now. He took a jade box from his pocket, opened it and produced three blood-like scarlet pills; he gave the pills to Zhou Botong and said, “Botong, I am afraid there is no medicine under the heaven can surpass these Peach Blossom Island’s red pills. Take one right now, and then take the next two seven days apart; your internal injury won’t be a problem anymore. Let me take you out of this island.”

Zhou Botong nodded, took the medicines and swallowed one; circulating his breath for a while he vomited some contusion blood. He said, “Old Heretic Huang, your red pill is very effective; no wonder you are called ‘Yaoshi’ [master pharmacist]. Eek! Strange! Very strange! My name is ‘Botong’, I wonder what that means?” After pondering that question for half a day he shook his head and said, “Old Heretic Huang, I must go now. Are you or aren’t you going to let me go?”

“I do not dare,” Huang Yaoshi replied, “It’s up to you to stay or to go. Botong Xiong, after today if you ever have a desire to come here, I will welcome you wholeheartedly. Right now let me walk you to the boat which will take you back to the mainland.”

Guo Jing squatted down to pick Zhou Botong up and carried him on his back; then he followed Huang Yaoshi walked to the seashore. Arriving at the marina he saw about six, seven boats, big and small.

“Yao Xiong,” Ouyang Feng said, “You don’t need to send a boat to take Big Brother Zhou home. He can ride on Little Brother’s boat.”

“In that case do what Feng Xiong’s heart desires,” Huang Yaoshi said. He made a hand signal to a deaf and mute servant and that servant went into a big boat nearby. When he reappeared he had a tray full of gold coins.

“Botong,” Huang Yaoshi said, “Take this money and use it to play around. Your martial art is better than Old Heretic Huang’s. I admire you very much.”

Zhou Botong’s eyes shone with a mischievous look on his face. He looked toward Ouyang Feng’s big boat and saw a white flag on the bow. On the flag was embroidered a strange looking snake, with two heads and their mouth open wide showing fork tongues on it. He was not happy at all.

Ouyang Feng took a wooden whistle from his pocket, blew some notes; and before long there came a strange noise from the forest ahead. Two Peach Blossom Island’s servants led some White Camel Mountain’s snake shepherds came out from the forest, followed by row after row of snakes slithered on the plank and went into the boat’s hold.

“I am not riding on Western Poison’s boat!” Zhou Botong cried out, “I am scared of snakes!”

Huang Yaoshi smiled faintly, “That is all right too; you can ride on that boat.” He pointed to a boat nearby.

Zhou Botong shook his head, “No! I don’t want that boat, I want THAT big boat.”

Huang Yaoshi’s face changed a little bit. “Botong, that ship is broken, it is not fixed yet. You can’t have it.”

Everybody could see that the boat’s tail was tall; the hull was painted blue and gold, very beautiful. It looked new and strong, why did he say it was broken?

“Why can’t I ride on that boat?” Zhou Botong asked, “Old Heretic Huang, how come you are so stingy?”

“This is a most ill-fated boat, that’s why it is always anchored here,” Huang Yaoshi explained. “Since when am I stingy? If you don’t believe me, I’ll have the boat burned down for you to see.” Making some hand signals four deaf and mute servants lighted some torch and rushed to the boat to burn it down.

Suddenly Zhou Botong sat on the ground, flailing his hands and feet; pulling his hair and beard and bawling loudly. Seeing him acting like that everybody was startled. Guo Jing was the only one who knew his temper; he was fascinated. Zhou Botong pulled his beard and rolling around on the ground, “I want to ride the new boat, I want to ride the new boat.” Huang Rong quickly moved forward to stop the four servants.

Hong Qigong smiled, “Yao Xiong,” he said, “For all my life the Old Beggar has been ill-fated. Let me accompany the Old Urchin riding this ill-fated boat. We can use poison to combat poison. Let us see whether the Old Beggar’s unlucky aura wins, or your ill-fated boat prevails.”

“Qi Xiong, I thought you are going to stay on the island for several days,” Huang Yaoshi said, “Why such a hurry to leave?”

“The world’s big beggars, medium-sized beggars, and little beggars, within a few days will gather together at Yueyang, in Hunan province. They will look up to the Old Beggar to appoint a new leader. If the Old Beggar meets a calamity and has to return to heaven before first appointed a successor, who would lead the world’s beggars? Therefore, the Old Beggar has to go, whether he wants it or not. Your brother truly appreciates Yao Xiong’s generosity. Whenever your daughter and son-in-law get married, I will come back to disturb the wedding.”

Huang Yaoshi sighed, “Qi Xiong, you are truly an ardent man; you dedicate your life toiling for others, like a horse that never stops galloping everywhere.”

Hong Qigong laughed, “The Old Beggar never ride a horse; my feet can’t be compared to a horse’s hoof. Aiyo! Something’s wrong! You are indirectly scolding me, saying that my feet are hoofs, wouldn’t that mean you are saying I am a horse?”

Huang Rong laughed, “Shifu, you said it yourself, my father never scolded you.”

“Of course, Shifu will always inferior to father,” Hong Qigong said, “Just you watch, I am going to take a Mistress Old Beggar, then we will have a baby girl beggar for you to look after.”

Huang Rong clapped her hands, “That’s great! I will have a little beggar as my martial sister to play with. Won’t that be fun?”

Ouyang Ke stole a glance toward her; under the bright sunlight she looked so beautiful, her cheeks pink like a spring flower, colorful as rosy-colored clouds at dawn; he couldn’t help but feeling crazy for her. However, from her his thought went to Guo Jing. His pulse quickened, knowing she had her eyes only for Guo Jing, his anger rose, he swore in his heart, “There will come a day when I will kill this stinky kid.”

Hong Qigong held out his hand to help Zhou Botong, he said, “Botong, I will accompany you riding this new boat. Old Heretic Huang is so weird, we two boys better not mind him at all.”

Zhou Botong was delighted, “Old Beggar, you are a very kind man, what do you say we become sworn brothers?”

Hong Qigong had not answered when Guo Jing interrupted, “Big Brother Zhou, you and I have become sworn brothers so how could you take my master as your sworn brother also?”

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