Zhou Botong laughed, “What’s the problem? If your father-in-law is kind enough and let me ride on this new boat, when my heart is happy I might take him as my sworn brother as well.”
“What about me?” Huang Rong laughed.
Zhou Botong squinted his eyes, “I am not too keen to take a baby doll; if I look at pretty women too much; they turn into trash.” Taking Hong Qigong’s arm he walked to the boat.
Quickly Huang Yaoshi blocked their way, stretching both arms and said, “Old Huang does not dare to take advantage of others. Riding this boat will bring more harm than good. Gentlemen, you don’t need to prove your courage, it has been well known on the Central Plains.”
Hong Qigong laughed heartily, “You have repeatedly warned us; even if the Old Beggar returns to heaven due to seasickness I will still appreciate Yao Xiong’s friendship.” Although he said those things jokingly, but in his heart he was quite wary seeing Huang Yaoshi had twice tried to stop them from boarding the boat. He knew something was wrong with that boat, but Zhou Botong was insistent on coming aboard. He saw with his own eyes how stubborn Zhou Botong was. If something really went wrong, Zhou Botong could not possibly face the danger alone, with his internal injury and all. That was the reason he made up his mind to come with Zhou Botong.
Huang Yaoshi made a humph sound and said, “You two gentlemen are experts in martial art; I am sure you would be able to turn bad luck into good. This Old Huang here worries too much. You, the boy surnamed Guo, you are going with them.”
Guo Jing was startled. When he became Huang Yaoshi’s son-in-law he was called ‘Jing’er’ but now suddenly Huang Yaoshi changed the way he called him; moreover, his expression was so stern. Looking at Huang Yaoshi he said, “Father-in-law …”
“Who’s your Father-in-law?” Huang Yaoshi cut him off with a harsh voice, “You are a greedy lying boy! If you ever tread your foot on the Peach Blossom Island again even for half a step, don’t blame the Old Huang for being ruthless.” Reaching backward he grabbed a servant’s collar, shouted, “This is your example!” The deaf and mute servant’s tongue was cut early on, so only a low and deep neighing was heard from his throat; his body flew to the sea. His internal organs were crushed by Huang Yaoshi’s palm; he dropped to the sea and in an instant disappeared among the waves without any trace.
The other deaf and mute servants were terribly terrified, they all knelt down at once. All of them were originally criminals; Huang Yaoshi had investigated their background carefully before capturing them one by one and took them to the island; cut their tongues and pierced their ears, making them his slaves. He once said, “The Old Huang is not a gentleman, Jianghu people call me the Eastern Heretic. Naturally I don’t like any gentlemen as my companions; I prefer wicked people to be my servants. The more wicked they are, the more I like them.” That one servant, although he deserved to be condemned, struck by his palm and thrown out to the sea without any reason, had shaken everybody’s heart. They could not help but sighing inwardly, “The Old Heretic Huang is really wicked.”
Guo Jing was scared; he also knelt down on the ground.
“What did he do to offend you?” Hong Qigong asked.
Huang Yaoshi did not answer his question, instead, sternly he asked Guo Jing, “Did you or did you not give the second volume of the Nine Yin Manual to Zhou Botong?”
“I did give something to Big Brother Zhou, but I really did not know if it was the manual,” Guo Jing said, “If I knew …”
“What do you mean you didn’t know?” Zhou Botong interrupted. He was always ignorant of what was serious and what was not. The more he saw other people upset, the more he wanted to play practical jokes on them. Without waiting for Guo Jing to explain he said, “You said it yourself that you took that manual from Mei Chaofeng; said you were lucky the old man Huang Yaoshi didn’t know. You also said that after you master the manual, you will become number one expert of martial art in the world.”
Guo Jing was stupefied. “Big Brother, I … when did I say that?” he said with a trembling voice.
Zhou Botong’s eyes glittered, with a stern voice he said, “You certainly have said that.”
The fact that Guo Jing was able to recite the book was well-known to those present; whether he knew it was the Nine Yin Manual or not, nobody cared. Now that Zhou Botong had confirmed it Huang Yaoshi was very, very angry. Why would he think Zhou Botong was only joking? He forgot that Zhou Botong was childish and always liked to crack a joke; while Guo Jing was naïve and unable to tell lies. He was so wild with rage that he was afraid he would rip Guo Jing apart, thus smearing his own reputation; so he raised his hand in respect of Zhou Botong, Hong Qigong and Ouyang Feng, saying, “Please!” Pulling along Huang Rong’s hand he turned around and walked away.
Huang Rong still wanted to have a few words with Guo Jing. “Brother Jing …” she called; but she was pulled by her father and in a blink of an eye they have traveled dozens of feet away, disappearing into the forest.
Zhou Botong burst out in laughter, but stopped abruptly because his chest hurt. Finally he chuckled and said, “The Old Heretic Huang has fallen into my trap. I spoke nonsense to deceive him and he took it seriously. Amusing, amusing!”
Hong Qigong was taken aback. “Then Jing’er really didn’t know beforehand?” he asked.
Zhou Botong laughed, “Of course he didn’t know! He thought the Nine Yin martial arts are evil; if he knew, he wouldn’t want to learn with me. Brother, you have memorized the manual really well didn’t you? Even if you want to forget it, you can’t, can you?” He held his stomach and burst out into laughter again; didn’t care if it hurt his chest; so his expression was really awkward.
Hong Qigong stomped his foot. “Ay! Old Urchin! Don’t you think this joke is too much? I am going to talk to Yao Xiong.” Moving his feet he dashed into the forest, but the pathways was confusing; he did not know which way Huang Yaoshi went. As for the deaf and mute servants, as soon as their master gone, they scampered away following him. Hong Qigong had no one to lead him the way, so he was compelled to come back. But suddenly he remembered that Ouyang Ke had the map of the Peach Blossom Island in details. “Ouyang Xianzhi, can I borrow the Peach Blossom Island map, please?” he asked urgently.
Ouyang Ke shook his head, “Without Uncle Huang’s permission little nephew does not dare to let other people see it; Uncle Hong please don’t blame me.”