The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 20

Hong Qigong cursed under his breath, “Son of a bitch, what a good intention he has!” In his anger suddenly an idea came into his head; but he kept a straight face and shouted loud and clear, “Little Rascal, the old man admits defeat to your dog-like uncle’s evil scheme. Quickly prepare some food and wine, we’ll talk again tomorrow.”

Ouyang Ke was delighted; he knew Hong Qigong’s word was like a mountain, he certainly would live up to his promise, so he gave the command to withdraw the snakes immediately. Hong Qigong and Guo Jing slid down the mast and went into the cabin; where Ouyang Ke’s servants delivered all kind of food and wine. As soon as the door was closed Hong Qigong immediately drank half a pot of wine; ripping half a chicken and started to chew.

“Are these food and wine free of poison?” Guo Jing asked with a low voice.

“Stupid kid,” Hong Qigong said, “That bird brain wants you to write down the manual, he won’t harm your life just yet. Quickly eat as much as you can, we have things to discuss afterward.” Guo Jing silently agreed, in one breath he ate four big bowls of rice.

After eating and drinking to his heart’s content Hong Qigong used the end of his sleeve to wipe his greasy mouth, then whispered in Guo Jing’s ear, “The Old Poison wants the ‘jiu yin zhen jing’ [Nine Yin Manual] from you, you write a ‘jiu yin jia jing’ [Nine Yin Altered Manual] for him.”

Guo Jing was puzzled, “Nine Yin Altered Manual?” he asked in a low voice.

[Translator’s note: jiu yin zhen jing – nine ‘yin’ (negative/female/moon – as opposed to ‘yang’ – positive/male/sun) divine/holy scripture; jiu yin jia jing – nine yin fake/imitation/not the real thing scripture. The term ‘Nine Yin Manual’ has been widely used, so let’s just use that; otherwise we’ll have to change every reference to it, not only in this novel, but in RoCH and HSDS as well]

Hong Qigong smiled, “That’s right!” he said. “In this whole wide world, you are the only one who knows the Nine Yin Manual. Whatever you want to write, just write. Who is going to say that what you write is not the real manual? Intentionally you alter and mix up the sentences, let him use that to train himself in martial art. I am sure even if he practices for a hundred years he won’t master even one fart!”

Guo Jing was delighted, he thought, “This is a really clever trick; the Old Poison will surely fall for it.” But then he remembered something, “Ouyang Feng’s martial art is profound; he is also crafty and vigilant, if disciple just scribbles some nonsense, he will find out eventually, then what?” he asked.

“You have to write something that appeared right but actually wrong,” Hong Qigong explained, “Write three correct sentences then alter the fourth one. Add or subtract some numbers, for example, if the manual says you need to do it eight times, change it to six or perhaps ten. As smart as he is, he will never find it out. I am willing to spend seven days and seven nights without food or wine just to see him training from this fake manual.” Speaking to this point he could not restrain his smile.

Guo Jing also laughed, “If he really practice according to the altered manual, not only he will waste his time and energy, but he could suffer some internal injury as well,” he said.

“Now quickly think carefully how you are going to alter the manual; once he is suspicious, our plan will be foiled,” Hong Qigong said with a smile; then he added, “The content of the second volume had been read and rewritten by Huang Yaoshi’s wife, moreover, that little rascal had read it on the Peach Blossom Island; hence this part you can’t change too much, just add some incorrect words here and there; I am sure that little rascal won’t know the difference.”

Guo Jing silently recited the manual in his head, trying to think which sentences he could alter, where he could insert some misleading sentences. He replaced hold with move, above with below, and other simple altering that did not require him to recompose the whole sentence; in short, he was following his master’s instruction to make subtle changes every where in the manual. For example, he changed the sentence ‘hand and mind toward the sky’ to ‘foot and buttock toward the sky’; or ‘feet firmly on the ground’ into ‘hands lightly moving on the ground’. On the internal energy cultivation he changed ‘concentrate ‘qi’ in the pubic region (dan tian)’ into ‘concentrate ‘qi’ in the chest and throat’.

While thinking about all these changes he could not restrain from heaving a heavy sigh and said in his heart, “Playing practical jokes like this is Rong’er and Big Brother Zhou’s delight. It’s a pity that one is nowhere near, the other is already died. Someday I will see Rong’er again, but I will never be able to tell this story to Big Brother Zhou.”

Early morning on the next day Hong Qigong called Ouyang Ke and proudly told him, “The Old Beggar’s martial art is already unique; I don’t need to see all kinds of Nine Yin Manual. As a matter of fact, even if you show the manual in front of my face I won’t even cast a glance to it. Only some bird brain whose martial art is useless would be dying to steal all kinds of gold and silver [play of words here: shen jing – divine scripture, shen jin – pure gold, shen yin – pure silver]. Tell your dog uncle that the manual will be written just for him. Tell him to shut himself up and train hard; and when he’s done, to come to the Old Beggar to test his newfound skill. The Manual naturally is a good thing, but I don’t want to look at it even with one eye. I want to see if with the Manual’s help he would be able to defeat the Old Beggar. I want to see whether after he has painstakingly practiced the martial arts from the manual he wouldn’t just ‘ban jin ba liang’ [the same, equal to] with the Old Beggar? I’ll say he’s just taking off his pants to fart; totally useless!”

Ouyang Feng was actually standing behind his cabin door, so he heard everything, but he was delighted instead of getting angry. “It’s a very good thing the Old Beggar is very proud, he doesn’t mind letting me have the manual,” he thought, “Otherwise, even if I fight him, threaten him with snakes or poison, or I starve him to death, it would still be difficult to force him.”

“Uncle Hong, you are wrong!” Ouyang Ke said, “My Uncle’s martial art has reached perfection. With Uncle Hong’s ability, you could not gain even half a move advantage; so why would Uncle want to learn the Nine Yin Manual? My Uncle once told Little Nephew that he is convinced the Nine Yin Manual had enjoyed undeserved reputation. Otherwise, when Wang Chongyang won the book, why didn’t he learn anything from it and demonstrate it in front of everybody? My Uncle wants to take a look at it to point out the errors and prove that the manual is actually a hoax. Wouldn’t you say that it will benefit the Wulin world tremendously?”

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