“Have you placed oil, firewood and sulfur in each cabin?” he heard Ouyang Feng asked.
Ouyang Ke laughed, “Everything is ready, as soon as we start the fire this boat will turn into ashes and the stinky Beggar will be scorched to death instantly.”
“They are going to burn the boat?” Hong Qigong was shocked.
“We must wait a little bit longer,” Ouyang Feng said, “As soon as that kid surnamed Guo falls asleep you go first to the life boat; just be really careful not to wake the Old Beggar up. I’ll come over here and light up the fire.”
“What are we going to do with those maidservants and the snake shepherds?” Ouyang Ke asked.
“The stinky Beggar is a great master of this age; it’s worthy of his reputation to sacrifice some people to accompany him in his death,” Ouyang Feng coldly said.
While still talking their hands did not stay idle, they unplug the barrel and the smell of oil attacked Hong Qigong’s nose. Turned out the barrels were full of vegetable oils. Ouyang Feng uncle and nephew also took some sulfur from a stack of wooden boxes, some firewood and sacks of wood shavings from the shelves, and scattered them on the floor.
Not too long afterward they have finished their job and turned around to go out when Ouyang Ke laughed and said, “Uncle, in less than 12 hours that kid surnamed Guo will be buried in the sea; the only person who knows the Nine Yin Manual will be just you, Senior.”
“No, there will be two. Won’t I pass it on to you?” Ouyang Feng replied. Ouyang Ke was delighted; he pushed the door closed with the back of his hand.
Hong Qigong was furious and shocked at the same time, he thought if there was no ghost or spirit telling him to steal some wine how would he found out these two people’s treacherous plan? If the boat was suddenly on fire, how would he escape the disaster? After could not hear the footsteps of those two anymore, he carefully sneaked out and went back to his own cabin. Guo Jing had already gone back and was sleeping soundly on the bed. He was about to wake him up and discuss what they were going to do when suddenly there was a slight rustling noise outside the door. He knew it must be Ouyang Feng trying to see if they were sound asleep, so he pretended to talk in his sleep, “Good wine! Good wine! I want ten more pots!”
Ouyang Feng was startled, at first he thought the Old Beggar was still awake, drinking wine, but then Hong Qigong cried out loud again, “Old Poison, let us fight for another thousand stances … (giggling) … Good boy! That was awesome!”
Standing outside the door Ouyang Feng listened to him speaking nonsense, he was confused, but then realized that Hong Qigong was talking in his sleep. “This stinky Beggar’s death is imminent, yet he still drinks and fights in his dream,” he thought.
With his mouth Hong Qigong talked nonsense, but with his ears he listened attentively. Ouyang Feng’s lightness kungfu was superb, but Hong Qigong was still able to hear him walking toward the port side of the boat. Hong Qigong put his mouth on Guo Jing’s ear and lightly shook his shoulder, “Jing’er!” he whispered.
“Mmm!” Guo Jing awoke.
“Just follow my lead, don’t ask any question,” Hong Qigong said urgently, “Get out quietly, make sure nobody’s watching you.”
Guo Jing rolled over and crawled quietly toward the door. Hong Qigong silently opened the door and tugging Guo Jing’s sleeve they moved toward the starboard. He was afraid they would be detected by Ouyang Feng; so instead of jumping out he climbed over the edge. With his left hand hanging on the edge his right hand pulled Guo Jing along; both of them hanging outside the boat’s side. Guo Jing felt strange, but did not dare to make any noise. Hong Qigong slowly released his hands from the edge and quietly crawled downward; keeping his eyes on Guo Jing for fear that the boat was too slippery for him, that if he should fall, he would surely make noise.
The boat was smoothly painted, plus, it was wet. Secondly, they were going downward, where the boat was sloping toward the water; thirdly, the boat was moving above the waves that made the boat rocked; so climbing downward was truly not an easy matter. Luckily Guo Jing was trained by Ma Yu going up and down the cliff everyday in the desert; besides, his skill had been improved tremendously this past year or so. He would stick his fingers in between the wood plank, or grab the head of a nail, or find a crack somewhere; slowly but steadily going down.
Half of Hong Qigong’s body was already under water. He moved toward the stern, with Guo Jing following close behind. His target was the small life boat tied on a rope behind the boat. “Get on that boat!” he told Guo Jing. He loosened up his grip and separated his body from the big boat.
The big boat was traveling quite fast, so a second later Hong Qigong had grabbed the edge of the small boat. Swing his hands his body somersaulted and landed on the small boat without making any sound. When Guo Jing had followed his example he quietly said, “Cut off the rope.” Guo Jing took the dagger out and a moment later that small boat was floating freely on the ocean waves. Hong Qigong pulled the oar to give themselves some distance from the big boat. A moment later the big boat disappeared into the darkness.
Suddenly a flame was seen on the big boat’s stern, it came from the torch in Ouyang Feng’s hand. Ouyang Feng was heard shouting in alarm because the small life boat was nowhere to be seen. He sounded shocked, but also angry and afraid at the same time. Hong Qigong concentrated his ‘qi’ in the ‘dan tian’ region and let out a long laugh.
Out of nowhere another boat appeared, coming rapidly toward the starboard of the big boat. Hong Qigong wondered, “Uh, what boat is that?” Before he finished speaking a pair of white eagles came down from the sky, circling the big boat’s main sail. Someone dressed in white was seen leaving the incoming boat, leaping toward the big boat. Under the bright starlight above one could see a glimmer of golden hair band on her head. “Rong’er!” Guo Jing gasped.
The person who was just leaping onto the big boat was indeed Huang Rong. Just before leaving the Peach Blossom Island she saw the little red horse came galloping from the forest, she thought, “This little red horse is useless on the sea, but those two condors would actually be able to help me find Brother Jing.” Therefore, she whistled loudly to call the white eagles.
The eagles’ eyes are sharp, they can fly extremely fast. On this boundless sea they unexpectedly saw Guo Jing on the big boat. Huang Rong was alarmed, but also pleasantly surprised to find the ‘in danger’ message Guo Jing tied on the eagles’ leg; immediately she let the eagles soar to the sky and steered the boat following them. Eventually her boat caught up with the big boat, but she was a little bit too late, Hong Qigong and Guo Jing had already left the big boat.