Huang Rong clapped and laughed, “Master, you’re wrong here!” Hong Qigong was perplexed and asked, “Why?” Huang Rong said, “On the 3rd month of this year, I escaped from Peach Blossom Island to play, and I disguised myself as a beggar. Whenever there are fierce dogs bothering me, all I have to do is give them a kick and they would scramble away.” Hong Qigong said, “Yup, if the dog is too fierce then you’d have to use a rod to hit it.”
Huang Rong thought, “What dog could be so fierce?” Then she realised and shouted, “Ah, yeah, bad guys are dogs too!” Hong Qigong smiled and said, “You’re really clever. If…” He originally wanted to said that Guo Jing did not know, but his heart turned sour and he stopped.
When Huang Rong heard him stop midway, she understood what he was thinking and felt bitterness in her heart and wanted to cry out loud, but now Hong Qigong needed her help and she seemed all grown-up while Hong Qigong seemed like a youth, so she controlled herself and only turned her head away. The tears, however, dropped like pearls.
Hong Qigong was as sad as her, so he knew that consoling her was useless, so he talked about serious matters, saying, “The 36 moves of the [Dog Beating Skill] was created by our Ancestors and can only be passed down from one Clan Leader to the next without letting anyone else know about the skill. Our Clan’s 3rd Leader far surpassed future Leaders and so he greatly improved this skill. After hundreds of years, when our Clan faces any strong opposition, our Leader would personally come forward and use this skill to defeat our enemies.”
Huang Rong started to pay attention and then sighed softly, asking, “Master, when you were fighting with Western Poison on the boat, why didn’t you use it?” Hong Qigong said, “This skill is very important in our clan, and even if I didn’t use it, he may not have won. Who’d know he could be so despicable as to poison me after I saved his life?” Huang Rong saw that he was becoming depressed, so she tried to distract him and said, “Master, please teach me so that I can kill him to avenge you.”
Hong Qigong made a stone-faced laugh and picked up a piece of firewood and leaned against the rock wall. He recited the formula and executed the steps, thus passing down all 36 moves to her. He knew Huang Rong was extremely intelligent but was afraid that he would not live long, so he passed everything down to her in one shot. Although the name of the [Dog Beating Skill] was crude, the changes within were subtle and the techniques profound, and was one of the best martial arts skills ever created. It was thus that this skill was passed down like a precious heirloom.
Although Huang Rong was very clever, she could only remember the general picture and had forgotten some of the finer details. How could she understand the skill in such a short time? After he was done, Hong Qigong took a deep breath amidst his sweat and said, “I didn’t teach well, but… that’s all I can do now.” With a groan he collapsed and fainted. Huang Rong was shocked and shouted, “Master! Master!” She hurriedly supported him up but felt that his limbs were cold and his breathing was weak; he seemed somewhat beyond hope.
Huang Rong was severely tried for the past few days but now she could not cry. She listened to his heart beat and found it barely audible so she quickly massaged his chest to aid his breathing. Just at this critical moment, she heard noises behind her and a hand stretched out to reach for her wrist. She was concentrating fully on saving her master and did not even notice when Ouyang Ke entered the cave. Now she forgot that the person behind her was a vicious wolf and just said naturally, “Master may not make it, think of something to save him.”
When Ouyang Ke heard her plead so sincerely, the tears welled up in her eyes and her face became pitiful, his heart shook. When he bent down to look at Hong Qigong, he saw that his face was white as sheet and his eyes were rolled up, he became more happy. The distance between Huang Rong and himself was less than 1 foot and he could even feel her breathing and smell her fragrance. A few strains of hair were caressing her face and his heart thumped madly until he could not restrain himself any longer, and he grabbed her waist.
Huang Rong was taken aback and struck out with force and took the chance to jump away when he evaded her. Originally Ouyang Ke was afraid of Hong Qigong so he did not dare be disrespectful to Huang Rong, but now he saw that Hong Qigong was half dead, he did not worry anymore and laughed, “Good girl, I wouldn’t bother about other girls, but for such a beauty like yourself, I’ll make an exception; come kiss me.”
He then moved menacingly towards her. Huang Rong was scared out of her wits and thought, “This situation is terrible. Looks like I’ll get killed here, though with indignation.” She then took out her needles. Ouyang Feng smiled and used his outer gown as a weapon and even advanced another 2 steps. Huang Rong waited for him to advance another step before crouching low and dodging to the left.
Ouyang Ke followed her and Huang Rong waved her hand. He waved his long sleeve and blocked the spike and Huang Rong knew that she was like an arrow away from the bow and anxiously tried to run out. Still, Ouyang Ke was faster. Huang Rong heard the wind behind her back and knew he was attacking her back. She was wearing the soft armour so she was not afraid of that and furthermore she was prepared to die, but she wanted to injure him first, so she did not defend herself but returned a strike towards his chest.
Ouyang Ke did not mean to injure her and his strike was only to tire her out, so he readily hit out towards her wrist, neutralizing her move. At the same time, he jumped to the entrance, effectively trapping her inside. But the entrance was narrow and he could hardly turn about, so with Huang Rong’s fierce onslaught coupled with her indifference to her defence, her power seemed to have increased tremendously. Although Ouyang Ke was better than her, he did not want to injure her, so he was at a disadvantage.
In a brief moment they had exchanged 50-60 moves and Huang Rong was in danger. Her martial arts were taught to her by her father while Ouyang Ke’s was taught by his uncle. Huang Yaoshi’s and Ouyang Feng’s martial arts were about the same level, but Huang Rong was only around 15 while Ouyang Ke was almost 30, so the difference in their martial arts was worth almost 20 years’ worth of training. Moreover Huang Rong was not as hardworking as Ouyang Ke and although she learnt some skills from Hong Qigong before, she hardly practised them. Now even with Ouyang Ke’s injury, she was still unable to gain any advantage.