This latest development has taken everybody by surprise; they were startled. They saw him facing upward and laughing wildly, getting louder and louder. His laughter had caused a chill in the air; those who listened to it felt more and more miserable. Gradually the laughter turned into weeping, a very sad one. The people could not bear it any longer, they felt like they shared his grief and were about to shed tears too.
Ouyang Feng was the only one who knew his temperament well, that he used to sing and cry without any specific reason; hence he did not feel too strange. But listening to him weeping so miserably he thought, “If he keeps crying like this, the Old Heretic Huang will inevitably injure himself. In the past Ruan Ji mourned the death of his mother and in doing so had vomited a lot of blood. The Old Heretic Huang could experience the same fate as that person from the past. It was a pity my iron zither was lost when my boat sank; otherwise I could have played it along and make his crying more interesting. This man has an unusual character once he unleashes his uncontrollable emotion he will most likely suffer a serious internal injury. When it’s time for the second Sword Meet of Mount Hua I will surely miss a worthy and formidable opponent. Ay! What a great loss! What a pity, what a pity!”
After crying for a while Huang Yaoshi lifted his jade flute up and struck the edge of the boat while singing, “Why did God make someone’s life so short? Or someone die when all the hair in his head had turned white, while the other die because of disaster or child-birth. The previous calamity had not passed, the new one has come along. Morning had just blossomed, the evening had already come, the dew came with the dawn and evaporated immediately. The departed cannot be pursued, the emotion suddenly fails. The high heaven does not have stairs, to whom shall I pour my complain out?”
‘Crack!’ the jade flute was broken into two. Without turning his head Huang Yaoshi walked to the bow. Venerable Lingzhi dashed forward to block him off and coldly said, “You wept and you laughed like a madman, what do you think you are doing?”
“Reverend, don’t …” Wanyan Honglie called out, but before he finished, Huang Yaoshi’s right hand stretched out and grabbed Venerable Lingzhi’s neck. Turning him midair until his feet were facing upward Huang Yaoshi threw him down until his fat bald head penetrated the deck straight to his shoulders.
It turns out that in the martial art Venerable Lingzhi practiced, his neck was his weakest point. As soon as he made his move, highly skilled martial artists like Ouyang Feng, Zhou Botong and Huang Yaoshi could immediately see through this flaw and attack his weakest spot.
Huang Yaoshi continued singing, “The sky eternal, the earth unchanging, how long will a man live? The past, the future, everything passed unawares; there is a time for everything.” A dark green shadow flashed, he had already moved to his own boat, turned the rudder and sailed away.
The people on board was about to rescue Venerable Lingzhi who stayed motionless, they did not know if he was alive or dead, suddenly they heard a grunt and the deck floor opened, out came a young man. He was handsome, with red lips and white teeth, and a face like a crown jade; he was Wanyan Honglie’s son, Yang Kang, whose former name was Wanyan Kang.
After having a disagreement with Mu Nianci he kept remembering Wanyan Honglie’s words, ‘unlimited riches and honor’; thereafter he contacted a Jin government office in the north to get information. Not long after he found his father king and thus accompanied him to the south. When Guo Jing and Huang Rong embarked, he caught a glimpse of them and immediately went hiding inside the cabin, did not dare to come out, only took a peek through a crack on the cabin’s door; hence he saw everything that happened on the deck clearly. When the people were eating and drinking he was still afraid Ouyang Feng was Guo Jing’s accomplice. He hid in the boat’s hold and eavesdropped at the conversation on the banquet table, trying to find out Ouyang Feng’s real intention. Only after Huang Yaoshi left he finally decided that he had nothing to worry about, so he opened the deck’s plank and came out.
The fall of Venerable Lingzhi was truly heavy; fortunately due to his hard training his head was strong. He made a hole on the deck, but his head was not injured, it was only a little bit dizzy. He calmed himself down and pushed both hands on the deck to lift his own body up; then he leaped and stood up.
The people saw the round hole on the deck; they could not be refrained from looking at each other in amazement. They felt funny, but felt it was inappropriate to laugh, so they kept their faces straight, but they looked very awkward.
Wanyan Honglie broke the silence by saying, “Son, meet Mr Ouyang.”
Yang Kang immediately knelt in front of Ouyang Feng and kowtowed to him four times. It was a very big honor, caused everybody to be surprised. Actually at the Zhao Palace Yang Kang had had a great admiration toward Venerable Lingzhi; but today he had seen Ouyang Feng, Zhou Botong and Huang Yaoshi, three people, one after another grabbed his neck and tossed him back and forth like he was just a baby. Only then did he realize there was a sky above the sky and there was another man above a man. He recalled the disgrace when he was held captive at the Cloud Village on Lake Tai, when he was scared of and lost his nerve to fight Guo Jing and Huang Rong at the Liu ancestral hall in Baoying; all because his skill was inferior to others. Presently there was a man with a very high skill in front of him, so he wanted to take him as his master. After paying Ouyang Feng a big respect he turned to Wanyan Honglie and said, “Father, your son wants to take this gentleman as my master.”
Wanyan Honglie was delighted, quickly he stepped forward and bowed his respect to Ouyang Feng, saying, “My young child likes to learn martial arts, only he has not met a suitable master. If Sir do not relinquish this request and willing to bestow instructions, Little King father and son will be forever grateful.”
Other people thought that being the young prince’s master was the wish of everybody; who would have thought that Ouyang Feng simply returned the greeting and said, “There is always a rule in the Old Man’s martial art school that our knowledge will be bestowed only to one disciple, and not to someone else. The Old Man has already taken my own nephew as my disciple, I can’t take another one. For this I beseech the Prince’s forgiveness.”
Seeing Ouyang Feng did not grant his request Wanyan Honglie did not press. He ordered his men to prepare some more food and wine. Yang Kang on the other hand, was quite disappointed.