Ouyang Feng smiled and said, “I don’t deserve to be the young prince’s master, but it’s not difficult for the Old Man to give you directions on martial arts. We will talk about it later.”
Yang Kang had seen Ouyang Ke’s many concubines; they had received instructions in martial arts from him but because they were not his disciples their skills were nothing but ordinary. Listening to Ouyang Feng said it that way his heart was not in the least enthusiastic, but his mouth was obliged to utter some grateful words. He had never realized that Ouyang Feng’s skill was not to be compared with his nephew; receiving one or two instructions on martial arts from an expert of Ouyang Feng’s caliber would give him sufficient skill to boast his power and prestige among the heroes of the Wulin world.
Ouyang Feng noticed his expression and realized his intention to give instructions was not very well received; so he never raised this matter anymore.
During the banquet they were talking about Huang Yaoshi’s arrogance and rudeness; they praised Venerable Lingzhi for fooling him well. Hou Tonghai said, “This man’s martial art’s skill was truly high; turned out that stinky girl is his daughter, no wonder her way was somewhat crafty.” While saying that he turned his attention toward Venerable Lingzhi’s bald head. After staring for a while he turned his gaze toward Lingzhi’s fat neck, and then he bent his own right arm to grab his own neck. “Hey, hey,” he mocked and asked, “Shige [Older Martial Brother], those three were using a grabbing skill, what kind of technique was that?”
“Don’t talk nonsense!” Sha Tongtian rebuked him.
Venerable Lingzhi could not hold his patience anymore and he stretched out his left hand to grab the three horns on Hou Tonghai’s forehead. Hou Tonghai quickly shrank his body and slid under the table. Everybody was laughing and cheering.
Hou Tonghai reappeared on his chair and said to Ouyang Feng, “Master Ouyang, your martial art skill is very high indeed! How about you teach me the skill to grab someone’s fat neck?” Ouyang Feng smiled but did not answer. Venerable Lingzhi looked at Hou Tonghai with glaring eyes.
Hou Tonghai turned his head and asked again, “Shige, that Huang Yaoshi was crying and singing, what did he say?”
Sha Tongtian glowered at him, did not know how to answer; “Who cares about the jabbering of a madman?” he said.
Yang Kang explained, “What he sang was a poem written by Cao Zijian of the Three Kingdoms period. That Cao Zijian composed two stanzas of lamentation because of his daughter’s death. In the poem he said how some people live until the hair on their heads had turned completely white, while some children died prematurely. He questioned why God was so unfair? He hated the fact the Heaven was so high without stairs that he could not ascend to His throne to cry out his complain. He finally said that his grieve was so deep that the day he would follow her to the grave would not be far away.”
The warriors immediately heaped him with praise, they said, “The Young Prince is truly a scholar, highly educated. We are rough men, how would we know?”
Huang Yaoshi’s heart was filled with grieve and indignation. He pointed his finger to the sky and scolding the earth, cursing ghosts and blaming divine beings for treating him unjustly, for all his sorrows and unfair fate. He commanded his boat toward the mainland. Once he was ashore his anger flamed again. He looked up to the sky and shouted, “Who killed my Rong’er? Who killed my Rong’er?”
Suddenly a thought came into his mind, “It’s that boy surnamed Guo. That’s right, it was him. If not for him, how could Rong’er come aboard that boat? But this boy died alongside Rong’er; whom should I lash my anger on?”
As soon as he had this thought, he remembered Guo Jing’s masters, the Six Freaks of Jiangnan. “These six are most guilty of killing my Rong’er! If they didn’t teach that surnamed Guo kid, how could he meet Rong’er? I won’t be appeased before I cut their arms and legs one by one.”
As his anger increased, his sorrow decreased somewhat. He arrived at a small town and stopped for some food; still thinking deeply about how he would pursue the Six Freaks of Jiangnan. “The Six Freaks’ martial art skills are not high, but their reputations are not low. Perhaps they have something that set them above everybody else; perhaps they only use deceit. If I pay a visit to their residence and inquire, chances are I am not going to find them. I must go in the middle of the night breaking into their houses; and then I will wipe them and their whole families clean, young and old alike.” Hence he took big strides walking north toward Jiaxing.