The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 22

He noticed that out of the hundred lumbers needed he was still about seventy, eighty lumbers short; while his pair of legs was about ready to give up. He thought aloud, “His nephews legs are crushed; he must have hated me to his guts. Even if I manage to give him a hundred lumbers tonight, tomorrow night he will require a thousand. When will it end? We can’t fight him, and on this desolate island nobody would help us.” Having thought this he heaved a long sigh, “We are stuck here on this desolate island, who in the world would come to rescue us? Benevolent master Hong has lost his martial art, whether he will live or die is difficult to tell. Rong’er’s father despised me. All Quan Zhen Seven Masters and six benevolent masters are not the Western Poison’s match. If only … if only my sworn brother Zhou Botong were here … but he had killed himself by jumping into the sea early on.” As soon as Zhou Botong came into his mind, he hated Ouyang Feng even more; thinking that this old sworn brother of his, who was skilled in the Nine Yin Manual and had created the mutual hands combat technique, was forced to his death by Ouyang Feng.

“Ah! Nine Yin Manual! Mutual hands combat technique?” these several words flashed through his mind just like seeing a bright star on the horizon in a dark and endless night. “My martial art may not be enough to fight the Western Poison, but the Nine Yin Manual contains the most wonderful secrets of the martial art world; plus the mutual hands combat technique will double my skill. If both Rong’er and I train hard day and night, then we can fight the Old Poison with everything we have. Only regardless of which martial art we use, we still need to fight him for a whole day and night; then how can this be good?”

He stood in the forest thinking deeply; suddenly thought, “Why don’t I go and ask Shifu? His martial art might be gone, but his knowledge is not; he should be able to give me clear directions.” He went back to the tree right away, then explained to Hong Qigong every single one of his thought.

“Read the Nine Yin Manual slowly for me to hear,” Hong Qigong suggested, “Let us see if there is a marvelous martial art you can learn in a short period of time. Guo Jing immediately recited the Manual sentence by sentence. When Hong Qigong heard Guo Jing recited, ‘One knew that by sitting down and pondering deeply one can accomplish virtue; but unknowingly to attain excellence one requires flexibility, as well as clear and bright understanding. The body is cultivated two-folds; namely movement and stillness. Being attacked but stay still.’ he suddenly stood up, “Ah!” he exclaimed.

“What is it?” Guo Jing worriedly asked. Hong Qigong did not answer. He thought those sentences over for a while and then said, “Repeat the last part you were reading a moment ago.”

Guo Jing was delighted, he thought, “Shifu must have found some methods to fight the Old Poison in the last part.” Right away he re-read those sentences slowly.

Hong Qigong nodded his head and said, “That’s true. Carry on.” Guo Jing continued reciting the Manual from memory. Toward the end he recited, “Mo han si ge er, pin te huo ji en, jin qie hu si, ge shan ni ke …”

Hong Qigong was baffled, “What are you saying?”

Guo Jing answered, “Big Brother Zhou told me to memorize those sentences.”

Hong Qigong creased his brows, “What do they mean?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” Guo Jing replied, “Big Brother Zhou himself did not understand.”

“Carry on, then,” Hong Qigong said.

Guo Jing continued, “Bie er fa si, ge luo wu li …” until he came to the end; reciting all kinds of these tongue-twisting sentences.

“Hmm,” Hong Qigong said, “Turned out the Manual also contains some incantations to catch the ghosts.” He wanted to add, “Crafty priest, cheating people with cheap tricks,” but remembering the Manual contained an extensive profound mystery, this mumbo-jumbo must have had a deep meaning; he simply did not understand it for the time being. Hence, the words were about to leave his lips, but he swallowed them back.

After half a day Hong Qigong shook his head, “Jing’er,” he said, “There are many marvelous martial arts in the Manual, but none of them can be mastered in one whole day and night.”

Guo Jing was disappointed. Hong Qigong continued, “Quickly go and build a raft from those twenty lumbers, then go away as far as you can. Rong’er and I will stay here and devise a plan to deal with the Old Poison.”

“No,” Guo Jing hastily said, “How can I leave you, Senior?”

Hong Qigong sighed, “The Western Poison is scared of the Old Heretic Huang, he won’t harm Rong’er. In any case The Old Beggar is invalid. You quickly go!”

Guo Jing burst out in grieve and indignation; he raised his hand and struck the tree trunk with his palm.

This strike was extremely heavy, the sound echoed on the mountain and valley. Hong Qigong was startled, he quickly asked, “Jing’er, the palm you launched, what technique did you use?”

“Why?” Guo Jing was perplexed.

“You hit so hard, but the trunk did not even shake,” Hong Qigong said.

Guo Jing was very embarrassed, “I used up all my strength striking trees, my hands are so sore; I don’t have any more strength left,” he said.

“No, no,” Hong Qigong shook his head, “Your palm strike technique was a little strange. Strike again!”

Raising his hand he struck the tree with his palm. The sound shook the forest, but the tree did not budge. Suddenly it dawned on him. “That was the seventy-two stances Vacant Fist Big Brother Zhou taught disciple.”

“Vacant Fist? I have never heard of it,” Hong Qigong mused.

“That’s right,” Guo Jing said, “Big Brother Zhou was held prisoner on the Peach Blossom Island. He had nothing to do, so he invented this technique. He taught me these sixteen-character secret of the technique: ‘kong meng dong song, feng tong rong meng, chong qiong zhong nong, tong yong gong chong’ [empty and hazy like a loose cave, the wind blow carrying a dream, playing around in power or exhaustion, a child can use a worm as a weapon]”

Hong Qigong laughed, “What kind of empty hole?” he asked. [Play of words here, Hong Qigong said ‘tong nong ku long’ which rhymes with whatever Guo Jing was saying. I can’t translate it properly.]

Guo Jing explained, “Each one of these sixteen characters has their own meaning. The word ‘song’ [loose] means the fist must be devoid of strength; ‘chong’ [worm] means the body must be flexible like a worm; ‘meng’ [hazy] means the fist movement must be obscure, must not be too clear. Disciple will play it out for you to watch, what do you think?”

“The night is so dark, I can’t see anything,” Hong Qigong said, “Why don’t you explain it to me? This is an excellent martial art, I don’t have to see in order to understand it.”

Guo Jing explained from the first stance, ‘kong wan cheng fan’ [empty bowl filled with rice], to the second stance, ‘kong wu zhu ren’ [empty house occupied with people], with all variations therein, including how to send out the force, to Hong Qigong.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18