The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 22

“That’s hard to say,” Hong Qigong concurred, “Perhaps the martial art in that book is fiercer than I thought.”

“Rong’er, please be patient,” Guo Jing said, “There is nothing wrong with learning a new skill.”

A few more days passed, Guo Jing and Huang Rong had finished the second part of the Changing Muscle Forging Bones. The raft was also ready. The three of them wove a sail from tree barks; they also prepared some fresh water and food on the raft. All along Ouyang Feng was indifferent to what they were doing; he simply watched their activities with a cold look.

One evening everything was ready, they planned on sailing the next day. Just before bed that night Huang Rong asked, “Do we have to say goodbye to them?”

“Not only that, we must make a ten year agreement with them,” Guo Jing answered, “They have bullied us so bad, how can we forget it?”

Huang Rong clapped her hands, “Absolutely! I pray to the Heaven to bless those two thieves that they can go back to the mainland, and also to give the Old Poison ten more years of life. Otherwise, to restore Shifu’s martial art quickly, so that in one or two years we can look for him; that would be even better.”

The next day before the crack of dawn Hong Qigong awoke; indistinctly he heard some noise from the shore. He quickly called, “Jing’er, did you hear that noise from the beach?”

Guo Jing got up immediately and jumped down the tree. Once he saw what happened on the beach he could not stop cursing; immediately he rushed forward to pursue. By this time Huang Rong was also awoke and ran after him, calling out, “Brother Jing, what’s the matter?”

Guo Jing shouted from a distant, “Those two wicked thieves stole our raft.” Hearing this Huang Rong was shocked.

By the time they got to the beach Ouyang Feng had already carried his nephew on the raft, raised the sail and had already several ‘zhang’s away from land. Guo Jing was furious, he was about to jump into the ocean to pursue, but Huang Rong pulled his sleeve and said, “They are already too far.”

Ouyang Feng laughed a big laugh, “Many thanks for the raft!” he shouted.

Guo Jing stomped his feet in rage, furiously he kicked a red sandalwood tree nearby. Suddenly Huang Rong got an idea, “I got it!” she called out. She took a big rock then placed it on the tree branch. She wanted to use the tree as a slingshot. “Pull this tree,” she said, “We will hurl the rock out.”

Guo Jing was delighted. He braced his legs on the tree root and pulled the trunk backward with all his might. Sandalwood tree was strong but pliable; it bent almost completely down but did not break. Guo Jing let his hands go and with a whooshing sound the big rock flew to the sea and fell by the raft’s side, creating a ‘zhang’ high big splash.

“Pity!” Huang Rong called out. She took another rock, aimed carefully and let go. This time the rock hit the raft right on, but the raft construction was too good, it did not break. Two people launched three more rocks, but all of them fell into the water.

Seeing all their rocks missed their target, Huang Rong got a crazy idea. “Quick, use me as the cannonball!” she shouted. Guo Jing was startled, unclear of what she meant. Huang Rong explained, “Hurl me into the sea, I’ll deal with them.”

Guo Jing knew her water skill was excellent, her lightness kungfu was excellent too; he saw no danger in complying with her request. He drew his dagger out and put it in her hand. “Be careful,” he said. He pulled the tree one more time. Huang Rong sat steadily on the branch and called out, “Fire away!”

Guo Jing released his grip and Huang Rong’s body flew to the sky. She somersaulted twice in the air and plunged into the water several ‘zhang’s away from the raft. It was a beautiful scene to behold. Ouyang Feng uncle and nephew were dazzled; they did not know what she was going to do.

Huang Rong went deep into the water. She did not emerge from the water, but swam underwater toward the raft instead. Once she saw a black shadow overhead she knew she had arrived at the bottom of the raft. Ouyang Feng randomly hit the water with the oar, but he could not hit her at all.

Huang Rong held up her dagger, ready to sever the rope tying up the wooden raft; but suddenly she came up with a bright idea. She reduced the strength of her hand only cutting lightly on the ropes, leaving a third part intact; so that the raft would not be disintegrated until the rough waves of the open sea hit it. She turned around and dove away, emerged to the surface about dozen of ‘zhang’s away; she gasped for breath, pretending she could not catch the raft. Ouyang Feng laughed wildly and hoisted the sail. Not too long afterwards the raft had traveled far away.

While waiting for her to arrive at the beach Hong Qigong and Guo Jing were cursing incessantly; but they saw Huang Rong’s smug expression and were puzzled. After hearing what happened they were delighted to no end. “Even though we are sending these two wicked men to the bottom of the ocean, we will have to start work from the beginning again,” Huang Rong said.

Three people ate their meals with high spirit then they cut some lumbers again and built another raft. Several days later they were ready, and when the southeast wind blew, they hoisted the tree bark sail, left the island heading to the west. Huang Rong gazed her eyes toward the island, which was getting smaller and smaller, she sighed and said, “Our lives were almost gone on that island; but leaving it today, my heart is filled with sadness.”

“We can always revisit the island in the future,” Guo Jing said.

Huang Rong clapped her hands, “Good! We must come back. When that time comes, you can’t go back on your words. But first, let us give this small island a good name. Shifu, what do you think?”

“You crushed that little bastard’s legs with a big rock on that island,” Hong Qigong said, “Let us call it ‘ya gui dao’ [crushing ghost island]. What do you say?”

Huang Rong shook her head. “That is not very elegant,” she said.

“If you want elegance, why did you ask the Old Beggar in the first place?” Hong Qigong said, “If you ask me, the Old Poison ate my urine on the island, I’ll say we call it ‘chi sui dao’ [eat urine island].”

Huang Rong smiled while waving her hand; she leaned her head sideways to think. She saw a cluster of red clouds on the horizon, like bright luster of gems glamorously hovering over the island. “Let’s call it ‘ming xia dao’ [bright red cloud island]!” she called out.

“Not good, not good!” Hong Qigong countered, “That was too elegant.”

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