Huang Rong did not have any space to set her foot on, she was going to fall into the water. Guo Jing reached behind his back and grabbed her, while his left hand was still attacking the enemy. Huang Rong drew out her dagger and rushed forward to attack.
Ouyang Feng stood by the edge of the raft, the water kept splashing his legs; but no matter how hard Guo Jing and Huang Rong attacked, they were not able to force him to fall into the water.
Hong Qigong and Ouyang Ke were unable to move, both of them helplessly watch the ferocious fight. Their hearts were thumping madly, watching the evenly matched fight, where the difference between life and death was just as narrow as a strand of hair’s width. They were both bitterly wishing they could help their side.
Ouyang Feng’s martial art was actually far above Guo and Huang’s combined power, but he was immersed in the water for several days; almost half of his strength was gone. Although Huang Rong’s martial art was not too high she was wearing the soft hedgehog armor, plus her hand was holding a sharp dagger. These two offensive and defensive weapons were enough to give Ouyang Feng some headache. On top of that, Guo Jing’s 18-Dragon Subduing Palms, his 72 stances of Vacant Fist, Mutual Hands Combat Technique, as well as recently trained Changing Muscles Forging Bones from the Nine Yin Manual combined together had made him a formidable opponent. These three people were engaged in a close fight on the raft.
After a while Ouyang Feng’s palm was getting stronger; Guo and Huang started to fall under his attack. Hong Qigong was very anxious watching this fierce battle. Amidst the dancing palm shadow Ouyang Feng’s left leg kicked out with a strong gust of wind. Huang Rong did not dare to parry and was forced to somersault and she fell into the water.
Suddenly facing a strong enemy alone Guo Jing was feeling strained. Luckily after falling into the water on the left side of the raft, Huang Rong swam across the bottom of the raft and rebounded from the right side and swept her dagger toward Ouyang Feng’s chest. Now Ouyang Feng had to face enemies on both sides.
While fighting courageously, Huang Rong secretly thought of plans to overcome this situation, “If this fight continues, our martial arts are still inferior to his, in the end we will fall under his hands. The only way to defeat him is under water.” As soon as this thought entered her mind, she swept her dagger out and cut the sail rope; the sail immediately fell down, the raft now carried by the waves, no longer moved forward. Huang Rong drew back two steps, wrapped the rope several times on Hong Qigong’s body, and then again several turns on a lumber from the raft, making two tight knots.
As Huang Rong left the battle, Guo Jing was not able to withstand the enemy much longer. He managed to block three successive stances, but the fourth stance forced him to step backward. Ouyang Feng did not want to let him go, his palms continuously attacked. Guo Jing was forced to step backward again, with ‘yu yue yu yuan’ [fish jumping out of the abyss] he managed to block another stance, but for the next stance he was forced to move backward again that his left foot stepped on an empty air. In this critical time he did not getting nervous, his right foot immediately flew forward to block the enemy from attacking further. As a result, ‘spash!’ he also fell into the water.
The raft was being rocked hard; Huang Rong took this opportunity to also leap onto the sea. Two people pushed and pulled the raft, trying to overturn it. They knew Ouyang Ke would be drowning to his death; also, in the water Ouyang Feng was not their match. Hong Qigong’s body was tied to the raft. These two people took a risk by dealing with the Western Poison first before trying to save their master.
Ouyang Feng understood their intention very well; he raised his foot on Hong Qigong’s head and loudly shouted, “Two kids, listen to me! If you rock the raft one more time, I will kick immediately!”
Huang Rong understood her first plan was foiled; she proceeded with her second plan: she took a deep breath and dove underneath the raft, cutting the ropes with her dagger. She knew they were not too far from the land; after drowning Ouyang Feng, uncle and nephew, she thought they could ride on lumbers and came ashore without too much problem.
‘Crack! Crack!’ the wooden raft was broken into two halves. Ouyang Ke was on the left half, while Ouyang Feng and Hong Qigong were on the right half. Inwardly Ouyang Feng was anxious; quickly he stretched his hand to grab his nephew; then he stooped looking into the water, ready to strike Huang Rong if she cut another rope.
From under the water Huang Rong could see Ouyang Feng’s shadow clearly. Knowing his next attack would be very fierce, she did not dare to cut another rope. Both sides were in deadlock for a long time. Huang Rong swam several ‘zhang’s away and took another deep breath, then dove right back in, waiting for an opportunity to launch her attack.
With concentrated attention both sides were waiting for an opportunity. For a moment the sea turned very calm. The sun was shining brightly over their heads. The ocean seemed so calm and peaceful; but on this half wooden raft, one above and one below, there was a very thick murderous intention.
Huang Rong thought, “If this half raft is cut into two, the waves would certainly turn it over.” While Ouyang Feng thought, “As soon as she pokes her head out, I am going to slap the water. The vibration should be enough to scatter her brain out. Once this little girl is gone, the little thief surnamed Guo should not post any problem to me.” Two people waited without blinking their eyes, both were itchy to strike.
Suddenly Ouyang Ke pointed to the left and called out, “A boat! A boat!”
Hong Qigong and Guo Jing turned their heads and saw a big boat with a dragon ship head, its sail was fully raised, it approached riding the wind and breaking the waves. A moment later Ouyang Ke saw someone standing on the bow; he had a big stature and was wearing a scarlet kassaya, it looked like he was Monk Lingzi. As the boat got closer, he saw more clearly, and it was indeed Monk Lingzi. Hastily he told his uncle.
Ouyang Feng concentrates his ‘qi’ on his ‘dan tian’ and loudly called out, “Friends, here, come quickly!”
Under the water Huang Rong did not know what was happening; Guo Jing knew they were in more trouble; he went underwater and pulled Huang Rong’s arm, signaling her that more enemies were coming. Huang Rong was not very clear on his intention, but she was aware something was not right, so she signaled back to Guo Jing to block Ouyang Feng’s palm, while she would sever the rope.