The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 23

“You saw a ghost,” one guard said, laughing.

The other one was also laughing, “I am seeing things these past few days,” he said. They walked away talking and laughing.

Huang Rong was amused inwardly, she pulled Guo Jing’s hand to go out, but suddenly heard those two guards grunts, ‘hey, hey’. Although the noise was deep and muffled, they knew it was the sound of one’s exhaling because their acupoints were sealed. Guo Jing and Huang Rong both thought, “Is it Big Brother Zhou who got bored and came out to play?”

They heard someone speak in a low voice, “According to the imperial palace map, the building next to the waterfall is the ‘cui han tang’; we are going there.” This voice belonged to Wanyan Honglie.

Guo Jing and Huang Rong were very shocked; they grabbed each other’s hand and hid even deeper behind the fake hill, did not dare to make any noise. Under the glimmering sparse starlight they saw shadows moving in front of the hall; they vaguely recognized that other than Wanyan Honglie there were Ouyang Feng, Peng Lianhu, Sha Tongtian, Venerable Lingzhi, Liang Ziweng and Hou Tonghai.

Guo Jing and Huang Rong were puzzled, “What are these people doing in the imperial palace?” they thought, “Could it be they also want to steal some food from the imperial kitchen?”

They heard Wanyan Honglie spoke again, still in low voice, “Little Prince had carefully examined the secret letter Yue Fei left behind; also examined the documents from two dynasties’ emperors Gao Zong and Xiao Zong. I concluded that the Wumu Legacy is hidden fifteen steps east of the ‘cui han tang’.”

Everybody’s eyes automatically followed the direction of his hand; fifteen steps east of the hall was the waterfall, nothing else. Wanyan Honglie said, “How the book could be hidden in the waterfall, Little Prince found it hard to guess, but according to the documents, this is the correct place.”

Sha Tongtian was known as the ‘gui men long wang’ [dragon king of Gui Men (demon sect/devil’s gate)]; his water skill was excellent. “I’ll go to take a look at the waterfall,” he said. Without waiting further he stepped forward and jumped into the water. Not long afterward he reemerged from the water. Everybody rushed forward to welcome him, only to listen to him saying, “The Prince can really see clearly; behind the waterfall there is a cave with closed iron door.”

Wanyan Honglie was ecstatic, “The Wumu Legacy must be inside the cave,” he said, “I am afraid I’ll have to inconvenience gentlemen to open that iron gate.”

Everybody unsheathed their precious sabers and sharp blades, complying with his request, everybody wanted to render meritorious service; they raced to the waterfall. Ouyang Feng only laughed coldly, he merely stood by Wanyan Honglie’s side; he felt his reputation was different, he was not willing to fetch the book together with the others.

Sha Tongtian was the first to duck under the water stream; suddenly a gust of wind assaulting his face. He just came in to take a look and saw nothing; how could he guess an enemy would suddenly attack him? Hurriedly he avoided the attack, but his left wrist was suddenly grabbed by the enemy and he was pushed hard. Against its master’s wish his body flew out and hit Liang Ziweng hard. Luckily both men’s martial art skills were quite high and they were not injured.

Everybody was taken by surprise. In the meantime Sha Tongtian had entered the waterfall again; this time he was ready, he lifted both palms in front of his face, and sure enough, from behind the waterfall a fist came flying out. He used his left hand to parry while launched a counterattack with his right. All this time he has not seen clearly who the enemy was.

Liang Ziweng had also jumped into the waterfall. Suddenly a stick came sweeping close to the ground. Liang Ziweng tried to evade, but he was too late; the lower part of his leg were squarely hit, he could not maintain his stand and fell backward. His chest was hit by the waterfall, while his leg was again hit by the stick; against its master’s wish his body fell outside the waterfall.

By this time Sha Tongtian was also pushed outside the waterfall by a swift and fierce palm. Three-headed dragon Hou Tonghai did not think about what kind of martial art skill his martial brother had, and what kind of skill he had; if his martial brother was easily defeated, how could he hope to achieve success? Relying on his superb water skill, his ability to open his eyes and see underwater, he charged into the waterfall.

Looking at the adverse situation Peng Lianhu rushed forward to join the battle, but suddenly a dark and rather shiny shadow flew above his head. ‘Bang!’ that shadow fell to the ground; and then he heard Hou Tonghai cried out loudly out of pain. Quickly Peng Lianhu came over and said in a low voice, “Hou Xiong [brother Hou], be quiet! What happened?”

“His granny!” Hou Tonghai cursed, “My butts are broken into four pieces from the fall.”

Peng Lianhu was confounded and amused at the same time, “Is there such a thing?” he whispered. He stretched his hand to trace Hou Tonghai’s buttocks, seemingly to see if they were still two pieces; but he saw nothing was injured. He knew something was amiss, so he did not want to rashly face the danger. “Who’s inside?” he asked.

From pain Hou Tonghai became angry, “How would I know?” he snapped, “As soon as I went in I was thrown back outside. That bastard scoundrel!”

Under the star light they saw Venerable Lingzhi’s red robe fluttered; he entered the waterfall in big strides. Amidst the gurgling water they could hear his loud shouts in Tibetan; looked like he was fighting an intense battle with the man inside.

Everybody looked at each other in surprise. Sha Tongtian and Liang Ziweng were thrown outside; but in the darkness they vaguely saw behind the curtain of water there were one man and one woman. The man was barehanded, and the woman had a stick in her hand. By this time they heard Venerable Lingzhi’s loud roar; it looked like he had suffered hardship as well.

Wanyan Honglie knitted his brows, “Why is this Venerable so reckless? He called out earth shatteringly loud; if the palace guards hear and come over, how can we get the book?” he said.

He had just finished speaking when they saw Venerable Lingzhi’s red kasaya fly out from the waterfall and float on the red lotus pond, followed by two clanking noise; two copper cymbals that he used as weapons also flew out of the waterfall. Peng Lianhu was afraid the cymbals would make loud noise if they fell to the ground, thus alerting the palace guards; so he stretched out his hands and caught the cymbals. They heard from the waterfall loud shouts, which nobody could understand, of Tibetan curse words; followed by a huge body flying out of the water.

Luckily Venerable Lingzhi’s martial art was different from Hou Tonghai’s; he fell backward, but was able to land steadily, his buttocks were not injured at all. He cursed aloud, “It’s the boy and the girl we met at the boat.”

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