Guo Jing was resisting Ouyang Feng’s palm with all his strength; how could he avoid this incoming stab? He knew if he moved even a little bit he would die violently under the Western Poison’s Toad Stance; therefore, even when he knew the dagger would penetrate his body soon, he was forced to ignore it. Suddenly he felt a severe pain on his waist; his breath was immediately shut. Instinctively he swung his fist and hit Yang Kang’s hand.
By this time the martial art levels between these two was very far apart; Guo Jing’s fist struck Yang Kang’s bone like it was about to crack. Hastily Yang Kang withdrew his hand that the dagger only went halfway into Guo Jing’s waist.
Right at that moment the Toad Stance’s force came surging into Guo Jing’s chest. He made a noiseless grunt, bent his body and tumbled down.
Realizing that in the end he still inflicted injury, Ouyang Feng waved his hand and shook his head. “What a pity! What a pity!” he called out. He was dejected but knew that this kid could not be revived, so there was no reason why he should linger around; he had to get the Wumu Legacy. He stared at Yang Kang angrily, he thought, “This kid has spoiled my big business.” He turned around and entered the cave in big strides. Wanyan Honglie and Yang Kang followed behind.
By that time there were a lot of palace guards gathered around the place. Without turning his body Ouyang Feng grabbed backward and one by one he flung the guards away, until finally no guard was able to enter the cave anymore.
Yang Kang lighted up his torch to see the cave situation; he saw thick dust everywhere, a sign that nobody had ever entered in for a very long time. There was a stone table in the middle of the cave, and a stone box on top of it, measuring about two feet square. The box was sealed closed. Other that this, no other object could be seen inside the cave. Yang Kang brought his torch closer to take a look. The writing on the seal looked very old, the characters were not recognizable.
“The book must be inside this box,” Wanyan Honglie called out.
Yang Kang was delighted, he held out his hand to take the box. Ouyang Feng’s left arm gently pushed his shoulder away. Yang Kang staggered back several steps before he fell down. He was startled, but saw Ouyang Feng took the box.
“Great work accomplished, everybody draws back!” Wanyan Honglie called out.
With Ouyang Feng on the front leading the way, three people went out the cave. Yang Kang saw Guo Jing with his body full of blood was lying motionless among several guards on the cave entrance; he felt a slight remorse and muttered under his breath, “You don’t know good from bad, always meddle in other people’s business. You can’t blame me in spite of our sworn brotherhood.” Remembering his dagger was still in Guo Jing’s body he stooped down to pick it up, but then suddenly a shadow appeared from outside. “Brother Jing, where are you?” the shadow called out.
Yang Kang recognized Huang Rong’s voice; he was startled and without taking his dagger out he jumped over Guo Jing’s body and ran outside the water curtain to follow Ouyang Feng and the others.
Previously Huang Rong was rushing to the east and running to the west with Peng Lianhu and Liang Ziweng chasing after her on the rooftop. Not long afterwards the palace guards started to gather around the area. Peng and Liang were scared, they did not dare to chase Huang Rong much longer and so they went back to join Sha Tongtian and the others waiting for Wanyan Honglie by the waterfall side. They killed several other guards outside the cave until Ouyang Feng went out.
Huang Rong was concerned about Guo Jing, she went back inside the cave and called out several times without answer. She started to get nervous, so she lighted up her flint only to see Guo Jing with his body soaked in blood was lying next to her own foot. Huang Rong was scared to death, her hands trembled, her flint fell down and the fire went out.
Outside the cave the guards were still shouting loudly, calling each other to capture the assassin. More than a dozen guards were grabbed and tossed away by Ouyang Feng with broken necks; nobody dare to even go near them anymore. But palace guards carried a heavy responsibility; presently there was an assassin in the palace, if they did not shout loudly and appear bold by not running away, how could they show their loyalties?
Huang Rong stooped down to hold Guo Jing, she felt his hand was still warm, she felt relieved. She called out several times without getting any answer; she decided to carry him on her back and quietly slipped away from the waterfall toward the back of the fake hill.
By that time the area around the ‘cui han tang’ was bright as daylight from the lanterns. Guards from other parts of the palace had heard the news and came over in abundance. Even though Huang Rong’s movement was quick it was impossible to avoid being seen by several guards. They shouted loudly and came to chase her. Huang Rong silently cursed, “You are a bunch of scumbags, you don’t pursue after the bad people but chase after the good people.”
She gritted her teeth and flew away. Several guards with higher martial arts managed to get close to her, forcing her to launch several steel needles. “Aiyo!” she heard several guards cry out and fell down. The rest of the guards did not dare to pursue and could only helplessly look at her leaping over the palace wall and disappear without a trace.
These people were so noisy that the whole palace was frightened; in the dark of the night nobody knew if it was a coup, somebody was trying to usurp the emperor’s throne, or some government officers incited a rebellion. The palace guards, the imperial army, all armed force personnel were alarmed; but not a single high-ranking military officer knew what was going on for sure. They were confused for the rest of the night. Came daybreak the cavalry was dispatched; the city was turned upside down in search of ‘the rebels’ or ‘the assassin’. Quite a number of people were arrested. Unfortunately later investigation proved that these people were nothing but petty thieves and local ruffians. The officials were forced to fabricate oral confession and randomly executed some people in order to appease the throne and to assure their own safety and position.
After leaving the palace that night, Huang Rong ran without looking where she was heading. She randomly picked her way and only slowed down after seeing nobody was pursuing them. She entered a small alley and stretched her finger to feel Guo Jing’s breath. She was relieved to find Guo Jing was still breathing, only her flint was lost in the palace so that in the darkness she could not examine where the injury was. She knew if she waited for the dawn, it would be more difficult to find a shelter inside the city wall with this kind of bloody person with her; hence she decided to leave the city that very same night, heading toward Shagu’s wine shop.