The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 23

Huang Rong’s martial art skill was high, but after running fast for half the night, carrying Guo Jing on her back with a nervous heart, as she shoved open the door of Shagu’s shop, she was out of breath; her body felt weak. She sat down to calm herself down, catching her breath; then found a piece of firewood and lighted it to look at Guo Jing’s face and examine his wound. She was shocked even more than when they were still at the palace.

Guo Jing’s eyes were tightly shut, his face was white as a sheet; he looked more dead than alive. Huang Rong had seen him injured several times before, but never seen him in this kind of critical condition. She felt like her own heart was about to jump out of her throat. She stood lost in thought with a torch in her hand; suddenly a hand stretched out from the side and touched the torch. Huang Rong slowly turned her head and saw that it was Shagu. Huang Rong sucked a deep breath; now that there was someone beside her, she felt somewhat better. She remembered she was going to examine Guo Jing’s injury. Under the bright light of the torch she could see a blackish object protruding from Guo Jing’s waist; it looked like an ebony hilt of a dagger. She lowered her head to look closer and found out that it was indeed a dagger with the blade stuck inside Guo Jing’s left waist.

At this time Huang Rong’s panic had reached its limit, her mind turned calm instead. She gently tore the clothes around his waist, exposing bare skin and muscle; only to see blood coagulated around the blade, which penetrated the muscle several ‘cun’ deep [1 cun is approximately 1 inch]. She was afraid if she pulled the dagger Guo Jing would die immediately, but if she waited too long it would be also more difficult to save his life. Biting her lips she stretched out her hand to grab the dagger’s hilt, but then suddenly doubt came creeping into her heart; she withdrew her hand. This happened several times; she just could not make up her mind.

Shagu became impatient; the fourth time Huang Rong withdrew her hand she suddenly stretched out her hand, grabbed the hilt and pulled the dagger out abruptly. Guo Jing and Huang Rong both shouted in shock; but Shagu thought it was really fun, she happily laughed out loud.

Huang Rong saw blood gushing out from Guo Jing’s wound like a spring, while Shagu was still laughing foolishly; from shock she became angry, her palm struck backward, sending Shagu rolling down on the floor. And immediately she stooped down to press the wound with a handkerchief.

When Shagu fell down, she brought the torch with her; the fire was extinguished and the room became pitch-black. Shagu was angry, she jumped out and kicked Huang Rong on her leg. Huang Rong did not evade the kick. Shagu was afraid Huang Rong would retaliate; she jumped back immediately after kicking. But after a while she heard Huang Rong was sobbing softly. She was surprised. Busily she re-lighted the torch and came asking, “Did I hurt you bad?”

Actually when the dagger was pulled out, the pain was so severe that it woke Guo Jing up. Under the torch light he saw Huang Rong was kneeling beside him. “Master Yue’s book … was it … was it stolen?” he quickly asked.

Huang Rong was delighted to hear him speak. Knowing he was very concerned about this matter she felt like it was not the right time to add to his anxiety. “Don’t worry,” she said, “Those traitors were not able to get their hands on the book …” She wanted to ask how he was feeling but her hands were actually warm from his blood.

“Why are you crying?” Guo Jing asked with a low voice.

Huang Rong forced a smile and said, “I am not crying.”

Shagu suddenly opened her mouth, “She is too, isn’t she? Look, there are still tears on her face.”

“Rong’er, don’t worry,” Guo Jing said, “There is a section about injury treatment in the Nine Yin Manual. I won’t die.”

Hearing this Huang Rong was like someone in the dark suddenly saw a beacon of light; her eyes shone brightly, her delight was unspeakable, nothing could dampen her spirit. She wanted to ask the details but was afraid she would make him weary. She turned around to hold Shagu’s hand. “Sister, did I hurt you just now?” she asked, with smile on her face.

Shagu’s mind was still set on seeing her cry, she ignored her question and asked, “You are crying, don’t you admit it?”

Huang Rong smiled, “Fine, I was crying. But you were not, you are a good girl.” Shagu was delighted to hear her praise.

Guo Jing slowly circulated his ‘qi’; the pain was unbearable. By this time Huang Rong had cleared her mind. She took out a steel needle and punctured the acupoints around his left waist, both to slow down the flow of blood, also to reduce the pain. Then she washed up his wound clean, applied some medicine and re-wrapped the wound with clean cloth. She also gave him a ‘nine flowered jade dew pill’ to help stop the pain.

Guo Jing said, “Although this dagger went in pretty deep, but … but luckily it did not hit any vital organs, it … it won’t be life-threatening. I suffer more dangerous injury from the Old Poison’s Toad Stance; fortunately it seemed like he did not use all his strength, so looks like I may be healed; only I will have to make you suffer for seven days and seven nights.”

Huang Rong sighed. “You know that even if I have to suffer seventy years for you, I will still be willing,” she said.

Guo Jing felt sweetness creep into his heart, at the same time he also felt dizzy. After waiting for a moment his mind cleared up a little bit; he said, “It was a pity when Shifu was injured I missed several days of opportunity to treat him. Otherwise even though the snake venom was fierce, it won’t be too hard for him to fully recover. He won’t be … he won’t be disabled like he is today.”

Huang replied, “When we were on that island, even if we could heal Shifu’s injury, would the Old Poison uncle and nephew let us? Please don’t think that way. Just tell me your method and set my mind at ease.”

“First we must find a peace and quiet place,” Guo Jing said, “Then following the Manual’s instruction we circulate our ‘qi’ together. Each of us will hold the other’s palm. Using your internal energy you are helping me healing my injury.” Speaking to this point he closed his eyes to catch his breath before continuing, “The only difficulty is that for seven whole days and nights our palms cannot be separated even for a second. Your breathing will be closely linked to mine. We can talk to each other, but definitely we can’t have a third person interrupting us even for a half sentence. Also, we must not walk away even for half a step. If there is someone else disturbing us, we may …”

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