The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 23

Guo Jing was afraid Shagu had other companions waiting in the dark ready to ambush; he stayed closed to Hong Qigong and did not dare to leave.

Several moves later Shagu’s left shoulder was hit, which made her left arm limp; she was unable to move. If Huang Rong wanted to injure her, all she needed to do was continue her attack; but she showed mercy and called out, “Quickly kneel down, I’ll spare your life.”

“You kneel down too!” replied Shagu as she sent out two palms, the ‘jade-green wave’ palm technique, toward Huang Rong. However, only the first two stances were executed repeatedly and the technique was clumsy.

This incomplete ‘jade-green wave’ palm attack lacked sending power but is continuous like a wave flowing in water, truly the martial art style of the Peach Blossom Island. Huang Rong suspicion of Shagu’s martial art root became deeper. She called out “how did you learn the ‘jade-green wave’ palms? Who is your master?”

Shagu responded with a smile “You can’t hit me no more, ha … ha …”

Huang Rong raised her left hand, sent on her right hand to the side, feigned an attack with her left elbow, and slanted her right shoulder forward. These four moves were fake attacks. Huang Rong followed with the fifth move sending both hands curving inward. This fifth attack was still false; the next move, a kick, however, was real. Shagu was unable to stand still. She fell to the ground and called out, “You used a trick, that does not count, let’s fight again,” as she was crawling up.

Huang Rong would not allow her to stand up, she pounced and push her down, tearing her clothes down and bind her hands behind her back. “My palm technique is clearly better than yours,” she said.

Shagu turned around and shouted in dissent, “You tricked me, unacceptable, you tricked me, unacceptable!”

Guo Jing saw that Huang Rong was able to control Shagu, he walked out from the inn and jumped on the roof. He looked around for any trace of people but found none. He went back down and walked around the building and noticed that this desolate inn was a standalone building; a few ‘zhang’s apart from other houses in the area, There were no other people hiding around, now at last he felt relieved.

When he walked inside the inn, he saw Huang Rong held a dagger in front of Shagu’s eyes, threatening her, “Who taught you martial arts? Quickly tell me or else I will kill you”. While saying that she made two stabbing moves with the dagger.

With the light from the candle, Shagu’s smile can be seen. But looking at her expression, it was not like either she was brave or mad; it was more like a stupid smile, completely oblivious of the danger, like she was thinking Huang Rong and she were just playing around. Huang Rong asked her again, Shagu laughed and said, “You kill me, I also will kill you!”

Huang Rong raised her eyebrow and said “This stupid girl is not telling us anything, we should take a look inside the room, Big Brother Zhou, please take care of master and keep an eye on this girl, Brother Jing, let’s go in.”

Zhou Botong shook his hands and said, “No, I am going in with you.”

Huang Rong told him, “I don’t want you to come in with me.”

Although Zhou Botong was a Senior with higher level of martial arts, for some reason he did not dare to defy Huang Rong’s order, he could only beg, “Good Miss, next time I won’t argue with you.”

Huang Rong smiled slightly and nodded her head. Zhou Botong was very happy; he found two pine branches, lighted them up and fumigated the dark hole for a long time. The fumigated hole emitted a very foul odor. Huang Rong picked up a pinewood torch and threw it into the hole. There was a clatter as the torch hit the far side wall and fell to the ground. Turned out the hole was not deep at all.

With the light from the torch she looked inside. The room was quiet; there was no trace of people. At that moment, Zhou Botong became impatient and sneaked pass Huang Rong inside the room. Huang Rong followed Zhou Botong cautiously. The size of the room was not large. In fact, it was quite small. Zhou Botong cried out “We are fooled, we are fooled, this is no good!”

Huang Rong then let out an “ah!” sound as she spotted a skeleton of a dead person lying on the ground. The skeleton lied upward and the clothes had already decayed. Two rows of ribs of the skeleton were broken. There was another skeleton on the east corner of the room. This skeleton lied on top of an iron chest. There was a long blade penetrating the skeleton in between the ribs and pierced through the iron chest’s lid.

Zhou Botong saw the room was small and dirty. He thought those two dead corpses were not that interesting. While Huang Rong carefully examined the two skeletons, Zhou Botong got really impatient and wanted to interrupt her inspection, only to fear that Huang Rong might get angry. He did not dare to say anything and behaved normally, while, inside, his mind was going crazy. He tried asking her, “Rong’er, Good Miss, I can go out now, can’t I?”

Huang Rong said “Fine, you can go, get Brother Jing for me.”

Zhou Botong happily ran out and said to Guo Jing, “Come in quickly, it’s very interesting here,” He was afraid Huang Rong might call him back to accompany him, so he found a ‘scapegoat’. Guo Jing went in.

Huang Rong raised her torch to show Guo Jing the skeletons and asked, “How do you think these two people died?”

Guo Jing pointed to the skeleton on the iron chest; “Looks like this person died while trying to open the iron tank, died of sneak attack in one stab, while another person had two rows of ribs shattered, so he probably was attacked by a palm of great internal strength.”

Huang Rong said, “I think so too, but there are some things I don’t quite understand.”

Guo Jing replied, “What things?”

“Shagu obviously used the peach blossoming island’s technique ‘jade-green wave’ palm, although she only knew six, seven moves and was not proficient, her technique was good and correct,” said Huang Rong, “The two dead people here, I wonder what is their relation to Shagu.”

Guo Jing responded, “I will ask the girl”. Oftentimes he was called ‘stupid kid’ by others so he was not willing to call that girl ‘Shagu’ [meaning stupid aunt].

“I think that girl is truly retarded, it would be difficult to get any information from her, perhaps we can investigate on our own with the small evidences we have here,” Huang Rong suggested. She lifted her torch and slowly examined the skeleton and noticed a shiny object by the iron chest. She picked it up and looked carefully. It was a gold emblem. In the middle, there is a marking of a gate engraved into the gold. On the backside of the emblem, there are several engraved characters that read ‘by royal decree bestowed to loyal martial art master responsible to defend the state, special guard Shi Yanming’.

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