“Ah!” Huang Rong exclaimed, “That’s how it is. Farewell now!” She stood up and leaning on Guo Jing for support she turned around and left. Guo Jing cupped his fists across his chest but did not say anything.
The fisherman saw they were walking down the mountain, he was afraid the ‘jin wawa’ would escape, he dashed toward the thatched hut to put them away for safekeeping.
“Quick! Grab the iron boat and the oars and go to that horn-shaped peak,” Huang Rong said,
Guo Jing was stunned. “This … isn’t this inappropriate?” he stammered.
“Fine! You want to be a gentleman, then be a gentleman!” Huang Rong said.
“Which is more important? Saving Rong’er’s life or be a gentleman?” This thought flashed through Guo Jing’s mind several times; it was hard for him to decide. But then he saw Huang Rong had started walking quickly to the peak; he did not have time to contemplate much longer. He heaved the iron boat up and hastily went to the peak. With a loud shout, “Up!” he tossed the boat onto upstream of the waterfall. Once the boat was out of his hands he grabbed the iron oars and held them underneath his left armpit, while with his right hand he embraced Huang Rong.
By that time the iron boat had been floating downstream, carried by the current. Suddenly he heard a sound of secret projectile behind his head; immediately he ducked and let the secret projectile flew over his head. He leaped forward and in an instant both of them landed inside the boat. A secret projectile hit Huang Rong’s back, fortunately it hit the soft hedgehog armor inside the sack on her back. Amidst the rumbling noise of the water they heard the fisherman’s loud roar, but they could not hear clearly what he was saying.
Very soon the boat was on the verge of the waterfall. If they fell over the edge in this fast flowing waterfall their bodies would certainly shattered to dust. Guo Jing’s left hand grabbed the iron oar and hastily rowed with all his might; the boat moved upstream a few feet. His right hand released Huang Rong and grabbed the other oar and pulled; again the boat moved a few feet forward.
The fisherman stood by the bank, pointing his two fingers, angrily cursing and scolding. Amidst the wind and the water noises they could hear some ‘stinky girl’ and ‘lowly scoundrel’ words. Huang Rong giggled and said, “He still thinks you are the good man. He is only cursing me.”
All Guo Jing’s attention was focused on rowing the boat; he did not hear what she said. His arms frantically paddled the boat against the flow; the iron boat’s keel was slowly cutting the wave. The current on that place was not as strong as the waterfall, but it was strong and rapid enough to make Guo Jing’s face turned red from exerting his strength. Several times he was almost pushed back downstream.
A moment later they arrived at the part where the current was slightly slower; by that time Guo Jing had started to understand how to handle the oars. Using the mutual hands combat technique he launched the ‘divine dragon swings its tail’ successively. Each paddling movement was supported by the 18-Dragon Subduing Palms’ strength; his palm strength was transmitted to the end of the oar. The left hand paddled with ‘divine dragon swings its tail’, followed by the right hand with ‘divine dragon swings its tail’, the iron boat slowly moving upstream through a winding river ways.
“Even with that fisherman paddling, the boat would not necessarily move faster than this,” Huang Rong complimented.
A short moment later there was sandy beach on either side of the river; and after turning a bend, the scenery was picturesque: the clear brook softly murmured, the river flowed very smoothly, on some parts it even looked like a still water. The river was only about a ‘zhang’ wide, with weeping willow trees on either side, their leaves brushing the water. Just behind the green willow trees they could see countless peach trees. It must be very beautiful in the spring time when the peach trees were in full bloom. Currently there was not a single peach blossom in sight, but the river banks were full of clusters of white florets, the air was thick with their fragrance.
Guo Jing and Huang Rong both were very relaxed; they had never expected that in this high mountain peak there was a whole different world. The water was deep green like a jade, so deep that they could not see the bottom. Guo Jing lowered the iron oar, trying to gauge the river’s depth; but he was startled since the oar was almost slipped from his grip. Turned out while on the surface the water was smooth like a mirror, there was a strong current flowing deep below the surface.
The iron boat slowly moved forward; birds were flying and chirping among the green willow leaves. Huang Rong sighed, “If my injury is incurable, I’d like to be buried here; I don’t want to go back down again,” she said.
Guo Jing was about to say some encouraging words when the iron boat suddenly entered a tunnel. Inside the tunnel the fragrance was very thick while the water flowed faster; they heard some loud noise ahead. “What’s that?” Guo Jing asked.
Huang Rong shook her head, “I don’t know.”
Very soon they saw a light, the iron boat had come out of the tunnel; two people could not help to gasp, “Beautiful!”
Outside the tunnel they saw an enormous fountain, perhaps its height reached two ‘zhang’s. The white bubbles and jade-green streams formed a giant water column spurting straight up to the sky from the middle of a rock. The noise they heard came from this fountain. The creek stopped here; turned out this fountain was the spring from which the river and the waterfall originated.
Guo Jing helped Huang Rong came ashore. He pulled the iron boat up a rock and turned his head around. He saw the sun light shone through the water column, created a dazzlingly beautiful rainbow. The scenery was out-of-this-world; even if they had hundreds praises, they would not be able to find one that is suitable to describe what they saw. All they could do was holding each other’s hand and sat side by side on a rock; their heart was bright and clean, with nothing to worry.
After enjoying this scenery for half a day, they suddenly heard a sound of singing coming from behind the rainbow. The tune was ‘shan po yang’ [hillside sheep]:
“Cities and towns turned bad, where are the heroes? Can the dragon in the cloud explain? Thinking about prosperity and decline, constricting the chest. Tang Dynasty arose Sui Dynasty declined, the way of the world is like an ever changing cloud. Quick, is the heaven and earth’s fault; slow, also is the heaven and earth’s fault!”
The ‘hillside sheep’ was a popular song from the end of the Song Dynasty, everybody everywhere could sing the song. The tune was only one, but the lyrics could be changed as the singer wished, so unavoidably there are hundreds of thousands variations out there, only most of them were rustic and vulgar.