The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 29

That lady looked dejected, her body trembled; she dropped to the ground, holding her head in her hands as she was lost, deep in thought. A moment later she raised her head and with a delighted face asked, “Your mathematics skill is a hundred times better than mine, but let me ask you this: you have a three by three array of number one thru nine, no matter how you add it up, vertically, horizontally or diagonally, the sum of any three numbers has to be fifteen. How do you arrange it?”

Huang Rong thought, “My father established the Peach Blossom Island based on the five ways variation; what’s so mysterious about it? The ‘jiu gong’ [nine palace or halls] is the foundation of the Peach Blossom Island diagram; how could I not know about it?” Therefore, with a calm voice she recited, “The ‘jiu gong’ diagram is constructed like the pattern on the turtle shell [Translator’s note: do a google search with keyword ‘Lo Shu Square’]; four and two are the shoulders, eight and six are the feet. Three on the left and seven on the right; put on nine and tread on one, while five occupies the center.” While reciting this she made a diagram of the ‘jiu gong’ on the sand.

That lady’s countenance turned ashen, she sighed, “I thought I developed this secret formula. Turned out there is a song about it handed down for generations.”

Huang Rong smiled, “Not only ‘jiu gong’, even four by four array, or five by five, down to the hundred by hundred array, are not too difficult,” she said, “Take four by four array for example; we have 16 numbers in four rows. First we determine the four corner pairs; one and sixteen made a pair, so are four and thirteen. Then we determine the four pairs inside; six and eleven make a pair, so are seven and ten. This way the sums of all horizontal, vertical, and diagonal rows are all 34.”

That lady made the diagram on the sand and sure enough, it was as Huang Rong had said. Huang Rong continued, “Each hall of that nine halls diagram can be transformed into ‘ba gua’ [eight-diagram]. Eight by nine equal to 72 numbers. These numbers: 1 to 72 loop around the ‘jiu gong’ like wreaths. Each loop consists of eight numbers; each four-loop forms another bigger loop, there are four corner loops altogether, which make the total number of loops to be 13. The sum of the numbers in each loop is 292. This diagram variation recorded in the Luo Shu [luo – name of a river, shu – book] is divinely wonderful; no wonder you are not aware of it.” While explaining it, Huang Rong also drew the 72 numbers of the eight diagrams of the nine halls on the sand.

The lady was dumbfounded, she faltered and asked, “Miss, who are you?” But before Huang Rong could answer her, she felt a shot of pain on her chest; her face paled, and anxiously she took a vial from her pocket and swallowed a green pill from the vial. After half a day her face relaxed, she sighed and said, “It’s finished, it’s finished!” Two drops of tears rolled down her cheeks.

Guo Jing and Huang Rong looked at each other; they thought this lady’s behavior was so weird.

That lady had not spoken anything when suddenly there was an intermittent call from the outside. It was the Iron Palm Clan pursuers. “Are they friends or enemies?” the lady asked.

“They are enemies pursuing us,” Guo Jing said.

“Iron Palm Clan?” the lady asked.

“Yes,” Guo Jing replied.

The lady inclined her ear to listen for a while and then said, “Qiu Bangzhu [Clan Leader Qiu] personally leads his clan to pursue. Who are you actually?” When asking this her voice was stern.

Guo Jing moved forward one step, stood up in front of Huang Rong, and with poise in his voice he said, “We are the Nine-fingered Divine Beggar Hong Bangzhu’s disciples. My martial sister is injured by the Iron Palm Clan’s Qiu Qianren. We took refuge here. If Senior has a close relation to the Iron Palm Clan and is unwilling to give us shelter; then we will take our leave.” Having said this he raised his cupped fist and then turned around to help Huang Rong stood up.

That lady smiled indifferently and said, “You are young, yet so mule-headed. You can survive but do you think your martial sister can? So you are Hong Qigong’s disciples, no wonder you have this kind of skill.”

She heard the shouts of Iron Palm Clan people were sometimes far and sometimes near, sometimes high and sometimes low; she sighed and said, “They can’t find the way, they can’t come in; just relax. Even if they manage to enter, you are my guests, how can Divine … Divine … Ying Gu let other people bully her esteemed guests?” She thought, “Originally I was called ‘shen suan zi’ [Divine Mathematician] Ying Gu; but this young miss’ mathematical skill is a hundred times better than mine. How could I call myself ‘shen suan zi’ anymore?” Therefore, she only said the first word ‘shen’ but could not bring herself to utter the next two characters.

Guo Jing bowed to express his gratitude. Ying Gu slipped the clothes from Huang Rong’s shoulder to see her injury. She creased her brows but did not say anything; she took the vial from her bosom and dissolved the green pill in a bowl of water.

Huang Rong took the bowl but she hesitated, they did not know whether the lady was a friend or a foe; how could she took her medicine?

Ying Gu saw her hesitation, she coldly said, “You are injured by Qiu Qianren’s Iron Palm; do you still think you can recover? If I want to harm you, do you think I need to bother myself? This medicine is a pain-reliever; you don’t want it? Fine!” She grabbed the bowl back and poured the content on the ground.

Seeing her rudeness toward Huang Rong, Guo Jing was unable to restrain his anger. “My martial sister is seriously injured; how can you be so mad at her?” he said, “Rong’er, let’s go.”

Ying Gu coldly smiled and said, “Ying Gu’s two small huts; do you think two juniors like you can easily come and easily go?” With two bamboo strips in her hands, she stood on the doorway, blocking the exit.

Guo Jing thought, “Talk is useless, must use force.” He called out, “Senior, forgive me for being rude.” He bent his knees a little bit; making a circle with his arms he launched the Proud Dragon Repents straight to the door. This stance was his fiercest one; he was afraid Ying Gu could not resist it, so he only used 30% of his strength. His intention was simply to clear the way; he did not want to harm anybody. As the gust of wind arrived at Ying Gu’s body, Guo Jing watched closely how Ying Gu would block this attack; whether he should increase his strength or retract it immediately. Who would have thought that Ying Gu only leaned her body slightly, her left palm made a diagonal moved to lightly push his arm and Guo Jing’s strength was diverted sideways.

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