“Let us go,” Huang Rong said, “I am sick of seeing this woman.”
Before Guo Jing could answer, Ying Gu walked in and said, “I diligently studied mathematics because I want to enter the Peach Blossom Island. But judging from the Old Heretic Huang’s daughter, even if I study for another hundred years it will still be useless. It was fate. What more can I say? Just go. Take away these pouches.” While saying it she pushed the Nine Flowered Jade Dew Pill pouch and the three pouches she made into Guo Jing’s hand. To Huang Rong she said, “These Nine Flowered Jade Dew Pills are harmful to your injury. Don’t take it no matter what. After you are healed, don’t forget your promise to stay with me for a year. Your father had destroyed my life; I’d rather give all these food to the dogs than to let you eat them.” She threw the porridge, chicken and fish out the window.
Huang Rong was seething with anger; she wanted to answer back sarcastically, but then she changed her mind. She held Guo Jing’s hand and stood up, then with her bamboo stick she wrote three mathematics problems on the ground:
The first one included the ‘ri, yue, shui, huo, mu, jin, tu’ [sun, moon, water, fire, wood, metal and earth] collection of the ‘qi yao jiu zhi tian zhu bi suan’ [seven dazzling nine grasping Indian method of calculation].
The second one was ‘li fang zhao bing zhi yin gei mi ti’ [lit. ‘standing up soldier supplying silver’ topic]. [Author’s note: This is the vertical theory of numbers in western mathematics].
The third one was ‘gui gu suan ti’ [ghost valley mathematic problem]: “There is an unknown number; three and three has two as the remainder, five and five has three as the remainder, seven and seven has two as the remainder, what mathematical operand is that?” [Author’s note: this problem belongs to the theory of numbers of higher mathematics; our Song Dynasty scholars have been quite profound in this kind of study.]
[Translator’s note: for the life of me, I have no idea what kind of theory of numbers Jin Yong was talking about; therefore, I translated this part as best as I could; although they still don’t make any sense, I am afraid. I am an engineer and not a mathematician, so I am not familiar with theory of numbers. If any of you can help, we (both I and the other readers) will certainly appreciate it.
Huang Yushi, Huang Qianbei, the translator of Ode To Gallantry, has sent me a two-part article about the first problem. Unfortunately it was in Chinese, so it won’t help much for those of you who don’t read Chinese. Basically it says that the ‘seven dazzling’ referred to the seven days of the week, and the ‘nine grasping’ was the almanac calculation method of the ancient India. Here is the link: http://www.ytlee.org.tw/publish/find/menu_show.asp?period=45#3
And the second part: http://www.ytlee.org.tw/publish/find/menu_show.asp?period=46#2]
After writing these three problems, Huang Rong slowly walked out, holding on Guo Jing’s arm. As he stepped over the door, Guo Jing turned his head around and saw Ying Gu’s hand grasping her computing device, her eyes fixed to the ground like she was entranced. As soon as they were outside Guo Jing carried Huang Rong on his back, still following Huang Rong’s direction, walking step by step out of the marsh. Guo Jing was afraid he might miscount his steps, so he did not dare to say anything; but as soon as they left the forest he asked, “Rong’er, what did you write on the sand?”
Huang Rong smiled, “I gave three mathematical problems to her. Humph, I doubt it if she will be able to solve them in half a year. Let all her gray hair turn white. Who told her to be so rude?”
“What enmity does she have toward your father?” Guo Jing asked.
“I have never heard Father mentioned it,” Huang Rong replied. After being silent for about half a day she suddenly said, “She must be very beautiful when she was young. Jing Gege, don’t you agree?” Actually she bore a suspicion in her heart, “Is it possible that in the former days my father and she were lovers? Humph, most likely she wanted my father to marry her but my father did not want her.”
Guo Jing replied, “Doesn’t matter if she was beautiful or not; even if she cannot solve your problems she still won’t be able to chase us and take the pouches back.”
“I wonder what’s inside those pouches. I doubt it if she had our well-beings in her mind. Let’s open them and take a look,” Huang Rong said.
“No, no!” Guo Jing hastily said, “We must follow her instructions, we must not open it until we arrive at Taoyuan.”
Huang Rong was very curious; she persuaded Guo Jing to open it, but Guo Jing firmly refused; finally Huang Rong resigned.
After being busy the whole night finally the sky turned brighter. Guo Jing leaped up a tree to take a good look around; he was relieved not to see any trail of the Iron Palm Clan disciples. He whistled loudly several times, and the little red horse came galloping fast. Not too long afterwards his pair of eagles was also seen flying above their heads.
Two people were just mounting the horse when suddenly they heard shouts coming out of the forest. Dozens of Iron Palm Clan disciples came rushing forward. They have been guarding around the forest for half a night. As soon as they heard Guo Jing’s whistle they came out to catch them. Luckily Qiu Qianren was not among these people. Guo Jing called out, “You missed!” He squeezed his legs on the horse’s belly and the little red horse ran like the wind; in a moment they could not see their pursuers anymore.
By noon that day the little red horse had run for more than a hundred ‘li’s; they stopped by a small restaurant by the roadside. Huang Rong’s chest was still hurting, but she managed to drink half a bowl of rice soup. Guo Jing asked around and found out that they had arrived within Taoyuan County border. Quickly he took the white pouch and cut the thread. Inside he found a map with two lines of characters which read, “Follow the route shown on the map. At the end of the road you will find a waterfall with a thatched hut next to it. Open the red pouch when you arrive there.” Guo Jing did not tarry any longer; they remounted the horse and galloped away.
After traveling for about seventy, eighty ‘li’s, the road was getting narrower. Eight, nine ‘li’s later they entered a narrow passageway with mountain walls on both sides. Soon the pathway turned into a winding alley so narrow that one person could barely squeeze through. They were compelled to leave little red horse to graze by itself on the side of the hill. Guo Jing took Huang Rong and carried her on his back; together they entered the alley. Following the steep mountain pathway they walked for about two hours. Sometimes the alley was so narrow that Guo Jing had to lift Huang Rong up and he walked sideways, squeezing in between the mountain walls.