The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 29

It was already the seventh month, the weather was scorching hot and it felt like the heat would be enough to melt metal. Fortunately there were skyscraping mountain peaks around them cooling down their path.

A moment later Guo Jing was hungry; he took some dried buns from his pocket and tore several pieces to feed Huang Rong. He did not stop walking however; he was eating while walking forward. After eating three buns he was thirsty. Suddenly he heard from a distant a faint sound of a waterfall. His spirit arose and he sped up his steps.

In the quietness of the mountain, that waterfall echoed in the valley, creating a loud rumbling noise like a torrential flood. The closer he got, the louder the noise became. When he reached the top of the hill he saw a big waterfall like a white dragon coming out from in between a pair of peaks opposite the hill where he was standing, falling down to a big pond below with astonishing force.

From the top of the hill Guo Jing looked down and saw a thatched hut next to the waterfall. Guo Jing sat on a piece of rock and took the red pouch from his pocket. Inside was a piece of paper with these words: ‘The injury this girl suffers can only be healed by Emperor Duan …’

Seeing those three characters ‘Duan huang ye’ [Emperor Duan] Guo Jing was startled, “Emperor Duan, isn’t he the Southern Emperor who share the same fame as your father?” he asked.

Huang Rong was exhausted, but hearing him mentioned the Southern Emperor her heart was stirred. “Emperor Duan?” she said, “Shifu also said that his injury can only be healed by Emperor Duan. I heard my father mentioned Emperor Duan is the emperor of Dali in Yunnan. Isn’t that …” Suddenly she remembered that this place was separated with Yunnan by ‘ten thousand rivers and a thousand mountains’ [wan shui qian shan – meaning ‘the trails and tribulations of a long journey’]. It was impossible to reach in three days. Suddenly her chest felt cold. She made an effort to sit down and leaning on Guo Jing they read the paper together.

‘The injury this girl suffers can only be healed by Emperor Duan. Because many of his conducts were not righteous he hid himself in Taoyuan and made it very difficult for outsiders to see him. Anyone seeking medical help is a taboo to him; if you mention your intention, before you reach his residence you will be stopped by the vicious hands of a fisherman, a woodcutter, a farmer and a scholar. Therefore, you must say that you have an important message from your master Hong Qigong and want to have an audience with the Emperor. Once you are in the presence of the Southern Emperor, give him the yellow pouch. Your fate depends on this.’

Finished reading Guo Jing turned his head to Huang Rong only to see her frowning silently. “Rong’er,” he asked, “Why did Emperor Duan do many unrighteous conducts? Why is it seeking medical help is a taboo to him? What are the vicious hands of a fisherman, a woodcutter, a farmer and a scholar?”

Huang Rong sighed, “Jing Gege, please don’t think that I am so smart that I know everything.”

Guo Jing was taken aback; he held out his arms and gave Huang Rong a hug. “Very well, let us go down,” he said. Casting his glance to the distant he could see there was a man sitting under the willow tree next to the waterfall. That man was wearing a bamboo hat, but because the distance was quite far he could not see clearly what that man was doing.

First, he was in a hurry, second, the pathway down was a lot easier, therefore, without needing to much time Guo Jing with Huang Rong on his back quickly arrived by the waterfall. He saw that man was wearing a raincoat, sitting on a piece of rock, fishing.

The falling water created a strong rapids, the water flowed too fast, how could there be any fish? Even if there was, how could the fish have time to take the bait?

Guo Jing saw that man was about forty years old, his face was black like the bottom of a pot, full with beards and whiskers sprouting out like wire brush. His eyes stared motionless toward the water. Seeing he was fishing with a full concentration Guo Jing did not dare to disturb, he put Huang Rong down by the willow tree to rest, while they waited to see what kind of fish live in that waterfall.

After waiting for a long time suddenly a golden streak of light came flashing out of the water; that fisherman’s face showed delight, his fishing pole was bent downward. They saw something about a foot long biting the fishing line. That something did not look like either a fish or a snake, it looked so strange.

Guo Jing was astounded, he could not restrain from calling out, “Ah! What is that?”

By that time another golden streak jumped up the water to bite the fishing line. That fisherman was delighted, he kept the fishing pole steady. But the pole was bent more and more. The fisherman struggled to keep it straight. ‘Crack!’ suddenly the pole broke. Two strange fish let the fishing line go, then swam away complacently. The water current was very strong but it seemed like those fish were swimming in a still water. In an instant they disappeared under a rock.

The fisherman turned around with eyes bulging, glaring angrily, shouted loudly, “Stinky kid, your old man has waited painstakingly for half a day, and then you little thief came and scared them away.” His hands stretched out with palms open wide, moved forward two steps ready to pounce. But for an unknown reason he managed to control his temper and held his big hands; his finger joints made cracking sounds; his face was full of anger.

Guo Jing realized he had inadvertently caused trouble therefore he did not dare to talk back. “Uncle is angry, that was my fault. But what kind of strange fish are they?” he humbly asked.

That fisherman scolded him, “Are you blind? Those are not fish, those are ‘jin wawa’ [golden baby or baby doll].”

Guo Jing was not angry even though scolded; he smiled and asked further, “Please forgive my ignorance, but what is a ‘jin wawa’?”

That fisherman flew into a rage, he shouted, “’Jin wawa’ is ‘jin wawa’, why do you stinky little thief want to know anyway?”

Because Guo Jing earnestly wanted to ask him to show the way to see Emperor Duan, he did not dare to say anything, he simply raised his cupped fists to apologize.

Huang Rong could not hold her patience much longer, she interrupted, “‘Jin wawa’ is a golden colored giant salamander. We raise several pairs of them in my home. What’s so strange about it?”

Listening to Huang Rong correctly explained what a ‘jin wawa’ really was, the fisherman was slightly confounded, he scolded, “Humph, you are blowing your horn very loud! Raising several pairs of them! Let me ask you, what’s the purpose of a ‘jin wawa’?”

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15