The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 31

This move totally took Yideng and his four disciples by surprise; they called out, “What are you doing?”

Guo Jing did not reply, his left hand went straight toward Yideng’s shoulder. Yideng’s right palm made a turn and fast as lighting grabbed Guo Jing’s left hand. Guo Jing was startled; he thought Yideng was already shrouded inside his palm’s strength, unexpectedly not only he managed to break through but launched a counterattack as well. Moreover, Yideng’s attack was targeting his vital point. It was truly an exquisite skill. Only as Yideng’s palm came within an inch of his hand he could feel Yideng’s palm was weak. Guo Jing took this opportunity to turn his palm around to protect his hand, while his right hand launched ‘Divine Dragon Swings Its Tail’ to repel the fisherman and the woodcutter who attacked him from behind. The forefinger of his left hand was still moving straight forward to seal the ‘feng wei’ [phoenix’s tail] and ‘jing cu’ [near energy] on Yideng’s side. “Uncle,” he said, “I beg your forgiveness.”

Meanwhile Huang Rong had pushed the farmer out of the door using the Dog Beating Stick technique. The scholar was surprised with this abrupt turn of events; he did not understand Guo Jing and Huang Rong’s intention. “If you have something to discuss, say it; please don’t fight!” he repeatedly shouted.

Seeing his Shifu’s condition the farmer was like a mad tiger; neglecting his own life he charged toward the meditation room. But the Dog Beating Stick was too much for him, he charged three times and three times Huang Rong’s stick pushed him back.

Guo Jing’s palms moved in circles with a strong gust of wind, forcing the fisherman, the woodcutter and the scholar to move back step by step toward the door. Huang Rong abruptly swung her stick from the ground upward to the farmer’s eyebrow. This move was so swift that the farmer cried out, “Aiyo!” He threw his head backward and leaped back several feet.

“Good!” Huang Rong exclaimed. She reached backward and closed the door. With a chuckle she said, “Gentlemen, please hold your hands! I have something to say.”

Every time the woodcutter and the fisherman met with Guo Jing’s palm they felt their arms went numb and their feet staggered. They saw Guo Jing was about to strike again, quickly they stood side by side, ready to receive Guo Jing’s palm with their combine forces. As Guo Jing heard Huang Rong’s words he stopped his palm midway and withdrew it back. Cupping his fists he said, “Please forgive my offense.”

The fisherman, the woodcutter, the farmer and the scholar looked at each other in consternation. With a serious face Huang Rong said, “I have received Honorable Master’s kindness; now I know that Honorable Master is facing a difficulty, how can I just leave and do nothing? We have offended you with the intention to help.”

The scholar stepped forward, bowed deeply and said, “The enemy is our Master’s wife; it would be inconvenient for us to offend her. If she wants to go up the mountain, we won’t have any way of stopping her. Moreover, ever since that … that young master died, for more than ten years our Shifu’s heart was restless. Even if his energy were still intact and he were not poisoned, when he saw Concubine Liu arrive he would not defend himself against her dagger. We cannot disobey our master, yet our hearts are burning with anxiety. We have exhausted our wisdom and used up all our strengths, still we don’t know what to do. Miss is so smart; if you can show us a way, even if our bodies and bones are ground to dust we will wish to repay your kindness.”

Hearing him speaking earnestly Huang Rong did not dare to joke around like she previously did, she said, “We, martial brother and sister, are very grateful for the Honorable Master’s kindness, no different than the four of you, we will use all means possible to help. It will be best if we can prevent Ying Gu from entering the meditation room, but to think that she has been waiting patiently at the Black Marsh for more than ten years, she must have made ample preparation. I am afraid it won’t be easy to block her. Little sister’s plan involves a great danger. If we succeed, we can expect smooth sailing in the future, without any imminent trouble. But it is extremely risky, that Ying Gu is very astute and sly, her martial art skill is also high, so there is a possibility for failure. My ability and wisdom is very shallow and simple, I can’t think of any foolproof plan.”

The fisherman, the woodcutter, the farmer and the scholar said, “We beg your explanation.”

Huang Rong raised her pretty eyebrows and laid down her plan. As the four disciples listened to it, they looked at each other and did not say anything for half a day.

It was the tenth hour (5 – 7 pm), the sun slowly sank behind the mountain. The strong mountain breeze swayed the leaves of the palm trees planted in rows outside the meditation courtyard. The withered lotus leaves on the pond also made a rustling noise. The evening sun cast its light from behind the mountain peaks, the mountain ridges looked like a silhouette of a giant reclining on the ground. The fisherman, the woodcutter, the farmer and the scholar sat cross-legged on the ground by the stone bridge. They opened their eyes wide looking to the front. Each heart was heavy with restlessness.

They had waited for a long time. The sky had darkened, the dusk gradually turned into night. The crows crowed while they were flying in the valley below. A thin white mist rose up from the canyon below. But still no one appeared from the turn at the mountain cliff beyond the stone bridge. The fisherman thought, “If only Concubine Liu has a sudden change of heart and does not blame Shifu, maybe she reined her horse beyond the cliff and decided not to come over …”

The woodcutter thought, “This Concubine Liu is very crafty; she must have been preparing a really sinister plot.”

The farmer was more anxious and impatient than the others, he thought, “The sooner she arrives, the sooner we can get it over with; whether it will be disaster or fortune, good or evil, we will find out sooner. She said she would come and she hasn’t arrived yet, it really is exasperating.”

The scholar thought, “The more delayed she is, the more dangerous the threat will be. This matter is really difficult to be solved nicely.” It goes without saying that he was a good schemer and tactician; he had been the prime minister of Dali kingdom for more than a dozen of years. He had seen major battle and faced many difficult situations, yet this time he was nervous. He had given this matter a lot of thoughts, but could not put out the least bit of idea. His eyes scanned the darkened surrounding area; his ears heard the distant cry of an owl. Suddenly he remembered when he was a child he often heard people say, ‘The owl [lit. night cat] hides in a secret place and stealthily counts human’s eyebrows. Whoever got his eyebrows counted correctly, that person will not live to see the daylight.’ It was obviously a myth to deceive little children, but in this situation suddenly hearing the cry of the owl, he involuntarily shuddered. “Could it be that Shifu won’t be able to escape this disaster and die under this woman’s hands?” He had just finished his thought when suddenly the woodcutter whispered urgently with a trembling voice, “She is here!”

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