The snake staff in Ouyang Feng’s hand pushed and pulled abruptly, forcing the seven Quanzhen people to back off. Ouyang Feng had seen the Big Dipper Formation’s fierceness at the Ox Village; he was quite intimidated by that, so he decided to keep a tight defense and wait for the enemy to reveal its own flaw. Once the Big Dipper Formation unfolded, it struck to the front and hit to the back, like a continuous wave of attacks. Ouyang Feng carefully met stance with stance, while opening his eyes wide to see any potential to break the formation. A moment later he noticed Yin Zhiping’s ‘tian xuan’ was the Formation’s weak link. He thought if he could destroy this link, he did not have anything else to fear; therefore, he brandished the snake staff in his hand trying to inflict some harm, while his eyes scanning around, assessing the situation around him.
Guo Jing and Huang Yaoshi were still engaged in a tight combat. Huang Rong moved her bamboo stick to keep Ke Zhen’e more than a ‘zhang’ away from these two people. She kept shouting, “Please stop fighting; please listen to me!” But Guo Jing turned a deaf ear to her; palm by palm he struck ferociously, in total disregard of his own life.
At first Huang Rong saw her father holding back, but Guo Jing kept provoking him so that gradually she saw his anger rise, his hands were getting heavier and heavier. She knew the situation was critical; either one of them would certainly suffer a heavy injury if he made a slight mistake. She lifted his head and saw Hong Qigong was leaning against the railing of the Misty Rain Tavern, watching the battle. “Shifu, Shifu,” she hastily called, “Come down and help me explain everything.”
Hong Qigong has seen early on that the situation was far from good, he regretted losing his martial art skill and was powerless to settle this dispute, and hence he was really anxious. Hearing Huang Rong cry out he had an idea, “If only the Old Heretic Huang still has some respect to me left, I think I can still do something.” His hands pressed on the railing and he floated in the air coming down. “Everybody hold your hand!” he called out, “The Old Beggar has something to say.” The Nine-fingered Divine Beggar had such a prestige in the Jianghu that when they saw his sudden appearance everybody’s heart shivered and they could not help but to stop fighting.
Ouyang Feng was the first to secretly groan, he thought, “How can the Old Beggar’s martial art come back?” He did not know that after listening to Guo Jing’s explanation on the Sanskrit part of the Nine Yin Manual Hong Qigong spent these past few days to practice according to the technique and was able to open up his ‘qi jing ba mai’ [marvelous/mysterious passage 8 pulses, Eight Extraordinary Channels].
Hong Qigong’s martial art skill was very profound to begin with, after listening to an excellent internal energy secret such as treating one’s own internal injury, with his divine comprehension within this short period of time he managed to open up one of the eight pulses; his lightness kungfu was 30, 40% recovered. Strictly speaking, if he were involved in a brawl just relying on his fists’ and palms’ strength, he could not even defeat a strong man who did not know any martial art. But in leaping up and down his movement was light and lively, at least in Ouyang Feng’s eyes he did not look like someone who was devoid of any internal strength.
Hong Qigong was amazed to see these people were still in awe of him, he considered it carefully, “If the Old Beggar does not put on some airs, today’s crisis will be difficult to resolve; but what can I say, so that the Quanzhen Masters will listen to my order, and also the Old Poison will comply without giving me too much difficulty?” Momentarily not knowing what to do he threw his head backward and laughed a big laugh; while he was looking up, he saw the moon was beginning to rise up, the bright circle looked like a wheel made of ice with one side of it slightly broken. An idea came into his mind, he said, “You are all experts in the Wulin world, but you deal with each other just like scoundrels and rascals, your words are just like farts.”
Everybody was startled. They knew Hong Qigong always talked crazy words without any restrain, so they did not think much about his language; however, he must have a reason to say such thing. Ma Yu bowed in respect and asked, “Asking Qianbei [Senior] to grant us instruction.”
Hong Qigong angrily said, “The Old Beggar heard some people say that on the eighth month’s mid-autumn day this year there will be people fighting at the Misty Rain Tavern. The Old Beggar was afraid that his hearing was not clear, so while it is still early I want to laze around and sleep in peace and quiet here. Who knew that since early this morning I have been hearing clackety-clack and yakety-yak of people quarreling and fighting nonstop. I heard chamber pot formation or bed urinal formation, and then there was a husband beating his wife, a son-in-law attacking his father-in-law; very noisy just like killing pig or slaughtering dog, so noisy that the Old Beggar cannot take a nap in peace and quiet. Look at the moon, what day is today?”
Listening to his speech everybody remembered that today was the fourteenth of the eight month, so the martial art contest was going to be the next day. Besides, Peng Lianhu, Sha Tongtian and their company had not arrived yet, so fighting today did not make much sense. Qiu Chuji said, “Lao Qianbei [Senior] is right, we should not have made disturbance here today.” He turned his head toward Ouyang Feng and said, “Ouyang Feng, let us find someplace else to decide who will be alive and who will be dead.”
“Wonderful, wonderful,” Ouyang Feng laughed, “I’ll gladly accompany you.”
Hong Qigong’s face turned sour, he said, “As soon as Wang Chongyang returned to heaven, the Quanzhen Sect’s bunch of mixed-up hair has become a reckless empty-headed bunch. Let me tell you something: five priests and one priestess, plus a little priest with low martial art skill, all of you join hands, you are still not the Old Poison’s match. Wang Chongyang has never left anything good for me; it is none of the Old Beggar’s business whether the bunch of mixed-up hairs will be alive or dead, but let me ask you this: you have a martial art contest appointment tomorrow, who will keep the appointment? Will seven dead Taoists be able to fight?”
This speech sounded like he was ridiculing the Quanzhen priests, but in it he reminded them that by fighting Ouyang Feng they would die and would not live. The seven of them could not defeat Huang Yaoshi then, obviously now they were not Ouyang Feng’s match. All of the Six Masters were experienced Jianghu characters, how could they fail to catch the real meaning of his speech? But they were facing their archenemy right now, how could they cower?