The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 34

They saw the tomb was in chaos; one corner of the sacrificial table was broken, Nan Xiren’s shoulder pole was laid slanting on the floor. On the left corner they saw someone lying down; he was wearing a cloth headband on his head, his shoes fallen down. From the look of his back who else but Zhu Cong?

Guo Jing quietly walked near and pulled Zhu Cong’s body. Under the fire light he saw that the corner of Zhu Cong’s mouth showed a faint smile, while his body had been cold for a long time. In his condition, the smile appeared to be strange yet sad. With a low voice Guo Jing said, “Er Shifu [Second Shifu], disciple Guo Jing is here!” Gently he picked Zhu Cong’s body up. ‘Clink, clink, clank, clank’ there was a series of light noise, countless pearls and precious stones fell down from Zhu Cong’s pocket, scattered on the floor.

Huang Rong picked a handful of jewels to take a closer look, but threw them away immediately. With a long sigh she said, “These are things my Father placed here to accompany my Mother.”

Guo Jing fixed his gaze at her, his eyes looked like they are about to spurt out blood, with a low and calm voice he said, “You are saying … saying that my Er Shifu came here to steal the gems? You dare to say my Er Shifu …”

Huang Rong did not flinch under his glowering stare at all; she stared back at Guo Jing, only her stare was full of desperation and painful anxiety.

Guo Jing continued, “My Shifu was a warrior and a true hero, how could he steal your father’s jewels? He couldn’t possibly … couldn’t possibly come over to plunder your Mama’s grave.” But looking at Huang Rong’s expression his tone gradually changed from angry to sad. The fact was, the jewels fell from Zhu Cong’s pocket, he also remembered his Er Shifu was known as ‘miao shou shu sheng’ [Magic Hand Scholar]; he was able to effortlessly pick anything from anybody’s pocket. Could it be that he really came over here to steal the jewels from this grave? No, no, his Er Shifu was always honest and frank, he simply could not do such a dirty and despicable act; there must be an explanation to this. Guo Jing was grieved and angry at the same time, the hair on his forehead was wet with sweat, his mind was dark, he clasped his fists so hard that the joins were making cracking sounds.

Huang Rong softly said, “When I saw your Da Shifu’s expression the other day, I had a feeling that it would be difficult for you and I to have something good between us. If you want to kill me, just do it. My Mama is here. I only ask you to bury me by her side. After burying me, quickly leave the island, don’t let my father see you.”

Guo Jing did not answer; he walked back and forth in big strides, breathing heavily at the same time. Huang Rong’s gaze was fixed on the painting of her mother on the wall. Suddenly she saw something of the face of the painting. She came closer and saw two secret projectiles. Carefully she took them down and gave them to Guo Jing; they were the ‘du ling’ [poisonous water caltrop] Ke Zhen’e used. She pulled the curtain behind the sacrificial table open, revealing her mother’s coffin behind it. She walked to the coffin’s side, and was unable to restrain exclaiming, “Ah!” She saw Han Baoju and Han Xiaoying, brother and sister have died behind the jade coffin.

It seemed like Han Xiaoying had slashed her own throat, her hand was still holding tight the sword hilt. Half of Han Baoju’s body was draped over the coffin, five finger holes were clearly seen on the center of his forehead.

Guo Jing walked past Huang Rong to take Han Baoju’s body away, while mumbling, “I personally saw Mei Chaofeng has died; who else but Huang Yaoshi in this world who can use this ‘jiu yin bai gu zhua’ [Nine Yin White Bone Claw]?” He gently put Han Baoju’s body on the floor, then he went back to take Han Xiaoying’s body, and brought the body outside. He walked past Huang Rong without looking at her, as if he did not even know she was there.

Huang Rong’s heart turned cold; she stared blankly for half a day. Suddenly the tomb was dark; the fire paper had been burned out. She was used to coming over to this tomb, but now there were four dead people inside. She could not help but feel afraid of the darkness and hastily ran out of the tomb. She tripped on something and almost fell over, but she ran ahead. Only after she was out of the tomb did she recall that she must be stumbling over Quan Jinfa’s body.

She noticed the tombstone was askew; she put out her hand to straighten it up. She was about to close the grave’s door when suddenly something dawned on her, “After killing the Four Freaks of Jiangnan, how come Father did not close the door of the grave? He loves Mama very much. Even though he was in such a hurry, he would not leave this door open wide like this.” One thought led to another, her suspicion aroused, “How could Father let the Four Freaks accompany Mama in the grave? It’s impossible. Could it be that Father also met a mishap?” Immediately she pushed the tombstone three times to the right and three times to the left to close the door, and then rushed to the house.

Guo Jing left the tomb earlier than she did, but after walking a dozen of steps, turning to the left and circling to the right, he was lost. He saw Huang Rong walking by and immediately followed behind her.

Without saying anything two people walked through the bamboo grove, over the lotus pond, toward the study room where Huang Yaoshi took up his residence. They saw the building was in a mess; the beams were broken and the pillars bent.

“Father! Father!” Huang Rong called out; rushing inside she saw that the table was flipped over and the stool laid on its side, books, pen and ink were scattered on the floor, half of the scrolls of painting and poems on the wall were pulled down, but where was Huang Yaoshi’s shadow? Huang Rong propped herself on the turned over table, her body shook and she was about to fall.

After half a day she managed to calm herself down. She rushed toward the mute servants’ quarter, but did not see a single soul. The ashes on the stove had turned cold. If they did not die, all of them had left some time ago. It looked like there was nobody else on this island except Guo Jing and herself.

Slowly she walked back to the study room, only to see Guo Jing inside standing motionless; his eyes looked straight without any expression on his face. With a trembling voice Huang Rong said, “Jing Gege, go ahead and cry. Quickly cry, then we’ll talk!” She knew Guo Jing and his six shifus had a parents and child relationship; right now his heart was extremely grieved. His internal energy had been trained to such an excellent level, that if he was unable to vent his great sadness and pain he would suffer a serious internal injury. Who would have thought that Guo Jing did not seem to hear anything; he only stared at her blankly.

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