The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 34

Huang Rong wanted to urge him again, but she was overwhelmed with grief as well. She only said, “Jing Gege,” and could not say anything else.

Two people stood silently for half a day; Guo Jing mumbled with a low voice, “I must not kill Rong’er, I must not kill Rong’er!”

Huang Rong’s heart was bitter, she said, “Your Shifus are dead, just cry your heart out.”

Guo Jing thought aloud, “I am not crying, I am not crying.”

After this exchange, the room fell into silence one more time. The sound of the distant waves was faintly heard; in just a short moment a multitude of thoughts swirling inside Huang Rong’s mind. All kinds of things she went through on this island, since she was little until she was fifteen years old, one by one flashed through her brain clearly; and then her body shook again.

She heard Guo Jing said as if he was talking to himself, “I must bury my Shifus first. Must I? Must I bury my Shifus first?”

“Right,” Huang Rong replied, “We must bury Shifus first.” She went out to show the way, back to her mother’s grave. Without saying anything Guo Jing followed behind her.

Huang Rong held out her hand to open the grave, suddenly Guo Jing rushed ahead, his right leg flew up, sweeping toward the middle of the tombstone. The tombstone was made from solid and extremely hard granite; even if Guo Jing’s kick was ten times stronger all he could do was to push the tombstone slightly askew, and not making the slightest dent on it. His right foot was bleeding, but he did not seem to feel the pain. His pair of palms ferociously struck and pushed the stone. He pulled the half of Quan Jinfa’s balance beam and struck the tombstone over and over. Sparks and debris flew everywhere. Suddenly, ‘crack!’ the beam snapped. With both of his hands Guo Jing furiously cracked the stone open, revealing the steel rod inside it. He grabbed the steel rod, trying to break it; but the grave door had actually opened before the rod was bent.

Guo Jing stared with a dull expression; suddenly he shouted, “Other than Huang Yaoshi, who can open the gate? Who can lure my ‘en shi’ [benevolent/kind master] to enter this crafty grave? If it is not he then who is? Who is it?” He threw his head back and shouted, then ran into the grave.

Guo Jing’s blood on the broken stone flowed down to cover his hand print. Seeing his deep hatred toward her mother’s grave Huang Rong was determined, “If he destroys my mother’s jade coffin to vent his anger, I am going to die over it first.” She was about to enter the grave when Guo Jing walked back out carrying Quan Jinfa’s body. He put the body down on the ground, then went back in and respectfully carried Zhu Cong, Han Baoju and Han Xiaoying one by one and laid them down on the ground.

Huang Rong stole a glance toward him and saw the love and admiration on his face; her heart turned icy cold, “He loves his shifus a lot more than he loves me. I must look for my Father, I must look for my Father!”

Guo Jing carried his four shifus’ bodies into the forest, several hundreds steps away from the grave, before he finally stooped down to dig a hole. At first he dug using Han Xiaoying’s long sword, he dug faster and faster and finally the sword snapped; even the handle was broken. Suddenly a burst of heat bubbled up from his chest and he spat out two mouthfuls of blood. He did not stop; he bent down his waist and used his hands to continue digging; scooping the earth and throwing it aside like crazy.

Huang Rong went to the quarter of the mute servants in charge of planting the tree and took two shovels. She tossed one shovel to Guo Jing and used the other to help digging the hole. Without saying anything Guo Jing snatched the shovel from her hand, broke it into two and tossed it to the ground; while he continued to dig alone with the other shovel. Huang Rong did not cry at all; she simply sat on the ground to watch.

Guo Jing exerted all his strength and he managed to dig two holes, one big and the other small, within the time needed to cook rice. He put Han Xiaoying’s body into the small hole. He knelt down and knocked his head on the ground several times; and then stared blankly at Han Xiaoying’s face for half a day before he finally covered it with earth. Next, he picked Zhu Cong’s body and was about to put it into the big hole when suddenly his heart was stirred, “How can Huang Yaoshi’s filthy jewels accompany my Er Shifu in his grave?” Thereupon he put forth his hand into Zhu Cong’s pocket and took the pearls, jade, and gemstones one by one and without looking at them he tossed everything to the ground. At last he reached the bottom of the pocket and took a sheet of paper out. He unfolded the paper and read these words:

‘From Jiangnan, the humble Ke Zhen’e, Zhu Cong, Han Baoju, Nan Xiren, Quan Jinfa and Han Xiaoying are paying a visit to the Senior, Master of the Peach Blossom Island. A short while ago we heard a rumor that disregarding their own lack of ability the Quanzhen Six Masters are about to settle their matter with the Peach Blossom Island. Juniors here realize this matter involves some miscommunication, only we regret that we are not able to act as the mediator between the two parties involved. Senior is an expert of the present age, a peer of the late Wang Chongyang, Wang Zhenren [lit. true/real man, a term of respect to a Taoist priest]; how can Senior let your honor and prestige fall by arguing with younger generations about right and wrong? In the past Lin Xiangru yielded to Lian Po, and it was regarded as a grand occasion in history. A heroic gentleman’s heart is as broad as the sea, and would certainly not be bothered by bickering chicken and worms. The day will come when the Quanzhen disciples will humble themselves in front of the Island Master, and the warriors of the world will admire Senior’s honorable chivalry; wouldn’t that be great?’

Guo Jing recognized his Er Shifu’s handwriting, he held the paper with trembling hands; he said in his heart, “When the Quanzhen Seven Masters were fighting Huang Yaoshi at the Ox Village, Ouyang Feng launched a sneak attack and killed Changzhen Zi [Eternal Truth] Tan Chuduan. At that time Ouyang Feng shifted the blame to Huang Yaoshi. This Old Heretic Huang is a haughty man, he did not bother to argue, so naturally the Quanzhen Sect hates him to the bone. When my six Shifus learned the Quanzhen Sect was coming in full power to seek revenge, they were afraid both sides would suffer injury, so they wrote this letter urging Huang Yaoshi to temporarily avoid confrontation and think of ways to reveal the truth in the future. My Shifus had a kind intention, how could this old thief Huang Yaoshi made his move and brought this calamity upon them?” But then he thought, “Er Shifu had already written this letter, why didn’t he deliver it, but kept it in his pocket? Ah, right, the situation must be pressing, the Quanzhen Six Masters were coming quickly, so they did not have enough time to deliver this letter; therefore, my Six Shifus came in a hurry to prevent the battle.” Following which he thought, “Old Heretic Huang, oh, Old Heretic Huang, you must think my Six Shifus came to help the Quanzhen Sect; and thus without separating the green from the red or black or white you just attacked with your poisonous hand.”

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