The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 34

He was busy with his own thought for a while, and then he folded the paper to put it back into his pocket, suddenly he saw several characters were scribbled on the back of the letter. He quickly turned it over and his heart was thumping hard and jumping madly since he saw some crooked writing, “This business has turned for the worse, everybody guard against …” the last character was only written three strokes; looked like the disaster had already stricken, so it was unfinished.

Guo Jing called out, “This is obviously the character ‘east’; Er Shifu warned everybody to guard against the Eastern Heretic; what a pity he did not have enough time.” He crushed the paper into a ball; clenching his jaws he said, “Er Shifu, Er Shifu, the Old Heretic Huang has viewed your good intention as an evil one.” His grip loosened and the paper ball fell to the ground. Stooping down he picked Zhu Cong’s body.

Huang Rong had always kept her eyes on Guo Jing as he was reading the paper; she saw his expression change several times, she knew the letter must be very important. As the paper fell, she slowly walked over and picked it up, she read both sides and said in her heart, “His Six Shifus came to the Peach Blossom Island with a good intention. Too bad this Magic Hand Scholar had a crooked heart; he was accustomed to stealing his entire life, so that when he saw my mother’s many rare treasures he could not help but violating my Father’s biggest taboo …”

In her grief and remorse she saw that Guo Jing was laying down Zhu Cong’s body. Zhu Cong’s left hand was tightly curled into a fist. Guo Jing pried it open and took something out and held it in his hand. Huang Rong looked closer and saw it was a women’s shoe carved from a green jade, approximately an inch long. Although it was a toy, it looked just like a real shoe; the carving was fine and exquisite, truly it was an expensive work of art. Only she had never seen this shoe in her mother’s grave before; she wondered where Zhu Cong got it from.

Guo Jing turned the shoe over in his hand to take a look; there was a ‘zhao’ [to recruit] character engraved on the sole, while another character ‘bi’ [contest/compete] was engraved inside, other than these characters there was nothing unusual about the shoe. Guo Jing hated these treasures very much, ‘swish!’ he tossed the shoe to the ground. He stared blankly for a while, then slowly picked Zhu Cong’s, Han Baoju’s and Quan Jinfa’s bodies and put them in the hole. He was about to cover them with earth, but looking at his three shifus’ faces he could not bear to do so. He called out, “Er Shifu, San Shifu, Liu Shifu [Sixth Shifu], you … you died!” His voice was gentle, the same voice he had used when talking to his shifus in the past.

After about half a day he cast a sidelong gaze toward the pile of treasure by the hole; his anger rose. With both of his hands he scooped them up and walked briskly toward Huang Rong’s mother’s grave. Huang Rong was afraid he was going to violate her mother’s jade coffin; she anxiously caught up, stretching out her arms she blocked the entrance of the grave. “What are you doing?” she imposingly asked.

Guo Jing did not answer, his left arm gently shoved her aside; both of his hands threw the treasures inside the grave. A series of long clinking noise was heard as the jewels hit the ground. Huang Rong saw that jade-green shoe fell near her feet; she stooped down to pick it up and said, “This one is not my Mother’s.” She handed the shoe over to him. Guo Jing only stared at her blankly, ignoring her. Huang Rong put the shoe in her pocket. Guo Jing turned around and returned to the hole; he shoveled the earth and buried his three shifus’ bodies.

Guo Jing was busy for half a day. The sky had gradually turned dark. Huang Rong still did not see him cry; she was getting more and more concerned. She thought perhaps if she leaves him alone he would cry; so she went back to the house to fetch some salted fish and ham and cooked some simple dishes. She put everything in a basket and went back to see that Guo Jing was still standing next to his shifus’ grave. It took Huang Rong approximately an hour to prepare the dishes, yet not only Guo Jing did not move a single step; his expression also did not change the slightest bit.

To see Guo Jing standing like a stone statue in the dark Huang Rong was alarmed and scared. “Jing Gege, how are you feeling?” she called out; but Guo Jing did not pay her any attention. Huang Rong called again, “Come here and eat, you have been hungry for a whole day!”

“I’d rather die of starvation that to eat anything on the Peach Blossom Island,” Guo Jing said.

Hearing him talking Huang Rong was somewhat relieved; she knew his stubborn temperament. His heart was broken and hurt, once he said he would not eat anything on this island then he would not eat. Thereupon she slowly put the basket down on the ground and sat down.

One standing up the other sitting down, time quietly passed, the crescent moon rose from the sea and slowly reached the top of their heads. The food in the basket had already turned cold, as cold as the hearts of this couple.

In this chilly wind under the cold moon, amidst the faint sound of waves breaking the shore, suddenly from a distance came a cry. The sound was intensely mournful, like a wolf’s howl or a tiger’s roar, but it also sounded like a human’s voice. The sound was transmitted by the wind, so when the wind died, the sound also disappeared. Huang Rong inclined her ears to listen attentively; she vaguely recognized it was the voice of someone struggling in severe pain, only it was not clear whether the voice belonged to a human or a beast. After determining where the voice came from, she moved her feet and rushed toward that voice.

Actually she wanted to take Guo Jing along, but then she changed her mind, “Most likely this is not something good, it will only increase his anxiety.” Darkness enveloped her on every side, she was actually afraid to go alone; fortunately she knew every grass and every tree on the Peach Blossom Island very well, hence although her heart was thumping hard, she gathered all her courage and went forward.

She had only walked for about a dozen of steps when suddenly felt a gust of wind by her side; Guo Jing dashed past her and was running ahead of her. He did not know the way, so very soon he was lost. Huang Rong saw his hands hacking and his feet kicking, trying to destroy the trees and bushes blocking his way, as if he was losing his mind. “Follow me,” Huang Rong said.

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