The Legend of the Condor Heroes – Chapter 39

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78 min read

Right and wrong, good and evil.

Original translation by Foxs

Guo Jing rode his horse for several days, leaving the dangerous area, slowly heading south. The day was getting warmer, the grass looked longer; along the way he saw the remnants of war: broken walls and ruined homes, human bones scattered here and there. The sights, the smell … Everything brought a dreadful and nauseating feeling in his heart.

One day he stopped to take a rest in a pavilion by the roadside. He saw these inscriptions on the pavilion’s wall, “A poem from a Tang Dynasty man: ‘Water trickles downward day by day, ultimately overpowering the cry of chicken and dogs. Thousand villages fell to become food to the wild animals. The people vanished in smoke to give way to the flowers.’ My Central Plains’ beautiful river and mountain unexpectedly fallen victim to violent battles. People turned into ashes as if the above poem was written for today’s situation.”

Looking at these lines of characters Guo Jing was entranced, sadness came creeping into his heart and he could not refrain from shedding some tears.

He had roamed this vast and boundless world, but actually did not know where he should go. Within just one short year his mother, Huang Rong, his five masters, the people that were dear to him had all died. Ouyang Feng had killed his masters and Huang Rong; he was going to find him and seek revenge. But as soon as he thought about the words ‘seek revenge’, the tragic massacre of the people of Khoresm came into his mind. In order for him to avenge his father’s death he had to kill so many innocent civilians, how could he have peace in his heart? It looked like this ‘seeking revenge’ matter was not necessarily a right thing to do.

Thinking about all other things, he came into this thought, “All my life I painstakingly trained myself in martial arts that finally I reached my current level, and then what? I can’t even protect my own mother and Rong’er, then what use is my martial art skill? I wanted with all my heart to be a good person, but in the end who would be happy because of me? Mother, Rong’er, both died because of me. Huazheng Meizi has to suffer forever because of me. Truly the number of people who suffered miserably because of me is not a few.”

“Wanyan Honglie and Muhammad were bad people. But what about Genghis Khan? He killed Wanyan Honglie; so I should say he is a good person. But then he ordered me to attack the Great Song. He took care of my mother and me for twenty years, but in the end he had caused my mother’s death.”

“Yang Kang and I became sworn brothers, but our hearts were a world apart from the start. Sister Mu Nianci is a good person, but why did her heart set on loving only Yang Kang? Tuolei Anda and I love each other, but when he leads the army attacking south and we meet each other on the battlefield, should he and I kill each other? No, no. Everybody has a mother, a mother who carries him for ten months, who painstakingly nurture and raise him up; how could I kill somebody’s son and cause his mother to weep bitterly? He doesn’t have a heart to kill me; I don’t have a heart to kill him. However, shall I ignore the fact that he kills my Great Song’s innocent people?”

“Training martial art is for beating and killing people, it looks like I spent twenty years of my life incorrectly; I studied and learned diligently, painstakingly; in the end all I can do is bringing harm to other people. If I knew it from the start, I wouldn’t train to have a better skill in martial art. But if I don’t learn martial art, then what should I do? I live in this world, in the end, what is my purpose of life? Decades from now, what will happen to me? Is it better to live longer, or to die sooner? Right now I have already had endless anxiety, if I live longer, won’t I have more anxiety? But if I die sooner, why would my mother give birth to me? Why would she endure hardship and suffering to raise me up?” Tossing and turning with these thought, the more he thought, the more confused he became.

For several days he could not eat during the day, and could not sleep during the night; he went back and forth in the wilderness pondering all these things.

“Mother and my benevolent masters all taught me to uphold justice and keep my words. Therefore, although I loved Rong’er dearly I could not ask the Great Khan to cancel our betrothal. But in the end, not only I drove mother and Rong’er to their injustice death, but did I make the Great Khan, Tuolei, and Huazheng happy? The Seven Heroes of Jiangnan, my seven masters, and benevolent master Hong, are all heroic people of honor, yet none of them ended up enjoying the fruit of their good deeds. Ouyang Feng and Qiu Qianren do not uphold justice and righteousness, yet they live free and unrestrained. Is there any justice in this world? Can ‘lao tian ye’ [the Heaven, God] really see?”

One day he arrived at a small town in Jinan prefecture, Shandong province. He stopped by a restaurant to drink some wine. He had just drunk three cups when suddenly a man rushed in, pointed his finger to Guo Jing and cursed him, “Barbarian thief, you have destroyed my home and killed my family; I must kill you!” While saying that his fist flew toward Guo Jing’s face.

Guo Jing was startled, he turned his left hand around and caught his hand, gently twisted it; and the man fell tumbling down. Apparently that man did not know martial art at all. Guo Jing did not have any intention to harm him; he felt really bad that he had caused that man to fall down and bleed from his head. Hastily he held out his hand to raise that man up, saying, “Brother, you must have mistaken me for others!”

That man was bawling and kept cursing him, “Barbarian thief!” Dozens more men came from outside and start kicking and hitting Guo Jing for no reason at all. After pondering about the dire consequences of using martial art, Guo Jing had made a decision not to harm others using his martial art skill. Besides, these people were neither known to him nor did they know any martial arts; they were attacking him randomly. Hence he only evaded to the east and dodged to the west, but did not fight back at all. However, there were more and more people coming in from outside; the restaurant was small, so against his will Guo Jing had to taste some fists and kicks nonetheless.

He was about to use his strength to shove his way out of the restaurant when suddenly somebody loudly called from outside, “Jing’er! What are you doing here?”

Guo Jing raised his head up and saw the person calling was wearing a Taoist robe, with a long white beard; it was none other than the Changchun Zi [Eternal Spring] Qiu Chuji. Guo Jing was delighted, “Qiu Daozhang [Taoist Priest Qiu],” he called, “These people are hitting me for no reason at all.”

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