Jing and Rong two people were shocked, they quickly leaped forward to help. Seeing Zhou Botong suddenly fall down, Qiu Qianren was also surprised; he was about to seek a way to go down the mountain when suddenly a black shadow appeared from among the trees. That shadow coldly said, “Old thief Qiu, today you can’t run away anymore.”
That person’s back was facing the moon, so Qiu Qianren could not see that person’s face clearly. Qiu Qianren felt a chill creep up his back. “Who are you?” he barked.
Zhou Botong was lying on the ground, bedazzled. He felt he would soon be gone to the underworld; but suddenly he felt someone helped him up. “Master Zhou, don’t be afraid, that is not a snake,” he heard that person said. Zhou Botong was startled, he quickly stood up, but that cold thing on his back started to bounce around again; he jumped around and shouted madly, “It is biting me, it’s a snake, it’s a snake!”
“It’s a ‘jin wa wa’ [golden baby doll, see Chapter 29] fish, not a snake,” that person said. By now Jing and Rong two people could see clearly that person’s appearance; turned out it was the Fisherman from the Fisherman, Woodcutter, Farmer, and Scholar, four main disciples of Reverend Yideng. They saw him stretching out his arm and took a ‘jin wa wa’ from Zhou Botong’s clothes.
Turned out that fisherman saw a pair of ‘jin wa wa’ in a creek nearby; he caught them and kept them in his bosom. One of them slipped and jumped high into a tree; as luck had it, it fell down inside Zhou Botong’s collar. That ‘jin wa wa’ did not bite, but Zhou Botong was so scared of snakes that he imagined this cold and slippery thing was actually a viper biting his back. If the Fisherman was one step late, Zhou Botong might pass out of fright.
Zhou Botong opened his eyes and saw the fisherman; but he was still in shock. He knew he had met this person before, but he could not remember who it was. He turned his head to see Qiu Qianren was walking step-by-step backward, while the black shadow in front of him walked step-by-step forward, slowly approaching. Zhou Botong was a little bit relaxed but then he was startled and frightened out of his wits; he saw clearly that the black shadow was precisely the Concubine Liu Ying Gu from the Dali country’s royal palace.
Qiu Qianren was led to believe at the present time only Zhou Botong’s martial art was superior to his. If he managed to scare Zhou Botong away with his snakes, then on the sword meet the next day he was certain he would have a great chance to come out the winner. Unexpectedly on the eve of the sword meet Ying Gu appeared. That day on the ‘qing long tan’ [green dragon shore] she madly fought him; he thought that if this granny entangled him in another fight while his enemies were standing on the side; his life would be in grave danger. But then he heard she hissed with a throaty voice, “Give me back my son’s life!”
Qiu Qianren’s heart turned cold; he thought that that night when he entered the royal palace and injured her son in his attempt to force Emperor Duan to waste his strength he had disguised himself carefully. Who would have thought that the emperor did not save the child’s life, and now she had somehow learned the truth? He forced a smile and said, “Crazy Granny, why are you bothering me?”
“Give me back my son’s life!” Ying Gu called out.
“What son?” Qiu Qianren asked, “You son died, it has nothing to do with me.”
“Hmm, that night I did not see your face, but I remember your laughter,” Ying Gu said, “You laugh, now! Laugh! Laugh!”
Qiu Qianren saw her stretching both hands to pounce on him; he withdrew two steps, slightly leaned his body to the side, then his left palm slapped his right, and his right palm swept diagonally to strike Ying Gu’s abdomen. It was the fiercest one of his thirteen stances Iron Palms, called the ‘yin yang gui yi’ [negative and positive converge into one].
Ying Gu realized the fierceness of this attack; she used the Loach Maneuver to evade. Who would have thought that the enemy’s strike was so swift that before she could even move her feet, his palm was already less than half a foot from her body. Ying Gu felt a stab of pain in her heart; knowing that her hope of seeking revenge was shattered.
Disregarding his palm, she jumped forward with the intention of grabbing his body so that both of them would fall down into the canyon below. Suddenly she heard a gust of wind and a fist cut like a knife in front of her. Just before his palm reached its target, Qiu Qianren was forced to retract his arm and parry that incoming fist. He was angry, “Old Urchin, it’s you again!”
When Zhou Botong saw the danger threatening Ying Gu, he used the skill he learned from the Nine Yin Manual to its fullest extend to defeat the Iron Palm stance. Zhou Botong did not dare to look straight to Ying Gu; putting his back to her he said, “Ying Gu, you are not this old scoundrel’s match. Quickly go! I will go too!”
He was about to fly down the mountain when suddenly Ying Gu called out, “Zhou Botong, why don’t you avenge your son?”
Zhou Botong was dumbstruck. “What? My son?”
“Exactly,” Ying Gu said, “Your son is killed by Qiu Qianren.”
Zhou Botong still did not know that his affair with Ying Gu had resulted in they having a child. His mind was muddled; he was at lost. He turned his head to see that there were several more people standing next to Ying Gu; other than Guo Jing and Huang Rong, there were Reverend Yideng and his four disciples.
At that time Qiu Qianren had walked away from the edge of the cliff less than three feet, suddenly he saw in front of him a group of formidable enemies while the terrain they were on was really dangerous. He knew he was facing a grave danger. He clapped his hands and boldly said, “I am climbing the Mount Hua to fight over the ‘Number One Martial Artist in the World’ title. Hmm, hmm … all of you gang up to get rid of a powerful opponent. It’s truly despicable!”
Zhou Botong thought what this old thief said was reasonable, he said, “All right, I am going to wait until after the sword meet tomorrow, then I am going to take your dog life.”
Ying Gu angrily called out, “I want to seek revenge, how can I wait until tomorrow?”
Huang Rong also said, “Old Urchin, toward a person with a good faith we speak with a good faith; toward a deceitful person we speak deceitfully. Let us just get rid of him once and for all; I want to see what he is going to do.”