Huang Rong thought, “If I let you come and go as you please from the city, how will that make us look?” She picked up a teapot from the table and shook it to the side; a spout of hot tea shot outwards.
Huo Dou had been on his guard for projectiles shot at him. But the water from the teapot came out without any kind of noise; it wasn’t like your typical projectile that cuts the air with a sound. By the time he found out something was wrong, his neck, chest and right arm was covered with the tea. He felt a hot tingling sensation and called out ‘ai ya’ in shock while leaping aside. Huang Rong stood by the door and while Huo Duo’s feet were still unsteady, she stuck out her bamboo rod and used the “Dog Beating Stick Technique’s” ‘trip’ formulae. She flicked the stick up and sent Huo Dou to the ground. Huo Dou leapt up but the rod strokes of this particular ‘trip formulae has each stroke faster than the last. If you are able to dodge the first stroke, you might then be able to think of a way to evade the next. Hou Dou had already been sent to the ground with the first stroke, how easy was it going to be for him to avoid the next? He felt as if his feet had stepped into a pool of slippery mud; he also seemed to have found himself caught in between countless numbers of tree branches and found he was tripping up as soon as he picked himself up from the ground.
Huo Dou’s martial arts were by no means weak; if he fought Huang Rong fair and square he would eventually find himself to be a level lower than Huang Rong. Were his martial arts higher he wouldn’t have been tripped up so pathetically as this just after one stance. The reason he was in such a state was because he thought that the tea that landed on him was some kind of lethal poison. Just as he was fearfully thinking about what kind of horrible death the poison would bring him, Huang Rong suddenly attacked. Once the first attack succeeded, there was no way to defend against the second and in the pitch-blackness, he was tripped up until he was black and blue.
Just at this moment, the Wu brothers arrived after hearing all the commotion.
Huang Rong shouted, “Capture that little bastard!”
In his moment of danger, Huo Dou became alert. He knew that if he picked himself up again he would definitely be sent down to the ground again so he called ‘ai ya’ and pretended to have a serious fall. He lay on the ground and didn’t make a move. The Wu brothers threw themselves forward to capture him. Huo Dou’s metal fan suddenly came out and then ‘da da’; he had sealed the pressure point on their legs. He pushed the two forward at the same time to block Huang Rong’s rod stances and leapt up to the top of the wall. He made a bow with his hands and said, “Chief Huang, terrific rod techniques, but it’s a shame about your disciples!”
Huang Rong chuckled, “With that poison on your body, who in their right mind would come and touch you?”
As soon as Huo Dou heard this, he was scared witless, “This poison burns the skin and carries the scent of tea with it; what kind of weird powerful poison is this?”
Huang Rong knew what he was thinking and said, “You’ve been poisoned yet you don’t even know what the name of the poison is. I guess if you die, you won’t die in peace. Fine, there’s no harm in telling you. This poison is called ‘The Tea of Bones from Midnight to Noon’.”
Huo Dou mumbled, “The Tea of Bones from Midnight to Noon?”
Huang Rong said, “Correct. If even one drop of this poison lands on your skin, your whole body will dissolve away to your bones. From midnight you won’t see noon, from noon you won’t see midnight. You’ve still got about twelve hours to live; you better make the most of it.”
Huo Dou knew that this Chief Huang has great martial arts and possesses an unfathomable mind. Her father Huang Yaoshi is a greatly educated man and with the name Yao Shi (translates as master of medicine), he of course must be especially skilled in medicine. With Huang Rong’s intelligence and her family’s skills, to make a poison such as ‘The Tea of Bones from Midnight to Noon’ would be easier than turning one’s palm. He stood on top of the wall in a daze, not knowing whether to go back and wait for his death or to lower his head and beg her for the antidote.
Huang Rong knew that Huo Dou was not an idiot, if a little time passes he will see through this little deception so she said, “I had no feuds with you to begin off with, if it wasn’t for your little act of disrespect towards me just now, I wouldn’t have condemned you to your death.”
When Huo Dou heard these words he knew he had a chance to live. He abandoned his pride and leapt down from the wall. He bowed to the ground and said, “I have been disrespectful to Chief Huang, I ask her for her forgiveness.”
Huang Rong hid behind the door and with a light flick of a finger; she shot out a Nine Flowers Jade Dew Pill. She said, “Take it quickly.”
Huo Dou caught it and didn’t waste anytime in taking this life saving pill. He felt a clear essence entering his dan tian and noticed an extremely relaxing feeling throughout his body. He made another bow and said, “Thank you Chief Huang for the antidote!” By now, all his arrogance had disappeared and he retreated slowly to the wall before flipping over and making a swift exit out of the city.
Huang Rong watched him leave and then went over to the Wu brothers and unsealed their pressure points. She then recalled Huo Dou’s words; ‘Chief Huang, terrific rod techniques but it’s a shame about your disciples!’ Though she managed to get rid of Huo Dou with her intelligence, she felt no pride. She may have used the exquisite and deft “Dog Beating Stick Technique” to trip Huo Dou up but her womb still acted up. She sat down on a chair and rested for a while.
Xiao Longnu lit the candles. Huang Rong opened the letter to see:
To Hero Guo from the First Protector of Mongolia Jinlun Fawang;
To be able to meet and admire Hero Guo was a great honour. I had hoped to converse through the night but our meeting was cut short. What did I do to make you leave in such a hurried manner? I will come and visit Hero Guo tomorrow. Until then…”
Huang Rong was alarmed and handed the letter over to Yang Guo and Xiao Longnu to read. She said, “The walls of Xiangyang may be solid but how can it hold out skilled fighters? The enemy is planning an attack but your Uncle Guo is hurt and I can’t do much, what are we going to do?”
Yang Guo said, “Uncle Guo…”
Xiao Longnu looked at him with a scolding glance. Yang Guo knew she was angry with him for risking his life and saving Guo Jing. He closed his mouth and didn’t say a word.
Huang Rong began to get suspicious and said, “Miss Long, Guo’er has not fully recovered yet, we can only rely on Brother Zhu Ziliu and you to fight off the enemy.”