Thinking of the unforgettable man far away.
She heard that the music was mixed by the singing of birds and it seemed that the birds were singing along. Guo Xiang thought, “According to mother there is a song called ‘Empty Mountain and Songs of Birds’. But this song was lost for may ages, is it possible this is that song?”
The vast and mighty tour through Spring, is every year’s winter yearning.
The season of the pear blossom is nearing. The white jade brocade is without wrinkles and smells fragrantly and is mesmerizing.
Snow is piling up on jade trees and jade petals.
The quiet night is deep.
The floating brightness is concealed through the clouds.
A cold steep is enough to melt the moon.
A dark silver fog illuminates heaven and earth. Her simple, natural but enchanting appearances mesmerizes me.
Even greater were her will and spirit.
She is like a bloom that exceeds other beautiful and fragrant flowers.
Her noble spirit is clear and pure, her immortal ability lies high.
She returns to the Jade palace and I can only see her from afar.
The author of this poem, Free from Mediocrity, was a famous martial arts expert from the southern Song dynasty. The name of this expert was Qiu Chuji, also known as the Everlasting One. He is one of the seven Masters of Quanzhen, and one of the most outstanding disciples of the Quanzhen School. Qiu Chuji wrote this poem after he met Xiao Longnü for the first time. She was a neighbour of Qiu for many years. At this time Qiu Chuji already passed away, and Xiao Longnü is the wife of the famous Condor Hero Yang Guo. Another girl was reciting this poem softly, in Henan province and on Mount Shaoshi. This young girl was about eighteen, nineteen years old and was wearing a cream yellow robe, she was riding on a mule and was proceeding up the mountain pass. She was thinking, “Only someone like sister Long is fit for him.” “Him” of course refers to Yang Guo.
After some time she softly recited, “Union is bliss, parting is woe, Agony is boundless for a lovelorn. Sweet heart, give me word….
“Trails of clouds drifting forward, Amid mountains cupped with snow, Whither shall my lonesome shadow go?”
This girl carried a short sword and looked travel stained. She was a beautiful young girl who was supposed to be happy and untroubled but somehow, she looked unhappy, melancholic.
Her name was Guo Xiang, the second daughter of the Great Hero Guo Jing and the famous Huang Rong. Her nickname was Little Eastern Heretic. With her mule and sword she has travelled a lot, her purpose was to forget her worries but her travelling only increased her sorrow.
Mount Shaoshi of Henan province were a set of large stone steps, these steps were constructed under the order of Emperor GaoZong of the Tang dynasty. It looked very impressive as Guo Xiang proceeded up the mountain. Before long she could see the monastery.
She stared at the roof for a moment and and thought, “The Shaolin Monastery is said to be the origin of martial arts, but why aren’t there any Shaolin experts among the Five Greats? Is it because the Shaolin experts knew there weren’t a match for the other experts and were afraid to disgrace Shaolin and refused to go? Or was it because the monks had evolved beyond earthly matters and didn’t want to scramble for power and fame.
After a while she saw a large stone tablet, half of it was gone and the characters were unclear, Guo Xiang was thinking, “How come characters carved into stone can fade away through time, but my feelings carved in my heart become more and more stronger as time goes by.”
This tablet was bestowed by Emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty. He praised the Shaolin monks for helping him suppress the rebellions. The tablet states the military credits of the Shaolin monks for helping Emperor Taizong defeat the rebel general Wang ShiChong, of which thirteen monks were most famous. Only one monk became a general and the other twelve didn’t want to become officials and Emperor Taizong bestowed twelve purple kasayas. Guo Xiang was thinking, “During the Sui and Tang Dynasty, the Shaolin Monastery was already very famous for its martial arts, and now after a few hundred years they must be even more formidable.”
When Guo Xiang parted with Yang Guo and Xiao Longnü at Mount Hua three years ago. She lost all contact with them and missed them a lot. So she told her parents that she wanted to roam a bit but in fact, she wanted to hear some news about Yang Guo. She doesn’t want to actually meet them, she is very content if she can hear something about them. However, they seem to have disappeared entirely, Guo Xiang has travelled from north to south and from west to east. She practically travelled through China but still there was no news on Yang Guo.
She remembered that Yang Guo asked reverend Wuse to bring her a present on her sixteenth birthday. Wuse was a friend of Yang Guo and instructed someone to deliver Guo Xiang a present. Although she has never met him, she wants to know if he has any news about Yang Guo.
She was pensive for some time till she heard some metallic noise and a voice chanting Buddhist scriptures, “Through love worry will arise. Through love fear will arise. If you can free yourself from love, all worries and fear will be gone.”
When Guo Xiang heard this, she was completely dazzled. And softly repeated those words. The metallic noise and the chanting were becoming distant.
Guo Xiang said, “I must ask him, how I can free myself from love and how my worries and fear will disappear.” She tied her mule to a tree and chased after the sound. Guo Xiang caught with the monk and was shocked to see the monk carrying to large iron buckets and he was chained on his hands, feet, and neck, causing him to produce a metallic sound as he walked. The buckets were filled with water and it showed that the monk must posses extraordinary strength.
Guo Xiang spoke to the monk, “I have a few questions, please stop for awhile.”
The monk turned around and both Guo Xiang and the monk were surprised to see each other. The monk was Jueyuan. three years ago Guo Xiang met him on Mount Hua. Guo Xiang also knew that this monk was really pedantic, but had extremely powerful internal energy not inferior to any top martial arts expert of this time. She spoke to him, “Oh, it is you reverend Jueyuan. What happened to you?” Jueyuan smiled and nodded but didn’t speak. He turned around and walked away again. Guo Xiang said, “It’s me, Guo Xiang. Don’t you recognize me anymore?”
Jue Yuan turned his head and smiled and nodded but didn’t stop. Guo Xiang asked, “Who chained you? Why do they torture you?” Jue Yuan raised his left hand and shook his hand in admonition, meaning do not ask.
Guo Xiang wouldn’t let this matter rest until she got to the bottom of this. And wanted to run in front of Jueyuan but was not successful. Although Jueyuan was carrying two large buckets of water he was still very quick. Guo Xiang was amused and leapt up and wanted to grab one of the buckets, but she missed by an inch.
Guo Xiang said, “You have very impressive abilities, but I must catch up with you.”
Jueyuan continued to walk and the metallic noise sounded rather melodic. Guo Xiang was having difficulty keeping up and she was really impressed, “Both my father and mother praised this monk for his superior martial arts, at that time I wasn’t totally convinced, but now I know they were right.”
After awhile, Jueyuan walked to the back of a small house and emptied the buckets of water in an old well. Guo Xiang asked, “What are you doing? Why are you emptying the water in this well?” Jueyuan remained calm and shook his head. Guo Xiang thought she understood now and smiled, “You’re learning some sort of powerful martial arts, aren’t you?” Jueyuan shook his head again. Guo Xiang was feeling a bit angry now and said, “I just heard you chanting, you’re not dumb, why won’t you answer me?” Jueyuan put his palms together and looked apologetic and carried the buckets and walked away again.