Joining forces with son to capture the leader.
Zhang Wuji followed her a few steps, towards the bed. That little servant girl opened the curtains and got on the bed, still holding Zhang Wuji’s hand. Zhang Wuji became shocked, thinking that although this servant girl is very ugly, she’s still a girl. How can he be in the same bed with her? Besides, he needs to chase the enemy. So he took his hands off of hers. That servant girl said quietly, “The secret entrance is on the bed!” When he heard these words, he gathered himself, and forgot all about the fact that man and woman should be apart. As he saw her opened the covers and lied on the bed, he followed suit. The girl then pushed some sort of switch, the bed shook, and the two of them fell down. Although it was a drop of several meters, padding on the ground broke their fall. So he felt no pain. Only to hear a loud thud, as the bed reverted to its original position. He thought, “This entrance really is exquisite. Who would’ve thought that the entrance would be on the bed of the young lady’s room?” He held the servant girl’s hand and ran forward quickly, only to hear the chains on the servant girl’s legs drag on the ground. He suddenly remembered, “This girl’s legs are crippled, so how can she keep up?” He immediately stopped. That girl figured out what he was thinking, and said with a smile, “I was faking my cripple in front of master and the young lady.” Zhang Wuji thought, “No wonder my mom told me that all women lie, even Sister Bu Hui sneaked up on me today.” But with his mortal enemy ahead, he stopped thinking about it, and continued to run forward. They quickly reached the end of the path. Yet he could not see Yuan Zhen.
That servant girl said, “I’ve been here before. Although I’m sure there’s more to this path, I have never found the switch to open it.” Zhang Wuji held his hand out and searched around. He tried to push at different parts of cave walls, but couldn’t move them. That servant girl said, “I’ve tried tens of times. Never did find a secret switch. So where could that monk have gone?”
Zhang Wuji sighed, gathered his chi, pushing the left side of the wall, with no success. Then he pushed the right side, and saw the wall move a bit. He was ecstatic, and immediately gathered in two more breath of chi. This time he pushed open the door. This door is actually the best kind of secret door. There’s no hidden switch. But if you don’t have an amazing amount of inner strength, it’s impossible to open. Now that Zhang Wuji has learned the complete Jiu Yang Shen Gong*, his push utilized a tremendous amount of energy, so obviously the door opened. After opening the door a few inches, Zhang Wuji pushed out his palm into the opening, to prevent Yuan Zhen from sneaking up behind the door, then slid through the opening. A new long path opened up. As the two people ran forward, they felt the path going downward. After running for about 50 meters or so, they came upon a branch with seven paths. Just as Zhang Wuji wondered which way they should go, he heard a light cough from the left side. Although low and short, the sound was obvious when heard inside such a quiet place.
*Jiu Yang Shen Gong is the inner power kung fu Zhang WuJi learned from reading [Jiu Yang Zhen Jing].
Zhang Wuji said quietly, “This way!” Then followed the left-most path, This path is very uneven, sometimes going up, sometimes going down, only to hear the clanking of the chains behind him. He turned around and said, “It’s dangerous ahead, why don’t you slow down as I go on ahead?” That servant girl said, “If there’s danger, we’ll face it together. What’s there to be afraid of?”
Zhang Wuji thought, “Are you lying to me too?” but then kept going, following the left path every single time. The path suddenly became steeper and steeper, until it seemingly became a well. Suddenly, he felt a huge wind pushing from behind, immediately grabbed that girl’s waist, then dashed quickly downward. Whether it’s a bottomless pit down there or a hard wall, he never thought about it. Thankfully there was a room down there for them to fall into. Only to hear a loud thud, as dirt and pebbles landed on their face. Zhang Wuji gathered himself, and heard the servant girl say, “That was close. The old bastard hid to the side, then tried to kill us using a boulder.” Zhang Wuji went to where the boulder got stuck to, and heard Yuan Zhen’s voice from behind, “You little bastard, today you get to be buried alive here, but at least you have a girl to die with you. So consider yourself lucky. I don’t care how much strength you have, do you really think you can push this boulder? If that’s not enough, how about another one?” Only to hear another stone falling down, on top of the last one. Zhang Wuji tried to find any holes he might go through, but couldn’t fit anything more than an arm. He gathered some chi and pushed, but while the stones shook, they didn’t budge. With thousands of pounds of stone, not even his Jiu Yang Shen Gong can break through. Only to hear Yuan Zhen breathing heavily, asking, “Little boy… what’s…. your… name…?” After he said ‘name’, he couldn’t speak anymore.
Zhang WuJi thought, “Even if he wanted to save us, he can’t now. No need to keep talking to him.” He then started to walk around, looking for other exits. The servant girl said, “I have some flint and tinder, but no torch to use it on.” Zhang WuJi said, “No need for fire yet.” He started to search around, finally finding a torch. He said happily, “I got it!” He found lots of dust on it, but doesn’t know what it really is. Picking up the wood, he said, “Here, light the fire.” The servant girl took out her things to light the torch, which caught fire extremely quickly, and sparks flew around. The two people were both shocked, and they began tosmell something stinky. That servant girl said, “It’s gunpowder!” Then raised the torch, looking closely at the contents of the nearby chest, filled with gunpowder. She chuckled quietly and said, “If we had lit the fire here, I bet even that old monk would’ve been blown up by now.” Only to see Zhang WuJi staring intently at herself, his expression filled with surprise. So she said with a smile, “What’s wrong with you?” Zhang WuJi sighed, “So you’re… you’re this beautiful?” That servant girl curled her lips with a smile, “Oops. I was so scared that I forgot to put on my ugly expression.” As she said this, she stretched her body. It turns out that she wasn’t a cripple, nor a hunchback, nor even ugly. In fact, she really is incredibly beautiful, except she’s still a bit young, so she’s not fully developed. Zhang WuJi asked, “Why do you pretend to be like that then?”
That servant girl said, “The young lady really hates me, but when she sees my ugly look, she becomes happy. If I don’t act like this, she would’ve killed me a long time ago. Zhang WuJi asked, “Why does she want to kill you?” That servant girl said, “She kept thinking that I’m scheming to kill her and old master.” Zhang WuJi shook his head, said, “She really worries too much. When you had the sword in your hand earlier, and she couldn’t move, you didn’t kill her. So from now on, she won’t distrust you again.” That servant girl said, “Young lady will only get more suspicious now that I’ve taken you here. But we don’t even know if we can get out of here, so I won’t worry about that for now.” As she said this, she held the torch high up into the air, scanning the area. Weapons filled this stone room. As they checked the area once more, they saw no signs of another path. Obviously, Yuan Zhen’s cough is to lure them into this room.
The servant girl said, “Young master, my name is Xiao Zhao. I heard the young lady call you ‘Brother WuJi’, does this mean your name is WuJi?” Zhang WuJi said, “That’s right. My surname is Zhang…” He then got an idea, and picked up a spear. He tested its weight, seeing that it’s quite heavy, about 50 pounds. He said, “These gunpowder just might just save our lives. Let’s see if they can crack the boulders.” Xiao Zhao clapped her hands, “Great idea!” As she clapped, the chains on her wrists clanked together. Zhang WuJi said, “These chains are really bothersome. Let me take them off.”
Xiao Zhao said alarmingly, “No! Master will be very mad.” Zhang WuJi said, “Just tell him I broke the chain. I’m not scared of him at all.” As he said this, he pulled on the chains. Those chains are only about the thickness of chopsticks, and Zhang WuJi applied at least four to five hundred pounds of force, yet the chains did not break. He took a deep breath, then applied more force, yet still couldn’t break the chains. Xiao Zhao said, “These chains are very strange, even sharp swords and sabers can’t break it. The key is in the young lady’s possession.” Zhang WuJi nodded, “If we get out of here, I’ll ask her to unlock the chains for you.” Xiao Zhao said, “I’m afraid she wouldn’t consent.” Zhang WuJi said, “She and I are very close friends, so she’ll definitely listen to me.” As he said this he picked up the spear again, walked over to the boulders, then stopped. When he did not hear Yuan Zhen’s breathing, he stuck the spear into the crack, trying to make a little hole. He put a bunch of gunpowder into the hole, then used some gunpowder to make a path into the room.
He took the torch from Xiao Zhao, and she immediately put her hands over her ears. Zhang WuJi shielded her as he lit the gunpowder, and a huge explosion followed, prompting him to fall back two steps, but Xiao Zhao began to fall down. However, Zhang WuJi prepared for this, and held on to her waist tightly. The smoke filled the room. The torch blew out.
Zhang WuJi said, “Xiao Zhao, are you alright?” Xiao Zhao coughed a few times, then said, “I… I’m fine.” Zhang WuJi heard some stutter in her voice, and thought it was odd. He lit the torch again, and saw her eyes all red. So he asked, “What happened? Do you feel uncomfortable?” Xiao Zhao said, “Young master Zhang, you… you and I are just strangers, why are you so good to me?” Zhang WuJi found this question strange, and said, “Why do you say that?” Xiao Zhao said, “Why did you shield me? I’m just a worthless servant, you… your health is much more precious. There’s no reason to do that.”
Zhang WuJi chuckled, said, “What’s so precious about me? You’re just a little girl, of course I should protect you.”
The smoke clear out a bit, so he walked over to the boulders, only to see them still there, with simply a small crack adding to the side. Zhang WuJi sighed. “Looks like we need repeat this at least seven or eight more times before we can get through. Yet there’s only enough powder for two more blows. He started to randomly poke at the boulder with the spear. As he did this, he accidentally poked the side of the nearby wall, and some stone fell off. Surprised and happy, he immediately went and pushed down more blocks, revealing another path. While the gunpowder didn’t break apart the boulders. It did soften the wall by it.
He entered the new path, and then asked Xiao Zhao to come through. This time, he held up the spear in front of him to guard from Yuan Zhen. After walking a while, they came upon another stone door. Zhang WuJi gave the torch to Xiao Zhao and pushed open this one. The next room looks bigger. As he took the torch from Xiao Zhao again, he scanned the area, seeing two skeletons on the floor, a woman and a man.
Xiao Zhao became really scared, and held on to his side. Zhang WuJi raised the torch again and searched the area, said, “Looks like another dead end. I wonder if we’ll ever find an exit.” He started to poke the walls with his spear, but with no success. None of the walls are hollow.
He walked close to the two skeletons, saw that the woman held a dagger in her hand. The dagger apparently pierced into her body. He immediately remembered Yuan Zhen’s story. Yuan Zhen and Lady Yang met secretly here, and Yang DingTian found out. In his anger, Yang DingTian got fire deviation and died. Lady Yang then followed her husband by committing suicide.
“Could this be the Yang couple?” he thought. As he walked up to the man, he saw the hand holding a piece of sheepskin. Zhang WuJi picked it up, looked at it, and saw that it’s blank. But Xiao Zhao quickly took it from him, and her face started to be filled with happiness. She said, “Congratulations, this is the Ming sect’s most powerful kung fu manual.” As she spoke, she made a cut on her finger with Lady Yang’s dagger, spreading her blood onto the skin. Slowly words appeared, the first line said, “The Ming sect Holy Fire manual, Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi.” Although Zhang WuJi accidentally found the powerful Ming sect kung fu manual, he felt no happiness. He thought, “This room has no food or water. If we don’t leave, we’ll last no more than seven to eight days. Since we’re going to die here, no kung fu is useful.” He stared at the skeletons again, wondering, “Why didn’t Yuan Zhen take this manual? That’s right, he probably felt bad about the whole thing, and was too scared to visit the Yang couple. Of course, there’s no way he would know that the sheepskin was the kung fu manual. Or he would’ve definitely taken it.” Zhang WuJi then asked Xiao Zhao, “How do you know the secret of this sheepskin?” Xiao Zhao lowered her head, said, “I overheard the master speaking about it with the young lady, They’re both members of the Ming sect, so they can’t come down here to look for it.” Zhang WuJi looked at the skeletons again, and said, “Let’s bury them.” So they put the bones together and gathered some dirt to cover them. As they did so, Xiao Zhao picked up something. “Young Master Zhang, there’s a letter here.” Zhang WuJi took the letter, and saw the words “To my wife” on it. He said, “Looks like Lady Yang killed herself before getting a chance to open the letter.” He then put the letter back with their body, and was about to cover them with dirt. But Xiao Zhao said, “Wait, let’s read it. Maybe it’s something important left by old leader Yang.”
Zhang WuJi said, “But that would be disrespectful to their bodies.” Xiao Zhao said, “If he has something he wanted to do but couldn’t, you can tell the young lady and master. So they can take care of it for Leader Yang.” Zhang WuJi thought she’s right. So he opened the letter and looked at the contents. “To my wife: After you have entered the Yang family, we have often been separated, as I have neglected you, I’m truly sorry, I hope you understand. But the thirty-second leader Yi left me in his will: when I have fully learnt Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi, I will lead our troops to Persia to retrieve our Holy Fire Commandment. Although our sect originates from Persia, we are now deeply rooted here in China, and have been independent for over a hundred years. Today the Mongolians rule over our land, so we must fight them to the end, and disobey our orders from the Persian Ming sect. Once the Holy Fire Commandment enters our hand, we shall finally be able to break away from the Main sect.” Zhang WuJi thought, “This old leader would disobey the main sect to fight the Mongolians. He really is a great man.” With a feeling of admiration, he read on. “Today I finished the fourth level, but due to the event with Cheng Kun, I have fire deviated, unable to control my inner chi.” When Zhang WuJi read to here, he sighed lightly, “So Leader Yang knew about his wife and Cheng Kun’s meetings when writing this.” When he saw that Xiao Zhao wanted to ask, but was afraid, he explained the events between them. Xiao Zhao said, “I say it’s all Lady Yang’s fault. If she really loves Cheng Kun, she should’ve married him instead. But once married to Leader Yang, she should’ve stopped seeing Cheng Kun.” Zhang WuJi nodded, thought, “Although she is young, she is quite wise.” He then read on, “Today my life is near the end, and as I cannot complete Leader Yi’s will, I am a criminal of the Ming sect. My only hope is to give this letter to my wife, so she can gather the Left and Right Guard, the four Protector Lords, the head of the Five Colored Flags, so they can adhere to my will. ‘Whoever obtains the Holy Fire Commandment will become the thirty-fourth leader of the Ming sect. Anyone who disagrees will be executed immediately. The interim leader of the sect will be Xie Xun.” Zhang WuJi felt a surge in his body, and thought, “So he chose my godfather to be the next leader. My godfather is great at everything, and one of the most powerful person in the Ming sect. Unfortunately, Lady Yang did not have a chance to read this letter. Or the Ming sect would never have reached this stage of inner turmoil.” He was quite happy that Leader Yang was so appreciative of his godfather, but also felt sad at the same time. After a while, he continued to read on, “The [Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi] manual will be passed on to Xie Xun, so he can give it to the next leader. Brighten our sect, Do good deeds, Destroy evil, Uphold the righteous, spread our Holy Fire to all the people in the world. This, the new leader must adhere to.”
Zhang WuJi thought, “From the looks of this letter, the Ming sect is very righteous. So the six sects really should not be causing trouble for the Ming sect.” Only to read further,
“ With my remaining powers, I will close off the remaining path to this room and die here with Cheng Kun. My wife can then escape with my map. Since only those who knows Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi has my energy, no one else can open this door at the ‘Wu Wang’ location. But anyone who later learns this can do so. Sincerely, Yang Ding Tian.” The last line was filled with small words, “Although my name is Ding(top) Tian(sky), I couldn’t learn much kung fu, nor could I brighten the sect, nor could I make my wife happy, I really am useless.”
On the back of the letter is a map, detailing every single door and passageway. Zhang WuJi became ecstatic, said, “So Leader Yang wanted to die with Cheng Kun here, except he couldn’t hold up long enough, dying first. But at least this means that we can now escape with this map.” He found his location on the map, then checked for the exit. Unfortunately, the only exit route is the one Yuan Zhen blocked. So it’s useless after all. Xiao Zhao said, “Don’t worry about it, young master. Maybe there’s another exit.” She took the map and examined closely, but couldn’t find anything else either. Zhang WuJi saw her disappointment, and said with a bitter smile, “Leader Yang mentioned that once one learns Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi, he can open the stone door. Yet only Left Guard Yang has learnt this technique, and only a tiny bit at that. Even if he’s here, we’re still probably stuck. Besides, I have no clue where this ‘Wu Wan’ position is.”
Xiao Zhao said, “Wu Wan position? That’s one location within the ‘Fu Xi sixty-four Gua’*, Let’s see, it should…” As she said this, she walked to an area in the northwest corner, then said, “It should be here.”