Starting a fire to light the sky so brilliantly.
Everyone was worried about Zhang Wuji’s injury so they did not attend to the pursuit and instead effusively surrounded him. Wuji showed a faint smile, and gently swung his right hand downward once to demonstrate that he was not injured at all. As the Nine Yang Divine Art inside his body began to expel the Yin cold energy of the Xuan Ming Divine Palm [editors note: using Xuan Ming divine palm to match previous translations] from the body, white jets of steam starts to emit hastily and continuously out from the top of his head which now looked like a steamer. When he untied the coat, both sides of his body have a clear deep black palm mark imprinted on. Under the revolutions of the Nine Yang Divine Art, the color of the two palm marks changed from black to purple, from purple changed into ashen grey, until finally the two palm marks were all gone after around an hour. In the past, Wuji had spent several years yet unable to fully drive the poison of the Xuan Ming Divine Palm out of his body, this time, in only a short while it was eliminated easily and completely.
He stood up, said: “Although this event was very dangerous, but eventually we can recognize our enemy’s appearances.” When the Xuan Ming Elders clashed palms with Yang Xiao and Wei Yixiao, they had already been attacked by the Nine Yang Divine Art of Zhang Wuji, so the Yin poison in their palm power was less than two tenths of its normal self, but both Yang and Wei still had to sit in meditation and circulating their energy for over a half of the day in order to totally expel the Yin poison from their bodies. Zhang Wuji cared for his martial grandfather’s wound, Zhang Sanfeng said: “The fireworker monk’s internal cultivation technique was not good, even though his external technique was fierce, it was still far inferior to the Xuan Ming Divine Palm, my wound is not ominous.”
At that time, the Sharp Metal Flag’s General Flag Herald Wu Jingcao entered the hall and reported that all the intruding enemies had withdrawn from the Wudang mountain. Yu Daiyan ordered the Taoist who was tasked with managing guests to prepare a vegetarian feast in honour of the members of the Ming Cult. During the feast, Zhang Wuji turned toward Zhang Sanfeng and Yu Daiyan to report on what had happened to himself since the separation. Everybody exclaimed after hearing the story. Zhang Sanfeng said: “That year, in this Wudang temple, I clashed a palm with an old man, but during that time he disguised himself as a Mongolia military officer so I don’t know which one he is in those two old men. It’s really ashamed that up to now we still have not been able to know thoroughly about our enemy.” Yang Xiao said: “I don’t know what is the origin of that young girl surnamed Zhao that even elite fighters such as the Xuan Ming Elders are willing to accept her command.” Everybody made many guesses but could not come to a conclusion on this matter.
Zhang Wuji said: “At the moment, there are two important tasks. The first one is obtaining the Black Jade Break Connecting Paste to well treat Yu third elder matial uncle’s and Yu sixth martial uncle’s injuries. The second one is finding out eldest martial uncle Song and his companions’ whereabouts. The solutions to both matters is in the hands of that girl surnamed Zhao.” Yu Daiyan said with a strained smile: ”I’ve been disabled for twenty years so even if you really had miraculous pills and divine medicines, my injury would not be able to be cured. Rescuing the eldest brother and the sixth younger brother is more important.” Zhang Wuji said: “We cannot delay anymore, Left Herald Yang, Bat King Wei and Shuo Bude you three please descend the mountain together with me to trace the enemy. The 5 General Flag Vice Heralds of the 5 Basic Element Flags, each to go to one of the five main schools including Emei, Huashan, Kunlun, Kongtong and Fujian Southern Shaolin to contact and inquire about the news. Grandfather and uncle please proceed to Jiangnan to reorganize the members of the Heavenly Hawk Flag. Priest Tie Guan, mister Zhou, great monk Peng and the Five Basic Element General Flag Heralds temporarily stay on at the Wudang mountain and listen to the orders of my martial grandfather.”
During the feast, he casually gave the instructions. Yin Tianzheng, Yang Xiao, Wei Yixiao and the others all stood up and bowed their bodies to accept the orders. Initially Zhang Sanfeng had doubted that such a young man as Zhang Wuji being could unite and command the hero group, but seeing Zhang Wuji giving orders which great heroes in wulin such as Yin Tianzheng obeyed without any hesitation, he felt overjoyed and thought to himself: “He can learn my Taiji fist, Taiji swordsmanship, that’s only because he has a good internal energy background and a strong perceptivity, although it’s hard to do so, that is still not really valuable. But as for he being able to control the great devils of the Ming cult, the Heavenly Hawk sect, lead them into the upright path, that’s really a big matter. Cuishan has a heir, Cuishan has a fine heir already. [Note: spoken with pride that Zhang Cui Shan had a fine heir ]” Thinking as far as here, he couldn’t help stroking his beard and smiling. Zhang Wuji, Yang Xiao, Wei Yixiao and Shuo Bude the four people hastily finished their meal and then immediately said good-bye to Zhang Sanfeng and went down the mountain to search for Zhao Min’s track.
Yin Tianzheng and others send the four people off to the front of the mountain before returning. Yang Buhui was attached to his father and didn’t want to part from him so she accompanied them for another mile. Yang Xiao said: “Buhui, you go back and look after Yin sixth uncle carefully.” Yang Buhui responded: “Yes.” Her eyes darted towards Wuji, suddenly she blushed and said in a tiny voice: “Elder brother Wuji, I have a few words to say with you.” Yang Xiao, Wei Yixiao and Shuo Bude the 3 people chuckled: “You two have been friends since childhood, certainly there’re some personal affairs to speak to each other.” They then sped up their footsteps and ran away for a far distance. Yang Buhui said: “Elder brother Wuji, come here.” She pulled his arm to come to and sit down a big rock next to the mountain side. Zhang Wuji was secretly confused: “She and I have been acquainted since childhood, the friendship between us is not ordinary, this time we met again after a long separation, yet since then she have treated me coolly and stand-offishly. What does she have to talk to me now?” He only saw that although Yang Buhui had not begun to speak her face had reddened already, she bowed her head in silence, only after quite a long time did she say: “Elder brother Wuji, when my Mom was at the brink of death, she asked you to look after me, didn’t she?” Zhang Wuji said: “Yes.” Yang Buhui said: “You crossed tens of thousands of miles, accompanying me from the bank of the Huaihe river to the Western region and delivered me to my Dad’s hands. On the way, you had to risk you life many times and suffer so many hardships. This great graciousness cannot be repaid by merely saying thanks, that kindness of you I’ve only put it deeply in my heart and from before up to now I’ve not raised anything about it at all.” Zhang Wuji said: “Never mind. What good does that have to be raised? If I had not accompanied you to the Western region, I myself wouldn’t have had those lucky encounters and if that’s the case I’m afraid that at this moment I would have been dead due to the dispersion of the Xuan Ming poison already.” Yang Buhui said: “No, no! You’re humane, heroic and generous so every adverse thing that you met can change into good luck. Elder brother Wuji, I’ve been motherless since childhood, although my Dad love me there’re some matters which I don’t dare to talk to him about. You’re the head of our cult, but in my heart, I still only consider you as my older full brother. That day at the Brightness Peak, when I suddenly see you return, I was so happy that I was speechlessness. I felt embarrassed to say it out in front of you, are you angry with me?” Zhang Wuji replied: “No! Certainly no.”
Zhang Wuji saw her back vanish behind a mountain side. His mind was puzzled, he didn’t know how to deal with this matter. After standing in trance there for a while, he ran after the trio including Wei Yixiao. Wei Yixiao and Shuo Bude found that there seemed to be traces of tears in the corners of his eyes, they couldn’t help glancing at Yang Xiao and smiling faintly, meaning: “Congratulations! Left Herald Yang will soon become the father-in-law of Cult Leader.” After the four people had descended the Wudang mountain, Yang Xiao said: “This Miss Zhao doesn’t travel alone, there are many henchmen around her so it’ll not be hard to find her whereabouts. Let us separate to give chases in the four directions East, West, South and North. At tomorrow’s midday we will be gathering together in Gu Cheng town. What about your venerable opinion, Cult Leader?” Zhang Wuji said: “Very good, let’s do just so. I’ll go westward.” Gu Cheng town was to the East of the Wudang mountain, going westward to search meant he’d have to go farther than the others would for a stretch of road. He went on: “The martial arts of the Xuan Ming Two Elders are extremely fierce, seeing them, you three should evade them if it ’s possible and should not single-handedly engage in any fight with them.” The trio accepted the commands. They immediately bowed and made their farewells to Zhang Wuji then left toward three different directions East, South and North to investigate. In the West, there were only mountain roads, Zhang Wuji applied his qing-gong (lightness skill) and ran fast. In more than two hours, he arrived in Shi Yan town. He stopped at a restaurant in the town to order a bowl of noodles. He asked the waiter whether there had been any golden-brocade-covered palankeen going past here. The waiter replied: “Yes, there was! There were also three seriously injured people. They lied on three hammocks which were carried along with the palankeen. They have just gone toward Huang Long town in the West for less than an hour.” Zhang Wuji was very pleased, he thought that the pace of these people was not fast, so in order to avoid revealing his own track, waiting until the evening to pursue them would not be late. He then found a quiet place to take a sleep and waited till the first watch of the night (1 a.m.) before going to Huang Long town.
Zhang Wuji reached the town when it was still earlier than the second watch (2 a.m.) of the night. He hid behind a corner of a wall and saw that the street was very quiet without any sound of anyone. But in a big hotel, there was still a dazzling brightness of lamps and torches. He jumped onto a nearby roof, after several leaps he arrived at the roof of a small house next to the hotel. Looking around, he saw a big cloth tent on a riverside ground. There were many people coming and going at the front and the back of the tent. Obviously it was guarded with strict security precautions. Zhang Wuji thought: “Is it possible that Miss Zhao is in that cloth tent? Her facial expression and her way of speaking are not different from those of the Han Chinese, but the way she acts is overbearing and extravagant to a certain extent.” At that time, the Yuan dynasty had been dominating the Central Plain for a long time, Han tyrannical gentries also tried to immitate the prevailing customs of the Mongolian for honour so this was not strange. While he was pondering on how to approach the tent, unexpectedly, he heard some groans spreading from window of the hotel. He then changed his mind, jumped off the roof, tiptoed to a place under the window and looked inside the room. He only saw that there were three people lying on three beds, among them, there were two whose faces he couldn’t see. The man lying near the window was exactly A’San, he was moaning softly, his injuries was clearly in extreme agony, his two arms and two legs all were bound up with white plain cloth. Suddenly an idea flashed upon him, he thought: “His four limbs were all broken, he must have used the efficacious medicine of his own school, the Black Jade Break Connecting Paste, to treat the injuries. If I don’t snatch it right now, so when?” He broke open the window and jumped into the room. A man standing in the room called out in alarm and sent out a fist. Zhang Wuji used his left hand to grab that man’s fist, his right hand extended and hit on the man’s numb acupoint. He turned around and saw that the two people who were lying there were precisely A’Er and Eight-Armed Swordsman Fang Dongbai. The man whose acupoint had just been sealed wore a black gown, he was still holding two gold needles in his hands. Perhaps he had been acupuncturing the three injuried to cut off the pain for them. On the table, was putting a black bottle, there were several pieces of mugwort next to the bottle. Zhang Wuji took up the bottle, pulled out its lid to smell, he only felt a rush of a hot and pungent odour to his nose. A’San called out: “Help! There’s a medicine robber…” (NOTE: in the Chinese text: 来人哪，抢药… – sorry, I don’t how to translate it well ) Zhang Wuji moved his finger fast as wind to successively seal the mute acupoints of the 3 men. He ripped open the bandage on A’San’s arm. Expectedly, he saw the arm was covered by a thin black layer of medicinal ointment. For fear that Zhao Min was devilish cunning and had intentionally put fake medicine in the bottle to entice him to come here by himself, he began to scrape the ointment of the sores of A’San and the bald A’Er onto the bandage. He thought that even if in the bottle was fake medicine, the paste taken from their sores couldn’t be false. Hearing the sounds, the outside guards kicked the door open wide and fled into. Zhang Wuji didn’t need to look at them, he gave each one a kick sending them out. In a short moment, the people in the hotel had begun to scream noisily and gotten into a chaotic crowd. He had kicked six people out one after another but he had only scraped more than a half of the ointment on A’San’s and the bald A’Er’s sores. Thinking that it would possibly not be very wonderful if he tarried here more so that the Xuan Ming Two Elders would enter, he put the bottle and the bandage in his bosom then lifted the physician and threw him out of the window.
Only a big noise of crushing resounded, that physician was hit by a hard palm and felt on the ground. This was what Zhang Wuji expected, there were definitely elite fighters ambushing outside the window. Zhang Wuji took advantage of that moment to rush out. White light flashed in the dark when two sharp weapons thrusted toward him. To the Great Universal Shifting Technique this was just a minor matter to deal with, applying the technique, he used his left hand to pull and his right hand to direct (NOTE: this sentence is 乾坤大挪移心法牛刀小试 in the Chinese text, but I don’t know how to translate it into English literally and smoothly, I’m so sorry ), the sword on the left then stabbeb at the man on the right and the spear on the right hit the man on the left. In chaotic sounds he had already run away. On the way back, Zhang Wuji felt very joyful thinking that even though this time he had not found out Zhao Min’s origin yet, he had obtained the Black Jade Break Connecting Paste, which was even much better. At this moment it was too late to go to Gu Cheng to meet the group of Yang Xiao, he returned to the Wudang mountain and ordered the Red Water Flag to send members to call them back. Hearing the news that Zhang Wuji had gotten the Black Jade Break Connecting Paste, Zhang Sanfeng and the others all were very glad. Zhang Wuji examined the medicine he had scraped from the sores on A’San’s body carefully, he also took out a bit of the ointment in the bottle to make a more detailed compare and confirmed that they were the same. The black bottle was carved out of a big piece of jade. It was as black as lacquer, caused a feeling of warmness when touching and looked very antique. Even the bottle alone was an extremely precious treasure. No longer having a doubt, he ordered his subordinates to carry Yin Liting to Yu Daiyan’s room, placing the two beds in parallel. Yang Buhui followed into the room. She didn’t dare to look directly at Zhang Wuji’s eyes, but her face showed a radiance and there was an extreme appreciation in her heart. Obviously, Zhang Wuji accompanying her to the Western region and drinking the cup of poisoned wine at He Taichong’s residence on behalf of her, such much of kindness still couldn’t compare to him urgently curing Yin Liting’s injury.
Zhang Wuji said: “Third uncle, your former injury healed up, to treat you now, nephew will have to break off the bones of your arms and your legs then connect them back. I hope you’ll try to bear this temporary pain.” Yu Daiyan did not believe that he himself having been disabled for more than twenty years could be fully restored, but he thought even if the treatment failed, the worst of it would not be worse than the present condition, for the past twenty years he had not been caring for anything already anyway. He only thought: “Wuji has exerted himself to the utmost wholeheartedly wanting to make up for the faults of his parents, otherwise he’ll never be able to put his mind at rest. There’s nothing whatsoever considerable about my transitory pain.” He then did not ask about anything, only smiled faintly, said: “No problem, you can do anything at your convenience.” Zhang Wuji asked Yang Buhui to go out, took off all the clothes of Yu Daiyan, localted all the breaks in his bones carefully, afterwards he sealed his comatose acupoint. He transfered his energy to his ten fingers, ‘crack crack crack’, the snaps resounded continously, all the breaks which healed up in Yu Daiyan’s bones were broken again. Although Yu Daiyan’s acupoint had been sealed, the pain was still so great that it awoke him up. Zhang Wuji’s technique was fast as wind, irrespective of whether the bones were big or small, he broke them all, Then he immediately rejoined all the breaks accurately, applied the Black Jade Break Connecting Paste to the sores, bound them up, put them in wooden splints before giving acupuncture to relieve the pain.
To treat Yin Liting was much easier than to treat Yu Daiyan since when they had been in the Western region, Zhang Wuji had set all the broken bones of Yin Liting in place so at this time he only needed to apply the Black Jade Break Connecting Paste. After treating Yin Liting, he sent the very General Vice Heralds of the Five Element Flags to guard by turns in case the enemy would come to harass. In the afternoon of the same day, after finishing his lunch, Zhang Wuji took a quick nap in the cloud room to regain his strength after a weary night of scurrying. When he was in a dream, suddenly he heard light foot-steps approaching the entrance and woke up immediately. Xiao Zhao, who was guarding outside, asked in a low voice: “What’s the matter? Cult Leader is resting.” Yan Yuan, the General Flag Herald of the Thick Earth Flag, said under his breath: “Sixth Hero Yin has been in such pain that he has fainted three times, does Cult Leader…” Zhang Wuji did not wait till Yan Yuan finished the sentence, he stood up like a spring, rushed out of the room and accelerated his pace to Yu Daiyan’s room. When he arrived, he only saw Yin Liting’s 2 eyes have rolled upward, leaving only the whites, he had lost his unconsciousness already, Yang Buhui was so scared that her eyes filled with tears, she did not know what to do. Lying next to Yin Liting was Yu Daiyan, he was clenching his teeth with screeching noises. Obviously he was trying to endure the pain, only because his temper was unyielding that he did not let out any groan. Seeing that scene, Zhang Wuji was greatly surprised, he massaged several times on the acupoints Cheng Qi, Tai Yang, Tan Zhong… of Yin Liting, resuscitating him, then asked Yu Daiyan: “Third uncle, the breaks in your bones are very painful, aren’t they?” Yu Daiyan replied: “The breaks are painful, that’s just plain, but even the six internal organs and the five innards are itchy unbearably… as if, as if there’re tens of thousands of insects eating and digging higgledy-piggledy. Zhang Wuji could not be more worried, on hearing what Yu Daiyan had just sid, he knew clearly that this was a condition of being poisoned seriously. He hastily asked Yin Liting: “How do you feel, sixth younger uncle?” Yin Liting raved: “Red, purple, blue, green, yellow, white, azure,… How beautiful, so many little balls hovering and moving back and forth… Really attractive… You see, you see…”
Zhang Wuji uttered a loud cry: “Ayo” and nearly passed out on the spot. He instantly thought of a passage in the Book of Poisons written by Wang Nangu that said: “The Seven Insect Seven Flower Paste, made by mixing up seven kinds of poisonous flower and seven kinds of poisonous insect. The victim of this poison first feels itchy in the internal organs as if he is being gnawed internally by seven kinds of insect, then he sees seven colors appearing in front of him which looks wonderful and fanciful as if there are seven kinds of flower flying flickeringly. The Seven Insect Seven Flower Paste is composed of seven kinds of insect and seven kinds of flower so its components vary with individuals and regions. It has a maximum of forty nine different ways of combination each of which has sixty three variants. Only the person who makes up the poison can know how to detoxify.” Cold sweat streamed down from Zhang Wuji’s forehead, he knew that he himself had fallen into Zhao Min’s devilish trap. Not only had she intentionally put the Seven Insect Seven Flower Paste in the black jade bottle but she had also applied this violent poison on the bodies of A’San and the bald A’Er regardless these two elite fighters’ lives essentially aiming to lure him into her trap. Such a fiendish mind was really unimaginable. He utterly repented and hastily untied all the splints and bandages on the bodies of Yu Daiyan and Yin Liting then used white liquor to clean the poisonous paste from their limbs. Yang Buhui saw his serious expression, she knew this important business had not been successful so she was no longer shy of anything and helped Zhang Wuji to clean Yin Liting’s four limbs with liquor. However, the black had soaked through the skin, it could not be washed off no matter how hard they tried. Just like the case of lacquerers whose hands were dyed with colors, cleaning the black was not an overnight affair.
Zhang Wuji did not dare to use medicine rashly, he only picked out several kinds of pain-killer and tranquillizer for them to take. He walked to the outside room, feeling both alarmed and ashamed. His fortitude was exhausted and his knees could not help becoming weak. Suddenly he dropped down, bent on the floor of the palace and burst out crying. Yang Buhui was frightened, she could only call out: “Wuji ge-ge, Wuji ge-ge!” Zhang Wuji sobbed: “I myself killed third uncle and sixth younger uncle already.” He only thought in his mind: “This Seven Insect Seven Flower Paste has at least one hundred ways of combination, who knows what seven kinds of insect and flower that she used are? To detoxicate this fierce poison is merely to use the principle of neutralizing poison by poison, so even if only one kind of poisonous insect or flower is guessed wrong and I use that remedy carelessly, third uncle and six younger uncle will die forthwith.” At that moment, all of a sudden, he fully understood his father’s thoughts when he had ended his life, that was once a serious mistake was unable to be saved, there would really be no way except commiting suicide. Zhang Wuji sluggishly stood up. Yang Buhui asked: “Is there really no cure for this poison? Even reluctantly trying one time is also impossible?” Zhang Wuji shook his head. Yang Buhui said: “Alright.” She looked calm and no longer showed any sign of panic.
Zhang Wuji’s mind was stirred up, he recalled the sentence which she had said before: “If his injury was too serious to be cured, I wouldn’t be able to live too.” He thought: “This time I kill not only 2 people but actually 3.” When Zhang Wuji was at a loss, suddenly Wu Jingcao walked to the outside of the door and reported to him: “Cult Leader, that Miss Zhao is seeking a meet at the outside of the gate.” Just on hearing that, Zhang Wuji felt so indignant that he could not restrain himself, he shouted out: “I’m just about to look for her.” He drew out the long sword from Yang Buhui’s waist, hold it in his hand then went out in big strides. Xiao Zhao took down the pearl hairpin on her hair, hand it to Zhang Wuji, said: “ Mister, you give it back to Miss Zhao please.” Zhang Wuji cast his eyes upon her, thought: “You really know my intention. The feud between me and that girl surnamed Zhao is deep as the ocean, I cannot keep anything of her.” Holding the sword in one hand and the pearl hairpin in the other he walked out of the gate, only saw Zhao Min standing there alone, she was smiling. It was sundown by then, the Sun obliquely projected the blood-red rays of light on her cheeks, she looked incomparably beautiful. The Xuanming Two Elders stood behind her from more than ten zhang (33.33m), they were holding three excellent horses in their hands and staring into space.
Zhang Wuji moved his body, in a flash he was right in front of Zhao Min. He extended his left hand and grabbed both Zhao Min’s wrists, his right hand pointed the tip of the sword at her chest. He shouted at her: “Give up the antidote, quick!” Zhao Min smiled: “You’ve bullied me once before, this time you also want to bully me again, don’t you? I come here to inquire after you, yet you bear a glowering face, how can this be a proper way of welcoming guest?” Zhang Wuji said: “I need the antidote, if you don’t hand it over, I… I’ll not want to live anymore, you don’t think you’ll be able to live as well.” Zhao Min’s cheeks slightly reddened, she spit in a soft voice and said: “Bah! How nice? You dying is your own business, how come it has anything to do with me that you want me do die together with you?” Zhang Wuji raised his voice: “Who’s joking with you, huh? Hand over the antidote or else this day will be the day you and I die togerther.” At that time both the hands of Zhao Min were being seized tightly by him, she felt he was tremulously all of a shake showing an extremely excited mood, she also felt a hard object in his hand, so she asked: “What are you holding in your hand?” Zhang Wuji said: “Your pearl hairpin. I give it back to you.” He lifted his left hand to fix the hairpin onto her hair then immediately got hold of her two wrists again. His technique was fast as lightning performing the release and the grasp nearly at same time. Zhao Min said: “I gave it to you, why don’t you want it?” Zhang Wuji said fretfully: “You’ve always played me up and caused me good miseries, I don’t want to receive anything from you.” Zhao Min said: “You don’t wanna receive anything from me? Are you serious or just kidding? So why did you ask me to hand over the antidote as soon as you began to speak?” Previously, every time Zhang Wuji had argued with her, he had always gotten disadvantaged, this time he got stuck too. Thinking of Yu Daiyan and Yin Liting going to die before long, he felt deep grief in his heart and his eyes could not refrain from turning reddish, he almost let his tears roll down. No longer being able to bear up anymore, Zhang Wuji was about to implore her for the antidote but remembering that Zhao Min was such malignant, he did not want to show his feebleness in front of her.
At this time, Yang Xiao and others had known the news, they walked out of the gate together and saw that Zhao Min had been caught by Wuji and the Xuanming Two Elders were standing from a long distance as if they did not care for or did not fear anything. Everybody then stood aside and observed calmly.
Zhao Min smiled and said: “You’re the Leader of the Ming cult, your martial arts can shake the world, yet just encountering a bit of difficulty you wept ‘wah wah wah’ noisily like a child already. You just cried a short moment ago, right? That’s just really shameful. Let me tell you. You were hit two stances of the Xuanming Divine Palm by the the Xuanming Two Elders so I come here to ask after your injury. But to my unexpected, just barely seeing my face, you already made a fuss about nothing but die and live stuff, why? Let go of me will you?” Zhang Wuji thought even if she wanted to take the opportunity to get away she would not be able to do so since as soon as her feet moved, he would immediately grab hold of her, so he set her hands free. Zhao Min raised one hand to adjust the pearl hairpin on her hair, she smiled and said: “You seem not to be injured at all, don’t you?” Zhang Wuji said coldly: “Just the Xuanming Divine Palm alone not necessarily can injure me.” Zhao Min said: “Then how about the Great Force Diamond Finger and the the Seven Insect Seven Flower Paste?” These two sentences were like two big iron hammers striking hard on Zhang Wuji’s chest. He said vexedly: “It’s expectedly the Seven Insect Seven Flower Paste.” Zhao Min said in a stern voice: “Cult Leader Zhang, you want to get the Black Jade Break Connecting Paste, I can give you, you want to get the antidote for the Seven Insect Seven Flower Paste, I also can give you provided that you’re willing to promise to meet my three matters, then I’ll offer them up to you with pleasure. But if you use force to intimidate me, well, it’s easy to kill me, but to obtain the antidote, that’ll be hard and even harder in addition. And if you dare to torture me again, I’ll only give you poison and fake medicine.”
Zhang Wuji felt very jubilant and immediately showed gladness in his expression, although his eyes were still being dewed with tears. He hastily said: “What three matters? Quick say, quick say.” Zhao Min said with a smile: “Both crying and smiling at the same time, you’re really shameless! I said to you earlier, I’ve not thought them out yet. When I think of them I’ll let you know, as long as you promise me faithfully and don’t break your words. I will not ask you to clutch the Moon in the sky, also not ask you to do the evil things which violate the chivalry ethics, not ask you to commit suicide as well, and of course not ask you to act as dogs or pigs either.” Zhang Wuji thought: “On condition that those matters don’t go against the chivalry ethics, no matter how hard they are I’ll work myself to exhaustion to complete.” He then said chivalrously: “Miss Zhao, if you kindly bestow the efficacious medicine so that I can cure my third uncle Yu and sixth younger uncle Yin, then no matter what you ask me to do, Zhang Wuji will never dare to refuse even if I’ll have to jump into boiling water or walk on burning fire. Please yourself.” Zhao Min streched out one palm, said: “Good, let’s applaud for the oath. I’ll give you the antidote so that you can treat your third uncle and sixth younger uncle. Later on, if I ask you to do three things which don’t offend the knightliness you will not be permited to refuse and will have to try your best to fulfill them.” Zhang Wuji said: “With respect, I obey your venerable words.” He gently clashed palms with her three times. Zhao Min took down the hairpin from her head, said: “So now, do you want to accept my present?” In fear of her not giving the antidote, he did not dare to disobey her will and hastily received the pearl hairpin. Zhao Min said: “But I don’t want you to pass it on to that pretty maidservant again.” Zhang Wuji said: “Yes.” Zhao Min took three steps backward, she smiled and said: “The antidote will be delivered to you immediately, Cult Leader Zhang, goodbye!” She brushed her sleeves, turned around and walked away. The Xuanming Two Elders then led the horses along. They helped her get on a horse to leave first before following her. The clop-clop of hoofbeats resounded when the three horses descended the mountain.
When the trio including Zhao Min had just passed a mountain side, a man poked out from the canopy of a big tree on the left, he was Qian Er’bai of the Divine Arrow Eight Heroes and was holding an iron bow. He fixed an arrow on the bow and shouted: “With all due respect, my owner submits a letter to Cult Leader Zhang, please accept and read.” Upon these words, a ‘sou’ sound was heard, the arrow had shot toward him. Zhang Wuji made a wave with his left hand to catch the arrow. He found that the arrow did not have the arrowhead and there was a letter tied to the end of it. Zhang Wuji untied the letter from the arrow to take a look, the envelope read ‘Personally addressed to Cult Leader Zhang’. He opened the envelope and saw a flower-filigreed paper on which there were several lines written in the little standard script style (xiao kaishu – 小楷書 ):
‘The golden box has two compartments
one of which has contained the efficacious paste for long,
The pearl hairpin is hollow
which has the remedy for the poison inside
Those two things were offered to the gentleman long ago
why are you so exhausted and worried?
Though they are just tiny things
which are not worthy being taken into consideration
why did you give them to a maidservant?
why did you regard them just as dirt and dust?
They are not counted as my sincere wishes are they?’
(Foxs, edited by Eliza Bennet)
Zhang Wuji read this note three times; he was pleasantly surprised but also ashamed. Hastily he examined the pearl head ornament and tried to twist the pearls one by one. Finally he found one he could unscrew and remove completely. The golden stem was hollow and inside it was a little white scroll. Zhang Wuji took out a golden needle from his pocket, the one he usually used for acupuncture, and fished the scroll out. The paper was very thin; on it the list of seven poisonous insects and seven poisonous flowers, plus the recipe of the antidote, were indeed written, everything was explained clearly one by one. Actually, Zhang Wuji only needed to know the seven insects and seven flowers, since he did not need other people’s direction on how to detoxify it. He looked at the recipe and found it to be correct, so he knew Zhao Min was not trying to swindle him. Hastily he rushed to the inner courtyard and prepared the antidote. Sure enough, a little over two hours later Yu and Yin two people were in a much better condition, the itch inside their bodies stopped and the various colors they saw in their vision disappeared.
Zhang Wuji took out the golden case in which Zhao Min delivered the pearl head ornament. After examining it carefully he found the secret compartment on the box’s wall, with black paste pressed in between. The paste smelled fragrant and cool. This time he did not dare to act recklessly, thereupon he caught a dog and broke its hind leg, then spread the paste on it. Early morning the next day that dog was running around without any sign of poisoning, and its broken leg was healed.