Hundred-feet tall tower prevents passage.
Following Zhao Min, Fan Yao went out of the Wan An Temple complex. He was both anxious and feeling strange; did not know where Zhao Min would take him. Zhao Min pulled her cloak over her head, covering her beautiful hair. “Ku Dashi,” she quietly said, “We are going to look for that guy Zhang Wuji.”
Fan Yao was startled; he cast a sidelong glance to her but she averted his gaze. Her cheeks blushed; as if she was 70% shy and 30% happy. She did not look like she already knew about him. His heart was relieved. He recalled the situation of the previous night, when she met Zhang Wuji in the Wan An Temple; where they were facing each other as archenemies. As soon as the word ‘archenemies’ came into his mind, his heart was stirred. “Enemy?” he thought, “Could it be that Junzhu [Princess] fell in love secretly with my Jiaozhu [Cult Leader]?” But then another thought came into his mind, “Why does she want me to go with her? Why didn’t she take her trusted subordinates, the Xuanming Elders? Ah, right! It must be because I am mute, so I won’t leak her secret.” Having this thought he nodded his head, with a strange-looking smile on his face.
“What are you laughing at?” Zhao Min angrily asked.
Of course Fan Yao could not tell her what he thought was funny; thereupon he busily gesticulated, telling her that Ku Toutuo would do his best to protect the Princess, that he would accompany the Princess even going to the dragon’s pool or tiger’s cave. Zhao Min did not speak anymore; she quietly led the way, and very soon they had arrived at the gate of the inn where Zhang Wuji stayed.
Fan Yao was secretly surprised, “Junzhu is really resourceful, she knew exactly where Jiaozhu stays,” he thought, while following her entering the inn.
Zhao Min asked the innkeeper, “We are looking for a guest by the surname of Zeng.” Turned out when he checked into the inn Zhang Wuji was using his fake name, Zeng Aniu. The innkeeper went inside to inform the guest.
Zhang Wuji was sitting in meditation, circulating his internal energy, waiting for the fire signal at the Wan An Temple to render his assistance; when suddenly he heard someone was looking for him. He felt strange, but he went out anyway. Arriving at the reception room he saw the visitors were Zhao Min and Fan Yao. “Not good!” he silently groaned, “Looks like Miss Zhao has exposed Fan Youshi’s identity and now she is here to deal with me.” He had no choice but step forward and cup his fists, “I didn’t know Miss Zhao was here; please forgive me for not welcoming you,” he said.
Zhao Min said, “It’s not convenient to talk in here. What do you say we go to the small restaurant over there and have three cups of wine?”
“Very well,” Zhang Wuji did not have any choice but to agree.
Zhao Min was still leading the way; she was the first to leave the inn. They walked past five shops before they finally arrived at a small restaurant. There were several tables made of rough wood planks scattered sparsely inside the restaurant, with wooden tubes of chopsticks on the tables. It was already late in the evening; there was no other guest inside the restaurant. Zhao Min and Zhang Wuji sat facing each other. Fan Yao made some hand signals, saying that he was going to drink some wine on the outer hall. Zhao Min nodded her head; she called the waiter and ordered a bowl of hot pot with three catties of fresh mutton, plus two catties of white wine.
Zhang Wuji’s heart was full of suspicions; he thought she was a princess, yet she went to this dirty little restaurant to eat mutton soup with him. He wondered what kind of trick she was playing.
Zhao Min poured out two cups of wine. She took the cup in front of Zhang Wuji; drank it a little and said with a smile, “There is no poison in this wine; set your heart at peace and have a drink.”
Zhang Wuji said, “Miss invites me here, I wonder what instructions do you have for me?”
“Please drink three cups, then we’ll talk,” Zhao Min replied, “I’ll dry my cup first to honor you.” She raised her cup and drank it dry.
Zhang Wuji also raised his cup. Under the light from the coal of the hot pot stove he faintly saw lipstick mark on the edge of the cup, while his nose caught a soft and sweet smelling fragrance. He did not know whether the fragrance came from the lipstick mark on his cup, or it was the perfume she was wearing. With a shaken heart he drank the wine.
“Please drink two more cups,” Zhao Min said, “I know you are suspicious toward me, so I’ll drink each cup first.”
Zhang Wuji knew she was very shrewd; he certainly must set up his guard. Although she was unexpectedly willing to taste the wine in advance, he would still be braving a great danger. In the end he drank three cups anyway. He tried to feel if there was anything unusual, but he could not find any. Raising his head he saw a faint smile on her graceful face, the wine had made her cheeks blush a little bit; truly it was a tender and extremely beautiful face. Zhang Wuji did not dare to look at her too long, hastily he turned his gaze somewhere else.
In a low voice Zhao Min said, “Zhang Gongzi [young master, a respectful term to address a young man], do you know who I am?” Zhang Wuji shook his head. Zhao Min said, “Let me tell you today. My father holds authority over the imperial armed force, the Ruyang Prince. I am a Mongolian girl, my real name is Minmin Temur. The Emperor granted me the title of Shao Min Junzhu. ‘Zhao Min’ two characters, is the name I chose to be my Han name.”
If Fan Yao did not tell him that morning, Zhang Wuji would have been shocked; but listening to her revealing her true identity without concealing anything was also beyond his expectations. Only he was not used to pretend, so he did not show an expression of great surprise.
“What?” Zhao Min was surprised, “So you have already found out?”
“No, I haven’t. How can I?” Zhang Wuji replied, “But I know that you are but a young girl yet you command that many Wulin masters, your position must be unusual.”
Zhao Min gently stroked the wine cup in her hand. She was silent for half a day. Lifting up the wine pot she poured two cups of wine and then slowly said, “Zhang Gongzi, I have a question I would like to ask you. Please answer me truthfully. If I killed that Miss Zhou of yours, what would you do?”
Zhang Wuji was startled. “Miss Zhou has never offended you; how could you kill her for no reason at all?” he asked.
“There are some people I don’t like, so I have them killed. Do you think I only kill those who offended me?” Zhao Min replied, “Some people continuously offend me, yet I did not kill them. Take you, for example, how many times have you offended me?” While saying this, her eyes were smiling.
Zhang Wuji heaved a deep sigh and said, “Miss Zhao, I offended you because I did not have any other choice. You have given me the medicine I need to save my San Shibo [third martial (older) uncle] and Liu Shishu [sixth martial (younger) uncle]; for that I will be eternally grateful.”
Zhao Min laughed and said, “I think a third part of you is muddleheaded. Yu Daiyan and Yin Liting received their injuries from my subordinates. You did not blame me, but thank me instead?”