Brilliance of a blade refined a hundred times.
When he arrives outside that room, he hears loud sound of fire, with three people standing besides a huge fireplace, with a huge saber in the middle. Those three people look to be about sixty, their faces filled with smoke. Even from afar, Yu DaiYan feels like he’s burning from the fire. He can’t believe that those people can stay that close. Yet despite the huge flames, that saber did not change its color to red, remaining black.
Flowers bloom, flowers wither. The young men in the martial world have become old. The young girls have begun to show their age with hair turning white.
It’s has been over fifty years since the demise of the Sung dynasty.
On this third month of the new lunar year, a thirty-some year old man walks on the beach in the southern China. He wears a blue robe, a pair of grass shoes, walking quickly forward, as if in a hurry. Although surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers, he has no time to enjoy the scenery. Seeing that the sky is getting darker, he thinks, “Today is the 24th day of the third month. It’s only fourteen days till 9th day of the fourth month. If I hurry, I can make it just in time for Master’s ninetieth birthday.”
This man is Yu DaiYan, the third disciple under the founder of Wu Dang, Zhang SanFeng. At the beginning of the year, Yu DaiYan was ordered to kill an evil, murderous outlaw. When that outlaw heard about this, he went into hiding. It took Yu DaiYan an extra two months just to find him. He then challenged the outlaw to a fight, and on the eleventh move, killed him with his Silence Illusory Saber. But by spending an extra two months, he now has to travel extra quickly to make it back in time for hiss master’s birthday.
Now that he is close to the sea, he sees a wide, flat area sparkling on the beach, something he has never seen before. When he asked the locals, he chuckled after hearing the response. For these are nets used to capture seawater to make salt. Yu DaiYan thinks, “I have eaten salt for over thirty years, yet never knew how they’re made.”
As he continues on his journey, Yu DaiYan sees twelve people carrying some bags on their shoulders, walking quickly. From the look of things, they’re all carrying salt. But this is more than two hundred pounds of salt each person’s carrying. Since corrupt officials like to hoard salts, it’s rare for commoners to be able to buy them through legitimate means. Salt smugglers are quite common in this area. Yu DaiYan thinks, “Wow, looks like salt smuggling is very important here. These people’s kung fu skills are quite good.” If it had been some other time, he would’ve wanted to take a closer look. But he can’t possibly miss his master’s birthday, so he ignores them. By nightfall he arrives at a small town, and settles down in the inn there.
After eating the dinner and finishes washing his feet, Yu DaiYan sees that those twelve salt smugglers also came into this inn. He ignores them, and begins to meditate using Wu Dang’s inner power. After three repetitions, he lies down and falls asleep.
At midnight, Yu DaiYan suddenly hears much noise coming from outside. He immediately gets up, only to hear someone say, “Let’s leave quietly. We don’t want to wake up our neighbor.” The rest of them open the door quietly and moves quickly outside. Yu DaiYan thinks, “They must be up to something bad to walk around at this hour. I can’t ignore this. If I save some innocent people, then it would be ok even if I miss master’s birthday,” He wraps his saber in a cloth and jumps out the window.
With footsteps as his guide, Yu DaiYan follows secretly, utilizing his lightness kung fu. There is almost no moonlight, but he can still see those twelve people running quickly in the darkness. He thinks, “With their kung fu skills, these people can easily go rob rich land owners or officials. Why do they need to settle for salt smuggling? There’s something fishy going on.” With his great lightness kung fu, Yu DaiYan manages to follow the twelve people without a sound.
After following for about an hour, they arrived at a beach. Suddenly, he hears a croaked whisper, “Are the ‘three water-dotted’* friends here?” The leader of the twelve men responds, “Yes. And you are?” Yu DaiYan ponders, “Who could these ‘three water-dotted’ people be?” He suddenly remembers, “Of course, it’s the Sea Sand sect. These three characters are all begin with three water dots.” Only to hear the croaked person say, “In my opinion, you’re better off staying away from the Dragon Saber. The leader says, “Are you here for the Dragon Saber too?” His voice carries a tinge of disbelief. The croaked man starts to laugh sinisterly, but does not respond.
*Note: Three water dots is a term used to describe a particular left side of many Chinese characters. Usually characters with the three water dots have to do with water.
Yu DaiYan moved up to get a better view, only to see that it’s a white-robed man blocking their path. Anyone who dares to wear white in the middle of the night must be extremely confident of his kung fu. That white-robed man laughs again, while the group leader yells, “Get out of our way. Unless you want to die…” Before he finished, a person suddenly yells out in pain, “Ahhhh!” and falls on the ground, dead. The white-robed man then quickly flies away.
Some members of the Sea Sand Sect want to chase after him, but they don’t know which way he went. Yu DaiYan ponders, “This man’s speed is incredible. He seemingly just used Shaolin’s ‘Golden Steel Claws’, but I can’t be sure in this darkness. From his voice, it seems like he’s from the northwestern part of China. What is he doing here?” He then hears the leader say, “Put down fourth brother. We’ll come back for him afterwards.” The rest of the members then continue on their path.
Yu DaiYan jumps out and examines the body, seeing two small holes on the person’s neck, made obviously by two fingers. He feels that there must be something important going on, and quickens his pace, following the Sea Sand Sect members.
After a while, those people begin to split up, surrounding a house. Yu DaiYan wonders, “Is that Dragon Saber they’re talking about in this house?” He then sees the people outside begin to pour salt around the house, and thinks, “Why are they pouring salt around this place? Wait till I tell this to my brothers. I bet there’s no way they’d believe me.” But then he sees that these people pour salt in a very cautious manner, as if afraid that the salt will touch them. Yu DaiYan immediately realizes what is going on. There must be poison within the salt. He’s not certain whether the people inside are good or bad, but figures that he needs to warn them regardless. In an instant, he flew towards the house.
There are many rooms in this house. But he sees that smoke is coming out of one of the rooms, so he figures that there must be someone there. When he arrives outside that room, he hears loud sound of fire, with three people standing besides a huge fireplace, with a huge saber in the middle. Those three people look to be about sixty, their faces filled with smoke. Even from afar, Yu DaiYan feels like he’s burning from the fire. He can’t believe that those people can stay that close. Yet despite the huge flames, that sword did not change its color to red, remaining black.
At this moment, he hears a croaked voice, “How dare you to mess with a precious saber. Get away from it!” Yu DaiYan realizes that it’s the white-robed man’s voice. Those three people ignore the warning, and continue to work on the saber. Only to hear a chuckle coming from the roof as the white-robed man dashed in. He looks around forty, with a pale white face. He says in a cold voice, “Long White Elders, I don’t blame you for trying to get the saber. But why try to destroy it with this fire?”
One of the three men walks up, picks up a shovel, and attacks the white-robed man. The white-robed man evades to the side, and then counters with fingers in a claw shape, dancing up and down with a huge force. Yu DaiYan sees that his moves look like it’s from Shaolin on the surface, but is more aggressive and venomous, certainly not as righteous as Shaolin’s kung fu.
After a while, that old man with the shovel yells, “Who are you? You should at least leave your name.” The white-robed man chuckles again, his hands shot out, breaking the wrists of the old man. The second old man immediately grabs the saber out from the fire, while the third man shot takes out a dart, waiting for a chance to use it on the white-robed man. But the white-robed man is too fast.
At this time, one can see smoke coming out of the second old man’s hands. It’s obvious that his hand is burning; yet for some reason, he does not let go of the saber. As he runs out of the hut, the white-robed man yells, “Do you really think you can get away?” Raising his eyebrows a bit, he quickly flies over to the second old man, picks him up, and throws him into the fire.
Yu DaiYan originally didn’t plan on helping either side, but with someone’s life in danger, he felt that he needed to help out. He jumps out of his hiding place and pushed the old man lightly while spinning in midair, then floated down to the floor. The Long White Elders and the white-robed man had long known that he was outside, but no one cared. So they can’t help but feel an incredible shock when Yu DaiYan displayed such a skillful lightness kung fu. The white-robed man says, “Is this the famous ‘Cloud Stairs’?” Yu DaiYan first feels a bit of shock that this man knows of his kung fu, but then feels happy, knowing that his Wu Dang kung fu is so famous. He says, “This plain kung fu is nothing to brag about. May I ask who you are?” That white-robed man says, “Very nice. Wu Dang’s kung fu really is fairly decent.”
Despite being a bit angry at his words, Yu DaiYang does not show it. Instead he says, “The power you displayed while killing that member of the Sea Sand Sect is quite amazing too. I can’t even tell what kind it is.” The white-robed man wonders, “He saw that? I wonder where he was hiding at the time. How come I didn’t sense him?” He says, “Of course you couldn’t tell. Not even your old man Zhang can figure it out.”
Yu DaiYan felt greatly annoyed at this ridicule of his own master. But Wu Dang students are all taught to be calm and peaceful. He thinks, “This person is purposely trying to make me mad. There’s no reason for Wu Dang to add another powerful enemy.” He says, “There are thousands of kung fus in this world, both righteous ones and evil ones. Wu Dang’s kung fu only came from one source. Your skills look like it’s from Shaolin, but at the same time seems different.” That white-robed man’s expression changes a bit, as if flustered by this comment.
While they are talking, the second old man with the saber suddenly lashes out. Yu DaiYan quickly dodges the blow, while seeing the old man aimlessly slashes left and right, as if he has gone crazy. The white-robed man and the other two old men realize the power of the saber, and do not try to block him. As the old man runs out of the house, he suddenly trips, falling on the ground and begins to scream in agony.
The other two old men and the white-robed man immediately reaches out to grab the saber, but they all fell down once they reaches outside. The two old men start to roll around on the ground screaming, while the white-robed man simply flips up, and flies away.
Yu DaiYan wants to immediately go save those three people, but then remembers the scene of salt being spread. He realizes that the whole area has been poisoned. Looking around, he sees some stools. Quickly, he threw a couple outside, then jumps on to them. With some clothing wrapped around his hand, he quickly picks up the old man with the saber. Only to see over ten darts coming from the surrounding Sea Sand sect members.
Yu DaiYan bounces up from the stools, dodging the darts. He then flipped the stools forward with his feet, allowing him to step-by-step jump out of the salted area. Once outside, he immediately opens up his lightness kung fu to quickly run away from the Sea Sand sect members.
Yu DaiYan realizes that he must first get rid of the poison from this old man. So he quickly runs to the beach, and throws the old man into the water to cleanse him. Once cleansed, Yu DaiYan says, “Your life is no longer in danger. Since I have other businesses to take care of, I shall take leave of you.” That old man asks, “Why don’t you take my saber?” Yu DaiYan says, “Although that’s a great saber, it’s not mine. Why should I take it?” That person says, “What are you up to? How are you going to torture me?” Yu DaiYan says, “I don’t even know you. Why would I want to torture you? I just wanted to save you because your life was in danger.” That old man doesn’t believe him, instead yelling, “Just kill me and get it over with. But be warned that even as a ghost I will haunt you.” Yu DaiYan simply smiles a bit, thinking that this old man must be a little crazy from the poison. Just as he’s about to leave, a wave came from the sea, carrying the old man into the waters.
Yu DaiYan realizes that there are still poisons left in this old man’s body. If he doesn’t help him recover, this old man will die. Therefore he carried the old man, until they reached an empty building. Looking up, he sees that it’s a temple, called ‘Sea God Temple’. He put the old man by a statue. Then lights up a candle. When he looks at the old man again, he sees that the poison has spread all over the body. Yu DaiYan takes out a ‘Heaven Heart Antidote’ from his pocket and says, “Take this pill.”
That old man says, “I’m not going to eat your poisoned pills.” Despite his peaceful attitude, Yu DaiYan can’t help but be angry at those remarks. He says, “Do you know who I am? Do you think a Wu Dang disciple would do such a thing as using poison? This pill is to help ease the poison in you. Although it might not cure the poison totally, it can at least prolong your life for three days. I suggest you give this saber to the Sea Sand Sect in return for its antidote.”
That old man jumps up and yells, “I can’t give up my Dragon Saber.” Yu DaiYan says, “What’s the use of this saber if you’re going to die?” The old man responds, “I’d rather die than give up this saber.” As he says this, he clutches the saber tightly, then swallows Yu DaiYan’s pill.
His words raised Yu DaiYan’s curiosity. He wants to ask just what’s to great about this saber, but decided not to after he sees the obsessive, angry look on the old man’s face. Feeling repulsed, Yu DaiYan stands up to leave. That old man yells, “Hold on! Where are you going?” Yu DaiYan smiles and says, “What’s it to you?” and begins to leave.
The old man begins to cry after he walks a few steps. Yu DaiYan turns around and asks, “Why are you crying?” The old man says, “I spent so much effort just to obtain this saber, yet now I’m going to die. What’s the use of this saber now?” Yu DaiYan let out a ‘Humph’, and says, “The only thing you can do now is to exchange the saber for the antidote.” That old man cries, “But I don’t want to. I don’t want to.” Yu DaiYan wants to laugh at his words, but can’t do so. After a while, he says, “The whole point of learning martial arts is help the defenseless and defeat the evils of the world, setting a good example for the later generations. Precious sabers and swords are simply items. Hardly something worth your life.” The old man says, ” ‘Martial world’s most venerable, Prized saber dragon slaying*, Controlling all under Heaven, None dares to not follow!’ Have you heard this phrase?”
*Note: The proper translation of the ‘Dragon Saber’ is the ‘Dragon Slaying Saber’. However, I will use the more popular(and shorter :P) translation, ‘Dragon Saber’, that TVB came up.
Yu DaiYan chuckles and says, “Of course I’ve heard it. There are two more phrases after this, something like ‘Power of heaven* not appear, Who can possibly compete?’ That’s just to describe an event many years ago, not really some saber.” That old man asks, “What event?”
*Note: ‘Power of heaven’ here is used to described the name of the Heaven Sword. Actually, a proper description of those two characters is ‘reliance on heaven’, but that wouldn’t sound as good. The sword’s is therefore more aptly translated as ‘the sword that relies on the power of the heavens’. But for this translation, it will be shortened to Heaven Saber, just to match up with the name that TVB came up with.
Yu DaiYan says, “That’s because the Legendary Condor Hero Yang Guo once killed the Mongol emperor, which greatly helped us Hans. So whenever Hero Yang asks of something, ‘None dares to not listen’. The ‘dragon’ is here is obviously the emperor, ‘dragon slaying’ means to kill the emperor. Do you really think there are such things as dragons in this world?”
That old man smiles coldly, asking, “Do you know what weapon he used during that battle?” Yu DaiYan thinks for a moment, then responds, “I heard the master say that Hero Yang was missing an arm. So he normally doesn’t carry any weapon.” That old man asks, “So how did he kill the emperor?” Yu DaiYan says, “He used a pebble. Everyone knows that.” The old man says with a smile, “In that case, where does this whole ‘saber’ thing come from?”
Yu DaiYan can’t find the answer. After a while, he finally says, “Probably because it’s made up by others. I mean, ‘Little pebble dragon slaying’ doesn’t sound nearly as nice.” That old man says, “You’re just making it up. How about this, can you explain the meaning of ‘Power of heaven not appear, Who can possibly compete’?” Yu DaiYan says, “I don’t know. Perhaps it’s to describe his wife. Maybe his wife’s name is the ‘power of heaven’. Or he might have meant Guo Jing, Hero Guo.”
That old man says, “Really? I know you can’t explain it. Let me tell you. ‘Dragon Slaying’ is a saber. It’s this Dragon Saber I have. The ‘Power of Heaven’ is a sword, the Heaven Sword. This poem means that whoever has the Dragon Saber can rule the world. As long as the Heaven Sword does not appear, no one can compete with the Dragon Saber.”
Yu DaiYan doesn’t know whether to believe or not, and says, “Let me look at it, and see just what’s so powerful about this saber.” That old man tightly clutches the Dragon Saber, says, “You think I’m a kid? Trying to take my saber, eh?” He just recovered a bit after taking the pill Yu DaiYan gave him. Yet by spending too much energy clutching the saber, he begins to have trouble breathing. Yu DaiYan chuckles, and says, “If you don’t want me to see it, then so be it. Besides, whom are you going to control anyway? Are you telling me that I’m going to listen to your orders because of this saber? You must be kidding. You were a normal person. But after listening to such a stupid rumor, you’ve now nearly lost your life. It’s obvious that this saber has no special powers.”
That old man stays silent for a while, then says, “Hey, let’s make a deal. You help save my life, and I’ll give you half of this saber’s powers.” Yu DaiYan laughs, and says, “Is that how you think of us Wu Dang sect? We don’t help others for any rewards. Besides, I don’t have the antidote to your poison. You still have to ask the Sea Sand sect for it.” That old mans says, “I stole this saber from them. Why would they save me?” Yu DaiYan says, “If you give them back their saber, why would they care to kill you?”
That old man says, “Your kung fu is incredible. I’m sure you can steal some from them.” Yu DaiYan says, “First, I have something important to do, and don’t have time for such a thing. Besides, you stole their saber. So it’s your fault to begin with. Why should I help you steal the antidote? Old man, I suggest you hurry and go ask for the antidote now, before it’s too late.”
Seeing that he’s about to leave, that old man says in a hurry, “Ok. Let me ask you something else. How did you feel when you carried me?” Yu DaiYan says, “I thought it was kind of strange. You look small and skinny, yet you seemingly weigh over two hundred pounds. But I’m not sure why.”
That old man put down the Dragon Saber, and says, “Now lift me.” Yu DaiYan picks him up, and feels like he’s only lifting about eighty pounds of weight. He thinks, “Wow, this saber is over a hundred pounds. That is quite strange.” After putting the old man back down again, he says, “This saber is pretty heavy.”
The old man asks, “Is your surname Yu or Zhang?” Yu DaiYan says, “My name is Yu DaiYan. How do you know?” The old man says, “I know that First Hero Song is over forty years old. Your sixth and seventh brother Yin and Muo are still less than twenty. The rest of the four Wu Dang heroes all have surnames of Yu or Zhang. Everyone knows that. I’m grateful to meet the great Third Hero Yu today.” Although he’s fairly young, Yu DaiYan is quite experienced in the ways of the martial world. He knows that this old man only says such praises because he wants a favor. With a feeling of repulsiveness, he says, “And you are?” The old man says, “My name is De Cheng. Everyone calls me Hai Dong Qing.” Hai Dong Qing is a type of eagle, famous for its viciousness and predatory skills. Yu DaiYan says, “Nice to meet you.” Then proceeds to look up at the sky, trying to figure out the time.
The old man realizes that he needs to try some other trick for this person to help him. So he says, “You don’t realize the meaning behind these words, they’re…” When he says this, Yu DaiYan’s expression suddenly changes changes. He immediately blows out the candle and whispers, “Someone’s here.”
De Cheng’s inner power is not nearly as good as Yu DaiYan, so he did not notice anything. Only after a while does he hear footsteps coming from the front. He says, “Let’s sneak out the back.” Yu DaiYan says, “They have people in the back too. Besides, it’s the Sea Sand Sect. This is your opportunity to exchange for the antidote.” The old man clutches onto him tightly, yells, “Third Hero Yu, you can’t leave me. You can’t…”
At this time, someone kicked down the door as Yu DaiYan quickly hides behind a Buddha statue. When De Cheng let out a small ‘ah’ sound, tens of darts came out straight at him, prompting him to fall down. Only to hear more sounds of hidden weapons being released, all containing the poisoned salts. After a while, Yu DaiYan hears the roof shaking, as salt begins to pour down through the cracks. Realizing that the salts will eventually touch him, Yu DaiYan quickly smashes a hole into the Buddha next to him, and crawls into the hole.
Yu DaiYan then hears someone in the Sea Sand sect says, “There are no more sounds. They’re probably all unconscious.” Another person says, “That youngster’s footsteps are very light. It’s better to wait a while longer.” “I’m just afraid that he may have escaped.” Then someone yells loudly, “Get out of here and surrender.”
At this momentm Yu DaiYan hears many horses gallop on the outside. Then someone from outside yells, “The sun and moon’s lights shine, the Eagle King spreads its wings.” This made the Sea Sand sect quiet. After a while, someone yells, “It’s the Heavenly Eagle sect. Let’s get out of here.” When he finishes, the galloping sounds stopped. Then someone whispers, “Too late.”
Several people then enter the temple. One person asks, “Do you know who we are?” Several members of the Sea Sand Sect answers, “Yes. You are friends from the Heavenly Eagle sect.” That person says, “This is Heaven City Branch’s Leader Li of our Heavenly Eagle sect. You’re lucky to see him today. Leader Li asks you where the Dragon Saber is. If you’re nice enough to answer correctly, he just might be kind enough to let you keep your life.” Only to hear a Sea Sand member points to De Cheng, and says, “He… he took it. We’re just about to take it back.”
That person from the Heavenly Eagle asks De Cheng, “Where is it?” De Cheng does not respond, instead simply falls to the ground.
That person from the Heavenly Eagle says, “Search him.” Yu DaiYan hears some people making ruffling noises, and then someone saying, “This person has nothing on him.” The leader of the Sea Sand group says, “But… but it really is him who stole the Dragon Saber. We…” Yu DaiYan wonders, “Wait a minute. Where did the Dragon Saber go? Didn’t De Cheng have it on him?”
This Branch Leader Li does not say anything, but his subordinate says, “If you want to stay alive, then tell the truth.” After a moment of silence, someone begins to yell, “You came right after we entered the temple. How could we have time to grab the saber beforehand? If you don’t believe us, then we’re going to die anyway. So we might as well go down fighting. You bunch of bullies, we…” He suddenly stops talking, obviously dead. Another person says, “I saw a middle-aged man with pretty good lightness kung fu with him. I bet that man has it, and escaped.” Branch Leader Li says, “Search them.” Yu DaiYan again hears ruffling sounds, and then hears Branch Leader Li says, “He’s probably right. Let’s go search for that man.”
Yu DaiYan wants to wait till the Sea Sand people left too before getting out. But after a long time, he still could not hear any footsteps. He takes a peek outside, only to see the members of the Sea Sand sect standing still, as if their pressure points have been sealed.
He jumps out, takes a torch, and begins to examine their faces, only to see their faces gray and without life. He wonders, “Who are these Heavenly Eagle people anyway? How come I’ve never heard of them? They’re obviously quite powerful, or these people won’t be so afraid of them. Humph, they certainly deserve their fate.” He then goes over and pushes the Hua Meng Point of one of the person to unseal his pressure point. Yet the person still remains still. Yu DaiYan then puts his finger by that person’s nose, and realizes that this person’s dead already. He thinks, “Wow. They could seal their Death points without making any sound. That is a very evil kung fu indeed.” But seeing how these people are very powerful, and he’s just by himself, Yu DaiYan knows that he can’t fight them. He decides to report this to his master, and have him choose how to handle the Heavenly Eagle sect.
Seeing poisoned salt all around him, Yu DaiYan decides to burn this place and the surrounding area, so no innocents will be killed. As he went out, he sees a strange body. Yu DaiYan then picks it up to examine further. He finds that the body is very heavy. From a hole in the back, he pulls out the Dragon Saber. Apparently, De Cheng hid the Dragon Saber into one of the Sea Sand members before dying. The Heavenly Eagle sect people must not have noticed as they checked the bodies.
Yu DaiYan thinks, “This saber has caused many problems in the world. I really should give it to the master, so he can decide what to do with it.” With a throw of his torch, he burns down the temple.
As the fire is burning, Yu DaiYan examines the saber closely. He finds that the saber doesn’t look like it’s made of iron or gold, and can’t figure out just what kind of metal it’s made of. The fact that it can withstand so much heat is also quite strange. He thinks, “How can one use this sword in battle considering that it’s so heavy?”
Yu DaiYan then wraps up the saber and puts it on the back of his shoulders, then continues on his journey. After an hour or so, he arrives at the edge of a river. Seeing a flicker of fire on the river from afar, he yells, “Can I get a ride across the river?” The person on the boat didn’t seem to hear. So he yells again, this time with his inner power. The boat then quickly comes over. When it reaches the edge, someone on the boat yells, “Do you want to go across the river?” Yu DaiYan says happily, “Yes. Thank your.” That fisherman says, “Then get on.”
As he steps onto the boat, it immediately sinks down a bit. That fisherman asks with surprise, “What are you carrying that’s so heavy?” Yu DaiYan says, “Oh, nothing. I’m just a heavy person, that’s all.”
When they reach the middle of the river, he suddenly sees a big boat coming over. An eagle flag appears in the front. Yu DaiYan immediately remembers the Heavenly Eagle sect, and begins to prepare himself for any danger.
Suddenly, the fisherman jumps into the water and quickly swims away. Yu DaiYan is left on his own, as the big ship rams into his small boat. Seeing that the boat is about to sink, Yu DaiYan jumps onto the big ship using his ‘Cloud Stairs’ lightness kung fu.
On the big ship, he looks around, seeing no one. An iron chain locks the door to the main cabin. He quickly breaks it down with his palm, and enters the cabin.
Only to hear someone inside say, “Third Hero Yu of Wu Dang. Great ‘Cloud Stairs’ and ‘Mountain Cracking Palm’ you just displayed. Leave your Dragon Saber with me, and I’ll safely take you across the river.” Yu DaiYan thinks, “How does he know who I am?” That person then says, “You must be wondering how I know your identity. It’s quite easy, actually. Other than the top fighters of Wu Dang, no one can utilize those two moves with such gracefulness.”
Yu DaiYan says, “Can I meet you? And what about your name?” That person says, “We Heavenly Eagle sect is neither friend nor foe of Wu Dang. No need for such pleasantries. Just leave your Dragon Saber here, and I’ll take you across safely.” Yu DaiYan says, “Is this saber yours?” That person says, “No. But whoever has it can control the martial world. Who wouldn’t want it?” Yu DaiYan says, “If it’s not yours, then there’s no need for me to give it to you.” That person then says something else. But Yu DaiYan can’t hear. He steps a bit closer, asking, “What did you say?”
Suddenly, a large wave rocks the boat. As he’s regaining his balance, Yu DaiYan felt as if being bitten by mosquitoes on the leg and chest. He does not take notice, instead says, “You have killed ruthlessly for this saber. I don’t like your way of doing things.” That person says, “We are always ruthless towards those who are evil, but we are kind towards those who are good. As long as Hero Yu leaves the Dragon Saber, I will give you the antidote for the ‘Mosquito Needle’.”
When he hears the words ‘Mosquito Needle’, Yu DaiYan immediately reaches for the places where he thought he was bitten by mosquitoes. He instantly feels week and numb. Then Yu DaiYan realizes, “He tricked me to get closer to him, so he could have a chance to hit me with these needles. Looks like the only way to get the antidote is to grab him.” He takes a deep breath, and rushes forward.
His right palm shoots out, matching the palm of the other person. This palm contains all his power, and sent the other person backward. However, he also feels a bit of pain on his palm after that exchange. For his opponent once again deceives him, by coating his palm with a type of hidden weapon, one that poisoned Yu DaiYan as they matched palms. After coughing a bit, that person says, “Your power really is amazing. But my ‘Seven Star Needle’ is also quite deadly. Looks like it’s a tie.”
Yu DaiYan quickly takes a ‘Heaven Heart Antidote’, but realizes that this can only delay the effects of the poison. He then tries to attack the enemy with his saber, but his attacks were easily parried.
Then he heard that person say, “Do you want your life or the saber?” Yu DaiYan says, “Fine. I’ll give it to you.” And throws the saber down. That person happily picks up the saber and begins to examine it. Yu DaiYan says, “Now where’s my antidote?” That person laughs, “You really are stupid. Why did you give me the saber before I gave you the antidote?” Yu DaiYan says, “A man should remain true to his words. You promised me the antidote.” That person says, “When you had the saber, I was afraid of you. After all, even if you can’t beat me, at least you may throw the saber away. But now that I have saber, why should I still care about you?”
Yu DaiYan feels much rage coming up from his chest, thinking that Wu Dang and Heavenly Eagle Sect has never had problems before, plus this person’s kung fu is quite powerful in the martial world. Why would he not keep his word? Yu DaiYan normally is quite hard to trick. But in such an unusual place, after getting poisoned twice, his mind obviously did not work as well. After gathering himself, Yu DaiYan asks, “May I ask your name?”
That person says, “I’m just a nobody in the Heavenly Eagle sect. If Wu Dang wants to take revenge, then obviously they should look for our leader. Besides, I Dubt Zhang SanFeng can figure out who killed you anyway.” Yu DaiYan could only feel as if his hands are being bitten by thousands of ants, thinks, “Even though I die today, I’ll take you with me.” With a scream, he rushes up and attacks with his right palm. That person instinctively tries to block with the Dragon Saber, but forgot that the saber is extremely heavy. Instead of blocking, it actually pulled down his body. In a few seconds, Yu DaiYan’s palm lands on his chest, pushing him into the water.
Yu DaiYan thinks, “Although you have obtained your precious saber, but now you’ve died along with it.” Suddenly, he sees a white rope thrown down into the water, grabbing the waist of that person. Only to see a skinny green-robed person on the edge of the ship, pulling on the rope. Unfortunately, by this time, the poison has taken over his body, and he passes out.
When Yu DaiYan regained consciousness, he sees a small flag in a vase by the side, the flag shows a small fish swimming against the current. He thinks, “This must be Lin An city’s Dragon Gate Escort Agency. What happened to me?” His mind is still muddy, so he does not try to think any more. He only feels as if someone’s carrying him on a stretcher, into the middle of a big hall. When he tried to move, he realizes that he can’t.
Only to hear two people converse, the first person in a booming voice, says, “You are?” The other person says, “Don’t bother asking. I just want to know if you’re going to take this delivery.” Yu DaiYan thinks, “This second voice has a high pitch. It’s seemingly that of a woman!”
The man with the booming voice says, “You think we don’t have enough business here? If you won’t give me your name, then you can take your business elsewhere.” The person with the woman’s voice says, “But the Dragon Gate Escort Agency is the only decent one around. I don’t care for the others. However, if you can’t make a decision, get your boss out here.” The man with the booming voice says in an irritated voice, “I’m the boss. And right now, I have some other business to attend to. Please leave.”
That person with the woman’s voice says, “Oh… so you’re Multi-Armed Bear Du DaJin…” After a pause, continues, “Escort Leader Du, nice to meet you. My surname is Yin.” Du DaJin feels a little better with her praise, and says, “What do you need?” The customer named Yin says, “I need to first make sure that you can handle my delivery. Because it’s very important.”
Du DaJin says angrily, “I’ve delivered types of treasure in my twenty years here. Never have there been any problems.” Yu DaiYan has also heard of this person, knows that he’s a non-monk disciple of Shaolin. Du DaJin is proficient with both the fist and the saber, but he’s most famous for his steel darts. He can simultaneously fire forty-nine darts at the same time, which is how he got the nickname ‘Multi-Armed Bear’. It’s just that Shaolin and Wu Dang are not really close, which is why they have not yet met each other.
The person named Yin says, “If it weren’t for your fame, why would I come? I have a delivery for you to make, and it comes with three conditions.”
Du DaJin says, “We don’t accept any deliveries that require too much hassle. We don’t accept any deliveries we don’t know the background of. We don’t accept any deliveries that’s worth less than fifty thousand taels of silver.” He didn’t listen to the customer’s three conditions, and instead named three conditions of his own.
That person named Yin says, “I’m sorry. But by my delivery will require some hassle. Its background is also quite muddy. As for its worth, well, that’s hard to say. Plus I also have three conditions. One, you must personally lead the escort. Two, you must take the package to the Xiang Yang city without any rest, so it will arrive in ten days. Three, should there be any problems, humph, I will kill every single person in your Dragon Gate Escort Agency.”
Only to hear a loud ‘Peng!’ sound, which must be Du DaJin hitting the table, who yells, “Had you want to ridicule someone, you should not have picked my Dragon Gate Escort Agency. If it weren’t for the fact that you look way too small and skinny, I would pummel you right here.”
The person named Yin chuckles, and then throws something heavy on the table, says, “This is two thousand taels of gold. It’s the fee for this delivery.” Yu DaiYan thinks in shock, “What? That’s tens of thousands taels of silver. Normally it takes several years to make this much money for an escort agency.” Only to hear Du DaJin breathing heavily, obviously staring at such amazing amount of wealth. After a while, he says, “Mr. Yin, what would you like us to escort?”
That person named Yin says, “First tell me if you’re going to agree to my three conditions.” Du DaJin says, “Since you are offering so much money, I’ll risk my life this time to make sure it safely arrives. So where are the items you want to deliver?” That person named Yin says, “The package I want you to deliver is the gentleman on this stretcher.” This really surprised Du DaJin and especially Yu DaiYan himself. Yu DaiYan can’t help but yell, “Me…me…?” Yet for some reason, no words can leave his mouth no matter how hard he tries. Only to hear Du DaJin say, “This… this person?”
That person named Yin says, “Correct. You can change horses and carriages along the way, but not the people escorting. In ten days, you must deliver this person to the master of Wu Dang, the Venerable Zhang SanFeng.” Du DaJin says, “Wu Dang sect? The problem is, Shaolin and Wu Dang are not very… how can I say this…” That person named Yin says, “This person is gravely injured. So it’s imperative that he’s delivered as soon as possible. What’s with the indecisiveness? Are you going to accept this deal or not?” Du DaJin says, “Fine. We’ll accept it.”
That person named Yin chuckles and says, “Good! Today’s the 29th day of the third month. If he’s not safely at Wu Dang Mountain by the 9th of next month, I’ll make sure that no one in this escort agency will remain alive!” only to hear several ‘swoosh’ sounds, as several needles shot out, destroying all vases holding the agency’s flags in all parts of the room. Even Du DaJin let out a shocking ‘ahhh’. The person named Yin then yells, “Let’s go”, and leaves with the people carrying the stretcher.
After that person left, Du DaJin gathers himself and walks up to Yu DaiYan, asks, “Are you a member of the Wu Dang sect?” Yu DaiYan can’t answer, but can see that this gentleman looks very muscular and strong, thinking his outer fighting skills must be quite formidable. Du DaJin asks again, “I never would’ve thought that this small, scholarly person has such incredible kung fu. Do you know which sect he belongs to?” Yu DaiYan closes his eyes and ignores him.
Du DaJin’s name is quite sound, and his forte is with hidden weapons. Yet he couldn’t possibly destroy tens of vases using paper-thin needles. Besides, he has never seen anything quite so strange as someone giving two thousands taels of gold to deliver a live person. Du DaJin wraps up the gold and orders his servants to take Yu DaiYan to the guest room. He then gathers up his best men and prepares for the trip. By nightfall, they left the escort agency.
While in the carriage, Yu DaiYan thinks, “After wandering in the martial world for so many years, I’ve never cared much for escort agencies. Who would’ve thought that they would be the people in charge of my life right now?” He then thinks, “I wonder who this friend named Yin is. She sounds like a woman. That Du DaJin says she’s very scholarly, yet her kung fu is certainly very good, and her way of doing things really is quite extraordinary. Too bad I didn’t get to see her, or say thanks. If we ever meet again, I’ll make sure to repay her kindness.”
A row of horses quickly moves west. Other than leaders Du, Zhu, and Shi, everyone else is a young, energetic lad. They all picked the best horses, and changed them frequently on the road, just as their customer Yin ordered. When he left the escort agency, Du DaJin expected many people to block their paths. Yet for some reason, their trip was very smooth. In nine days, they’re already at the bottom of the Wu Dang Mountain. Although it’s been a long, arduous journey, everyone is glad that they’re not going to miss the ten-day deadline.
Du DaJin says, “Brother Zhu, these past years the Wu Dang sect’s name has become quite sound. Although still not as sound as us Shaolin, but quite famous nonetheless. Look at the steepness of the mountain. You know the saying that the environment makes the person. Perhaps they really are quite good.” Sub-leader Zhu says, “But these rumors of their accomplishments aren’t reliable. Besides, they’ve only been around for a few years. How can they possibly compete with us Shaolin?” Sub-leader Shi says, “He’s right. We’ve never really seen their kung fu. Compared to us, they’re probably nothing.”
After traveling some more, sub-leader Zhu asks, “What are we going to say to Zhang SanFeng when we see him?” Du DaJin says, “Although we’re from a different sect, he is after all almost ninety. So it doesn’t matter if we go up and kowtow a few times.” As they’re talking, Du DaJin wonders, “Who is this person inside? Is he a Wu Dang disciple, a friend of Wu Dang, or an enemy?”
While he’s thinking, six people on horsebacks surrounded their group. Du DaJin thinks, “Could we possibly have problems now that we’re under the Wu Dang Mountain?” He whispers to sub-leader Zhu, “Watch the main carriage.” Then he went up to meet the strangers, says, “This is the Dragon Gate Escort Agency in the city of Lin An. Sorry we did not send a greeting beforehand.”
Du DaJin sees that two of the people dressed as Taoists while the other four have on normal clothing. They all look very composed and gallant, with weapons attached to their sides. Du DaJin wonders, “Could this be six of the seven Wu Dang heroes?” He says, “May I ask who your names are?”
A person with a large birthmark on the face responds coldly, “What are you doing on Wu Dang Mountain?” Du DaJin says, “We’re here to send a injured person to your master, Venerable Zhang SanFeng.” That person asks, “Who is the injured person?” Du DaJin says, “I don’t know. A person named Yin asked me to make this delivery. I know of nothing else. We don’t ask our customers for their reasons.” That person says, “A customer named Yin? What kind of person is he?” Du DaJin says, “He’s a handsome and scholarly fellow, whose projectile weapon skills are incredible.” That person then asks, “So you’ve fought him?” Du DaJin says, “No. No. He just…” Before he could finish, a short person among the strangers cut him off, asks, “Where the Dragon Saber?”
Du DaJin says in bewilderment, “What Dragon Saber? Is it the mythical one everyone’s talking about?” That short guy immediately goes up to the carriage and looks inside. Du DaJin looks at his lightness kung fu, thinking, “This resembles Shaolin’s kung fu. Humph. Wu Dang claims that their kung fu skills are unique, but looks like they still cannot deviate from their Shaolin roots.” Now that he’s certain these are Wu Dang disciples, Du DaJin says, “Are you the famous Wu Dang heroes? Who is First Hero Song?” The man with the birthmark says, “Oh, you’re too flattering.”
The short man says, “His injury is severe. Let’s get him back quickly.” That man with the birthmark says to Du DaJin, “Thank you for escorting our friend here.” Du DaJin says, “You are welcome.” That person than says, “He needs to see our master quickly. We’ll take it from here.” Du DaJin says, “Sure. In that case, I’ll give him to you.” That person says, “Thank you.” and throws a gold nugget at Du DaJin. “Just a little reward for you.” As he says this, those six people left with the carriage.
Du DaJin looks at the nugget, and finds five fingerprints on it. He thinks, “Wow. These Wu Dang heroes really do possess some great kung fu. I bet only my martial uncles who knows the ‘Golden Steel Finger’ can make such a mark.” Sub-leader Zhu says, “These Wu Dang people really are arrogant. We spent all this time coming here, and they don’t even ask us to go up for a rest.”
Du DaJin has the same feelings, except he didn’t bother to say it. Instead he says, “Well, at least we save some time. Besides, it would be awkward for us Shaolin disciples to visit Wu Dang. Let’s just leave.”
On their way back, Du DaJin feels more and more unsettled, seeing how the Wu Dang heroes didn’t even bother to leave their name. But everyone else feels only joy, knowing that they just made a ton of money, since Du DaJin has always been extravagant when splitting their earnings.
As they continued on their journey, a person on a fast galloping horse suddenly passed them from behind. Du DaJin sees that it’s a youngster of about twenty-one or twenty-two. He looks scholarly and charismatic, and as he passed said, “Thanks for letting me pass.” When he left, Du DaJin asks, “Brother Zhu, who do you think this is?” Sub-leader Zhu says, “He came from Wu Dang Mountain, so he’s probably a Wu Dang disciple. But he doesn’t have any weapons, and looks to scrawny too be a kung fu expert.”
When he finished, that youngster suddenly came back, and asks, “May I ask a question?” Du DaJin says, “What do you need to know?” That youngster looks at the flag and says, “Are you the Dragon Gate Escort Agency?” Sub-leader Zhu says, “Yes!” That youngster says, “May I ask who everyone is? And how is your Head Leader Du?” Sub-leader Zhu says, “My surname is Zhu. What’s your name? Are you a friend of our head leader?”
That youngster gets off the horse and steps forward a bit, says, “My name is Zhang CuiShan. I’ve heard of the famous Dragon Gate Escort Agency.” When he said this, Du DaJin felt a huge shock, thinking how could the famous Fifth Hero Zhang be a young scholar? He says, “I am Du DaJin. So you are the person everyone calls ‘Silver Hook and Iron Brush’ Fifth Hero Zhang?” That youngster says with a smile, “I don’t think I’m worthy of the ‘hero’ title. But since you’re here at Wu Dang Mountain, how about going up for a visit. Today is my master’s ninetieth birthday. If you don’t have anything important to do, we would appreciate your company.”
Du DaJin sees that he’s quite sincere, and wonders, “How come the Wu Dang heroes differ so much in terms of personality?” He gets down his horse and says, “If your brothers were as nice as you, we would already be at Wu Dang now.” Zhang CuiShan says, “What? You say that you’ve met my brothers? Which ones?” Du DaJin thinks, “You really know how to put up an act.” And says, “I saw all your other brothers today.” Zhang CuiShan stutters for a moment, then asks, “You’ve also seen my third brother Yu?” Du DaJin says, “You mean Yu DaiYan? I don’t know who’s Yu DaiYan. I just saw the six of them together. So he must be there.” Zhang CuiShan says, “Six people? Which six people?” Du DaJin says, “Your brothers won’t give their names, so how would I know? Since you are the fifth hero, then they must be the rest of the seven heroes.” Zhang CuiShan seems lost in thought, and asks, “Did you really see them?” Du DaJin says, “Of course. Everyone in my agency saw them.” Zhang CuiShan says, “That doesn’t make sense. Brother Song and the others are all preparing for master’s birthday. Only I came down the mountain to find my third brother. So how could you have met them?”
Du DaJin says, “You mean, that person with a birthmark on his face isn’t Hero Song?” Zhang CuiShan says, “None of my brothers have any birthmarks on his face.”
Cold sweat rushes over Du DaJin. He says, “They said that they’re the six heroes of Wu Dang. Two of them are even Taoists. So we…” Zhang CuiShan says, “Although our master is a Taoist, none of his students are. Did they really say that they’re the Six Heroes of Wu Dang?” Du DaJin thinks back, and realizes that those people never did openly say who they are. After a pause, he says, “Looks like these people are up to no good. We have to chase them down!” As he says this he quickly gets back on his horse, and start riding back towards Wu Dang Mountain. Zhang CuiShan rides alongside, and says, “It doesn’t matter too much if they’re simply masquerading as us. Why not just let them go?” Du DaJin says, “But what about that person? Someone asked me to escort this person to your Venerable Zhang SanFeng. These six people took him…” Zhang CuiShan says, “Who is this person you’re talking about?”
Du DaJin told Zhang CuiShan what had happened as they galloped back. Zhang CuiShan then asks, “What’s the wounded person’s name? What about his look?” Du DaJin says, “I don’t know his name, but he’s around thirty.” He then proceeds describe that person’s face. Zhang CuiShan says shockingly, “This… this is my Third Brother Yu.”
He then asks, “How did my third brother get injured? Who asked you to escort him here? Who’s the enemy?” Du DaJin cannot answer these, and does not respond. Zhang CuiShan asks again, “What do those people who took away my third brother look like?” Sub-leader Shi then describes their looks. Zhang CuiShan says, “Thank you. I shall go on ahead.”
After searching for hours, Zhang CuiShan sees a broken carriage on the side of the road. Turning around, he sees a person lying on the ground. With his heart beating fast, Zhang CuiShan races up next to the person, only to see that it’s indeed Yu DaiYan. Happy and distressed at the same time, Zhang CuiShan quickly picks him up and touches his face. Feeling warmth, he let out a sigh of relief, and then yells, “Third brother, you… what happened… I’m your fifth brother… fifth brother!” He examines Yu DaiYan, only to see all his joints crushed, and blood pouring out. Obviously, whoever hurt him did so a short while ago.
While his first thoughts were rage and revenge, Zhang CuiShan then promptly remembers that Yu DaiYan’s life is still in danger. He did not bring any medicine down the mountain, so he quickly put Yu DaiYan on his back and quickly runs up the mountain, using all his lightness kung fu ability.
Since today is their master’s ninetieth birthday, the Wu Dang’s main Purple Paradise Hall has been filled with an aura of happiness. The six disciples all gave their toast to Zhang SanFeng. The only problem was that they’re missing Yu DaiYan. So at noon, Zhang CuiShan said to his master, “Let me go down the mountain to check up on him.” Who would’ve thought that Zhang CuiShan would also disappear? It should’ve taken him at most a couple of hours to reach the old river before turning back. But it’s now nightfall, yet still no sight of him.
The dinner in the hall has long been prepared, the candles almost half burnt. Everyone feels uncomfortable. Sixth disciple Yin LiTing and seventh disciple Muo ShengGu pace in and out of the hall. Zhang SanFeng is quite aware of these two missing disciples’ temper. Yu DaiYan is calm and composed, and can always be counted on to accomplish a task. Zhang CuiShan is smart and quick-witted, and is decisive. So if they haven’t come back yet, something important must have happened.
First disciple Song YuanQiao looks at the candles, and then says with a smile, “Master, third and fifth brother must have found some terrible things happening down the mountain. They know that the best gift to you is to do good deeds. That’s why they’re late.” Zhang SanFeng says with a smile, “I remember you saved a widow from suicide back when I was eighty. But you know, if you kids have to wait ten years in between your good deeds, people might get a bit impatient.” His five disciples laughed. Zhang SanFeng has always had a casual relationship with his students, so they joke all the time.
Zhang SongXi then says, “But you’re going to at least live till two hundred years old. So even if we just do one good deed per ten years, it’s still going to be a lot.” Muo ShengGu adds with a laugh, “I’m just afraid that we won’t be able to keep up for that long…”
Before he could finish, Song YuanQiao and Yu LianZhou looked out the hall and yelled together, “Is that the third brother?” Zhang CuiShan says, “It’s me!” Only to see him carrying a person on the back, running into the hall with sweat all over his face, yelling, “Master, third brother…someone attacked him…” As everyone looks in shock, Zhang CuiShan stumbled a bit, and falls unconscious.
Song YuanQiao and Yu LianZhou realize that Zhang CuiShan only fell down due to exhaustion, while Yu DaiYan’s situation is much more dire. Together they pick him up, and check his vital signs. Zhang SanFeng’s heart shook upon seeing his disciple injured, and then takes out 3 ‘Tiger Life Extending Pill’ and put it in Yu DaiYan’s mouth. But Yu Dai, in his unconscious state, could not swallow them. Zhang SanFeng then applies his inner power Yu DaiYan’s Jia Che Point. After a while, Yu DaiYan’s throat finally responds, and swallows the pills.
At this point, Zhang SongXi begins to massage the muscles on his neck, while Zhang SanFeng continues apply his chi to several different important pressure points on Yu DaiYan’s body, trying to revive him.
After a while, Zhang CuiShan came about again, and asks, “Master, can you save third brother?” Zhang SanFeng only says, “Everyone eventually dies in this world…” Only to see a servant come in, saying, “There are some people outside who wants to see you, master. They say they’re from the Dragon Gate Escort Agency.” Zhang CuiShan quickly stands up, his face filled with hatred, says, “It’s them!” and quickly goes outside. Only to hear some sounds of weapons clashing outside, as Yin LiTing and Muo ShengGu quickly follows to help their fifth brother. They see Zhang CuiShan holding a burly man by the collar and then throws him down, yelling, “It’s all this old guy’s fault!”
Muo ShengGu, hearing that it’s this old man who injured his third brother, begins to step up and give him a kick, but Song YuanQiao quickly stops him. Only to hear someone outsides yelling, “Do you Wu Dang sect have any manners? I sincerely want to come and visit, yet you would treat us like this?” Song YuanQiao quickly goes up to Du DaJin and unseals his pressure points. Then he says, “Don’t worry. Be a little patient, and we will sort out the truth.” This sentence came out in a serious manner backed up by a great deal of inner power. Sub-leaders Zhu and Shi thought he’s actually Zhang SanFeng, and became silent.
Song YuanQiao says, “Fifth brother. Tells what had happened. Don’t be in a hurry, but be detailed.” Zhang CuiShan stares at the Dragon Gate people a bit, and then proceeds to tell the story. Du DaJin then added what happened before he met Zhang CuiShan. Song YuanQiao can see that his kung fu is nowhere near the level of Yu DaiYan. That, plus his willingness to come to Wu Dang, pretty much dissolves him of any possible guilt. Du DaJin finally adds at the end, “Hero Song, I’m sorry that we weren’t able to protect Hero Yu. But what do we do now with all the family members of my agency’s employees?”
Despite concentrating on healing Yu DaiYan, Zhang SanFeng heard all of Du DaJin’s words clearly, and says, “LianZhou, you take ShengGu to Lin An and protect the Dragon Gate Escort Agency.” Yu LianZhou nods, thinking, “Master really is kind. Although it’s possible that this customer Yin maybe bluffing, it’s still not a good idea to leave so many employee’s relatives alone and vulnerable.”
Zhang CuiShan says, “Look at what this Du guy did to our third brother. Why would you help him out?” Song YuanQiao says, “How can you say that, fifth brother? Do you know why Head Leader Du came in the first place?” Zhang CuiShan says, “Obviously for the gold. Do you really think it’s because he cares for third brother?” When Du DaJin hears this, his face immediately turns red.
Song YuanQiao says, “Don’t be rude to our guests. You’re tired too. How about taking a rest!” Being the first brother, Song YuanQiao wields great amount of power within Wu Dang. All other brothers defers to him. So when Song YuanQiao told Zhang CuiShan to rest, Zhang CuiShan could only close his mouth. But still fearing for Yu DaiYan’s life, he did not go back to his room.
Song YuanQiao then says, “Second brother, hurry up and gather your stuff with seventh brother. You’ll leave tonight since this is urgent.” Yu LianZhou and Muo ShengGu quickly complied. Du DaJin, feeling warmth in his heart due to Wu Dang’s kindness, says to Zhang SanFeng, “Venerable Zhang. Thank you for your help. We won’t bother you any longer. Goodbye.”
Song YuanQiao says, “Wait. Since you are already here, how about staying for the night. We also have some things we need to clear up.” Although his voice is calm, it carries a very serious and ordering tone, prompting Du DaJin to agree.
Yu LianZhou and Muo ShengGu then said goodbye to everyone, taking extra long with Yu DaiYan, knowing this might be the last time they would ever see him.
The hall suddenly became silent, with only Zhang SanFeng’s methodic breathing providing any noise. After about an hour, Yu DaiYan suddenly yells loudly, shaking everyone in the room. Du DaJin sneaked a peek at Yu DaiYan, wondering whether this is a good or a bad scream.
Zhang SanFeng says, “SongXi, LiTing, take your third brother back to his room.” Zhang SongXi and Yin LiTing promptly follow his order. When they came back out again, Yin LiTing asks, “Is he going to recover?” Zhang SanFeng takes a deep breath, and then says, “It will take a month before I can tell if he lives or dies. Even if he survives, he’ll never… never be able to move again. His life is…” And proceeds to shake his head. Yin LiTing suddenly starts to cry, while Zhang CuiShan quickly gets to slap Du DaJin. This move came quick as lightning, and Du DaJin could not block in time before the palm slapped his cheek. As Zhang CuiShan tries to slap him again, Zhang SongXi quickly comes over and pushes the palm out of the way.
When Du DaJin backs off, something heavy drops out of his robe, falling onto the floor. It’s a gold nugget. Zhang CuiShan says, “Humph, you greedy bastard. Giving away my third brother just for some gold…” Before he finished, he suddenly sees the fingerprints on the nugget, and asks, “Big brother, this… this is Shaolin’s Golden Steel Finger.” Song YuanQiao looks at it, and then gives it to Zhang SanFeng. Zhang SanFeng looks at it for a while, and then looks at Song YuanQiao for a moment silently.
Zhang CuiShan yells, “Master, this is Shaolin’s Golden Steel Finger. No other kung fu in the world can possibly do this, right?” At this moment, Zhang SanFeng suddenly remembers his childhood days with Jue Yuan, matching palms with He ZuDao, and chased out of Shaolin onto Wu Dang Mountain. He realizes that Zhang CuiShan is correct, that this is indeed Golden Steel Finger. No other Finger techniques can match this in terms of power. Although his own inner power is very high, he has never learnt such Hard techniques. As for other sects’ Hard techniques, none can accomplish this. But should he confirm Zhang CuiShan’s guess, his disciples would want revenge. That would be very undesirable.
Zhang CuiShan can see that he’s correct from his master’s look, and asks, “Is it possible that some extremely intelligent person invented a finger technique that can do this?” Zhang SanFeng says, “That’s impossible. It took Shaolin hundreds of years to perfect this. I don’t think anyone can invent it by himself.” Song YuanQiao says, “In that case, we can confirm that third brother’s joints were destroyed by Shaolin’s Golden Steel Finger.”
When Du DaJin hears that they think it’s Shaolin who injured Yu DaiYan, he quickly gets up, wanting to say something, but did not say it. After a while, he says, “No… It can’t be Shaolin. I’ve been studying there for over ten years, yet have never seen those six people.” Song YuanQiao looks at him, and says, “Sixth brother, why don’t you show our guest to his room. Get him some dinner. I’m sure he’s hungry.” Yin LiTing goes over to Du DaJin to send him out. Although Du DaJin wants to speak some more, he finally decides against it, and followed Yin LiTing.
After settling down Du DaJin, Yin LiTing goes back to Yu DaiYan’s room, and cried again as he saw Yu DaiYan’s pale, stiff face. When he came back out into the hall, he heard Zhang SanFeng say, “How venomous. SongXi. What do you suggest we do?”
Out of all his students, Zhang SongXi is the cleverest. He normally doesn’t speak his mind much, but he is very good at analyzing. After Zhang CuiShan came back carrying Yu DaiYan, he felt much sadness, but at the same time started to investigate into this matter. Now that he heard his master ask, he says, “I believe this has nothing to do with Shaolin, but rather the Dragon Saber.” Zhang CuiShan and Yin LiTing both let out an ‘Ah’, while Song YuanQiao says, “Fourth brother. I’m sure you’ve thought this out. Tell us your conclusion.” Zhang SongXi says, “With third brother’s mild temper, it’s extremely unlikely that he made any enemy for no reason. That bandit he was suppose to kill was an outlaw. There’s no reason why Shaolin would hurt him over that.” Zhang SanFeng nods. Zhang SongXi continues, “Other than his joints, third brother was also poisoned back at Lin An city. If we want to find out exactly what had happened, we must first go to Lin An to investigate.”
Zhang SanFeng nods again, says, “The poison he suffered is very unique. I still haven’t found the right antidote. There are several tiny holes in his right palm and leg. Does anyone know who uses this type of hidden weapon?” Song YuanQiao says, “This is strange. If this person is good enough so that he can hit third brother with hidden weapons, why would they need poison on it?”
They all begin to think over this matter. After a while, they still could not find an answer, until Zhang SongXi says, “That man with the birthmark could’ve easily killed third brother, but instead simply paralyzed him. This obviously meant that he wanted to get some information from third brother. In my opinion, this information must have something to do with the Dragon Saber. Remember what Du DaJin said, that one of those six people yelled, ‘Where’s the Dragon Saber?’” Yin LiTing says, ” ‘Martial world’s most venerable, Prized saber dragon slaying, Controlling all under Heaven, None dares to not follow. Power of heaven not appear, who can possibly compete?’ This phrase has been around for a hundred years, could it be that there really is a Dragon Saber?”
Zhang SanFeng says, “Not even for a hundred years, at most seventy to eighty. It did not exist when I was young.”
Zhang CuiShan says, “Fourth brother’s right. We need to go down to the south to find the killer.”
Zhang SanFeng asks Song YuanQiao, “What’s your opinion?” For the past few years, Zhang SanFeng has been letting Song YuanQiao manage most issues within the Wu Dang sect. So he wants Song YuanQiao to make the decision. Song YuanQiao says, “Master. Not only is this about third brother’s revenge, but also the reputation of Wu Dang. If we don’t settle this in the right fashion, we might cause some big problems.”
Zhang SanFeng says, “Right! You and SongXi, LiTing will take my letter to Shaolin tomorrow and meet Abbot Kong Wen. Ask him how to handle the matter. Shaolin’s very strict. He will know how to take care of this properly.” Song YuanQiao, Zhang SongXi, and Yin LiTing nod together. Zhang SongXi thinks, “Sixth brother alone should be sufficient for this trip. There must be some other reason that master wants all three of us to go.” Zhang SanFeng confirms this by adding, “I am a escapist from Shaolin. After all these years, I guess they must respect the fact that I’m quite old, and never bothered to come to Wu Dang to capture me. But there is still some friction between us. Which is why I want three of you to go, to show more respect.”
Zhang SanFeng then turns to Zhang CuiShan and says, “CuiShan, you’ll go down south tomorrow, and meet up with your second and sixth brother. There, listen to second brother’s orders.” Zhang CuiShan nods. Zhang SanFeng then says, “Don’t worry about drinking any wine tonight. A month later, we’ll gather here again. If DaiYan won’t recover, we can at least say goodbye to him.” When he said to this part, he sighed deeply with a gloomy expression. Yin LiTing continues to wipe his tears as he cries. Zhang SanFeng then says, “Let’s go to sleep.”
Song YuanQiao says, “Master, third brother has been righteous his whole life. The lord will surely bless him, and… and…” He couldn’t go on, knowing that more words would only sadden his master further. With tears coming out of his eyes, he follows his fellow brothers out, and back to his room.