The Ruyang Prince sized Zhang Wuji up; he saw a young man, not more than 21 or 22 years old, his face pale from the injury, hence it was devoid of the heroic and valiant air he used to have, he looked even less like someone who was in charge of hundreds of thousands strong rebel army. But the Prince also knew that his daughter was very shrewd. In addition, the Ming Cult had caused the nation some major disasters. Perhaps this man was not the Cult Leader of the Ming Cult, but he must be one of the important characters within the Ming Cult. Certainly he could not let him go. “Take him inside the city,” he finally decided, “We’ll examine him carefully. If he is not one of the Devil Cult people, I will grant him rewards.” He said that to save his daughter’s face, so that in front of all these people she would not look like a spoiled brat.
Four warriors immediately responded; they walked toward Zhao Min.
“Father,” Zhao Min cried, “Do you really want your daughter to die?” She pressed the dagger in her hand about half an inch [orig. ‘cun’ – thumb, approximately equal to an inch] into her stomach; immediately blood seeped out and dyed her clothes red.
The Ruyang Prince was shocked. “Minmin,” he said, “Please don’t make a scene here.”
Zhao Min cried even louder. “Father, your daughter is unfilial. I have secretly become man and wife with Zhang Gongzi. Please just consider you have never had any daughter. Let your daughter go. Otherwise, I’d rather die in your presence.”
The Ruyang Prince kept pulling his beard with his left hand; cold sweats started to form on his forehead. He had held command over generals and soldiers, he had battled and crushed enemies; he was used to make decision in split second. But today, confronted by his own beloved daughter’s embarrassing affair, his hands were bound and he was unable to do anything.
“Meizi,” Wang Baobao said, “Both you and Zhang Gongzi are injured. Let us all come home with Father. We will invite renowned doctors to treat you. Afterwards, we will have Father to preside over your wedding. Father will have an ideal son-in-law, and I will have a hero as my brother-in-law. Won’t that be good?”
His words were pleasant to be heard, but Zhao Min had been aware early on that he was trying to buy time. If Zhang Wuji fell into their hands, how could he keep his life? He would be executed in less than an hour. Thereupon Zhao Min said, “Father, things have come to this, your daughter marries a chicken, she will follow the chicken; she marries a dog, she will follow the dog. In life or in death, I will follow Zhang Gongzi. Whatever trick you and Gege are playing, you can’t hide it from me. I will not fall on it. Right now there are only two choices: if you are willing to spare your daughter’s life, let me go. If you want your daughter’s death, you won’t have to waste any effort.”
“Minmin,” the Ruyang Prince was angry, “You may want to think it over. Once you follow this rebel thief, you can’t be my daughter anymore.”
Zhao Min felt as if her intestines were tied in hundreds knots. She did not want to part with her father and her big brother, remembering that they loved her dearly and had always pampered her. She felt as if her heart was sliced by a knife; but she knew that if she hesitated even so slightly, Zhang Wuji’s life will be gone immediately. Right now, the most important thing was saving her lover’s life; she would seek her father and her brother’s forgiveness later.
“Father, Gege,” she said, “All this is Minmin’s fault. You … please forgive me.”
Seeing he would not be able to change her daughter’s mind, the Ruyang Prince regretted that he had spoiled her too much. He let her roam the Jianghu unrestrained to such an extent as to cause this kind of trouble. He knew she was strong-willed ever since her childhood, if he forced her, she would certainly commit suicide by stabbing herself. All he could do was heave a long sigh, with tears pouring down from his eyes. “Minmin,” his voice was hoarse, “Take a good care of yourself. Father is leaving … you … you have to be careful in everything.”
Zhao Min only nodded, she did not dare to look at her father anymore. The Ruyang Prince turned around and slowly walked down the mountain. His personal attendant followed him behind, leading his horse, but he seemed oblivious; he did not even remember to mount the horse.
After walking for a dozen of ‘zhang’s, he suddenly turned his head around and said, “Minmin, is your injury all right? Do you have enough money?”
Swallowing her tears, Zhao Min nodded.
To his personal attendant the Ruyang Prince said, “Give my two horses to Junzhu.” The personal attendant warrior complied and led the horses to Zhao Min, and then he followed the Ruyang Prince and walked down the mountain.
The six foreign monks were still lying on the ground; they were incapable of standing up. The rest of the foreign monks, with two monks helping one, carried them follow behind. A short while later everybody had left, leaving only Zhang Wuji and Zhao Min two people.