Zhou Zhiruo said, “I was repeating what Shifu said, that if I became your wife in the future, my departed parents in the ground would not rest in peace, that my Shifu would become a malicious spirit, haunting me night and day for the rest of my life; and if I give birth to sons and daughters with you, let our sons become slaves and our daughters prostitutes.”
As he heard this kind of heavy and ominous oath, Zhang Wuji could not help but shiver. He was silent for half a day before saying, “Zhiruo, that oath does not count. Definitely it does not count. It was because your Shifu thought that the Ming Cult is an evil-doer devil cult, and that I was crafty and evil, a shameless pervert thief, that she forced you to make that heavy oath. If she [orig. lao3ren2jia1 – Senior] knew the truth, she would definitely free you from this oath.”
With tears streaming down her face, Zhou Zhiruo sobbed, “But she … Senior would not know this.” As she said that, she threw herself into his bosom, while crying uncontrollably.
Zhang Wuji gently stroked her soft hair and consoled her, “If your Shifu in the netherworld knew it, she would definitely not blame you for violating your oath. Tell me, do you think I am really crafty and evil, a shameless pervert thief?”
While embracing his waist, Zhou Zhiruo said, “Right now you are not. But if you are bewitched by Zhao Min later, maybe … maybe you will turn into crafty, evil and shameless.”
Zhang Wuji lightly nudged her cheek with his finger and said with a laugh, “You underrate me too much. Is your husband that kind of person?”
Zhou Zhiruo looked up, her cheeks were still wet with tears, but her eyes bore a happy expression. “You are shameless,” she said, “You are not my husband yet. If later on you sneakily go out with that little witch Zhao Min, I won’t want to be with you anymore. Who will guarantee that in the future you will not be like that Song Qingshu, who for the sake of a woman committed a lot of contemptible, shameless shady acts?”
Zhang Wuji lowered his head and planted a kiss on her cheek, before laughing and saying, “Who told you as an immortal to descend to the earth? We are mere mortals, how can we resist your charm? I’ll say it was your father and mother’s fault that they bore too beautiful of a woman, who has the power to kill us, men!”
Suddenly, from behind a large tree about two ‘zhang’s away came ‘hey, hey’, sound of cold laughter. Zhang Wuji was hugging Zhou Zhiruo in his bosom. He was startled and turned his head only to see a shadow dashing away and gone far in a short moment. Zhou Zhiruo jumped up immediately. Her face paled. “It’s Zhao Min!” she said in a shaky voice, “She is following us.”
As Zhang Wuji heard the cold laugh, he knew it was a female voice, but it was hard for him to say it was Zhao Min for sure. In the dark of the night he could not distinguish whose shadow he had seen. ‘Was it her?” he asked doubtfully, “What is she doing following us?”
“She likes you!” Zhou Zhiruo indignantly said, “Are you telling me that you didn’t know it? Most likely the two of have a secret rendezvous to deliberately make a fool out of me.”
Zhang Wuji repeatedly denied the accusation. Zhou Zhiruo stood unmoving in the cold wind, thinking about her fate and could not restrain her tears from falling down. Zhang Wuji gently wrapped his left arm around her shoulder, while with right sleeve he wiped away the tears from her eyes. “Why are you crying while we are having a good time?” he said tenderly, “If I did have a rendezvous with Miss Zhao in here, let the Heaven punish me and the Earth swallow me. Just think, if in my heart I did like her, and I knew she was near, why was I so crazy about you and said those affectionate words? Wouldn’t that mean I deliberately make her angry and put her in an awkward situation?”
Zhou Zhiruo sighed, “That’s true,” she said, “Wuji Gege, my heart is troubled.”
“What is it?” Zhang Wuji asked.
“I can’t forget my heavy oath in Shifu’s presence,” Zhou Zhiruo said, “I also think this Zhao Min will not let me go. I am too far inferior to her both in martial art and intelligence.”
Zhang Wuji said, “I will do my best with all my strength to protect you all around. How can I allow her to harm even a strand of my beloved wife’s hair?”
Zhou Zhiruo said, “If I die in her hand, so be it; I only have my own cruel fate to blame. My only fear is that she manages to confuse you that you believe her sweet talk and fall into her trap and come to kill me. If that happens, I will die with my eyes open.”
Zhang Wuji said with a laugh, “That is truly a groundless fear [orig. ‘the man of Qi fears the sky falling]. Who knows how many people in this world have harmed me, offended me, but I have not killed any of them; why would I kill you?” Unbuttoning his clothes, he showed her the sword scar on his chest and said with a smile, “You stabbed me with the sword here! The deeper the wound, the deeper my love for you.”
Zhou Zhiruo stretched out her tender hand to gently stroke the scar on his chest, with disquieting thoughts filling her heart. Suddenly her face paled, and she said, “An eye for an eye. In the future, you will stab me dead, I will not regret.”
Zhang Wuji opened up his arms and pulled her into his embrace, while softly said, “Wait till we find Yifu, we’ll ask him, Senior, to preside over our wedding. And then the two of us will never leave each other, we’ll grow old together. If you like, you can stab me a few more times, I will not say a single harsh word to you. Is that good enough for you?”
Zhou Zhiruo nuzzled her cheeks on his fiery warm chest and said in low voice, “I do hope you are a real man who will keep your word, and won’t forget what you have said today.”
The two of them cuddled with each other for a long time. It was almost midnight and the wind grew stronger when they finally returned to the inn and went their separate rooms to sleep.
The next morning, three people continued their journey south; they did not see any sign of Zhao Min along the way. They reached Dadu in less than a day. By the time they entered the city gate, it was already evening. They saw the residents, men and women, were busy sprinkling water to the dusty streets and sweeping the streets and alleys clean. There was an incense-burning table in front of every home. Zhang Wuji and the others found an inn and asked the attendant what major event was going on in the city.
“Honored guests came from afar and did not know that you have come at the right moment,” the attendant replied, “You will enjoy a fine sight, for tomorrow is the ‘Great Tour of Imperial City’ day.”