Secret manual and military treatise are hidden within.
Taking Xie Xun by the hand, Zhang Wuji was about to walk away when suddenly Xie Xun said, “Hold on!” Pointing to an old monk among the Shaolin crowd he called out, “Cheng Kun! Come out! In the presence of the heroes from all over the world, I want you to clearly explain all kinds of gratitude and grudges of the past.”
The crowd of heroes was startled; they only saw a hunchback old monk with a nondescript face. Definitely he did not look like Cheng Kun. Zhang Wuji was about to say, “He is not Cheng Kun.” But he heard Xie Xun say, “Cheng Kun, you might change your appearance, but you can’t change your voice. I only heard your cough, but I know who you are.”
The old monk grinned fiendishly and said, “Who would listen to such nonsense from a blind man like you?”
As soon as he opened his mouth, Zhang Wuji recognized him immediately. That day on the Brightness Peak, when he was held captive inside the cloth sack, he had heard Cheng Kun’s lengthy speech. He clearly remembered his voice. This time Cheng Kun deliberately made his voice sound throaty and his disguise was perfect, but in the end he could not change his voice.
Zhang Wuji leaped up to cut Cheng Kun’s escape route. “Yuan Zhen Dashi, Cheng Kun Qianbei [senior, older generation],” he said, “A real man is straightforward and upright. Why don’t you show your true face?”
Turned out Cheng Kun had disguised himself and mingled among the crowd. All along he managed to hide his true identity. But when the lady in yellow subdued Zhou Zhiruo, which he did not anticipate, he could not restrain from coughing lightly. Ever since he turned blind, Xie Xun’s ability to distinguish sound grew. Besides, he harbored a deep hatred toward Cheng Kun; naturally, he would remember Cheng Kun with an ‘inscribed in the heart, engraved on the bone’ kind of memory. To Xie Xun’s ears, this light cough was no less than a thunder in the midst of a clear blue sky; he recognized him immediately.
Cheng Kun realized his plot had fallen through and he had been exposed. Straightening his back up he shouted, “Shaolin monks, listen to this: The Devil Cult has come to disturb the holy place of Buddha. They are here to despise our Sect. Everybody must fight together. Show them no mercy.”
His followers immediately responded; they unsheathed their weapons and charged forward to fight.
Because his martial brother, Abbot Kong Wen, had fallen into the hands of the Temple’s rebels, Kong Zhi was forced to suppress his anger for quite a long time. This time, hearing Yuan Zhen issue an order to fight against the Ming Cult, he knew that his temple’s monks would suffer countless damage if a tangled battle ensued. Taking everything into consideration, in the end, the lives of the monks in his temple were more important. Thereupon he shouted, “Kong Wen Fangzhang has fallen into this rebel Yuan Zhen’s hands. All disciples must capture this traitor first then we’ll save Fangzhang.” All of a sudden there was great confusion on the peak.
Zhang Wuji saw that Zhou Zhiruo was still kneeling on the ground; she looked utterly dejected, he felt sorry for her. Zhang Wuji came to her, unsealed her acupoints, and helped her get up. Zhou Zhiruo pushed his arm away and leaped toward the crowd of Emei disciples.
They heard Xie Xun say in loud and clear voice, “Everything that happens today is between Cheng Kun and I, two people only. All kinds of gratitude and grudges ought to be concluded by us, two people, alone. Shifu, my entire skill came from you; Cheng Kun, my whole family was murdered by you. Your great kindness and deep animosity, we will settle it between us today.”
Cheng Kun realized that Kong Zhi had disregarded everything by giving the order; he also knew that the honest Shaolin Temple monks were simply too numerous compared to his followers, which were only about a tenth of the entire Shaolin disciples. It looked like his ambition to become the Shaolin Abbot had also turned into an illusion. He thought, “Xie Xun has committed all kinds of evil deeds. If I subdue him, I can push all the blame on him. His martial art came from me, plus he is blind; I don’t see any reason why I cannot defeat him.” Therefore, he said, “Xie Xun, I don’t know how many heroes and warriors of Jianghu lost their lives in your hands. Today, you are taking the bunch of Devil Cult’s devil heads to come to Shaolin and create trouble in Buddhist paradise, going against the heroes of the world. I regret teaching you martial art in the past. Now I have to clean up my own school; I have to punish you, a renegade disciple who betrayed his school’s forefathers.” He then strode toward Xie Xun.
Xie Xun raised his voice, “All heroes hear me: Xie Xun’s martial art was taught by this gentleman Cheng Kun. But because he failed to defile my wife, he murdered my father and mother, my wife and my son. Although I must love and honor my master, I must love and honor my parents more. I want to seek revenge on him, do you think I deserve to do it?”
All around the heroes thundered their response, “You deserve to seek revenge, you deserve to seek revenge!”
Without saying anything, Cheng Kun sent out his palm to hack Xie Xun’s head. Xie Xun leaned his head sideways to avoid the strike on his vital point. ‘Bang!’ the palm hit his shoulder.
Xie Xun grunted, but did not hit back. “Cheng Kun,” he said, “When you passed on this move, ‘chang hong jing tian’ [long rainbow traverse the sky], you said that as soon as you hit the opponent’s body, you must immediately send out the ‘hun yuan’ [originating formation] chi to injure the enemy; why didn’t you send out any strength? Are you getting old that your strength is gone?”
Actually, Cheng Kun’s first move was a fake one; he did not anticipate that the opponent did not even make any effort to evade so his strike was on target. But he did not send any power with this move therefore Xie Xun was not injured at all.
Cheng Kun’s right palm followed his fake left hand strike. Xie Xun leaned his head sideways again, but still he did not hit back. Cheng Kun sent out a chain-kick attack with his both legs. ‘Bang, bang!’ Xie Xun received these two kicks on the side of his body. These two kicks carried an extremely fierce force that even though Xie Xun’s physique was sturdy, he could not withstand it. ‘Wah!’ he spurted out a mouthful of blood.
“Yifu!” Zhang Wuji anxiously called, “Fight back! Why do you take a beating without retaliating?”
Xie Xun’s body swayed several times. With a bitter laugh he said, “He was my Shifu, I ought to take a couple of kicks and a palm from him.” With a sudden long whistle, Xie Xun flipped his palm and hack down on Cheng Kun.
“Bad luck! Bad luck!” Cheng Kun silently cried out, “I only knew that his hatred to me was as deep as the ocean, and that he would stake everything he has as soon as he sees me. If I had known that he was willing to take my first three moves, I would have strike him with killer strike and thus I would not have missed this good opportunity.”
Seeing the swiftness and fierceness of Xie Xun’s palm, Cheng Kun immediately swept his left hand diagonally to fend off Xie Xun’s palm power, while he moved a half turn toward Xie Xun’s back. Taking advantage of Xie Xun’s blindness, Cheng Kun’s palm silently pressed on Xie Xun’s back. But it was as if Xie Xun could see; he sent a kick backward. Cheng Kun leaped up gently. Like a big predatory bird, he swooped down from the sky. He was more than seventy years old, but his agility was not inferior to those of the younger people.
Xie Xun raised both of his hands to block. Cheng Kun’s downward strike met Xie Xun’s palms. Borrowing the momentum from the impact, Cheng Kun’s body shot up once again. He made a gentle maneuver in the air and struck down again.