A raft drifting in the vast Beiming Sea.
Zhang CuiShan took a deep breath, and jumped high into the air. His Wu Dang’s lightness kung fu absorbed the best of each other sects. At this moment of life and death, he obviously used it to its full potential. As his body rose several meters into the air, Zhang CuiShan used the advanced ‘Cloud Stairs’, lightly tapped the side of the mountain, and shot up several more meters. The judge’s brush on his right hand swiftly began to make strokes upon the stone surface.
Yin SuSu turned pale upon hearing Xie Xun’s challenge towards Zhang CuiShan, after seeing Bai GuiShou, Chang JinPeng, Yuan ChangBuo, Mai Jing, Guo SanQuan, and others all died in Xie Xun’s hands. Although Zhang CuiShan has incredible kung fu skills, he’s still no match for Xie Xun. She said, “Elder Xie. Now that the Dragon Saber is in your hands, and everyone recognizes your superior kung fu, what else could you possibly want?”
Xie Xun said, “There’s an old saying regarding this saber. Do you know about it?” Yin SuSu said, “Yes, I’ve heard about it.” Xie Xun said, “It’s been said that anyone who holds this saber will rule the land. But what exactly is the secret that makes it so powerful?” Yin SuSu said, “Elder Xie is much more knowledgeable than I am. Please enlighten us.” Xie Xun said, “I don’t know either, which is why I need to find a peaceful place to find out.” Yin SuSu said, “Oh really? Elder Xie’s intelligence is unparalleled. If you can’t even figure it out, then I’m sure no one else in the world could.”
Xie Xun said, “Although I am arrogant, there are still many who are superior. For example, Shaolin’s Reverend Kong Wen…” He paused here for a moment, a hint of regret appearing on his face, “… Shaolin’s Reverends Kong Zhi and Kong Sheng, Wu Dang’s Taoist Zhang SanFeng, the leaders of E Mei and Kun Lun. All of them have unbelievable skills. Although the Qing Hai Sect lies far in the western regions, its kung fu is mysterious and exceptional. The Ming Sect’s Left and Right Messengers… Awesome! Even your Heavenly Eagle Sect’s Leader Yin, White-Browed Eagle King, is an exceptional talent. I doubt I could defeat him.”
Yin SuSu stood up and said, “Thank you for your kind words.”
Xie Xun said, “I want this saber, but so do others. Leader Yin made a mistake, for there is no one here who can match me in kung fu. He thought that Branch Leaders Bai and Chang were more than enough to handle the likes of the Sea Sand Sect or the Huge Whale Clan. But he never expected someone like me here…” Yin SuSu cut in, “It’s not that Leader Yin made a mistake. Something important came up at the last moment, so he couldn’t make it.” Xie Xun said, “That makes more sense. Had Leader Yin been here, I would’ve never came. First, because I doubt I could defeat him. Second, because we used to be old friends, so it would look quite bad for me to take saber from him openly. Leader Yin had always been a calculative person. It would seriously hinder his image for this saber to fall into my hands.” Yin SuSu, upon knowing that he was a friend of Leader Yin, decided to try to talk him out of challenging Zhang CuiShan, said, “It’s really hard to figure out how people think, how the Heaven thinks. That’s why the saying goes, ‘Planning depends on man, While success depends on Heaven’. Elder Xie really is lucky that you can obtain the saber so easily. While others who might’ve spent countless hours caculating could not.”
Xie Xun said, “After it came into existence, this saber had been in possession of countless people. Each died from owning the saber. Even though I have the saber today, what’s there to guarantee that a more powerful person wouldn’t take it from me?”
Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu looked at each other, thought that there’s something deeper behind Xie Xun’s words. Zhang CuiShan thought once again of Yu DaiYan, who was injured only because of his relationships with the Dragon Saber. While he himself is now likely to die after simply viewing this saber.
Xie Xun sighed, said, “Both of you are knowledgeable in both philosophy and martial arts, look handsome and beautiful. If I killed you, it would be like shattering two priceless porcelains, a pity really. But I have to kill you two.” Yin SuSu asked, “Why?”
Xie Xun said, “If there’s anyone left alive on this island, soon everyone will know that I had obtained the Dragon Saber. By then, many will come to take the saber away from me. I’m certainly not invincible. How could I be sure that the saber won’t be taken away? Forget others for a moment, just White-Browed Eagle King himself might possibly defeat me, not to mention all the other capable people in the Heavenly Eagle Sect who could help him.” As he spoke, he shook his head, said, “Yin TianZheng’s both outer and inner power strength and ferocity are unparalleled, and has my greatest admiration. To think, back in the days…” He sighed deeply, shook his head.
Zhang CuiShan thought, “So the leader of the Heavenly Eagle Sect is called Yin TianZheng.” He said coldly, “Are you going to kill us all to prevent any witnesses?” Xie Xun said, “That’s correct.” Zhang CuiShan said, “Then why do you have to point out the crimes of those people before killing them?” Xie Xun laughed, said, “This is so you people can die without regret, so you can die a little happier.” Zhang CuiShan said, “Looks like you’re a kind person.”
Xie Xun said, “Who in this world can escape death? What’s so different from dying a few years earlier and a few years later? It’s a shame that you two youngster, Fifth Hero Zhang and Miss Yin, would die such an early death. But in the context of history, your deaths really would mean nothing. Even had Qin Gui not killed Yue Fei back then, would Yue Fei have survived till today? One person should only ask to die in a peaceful fashion. It’s not easy for us martial artists to die without regrets. That’s why I want to challenge everyone here to their most accomplished ability, so they can die fairly. You two are still young, so I’ll give you a break. Choose any form of competition you like: weapons, fists, inner power, hidden weapons, lightness kung fu, underwater kung fu, whatever. I’ll agree to anything.”
Yin SuSu said, “Well, aren’t you arrogant. Anything’s ok?” From Xie Xun’s words, she knew that there’s no chance to escape. WangPan Island is isolated from everywhere else. With two Branch Leaders on hand, the Heavenly Eagle Sect would certainly not feel that reinforcements are needed. So although her words are sharp, her tone was quite uneasy.
Xie Xun thought, “Wait a minute. What if she proposes that we compete in embroidery? Or brushing hair or applying makeup? Then what do I do?” So he said, “Obviously it must be a martial arts competition. Or did you want to compete in eating and drinking? Actually, I’d probably win in those competitions too. Alas, I really don’t want to kill a lovely young couple like yourselves.”
Zhang CuiShan and Yin SuSu’s faces both turned red upon hearing the words ‘a lovely young couple’.
Yin SuSu’s elegant expression turned to a frown, asked, “If you lose, will you commit suicide too?” Xie Xun said with a smile, “How can I lose?” Yin SuSu said, “There’s always a chance to lose in any competition. This Fifth Hero Zhang is a renowned disciple. He just might be better than you at something.” Xie Xun said, “Even if he knows exquisite techniques, there’s no way his inner power is close to mine.”
While they conversed, Zhang CuiShan thought, “What should I choose to compete with him? Lightness Kung fu? My newly learnt fist form?” Suddenly he thought of something, and asked, “Elder Xie, if you force me to fight, then I shall agree to one. Should I lose, I will commit suicide immediately in front of Elder Xie. But what if we drew?”
Xie Xun said, “Then we compete in something else, until there is a winner.” Zhang CuiShan said, “Fine. Should I win, I won’t ask you to commit suicide, just to grant me a single request.” Xie Xun said, “Agreed. Now state your rules.”
Yin SuSu said with great concern, “What are you going to compete in? How sure are you of success?” Zhang CuiShan whispered, “Not sure. I can only try my best.” Yin SuSu whispered, “If you lose, then lets try to escape.”
Zhang CuiShan did not respond, thought, “Where can we escape now that the boats have all sunk?” He adjusted his robe and took out his Iron Judge’s Brush. Xie Xun said, “I’ve heard that you are known as ‘Iron Brush and Silver Hook Zhang CuiShan’. Where’s your Silver Tiger Hook? Why not take it out.”
Zhang CuiShan said, “I don’t want to fight you, just compete in writing some words.” As he spoke he walked over to a high, mountain, with a smooth cliff. Zhang CuiShan took a deep breath, and jumped high into the air. His Wu Dang’s lightness kung fu absorbed the best of each other sects. At this moment of life and death, he obviously used it to its full potential. As his body rose several meters into the air, Zhang CuiShan used the advanced ‘Cloud Stairs’, lightly tapped the side of the mountain, and shot up several more meters. The judge’s brush on his right hand swiftly began to make strokes upon the stone surface. Quickly, the word ‘martial’ appeared. After he finished, he began to drop down.
At this moment his left hand took out his silver hook, which quickly held on to the side of the cliff, allowing him to regain his balance. Then his right hand wrote out the world ‘world’. Each word contained all of Zhang SanFeng’s original ideas from that night, encompassing both hard and soft techniques. The words demonstrated some of the deepest martial arts philosophies of the Wu Dang style. Although the words aren’t deeply etched due to Zhang CuiShan’s shallow inner power, the speed and detail in which he wrote them are incredible.
When finished, Zhang CuiShan followed it with the word ‘most’, and ‘venerable’. He began to write faster and faster, only to see dusts falling down the cliff, until twenty-four characters were etched onto cliff. This engraving really seemed like Li Bai’s poem .