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Wednesday, 30 July 2008 16:48

Chapter 32 - Little Li Flying Dagger


 
Ruined flowers had all fallen down, a few petals landed on Big Xue's body.

Lu XiaoJia was still sitting there, he hadn't yet gone over to look at his friend's corpse. As he looked at the sabre in Fu HongXue's hands, his cold and distant eyes suddenly started to glow.

"An incredibly fast blade!"

There was no response.

Lu XiaoJia smiled as his voice deepened, "It's a pity that it's not a hundred percent swift."

Fu HongXue still did not reply because he knew those words were true. Although he was able to slay Big Xue, it didn't mean that his blade was now as fast as it had previously been. Even the heartiest of men would suffer damages after fourteen days of pain and torment.

Lu XiaoJia smiled very cheerfully and mercilessly because the situation was completely under his control. He slowly said, "There is one thing that we both understand."

Fu HongXue did not inquire, because he knew exactly what Lu XiaoJia meant.

"If I wanted to take your life, today would be the ideal opportunity. Only a fool would let this kind of opportunity slip away."

"You ... you want to kill him too?" Cui Nong stuttered.

"Do I look like a fool to you?" Lu XiaoJia said with a smile. He peeled another peanut and tossed it into the air. His hand was steady and sure, but the peanut suddenly vanished. It looked as if a strange force pulled it from behind and into another person's mouth.

This person was sitting in the room that Fu HongXue was previously in, slowly chewing on the peanut and sipping on a cup of wine.

Fu HongXue turned his head and saw him.

That incessant spirit, Ye Kai!

Ye Kai smiled as he took another sip of wine.

Lu XiaoJia smiled as well as he said, "There are more dishes on the table, why must you insist on stealing my peanuts?"

"Because there aren't that many opportunities to be able to eat your peanuts. Only a fool would let this kind of opportunity slip away."

"You look like quite an idiot." Lu XiaoJia said.

"It's why I'm still alive." Ye Kai replied.

Lu XiaoJia let out a loud laugh. He suddenly leapt forward, and with a flip, he disappeared into the vast twilight.

Ye Kai poured himself another cup of wine as he mumbled, "Looks like the number of fools this year are getting less and less."

The lamp was burning, Ye Kai lit it himself. There was no one else in that building, the young girl with the deep smile was nowhere to be seen.

As Fu HongXue stood in the doorway, he saw the cup of wine in Ye Kai's hand. But he was no longer drawn to it at all.

Ye Kai drank the cup of wine himself and said, "I'm not going to toast you because I know you're never going to drink wine ever again."

Fu HongXue stared at him intently.

"But you can still come in and have a seat. This place ..."

Fu HongXue suddenly cut him off, "Who told you to come here? Who!"

"I have a mind of my own." Ye Kai said.

"Why are you always minding my business?" Fu HongXue asked.

"Who was minding your business?" Ye Kai replied.

"Just before you ..."

"Is me eating Lu XiaoJia's peanut considered part of your business?"

Fu HongXue gritted his teeth.

Ye Kai let out a sigh and said, "Although the number of fools this year are getting less and less, it appears that there are still one or two left."

Cui Nong slowly made her way through the garden. The darkness of the night had engulfed the land. Her tears had not yet dried as they glistened in her eyes. She heard the sounds of slow, peculiar footsteps behind her. She was walking pretty slowly herself.

The wind was blowing, the autumn stars all lined in up in the sky one by one. It sounded like someone was playing the flute in the distance. Flute sounds in the autumn night always seemed to be able to make one's stomach feel uneasy.

She was right at the door, but just as she was walking through, she heard a voice call, "You --"

Fu HongXue's eyes in the autumn starlight were like the moon reflecting on a lake's surface.

Cui Nong stopped and turned around.

Fu HongXue stared at her and said, "You're going to leave again?"

Cui Nong nodded her head, then shook her head.

"Why don't you ever wait for me?" Fu HongXue asked.

Cui Nong lowered her head and replied, "When ... when have you ever wanted me to wait for you?"

Those words were like a needle, a sharp but not necessarily cold needle.

Fu HongXue rushed towards her and embraced her in his arms. He held on to her very tightly as tears started to gush out and the sounds of Cui Nong's sobs echoed throughout the lonely garden.

"I thought that you would never want me again."

"Why? Why would you think that for?"

"Because ... because when you saw me with that person ..."

"I can't blame you for that. You thought that I looked down on you and didn't want you. That's the only reason why you went to someone else."

"You really don't despise me?"

"It was my fault to begin with, how could I blame you."

"But I ..."

"I don't care what it is, it's all in the past now. Why can't we just let it go?"

"You can really forget all that ..."

"I can only ask that you forget all the times that I mistreated you."

Cui Nong started to smile. Although the tears on her face had not yet dried, she started to smile. She started to smile very sweetly and very tenderly.

She whispered into his ear, "Are you really Fu HongXue?"

"Of course."

"How come it seems like you've become a different person?"

"Because I really have become a different person."

"Why? Are you afraid to tell me?"

Fu HongXue finally let out a light sigh and said, "I don't even know what caused this change. All I know is that after being apart from you for fourteen days, I never want to be apart from you again."

Cui Nong held on to him closely as tears fell from her eyes. They were tears of happiness, the kind that were more valuable than pearls.

A man is only a man. Even if his heart really had a layer of ice over it, ice eventually has to melt.
Love would always be greater than hatred. Even though hatred could sometimes appear to be much deeper and more intense, only love was something that was eternal and never-changing.

The person sitting at the window now was Ye Kai. When the wind blew, the faint sound of bells could be heard coming from behind him.

They watched as Fu HongXue and Cui Nong walked passed the garden and disappeared into the night.

Ding LingLin finally let out a sigh and said, "It looks like he's slowly turning into a human."

Of course, she was referring to Fu HongXUe. Wherever Ye Kai went now, she always followed along. She didn't make an appearance before because she was busy watching out for the young girls in that place. She didn't want any of them seeing Ye Kai, and she didn't want Ye Kai seeing any of them either. Even she admitted herself that she was a jealous woman.

"You don't think he was human before?" Ye Kai asked.

"At least I hadn't ever seen another human like him." Ding LingLin.

Ye Kai couldn't help but agree.

"I never would've imagined that he would be this tormented over Cui Nong either." Ding LingLin added.

Ye Kai smiled and replied, "You think that he was tormented over her?"

"Was it not her?"

Ye Kai shook his head.

"Why was he tormented then?" Ding LingLin asked.

"He always thought that he was better than CUi Nong, that she wasn't good enough for him."

"I could see that."

"So when Cui Nong really left him, he was especially hurt by it because he always thought that she would follow him forever like a dog."

"So you think that he was distraught because his own pride was hurt so badly?"

"It's only because he felt deceived. Any man would feel crushed after finding out that they've been deceived by a woman. Even if he didn't love that woman at all, he would've felt just as hurt."

"You don't think that he really loves Cui Nong?" Ding LingLin asked.

"That's not what I meant." Ye Kai replied.

"When what do you mean?" Ding LingLin asked.

"What I'm saying is, if Cui Nong hadn't left him, he would've eventually left her one day. And under those circumstances he definitely would not have been hurt." Ye Kai responded.

"Why?"

"Because he is unlike other people."

"How so?"

"Because his life is filled with enmity and hatred. So ..."

"So even if he did love Cui Nong, he still wouldn't be able to forget vengeance!"

"Exactly."

"It looks like you really understand him well." Ding LingLin commented.

Ye Kai let out a sigh, "No one else in this world understands him better."

"Why's that?" Ding LingLin asked.

Ye Kai suddenly fell silent.

"Is it because your life is also filled with enmity and hatred?"

Ye Kai was quiet for quite a while before he finally sighed and said, "Maybe so, but I'm not like him."

"Why not?"

Ye Kai's eyes fixed on a bright star in the far distance.

"Because I had the chance to meet a person."

"What kind of person?"

"An amazing person. If god really existed in this world, then this person would be god."

"So this person changed your entire life?"

Ye Kai nodded his head.

Ding LingLin bit down on her lips and fell quiet. After some time, she finally asked, "Is this person a man or a woman?"

Ye Kai smiled.

"It must be a woman, what kind of woman is she?" Ding LingLin said as her eyes lit up.

"If he was a woman, then everyone in the world would be female as well." Ye Kai replied.

"What do you mean by that?" Ding LingLin asked.

An indescribable reverence gleamed in Ye Kai's eyes. "I've met a lot of people before in my life, all kinds of people. But he is the only person I've ever met that can be considered a real man."

Ding LingLin smiled as well.

"I've never known anyone as benevolent as him." Ye Kai said.

"He must be an extremely straightforward and righteous person." Ding LingLin said.

"Even if you lumped every single compliment you could think of in the entire world on him, it wouldn't even begin to describe his kindness and benevolence."

"You admire him?" Ding LingLin asked.

"Admire is an understatement. Even if he told me to kill myself right now, I'd be willing." Ye Kai replied. He let out a sigh and added, "But of course he would never tell me to do so, he has always lived for others and sacrificed only himself."

The more that Ding LingLin listened, the more her eyes started to glow. "Just who is this person?"

"You should've heard of him before."

"Oh?"

"His surname is Li ..."

Ding LingLin immediately cut in, "Could it be Little Li Tanhua?"

Ye Kai laughed and said, "I knew you would've heard of him before."

The same respect and admiration suddenly filled Ding LingLin's eyes as well. She sighed and exclaimed, "Of course I've heard of him before, who in this world hasn't?"

"His legacy really is unforgettable." Ye Kai said.

"Especially the duel that he had with ShangGuan JinHong. Although no one in the martial world was able to witness it, but the legends about that one fight far exceed any myths or fairytales." Ding LingLin added.

"I've heard at least five hundred people tell five hundred different versions of that battle." Ye Kai said with a smile.

"I've heard countless different tellings as well. Everyone always insists that their version is right and that all other versions are lies." Ding LingLin said.

"But there is one thing that no one can argue."

"What?"

"Little Li's Flying Dagger, never released unless it hits!"

Ye Kai's eyes suddenly lit up as he continued, "Not a single person can deny, not even to this day, that there is no one in the world can dodge that dagger!"

Ding LingLin's eyes lit up as well. She let out a sigh and said, "It's a pity that his dagger has disappeared from the world. We'll never be able to see it again."

"Who said so?" Ye Kai remarked.

"It was said that after he defeated ShangGuan JinHong, he retired his blade and retreated from the world." Ding LingLin said.

Ye Kai let out a laugh.

"If he hadn't retired, then how come there hasn't been any news of him in the martial world?" Ding LingLin asked.

Ye Kai laughed again.

"Do you know something about his whereabouts?" Ding LingLin asked.

Ye Kai's voice fell serious as he finally replied, "Uncovering the Plum Flower Bandit, astonishing the Shaolin temple, and defeating ShangGuan JinHong were only a few small deeds that he's done in his life."

"Those things can be considered small?" Ding LingLin questioned.

"After his triumph over the Golden Currency Union, he performed countless other earth-shattering feats."

"Really?"

"Why would I lie to you for?"

"What other things did he do?"

"If I told you, I guarantee that your blood would boil and you wouldn't be able to sleep."

"Then why haven't I ever heard of any of these earth-shattering feats?"

"When Qiu Ranke counquered the ten countries beyond the seas and declared himself king, Li Jing never knew about it either. How could a little girl like you expect to know about Little Li Tanhua's actions?"

He didn't let Ding LingLin cut in as he continued, "A true hero never wants to gloat about his heroic deeds to the common people anyway."

Ding LingLin pouted and said, "I'm a common person. What about you?"

"I'm a commoner as well, but I've been more fortunate than you."

Ding LingLin held Ye Kai's hand tenderly as she asked, "Can you please tell me about those amazing feats? I'd rather not be able to sleep at night than not know."

"I'll tell you all about them when we have some free time."

"What about right now?" Ding LingLin asked as her smile became ever sweeter.

"I don't have the time right now."

"How about just one or two for now?"

"No."

Ding LingLin pouted and flung his hand aside, "Whenever I have something to ask of you, you always put a price on it."

"The price has to be high." Ye Kai replied.

"Based on what?" Ding LingLin asked as she bit her lips.

"Anyone who knew how brilliant and amazing these stories were would set the price that high."

"They were really that amazing?"

"I can guarantee that you've never heard anything more moving or interesting before."

Ding LingLin's expression softened again as she said, "Fine, then I'll let you have your way. When you want tea, I'll pour tea for you. When you want wine, I'll get wine for you. How does that sound?"

"The answer is still no."

"Why?"

"Because I really don't have the time right now."

"What is it you have to do now?" Ding LingLin asked.

"I have to hurry to 'Hero Manor'." Ye Kai replied.

"'Hero Manor'?" Ding LingLin questioned.

"'Hero Manor' is the Xue family Manor." Ye Kai said.

"The master of 'Hero Manor' is the father of Big Xue, Xue Bin. You want to go there to tell him the bad news?"

"I'm not a crow."

"Then what do you want to go there for?"

"If my guess is correct, then Fu HongXue should be rushing to get there as well right now."

"You want to go there just because he's going there as well?"

Ye Kai let out a laugh.

"Why does it seem that you're always more concerned about his business than you are with me." Ding LingLin asked.

Ye Kai laughed again.

"I've always felt that there is some kind of special connection between the two of you. What exactly is it?" Ding LingLin asked.

"Don't tell me that you're jealous of him as well? Don't forget that he's male." Ye Kai said with a smile.

"So what if he's a man? Sometimes men go for men as well ..." before she could finish, she started to giggle and her cheeks flushed red with a smile.

Ye Kai's tone was still serious as he said, "Back in his day, Xue Bin was considered quite a hero. His 'One Hundred and Eight Stances of the Sky Splitting Earth Scorching Ancient Divine Hatchet' was said to be able to sweep away the Taihang mountains with a single swing. I wonder how it is now?"

"Are you afraid that Fu HongXue isn't his match, and want hurry there to help him just in case?"

Ye Kai smiled and replied, "If Fu HongXue really isn't his match, then what help would I be even if I was there?"

Ding LingLin gazed at him and said, "Are you saying that your skills are far from Fu HongXue's?"

"From what I know, his blade is unbelievably swift. No one in this world can match it."

"But I've also heard people say that you have a frightening blade as well." Ding LingLin said.

"Oh?"

"In fact it's a blade that cannot be seen."

"Oh?"

"Stop playing dumb with me, just tell me the truth. Is that blade of yours the true essence of Little Li's Flying Dagger?"

Ye Kai let out a sigh and said, "Only Little Li's flying dagger is Little Li's Flying Dagger. Aside from Little Li Tanhua, there can be no other."

"Why not?"

"Because that blade is not something that can be taught. You either know it or you don't!"

"And you?"

Ye Kai smiled and replied, "I would be satisfied if I knew even one-tenth of it."

"I never knew you could be so modest." Ding LingLin said sweetly.

"I've always been a modest person." Ye Kai replied.

"A pity that you're a bit dishonest."

"So it's best that you don't hang around me. When my faults surface, I might even take advantage of you."

Ding LingLin's face blushed. She bit her lips and stared at Ye Kai.

"If you don't, then you're a cowardly turtle."


- END CHAPTER 32 -
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 August 2008 00:15 )