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Friday, 15 August 2008 02:19

Chapter 1 - The prettiest Boss' wife


 

Yellow Stoned Town is a big town.  This street should be a very lavish and bustling street.

But now it was deep into the night, the new moon looked like a hook as it shined down onto the green slab stone street.  Two horses carrying two men wearing green came galloping along, but there was no body on the street.

The man missing half his left ear and has a knife scar from the base of his left ear to the right corner of his mouth pulled his horse to a stop and asked in a heavy voice: “Do you think he would spend the night here?”

The purple faced man with a beard replied: “Yes!”

“He” is still a person, and “he” still had to sleep at night, it's just everybody knows that he has a problem with his sleeping habits.

The man with the scar asked: “If he was going to stay, where would he stay?”

The purple faced man didn't even have to think about it: “Vernal Greetings.”

“Vernal Greetings” has the most pretty girls.  “He” always has to sleep with a woman present somewhere, that was his problem. Everyone has some kind of a problem or another.

The big lantern by the front door of Vernal Greetins was still lit, red-colored glow enticing everyone to come and enjoy a red-colored night. The door was half open. The purple faced man gave his horse one jerk on the
reins and the two of them smashed through the door.

A skinny, yellow-looking man was sleeping on the bamboo chair in the yard. The whip in the purple faced man's hand suddenly wrapped around that man's neck as he ferociously shouted: “Did a man wearing red cape come in tonight?”

This man was nearly choked out of breath, all he could do was nodded feverishly. The purple faced man finally let him down and asked: “Is he still here?”
 
 
Trying to catch his breath, that man nodded again.

The purple faced man asked: “Where is he?”

That man answered: “He was just drinking it up with four people in Peach Flower Hall, the four of them were toasting him in turns, finally getting him drunk.”

The man with the scar's expression changed: “Which four people?”

That man answered: “Four very mean looking ones, but they seem to be very polite to him.”

The man with the scar asked: “Where are they now?”

That man answered: “I saw them help him into his room, I think they are still in his room!”

The purple faced man had already turned his horse and charged toward the peach garden to the left.  The lights in the Peach Flower Hall were still lit. The cups and dishes on the tables in Peach Flower Hall were a mess, there were three or four empty wine jugs lying about as well.

The man with the scar jumped and somersaulted in the air, he ran right up and kicked open the door at the back of the hall.  He stood there in shock.

There were only four men in the room, kneeling down in a row.  At first their faces were all white and pale, but seeing the man with the scar, suddenly their faced turned bright red.

The four of them had on lavish clothing, normally they would look very stylish. But someone had doodled on their faces. The first one had a tortoise drawn on his forehead, there were four words to go along with it on his face as well: “I am a tortoise”.

The second one had a turtle: “I am a turtle”.
Third one: “I am a pig”.
Fourth one: “I am a dog”.

The man with the scar just stood there, looking at them, looking at the drawings and words on their faces.  Suddenly he bursted out laughing, laughing so hard that he doubled-over, as if he had never seen anything so funny in his whole life.

The four men gritted their teeth and stared at him, their eyes were filled with hatred and anger, as if they would jump up and tear him to pieces at any moment. But they were still properly kneeling there, not only couldn't they jump up, they couldn't even move an inch.
 
 
Still laughing hard, the man with the scar shouted: “When did the famed Four Heroes of Jiang Dong' turn into tortoise, turtle, pig, and dog?”

The purple faced man had already ran outside in laughter.  He clapped his hands and shouted at the top of his lungs: “Everyone is welcomed to witness the might of the world famous four Heroes of Jiang Dong! Ten taels of silver to anyone that comes in, no matter who he is!”

The faces of the four men kneeling on the floor suddenly turned white, so much so that they almost looked clear.  Sweat dropped down from the forehead like rain.

Still laughing, the man with the scar commented: “Even though that guy is still a bastard, at least he's a good bastard.”

The purple faced man agreed: “At least this trip wasn't in vain.”

Suddenly the two of them stopped laughing, for they saw another person walking in with her head lowered.

She was at most 14 or 15.  Even though she was covered in makeup and jewelry, her face was still the cute and lovable like a little kid. With her head lowered, she lightly asked: “Are you two gentlemen looking for
Mr. Lu ?”

The face of the man with the scar darkened as he asked: “How did you know?”

The little girl weaking spoke: “Mr. Lu seemed just a little bit ago like he was drunk out of his mind, I happened to be sitting beside him, so I secretly drank two cups for him.”

The man with the scar sneered: “This guy really does have some pretty good luck with women!”

The little girl blushed and rebuked: “Well I wouldn't know anything about that! Then he suddenly sobered up, he told me that I had a good heart and that's why he's going to give me one thing to sell to you two.”

 

The purple faced man immediately probed: “What did he give you?”

The girl replied: “A... A sentence.”

The purple faced man frowned: “A sentence? What kind of sentence?”

The girl replied: “He said this sentence is worth at least 300 taels of silver, he also said that you two gentlemen have to pay before I can tell you this sentence.”

She also seemed to feel that this matter was preposterous.  Before she finished talking, her faced got even redder.
 
But the purple faced man did not even hesitate, immediately grabbing out three banknotes worth 100 taels of silver each and tossing them on the table in front of the girl. He said: “Alright, I'll buy that sentence of yours.”

The girl's eyes were wide open, staring at the three banknotes, not believing that there was such a man in this world, actually willing to pay 300 taels of silver for one sentence.

The purple faced man instructed: “Come over here and whisper it to me, don't let those four animals in there overhear it.”

The girl hesitated a bit before finally walking up the man and whispering in his ear: “He said: 'If you want to find me, first find the boss's wife.'“

The purple faced man frowned, he couldn't understand what the sentence meant. There were countless number of boss's wife in the world, every shop or store has a boss's wife. How was he going to find a particular one?

The girl suddenly added: “He said that if you don't understand this sentence, he could offer up another sentence as a hint. He said that this particular boss's wife is the prettiest in the world.”

The purple faced man stood there for a moment. Then, not saying another word, he simply gestured to his companion and started to walk out. The man with the scar followed him. He suddenly turned around, grabbed an empty wine jug, and tossed it. The empty jug neatly landed on the head of the second man, the jug was green in color.

The man with the scar bursted out laughing: “Now that looks like a real turtle!”

There was still quite a few pretty boss's wife in the world, which one's the prettiest?

The man with the scar frowned: “Does this guy want us to go into every shop and store and compare every single one of the boss's wives?”

The purple faced man simply replied: “No.”

The man with the scar asked: “Do you have some other plan?”

The purple faced man thought for a bit and said: “I think I might have figured out what he meant.”

The man with the scar asked: “What did he mean?”
 
 
The purple faced man suddenly laughed: “Did you forget what Zhu Ting's nickname is?”

The man with the scar bursted out laughing again: “Look like I have to get an empty wine jug for him as well.”
 
***
 
Zhu Ting never ran any kind of business before, nor has he owned any stores. Because he believes that no matter what kind of business or store you open, it will be hard not to have at least some time where you lose money.  He could never take that kind of a risk.

Actually there's another very important reason why he never opened any business, because he never had enough money to open a business. But his nickname just happened to be “The Boss”.

Zhu Ting was a man that understood enjoyment very well, and he's also open minded about anything.  When these two reasons come together, it just makes him fatter and fatter.

Fat people always looked like they have good luck, and only those with good luck can be bosses, so a lot of people call him Boss. In reality, he really does have a lot of luck. Although he was not very handsome, he has a very beautiful wife; he never did one serious thing in his life, yet he's always managed to live in a most comfortable kind of homes, wear the best kind of clothes, and drink the best kind of wine.

There's another thing about himself that he's very proud of-he had always believed that he was even lazier than Lu Xiao Feng. Once you take one look at him sitting in that big and comfortable chair, you would know that there aren't  many things that can make him get up out of it. Because no matter what kind of thing he's about to do, he would always “stop” and think about it for a bit.

To an open minded man, there is nothing in the world that has to be done once he thinks about it for a bit.
 
 
He's able to live such comfortably because, and only because, of his very skilled pair of hands that can make all kinds of weird stuff.  If you can imagine it, he can build it. Once he bet with somebody that he can build a wooden man that could walk. He won 50 swallow-feathered mats and 50 jugs of aged wine, causing him to gain another five catties worth of flesh.

Right now he's trying to figure out how to build a kite big enough to carry a man. In the past he had wanted to look and see what was below the ground, now he wants to go up into the sky.

 

It was just then that he heard hoofbeats outside, then he saw the two men dressed in green. This time the man with the scar didn't kick the door open, it was open to begin with.

As soon as he rushed in he glared at Zhu Ting and shouted: “Where's the Boss's wife?”

Zhu Ting casually replied: “If you want to find the boss's wife, then you should go to that convenient store across the way, she's in there.”

That man with the scar replied: “There's one here too, you are called the Boss, so your wife is the Boss's wife.”

Zu Ting laughed: “If the Boss's wife here knew that there were men from the Green Shirt Pavilion searching just for her, she would undoubtedly feel very fortunate.”  He recognized these two men.

“Green Shirt Pavilion” was not a pavilion, it was 108 pavilions, each with 108 men, a huge and powerful organization. Not only were they powerful, they were also very secretive.  So if they wanted to do something, only very rarely do they fail to do it.

These two men were men with portraits in the first pavilion of the Green Shirt Pavilion. Nobody knows where the first pavilion is located, nobody had ever seen the 108 portraits. But everybody knows that if someone can have a portrait in it, then he can pretty much do as he please around the martial world.
 
 
That man with a scar was called “Iron Faced Judge”.  It's rumored that when someone chopped down on his face with a sabre, the blade was destroyed, that's how the name “Iron Faced” came to be. The other man was known as “Soul Hooker”, for he had hooked a lot of souls with that pair of silver hooks of his.

Zhu Ting casually continued: “It's a pity that she is attending to some very important matter right now, probably don't have any time to meet you guys.”

Iron Faced Judge asked: “What kind of important matter?”

Zhu Ting answered: “She's drinking wine with a friend.  Isn't drinking it up with your friend the most important thing in the world?”

Iron Faced Judge asked: “Does that frien d of yours have Lu for his surname?”

Zhu Ting's face suddenly darkened: “You'd better get this straight, that man named Lu is her friend, not mine.”

Iron Faced Judge asked: “Where are they drinking?”

Zhu Ting answered: “Probably at that Clear Cloud Inn that the guy's staying at.”

Iron Faced Judge looked him over a couple of times, suddenly a poisonous smile appeared on his face: “Your wife is in a hotel, drinking it up with a famed womanizer, and yet you can still sit here?”

Zhu Ting casually answered: “Kids have to pee, wives have to cheat, these kinds of things nobody can control. What can I do if I can't just sit here? Climb onto the roof and do somersaults? Roll onto the floor and crawl?”

Iron Faced Judge bursted out laughing again: “I admire you, you are one open-minded fellow.”

He laughs heartily as often as possible, because he knows that when he laughs he look even more terrifying. When he laughs that scar on his face would suddenly quiver and he would look even more hideous than ghosts in an abandoned temple.

Zhu Ting stared at him: “Do you have a wife?”

Iron Faced Judge answered: “No.”

Zhu Ting laughed and lazily said: “If you have a wife as beautiful as mine, you would be open-minded too.”

 
 ***
 
 
Lu Xiao Feng was lying on the bed, a big cup filled to the brim with wine sat neatly on his chest.

The only reason that no wine spilled out was because he was just lying there, without the slightest of movements, almost like a dead person. He did not even open his eyes once all this while. His eyebrows were think, his eye lashes were long, and just above his lips he kept a mustache, a very well trimmed mustache.

The Boss's Wife sat on the opposite side, staring at his mustache. She really was a very beautiful woman, with her curved eye brows, her large eyes, and her delicate yet full lips, she looked just like a ripened honey, nobody could resist not taking a bite once catching a glimpse of her. But the most attractive and enticing thing about her was not her face, nor was it her body, but the style in which she carries herself.

 

If you were a man, you would be interested in this kind of woman.

But at this moment she seemed to be quite interested in that mustache of Lu Xiao Feng's, after staring at it for a long time, she suddenly let out a peal of laughter: “That mustache of yours really does look just like that pair of eye brows of yours, no wonder everyone keeps on saying that you have four eyebrows.”

It was like a flower blooming when she laughed: “Those who have never met you before could never guess that you have a pair of eyebrows on your lips.”

Lu Xiao Feng still did not move, suddenly he sucked, the cup that was on his chest was sucked toward his lips, the wine that filled the cup was sucked into his mouth, and “Gulp!”  They were gone. He then blew, the cup returned to its original position.

The Boss's Wife laughed again: “Are you drinking or doing magic tricks?”

Lu Xiao Feng, with his eyes still shut, did not reply, merely pointing at the empty cup sitting on his chest.

The Boss's Wife had no choice but to fill the cup for him again, but she couldn't help but comment: “You wanted me to come here and drink with you, then why are you just lying there like a dead man and not even looking at me?”

Lu Xiao Feng finally spoke: “I'm scared to look at you.”

The Boss's Wife probed further: “Why?”

Lu Xiao Feng answered: “I'm scared that you'll seduce me.”
 
 
The Boss's Wife bit her lips: “You purposely gave others the impression that there's something going on between you and me, and yet you are afraid that I might seduce you, what are you really doing all this for?”

Lu Xiao Feng replied: “For your husband!”

The Boss's Wife was surprised: “For him?  You really think he likes being a live turtle?”

Lu Xiao Feng responded: “Being a live turtle is still better than being a dead one!”

He did not gave the Boss's Wife a chance to cut in before continuing: “In the profession he is in, someone might try and kill you at anytime and anywhere.  He really has met too many people and know too many secrets!”

The Boss's Wife couldn't argue with this point, Zhu Ting really had done a lot of secret and strange things for a lot of people. Although they knew that his lips are tight, but who's lips could be tighter than those of a dead man? To kill in order to keep their secrets, that is the kind of thing that these kind of people could do at any given moment.

Lu Xiao Feng continued: “After he's killed, I doubt very much that you would stay a widow for a year!”

The Boss's Wife raised her eyebrows and sneered: “What kind of person do you take me for?  Fan Jin Lian?”

Lu Xiao Feng casually replied: “Even if you are Fan Jin Lian, I'm not Xi Men Qing!”

{This little exchange involve portion of the story from the Heroes of the Water Margins, one of the four Classics of Chinese Literature about a married woman and another man.}

The Boss's Wife stared at him; suddenly, she got up, turned around, and stared to walk out.  Lu Xiao Feng still lied there, not moving at all, not even having the slightest inclination to pull her back.

But just as the Boss's Wife walked out of the door, she immediate stormed back in and stood there at the head of the bed, hands on her hips.  “You really think that I don't know what you are trying to do?  You think I'm a retard?”

Lu Xiao Feng replied: “You're not?”

The Boss's Wife replied, louder than she needed to: “You got in a fight with him, yet you are still afraid that his life may be in danger, that's why you want others to think that there's something going on between you and me; for if I wanted 'prove' my 'innocence' I cannot let myself become a widow, of course I have to beg you to protect him.  With you protecting him, then others would have to think things over if they really wanted to kill him.”

Her anger was rising, as was the volume of her voice: “But did you ever think about me?  Why do I have to carry this stinking dark cloud around with me for?”

Lu Xiao Feng replied: “For your husband!”

The Boss's Wife suddenly couldn't come up with a reply.  Sacrificing a little bit for her husband is something that a wife should do.

Lu Xiao Feng casually added: “That's why as long as your husband trusts you, you do not have to think or even care about what others think!”

The Boss's Wife bit her lips and stood there blankly for a while before finally, unable to stop herself from asking, she asked: “Do you really think he trusts me?”

Lu Xiao Feng responded: “He's not stupid!”

The Boss's Wife stared at him: “But does he trust you in the same way?”

Lu Xiao Feng lazily sighed: “Why don't you ask him that question instead of me?”

He sucked in again and drank down the wine in the cup that was resting on his chest, he muttered to himself: “If those guys from the Green Shirt Pavilion aren't that stupid, they should be here soon, so you really should leave soon!”

The Boss's Wife suddenly looked worried: “They really are searching for you, but what for?”

Lu Xiao Feng casually replied: “I wanted to ask them that too, or else I would not have let them find me!”

 
 ***

 
Zhu Ting sat in that lazy chair of his, lost in his thoughts, whatever weird or strange thoughts or ideas they may be. All those weird and strange contraptions and gadgets came about this way.
 
The Boss's Wife gracefully walked in, holding a handkerchief with two fingers, and, twisting seductively, walked by him twice.  Zhu Ting didn't seemed to have noticed.

The Boss's Wife couldn't not control herself anymore: “I'm back!”

Zhu Ting replied: “So I see!”

The Boss's Wife purposely put on a very mysterious expression: “I just drank down a lot of wine with Xiao Feng, so much that I'm still a little tipsy right now!”

Zhu Ting replied: “I know!”

The Boss's Wife blinked a couple of times: “But other than drinking, we didn't do anything else!”

Zhu Ting replied: “I know!”

The Boss's Wife suddenly began to shout: “You know shit!”

Zhu Ting replied: “Actually, I don't know anything about shit!”

The Boss's Wife's temper picked up again as she loudly inquired: “I have just spend a huge chunk of time drinking with another man in his room, not only are you not jealous or angry, you can still stay here wondering about God knows what?”

Zhu Ting replied: “I don't wonder about things, that's why I'm not jealous or angry.”

The Boss's Wife put her hands on her hips again: “A man like him, a woman like me, together in a small room, is it possible that we were completely respectable the entire time?”

She sneered and continued: “Who do you think he is?  A saint?  Liu Xia Hui?”

Zhu Ting smiled: “I know he is a big asshole, but I trust him!”

The Boss's Wife got even angrier: “You are not angry or jealous because you trust him, and not because you trust me?”

Zhu Ting responded: “Of course I trust you!”

The Boss's Wife rebuked: “But you trust him more!”

Zhu Ting replied: “Don't forget that we knew each other all the way back when we were both still wearing diapers!”

The Boss's Wife sneered: “So you guys have been friends for 20 or 30 years, then how come you guys suddenly seemed to have turned to life long enemies, not even saying one word to each other!”
 
 
Zhu Ting casually replied: “Because he's a big asshole, and I'm a big asshole too!”

The Boss's Wife stared at him before finally letting out a burst of laughter, shaking her her head and laughing, she said: “The things that the two of you big assholes do, not only can't I figure them out, I get more confused the more I try.”

Zhu Ting responded: “Of course you can't figure out the things that big assholes do, you are not a big asshole!”

The Boss's Wife sweetly smiled and said: “At last, something that makes sense from you!”

Zhu Ting smiled a bit and casually added: “The most that you are is a small asshole, a very, very small asshole!”

 
 ***

 
Lu Xiao Feng's eyes were still shut as he was still lying there on the bed, with a cup full of wine sitting on his chest. This cup was poured by the Boss's Wife just before she left.  He would never have gotten up out of bed just for a cup of wine.

This bed was soft and comfortable, there's not that many people left in the world that could get him out of this bed right now. His red cape was hanging off the hanger by the head of the bed.  For some unknown reason, no matter when and where, he always carry a cape like this around with him. All you would had to see was this red cape and you would know that he was close by.

Iron Faced Judge and Soul Hooker had spotted the red cape at this moment, they saw it through the window. Then the two of them jumped in through the window, all the way to the head of the bed, staring down at Lu Xiao Feng.

Lu Xiao Feng was still lying there like a dead man, not a bit of reaction or movement, not even, it seemed, to be breathing.

Iron Faced Judge asked viciously: “Are you Lu Xiao Feng?”  No response.

 
Soul Hooker frowned, and coldly observed: “I suppose this man's dead!”

Iron Faced  Judge sneered: “Very likely, this kind of man can't live long to begin with!”

Lu Xiao Feng suddenly opened his eyes, shot a look at them, immediate closed his eyes again, and then started mumbling: “Strange, I could have sworn I just saw two men in the room!”

Iron Faced Judge loudly replied: “That's because there are two men in the room!”

Lu Xiao Feng asked: “If there really are two men in the room, then how come I didn't hear knocking a little bit earlier?”

Soul Hooker replied: “That's because we didn't knock.”

Lu Xiao Feng opened his eyes again and looked at them, he suddenly asked: “Are you two really human?”

Iron Faced Judge angrily replied: “What are we if we are not human?  Live ghosts?”

Lu Xiao Feng casually declared: “Humans knock before they enter a room, only wild dogs jump in through the window!”

Soul Hooker's face changed color as he suddenly cracked his whip.  Not only was he one of the four top double-hooked martial artist this side of the Great Wall, his kungfu and skills with this snake skin whip of his wasn't all that bad either. It's been rumored that he could smash a walnut that's resting on top of three pieces of tofu.

Obviously, Lu Xiao Feng is a whole lot bigger than a walnut, not to mention the fact that he's lying there on the bed like a dead man in front of him, so there was no way that this move was going to fail. But who knew that Lu Xiao Feng would suddenly raise his hand and skillfully snatch his whip between two of his fingers like an old beggar snatching fleas.

He didn't learn this move from Hua Man Lou, he taught it to Hua Man Lou.

The expression on Soul Hooker's face was just like that of Cui Yi Dong's when his sabre was caught, a flash of green, then white, and finally turning to red. He summoned up all the strength in his body, but he still could not rip the whip out between Lu Xiao Feng's fingers.

Lu Xiao Feng was still comfortably lying there, not a drop of wine in the cup that was sitting on his chest had been spilled.
 
 
Iron Faced Judge saw all this on the side with a astonished expression on his face, suddenly he burst out laughing and said: “Excellent, excellent kungfu indeed!  Lu Xiao Feng really is as good as the rumors say.”

Soul Hooker suddenly burst out laughing as well as he let go of the whip: “This time I made sure that this Lu Xiao Feng is the real deal!”

Iron Faced Judge added: “In this day and age, the number of fakers in the martial world increases every day, so our friend Lu here really shouldn't blame us for making sure.”

In a couple of exchanges, the two of them helped themselves out of an awkward position, but Lu Xiao Feng seemed like he had just fallen asleep again.

Soul Hooker gradually found it difficult to keep laughing as he lightly coughed twice and said: “I take it that our friend Lu already knows who we are!”

He seemed to be reminding Lu Xiao Feng not to forget that anyone in the “Green Shirt Pavilion” wasn't someone to be messed with.

Iron Faced Judge spoke up: “We only came because we were ordered to invite our friend Lu take a trip back with us, not only are we responsible for inviting and sending you off, but we are to make sure that not a single sweat hair of yours is to be harmed.”

Lu Xiao Feng finally lazily let out a sigh: “Why should I go back with you?  Not like your boss's wife would keep me company in bed!”

Iron Faced Judge's face darkened as he replied coldly: “We don't have a boss's wife there, but there's one here!”

Lu Xiao Feng's face darkened as well: “Since you guys already knew about this, then you should go back and tell that guy named Wei in your mansion that it's best if he does not bother Zhu Ting, or else I'll burn down all 108 of you guys's masions!”

Iron Faced Judge sneered: “If we killed Zhu Ting, we probably would be helping you wouldn't we?”

Lu Xiao Feng casually replied: “Haven't you guys ever heard before?  I have never liked widows.”

Iron Faced Judge replied: “Just as long as you agree to go with us, I promise you that the Boss's Wife would not be a widow any time soon.”

Just as he finished saying this, there came a knock on the door. Nobody outside was knocking on the door, the person that knocked was somehow already in the room.
 
 
He didn't use his hands to knock either, because he didn't have a hand.

 
 ***

 
Dusk again.

The setting sun shone through the window and neatly onto this man's face.  It couldn't really be considered a face.

Half of the left side of his face had been sliced away, the wound had shriveled up when it healed itself, pulling his nose and eyes over to that side - not one single nose, but half of one, and not a pair of eyes, but just one.

A dark and deep hole was all that's left of his right eye, there was a huge cross-like scar on his cheek, both of his hands had been cut off at the wrist, on his right wrist was a cold and menacing hook, and on his left wrist there was a huge iron ball which was larger than a human head. When compared to this guy, Iron Faced Judge suddenly seemed like a handsome, suave playboy.

Right now he was standing inside the door and gently knocking the door with the iron hook on his right wrist as he said coldly: “I'm not a wild dog, I'm human, so when I enter other people's rooms, I always knock!”

Once he started talking, the half of his face that was sliced off would start twitching, as if he was crying, but also as if he was laughing. Upon seeing his man, even Iron Faced Judge couldn't help but shudder a little. He actually had not noticed how this man had entered. 

Soul Hook had already taken two steps back as he blurted out: “Liu Yu Hen?”

 

A laugh that sounded like rusted blades grinding up against each other came from this man's throat: “There's actually someone in this world that actually still recognize me, so hard to come by these a days.”

Iron Faced Judge looked shocked: “You are that 'Handsome Gentleman' Liu Yu Hen?”

This kind of man was actually known as “Handsome Gentleman”?
 
 
But this man actually nodded as he quietly and sadly replied: “'Feelings are always like leftover hatred, no point in bring up past matters.'  'Handsome Gentleman' is dead, pity that Liu Yu Hen is still alive.”

{Yu Hen means leftover hatred, a play on words.}

Iron Faced Judge's expression changed: “Why... why did you come here?”

He seemed to have an unspeakable fear towards this man, so much so that even his voice changed.

Liu Yu Hen coldly replied: “Liu Yu Hen wanted to die 10 years ago, but somehow he is still alive today, I only came here asking for death.”

Iron Faced Judge asked: “Why would I kill you?”

Liu Yu Hen replied: “Because if you don't kill me, I'll kill you...”

Iron Faced Judge was shocked.  Soul Hooker's face was turning green.

It was at this time that there came another knock on the door.

This time the person that knocked was outside, but suddenly he walked in, he walked in without opening the door.

That thick wooden door was like a thin piece of paper in front of him!

He did not smash the door using an object nor did he kick the door using his foot, he just casually walked forward and the door just suddenly shattered to pieces. But he did not have a single bit of roughness in his appearance, he actually looked like a refined and gentle scholar, that white and clean face of his always had a smile on it.

Right now, he was smiling as he spoke: “I'm human too, I also knocked.”

Iron Faced Judge suddenly noticed that even when he smiled, there was a sharp and knife-like murderous look in his eyes.

Soul Hooker took two more steps back and blurted out again: “Xiao Qiu Yu!”7

{Qiu Yu means autumn rains, yet another play on words.}

This man smiled: “Excellent, friend, your knowledge is impressive!”

Iron Faced Judge was shocked again: “'Intestine Breaking Swordsman' Xiao Qiu Yu?”

This man nodded and sighed: “'The autumn rains and autumn winds brings worries', so whenever someone is killed, I worry.”
                                                
 
Iron Faced Judge couldn't help but ask: “What kind of worries?”

Xiao Qiu Yu casually replied: “Right now I'm worried because I can't decide whether I should kill you or I should let Brother Liu kill you.”

Iron Faced Judge suddenly burst out laughing, but his laughter seemed to be stuck in his throat, even he thought it sounded a bit like crying.

Soul Hooker was in even worse shape as he kept on look around the room, as if he was searching for a way out.

Suddenly, a man spoke up while laughing: “What are you looking for?  That pair of silver hook of yours?”

This guy was standing outside the window, his face was thin and black and his stature was short, but he kept a fire-like beard that covered most of his face, there was a pair of hooks in his hands, Soul Hooker's hooks. He smiled and said: “I have brought your silver hooks here for you; here, take it!”

When he said “it”, he gently pushed his hand forward and the pair of hooks slowly began to fly towards Soul Hooker, ridiculously slow, as if there was a pair of invisible hands underneath them.

Even Iron Faced Judge recognized this man as he blurted out: “'Forever Loner' Du Gu Fang?”

Du Gu Fang also nodded: “I rarely ever enter someone else's room, but this time I'll make an exception!”  When he finished, he had disappeared. He suddenly appeared at the door and knocked on the broken door; just as the sound of knocking could be heard, he suddenly reappeared outside of the window and suddenly jumped in through the window; smiling, he said: “I'm human too, I also knock.”

The door was obviously in pieces, yet he still went and knocked; after knocking, he still went and jumped in through the window.

Soul Hooker had already caught his hooks as he suddenly viciously shouted: “Are you here to trouble us too?”

Du Gu Fang casually replied: “I don't kill wild dogs, I only watch others kill.”

He actually grabbed a chair and sat down, sat down right by the window.  The sky got even redder outside of the window. Lu Xiao Feng was still lying comfortably in his bed, as if no matter what happens here had nothing whatsoever to do with him.
 
He knew about Liu Yu Hen, Xiao Qiu Yu, and Du Gu Fang. There's probably not that many people in the martial world that didn't know about them, but there are even less people that could make Lu Xiao Feng get out of
bed right now.  He seemed to be determined to stay and slack off in this bed.

Liu Yu Hen, Xiao Qiu Yu, and Du Gu Fang might not be the weirdest characters in the martial world, but they weren't that far away.  But now they actually came together and shown up here, what's all this for?

Although his face was looking very green, Soul Hooker still sneered and said: “Green Shirt Pavilion has not had any troubles nor grudges with you three gentleman, so why are you guys coming to trouble us today?”

Xiao Qiu Yu replied: “Because I felt like it!”

He smiled and continued: “I have always killed whoever I wanted whenever I felt like it, I felt like killing you two today, so I came to kill you!”

Soul Hooker shot a look at Iron Faced Judge and slowly asked: “What if you don't felt like it?”

Xiao Qiu Yu replied: “When I don't feel like it, even if you got on your knees and begged I wouldn't lift a finger!”

Soul Hooker sighed; just as he did, Iron Faced Judge jumped forth and somersaulted, with his pair iron judge pens in hand aimed right at Liu Yu Hen's Sudden Sky and Greeting Fragrance pressure points. His moves weren't fancy, but they were accurate, fast, and effective!

But Liu Yu Hen did not even seem to notice that pair of judge pens! He instead took a step forward. “Ba!”  The pair of iron judge pens had simultaneously stabbed into Liu Yu Hen's shoulder and chest. But the iron ball attached to his left wrist also landed on Iron Faced Judge's face. 

Iron Faced Judge's face suddenly split open. He didn't even mutter a single sound before crumpling down, but the hook on Liu Yu Hen's right wrist hooked onto him and prevented him from dropping onto the floor.

The pair of judge pens were still imbedded in Liu Yu Hen, although they didn't hit the pressure points yet, they were still in very deep. Liu Yu Hen did not even seemed to feel them as he only coldly stared at where
Iron Faced Judge's face used to be on his head; he suddenly said coldly: “Turns out that this face wasn't made of iron.”
A flick of the hook and Iron Faced Judge went flying out of the window, out to meet the real Judge.

It was at this time that pair of silver hooks that belonged to Soul Hooker flew out of the window as well. But he was still inside the room, his face was gray, his arms were drooping down, the joints on both arms were bleeding profusely. Blood was also dripping off of the little sword in Xiao Qiu Yu's hand.

He smiled, looked at Soul Hooker, and said: “Looks like you won't ever be able to hook anymore souls with that pair of arm of yours!”

Soul Hooker gritted his teeth, so much so that there was a audible grinding sound in the room, suddenly he screamed: “Why aren't you killing me!”

Xiao Qiu Yu casually replied: “Because now I don't feel like killing you, now I want you to go back and tell the people in your mansion that they better stay in that mansion of theirs and not come out for the next two months, or else they will find it very difficult to return to the mansion alive.”

The expression on Soul Hooker's face changed a couple of times as he did not say another word and started heading out the door.

Unexpectedly, Du Gu Fang suddenly appeared in front of him and said coldly: “You came in through the window, it's best if you left through the window as well!”

Soul Hooker stared at him viciously before finally stumping his foot. The two men that entered through the window both exited through the window as well.

Liu Yu Hen was staring at the darkening sky outside the window, lost in his thoughts, that pair of judge pens were still imbedded in him.

Xiao Qiu Yu walked over and gently pulled them out, seeing the blood pouring out from his chest, a bit of sympathy came from that pair of stone cold eyes of his.

Liu Yu Hen suddenly deeply sighed: “Pity... such a pity...”

Xiao Qiu Yu asked: “Pity that you didn't die this time?”

Liu Yu Hen did not respond!

Xiao Qiu Yu deeply sighed too: “Why are you doing this to yourself?...”

Du Gu Fang suddenly sighed too: “You break other people's intestined, but he breaks his own!”
 
 
***

 
Someone had died in the room and the room itself was a mess, Lu Xiao Feng was still motionless, as if he didn't see any of this. What's even weirder is that the three men didn't seem to have seen him either, as
if there wasn't a man lying on the bed.

The room had become dark.  They were just quietly and peacefully standing there in the dark, nobody spoke up, but nobody left either. It was at this moment that sounds of music came drifting in with the night wind,
beautiful sounds as if made in heaven.

Du Gu Fang's spirit seemed to have suddenly picked up as he said in a serious voice: “They're here!”

Who's here?  Who could make such beautiful music?

Lu Xiao Feng was listening too, nobody can resist not listening to this kind of music. He suddenly noticed that the room that was filled with the smell of spilled blood suddenly was filled with a sweet fragrance. A fragrance sweeter than the smell of flowers came drifting in with the wind along with the music, in a blink of an eye the world seemed to be filled with this amazing fragrance.

 

Then this dark room suddenly lit up as well.

Lu Xiao Feng finally could not resist opening his eyes, he suddenly noticed that flower petals filled the air. Fresh flower of all kinds were drifting in with the wind through the window and the door before gently landing onto the floor. A carpet made of fresh flowers seemed to have suddenly appeared on the floor, stretching all the way out of the door.

A person came walking in through the door.

Lu Xiao Feng had seen a lot of women, some very ugly, some very pretty.  But he had never seen a woman this beautiful.

She was wearing a soft, pure black robe that draped all the way down onto the floor, onto the fresh flowers. Her ebony black hair fell onto her shoulders, yet her face was white, her dark pupils were so dark that they shone. No other accessories, no other colors. She was just standing like that on the flowers, but the bright and color flowers on the floor seemed to have suddenly lost all their colors.

 

This kind of beauty was not of this world, it was something much higher, something that boggles the mind.

Liu Yu Hen, Xiao Qiu Yu, and Du Gu Fang had all quietly moved over to the corner of the room, their face filled with respect.

Lu Xiao Feng felt as if he was about to stop breathing.  But he still had not gotten up.

The girl in black quietly stared at him, her pupils were clear and pure like the spring dew drops on the rose petals at dawn. Her voice was also soft as the wind, lik e the spring wind that blew across the lakes in the faraway mountains at dusk. But her smile was mysterious, mysterious like the sound of the flute that drift in from faraway in the middle of a quiet and peaceful night, drifting and distant, making it impossible for anyone to nail down.  She stared at Lu Xiao Feng, smiling, suddenly she kneeled, as if a cloud in the sky suddenly came drifting down into the mortal world.

Lu Xiao Feng could not stay in bed any longer.  He suddenly jumped up. It was as if he suddenly became an arrow that was on a fully pulled bow, he broke through the top of the bed curtains; followed by a “Bang!” as he broke through the roof.

Moon light came shining in through the hole in the roof he had just made, but he was nowhere to be seen.

A very cute and honest looking young girl with big, round eyes was standing at the side of the girl in black, standing on the flowers.

Lu Xiao Feng suddenly running for his life as if he saw a ghost gave this girl quite a scare as she couldn't help but quietly ask: “Her highness was so polite and proper towards him, why in the world is he running?  What is he afraid of?”

The girl in black did not answer this question. She slowly stood up, gently stroking those soft, cloud like hair of hers and a strange expression appeared out of that pair of bright and shining eyes of hers; only after a long while did she finally whisper: “He really is a smart man, one of the smartest men in the world!”

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 15 August 2008 21:48 )