LXF01-03 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 15 August 2008 21:34

Chapter 3 - Bringing some justice



The walkway was dark and damp, as if it had never seen the light of day. At the end of the walkway was a huge door, the door rings on it were glistening. They pushed open the door and saw the Golden Roc Emperor.

The Golden Roc Emperor was not a tall and commanding figure.

{Note: A roc is a large, legendary, eagle-like bird popular in Eastern legends that was so huge that it carried off humans with its talons.}

He seemed to have been worn out by the passing of time, like a rooster that was just beginning to wilt in the morbid cold winds.

 

He was sitting in a recliner, the mattresses and blankets that was piled onto the chair and him made him looked like an old but stately pine tree that was so high on the side of the mountain that it was in the clouds.

But Lu XiaoFeng wasn't disappointed by his appearance, because in his eyes there was still flashed an indescribable air of class and honor.

That long eared and long legged hunting dog had already returned and was resting by his foot.

Princess DanFeng had also quietly walked to his side and kneeled down at his side, as if she was telling him about the trip.

Those pair of bright and diginified eyes of the Golden Roc Emperor did not leave Lu XiaoFeng the entire time. He suddenly spoke up: "Come here, young man."

His voice was low but powerful, as if whatever comes out of his mouth must be obeyed. But Lu XiaoFeng did not walk over to him.

Lu XiaoFeng wasn't someone who's used to receiving orders, so he actually sat down as far as he could in a chair opposite of the old man.

The room was dark, but the Golden Roc Emperor's eyes lit up as he demanded: "Are you Lu XiaoFeng?"

Casually, Lu XiaoFeng replied: "Yes, Lu XiaoFeng, not ShangGuan DanFeng."

He figured out that her surname was ShangGuan as well, in the old days everyone in their imperial court was surnamed ShangGuan, everyone in their imperial court was proud of their surname.

The Golden Roc Emperor suddenly burst out laughing: "Lu XiaoFeng really is Lu XiaoFeng, looks like we found the right guy!"

He continued: "You are looking for Hua ManLou?"

Lu XiaoFeng nodded.

"He's doing great, you can see him as soon as you promise to do something for me."

"What thing?"

The Golden Roc Emperor did not answer.

Instead, he stared at a very peculiar looking ring on his hand and his ashened face suddenly lit up in a peculiar way. After a long time, he finally, slowly, began to speak again: "Our dynasty is a very old and ancient dynasty. Much older than your present dynasty."

His voice became even more forceful, obviously boosted by the pride he had for his name and family.

Lu XiaoFeng didn't want to destroy an elderly man's pride, so he didn't say anything.

The Golden Roc Emperor continued: "Although our country has fallen, the blood that we bleed are still royal blood. As long as one of us is still alive, our dynasty will live on!"

Not only was his voice filled with pride, it was also filled with confidence.

Lu XiaoFeng suddenly felt that this old man really did have some very admirable traits on him.

At least he wasn't someone that's easily knocked down. Lu XiaoFeng had always admired this kind of people, he admired their courage and self-belief.

The Golden Roc Emperor went further: "Although our country was situated at a remote area, but we were always rich. Not only was the harvest constantly great, there were countless amount of gold and gems buried in the mountains."

Finally, Lu XiaoFeng could not help but ask: "Then why did you move to the central plains?"

Golden Roc Emperor's face lost some of its shine and there was a hint of pain and hatred in his eyes as he said: "Precisely because we were rich! Our neighbors coveted our land as they allied with Kazaken raiders and invaded our country!"

{Note:Kazakes are from modern day Kazakhstan.}

"That was more than 50 years ago. I was just a little kid then, my father had concentrated on laws and orders during his reign, so there was no way he could fight off the barbaric raiders among them. But he was still determined to fight until his death, to live and die with his country!"

Lu XiaoFeng concluded: "He was the one who made you move here."

The Golden Roc Emperor nodded: "To keep our strength so that we could still make a comeback some time later, not only did he make leave, he also divided the national treasury into 4 parts, gave each of his most trusted advisors one portion, and made them move into the central plains with me."

His face was filled with gratitude as he continued: "One of them is my uncle ShangGuan Sheng, he brought me here, used the portion of the money he was given to buy up the land and house, and made it possible for my family to live here without any worries. I will never be able to forget all he has done for us."

Lu XiaoFeng asked: "What about the other 3?"

The gratitude that was on his face turned to anger: "I have never seen any of them ever again after the day I left my father. But I will never, ever, forget their names!"

Lu XiaoFeng had just picked up some interested in this matter, so he immediately asked: "What is their names?"

With his hands in fists in hate, the Golden Roc Emperor said: "ShangGuan Mu, Hu DuHe, and Yan LiBen!"

Lu XiaoFeng answered back in a heavy voice: "I have never heard of any of them before!"

"But you must have seen them before!"

"Oh?"

"As soon as they arrived in China, they changed their names. It wasn't until a year ago did I finally found out who they are!"

He suddenly made a gesture towards his daughter. Princess DanFeng got up from where she sat and took out 3 rolled up painting scrolls from an old chest behind him.

In anger, the Golden Roc Emperor said: "These are their portraits, I would venture to say that you know of at least 2 of them!"

There were 2 portraits on every scroll, one was young and the other one old, the 2 portraits are of the same person.

Princess DanFeng unrolled the first scroll: "The portrait on top was what he looked like when he left our country. The portrait on the bottom was what we found out he looks like now."

This person had a round face full of smiles. He looked very warm and friendly, but had a very big and hooked nose.

Lu XiaoFeng frowned: "This person looks like Yan TieShan of the Yan family just inside of the Great Wall."

Gritting his teeth, the Golden Roc Emperor replied: "That's right. The Yan TieShan of today is the Yan LiBen of yester-years. I am so grateful to the heavens that he haven't died yet."

The 2nd man had very high cheek bones and his triangle shaped eyes were filled with pride, obviously someone with a lot of power.

When Lu XiaoFeng saw him, his expression actually changed.

The Golden Roc Emperor spoke up: "This is Hu DuHe, his name now is GuDu YiHe, he is the head of the Green Shirt Pavilion!"

Lu XiaoFeng looked shocked for a long time before finally replying: "I know this guy too, but I didn't know he was the master of the First Pavilion of the Green Shirt Pavilion."

He sighed deeply and continued: "I only knew that he is the head of E'Mei Sect!"

The Golden Roc Emperor observed: "He did the best job in hiding his origin, there is probably not a single person in the world that could have guessed the the honorable head of E'Mei Sect would be a shameless traitor!"

The third person was a thin, old man; small, lonely, clean, and steadfast.

Lu XiaoFeng was nearly shrieking: "Huo Xiu!"

"That's right, Huo Xiu. ShangGuan Mu's name nowadays is Huo Xiu!"

He continued: "Everyone says Huo Xiu is the weirdest, richest man in the world. 50 years ago, he was making his way through the martial world with his bare fists, then suddenly, as if through a miracle, he became the richest man in the world. Until now, other than you, there probably isn't anyone in the martial world that knows just how he came into possesion of all that wealth!"

Lu XiaoFeng's face suddenly turned white as he backed up several steps and sat down.

The Golden Roc Emperor stared at him: "I think you have figured out why I have invited you here."

Lu XiaoFeng stared at him for a long time before letting out a long sigh: "But I still don't know what you want."

The Golden Roc Emperor tightened his fists and slammed it down onto the arm of the chair: "I don't want much of anything, I just want justice!"

"Justice? As in revenge?"

The Golden Roc Emperor stared back at him in silence.

"You want me to go get revenge for you?"

The Golden Roc Emperor was quiet for a very long time before he suddenly let out a sigh and replied with a hint of sadness: "They are all old now, I'm old now. What's the point in killing them now?"

He immediately shook his head and refuted what he just said: "But I just can't let them get away with it like this!"

Lu XiaoFeng didn't say anything, he had no right to say anything

The Golden Roc Emperor continued: "First, I want them to give all the money that they took from the Golden Roc Empire back, so that it could be revived one day."

That does seem very fair and justified.

He continued: "Second, I want them to repent for their wrongs themselves in front of the altar to my father, so that my father would be able to rest in peace."

Lu XiaoFeng thought for a while and sighed: "Those 2 requests really are quite fair."

The frown on the face of the Golden Roc Emperor disappeared: "I knew you are a righteous young man and would never refuse this kind of request."

After thinking for another long while, Lu XiaoFeng said with a rather forced smile: "It's just that it is very hard to get those 2 things done."

"If you couldn't do it, then who could?"

Lu XiaoFeng sighed: "Maybe nobody."

He immediated added: "Nowadays these 3 men are all among the most famous and admired men in the world, if they really do what you want them to do, then it's the same as admitting their crimes back then. Their fame, their power, their riches would all be destroyed!"

The Golden Roc Emperor's expressioned turned even more serious: "I already figured that they would never admit what they did."

Lu XiaoFeng observed: "It's not that they are scarily wealthy and powerful, they are all indescribly and incredibly amazing at kungfu." The Golden Roc Emperor nodded: "Father gave such a great responsibility to them precisely because they are the best fighters in the Golden Roc Empire."

Lu XiaoFeng added: "Not to mention that in the last 50 years, they were all undoubtly fearing that you would come to them seeking revenge, so who knows how much their kungfu had advanced."

He sighed and continued: "I have always said that there are really only 5 or 6 real kungfu masters in the world today. Huo Xiu and DuGu YiHe are in that group."

Women are always curious, so Princess DanFeng couldn't help but ask: "Who are the other 3 or 4?"

"The Abbot of ShaoLin, Father Despair, and the Elder of WuDang, Taoist Mu, both are to the point of beyong comprehension in terms of inner and outter kungfu. But if you are considering fast and amazing sword techniques, then you have to include "Master of the White Cloud Castle" Ye GuCheng of the Flying Goddess Island in the South Sea and XiMen ChuiXue of the Thousand Plum Mansion."

Princess DanFeng stared at him and asked: "How about yourself?"

Lu XiaoFeng smiled, only smiled and did not answer, he didn't need to answer.

The Golden Roc Emperor suddenly sighed and, with great sadness, said: "I know that this matter is very troublesome, that's why I won't force you to help us, why not consider it for a bit?"

Suddenly his demeanor turned to anger as he tightened his fist again in anger: "But no matter what we have to fight it out with them, as long as there is one of us left we will keep on fighting!"

Lu XiaoFeng sighed: "I know...."

After a long silence, the Golden Roc Emperor suddenly broke out into a forced smile: "No matter what happens, Mr. Lu is still our honored guest! Where's the wine?"

Princess DanFeng lowered her head and replied: "I'll go tell the servants to bring some right now."

The Golden Roc Emperor instructed: "Get our best Persian wine, and invite Mr. Hua here as well."

"Yes, father."

The Golden Roc Emperor looked at Lu XiaoFeng, suddenly his expression turned to one of pride again as he slowly said: "No matter what happens, you are already our friend. The descendents of the Golden Roc Empire would never ever use anything to force our friend to do things."

______________________________

The cup was ancient and delicate, the wine was slightly purple in color.

Lu XiaoFeng silently watched Princess DanFeng pour the wine into the ancient and delicate cup, Hua ManLou was sitting at his side.

They didn't say anything to each other when they met, they only had a firm handshake.

That was enough to explain everything. Princess DanFeng finished pouring the wine, she had only poured 3 cups.

The Golden Roc Emperor looked up and smiled: "I haven't drank in years, but I'll make an exception tonight for our guests."

But Princess DanFeng was shaking her head: "I'll drink for you, remember your leg?"

The Golden Roc Emperor gave her a quite ferocious stare before finally breaking out into a smile: "Alright, I won't drink. Luckily watching other people drink is quite exhilarating as well, good wine always bring great spirits and energy."

Princess DanFeng explained to Lu XiaoFeng with a smile: "If father drinks any kind of alcohol, both of his legs would immediately swell up, to the point that it's impossible for him to walk. Please forgive him for not being able to drink with you."

Lu XiaoFeng picked up his cup with a smile.

Princess DanFeng turned her body so that her back was facing her father and suddenly gave Lu XiaoFeng a very strange look. So strange that Lu XiaoFeng did not understand what it was for.

Princess DanFeng picked up her cup with a smile and said: "Father has kept this wine around for years, hopefully it is up to our guest's standards."

She lifted her cup and drank the wine first herself, then lightly sighed and said: "Such good wine."

It's very rare that a host would repeatly praise his or her own wine and Princess DanFeng was absolutely not a person who likes to brag about herself.

Lu XiaoFeng was completely puzzled when he suddenly realized that he wasn't drinking wine, he was drinking dyed water.

He suddenly understood what Princess DanFeng was doing, and feared that Hua ManLou would not be able to figure it out because he didn't see her expression.

But Hua ManLou was smiling, smiling as he drank all of the "wine" in his cup, afterwards he also lightly sighed and said: "Such good wine."

Smiling, Lu XiaoFeng added: "This is just about the best wine I have ever had!" The Golden Roc Emperor busted out laughing, his first real laugh, and said: "Such a good wine is really hard to come by, but only you 2 are really fit to drink such good wine."

Lu XiaoFeng downed 3 more cups in quick succession before suddenly saying, with a smile, "Such good wine can't possibly be drank without compensation."

The Golden Roc Emperor's eyes lit up: "Are you saying...."

Lu XiaoFeng let out a long and deep sigh: "The justice that you are looking for, I will give my best to give it to you."

The Golden Roc Emperor quickly stood up, walked up to him, and put his hands on his shoulders. Tears of gratitude flooded into the old and sad eyes of his. He tried to talk, but only choked out: "Thank you, thank you so much, thank you...."

He kept on repeating and repeating that until everyone had lost count exactly how many times he said it.

Princess DanFeng, standing at his side, had to quietly turn around and quickly wipe off the tears gathering in her eyes.

Only after a long time did the Golden Roc Emperor calm down a little as he said: "Although DuGu Fang has the same surname as DuGu YiHe, the 2 of them have a lot of hatred and enmities between them; that half of Liu YuHen's face was sliced off by Yan TieShan and Xiao QiuYu just happens to be a friend of his that would gladly die for him. As long as you are willing to help us do this, the 3 of them would follow your lead to the depth of hell if that's where you have to go."

But Lu XiaoFeng shook his head: "I think it's best if they stay here."

The Golden Roc Emperor frowned: "Why?"

Lu XiaoFeng sighed: "I know that they are first rate masters in the martial world, but asking them to go up against DuGu YiHe and Huo Xiu is like asking them to commit suicide."

"You... you don't need any help?"

"Of course I do."

With a smile, he gently patted Hua ManLou's shoulder: "We've been partners for the longest time anyways."

The Golden Roc Emperor stared at Hua ManLou, he didn't seem to be too sure about this suggestion.

He really found it hard to believe that this blind man could be better than the likes of Liu YuHen and Xiao QiuYu. Nobody would believe it.

But Lu XiaoFeng had already moved on: "Other than him, I need to get 2 or 3 more men."

"Who?"

"Got to get Zhu Ting first."

He smiled: "Although Zhu Ting is no fighter, but he is very useful."

The Golden Roc Emperor waited for his explanation.

"Since you have found them, it is very likely that they have found you as well. You want to get justice from them, it is also very likely they will try to move before us and kill you."

The Golden Roc Emperor sneered: "I'm not afraid of that."

Lu XiaoFeng sighed: "You're not afraid, I am. That's why I have to get Zhu Ting here, only he can turn this place into an impenetrable fortress."

"He understands gadgets and such things?"

Lu XiaoFeng smiled: "If he wanted to, he could probably make a chair that bites."

The Golden Roc Emperor smiled as well: "Seems like you really do have some very interesting friends."

"But now I only hope that I could motivate one of them to help me on this matter."

The Golden Roc Emperor's eyes lit up: "How helpful would he be?"

"If he's willing to help, then this matter would actually have a chance of being accomplished."

"Who is he?"

"XiMen ChuiXue!"

______________________________

The hall way had become even more dark and mysterious, for it was now afternoon.

Princess DanFeng had her head bowed and her ebony colored hair fell onto her shoulders like a gentle stream. Lightly, she said: "I don't know how to thank you for what just happened."

Lu XiaoFeng asked: "Are you talking about that cup of wine?"

Princess DanFeng's face turned red for a moment as she bowed her head even more: "I'm sure you have noticed by now that father is a very proud man, and he really can't take anymore shocks or setbacks. So I really do not want to let him find out the truth."

"I understand."

Princess DanFeng sighed: "Other than the rooms that my father stays in, his bedroom and the guest room, all the other rooms are empty. Even those precious aged wine were slowly sold off one by one."

Her head got even lower as she was practically looking at her feet: "We really don't have anybody productive in our house. Trying to maintain it the way it is was hard, besides, we had a lot to do. To find you, I even had to pawn away that string of pearls that my mother left me."

Lu XiaoFeng sighed: "I didn't know much about your situation, but that cup of wine told me a lot."

Princess DanFeng suddenly lifted her head up and stared at him: "Did you finally agree because you found out what our situation was really like?"

"That and the fact that he already considered me as a friend and did not use anything to threaten or blackmail me."

Princess DanFeng stared at him, those beautiful eyes of hers were filled once again with tears of gratitude.

So she quickly bowed her head again and said in a tender voice: "I was wrong the entire time. I thought that you are a person that would never be moved by feelings and sympathy."

The entire time, Hua ManLou had been smiling. He listens a lot and says very little, only now did he finally speak up: "I told you, this guy may be tough and stinky on the outside, but inside his heart is actually softer than tofu!"

Princess DanFeng suppressed a little laugh and replied: "I say you are also wrong."

"Oh?"

"He does look very tough and hard, but not stinky at all."

Her face had turned red even before she had finished what she said. So she immediately changed the subject: "Our guest bedroom is really very simple and homely, hope that you won't mind that too much."

Lu XiaoFeng cleared his throat: "Maybe we shouldn't have agreed to stay for dinner."

Princess DanFeng suppressed another little laugh: "Don't for get those 4 gold ingots that you left for us." Lu XiaoFeng's eyes lit up: "Did you know that Old Man Huo was one of the guys that you are after?"

"We only found out when you told us."

Lu XiaoFeng's expression suddenly turned very serious: "But how did you know that DuGu YiHe is the head of the Green Shirt Pavilion? This is just about the greatest secret and mysterious in all of the martial world."

Princess DanFeng hesitated before finally answering: "Because Liu YuHen was his most trusted friend once. He's also the reason why the charming and suave 'Handsome Gentleman' Liu YuHen of the past looks like what he looks like now."

Lu XiaoFeng's eyes lit up again, as if he had finally figured out a lot of stuff that's been troubling him.

______________________________

The guest bedroom was big, but other than a bed, a table, and several old looking chairs, there was almost nothing else in the room.

Hua ManLou sat down, although he couldn't see, it was almost as if he could feel where the chair was.

Lu XiaoFeng looked at him, suddenly popping the question: "You ever sat down on nothing?"

Hua ManLou smiled: "Do you want me to sat down on nothing?"

Lu XiaoFeng smiled too: "I only hope that the next time you sit down, you would suddenly find yourself sitting on a girl."

"You would know more about that than me."

Lu XiaoFeng said drily: "If you knew about that as much as I did, then maybe you wouldn't fallen for their trick."

"Who's trick?"

"Already forgot about ShangGuan FeiYan?"

Hua ManLou smiled: "I didn't fall for anyone's trick, I came here on my own accord."

Lu XiaoFeng was very surprised by this: "You willingly came here? Why?"

"Maybe it's because recently my days have been too peaceful since I moved out on my own, I really wanted to do a couple of dangerous things."

Lu XiaoFeng sneered: "Maybe you were just deceived by a really good looking liar!"

Hua ManLou smiled: "Maybe she really is a good liar, but she told me the truth."

"Maybe because she found out that the best way to trick men like you is to tell the truth."

"Maybe."

"Her goal was to get you here, now that you are here, her goal has been accomplished."

Hua ManLou smiled: "You seemed to be trying to get my mad."

"You are not getting mad?"

Still smiling, Hua ManLou smiled: "Why should I be mad? They came and got me here with their carriage, treated me like an honored guest. The weather here is just wonderful and, in the yard, the flowers are just in bloom. Besides, now that you are here, even if I really was tricked by her I really don't have anything to complain about."

Lu XiaoFeng couldn't help but laugh: "Seems like it's just impossible to get you mad."

Hua ManLou suddenly asked: "Are you really thinking about asking XiMen ChuiXue?"

"Mmhmm."

"Can you really motivate him to mess with other people's business?"

With a dry smile on his face, Lu XiaoFeng replied: "I know that there really doesn't seem to be anything in the world that could move him, but I still got to go try."

"Then what?"

"I haven't thought that far yet, right now I'm just thinking about going outside and take a look around."

"Looking around for what?"

Lu XiaoFeng laughed: "Maybe I want to get a good look at ShangGuan FeiYan."

Hua ManLou was still smiling, but there was a bit of uneasiness in his smile as he casually replied: "You won't find her!"

"Oh?"

"I haven't heard her voice since I got here, seems like she had left this place."

Lu XiaoFeng stared at him, a worried look suddenly seemed to appear on his face.

But Hua ManLou just laughed some more: "She seemed to be one of those girls that never settles down or rests, always up to something."

Lu XiaoFeng suddenly laughed as well: "Actually, aren't all women like that?"

______________________________

The room had just turned a bit darker. Hua ManLou quietly sat there by himself, looking as happy and peaceful as he always do. He will always be happy and satisfied, because where ever he may be, he always could feel a bit of joy and love that nobody else could.

Right now he's enjoying the beautiful spring sunset.

Suddenly he heard the sound of door knocks.

By the time he heard the knocking, the person had already entered. Actually it was 2 people, DuGu Fang and Xiao QiuYu.

But there was only the sound of one person's footsteps, the sound of DuGu Fang's footsteps was literally lighter and quieter than the gentle spring breeze.

Hua ManLou smiled: "Please sit down, there are more than 2 empty chairs here."

He did not ask who they were, nor why they had come. No matter who entered his room, he would always be this warm and friend, would always give all that he have for this person to enjoy.

DuGu Fang's face darkened as he answered coldly: "How do you know that there are 2 of us? Are you really blind?"

He had always thought that nobody would be able to hear his footsteps, he had always been very confident in his lightness kungfu. That's why he's not very happy at the moment.

But Hua ManLou was still as happy and peaceful as ever as he smiled and answered: "Sometimes I wonder if I'm really blind myself. I always thought that only those with eyes but refused to see are really blind."

Xiao QiuYu was smiling as well: "You forgot about another kind of men that are also blind."

"Which kind?"

"The dead kind!"

Hua ManLou smiled: "How do you know that dead people are blind? Maybe dead people see a lot of things like we do. None of us have died yet, so how could we really know what dead people knows or sees?"

Coldly, DuGu Fang answered: "Maybe you'll soon find out!"

Casually, Xiao QiuYu added: "We really don't know you, and we don't have any grudges against you either, but we are still here to kill you!"

Not only was Hua ManLou not surprised, he did not even seem to be the least bit unhappy about this. He was still smiling: "Actually, I have been waiting for you 2 for a while!"

DuGu Fang asked: "You knew that we would come to kill you?"

"Lu XiaoFeng is not stupid, but he has offended a lot more people than he realizes. This is because when he talks, he sometimes is like a cannon!"

DuGu Fang snickered.

Hua ManLou added: "Nobody likes to be told that he's no match for a blind man. Especially not 2 masters like you, this is really an intolerable thing. So of course you are going to come to this blind man to see how I stack up."

His expression was still peaceful as he continued: "This is the kind of thing that the heroes and men in the martial world can stand the least!"

DuGu Fang jabbed: "How about you?"

"I'm not a hero, I'm just a blind man."

Although DuGu Fang was still snickering, a look of shock had appeared on his face.

How could this blind man know so much?

Xiao QiuYu cut in: "You knew we were coming, and yet you still waited here?"

"Where can a blind man run off to?"

DuGu Fang suddenly shouted: "To hell!"

As he shouted, he made his move. A one-handed lance headed for Hua ManLou's throat like a poisonous snake while the sword Stomach Breaker was thrusted as well.

His moves were slow, so slow that they didn't create any wind or sound. A blind man can't see the sword, the only thing he could do was to listen for the sound the sword creates.

But this move did not make any sound, so this move is truly a move that can break open a blind man's stomach.

Not to mention that one-handed lance was in front of the sword, if the lance missed, the sword would surely hit. But Xiao QiuYu figured wrong.

Other than hearing, this blind man seemed to have another amazing and mysterious sense.

He already seemed to sense, somehow, that the real danger wasn't coming from the lance, but from the sword. But he couldn't see nor hear the sword.

Before the sword arrived, he suddenly somersaulted. When the lance glanced by his shoulder, his hands had come together on the sword.

"Deng! Deng!" This hundred year old sword suddenly broke into 3 sections. The enemy's stomach hadn't been broken yet and his sword already was.

The longest section was still in Hua ManLou's hand. He flipped his hand and the tussel of the lance was tangled with the blade.

DuGu Fang was taken aback. Even under the light of the sunset, Xiao QiuYu's face still looked deathly white.

Still smiling, Hua ManLou said: "I didn't really want to offend Mr. Xiao QiuYu, but this move by Mr. Xiao was really bordering on cruelty to a blind man. I only hope that after Mr. Xiao find a replacement for this sword, he would leave a bit of room for himself so that he would at least have a chance to live."

______________________________

The garden really was filled with a lot of flowers, but now much of them have been picked.

Only now did Lu XiaoFeng figure out where all the flowers Princess DanFeng had with her came from.

It was at this moment that he saw that little girl again.

ShangGuan Xue-Er was just standing there amist the flower bushes, under the light of the setting sun. The faint light of the setting sun shone done onto her soft and smooth hair.

She still looked so obedient and honest, as if she had never ever said half a lie.

Lu XiaoFeng smiled, he couldn't help but walk over and say: "Hey, older cousin."

ShangGuan Xue-Er looked over at him and smiled as well: "Hey, younger cousin."

"How are you?"

"Not good."

"Why not?"

"Because I have worries, a lot of worries."

Lu XiaoFeng suddenly noticed that there was an indescribible look of worry in those bright and shining eyes of hers, even her sweet smile seemed to have a faint hint of being forced.

He had to ask: "What kind of worries?"

She answered: "I'm worried about my sister."

"Your sister? ShangGuan FeiYan?" ShangGuan Xue-Er nodded.

Lu XiaoFeng asked: "Why are you worried about her?"

"She suddenly disappeared!"

"When did she disappear?"

"The day that Hua ManLou arrived, which is also the day we left to go look for you."

Lu XiaoFeng stared at her: "If you are so worried about her, why aren't you searching for her?"

"Because she told me that she was going to stay here to wait for us to come back."

"You believe everything she says?"

"Of course!"

Lu XiaoFeng couldn't help laughing a little: "If she didn't leave, how did she suddenly disappear then?"

"I can't figure it out either, that's why I'm looking for her."

"In the flower garden?"

"Mmhmm."

"Could she be hiding in the garden, hiding for days in fact?"

"I'm not searching for her, I'm searching for her body."

Lu XiaoFeng frowned: "Her body?"

"I figured that she has been killed and buried here, in the garden."

"This is your own home, how could there be someone who wants to kill her?"

"Although this is my home, but there are others here."

"Others?"

"Like your friend Hua ManLou for example."

"You think Hua ManLou would kill?"

"Why not? Everyone can kill, even the old king himself!"

"The old king could have killed her too? Why?"

"That's why I'm looking for her, because I don't know!"

Lu XiaoFeng lightly sighed: "You worry too much, a 12 year old girl shouldn't worry so much."

ShangGuan Xue-Er looked at him, looked at him for a long time before finally, and slowly, ask: "Who said I'm only 12?"

"Your older cousin."

You believe what she says but not what I say?"

______________________________

Hua ManLou asked: "Not going to look for her?"

Lu XiaoFeng replied: "Even her younger sister can't find her, what hope have I got?"

The peaceful expression on Hua ManLou's face showed a little bit of worry once again. Obviously, he has more than just normal feelings towards this suddenly disappeared girl, he couldn't hide that even if he tried.

When this feeling gets into a person's heart, it's like a diamond in the middle of a sand pile, everyone can see it at one glance.

Of course, Lu XiaoFeng saw this as well, so he immediately asked: "Have you met her younger sister?"

Hua ManLou replied: "No."

Lu XiaoFeng sighed: "Seems like your luck isn't that bad, at least it's better than mine."

"Her younger sister is a little brat?"

Lu XiaoFeng smiled out of exasperation: "Not just a little brat, she's a little devil! Not only could she trick dead people into coming back to life again when she lies, she also has a case of paranoia."

"A little kid could have paranoia?"

"Her paranoia is almost worse than an old grandma's. She's actually thinking that her sister might have been killed, she' even suspecting you or the Golden Roc Emperor as the killer."

He wanted to make Hua ManLou a bit happier, so he started to laugh.

But Hua ManLou did not look the least bit amused.

So Lu XiaoFeng had to add: "Don't you think that this paranoia of hers is funny?"

"Not at all."

"ShangGuan FeiYan is only a little girl as well, the most she could do is lie a little. Try and find a 18 or 19 year old kid that doesn't lie. Why would anyone want to kill her?"

Hua ManLou was quiet for a long time before slowly replying: "Right now, I'm only hoping for one thing."

"Hoping for what?"

Hua ManLou smiled and replied: "I only hope that they wouldn't serve fake wine tonight."

Lu XiaoFeng didn't ask anything more about this, because Hua ManLou never did care much for wine.

Lu XiaoFeng lookd at him, suddenly feeling that his smile turned a bit mysterious. Anyone, no matter who, would turn a bit weird and mysterious at this point.

Lu XiaoFeng blinked a couple of times and made his tone of voice as mysterious as possible: "I'm hoping for one thing as well."

"And what's that?"

"I only hoping that the meat they serve us tonight isn't human meat, and the wine they serve doesn't have any knockout drugs!"