Legend of the Bat 03 Print
Thursday, 02 October 2008 04:09

Chapter 3: Analysis




The wind on the river shore was swirling, the twilight grew gradually darker.

Hu TieHua rushed his horse along, but did not see any corpse, nor did he see any living persons.

There were very few ships on the river.

“Those two horses returned very quickly, obviously they had not gone that far before they were intercepted, how could the corpses travel so far away?”

Hu TieHua finally realized this truth, so he immediately turned around and went back.

He did not go that far, when he discovered that Chu LiuXiang, Gou ZiChang, and Zhang San encircled that two riders’ corpses under their feet.


Hu TieHua thought that was extremely strange, without dismounting, he loudly shouted: “Impudence fellows, you have found them, why didn’t you greet me, causing me to ride for so long.”

Chu LiuXiang smiled and said; “You have not ridden a horse for a long time, I thought that you wanted to use this opportunity to ride a horse and catch the wind, how did we dare to break your pleasure!”

Hu TieHua pretended not to understand, immediately he dismounted and said: “Where did you find him actually?”

Zhang San: “Here.”

Hu TieHua said: “Here? How could I miss it?”

Zhang San said with a smile: “After you kill someone, do you leave the corpses on the road for other people to see?”

He shook his head, muttered: “I don’t know how this person, who has lived for more than 30 years, can have such a careless approach.”

Hu TieHua has called and said: “Good, such a small fry like you now also belittle me, what thing are you? Next time you stole someone else’s pearl, let’s see whether I will move a finger for you?”

He had just received Chu LiuXiang's ridicule, he must find someone else to give vent.

Zhang San provided an undeserved target of anger.

Gou ZiChang did not know about their friendship, he also did not know that they had always bickered in the right way to relax the tense nerve. Therefore, he interrupted: “These two corpses are fished from the water.”

Hu TieHua said: “Oh.”

Actually he already saw that these two corpses were dripping wet, so he must know already that  the corpses were thrown into the river water.

Gou ZiChang also said: “That murderer also attached sand bags around their clothes so the bodies sank and no longer floated. If Commander Chu had not discovered the bloodstain on the ground, no one would be able to find them.”

Hu TieHua said lightly: “So, he is really a great person, yes?”

Gou ZiChang gave a long sigh and said: “Commander Chu’s keen vision is indeed beyond what a person can do.”

Hu TieHua said: “You certainly admire him very much, yes?”

Gou ZiChang said: “I extremely admire him.”

Hu TieHua said: “You want to learn from him?”

Gou ZiChang said: “Hopefully so.”

Hu TieHua also sighed and said: “You learn so quickly about new things, why do you have to learn from him?”

Gou ZiChang smiled, had not spoken.

Suddenly there was a blue flame that shot up into the sky, and then disappeared down into the twilight.

By now the day had not completely turned into dark, the flame did not look very obvious.

But Gou ZiChang’s facial color seemed to change, when he suddenly cupped his fists across his chest and said with a smile:” I have something to do, I will leave now. Commander Chu, brother Hu, I will see you later this evening at `three harmonies building'.”

He had not completely finished when he had started to leave.

His two long legs stepped out for several steps, and he had moved away for 20-30 feet. In another blink, he had disappeared. Hu TieHua wanted to held him back, but there was not enough time to do that.

After a very long time, Zhang San gave a long sigh and said: “Truly, this person's lightness kungfu is really good.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Indeed it’s good.”

Zhang San: “Looking at his lightness kungfu’s style, this looks different from any other factions’ on earth.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Somewhat different.”

Zhang San: “Have you seen his lightness kungfu’s style?”

Chu LiuXiang shook his head: “I have not seen that many styles of wugong ......”

Hu TieHua said suddenly: “I think not only his lightness kungfu is not weak, his flattering skill is also very good.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Oh?”

Hu TieHua said: “You think that he really admires you very much?”

He was sneering while continuing: “He seemed like he did not understand many things, so he could continue to flatter you intentionally, asking for your advices, he must be scheming to deceive you, I think you must be really careful.”

Chu LiuXiang smiled and said: “Perhaps he really admires me? Why are you jealous?”

Hu TieHua humph, shook his head and said: “A thousand is useful, ten thousand is useful, but flattery is not, these words are really good. Also `not listening to an old person’s saying, will cause hardship presently'. Just wait when you got swindled, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “He should be blamed because he didn’t flatter you, therefore he does not please you.”

Zhang San had also smiled, but he actually knitted his brows: “But I thought that this person's whereabouts is somewhat suspicious, something particularly strange is inside that box, at the very least, you should ask what his background is.”

Chu LiuXiang said lightly: “We don’t have to trouble ourselves actually, someone else will do the job for us.”

Zhang San: “Who?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Ding Feng!”

Hu TieHua said: “What if he doesn’t go to the ‘three harmony building’ tonight?”

Chu LiuXiang said with a smile: “He hasn’t eaten grilled fish and drunk good wine, how will he pass on this opportunity to eat without paying?”

 

*****

Hu TieHua looked at the corpses on the ground: “Have you found the fatal wounds?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “On the left rib.”

Hu TieHua immediately looked at the corpses, he saw a copper penny size of wounds on the left ribs of the two people, the blood had washed away.

The wound had been flushed by the river water, but they looked very deep.

Hu TieHua said: “These are arrow wounds.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Mmm.”

Hu TieHua said: “They went along the river from west to east, but the wounds are on the left rib, maybe the arrows come from a boat?”

Chu LiuXiang said again: “Mmm.”

Hu TieHua said: “The water in both banks is very shallow, if someone is on a boat, he will be at least a hundred feet away.”

Zhang San: “At least 200 feet.”

Hu TieHua said: “A person that can shoot arrow from 20o feet away, that can penetrate their ribs, and take their lives. This arm strength is actually very rare.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “It’s indeed very rare.”

Hu TieHua also said: “Looking at their wound, that person must have used a big arrowhead, therefore the arrows must be heavy. The archery bow should also be very strong and heavy.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “That must be a ‘500 stone’ strong bow.”

Hu TieHua said: “In jiang-hu, not many people can use this kind of strong bow.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “There are indeed only very few people, who have this kind of arm strength, that can pull 500 stone strong bow.”

Hu TieHua said: “Even if some people can pull this kind of strong bow, he would not have this kind of accurate aim. The kind that can take a person's life from 200 feet away, and the kind that cannot be avoided by people.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Good.”

Hu TieHua gave a long whistle: “So, this matter is actually very obvious!”

Chu LiuXiang said: “It’s very obvious, I do not think so ......”

Hu TieHua said: “You couldn't guess who that person is?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “No.”

On Hu TieHua’s face was showing utter satisfaction as he said: “Except Wu Weiyang, who else?”

Chu LiuXiang knitted his brows: “You are saying that Wu Weiyang has killed them?”

Hu TieHua said: “Right, everyone knows about Wu Weiyang’s strength of arm, which can bend precisely 500 stone strong bow, and the `phoenix tail arrow' will hit the target every time. Even though when duelling with the Divine Dragon clan in the years past, they have lost five in seven tries, but Wu Weiyang’s 13 arrows shot fell on Divine Dragon Clan’s flag on the ship's main mast, and frightened all Divine Dragon Clan’s people. Otherwise, why would Yun CongLong be willing to sign a mutual nonaggression treaty with the Phoenix Tail Clan?”

He smiled while continuing: “This matter is not only Wu Weiyang’s most satisfying work, it caused a big stir in jiang-hu when the news spread that year, have you forgotten about it?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “I have not forgotten about it.”

Hu TieHua laughed said: “Since you have not forgotten, why haven’t you thought that this matter is done by Wu Weiyang? I think your head has been emptied by the wine and women these past two years.”

Zhang San heard all of this while as if in a daze, finally he gave his approval: “These last two years, little Hu has really become a lot more intelligent!”

Hu TieHua looked very satisfied, he also said: “Also, Wu Weiyang must felt that when he uses his own `phoenix tail arrow', that becomes too noticeable. So after he killed them, he must have pulled out the arrow, destroyed the corpse and left no trace at all. For it is important that no one thinks of him as the murderer.”

Zhang San clapped his hands: “It makes sense.”

Hu TieHua said with a smile: “Only one thing I cannot understand.”

Zhang San: “Which is it?”

Hu TieHua said: “These two people are his own people, why does he want to kill them?”

Zhang San hesitated, his eyes were looking at Chu LiuXiang and he said: “Do you know why he did that?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “I don’t know much of anything, but I know that the killer is not Wu Weiyang!”

Hu TieHua had called out: “Who else if it isn't Wu Weiyang? Does your head turn into a block of wood suddenly?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “These two people were pursuing Wu Weiyang, right?”

Hu TieHua said: “Right, it is a pity that they overtook him really, otherwise they would not be killed.”

Chu LiuXiang also said: “They were riding hard to pursue Wu Weiyang, after overtaking and seeing Wu Weiyang, they would dismount and greet him naturally, right?”

Hu TieHua said: “Right.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “When they greet him, they would be facing Wu Weiyang, right?”

Hu TieHua said: “Right.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Since they were facing Wu Weiyang, if Wu Weiyang shot the arrows then, how would they inserted their left ribs?”

Hu TieHua was stunned, his color of satisfaction seemed to fade and even disappear.

Zhang San laughed inadvertently and said: “Perhaps Wu Weiyang can shoot the arrows in a curvy path.”

Hu TieHua had stared at him, as if he wanted to bite him once.

Chu LiuXiang said: “Also, Wu Weiyang has been traveling all over jiang-hu for more than 20 years, so he must be a worldly-wise person. If he had wanted to destroy the corpse and left no trace, how could we have discovered the corpses?”

Zhang San said with a smile: “Perhaps he was too drunk.”

Hu TieHua stared while saying:”What else?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Also, these two horses were rushing forward, after these two people were injured and fell off the horse, the two horses should just keep running forward, how can they turn around suddenly?”

Zhang San said with a smile: “Perhaps these two horses also like to eat meat, and not graze on grass, so they also want to eat my grilled fish.”

Hu TieHua jumped and said loudly: “Good, good, good! Your two are both more intelligent than me, so just tell me what happened!”

Chu LiuXiang said: “The person who shot the arrow must have hidden in the marsh area. These two people were rushing forward as fast as they could, so they didn’t notice anything. At this unexpected moment, they were unguarded against the arrows that pierced their left ribs.”

Hu TieHua said: “Humph!”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Although this person used big arrows, he did not necessarily use a strong bow, because the distance between them is not 200 feet.”

Zhang San said: “Not only it was not 200 feet, probably not even 20 feet. Within 20 feet, an arrow can be shot very accurately!”

Chu LiuXiang said: “He did things this way, certainly to convince us that they were killed by Wu Weiyang, therefore, he intentionally left behind some bloodstain here in the path, to guide us to find these two corpses.”

Zhang San said: “He also feared that we did not find them here, therefore he intentionally turned back the two horses, and also left behind some bloodstains intentionally on the saddle, right?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Good, otherwise how could the blood drop on the saddle if the arrows pierce the left ribs?”

Hu TieHua did not speak.

Zhang San said: “But I still don’t understand one thing.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “What is it?”

Zhang San said: “The fact that these two people were killed is not known by anyone, why would the killer let us know about it?”

Hu TieHua had withheld himself, but he could not stand it anymore: “Because he knew that we saw these two people passed by, and worried that we would investigate.”

Zhang San said: “That is not a bad theory, but if these two people were really killed byWu Weiyang, this is still the internal matter of the `Phoenix Tail Clan', other people cannot meddle with it, why does he shift the blame to Wu Weiyang?”

Hu TieHua could not speak.

Chu LiuXiang said slowly: “They do this, not because they fear that we will investigate, also not because they want to shift blame to Wu Weiyang.”

Zhang San: “Then why did he do it?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “He wants us to think that Wu Weiyang is still alive.”

Zhang San and Hu TieHua looked at each other, obviously they had not understood the meaning of his words.

Chu LiuXiang then said: “If I guess correctly, Wu Weiyang must have died!”

Zhang San changed countenance and said: “You are saying that Wu Weiyang has been killed?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Right, but they did not want anyone to know, perhaps they have another plan, that they would do this. If we believe that these two people were killed by Wu Weiyang, then Wu Weiyang certainly has not died. If some people later ask about Wu Weiyang, we certainly will prove that Wu Weiyang is still alive!”

He sighed, continued: “How deep is their thoroughness, their method, their scheme. No doubt they are to be feared, but the most fearful thing is, until now, nobody knows what they are up to, what are they scheming for?”

Zhang San extended his tongue and said with a smile: “Luckily I am not invited tonight ......”

*****


The small stove on the ship’s bow still had some fire.

Zhang San was patting Hu TieHua's shoulder and said with a smile: “It is not too late to have two more fish here at my ship?”

Hu TieHua said with a smile: “I also want to save some room in my belly today to eat, wait until tomorrow then I will eat some more from you!”

Zhang San muttered: “If you miss this opportunity today, I fear that you won’t have the opportunity tomorrow......”

He shook his head, sighed, and then unexpectedly slowly entered the cabin while singing. The song was about: “The extra wind is swirling cold, when the brave soldier goes to war, he suddenly withers ......”

Hu TieHua ridiculed him: “This boy is really like a dog who never grows ivory between the lips. I do not believe that some people really want our life in that `three harmonies building'.”

Chu LiuXiang was silent briefly and said with a smile suddenly: “I want to eat his two fish now, this opportunity does not really come too often ......”

They heard a light shout suddenly, Zhang San just walked into the cabin, and had drawn back. Although his face showed some astonishment, he said with a smile: “I don’t have anything valuable on my ship, if this friend wants to patronize, you will just feel very sorry.”

Hu TieHua glanced at Chu LiuXiang once, he inadvertently laughed: “I never think that today I can see a thief, who is so far removed from reality.”

Two people rushed across the bow and discovered that a person was really curled up in the cabin corner.

There was no lit lamp on the cabin, it was very dark. The only think that they can see clearly from this person's appearance was the eyes only - -

Sparkling eyes.

Anybody could see that these eyes were so bright and so beautiful. It was a pity that presently, the eyes were filled with surprise and fears, that they were not as lively as they were naturally.

Zhang San said with a smile: “I don’t have anything here, only some tattered clothes, miss. If you do not like the smell, please proceed to go. This place will not bring you the relief.”

The person in the cabin just stayed there motionless like a statue.

Zhang San knitted his brows: “You do not want to leave?”

The person in the cabin very quickly shook her head.

Zhang San: “Actually what do you want to do here? Do you want me to throw you out?”

It seemed that he would go in to get the person, Hu TieHua actually had held him back, stared at him while saying:”You have a problem?”

Zhang San was stunned and said: “Problem? What problem?”

Hu TieHua said: “If such a beautiful girl is willing to come to my place, I will do whatever it takes to detain her. How can you seriously ask this girl to leave instead?”

Zhang San inadvertently laughed: “You can hear that. Although I am a good person, this boy is actually a big sexual harasser, I urge you to leave quickly, the quicker the better.”

Besides the fish and the pearl, Zhang San did not have an interest on anything else.

The person in the cabin kept shaking her head.

Hu TieHua smiled and said: “Don’t listen to him surely, I just want to become friends. So long as Miss is happy, you can stay here as long as you want, I guarantee that he will not dare to be impolite to you.”

He thought that this person in the cabin would certainly be grateful to him, instead this girl seemed to have trouble distinguishing the good from the bad, and had stared back at him.

In this flash, Hu TieHua suddenly felt that the eyes looked very familiar, as if unexpectedly he had seen her before.

He had not spoken when Chu LiuXiang asked: “Is it Miss Jin?”

The person in the cabin really nodded.

Hu TieHua also blurted out: “That is right, that ominous girl, she is so ominous, as soon as the eyes stare back, I recognize her. Zhang San ......”

He had turned his head around to find Zhang San, Zhang San already slipped away.

Chu LiuXiang said: “Why does Miss Jin come here?”

Jin LingZhi hid in there, not willing to speak.

Hu TieHua lowered his face and said coldly: “Miss Jin is such an honored person, you are very unlikely to be here. It is so strange that I wonder whether you want to charge me?”

Jin LingZhi seemed to blink several times, the eyes had unexpectedly become somewhat red.

She unexpectedly did not have a fit of temper.

This domineering and tyrannical girl at this moment looked somewhat pitiful.

Hu TieHua's heart softened immediately.

His heart was not originally too hard, particularly when seeing a girl, it softened quickly. He originally wanted to put on a serious face, but the facial expression did not obey this script, he said with a smile: “Here, although it does not have many good things, but the grilled fish are actually good. As long as Miss Jin does not throw a fit of temper, we can discuss things in a good manner.”

Jin LingZhi had blinked again, this time she burst into tears unexpectedly.

As soon as he saw a woman's tears, Hu TieHua not only became tenderhearted, he would also be saying softly: “Miss Jin, if you are angry at me, you can even hit me several times to vent your anger.”

Chu LiuXiang smiled and said: “But I’m afraid Miss Jin is not looking for you.”

Hu TieHua stared at him while saying:”If she is not looking for me, is she looking for you? What does she want you to do?”

Chu LiuXiang also paid no attention to him, and lowered his voice: “Is it possible that Miss Jin has encountered a problem?”

Jin LingZhi really nodded.

Hu TieHua interrupted: “Do some people dare to be impolite to Miss Jin?”

Jin LingZhi dangled her head, it seemed she unexpectedly was weeping gently.

Hu TieHua said: “So, Miss Jin is not these people's match, therefore you only come here to hide?”

Jin LingZhi's body had shrunk further, as if she was trembling.

Hu TieHua said loudly: “Who bullied Miss Jin, is it that Ding Feng boy?”

Jin LingZhi did not nod or shake her head, but the sobbing sound actually became more sorrowful.

Hu TieHua angrily said: “That boy’s courage is really not small. Miss Jin, with us here, you do not need to fear anything......”

The more he spoke, the angrier he got.

When he saw someone bullying a girl, his anger was raised simply beyond redemption and he said bitterly: “Where is that boy now? You lead us to him!”


Jin LingZhi's body had shrunk towards the corner, like a lamb which had no place to run, when it found the nook to hide, why would it come out?

Hu TieHua knitted his brows: “Is it possible that had Miss Jin is injured?”

Jin LingZhi said in a trembling voice: “I ......”

She seemed to be having a great difficulty in even saying this one word, as if it was really painful to do.

Hu TieHua changed countenance and said: “Where is your injury? Let me take a look, is it painful?”

While he talked, he barreled into the cabin.

The cabin place was not big, and the odor was the very distinct smell of a bachelor’s living quarter.

Such a young lady like Jin LingZhi, if she had not been compelled by someone to be so distressed, even if she could pinch her nose firmly, she still would not be willing to come inside.

Hu TieHua sighed in secret, he said: “Although I am not a famous doctor, but I actually can treat a wound; Miss Jin, please relax and let me take a look at your injury, I will find a way to cure it.”

Jin LingZhi was struggling, she had stretched out her leg, and tremblingly said: “He ......He wants to kill me, his knife has nearly cut off my leg.”

Hu TieHua clenched his teeth and said: “Young fellow, good ruthless heart ......”

The cabin was very dark, he squatted to look at the unclear location of Jin LingZhi leg's wound, he knitted his brows: “Zhang San, your damned place doesn't have any light?”

He wanted to trace her leg's injury, who knew that when his hand just stretched out, Jin LingZhi, who had received a severe wound to the leg, could move suddenly. Not only could she move, moreover she could move very quickly. Very powerfully, she let go of her leg, kicked Hu TieHua's shoulder accupoint, then with the other leg, she sent Hu TieHua rolling.

Hu TieHua never had a chance to call out in alarm, and very quickly he could not move anymore.

Immediately a sword flashed, a long sword had pointed at his throat.

Jin LingZhi's eyes stared at him and said fiercely: “You, sexual harasser, you dare to trace my leg? Do you forget who I am?”

Hu TieHua sighed and said with a forced smile: “I have completely forgotten that you are a woman. A man who wants to help a woman, is just asking for trouble, if someone believes anything a woman says, he will deserve what he gets unfortunately!”

Jin LingZhi sneeringly said: “Who are you, that I will request your help? Even if all people in the whole world die, I will not find you.”

She turned her head suddenly, and loudly shouted out: “Stand there and do not move, if you move I will first take his life!”

Actually Chu LiuXiang had not moved.

When he detected that something was wrong, it was too late to do anything then.

Jin LingZhi stared at him and said: “I ask you, is this person your good friend?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “It seems so, I can but acknowledge him!”

Jin LingZhi said: “You want him to live or to die?”

Hu TieHua snatched the opportunity: “Of course, he wants me to live. If I die, who else will come to bicker with him?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Good, if he dies, I will be at peace. It is a pity that I never have a peaceful day since he is here.”

Jin LingZhi said: “Good, if you want to rescue him, you go find that Zhang San before anything else.”

When she said this, Zhang San appeared, he was saying painstakingly: “I do not want him to die, such a foolish friend like him is not so easy to find.”

Hu TieHua had also called out: “Actually am I a sexual harasser? Or a foolish person?”

Zhang San said: “You are a foolish sexual harasser, both foolish and lewd, doing two things at the same time.”

Hu TieHua said with a smile: “If I can obtain the salary for those, doing two things at once are not a bad thing.”

Jin LingZhi’s eyes brightened, but she had not interrupted unexpectedly.

She was really too stunned to respond.

If other people had fallen into this situation, they would have been too frightened to do anything, like dying embers on the fireplace, they would be very distressed.

Who would have thought that these people were cracking jokes and laughing instead. They did not seem to mind what was going on.

Hu TieHua also unexpectedly smiled a lot.

Jin LingZhi's hand tightened, as the sword tip nearly pricked Hu TieHua's throat. She scolded fiercely: “You think that I do not dare to kill him, right?”

Zhang San sighed, muttered: “You certainly dare, you even dare to go to the man’s bathing place, what else in this world you do not dare to do?”

Jin LingZhi got angry: “What are you whispering?”

Zhang San redressed with a smile: “I said that Miss Jin is originally a heroic female, what is so strange about killing a person? I just want to ask Miss not to compel me to jump into this river, everything here goes into the river actually.”

Jin LingZhi’s eyes rotated and said: “Since you understand me very well, jump down into the water and take a bath quickly!”

Zhang San lost his voice: “What? Taking a bath ......I just had a bath yesterday, my body is still very clean now.”

Jin LingZhi said fiercely: “If you want to save his life, quickly jump, don’t talk nonsense.”

Zhang San put on a long face and said: “But ......but it is a cold day, and this river is very dirty ......”

Jin LingZhi sneeringly said: “If it is not dirty, I will not want you to jump.”

Zhang San: “Right ......Why?”

Jin LingZhi said: “You harmed me by having to smell the bad odor here, how can I let you off so easily?”

Zhang San: “But I have not asked Miss to come here!”

Jin LingZhi got angry: “Why don’t you sweep this place?”

Zhang San: “How can I know that Miss is coming?”

Jin LingZhi said: “No matter, no matter, I ask you only one thing, are you going to jump or not?”

Zhang San also sighed, muttered: “This girl is really persistently unreasonable, I think her husband in the future will certainly be fully tormented by her.”

Jin LingZhi stared at him while saying:”You are whispering what?”

Zhang San hurriedly atoned with a smile: “I was just saying that who did not dare to listen to Miss's instruction?”

His hand was pinching his nose, “Splash” he had unexpectedly really plunged into the river.

But Jin LingZhi's anger had not disappeared, she stared at Chu LiuXiang while saying: “Now it is your turn!”

Chu LiuXiang with a forced smile said: “Does Miss also want me to jump and take a bath?”

Jin LingZhi sneeringly said: “You cannot have it so cheap.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “What does Miss want me to do?”


Jin LingZhi said: “I want you to get one thing for me, if you promise me, I will immediately release him.”

Chu LiuXiang relaxed and said: “Actually what does Miss want me to get?”

Jin LingZhi said: “Peach.”

Chu LiuXiang was stunned and said: “Peach? What kind of peach?”

Jin LingZhi said: “Peach to eat, of course, don’t you know some simple things like that?”

Chu LiuXiang smiled and said: “Although it is not peach season now, but if Miss wants it, it can certainly be found.”

Jin LingZhi said easily: “But I want a peach that is a bit special.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “How special?”

He thought of something suddenly, and his complexion had already changed, he blurted out: “The peach that you want, is it possibly the jade peaches from the Extreme Happiness Palace in the western area?”

Jin LingZhi said: “Right.”

Chu LiuXiang sucked in the cold air and said with a forced smile: “The girl wants a peach that is indeed very special.”

Jin LingZhi said lightly: “If it is not special, I do not want it.”

She then also said: “My grandmother's 80th birthday is coming in half a month. All my brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunts, have prepared special birthday presents for her, how can I not have one?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Miss, if you can take the jade peaches from the Extreme Happiness Palace as your birthday present, that is so splendid that it would surpass the others’ presents.”

Jin LingZhi said: “Precisely. The rumor in jiang-hu says that the jade peach is sowed from the seeds coming from the Western Heaven Wang Mu NiangNiang’s peach garden. If a young fellow eats it, he can cultivate higher vital energy and preserve the vigor of youth. If an older person eats it, it will prolong his life, until reaching almost immortality.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Such being the case, Miss should also know that this jade peach only produces every 13 years, moreover ......”

Jin LingZhi had interrupted him and said: “I already inquired clearly, this year is precisely the harvest time of the jade peach. I don’t want that many, so long as I have 4-5 that will suffice.”

Hu TieHua also sighed and said with a forced smile: “You probably think that your heart is very kind, but you should know also how many fruits that tree produce each time?”

Jin LingZhi said: “Seven.”

Hu TieHua said: “Right, that jade peach tree only produce 7 fruits every 13 years, now you actually want to take 4 or 5, do you think that old guard monster at the Extreme Happiness Palace is a totally useless person, who is this old stinking insect’s son?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Even if I am really his father, it is still equally difficult.”

Jin LingZhi said: “Why?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “The master of Extreme Happiness Palace is Zhang BiJi. His wife Sun BuLao likes to look beautiful the most, what she fears the most is being old. Once in the past, she delivered a heavy oath that she will never let her husband see her become old.”

Hu TieHua said: “This Madame Zhang is actually a smart person, she knows that what a man most fears is to see his wife become older, then perhaps nine in ten husbands would break the faith.”

Jin LingZhi sighed gently and said: “But everyone becomes old, nobody can be the exception, right?”

When a woman heard the word “old”, she would unavoidably become worried at heart. Although Jin LingZhi's temperament was like a man’s, actually she was not an exception.

Chu LiuXiang said: “When she said those words, she meant that when she would become older, she would rather die first than let her husband see her become old and senile.”

Hu TieHua smiled and said: “Perhaps she did not mean it like that.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Oh?”

Hu TieHua said: “Perhaps she meant that when she becomes old, she will kill her husband first – that way her husband can never break the faith, right?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Actually they, husband and wive are very affectionate, some may say that they are the most loving couple in the martial arts world, so whoever die first, the other one may not survive it for very long.”

He then also said: “The Extreme Happiness Palace formerly was called the `Sorrow of Parting Palace', the owner was Xuan YuanYe in years past, he was also a martial arts world master who at that time ranked among the best.”

Hu TieHua said: “I have also heard of this person, it is said that his inborn supernatural power was unparalleled, his weapon was more than 100 catties, second to none in the world, afterwards there was no more news of him, suddenly he has been missing.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Zhang BiJi was less than 30 years old when he just appeared in jiang-hu, one day he suddenly went to Xixing in the western area to fight with Xuan YuanYe, moreover he also wanted to bet with Xuan YuanYe: “the sorrow of parting palace” against their lives, so they, husband and wive could instead live there; this was after they heard that the jade peach could make a person have long-lasting youthfulness.”

Hu TieHua laughed inadvertently and said: “This gambling stake is a little bit unjust, if Zhang BiJi won, not only he acquired an incomparable imperial palace, but he also could obtain the means to keep his madame young. If Xuan YuanYe won, what was the use of these two lives of husband and wife? If I were Xuan YuanYe, I would not have proceeded with this bet.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Although the wager was not just, but Xuan YuanYe was totally invincible, and why would he respect this little youth who had just made his debut in jiang-hu? He complied immediately, and set the victory and defeat in three matches.”

Hu TieHua said: “What three matches?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “The bet was set on duel by sharp weapon, duel by endogenic force, and duel by hidden weapon and lightness kungfu.”

Hu TieHua said: “Xuan YuanYe’s weapon, some may say it was unprecedented, and it would not be superceded in the future. His deep endogenic force naturally could not be matched by a 20 something year-old young fellow. That was already two matches he would won for certain.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “At that time Xuan YuanYe thought so too. Who knew that Zhang BiJi not only had the wugong’s true teachings, he was also extremely intelligent, he had already found a way to restrain Xuan YuanYe’s weapon.”

Hu TieHua said: “What way?” 

Chu LiuXiang said: “To overwhelm it with emotion’s rope.”

Hu TieHua knitted the brows: “I have not heard of this kind of weapon.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “This kind of weapon was his original creation, the name naturally had never been heard of.”

Hu TieHua said: “What type of weapon was it?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “It was just a long string.”

Hu TieHua said: “A string? How can a string fare against the sharp weapons? How can it prevails against anyone?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “He used that string 30 feet away when he fought against Xuan YuanYe, never getting closer than that. Because Xuan YuanYe’s was heavy, he could not break this person’s string. Although Xuan YuanYe’s weapon was long, he could not reach an enemy who was 30 feet away. His lightness kungfu was higher than Xuan YuanYe, Xuan YuanYe wanted to get closer to him, but it was not possible for him to do so.”

Hu TieHua said: “But how could he use that string to injure Xuan YuanYe? Why did he use it in the first place? Who would be stupid enough to use this method?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “He did not really want to win this match originally, the intention was just to consume Xuan YuanYe’s endogenic force.”

Hu TieHua said: “Right, Xuan YuanYe’s weapon was more than 100 catties, it would really be very difficult to keep displaying the power. But, he was not a fool, he should also understand Zhang BiJi’s intention. Since Zhang BiJi’s weapon basically could not injure him, he also did not have to expend his energy to attack.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “But the main point is: although Zhang BiJi did not want to win over Xuan YuanYe, Xuan YuanYe actually wholeheartedly wanted to win this match.”

Hu TieHua sighed and said: “Right, by Xuan YuanYe status status, he was not willing to have a draw with Zhang BiJi naturally, so when he strived to get the victory, he unavoidably became tricked.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Since Xuan YuanYe strove for victory wholeheartedly, he must put forth all of his strength naturally. The two people fought from the early morning, by night the fight still had not been decided originally, suddenly Zhang BiJi actually admitted defeat, only because he saw that Xuan YuanYe’s real strength had been exhausted at that time, it had become nearly a spent force!”

Hu TieHua said: “Such being the case, why does he no longer attack him? If Xuan YuanYe’s strength was all used up, he would simply fell down, wouldn’t that be better?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Because by that time, Xuan YuanYe had compelled him into the edge of the ravine. If he wanted to draw back, he could not. If he wanted to attack, he still did not have the position to do it. But when he admitted defeat, Xuan YuanYe naturally could not attack him anymore.”

Hu TieHua said: “Therefore he rode this opportunity to get the second match immediately, right?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Right.”

Hu TieHua said: “The second match should be the battle of the endogenic force. Certainly at that time, after fighting a fierce battle the whole day and night, Xuan YuanYe had already spent up his energy, he would not be his rival.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “You were wrong on this one. Xuan YuanYe’s inborn supernatural power was reportedly to be infinite, although he had used up his strength, but Zhang BiJi did not have the assurance to win, therefore their second fight was the hidden weapon and the lightness kungfu.”



Hu TieHua knitted his brows: “Xuan YuanYe was originally not perceived to be the expert of hidden weapon and lightness kungfu, I fear that he was not Zhang BiJi’s match.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “If you think the second match was with Zhang BiJi, you are mistaken. It was his wife, Sun BuLao.”

Hu TieHua said: “So they use two against one to wear the opponent out?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Although Xuan YuanYe knew that they were being opportunistic, but he was a proud martial arts master under the heaven. He thought that he would win against two without a doubt, therefore he had not haggled over this issue. By his status, naturally his words were upheld until the end.”

Hu TieHua said: “Good, if a person wants to become a hero, unavoidably he must suffer a loss.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Sun BuLao was always known as the `surging waves fairy maiden, the falling pieces of heaven woman’. Her high lightness kungfu and hidden weapon was nearly already inconceivable, thus Xuan YuanYe was undoubtedly defeated.”
Hu TieHua’s eyes glanced at Chu LiuXiang and said easily: “A person with such high lightness kungfu could not be considered an original story. It would be an original one, if it was used to escape from someone.”

Unexpectedly, at this time, he still wanted to take a shot at Chu LiuXiang.

Chu LiuXiang also paid no attention to him, then said: “Two fights were already over, Xuan YuanYe’s infinite supernatural power was already spent, but Zhang BiJi’s physical strength had actually been completely restored, the third fight took less than the second match and the victory and defeat were quickly decided.”

Hu TieHua sneeringly said: “But Zhang BiJi had not won by an honorable means. I thought this kind of opportunistic method was probably not hatched by him.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “How do you know?”

Hu TieHua said: “This method can only be devised by a woman.”

Chu LiuXiang smiled and said: “But Zhang BiJi husband and wife were latter generation of martial arts world at that time. Regardless of the winning method, Xuan YuanYe became speechless at the end, he surrendered submissively the sorrow of parting palace immediately. He has been missing henceforth, it has been 40 years now and nobody in jiang-hu has heard of his news.”

He then also said: “But after that fight, Mr. and Mrs. Zhang BiJi also made very few appearances in jiang-hu. In the recent 20 years, they have abandoned crowded places, the latter generation almost has never heard of their names.”

Hu TieHua coldly said: “They knew that they did not win honorably, therefore their guilt conscience prompts them not to meet with anyone else.”

These two persons conversed back and forth freely without any restriction. Jin LingZhi had not interrupted them unexpectedly, probably because these two people discussed the problem interestingly, but also because they told an extremely fascinating martial arts world historical records. Once the conclusion was almost reached, Jin LingZhi seemed to have been lost in thought.

When they were done talking, Jin LingZhi had finally gotten back her composure and said loudly: “I am here not to listen to you telling a story. I ask you, do you agree to obey or not?”

Chu LiuXiang gave a forced smile and said: “I told this story, because I want Miss to know how Mr. and Mrs. Zhang BiJi treasure those jade peaches, I and they have never met before, without knowing each other, how can I obtain the peach?”

Jin LingZhi said: “I also know you, you can just steal them. In jiang-hu, everybody knows that the ‘Commander of thieves’ Chu LiuXiang can steal anything, right?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “But Mr. and Mrs. Zhang BiJi have lived in the Extreme Happiness Palace for 40 years. They have high wugong skills, already immeasurably deep. For the last 40 years, there have been many people in jiang-hu who also want to get their jade peaches, no one simply could live to obtain it.”

He sighed, then said: “Moreover, Xixing is in the extreme west, ten thousand miles away, how can I hurry to go there and back in a short half month? Miss, isn’t this like forcing someone to do something against his will?”

Jin LingZhi said loudly: “Good, I want to force someone to do something against his will! If you do not comply, I will kill him now!”

Hu TieHua closed his eyes and said with a forced smile: “Looks like it’s better if you just buy that coffin for me. At the very least, buying the coffin is a lot more convenient than stealing the peach.”

Jin LingZhi sneeringly said: “You do not need to buy a coffin, after I have killed you, I will throw you into the river to feed ......”

She had not completed this sentence when a “bang” sound was heard. Suddenly, the ship’s bottom erupted with a big hole. Very quickly, the river water gushed out like a large fountain - -

The hull shook, Jin LingZhi was caught off-guard and staggered sideways. She could only think of saving her own lives, and she did not realize that she suddenly no longer had the sword in her hand.

This sword was suddenly in Chu LiuXiang’s hand.

In the gushing turbulent river water, unexpectedly someone came up, he was precisely “the swift net” Zhang San.

Zhang San laughed and said: “Miss has stayed briefly here, since this place is smelly, why don’t you also take a bath!”

In his laughter, he put out a hand to hug Jin LingZhi’s leg.

Jin LingZhi face was blanched with fright.

The cabin was obviously open, unexpectedly she did not run outside, she only said loudly: “You dare to touch me, you dare ......”

Zhang San saw that she certainly could not swim, therefore she was so agitated. He said with a smile, “On the ground, Miss is so fierce, but in the water, you must look up to me.”

Jin LingZhi called out in alarm once, she just felt that her elbow was held by someone, and very quickly she flew away from the cabin.

She heard Chu LiuXiang's voice: “If you want a person's life next time, make sure you do not listen to him telling a story ......”

*****

The ship slowly submerged.

Zhang San was holding up his cheek, squatting on the bank. He looked distressed, never stop sighing, and probably almost cried.

Although Hu TieHua’s heart was eternally grateful, he intentionally said: “If the old one does not go away, the new one will not come. This rickety ship is going to be doomed shortly any way, the sooner it sinks, the better it is, why are you so uncomfortable?”

Zhang San jumped, yelled: “Rickety ship? You said that my ship is a rickety ship? You have some other rickety ships?”

Hu TieHua said with a smile: “No. Even if I have, I will sink them all, just to avoid looking at them.”

Zhang San’s face lifted upwards and laughed: “Well good, since master Hu said that he has at least eight or ten non rickety ships, how about master Hu compensate me just one?”

Hu TieHua said easily: “The ship should be compensated, the person who should compensate your ship was also here, but it is a pity ......”

He narrowed his eyes on Chu LiuXiang, then he coldly said: “It is a pity that this dandy person here, had shown some tender affection and let this person go.”

Chu LiuXiang smiled and said: “I have let her go, you cannot accept that at all, right? But if I have not let her go, what do you want to do with her? Do you want to bite her?”

Zhang San said: “That is right, I think it is better to let her go. If she is here, if she drops a few tears, then Master Hu’s heart will unavoidably be moved, when master Hu's heart is softened, perhaps he would want to trace someone’s thigh, then very soon the sword will threaten the neck, oh ......”

He gave a long sigh, shook his head and said: “If I wanted to rescue master Hu again, I would not be able to find a second rickety ship to sink.”

Hu TieHua also laughed out and said: “Well good, you two people combine to annoy me? I am telling you, I am not mad. This is the only time the trick works on me, it will never happen again!”

Zhang San said: “Oh? Is this the first time a woman has tricked master Hu?”

Hu TieHua could not speak, the nose felt a little itchy, must use the hand to rub it. Unexpectedly, he had really picked up Chu LiuXiang’s habit of rubbing the nose, and really in this habit, “the pupil has surpassed the teacher”.

Zhang San said: “As far as I know, women has tricked Master Hu 700-800 times already, at least 300-500 times. Every time he got tricked, he promised that he would become better henceforth, but the next time he saw an attractive woman, he kept falling for the same old tricks, don’t you think it is strange?”

Chu LiuXiang said with a smile: “His ancestors must have owed a lot of debts to the womenfolk, so he must keep working on this his whole life… But this time he got tricked, he cannot really be blamed.”

Zhang San said: “Oh?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “That Miss Jin can do anything she wants to. I can envision her of doing many things and I wouldn’t be surprised. She can give up her horse to someone else, she can rush into the men’s bathhouse, or she can even walk naked on the street, and I will not think that is strange. But if she is going to start deceiving people by a sinister plot, that I will never expect her to do.”

Hu TieHua sighed, muttered: “Although this old stinking insect is foul-mouthed, sometimes he speaks with some sense. I could never expect her to be such a person, therefore I have fallen into her trap.”

Zhang San said: “I can see what you are saying, but the fact is she has just deceived us just now, hasn’t she?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “I think what she did just now was not her idea.”

Hu TieHua said: “Good, she probably received someone’s instruction, probably she was forced by someone else, otherwise ......”

Zhang San said: “Otherwise she is not cruel enough to deceive our sentimental person, right?”

He did not let him talk, then he also said: “But looking at her temperament, can anyone force her to do it? Threaten her?”

Chu LiuXiang was hesitating and said: “Perhaps she has a weakness that someone has used on her.”

Hu TieHua said: “Good, the person who threatens her must certainly be Ding Feng, you just saw how she was with Ding Feng, just look.”

Zhang San said: “That is also not necessary. Perhaps she exercises forbearance to that master Ding, because she likes him. If you look at that master Ding, not only was he young, handsome, relaxed, softly spoken, good in manner and fighting skills. If I were a woman and saw him, my temperament will suddenly disappear.”

Hu TieHua was helplessly listening, he stood suddenly, bowed to him with his hands behind and said: “Can I request something?” 

Zhang San was stunned and said: “What do you want to ask? You want to eat some more grilled fish?”

Hu TieHua sighed and said: “I ask you, do not make me angry again, I already could not bear with it. When I got rich, I will certainly compensate for your ship, it will be as large and as rickety as your old ship.”

Zhang San could not bear smiling, muttered: “This person seemed to say the right things initially, but who knows, suddenly he goes off again......”

He then said: “When you say that she is being forced by Ding Feng, that might be true, but Ding Feng wants Chu LiuXiang's life, why bother to send him to steal those jade peaches?”

Hu TieHua said: “You do not understand this? ......This is called killing someone using someone else’s knife!”

Zhang San said: “Killing using someone else’s knife?”

Hu TieHua said: “Ding Feng knew that he could not cope directly with this old stinking insect, therefore he sends him to steal those jade peaches. Do you think that the people at the Extreme Happiness Palace would allow people to just roam around their place? If the old stinking insect really goes there, will he ever come back?”

Zhang San clapped his hands and said: “Good, I didn’t know that you can became so intelligent suddenly.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Also?”

Hu TieHua said: “What else?”

Chu LiuXiang said with a smile: “Ding Feng uses a multi-purpose strategy, besides this purpose, there is something else, such a smart person like you should be able to see it.”

Hu TieHua said: “There is a second purpose? What purpose?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “That is the 18th purpose in the thirty six strategies, it is called ‘to lure the enemy out of his stronghold’.”

Hu TieHua said: “Lures the enemy out of his stronghold?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “Right, he must have prepared for something that is taking place here. He is afraid that we will obstruct him, therefore he wants us to go to the far away Xixing. Even if we come back, that will be at least a half month later.”

Hu TieHua was silent briefly, shook his head and said: “It looks like only you can see through Ding Feng’s sinister plot. I have fallen short too in this kind of sinister deceitful matter. I cannot do this kind of scheming, even just thinking about the scheming was already impossible.”

Chu LiuXiang laughed inadvertently and said: “But the way you curse at people are very original. When you scold someone, you never have to use any dirty word.”

Hu TieHua said: “I learned that from you, have you forgotten?”

Zhang San said: “So, that Ding Feng seems to hold an extraordinary role.”

Hu TieHua sneeringly said: “What is so extraordinary?”

Zhang San said: “He can calculate that you will not have the heart to guard against Jin LingZhi, therefore he can order Jin LingZhi to do this. Only this point is enough to be called extraordinary.”

Chu LiuXiang said: “But when he considered it, he forgot one thing.”

Zhang San said: “Which one?”

Chu LiuXiang said: “He forgot that Jin LingZhi is not such a deceitful person, and also a young lady with such temperament. Otherwise how could she compel you to take a bath in that foul water?”

Zhang San said with a smile: “She should not have listened to my request, then she would not compel me to take a bath in the water. Otherwise, how could I make that big hole at the bottom of the ship and disrupt her proceeding?”
 

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 October 2008 20:35 )