Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils Chapter 36-40

Chapter - 36 Genuine Speech And Genuine Fantasy In a Dream

Xu Zhu had a shock, he rush forward two steps. Child Elder cry out in a shrill voice, she rush towards him. The white-clothed person said in a low voice: "Martial sister, you are so carefree here!" the voice is a female, gentle sweet and agreeable. Xu Zhu walk forward two steps, he saw the white-clothed person's slim and graceful figure, clearly she is a woman, a white silk cloth covered her face, he can't see her appearance, but she call out 'Martial sister', thus he assume she must be from the same sect and came here to help Child Elder, perhaps he don't have to get involve anymore. But he look sideways at Child Elder, her expression is extremely strange, amidst her alarm and indignant expression, she also had a hint of disdain and disgust.

Child Elder rush to Xu Zhu's side, she shouted: "Quickly carry me up the mountain peak." Xu Zhu said: "This...this knot inside junior monk's heart, i can't resolve it yet...." Child Elder is furious, she flip her hand and slap him, she shouted: "This thieving **** came here to harm me, you didn't see it?" At this moment Child Elder's strength is not light, this slap from her immediately caused half of Xu Zhu's face to swell up.

The white-clothed person said: "Martial sister, your temper is still the same till old, the other party is not willing, yet you always force them, beat and scold them, what is the point? Little sister have some advice for you, its best to be courteous to others."

Xu Zhu had very good opinion of her: "This person is in the same sect as Child Elder and Mr Wu YaZi, but her temperament is vastly different from them, she is so gentle and refine, fair and reasonable."

Child Elder kept urging Xu Zhu: "Quickly carry me and leave, move far far away from this ****, granny won't forget to reward you, i will definitely heavily reward you in the future."

The white-clothed person stood to the side in a calm and composed manner, her garment fluttered with the breeze, she is like an immortal. Xu Zhu assume this person is very elegant and refine, but how come Child Elder is so afraid of her? The white-clothed person said: "Martial sister, we old sisters never see other for so many years, how come you are not happy in meeting me today, on the contrary you want to leave quickly? Little sister calculated that these past few days must be the joyous period where you revert back to a child, i heard you recruited quite a number of demons and ghosts, little sister is afraid they will take advantage of your situation to revolt, i personally came to Misty Peak's Vulture Palace to find you, i want to help you to fight off these devils, but i can't find you."

Child Elder saw that Xu Zhu is not willing to carry her to run away, she said furiously: "You calculated the time when i lose all my internal energy and martial arts and came to Misty Peak, what good intentions can you have? But you can't predict the curious coincidence, unexpectedly someone actually carried me down Misty Peak. You found nothing up there, you must be very disappointed correct? Li QuiShui, although you found me today, but you are late by a few days, naturally i am still not your match, but its not so easy for you to rob me of my entire lifetime of divine martial arts."

The white-clothed person said: "Martial sister what are you saying? After parting with you, i am very concerned about you and think of you daily, i often thought of coming to Vulture Palace to see you. But after the misunderstanding 10 years ago, every time we meet, elder sister will disregard the reason and reproach me. Firstly, little sister is afraid of provoking elder sister's anger, secondly i am afraid elder sister might punish and beat me, thus i don't dare to come and visit. Elder sister you are really overly suspicious if you think i have bad intentions." Her speech is respectful and affectionate.

Xu Zhu thought the Child Elder must be barbaric and unreasonable, this pair of female, one of them benevolent the other evil, they had some hostility in the past, obviously it must be Child Elder's fault.
 

Child Elder said angrily: "Li QiuShui, things have reached this stage already, what is the point in employing such flowery speech to ridicule me? Take a look, what is this?" when she finish speaking she stretch out her left hand and revealed the gem ring on her thumb.

Li QiuShui trembled, her voice cracked: "Sect Leader's Seven-Treasure Ring! You....where did you get it?" Child Elder sneered: "Obviously he gave it to me, why ask when you already knew the answer?" Li QiuShui is slightly stumped for words, she said: "Heng, he...why would he give this to you? If you didn't steal it then you must have snatch it away."
 

Child Elder said loudly: "Li QiuShui, Carefree Sect Leader's orders, kneel down and listen to instructions."

Li QiuShui said: "You think you can confer this Sect Leader position onto yourself? Most likely.....most likely you secretly stab him in the back and stole this Seven-Treasure Ring." Initially her attitude is graceful and elegant, but after seeing the gem ring, her tone is irritable.

Child Elder said strictly: "You refuse to accept Sect Leader's orders, you intend to betray the sect, correct?"

Suddenly there is a flicker of white light, there is a 'Peng' sound, Child Elder's body flew up and landed far away. Xu Zhu had a huge shock, he shouted: "What?" immediately after he saw a dark red blood line on the snow ground, Child Elder's severed thumb drop onto the ground, but the gem ring is held by Li QiuShui. Evidently she is as quick as lightning, she severed Child Elder's thumb, grab the gem ring and strike out a palm to send Child Elder flying, as for the weapon used to sever the thumb, the technique, she is simply too fast, Xu Zhu can't see them at all.

Li QiuShui said: "Martial sister, how did you harm him, its best if you tell little sister. Little sister have deep affection towards you, i will not embarrass you unduly." When she obtain the gem ring, her tone changed immediately, its extremely gentle and refine again.

Xu Zhu cannot help but said: "Miss Li, both of you are martial sisters from the same sect, how can you be so vicious in attacking her? Mr Wu YaZi is definitely not killed by Child Elder. Monk cannot lie, i won't deceive you." Li QiuShui turn towards Xu Zhu and said: "May i ask the religious name of great master? Where did you take your tonsure? How come you know the name of my martial brother?" Xu Zhu said: "Junior monk is Xu Zhu, i am Shaolin disciple, as for Mr Wu YaZi...alas, this matter is a long story...." suddenly he saw Li QiuShui wave her sleeves lightly, the back of his knees immediately turn numb, his energy and blood reverse and turn the wrong way, he collapsed and shouted: "Hello, what are you doing? I didn't offend you, how...how come even i am...also.....also...."

Li QiuShui smile and said: "Little master is an eminent monk from Shaolin, i am merely testing your martial arts. En, Shaolin have such resounding reputation, but their disciple is like this. I really offend you, really sorry!"

Xu Zhu lie down on the ground, he peered through the white silk veil on her face, he can faintly see her face, she seems to be 40 years of age, her facial appearance very beautiful, but there seems to be a few line of blood trace on her face or some kind of scar, its hazy and indistinct, he cannot help but feel a cold chill, he said: "I am the most useless disciple from Shaolin, senior you cannot look down on Shaolin just because of junior monk's incompetence."

Li QiuShui ignored him, she slowly walk towards Child Elder, she said: "Martial sister, these past few years, little sister miss you bitterly. Thank the heavens, little sister can finally see martial sister again. Martial sister, the benefits you shower upon me in the past, little sister remember all of them every day and every night...."

Suddenly there is another flash of white light, Child Elder cry out miserably, a big patch of blood instantly covered the snow-white ground, unexpectedly Child Elder's left leg separated from her body.

Xu Zhu's shock is no small matter, he shout furiously: "Sisters from the same sect, how can you have the heart to do such vile deed? You....you....you are really worse than a beast!"

Li QiuShui slowly turn around, her left hand pull open the white silk veil covering her face, revealing her snow white cheek. Xu Zhu cry out in alarm, lines criss-cross on her face, there are 4 extremely long sword wounds, the lines formed the word 'well (井)', due to these 4 sword wounds, her right eye is protruding, the left corner of her mouth is slanted and crooked, she is really ugly and unsightly. Li QiuShui said: "Many years ago, someone use a sword to scratch my face to such a state. Great master from Shaolin, you tell me, should i take revenge or not?" while speaking she slowly release the veil and covered her face again.

Xu Zhu said: "This...this is done by Child Elder?" Li QiuShui said: "There is no harm in asking her yourself."

Blood is gushing out of Child Elder's broken leg like wave, but she did not faint, she said: "Correct, i scratch her face. I...i succeeded in my training. When i was 26 years old, i can make my body grow up, become the same as ordinary person, but she injured me, she made me fire-deviate and i turn into a midget. You tell me, this deep hatred, should i take revenge or not?"

Xu Zhu look at Li QiuShui, he pondered: "If her words are true, then this person started the wicked deed first."

Child Elder said: "Since i already fell into your hands, there is nothing left to say. This little monk is 'his' dear friend, you must not harm a single hair on this little monk. Or else, 'he' will never let you off." She close her eyes and wait for death.

Li QiuShui gave a sigh and said indifferently: "Elder sister, you are older than me, you must be much smarter than me, but you want to swindle little sister today, its really not so easy. If he is....his...he is still alive, then how come this Seven-Treasure Ring fell into your hands? Fine! Little sister don't have any grudge or grievance with this little monk, moreover little sister is born timid, i definitely don't dare to feud with the big dipper of martial arts fraternity Shaolin. This little master, little sister will not harm him. Elder sister, little sister have two 'Nine Revolution Bear Snake Pill', please consume it to avoid excessively bleeding."

Xu Zhu heard her calling 'Elder sister' and 'Elder sister', its incomparably affectionate and intimate, but when he thought of the situation when Child Elder ask Wu LaoDa to consume two 'Nine Revolution Bear Snake Pill', a burst of cold sweat came out of him.

Child Elder said angrily: "Just kill me quickly, you want me to consume this 'Tendon Breaking Bone Decaying Pill' and listen to your mocking insults, dream on!" Li QiuShui said: "Little sister have good intentions towards elder sister, elder sister always misunderstood my intentions. The wound is bleeding excessively, its really not beneficial to elder sister's heath. Elder sister, these two pills, please eat it."

Xu Zhu look at her hand, the palm of her jade-white hand is supporting two musty-yellow pills, its exactly the pills that Child Elder gave to Wu LaoDa, he pondered: "Child Elder's karmic retribution came really quick."

Child Elder shouted: "Little monk, quickly strike your palm on the top of my head, send granny to Western Paradise to avoid suffering the insults of this ****." Li QiuShui laugh and said: "Little master is tired, he needs some time to rest on the ground." Child Elder is really anxious, she spurted a mouthful of fresh blood. Li QiuShui said: "Elder sister, one of your leg is long, the other is short, if 'he' sees it, it might be somewhat ungraceful, originally you are a short beauty, but now you are one side tall, one side short, a crooked beauty, won't 'he' feel greatly sorry for you? Little sister will help you till the end, i will cut off both your legs!" when she finish speaking there is a flicker of white light, a weapon suddenly appeared on her hand.

This time Xu Zhu finally saw it clearly, she is holding onto the handle of a 1 chi dagger. This dagger seems to be made of crystal, its transparent. Evidently Li QiuShui want to make Child Elder panic, she did not attack quickly, she is waving the dagger around her unbroken leg.

Xu Zhu is very angry, he thought: "This female shizhu is too ruthless!" the [Pure Energy of Northern Darkness] in his body circulate rapidly around his entire body, in an instant he felt the acupoints on his leg unseal, the numbness stop immediately. He did not have time to think, he quickly rush forward and carried Child Elder, he ran up the mountain peak swiftly.

When Li QiuShui use the technique [Frost Sleeve Brushing Acupoints] to hit Xu Zhu, she sense that his martial art is mediocre, she did not take him seriously, she slowly torture Child Elder and let him spectate by the side, since there is another person looking she gain more pleasure in tormenting her enemy, she will eventually kill Xu Zhu to prevent him from divulging the matter, she did not expect Xu Zhu to break through the acupoints which she sealed. She was caught off guard, in an instant Xu Zhu carried Child Elder and rush 5-6 zhang away. Li QiuShui extend her leg and chase after him, she laugh and said: "Little master, you are smitten by my martial sister? Don't just look at her beautiful appearance, she is a 96 year old old woman, she is not some 17-18 young lady." She felt at ease in her imminent victory, she know she can overtake him in a moment, what great ability can this little monk have? Unexpectedly this swift burst of running from Xu Zhu cause his blood to circulate and accelerate, the strength of his [Pure Energy of Northern Darkness] emerged, he is running faster and faster, they are separated by 5-6 zhang and she can't catch up at all.

In a flash, she follow the slope and chase for around 3 li, Li QiuShui is frighten yet angry, she shouted: "Little monk, if you still refuse to stop i will use my palm strength to injure you."

Child Elder is aware that if Li QiuShui send out her palm strength, Xu Zhu will immediately die by her palm, inevitably she will be captured again, she said: "Little master, many thanks for saving me, we can't beat this ****, quickly throw me down the valley, maybe she won't harm you."

Xu Zhu said: "This...absolutely not. Junior monk definitely cannot......" he only say 2 sentence, his energy leak out, Li QiuShui move in closer, suddenly his back felt cold, an enormous slab of freezing ice seem to stick onto his flesh, immediately afterwards his body flew up, he fell into the valley. He knew he was hit by Li QiuShui yin-frost palm strength, but he still hug onto Child Elder tightly, he fall straight down, he pondered: "This time our bodies will be torn and bones crushed, become a pile of mincemeat. Buddha is merciful!"

He faintly heard Li QiuShui voice transmit from the top: "Ayo, my strength is too heavy, they got off lightly......" as it turns out a mountain ledge broke off, its covered by snow, Li QiuShui send out her palm, she intend to make Xu Zhu collapse and then capture Child Elder, slowly use all kinds of cruel methods to torment her, she did not expect Xu Zhu to step onto the snow-covered ledge, the ledge broke and Xu Zhu along with Child Elder fell off the mountain.

*************

Xu Zhu felt his body is empty and floating, he can't control himself at all, he fall straight down, the wind made 'Hu Hu' noise as it rush past his ear, although the matter happen in an instant but he felt time is limitless, his fall is never ending and eternal. He saw the snow-covered mountainside rush straight at him, he is daze by the sight, a few black dots seem to move slowly on the snow-covered ground. He did not have time to examine carefully, he is diving swiftly down the mountainside.

Suddenly he heard someone shout: "Who is it?" a horizontal force push against him, it bump against Xu Zhu's waist. Xu Zhu's body have yet to hit the ground as it tilted and flew out again, he glance, the person who push him is Murong Fu, he is really happy, he gathered his energy to toss Child Elder out, he want to let Murong Fu catch her so as to save her life.

Murong Fu saw two people falling down the mountain peak, he can't see clearly who they are in a short period of time, he executed his family's consummate skill the [Star Shifting Movement], he shifted the falling force and turn it into horizontal force, the two people got shifted and flew horizontally. This [Star Shifting Movement] did not use much of his own force, but Xu Zhu and Child Elder fell down from high altitude, the force is simply too great, in a split second Murong Fu felt his vision blur, he tumbled and sat down.

Xu Zhu is pressured by this gigantic force, he can't toss Child Elder out, his body flew around 10 zhang and drop down, both his legs suddenly step onto an extremely soft yet extremely tough object, there is a 'Bo' sound, his body spring up again. Xu Zhu glance again, he saw a short and fat person, the person is shaped like a meat ball and lie down on the snow-covered ground. This person is 36 Caves Verdant Rock Cave Cave-master Mulberry Soil Elder, his figure is big like a huge cauldron, he saw Xu Zhu and Child Elder flew horizontally, the power is unstoppable, he immediately lie down on the ground. It truly is a coincidence, when Xu Zhu drop to the ground his legs so happen to step onto his big belly, although he quickly channelled his [Pure Energy of Northern Darkness] and reduce the falling force, but this step on the belly cause Mulberry Soil Elder's intestines to rupture, he died a violent death, luckily his belly sprung up and Xu Zhu manage to save both his legs, his legs did not break off. With this bounce, Xu Zhu cannot help but fly horizontally again, he rush straight at a person, he vaguely identify the person as Duan Yu. Xu Zhu shout loudly: "Gentleman Duan, dodge quickly! I am rushing over!"

Duan Yu saw Xu Zhu's rushing force is strangely quick, no matter what he can't catch him, he shouted: "I will support you!" he turn around, he use his back as support, at the same time he executed his [Graceful Steps upon the Waves] and ran swiftly, in an instant he felt the pressure on his back is like a mountain, it press onto him and he can barely breathe, but with every step he take the pressure on his back will lessen by a bit, he sprinted over 30 steps with a single breath, Xu Zhu slide off his back lightly.

The two of them fell down from several hundred zhang high, by sheer luck Murong Fu shifted the force, Mulberry Soil Elder bounce off the force, lastly Duan Yu carried them on his back and sprinted, after 3 turn of event, unexpectedly they didn't sustain any injury. Xu Zhu straighten his body and said: "Buddha is merciful! Many thanks to everyone for assisting!" he is not aware that Mulberry Soil Elder was trampled to death by him, if not the guilt would overwhelm him. Suddenly he heard a shout, it transmit from the mountainside. After Child Elder's leg was severed, although she bleed excessively but she did not lose consciousness, she said in alarm: "That **** is chasing down. Leave quickly, leave quickly!" When Xu Zhu thought about Li QiuShui's vicious and merciless method he cannot help but shiver, he carried Child Elder and rush into the forest.

**********

Li QiuShui rush down quickly from the mountainside, although her footstep is fast and nimble but ultimately it can't be compared with Xu Zhu who plunge straight down the mountain, in reality their distance is far apart but Xu Zhu is scared, he don't dare to linger any longer. He rush out a few li, Child Elder said: "Put me down, tear some cloth to bind my leg wound to avoid leaving behind bloodstains and let the **** track us. Hit my 'HuanTiao' and 'QiMen' acupoints to staunch the bleeding." Xu Zhu said: "Yes!" he followed her instructions, he also listen attentively for Li QiuShui's movement. Child Elder retrieved a yellow pill from her bosom and ate it, she said: "This **** has deep enmity with me, she will never let me go. I still need 79 days to fully restore my divine martial arts, at that time i don't need to fear that **** anymore. But where to hide during these 79 days?"

Xu Zhu wrinkled his brows and thought: "Its difficult to hide for half a day, how to hide for 79 days?" Child Elder mumbled to herself: "If we hide in your Shaolin Temple, its an excellent location...." Xu Zhu had a huge fright, he is trembling from head to toe. Child Elder said furiously: "Damn monk, what are you scared of? Shaolin Temple is so far from here, how can we go there?" She incline her head and said: "If we travel west for several hundred li it would be Western Xia. That **** has deep relationship with Western Xia, if she pass down her orders the experts from Western Xia First-Class Hall will all come to search for us, then its difficult to escape her evil clutches. Little monk, in your opinion where should we hide?" Xu Zhu said: "We should hide in deep mountains, fields and caves, hide for 79 days, i think your martial sister will not be able to find us." Child Elder said: "How you know? If that **** can't find us, she will definitely return to Western Xia and gather a huge group of dogs, these several hundred hunting dogs have extremely keen nose, no matter where we hide these animals will definitely find us." Xu Zhu said: "Then we have to run South-east, move far far away from Western Xia."

Child Elder gave a sigh, she said: "That **** have many spies under her, naturally she already deployed her men at the south-east routes." She muttered to herself for a long time, suddenly she clap her hands and said: "I got it, little monk, you solved Wu YaZi's 'Zhen Long' chess formation, what is the first move?" Xu Zhu is extremely worried about the current critical situation, unexpectedly she still have to mood to discuss about chess formation, he said: "Junior monk close my eyes and made a random move, i killed myself, i let my opponent kill a huge group of chess-piece."

Child Elder said happily: "Correct, for the past 10 years, there are countless people who are 100 times more wise and talented than you, none of them can solve this 'Zhen Long' chess formation, because no one is willing to bring about their own destruction. Wonderful, wonderful! Little monk, carry me and jump up the tree, quickly travel west." Xu Zhu said: "Where we going?" Child Elder said: "To a place no one would ever expect us to go, although its dangerous but we will find a way out of the danger, we have to take this risk."

Xu Zhu look at her broken leg, he sigh and pondered: "You can't walk, even if i am not willing to take the risk its no use." He saw her injury is serious, he no longer care about the rule that forbids direct contact between men and women, he carried her on his back and jump up the treetop, he followed the directions pointed out by Child Elder and ran west swiftly.

He ran over 10 li, suddenly he heard a gentle and coy voice from far: "Little monk, have you fallen to your death? Elder sister, where are you? Little sister really miss you bitterly, quickly come out!" Xu Zhu's legs turn soft when he heard Li QiuShui's voice, he nearly fell off the treetop.

Child Elder scold him: "Useless little monk, what are you scared of? Her voice is getting further and further, isn't she travelling east?"

Sure enough the voice is gradually getting further and further, Xu Zhu is very impress with Child Elder's wisdom, he said: "She...how come she knows that we didn't die after falling down from several hundred zhang high?" Child Elder said: "Obviously someone talk too much and leak it out." She pondered for a long time and said: "Granny never left Misty Peak for over 10 years, i didn't expect martial studies to make such rapid progress. That young gentleman who neutralize our falling force, his technique in borrowing and redirecting force, pushing aside a thousand catty with four liang, it really reach the state of perfection. Who is the other young gentleman? How come he knows our Carefree Sect's [Graceful Steps upon the Waves]?" she mumbled to herself, she is not really asking Xu Zhu. Xu Zhu is afraid that Li QiuShui will catch up with them, he gathered his energy and ran swiftly, he didn't hear what Child Elder said.

When they reach level ground, he choose to travel on minor road, they rest the night in a dense jungle, the next morning they travel again, Child Elder still directed him westward. Xu Zhu said: "Senior, you say westward is Western Xia, i think we can't travel west anymore." Child Elder sneered: "Why can't we travel west?" Xu Zhu said: "If we pass the borders of Western Xia, wouldn't it be walking right into a trap?" Child Elder said: "The land you are stepping on right now, its already the territory of Western Xia!"

Xu Zhu had a huge shock, he shouted: "What? This is Western Xia? But you said....you said your martial sister has enormous power in Western Xia?" Child Elder laugh and said: "Yes! That **** can go on a rampage in Western Xia, she can demand and do whatever she wants, but we go against expectation and break into an important place, she will never imagine it till the day she dies. She look around everywhere, but she will never expect me to be resting peacefully in her nest and practicing my skills. Haha!" she is extremely proud of herself, she said: "Little monk, i copied your method, the most stupid and most illogical chess move, but in the end its really wonderful and useful."

Xu Zhu really admired her, he said: "Senior divine calculation, its indeed hard for people to fathom, but....but...." Child Elder said: "But what?" Xu Zhu said: "Within Li QiuShui's important place, there must be other capable people, if they discover our tracks......" Child Elder said: "Heng, if that place is uninhabited then how can it be considered dangerous? Going against all odds and difficulties, throwing yourself into danger, that is the proper conduct of a true hero." Xu Zhu pondered: "If its to save human or save the world, its worth it to throw myself into danger, but you and Li QiuShui are roughly the same, both of you are not really good people, why should i willingly risk this danger?"

Child Elder saw his hesitation, she already guess his thoughts, she said: "I ask you to brave danger, naturally i have good stuff to give you as thanks, i won't ask you to suffer for nothing. Right now i will teach you 3 palm style and 3 grappling style, when you combine these 6 style of martial arts it is known as [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain]."

Xu Zhu said: "Senior your injuries have yet to heal, its inappropriate for you to exert yourself, you should rest more." Child Elder roll her eyes and said: "You resent my heretic martial arts, you disdain to learn it correct?" Xu Zhu said: "This...this...junior definitely don't have such intentions, please don't misunderstand." Child Elder said: "You are the legal successor of Carefree Sect, this [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain] is precisely the high-level martial art of our sect, Wu YaZi ask you to go to WuLiang Mountain to find that **** Li QiuShui to teach you martial arts, heng, that **** is cold and indifferent, she might not be willing to impart to you, today i voluntarily choose to impart it to you, its your enormous fortune and fate, you get it without asking, how come you are not willing to learn?" Xu Zhu said: "Junior is from Shaolin, i really have no relations with Carefree Sect."

Child Elder said: "Pei! You entire body is equipped with internal energy from Carefree Sect, you dare to claim you have no relations with Carefree Sect, you are talking rubbish. The conduct of Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain, i never do things that benefit others and not myself. I teach you martial arts, its for my own benefit, i need you to act as my proxy to resist powerful enemy. If you can't master this 6 style [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain], you will definitely die in Western Xia, its not important if little monk die in Western Xia, but your granny will also accompany you and die as well." Xu Zhu agreed and said: "Yes!" although this person intention is bad but she still say it out loud, she can be considered straightforward and upright.

Immediately Child Elder impart him the mnemonic of the 1st palm style of [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain]. This mnemonic has 7 words in a sentence, a total of 12 sentences, 84 words. Xu Zhu has superb memory, Child Elder only need to go through 3 times and he remembered everything. This 84 words are extremely difficult to pronounce, 7 flat tone in succession, followed by 7 oblique tone, the phonetics is completely different, its similar to tongue twister. Luckily Xu Zhu usually recite "Xi tan duo, bo tan luo", "Jiedi, jiedi, boluo seng jiedi", etc, he is familiar with incantation in scriptures, he didn't really find it strange.

Child Elder said: "Carry me on your back and run west, recite this mnemonic loudly." Xu Zhu followed her instructions, unexpectedly he manage to recite 3 words, he can't utter the 4th word 'Fu', he have to stop and regain his breath and finally utter the 4th word. Child Elder raise her palm and slap the top of his head, she scold him: "Useless little monk, you can't even recite the first sentence." Although this slap is not heavy, but it hit his 'BaiHui' acupoint. Xu Zhu body sway, he felt dizzy and light-headed, he recite the mnemonic again, he is obstructed on the 4th word again, Child Elder slap him again.

Xu Zhu felt really strange: "How come i can't pronounce this 'Fu' word smoothly?" when he recite the third time, he involuntarily gathered his energy, he blurted the 'Fu' word out. Child Elder smile and said: "Good chap, you pass the first stage!" As it turns out, the words of the mnemonic are complete opposite from regular breathing in pronunciation, its already not easy to recite when calm and breathing normally, while running its even more difficult to pronounce, the real purpose in reciting this mnemonic is to regulate breathing and internal energy.

As it reach noon, Child Elder ordered Xu Zhu to put her down, she flick her finger, a stone flew into the sky and shoot down a crow, she drank the crow's blood and practice her [Eternal Youth Never Ageing Skill]. At this moment she regained her internal energy till 17 years old, although she is still greatly inferior compared with Li QiuShui, but its easy for her to kill a crow with a snap of her finger.

Child Elder finish her training, she order Xu Zhu to carry her and recite the mnemonic, once he complete reciting she ask him to recite in reverse. This mnemonic is already extremely difficult to pronounce while reciting normally, when reciting in reverse it go against his breathing and obstructed his throat, disturb his tongue and hinder his teeth, but Xu Zhu rely on his willpower and perseverance, the sky have yet to turn dark, unexpectedly when reciting the mnemonic of the 1st palm style, either normally or in reverse, it flow right off his tongue and he recited with ease, there is no obstruction at all.

Child Elder is very happy, she said: "Little monk, you are really fortunate....ayo...ayo!" suddenly there is a huge change in her tone, her pair of hands turn into fists and she violently hammered the top of Xu Zhu's head, she scold him: "Little thief with no conscience, you...you must have engage in some hidden affairs with her, i was kept in the dark all along. Little thief, you still want to deceive me? You...how can you face me?"

Xu Zhu had a huge shock, he quickly put her down and ask: "Senior...what you trying to say?" Child Elder's face had swollen purple, tears stream down her face, she shouted: "You and that **** Li QiuShui communicate in private, correct? You still try to deny? Still refuse to admit it? If not, how come she impart this [Minor Formless Skill] to you? Little thief, you...you really conceal it from me bitterly." Xu Zhu is unable to make any sense of the matter, he ask: "Senior, what [Minor Formless Skill]?"

Child Elder suddenly stare stupidly, immediately she calm down and wipe her tears, she sigh and said: "Its nothing. Your Master is not faithful to me!"

As it turns out, when Xu Zhu recited the mnemonic, he cleared many difficulties swiftly, when he recited in reverse its especially smooth and easy, Child Elder suddenly recalled, it must be due to the effects of [Minor Formless Skill]. Child Elder, Wu YaZi, Li QiuShui, although they inherited their skills from the same master, but the three of them learnt different skills, Wu YaZi had the highest accomplishments, his martial arts the strongest, he succeeded his master and became Carefree Sect's Leader. As for [Minor Formless Skill], their master only pass it to Li QuiShui, its a divine skill to protect her body, the power is extremely strong, in the past years, Child Elder tried to harm her countless times, Li QiuShui relied on [Minor Formless Skill] and preserve her life. Although Child Elder don't know [Minor Formless Skill], but she is extremely familiar with the form and appearance of the skill, currently she notice that not only Xu Zhu is equipped with this skill, the level of the skill is also deep and profound, in her shock and rage she mistook Xu Zhu as Wu YaZi. After a while she became clear-headed, she recalled how Wu YaZi deceived her and communicate with Li QiuShui in private, she is extremely angry and it aggravated her injury. In reality, she already guess this matter 10 years ago, but now she finally had convincing proof. The three martial brother and sister from Carefree Sect had extremely deep and profound internal energy, their martial arts high, but other than Child Elder, the other two are not devoted in relationship matters. Originally, Wu YaZi was in love with Child Elder, but afterwards Li ChunQiu deliberately sabotage Child Elder's training, Child Elder's body can never grow up, she lost out in appearance, Wu YaZi shifted his love to Li QiuShui, but he never break off with Child Elder.

At night, Child Elder kept cursing Wu YaZi and Li QiuShui. Xu Zhu heard her vicious curse, but her emotions from pain and sorrow is in fact much greater than hatred and resentment, he cannot help but feel sad for her, he advised: "Senior, life is variable, variable is suffering, all the worries in life, its all due to greed, anger and delusion. Senior, you just have to avoid these three poison, don't long for your martial brother, don't hate your martial sister, your heart will naturally be free from worries." Child Elder said angrily: "I insist on thinking about your heartless Master, i insist on hating that evil ****. The more worries i have, the happier i am." Xu Zhu shakes his head, he don't dare to advise anymore.

The next day Child Elder taught him the mnemonic to the 2nd palm style. Thus they kept travelling and kept on practicing their skills relentlessly. As nigh fall on the 5th day, they saw dense sign of human habitation ahead, they reached a huge city. Child Elder said: "This is the capital city of Western Xia XingZhou, you still have 1 more mnemonic to master, today we have to stay at the west of XingZhou, tomorrow we will travel 200 li westward, afterwards we will detour and come back here." Xu Zhu said: "We have to go to XingZhou?" Child Elder said: "Obviously we have to go to XingZhou, how can we penetrate deep into tiger's den without going to XingZhou?"

Another day pass, Xu Zhu thoroughly memorized the 6 mnemonics of [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain]. At a wilderness, Child Elder taught him how to utilize the mnemonics. One of her leg broke, she have no choice but to sit on the ground while sparing with Xu Zhu. [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain], although it only have 6 styles, but it contains the essence of Carefree Sect's martial arts, within the palm styles and grappling styles, there is also sword art, sabre art, whip art, spear art, grabbing art, axe art, etc, all the unique finishing moves of various weapons, the moves fantastic and wonderful, the variations complicated, Xu Zhu can't learn all of them in such a short period of time. Child Elder said: "This [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain] of mine, it can never be completed, in the future with higher level of internal energy, wider experience and knowledge, you can automatically incorporate any martial art moves into this 6 styles Plum Breaking Hands. Luckily you already mastered the mnemonics, whatever level you attain in the future its entirely dependent on you."

Xu Zhu said: "Junior learn this martial art, its purely to protect senior, when senior regained your internal energy my assignment is complete, junior will go back to Shaolin and try to forget everything that senior taught me, i will learn Shaolin martial arts from scratch again."

Child Elder look at him from left to right, her expression flabbergasted, she appear as if she seen a rare monster, after a long time she finally sigh and said: "This [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain], how can any of your Shaolin's martial arts be compared with it? You give up a jade and pick a roof tile, impossibly stupid. But its really not easy to ask little monk to forget your roots. Close your eyes and rest, when the sky turn dark we will enter XingZhou city!"

********

The time is the second of the five night watch period, Child Elder ordered Xu Zhu to carry her on his back, he ran to outside of XingZhou city, after jumping over the moat he lightly flip over the city wall and landed softly. He saw a group of armoured cavalry lifting their torch, patrolling back and forth, the soldiers well-trained and powerful, the military magnificent and powerful.

Child Elder gave her instructions softly, she ordered him to stick close to the wall and travel north-west, after walking around 3 li, they saw a skyscraper, behind the skyscraper is a building built densely layer upon layer, the structure is grand and magnificent, the roof made of glazed tile, its a dazzling sight. Xu Zhu saw this building is quite similar to Shaolin Temple, but its more splendid and majestic, he said softly: "Buddha is merciful, there is a big temple here." Child Elder cannot help but laugh softly, she said: "Little monk really have no knowledge, this is the imperial palace of Western Xia, but you say its a big temple." Xu Zhu had a huge shock, he said: "This is imperial palace? We come here for what?"

Child Elder said: "To seek protection from the emperor. Li QiuShui can't find our corpse, she knows i am not dead, even if she has to turn over the entire ground she will definitely try to find me. Within 2000 li, there is only one place she won't search, its her own home." Xu Zhu said: "Senior is really smart, we endure for 1 day and senior's internal energy will increase by another 1 year. We will go to your sister's house." Child Elder said: "This is her house....be careful, someone is coming."

Xu Zhu shrink his body and hide in a corner, he saw 4 people moving from east to west, immediately after another 4 people came from the west, these 8 people pass by each other, they clap their palms lightly, and move past. These 8 people are nimble and athletic, clearly their martial art is not weak. Child Elder said: "The front guard patrol has pass, quickly flip over the palace's wall, another group of patrol will come soon after." Xu Zhu saw their influence and power, he became timid and said: "There are so many experts in the palace, we will be in trouble if they see us. We better go to your sister's house." Child Elder said angrily: "I already said it before, this is her house." Xu Zhu said: "But you said this is the imperial palace." Child Elder said: "That **** is the mother of the king of Western Xia, she is the Consort Dowager, the imperial palace is her home."

This sentence is beyond Xu Zhu's expectation, he is dumbfounded, another 4 people move from north to south. When the 4 people move past, Xu Zhu said: "Sen....." he only vocalize half the word as Child Elder stretch out her hands to press his mouth, another 4 people jump out from behind the wall, they made their rounds quietly. These 4 people arrive suddenly, but they never expect that someone is hiding in the dark corner of the wall. When these 4 people move far away, Child Elder slap his back and said: "Go to that small alley."

Xu Zhu saw how the 16 people patrol the palace, he knew he is in a dangerous place, without the guidance of Child Elder, even if he withdraw quickly he will definitely be discovered by the many guards, at once he followed her orders and entered the small alley. Both sides of the alley are high walls, in reality the alley is just a gap between two Palace.

He weave through this narrow passage, he hide for a moment within a peony shrub, when the 8 guards patrol pass he entered a large rock garden. This rock garden is winding and headed north, it stretch long and continuous for 50-60 zhang. For every 10 zhang he take, he will follow Child Elder's instruction and hide himself, its really strange, not long after he hid himself, the guards will definitely show up and patrol, it seems as if Child Elder is the supervisor of the guards, where they patrol, when they patrol, she knows everything by the back of her hands, she predict everything accurately. They evade and dodge for over an hour, the rooms near their vicinity are all simple and crude, the guards no longer appear anymore.

Child Elder pointed at a big stone house to the left and said: "Go there." Xu Zhu saw there is a large vacant land in front of the stone house, the moon light shine on the plot of vacant land, there is no place to hide in surrounding, at once he draw his breath and rush forward. The walls of the stone house seems to be made of 5 chi square rock, its exceptionally thick, the entrance is made of 8 rows of pine tree, the tree is chop in half and nailed together. Child Elder said: "Pull open the door and go in!" Xu Zhu's heart is thumping madly, his voice trembled: "Your...your martial sister...is here?" he remembers Li QiuShui's vicious methods, he don't dare to enter. Chid Elder said: "No. Pull open the door."

Xu Zhu grip the iron ring on the door, he pull open the door, the door is solid and heavy. Behind the front door is another door, a burst of cold air seep out from behind the door. Currently the weather is hot, although snow still covers the mountain peak but the snow already melted on level ground, the flowers flourish, but there is a thin layer of frost on the door. Child Elder said: "Push the interior door." Xu Zhu stretch out his hands and push, the door open slowly, a narrow slit appear between the door and a gust of cold air gush out. He push open the door and entered, the interior is piled up with cloth-sacks, they stack together and is as high as the ceiling, evidently this place is a granary, there is a narrow passage to the left.

Xu Zhu felt really curious, he whispered: "How come this granary is so cold?" Child Elder laugh and said: "Close the door. We entered the ice storehouse, nothing will happen to us now!" Xu Zhu said curiously: "Ice storehouse? This is not a granary?" while speaking, he close the 2 set of doors. Child Elder is in a very good mood, she laugh and said: "Let's go in and take a look."

Once the 2 set of doors are closed, the interior is dark. Xu Zhu fumbled around and entered from the left side, as he move to the interior the cold air is getting thicker and thicker, he extend his left hand and touch something, its a cold, stiff and damp object, evidently its a big block of solid ice. While being baffled, Child Elder already lit a torch, in an instant a strange sight appear before his eyes, he is surrounded by blocks of square shaped ice chunk, the light from the torch reflect off the ice chunk, the light is suddenly green and suddenly blue, its really a strange sight.

Child Elder said: "Let's descend to the bottom." She lean against the ice chunk, she hop with her right leg and lead the way, she made a few turns around the ice chunks and entered a big hole by the corner of the house. Xu Zhu followed her, he saw a row of stone steps, after walking down the steps its yet another huge house filled with ice chunk. Child Elder said: "Most likely there is another level in this ice storehouse." Sure enough, there is another huge stone room underneath the 2nd level, its also filled with ice chunk.

Child Elder extinguish the torch, she sat down and said: "We penetrate deep into the 3rd level, even though that **** is smart and crafty she will not be able to find us." She exhaled a long breath. For the past few days although she appeared calm and cool, but in her heart she is really anxious and worried, Western Xia is full of experts, they penetrate deep into the interior of the imperial palace and avoided the attention of numerous experts, to achieve that firstly you need to be vigilant and cautious, secondly you have to be familiar with the way things are carried out in the palace and with the guards movement. Only now did she finally feel at ease.

Xu Zhu sigh and said: "Strange! Strange!" Child Elder said: "What so strange?" Xu Zhu said: "Unexpectedly Western Xia store these worthless ice chunks in a cellar, what is the purpose?" Child Elder laugh and said: "These ice chunks are worthless in winter, but during hot summer, these ice are very precious. Think about it, at the main street, at the open field, the sun is like steaming hot charcoal, everyone sweat like sticky paste, if they have two big blocks of ice beside them, or put a few ice cubes inside the lotus seed and mung bean soup, what is the feeling?" Xu Zhu suddenly realize the truth, he said: "Wonderful, wonderful! But to carry so much ice chunks and store them, the effort involved is truly not small, isn't it very troublesome?" Child Elder found it funny, she said: "The emperor has hundreds of attendants at his beck and call, he can get whatever he wants, why would he even bother about troublesome or not? You think the emperor has to personally move these big ice chunks into the storehouse?"

Xu Zhu nod his head and said: "The emperor really leads an extremely comfortable life. But his comfort is really a bit too much, he will exhaust his karmic reward, his next life might not be good. Ayo, the emperor want to use these ice chunks, he will frequently send people here to fetch it, won't they see us?" Child Elder said: "The imperial palace has 'Sky', 'Earth', 'Mysterious', 'Yellow', 'House', 'Time', 'Flood' and 'Desolate', eight ice storehouses, this ice storehouse is 'Desolate'. They have to finish withdrawing the ice from the seven storehouses before coming to this storehouse. They might not come here for 3 months, at that time, no need to worry!" Xu Zhu said: "Senior, you know everything, you been here before? For example, you knew when and where the guards will patrol, how come you know everything?" Child Elder said: "Obviously i came to this imperial palace before. I seek that **** to vent my anger, how can it be only once? The breathing of those guards are thick and heavy, i heard them 10 zhang away, what is so strange about it?" Xu Zhu said: "So it is. Senior is born with divine ears, only extraordinary people can hope to reach your level." Child Elder said: "What born with divine ears? With deep internal energy, you can train this kind of skills, its really easy. I will teach you."

When Xu Zhu heard the phrase 'you can train this kind of skills', he suddenly remember, there is no birds and animals within this ice storehouse, its difficult to obtain warm blood, how is she going to practice her skill? There is a lot of dried food and cereals in the storehouse, but they can't light a fire in the ice storehouse, how to cook the rice and oats for food?

Child Elder saw he is silent for a long time, she ask: "What are you thinking about?" Xu Zhu told her, Child Elder laugh and said: "You think those cloth-sack contains dried food and cereals? There is only cotton, its to prevent external heat from coming in and melting the ice. Hey hey, you want to eat cotton or not?" Xu Zhu said: "Then we have to go outside and look for food?" Child Elder said: "The imperial kitchen have no lack of chicken and duck. But there isn't much essence in the blood of chicken, duck, pig and sheep, its not as good as the sika deer and antelope on snowy mountain. We will go to the imperial garden to catch some red-crowned crane, peacock, mandarin ducks, parrot, etc, i will drink the blood, you eat the meat, we can survive like this."

Xu Zhu quickly said: "No, no. Junior monk cannot kill and eat meat." He pondered, since Child Elder is safe here there is no need for him to accompany her anymore, he said: "Junior monk is a Buddhist disciple, i cannot see you kill living things, i....i have to leave now." Child Elder said: "Where you going?" Xu Zhu said: "Junior monk will return to Shaolin Temple." Child Elder said angrily: "You cannot leave, you have to stay here and accompany me, wait until i complete my divine martial arts and kill that ****, only then i will let you go."

Xu Zhu heard her wanting to kill Li QiuShui after completing her skills, he is even more unwilling to accompany her in this evil plot, he stood up and said: "Senior, junior monk have to advise you but you will surely not listen to me. Moreover junior monk's knowledge is superficial, i am clumsy and inarticulate, i can't think of anything to persuade you, you have to resolve the grievance not deepen the grievance, its time to let go." While speaking he walk towards the stone steps.

Child Elder shout loudly: "Stop moving, i forbid you to leave."

Xu Zhu said: "Junior monk have to go!" originally he wanted to say 'i hope you can complete your divine skills', but Li QiuShui would be in danger if she completes her skills, moreover Wu LaoDa and the 36 Cave-masters and 72 Island-masters, as well as Murong Fu, Duan Yu, etc, all of them will die a violent death, he is getting more and more afraid when he thought about it, he stretch out his leg and leap up the stone steps.

Suddenly his knees felt numb, he flip over and fell down, immediately after his waist ached, his entire body paralyzed, he knew his acupoint was sealed by Child Elder. In the darkness her body is motionless, she only need to hit the empty air and his vital acupoint was sealed, its seems he can only allow himself to be manipulated before such an expert, he is completely defenceless and can't resist at all. He calm down and chanted scriptures: "Arriving at hardship during cultivation, instinctively think about coercing by force, neglecting fundamentals and concentrating on details, excessive love and hate. Although i did not commit offense, but i lead myself to it, i willingly accept my suffering without complain. The scripture says: 'Do not worry during hardship, you will gain wisdom....'"

Child Elder interrupted: "What you ghost scriptures you chating?" Xu Zhu said: "Excellent, excellent! This is Bodhidharma's <>." Child Elder said: "Dharma is the ancestor of your Shaolin Temple, i only know he possess exceptional talent, but how come his so long-winded, a stinky monk with no moral backbone." Xu Zhu said: "Ancestor master is merciful, senior please don't spout nonsense."

Child Elder said: "You ghost scripture says: 'Arriving at hardship during cultivation, its due to the results of past life, have to accept it willingly, do not blame and complain.' Then no matter how others viciously torture you, you willingly accept it, never blame and complain at all?" Xu Zhu said: "Junior monk's cultivation is superficial, when assaulted by external demons my inner self will give rise to hate, i am afraid its hard for me to resist." Child Elder said: "Now you don't even have a tiny bit of Shaolin martial arts, the martial arts of Carefree Sect you only learn a tiny bit, you lose more than you gain, extremely terrible. Just listen to my orders, i will impart all the divine martial arts of Carefree Sect to you, at that time you will be unequalled under the heaven, isn't that glorious?"

Xu Zhu press his hands together, he chanted scriptures again: "All living things have no self, suffering and happiness is all predestined. The glory and reputation is all due to the merits of past life, now you reap the benefits. Karmic reward is exhausted and return to nothing, how can it be a happy affair? Gains and losses is predestined, there is no difference."

Child Elder shouted: "Pei pei, rubbish! Your martial art is weak and lowly, you endure abuse from people everywhere you go, its similar to you having your acupoints sealed by me, i want to beat you and scold you, you can't resist at all. Its similar to my incomplete divine martial arts, i have no choice but to hide here, that **** Li QiuShui is roaming outside, overbearing and tyrannic. Your Master gave you this painting, he ask you to go beg someone to teach you martial arts and punish that little demon Ding ChunQiu. In this world, the strong gets to bully people, the weaklings have to suffer and endure, if you want to be safe and happy then you must be the strongest person under the heaven."

Xu Zhu chanted his scriptures: "Common people fantasize constantly, they are greedy in all aspects, they seek fame and glory. The wise men understands the truth, their logic and action is opposite, they feel at ease and let things take their own course, their form adapt to the circumstances. There is suffering in all three realm, who can be peaceful? The scripture says: 'Those who seek will find suffering, those who do not seek will find happiness.'"

Although Xu Zhu have no talent in debating, but he is extremely familiar with scriptures. This <> is written by eminent monk Tanlin, Dharma travelled from Southern India to China and accepted Tanlin as disciple, the scripture recorded the words of Dharma, there is only a few hundred words, all Shaolin monks must definitely study it. He recited the scripture without thinking, but it refuted all of Child Elder's words.

Child Elder natural disposition is competitive and eager to excel, for over 10 years she gave orders and others complied, obviously none of her female servants dare to refute her words, those men from 36 Caves and 72 Islands, they all treat her orders as God's will, but today a little monk refuted her words and left her speechless. In her anger, she raise her right palm and strike the top of Xu Zhu's head. When her palm is about to hit the 'BaiHui' acupoint on his head, she suddenly remember: "If i kill this monk with a single palm, he will die without knowing and without feeling, then his fallacious argument is correct and i am wrong, heng heng, how can this be so?" she withdraw her palm, she regulated her breathing and energy.

After a while she jump up the stone steps, she push open the door and went out, she broke a tree branch and use it as a crutch, she rush to the imperial garden. Currently her internal energy is competent, although she lost a leg but her body is still light as a leaf, how can those guards detect her presence? She caught two red-crowned crane and two peacock and return to the ice storehouse. Xu Zhu heard her going out and coming back again, he also heard the calls of birds, he chanted 'Buddha is merciful', since he can't do anything now he can only let nature take its course.

The next day during noon, there is no day-time and night-time in the ice storehouse, the room is pitch-black, the internal energy within Child Elder is boiling and rolling around, she knew the time to practice her skill has come, she bite the throat of a red-crowned crane and suck its blood. After training her skill, she bite the throat of yet another red-crowned crane.

Xu Zhu heard the noise, he advised: "Senior, this bird, please leave it till tomorrow before drinking, why harm another life?" Child Elder laugh and said: "I have good intentions, its for you to eat." Xu Zhu had a huge shock, he said: "No, no! Junior monk absolutely cannot eat it." Child Elder stretch out her left-hand, she grab his chin, Xu Zhu cannot resist, his mouth involuntarily open up. Child Elder inverted the red-crowned crane, she pour the crane's blood into his mouth. Xu Zhu felt warm blood flowing down his throat, he struggled and tried to shut off his throat, but his acupoint is controlled by Child Elder, there is nothing he can do, he is angry and anxious, two stream of hot tears stream down from his eyes.

Child Elder drain all the crane's blood, her right hand press against the 'LingTai' acupoint on his back, she help him regulate his breathing, immediately after she hit his 'GuanYuan', 'TianTu' and 'LiangXue' acupoints so that he can't vomit the blood out, she laugh happily and said: "Little monk, your Buddhist's precepts, do not eat meat and fish, you broke it correct? Since you already broke one precept, why don't you break another one? Heng, if there is anyone who dare to oppose me, i will complete with him till the end. In short, i will make sure you can't be a monk." Xu Zhu is extremely angry, he is speechless.

Child Elder laugh and said: "The scripture says: 'Those who seek will find suffering, those who do not seek will find happiness.' You wholeheartedly wish to abide by the Buddhist precepts, then you are 'seeking', since you seek and did not get it, then your heart must be feeling bitter. You have to let nature take its own course, adapt your form according to the circumstances, if you can abide the Buddhist precepts then abide it, if you can't abide it then don't abide it, only then its 'non-seeking', haha, haha!"

This went on for over a month, Child Elder regained her internal energy when she was 60 years old, when she leave the ice storehouse and go to the garden her movement is like a formless demon, if not out of fear of Li QiuShui she would have left the imperial palace. Everyday she will drink blood and train her skill, she will seal Xu Zhu's acupoints and force the blood and meat of birds and animals into Xu Zhu's stomach, after 4 hours, when the food in his stomach digested and he can't vomit it out anymore, she would then release his acupoints. Xu Zhu was compelled to devour raw meat, his life spent in darkness, he really can't bear this bitter suffering, he can only rely on a sentence in a scripture 'Do not worry during hardship, you will gain wisdom' to forcibly console himself, but in reality he 'worry during hardship, hard to gain wisdom', thus he suffered more hardships.

On this day, Child Elder heard him chanting 'arriving at hardship during cultivation, instinctively think about coercing by force', 'willingly accept it, without complain or blame', she sneered: "Rabbit, deer, crane, bird, you tasted all sorts of meat already, you still considered a monk? Chanting scriptures for what?" Xu Zhu said: "Junior monk was compelled by senior, i did not do it voluntarily, thus its not considered violating precepts." Child Elder sneered: "If nobody compels you, you will definitely not violate your precepts?" Xu Zhu said: "Junior monk cherish my clean self, i definitely don't dare to break Buddhist's rules and regulations." Child Elder said: "Good, we will try it out." Thus she did not force Xu Zhu to drink blood and eat meat anymore. Xu Zhu is extremely happy, he express his thanks repeatedly.

The next day Child Elder still did not force him to eat meat and drink blood. Xu Zhu is so hungry that his stomach groaned, he said: "Senior, your divine martial art is nearly complete, you don't need junior monk to serve you anymore. Junior monk have to leave." Child Elder said: "I forbid you to leave." Xu Zhu said: "Junior monk is very hungry, then i have to trouble senior to find some vegetables or rice for me to eat." Child Elder said: "Its possible." She sealed his acupoints to prevent him from running away and went out. After a while she return to the ice storehouse.

Xu Zhu smell a burst of fragrant aroma, at once his mouth is full of saliva and he crave for it. There is 3 'Tuo Tuo Tuo' sound, Child Elder put 3 big bowls in front of him and said: "One bowl of simmered fried meat, one bowl of steamed fat chicken, one bowl of sweet and sour carp, quickly eat it!" Xu Zhu is frighten, he said: "Amituofo, junior monk rather die then eat it." The fragrant aroma of the food rush into his nose, he forcibly restrain himself and focus on chanting scriptures. Child Elder grab a chicken, she ate it with gusto, she praise repeatedly, but Xu Zhu kept chanting.

On the third day, Child Elder went to the imperial kitchen again and stole a few bowls of meat dish, ham, sea cucumber, bear paw, roast duck, the aroma is extremely rich and heavy. Although Xu Zhu is so hungry that he became weak and feeble, but he still endured and refuse to eat. Child Elder pondered: "You eager to win in front of me, you will definitely refuse to eat it." Thus she left the ice storehouse and wait outside, she did not return for half a day, she thought: "I am afraid you will definitely stealthily eat the food." Unexpectedly when she return and inspected the food under bright light, Xu Zhu did not even touch a single drop of soup.

On the 9th day, Xu Zhu did not have the strength to chant scriptures anymore, he only bite a few ice cubes to quench his thirst, he did not eat any of the meat dish in front of him. Child Elder is furious, she grab his chest and stuff the braised pork into his mouth. She force Xu Zhu to eat meat, thus she knew she lost the competition, in her rage, she slap him 30-40 times and scold him: "Damn monk, you set yourself against granny, you want to test how powerful granny is!" Xu Zhu is neither annoyed nor angry, he chant scriptures softly.

From that point onwards, Child Elder forcibly stuff him full of meat and fish. Xu Zhu resign himself and endured, apart from chanting scriptures he slept all day long.

On this day, while dreaming in his sleep, Xu Zhu suddenly detect a sweet fragrance, this fragrance is not from the burning of sandalwood or from the meat dish, but he felt safe and peaceful, an indescribable feeling of comfort, in his daze state he felt some soft object leaning on his chest, he was startled and woke up, he stretch his hands and touch the object, he felt the object is smooth soft and warm, unexpectedly it is a naked person. He had a huge shock and said: "Senior, you...what happen?"

The person said: "I.....where am i? How come its so cold?" the voice is tender and lovely, its a female voice, its not Child Elder. Xu Zhu is even more shock, his voice trembled: "You...you...who are you?" the female said: "I...i....i am so cold, who are you?" while speaking she lean closer to Xu Zhu.

Xu Zhu was about to stand up to avoid her, while he push out to support himself his left hand held onto the maiden's shoulder, his right hand wrap around her soft and slender waist. Xu Zhu is 24 years old, in his entire life he only communicate with 3 female, AhZi, Child Elder and Li QiuShui, before that, he is always at Shaolin Temple, chanting scriptures and meditating. However its human inborn nature to be lustful, although Xu Zhu adhere strictly to Shaolin's rules and regulations, but during spring when all the flowers boom, he will inevitably fantasize about the matters between male and female. But he don't know what a proper female look like on the inside, thus his fantasy and imagination are weird and bizarre, he is unable to determine the correct answer and he never dare to discuss with his fellow martial brothers. At this moment, his pair of hands touched the soft smooth and delicate skin of the maiden, his heart nearly jump out from his chest, however its difficult for him to loosen his grip.

The maiden call out delicately, she turn her body and hook her hands on his neck. Xu Zhu felt her breath is like orchid, the sweet fragrant of her lip rouge assaulted him, he cannot help but feel giddy, his entire body shivered, his voice trembled: "You....you....you......" the maiden said: "I am so cold, but my heart is burning." Xu Zhu can't control himself, he exerted force in his pair of hands and hug her in his bosom. The maiden gave two 'Wu Wu' sound, her lips move closer, both of them kiss.

Wu YaZi strip Xu Zhu off all his Shaolin's martial arts, Xu Zhu lost all his discipline, he is a robust man unfamiliar with sexual affairs, under the assault of the number one temptation under the heaven, unexpectedly he did not resist at all, he hug the maiden even tighter, at this moment his mind is somewhere else, he is not aware of his current location. The maiden's passion is like fire, she treat Xu Zhu as her lover.

Nobody knew how much time has pass, Xu Zhu's lust gradually fade off, he shout loudly: "Ayo!" he is about to jump up.

However the maiden embrace him tightly, she said delicately: "Don't......don't leave me." Xu Zhu's mind is clear and bright, but it only last for a split second, immediately after he hug the maiden in his bosom again, his pity secretly turn into love and affection, unexpectedly he did not hate her.

Both of them wrap themselves around each other, after a long time, the maiden said: "Good brother, who are you?" the sentence is tender and sweet, but when Xu Zhu heard it, its like thunderbolt splitting the air, his voice trembled: "I.....i made a huge mistake." The maiden said: "What huge mistake?"

Xu Zhu stammered, he is unable to reply, he said: "I.....i am....." suddenly the side of his torso felt numb, his acupoint was sealed, immediately after a piece of felt covered him, the naked maiden left his embrace. Xu Zhu shouted: "You....don't go, don't go!" in the darkness someone laugh three times, its Child Elder. Xu Zhu is so shock that he nearly fainted, his entire body turn limp, his mind completely blank. He heard Child Elder hug the maiden and left the ice storehouse.

After a while, Child Elder return, she laugh and said: "Little monk, i let you enjoy romantic happiness in life, should you give thanks?" Xu Zhu said: "I.....i....." his mind is muddy and confuse, he is speechless. Child Elder release his acupoints, she laugh and said: "Buddhist's disciple need to guard against lust or not? Did you break this rule yourself? Or did granny force you? You words are empty, you are a lascivious and womanizing little monk, you tell me, who won? Haha, haha!" she is laughing louder and louder, she is extremely proud of herself.

Xu Zhu suddenly understood, Child Elder is angry over his refusal to eat meat, thus she captured the maiden and use her to tempt him to break his precept, he cannot help but feel remorseful, he is ashamed, suddenly he leap up and swiftly smash his head against the ice block, there is a loud 'Peng' sound, he collapsed.

Child Elder had a huge shock, she did not expect this little monk to be so resolute and upright, he just return from the land of the tender and immediately commit suicide, she quickly support him up and examined him, luckily he is still breathing, but the top of his head had a hole, blood gush out, she quickly bandage his wound and let him consume a 'Nine Revolution Bear Snake Pill', she scold him: "Are you crazy? If not for the [Pure Energy of Northern Darkness] within your body, this knock would have killed you." Xu Zhu cried: "Junior monk commit a grave sin, i harm others and harm myself, i cannot live anymore." Child Elder said: "Hey hey, if all monks commit suicide after breaking a precept, then how many will still be alive in this world?"

Xu Zhu is stumped for words, he suddenly recalled, committing suicide is also a huge taboo, in his rage unexpectedly he broke yet another precept.

He is leaning against an ice chunk, his mind muddy, he blame and condemn himself, but he cannot help but think about the maiden, all kinds of tender affairs between them, endless thoughts rush through his mind, suddenly he ask: "That....that lady, who is she?"

Child Elder laugh out loud and said: "That lady is 17 years old, beautiful, elegant and graceful, her beauty without equal."

In the darkness, Xu Zhu can't see the appearance of the maiden, but their flesh interlinked, her soft voice entered his ear, he imagined her to be an extremely beautiful woman, he heard Child Elder describe her as 'beautiful, elegant and graceful, her beauty without equal', he cannot help but gave a long sigh. Child Elder laugh and said: "You miss her or not?" Xu Zhu don't dare to lie, but he also don't dare to admit the matter directly, he sigh again.

Several hours pass, his soul seems to have left his body, he is in a daze. Child Elder put chicken, duck, meat, etc, in front of him, Xu Zhu already gave up and abandon himself to despair, he pondered: "I am a sinner, since i already entered other sect, i also commit murder and lust, how can i still be considered a Buddhist's disciple?" he picked up a chicken and ate it, but he only ate the food without concern for the taste, he is in a daze as tears stream down his eyes. Child Elder laugh and said: "Straightforward conduct, good chap!"

4 hours later, unexpectedly Child Elder went out again and brought that naked maiden back, she delivered it to Xu Zhu's embrace, afterwards she went to the 2nd level and let both of them remain at the 3rd level.

The maiden sigh and said: "I am having this strange dream again, i am really scared, but also....also...." Xu Zhu said: "But also?" the maiden hug his neck, she said delicately: "But also delighted." While speaking she press her right cheek on his left cheek. Xu Zhu felt her face is warm, he is aroused, he stretch out his hands and hug her slender waist. The maiden said: "Good brother, am i dreaming or not? If i am dreaming, how come i can feel you hugging me? I can touch your face, your chest, your arm." While speaking she gently caress Xu Zhu's cheek and chest, she said: "But if this is not a dream, then how come i am sleeping here for no reason, suddenly without.....without clothes, this dark and cold place? This place is cold and dark, but you are here, you are waiting for me, to pity me, to cherish me?"

Xu Zhu pondered: "So you got captured by Child Elder, you are also in a daze, your mind unclear." He heard the maiden's gentle voice: "Normally i am embarrass by the voice of strange man, but how come when i am here, my....my mind is so unrestrained, i can't control myself? Sigh, if this is a dream it doesn't resemble a dream, but if this is not a dream it resemble a dream. Last night i had this strange dream, tonight i had it again, could it be....could it be our predestined relationship in previous generations? Good brother, who are you exactly?" Xu Zhu is scared out of his wits, he said: "I....i am..." he wanted to say 'i am a little monk', but he can't say it out.

The maiden stretch out her hand to cover his mouth, she said softly: "Don't tell me, i....i am scared." Xu Zhu hug her body tightly with both arms, he ask: "You are scared of what?" the maiden said: "Scared that if you say something, i will wake up from this dream. You are the lover in my dream, i call you 'Meng Lang', 'Meng Lang', 'Meng Lang', tell me, is this name alright?" Initially she covered Xu Zhu's mouth with her hand, but she shifted them and gently caress his eyes and nose, she seems to be showing affection yet she seems to be using her hands as eyes, she want to know his appearance. The warm and soft hand touch his eyebrow, his forehead, the top of his head.

Xu Zhu had a huge shock, he pondered: "Terrible, she touched my bald head." Unexpectedly the maiden touch a patch of short hair. As it turns out, Xu Zhu stayed in the ice storehouse for nearly two months, adding the days that had pass since leaving Shaolin, his bald head had long grown 3 chi long hair. The maiden said delicately: "Meng Lang, why is your heart beating so fast? Why aren't you speaking?"

Xu Zhu said: "I.....i am the same as you, i am happy yet afraid. I tarnish your clean and pure body, i can't repay you even if i die ten thousand times." The maiden said: "Don't say that, we are dreaming, no need to be scared. What you call me?" Xu Zhu said: "En, you are the goddess in my dream, i will call you 'Meng Gu', is it good?" the maiden clap her hands and laugh: "Good, you are my 'Meng Lang', i am your 'Meng Gu'. This sweet dream, we have to dream for a lifetime, we will never wake up." They are deep in passion, both of them immerse in this beautiful dream, is it really fantasy? Or are they in heaven?

After several hours, Child Elder finally use a felt cloth to wrap the maiden and carried her out.

The next day, Child Elder brought the maiden to Xu Zhu again. Both of them meet each other for the 3rd time, their confusion gradually fade, their shame diminish, their love and passion everlasting and unlimited, they rejoice in their love. Xu Zhu don't dare to reveal the truth about how they manage to meet up, the maiden also treat it as fantasy, she did not inquire how she ended up in this dream.

These three days of being entangled in love, Xu Zhu felt the dark and cold cellar is like paradise, why the need to bother about Buddhism or seek salvation?

*********

On the 4th day, Xu Zhu ate bear paws, venison, etc, various delicacies brought by Child Elder, he expect Child Elder to go out and bring the maiden, unexpectedly he kept on waiting but Child Elder sat down silently and did not move. Xu Zhu is like an ant on hot pan, he can't sit still, he want to inquire but he don't dare.

He endured for four hours, his worried movements, all kinds of actions, Child Elder heard everything but she ignored them. Xu Zhu can't endure anymore, he ask: "Senior, that lady, is....is she a palace maid?" Child Elder groan, she did not reply. Xu Zhu pondered: "You refuse to reply, there is nothing i can do." But when he thought about the tender affection of the maiden, he is really hyperactive and uncontrollable, he can't restrain himself, after enduring a while, he have no choice but to plead earnestly: "I beg you to do a good deed, tell me please." Child Elder said: "Don't talk to me today, ask me tomorrow." Although Xu Zhu is really anxious but he don't dare to inquire again.

With great difficulty he endured till the next day, after eating, Xu Zhu said: "Senior...." Child Elder said: "You want to know the identity of that lady, how can it be difficult? Even if you want to meet her everyday, never separate again, its also easy......" Xu Zhu is so happy that his eagerness is hard to bear, he don't know what to say. Child Elder said: "You want to know?" Xu Zhu don't dare to reply momentary, he stammered: "I don't know how to repay senior."

Child Elder said: "I don't need you to repay anything. My [Eternal Youth Never Aging Skill] will be perfected in a few days time, these few days are very important, i cannot relax or slack off for a single moment, i cannot even go out to find food, i already prepared all the cooked food and animals. You want to meet that beautiful lady, you have to wait until i complete my skill."

Although Xu Zhu is disappointed, but he knew Child Elder is telling the truth, luckily its only a few days, he have to endure the pain of missing her, he immediately replied: "Yes! All according to senior's command." Child Elder said: "Once my divine skill is complete, i will immediately seek that **** Li QiuShui for revenge. Originally that **** is definitely not my match, but unfortunately that **** broke my leg, i suffered great loss in my energy, i am not certain i can take my revenge. In the event i die by her hands, i can't bring that lady to you, its fated, there is nothing i can do. Unless....unless......" Xu Zhu heart is thumping madly, he ask: "Unless what?" Child Elder said: "Unless you agree to assist me." Xu Zhu said: "Junior's martial art is low and weak, how can i help?"

Child Elder said: "I will duel with that ****, the outcome of the battle will hang by a thin line. Its difficult for her to defeat me, but its also difficult for me to kill her. From today onwards i will teach you another martial art, [Six Solar Palms Of Heavenly Mountain]. At the crucial moment of our duel you will use this palm style, you only need to press your hand on her, her energy will drain off, she will lose for sure."

Xu Zhu felt really awkward, he pondered: "Although i broke Buddhist precepts, i can't be Buddhist disciple anymore, but to assist her in killing someone, this kind of evil deed greatly goes against my conscience, i definitely cannot do it." He replied: "I ought to agree to assist senior, but if you kill her as a result of my action then junior will commit another grave sin, henceforth i will sink into vice and i can't reincarnate anymore."

Child Elder said angrily: "Hey, damn monk, you can't be a monk anymore, but you still have the heart of a monk, what kind of thing are you? Li QiuShui is a evil-doer, how can you sin by killing her?" Xu Zhu said: "Even for wicked traitor and evil person, we ought to instruct and reform them, we cannot be rash and commit murder." Child Elder anger burst out, she said sternly: "You refuse to listen to me, don't ever think about seeing that lady again. You better think carefully." Xu Zhu is so sad that he is speechless, he simply chant scriptures in his heart.

Child Elder saw he is silent for a long time, she said happily: "For the sake for that little beauty, you have no choice but to agree, correct?" Xu Zhu said: "I definitely cannot agree to harm another human life just for the sake of my own happiness. If i can never see that lady again, then its predestined in my past life. Since we exhausted our predestined relationship, i cannot force it. Since i cannot force it, let alone being forced to commit evil? I definitely cannot do it." When he finish speaking, he recited scripture: "Its constructed for a reason, once fate is exhausted it returns to nothing. Gains and losses are predestined, there is no addition or subtraction." Although he said it out loud, but he is aware that he can never meet that maiden again, he is very sad.

Child Elder said: "I ask you again, will you learn [Six Solar Palms Of Heavenly Mountain] or not?" Xu Zhu said: "I cannot comply, senior please forgive me." Child Elder said angrily: "Then get lost, scram, go far far away." Xu Zhu stood up, he bow deeply and said: "Senior you have to take care of yourself." He thought about their meeting, although she made him violate his Buddhist precepts, he can't be a monk anymore, but as a result he get to meet his 'Meng Gu', deep in his heart, he felt more gratitude towards Child Elder and less of hate, he cannot help but feel sad now that they are parting, he suddenly recall that her powerful enemy is still around and she had yet to escape danger, he said: "Senior you have to take care, be very careful, junior cannot serve you anymore." He turn around and walk up the stone steps.

He is afraid that Child Elder will seal his acupoints again and prevent him from leaving, once he set foot on the stone step he immediately leap up, he gathered his [Pure Energy of Northern Darkness] and rush to the 2nd level of the ice storehouse in an instant, immediately after he rush to the 1st level, he stretch his hands to push the door. His right hand touch the door ring, suddenly both his legs and back ached, he shouted: "Ayo!" he knew he was ambushed by Child Elder again, his body sway, both his shoulders ached as if pricked by needle, he collapsed immediately.

He heard Child Elder said gloomily: "You are hit by my hidden projectile, are you aware of it?" Xu Zhu felt some of his wounds are numb and itchy, some of them are aching from being pricked by needle, its like ten thousand ants biting him, he said: "Naturally i am aware of it." Child Elder sneered: "You know what kind of hidden projectile it is? Its 'life-death talisman'!"

Xu Zhu ear is buzzing, at once he recalled Wu LaoDa frightened expression when mentioning the 'life-death talisman'. He only know that 'life-death talisman' is some charm or amulet that can control a person's life and death, unexpectedly its a hidden projectile, Wu LaoDa and his group are all violent and savage, but they become meek and docile when controlled by 'life-death talisman', he can well imagine the power of this hidden projectile.

He heard Child Elder said: "Once the life-death talisman enters the body, there is no cure or antidote. Wu LaoDa and those bastards revolt against Misty Peak, evidently they are not willing to be controlled by the life-death talisman, they wish to steal the method to break the life-death talisman from Vulture Palace. These dogs are deluded, they can keep on dreaming, how can the method to breaking granny's life-death talisman be stolen?"

Xu Zhu felt his wounds are getting more and more itchy, in addition the strange itch gradually penetrate deep, less then the time taken to eat a meal, his vital organs start itching, he really want to smash his head against the wall and kill himself as its much better then suffering this torture, he cannot bear it and groan loudly.

Child Elder said: "The life-death talisman, what is the meaning to the two word 'life-death'? I guess you finally know it?" Xu Zhu said in his heart: "I know, i know! I can neither live nor die." Other than groaning, he did not have the slightest bit of strength to talk anymore. Child Elder said: "Just now, when you are about to leave, twice you told me to take care of myself, your speech shows concern for me, you are not without conscience. Moreover you save granny's life, Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain differentiate grudge and kindness clearly, i have my own reward and punishment, nevertheless you are vastly different from Wu LaoDa and those scoundrels. Granny planted the life-death talisman on you, its punishment, but i can also get rid of them for you, then its reward."

Xu Zhu groaned: "We must have prior agreement, if you try to use this matter to coerce me, ask me to commit outrageous atrocities, i....i rather die..then....then...then....then...." the phrase 'i rather die then submit', his unable to say it out.

Child Elder sneered: "Heng, i can't tell just by looking at you, unexpectedly you are such a resolute person. But why are you groaning and muttering, can't speak properly? You know why Cave-master An stutters?" Xu Zhu said in alarm: "He is also hit by your life....life....thus he is in so much pain that he stu....stu.....stu....." Child Elder said: "Its good that you know it. Once the life-death talisman flare up, it will get worse day after day, the strange itch and acute pain last for 81 days, after that it will gradually diminish, 81 days later it will progressively intensify again, the cycle repeats itself and never ends. Every year i will send my subordinates to patrol all the Caves and Islands, i will grant pain-killer and medicine that stops the itch, the life-death talisman won't activate for a year."

Xu Zhu finally understood why all the Cave-masters and Island-masters treat Child Elder's subordinates as god, they willingly allow themselves to be beaten, its all for the sake of the medicine that can guarantee 1 year of peace, but won't he also become an animal and allow himself to be manipulated by others for his entire life?

Child Elder live with Xu Zhu for almost 3 months now, she is very familiar with his character and temper, his conduct is soft and amiable on the outside but strong and resolute on the inside, although he is meek and amiable but he can be extremely obstinate and stubborn, he will definitely not yield to threats, she said: "I said before, you are different from Wu LaoDa and those bastards, granny won't give you medicine every year, you will worry everyday and you can't sleep properly at night. I planted nine different life-death talismans on you, i can remove all of them at one go, cut the weeds and eliminate the roots, you will never suffer again."

Xu Zhu said: "Then, many.....many....many....many...." his unable to say the word 'thanks'.

At once Child Elder let him consume a pill, his pain and itch stop for the moment. Child Elder said: "To get rid of life-death talisman, you have to use the internal energy of palm force. I am about to complete my divine skill, i cannot exhaust my energy for you, i will teach you the method to channel your energy and the palm moves, dissolve the life-death talisman yourself." Xu Zhu said: "Yes."

Child Elder taught him how to channel his [Pure Energy of Northern Darkness] from his dantian to his 'TianShu', 'TaiYi', 'LiangMen', 'ShenFeng', 'ShenZang', etc, the various acupoints, afterwards they will pass through 'QuChi', 'DaLing', 'YangHua' and reach the hollow of his palm, the method to channel energy from the meridians to the hollow of the palm is the unique wonderful skill of Carefree Sect, she also taught him how to take in and send out large quantities of energy, how to circulate and revolve the energy, how to disperse the energy, how to control and release the energy, etc, various different methods. Xu Zhu's body contain sufficient internal energy, after training for 2 days he became proficient.

Child Elder said: "Wu LaoDa and those bastards, although they have low moral standards, but their martial arts are really not weak. Among those gang of rouges, there are a few who have extremely deep and profound internal energy, but none of them can use their internal energy to neutralize my life-death talisman, do you know the reason?" She pause for a while, she know perfectly well that Xu Zhu can't answer, she continued: "The reason is because i planted different kinds of life-death talisman on them, the techniques i used are also different and interesting. If they tried to use hard and 'yang' technique to neutralize the life-death talisman, but if the life-death talisman is located at the 'TaiYang', 'ShaoYang', 'YangMing', etc, various meridians, the yang energy will drastically increase and intertwine, it will penetrate deep into their inner organs, the outcome is irremediable. If they tried to use soft and 'yin' technique to neutralize the life-death talisman, the 'TaiYin', 'ShaoYin', 'JueYin' meridians, the life-death talisman within these meridians will flare up. In addition, every life-death talisman i planted have different composition of yin and yang energy, how can outsiders undo it? The nine life-death talisman on your body, you have to use nine different methods to neutralize them." At once she taught him a palm style, when he is proficient in it she will spar with him, she will use various complicated and sinister palm moves to attack him and force him to use the newly learnt palm style to counter.

Child Elder said: "My life-death talisman have countless changes and permutation, when getting rid of it, you must be adaptable and change according to the situation, if you make the slightest bit of mistake, you will either spurt blood violently, energy obstructed and die, or entire body paralyze, meridians reverse, internal energy leak out. You have to treat the life-death talisman as a powerful enemy, make an all-out effort, you cannot allow yourself to be relax or complacent."

Xu Zhu receive instructions and train bitterly, the techniques imparted by Child Elder are incomparably ingenious and magnificent, the energy flow according to one's wishes, no matter what kind of vicious or fierce palm moves she use to attack him, he can simply use this set of palm technique to neutralize, in addition while neutralizing, his technique will definitely contain moves that allow fierce and violent counterattack. The more he train the more he admire it, he finally understood, the 'life-death talisman' can make the 36 Cave-masters and 72 Island-masters break out in fear and become terror-stricken, the talisman indeed has its own inexhaustible might and power, if not for Child Elder's personal instructions, how can he know there is such wonderful and marvellous neutralizing technique?

He spent four days of effort, he is finally proficient in nine different technique.

Child Elder is extremely happy, she said: "Little....little chap is not stupid at all. There is a saying in military tactics: 'Know yourself, know your enemy and emerge victorious in every battle.' You want to subdue the life-death talisman, you have to know the method to planting life-death talisman, do you know what life-death talisman is made of?" Xu Zhu is stumped for words, he said: "Its a hidden projectile." Child Elder said: "Correct, its a hidden projectile, but what kind of hidden projectile? Like sleeve-arrow or steel dart? Like Bodhi or Daylily?" Xu Zhu pondered: "I was hit by nine hidden projectiles, although its painful and itchy, but they disappear without a trace when i touch it, i really don't know what they look like." He found it difficult to reply.

Child Elder said: "This is a life-death talisman, take it and examine it carefully."

As he thought about this number one hidden projectile under the heaven, he is really anxious and worried, he stretch out his hands to take it, when it landed on his palm he felt an ice-cold sensation, the hidden projectile is light as a feather, its a small circular sheet, its only around the size of a toe, the edge is sharp and its thin like paper. Xu Zhu want to examine it carefully, but he felt a cooling sensation on his palm, after a while the life-death talisman disappear. Xu Zhu had a huge shock, Child Elder did not stretch out her hands to take it back, how come the hidden projectile will automatically disappear? Its really unpredictable and inconceivable, he shouted: "Ayo!" he pondered: "Terrible, terrible! The Life-death talisman drill into my palm."

Child Elder said: "You understand now?" Xu Zhu said: "I....i....." Child Elder said: "My life-death talisman, its just a thin slice of ice." Xu Zhu cry out in surprise, he felt at ease immediately, he finally understood, the thin ice is melted by heat from the palm, gone in an instant, the energy in his palm is like furnace, it turn the ice into vapour, unexpectedly there isn't any water-stain at all.

Child Elder said: "In order to learn how to break the life-death talisman you have to learn how to launch it, to learn how to launch it then naturally you have to learn how to make it. Don't underestimate this thin slice of ice, to make it as thin as paper, unbroken and undamaged, its really not easy. Put some water on your palm, afterwards channel your internal energy in reverse, let the energy be several times colder than ice, the clear water will naturally turn into ice." At once she taught him how to channel his internal energy in reverse, how to convert hard and 'yang' energy into soft and 'yin' energy. The [Pure Energy of Northern Darkness] imparted by Wu YaZi possess both yin and yang, the skills learnt by Xu Zhu are all hard and 'yang', but since his internal energy already had solid foundation, its not difficult for him as long as he go against normal principles.

After learning how to make life-death talisman, Child Elder taught him the hand technique and strength in firing as well as how to target acupoints, on the thin slice of ice, she taught him how to attach hard and 'yang' energy, how to attach soft and 'yin' energy, how to attach 30% yang and 70% yin, or maybe 60% yin and 40% yang, although its just yin and yang energy, but the sequence is different, the amount is also different, it follow one's heart's desire, countless changes and permutation. Xu Zhu spent another three days and he finally learn everything. Child Elder said happily: "Little chap is not stupid at all, you learn rather fast, you already mastered the fundamental skills in life-death talisman. As for subtle and profound variation, able to recognize acupoints without error, that is future matters."

On the 4th day, Child Elder ordered him to regulate and mix his internal energy, gather internal energy in both palms, she said: "One of the life-death talisman is behind your right knee, on the 'YinLing Quan' acupoint, channel 'yang' energy to your right palm, use the 2nd palm technique to smack it quickly, channel 'yin' energy to your left palm, use the 7th palm technique to slowly draw and pull it out. Pull three times, the hot poison and cold poison in this life-death talisman will be neutralize." Xu Zhu act according to her instructions, sure enough, his 'YinLing Quan' acupoint was originally sluggish and obstructed but it clear up, his joint flexible and agile again, he felt really comfortable.

Child Elder gave directions one by one, Xu Zhu simply followed and neutralize the life-death talisman. Eventually he got rid of all nine life-death talismans, Xu Zhu is extremely happy.

Child Elder sigh and said: "Tomorrow noon, my divine skill will be complete. While completing the skill i have to resolve multitude of loose ends, its incomparably dangerous, today i have to calm down and mediate, don't talk to me anymore to avoid disturbing my thoughts." Xu Zhu said: "Yes." He pondered: "The days pass really quick, unexpectedly three months simply pass by."

At this moment, he suddenly heard a tiny voice like mosquito buzzing in his ear: "Martial sister, martial sister, where are you hiding? How come you are at little sister's house but you did not come out to meet me? You regard me as an outsider, you somewhat upstage the host, correct?"

The voice is extremely soft and thin, but he heard every single word clearly. Who else can it be other than Li QiuShui?

to guard the iron chain, when the enemy arrive they will release the lock in the middle of the iron chain, the iron chain will separate into two parts, the ravine is 5 zhang wide, its difficult for a person to jump across even if he possess extremely high level of lightness martial art. Currently, the group of females notice that the iron chain is cut off by a sharp blade, most likely the guards from Great Heaven Division did not have time to release the lock when the enemy attack the bridge.

Chapter - 37 Laughing Together, Everything Reduce to Emptiness

Xu Zhu had a shock, he shouted: "Ayo, not good, she....she...." Child Elder said loudly: "Why the big fuss?" Xu Zhu said softly: "She...she finally found us." Child Elder said: "Although she knows i am in the imperial palace, but she don't know where i am hiding. There are thousands and hundreds of room in the imperial palace, if she search one by one, even after 10 days or half a month she might not be able to find this place." Xu Zhu finally felt at ease, he breathe a sigh of relief and said: "We only need to endure until tomorrow noon, by then we don't need to be afraid anymore." Sure enough, Li QiuShui's voice gradually move further and further away, eventually there is no sound from her at all.

But after an hour, Li QiuShui thin voice penetrate into the ice storehouse again: "My good martial sister, you still remember martial brother Wu YaZi? He is at little sister's palace, he is waiting for you to come out, he have some important matters to tell you."

Xu Zhu said softly: "Wrong, wrong! Senior Wu YaZi died long ago, don't.....don't be fooled by her."

Child Elder said: "Even if we shout and scream here she won't be able to hear us. She is using her [Great Voice Transmitting Soul Searching Method] to force me to go out. She mentioned Wu YaZi, she is simply trying to disturb my mind, how can i be fooled by her?"

But Li QiuShui talk endlessly, hours and hours went on, she narrate how the three of them fellow apprentices learn their skills, she narrate how Wu YaZi love her deeply, immediately after she start abusing loudly and curse Child Elder as the number one lascivious and malicious person, a shrewd and shameless ****, she claim those words are said by Wu YaZi.

Xu Zhu pair of hands are covering his ears, but the voice still penetrate his hands and enter his ears, he can't block it out. Xu Zhu is extremely irritated as he kept on listening, he shouted: "False, all of them are false! I don't believe you!" he tear some cloth off his clothes and stuff it into his ears.

Child Elder said indifferently: "You can't block this voice. That **** is using her profound internal energy to transmit it, we are inside the 3rd level of the ice storehouse, yet the voice still transmit here, you stick some cloth in your ear, what is the use? The guards and concubine in the imperial palace, maids and eunuch, thousands and hundreds of them, but none of them have Carefree Sect's internal energy, none of them can hear this voice. You have to be calm and tranquil, hear but ignore deliberately, just treat the words of that **** as donkey cry or dog bark." Xu Zhu said: "Yes." But the discipline to 'turn a blind eye, hear but not react', the martial arts of Carefree Sect is much inferior to the meditation skill of Shaolin, since Xu Zhu lost all his Shaolin martial arts, he can't ignore Li QiuShui's words, he listen to various malicious stuff about Child Elder, inevitably he half believe and half doubt, he don't know if it is true or false.

After a while he suddenly recall something, he said: "Senior, the time to practice your skill is nearing soon correct? This is the last stage before you achieve success, it is extremely important, but when you listen to her words won't you be distracted?" Child Elder laugh bitterly and said: "You only realize it now? That **** calculate the time accurately, once my divine skill is complete she knows she won't be my match, thus she spare no effort to try and obstruct me." Xu Zhu said: "Then please temporarily put aside your plans and stop training, is it ok? Terrible external demon is invading, if you train under such conditions it might be a little.....a little dangerous." Child Elder said: "You rather die then help me deal with that ****, but how come you are concern about my safety now?" Xu Zhu is stumped for words, he said: "I am unwilling to assist senior to harm others, but i am even more unwilling to see others harm senior."
 

Child Elder said: "You conscience is good. I already thought through this matter a thousand times. That **** is using her [Great Voice Transmitting Soul Searching Method] to disturb my mind, simultaneously she also dispatched her hunting dogs to track me, she already secured the imperial palace like an iron bastion. We can't escape. The longer we stay here the more dangerous it is. Luckily we brave danger and went to her house, if not we would have been detected two months ago, at that time my internal energy is low and i can't resist at all, once i listen to her [Great Voice Transmitting Soul Searching Method] i would have gone out obediently. Foolish boy, its noon already, granny have to train my skill now." she bite off the head of a red-crowned crane and suck the crane's blood, she cross her legs and sat down.
 

Xu Zhu listen to Li QiuShui's voice, it is getting more and more wretched, presumably she calculated this moment, this noon is the crucial juncture, a matter of life and death between the two martial sisters. Suddenly, Li QiuShui's voice became extremely gentle and soft, she said: "Good martial brother, hug me. En, wu, wu, hug me tighter, kiss me, kiss here." Xu Zhu is stunned, he pondered: "How come she mention about this kind of stuff?"

He heard Child Elder groan out, she cursed in rage: "Treacherous ****!" Xu Zhu had a huge shock, he is aware that Child Elder is at a critical juncture in her training, unexpectedly she got distracted and start cursing, its incomparably dangerous, a single mistake and she will fire-deviate, the meridians in her body will all burst and break off. Although he is worried but he can't do anything to help. Li QiuShui's soft voice transmit endlessly, all of them narrating the joyous love between Wu YaZi and herself. Xu Zhu cannot help but think about his joyous meeting with the maiden, his desire surge, warm blood circulate through his entire body, his skin is burning hot.
 

But he notice Child Elder is breathing heavily, she cursed: " Treacherous ****, junior martial brother never love you, you seduce him, you have no sense of shame!" Xu Zhu is startled, he said: "Senior, she....she is inciting your anger on purpose, you must not take it seriously." Child Elder curse again: "Shameless ****, if he truly love you, how come when he is about to die, he rush to Misty Peak and pass on the 'Seven Treasure Ring' to me? He also gave me a portrait of my 18 year old self, he drew it personally, he said for the past 60 years, this portrait accompanied him day and night, he kept it close at all time. Hey, you must be very sad when you heard it right....."

She kept talking non-stop, Xu Zhu is stunned. How come Child Elder is saying all these lies? Could it be that she fire-deviated, she lost her mind? Moreover she seems to be transmitting her voice out to let Li QiuShui hear it.

He heard a violent crashing sound, the front door of the ice storehouse was push open, immediately after the second set of door open as well, the sound of front door closing, the sound of the second door closing. He heard Li QiuShui's husky voice: "You are lying, you are lying, martial brother he....he...he only love me. He will never draw a portrait of you, you are a midget, how can he love you? You are talking rubbish, specialize in deceiving people....."

There is a dozen loud slamming sound, its like lightning strike, it transmit from the 1st level of the ice storehouse. Xu Zhu was startled, Child Elder burst into loud laughter and shouted: "Treacherous ****, you thought martial brother only love you? You head is really muddled. Correct, i am a midget, i cannot be compared with you, a seductive beautiful woman, but martial brother knows everything. You are fond of seducing handsome, natural and unrestrained young man, even his disciple Ding ChunQiu that kind of little rascal you also try to seduce. Martial brother told me, i am a virgin till old, my feelings towards him never change. But you, think about it, you had how many lovers? You married the king of Western Xia and became the emperor's concubine, why would martial brother care about you?" Unexpectedly her voice projected from the 1st level of the ice storehouse, Xu Zhu never notice when she move from the 3rd level to the 1st level. Child Elder laugh again: "We martial sisters never see each other for 10 years, we should be affectionate to each other. Seal off the front door of the ice storehouse so that outsiders can't come in to disturb us. Haha, you like to rely upon your superior number to win, there is no harm is calling some of your helpers to assist. Come on, move away the ice chunks! Transmit your voice out!"

In a split second countless thoughts went through Xu Zhu's mind: "Child Elder incite Li QiuShui and lure her into the ice storehouse, she immediately move the big ice chunks and block the front door, she is determined to fight till death. Although Li QiuShui have huge influence in the imperial palace but she can't summon her men to assist her now. But how come she didn't push away the ice chunks? How come she didn't do as Child Elder says, transmit her voice out and order her men to attack here? Maybe when shifting the ice chunks or transmitting her voice, she will inevitably be distracted, Child Elder is standing by the side, naturally she will seize the opportunity and strike a fatal blow; Or maybe Li QiuShui is proud and conceited, she is unwilling to ask for assistance, she wants to personally deal with her love rival." Xu Zhu pondered: "Previously, when training, Child Elder is always motionless, she does not react to external affairs, but today she cannot help it and shouted out to fight with Li QiuShui, but her divine skill still lack one more day before completion, she wasted her effort and failed at the final hurdle. I wonder who will win today's battle, if Child Elder wins, i wonder if we can escape the palace, can she compensate her training by practicing tomorrow?"

He heard loud slamming and banging sounds from the 1st level, evidently Child Elder is waging a gigantic battle with Li QiuShui. Xu Zhu live together with Child Elder for 3 months, although the old granny is temperamental and moody, her conduct unruly, he really suffered under her, but because he is with her all the time he cannot help but feel close to her, he is afraid Child Elder will suffer under Li QiuShui's evil hands, thus he went to the 2nd level to look at the situation.

As he reach the 2nd level, he heard Li QuiShui shout: "Who is it?" the banging and crashing sound stop. Xu Zhu held his breath and wait, he don't dare to reply. Child Elder said: "That is the number one romantic person of Central Plains, nicknamed 'White-face Playboy Wu PanAn', you want to meet him?" Xu Zhu pondered: "My appearance is so ugly, what nicknamed 'White-face Playboy Wu PanAn'? Sigh, senior is making fun of me."

But he heard Li QuiShui said: "Rubbish, i am already an old woman, you think i am still fond of youngster? What 'White-face Playboy Wu PanAn', most probably its that ugly monk who carried you and ran around." she raise her voice and shout: "Little monk, is that you?" Xu Zhu's heart is thumping madly, he don't know if he should reply or not. Child Elder shouted: "Meng Lang, are you a little monk? Haha, Meng Lang, you are such a romantic and charming youngster but she assume you are a little monk, its really funny."

Xu Zhu blush deep red when he heard the phrase 'Meng Lang', his so ashamed that he can't show his face, he pondered: "Terrible, terrible, the conversation between me and that maiden, Child Elder heard everything, how can those words be heard by an outsider? Ayo, those words that i said to the maiden, i am afraid...maybe....most likely....Child Elder heard all of them as well. That....that..."

Child Elder said: "Meng Lang, quickly answer me, are you a little monk?" Xu Zhu said softly: "No." although his voice is soft but Child Elder and Li QuiShui heard it clearly.

Child Elder laugh out loud and said: "Meng Lang, don't worry, you can see your Meng Gu pretty soon. She miss you badly, for the past few days she have no appetite, she is restless, she is thinking about you, she miss you. Tell me honestly, you miss her or not?"

Xu Zhu is infatuated with that maiden, although he diligently train his skills in firing and countering the life-death talisman for the past few days, but he is constantly thinking about her, he is head over heels in love, suddenly he heard Child Elder inquire about it, he cannot help but blurt out: "Really miss her."

Li QuiShui muttered: "Meng Lang, Meng Lang, as it turns out you are really a passionate youngster! Come up here, let me see what kind of person is the number one romantic of Central Plains!"

Although Li QuiShui is younger than Child Elder and Wu YaZi, but she is over 80 years of age, an old woman, however her speech is gentle and coy, when Xu Zhu heard her voice his heart palpitated with eagerness, in a split second he really thinks he is the 'Number one romantic person of Central Plains', but he came to his senses immediately: "I am a ugly monk, how can i be a romantic person, isn't it laughable?" immediately after he thought: "Child Elder is facing a powerful enemy, how come she still have the mood to make fun of me? There must be some deep meaning behind it. Ah, that's right, that day senior Wu YaZi wants me to succeed him as Carefree Sect Leader, he repeatedly voice out his disdain of my appearance, afterwards senior Su XingHe said, to subdue Ding ChunQiu, they must find a handsome natural and unstrained youngster with high comprehension, although i possess senior Wu YaZi divine internal energy but my martial art is weak, i have to find a person to teach me martial arts, this person is only fond of handsome youngster, don't tell me the person is Li QiuShui?"

While his pondering, the flame flicker, bright light illuminated the 1st level, immediately after there is the loud sound of rushing wind. Xu Zhu rush up the stone steps, he look up, he saw a white shadow and a grey shadow revolving rapidly around each other, the two shadows suddenly separate and suddenly move close, it emit 'Pa Pa' sound, evidently Child Elder and Li QuiShui are fighting a fierce battle. A torch is on an ice block and emit faint ray of light. The movement of the two are extremely fast, its really unimaginable, its impossible for Xu Zhu to determine who is Child Elder and who is Li QiuShui.

The torch burn off extremely fast, it exhausted its flame in a short period of time, with a 'Chi' sound it extinguish and the ice storehouse turn pitch-black again, but palm wind is still rushing about. Xu Zhu is really anxious: "Child Elder lost a leg, its unfavorable for her in a long battle, how should i help her? But Child Elder is vicious and merciless, if she gain the upper hand she will definitely kill her martial sister, this is not good. Moreover the martial arts of these two are so high, how can i interfere their battle?"

He heard a loud 'Pa' sound, Child Elder gave a long cry, she seems to be injured. Li QiuShui laugh out loudly and said: "Martial sister, what do you think of this move from little sister? Please give me some guidance." suddenly she shout sternly: "Where are you running!"

Xu Zhu felt a burst of cold wind brush past him, Child Elder is standing beside him and said: "2nd technique, execute your palm!" Xu Zhu don't understand the reason, he was about to inquire: "What?" but he felt cold wind assaulting him, an extremely powerful palm force move straight at him, he have no time to consider, at once he executed the 2nd palm technique taught by Child Elder to break the life-death talisman, in the darkness he clash with the incoming force, Xu Zhu experience a sever shock in his body, his blood and energy is rolling around his chest, its extremely hard to endure, without thinking he use the 7th palm technique to disperse the force.

Li QuiShui cry out in surprise, she shout loudly: "Who are you? How come you know [Six Solar Palm Of Heavenly Mountain]? Who taught you?" Xu Zhu ask curiously: "What [Six Solar Palm Of Heavenly Mountain]?" Li QiuShui said: "You still refuse to admit it? The 2nd move 'Spring Sun In White Snow' and the 7th move 'Three Layer Sun Gate', its a secret move of my sect, where did you learn it?" Xu Zhu said: "'Spring Sun In White Snow'? 'Three Layer Sun Gate'?" his mind is blank, he seems to understand but yet he don't understand, he faint guess he was tricked by Child Elder again.

Child Elder is standing behind her, she sneered: "This Meng Lang, since he carry the reputation as the number one romantic of Central Plains, naturally he is gifted in the four arts, medicine and divination, horoscope, wine drinking, singing, drinking game, guessing riddle, all kinds of shady business, he know them all, he mastered them all. Thus he gained the favor of martial brother Wu YaZi, he accepted him as his last disciple, he ordered him to exterminate your lover Ding ChunQiu to tidy up sect affairs."

Li QiuShui said brightly: "Meng Lang, is her word true or false?"

Xu Zhu heard both of them address him as 'Meng Lang', he cannot help but blush deeply, the first half of Child Elder's speech is false, the latter half is true, but he can neither say its true nor false. The various techniques taught by Child Elder, they are undoubtedly used to neutralize the life-death talisman, but how come Li QiuShui call it [Six Solar Palm Of Heavenly Mountain]? Child Elder want him to learn [Six Solar Palm Of Heavenly Mountain] to deal with Li QiuShui, but he firmly refuse to learn, could it be that the techniques used to neutralize the life-death talisman is precisely [Six Solar Palm Of Heavenly Mountain]?

Li QiuShui said sternly: "Aunty is asking you a question, how come you refuse to answer?" as she finish speaking she extend her hand to grab his shoulder. Xu Zhu is very proficient in countering the moves from Child Elder, moreover he countered the moves in darkness, when he heard the wind he immediately recognize the form, he react according to the situation, when Li QiuShui's finger is about to touch his shoulder, he immediately lowered his shoulder and slanted his body, he flip his hand and press down on the back of her hand. Li QiuShui immediately withdraw her hand, she praised: "Good! This move 'Great Heaven Sun Song', internal energy is deep and profound, the move is also well executed. Martial brother Wu YaZi impart his entire lifetime of martial arts to you, correct?" Xu Zhu said: "He...he impart all his internal energy to me."

He said Wu YaZi impart all his 'internal energy' (功力) to him, he did not say 'martial arts' (功夫), the two phrase only differ by a single word but the meaning is vastly different. But Li QiuShui is extremely agitated, naturally she won't distinguish the difference, she ask again: "Since my martial brother accept you as his disciple, how come you didn't address me as martial aunt?"

Xu Zhu persuade them: "Martial aunts, both of you are one family, why entangle in this deep hatred and struggle bitterly? Its all past matters, everyone should just let go and forget it."

Li QiuShui said: "Meng Lang, you are still young, you are not aware of the sinister intentions of that treacherous old woman, stand aside......"

She did not finish speaking, suddenly she yell out 'Ah', Child Elder suddenly dash out from behind Xu Zhu and made a sneak attack, she landed one palm on her. This palm is soundless and formless, the strength is purely yin and soft, the distance between them is close, there is a delay before Li QiuShui detect it, there is also a delay before she can react, Child Elder's palm is already in front of her chest, Li QiuShui hastily move her body to retreat but she is slower by one step, her breath is obstructed, evidently her meridians got injured. Child Elder laugh and said: "Martial sister, what do you think of this move from elder sister? Please give me some guidance." Li QiuShui quickly channel her internal energy to regulate her breathing, she don't dare to retort.

Child Elder succeeded in this sneak attack, she cannot let her recover, she jump on one leg and leap forward, her palm wind rushing as she launch her attack. Xu Zhu shouted: "Senior, don't do it!" he executed the palm technique taught by Child Elder and intercepted the three palm strikes directed at Li QiuShui. Child Elder is extremely angry, she cursed: "Little thief, you using what kind of martial arts against me?" As it turns out, Xu Zhu firmly refuse to learn [Six Solar Palm Of Heavenly Mountain], Child Elder is aware of the great catastrophe in the future, in order to gain a competent helper during the critical period, while teaching Xu Zhu how to neutralize life-death talisman she also impart [Six Solar Palm Of Heavenly Mountain] to him, furthermore she spent alot of time sparring with him, all the subtle and profound variations, all the ingenious and magnificent techniques, she emptied her pockets and taught everything to him. When she finally gain the upper hand, unexpectedly Xu Zhu suddenly switch side and help Li QiuShui! Xu Zhu said: "Senior, i advise you to take into account the relationship of being in the same sect, please be lenient." Child Elder curse in rage: "Get lost, quickly step aside!"

Li QiuShui gain Xu Zhu's assistance, she avoided Child Elder's rapid attack, her breathing is already regulated, she said: "Meng Lang, i am fine now, step aside." she launch her left palm and follow up with her right palm, the palm force in her left hand move around Xu Zhu and attack Child Elder. Child Elder is secretly alarmed: "Unexpectedly this **** mastered [White Rainbow Palm Force], her palm force can move left and right at will, truly formidable." She return the palm and clash head on.

Xu Zhu is stuck between them, he is aware that his martial art is limited, he cannot break up the fight and persuade them, he gave a long sigh and step aside.

Both of them dueled for a long time, strong wind assaulted his face, sharp as blade, Xu Zhu can't resist, he is about to retreat to the stone steps between the 1st and 2nd level, suddenly he heard a 'Pu' sound, Child Elder groan in pain, she was push by Li QiuShui and crash against a solid ice block. Xu Zhu shouted: "Stay your hand, stay your hand!" he rush forward and executed two moves from [Six Solar Palm Of Heavenly Mountain] to neutralize Li QiuShui's attack. Child Elder seize the opportunity and leap backwards, unexpectedly she cry out miserably and tumbled down from the stone steps, she roll downwards and stop moving at the stone steps between the 2nd and 3rd level.

Xu Zhu cry out in alarm: "Senior, senior, what happen to you?" he quickly rush towards her, he grope around and supported Child Elder's body. He felt her pair of hands are ice-cold, he check her breath, unexpectedly she stop breathing. Xu Zhu is panic stricken, he is really sad, he hug Child Elder tightly and call out: "Martial aunt, you....you....you killed martial great aunt, how can you be so heartless!" he cannot help but cry.

Li QiuShui said: "This person is very devious, my palm might not necessarily kill her!" Xu Zhu weep and said: "Still dare say she is not dead? She is not breathing, senior....martial great aunt, i already advise you not to hold a grudge...." Li QiuShui took out another fire-stick from her bosom, she ignite it, the stone step is sprinkled full of blood, the side of Child Elder's mouth and her chest is also full of blood.

To train [Eternal Youth Never Aging Skill] the practitioner have to drink blood everyday, however if the practitioner's energy move in reverse and the arteries burst, they will vomit blood, they only need to vomit one small cup of blood and they will stop breathing and die immediately, currently the blood on the stone step is at least a few big bowl. Li QiuShui is aware that her martial sister, whom she hate bitterly for over 10 years is finally dead, she is extremely happy, but she cannot help but feel lonely and mournful.

After a long time, she held the torch and slowly walk down the stone steps, she said darkly: "Martial sister, you are really dead? I am still not at ease." she stood 5 chi away from Child Elder, the torch emit a faint light, the light landed on Child Elder's face, her face is full of wrinkles, the wrinkles near her mouth is laced with blood, her expression extremely terrifying. Li QiuShui knew Child Elder train [Eternal Youth Never Aging Skill] for a long time, her internal energy is deep and profound, she can maintain her appearance and never age, only when the skill dissipate will her face reveal the elderly wrinkles. Li QiuShui is still not at ease, she said softly: "Martial sister, my entire life i experience too much suffering under your hands, don't try to fake death to trick me." She wave her left hand, she launch a palm at Child Elder's chest, there is a few 'KaLa KaLa' sound, a few of Child Elder's ribs broke.

Xu Zhu is furious, he shouted: "She already died by your hands, how can you injure her corpse?" he saw Li QiuShui launch her 2nd palm strike, at once he wave his palm to intercept. Li QiuShui look side-ways at him in disapproval, this 'Number one romantic of Central Plains' had big eyes and big nose, big ears and big mouth, wide forehead and dense eyebrows, appearance boorish, where is the handsome, natural and unrestrained youngster? She is startled for a while, she recognize him as the little monk who carried Child Elder and escape, she move her right hand and grab Xu Zhu's shoulder. Xu Zhu slanted his body to avoid, he said: "I don't want to fight you, i only advise you not to touch your martial sister's corpse."

Li QiuShui executed four moves in succession, Xu Zhu is very proficient in [Six Solar Palm Of Heavenly Mountain], unexpectedly he parried every single blow, while blocking his palm faintly contains deep strength that allows for counter-attack. Li QiuShui suddenly said: "Yi! Who is that person behind you?" Xu Zhu have little experience in fighting enemy, he was startled and turn his head back to look, suddenly he felt huge pain in his chest, his acupoint was sealed by Li QiuShui, immediately after the acupoints in both legs was sealed as well, his entire body numb and soft, he collapsed beside Child Elder, he is angry and startled, he shouted: "You are my senior, but you employ this kind of trick."

Li QiuShui laugh and said: "All is fair in war, today i teach you young chap a lesson." immediately after she pointed at him and laugh repeatedly, she said: "You...you...you ugly freak little monk, unexpectedly you dare call yourself 'Number one romantic of Central Plains'...."

Suddenly there is a 'Pa' sound, Li QiuShui cry out miserably, the 'ZhiYang' acupoint on her back was hit by a heavy palm, it was launch by Child Elder. Immediately after Child Elder violently punch out her left fist, it hit the middle of Li QiuShui's chest, the 'ShanZhong' vital acupoint. This one palm and one fist is right next to her skin, Li QiuShui have no time to resist, she can't slant her body to avoid, she don't even have time to gather energy to protect her acupoints, her body was shocked by the fist and flew up, landing on the stone steps, the torch in her hand dislodged and flew out.

Child Elder conserved her energy for a very long time, the power in her fist is abnormally fierce, the torch flew from the 3rd level to the 2nd level, it flew straight to the 1st level before it finally drop down. In an instant the 3rd level of the ice storehouse plunge into darkness again, Child Elder laugh coldly. Xu Zhu was shock yet happy, he shouted: "Senior, you are not dead? Good....very good!"

As it turns out, Child Elder failed at the final hurdle, she did not perfect her divine martial arts, moreover Li QiuShui broke off one of her leg at the snowy peak, she sustained great damage to her internal energy after the injury, thus during the life and death duel, when she fought over 200 moves, she knew she would lose for sure, after getting hit by Li QuiShui's palm her disadvantage became even more apparent, unfortunately Xu Zhu refuse to help either side, although he obstructed Li QiuShui and prevent her from dealing the finishing blow, but he also obstructed Child Elder and prevent her from succeeding in her schemes; Child Elder knew that if she carry on dueling she will suffer a wretched defeat, thus she clenched her teeth and forcibly endured a palm strike, she fake death. As for the blood on the stone steps and on her chest and mouth, they are deer blood prepared in advance, its purpose is to trick her enemy. Unexpectedly Li QiuShui is extremely vigilant, although Child Elder stop breathing she still launch a palm strike on her chest. Since she started it, Child Elder have to carry it through whatever happens, thus she had no choice but to forcibly endure another palm strike, if Xu Zhu did not stop Li QiuShui she will definitely launch a few more palm strikes and smash her 'corpse' into pulp, by then there is nothing she can do. Luckily Xu Zhu obstructed Li QiuShui out of his kind nature, moreover when Li QiuShui finally saw the true appearance of the 'Number one romantic of Central Plains', she was disappointed and yet found it funny, she drop her guard, although she is aware that Child Elder is very crafty and fierce but she did not think Child Elder can be so resolute in enduring the pain.

Li QiuShui's chest and back sustained heavy injuries, unexpectedly she lost control of her internal energy, its similar to a flood being left unchecked, its about to burst out of the dam and flow away. The martial arts of Carefree Sect is number one under the heaven, however if the practitioner lose control of internal energy, the energy would flow around and collide with each other, it can't drain out, the pain and suffering during this period is indescribable. In an instant, Li QiuShui felt all the acupoints in her body are numb and itchy, she is panic-stricken, she is aware that her injuries are incurable, she shouted: "Meng Lang, please do a good deed, quickly exert strength and smack your palm at my 'BaiHui' acupoint!"

At this moment light suddenly shine down on her face, her entire body is shivering, she stretch out her hand to take away the white veil covering her face, her fingers scratching her cheek, at once her face is full of blood scar, she shouted: "Meng Lang, you....quickly kill me with a single fist." Child Elder sneered: "You sealed his acupoints, but now you ask him to help you, hey hey, you reap what you sown, your retribution came really quick!" Li QiuShui prop herself and tried to stand up, she want to unseal Xu Zhu's acupoints, but her entire body is limp and painful, she can't even move her little finger.

Xu Zhu look at Li QiuShui, afterwards he look at Child Elder, evidently Child Elder's injuries are also extremely serious, she lean against the stone steps and groan, Xu Zhu vision is getting clearer and clearer, it seems the ice storehouse is gradually getting brighter, he incline his head and look towards the source of light, there is a huge ball of fire at the 1st level of the ice storehouse, he shouted: "Ayo! Someone is coming!"

Child Elder was startled, she pondered: "Someone is coming, in the end i still fell under this ****'s hands." she forcibly draw a breath, she wanted to stand up, but no matter what she can't stand at all, her legs soften, with a 'Gudong' sound she fell down. Child Elder exert strength in her pair of hands, she slowly crawl towards Li QiuShui, before her soldiers arrive to save her she want to strangle her to death.

Suddenly she heard faint dripping sound of water, its seems water is dripping down from the stone steps. Li QiuShui and Xu Zhu also heard the sound of dripping water, they turn their head at the same time and look, indeed water is dripping down the stone steps. The three of them are baffled: "Where did this water come from?"

The ice storehouse is getting brighter and brighter, the gurgling sound of water, the dripping of water unexpectedly transform into a stream of water, it flow down the stone steps. The ball of fire at the 1st level is roaring, but no one came in. At once Li QiuShui realize the truth, she cannot help but say: "The fire burn....the cotton....in the cloth-sack." As it turns out, the area near the entrance is piled full of cloth-sack, the cloth-sack contains cotton to prevent external heat from entering, thus the ice chunks did not melt. Unexpectedly when Li QiuShui was hit by Child Elder's fist, the torch dislodge from her hand and flew out, it landed on the cloth-sack and burn the cotton, the ice chunks melt and turn into water stream and flow downwards.

The flame flourished, more water flow downwards, the gurgling sound of water is getting louder. After a while the water accumulated in the 3rd level is around 1 chi high. Water flow down endlessly from the stone steps, more and more water accumulate, slowly the water reach their waists.

Li QiuShui sigh and said: "Martial sister, you and me, both sides suffered a defeat, nobody can live, you....you unseal Meng Lang's acupoints, let him....go out." The three of them are well aware of the situation, the water in the ice storehouse will slowly rise up, they will definitely drown.

Child Elder sneered: "I carry out my own stuff, why do i even need your advice? Originally i wanted to unseal his acupoints, but since you try to be the good person, then i don't want to unseal his acupoints anymore. Little monk, you die because of her words, are you aware of it?" she turn her body and slowly crawl up the stone steps. If she climb a few more steps she would be able to personally witness Li QiuShui drown. Although she will still die eventually, but as long as she witness Li QiuShui die, her revenge can be considered complete.

Li QiuShui saw her slowly climb up, the ice cold water already reach her chest, the internal energy in her body surge around, its incomparably painful, she hope the ice water can rise up faster, its better to drown then to suffer the agony of thousand worms biting her, its 100 times better to drown then to endure thousand needles drilling into her as her martial arts disperse.

Suddenly Child Elder cry out, she tumbled and roll down, with a 'Putong' sound, water splash in all direction, she drop straight into the pool of water. As it turns out, her injuries are too serious, her limbs lack strength, she climb 7-8 steps up the stone steps, an ice cube the size of a fist flow down along with the water, by lucky coincidence it heavily hit her right knee, Child Elder can't stabilize her body and tumbled. As she fell down, she so happen to land on Xu Zhu's body, she bounce off and landed on Li QiuShui's right side. As the water accumulate, unexpectedly the three of them squeeze and bundled together.

Child Elder's stature is much smaller than Xu Zhu and Li QiuShui, the water reach Li QiuShui's chest but it already reach Child Elder's neck. Child Elder also suffered bitter pain as her martial arts disperse, she pondered: "No matter what, this **** have to die before me." she wanted to injure her, however in between them is Xu Zhu, moreover she can't even move her arm for a few inch, she saw Xu Zhu's shoulder is touching Li QiuShui's shoulder, she suddenly had an idea, she said: "Little monk, you must not channel your internal energy to resist, if not you will bring about your own demise." she did not wait for his reply, she channel her internal energy and send it towards Xu Zhu. Child Elder is fully aware that this act is accelerating her death, the more she exhaust her internal energy the faster she will die, but if she does not do this, she will surely be the first one to die once the water rise up.

Li QiuShui suffered severe shock in her body, she detect Child Elder's internal energy is attacking her, immediately she channel her internal energy and counter-attack.

Xu Zhu is in-between them, initially he felt a hot stream of energy from Child Elder's arm, immediately after he felt another stream of hot energy from Li QiuShui's shoulder, in a split second, the two stream of energy collided within his body, the collision is fierce and violent. Child Elder and Li QiuShui internal energy are comparable with each other, after sustaining heavy injuries, there is still not much difference between them, its difficult to determine who is stronger or weaker. Their internal energy clash with each other, deadlocked in stalemate, the internal energy stop within Xu Zhu's body, nobody can attack each other. However, Xu Zhu suffered the most. Luckily Wu YaZi imparted 70 years of internal energy to him, among the three fellow martial brother and sisters, Wu YaZi possess the highest internal energy, although Xu Zhu is distress under the attack from two sides but he did not die.

Child Elder notice water is gradually rising, it move from her neck to her chin, and again from her chin to her lower lip. She urge her internal energy and channel it endlessly, she want to quickly kill off her love rival, unfortunately Li QiuShui's internal energy also flow endlessly, evidently she is not likely to exhaust it any time soon. But water kept on gushing, Child Elder felt something cold in her mouth, a burst of cold water entered her mouth. She was startled, her body involuntarily rise up, she can't stabilize herself, unexpectedly she floated on the water. She is missing one leg, obviously its much easier for her to float compared to ordinary people. She escaped by the skin of her teeth, she lie down flat on the water surface, the back of her head submerge in the water, she only expose her mouth and nose to breathe, at once she calm down and pondered: "The water rise and i will move higher, unexpectedly i broke a leg and gain unfair advantage in the water." she keep on sending internal energy to her hand.

Xu Zhu groan loudly, he shouted: "Sigh, martial aunt, martial great aunt, even if both of you carry on fighting its still hard to determine the winner, but nephew will really be killed." But Child Elder and Li QiuShui are too deep in the duel, the duel had turn into a contest of internal energy, the most dangerous aspect in the fight between two experts, whoever give up first will lose her life immediately. Moreover both of them are aware that regardless of the result of the contest, they will still die eventually, thus they kept fighting to see who will die first. Both of them are proud and arrogant, their hatred accumulated for over 10 years, who is willing to give up? In addition as they transmit their internal energy out, although they are getting weaker and weaker, but the pain and suffering they experience due to the scattering of energy is reduced.

After the time taken to eat a meal, water had rise up to Li QiuShui's mouth, she can't swim, she don't dare to copy Child Elder and float on the water surface, at once she stop breathing, she utilize her [Turtle Breathing Skill] and compete with her enemy, water flow past her eyes, eyebrows, forehead, but she still transmit her deep and profound internal energy endlessly. 'Gudu', 'Gudu', 'Gudu', Xu Zhu drank three mouthful of iced water, he shout loudly: "Ayo, i...i cannot....*Gudu*...*Gudu*...i.....*Gudu*...." he is panic-stricken, suddenly his vision turn dark, he can't see anything. He hastily shut his mouth, he breathe through his nose, as he inhale he felt the air in his chest is incomparably stuffy. As it turns out, the ice storehouse is sealed, there is no ventilation, the cotton burn for a long time, the fresh outside air cannot enter, the fire cannot burn smoothly and extinguish by itself. Xu Zhu and Child Elder had difficulties breathing, on the contrary Li QiuShui is still utilizing her [Turtle Breathing Skill] thus she did not detect anything.

Although the fire is extinguished, but iced water still flow down endlessly. Xu Zhu felt the iced water move past his lips, his philtrum, gradually it reach up to his nostrils, he pondered: "I am dieing, i am dieing!" however the internal energy of Child Elder and Li QiuShui still transmit endlessly from his left and right.

Xu Zhu felt the room is abnormally stuffy, his energy surge forward, it seems as if his five viscera and six bowels swap positions, the iced water is a hair breadth away from his nostrils, if it rise up a bit more he won't be able to breathe anymore, moreover his acupoints are sealed, he can't raise his neck. But its really strange, after a long time, unexpectedly the iced water did not rise up anymore, since the fire on the cotton extinguish, the ice chunks did not melt anymore. After a while, Xu Zhu felt stinging pain on his philtrum, immediately after the pain spread to his chin, and then to his neck. As it turns out, the ice storehouse is full of ice chunks, its extremely cold, when the iced water flow down they slowly turn back to ice again, unexpectedly the three of them are frozen in ice.

The ice condense and solidified, Child Elder and Li QiuShui are isolated from each other, their internal energy no long transmit into Xu Zhu, however as a result, more than half of their internal energy is sealed within Xu Zhu's body, the energy clash and collide with each other, its getting more and more violent. Xu Zhu felt his skin is about to burst and crack, although he is stuck within solid ice but he cannot bear the boiling heat.

He don't know how much time have pass, suddenly his body vibrated, unexpectedly the two stream of hot energy merge together with the energy originally within his body and became one, he did not need to guide it, the energy automatically rush to all his meridians and acupoints. As it turns out, Child Elder and Li QiuShui internal energy are locked in stalemate, there is no place to drain out, eventually it merge together with the internal energy of Wu YaZi. The internal energy of the three originated from the same sect, there is no difference in nature, its extremely easy to merge, when the three energy became one, the power is abundant and unstoppable, wherever the energy goes the sealed acupoints will immediately open up.

In an instant, Xu Zhu felt his body is free and comfortable, he shake his pair of hands lightly, there is a burst of 'Kalala' sound, the solid ice surrounding him immediately break up, he pondered: "I wonder what happen to martial aunt and martial great aunt, i have to save both of them and go out." He stretch out his hands and grope around, he felt solid ice everywhere, both of them already encased within the ice. Xu Zhu is panic-stricken, there is no time to think, he grab both of them, one arm carrying one person, he carried both of them along with the ice and walk to the 1st level of the ice storehouse, he push open the two heavy wooden door, he felt a burst of clean fresh air, he only inhale once and felt indescribable joy. The moon is glowing brightly in the sky, the shadows of flowers can be seen on the ground, its very late at night.

He felt happy and thought: "Escaping the imperial palace in the dark is much easier." he carried two blocks of ice and rush to the edge of the wall, he gathered his energy and jump up, unexpectedly his body kept rising up, he is 1 zhang higher than the top of the wall, however the rising force still did not end. Xu Zhu not expect the internal energy within his body to have such wonderful power, he is afraid he might rise up higher and higher, he shouted 'Ah'.

Four imperial guard happen to patrol outside the palace's walls, they heard someone shout and quickly rush forward to check, they saw two crystal blocks sandwich between a gray shadow, it jump over the wall and move away, they honestly don't know what kind of monster it is. The four guards stare stupidly, the three monster flash and entered the forest outside the palace's walls, the four guards yell out and chase, but where is the trace of the monsters? The four guards suspect it must be some supernatural being, they debate endlessly, some said its a mountain spirit, some claim its a flower demon.

*************

When Xu Zhu got out of the imperial palace he took large strides and rush quickly, the road is made of green flagstone, houses packed tightly together on either side of the road. He don't dare to linger, he kept running west. After running for a while he arrive at the city wall, he gathered his energy and jump up the wall, he flip over the wall and ran away, the soldier guarding the top of the wall felt his vision blur, he did not spot anything.

Xu Zhu rush towards a desolate area 10 li away from the city, there are no house in the area, he finally stop and put down the two ice blocks, he pondered: "I have to remove the ice surrounding them as soon as possible." he found a nearby brook and submerge the two ice blocks into the water. Under the moonlight, he saw Child Elder's mouth and nose exposed outside the ice block, but her eyes are shut tightly, he don't know if she is dead or alive. Ice fragments on the two ice blocks are wash away by the water, Xu Zhu held onto them and kept peeling, he remove the solid ice surrounding their bodies, afterwards he raise both of them out of the brook and touch their forehead, unexpectedly they are still quite warm, he felt really happy, he place both of them far apart, he is afraid that once they wake up they will start fighting again.

Half a day pass, the sky gradually turn bright, Xu Zhu sat down and rest. The sun rise from the east, the birds on the tree start chirping, Child Elder who is sitting under the northern tree gave a 'Yi' sound, Li QiuShui who is sitting under the southern tree gave an 'Ah' sound, unexpectedly both of them wake up at the same time.

Xu Zhu is extremely happy, he leap up and stand between them, he press his hands together and said: "Martial great aunt, martial aunt, the three of us narrowly escape and survive, you must not fight again!" Child Elder said: "No, how can i give up if that **** is not dead?" Li QiuShui said: "The hatred is deep as ocean, i won't rest until she dies." Xu Zhu wave both his hands randomly and said: "Absolutely not, absolutely not!"

Li QiuShui push off from the ground and throw herself towards Child Elder. Child Elder circulate both her hands, she concentrate her strength and wait for the opportunity to strike. Unexpectedly as Li QiuShui extended her waist to stand up, she immediately turn soft and collapsed. As for Child Elder, she can't form a circle with her arms, she lean against the tree and pant heavily.

Xu Zhu saw both of them have no strength to fight, he is elated and said: "Good, both of you rest here, i will find something for you to eat." he saw Child Elder and Li QiuShui sat down cross-legged, their palms and feet facing the sky, their posture identical, he knew these two martial sisters are channelling their internal energy, whoever can gather enough strength to launch the first strike and the opposing side would have no way to resist. Seeing such situation, Xu Zhu don't dare to move away from them. He look at Child Elder and look at Li QiuShui, their face full of wrinkles, their appearance haggard and withered, he pondered: "Martial great aunt is already 96 years old, martial aunt is at least 80 years old. Both of them so old already, unexpectedly both of them are so short-sighted, such bad temper."

He wring his clothes to squeeze out the water, suddenly there is a 'Pa' sound, an object fall on the ground, its the portrait given to him by Wu YaZi. The painting is drawn on tough silk fabric, its undamaged even after getting soaked. Xu Zhu spread the painting on a rock to let the sun dry it. The painting is somewhat fuzzy after getting soaked in water, he felt somewhat pity.

Li QiuShui heard the sound, she open her eyes slightly and saw the painting, she shout in a shrill voice: "Bring it here and let me see! Its a painting of me correct? Wonderful, i don't believe martial brother would draw a portrait of that lowly *****."

Child Elder shouted: "Don't let her see! I want to kill her personally. If that **** get angered to death won't she get off too lightly?"

Li QiuShui laugh out loud and said: "I already saw it, martial brother drew a portrait of me. You refuse to let me see the painting, evidently the person in the painting is not you. Martial brother is gifted in painting, how can he draw a midget like you who doesn't resemble a human or ghost? He is not drawing Zhong Kui (vanquisher of ghosts and evil beings) to catch ghost, why would he even draw you?"

At that time, although Child Elder's stature is small but her appearance is extremely beautiful, Wu YaZi was in love with her. Child Elder practice [Eternal Youth Never Aging Skill], she can preserve her appearance and never age, forever maintain her looks, at the age of 26 years old, she can use her divine skill to alter her undersize illness. At that time her martial sister Li QiuShui was 18 years old, she fell in love with Wu YaZi, she is jealous of Child Elder, thus at the critical juncture of Child Elder's training, Li QiuShui shout loudly behind Child Elder, Child Elder was startled and fire-deviated, her internal energy diverted from the main path and its difficult for her to recover, she can never grow up, henceforth the two of them became mortal enemies. Currently Child Elder listen to Li QiuShui mention the greatest regret in her life, she cannot help but shout furiously: "Treacherous ****, i....i....i....." with a 'Wa' sound she spurted a mouthful of fresh blood, she almost fainted.

Li QiuShui sneered and mock her: "Just admit defeat? If we really fight...." suddenly she cough repeatedly.

Xu Zhu knew both of them are weary and exhausted, they are about to collapse from exhaustion, he advise them: "Martial great aunt, martial aunt, its best if both of you rest for a while, don't tax yourself anymore." Child Elder said angrily: "Won't do!"

At this moment, the sound of jingling bells suddenly came from south-west, the sound is from a camel-bell, its crisp and melodious. When Child Elder heard it her expression was happy, her spirit rose, she took out a short black-tube from her bosom and said: "Shoot this tube into the air." Li QiuShui cough is getting more and more anxious. Xu Zhu don't understand the reason, he lodge the small tube at his middle finger and shot it upwards, a sharp whistling sound emit from the tube. Currently Xu Zhu's finger strength is extremely powerful and extraordinary, the small tube flew straight into the sky, it entered the clouds and can't be seen anymore, however it made endless 'Wu Wu' sound. Xu Zhu is alarmed, he said inwardly: "Not good, martial great aunt's small-tube is a signal. She is summoning her people over to deal with martial aunt." he quickly rush towards Li QiuShui, he bend down and whispered: "Martial aunt, martial great aunt's helpers are coming, i will carry you and run away."

But Li QiuShui close her eyes, her head drooping, her coughing ceased, her body motionless. Xu Zhu had a huge shock, he stretch out his hand to check her breath, she stop breathing. Xu Zhu cry out in fear: "Martial aunt, martial aunt!" he shake her shoulder lightly, he want to wake her up, unexpectedly Li QiuShui collapsed immediately as he touch her, her body slanted and lie down on the ground, she was dead.

Child Elder laugh heartily and said: "Good, good, good! Little **** got frighten to death, haha, my revenge is complete, this treacherous **** finally died before me, haha, haha...." its difficult for her to breathe in her excited state, she spurted a huge mouthful of blood.

The 'Wu Wu' sound is high and low, the small black tube finally drop down from mid-air, Xu Zhu stretch out his hand and caught it, as his about to look at Child Elder he heard the urgent sound of hoof, the sound is mix with the jingling of bells, Xu Zhu turn his head and look at the source of the sound, he saw 10 camel speeding towards him. The riders of the camel are all wearing light-green cloak, they rush over from a distance, its just like a green cloud, he heard several female voice: "Honourable Master, subordinates arrive late, we are guilty and deserve a thousand death!"

The 10 camel draw close, Xu Zhu saw all the riders are female, the front of their cloaks are embroidered with a black vulture, its appearance fierce. When the female riders saw Child Elder all of them leap off the camel and quickly move close, they prostrate in front of Child Elder. Leading this group of female is an old woman, she is around 50-60 years old, as for the rest some are old and some are young, some are around 40 years old while some are 17-18 years old, all of them extremely respectful towards Child Elder, they lie prostrate on the ground and don't dare to look at her.

Child Elder snorted and said angrily: "All of you think i am dead, correct? Nobody care about this old woman. Nobody is there to control you, everyone must be very free and leisurely, undisciplined and out of control." while speaking the old woman in front of her kowtow repeatedly and said: "I don't dare." Child Elder said: "What don't dare? If you really think about granny, how come there is....there is so few people here?" the old woman said: "Reporting to Honourable Master, ever since Honourable Master left the palace, all your subordinates are extremely anxious...." Child Elder said angrily: "Farting, farting!" the old woman said: "Yes, yes!" Child Elder is even more furious and shouted: "Since you know its fart, then how dare....how dare you fart in front of me?" the old woman don't dare to speak, she kowtow repeatedly.

Child Elder said: "All of you are anxious, then what happen? How come you didn't rush down the mountain to search for me immediately?" the old woman said: "Yes! Subordinate's Nine Heaven Nine Divisions immediately went down the mountain, we separate to search for Honourable Master. Subordinate's Clear Heaven Division head east to respectfully welcome Honourable Master, Sun Heaven Division head south-east, Scarlet Heaven Division head south, Vermillion Heaven Division head south-west, Perfect Heaven Division head west, Serene Heaven Division head north-west, Mysterious Heaven Division head north, Phoenix Heaven Division head north-east, Great Heaven Division guard the palace. Subordinate is incompetent, i arrive late, i deserve to die, i deserve to die!" when she finish speaking she kowtow repeatedly.

Child Elder said: "All your clothes are tattered and torn, these 3 months, you must have suffered quite a bit while travelling." the old woman heard her words contain hints of praise, at once her face revealed a happy expression and said: "For the sake of Honourable Master we will spare no effort, even if we have to go through water and tread on fire we will do it willingly. This little bit of suffering, its subordinate's duty." Child Elder said: "I did not complete my training, i suddenly bump into that treacherous ****, she cut off one of my leg, i almost died, luckily my martial nephew Xu Zhu rescued me, the dangers and hardships within are complicated and not easy to express."

The group of green-cloak female turn their bodies simultaneously, they kowtow to Xu Zhu and said: "The great kindness and virtue of Mister, its difficult to repay even if our bodies are torn and bones crushed." Xu Zhu cannot help but feel bewildered seeing so many female kowtow in front of him, he quickly said: "I don't deserve it, i don't deserve it!" he also knelt down to return the courtesy. Child Elder shout loudly: "Xu Zhu, stand up! All of them are my slave servants, how can you forget your status?" Xu Zhu said a few more 'i don't deserve it' and finally stood up.

Child Elder said to Xu Zhu: "That treacherous **** snatch the gem ring, go over and take it back." Xu Zhu said: "Yes." he walk towards Li QiuShui and remove the gem ring from her middle finger. Originally this gem ring was given to him by Wu YaZi, he did not feel disturbed when he remove it from Li QiuShui's finger. Child Elder said: "You are the Sect Leader of Carefree Sect, the life-death talisman, [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain], [Six Solar Palm Of Heavenly Mountain], i already impart all these martial arts to you, from now on you are the Master of Misty Peak Vulture Palace, Vulture Palace.....the slave servants of Nine Heaven Nine Divisions of Vulture Palace, their life and death are all under your control." Xu Zhu had a huge shock, he quickly said: "Martial great aunt, martial great aunt, you absolutely cannot do this." Child Elder said angrily: "What absolutely cannot do this? These slave servants from Nine Heaven Nine Divisions are incompetent, they didn't welcome me as soon as possible, i suffered in the cloth-sack, unexpectedly i was humiliated by Wu LaoDa and those bastards, eventually i lost a leg and nearly died....."

The female servants all trembled in fright, they kowtow and said: "We deserve to die, Honorable Master please show mercy!" Child Elder said to Xu Zhu: "The servants from Clear Heaven Division finally found me, their punishment can be reduce a little, as for the servants for the other eight divisions, break their hands or legs, you can do whatever you want to them." the female servants kowtow and said: "Many thanks to Honourable Master." Child Elder shout loudly: "How come you didn't kowtow and give thanks to your new Master?" the female servants quickly kowtow and give thanks to Xu Zhu. Xu Zhu wave his hands randomly and said: "Forget it, forget it! How can i be your Master?"

Child Elder said: "Although my life is nearly over, but i witness the death of that treacherous ****, i also found a successor for my entire lifetime of martial arts, i can finally die contented, unexpectedly you refuse to accept my request?" Xu Zhu said: "This....i really cannot do it." Child Elder laugh out loud, she smile and said: "The lady in your dreams, you want to see her? Do you agree to become the Master of Vulture Palace?" Xu Zhu heard her mention 'the lady in your dreams', his entire body is shaking, he cannot refuse, he blush and nod his head. Child Elder said happily: "Very good! Bring that portrait over here, let me tear it up personally. When i have no more worries, i will direct you to find the lady in your dreams."

Xu Zhu fetch the portrait. Child Elder took the portrait, she look at it under the sunlight, suddenly she cry out in surprise, her expression was shock yet happy, she examine it carefully again, she burst into loud laughter and shouted: "Its not her, its not her! Haha, haha, haha!" while laughing, two stream of tears roll down her cheeks, her neck soften, her head lowered, she did not speak anymore.

Xu Zhu was startled, he stretch out his hands to support her, but her bones are like cotton, she curl up and shrink, unexpectedly she died.

The group of green-cloak females surrounded her, they weep loudly, they are extremely mournful. All these women are recued by Child Elder under extremely dangerous or distress circumstances, although Child Elder is very strict but they are very grateful towards her.

Xu Zhu recalled how he stayed closely beside Child Elder for the past 3 months, how she impart him numerous martial arts, although her temper is perverse but she treat him extremely well, now she died with a laugh, he is really sad, he lie prostrate on the ground and cried.

Suddenly he heard a soft and sorrowful voice behind him: "Hei hei, martial sister, in the end you still die before me, so who won?" The voice is from Li QiuShui, Xu Zhu had a huge shock, he pondered: "How come the dead person can revive?" he quickly leap up and turn around, Li QiuShui is sitting upright and leaning against a tree, she said: "Martial nephew, bring that portrait over and let me see, how come elder sister cry and laugh before dieing?"

Xu Zhu pry open Child Elder's fingers lightly, he took the portrait and look at it, the portrait was soak wet and dried in the sun, the brush stroke is vague and fuzzy, however the beautiful woman in the painting still look like Wang YuYan, her eyes and smile, its really difficult to describe her elegance, Xu Zhu's heart is moved: "The general facial appearance of this beautiful woman is quite similar to martial aunt." he walk towards Li QiuShui and gave the painting to her.

Li QiuShui took the painting, she glace horizontally at the group of females, she laugh indifferently and said: "Your Master fought a fierce duel with me, in the end she is no match for me, all of you are like firefly, you dare to compete with the sun and moon for light?"

Xu Zhu turn around, the group of females are holding their sword hilt, their expression full of grief and hate, evidently they want to kill Li QiuShui to avenge Child Elder, however because they never receive the orders from their new Master, they don't dare to act rashly.

Xu Zhu said: "Martial aunt, you, you....." Li QiuShui said: "Your martial great aunt's martial art is very good, but sometimes she is not very meticulous. How can i hope to resist if her helpers arrive here? Naturally i have to fake death, hei hei, in the end she die before me. Her bones and tendons are broken, her martial arts scattered, she can't fake this method of dieing." Xu Zhu said: "Previously during the fierce battle in the ice storehouse, martial great aunt also fake death and trick martial aunt, both of you are equally matched."

Li QiuShui sigh and said: "In your heart, you are slightly bias towards your martial great aunt." she unfold the painting, she look at it for a short period of time, however her expression change greatly, her pair of hands trembled, the painting also trembled, Li QiuShui said softly: "Its her, its her, its her! Haha, haha, haha!" her voice is full of pain and sorrow.

Xu Zhu cannot help but feel sad for her, he ask: "Martial aunt, what happen?" he pondered: "One of them said, its not her, the other said, its her, but who is this person?"

Li QiuShui stare at the beautiful woman in the painting for a long time, she said: "Take a look, there is a dimple beside the corner of her mouth, there is a small mole below her nose, correct?" Xu Zhu look at the beautiful woman in the painting, he nod his head and said: "Correct!" Li QiuShui said dimly: "She is my younger sister!" Xu Zhu was baffled, he said: "Your younger sister?" Li QiuShui said: "My younger sister's appearance is similar to mine, but she have a dimple, i don't have it, she have a small mole below her nose, i also don't have it." Xu Zhu grunt in agreement. Li QiuShui said: "Martial sister said martial brother drew a portrait of her, he kept it close at all times, i never believe her, but....but....but i never expect the person to be my younger sister. How....how...how did this painting come about?"

At once Xu Zhu narrated how Wu YaZi gave this painting to him before he died, how he have to go to Dali's WuLiang Mountain to find someone to teach him martial arts, how Child Elder react angrily when she saw the painting, he narrated everything.

Li QiuShui gave a long sigh and said: "When martial sister saw this painting for the first time, she assume the woman in the painting is me, firstly our appearance is indeed similar, secondly martial brother is fond of me, moreover....moreover when i fought with martial sister, my younger sister is only 11 years old, martial sister will never suspect her, she never notice the dimple and mole. But a person will grow up, an 11 year old girl will turn into a 18-19 year old lady. When martial sister is about to die she finally notice the person in the painting is my younger sister, it is not me, thus she said three times: 'its not her', alas, younger sister, you are good, you are good, you are good!" she is in a daze and tears roll down her face.

Xu Zhu pondered: "As it turns out martial great aunt and martial aunt are devoted to my master, but my master have someone else in his heart. I wonder if martial aunt's little sister is still living in this world? Master ordered me to use the painting to find a teacher to learn martial arts, as it turns out he is under the impression that the person in the painting is martial aunt." he inquire: "Martial aunt, previously you live at Dali's WuLiang Mountain?"

Li QiuShui nod her head, she gaze at a distant place, she seems to be thinking about the past, her thoughts wandering far away, she said slowly: "Previous your master and i lived in a stone cave beside 'Sword Lake' at Dali's WuLiang Mountain, our lives free and unfettered, happy and joyous, it is better than being immortal. I bore him an adorable daughter. The two of us collect martial art manuals of all the sects and schools, we hope to create a wonderful skill that is all-encompassing and universal. One day, he found a huge precious jade, he carved a statue of me, when the statue was complete, he look at the statue everyday, entranced, henceforth he did not pay much attention to me anymore. I talk to him but he often gave me irrelevant answers, sometimes he even ignored me, his attention was completely focused on the statue. Your master's craftsmanship is extremely brilliant, the jade statue is truly beautiful, but ultimately the statue is dead, moreover the statue is base on my appearance, i am obviously right beside him but how come he ignored me, he just stare foolishly at the statue, how come his gaze is full of love when he look at the statue? What is the reason?" she mumbled to herself, she questioned herself, she seems to forget that Xu Zhu is standing beside her.

After a while, Li QiuShui said softly: "Martial brother, you are exceedingly smart and intelligent, but you are also exceedingly foolish, why did you fall in love with the statue you crafted, but why did you not love your martial sister, who can talk, who can laugh, who can move, who can love you? In your heart, you treat the statue as my younger sister, correct? I was jealous of the statue, i had a big argument with you, i seek out many handsome and elegant youngsters, i flirt with them in front of you, thus you left in rage and never came back again. Martial brother, in reality you don't need to be angry, i killed all those handsome elegant youngsters, they are at the bottom of the lake, do you know it?"

She look at the painting again and said: "Martial brother, when did you draw this painting? You only know you are drawing me, thus you ask your disciple to bring this painting to WuLaing Mountain to find me. But unwittingly you drew my younger sister, you are not even aware of it correct? All along you assume the person in the painting is me. Martial brother, in your heart, you truly love my younger sister, why are you so infatuated with the jade statue? Why? Now i finally understand."

Xu Zhu pondered: "Buddha say: 'While alive, its difficult to escape from greed, anger and delusion, the three poison. Martial great aunt, master, martial aunt, the three of them are exceptionally powerful people, but they are entangled within the three poison, regardless of their supreme martial arts, the pain and suffering in their heart is no different from ordinary folks."

Li QiuShui turn her head and look at Xu Zhu, she said: "Worthy nephew, i have some love affair with Ding ChunQiu, originally martial brother was not aware of it, your martial great aunt leak out this secret to him, the affair was expose. I cooperate with Ding ChunQiu and beat him off the cliff, at that time i really have no other alternative, your master condemn me to death, he wants to kill me to vent his anger, i will die if i don't retaliate. But i am not heartless, i did not deal the finishing blow, although he was close to death but i pull Ding ChunQiu and left, i did not kill your master. Afterwards i went to Western Xia, i became the imperial concubine, an entire lifetime of wealth and glory. Your martial great aunt seek me out, she used a knife to carve the words well (井) on my face, however at that time my son succeeded the throne and became emperor....."

"When your master accept you as his disciple, did he mention me? Did he think of me? Is he happy for the past few years? In reality, i am not really fond of Ding ChunQiu, in fact i don't like him at all. I chase him away, is your master aware of it? I put a suicide note at the statue in WuLiang Cave, in the writings i ask to kill off all disciples of Carefree Sect, the purpose is to kill Ding ChunQiu and all of his disciples, is your master aware of it? If he knows, he will certainly be happy, he will know that till the day i die, in my heart i only love him....."

Li QiuShui shake her head, she sigh and said: "Sigh, i don't want to talk about it anymore, i can't even manage my own affairs....." suddenly she shout in a shrill voice: "Martial sister, both of us are pitiful creatures, even for martial brother, till the day he die he still don't know who he truly love.....he is under the impression that he loves me, that is good! Haha, haha, haha!" she laugh three times, her body soften and collapsed on the ground.

Xu Zhu bend over to check, but she is bleeding from her mouth and nose, she stop breathing and died, it seems her death is not fake this time. Xu Zhu look at the two corpse, he don't know what to do.

The old woman from Clear Heaven Division said: "Honorable Master, should we transport old Honorable Master remains back to Vulture Palace and bury her? I respectfully invite Honorable Master to give your orders." Xu Zhu said: "That should be the case." he pointed at Li QiuShui's corpse and said: "This....this person is the martial sister of your Honorable Master, although she have some feud with your Honorable Master, but....but the feud is resolved when she died, in my opinion....in my opinion....why don't we transport her back as well and bury her? What do you think?" the old woman bow and said: "I sincerely comply with your orders." Xu Zhu felt extremely comforted, he is afraid that these green-cloak females hate Li QiuShui and they will refuse to transport her body back for burial, maybe they will even mutilate her corpse to vent their anger, unexpectedly they did not voice the slightest bit of objection. Xu Zhu is not aware that the group of females under the command of Child Elder are incomparably loyal and revered their Master, they don't dare to defy the slightest bit of instruction, since Xu Zhu is their new Master, naturally his words are law, they will do whatever he says.

The old woman command the group of females, they wrap the two corpse with felt and put it on the camel, afterwards they respectfully invite Xu Zhu to mount the camel. Xu Zhu said a few humble words, since the matter already reach such a state he is obliged to personally witness the burial of the two corpse, afterwards he will return back to Shaolin Temple and admit his crimes. He ask for the old woman's name, the old woman said: "My husband family is surnamed Yu, old Honorable Master calls me 'Little Yu', Honorable Master can call me whatever you like." Child Elder is over 90 years old, naturally she can call her 'Little Yu', but Xu Zhu cannot address her like this, he said: "Grandma Yu, my religious name is Xu Zhu, we should address each other as equals, what Honorable Master, i really don't deserve it."

Grandma Yu prostrate on the ground, her tears streaming, she said: "Honorable Master please have mercy! Honorable Master can beat me and kill me, slave servant is willing to accept it, i beg Honorable Master, please don't chase slave servant out of Vulture Palace."

Xu Zhu said in alarm: "Quickly get up, why would i beat you or kill you?" he quickly support her up. The rest of the females all knelt down and beg: "Honorable Master please have mercy!" Xu Zhu is greatly amazed, he quickly inquire the reason, as it turns out, when Child Elder is extremely angry her speech will be unusually polite and courteous, the receiving party will undoubtedly suffer terrible tragedy, their pain indescribable. The reason is the same with Wu LaoDa and the various Cave-masters and Island-masters, when the people sent by Child Elder beat them and abuse them they have to throw a feast and celebrate as they avoid disaster. Currently, Xu Zhu is very polite and courteous towards Grandma Yu, thus the group of females assume he is about to mete out heavy punishment. Xu Zhu comfort and reassure them repeatedly, however the group of females are still anxious and worried.

Xu Zhu mount the camel, however the group of females simply refuse to mount the camel, they pull the camel and follow behind him. Xu Zhu said: "We have to return to Vulture Palace as soon as possible, if not when the weather turns warm, i am afraid...i am afraid there might be some changes to the remains of your Honorable Master." The group of females don't dare to go against his orders, however they mounted the camel and follow him from a far distance. Xu Zhu wants to inquire about the situation at Vulture Palace, unexpectedly it is not convenient for him to do so.

**********

The party travelled west for 5 days, while en-route they encountered a sentry scout from Vermillion Heaven Division. Grandma Yu issued a signal, the sentry rode back to notify, soon after the group of females from Vermillion Heaven Division arrived, all of them wearing purple garment, they move to the remains of Child Elder and cry to pay their respect, afterwards they paid their respects to their new Master. The chief of Vermillion Heaven Division is surnamed Shi, she is around 30 years of age, Xu Zhu address her as 'Sister Shi'. He is afraid the group of females might get anxious again, thus he don't dare to be courteous or polite with his words anymore, he only console them with a few words, he said their journey must be exhausting. The group of females were elated, they give thanks simultaneously. Xu Zhu don't dare to mention words like ' we should address each other as equals', he simply said he dislike people calling him 'Honorable Master', they can simply call him 'Owner'. The group of females bow and complied with his orders.

They travelled west for several days, the Clear Heaven Division and Vermillion Heaven Division dispatch their riders and summon back the Scarlet Heaven Division, Sun Heaven Division, Mysterious Heaven Division, Serene Heaven Division and Phoenix Heaven Division, only Perfect Heaven Division have yet to receive news as they are too far west in their search for Child Elder. There is not a single man at Vulture Palace, Xu Zhu is travelling with several hundred females, he felt really embarrass. Fortunately the females are extremely respectful towards him, none of them dare to speak with him unless he have something to inquire, this made things much easier for him.

One day, while travelling, a green-clothed female suddenly rode back swiftly, she is a sentry rider from Sun Heaven Division who is scouting ahead, she wave her green flag, indicating that there is some unforeseen event in front. She rode to the chief of her division and report the matter quickly.

The chief of Sun Heaven Division is around 20 years of age, she is called Fu MinYi, once she finish listening to the report she immediately dismount and ran towards Xu Zhu and said: "Reporting to Owner: My sentry rider scouted ahead, the slaves from 36 Caves and 72 Islands, they seize the opportunity when old Honourable Master is in trouble, unexpectedly they have the guts to revolt, currently they are attacking the Palace. Great Heaven Division is guarding the path up Misty Peak, those bunch of demons can't get their way, however the sisters sent by Great Heaven Division to ask for assistance are injured by those demons."

Xu Zhu already knew the intentions of the Island-masters and Cave-masters to revolt, he assume that since they can't capture Child Elder, Taoist BuPing died by his hands, Wu LaoDa sustained serious injuries, thus they lack a powerful figure to take the lead and they will eventually retreat and scatter, unexpectedly the matter is 4 months long and they still gather together to attack Misty Peak. He grew up in Shaolin Temple since childhood, he never left the Temple, thus he is unfamiliar with worldly affairs, he really don't know how to handle this kind of major event, he muttered to himself: "This....this....."

He heard the sound of horse hooves, two horse riders are rushing over, leading in front is another sentry rider from Sun Heaven Division, the second horse carried a yellow-clothed female, her entire body covered with blood, her left arm is chop off by someone. Fu MinYi's expression is sorrowful and indignant, she said: "Owner, this is the chief of Great Heaven Division, sister Cheng, i am afraid she won't live." The female who is surnamed Cheng had fainted, the group of female quickly staunch her bleeding to save her, her breathing is weak and faint, she is about to die.

Xu Zhu look at her injury, Mr Intelligent Su XingHe taught him how to treat such injury before, at once he urge the camel and rush forward, he flick his middle finger in succession, he sealed off the acupoints near the broken arm, the bleeding stop immediately. When he flick his finger the 6th time, he executed a move taught by Child Elder, 'Star Pill Jumping Dice', a stream of [Pure Energy of Northern Darkness] entered her 'ZhongFu' acupoint. The female cry out loudly and woke up, she shouted: "All sisters, quick, quick, quickly provide support to Misty Peak, we....we can't resist anymore!"

Xu Zhu execute this technique and flick his finger at empty air, he is not trying to show off his divine skills, but merely because the female is a young lady in her prime, although he is not a monk anymore but he still adhere strictly to Buddhist regulations and keep a distance away from women, he don't dare to stretch out his hands to touch her body, unexpectedly under his numerous flicking the end result is simply miraculous. Currently his body possess the internal energy of Child Elder, Wu YaZi and Li QiuShui, the three great masters from Carefree Sect, his internal energy is truly no small matter.

All the females complied with the orders of Child Elder, they treat Xu Zhu as their new Master, however Xu Zhu is too young, his words and actions rather foolish and stupid, in their heart they really don't know how to respect him, moreover 80-90% of the females at Vulture Palace suffered great humiliations from men, they are either abandon by men or had their families wiped out, under the influence of the perverse Child Elder, they always regard men as vipers or ferocious beasts. At this moment, they witness Xu Zhu execute his moves and recognize it as martial arts of Vulture Palace, moreover his internal energy is extremely pure, unexpectedly it is far superior compared with their old Honourable Master. The group of females are extremely shock, they cheer in unison, all of them prostrate on the ground as if by prior agreement. Xu Zhu said in alarm: "What is this? Quickly get up, get up."

Someone said to the female surnamed Cheng: "Honourable Master became an immortal, this youngster is the benefactor of Honourable Master, he is also her successor, he is the new Master of Vulture Palace." the female is called Cheng QingShuang, she struggled to dismount her horse, she kowtow to Xu Zhu and said: "I thank Honourable Master for saving me, please....please.....Honourable Master please save our sisters at Misty Peak, everyone endured for 10 days, we are heavily outnumbered, we are really in extremely.....extremely critical condition." when she finish speaking she lay prostrate on the ground, she can't even raise her head.

Xu Zhu quickly said: "Sister Shi, quickly support her up. Grandma Yu, you...what do you think we should do?"

Grandma Yu travelled with this new owner for over 10 days, she is well aware that he is honest and naive, he is unfamiliar with worldly affair, she said: "Informing Owner, if we go to Misty Peak now it will require 2 days of travel, Owner can order slave servant to command my division, we will immediately rush ahead to provide assistance. Owner will lead the rest of our sisters and arrive soon after. When Owner arrives those demons will naturally disintegrate and vanish, there is no need to worry."

Xu Zhu nod his head, but he still feel the matter is a bit inappropriate, he don't know how to comment for the moment.

Grandma Yu turn her head and said to Fu MinYi: "Sister Fu, Owner will display his skill and those bunch of demons will be frighten off, but the cassock he is wearing is not spectacular enough. You are the divine seamstress of our Palace, quickly make a new cassock for Owner!" Fu MinYi said: "Precisely! Sister is also thinking about the same thing."

Xu Zhu was startled, he is worried about urgent matters, how come they are making cassock now? Its really the opinion of married women. However these females are indeed married women, their views are precisely those of married women.

The group of females are all gazing at Xu Zhu, waiting for his orders. Xu Zhu lowered his head, the monk robe he is wearing is tattered and filthy, he didn't wash it for 4 months, its extremely smelly and hard to bear. He was instructed by his master since childhood, he have to study the Five Aggregates of emptiness, he cannot hanker after clothes and food, thus he did not care about such matters at all, but now Grandma Yu mention the matter, he also notice his female subordinates are wearing gorgeous clothes, he cannot help but feel ashamed, moreover he is not a monk anymore but he is still wearing monk robe, its really not acceptable. In reality, the females already treat him as their owner, why would they make fun of his clothes? The group of females look at his expression and his eyes, whether he is happy or angry, his intentions, however Xu Zhu is feeling ashamed and inferior, his expression bashful.

Grandma Yu wait for some time, she inquire again: "Owner, slave servant will move on ahead first, what do you think?"

Xu Zhu said: "Let us go together, saving people is important. My clothe is simply too filthy, later i.....i will go wash, to avoid letting you all smell its stench...." he urge his camel and rush on ahead first. The group of females felt the same anger and hatred towards their enemies, they urge their mounts and followed him. Camel can run longer, while sprinting its speed exceeds a horse, the party rush for 10 li and finally stop to rest, they light a fire to prepared meals.

Grandma Yu pointed at a mountain peak in the north-west corner, she said to Xu Zhu: "Owner, that is Misty Peak. The mountain peak is shrouded in mist throughout the year, when you look at it from far it is faint and indistinct, thus it is known as Misty Peak." Xu Zhu said: "Its seems we are still very far, the sooner we arrive the better, we should travel throughout the night as well." The group of females said: "Yes! Many thanks to Owner for your concern for the slave servants of Great Heaven Division." after finishing their meals, they mount the camels and travelled again, when they reach the base of Misty Peak its already the dawn of 2nd day.

Fu MinYi clasp a multi-coloured object and walk towards Xu Zhu, she bow and said: "Slave servant skill is crude and lowly, i invite Owner to reward me by wearing it." Xu Zhu said curiously: "What is that?" he receive the object and shake it open, its a men's robe, its patched together using many strip of brocade, red, yellow, green, purple, black, all kinds of brocade stripe, its luxurious and elegant. As it turns out, Fu MinYi cut off some cloth off the cloaks of the group of females, she made a robe for Xu Zhu.

Xu Zhu is shock yet happy, he said: "Lady Fu you are indeed worthy of being called Divine Seamstress', while riding on camel unexpectedly you can make such beautiful clothe." At once he remove his monk robe and wore the new robe, it fit him perfectly, the cuff and collar is made of gray mink fur, the mink fur is also cut off from the female clothes. Although Xu Zhu is ugly, but when he wore the luxurious robe at once his vigor is displayed prominently, everyone cheered. Xu Zhu expression is timid and bashful, he don't know what to do.

At this time, the party had arrive at the intersection of the route up Misty Peak. Cheng QingShuang already narrate the situation while en route, when she got down the peak the enemy already occupied Broken Soul Cliff, they lost 11 out of the 18 natural stronghold at Misty Peak, the Great Heaven Division had lost more than half of its group, the situation is extremely dangerous and critical. Xu Zhu saw the base of the peak is quiet, there is no one nearby, a few green grass sprouted on the white snow ground, if he did not receive information in advance how can he imagine that this tranquil place contains endless killings and death. The group of females are worried, they are concern about the safety of their fellow sisters of Great Heaven Division.

Sister Shi pull out her sabre and shout loudly: "Out of the nine Heaven Of Misty Peak, eight Heaven Division went down the peak, only one division remain to guard, those thieves took advantage of the situation and attack, they are extremely shameless. Owner, please give your orders, everyone will rush up the peak and fight those thieves to the death!" she is extremely agitated and angry. However Grandma Yu said: "Sister Shi don't be impatient, the enemy is powerful, Great Heaven Division fully relied on the 18 natural stronghold, that is why they can endure for so long. Now we are at the base of the peak, the enemy turn into the host, they occupy the high ground and have the advantage....." Sister Shi said: "Then in your opinion what should we do?" Grandma Yu said: "We should remain calm and silent, quietly go up the peak, the longer the enemy takes to detect us the better."

Xu Zhu nod his head and said: "Grandma Yu is correct." Since he already said it, nobody dare to have other ideas.

The eight divisions arrange into troops, they quietly move up the mountain. As they move up the peak, their level of lightness martial arts became apparent immediately. Xu Zhu look at Grandma Yu, Sister Shi, Fu MinYi and the other division chiefs, although they are women but their footwork is solid and nimble, he pondered: "Sure enough, there are no poor soldiers under a good general, the divisions under martial great aunt are all truly capable."

They move past various strongholds, but the areas are littered with broken sabres and swords, marks on trees and crushed rocks, they can deduce that when the enemy pass by, fierce and tragic battles broke out. They move past Broke Soul Cliff, Broken Bone Cliff, 100 Zhang Cave and arrived at Heaven Connecting Bridge, however the metal chain bridge between the two cliffs is cut off by some precious sabre. The two cliffs are separated by 5 zhang, its extremely difficult to cross over.

The group of females are overwhelmed with shock, they pondered: "Could it be the sisters from Great Heaven Division all sacrifice themselves in this disaster?" The group of females knew the Heaven Connecting Bridge is an unavoidable route that links to two strongholds, 100 Zhang Cave and Immortal Worry Gate, although its called a bridge but its just an iron chain that stretch across two cliffs, underneath is a deep ravine. Those who arrive at Vulture Palace must naturally be martial art experts, its not difficult for them to step on the chain and cross over. When Cheng QingShuang went down the peak, the enemy only attack up till Broken Soul Cliff, they are far away from Heaven Connecting Bridge, moreover the Great Heaven Division is well prepared, they send people to guard the iron chain, when the enemy arrive they will release the lock in the middle of the iron chain, the iron chain will separate into two parts, the ravine is 5 zhang wide, its difficult for a person to jump across even if he possess extremely high level of lightness martial art. Currently, the group of females notice that the iron chain is cut off by a sharp blade, most likely the guards from Great Heaven Division did not have time to release the lock when the enemy attack the bridge.

Sister Shi brandish her Willow-leaf sabre, the sabre wind made 'HuHu' sound, she shouted: "Grandma Yu, quickly think of an idea on how to cross over." Grandma Yu said: "En, how to cross, it is really not easy...."

She did not complete her sentence, suddenly they heard two miserable 'Ah Ah' cry from the opposite mountain, its female voice. The blood of the group of females are boiling, they knew their sisters from Great Heaven Division encountered the enemy, they wish they could sprout wings and fly over to fight the enemy till death, but no matter how they shout or curse, their wailing unending, they still can't fly and cross over the stronghold.

Annotate: Buddhist believe that life is full of pain and suffering, they cannot break away from it: the main source of trouble is in "three poison" (Trini Akusalamulani), they are also known as "three evil", namely, "greed" (Ragah), "anger" (Dosah), "delusion" (Mohah). "Greed" is desire and craving, the desire for all kinds of material or mental wants, love, pursuit of fame and profit or power, etc; "Anger" is hatred and hostility, detest and complain, losing hope, causing harm, injuring others, mentally torturing others, loathing others, jealousy, taking joy in other people's misfortune, etc; "Delusion" is the lack of realization, making mistake, absurd thoughts, hallucination and fantasy, having false opinion, "delusion" is the being of idiocy and not the being of infatuation. Buddhist sometimes address "non-Buddhist" as "ignorant common man", it stems from a type of benevolence as they believe they should not act hostile against members of another religion, the reason is merely because they have yet to understand Buddhist doctrine, they don't understand the truth, thus those who have yet to understand the truth is known as "deluded". The common understanding of Chinese scholars with regards to "delusion" of the "three poison", is that it refers to infatuation, being infatuated with, the mistake arose because both phrase share the same word in Chinese writings. In Buddhist doctrine, being infatuated with, having attachment, cannot forget and constantly keeping in mind, difficulty in freeing oneself, its the same as Duan Yu's feelings towards Wang YuYan, within the "three poison" its classified as "greed", its not considered "delusion". But human can be "infatuated" or "lovesick", the reason is because they "make mistakes" and they "don't understand the truth", thus there is no much difference between the two sides. The word "greed" in Chinese writings refers to excessive desire to acquire more than one needs; The word "greed" in Buddhist doctrine is the same but it also include reasonable compensation, for example, passing exam, earning money in business, etc, the reward you obtain is to satisfy your "greed".

Buddhist believes that out of the "three poison", "delusion" is most difficult to eliminate, the reason is because if one's heart have no "delusion", then one will have "correct insight", "correct thoughts", one will have true understanding of the "ultimate essence of being", one can then sever their roots of stupidity and gain roots of benefit, this will give rise to "three wholesome thinking" (breaking away, no rage, no harm), and henceforth gain wisdom, one can then get rid of "greed" and "anger". "Delusion" in Buddhist doctrine is translated in English as "delusion, ignorance, false thinking, without the right understanding, without the right thoughts". Its not difficult to get rid of "anger", its extremely difficult to get rid of "greed", but if one can get rid of "delusion", then they can achieve supreme enlightenment or nirvana, they will see the truth in Buddhism. Thus "not understanding Buddhism" is one of life's "eight difficulties", its similar to being born deaf, mute and blind.

Chapter - 38 Muddled Intoxication, Lasting Emotions But Short Ruse

Xu Zhu look at the deep ravine, he is helpless as well, he saw the anxious expression of the group of females, he pondered: "They call me Owner, but when we encountered real problem i can't provide any solution at all, how can i be their Owner? The scripture says: 'If someone comes to beg for hands and feet, ear and nose, head and eyes, flesh and blood, bones marrow and body parts, Bodhisattva Mohesa take delight in donating them'. The Six Paramita in Buddhism, 1st is Dana, why do i have to fear?" He removed the robe made by Fu MinYi and said: "Sister Shi, please lend me a weapon to use." Sister Shi said: "Yes!" she reverse her Willow-leaf sabre, she bow and presented the sabre.

Xu Zhu held the sabre in his hand, he channeled his [Pure Energy of Northern Darkness] to the edge of the weapon, he flicked his wrist, there is a light 'Shua' sound, he chop off half of the iron chain which is attached to the cliff. The Willow-leaf sabre is thin and slender, although it is very sharp but its not some precious weapon, but after being empowered by his internal energy, the sabre cut the iron chain as if cutting bamboo. The other section of iron chain remaining on the opposite bank is around 2 zhang and 2-3 chi, Xu Zhu grab the iron chain and return the sabre to Sister Shi, he gathered his energy and leap forward to the opposite bank.

The group of females all cry out in alarm. Grandma Yu, Sister Shi, Fu MinYi, etc, all of them shout: "Owner, you must not take the risk!"

Amidst their shouting, Xu Zhu's body is already approaching the ravine, the internal energy within his body circulated, he is light as a feather and flew forward, suddenly his energy turn slightly impure and he fell downwards, at once he wave the iron chain and wrap it around the other broken section of chain hanging on the opposite bank. He borrowed the force and his body rise up again, he landed on the opposite bank. He turn around and said: "Everyone rest here, i will try to save them."

Grandma Yu and the rest were shock yet full of admiration, they are also very grateful, they said in unison: "Owner please be careful!"

Xu Zhu rush towards the mountain where the miserable cry came from, he move past a stone alley which is rather narrow, he saw two female corpse laying horizontally on the ground, their head separated from their body, fresh blood pouring out from their necks. Xu Zhu press his hands together and said: "Buddha is merciful, sin, sin!" he quickly chanted the 'Afterlife Prayer', afterwards he followed the alley and hurriedly rush up the summit, he is climbing higher and higher, the white mist surrounding him is getting thicker and thicker, he reached the summit in less than 2 hours, among the clouds and mist the surrounding is full of pine trees, he did not hear any human voice at all, he muttered to himself: "Could it be that the females from Great Heaven Division are all completely killed? This is really sinful." he pluck a few pine cones and put them in his bosom, he pondered: "Pines cones can kill people, i have to throw them lightly, just scare the enemy off, i cannot kill them."

He saw the path is made of green flagstone, every flagstone is 8 chi long and 3 chi wide, its arrangement extremely neat, it would require massive engineering works to construct such pathway, such effort seems beyond the capabilities of the female subordinates under Child Elder, he presumed it must be left behind by some predecessor. This green flagstone path is around 2 li long, at the end of the path is a huge majestic stone stronghold, to the left and right of the entrance is two stone vulture statue, its around 3 zhang high, sharp beak and large claws, its appearance handsome and divine. The appearance of the ancient stronghold is simple, he don't know when it is constructed, the gate of the stronghold is half-close, however there is no one in the surrounding.

Xu Zhu rush forward and entered, he pass through two courtyard, he heard a voice transmitting from the main hall, a person shout sternly: "Where is the hidden treasure location of that thieving old woman? Will you speak or not?" a female voice cursed: "Dog slave, things already reach such a state, you think we can still live? Stop your wishful thinking!" another male voice said: "Island-master Yun, we can talk through this nicely, why so violent? The way you treat these women, isn't it a bit too rude?"

Xu Zhu recognize this voice as Gentleman Duan from Dali, when Wu LaoDa wanted to kill Child Elder, only Gentleman Duan objected, he pondered: "It appears this gentleman don't know any martial arts, but he is heroic, brave and chivalrous, he is far superior to those martial art experts, he really deserve admiration and respect."
 

He heard the Island-master Yun said: "Heng heng, you bunch of crafty servant girls want to die, naturally its easy, but won't you be let off too lightly? My Jade Rock Island have 17 different kinds of weird torture, later i will test out the items one by one on you crafty servant girls. I heard the torture and punishment from Black Wind Cave and Hidden Shark Island are much more ferocious than mine, why don't you let us brothers see it and broaden our horizon." Many people applaud and cheered loudly, someone said: "Everyone can compete with each other, let us see which cave or island have the most effective torture method."
 

From the voices, there are several hundred in the hall, their voice echoed in the hall, its extremely noisy. Xu Zhu wanted to find some door seam and peep through it, but the large hall seems to be made of layers upon layers of giant stones, unexpectedly there are no cracks at all. He suddenly had another idea, he grab some mud and dirt off the ground and smear it on his face, afterwards he simply step into the hall.

The tables and chairs in the hall are all seated full of people, more than half of the crowd don't have any seat, they sat on the ground, a few others walk back and forth and gossip among themselves. At the middle of the hall, 20 yellow-clothed women are sitting on the floor, their acupoints sealed, they can't move at all, more than half of them are dripping with blood, their injuries not light, obviously they are the females from Great Heaven Division. The situation inside the hall is chaotic and messy, when Xu Zhu entered the hall several people turn and look at him, since he is not female then he is not from Vulture Palace, thus they assume he is the disciple of some Cave-master or Island-master, nobody paid any extra attention to him.

Xu Zhu sat down at the doorstep, he look around, Wu LaoDa is sitting on an old fashioned armchair at the west, his complexion haggard and withered, however his expression is still fierce and perverse. A tall and sturdy man is holding onto a whip, he is standing near the females of Great Heaven Division, he scold and curse loudly, he is trying to force them to reveal the hidden treasure location of Child Elder, evidently he is Island-master Yun. The females are stubborn and curse him back.

Wu LaoDa said: "You bunch of servant girls are really stubborn, let me tell you, Child Elder was killed by her martial sister Li QiuShui, i personally witness it, don't tell me its fake? Surrender as soon as possible, we definitely won't make thing difficult for you."

A middle-age female shout in a shrill voice: "Rubbish! Honourable Master is matchless under the heaven, her body indestructible, who can harm her old senior? Stop your vain attempts to get the precious method to breaking the 'life-death talisman', stop dreaming. Not to mention that Honorable Master is definitely safe and sound, in a blink of an eye she will come up the peak and punish you lot of traitors, even if old senior becomes an immortal, your 'life-death talisman' will remain, within a year each and every one of you will groan in anguish, you will suffer an experience worse than death."

Wu LaoDa said coldly: "Fine, you don't believe, let me show you something." he retrieved a cloth bundle and open it, revealing a human leg. Xu Zhu and the group of females recognize the pant, shoe and sock on the leg, its Child Elder's leg, they cannot help but cry out in surprise. Wu LaoDa said: "Li QiuShui cut Child Elder into 8 pieces and cast them down the valley, i conveniently pick 1 piece, why don't you examine it carefully, is it real or fake."

All the females from Great Heaven Division knew its indeed Child Elder's left leg, thus Wu LaoDa is not lying, they cannot help but burst into tears.

The group of Cave-masters and Island-masters cheer loudly, they said: "That thieving old woman is dead, really fantastic!" someone said: "The universe rejoice, everyone celebrate together!" someone said: "Wu LaoDa, this kind of good news, how come you conceal it for so long, you should drink 3 big cup of wine to make up for your mistake." someone said: "Since that thieving old woman is dead, then no one can undo our 'life-death talisman'....."

Suddenly a few 'WuWu' sound rang out from the crowd of people, it resembles the howling of wolves or the barking of dogs, the sound is filled with pain and anguish, it is extremely terrifying. When everyone heard it their countenance changed, in an instant, other than this beastly wailing sound there is no other sound within the hall. They saw a fat person rolling around on the ground, his pair of legs kicking randomly, his pairs of hand scratching his face and then tearing his clothes off, afterwards he violently claw and tear his chest as if he wanted to dig out his own heart and lungs. In a short period of time his hands are full of blood, his face and chest is also full of blood, his shouting is getting more and more wretched. Everyone saw he is like a demon, they cannot help but move away from him. Someone said softly: "The life-death talisman is here to claim his life!"

Although Xu Zhu was hit by life-death talisman before but he consumed the medication immediately, soon after Child Elder taught him how to neutralize the life-death talisman, thus he did not experience this kind of miserable torture, he saw the situation is extremely disturbing, he finally gain heartfelt understanding of why everyone dreaded Child Elder.

Everyone seems to be afraid that the toxicity of life-death talisman is contagious, nobody dares to step forward to lessen his pain. In a short period of time, the fat person tore off all his clothes, his body filled with multiple blood scars, the ground is also stained with blood spots.

Someone shout exasperatedly: "Elder brother! Calm down, don't panic!" someone rush out from the crowd, he shout again: "Let me seal your acupoints, we will think of a method of cure you." The person appearance is somewhat similar to the fat person, but he is much younger, he is also not that fat, obviously they are siblings. The fat person stare vacantly, it appears as if he didn't hear it. The person move closer, his expression filled with fear and vigilance, he is around 3 chi from the fat person, suddenly he extended his finger and pointed at the fat person's 'JianJing acupoint'. The fat person lean to his side and avoided the finger, he flip his hands and hug him tightly, he open his mouth and bite his cheek. The person shouted: "Elder brother, let go! It is me!" The fat person bite repeatedly, he is like a mad dog. His brother struggled but how can he break free, in a split second a piece of flesh was bitten off, the wound dripping with blood, he is in so much pain that he cry miserably.

Duan Yu said to Wang YuYan: "Miss Wang, any method to save them?" Wang YuYan knit her eyebrows, she said: "This person is crazy, his strength inexhaustible, he is not using any martial arts, i really have no idea." Duan Yu turn his head and said to Murong Fu: "Brother Murong, your Murong family's divine skill in 'returning you with your own move', can it be used?" Murong Fu did not reply, his expression displeased. Bao BuTong said fiercely: "You ask my young master to copy a mad dog and bite him?"

Duan Yu said apologetically: "My words are wrong, Brother Bao please don't take offense. Brother Murong please don't take offense!" he walk to the side of the fat person and said: "Senior brother, this person is your younger brother, please release him." the fat person hug even tighter, he is still howling like a wounded beast.

Island-master Yun grab a yellow-clothed female and shout: "Most of the people in this hall are hit by that old thieving witch's life-death talisman, the reaction is mutual, soon after everyone's life-death talisman will flare up, several hundred people will bite your body into pieces, are you scared or not?" the female gave a glance at the fat person, her expression shock and frighten. Island-master Yun said: "Since Child Elder is dead, just tell us her hidden treasure location and cure us, everyone will be eternally grateful to you, we definitely won't trouble you anymore." the female said: "Its not that i am unwilling, but....but nobody knows. Honorable Master is extremely secretive in carrying out her stuff, she will never let us slave servants see it."

Murong Fu followed the crowd up the mountain, originally he wanted to assist them and gain their gratitude and later recruit them into his service. At the moment although Child Elder is dead, but her life-death talisman still lingered on everyone's bodies, it can't be neutralize, it seems this 'life-death talisman' is some kind of deadly poison, it can't be treated by martial arts, if everyone's poison flare up and they die, then his plans and schemes will turn into a dream. Murong Fu, Deng BaiChuan and GongYe Gan look at each other and shake their heads, there is nothing they can do to help.

Although Island-master Yun knew the yellow-clothed female is telling the truth, but he felt faint aching in the acupoints of his life-death talisman, it seems it is about to flare up soon, he is anxious and angry, he shouted: "Fine! I will kill you stinky servant girl first and talk later!" he raise his long whip, with a 'Pa' sound, he lash it violently at the female, the power in this whip is heavy and fierce, the female is about to have her head split open by this whip.

Suddenly there is a 'Chi' sound, a hidden projectile flew from the entrance, it hit the female's waist. The female was hit and slide 1 zhang away, there is a loud 'Pa' sound, the long whip hit the stone floor, stone fragments flew in all directions. A small tan-brown ball is rolling on the floor, its a pine-cone. Everyone had a huge shock, they thought: "A small pinecone can push a person 1 zhang away, the internal energy is really no small matter, who is it?"

Wu LaoDa suddenly recalled something, he shouted: "Child Elder, its Child Elder!"

Previously Wu LaoDa hid behind a rock, he saw Li QiuShui cut off Child Elder's left leg, afterwards he warp the leg in oil-cloth and carried it with him. He assume that Child Elder is most likely killed by Li QiuShui, but he didn't personally witness how she died, thus he always felt anxious and worried. Previously Xu Zhu toss pine cones and pierce his belly, the technique was taught by Child Elder. Wu LaoDa experience it before, thus when the pine cone appeared again he immediately thought that Child Elder has arrive, he is so scared that his soul left his body.

Everyone heard Wu LaoDa shout "Child Elder", they turn and look around, 'Shua Shua' 'CaCa' 'KuaLa' 'Qianglang' various kinds of weapon sound rang out in the hall, everyone held their weapons in hand, they move backwards simultaneously.

On the contrary, Murong Fu walk two steps towards the door, he want to look at the appearance of Child Elder. In reality, when he used [Star Shifting Movement] and neutralize the falling force of Xu Zhu and Child Elder, he already saw the appearance of Child Elder, but he don't know that the 18 year old lady with a face like spring flower is actually Child Elder of Heavenly Mountain.

Duan Yu block in front of Wang YuYan, he is afraid she might be injured. But Wang YuYan shouted: "Cousin, be careful!"

Everyone focus their attention on the entrance, but after a long time there is still no signs of movement at the entrance.

Bao BuTong shouted: "Child granny, if you are angry at us uninvited guest, then please come in and fight! Bao BuTong stands out from the masses, i am not afraid of you!" after a while, the entrance is still silent and motionless. Feng BoE said: "Fine, let me be the first one to experience Child Elder's moves, i am well aware that i can't defeat her, but i still want to fight, that is my never changing temperament!" he wave his broad sword and guard his front and charge outside the door. Deng BaiChuan, GongYe Gan and Bao BuTong have deep friendship with him, they knew he is definitely not Child Elder match, thus they followed him out at the same time.

Some of the Island-masters and Cave-masters admired their bravery, while others secretly ridicule them: "You people never see the extent of Child Elder's power, now you try to be heroic, later you will experience suffering and by then it will be too late for regrets." Everyone felt panicky and frightened, but they heard Bao BuTong and Feng BoE voice, one shrill and one deep, they issued their challenge loudly outside the hall, but nobody respond.

**********

The pine cone that saved the yellow-clothed female was in fact fired by Xu Zhu. He felt really apologetic seeing everyone being so frighten and anxious by his action, he said: "Sorry, sorry! Its my fault. Child Elder is indeed dead, everyone please don't panic." but he saw the fat person is still biting his brother, he pondered: "If he carry on biting, both of them can't live anymore." he walk towards the fat person and smack his back, he executed [Six Solar Palm Of Heavenly Mountain], at once a burst of 'yang' energy subdued the frost poison of the fat person's life-death talisman, however he don't know the location and characteristic of the fat person's life-death talisman, thus he can't remove it for him.

The fat person's arms relaxed, he sat down on the floor and breathe deeply, his expression wavering, he said: "Brother, what happen to you? Who injure you to such a state? Tell me quick, tell me quick, elder brother will take revenge for you." The younger brother saw his elder brother regained consciousness, he is extremely happy, he did not bother about the serious injury on his face, he said repeatedly: "Elder brother, you are fine now! Elder brother, you are fine now!"

Xu Zhu stretch out his hands and smack once on the shoulder of all the yellow-clothed females, he said: "Everyone is from Great Heaven Division? Your Sun Heaven, Vermillion Heaven, Clear Heaven, all the sisters from the various divisions, they are at the Heaven Connecting Bridge, but because the iron chain is broken they can't cross over for the time being. Do you have any iron chain or thick rope here? We should go fetch them over." His palm is filled with [Pure Energy of Northern Darkness], no matter where the acupoints are sealed, the blocked meridians immediately clear up, the females from Great Heaven Division can all move freely again.

The group of females are pleasantly surprised, they stood up and said: "Many thanks to honoured sir for saving us, we don't dare to ask for honoured sir great name." a few young women are impatient, they rush out of the door and shouted: "Quick, quickly go fetch our sisters from the eight divisions, afterwards we can fight these traitors to the death." they turn their head back and express thanks to Xu Zhu.

Xu Zhu cupped his hands to return the thanks, he said: "I don't dare! Someone else recued you, they merely use me as their proxy." his internal energy and martial arts originated from the three top masters of Carefree Sect, thus he is saying that Child Elder and the other two seniors recued them.

The crowd saw him smack his hands without any effort, the acupoints of the group of yellow-clothed female instantly unsealed, he did not inquire where their acupoints are sealed, he did not even massage the corresponding acupoints, they never seen or heard of such technique before, his appearance is not shocking and he is young, he definitely don't have this kind of skill, they heard him mention about acting as someone else proxy, thus they believe that Child Elder has arrived at Vulture Palace.

Wu LaoDa have some dealings with Xu Zhu at the snowy peak for a few days, at the moment although Xu Zhu had grown hair on his head and his face smeared with mud, but when he open his mouth to speak Wu LaoDa suddenly remembered and recognize him, he leap beside Xu Zhu and hook the meridians on his right hand, he shout loudly: "Little monk, Child....Child Elder is here?"

Xu Zhu said: "Mr Wu, the injury on your belly is completely healed? I....i can't be a Buddhist disciple anymore, sigh! I am really ashamed....really extremely ashamed." He cannot help but blush, but since his face is smeared with mud bystanders can't see it.

Wu LaoDa already controlled his meridians with a single move, he assume Xu Zhu won't be able to resist, at once he channelled his internal energy, he want to make him cry out in pain and beg for forgiveness, he knew Child Elder treat this little monk extremely well, thus he held him as hostage and Child Elder won't dare to act rashly. Unexpectedly his internal energy seem to disappear into the sea, its gone without a trace, as it turns out Xu Zhu's entire body is protected by [Divine Skill of Northern Darkness], he can absorb internal energy at any acupoints. Wu LaoDa is really scared, he don't dare to channel his internal energy anymore, but he is also unwilling to release Xu Zhu's hand.

The crowd saw the position hooked by Wu LaoDa, thus they assume that Xu Zhu is under Wu LaoDa's control, even if his martial art is much higher than Wu LaoDa there is nothing he can do to resist, Wu LaoDa can do whatever he wants to him, they pondered: "If this chap is really an expert, his vital points won't be captured that easily." Everyone start to ask him various questions:

"Chap, who are you? How you came here?"

"What is your name? Who is your teacher?"

"Who sent you here? Where is Child Elder? She is dead or alive?"

Murong Fu, Duan Yu and Wang YuYan also recognize him, he is the one at the 'Zhen Long' chess meet, afterwards he rescued the mute little girl, Shaolin monk Xu Zhu. Duan Yu is really happy, he cannot help but shout out: "Hello, Wu LaoDa, you must not harm him."

Xu Zhu answered the questions one by one, he is polite and modest: "My religious name.... religious name is Xu ZhuZi. Child Elder has pass away, her remains has been transported to Heaven Connecting Bridge. As for my teacher, sigh, i am really ashamed, really....really....i made a huge blunder, its inconvenient for me to speak of it. If everyone don't believe me, later you can examine the remains of old senior. Many thanks to the good intentions of Gentleman Duan, i won't be a hindrance. I am here precisely to handle Child Elder's funeral arrangements. Everyone is also old senior former subordinates, please don't bring up old hatred, everyone should just pay your respects before her coffin and forget all those hatred, isn't it good?" He said sentence by sentence, sometimes he is ashamed, sometimes he is sad, suddenly he said something completely unrelated and the sentence doesn't link together, his speech is also not fluent, his last sentence is just entirely his own wishful thinking.

The crowd of people assume he is talking rubbish, he is mentally unsound, their panic gradually wear off and they become domineering again, they curse him:

"Young chap what kind of thing are you, you dare to ask us to kowtow in front of that damn thieving witch's coffin?"

"Damn it, how did that damn thieving witch die?"

"Did she die by her martial sister Li QiuShui's hands? Is this really her leg?"

Xu Zhu said warmly: "Everyone, even if you have deep hatred with Child Elder, but since she is dead there is no need to nurse this hatred anymore, you keep on repeating ' damn thieving witch', isn't it a bit too vulgar. Mr Wu is correct, Child Elder died under Li QiuShui's hands, as for this leg, its indeed old senior's remains. Sigh, life is an illusion, it doesn't leave a trace. Although old senior Child Elder possess deep and profound martial arts, but in the end her martial art still scattered and she stop breathing, she will eventually turn into dust. Buddha is merciful, hope that Child Elder will reincarnate and be on the good path, don't experience suffering again."

Everyone heard his nagging, it seems Child Elder is indeed dead, at once they felt greatly relieved, someone ask: "When Child Elder was about to die, are you by her side?" Xu Zhu said: "Yes. For the past few months i have been serving old senior." The crowd look at each other, suddenly they had another idea: "The secret to breaking the life-death talisman, maybe its on this young chap."

A green shadow flash, someone move closer and hook the meridians on Xu Zhu's left hand, immediately after Wu LaoDa felt something cold on the back of his neck, a sharp weapon is pointed at the back of his neck, a shrill voice said: "Wu LaoDa, let him go."

When Wu LaoDa saw someone hooking onto Xu Zhu's left wrist he knew the person's accomplice will attack simultaneously, he is about to raise his palm to guard his body but he is slower by a step. He heard the person behind him said: "If you still don't let go this sword will chop down immediately." Wu LaoDa released Xu Zhu's wrist, he leap a few steps forward, he turn around and said: "Twin-freak of Zhuya, the one surnamed Wu won't forget today's matters."

The one using the sword is a slim man, he laugh maliciously and said: "Wu LaoDa, Twin-freak of Zhuya will simply handle whatever trouble you throw at us." The 1st freak hook onto Xu Zhu's meridians, the 2nd freak search his pockets. Xu Zhu pondered: "Just search if you want, in any case i don't have any shameful stuff on me." the 2nd freak took out the items in his bosom one by one, the 1st item is the portrait given to him by Wu YaZi, at once he unfold the scroll.

Several hundred people look at the painting simultaneously. Child Elder previously step a few times on the painting, afterwards the painting was soak in water, but the beautiful woman in the painting is still vivid and lifelike, as if its about to come out of the painting, the painting is simply ingenious and reach the state of perfection. When the crowd saw the painting, they immediately turn their head and look at Wang YuYan. Someone said: "Yi!" another said: "Oh!" another said: "Pei!" another said: "Heng!" those who said 'Yi' are surprised, those who said 'Oh' suddenly understood something, those who said 'Pei' are extremely angry, those who said 'Heng' are disdained.

The crowd hoped that the painting is some kind of map or landscape, then they can simply follow it can find the legendary medicine or method to breaking their life-death talisman, who would have imagined it to be a portrait of Wang YuYan, after a round of Yi, Oh, Pei and Heng, everyone felt disappointed. Only Duan Yu, Murong Fu and Wang YuYan cry out "Ah!", however the meaning to this 'Ah' is different for all three of them. When Wang YuYan saw Xu Zhu kept a portrait of her by his side, she felt amazed, she blush and pondered: "Don't tell me....don't tell me when this person saw me at the chess meet, he is also like Gentleman Duan, he....he put me in his heart? If not why did he keep a portrait of me by his side?" But Duan Yu pondered: "Miss Wang is an incarnation of a fairy, her appearance out of this world, this little master adores her greatly, its not really strange. Sigh, its a pity my painting skill is not even 1% of this little master, or else i can also draw a portrait of Miss Wang, someday when i part with her, i can look at the portrait day and night, it can somewhat relieve my bitter suffering from missing her." But Murong Fu pondered: "This little monk is also a toad that dream of eating swan meat." obviously the phrase 'is also' is referring to Duan Yu.

The 2nd freak threw the painting onto the floor and search Xu Zhu's pockets, afterwards he took out Xu Zhu's official permit when he became a monk at Shaolin, a few broken silvers, a few dried rations, a pair of socks, it seems none of them are related to life-death talisman.

While Twin-freak of Zhuya are searching Xu Zhu, the rest of the crowd kept a close watch at the side, if they see any peculiar object they will immediately rush forward and grab it, unexpectedly there is no special object from Xu Zhu.

The 1st freak of Zhuya cursed: "Stinky thief, before that old thieving witch died, what did she say to you?" Xu Zhu said: "You ask what Child Elder said before she died? En, old senior said: 'Its not her, its not her, its not her! Haha, haha, haha!' she laugh three times and stop breathing." the crowd can't make head or tail of this matter, they pondered carefully about the phrase 'its not her' and the hidden meaning behind her three laugh, but they are really hot-tempered and start cursing again.

The 1st freak of Zhuya shout loudly: "Damn it, what its not her, hahaha? What else did that old thieving witch say?" Xu Zhu said: "Mr Senior, when mentioning old senior please be a bit respectful, don't scold her randomly." The 1st freak of Zhuya is furious, he raise his left palm and smash it towards the top of Xu Zhu's head, he cursed: "Stinky thief, i insist on scolding that old thieving witch, what can you do?"

Suddenly there is a flash of cold light, a long sword extended over the top of Xu Zhu's head, the edge of the sword is vertical. If the 1st freak of Zhuya continue with his palm move, his palm will be severed off even before he can touch Xu Zhu's scalp. In his shock he withdraw his palm hastily, he is anxious and quickly retreat 3 steps, however he did not manage to pull Xu Zhu away and had to release his wrist, however he felt slight pain on his palm, he raise his palm and examine it, an extremely thin sword scar cut across his palm, blood is seeping out, he cannot help but feel startled and frightened, if he had withdrawn his palm a bit slower, won't his palm be crippled? He glare towards the person who extended the sword, the person is wearing green robe, he is around 50 years of age, his long beard float lightly, his appearance delicate and refine, he recognize him as 'Sword God' Zhuo BuFan. The sword move was executed extremely quick, its target precise, it seems his sword art had reached the pinnacle of perfection. He recalled the day Sword-Fish Island Island-master Ou left the group and ran away, in an instant his head was severed by this 'Sword God', although he is hot-tempered but he don't dare to feud with this kind of top expert, he said: "Sire you injure me with that move, what is your intention?"

Zhuo BuFan smile faintly and said: "Everyone wants to know the method to breaking life-death talisman from this person, but old chap you suddenly want to kill this person. If the life-death talismans of all the brothers here flare up, how you suppose to account for it?" The 1st freak of Zhuya is speechless, he said: "This....this....." Zhuo BuFan return his sword into its sheath, he lean his body slightly, his elbow bump against the 2nd freak of Zhuya lightly, the 2nd freak of Zhuya can't stabilize himself and retreat 4 steps back, his blood and energy rolling around his chest, he almost fell down, with great effort he finally manage to stabilize himself, he don't dare to open his mouth to curse.

Zhuo BuFan said to Xu Zhu: "Little brother, when Child Elder was about to die, other than 'its not her' as well as laughing three times, what else did she say?"

Xu Zhu face suddenly turn deep red, his expression bashful, his head lowered slowly, as it turns out he recalled the words that Child Elder told him: " Bring that portrait over here, let me tear it up personally. When i have no more worries, i will direct you to find the lady in your dreams." Unexpectedly when Child Elder look at the portrait, she notice the person in the painting is not Li QiuShui, rather its Li QiuShui's younger sister, she found it funny and yet sad, afterwards she died. Xu Zhu pondered: "Child Elder suddenly pass away, nobody will ever know the trail of that lady in my dreams, i am afraid i can never meet her again in my entire life." As he thought about it, he felt extremely disappointed, his soul seem to disappear from his body.

Zhuo BuFan saw his peculiar expression, he must be hiding some important secret, he said pleasantly: "Little brother, what did Child Elder say to you, you can tell me, not only the one surnamed Zhuo won't trouble you, i also have a great reward to give you." Xu Zhu ears turn red, he shake his head and said: "This matter, i absolutely.....absolutely cannot say." Zhuo BuFan said: "Why you can't say?" Xu Zhu said: "If i say this matter....say.....sigh, in short, i cannot say, even if you kill me i still won't say." Zhuo BuFan said: "You really won't say?" Xu Zhu said: "Won't say."

Zhuo BuFan fix his eyes on Xu Zhu for a short moment, his expression is very resolute, suddenly with a 'Shua' sound, Zhup BuFan pull out his long sword, cold light flickered, a few light 'Chi Chi Chi' sound, the long sword swipe a few times around an old fashioned square table, immediately after there is a few 'Pa Pa' sound, the square table split neatly into 9 pieces and drop to the floor. In an instant, he slash twice horizontally and twice vertically, a total of 4 moves, he drew the word 'well (井)'on the table. The strange thing is that the 9 pieces are all uniform square shape, its size, length and width completely identical, it seems as if the pieces are cut slowly after careful measurements with a ruler. At once thunderous applauds rang out throughout the hall.

Wang YuYan said softly: "This sword art is called [Sword Of Duke Zhou], its the consummate skill of Fujian Jianyang 'One Word Intelligent Sword Sect', Senior Zhuo is most likely a venerated expert from 'One Word Intelligent Sword Sect'." After their loud cheers everyone fix their attention on Zhuo BuFan, they did not make any sound, although Wang YuYan words are soft but everyone heard every single word clearly.

Zhuo BuFan laugh out loudly and said: "Miss you really have good eyesight, unexpectedly you know the name of the sword moves from my sect. Its really rare, its really rare." Everyone pondered: "We never heard of this 'One Word Intelligent Sword Sect' from Fujian, this old man's sword art is so formidable, his sect should shake the entire martial arts fraternity, how come it does not have any reputation at all?" They heard Zhuo BuFan sigh and said: "Old man is the only one remaining in the sect, a man who lost his family. 'One Word Intelligent Sword Sect' 3 generations, 62 people, but 33 years ago Child Elder Of Heavenly Mountain wipe out everything cleanly."

Everyone felt their hearts turn cold, they pondered: "So this person came to Vulture Palace to avenge his sect."

They saw Zhuo BuFan's sword trembled, he said to Xu Zhu: "Little brother, these few sword moves of mine, i will impart them to you, how about it?"

As he finish speaking everyone revealed an expression of envy, but quite a few people also revealed their hostility. For someone who is training martial arts, if he gains the favour of an expert and receive 1-2 moves, very often its enough to last him for an entire lifetime, he can become world famous and even use it to protect his life, all due to the guidance of the expert. However, its also a common situation where a evil person mastered these wonderful moves and attack his teacher, thus martial art experts are very strict in selecting their disciples. Zhuo BuFan willingly impart such first-class sword art to Xu Zhu, obviously its for the sake of knowing Child Elder's last words and acquiring the life-death talisman.

Xu Zhu did not reply, a female voice said coldly from the crowd: "Mr Zhuo, you are also hit by life-death talisman?"

Zhuo BuFan look at the person, the speaker is a middle-age Taoist nun, he said: "What makes Taoist sister say such words?"

Duan Yu recognize this Taoist nun as Dali WuLiang Cave Cave-master Xin ShuangQing, originally she was the sect leader of WuLiang Sword West School, after being subdued by Child Elder's subordinates, she had to change it to WuLiang Cave Cave-master. All these while, Duan Yu don't dare to look at Xin ShuangQing, he also don't dare to go near her subordinate Zuo ZiMu, he is afraid they will bring up old grudge, now that she said something he quickly hide behind a large pillar.

Xin ShuangQing said: "Mr Zhuo, if you did not suffer the torment of life-death talisman then why the need to spend every possible means to beg for the method to breaking life-death talisman? Supposing if Mr Zhuo want to gain the life-death talisman to control us, then our brothers from 36 Caves and 72 Islands just escape a lion's mouth but fell into a tiger's mouth, i am afraid we won't be willing. Although Mr Zhuo possess divine sword art but if you force us with nowhere to go, all our brothers here will disregard their lives and fight till death with you." her speech is neither haughty nor humble, but it touch the main point and exposed Zhuo BuFan's motives, her words sharp and aggressive. WuLiang Cave East School and West School, after being annex by Vulture Palace, Child Elder planted her life-death talisman on both Xin ShuangQing and Zuo ZiMu, they already experience the torment, but now their wounds are just like new and they are afraid of being dominated by another person again.

Over 10 people responded from the crowd: "Cave-master Xin words are correct." someone said: "Chap, what are the last words of Child Elder, quickly reveal it now, if not everyone will chop you up, the experience is really not pleasant."

Zhuo BuFan's long sword trembled, it emit a buzzing sound, he said: "Little brother, no need to be scared, just stay beside me and see who can touch a single hair on you? The last words of Child Elder, you can only tell me, if another person heard it then i can't impart my sword art to you anymore."

Xu Zhu shakes his head and said: "The last words of Child Elder only concerns me alone, its also related to another person, but it absolutely have no relations to everyone here. No matter what i definitely cannot say. You sword art is good but i don't want to learn it."

The crowd applaud loudly and said: "Correct, correct, good chap, strong and unyielding character, learn his sword art for what?"

"That cute and pretty little lady, a single sentence from her and she can uncover the origins of his sword moves, it can be seen that there is nothing special about his sword moves."

Another person said: "Since that lady knows the origin of the sword art, then she is also capable of breaking the sword art. Little brother, if you want to seek a teacher then its better to take that little lady as your master. Moreover you carry a portrait of her in your bosom, haha, naturally you should take her as your master."

Zhuo BuFan heard the mocking remarks from them, he is extremely embarrassed, he look askance at Wang YuYan, after a long time she still remain silent, Zhuo BuFan is very angry, he pondered: "Someone claim that you can break my sword art, unexpectedly you did not deny it immediately, don't tell me you really can break it?" In reality, Wang YuYan is thinking: "How come cousin is not too happy, is he angry with me? How did if offend him? Could it be....could it be that little master kept a portrait of me, thus cousin is enrage?" As for the words of bystanders she did not hear them at all.

Zhuo BuFan glace around and spotted the portrait on the floor, suddenly he recalled: "That chap drew a portrait of her and kept it in his bosom, naturally he is very much in love with her. If i want him to spit out the last words of Child Elder then i must start from this little girl, got it!" he pick up the portrait and stuff it into Xu Zhu's bosom and said: "Little brother, i completely understand your worries, hey hey, talented man and beautiful woman, an ideal couple, its really a match made in heaven. But someone is hindering you thus its difficult for you to get your wish. Let us do it this way, i will preside over the matter and betroth this lady to you, immediately bow to heaven and earth, your nuptial night will be at Vulture Palace, how about it?" while speaking he smile and pointed at Wang YuYan.

The entire 'One Word Intelligent Sword Sect' was completely wiped out by Child Elder, at that time Zhuo BuFan was not at Fujian, he narrowly escape the disaster, henceforth he don't dare to return to Fujian anymore, he escape to a cold and desolate place in ChangBai Mountain and painstakingly research his sword art, unexpectedly he discovered a sword manual left behind by some senior expert, he practice diligently for 20 years, finally his sword art was complete, he believe he is unequalled under the heaven, he left the mountain and killed a few famous well known experts in Hebei, this made him even more arrogant as he consider himself unrivalled in the world, thus he proclaim himself 'Sword God' as he knew no one can resist his long sword, now his words are like law, who dare to go against him?

Xu Zhu face turn red, he quickly said: "No, no! Mr Zhuo you misunderstood."

Zhuo BuFan said: "A man should take a wife, a woman should be married off, its human nature to be lustful, why so bashful?"

Xu Zhu is in a very difficult position, he said repeatedly: "This...this...its not...."

Zhuo BuFan's long sword trembled, he executed a move 'Heaven Like A High Mountain' followed immediately by 'Boundless White Fog', two moves mix together as one and thrust towards Wang YuYan, he want to confine her within his sword and pull her over, use her like rare commodity and trade with Xu Zhu to make him spit out the secret.

When Wang YuYan saw these two moves, she pondered: "'Heaven Like A High Mountain' and 'Boundless White Fog', 90% empty 10% solid. Only need to attack his front, disturb his heart and abdomen, he will definitely be force to withdraw his move." Although she knew the method but she can't execute the moves at all, the light from the sword is flickering and covered her head, she is panic-stricken and cry out 'Ah'.

Murong Fu knew these two moves have no intentions of harming Wang YuYan, he pondered: "There is no hurry for me to act, wait and see what this surnamed Zhuo is trying to do? Will this little monk reveal the secret for the sake of my cousin?"

Duan Yu saw Zhuo BuFan thrusting his sword at Wang YuYan, however he don't know what is true and what is false in the sword moves, naturally he turn pale with fright, in a moment of desperation he executed his [Graceful Steps upon the Waves] and rush swiftly, he block in front of Wang YuYan. Although Zhuo BuFan's sword move is quick but Duan Yu is still 1 step faster. The cold light from the sword flash everywhere, there is a light 'Chi' sound, the sword tip swipe a line down Duan Yu's chest, it originate from his neck till his abdomen, his clothe split open, the wound is skin-deep. Luckily Zhuo BuFan need to beg Xu Zhu for the secret, he have no desire to kill, thus when someone step forward to block he immediately withdraw his hand, the force in the sword is perfect, although the sword wound is long but the injury is trivial. Duan Yu is scared stiff, he lowered his head and saw his chest, abdomen and clothe split open, there is a long sword wound and blood is seeping out, he assume his chest and abdomen had split open and he will die immediately, he shouted: "Miss Wang, you...you quickly move away, i will block him for a while."

Zhuo BuFan sneered: "Clay Bodhisattva crossing a river, he can't guarantee his own safety, you overestimated your capabilities, unexpectedly you tried to be this lady's guard." he turn his head and said to Xu Zhu: "Little brother, it seems there are quite a few people who are fond of this lady, i will get rid of this love rival for you, how about it?" The tip of his long sword pointed at Duan Yu's chest, its a few inch away, it trembled indefinitely, he only need to thrust it lightly and it will immediately pierce Duan Yu's heart.

Xu Zhu had a huge shock, he shouted: "No, absolutely not!" he is afraid that Zhuo BuFan might kill Duan Yu, he extended his left hand, his little finger lightly brush Zhuo BuFan's 'TaiYuan acupoint' on his right wrist. Zhuo FuBan hand turn numb, his five fingers released the sword hilt. Xu Zhu easily grab the long sword. This seizing of sword is a high-level move from [Plum Breaking Hand Of Heavenly Mountain], although the move appear average, but his little finger contains the highest level of [Minor Formless Skill], even if Zhuo BuFuan gain another 30-40 years of internal energy the sword will still be seized away. Xu Zhu said: "Mr Zhuo, this Gentleman Duan is a good person, you definitely must not harm him." he conveniently return the sword back to Zhuo BuFan's hand, he lowered his head and inspected Duan Yu's wound.

Duan Yu gasped: "Miss Wang, i....i am dieing, i hope you and Brother Murong marriage will last an entire lifetime, live together till old age. Father, Mother....i....i....." In reality his injury is not serious at all, he merely assume his chest and abdomen had been cut open, obviously he will surely die, thus he fell into despair and collapsed.

Wang YuYan rush forward to support him, she cried: "Gentleman Duan, you did all these for me...."

Xu Zhu move like the wind, he sealed the acupoints near Duan Yu's wound, he examine the wound and felt at ease immediately, he laugh and said: "Gentleman Duan, your sword wound is light, you will recover in 3-4 days time."

Duan Yu's body is supported by Wang YuYan, she is also crying for him, his soul had long float away, he is extremely happy, he ask: "Miss Wang, you.....you shed tears for me?" Wang YuYan nod her head, tears flow down again. Duan Yu said: "Duan Yu finally achieve something today, even if i am thrust by sword 10 times, i am willing." Unexpectedly both of them did not hear Xu Zhu's words at all. Wang YuYan felt really grateful, she can't control her emotions. Duan Yu saw his sweetheart crying, moreover she is crying for him, why would he even care about his life and death?

Xu Zhu seize and return the sword, it happen for only a split second, only Murong Fu saw everything clearly, Zhuo BuFan knew it in his heart, however the rest of the bystanders assume Zhuo BuFan is being lenient and he did not try to kill Duan Yu. Zhuo BuFan's shock and anger is simply indescribable, but in an instant he is having second thoughts, he pondered: "I accidentally acquired a sword manual at ChangBai Mountain, i train bitterly for 20 years, in the present age how can anyone be my match? Yes, most likely this chap got lucky, he so happen to touch the 'TaiYuan acupoint' on my wrist. There are lucky coincidence in this world. If he really intend to seize my weapon then how come he return it to me after taking it? This chap is so young, how can he have any great abilities, how can he seize Zhuo BuFan's sword?" when he thought of it his heroic spirit rose again, he said: "Chap, you are too meddlesome!" he thrust out his long sword, the sword tip pointing at Xu Zhu's back, he only need to push lightly, he wanted to pierce Xu Zhu's clothe and let him suffer some pain, similar to how he handled Duan Yu.

Currently, the [Pure Energy of Northern Darkness] in Xu Zhu's body is abundant and circulating around, its just like physical substance, when Zhuo BuFan's sword arrived it bump against Xu Zhu's internal energy, the sword tip was deflected and slide off Xu Zhu's body. Zhuo BuFan had a huge shock, he change move quickly, immediately he slash horizontally at Xu Zhu's torso. This move is called 'Jade Belt Surrounding Waist', the sword attack his front, right and back, the fatal acupoints are all targeted in these 3 positions, the move is extremely fierce and vicious. At this moment, Zhuo BuFan is aware that Xu Zhu possess high level martial arts, its way beyond his expectation, thus he send out his full strength in this move.

Xu Zhu cry out in surprise, he slanted his body slightly, he don't understand, Zhuo BuFan was talking to him nicely but he suddenly became hostile, unexpectedly he is out to kill him? There is a 'Chi' sound, the sword pass by his armpit, his old monk robe was cut open. Zhuo BuFan failed in his 2nd attack, he is 50% amazed and 50% afraid, he spin his body and made a half-circle, he straighten his long sword, the sword tip suddenly spit out half-chi green light. From the crowd, around 10 people cry out in surprise: "Sword light, sword light!" the sword light is like a long snake, it lengthen and shorten indefinitely, Zhuo BuFan revealed a sardonic smile, he gathered his energy from his dantian, the green light suddenly flourish and thrust straight at Xu Zhu's chest.

Xu Zhu has never seen green light emit out from a weapon before, he heard the heroic cheer of the crowd, he presume this must be some kind of awesome martial arts, obviously he can't handle it, he step back and slide away. Zhuo BuFan exerted his full strength, he cannot switch move midway, there is a 'Shua' sound, the long sword thrust into a huge stone pillar and penetrate deeply around 1 chi. This stone pillar is made of extremely hard granite, unexpectedly the soft-bodied long sword can penetrate around 1 chi, it can be seen that the energy attached to the sword is truly no small matter, the crowd cannot help but cheer out.

Zhuo BuFan channelled his internal energy and pull his sword out of the stone pillar, he chase Xu Zhu and shouted: "Little brother, where can you run?" Xu Zhu is inwardly scared, he slide away to avoid.

Suddenly someone laugh coldly from the left side, the voice said: "Little monk, lie down!" its a female voice. Two white light flickered, two throwing knives flew towards Xu Zhu. When Xu Zhu carried Child Elder initially, she taught him some lightness martial art, currently his internal energy is deep and profound, when moving his hands and legs are incomparably light and agile, his body can turn according to his wish, although the throwing knife is fast but he still dodge it skilfully. He saw a middle-age pretty woman wearing light red clothes, she wave her hands and caught the throwing knives. Her palm seems to have some kind of strong suction force as it attracted the flying knives.

Zhuo BuFan praised: "Hibiscus Fairy divine skill in throwing knife, it really broaden everyone's horizon."

Xu Zhu suddenly remembered, previously when the crowd conspired to attack Misty Peak, Zhuo BuFan and Hibiscus Fairy, both of them and Taoist BuPing are from the same group, Taoist BuPing was killed on the snowy peak by his pine cone, thus its not surprising that both of them want to kill him to avenge their companion. He is having guilty conscience, he stop moving, he press his hands together and bow towards Zhuo BuFan and Hibiscus Fairy, he said: "I made a huge mistake, i deserve to die, although its really not my true intention, sigh, in short this blunder is hard to redeem. If both of you want to beat or scold me, i....i....i won't dare to dodge anymore."

Zhuo BuFan and Hibiscus Fairy Cui LuHua look at each other, they thought: "At last this chap is scared." In reality, they are unaware that Taoist BuPing was killed by Xu Zhu, but even if they knew, they still won't kill Xu Zhu to avenge Taoist BuPing. Both of them had the same thoughts, they move close to Xu Zhu simultaneously, one left one right, they grab Xu Zhu's wrist.

Xu Zhu recalled the miserable death of Taoist BuPing, he regret it alot, he ask for forgiveness: "I made a mistake, its really too late for regrets. Both of you, please don't hesitate to punish me heavily, i willingly accept it, if you want to kill me i also won't dare to resist."

Zhuo BuFan said: "Its really easy if you want me to spare you, you just have to tell me Child Elder's last words, i will spare you." Cui LuHua smiled and said: "Mr Zhuo, can little sister listen as well?" Zhuo BuFan said: "I only want to seek the method to breaking the life-death talisman, all our friends here will benefit as well, i am not the only one who gain the benefit." He did not agree to let Cui LuHua listen to the secret, but he also did not disagree, however his speech implied his desire to monopolize the secret.

Cui LuHua smiled and said: "Little sister don't have your good conscience, i don't like this chap." her left hand grip tightly onto Xu Zhu's wrist, she wave her right hand swiftly, two throwing knives flew towards Xu Zhu's chest.

Since Child Elder is dead, Zhuo BuFan can't avenge his sect, currently he want to find the method to breaking the life-death talisman and use it to control the crowd and rule over them. However Cui LuHua intention is completely different. Her elder brother was killed by the combine effort of 3 Cave-masters from the 36 Caves, thus she wants to kill Xu Zhu and nobody can find out about Child Elder's last words, the life-death talisman on the 3 Cave-masters will remain forever and they will undoubtedly suffer a death 100 times more miserable then her brother, its way better then simply killing them herself, thus she act out violently to kill Xu Zhu. Her moves are very quick, Zhuo BuFan sword had return back to its sheath, he quickly pull it out, however he is 1 step slower.

Xu Zhu was startled, there is no time to think, he involuntarily push out with both hands, Zhuo BuFan and Cui LuHua are jolted off simultaneously and they move back a few steps.

Cui LuHua shout out, the throwing knives left her hand and flew swiftly towards Xu Zhu. Although she fell back a few steps, but with regards to throwing hidden projectile the distance is considered to be extremely short. Zhuo BuFan is afraid Xu Zhu might be killed, he thrust his sword at the throwing knives. Cui LuHua already foresaw that Zhuo BuFan will thrust out his sword to rescue, when the two throwing knives left her hand, immediately after another ten throwing knives flew out in rapid succession, among them three knives flew towards Zhuo BuFan to hinder him, the remaining seven knives flew towards Xu Zhu's face, throat, chest, lower abdomen, Xu Zhu is shrouded by throwing knives.

Xu Zhu grab with his pair of hands repeatedly, he executed [Plum Breaking Hand Of Heavenly Mountain], he grab and throw accordingly, there is unending 'Ding Ding Dang Dang' sound, in a split second he cast 13 weapons beside his leg. The 12 weapons are Cui LuHuan's throwing knives, however the 13th item is Zhuo BuFan's long sword. When Xu Zhu executed [Plum Breaking Hand Of Heavenly Mountain], he is very anxious and frighten, thus he did not think about who his opponent is, he grab whatever weapon he lay his eyes on, without much effort he also seize Zhuo BuFan's long sword.

He seize all 13 weapons, he raise his head and saw Zhuo BuFan pallid expression, he turn his head, he saw Cui LuHua frighten expression, he pondered: "Terrible, terrible, i offended people again." he quickly said: "Both of you please don't take offense, my conduct is rash." he bend down to pick up the 13 weapons, he clasp the weapons with his pair of hands and delivered to both of them.

Cui LuHua assume he is deliberately humiliating her, she gathered internal energy to her palm and strike towards Xu Zhu's chest. There is a 'Pa' sound, an incomparably violent force counterattacked, Cui LuHua cry out in alarm, her body flew backward swiftly, there is a 'Peng' sound, she crash heavily against a stone wall and spurted two mouthful of blood.

Zhuo BuFan, Taoist BuPing, Cui LuHua, three of them are working together for the first time, prior to the event the three of them secretly tested each others internal energy, although Zhuo BuFan is slightly better than the other two but its only marginal, currently Xu Zhu is holding onto the weapons, he only use the internal energy within his body and he can repel Cui LuHuan and heavily injure her, Zhuo BuFan is absolutely not his match at all. Zhuo BuFan knew he cannot gain anything today, he cupped his hands towards Xu Zhu and said: "Respect, respect, hope to see you again."

Xu Zhu said: "Senior please take back your sword. I accidentally offended you, please don't take offense. If senior wants to beat or scold me, to help Taoist BuPing vent his anger, i.....i definitely won't resist."

When Zhuo BuFan heard it, he assume Xu Zhu is mocking him spitefully. His face already lost all its color, he took huge stride and went out of the hall.

Suddenly everyone heard a delicate voice, a female shouted out: "Hold it! What is Vulture Palace, you think you can just come and go as you wish?" Zhuo BuFan trembled, without thinking he reach for his sword hilt, however he grab thin air, he suddenly recalled that his sword was seize by Xu Zhu, a huge rock is blocking the entrance, 2 zhang high 1 zhang wide, the entrance is completely sealed off. Unexpectedly he did not know when this huge rock move soundlessly into place.

When the crowd saw the situation they knew they had fallen into Vulture Palace trap mechanism. When attacking Vulture Palace everyone move forward together, they killed or captured all the yellow-clothed females, they wipe out everything cleanly, after entering the main hall they carefully look out for any hidden troops, however immediately after someone's life-death talisman flare up, everyone was shock at the ghastly sight since they will also suffer the same fate, afterwards a series of events happen in succession and they never ponder about the dangerous place they are in where crisis lurks in every corner, only when they saw the huge rock sealing off the entrance did they finally tremble with fear: "To escape Vulture Palace alive today, i am afraid it won't be easy."

Suddenly a female said from their top: "The four envoy servants of Child Elder pay their respect to Mr Xu Zhu." Xu Zhu lifted his head, nine pieces of rock are jutting out from the roof, it seems to be nine small platform, four 18-19 year old maiden are standing on four of the rock platform, they are prostrating when paying their respects. After paying their respects they jump down immediately, while in mid-air they already draw out their long sword, they landed lightly. The four maiden, one is wearing light red, one wearing light green, one wearing light blue, one wearing light yellow, they jump off at the same time and landed at the same time, they bow towards Xu Zhu at the same time, they said: "Envoy servant is slow in welcoming, Owner please forgive us." Xu Zhu press his hands together and bow to return the greeting, he said: "Four sisters, no need to be overly courteous."

The four maidens lifted their head, everyone was startled. The four of them are of the same size and height, their appearance also exactly the same, they had oval shaped face, bright and clear eyes, pure elegant and beautiful, the only difference is the color of their clothes.

The red-clothed female said: "We four sisters are born together, Child granny named me Plum Sword, my three sisters are Orchid Sword, Bamboo Sword and Chrysanthemum Sword. Just now we ran into our sisters from Clear Heaven Division, Vermillion Heaven Division, etc, we found out about the various ongoings. Currently servant already sealed off the Supreme Hall, i invite Owner to decide how to deal with these bunch of brazen treacherous lackeys."

The crowd heard these four sisters are quadruplets, they finally understood, no wonder their appearance are identical, these four are beautiful and their voice pure and gentle, everyone had favourable impression of them, unexpectedly Plum Sword called them 'these bunch of brazen treacherous lackeys', its extremely rude. Two men rush forward, one holding a broad sword, another holding a judge-pen, they yell in unison: "Little girl, your mouth is filthy, you are fart......"

Suddenly green light flash repeatedly, Orchid Sword and Bamboo Sword thrust out their swords, two 'Dang Dang' sound, the wrists of both men are cut off, their palm along with the weapons drop onto the floor. This move is incomparable fast, the wrists of both men are cut off already but they still said: "are farting! Ayo!" they shout out loudly and leap backwards, the floor is sprayed full of fresh blood.

The two females cut off the wrists of two men with a single move, although the remaining crowd had better martial arts than the two men but they don't dare to act rashly, moreover the hall is made of exceptionally thick granite, they don't know if there are other powerful traps or mechanism installed, everyone look at each other in dismay, nobody dare to speak.

Silence ensued, suddenly someone roar out 'He He He'. When the crowd heard it they knew the life-death talisman had come to claim another life again.

Everyone turn pale during this time, a big towering man jump out from the crowd, both his eyes red, he is randomly tearing off the clothe on his chest. Many people shouted out: "Iron Sea Turtle Island Island-master! Iron Sea Turtle Island Island-master Ha DaBa!" Ha DaBa yell out, he is like a wounded tiger, he raise his iron-hammer fist, there is a 'Peng' sound, he shattered a coffee table, immediately he rush towards Chrysanthemum Sword.

Chrysanthemum Sword saw his terrifying expression, she forgot about her own superior sword art, she is extremely scared, she dive into Xu Zhu's bosom. Ha DaBa open up his fan-like arm and grab towards Plum Sword. The minds of these quadruplets are interlinked, Plum Sword already felt the reaction when Chrysanthemum Sword shake with fear, when Ha DaBa pounce towards her she scream out in alarm and hide behind Xu Zhu.

Ha DaBa grab empty air, he flip his pair of hands and dig his eyes out. Xu Zhu shouted: "You must not do that!" he wave his sleeves and brush the crook of Ha DaBa's arm, Ha DaBa's pair of hands immediately hang downwards. Xu Zhu said: "Elder brother your life-death talisman has flare up, my humble self will try to remove it for you." at once he executed the move 'Great Heaven Sun Song' from [Six Solar Palm Of Heavenly Mountain], he smack the 'LingTai acupoint' on Ha DaBa's back. Ha DaBa shake violently, his entire body collapsed.

Green light flash everywhere, two long sword separately thrust towards Ha DaBa, Orchid Sword and Bamboo Sword seize the opportunity and attack. Xu Zhu said: "No!" he pinch and seize the two swords, he mumbled to himself: "Terrible, terribe! I wonder where his life-death talisman is located?" Although he knew the method to neutralizing life-death talismans, but ultimately his knowledge and experience is shallow, he cannot discern the location of the life-death talisman on Ha DaBa, the force he exerted in the move 'Great Heaven Sun Song' is too fierce, unexpectedly Ha DaBa cannot withstand it.

Ha DaBa said: "Its planted....planted at....XuanShu.....QiHai....Si...Si KongZhu...." The move 'Great Heaven Sun Song' from Xu Zhu had made Ha DaBa regain his consciousness.

Xu Zhu said happily: "Since you know it then its good." At once he followed the method taught by Child Elder, he use the pure 'yang' energy of [Six Solar Palm Of Heavenly Mountain] to dissolve the cold ice life-death talisman in the 'XuanShu', 'QiHai' and ' Si KongZhu' acupoints.

Ha DaBa stood up, he wave his hands and kick out his legs, he became wild from his happiness, suddenly he threw himself towards the ground, 'Peng Peng Peng' he kowtow towards Xu Zhu and said: "Benefactor, the life of Ha DaBa is saved by you old senior, from now on if Benefactor has any orders, Ha DaBa will not hesitate and willingly go through water and tread on fire for you." Xu Zhu is always respectful towards others, seeing Ha DaBa pay such courtesy he quickly knelt down to return the courtesy, 'Peng Peng Peng' he kowtow as well and said: "I don't dare to accept such heavy courtesy, you kowtow to me, i also have to kowtow to you." Ha DaBa said loudly: "Benefactor please get up quickly, you kowtow to me, you will really shorten lowly person's life." To express his gratitude he kowtow several times again. Xu Zhu saw him kowtow, at once he kowtow again to return the courtesy.

Both of them are kneeling on the ground and kowtow endlessly. Suddenly several hundred people shouted in unison: "Neutralize my life-death talisman, neutralize my life-death talisman!" the crowd of people who suffered from life-death talisman surge forward and surrounded both of them. An old man supported Ha DaBa up, he said: "No need to kowtow, everyone need to invite Benefactor to treat their poison and save lives."

Xu Zhu saw Ha DaBa stand up, he finally stand up and said: "Everyone please don't rush, listen to me." In a split second the hall turn completely silent. Xu Zhu said: "To break the life-death talisman i have to confirm the location of the talisman, everyone do you know it yourself?"

In a split second everyone was thrown into confusion, some said: "I know!" some said: "Its at 'WeiZhong' and 'NeiTing' acupoints!" some said: "My entire body is aching, damn it, i don't know at which bloody acupoints!" some said: "My body is itchy and painful, its different every month, this life-death talisman can move!"

Suddenly someone shout loudly: "Everyone please shut up, you all making so much noise, how can Mr Xu ZhuZi listen to it?" the person who shouted out is the chief of the group Wu LaoDa, everyone immediately became quiet.

Xu Zhu said: "Although Child Elder imparted the method to breaking life-death talisman to me....."

7-8 people cannot help but shout out:

"Fantastic, fantastic!"

"My old life can be saved!"

Xu Zhu continued: "But my ability in distinguishing acupoints and recognizing the illness is shallow. But everyone don't worry, if you know the exact location of your life-death talisman, i will treat one by one and help you neutralize it. Even if you don't know, we will slowly research, those who are skilled in medical arts can also join in and study together, in short i will definitely cure you."

The loud cheers of the crowd filled the entire hall with echoes. After a long time the cheers finally died off.

Plum Sword said coldly: "Owner agree to remove your life-death talisman, that is because he old senior is merciful. But you lot are so brazen as to revolt, you cause Child Elder to leave the Palace and die outside, afterwards you even attack Vulture Palace and killed alot of our sisters from Great Heaven Division, how to account for this debt?"

Everyone look at each other in dismay, their breathing stop, Plum Sword is telling the truth, since Xu Zhu is Child Elder's successor then obviously he cannot brush aside their heavy crimes. Someone wanted to plead earnestly but he had second thoughts, they commit heavy crime in causing Child Elder's death and attacking Vulture Palace, how can the matter be resolved by a few earnest pleading? He is about to speak but swallowed his words.

Wu LaoDa said: "Sister's words are reasonable, i commit a huge crime, i willingly accept Mr Xu ZhuZi's punishment." He is banking on Xu Zhu's character, he knew he is honest and naive, he definitely can't be compared with the vicious and cruel Child Elder, Xu Zhu's punishment is definitely lighter than what the four sisters are capable of, thus his speech is directed at Xu Zhu.

Quite a few people from the crowd understood his intention, immediately after they shouted out: "Correct, our crimes are very serious, everyone willingly accept Mr Xu ZhuZi's punishment." A few thought about the pain and suffering when the life-death talisman flare up, unexpectedly their knees soften and they kneel down.

Xu Zhu don't know what to do, he said to Plum Sword: "Sister Plum Sword, what do you think?" Plum Sword said: "They are not good people, they killed so many sisters from Great Heaven Division, they definitely have to pay with their lives."

WuLiang Cave Vice Cave-master Zuo ZiMu bow deeply towards Plum Sword and said: "Miss, our lives are really miserable after being hit by this life-death talisman, when we heard Child Elder is not at Misty Peak we became anxious, thus we made a huge error, we really regret it. I beseech Miss to be magnanimous, put in a few good words for us in front of Mr Xu ZhuZi." Plum Sword expression became grave, she said: "Those who killed before, severe your right arm, this is the most minor punishment." When she said those words she felt she is giving out orders, its really not appropriate, she turn around and said to Xu Zhu: "Owner, is it ok?" Xu Zhu felt the punishment is too heavy, but he is also unwilling to offend Plum Sword, he stammered: "This...this....en.....that......"

Someone suddenly rush out from the crowd, its the Prince of Dali Duan Yu. Duan Yu love to meddle in other people's business, debate about right and wrong, he cupped his hands and greeted Xu Zhu, he smile and said: "My dear friend, little brother really disapprove when these friends attacked Misty Peak, i persuade them until my mouth turn dry but they simply refuse to listen. Today they commit a huge disaster, my dear friend you ought to increase their punishment. Little brother hope to become your official messenger, let little brother punish these friends, how about it?"

That day, the crowd wanted to kill Child Elder and swear an oath in her blood, Duan Yu was strongly against it and persuaded them, Xu Zhu heard everything, he is aware that this Gentleman is benevolent and heroic, he respect him deeply, when Li QiuShui push him and Child Elder off the mountain peak, they were saved by Duan Yu, moreover he really have no idea how to handle the situation, thus when Duan Yu said it he quickly cupped his hands and said: "My knowledge and experience is shallow, i don't know how to handle affairs. Gentleman Duan volunteer to handle it, i can't thank you enough."

When Duan Yu took the initiative and ask for permission to punish the crowd how can anyone accept it? Some of the bad-tempered people was about to abuse him but unexpectedly Xu Zhu permitted it, they are about to speak out but swallowed their words.

Duan Yu said happily: "Very good." he turn around and said to the crowd: "The mistakes made by everyone is simply too serious, my punishment is not light at all. Mr Xu ZhuZi permit me to handle this matter, if anyone of you disobey then Mr Xu ZhuZi won't remove the life-death talisman for you. For the 1st punishment, everyone has to respectfully kowtow 8 times in front of Child Elder's coffin, be solemn and respectful, confess and repent, if anyone of you secretly curse Child Elder while kowtowing then you crime would have increase by another level."

Xu Zhu said happily: "Absolutely correct, absolutely correct! This 1st punishment is very good."

Originally the crowd was afraid this bookworm might suggest some weird or difficult punishment, they were really anxious and worried, but he suggested kowtowing in front of Child Elder's coffin, they pondered: "She is already dead, what is so difficult about giving a few kowtow in front of her coffin? Moreover, how will he know if we secretly curse that old thieving witch? I will simply kowtow and secretly curse that old thieving witch." at once everyone agreed.

Duan Yu saw everyone happily agree to his 1st punishment, his spirit rose, he said: "The 2nd punishment, everyone have to salute in front of the dead sisters from Great Heaven Division. Those who killed or injured people, you have to kowtow, confess and repent, you have to wear mourning clothes and pay your respects to the dead. Those who didn't kill, you have to cup your hands as courtesy, my dear friend Xu ZhuZi will treat your illness ahead of schedule as a reward."

Among the crowd, more than half of them did not kill anyone from Misty Peak, they immediately agreed. As for those who killed or injured people, its only wearing mourning clothes and giving a few kowtow, its a thousand times better than what Plum Sword suggested, thus nobody objected.

Duan Yu said: "As for the 3rd punishment, everyone have to swear your allegiance to Vulture Palace eternally, you cannot be disloyal. Whatever Xu ZhuZi says, everyone must listen to his orders. Not only must you be respectful towards Mr Xu ZhuZi, you must also be courteous towards Plum, Orchid, Bamboo and Chrysanthemum Sword, as well as all the sisters from Vulture Palace, convert an enemy into friend, your conduct and speech must be courteous and respectful. If anyone is not willing then come up and compete 2-3 moves with Mr Xu ZhuZi, see if he is brilliant or you are better!"

The crowd are joyous as they listen to Duan Yu, they said: "Of course, of course!" someone said: "Gentleman Duan's punishment is too lenient, is there anything else?"

Duan Yu clap his hands, he smiled and said: "None!" he turn his head and said to Xu Zhu: "The punishments set by little brother, is it correct?"

Xu Zhu cupped his hands and said: "Many thanks, many thanks, extremely correct." He glance at Plum Sword and the rest of her sisters, his expression is rather apologetic. Orchid Sword said: "Owner, you are the owner of Vulture Palace, no matter what you say servant have to listen and obey. You are magnanimous, you spared these lackeys, you don't have to worry about us." Xu Zhu smile and said: "En, this....i still have some words, i don't know....don't know if i should say it?"

Wu LaoDa said: "36 Caves and 72 Islands have always been the subordinates of Misty Peak, nobody dare to disobey any orders from Honourable Master. The three punishments set by Gentleman Duan is simply too lenient. If Honourable Master have any other punishment everyone willingly accept it."

Xu Zhu said: "I am young, my knowledge shallow, its just that Child Elder instructed me in some martial arts, i really don't deserve to be Honourable Master or whatever. I have two wish, this....this.....i don't know if it is right or wrong, i will be bold and say it out, this....i invite seniors here to think about it." Ever since childhood, Xu Zhu have always been under someone, being ordered around and sent on errands, he never had the chance to suggest ideas or make decisions, thus he never dare to speak in public, he hemmed and hawed while speaking, his expression extremely meek.

Plum, Orchid, Bamboo and Chrysanthemum Sword, all four of them pondered: "What happen to Owner, why the need to be so polite to these lackeys?"

Wu LaoDa said: "Honourable Master is magnanimous, you pardon our serious crime and now you are so polite towards us, even if we offer our lives as sacrifice we can't even repay a fraction of this debt of gratitude. Honourable Master, please simply give your orders!"

Xu Zhu said: "Yes, yes! If i said something wrong, everyone please....please don't ridicule me. I want to talk about two matters. The 1st matter, its a bit selfish, i....i am from Shaolin Temple, originally....originally i am a little monk, from now on when you travel around, please don't trouble the disciples of Shaolin. This is my 1st request, i don't dare to order you or anything."

Wu LaoDa said loudly: "Honourable Master's order: From now on, when we brothers travel around and come across great masters of Shaolin or Buddhist friends, we have to be respectful, absolutely cannot offend them, else the punishment will be severe without any mercy." The crowd replied in unison: "We will do as ordered!"

Everyone agreed, Xu Zhu became bolder, he cupped his hands and said: "Many thanks, many thanks! The 2nd matter, everyone please take into the account the virtues of life, Buddha is merciful, you cannot injure or kill people randomly. Although you are not a monk, but its best that you don't kill any animals, mole cricket and ants are the same, its best that you don't eat any meat and fish, but this rule is not so easy, it doesn't mean that you definitely must be a vegetarian, even for me i broke my precept and eat meat. Thus....this...as for killing people, in short its not good, its better not to kill anyone, but i....i also kill people before, thus....."

Wu LaoDa said loudly: " Honourable Master's order: All the brothers and subordinates under Vulture Palace, from now on you cannot rashly kill the innocent or kill casually, else the punishment will be heavy." Everyone replied in unison: "We will do as ordered!"

Xu Zhu cupped his hands repeatedly, he said: "I....i really can't thank you enough, back to the main topic, everyone please do more good deeds, don't do evil deeds, its for your own good achievements and virtues, you will definitely have immeasurable karmic rewards." he laugh heartily at Wu LaoDa and said: "Mr Wu, your few words are clear and distinct. I really cannot be compared with you. Previously i injured you with pine cones, i am really sorry, you....where is your life-death talisman located? I will remove it for you first!"

Wu LaoDa is willing to brave all the risk and danger to lead everyone in this revolt, its purely for the sake of removing his life-death talisman, he heard Xu Zhu promise to remove the life-death talisman for him, henceforth he will be free from the pain of having endless maggots gnawing at his bones, he is extremely happy, he felt really grateful, he knelt down and prostrate himself. Xu Zhu quickly knelt down to return the courtesy, he ask: "Mr Wu, the injury you sustained from the pine cones, is it completely healed? You consume Child Elder's 'Tendon Breaking Bone Decaying Pill', we have to think of a method to remove the toxicity as well."

*******

Plum Sword and her sisters operated the mechanism and move away the huge stone that block the entrance, they let Vermillion Heaven, Clear Heaven, Mysterious Heaven, all the nine divisions entered the hall.

Feng BoE and Bao BuTong are shouting, they came in with Deng BaiChuan and GongYe Gan. The four of them went out of the hall to battle Child Elder, however they bump into the females from the various eight divisions. Bao BuTong is rude in his speech, Feng BoE love to fight, they exchange a few words with the females and start fighting with them. Not long after, Deng BaiChuan and GongYe Gan join in to assist, although the four of them have strong martial arts, but ultimately they are heavily outnumbered, after a while all of them were injured, if the main entrance delay in opening for a few more moment and Plum, Orchid, Bamboo and Chrysanthemum Sword did not ask them to stop fighting, they four of them would have been captured or killed.

Murong Fu found the matter dull, he led Deng BaiChuan and the rest to say their goodbyes and prepare to leave the mountain. Zhuo BuFan and Hibiscus Fairy Chui LuHua did not say anything and left by themselves.

Xu Zhu saw Murong Fu wanted to leave, but he sincerely wanted him to stay. Murong Fu said: "I offended Misty Peak, i am really ashamed, its elder brother's great kindness if you do not fault me, how dare i to disturb you any longer?" Xu Zhu said: "You are too kind, you are too kind. Both gentleman are well versed in literature and martial arts, an accomplished hero, i admire you greatly, i wish....i wish.....i wish to ask two gentleman for advice. I....i am simply too stupid...too stupid."

Bao BuTong cross swords with the group of females just now, he is heavily outnumbered and sustained numerous sword injuries, he is not in a good mood, Xu Zhu is so long-winded in trying to ask a guest to stay, moreover Murong Fu told him that Xu Zhu kept a portrait of Wang YuYan in his bosom, he pondered: "This little bald thief is a hypocrite, he is a Buddhist disciple yet he have evil intentions towards Miss Wang, obviously he is a lascivious monk who does not abide by religious rules." Bao BuTong said: "Little master, asking the heroes to stay is fake, but asking the beauty to stay is real, why don't you be forthright and request Miss Wang to stay at Misty Peak?"

Xu Zhu was shock, he said: "You....what you saying? I want to ask a beauty to stay?" Bao BuTong said: "You harbour evil thoughts, you think the people from Gusu Murong family are idiots? Hei hei, you are ridiculous!" Xu Zhu scratch his head and said: "I don't understand what Mister is trying to say, i don't find it ridiculous."

Although Bao BuTong is within a tiger's den, but his stubborn character is aroused, he no long care about life or death, he shout loudly: "You little bald thief, you are a Shaolin monk, since you are a disciple of a prestigious school how come you join a demonic sect and collude with these demons and ghosts? I get angry when i look at you. You are a monk but you force hundreds of women to be your wives, concubines and mistress, but you are still not satisfied and now you have funny ideas towards Miss Wang! Let me tell you, Miss Wang is attached to my young master Murong, you are just a toad wistful about eating swan meat, its best that you forget about your evil thoughts as soon as possible!" He is in deep rage, he clap his hands and stamped his feet and curse loudly while pointing at Xu Zhu's nose.

Xu Zhu was utterly perplexed, he said: "I...i....i...." suddenly he heard two 'Hu Hu' sound, Wu LaoDa lifted his 'Verdant Wave Fragrant Dew Serrated Sabre', Ha DaBa lifted a huge iron hammer, they shout in unison and charge towards Bao BuTong.

Murong Fu knew that since Xu Zhu removed their life-death talisman he already gain the loyalty of these group of heroes, it would be incomparable dangerous if they start fighting in here, he saw Wu LaoDa and Ha DaBa pounce simultaneously, he dash forward and executed [Start Shifting Movement], in an instant the sabre chop towards Ha DaBa and the huge hammer smash towards Wu LaoDa, there is a violent 'Dang' sound, sparks flew in all directions from the two weapons. Murong Fu flip his hand and push lightly on Bao BuTong's shoulder, Bao BuTong was push a few zhang out, Murong Fu cupped his hands and said to Xu Zhu: "Sorry for the offense, we will take our leave now!" his body flash past, he is already at the entrance of the hall. Murong Fu saw the mechanism at the entrance just now, if the huge rock move to block the entrance then he will be trapped and slaughtered.

Xu Zhu said quickly: "Gentleman please wait, its really....not my intention....i....." Murong Fu raised both his eyebrows, he turn around and said in a bright voice: "Sire feels that he is unequalled under the heaven, you wish to advice a few moves?" Xu Zhu shake his head repeatedly and said: "No...i don't dare...." Murong Fu said: "I arrive without invitation, i am too bold, sire you simply must make us stay?" Xu Zhu shake his head and said: "No...no...its not it....sigh!"

Murong Fu stood at the entrance, he look proudly at Xu Zu, the heroes from 36 Caves and 72 Islands, as well as Plum, Orchid, Bamboo and Chrysanthemum Sword and the females from the nine divisions. The group of heroes and the females are all intimidated by his imposing manner, nobody dare to step forward to ask for a fight. After a long time, Murong Fu brush his sleeves and said: "Lets go!" he boldly step out of the entrance. Wang YuYan, Deng BaiChuan, etc, the five of them followed him.

Wu LaoDa said furiously: "Honourable Master, if he leave Misty Peak alive, how can anyone of us hold our heads high? I invite Honourable Master to give us an order to intercept him." Xu Zhu shake his head and said: "Forget it. I....i really don't understand, why he is so angry......" Wu LaoDa said: "Then subordinate will go and capture that Miss Wang." Xu Zhu quickly said: "No, no!"

Wang YuYan saw Duan Yu have yet to leave the hall, she turn around and said: "Gentleman Duan, goodbye, see you again!"

Duan Yu was shaken, his chest ached, his throat seems to be blocked, he reply with great difficulty: "Yes, good....bye. I....its better for me to follow you....." he saw her shadow gradually move far away, she did not turn back, Bao BuTong's words kept echoing in his ear: "He said Miss Wang is attached to Gentleman Murong, he ask outsiders to give up, a toad wistful about eating swan meat. Correct, when Gentleman Murong step out of the hall, his manner awe-inspiring, the lofty spirit of a true hero! He neutralize the moves of two formidable opponents with a single move, such deep and profound martial arts! I am someone who don't even have the strength to bind a chicken, i make a fool of myself everywhere i go, how can she even take note of me? When Miss Wang look at her cousin, its really full of love and adoration, as well as admiration, as well as affection, i.....i Duan Yu...i am merely a toad."

Two people were stumped for words in the hall, Xu Zhu is preoccupied with doubts and suspicions, he scratch his head and hesitate, Duan Yu is listless and in low spirits, he is so sad that his soul left his body. The two of them stare at each other blankly.

After a long time, Xu Zhu gave a long sigh. Duan Yu followed and gave a long sigh and said: "My dear friend, you and i suffer the same fate, this kind of bone-deep longing, how to free ourselves from it?" When Xu Zhu listen to him, he cannot help but blush deep red, he assume Duan Yu knew about his romantic encounter with his 'Dream Maiden', he stammered: "Duan....Gentleman Duan, you....how you know about it?"

Duan Yu said: "There isn't a person who don't like to look at a beautiful person. There isn't a person who is not fond of pretty woman. Its human nature to love beauty. Moreover you and i are in the same situation, we can sympathize with each other, our regret is indefinite!" he gave another long sigh as he finish speaking. He assume that since Xu Zhu carried a portrait of Wang YuYan in his bosom then he is in the same situation as him, both of them deeply adore Wang YuYan, thus the previous conflict between Murong Fu and Xu Zhu is naturally for Wang YuYan, he said: "My dear friend, you achieve the apex of martial studies, but love is all about fate, no matter your literary talents or martial arts, it just won't do if you don't have fate."

Xu Zhu mumbled: "Yes, for Buddhist a person is born into this world due to karma, everything is about fate....correct....fate...you can only meet but not seek it...yes, after parting, a sea of people, how to find her?" He is referring to his 'Dream Maiden' but Duan Yu assume he is referring to Wang YuYan, both of them have their own foolish illogical view, unexpectedly the more they converse the more agreeable they become.

The female servants of Vulture Palace arrange a banquet, Xu Zhu and Duan Yu are seated together side-by-side. The various Cave-masters and Island-masters are subordinates of Vulture Palace, naturally nobody dare to approach Xu Zhu and share the same banquet with him. Xu Zhu is not familiar with entertaining guests, since nobody approach him, he did not voice out to invite them, he only discuss with Duan Yu.

Duan Yu is completely immerse in his adoration of Wang YuYan, he compliment her endlessly, he said her nature is sweet and gentle, her appearance beyond common beauty. Xu Zhu assume Duan Yu is complimenting his 'Dream Maiden', he don't dare to ask Duan Yu how he met her, he also did not inquire about the history of this maiden, however his heart is thumping madly, he pondered: "I thought that since Child Elder is dead, nobody will know the location of this lady, heaven took pity on me, unexpectedly Gentleman Duan knows her. But listening to his speech, he seems to admire her deeply, he long for her, if i tell him that i had previous encounter with her in an icehouse Gentleman Duan will undoubtedly be angry, he will leave the banquet and i will not be able to inquire about her anymore." He listen to Duan Yu's compliments of the lady, it suits his intentions, he also chime in as well, his speech extremely sincere.

Both of them talk about their own sweetheart, their speech intermixed with each other, but nobody mention the names of these two ladies, unexpectedly their speech connect flawlessly with each other. Xu Zhu said: "Gentleman Duan, for Buddhist a person is born into this world due to karma. The scripture says: 'Buddha says, life is born due to karma, they will also be extinguish due to karma.' Ancestor Dharma says: 'All living things have no self, hardship and happiness is due to fate, if there is any pleasurable things then its constructed for a reason, you cannot seek to obtain it. Once fate is exhausted everything returns to nothing, where is the happiness?" Duan Yu said: "Yes! 'Gains and losses is due to fate, there is no increase or decrease!' Be that as it may but i am a mortal, how can i reach the state of 'Gains and losses is due to fate, there is no increase or decrease.'?"

Buddhist doctrine is widespread and prosperous in Dali, Duan Yu studied Buddhist texts since childhood, both of them, one quoted from <>, another quoted from <>, they console themselves yet hurt themselves, they understood each other regrets, fellow suffers empathize with each other. Plum, Orchid, Bamboo and Chrysanthemum Sword took turns to come up and pour wine. Duan Yu drank a cup, Xu Zhu also drank a cup, they chatted till midnight. The group stood up to take their leave, the various females guide them to their resting place. Xu Zhu and Duan Yu are 80-90% drunk, yet they kept on talking and drinking endlessly.

Previously Duan Yu and Xiao Feng compete wine outside the city of WuXi, Duan Yu use his internal energy to force the wine out through his fingertip, however currently he is using alcohol to drown out his sorrows, he is drinking wine for real, he said in a daze: "My dear friend, i have an elder sworn brother, surnamed Qiao named Feng, he is truly a great hero, brave and heroic, his martial arts and capacity for liquor matchless and without equal. My dear friend, if you meet him you will undoubtedly admire him as well, but its a pity he is not here if not the three of us can swear brotherhood together, it will truly be a joyous event."

Xu Zhu never drink alcohol before, he relied completely on his exquisite internal energy and avoided alcohol intoxication, however his thoughts are fluttering around, he also became bold in his speech, initially he is reserved and timid, suddenly his heroic spirit burst forth, he said: "Gentleman Duan if....that...if you don't look down upon me, the two of us will swear brotherhood first, in the future once we find elder brother Qiao Feng, we can swear brotherhood together again." Duan Yu is elated, he said: "Wonderful, wonderful! We will simply include elder brother Qiao when swearing brotherhood. Elder brother how old are you?"

The two of them talk about their age, Xu Zhu is older by three years. Duan Yu shouted: "Second brother, please accept this salute from little brother!" he push away his chair and kowtow. Xu Zhu hastily return the courtesy, his knees soften and he fell forward.

Duan Yu saw him tumbled, he quickly extended his hands to support, their internal energy inadvertently collide with each other, they felt each other's internal energy is vigorous and abundant, they hastily restrain themselves. Currently Duan Yu is completely drunk, he stagger and stumble around, he can't stand on his feet. Suddenly both of them burst into loud laughter, they embrace each other and fell onto the floor. Duan Yu said: "Second brother, little brother is not drunk, the two of us will drink another 100 cups!" Xu Zhu said: "I should accompany third brother and drink to our delight." Duan Yu said: "Life should be full of joy and happiness, not let the empty golden goblet face the moon, haha, we have to finish 300 cups!" The two of them became more and more muddled, eventually they became intoxicated and lost consciousness.

Chapter - 39 Unable Resolve the Reins of Fame, Worry, Anger And Greed

Xu Zhu woke up the next morning, he found himself sleeping on a warm and soft bed, he open his eyes and look outside the bed's veil, he is resting in an enormous room, the room is spacious and empty, similar to the meditation room in Shaolin Temple, the furnishing in the room is ancient and elegant, copper cauldron and potteries, it is somewhat similar to the copper bell and iron stove of Shaolin Temple. Currently he is still in a daze, he is perplexed by the sight before him.

A young maiden prop a porcelain bowl and arrive by his bedside, it is Orchid Sword, she said: "Owner, you woke up? Please rinse your mouth."

Xu Zhu is still drunk from the previous night, a bitter taste lingered in his mouth, his throat parched and dry, upon seeing the glistening yellow tea in the bowl he picked it up and drank it, the liquid is sweet yet bitter, it does not taste like tea, with a 'Gudu Gudu' sound he drank all of it cleanly. Throughout his entire life, when has he ever tasted ginseng soup? He did not know what kind of bitter tea it is, he laugh and said: "Many thanks to elder sister! I....i like to get out of bed now, elder sister please go out now!"

Orchid Sword has yet to reply as another young maiden entered the room, it is Chrysanthemum Sword, she smile and said: "The two of us sisters will serve Owner and help you dress." She picked up a set of light green undergarment and underpants from the chair by the bedside and stuff it under Xu Zhu's quilt.

Xu Zhu is greatly embarrass, his entire face blush deep red, he said: "No, no, i....i don't need elder sister to serve me. I am not injured or ill, i am merely drunk, sigh, i even broke the prohibition against wine. The scripture says: 'There are 36 losses in drinking wine'. It is best if i don't drink any wine in the future. Where is third younger brother? Where is gentleman Duan? Where is he?"

Orchid Sword purse her lips, she smile and said: "Gentleman Duan already went down the mountain. Before leaving he ordered servant to report to Owner, he invite Owner to meet together at Central Plains once everything is settled at Vulture Palace."

Xu Zhu yell out: "Aiyo!" he said: "I still have some things to ask him, how come he left?" He is anxious and leap up from the bed, he wanted to chase after Duan Yu and inquire about the name and dwelling place of his "Dream Maiden", unexpectedly he found himself dressed in clean white underpants, he cried out in surprise and pull up his quilt to cover his body, he said: "How come my clothe is changed?" The underpants he wore out of Shaolin Temple is made of coarse fabric, he wore it for over half a year and it is unbearably filthy and tattered, the one he is wearing now is light and soft, he don't know if it is damask or satin, but nevertheless it is still a precious underpants.

Chrysanthemum Sword smile and said: "Owner was intoxicated last night, we four sisters help Owner to bathe and change clothes, Owner is not aware of it?"

Xu Zhu had a huge shock, he raise his head and look at Orchid Sword and Chrysanthemum Sword, they are pretty like a jade, their smiling face surpass a booming flower, he cannot help it as his heart thumped around madly, he stretch out his arm, the undergarment slide off his arm and exposed his faint red skin, evidently the filth and dirt he accumulated had all been wash off cleanly, but he still harbored a thin ray of hope, he force a smile and said: "I am indeed muddled from my intoxication, fortunately i am still able to take a bathe by myself." Orchid Sword smile and said: "Owner could not move at all last night, we four sisters help Owner to bathe." Xu Zhu cried out loudly in surprise, he almost fainted, he drop to the ground and cried out repeated: "Terrible, terrible!"
 

Orchid Sword and Chrysanthemum Sword was frighten by him as well, they ask in unison: "Owner, what's wrong?" Xu Zhu force a bitter laugh and said: "I am a man, in the presence of you four sisters....completely naked, isn't it.....isn't it extremely terrible? Moreover my entire body is covered with dirt, it is filthy and smelly, how can i involve you sisters in doing such sordid affairs?" Orchid Sword said: "We four sisters are Owner's slave, it is only rightful even if our bodies are torn and bones crushed, slave servant made a mistake, Owner please punish us." as she finish speaking, she and Chrysanthemum Sword prostrate themselves simultaneously.
 

Xu Zhu saw their expression of great fear, he recalled Grandma Yu, Sister Shi, etc, he treated them with due respect but they were so frightened that their bodies trembled, he presume Orchid Sword and Chrysanthemum Sword are accustomed to Child Elder's manner of speech, so long as her words are somewhat warm, her expression soft and tender, a kill will follow closely right away, he quickly said: "Two sisters....en, both of you get up quickly, go out, i will dress myself, no need for you to serve me." Orchid and Chrysanthemum Sword got up, their eyes brimming with tears, they move backwards while going out. Xu Zhu was baffled, he ask: "I....did i offend both of you? Why are you unhappy, your eyes brimming with tears? I am afraid i might have said something wrong, this...."

Chrysanthemum Sword said: "Owner want us to go out, we are not allowed to help Owner wear clothes and wash, surely you loathe and dislike us...." while speaking tears roll down her eyes. Xu Zhu wave his hands repeatedly and said: "No, no. Sigh, i am a man, all of you are women, it is....it is not too convenient...there is really no other intentions...Buddha is watching, monks cannot tell lies, i won't lie to you."

Orchid and Chrysanthemum Sword watch him gesticulate while talking, he is really anxious, he is extremely sincere and honest, their grief turn into happiness, they said in unison: "Owner please don't take offense. No man has ever reside in Vulture Palace before, we have never seen a man before. Owner you are the sky, we slave servants are the ground, how can there be a difference in male and female?" Both of them move closer, they help Xu Zhu wear his clothes and shoes. Soon after, Plum Sword and Bamboo Sword also entered the room, one of them help him comb his hair, the other wash his face. Xu Zhu is so frighten that he don't dare to speak, his expression deathly pale, his heart thumped madly, he allowed the four sisters to serve him, he don't dare to mention anything about forbidding them to serve him anymore.

He presume Duan Yu must be at a remote distance already, he cannot chase after him, he recalled the 'Life-death talisman' have yet to be remove from the bodies of the various Island-Masters and Cave-Masters, he cannot leave abruptly, after finishing his breakfast he arrive at the hall and meet up with the crowd of heroes, he remove the 'Life-death talisman' from two person who suffered the most severe pain.

***********

Removal of 'Life-death talisman' requires the use of inner power and [Six Solar Palms Of Heavenly Mountain], Xu Zhu's internal energy is abundant and vigorous, he remove the 'Life-death talisman' from 10 people in succession, yet he was neither tired nor exhausted, however the 'Life-death talisman' planted by Child Elder on each person is unique in it is location and use of inner power, Xu Zhu's method of removal is fine and meticulous, however he is still troubled by the difficulty. His knowledge on the various meridian channels and acupoint is extremely shallow, he don't dare to act rashly, any mistakes would inevitably endanger his patients. Till noon, unexpectedly he only manage to treat four people. After having his lunch he had very little rest.

Plum Sword saw him wrinkled his brows, he is contemplating the method to removing 'Life-death talisman', he is quite troubled, she said: "Owner, inside the grotto in the rear hall of Vulture Palace, there are images engraved on the stone wall, left behind several hundred years ago by the former Owner, servant heard granny mention it before, these images are related to the 'Life-death talisman', Owner why don't you go take a look?" Xu Zhu said happily: "Very good!"

At once Plum, Orchid, Bamboo and Chrysanthemum Sword, four pretty women guide Xu Zhu and arrive at the garden, they activated some mechanism and move away a rockery, revealing an entrance to a tunnel, Plum Sword lifted a torch and led the way, five of them move in a single file and entered. During the journey, Plum Sword constantly manipulated various hidden mechanisms, this is to prevent setting off the concealed weapons and booby-traps. The tunnel is winding and complicated, it spiral downwards, suddenly it open up wide, revealing a gigantic grotto, clearly the tunnel is constructed in accordance with the natural cave. Xu Zhu pondered: "They said the grotto contain images left behind several hundred years ago by the former Owner, the architecture of these tunnel and grotto is magnificent, it require at least 10 years of work, consuming massive resources and manpower, it is simply beyond the capabilities of these grannies and sisters of Vulture Palace, most likely the grotto is left behind by the former Owner as well."

Bamboo Sword said: "When those flunkies attacked the Palace, the sisters from Great Heaven Division got captured, we four sisters are unable to resist the enemy and escaped here to hide, we hope to wait till dusk before attempting to rescue people." Orchid Sword said: "Actually it is just our modest intentions to repay granny. If Owner did not arrive, we will inevitably die by the hands of those flunkies."

After travelling for 2 li, Plum Sword stretch out her hand and push away a rock on the left side, she stood to the side and said: "Owner please enter, this is the stone room, slave servants don't dare to enter." Xu Zhu said: "Why you don't dare to enter? It is dangerous inside?" Plum Sword said: "There is no danger. This room is an important place, slave servants don't dare to enter without authority." Xu Zhu said: "Let's us go in together, what is so important? The outside tunnel is so narrow, it is uncomfortable to stand here." The four sisters look at each other, they are pleasantly surprised.

Plum Sword said: "Before granny became an immortal, she told us, if we four sisters serve her faithfully and not commit any sins, and if we practice our skills diligently, then when we reach the age of forty, she will permit us to come to this stone cave yearly to study the martial arts on the rock wall. Even if Owner bestow great kindness upon us, without abolishing the promise made by granny, then we still have to wait another 23 years." Xu Zhu said: "Wait for another 23 years, won't you be stifled by the boredom? At that time all of you will be old, learn martial arts for what? Let us go in together!" The four sisters are exhilarated, at once they lie prostrate and kowtow. Xu Zhu said: "Please get up, please get up! This place is narrow, if i kneel down to return the greeting we will cram into a lump."

Five of them entered the stone room, the four rock walls are polished till gloss, countless circles are carved onto the walls, various figures and pictures are carved within the circles, some look like beast and animals, while some are badly damaged writings, some are seals and lines, beside the circles are annotations "Rank 1", "Rank 2", "Grade 1", "Grade 2", etc, if the number of circles does not exceed a thousand, it is at least eight to nine hundred, how can one finish looking through all of it within a short period of time?

Bamboo Sword said: "Let us look at the Rank 1 diagrams, Owner do you agree?" Xu Zhu nod his head in agreement. The five of them raise their torch and scrutinize the "Rank 1" circles, Xu Zhu gave a glance and immediately recognize the drawings within the circles as the first stance of [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain], he said: "This is [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountains]" he look at the Rank 2 drawings, sure enough it is the second stance of [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain], he look at the diagrams in succession, after finishing [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain] the next drawing is [Six Solar Palms Of Heavenly Mountain], the various secrets and wondrous techniques imparted by Child Elder at the imperial palace of Western Xia, all of them are noted inside the circle without exception.

As for the martial arts depicted on the stone wall after [Six Solar Palms Of Heavenly Mountain], Xu Zhu have yet to learn them. He followed the diagrams and channel his internal energy, he merely learnt a few moves and his body became as light as a feather and rise up, however there seems to be some minor mistake as he was unable to lift off the ground.

Just as he was about to concentrate and regulate his breathing to think through the diagram again, he heard two cries of "Ah" "Ah". Xu Zhu was startled and turn his head around, he saw the bodies of Orchid Sword and Bamboo Sword sway, immediately afterwards they collapsed. Plum Sword and Chrysanthemum Sword are supporting themselves with their hands on the stone wall, their countenance undergo a huge change, they are on the verge of collapse. Xu Zhu quickly support Orchid Sword and Bamboo Sword, he said in alarm: "What happen?" Plum Sword said: "Own....Owner, our internal energy is lacking, we cannot look.....look at the diagrams here...we...we will wait upon you outside." The four sisters support themselves off the stone wall and slowly walk out of the stone room.

Xu Zhu stood dumbstruck for a while before following them out, he saw the four sisters sitting down with their legs crossed, they are regulating their internal energy, their bodies trembling, their face revealed pain and suffering. Xu Zhu knew they suffered serious internal injuries, at once he executed his [Six Solar Palms Of Heavenly Mountain], he pat the acupoints on their back lightly. A burst of profound energy penetrate into their bodies, the complexions of the four sisters became gentle immediately, soon after they open their eyes one after another and call out: "Many thanks to Owner for consuming your internal energy to treat slave servants." They turn over and prostrate on the ground, they kowtow to give thanks. Xu Zhu quickly stretch out his hands to help them up, he said: "What...what happen? You all are perfectly fine, how come you sustain injuries for no reason and nearly fainted?"

Plum Sword gave a sigh and said: "Owner, previously granny want us to wait till the age of forty, only then can we come here yearly for a single day to look at the drawings, as it turns out there is much profound meaning behind her intentions. The martial arts on the drawings are simply too profound, slave servants overestimated our capabilities, we followed the directions given by the "Rank 1" drawings, our internal energy is inadequate and instantly diverted into our meridians channels. If Owner did not rescue us, i am afraid we four sisters will be paralyzed forever." Orchid Sword said: "Granny had high expectations for us, she hope that once we reach the age of forty, we can study this high-level martial arts, however....however slave servants natural aptitude is ordinary, even if we train for another 20 to 30 years, we don't dare to enter this stone room again."

Xu Zhu said: "So it is, then it is my fault, i should not insist on asking you all to go in." The four Swords prostrate themselves to ask for forgiveness again, they said in unison: "Owner how can you say such a thing? Owner is benevolent, slave servants are to be blame for being arrogant and reckless."

Chrysanthemum Sword said: "Owner's internal energy is deep and profound, you will gain enormous benefit is if you practice these profound martial arts. Very often, granny will stay inside the cave for a few months and not come out at all, she will rack her brains to study the drawings on the stone wall." Plum Sword said: " 36 Caves and 72 Islands, those flunkies interrogated our sisters from Great Heaven Division, they wanted to know the location of granny's hidden treasure. Our sisters rather die than submit. Originally we four sisters thought of luring them into the tunnel, activate the trap mechanisms and annihilate every single one of them, however we feared there might be some trap-disarming experts among them, it would be disastrous if they manage to break into the stone cave and look at the drawings on the wall. In hindsight, it would be better to let them come in here."

Xu Zhu nod his head and said: "Indeed, if a person with insufficient internal energy sees these drawings, then the damage is much more serious than any kind of poison or weapons, luckily they did not come in here." Orchid Sword smiled and said: "Owner is truly kind, in my opinion, it would really entertaining if all of them die while practicing the martial arts."

Xu Zhu said: "I practiced a few moves, i felt vigorous and spirited, internal energy abundant, i will go and remove a few 'Life-death talisman' from them. All of you lie down and rest for a while." Five of them exit the tunnel, Xu Zhu return back to the main hall and remove the 'Life-death talisman' from 3 people."

Hereafter, Xu Zhu remove the 'Life-death talisman' from the crowd of people daily, when he feels tired he will simply go to the stone cave and practice high-level martial arts from the stone walls. The four sisters kept watch outside, they don't dare to step inside anymore. In his leisure time, Xu Zhu also instruct the four sisters and the 9 Divisions in martial arts.

Xu Zhu spent a total of 20 days before he manage to remove all the 'Life-death talisman' from the crowd of heroes, in addition, Xu Zhu studied the drawings on the stone wall intensively every day, compared to his state when he first went up Misty Peak, he made tremendous progress in both internal energy and martial arts.

Previously, the crowd of heroes were subdued and force to serve Child Elder, various kinds of 'Life-death talisman' were planted on their bodies for the sole reason of controlling them, thus they have no choice but to comply, currently the Master of Vulture Palace has change, Xu Zhu treat others with sincerity, courtesy and respect, he also remove the pain and suffering from each and everyone, although the crowd of heroes are arrogant and cruel people but they still know how to give their thanks, they sincerely pledged their life and loyalty, they paid their respects one by one, give thanks and left.

When all the Cave-Masters and Island-Masters left, Xu Zhu is the only man left on Misty Peak. He pondered inwardly: "I am orphaned since childhood, i was brought up by the Masters in Shaolin Temple, i will be too ungrateful if i did not return back to Shaolin. I must return back to the Temple and receive punishment from the abbot and my master, only then will it be reasonable." At once he explained his reasoning to the four sisters and the 9 Divisions, he have to leave the mountain the next day, all the affairs in Vulture Palace will be handled by the chiefs of the 9 Divisions, Grandma Yu, Fu MinYi, etc.

The four sisters expressed their desire to follow, Xu Zhu said: "I will go back to Shaolin Temple to become a monk again. Where is the logic in having servant girls serving a monk?" He repeat over and over again, but the four sisters simply refuse to agree. Xu Zhu picked up a razor and shave off all the hairs on his head cleanly, the four sisters had no choice but to see him off down the mountain along with the 9 Divisions, they shed tears as they parted with him.

***************

Xu Zhu change into his former monk attire, he took large strides and headed east to Songshan (Mt Song). Base on his natural temperament, he will never provoke bystanders on the journey, moreover with such worn out monk clothes, robbers and wicked people will never have any evil intentions towards him. He remain silent throughout the journey and arrive safely at Shaolin Temple.

Upon seeing the yellow roof tile of Shaolin Temple again, Xu Zhu was deeply moved yet ashamed, he left for several months and violated quite a few monastic rules and disciples, prohibitions against killing, lascivious act, non-vegetarian food, wine, he committed all the "Parajika Offence", he did not know if the abbot will forgive him and allow him to return to Shaolin Temple.

He is anxious and worried, as he entered the main gate he immediately went to pay respect to his Master HuiLun. HuiLun saw him return, he is startled yet elated, he ask: "The abbot commission you to deliver letters, how come you only manage to return now?"

Xu Zhu lie prostrate on the ground, his pain and regret endless, he burst into tears and said: "Master, disciple....disciple deserve to die, when i left the mountain, i was indecisive, Master.....Master's instruction, i....i did not abide by them." HuiLun countenance changed, he ask: "What....what? You ate meat and fish?" Xu Zhu said: "Yes, but it is more than just meat and fish." HuiLun reprimanded him: "Damn it, damn it! You....you drank wine?" Xu Zhu said: "Not only did disciple drink wine, i was completely drunk." HuiLun gave a sigh, two stream of tears flow down his cheek, he said: "Ever since childhood you are honest and considerate, how come once you step into the fanciful world, unexpectedly you fall into such sinful state, *cough* *cough*...." Xu Zhu saw his Master is grieving, he is even more terrified, he said: "Master, the rules violated by disciple is more serious than just these, i even....even violate......" he did not get the chance to mention murder and lascivious acts as the bell echoed, for every two short sound, a pause will follow, the bell is a signal summoning all the 'Hui' generation monks.

HuiLun wipe his tears and got up, he said: "You broke too much rules, i am unable to protect you. You....you....just go to the Discipline Courtyard and volunteer to receive punishment! Even i am greatly at fault now. Alas, this....." and he left hurriedly.

Xu Zhu arrive at the Discipline Courtyard, he bow and reported: "Disciple Xu Zhu violated Buddhist's discipline, i earnest ask law enforcement elder to grant punishment." he repeated twice, a middle-age monk came out from the courtyard and said coldly: "The head-monk and law enforcement uncle have some matters, they have no time to listen to you, just kneel here and wait!" Xu Zhu said: "Yes!" he knelt from noon till dusk, unexpectedly nobody paid any attention to him. Fortunately Xu Zhu possess deep and profound internal energy, although he did not eat or drink for half a day, but nothing happen to him and he was not tired at all.

He heard the evening drum echoed, the night class in the temple has ended, Xu Zhu recited Buddhist scripture in low voice to repent his mistake. The middle-age monk came over and said: "Xu Zhu, there are some major event in the temple for the past few days, the elders have no time to settle your affair. I saw you kneeling for a long time and reciting scriptures, it seems you are indeed sincere in repenting. Let's do it this way, go to the vegetable garden and carry manure and water the vegetables, quietly wait for instructions. When the elders have time they will summon you to ask for an explanation, they will punish you according to the severity of your mistake." Xu Zhu said respectfully: "Yes, many thanks for your mercy." he press his palm together to salute, he got up and thought to himself: "They did not immediately expel me out of the temple, it seems there is still some hope." he felt somewhat comforted.

He walk to the vegetable garden and said to the monk in-charge of the garden: "Senior martial brother, junior monk Xu Zhu violated Buddhist's discipline, martial uncle from Discipline Courtyard send me to carry manure and water vegetables as punishment."

The monk in-charge is named YuanGen, he did not become a monk at Shaolin Temple, thus he did not follow generation ranking of "Xuan Hui Xu Kong". His natural aptitude is mediocre, he can't comprehend the meaning of Buddhist scriptures and he did not make much progress in martial arts, his fond of meddling in trivial matters. The vegetable garden is around 13 hectares, he directed around 30-40 long term workers, it is somewhat awe-inspiring, since a monk came from Discipline Courtyard to receive his punishment at the vegetable garden he felt it is a good time to flaunt his awe-inspiring authority. As he listen to Xu Zhu's words, he felt extremely happy and ask: "What rules did you violate?" Xu Zhu said: "Many rules, it is hard to explain in a few words." YuanGen said angrily: "What hard to explain in a few words? I order you to tell me honestly and clearly. Not to mention that you are just a junior monk without any position, even for the head-monk of Dharma Courtyard or LuoHan Hall, if they violate any rules as long as they are sent to the vegetable garden for punishment i will also ask for the truth, who dares to not reply? Looking at your appearance, your face is red and white, you must have consumed meat and fish, correct or wrong?"

Xu Zhu said: "Precisely." YuanGen said: "Humph, see, i can tell with just one glance. Maybe you drank some wine in secret as well, don't try to deny, it is not so easy to conceal the truth from me." Xu Zhu said: "Precisely, junior monk was completely drunk and lost consciousness." YuanGen laugh, he click his tongue and said: "Truly outrageous and bold, hei hei, after drinking your fill of wine you must be hyperactive and uncontrollable, this sex is emptiness, emptiness is sex, naturally you will not notice of it anymore. In your mind you must be thinking of women, correct? Not only once, you must have thought of women at least 7 to 8 times, you dare to admit or not?" his tone is extremely strict.

Xu Zhu sigh and said: "How can junior monk tell lies in front of senior martial brother? Not only did i thought of it, but i also commit lascivious acts as well."

YuanGen was startled yet excited, he pointed his finger and rain curses: "Little monk you are simply too brazen, you dare to ruin the reputation of Shaolin Temple. Other that lascivious acts, what crimes did you commit? Did you steal something? Stole others property? Fought with others, quarrel with others?"

Xu Zhu lowered his head and said: "Junior monk killed someone and it is more than just one."

YuanGen had a huge shock, his complexion changed, he move back 3 steps, he heard Xu Zhu mention that he killed more than one person, he is trembling with fear, he is afraid Xu Zhu's violent nature will flare up and most likely he won't be a match, he composed himself, he smile and said: "The martial arts of our temple is number one under the heaven, while training martial arts it is unavoidable that you will injure someone, junior martial brother's martial arts must naturally be exceptional."

Xu Zhu said: "Really ashamed, the martial arts of our sect was completely stripped off from me, currently none remain."

YuanGen was excited, he said: "Very good, very good! Extremely good, wonderful!" when he heard Xu Zhu's martial arts was stripped off, he assumed Xu Zhu must have committed too much sin and the temple elders crippled his martial arts, at once his complexion turn back to normal. However he is having second thoughts: "Although his martial art is crippled, but if just a bit remain he might still be difficult to deal with." He said: "Martial brother, it is really good that you are repenting by coming to work in the vegetable garden. However we have a custom here, whoever breaks the monastic rules, monks with hands stained with blood, they have to put on leg-irons and handcuffs while working. This custom is pass down by our ancestors, martial brother are you willing to abide by it? If you refuse then i will just report to the Discipline Courtyard accordingly." Xu Zhu said: "Since this is the custom, then naturally junior monk will comply."

YuanGen secretly rejoice, he took out steel shackles and leg-irons and put it on Xu Zhu. Shaolin Temple study and impart martial arts for several hundred years, it is unavoidable there might be unworthy monks who commit wicked crimes and quite often, they possess extremely high martial arts, it is not easy to subdue these monks, thus the Discipline Courtyard, Repentance Courtyard, vegetables garden and various parts of the temple are equipped with steel shackles and leg irons. YuanGen saw Xu Zhu put on the shackles and leg-irons, his worries are put to rest and he rebuked: "Treacherous monk, look at your young age, unexpectedly you are so daring and brazen, you broke every single monastic rules and discipline. How can i rid the anger in my heart if i don't punish you heavily today?" He broke off a branch and blindly lash it at Xu Zhu's head.

Xu Zhu restrain himself, he dare not use his internal energy to resist, he permit YuanGen to whip him, in a short period of time his entire face was bleeding. He chanted Buddhist scriptures continuously, his face did not reveal the slightest bit of dissatisfaction.

YuanGen saw that Xu Zhu did not dodge or plea, he thought: "This monk truly lost all his martial arts, i can disgrace him further." as he thought about the lavish meals eaten by Xu Zhu, the pleasures of wine, he lived for forty years but he did not get the chance to taste such things, jealousy surge forth and he became even more heavy-handed in his beating, he broke 3 branches in succession, finally he gave up and rebuke fiercely: "Carry 100 buckets of manure everyday to water the vegetables, if you miss out 1 bucket i will use hard tablet and iron rod to break your legs."

Xu Zhu endured the harsh beatings, however his mind was at peace, he pondered: "I broke many rules, i should shoulder heavy responsibility, if the punishment is heavy then my sins will be dispelled more." he replied respectfully: "Yes!" he walk towards the porch and carried the manure bucket, he gathered manure and water to irrigate the vegetable plot. Watering of vegetables ladle by ladle requires delicate effort, Xu Zhu was not negligent at all, he distributed water evenly and meticulously, he manage to finish 100 buckets by late night before going to sleep in the firewood shed.

On the second day, the sky had not yet turn bright when YuanGen came over to punch and kick him awake, he abused him: " Treacherous monk, lazy baldy! It is broad daylight now, you still sleeping here, quickly go chop the firewoods." Xu Zhu said: "Yes!" he did not protest as he chop the firewoods. This went on for a few days, chopping of firewood in the day, watering vegetables at night, he endured harsh torture, his entire body riddled with scars as he suffered several hundred lashings.

On an early morning, Xu Zhu was chopping firewood, YuanGen move towards him, he laugh happily and said: "Senior martial brother, thanks for your trouble!" he took out a key and unlock Xu Zhu's shackles and leg-iron. Xu Zhu said: "It is no trouble at all." as he raise the axe to chop firewood, YuanGen said: "Senior martial brother, no need to chop firewood anymore, please go in the house and have some food. Junior monk offended you for the past few days, i truly deserve death, senior martial brother please forgive me."

Xu Zhu notice a huge change in YuanGen's manner of speech, he was flabbergasted, he raise his head, YuanGen's nose and eyes are swollen, obviously he was beaten by someone, Xu Zhu was even more baffled. YuanGen said with a pained expression: "Junior monk have eyes but failed to recognize an important figure, i offended senior martial brother, senior martial brother if you refuse to forgive me, then i.....i....i will face great catastrophe." Xu Zhu said: "Junior monk reap what he has sown, senior martial brother you are correct in punishing me."

YuanGen countenance changed, he lifted his hands, 'Pa Pa Pa Pa', he slap his hands in quick succession, he slap himself heavily four times and said: "Senior martial brother, senior martial brother, please do a good deed, a great person does not remember the offense committed by others, i.....i...." while speaking there is another 'Pa Pa' sound, he slap his cheek again. Xu Zhu found it weird and inquired: "Senior martial brother, what is the intention behind your action?"

YuanGen's knees soften, he knelt down, tug Xu Zhu's garment and said: "If senior martial brother refuse to forgive me, i.....i won't be able to keep my eyes." Xu Zhu said: "I really don't understand what you are saying." YuanGen said: "As long as senior martial brother forgive me, don't dig out my eyes, junior monk is willing to become cow or horse in my next life to repay your great kindness." Xu Zhu said: "Senior martial brother what are you saying? When did i say i want to dig out your eyes?" YuanGen's expression is ashen, he said: "Since senior martial brother refuse to forgive me, junior monk have no choice but to give up my eyes." he extended two fingers and pierce it towards his eyes.

Xu Zhu held out his hands to grab YuanGen's wrist and said: "Who force you to dig out your eyeballs?" YuanGen's forehead is full of perspiration, his voice trembling: "I...i don't dare to say, if i say it, they....they will kill me immediately." Xu Zhu said: "Is it the abbot?" YuanGen said: "No." Xu Zhu inquired again: "The head-monk of Damo Courtyard? The head-monk of LuoHan Hall? The head-monk Discipline Courtyard?" YuanGen said no repeatedly, he said: "Senior martial brother, i don't dare to say it, i only beg for your forgiveness. They told me, if i want to keep my eyeballs, you have to agree to forgive me." as he finish speaking he secretly glance towards his side, a fearful expression across his entire face.

Xu Zhu followed his gaze, he saw four monks sitting at the porch, they are dressed in gray monk robe and wore gray monk hat, they are facing inward, Xu Zhu cannot see their appearance. He pondered: "Could it be these four senior martial brothers? Maybe they are dispatched by some important figure from the temple to punish YuanGen for acting without permission in abusing monks sent here for punishment." Xu Zhu said: "I don't blame senior martial brother, i had long forgiven you." YuanGen was overjoyed, at once he knelt down and kowtow, Xu Zhu hastily knelt down to return the courtesy and said: "Senior martial brother please get up."

YuanGen got up, he respectfully invited Xu Zhu into the dining hall and personally pour tea and serve food, he is very polite in his service. Xu Zhu could not refuse, if he did not permit YuanGen to serve him, YuanGen would appear as if he is about to encounter huge disaster, thus he simply let him be.

YuanGen said in a low voice: "Senior martial brother, do you want to drink wine? Do you want to eat dog meat? I will go prepare it for senior martial brother." Xu Zhu said in alarm: " Amituofo, sin, sin, how can this be done?" YuanGen gave a wink and said: "Junior monk will bear all the blame. I will go prepare and let senior martial brother enjoy." Xu Zhu wave his hands and said: "No, no! Absolutely not!"

YuanGen laugh and said: "If senior martial brother feels that the temple is lacking in amusement, there is no harm in going down the mountain, if the Discipline Courtyard inquires, junior monk will tell them i dispatch senior martial brother to buy vegetable seeds, i will cover up the truth, don't worry." Xu Zhu feels that YuanGen is getting more and more outrageous in his speech, he shake his head and said: "Junior monk sincerely repent for his past mistakes, i don't dare to violate any monastic discipline anymore. Senior martial brother please don't say such words anymore."

YuanGen said: "Yes." but his expression is full of doubt, it seems he wanted to say: "Hypocrite monk who indulge in meat and wine, what is your intention in pretending?" but he don't dare to voice it out, after serving vegetarian food he invited Xu Zhu to his own room to rest. This went on for a few days, YuanGen did his utmost to serve Xu Zhu, not lacking in the slightest bit of respect.

***********

This day, Xu Zhu finish his breakfast, YuanGen brewed a pot of tea and said: "Senior martial brother, please have some tea." Xu Zhu said: "Junior monk is waiting for punishment, senior martial brother you are so polite, junior monk really don't deserve it." he stood up and take over the teapot with his pair of hands.

Suddenly he heard loud 'Tang Tang' sound from the bell, it is continuous, it is a signal summoning all the monks in the temple. Other than the birthday of Buddha or ancestor Damo, the temple rarely summon all the monks. YuanGen was somewhat baffled, he said: "The abbot is summoning everyone, let us go to the Great Hall of Strength." Xu Zhu said: "Precisely." They accompanied 10 over monks from the vegetable garden and hurriedly rush to the Great Hall of Strength.

Over 200 monks had gathered at the hall already, yet the remaining monks still came in unceasingly. In a short period of time, over 1000 monks from the temple had gathered at the hall, everyone arrange themselves according to generation ranking, although the number is huge, but everyone is extremely quiet.

Xu Zhu line-up with the 'Xu' generation monks, he saw the expression of all senior monks are solemn, he is worried: "Could it be my crime is too serious, thus the abbot gathered everyone to punish me heavily? Looking at this situation, it seems they want to expel me from the temple, what should i do?" As he was feeling apprehensive he heard the bell ring 3 times, all the monks call out simultaneously: "Namo Shijia Rulai Buddha!"

Abbot XuanCi and the other 6 'Xuan' generation senior monks, along with another 6 monks, they stroll out from the rear hall. All the monks in the hall bow simultaneously, the Xuan generation monks and the 6 monks pay homage to the Buddha statue in the hall before sitting down.

Xu Zhu raise his head, he recognize the 6 'Xuan' generation senior monks: XuanDu, XuanJi, XuanZhi, XuanYin, XuanGou, XuanShi, in addition another 6 monks are seated at the front, these 6 monks are quite old, their robes different from those from Shaolin Temple, clearly they are guest monks from another monastery. Seated at the prime-seat is a monk roughly around 70 years of age, his figure short and small, his eyes bright and full of expression, he exudes an imposing aura.

XuanCi said in a bright voice: "This is abbot ShenShan Elder from Mount Wutai's Refreshing Temple, everyone please pay your respect." when everyone heard it they trembled, they bow to salute ShenShan Elder. Everyone knew the glorious reputation of ShenShan Elder in the martial arts fraternity, along with master XuanCi, both of them are known as "Twin LuoHan Subduing Dragon and Tiger", it is said that his martial arts is almost on par with abbot XuanCi. However, Refreshing Temple is of a much smaller scale, its standings in the martial arts fraternity cannot be compared with Shaolin, thus ShenShan Elder's prestige is inferior to XuanCi, everyone thought: "It is said that ShenShan Elder view himself highly, he rarely get involve with ongoings in the martial arts fraternity, all along he did not have any relationship with our temple, today he came here personally, what is his purpose?"

XuanCi held out his hands at the remaining 5 monks, one by one he introduce them and said: "This is Kaifeng's Daxiangguo Temple Master GuanXin, this is Jiangnan's Pudu Temple Master DaoQing, this is Lushan's DongLin Temple Master JueXian, this is Changan's Jingying Temple Master Rongzhi, this is Mount Wutai's Refreshing Temple Master ShenYin, he is ShenShan Elder's junior martial brother." Master GuanXin and the other 3 monks came from ancient temples sited at famous mountains, however Daxiangguo Temple, Pudu Temple, etc, they have always focus more on Buddhist doctrines and less on martial arts, although these four monks are immensely well-known in the martial arts fratenity, but their position in their own temple is not high. All the monks from Shaolin Temple bow in respect, Master GuanXin and the rest stood up to return the greeting.

XuanCi said: "These six masters have attained deep cultivations in Buddhist doctrine. Today they arrive together, it is truly a major honour for our temple, thus i gathered everyone here to meet them. We long for six masters to expound Buddhist teachings, so that everyone may benefit from their advice."

ShenShan Elder said: "I don't deserve your praise!" his figure is short and small, unexpectedly his voice is strangely loud, everyone cannot help but be startled, but he did not purposely shout or yell, he also did not use internal energy to deliberately excite a person's soul, his voice is naturally loud and resounding. He continued: "Junior monk long admire the stately temple of Shaolin, 60 years ago i arrive here to seek monkhood, but i was rejected. 60 years later i came back again, the walls and roof tiles are the same as before, but the ways of life are no longer the same, lamentable, lamentable!"

Everyone's heart was shaken by his words, the few sentence from him are rather hostile, could it be he came here to carry out a personal vendetta against Shaolin?

XuanCi said: "As it turns out, senior martial brother previously came to Shaolin to become a monk. All temples under the heaven are from the same family, senior martial brother currently preside over Refreshing Temple, all Buddhist, without exception admire you very much. At that time Shaolin temple did not dare to admit membership and offended senior martial brother, junior monk respectfully offer his apologies. But as a result senior martial brother wound up in a better place, propagating Buddhist teachings to the masses, it is really a great achievement and virtue. Things that happen in the past, it may be due to predestined relationship in the future." as he finish speaking he put his palms together and made a deep bow.

ShenShan Elder put his palms together to return the greeting and said: "At that time junior monk came to your precious temple to seek monkhood, admittedly it is because i admire Shaolin's dominance in the martial arts fraternity for over a century, the origin of martial arts, but more importantly, it is said that Shaolin Temple has strict monastic discipline and deal with things fairly." suddenly he flip his eyes, he raised his head and look at the golden statue of Buddha and said coldly: "Reality does not live up to it is name. If i had foreknowledge, junior monk would not have made the trip to Shaolin during that time."

The crowd of over thousand Shaolin monks change countenance together, but because Shaolin has strict monastic discipline, they did not voice out their anger.

Abbot XuanCi said: "Senior martial brother where do these words stem from? If my humble temple did any ridiculous things, i invite senior martial brother to clarify. The guilty will be punished, those who erred must correct themselves. Senior martial brother has smeared the clean reputation of Shaolin which has lasted several centuries, it is really a bit too much." ShenShan Elder said: "May i ask abbot senior, Shaolin has numerous disciples all over the world, whether their martial art is strong or weak, do they have to abide by the righteousness and justice of martial arts practitioners, they cannot use their strength to bully the weak?"

XuanCi said: "Naturally, the disciples of your precious temple must certainly be the same as well."

ShenShan Elder gaze at the statue of Rulai and said: "Buddha is above us, telling lies, it is a serious offence for Buddhist!" he turn his head and said to XuanCi: "Roaming around the country, you see Shaolin disciples everywhere. My Refreshing Temple is small, the daily matters of our monk is focused on studying Buddhist doctrines, meditation, our martial art is really far off and cannot be compared against Shaolin Temple. Disciples who exit Refreshing Temple and become laymen, although their numbers are small, but all of them maintain the strict disciplines of my humble temple, they don't dare to harm the innocent, they do not kill or steal. Shaolin has numerous disciples, it is hard to avoid having good and bad people intermixed together, your monastic disciple fall into disarray, what a pity, what a pity! Lamentable, lamentable!" he shakes his head repeatedly while speaking.

The crowd of Shaolin monks, without exception all of them became angry. Xu Zhu heard ShenShan Elder criticize Shaolin's disciples as "Good and bad people intermixed, monastic disciplines fall into disarray", he assume ShenShan Elder is criticizing him for violating the rules against eating meat, lascivious acts, murder, etc, he was so frighten that his heart thumped madly, if the abbot is to investigate, he must definitely confess all his mistakes, he cannot conceal the truth or else he would break another precept against telling lies.

XuanCi said: "May i ask senior martial brother, what is the circumstance? I invite senior martial brother to present concrete evidence, my humble temple will naturally spare no effort to investigate fully."

ShenShan Elder gave a long sigh and said: "Senior martial brother you are busy with major events in the temple, if it is just some small matter that you overlook, then it is still pardonable. But this matter happen for a long time already, the skeleton of the victim had long turn cold, words of it abuzz all over the world, the feeling of the masses at boiling point, but you precious school turn a blind eye to it, deliberately ignoring the matter, could it be you are conceited by the fact that your school is the largest in the martial arts fraternity, bystanders can doing nothing against you, aren't you a bit too tyrannical? Don't tell me from now on you are going to rely on strength alone, as long as you have great numbers and strength, you can do whatever you please?" his expression is severe, his tone aggressive and forceful.

XuanCi's expression is tranquil and indifferent, he said unhurriedly: "Senior martial brother, what matter are you referring to? Please be specific."

ShenShan Elder said: "There is a person in my humble school, Xu ChongXiao, he is junior monk's senior martial brother. His position extremely high, character honest and considerate, many years ago he joined Beggar Clan, he was hardworking and conscientious, he accumulated merit and was promoted to 9 Pouch Elder, he was highly respected by many, successive Chief Of Beggar Clan all hold him in high regards. The year before last around April, Beggar Clan gathered in Jiannan's Wuxi, they discuss about the parentage of their Chief Qiao, senior martial brother Xu step forward bravely, he presented a letter from former Chief Wang JianTong proving that Qiao Feng is a Khitan. Beggar Clan place righteousness before family, they abolished Qiao Feng's position as Chief Of Beggar Clan, this matter shake the entire world, it could be said that everyone knew about it. When senior martial brother Xu carried out this matter, he knew perfectly well the extreme dangers involved. Qiao Feng possess astonishing martial arts, he is cruel and ruthless, moreover he is a Shaolin disciple, he holds tremendous influence and power, there is no martial artist who does not fear him. Senior martial brother Xu served the country and its people, he step forward bravely to expose this huge conspiracy, he certainly disregarded his life and went all out."

Sure enough, on the 7th month, senior martial brother Xu was killed in his home, his ribs broken neatly, clearly he was killed by the hard and fierce palm strength of Shaolin. Several elders from Beggar Clan investigated the matter fully, they wrote a letter to Refreshing Temple and request junior monk to uphold justice. Shaolin is the number one orthodox school of martial arts, monastic discipline strict, since you produced such unworthy disciple then naturally you should clean up your own sect matters, there is no need for outsiders to meddle. Refreshing Temple waited for a long time, but Shaolin Temple did not show any hint of reacting, thus i had no choice but to invite all the great masters from Daxiangguo Temple, Pudu Temple, DongLin Temple, JingYing Temple, we came together to Shaolin to ask the abbot what is the true reason?" as he finish speaking, his pair of eyes look straight at abbot XuanCi.

XuanCi turn his head and said to the head-monk of Discipline Courtyard Master XuanJi: "Junior martial brother XuanJi, please narrate the underlying reason to these six eminent monk." XuanJi replied: "Yes." he got off his seat. He is in-charge of monastic discipline, he has always been honest and incorruptible, when the monks from various temple saw him all of them had some degree of dread. Xu Zhu knew that they are not discussing about him, but he still don't dare to look at them. He heard XuanJi's clear voice: "Beggar Clan's Elder Xu is advanced in both years and virtue, everyone in the martial arts fraternity respect him a lot, he was murdered in his home at Weihui, all of us were shaken and lamented his death. Abbot senior martial brother appointed junior monk, along with martial brother XuanDu, XuanYin and junior martial brother XuanSheng, the four of us travel the very same night to Elder Xu's residence, we were in charge of investigating the truth, if there is solid evidence proving Qiao Feng is behind the deed, then we will join up with martial brother XuanGou and junior martial brother XuanShi, both of them received orders from the abbot to investigate the case relating to the death of martial brother XuanKu by Qiao Feng, the six of us will work together to exterminate Qiao Feng by capturing or killing him, this is in accordance with our strict regulations." GuanXin, DaoQing, JueXian, RongZhi, when the four eminent monk heard this they nod their head repeatedly and said: "This should be the way."

Master ShenYin said: "What happen afterwards?"

XuanJi said: "XuanShi and XuanGou had not yet arrive, we wait for the night at a tavern, on the second day, the 7th of 7th month the two of them finally arrive. The six of us held a meeting, martial brother XuanGou said: "Elder Xu is definitely not killed by Qiao Feng!" ShenShan, ShenYin, etc, all of them were startled and said in unison: "What makes you say so?"

XuanGou stood up and said: "Buddha is merciful! Previously Qiao Feng entered Shaolin and caused a huge havoc, we were unable to capture him and he escaped, junior martial brother XuanShi and I received orders from martial brother abbot, we followed Qiao Feng secretly. That day he fought an entire crowd in JuXian Manor, due to the abbot's strict orders we can only observe his conduct and whereabouts, we cannot fight with him, thus both of us did not participate in the battle at JuXian Manor. We are really ashamed, after witnessing Qiao Feng's skill, even if both of us along with martial brother XuanNan were to join hands and attack together, we can only fight till a draw, it is not likely we can defeat or capture him. Afterwards Qiao Feng was rescued by a black-robed man and brought to a mountain to recuperate his injuries, both of us don't dare to go near, we only observe from a distant place."

Qiao Feng recuperated for over 20 days, after leaving the cave he travelled northward. At that time both of us did not wear monk robe, we changed into commoner clothings, we remain calm and collected and followed behind him. Qiao Feng is a very astute man, we don't dare to follow too closely, luckily he travelled on the main road thus it is not difficult to track him, even if we are separated by half li apart we can still follow behind him afterwards. He headed north from YanMen Pass, from there he met a bone-thin and helpless young lady. After entering YanMen Pass both of them stayed in a small inn, the next day they exit the room, unexpectedly they change into two inconspicuous man. If we did not personally witness them coming out of the room we really won't know these two person are Qiao Feng and that young lady....."

ShenShan Elder inquired: "Both of them cohabit throughout the journey?" XuanGou replied: "Yes." ShenShen Elder inquired again: "On the same bed?" XuanGou said: "I don't know. Monks do not look at things contrary to courtesy, i don't dare to pry into other people's private affairs." ShenShan Elder said coldly: "Then what if both of them quietly sneak off in the middle of the night, both of you won't know about it?" XuanGou said: "Junior monk and junior martial brother XuanShi stayed in the neighbouring room, we work in shifts and kept vigil, both of us only slept for half the night, we carry strict orders from martial brother abbot, we don't dare to be negligent and allow them to slip away without notice." ShenShan Elder said: "May i ask Master XuanShi to elaborate more?"

XuanShi step forward and said: "Junior monk is XuanShi, i received orders from abbot, together with martial brother XuanGou we are to monitor Qiao Feng's activity. After Qiao Feng met up with that young lady called Ah Zhu, their journey did not have any particular incident. Both of them travelled southward, martial brother XuanGou and i followed from a distant, we make an effort not to come face to face with him, it is not really difficult. On the 3rd day of the 7th month, the four of us was resting at ZhaoShang tavern in Wei prefecture, we heard Ah Zhu speak from the adjacent room: "Today i will make dumplings and pour wine for you, it is definitely better than those from the tavern!" Qiao Feng is very happy and said repeatedly: "Very good, very good!" Ah Zhu went shopping to buy meat and cabbage to make dumplings. Qiao Feng kept praising Ah Zhu's culinary skills, on that day he drank more wine than usual. Ah Zhu was by his side, urging him to drink: "When we reach Henan, the wine won't be good, we won't have the good wine from Hedong."

XuanGou said: "Many unexpected things happen in this world due to a moment of carelessness. Junior martial brother XuanShi and i don't dare to be negligent, we still sleep for half night each and kept extra vigilance. That night Xiao Feng's snore was thunderous, he was still snoring till day light. After waking up, Ah Zhu help him to wash face and serve soy milk and bread. Xiao Feng was in an extremely good mood that day, he made many jokes about Henan's accent. When Ah Zhu did not understand, Qiao Feng will explain to her. When junior martial brother XuanShi heard one of the jokes he nearly laugh out, i quickly cover his mouth and avoided any mishap. I remembered the events for that night distinctly, it was the 3rd day of 7th month. Qiao Feng depart Wei prefecture on the fourth day of 7th month, we followed at a distant and did not leave him, on the 7th day of 7th month we arrive at Weihui (Henan)."

ShenShan Elder said coldly: "You remembered the date so clearly, is it because Elder Xu was murdered on the 3rd day of 7th month?" XuanGou said: "Precisely! At a tavern in Weihui, martial brother XuanJi recounted the murder of Elder Xu. I replied: 'If he died on the 3rd day of 7th month, then he was not killed by Qiao Feng, if Qiao Feng killed him, then it is definitely not the 3rd day of 7th month!' martial brother XuanJi said: 'Elder Xu's son and daughter-in-law attended to him at night on the 3rd day of 7th month, the next morning the fourth day of 7th month, Elder Xu's rib was broken, he died on his bed.'"

ShenShan Elder said: "You remembered the date correctly?" XuanJi said: "This matter is of utmost importance, we went to Elder Xu's home and inquire every single detail."

XuanShi took over and said: "The 7th day of 7th month is QiQiao festival (Chinese valentines day), the Beggar Clan held a memorial service in Weihui to pay respect to Elder Xu, both of went to the service to see if we can uncover any clues. We kowtow, there was a thick pestle in front of the spirit tablet, it was smeared with blood. We inquired from the Beggar Clan members, it seems this pestle was the murder weapon found in Elder Xu's home, the front and back of Elder Xu's ribs broke evenly, it was broken by this stone pestle. Martial brother XuanGou and i took our leave, both of us pondered: 'If Qiao Feng really want to kill Elder Xu, he can simply strike with [28 Dragon Subduing Palm], there is no need for a stone pestle.'"

"Both of us followed Qiao Feng quietly, from a distant we saw him come out of a boat beside a river bank. The hull of the boat is sinking rapidly, half of it already submerged, at once we rush into the boat, we saw Granpa Tan, Grandma Tan and Zhao QianSun, all of them dead inside the boat. These 3 people are most probably killed by Qiao Feng, he is really a great evil! We return to the tavern to inform martial brother XuanJi and the others. Martial brother XuanJi said: 'Not matter what we cannot let Qiao Feng kill innocent people again, with the six of us fellow apprentices we can surely prevent him from committing crime.' We rushed ahead, we must reach Dan's manor in Tai'an before him and catch him out there. We rode swift horse and was slightly faster than Qiao Feng. However when we reach the manor it was already on fire, we rush in and saw Iron Faced Judge Danzheng, the corpse of his two son already lay horizontally on the ground, the entire household of 10, male and female, all of them had either their heads severed or their backs split open, none of them spared. We examined Danzheng's corpse, his ribs broke evenly, his lung and heart shattered, clearly he was killed by an extremely hard and violent fist techinique."

ShenShan Elder said coldly: "It must be [Vajra Fist] correct?" Abbot XuanCi said: "No! In Shaolin temple, i am the only one who knows [Vajra Fist]. Judge Dan is definitely not killed by me." ShenShan Elder snorted and said: "He was not killed by abbot?" XuanCi shakes his head and said: "No! [Vajra Fist] cannot shatter a person's heart and lung."

XuanGou said: "We buried Jude Dan's corpse and assist in putting out the fire, soon after the gongs sounded and everyone start to fight the fire. At once we retreat, from a distant place we saw Qiao Feng and Ah Zhu arriving on horses. We saw it with our own eyes, someone else must have killed Judge Dan, he was a few hours earlier than Qiao Feng, the entire Dan household had long been killed. As for protecting Master ZhiGuang of Mount Tiantai, martial brother abbot had already dispatch someone else. We saw Qiao Feng heading south along with Ah Zhu, thus we did not follow him anymore and return back to Shaolin Temple."

XuanJi, XuanGou, XuanShi, etc, their names are well known in the martial arts fraternity for over 10 years, everyone knows about their selflessness and righteousness, since they already said so, ShenShan Elder and the rest did not have doubts anymore.

ShenShan Elder said: "Master ZhiGuang died due to [Mohe Finger] of Shaolin, i wonder if martial brother abbot has any explanation for it?" XuanCi put his palms together and said unhurriedly: "Buddha is merciful! Master ZhiGuang died due to consumption of poison. The poison is common arsenic, his disciple monk PiaoZhe bought it from RenJi pharmacy in Tiantai town, the poison is slowly acquired over 10 days. Monk PiaoZhe bought the arsenic according to Master ZhiGuang's orders, he told the pharmacy it is for concoction of drugs. Master ZhiGuang is famous in the east, everyone revere him greatly, thus the pharmacy don't dare to decline or even accept money when monk RenJi bought the arsenic."

Master XuanDu stood up and said: "Martial brother abbot dispatched junior monk to investigate at Mount Tiantai. Master ZhiGuang certainly died due to arsenic poisoning. Junior monk questioned that monk PiaoPu, he weep endlessly and said he was unaware that his master wanted to commit suicide using arsenic, if he had prior knowledge he would have substituted arsenic with licorice powder. He said a man surnamed Qiao and a lady Ruan came by to visit his master. His master was extremely courteous towards them, they chat for a long time, after leaving he discovered his master had died. Only until night time did the body start to bleed in the eyes and nose. Unexpectedly on the next day, his master's eyes protruded, the back of his head shattered, he did not know which wicked person secretly came by in the middle of the night to desecrate his master's body. He felt he was unworthy as he failed to protect his master's body and slap himself heavily. I told him, the person who violated his master's body had exceptional martial arts, the person used an extremely violent finger technique to seal the acupoints on the left and right temple, even if he stake everything he had he won't be able to stop him. Unexpectedly this monk PuZhe blame himself fully, he commit suicide by hanging." as he finish speaking he gave a long sigh.

ShenShan Elder said: "When Qiao Feng came to vist Master ZhiGuang, he must have demanded information for the name of the leader of the incident at YanMen Pass. Master ZhiGuang refuse to reveal the name, thus Qiao Feng use [Mohe Finger] to injure him. Hence his eyes protrude out and the back of his head shattered, aren't all these due to the effects of [Mohe Finger]?" XuanCi said: "It is not Qiao Feng." ShenShan Elder said: "I invite martial brother abbot to elaborate the underlying reason."

XuanCi said unhurriedly: "Senior martial brother ShenShan wish to know why Master ZhiGuang did not die due to Qiao Feng's [Mohe Finger]. It is because Qiao Feng learnt [Demon Subduing Palm] at Shaolin, hence he cannot learn [Mohe Finger]. These two martial arts are opposites of each other, they cannot coexist in the same body." ShenShan Elder shakes his head slowly and said: "Is the martial arts of Shaolin truly so subtle and profound to such level?" XuanCi said: "Originally all these differences are documented. [Demon Subduing Palm] and [Mohe Finger], both of them are listed among the 72 supreme consummate skills of Shaolin, one is soft and gentle, the other is fierce and violent, it is extremely difficult to learn and train together. Junior martial brother XuanSheng, please go to the Scripture-Depository Pavilion and fetch the manuals for these two skills here to let ShenShan Elder and the rest have a look."

ShenShan Elder was just 17 years old when he came to Shaolin to seek tutelage. Shaolin's abbot LingMen converse with him, LingMen found him eager to show off, he also exudes an aura of arrogance, narrow-minded and self-complacent, he was unsuitable to inherit his skills, if he remain at Shaolin and become a common monk he will definitely be unwilling to be under someone else, he will certainly be a huge disaster in the future, thus LingMen tactfully refused to grant tutelage. Hence ShenShan Elder seek refuge at Refreshing Temple, he was remarkable and established himself as abbot of Refreshing Temple at the age of 30. ShenShan Elder is very intelligent, he can be considered a rare talent in the martial arts fraternity, however the martial arts of Refreshing Temple is greatly inferior to those of Shaolin, all the fist manual, sword manual, internal energy manual, etc, not only are they limited in quantity but their contents are coarse and crude, it is not first-class martial arts. He cultivated his internal energy for over forty years, he long surpassed the martial arts pass down by former leaders of Refreshing Temple, however his fist and sword technique is still inadequate, as he thought about the 72 supreme consummate skills of Shaolin he can only endure his envy and restrain his anger.

Thus when Elder Xu died, he found an excuse to pick a fight with Shaolin and sough to invite helpers. However, once senior monks heard they are to join forces to condemn Shaolin, they made excuses and refuse to participate, ShenShan Elder persuaded for a long period of time and he manage to invite eminent monks from Daxiangguo Temple, DongLin Temple, Jingying Temple, etc.

Currently when he heard abbot XuanCi gave an order to fetch the manuals of [Demon Subduing Palm] and [Mohe Finger], he was extremely happy, he finally had the affinity to witness the power of Shaolin's supreme consummate skills. XuanSheng said: "Yes!" he turn around and exit the hall, not long after he manage to fetch the manuals and hand them over to XuanCi. The Hall of Great Strength is around 3 li away from the Scripture-Depository Pavilion, XuanSheng manage to fetch the manuals in a short period of time, clearly his lightness martial art is solid, his movements extremely quick and agile. Outsiders are unaware of this and thought nothing of it, however the crowd of Shaolin monks all gasp in admiration inwardly.

The paper quality of the two manuals are turning shades of black from yellow, obviously they are extremely ancient. XuanCi place the manuals on a square table and said: "Fellow martial brothers please take a look, these two manuals each provide detail information on the origins of their respective martial arts as well as the crucial points in training." as he finish speaking he hand over handwritten copies of <> and <> to ShenShan Elder and Master GuanXin. Both man respectfully receive it and cautiously flip through the manuals, the preface narrated the origins in creating these two divine martial arts, [Demon Subduing Palm] was created by the 8th generation abbot of Shaolin Master YuanYuan, the palm is soft, gentle and indiscernible. [Mohe Finger] was created by a 7 finger toutou during his stay in Shaolin for 40 years, as it was created by a foreign monk the essence of the martial art is substantially different from Shaolin's traditional martial arts, the martial art is completely hard and violent, the manual warns any practitioners, those who had trained the soft martial art style of Shaolin must not attempt to practice [Mohe Finger] or else their inner breathing will deviate easily, if they do not take care they will vomit blood and suffer serious injuries that is difficult to cure.

Abbot XuanCi wait for the two eminent monks to browse for a while before handing it to Master DaoQing and Master JiaoJue, when all six eminent monks had look through the preface, he said: "Great masters, although my humble temple possess 72 supreme consummate skills, but every skill is extremely difficult to practice, even those gifted with exceptional talent will find it difficult to even master one set of skill, moreover when you train to an extremely high level it just mean you are one notch better than your opponent, since you can achieve victory with one set of skill there is no need to train a second set of skill, as for the third set and fourth set, there is even less reason to train them. For successive generations we pass on the doctrines from master to disciple, Buddhist doctrine is of chief importance, martial art is secondary, if a monk train diligently in martial arts then his Buddhist doctrine and inner meditation will surely be hindered. Even for layman disciple, our school will not teach them more than one supreme consummate skill to avoid triggering their greed for more. Qiao Feng's [Demon Subduing Palm] was imparted by junior martial brother XuanKu, XuanKu does not know [Mohe Finger], Qiao Feng also did not learn martial arts from any other monks, old monk is fully aware of this matter, there is no mistake. All the Xuan generation monks as well as the next generation monks who possess slightly higher martial arts, everyone start from [Luohan Fist], we will learn either [Demon Subduing Palm] or [Prajna Palm] and stop there. At the age of forty, old monk was inspired to learn martial arts again and studied [Vajra Fist], my inner strength became hard and violent, since then my progress in [Prajna Palm] was obstructed, i really regret it till this day."

**********

Suddenly a clear and bright voice transmit from a distant place: "It is truly a grand occasion to have many eminent monks gathering at Shaolin to discuss martial arts. I wonder if junior monk have the karma to be a guest as well, sitting alongside, respectfully listening to wise opinion?" every single word and sentence was delivered clearly into everyone's ears. The voice came from outside Shaolin Temple, it is clear and distinct, moreover the voice is gentle and did not shock the eardrums, one can well imagine the pure and profound internal energy of the speaker, in addition the speaker is at a distant place, how did he manage to hear the discussion in the hall?

XuanCi was slightly startled, he channel his internal energy and said: "Since we are all Buddhist please honour us with your presence." he continued: "Martial brother XuanMing and XuanShi, please accompany me to greet the esteemed guest." XuanMing and XuanShi bow and said: "Yes!" as they are about to exit the hall, the voice transmit again: "I don't dare to accept the honour. I am extremely delighted."

For every sentence, his voice will be nearer by several zhang, when he finish speaking the word "delighted", a stately middle-aged monk appeared by the Temple's gate, the monk put his palms together, his expression smiling and said: "Monk Jiumozhi from Tubo pay his respect to Shaolin's abbot."

The crowd is already extremely amazed by his skill, many people gave an "Oh" sound when they heard his introduction, they said: "So the Grand Tutor of Tubo, the Great Bright Wheel King has arrived!"

XuanCi stood up, he move forward two steps, putting his palms together he bow and said: "Grand Tutor came to the east from a distant place, fate brought us together." one by one he introduce ShenShan Elder, GuanXin, DaoQing, all the various foreign guests as well as XuanJi, XuanDu, etc, all the eminent monks from Shaolin.

After introduction has ended, XuanCi arrange for a seat in the middle and invited Jiumozhi to take the seat. Jiumozhi was unpretentious and simply sat down, he occupied the seat of honour, ahead of ShenShan Elder. Bystanders thought nothing of it but ShenShan Elder was secretly indignant: "You fake monk dressing up as god and playing the devil to deceive people, you might not have any true ability, later i will test you."

Jiumozhi sad: "Junior monk heard Master XuanCi discussing martial arts, your views are enlightening, i really receive no small measure of benefit, but there is one small section that i beg to differ." XuanCi said: "I invite Grand Tutor to given directions."

Jiumozhi smile faintly and said: "Great master abbot said that even for layman disciple, your temple will not teach them more than 1 supreme consummate skill, this is to avoid triggering their greed. But in my humble opinion, this rule might be a bit too rigid as it restricts people who possess extraordinary ability and wisdom from attaining profound level of martial arts achievements. Under such rigid rules, i am afraid the 72 supreme consummate skills of Shaolin won't be able to develop properly, a few hundred of thousand years later, it will inevitably remain the same. Take [Mohe Finger] and [Prajna Palm] as an example, how difficult can it be to execute both of them simultaneously? In addition, it is not entirely impossible for a single person to execute all 72 supreme consummate skills simultaneously." his speech may appear tranquil and calm but his intention is obvious, he look down on the martial arts of Shaolin. When the crowd of monks heard it, all of them felt indignant.

XuanSheng said in a bright voice: "According to Grand Tutor, there is someone who is able to execute all 72 supreme consummate skills of my humble temple?" Jiumozhi nod his head and said: "Correct!" XuanSheng said: "May i ask Grand Tutor, who is this great hero?" Jiumozhi said: "This title of great hero, i really don't deserve it." XuanSheng change countenance, he said: "It is you?" Jiumozhi nod his head, he put his palms together, his expression solemn and respectful and said: "Precisely."

As he said the word "Precisely", all the monk change countenance, they had the same thoughts: "This person made such ridiculous statement, could it be he is crazy?"

Shaolin's 72 supreme consummate skills, some specialize in training the lower parts, some specialize in lightness martial arts, some specialize in palm or fist techniques, some train in concealed weapons, sabre or rod technique, each skill has it is own strong points, those who use swords cannot use Buddhist's staff, experts in fist technique are not experts in concealed weapons, those proficient in leg skills, their fist and palm technique will inevitably be somewhat lacking. There are indeed people who are proficient in three or four supreme consummate skills, but that is due to the skills not conflicting with each other. All Shaolin eminent monks are fully aware of this fact, ShenShan, DaoQing, etc, all of them have deep understanding of these facts as well. Those who claim a single person can execute all 72 supreme consummate skill is merely bluffing.

Out of the 72 supreme consummate skills, 13 to 14 of them are exceptionally difficult to train, even for those gifted with immense innate talent, even if they train painstakingly for a lifetime they might not be able to master even one skill. Currently Shaolin have over a thousand monks, merging all the skills mastered by these thousand monks, the 72 supreme consummate skill is still not complete. Jiumozhi is no more than 50 years of age, assuming he master one set of skill per year, including the time he was born, he would require 72 years of effort, every set of skill is extremely complicated, could it be he can actually master several skills within a year?

XuanSheng sneered inwardly, however his expression remain solemn and respectful, he said: "Grand Tutor is not from Shaolin, that being the case, you are still proficient in [Mohe Finger], [Prajna Palm], [Vajra Fist], all these skills?"

Jiumozhi smile and said: "I don't dare, i invite Master XuanSheng to give some advice." he lean on one side, lifted his left palm horizontally, with a 'Hu' sound he strike his right fist, the copper incense cauldron in front of Rulai statue suffered a powerful blow, with a 'Tang' sound it bounce up, it is precisely a move from [Vajra Fist], "Answering Eastern Luo Bell". The fist did not touch the cauldron yet the cauldron sounded, this is still not too difficult, but this fist is launch forward, however the cauldron bounce straight up, it can be seen the power of the fist had grasp the secret essence of [Vajra Fist].

Jiumozhi did not wait for the copper cauldron to land, he sent out his left palm, his posture is precisely a move from [Prajna Palm], "Afraid To Fall Outside The Way", the copper cauldron revolve half a circle in mid-air, with a 'Pa' sound something fell down, but the ashes inside the cauldron scattered, ash smoke filled the air and the object could not be seen clearly. The residue force from the previous "Answering Eastern Luo Bell" had not yet dissipate, the copper cauldron fell down rapidly, Jiumozhi extended his thumb and press forward firmly, an extreme burst of finger force shoot forward, the copper cauldron move left abruptly around half chi. Jiumozhi press 3 times in succession, the copper cauldron move 1 and half chi away and finally land on the ground.

All the senior monks from Shaolin gasp with admiration, they knew that although the moves look ordinary, the hidden power within had already exceed human level, it is a genuine move from [Mohe Finger] known as "Entering Hell Three Times". The name represents the painstaking effort involved in practicing the three finger press, every finger press is akin to entering hell once.

The ash cloud gradually scattered, revealing a palm-size object. The crowd look at the object, they cannot help but cry out in shock. The object is a brass palm, the five fingers life-like, the palm and fingers emit light and sparkled like gold, however the back of the palm is ash-green.

Jiumozhi brush the sleeve of his robe, he laugh and said: "This [Kasaya Subduing Demon Skill], i invite martial brother abbot to give directions if there are any imperfections." as he finish speaking, unexpectedly the cauldron 7 chi in front of him start to move, it revolve several times, after it stop moving the inner side is now facing outward, however a palm-size shape was gouged out from the cauldron's body, the place where it was cut is emitting a golden glow. The younger generation monks finally understood, moments ago Jiumozhi executed a move from [Prajna Palm], "Afraid To Fall Outside The Way", while executing the move, his palm force is akin to a sharp treasure sabre, unexpectedly he was able to cut a palm-size block off the cauldron.

After a long time, XuanCi gave a long sigh and said: "Today, old monk is finally aware there is a sky beyond this sky, there is always someone superior. Old monk train painstakingly for over 10 years, but before Grand Tutor, it is really lacking and inadequate. I am afraid there is much to change for the old rules of Shaolin."

Jiumozhi remain calm and collected, he put his palms together and said: "Excellent, excellent! Martial brother abbot why so modest?"

All the monks from Shaolin hung their heads dispiritedly, they knew that the abbot was force to make such statement, not only did he admit Shaolin's martial art is inferior, the so call 72 supreme consummate skills of Shaolin is merely so-so, in addition the rules he established may not be reasonable as well. Shaolin enjoy tremendous reputation for several hundred years, it has a firm grip on the martial arts of Central Plains. But now, not only did Shaolin suffer a crushing defeat, the martial artists of Central Plains are also humiliated by the foreign monk. ShenShan, GuanXin, DaoQing, JueXian, RongZhi, ShenYin, all the guest monks are dejected and crestfallen.

**********

Xu Zhu is aware of all the various incidents in the hall, after the abbot spoke his words, the senior generation monks are distressed. He look askance at his master HuiLun, tears are rolling down his eyes, he is extremely heart-broken. Although he don't understand the critical points in between, but he knew none of the monks in Shaolin is able to rival the martial arts displayed by Jiumozhi, thus the abbot had no choice but to admit defeat.

However he still had some doubts in his heart. He saw Jiumozhi execute [Vajra Fist], [Prajna Palm] and [Mohe Finger], as he never learn these skills before he don't know if the moves are right or wrong, however he understood the internal energy usage behind the fist technique, palm technique and finger technique, it is clearly [Minor Formless Skill].

He inherited [Minor Formless Skill] from Wu YaZi, when Child Elder impart the techniques of [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain] to him she realize that Xu Zhu possess [Minor Formless Skill], she was greatly enraged and heart-broken, the underlying reason is because her master only pass on [Minor Formless Skill] to Li QiuShui alone, since Xu Zhu inherited his skills from Wu YaZi, then it can be deduced that Wu YaZi had a relationship with Li QiuShui. After Child Elder calm down, she explain to Xu Zhu how to utilize [Minor Formless Skill], however Child Elder had limited knowledge on [Minor Formless Skill], until much later when Xu Zhu studied the drawings on the stone wall of Vulture Palace did he finally grasp the profound secret and workings behind [Minor Formless Skill].

[Minor Formless Skill] is of Taoist origins, it place emphasize on calmness and inaction, journeying the great emptiness, it is comparable to Buddhist's martial art theory of having "no end and no move", although both seem similar, but there is huge difference in its essence. Jiumozhi claims that he is proficient in all 72 supreme consummate skills of Shaolin, however when he execute his moves it is undoubtedly just [Minor Formless Skill], when he execute techniques of [Prajna Palm], [Mohe Finger] and [Vajra Fist], the crowd was intimidated by the formidable power of [Minor Formless Skill], since they don't understand the inner power of [Minor Formless Skill] they simply assume Jiumozhi is proficient in Shaolin's supreme consummate skill. In reality, for the 72 supreme consummate skills, [Prajna Palm], [Mohe Finger] and [Vajra Fist] has it is own set of internal energy, they are entirely different and distinct, they do not intermix with each other.

Although this is not exactly passing off fake product as genuine as [Minor Formless Skill] is not inferior to any of Shaolin's supreme consummate skills, but in the end it is still a deliberate misrepresentation, confusing right from wrong. Xu Zhu was baffled, apart from the abbot, unexpectedly none of the thousand monks in Shaolin is able to see through the mistake.

Xu Zhu is unaware that [Minor Formless Skill] is wide-ranging and profound, [Minor Formless Skill] is of Taoist origins, since the people in the hall are all Buddhist, no matter how high their martial arts they will never practice the internal energy of Taoist, moreover the crux of [Minor Formless Skill] is in the word "Formless", it has no form or appearance, no trace to look for, if not for the fact that Xu Zhu is an expert in [Minor Formless Skill] he would definitely not be able to see through the trick. XuanCi, XuanJi, XuanDu, etc, all of them also felt that Jiumozhi's internal energy is not the same as Shaolin's internal energy, however when they thought about the fact that Shaolin's martial art originated from India, it is reasonable for India and Central teachings to have some discrepancy. The land is separated by thousands of miles, separated in time by several hundred years, Shaolin's consummate skills also undergo various modifications by successive generations of monks, thus there is no reason for both skills to remain exactly the same, hence they did not have any suspicion.

In the beginning Xu Zhu assume the senior generation monks had some other profound intentions, he is only a little monk from 3rd generation, how can he take the initiative? But seeing the dramatic turn of events, the sorrow, anger and dispirited reactions from all his seniors, he had no other alternative, it is clear that the temple is facing great calamity, he have to step forward bravely and point out that Jiumozhi did not display Shaolin's supreme consummate skills. However for over 20 years, he has never spoke a single word in front of public, under the strict and solemn atmosphere of the scene he cannot help but refrain from voicing out his opinions.

He heard Jiumozhi said: "Since abbot said so, then you are admitting there is much shortcomings in Shaolin's 72 supreme consummate skills, perhaps your precious temple did not come up with these skills at all, the word 'consummate', you have to change it."

XuanCi was silent and did not reply, he felt as if his heart was being gouged out.

A tall old monk from the 'Xuan' generation said in a stern voice: "Grand Tutor, you have gain the upper hand, our abbot already admit the old rules of our temple will be changed, why are you so overbearing and not leave the slightest bit of leeway?" the old monk is XuanZhi.

Jiumozhi smile and said: "Junior monk is merely requesting abbot to follow up his words, announce to all martial artists under the heaven. In my opinion, Shaolin might as well break up, all the senior monks join Refreshing, Pudu and various other temples for protection and shelter, each goes his own way, you can also join Tubo and study Tantric Buddhism, pay respect to ShangShi Lama, junior monk will also think of a way to accept you. Isn't this much better than living under the false reputation of Shaolin, only seeking a life of ease and comfort?"

As he said those words, no matter how good the self-restraint of Shaolin monks are, they cannot help but berate loudly. Only now did the crowd of monks realize, Jiumozhi came to Shaoshi Mountain, with the strength of a single person he wants to stir up Shaolin, not only will he gain fame for all eternity, he will also make Central Plain lose a strategic icon, it is highly advantageous for Tubo.

Jiumozhi said in a bright voice: "Junior monk came to Central Plains alone, my original intention is to witness the grandeur of Shaolin, to visit the so call "Big Dipper" of Central Plain's martial arts, to gauge how grand and stately it is. But after listening to your speech and observing the conduct of senior monks here, hei hei hei, it appears Shaolin can't be compared with the secluded TianLong Monastery of Dali's Nanjiang. Alas! Junior monk is greatly disappointed."

A person from the Xuan generation said: "Great Master Kurong and abbot Benyin from Dali's TianLong Monastery have deep Buddhist cultivation, all disciples of Shaolin admire them very much. Monks have no desire to complete or fight for success, Grand Tutor claims that Shaolin cannot be compared with TianLong Monastery, why would anyone care about it?" as he finish speaking he stroll out unhurriedly, he is an old monk, his face radiating red light. His right forefinger and thumb are press together lightly, his face revealing a smile, his expression gentle and mild.

Jiumozhi also revealed a smile and said: "I have long admired Master XuanDu's [Blossom Grasping Finger], you have trained your consummate skill to perfection, how fortunate it is to meet you today." as he finish speaking his right forefinger and thumb also press together lightly, as if he is grasping a flower. The two monks extended their left hand unhurriedly at the same time, they flick 3 times at each other.

3 'Bo Bo Bo' sound echoed, the two finger force collide with each other. XuanDu's body swayed, suddenly three blood arrow shot out of his stomach and travel a few chi, in the contest of finger strength XuanDu was no match for Jiumozhi and was hit 3 times in the stomach, it seems as if he was injured by a sharp blade.

Master XuanDu is kind and amiable, he is highly respected and well-loved by monks from younger generations. When Xu Zhu was 16 years old, he swept floor and brew tea for XuanDu, attending to him for 8 months. XuanDu treat him extremely well, he even gave some directions for [Luohan Fists]. Afterwards XuanDu had to enter seclusion to meditate, Xu Zhu had very little chance to meet him, however he still remembered the friendship they shared. Xu Zhu saw XuanDu was injured by finger force, he knew that if he delay treatment XuanDu's life might be in danger, previously Su XingHe taught him healing techniques, afterwards he learn the secret to breaking 'Life-death talisman', he have profound understanding in the art of treating injuries and saving the dead, he saw blood spurting out of XuanDu's stomach, without a second thought his body flash and he was beside XuanDu, he send out an empty palm move.

Their contact is merely an instant, the 3 burst of blood had not yet land on the floor, unexpectedly under the pressure of Xu Zhu's palm force, it flow back into XuanDu's stomach rapidly. Xu Zhu pluck his left hand as if he is playing a lute, he execute a burst of circular finger sealing movement, in an instant he sealed over 11 acupoints around XuanDu's wound, blood no longer flow out, afterwards he fed Vulture Palace's legendary panacea the 'Nine Revolution Bear Snake Pill' into XuanDu's mouth.

Previously Duan YanQing gave directions and help Xu Zhu break Wu YaZi's 'Zhenlong chess formation', Jiumozhi was present and saw him. Now Jiumozhi saw him appear suddenly from within the crowd, he made some circular finger movement and sealed XuanDu's acupoints, the technique is truly wonderful, internal energy strong and powerful, unexpectedly he have never witness such level of skill before throughout his entire life, he cannot help but be startled.

HuiFang and the other monks saw Xu Zhu kill XuanNan with a palm slap, later they saw him become the leader of some unorthodox sect, they have no time to ask for an explanation for these strange events, they carried XuanNan's corpse and return to Shaolin. Abbot XuanCi and other senior monks conducted an inquiry and found out that XuanNan was killed by Ding ChunQiu's [Carefree Three Smile Powder], it was not due to Xu Zhu's palm slap, however Xu Zhu did not return to the temple for a long time, they sent over 10 monks to search for him but they can't find any trace of him.

On the day Xu Zhu return back to Shaolin, it so happen to coincide with a major event happening in Shaolin, unexpected the chief of Beggar Clan Zhuang JuXian sent someone to dispatch an invitation card demanding Shaolin to present him as the leader of Central Plains martial art fraternity. XuanCi discuss with the rest of the Xuan generation monks for several days on how to deal with the situation, they really have no idea what kind of person Zhuang JuXian is. Beggar Clan is the number one clan of Jianghu, they have huge numbers and strength, they have always been chivalrous, along with Shaolin both assist each other mutually and uphold justice and fairness in Jianghu, now they suddenly demand to be above Shaolin, thus the senior monks really have no idea how to handle the matter. Xu Zhu's master, HuiLun, saw his martial uncles have important matters to attend to, thus he don't dare to report that Xu Zhu had return back to Shaolin or the fact that he violated several monastic discipline. Hence the senior monks had no idea that Xu Zhu was carrying manure and watering vegetables, now they suddenly saw him appear and execute some marvellous technique to send blood back into XuanDu's body, everyone was equally amazed.

Xu Zhu said: "Martial grandfather, don't channel your energy to avoid opening up your wounds." he tore off his own monk robe to bind the wound around XuanDu's stomach. XuanDu gave a bitter laugh and said: "Great Bright Wheel King...your.... [Blossom Grasping Finger]...is truly....truly powerful! Old monk is con....convinced." Xu Zhu said: "Martial grandfather, he did not use [Blossom Grasping Finger], it is also not Buddhist martial arts."

When the crowd heard it they did not think it was correct. Jiumozhi's finger movement is exactly the same as XuanDu, even both their smile and expression is completely identical, if it is not Shaolin 72 supreme consummate skill's [Blossom Grasping Finger] then what else can it be? The crowd knew that Jiumozhi is the Grand Protector of Tubo, he is conferred the title of Great Bright Wheel King, every 5 years he will hold a session at Snow Mountain's Great Wheel Temple, giving lectures on Buddhist teachings, all the senior monks will gather to listen, debating scriptures and asking difficult questions, all of them had high praise for him. Jiumozhi is a famous monk known throughout the Buddhist circle, how can his martial arts not be of Buddhist origins?

However Jiumozhi was secretly afraid: "How did this little monk know i did not use [Blossom Grasping Finger]? Not Buddhist martial arts?" in an instant he understood: "Yes! [Blossom Grasping Finger] is a peaceful and benevolent skill, it only seals an opponent's acupoint, it controls and not injure, in my haste to seek victory i channelled my [Blazing Sabre Skill], my finger strength is too violent, unexpectedly it pierce 3 small holes in that old monk, it is not the original intention of monk JiaXie's blossom smile. Presumable this little monk knows as well."

Jiumozhi is naturally wise and farsighted, from young age he had very fortunate encounter, he met Tantric Buddhist Master NingMaPai who instructed him in [Blazing Sabre Skill], it is a divine skill that send out waves of powerful energy, at Dali's TianLong Monastery he achieved victory over KuRong, BenYin, BenXiang, etc, numerous top experts, afterwards he had another fortunate encounter and obtained the manual of [Minor Formless Skill]. His purpose in coming to Shaolin is to rely on his martial arts and single-handedly topple the world-renown ancient Buddhist temple, he saw that Xu Zhu is merely around 20 years of age, although his [Circular Acupoint Sealing Finger Skill] is rather mysterious and profound but he presume his martial art is most likely limited, thus he smile and said: "Unexpectedly little master claims my [Blossom Grasping Finger] is not Buddhist's martial arts, then what kind of martial art does the supreme consummate skills of Shaolin belong to?"

Xu Zhu is not gifted in debates, he merely said: "Martial grandfather XuanDu's [Blossom Grasping Finger] is naturally of Buddhist's origins, you....the one executed by you...it is not...." while speaking he raise his left hand, he copied XuanDu's technique and also flick 3 times, his finger strength is empowered by [Minor Formless Skill]. He is respectful toward others, this 3 finger flick is not directed at Jiumozhi but at spots where no one is near, everyone heard 3 'Tang' 'Tang' 'Tang' sound, the copper bell in the main hall produced huge sound. Xu Zhu's finger flick all landed on the bell, it is as if someone use the bell's striker to forcefully ram the bell. When the crowd heard it they were all equally amazed.

Jiumozhi call out: "Excellent skill! Come try my [Prajna Palm]!" at once he raise his palm, it appear as if he is about to salute, however his palm never come together, with a 'Hu' sound a burst of palm force expel out from between his palm, it rush swiftly towards Xu Zhu, it is a move from [Prajna Palm] called "Heavenly Wind From Canyon". The essence of [Prajna Palm] is base on "Emptiness', "Negation", "Non-emptiness" and "Non-negation", Jiumozhi's palm is filled with violence and malice, it greatly differs from the original intention of [Prajna Palm].

Xu Zhu saw the incoming palm force is too violent, he have to block it, at once he execute a move from [Six Solar Palms Of Heavenly Mountain] to dispel the incoming palm force.

Jiumozhi felt the opposing palm contain a hidden suction force, it so happen to restrain his own palm force, it also use [Minor Formless Skill] as the foundation, his heart trembled with fear, he smile and said: "Little master, is that Buddhist martial arts? Today i came to your precious temple to experience the divine skills of Shaolin, how come you execute heretic moves instead? Shaolin martial art is one of the very best in Song nation, don't tell me it is false reputation and it is no different than common martial arts?" once he knew the unique nature of Xu Zhu's internal energy, he did not feel confident of victory, thus he tried to debate and force Xu Zhu to use Shaolin's martial arts.

How would Xu Zhu understand Jiumozhi's true intention, he reply bluntly: "Junior monk aptitude is low, i only learn [Luohan Fists] and [Skanda Palm], it is the basic foundation skills of Shaolin, how can i exchange blows with Grand Tutor?" Jiumozhi laugh out loud and said: "You still have some self-awareness, since you are not my match then step down!" Xu Zhu said: "Yes! Junior monk will take his leave now." he put his palms together and retreat back into the Xu generation crowd.

However abbot XuanCi is extremely astute, although he don't understand the origins of Xu Zhu's martial arts but from the few moves displayed just now, the moves are ingenious, internal energy deep and profound, it is more than sufficient to rival Jiumozhi, Shaolin is at a critical juncture of life and death, it would be better to dispatch Xu Zhu to ward off Jiumozhi for some time, even if he lose it is still better than doing nothing, thus he said: "Grand Tutor claims he is proficient in Shaolin's 72 supreme consummate skill, you are brilliant and well-learned, everyone admire you very much. As for Shaolin's basic foundation skills, naturally you would think nothing of it. Xu Zhu, our monks are ranked according to Xuan, Hui, Xu, Kong, you are the 3rd generation disciple of Shaolin, you are definitely not qualified to fight against the number one expert from Tubo. However Grand Tutor came from a distant place, it is difficult to chance upon this golden opportunity, you may use [Luohan Fists] and [Skanda Palm] to ask Grand Tutor for advice." he phrased his speech clearly, Xu Zhu is merely a little monk from 3rd generation, he only learn the basic foundation skills of Shaolin, Shaolin will not suffer any damage to its reputation if Xu Zhu suffer a defeat under Jiumozhi, but if by fluke Xu Zhu manage to hold on for the time taken to burn 1-2 joss-stick, he would seize the opportunity and stop the fight, by then Jiumozhi would not have any reason to tangle on.

Xu Zhu heard the order from abbot, he dare not disobey, he bow and said: "Yes" he took a few steps forward, press his palms together and said: "Grand Tutor please be lenient!" since his opponent is a senior expert, he definitely won't make the first move, at once Xu Zhu's palm descend in salute, it is the introductory gesture of [Skanda Palm], "Lingshan Greeting Buddha". In Shaolin, he studied Buddhist scriptures for half of the day and practiced martial arts for the other half, its been over 10 years, he have long mastered [Luohan Fists] and [Skanda Palm] and know the moves inside-out. The move "Lingshan Greeting Buddha", originally it is a gesture to salute an opponent, its intention is to highlight the importance of courtesy for Buddhist disciples, they should not be fierce and eager to fight. However Xu Zhu currently possess the internal energy of the top 3 experts of Carefree Sect combined, the teachings and advice of Child Elder, as well as the considerable benefits gained by 10 days of study in the stone cellar of Vulture Palace, as he lowered both his palms in salute, his monk robe fluttered slightly, his internal energy circulate and protect his entire body.

Chapter - 40 Testing When to Cut the Threads of Infatuation

Jiumozhi knew that fighting against this little monk will just be a one-sided battle, it would be laughable if he did not win, however since the circumstances is such he cannot avoid the fight, at once he wave his palms and launch his attack, his palm wind contains light fluttering sound, his posture and technique is precisely the first-class martial arts of [Prajna Palm].

[Skanda Palm] is the basic foundation martial arts of Shaolin, when a Shaolin disciple formally become an apprentice to a master, they will first learn [Luohan Fists] followed by [Skanda Palm]. Nevertheless [Prajna Palm] is one of the most obscure martial arts, practitioners have to abide the sequence strictly and progress from [Skanda Palm] to [Prajna Palm], this would normally require 30 to 40 years of effort. [Prajna Palm] is one of the 72 supreme consummate skill of Shaolin, practitioners can train this skill perpetually and their palm strength would be increasingly stronger as they train, their palm moves becoming more pure, it can be said there is no end to learning, eventually they would reach the last palm move "The Bottom Of Emptiness", ever since the creation of [Prajna Palm], of all the senior monks in Shaolin who train in this skill very few manage to master the last move. Throughout Shaolin's history, there has never been a case of using [Skanda Palm] to exchange blows with [Prajna Palm]. Both skills are at the extreme of martial arts, one is deep and mythical, the other shallow and crude, senior monks who mastered [Prajna Palm] will never fight with junior monks who only know [Skanda Palm], even for sparing among master and disciple, if the master use [Prajna Palm], then the disciple would have to use [Dharma Palm], [Snow Mountain Palm] or [Thousand Hands Of Rulai] to trade moves.

Xu Zhu saw the incoming palm move, he slanted his body to avoid and push out with both palms, it is a move from [Skanda Palm] known as "The Way To Protect Monastery Gate", the move is mediocre, however the power behind it is vigorous and forceful.

Jiumozhi spin his body, his sleeves revolves and he execute [Mendicant Palm]. Xu Zhu slanted his body to avoid, Jiumozhi had anticipated Xu Zhu's dodging position, he already launch his [Vajra Fists], with a 'Peng' sound he hit Xu Zhu's shoulder. Xu Zhu staggered and retreat 2 steps. Jiumozhi laugh and said: "Little monk are you convinced?" he presumed he had shattered Xu Zhu's shoulder bone with that fist. Unexpectedly Xu Zhu was protected by [Pure Energy of Northern Darkness], however he still felt his shoulder aching, he straighten his body, his palm moving from left to right and execute the move "Ganges River Flowing To Sea", both palms carried torrents of energy, it is akin to widespread flood.

Jiumozhi saw his fist had no effect on Xu Zhu, moreover when Xu Zhu's palm move arrive its power is profound and heavy, he cannot help but be startled, he raised his palm to block, his body also followed, both his legs kick out repeated, in a split second he had kicked 6 times, every move landed on Xu Zhu's solar plexus, its precisely one of the 72 supreme consummate skill of Shaolin, [Shadowing Kick], as one leg kicks out, the second leg will arrive with the shadow, the second kick will take shape from the shadow, the third kick will follow the shadow again and arrive as well, only until the 6th kick did Xu Zhu have time to shift his body to avoid.

Jiumozhi did not allow him to rest, he launch two fingers in succession, there is 'Chi Chi' sound, its [Tara Finger]. Xu Zhu initiate a bow-drawing stance and countered with his fists, it is a move from [Luohan Fists] known as 'Black Tiger Stealing Heart'. This fist technique is extremely shallow and superficial, however when powered by [Minor Formless Skill], unexpectedly it neutralize [Tara Finger]'s rock shattering finger force and stop it midway.

Jiumozhi had the intention to show off, after launching [Tara Finger] he immediately switch move and made a cutting move with his arm, although he is empty-handed but the technique is [Wood Burning Sabre Skill]. To master this set of sabre skill the practitioner have to chop 81 times at a dry piece of wood swiftly, the sabre edge should not damage the wood at all, however the heat emitted by the sabre must ignite the wood and set it on fire, Xiao Feng's teacher Master XuanKu is an expert in this skill, after XuanKu pass away, no one in the temple is capable of such skill. [Wood Burning Sabre Skill] is meant to be use with a single sabre, it is completely different from the void palm force of Jiumozhi's [Blazing Sabre Skill] which he employed in TianLong Monastery. Currently Jiumozhi is using his palm like the sabre edge, he chop and hack fiercely, the technique and move is entirely Shaolin's martial art. As his sabre chop landed, there is a 'Bo' sound, Xu Zhu's right arm was hit. Xu Zhu shout out: "Very fast!" he send out his right fist, as his fist arrive midway his right arm was hit by another sabre move. Jiumozhi poured his internal energy into the palm, the palm chop is no different from steel blade, it can slice or break an arm, unexpectedly Xu Zhu was completely unharmed even after sustaining two sabre chop, on the contrary Jiumozhi felt pain from his palm.
 

Jiumozhi was startled, thoughts ran through his mind: "Even if this little monk mastered [Golden Bell Shade] or [Iron Garment Skill], there is no way he can resist my heavy palm move, what is the reason? Ah, yes, he must be wearing some precious protective vest." as he thought of it, he immediately focus his attacks on Xu Zhu's face and head, [Unfix Great Wisdom Finger], [Ridding Worry Finger], [Nirvana Claw], [Indra Claw], he execute 6 to 7 Shaolin's divine skills in succession, all of them targeting Xu Zhu's eyes or throat.

Under the high-speed attacks from Jiumozhi, Xu Zhu is at a loss on how to resist, he can only move back and retreat, he can't even use his [Skanda Palm] anymore, he punch out repeatedly, all of them the same move 'Black Tiger Stealing Heart', every punch forced Jiumozhi to move back half chi, thus due to this half chi, all different kinds of marvellous techniques and moves executed by Jiumozhi are rendered useless as they cannot reach Xu Zhu's body.
 

In a short period of time Jiumozhi execute another 6 different Shaolin's supreme consummate skills, the crowd of Shaolin monks were dazzled by the display, they thought: "He claims to have mastered all 72 supreme consummate skills of Shaolin, he might not necessarily know all 72 skills, but it seems he know at least 30 to 40 of them." nevertheless Xu Zhu only countered with [Luohan Fists], under the lightning fast attacks of Jiumozhi he had no chance to switch moves, Xu Zhu execute the move 'Black Tiger Stealing Heart' and another 'Black Tiger Stealing Heart', again and again he only relied on the move 'Black Tiger Stealing Heart', the fist technique is awkward and clumsy, even common martial arts practitioner will inevitably laugh out loud. However the inner strength within 'Black Tiger Stealing Heart' kept increasing continuously, the distance between both of them gradually grew further, Jiumozhi's finger and claw moves are 1 chi away from Xu Zhu.
 

Suddenly Jiumozhi lowered his right palm, he flip his palm and slap Xu Zhu's wrist. Xu Zhu's right arm arrive horizontally, Jiumozhi's plam interlinked with Xu Zhu's wrist, unexpectedly Jiumozhi felt a severe shock in his arm, immediately after his arm ached and felt numb, he quickly channelled [Minor Formless Skill] to resist, unexpectedly it was neutralized by the opposing [Minor Formless Skill] contain within the [Arm Sealing Acupoints] technique. Jiumozhi shock is really no small matter, he burst out in cold sweats, he recalled the past events at Suzhou's Mantuo Manor: that day Jiumozhi captured DuanYu and arrive at Jiangnan, he wanted to learn [Six Meridians Divine Sword] of Dali's Duan family as well as pry into the martial arts collections within Murong family's 'Water Pavilion of Bestowal and Repayment'. Ah Zhu and Ah Bi arranged a feast and entertained Jiumozhi, Duan Yu, Guo Yanzhi and Cui BaiQuan. Ah Bi played a zither in the Water Pavilion and the floor suddenly flip over, Duan Yu, Ah Zhu and Ah Bi drop onto a small boat underneath the Water Pavilion. Three of them row the boat and escape quickly, Jiumozhi did not know how to row a boat and was unable to catch up with them. In his rage he coerce a servant of Murong family to guide him to Canhe Manor, however the servant did not succumb and refuse to guide him. Jiumozhi knew Canhe Manor is constructed in the deepest part of Lake Tai's cloudy waters, lotus and water caltrops move irregularly, it is extremely difficult to locate. He hatched a plan and captured an official in Suzhou's capital town, he press a steel sabre at the official's neck and force him to lead the way. With a steel sabre at his neck, the official obediently guide Jiumozhi. Jiumozhi gave him 10 silvers and ordered him to leave, he disembark and hid within the underbrush, he wait until midnight before entering the manor.

Sure enough, the Manor's owner was not in, he went to the study room and began searching, however he only found <>, <>, <> and various scholar books, it was not what he wanted. In the afternoon of the 2nd day, he saw a big boat arriving, the owner of the boat is a good-looking upper-class lady, she led 10 sword bearing maids and charge aggressively into the Manor. When the Manor servants saw her they address her as "maternal uncle's wife", the boats men and male workers all address her as "Madam Wang". He heard Madam Wang asking: "Where is my young lady? Ask her to come out quickly!" "Where is Ah Zhu and Ah Bi, those two crafty servants, damn where did they go?" she instructed the maids under her: "Quickly go seize Ah Zhu and Ah Bi, chop off their right hand first before interrogating them." she ask again: "Has your young master return? Is he together with our young miss?" she did not wait for a reply and start slapping people heavily, no matter male servants or maids, she simply slap anyone she come across. Jiumozhi saw her martial art is not very good, but it is more than sufficient to deal with the bunch of servants.

Jiumozhi expect she would use the boat to return after her search, thus he thought of hitching along and return back to dry land, he quietly stroll to the boat side, when no one was around he leap lightly and landed on the boat's rear, he hid himself in a corner. Sure enough, no more than two hours later, Madam Wang led her maids into the boat and sail to the middle of the lake. Madam Wang did not find her person, she slap the desk and knock the stools, swore and curse in anger, nobody dare to talk to her.

The big boat sailed for a couple of hours and anchored at a pier outside the Water Manor. Jiumozhi wait for the sky to turn dark before entering the Manor. It is difficult to search for things in the darkness, just before the lake he saw an exquisite small house, he listen attentively, there is no one in the house, he went up the 2nd floor, he push the window lightly and jump into the room. The interior was pitch-black, there was no light at all, he found an uninhabited room and slept on the floor.

While sleeping, he suddenly heard a rustling noise downstairs, someone step on some dry grass. Jiumozhi woke up and peered out through a small crack in the window frame, he heard light footsteps, someone is going upstairs. This person stepped on the stairs with gentle force, it is almost noiseless, it goes to show his brilliant inner power. Jiumozhi don't dare to make any noise, he saw a flame torch, the person's footstep is strangely quick, in an instant he entered the neighbouring room, the person use the torch to light a candle on the table. He heard a few "Ta Ta" sound, it seems to be some kind of mechanism turning, afterwards he heard a "Ya" sound, the sound of a door being pushed open. Jiumozhi look through a small crack in the wooden partition, he saw a small hole opening up in the wall of the adjacent room, there is a door on the hole, the door is painted like the walls, it is difficult to detect once it is closed. Jiumozhi look at the hole, it is a hidden room, rows of cabinet lined up the room, layers upon layers, words are carved into the doors of every cabinet and painted blue, all of them the same words: "Jade Cave of Langhuan". Jiumozhi knew "Langhuan" is a mythical place where celestial beings kept their books, he had a thought, could it be these cabinets stored precious martial art manuals?

Jiumozhi saw the person merely look at the bookcase with a candlestick in hand. This person is wearing cyan robe, his long hair draped over his shoulder, his hair grizzled, apparently he is quite old. Jiumozhi muttered inwardly: "This person is old, inner power excellent, i should be able to deduce his identity." he saw the person move to a cabinet, the word "Jade Cave of Langhuan" is written horizontally on the cabinet's door, on the bottom part of the door there is two rows of words, "Green ox heading west, purple cloud arriving from east", the words are painted green, Jiumozhi pondered: "Green ox and purple cloud, it seems to be related to Laozi's Taoist teachings, if the cabinet contain <>, <> ,<> or some other Taoist books, then i won't bother anymore."

The person open up the cabinet door and took out an entire stacks of account books and place them on the desk, there are around 7-8 books, the corner of the books are rolled up, it appears they are rather old. The person lean his body to the side, Jiumozhi could see his appearance clearly, he is around 60 to 70 years old, face flat and smooth, skin white and fair, at once a person came to his mind: "This person is so old, yet he is able to maintain the face of a child, could he be the one famed for [Great Energy Dissolving Skill], Ding ChunQiu?" Jiumozhi held his breath and concentrate, he don't dare to move the slightest bit.

The old man open up one of the books, he studied the contents diligently, he mumbled and calculate as he trace the contents with his finger, he inhaled and exhaled, it seems he is practicing some kind of internal energy. After a long time Jiumozhi heard a female voice downstairs: "Father, is that you?" The old man exhaled, his pair of hands clasping his belly, he finally replied: "Yes, you can come up!" there is the sound of footsteps, a person rush up the stairs, the person is Madam Wang. Jiumozhi was flabbergasted: "So this old man is senior Wang, he is not Ding ChunQiu."

Madam Wang walk towards the old man and said: "Father, you are practicing [Minor Formless Skill] again? Just take these books, they are brought here by you and mother anyway, without your guidance YuYan cannot understand them." when Jiumozhi heard the phrase [Minor Formless Skill], he knew it is an extremely powerful Taoist's internal energy method, at once he focus and paid attention.

The old man said: "If i take these books and can't hide them properly, most likely they will be stolen by my worthless disciples, it is better to just leave them here. Where did YuYan go?" Madam Wang sat down on a chair beside the old man and said: "There is an old monk from Shaolin called XuanBei, he was killed in Dali, the mortal wound is precisely his famed supreme consummate skill, i think it is called [Great Skanda Pestle], Shaolin firmly insist that the killer must be Gusu Murong. Fu-er was wrongly accused by these people, he took a few of his expert servants and went to Shaolin to resolve this matter. YuYan is worried about Fu-er and followed him as well." the old man shake his head and said: "With Murong Fu tiny amount of martial arts, how can he kill that baldy XuanBei?"

Madam Wang said: "Father, you killed XuanBei, correct?" the old man said: "No! Why would i kill Shaolin monks?" Madam Wang said: "Fu-er's father died early, unexpectedly he need YuYan to guide him in martial arts, he really lack any manly spirit, it is really shameful! Father, please teach him." the old man shake his head and said: "He thinks his family's [Star Shifting Movement] skill is amazing, he look down on XingXiu Sect and refuse to join, why should i teach him martial arts?"

When Jiumozhi heard it, he finally realize this old man is Ding ChunQiu.

Madam Wang is the daughter of Li QiuShui and Wu YaZi, after the girl was born, both of them lived at Mount WuLiang, the love between these pair of martial brother and sister was strong, from time to time they practice sword moves under the moon, occasionally they compose poetry by the flowers, their joy overflowing. However Wu YaZi delve into zither, chess, calligraphy, painting, medicine, divination, horoscope, etc, he had to attend to a wide range of affairs, inevitably he start to drift away from Li QiuShui. Li QiuShui kidnap many handsome youngsters and brought them into the cave, she flirt and tease them openly, her intention is to make Wu YaZi pay attention to her, unexpectedly Wu YaZi loathe her and left in anger. Li QiuShui was extremely disappointed, thus she seduced Wu YaZi second disciple, Ding ChunQiu. Unexpectedly Ding ChunQiu revolt and manage to beat Wu YaZi off a cliff, his life and death unknown. Eventually both Ding and Li took all the manuals hidden in "Jade Cave of Langhuan", as well as Li QiuShui's daughter Li QingLuo, and move to Suzhou. To avoid any gossips, Li QiuShui ordered her daughter to address Ding ChunQiu as father, Madam Wang start calling him father from childhood, this became a habit and when she grew up she did not bother to correct herself anymore. Naturally Jiumozhi is not aware of these past events, he assume Ding ChunQiu is Madam Wang's father.

Madam Wang said: "Father, teach me this [Minor Formless Skill] so that i may impart it to YuYan in the future." Ding ChunQiu said: "Not good! This skill is extremely difficult to train, even i can't master it properly. I will teach you the mnemonics to this skill, you and YuYan can practice this skill slowly at your own pace. En, YuYan is simply too good to her cousin, i am not at ease." he took a book from the stacks of books on the desk and place it in his bosom.

Ding ChunQiu open up another book and said: "This set of internal energy method, our martial grandfather only impart it to your mother, my master and martial aunt did not learn it. Martial grandfather wrote down the method to training this internal energy and made it look like an accounting ledger. 'New year day, received 9 qian and 8 fen as payment', this means inhale lightly 9 times on the 1st day, gather your breath 8 times. 'Hand over 8 qian and 7 fen as payment', this means exhale lightly 8 times, gather your breath 7 times. 'Second day of new year, received 8 qian and 9 fen as payment, bought one pig lung, two pig intestines, one pig heart', this means on the 2nd day after gathering your breath, circulate it once in the lungs, twice in the intestines, once in the heart...."

Madam Wang laugh and said: "Martial grandfather is really amusing, he rewrote his heart, lungs and intestines as pig heart, pig lungs and pig intestines." Ding ChunQiu smile and said: "By writing this way, even if the book fall into someone else hands, they will assume it is just an accounting bill for market purchase, they won't know it is a method for practicing internal energy. Read these few words again." Madam Wang recited: "Xin, ren, zhen, yun, chun, shen...." Ding ChunQiu said: "Read it again, you must read fast!" Madam Wang recited: "Gu, fu, mu, mu, sui, ku, wu...." Ding ChunQiu said: "Read it in reverse, you must do it in a single breath, you must not stop in-between." Madam Wang read seven oblique tone in succession, her breath was hindered, eventually she break out in laughter and lean over on the desk.

Ding ChunQiu said: "No need to hurry, read for two hours each day, once you are proficient in reciting the mnemonics forward and backward, you can then follow the method prescribed in the book to practice, i will teach you again once you complete these two books." both of them engage in some idle gossips, finally Madam Wang went down the stairs and left.

When Ding ChunQiu finish practicing, he put the books back into the cabinet, he extinguish the candle flame and left the room. Jiumozhi wait until the sound of Ding ChunQiu footsteps had gone far, when no one was around he finally grope his way towards the adjacent room, he entered the hidden room and saw many cabinets with the phrase "Jade Cave of Langhuan", he pondered: "I will take just [Minor Formless Skill]. They wrote it as pig heart and pig intestines, i really don't know what kind of things they would write for other martial arts, if i take the other books i will just learn the wrong skills." thus he open the cabinet door for "Green ox heading west" and put all the books inside his bosom, he jump over the wall and left. There is a boat by the coast, he hide in the rear cabin, he don't know how to steer this big boat, moreover he is afraid of alerting Madam Wang with regards to the loss of [Minor Formless Skill] manuals, hence he wait patiently. Till the third day, someone finally steered the boat to Suzhou city for some business transactions. He hid in the cargo hold and wait for the boat to reach shore, when the boatman and servants disembarked he finally left the boat and went back to his own place.

He count the number of books, there are seven in total, one of the book was taken by Ding ChunQiu, hence he cannot study the martial art completely. One, two, three, four, etc, are written on the book's title, he saw the 7th volume is missing, he knew Ding ChunQiu must have taken the 7th book. He open up the first book, a few sentences are written in the first page:

"Since ancient times there are people who are adept in the way of Tao, they have subtle understandings, their knowledge profound, it is not something an average person can comprehend. Because they cannot understand a person, they can only describe with great difficulty: "He is cautious and timid, akin to stepping on thin ice to cross a river during winter; He is vigilant and on guard, he seems to be guarding against an invasion of neighbouring country; He is respectful and solemn, as if he is a guest of a banquet; He operates freely and easily, like an ice melting slowly; He is simple and unsophisticated, akin to raw material without any prior processing; He is broad and open-minded, like the deep hidden valley; He is rich and charitable, like the turbulent muddy water. Who can calm the turbulent muddy water, and make it clear and pure again? Who can change the quiet, and make them alive again? A person who maintains this "Tao" cannot be complacent. Because he is never complacent, he is able to remove the old and replace with new."

Jiumozhi thought for a long time but he still don't understand the underlying meaning. He flip to the second page, line after line there are all about certain month and day, how much qian and how much fen, how many pig heart to buy, etc, at once he burnt some incense and regulate his breathing quietly, he followed the instructions in the book to practice. Initially he did not detect any change, he patiently regulate his breathing and continue to circulate it in his meridians, after a few months, he gradually felt his spirit become clearer and his breathing become smoother, his internal energy had increased greatly.

He continued to make great effort for several more months, he felt his inner breath circulate around more places. After Tubo's Tantric Buddhist Master NingMaPai instructed him in the divine [Blazing Sabre Skill], he wiped out all the shady sects in Tubo and established his might in the west, his skills and knowledge had already reach an extremely high level, however as he train [Minor Formless Skill], he felt he had step into another new territory of martial arts study.

Buddhist's martial arts focus on the aspect of "emptiness", Taoist's internal energy is based on "unhindered", "unobstructed", "unhurried", "no difference in state", both martial arts achieve the same ends through different means, they are extremely similar once trained to an extremely high level, however entry-level technique and method are vastly different.

Jiumozhi was engrossed in practicing [Minor Formless Skill], he forge ahead relentlessly and studied from day till night. He studied the 6th and 8th volume and deduced that the missing 7th volume is related to "Chong meridian", "Dai meridian ", "Yang meridian ", "Yin meridian", the extraordinary meridians, he had already complete the training for all 12 common meridians, the 8th volume contains "Yang qiao", "Yin qiao", as well as the most important "Ren meridian", "Du meridian", etc, another four extraordinary meridian, the missing method to training these extraordinary meridians must be virtually the same as others, by extrapolating from all seven volumes he possess he should be able to derive the training method for the missing four extraordinary meridians.

When he return to Tubo, he followed the training formula and mastered the four extraordinary meridians depicted in the 8th volume, afterwards he backtrack and start to train the missing four extraordinary meridians for the 7th volume, unexpectedly the meridians clogged up and was obstructed, fortunately the "Chong meridian" and "Dai meridian" are not commonly use, he was not too worried, he assume once he mastered all 16 common and extraordinary meridians, the remaining four extraordinary meridians will follow naturally and clear up, by then he would be able to circulate through them.

He manage to obtain news that Beggar Clan had issued a challenge to Shaolin to fight for the title of leader of Central Plains martial art fraternity. Martial art experts gathering together in Central Plains is highly unfavourable for Tubo. He did not know all 72 supreme consummate skills of Shaolin but after mastering [Minor Formless Skill] his internal energy had advanced greatly from the time he challenged TiangLong Monastery and single-handedly defeat Duan family's [Six Meridians Divine Sword] with his divine [Blazing Sabre Skill], by using [Minor Formless Skill] as the base to power Shaolin's supreme consummate skills he should be able to defeat all the monks at Shaolin and make them suffer a crushing defeat. Martial art experts of Central Plains won't be able to form an alliance and he would achieve a glorious deed for Tubo, benefiting his title as Grand Tutor of Tubo.

Jiumozhi went to Shaolin and secretly eavesdrop outside the main hall of the Buddhist temple, he heard the martial arts discussion between abbot XuanCi, ShenShan, GuanXin and the rest of the senior monks, he heard XuanCi comment that hard/gentle martial arts oppose each other, thus [Demon Subduing Palm] cannot be practice together with [Mohe Finger], Jiumozhi executed his lightness martial arts and rush outside the temple's gate, he use internal energy to transmit his voice and criticize the theory that hard/soft martial arts cannot be trained together. Jiumozhi is able to transmit his voice from a great distance, his internal energy must be deep and profound, the senior monks did not found it strange, however he is able to hear the discussion even though he is very far away, this kind of [Heavenly Connecting Ear Skill] is rarely seen in the world, everyone was equally startled and in awe, however they did not expect Jiumozhi to eavesdrop the conversation in the main hall and then run to a distant place to transmit his voice. Afterwards Jiumozhi use [Minor Formless Skill] as the foundation and executed [Vajra Fist], [Prajna Palm], [Mohe Finger] and other Shaolin supreme consummate skills, sure enough the crowd was scared into submission and he force abbot XuanCi to admit inferiority. Just as Jiumozhi was feeling smug, he did not expect Xu Zhu to suddenly appear out of the crowd of monks, unexpectedly Xu Zhu also knew [Minor Formless Skill] and used it against him.

Both their arms clashed and stir up the 'Chong meridian' and various acupoints, this is the weak point in Jiumozhi's internal energy, in a split second Jimozhi recalled the [Minor Formless Skill] manual he stole at Mantuo Manor, the collection is short of the 7th volume, he cannot help but break out in cold sweat. Jiumozhi is careful and meticulous, he will calculate and plan carefully while training, hence he is able to avoid all obstructions and pitfalls when practicing his skills, however when fighting with an opponent, the moves are fast as lightning, he have no time to think through carefully, both streams of [Minor Formless Skill] clash with each other, Jiumozhi did not master the 'Chong extraordinary meridian' contain in the 7th volume, unexpectedly the force in his arm was nullified by Xu Zhu's [Minor Formless Skill]. If [Minor Formless Skill] is fully mastered, even though its power is formidable but because the skill is termed [Minor Formless Skill], with emphasize on the word 'Minor', it clearly shows that the skill is merely an entry-level Taoist internal energy method, if the practitioner use it to power Taoist's martial arts he will find it smooth and easy, however when employed in other class of martial arts, it will inevitably fit like mortise and tenon, it cannot display its wonders. Moreover Jiumozhi's [Minor Formless Skill] is lacking the 7th volume, there is a flaw in his energy method, inevitably it pales in comparison against Xu Zhu's perfect and complete [Minor Formless Skill].

Jiumozhi was fearful, he saw Xu Zhu execute another 'Black Tiger Stealing Heart', suddenly Jiumozhi lowered his palm , his pair of hands stretch forward and grab onto Xu Zhu's right fist, its precisely a move from one of Shaolin's supreme consummate skill, [Dragon Claw Skill], his left hand seize Xu Zhu's little finger, his right hand grab onto Xu Zhu's thumb, he channelled his energy and bend quickly, he intend to break Xu Zhu's fingers.

Xu Zhu's two fingers are under pressure, he cannot use 'Black Tiger Stealing Heart' anymore, he felt acute pain from his fingers, he involuntarily executed [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain], his right wrist made a small turn, flip over and seize Jiumozhi's left wrist.

Jiumozhi was feeling happy as he manage to seize Xu Zhu's finger with a single move, unexpectedly his opponent manage to generate an extremely strange force and captured his own wrist in return. He had extremely profound knowledge of martial arts, however he have absolutely no idea on the origins of [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain], his heart shivered with fear, his wrist felt as if it was locked by an iron hoop, he can no longer shake it off. Luckily Xu Zhu only seek to free himself in his panic-stricken state, he held firmly onto Jiumozhi's wrist and prevent him from breaking his fingers, he did not counterattack and grab Jiumozhi's meridian points. Thus due to Xu Zhu giving some leeway, Jiumozhi gathered his internal energy, he withdraw it slightly and suddenly send his energy bursting forth, Jiumozhi hope to split open the flesh between Xu Zhu's thumb and forefinger.

Xu Zhu felt his hands tingling, he is afraid his opponent might execute some ferocious technique if he release his grip, he hurriedly channelled his internal energy, his [Pure Energy of Northern Darkness] rush forth like a tide. Both Xu Zhu and Duan Yu's inner energy had the same origin, however unlike Duan Yu, Xu Zhu did not practice the method to absorb an opponent's internal energy, thus although he manage to grab Jiumozhi's wrist but he cannot absorb his internal energy. Jiumozhi channelled his internal energy 3 times but he still can't shake off Xu Zhu's grip, he cannot help but feel greatly astonished, his right hand formed a palm and hack towards the back of Xu Zhu's neck.

Jiumozhi is desperate, he did not think of using Shaolin's martial arts anymore, this hacking move is his own Tubo's martial arts. Xu Zhu executed a move from [Six Solar Palms Of Heavenly Mountain] with his left hand and neutralize Jiumozhi's palm move. Jiumozhi's second palm move arrived, Xu Zhu execute [Six Solar Palms Of Heavenly Mountain] continuously, one by one he neutralized all of his opponent's violent attacks.

Currently both of them are fighting in close proximity, their bodies touching, they can feel each others breath, while trading palm moves they only bend their arms or turn their elbows, their palm move is only 7-8 inch away from each other, although the distance is close but the palm force is extremely powerful. The sound of Jiumozhi's palm is like the wind beating, the crowd of monks felt as if his palm force is cutting their face, the chilling force of the palm invading their bodies, it is as if they are in the highest peak of snow mountain, gale blowing from all four sides. Gradually the lower generation monks cannot withstand it anymore, one by one they withdraw and move backwards and press their bodies against the wall. Senior monks from the Xuan generation are not afraid of the invasion of palm force, however they still channelled internal energy to protect their bodies.

In order to treat Cave-masters of 36 Cave and Island-masters of 72 Island from their 'life death talisman', Xu Zhu had to train his [Six Solar Palms Of Heavenly Mountain] to very high level, he already mastered and understood all different kinds of profound variations in the palm moves, moreover the drawings on the stone wall in Vulture Palace had made him comprehend the wonders of [Six Solar Palms Of Heavenly Mountain]. However he never use [Six Solar Palms Of Heavenly Mountain] to fight with others before, he lacked practice, in his 1st fight he had to engage in a life-death battle with one of the very best martial art expert of the current age, although his palm technique is at an extremely high level, his internal energy strong, but he only manage to produce 20-30% of the palm's true potential.

Jiumozhi's palm force converge and gradually became sharp, Xu Zhu concentrate on the battle, however he only seek to defend himself, every single move is defensive. He held onto his opponent's wrist tightly, it is not because he want to seize his opponent, but because Jiumozhi far surpass him in martial arts, just a single palm from him is already so difficult to deal with, he will definitely die on the spot if Jiumozhi had free use of both palms. Xu Zhu lacked knowledge and experience, he did not detect the major deficiency in Jiumozhi's 'Chong meridian', he would achieve victory long ago had he focus his counterattacks on Jiumozhi's weak point, he only relied on his silly method and desperately held onto Jiumozhi's left wrist to prevent him from executing any moves.

Jiumozhi's left hand was captured, he cannot execute all the wonderful variations and mutual chain attacks of twin palms. Xu Zhu is not very proficient in his palm technique, it is easier for him to use single palm rather than both palm. Jiumozhi had his potential cut in half, his palm technique is left with only 50%, as for Xu Zhu his 20-30% of palm's potential gradually became 40-50%. After the time taken to burn a joss stick, both of them already exchange several hundred moves, however they are still deadlock in stalemate.

XuanCi, XuanDu, ShenShan, GuanXin, DaoQing, etc, various eminent monks, they already saw how Jiumozhi's wrist is being controlled and he cannot struggle free, however Xu Zhu's left palm is completely at a disadvantage, he can only block, he had not strength to retaliate at all. Although the eminent monks are experienced and knowledgeable, but they have never seen this kind of fighting method before. In addition, the crowd of Shaolin monks are startled and anxious, Xu Zhu grew up in the temple since childhood, he left the temple for only half a year but somehow he manage to learn an astonishing set of skills when he return, they saw how he manage to grab his opponent's wrist but unable to subdue him, nevertheless every single one of Jiumozhi's palm moves contain a formidable power that is able to break bones or tendon and destroy inner energy pathway, he only need to land one hit and his opponent will surely die immediately.

Both of them exchange another hundred moves, Xu Zhu's initial fear gradually dissipate, slowly he start to comprehend the intricacies of [Six Solar Palms Of Heavenly Mountain], 9 out of 10 moves are defensive but he is finally able to counterattack with 1 move. For every counterattack move Xu Zhu execute, Jiumozhi must make a move to resist, thus there will inevitably be pauses in Jiumozhi's offensive moves. Although the pause is slight, but as time goes on it gradually become favourable for Xu Zhu. After the time taken to eat a meal, Xu Zhu is able to counterattack 2-3 moves out of 10. The crowd of Shaolin monks saw him gradually move away from mortal danger, they cannot help but be secretly happy.

At this moment Xu Zhu is able to reach 40% offensive moves, although he still had to defend more than attack but his internal energy is able emerge and display its true potential, he automatically start to execute the various fierce and vicious moves of Carefree Sect. For Buddhist's martial arts, its intention is to subdue an opponent not kill, it is completely different from the martial arts of Child Elder and Li QiuShui. XuanCi and the eminent monks saw that although Xu Zhu's moves are reserved and mild, but his moves gradually became vicious and sharp, they cannot help but purse their brows.

Jiumozhi channelled his energy and made 3 powerful attempts, he want to shake off Xu Zhu's right hand so that he can execute his consummate [Blazing Sabre Skill], although he increase his power but his opponent's finger force also increase accordingly, in a moment of desperation his murderous intentions burst forth and flourish abruptly, with a rushing wind he smack his palms 3 times, Xu Zhu wave his palm to neutralize. Jiumozhi pull back his palm and bent his waist, he draw out a dagger from his sock and thrust it towards Xu Zhu's shoulder.

Xu Zhu only learn how to counter unarmed combat, suddenly he saw flashes of white light, the dagger arrive and he had no idea how to ward it off, he scrambled and made a grab for Jiumozhi's right wrist. The grabbing manoeuvre is a capturing/seizing technique from [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain], it is fast and accurate, once his three fingers landed on Jiumozhi's wrist his thumb and little finger clamp down immediately. At this moment, the force in Jiumozhi's palm is directed outwards, the dagger move away from his hand and shoot out. Xu Zhu's hands held on firmly to his opponent's wrist, with a 'Pu' sound the dagger plunge into his shoulder up till the handle.

The spectating monks all cried out in alarm. ShenShan, GuanXin, etc, all of them cannot help but shake their heads repeatedly, they had the same thoughts: "Base on Jiumozhi's rank and status, his reputation is already in tatters as he can't even match up to a young monk from Shaolin, unexpectedly he still made a sneak attack with bladed weapon, his behaviour is simply unacceptable."

Suddenly four monks rush out from the crowd, green light flickered, four long swords thrust straight at Jiumozhi's throat simultaneously. These four monks jump out and launch their attacks at the same time, they target the exact same position, their sword art strangely quick and incomparably vicious. Jiumozhi channelled his internal energy into his legs, he wanted to leap backwards, unexpectedly under his pull Xu Zhu did not move the slightest bit, however he felt stinging pain in his throat, the tip of the four swords already touch his skin. The four monks shout simultaneously: "Shameless thing, quickly surrender!" their voices tender and delicate, unexpectedly it is the voice of females.

Xu Zhu turn his head and look, unexpectedly these four monks are Plum, Orchid, Bamboo and Chrysanthemum Sword, they wore monk cap to cover up their fine black hair, their clothes Shaolin monk robes. Xu Zhu was stunned, he shouted: "Don't take his life!" The four Swords reply in unison: "Yes!" however the tip of their swords never left Jiumozhi's throat.

Jiumozhi laugh and said: "Shaolin Temple not only rely on numbers to achieve victory, but also hide young maidens, your honourable reputation for several hundred year is merely so so, i finally experience it!"

Xu Zhu was panic-stricken, he did not know what to do, at once he release Jiumozhi's wrist. Chrysanthemum Sword pull out the dagger from his shoulder, blood gush forth immediately. Chrysanthemum Sword hurriedly cast aside her sword and took out a handkerchief from her bosom, she bind his wound. As for Plum, Orchid and Bamboo Sword, their long sword is still pointing at Jiumozhi's throat. Xu Zhu inquired: "You...you, how did you come here?"

Jiumozhi wave his palm horizontally and execute his divine [Blazing Sabre Skill], 'Dang Dang Dang', three long swords broke off. The three sisters are greatly alarmed, they float backwards for several zhang and look at their hands, only half of their swords are left. Jiumozhi look up to the sky and laugh, he said to XuanCi: "Great master abbot, what have you to say?"

XuanCi's expression is ashen, he said: "Old monk is truly unaware of the intermediate reasons, i will investigate and punishment will be meted according to Shaolin's regulations. Grand Tutor and senior martial brothers from afar have come from a distant place, i invite you to rest in the guest house and have some vegetarian meal."

Jiumozhi said: "Then i have to trouble you." he put his palms together and bow, XuanCi return the courtesy.

Jiumozhi separate his palms and direct it at both sides, he secretly channelled his divine [Blazing Sabre Skill]. 'Pu Pu Pu Pu', Plum, Orchid, Bamboo and Chrysanthemum Sword all cry out in surprise, their monk cap fell down, revealing their beautiful hairs, several hundred strands of hair float down along with the caps.

Jiumozhi purposely displayed his skill to show off, he cut off some hair but did not injure anyone, his intention is to show that he is merciful, at the same time he also showed the crowd that these four sisters are non-secular women, they are not Buddhist nun, thus Shaolin cannot deny it.

XuanCi's complexion turn even more grave, he said: "Senior martial brothers from afar, please help yourself!"

ShenShan, GuanXin, DaoQing, RongZhi, etc, they saw how Shaolin had women disguised as monks, all of them are greatly astonished. As they heard XuanCi's words, all of them stood up. The monks led them to their respective guesthouse.

**********

Once the foreign guests exit the main hall, Plum Sword said: "Owner, we left the mountain secretly and came here to serve you, please don't blame us." Orchid Sword said: "Monk YuanGen was rude to owner, thus we beat him up several times before he finally realize what is good for him, alas, unexpectedly this foreign monk manage to injure owner."

Xu Zhu grunted 'Oh', he finally understood, YuanGen was initially rude but became respectful later, as it turns out he was coerce by these four sisters, it seem the sisters had remained in the temple for quite some time, disguised as monks and hiding within the temple, he cannot help but stamped his feet and said: "Preposterous, preposterous!" he immediately knelt down in front of the statue of Rulai and said: "Disciple commit grave sins in his pre-life, i failed to maintain clear monastic discipline in this life, thus i attract countless trouble and disaster for the temple, i respectfully invite abbot to punish me heavily."

Chrysanthemum Sword said: "Owner please don't continue being a hateful Buddhist monk anymore, why don't we return to Misty Peak, there is only green vegetables and tofu here not the slightest bit of lard, what's more you have to be under someone else control, what is so good about it?" Bamboo Sword point at XuanCi and said: "Old monk, if your speech is offensive to our owner, then we four sisters will have to be impolite as well, you better be careful."

Xu Zhu shout repeatedly to stop her: "Don't be rude, how can you act wilfully and make a scene in the temple? Quickly shut your mouth."

However the sisters kept on rambling one after another, they do not have any regards for XuanCi or the senior monks. The crowd of Shaolin monks were overwhelmed with shock, the four sisters are completely identical in appearance, they are elegant and beautiful, simple-minded and vivacious, they simply had no regards for law and order, no one knows where they come from.

As it turns out the four sisters are daughters from a poor household living at the base of a snow mountain, their mother had already given birth to seven daughters, they really cannot afford to bring up another quadruplets, thus they were abandon outside the snow ground after being born, it so happens that Child Elder was gathering medicine at the snow mountain, she heard their crying and saw four identical female babies, she found it amusing and brought them back to Vulture Palace where they were raised and taught martial arts. These four sister never left Misty Peak before, what would they know about the ways of the world and of generation hierarchy? Throughout their life they only listen to orders from Child Elder. When Xu Zhu became the new owner of Vulture Palace they simply serve him, their loyalty unswerving. Xu Zhu is humble and modest, he cannot be compared with the powerful presence exuded by Child Elder, thus the sisters are not particularly afraid of him, they only know they should be loyal and devoted, they are unaware of the ramification of their wilful and rash actions.

XuanCi said: "Other than fellow apprentices from the Xuan generation, the rest return back to your rooms. HuiLun stay here." the crowd replied in unison, the walk out in a line according to their generation. In a short period of time only 30 Xuan generation monks remain in the Hall of Great Strength as well as HuiLun, Xu Zhu and the four sisters.

HuiLun also knelt down in front of the statue of Buddha and said: "Disciple did not teach properly, i produce such sinful apprentice, abbot please punish me severely."

Bamboo Sword giggled and said: "Baldy with your negligible level of martial arts, you think you are fit to be our owner's master? The day before yesterday in the pine forest, the masked person who made you stumble eight times, that person is my 2nd elder sister. In my opinion, your martial art is simply too sloppy." Xu Zhu groaned inwardly: "Terrible, terrible! They even make fun of my master." he heard Orchid Sword laugh and said: "I heard from YuanGen you are our owner's master, thus i tested you. If 3rd sister did not speak of it i am afraid you will never know how you tumble 8 times in succession, haha, hehe, interesting, interesting!"

XuanCi said: "Junior martial brother XuanCan, XuanKui, XuanNian and XuanJing, please don't let these four female shizhu talk nonsense or act rashly."

Four monks bow and said: "Yes!" they turn around and said to the four sisters: "Abbot's orders, shizhu please do not talk nonsense or act rashly!"

Plum Sword laugh and said: "Unfortunately we insist on talking nonsense and acting rashly, what can you do?" the four monks said in unison: "In that case then pardon our offense!" their monk robes fluttered slightly, their pair of hands seize the four sister's wrist. XuanCan employed [Dragon Claw Skill], XuanKui employed [Tiger Claw Hand], XuanNian employed [Eagle Claw Skill], XuanJing employed [18 Capturing Strike Of Shaolin], their stance and moves different, but all of them exquisite martial arts of Shaolin. Other than Chrysanthemum Sword, the other three sisters had their long sword broken by Jiumozhi. Chrysanthemum Sword's long sword trembled and protected her three sisters. Plum, Orchid and Bamboo Sword wave their broken sword, they launch their attacks under the sword ray of Chysanthemum Sword's sword.

Xu Zhu shouted out: "Cast your sword away, cast your sword away! You must not fight!"

The four sisters heard their Owner shouting out, they are startled, they don't dare to wave their weapons with full strength. The martial arts of these four sisters are already way inferior to senior monks from Xuan generation, the decisive opportunity was lost and the four sisters got captured immediately. Plum Sword struggled furiously but she can't shake her captor off, she said angrily: "We listen to our Owner, we are polite to you, ouch, its so painful, why are you pinching so hard?" Orchid Sword shout out: "Little thieving baldy, release me quickly." her captor is Master XuanKui, his eyebrow white, he is already 70 years old, however she still address him as "little thieving baldy". Bamboo Sword said: "If you still don't release me i will curse your wife." Chrysanthemum Sword said: "I will spit saliva." a mouthful of saliva spurt towards XuanJing. XuanJing inclined his head to avoid, he increased the pressure in his finger, Chrysanthemum Sword was in so much pain that she cry out loud. The Hall of Great Strength was originally a solemn Buddhist ground, in a split second it became a place where little girls weep and scream aloud.

XuanCi said: "Shizhu please remain silent, martial brothers please seal their mute acupoint if they make any sound." when the four sisters heard their mute acupoint will be sealed they did not find it amusing, they don't dare to speak anymore. Thus, XuanCan and the other monks release their wrist.

XuanCi said: "Xu Zhu, tell us the entire matter from the start till end, you must not cover up anything."

Xu Zhu said: "Yes. Disciple sincerely report." thus he narrated how he went down the mountain to dispatch invitation cards, how he met XuanNan and HuiFang, how he accidentally solved the 'ZhenLong Chess Formation' and became the leader of Carefree Sect, how XuanNan was poisoned to death by Ding ChunQiu, how AhZi tricked him into violating his religious precepts, how he met Child Elder of Heavenly Mountain, how he penetrate deep into the ice cellar of Western Xia, how he became the owner of Vulture Palace, he narrated everything one by one. The course of events complicated, he is not very articulate, he stammered and took ages to narrate. Although he is long winded, but he narrated everything and did not hide or cover up, he even spoke of the lascivious acts he commit with his 'Dream Maiden' in the ice cellar.

The senior monks became increasingly amazed, Xu Zhu's strange encounter is truly unprecedented in the martial arts fraternity. Moments ago the crowd of monks had seen Xu Zhu's skill in the dramatic fight with Jiumozhi, they did not have any doubts about his narration, they pondered: "If he did not possess the divine internal energy of the top three experts of Carefree Sect and comprehend the first-class martial arts on the stone wall of Vulture Palace, then how can he withstand the peerless divine skills of Grand Tutor of Tubo?"

When Xu Zhu finish speaking, he prostrate himself before the statue of Buddha, he bow to the ground and said: "Disciple is hindered by heavy delusion, i cannot get rid of them, i became indecisive when i encounter external demon, i broke the precepts against meat, wine, murder and lascivious acts, i renounce my own sect and learnt heretic martial arts, i also led four females into the temple, i tarnish the clean reputation of Shaolin, it is really a great crime, Buddha please have mercy, abbot please have mercy." he became increasingly sad as he thought about it, he cannot help but cry out bitterly.

Plum Sword and Chrysanthemum Sword snorted at the same time, they want to speak so as to persuade him, he don't need to be a Buddhist monk. XuanCan and XuanJing immediately extended their hands and hook onto the meridians of these two sisters. The sisters had no choice, they are about to speak out but had to swallow their words, they glare ferociously at the two old monks and curse secretly: "Damn monks, stinky baldy!"

XuanCi muttered to himself for a long time, he said: "Martial brothers, Xu Zhu's encounter is simply too strange, this matter concern the clear reputation of Shaolin which has lasted several hundred years, it is inconvenient for me to make the decision alone, i invite everyone to discuss together."

XuanSheng said loudly: "Reporting to abbot, although Xu Zhu made a huge mistake, but his meritorious service is also not small. If he did not subdue that foreign monk during that critical juncture, will our temple still be able to maintain its standings in the martial arts fraternity? That foreign monk ask us to break up, join Refreshing Temple, Pudu Temple, etc, or even Tubo's Lama Temple. This great shame and humiliation, Xu Zhu alone saved us from the predicament. It seems our temple is fated to undergo this calamity due to numerous virtuous deeds, our fortune and karma is deep and profound, thus Xu Zhu experience such strange encounter which allow our temple to avoid this calamity. In my opinion, we should order him to repent and reflect so as to eliminate his sins, afterwards let him study martial arts intensively at Damo Courtyard, hereafter he cannot leave the temple anymore or get involved in any foreign affairs." It is an extreme honour for a monk to enter Damo Courtyard to study martial arts intensively, the monk must possess extremely high level of martial arts in order to gain entry. Of the 20 monks in the Xuan generation, only 11-12 get to enter Damo Courtyard, even for XuanSheng himself, he did not get to enter Damo Courtyard. He proposed to allow Xu Zhu to enter Damo Courtyard, it is not punishment at all, on the contrary it is a great reward.

The head-monk of Damo Courtyard was originally XuanNan, now it is taken over by XuanYin, XuanYin hesitate to make a decision, he did not know what to say.

XuanJi, the head-monk of Discipline Courtyard said: "Base on his martial arts achievement he is qualified to enter Damo Courtyard. However his martial art is heretic and unorthodox, how can such martial art expert be allowed to stay in Damo Courtyard? Junior martial brother XuanSheng, did you consider this before?"

Once he said it, the group of monks all felt that XuanSheng's suggestion is inappropriate. XuanSheng said: "Base on senior martial brother's opinion, what should we do?"

XuanJi said: "Hm, i really don't have any firm ideas. Xu Zhu did render meritorious service but he also made mistakes, he should be rewarded for his merits and punished for his mistakes. Xu Zhu did not incite these four ladies to enter our temple disguised as monks, we should be frank and explain the truth to Jiumozhi and ShenShan. It will be good if they believe us, it doesn't matter if they don't, we have clear conscience, no need to pay attention to other people's absurd conjecture, this is nothing difficult. However Xu Zhu broke precepts repeatedly, he abandon our school and learn unorthodox martial arts, i am afraid he cannot be allowed to stay in Shaolin anymore." unexpectedly XuanJi wants to expel Xu Zhu out of Shaolin. The most heavy punishment in Buddhism is to expel someone out of the sect. The group of monks are all dumbstruck by his words.

XuanJi continued: "Xu Zhu relied on his martial arts and violated several monastic disciplines, originally we should cripple his martial arts before expelling him. However someone else already nullified his former skills. The martial arts he carry now is not from our school, thus we have no rights to cripple them."

With tears rolling down his eyes, Xu Zhu said: "Abbot, martial grandfathers, please have mercy for the sake of Buddha, give disciple a chance to turn over a new leaf, no matter what kind of punishment, disciple is willing to accept, just don't expel me from the temple." he is sobbing, he is extremely sincere.

The group of monks look at each other, they really can't make a decision, listening to Xu Zhu's plead it seems he is truly repentant and sincere, there is a saying "lay down butcher's knife and become a Buddha" and "the sea of bitterness has no bonds, turn your head to see the shore", Buddhism is widespread and save all living things, even for extremely vicious and evil person, Buddhist have to try all possible means to enlighten him, let alone a disciple from their own temple who wants to get back on the right path, how can they deny him the path to virtue? Shaolin temple is rooted in Zen Buddhism, the emphasis has always been on "enlightenment", the courage to take responsibility for mistakes. If not due to the presence of outsiders, seeing his sincerity the monks would definitely not resort to expelling him from Shaolin. However this matter had already been witness by Great Wheel Temple of Tubo, Refreshing Temple, Pudu Temple as well as all the senior monks, if they are not strict in punishing Xu Zhu outsiders will undoubtedly accuse Shaolin of covering up and protecting its own faction, disregarding right from wrong and monastic discipline, only favouring martial arts. If this kind of gossips spread out it will ultimately destroy the clear reputation of Shaolin.

At this moment, an old monk stroll out from the rear hall aided by two junior disciple, the monk is XuanDu. He was injured by Jiumozhi's finger strength and rested in his room, however he is concerned about the outcome of the duel in the main hall, thus he dispatch his disciple to give him constant reports, he heard that Jiumozhi was defeated and forced to retreat, a group of monks interrogating Xu Zhu with the intention to punish him, thus he endured his injuries and went to the Hall of Great Strength, he said: "Abbot, Xu Zhu save my life. I have something to say, i don't know if i should say it."

XuanDu is much older compared to the other monks, he is highly respected in the temple for his moral character. Abbot XuanCi said quickly: "Senior martial brother please take a seat, speak slowly, don't aggravate your injuries."

XuanDu said: "Saving my life, its nothing much. However we have six important matters which we have yet to settle, there is much benefit if we keep Xu Zhu in the temple, if we expel him from the temple, then...then....then it is difficult."

XuanJi said: "Senior martial brother mention about six important matters, the first must be referring to Jiumozhi who has yet to retreat; the second matter must be ShenShan criticizing our temple for indulging disciple Qiao Feng and letting him commit evil; the third matter must be the newly-appointed chief of Beggar Clan Zhuang JuXian's lust for the position of chief of martial arts fraternity. As for the other three matters, can senior martial brother point it out?"

XuanDu gave a long sigh and said: "XuanBei, XuanKu, XuanTong and XuanNan, the lives of our four martial brothers." when he mentioned these four monks, the crowd put their palms together and chanted simultaneously: "Buddha is merciful!"

Initially the crowd of monks assumed XuanKu was killed by Qiao Feng, soon after they dispatch experts to investigate, they cleared their suspicion of Qiao Feng but as for the true killer they still did not have any ideas; XuanTong and XuanNan are killed by Ding ChunQiu, they have yet to avenge this animosity; as for the murder of Master XuanBei, they still did not have any clue. Everyone knew XuanBei died due to [Great Skanda Pestle], [Great Skanda Pestle] is one of the 72 supreme consummate skills of Shaolin, it is precisely the skill XuanBei had trained bitterly for over 10 years. Previously they assumed it was Gusu Murong family employing "returning you with your own move", but afterwards HuiFang and HuiJing narrated their acquaintance with Deng BaiChuan and GongYe Gan, all of them felt that the subordinates of Gusu Murong are not wicked and crafty people, moreover they join hands with Shaolin to deal with Ding ChunQiu, it can be said that they shared a common enemy. In addition, everyone witness Jiumozhi's skills moments ago, since he can execute many different Shaolin's supreme consummate skill, then it is highly probable that he dealt the [Great Skanda Pestle] blow which killed XuanBei, nevertheless it would not be strange even if the killer ends up to be someone else. The four eminent monks died by the hands of three extremely strong opponents, thus XuanDu classified it as three important matters.

XuanCi said: "I am the abbot of this temple but with regards to these six important matters, i cannot even handle one of them properly, i really blush with shame. However the martial arts of Xu Zhu originated entirely from Carefree Sect, don't tell me....don't tell me the major events happening to the temple...."

As he said this, he found it difficult to continue, however the crowd of monks understood his meaning: "Although Xu Zhu possess high martial arts, but it is unorthodox skills of other sect, even if he can resolve the six important matters but other people will accuse Shaolin for relying on others to get things done, relying on the martial arts of Carefree Sect for support, this will inevitably shame the status of Shaolin; even if everyone cover it up properly and not let outsiders know, but how can these eminent monks deceive others and themselves?

They deliberated for a long time, Xuan Du said: "Base on abbot's opinion, what should we do?"

XuanCi said: "Emitoufo! I inherited the mantle pass down by our ancestors, today we meet with such enormous crisis, in my opinion we should deal with it forthrightly, preferring to let the jade break rather than pretend the tile is complete. As long as we do our utmost, if Shaolin's reputation is preserved then it is due to the mercy of Buddha, the blessings of our ancestors; If evil prevails, then we fellow apprentices will protect this temple with our lives, be buried together with the temple with no regrets and with a clear conscience, we will not violate the principles of our school. For the past several hundred years Shaolin brought happiness to the land under heaven, our karma is deep and profound, we will just suffer setbacks for a while, definitely won't be wipe out completely." he spoke these words plainly and calmly, however he exudes an awe-inspiring presence.

The crowd of monks bow simultaneously and said: "We sincerely obey abbot's wise opinion."

XuanCi turn towards XuanJi and said: "Junior martial brother, please enforce the monastic discipline of our tempe." XuanJi said: "Yes!" he turn his head and said to the monks in-charge of attending to guest: "Invite Grand Tutor of Tubo and other senior monks" the monks in-charge of attending to guest bow in response and went off separately.

XuanDu, XuanSheng, etc, they sigh inwardly, although they have the intention to protect Xu Zhu but the speech by abbot focus on righteousness, they cannot abuse their power and destroy the clear reputation of Shaolin. Everyone knew the facts, if they pardon Xu Zhu's offense they will achieve victory yet defeat at the same time, however if they act impartially and enforce the law, then they will suffer defeat but preserve their honour. The abbot already said "to protect the temple with their lives, be buried together with the temple", thus he already cut off their means of retreat, how Xu Zhu would be punished is not of particular importance now.

Xu Zhu knew the matter is difficult to save by now, his weeping and pleading are all in vain, he pondered: "Everyone regard the reputation of the temple as the utmost important, i reap what i have sown, i definitely cannot cower and beg for pity as this will make others look down upon Shaolin's monks."

Soon after, Jiumozhi, ShengShan, GuanXin and the rest of the visiting monks arrive at the main hall. The bell sounded, the Hui generation, Xu generation and Kong generation monks all lined-up in formation and entered the hall, they stood at both side of the hall.

XuanCi put his palms together and said: "Grand Tutor of Tubo and fellow apprentices, Xu Zhu from the Xu generation committed murder, lascivious acts, ate non-vegetarian food, drank wine, four great disciplines, he learnt unorthodox martial arts privately and became the leader of unorthodox sect without asking for permission. Head-monk of Shaolin's Discipline Courtyard, XuanJi, please enforce the law and administer punishment accordingly, there can be no excuse."

When Jiumozhi and ShenShan heard it they had a shock as it was beyond their expectation, they only saw Plum, Orchid, Bamboo and Chrysanthemum Sword disguised as monks, thus they assume Xu Zhu is simply brazen and harboured maidens in the temple, he commit lascivious acts only, they never expect the abbot to openly declare Xu Zhu's excessive crimes.

Master DaoQing from Pudu Temple became a monk from middle age, he had wide understanding of the ways of the world, his temperament kind and benevolent, he is fond of helping others, he said: "Martial brother abbot, these four ladies have straight waist and curved brow, slender neck with straight back, obviously they are virgin, moments ago they attacked Grand Tutor, their sword art is pure and chaste, as martial art practitioners we can deduce it immediately. Little apprentice Xu Zhu did not restrain himself in his conduct, perhaps there maybe some truth to it, however accusing him of " lascivious acts" maybe too absurd."

XuanCi said: "Many thanks to martial brother for pointing it out. Xu Zhu's lascivious acts did not involve these four ladies. Xu Zhu join other sect, he became the owner of Heavenly Mountain's Misty Peak Vulture Palace, these four ladies are maid servants of the former owner of Vulture Palace, they enter our temple secretly, their intention is to serve their new owner, Xu Zhu did not have prior knowledge of their arrival. Shaolin Temple did not take extra precautions, we are really ashamed, thus we will not fault him on this matter."

Although Child Elder possess extremely high martial arts, but she never set foot on Central Plain before, she only have dealings with the various unorthodox cave-masters and island-masters at frontier region, hence this is the first time the monks heard of the name "Vulture Palace". Jiumozhi heard it from someone else in Tubo, however he did not have clear understanding of their origins.

Master DaoQing said: "Since this is the case then it is not convenient for outsiders to have any say in this matter." Jiumozhi and ShenShan originally did not have goodwill towards Shaolin Temple, however they saw XuanCi's righteousness in maintaining the law, he did not cover up or try to shield his own people, initially outsiders had absolutely no idea of the crimes committed by Xu Zhu, nevertheless XuanCi still announce it to the public, they cannot help but respect him greatly.

XuanJi took a step forward and said in a bright voice: "Xu Zhu, the offence pointed out by abbot, do you admit it? You have any justification for them?" Xu Zhu said: "Disciple admit it, my sin is too great, i cannot justify my actions, i willingly accept martial grandfather's punishment."

The crowd of monks are inwardly afraid, they look at XuanJi, waiting for him to announce the punishment.

XuanJi said in a bright voice: "Xu Zhu commit murder, lascivious acts, ate non-vegetarian food, drank wine, four great disciplines, the act of murder is of particular importance, he will receive 100 strokes of rod in public. Xu Zhu, do you accept it?" Xu Zhu heard the punishment is just 100 strokes of rod, with regards to the sins he committed it is simply not a heavy punishment at all, he quickly said: "Many thanks to martial grandfather for being merciful, Xu Zhu accept the punishment." XuanJi said again: "You studied unorthodox martial arts in private without asking the abbot and your own master for permission, you will be stripped of all Shaolin's martial arts, from now on you are not a Shaolin disciple anymore. Do you accept it?"

Xu Zhu heart ached, he knew the situation cannot be saved, he said: "Disciple deserve to die, martial grandfather is fair and just in punishing me."

The crowd of monks just witness the fierce battle between him and Jiumozhi, everyone saw the divine power of Shaolin's [Skanda Palm] and [Luohan Fists], however they did not know Xu Zhu's true martial art is not from Shaolin. Jiumozhi claims to have mastered all 72 supreme consummate skill, in reality he only knows 20 to 30 supreme consummate skill and only trained till superficial level, he had very little Shaolin's internal energy. Xu Zhu and Jiumozhi both fought using [Minor Formless Skill], naturally Jiumozhi had knowledge on [Minor Formless Skill], however as for [Pure Energy of Northern Darkness], [Six Solar Palm Of Heavenly Mountain], [Plum Breaking Hands Of Heavenly Mountain], etc, the various profound martial arts, Jiumozhi assume they are Shaolin's martial arts, thus when he heard XuanJi said he will cripple Xu Zhu's Shaolin martial arts he cannot help but feel elated, he pondered: "You willingly destroy your own legacy, help me get rid of a major trouble, it cannot be better!" GuanXin, JueXian, DaoQing, etc, various eminent monks, they pondered: "Alas what a pity, what a pity!"

XuanJi said again: "Since you are the Leader of Carefree Sect, the owner of Misty Peak Vulture Palace, it is convenient for you to leave the monastic order and return to normal life, if possible you can also become a Taoist, if you still comply with Buddhist regulations then you can become lay-devotee. From now on, you are no longer a Shaolin monk. Do you accept this punishment?"

Xu Zhu did not know his father or mother, he entered the temple as a baby, he grew up in Shaolin since childhood, although he did not comprehend the main gist of Buddhism but Shaolin Temple is the only place where he can settle down and get on with his pursuit, when he heard that he will be expelled he cannot help but feel great sorrow, with tears falling like rain he lie prostrate and weep, choking with sobs he said: "Great master abbot, martial grandfathers, martial uncles as well as my master, everyone treat disciple with profound kindness, disciple is unworthy, i did not follow your instructions properly."

Master DaoQing cannot help but intercede for him and said: "Martial brother abbot, martial brother XuanJi, in my opinion this little brother wants to get back on the right path, there is much desire of repentance from him, why not give him another chance?"

XuanCi said: "Martial brother is correct. However Buddhism is widespread, you can practice it anywhere. Xu Zhu, we punish you by expelling you from the temple, however we did not harbour any evil intentions, we did not forbid you from continuing to follow Buddha. There are thousands and tens of thousands temple under the heaven. If you still intend to follow the three treasures: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, then you can seek tonsure again after returning to normal life. I hope you can join a famed temple, become a disciple of an eminent monk, swear an oath to remain purified in body and mind, reach enlightenment. If you do not become a monk, then you can still become a lay-devotee, follow the six Paramita and ten thousand conduct, attain enlightenment for Great Bodhisattva." his speech is kind, earnest and sincere.

Xu Zhu is mournful, he bow and said: "The teachings of master abbot, disciple don't dare to forget."

XuanJi said again: "HuiLun come here." HuiLun move forward a few steps, he put his palms together and knelt down, XuanJi said: "HuiLun, you are Xu Zhu's teacher, you are lazy in your daily instructions, you failed to give guidance on the evils of three poison and six roots, thus you cause the disaster that happened today. You will be given 30 strokes of rod, sit facing the wall in Discipline Courtyard and repent for three years. Do you accept?" HuiLun's voice quivered: "Disciple...disciple accept."

Xu Zhu said: "Martial grandfather, disciple is willing to endure the 30 strokes of rod on behalf of my master."

XuanJi nod his head and said: "Since this is the case then Xu Zhu will receive a total of 130 strokes of rod. Disciple in-charge of corporal punishment, go fetch the rod. At this moment Xu Zhu is still a Shaolin monk, you cannot be lenient in your punishment. After he exit the temple Xu Zhu will be the leader of another sect, he will have no more hatred with our temple, everyone in the temple must pay extra courtesy and respect to him."

The four disciples in-charge of corporal punishment accept their orders and left, soon after they return to the main hall, their hands grasping long purple-red wooden stick.

XuanJi was about to issue the order to execute punishment when suddenly a monk rush into the main hall hurriedly, his hand supporting a big pile of name cards, he lifted the cards up high and deliver it to XuanCi and said: "Reporting to abbot, a crowd of heroes came paying their respect."

XuanCi look at the name card, there are 30 cards, they are all from famous heroes in the northern region, they arrived together in Shaolin at the same time, presumably it must due to the matter concerning Beggar Clan. He heard unending chatters outside the temple, the crowd of heroes already arrive outside the temple's gate. XuanCi said: "Junior martial brother XuanSheng, please welcome the guest." he said again: "Martial brothers, esteemed guests, our temple will postpone the tidying of sect matters for another time so as to not neglect our guests from afar." at once he stood up and walk to the entrance of the main hall.

Soon after they saw around ten heroes accompanied by XuanSheng and arrive before the main hall.

XuanCi, XuanJi and XuanSheng, although they are eminent monks who practice Buddhist doctrine diligently, but they are still martial art experts, when they encounter martial art practitioners they will inevitably have the intention to know them better, at this moment seeing so many famous heroes arriving, although they are feeling heavy hearted as they are in the midst of tidying sect matters but they cannot help but feel their spirit rise. The crowd of Shaolin monks often spread their teachings outside the temple, hence they made alot of friends outside the Buddhist circle, among the famous heroes quite a number of them are close friends with monks from Hui generation and Xuan generation. Everyone shook hands and greeted each other, they are joyous in this reunion, they entered the main hall and introduce themselves to Jiumozhi and ShenShan. ShenShan, GuanXin, etc, their fame are known to everyone, even if they are not former acquaintances the crowd of heroes still admire them for a very long time already.

XuanJi was about to ask the heroes for their purpose in coming when another monk rush in to report, another 10 heroes from Shandong province and Huainan prefecture arrive at Shaolin to pay their respect.

XuanCan went out to greet the guests and welcome them into the main hall. A shady fellow said loudly: "Beggar Clan's Chief Zhuang invited us to witness a lively event, he have yet to arrive?" a feminine and soft voice said: "Old chap why so anxious? Since we are here already you think you won't have any chance to witness any activity? Obviously we small fry will go on stage first, the main event will appear at a later stage."

XuanCi said in a bright voice: "Ladies and gentlemen, all of you arrive at my humble temple without prior notice, Shaolin is really honoured. I ask for your forgiveness if we do not entertain you properly." the crowd of heroes said: "Well said, well said, abbot you are too polite."

At this time, heroes who had good relations with Shaolin monks had long narrated their purpose in coming to Shaolin, it seems everyone receive a hero invitation card from Beggar Clan's Chief Zhuang, Shaolin Temple and Beggar Clan have always work together to rule over Central Plains, now the new Chief of Beggar Clan Zhuang JuXian wish to elect a leader of Central Plains martial art fraternity, to set down rules and regulations so that everyone may comply and abide by it, thus he set the meeting at 10th of November in Shaolin Temple and he will visit to discuss with abbot XuanCi. Everyone displayed their hero invitation card, the card indicates that today is 11th year of the 60 years cycle, winter solstice, it brings great luck, the time is good for making friends, although the writings in the card is rather modest but it clearly imply the leader of Central Plains martial art fraternity to be none other than the Chief of Beggar Clan. Zhuang JuXian set the meeting at Shaolin Temple, obviously he will rely on his martial arts to defeat the monks at Shaolin and crush the awe-inspiring reputation enjoyed by Shaolin for several hundred years.

The card is not an invitation for the heroes to be at Shaolin, however everyone is simply too excited by the event, Beggar Clan tussling with Shaolin for supremacy, everyone wish to witness this major event personally hence they arrive at Shaolin without any prior notice. The most frequent question that pops up among the discussion in the main hall: "Who is Zhuang JuXian?" everyone ask the same question but nobody can give an answer.

Abbot XuanCi had already discuss this question with his fellow martial brothers for several days, they surmise this Zhuang JuXian is most like an alias of Qiao Feng, base on his martial arts and shrewdness he can simply kill the elders in Beggar Clan who oppose him and reinstate himself as Chief of Beggar Clan, if not base on the usual intimate relationship between Shaolin and Beggar Clan how can Beggar Clan suddenly make such a move? The great battle at Juxian Manor by Qiao Feng, everyone is aware of it, thus he assume the alias of Zhuang JuXian to hint at his true origin.

Not long after, heroes from Hubei and Hunan province, as well Jiangnan, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Guangdong, GuangXi, various heroes from these regions all arrived. The heroes from northern and southern region are separated by a thousand miles, nevertheless they all arrived within a single day, clearly Beggar Clan had made preparation for a long time already, they dispatch hero invitation cards several months in advance. XuanCi and the rest of the monks remain silent, however they are inwardly angry and worried. Only a few days ago, claiming to be Chief of Beggar Clan, Zhuang JuXian dispatch a letter to Shaolin, the letter mention the matter of electing a supreme leader of martial arts fraternity and within a few days he would personally visit Shaolin to pay his respect and to ask abbot XuanCi for advice, the letter did not mention an exact date and did not mention about inviting heroes from all over the world. Who would have imagined a huge crowd of heroes to suddenly arrive, Shaolin was caught off guard and was thrown into confusion. Although Shaolin Temple is well informed of matters in the martial arts fraternity, but unexpectedly they did not receive any information pertaining to this matter, they have yet to compete but was put at a disadvantage already. This act from Beggar Clan seem to adopt an attitude that they already won, the hero invitation card did not explicitly state to invite any heroes, they cannot take matters into their own hand and make decisions for Shaolin, but in reality this mass distribution of hero invitation card already present itself as an invitation even if it may not look like it. The crowd of monks pondered: "Beggar Clan did not invite us to visit their headquarter, their Chief coming to visit personally, it may seem they are being courteous but in reality they did not allow Shaolin to make any preparations and caught us off guard."

XuanSheng tried to extract information from his close friend Hebei's Divine Slingshot Zhuge Zhong: "Ah ha, old Zhuge, you already receive information but you did not write any letters to me, our 30 years of friendship, henceforth i will write it off with one stroke." Zhuge Zhong blush deep red, he tried to clarify repeatedly: "I....i only receive this card 3 days ago, i did not even finish eating my meal and rush over here straight away without rest, en route two of my best horse died due to exhaustion, i did this out of fear that i might miss the event and cannot lend you stinky thief baldy a helping hand. How....how come you blame me for no reason?" XuanSheng snorted and said: "It seems you really have good intentions!" Zhuge Zhong said: "Why other intentions would i have? Your Shaolin have high martial arts, old brother just come here to cheer and boost morale, is that bad intention? The original hero invitation card sent out by your abbot, the date is fixed on 8th of December, everyone will gather together to meet Gusu Murong family, elder brother arrive 1 month earlier, i did not let you down."

XuanSheng was finally at ease, he inquire from the other heroes, those further away receive their invitation cards earlier, those closer receive their cards slower, however all of them rush to Shaolin without stopping to rest in hopes that they can reach on time. It seems none of these heroes deliver a letter to Shaolin to notify as Beggar Clan was extremely thorough in its scheme, they calculated everyone's arrival time carefully and ensure that they won't have any spare time to give early notice to Shaolin. When the monks thought of it, all of them felt that Beggar Clan formulated its plan carefully before acting, the Chief of Beggar Clan and its members have yet to arrive but they already gain the upper hand by a show of strength, it is very likely there will be more schemes ahead.

Today is the 10th of November. Moments ago Shaolin monks are dealing with ShenShan and the other foreign eminent monks, immediately after they fought with Jiumozhi, afterwards they interrogate Xu Zhu, they already exhaust quite a bit of vigor, now they are flooded by waves of heroes arriving, although there are many monks in Shaolin but the matter is too sudden and they inevitably became flustered. Fortunately the head-monk of Welcoming Guest Courtyard XuanJing is a talented manager, food and materials are well stocked in Shaolin, under the guidance of XuanJing the crowd of monks receive the crowd of heroes, their etiquette not lacking the slightest.

XuanJing and the other monks welcome the visitors, they did not have time to discuss with each other and merely whisper inwardly. Suddenly a welcoming-monk announce: "Dali's ZhenNan Prince arrive!"

Previously, to investigate the death of great master XuanBei due to [Great Skanda Pestle], Duan ZhengChun received orders from his elder brother the Emperor and paid an official visit to abbot XuanCi. Duan family of Dali are friends with Shaolin, their arrival means Shaolin will gain a strong ally, XuanCi is really pleased and said: "Prince Duan of Dali is still in Central Plains?" he led the crowd to welcome him. XuanCi and Duan ZhengChun as well as his entourage Hua HeGen, Fan Hua, Ba TianShi, Zhu DanChen, etc, they are meeting for the 2nd time, they exchange conventional greetings and entered the main hall to meet with other heroes.

The first person they met was Tubo's Jiumozhi. Duan ZhengChun's countenance change immediately, he cupped his fists and said: " My son Duan Yu was showered with favour by Great Bright Wheel King and was brought along to the east, my son said he receive many instructions and made much progress, i really can't thank you enough." Jiumozhi gave a faint smile and said: "I don't dare! How come Gentleman Duan did not follow you here?" Duan ZhengChun said: "I don't know where he went, maybe he fell into the hands of crafty evil monk again, i was about to ask Grand Tutor for guidance." Jiumozhi shake his head repeatedly and said: "The whereabouts of Gentleman Duan, junior monk is not aware of it. Sigh, what a pity what a pity!"

Duan ZhengChun was shaken, he assume Duan Yu must have met with some unexpected mishap, he said hurriedly: "What makes Grand Tutor say so?" although he experience many unforeseen events before but he is concerned about the safety of his beloved son, his voice cannot help but tremble.

Several months ago both father and son were joyous in their reunion, afterwards Duan Yu left to attend the chess-meet of Deaf Mute Old Man. Several months later Duan ZhengChun did not receive any letters from him, he is afraid Duan Yu might run into Duan YanQing, Jiumozhi or Ding ChunQiu, these evil people, he is extremely worried. Recently he receive information that the new Chief of Beggar Clan Zhuang JuXian wants to tussle with Shaolin over the position of supreme leader of martial arts fraternity, at once he rush over to inquire about his son. Duan family is an aristocratic family famous for martial arts, naturally they are also concerned about the tussle between Beggar Clan and Shaolin.

Jiumozhi said: "Junior monk met Master Kurong, abbot BenYin and your esteemed elder brother at TianLong Monastery, their spirit calm and composed, their aura serene and stately, truly those who had attained the way of virtue. Prince ZhenNan's fighting prowess shake the entire world, but how come you show deep affection towards your children?"

Duan ZhengChun calm down and pondered: "It is useless to panic, even if Yu-er met with some unexpected mishap, this foreign monk will simply look down on me." he said: "It is human nature to love one's children. If people don't bear and raise children or protect them, there will be no one left in this world. I am only a common folk, how can i be compared with Grand Tutor, an eminent monk with no care or worries?"

Jiumozhi smile faintly and said: "When junior monk met your esteemed son for the first time, he is a brilliant youngster with extraordinary gifts, i knew he will definitely bring great honour to the Duan family, in the future he will be a learned and virtuous emperor of Dali, it is really the good fortune for the millions of people under the southern sky."

Immediately after he gave a long sigh and said: "Alas, what a pity, gentleman Duan's good fortune is not deep." he saw Duan ZhengChun turn pale again, he smile faintly and said: "Upon arrival in Central Plains, he saw a beautiful lady, henceforth he grovel at the feet of this lady, what lofty aspiration or great goal, he cast them all aside. If this lady travel east he will simply follow east, if she travel west he will follow west. Anyone can easily tell that he is a loafer, a philanderer who does not engage in honest work, isn't that a pity?"

He heard a "hee hee" sound, someone laugh out, it is a female voice. Everyone turn towards the direction of the sound, unexpectedly it is a middle-age man with wretched appearance. This person is Ruan XingZhu, for the past 2 years she had been accompanying Duan ZhengChun. When Duan ZhengChun rush to Shaolin Temple she also followed. She knew Shaolin's regulation does not allow female to enter, thus she disguise herself as a man, her appearance and manner utterly convincing, definitely not like the four sisters from Vulture Palace, however her voice is still tender and lovely, she cannot be compared with her daughter Ah Zhu who can imitate a man's voice to perfection. She saw everyone look at her, she said in a rough voice: "Little prince learn from his family, not inferior to his father, amazing, amazing."

Duan ZhengChun is flirtatious and well known for spreading his love everywhere, she classified Duan Yu's love for Wang YuYan as "learning from his family, not inferior to his father", everyone cannot help but smile.

Duan ZhengChun also laugh out loud and said to Jiumozhi: "My unfilial son....." Jiumozhi said: "He is not unfilial, on the contrary he is filial, extremely filial!" Duan ZhengChun knew he is ridiculing his lascivious nature, he did not take offense and simply said: "I don't know where he is currently, Grand Tutor are you aware of his whereabouts, please let me know." Jiumozhi shake his head and said: "Gentleman Duan cannot extract himself out of his infatuation, his yearning made him thin and haggard. When junior monk saw him again he was emaciated, malnourished and sickly, it is difficult to say if he is dead or alive now."

Suddenly a young monk walk towards Duan ZhengChun, he bow respectfully and said: "Prince please don't be overly anxious, 3rd younger brother is glowing with health and vigor, he is in excellent health." Duan ZhengChun return the courtesy, he felt extremely odd, the person seems to be a young monk from Shaolin but how come he address Duan Yu as "3rd younger brother", he said: "Little master, did you see my son recently?" the young monk is Xu Zhu, he said: "Yes, that day 3rd brother and i drank wine at Vulture Palace until we became intoxicated......"

Suddenly Duan Yu's voice echoed from outside the main hall: "Father, i am here, are you well?" the voice had barely ended as a person flash into the main hall and embrace Duan ZhengChun, it is Duan Yu. His internal energy is deep and profound, thus his hearing is strangely acute, he just entered the temple gate and heard the conversation between his father and Xu Zhu, he immediately execute [Graceful Steps upon the Waves] and rush ahead.

Both father and son reunite, their joy indescribable. Duan ZhengChun examine his son, although he seem to have caught a chill but he is radiating with health and vigor, definitely not what Jiumozhi described as "emaciated, malnourished and sickly, neither dead nor alive".

Duan Yu turn around and said to Xu Zhu: "2nd brother, you became a monk again?"

Xu Zhu was kneeling before the statue of Buddha for quite some time, sincerely repenting his past sins, however when he saw Duan Yu he immediately recall his "Dream Maiden", he cannot help but blush, his expression bashful, how can he open his mouth to ask?

Jiumozhi pondered: "Wang YuYan must be nearby, if not no matter the massive disturbance at Shaolin it can never attract Duan Yu to Mount Shaoshi, since Wang YuYan is deeply devoted to her cousin she will never split up with Murong Fu." at once he gathered his energy and said brightly: "Gentleman Murong, since you already arrive at Mount Shaoshi how come you still don't enter the temple to pay respect to Buddha?"

"Gusu Murong" enjoys tremendous reputation, everyone was startled, they pondered: "So Gentleman Murong also arrive. Did he have prior appointment with this foreign monk and came here to make things difficult for Shaolin?"

However there was no reply, after a while Jiumozhi's voice echoed back from a distant mountainside: "Gentleman Murong.......arrive at Mount Shaoshi......enter temple to pay respect to Buddha."

Jiumozhi pondered: "It seems i guess wrongly, Murong Fu is not at Mount Shaoshi, if not he will surely hear my call, no reason for him to not reply!" he look up to the sky and laugh out loud, he wanted to say something to cover up the embarrassment when suddenly a dark sinister voice transmit from outside the temple's gate: "Murong Fu is engaging a fierce battle with Old Freak Ding, if he can kill Old Freak Ding he will come to Shaolin and pay his respects."

When Duan ZhengChun and Duan Yu heard the voice their countenance change immediately, it is "Overflowing with Evil" Duan YanQing.

Immediately after, a person wearing green robe, hands leaning against a pair of steel crutch, Duan YanQing entered the temple's main hall, he is followed by "No Evil Left Undone" Ye ErNiang, "Fierce Deity and Evil Devil" Crocodile Deity of Southern Sea, "Thoroughly Fierce, Evil to Extreme" Yun ZhongHe. The Four Great Evils, they all arrived.

XuanCi does not differentiate between good and evil when hosting guests, he treat them all with equal courtesy and respect. Although Shaolin's regulation does not allow for female guest, when abbot XuanCi saw Ye ErNiang he was startled for a moment but did not voice any objection. The crowd pondered: "There are friends and enemies on both side, quite a number of female heroes, the regulation of not admitting female guest is just a trivial matter, no need to get into dispute for such matters."

When Crocodile Deity of Southern Sea saw Duan Yu he blush deep red immediately, he had the intention to turn around and walk away. Duan Yu laugh and said: "My good disciple, are you well?" Crocodile Deity of Southern Sea heard him call out "good disciple", it is too late to escape, he said fiercely: "Damn stinky master, you still not dead yet?" alot of people in the main hall did not understand the inside story, they saw this person's appearance is ferocious, unexpectedly the gentle and scholarly Duan Yu address him as "good disciple", it is really odd, even more strange he replied and address Duan Yu as "Master", however his speech is extremely rude.

Ye ErNiang smile and said: "Ding ChunQiu display his divine abilities, Murong Fu is completely helpless against his assault. Everyone do you want to go see the exciting fight?"

Duan Yu yell out: "Ayo!" he rush out of the main hall immediately.

Previously Murong Fu, Deng BaiChuan, GongYe Gan, Bao BuTong, Feng BoE, Wang YuYan, six of them manage to leave Misty Peak. Murong Fu felt they sneak into Vulture Palace and got involved in a huge internal strife for no reason, his plan and schemes amount to nothing, he was downcast and felt really embarrassed. Only Wang YuYan was laughing and smiling, the happiest moments on earth was being able to accompany her cousin.

The six headed east to Central Plains. An afternoon they pass through a dark and gloomy forest, Feng BoE suddenly shout out: "The air reeks of blood." he pull out his broadsword and rush swiftly towards the source of the stench, thinking: "Most likely a fight will occur at the place with blood stench." the blood stench is getting heavier, unexpectedly around 10 corpses lie in a disordered fashion before his eyes, their weapons scattered in all direction, their blood have yet to dry, it seems these people died recently but the huge battle is clearly over. Feng BoE stamped his feet and said: "What bad luck, i arrive late."

Murong Fu and the others followed soon after, they saw the clothes on these corpses are ragged and shabby with cloth pouch attached, they are Beggar Clan's members. GongYe Gan said: "Some of them are 4-pouch disciple, some are 5-pouch disciple, i wonder how they fell into evil hands?" Deng BaiChuan said: "Let us bury the corpses." GongYe Gan said: "Precisely. Young master, Miss Wang, please rest by the side." he picked up an iron rod on the ground and started digging.

Suddenly someone groan from among the pile of corpse. Wang YuYan was greatly alarmed, she grab Murong Fu's left hand.

Feng BoE rush forward and shout: "Old chap, you still not dead yet?" a person sit up slowly from the pile of corpse and said: "Not dead yet, but....nearly.....nearly there." the person is a 50 year-old beggar, his hair grizzled, face and chest covered with bloodstains, his expression terrifying. Feng BoE quickly took out a healing pill and fed it to him.

The old beggar swallowed the pill and said: "Use.....useless. I suffered two slash in my stomach, i...i won't live." Feng BoE said: "Who harm you?" the old beggar shake his head and said: "I am really ashamed, its.....it is an internal strife within Beggar Clan...." Feng BoE, Bao BuTong, etc, all of them cry out in surprise. The old beggar said: "This matter....originally this matter should not be revealed to outsiders, but....but since it already reach such a state, i cannot cover up anymore. May i ask for your great name, many....many thanks for saving me, alas, Beggar Clan members massacre one another, they really fall short compared to total strangers. Just now....just now i heard you want to bury the corpses, you are heroic and humane, old man is extremely grateful....." Bao BuTong said: "Not true, not true. You are not dead yet, cannot be considered as a corpse, we have yet to bury you, there is no need for thanks." the old beggar said: "Brothers from Beggar Clan killed us, they.....they didn't even bury the corpse, how...how can they be considered good brothers? Really not better than beasts....." Bao BuTong love to debate, beasts don't know how to bury corpse, however he saw Murong Fu cast him a meaningful glance, thus he shut up and did not retort.

The old beggar said: "Old man request you to pass on information to Beggar Clan's....Elder Wu, tell him that our Clan's Chief Zhuang JuXian is merely a puppet, he.....he completely obey Quan GuanQing....that traitor. We do not accept the one surnamed Zhuang as Clan's Chief, Quan GuanQing dispatched...his men to kill us. Now he wants to kill Elder Wu, please remind him....to be careful."

Murong Fu nod his head, he pondered: "So that is what happen" he said: "Old chap please be at ease, we will definitely try to covey this news but we don't know where your Clan's Elder Wu is."

The old beggar's eyes are lifeless, he stare vacantly at a distant place and said slowly: "I....i also don't know."

Murong Fu said: "There is no harm. We will simply spread this news around widely, it will eventually reach Elder Wu, when Quan GuanQing hear it maybe he won't dare to lay his hands on Elder Wu anymore." the old beggar nod his head repeatedly and said: "Precisely, precisely, many thanks!" Murong Fu inquired: "Your new Chief of Beggar Clan Zhuang JuXian, where did he come from? We are ignorant and ill-informed, this is the first time we heard his name." the old beggar said angrily: "This iron-head boy....."

Murong Fu and the rest were startled, they said in unison: "It is that iron-head freak?"

The old beggar said: "I just came back from Western Xia, i have never seen that chap before, i merely hear it from my brothers in the Clan, that chap....originally he wore an iron mask, afterwards Quan GuanQing remove it for him, his face....sigh, it is really more unsightly than demon. This chap possess superb martial arts, a few months ago at our Clan's general assembly in Hunan everyone gathered to elect a new Chief, we argued endlessly, eventually we came to an agreement to select base on martial arts, this chap killed 11 top experts from our Clan, he became....the Chief. Many of our brothers are not convinced, Quan GuanQing that traitor.... Quan GuanQing that traitor...." his voice is getting softer and softer, he seem to be hanging on his last breath.

Deng BaiChuan said: "Old chap, let me take a look at your wound first, we will think of how to treat your injuries and discuss later." the old beggar said: "My stomach is pierced, intestines ruptured....many thanks, but...." he insert his hand into his bosom to reach for something but he cannot summon the energy, he said: "I have....to trouble....." GongYe Gan knew his intention and said: "Sir you wish to get something?" the old beggar nod his head. GongYe Gan fish the items out of his bosom and spread in on his palm, flint, concealed weapon, medicine, ration, broken silvers, truly quite a number of items, all of them covered with blood.

The old beggar said: "I....i won't make it. This piece of....piece of document, it is extremely important, i earnestly request benefactor to deliver....deliver it to any Beggar Clan's Elder....just don't give it to that iron-head chap and....and that traitor Quan GuanQing. I offer you my thanks." he extend his trembling right hand and lifted a yellow paper from GongYe Gan's palm.

Murong Fu said: "Sir please be at ease, if your injury is truly difficult to heal we promise to deliver this document to your Clan's Elders." as he finish speaking he took the yellow paper.

The old beggar said: "I am surnamed Yi, named DaBiao. I have....have to trouble you, i came from Western Xia, this....this is a notice from the Emperor of Western Xia to recruit a son-in-law. This matter....this matter is extremely important, it concerns the fate and safety of Great Song. I only just return back to Central Plains and met with this wicked scheme, i only hope to meet with Elder Wu...tell him, who would have imagined....imagined i can't see him anymore. I hope sir can take into account the lives of millions of common people....common people......common people....." he said "common people" 3 times, he can't summon his breath. The more anxious he became the more difficult it is for him to speak, suddenly he spurt a huge mouthful of blood, his eyes flip over and caught Murong Fu's refine appearance, someone came into his mind, he inquired: "Sir....who are you? Are you Gusu.....Gusu....."

Murong Fu said: "Correct, i am Gusu Murong Fu"

The old beggar was startled and said: "You...you are a great enemy of our Clan....." he extend his hands to forcefully grab the yellow paper away from Murong Fu.

Murong Fu allowed him to take the paper, he pondered: "Beggar Clan have always suspected me of causing the death of Chief Ma DaYuan, although the rumours faded somewhat but this person still firmly believe i am culprit. He will die soon, no need to bicker with him."

The old beggar exerted force in his pair of hands, he wanted to tear the yellow paper, suddenly both his legs straighten up, he spurt blood wildly and met with a violent death.

Feng BoE pry open the old beggar's fingers and retrieve the yellow paper, many complicated foreign text are written on it, at the end there is a huge stamp. GongYe Gan is fairly knowledgeable with writings from other countries, he look through the document from the start till end and said: "Sure enough, the Emperor of Western Xia is putting a notice to recruit a son-in-law. The text says: Princess YinChuan of Western Xia is of marriageable age, the Emperor wish to select a person well versed in literature and martial arts, handsome, elegant and unmarried young man to be his son-in-law, the selection date is set at next year, third month, Qingming Festival. No matter the nationality, as long as the person is a first class talent, he may come forth to visit and the Emperor will be pleased to welcome him. Even if he does not get selected he may also be hired base on his talents, conferred official ranking and bestowed gold and silver......"

GongYe Gan have yet to finish reading as Feng BoE laugh out loud and said: "This friend from Beggar Clan is ridiculous, he took this notice from Western Xia, don't tell me he wants to help one of his Clan's Elder to apply and become the son-in-law of the Emperor of Western Xia?"

Bao BuTong said: "Not true, not true! 4th younger brother you are not aware, although those Elders from Beggar Clan are old and ugly, but they still have quite a number of young disciples who are well versed in literature and martial arts, handsome and intelligent people. If any one of their disciples become the son-in-law of the Emperor of Western Xia, then won't Beggar Clan enjoy a meteoric rise in status?"

Deng BaiChuan knit his bow and said: "It is said that heroes from Beggar Clan do not seek riches and honour, how come this Yi DaBiao lust after such glory?" GongYe Gan said: "Big brother, that old beggar said: 'This matter is extremely important, it concerns the fate and safety of Great Song.' afterwards he talk about the safety of millions of common people, maybe he is not talking about seeking riches and honour for Beggar Clan." Bao BuTong shake his head and said: "Not true, not true!"

GongYe Gan said: "3rd younger brother, you have wise opinion again?" Bao BuTong said: "2nd brother, you ask me if i have any wise opinion again, from the word "again" obviously i already revealed my wise opinion. However i did not reveal any wise opinion, it clearly shows that you do not think i have any wise opinion. You ask me if i have any wise opinion again, but what you are truly asking is: 'Old Bao the 3rd, you talking nonsense again?', correct?" although Feng BoE like to fight, but he don't fight with his own brothers. Bao BuTong like to debate, however he does not differentiate between relatives, senior or junior, as long as one sentence does not suit his taste he will simply argue and debate endlessly. GongYe Gan is well aware of his temper, he smile faintly and said: "3rd younger brother revealed quite a number of wise opinion in the past, the word "again", its truly inviting another wise opinion from you."

Bao BuTong shake his head and said: "Not true, not true! You are hiding a smile while talking, your intention not sincere......." he want to continue speaking but Deng BaiChuan interrupted his speech and said: "3rd younger brother, Yi DaBiao took this notice from Western Xia, he solemnly request us to deliver it to his Clan's Elders, in your opinion what is his intention?" Bao BuTong said: "I am not Yi DaBiao, how would i know his intention?"

Murong Fu glance towards GongYe Gan, seeking his opinion.

GongYe Gan smile faintly and said: "My thoughts differ greatly from 3rd brother." he knew that no matter what he says, Bao BuTong will surely refute, thus he spoke frankly. Bao BuTong said: "Not true, not true! You guess wrongly, my opinion is exactly the same as yours, completely identical." GongYe Gan laugh and said: "This is truly wonderful!"

Murong Fu said: "2nd brother, what is your opinion?" GongYe Gan said: "In this current age, Great Liao, Great Song, Tubo, Western Xia, Dali, five nation with equal power, other than Dali which is secluded at southern borders, aloof from worldly affairs, the other four nations all have intention to swallow each other and annex the land under the heaven....."

Bao BuTong said: "2nd brother, you are wrong. Although our Great Yan does not occupy any territory, but young master is constantly thinking about restoring the Yan, how you know Great Yan won't be able to return to our former awe-inspiring glory, the complete restoration of Great Yan?"

Murong Fu, Deng BaiChuan, GongYe Gan, Feng BoE, all of them stood tall and upright, their expression solemn, they said in unison: "The ambition to restore our nation, we will never forget it!" five of them pull out their weapons from its sheathe and raise it in front of their chest.

The ancestors of Murong Fu are ethic group of northern nomads. In the turmoil of the five northern minorities in Central China, Murong clan invaded Central Plains, they show case their awe-inspiring might and established Former Yan, Later Yan, Southern Yan, Western Yan, several dynasties. Later on, Murong clan was wiped out by Wei of Northern Dynasties and their offspring scattered in all direction, however their descendants from father to son, generation after generation, they harboured the desire to restore their nation. From the Sui to Tang dynasties the Murong clan gradually decline, however their great aspiration to "Restore Great Yan" still remain as strong as ever, nevertheless the possibility became more remote and uncertain.

In the final years of Later Zhou, Murong clan produced a general, Murong YanChao, his might and prestige unparalleled, and within his clan there was a martial art prodigy Murong LongCheng, he created the profound art of [Star Shifting Movement], his skills unrivalled, renown throughout the world. Murong LongCheng did not forget the wishes of his ancestors, he gathered many strong and courageous people and intend to restore his nation, however what is long divided must unify, Zhao KuangYin established Great Song, the world stabilize and the people desire peace, although Murong LongCheng possess strong martial arts but he was unable to make an impact and met his end eventually.

After several generation Murong clan was pass down to Murong Bo, the martial arts and lofty aspiration of Murong LongCheng also pass down entirely to Murong Bo. To restore Great Yan in Song dynasty is to start a rebellion, thus Murong Bo gathered wealth, provisions and people in secret, he did not let out the slightest bit of news. Murong clan harboured lofty ambition, their conduct vastly different from common martial artists, in the eyes of others they are extremely unpleasant, in addition with their "returning you with your own move" reputation they are feared and hated.

Nomads from northern part of the country are brave, heroic and imposing, in order to lie low and stay out of trouble Murong clan changed their location to a water village in Jiangnan Suzhou, the area is considered to be elegant and refine, thus they avoided unnecessary attention. Deng BaiChuan and the rest are Han Chinese people, for successive generations they have always been henchmen of Murong clan, thus they also adopt the ambition of restoring Great Yan.

In the wilderness there are no people around, they cannot restrain themselves and draw out their swords, their excitement and passion bursting forth.

Wang YuYan however turn around unhurriedly and walk away slowly, she kept a far distance away from them. Her mother had always opposed Murong clan's intention to revolt, she felt the notion of becoming king or emperor is merely the wishful thinking of Murong clan, their ambition is hopeless and destined to face extermination of the entire clan. Although both families are closely related, however due to verbal disagreement between Madam Wang and Madam Murong their hostility deepen. Thus for the past few years Madam Wang forbid Murong Fu from visiting, she voluntary seek to live in seclusion at the deepest part of Ling Lake, unwilling to have any engagement with Murong clan.

GongYe Gan glance at Wang YuYan's shadow and said: "Liao and Song are in a state of war for many years, although Great Liao have the upper hand but they don't have the capability to exterminate Song nation. Western Xia and Tubo reside at western frontier, both countries possess hundred and thousands of elite troops, Great Song will face certain destruction if either side provide assistance to Liao, similarly Liao will be wipe out if they assist Song nation.

Feng BoE said loudly: "2nd brother words are logical. Beggar Clan have always been loyal to Great Song, Yi DaBiao return with this document, he must be hoping for a young hero from Great Song to become the son-in-law of the Emperor of Western Xia. If Song and Western Xia are connected by marriage then they will be invincible."

GongYe Gan nod his head and said: "They will truly be invincible, Great Song possess huge population, their wealth and provisions abundant, Western Xia possess elite military forces, they are brave and good at fighting, if these two nation ally and join forces, Great Liao and Tubo will not be able to resist, naturally Dali will be crushed as well. In my opinion, after Song and Western Xia join forces, the 1st step is to annex Dali, the 2nd step is to attack Liao nation."

Deng BaiChuan said: "Yi DaBiao is counting his chickens before they hatched, nevertheless if it really happens, Song and Western Xia will become allies through marriage and they can achieve success easily. Liao, Tubo, Dali, various nations, once they learn about this news they will surely try to sabotage." GongYe Gan said: "Not only try to sabotage, maybe they will think of ways to marry this princess from Western Xia."

Deng BaiChuan said: "I wonder if this princess is pretty or ugly, sweet-tempered or barbaric?" Bao BuTong laugh loudly and said: "Elder brother you think too much, don't tell me you want to try to win the princess's hand in marriage and become the son-in-law of Emperor of Western Xia?" Deng BaiChuan smile and said: "If your brother Deng is younger by 20 years, martial art 10 times stronger, more handsome by 100 times, then i will fly to Western Xia immediately." his expression turn solemn immediately and said: "We conspire for several hundred years to restore Great Yan, all along it was unrealistic, we achieve nothing. Ultimately it is due to a lack of a strong and powerful ally. If our Murong clan become in-laws with Western Xia, once we make a move Western Xia will send reinforcement immediately, is there anything we cannot achieve?"

GongYe Gan said: "Precisely. During Spring and Autumn Period, Qin and Jin are linked by marriage, Jin ChongEr lost his nation and went into exile. Duke Mu of Qin dispatch an army to assist Jin, ChongEr became Duke Wen of Jin and establish political hegemony."

Bao BuTong like to debate, twist words and make up fallacious argument, unexpectedly when he heard GongYe Gan's speech he nod his head repeatedly and said: "Correct! As long as this matter is beneficial to the restoration of Great Yan, then i don't care if the princess of Western Xia is pretty or ugly, good or bad, as long as she agree to marry me old Bao, even if she is a old pig, old Bao will still stay firm and marry her."

Everyone laugh out loudly, they shift their gaze towards Murong Fu.

Murong Fu is astute, he knew the four of them want him to go to Western Xia and take part in the selection to become the Emperor's son-in-law. With regards to appearance and character, literary and martial arts talent, in the present age there isn't a young man who is comparable to him. He knew he had 70-80% chance of succeeding if he goes to Western Xia to ask for the princess's hand in marriage. However if the Emperor of Western Xia emphasize on family background, although he may be a noble descendant of Great Yan, but ultimately his nation had long decline to nothing, he is merely a commoner in Great Song, if Great Song, Dali, Great Liao and Tubo send their prince and marquis to seek marriage, he will surely lose out due to lack of nobility status. Murong Fu though for a long time and glance at the piece of document.

GongYe Gan followed Murong Fu for very long time, he is able to guess his thoughts accurately, he said: "The notice is very clear, the selection does not take into account family status, only character and talents. When you become the Emperor's son-in-law, nobility title will follow, however character and skill cannot be awarded by the emperor's edict. Young master, the great ambition of Murong clan that lasted several hundred years, you.....you have to bear the burden." when he was nearing the end of his speech he became agitated, his voice trembled.

Bao BuTong said: "Young master will became Duke Wen of Jin, we four brothers will be HuMao, HuYan, Jie Zitui...." suddenly he recalled that Jie Zitui was burnt to death by Duke Wen of Jin, the matter is not too auspicious, thus he laugh and shut up immediately.

Murong Fu's expression is pale, his fingers trembling slightly, he knew this is a once in a lifetime golden opportunity, when a princess look for a partner, the Emperor will usually let the chancellor be the matchmaker, minster who rendered outstanding contribution or descendants of aristocratic family will usually be selected to become the Emperor's son-in-law, the emperor will never issue such notice and make the selection public. Murong Fu cannot help but gaze towards Wang YuYan's shadow, she is standing under a willow tree, right hand holding onto a willow branch, her eyes gazing at the flowing river, her figure frail and thin, she evoke a sense of pity.

Naturally Murong Fu is fully aware of his cousin's devoted love towards him, although his aunt and parents are at odds and forbid them from seeing each other, but she is a delicate maiden without any martial arts yet she ran away from home without hesitation, drifting aimlessly to look for him, this kind of affection is truly rare in this world. Murong Fu travelled around the world, he focus entirely on restoring Great Yan, he can't even concentrate on practicing martial arts, as for the relationship between men and women he had even less regards for it. However his cousin is beautiful and virtuous, well acquainted with martial arts theory, she is devoted to him, how can he remain indifferent? To suddenly ask him to abandon her and propose marriage with a princess he never met before, although he knew the outcome is inevitable but he still can't bear to do so.

GongYe Gan cough lightly and said: "Young master, since ancient times those who accomplished great undertakings are not bothered about trifle matters, a true hero have to break this 'love' barrier."

Bao BuTong said: "Great Yan must be restored, young master when you become the Emperor, the life of the Emperor and his harem, won't it be enough? Princess of Western Xia will be the Empress, Miss Wang, she will become your imperial consort, a warm and virtuous concubine. If young master is bias towards her and dote on her more, who dares to question you?" normally Bao BuTong like to argue and bicker with others, but now they are discussing important matter, unexpectedly his speech became clear and logical.

Murong Fu nod his head, when his father was still alive he exhort repeatedly, other than restoration of Great Yan he should not concern himself with other matters, for the sake of restoring Great Yan father and elders can be killed, children massacred, relatives and close friends abandoned, as for male-female relationship there is no need to even bother. Although Wang YuYan is deeply devoted to him, but all along he treat her as a younger sister, there is really no special feelings. Although he had long set his mind in marrying her, but he rarely thought of such matters as he felt it was to be expected, no need to worry too much. As long as he can accomplish his great undertaking, it would be like what Bao BuTong had said, his cousin will become an imperial concubine in the future and he will simply dote on her more. Once he rationalize this, he no longer concern himself with Wang YuYan, he said: "Everyone is correct, indeed this is a golden opportunity for the restoration of Great Yan, but a man must keep his promise, this piece of document, we have to deliver it to Beggar Clan."

Deng BaiChuan said: "Correct, not to mention there isn't anyone in Beggar Clan who is comparable to young master, even if there is one we cannot hide this document and become shameless scoundrels." Feng BoE said: "Of course. Elder brother, 2nd brother will escort young master to Western Xia, 3rd brother and i will deliver this document to Beggar Clan. Next year's Qingming Festival is still a long time away, there is plenty of time for Beggar Clan to pick a candidate, they cannot accuse us of taking advantage of them."

Murong Fu said: "Our conduct must be upright, i will personally deliver this document to Beggar Clan's Elders, after that we will go to Western Xia." Deng BaiChuan applauded and said: "Young master is right. We cannot allow the slightest bit of complaint from others." GongYe Gan, Bao BuTong and Feng BoE all nod their head at the same time, at once they start burying the dead bodies of Beggar Clan's members.

Murong Fu call out to ask Wang YuYan to come over, he said: "Cousin, these Beggar Clan's members are killed by someone, it involves an extremely important matter, i have to personally go to the headquarter of Beggar Clan as soon as possible. I like to escort you back to Mantuo Manor first." Wang YuYan was startled and said quickly: "I....i don't want to go home, if mother sees me she will surely kill me." Murong Fu laugh and said: "Although her temper is violent but you are her only daughter, how can she be willing to kill you? At most she will criticize you that's all." Wang YuYan said: "No....no, i don't want to go home, i will go together with you to Beggar Clan."

Since Murong Fu had set his mind to propose marriage in Western Xia, he felt extremely apologetic, he pondered: "For the time being i will go along with her and decide later." he said: "You are a female, it is not appropriate for you to roam around Jianghu, don't go to the headquarter of Beggar Clan. Since you don't want to return to Mantuo Manor then you can simply stay at my home in Basin of Swallow, once the matter is settled i will come and visit you how about it?"

Wang YuYan blush deep red, she was secretly delighted, her lifelong wish is to marry her cousin and stay in Basin of Swallow, now Murong Fu said he want her to stay in Basin of Swallow, although it is not akin to a marriage proposal but his intention can easily be inferred. She did not say anything and lower her head slowly, her eyes exudes a peculiar radiance.

Deng BaiChuan and GongYe Gan glance at each other, they felt a twinge of guilt having to deceive this innocent and pure lady. Suddenly they heard a 'Pa' sound, Feng BoE slap himself heavily. Wang YuYan lifted her head and ask curiously: "4th brother Feng, what happen?" Feng BoE said: "A...a mosquito stung me."

At once the six of them head eastward. After travelling for two days, Duan Yu came along, he chase after them happily and said: "Ayo, what a coincidence, Gentleman Murong, Mr GongYe, Mr Bao, Mr Feng, Miss Wang, we meet again. Since everyone is heading east let's just travel together to make the journey more lively."

Although Bao BuTong loathe him, but Duan Yu saved Feng BoE, Murong Fu and Miss Wang before, thus he did think it is appropriate to rebuff him, however he still mock and ridicule him during the journey, Duan Yu turn a deaf ear to his remarks and pay no heed.

While en route they receive news of Beggar Clan tussling with Shaolin over the position of chief of martial arts fraternity. Murong Fu, Deng BaiChuan and the rest discuss secretly, if both side suffer a defeat then Murong clan will inevitably benefit from their misfortune, maybe they can even obtain the title of chief of martial arts fraternity, thereby commanding the heroes of Jianhu, it is really a great opportunity to catapult them to power, they definitely cannot let this chance pass by, at once they rush to Shaolin. Unexpectedly when they arrive at the base of Mount Shaoshi they met the Old Freak of XingXiu Ding ChunQiu.

For the past few months, Ding ChunQiu expanded his sect greatly and recruit many disciples, regardless of their criminal or unorthodox ways, as long as they are willing to join his sect and listen to his orders he will welcome them, within a few months many bandits and evil people in Central Plains flock to his sect, his fame and power flourish.

Deng BaiChuan, GongYe Gan and Bao BuTong was harmed by Ding ChunQiu in the past, now they come across each other again, seeing his huge swarm of disciples they are inwardly afraid. Feng BoE however is fearless, he did not say much and simply rush into the enemy ranks and started fighting with XingXiu disciples. Duan Yu wanted to accompany Wang YuYan and leave. However Wang YuYan is concerned about her cousin, she refuse to leave. The crowd of XingXiu disciples rush in like a tide, at once Murong Fu and company are drown out by them.

Duan Yu execute his [Graceful Steps upon the Waves] and dodge the XingXiu disciples, immediately after he heard his father's voice and rush to the temple to meet him, afterwards he heard Ye ErNiang said Murong Fu was completely helpless against the enemy's assault, he pondered: "I have to carry Miss Wang out of danger." he rush out quickly.

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