The Smiling, Proud Wanderer (笑傲江湖) Chapter 39 – No Treaty

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The Smiling, Proud Wanderer (笑傲江湖) Chapter 39

[The earthshaking chanting of “Thousands of years, rule the Martial World” went on and on by cult members kneeling down. Sunshine covered Ren Woxing’s face and his entire body. The majestic looking Chief of the Sun-Moon Cult looked like a god.]

Chapter 39 – No Treaty

They walked out of the cave and suddenly saw a black shape moving on top of their heads. It looked like something had fallen down on them. Linghu Chong and Yingying simultaneously dodged it, but who could’ve thought the object dropping was a large fish net and it trapped the two of them in there. Startled, they quickly drew their swords to cut the net, but after slashing for a few times, the net was unexpectedly untouched. At this time, another fish net was thrown from above covering both of them. The person above the cave leapt down with a rope in his hand tightening the net.

“Master!” the word escaped from Linghu Chong’s mouth. That person really was Yue Buqun. The net got tighter and tighter as Yue Buqun pulled on the rope. Linghu Chong and Yingying were just like a couple of big fishes being entangled inside a net. They were able to struggle in the beginning, but at the end, they couldn’t even move. Frightened, Yingying didn’t know what to do. She took a glance and saw Linghu Chong was smiling, looking very relaxed. She thought, “Has he thought of a way to escape?”

Yue Buqun had a fierce looking smile on his face. “Little traitor, you were complacent coming out of the cave. Didn’t expect trouble out here, did you?”

“It’s not trouble. When someone’s going to die, dying with his wife is the happiest thing,” Linghu Chong replied nonchalantly.

Yingying understood. His face was looking happy because he would be able to die together with her. Her fear dissappeared, replaced with a wave of happiness.

Linghu Chong continued, “If you kill both of us like this, then you wouldn’t be able to separate us.”

“Little traitor,” Yue Buqun indignantly said. “Death is imminent and you’re still boasting!”

He then wrapped the rope around them for a few times, bunching them up tightly.

“This fish net of yours, you got it from Old Man, didn’t you?” Linghu Chong said. “You treat me really well, you know that we don’t want to be apart so you wrapped the two of us husband and wife very tightly just like this. You raised me since I was little and you know my heart really well. In this world, you’re my only friend Mr. Yue.” He was saying all these smart-aleck comments hoping to drag the time out while looking for some way to get out of this situation. Another hope of his was that Feng Qingyang would suddenly appear to rescue them.

Yue Buqun sneered. “Little traitor, you love to talk nonsense since you were little, and your temperament still haven’t changed till now. I should cut off your tongue first to save you from losing your tongue in hell when you die.” His left leg flew up and kicked Linghu Chong on his waist, sealing his mute accupoint and shutting Linghu Chong up.

“Young lady Ren,” Yue Buqun continued. “Who do you want me to kill first? Him or you?”

“What’s the difference?” Yingying replied. “I only have three medicines for the Divine Three Brain Corpse Pill on my body.”

Yue Buqun’s face changed colour when he heard this. Ever since he was forced by Yingying to swallow the ‘Divine Three Brain Corpse’ pill, he had been thinking day and night on how to obtain the medicine. He had been waiting for a long time for this opportunity. The two of them had just escaped danger, happily going out of the cave, without taking care to protect themselves when suddenly this metal fish net trapped them. His original idea was to kill Linghu Chong and Yingying first before searching her body for the medicine. But when he heard her saying there was only three medicines on her body, he realised he would only be able to live for three more years after killing them. Moreover, after three years had passed, the insect would enter his brain and make him insane and die in unbearable pain. This matter was really difficult for him to settle. Even though his inner energy and martial art were marvelous, he couldn’t stop both of his hands from trembling.

“Alright, let’s make a deal,” Yue Buqun said. “Tell me how to make the medicine, and I’ll spare both your lives.”

Yingying laughed and indifferently said, “Even though I’m still young, I know Gentleman Sword Mr. Yue’s personality. If your words are to be believed, then your nickname wouldn’t be Gentleman Sword.”

“You’ve learned nothing by being with Linghu Chong,” Yue Buqun said. “All you’ve learned is how to talk a lot. You’re not willing to say how to make the medicine?”

“Of course not,” Yingying answered. “In three years time, Chong-lang and I will be waiting at death’s door to welcome you. At that time, you won’t have your five senses anymore and your whole face will be ruined, I wonder if we’ll still be able to recognise you.”

Yue Buqun felt a wave of coldness at his back. He understood her meaning of ‘won’t have your five senses and your whole face will be ruined’ was a reference to the time when the poison would come out. If his whole body weren’t rotten by that time, then he would destroy his own face through madness. His whole body shivered thinking about it.

“Even if my whole face will be ruined, yours will be ruined three years earlier than mine,” Yue Buqun indignantly said. “I won’t kill you too, I’ll only cut off your ears and nose. And on your lovely white snow face, I’m going to give you seventeen eighteen slashes. We’ll see then how much love, how much affection, your Chong-lang has. Whether he’ll still love a freak ugly weirdo.”

With a hiss, he drew his long sword out. Yingying gasped in surprise. She wasn’t afraid of death, but if Yue Buqun were to ruin her face to make it look like a demon and let Linghu Chong look at her, it was even worse than death. Even though Linghu Chong’s mute acupoint was sealed, he was still able to move his hands and feet. He knew what Yingying was thinking so he bumped her with his elbow, extended two fingers from his right hand and pierced them towards his eyes. Yingying again cried out and she hurriedly called out, “Brother Chong, don’t!”

Yue Buqun didn’t really mean to ruin Yingying’s face. He was only threatening her to make her tell him the prescription for the medicine. If Linghu Chong destroyed both his eyes, then his plan would be useless. His left hand shot out unbelievably quick and grabbed Linghu Chong’s right wrist through the fist net.

“Stop!” Yue Buqun shouted.

As their skins connected, Yue Buqun immediately felt his internal energy flowing out.

“Aiyo!” Yue Buqun called out. In a hurry, he tried to get away but it was like his palm was glued to Linghu Chong’s wrist. Linghu Chong turned his hand around grabbing Yue Buqun’s palm. Yue Buqun now felt his inner energy rushing out even faster. He was greatly startled. With the long sword in his right hand, he quickly chopped it at Linghu Chong’s body. Linghu Chong’s hand shook and dragged his body back causing the sword to slash at the ground. Yue Buqun’s inner energy was still flowing out. As he tried to slash his sword a second time, he felt weak and powerless that he practically couldn’t even lift his own arm. Exhorting his energy, he tried to lift his sword. With the sword aiming at the point between Linghu Chong’s eyes and his arm and the long sword unceasingly quivering, he slowly pierced it forward.

Yingying was alarmed and she wanted to use her finger to flick Yue Buqun’s sword away. But both her arms were pressed under Linghu Chong’s body and the fish net was tightly wrapped around her body. She exerted her strength to struggle, but she couldn’t free her hands. Linghu Chong’s left arm was also being trapped under Yingying’s body so he also couldn’t use it. He saw the sword point slowly stabbing forward. He thought, “I killed Zuo Lengchan and injured Lin Pingzhi with this kind of slow sword. This time, master is also going to use this method to kill me. What a really quick retribution.”

Yue Buqun felt his inner energy was quickly running out, but the sword point was only a few inches away from Linghu Chong’s eyebrow. He was both happy and anxious.

“You… What are you doing?” a sharp female voice cried out from behind. “Take your sword away!”

Sound of footsteps was heard as someone drew near. Yue Buqun saw his sword only had to go a few more inches then he’d be able to kill Linghu Chong. At this time, his life was hanging by a thread so how could he agree to just give up? Staking all his remaining energy, his sword finally reached Linghu Chong’s forehead.

It was at this time when he suddenly felt something cold at the back of his body. A long sword had been pierced from his back all the way through to the front of his chest.

“Big brother Linghu, are you alright?” a female voice cried out. She was Yilin.

The blood in Linghu Chong’s chest was bubbling up and he couldn’t reply her.

“Little martial sister, Big Brother Linghu is alright,” Yingying told her.

“That’s very good!” Yilin happily said. She was suddenly startled and frightenedly cried, “It’s Mr. Yue! I… I killed him!”

“That’s right,” Yingying said. “Congratulations for taking revenge on your master’s murderer. Can you untie the fish net please? Let me get out.”

“Yes, yes!” Yilin replied. She saw Yue Buqun was prostrated on the ground with blood spouting out from the sword wound. Her whole body turned to jelly and in a quivering voice, she asked, “I… I killed him?” She wanted to grab the rope to release it but both her hands were trembling and she had no power in them. She was unable to release them.

“Little nun,” a voice suddenly called out from the left. “You killed the honourable chief. I’ll teach you today that you can’t run away from justice!”

An old man wearing a yellow gown came forward carrying a naked sword. This person was Lao Denuo.

“Aiyo!” Linghu Chong cried out.

“Little martial sister, quickly use your sword to fight,” Yingying shouted.

Yilin was stupefied for a moment before she drew the sword out of Yue Buqun’s body. Lao Denuo attacked with three quick strokes and Yilin blocked all three attacks. The third attack flitted near her left shoulder and drew blood. Lao Denuo’s sword was getting faster and faster with some of the movements from the Evil Resisting Sword Art. But since he had not learned it too deeply, he only had the movement while his speed was way below that of Lin Pingzhi. Originally, Lao Denuo was already experienced and his sword art came from Songshan and Huashan Schools. It was only recently that he learned the Evil Resisting Sword Art. So Yilin was originally not his match.

However, as Yihe and Yiqing was hoping that Yilin would become Heng-Shan’s headmaster in the future, they had been supervising her practising the Heng-Shan sword art that Linghu Chong gave them. So her martial art had improved. Also, because Lao Denuo’s Evil Resisting Sword Art was not yet perfected and he wanted to try it out, their movements came out in between the Songshan and Huashan Schools’ sword art that he was using. His sword movements became mixed and caused his original sword art to be weaker.

In the beginning, when Yilin saw the fast sword art from his enemy, she panicked and the third attack injured her left shoulder. But she thought if she lost then Linghu Chong and Yingying would not escape from danger as well and they were bound to meet disaster as well. She was thinking that if he was going to kill Big brother Linghu, then it was better if she was killed first. Without any fear of dying, she didn’t think of preserving herself and just kept on attacking with all her moves.

When Lao Denuo was confronted with her staking-life fighting method, he couldn’t win against her for the moment. He swore, “Little nun, you **** your mother real good!”

Yingying saw Yilin’s spirit was raised and she was fighting with all her might. But after a long time, she was still bound to lose. She rolled on the ground freeing her left arm and unsealing Linghu Chong’s acupoint. She put her hand inside her bosom and took out her short sword.

“Lao Denuo,” Linghu Chong cried out. “What’s that behind you?”

Lao Denuo was an experienced person and he wouldn’t fall for Linghu Chong’s trick by turning around to have a look and give his enemy an opportunity to attack him. He ignored Linghu Chong and increased the ferocity of his attack. Yingying held her short sword wanting to toss it out from the fish net, but Yilin was fighting very closely with Lao Denuo. If her toss was slightly off then it might hit her. She hesitated and didn’t throw her sword out.

Suddenly, Yilin cried out. Her left shoulder had again been hit. The first time she got hit, the injury was very light, but this time the wound was a few inches deep. The grass around the area was splashed with her blood.

“Monkey, monkey, ah, this is sixth brother’s monkey,” Linghu Chong called out. “Good monkey, quickly bite him. This is the traitor who killed your master.”

In order to steal Yue Buqun’s ‘Violet Twilight Secret Manual’, Lao Denuo killed Lu Dayou who was the sixth disciple of Huashan School. Lu Dayou had a small monkey which usually sits on his shoulder. After he died, this monkey had gone somewhere. At this time, he suddenly heard Linghu Chong’s shout and couldn’t help feeling scared. “If this animal jump on me and bite me then my movements will be restricted.” So he leaned to one side and turned around to slash his sword. But how could there be a monkey behind his back? At this time, Yingying tossed her sword towards the back of his neck. Lao Denuo stooped down and the short sword flew above his neck. Suddenly, he felt a rope tightened around his left ankle. The rope was tugged backwards and he fell face forward.

When Linghu Chong saw Lao Denuo stooped down to avoid the sword, it presented a very good opportunity. He quickly undid the rope tying the fish net and sent the rope out coiling around his left ankle and pulled it.

“Kill him, kill him!” Linghu Chong and Yingying called out.

Yilin chopped her sword down on Lao Denuo’s neck. But she was a compassionate person and she was also timid. When she first killed Yue Buqun, she did it to save Linghu Chong. With her being anxious, she quickly wielded her sword and didn’t realise she was actually going to kill a person. When her sword was about to slash Lao Denuo’s neck, her heart became soft. Her sword leaned to a side and slashed his right shoulder instead. Lao Denuo’s collarbone was broken and his sword dropped from his hand. He was afraid Yilin’s second sword would slash down again so he endured the pain to get up and struggled to be free of the rope. He then escaped down from the cliff.

Suddenly, two people came up from around the mountain. The female shouted, “Hey, was it you who scolded my daughter just then?” She was Yilin’s mother who was at the Hanging Temple pretending to be the mute granny. Lao Denuo did a flying kick to kick her away. That granny leaned to one side to avoid it and gave him a mighty slap on the cheek.

“You scolded her ‘you **** your mother real good’,” she shouted. “I’m her mother! You dare to scold me?”

“Stop him, stop him!” Linghu Chong cried out. “Don’t let him get away!”

That granny originally wanted to hit down on Lao Denuo’s head, but hearing Linghu Chong’s shouting. She shouted, “Little rascal, I’m going to let him go!” She leaned to one side and gave Lao Denuo a kick on his buttock. Lao Denuo felt like he had received a pardon from heaven as he sprinted down the cliff.

There was a person behind that granny, who was actually Monk No Commandment. He chuckled and said, “What are you playing at? Why are you playing inside the net?”

“Dad,” Yilin said. “Undo the fish net, let Big brother Linghu and Young lady Ren out.”

“I haven’t settled my debt with this little bastard yet,” that granny said with a calm face. “You can’t let him go!”

Linghu Chong laughed loudly then shouted, “Once the couple gets together, you throw the matchmaker out. You husband and wife already has a reunion now, why aren’t you thanking the matchmaker?”

That granny gave him a kick and shouted, “I thank you with a kick!”

“Peach Valley Six Fairies,” Linghu Chong laughingly called out. “Quickly help me!”

That granny was very afraid of the Peach Valley Six Fairies so she quickly turned her head around. Linghu Chong hastily extended his hand out of the fish net and undid the knot and let Yingying out. But he had not managed to go out yet when that granny shouted, “You can’t go out!”

“If I can’t get out then I’ll stay in here,” Linghu Chong laughingly replied. “Inside this fish net, there’s no difference between heaven and earth. A gentleman can bend and straighten. Bend to enter the net and straighten to get out of the net. What to do? I, Linghu Chong, …” As he was spouting nonsense, his eyes caught sight of Yue Buqun’s body prostrated on the ground. The smile on his face disappeared and it was suddenly replaced with tears in his eyes. His tears flowed down his cheeks.

That granny was still angry as she shouted, “Little bastard! If I don’t beat you up till you’re black and blue then I won’t be satisfied!” Her left palm shot out wanting to slap Linghu Chong’s right cheek.

“Mom!” Yilin cried out. “Don’t… don’t…”

Linghu Chong raised his right hand and he was already holding a long sword. Actually, when he was lost in thought looking at Yue Buqun’s corpse, Yingying put the sword in his hand. He pointed his sword and stabbed it at that granny’s right shoulder’s acupoint forcing her to retreat a step. That granny got even angrier. Her body moved like the wind, her palm hacking, her elbow striking, her leg sweeping. In just a short time, she had attacked with seven to eight moves. Linghu Chong was still inside the fish net and he just pointed his sword as he wished. Each stab was aimed at that granny’s fatal acupoint. But every time the sword point was about to reach her body, he immediately withdrew it. This ‘Dugu Nine Sword’ was unmatched in this world. If Linghu Chong wasn’t giving way then that granny would’ve died seven to eight times already. After several more moves, that granny knew his martial art was much too high compared to hers. With a long sigh, she stopped attacking and she looked very upset.

“Dear,” Monk No Commandment pleaded. “We’re all good friends, why do you need to be angry for?”

“Who asked you to speak?” that granny angrily replied. There was no one to vent her anger to so she turned to him.

Linghu Chong put his sword down and came out of the fish net. “You want to hit me to vent your anger, I’ll let you do it!” Linghu Chong laughingly said.

That granny raised her palm and slapped him heavily. Linghu Chong cried out as he didn’t dodge the hit.

“Why didn’t you dodge?” that granny angrily asked.

“I can’t dodge it,” Linghu Chong replied. “How do I do that?”

That granny spat. She knew in her heart he was considering Yilin so he let her hit him. Her left palm was already raised but she didn’t hit him.

Yingying pulled on Yilin’s hand and said, “Little martial sister, lucky you came here to rescue us. How did you come here?”

“I was with the other martial sister,” Yilin narrated. “We were all (she pointed at Yue Buqun’s corpse) …. captured by his people. Me and three other martial sisters were being locked up in a cave. Just then, dad and mom rescued me. Dad, mom and I, also Cannot Have No Commandment and three martial sisters, we all separately went around rescuing the other martial sisters. I was walking below the cliff when I heard people talking on top. The voice sounded like Big brother Linghu’s so I quickly went up to have a look.”

“He and I went around everywhere but we didn’t find anyone,” Yingying said. “So you were actually being held inside a cave.”

“Just then that old bastard wearing the yellow gown is a bad person,” Linghu Chong said. “You let him go but I can’t accept that.” He picked up a long sword from the ground and said, “Let’s chase after him.”

The party of five went down the Cliff of Repentance. They had not walked for too long when they saw Tian Boguang with seven Heng-Shan disciples climbing out of a valley. Yiqing was one of them. They were really happy to meet each other.

Linghu Chong thought, “There’s no one in this world who knows the surroundings in Huashan better than me. I didn’t know there was another cave below that valley, but Tian Boguang is an outsider and he knows of it. How strange?” He pulled on Tian Boguang’s sleeve and the two of them walked behind the party.

“Brother Tian,” Linghu Chong said. “There’s another cave below that valley. I didn’t know about it before but you knew about it. I really admire you.”

Tian Boguang smiled. “There’s nothing strange about it.”

“Ah, that’s right,” Linghu Chong said. “You must’ve captured a Huashan disciple and interrogated him.”

“I didn’t,” Tian Boguang replied.

“Then how did you find out? Can you tell me?” Linghu Chong asked.

Tian Boguang blushed and smiled. “This matter is not comfortable to talk about. It’s better not to speak of it.”

Linghu Chong was even more curious and he just had to ask about it. “You and I are loafers in Jianghu, what’s there that’s so uncomfortable to talk about?” Linghu Chong said. “Quickly say it.”

“After I say it,” Tian Boguang pleaded. “Headmaster Linghu, please don’t blame me.”

“You’ve rescued many martial sisters from Heng-Shan School and I haven’t thanked you for this yet,” Linghu Chong replied. “So how can I blame you?”

Tian Boguang lowered his voice and said, “I’ll tell you. Before I had a really bad temperament and you already know about this. Ever since Grand martial master shaved my head and made me take the Buddhist name ‘Cannot Have No Commandment’, I cannot do that again…”

Linghu Chong thought the way Monk No Commandment reprimanded him was really weird and his mouth showed a slight smile. Tian Boguang knew what he was thinking of and his face turned red. He continued, “But I’ve never forgotten the skills I’ve learned from earlier. No matter how far I’m separated by, as long as there are women there, I… I can feel them.”

Linghu Chong was perplexed, he asked, “How do you do that?”

“I also don’t know,” Tian Boguang replied. “I think I can smell women, they’re different than men’s smell.”

Linghu Chong laughed aloud. “It’s said that some reverend monks can have divine eyes or divine ears. Brother Tian unexpectedly has this ‘divine nose’.”

“I’m ashamed, ashamed!”

“Brother Tian’s skill was originally used to do bad things,” Linghu Chong said. “After undergoing some experience, I never thought that today you’d use this skill to save my Heng-Shan School’s disciples.”

Yingying turned her head around to ask what was so funny. But looking at Tian Boguang’s face, she guessed it was something inappropriate and she quickly shut her mouth.

Tian Boguang suddenly stopped. “There seems to be some Heng-Shan School’s disciples on the left.” He sniffed around a few times then went towards the underbrush below the hill. Lowering his head, he searched around for a while. He exclaimed happily and pointed to the ground. “Here!” he cried out. There was a pile of more than ten big rocks on the place that he had pointed out. Each of these rocks were around two to three hundred catties. He immediately removed a rock away.

No Commandment and Linghu Chong went over to help. After a while they had removed more than ten big rocks, and there was a green slab underneath. The three of them worked together to lift the slab up. It revealed a cave underneath and there were a few nuns lying underneath. They were all disciples of Heng-Shan School. Yiqing and Yimin quickly jumped down the cave and helped their martial sisters to go up. After helping a few to go up, there were still more inside, each one was gasping for air. They quickly pulled the imprisoned Heng-Shan disciple up. Yihe, Zheng E, and Qin Juan were among them. There were more than thirty people inside this cave. If they weren’t rescued in the next one or two days, they would have all died.

Linghu Chong thought how his master was so violent, he couldn’t help being disappointed with him.

“Brother Tian, this skill of yours isn’t a small thing,” Linghu Chong praised him. “These martial sisters were deeply buried underneath but you can still smell them out. Really admirable.”

“There’s nothing strange about it,” Tian Boguan replied. “Luckily, there are many martial uncles from the secular world in there…”

“Martial uncles? Ah, that’s right, you’re Yilin’s disciple.”

“If the ones imprisoned here were all Buddhist martial uncles, then I wouldn’t have been able to find them,” Tian Boguang continued.

“There’s a difference between secular and Buddhist people?”

“Of course. Secular female would have this powder fragrance on them,” Tian Boguang explained. Linghu Chong was enlightened.

They quickly tried to rescue them. Yiqing and Yilin were using their caps to scoop water in them to give them drink. Luckily, there was a crack in that cave that allowed air to go in and Heng-Shan School’s disciples all had learned inner energy. Even though they were extremely distressed, they still had their lives. Yihe had the deepest inner energy so after drinking some water, she was the first one to recover.

“We’ve only rescued less than a third,” Linghu Chong said. “Brother Tian, I have to ask you to use your divine power to help us search for them.”

That granny stared at Tian Boguang, her face looked really suspicious. “How did you know they were imprisoned here?” she asked. “You were probably here when they were being imprisoned, am I right?”

“No, no!” Tian Boguang quickly replied. “I’ve been following grand martial master. I’ve never left his side.”

That granny’s face sunk as she shouted, “You’ve always been with him?”

Tian Boguang mumbled indistinctly. He knew they just had a reunion after a long break up. Along the way they had been crying, laughing, fighting, being romantic, and he had heard all of these. This grand master-wife of his could turn angry from shyness and if that happened, it would be very troublesome. He quickly said, “For the last half a year, I’ve been following grand martial master. About ten days ago, we parted ways. We just met again today at Huashan.”

That granny was half believing and half doubting him. She asked, “Then how did you know these nuns were being locked up inside this cave?”

“This… this…” Tian Boguang mumbled. He didn’t know how to phrase it nicely and was feeling very embarrassed. After some time, they suddenly heard the sound of more than ten horns coming from the mountainside, followed by the sound of drums. It sounded like an army of ten thousand soldiers and a thousand horses had come.

They were all startled. Yingying whispered on Linghu Chong’s ear, “It’s my dad!”

“Oh!” Linghu Chong realised and he wanted to say, “So it’s my father-in-law.” But he felt it was inappropriate so he didn’t say it out loud. The drums thundered for a while, then the horns rang again.

“Has an army come?” that granny asked.

Suddenly, both the drums and horns stopped. Seven to eight people shouted, “Sun Moon Divine Sect’s cultured and esteemed martial artist, benefactors of the common people, Chief Ren has arrived!” These seven to eight people had very deep internal energies so their shout reverberated throughout the mountain and echoes could be heard, “Chief Ren has arrived! Chief Ren has arrived!”

The power of these cries intimidated them and the colour on Monk No Comandment’s face and the others changed. The echoes had not finished yet when they heard countless number of voices crying out, “Long live to Chief, unify the Jianghu! Chief Ren flourishes the Divine Sect, long live to Chief!”

Hearing their voices, there were at least two to three thousands of them. The echo was again heard from everywhere, “Chief Ren flourishes the Divine Sect, long live to Chief! Chief Ren flourishes the Divine Sect, long live to Chief!” After some time, the whole place became quiet. Then someone with a clear voice said, “Sun Moon Divine Sect’s cultured and esteemed martial artist, benefactors of the common people, Chief Ren has an order: Five mountains sword schools’ headmasters and all the disciples in the schools hear this: Everyone will meet at the steps of the Peak of Morning Sun.”

He spoke three times in his clear voice. After stopping for a while, he continued, “Fragrant masters and their deputies of the twelve halls, lead the sect’s disciples to check all the hills and guard the important paths! Don’t let people walk around! Anyone who doesn’t obey this order will be killed!” Around twenty to thirty people immediately acknowledged this order.

Linghu Chong and Yingying shared a look and they understood what was going on. That person said to check all the hills and to guard the important paths to force the disciples of the five mountains sword schools to go towards the Peak of Morning Sun to meet with Chief Ren. Linghu Chong thought, “He’s Yingying’s father. I’m going to marry Yingying soon so I should go see Chief Ren.”

He told Yihe and the rest of the people, “We still have a lot of martial sisters who are still imprisoned. Brother Tian, please lead the way to save them as soon as possible. Chief Ren is young lady Ren’s father so he wouldn’t give us any trouble. Young lady Ren and I are going to the east peak first. Martial sisters, you can follow later and we’ll meet up there on the east peak.” Yihe, Yiqing, Yilin and the others acknowledged the order and followed Tian Boguang to save their martial sisters.

“What is he relying on barking orders here?” that granny angrily said. “I’m not going to see him. I want to see how this Ren is going to kill me.”

Linghu Chong knew she was very stubborn and was hard to persuade. If she were to meet Ren Woxing, her speech would most likely offend him and things would turn out really bad. He immediately took his leave from Monk No Commandment and his wife, then went to the east peak with Yingying.

“The three highest peaks in Huashan are the east peak, south peak, and west peak. The east and west peaks are particularly tall,” Linghu Chong said. “The real name of the east peak is the Peak of Morning Sun. Your father chose this peak to meet with the disciples of the Five Mountains Sword School to make it look like that we are coming to pay respect to an imperial court. Your father said all the people of the Five Mountains Sword School to go to the Peak of Morning Sun. Could it be that all the people from all the schools are at Huashan?”

“In the five mountains sword schools, Mr. Yue, Zuo Lengchan, and Mr. Mo Da have all passed away today. I don’t know who Taishan School has appointed as their headmaster. In this alliance of five big sword schools, you’re the only headmaster left,” Yingying said.

“Besides Heng-Shan School, most of the heroes from the five schools have all died inside the cave on that Cliff of Contemplation. Besides, the disciples of Heng-Shan Schools have all been captured and are in distress, I’m afraid…”

“You’re afraid my father will take advantage of this to eliminate the five mountains sword schools?”

Linghu Chong nodded his head and let out a sigh. “Actually, he doesn’t need to do anything. There’s not many people left in the five mountains sword schools.”

Yingying also let out a sigh. “Mr. Yue deceived the masters from the five mountains sword schools. He enticed them to look at the sword moves engraved at Huashan with the intention of wiping out all the warriors with good martial art. That way his position as the headmaster of the Five Mountains School would be safe and no one from each of the schools would be able to go against him. This move was originally very clever, but Zuo Lengchan unexpectedly got a whiff of this and took those blind men to kill him inside that dark cave.”

“You’re saying Zuo Lengchan wanted to kill my master?” Linghu Chong queried. “He wasn’t trying to kill me?”

“He didn’t know you were going to come,” Yingying answered. “Your swordplay is brilliant and you already knew of the moves engraved on the cave wall a long time ago, so you wouldn’t have gone inside to take a look at those sword moves. When we went in there, it was just a coincidence.”

“What you said is right,” Linghu Chong agreed. “Actually, Zuo Lengchan and I had no enmity. Both of his eyes were blinded by my master, and the headmaster position of the Five Mountains School was also snatched by him. Those things would be really cutting to him.”

“Zuo Lengchan probably had a strategy prepared,” Yingying said. “He’d tempt Mr. Yue to go inside the cave and then take advantage of the darkness to kill him. I don’t know how, but this plan was discovered by Mr. Yue and instead of going in, he guarded the cave’s entrance and captured people using the fish net. This is really the mantis seizing the cicada not knowing the oriole was just behind. Now, Zuo Lengchan and your master have both died while the reason for all these would never be known.”

(Translator’s note: ‘the mantis seizing the cicada not knowing the oriole was just behind’ means ‘to covet gains ahead without knowing the danger behind’.)

Linghu Chong mournfully nodded his head.

“Mr. Yue deceived the masters of the five mountains sword schools to come here,” Yingying continued. “There must’ve been a foreshadowing of this matter a long time ago. That day at Songshan during the fight for the leadership, your little martial sister used Taishan, Hengshan, Songshan, and Heng-Shan brilliant sword moves. The masters from all four schools witnessed all these and their hearts would itch in getting to know them. Only the disciples from Heng-Shan School had been taught the sword moves from the cave wall by you, so they wouldn’t find them extraordinary. While the disciples from Taishan, Hengshan, and Songshan Schools would of course be asking where Miss Yue got these sword moves from. Mr. Yue secretly spread the rumour and decided on a date that the cave would be open to them. The masters from these three schools, wouldn’t they rush to be here?”

“For people who study martial art like us,” Linghu Chong said. “Once we hear of a place to learn some brilliant martial art, then we’d definitely brave danger and death to go there. Especially when those martial arts are from our own school, we wouldn’t rest until we’ve seen them. That’s why people like martial uncle Mo Da and other master-hands all died inside that cave.”

“Mr. Yue anticipated that your Heng-Shan School wouldn’t come, so he prepared another plan,” Yingying said. “He used the confusion poison to knock everyone out and took them up to Huashan.”

“I don’t understand why master would spend such a big effort to bring my disciples up to Huashan?” Linghu Chong questioned. “This matter would be easily discovered since they have to go through such a long journey. Why didn’t he just kill all of them at Heng-Shan? Wouldn’t this be easier?” He stopped for a tick then continued, “Ah, I understand. If he killed all the Heng-Shan disciples then there’ll be one less mountain from the Five Mountains School. Master wants to be the headmaster of the Five Mountains School, but without Heng-Shan School, he couldn’t be the headmaster of the Five Mountains School. The name simply wouldn’t be right.”

“That’s one reason,” Yingying said. “But I think, there’s still one more reason.”

“What’s that?”

“The best thing would of course be to capture you,” Yingying explained. “Then he’d trade with something of mine.”

Linghu Chong was enlightened and he excitedly hit his thigh. “That’s right. My master wanted the medicine for the Three Corpse Brain Pill.”

“After Mr. Yue was forced to take this pill, he would’ve been restless day and night wanting to get a medicine for it,” Yingying said. “One day he wouldn’t accept it and the next he’d be worried to death. He knew that he could only get the medicine by getting you.”

“Of course, I’m your darling,” Linghu Chong agreed. “Only by using me that he can exchange the medicine from you.”

Yingying pursed her lip. “If he was going to use you to trade for the medicine then I wouldn’t trade. The materials for the medicine are so hard to get and making them isn’t easy either. So they’re priceless treasure. How could I trade them so easily?”

“The common saying goes: It’s easy to find priceless treasure, hard to find a lover.”

Yingying’s whole cheeks turned bright red immediately. In a whisper, she said, “Like a mouse getting on a scale, scaling and praising himself. Know no shame.”

As they talked, they arrived at a narrow path. This mountain path was perfectly straight as it went up and it was also very steep. They couldn’t walk side by side through this path.

“You go first,” Yingying said.

“You go first,” Linghu Chong said. “If you fall down then I’ll grab you.”

“No, you go first, but you’re not allowed to turn your head back to look at me. You must listen to what granny tells you to do.” She laughed when she finished talking.

“Fine, I go first,” Linghu Chong relented. “If I fall down, you can grab me.”

“That won’t do, that won’t do!” Yingying hastily replied. She was afraid he would pretend to misstep to play around with her. So she quickly went up the mountain path first.

Even though Yingying saw him making a joke, his expression was still melancholic. After he laughed, he turned mournful again. She knew it was difficult for him to forget about Yue Buqun’s death. Along the way she’d tried to make him say some jokes to make him forget about his worries. After a few turns, they arrived at the top of the Jade Maiden Peak. Linghu Chong pointed out to her which one was the Jade Maiden’s face washing basin and which one was the Jade Maiden’s dressing table. Yingying knew this Jade Maiden Peak was the place he used to play around with Yue Lingshan back then, and she was afraid that he might get even more upset, so she just took a quick glance without asking anything.

After going down a slope, they went up a little path towards the Peak of Morning Sun. They saw guards everywhere around the mountain. The Sun Moon Sect’s men were dressed in seven different gown colour and they were very discipline in following the flag going back and forth. Compared to the last time he visited the Dark Wood Cliff, there was a different feeling of dread.

Linghu Chong secretly praised, “Chief Ren is a very learned man. That day when I led thousands of men to attack Shaolin Temple, it was a mess, everything was chaotic. How can it be compared to the Sun Moon Sect’s army which resembles a body using its arms, like when an arm wants to point at something, with thousands of people resembling one person? Dongfang Bubai is also one great person. It was only later that he made a mistake and gave the handling of sect’s matter to Yang Lianting. That’s when the Dark Wood Cliff withered and its power diminished.”

The people of Sun Moon Sect respectfully bowed their bodies when they saw Yingying. They were also very respectful towards Linghu Chong. The bannermen roared one by one from the bottom of the peak all the way to the peak, announcing to Ren Woxing their arrivals. Linghu Chong saw all the important places between the bottom of the peak to the peak were all packed with people from the sect. There were at least two thousands guards around those places. It seemed that this time the Sun Moon Sect had gathered many warriors from the unorthodox path to help them in carrying out this massive operation. If all the headmasters from the five mountains sword schools were still alive, and all the master-hands from the five schools were at Huashan, and they had also been deployed before hand to meet this attack, it was still likely that they would lose. At this time with the number of talented fighter close to zero, it was impossible for them to fight back.

Looking at the situation now, it was certain that Ren Woxing had a harmful idea towards the five mountains sword schools. Since things had come to this, there was nothing he could’ve done and now everything was up to the Heaven’s will. He could only take things step by step. If Ren Woxing wanted to annihilate the five mountains sword schools, then he couldn’t just stay on the side preserving his own life. He would have to fight to the death and Heng-Shan School’s disciples would all be killed on top of this Peak of Morning Sun.

Although he was clever, he wasn’t that experienced and didn’t have a plan in mind to face this calamity. When he saw all the disciples of Heng-Shan School fell into the trap, he also didn’t know how to free them and everything was just left to fate and circumstances. He was also thinking that Yingying and Chief Ren were related by flesh and blood so the most she would do would be not to help both sides. So there was no chance she would help him by thinking of a plan to go against her own father. At this time, facing the sect’s disciples at the Peak of Morning Sun with bows drawn and sabres unsheathed, he didn’t even look at them and he instead told Yingying some jokes.

But Yingying was already tied in knots in worry, so she couldn’t be like Linghu Chong who was unworried. Along the way, she’d been churning her brain thinking on what to do. She pondered, “Chong-lang is a fearless person. Even if the sky collapsed, he’d only notice it when it’s right on top of him. I’ve always thought of a way for him to do.” Thinking that her father had led such a big operation here, it couldn’t be anything good. When the situation turned dangerous, then all she could do would be to adapt since there was no other good option.

The two of them slowly went up to the peak. When they reached the summit, they were suddenly assaulted with horns blaring followed by sound of music from drums and pipes. This was unexpectedly the welcoming of honoured guests.

Linghu Chong whispered, “Father-in-law is welcoming the son-in-law back home!”

Yingying blankly stared at him and she felt really anxious. She thought, “This person really doesn’t worry about anything. At this time, he can still joke around.”

Then she heard a person laughed loudly and in a clear voice said, “Young lady, Brother Linghu, Chief’s been waiting for you for a long time.”

A slim elder wearing a purple gown took a step forward and gripped both of Linghu Chong’s hands. His face was full of happiness. He was Xiang Wentian. When Linghu Chong saw him, he was also very happy. “Brother Xiang,” Linghu Chong called out. “You’re well, I’ve thought of you often.”

“At Dark Wood Cliff, I keep hearing news of your prestige soaring in Wulin,” Xiang Wentian laughingly replied. “I drank to you from far away, I’ve at least drunk more than ten big pots of wine. Quickly go see Chief.” Taking his hand, he went towards a stone structure several stories high.

That stone structure was on top of the east peak. It was extremely big and tall, just like it had been naturally formed. To the east of that structure was Peak of the Morning Sun’s highest place which was called Deity’s Palm. That Deity’s Palm had five big pillars rising to the sky with the central pillar being the highest. They saw a big chair placed underneath the central pillar, and a person sat in it. This person was Ren Woxing.

Yingying walked to the front of the palm, looked up and called out, “Daddy!”

Linghu Chong bowed and said, “Junior Linghu Chong pays my respect to Chief.”

Ren Woxing laughed aloud. “Little brother, you come at the right time. We’re all family, there’s no need to be so formal. Today, our sect will meet with the world’s heroes so we shall talk business first before talking about family matter. My worthy… worthy brother, sit beside me.”

Linghu Chong heard him paused after saying this word ‘worthy’ seemingly like he wanted to say ‘worthy son-in-law’. But since it had not been decided yet, he corrected himself from calling him ‘worthy son-in-law’. It looked like he had already approved of the marriage between Yingying and him. He also said ‘We’re all family’ and ‘we shall talk business first before talking about family matter’, it was obvious Ren Woxing had regarded him as family. He felt happy and straighten his body up.

Suddenly, a cold energy rushed up from this ‘Dantian’ region and he felt like he had entered an icehouse. His body trembled and continuously shook. Yingying was started and quickly went up to him. “What’s wrong?”

“I… I…” Linghu Chong stammered out but he unexpectedly couldn’t utter another word.

Even though Ren Woxing was high up there, his eyesight was still sharp. “Did you clash palms with Zuo Lengchan?”

Linghu Chong nodded.

Ren Woxing smiled. “It’s nothing. You sucked his polar ice energy, once you scatter it out, it’ll be alright. Why isn’t Zuo Lengchan coming here?”

“Zuo Lengchan secretly set up a violent plan to kill Big Brother Linghu and me,” Yingying told him. “Big Brother Linghu killed him.”

“Oh!” Ren Woxing uttered. He was sitting very high up so they couldn’t see his face. But in this voice, there was an air of disappointment.

Yingying understood her father’s heart. Today, he had come in a grand manner to intimidate the five mountains sword schools and to suppress the people of the five schools. Zuo Lengchan was his big enemy and now he wouldn’t be able to see him bend his knee and lower his head in front of him so it was unavoidable that he would feel regret. She extended her left hand to hold Linghu Chong’s right hand to help him disperse the cold energy. Linghu Chong’s left hand was being held by Xiang Wentian. Together, they moved their energy. Linghu Chong gradually felt the coldness in his body disappeared.

That day, when Ren Woxing and Zuo Lengchan fought at the Shaolin Temple, he absorbed his polar ice energy and turned into snowman in the middle of the snow field along with Linghu Chong, Xiang Wentian, and Yingying. But this time, Linghu Chong had only clashed swords with him and was only exposed to Zuo Lengchan’s cold energy for a short time. Moreover, he didn’t try to absorb it himself so only a little amount of cold energy was absorbed by him. A short time later, he wasn’t trembling anymore.

“I’m alright, thank you!” Linghu Chong said.

“Little brother,” Ren Woxing said. “You heard my call and came up the peak to see me. Very good, very good!” He then turned his head towards Xiang Wentian and said, “Why haven’t the people from the other four schools arrived yet?”

“Subordinate will call them again!” Xiang Wentian replied. He waved his left hand, and eight old men in yellow gown lined up immediately in front of the peak. They called out together, “Sun Moon Divine Sect’s cultured and esteemed martial artist, benefactors of the common people, Chief Ren has an order: Taishan, Hengshan, Huashan, and Songshan Schools, everyone must quickly come to Peak of the Morning Sun for a meeting. Each hall’s fragrant master, ask them to come up quickly and not to delay.”

These eight old men were all masters with deep internal energies. When they combined their voices together, they went very far and were able to be heard from all the peaks. Then they heard from all four directions, there were people answering, “As ordered. Long live to Chief, unify the Jianghu!” These were the replies from the Sun Moon Sect’s fragrant masters.

“Headmaster Linghu, please take a seat beside me,” a smiling Ren Woxing said.

Linghu Chong saw five chairs arranged on the west side of the deity’s palm. Each chair was draped with a brocade of the colours black, white, blue-green, red, and yellow. While a mountain peak was embroidered on each brocade. North Heng-Shan was black, and on the black satin was Xianxing Peak embroidered with white thread. He saw the embroidering was attractive and with only a layer of it covering the chair, it had shown how meticulous the Sun Moon Sect had arranged this.

In the five mountains schools, Songshan was the leader while north Heng-Shan was last in standing. But in this seat arrangement, the order had been reversed. The seat of Heng-Shan’s headmaster was at the head, followed by west mountain Huashan, while Songshan School was last. It was Ren Woxing who had lifted his position to intentionally humiliate Zuo Lengchan. But since Zuo Lengchan, Yue Buqun, Mr. Mo Da, and Priest Tianmen had all passed away, Linghu Chong didn’t try to decline. He bowed and said, “I’ll take a seat!” and went to sit on the chair with the black satin draped on it.

The people at the Peak of the Morning Sun were silently waiting. After a long time, Xiang Wentian again commanded those eight old men to call out again but they still didn’t see anyone coming up.

“These people don’t know how to appreciate favours,” Xiang Wentian said. “They’re so late in meeting Chief. Call our people to come up first!”

The eight yellow gowned old men called out, “Five lakes four oceans, every island, every cave, every clan, every stronghold, every mountain, every hall, Brothers, come up to the Peak of Morning Sun to meet Chief!”

When the word ‘Chief’ had just been uttered, the mountain peak was drowned by people crying out, “As ordered!” Their cries shook the valley. Linghu Chong couldn’t help being startled. Hearing this voice, there were at least two to three hundred of them. These people secretly hid themselves and had guessed Ren Woxing’s intention. He had wanted to wait for the people of the five mountains sword schools to arrive first before these thousands of people called out in order to startle and intimidate the five mountains sword schools so they wouldn’t dare to resist. All of a sudden, people from all directions came out around the Peak of Morning Sun. Although there were a lot of them, they didn’t make any noise at all. Every person stood separately at their places. It seemed that they had practised this before hand.

There were around two to three thousands people who had come up the peak. They were all people from the unorthodox path. The rest of the sect’s subordinate were still waiting around the side of the peak.

Linghu Chong swept his eyes and saw Blue Phoenix, Zu Qianqiu, Old Man, and Ji Wushi among them. These people had perhaps been controlled by the Sun Moon Sect, or perhaps they had always been communicating. That day when Linghu Chong led the heroes to attack Shaolin Temple, these people also took part. They looked at Linghu Chong and were all smiling, but none of them called out. Besides the sound of footsteps shuffling, no other sound was heard from these thousands of people on top of this peak. Xiang Wentian raised his right hand and drew a circle in the air. The thousands of people simultaneously kneeled down and simultaneously said, “Jianghu’s juniors pay our respect to Sun Moon Sect’s cultured and esteemed martial artist, benefactors of the common people, Sacred Chief! Long live to Sacred Chief, unify the Jianghu!”

These people were all warriors with high martial arts and they were using their energy to call out. One person was like ten people’s voices. When they said ‘Long live to Sacred Chief, unify the Jianghu’, all the Sun Moon Sect’s people around the mountain also joined in. The sound was really shaking the sky and earth.

Ren Woxing majestically sat without moving. He waited for the cries to finish before he lifted his hand. “Everyone has worked hard. Rise!”

“Thank you, Sacred Chief!” the thousands of people said together and they stood up at the same time.

Linghu Chong thought, “That time when I went up the Dark Wood Cliff, I saw the people in the sect shamelessly flattering Dongfang Bubai that I wanted to vomit just observing them. I never thought when Ren Woxing became chief, the situation becomes even worse. They’ve now added that ‘Sacred’ word in front of his title making him Sacred Chief. I don’t think even the hundreds of scholars and warrior officials would debase themselves in such a fashion when they go to see the current emperor and praise him with ‘Long live to Emperor’. I’m a person who studies martial art. If I acted like this insultingly towards other heroes and people, can I still be called a man, a gentleman?” When he thought till here, his qi suddenly rushed up. Suddenly, he felt pain in his ‘Dantian’ region, his vision darkened, and he felt dizzy.

Both of his hands gripped the chair’s arms tightly. His teeth bit on his lower lip until blood seeped out. He knew that after he learned the ‘Art of Essence Absorbing’, he had sworn off never to use it. But when he was trapped by Yue Buqun inside that fish net outside the cave, his life was hanging by a thread and he was forced to use this demonical method to absorb Yue Buqun’s inner energy. By doing this, he had actually done great harm to himself.

He forcefully restrained himself to not groan aloud. But his body was trembling and his whole face was full of perspiration and distorted. The pain he was in was shown clearly in his expression. Everyone was able to see this clearly. Zu Qianqiu and the others were all looking at him, feeling very concerned.

Yingying walked behind him and whispered, “Brother Chong, I’m here.”

Under the watchful eyes of thousands of people, she could only say this before her face turned bright red. Linghu Chong turned his head around to take a look at her, and he felt somewhat better. He immediately thought of the words Ren Woxing said that day at Hangzhou. Ren Woxing said after he had learned this ‘Art of Essence Absorbing’, he’d get different types of internal energy inside his body and there would come a day when he had to scatter them out. Once he had scattered them, the fierceness would increase by one fold. All those years ago, Ren Woxing gave up his position of chief to Dongfang Bubai also because of these different types of internal energies inside his own body. He always thought on how to solve this problem that he couldn’t think of anything else and was taken advantage of by Dongfang Bubai. Ren Woxing was then imprisoned under the West Lake for more than ten years where he finally discovered how to solve this problem. But he wanted Linghu Chong to join the Sun Moon Sect first before he would teach him this method.

At that time, Linghu Chong was unyielding in his thinking that had been ingrained in his mind since he was small. That the demonical and the orthodox couldn’t co-exist and that he could never join the Devil Sect. Later on, he saw Zuo Lengchan who was a big master of the orthodox path being deceitful and violent, and his action not differing too much when compared to the Devil Sect. Thus, the line between the orthodox and demonical wasn’t that clear anymore. Sometimes, he also thought that if Ren Woxing was determined to make him join the sect then only if he agreed to marry Yingying off to him would he just join the sect without care. His nature was easygoing and he didn’t take anything seriously. It didn’t worry him whether he joined the sect or not, it wasn’t a big deal for him. But that day on the Dark Wood Cliff, when he saw the heroes being so humble towards Dongfang Bubai and Ren Woxing and with them speaking so flatteringly and insincerely, he couldn’t help feeling a strong dislike against the sect instead. He was thinking that if he joined the sect, then he must also spend his days like a slave and he’d become a useless person. Every person has his own fate in living and dying, if he was required to beg to keep his life then Linghu Chong would never do it.

Now, he had further seen Ren Woxing abused his power and arranged everything like he was better than an emperor. He thought of the day when Ren Woxing was back in the dark prison underneath the West Lake, how there was no scenery in there at all. But today, he insulted the world’s heroes like they were not people at all. At this time, he suddenly heard someone said in a clear voice, “Reporting to Sacred Chief, Heng-Shan School’s disciples have arrived.”

Linghu Chong was startled. He saw Yihe, Yiqing, Yilin, and the rest of the Heng-Shan disciples helping each other to go up the peak. Monk No Commandment, his wife, and Tian Boguang were walking behind them.

“Friends,” Bao Dachu said in a loud voice. “Please go and see Sacred Chief.”

Yiqing and the rest of the disciples saw Linghu Chong sitting on the side. They knew Ren Woxing was his father-in-law, so even though they felt the orthodox and demonical shouldn’t be together, on account of their headmaster, they paid their respects as juniors. Walking to the front of the Deity’s Palm, they bowed to pay their respect. “Heng-Shan School’s junior disciples pay our respects to Chief Ren!”

“Kneel and kowtow!” Bao Dachu ordered.

“We’re Buddhist,” Yiqing replied in a loud voice. “We worship Buddha, worship Boddhisatva, worship master, we don’t worship ordinary people!”

“Sacred Chief isn’t an ordinary person,” Bao Dachu shouted. “He’s a divine deity just like Buddha and Boddhisatva!”

Yiqing turned her head to look at Linghu Chong. Linghu Chong shook his head.

“If you want to kill us then kill us!” Yiqing replied. “Disciples of Heng-Shan do not worship ordinary people!”

“Well said, well said!” Monk No Commandment said as he laughed aloud.

“Which school are you from?” Xiang Wentian indignantly questioned. “Where do you come from?”

He saw Heng-Shan School’s disciples weren’t willing to kowtow to Ren Woxing and the situation was now at a deadlock. If they troubled the female disciples then it wouldn’t be good in front of Linghu Chong. So he immediately turned to Monk No Commandment to divide Ren Woxing’s attention and make him forget of the kowtow incident.

“Big temples don’t want to take me in, while little temples don’t want such a wild monk, so I have no family or school,” Monk No Commandment laughingly replied. “I heard there’ll be lots of people gathering here so I came here to take a look and join in the revelry.”

“Today, the Divine Sun Moon Sect is here to meet the five mountains sword schools,” Xiang Wentian said. “Other people aren’t allowed to be here. Go down the mountain!”

Xiang Wentian said this politely because he was taking into account Linghu Chong’s face. He saw Monk No Commandment had come up together with the Heng-Shan School’s female disciples so he expected him to be related to the Heng-Shan School. Thus, he didn’t want to make things to difficult for him.

“This Mount Huashan doesn’t belong to your Devil Sect,” said a smiling No Commandment. “If I want to be here then I’ll be here, if I want to go then I’ll go. Besides the Huashan School’s disciples, who dares to tell me what to do?”

These words ‘Devil Sect’ were a very big taboo in the Sun Moon Sect. Even though the people in Wulin often used the word ‘Devil Sect’ behind their backs, they’d never blatantly speak these words to their faces. Monk No Commandment was a very frank person who spoke his mind and there was nothing he was afraid of saying. When he heard Xiang Wentian telling him to go down the mountain, he was displeased and didn’t even care how many people the enemy had, and unexpectedly didn’t show any fear.

Xiang Wentian turned to Linghu Chong and said, “Brother Linghu, what’s the relationship between your honourable school and this crazy monk?”

Linghu Chong’s chest and stomach were in great pain so he tremblingly replied, “This… this is Great Master No Commandment…”

Ren Woxing was extremely angry to have heard No Commandment addressed them as the ‘Devil Sect’. He was afraid Linghu Chong might say that this monk was deeply connected to him and then they wouldn’t be able to kill him. Without waiting for Linghu Chong to finish, he immediately shouted, “Kill this crazy monk!”

“As ordered!” eight elders in yellow gown acknowledged. They cupped their fists and attacked No Commandment immediately after.

“You’re relying on many people?” No Commandment shouted. He only said a few words and the attacks from these eight elders had arrived.

“How shameless!” that granny scolded.

She leapt in the crowd, got behind Monk No Commandment’s back, and used her palms to fight with the enemies. These eight elders were Sun Moon Sect’s number one experts, and their martial arts were about similar to that of No Commandment and that granny. Moreover, with eight against two, they soon got the upper hand. Tian Boguang pulled out his knife and Yilin raised her long sword to enter the fight. Both of their martial arts were far below theirs, and two of the eight elders separated to fight them. Tian Boguang fought with his fast knife chops and he was able to hold up. But Yilin was already pressed by her enemy until she was gasping for air. If it wasn’t for the fact that the elder saw her wearing Heng-Shan School’s uniform, and that he was giving way to her on Linghu Chong’s account, she would’ve been killed.

Linghu Chong stooped down and pressed his left hand to his stomach. His right hand pulled his long sword out and called out, “Stop… stop!” Rushing into the fight with his long sword trembling, he executed eight moves to force four elders to move back. He turned around and executed another eight moves. These sixteen moves were from the ‘Dugu Nine Sword Art’ and each move was aimed at an elder’s fatal point. The eight elders were forced back and they didn’t dare to fight with him for real so they all stepped back.

Linghu Chong crouched on the ground and said, “Chief… Chief Ren, on my account, please… please let them…” But he couldn’t utter the last word ‘go’.

Ren Woxing saw his situation and guessed that the different types of internal energy inside his body were coming out. He knew that his daughter wanted to marry him and he himself liked his personality. Also, as he never had a son, he was hoping that he would someday be the divine sect’s chief. So he immediately nodded his head and said, “Since Headmaster Linghu requested this, I’ll be lenient today.”

Xiang Wentian moved in a flash with both his hands striking out to seal the acupoints on No Commandment and his wife, Tian Boguang and Yilin. He struck out really fast and mysteriously. Even though that granny had fast as lightning movement, she unexpectedly couldn’t escape from his strike.

“Xiang… Xiang…” Linghu Chong was alarmed.

“Don’t worry,” Xiang Wentian laughed. “Sacred Chief already said he’s going to be lenient.” He turned his head and called out, “Eight guards, step out!”

Eight people wearing blue-green gowns came out and bowed. “We’re ready to receive Left Protector Xiang’s order!”

“Four males and four females,” Xiang Wentian said.

Four males immediately stepped back and replaced by four females.

“These four people spoke improperly and ought to have been killed,” Xiang Wentian said. “But Sacred Chief is lenient and tolerant and on account of Headmaster Linghu, he granted them leniency. Take them down the mountain and unseal their acupoints.”

The eight respectfully bowed and acknowledged the order.

Xiang Wentian lowered his voice and relayed more order, “They’re Headmaster Linghu’s friends. Don’t be rude to them.”

“Yes!” the eight people answered. Taking these four people behind their backs, they went down from the peak.

Linghu Chong and Yingying saw No Commandment and the other three people had escaped with their lives so they let out a long sigh of relief.

“Thank… Thank you!” Linghu Chong said in trembling voice from his crouching position on the ground as he couldn’t stand back up. Just then when he executed the sixteen moves, he forced the eight elders to retreat. However, each of these elders had excellent martial arts and his sword moves wouldn’t have been able to injure them. Although he used these sixteen moves in the blink of an eye, he had consumed a large amount of energy to do so. Now, his chest and stomach felt even more painful.

Xiang Wentian was secretly worried but his face wasn’t showing it. He laughingly said, “Brother Linghu, are you unwell?”

Back then, Linghu Chong and he combined together to fight against numerous heroes and became sword brothers. Even though they had rarely met, their friendship would never change through life and death. He took Linghu Chong’s hand and supported him to sit back on his chair while secretly giving Linghu Chong his inner energy to help him fight against the turmoil in his internal energy. Linghu Chong thought that since he had the ‘Art of Essence Absorbing’ so with Xiang Wentian doing this, he might inadvertently absorb Xiang Wentian’s martial art. Thus, he quickly struggled to break free from Xiang Wentian’s grip. “Big Brother Xiang, don’t! I’m… I’m ok now.”

“From among the five mountains sword schools, only Heng-Shan School came to this meeting,” Ren Woxing said. “The disciples from the remaining four schools are unexpectedly afraid to come up to this peak. We won’t be polite anymore then.”

At this time, Shangguan Yun quickly walked up to the peak and arrived at the front of the Deity’s Palm. He bowed and said, “Reporting to Sacred Chief: Inside the cave on the Cliff of Contemplation, I found hundreds of corpses. Songshan School’s Headmaster Zuo Lengchan is amongst the dead. There are also countless Songshan’s, Hengshan’s, and Taishan’s master-hands. It seems they had killed each other.”

“Ah!” Ren Woxing gasped. “Hengshan’s Headmaster Mo Da is among them?”

“Subordinate carefully examined the corpses,” Shangguan Yun reported. “I didn’t find Mo Da among them. I also didn’t find his traces anywhere in Huashan.”

Linghu Chong and Yingying felt happy and surprised at the same time. They looked at each other and both thought, “Mr. Mo Da can mysteriously appear and disappear, and he actually managed to escape from danger. I’m guessing he might have pretended to be dead amongst the corpses until everything was safe before coming out.”

Then they heard Shangguan Yun continuing, “Taishan School’s Yuqingzi and Yuyinzi are both dead.”

Ren Woxing was very displeased to hear this. “What… What else?”

“Outside that cave,” Shangguan Yun continued. “There’s another corpse.”

“Who is it?” Ren Woxing asked hastily.

“Subordinate checked and he was Huashan School’s Headmaster,” Shangguan Yun reported. “He’s the newly appointed headmaster of the Five Mountains School, the Gentleman Sword Yue Buqun.”

He knew Linghu Chong would inevitably be the sect’s chief in the future, and that Yue Buqun was his master, so that was why he spoke so respectfully about him.

When Ren Woxing heard Yue Buqun had also died, he couldn’t help feeling disappointed. He asked, “Who… Who else has died?”

“When subordinate was inside the cave on the Cliff of Contemplation checking things out, I heard there was sound of fighting behind the cave,” Shangguan Yun said. “I came out to take a look and saw a group of Huashan School’s people and Taishan School’s priests fighting each other. They were saying that the other group had killed their master. Both parties fought violently and many died. I’ve brought them here to receive Sacred Chief’s punishment.”

Ren Woxing hummed and said, “Yue Buqun was killed by Taishan School? Who in Taishan School has the ability to do that?”

From the Heng-Shan School, Yiqing said in a clear voice, “No! Yue Buqun was killed by a sister from the Heng-Shan School.”

“Who?” Ren Woxing demanded.

“The one who just went down the peak, little martial sister Yilin,” Yiqing answered. “Yue Buqun killed our Abbess Master and Martial Uncle Dingyi. Everyone in our school hates him to the bone. Today, with the blessing of Buddha, Abbess Master and Martial Uncle Dingyi borrowed little martial sister’s hand to punish this evildoer.”

“Hmm,” Ren Woxing hummed. “That’s how it is! That can be said the heaven’s net is great and no one can escape.” His disappointment was evident in his speech.

Xiang Wentian and the elders were looking at each other, and were all feeling dejected. This time, the Sun Moon Sect had come to Huashan and had planned everything meticulously. Not only had all the master-hands from the sect came out, they had also gathered all the subordinates from each clan, each stronghold, each cave, and each island to force the five mountains sword schools to submit to them. If the five schools didn’t want to submit, then they would immediately be annihilated. Then Ren Woxing and Sun Moon Sect would control the world. They would continue with Shaolin and Wudang Schools, and none from among the orthodox path would be able to resist. The business of long live the chief and unifying the Jianghu was to be settled today on the Peak of Morning Sun at Mount Huashan. Unexpectedly, Zuo Lengchan, Yue Buqun, and the masters from Taishan School had killed each other, and the whereabouts of Mr. Mo Da was unknown. There also weren’t many left of the juniors from the four schools. The meticulous planning and preparation that had been done by Ren Woxing had all been useless.

Ren Woxing got angrier as he thought more. He shouted, “Bring those dogs from the five sword schools up here!”

“Yes!” Shangguan Yun replied. He turned around to go down the peak to get them.

The different types of internal energies that were disturbed in Linghu Chong’s body gradually calmed down. When he heard Ren Woxing said ‘Bring those dogs from the five sword schools up here’, he still felt unhappy because even though Ren Woxing wasn’t scolding himself, Heng-Shan School was still part of the five mountains sword schools.

After some time, shouting were heard as two elders from the Sun Moon Sect led a group of sect’s people herding thirty three disciples from the Songshan, Taishan, Hengshan, and Huashan School up to the peak. Originally, Huashan School didn’t have that many disciples, but most of the master-hands from Songshan, Taishan, and Hengshan Schools who came to Mount Huashan had died. These thirty three disciples were not only nameless, each one of them were also injured. If not for the Sun Moon Sect’s people helping them to walk, they wouldn’t have been able to get up the peak. Ren Woxing was furious when he saw them. Without waiting for them to come closer, he shouted, “Why do I want these dogs to come up here for? Take them down, take them all down!”

“As ordered by Sacred Chief,” those two elders replied and brought those thirty disciples down from the peak.

Ren Woxing swore a few times before he suddenly laughed aloud. “The actions of the five mountains sword schools can be said to be unforgivable by heaven. We don’t have to do anything and they’re already killing each other. From now on, they no longer exist in Jianghu.”

Xiang Wentian along with ten elders bowed and said, “This is Sacred Chief’s great fortune. All those little bandits died by themselves.”

Xiang Wentian also said, “Within the five mountains sword schools, Heng-Shan School is the only one left. This is all because of Headmaster Linghu’s leadership. From now on, Heng-Shan School and our divine sect will have the same root different branches. We’re going to be prosperous and glorious. Congratulations Sacred Chief to obtain a young hero with no equal in this world to be your vice.”

“That’s right!” Ren Woxing said. “Left Protector Xiang said it well. Little brother Linghu, from today onwards, you can disband your Heng-Shan School. All the Shi Tai and the female disciples in your school are all welcome to come to our Dark Wood Cliff. Otherwise, it won’t be appropriate to stay at Mount Heng-Shan. Then you can take this Heng-Shan’s remnants as your Vice-Chief’s personal army, haha, haha!” He looked up at the sky and let out a loud laugh that shook the valley.

When they heard the words ‘Vice-Chief’, all of them were stupefied. A moment later, they all cheered and cries from all directions were heard, “Hero Linghu be our sect’s Vice-Chief! It’s very good!” “Congratulations Sacred Chief getting an excellent deputy!” “Congratulations Sacred Chief, congratulations Vice-Chief!” “Long live to Sacred Chief, Long live to Vice-Chief!” All the people from the sect had long regarded Linghu Chong as their Chief’s son-in-law, and as he was also appointed as Vice-Chief, it was natural that he would inherit the chief position in the future. They knew he was an easy-going person and when he ascends into power, they most likely wouldn’t have to be so anxious like the current time, when they were forever in fear. The rest of the Jianghu heroes here had most likely followed Linghu Chong in attacking the Shaolin Temple and had gone through trials and tribulations with him. Or perhaps, they had received Yingying’s kindness in getting the medicine. They all supported him from the bottom of their hearts.

“Congratulations Vice-Chief,” Xiang Wentian happily said. “Let’s drink your celebratory wine to welcome you to the sect first. Then we’ll drink your celebratory wine for your marriage to young lady. What a double happiness, happiness on top of happiness.”

But Linghu Chong was at a loss. He knew this matter should not happen but he also didn’t know how to decline it. Another thought was if he declined this then his wish to marry Yingying would not happen. Also, once Ren Woxing was angered, he might even be killed. He didn’t regret dying, but he was afraid all the disciples of Heng-Shan School might all be killed right here. Should he decline it immediately, or should he agree for the time being to let the Heng-Shan’s disciples to go down the mountain safely? He slowly turned his head around to look at the Heng-Shan’s disciples. Some of them were looking angry, some had their heads lowered looking sad, some were looking apprehensive; none of them knew what to do.

Then he heard Shangguan Yun said in a clear and loud voice, “Under the leadership of Sacred Chief and the help of Vice-Chief, let’s burn Shaolin, destroy Wudang, Kunlun, and Emei. Then we’ll also annihilate the Beggar Clan. This will be done easily. Long live to Sacred Chief, unify the Jianghu! Long live Vice-Chief, your benevolent is endless!”

Linghu Chong was hesitating in making a decision. But hearing Shangguan Yun giving him an ode ‘Long live Vice-Chief, your benevolent is endless’, even though it was still not as much as what Ren Woxing received, if he really became the Vice-Chief then this ode would forever follow him. Thinking till here, he felt it was very comical and couldn’t help uttering a laugh. This laughter seemed like a ridicule and when they heard it, the whole Peak of Morning Sun became quiet all of a sudden.

“Headmaster Linghu,” Xiang Wentian addressed him. “Sacred Chief gives you this Vice-Chief position. This means among everyone in Wulin, there’s only one person above you and you have tens of thousands of people below you. Quickly thank Sacred Chief.”

Suddenly, Linghu Chong was enlightened. Without preparation, he stood up and spoke towards the Deity’s Palm, “Chief Ren, junior has two big matters that I’d like to discuss with Chief.”

“You might as well say it,” said a smiling Ren Woxing.

“The first matter,” Linghu Chong said. “Junior was entrusted the position of Heng-Shan School’s headmaster by Dingxian Shi Tai and I took up the position. Even if I can’t improve the prestige of Heng-Shan School, I mustn’t take the Heng-Shan School into the Sun Moon Divine Sect either. Otherwise, later under the Nine Fountains, how would I have the face to meet Dingxian Shi Tai? That’s the first matter. The second matter is personal, I’m asking Chief to let your daughter be my wife.”

When the crowd heard him mentioned the first matter, they felt things would go bad. But hearing him following it up with a public marriage proposal, they looked at each other smiling.

Ren Woxing laughed loudly and said, “The first matter is easily solved. Just give the headmaster position of Heng-Shan School to a Shi Tai here. After you swear the oath to join our divine sect, we can then discuss if Heng-Shan School still needs to join the sect or not. The second matter, Yingying and you are perfectly suited to each other and the whole world already knows. Of course I agree to her marrying you. Why need to be so worry for? Haha, haha!”

Everyone shouted their agreements and was calling out happily.

Linghu Chong turned his head around and took a glance at Yingying. Both her cheeks were crimson and her face showing her delight. He waited until the laughter from the crowd died down before he said in a clear voice, “Because of Chief’s kindness, junior has been invited to join the honourable sect and I was also given a high position. But junior is a plain person who doesn’t follow custom, so if I join the honourable sect, I’ll definitely ruin Chief’s big matter. After careful consideration, I’m hoping Chief withdraw the offer.”

Ren Woxing was angered and he coldly said, “You’re saying you don’t want to join the divine sect?”

“That’s right!” Linghu Chong replied.

Those two words were said determinedly and it left no doubt. In that moment, everyone on the Peak of Morning Sun lost the colours on their faces.

“The different types of internal energies you’ve accumulated in your body manifested today,” Ren Woxing said. “Half a year from now, give or take three months, they’ll manifest again. Then each time it does, it’ll be even worse. As for the method to harmonize them, I’m the only one in the whole world to know how to do it.”

“That day in the Hangzhou Plum Manor and also at the foot of Mount Shaoshi in the middle of the snow field, Chief already told me about this,” Linghu Chong said. “Junior just tasted the feeling of these different types of inner energies manifesting. It’s like my body was going through a thousand deaths. But a gentleman will walk through Jianghu without caring about being death or alive, sad or happy.”

Ren Woxing snorted. “You can still talk so bravely. Today, your Heng-Shan School is all in my grasp. I won’t let a single one of you to go down the mountain alive. I can do that as easy as turning my hand over.”

“Although Heng-Shan School is mostly women, we have no fear,” Linghu Chong said. “If Chief wants to kill us then we pledge to fight to the death.”

Yiqing waved a hand and all the disciples of Heng-Shan School stood behind Linghu Chong.

“We as disciples of Heng-Shan School follow the headmaster’s order, we’re not afraid of dying,” Yiqing shouted.

“We’re not afraid of dying!” the rest of the disciples shouted together.

“The enemies are many, we’re few,” Zheng E said. “We’ve also fallen into a trap. Later, heroes in Jianghu will find out how our Heng-Shan School fight to the death.”

Ren Woxing was furious. He looked up to the sky and laughed aloud. “If I kill you today, they’re going to say I setup this ambush to harm you. Linghu Chong, bring your disciples back to Mount Heng-Shan. One month from now, I’m going to personally go to Xianxing Peak. If by that time a dog or a bird can remain alive on Mount Heng-Shan, then you can regard me as gutless.”

The sect’s people cried out, “Long live to Sacred Chief, unify the Jianghu! Slaughter on Mount Heng-Shan, dogs and bird won’t be spared!”

According to Sun Moon Sect’s cries, going up Xianxing Peak to annihilate the Heng-Shan School was only one climb away. Regardless of how Heng-Shan School prepared their defences once they went back, Sun Moon Sect was certain to slaughter them. Previously when the five mountains sword schools became enemy with the Sun Moon Sect, the five schools supported each other. If one school had a difficulty, the other four schools would come to help. Over the last one hundred years, this had kept the situation unchanged with no side winning or losing. Now, with only one school remaining from the five mountains sword school alliance, of course there would be no way for them to resist. This point was understood by everyone in Heng-Shan School.

When Ren Woxing said he wanted to slaughter the Heng-Shan School without sparing any bird or dog, it wasn’t just big talk. Actually in Ren Woxing’s mind, he was thinking of another thing. Even though Linghu Chong’s sword art was excellent, he would be unable to do it alone and Heng-Shan School by itself wouldn’t be able to avert disaster. What was actually tugging at his mind was Shaolin and Wudang Schools. He was thinking that when Linghu Chong went back and suddenly asked for help from Shaolin and Wudang, these two schools would definitely dispatch their master-hands to Xianxing Peak to help. Then instead of attacking Heng-Shan, he’d attack Wudang and set up a three way ambush between Mount Shaoshi and Mount Wudang. Since Mount Wudang and Shaolin Temple were only hundreds of li apart, Wudang would certainly notify Shaolin when they were in trouble. By that time, a large number of experts from Shaolin Temple would have gone to Heng-Shan, while the rest would definitely come out of their nest to help Wudang. Then Sun Moon Sect would attack Shaolin Temple and burn it down first. By that time, the ambush would be sprung and it would annihilate the Shaolin monks en route to Wudang. Once that was accomplished, they’d go surround Mount Wudang but not attack immediately. They would wait for the masters from Shaolin and Wudang who had gone to Heng-Shan to hear of the news first. These master-hands would rush thousands of li to be back at Wudang, while Sun Moon Divine Sect would leisurely wait for them and ambushed them midway and things would go well.

After that, attacking Wudang and annihilating Heng-Shan would be as easy as turning his palm over. At this instant, he had decided on the plan to do away with Shaolin and Wudang, and he had been repeating it over and over in his head guessing that it would most likely succeed. Even though Linghu Chong had insulted him by not willing to enter the sect, it was only by his act that Sun Moon Divine Sect would succeed in uniting Jianghu. The happiness in Ren Woxing’s heart was indescribable.

Linghu Chong turned to Yingying and said, “Yingying, you can’t go with me?”

Yingying’s eyes were already full of tears a long time ago. She couldn’t endure it anymore and tears flowed down her cheeks. “If I follow you to Heng-Shan, that won’t be filial; If I lose you, it’s also not right. It’s hard to fulfil both filialness and comradeship. Brother Chong, Brother Chong, don’t think about me anymore. In any case, you …”

“What?”

“In any case, you won’t live for much longer. I also wouldn’t live one day longer than you.”

“Your father already agreed to marry you to me,” said a smiling Linghu Chong. “He’s a Chief with long life, a Sacred Chief who unifies Jianghu, how can his words not be believed? How about if we pay respect to heaven and earth right here and become husband and wife?”

Yingying was startled. Although she knew Linghu Chong was a rash and unruly person, she didn’t expect he would say such a thing. Her face couldn’t help turning bright red. “How… How can we do that?”

Linghu Chong laughed aloud and said, “We’ll part here then.” He knew Yingying’s heart. She was waiting for Ren Woxing to lead the sect to attack Heng-Shan, and once he died, she would also commit suicide. This was inevitable and there was nothing to stop it. If at this time she could do away with custom and agree to marry him on this Peak of Morning Sun and go back together to Mount Heng-Shan, then they could’ve enjoyed a few days as newlyweds and died together later on. There would’ve been no regret.

But this act was just too shocking, it didn’t matter when Linghu Chong who lived like a beggar did it. But for Young lady Ren, who was shy and proper, she definitely couldn’t do it. Moreover, if she did this, then it would also make her not filial. So after he laughed, he cupped his fists towards Ren Woxing, Xiang Wentian, and the elders around there.

“Linghu Chong will respectfully wait for you all at Xianxing Peak!” Linghu Chong said. Once he finished, he turned around to go.

“Wait!” Xiang Wentian quickly interrupted. “Bring the wine over! Brother Linghu, if we don’t get drunk today, we won’t have the chance later on.”

Linghu Chong laughed heartily. “Wonderful, wonderful! Brother Xiang really knows me.”

When the Sun Moon Sect came to Mount Huashan, they had planned everything meticulously. When Xiang Wentian shouted ‘bring the wine over’, subordinates carrying jugs of wine immediately came over, broke open the cover, and poured the wine. Xiang Wentian and Linghu Chong each drank a bowl.

From the crowd, a short and stout person walked out. That person was Old Man and he said, “Master Linghu, I will always remember your benevolence. I salute you with a bowl today.” As he finished saying this, he heaved a bowl and gulped it down. He was only a nobody who was under the jurisdiction of the Sun Moon Sect and his position was nowhere near that of Xiang Wentian. When Linghu Chong wasn’t willing to join the sect, he had publicly insulted Ren Woxing. So a small fry like Old Man daring to come forward to toast Linghu Chong would probably meet with death soon. He put comradeship above his own life and didn’t think of the dangers facing him in the future. When the crowd saw him so daring, they secretly admired him.

Zu Qianqiu, Ji Wushi, Blue Phoenix, Huang Boliu, and other people came forward one by one and toasted him. Linghu Chong drank his bowl of wines and saw the people coming up to toast him were unending. He thought, “So many friends regard me and Linghu Chong hasn’t lived in vain. But why do I have to kill them?” He lifted his bowl and said, “Friends, Linghu Chong can’t drink anymore so let’s stop drinking for today. When you come to attack Heng-Shan, I’ll prepare wine at the bottom at the mountain and we’ll get drunk before we fight!” He gulped down a bowl when he finished saying his speech

The crowd said together, “Headmaster Linghu, a straight talk from a straightforward person!”

There were also people who said, “After we get drunk, we’ll fight a drunken fight. It’ll be interesting.”

Linghu Chong tossed his wine bowl on the ground and drunkenly walked down the peak. Yiqing, Yihe, and the other Heng-Shan’s disciples followed him down the peak.

When the crowd was sharing a drink with Linghu Chong, Ren Woxing was smiling and didn’t utter a word. But his heart was thinking on how to prepare the three way ambush between Shaolin and Wudang; How to pretend to attack Heng-Shan to lead the experts from Shaolin and Wudang Schools to go and help; How to open one side of Wudang during the attack to let someone escape through to get help from Shaolin Temple; Also, how to do this in a manner that the strategists in the opponent camp do not figure out the plan. When Linghu Chong went down the mountain, all the plans on destroying Wudang and subduing Shaolin had more or less been formed in his heart. He also thought, “These chaps actually dared to toast that little kid in front of me. This debt will be settled slowly. I’m going to use them for now and not do anything for now. Wait until Shaolin, Wudang, and Heng-Shan Schools are destroyed, then everyone who toasted Linghu Chong today won’t have a good fate.”

Suddenly he heard Xiang Wentian said, “Everyone hear me: Sacred Chief knows Linghu Chong is stubborn and doesn’t take *** kissing (I can’t think of a better word) but he still tried to persuade him with nice words. Even though Sacred Chief is a broad-minded person and loves a talented person, he has a deeper meaning in doing this that Linghu Chong couldn’t grasp. Today, we could’ve easily destroyed Songshan, Taishan, Huashan, and Hengshan Schools. Sun Moon Divine Sect, glory to the sect!”

The sect’s disciples cried out, “Long live to Sacred Chief, unify the Jianghu!”

Xiang Wentian waited until their voices died down before he continued, “There’s still Shaolin and Wudang Schools in Wulin. They’re our sect’s biggest dangers. Sacred Chief wanted to use Linghu Chong to set up his plan in destroying Shaolin and annihilating Wudang. Sacred Chief’s plan is foolproof and he had the whole idea in his mind already. He had already anticipated that Linghu Chong wouldn’t agree to join the sect and sure enough, he didn’t agree to join the sect. So we toasted Linghu Chong before just as ordered by Sacred Chief!”

When the sect’s disciples heard this, they all thought, “So that’s how it is!” Then they all shouted, “Long live to Sacred Chief, unify the Jianghu.”

Xiang Wentian had followed Ren Woxing for so many years and knew what his personality was like. When the feeling of comradeship was roused in his heart, he toasted Linghu Chong. He knew this would make Ren Woxing unhappy, but it didn’t matter for him. But when the remaining people also toasted him, it was unavoidable that they would be killed later. So he quickly composed a speech in order to save Ren Woxing’s face and to also save Old Man, Ji Wushi, and those people’s lives. In saying this, when the people toasted Linghu Chong, they had not ruin Ren Woxing’s authority and instead appeared to make him look to have foresighted it. When Ren Woxing heard Xiang Wentian related it in such a way, he felt really happy and secretly thought, “Left Protector Xiang has after all followed me for many years so he knows what I’m thinking. But, even though he knows I want to destroy Shaolin and annihilate Wudang, he still couldn’t guess the method on how I’m going to do that. The strategy for this will be revealed step by step, even he wouldn’t know of the whole plan before hand.”

“Sacred Chief is so knowledgeable. Everything in this world is already calculated by him,” Shangguan Yun shouted. “What Sacred Chief wants us to do then we’ll do it, we won’t go wrong.”

“Wherever Sacred Chief points us to, we’ll go,” Bao Dachu said. “We’ll go through water and fire, we won’t balk a tens of thousands of deaths.”

“For Sacred Chief, dying a hundred thousands times is better than living without purpose,” Qin Weibang cried out.

Another person said, “Brothers, you’ve all said it. These last few days had been the most interesting days in our lives, we’d been able to see Sacred Chief everyday. Seeing Sacred Chief once gives us strength and refreshes our minds, just like we’ve practiced inner energy for ten years.”

Another person said, “Sacred Chief illuminates the world making our Sun Moon Sect favoured by the common people, also like the rain coming down after a long drought. Everyone’s happy and they’re giving thanks.”

Another person said, “Heroes from ancient times till now, the grand heroes, holy saints, none of them is able to reach Sacred Chief. How can Confucius’ martial art be as good as Sacred Chief? Marquis Guan is the measure of braveness, but how can he measure up against Sacred Chief’s wisdom? Even though Zhuge’s stratagem is high, how would he fare with a sword against our Sacred Chief?”

The sect’s disciples cheered loudly and they called out, “Confucius, Marquis Guan, Zhuge Liang, who can compare with our Sacred Chief!”

“After our divine sect unites the Jianghu, we’ll get all the statues of Confucius out of the culture temple and all the Guan Yu’s statues out of the martial temple” Bao Dachu said. “We’ll erect Sacred Chief’s statues in their places!”

“Long live to Sacred Chief, long live!” Shangguan Yun shouted. “Our child and grandchildren, eighteen generations of our descendants, all of them will follow Sacred Chief.”

The crowd called out at the same time, “Long live to Sacred Chief, unify the Jianghu! Long live, unify the Jianghu!”

Ren Woxing heard his subordinates flattering him endlessly. Although some of these praises were rather fantastical, he thought he could use some of them. He thought, “Some of these talks aren’t wrong. Zhuge Liang’s martial art is definitely not my match, and when he conducted the six campaigns out of Mount Qi, he wasn’t successful at all. So talking of wisdom and knowledge, is he any better than me? Guan Yu crossed five passes and slayed six generals, this is brave. But if he were to fight me alone, how could withstand against my ‘Art of Essence Absorbing’? Confucius only had no more than three thousands disciples, while my subordinates number in the thirty thousands. He led three thousands disciples running here and there, and ran out of food and couldn’t do anything. I led tens of thousands of people to across the world and go whereever I wish without any problem. Confucius’ ability and wisdom when compared to Ren Woxing’s aren’t that far apart.”

Hearing the cries of ‘Long live, unify the Jianghu! Long live, unify the Jianghu!’ shaking the ground, the people around the mountain also started to call out. The echoes resounded throughout the mountain. Ren Woxing smugly stood up.

When the sect’s disciples saw him stood up, they all paid their respects by prostrating on the ground. All of a sudden, Peak of Morning Sun became quiet and there wasn’t the slightest noise heard. Sunshine covered Ren Woxing’s face and his entire body. The majestic looking Chief of the Sun Moon Sect looked like a god. Ren Woxing laughed aloud and said, “If only I could live forever like to…” When he spoke till here, he was suddenly mute. He moved his energy to say the word ‘today’, but he felt his chest contracting and the word couldn’t come out from his mouth. He pressed his chest using his right hand wanting to press down the blood bubbling up on his throat but he felt dizzy and the sunshine dazzled him.

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