1. #4401
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks foxs.

    XZL paying SFX a visit. Wonder where this will lead.

    Quote Originally Posted by wangxiaohu View Post
    No, that's not what I mean.
    Foxs patted your shoulder 3 times, lucky you're all right. I'm afraid you suffered heavy internal injuries because of foxs spiralling chi.
    LOL! No need to worry. Like the boys, I hace amazing healing power! Hahahha

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    Default Book 16 Chapter 11 - Part 2

    Ysabel, Jaya, you are welcome. Sky ...

    One more chapter to close Book 16.



    Liao Kong was wearing grey monk robe, with dark brown outer robe hanging on his shoulders. The empty spacious hall was quiet and noiseless.

    Xu Ziling stood with his hands behind his back, as if he had turned into another revered stone statue, aloof and detached from the mundane world, without the slightest hint of impatience.

    Quite a while later, Liao Kongs gentle voice spoke softly, Luoyangs temple, monastery and grotto, three famous scenic destinations, I wonder if Xu Shizhu has visited them?

    Xu Ziling was astonished inwardly. If Liao Kong had been speaking about anything else, even Buddhist terms and Buddhist allegory, he would not have been surprised. But he was referring to Luoyangs famous places, which has nothing to do with the current affairs wind, horse or ox. It really stumped him that he did not know how to respond.

    For lack of better option, he modestly asked, Would Dashi bestow me comprehensive revelation, please?

    Liao Kong glibly said, Temple is the White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple in the Central Plains, built during the Eastern Han [25-220 AD] Yongpings tenth year. In those days, when the two senior monks She Moteng and Zhu Falan were returning back from India, Buddhist scripture and Buddhist images were brought back on white horses, hence the name White Horse. This became the start of Buddhism in the Central Earth; therefore, the Temple has the reputation as the root of Buddhism and the ancestor hall. For Buddha believer who does not visit this temple, it would be a matter of lifelong regret.

    Thank you very much for Dashis enlightenment, Xu Ziling said, But I do not know where the White Horse Temple is located.

    Liao Kong replied indifferently, If Xu Shizhu is a person with aspirations, you will find out.

    Without waiting for Xu Ziling to respond, he continued, Monastery is the Laojun Monastery [Laozi or Lao-tze (c. 500 BC), founder of Taoism], located on the apex of the Cui Yun [lit. bluish-green cloud] Peak on Mount Mang, several li north of the city. Legend has it that it is the sacred place where Laozi Li Er perfected his pellet [(?) not sure about this]. Unfortunately presently it is under the witches and demons control; the sacred place becomes demonic cave.

    Greatly surprised, Xu Ziling asked, How did that happen?

    Liao Kong calmly replied, There are a lot of things, which are inconvenient for Lao Na [lit. old cassock, a term used by old Buddhist monk to call himself] to tell you in details. Its just that seeing that Xu Shizhus learning came from the Taoist Schools [one of the schools mentioned in footnote 1] founder Guangcheng Zi, I mentioned it in passing.

    Every word that he said was shrouded in profound theory, which was so deep that it was difficult to understand.

    Liao Kong went on, As for the Grotto, it is the Longmen Grottoes, located south of our Temple about ten li away by the shore of Yi River. Due to the two mountains standing opposite to each other, which overlook it like imperial city watchtower, it is also known as the Yi Watchtower. On the cliffs along the shores on both sides of the river there are shrines and rock caves, big and small, extending continuously for several li. The scenery is stunning.

    And then he spoke in astonishment, Ah yes! What is the purpose of Xu Shizhus visit this time? Lao Na already forgot.

    Taken aback by his question, Xu Ziling said, I have forgotten as well. Thank you Dashi for giving me directions.

    Finished speaking he floated away from the Hall.

    ※ ※ ※

    A man, who, in terms of appearance and build, looked seventy, eighty-percent similar to Wang Shichong, entered the study room and prostrated himself to pay his respects, followed by Ouyang Xiyi, Linglong Jiao, Priest Ke Feng, Chen Changlin, the group of martial art masters, and then Wang Shichongs two sons, Wang Xuanying and Wang Xuanshu, as well as the great generals Zhang Zhenzhou and Yang Gongqing.

    Just by looking at this ensemble of people, Kou Zhong knew that they had something important to discuss.

    After everybody was seated, with Kou Zhong occupying the head seat on the left, opposite to Ouyang Xiyi, who sat on the head seat on the right, and the lower seats started with Zhang Zhenzhou, and so on, Wang Shichong helped his body double standing up and proudly said to Kou Zhong, What do you think?

    Kou Zhong nodded and said, Definitely can pass off fish eyes for pearls [idiom: pass off fake products as genuine]. But under tomorrow nights circumstances, hey!

    Wang Shichong knew he wanted to speak his mind, hence he ordered his body double to leave first before speaking in delight, Now everybody is our own people, whatever you want to say, you may speak freely!

    Wang Shichongs eldest son, Wang Xuanying, whose appearance looked like he indulged too much in wine and women, proudly said, This is called train an army for a thousand days to use it for an hour [idiom; fig. extensive preparation eventually pays off]. Year before last Xuanying looked for and found this man from Guanzhou, and I personally trained and coached him. I guarantee no one will be able to see through.

    Just by looking at his expression, which showed that he was afraid others might not know his merit, people knew that this son cannot become a very capable person.

    Frowning, Ouyang Xiyi said, This man does not know martial art. Any expert who observes his every movement or watching him taking a couple of steps would immediately know that he is not Shichong Xiong himself.

    Planned in advance, Wang Shichong said, If anyone wanted to assassinate me, the best time would be on the way to the meeting, or perhaps on the way back. So having him sitting on the carriage will be enough.

    At this point everybody knew that Wang Shichong was definitely unwilling risk this danger.

    Priest Ke Feng frowned and said, This time we want the enemys assassination attempt to be successful, and that Shichong Xiong pretends to sustain injuries, only then will Li Mi be tempted to send his troops immediately. As soon as the so-called expert make his move, he would know the man has nothing in him. If he could be easily slaughtered, anybody would be suspicious instead; how could this scheme be successful?

    Wang Shichong happily said, That the is key point; behind the fake hides the real. I am going to hide inside the carriage compartment. If the enemy is too powerful that he can break into the carriage to kill, I will make a sudden appearance. It would be best if the incoming is Huang Gongcuo or perhaps You Chuhong of someone their caliber, so that after I injure them, I could pretend to fight desperately and sustain injuries. This way we can convince the enemy even more. Naturally I will need all of you to work together with me.

    Turning to Kou Zhong, he said, Kou Xiaoxiong, do you have anything else to say?

    Kou Zhong asked, Why wouldnt the enemy make their move during the banquet?

    Wang Xuanying replied on behalf of his father, The reason is very simple. This time Rong Fengxiang invited all celebrities from all parts of the country, who are currently in Luoyang, to the feast. At that time martial art masters will be as numerous as the cloud, and among them there is no lack of masters who have good relationship with us. Under this kind of circumstance, issuing public challenge will not be a problem, but assassination attempt? There will be too many variables; maybe they would fall until their head and face filthy with grime, and would have to bag the food before they could finish it.

    Kou Zhong sighed inwardly. I have nothing more to say, he spoke dejectedly.

    He originally had a lot of brilliant schemes, but seeing Wang Shichong obviously refused to risk himself to brave the danger, he had nothing to say.

    ※ ※ ※

    Stepping out of the main entrance of the Abbots room, Xu Ziling took a deep breath of fresh and clear air.

    A drizzle had just started falling from the sky, looking around, near and far, he did not see anybody.

    Everywhere in Jing Nian Chanyuan, he could feel the hidden Buddhism subtleties and Buddhist spirit.

    Take himself, for example, he was originally their enemy, but he did not sense the slightest degree of hostility.

    As if nothing has ever happened between them.

    He felt that his failure to meet Shi Feixuan was just proper and to be expected as a matter of course. If he was able to see Shi Feixuan, that would come as a surprise indeed.

    But in order to find peace in his heart, he must still pursue this matter to the end!

    What he wanted was to meet face to face with Shi Feixuan to resolve the problem of Jade Annulus of He Clan. Until this moment, he still believed that stealing the treasure was neither a bad thing nor a wrong thing. It was merely a strategy related to the power struggle to obtain the world.

    For a divine object like the Jade Annulus of He Clan, it was merely fulfilling its destiny.

    He slowly walked down the steps, and was just about to walk in the direction of the Fo Dao when he sensed a premonition in his heart.

    Just like something was waiting for him.

    Scanning the area around with his eyes, he noticed a bamboo forest on the left end of the Abbot Courtyard. After thinking for a moment, Xu Ziling decided to walk toward the forest.

    When he came near, he saw another stone path winding among the bamboo, which seemed to be snaking into a secluded distant place. Under the continuous drizzle, it looked particularly enchanting.

    Xu Ziling followed the path, turned around a corner, and was greeted by a wide-open space in front of him. Turned out the end of the path was the edge of a cliff. Not only it overlooked the mountain and wilderness, as well as cultivated fields far and near, it also offered a panoramic view of the City of Luoyang at the end of the eastern plain.

    Under the fine rain filling the sky, in this poetic and picturesque beautiful scenery, Shi Feixuan, wearing mens scholar attire, was standing gracefully overlooking the cliff, which extended as far as the end of the earth, her thoughts wandering far away.

    Xu Ziling respectfully saluted toward her jade back, and spoke sincerely, Miss is willing to make an exception by seeing me, Xu Ziling cant thank you enough.

    Shi Feixuan sighed gently. Stretching out her delicate and beautiful jade finger, she pointed at the City of Luoyang in the distance, and with a sadness of the country being wounded, she said, Since the time of Wei, Jin, and North-South dynasties, Luoyang has repeatedly become the battleground of various military forces; many times it was destroyed and collapsed, implicating common people and forced them into exile. The Central Plains situation is bleak; there is no smoke for a thousand li, hunger and cold flowing to perish, only to fill bottomless gorge. Other than that, does Xu Xiong know what else we lost?

    Although Xu Ziling had enough intelligence and wisdom, this moment he could only stare blankly and shook his head.

    As if she had eyes behind her head, Shi Feixuan seemed to see him shaking his head; she spoke indifferently, Luoyangs name came from a document from the Warring States period [475-221 BC], Strategies of the Warring States. Inside there is a reference of Su Qin going over Luoyang. Since then it was repeatedly chosen as the rulers city, and became our countrys cultural and economic center. During Northern Wei Dynasty, just Buddhist temples alone numbered 1367.

    Speechless, Xu Ziling asked, There are that many?

    Shi Feixuan continued, Luoyang tends to become our countrys cultural melting pot, just the library collection itself reaches seven thousand volumes. Moreover, it is a place derives reflected glory from an illustrious son [orig. illustrious hero, spirit of the place], renowned experts from successive generations come forth in large numbers. Cai Lun[1] produced his prototype Cai Hou Paper here; Zhang Heng created Armillary Sphere, Wind Observatory Instrument, and Seismograph; Ma Jun invented Mechanical Compass; Wang Chong wrote Measurement Theory; Ban Gu brother and sister wrote History of the Former Han Dynasty; Chen Shou compiled History of the Three Kingdoms. Chronicles of Luoyang Galan and Straddling Water Commentary were published here. Indeed the City of Luoyangs contribution to our country, no other place can match.

    Listening to her, Xu Ziling felt deep veneration. If he had not browsed through the short sketches Lu Miaozi handed down to him, listening to her this time, his mind would have been at a loss. This moment, although he still could not completely comprehend what she said, but at least he knew that Shi Feixuan was definitely an educated celestial being, conversant with things past and present.

    To him and Kou Zhong, no matter how many times they looked at Luoyang City, they would not have emotional stirring and make an associative connection like Shi Feixuan.

    She was grieved over Luoyangs more than a hundred years history.

    Shi Feixuans thoughts wandering far away as she said, Have Xu Xiong been to the Xin Tan [lit. new pool] at the northern market [or city]?

    Xu Ziling mused inwardly that coming and going, all he ever visited were the Luo River, the Heavenly Street, and Tianjin Bridge; perhaps for one thing or another he also went to the streets and lanes at the southern part of the city, but he had never been to the northern market area. Smiling wryly, he replied, I havent!

    Shi Feixuan said, In that case, Xu Xiong must see this place, which is known to be the largest collection of ships and boats in the world. At its peak, there were up to ten thousand ships and boats, large and small.

    And then she lowered her voice, The rise and fall of everything then and now, we only need to look at Luoyang City.

    Listening to the tone of her voice, which sounded like nature itself, like heavenly sound, telling him about the rise and fall, flourish and decline of Luoyang, a picture of Luoyang appeared in Xu Zilings mind, as if Luoyangs thousand-year history suddenly flashed through his mind. This feeling was both tragic and touching.

    The gentle and soft raindrops were falling gracefully on them.

    It was only the first time that Xu Ziling encounter this kind of person, who bemoaned the state of the universe and pity the fate of mankind like Shi Feixuan, an outstanding figure who had Bodhisattvas great compassion and great sorrow.

    All of a sudden he thoroughly understood Shi Feixuan looking for the Son of Heaven ordained by heaven, it was due to her great compassion to save mankind from the abyss of suffering [orig. deep water and scorching fire].


    [1] Cai Lun (-121), inventor of the papermaking process. Zhang Heng (78-139), great Han dynasty astronomer and mathematician. Wang Chong (27-97), rationalist and critical philosopher. Ban Gu (32-92), Eastern Han dynasty historian. Chen Shou compiled 24 Dynastic Histories in 289 during Jin Dynasty, 65 scrolls.

  3. #4403
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    Thanks foxs.

    Am I the only one who's not feeling the pull of SFX?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyWalker View Post
    Thanks foxs.

    Am I the only one who's not feeling the pull of SFX?
    Me too.....

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    Thanks foxs

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    Thanks, foxs.

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    Thanks foxs

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    Default Book 16 Chapter 12 - Part 1

    Sky, Xiaohu, I don't like her for different reason: Huang Yi always used flowery language in describing everything about her, and to be honest with you, my Chinese knowledge is not enough to handle that, so I am always struggling whenever she appeared. Ysabel, Jaya, HPC, you are welcome.


    Book 16 Chapter 12 Everything In The World Has Its Own Purpose

    Ouyang Xiyi, Priest Ke Feng, and Kou Zhong left the study room together.

    Priest Ke Feng asked Kou Zhong, Looking at Kou Xiao Xiongs expression, you dont seem too impressed at Shangshu Darens arrangement concerning his body double.

    Kou Zhong smiled wryly and said, This proves that my cultivation is still shallow; a bit of worry and I cannot conceal it.

    Priest Ke Feng smiled and said, When we were young, who were not like that? Xiyi Xiong and I have been there.

    Ouyang Xiyi laughed and said, When I was Xiao Xiongdis age, I did not have that kind of ability.

    Priest Ke Feng said, Now its my turn to be on duty; Xiyi Xiong better use this time to cultivate your spirit. In these few days, hard fighting will be hard to avoid. Finished speaking, he stopped and saluted.

    Ouyang Xiyi and Kou Zhong continued side by side toward the main gate. He said, Shichong Xiong has really big face, unexpectedly he was able to invite Ke Feng, this kind of martial art master, to come and help him. Apparently his relationship with Laojun [Laozi/Lao-tze] Temple is not shallow at all.

    Kou Zhong casually asked, What kind of school is Laojun Temple? How come it has such a strange name?

    Ouyang Xiyi asked in surprise, The impression you are giving out is that you possess great magical power, but unexpectedly you dont know the Laojun Temple on the summit of Cuiyun Peak on Mount Mang north of Luoyang. This is really hard to believe.

    Kou Zhong stopped in front of the doorstep. Looking at the fine droplets of rain floating in the air outside the door, he said calmly, Therefore, it is very critical that Qianbei [older generation] gives more pointers to the kid; sometimes I am very muddleheaded.

    Ouyang Xiyi spoke in low voice, When I saw you for the first time, I was happy, and felt that you and I have a very close predestined affinity. But last night when I received news that you were besieged at the Tianjin Bridge, it was actually Laofu [old man, referring to self] who advocated strongly not to rush indiscriminately into action. On one hand its because I believed that you have a way to escape. The other reason was that this was obviously a trap. [Translators note: you here are plural.]

    This kid had no idea, Kou Zhong said.

    Ouyang Xiyi said, If I did not tell you, you would never know. But I especially mention this matter, because the one who advocated strongly to help you was Ke Feng. It can clearly be seen that he is quite fond on you.

    Frowning, Kou Zhong said, Based on his intelligence, how could he not know that it was a carefully laid plot?

    Ouyang Xiyi replied, At that time everybody was feeling something was amiss; just to deal with you, why did the Dugu Clan dispatch close to a thousand Imperial Bodyguards to blockade the streets and alleys? But we had no time to think it through. Fortunately there is an aid-cum-advisor under Shichong Xiongs command by the name of Xu Xingzhi who privately reminded Laofu. Otherwise I am afraid we would fall into the enemys evil plan.

    Kou Zhong smirked inwardly. Xu Xingzhi was indeed a talent; only a short time and he had already gained Ouyang Xiyis trust.

    Ouyang Xiyi patted his shoulder and said, Now Laofu is going back to my room to sit in meditation to cultivate my spirit. When you come back tonight, you may look for Laofu to have a drink and chat. Do you know how to play chess?

    I just watched other people play, Kou Zhong replied.

    Ouyang Xiyi laughed aloud and said, Affairs of life are just like the game of chess. If I were an expert in the arena of chess, you are a master chess player playing outside the chessboard. Be careful. People who want the head above your neck will be bashing sideways and colliding straight on to run into you!

    Finished speaking, he returned inside the Mansion happily.

    Inwardly, Kou Zhong was amused as well.

    Which move he ought to take now?

    As soon as he stepped over the doorstep, the guards on both sides immediately stood to salute him; none without expression full of respect.

    Kou Zhong knew that he has established fame for his fighting prowess in Luoyang. Did Miss take a carriage or ride a horse? he asked one of the guards.

    Miss rode away, the man blurted without thinking.

    Kou Zhong thought fast. He imagined the exquisite scene that would ensue as soon as Dong Shuni inquired Yang Xuyan, and this couple engaged in an illicit love affair found out that they had fallen into a trap. What kind of man Yang Xuyan was anyway? He did not appear to be someone who would be willing to accept an inferior status.

    Supposing Wang Shichongs deal with Li Shimin became reality, Dong Shuni thus became Li Yuans imperial concubine; wouldnt Yang Xuyan then become the man who had the first taste of Dong Wangfeis [princess] soup? How would this account be settled?

    Thinking to this point, Kou Zhong suddenly felt another headache coming.

    ※ ※ ※

    Xu Ziling looked at Shi Feixuans moving back, which could make people all over the world, men and women, prostrate themselves in wholehearted admiration. That night at the Tianjin Bridge, Miss basically did not sustain injury at all? he asked in heavy voice.

    Finally Shi Feixuan turned her tender body around. Her lucid-and-elegant-without-equal jade countenance showed astonishment for the first time; after carefully sizing him up for half a day, she spoke softly, Was it just Xu Xiongs wild guess, or your eyesight is so brilliant that you are able to see through my condition?

    Remaining tranquil and calm, Xu Ziling replied, It was purely a kind of intuition.

    Shi Feixuan sighed and said, In that case Xu Xiong is indeed a man with intelligent and wisdom. But I really received a bit of internal injury, only it was not as heavy as I let on. By the time I step off of the Tianjin Bridge, I have fully recovered.

    After a short pause, she revealed a sweet smile, with a hint of innocence in it, her pretty eyes full of meaning, as she said, Does Xu Xiong know why Feixuan played such a deceptive trick?

    Confronted with such an expression, which rarely appeared on her face, Xu Zilings heartstrings received an intense shock; but in the blink of an eye later he regained his composure, and replied with a smile, Did Miss want to fool Wanwan?

    With her pair of eyes, which were more limpid than a vast and deep autumn pool, she revealed another sweet, extremely moving, smile.

    Seeing how under her constant stares Xu Ziling was able to remain elegant, confident and at ease, his demeanor and movements remain natural, Shi Feixuans fragrant heart was even more astonished.

    If it were other men that she encountered, other than Hou Xibai, under this circumstance, they would either be at a loss to know what to do, or would be flustered. None would be like this person, who was completely unaffected by her intimidating gaze.

    Shi Feixuans elegant, clear and captivating jade countenance revealed a deep, thoughtful but charming smile, as she spoke slowly, Nobody can deceive me, but the one I wanted to deceive was you, Xu Ziling. Otherwise, Feixuan would not have any excuse to retreat.

    Xu Ziling finally broke down; his handsome face slightly blushed, he said, Miss remark is indeed beyond my expectation. Miss could not possibly think that I am related to the Jade Annulus of He Clans theft?

    Shi Feixuan spoke gently, Exactly the opposite. I knew from the start that it was you who stole the Jade Annulus of He Clan.

    At a loss, Xu Ziling said, Zaixia is even more confused now. Why did Miss deliberately let me off?

    Shi Feixuan cheerfully replied, Finally you are willing to admit that you are the thief who stole the treasure!

    Smiling ruefully, Xu Ziling said, That is precisely the reason I came to pay a formal visit to Miss. You can put any debt on my account. But I will definitely not wait helplessly for death, although I will never harm anybody in the Temple either.

    A look of pity appeared on Shi Feixuans face; she sighed and said, Although the Secret to Long Life can make you step up into the rank of top martial art experts, but it also made you nearly suffer fire-deviation. In here, other than Feixuan, Liao Kong Dashi also has the ability to put you to death. Xu Xiong, is it possible for you to tell me, you were fully aware that you were going to throw your life away, yet you still came here?

    Shrugging his shoulders, Xu Ziling said, The main reason is that because you are doing your utmost for the people, but in itself you people are not seeking after personal gain, making me feel that deceiving you is some kind of a sin.

    Shi Feixuan moved closer step-by-step; she said, Isnt stealing the treasure a sin? Why did Xu Xiong deliberately commit a crime?

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    Senior Member LuDongBin's Avatar
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    I suspect SFX will play a bigger role as we move along ... Thks foxs.

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    Thanks foxs

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    More people like wanwan and don't like SFX.This happen when the book come out, and repeat again in the translation.

    Huang Yi arrange it on purpose. HY said in the interview. Most people are grey, different shade of grey instead of black and white, Wanwan, the demon girl, is suppose to be black, but she is not, she is grey, SFX, the holy girl, is suppose to be white, but she is not, she is grey. Both Wanwan and SFX are symbols of their side of schools, and that is what HY imply.

    Difficulty in translation, unfortunately there will be more coming, enjoy the ride and turn it to your accomplishment.
    Last edited by akolaw; 01-11-17 at 04:33 PM.

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    Thanks, foxs.

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    Waiting for something....

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    ...guess not coming today?

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    Thanks foxs.

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    Default Book 16 Chapter 12 - Part 2

    DongBin, I agree, along with Wanwan, Shi Feixuan is a major character. Ysabel, Jaya, Sky, HPC, you are welcome. Akolaw, what's the basis of your opinion? You said, 'more people like Wanwan', but then on the next paragraph you said both were 'grey'. Xiaohu, what are you waiting for? Oh ... I am kind of busy lately, and will be until at least end of February. Besides, you are the only one ... Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have avid fan, and I do appreciate it. Thank you. Anyway, here's the end of Book 16.


    Xu Ziling laughed hoarsely and said, I want to ask Miss a question first. If his opponent was a virtuous and benevolent ruler, would Li Shimin abandon his desire to strive for the world?

    Not only Shi Feixuan was not offended, she found it very interesting instead. I did not expect Xu Xiong to be an eloquent scholar, she said, But returning to the original topic, where exactly is the Jade Annulus of He Clan?

    Xu Ziling dejectedly replied, To be honest with you, if the Jade Annulus of He Clan is in my hands, perhaps I would really return it to you. Unfortunately the Jade Annulus of He Clan is finished!

    Shi Feixuans jade countenance did not show the least bit of emotion; she quietly looked at him for half a day. Finally she sighed tenderly and said, Unexpectedly, two secrets, which for thousands of years have passed through countless venerable forebears, sages and scholars exhausting their thoughts to penetrate without any result, the first being the Secret to Long Life, and the second being the Jade Annulus of He Clan, had both been uncovered by you. If this is not fate, I dont know what it is.

    Greatly astonished, Xu Ziling said, So just like that, and you understand what I am saying?

    Shi Feixuan spoke tenderly, As early as when we met for the first time at the bridgehead, I have already sensed it, nevertheless it was hard to believe, and only now I can verify; what else can I say? Even if I kill you, this matter cannot be mended.

    Xu Ziling asked in surprise, Is it just my imagination? Miss does not seem to care about the Jade Annulus of He Clans existence or demise.

    Shi Feixuan replied indifferently, Everything in the world has its own purpose. The Jade Annulus of He Clan was this kind of rare, strange object that had its destiny to transmit qi, it would not have come around with the slightest amount of effort. Xu Xiong, please leave!

    She was willing to let him go, Xu Ziling should have wiped his forehead and hasten to leave, yet this moment it looked like he would rather receive a beating or a hard lesson from her. With a rueful smile he saluted and turned around.

    But after walking in the rain for five, six steps, he could not help stopping and asked, Could Miss reveal in details: why did you fake an injury that night and let us off?

    Shi Feixuans tranquil and elegant voice came from behind, Because Feixuan started to feel compassion on you. Is this answer forthcoming enough?

    Xu Ziling laughed involuntarily; he continued walking leisurely.

    Shi Feixuan looked intently at his proud-and-aloof, above-the-crowd, back, all the way until he disappeared in the depth of the forest before she regained her gaze.

    ※ ※ ※

    Kou Zhong urged his horse to gallop out of the Imperial City; another thorn seemed to grow in his heart, giving him a gloomy mood, and it was hard to divert himself from loneliness.

    What troubled him most was Wang Shichongs timidity [orig. afraid of the head, terrified of the tail]. The originally flawless plans have become neither soup nor water, so that he did not know whether to laugh or to cry.

    Wang Shichong himself was a top-ranking martial art master. With him in full alert, plus Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling by his side to protect him, feigning injury under assassins attack ought to be an easy matter.

    Although based on his current insight Kou Zhong did not think too highly of Shen Luoyans martial art skill, but he was quite wary toward her cunning and resourcefulness.

    Were it not for a freak combination of many factors, plus fate and happenstance, perhaps they, two brothers, would have been killed under her hands long ago.

    Therefore, troops disposition must be freely and effortlessly [orig. as the arm moves the finger]; otherwise, even if Sun Wu[1] were reborn, Wu Hou[2] resurrected, there would be nothing that they could do.

    While thinking to this point, he already turned toward the Heavenly Street.

    The House of Dong Restaurant towered by the bridgehead, together with the other three multistory building, they set each other off nicely.

    Pedestrians and carriages flowed in an endless stream along the Heavenly Street. On the River ships and boats also coming and going continuously. The drizzle added some kind of hard-to-describe endless-entanglement atmosphere and charm.

    It was still half a sichen away from the wu hour [noon].

    Would Xiao Ling be able to rush back in time to join him for the meeting?

    While thinking about it, he already passed the Tianjin Bridge and galloped toward the south gate.

    At a stretch Kou Zhong passed three mule carts and two horse-drawn carriages. He was having so much fun.

    Galloping along downtown area like this, when he was still in Yangzhou in the past, all he could do was watching other people with envy; who would have thought that now he also had the opportunity to enjoy the same experience.

    This moment he saw on the pedestrian lane to his left a group of beautiful non-Han women wearing beautiful damask silk clothing of all kinds of color and style, walking toward him, greeting him with their eyes, and even throwing amorous glances toward him.

    Kou Zhong immediately displayed his snow-white and neat teeth, and flashed his brilliant smile in return, inciting their pretty eyes to shine as they burst into tender laughter.

    Kou Zhong was greatly amused; he showed off by spurring his horse to full speed. But as he passed two riders, fast as lightning, an alarm suddenly went off in his heart.

    A barely visible dark shadow shot out from the pedestrian lane to his right, diagonally cutting through the gap between a galloping horse-drawn carriage and a walking mule cart, coming straight toward him with astonishing speed and accuracy. By the time Kou Zhong perceived the dark shadow to be a long, shiny hair, it already entered the horses right nostril.

    The most brilliant aspect of this sneak attack was that it utilized the two vehicles as a cover. By the time the target was aware of the attack, it was already too late to react.

    If the hairs target was Kou Zhongs person, he would definitely be able to dodge the attack in timely manner; however, this time it was his horse that was hit by the sneak attack.

    The horse neighed in pain, reared on its hind legs, and fell down to the right. Following the horse, Kou Zhong was thrown forward that his head and face were covered in dirt. Springing up, he leaped over the carriages, dashing toward the direction of the secret projectile, his heart flew into rage.

    Traffic on the street was immediately thrown into confusion, everybody scrambled away as they cast sidelong glances toward him.

    After struggling for a moment, the horse crawled back up. Obviously, this strand of hair was meant to play a trick, without any real intention to harm the horse.

    But Kou Zhong was in high spirit when it happened, so he was angry of losing face.

    His toes pushed on the top of a carriage, which happened to travel along the carriage lane across the street from his side of the pedestrian lane, and borrowing the reaction force, he shot up just in time to catch a glimpse of a graceful womans back side, which disappeared into a side lane. This woman was wearing red warrior outfit, so it was a highly-visible target.

    Kou Zhong abruptly raised a mouthful of true qi. Unable to deal with the shock, he leaped overhead the passers-by toward the roof of a general store to pursue the enemy. These days, it was the first time he had to suffer such a loss of face in public; no matter what, he could not swallow this resentment.

    In the distance, the alluring red shadow flashing and disappearing over the roof, as if it was enticing him to pursue her.

    By now Kou Zhong was both very skillful and very daring; knowing well that it might be a trap, he remained calm without any fear, as he pursued at full speed.

    In one breath, they passed over a dozen buildings. When he dropped down to the ground to cross a side street, the woman suddenly appeared ahead of him.

    Shaken, Kou Zhong abruptly halted his step and said in astonishment, Its you!

    Surprisingly, it was Hong Funu [red brush lady], who snatched Li Jing away from Susus hands.

    Perhaps Hong Funu liked the color red very much, because not only the whisk in her hand was blood red like it was on fire, which vying to be the most glamorous against her red clothing, she was wearing an alternating red and white flowers hairpin on her jet-black and shiny hair. Combined with her icy flesh and jade bones, not only she did not look tacky at all, she appeared extraordinarily cool, elegant and graceful instead.

    For some unknown reason, the fire in Kou Zhongs heart disappeared for the most part. While he was musing inwardly on which woman, if she was wearing red clothes, would look better than she, Hong Funu let out a cold laugh and said, This time I played a trick to lure you here, purely because of personal gratitude and grudges; it has nothing to do with Qin Wang, so you dont have to worry that anybody else will be involved.

    Kou Zhong took a step forward, and asked with a frown, What gratitude and grudges is there between you and me?

    Hong Funus beautiful eyes shot fierce and harsh look, but the tone of her voice was extraordinarily calm. She replied slowly, Were it not for you, two guys, deliberately distorting the truth [orig. inverting black and white] and did not distinguish right from wrong, my Fujun [lit. husband lord] would not have sighed long and short, and being miserable and depressed all day. Considering the current virtuous cause, if you can get back on the right path, it is not too late. Otherwise, dont blame me for being ruthless.

    Kou Zhong felt a big headache coming.

    Just by looking at her skill in using her beautiful hair as a secret projectile a moment ago, he knew that her name was not in vain. In terms of internal strength, technique, and eyesight, she has reached the realm of top-notch martial art master.

    Upon self-inspection, Kou Zhong had to admit that he could not do it, while she succeeded in just one strike.

    He was not really afraid of her, simply because he had never had a chance to face concealed weapon before.

    The biggest problem was that no matter how he loathed Li Jing, he would never have the heart to kill this beautiful and alluring, tender wife of his, who came to deal with him. With the exception of Wanwan, it was usually very easy for him to be softhearted toward women.

    In this kind of situation, the opponent was going all out to attack him, while he was having misgivings in his heart; naturally he would be greatly disadvantaged.

    Hong Funu thought that he was contemplating her advice seriously, hence she waited patiently; she would never imagine that whats going on in his mind was a completely different thing.

    It was quite half a day later that Kou Zhong sighed and asked, How did Madame meet Li Jing?

    Hong Funu crossly said, You answer my question first.

    Kou Zhong dispiritedly replied, I dont want to fight with you.

    Hong Funus jade countenance turned cold; she spoke heavily, In that case you are obstinately clinging to your course, obstinately persisting in going about things the
    wrong way.

    Sneering, Kou Zhong retorted, This is not obstinately persisting in going about things the
    wrong way, but everybody has his own aspiration. I would like to ask: who does not think that what he is doing is the most proper thing?

    Murderous aura flashed through Hong Funus eyes. She spoke slowly, word-by-word, If not for considering that you were once my Fujuns brothers, I would have made my move early on to kill you. Right or wrong, we can always argue about it. But merely the fact that you stole the Jade Annulus of He Clan is already a capital offense that is difficult to forgive.

    Under her as-sharp-as-double-edged-sword gaze, Kou Zhong did not yield the slightest bit; he spoke heavily, This time you are looking for me, is Li Jing aware of it?

    Hong Funus eyes revealed a pained look; raising her whisk, she shouted tenderly, En garde!

    Kou Zhong laughed aloud while floating back.

    He only withdrew for half a zhang back when he suddenly realized that because he did not have the heart to fight, he had made a very serious mistake.

    Tian Ce Fus [Heavenly Policy Mansion] number one martial art master was really not equal to any ordinary person.

    ※ ※ ※

    The city gate in sight, Xu Ziling spurred the horse to full speed so that he would not be late for the appointment.

    Toward the chivalrous and passionate hero Song Lu, he has always had high esteem, and after all, he was the uncle of Song Shidao.

    He had never imagined that Song Shidao was a man with deep passion and heavy righteousness.

    Because of his own humble background, he had never had any favorable impression toward the children and disciples of prominent school and large and influential family. But Song Lu and Song Shidao changed his mind.

    Song Yuzhi was also a good woman, unfortunately

    While he was thinking about these things, a dozen or so riders coming straight ahead side by side with each other, forming a horizontal line, practically blocking the road.

    Xu Ziling promptly reined his horse. Turned out they were Tuoba Yu, martial brother and sister, plus a group of Tujue martial art masters. Every one of them looked grave, with thick murderous intent on their faces.

    Xu Ziling groaned inwardly. This moment it was already too late for him to evade. Without any better option he urged his horse to forge ahead.

    END OF BOOK 16


    [1] Sun Wu, also known as Sun Tzu (c. 500 BC, dates of birth and death uncertain), general, strategist and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period (700-475 BC), believed to be the author of the Art of War, one of the seven Military Classics of ancient China.

    [2] Wu Hou [Marquis of ZhongWu], aka Zhuge Liang (181 234), courtesy name Kongming, was a chancellor (or prime minister) of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. He is recognized as the most accomplished strategist of his era, comparable to Sun Tzu.

  18. #4418
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    Thanks, foxs.

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    Senior Member LuDongBin's Avatar
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    For some reasons, I quite like SFX altho some readers have misgivings about her. Thks foxs.

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    Thanks foxs

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