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  Excursus
   JIN YONG > She Diao Ying Xiong Zhuan || Chapter 9: Iron Spear, Broken Plow

CONDENSED: Huang Rong and Guo Jing sneaked into the Zhao Palace to get the medicine for Wang Chuyi. While roaming around, they discovered Mu Yi and his daughter, Mu Nianci, being held captive by Wanyan Kang, who was planning to hold them until everything blew over. Later, they followed Wanyan Kang to a small hut away from the Palace and here they also found his mother, the Jin Princess, living simply. Huang Rong later found a steward and questioned him where the medicine was stored. The steward said that it was kept by Liang Ziwong and so all of them went to the main hall where a meeting was hosted by none other than Prince Zhao Wanyan Honglie. The Prince was telling the group of martial experts about a book of battle strategies which a famous Song general (Yue Fei) wrote. Wanyan Honglie intended to get this book with their help. Just then, their discussion was interrupted by the appearance of a dwarf whom Liang Ziwong had earlier sent to get the medicine.

Guo Jing had followed the steward and that black-clad dwarf to get the medicine. With his left hand, he held the steward to support him while he walked and also to ensure that he did not dare alert the dwarf. Thus, the three of them walked along the covered walkway towards Liang Ziwong's lodgings. As the dwarf prepared to open the gate to step in, he lighted a candle.

As soon as Guo Jing stepped into the room, he immediately felt the strong odor of medicine enter his nose. He saw that the table, the cot, the ground, and everywhere were filled with medicinal ingredients, as well as porcelain vases, bottles, pots, cylinders, and clay bowls. It looked as though Liang Ziwong liked to compound drug as a hobby and although he was a guest here, he did not want to abandon it all together. The black-clad dwarf seemed to know what he was doing as he took four samples of medicine, wrapped them separately in white paper and gave them to the steward.

Guo Jing held out his hand to receive it as soon as he turned from the room. Once he had the medicine in his hand, he no longer looked at the steward. But this steward was really sly and when he left the room, he intentionally fell behind, allowing Guo Jing and that black-clad dwarf to walk past the door before immediately closing it and placing the bolt as he loudly yelled: "Thief! Thief!"

At that moment, Guo Jing turned around and pushed against the gate but it was solid and no matter how hard he pushed, it would not open. The black-clad dwarf, although small, was by no means dim-witted and when he heard the steward's yell, he pushed against the gate to clamp Guo Jing in the hand and snatch away the four packages of medicine which he then threw into the pond at the side. Guo Jing suddenly ejected two palms but he fend these off and managed to slip away. Guo Jing was startled and got angry, sending out his two palms towards the gate. He circulated his internal force and with a "ke sha" sound, the door bolt collapsed and broke into pieces.

He then rushed forward and found the steward, clipping him in the lower jaw. With his bone broken, how can he expect to make another sound? Fortunately, Liang Ziwong's lodging was in a secluded place, away from other houses so that when the steward cried out, none of the people heard. He turned around the gate and saw the dwarf running several feet away, leaping swiftly as though death was pursuing him. He put out a hand and grasped the collar of his shirt, making him fall. The dwarf heard the sound of the wind approaching and quickly moved his body, sweeping with his right leg to try to make him stumble.

Guo Jing knew that he could not stay with him for long, not without the medicine and not without Huang Rong whose life could be in danger when the alarm was sounded. So making his decision, he decided not to hold back as he hooked, took, grasped, hit, and used the ruthless martial arts stance of "Divide the Muscle, Disassociate the Bone."

The dwarf knew Liang Ziwong commanded respect wherever he went but he had never actually met a powerful enemy before and was now panic-stricken. He was hit on the face by two fists. Guo Jing took advantage of this favorable situation and went ahead, striking him repeatedly until he finally he struck with a palm, rendering the dwarf unconscious. Guo Jing's feet carried him forward across a thick patch of grass by the road where he hid the body. Then, he turned heading towards the room. When he got there, he struck a flint and lit the candle, seeing the steward still unconscious on the ground.

Guo Jing scolded himself, From which of these four pots did that dwarf get the ingredients? I should have paid attention a moment ago, now how will I be able to know which four samples to take? He studied the bottles which had labels on top of them but he could understand the writings. He felt anxious as he thought, I remembered that he was standing here when he took them so I too shall take dozens of pots, one for each type of medicine and when I return, I'll just let Taoist Elder Wang select.

Taking a pack of white paper, he gathered each ingredient type and wrapped them in one package, feeling apprehensive that only a moment ago, the steward had yelled and the people in the palace might have heard him. His nervousness increased, slowing down his movements. Finally, he took all medicine bottles and wrapped them with great difficulty, holding them against his bosom until his work was finished. Satisfied, he quickly turned around but did not watch his elbow which hit a big bamboo-weave basket near the table's edge.

The bamboo-weave basket fell, its cover toppling off and suddenly, a hiss and out came a large snake the color of blood, snapping towards him fiercely. Guo Jing was shocked and hurriedly stepped away. He saw that the snake's body was about as thick as a small bowl, half of it still coiled inside the basket so he did not know exactly how long it was. The strangest thing about it was that its body was colored a bright red. Its head suddenly extended to strike and then shrunk, showing its undulating forked tongue. Growing up in Mongolia, snakes were not rare but he had never seen a redder, more wonderful snake in his entire life.

He flurried up several steps but his jacket snagged at a nearby table, knocking the candlestick off and casting the room into darkness. With the ingredients for the medicine, he rushed through the door anxiously but just as he was walking past the gate, he suddenly sensed something tightening on his leg, like someone was hugging it or tying an extremely thick rope around it.

He had no time to ponder about it and continued on his way but unexpectedly, the thing did not release him and he immediately felt his right arm grow ice-cold and lose movement. Guo Jing then realized that the body holding him down was that big snake. His left hand was still free to move so he reached down his waste to grasp the handle of the golden knife which Genghis Khan gave him.

Suddenly, a pungent odor hit his nostrils and as he held his breath from that disgusting smell, he felt something cool touch his face. The snake was extending its tongue to touch his cheeks. The moment was critical. His hand was still reaching for his knife so he could use it to kill the snake but now, he drew his left hand and grabbed the snake's neck to stop it. The snake's strength was exceptionally great and its body tightened even further as its head moved towards Guo Jing.

Guo Jing's arms were crossed in front and only his leg and foot could move. He felt his chest tighten as the snake continued to tangle with him, making it more and more difficult for him to breathe. He tried to circulate his qi and use it as an external force but the snake would only slightly release him for a moment before tightening once more around his boy.

Guo Jing soon lost all feelings in his left hand. The snake continued to spout that disgusting smell and he felt his chest convulse, making him want to vomit. And as he was held down this way, he went into a stupor, unable to think intelligently and losing all strength to resist. His left hand dropped and the snake opened its mouth wide to nip down on him.

The black-clad dwarf whom Guo Jing beat up slowly came to and remembered the important matter he had to do. He leapt up and saw that his shifu's work room was pitch-dark. He did not bother to see if the person was still there and instead rushed towards the main hall where he breathlessly reported to Liang Ziwong what happened.

Huang Rong heard from the window everything that the dwarf said and was alarmed. With the "Wild Goose Falling on the Even Sand" technique, she allowed herself to fall gently. The many masters in the hall were previously not paying attention to any noise outside as Wanyan Honglie was speaking but now, after hearing what the dwarf said, each of them were actually on alert, watching out for the intruder. Although Huang Rong's steps were light, Peng Lianhu and the others heard it immediately.

Liang Ziwong was the first to leap up and ran outside, blocking Huang Rong's way. He shouted angrily: "Who goes there?"

Huang Rong saw him leap and immediately saw that his kung fu was obviously higher than hers. In the main hall were many masters but this one person was already not her rival so she chuckled lightly and said: "The plum blossoms are beautiful. Won't you pluck one for me?"

Liang Ziwong did not know what to think when he saw standing outside the hall an elegant, beautiful young girl. Her clothings and personal adornments were all magnificent and expensive. He heard her light tone and thought that this person might be a resident of the palace, perhaps a daughter or the young prince's lady or even the empress. Realizing this, he immediately leapt up and held out a hand to pluck a plum blossom.

Huang Rong took it and smiled: "Thank you, old sir."

By now, the people were standing near the doorway and were watching the two of them. Peng Lianhu saw Huang Rong and immediately turned towards Wanyan Honglie, asking: "Prince, this girl is of your palace?"

Wanyan Honglie replied: "No."

Peng Lianhu immediately jumped to land in front of Huang Rong and said: "Young girl, I also have a plum blossom to give you."

With his right hand, he formed the "Skillful Buckle Series", grabbed her wrist, his five fingers extending towards Huang Rong's side, suddenly moving up to grasp her throat. Huang Rong wanted to pretend that she did not have any skill in kung fu but seeing this, she hesitated and decided to withdraw. Who would have thought that Peng Lianhu did not only have exquisite kung fu but excellent vigilance so that the opponent could not move and escape?

Huang Rong was slightly startled, realizing that avoiding the blow was impossible. She raised her right hand, her thumb and index finger stretched out and her middle finger slightly open, resembling that of an orchid in blossom, wonderfully flawless. Peng Lianhu saw it heading towards his upper arm and so he bent it at the elbow, withdrawing quickly, unable to seal her acupuncture point.

The stance was marvelous and he was unable to believe that this young girl would know such a wicked technique, not only moving quickly but also seeming to recognize his next move. It was fortunate that he was experienced and was actually able to move away in time but he had never seen such a technique.

He did not know that Huang Rong's "To Stroke the Hole with an Orchid" was a unique skill handed down in her family and it was fastidiously "quick, wonderful, and clear." The "clear" character in the stance referred to its graceful, lazy movement, almost superficial and not deadly at all but only to find at the last moment that the move was actually ruthless and deceptive, not deserving of its lofty name of the "orchid." Out of all the four characters in the stance, the "clear" character was actually the most difficult. When Huang Rong was able to perform it, she too was surprised.

Peng Lianhu said with a smile: "Girl, your surname? Which family are you from?"

Huang Rong laughed: "This plum blossom is really good, isn't it? I'll place it in a vase." Her response did not answer Peng Lianhu's question. The crowd that had gathered were puzzled, not knowing what her background was.

Hou Tonghai said angrily: "Big Brother Peng asked you a question, didn't you hear?"

Huang Rong laughed: "Ask what?"

Earlier in the day, Peng Lianhu saw Huang Rong playing her tricks on Hou Tonghai and when he saw how her mouth curve, grinning teasingly, he suddenly remembered, You're that dirty boy in disguise. He chuckled and said: "Senior Hou, you do not recognize this girl?"

Hou Tonghai looked consternated as he studied Huang Rong.

Peng Lianhu smiled: "It happened only this afternoon, how could you forget?"

Hou Tonghai continued to stare at Huang Rong, finally recognizing her. He roared loudly: "Well, smelly boy!"

Then, he chased Huang Rong, all the while calling her "smelly boy" even though she was now dressed in female attire. The curse flowed out of his mouth unconsciously as he stretched out both arms to pounce on her. Huang Rong swerved to the side and Hou Tonghai dashed after her but failed.

The Dragon King of Yellow River clan Sha Tongtian suddenly appeared and gripped Huang Rong's wrist firmly as he shouted angrily: "Where are you off to?"

Huang Rong raised her left hand and tried to grab his hand. But Sha Tongtian also stretched out his right hand and grasped her left hand.

Unable to work herself loose, Huang Rong called out: "You're not concerned about face!"

Sha Tongtian asked: "What do you mean I'm not concerned about face?"

Huang Rong replied: "The adult bullies the child, the man bullies the woman!"

Sha Tongtian was shocked, realizing that he was a famous master and he was using such force on someone so small. He then relaxed both hands and shouted angrily: "Come to the hall and speak."

Huang Rong did not know what awaited her there but she complied and stepped inside. Hou Tonghai angrily said: "I can't let that smelly boy go." Then, he dashed forward.

Peng Lianhu said: "First, we must find out who her shifu is so we know who sent her!"

He had seen Huang Rong's kung fu and also her clothing and personal adornments which meant that she must be of good family but he wanted to know what her kung fu background was. If he knew this in advance, then he would know how best to handle the matter. However, Hou Tonghai was not paying attention as he lifted his fist towards Huang Rong.

She dodged and said: "You really want to fight?"

Hou Tonghai replied: "You can't get away." What he feared the most was that Huang Rong might escape and he would not be able to pursue her.

Huang Rong said: "Let's have a martial arts contest instead." Hitting the table hard, the wine cups jumped up and with both hands she took them and held them out, saying: "Do you dare to fight me with these?"

Hou Tonghai spoke angrily: "What nonsense?"

But Huang Rong was looking at the people around, laughing: "I do not have any enmity towards him and certainly did not injure him and cause those bumps on his forehead. If I win, what say you?"

Hou Tonghai took a step forward, saying angrily: "You injure me? No matter what you say, smelly boy, these are bumps on my forehead, not bruises! Take a good look and don't talk nonsense!"

Huang Rong was not listening to him, continuing to address the people: "He and I will take the bowls of wine and exchange stances. The first one who drops the wine cup loses, is that alright?"

She knew that the Ginseng Immortal Liang Ziwong, Peng Lianhu, Sha Tongtian, and the rest all had exceptional kung fu and far above her own, including even this Three-Bumped Dragon Hou Tonghai. Although she was able to trick him earlier and gain the upper hand, she knew that once they fought seriously, she knew that she was inferior and so she thought, My only chance now is to divert them with this idea and deliberately cause this trouble. So long as they are occupied, I can escape.

Hou Tonghai was shouting angrily: "You're trying to trick us!"

He then sent a fist towards her face, the oncoming force strong and fierce like the wind. Huang Rong moved sideways to evade that and laughed: "Alright, I will balance these three bowls of wine on my body. You don't have to do the same."

Hou Tonghai was twice her age and his prestige in Jiang Hu was great. Although his skills were inferior to his apprentice brother Sha Tongtian, he was still famous. Her behavior was stirring people up, making him angry so that without hesitation, he placed a bowl of wine on top of his head and two more on both hands, then immediately bent his left leg and sent his right leg towards Huang Rong.

Huang Rong chuckled: "Good, now it's my turn."

She then leapt and calmly took several steps. Hou Tonghai withdrew his leg, trying to avoid her. The crowd in the hall watched, smiling as the two people began their strange fight. However, they saw that Huang Rong's upper body remained steady, motionless even as her lower body fluttered and moved like the surface of the water. It looked as though her legs were wheels, sliding and moving, taking tiny steps one after the other. Chasing after her was Hou Tonghai, his strides long, curses streaming out of him while his legs pounded heavily on the ground. Huang Rong retreated only to advance, then executed a stance to knock over his wine cup but he moved sideways to evade.

Liang Ziwong thought, This girl's kung fu is not something easy. But as time goes on, she won't be any match to Senior Hou. Who wins and who loses is not my concern. In his heart, he was only worried about his room where he kept all his treasured medicines and so he slowly inched towards the doorway, thinking that he must go spy on the person who was trying to rob him of his medicine. He thought, The opponent will find the dried blood, the field seven, and the bear's gall and may take them too, including the four medicine samples which Wang Chuyi needs. These four samples are not entirely precious and I don't care if they're gone. But no one walks away with another's possession and certainly not those that belong to me.

Guo Jing was tied down by the large snake and could no longer move when the unusual smell grew thicker and the odor assaulted his senses. He knew that the snake's mouth was nearing his face. If he was bitten, how would he be able to escape? He quickly circulated his qi. His mouth, nose, and eyebrows were all pressed against the snake's body and by now, his whole body was immobile. He was left with nothing to use against the snake. Growing desperate, he circulated his internal force in his left hand and grabbed the snake's neck and bit down hard. The snake hissed in pain and began distorting its body, tangling it up.

Guo Jing felt the blood spurt from the snake's wound, filling his mouth with the pungent, bitter, sharp, and acrid taste. He did not know if the blood was poisonous or not but he did not dare spit it out on the ground for fear that if he did so, he would have to loosen his mouth and so he bit down harder. The snake had lost lots of blood and it had grown weaker. With all his strength, he continued to bite down hard, sucking immediately and gulping and swallowing, feeling the blood travel down his abdomen.

The snake continued to thrash, convulsed several times before finally relaxing. Guo Jing then let it go, letting it fall to the ground where it lay motionless. Dead-tired, Guo Jing pushed against the table and began running away and as he moved his feet, he felt that his whole body was warming up as though he was sitting by a large pile of fire. He was a little startled but after a few moments, he realized that his hands and foot were still moving. It was only that his whole body felt dry and hot. He pressed his hands against his cheeks, feeling them burn like fire.

He then reached into his pocket and felt for the packages containing the medicine ingredients to make sure that he did not drop them. He thought, Now that I have the medicine, Taoist Elder Wang could be saved. Wanyan Kang is wrongly holding Mu Yi and his daughter. He might try to kill them, too. I must try and get them out of danger.

He walked past the gate and headed towards where Mu Yi and his daughter were imprisoned. When he got there, he saw that a soldier was speaking with the guard, telling him to increase his patrol. Guo Jing waited as they talked and after the soldier walked away, he knew he should not be seen and so rushed inside a room.

He waited for the soldier who was doing the inspection to pass through before he leapt up the roof and gently fell on the courtyard. Then he traced his way to the jail nearby, inclining his head as he listened for sounds from the guard. He spoke: "Senior Mu, I've come to save you."

CONDENSED: Guo Jing attempted to rescue Mu Yi and his daughter (Mu Nianci) from the cellar where they were kept by Wanyan Kang. As he did, it was discovered that Mu Yi's name was actually Yang Tiexin and he was the sworn brother of Guo Jing's deceased father, Guo Xiaotian. It was only then that Yang Tiexin learned that both Guo Jing and his mother (Li Ping) were still alive. The Princess arrived later and let the father and the daughter go. With nothing else to do, Guo Jing decided to go look for Huang Rong.

Guo Jing waited until the guards and the princess left before he leapt down and quickly looked around but could not find Yang Tiexin and his daughter. He thought that they already left the palace and so decided to find Huang Rong in the hall so they could leave and deliver the medicine to Wang Chuyi. As he made his way through the walkway, he came upon a turn and saw someone holding two red candles in the distance. Guo Jing withdrew to the side.

However, that person actually saw him and shouted angrily: "Who goes there?" Then, he leapt forward, raising his hands to grasp and pull him down. Under the candle glow, Guo Jing saw that the person was precisely the young prince, Wanyan Kang.

The soldier who came with the Princess actually told the young prince Wanyan Kang that Yang Tiexin and his daughter had fooled his mother into freeing them. Wanyan Kang was alarmed, thinking, Mother is always so tender-hearted and cannot imagine that these two people are fooling her. If Shifu learns of this from the father and the daughter, I won't be able to deny it. Things will be bad.

As he mulled over this, he decided to go after the two people again but who would have thought that he'd bump into Guo Jing on the way? They had fought earlier that day and here they are again in the dark of night, one wanting to deliver the medicine out of the palace and the other wanting to eliminate a potential informant.

Their palms met and the stances were more powerful and ruthless than the moves they executed during the day. Guo Jing sent out several palms but Wanyan Kang managed to block all these. He saw behind him the soldier reach for the sword on his waist, obviously intending to help the prince. He knew the situation was getting dangerous.

Meanwhile, Liang Ziwong expected that Huang Rong would be defeated but who would have thought that as soon as he turned his back, the circumstance in the hall had swiftly changed? Huang Rong raised both her hands and tossed her head, sending the three bowls flying into the air before executing the "Eight Steps to Catch the Toad" stance which sent her palms towards the front of Hou Tonghai's chest.

Hou Tonghai's hands were occupied with holding the bowls. If he wanted to block, he would have to send the other bowl to his left hand. Huang Rong took advantage of this and sent her right hand forward. Hou Tonghai tried vainly to evade, lifting his arm in order to keep her away and flicking his wrists. The wine bowls in Hou Tonghai's hands shook and wine sprinkled everywhere until one of the bowls fell, smashing against the ground.

Huang Rong quickly straightened, holding out her hands for the two bowls she had thrown earlier while the third bowl landed neatly on her head. No drop of liquid from the three bowls was spilled.

The people in the hall saw how she skillfully won the contest and could not stop themselves from shouting: "Good!' Ouyang Ke was actually loudly cheering. Sha Tongtian glared in his direction but Ouyang Ke ignored him as he added instead: "Very good!"

Hou Tonghai's face had grown red and he called out: "Let's do it again."

Huang Rong stuck her tongue out and laughed: "Aren't you ashamed?"

Sha Tongtian saw how his apprentice brother was defeated and humphed: "The young girl knows many tricks. Who is your shifu?"

Huang Rong said with a smile: "You said that if I win, I could go."

Without seemingly moving a muscle or even bending his knee, Sha Tongtian suddenly moved towards the entrance. Huang Rong was captured by him a moment ago and knew how great his strength was from how he grasped her wrist. Right now, she saw him use the "To Move the Form Across" stance and was shocked. Her face showed the alarm she felt as she looked at him with a slight wrinkle on her brow, asking: "Why do you block my way?"

Sha Tongtian said: "Who sent you to the palace? Whose disciple are you?"

Huang Rong raised her voice: "And if I do not say?"

Sha Tongtian replied: "If the Dragon King of the Yellow River clan asks you a question, there is no choice but to answer!"

Huang Rong looked behind him seeing that the entrance was only a few feet away and he was the only one standing in the way. Suddenly, she spied Liang Ziwong making his way out and called out: "Old uncle, he's blocking my way. He won't let me go home."

At her complaint, Liang Ziwong turned and laughed: "Dragon King Sha will ask you a question. If you answer well, then he'll let you go."

Huang Rong smirked, saying: "I don't like to answer." Then, she turned to Sha and said: "If you won't let me, I may have to force my way through."

Sha Tongtian replied: "You'll have to go through me."

Huang Rong teased: "You can't pick a fight with me."

Sha Tongtian said: "The Dragon King Sha does not pick fights with young girls."

Huang Rong answered: "Good, a real man says what he means. Dragon King Sha, what is that?" She pointed to something towards her left.

Sha Tongtian followed the direction her finger was pointing and as Huang Rong diverted his attention, she swiftly leapt over his shoulder, her clothes fluttering behind her. However, Sha Tongtian quickly executed his "To Move the Form Across" stance again. Huang Rong attempted to escape but then she saw from the corners of her eyes the right hand with two of its fingers stretched towards her, aiming for her eyes. She could not wait for it to come and so even though she was anxious, she forced herself to stop midway and quickly retreated.

She swerved to the right, then left, trying to avoid her pursuer. She slowed down a bit before suddenly rushing forward. She did this three times but still, Sha Tongtian always managed to block her way. As she was moving, she caught a glimpse of the gleaming bald head speeding towards her, brushing past the tip of her nose. If she weren't quick enough, she would have been hit but as it was, she only gave a loud scream out of fright from the close call.

Liang Ziwong chuckled quietly, murmuring: "Dragon King Sha is a great master. She won't be a match for him."

After saying this, he quickly left the hall to check out his work room some distance away. However, as he stepped through the door, the pungent odor of blood assaulted his nose. He shouted in surprise, quickly lighting a candle only to see the dead red snake lying there. Its body was withered, blood pooling near it. The whole room was in shambles, the medicine bottles all thrown into confusion. When Liang Ziwong saw the snake's body, he felt his heart sink in disappointment. Grasping the snake's body, he could not stop the tears from flowing.

(CONDENSED: Liang Ziwong's red snake was originally an ordinary poisonous viper but after feeding it medicine for nearly twenty years, the snake turned red. Its blood was actually a very powerful medicinal potion and Guo Jing now has it inside his body. Liang Ziwong naturally wanted it back. At that moment, Guo Jing was still fighting with Wanyan Kang when Liang Ziwong entered the picture. Meanwhile, Huang Rong was still in tight combat with Sha Tongtian in the Fragrant Snow Hall.)

Huang Rong tried to escape several times but no matter how quickly she moved, Sha Tongtian was able to effortlessly block her way. At first, Sha Tongtian only wanted to capture her but seeing how Prince Zhao Wanyan Honglie was watching in the sidelines, he wanted to take this opportunity to impress him with his excellent kung fu.

Huang Rong was secretly worried. Suddenly, she paused and said: "If I manage to get through the door, do you agree to let me go?"

Sha Tongtian agreed: "If you can get through, then I admit defeat."

Huang Rong then exclaimed: "Oh, what a pity my father only taught me the stance for how to enter through the door and not how to leave."

Sha Tongtian was surprised and asked: "What stance are you talking about?"

Huang Rong explained: "I have seen your "To Move the Form Across" stance and although it is not bad, compared to my father's skills, it falls short. He can move 108,000 li faster."

Sha Tongtian went mad. "Young girl, you're talking nonsense. Who is your father?"

Huang Rong replied: "If I tell you my father's name, you will be frightened so I won't. When my father was teaching me the stance, he was defending the entrance and I was coming in from outside. I tried to get in several times but was unable to. This situation is similar but if I try to rush out from inside, I won't be able to do it. At least, if I try to get in instead of get out, I have a chance."

Sha Tongtian snorted, saying: "You think that going through the door from inside is not the same as from outside? Well! Then go out and see."

He immediately stepped aside to let her through. Huang Rong quickly moved sideways until she was standing outside the gate. She said: "You said that if I get through the door, you would admit defeat. Now, aren't I standing outside the door? Dragon King Sha is a man of high skill and must live up to his promise. This is where we say goodbye."

Sha Tongtian realized then what happened. The young girl was full of craftiness but he had made his word in front of her and the rest of the people in the hall. Who would have expected that she would do something this wicked? For a moment, he could only scratch his bald head with his fingers, reddening in embarassment.

CONDENSED: Huang Rong had managed to trick Sha Tongtian into letting her walk out of the hall but Peng Lianhu made a deal with her: If after ten stances, he could still not identify her sect, he would let her go. Huang Rong was clever; instead of using her own kung fu, she copied the kung fu of Sha Tongtian and even Peng Lianhu's. Still, she was no match for Peng Lianhu and in the end she was hit by a palm. Meanwhile, Guo Jing was fighting with both Liang Ziwong and Wanyan Kang but he saw that he could never defeat both of them. So he decided to hide in the Princess' hut for a while until they left. While hiding there, Mu Yi/Yang Tiexin arrived and talked with the Princess. It was discovered that the Princess was actually Bao Xirou, Yang Tiexin's wife, who, thinking that her husband was dead, married the sixth prince of Jin Dynasty, Prince Zhao Wanyan Honglie. Their reunion was interrupted with the arrival of Wanyan Kang.

Wanyan Kang thought he heard the voice of a man from inside the room and immediately got suspicious. He quickly turned around and gently knocked on the door, saying: "Mother, there's something I want to tell you."

Bao Xirou replied: "Let's talk tomorrow. Right now, I'm very tired."

Wanyan Kang saw that his mother was not willing to open the door and his suspicions doubled. He said: "It's only for a moment and then afterwards, I'll go."

Yang Tiexin realized that he would try to get in and so quickly looked for a means to escape. He saw the window nearby and pushed it open so he could jump out and hide there for a while. Bao Xirou was agitated; she did not want her son to find out the truth about her. She looked around the narrow room for a place to hide and pointed to the wooden closet at the corner. After reuniting with his wife after many years, Yang Tiexin was not willing to say goodbye just yet and so quickly opened the closet door to get in. However, when the closet door was opened, they saw there was another person there and all three of them stared at each other in surprise.

This is the first time that Bao Xirou saw Guo Jing and so could not stop herself from issuing a cry. Wanyan Kang heard his mother calling out in alarm and was immediately worried. Fearing that there were people outside trying to harm her, he crashed his shoulder against the door. Guo Jing hurriedly grabbed Yang Tiexin into the closet with him and closed the door.

The bolt broke and the door flew open, letting Wanyan Kang rush in. He saw that his mother's complexion was pale and her cheeks were stained with tears but there was no one else in the room. Puzzled, he asked: "Mother, are you all right?"

Bao Xirou calmed herself down. "I'm all right. I'm just not feeling well."

Wanyan Kang immediately went to his mother's side and said: "Mother, I won't cause trouble anymore. You're sad because your son is not good."

Bao Xirou smiled: "Mmm, you go. I must rest."

Wanyan Kang then shook his mother a little, asking: "Mother, did anybody try to come in?"

Bao Xirou looked at him in surprise. "Who?"

Wanyan Kang said: "A spy has infiltrated the palace."

Bao Xirou said: "Is that true? Quickly, go and rest. Don't pay attention to any of these matters."

Wanyan Kang said: "The guards are on alert. Mother, you rest."

He was just about to leave when he suddenly caught sight of the closet, the crack on its door revealing a piece of men's clothes. He felt some misgivings in his heart but continued to maintain his composure as he sat down and poured out a cup of tea, sipping it slowly. He thought, There's someone in the closet. Does my mother know? After finishing his tea, he then stood up and paced across the room. He said: "Mother, don't you think your son was good with his spear skills today?"

Bao Xirou replied: "Next time, it will be your turn to get bullied."

Wanyan Kang retorted: "With what? I used my Spear Skills today against that muddy boy from the martial arts contest."

As he was saying this, he took the iron spear hanging on the wall and quickly dashed forward, preparing to execute the stance "The Phoenix Leaps for the Water Dragon" and fiercely punctured the closet door. As the wind from the stance blew, Guo Jing and Yang Tiexin could actually do nothing, not knowing how to block and could only stay there and wait for death. Bao Xirou was greatly frightened and threw herself across it. Wanyan Kang was looking at the closet but had not actually delivered the stance. He thought, Mother knows this person inside the closet.

Leaning on the spear for support, he quickly helped his mother up though his eyes continued to gaze at the closet, hearing something from inside stir. Bao Xirou was slow to stand up but when she saw that the closet remained in good condition without any damage at all, she felt her body sag with relief. Wanyan Kang felt resentment and anger as he said: "Mother, am I not your son?"

Bao Xirou replied: "Of course. Why do you ask?"

Wanyan Kang returned: "Then how come you're hiding things from me?"

Bao Xirou had several disquieting thoughts. She pondered, I must explain what I have discovered today before I let the father and the son meet. Then, I must strive to mediate again. I've already lost my chastity, committed a great wrong. Explaining this to him could not be as hard as the life I've led.

As she was thinking this, tears fell gently from her eyes. Wanyan Kang saw the sorrowful expression on her mother's face and was shocked to silence. Bao Xirou said: "My son, sit down and listen carefully to what I have to say."

Wanyan Kang sat. He was still holding the iron spear in his hand but he was looking steadily at the closet. Bao Xirou then said: "What do those characters on the spear stand for?"

Wanyan Kang replied: "When I was young, I asked mother but you were not willing to say who 'Yang Tiexin' is."

Bao Xirou: "I will tell you now."

Hiding in the cabinet, Yang Tiexin heard the mother and son speak with each other. He was thinking, She's now revered as a princess, what would she do with an ordinary peasant like me? Is it possible that by telling her son all this, she wants him to kill me?

But then, he heard Bao Xirou speak: "This iron spear is originally from Ox Village, a territory of Song Dynasty. I sent someone to get it for me. That broken plow hanging on the wall, this table, the stool, the closet, the wooden bed, all these were originally from Ox Village."

Wanyan Kang: "I never understood why mother wanted to live in such a shabby place. I tried to give new pieces of furniture but you always refuse."

Bao Xirou replied: "You say this place is shabby? To me, this picture of a vulture on Liang's pavilion is much better than any in the palace! My child, you've never had the good fortune of living with your mother and your father in this shabby place."

When Yang Tiexin heard this, he felt his heart quake and tears begin to fall. Wanyan Kang was laughing: "Mother, you're odd. How can father live in here?"

Bao Xirou sighed. "He spent 18 years living desolutely, roaming around Jiang Hu. If he could stay in this room for one day or even half a day to rest, why won't he?"

Wanyan Kang reared back and whispered: "Mother, what are you trying to say?"

Bao Xirou said seriously: "Who is your father?"

Wanyan Kang replied: "My father is Prince Zhao of Jin Dynasty. Why are you asking me this?"

Bao Xirou suddenly grabbed the iron spear and began weeping. "My child, you didn't know and I can't blame you. This... This iron spear was once used by your own father..." She pointed to the characters on the iron spear and spoke: "Now at last is your father's name!"

Wanyan Kang shook and shouted: "Mother, you're not well. Let's get out of here."

Bao Xirou said: "How am I not well? You think you are a Jurchen, a Jin citizen? You are a Han! You are not called Wanyan Kang. Your surname is Yang. You are called Yang Kang!"

Wanyan Kang was extremely shocked now but could not express his anger. Instead, he turned around and said: "I'll ask father."

Bao Xirou said: "Your father is here!"

She then walked towards the closet and pulled open the closet door, revealing the form of Yang Tiexin.

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