Zhou Botong raised his head, searching the top
but finding no flag there, he could not help being startled. He had only
thought that Jinlun Fawang would be hiding somewhere below, waiting to
ambush him then seize the opportunity to route him completely.
It was a smooth plan but not even ten thousand guesses could prepare him for
this: the flag was not hoisted.
He looked around. The camp was filled with numerous tents. Yet, he must try
to find it before leaving.
Zhao Zhijing was about to move forward to greet him but he changed his mind.
He thought, If I go and tell him now, he'll be suspicious. I must first
let him look everywhere and when he doesn't succeed, then he can't help
feeling dejected. At that time, I'll go out and tell him where the flag is.
Only then will he be able to show his gratitude towards me.
He crouched behind a tent to watch the motionless Zhou Botong only to see
his body shoot upwards towards the top of the flag pole. He leapt several
chi high and used one hand to brace himself against the pole. Then he used
his other hand to quickly pull himself up until he reached the top.
Zhao Zhijing was secretly astonished. Grand Martial Uncle Zhou must be
almost a hundred years old. Even if he practiced the Taoist doctrines, he
still would not be able to avoid the slowing effects of old age. Yet, he is
still as agile as a youth. So the stories in Wulin are really true.
Once up there, Zhou Botong scanned the whole camp, seeing several flags
fluttering in the wind but none of them was the king's flag. He raised his
head and shouted: "Jinlun Fawang, where is the king's flag?"
This angry yell was carried far and wide, its faint echoes bouncing off the
cordillera to the West. Fawang had already reported the matter to Huo Bilie
so even though the whole army heard his shout, they remained silent.
Zhou Botong warned: "Fawang, if you still don't reply, I might have to scold
There was still no response.
Zhou Botong scolded: "Jinlun Fawang, you rotten dog, you call yourself a
hero? You're worse than a turtle who refuses to come out of its shell!"
From the East, someone suddenly called out: "Mischievous Old Urchin, if you
want to steal the king's flag, I know where it is."
Zhou Botong quickly rushed down the pole, shouting: "Where?"
But after shouting, that person was silent. Zhou Botong searched countless
tents but did not know where to start.
Farther away, the person shouted: "The king's flag is over here! The king's
flag is over here!"
Zhou Botong dashed towards that sound but that person's voice was softer
now, growing fainter and fainter. Zhou Botong only took a few steps but the
voice was already fading in and out like gossamer until finally it stopped.
In reality, he did not know how far the voice was from camp.
Zhou Botong called out angrily: "Fawang, you rascal, are you playing
hide-and-seek with me? Do you want me to burn down this whole camp so you'll
Zhao Zhijing thought, If he sets the camp on fire, that can't be good. He
hurried forward and said in a low voice: "Grand Martial Uncle Zhou, don't
start a fire."
Zhou Botong said: "You Taoist priest, it's you! Why can't I start a fire?"
Zhao Zhijing quickly lied: "They intentionally want you to light a fire
because the whole camp is filled with explosives. When you ignite it, the
whole place could explode."
Zhou Botong was shocked. "It's a clever trick but also mean and cruel."
Zhao Zhijing was relieved to see that he believed him. He added: "I secretly
inquired around and found out about this clever trick. I was afraid that you
did not know about this so I had to tell you."
Grand Martial Uncle Zhou said: "Mmm, your intentions are good. If you hadn't
told me, this Mischievous Old Urchin could have been killed."
Zhao Zhijing replied: "I also took a great risk by finding out where the
king's flag is. Grand Martial Uncle Zhou, please come along with me."
But Zhou Botong suddenly said: "Don't tell me, don't tell me! If I can't
find it, then I must admit defeat."
The bet to find the flag was an amusing game. But if Zhao Zhijing gave him
directions, he would feel bad even if he won because this kind of game
Zhao Zhijing felt anxious. Then suddenly, he remembered, He is known as
the Mischievous Old Urchin, his mood is not ordinary. I must tempt him first
so he can get hooked.
He said: "Grand Martial Uncle, I also want to steal the flag. Let's have a
race as to who finds it first."
After saying that, he quickly rushed towards the hills. When he got there,
he turned to find Zhou Botong following behind. He then darted to the third
hill, pondering aloud: "They said that it's in a cave between two elm trees
but where are these two elm trees?"
He rushed around the place but actually did not approach the cave where
Fawang hid it. Suddenly, he heard Zhou Botong exclaim: "I found it first!"
He was standing between the two elm trees.
Zhao Zhijing smirked, thinking, He stole the king's flag. He'll surely
favor me now. What's more, I stopped him from setting the camp on fire. He
thinks I saved his life. Everything is going exactly as Fawang planned.
Satisfied, he started to step inside the cave.
Suddenly, he heard a loud shout, the sound extremely sharp. Zhou Botong
cried out: "Poisonous snake! Poisonous snake!"
Shocked, Zhao Zhijing quickly withdrew his foot that was already inside the
cave. He asked: "Grand Martial Uncle! There's a poisonous snake inside the
Grand Martial Uncle Zhou replied: "It's not a snake... it's not a snake..."
The voice was already getting weaker.
Zhao Zhijing anxiously gathered some twigs and
lit it, using it as a torch so he could see inside the cave.
He saw Zhou Botong on the ground, his left hand still clutching the flag. He
was brandishing it as though trying to keep him away.
Zhao Zhijing asked: "Grand Martial Uncle, are you all right?"
Zhou Botong replied: "I have been poisoned...venom...venom...was bitten..."
But before he could finish his statement, his hand had gradually grown limp.
Zhao Zhijing had seen him enter the cave but despite his high kung fu, he
was still seriously injured. That was why he did not want to rush in without
knowing what kind of fierce poison it was that afflicted him. What's more,
the flag that Zhou Botong was clutching was not the same color as the king's
He thought, Fawang had connived with me to trick him into entering the
cave but it was really his intention to harm him by poisoning the thing.
He was extremely vexed. He only wanted to flee. So, without even bothering
to see what it was that harmed Zhou Botong or what kind of poison it was, he
just turned around and ran away.
The fire from the torch that he dropped on the way out was beginning to die
Halfway out, he was stopped by someone who was holding out a hand to him.
That person spoke softly: "Are you always this disrespectful to your
The voice was distinctly stern but also as pure and as clear as jade. In the
darkness, he saw the lithe form of a woman dressed in flowing white clothes.
She was none other than Xiao Long Nuu.
The light from the torch shone on her, revealing a beautiful face. Though
delicate-looking, the face actually bore an angry expression.
Zhao Zhijing was taken aback and rendered speechless. He was not expecting
her and now that she was here, all he wanted was to run away. But, he could
not even take a single step.
In truth, Xiao Long Nuu had been observing Zhao Zhijing from a distance,
watching his every action. When he made Zhou Botong chase him towards the
hills, Xiao Long Nuu followed as well.
Zhou Botong knew this but did not pay attention to it. Zhao Zhijing, on the
other hand, was completely unaware.
Xiao Long Nuu bent down and picked up the torch, using it to illuminate Zhou
Botong's prostrate form. His face was shadowed and green-like in its pallor.
From her bosom, she casually took out her golden silk glove and slipped it
on before lifting his arm to inspect it. She was shocked to find three
spiders appear, their mouths firmly attacked to Zhou Botong's finger.
The spiders looked extremely strange. Their bodies had alternating red and
green stripes that were so bright, one could get mesmerized watching them.
She knew that venomous animals were usually bright in color. The brighter
their color, the more lethal the venom.
These three spiders were still firmly biting unto Zhou Botong's finger.
If she tried to capture them, they would only evade her grasp. Finally, she
raised her right hand and sent three jade bee needles into the air, killing
the three spiders immediately.
While sending the jade bee needles towards them, she had used the right
amount of force to kill the spiders without injuring Zhou Botong.
This species of spider was called "Cai Xue Zhu" (Snow-Colored Spider)
and they only lived in the snowy mountains of Tibet. Their venom was one of
the three most deadly poisons in the world.
Jinlun Fawang had brought them with him from the East, intending to use it
against famous poison experts in the Central Plains.
That time when he tried to kill Guo Jing in Xiangyang, he had not thought of
using the venomous snow-colored spiders but after he was hit by Li Mo Chou's
Bing Po Yin Zheng (Soul Freezing Silver Needle), he angrily returned
to the encampment and took the spiders out of their golden case. He only
hoped that he would meet Li Mo Chou again and then have her taste their
Thus, it was just Zhou Botong's misfortune to make the bet with him in
stealing the flag. After making a deal with Zhao Zhijing, he placed the
venomous spiders on the flag and hid it inside the cave.
Once the snow-colored spiders saw flesh and blood, they would immediately
throw themselves against it and bite down hard. They were attracted to blood
and once one got bitten, one could never escape.
Their venom was so lethal that no one, not even Fawang, knew the antidote.
He himself was not willing to stick the spiders too close to his body,
afraid of getting bitten.
Such a disaster he could ill-afford.
Xiao Long Nuu's jade bee needles also came from highly venomous insects, the
jade bees of Mount Zhong Nan. Although the lethalness of their venom was
inferior compared to that of the snow-colored spiders, the needles managed
to enter their bodies, forcing them to produce the anti-venom.
The venomous spiders were still biting on to its prey when they were hit.
Because they were still in the process of producing anti-venoms and also
sending out their own venoms to their prey, they could not fight off the
venom from the needles.
However, right before they died, their bodily fluids spurted out of their
mouths, sending the anti-venom into Zhou Botong's blood stream.
It was extremely fortunate that Xiao Long Nuu had rushed in to save him and
saw the venomous spiders. Not daring to touch them, she instead launched
three needles and luckily hit them, thus managing to discover the antidote
to the world's most lethal venoms.
Xiao Long Nuu spied the three snow-colored spiders' lifeless forms on the
ground, their bright red-green colors still managing to look fearsome.
She also saw Zhou Botong lying motionless as though he was dead.
In truth, she actually felt quite grateful to Zhou Botong. If not for him,
Yang Guo would not have come to Passionless Valley and she would have been
forced to marry Gongsun Zhi.
His whole body was covered in cold sweat and his breathing had grown
irregular. Who would have thought he would die like this? In her heart, she
was deeply moved.
But all of a sudden, Zhou Botong's left hand began to move and she heard him
say in a faint voice: "What was it that bit me with such...such fierceness?"
He tried to get up but his body was too weak so that he stumbled.
Xiao Long Nuu was overjoyed to find that he was not yet dead. She lifted the
torch closer to his face and saw that traces of the spiders's venom was no
Relieved, she asked: "You did not die?"
Zhou Botong chuckled: "Well, it doesn't look that way. I am right between
half-death and half-life...haha..."
He wanted to laugh heartily but his hands and feet were twitching to get up.
His smile faded.
(NOTES: I don't know what to make of the English translations of the
acupoints so I just left the pinyin as is.)
Laughter came from outside the cave. The sound was so strong that it
resembled the ear-deafening sound of thunder rumbling.
That person spoke: "Mischievous Old Urchin, have you stolen the king's flag?
In today's wager with you, who won? You or me?"
The speaker was precisely Jinlun Fawang.
Using her left hand, Xiao Long Nuu snuffed out the light. The fire went out
immediately. As long as she was wearing her gold silk glove, no sharp
objects or raging fires could harm her.
Zhou Botong replied: "Whether the Mischievous Old Man has lost in this game
is not yet decided. But I'm afraid I've lost my life to you. Fawang, you
rascal, what sort of poisonous spider is this, so evil and cruel?"
When he spoke these words, his voice sounded soft and thin. Even though he
was angry, he was far too weak. Still, his voice was as deep as Fawang's
Fawang was secretly amazed. He was bitten by my Cai Xue spiders but he
didn't die. From his voice, it is clear that his internal strength is
profound, not below mine. Luckily, he fell for the trap, thus removing a
powerful enemy. If he doesn't die soon, he'll only suffer for a short while.
Zhou Botong added: "Young Taoist Zhao Zhijing, you worked with this man to
trick me. Go quickly to Qiu Chuji and ask him to kill you!"
Outside the cave, Zhao Zhijing hid behind Fawang, fearing for his life. He
thought in terror, How could I ask that of Martial Senior Qiu?
Fawang laughingly said: "Taoist Priest Zhao is very good. Once I inform our
prince of his great deed, he will rever him as an honorable teacher of the
But, he thought, If Zhou Botong dies, Taoist Priest Zhao won't have a way
out. From this time on, he is under my control. His level of skill is
ordinary but Zhou Botong acts like a crazy person. Senior generations, like
Qiu Chuji and so on, may honor him, but who would take his words seriously?
How can the Quanzhen School depend on the words of the Mischievous Old
Indignant, Zhou Botong let out a snort of contempt.
Most of the venoms in his body were gone but the cai xue zhu was extremely
venomous. Its effects wouldn't vanish that easily. Just as a tiny drop of it
could kill several people so could the slightest anger in Zhou Botong lead
to a feeling of dizziness.
Xiao Long Nuu said: "Jinlun Fawang, you strike others, then use this kind of
venom to injure another. Is that a rule of your school? Quick, give us the
antidote to cure Old Gentleman Zhou!"
Seeing Zhou Botong dazed, Fawang was relieved to find that the venom was
working. He thought, How could you depend on this chit of a girl against me?
He remembered what Zhao Zhijing said to him earlier in the day, that he was
once defeated by her. Making up his mind to get her and show her exactly who
was more powerful or stronger, he dashed into the cave, raising his left
palm while his right hand moved as though to grab Xiao Long Nuu.
He said: "Here's the antidote. Take it."
Xiao Long Nuu waved her right hand and a burst of soft tinkling could be
heard. A golden bell attached to a silken belt flew out, heading towards his
Qi Men Xue point.
Fawang thought, If I still can't catch you today, how can I teach that
Taoist priest Zhao not to laugh?
Swaying his body to avoid the golden bell, he reached into his vest to grasp
two wheels, beating the two together to produce a loud sound that shook
Maintaining her position, Xiao Long Nuu shifted slightly, aiming for his
back where his Da Chui Xue point was. The change of moves was extremely
fast; Fawang leapt back, exclaiming: "Your level of kung fu is rarely seen
The two of them fought inside the narrow passage and within the blink of an
eye, they have already exchanged ten or so moves. When it came to power,
Xiao Long Nuu was no match against Fawang, however, he was still worried
about that day when entered the cave in the hill and pricked his foot on a
Soul Freezing Silver Needle, nearly costing him his life.
Although Xiao Long Nuu and Li Mo Chou came from the same school, Li Mo Chou
was actually a level higher than her. Still, what he was worried about were
the clever tricks that Li Mo Chou's master must have taught her as well. He
was not only unwilling to get inside the cave and make the same mistake
again, he also knew that there were poisonous spiders there. One bite from
them would mean sure death for him. So although he was anxious, he was not
bold enough to brave the danger.
In the darkness, one could only hear the clang of metals as the lead and
silver wheels met the golden bell, the sound almost resembling music made
from small gongs.
Standing afar, Zhao Zhijing listened to the sounds of the two fighting while
his heart beat wildly. Although it was not his intention to kill Zhou Botong,
he knew that he could not escape from the blame of his murder. In Wulin, no
crime went unpunished.
If Fawang killed Xiao Long Nuu, that would be great. But what if Xiao Long
Nuu won? Even if she withdrew or ran away, the news would still spread. What
should he do then?
Grasping his sword, he started to pace, listening to the sound of the wheels
and the golden bell grow louder as his sweat continued to stream and soak
Even though Fawang's kung fu was higher than that of Xiao Long Nuu, his
weapon was shorter than hers so he could not enter the cave. Eventually he
found it difficult to gain the upper hand. After six or seven moves, he
still could not penetrate her defenses.
Xiao Long Nuu saw that Zhou Botong was once again motionless on the ground,
close to death. Because she wanted to save him, she did not want the fight
to last long.
As the two of them fought in the darkness, her better vision gave her an
advantage. She saw Fawang wield his wheel to the right before slanting and
smashing down to create a crack. Immediately, she moved her silken belt to
the right, aiming for him while at the same time, her left hand released ten
Yu Feng Zhen (Jade Bee Needles), sending them shooting in his direction.
With very little distance between them, the Yu Feng (Jade Bee) needles shot
out noiselessly so that Fawang did not realize it at once until they were
only about a foot from his body. However, his wugong (martial arts)
was no small matter and in the face of danger, he hurriedly turned over his
wheel to block the small golden bells of the coiling silken belt, bracing
himself with both feet as he did at the same time he let out a loud shout.
His body rose several zhang or so, allowing the ten or so Yu Feng needles to
fly past the soles of his feet.
In the haste, he used a great amount of his force, raising both arms up as
his body rose along with his silver and lead wheels, which were still
successively blocking the small golden bells of the silken belt, sending
them flying from his hands into midair.
The wheels made a "wuwu" sound while the small golden bell let out a
"ding-ding" noise as both shot straight up into the sky about twenty feet
from the ground.
Under the starlight, one could only see circles of gray and silver amidst
the fiercely flying strip of belt above.
Xiao Long Nuu did not wait for him to fall back to the ground before she
released another Yu Feng needle in his way. Fawang's body was still in
midair and no matter how strong his wugong was, there was no way for him to
deflect it. Although the distance between them this time was big, the
circumstance was actually quite dire for him.
However, when Fawang leapt he had anticipated that the enemy would certainly
try to strike again so he immediately grabbed at his chest, using his
external force to rip off two strips of cloth from his gown. As the gown
tore into pieces, his laughter rang loud.
Just as the Yu Feng needles shot towards him, he waved the strips of cloth,
allowing the tiny needles to only pierce the cloth. He gave another laugh as
finally both his feet touched the ground, throwing away the strips of cloth
as he did. He then stretched out his hands to catch his two wheels as they
fell from the air.
Twice, he was able to get away from danger, both made possible without using
his wugong but his shrewd mind. At a crucial moment, he escaped not only
with his life but with Xiao Long Nuu's weapons as well.
As soon as his feet fell on the ground, he rushed up to the mouth of the
cave and sneered: "Long GuNiang (Miss Long), you still don't give up?"
He was afraid that Xiao Long Nuu might ambush him in the cave so he did not
dare enter. However, Xiao Long Nuu did not know this so she hid herself near
the entrance to the cave, silently clutching a single golden needle.
Fawang waited for a moment. Seeing nothing move, he formulated a plan. He
held his two wheels in his right hand and used his left to pick up the two
strips of cloth. He quickly tossed the wheels one after the other into the
interior of the cave, using them to shield his feet from the poisoned
needles on the ground while at the same time wielding the strips of cloth in
the air, blocking his front. The two strips of cloth still bore the YuFeng
needles so they actually served as virulent weapons.
He laughed and said: "The wolf's fang cudgel! Long GuNiang, why don't you
test the severity of my wolf's fang?"
But before he could even finish his sentence, he suddenly felt a tug in his
hand. A half section of the cloth was unexpectedly grasped by Xiao Long Nuu!
Ordinarily, she would not have so easily grabbed a wolf's fang cudgel with
her bare hands but she was wearing her gold silk gloves, not even a wolf's
fang could withstand it.
Taken by surprise, Fawang hurriedly applied strength to snatch it back but
in between that space of an instant, Xiao Long Nuu already shot out the
golden needle in her hand.
Fawang shouted in the dark, sensing the life-threatening situation. He then
grabbed Zhou Botong's body which was lying on the ground and using his heel
to raise him and use him as cover, following the stance of the "*Dao Cai Qi
Afterwards, he hurriedly leapt out of the cave, glad to have escaped with
his life. However, the life-and-death situation that he has just been
through filled him with fear so that he only stopped when he was well away
from the cave, gasping for breath.
Those twenty or so YuFeng needles pierced Zhou Botong's body. Xiao Long Nuu
gasped, thinking that he was dead. Also, his body was lying still, only
serving to increase her guilt.
But unexpectedly, Zhou Botong suddenly said: "Good pain, good pain! What in
the world bit me?"
Although startled, Xiao Long Nuu was happy. She said: "Zhou Botong, you are
not yet dead?"
Knowing nothing about proper addresses, she spoke his name plainly.
Zhou Botong said: "Seems like I'm passed death. Can it be that I'm alive
again? I didn't know that once you're dead there is still enough life left."
Xiao Long Nuu replied: "You're not dead. That's good. That Fawang was
frighteningly good. Not even once did I hit him."
She then took out an iron stone, using it to suck back the YuFeng needles
from his body.
Zhou Botong scolded: "Fawang, that thieving dog, he speaks nothing but lies,
taking advantage of me because I'm dying, even using me to block the tiny
Xiao Long Nuu never stopped removing the needles and he also did not stop
scolding the person.
Xiao Long Nuu smiled faintly, saying: "Zhou Botong, these needles that
pricked you are mine." At that moment, a sudden thought came to her,
prompting her to ask: "My YuFeng needles are steeped in bee venom, does your
body feel bad?"
Zhou Botong replied: "I feel very comfortable. Prick me again."
Xiao Long Nuu thought that he was joking so she took out a tiny jade bottle
from her chest, saying: "This bottle of jade bee honey is the antidote to my
golden needles. If you drink it, then you'll be all right."
But Zhou Botong shook his hand, saying repeatedly: "No, no! The pricks of
your needles make me feel comfortable. It appears to counteract the venom of
Xiao Long Nuu thought that Lao Wantong (Mischievous Old Urchin) was speaking
nonsense again, but because he firmly refused to take it, she decided not to
force him. Besides, it looked as though this strange old man's neigong
(internal strength) was immeasurably deep if he was bitten by the venomous
spiders and he did not die. Being hit by the YuFeng needles was no
In truth, the honeybees' sting, although extremely poisonous, could
nevertheless treat various illnesses. The mysterious benefits of the jade
bee included cure for rheumatism and other such diseases that affected man
under the heavens. However, Xiao Long Nuu together with Zhou Botong were not
familiar with medicine so they did not know that the YuFeng needles can be
used to combat poison with poison and the Cai Xue Zhu (Snow-Colored Spider)
poison was only one of many.
Fawang was listening to Zhou Botong's scolding words from outside the cave
and was startled. He thought that this man scolding him must be an immortal
god that could not be killed. If he really wanted to kill him, he must do so
now while he was off his guard. Otherwise, the opportunity might not present
He advanced but before he could enter the cave's entrance, he paused. When
he successively used both his silver and lead wheels to see if there was a
trap waiting inside, he had also lost them and so now the only weapons he
had in his possession was Xiao Long Nuu's silken belt.
He called out: "Long GuNiang, I have your weapon with me!"
Then, with one shake, the silken belt unfolded and flew straight inside. His
wugong had reached a level where he could wield any weapon without any
problem. So although Xiao Long Nuu's silken belt was weird, he thought he
could use it like one would use a whip. But its ability was unexpected and
not only that, he was able to use it even from where he was standing. He was
not afraid anymore that the opponent would suddenly attack him with the
With child-like innocence, Xiao Long Nuu rose to pick up the silver and lead
wheels. She struck the two together and spoke: "Good, let's exchange weapons
so we can start the fight."
She stretched out her right arm but a quick pain she felt in her hand made
her stop and refuse to push forward.
The lead wheel appeared small but it was actually made of very heavy metal.
So when Xiao Long Nuu extended it, she was not prepared for its weight. She
quickly pulled back and clutched the two wheels to her chest.
Fawang saw an advantage and quickly dashed forward, extending his hand to
grab the double wheels. Xiao Long Nuu took a step back as her left hand shot
up as though to release the silver wheel. But it was only a feint move
because she used this chance to release several YuFeng needles in his
These YuFeng needles were the same ones she had extracted from Zhou Botong's
body so they were no longer as poisonous. Still, they could still be used as
a weapon. Fawang was prepared, however. When he could not grab the silver
wheel, he quickly leapt to the side, allowing the YuFeng needles to shoot
past him, hitting nothing but empty air.
Zhou Botong laughed, saying: "Great, let the bald thief come and then you
hit him in the butt with your tiny needles!"
Xiao Long Nuu said: "Ai! I've used up all my YuFeng needles!"
Dismayed, Zhou Botong scratched his head and said: "That's one annoying
He had two personalities in him - one old, the other young - but he did not
have the ability to balance the two, so whatever it was he thought or felt,
he always said it without misgivings.
Jinlun Fawang had a scheming mind, but he was really unaware of Zhou Botong
or Xiao Long Nuu's personality. Believing that no one under the heaven could
outsmart him, he thought: You said that you've used up all your YuFeng
needles. Why should I believe you? It's clear that you want me to believe
that to entice me to lower my guard down. That old ploy is not going to work
Thus, Xiao Long Nuu's frank speech instead caused Fawang to be even less
daring, especially when only days ago in the cave in the hills, Yang Guo had
tricked him. He did not want to suffer the same fate as Ni Moxing and be
crippled in both legs. He would rather wait twelve long hours than go
One hour soon turned to two hours until finally the sky showed first light.
Zhou Botong sat in a kneeling position, trying to circulate his qi in order
to get rid of the poison still in his body. But the venom of the Cai Xue
spiders was really strong because as he tried to move his qi, his chest
suddenly tightened and he felt nauseaus. There was no spot where he did not
experience any problem. He had tried circulating his qi through different
paths, but each try had the same result.
Finally, he sighed defectedly and said: "Ai, Lao Wantong! You've tried it so
many times it's no longer amusing!"
Fawang was peeping from outside, but since he did not wait and stay in his
place for long, he did not know the problem.
He thought to himself: This is not good. The old man is trying to practice
Upon this new development, he carefully took out a golden box from his
bosom, removing the cover to reveal several crawling Cai Xue spiders inside.
When exposed to the sun, the light made their variegated red and green
colors brighter and even more eye-catching.
Next, Fawang took out a pair of rhinoceros horns and used it to clip the
spiders in between and gently lifted it from the sticky web. Gently, he
flung the Cai Xue spiders towards the mouth of the cave where it stuck. He
repeated his movements and threw the rest of the venomous spiders in the
small box towards the cave.
Their sticky web covered the entire cave's entrance. The spiders had been
inside the small box for a very long time and they had not been fed so as
soon as they were able to get out, they immediately set to work, climbing
up, moving east, dropping low, and approaching west, hanging suspended,
until they were able to create a network of webs in just a very short time.
Xiao Long Nuu and Zhou Botong watched with interest as the spiders spun its
web, yet it never occured to either one of them to stop their progress. Only
when the web reached about ten feet in diameter, covering the entire mouth
of the cave, and the red-green venomous spiders start to crawl around did
they look troubled.
Xiao Long Nuu said softly: "What a pity I don't have any more Yufeng needles
left. I could have used one to remove these nasty spiders."
Zhou Botong picked up a dried branch, intending to use it to remove the
spider web when suddenly a huge butterfly came flitting near the mouth of
the cave and ended up caught in the spider web. The species originated form
the Kunlun Mountains so when it fell on the web, it had enough power in its
body to attempt to struggle and escape. However, although the butterfly's
body was huge, one touch of the spider silk and it went straight into
Xiao Long Nuu realized this and quickly said: "Don't! The web is poisonous!"
Alarmed, Zhou Botong leapt away and hastily flung the stick to the ground.
Indeed, when Fawang released the venomous spiders, he not only intended to
use it to seal the cave, but he also hoped that they would use their hands
to destroy it. One touch would cause the poison to seep into the skin and
enter the body.
Sitting cross-legged again, Zhou Botong watched as the spiders crowded
around the butterfly and started to eat it. He thought: My internal flow is
still unstable. It will be some time before I recover.
Xiao Long Nuu, on the other hand, was thinking: If he is going to remain
inactive, how will Lao Wantong be able to move the poison up his body in
order to remove it completely? So she asked: "How many days and nights will
it take for you to recover your internal energy?"
Zhou Botong sighed and said: "I need one hundred days and one hundred
evenings before I can manage."
Xiao Long Nuu was surprised to hear this so she asked: "How are we going to
Zhou Botong chuckled, saying: "Even if that bald thief gives us food to eat,
being trapped in this cave for several years is not fun."
Xiao Long Nuu replied: "He'll never give us food." She let out a sigh. "If
it were Gou Er with me in this cave, I wouldn't mind spending a lifetime
"What makes you place Yang Guo above me?" Zhou Botong said indignantly. "Is
he also stronger than me? You don't think I'm good company?"
Although his words made no sense, Xiao Long Nuu did not mind it. She only
gave a cool smile and said: "Yang Guo knows the Quanzhen swordplay.
Together, we can easily defeat this Buddhist priest and send him running
away into the wilderness."
Zhou Botong snorted: "Humph, the Quanzhen swordplay is not that difficult to
understand. Even I can use it. Will Yang Guo be able to beat me?"
"When we combine combine our swords together in a technique called Yunu
Suxin swordplay, it is important that his heart is filled with love for me
and my heart is filled with love for him so we become united and be able to
subdue the enemy."
When Zhou Botong heard her speak about the love between a man and a woman,
he was filled with apprehension. He immediately waved his hand and said
again and again: "Stop, stop - I don't love you! You also can't possibly
love me. But I'm telling you it's much better that there's two of us in this
cave. Years ago I was trapped in a cave in Taohua Island and had no one to
accompany me. I was forced to fight with myself the whole time. But this
time, it's entirely different because I have you. It's going to be fun!"
And on such happy thought, he could imagine being in that cave for a long
Xiao Long Nuu asked dubiously: "Fight with oneself? Is there such a method?"
Pleased, Zhou Botong immediately launched into a discussion of the Fen Xin
Er Yong Zuo You Hu method.
Xiao Long Nuu thought to herself: If I could learn this method, then I could
use the Quanzhen sword play with my left hand and the Yunu sword play with
my right. With the two combined, I will be able to complete the Yunu Suxin
sword play. But I'm afraid that I won't be able to learn this kung fu in
just one evening.
"This kung fu is difficult to learn," she told him.
Zhou Botong replied: "If you say it's difficult, then it will really be
difficult. If you say it's easy, then it will be easy. There are people who
spend their entire lifetime learning yet never understand a thing while
there people who only need a few days to understand it. You've heard about
those two kids, Guo Jing and Huang Rong, right?"
Xiao Long Nuu nodded.
Zhou Botong continued: "Who do you think is more intelligent?"
Xiao Long Nuu answered: "Guo Furen is a thousand times more clever. Guo Er
told me once that there is no one in this generation who could surpass her
intelligence and wisdom. Guo Daxia is virtuous, but his level is actually
Zhou Botong laughed. "What do you mean "ordinary?" Are you saying he's
stupid? Tell me, am I intelligent? Or stupid?"
Xiao Long Nuu smiled and said: "I look at you and although you're not young,
you act silly. Sometimes, you say things that aren't fitting and you act a
Zhou Botong clapped his hands, saying: "Ah, you're right. I once taught this
Zuo You Hu method to Guo Jing Xiong Di and it only took him a few days to
learn it. Afterwards, he tried to teach the same lesson to his wife. You
said that this child, Huang Rong is sharp and clever with a mind higher than
that of a seventy-eight year old man, but she could not understand this kung
fu. I thought that the little idiot Guo Jing probably did not teach her
properly, so Lao Wantong decided to come and teach her himself. I taught her
how to draw a picture with her left hand and a circle with her right, but
she could not do both together. It was then that I realized that some men
may learn a method that other men would spend a lifetime learning, yet never
understand. You see, intelligence is not the only measure to success."
Xiao Long Nuu said: "Don't tell me that when stupid people learn this kung
fu, they can surpass even the smart ones. I can't believe it."
Zhou Botong grinned and said: "I look at you and see that your intelligence
is more or less equal to that of young Huang Rong. Your wugong is not that
far from hers either. Since you don't believe, why not try to draw a square
on the ground with your left index finger and a circle with your right at
the same time?"
Xiao Long Nuu followed his instructions and extended both her index fingers
to the ground, making downward strokes to create the figures. However, it
turned out that the square looked like a circle and the circle looked like a
Zhou Botong laughingly said: "See? I told you it's not easy."
Smiling faintly, Xiao Long Nuu emptied her mind before extending her index
fingers again. This time, she was able to draw a perfect square and a
In his astonishment, Zhou Botong could only stammer: "You...you...you..." A
moment passed before he could speak: "You studied this before?"
"Ah, I haven't," Xiao Long Nuu replied. "Besides, didn't you say this is
Zhou Botong scratched the white hairs on his head and asked: "Then how did
you know how to draw?"
Xiao Long Nuu said: "I don't know. I didn't think. I just held out my
fingers and drew the figures."
As she said this, she wrote the three characters "lao wan tong" with her
left hand and the three characters "xiao long nuu" with her right. The two
hand strokes were so neatly written they looked like the ones found in books
and the handwriting was also very elegant.
Delighted, Zhou Botong declared: "This shows that you learned this method
even when you were still in your mother's womb! This is so much better!"
Thereupon, he taught her how to attack with her left and defend with her
right, strike with her right and block with her left. It was in Taohua
Island that he first learned this strange kung fu that was unmatched under
the heavens so when the old man spoke, she listened.
In truth, the essence of the Zuo You Hu technique was the four characters
"Fin Xin Er Yong." Often, people with high intelligence have complicated
thoughts and they always rushed form one thought to another. During the
Three Kingdoms period, Cao Zi wrote the Qi Bu Shi, which depicted the
turbulence of Wu Dynasty. The poem could be likened to that of a person
trying to learn the Zuo You Hu kung fu technique, only that the turbulence
that makes it impossible to learn occurred purely inside the person's mind.
Xiao Long Nuu's kung fu was based on suppressing all emotions and desires.
Even when she was only eight or nine years old she mastered her feelings,
stopping them like one would water. After she fell madly in love with Yang
Guo, however, the constant pain in her heart from thinking of him caused her
kung fu to gradually decline. But then, this weird technique was introduced,
unexpectedly helping her to recover.
After she resumed practicing the Gumu Pai nei gong, she was actually at the
same level as Lin Chaoying when she was pining over her lost love. Their
mind sets were the same for the most part so they had more or less the same
capacity for understanding.
As soon as Zhou Botong moved his finger, she understood his meaning quickly.
But it was only because Zhou Botong, Guo Jing, and Xiao Long Nuu shared the
same personality - innocence of heart - that people like Huang Rong, Yang
Guo, and Zhu Ziliu could not learn it.
Zhou Botong had yet to remove the poison from his body, but he continued to
speak and draw with enthusiasm. Xiao Long Nuu, on the other hand, kept on
nodding her head, but in her mind she was secretly trying to figure out how
to use the Yunu sword play with her right hand and the Quanzhen sword play
with her left. And so after several hours of playing this Chinese finger
game with him, she finally grasped the idea.
"I understand completely," she spoke.
To test it out, she moved her hands, making circular and thrusting motions
With mouth agape, Zhou Botong could only shout: "Strange! Strange!"
Guarding the cave outside, Fawang and Zhao Zhijing heard the two of them
muttering and laughing with each other so they pressed their ears closer but
they could only hear snatches of their conversation, not enough to make the
Xiao Long Nuu raised her head at that moment and saw them eavesdropping. She
straightened and said, "We're getting out of here!"
Zhou Botong looked at her blankly, asking: "How exactly?"
"If we go out and catch that bald thief, we can force him to give you the
antidote," Xiao Long Nuu replied.
Zhou Botong stroked his beard, saying, "You think you can beat him?"
As they spoke, they suddenly heard a buzzing sound. A honeybee got stuck to
the spider web and tried to struggle. Earlier when the big butterfly touched
the spider's silk, it immediately went into paralysis. This honeybee was
small in size, but it seemed unafraid of the poison of the Cai Xue spiders
and even succeeded in splitting the web open.
The venomous spiders zealously eyed it fom the side, but dared not to go
forward and tangle it within their silk. After a long while, the honeybee
would not be able to keep itself conscious and only then would the venomous
spiders attack it.
In the Ancient Tomb, Xiao Long Nuu kept swarms of jade bees as pets together
with honeybees all year long so no doubt her technique of controlling bees
was vey good. Moreover, she regarded all bees as a friend. When this
honeybee was in trouble, she could not stand it.
Suddenly changing her mind, she said: "Although these venomous spiders are
evil-looking, my bees won't necessarily be afraid of them."
She then took out the jade bottle from her bosom, opened the lid, and used
her right hand to fan the air around it, allowing the fragrant aroma to
spread and penetrate through the thick spider web.
Surprised, Zhou Botong asked: "What are you doing?"
"Do you want to see an amusing trick?" Xiao Long Nuu asked.
Zhou Botong was delighted, saying: "Wonderful!" Then, asked: "What trick is
Xiao Long Nuu only smiled, not responding as she continued moving her palm.
This was the season where the wild flowers in the valley were in full bloom.
Whereever the sweet scent of honey could be smelled, the numerous wild bees
gathering honey rushed in that direction.
When the wild bees rushed inside the cave, they got tangled in the spider
web, and immediately began to struggle. Some died after being biten by the
venomous spiders while others were able to sting a few spiders. Although the
Cai Xue spiders were considered among the world's most poisonous, too much
bee venom in their bodies caused them to become stiff and gradually die.
Zhou Botong was ecstatic as he looked on while, outside the cave, Jinlun
Fawang and Zhao Zhijing watched in helpless astonishment.
In the meantime, the Cai Xue spiders still had the upper hand. Only three
poisonous spiders were dead while about forty or so honeybees were killed
violently. However, the wild bees continued to swarm. At first, there were
only thirty of them, but fifty more came and got caught in the web.
Afterwards, dozens more of them came, numbering up to a hundred so that the
spider web covering the mouth of the cave soon began to fill up, stinging
the venomous spiders until they died.
Zhao Zhijing had experienced firsthand the honeybee's sting. Seeing them now
with his own eyes, he realized the circumstance was grave. Hastily, he dives
into the bushes to avoid them. Fawang, on the other hand, knew that the Cai
Xue spiders were rare. If they are annihilated, there would be none who
could their job. Therefore, he and the venomous spiders share a common
hatred against this swarm of wild bees.
However, he did not know that it was Xiao Long Nuu who summoned them. All he
thought about was how to force Zhou Botong and Xiao Long Nuu out of the cave
with their lives.
The young Xiao Long Nuu dipped a finger into the jade bottle and shot some
honey towards Fawang, hitting him on both sides. He howled into the cave's
entrance as several wild bees made an about-face and headed towards him.
Fawang was panic-stricken as he realized the dire situation he was in. He
dashed forward quickly. Although the wild bees were fast, his lightness
kungfu was faster so within moments, he was already ten or so feet away.
His figure appeared like a wisp of black smoke, rushing further and further
away. Failing to catch up, the wild bees merely scattered around.
Xiao Long Nuu stamped her foot again and again, saying repeatedly: "What a
pity! What a pity!"
Zhou Botong asked: "What a pity?"
"He ran away before I could snatch the antiidote from him," Xiao Long Nuu
Indeed, she planned to summon the honeybees so they could cover Fawang's
flank, effectively trapping him within a sphere. However, these wild bees
came from different nests and therefore came from different directions.
Unlike the tamed jade bees of the Ancient Tomb, when she wanted them to
pursue, sting the enemy, return, outflank him, or make a circle like in a
battle formation, the wild bees were helpless.
But Zhou Botong was full of admiration. He was the sort who liked games and
when he played, his spirit usually improved. So when he clapped his hands
with enthusiasm, he forgot all about the poison still in his body.
Dao Cai Qi Xing Bu - Collapsing Big Dipper March (or somewhere along
yu4 nu:3 su4 xin1 - "beautiful maiden, plain heart"
tao2 hua1 dao3 - Peach Blossom Island
fen1 xin1 er4 yong4 zuo3 you4 hu4 - Divide the Heart Left/Right