So he really was a top man. (NOTE: "Ren Shangren" literally means "a man on top of a man").
The four daggers dropped to the ground, rolling near Xin Xin's feet.
Xin Xin slowly bent at the waist. After picking up the daggers, she looked tearfully at Feng Siniang and said, "Now, you see what kind of man he is."
"I'm beginning to figure that out myself," Feng said through gritted teeth.
"Because he is handicapped, he wants others to suffer the same fate as he did. But if I...." Xin Xin said, pausing before continuing, "...if I have to cut off this hand, I want to do it where no one can see."
With that, she abruptly turned around and walked off.
Feng stamped her foot and said angrily, "Do you really want this girl to suffer like you? Because you lost an arm, you want others to suffer the same fate?"
Her voice did not rise to a shout but she could not help her eyes from tearing up.
Ren Shangren studied her for a moment before observing coldly, "I did not realize Feng Siniang cared about such things."
Feng returned his stare, saying tonelessly, "Cut off your own arm and you won't hear a word from me."
"You feel sorry for her?" Ren Shangren asked.
"Naturally," Feng replied.
Ren Shangren said, "Do you know what kind of person she is?"
"She is a woman," Feng said, "as am I."
"Those clothes you're wearing," Ren Shangren said. "Did she give you those?"
"Yes," Feng answered.
"Then you better take them off," Ren Shangren told her.
"Take them off?" Feng repeated.
"Take off those clothes," Ren Shangren said again.
Feng gave him a knowing smirk, saying, "You want to see me naked?"
"--- of course, you have to take all of them off," Ren Shangren reasoned.
Suddenly, Feng lashed out, "You're dreaming!"
Ren Shangren sighed. "If you don't," he said tonelessly. "I'll take them off for you!"
"I dare you," Feng challenged.
Sighing again, Ren Shangren said, "What kind of man would I be if I don't accept such a dare?"
Gently he raised his hand and all of a sudden his long whip lashed out, curling around Feng's body like a viper.
Feng had never seen such a terrible whip. Barely did this whip enter her vision when its tip suddenly coiled around her, among her clothes.
It seemed this whip itself could take off a woman's clothes.
Already rolled up in Feng's clothes, just one light pull of this whip and the bright, embroidered gown could rip up in half. When Feng wanted to undress, she did it by herself. There was not a single man in the world who could take them off for her.
But it appeared that this was going to be an exception.
She did not dare grasp the whip but it was already too late for her to dodge it.
The tip of the whip barely stroked Xin Xin's hand, yet immediately afterwards Feng saw with her own eyes how it swelled up and had to be cut off.
Although she was not willing to let this person take off her clothes, she was also not willing to cut off her own hand. A "si" sound could be heard as the front of her clothes was ripped.
"Wait, wait!" Feng abruptly exclaimed. "I'll take them off."
"You will?" Ren Shangren said.
"Such pretty clothes. It would be such a waste if they get torn," Feng demurred.
Ren Shangren spoke, "Feng Siniang is also fond of pretty clothes?"
"Feng Siniang is also a woman," Feng demurred. "Is there a woman who isn't fond of pretty clothes?"
"Right," Ren Shangren agreed. "Then, undress."
The whip in his hand seemed to have a life of its own. As soon as he stopped talking, it immediately loosened its grip.
With a deep sigh, Feng muttered, "People don't usually make a fuss over an old woman taking her clothes off. But here you are, actually commanding me to take them off. What else am I supposed to do?"
She was slowly undoing two buttons of her clothes when suddenly she sent a kick towards the bare shoulders of that giant Han's belly.
To shoot down a person, you must first shoot down his horse. If only this giant Han fell, then surely Ren Shangren would fall down as well. And even if he did not fall dead, then at least that would delay him from trying to take off her clothes again.
Feng's martial arts foundation was not that formidable. Her formidability did not come from martial arts.
She always came and went as she pleased, mingled around in Jianghu for several years. If she relied solely on her martial arts, then no doubt her clothes would have long been taken off by countless men.
Although her feet looked extremely delicate, they have nevertheless kicked to death three would-be assailants and a mountain cat.
Furthermore, she had once seized the great bandit of Mount Qilian, Man Tianyun (Cloudy Sky) and kicked him off a ten thousand-foot cliff.
The force behind her kick was therefore not puny. But who knew that when she kicked this big Han's belly, he would not even budge? Not only that, but it appeared that he did not even feel anything. The effect was like drawing water from a dry well.Inversely, it was Feng who felt pain in her leg.
Though surprised, she was still able to retract her kick. After transferring her weight to that leg, she immediately turned around and dashed off.
"If you can't beat them, then run away."
A person who has roamed around Jianghu for many years cannot deny the truth of this statement. But she also knew that this trick did not always work.
She heard the sound of rushing wind as the whip flew towards her, coiling like a serpent's tail. She was fast, but the whip was even faster.
At that moment, there was the swift twang of a bowstring, and suddenly two silver flashes of light flew, striking the whip. In an instant, the long whip held by the man sagged to the ground, resembling a quartered seven-inch viper.
"Trying to take a woman's clothes off in broad daylight and on the main road," a man calmly spoke from outside the maple forest. "The Martial World has certainly changed a lot since my days."
Feng was by then sitting on a branch of the maple tree she had climbed earlier. As it so happened, she was able to get a good view of this person.
This person was tall with a large head, florid face, and long silver hair that hinted at his age. He was wearing a large red cloak, which sharply contrasted with the long golden bow strapped to his back, reflecting the glint of the sun.
His entire body sparkled and shone under the light.
Watching him approach, Feng saw that his face had several wrinkles, revealing the unexpected fact that he was already old.
But when he spoke, his voice was like the tolling of a bell. His bearing was also high, straight and proud like a spear. He sported an entirely powerful build.
Feng had never met such a virile old person.
By the time he finished talking, the two silver flashes of light also fell where it struck the ground and rolled back and forth for a bit. These two silver granules were about the size of a dragon's eyes.
Ren Shangren took one look at these two silver pellets before he wrinkled his brow and said, "Golden bow, silver pellet, tiger-beheading saber..."
"Chase the clouds, capture the moon, floating on water," the silver-haired gentleman recited.
Ren Shangren asked, "Li Qingfeng?"
The silver-haired gentleman laughed abruptly. "I have been away from Jianghu for thirty years," he declared. "I can't believe there are still people who remember me."
His booming laughter was loud enough to crack stone, and the sound seemed to reverbrate through the whole forest, making the leaves shiver and the ground shake.
Even Feng nearly fell off the tree.
She had never met this person, but she actually recognized him.
When "Golden Bow, Silver Pellet, Tiger-Beheading Saber, Chase the Clouds, Capture the Moon, Floating on Water" Li Qingfeng roamed Jianghu, she was just a newborn baby.
And when she came of age, Li Qingfeng had long retired. For the past thirty years, no one had seen him.
However, Feng knew that there was a man like him in Jianghu and she also knew that his skills equaled those of current Wulin heroes. Working alone, he was considered as the most famous out of all the lone great bandits.
If Xiao Shiyi Lang had not come after him, he would have held the title of Jianghu's greatest lone bandit for almost a hundred years.
It was said that he once visited the capital. In the capital, daughters of wealthy families took only one look at him and that same night they left their windows ajar as they sat there, waiting for midnight when they would open the windows for him.
Feng always thought this was just a story.
But now, she thought there might be some truth to it.
For someone over sixty years old, he had a certain air about him and his carriage was refined. If he was thirty years younger, Feng would have joined the others in leaving their windows open at night to wait for him. Just as she often did when she waited by the window for Xiao Shiyi Lang.
Li Qingfeng suddenly raised his head to look at her. "Are you Feng Siniang?" He asked.
"You have been away from Jianghu for thirty years," Feng said. "I can't believe you recognize Feng Siniang."
"Well," Li Qingfeng replied. "Feng Siniang certainly lives up to her reputation. If I knew that there was someone like Feng Siniang in Jianghu, I would have returned ten years earlier."
"If I knew where you were, I would have looked for you ten years ago," Feng told him.
Li Qingfeng laughed and said, "What a pity that I came a decade too late."
"Who said you were late?" Feng said, smiling. "You came right on time."
Li Qingfeng's eyes flashed. He said, "Is this monster bothering you? Now that I'm here, what do you want me to do with him? Tell me."
Feng rolled her eyes, saying, "He wants me to take off my clothes. But I think he wants to do more than that."
Li Qingfeng laughed. "Then, that's why you are up that tree, right?"
He was still laughing when suddenly he drew out his saber. That saber weighed 57 catties - the tiger-beheading saber. The saber swung, aiming for the maple tree in front of him.
There was a huge clamor as the maple tree crashed down, struck by his saber, emitting a noise that was similar to that of a bowl being broken.
Lucky for Feng, she was some distance away, but she could not help saying, "The tree wasn't bothering you. Why did you cut it down?"
"It was in my way," Li Qingfeng replied.
"So regardless of who or what is in your way, you have to strike it down?" Feng asked.
"That's right," Li Qingfeng answered.
Feng sighed, muttering, "One can't find a man like him these days. Otherwise, how could a woman like me remain single?"
When she said this, her voice was just loud enough for Li Qingfeng to hear.
Looking pleased, and looking younger because of it, Li Qingfeng took an unhurried step over the fallen tree.
Ren Shangren gazed at him coldly. Then he said smoothly, "A man of your age, showing off his power to impress a woman, now that is unusual."
Li Qingfeng's face sank. "You disapprove?"
"I'm only amazed how a man like you could still be alive," Ren Shangren replied.
"You're lucky you only met me today," Li Qingfeng said in a harsh tone. "If this moment happened thirty years ago, you would have died under my saber."
Ren Shangren said, "I just want her to take her clothes off. After that, you two can go do whatever you want."
"I intended to cut off one of your hands," Li Qingfeng told him. "What a pity you only have one left."
"This hand is not used to take people's clothes off," Ren Shangren informed.
Li Qingfeng sneered. "Is it for killing people?"
"It hasn't killed many," Ren Shangren said, "but it kills."
And with that, his hand flicked and the long whip lashed forward like a viper, rolling towards Li Qingfeng.
Li Qingfeng's tiger-beheading saber also slashed forward.
One weapon was soft while the other was hard. Yet, even soft weapons could overcome hard weapons like Li Qingfeng's tiger-beheading saber.
All of a sudden, the whip coiled around his saber, circling seven to eight times. Then, that bare-chested big Han took two steps forward; a single palm was headed straight for his chest.
Although that big Han looked very clumsy, he was nevertheless able to smoothly dodge the attack. His style revealed not a bit of brazenness, yet it was extremely powerful and extraordinarily effective.
Li Qingfeng held on to his tangled saber at the same time he raised his left hand holding the golden bow, using its bowstring to block the big Han's attack. A "dang" sound was heard. The big Han's iron fist was cut and blood flowed out from his wrist.
The bowstring was actually as sharp as a saber's point.
The big Han howled. He extended his hand to grab the bow. But who would have thought that Li Qingfeng would suddenly shift? The tip of his bow struck downwards towards the big Han's chest.
The big Han's body was like iron being struck. He struggled but he could not stop himself from falling down. If he fell, then no doubt Ren Shangren would fall as well. But who would have thought that Ren Shangren would suddenly soar into the air, flying over Li Qingfeng's head?
At first, Li Qingfeng thought he could deal with this person. Then unexpectedly, this person suddenly divided into two, one in front and one behind him.
He frowned. A section of the five-foot long whip was winding towards his neck.
Unfazed by the danger, he let his tiger-beheading saber drop. At first, the long whip was as tight as the string of a bow. Now, it was coiled around the saber, tugging hard at it.
Watching the two of them exchange several moves, one could see that although their stances were not fancy, the variations in their styles were so swifly executed that if you were not paying attention from the sidelines, you would surely miss them.
If you were watching, you would not want to miss anything.
What a pity that the seven blind people were the only ones in the sidelines. Although the cripple was not blind, he actually had his back turned. His face showed worry as he searched for Feng Siniang.
Feng had unexpectedly disappeared.
Sometimes this woman was as elusive as her namesake.
(NOTE: The character "feng" in Feng Siniang's name means "wind." The statement means that Feng Siniang is as elusive as the wind.)
The spring river was like a silver thread, flowing down the mountain summit.
The setting sun lit up the sky.
Feng sat on a slab of rock, preparing to soak both feet in the cool, clear waters of the spring river.
This delicate and beautiful pair of feet, she had always taken very good care of them, leaving not a single scar in sight.
She often liked to look at her feet, and also knew that most men very much liked to look at them.
However, this pair of feet had just a moment ago endured the sharp rocks in the mountain and several sharp broken twigs.
But, at the moment, it was not only her feet that ached but her heart as well.
Li Qingfeng was not a loathsome man; he even saved her. It seemed she had no reason for complaint.
But Feng realized that he, too, had no good intentions.
Not only was he very forward with her, he also seemed ready to carry her off against her will.
He figured that if he could defeat Ren Shangren and his servant, then he could face Feng without much resistance.
Feng did not really want those weird disabled people and the cripple watch as her bright clothes were taken off.
No one in this world wanted other people to watch as one's clothes were taken off.
"Since these two people are both good-for-nothings, why not let dog bite dog?"
And that was why as soon as she had the opportunity, Feng did not stay to see what happened.
She figured that if these two fought each other over mere trifles, then she wouldn't bother watching even with just one eye.
One look was all it took for Feng to understand things, being a very intelligent woman. Never had she made an error in judgement and that was why no man had ever outwitted her into taking off her clothes.
But for her, today really was a very unlucky day.
Today, not only did she find herself in many unfortunate situations, but each of these situations was strange.
The spring river was clear and cold. From her feet, the coldness traveled straight to her heart.
After forging through the confusing rocky mountains, she luckily came upon this place. Although she did not stop to ask anyone for directions, she still managed to arrive here.
Her whereabouts, like the wind, always eluded a man's grasp.
However, at present, there were at least three people looking for her -- Hua Ruyu (Honorable Hua), Ren Shangren, and Li Qifeng.
How could they know she was here? How could they know she would end up here?
Feng had always been the kind of woman who was extremely fond of leisure. She could bear anything, even hardships.
It was unlikely that a person of low martial arts could withstand such hardships. Fortunately, she was very intelligent. Although she could sometimes be quite fierce, she never really held deep hatred towards others.
That was exactly why she was intelligent.
She was not only intelligent, but also very beautiful, so she always had many powerful friends.
She could be rude and spiteful like an old hag, and then be soft and gentle like a dove.
Sometimes, she was as artless as an infant and sometimes she was as sly as a fox.
With such unpredictable changes in her character, who would want to annoy her?
Yet, today there were actually three people looking for her. What was more, they were three very extraordinary people.
Perhaps, some women would feel very flattered by this, but Feng was no ordinary woman.
She knew that when a person cruel enough to cut off his own pair of legs and hand was looking for a woman it would not be because he merely wanted to remove her clothes.
A famous great bandit who disappeared from Jianghu 30 years ago and very experienced at pleasing women certainly would not be easily swayed by one woman's beauty.
They had been looking for her. But why?
Feng thought it over, only to come up with one person who was the cause of all this -- Xiao Shiyi Lang, Xiao Shiyi Lang, the vexing Xiao Shiyi Lang. Why must he always trouble her so?
It seemed this person was born only to look for trouble. If others did not give him trouble, then he would go look for it himself.
The first time Feng saw him, she already knew he was trouble.
That time, he was only a teenager. He was trying to fight his way against the thundering current, climbing his way up Longjiao Falls.
He tried again and again even after falling on his head, making him go dizzy and his fancy clothes torn and bloodied. Still, he went on as though he was trying to prove something. But what was it that he was trying to prove?
Besides being foolish, it was a crazy thing to do.
Even Feng sometimes thought that he was foolish, but he was no fool.
In fact, he was very intelligent.
He only did one foolish thing after another not because of some compelling reason
So, was this person stupid? Or was he intelligent? Admirable? Or hateful? Everyone seemed undecided, even Feng Siniang.
All she knew was that she could never forget him.
Sometimes, she thought he was going to drive her crazy. Other times, she thought she'd drive herself crazy not being able to see him.
These past two years, she had not seen him.
Since that day he and Xiao Yaohu (Count Carefree) fell into the ravine together, she had not even said goodbye to him.
She thought she would never see him again.
Because in this world, not one living person was able to defeat Xiao Yaohu.
There was no one who could compare to Xiao Yaohu's martial arts, no one more sinister, more malevolent, more fearsome than him.
However, Xiao Shiyi Lang actually went to look for him and challenged him to a fight to the death.
Although no one knew how the fight turned out, everybody knew that Xiao Shiyi Lang could not have survived. Even Feng was near despair.
But then came a time when she heard news of Xiao Shiyi Lang.
And that was how she came to Chaos Rock Mountain, how her feet were in the state they were in. But all she ran into was more bad luck. So now, she was sitting here like an idiot, holding her foot and thinking of him, wanting to see him so much her heart ached...
What was it about Xiao Shiyi Lang that one wanted to forget but could never forget?
Suddenly, Feng realized she was hungry.
She was so absorbed in her thoughts of Xiao Shiyi Lang that she did not notice that she was hungry.
She decided she did not want to sit down any longer.
What place was this? How far was she from the Bandit Inn? She had no idea.
Her clothes, her things, her weapons, they were all still in the inn. She had gotten herself lost in this barren hill.
Now, it was already dusk; it was time for dinner. She looked around her and her eyes were arrested by the sight of a wisp of smoke against the blazing sky. The black smoke spewing from the kitchen chimney made an attractive sight.
Although she already knew the path she did not want to turn back, not because she was afraid of the people looking for her but because she did not want her feet to suffer the rough terrain again.
In her opinion, her feet were more important than her stomach.
But her stomach disagreed. Already, it was starting to protest. "Gu gu," it grumbled. How to comfort this stomach?
Sighing, Feng Siniang looked around for any fowls or rabbits unfortunate enough to be nearby.
She did not see any rabbits. Instead, she saw six people.
Four of the gentlemen, luxuriously dressed in rich, embroidered clothes, were carrying a tiny green velvet palanquin while the other two young men, also attired in splendid finery, were walking behind. They were coming up the other side of the hill.
It was difficult enough traveling through this rugged mountain, how much more so for them who had to climb it while carrying a palanquin?
Feng Siniang wondered who was inside the palanquin. Who would want to travel by palanquin? She herself liked to ride on a horse. She liked to ride on the fastest horse...
However, she had nonetheless been inside such a fancy palanquin once.
She could not help thinking back on that day. She had been sitting inside a palanquin, adorned with flowers for the occasion, when she suddenly spied Xiao Shiyi Lang and Shen Bijun on the side of the road. Lifting the red curtain, she had leapt out, nearly scaring to death her escorts who were bringing her to the Yang family residence.
From that day on, she had earned the nickname "The New Bride who Nearly Scared People to Death."
She was then reminded of Xiao Shiyi Lang and the pitiful, beautiful lady, Shen Bijun. She remembered the tragedy that befell them.
If it weren't for Shen Bijun, Xiao Shiyi Lang would never have clashed with Xiao Yaohu and earn his ire. He never would have sought out Xiao Yaohu.
But then again, if it weren't for Xiao Shiyi Lang, Shen Bijun would never have such a tragic fate.
The most respectable, and therefore the most envied, lady in Wulin had fallen in love with the most notorious bandit in Jianghu.
She had nearly the kind of life that everyone in the world could envy. Not only did she have a good family background but she was also young and refined. Her husband was skilled in the literary and martial arts and to top it all off, she was having his child.
But for Xiao Shiyi Lang, she gave up everything and suffered for it.
Who was to blame?
Feng Siniang certainly could not blame her, for Feng Siniang was also such a woman.
They would sacrifice, give up everything for what was true.
If it weren't for Xiao Shiyi Lang, would she even be in this situation herself?
At this very moment, she could have been sitting resplendent in her satin dress in the Yang family's grandiose hall, waiting for the servants to serve her dinner.
Letting out a sigh, Feng Siniang resolved not to think about such things that would only get her down.
She looked up, only to find that the palanquin had already been lowered.
Yet, there was no one inside it.
They let out a red carpet from inside the palanquin, placed it on the ground and let it roll towards Feng Siniang.
Feng Siniang's eyes went round in amazement as she stared at them, asking, "Have you come for me?"
The two attractive young men nodded and smiled, their smiles sweeter than a girl's.
Feng Siniang asked again, "Who asked you to come for me?"
"Jin Pusa (Golden Bodhisattva)."
Feng Siniang smiled knowingly. She should have known right away that it was Jin Pusa who sent these people to get her.
Who else but Jin Pusa would do something like this?
Feng smiled and said, "How fortunate."
Just a moment ago, she met people who all turned out to have shady characters.
What sort of character was Jin Pusa?
He was a short and fat person who was always laughing just like Mi Leifu (Laughing Buddha). So he came to be known as "Pusa (Bodhisattva)."
No one knew about his family's great wealth. They only heard of his mountains of gold and the fact that whenever he was in a pleasant mood, he would send tons of gold to many families. And thus, he came to be known as "Jin Pusa (Golden Bodhisattva)."
To help those in need, he would part instantly with tens of thousands of gold without even wrinkling his brows.
But one time, when he killed 17-18 people all at once, he also did not even blink.
He used to have a favorite concubine, who was called Hong Hong because she was fond of wearing red clothes. (NOTE: "hong" means "red.")
One time when he held a great feast for the Dragon King of Bohai, Hong Hong, pouring wine for the guests, suddenly laughed for no reason at all, a very impolite and inappropriate laugh.
Jin Pusa only smiled and called her away. When Hong Hong returned, her body was dressed in luxuriant red clothes and her face was powdered, but she was seated on a large silver tray, carried by servants.
Because she had been steamed alive.
Jin Pusa, smiling, went so far as to cut her body to get at the softest portion while offering wine to the Dragon King of Bohai.
The Dragon King of Bohai had come with the intention of challenging him in order to show off his power.
But after this shocking incident at dinner, this Wulin hero immediately left the same night.
Jin Pusa was such a person.
Feng Siniang had known Jin Pusa for some time. Her impression of him was good.
Because Jin Pusa had also been good to her.
"You treat me well and I shall also treat you well." This was certainly Feng Siniang's philosophy. She was a woman and women always have their own set of philosophies, one that men could never grasp. But how did Jin Pusa know that she was here? How did he come to be here? Feng Siniang's mind was so troubled with questions that she was getting confused.
Jin Pusa's eyes were small but when he saw Feng Siniang, they turned into even narrower slits. He smiled as he ran his gaze over Feng Siniang from head to foot and sighed. "I shouldn't have invited you."
"Why not?" Feng Siniang asked.
Jin Pusa replied, "Every time I see you I feel miserable."
Feng Siniang asked, "How can a clever woman like me make you feel miserable?"
Jin Pusa answered, "You are too beautiful I feel miserable looking at you."
"I don't understand," Feng Siniang said.
Jin Pusa said, "Yes, you do.... Are you hungry?"
Feng Siniang sighed, saying, "Starved."
Jin Pusa said, "If you see a large bowl of boiled pork in front of you but you are not allowed to eat it, wouldn't you feel miserable?"
Feng Siniang smiled.
She did not often smile at lewd comments. But when she did, her smile always looked pleasant, her laughter as well.
Suddenly, Jin Pusa asked, "Haven't you gotten married?"
"I haven't," Feng Siniang replied.
"Then why don't you marry me?" Jin Pusa suggested.
Feng Siniang lowered her eyes, saying, "You are too rich." Jin Pusa asked, "What's wrong with being rich?" Feng Siniang said, "Rich or talented, I don't want to marry a man like that."
"Why not?" Jin Pusa asked.
"Because women like men like that. I'm afraid other women might steal them away from me," Feng Siniang replied.
"You haven't stolen anybody's husband. Who would want to steal yours?" Jin Pusa retorted.
"Even so...." Feng Siniang conceded, "I would still feel tensed."
"For what reason?" Jin Pusa asked.
Feng Siniang answered, "Imagine yourself holding a large bowl of boiled pork while sitting among a group of hungry ghosts. Wouldn't you feel tensed?"
Jin Pusa smiled and once again his eyes narrowed into a single line.
Feng Siniang winked, saying, "Actually, I'm very fond of you. If you give me some of your mountains of gold, I'll marry you in an instant."
"To have mountains of gold or to have a beautiful woman like you. If I gave my mountains of gold to someone, wouldn't I be causing trouble for that person?" Jin Pusa asked. "I can't have that."
Laughing, Feng Siniang said, "Even after all these years, you are still fascinating. No wonder that I always think about you."
"It's a pity I am too rich," Jin Pusa answered.
"Indeed," Feng Siniang agreed.
Jin Pusa said, "So we have no other choice but to be friends." Feng Siniang said, "We have always been good friends."
Jin Pusa smiled, saying, "To hear those words is better than simply eating boiled pork." Feng Siniang's eyes suddenly went round as she said, "Since we are friends, there is something I want to ask you."
"I've been waiting for you to ask," Jin Pusa said.
"You came here to look for me," Feng Siniang began, "How did you know I'd be here?"
Jin Pusa's eyes narrowed, appearing to think before he murmured, "Do you want me to tell you the truth? Or do you want me to lie?"
"I actually like to listen to a man who lies because lies are always more pleasant to hear than the truth," Feng Siniang answered.
Jin Pusa's eyes showed his appreciation. Then he sighed, saying, "You really are an intelligent woman. Only the most foolish woman always require men to tell the truth."
Feng Siniang said, "But right now I want to hear the truth."
Narrowing his eyes, Jin Pusa told her, "If you want to hear the truth, there is always a price to pay."
"I know," Feng Siniang said.
"You still want to hear it?" Jin Pusa asked.
"Yes," Feng Siniang confirmed.
Jin Pusa considered this for a while before he slowly said, "I was looking for you because of a person."
"Who?" Feng Siniang inquired.
"Xiao Shiyi Lang," Jin Pusa said.
Xiao Shiyi Lang, Xiao Shiyi Lang again!
Every time she heard that person's name, her heart felt something that could not be explained. Was it sweet or sour? Or was it bitter?
But her face revealed none of this, appearing cold as she said, "You were really looking for me because of Xiao Shiyi Lang?"
"You wanted me to speak the truth," Jin Pusa said.
Feng Siniang smiled coldly. "What does Xiao Shiyi Lang have to do with me? I am not his mother."
"But you are his friend," Jin Pusa reasoned.
Feng Siniang could not deny that but neither could she declare it as true.
Xiao Shiyi Lang's enemies outnumber his friends. In Jianghu, practically no one knew she was his friend.
Jin Pusa continued, "Two years ago, he went looking for Xiao Yaohou to challenge him. It was you who told him where to find him."
"The man was looking for a fight," Feng Siniang said coldly. "But he was heading towards sure death."
"So ever since, everyone in Jianghu thought he was dead," Jin Pusa went on.
"Who knows how many people in Jianghu were hoping for his death?" Feng Siniang said.
Jin Pusa answered, "But unfortunately, he's not dead yet."
Feng Siniang said, "How do you know he's not dead? Have you seen him?"
"I haven't," Jin Pusa replied. "I've only heard news of him, nothing more."
"What news?" Feng Siniang asked.
Jin Pusa said, "Not only did he survive, but he also had a sudden stroke of luck."
Feng Siniang responded, "He's a very unlucky person. How can he be lucky this time around?"
Jin Pusa said, "Once a person's fortune turns, even the fortified walls of the city cannot stop it." Feng Siniang asked, "His fortune has turned? What, fortune in love?"
Taking a breath, Jin Pusa answered, "His fortune in love is already too much. That's why he's constantly running into trouble. But fortunately that is not the case here."
"Is that so?" Feng Siniang said.
Jin Pusa said, "At least, you're not married to him."
Feng Siniang's face hardened as she said, "Even if all the men in the world were to die, I still won't marry him."
But the words she spoke were like needles piercing her heart.
Jin Pusa smiled, squinting at her as he said, "It's unlikely that you don't want to marry this person. Not only is he very young and very handsome, but he is also said to have become the richest man in the world."
"Richer than you?" Feng Siniang asked.
"Of course," Jin Pusa confirmed, "Richer than I am."
Feng Siniang scoffed, "Don't tell me money just dropped out of the sky for him?"
Jin Pusa replied, "Money may not drop out of the sky but they may grow out of the ground."
"Oh," Feng Sinian mumbled. Jin Pusa continued, "The people of Jianghu know of the three greatest treasures in the world. Yet, no one has ever found them."
"Are you saying he found them?" Feng Siniang asked.
Jin Pusa sighed and said tonelessly, "I just said that when fortune turns, even the fortified walls of the city cannot stop it."
Feng Siniang laughed coldly, saying, "Several years ago, it was said that he came upon a huge sum of money. He often invited me to eat noodles but he never had money to pay."
"I, also, have heard lots of rumors about him," Jin Pusa said, "however, it is different this time."
"How would you know?" Feng Siniang asked.
Jin Pusa said, "Someone personally saw him in Kaifeng lose 10 thousand silver taels at a gambling table. Not only that, all ten silvers were stored inside a trunk carried by two people."
"That gambling bastard," Feng Siniang muttered.
Jin Pusa went on, "Some people also saw him use 10 Chinese pearls to entice the most popular courtesan in Hangzhou, buying her flowers and giving her fifty thousand silver taels so she could buy herself a big house."
Biting her lip, Feng Siniang said coldly, "That filthy bastard."
"But he only stayed there for three days and then he left the woman," Jin Pusa said.
Although Feng Siniang's complexion remained the same, her voice had frozen. "That's no surprise. He always treated people like that."
Jin Pusa said, "These people who saw him recognized him immediately from before. They are definitely not mistaken, much less mistake him for someone else. Besides, there are some people who would never lie."
"Who are these people?" Feng Siniang asked.
Jin Pusa did not respond immediately. But after a long time, he said, "Have you not met the Seven Blind Men?"
Feng Siniang nodded.