The Story from Qingcheng Mount, part 2

   “There’s going to be a big crowd in Hengshan now. So many master level elite fighters! I am afraid that there might be some big fights.”

   “Little Apprentice Sister, who told you that Master Yu came too?”

   “Why do I have to be told? I saw him with my own eyes,” the girl stated.

   “You saw Master Yu? In Hengshan?” Monkey-Six asked.

   “Not only in Hengshan town, but also in Fujian province and Jiangxi province,” the girl said.

   “Why did Master Yu go to Fujian, Little Apprentice Sister? But I guess you probably wouldn’t know, would you?” the man with the abacus said.

   “Fifth apprentice brother,” the girl replied, “you don’t have to prod me. I was going to tell you, but since you want to provoke me, I won’t say a thing!”

   “This story is only about the Qingcheng Sword School. There’s no harm if others overhear it. Second apprentice brother, what was Master Yu doing in Fujian? How did you see him?” Monkey-Six couldn’t stay his curiosity.

   “Since Big Apprentice Brother hasn’t come yet,” the old man said, “and the rain won’t be stopping soon, there’s not much to do anyway. Let me tell you the story from the beginning. Once you understand the cause and effect, when you meet someone from the Qingcheng Sword School later, at least you will be ready. Last December, when Big Apprentice Brother beat up Hou Renying and Hong Renxiong….”

   “Ha-ha!” Monkey-Six suddenly burst out laughing.

   “What’s so funny?” the girl glared at him.

Still laughing hard, Monkey-Six answered, “I am laughing at those two arrogant fellows, naming themselves Renying and Renxiong.28 They’re even known by the nickname ‘Ying Xiong Hao Jie, the Four Aces of Qingcheng’ in the Martial World. See, my name is just plain ‘Lu Dayou,’ and with such a plain name, trouble will never come looking for me.”

   “That’s not true!” the girl exclaimed. “If your last name wasn’t ‘Lu,’ and you weren’t the sixth among the apprentices, why would you have a nickname like Monkey-Six?”

   “Sure, sure.” Lu Dayou smiled. “Starting from this day forth, I will change my name to….”

   “Don’t interrupt second apprentice brother from telling the story,” another apprentice cut him off.

   “Alright, alright, I won’t!” Lu Dayou said, but still could not help laughing.

   “What are you laughing at now? You’re just a nuisance!” the girl frowned.

Lu Dayou grinned. “I was just remembering how Hou Renying and Hong Renxiong rolled across the floor after being kicked by Big Apprentice Brother, and still couldn’t figure out who had kicked them or why they were kicked. It turned out that Big Apprentice Brother just didn’t like their names. He was shouting ‘Dumb Bear Wild Pig, the Four Asses of Qingcheng’ loudly while drinking his wine. Hou and Hong of course got mad and came over to fight, but only got kicked down the stairs of the wine house for their trouble! Ha-ha-ha!”

Lin Pingzhi felt quite happy when he heard of their humiliation. Instantly, he felt closer to this Big Apprentice Brother. Although he had never met Hou Renying or Hong Renxiong, these two were fellow apprentices of Fang Renzhi and Yu Renhao. When they got kicked down the stairs of the wine house, he could imagine how embarrassed they must have felt. Big Apprentice Brother had really helped him to vent his spleen.

   “When Big Apprentice Brother took Hou and Hong down a peg,” the old man continued, “they didn’t know who Big Apprentice Brother was at the time, but later they found out. So Master Yu wrote a letter to our Master. The words were very polite, saying that he did not discipline his apprentices well and they had offended your brilliant disciple, so he specifically wrote this letter to apologize, so on and so forth.”

   “This fellow Yu is really cunning,” Lu Dayou explained. “He wrote a letter of apology, but was actually complaining to Master. So because of the letter, Big Apprentice Brother had to kneel outside for a whole day and a whole night. Master finally let him off only after all the apprentices pleaded on his behalf.”

   “What do you mean ‘let him off’?” The girl retorted. “He was beaten thirty strokes anyway.”

   “Hey, I got ten strokes along with Big Apprentice Brother,” Lu Dayou said. “Ha-ha, but I saw Hou Renying and Hong Renxiong rolling down the stairs with such battered looks that the ten strokes was well worth it. Ha-ha, ha-ha!”

   “Look at yourself; you don’t have any remorse at all. The ten strokes were wasted!” the tall apprentice commented.

    “How should I mend my ways?” Lu Dayou argued. “When Big Apprentice Brother wanted to kick them down the stairs, how was I supposed to stop him?”

    “At least you could have tried to talk him out of it,” the tall apprentice said. “Master had you pegged, ‘Lu Dayou, well, he would never try to talk anybody out of mischief. Worse, he would add fuel to the flames. Ten strokes!’ Ha-ha, Ha-ha!” All the other apprentices laughed as well.

   “This time Master really wronged an innocent person.” Lu Dayou protested. “Think about it. How fast can Big Apprentice Brother kick? The two ‘heroes’ rushed in from either side. Big Apprentice Brother just lifted his bowl and kept drinking his wine in big gulps. I shouted, ‘Big Apprentice Brother, look out!’ And then I heard the loud sounds of two heavy impacts, followed by the thumping sounds of the two ‘big heroes’ as they rolled all the way down the stairs. I really would have liked to get a better view, so I could get some pointers on the use of Big Apprentice Brother’s ‘Panther Tail Kick,’ but I didn’t even have time to look, much less time to learn. How could I have added fuel to the flames?”  (To be continued)

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