The Story from Qingcheng Mount, part 6

   “But seeing those people practicing so hard, I really thought it might have had something to do with our school. How could I just turn around and leave? I just kept telling myself, ‘I’ll just watch a couple of more moves before leaving.’ But after watching a couple, I watched another couple, and so it went on and on. The sword moves they used were so unusual. I had never seen anything like them before in my life. But if someone claimed that these moves had some kind of great power, I couldn’t agree. I wondered, ‘This set of sword techniques is nothing special, why would the Qingcheng Sword School want to practice it so diligently, day and night? Could this set of sword techniques be to counter our Huashan sword arts?’ It didn’t look like it! 

   “After watching several more moves, I dared not continue watching anymore, so I sneaked away and went back to my room while the four were still fighting intensely. If I had waited till the four stopped fighting and the noises ended, there would have been no way for me to get away. With his superior skills, Master Yu would have found me out after my first step outside the hall. 

   “In the following two nights, the sound of swords ringing against each other kept coming from the distance, but I dared not go and watch any more. To be honest, if I had known that they were practicing sword fighting in front of Master Yu, I would never have dared to go there at all. The first time was just an accident. Just now sixth apprentice brother praised my courage; I did not deserve such praise. If you had seen my face that night, you would have known how terrified I was, and you’d have called me the number one coward.” 

   “No way! No way!” Lu Dayou objected. “Second apprentice brother, you’d be at most number two. If it were I, I wouldn’t have to worry about being found out by Master Yu. I would have been so scared that my entire body would have become stiff; I would stop breathing and not be able to move an inch; pretty much no different from a zombie. No matter how outstanding Master Yu’s Kung Fu skills are, he would have never known that there was a hero named Lu Dayou hiding outside his window.” 

The apprentices broke into uproarious laughter. 

   “Later Master Yu finally granted me an audience,” Lao Denuo continued. “He spoke in a very polite manner, saying that Master really didn’t have to punish Big Apprentice Brother so harshly. The Qingcheng Sword School and the Huashan Sword School have always maintained a good relationship. The apprentices were only roughhousing with each other, just like children playing practical jokes with each other. The parents should never take such matters too seriously. That night he invited me to dinner. The following morning when I was leaving, Master Yu saw me off all the way to the gate of the Pine-Wind Temple. Since I was the apprentice, I of course, knelt down and kowtowed. Right after I knelt down on my left knee, Master Yu lifted his right hand slightly and lifted me right up. His power was amazing! It felt as if I had suddenly lost all of my strength and my body was floating in the air. If he had wanted to toss me thirty feet or simply flip me over seven or eight times, I would not have had any strength to defend myself. 

   “Master Yu smiled slightly and asked, ‘How many more years than you has your senior apprentice brother been an apprentice of your Master? You had some prior martial arts skills before you became an apprentice to your Master, hadn’t you?’ 

   “I was still trying to catch my breath after experiencing his grip, so I had to wait a while before answering, ‘Yes, I learned some martial arts skills before joining the Huashan Sword School. At the time I became an apprentice of the Huashan Sword School, Big Apprentice Brother had been an apprentice for three years.’ 

   “Master Yu smiled again and said, ‘Three years more, hmm, three years more.’” 

   “What did he mean by ‘three years more’?” the girl asked. 

   “He wore an odd expression. I guess he must have been thinking that my Kung Fu skills were mediocre, so that even if Big Apprentice Brother had studied three more years than I did, he couldn’t have been too much better,” Lao Denuo shrugged. 

The girl hummed and then fell silent. 

   “After I went back to Mount Huashan, I gave Master the reply letter from Master Yu,” Lao Denuo went on. “The letter was written in a very polite and modest manner, so Master was very pleased after reading it. Then, he asked about different things happening in the Pine-Wind Temple, so I told him about that night the Qingcheng apprentices practiced. Master asked me to show him a couple of the moves. I only remembered seven or eight of them, so I imitated the moves. Master said immediately when he saw them, ‘Those are moves of the Evil-Resisting Sword Art of the Fortune Prestige Escort House Lin family!’” 

When Lin Pingzhi heard this, his body trembled!  (To be continued)

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