The Story from Qingcheng Mount, part 7

Lao Denuo continued with his story, “So I asked Master, ‘Is this ‘Evil-Resisting Sword Art’ something very powerful? Why would the Qingcheng Sword School practice it so intensely?’ 

   “Master did not answer right away. He closed his eyes for a long while and then said, ‘Denuo, before you became my disciple, you had already spent much time in the Martial World. In that time, what did you hear of the Chief Master of the Fortune Prestige Escort House, Lin Zhennan?’ 

   “I answered, ‘Our friends in the Martial World said that Lin Zhennan was not stingy when socializing with others; he treated his friends well. Everybody liked him and left the goods he escorted alone out of respect. But with regard to his real Kung Fu skills, I am not sure.’ 

   “Master said, ‘Right! Over the last generation, the Fortune Prestige Escort House has been successful primarily because people in the Martial World treated Lin Zhennan like a friend. Did you ever hear that Master Yu’s teacher, Evergreen, was defeated by Lin Yuantu’s ‘Evil-Resisting Sword Art’ during his youth?’ 

   “I was lost. ‘Lin…Lin Yuantu? Was he Lin Zhennan’s father?’ I asked. 

   “‘No,’ Master answered, ‘Lin Yuantu was Lin Zhennan’s grandfather. He was the original founder of the Fortune Prestige Escort House. In those days when Lin Yuantu founded the Escort House with the seventy-two moves of ‘Evil-Resisting Sword Art,’ none of the heterodox members of the Martial World was a match for him. Because of his great fame at that time, even orthodox members of the Martial World went to challenge him. Evergreen was one of them, and thus was defeated by several moves of the Evil-Resisting Sword Art.’ 

   “I asked, ‘So the ‘Evil-Resisting Sword Art’ is truly very powerful?’ 

   “Master said, ‘The news that Evergreen lost the fight was kept secret by both sides, so nobody in the Martial World knew about it. However, Evergreen was a very good friend of our Grand Master and had once mentioned it to him. He considered this one of the greatest humiliations in his life, but knowing that he would never be able to defeat Lin Yuantu, he was never able to settle the score with him. Grand Master studied the ‘Evil-Resisting Sword Art’ together with him in order to identify flaws in this sword art. The seventy-two moves looked plain, but there were many profound mysteries locked within that no one could fathom, which allowed the moves to suddenly become very swift. The two of them studied it for several months, but still could not devise a way to counter it. At that time, I was a mere teenager who had just become an apprentice. I served them tea at those sessions and was able to watch the moves everyday,so when you demonstrated the moves, I knew they were from the ‘Evil-Resisting Sword Art.’ Ah, time flows like a stream. That was a long time ago!’” 

Ever since Lin Pingzhi had been beaten up by the Qingcheng apprentices without being able to defend himself, he had completely lost confidence in his family’s Kung Fu. All he wanted was to learn from a good teacher to seek revenge later. Now hearing Lao Denuo speak of the great prestige and fame of his great grandfather, Lin Yuantu, he was greatly encouraged. Their family’s “Evil-Resisting Sword Art” was really nothing to scoff at. Years ago, even the masters of the Qingcheng and Huashan sword schools could not defeat it. But if this was so, why couldn’t his father defeat those Qingcheng apprentices? Perhaps his father did not learn the secret and magic parts of the sword art. 

Then he heard Lao Denuo say, “I then asked Master, ‘Did Evergreen ever get his revenge?’ 

   “Master said, ‘He only lost a challenged fight. That doesn’t require revenge. Besides, Lin Yuantu had been famous for years and was considered an admirable senior master. Evergreen was just a little Taoist priest who barely finished training. It wasn’t a big deal for a young lad to lose to a senior master. After Grand Master comforted him, they never mentioned the incident again. Evergreen died at the age of thirty-six. Maybe he could never put the incident behind him, and finally died of depression. Now,decades later, why would Yu Canghai suddenly make all of his apprentices practice the ‘Evil-Resisting Sword Art?’ Denuo, what’s your opinion on this?’ 

   “I said, ‘It seemed that everyone in the Pine-Wind Temple was quite serious about practicing; could Master Yu be planning to mount a large-scale attack against the Fortune Prestige Escort House to seek revenge for the past generation?’ 

   “Master nodded and said, ‘I think so too. Evergreen was a narrow-minded person who thought highly of himself. He must have taken his defeat to heart. He probably left some kind of order to Yu Canghai before he passed away. Lin Yuantu died before Evergreen, so if Yu Canghai were to avenge his teacher, he could only go after Lin Zhongxiong, Lin Yuantu’s son. But for some reason, he waited till now to start the attack. Yu Canghai is shrewd and deep, and always plots before attacking. There’s going to be a big fight between the Qingcheng Sword School and the Fortune Prestige Escort House.’ 

   “I asked Master, ‘So in your opinion, who has a better chance of winning the fight?’ 

   “Master smiled and said, ‘Yu Canghai’s Kung Fu skills have surpassed his master, Evergreen’s. Lin Zhennan’s Kung Fu skills, although outsiders have no idea, are probably inferior to his grandfather’s. One had advanced and one had slipped back. In addition, the Qingcheng Sword School hides in the dark while the Fortune Prestige Escort House is exposed in the light; before the real fight even begins, the Fortune Prestige Escort House already has a seventy percent chance of losing. If Lin Zhennan were to get the information early and invite the Golden Blade Wang Yuanba in Luoyang to help out, then they might be able to put up a decent fight. Denuo, do you want to go watch the fun?’  (To be continued)

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