Survived from a Licentious Fighter, part 1

A disturbance suddenly started from near the gate. Several men in blue robes came in hurriedly carrying two door planks. Two men lay on the door planks. They were covered with white sheets that were soaked with blood. People in the hall soon gathered around them to have a closer look.

   “They are from the Taishan Sword School!” Somebody muttered. “That’s Priest Tian-Song of the Taishan Sword School. Wow, that wound on him looks fatal. Who’s the other one?” 

   “He’s an apprentice of Priest Tian-Men – the Head Master of the Taishan Sword School. His name is Chi. Is he dead already?” 

   “Sure. Dead! Look at that knife wound – in from his chest and out his back, how could he survive that?” 

Amid the uproar, the dead one and the wounded one were both carried into the Back Hall. Many people followed them there. The ones remaining in the great hall all began to talk about the incident. 

   “Priest Tian-Song is an excellent fighter from the Taishan Sword School. Who would be so bold as to challenge him?” 

   “If this person could wound Priest Tian-Song, he obviously has better Kung Fu skills. Better skills, more courage, that’s why.” 

While the crowd was still discussing the incident, Xiang Danian emerged from the Back Hall and went straight to the table where all the apprentices from the Huashan Sword School were gathered. 

   “Apprentice brother Lao, my Master would like to have a word with you. Will you please come with me?” he asked Lao Denuo. 

   “Sure,” Lao Denuo answered. He stood up and followed Xiang Danian into the inner room. 

They went through a long hallway, and then into a side hall. There were five armchairs placed side by side at the north end of the hall. Four of them were empty, while a big red-faced Taoist priest occupied the easternmost chair. Lao Denuo knew that these five armchairs were reserved for the five Head Masters of the Five Mountains Sword Alliance. The Head Masters of Songshan, Heng-Shan, Huashan, and Hengshan hadn’t arrived yet. This red-faced Taoist priest was none other than the Head Master of the Taishan Sword School, Priest Tian-Men. Nineteen senior masters sat by his sides. Sister Dingyi from the Heng-Shan Sword School, Yu Canghai from the Qingcheng Sword School and He Sanqi from Mount Yandang were all among them. At the south end of the hall, upon the seat for the host, sat a short, fat, middle-aged man in expensive dark red-brown robes of silk. He was the host Liu Zhengfeng. 

Lao Denuo first saluted the host Liu Zhengfeng, and then knelt down in front of Priest Tian-Men with a greeting, “Apprentice of Huashan Sword School, Lao Denuo, pays his respect to Uncle-Master Tian-Men.” 

Priest Tian-Men appeared to be full of rage, and seemed to be on the verge of exploding. “Where is Linghu Chong?” he bellowed, striking the arm of the chair heavily with his left hand. His voice was so astounding that it sounded like thunder from the sky. Even the people in the great hall could hear him and everyone shuddered. 

   “Third apprentice brother, they are looking for Big Apprentice Brother again!” the young girl Lingshan cried. 

Liang Fa nodded but did not say a word. After a while, he whispered, “Let’s all stay calm! There are so many people gathered here from different places; don’t let them look upon our Huashan Sword School with scorn.” 

Lin Pingzhi couldn’t help thinking, “They are looking for Linghu Chong again. This old fellow Linghu certainly has a knack for getting into trouble.” 

Back at the Side Hall, Lao Denuo’s ears were almost deafened by the resounding bellow from Priest Tian-Men. He had to remain kneeling for quite a while before he could get a grip of himself and stand up again. 

   “Uncle-Master, apprentice brother Linghu went separately from us in the town of Hengyang,” he answered. “We had planned to meet in Hengshan and then come to the Liu House to congratulate Uncle-Master Liu. If he doesn’t make it today, he will surely come tomorrow.” 

   “He still dares to come? He still has the gall to come? Linghu Chong is the Big Apprentice Brother of your Huashan Sword School. Isn’t he supposed to be on the chivalrous side of the Martial World? What is he doing hanging around with that wicked rapist who stops at no evil, Tian Boguang! What does he think he is doing?” Priest Tian-Men roared angrily. 

   “From what I know, Big Apprentice Brother does not know Tian Boguang at all. Big Apprentice Brother is always fond of drinking; maybe he didn’t know it was Tian Boguang that he was drinking with,” Lao Denuo tried to speculate. 

Stamping his foot on the floor heavily, Priest Tian-Men stood up. “You are foolish to defend that damn swine Linghu Chong,” he snarled, his voice filled with rage. “Apprentice brother Tian-Song, you…you tell him how you were wounded. Tell him whether Linghu Chong knew Tian Boguang.” 

Two door planks were laid on the floor to the west. A dead body lay on one, and a long-bearded Taoist priest lay on the other. The priest’s face appeared almost as white as a sheet, and blood soaked through his entire beard. In a very low voice, he started talking. 

   “This morning…I…I was with nephew apprentice Chi at the Huiyan…Huiyan Wine House in…Hengyang. We saw Linghu Chong…together with Tian Boguang and a little nun….” He had to stop to catch his breath before finishing the words. (To be Continued)

No comments:

Post a Comment