Chapter 9

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Chapter 9 – Betting One’s Life on a Single Sabre

The sound of the apricot tree in the courtyard gently rustling in the wind could be heard. The sound of chess pieces being placed on the chessboard were gentle and tasteful, as though they were a musical instrument. There was no expression at all on the face of the young man in white who was trimming his nails. The two who were playing chess didn’t even bother to raise their heads.

Mingyue Xin couldn’t keep herself from saying, “We didn’t come here to watch you play chess.”

Gongsun Tu said, “I know you have come here to find me. I am the one who bathed the Peacock Manor in blood. You didn’t find the wrong person.”

Mingyue Xin’s hands clenched into fists, her fingernails piercing into her flesh. “And the other three?”

Gongsun Tu didn’t directly answer. Instead, he first introduced the young man in white.

“This is the son of Luoyang’s Xiao family, Xiao Siwu [Si Wu means ‘four withouts’].” He explained, “The ‘four withouts’ means this. His flying dagger skill is without equal, he has killed people without number, and when angered, without mercy.”

“The fourth without?”

“Even when he isn’t angered, he’s still without mercy.” Gongsun Tan continued, “He also has another nickname, a very long and strange one. ‘He’ll go to heaven or hell to seek out Little Li, and whole heartedly wishes to kill Ye Kai’.”

In former years, Little Li’s flying dagger overawed the world. Once his flying dagger was sent out, it would never miss! His glorious, magnificent fame had not yet been matched to this very day by any.

Ye Kai received tutelage from him, and gained the essence of his flying dagger. He roamed the martial world for thirty carefree years, and although he didn’t kill a single person without good reason, no one dared to offend him.

Mingyue Xin said, “Not only is this merciless young man certain that he can kill Ye Kai, he also wants to seek out Li Tanhua and compete in martial arts against him?”

Gongsun Tu said, “That seems to be so.”

Mingyue Xin laughed. “He seems to be very arrogant.”

Gongsun Tu said, “Very arrogant people tend to have the ability to back up their arrogance.”

Mingyue Xin said, “That seems to be so.”

Gongsun Tan smiled. “But actually, it isn’t?”

Mingyue Xin laughed. “The more arrogant one is, the less actual ability one has. There are many people in the martial world who are like that.”

Gongsun Tan’s smile was meant to sow discord, but her laughter was nothing short of a direct challenge. These words of hers clearly were meant for Xiao Siwu to hear.

But it seemed as though this haughty young man hadn’t even heard her words. His features remained totally emotionless. The dagger in his hand moved very slowly, and every single motion was extremely careful, as though he were very much afraid that he might cut his hand.

His hand was very steady, and his fingers were long and very strong.

Fu Hongxue never paid attention to people’s hands, but he now paid attention to this person’s. He observed every single movement very carefully.

Trimming one’s fingernails isn’t really all that exciting. It’s not worth watching.

However, Xiao Siwu seemed to become very uncomfortable underneath Fu Hongxue’s stare. He suddenly said in a cold voice, “Watching a person trim his fingernails isn’t as good as watching people play chess.”

Gongsun Tu laughed. “Especially since these two chess players are grandmasters of our time.”

Mingyue Xin blinked a few times. “This Daoist priest would be the boss of the Ziguan Temple?”

It seemed as though Gongsun Tan once more wanted to cause trouble. He intentionally asked, “What boss does the Ziguan Temple have?”

Mingyue Xin laughed. “In a Daoist temple, the head Daoist priest would be the boss. In a *****house, the madame would be the boss. ‘Boss’ is a title that can be applied to all sorts of people.”

The white haired man picked up a chess piece, then suddenly turned his head and smiled towards her. “That’s right. I’m the boss of this place.”

Mingyue Xin sweetly said, “How has business been recently?”

The white haired man said, “Passable. No matter what time it is, there’s always some stupid husband or stupid wife who comes here offering incense or fragrant oils. And of course, during beautiful spring and autumn days, business is very brisk.”

When he spoke, he really sounded as though he were a boss.

Laughing, Mingyue Xin became even more cheerful. “Bosses are usually very boring people. I didn’t expect you to be such an interesting boss.”

The white haired man said, “I’m the sort of man who abstains from nothing at all.”

He also smiled very cheerfully, but Mingyue Xin’s laughter suddenly seemed very forced. “Abstains from nothing at all? Boss, what is your surname?”

The white haired man said, “My surname is Yang.”

Mingyue Xin said, “Yang Wuji?”

The white haired man said, “That seems to be so.”

Mingyue Xin was no longer able to laugh.

She knew of this person. Thirty years ago, he shared an equal amount of fame with the sect leader of Wudang, the Daoist priest Bashan. He was known as one of the ‘Seven Great Swordsmen of the Outer Regions’.

She also knew that there were four lines in a poem which described him. The first line was ‘Abstains from nothing at all’, and so was the fourth.

Very few people knew these four lines.

‘Abstains from nothing at all, as soon as he laughs he kills, if he intends to kill someone, he abstains from nothing at all.’

Supposedly, if this Daoist were to treat you very coldly, that means he considers you a friend. But if he were to laugh at you and treat you very kindly, there usually is only one reason for that: He will kill you!

In addition, it was said that after he had decided to kill you, he would abstain from nothing at all and would kill you regardless of the relationship you had with him. In addition, no matter where one went, he would hunt you down and kill you.

Just now, he laughed with her, and in fact he was still laughing. When was he planning to make his move?

Mingyue Xin stared at him, not daring to look away for a second.

Unexpectedly, Yang Wuji turned his head around again. With a light clinging sound, he placed the chess piece in his hand on the board.

After playing that chess piece, he swept all the pieces on the board off. With a sigh, he said, “You truly are a grandmaster. I admit defeat.”

The middle aged man in black clothes with white socks said, “That wrong move is wholly due to the fact that you were distracted by others. How can it count as a defeat?”

Yang Wuji said, “A single wrong move can cause total disaster. How can it not count as a defeat? In addition, playing chess is like swordsmanship. One should be totally focused and not allow one’s self to be distracted. If one can be distracted by others, how can he be considered an expert?”

Gongsun Tu laughed, “Fortunately, although it is easy for you to be distracted while playing chess, you are never distracted while wielding your sword.”

Yang Wuji lightly said, “Fortunately, that is the case. That’s the only reason why I’ve been able to stay alive up till now.”

The middle aged man in black clothes with white clothes sighed. “Unfortunately, although I am never distracted while playing chess, when I begin competing in swords with others, my mind becomes as muddled and chaotic as the spring grass.”

Mingyue Xin said, “Your surname, sir?”

The man in black said, “I can’t say, I can’t say.”

Mingyue Xin asked, “Why can’t you say?”

The man in black said, “Because I’m a nameless, ordinary fellow. The only thing I am good at is chess.”

Mingyue Xin asked, “You are a chess prodigy? Whose chess prodigy?”

Yan Nanfei suddenly chuckled. “Naturally, he is Gongzi’s chess prodigy.”

The man in black seemed to just notice him. He immediately chuckled, then cupped his hands and said, “Oh, so it’s young master Yan.”

Yan Nanfei said, “Unfortunately, I’m not your young master.”

The man in black smiled. “Young master, do you play chess?”

Yan Nanfei said, “I barely have the time to flee for my life these days. How could I have the energy to play chess?”

The man in black laughed. “I, on the other hand, would be willing to lose my life for the sake of playing chess. Why worry about running for my life?”

Yan Nanfei laughed loudly, and the man in black smiled as well. Evidently, the two of them were already acquainted.

With a chess prodigy like this, what type of person might his young master be?

Yan Nanfei asked again, “Does your young master play any chess?”

The man in black said, “He does not.”

Yan Nanfei smiled. “I imagine it isn’t because he is too busy fleeing for his life. It’s because he’s too busy taking the lives of others.”

The man in black laughed loudly, and Yan Nanfei smiled. Was the person they were speaking of Gongzi Yu?

Yan Nanfei and Gongzi Yu used to be friends?

The man in black cupped his hands again. “Young master, rest here for a bit longer. I must bid you farewell.”

Yan Nanfei asked, “Why don’t you sit for a while longer as well?”

The man in black said, “I came to play chess. Now that there’s no chess game going on, why should I stay?”

Yan Nanfei said, “In order to kill people!”

The man in black said, “Kill people? Who wants to kill people?”

Yan Nanfei said, “Me!”

His face suddenly sank, and he turned to stare coldly at Gongsun Tu. “The person I want to kill is you.”

Gongsun Tu didn’t seem surprised at all. He let out a sigh, then said, “Why do you want to kill me?”

Yan Nanfei said, “Because you have killed far too many people.”

Gongsun Tu lightly said, “And there are quite a few people who want to kill me. But I am still alive.”

Yan Nanfei replied, “You’ve lived for far too long. I’m afraid that today will be the day you must die.”

Gongsun Tu said leisurely, “Today is a day of dying. I just don’t know who will be the one to die!”

Yan Nanfei laughed coldly. At that very moment, he drew forth his sword from beneath his clothes, the Rose Sword!

This soft sword could actually be stuck around one’s waist normally, as though it were a belt. The soft leather scabbard was dyed red using some unknown material, so red that it looked like a spring rose in full bloom.

When he saw this sword, Gongsun Tu couldn’t help but reveal a look of respect in his eyes. “I recognize this sword. It was refined a hundred times and smelted a thousand times over. It is soft, yet unyielding. It really is a rare, incredible tool!”

Yan Nanfei said, “I also know about your hook. Where is your hook?”

Gongsun Tu laughed. “When did you ever see a person using a hook to pick flowers?”

Yan Nanfei said, “Pick flowers?”

Gongsun Tu said, “Isn’t a rose a flower?”

The man in black suddenly said, “If you want to pick a rose, you had best remember that roses have thorns. The thorns can do more than just prick one’s hand; they can also prick one’s heart.”

Gongsun Tu said, “I have no heart to be pricked.”

The man in black said, “But you have a hand which can be hurt.”

Gongsun Tu laughed again, then said without a care, “If he pricks my hand, I shall prick his heart.”

The man in black said, “What will you use to prick his heart?”

Gongsun Tu said, “A person.”

The man in black asked, “Who?”

Gongsun Tu said, “Zhuo Yuzhen.”

The man in black asked, “So if he hurts you, you will kill Zhuo Yuzhen?”

Gongsun Tu nodded. “Zhuo Yuzhen cannot die, and therefore I cannot die either. The only one who can die is him!”

The man in black said, “So you have placed yourself in an invincible position for this battle?”

Gongsun Tu said, “That was the case all along.”

Smiling, he looked at Yan Nanfei. “So by now, you should have realized who will be the person to die today.”

Yan Nanfei said, “You!”

He coldly continued, “Only a dead person can be guaranteed to not kill others. I intend to make sure that Zhuo Yuzhen stays alive, but even more do I intend to make sure that you die.”

Gongsun Tu let out a sigh. “It seems you still don’t understand, since you didn’t hear the words I said earlier.”

The man in black said, “But I heard them.”

Gongsun Tu said, “What did I say?”

The man in black said, “You said that as soon as you see blood, immediately kill Zhuo Yuzhen.”

Gongsun Tu said, “Who did I say that to?”

The man in black said, “I don’t recognize that person. All I know is that you called him ‘forefinger’.”

Gongsun Tu said, “Where is he right now?”

The man in black said, “He took Zhuo Yuzhen with him and left.”

Gongsun Tu said, “Where did he go?”

The man in black said, “I don’t know!”

Gongsun Tu said, “Who knows?”

The man in black said, “It seems nobody knows!”

Gongsun Tu said, “No one knows to begin with!”

Smiling, he looked at Yan Nanfei. “Do you fully understand now?”

Yan Nanfei nodded, but still did not bat an eyelid.

Gongsun Tu said, “So whose death day shall today be?”

Yan Nanfei said, “Yours!”

Gongsu Tu shook his head, smiling wryly. “It seems that not only is this fellow very stubborn, he’s also very stupid. Even now, he doesn’t understand.”

Yan Nanfei said, “The one who doesn’t understand is you, because despite all of your calculations, there is something you have forgotten.”

Gongsun Tu said, “Oh?”

Yan Nanfei said, “You forgot that I cannot die and do not want to die. What’s more, if I die, I still won’t be able to save Zhuo Yuzhen. Why would I let you kill me? Why wouldn’t I kill you?”

Gongsun Tu was startled. “Since nobody can die, what do you propose?”

Yan Nanfei said, “Pull out your hook and give my sword a try. If I cannot defeat you within ten stances, I will give you a person’s life!”

Gongsun Tu said, “Whose life?”

Yan Nanfei said, “My life.”

Gongsun Tu said, “And if you defeat me, I must give you a life as well?”

Yan Nanfei said, “Naturally.”

Gongsun Tu said, “Whose life do you want? Zhuo Yuzhen’s?”

Yan Nanfei said, “I want to see you respectfully presenting her to me.”

Gongsun Tu mumbled to himself for a while, then asked the man in black, “Did Yan Nanfei personally say those words just then?”

The man in black said, “He did.”

Gongsun Tu asked, “Is Yan Nanfei the type of person who keeps his word?”

The man in black said, “His promise is worth its weight in gold. Even if he dies, he won’t go back on it!”

Gongsun Tu suddenly began to laugh again. He loudly laughed, “Actually, everything I have said up till now was to get you to make that promise.”

By the time his laughter ended, his hook appeared in his hand.

A hook as bright as snow. Eyes as keen as an eagle’s. A smile as cruel as a hawk’s. Although his weapon was very heavy, it’s transformations were light and complicated.

Gongsun Tu smiled. “Do you know what’s the good thing about this hook?”

Yan Nanfei said, “Go ahead and tell me.”

Gongsun Tu lightly stroked the tip of the hook. “Although this hook is very heavy, in a small room, it can be used freely. How about your sword?”

Yan Nanfei said, “If you can force me out of this room, you can consider me as having lost.”

Gongsun Tu laughed loudly. “Great. Why haven’t you drawn your sword yet?”

Yan Nanfei said, “There’s no need for me to draw my sword.”

Gongsun Tu said, “No need?”

Yan Nanfei said, “Even a sheathed sword can still kill. Why should I draw it out? After I pull it out, perhaps it’ll become unable to kill.”

Gongsun Tu said, “Why is that?”

Yan Nanfei said, “Because the ingenuity of this sword lies not in the tip but in the scabbard.”

Gongsun Tu did not understand. “Can it be that the scabbard of the sword is even sharper than its point?”

Yan Nanfei gently stroked the bright red scabbard. “Do you know what was used to dye the scabbard red?”

Gongsun Tu did not know.

Yan Nanfei said, “The juice of the ‘Blood Rose’.”

Gongsun Tu clearly did not know what a ‘Blood Rose’ was. He had never heard of it.

Yan Nanfei said, “The ‘Blood Rose’ is a rose that has been irrigated using five different types of poisoned blood.”

Gongsun Tu said, “Five types of poisoned blood? What five?”

Yan Nanfei said, “The seven-inch serpent, the hundred-sectioned centipede, the thousand-year old cold snake, and the blazing red poisonous scorpion.”

Gongsun Tu said, “And the last one?”

Yan Nanfei coldly said, “The last one is the blood of unfilial, unjust traitors and villains!”

Gongsun Tu was unable to laugh this time.

Yan Nanfei said, “The creatures which the Rose Sword kills are these five types. If it meets a filial son, a loyal official, or an honorable man, then there is no way for the power of the sword to be released.”

Gongsun Tu sneered, “The power of the scabbard?”

Yan Nanfei didn’t deny it. “If it meets with the five poisons, the flower soul of the Rose Sword come to life.”

Staring at Gongsun Tu, he said, “If you are one of the five poisons, at this moment you will smell a strange, mystical fragrance. The flower soul of the Rose Sword will be silently draining away your soul.”

Gongsun Tu laughed loudly. As he laughed, every single scar on his face writhed and contorted, as though they were poisonous snakes.

Yan Nanfei said, “You don’t believe me?”

Gongsun Tu said, “Your sword might have a flower soul, but my hook has a soul as well.”

Yan Nanfei said, “What is it?”

Gongsun Tu said, “The soul of wrongfully killed ghosts!”

His laughter sounded ferocious, and his features were terrible to behold. “I don’t know how many lives have been lost to this hook and have been trapped in it. All of them are waiting for me to find a replacement fall guy for them, so that they might escape and reincarnate.”

Yan Nanfei said, “I believe it. I can also believe that the person they want to find the most is you.”

Gongsun Tu said, “Why haven’t you made your move yet?”

Yan Nanfei said, “I already have!”

The smile on Gongsun Tu’s face disappeared. It was as though all the poisonous serpents writhing on his face had suddenly been frozen.

Yan Nanfei’s sword really had started to move. It was moving very slowly, carrying with it a very strange rhythm. It was as though the petals of a rose were slowly blooming in the spring wind. There wasn’t a hint of any force which could be used to take someone’s life.

Gongsun Tu sneered, and struck out with his hook. His strike was fast and accurate. His many years worth of life and death experiences had caused him to discard the usage of flowery, pretty-to-behold techniques. Every single attack of his was definitely effective.

But his attack was somehow drawn into that strange, bizarre rhythm of the Rose Sword, as though a sharp shell was drawn into the waves of the ocean.

When the tides retreated, all of his attacking force was dissipated with it.

And then, he smelled a strange, mysterious fragrance. Everything in front of him turned a scarlet red color, and aside from this bright red, he couldn’t see anything else. It was as though a red curtain had suddenly been draped in front of his eyes.

His heart trembled. He wanted to use the hook in his hand to brush aside this red curtain, to pierce through it, but his reflexes had slowed down and his movements had become sluggish. By the time the bright red curtain disappeared, the Rose Sword was already resting on his throat.

He suddenly felt his throat go dry, and his mouth was filled with a bitter, astringent taste. In addition, he felt exhausted. So exhausted that he could vomit.

With a dinging sound, his hook fell to the floor.

Yang Wuji let out a long sigh. Clearly, he too had felt that mysterious power which had radiated from the sword earlier.

He had practiced the sword for more than forty years, but he actually couldn’t tell what type of technique Yan Nanfei had used.

The man in black also let out a breath. He slowly said, “This is the sword of the heart? Can it be a flower soul really exists in that sword?”

Yan Nanfei said, “It hasn’t come to life yet; it just briefly woke up.”

The expression on the face of man in black’s changed. “What if it really did come to life?”

A solemn look was on Yan Nanfei’s face. He slowly said, “If the flower soul were to come to life, then a long cherished dream of mine would have been achieved. I would die without any regrets.”

The man in black said, “When the flower soul comes to life, must someone die?”

Yan Nanfei said, “Beyond a doubt, someone would die.”

The man in black said, “What type of person would die?”

Yan Nanfei said, “At least two people. One person is myself. The other is…”

He didn’t finish, and the man in black didn’t push him to continue.

On both men’s faces suddenly appeared very strange expressions. Suddenly, both of them laughed.

Yan Nanfei’s laughter was more joyful.

TWO

The Rose Sword continued to rest on Gongsu Tu’s throat. He knew that he would soon be able to see Zhuo Yuzhen.

“Harness a horse to a carriage. First have Miss Zhuo escorted into the cart, then escort us out.”

Gongsun Tu totally acceded to his demands.

Smiling, Mingyue Xin rose to her feet. She couldn’t help but feel relieved as well. This time, at least, they weren’t defeated.

Xiao Siwu was still trimming his fingernails. His hand remained just as steady as before, but his cold eyes revealed a hint of impatience and anxiety.

This was because Fu Hongxue was still staring at him. Even when Yan Nanfei made his strike, Fu Hongxue’s gaze hadn’t flickered in the slightest.

It seemed as though aside from this young man’s hands, there was nothing else in the world worth Fu Hongxue paying attention to.

Faint blue veins were gradually revealing themselves on the back of Xiao Siwu’s hands. It seemed as though he were using a great deal of strength to keep his hands so steady.

His movements were still very meticulous, and even his posture hadn’t changed. This really was not easy to do at all.

Fu Hongxue suddenly said, “Your hands are very stable.”

Xiao Siwu lightly said, “They always have been stable.”

Fu Hongxue said, “When you make your move, you are very quick. In addition, even after the dagger leaves your hand, the dagger itself continues to hold variations.”

Xiao Siwu said, “You can tell?”

Fu Hongxue nodded. “I can tell that you throw your dagger using three fingers, which is why you are able to impart a circular force to your dagger. I can also tell that you throw your dagger using your left hand. First you throw the dagger, and then you aim at the target.”

Xiao Siwu said, “How can you tell?”

Fu Hongxue said, “Your thumb, index finger, and middle finger on your left hand are exceptionally strong.”

Xiao Siwu forced a smile to his face. “Good eyesight.”

Fu Hongxue said, “Good dagger!”

Xiao Siwu arrogantly said, “Of course it is.”

Fu Hongxue said, “Although it is a good dagger, it still cannot compare to Ye Kai’s.”

Xiao Siwu’s movements came to a halt.

Fu Hongxue finally stood up as well. “After Ye Kai’s flying dagger leaves his hand, there is perhaps only a single person in this day and age who can defeat it.”

The blue veins on the back of Xiao Siwu’s hand bulged. “And my dagger?”

Fu Hongxue dully said, “At the very least, there are three people in this room alone who can defeat your dagger!”

Xiao Siwu said, “Are you one of the three?”

Fu Hongxue said, “Naturally.”

He slowly turned around. Without even bothering to look back, he walked out.

Xiao Siwu watched him leave. Unexpectedly, he did not move, and did not say another word.

His knife was present! So were his hands! But his dagger would never leave his hands that easily!

He looked at the footprints on the ground and smiled coldly.

The footprints were very deep. Fu Hongxue had left them behind. When he had walked out of this door, he had already concentrated the force of his entire body.

Because only by concentrating all of the force of his body could he defend against Xiao Siwu’s dagger.

But Xiao Siwu’s dagger did not leave his hand.

Fu Hongxue walked outside. Raising his head towards the sky, he let out a long sigh. It seemed as though he felt disappointed.

Not only was he disappointed. He was worried.

He suddenly realized that youngster was more terrifying than any of the people he had met over the past few years.

He had already seen through the dagger style of the youngster, and wanted to provoke him into striking.

If the youngster were to strike now, Fu Hongxue would be able to handle it. He was certain of it.

Unexpectedly, this youngster was even colder and more fearful than the dagger in his hands.

“Three years later, if he throws his dagger at me, will I still be able to handle it?”

The neighing of horses could be heard in front of him. The courtyard was still very peaceful and secluded. Fu Hongxue was gripped by a sudden impulse to go back and kill that youngster, but he did not turn back.

He slowly walked out of the courtyard.

Gongsun Tu and Yan Nanfei were walking in front of him.

The Rose Sword was still resting on his throat. Yan Nanfei was facing Gongsun Tu, and slowly walking backwards step by step.

Gongsun Tu was unwilling to face him. He had already closed his eyes. It was as though Yan Nanfei was using a bamboo cane to beat a blind man.

But this blind man really was too dangerous. He couldn’t slacken off in the slightest.

Mingyue Xin was the last to leave the guest room. She was just about to hasten her steps and catch up to Fu Hongxue.

At this moment, Yang Wuji appeared by her side. He said, “Do you know what is behind that wall?”

Mingyue Xin shook her head.

Yang Wuji grinned at her. “You’ll find out soon.”

Watching him smile, Mingyue Xin’s hands were covered with cold sweat.

Yang Wuji took two steps back. Smiling, he nodded. Just at this moment, nine people appeared from behind the short wall.

The nine of them wielded thirteen different hidden projectiles. Each type contained at least three projectiles. The sound of bowstrings and springs being released sounded together in unison, as thirty flashing points of light streaked towards her like raindrops in a torrential storm.

Mingyue Xin’s reaction speed wasn’t slow. As soon as the sounds were heard, she immediately used her skills to try and dodge.

A flash of sabre light flew towards her, sweeping away most of the projectiles for her.

She had already moved her body, retreating to the left. None of the remaining projectiles were able to land on her.

Just as she was about to let out a sigh of relief, a sword suddenly pierced into the left side of her chest. She barely felt the pain at all.

The edge of the sword was cold and sharp. She only felt a sudden chill, and saw that a strange expression had appeared on Fu Hongxue’s pale face. He suddenly stretched out his hand and pulled her towards him.

And then, she fell into Fu Hongxue’s bosom.

Yang Wuji used an ancient, soft-lined sword. His sword had left the scabbard, and was still dripping with fresh blood.

As he stared at the fresh blood on his sword, his face suddenly became totally emotionless.

His attack was sure to land!

He had calculated from the very beginning that Fu Hongxue would pull out his sabre, and had calculated where Mingyue Xin would dodge to.

His sword was there, waiting for her.

Everything which had happened was within his calculations. He had already calculated that this attack of his was sure to land!

The nine men had disappeared. Fu Hongxue did not pursue them. He only coldly stared at Yang Wuji.

Yan Nanfei also came to a stop. The hand he was wielding his sword with seemed to tremble.

Yang Wuji suddenly said, “You had best be careful not to hurt him. If he dies, so does Zhuo Yuzhen.”

Yan Nanfei gritted his teeth. “You are a famous swordsman with a lofty reputation, and this is your very own monastery. Yet you would actually use this sort of despicable method to plot against a lady? What type of creature are you?”

Yang Wuji lightly said, “I am Yang Wuji, and I am going to kill her!”

From far away, the man in black was standing in the middle of the guest room’s doorway. He sighed. “If he intends to kill someone, he abstains from nothing at all. Yang Wuji really is Yang Wuji.”

Yang Wuji said, “If I don’t kill her right now, I’ll have missed a golden opportunity. In the future, I’m afraid I won’t have a second chance.”

Fu Hongxue stared at him. With one hand, he clenched his sabre. With the other, he held the fainted Mingyue Xin to him.

He could feel that Mingyue Xin’s body was slowly growing cold.

Yang Wuji said, “Do you intend to take revenge for her?”

Fu Hongxue didn’t say another word. He was already beginning to walk backwards.

Yan Nanfei looked at Mingyue Xin, held in Fu Hongxue’s embrace. Then he looked at Gongsun Tu, who was still pinned by his sword.

Gongsun Tu’s eyes were still closed. His scarred face looked like a mask.

Yan Nanfei suddenly began to walk backwards as well.

Yang Wuji wasn’t surprised at all. He lightly said, “The carriage has been prepared. Zhuo Yuzhen is waiting for you in the carriage. I wish you a pleasant trip.”

Yan Nanfei couldn’t resist saying, “Aren’t you afraid that I’m going to kill Gongsun Tu after I get on the carriage?”

Yang Wuji said, “Why should I be afraid? What does his life and death have to do with me?”

He suddenly turned around and went back to the guest room. Arriving at the doorway, he tugged on the man in black’s sleeves. “Let’s go play some chess.”

The man in black immediately nodded. Smiling, he said, “My purpose in coming was to play chess, after all.”

THREE

The horse carriage really had been prepared. A young maiden, six months pregnant or so, was sitting in a corner of the carriage, crying.

Fu Hongxue brought Mingyue Xin into the carriage, but the Rose Sword remained on Gongsun Tu’s throat.

Yan Nanfei said in a ferocious voice, “Open your eyes and look at me!”

Gongsun Tu immediately opened his eyes.

Yan Nanfei glared at him with hate-filled eyes. “I really wanted to kill you.”

Gongsun Tu said, “But you won’t, because you are Yan Nanfei, whose word is as good as gold.”

Yan Nanfei glared hatefully at him for a long time. Suddenly, he kicked Gongsun Tu in the stomach.

Gongsun Tu’s body immediately crumpled inwards, as though he were a shrimp. Tears, snivel, and cold sweat began to flow.

Yan Nanfei didn’t even spare him a single glance. Turning around, he said to the carriage driver, “Whip the horse and go. Don’t stop for even a moment. If you want to try any tricks, do remember that my sword is at your back.”

The carriage was very large, and the seats were very soft. The carriage driver was very skilled.

This was a carriage which people should be very happy to ride in. But there wasn’t a single happy person in the carriage.

Fu Hongxue suddenly said, “I should have killed Xiao Siwu.”

Yan Nanfei said, “You didn’t move against him.”

Fu Hongxue said, “Because I had some misgivings, therefore…”

Yan Nanfei said, “Therefore, you were too slow.”

Fu Hongxue slowly nodded. “If you intend to kill someone, abstain from nothing at all. When a golden opportunity is missed, it won’t come again.”

He spoke very slowly, as though he had already carefully pondered every single word.

Yan Nanfei was silent for a long time, before he let out a sigh. “I’m afraid I won’t have many more chances to kill Gongsun Tu either.”

Fu Hongxue said, “Fortunately, Mingyue Xin is not dead yet. Miss Zhuo is also safe and sound.”

Zhuo Yuzhen, who was seated in a corner, was no longer crying. She looked at him, then suddenly said, “You are Fu Hongxue?”

Fu Hongxue nodded.

Zhuo Yuzhen said, “I’ve never met you, but I often heard Qiu…big brother Qiu talk about you. He often said that you were the only friend who could be trusted. He also said…”

Fu Hongxue asked, “Said what?”

Downcast, she said, “He told me time and time again that if something happened to me where he wasn’t able to help me out, I was to seek you out. That’s why he carefully described you to me and had me memorize your features.”

She lowered her head. Tears falling, she said, “I never imagined that I would still be alive, but he would already…”

At this point, her sobs overwhelmed her voice. Bowing down in her seat, she began to bawl loudly.

She was a beautiful girl. Her beauty was of the delicate and weak type, which easily lent itself to making others empathize with her.

Although Mingyue Xin was smart and tough, if it weren’t for the fact that Fu Hongxue had staunched the flow of blood in time, she would have died by now.

Gazing at them, Yan Nanfei couldn’t help but let out a light sigh. “No matter what, at least we have now done right by manor-master Qiu.”

Fu Hongxue said, “We have not done right by him!”

Yan Nanfei was very astonished. “We haven’t?”

Fu Hongxue’s dagger-like gaze was focused on the girl beside him. He coldly said, “This girl is not Zhuo Yuzhen. She definitely is not!”


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