The flight was in the morning and Liang Zheng-Chun, Xia Lei and Lu Sheng were already in the hotel on Emei mountain when evening came. The hotel was the one the organiser had arranged for them and quite a few martial artists had already been booked onto the same floor. Liang Zheng-Chun knew some of them and had gone off early to chat. Lu Sheng had gone with him. It looked like one of his motives in coming for the martial arts seminar was to get to know more martial artists. Xia Lei was bored and walked around Jinding* by himself.
The hazy dusk of twilight enveloped Jinding. The Ten-Faced Puxian Stupa and Grand Hall of the Great Sage were originally golden but the added glow of sunset made it appear more golden. A sea of clouds surged by its peak, not fast, but giving one the impression of a thousand men and horses galloping imposingly and majestically across the sky. It was Xia Lei’s first time seeing such scenery and he was stunned.
The sun soon sank into the clouds in the west and the light faded from Jinding. The sky was still as blue as if it’d been washed and stars sparkled in the sky like inlaid gems. This was also another beautiful piece of scenery.
Xia Lei was affected by the great view and thought, ‘I should bring Si-Yao here next time we’re free. She’s lively and active so she must like to travel. She’ll love this beautiful view too. Oh, and Xia Xue; she’s going to have her winter holidays soon. She’ll be very happy if she knows that Si-Yao has become my girlfriend and her future sister-in-law, won’t she?’ Xia Lei smiled as he thought his interesting thoughts.
At that moment, a young woman holding a mobile phone walked towards the edge of a cliff, talking as she went.
“I don’t want to hear your excuses! I won’t!” The woman seemed very agitated. “I was so good to you - why do you still want to be with that woman? What’s so good about her… You’re telling me to die? Fine, I’ll go die, you’ll see! Whuuh…”
Xia Lei smiled wryly and shook his head. This must be the breakup of a couple in an affair, huh?
The woman walked to the railings at the edge of the cliff and watched the clouds, sobbing.
Xia Lei thought about cautioning her but he did not know this woman so he dismissed the idea.
However, that woman suddenly flung the mobile phone in her hand down the cliff, grabbed the railings and climbed up.
Xia Lei quickly ran up to her, calling, “Miss, wait! Don’t do this!”
The woman turned to look at Xia Lei and said emotionally, “Don’t come over. All you men are cruel; you like the new and get bored with the old! Go away!”
He was scolded out of the blue but Xia Lei took no offense. He slowly approached the woman as he spoke reassuring words to divert her attention. “Miss, not all men are like that. Please calm down. Love is not all there is in life. Think of your parents - your parents took pains to raise you. Won’t they be heartbroken if you jump?”
“I’m not listening! Go away! I don’t want to see you!” The woman wailed, but not very loudly.
It would’ve been great if someone else were around to help but it was just the potential-jumper and himself when Xia Lei looked around. He bit the bullet and continued his approach, saying, “Miss, don’t be reckless. Climb over here and we can have a talk.”
“All you good-looking men are liars!” The woman added one more line, “Perverts!”
Xia Lei laughed dryly. “We don’t even know each other so why do you think I’m a liar and a pervert? Come over here - don’t be foolish. Really, you should think about your parents. Your parents made you and raised you; they are the ones who love you most in this world. If you jump now, you’ll bring them indescribable pain.”
The woman seemed to be calmer and she looked tearily at Xia Lei, her behaviour visibly less emotional than it was before.
Xia Lei approached her cautiously and reached to grab her hand. “Come, I’ll help you.”
At that moment, however, the woman suddenly pushed her foot against the railing and twisted Xia Lei’s hand, moving sideways to pull Xia Lei over the edge of the cliff.
This all happened in an instant - this woman’s speed, strength and timing was perfect. These were not something a regular heartbroken woman could achieve; it was a carefully arranged murder!
Xia Lei’s body was pulled over the rail at once and over the woman’s shoulder. A steep drop awaited just an inch away! Xia Lei grabbed with his left hand in his time of great peril and hit the woman on her waist. Her waist became his fulcrum and he spun like a pole-dancing man doing a human flag, with the woman as his pole. If she wanted to throw him down the cliff, she had to go first!
The woman had no intention of going along with Xia Lei’s plans. Xia Lei was pushing her hard by holding her by the waist and her centre of gravity tilted towards the abyss. She bent her knees instinctively and let go of Xia Lei’s trapped right hand to grab the railing.
Xia Lei’s body hit the railing. He climbed up from the railing and aimed a punch at the head of the woman who was also climbing up.
A look of fear appeared in her eyes. Yawning nothingness was under her feet and she dared not intercept Xia Lei’s punch. She hid under the railing.
Xia Lei blocked her way and said coldly, “Who sent you to kill me? Gu Ke-Wu? Gu Ke-Wen? Speak!”
“Whuuh… I don’t know what you’re talking about… Whuuh…” The woman suddenly yelled at the top of her voice, “HELP! Molester!”
“Who’s there?!” Light from a torch shone on them.
Xia Lei was bathed in electric light. He looked back; the light was glaring but it did not affect his left eye. He saw two workers of the company in charge of the tourist spot and two more people swiftly making their way over - Dong Wu and Qin Qi.
Xia Lei understood what was going on immediately at the sight of those two.
Dong Wu and Qin Qi had obviously planned it all since they appeared so quickly. They would come rescue this woman when her assassination attempt failed.
The woman took the opportunity to climb over the railing when Xia Lei’s head was turned. She cried as she ran towards Dong Wu, “Daddy, that punk tried to molest me! Whuuh…”
Daddy? Xia Lei put two and two together - she was Dong Wu’s daughter!
The first-aggressor ran into Dong Wu’s arms and sobbed, “Daddy, he, he molested me… Whuuh…”
“Damn you! You even dare molest my daughter? I’ll crush you!” Dong Wu pushed the woman aside and rushed at Xia Lei with his sword.
This was all scripted and if Dong Wu’s daughter managed to throw Xia Lei off the cliff, Dong Wu, Qin Qi and the two workers would not appear. Xia Lei’s death would be taken as a result of a mis-step and not investigated. If Dong Wu’s daughter failed, Dong Wu and Qin Qi would turn up to protect her and borrow the excuse of protection to make their move. They’d make Xia Lei suffer even if they were unable to kill him off!
Xia Lei removed the black-painted mecha gloves from his belt. The gloves unfolded from their box shapes with a shake and clattered as they re-shaped themselves into robot-hands. He quickly put them on. He brought the gloves with him as a precaution wherever he went after that experience of nearly being done in at Distinguished Gathering.
The mecha gloves were black and blended in well with his surroundings. Without the shine of metal, Dong Wu saw Xia Lei put something on his hands but he had no idea what. Dong Wu unsheathed his sword, the blade hissing. The precious sword gleamed coldly under the light of the new moon.
Gu Ke-Wu had spent a million to get the Japanese swordsmith Rokushin Takuya to make this sword for Dong Wu and it was now time for him to do something for Gu Ke-Wu in return.
“You molested my daughter - I’ll make it so that you’ll never be able to touch women ever again!” Dong Wu said the words but they were just words for the workers to hear.
Crimes of passion had light sentences in the court of law. Besides, Xia Lei was the one who had molested his daughter!
Dong Wu stepped forward and slashed at the space between Xia Lei’s legs. He really was aiming to cut off Xia Lei’s cuckoo!
Xia Lei did not dodge but slapped at the incoming slashing sword. His metal-encased palm threw up a row of sparks as it hit the sword’s blade, accompanied by the clang of metal-on-metal.
Dong Wu hurriedly retracted his sword and looked at the blade. There was no trace of damage. He was relieved. What surprised him was that a million-yuan sword crafted by a Japanese swords-smith had not cut through Xia Lei’s palm. He squinted at Xia Lei’s hands and confirmed that Xia Lei was not wearing nylon gloves but metal.
“Qin Qi!” shouted Dong Wu. He promptly swung his sword at Xia Lei, lightning-quick.
Clang! Clang! Xia Lei’s hands slapped at Dong Wu’s sword, holding it off. He had a visual advantage in the darkness which Dong Wu could not even imagine. The mecha gloves Xia Lei wore were also able to go up against the sword Dong Wu wielded. He quickly overcame the disadvantage of a close-combat weapon and was able to parry and attack with ease.
The advantage of using Wing Chun in close combat was also quickly realised. Xia Lei’s titanium alloy gloves were much faster than a sword and he was double-handed too, opening up even more possibilities for attacking and strategy change. Dong Wu had the upper hand in the beginning, pressing Xia Lei with a sword, but that changed in the blink of an eye, with Xia Lei pursuing Dong Wu in attack.
“Qin Qi!” Dong Wu shouted again.
This was the signal for Qin Qi to make his move.
Qin Qi flicked his hand and a throwing knife streaked to Xia Lei’s chest in a cold flash.
Xia Lei was drawing close to Dong Wu’s chest and preparing to land a punch on him when his left eye caught the cold flash in an instant. He whipped up a hand and blocked with the back of his hand.
Ding! A throwing knife struck the back of the alloy glove and bounced off, falling right down the cliff.
Dong Wu saw his chance and swung his sword, cutting Xia Lei’s thigh open with one stroke.
Xia Lei hurriedly retreated. The right leg of his trousers was cut and a wound bled. Good thing Dong Wu lacked the strength to cut him in two and had not used a lot of strength because it was a sneak-attack, otherwise the flesh on his thigh would’ve been cut off!
A faint sneer appeared on Qin Qi’s lips. He held another throwing knife in his hand, prepared to do a sneak attack at any time.
“Admit defeat, punk!” sneered Dong Wu. His hand was as quick as the wind and the blade whistled through the air as it came towards Xia Lei.
*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JindingPrevious Chapter Next Chapter