Wuxiaworld > Da Tang Shuang Long Zhuan > Chapter 7 – Jade Annulus of the He Clan

Chapter 7 – Jade Annulus of the He Clan

Book 1 Chapter 7 – Jade Annulus of the He Clan

Song Shidao prepared a banquet in the dining cabin, simple yet impressive. There was another couple in attendance. The man was around forty, but the hair on his entire head was white; he also wore a long silvery color beautiful beard, but oddly he did not look old at all. His bearing was elegant, bold and heroic, like an important character of a sect or a prominent family, yet his manner was very modest and polite.

The woman looked to be around twenty-five or twenty-six, rather flirtatious. Her attitude toward the man was very intimate, plus both her countenance and her physique were extremely titillating, giving other people a rather uneasy feeling. She reminded Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling of the ladies of the Spring Breeze Courtyard, but naturally her beauty was far superior to some Auntie Hong of the Courtyard.

According to Song Shidao’s introduction, turned out the man was a well-known martial art expert of the Song Clan, the Silver Beard Song Lu, whose creation, the set of ‘Silver Dragon Cane Techniques’ was famous throughout Jiangnan [area south of Yangtze River]. He was Song Shidao’s [younger] uncle, one of the core-leaders of the Song Clan.

The woman was called Liu Jing, the new mistress of Song Lu, but nothing was mentioned about her background.

By the time Song Shidao wanted to introduce the three people, he suddenly realized that he did not even know these three’s surnames and given names. While he was stuck in embarrassing situation, Fu Junchuo indifferently introduced themselves, without concealing anything.

Song Lu laughed and said, “The person who imparted Miss’ internal skill obviously has first-class martial art skill; your sword style is brimming with exoticism. I wonder which superior master instructed such a brilliant character like Miss?”

Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling were secretly speechless; this man’s fame was definitely no fluke. Although they had never heard Song Lu’s name before, they knew that he must be a prominent figure; hence his eyesight was very sharp, his manner of speaking was very fitting. They could not help but admiring him, and it showed. Their gaze was actually more effective than any flattery, so that Song Lu immediately had a favorable impression toward them.

Fu Junchuo calmly replied, “Mr. Song, please forgive me. Junchuo received a strict order not to disclose my background.”

Liu Jing cast a sidelong glance toward the two boys with her as-clear-as-shallow-autumn-creek eyes; she smiled and said, “Two Xiao Xiongdi look imposingly big and tall, why haven’t you practice Miss Fu’s martial art skill? I wonder what is your relation to Miss Fu?”

Kou Zhong stuck his chest out and clearing his throat he said, “We two brothers are ready to train our Niang’s first-class martial art skill. Thank you very much for Mrs. Song’s compliment.”

Hearing him saying ‘our Niang’, Song Shidao’s eyes fell on Fu Junchuo’s infinitely beautiful and tender body; with a changed countenance he asked, “Your Niang?”

Fu Junchuo’s charming eyes blushed slightly; after shooting an angry stare at Kou Zhong, she said in embarrassment, “Don’t listen to these two little demons’ crazy nonsense; they adamantly wanted to call me ‘Niang’.”

Xu Ziling rubbed his stomach theatrically and blurted, “Niang! Child is hungry.”

Liu Jing could not help laughing so hard that her body shook continuously. But Song Shidao and Song Lu, uncle and nephew, were baffled. They could not figure out the real relationship between this stunning beauty and the two little demons.

Noticing the two boys were staring at Liu Jing like a lecher, Fu Junchuo felt a strange jealousy creeping into her heart. With a cold snort she said, “If you dare to babble nonsense again, let’s see if I … if I …”

Casting his doubt aside, Song Shidao said, “Miss Fu and Xiao Xiongdi, please come into our dining room, we can continue our chat while we eat.”

Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling were youngsters after all; seeing Song Shidao treated them with respect, their jealousy diminished considerably. Plus they saw on the table was a sumptuous spread of food delicacies [orig. ‘rarities from the mountain and the sea’], hurriedly they entered the dining room and sat down in total ignorance of Jianghu etiquette.

By this time Song Shidao was already able to more or less see the two boys’ real background; hence he did not mind them too much. He politely invited Fu Junchuo to take a seat, and then Song Shidao and Song Lu took their seat as the host on either side of her. Liu Jing sat next to Song Lu, followed by Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling.

Two attendants immediately rushed forward to fill everybody’s cup with wine. Fu Junchuo said, “I have never moisten my lips with wine, and these two are underage, they ought not to drink wine as well. So gentlemen and lady, please enjoy yourselves.”

Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling were dying to have a taste of fine wine; hearing her, naturally they were quite disappointed, and it showed clearly on their faces.

Fu Junchuo was inwardly very pleased; she was finally able to put these two lecherous little demons back in check.

Song Lu laughed, “In that case, let’s everybody not drink wine. Xiao Jing [little Jing], do you have any problem?”

Liu Jing also laughed tenderly, “How can qie [I, your servant; deprecatory self-reference for women] have any problem? I am afraid the ones with the problem are these two Xiao Xiongdi.”

Kou Zhong stuck his chest out, “A leader can submit or can stand tall as required. We can drink, we can not drink. How can there be any problem?”

The three Song family people were accustomed to spend their time at the docks; they have seen all kinds of situation, big and small. Looking at the two boys, they knew that they were trying to make do in spite of adversity, yet they did not wish to expose them. Thereupon they changed the subject.

Apparently Song Lu was a food connoisseur; he casually introduced each dish on the table, and talked about the art of cooking. Listening to him, Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling, whose tummy always alternated between full and hungry, were stupefied. Their hands, however, did not stay idle; they attacked the vegetable and meat dishes systematically in a sweep-clean operation.

Fu Junchuo was not interested in the food, she only ate two strips of Chinese cabbage, and already put her chopsticks down. Her jade countenance was still as calm as the water, her beauty really looked like Guanyin Bodhisattva descending to earth.

The more Song Shidao looked at her, the more he fell in love. But because Song Lu indicated that she may have come from outside the Central Earth, he felt like his heart was pierced by a sharp thorn, because their Song Clan had a strict rule against intermarriage with different tribe. If this stunning beauty was really of a different tribe, unless he was willing to abandon his family, the two of them would never be brought together by fate.

Liu Jing did not dare to either compliment or criticize Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling, two boys’ table manner, but she found them to be extremely amusing. With a smile on her face she watched them sweeping the dishes clean like the wind sweeping the clouds. From time to time she even picked the dish for them and served them attentively.

After the attendants took away the bowls and the dishes, Song Lu personally served everybody tea.

Noticing that Fu Junchuo was not interested in talking about food, Song Lu changed the subject, “Miss Fu, I wonder if you have deep understanding of our Central Earth’s matters?”

Song Shidao immediately looked nervous; he knew that Song Lu was able to see his infatuation toward Fu Junchuo, hence he tried to test her to verify whether she was indeed of a different tribe, while at the same time telling Song Shidao to kill his heart.

Fu Junchuo responded emotionlessly, “How can Mr. Song judge from my sword style that Junchuo is of foreign origin?”

Song Shidao’s handsome eyes immediately lit up.

Song Lu apologetically said, “Please forgive the Ol’ Song for being rude and impetuous. I was just wondering if Miss has ever heard about the matter concerning the He Clan’s jade annulus?” In the end he was still an old fox; in a roundabout way he was still testing where Fu Junchuo came from.

Like a school children, Kou Zhong raised his hand and said, “I heard about it. King Zhaoxiang of Qin exchanged fifteen cities for King Huiwen of Zhao’s ‘subduing the nation’ treasure, the He Clan’s jade annulus. The Zhao King sent Lin Xiangru [c. 3rd century BC, a famous statesman of Zhao] to escort the He Clan’s jade annulus to see the Qin King. The Ol’ Lin handled the jade annulus belonging to other people in a stupid way. Fortunately the Qin King was more stupid than he was, he let him bring the He Clan’s jade annulus back to Zhao. This is called some his mother’s ‘returning the jade annulus to Zhao’.” [Chinese idiom, meaning ‘to return something intact to its rightful owner’.]

Everybody was laughing. Liu Jing laughed the hardest. Pointing to Kou Zhong, she asked, “So what happened to the He Clan’s jade annulus afterwards?”

Fu Junchuo was grateful in her heart; she knew that Kou Zhong was afraid she could not answer the question, hence he rushed in to answer it for her, while at the same time she was startled by this ‘son’s quick wit.

It was only because he had heard Bai Lao Fuzi [See Chapter 1] telling the story of ‘returning the jade annulus to Zhao’ that he had something to say. As for how it returned to Zhao and what happened afterwards, he had no idea. “I am afraid only Laotianye [God/Heaven] knows,” he said in embarrassment.

Liu Jing laughed even harder that her body shook all over as she leaned toward Song Lu; her seductive appearance grew without restraint.

Seeing the kid was able to make his beloved concubine roaring in laughter and looked so carefree, Song Lu was happy. Momentarily he forgot to continue his probing on Fu Junchuo’s background. He patiently explained, “Later on this He Clan’s jade annulus ended in Qin Shihuang’s[1] hand. He ordered Li Si[2] to compose a couplet ‘shou ming yu tian, ji shou yong chang’ [lit. to become Emperor by the grace of Heaven, (enjoy) both long life and eternal well-being. Wikipedia translation: ‘Having received the Mandate from Heaven, may (the emperor) lead a long and prosperous life’], eight characters in seal script that look like birds and bugs, and have jade and stone craftsmen to engrave the jade annulus. Thereupon the He Clan’s jade annulus has become the Emperor’s seal.”

Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling showed an ‘oh, so that’s how it is’ look on their faces.

Song Shidao was afraid Song Lu might continue interrogating Fu Junchuo, he continued, “After Han founder Liu Bang[3] overthrew the Great Qin Dynasty [221-207BC], Qin King, Ziying offered the He Clan’s jade annulus to Liu Bang. Liu Bang called it the Imperial Seal [orig. chuan guo xi, seal of state that was passed on]. Henceforth the He Clan’s jade annulus became a symbol of rise and fall of the nation. Later on Wang Mang[4] intended to seize the throne, he sent his younger brother Wang Shun to Changle Palace to demand the jade annulus from Empress Dowager Xiaoyuan, making Empress Dowager Xiaoyuan angry and threw it to the floor; as a result the corner broke. Wang Mang ordered a goldsmith to fill the broken corner with gold. Henceforth He Clan’s jade annulus also had another elegant name, ‘jade body gold corner’.”

[1] Qin Shihuang, first emperor of China, 259-210BC.

[2] Li Si, (c. 280-208 BC), Legalist philosopher, calligrapher and Prime minister of Qin kingdom and Qin dynasty from 246 to 208 BC.

[3] Han Gaozu Liu Bang (256 or 247-195 BC), bandit leader who became the first Han emperor, reigned 207-195 BC.

[4] Wang Mang (45 BC-23 AD), usurped power and reigned 9-23 between the former and later Han.


Chapter 7, Part 2
HPC, Anh, you are welcome. SzFong, I'll say don't worry about the length. If I set my mind on the '63 books', I will get discouraged, because it's almost four weeks, and we are still about 60-70% of Book 1. But ... my target is Book 1 by Christmas (which I am optimistic I will be able to accomplish), and then Book 2 by Lunar New Year. Let's see what will happen.

Kou Zhong laughed and said, “This story must be fake; if He Clan’s jade annulus was thrown really hard like that, how could it not shatter?”

Song Lu emotionally replied, “Kou Xiao Xiong [little brother] certainly has clear understanding like deities, but this story is absolutely true. It was because the jade was not an ordinary jade. In those years, a Chu[5] man named Bian He went to Mount Jingshan [Hubei] to chop firewood. He saw a beautiful phoenix perched on a piece of bluestone. Recalling that ‘phoenix don’t perch on anything that is not a treasure’ he concluded that this bluestone must be a treasure; thereupon he presented the stone to King Li of Chu. Who would have thought that all precious stone craftsmen of the Chu court pointed out that the stone Bian He presented was an ordinary stone? In his anger King of Chu chopped his left foot and expelled him from his presence. In his heart Bian He felt he was wronged. When King Wu ascended the throne, again he presented the treasure, this time his right foot was cut-off. When King Wu’s son, King Wen ascended the throne, he heard about this matter, and had the bluestone brought back to the Palace. He ordered the artisans to carve and polish with utmost care, and cut open the stone. From inside they obtain a piece of glossy, flawless, sparkling and translucent, bright and clean, wonderful treasure that was out-of-this-world. In honor of Bian He, henceforth it was called He Shi Bi [jade disc of He].”

[Translator’s note: Wikipedia has a full entry on He Shi Bi in English, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/He_Shi_Bi]

Song Shidao said, “If it were ordinary jade, it’s impossible for the Chu court’s precious stone craftsmen not to know it. Their mistake was to think it was an ordinary stone. Moreover, precious stones have never been found on Mount Jingshan. Evidently He Clan’s jade annulus was totally different from other jade or precious stones. Also, it was the first time that such amazing treasure was discovered; therefore, nobody recognized it. Being thrown down to the ground and broke only one corner clearly demonstrated He Clan’s jade annulus’ extraordinary property.”

This time, even Fu Junchuo showed interest. She asked, “What actually is the He Clan’s jade annulus?”

It was the very first time that this beautiful woman ever asked him anything. Song Shidao was secretly very happy; he gladly explained, “According to our Song Family legend from the ancient times, this piece of jade is a magical stone that came from the world of the immortals; it contains a world-shattering secret, only nobody knows what the secret is.”

Xu Ziling was curious, “So in whose hand is the He Clan’s jade annulus now?” he asked.

Liu Jing laughed and said, “Legend has it that by the time of Emperor Shao[6] of the end of Han Dynasty, He Clan’s jade annulus was lost. By the time of the Three Kingdoms [220-280AD], the governor of Changhe [lit. ‘long river’, not sure if it is a province name; can’t find it in the list of provinces of modern China] Sun Jian[7] was patrolling inside Luoyang[8] city walls, suddenly he saw rays of light radiated all around from a water well. He ordered his men to investigate, and they dredged up the corpse of an imperial concubine. There was a red box hanging from her neck, when they opened it, it was precisely the He Clan’s jade annulus. When Sun Jian went to war and died, the He Clan’s jade annulus fell into Cao Cao’s[9] hand, which he then passed on to his later generations. Until the Sui [dynasty] exterminated the Southern Chen [557-589], Yang Jian searched everywhere in the Chen Palace, but he failed to find the He Clan’s jade annulus that was supposedly among the treasures hidden by the Chen Lord. This has been a matter for regret for Yang Jian in all his life.”

Fu Junchuo could not resist asking, “Gentlemen, why did you suddenly bring up this He Clan’s jade annulus matter?”

Song Shidao’s countenance changed, “Apparently although Miss is in Jianghu, you did not quite know what major event is happening in Jianghu.”

Stroking his beard, Song Lu said, “He Clan’s jade annulus, Yang Gong’s [Duke Yang, see Chapter 1] treasure-trove, the two are actually one, they can pacify the world [again ‘tian xia’, i.e. China]. Right now fire beacons are everywhere, everybody wants to be the world’s emperor. So the people under the heavens are vying to obtain these two things. Recently there is a rumor in Jianghu that He Clan’s jade annulus has appeared in Luoyang, hence people who think that they have some ability are rushing to Luoyang to try their luck. In this trip, after delivering the goods to Sichuan, we may make a trip to Luoyang to see what will the Song Family’s destiny be.”

This Song Lu’s demeanor was extremely elegant, no matter how big he talked, he always made the listeners feel comfortable.

Kou Zhong’s eye lit up; he said, “Whoever obtain the He Clan’s jade annulus may obtain the world. Ha! Xiao Ling and I will also go to try our luck.”

Fu Junchuo’s eyes flashed with cold light; staring hard at Kou Zhong, she said, “Do you think you, these two little demons fit to do that? I definitely won’t allow you to go to Luoyang. If you keep indulging yourselves in wild fantasy, later on I will not … I will not pay any more attention you.”

She was going to say ‘I will no teach you the secret method’, but at the last moment she corrected herself. Naturally the power of her threat was greatly diminished.

Song Lu was still unclear of the relationship among these three people, but although Fu Junchuo was using harsh words, it was clear that she showed concern toward these two free-spirited boys.

Song Shidao warmly said, “Miss Fu is right. It would be wise not to take advantage of this excitement, especially because the He Clan’s jade annulus involves the most mysterious sect in Wulin. This sect sends out their people every so often to enter the world to practice their religion; they are becoming more unpredictably mysterious.”

“What sect is that?” Fu Junchuo asked in amazement.

“Miss Fu is asking the right people,” Song Lu replied, “If you asked other people, there is a good chance that they have not even heard about it.”

Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling’s interest was greatly piqued; they were listening attentively.

Song Shidao said, “This sect is called Ci Hang Jing Zhai [ci – compassionate/merciful, hang – boat/ship/to sail/to fly, jing – calm/quiet, zhai – abstain from meat, wine/give alms, hence it is some kind of religious organization; I checked xlandhenry’s translation and he/she uses ‘monastery’]. For the last several hundred years, it has an unsurpassed status among the black/mysterious organizations; but those who know the Jing Zhai location are unwilling to reveal anything pertaining to this Sect. Therefore, although because of He Clan’s jade annulus we conducted open enquiries and secret searches on this Jing Zhai, what we know is not too much. We only know that the practitioners of this heavenly law are women. It was said that one time the number one martial art expert of the Taoist sect, Shan Zhenren [see Chapter 6] Ning Daoqi went up the Jing Zhai to look for the presiding master to discuss martial art. Surprisingly, the presiding master of the Jing Zhai let him look at their treasured book, ‘Ci Hang Sword Canon’. Before Ning Daoqi finished reading, he already vomited blood and was injured; in the end he retreated from this awkward situation. Not many people know about this, hence it is not spread in Jianghu.”

Kou Zhong slapped Xu Ziling’s shoulder and said with a sigh, “Now that is the real secret manual!”

Among those people, naturally only Xu Ziling and Fu Junchuo knew what he was talking about.

Song Lu sighed and said, “There are people beyond people, there are skies above the sky. The more we learn, the more we realize how minuscule our knowledge is; then we won’t dare to rely on force to go on the rampage anymore.”

Delighted, Xu Ziling said sincerely, “Song Daye [big master, as in master-servant relationship] is indeed a great man.” In Yangzhou, he was used to call other people Daye, hence he automatically used that appellation.

Song Lu laughed and said, “Two Xiao Xiongdi’s basis and bones are extremely good. If I came across you a few years earlier, the Ol’ Song will definitely let you get away.”

Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling’s countenances changed, their hearts sank. Their Niang has told them that, and now Song Lu said the same thing; apparently they could forget being martial art experts in this lifetime.

[5] Chu, a kingdom during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods (722-221 BC).

[6] Emperor Shao of Han (176–190) (other name King of Hongnong), was briefly an emperor of China during the Han dynasty; his name literally means ‘young emperor (of Han), a name which he shares with several other emperors with brief reigns. He came to power in 189 and was deposed and then poisoned by Dong Zhuo in 190.

[7] Sun Jian (155-191), famous general at end of Han dynasty, forerunner of the southern kingdom of Wu of the Three Kingdoms.

[8] Luoyang, a prefecture level city in Henan, old capital from pre-Han times.

[9] Cao Cao (155-220), famous statesman and general at the end of Han, noted poet and calligrapher, later warlord, founder and first king of Cao Wei, father of Emperor Cao Pi; he was also the main villain of novel the Romance of Three Kingdoms.


Chapter 7, Part 3
HPC, Anh, SzFong, you are welcome. Jaya, what Whiteskwirl said. Strawberry, as much as I love reading your comments, you are under no obligation to do that. By 'holiday schedule', you mean Thanksgiving, I presume? Forgive me if it was not. For all I know, you might be in different country celebrating different holiday. I hope whatever it was, you had a good time? Anyway, here's the end of Chapter 7.

Fu Junchuo’s heart went with them. She decided right then and there to try her best to see if there was any way she could reverse the hopeless situation [orig. ‘reverse the rotation of the sky’], to train them well. Her heart grew warm as she said, “It’s late, I want to go to bed a bit early tonight.”

Although Song Shidao a hundred times, a thousand times unwilling, he had no choice but to do as she wished, i.e. to end the dinner banquet.

Kou Zhong actually wanted to ask what the relationship between the He Clan’s jade annulus and the Ci Hang Jing Zhai, but first, he was afraid Fu Junchuo would not be happy, second, he was dying to start learning the Great Method of Nine Mysteries. Thereupon he kept his mouth shut and, along with Xu Ziling, simply followed Fu Junchuo back to their room.

Inside Fu Junchuo’s cabin, the three of them sat cross-legged facing each other in a triangle. Moonlight penetrated the room, shedding its ray on Fu Junchuo’s body, making her look more like Guanyin Dashi descending to the mortal world.

With solemn expression Fu Junchuo spoke softly, “Do you know why I left and then came back to rescue you from the hands of that county magistrate, and then at Danyang we separated, but again I could not help returning to you?”

Looking at her serious expression, Kou Zhong did not dare to crack a joke, he seriously replied, “Is it because Niang cherishes us?”

Fu Junchuo sighed and said, “You can say that. Among Yuwen Huaji’s personal attendants, there is one sent by our Gaoli King, that’s why after I sent you to Beipo County, I made a secret contact with him, inquiring about the condition of Yuwen Huaji’s injury.”

Xu Ziling happily said, “So Yuwen Huaji was also injured?”

“Of course,” Fu Junchuo proudly said, “How could my Jiu Xuan Shengong [divine power of nine mysteries] stay idle and not inflict any damage? How could he not be injured? But he can be considered rare, he only needed to meditate for a couple of sichen [i.e. 4 hours] and already his strength was completely restored. Just from this fact I can deduce that he is still one layer above me. At the same time, I can also deduce that in order to get the ‘Secret to Long Life’, he won’t spare any effort to hunt and capture you. That’s why I came back to rescue you, these two little demons. How can I let that tyrant of ten thousand evils live long?”

Kou Zhong forced himself to say, “Niang can always take our ‘Secret to Long Life’ away and then find any place to bury it; clean hands clean feet, it’s much better than being burdened by the two of us!”

Fu Junchuo cut him off, “I simply don’t like doing unethical things like that.”

Xu Ziling’s heart was touched. He asked, “Then why did Niang want to leave us at Danyang?”

Fu Junchuo heaved a deep sigh. She said grimly, “Didn’t we get together in the end? I don’t know why I treated you, these two irritating little demons, well. I was thinking of leaving you at Danyang, giving you enough traveling expense so that you could go your own way, and just forget about it. But after thinking deeper, Yuwen Huaji is able to utilize the power of the world’s government officials, in the end you won’t escape his evil claw; hence I couldn’t help but coming back to you. Do you think I fancy that Song Shidao? Not a chance! I had made up my mind long ago to die for my country; how could I be interested in man-woman relationship? I just want to borrow their ship to get you two far away from danger. Once the ship docks at the pier, we will leave the ship to go ashore, flee to the rebel territory, then that Yuwen Huaji will be helpless to catch you.”

Kou Zhong resolutely said, “We might as well destroy the ‘Secret to Long Life’ first, so that even if that Yuwen Huagu manages to catch up with us, he still won’t get the treasured book.

Fu Junchuo and Xu Ziling were greatly surprised; they had never expected that this kid, who was usually greedy for wealth and greedy for benefit, would be willing to make this kind of sacrifice.

Fu Junchuo nodded. “Hearing Xiao Zhong [little Zhong] said so, I am really happy,” she said, “But for the time being, we are not that desperate yet. Let me teach you the meditation skill first. But you must promise me on an oath that before the day you reached the first level of qi and mind connection, you are not allowed to mingle out in Jianghu. Just quietly find a small town, hide from the chaos of war, and peacefully and happily live the rest of your lives.”

Xu Ziling’s eyes turned red as he said, “Niang! You are really good to us.”

Kou Zhong was also deeply moved, “Even if our own Niang came back to life, they wouldn’t be as good as you.”

The two boys immediately made an oath.

Fu Junchuo taught them to put their palms together in front of their chest, and then she said, “Prior to training your skill, you must train your character first. Remove all distracting thoughts, and then sit cross-legged with left leg facing out, right leg facing in, use yang [positive/male principle in Taoism] to embrace yin [negative/female principle]; left hand thumb pinches the middle finger, right hand thumb enters the left hand and make a circle. Right hand on the outside, using yin to surround yang. This is called Nine Mysteries Meridian Chain Secret. The four limbs also join together as a chain. Four gates tightly closed to guard the median.”

Xu Ziling was puzzled, “Niang, didn’t you say that Great Method of Nine Mysteries is heavy on spirit and light on form? Why do we have to pay particular attention to form like this?”

Fu Junchuo was speechless for half a day. Finally she sighed and said, “If you really can succeed in mastering this divine skill, you must establish a sect, with your innovative idea you could be a peerless great master. I have never questioned the method like you do. But I can only teach you based on a proven method. If you can figure out other ways, you can always try it. But your heart and the method must be in agreement with each other; otherwise an unexpected disaster might occur.”

Kou Zhong sighed in admiration, “Niang is indeed open-minded, the Shifus teaching their disciples in the martial art court have never taken this kind of approach.”

Thereupon Fu Junchuo explained in details the position and capacity of the Eight Extraordinary Channels[10] and all major acupuncture points, while repeatedly pointing to these acupoints on their bodies.

By the time the two boys memorized everything, it was already the third watch of the night [between 11pm – 1am].

This moment the big ship suddenly slowed down. From the shore they could hear a faint howling.

All three people’s countenance changed.
[10] Eight Extraordinary Channels (Qi Jing Ba Mai) - These consist of the channels of Ren, Du, Chong, Dai, Yinwei, Yangwei, Yinjiao and Yangjiao. They differ from the Twelve Regular Channels in that they neither pertain to any organ, nor do they share an exterior-interior relationship between each other. Their main function is to regulate the circulation of energy (qi4) and blood in the Twelve Regular Channels. When the regular channels are satiated, excess qi and blood flow into the Eight Extraordinary Channels to be stored for later use. (Huang Yushi, wuxiapedia.com)