Chapter 7 – Subduing Enemy on Snowy Ground
Book 5 Chapter 7 – Subduing Enemy on Snowy Ground
Side-by-side Xu Ziling and Shen Luoyan went out of the city. The former saw the marker Kou Zhong left at the city gate, so he knew that Kou Zhong and Susu already departed safely. His mood improved, he could not help the hostility in his heart toward Shen Luoyan decreasing a little.
The two of them silently unleashed their foot technique, very soon they left the city of Xingyang far behind in the vast and indistinct wind and snow.
When they reached the top of a hill, Xu Ziling stopped. He took out the book from his bosom, and without the slightest hesitation handed it over to her.
Shen Luoyan flipped through it, and after verifying that it was indeed her roster, she put it inside her pocket. Sighing softly, she said, “If my guess is correct, Xu Shiji will not let you off just because I gave you my promise. Therefore, unless you are fully confident that you are able to break away from Zheng Zong’s pursuit, you must by all means avoid meeting with Kou Zhong and Susu right away; otherwise it would be the moment the three of you lose your lives.”
Xu Ziling was greatly puzzled, “Why did you tell me that? Zhong Shao and I are already aware that your Wagang Army might go back on your word; but we did not expect that you would really be willing to let us go.”
Shen Luoyan’s pretty face blushed slightly; she said softly, “I owe you so much, I ought to brag a little bit that I am also a good person. However, even though you heard Zheng Zong’s name, you were not the least bit surprised. Evidently you have someone who already disclosed this information to you; no wonder you already planned in advance.”
Xu Ziling was secretly terrified; this woman was extremely intelligent and crafty, the more they talked, the more she would deduce their actual situation.
While pondering how he could leave as soon as possible, Shen Luoyan looked deep into his eyes, and then lightly said, “I’m sure we’ll meet again someday!”
Xu Ziling mused, ‘Who wants to meet with you again someday?’ But without saying a word, he turned around and ran down the hill.
Just before entering the forest at the foot of the hill, he looked back, but Shen Luoyan already disappeared without any trace.
Xu Ziling turned around and ran back to the place where he parted ways with Shen Luoyan. Not too long afterwards he found the marker left by Kou Zhong, i.e. a small twig indicating the direction they were fleeing; there were also seven small pebbles, indicating he should go that way for more than seven li.
Xu Ziling messed up the marker, looked up to the heavens, and just as expected, he did not see Zheng Zong’s magical bird. This moment the snow was swirling heavily in the air; he had already guessed that it would be difficult for Zheng Zong to follow their trail on horseback.
Just as he was about to leave, he seemed to hear Shen Luoyan’s tender voice shouting from about half a li to the west. Without even thinking Xu Ziling went at full speed toward that direction.
Following the shout was a series of clashing qi noise like a muffled thunder. Xu Ziling unleashed the true qi in his body to its limit; he flew like a streak of shooting star splitting the snowstorm blanketing the big earth.
Since Yun Yuzhen taught them the ‘Bird Crossing Technique’, they had experienced countless setbacks, attempts, and hard work to get better. But because they had eventually succeeded in training the ‘Secret to Long Life’, in turn their fantastic true qi could be applied in qinggong, so that each one of them was able to come up with amazing, beyond compare, shenfa. [Translator’s note: this is rather hard to translate without wordy explanation, basically it is a pose or motion of the body specifically in martial art.]
Because of different interests and focus in developing their lightness skill, their qinggong style was also vastly different from each other. When they started training the ‘Bird Crossing Technique’, Kou Zhong loved to observe the marine ecosystem of swimming and cruising fish; therefore, automatically he developed movements mimicking the best of variety fish motion, full of vivacious postures. Still as a maiden, moving like a fugitive.
Xu Ziling, on the other hand, loved to observe the trajectory of all kinds of bird flying in the air; therefore, naturally the postures he adopted were full of soaring-bird and diving-falcon style. Like a heavenly steed soaring across the sky, difficult to trace its track.
Supporting them to attain their ideal body movement [shenfa, see above] was the true qi coming from diligent practice of the ‘Secret to Long Life’, which grew and multiplied without an end within their bodies.
Their pursuit of lightness skill style was actually matching their inner true qi. According to the five-element principle: fish is water and bird is fire. The true qi within Kou Zhong’s body was cold; while Xu Ziling’s was hot. Hence Kou Zhong imitating fish and Xu Ziling copying birds was a good fit like seamless heavenly clothes.
When they were injured by Zhai Rang, the two boys applied their inner power to heal each other, accidentally generating heat in the midst of cold, and cold in the midst of heat. Under the blending of Yin and Yang, it was no longer like before, where a lone Yang could not last and exhaustion was an endless recurring condition.
The most noticeable change was in the current utilization of the qinggong.
Hence the reason this moment as Xu Ziling unleashed his shenfa, he felt that his true qi circulated endlessly. The more he ran, the faster he was, until finally even he himself was a bit scared.
The sound of fighting suddenly ceased. Xu Ziling was alarmed, thinking that based on Shen Luoyan’s martial art skill, unless she was facing an opponent of Du Fuwei’s caliber, she should not have any problem defending herself; why was that within more or less ten moves she seemed to be subdued by the enemy?
If that was the case, wouldn’t it mean that the opponent was of his old dad’s caliber? Could it be that the ‘Shadow Assassin’ Yang Xuyan has come?
Thinking about that, his heart shivered in fear. Instantly the true qi within his body from clear turned murky, from pure it became mixed; from flying in the air he suddenly dropped down to the ground. Hastily he took a sharp breath to dispel his apprehension toward Yang Xuyan.
Hastening the movement of inner breathing in his body, he focused his heart and mind, and immediately entered the ‘moon in the well’ realm. His five senses sensed the world around him, nothing could escape his detection.
Not only he was able to feel every single snowflake falling onto his body, he could even hear the sound of snowflakes touching each other within several zhang radius from him.
The heaven and the earth lit up; the wind, the snow, everything sounded very clear in his hearing.
This unprecedented amazing feeling only lasted for a blink of an eye; just as it happened suddenly, it also disappeared quite suddenly.
Shocked, Xu Ziling dropped down on his knees on the snowy plain, thoughts flashed in the speed of light in his mind. He gained a sudden enlightenment; he knew that his fear of Yang Xuyan has inadvertently stimulated the self-sufficient treasure-trove within his body; unexpectedly he rose to another level of new realm.
While he was scared and delighted at the same time, a sparkling object on the snow caught his attention.
Xu Ziling gathered his thought. Springing up from the snowy ground, he walked over to pick up the object; to his amazement, it was Shen Luoyan’s ‘soul snatching hairpin’. He could not help but was shocked.
It appeared that Shen Luoyan was really in danger so that even her golden hairpin fell on the ground.
Xu Ziling hastened the circulation of his inner breathing; he drove away all shock and anxiety from his heart, and then launching his lightness skill, he searched along the vast snowy ground. A short while later, he did find some footprints that were already obscured by the falling snow.
These footprints, one after another, pointed to a dense forest in the southeast direction, each footprint was separated by almost eight zhang distance [80ft/25m], the evenness and accuracy of the footprints was quite shocking.
Just from the distance it was quite clear that this person’s martial art skill was really high, almost to the ‘unimaginable’ level.
Xu Ziling asked himself: under normal circumstances, on solid ground, if he gave everything he had, perhaps he would be able to cover the same distance in one jump. But absolutely not on soft, snowy ground. It was not something that he could accomplish alone, much less if he had to carry someone else on his back.
However, it was not enough reason for him to give up rescuing Shen Luoyan. After taking a sharp intake of breath, he swiftly chased forward.
The snowstorm attacked him head-on, giving him the full taste of frigid wind and painful snow.
He could see the feeble light from Xingyang City painting the distant horizon on his left, amplifying the desolate feeling the snowstorm already given him.
Xu Ziling had just entered the fringe of the snowy forest when his acute hearing already caught some kind of strange noise.
It was the sound of a woman panting and moaning.
Xu Ziling immediately realized what was going on. A righteous anger welled up in his heart, yet his mind was still incomparably calm. Carefully but swiftly he moved toward the source of the noise.
The perpetrator must be someone who has been lurking in Xingyang City, secretly watching their fight against the Wagang Army. And then taking advantage of the moment when he and Shen Luoyan split up, he made his move and launched a surprise attack. This person was not satisfied just by obtaining the roster, he still had to subject Shen Luoyan to his beastly atrocity.
Fast like a ghost Xu Ziling ducked to the left and slipped to the right in the snowy forest; he tiptoed on the snowy ground, so that he did not create any noise at all. He even severed his mouth and nose breathing, and was only using the continuous internal qi to breath.
His eyes brightened, he was able to utilize the faint glow of the snow in the night, which average person would not be able to see, so that in that pitch-black forest he was able to distinguish objects and faintly see the fluorescent green of the snowy wonderland.
The sound of heavy breathing was becoming clearer.
Moments later, deep in the snowy forest a tall, majestic figure’s back caught Xu Ziling’s eyes. This man’s shoulder was particularly broad, yet his waist was surprisingly slim; his long hair was draped over his shoulder, giving others a memorable impression.
This moment he was pressing Shen Luoyan’s body against the trunk of a big tree. His pair of hands slipped inside the beauty’s half-opened clothes, voraciously fondling her breasts.
Xu Ziling sent his power to increase his vision; he saw Shen Luoyan’s face was beet red, her elegant eyes were tightly shut, her mouth was also tightly closed, the expression on her pretty face was a mixture of pain and contradiction, with tears across her whole face.
Every fondling of the man’s hand brought a shiver over her entire body, plus a moan and a gasp.
Chapter 7, Part 2
George, although I have read the Divine Eagle Gallant Knights (even helping translating part of it), I still don't know which scene Xu Xiong was referring to. HPC, Jaya, Ysabel, Anh, Komeng, you are welcome. Laoren, except this damsel was not in distress ... (Sky, that goes to you too.) Mr. Weird, my source has 63 books. Drak, you get your answer here. Bocah, too short ... End of Chapter 7, and hopefully end of SLY (at least for now).
A grating voice like a wolf in heat said with a laugh, “My, Dugu Ba, technique can turn a chaste woman [lit. woman who dies fighting for her honor or who follows her husband in death] into a wh0re, let alone you, a s1ut. After you have a taste of me, I guarantee that you, the Pretty Junshi [military counselor] will never leave me, and will obediently become my woman.”
Moaning and panting, Shen Luoyan said, “Just kill me!”
Dugu Ba clicked his tongue and then with a strange-sounding laughter he said, “Your figure is so well developed, your skin is so tender and smooth, how can I bear to harm you? After you become my woman, you will be delighted to work for my Dugu Clan.”
Shen Luoyan suddenly let out an especially intense moan, obviously Dugu Ba has violated the part that has caused her extreme discomfort.
From behind a tree Xu Ziling noiselessly flashed out, slowly creeping toward Dugu Ba.
He was certain that he was not Dugu Ba’s match; the only way was to take advantage when the opponent’s attention was completely absorbed in his lascivious behavior, to mount a sneak attack.
The golden hairpin rose up, it was aimed at Dugu Ba’s back.
With a trembling voice Shen Luoyan said, “Even if you obtain my body, don’t even think that you will obtain my heart.”
Obviously Dugu Ba was extremely proud of himself; gasping for breath, he laughed and said, “Aren’t you in love with that kid just now whose smell of mother’s milk not yet dried? Were it not for you lost your soul and dropped your spirit after you two parted, I am afraid it would not be this easy for me to succeed, to enjoy Li Mi’s woman. Ha!”
This moment Xu Ziling was still about a zhang away from Dugu Ba. Hearing what was said, his spirit trembled a little, his footstep immediately getting somewhat heavier.
Unexpectedly Dugu Ba was able to react; his powerful body shook, as if he was moving.
Xu Ziling did not dare to hesitate. The gold hairpin shot out, while at the same time he also shot forward at full speed, his entire strength was focused on the middle finger of his right hand, piercing Dugu Ba’s back.
Although Dugu Ba was outstanding, he had never imagined that there existed a martial art expert who was able to conceal all phenomena of life, such as breathing, body temperature, heartbeat, et cetera, and was able, to certain degree, to become ‘invisible’. Combined with the fact that his attention was focused on Shen Luoyan’s alluring body, thus he was doomed to suffer this big loss.
However, even in this such a disadvantageous situation, he was able to traverse in time, avoiding the strike to hit the major acupoint on his back.
Just before the golden pin entered between his right ribs, it suddenly bounced back, while he also already traversed three chi.
Like a shadow Xu Ziling followed him toward his right side, and his finger jabbed again, the target was another vital acupoint under his ribs.
Before the finger arrived, a burning hot finger wind had already assaulted Dugu Ba’s body.
Previously the needle, which was full of true qi, had already stabbed Dugu Ba’s muscles and bones, breaking the true qi protecting his body, enough for Xu Ziling’s true qi to penetrate his body.
This time he was unable to endure the finger wind, so that he suddenly spouted a mouthful of blood and let out a wild roar. Turning around, he used the back of his palm to slap Xu Ziling’s face.
Now the two men were fighting face to face.
Dugu Ba was around thirty years of age, his face was long and narrow, his eyes were also narrow and malicious-looking, his nose like an eagle’s beak, his lips extremely thin, giving others an impression that he was a cruel man with lack of justice.
Xu Ziling changed his finger stab into a fist, meeting Dugu Ba’s attack head-on.
‘Bang!’ Dugu Ba spurted another mouthful of blood; letting out a miserable scream, he ran away as fast as he could.
On the other hand, Xu Ziling was also jolted back three steps; the entire qi and blood in his body was surging, making him groaning inwardly. Even after Dugu Ba was seriously injured, his palm strength was still that formidable. Evidently, under normal circumstances, Xu Ziling was definitely not his match.
After regulating his breathing, he came over to Shen Luoyan, who was still standing with her back leaning against the tree, and her head down.
Shen Luoyan’s clothes was still half-open half-closed, so that her ‘ridges and peaks’ were visible. The blush of her jade countenance has not faded yet, making her extremely captivating.
But her expression was unusually serene; with her shining eyes she looked at him up and down, sizing him up.
Xu Ziling was somewhat at a loss. “How are you feeling?” he asked.
‘Chi!’ suddenly Shen Louyan giggled. “I was just giving him a bit of hand and feet advantage, not a big deal,” she said, “If you are interested, I guarantee I won’t resist you.”
Xu Ziling was relieved, “Where is the book?” he asked.
Shen Luoyan raised her lily-white hand, letting him see she had a secure grip of the book. She smiled and said, “Don’t blame me as a horny b1tch; I deliberately moaned in loud voice to attract your attention, but I still did not expect you would come that quickly. When you showed up just now, I intentionally made up an act to distract his attention, while at the same time grabbing the book. When he was evading you, the book then returned to my hands!”
Concerned, Xu Ziling asked, “Is your acupoint still sealed? Why haven’t you straightened out your clothes?”
As if nothing had happened, Shen Luoyan laughed tenderly and said, “So that you can see! As soon as his hand left, I recovered my strength. Oh! Are you interested or not? Being messed up by him, I really want to have a man.”
Xu Ziling angrily said, “Go back to Xu Shiji! I am going to leave.”
Shen Luoyan smiled sweetly as she stood her lovely body up. Soon afterwards her clothes have been straightened out properly, and her jade countenance returned to its usual calm and composed look.
Xu Ziling picked up the golden hairpin and handed it over to her, saying, “Next time be more careful! Is that Dugu Ba a Dugu Clan’s man? His martial art is certainly very formidable.”
Shen Luoyan’s eyes flashed a murderous look; she hatefully said, “He is Dugu Feng’s only brother, but their age difference is twenty years. He is famous for having voracious desire for flowers and being lecherous, but his martial art skill is second only to You Chuhong and Dugu Feng. Next time you meet him, you are the one who really have to be more careful.”
“Let me walk you back,” Xu Ziling said.
Shen Luoyan cast him a sidelong glance and said, “Do you think I am a pitiful woman who is too weak to stand up to the wind? Were it not for him buried himself under the snow and taking advantage while my mind was not focused to mount a sneak attack, I would at least have the chance to fight and launch fireworks to call for reinforcements at the same time. Ay! I was really a bit reluctant to part with you, but you must not think that I am really falling in love with you!”
Xu Ziling smiled wryly and said, “How could I have such thought? The one you really fancy is Ba Fenghan, right?”
Shen Luoyan’s tender body shook; but as she was staring at him, Xu Ziling drew back, and then swiftly disappeared into the depth of the forest.
In the meantime, in another forest about ten li away from where Shen Luoyan was humiliated, Kou Zhong and Susu were crouching down at the edge of a cluster of trees. The former was concentrating completely on the situation outside the forest.
Susu said in a low voice, “Perhaps Xiao Ling is in trouble?”
“Of course not,” Kou Zhong replied, “If it were me, it would be hard to say! I dare say than Shen Luoyan has developed a subtle feeling for him; besides, it’s not like we have some unsolvable enmity between us, Xu Zhiji did not even know that Xiao Ling is his rival in love, Xiao Ling can certainly get away. But that’s really strange!”
“What’s really strange?” Susu asked.
“Why there is nobody tracking us,” Kou Zhong replied, “It’s a lot easier than tracking Xiao Ling.”
Susu said, “Didn’t you just say that in this kind of heavy snow Zheng Zong’s magic bird may become a stupid bird?”
Kou Zhong said, “If every time there is a wind or snow Zheng Zong could not find a solution, he need not come out to mingle in the Jianghu. Therefore, chances are he has other animals he trained to follow someone’s tracks. Right now he is simply waiting for us to rendezvous with Xiao Ling, and then catch us all in one net.”
Susu was horrified, “What should we do?” she asked.
Kou Zhong whispered, “First we must catch the animal following our track and eat it. Hey! How big are Jiejie’s guts?”
Susu forced a smile, “You ought to be very clear about that,” she replied, “Speak up! Whatever you want Jiejie to do, Jiejie will do it.”
After Kou Zhong explained his plan in low voice to Susu’s ear, Susu crawled up and went deeper into the forest. Kou Zhong put his ear on the ice-cold snowy ground, and applied his power to listen.
The sound of Susu’s footsteps was immediately transmitted to his ear, but he did not hear any other unusual sound.
“Ah!” he suddenly heard Susu’s tender voice shouting, startling him that he hastily ran over toward her. Turned out because Susu could not see a thing, she tripped over a shrub and fell to the ground.
Kou Zhong picked Susu up and whispered, “Zheng Zong personally came. This man is knows as ‘Flying Feather’, his qinggong must be extremely superior.”
“What should we do?” Susu asked.
Kou Zhong was about to speak, sound of hoof beats suddenly came from the northwest direction.
The two people’s countenance changed suddenly. If they left just like that, wouldn’t they lose contact with Xu Ziling?