Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Chapter 136 - Murderous Air


Central Plains “Xian Yong Mountain” located two hundred miles north, was the lofty “Majestic Fox Mountain”[Note 1]. Looking up from the bottom, one could see rugged rocks piercing the sky, towering and precipitous. However on the entire lofty mountain, not a single grass or tree, bleak and barren. On the left of the mountain range, spring water gushed out deep from within the mountain,  converging into a river, called “Victorious Water”, flowing towards northeast, as it meadowed down, more and more tributaries joined in, the river gradually grew until three hundred miles away, it emptied into another huge river, “Fen River”. According to legend, in this river, it yielded a type of dark green-blue precious jade but just that nobody had ever seen it.

One of the three powerful branches of the Evil Sect, Ghost King Sect headquarters was built deep in this solid sturdy mountain and very few knew of it. With Ghost Li as the guide, Xiao Bai and the great shaman travelled for fifteen days and finally arrived here.

As the great shaman’s body was really too frail, the three of them plus the monkey had to walk, along the way, Ghost Li also once hired carriage for the great shaman. The long journey was arduous, the three of them were fatigue from travelling but between the great shaman and Ghost Li, they looked totally different.

Ghost Li’s injuries healed as the days passed, might be because he was young!

Instead the great shaman’s countenance looked more and more terrible, compared to fifteen days ago when he just left the southern border Seven Mile Cave, his condition had deteriorated much, not to mention him looking pallid, ever since entering the mountain tunnel, without carriages or horses to ride on, although with the assistance of Ghost Li and Xiao Bai, he was still panting every few steps, his stamina extremely weak. Ghost Li was feeling anxious in his heart, at times could not help but fear, what if before they reach Majestic Fox Mountain, this life-saving great shaman should passed away then that would really be his eternal regret.

Luckily at today’s afternoon, under that pleasantly warm sunlight, the three of them finally saw that shining mountain top of Majestic Fox Mountain.

Pausing although they had not reach their destination, Ghost Li heaved a sigh of relief, turned and spoke to the great shaman, “Senior, that mountain ahead is where we are headed. Just a short distance from here, slightly later in the evening and we will be able to reach the foot of the mountain.”

The great shaman let out a long breath, raised his eyes and gazed at that mountain, with a tired laugh he said, “Don’t worry! Young man, before I treat your friend who is deep in slumber, I will not die.”

Ghost Li was stunned and felt apologetic, quietly said, “Senior, I did not mean to…”

The great shaman’s tired eyes looked away, stretched his hand and patted his shoulder, smiled and shook his head, said, “I didn’t mean anything else, if it was me, I would be even more anxious than you.”

Ghost Li was silent, smiled and said, “Senior, we have walked for quite a while, let’s rest here first, we still have to continue our journey later.”

The great shaman looked like he was really tired, nodded, with the assistance from Ghost Li, found a rather flat rock beside the path and sat down on it.

“Zhi zhi!” Xiao Hui who was on Ghost Li’s shoulder, called out twice and jumped down. Along the journey, Xiao Hui was the most energetic, without any sign of fatigue.

The monkey glanced around and saw sparse woods on both sides of the path, after calling out twice, it scurried in and in a blink disappeared.

Ghost Li glanced at where Xiao Hui disappeared and did not seem to be concerned, he turned back and intended to find a rock to sit down too. Travelling for those past few days until today, although the injuries he had sustained in the Seven Mile Cave were grave but his nerves and bones were not injured, recovering as the days passed. However his right shoulder injury was still throbbing. He used his hand to gently feel his wound and FenXiang Valley Li Xun’s image flashed before him, he sneered in his heart.

But the next moment, behind Li Xun, there was another graceful figure, clothes as white as snow…

Ghost Li shook his head, feeling perplexed, while deep in his thoughts he suddenly heard Xiao Bai exclaimed, “How did Majestic Fox Mountain turned to be so barren, I looked for half a day and there was not a single grass or tree?”

Ghost Li frowned, said, “It is already like this when I first came here.”

Xiao Bai stood beside him, brooded for a while, shook her head said, “At that time when I left, the mountain was verdant green, grasses and trees exuberant, completely different from now.”

Ghost Li shook his head and said, “Then that I do not know.”

Xiao Bai sighed and turned, did not speak anymore.

Ghost Li glanced at her, he knew that a thousand years ago, she with her fox clan rested and built their families here and so had a different sentiment towards Majestic Fox Mountain but he did not know what to say and with his current emotional state, he did not want to chat much too.

Whenever he thought of BiYao was just in that mountain and perhaps by this time tomorrow, she would already regained her life energy back. And each time, Ghost Li felt his entire body’s blood seething with anticipation and could not concentrate on other things.

The three of them rested for a while and until the great shaman felt his strength slightly recovered, Ghost Li continued to lead them, to say leading, actually it was only the great shaman one person.

Xiao Bai walked ahead alone, her face calm and did not speak, gradually the surroundings started to feel familiar to her. Initially at a few junctions, she still would ask Ghost Li or waited for Ghost Li to proceed onto the correct path before following. Later on, her past memories seemed to be awaken and involuntarily she became the person leading, bringing the rest of them, traversing the mountain path to Majestic Fox Mountain.

Xiao Hui who had returned from the forest, its hands again full of wild fruits, munching away. At its back, a big bag of wine was still there. There were two wine bags initially but while travelling, it drank it from time to time, the monkey’s alcohol tolerance seemed to have also increased, after fifteen days, it could actually finish one big bag and still not drunk.

Along the way, Xiao Bai saw the monkey dragging the bags along, swinging to and fro and felt it was really troublesome and so used a cloth to made a girdle so that Xiao Hui could carry it on its back. That was so much better and Xiao Hui was even happier, carrying the wine bags everywhere the whole day. Three humans and one monkey, accompanied with the munching sound from the monkey, each with their different emotions silently travelling.

The sun gradually set in the west, the sky also started to darken, when it was evening, they finally reached the foot of the mountain.

Almost at the same time, the great shaman and Xiao Bai both got a shock, the great shaman seemed to sense something, glanced at Xiao Bai, quietly said, “You also felt it?”

Xiao Bai frowned slightly, with her thousand years spiritual fox cultivation, this spiritual energy and sense were naturally not simple and were extremely sensitive. Almost at the same time when they  just reached the bottom, she suddenly felt that in this mountain, under what seemed to be an ordinary desolation, indistinctly a waft of thick murderous air emanated.

The intensity of this air, even with her highly skilled cultivation she also could not help but felt fear. After carefully feeling it, with her own sharp spiritual intelligence energy, she could deduce that there were two dispirited spiritual energy, although unwilling but they could only resign to their fates, submitting themselves in the murderous air.

This mountain, most likely had a big secret!

Slowly withdrawing the shock look on her face, replacing it immediately with her usual countenance, she turned and looked at the great shaman, she did not expect that this old man who was weary and dying, could still have such sharp senses, it seemed like the southern border shaman arts really had its unique characteristics.

She slowly nodded, suppressed her voice and said, “What a strong murderous energy!”

The great shaman was silent for a moment, nodded, both of them glanced sideways at Ghost Li but on Ghost Li’s face, he also had a strange look.

In his sleeve, the Sinister Orb on the black Soul-devouring stick suddenly lighted up, blood-red light circulated continuously, even his sleeve could not conceal it.

Ghost Li slowly took out the Soul-devouring stick, raised it before him and saw the unusual red light on the Sinister Orb, layers and circles of vibrant red light illuminating, the traces of blood lines on the orb seemed to be even more brighter, every one clearly illuminated. And travelling along his hand, the Sinister Orb produced waves of cold yet with some excitement energy throughout his body,

Ghost Li’s eyes stared deeply, he raised his head and looked at this lofty mountain, a strange glint flashed past his eyes.

That was the Sinister Orb’s signs of thirsting for fresh blood!

To him, this was something already beyond familiar.

Ghost King personally stood at the entrance to Ghost King Sect headquarters, waiting outside a secret door concealed behind the huge rock, it was not hard to imagine, the importance he placed and regarded of the great shaman that Ghost Li was bringing back.

After they appeared before him, Ghost King nodded casually to Ghost Li, considering he had made his greeting and then hurried to the great shaman, assessed him slightly, a stunned expression flashed past his face, said, “This master, your body…”

The great shaman smiled faintly, said, “This old man is a dying man, my fate is such, the reason I am here today, is just to do my utmost mentally and physically. As for whether it would be successful or not, it would have to depend on Heaven’s will as well.”

Ghost King kneeled down, bowed deeply, his deep voice said, “Master is a spiritual man, I will not say much of the common words. You have come from a long journey and now that it is late, I will like to invite master to temporary make do with the residence in this cave and rest for one night, tomorrow we will then seek master’s consult.”

The great shaman nodded, looking at his countenance, it was obvious he was extremely weary.

The Ghost King waved and someone at once ran over and assisted the great shaman in. Everyone made way and after a while, the great shaman’s figure disappeared deep into the mountain.

Ghost King unhurriedly turned around, right now, standing before him, other than Ghost Li, was that alluring lady behind him. As for the monkey Xiao Hui, while its three eyes spun around, it assessed the group of people in front of it.

Ghost King’s eyes paused for a while at Xiao Hui and then again glanced at Xiao Bai behind Ghost Li, lastly, still back to this young man in front of him.

“You are hurt?” Ghost King slowly asked.

Ghost Li was silent, only nodded.

The place suddenly quietened down, the two men faced each other, the atmosphere turned somehow strange. Already for ten years, for ten years Ghost King devoted himself to teaching Ghost Li but between them, there seemed to be always an invisible deep chasm.

Behind Ghost King, stood Qing Long, YouJi and other many more disciples, Ghost Li’s eyes swept over them slowly, he knew many of the faces as many of them were disciples from other smaller branches of the Evil Sect he had destroyed, taking those men under Ghost King Sect. Right now, Blood Forger Hall Nian leader and the rest were also in the crowd.

Only that Wild Dog Taoist was not among them, wondered if he was still with that fortune teller Zhou YiXian and granddaughter roaming the world?

Ghost King Sect’s power and influence, seemed to gaining stronger.

The mountain breeze blew over, ruffled someone’s clothes, making [hu hu] sounds. Deep inside the mountain, there seemed to be a black figure, indistinctly swaying.

Ghost Li turned away, although he could not see it clearly but he knew the person in the dark was Mr Ghost!

This mysterious figure, seemed to perpetually conceal himself in the darkness, hiding behind Ghost King.

“This lady, is she your friend? you brought her back?” Ghost King indifferently asked, his face not revealing any slightest different expression.

Ghost Li hesitated for a moment, said, “She said she is your old friend and wanted to come and visit you.”

Ghost King was stunned, this was totally not what he had expected, he could not help but take few more glances at Xiao Bai. However, he could not remember when had he know such a lady, immediately asked in surprise, “This lady, have we known each other before?”

Xiao Bai stepped forward, sighed and then smiled and said, “Is Xiao Chi still well? Is she still the same, daydreaming at times, even while looking at a flower?”

Ghost King’s body shook, a rare stunned expression on his face. Not only him, behind him, Qing Long, YouJi and the rest who had been with him for long, their expressions changed greatly at the same time, an inconceivable look on their faces.

Ghost King stared at Xiao Bai, after a long pause said, “Who exactly are you, how would you know Xiao...Xiao Chi?”

Xiao Bai’s gaze drifted, bypassing through these people, gazing upwards and saw that in the sunset, the figure of Majestic Fox Mountain desolate and towering, an especially desolated image.

How much time, quietly slipped through the slits on one’s fingers…

“Do you still remember, “She faintly said, “how the name of the mountain came about?”

Ghost King’s eyes brightened, his stare piercing but the shock on his face deepened, asked, “You are white…”

Xiao Bai faintly said, “I am white fox!”

The mountain breeze with a [wu] sound blew over, sweeping up the fine sands on the ground, flying far away silently.  

X x x

Inside the secluded stone chamber, the furnishings were simple, table, chair, bed, furnitures unadorned, this was Ghost King Sect sect leader’s bedroom.

The only slightly conspicuous, would that red sandalwood writing desk set against the stone walls, three thick volumes of books placed neatly on it, on the tabletop, a white jade writing brush rack, a small writing brush made of weasel’s hair placed on it, an ink stone which was still wet beside it. And slightly further away, there was a blue white porcelain writing-brush washer, clear and lustrous, in it half filled with water.

With those number of items, gave one a scholarly impression and not what mortals would imagine that the leader of a powerful Evil Sect branch would be. Ghost King and Xiao Bai, right now was standing in this room, other than the two of them, there was no others.

On the stone walls on other side of the room, hung a brush painting outline in gold, in it a beautiful lady, looking attentively at a flower which had bloomed, a pair of butterflies fluttering beside the flower. Just that the lady in the painting was so absorbed with the flower that she did not seem to notice the butterflies beside it.

The brush strokes were exquisite, the traditional Chinese painting method’s unique characteristics of meticulous brush technique and detailed description were all fully brought out in the the finest detail by the painter, the lady in the painting almost looked like she was alive, even that infatuation with the flower, was vividly portrayed.

Xiao Bai silently looked at the lady in the painting, after a long while, quietly sighed, said, “Your painting skills are really amazing, drawing Xiao Chi to be so realistic, seeing this painting is like seeing her in real life.”

Standing behind Xiao Bai, Ghost King was also looking at the painting, in his eyes, a tenderness which never revealed to outsiders. He silently shook his head, after a moment, quietly said, “I only regret that I could not save her!”

Xiao Bai’s gaze never left the painting, faintly said, “I never know, that the person Ghost Li wholeheartedly wanted to save, is you and Xiao Chi’s daughter.”

Ghost King sadly laughed, said, “When Xiao Chi left, I couldn’t reach in time to see her for the last time, these past few years, whenever I think about that, my heart feels like it is being cut with knives. Now that she did not leave behind anything, only BiYao...but she is also…”

Xiao Bai faintly said, “She did not pick the wrong man, choosing you, was her good fortune. I guessed before she passed away, she definitely did not have any regrets.”

Ghost King was silent.

Xiao Bai stepped forward, stretched out her hand and using her fingertips to gently stroke the painting lady’s exquisite beautiful face, her eyes slowly filled with faint glittering glint, in it sorrow and tenderness.

X x x

The monkey Xiao Hui [zhi] called out once and jumped onto the bed. Returning to Ghost Li’s room in the Majestic Fox Mountain after a long time, it did not seem to feel unfamiliar, jumping on it for a few times, it suddenly seemed to remember something, stretched its hand behind and shifted the wine bag over, pulled out the stopper and drank another big mouthful of the strong liquor.

Pausing after that, the monkey made a long [hu] sound, wrinkled its eyes together, an expression of bliss.

Ghost Li stood in front of the bed and watched the monkey’s expression, did not speak and slowly shook his head, he sighed, turned and walked to the door, pulled the door open and walked out, closing the door behind him on his way out.

The deep tunnel stretched out ahead, he unhurriedly walked in this corridor within the mountain, on his way, people who saw him bowed their heads in obeisance. Only that his face was indifferent, his eyes only watching ahead, as if there was a place beckoning him.

Walking past a corner, passing by the tunnel, the Ghost King sect disciples’ figures slowly disappeared. When he arrived before that familiar cold stone chamber, he saw a spectre-like figure.

YouJi’s veil on her face swayed, she turned and looked at Ghost Li.

Ghost Li’s gaze swept past her black veil, landed on the stone door behind her. The next moment, without any hesitation, he walked over and pushed open the stone door.   

The stone door, slowly closed up behind him, YouJi’s figure did not move, stood alone before the door.

Inside the stone chamber, on the cold stone platform, amidst wisps and trails of white vapours ascending, that beautiful lady, was peacefully lying there, at the corner of her mouth, there seemed to be a faint smile.

Ghost Li backfacing the stone door, suddenly, his detached and firm appearance, seemed to suddenly loosened down, little by little loosened, little by little coming off. Leaving, only a melancholy-looking figure, slowly walking up, sat down beside her.

“I am back, BiYao…”

The faint vapours curled and floated upwards, drifting up from the icy cold stone platform, looking at BiYao’s body, it seemed a little surreal. Her face was still that beautiful, her smile still that warm, was it that she also knew this man had returned?

“You have hope, BiYao.” His voice, deep and slightly trembling, “it has been ten years already, a total of ten years.”

“I actually allow you to lie like this for ten years, I am really useless, you definitely will blame me...no, you won’t, how would you blame me! At most you will only smile at me, right?”

There was no answer, the wisps of vapours, gathered before his eyes and separated again.

“I will definitely save you, BiYao, you will definitely wake up.” He quietly said, “We will be together, BiYao, throughout our lifetimes, we will be together!"

The deep voice, following the light vapours, faintly spread out, drifting in this stone chamber, then dissipated, leaving without a trace.

X x x

Note 1: [Classics of Mountains and Seas. Classics of Mountain third volume. Classics of North Mountain] Majestic Fox Mountain: Xian Yong Mountain again two hundred miles north, named Majestic Fox Mountain, barren, abundant of green jade. Victorious water emerged, flowed northeast and poured into Fen River, in it quantities of dark green blue jade.

4 comments:

  1. omg, so excited :v haha thank you very much :D

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  2. Thank you very much !

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  3. Could it be that Xiao bai is Ghost Li "grandmother inlaw" to be :o

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  4. Hee thks toling54, anonymous and Rege monyetman! Lol I shall think not for Xiao Bai :p

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