Book 15 Chapter 12 - Righteousness Reaches the Clouds and the Sky
Ba Fenghan and Xu Ziling intentionally took a long detour to ascertain that nobody followed behind them, before finally heading toward the appointed place where they were going to rendezvous with Kou Zhong and Song Shidao.
It was a house near the city's south gate: the secret nest of Qingshe Bang.
The two leaped over the wall and entered in. When they reached the front hall, they saw Kou Zhong and Song Shidao were sitting opposite of each other across the table with worried frown on their faces.
They could not help feeling shocked.
Smiling wryly, Kou Zhong said, "Don't misunderstand, Yu Yi has been rescued.”
Xu Ziling sat down by his side. Frowning, he said, "Was it because she saw that the one rescuing her was you, this kid, she got mad and walked away?”
Song Shidao sighed and said, "If she could use her own two legs to walk away, we would not need to sit here sighing and groaning.”
Aghast, Ba Fenghan asked, "Yin Gui Pai had the impertinence to treat her ruthlessly?”
Grieved, Kou Zhong replied, "Definitely extremely ruthlessly. But not like you think, by maiming her arms or breaking her legs, that kind of ruthlessness. Just go inside the room and you'll understand.”
Fu Junyu's flowery countenance was just like before, but it was the kind of immortal beauty as if she had been asleep for many years. Her pretty eyes were tightly closed; her hands were folded across her breast.
The most horrifying thing was that the breathing from her mouth and nose was cutoff; there did not seem to be any true qi flowing along the meridians inside her body.
Under this condition, average person would have been dead for a long time. But her body was still soft, her skin was smooth, its luster was like a living person; there was not any smell of death the least bit in her.
Song Shidao sighed and said, "Yin Gui Pai's demons are really formidable; I don't know what kind of black magic they are using that they can make her sleep like a hibernating animal without waking up.”
Grieving incessantly, Kou Zhong said, "Er Gongzi and I have tried everything we can, but we failed to get the slightest reaction from her. The worst part is that I don't know how long she can remain like this. Maybe there is a lime limit. Once that limit is exceeded, Yu Yi would be gone forever. If that happens, we have no choice but to send her back to the tiger's den.”
Xu Ziling, who was reaching out and pressing his hand on her tianling acupoint [the crown of the head], spoke low-spiritedly, "The life force within her system has vanished, so that we have no access on where to start. Demonic School's method is indeed an unfathomable mystery. Compared to the other day when Wanwan remained unconscious, this one is more beyond our capability to fathom.”
Song Shidao spoke up resolutely, "If there is anybody in this world able to save her, Shi Qingxuan is the only one. Her acupuncture and moxibustion technique is without equal under the heavens. Perhaps she has a way to break this black magic.”
Kou Zhong was stunned, "Turns out Shi Qingxuan is not only a master in playing the flute, but a master physician who can save the world as well. Where does she live? Is it near?”
With tender expression Song Shidao scrutinized Fu Junyu's flowery jade countenance; he spoke slowly, "Shi Qingxuan's home is a big secret in Jianghu, but due to my humble father and her mother Bi Xiuxin [not sure if this is a name or a title; bi - bluish green (jade color), xiu - pretty/elegant, xin - heart] at one time had a profound relationship, so I know that she has been living in seclusion in a place called You Lin Qing Gu [lit. remote forest, clear/quiet valley]; a place like the ‘Peach Spring beyond this world' [meaning an unexpectedly fantastic place off the beaten path, usually an unspoiled wilderness of great beauty], somewhere in Sichuan.”
Xu Ziling mused inwardly that Bi Xiuxin must be a deeply passionate and an extremely attractive beauty; otherwise, there wouldn't be that many illustrious, outstanding seniors, renowned experts and martial art masters, whose names shook their respective region, prostrate themselves under her pomegranate skirt.
Although Song Shidao was speaking in a reserved manner, it was tantamount to acknowledge that the ‘Heavenly Saber' Song Que, whose saber technique was at the apex of the world, whose martial art skill was at the very front of various Clans' leaders, was also like Ouyang Xiyi and Wang Tong, who have had fruitless obsession toward Bi Xiuxin.
Removing his hand away from Fu Junyu's skull, Xu Ziling asked, "Is her medical expertise came from the handed-down teachings from her mother?”
Song Shidao replied, "Her medical skill came from her father Shi Zhixuan: it was her flute playing skill that was handed down personally by her mother.”
Taken by surprise, Kou Zhong said, "Turns out Bi Xiuxin is an officially married woman; why do so many men still have unfinished feeling toward her? Hey! I am just referring to old man Ouyang and Wang Tong; I have no other meaning.”
Song Shidao did not mind at all; he said, "This matter is complicated and not easy to express succinctly; I'll tell you when we have time later! Right now I need to bring Junyu to Sichuan immediately. Ay! Her personality traits are just as distinct and touching as Junchuo's.”
It was only this moment that Ba Fenghan withdrew his hand from feeling her pulse; his countenance alternated between brightening and darkening, as if there was a bitter struggle in his heart. Since Song Shidao was unable to take his eyes away from Fu Junyu's beautiful face, only Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling sensed Ba Fenghan's abnormal behavior.
"Old Ba,” Kou Zhong wondered, "Why haven't you said anything?”
Heaving a deep sigh, Ba Fenghan smiled ruefully and said, "Because I know what has happened to her, so there's contradiction in my heart.”
The three men's spirit was greatly aroused, but they were baffled at the same time.
Song Shidao's deep worry finally found its way to the surface; he said anxiously, "Why haven't you spoken up?”
Kou Zhong said in surprise, "Why is there contradiction?”
Ba Fenghan's gaze fell on Fu Junyu; his countenance returned to its usual grave and stern expression, as he spoke in heavy voice, "Her condition right now is not Yin Gui Pai people's doing.”
The three were stunned.
Ba Fenghan continued, "This is similar to female demon Wanwan's skill in closing up her meridians and stopping her breathing, but it is a totally different technique. This is the marvelous skill Fu Cailin derived from the Indian Senior Monk, called Gui Xi Tai Fa [lit. Tortoise Breathing Fetus Technique].”
"Are you sure about that?” Xu Ziling asked.
"I am at least 90% sure,” Ba Fenghan replied, "Because one time Junyu personally told me about this marvelous technique. She said that it could keep someone in deep sleep without dying for a long time. Because it does not require any energy, even without a drop of water it shouldn't be any problem.”
Song Shidao delightedly said, "Did she mention any solution?”
Pondering deeply, Kou Zhong said, "It must be because Yu Yi was captured by the enemy, but she was unwilling to be humiliated, she did not wish to be forced to tell the secret in her heart, she was using this passive way of resistance. Niang's Shimei is definitely not an ordinary person.”
"Don't change the subject,” Xu Ziling scolded him, "The most important thing right now is how to wake Yu Yi up.”
Ba Fenghan said, "At that time I asked her whether she could wake up on her own. She said that in the world, other than that Indian Senior Monk, only Fu Cailin has a way to wake her up.”
Fiercely clenching his teeth, Xu Ziling spoke with determination, "After helping Kou Zhong acquiring the Duke Yang's treasure, I am going to take her back to Gaoli [Korea], and have Fu Cailin Dashi [great master] to wake Yu Yi up. Fenghan Xiong need not worry.”
Ba Fenghan revealed a grateful look; he knew Xu Ziling understood his heart.
All along, Ba Fenghan's pursuit was to forget everything and focus only on the martial art way, returning to Tujue to challenge the Wu Zun [martial art supreme] outside the Wall, Bi Xuan. But morally, he could not simply tuck his hands inside his sleeve and ignore the matter at hand, which was to rescue Fu Junyu; hence his heart was pained due to this contradiction.
Revealing another bitter smile, Ba Fenghan spoke heavily, "The problem is that no one has ever tested this strange hibernating skill, nobody knows how long will she be able to last. Also, after certain time, even if Fu Cailing knew how to reverse the rotation of the sky, will he be able to save her and wake her up.”
Xu Ziling was about to speak, Song Shidao suddenly cut him off, "You guys need not worry, let me, Ol' Song, take care of this matter. Tonight I am going to take her back to Gaoli; as for other matters, let's just leave it on Laotianye's will.”
The three were shaken, and turned their gaze toward him.
Song Shidao deeply fixed his eyes on Fu Junyu; there was an advance-courageously, determined expression on his face.
The three were moved.
It should be noted that Song Shidao was the most important figure among the Song Clan's new generation people; he was Song Que's appointed heir. To him, power, wealth, and beautiful women, were definitely as easy as a piece of cake.
From here to Korea, he had to cross ten thousand crags and torrents; perhaps even several months of travel would not necessarily take him there. Much less he had to bring a long a sleeping beauty. The arduous journey needs not be explained.
Furthermore, this was the first time that he met Fu Junyu. Strictly speaking, the two were not related at all.
Smiling slightly, Song Shidao said, "You may not believe it. But ever since I heard about Junchuo's demise, I have never been elated and excited like this moment, feeling once again that the heaven and the earth is full of opportunity to live and full of joy, that live unexpectedly could be lovely and moving like this.”
After staring at him for half a day, Ba Fenghan said with a sigh, "You give up everything and walk away like this, what would your family think?”
Song Shidao's pair of eyes lit up; exhaling slowly, he said, "To be quite honest, as early as many years ago, I have already felt that that kind of heavily-bounded-by-rules-and-regulation way of life is dreary; I extremely loathe it. Although my humble home is outstanding and well known in the south, but from the beginning the struggle over the world has always been centered in Luoyang, as the heart of the Yellow River Basin, battlefield. This is the place where my family's power cannot reach.”
And then, turning to Kou Zhong, he said, "Our Song Family have no ambition for the throne. As long as Xiao Zhong can convince my humble father that after the world has been united our Song Family can still maintain our place in the south, when that time comes we can give San Mei [third sister] to you. But you must give us your promise that you will treat her well, or I, Song Shidao, will be the first to refuse to let you off.”
Kou Zhong's old face blushed slightly; lowering his voice, he said, "Er Gongzi, rest assured! How could I, Kou Zhong, be a man who start randomly and finish by throwing everything away?”
Ba Fenghan said, "Er Gongzi, rest assured, Ziling and I will keep our eyes on him.”
Song Shidao admonished Kou Zhong some more, and then with the help of the three, he very carefully wrapped Fu Junyu in the quilt, and heaved her up his shoulder. He said, "I'll find a way to leave the city first, and then once we are out of town, I'll find a carriage where I can lay her down, and go up north immediately. You don't have to worry about Junyu anymore, I will definitely be able to get her to Gaoli without delay.”
Ba Fenghan raised his cupped fist and said solemnly, "This is the first time in my life that the Ol' Ba salute another person in cheerful submission. Song Gongzi, please take care of yourself. We are going to escort Gongzi out of town to ensure that no mishap would happen.”
"Absolutely not,” Song Shidao replied, "The four of us traveling together will be too conspicuous; just Ziling coming with me will be enough. Don't worry! We, the Song Family, have some influence around here, plus there will be Ren En helping me. Ba Xiong, aren't you going to look for Qu Ao to test your sword? I wish you outstanding military success, your name will be renowned throughout the world.”
Laughing aloud, he left leisurely with Xu Ziling following closely.
※ ※ ※