Book 20 Chapter 8 - Place of Charm and Beauty
'Knock! Knock! Knock!'
Holding the treasured book on mechanism in his hand, Kou Zhong said, "Ren Dajie, please come in!"
The door to the study room was pushed open, like a puff of smoke the glamorous looking Ren Meimei entered in. She walked over with flair, and plopped herself down in a chair next to him. "How did Shao Shuai know that it was me?" she asked affectionately.
Kou Zhong smiled and said, "Anybody's footstep, as long as I memorize it firmly, I will never forget."
Astonished, Ren Meimei asked, "Has my footstep been unchanging? When I was coming in just now, I did my best to lighten my footsteps, with the intention to scare you off!"
Kou Zhong nodded and said, "People's footsteps, other than fast and slow, light and heavy, can also change according to his mood; however, no matter how much it changes, it always retains some unchanged rhyme and rhythm, just like everybody's gait in walking is different, only ordinary people normally don't pay attention to it. Therefore, when Xiao Ling and I changed our appearance and disguised ourselves as someone else, we must also alter our posture and gait in walking, sitting, lying, so that we won't reveal any flaw. It is easy to say, but it is very difficult and entails strenuous effort to do."
Revealing an admiring look, Ren Meimei spoke with great interest, "Aiyo! Who would think that this matter would involve so much learning? Where did you learn it from?"
Pointing to his own head, Kou Zhong laughed and said, "This guy learned it himself. This is called 'to eat off one's own strength' [i.e. to stand on one's own feet]."
Ren Meimei coyly shot him a sidelong glance and said, "When we first met at the casino many years ago, the two of you were just kids with yellow hair, your hands were trembling your legs were shaking, and looked like one overcome with fear and trepidation. Who would know that in just a few years you changed shape in a single shake, and have become handsome young men with control over the wind and the clouds? Even Jiejie becomes your pawn. At that time, who could have imagined?"
Kou Zhong casually asked, "Does Baling Bang still have power in this region?"
Ren Meimei replied, "Officially, everything they owned were plucked off by Xu Yuanlang; unofficially, they still owned three, four brothels. Just say the word, I wil pull them up by the roots for you."
Shaking his head, Kou Zhong said, "The time has not come yet. Hee hee …! Ren Dajie came to see Xiaodi, is there any special reason?"
Her seductive appearance in full force, this blooming-flower-like beauty cast him a ten-thousand-flirtatious glance and spoke coyly, "Must I have a reason to see you?"
Kou Zhong laughed aloud and reached out to caress her cheek; he said, "I thought after going through such turmoil, Ren Dajie would have curbed your desire and engaged in spiritual cultivation; turns out you still retain your former romantic nature."
Pouting playfully, Ren Meimei said, "I like you! Plus you are just in the prime of your life. If you want women to wait upon you on the bed, you might as well let Jiejie serve you with great care. Gentleman's satisfaction guaranteed."
Kou Zhong's hand moved toward the back of her neck; pulling her over, he kissed her on the lips, and said with a smile, "I know Dajie will definitely make me very satisfied, but I am afraid I would be too satisfied and happy that I would forget to come back. Because my training came from the Taoist's Secret to Long Life, it is inadvisable to indulge in debauchery. Furthermore, we are in the initial stage of our great undertaking, I must exercise restraint even more."
Like a spoiled child Ren Meimei did not want to give up, "Accompanying you for one night shouldn't be a problem, should it?"
It was not that Kou Zhong did not want sex, or not that he was not tempted by Ren Meimei, but due to painful experience with Yun Yuzhen and Dong Shuni, he developed resistance and wariness toward licentious women; he did not want to cause mischief because of carnal desire and deeply engrossed in the pleasure of close intimacy between man and woman [orig. happiness of fish in the water].
Hearing Ren Meimei, he whispered softly in her ear, "Dajie underestimate your attractive power toward me too much. If there is one night, there will be second night and third night. I'd better kiss your sweet lips only!"
Ren Meimei said crossly, "Are you trying to attract dead person? But even if you decline my offer, I am still very happy in my heart. Before, it was precisely because he indulged in women excessively that Da Dangjia's [first chief] power was declining. Otherwise he wouldn't have died because he failed to recover from his internal injury. Therefore, although I hate you a little, in my heart I admire you very much. It is a really contradictory feeling."
Kou Zhong lightly kissed her cheek and said, "Don't hate me, just maintain the affectionate feeling between sister and brother; the joy is more long-lasting and touching than man-woman physical relationship."
Ren Meimei returned his kiss by planting a kiss on his mouth; gently nodding his head, he said, "It was only now that Jiejie understood that those who are doing great things must be like that. No wonder you can rise that fast! All right! I won't disturb you anymore."
Kou Zhong walked her off to the door. Ren Meimei threw herself into his bosom and spoke tenderly, "Accompanying you for the night does not necessarily mean we are having sex; I am sure sleeping in your arms will be very comfortable!"
Laughing involuntarily, Kou Zhong said, "With a ball of fire in my arms, how can I sleep? Almost forget to tell you, when I sleep, I am training my inner power."
Ren Meimei bit him hatefully on his shoulder that he yelped in pain before she laughed tenderly and walked away.
Kou Zhong shut the door, sighed, and thought about several reasons to persuade himself.
He was about to take out the treasured book and study diligently when he heard footsteps again. He was a thousand times sure and ten thousand times certain that it was Ren Meimei's footstep. But he felt something was very, very wrong.
Because the sound was exactly the same as Ren Meimei's footsteps before.
It was impossible.
One was Ren Meimei thinking of throwing herself into his arms, the other was Ren Meimei who had just been rejected by him. How could two kinds of totally different mood produce the same light and quick steps?
'Knock! Knock! Knock!'
Kou Zhong's hand grabbed the Moon in the Well lying on the small table next to his chair. "Come in!" he spoke indifferently.
※ ※ ※
At last Shi Qingxuan turned her tender body around to face these people.
After seeing her real Mount Lu appearance, everybody, including Xu Ziling, sighed inwardly, 'What a pity!'
This beauty, who ought to be flawless, was ruthlessly destroyed by high and bulging, out-of-proportion, nasal bone and ugly nose, making people unbearably depressed to see it! If this ugly nose could be removed, her other features were comparable to beauties of Wanwan, Shi Feixuan's caliber. Especially the glistening, bright like gemstone, pupil of her pair of eyes, which carried some kind of eternal mystery elegance that made people admiring it greatly. But all the perfection was maliciously wrecked by the repulsive nose. No wonder she was ashamed to show herself to others.
After You Niaojuan, Ding Jiuzhong, Zhou Laotan, Jin Huanzhen, four people, cast their harsh glance toward her, from her face, their gaze moved toward the glittering, golden, small crystal ball resting on her slender, delicate and beautiful jade palm.
The four of them were severely shaken.
And then You Niaojuan, Ding Jiuzhong, Zhou Laotan, Jin Huanzhen rushed forward at the same time, trying to pounce on Shi Qingxuan. Shi Qingxuan waved her hand, the golden crystal ball shot out of her hand, through the hole on the roof, and up to the sky above the temple's roof.
The four soared and broke through the roof to pursue the crystal ball. The sound of palm wind and punches clashing against each other rang incessantly like the sound of firecrackers during New Year's celebration.
Shi Qingxuan beckoned Xu Ziling with a faint smile on her face. And then she circled around toward the back of the Buddha image.
Xu Ziling was taken aback by Shi Qingxuan's friendly attitude. But this moment he had no time to think too much, hastily he followed behind her.
Shi Qingxuan pushed open the revolving wall behind the Buddha image, while at the same time lighted up a wind lantern in her hand, illuminating a set of stone steps leading deep underground. Turning toward Xu Ziling, who, by this time, had caught up by her side, she said, "Come with Qingxuan! But you must follow Qingxuan step by step, or else you might suffer fatal disaster."
※ ※ ※
The study room door opened wide.
Millions of sharp dots, followed by powerful and suffocating, fierce true qi arrived, blowing into the room like a sand storm, rolling Kou Zhong, who sitting steadily in his chair, like raging waves crashing against the shore.
If it were someone else, facing this sudden startling-the-heaven-and-earth, sobbing-ghosts-and-deities, terrifying offensive, he would have tried to evade the sharp front with thousand ways, a hundred plans first, before attempting to steady his footing, while striving to reverse his disadvantageous situation.
But clearly Kou Zhong knew that that would simply be a dead end.
Because this was not the first time that he and this assassin fought hand to hand. He clearly knew that if he lost the key moment and gave the opponent a chance to unleash his sword momentum unrestrained, he could forget about gaining the opportunity to strike back.
The Moon in the Well separated from its scabbard; the scabbard in his right hand, the saber in his left.
At the same time the true qi went straight toward his eyelids was losing its pressure, the sharp dots immediately disappeared without any trace.
Wearing black hood, black nightwalker attire Yang Xuyan appeared; the tip of the sword in his hand turned into a dot of sharp ray, making a fantastic arc it traversed the zhang or so distance from the door to Kou Zhong's face. It shot right toward him with the speed that was indiscernible by naked eye.
This was the first time that Kou Zhong saw such a fast and fierce sword technique. But he was still sitting steadily as if mounting on a great horse, wielding a golden saber, without moving at all. The scabbard in his right hand swiftly poked the tip of the opponent's sword.
It was like two streaks of raging inferno crashing against each other.
Yang Xuyan was like being struck by lightning. All four chi of the greenish black sword blade changed into seven, eight streaks of sword rays, seemingly able to attack every single one of vital points on Kou Zhong's body.
The solid mahogany chair disintegrated into cun-size wood fragments.
Kou Zhong laughed aloud, while struggling hard to resist the numbness on his right hand. Pulling back his scabbard, he fiercely braced his legs to stand up proudly, and then lowering his waist into a horse stand, the Moon in the Well swept the opponent.
Like magic, Yang Xuyan's seven, eight streaks of sword rays disappeared and changed back into a four-chi long greenish black sword blade, meeting Kou Zhong's Moon in the Well head on.
Evidently Kou Zhong's power was slightly inferior; he was pushed half a step aside.
Yang Xuyang did not say a single word, but his momentum was unforgiving either. Unleashing his swordsmanship, his skillful moves looked clumsy, like a shadow following a shadow his sword slashed down.
But Kou Zhong felt that the opponent's seemingly ordinary, nothing-amazing sword move not only carried vicious momentum, it also felt like an enormous vacuum sucking him in, so that even if he wanted to evade, he was helpless to do so. Although fully aware that the opponent was forcing him to meet force with force, he had no choice but to raise his saber across his chest to block the sword.
'Qiang! Qiang! Qiang! Qiang! Qiang!'
Amidst five clear ringing, Yang Xuyan unexpectedly let out a stifled groan and retreated backward.
Letting out a long laugh, Kou Zhong said, "Kid, you know when it is too formidable for you!"
Turned out in his raising the saber to block, he has hidden an extremely abstruse technique and an ingenious application of true qi. When the saber and sword met, with indeterminate changes, he consecutively blocked five sword strikes, forcing Yang Xuyan to exhaust his moves, unable to continue, and was forced to back off.
One side was disappearing, the other side was still going strong, Kou Zhong's Moon in the Well shot its yellow rays, like a storm or crashing waves it rolled Yang Xuyan inside its power.