Another bangs of gong and drum, anounced the hundredth anniverary ancestral ceremony has just ended.
The Master Mingxin was sitting in the middle of Tiangang Hall. The Tiangang Hall was a late Tang architecture, with towering ceilings and twelve ebony round wooden columns, four on each side, firmly held against it. There was a beam in the shape of a well, but no column in the middle of the hall. There was a black sandalwood plank. The founder nun of Emei a hundred years ago, kept her hair in the mirror box and enshrined in the Tiangang Hall. Since then, All the followered nuns has been entangled their hairs with hers, to form a big roll of hair string, like a python. Now they were enshrined on the black sandalwood plank, as symbol of their determination of cutting off from the red dust.
When the disciples were graciously offering the vegetarian dishes, the master Mingxin couldn’t wait to introduce her new forms of martial arts, said: “The ancestor of Emei had begun to create the twelve piles. There were heaven, earth, heart, dragon, crane, wind, cloud, big, small, quiet and meditation. The twelve major dynamism have been practiced by the 12 disciples of Emei in recent days. These twelve piles cooperate with twelve different weapons, each with their own strengths and complementary lengths. It can be used alone against the enemy, or can join together to make the tactics formation, these twelve piles…”
Master Mingxin has to stop in the middle because she saw Ren Wanli suddenly stood up in front of her. As a host, she couldn’t pretend not seeing him. Then she asked: “The Island Master is not going to leave, right! The twelve piles, as well as the Tiangang thirty-six styles of the acupoints, have not yet introduced. If the Island Master was not here, it would be really disappointing.”
Saying that, everyone looked at Ren Wanli, and nodded. It seemed that they think he should stay too. The young disciple of the DianCang school, Shen Yingxia, stood up and said: “It was lucky for me to be here today. If Ren, the Senior, could reveal some of your peerless martial arts today, as a junior, I will be honoured.”
Followed he, the Huashan School, Ruihexing also stood up and said: “Is it? The martial arts of the Eight schools are too positive. If there was no martial arts from the Island of Songhu, how could it be interesting?”
Ruihexing was quick-minded he said something improper. He did not expect that when he said the Eight martial arts school were too positive, it would also implied that they were boring. Some representatives were offended by his recklessness. But the Qingcheng School, Guo Ruyun understood the charactar of Ruihexing whom he was takiing as his own son. He couldn’t help to teach him a lesson. He stood up and said: “Don’t you apologize to the Island Master? The martial arts of the Eight schools are too positive. It does not mean that the martial arts of Songhu Island is too nagative. Hexing, I believed you don’t mean that!”
Ruihexing finally was aware that what he meant. He thought that Guo Ruyun deliberately comment to Songhu Island as a sinister nagative evil side, in order to please the eight schools, that was greatly disrespectful to the Island Master, and he also did not mean that at the first place. He felt wronged and innocent.
When everyone looked embarrassed, suddenly a noise like thunder raised in the hall. They couldn’t help but searched around, and found that the Shaolin school, Jingbumo monk lying on the ground, sleeping sounded, and the two boy monks were still fanning beside him. Everyone felt released that his snoring took over the attention from the embrassment. They turned back their faces and sat down pleasantly, but saw that Ren Wanli was still standing, but he never said a word, just stared at Master Mingxin.
Ren Wanli didn’t care what they said about Songhu Island. He only cared about her sweetheart Liu Yiyi. He was bored and disturbed to hear so many unnecessary and unimportant talking about nothing. He promised to propose today, and he must propose today. He couldn’t wait anymore longer, said: “Please forgive me, I am not coming to talk about martial arts today.”
Once he said, everyone was attracted again and stared at him to see what he was going to say next.
Ren Wanli took out the dagger and hold it with his both hands. He only looked forward to Master Mingxin, said: “I come here today to propose.”
When he said propose, everyone was so surprised. Guo Ruyun immediately looked contempt, and muttered: “Men, the husbands, should focus on work. How could he put the love affair above it. This person wasted his peerless martial arts.”
However, the most surprising one was the Master Mingxi. When she saw the dagger in his hands, she bounced up from her chair, asked severely: “Propose? propose what?”
Ren Wanli stepped forward and said: “Of course, marrage propose.”
“The disciple of Emei, Liu Yiyi.”
Master Mingxin heard that it was Liu Yiyi, her face turned blue instantly. The jerk that Liu Yiyi said he would come today, is him?Master Mingxin was not appreciated of Ren Wanli, even though the Songhu Island and the Emei Temple have been socialized for generations, but Master Mingxin was never close to him. They have nothing in common. She thought that he was just arrogant but she did not expect that he would did such a thing to her disciple. She was furious.
Yungu was also surprised he was actually the father of Yiyi’s unborn child. But she was not angry at all, instead she was happy for her. She understood that Ren Wanli was genuine and sentimental. If he really liked Yiyi, then Yiyi will not be despair. But the master abbot looked so angry now. It seemed good thing does not come so easily yet.
At this time, Yelang, who was hiding in the bush, also heard that someone mentioned about Yiyi. But since he was quite far away from the main hall, he couldn’t hear clearly. He was getting anxious but except wait, he could do nothing.
Of course, Master Mingxin would not promise his proposal. She said : “Liu Yiyi has violated the rule of Emei and has been imprisoned now.”
Hearing that Liu Yiyi was imprisoned, Ren Wali was so shocked and asked: “What happened to Liu, the girl?”
Master Mingxin just sneered: “Liu Yiyi is an intern disciple, but she has already entered the temple, she will be one day for sure, take the tonsure and become a nun. The Island Master, she is not available for you. You better take another one?”
Ren Wanli was holding the dagger given by Liu Yiyi, he would not be so easily given up: “Liu, the girl does not want to be a nun. You didn’t know that as a abbot? Liu, the girl personally handed this dagger to me as a token for proposal. Here is the prove you can see. Liu, the girl wanted to be a nun, or wanted to marry me, the master abbot should bring her here and ask herself personally, shouldn’t you?”
Ren Wanli was confident to make this pledge. And with his internal strength, his voice was heard even outside the hall. Yelang was like suddenly beaten with the ruthless cudgel of the master abbot. He kept shaking his head: Impossible, that jerk Yiyi said is actually this master…. he even has the dagger? How could it be? Yiyi would never give away this dagger to other man….. This man is a master of martial arts. Must be he threaten Yiyi with force. Thinking of that, he was trembled with agony and enmity. He felt that this man whom he was just admired became enormously disgusting.
The master abbot was questioned by Ren Wanli in front of the Seven Great Schools, She was abashed and flustered. Fortunately, the pregnancy of Liu Yiyi has not been revealed yet, but this is disturbing enough for now. She was afraid if she did not agree, he would never give up. This person is so stubborn. It is difficult to deal with. Thus, she was trying to delay, said calmly: “Today is my hundredth anniverary. Is it a proper time to discuss these kind of personal? Let’s talk about it later. The Island Master, you are a senible man, aren’t you!”
However, Ren Wanli wasn’t so easily turned off by just a few words. He insisted: “For me, your hundredth annversary is personal too, why it is necessary more important than marrage that affected my life long. And I have sent you my golden wind jade dew pine tree to congratulate you on your anniversary. I am so affectionate to you. Why are you so ruthless to me?”
When everyone heard Ren Wanli said that he was affectionate to you, they couldn’t help but snickered and whispered. Master Mingxin wanted to use the hundredth anniversary as an excuse, but consequently to be humiliated. That was intolerable for her. She instantly stood up, irritably said: “Well! If you have to be that forceful, Emei is not that easy to be bended either. You wanted to manage your personal right now right here. It is fine, as long as you could beat the twelve piles of Emei, I will hand you Liu Yiyi.”
When it came to talk about martial arts, Ren Wanli was never afraid of. Ren Wanli accepted without thinking: “Good! I take you word.”
Master Mingxin saw that he accepted the challenge without even a click of hesitation. She was instead hesitated and thought: This man is too arrogant. But, if he won, I have worked so hard for more than ten years to assure the status of Emei would be lost in a day. Once she thought of that. She was regret to invite him for competition. But in front of the seven great schools, how could she eat her words in an instant? She took a deep breath to inspirit herself, then said bravely: “Listen! the disciples of Emei, prepare the twelve piles.”
After her order was made, the twelve master nuns immediately took up the weapons. Those nuns usually calm and gentle were suddenly changed to be gallant and daring. Twelve of them jumped outside of the Tiangang Hall and lined up in a queue. The courtyard of Tiangang Hall was the place where the disciples practicing martial arts. The twelve piles have been practiced here thousand of times. They have already been familiar with the surrounding and take advantage of home. Although Ren Wanli was superb of his martial arts, but it was confined with single fight. In order to unravel a tactics formation, he has to know the method.
The representatives of the Eight Great Schools watched them setting up the tactics formation, they all went outside the Tiangang Hall, occupied a good position and prepared to watch the show. The Master Mingxin walked side by side with Ren Wanli to the courtyard in a manner of courtesy. The Master abbot declared: “Today, the Seven Great Schools are here for the sake of celebration. If it was becasue the personal of the Island Master, delayed the banquet for too long. As the host, it’s my responsibility to assure the satisfaction of my guests. If I didn’t set the time limit, I’m afraid that there will be taking forever. The Island Master, don’t you mind that? Three incenses, when the time is up, if the Island Master has not yet solved the formation, you will be lost. Do you agree? Any objection?”
Everyone knew that the Master Mingxin was using the seven great schools as an excuse to increase the difficulty for Ren Wanli. It showed that she was lack of confidence. On the contrary, there was no fear or hesitation in the eyes of Ren Wanli. He quickly replied: “No objection.”
He was appeared really arrogant in the eyes of others. If he lost, he deserved. Someone was expecting to see whoever to be humiliated. Indeed, no one actually cared for who win, who loss, like Jingbumo, he was still sleeping and Ruihexing was sitting eating. Among these people, who cared the most of the result was Yelang, who was hiding in the bush. Now everyone was coming to the courtyard. What they said was clearly audible. Now he was standing on the same side of the master abbot. He was glaring at this pretentious Ren Wanli, waitig for him to be defeated.
Master Mingxin immediately ordered a disciple to ignite the first incence, and said: “The Island Master, please!”
Ren Wanli stood in front of the formation, carefully observed the distribution and the trend of it, saw there were twelve persons, each with different weapons guarding the piles, like swords, axes, hooks, hammers and sticks. Four in a roll, arranged with three rolls. When they saw Ren Wanli did not move, then they changed the formation into a circle, later changed back to a square. They changed back and forth to lure the enemy into the whirl. Usually, a circular form has a space in the middle that should be easiler to start with. But Ren Wanli has not moved half a step. He only watched with his eyes like he has tested it a dozen times. Everybody was anxious for him. Isn’t it wasting of time! When they looked at the ashes on the incence blown by a gusty wind, the first incence was only half left.
Suddenly, Ren Wanli leapt. He broke into the square formation. Everyone sighed. They thought it was hasty and foolish to start with the square. Doesn’t he throw himself into the net? They can’t believed that Ren Wanli as a peerless martial arts master, was actually ignorant for tactics formation.
Only the Master Mingxin knew that he was right. She was astonished. But saying was later than moving. Ren Wanli flew into the square formation, descending from the sky on the heads of the twelve piles. The twelve piles immediately waved their weapons to him. Ren Wanli implemented the series of Listening to the pine wave, the thirteen styles. The thirteen styles were matched with the light and flexible body movements, like a dragon hovering in the air. Twelve kinds of weapon immediately swept to his feet, but he was very fast, too fast that they could only trim the corner of his clothes. While he was running on the handles of their weapons, tumbling and swaying with the help of cloud jumps, he has already displayed all the thirteenth styles. The square formation suddenly fell off two piles, changed into a small rectangular array. Once the square was broken up, they immediately switched back to the circle one. When Ren Wanli saw that, he was happy and immediately leapt out. Everyone was cold sweated for him when the master abbot looked so grim. She realized that once he broke the square then he will lead the way to win. Ren Wanli released a smile of confidence. He had already seen that the twelve piles were tactical with a fake round array to lure the enemy, once you mistakenly thought that it was a flaw, you turned out to be trapped. Ren Wanli so attemped the square first. Once he smashed the square, and found that it was not unbreakable. He knew that it was faked. When the piles hastily returned to the circle. He was affirmed. Becasue if the circle was fake, the square must be real. Reversed, the same. Now he had already broken two piles in the square, and found the weakest breach. Breaking the circle must be much easiler even it was real. Although there the second incence had been burned half, he was not hurried, said: “Master Mingxin, I am really doing this time.”
Master Mingxin looked critically, she suddenly shouted pause and immediately let someone extinguished the incence. She has already seen that Ren Wanli grasped the method of breaking her piles. She knew that he has quite a good chance to win. She has to prepare the aftermath if he really won. She turned to Ren Wanli, composedly said: “The Island Master really incredibly sensible. But don’t be too confident, Not everything is under your estimation.”
The last time, she was using psychological tactics, trying to crack the confidence of Ren Wanli, let him doubt his own judgment. But Ren Wanli never care what others say. He does what he believes, always. He slightly smiled with his head tilted without response. The master abbot was actually desperate, but she never forget her manner as a leader, she requested calmly: “Can I change person before the Island Master start again?”
Ren Wanli heard that she wanted to change person, he was a bit surprised, but still did not look at her. He just simply said: “Does it matter!”
He was right, the formation was not a personal performance, no matter who did it, the structure of the formation stayed the same. It was indeed no different. But when master Mingxin heard that, she was offended. How could he said that in front of all the martial arts friends. Does he ever care other than himself. But she hold back her anger, said indifferently: “Well, Yungu, you come out!”
Yungu immediately walked out of the formation to the side of the master abbot. The master abbot talked a lot into her ear, like telling her last words in case. Everyone was whispering and some might be gloated.
After the master abbot sent Yungu away, she immediately took out her ruthless golden cudgel, jumped into formation to replace the position of her. The disciples of Emei were immediately encouraged. They cheered and clamored to scare the opponent. Instantely, the morale was soared like rainbow. Although Ren Wanli was in the grip to win, he felt that awkward. He has to be more cautious and consentrated. He dare not rashly.
When a nun ignited the incence again, there was only one and a half left.
The Seven Great Schools saw the master abbot hold the golden cudgel standing sternly inside the formation, they were refreshed and inspirited. They thought: Maybe there will be surprised. The Island Master could really win?
Yelang was tortured by yet having no result. Everytime when he thought of Ren Wanli won and would take away Yiyi. What should he do at that time? He was terrified. This person was almost unbeatable. How can I stop him from taking away her? He loathed him.
The secret of this formation was inside the circle. If you wanted to win, you must break into the circle, but once you got into it, there was no way out. Even now only have ten piles left, but for the circle it doesn’t a matter. They just formed a smaller circle, with the same tactics. Normal people was eager to win, they would jumped inside without a clue, then they would be completely in a passive position. However, Ren Wanli was not a normal person. After he entered the circle, he was not busy with attacks. Instead, he speeded up to confuse whom guard the breach. The person who was at the breach did not see his figure at all. He took her weapon away, and then whirled like the tide of full moon. He didn’t wait until the other piles to fight back, he swung his sleeves, continued to roll like the whirlwind, shook down a lot of needles from the gold wind jade dew pine tree. The nuns have not seen him at all, but have already been taken the weapons in their hands. When Ren Wanli has tumbled about thirty times! He stopped and flapped himself out of the formation. In his hands were the weapons of those nuns, he just simple threw to the ground. All the nuns were eclipsed, and they were just standing like wooden chicks.
The seven great schools were exhilarating. They were driven up so high emotionally. Ruihexing couldn’t hold back. Immediately clapped his hands and shouted: “Good moves! Songhu Island is really worthy of her name, and the Island Master, I wonder if this moves had a name?”
Ren Wanli replied casually: “There is a cloud jump.”
Guo Ruyun secretly refuted: “What kind of cloud jump, this kind of fluttering martial arts can only bully the females.”
Ren Wanli broke the tactics formation, and there was no doubt of it. He turned his face to Master Mingxin. He looked very nervous with his eyebrows deeply locked, said seriously: “Master Mingxin, please fulfill your promise, immediately hand over Liu, the girl.”
Master Mingxin took a look at the mess of their weapons and the half burned incence. She couldn’t ignore the fact was he really won beautifully. She slightly smiled, said: “Good! of course I will carry out my promise, Yunxi, you go tell Yungu, let her bring Liu Yiyi here!”
Ren Wanli heard that the master abbot really impliment her promise, he was elated. He was too happy that he bowed to the master abbot many times, and said: “Thank you for being so kind to me. Please forgive your younger brother offended you recklessly.” Everyone saw this Ren Wanli seemed like he could do whatever for this Liu, the girl. They were wondering what a special girl she was. Most of them were happy to see the result like this. Though Emei school was lost but they could be related a love affair with Songhu Island. It wasn’t a bad thing to see, other than the martial arts.
Nobody knows when Jingbumo monk woke up and sang again: “Thousands year away from when, a little red in the green grand.” Actually, nobody understood what he sang, but they just smiled and be happy to have someone like him lightened the hefty atmosphere.
When everyone was awaiting for Liu Yiyi, Ren Wanli was in a good mood so his ears were clear. He immediately found someone hiding behind the bushes. He looked inside and saw a man, but he only took a look and turned his face back. He didn’t make any note as if he has not seen anything. Yelang was so terrified at the moment he looked at him. He saw his eyes but was actually very gentle, like the candlelight in a dark room. He was so baffled what kind of a man he was.
Liu Yiyi finally appeared in front of his eyes. Ren Wanli immediately went forward and carefully looked at her. She was faced down with tears mark, wearing loose clothes, and long skirts. Everyone saw that Liu Yiyi was so beautiful and delicate, no wonder Ren Wanli was enraptured by her.
Before, Master Mingxin was talking to Yungu, that was telling Yungu to persuade Liu Yiyi. If Ren Wanli really won, Liu Yiyi should not talk nonsense when she comes to Tiangang Hall. She has to be willing to go with him and must not humilate the hundredth fame of Emei temple.
Yungu spent a lot of time to persuade Liu Yiyi. She doesn’t care how Yungu said that Ren Wanli is an outstanding figure in today’s martial arts world. She was not convinced, because she knew that once she has gone with him, that will be the end for her and Yelang. However, when Yungu said: “After all, the Island Master is the father of the child. Do you want them never recognized each other?” When it came to this, Liu Yiyi realized that she has no choice.
Now she was already here. She fell her kneels in front of the master abbot, said:”Then Yiyi is going!” The master abbot was so exhausted. She had nothing to tell her anymore. She just turned to Ren Wanli, said resolutely: “Just take her away immediately, and will not stepped into the Emei Temple again.”
Ren Wanli thought winning and losing are common cases. He didn’t understand why Master Mingxin was so unhappy. No matter what, for him, he was satisfied to have Liu Yiyi now.
He said to Liu Yiyi, softly: “Liu, the girl, let’s go!”
Liu Yiyi was still sobbing. She kneeled down to master Yungu. Yungu was sad to see her away, but she was pretty sure that Yiyi will be happy with Ren Wali. So she just smiled and see her off. Ren Wanli gently hold her waist, looked up to the Tiangang Hall, said goodbye to the other martial arts friends! Then he leapt over the eaves with Liu yiyi . When Liu Yiyi looked back, she saw someone moving in the bush. It was Yelang. Liu Yiyi didn’t expect to see him again before leaving. She saw him longing with tears in his eyes. She could only uttered two words: “Forget me!”
Yelang was heart broken, and he lost his soul since then. He ceased to be called Yelang, renamed of hunling, meant bell of lost soul. He buried himself in the drunken town of Jinling, scattered all his gold, stumbled on the streets, and finally he tattooed, mixed with the gangs in the rivers and lakes.
The story is in her mid way, and it will be continue after A SHORT BREAK. Thank you to be with me, see you soon! —-yinyee