Songhu Island 6-3


(3) Reading

The next morning, when Qianqian was going to Ren Wanli’s study room, she stopped by the door and looked back at the room as if something she forgot, muttered: “In fact, I have never learned any sword of Songhu Island. That means, no matter how I made my move, it is impossible not to be other than the Songhu Island. So, even if I went a hundred days, a thousand days, I will be returned?” Then she smirked and said: “Isn’t it simple? Why had I never thought of it? Really stupid!”

She shook her head and laughed, threw the sword back to the silver hook by the bed, turned around and went out the room briskly.

When Ren Wanli saw that she came today with nothing, he couldn’t help but smiled, said: “You finally figured it out.”

Qianqian deliberately asked: “What do I figure out?”

Ren Wanli nodded: “If you want to forget the sword, you must first put it down. You must not subject to things, and then you can make things.”

After listening to his explanation, she learned and understood, said: “That is why you confined me of forgetting the swordsmanship.”

Ren Wanli knew that Qianqian has learned some magnificent swordsmanship, and she did not leave the sword a second until she enslaved herself to it. With this kind of mentality, she will never learn the swordsmanship of Songhu Island. Therefore, he used some tricks to let her voluntarily put down the sword.

Ren Wanli was satisfied now looking at her, said: “Since there is no sword today, we will do fists.”

Knowing that today finally have something to learn, Qianqian blinked and listened carefully. Ren Wanli asked: “How many tricks do you know about the thirteen styles?”

Qianqian replied: “Two tricks.”

Ren Wanli slightly nodded and said: “Let’s try it to me!”

Qianqian instantly sat on her waist, first used the moon shone in the pine forest. She drew a circle on chest, and then lift her palms of sweeping dust. After she finished the moon shone, she continued the other trick of dead pine leaned against the cliff. She threw her body backward, while her left foot landed, her right foot swept across the air created a whirlpool of wind.

Two tricks were just displayed, suddenly a long sleeve danced in front of her, spurred palms have shrouded her body. Qianqian hastily picked up the moon shone, but Ren Wanli was dancing his sleeves like a flying dragon. Qianqian has not even finished one trick, and was forced to retreat. In a hurry, she pushed her whole body with full power to perform the second trick. It was so powerful that almost slam the chest of Ren Wanli. She was shocked, but too late to draw back. Fortunately, Ren Wanli was not a pushover, as well the thirteen styles was his own designed martial art. Isn’t it ridiculous that if he missed it? Ren Wanli was too confident that he didn’t even receive it. He just gently lifted his long sleeve, let her palms hit on it with full strength.  He looked at his long sleeve fluttered in the air, as if a flag blowing in storm. He watched silently until its momentum has settled and his sleeve was shredded.

Qianqian looked at Ren Wanli dreadfully when he stared at her without a word. As soon as she retreated her palms, he asked: “In addition to Miaoyin Tianjun, who else you have learned the internal strength?”

Qianqian hurriedly shook her head, said: “No, who else?”

Ren Wanli sneered: “No one taught you, is it created by itself?”

It sounded like he was saying that she lied. Qianqian felt wronged, but she didn’t even know how to explain. Looking at the discredit of Ren Wanli, she fell her knees to the ground and swore: “In addition to the Miaoyin Tianjun, I only learned the swordsmanship with Lv Jiannan and Teng Kuanrou. I also saw the murals swordsmanship in the sword returning cave, but did not practiced it. Have I learned other internal strength? I really don’t know. ”

Speaking of that, her eyes were tearful. She looked up at him and said: “Why do you always think that I am lying?”

Although Ren Wanli did not know who is Teng Kuanrou and what is the mural swordsmanship, he believed she should have no more hiding. He looked at her innocent face, said: “I didn’t say you are lying.”

But whether if she deliberately rivalled against him. She just kept kneeling intentionally.

Ren Wanli said feebly: “Well, do what you like!” Seeing that she wasn’t moving at all, he continued: “Your mind is not pure, you can’t practice the martial arts of Songhu Island. Today, you go back!”

Qianqian glanced at him, felt dishearten, thought: Since I left the cave, this strange force was bothering me. That was true. Later I practiced the internal works of Miaoyin Tianjun then it slowed down. But now I didn’t practice it anymore, it came back again. But if I told him this, will he believe me.

Ren Wanli didn’t want to tangle with her anymore. He said: “You come again tomorrow!” When he finished, saw that there was no response from her. He gently shook his head and walked back to his study room. He entered the room, saw that she was still kneeling there.  He simply dropped the bamboo blind down to totally ignore her.

Qianqian stood up, looked at the bamboo blind, said: “Even the monkeys in Songhu Island didn’t recognize me anymore. I am not surprised that you don’t know me!”

After saying that she shrugged her shoulders: “Tomorrow? There is always tomorrow after tomorrow. ”

Tomorrow morning, Qianqian did what Ren Wanli said, came again to the front of his study room, but he was not there. She was perplexed; however, she saw the door of his study room was left opened. She supposed that she should walk in by herself. Once she stepped in the room, she saw him sitting behind the bamboo fence, looking at her and said: “You come in here.”

Inadvertently, listened to what he said, Qianqian was surprised, murmured: “Didn’t I get it wrong! He never let me go inside.”

Since she hasn’t moved a step yet, Ren Wanli said again clearly: “I told you to come over here, didn’t you hear me?”

Qianqian then walked out to the patio, turned about the bamboo fence, finally she saw the interior of his study room. Under the window facing to the courtyard, was planted various delicate flowers such as lilacs, orchid and azalea. Qianqian stopped and looked at them. She said: “This place wasn’t so mysterious as I thought. It grew general flowers as outside!”

Ren Wanli impatiently said again: “How could you take a long time to just come in here.”

Qianqian viewed his silhouette from a distance. He was sitting in front a pinewood table, bowed his head slightly as usual like reading. Qianqian stepped inside prudently, spotted the imposing shelves at three sides of wall. For the first time she could be closed enough to see the dead insects, spider nets, and smelled the odor from the musty paper of his books. She whispered: “These books should be brought out to have a sunbathe as well as him!

Ren Wanli turned his face to her, when she was still watching around with earnestness and curiosity. He did not know what she was thinking about, just said: “You are so good at the sword, I really can’t teach you anymore martial arts.”

Qianqian did not answer, just muttered: What a beautiful excuse? She was disheartened but still reposed. She dignified herself before asked: “Is it? Then why did you call me in here today?”

“Reading.” Ren Wanli smiled.

Qianqian knew that he must has some trick to show, said: “So, what book am I going to read?”

Ren Wanli looked at the books on his bookshelves, said proudly: “I have so many books here, from history to medicine, from music and poetry, what do you like to read?”

Since Qianqian has learned to read, she only read a couple of books that were for children to recognize the basic literacy. The elder sisters have studied the four books, but they have already married. Ren Wanli has never taught her to recognize a word. Qianqian thought: For what he suddenly wanted me to read a book today? Looking at the sea of ​​books, she nodded: “There are so many books here. I am afraid I can never finish it.”

Ren Wanli also nodded and smiled: “Yes, knowledge is boundless compared to human life. But there is always somewhere to begin for everything.” Then, he picked up the book that he was reading before Qianqian came in, said: “So start with this book in my hand!”

While he was saying, the book was gently thrown atop his palm. He turned a few laps in the air, then pushed forward. It fell on the table right in front of Qianqian, opened the page that he wanted her to read.

Qianqian was stunned seeing him throwing, pushing and opening the book swiftly without effort. She exclaimed: “Wow! It was amazing to open a book like that. It seemed that it is easy, but it can’t be done without a great skill and deep internal strength.” For more than ten years, Ren Wanli has been hiding himself with these stinky books. Surprisingly his internal strength has not decreased but increased. Isn’t it because he was reading a lot?” Qianqian wondered.

She immediately raised interest to the book in front of her. She seriously examined the book. This book was a thin book of about dozens of pages, butterfly-packed and was printed by Kaifeng Kaibaozhai with high-quality rice paper. It was very beautiful made and looked intelligent. It has been hidden in this study room for more than a decade but the rice papers are still white as snow. Then she sat down to touch the paper. She saw two sentences on the page as if she has seen it before. She read it out: “If you were only thinking but not learning, you would be in dangerous. If you were only learning but not thinking, you would be puzzled.”

After she read it out, Ren Wanli winked and said: “You’ve just read the two sentences you should read the most of the whole book.”

Qianqian remembered where these sentences were heard. Teng Kuanrou mentioned that when he taught her his sunrise swordsmanship by the Lake Dongting. She thought: How these books made Teng Kuanrou so pedantic? But Ren Wanli so unbolted?

Ren Wanli smiled with compliment: “Yes, thinking but not learning is absurd. From today, if you could study hard, no matter what book you read, you can be subtly changed. Once you built up your integrity, it will help your martial arts training.” While he was talking, he turned around, randomly picked a book from the bookshelf, opened it and started reading. From there he has nothing else to say.

Qianqian was pondering what he has said about the relationship between reading and martial arts. She deeply agreed, then immediately she changed her attitude to the book. She started from the first page, read carefully sentence by sentence. Thus, the two of them, holding their own book, totally intoxicated within it. At noon, the lunch was brought to the table by Aunt Mi. They stopped reading, started eating and then continued reading again until the sun setting in the west. Qianqian finished the whole book, even she wasn’t sure she understood it. She was exhausted and fell asleep on the table carelessly.

Ren Wanli saw that she was reading all day quietly. He was very pleased. He caressed his whisker and said: “Martial Arts is egotistic, only reading is modest.”

Seeing that she was slumbering, he didn’t want to wake her up. He only gently placed his cloak over her shoulders. The father and the daughter rarely have such a harmonious relationship for years. When Ren Wanli was looking at the moon rising from the east side window. He sighed of relief.


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