Chapter 21: A Friend to be Proud Of
[บางคำ อาจจะต้องตัด -d, -ed, -s, -es ออกเสียก่อน
Ah Fei was already mesmerized by this story. He felt happier when people praised Li Xun Huan even more than when they praised him. Only to hear the old man continue, "This person not only is an amazing scholar, but also skilled at the martial arts. He was taught a very powerful kung fu when he was a kid.
Yi Ku stood by the bed, putting on his clothes.
After a long time, Lin Xian Er suddenly smiled at him. "Now you understand that I'm worth it, right?"
Yi Ku said, "I really should kill you. Otherwise I don't know how many people would die in your hands."
Lin Xian Er said, "You originally did plan to kill me."
She smiled sweetly. "But can you really bring yourself to kill me?"
Yi Ku stared at her again, then asked, "Who's that kid who came with you?"
Lin Xian Er laughed. "Why do you ask? Jealous? Or afraid?"
She rolled her eyes. "He's a good boy, not nearly as bad as you. He already went to sleep in his room. Had he heard this room's sound, you'd never have the chance to bully me."
Yi Ku laughed coldly. "He's lucky he couldn't hear me."
Lin Xian Er said, "Really? You really want to kill him?"
Lin Xian Er smiled. "But you can't kill him. His fighting skills are very good, and he's Li Xun Huan's friend. I also like him a lot."
Yi Ku's face changed.
Lin Xian Er said, "His room is the last one down the hall. Do you really have the guts to see him?"
Before she finished, Yi Ku had left.
She began to laugh, then covered herself in bed. She feels like a little girl who just ate some candy in secret, but didn't get caught by her parents.
When she thought about how Yi Ku's Green Devil Hand rips Ah Fei's head off, her eyes glowed. When she thought about Ah Fei's sword in Yi Ku's throat, she got uncontrollably excited.
As she thought those things, she fell asleep. Even in sleep she smiled, because no matter who dies, she'd still be very happy.
She's very pleased with what has happened tonight.
The bed is very soft. The sheets are very clean. Yet Ah Fei couldn't sleep. He's never had trouble falling asleep before.
After a long time, he finally fell asleep, yet suddenly, for no reason, he jump up from his bed.
Just as he put the sword in his waist, the window opened.
He saw a pair of eyes scarier than a ghost's.
Yi Ku said, "You came with Lin Xian Er?"
Ah Fei said, "Yes."
"Good. Come out."
Ah Fei did not respond. He doesn't like to speak, doesn't like to start a conversation.
Yi Ku said, "I am going to kill you."
Yet Ah Fei instead said, "But I don't want to kill anyone today. You can leave."
Yi Ku said, "I didn't want to kill anyone today either. Just you."
"You really shouldn't have came today with Lin Xian Er."
Ah Fei's eyes suddenly shot out a flash that's as sharp as a dagger. "If you say her name again, I'll have to kill you."
Yi Ku chuckled. "Why?"
"Because you're not worthy."
Yi Ku couldn't help but burst out laughing. "Not only am I going to say her name, I'm also going to sleep with her. What are you going to do about it?"
Ah Fei's whole face began to burn.
He used to be a very cool and patient person. He's never been angry like this.
His hands started to shake.
In his fury, his sword came out.
The Green Devil Hand also shot out!
Only to hear a clang, the sword broke.
Yi Ku laughed. "You would dare fight me with this crappy kung fu? Lin Xian Er actually said your kung fu was pretty good."
While he said this, he already made ten moves.
Ah Fei almost couldn't block them. He only has a broken sword, and had to rely on his quickness to dodge Yi Ku.
Yi Ku laughed even harder. "If you can truthfully answer two questions, I'll spare your life."
Ah Fei bit his teeth, sweat poured down.
Yi Ku said, "Does Lin Xian Er sleep with men regularly? Have you slept with her?"
Ah Fei could only roll on the floor to evade Yi Ku's attacks. He's already fully exhausted.
Yi Ku said, "Come on. Just tell me, and I'll spare your life."
Ah Fei said, "I... I'll tell you!"
At this time Yi Ku laughed again, his attack slowed down a bit, suddenly a sword flashed.
Yi Ku has never seen such a fast sword. By the time he saw it, the sword is already in this throat. His face full of disbelief.
Even as he died he didn't know where this sword came from.
Even in death he could not believe this youngster has such a fast sword!
Ah Fei's expression is cold as ice. Then he said, one word at a time, "Who insults her, who dies!"
Yi Ku's throat still just make a coughing noise. He raised his eyebrows, because he wants to laugh, wants to tell Ah Fei, "Sooner or later you'll also die in her hands."
Unfortunately, he couldn't say a single word.
When Lin Xian woke up, she saw a shadow outside the window. That shadow kept pacing outside. She knows that this person is Ah Fei, although wanting to come in, but don't want to wake her.
If it's Yi Ku, then he wouldn't be outside right now.
She happily stayed on the bed, allowing Ah Fei to wait for a long time, then said, "Is that you outside, Little Fei?"
Ah Fei's shadow stopped. "It's me."
Lin Xian Er said, "Why don't you come in?"
Ah Fei pushed the door lightly, which immediately opened. He then said, "You didn't lock your door?"
Ah Fei suddenly rushed over her side, staring at her face. Her face looks a bit pale, a bit green. Ah Fei's expression changed. "Something... something happened to you?"
Lin Xian Er said, "My face would look pale if I don't sleep well. Last night I kept tossing and turning, unable to sleep."
Ah Fei's whole heart melted.
Lin Xian Er asked, "What about you? Did you sleep well?"
Ah Fei said. "No. There was a mad dog yelling outside."
Lin Xian Er blinked her eyes. "Mad dog?"
Ah Fei said, "Yes. I already killed it, then threw it in the lake."
Suddenly, the sound of drums entered the room. Ah Fei opened the window, seeing a hotel worker beating the drums outside. "Dear guests, do you want to hear the most refreshing news around? The most breathtaking news of the martial world? I guarantee it's fresh and exciting. Plus, you can wine and dine while listening."
Ah Fei closed the window, shaking his head.
Lin Xian Er said, "You don't want to hear this?"
Lin Xian Er said, "But I do. Besides, we have to eat anyway."
Ah Fei smiled. "Looks like this guy knows how to get business."
Lin Xian Er threw away her bed sheets, about to stand up, then immediately put the sheets over herself again, her face all red. "You're still not going to give me my clothes?"
Ah Fei's face also glowed red. His heart kept on beating fast.
The restaurant is nearly full. Tales of the martial world is always exciting, so everyone wants to hear them.
When they hear these stories, people can't help but feel like they're part of the story.
On the seat by the window is an old man wearing blue cotton cloth, smoking a pipe with his eyes closed.
By his side is a very young big girl. She has two long pony-tails, a pair of eyes big and bright, when it rolls, it seemingly snatches the souls of men.
As Ah Fei and Lin Xian Er entered the room, their eyes brightened. This pony-tailed girl's big eyes was staring at them.
Lin Xian Er also stared at this big girl, then smiled. She whispered, "Did you see those eyes? I better watch out, so she won't snatch you away."
Just as they ordered some food, the old man coughed a bit, then said, "Hong Er, is it time?"
Pony-tailed girl answered, "It's time."
At this time the old man opened his eyes.
Although he is incredibly old, he still has much energy, especially in those eyes.
The old man blew into his teacup and drank some tea. Then he suddenly said, "The Plum Flower Bandit only does evil, the Scholar Tan Hua is honorable and talented."
He looked at the audience. "Do you all know who I'm talking about?"
The Pony-tailed girl said, "Who are these people? I've never even heard of them."
Old Man Sun chuckled. "Then you must not be very knowledgeable. These two people are both very famous. The Plum Flower Bandit has appeared only twice in the past thirty years. Yet the thousands of regular bandits combined could no commit as many crimes as he did."
The Pony-tailed girl smiled. "So what about this Tan Hua?"
Old Man Sun said, "He is the son of a big official. His family is amazing, in three generations seven family members passed the imperial examination. Only no one managed to make Zhuan Yuan*. By his generation, the two brothers are even more talented than their elders. So their father was really hopeful that one of them could become a Zhuan Yuan."
*[Zhuan Yuan is the title for getting first place in the imperial examination. Tan Hua, as I've mentioned earlier, is third. The title for the second place escapes me at this moment, though.]
The Pony-tailed girl said with a smile. "Tan Hua is already quite excellent. Why is becoming a Zhuan Yuan so important?"
Old Man Sun said, "Who'd have thought that when the first young master took the examination, he was again a Tan Hua. Everyone in the family was feeling gloomy. And all hope rested on the little young master of the Li family. Unfortunately, fate was cruel to the family. The second son also only received a Tan Hua. Their father, with much regret and sadness, passed away in two years. The elder Li Tan Hua also caught an incurable illness and died a little later. This little Li Tan Hua's heart died with them, resigning from his post and retired."
When he got here, he took another sip of the tea.
Ah Fei was already mesmerized by this story. He feels happier when people praise Li Xun Huan even more than when they praise him. Only to hear the old man continue, "This person not only is an amazing scholar, but also skilled at the martial arts. He was taught a very powerful kung fu when he was a kid.
The pony-tailed girl said, "So is the story you're telling today about these two people?"
The old man said, "That's correct."
The pony-tailed girl said, "Then it really must be exciting. Except... except how can a Tan Hua possibly get mixed up with a criminal like the Plum Flower Bandit?"
The old man said, "Obviously for a reason."
Old Man Sun said, "Because Li Xun Huan is the Plum Flower Bandit. The Plum Flower Bandit is Li Xun Huan."
Ah Fei immediately became angry, wanting to say something, yet the pony-tailed girl simply shook her head. "This Mr. Tan Hua must be incredibly wealthy. Why would he possibly be a bandit and a rapist? That makes no sense. I don't believe this."
Old Man Sun said, "Not just you. I don't believe it either. So I looked into the matter."
The pony-tailed girl said, "You must've found something, right?"
Old Man Sun said, "Of course. This story is complicated, exciting and very strange..." When he got here, he suddenly stopped talking, closed his eyes and began sleeping.
The pony-tailed girl acted like she's very impatient and began to pester her grandpa. "Why did you stop?"
Old Man Sun simply blew into his pipe.
The pony-tailed girl smiled. "You really know how to draw an audience. Stopping just when you're getting to the good part."
Her face suddenly brightened. "Oh... I get it now. You want to drink wine."
At this point, not only did she understood, but so does everyone else in the restaurant. People started to reach into their pockets looking for money, while a waiter began to go around collecting tips.
Only now did this old man talk again. "It all started at Happy Cloud Manor."
Pony-tailed girl cut in. "Happy Cloud Manor? Isn't that Fourth Master Long's home? That's a really nice place."
Old Man Sun said, "Of course. But this nice place was given to him by Li Xun Huan. Because they're sworn brothers, and his wife is a cousin of Li Xun Huan."
These two people continued to chatter with each other. Amazingly enough, they were able to pretty much tell the whole story. When he got to the part about how Li Xun Huan accidently hurt Long Xiao3 Yun, and then got caught, the audience sighed. When he got to how Lin Xian Er was captured, how fast the youngster Ah Fei's sword is, his eyes seemed to wander towards Ah Fei and Lin Xian Er. The pony-tailed girl's pair of big eyes also tend to glance at their table from time to time.
Although he didn't show it, Ah Fei couldn't help but feel that these two people know who they are. Could they be telling this story just for them?"
Only to hear the pony-tailed girl say, "If that's the case, then didn't the Plum Flower Bandit die at the hands of Ah Fei?"
Old Man Sun said, "Because Master Zhao, Seventh Master Tian didn't believe that he killed the real Plum Flower Bandit. They say Li Xun Huan is the real Plum Flower Bandit."
The pony-tailed girl said, "So just who is really the Plum Flower Bandit?"
Old Man Sun said, "No one has seen the face of the real Plum Flower Bandit. No one knows who's right and who's wrong. Yet people like Master Zhao and Seventh Master Tian are respected people. Their words are facts. As long as they say Li Xun Huan is the real Plum Flower Bandit, who's going to argue? Therefore, Reverend Xin Mei decided to take him to Shaolin Temple for a trial."
He smoked his pipe again, then continued. "Yet when they reached Shaolin Temple, it was actually Li Xun Huan who took Reverend Xin Mei there!"
When he said this, even Lin Xian Er was shocked. Ah Fei was shocked even more. Both started to wonder just what happened on the trip.
Thankfully, the pony-tailed girl helped them ask the old man.
Old Man Sun said, "It turns out that they were ambushed by the Five Poison Kid on the road, killing Seventh Master Tian and four Shaolin disciples. Reverend Xin Mei then decided to release Li Xun Huan after getting poisoned. Li Xun Huan, seeing that only Shaolin has the necessary antidote for Xin Mei's poison, carried him back to Shaolin."
Pony-tailed girl gave a thumbs up. "This Li Tan Hua really is a heroic person. If it were someone else under the same circumstances, he would've definitely fled."
Old Man Sun said, "You're most correct. Unfortunately, the monks at Shaolin not only did not thank him, they want to kill him."
The Pig-tailed girl asked shockingly,. "Why?"
Old Man Sun said. "Because this story came from Li Tan Hua himself. The monks at Shaolin don't believe a thing he said."
The Pig-tailed girl then said, "But... but Reverend Xin Mei can vouch for him."
Old Man Sun laughed. "Except Reverend Xin Mei died soon after reaching Shaolin. Other than Xin Mei, no one else on this Earth knows the truth!"
When he said this, sighs came from all over the restaurant.
Ah Fei is almost ready to explode, and can't help but ask, "So has that Mr. Li been executed yet?"
Old Man Sun's eyes glittered. "Although Shaolin is incredibly famous and is filled with top-ranked fighters, it's still pretty hard for them to kill Li Xun Huan."
The Pig-tailed girl also glanced at Ah Fei. "Yet when it comes to fighting, even the best cannot handle attacks by many enemies. Li Tan Hua's flying dagger might be unrivaled in the martial world, but he still can't beat all the Shaolin disciples."
Old Man Sun said, "Although Shaolin has many disciples, each an expert in fighting, who would possibly attack first? Who'd dare challenge the first dagger of Li Xun Huan?"
The Pig-tailed girl immediately became excited, clapping her hand. "You're right. The legendary dagger of Little Li never misses. No one would dare to approach him. So I'm guessing he's long gone by now."
Old Man Sun said, "But he didn't go."
Old Man Sun replied, "Although no one at Shaolin would approach him, Li Xun Huan also can't find a way to escape either Besides, with the situation still unresolved, he can't leave."
The Pig-tailed girl said. "If he can't go and can't fight. Then what can he do?"
Old Man Sun said, "As he's surrounded by hundreds of Shaolin monks, he knows that once he releases the dagger, he'll die. After all, one dagger can't possibly kill hundreds of people."
The Pig-tailed girl said, "Then this is a problem for him. A person can't possibly hold out forever."
This just so happen to be what Ah Fei was worried about. He doesn't know what to do either.
Old Man Sun said, "When they were having this conversation, it was just outside the room where they're holding Reverend Xin Mei's funeral. So Li Xun Huan sneaked into the room right away afterwards."
The Pig-tailed girl let out a gasp. "So he basically trapped himself?"
Old Man Sun said. "The Shaolin monks also thought that he'd try to escape. That's why they're really regretting it now."
"Why's that? Should they be happy Li Tan Hua trapped himself?"
Old Man Sun continued, "Not only was the body of Xin Mei in the room, but so are countless scriptures very important to Shaolin."
The Pig-tailed girl then said, "Yet they only have to wait a few days outside. Then Li Xun Huan will simply die of hunger and thirst."
Old Man Sun said, "They're thinking the same thing, of course. Unfortunately, Li Xun Huan also trapped Reverend Xin Shu in the room with him. They can't possibly let Xin Shu die with Li Xun Huan."
"Of course not."
"Therefore, they have to bring food and water inside everyday, so neither Xin Shu nor Li Xun Huan dies."
The Pig-tailed girl clapped her hands and smiled. "Shaolin has long been considered the sacred ground of the martial world. No one in hundreds of years had ever tried to do anything inappropriate there. Yet Li Xun Huan alone has turned the place upside down. Not only can the monks not do anything to him, they also have to feed him everyday. That's just hilarious."
She's full of giddy now. "This Li Tan Hua really is some character. Your story is awesome, grandpa."
At this point, Ah Fei's just overwhelmed with joy. He had to restrain himself from yelling to everyone in the room that Li Xun Huan is his good friend.
Yet Old Man Sun only let out a sigh. "You're right. However, he's still going to be buried in Shaolin sooner or later."
The Pig-tailed girl asked, "Why?"
Old Man Sun seemingly glanced at Ah Fei. "Unless someone can prove that Li Xun Huan is not the Plum Flower Bandit, that Reverend Xin Mei really was killed by the Five-Poison kid, there's no way Shaolin would let him go!"
The Pig-tailed girl asked, "Then who can prove this?"
Old Man Sun was silent for a moment, then said, "Unfortunately, absolutely no one!"