Chu Liuxiang said, “He did not want to win this round, his intention was just to consume Xuan Yuanye’s inner power.” Translated by foxs

“That’s right,” Hu Tiehua said, “Since Xuan Yuanye’s weapon weighed more than a hundred jin, naturally in using it, he would have to expend a great deal of strength. Only, he was not a fool, he should also understand Zhang Biqi’s intention. Since the weapon used by Zhang Biqi practically could not injure him, he practically did not need to waste his strength in making his move.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “That is precisely the problem; although Zhang Biqi did not want to beat Xuan Yuanye, Xuan Yuanye wholeheartedly wanted to beat Zhang Biqi.”

Hu Tiehua heaved a sigh, he said, “That’s right, with Xuan Yuanye’s position and status, naturally he did not want to end up in a draw against Zhang Biqi. As soon as he had the desire to seek victory, it would be hard to avoid being duped.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Since Xuan Yuanye was determined to win, naturally he had to use his full strength. The battle between the two started early in the morning and continued until very late at night. Victory or defeat originally had not yet been decided, but Zhang Biqi suddenly admitted defeat, because he had seen that by that time Xuan Yuanye’s true power had already been exhausted, he was nearly at the end of his strength!”

Hu Tiehua said, “Since that was the case, why didn’t he continue fighting? He might as well let Xuan Yuanye fell to the ground exhausted, wouldn’t it be better?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Simply because at that time Xuan Yuanye had already forced him into a dead-end valley, he already had no way to retreat. If he continued to fight, he would have nothing to gain; but since he had already admitted defeat, naturally Xuan Yuanye could not make his move anymore.”

Hu Tiehua said, “Therefore, he took this opportunity to compete in the second round immediately, right?”

“That’s right,” Chu Liuxiang said.

Hu Tiehua said, “The second round must be competing inner power. At that time, Xuan Yuanye had already been fighting hard for a whole day and night, and he suffered a big loss first, I’m afraid he was no longer his match.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Then you are wrong. Xuan Yuanye’s natural disposition was unusual and superior, his divine power was inexhaustible. Although his strength was exhausted, Zhang Biqi still did not have confidence of victory, hence their second round was secret projectiles and qinggong.”

Frowning, Hu Tiehua said, “Xuan Yuanye was not known for his secret projectiles and qinggong, I’m afraid he was not Zhang Biqi’s match.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “You’re wrong again. The one making the move in the second round was not Zhang Biqi, but his Furen, Sun Bulao.” Translated by foxs

Hu Tiehua said, “So these two unexpectedly used tag team tactic [orig. wheel battle]?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Although Xuan Yuanye also knew that they were full of tricks, but he prides himself on being the number one martial art master in the world, he believed that he would win two rounds without a doubt, so he did not argue. With that kind of position and status, naturally once he gave his words, it would be like the wind, it can never be changed. Later on, by the time he discovered something was not right, he could not say that it did not count.”

Hu Tiehua sighed and said, “That’s right, if someone wants to act as a hero, he will inevitably suffer a loss.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “Sun Bulao was known as the Lingbo Xianzi [Fairy], San Hua Tian Nu [the Goddess of Scattering Flowers]. How high her secret projectiles and qinggong, it nearly reached the inconceivable level. This round Xuan Yuanye would no doubt lose.”

Hu Tiehua cast Chu Liuxiang a glance out of the corner of his eyes, he spoke leisurely, “Even if qinggong is a bit higher than others, it could not be considered any real skill; it is just the skill used to run for one’s life.”

Even at such a time, he still could not forget to cast Chu Liuxiang a few stinky words.

Chu Liuxiang paid him no attention, he continued, “After two rounds, even if his divine power was inexhaustible, Xuan Yuanye has reached the limit of his strength, while Zhang Biqi’s physical strength has completely recovered. The third round was less than two sichen, victory or defeat could already be seen.”

Laughing coldly, Hu Tiehua said, “But even if Zhang Biqi won, it was not a glorious victory. I say this kind of full-of-tricks method, probably it was not him who came up with it.”

Chu Liuxiang asked, “How do you see it?”

Hu Tiehua said, “This kind of method, only women can think of.”

Chu Liuxiang chuckled, he said, “But at that time, Zhang Biqi, husband and wife were, after all, Wulin houbei [younger generation, junior], no matter what method they used to score victory, Xuan Yuanye had nothing to say. He immediately surrendered Lichou Gong to the others, and henceforth he himself disappeared. To this day, it has been more than forty years, almost no one in Jianghu has heard about him again.”

He went on to say, “But since that battle, Zhang Biqi, husband and wife also rarely appeared in Jianghu. For nearly twenty years, they have disappeared from the world of mortals, the people of the later generation hardly ever heard their names.”

Hu Tiehua spoke coldly, “I’m afraid they also know that the victory was not honorable; having a guilty conscience, they hide their faces from others.”

The two men, you spoke a sentence, I spoke one word, they talked happy and excited; all along Jin Lingzhi unexpectedly did not interrupt them, just because these two’s eloquence was superb, and they were telling a very fascinating Wulin tale, which was really exciting and complicated, each new high point replaced by another [idiom: one climax after another]. Listening to them, Jin Lingzhi was captivated.

It wasn’t until the two men finished talking that Jin Lingzhi came to her senses and spoke loudly, “I came here not to listen to your stories. I’m just asking you, do you agree or not?” Translated by foxs

Smiling wryly, Chu Liuxiang said, “I told this story just to let Guniang know how much Zhang Biqi, husband and wife cherished that Yu Pantao. They and I have never met before, not in the least have any relationship with each other, how could as soon as I want it I get it?”

Jin Lingzhi said, “I also know that you can’t get it, but anything that you can’t get, you can go steal it. Everybody in Jianghu knows that there is nothing in the world that the Dao Shuai Chu Liuxiang cannot steal, right?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “But Zhang Biqi, husband and wife have lived in Jile Gong for 40 years, how high their martial art skill is, presumably it is deep and unmeasurable. In the past 40 years, there have been many Jianghu people entertaining the idea to get their Yu Pantao, simply not a single one could come back alive.”

He heaved a sigh, and then continued, “Besides, Xingxiuhai is far away in the west extremities, ten thousand li remote, how could I rush there and rush back in just half a month? Guniang, aren’t you just forcing me to do difficult thing?”

Jin Lingzhi spoke loudly, “That’s right, I just want to force you to do difficult thing for me! If you don’t agree, I’ll kill him now!”

Closing his eyes, Hu Tiehua spoke with a bitter smile, “Seems like you’d better quickly buy a coffin for me. Buying a coffin is much more convenient than stealing peaches.”

Laughing coldly, Jin Lingzhi said, “You don’t even need to buy a coffin. After I kill you, I will throw you into the river to feed …”

This sentence was not finished, suddenly they heard ‘Boom!’, unexpectedly the bottom of the boat split open into a big hole, the river water immediately gushed in like a fountain –– the hull shook, Jin Lingzhi was suddenly caught off guard, her feet staggered, only to feel her wrist went numb, no one knew what hit her, she could no longer hold the sword in her hand.

This sword suddenly came into Chu Liuxiang’s hand.

Amidst the river water surging up violently, unexpectedly someone emerged, it was precisely the ‘Fast Net’ Zhang San.

Only to hear Zhang San laughed and said, “Guniang has been here for a long time, presumably you have been drenched in the stench, come down and take a bath.”

Amidst his laughter, he unexpectedly reached out to hug Jin Lingzhi’s legs.

Jin Lingzhi was so scared that her face turned pale.

The cabin was obviously open, but surprisingly, she could not slip out, she just spoke loudly, “You dare to touch me, you dare …” Translated by foxs

Zhang San could already see that she must not know any water skill, hence the reason she panicked like this. He laughed and said, “On land, Guniang might be formidable, but in the water, you have to look at me.”

Jin Lingzhi cried out in alarm, suddenly she felt a hand supporting her under her elbow, and then her person was lifted up and flew out of the cabin.

Only to hear Chu Liuxiang’s voice speaking with a laugh, “Next time you want to take other people’s lives, you must never listen to people telling stories …”

The boat was slowly sinking.

Propping his cheeks, Zhang San squatted on the shore, looking with knitted eyebrows and worried expression, sighing incessantly, as if tears were about to fall.

Although in his heart Hu Tiehua was indescribably grateful to him, his mouth deliberately said, “If the old does not go, the new will not come, this boat was about to be written off anyway, sinking earlier would make a clean ending instead, what is it that you feel difficult to bear?”

Zhang San jumped up and shouted, “A broken-down boat? You said mine was a broken-down boat? Such broken-down boats, how many do you have?”

Hu Tiehua said with a laugh, “Not a single one. Even if there is, I would have sunk it long ago, so that when I look at it, I won’t get angry.”

Zhang San threw his head back and let out a couple of loud laughter, he said, “Alright, alright, alright, since Hu Xianggong [lord, master, young gentleman] said so, then not broken-down boats, presumably Hu Xianggong have at least ten or eight, how about I am asking Hu Xianggong to casually compensate me one?”

Hu Tiehua spoke leisurely, “The boat ought to be compensated, however, the person who ought to compensate your boat was originally here, only too bad …”

He squinted at Chu Liuxiang with the corners of his eyes, and continued coldly, “Only too bad that that person has been let go by this playboy who have tender, protective feelings for the fairer sex [idiom, lit. pity the fragrance and cherish the jade].”

Chu Liuxiang laughed, he said, “I let her go, you are ten thousand times refuse to accept, but if I did not let her go, what are you going to do? Could it be that you can still bite her?”

“Not the least bit wrong,” Zhang San said, “I’ll say it’s better to let her go. If she stayed here, a bit later she would shed a couple of teardrops, Hu Xianggong’s heart would inevitably be moved again, once Hu Xianggong’s heart softened, perhaps he would want to touch other people’s thigh again, and then if other people’s sword was pressed against his neck again, at that time, ay …” Translated by foxs

He took a deep, deep sigh, shook his head and said, “Even if I want to rescue Hu Xianggong, I would not be able to find a second broken-down boat to sink.”

Hu Tiehua also threw his head back and let out a couple of loud laughter, he said, “Alright, alright, alright, you two ganging up together, you want to infuriate me to the death, right? Let me tell you, I’m not angry at all; I feel into other people’s trick once, there won’t be the second time!”

“Oh?” Zhang San said, “Could it be that it was the first time Hu Xianggong has been fooled by a woman?”

Hu Tiehua was speechless, his nose seemed to be a little itchy, and he wanted to stroke it with his hand again. It was Chu Liuxiang’s ailment, but he already mastered it like ‘green stems from blue’ [see footnote Chapter 2].

Zhang San said, “As far as I know, Hu Xianggong falling into a woman’s trick, if not seven or eight hundred times, then at least three or five hundred times. Every time he was fooled, afterward he swore an oath to Heaven that next time he would learn from experience, but the next time he saw a beautiful woman, he still falls into her trick, never fails. Don’t you think this is strange?”

Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “In his previous life, he must have owed a lot of debts to women, which he continues to pay in this life, however … in good conscience, this time he fell into the trick, we can’t really blame him.”

“Oh?” Zhang San said.

Chu Liuxiang said, “That Jin Guniang is capable of doing anything. If you say that she rode the horse into the building, crash her way through into men’s bathhouse, or even say that she stripped naked and walked along the street, I would not feel strange, However, if you say that she would cheat and deceive people, then even I would never have thought about it.”

Hu Tiehua heaved a sigh, he muttered, “Although this old stinky bug also has a stinky mouth, sometimes at least he could say a few words of conscience. It was precisely because I never thought that she was such a person that I fell into her trick.”

Zhang San said, “That makes sense, but could it be that the one deceiving people just now was not her?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “I think, she did what she did just now, it must not be her own idea.”

“That’s right,” Hu Tiehua said, “She must have received other people’s instruction, maybe she was threatened, otherwise …”

Zhang San said, “Otherwise, she wouldn’t have the heart to come and deceive our passionate big young master, right?”

Without giving the others the chance to speak, he went on, “But with a temper like hers, who could instruct her? Threaten her?” Translated by foxs

Muttering to himself irresolutely, Chu Liuxiang said, “Maybe she has some secret that other people hold in their hands.”

“That’s right,” Hu Tiehua said, “The person threatening her must be Ding Feng. You can tell by the way she looked when she saw Ding Feng.”

Zhang San said, “That’s not necessarily true. She exercises forbearance toward that Ding Baozi [not sure if this is a typo, lit. abalone] in everything, perhaps it’s just because she already had a crush on him. Women always yield somewhat toward the ones they are fond of. Just look at that Ding Baozi, not only is he young and handsome, distinguished and accomplished, confident and at ease, but also his speech appropriate to the occasion, well versed in letters and military technology. If I were a woman, when I saw him, any temper would absolutely not flare out.”

Hu Tiehua was listening to him with blank expression on his face, suddenly he stood up, cupped his fist with a deep bow toward him, and said, “Can I ask you one thing?”

Zhang San could not help being stunned, he said, “What do you want to ask me? Do you want to eat grilled fish?”

Hu Tiehua heaved a sigh, he said, “I beg you, don’t try to anger me anymore, I really am unable to take it. When I get rich, I will definitely get you another boat to compensate you, and I will make sure that it will be just as broken-down as your boat.”

Zhang San could not help laughing, he muttered, “This person is still speaking like a human, who would have thought that in the end he still spoke wrong words …”

He continued, “If you guys say that she was actually threatened by Ding Feng, it may not be necessarily without any reason, but if what Ding Feng really wants is Chu Liuxiang’s life, why take the trouble to ask him to steal that Yu Pantao?”

Hu Tiehua said, “Don’t you understand this? … This is called to kill with a borrowed knife stratagem!”

“To kill with a borrowed knife?” Zhang San said.

Hu Tiehua said, “Ding Feng must have already been aware that the old stinky bug is not easy to deal with, so he asked him to steal the Yu Pantao. A place like that Jile Gong, how could people come and go freely? If the old stinky bug really go there, can he come back?”

Clapping his hands, Zhang San said, “That’s right; I never thought that you could suddenly become this smart.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “What else?”

“What else?” Hu Tiehua asked.

Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “Ding Feng is using a series of stratagems, other than the first stratagem, there’s also the second stratagem. You are a smart person, how could you not see it?” Translated by foxs

“There is the second stratagem?” Hu Tiehua said, “Which stratagem?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “It is the eighteenth stratagem of the thirty-six stratagems, called luring the tiger down the mountain.”

“Luring the tiger down the mountain?” Hu Tiehua repeated.

“That’s right,” Chu Liuxiang said, “There must be some shady business that he needs to do here; afraid that we might get in his way, he wants to send us far away to Xingxiuhai. Even if we can come back, it will be a matter of at least half a month later.”

Hu Tiehua was silent for half a day. Shaking his head, he sighed and said, “It seems that only people like you can see through people like Ding Feng’s good scheme, I am indeed still far behind. This kind of sinister and deceitful thing, not only I cannot do it, I practically cannot even think about it.”

Blurted out laughing, Chu Liuxiang said, “But your skill in swearing is not bad at all, when you cursed at people, you don’t use half a word of obscenity.”

Hu Tiehua said, “I also learned this from you, could it be that you have forgotten?”

Zhang San said, “Talking back and forth, that Ding Feng indeed seems to be an extraordinary character.”

Laughing coldly, Hu Tiehua said, “What’s so extraordinary?”

Zhang San said, “He could calculate accurately that you would not guard against Jin Lingzhi, and that he could make Jin Lingzhi do this kind of thing. Based on this alone, he is extraordinary enough.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “It’s just that calculating a thousand times, figuring out ten thousand times, he missed one thing.”

“Which one?” Zhang San asked.

Chu Liuxiang said, “He forgot that Jin Lingzhi was not such a person. No matter when, she could not help losing her Big Miss’ temper, otherwise, how could she force you to take a bath in stinky water.”

Zhang San laughed and said, “Forcing me to take a bath is not a problem, but she should have never, ever listened to that story. If she was not so spellbound in listening to it, I broke such a big hole at the bottom of the boat, how could she not know at all?”

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