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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Smiling Proud Wanderer: Chapter 21 (6)

Read the first 20 chapters here!

Mr. Black-White was astounded!  “You…You…,” his voice trembled.
At the time when Linghu Chong was handing the wooden tray out, the idea of grabbing Mr. Black-White’s wrist hadn’t crossed his mind. However, when he saw Mr. Black-White’s palms moved under the dim light of the oil lamp, ready to receive the wooden tray from him, an insuppressible urge all of a sudden overwhelmed his heart. It was all because of this person’s sly and calculated tricks that resulted in his many days of imprisonment. If he could break Mr. Black-White’s wrist, it would be a great way to vent some of his angle and hatred. Besides, this out of the blue seize of his wrist would definitely give him a good fright. For such a treacherous man, such a fright was the least punishment he could think of. He wasn’t even sure if it was the feeling of revenge or his childlike mischievous nature that led to the fake fall, which tricked Mr. Black-White into reaching his hands in, which in turn made the grabbing successful.
Mr. Black-White had always been vigilant, but this attack came so sudden and abrupt without any prior signs of warning. By the time he sensed something was not right, his wrist had already fallen into Linghu Chong’s grip. The grip was so strong that, to him, Linghu Chong’s fingers almost felt like an iron claw and clasped firmly onto the Inner-Pass and Outer-Pass acupoints in this wrist.
Without thinking, Mr. Black-White reflectively rotated his right wrist and executed an anti-grappling stance. A loud clank echoed when three toes of his right foot suddenly broke, and he cried out loud in painful groans.
How did Mr. Black-White end up breaking his toes on his left foot when his right wrist was been held? How strange? Turned out that Mr. Black-White always had great fear of the “revered mister.” As soon as his wrist fell into the grip, he desperately feared for his life, and in a rush, used a move named “Flood Dragon Rising above the Deep Pool.” This move worked particularly well when one’s wrist fell into the enemy’s grip by quickly pulling the arm inward while swiftly and unexpectedly kicking outward with one’s left foot. Such a powerful and fierce kick would land squarely on the enemy’s chest. The enemy would usually end up spitting blood from severe internal injuries. If the enemy were also a skilled Kung Fu master, he would have easily chosen to let go of his wrist in avoidance. Otherwise, he would have no way of dodging the kick right to the chest. Unfortunately, in the moment of extreme distress, eager to break free, Mr. Black-White completely forgot about the thick iron door right between him and his opponent. He had executed the move “Flood Dragon Rising above the Deep Pool” perfectly, and the kick had also been very accurate, powerful and fierce. Sadly, he kicked right into the iron door and the only positive effect was a loud echoing bang.
Only when Linghu Chong heard the loud bang did he realize how lucky he had been. If it weren’t because of the protection provided by the iron door, there was no way he could have escaped Mr. Black-White’s extremely formidable kick. He couldn’t help but burst into loud laughter.
“Kick again! If you kick as hard as the first time, I might just let you go,” he said sarcastically.
Mr. Black-White suddenly felt his inner energy gushing out continuously through the Inner-Pass and the Outer-Pass acupoints on his right wrist, and could not but remember the one thing he feared the most his entire life. Instantly, he was scared out of his wits! He tried his best to slow down the inner energy loss and at the same time begged in sorrow.
“Revered…revered mister, I beg…you….”
As soon as he spoke, his inner energy gushed out in even larger waves. He had no choice but to stop speaking. But the inner energy just kept flowing out of him rapidly.
Ever since Linghu Chong started practicing the Kung Fu techniques carved on the steel plate, his Dan-Tian region felt like a bamboo that was empty inside and a valley that was always void. At the moment when he felt some inner energy appearing in his Dan-Tian, he didn’t pay much attention to it. Instead, he noticed that Mr. Black-White’s wrist quivered continuously as though he had seen something terrifying. Since he had great grudges against Mr. Black-White, he decided to give him a good scare. So he yelled loudly.
“After I teach you the secret art, you have become an apprentice of mine. You have been caught deceiving your master. Shouldn’t I punish you for your crime?”
Mr. Black-White could feel that the inner energy inside him was rushing out even faster now. If he tried hard to hold his breath, the gushing could be temporarily stopped. But he simply had to breathe once a while, and in between the exhaling and inhaling, great amount of his inner energy would continue to flow out. At the moment he had completely forgotten about the pain from his injured toes. He only wished to be able to free his right hand out of the square-shaped opening. Even if he had to lose an arm or an leg, he would have no complaints. At that thought, he immediately reached for his sword by the waist. As soon as made the move, two large gaps seemed to have opened up at the Inner-Pass and Outer-Pass acupoints by his wrist, and all the inner energy from his entire body spurted out like river water bursting through dikes, and impossible to stop the flow ever again.
Mr. Black-White knew if this continued for another while, all his internal energy would be eventually sucked dry. Gritting his teeth, he finally managed to draw his sword out of its sheath. Raising the sword high, he wanted to swing the sword down to chop off his own arm, but this movement only caused even larger streams of inner energy surging out of him. A loud ring resonated in his ears and he fainted.
Linghu Chong had only planned to scare Mr. Black-White when he grabbed onto the man’s wrist. At most he was only going to twist and break Mr. Black-White’s wrist to vent his anger. He certainly did not expect Mr. Black-White to panic so much and faint as if having been scared out of his wits. Laughing out loud, Linghu Chong let go of the wrist, and as soon as he did that, Mr. Black-White’s torso collapsed and his right hand retracted backward from the square-shaped opening.
Suddenly, an idea shot up Linghu Chong’s mind and he quickly reached for the sliding hand. Luckily he was quick with his move and caught the palm in time.
“Why don’t I shackle him with the steel chains as a hostage, so I can coerce Mr. Huang-Zhong to let me go?” he thought.
He pulled Mr. Black-White’s wrist hard to get it closer. Unexpectedly, as he gave the strong pull, Mr. Black-White’s head actually came in also through the square-shaped opening, and then his entire body followed.
Linghu Chong did not see this coming. After a brief shock, he couldn’t help but scold himself for how stupid he was. The square opening was roughly a foot wide, big enough to a put a head though. And if one’s head can go through it, so can the body. If Mr. Black-White can be pulled in, why couldn’t he get out the same way? It would have been impossible for him to escape previously when his hands and feet were shackled in steel chains. But the shackle rings had been sawed through by someone secretly some time ago. Why didn’t he escape?
“After Mr. Paint secretly sawed through the shackles around my hands and feet, day after day, he must have hoped that I’d escape the prison following that old man who delivered my food. He must have been extremely anxious by now!” he thought to himself.
At the time when Linghu Chong had found out about the sawed-through shackle rings, he had been right in the middle of learning those inner energy cultivation techniques and had focused all his attention to the training. Also he had not memorized all the formulas on the steel plate, so subconsciously he didn’t really want to leave the prison cell. Therefore, the thought of running away by himself never even occurred to him.
Linghu Chong pondered for a second and then came to a decision. He hurriedly removed Mr. Black-White’s robe and his own and then swapped them. He even put Mr. Black-White’s black cloth mask over his own head, thinking, “Even if I bump into someone on my way out, they’ll think I am Mr. Black-White.”
Next, he hung Mr. Black-White’s sword by his own waist. With the sword right next to his hand, his spirit soured immensely. Then he cuffed Mr. Black-White’s hands and feet with the steel shackles and then pinched forcefully. The shackle rings were so tight that they even cut into flesh. 
The severe pain woke Mr. Black-White, and he groaned, “Revered…revered mister Ren…your…your Magical Art of Essence Absorbing….”
Linghu Chong had heard of the term “Magical Art of Essence Absorbing” before when he fought alongside Xiang Wentian in the remote wilderness. Someone in the crowd had shouted out this term. Now hearing the term again from Mr. Black-White, he couldn’t resist but ask, “What Magical Art of Essence Absorbing?”
“I…I…am…damn…damned…,” Mr. Black-White moaned.

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Video of the Day:

The world's most dangerous hike! This is where Linghu Chong's Mount Huashan Sword School is located at. No wonder you need martial arts skills to survive here!