Part 1 - Orphans
This idea may be strange but it is very useful. The best part is that they are twins, but one of them is wounded now on his face. When he grows up, he will be bound to look a bit different now. So nobody will know the truth behind this, they will become each others enemies.
Anyone with a pair of ears has heard of the names Jaded lover Jiang Feng and Yan Nantian, anyone with a pair of eyes would love to see the unsurpassed appearances of Jiang Feng and the ultimate unmatched swordsmanship of Yan Nantian.
Because everyone knows that no young girl can withstand a mere smile of Jiang Feng and nobody can block a simple sword stance of Yan Nantian.
Everybody is certain that Yan Nantian can chop off the head of a field marshal even surrounded by an army of a million soldiers, he can split a mere hair into two halves with ease. And Jian Feng’s charismatic smile can crush any girl’s heart.
However at this moment the richest and most handsome young man of his time is wearing a rough robe and is driving an old shabby carriage pulled by a horse. He was hasting on an old deserted road, if anyone saw him nobody would believe he was once the young master who rode fine horses and spend gold like it was nothing.
It was now the seventh month of the lunar calendar, high noon. The fiery sun was heating up the earth, both men and horse were dying for air. However he kept whipping the horse to keep running, the carriage was travelling with great speed.
Suddenly he heard the cries of a rooster that broke the silence.
It was now afternoon why would there be a rooster crowing in the middle of nowhere.
Jiang Feng looked startled and saw a big rooster standing on stam of a broken tree not moving. His feathers and comb looked very shining and pretty.
But the eyes of the rooster looked very sinister and evil. Jiang Feng’s face turned pale, he stopped the carriage. The horse neighed loudly and a sweet gentle voice from in the carriage asked: “What is wrong?”
Jiang Feng looked a bit flustered but smiled wryly: “Nothing is wrong, I just took the wrong way.”
He turned the carriage around and decided to go the other way back, the rooster was crowing again like it was scoffing at Jiang Feng.
After about another 100 metres another object blocked the road, this road was old and abandoned but now there was a fat pig lying on the road, where did it come from?
When Jiang Feng passed this spot earlier, there was not even one ounce of pork but now there was an entire fat pig lying in front of him.
Jiang Feng looked flustered again and turned the carriage around again, the pig was rolling on the ground. It was cleaned thoroughly and it was shining in the sun.
A voice from inside the carriage said: “Wrong turn again?”
Jiang Feng was sweating now and said stuttered: “I......I......”
The sweet voice from the carriage sighed: “You don't have to lie to me, I already know.”
Jiang Feng exclaimed with surprise: “What...how do you know?”
The sweet voice said: “When I heard that rooster I knew the 12 Zodiacs are on to us. You were afraid I would worry and tried to keep it to yourself. Am I right?”
Jiang Feng sighed deeply and said: “It is very strange, we have travelled with utmost carefulness and caution. How could they follow us? But....but don’t you worry, I will deal with this alone.”
The woman in the carriage said softly and gently: “You’re wrong again. Starting from that day....... I was ready to face all trials with you together through life and death. No matter what or who will come, we.....you and I will face it together.”
Jiang Feng retorted: “But you’re........”
The woman in the carriage laughed: “Don’t worry about me. I am feeling much better now.”
Jiang Feng gritted his teeth and said: “Allright, can you walk now? Both roads are seemingly blocked, we will have to abandon our carriage and horse. Let us hope we can make it through these woods and reach the other side via this path.”
The woman said: “Why should we abandon our carriage and horse? They are following us anyhow, we cannot escape them anymore. Let us await them here, the 12 Zodiacs may be ruthless but we do not have to fear them.”
Jiang Feng stuttered anxiously: “I fear....I am just afraid that you.....”
The woman smiled gently: “Don’t worry, I am fine.”
Jiang Feng’s face glared up with love now and said gently: “Meeting you was the most fortunate thing that has ever happened to me.”
The sky paled into insignificance beside his charming, loving smile.
The woman smiled sweetly: “I am the fortunate one. I know a lot girls in the realm envy, hate me. But these girls.....”
The horse neighed loudly with fear interrupting her words, both of them felt an icy wind sending shivers down their spines. What has upsetted the horse?
After the wind calmed, the pig has turned over and the rooster could also be heard again. The atmosphere turned gloomy in an instant.
The entire surrounding was covered with an ominous ambiance, the warm sun had made place for icy darkness in this desolate area in the seventh month.
Jiang Feng’s face turned pale and said: “They have come.”
A voice from behind the carriage said with a laugh: “You’re right. We are here.”
That laugh sounded awful, it was sharp and out of key, Jiang Feng had never heard such nasty laughter before in his entire life.
He turned around with fright and shouted: “Who is there?”
Slowly seven, eight figures emerged.
The first person was only about 150 centimetres, he wore a long very bright, shinning red brocade making him look riduculous but also sinister and perverted.
The second person was about 2 metres long, he was muscular and big. He wore a yellow brocade and yellow hat. His face was emotionless. The other four figures that followed them had even stranger clothes, their robes were made up from different fabrics and colours with flower motif, they looked like actors who played beggars on Chinese opera.
They all looked different but had one thing in common, that was that they all looked rough and mean and moved the same way and simultaneously.
Following those was another figure, he was slowly walking towards the others. This man was extremely fat, he may even weigh more than those six strange characters combined. He was so fat that a slow pace was too much for him and he was panting heavily now.
The fatty said softly to himself: “The heat is killing me.....”
Sweat was dripping of his fat face, he was really sweating like a [pig].
Jiang Feng composed himself and got off the carriage and faced these strange people, his hands formed a greeting fist and said with a clear voice: “Are you the receivers of dawn and the black-faced lord?”
The man in red robe chuckled: “Young master Jiang has very sharp eyes, but we’re just a rooster and a pig....receivers of dawn and black-faced lord...... These nice names were given to us by people in the realm, we don’t dare to claim such names.”
Jiang Feng’s eyes directed to him and said: “Sir, I take it you are.....”
The man in the red robe interrupted him: “Red represents the comb and yellow the breast, and as for the flowers the main tail feathers of a rooster. And who he is....well, he looks like what he is.”
Jiang Feng said: “What can I do for you?”
The man in the red robe said: “We have heard that young master Jiang has a new darling, we would love to see what this lady has that capture the heart of our “Jaded Lover.” Furthermore we want something from you, young master Jiang.”
Jiang Feng said: “What is it that you want?”
The man in the red robe laughed: “It must be priceless, otherwise my good black-faced brother would not make such haste to come here.”
The black-faced lord chuckled: “Well, if it isn’t good why would I bother leaving my comfortable home.”
Jiang Feng was shocked but did not show it and said earnestly: “However in my hurry to leave my home I forgot to bring anything valuable with me. What on earth would I have that have caught the attention of so many collectors.”
The rooster comb said with a sinster smile: “I know that young master Jiang has sold all of his belongings including land, mansion etc. We don't know why and we don't even care why? But we do know that those bag of pearls you bought with your sales are invaluable......hehehe. Young master Jiang, you must know that we are thieves and robbers who do not return empty-handed. Hand over the pearls, please.”
Jiang Feng laughed loudly: “Good! Good! You are very well-informed. I too know that the 12 Zodiacs never return empty-handed. However......”
The rooster comb said: “However what? Are you reluctant to hand over the pearls?”
Jiang Feng sneered: “The only way I will hand them over is......”
Before he could finish a silver object almost reached his chest. The comb was most fast, in an instant he had drawn a strange looking weapon shaped like a small rake but resembling a beak. His movements and stances resembled that of a rooster pecking, he aimed at the major acupoints of Jiang Feng’s arms.
Jiang Feng leapt up and made a somersault in mid-air and avoided the seven attacks, at this point another four claws shaped weapons like the feet of a rooster attacked him.
When the comb came into action, the tail feathers followed closely, these four men were as quick as the comb and the claws they used were a formidable external martial arts form. One beak and four claws formed a deadly combination and they matched each other perfectly. They formed an adversary with nine arms and became a dreaded foe.
Although Jiang Feng was not an easy opponent himself, but facing nine strange weapons and mysterious stances he had a difficult time to defend himself. Furthermore the man in the yellow robe---the breast was still standing there emotionless, looking like he was waiting for a window of an opportunity.
The black-faced lord giggled: “My friends, we’re not women. Put some strenght into it, we needn’t be gentle to him. I will take a look at the beauty in the carriage.”
Jiang Feng angrilly roared: “Stop there!”
He wanted to storm over to block the black-faced lord, but he couldn’t break free from the attacks from those five men. The black-faced lord walked over casually and opened the door of the carriage.
At this point a beautiful hand stuck out of the carriage, the hand as white and smooth like alabaster, the elegant perfect hand was holding a plum flower between her delicate fingers. A black plum flower. Plum flowers in summer were a rare sight, a black one even stranger. A white alabaster hand holding a black plum flower, it formed a strange combination of beauty and mystery. A clear sweet voice said: “Do you know what this is?”
The black-faced lord's face made funny twitches and his hand remained motionless, it was still holding the door of the carriage, as for the nine weapons attacking Jiang Feng also ceased their attacks.
These seven infamous rogues in the realm were like under a spell, they did not move and their faces were like frozen solid too.
It was after some time the black-faced lord said with a shaky voice: “The EmbroidedJadeValley, the FloralPalace.”
The voice from the carriage said: “You have good eyes too.”
The black-faced lord stuttered: “I.....I....this lowl.....lowly person.....”
He was trembling with fear and could not utter a word anymore.
The sweet voice asked: “Do you wish to die?”
The black-faced lord stuttered: “This lowly person doesn’t...does no....not......”
The voice said: “Doesn’t want to die?”
As soon as she finished this sentence, the red, yellow, flowery and the fat were gone in a flash. The black-faced lord wasn’t walking slowly as before and was not panting anymore. He was amazingly fat, but he moved ever so swift. If one did not see this, one would not believe a fat man like him could move this rapidly.
Jiang Feng quicly went over the carriage and asked: “Are you allright?”
The woman in the carriage said with a smile: “I just waved my hand a bit.”
Jiang Feng felt relieved and sighed: “I never thought that a mere dark jaded plum flower you took from the palace could scare away evil rogues like the 12 Zodiacs. It seems that everyone fears them.”
The woman in the carriage said: “One can imagine how fearful they are, we must hurry. We needn't be afraid of anyone else. But if they.....”
She didn’t finish her sentence because the people who fled away an instant ago have returned. They went swiftly but came even faster.
The black-faced lord chuckled: “We were almost fooled.”
Jiang Feng said with a shocked face: “Are you really tired of living?”
The black-faced lord laughed: “If there really is a disciple of the FloralPalace in that carriage, we would not have the chance to escape in the first place. Since when did you hear that disciples of the FloralPalace showing benevolence.”
The woman in the carriage said: “I spared your life and you.......”
The black-faced lord shouted: “Get out imposter!”
And with one fist he smashed the door of the carriage.
Sitting in the carriage was a young pregnant woman with a bit chaotic hair and looking sickly. Even though her hair was chaotic and her appearances were pale and sickly, she still looked beautiful and her eyes were filled with elegance. Her nose was not very sharp and she did not have cherry blossom mouth but somehow everything combined made her look really captivating. One look and one would not divert one's eyes of her, especially her eyes were filled with love, compassion, consideration.
Judging by her belly, she was about eight, nine months pregnant now.
The black-faced lord was a bit surprised but soon laughed loudly: “A pregnant woman pretending to be a disciple of the FloralPalace......”
Before he could finish his sentence, the woman advanced forward with incredible speed and slapped him a few times. And in a flash she was seated again and smiled: “What about pregnant woman?”
The black-faced lord roared angrilly: “A sneak attack!?! How dare you!”
He struck out with his fist, he may look clumsy but this fist of his was lethal, quick and powerful.
The young woman was still smiling and used her delicate hands to gently draw and poke in mid-air, not knowing what kind of technique she used the black-faced lord’s fist was diverted back to himself. He struck himself on the shoulder and could not break off that attack on himself. The force he used in that attack was formidable and he fell down on the ground and was yelled out in pain.
Both the comb and the main feather tails wanted to try initially but now they were too shocked to move, they just looked at the young woman with surprise.
The young woman looked at them and smiled: “I take it you know the name of that technique I used?”
The black-faced lord said with a shaky voice: “ The Jaded Flower Stealth Substitution. Inconceivable by both ghosts and immortals......”
The young woman said: “Since you know, you must also realise I am not an imposter.”
The black-faced lord said with a trembling voice: “This lowly ....per...person deserves to die......”
He used his hands to slap himself hard a few times, making his face look even more swollen and black.
The young woman said with a sigh: “On behalf of my children, you....you can go now.”
This time they fled even faster, one would almost believe that they had seen a ghost.
Jiang Feng felt relieved to see them flee, he turned around and sighed: “Fortunately you had such a technique up your sleeve to scare them away. Otherwise......”
Suddenly he saw that the young woman was in pain and was trembling and sweating, he was shocked and scared and quickly asked: “What is wrong? How do you feel?”
The young woman said with difficulty: “I.....I.....have used too m....much strength......my water has broken.....now......I am afraid our children will.......come to th...this wor....world.......”
Jiang Feng was frantic when he heard her and was saying to himself: “What shall we do? What shall we do?”
The young woman said: “Drive the carriage to the side of......the...road. Quick.....quick......”
Jiang Feng did what she said in a frantic manner, the horse kept neighing loudly and Jiang Feng was sweating heavily now.
He kept wiping away his sweat and entered the carriage to help his wife to deliver the babies.
The young woman was panting loudly: “My dear, ……I…..I am afraid….very afraid…..”
“No need to be afraid……I will protect you…..Everything will be fine.”
“I am still very afraid, dear…….please hold my….hand…..Hold my hand tightly……”
“My hands….are weak and trembling too. In a moment the pain will be gone….I promise……”
Suddenly there was the sound of babies crying.
Jiang Feng loudly yelled with happiness: “Two…..twins……”
After awhile he came out of the carriage still sweating and looking very happy and exhilarated, however his happiness made place for shock and fear.
The pig and rooster have returned again and were standing in front of the carriage coldly observing Jiang Feng.
Jiang Feng tried to compose himself but one could still see the fear and shock on his face, he exclaimed with shock: “You….you have returned?!?”
The comb said with an evil smile: “Young master Jiang, are you surprised?”
Jiang Feng said loudly: “Aren’t you afraid to die?”
The black-faced lord laughed: “Die?”
Jiang Feng said sternly: “I know you lot are well-informed about the matters in the realm. The EmbroidedJadeValley and the FloralPalace are not new terms to you.”
Jiang Feng was normally a very gentle and carefree person, but now he was filled with anxiety and rage and his eyes were turning red.
The black-faced lord laughed: “Jiang Feng, you can stop pretending now! I know and you know it too that the two princesses of the FloralPalace are after you. They are not interested in our lives.”
Fear struck Jiang Feng in his chest and he broke out in a cold sweat, but he managed to laugh loudly: “I think you’re mad. Why would the princesses of the FloralPalace want my life? Do you realise who is in that carriage?”
The comb said coldly: “She is just a mere servant of the FloralPalace, a traitor who sneaked out of the palace without permission.”
Jiang Feng was stunned and his laughter soon died out.
The black-faced lord laughed: “Young master Jiang, are you surprised? I think you would want to know how we obtained this information. However I am afraid you will never find out.”
It was indeed a secret, Jiang Feng leaving his home to escape the fury of the two princesses of the FloralPalace. Besides himself and his wife practically no one knew of this, how is it possible that these thugs know his secret.
Jiang Feng did not know and he did not care now, there was crying coming out of the carriage and in front of him were a group of merciless killers.
Suddenly he moved as quick as lightning and stormed towards the man in yellow robe, the breast of the rooster. The breast used his dual sabres to block Jiang Feng’s attack. His dual sabres were made from precious metal and were designed to slice off people’s heads in a flash. The breast used the sabres to hack at Jiang Feng’s body.
Jiang Feng did not avoid his hacks instead he gritted his teeth and advanced forward, in a flash he grabbed the wrist of the breast and took a sabre from him.
Immediately he kicked the breast away, and blocked the hack of the comb. Then he stormed towards the black-faced lord and hacked at him, avoiding the four claws of the feathers. These attacks on Jiang Feng were lethal, vicious and fast fortunately Jiang Feng was not harmed by them. The black-faced lord quickly moved aside avoiding the hack but broke out in a cold sweat and managed to strike out with two fists towards Jiang Feng. The black-faced lord yelled: “Watch out! He is fighting with everything he has!”
These thugs have wandered the realm long enough to know that if a person is fighting regardless of his own life, he is most difficult to encounter.
The receivers of dawn avoided Jiang Feng’s attacks and just toured around him.
Jiang Feng hacked, sliced at his opponents, his every stance was lethal, vicious and regardless of his own life but none of his adversaries were injured. The black-faced lord laughed arrogantly, although the breast only had one sabre left, but the stances of his left hand were very strange and dangerous. Furthermore the feathers combined their attacks were attacking in unison and the comb moved swiftly about lashing attacks on Jiang Feng’s acupoints.
Jiang Feng’s hair was chaotic now, he was roaring….he was fighting for the woman he loves. This normally gentle, friendly young man had become a beast now. But no matter how hard he fought it was in vain, the lion was trapped, the tiger has been ambushed….he was only prolonging the inevitable.
It was dusk now, the air was awfully gloomy.
This fight was albeit soul-stirring, however the outcome was utmost sad. Jiang Feng was bleeding and sweating, all his efforts were repaid with scorn and mockery of his opponents.
The young woman shouted: “Darling, be careful!......These thugs are no match against you.”
The black-faced lord advanced to the carriage and laughed sinisterly: “Jiang Feng is a very fortunate man.....he’s father of twins now.”
Jiang Feng shouted angrilly: “You, fiend! Move away from them!”
He wanted to storm over, but was blocked by the rooster, he made several attempts to storm towards the black-faced lord but in vain. His eyes were red with anger and sorrow.
The young woman tightly held on to her babies and yelled: “You, monster.......you.....you......”
The black-faced lord chuckled: “Little beauty, rest assured we won't harm you now. After you’re feeling better, I will hahahahaha.......”
Jiang Feng roared: “Don’t even think about touching her!”
The black-faced lord reached out and stroked the young woman on her cheek and laughed sinsterly: “I have just touched her, what are you planning to do?”
Jiang Feng cried loudly, because of his rage his stances were flawed now. The sabre, beak and claws immediately attacked viciously and Jiang Feng was injured, his chest, shoulders and back were bleeding heavily now.
The young woman called out with worry: “Darling, be careful!”
The black-faced lord laughed: “Your darling will soon become a darling ghost.”
Jiang Feng was covered in blood now and shouted: “You bastard! Even if I die, I will come back to haunt you!”
There was the roaring of Jiang Feng, the crying of the babies and the sardonic laughter of the pig and the rooster, the combination of these sounds made the entire atmosphere sad and sorrow.
Blood, Jiang Feng was covered in blood. His face, his entire body......
The young woman was devastated and shouted: “I’ll kill you.”
She put down her babies and leapt towards the black-faced lord and her fingers were aimed at his throat. The black-faced lord simply pushed her back and laughed: “Little beauty, where is your strength now? Weren’t you were formidable awhile ago? Poor woman, why did you have to give birth?”
During his arrogant laughter, the young woman again stormed towards him. The black-faced lord wanted to use the same method to push her back, but this time she embraced him and bit into the throat of the black-faced lord.
He cried out in pain and blood flowed from the cherry lips of the young woman.
The taste of her enemy’s blood made her feel good, the taste of revenge.
The black-faced lord was in extreme pain and used full force to strike the young woman down. She fell hard on the ground and could not get up anymore. But at least she sampled the blood of her enemy.
She smiled tragically and tears welled up in her eyes, she called: “Darling, don’t worry about us! Just run.....run....After I am dead the princesses will not trouble you anymore.”
Jiang Feng yelled: “You cannot die!”
He wanted to storm forward once again, but all the weapons of his enemies had already struck him down, his body was covered with blood and wounds. Before he could reach his loved one, he had already fallen.
The young woman shrieked and slowly crawled towards him, he did the same thing. Their only wish was to die together. Just when their hands were about to make contact the black-faced lord used his lump foot to step on their hands, almost crushing their hands.
The young woman yelled with anger: “You, monster!”
The black-faced lord laughed: “Now, you realise that I am a monster?”
Jiang Feng roared: “I’ll give you anything you want.....anything. I just beg of you let us die together.”
The black-faced lord laughed: “It is too late for that now. Just before you were feeling were happy right, when you tricked and hit me. Now I will let you die slowly and painfully and you can forget about dying together.”
The young woman yelled: “Why? Why? There are no grudges between us.”
The black-faced lord said: “Well, I can tell you that. The reason is we promised someone to torture you and were instructed not to let you two die together.”
Jiang Feng said: “Who.....who? Who is that person?”
The black-faced lord laughed: “You can guess for yourself.”
The rooster breast returned to his emotionless self and just said coldly: “We don’t want their offspring looking for us in the future. We cannot permit these bastards to live.”
The black-faced laughed: “Very true.”
The rooster breast raised his sabre and was about to hack the babies.
Jiang Feng roared with anger and the young woman was too shocked to say anything.
However suddenly the sabre broke into two halves.
The rooster breast staggered back with seven paces and yelled: “Who is there!”
With the exception of themselves and the heavily injured Jiang Feng and his wife no traces of other people could be seen.
But how could this sabre just break into two halves.
The comb was shocked and asked: “What happened?”
The rooster breast said: “Ghosts! I don’t know.”
He advanced forward again and used his half a sabre to hack at the infants again, but again the blade broke. All eyes were focussed on the blade this time, but nobody saw how it broke.
The rooster breast turned pale and said with a shaky voice: “Could it really be ghosts?”
The black-faced lord said earnestly: “Let me try.”
He picked up the sabre Jiang Feng dropped and walked to the carriage, he raised the sabre and hacked with full strength and speed towards the babies.
However in mid-air his hand trembled and missed the babies. Everyone saw that the blade was chipped now.
The comb said with a shocked voice: “There is someone here.”
The black-faced lord could not laugh anymore and said with his trembling voice: “Although we cannot see the projectile, it must be very small. This person is able to use a tiny projectile invisible to our eyes to break the sabres.....what a remarkable strenght....what a formidable power.”
The rooster breast said with a trembling voice: “It is impossible for someone to have such martial arts. Could it be.....could it be?”
He trembled and did not dare to say the word [ghosts].
The heavily injured Jiang Feng was also shocked to see this change of events and muttered softly: “Here.....it must be......”
The black-faced lord asked: “Who? Do you mean Yan Nantian?”
Suddenly a voice said: “Yan Nantian? Yan Nantian is nothing.”
This voice sounded sweet, clear and lively and filled with naivety, where did this voice come from especially in a desolated place like this. Everyone was shocked.
Jiang Feng and his wife already knew who had came and did not bother to raise their heads, they just looked very pale now. The black-faced lord and others were very much afraid now and suddenly turned around and saw a figure standing in the tall gras behind them. It was a slim young woman, how did she come here without being noticed.
Several metres away from them was the speaker.
Judging from the voice you would expect a very young and naive little girl, sweet and innocent. But instead they saw a young woman in her twenties, she wore an elegant long gown similar to those worn by palace ladies. She had long beautiful hair, she looked sweet and pretty, prettier than most flowers in the Spring. Her eyes were filled with liveliness and wisdom, but there was also a hint of naivety-----unfitting for her age.
Just looking at her once, you would know that she is a very complex person and nobody can guess what she is thinking.
Furthermore one is immediately captivated by her beauty just by one look but one will soon feel sympathy for her. This peerless beauty is handicapped, she is limped even wearing an elegant gown could not hide her handicap.
When the black-faced lord saw her, he looked very respectful and his fear was somewhat gone.
He bowed and said: “Forgive me, are you the second princess of the FloralPalace?”
The beauty said with a smile: “Do you recognize me?”
The black-faced lord said: “The great name of princess Lianxing is known by all in the realm.”
Princess Lianxing smiled: “You’re quite eloquent, just choose your words well.”
The black-faced lord replied: “I wouldn’t dare.”
Princess Lianxing smiled softly: “It seems you’re not afraid of me.”
The black-faced lord bowed again and smiled respectfully: “This lowly person does....”
Princess Lianxing interrupted him with a laugh: “Commiting a series of unforgivable crims and you’re still not afraid of me. Most strange, don’t you know realise that I want your lives in a moment.”
The black-faced lord turned pale but managed to keep his respectful smile: “Your excellency must be joking.”
Princess Lianxing smiled sweetly: “Joking? You injured one of our maids, I cannot let you die too easily. Who is joking with you lot?”
The black-faced lord laughed nervously: “But these were the wishes of princess Yaoyue.....”
Before he could finish he was slapped a dozen times, similar to his first encounter with Madame Jiang but much harder. His mouth was bleeding now and did not dare to utter a single word.
Princess Lianxing was still standing there, her hair and gown swaying gently in the wind and looking very careless. But her smile was gone and said coldly: “How dare you mention my sister’s name? You’re not worthy to utter her name.”
The comb, breast and tail feathers were all shocked beyond words.
In the end the comb said with a shaky voice: “But these were really the wishes of princess Yao.....”
Before he could finish he too slapped a dozen times, his little body flew up after being slapped and fell down.
Princess Lianxing laughed: “Strange, you really don't believe I will kill you.....(sigh*).”
During her sigh she moved forward and twirled around the rooster breast, everyone could not see what she did or even if she attacked. But the rooster breast slowly collapsed without a grunt.
One of the feathers went over and suddenly yelled: “Dead?!? Old two is dead.....”
Princess Lianxing said: “Now do you believe me?”
One of the feathers screamed: “You’re too vicious!”
Princess Lianxing said: “What is so bad about his death. You too have killed many people in your days, meeting your end today is just what you deserve.”
The comb looked evil and made a gesture with his hands, and three pairs of rooster claws curled towards princess Lianxing.
There was a serie of sounds clung, whoosh and aaahhh. Vaguely they could see a figure moving gracefully and swiftly through the chains of iron.
Three of the feathers were lying on the ground, motionless. One managed to back away for about a metre but his hands were empty, he did not even know how princess Lianxing defeated his partners and how she disarmed himself. It was like he was in a dream, a nightmare.
Princess Lianxing gently shook her sleeve and 5 claws dropped on the ground with a clanging noise, she was holding one and looked at it. She smiled: “Chicken claws, I wonder how they taste like.”
She opened her delicate cherry shaped mouth and crunk bit off a part of the iron claw, this claw was made from the finest metal in the realm. This claw was also one of the most feared weapons of the realm, but she was able to bit off a piece of it with ease.
The black-faced lord and the comb were flabbergasted by this rather young woman's martial arts. Other people's martial arts were only focussed on legs, arms, but she----every part of her was martial arts, perfect and excellent martial arts.
The pig and the rooster were too scared to even move.
Princess Lianxing shook her head and said: “Oof, it tastes rather bad.”
She gently spat out that piece of claw, the piece of metal flashed through the sky and suddenly the remaining feather called out in pain. He covered his face and was rolling on the ground, blood was oozing out of his face and rolling a few times he stayed motionless. Now the black-faced lord and comb saw that the face of the feather was shattered by that piece of claw, where his face once was was now a bloody, messy wound.
The black-faced lord knelt down and begged with a shaky voice: “Your excellency, please spare me.”
Princess Lianxing ignored him and asked the comb with a smile: “What do you think of my martial arts?”
The comb stuttered: “Your excellency’s martial arts......I....this lowly person has never seen.....this lowly person has never even dreamt that such martial arts could exist.”
Princess Lianxing asked: “Are you afraid?”
The comb never thought that someone would ask him such an infantile question, but now being asked this question he obediently said: “Afraid.....very much afraid.”
Princess Lianxing laughed: “Since you’re afraid, why aren’t you begging for your life.”
The comb knelt down and begged: “Please spare my life, your excellency.......”
It looked like he was about to cry.
Princess Lianxing rolled her eyes before she laughed: “If you want me to spare your lives, that will be most easy. All you have to do is hit me with one fist.”
The comb said: “This lowly person would not dare.”
The black-faced lord said: “This lowly person would dream of hitting your excellency.”
Princess Lianxing stared at them and said: “Don’t you want to live?”
The black-faced lord and the comb have asked this question to countless of people in their lives, they would ask this question casually and never expect an answer. Even if they did, they would respond with a fist, scorn and chop of the people who were asked this question.
But now they were asked that question and it came from princess Lianxing, so they had no choice but to reply and both said together: “This lowly person wants to live.”
Princess Lianxing said: “If you want to live, strike me fast.”
Both reluctantly got up and looked at each other.
Princess Lianxing smiled: “That is more like it, go ahead and strike me. The harder the better, I promise I won’t counter-attack. But if you use too little strenght (humph*).”
The comb thought: “Well, I might as well do as she says. I will attack her with everything I have, if I succeed that would be great. But if I fail no harm will come to me.”
The black-faced lord thought: “You brought this one to yourself, don’t blame me. Even if you have invincible skills and an iron-like body you cannot withstand my powerful fist.”
Both of them thought they had hope and were very happy but did not show it and pretended to be very sad.
They said simultaneously: “This lowly person understands.”
Princess Lianxing said: “Well, what are you waiting for?”
The black-faced lord generated his power and struck out his fists making a whoosing sound, furthermore he threw his full weight into this stance. This attack was both grand and powerful, but the position of his fists kept shifting. It was both agile and uncertain, till the very end it was clear he aimed for the bosom of princess Lianxing. This technique, The Celestial Boar Shifting Into Shape, was his best technique and he killed numerous people in Wulin with this stance.
The comb flew up too and the beak weapon was twirled into flashes of light and he was aiming for the two major acupoints on princess Lianxing’s bosom. Of course he used his special technique too, normally he would not even consider using this attack unless he was really in danger. This stance was called The Morning Rooster Crowing To The Sun, it was said that with this stance alone he killed eight head armed guards of the Power and Might Armed Guard Agency.
Princess Lianxing laughed: “You really put everything in it.”
During her laughter she used her right hand to gently wave about through the rain of fists and claws, at this point the comb and the black-faced lord noticed that they had no control anymore on their aim. They wanted to retract their stances but it was not possible anymore, they wanted to redirect their aim but that too proved to be impossible.
Suddenly both of them called out in pain, princess Lianxing was still standing there smiling. The black-faced lord was lying on the ground, while the comb was thrown away for about 2 metres and stayed motionless.
There were a few moanings but then it died out, the black-faced lord pulled out the claw stuck into his chest and blood was oozing out of his wound.
He stuttered with pain: “You....you.....”
Princess Lianxing said: “I did not attack you, why did you two attack each other?”
The black-faced lord looked at her angrilly, his lips moved wanting to say something but not a single sylable could be produced-----never again can he speak again.
Princess Lianxing sighed: “If you didn’t want to kill me and used only half your powers, you would still be alive. I did give you a chance to live, right?”
Of course nobody could answer her anymore.
The horse pulling the carriage had died some time ago and the carriage was also pushed over. Jiang Feng and his wife were crawling towards the carriage to pick up their crying sons, just when they are about to reach their babies a beautiful alabaster hand had pushed away the children from their reach.
Jiang Feng yelled: “Give....give them back to me!”
The young woman begged loudly: “Your excellency, please give me back my children!”
Princess Lianxing said: “Good, Yuenu. Very good! You have given Jiang Feng sons.”
She was still smiling but her smile was filled with sorrow, melancholy, resent and hate.
The young woman, Hua Yuenu pleaded: “Your excellency, I know I am at fault.....I have commited a grave crime....but the children are innocent.....please spare them.......”
Princess Lianxing looked at the babies and softly said: “Children......adorable babies......if they were mine I would be so happy.”
She turned her look to Jiang Feng filled with hatred, resent but also sorrow. She looked at him for awhile before saying melancholically: “Why Jiang Feng? Why did you do that? Why?”
Jiang Feng said: “Because I love her.”
Princess Lianxing screamed: “Because you love her......My sister is, I don’t know how many times better than she is. You were wounded, my sister saved you and took care of you. She had never treated anyone with that much affection but she made an exception for....you......But you ran off with her maid......”
Jiang Feng gritted his teeth and said: “Since you ask, I will tell you. Your sister is not a living person, she is like fire, a block of ice even a sword. You even can say she is a spirit or an immortal but not a human being.....but she......”
He now looked at Hua Yuenu, his eyes were filled with love and affection and continued: “She is real, she is a real living person. She does not only treat me with affection, she understands me. She is the only woman in the world who loves my being, my soul and not just my face.”
Princess Lianxing suddenly slapped him and said: “You dare to say that again!”
Jiang Feng retorted: “Why can’t I speak up my mind!”
Princess Lianxing said: “You only know she is good to you, but do you know how I feel for you? If....your face was destroyed....I would still.....would still.....”
She did not finish her words.
Hua Yuenu exclaimed with surprise: “Your excellency, you are too.....”
Princess Lianxing said loudly: “What!?! Can’t I be good to him? Can I not love him? ......Is it because I am handicapped, but being limp does not make me a lesser human. I am a woman too.”
She has changed, she was not the superior, high and mighty martial arts expert that controlled life and death. She was now an ordinary woman, an ordinary weak and sad woman.
She was weeping now.
This practically a legend in the realm of martial arts was weeping, both Jiang Feng and Hua Yuenu were shocked and surprised.
After some time Hua Yuenu said sadly: “Your excellency, I am near my end.....from now on he is yours. You can save him, you are the only one who can save him.”
Princess Lianxing was trembling the words [from now on he is yours] shot her right into the heart.
Jiang Feng suddenly laughed arrogantly, his laughter was loud but there was no joy on his face only sadness. His laughter sounded like crying, a tragic cry.
With tears in his eyes he looked at Hua Yuenu and smiled tragically: “Save me? Who can save me now in this world? If you’re gone, how can I continue to live? Yuenu, Yuenu, don’t you understand?”
Hua Yuenu who was crying too, said gently: “Of course I understand you, but if you die what will become of the children....someone has to take care of them.”
Her tone soon turned into weeping too and she was holding Jiang Feng’s hand tightly now and continued: “This is our fault, we cannot allow the second generation to share our mistakes. Death is not an escape out of this.”
Jiang Feng’s tragic smile died out and made place for despair.
Hua Yuenu said with a shaky voice: “I know that death is a very easy solution to all problems and that living is much more difficult...But I beg of you for the children you must keep on living.”
Jiang Feng was crying too and was completely dazed, he said softly to himself: “I must keep on living.......Do I really have to keep on living....”
“Your excellency, please no matter what you have to save him. If you truly love him you cannot watch him die.”
Princess Lianxing said slowly: “Really?”
Hua Yuenu screamed: “You can save him.....You really must save him.”
Princess Lianxing sighed deeply: “Yes, I can save him.....”
Before she could finish her sentence another voice interrupted her: “Wrong! You cannot save him, no one can save him in this world.”
The voice was both elusive and clear, but also cold and emotionless, yet it was sweet, innocent and captivating.
Nobody can clearly describe that voice, why is it both horrifying and sweet. Also nobody can forget this voice in his life after hearing it once.
A simple few words changed the atmosphere again in this desolate area, filled with death, coldness and it seemed that even the setting sun had to make place for the speaker.
Jiang Feng was trembling heavily now and princess Lianxing turned pale.
They did not turn around, but a figure in white was now standing in front of them. Nobody could see where she came from or how she appeared in front of them.
Gracefully the figure stood there dressed in an elegant white gown. She had long beautiful thick hair, her beauty was needless to say matchless. But nobody could descibe her appearances, because no one would dare look her into the face. She had a strange, mystifying threatening charisma which was awesome, making her exceptional, superior and powerful.
Princess Lianxing bowed her head and bit her lip saying: “Sister, you’re here.”
Princess Yaoyue said casually: “Yes, I am here. You did not expect that, did you?”
Princess Lianxing bowed her head even deeper and asked: “How long were you here?”
Princess Yaoyue said: “Not too late, I could overhear a lot which normally nobody would share with me.”
Jiang Feng suddenly thought of something and shouted: “You...you...you were here all along. So you were the one who instructed the rooster and pig to return, is it not? You told them about our secret, right?”
Princess Yaoyue said: “Now you realise that. A bit too late.”
Jiang Feng was torn apart by anger and yelled:"Why? Why did you do that? Why were you that ruthless?”
Princess Yaoyue said: “Against traitors I have to be ruthless.”
Hua Yuenu could not help but pleades tragically: “Your excellency, this is all my fault. You...you cannot blame him.”
Suddenly princess Yaoyue’s tone turned awfully cold and stern: “You...you dare to speak in my presence.”
Hua Yuenu stuttered: “I....I...”
Princess Yaoyue said: “Very good.....now that you’ve seen me, you can die now.”
When Hua Yuenu saw her, she was even too afraid to weep anymore. Now she closed her eyes and said: “Thank you, your excellency.”
Jiang Feng shouted: “She tells you to die! Why do you thank her!”
Hua Yuenu managed to enforce a tragic smile on her face and said: "Because when I die first I am spared the agony of seeing you and the children suffer before you die.....this....this is the leniency her excellency has bestowed upon me. Of course I have to thank her for it.”
She opened her eyes and looked at Jiang Feng and then at her children----that simple gaze was filled with love and said it all.
Jiang Feng’s heart was broken and he shouted: “Yuenu, you can’t die.....you cannot die.”
Hua Yuenu said gently: “I am leaving now......I will wait for you......”
She closed her eyes one more time, but this time forever.
“Yuenu! Wait, wait....I will accompany you....”
Somehow he mustered all the strenght he had and staggered over to Hua Yuenu but before he reached her a powerful wind blew him back.
Princess Yaoyue said: “Just stay there.”
Jiang Feng loudly said:"I have never begged for anything in my life.....but now....but now......I beg of you just let me die together with her.....that is all what I want."
Princess Yaoyue said:"You will never touch her again.”
Jiang Feng stared at her, if eyes could kill or shoot fire this entire place would be set ablaze now.
But princess Yaoyue just stood there not moving.
Suddenly Jiang Feng laughed loudly, his laughter travelled far.
Princess Lianxing sighed softly: “Why are you laughing?”
Jiang Feng laughed: “You think you are so powerful! You think you can control life and death, but if I die I can be together with Yuenu. Can you really stop me?”
During his laughter he rolled aside a few times, and then he stopped his back facing up and his laughter slowly died out.
Princess Lianxing called out softly and quickly moved over, she turned him around and saw that the tip of a sabre was pierced through his chest.
It was night now, the moon lit up the entire area.
Princess Lianxing was kneeling there, not moving only the wind was blowing. After a long time she said softly: “Dead.....he got what he wished for.....but what about us?”
She got up and walked to princess Yaoyue and shouted: “What about us?......We?....... They have what they wanted. But what do we have?”
Princess Yaoyue seemed to be oblivious to this outburst and said coldly: “Quiet.”
Princess Lianxing said: “I will not stay quiet, I want to say this. What have you gained by doing this? You just made them love each other more and made them hate you even more.”
Before she could speak again princess Yaoyue slapped her.
Princess Lianxing backed a bit away from her sister and said with a trembling voice: “You....you....”
Princess Yaoyue said: “You just know that they hate me.....but do you know how much I hate him. I hate him so much that my heart is bleeding.”
She rolled up her sleeve and said loudly: “Look at this.”
Her alabaster arm which was almost perfect was now covered with tiny puncture wounds.
Princess Lianxing was shocked and stammered: “This....this....”
Princess Yaoyue said: “I used a needle to prick myself, ever since they left.....my hatred.....I...I hate.....I used a needle to prick myself. I kept tormenting myself every night, that way I could ease the pain in my heart somewhat. Do you know that! Do you know that!”
Her voice was not cold anymore, but hysterical and emotional and she was shaking all over.
Princess Lianxing looked at the wounds on her sister's arm and was shocked, and soon tears welled up in her eyes. She embraced her sister and wept: “I never......never thought that you would feel so much pain too.”
Princess Yaoyue hugged her sister too and looked at the moon, she melancholically said: “Because I am human too......I hate being human, I hate having these emotions. But because of these emotions I am perceptive of jealousy and hate.”
Both sisters embraced each other.......
In this instant there were not the dreaded female demons of Wulin anymore, but ordinary young women who shared their emotions with each other.
Princess Lianxing said softly: “Sister......sister.....now I realise......”
All of a sudden princess Yaoyue pushed her away and said: “Stand straight.”
Princess Lianxing staggered backwards before standing still, she said tragically: “In more than 20 years, this is the first time you embraced me. Even just now you pushed me back I am still very happy.”
Princess Yaoyue ignored her now and said coldly: “Finish it.”
Princess Lianxing asked: “Finish what?”
Princess Yaoyue said: “The children.”
Princess Lianxing exclaimed with shock: “The children? ......... But they were just born...do you really want to......”
Princess Yaoyue said: “I cannot permit their children to live! If these children don’t die, they will remind me constantly of the betrayal of Jiang Feng and that b-i-t-c-h. Furthermore if they live I will be pursued with agony for the rest of my life.”
Princess Lianxing said: “But I.....”
Princess Yaoyue said: “You don’t want to do it?”
Princess Lianxing said: “I cannot bear to do it.”
Princess Yaoyue said: “Fine! I will do it myself.”
She waved her sleeve casually and a sabre flew up right into her hand, she hurled the sabre and hacked at one of the sleeping babies.
Suddenly princess Lianxing grabbed the hand of princess Yaoyue tightly, but the tip of the sword had already made a shallow cut on the baby’s face.
The baby cried in pain now.
Princess Yaoyue said angrilly: “You dare to stop me!”
Princess Lianxing said: “I....I....”
Princess Yaoyue said: “Let go of me! Have you ever seen anyone who was capable of stopping me?”
All of a sudden princess Lianxing laughed: “Sister, I am not stopping you. I just thought of a better to deal with these children, what do we gain by killing two babies who are unaware of anything.”
Princess Yaoyue stared at her and asked: “What do you suggest?”
Princess Lianxing said: “If you can make these children suffer for the rest of their lives, we will have our revenge. Jiang Feng and Hua Yuenu won’t be able to rest in peace if they knew what was going to happen.”
Princess Yaoyue remained pensive for awhile before sighing: “Tell me what you have planned for them.”
Princess Lianxing said: “Now nobody knows that Jiang Feng has twins, right?”
Princess Yaoyue did not understand what she was hinting at and just said: “Right.”
Princess Lianxing said:"Not even the children know they are twins, right?”
Princess Yaoyue grunted: “Rubbish!”
Princess Lianxing said: “That self-proclaimed number one swordsman in the realm Yan Nantian is Jiang Feng’s best friend. And he was supposed to meet up with Jiang Feng here. Otherwise Jiang Feng wouldn't take this road.....”
Princess Lianxing continued with a smile: “If we were to take one child away and leave one behind Yan Nantian will sure take care of the remaining one. Furthermore he will teach that child martial arts and tell him to avenge his parents. All we have to do is leave a palm imprint on Jiang Feng’s body, he will think the FloralPalace is responsible. So when that child grows up, he will be looking for the FloralPalace.”
Princess Yaoyue was still looking pensive and said: “You’re right.”
Princess Yaoyue added: “At that time we will have raised the other child and taught him martial arts too. He will be the only man in FloralPalace and when our arch-enemy will be looking for us he will be our champion. However no one will know that they are actually brothers and that way they will became each others nemeses.”
Princess Lianxing clapped her hands now and smiled: “Exactly, by that time the little brother will kill the older brother or vice versa. Because they're twins, so they’re bound to be equals so whether they compete in martial arts or intelligence-----it will be a most bloody, interesting fight.”
On princess Yaoyue’s face there was a faint smile now: “Indeed, a most interesting scenario. Even more interesting and better than killing them now. And we will tell the victor, no matter who he is, the truth. I can imagine the look on his face will be most pleasing.”
Princess Lianxing clapped her hands and said: “Very pleasing indeed.”
Suddenly princess Yaoyue said coldly: “However if someone would expose this secret before the right time, than the outcome would not be so pleasing anymore.”
Princess Lianxing said: “But nobody else knows about this.....”
“Except you!” Princess Yaoyue said.
“Me? I thought of this plan, why would I foil it myself? You should know me by now, I am always fond of an pleasing and interesting plot.” Princess Lianxing retorted.
Princess Yaoyue remained silent for a moment before saying: “Indeed, nobody else can think of such a strange idea except you. You wouldn’t foil your own masterplan.”
Princess Lianxing laughed: “This idea may be strange but it is very useful. The best part is that they are twins, but one of them is wounded now on his face. When he grows up, he will be bound to look a bit different now. So nobody will know the truth behind this, they will become each others enemies.”
That wounded baby stopped crying now, it seemed he was scared silent by this evil and maniacal revenge plot. He opened his innocent but startled eyes, he seemed to be aware of his coming disaster and sorrow-----a life filled with misery.
Princess Yaoyue looked at the babies and said softly: “17 years......I have to wait at least another 17 years......”