Liu Han Wei asked her with a surprised tone : " Well, what happens ? Why are you looking at me this way ? " She shook her head as if she was getting out of a bad dream and answered : "Nothing, don't worry, I was just thinking of something which isn't important..." She then discovered the young woman who was with Han Wei and looked at her from her feet to her face and vice versa, and they finally exchanged a shy smile, each of her thinking : " That's strange ! I'm under the impression that I know this girl since years, but we never met, so how come ??!!"
While they were talking, several men had entered the tavern by groups of 3 or 4 men and they had chosen to sat in different places in the tavern. With his expert eyes, Chef Ying noticed that they were sitting in order to obstruct all the issues of the tavern and he had a strange smile, thinking : " Well, things will become interesting in a moment...".
PrincessK and KellyChen, the two Reinafu's maids went to a table in order to ask the men what they wanted to order and one of them shouted : " First, I want the better wine you have in this tavern, and second, I want you to be my slaves!!" and he laughed with a raucous laughter, imitated by his friends. The two girls exchanged a quick look and KellyChen-the elder-ordered PrincessK to go to fetch Reinafu with a head sign.
As she was going to leave the table, one of the men took her hand and tried to force her to sit on his knees, but she took his thumb and twisted it, and then, pushed him so hard that he fell from his chair. His friends laughed, but he was furious and he jumped on his feet and leaped on PrincessK. When she saw that, KellyChen decided to take action in order to protect her friend, but the men who were at the table she served stopped her. Taking a small bamboo tube whe wore as a pendant, KellyChen blowed in it while she was pushing the men with all her forces.
Reinafu was about to ask something to the couple when she heard the whistle blow and, taking her abacus, she immediately run into the dining area, foolowed by Liu Han Wei and Liang Siuyu, and she became angry when she saw the men who were harassing her maids. She snaped her fingers and, under the amazed eyes of the bad men, the two maids changed from timid girls into ferocioous fighters.
However, the bad men were too numerous for the two young girls and, when she saw that the 24 men were now fighting with rage against her maids, Reinafu jumped into the fight, using her abacus as a weapon, distributing strikes with her feet, her hands and her abacus with an amazing dexterity.
From his place, Chef Ying followed the fight with his eyes half closed, shaking his head when he found that the three girl fighters used good techniques and also looking to Han Wei and Siuyu several times, thinking : " Who are they, and why are they here ? ".
Suddenly, Han Wei and Siuyu saw that several men were about to kill Reinafu and KellyChen by treachery and they entered the battle, Siuyu using her long sword and Han Wei using two short sabres.Despite their intervention, Reinafu was hurt and she fell in Han Wei's arms, while Siuyu saved KellyChen. This latter thanked her with a smile and they pursued the fight, but suddenly, four men attacked Siuyu simultaneously and it was her turn to be hurt. She was about to fall on the ground, but Chef Ying jumped to save her and he hurt the four men. He looked at Siuyu and asked her:"Are you alright ? " She said yes with her head and he untightened her, but she had a fainting fir and he lead her to a chair and helped her to sit, and then gave her some water to drink, holding her hand and looking at her with anxiety, which made her blush.When she felt better, she thanked him and she stood up, saying : " I must help the others ". He followed her with his eyes, thinking : " How courageous she is : though qhe is hurt, she returns to the fight just in order to help the others. She's a good girl for sure...".
The couple and three girls were now back to back and surrounded by the 24 men, who showed ferocious rictuses. The two groups gazed at each other during a few seconds, and suddenly, the bad guys launched the assault against the 5 fighters and it was an indescribable fray. The fight lasted for already long minutes when a kind of complaint was suddenly heard. All the fighters freezed and the 24 men inexplicably took flight provoking a big surprise among Reinafu and her companions. They were about to follow them, but Chef Ying chose this moment to intervene, saying : " It's not worth following them, they will be punished by their chief in a while, don't worry. "
Supported by Han Wei, Reinafu asked him : " How do you know that ? Do you know who they are ? ". " I heard once about a group of 24 bandits lead by a mysterious chief...It must be them...How are you ? " " It's just a small wound, don't worry." She looked at Siuyu and asked her " And you, how is your wound " Siuyu answered with a smile : "If your wound is just a small wound, then, mine must be a tiny one...". They all laughed and the two maids lead Reinafu and Siuyu to a room where they began to cure their wound. Left alone, the two men exchanged a quick look, and Chef Ying said : " You're good with your sabres, young man. May I know your name ? " " I'm Liu Han Wei. " Masking his interest and surprise, Chef Ying smiled and said ": I'm Chef Ying. As you can see, I'm a scholar ". Knitting his brows, Han Wei thoughfully said : "A scholar ? How come you're so skilled in martial arts, then ? " Chef Ying laughed : " Skilled ? Oh no, I just have some basis ! I couldn't let these bandits kill this young woman who was with you ! Who is she ? " With a cloud over face, Han Wei answered : " She's my friend. " " And...May I know her name or do you keep this as a secret ?" " She is Liang Siuyu ". As Reinafu was a while ago, Chef Ying became suddenly confused, excited and happy at the same time, but he hid his feelings in order to avoid his interlocutor know what he was thinking.
While KellyCHen and PrincessK took care of them, Reinafu and Liang Siuyu secretly looked at each other, and reinafu finally asked : " I must thank you for your help,young girl. May I know the name of who helped me and my girls, please?" " I'm Liang Siuyu. " Reinafu's heart beat faster, but she didn't go on with ther questions, just saying : " Reinafu is glad to have met such a courageaous girl and will always be grateful for your help. " They exchanged a smile and didn't talk anymore...
When they felt better, the two wounded girls followed the maids in the dining area and they joined Chef Ying and Han Wei. Reinafu noticed that the two men were secretly looking at Siuyu and then to each other and she tought " Hum, it seems that these two are interested in Siuyu...I must be careful...".
With a cheerful tone, she said : " I think that we deserve a good diner, what to you think of that ? " They all agreed and a few minutes later, they were happily eating, drinking and chatting. They had almost finished their dishes when they saw a young girl entering the tavern. She was wearing violet clothes, had a purple haipin in her hair and she was carrying a fiddler. Reinafu stood up and asked her : " I'm the owner of this tavern, Miss. What can I do for you ? " The young girl humbly answered : " I don't have much money and I'd like to know if you would allow me to play music in your tavern in order to get some money and pay you for the dishes and the room, please. " Reinafu exchanged a look with her companions and she finally answered : " You're welcome, Miss ? " " Just call me Andrea, please " . When they heard her name, Liu Han Wei and Liang Siuyu looked at each other and Han Wei whispered in her ear : " Hadn't you told me that this Andrea who asked you to kill my father was a limping man ? " " Yes, it was a man, but I recognize the fiddler, it's the same I saw in this musician's hands...I don't understand anything !! Do you think it's the same person who was disguised or is it someone who stole the real Andrea's fiddler ? " " I don't know, Siuyu,but I think that we must be careful...This man, Chef Ying, asked me about you and he seems very interested in you, and now, we have this Andrea who comes with the same fiddler as the musician who wanted to kill my father...It can't be the fate, so, please, stay near me and act with prudence...".
Chef Ying asked Andrea to play something and they all be surprised to recognize the same complaint they had heard when the bandits escaped when she began to play. Reinafu and Chef Ying exchanged a look and this latter whispered " I must talk to you " and she answered " Come to my room when averybody will be asleep, I also have to talk to you ". He agreed and they began to listen to the sad song Andrea was playing...
To be continued...My brain is on strike for today !!
When Andrea finished her song, they all were touched and they applaused her with enthusiasm. She thanked them and began another song. As soon as she played the first notes, Liang Siuyu hanged onto Liu Han Wei's arm and whispered : " It's the same song the musician played each time we met ! He had told me that he was the composer of this song, so, that's impossible that this girl knows it unless she IS this musician !! Han Wei, I'm afraid !! I don't understand what's going on and I'm really terrified of what will happen !! " He patted his hand with his other hand and reassured her : " Don't worry, Siuyu, I'll always be on your side...Maybe this girl is one of the musician's disciple and that's how she knows this song ? " " I never saw anybody with him and he never told me that he had disciples...How a so frail young girl could be the same person as this Machiavellian musician ?!! That's kind of you to tell me that you'll be by my side, but one day you'll have to go in order to follow your fate and perhaps it will be this moment that my enemies will choose to..." He interrupted her and pronounced seriously : " I'm not telling lise to you, Siuyu, I'll really always be by your side forever ! " She scrutinized him and what she read in his eyes made her blush. They suddenly realized that they were still holding each other's hands and they separate quickly. This exchange hadn't escaped to Reinafu nor to Chef Ying and this latter thought : " I can't let this going on ! She's mine !! ". He was thinking of a way to get rid of Han Wei when Andrea began her third song and he suddenly felt a strange feeling, such as if the music was about to steal his soul. He took his jade flute and began to play too. All the other guests then witnessed a strange fight between the two musicians. The two melodies were responding to each other, going crescendo, suddenly stopping and starting again with more strength and Reinafu and Liu Han Wei realized that this was a real fight between Chef Ying and Andrea when they saw that each of them had small beads of sweat running on their faces. Siuyu had also noticed that and she asked Han Wei : "What happens, Han Wei, why am I under the impression that they fight instead of playing music ? " "Because they are really fighting, Siuyu. They are testing their neigong..." She thought about what he said for a few seconds and she said:" Then, that would mean that this girl knows martial arts ? Hence, she really might be the man who asked me to kill your father ? " " That also means that though he told me that he only knows the basis of martial arts, this guy is also an expert...We must be careful, Siuyu...When I see what's going on since we arrived in this tavern, I wonder if it was a good idea to come here. Perhaps I should have looked for my father by myself when our maids told us that he had disppeared from the house for so many years while I was studying in the capital...".
While they were playing, Chef Ying was thinking : " This girl is an expert, there's no doubt on this, and her level in martial arts is at least as good as mine ! I wonder who she really is and what she is looking for here...I must stop this fight before I loose all my power." He suddenly strongly blowwed in his flute and a tiny dart escaped from it and hurt Andrea on the shoulder. She droped her fiddler and touched her shoulder with a small whining and Chef Ying thought " She's really strong : not only she doesn't fight back, but also she bears the pain without complaining just in order to avoid that we discover that she knows martial arts ! Really strong...How come I never heard of her in the jianghu ?!"
None of the guests had seen that it was Chef Ying who had thrown the dart and, while Reinafu and her maids ran out of the tavern in order to watch if there was someone, Han Wei, Siuyu and Chef Ying joined Andrea and exclaimed : " What happens, Andrea ? Are you hurt ? " " I...I received this...this dart..." She snatched it in order that they can see it and she fainted. Chef Ying took her in his arms and followed Reinafu-wo had come back- to a room. They put Andrea on the bed and Reinafu asked her maids to cure Andrea, while the other guests went to their respective rooms...
Reinafu's tavern : midnight
Wearing black clothes and a black mask, a figure furtively left the tavern and ran away. She soon left the town and arrived in a cave hidden by a group of trees in the mountain. Several men were sleeping there and she woke them up with a srike with her feet. They jumped on their feet right away and respectfully knelt down, saying " Master, you're here ". The figure answered with anger : " You're just a band of stupid men ! What thappened in the tavern ?!! I had asked you just to kill Reinafu and Chef Ying, not to harass the maids or kill the other guests !! " One of the men tried to reply, but the figure stopped it with her hand and said : " I want these two bastards dead as soon as possible ! The four chiefs, come with me , I'm going to tell you what to do..." The four chiefs of the six groups of bandits followed the figure and they went to an obscure section of the cave reserved to the master and this one began to speak, carefully listened to by the four men...
Reinafu's tavern : midnight
Someone discretly knocked to Reinafu's door and she opened it, inviting Chef Ying in her room. They silently looked at each other for a few seconds, and then she asked him : " What did you want to tell me, Sir ? Will you finally let me know why you want to find the real Liu Si Hua ? " Instead of answering her question, he asked her : " And you, what did you want to tell me, Bloody Peony ? " After a short hesitation, she answered : " It was nothing important. I thought that I had an idea regarding Liu Si Hua, but I was mistaken...Well, I'm listening to you...". He smiled and sat on a chair without saying a word, looking at her with a malicious expression...
Finally, he began to speak and the more he spoke, the more Reinafu was surprised and sometimes afraid by what he said. After several minutes of conversation, they finally separate and he left her alone. She went to bed and switched off the candle, but she couldn't sleep and she finally stood up and decided to leave the tavern. She prepared some clothes, food water and money, wrote a letter with some instructions for KellyChen and silently left her room. She went to the stable and, a few seconds later, she left the town on her horse...
Four days later in a small town 40km around Kaifeng
Nobody who saw the young woman wearing a beautiful white and pink dress and riding a superb black horse would have recognized Bloody Peony when she arrived in the town. She had hidden her weapons in the bags hanging on her saddle and she was smiling and politely saluting everybody with modesty. She crossed the town without stopping in any tavern and she went out of the city, taking the direction of the mountain. She soon arrived near a small house placed in a clearing below the mountain and she stopped her horse. She went into the house and she was received by two girls wearing a pink uniform who respectfully saluted her and lead her to a courtyard where there was a big well. She thanked them with her head and when they were gone, she went down the well and arrived in a large labyrinth in which she walked as surely as if she was born there. She finally arrived in a big room where a blind and one-armed woman was sitting on a throne, supported by at least 20 young girls wearing the same uniform as the maids who had lead Reinafu to the courtyard.
Reinafu knelt down and said : " Reianfu is here, Master ". The blind woman sent the girls away with her hand and, when she didn't hear any sound, she asked : " Arise, and tell me the news. " Reinafu stood up and said " I think that I found her, Master ". " You think, or you're sure ? " " Actually, there are two girls, and I'm sure that one of them is the one we are looking for, but I still don't know which one of them is the good one..." " And...him ? " " I still don't have any news, but someone has asked me to find him..." " So, that means that the one we killed wasn't the right one ? How come ? You had told me that you were absolutely sure of your informations ! " " I'm sorry, Master, I was as surprised as you are when I learnt that it wasn't the right man... I won't make the same mistake again, I promise you ! " " Alright, you can go, now. " With tears in her eyes, Reinafu looked at the blind woman with a disappointed expression, knelt again in order to salute her master, and left the room with a big sigh...
Andrea sat alone but didn't eat. PrincessK came to her table and said : "You better get well soon and play music again!Or I have to get rid you off from here cause you haven't paid any rent! Miss Reinafu asked me to take care of you when you get hurt. But now you seems to be okay!"
Andrea only looked at her but didn't say anything. "I will pay for her bill!" said Chefying. "Bring food for us!" said Chefying again and he sat on the chair in front of Andrea.
"Thank you Chefying!" said Andrea.
Chefying : "I don't understand! You looked like a rich girl. Your clothes, and even your fiddle, looks like an expensive fiddle. But you don't even have any money to pay for food an room!"
Andrea : "I lost my wallet. I lost all the money that my teacher gave me."
Chefying : "Where you're from? And what's your teacher's name?"
Andrea : "I am from Tianshan, my teacher's name is Galvatron!"
Chefying : "Hmm, I've never heard his name!"
Andrea laughed : "He's an old Confucian scholar who teach some students in literature and music. He's not famous at all. I don't think there's anyone outside our little village know him or ever heard his name!"
Chefying looked at her and thought : "This girl is obviously knows martial art, but she pretends as if she knows nothing. I wonder who she is. What does she want?"
Chefying : "So what makes you come to Zhongyuan?"
Andrea : "I get bored. I wanted to see the world. And then my teacher asked me to go to Hangzhou to meet Cai Family of the TenThousands Pine Mansion."
Chefying : " Cai Family of the TenThousands Pine Mansion? Have you gone there?"
Andrea : "Not yet. I'm still stuck around here because I don't have money, and also that dart!! so weird...I played fiddle but then suddenly there's a dart on my shoulder!"
Chefying : "perhaps...you have an enemy?!"
Andrea : "I don't have any enemy. I haven't encountered with many people, never engaged in any fighting or anything!"
Chefying : "Hmm, tell me about your fiddle. That's a special fiddle. How do you get that one?"
Andrea laughed : "That's not a special fiddle. In Tianshan, we only have poisonous snake, that's why we used that poisonous snake sin to make fiddles. But because those snakes are too small, then we had to sew those skin altogether. In my village, there's no store like in Zhongyuan. My fiddle is just roughly made by my teacher."
Chefying : "Oh really? Interesting! Can I take a loot of it?"
Andrea nodded and handed in her fiddle without any hesitation.
Chefying received the fiddle with his hands. And he was surprised, that fiddle was so heavy. The weight of the fiddle must be at least 40 pounds. He was surprised but he didn't want to show it. He's wondering then how come a girl who looked weak like her could carry along such a heavy fiddle?
At the same time Siuyiu and Han Wei just came to the dining room to eat. Siuyiu then rushed to Chefying and she hesitated said : "Can I take a look at the fiddle?"
Chefying looked at her and smile warmly. "Good evening miss Siuyiu!" He looked at Andrea to ask for her approval. Andrea laughed and said, "You all can touch my fiddle, as long as you don't destroy it. Now that fiddle is my only source of income!"
Siuyiu received the fiddle as if the fiddle was just light, not heavy at all. Chefying frowned. He became confused. Could it be that Siuyiu had a very good neigong that she didn't feel that the fiddle was so heavy?
Siuiyu looked at the fiddle carefully. She remembered how Andrea the man near the West Lake, threw secret needles toward her from the tuning pegs of her fiddle. She looked at the peg carefully. It's impossible for secret weapons to be thrown from that fiddle. Siuyiu became confused. She returned the fiddle to Andrea.
"Now that you've recovered, you should play more songs. Not only to entertain us, but tonight there's a lot of people coming here. Perhaps you can earn money with that!" said Siuyiu. And she returned the fiddle back to Andrea.
Andrea smiled. "Last time when I played fiddle, Chefying interrupted it with his flute. Fiddle and flute...is not a good combination. But, I love hearing flute too... Why not today...I play zither, so that Chefying can play his flute too? There's a zither in that corner! Apparently nobody used it!" said Andrea and pointed a dusty zither in the corner of the dining room.
Chefying : "Sounds great. Why don't you start!"
Andrea then walked to picked up the zither. She came back to her seat and ready to play the zither.
"Tonight is a beautiful night, we should play happy songs!" she said and started to play the zither. It's a nice beautiful song.
PrincessK, who was standing on the cashier desk, suddenly walked toward a young man, a customer who was eating at the tavern. PrincessK walked toward him with a flirty gestures and she said : "Mister Wan, now you tell me that you often come here only for the food..or you come here to see my master, Miss. Reinafu?"
That young man looked at her with pervert smile and said : "No..no..I come here not only for her. But this tavern has nice wine and beautiful girls...not only Miss Reinafu..."
PrincessK : "Not only Miss Reinafu?" She laughed flirtily. "Is that also mean that you come here for me? Well, I don't need an answer...but I want to tell you, that I've been interested in you since the first time I saw you. So tonight...is the night! It's now or never!" she looked at him and smiled. "My room is near the kitchen, with the red lantern in front of it. Come to see me tonight after midnight! I'll be waiting!" She said that slowly and walked away.
That young man looked happy and he slapped PrincessK's butt slowly. "I'll be there for you tonight! And let's have some fun!"
On the other corner, there's two peoples who were gambling and half drunk. The first man said : "I'm so lucky today. Today you fell into my trick that i won easily!" The second man laughed and said : "You bastard! You think I didn't know that you're cheating me? I slept with your wife this morning! That's why I let you win easily to make you happy!" Those two men laughed so hard but they were too drunk to realize what they were just saying.
On the other tables, a group of men were talking and making jokes about PrincessK and KellyChen, the two waitress on the tavern. One of the guy then even made some indecent comment about Siuyiu.
Hearing that, Siuyiu frowned. She couldn't understand why these men just talked like that.
Han Wei who was listening to the zither song, suddenly walked toward Chefying : "Chefying, you know,...Siuyiu is mine. I hope that you can behave and don't look at her with your pervert eyes!"
Chefying surprised to hear that. "Mister Liu, how do you know that i like her?"
Han Wei : "No I'm not. I have been watching you in this past few days. And I notice that you always trying to find opportunities to talk to Siuyiu!"
Siuyiu laughed : "Brother Han Wei, don't mind about him. Not that I didn't know that he's eyeing on me. But..who cares anyway? You know that I only like you!"
Han Wei came to Siuyiu and took her hands : "Siuyiu....tell me...that you like me too!"
Siuyiu : "I like you Han Wei. That's why I'm glad that the man that I killed was not your father. Wait until we solve this case, then I will be yours! You have to marry me!"
Chefying : "No, I wouldn't let you both be together!"
Siuyiu : "Who are you? Why we have to obey you?
Andrea : "Yes, who are you Chefying? Why are you here? What's your motivation?
Chefying opened his mouth ready to answer. But then he stopped. He realized that something wrong was going on. Meanwhile, some fighting happened in the tavern. Chefying realized something...he looked at Andrea. That girl was playing zither. It was an ordinary zither, but the song...the song....something in the song..He realized one thing. He realized that the song, must be an evil song that was called "A Confession Song". It's a song that when be played by someone with powerful neigong, could make people who hear it hypnotized and would tell anything honestly.
Chefying then tried to use his neigong to block the song influence. But the song was too powerful. He took his jade flute, and played some songs which was so disturbing to overpower the zither voice. Some people became to complain.
KellyChen : "Mr. Chefying, please...if you play flute, you should match it with the zither song. You're ruining the zither song!"
Siuyiu and Han Wei who were still holding hands, suddenly realized that they're holding hands. They were surprised. They didn't know what was just going on. Some people who were quarreling and fighting became to calm down. They were all confused and didn't understand what was just going on and why they were just quarreling
Andrea finished her song. And she smiled innocently at Chefying : "Chefying, why suddenly you play such an awful song with your flute?"
Chefying, with his face full of sweat...looked at her. "What song did you play just now?"
Andrea answered : "Ah...that's a folk song in Kunlun Mountain areas. I thought that it was a nice song, that's why I played it."
Chefying : "What's your relationship with the Demon Zither of Kunlun?"
Andrea said : "Never heard of him."
Chefying angrily said : "Stop pretending! That song that you just played, 'A Confession Song' is an evil song which already lost two hundred years ago. How can you be able to play that song that if you don't know Demon Zither?"
Andrea said : "What are you talking about? I don't even know the title of that song."
Chefying didn't waste his time. He used his flute to attack Andrea at her vital blood points. His move was so fast that only people who have a good martial art skills could detect it. He didn't expect that Andrea didn't move. As fast as his attack, as fast as he stopped. If he didn't stop in time, Andrea would be dead. Actually Andrea was just calmly sat back at her seat. She seemed didn't know that Chefying was just tried to attack her. Siuyiu and Han Wei who saw it were shocked. If only Chefying didn't stop his attack, Andrea would have been dead now.
Andrea sat back on her seat, and she spoke toward Chefying : "This song, is indeed a little bit different, some people said this song originally from Persia, that's why they have this tune," said Andrea and she showed Chefying some weird tunes that she said originally came from Persia. Chefying looked at her. Either she's dumb, or she didn't know martial art at all, or she's a great pretender?
Han Wei and Siuyiu looked at each other.
That night, Han Wei and Siuyiu continued their conversation in Siuyiu's room.
"Brother Han Wei, ..that Andrea. Her fiddle..is not the same with the fiddle that the man used when I fought him in West Lake.I think they both are not the same person."
Han Wei : "Are you sure? What makes you think they are different person?"
Siuyiu : "Because, when the man attacked me, he used his fiddle to dodge my sword. And his fiddle was so heavy. But her fiddle was just a normal fiddle. I checked on the tuning peg, and it's not possible that the peg can shoot secret weapon."
Han Wei : "This is scary Siuyiu. Whoever she is, I believe that she's a demon."
They both looked at each other.
Inspired by Jim Carey's 'Liar Liar'... It's funny somehow if everybody become so blunt and honest
Reinafu was on her way to return to her tavern when she suddenly was surrounded by about ten masked fighters who immediately attacked her, making her falling from her saddle without giving her a chance to fight back. She rolled on the ground and she rised, took the whip hanging on the saddle and she began to twirl it in order to make them to move back. One of them took the whip with his two hands, pulling her towards him and she had to use her feet in order to get rid of the other fighters. She suddenly touched a precise place of the whip and a flexible sword sprang out of the whip. Then, one could hear only the clinking of the swords in the place where the fight was happening. Reinafu had already received several strokes of various weapons and she had already badly hurt three or four men, but since the fight lasted for already long minutes, she was weakened by her wounds and her sight wasn't clear enough to be able to avoid the violent strike that the chief of the group gave her with his axe and she fell on the ground. However, she courageously continued to fight back as well as she could, thinking : " If nobody comes to help me, I'm going to die for sure ! Who are they and why do they want to kill me ?!! Oh, Mother, I'm so sorry to be unable to fulfill your wishes !! " and she suddenly fainted.The men looked at her with attention and one of them gave her a strike with his foot in order to check if it was a trick of not, and when they saw that she didn't fight back, they congratulated each other with big laughes...
Hua Fei walked fast, in a rush to arrive to the lakeside, thinking : " How come nobody told me that he was there ? Why did he hide there ? Who was he waiting for ? ...Hey, who are these masked guys and what are they doing ? But...Yes, it's a girl lying on the ground and those bastards seem to be about to...I won't let them do it !! " He ran towards the group and apostrophized the men : " Hey, you !! What do you want to do to this girl !! " The chief of the group looked at his friends ; they laughed at him and he said " Who do you think you are, young man ? Go away and don't meddle with our business !! " " When bastards are bullying innocent people who can't fight back, I always meddle in others' businesses. You should go away before I get nervous !! " " Ho, ho, ho !!! And what do you do when you get nervous, young man ?!! Do you throw a tantrum and tap you foot like a child ?!!! " He had just finished to pronounce these words when he received a small iron ball on the face. The ball had arrived so quickly that nobody had seen Hua Fei throwing it. The chief wiped the blood on his face and the men surrounded Hua Fei, ready to kill him. Once again, he was faster than them. He twirled around, throwing a lot of tiny shurikens which harmed each of the men as surely as he had hammered a nail on the wall. They immediately fell asleep on the ground and he ran towards Reinafu. When he saw this beautiful girl in her white and pink clothes, he freezed and whispered : " How beautiful she is !! I must get her away from these brutes before they awake, the potion on the shurikens won't be effective for too long..." He suddenly noticed the large traces of blood on Reinafu's clothes and he exclaimed " But she is badly wounded !! What a band of bastards !! So many men against one girl!! " He cautiously took Reinafu in his arms, looked around him and, seeing a kind of natural cave near where they were, he ran in this direction, just at the same moment when one of the men was awakening. Fortunately, the man didn't see him and he reached his hideout without any problem.
He put Reinafu on the ground and began to cure her wounds, being a little bit anxious to see that she didn't react. He poured water in her mouth and put his bag under her head and then, he began to explore their refuge. He discovered another room and, seeing a kind of altar with candles, he went to watch what it was. He then opened wide his eyes when he discovered the head put on the altar and obviously well taken care of by someone, and he fell on his knees, crying:"Father !!No, that's impossible, it can't be you !! Father !! What happened, Father ? Why are you dead ? Who killed you so cruelly ? I swear that I will avenge you, Father, you can be assured that I'll track down your murderer until I kill him and then, you'll rest in peace !! ".
He suddenly saw the skin mask lying on the floor and he examined it, thinking : " What's that ? Why was my father wearing this mask ? The more I go on in my investigations, the less I understand something !! But I'll find the truth, as sure as I'm Ding Hua Fei !! " He heard then a whine and he ran in the place where he had left Reinafu. She had opened her eyes and tried to get up when she saw him, but he didn't let her doing that, saying : " Don't worry, Miss, I'm not here to harm you. It's me who saved you from these guys. What did they want from you ? " " I...I don't even know why they attacked me !! They didn't say a word and they suddenly attacked me. Thank you for your help, Mister ?" " I'm Ding Hua Fei. " " You mean...That you're the son of the bandit Ding Lei ? " He frowned and said with anger : " WHo said my father was a bandit ?!! " " Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't want to hurt you, but I recently heard of a man with this name and he was referred to as a bandit from Shandong, with the nickname of Picking Flower Bandit...I thought that perhaps we were talking of the same man. " " My father always has been an honest man, but he disappeared six years ago and we never knew what he has done during these six years, and now...now I found him dead in the next room and I don't even know why he has been killed, why he was wearing a skin mask and who killed him !!!" " I'm sorry for you..." He didn't talk for a few seconds, and then asked her : " Who are you, Miss ? I noticed that some of the men who attacked you were badly hurt, so, I guess that you're not a debutant in the martial arts world..." "My name is Reinafu. " "Reinafu ?! You mean that you are Bloody Peony ? " She agreed with her head and he exclaimed : " Then you'll surely be able to help me to find my father's murderers ! I beg you, please, help me !! " Reinafu hesitated, thinking : " If he discovers the truth, we will be enemies, but I don't want to hurt him, he saved me and he looks so kind !! " She finally answered : " I'll help you, Hua Fei, don't worry, but first, I have to recover from my wounds, I feel so weak !" He pressed her hands in his and said : " DOn't worry, I'll help you to recover. When it will be night, I'll lead you to your home and I'll fetch a doctor. " They exchanged a smile and he layed down near her...
PincessK smiled to Mister Wan and they exchanged a kiss, and then he asked her : " What are the news, PrincessK ? " " Reinafu has gone to see the Master since already four days, she should have return now. This girl Andrea and this man Chef Ying seem to be real experts in martial arts. " " And the two others?" " I don't know anything about them, except their names. " " Well, try to get more informations, my master is nervous at this moment..." She agreed and they exchanged another kiss...
A few minutes after Mister Wan's departure, Kelly Chen joined PrincessK and asked her " Do you have some news from Reinafu ? " " No...Perhaps we should go to her room and look for some clues ? " " You know how she is, she doesn't like when someone meddles in her business. " " Yes, I know, but if something wrong happens to Elder Sister, Master won't never forgive us. She trusted us to protect Reinafu, and we can't give up our mission..." . The two girls exchanges a anxious look and din't say anything more...
Finally, Liu Han Wei decided : " We'll leave tomorrow morning, we can't stay here anymore, there are too many strange things happening here and we don't even know where is Reinafu..." Liang Siuyu smiled : " I wonder if it's the only reason why you want to go, or if it's also because you're jealous of Chef Ying..." " Yes, I'm jealous ! But I also want to return at home and investigate more on what the maids and servants of my family told us regarding my father when we got there. " " Why don't we leave immediately, Han Wei ? I don't hide you that I'm really afraid of all what happened since we went in this tavern..." He cogitated a few seconds and answered:"You're right, Siuyu, let's leave this tavern immediately, the sooner the better..." They packed their things and they went to the cashier desk where there were KellyChen. She looked at them with surprise and said : " How come you want to leave here so suddenly ? Aren't you satisfied with our service ? " " Yes, we are, but we are in a hurry to settle some matters. We will return soon, don't worry, your dishes were succulent..." They saluted each other and they left the tavern. They suddenly heard someone running behind them and they discovered Chef Ying who exclaimed : " What a coincidence ! You leave the tavern just at the same moment as me ! Perhaps we could travel together?" Siuyu had an amused smile while Han Wei answered with reluctance : " It depends on the direction you take, Chef Ying..." " I'm not in a hurry and I can go whatever I want , so, as I have good feelings being with both of you, I'll take the same direction as yours !". Han Wei had a fatalistic gesture and the three of them took the direction of the end of the town.
On the third day, they stopped in a clearing and after having eaten, they settled themselves to spend the night. Siuyu was alone and the two men were sleeping in another corner of the clearing. Liang Siuyu was deeply asleep when she suddenly felt something on her right ankle. She immediately opened her eyes and was about to shout, but Chef Ying-yes, it was him-put his hand on her mouth and whispered : " Don't shout, Siuyu, I don't want to harm you ! I'm going to remove my hand, jus promise me that you won't shout and that you'll listen to me before doing anything. " She scrutinized him, and said " yes " with her head. He slowly removed his hand and he had an eased sigh when he saw that she didn't shout. She asked him : " What do you want from me, Chef Ying ? " " I Want to tell you that you can't marry Liu Han Wei !! " Surprised, she repeated : " I can't marry Han Wei ? And why not, please ? ! " " Because you're mine !!" "What a stupid idea !! We don't know each other and it's not because we spent a while in the same tavern that you're already in love with me !! Get away and let us in peace, please ! " " I tell you that you're mine, Siuyu ! We have been promised to each other when we were born !! " Putting her hands on her mouth, Siuyu shaked her head from right to left and she stammered : " What are you talking about ? Who are you and how do you know this ?!! " He rolled up her trousers and showed her the jade bracelet she wore on her right ankle, and then, he rolled hiw own trousers and showed her that he wore the same one on his right ankle too. Once again, she shaked her head from left to right and exclaimed : " That's impossible, that's totally impossible !! I'm an orphan, who could have promised me to anyone ? It must be a mistake !!" " It's not a mistake, Siuyu, you're the younger daughter of the Liang family and your parents and mine have agreed on our marriage since we were born. So, you can't marry Liu Han Wei. Come with me, I'll lead you to my home and we'll marry there. " He took her arms in order to help her to get up, but she violently rejected him and shout :" Let go of me !! I don't want to go with you, I don't love you !! I love Han Wei and it's him who I'll marry !! " He clasped her and tried to kiss her and she shout louder : " Get away ! I don't want you ! I beg you, let go of me, please !! " Liu Han Wei suddenly awoke when he heard his lover's voice and he ran towards the couple and gave a big strike to Chef Ying with his foot, exclaiming : " What are you trying to do, you bastard !! Let my fiancee and go away, we don't want you with us !!" " Siuyu isn't your fiancee, young man, she is mine !! " Han Wei looked at Siuyu with a surprised and an inquisitor look and she explained in a cry : " He...He says that we have been promised to each other since we were born !! I don't want to go with him, Han Wei, I'm in love with you !!" Then, Han Wei looked at Chef Ying and this latter confirmed : " That's true, Han Wei, look at this. " and he showed him the two jade bracelets. Totally devastated, Han Wei sat down and whispered : "I can't believe it ! " Siuyu escaped from Chef Ying's arms and she joined him, still crying : "Don't let him separate us, Han Wei !! We love each other and Chef Ying and me are totally unknowns for each other ! Who will verify if the promise has been kept or not ? ! Let's go and forget him ! " They intensely looked at each other and he suddenly took her hand and they ran away. Chef Ying jumped and cut them the road, shouting : " You won't get away so easily ! I won't let you steal my fiancee !! " " But you don't know her, so, you don't love her ! We love each other, you can't break our love ! " Chef Ying took his flute and, using it as a sword, he attacked Liu Han Wei. The two men were fighting since a few minutes when a group of about twelve masked men suddenly appeared and attacked the three companions, forcing them to unite in order to get rid of them. It was a fierce fight, the masked men using axes, swords and various weapons and the three partners were already hurt and suddenly, Chef Ying received a bad strike of axe on the back and he fell on the floor. When he saw that both Han Wei and Siuyu were about to be killed by treachery, he threw some smoke balls and the men instantaneously fell asleep on the floor. Han Wei and Siuyu looked at each other and he took her hand and he pulled her, saying " Let's go ". But Liang Siuyu was a kind-hearted young woman and, showing Chef Ying who had fainted, she said : " We can't abandon him here, Han Wei, he will die if nobody comes to his help ! " " But he wants to separate us ! " " We can't let him die ! We'll leave when a doctor will be curing him ! " Han Wei sighed and he took Chef Ying in his arms and they left quickly. They suddenly felt worried when they realized that the soporific smoke balls effect had stopped and that the men who had attacked them were pursuing them, and they began to run, praying the gods to help them to find a hideout.
They soon arrived near a big house which seemed to be deserted and they immediately jumped over the wall, penetrated in the courtyard and then in a big room without being seen by their pursuers. Totally exhausted, they fall on the ground and tried to recover their breath. A few seconds later, they left Chef Ying on the ground and they began to explore their refuge. Siuyu suddenly stumbled on something and when she watched on the ground in order to see what it was, she let escape a shout and Han Wei quickly put his hand on her mouth in order to stop her, asking her : " What happens ? " She showed him the ground and he discovered a lot of dead bodies with an expression of big terror on their faces, and also some skeletons covering the ground of the courtyard they were about to cross. Hiding her face on his shoulder, she whispered : " Where are we, Han Wei, why are there so many bodies here and what did they see that frightened them so intensely that they died ?!! " " I don't know, Siuyu. Let's cure our wounds and spend the night here, and then we'll leave this house as quickly as possible. " She agreed with her head and they continued their visit. They finally found a clean room and, using the water of a well in the inside court near the room, they cleaned and cured their respective wounds, and finally fell asleep on the bed, cuddled up to each other...
When he awoke, Chef Ying opened his eyes and looked around him, and when he saw where he was, he whispered : " That's impossible, I can't be here ! " He crawled on the ground to the opposite wall, touched it in a precise place and a stone moved, opening a tunnel in which he crawled, and the stone closed without a sound. The sun had arised when Han Wei and Siuyu awoke and they immediately went to the room where they had left Chef Ying and when they saw that he had disappeared, they both exclaimed : " How strange it is !! Where is he ? " Han Wei decided : " Let's go. If he has disappeared, it's that he is not too badly hurt, so, we can leave here without any remorse. " She agreed and they were about to leave the house when they heard a big troup arriving near the house and a man saying : " They can't be far !! Search each house around here and find them, quick !! " They exchanged a look, and Han Wei decided : " Let's hide, it must be our pursuers ! " and they returned to the room they just had left, thinking of a way to escape safely...