White Horse Neighing in the West Wind Chapter 22

White Horse Neighing in the West Wind Chapter 22

Li Wenxiu gazed at the handkerchief. As he had said, once the yellow silk handkerchief was stained with blood, its depictions could be seen clearly. The areas which had not been stained with blood remained yellow. On the day that Su Pu was bitten by the wolf, he had bled only a little, and only revealed one corner of the depictions. But tonight, he had suffered a wound from a sword, revealing a large part of the depictions. Only then did she realise that this handkerchief actually hid such a great secret. Chen Dahai calculated, “If these few people join forces to deal with me, and all rush at me at once, that would be unthinkable. While these two Kazaks are still drunk, I’ll kill them first, to ensure the success of my plan.” He walked slowly towards Su Lu’ke, and suddenly pulled out his sword, sending it down on his head. The dealing of this sword blow was so sudden and the movement so quick that Su Lu’ke had no chance to avoid it. Su Pu gave a loud cry, and attempted to leap forward to save his father, but there was no time to do so. Chen Dahai’s sword was about to strike Su Lu’ke’s head, when he heard a sudden swoosh. An object was thrown towards his face, travelling at a high speed. In his haste, he did not bother to harm Su Lu’ke, and quickly leaped to the left. With a loud cling clang, the object hit the wall and was immediately smashed to smithereens. It was actually nothing but a tea bowl. After he had calmed his nerves, he realised that the person who had thrown the tea bowl at him was none other than Li Wenxiu.

Chen Dahai was livid. All along, he saw that this Kazak lad was skinny and fair, just like a woman, and thus ignored him. Whoever knew that ‘he’ would actually dare to swat flies on a tiger’s head? With his sword drawn, he pointed at her and scolded, “Little Kazak dog, are you tired of living?” Li Wenxiu slowly unbuttoned her Kazak coat, and removed it, revealing the Han-style short coat she wore inside. In the Kazak language, she declared, “I am not a Kazak. I am a Han.” Her left hand pointing at Su Lu’ke, she said, “This Kazak uncle thinks that all Hans are bandits and evildoers. I want him to know that not all of us Hans are bandits, we have good people too.” Everyone had clearly seen that if not for Li Wenxiu throwing the bowl to save Su Lu’ke, he would have died from the blow from Chen Dahai’s sword. After hearing what she said, Su Pu was first to reply, “Thank you very much for saving my father!” Su Lu’ke remained very stubborn and shouted, “You are a Han, I don’t need you to save me, just let this bandit kill me.” Chen Dahai stepped forward, and asked Li Wenxiu, “Who are you? You are a Han, so what are you doing here?” Li Wenxiu smiled a cold, small smile and said, “You do not recognize me, but I recognize you. The people who robbed Kazak tribes and caused the deaths of many Kazak were your gang of Han bandits.” As this point, her voice became bitter, and thought, “If not for your gang of bandits committing so many evil deeds, Su Lu’ke would not hate us Hans to the core.” Chen Dahai answered loudly, “So what if it was me?” Li Wenxiu pointed at A’man, and said, “She is your female slave, I want to seize her, to be my female slave!” Everyone was surprised to hear these words.

Chen Dahai was stunned momentarily, then laughed loudly, saying, “All right, if you’re good enough, then try to seize her.” He waved his sword. The blade trembled and made a buzzing sound.

Turning her head, to A’man she said, “You have swore an oath in the Great Allah’s name, to be his female slave for all your life. If he is unable to defeat me, you will be seized by me, and be my female slave for all you life, am I right?” When Kazaks fought with people of other races, they would treat captured prisoners as slaves. There were specific instructions regarding this in the Islamic Quran. The status of a slave was no different from a domesticated animal; he had no freedom to act on his own, and was bought and sold in accordance with his owner’s wishes. If his owners were defeated by someone else, his property, domesticated animals and slaves would be taken by others. After hearing what she said, A’man thought, “Since I am already a female slave, I’d rather acknowledge you as my owner than follow this evil bandit and be tormented by him.” So she nodded her head and answered, “Yes, it is so.” She added, “You… you won’t be able to defeat him. This bandit’s martial arts are excellent.” Li Wenxiu replied, “You needn’t worry about that, if I cannot defeat him, then naturally I will be killed by him.” She clapped her hands, and to Chen Dahai she said, “Come on then!” Amazed, Chen Dahai said, “You are fighting me with bare hands?” Li Wenxiu said, “Why would I need any weapons to kill an evil bandit like you?” Chen Dahai thought, “Everyone here is my enemy, if I linger a moment longer, I will be in more danger. If he wishes to overestimate himself, then that would be excellent.” He shouted, “Beware the sword!” His sharp sword was thrust out, displaying the stroke, ‘Poisonous Snake Exiting its Cave’. The sword was sent towards Li Wenxiu’s chest, and was travelling at a powerful speed.

Old man Ji called, “Quick, get back!” He thought that Li Wenxiu would have great difficulty in keeping him off. Li Wenxiu’s body jerked, lightly and silently avoiding the blow. She rushed to Chen Dahai’s left. Lifting her left elbow, she hit his waist. Chen Dahai called out, “Good!” His sword made a circular movement , and sliced towards her arm. Li Wenxiu kicked out with her right foot and hit his wrist. This stroke, ‘Flying Swallow Beneath Leaves’, was one of Hua Hui’s unique strokes. Li Wenxiu had mastered it only after seven to eight days’ of painstaking practice. Chen Dahai quickly drew back his wrist, but was too slow. His wrist was painful; it had been hit. As the other party did not use much force, Chen Dahai’s sword did not slip from his hand. He gave a loud roar, and leapt back a step. Old man Ji gave a cry, completely surprised. Chen Dahai stroked his wrist, and leapt forward with his sword drawn, duelling with Li Wenxiu. At this time he did not dare to look down on this weak, skinny youth any more. Seeing that the youth’s martial arts were remarkable, he immediately used his Green Python Swordplay. Each stroke was vicious and determined to stab the youth to death. Li Wenxiu had reiceved training from her master Hua Hui, her movements were quick and agile while her strokes were unusual. However, she has never sparred with others before, and had absolutely no experience in handling enemies. At first she was spurred on by hatred, and wanted to kill this evil bandit to avenge her parents. Later, she became more familiarized with her enemy’s swordplay, and her mind calmed gradually.

Old man Ji’s cottage was already narrow, and there was a fire burning in the hall. The two of them leapt around and dueled about the fire. The blade of the sword and fists seemed to come into close contact very often, and it was as if every blow from Chen Dahai was able to take Li Wenxiu’s life. But she was always able to hit back or dodge, and managed to counteract all his strokes. Su Lu’ke and the rest watched, their mouths wide open. Old man Ji became more and more fearful as he watched, and his body trembled uncontrollably.

When the pair became fully engrossed in duelling, Chen Dahai displayed the stroke ‘Divine Snake Spitting’, the tip of the sword pointed at Li Wenxiu’s throat. Li Wenxiu bowed her head, and leapt from under the sword. Her left arm clasped her enemy’s right arm, sending his long sword flying outwards. Her hands grabbed hold of the gold and silver daggers at Chen Dahai’s waist. With a pull and a push, there was a ringing noise, and the daggers had pierced both his armpits.