Chapter 3 : GuoXiang Takes Me Riding
Within the falling snow, big-headed ghost advances forward quickly while clutching on to JiangChen and GuoXiang’s wrists, because his light-weight skill is quite unique, it is very similar to a frog leaping forward, despite his body being short, after each leap he advances very far.
The feeling JiangChen and GuoXiang is experiencing as they are being pulled is similar to being dragged by steel handcuffs, extremely painful, GuoXiang’s heart is throbbing because she has no idea where big-headed ghost is going to take them, even though she has been through training since she was small from GuoJing and HuangRong and received their direct teachings, leading to her martial arts already having quite a foundation. When they first set out she could barely keep up with big-headed ghost in speed, but after a while she could only be like JiangChen and get dragged along.
After advancing like this for a while, suddenly a voice from behind a mountain rang out ahead:”Big-headed ghost, why are you so late? Haha, you even brought a beautiful female child, and a little brat as well!”
Big-headed ghost replies:”She is GuoJing and HuangRong’s daughter, this kid is an unknown, but he said he wanted to see the Condor Hero so I brought him too.”
That man was surprised for a moment, hadn’t opened his mouth yet when another sinister sounding voice called out:”It’s almost eleven*1, hurry up and go!” Afterwards, dozens of clopping noises from horsehoovescould be heard, along with twenty horses dashing out from behind the mountain.
Due to it is snowing non-stop, the snow-covered floor reflects light so that JiangChen could make out nine people on top of the twenty horses,about half of the horses don’t have riders. Big-headed ghost walked over and brought three horses back, handing two of the reins to JiangChen and GuoXiang, hopping on one himself and shouting:”Quickly, get on the horse!”
GuoXiang lightly jumped onto the back of her horse while JiangChen cowardly mumbled:” I……I don’t know how to ride a horse.”
“What!?” Shouted the big-headed ghost while he glared angrily at JiangChen.
“Don’t scare him uncle, he’s light, he can ride with me.”Seeing big-headed ghost fuming, she hurriedly reached her arm out to JiangChen saying:”Big brother, get on, you can ride with me.”
“Ok.”JiangChen subconsciously nods his head, and grabsonto her hand using it as leverage to jump on to the horse, while his heart is beating nonstop thinking:”Oh my god*2, I never thought I would actually be able to ride on the same horse as the goddess GuoXiang!”
Fortunately, JiangChen is an adult, so his self-control is pretty good. Both hands tightly clinging onto the saddle, instead of asking for death by hugging GuoXiang, otherwise, there will be serious consequences afterwards even if she doesn’t mind.
“Go.” Seeing this, big-headed ghost whistles loudly and the twenty horses gallop towards the north-west.
Looking at the nine other people, JiangChen sees that two of them are female, one old-fashioned, an old woman, and the other wearing a big red dress, as if her whole body is on fire, especially dazzling in the snow.
He is also temporarily unable to see the faces of the other seven.
In the blink of an eye, they have already travelled more than a kilometer, the person in front shouted “Halt!”, and the twenty horses except his stopped. That person rode his horse up a small hill and turned his horse around. When JiangChen and GuoXiang got look at his appearance, besides being surprised also wanted to laugh, because this person is also a dwarf, his figure sitting on top of the horse isn’t even two feet tall, yet his beard is about three feet long, drooping all the way to the horse’s belly, his face is full of wrinkles, and his eyebrows are locked together, as if he’s very unhappy.
Only to hear him say:”There is only one and a half kilometers left on the trip, word around JiangHu*3 is that Condor Hero’s martial prowess is amazing, let’s plan ahead for a moment, and show him the spirit of the Western hill’s cave of ghosts.
The old woman said:”Big brother, this person restrained seventh younger brother easily when he took action, his martial arts is also scary. Let’s rely on numbers, you go first, me and fifth younger brother will help from the side, three vs one, we’ll kill him before he can even exert his full strength.”
The old man with the beard thought for a moment before saying:” This Condor Hero is extremely well-known, he has dealt with quite a few people within the last decade, I image his martial arts is amazing. Our fight today will be tough. Me and second younger sister will attack from the front, third and fourth younger brother will attack from the side, and below, fifth and sixth younger brother will attack from behind, seventh and eighth younger brother will use guerilla warfare with long ranged weapons to force him to lose focus, ninth younger sister will use projectiles, while tenth younger brother will use poison. Ever since the Western hill’s cave of ghosts have formed, all ten of us haven’t attacked all at once, today will be the first, if even then we can’t kill him, he can turn us fake ghosts into real ones.”
Big-headed ghost says:” Big brother, all ten of us attacking one, our win won’t be honorable, if word of it gets out, we’ll the laughingstocks of JiangHu.”
That old woman says:” If we kill the Condor Hero, other than these two little brats who will know what happened tonight?” after her last word she raised her arm.
Big-headed ghost hurriedly blocks JiangChen and GuoXiang behind him and catches two needles out of thin air saying:”Second elder sister, I brought these two here, they cannot die.” after that he turned around to JiangChen and GuoXiang to say:”Little kid, and girl, if you want to see the Condor Hero, nothing that happened here shall be talked about, unless you guys want to quickly go back, just in case you lose your lives.”
“Of course, of course.”Quickly answered Jiangchen, though GuoXiang was surprised and also angry while thinking:”This old woman is insidious, if it wasn’t for this short uncle, those silent and traceless needles would have already killed us.” So she also opens her mouth and says:”I just won’t talk.” and then added:”There are ten of you guys, doesn’t he have any helpers?”
Big-headed ghost heard this and laughed saying:”The Condor Hero has been around JiangHu for ten something years, never heard he has helpers. But he does have a giant bird that doesn’t talk.” after saying so picks up his reins and shouts:”Go!” After everybody rides for a while he turns around to JiangChen and GuoXiang saying :” When we attack later, don’t leave my side.” Both of them quickly nod, because they know these people from the Western hill’s cave of ghosts are ruthless, it’s best that this big-headed ghost has some intention to protect them.
As they are advancing, suddenly a few tiger roars boom out from the dark woods in front, a few of the horses start baying, a few stand still, and a few turn around and run. That thin man in the front waves his whip and dashes into the woods. The old woman scolds:”Useless beasts, are you actually afraid of little wild cats eating you?” After a while of controlling the horses, they managed to chase them all into the woods. Once they got a few hundred feet into the woods there was suddenly a sharp shout:”Who is reckless enough as to trespass into territory of the ten thousand beasts villa in the middle of the night?”
The Western hill’s cave of ghosts stop their horses, and see a person with two tigers squatting on each side of him blocking the road. The horses start whining when they hear the roars of the tigers. The man with the long beard waves his hand on his horse and says:”Western hill’s cave of ghosts are passing through this land, excuse us for not stopping by to visit.”
“Oh”That person then said:”Western hill’s cave of ghosts huh? Are you the long bearded GuiFanYe*4?”
The long bearded old man replied:”I am. We are in a hurry to MaPing*5, we’ll come apologize on our way back.” He knows that it’s best not to mess with the five brothers of ten thousand beasts villa, big brother is known as the gentleman of the white mountain ShiBoWei, second brother the unfathomable ShiZhongMeng, third brother the golden lion king ShiShuGang, fourth brother god of strength ShiLiQiang, and the smallest who is in sight right now the eight handed celestial ape ShiMengJie. The ancestors the five brothers have been passing down animal training techniques so they are not only proficient in the art of training animals, but also in learning from the wild actions of the beasts to further refine their martial arts. ShiShuGang is especially strong because when he was around twenty, he met someone extraordinary who taught him a very sophisticated internal strength technique.
After returning home ShiShuGang taught all that he learnt to his brothers. Afterwards they kept raising more beasts, and also kept improving on their martial arts. That was also when the name of the ten thousand beasts villa started floating around JiangHu, and all five of them together earned the nickname of “Tiger Leopard Lion Elephant Monkey”*6. Within these five the strongest is ShiShuGang. At the moment they are trying to deal with the Condor Hero, so they don’t want to incite any conflicts, so he decided to speak humbly.
But, unfortunately, unlike long-bearded ghost’s thoughts of humility, his brothers decided on a quicker method, rank eight funeral ghost, and rank ten smiling ghost took the chance when ShiMengJie and long-bearded ghost is speaking to detour around them and set a fire.
Just as the fire started, surprised shouts could be heard from funeral ghost and smiling ghost as they ran back, startled and confused shouting:”Tigers, there’s tigers! One hundred, two hundred……”
Suddenly, there is a flash, and a beast similar to a little beast pops out of the jungle and immediately out of the forest, this beast isn’t very big, long four limbs, snow-white fur, but the tail is black, unlike a cat, and also unlike a dog.
“The nine-tailed spirit fox came out!” Exclaims ShiMengJie as he quickly chases after it, behind him in the jungle there is a loud road, similar to a tiger’s, even a lion’s, but even more so like a human’s, JiangChen and GuoXiang fell a chill down their spine as they hear this call. After this sound, beasts everywhere start calling, lions, tigers, leopards, wolves, apes, orangutans…… making it impossible to distinguish, accompanying thousands of thumping noises, tens of thousands of beasts emerg from the forest.
When everybody leaves the woods, they could only stare at the wonderful scene in front of them, five people, each leading a pack of beasts, dashing hurriedly in five different directions over the snow-covered plains. These beasts are very well-trained, they don’t fight or bite each other, travelling in groups, and ran in order.
But the nine-tailed spirit fox is cunning, immediately running out of view, and the five Shi brothers are furious, leading all of their beasts to surround the Western hill’s cave of ghosts, all of them wearing animal skins, only standing about four to five feet away from them and ShiMengJie spoke, but his voice is filled with anger and killing intent:”Ten thousand beasts villa has nothing to do with the western hill’s cave of ghosts, why did you people set fire to the woods and force away the nine tailed spirit fox? Today, you shall all pay with your lives!”
*1 三更天 SanGengTian. This is a phrase that the Chinese people used before time tracking devices, and they counted from 1 – 5, 一更天 – 五更天. So in the original raws where the man says “快三更天啦” “It’s almost 11.” Is what he means.
*2 我的要乖乖 Wo de Yao GuaiGuai. Think of the only thing you can say when something really unexpected happens. IE: holy shit, Oh my god, what the hell. This is just slang for one of those terms. Can be translated to a bunch but I felt oh my god fit this section more.
*3 江湖 Jianghu. I’m sure many readers are familiar with this term. It is the society of those who practice martial arts, can also be referred to as “the underworld”, or for the koreans “the murim”. These two letters are used to explain this type of society is because the direct translation is “Rivers and Lakes” which denote unsettled geographic areas, much like how this society is always in turbulence.
*4 鬼樊爷 GuiFanYe is the name that long bearded dwarf goes by.
*5 马坪 MaPing is the name of a city.
*6 虎豹狮象猴 Hu Bao Shi Xiang Hou Tiger Leopard Lion Elephant Monkey. I am not kidding ._.