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The monk, whose name was Shui Jing, was on his guard and used his overweight figure and surprisingly agile movements to swiftly dodge the old monk’s punches. Yet, he refused to retaliate against the old monk and he laughed as he said to Wen Leyang, “Little benefactor, don’t be fooled by him! This item here was acquired through his bluffing, it’s not really the Thunderstorm Summoning Stone…”

The old monk burned with a frenzy of rage, “Bald donkey f*cker! You have already lost your chance and now you want to cause me more trouble! It’s always like this…”

Shui Jing shouted loudly all of a sudden. He no longer tried to dodge the attacks but started to return the punches and raised his leg to battle the old monk. Their punches and kicks flew by as fast as a tornado and as they fought dead branches and debris whirled around them, the forest shook repetitively with the dull sounds of things being hit.

The little girl asked in puzzlement, “Are these two of the same party, or are they enemies?” The two monks had been trying to undermine each other and now, combined with their punches and kicks, it appeared as if they were sworn enemies who can’t even stand to live under the same sky. Yet if one were to pay attention to their conversations so far, it sounded as if they used to work together in the past to do some evil deeds.

The battle did not last long and after exchange blows for a while, both of them stopped fighting and stumbled backwards. It appeared that there really wasn’t much difference in their ability and level of power at all, neither could triumph over the other. Shui Jing cursed relentlessly, “Obviously I discovered this fine young benefactor here first. That ox’s nose of yours then meddled into this and tried to rob me of my apprentice!”

The old monk was dissatisfied as well, “The act of taking an apprentice is based on each teacher’s abilities; if you came with two empty hands and could not procure any decent items, you have only yourself to blame! There were two items in the very beginning and we each took one. A sharp person would have known that the lantern is no ordinary thing yet you did not take it out!”

Shui Jing scolded ferociously, “B*llshit! The lantern was already spoiled by none other than you! If it wasn’t for you… though the elder Taoist master was not keen on penalizing you, sooner or later we will know your true power and strength!” He was so indignant that he could no longer articulate his rage and straight away, he pulled up his long sleeves and went into a battle-stance.

The old monk too was not willing to give any impression of weakness, “I was the one who spoiled the lantern? If it wasn’t for me saving you, you would have been swept by the great storm into a pile of mud!”

A chill crept into Wen Leyang’s heart and he was filled with questions as he stared into Wen Xiaoyi’s eyes, he mouthed two words to her: the lantern.

Wen Xiaoyi moved her head forward and the bangs on her forehead tickled Wen Leyang’s cheek, “Those who become Inner Disciples after passing the Major Examination of the Decade at Crow Ridge will always bring along three items with them: the Spirit Guiding Light, the Necromancy Seal, and the Spirit Needle.”

Wen Leyang’s eyes flashed fiercely, Wen Tunhai had once told him that the Spirit Guiding Light released into the Red Leaves Forest during that great stormy night did not come from the Luo family. Back then, there were more important matters to take care of so he had let go of the investigation temporarily but now comes a new opportunity to do continue the inquiry, since he’d just been presented with some new clues

The fat monk and old monk would not succumb to each as they tried to stare each other down. Both of them went into their battle-stance and prepared for the fight.

Shui Jing nimbly removed a small inverted bell which glowed with a bright golden light from his chest pocket. He stretched out his fingers that appeared thinner and more slender than a woman’s and gently sighed.

Ding.

A crisp melodious chime sounded from the instrument and immediately an ethereal golden light shone from within the inverted bell and began enveloping the huge monk in layers of glowing light. The sloppy and ridiculous-looking monk from before was transformed into a solemn and dignified appearance from the golden light, it was impossible to look straight at him!

An anxious expression appeared on Ji Fei, the old monk’s, face, “It is still the same old trick! My good apprentice, please take a look at how your Master will expel the evil spirit and vanquish the devil!” As he said that he clasped his palms together then spun around in a half a circle with great effort. A little silver sword flew up like the wind, it appeared like a little snake in mid-air as it twisted around, releasing an icy-cold wind at the same time.

Wen Leyang was truly astonished, in his heart he had thought that these two people were merely con men, but their practice of martial arts can be considered decent. He did not expect that these two could really practice the magic arts and he quickly hid Wen Xiaoyi behind his back.

The fat monk grunted and said to Wen Leyang, “Do not fear, this poor monk will use his head as a guarantee that the two of you will not be harmed.”

Ji Fei too chimed along, “Do not worry my apprentice, though the bald donkey may have limited capabilities, his moral quality is considerably high and he will not harm the innocent, so you can watch the show in peace!” After saying that, he pondered for a while and said to the other monk in a regretful tone, “Bald donkey, this mountainside is beautifully covered with graceful plants. Our magic weapons have massive destructive powers, if we fight with those we might destroy Mount Emei’s beautiful scenery! Why don’t we put away our magic weapons and fight this battle with our arms and legs?”

The other monk hesitated for a long moment, then he nodded once and said with a low, muffled voice, “On your mark!” Immediately, he flipped once and put the small inverted bell back into his chest pocket.

The old monk’s expression turned gleeful and he shouted while roaring with laughter, “The bald donkey has been fooled, take this!”

Swoosh!

The little sword that had been spinning in the air swooped down with a and aimed straight at Shui Jing’s bald head!

The surprised monk made a strange croaking sound but his two empty hands could not block the flying sword. He used his big sleeves instead to cover his head and scampered around the forest as the fat rolls on his body wobbled and trembled all over. He dashed around all over the place trying to dodge the flying sword but he never once approached to where Wen Leyang and Wen Xiaoyi were standing, for fear of accidentally causing them harm.

The old monk too did not have much murderous intent with his attacks, he was only playing his tricks. He would repeatedly guide the flying sword close to Shui Jing’s side without causing any actual harm. Otherwise, the fat monk would have already been sliced into ribbons by now.

Before long, Shui Jing’s dirty monk’s robe soon became a strip of ragged cloth, revealing a huge red-colored bib below it. It was a waste that his was so agile and moved around too quickly for the eyes to see whether the embroidery on the bib was about. ‘two mandarin ducks tumbling merrily in the water’ or ‘many happy returns of the day’.

Wen Xiaoyi giggled in amusement and began to cheer and yell loudly.

Whether it was the ability to command a flying sword, or the ability to perform Buddhist magic art, Wen Leyang can’t figure out how to distinguish whether their abilities were good or bad. The only thing he can be sure of is that Ji Fei’s flying sword, when compared to the group of priests from the Sun Dynasty Palace, was a lot agiler and maneuverable. Its momentum was so awe-inspiring that he did not know what to make of it anymore.

As the two monks continued to cause a ruckus, the sound of footsteps was heard from not too far away. Wen Leyang smiled tensely as he turned and looked at Wen Xiaoyi. The nearby areas consisted of only rolling hills in the middle of winter and they were well off the proper path. It was a place where very few people would tread, yet somehow they had encountered others in the wilderness. It is unlikely for this new encounter to be a tourist or a pilgrim.

Wen Xiaoyi paid no attention to him as her clear eyes shimmered excitement, she watched the old monk commanding his sword at the other monk with high spirits. Though her hearing and sight was not as sharp as Wen Leyang’s, so she had not heard the sound of the light footsteps approaching them.

Soon after, the silhouette of a human figure can be seen as it swayed and stumbled towards them. Though he was mentally prepared for the encounter, Wen Leyang could not help but feel when he saw the figure.

Wen Xiaoyi cried out a ‘hey’ in alarm. Her eyes glowed as she shook Wen Leyang’s arm and said, “He is too cute!”

The person who was ascending the mountain was a plump little boy who looks to be about two to three years of age. He wore a padded jacket with Chinese-styled embroidery designs on it and on top of his round head he wore a felt cap. In addition, a pair of round sunglasses was propped on his nose. He doesn’t seem to be able to walk properly and there were a few occasions where he almost fell and hit his head. He would stumble for a few steps before he managed to regain his balance and continued to walk towards them.

They could hear a girl’s voice saying, “Ah Dan (little egg), Ah Dan, you should be careful not to trip.” The voice was filled with loving concern yet one could discern an undercurrent of derision in it, as if the girl was trying to show dominance to someone.

Ah Dan walked towards them and looked to the left, then to the right, and when he saw the ‘Thunderstorm Summoning Stone’ in Wen Leyang’s hand his chubby body stopped moving abruptly.

The two monks had fought many times with one another for their entire lives, but today was the first time they felt satisfied showing off their abilities to a willing audience. However, when they heard the girl’s laugh, they immediately stopped and looked downwards, like someone with a guilty conscience.

A flash of red akin to a bright flame was seen leaping about below them. In the blink of an eye, the girl whose voice they had heard appeared before them. Wen Leyang immediately felt that the whole forest was covered in red flames!