Adventures of Divine Eagle and the Heroic Couple

This fanfiction is l loosely based on Jin Yong's Return of Condor Heroes.

Chapter 1

Trails of clouds drifted across the clear sky.
 
A young gentleman clothed in blue gray silk garment, lightly waving a folding fan in his hand, proceeded up Mount Zhongnan. His appearance carried an air of elegance around him. Upon reaching the mountain summit, he saw a large stone table, half of it was gone and the characters were unclear.
 
Two middle aged Taoists priest standing at the walkway outside a temple cast a glance at him. They noticed that his facial features were delicate and exceptionally handsome. The taller Taoist priest walked toward the young gentleman, greeted him with a fist palm salute, and asked, “Gongzi [young master], how can I help you?”
 
The young gentleman smiled, and replied, “I have come to visit Yang Guo. Appreciate if you can bring me to him.”
 
Hearing the young gentleman mention the name Yang Guo, the two Taoist priests countenance changed. “Who are you?” the short Taoist priest asked fiercely.
 
The young gentleman folded the fan in his right hand, held it behind his back, and looked away with a smile. “I am Yang Guo’s friend,” he replied.
 
The taller Taoist priest abruptly struck his palm out at the young gentleman’s chest.
 
The young gentleman did not expect the Taoist priest to suddenly launch an attack. He swiftly stepped aside and dodged to the left. From the corner of his eyes, he noticed the short Taoist priest’s sending his right palm out at him. With a quick flick of his finger, he sent a light and delicate energy burst out at the short Taoist priest’s right palm.
 
The short Taoist priest stumbled eight steps backward and felt numbness in his hand.
 
“Instead of leading me to Big Brother Yang, these two smelly Taoist priests used force to try to harm me instead. Quanzhen Sect disciples are rude indeed,” the young gentleman thought.
 
The two Taoist priests looked at each other in silence. From the young gentleman’s swift movements, they could tell that his martial arts skills were many notch above them. The taller Taoist priest’s name was Zhang Zhiguang. He was Hao Datong’s apprentice. The short Taoist priest’s name Zhao Zhijing. He was Wang Chuyi’s apprentice. The two of them were Quanzhen Sect’s third generation apprentices,
 
Zhao Zhijing  put his fingers in his mouth and whistled.
 
The young gentleman knew at once that he was calling his sect mates for help. 
 
Sound of swords unsheathed was heard. Seven Taoist priests leapt out from the temple, each one holding a long sword, flew toward the young gentleman simultaneously. As soon as they landed on the ground, they leapt into a formation, four to the left of the young gentleman, and three to the right. 
 
The young gentleman’s heart skipped a beat, and thought, “This must be the Big Dipper Formation that wai gong [maternal grandfather] spoke about.” 
 
A pair of swords suddenly swished through the air toward the young gentleman at lightning speed. The young gentleman leapt backward, swept the fan in his hand left and right, and knocked the two sword tips away. 
 
Two other Taoist priests, one on the young gentleman’s right and the other on his left, simultaneously struck their swords out from both sides. The young gentleman leapt ten feet into the air, avoided the two attacks, and kicked the Taoist priests in the face.
 
The two Taoist priests stumbled and fell backward. 
 
While in midair, the young gentleman heard two swishing sound rapidly coming from behind. Two Taoist priests in the back had leapt forward and struck their swords out at him. He instantly launched his palm backward, executed the ‘Divine Dragon Swings its Tail’ from the ‘Eighteen Dragon-Subduing Palms’. 
 
The two Taoist priests in the back felt a strong force coming from the young gentleman’s hand pushing them backward. They flew on the ground but regained their balance very quickly.
 
“This smelly kid has formidable martial arts skills,” Zhang Zhiguang said in admiration. 
 
Zhao Zhijing stared at the young gentleman, cursing inwardly. “Last night that traitor Yang Guo disguised as our grandmaster and created havoc at Chongyang Palace. Today this smelly kid comes here to create more trouble. We must kill this smelly kid to regain our sect’s pride,” he exclaimed. 
 
The young gentleman heard Zhao Zhijing’s words, and thought, “Looks like Yang dage has caused trouble and left the Quanzhen Sect. I should leave this place at once before things become more complicated.“ With two quick flicks of his finger, he sent two light and delicate energy burst out at two Taoist priests’ shoulder, and sealed their acupoints. 
 
Just as he turned around to leave, a white haired Taoist priest flew out of the temple, flipped in the air and landed ten steps in front of him. 
 
The white haired Taoist priest held a whisk behind his back, looked at the young gentleman, and said sternly, “Quanzhen Sect’s Qiu Chuji wishes to test xiao xiongdi’s [little brother] martial art skills.”  He swept his whisk out at the young gentleman’s chest. 
 
The young gentleman felt a strong force coming from the whisk. He dodged sideways, flicked his finger, and sent a light and delicate energy burst out at Qiu Chuji’s wrist. The light and delicate energy cut through the air at unimaginable. Qiu Chuji felt a tingling pain in his wrist. He dropped his whisk to the ground, and took three steps backward without completing his attack. 
 
"Very impressive ‘Divine Flicking Finger’. May I ask how young lady address the Chief of the Peach Blossom Island?" Qiu Chuji asked. After exchanging just one move with the young gentleman and observing his body motion, he could tell that the young gentleman was a female wearing male clothes.
 
The other Taoist priests looked at each other in astonishment. “This smelly kid here is a female?” they quietly whispered to one another. 
 
The young gentleman laughed, and replied, "The Chief of the Peach Blossom Island? I call him old Eastern Heretic."
 
Seeing that the young girl did not want reveal her identity, he decided to test her and find out. He
smiled and said, "Young lady, within ten moves I will be able to guess which sect you belong to.”
 
The young girl smiled mischievously, and asked, “What if you are unable to?”
 
Qiu Chuji laughed and said, "Well if you can withstand ten of my move, I will to listen to you."
 
The young girl looked at him, and said sternly, “If I can withstand ten of your moves you have to promise not to trouble Yang Guo anymore."
 
Qiu Chuji narrowed his eyes, gazed at the young girl, and thought, “Since this young lady is requesting me to leave Yang Guo alone, I am certain that she is related to Jing’er [referring to Guo Jing]. Afterall, it was Jing’er who brought Yang Guo to Mount Zhongnan.”
 
“Shixiong [senior martial brother], since this girl is pleading mercy for that traitor Yang Guo, there is no need for us to be polite to her,” a fierce female voice suddenly said.
 
A woman in Taoist priestess robe unsheathed her sword, flew toward the young girl, and struck the sword out at the young girl’s chest. She was Qiu Chuji’s junior martial sister, Sun Bu’er. The young girl effortlessly flipped her fan, hit the flat side of the sword, and knocked the sword away. Sun Bu’er felt numb in her hand and dropped the sword to the ground. 
 
“At such a young age, this young lady already possess such profound inner strength,” Qiu Chuji said silently, looking at the young girl in admiration. He strode past Sun Bu’er toward the young girl, and struck his palm out at her. “Shimei [junior martial sister], let me handle this young lady,” he said.
 
The young girl saw that the force behind Qiu Chuji’s palm was strong. She dodge sideways, raise her right hand in a sweep, thumb touching index finger, the remaining fingers outstretched, like an orchid shooting out. Her execution of the move was fast and exquisite. 
 
Qiu Chuji knew that if her strike landed on his upper arm accupoint, his whole arm would become numb and useless. He was forced to change his attack to avoid her counter attack. He raised his knee to the waist, and quickly kicked her lower abdomen. 
 
The young girl shifted her weight forward, stood on her right leg side, lifted her left leg reaching back, and easily dodged the attack. The move was executed swiftly and gracefully. 
 
Just as Qiu Chuji was about to make another attack, he felt a sudden gust of wind flying through air, hitting him squarely on the chest, pushing him backward. The young girl had struck both her palms straight out and attacked him with the ‘Dragon is Seen in the Fields’ from the ‘Eighteen Dragon-Subduing Palms’. The young girl only used sixty percent of her strength to execute the attack, hence Qiu Chuji only felt pain in his chest but did not suffer any internal injuries.
 
Zhao Zhijing watched the duel between his senior martial uncle and the young girl from the side angrily. “This is really embarrassing. Even shishu [martial uncle] is unable to defeat this girl,” he said to himself. He suddenly leapt forward and struck his palm toward the young girl’s back. 
 
The other Taoist priests shouted in alarm at seeing their sect mate sneak attacking the young girl. They saw Zhao Zhijing’s forceful palm strike her on the back, but also saw that the palm was withdrawn immediately, Zhao Zhijing cursed loudly. 
 
The young girl used the force behind his palm to leap over Chiu Quji into the air and flew away. Her clear laughter was heard, she was not injured at all. The Taoist priests expected that Zhao Zhijing’s palm strike to be fatal, but what they did not know was that before the palm could hit the young girl fully, it was rapidly withdrawn so the force behind the attack was greatly diminished.
 
Zhao Zhijing roar in pain, his right palm dripping with blood. He lifted it and saw ten small punctures. His countenance changed. “Soft Hedgehog Armor…Soft Hedgehog Armor!” He shouted in surprise, anger, and pain.
 
“Soft Hedgehog Armor? This young lady is Jing’er and Huang Rong’s daughter,” Qiu Chuji said affirmingly.
 
Sun Bu’er snorted, “First it was Yang Guo and now this girl. We cannot allow this younger generation to come and cause trouble at Chongyang Palace as and when they please.”
 
Qiu Chuji smiled faintly, and said, “It is true that the back waves of the Yangtze River drives those ahead, so does each new generation replacing the old one. The young lady’s martial arts cultivation is much deeper than her father when he was at her age.”
 
********
 
The young girl leaned against a big tree, let out a sigh of relief, and said, “Luckily those smelly Taoist priests did not come after me.”
 
“Little girl, you certainly have remarkable martial arts skills,” a male voice suddenly said.  
 
The young girl looked around searching for the person who had just spoke. “Who is it?” she called out frantically.
 
A gust of wind suddenly blew toward her. A brown shadow flashed past the young girl, landed behind her, and patted her shoulder. 
 
Startled, the young girl quickly turned around and swept her right hand horizontally at the person behind her. The person in brown raised his right arm, blocked the attack, and struck his left palm out at the young girl’s waist. The young girl felt a powerful force pushing her. She quickly took a step backward, flicked her finger, and sent a light and delicate energy burst out at the brown shadow. 
 
The brown shadow stretched his right hand out, caught the light and delicate energy burst, and dissipated the incoming force. The young girl was astonished with the way the brown shadow countered her attack. Unwilling to admit defeat, she swiftly struck her right palm straight at the brown shadow’s lower abdomen. As soon as her palm touched the brown shadow’s clothes she felt felt the brown shadow’s abdomen shrink and her palm was sucked in. The brown shadow suddenly stretched out his  abdomen, sent a powerful force at the young girl, and pushed her flying backward until her back hit a tree. 
 
The young girl channeled her energy to her left leg, anchored her body down, and regained her balance. She looked at the brown shadow and saw an old man with white hair, white beard and a smiling red face. “This old man’s body motion and martial arts skills are unfathomable. Could he be the Quanzhen Sect’s elder?” she said to herself.  
 
“Who are you?” she asked.
 
The old man  laughed, and said, “Little girl, your martial arts skills are not bad. How are you related to old Eastern Heretic and little girl Huang Rong?”
 
The young girl was inwardly amused when she heard the old man call Huang Rong a little girl. She kept a straight face, and responded, “You have not even answered my question, why should I answer yours?”
 
The old man frowned and said, “Fine. My name is Zhou Botong. Now tell me, how are you related to them? Are you their apprentice?”
 
“Zhou Botong? You are Old Urchin, Zhou Botong?” she blurted.
 
The old man was indeed the Old Urchin, Zhou Botong. “Little girl, you have heard of my name before? Was it Huang Rong who told you about me?” he said happily.
 
The young girl giggled, “Yes. Mother told me a lot of things about you.”
 
Zhou Botong scratched his head, and said, “You are Huang Rong’s daughter? How can that be possible? That Huang Rong is a little girl herself, how can she have a daughter?”
 
The young girl was startled but immediately thought about something. “When was the last time you
saw Huang Rong?” she asked. 
 
Zhou Botong counted with his fingers, each finger was counted twice, he said, “At least twenty years ago.”
 
The young girl laughed, “Since it has been already twenty years, how can she still be a little girl? Wouldn’t she have a child in these twenty years?”
 
Zhou Botong laughed, and said, “You’re right! You’re right! Now tell me, what is your name and how come you dressed up as a man? What game are you playing? I want to play too...”
 
The young girl giggled, “My name is Guo Xiang. Old Urchin, I am playing a trick on the Quanzhen Sect smelly Taoist. Would you still want to play this trick with me?”
 
Zhou Botong looked at her delightedly. “Sure! What kind of trick are you planning to play? I hope it is not disguising as my shixiong [senior martial brother] and scaring his apprentices again. That smelly boy Yang Guo has already done it.”
 
Guo Xiang’s eyes flashed excitedly. “You met Yang Dage? Where is he now?” she asked.
 
Zhou Botong folded his arms, turned around, and frowned, “You have to tell me what tricks are you planning to play on those little Taoist priests first. Otherwise, I will not tell you about Yang Guo.”
 
“I’ll catch them, tie them up and place them under the hot sun,” Guo Xiang replied. 
 
Zhou Botong laughed, “That’s great. Once you’ve caught them and tied them up, let me know so that I can peek from aside.”
 
Guo Xiang laughed, “Fine, I’ll remember to tell you. But why peek? You’re afraid of the Quanzhen Sect’s smelly Taoist priests?”
 
Zhou Botong sighed and said, “I’m their shishu [martial uncle]. If they see me, they will naturally call
to me for help. It’ll be a bit embarrassing if I don’t save him but if I do, I won’t be able to watch a
good show.”
 
Guo Xiang thought to herself, “This person’s martial arts skills are excellent and his character is pretty
Interesting. No wonder people of the martial arts circle calls him Old Urchin.” She cleared her throat, and said, “Tell me where Yang Guo is and I will let you know once I have captured those smelly Taoist priests.”
 
“Little Guo Xiang, you are just as demanding as your mother,” Zhou Botong grumbled. “That little boy Yang Guo said that he was going to Jiaxing City.”
 
Guo Xiang pondered on what Zhou Botong had just said. “Why is Yang dage going to Jiaxing City?” she pondered silently. 
 
Zhou Botong interrupted, “Little Guo Xiang, so when are you going to catch those Taoist priests?”
 
Guo Xiang turned away, and replied, “Once I have found Yang Guo I will come back to Mount Zhongnan to catch them.”
 
“Very well. Once you are back, come and find me at the city.” Zhou Botong brushed his sleeve, leapt into the air and flew away. 
 
Guo Xiang looked toward the direction that Zhou Botong had taken, and called out, “Old Urchin! You are not going to Jiaxing City with me?”
 
“You are not badly injured like Old Beggar. There is no need for me to accompany you to Jiaxing City. Just come and look for me once you are ready to capture those Taoist priests.” He was already miles away but his words were heard clearly. 
 
********
 
The morning sun rose, illuminating Jiaxing City. Peasants rushed in and out of the city going about their business. 
 
Guo Xiang walked on the sidewalks. Her eyes scanned the two-block street looking for a place to eat and rest. She took a left turn, saw an outdoor teahouse down the road and proceeded to the building.
 
Once seated at a table, she ordered a bowl of noodle and a pot of fine quality wine. While she was enjoying her meal, she suddenly heard a disturbance at the entrance of the teahouse. She glanced toward the entrance, and saw a waiter scolding a young man, clothed in rags. He appeared to be seventeen years of age. Although his face was covered with dirt, he was handsome.
 
“We do not serve beggars! Get lost!” the waiter scolded.
 
Guo Xiang pitied the young man. She interposed herself between the waiter and young man. “There is no need to be rude. I will pay for whatever this xiongdi eats and drinks,” she said. 
 
She returned to her table to continue to eat her meal. The young man followed her inside the teahouse, looking at her fixedly, and asked, “Xiongdi, can I sit with you?”
 
Guo Xiang nodded with a smile. “Please go ahead,” she said.
 
The young man ordered exactly what Guo Xiang was eating. After that, he looked at Guo Xiang, and said, “My name is Yang Guo. May I know what is your honorable name?”
 
Guo Xiang widened her eyes and looked at Yang Guo happily. “You are Yang dage? I finally found you!” she exclaimed.
 
Yang Guo scratched his head. “Xiongdi, do I know you?” he asked confusingly.
 
Guo Xiang extended her arm, patted Yang Guo’s shoulder, and said with a smile, “I’m Xiang’er. You don’t remember me anymore?”
 
Yang Guo rubbed his eyes, looked at Guo Xiang intently, and said, “The Guo Xiang that I know is a girl. You’re Xiang’er? How come you are dressed up as a male?” 
 
Guo Xiang let out a sigh, and said, “It’s a long story.”
 
“You know that I will always have time to listen to you,” Yang Guo said with a smile.
 
“A few months ago, I found an old man wandering around in the Peach Blossom Formation. He claimed that you are his foster son. I took pitied of him and led him out of the formation. Father caught him and fought with him. The old man’s martial arts skills were quite formidable. Although he could not win the fight but he managed to escape. Father scolded me for not telling him about the old man’s presence and leading him out of the formation. I got angry with him and ran away from home. As I was wandering around Zhoushan City I thought about you and decided to look for you,” Guo Xiang explained.
 
Yang Guo let out a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness foster father managed to escape unhurt. I have not seen him for almost eight years,” he said.
 
Guo Xiang filled a cup up with wine, and said, “Yang dage, what happened at Chongyang Palace? I heard from those smelly Taoist priests that you disguised as their grand martial master?” 
 
The moment Yang Guo heard the words Quanzhen Sect, anger swelled up in his heart. He slammed the table with his palm, and snorted, “Those smelly Taoist priests took me in as their apprentice but did not teach me any martial arts. Instead, they bullied me and almost killed me. Thankfully, Granny Sun of the Ancient Tomb Sect saved my life and took me in.”
 
Guo Xiang slapped the table and said agitatedly, “How could they be so despicable? They are supposedly an orthodox sect but yet they bully a child. I should have just killed a few of them back at Mount Zhongnan to teach them a lesson.”
 
Yang Guo flashed a broad smile, and said, “Xiang’er you have not changed at all. Back in the days Peach Blossom Island, whenever your jiejie [elder sister] and the two Wu brothers bullied me, you would stand up for me and protect me.”
 
Guo Xiang flushed, looked away, and said bashfully, “That’s because we are good friends.”
 
“But luckily you did not kill any of those Taoist priests. You know that your mother and big grandpa does not like me. If you killed a few Taoist priests because of me then I would have gotten in more trouble with them,” Yang Guo sighed.
 
Guo Xiang laughed, and said, “My mother dotes on me. If told her how those smelly Taoist priests mistreated you and bullied me, I am sure that she will not be angry with any of us. Only father who would probably be angry with us. He has great respect for that old Taoist by the family name of Qiu even though I find his martial arts very ordinary.”   
 
She took a sip of wine, and then said, “By the way, you said the Ancient Tomb Sect took you in as an apprentice? Is this a new martial arts sect? I have never heard of them before.”
 
Yang Guo took a sip of wine and explained, “The Ancient Tomb Sect was founded by a formidable heroine by the name of Lin Chaoying. I heard from Granny Sun that Lin Chaoying met Wang Chongyang during her younger days and both of them roamed the martial arts realm together to assist the helpless and would often practise martial arts together. Both fell in love with each other, unfortunately their egos and pride got in their way and in the end they broke up.” 
 
Guo Xiang smiled inwardly and said to herself, “I have no interest in matters of the martial arts circle at all. But it would be fun to go on a scenic excursion with Yang dage.”
 
“In the end, Lin Chaoying proposed one final duel to end their differences. If Wang Chongyang could defeat her, she would leave him alone by committing suicide. But if she won, he would have to either surrender the ancient tomb to her or become a Taoist priest or Buddhist monk and live near the tomb for at least ten years. Turned out that Wang Chongyang lost in the duel. Lin Chaoying took over the ancient tomb and founded the Ancient Tomb Sect.  Wang Chongyang became a Taoist priest the next day and lived on Mount Zhongnan,” Yang Guo continued.
 
Guo Xiang smiled, and said “It is obvious that Lin Chaoying’s intention was that if Wang Chongyang surrendered the tomb to her, he would marry her and live in the tomb together. However, if he did not want to do this, he had to become a Taoist priest or Buddhist monk. In this way, she prevented him from marrying someone else.”
 
Yang Guo nodded, “Xiang’er, you are intelligent indeed. While I was exploring the tomb I accidentally found some letters Wang Chongyang left behind for Lin Chaoying. Due to bestowed responsibility to defend the Central Plain, Wang Chongyang feigned ignorance and rejected Lin Chaoying’s love. Lin Chaoying was deeply disappointed and angered, mistakenly thinking that Wang Chongyang despised her. Decades later, she died in grief and of heartbreak. All her other martial art techniques and skills acquired during her lifetime were passed on to Granny Sun who in return taught them to her own recruited disciples, Li Mochou and I.”
 
“Li Mochou?” Guo Xiang blurted.
 
“Yes. Li Mochou is my shijie [senior martial sister],” Yang Guo said.  “All Lin Chaoying’s martial arts skills and techniques were developed to counter Quanzhen Sect’s martial arts. Ancient Tomb’s greatest martial skill would be the Jade Maiden Heart Scripture. However, the techniques were never put into practice and the training itself too was never fully accomplished because it required two people to be in sync while training. Granny Sun once said that due to our gender differences, it would not be appropriate for her to practice it with me.”
 
Guo Xiang narrowed her brows, and said, “This skill requires two people to be in sync while training? Why don’t you tell me the training methods and see if I can think of a way to overcome this difficulty.”
 
“Granny Sun said that the manual’s internal energy cultivation requires two people to practice at the same time. During practice the whole body will emit heat, a spacious and deserted place is required. The body will need to be free of clothes to practice, this will enable the heat to disperse immediately. There must not be any obstructions, otherwise it will return to the body; a small consequence will be a serious illness, at worst the body will be destroyed.”
 
Guo Xiang smiled, “I have an idea. I can impart you the Nine Yin True Classic internal energy cultivation so that you can skip the Jade Maiden Heart Scripture internal methods and start learning the external methods instead. Mother once said that the Nine Yin True Classic is under heaven’s number martial arts manual because of the incredible internal energy cultivation techniques. I am sure that the Jade Maiden Heart Scripture’s internal energy cultivation methods cannot be any better than Nine Yin True Classic.”
 
“I know the Nine Yin True Classic. Lin Chaoying invented the Jade Maiden Heart Scripture to defeat the skills of Quanzhen Sect. Wang Chongyang refused to admit defeat and so he left the Nine Yin True Classic in the tomb. I discovered this while playing inside a coffin. I have been practicing the Nine Yin True Classic’s internal energy cultivation method for many months. Now that you are here, you can help me to learn the external skills. According to the Jade Maiden Heart Scripture, the first step, you have to learn the Ancient Tomb Sect’s skills. The second step is to learn the Quanzhen Sect skills. The third step is to learn the skills that counters Quanzhen Sect’s skills, the Jade Maiden Heart Scripture. I have learned all the Ancient Tomb Sect’s skills, and have just started to practice Quanzhen Sect’s martial arts skills. I will teach you the first step, the second and third steps we can study and practice together. Once we have completely mastered the Jade Maiden Heart Scripture’s skills we will not have to worry about the Quanzhen Sect smelly Taoist priests anymore.”

End of Chapter 1
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