Guo Jing knew that if there is a glimmer of hope to cure the poison, she would try to reassure him but he saw her expression was one of worry. He ordered Guo Fu that she mustn’t run around as she pleased, and the couple went off to gather the herbs and grasses.
Yang Guo slept quietly without waking until it was night. Ke Zhen E checked up on him a few times, using his hands to feel him. The poison on his darts could not compare to that of the “Soul Freezing Silver Needles” and so could not use the antidote that he had. He was afraid that Guo Fu would slip away, so he made sure she was asleep.
Yang Guo was unconscious for a long time when suddenly someone placed a palm on his chest and used their internal strength to wake him up. He slowly woke up, and opened his eyes. He saw a flash of black, as someone escaped out of the window. His strength slowly returned as he supported himself on a table by the window so he could have a look. He saw a man on the roof overhang of the room and the man was upside down. It was the strange man who earlier wanted him to call him father. He was moving about, and could drop down to the room when he pleased.
Yang Guo was surprised and said, “It’s you.”
The strange man replied, “Why aren’t you calling me father?”
Yang Guo said, “Father!” but thought, “You are my son, I’ll just turn the roles around and call you father for now.”
The man was very pleased and said, “Come up here.” Yang Guo climbed out of the window and leapt onto the roof. But his body was weak due to the poison, he wasn’t at full strength and his fingers weren’t able to grab the roof edge. As he was falling he called out, “Ah!”
The man stretched out his hand and grabbed the boy’s back and gently placed him on the rooftop. He turned upright, and was about to say something when he heard someone from a room to the west blow out a candle. He felt that someone had discovered him and so he carried Yang Guo and hurriedly escaped. Ke Zhen E had leapt on the roof, but there wasn’t a trace of anyone.
The strange man carried Yang Guo outside the small town and reached a piece of uncultivated land and put him down. He said, “Use the method I taught you to force some of the poison out.” Yang Guo got into position, and after a short while, a few drops of poisoned blood came out, his chest became relaxed and more comfortable.
The strange man said, “You are a clever boy, and can use it straight away just after one lesson. You are even better than my real son.” “Ai…Son…ah!” He thought about his deceased son, his eyes became watery as he stroked Yang Guo’s head, and let out a sigh.
Yang Guo had never had a father in his life and his mother passed away due to illness when he was eleven years old. Before she died, she told him that his father died in Jiaxing’s Iron Spear monastery, and instructed him to cremate her and bury her outside the monastery. After he had taken care of his mother’s burial, he wandered around Jiaxing and lived in the old kiln, in poverty. Mu Nianci had taught Yang Guo some of her family’s kung fu but her skills weren’t great, and Yang Guo at the time was young and so couldn’t learn much. Within these few years, Yang Guo had made trouble and enemies, and although he had never met the strange man before, the man had treated him well and the feelings were real. He was touched and leapt up and grabbed the man around his neck and called out, “Father, father!” Ever since he was three years old, he always wished he had a loving father. Sometimes in his dreams he would see a heroic and loving father but when he woke up his father was gone and because of this he would cry for a while. His wish for many years had come true, and buried within the calls of ‘father’ were real feelings of joy and respect, not the calls of lies and deceit.
Yang Guo was very emotional right now; the strange man was even more happy and emotional inside. When they first met, Yang Guo was forced to call him father to save his life, and didn’t want him as a father, now both of them had the same feelings, they were like a real father and son, but he felt that the man had something on his mind. His feelings were so strong that he was willing to die for him if need be. The strange man was laughing and crying at the same time and said, “Good son, good son, obedient son. Call me father again.” Yang Guo called him twice, and then leaned on his body.
The man smiled and said, “Good son, come here, I will teach you all the martial arts I know.” As he said this he dropped down and made three strange noises and then pushed his hands out. The sound of an explosion was produced, the earth in front of him rose up like a violent grey mudflow and then the dirt scattered. Yang Guo looked on with his mouth open, his tongue out, shocked and asked, “What is that skill called, can I learn it?”
The strange man replied, “Its called “Ge Ma” stance (Toad Stance), if you work hard, you will be able to learn it.”
Yang Guo said, “If I learn it then no one can bully me again?”
The man’s eyebrows raised and said, “If anyone bullies my son then I’ll rip their skin and tear their muscles.”
The strange man was the “Western Poison” Ouyang Feng.
Ever since Huang Rong had made him go mad at the second Mount Hua tournament, he has traveled, for these last ten years, to the edge of the world and always asked one question, “Who am I?” Whenever he is near a lush land, he would always linger on trying to find the answer to his question; these past months he has been staying in Jiaxing. These few years he has been practicing the “Contrary Nine Yin Manual”. His internal energy has been increasing to new levels, his mind had become clearer, but he was still mad. His memories were slowly coming back but he still could not remember who he was.
Right now, Ouyang Feng was passing on the formula to practice “Toad Stance” to Yang Guo. The “Toad Stance” is one of the top skills in the martial arts world, the changes refined, mysterious and clever, and its internal energy aspect hard to beat; but if it is practiced wrong, not only will the body be harmed, but the practitioner will expel blood and die. Because of this, he didn’t even pass it on to his son when he was alive. At this moment in time, he was touched and added to the fact he wasn’t mentally clear, he couldn’t differentiate between important and dangerous things. He didn’t take this into consideration and taught the skill to his stepson.
Yang Guo does not have a good martial arts foundation, though he learnt the formula to the skill and memorized it, would he be able to understand the meanings behind the words?
Though he was extremely clever, there were phrases which he didn’t understand. Ouyang Feng had taught him for half a day now, and when he listened to Yang Guo’s explanation and it wasn’t making sense, he had another mental attack and wanted to hit him. But when he saw his handsome and cute face in the moonlight, it reminded him of his own son when he was younger, and so he lowered his hand.
“You’re struggling. Go and rest, I’ll carry on tomorrow.”
After Guo Fu had ridiculed him because of his hand, he had a dislike for her family and said, “I want to follow you, I don’t want to return.”
Ouyang Feng didn’t understand his own problems but he was aware of the world’s problems and said, “I have some trouble with my mind, I’m afraid I can’t take care of you if you follow me. You return first and when I’ve solved one problem I will come and collect you, we won’t part, okay?”
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