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Chapter 23 – Applause

Part 1

April 19. Night.

This night, anyone who happened to be on the shores of Daming Lake would think it was very strange. Very, very strange.

Because they saw a ship.

***

It’s not strange to see a ship. Even seeing a hundred wouldn’t be anything strange.

The strange thing was that this ship started out in the water, then “walked” up onto the shore.

How can a ship walk?

Many people assumed that they suddenly had a problem with their brain, then rushed home and went to sleep. Some people went back to tell their wives, then got slapped across the face and accused of going out drinking and whoring and making up excuses upon returning.

But it really happened.

Some people had real guts, and incredible curiosity, and decided to stay to see what was happening.

What they saw was a boat with many, many legs.

***

A boat cannot grow its own legs; these legs, of course, belonged to people.

And the boat of course did not “walk” on its own; it was actually carried, by the power of many people.

Were these people crazy? Why would they expend the painstaking effort required to carry a ship up onto the shore?

Part 2

There is no wind under water. Where could the wind be coming from?

The small lantern in Xiao Jun’s hand had long since gone out. Everything outside was a sheet of pitch black. Nothing could be seen, especially not people.

All of a sudden, Ingot asked a incredibly remarkable question: “Can you guess who it is?” he said to Xiao Jun. “Is it Gao Tianjue? Or is it Frogboy?”

Xiao Jun had no way to answer the question, and in fact didn’t even know what Ingot was talking about.

Ingot explained: “If we were still in the water, then this part of the ship would still be under the surface. Instead, we feel wind.”

“Don’t tell me the ship isn’t in the water any more?”

“It doesn’t seem so. But, a ship can’t walk onto the land.”

“You think someone moved the ship onto the shore?”

Ingot nodded. “So that’s why I ask. Did Gao Tianjue have people move it up, or was it Frogboy?”

“Why are you so sure it’s one of those two?”

“To move a ship this big onto the shore would require at least seven or eight people with extremely powerful martial arts. Other than those two, who has the power to order that many people around?”

It was truly an incredible thing. In the eyes of most people, only someone crazy, or at least a little bit weird, would do something like this.

“Why would they do something like this?”

“Because they figured out that we were hiding in the hull cabin.” Ingot sighed. “You’ve probably been able to tell that Gao Tianjue and Frogboy are a little bit stupid compared to me, but they are still smarter than most people.”

No one could refute the fact that Gao Tianjue and Frogboy were rare talents in Jianghu.

“They want to capture the three of us to get information,” said Ingot. “And they realized that since we were in the hull cabin, we would try to punch a hole in the side and escape into the water.”

“Under water, people are more useless than fish. What happens there is difficult to control. Under water, their kung fu would not be as good.”

Xiao Jun also knew this.

The previous Chief of the Beggar Sect had lived on Lake Tai, on a ship, and Xiao Jun had spent a lot of time with him. [1]

His kung fu under water was much worse than his kung fu out of the water.

Everyone in Jianghu knew this truth, so few people would be willing to fight in water.

“But it’s different on land,” said Ingot. “They know that Guo Mie is wounded. To them, we two are nothing. Getting the ship from the water onto the land would not be difficult, and they wouldn’t even have to expend their own energy to do it.”

He sighed again. “So, regardless of whether it’s Gao Tianjue or Frogboy, both would do the same thing to ensure things go their way. I would do the same thing.”

***

Finally, there was

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