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4

The heroes started out for the wolf stockade in high spirits, singing and laughing as they went. Master Yuan questioned Chen about the origin of the strange kung fu style he had used, and Chen gave him a detailed account of his discovery.

"What an extraordinary coincidence," Yuan said in delight. "One could never make such a find by purposely looking for it."

After several days travel, they arrived at the stockade and climbed up on to the parapet to look inside. The wolf pack had long since eaten the herd of animals and were now fighting over the carcases of their dead comrades, barking and snapping at each other. The scene was cruelly tragic and even the hardened heroes were shocked. Princess Fragrance could not bear the sight, and went back down to talk with the Muslim guards.

Yu pulled Zhang to the edge of the wall, and began to mumble a prayer: "Oh, spirit of my benevolent teacher, we have today avenged your death." He reached over and took the knife Xu was holding, cut the rope binding Zhang's hands and feet and kicked him off the edge.

Zhang had been seriously injured by Chen's last two blows, but his Inner Strength Kung Fu was profound, and he had basically recovered by the time they reached the stockade. As he fell towards the floor of the stockade, he knew he had no chance of survival, but he still had to fight one last time. The wolves threw themselves at him just before he hit the ground. He grabbed two of the beasts by their necks and whirled them round and round, forcing the others to back off and slowly made his way to the stockade wall.

They knew he would die. Despite their hatred for him, Chen, Luo Bing and the others with weaker stomachs could not bear to watch to the end and walked back down from the parapet.


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