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Thread: Where the Sun Never Sets

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Where the Sun Never Sets

    Hi, this is my first post and my first attempt at a fanfic. I like wuxia, I like chanbara, I like history, and I'd like to improve my writing skills; what better ways, then, than to write a fanfic, right? ^-^

    Hope you find it a fun read.

    Chapter 1

    A Day of No Particular Significance

    It wasn't a particularly hot day, even though it was already mid-summer. Rather, it was the flies, incessantly buzzing around everyone and everything that irritated, if the corpse didn’t already—and for some, it didn’t. The corpse. Inspector Yuying found himself irritated; a fourth corpse in half as many days, Hongzheng was going to be pissed. Damn that Manchu pig! Unconsciously, his hand reached into his sleeves, fingering that small pouch full of tobacco within the voluminous folds of his coat—and just as fast, it came out. Some of the men here were Hongzheng’s and if he were seen chewing some barbarian filth, he’d get an earful, and what he did not need was an earful from an incompetent xenophobe who showed his love for the Barbarians by raping and torturing an unfortunate Barbarian nun; or was that torturing and then raping? Either way, he was a bad news.

    He looked at the corpse. It was neatly eviscerated, as if by a butcher, cut up so that all the major muscles and arteries sliced and exposed to open air like a pig hung for roast—only it wasn’t done by a butcher. No, the man (and it was only one man) who did this was an exceedingly skilled swordsman, likes of which he’s never seen before. Mere thought at the man’s skill sent shivers down his spine, but he collected himself and looked around. In this dingy alley, the smells of feces—human and animal—intertwined with the corpse’s stink to create a veritable feast for the crows and flies, which made the men all the more surly. There was Liu, a dunce but a giant of a man; Zhu, a twitchy little rat whose knowledge of Barbarian medicine he found very useful; Jing, a master of knives who hopes to take Yuying’s place; and Zheng, a useless layabout who only found a place here because of that Manch pig. These were his men, deputized by the magistrate Lin Hongzheng to keep peace in the city of Xiamen in Fujian Province.

    “Another day, another stiff, boss,” whined Zheng, “ I need a drink.” Yuying looked at his ugly mug and he so dearly wanted to punch him, but just droned, “after work… after work”.

    “But what’s there for work? It’s the same MO as before. I don’t see anything to go by, like before. It’s a dead end, boss”



    He never had the chance to finish, because Liu had wrapped his steely, gigantic hands around Zheng’s scrawny throat. “Boss sez there’s work to be done, there’s work to be done, got it?” Yuying smiled; while his “smarts” could get on the nerves at times, Liu had so many qualities so fitting for this line of work—or the triads, for that matter. He told his men that he wanted to wrap this one too, “Hell, you ain’t the only ones with empty belly, you know. Mmm… a bowl of hot noodles would be damn perfect.” With that, he rolled up the dead man’s intestines with his scabbard. A wrenching noise and rounds of laughter could be heard, from Zheng and the rest of men, respectably

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    Alas, the merriment lasted all too briefly, because, well, there was work to be done.

    The flies buzzed, his temple was full of sweat, and the pungent smell of garlic was all around, as he slurped down the hot noodles under even hotter afternoon sun. Next to him at the table, leaning gently off his right, was the Chopper, his trusted dao that had gotten him through bandits and the Barbarians alike; it was also handed down from his father, who received it from his father, so on—until, so the family legend went, his great ancestor general Deng forged it with his own hands to fight the Manchus. That was the story, at any rate. The truth of the matter was unimportant; what was important was that it was sharp, damn sharp. His men began calling the Chopper after the twentieth or so arm he had severed as a volunteer during the Taiping Rebellion. Wistfully he looked back, when things were so simple: chop, chop, chop, he got a medal and silver. But now, he spent his days whoring, drinking, gambling, oh, and investigating pointless murders. And how pointless it all seemed.

    He knew Zheng was right; he just didn’t like his whining. This corpse was the same as the others: An outsider whom no one knew of, possessing little signs of wealth, waylaid like any dozen poor travelers in this tough day and age. Except there were signs that simply made ignoring his (and others’) death impossible; even if it weren’t for the fact that they were all so expertly slaughtered by an expert swordsman (who should be above robbing travelers; after all, there would be dozens of merchants, magistrates and brigands who’d love to employ someone of his talent), there was also the fact that every one of the dead ‘traveler’ possessed calloused hands (thank the gods he didn’t eviscerate their hands!). In other words, they were most likely swordsmen. The odds of the mysterious swordsman randomly running into traveling swordsmen to rob—not two, not three, but all together fourteen—is beyond coincidence; it’s called assassination. Most likely, he thought.


    “Damn,” as he waved his hand in irritation, the noodle went flying and hit a man. He scowled at Yuying, but only for a second. Everyone in this ragged little watering hole knew who he was. Every single rascal in this open-air noodle shop, frequented by bandits, robbers, usurers, cutpurses, and other ne’er-do-wells. His men snickered. Liu thought it was funny, so he started flinging noodles in random directions, prompting Yuying to tell him to knock it off, and just as that, he noted, a little flash of steel glistened and then disappeared in the palm of Jing’s hand. He scowled, “damn him.” He needed some cool air; the tempers were rising, with all the pointless chasing they had done for the last couple weeks, and Hongzheng’s outbursts at their “incompetence” did not help at all. And just like that, a cool breeze brushed his cheek. In fact, it got downright chilly.

    Three men walked in. Even in this sweltering heat, they wore ample, voluminous robes—slit on the sides, though, for ease of action—and wore wide-brimmed hats, tipped low. In their right hands were jians, with delicate jades for the pommels. But these men were nothing but delicate; they exuded menace, from every pore of their skin, and if one couldn’t tell this from the way they moved (some idiot scholar might be so clueless), then one look into their faces, and that cold, penetrating stares would let them know. He knew, because he stared at one of the men, and that man stared right back, as if his magisterial robes meant nothing. Nay, as if he were a tiger looking at a deer.

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