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Thread: Web of Deceit

  1. #1
    Senior Member haibinglover's Avatar
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    Nov 2005

    Default Web of Deceit

    First of all, this is my first FF so bare with me. Like the story, it'll be about deceit as the truth is uncovered and a web of lies is formed. It'll take place in ancient times, but since this is a FF, I'll be making up names for countries and clans.

    Major Character Introduction:
    Jianping: she's the blacksmith's daughter who finds out that what she's been told about her mother has all been fake. Is her father really an ordinary blacksmith?

    Wan Fei: She's the one who caused the fate of Jianping's mother with lies and envy, but regrets. Will she redeem herself?

    Xiong Che: She is the leader of Black Lotus Clan, but she has her own dark past that has been buried until now. What is her relation to Jianping's mom?

    Yung Xia: she's the healer of the story, but she isn't charitable because of her past. Cold, ruthless, and stingy was how she raised her only daughter.

    Yung Gu: Daughter of Yung Xia, but totally opposite of her mother. When she falls in love with a man, her mother will try to stop her not because of status, but a far deeper and darker sercret concerning them all.

    Ming Jing: She's an orphan brought up by a tribe of women who dwell in the desert. She has come to find her true heritage only to be heart broken.

    Prince Tianye of Shanuan: His first meeting with his woman didn't go well. What is she hiding from him and can he melt her cool facade?

    Prince Cheng Chi Lam of Jinyue: Arrogant and charming, he already makes his intended hate him. As he chases her across the land, two hearts will learn together.

    Prince Yun of Jinyue: Quiet and cunning, he's the step brother of Chi Lam and wants to rule. He'll do anything to get ride of Chi Lam. His love relationship is far more sinister than let on for it's a sin.

    Prince Shuanji of Malek: Easy going and teasing, but his intended bride doesnt' want him. Their families are filled with unspoken lies that they must overcome.

    Princess Tobuqa of Pak: Shy and timid, her betroth scares her, but as her journey takes her further, she comes out of her shell fighting him all the way.

    What is the relationship to all these characters? What they discover will either make them stronger or perish forever.
    Last edited by haibinglover; 01-29-07 at 07:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member haibinglover's Avatar
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    Nov 2005


    Chapter 1: Meeting of Chance

    A young woman about twenty came out from a tent made out of cow hide with
    bells around the flap of the opening. She was dressed in a long red gown for she
    was their next chosen leader. She grew up with them, but she wasn’t of the tribe.
    Her foster mother says that she was found under a large silver aspen tree and they took her before the rainstorm could wash her away. She took a few steps to her right and entered another larger tent where her foster mother stayed.

    “Master mother, you called for me” She greeted her mother as master also for it was her foster mother that taught her all of her gongfu.

    “There has been some kind of illness going on around the camp. I don’t have any cure for it. I met a lady about my age back in my days and she was the best healer ever, but then she disappeared. Rumor has it that she’s now residing in the peaks of Mt. Guan Ming. I need you, Ming Jing, to go and ask her for the antidote. Just describe the illness to her and she’ll know it.”

    “I won’t fail you mother” Her face was white and smooth, not tan like the other girls. With her oval face, round eyes, and small mouth, she was a great beauty that every male has praised her except for her attitude. She never smiles or laughs, and doesn’t even join the fun around camp. She’s serious the whole time with a cold glint in her eyes.

    After bowing to her foster mother, she packed up her clothes, took a strong mule, and began riding north where Mt. Guan Ming is, near the border of Jinyue.

    In the Imperial City of the Jinyue, the only blacksmith of the city came out to stroke his fire and began to pound away at precious metals. He’s been working on a sword for his daughter’s eighteenth birthday coming up in a few days. He’s almost finished with it and it was a replica of the one he made for his wife and her mother. He used only the finest and strongest metals found around the world to forge the sword for his only daughter.

    Suddenly the stairs to their house upstairs began to creak as his only daughter ran down the stairs. He watched her come to stand in front of him as he smiled for he can’t wait to see the look on her face when she saw the sword.

    “My dear daughter, why are you up so early?” He asked for the sun has only begun to rise.

    Jianping had a run in with the oldest prince of the palace and they got into an argument on the street which earned her a hard shove from the prince as she fell into a puddle of mud nearby. She was going to sneak into the palace and pay him back.

    “I just wanted to go out and see the world before everyone wakes up and the sun takes away the beauty of the dawn.” She lied.

    “You were always such a glib talker like your mother and I don’t believe that for a second, but I won’t investigate more.” He turned back to pounding his metal when in the corner of his eyes; she darted past him using her lightness gongfu.
    He shook his head for no man would want such an unruly woman as wife.

    Jianping reached the fifty feet high white stone wall that encircles around the palace. With no difficulty, she jumped over it with her lightness gongfu and lands on the roof. She jumped into an open window and came upon a long narrow hallway with only a few lanterns lit. She slowly made her way down trying to find the prince’s room when she heard footsteps coming and she jumped into the room.

    She closed the door and lit a lantern and found that she actually was in the royal library. She looked the rows of books over and her interest got the best of her. She knew how to read, but because she was poor, she couldn’t afford books. She reached for a book of poems when the library door began to open. She blew out the lantern and hid behind a tall bookshelf in the darkest corner and peeked to see who it was. It was none other than the man she was looking for as she sneered at him in the dark.

    Cheng Chi Lam just got up from his sleep when he saw a slim shadow from across the other side of the palace. He quickly dashed after the intruder and saw him go inside the library. The library held nothing special so he suspected that the intruder came for something else. He slammed the library door shut as he walked around the dark room without lighting any lantern. His nose caught a faint smell of vanilla and lilac soap in the air and he knew that his intruder was a female. He sat down at the royal desk and pretended to read in the dark as he waited for her to come out.

    Jianping knew that he knew that she was in here as she cursed her luck. She could both jump out the window and risk everything or she could try to dash for the door using her lightness gongfu. She was going to try and dash for the door as she slowly inched her way to the door hoping that he wouldn’t notice her.

    He smiled in the dark, a predator’s smile, as he saw felt her move in the dark towards the door. Right before she could open the heavy door, he dashed in front of her like the wind and grasped both her wrist in his large hands. She let out a scared shriek and tried to pull her hands away, but his hold was a vise like stone. She glared up at him in the dark.

    He pulled her near the window where the early sun’s light streamed through. He saw her beautiful almond shaped eyes with her roman nose, and her petal soft lips glaring up at him. “Who are you and how did you get into the palace?” He gruffly asked.

    She turned her head away from him for he had obviously forgotten that they met a few days ago on the streets.

    His lips thinned in impatient as he yanked her up against his body until her soft skin was pressed to his taut muscular body. He leaned down until their nose almost touched and stared into each other’s eyes. “If you don’t answer me now, I’m going to throw you in the dungeon for the rest of your life.”

    She pushed him away and he finally let go of her hands. She dropped down to sit on the carpet floor and began to cry like a newborn. “How could you bully a girl like me? You’re a big bully! You always bully me!” She began to cry and scream into the room while from under her lashes, she saw that he was at a lost for words not expect her behavior. Her father had taught her to be wise and always keep the enemy off guard.

    When she saw him look away in disgust at her babyish behavior, she quickly sealed off his body’s meridian points paralyzing him. She stood up and circled around him a few times after poking and prodding him hard in the ribs so that she felt him grunt in pain.
    “You think that you’re part of the royal family and can just bully anyone. Well, I got the better of you this time, Prince Chi Lam.” She took out a pair of scissors and reached for his hair. “Do you want to be bald or do you just want short female hair?” She asked and began to ponder. “I think that you will look better bald.” She grabbed a handful of his long black locks and was about to cut it, but she couldn’t cut it.

    He may be an insensitive jerk, but he hasn’t really done her any harm. Besides, she thought that he looked too handsome to become a bald prince with his strong prominent jaw line, dark icy eyes, and his royal nose. She tucked the scissor away and went to the door. She gave him one last look before she left home again, sick and disgusted with her gutless self.

    It wasn’t until a little past morning after breakfast had been served that Cheng Chi Lam was able to unfreeze his meridian points. He vowed to find her and teach her a lesson to mess with the future king of Jinyue.

    Across the Pak desert, a forlorn young woman looked out her window from the high palace wall. She was the crown princess of Pak named Hua Tobuqa. She was to get ready to receive the Malek prince who holds the power to the other half of their country. They have been betrothed since the day she was born, but she didn’t want her life to be like this.

    She had never met him before even though everyone says that he’s the most handsome and charming man they’ve ever seen. She wanted to experience life, she wanted adventure, and most of all she wanted a love that will last a lifetime. She knows about how her parents got married and after she was born, her father began to take in mistresses after losing interest in her mother, the queen. The maids came in with her royal yellow clothes and jewelry as they prepared her for the welcoming ceremony.

    Shuangji, the Malek Prince, arrived as he jumped off his black stallion and went to meet his future-in-laws and greeted them. After the introductions, he and the royal family was led into a large dining room where the most beautiful maids served them food.

    “Where is the crown princess?” Her father asked his wife.

    “She’s still getting ready.” The wife said hoping that her stubborn daughter didn’t do anything stupid.

    A few minutes later, the large golden doors open as the maids led in the crown princess Tobuqa in all her glory dressed in a bright yellow gown and jewelries around her. She looked around the room taking in all the new faces and saw in the men’s eyes a praising for her beauty, but she didn’t want them to see only her face. She wanted them to know that she had a brain behind her beautiful face too. She took a step forward when a man a few years older than her stepped up. She wanted to smile, but she was too scared and her heart was pounding in her chest in fright.

    “I’m glad that you could make it to the ceremony for I wanted to see how my future wife would look like and indeed the rumors are true. You are a rear desert flower in this kind of heat.”

    “Prince Shuanji?” She asked in a quivering voice.

    He looked amused at her shaky voice. He took her hand and led her to join her parents before he went back to his seat with his male amusement still on his face.
    She grinded her teeth for she would love the wipe all that male amusement off his face, but she was a princess and she mustn’t have outburst.

    All through dinner, no one talked to her as she listened to the many conversations around the room. She caught the prince’s eyes many times as she blushed for no apparent reason and avoided talking to him.

    She turned to look at her parents and saw her father making silent flirty glances at his serving maids. She saw her mother eating and talking like a normal happy empress, but she could tell that her mother wanted to scream at her father. Right at that moment, she decided that she wasn’t going to marry unless it was under her condition, princess or no princess.

    The sun finally set as the dinner ended and she quickly rushed back to her room to change. All throughout dinner she had been planning away in her head on how to escape her unwanted wedding in a few months and the only way was to run away. She had already tried to talk to her parents, but they wouldn’t listen to her so she had no choice. She just reached her door when a large strong hand grabbed her from behind and covered her mouth. She kicked back hard as her heel connected with his shin and he let go in pain. She whirled around and saw that it was Prince Shuangji.

    “What are you doing?” She demanded.

    “I just wanted to say good night to you.” He rubbed his throbbing shin and gave her a peevish look.

    She wasn’t amused for he frightened her. “Well then, have a good night” She shot back.

    He grabbed hold of her hand again, but gentler than last. “Hua Tobuqa, I will treat you like a queen when we are married so don’t fear anything from me.” He tried to assure her.

    She angrily yanked her hand out of his hold. “Right, you’ll treat me as a queen just not as a wife, right?” She slammed her door in his face and bolted the lock from inside. She had to get away from this place and from him. She had to know what she was capable of in life and not just a pretty fragile doll.

    Shuangji looked at her closed door with confusion written on his face. He didn’t understand what had just happened, but he knew that his soon to be bride was not happy with their arranged marriage. He should probably move up the wedding date incase she decided to do something foolish. He will not be embarrassed and he will keep what is his and she’s definitely his by right.

    Ming Jing had traveled for a few days now as she finally enters the large gate that leads to the Imperial City of Shanuang. She wasn’t used to city life or people as she sneered at everyone insight as her right. She entered into a restaurant and sat down at a table as the waiter came to take her order. She gave him her order and resumed to rest as the waiter scurried away. She eyed her mule tied outside the door and saw three men laughing at her mule as they came in still make crude jokes about the mule and the anonymous rider; which was her. She got to her feet and approached them with hands on her hips.

    “Do you unworthy men have something to say to me and my mule?” Her tone was up right and commanding.

    The leader of the three men stood up to face her with a grin on. He was tall with a bulky frame, long greasy hair, and yellow crooked teeth. He gave her a once over look in appreciation as he lewdly showed sexual interest in her. “I’ve never seen such beautiful skin in my entire life. Let me have a taste.”

    She smiled at him as she stepped closer to him. “Are you sure you want a taste for I can be a handful?”

    “Tai Yu never refuses a female.” He told her.

    Within a matter of split second, Ming Jing managed to swipe his sword, slap him hard sending him across the table, and she flew back to her seat taking a deep drink of her wine. She gave him a mocking stare. “I told you, but you didn’t listen.”

    “Get that wench and hand her over to me!” Tai Yu shouted to his henchmen as they attacked her.

    She could see that they were afraid to approach her after seeing how fast she moved and executed three perfect moves before they could blink. “Come boys, for I’ll fight you without any weapons at all.” She put her sword and the swiped sword on the table, but she had other hidden projectiles under her long sleeves that were deadly and poisonous.

    The two men attacked her as she used her hand to support her weight and kicked them in the face in midair and landed back elegantly on the ground. She smiled lovingly at them as she sat down once more to take a bite of her just arrived food dishes.

    A man in his late twenties sat in the corner and observed the fight with a grin. The female dressed in the long red robe was very impressive with her gongfu. She was a deadly opponent if one wasn’t careful around her, but he knew without a doubt that he could handle her without care. He got up and went to face her and the moment the people saw his face, they all backed down except for the female.

    “Miss, your display of gongfu is most impressive. May I ask for another display?” While talking, he already took out his white elegant fan in his hand and flapped it back and forth.

    She gave her new opponet a once over look. He was richly dressed in navy silk and a fancy gold crown. She figured that he must be from the royal family. He must be an advisor, distant relative, or a minister. She picked up her sword and faced him with an easy going smile. “I don’t just display my skills for free.”

    He understood her meaning. “What do you want then?”

    “You have nothing that I would want since I’m a simple person. If I win, I just want your white silk fan that you’re holding right now.”

    “What if I should win?” He slowly moved in a circle leading her in a dance as she followed him in steps and eye direction.

    “What do you want?” She asked in a calm tone of voice, but her heart betrayed her. Her heart was beating like crazy in her chest as if telling her that it was a bad move on her part, but she couldn’t back down now.

    “Should I win, I want you to take off a pair of your shoe and give it to me.”

    It was an insult for her as he asked for her shoes. A man didn’t ask for something so personal and a woman never reveals her feet for a woman’s feet were considered the most sensual part of their body. She curled her toe in anticipation as she attacked him not giving him a chance to counter back.

    He defended testing to see her skills before he made his move. He could see that whoever taught her gongfu was a very strong expert. Her gongfu was something that he hasn’t seen yet and he could tell that it was rear. After observing first hand in the fight, he whipped his fan around the room to grab her attention as he thrust his palms at her.

    She saw his trick and repelled just before he could hit her. She threw two go-pieces at the fan from under her sleeves and as the weapons crashed, they fell to the floor. She threw three more pieces at him, but he dodged them at the last second.

    They landed a few feet apart from each other. He clapped his hands as she glared at him. “Miss, your gongfu are most amazing for no ordinary man can get close without getting hurt.” He teased her.

    Her mouth thinned into an angry line. She wanted to wipe that annoying male amusement off his face and she would do it too. She attacked with her sword thrust at his chest and he jumped into midair avoiding her sword. He then spun in midair and began a series of kicks that only he knew and he could tell that she was having a hard time trying to defend from the fast numerous kicks.

    When he saw that she was tiring out, he landed on the ground, grabbed his fallen fan, and whipped out the sharp deadly arrow heads and pointed them at her neck. It was close enough that he could kill her should he chose to.

    “I guess that this makes me the winner of our little display.” His tone held no mocking or amusement, but a rather high respect for her. They have exchange at least fifty moves before he defeated her. He lowered his fan and put it away as he waited for her to finish her part of the deal.

    She looked around the place as men stared and waited for her to take off her shoes. She may be bold, but she wasn’t bold enough to reveal her feet to any male. She looked at him with wide angry eyes that held all her contain emotions even though her face was a dead pan.

    After a moment when he wasn’t going to let her off from the shameful deal with him, she finally began to unlace her fur boots. She closed her eyes and was about to tug it off when he stopped her. His large hand covered her small soft hands and pinned them down to her boot.

    “I release you of the deal that we made. You don’t have to take your boot off for me unless you want to go to some place more private.” He teased her.

    She looked up at him with wide surprise eyes for many men that she knew would be gloating now, but he seemed sincere. She pulled away and quickly retied her laces and lifted her chin up at him. Even though she lost to him in a fight, she knew that he still couldn’t bring her self esteem down. She was the next chosen leader of the tribe, taught all that she needed to know, and that included being taught royal manners. Her foster mother also taught how to read and write in three different languages.

    “Why are you still glowering at me when I saved face for you?” He could tell that this woman was not one who laughed or smiled often. Even when he teased and joked about her, her face remained stony and cold. He could only tell her emotion when he looked into her dark eyes that swirled like clouds. All the women that he knew would be flattered and falling at his feet as he teased and praised them, but she was different. Would she act differently if she knew that he was of royalty? He decided to test out his question. “May I have the name of fair maiden?”

    She grabbed her sword and tucked it back into her sash tied around her slim waist. “Why do you wish to know my name? It’s not like you care or that we will meet again.” She started for the door.

    He jumped in front of her blocking the door as they both heard shocking gasp from their audience. “I have a very strong feeling that we will be meeting soon in the future and when we do meet again, I wish to call you by name.”

    She had never met a more exasperating man in her life that teased so much or flirted so miserably. Do the women around him actually buy his cheap lines? “It’s Ming Jing.” She mumbled and brushed past him, but he held her arm back.

    “I’m Tianye of the Imperial Palace.” He waited for her expression, any expression.
    She knew that he expected her to be shocked and ask for his forgiveness after her attitude with him, but she didn’t care. Her cold expressionless face remained the same as she went to her mule and road away.

    Tianye chuckled to himself at the woman as she road away with her back straight and stiff and her head held high. He looked in his hand as a jade pendent dangled from his fingers. He had swiped it from her as he held her arm back. she would come back for it when she realizes that it was missing. The jade pendent had a tiny carved in beetle on the top with a tiny golden bell that hung from the bottom and red strings below it. It was a very expensive piece of jewelry and he figured that she would be coming back for it.

    It wasn’t until well past midnight before Tobuqa finally got her maids to leave her room. She locked her door and took out her hidden riding clothes from under the bed. She quickly changed, wrapped a blue turban around her head to hide her hair, and went her window where she threw a rope made of bed sheets and pillow cases and slide down the make shift rope. She sneaked into the horse stables and took her mare and rode away into the night with a small pack of food and a few coins with her. She hopes to make it to the Jinyue Imperial City by morning. That way, she could escape any men her father sent after for she will be well on her way.
    Last edited by haibinglover; 02-06-07 at 11:41 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member haibinglover's Avatar
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    Nov 2005


    Chapter 2: Truths Reveiled

    Jianping came home and saw her father sitting on a wooden chair massaging his calves. She went to him in concern as she kneeled by his feet to massage his calves for him. “Father, you work too hard and I worry about you.”

    “My darling daughter, if I don’t work hard and earn money for your dowry; who will want a daughter that will bring nothing into her marriage?” He teased her as his mouth turned up in a smile, but his eyes were dead serious. No man would want a woman that has nothing to offer in marriage. He knew that daughter was the most prettiest in town, but men didn’t look at her for marriage. The men in town looked at her as a cheap woman who could be bought with money.

    “Who said that I want to get marry? I will live with you until the day I die. Besides, I’m too willful and no one will want me anyways. You have said it yourself many times, father.” She got up to bring him some hot tea.

    The blacksmith knew that his daughter was a strong willful woman who did want she wanted and what her heart told her. She didn’t care that she was shunned by the richer of society or that the rich people made fun of her status. She was carefree in life and he wanted her to stay happy and carefree. She was the only thing in life that he lived for other wise he would have taken his life long ago along with his beloved wife. Thoughts of his dead wife brought up strong emotions in him and he began to cough up blood from a long ago internal injury that he sustained to this day. He tried to hide his handkerchief stained with blood from his daughter, but she already saw it.

    Jianping put the tea cup on the table and went to him as she took the handkerchief from him. She looked at the blood on it as tears filled her eyes.

    “Over the years as I grew up, I have seen you cough up blood many times, but I was too young then to understand or ask. I thought that you were just ill and will get better, but I know better now. As my gongfu deepens and I understand it more, I finally understand that father was internally injured.” Large tears rolled down her cheeks as she laid her head on her father’s lap. “Who hurt you father?” Her voice cracked as thoughts of not having her father in her life scared and sadden her.

    He closed his eyes as he patted her head. “I have always told you that your mother died of an illness after you were born, but it’s a lie. You are almost eighteen years old in a few days and it’s time I tell you the truth.”

    She lifted her head and looked at him. She could see the pain and sadness in her father’s eyes as she nodded her head and sat quietly waiting for him to begin. After a long moment, she thought that he wasn’t going to tell her after all, but then he began the story that took place twenty some years ago before she was born.

    “When I was young, I was the son of a magistrate in our city. Everyday I roamed the streets and played to my hearts content. One fateful day, I was out hunting when my hunters and I came upon a group of bandits with strong gongfu. I was a nobody then and new no gongfu. I was badly beaten as all of my money was stolen. All of my hunters were dead trying to protect me and I was left to die in the forest. I crawled on my hands and feet trying to get home, but the gods were cruel to me. A fierce thunderstorm came that night and I caught a fever from the cold rain. I was almost on the brink of death when the most beautiful nymph emerged from behind a tree and took mercy on me. She nursed me back to health with her gentle hands, her loving nature, and her kind smiles. I knew then that I was in love and I had to have her. When I got well, I asked her to come back with me and marry me, but she refused.” He took a deep breath and looked into space as if he was there himself all over again.

    “Father?” Her voice was uncertain, but he smoothed her hair down her back.

    “Before I could say more, she took off to the sky with her lightness gongfu and I couldn’t catch up with her. I didn’t see her that day again, but I never gave up. I left home and went in search of her all over the world. I was in love and my heart was taken away from me. As I searched for her for six long years, I encountered many interesting people and I learned my gongfu from an old fisherman who lived by the sea and never got off his boat. The day that I finally mastered my gongfu, he didn’t come to see me in my other half of the cabin on the boat. I went to his room and saw his body on his bed with a serene smile. I buried him and went in search of the woman that had taken my heart with her also. After so many years of looking for her, I finally gave up and decided to head back home and see my family. On my way home, I saw a group of ladies dressed in white, pink, and yellow gowns fighting some men. I recognized the men as the bandits who had left me to die after stripping me of my possession. I joined the fight and killed the bandits within ten moves. Instead of thanking me for help, they turned around and left. I called a few snide remarks at them as they got mad and turned to face me. That was when I finally saw her again. It turns out that she was the head disciple of Black Lotus clan. Her cold eyes pierced me, but I already knew the real heart that she kept inside her.”

    “You’re telling me that my mother was a disciple of Black Lotus Clan?” She asked. She had heard of the powerful nun clan, but had never come across them. She had no idea that her mother had come from that clan.

    “I had a long and hard courtship to win your mother. I sneaked around in their temple at night and had to sneak past the master, who was a mean old lady with a vicious temper and killed without remorse. Your mother finally admitted to loving me and she ran away with me. I knew that I couldn’t take her to my family for we were being chased by the nuns with a death warrant on our heads. We ran for days on end and finally came up a mountain pass where we went into hiding. We lived our days out on the other side of the mountain in bliss where I hunted and built her a house and she cooked and sewed for us. Soon, your mother became pregnant and I had no chickens or warm enough blankets for her. I ran to the nearest town to buy her chickens and everything that she needed for her coming birth. A year later you were born and your mother named you after your unknown grandmother.”

    Jianping knew that what her father was going to say next was going to be heartbreaking for them both as she braced herself for the worst.

    “You just turned one the next year when your mother began to act strangely and began to fret about you growing up without her. I thought that it was motherly feelings that she was talking about and never gave it another thought. One morning, your mother came to me in her white gown, the very same gown she wore when we first met, and told me that she craved some sour fruits. I thought that she might be pregnant again and loved her too much to deny her anything. I was about to take off for the city again when she came out with you all bundled up sleeping in her arms. She told me to take you with me for she wasn’t feeling well and might not be able to take care of you while I was gone. I strapped you to my back, kissed your mother deeply, and took off the hidden path.”

    Her father’s voice cracked as she felt his tears slipped onto her cheeks. She wiped his tears away as her own tears fell. They both took a deep shaking breath as he continued the story.

    “I was half way to the city when I felt an uneasy feeling creeping along my spine and wrapped itself around my heart. I knew that your mother was in trouble. I raced back home, but I was too late. I found your mother in the den with a sword wound to her stomach. She lay clutching her stomach. I knew by the signs and damage that the Black Lotus nuns have found us and they killed her in the cruelest way. She held you in her arms as she took her last breath. I would have died after her, but didn’t want to leave you an orphan.”

    Jianping’s eyes turned cold and frosty as she stood up. “I will avenge mother and kill those heartless nuns.”

    The blacksmith held her back. “Don’t you think I would have taken revenge all these years? My gongfu was better than theirs, but I didn’t.”

    “Why?” She asked in anger, because of the nuns, she had no mother and her father had lived his life in torture.

    “Before your mother died, she made me promise that I will not seek out to revenge her. She understood the consequences when she ran away with me. She had made a vow in the Black Lotus temple to stay there all her life and to shun all men. She had broken her vows first and she was paying for the price.”

    “How did you get your injury then?”

    “I buried your mother and took you to the Jinyue country as I started a new life and new name for us. Along the way, I finally met up with the master of Black Lotus called Xiong Che. We fought each other and I had many chances to kill her, but I didn’t. When I backed down, she took advantage of me and went for your life. I got just in time to protect you as she delivered her most deadly palm stances to my chest. I fought her some more and then escaped with you. Since then I have crossed into Jinyue territory, I have never heard from the nuns again.”

    “So we are of the Shanuang people then.” She stated.

    “Yes” He got up from his seat and went to stare out the door onto the busy streets outside as people passed by. Friends waving and others stuck their nose in the air at him and his shabby clothes. “With my internal injury, I will not last long and that’s why I want you to marry a good man before I die so that I may rest knowing that you are in good hands.”

    She went to stand next to him as she glared at the rich snobby people. “Dutiful daughter will do as father say for daughter doesn’t wish to add to father’s burden after all the love she received from him.”

    He turned to her and smiled and he pulled her under his arm. “I know that my daughter is special and no ordinary man can just have her. Your birthday is in a few days and I will hold a competition to find you a husband. You will fight the men that have come for your hand and you will marry the man that you lose to.”

    She face lightens up for she knew that she could beat them if she started to practice now. “Father, I want to go and visit mother’s grave.”

    “Then we will go”

    “Wait, you are already injured and weak with old age. I will go by myself and come back before my birthday.”

    He thought about it for a few minutes and decided to let her go. If she was gone, he can finish his present for her. He gave her direction as she grabbed her sword and left.

    Tobuqa finally crossed into Jinyue territory as the first sun ray hit the earth once more. The long mountain range was covered in colors of pinks, yellow, orange, white, and hues of browns. The large white puffy clouds floated over her and it was going to be a beautiful warm day.

    She rode her horse along the way when five bandits circled her within their stallions. She was scared, but kept her calm façade as she tried to think of an escape plan. Could her mare outrun five stallions? She would have to take her chances or risk a worst fate. She smiled at one of the men and rode her horse over to him when she punched him hard in the face and galloped off like the devil was behind her. She looked back and saw that they were gaining ground on her a she urged her horse to run faster. No matter where she runs, she was surrounded by the five bandits. She saw the man that she had punched as he rode closer to her. His face was livid red with anger and he looked like an abusive man. She braced herself for the worst and began to scream for help although in the middle of the mountain passes here, help wasn’t very likely.

    Jianping had walked for awhile when she heard a woman screaming for help. She followed the screaming and saw five bandits were holding a woman captive. She went to help the woman.

    The man that she punched yanked her off her horse. Two of his men held her as he faced her. He slapped her across the face hard making her dizzy and seeing stars in the air. “*****, I’ll teach you a lesson that your mama never taught you.” He began to tear at her clothes as she screamed, cried, begged, and yanked away in every way.

    Jianpin unsheathed her sword and kicked the man away from the crying woman. Then she began to attack the other four men. After a huge fight, they were run off by her. Jianping helped the woman up to her feet. “What are you doing alone in the mountains like this?”

    “I…” Tobuqa didn’t want to reveal her true self, but what could she say to her savior. “I got lost.” She lied.

    “If you take the road down, you’ll reach the Jinyue Imperial City soon enough.” Jianping began to walk away when the lady stopped her.

    “What if more bandits come?”

    Jianping took pity on her as she was a female also. “I’m going to go visit my mother’s grave and then come back to the city. My mother’s grave a still another day’s ride away. If you want, you can accompany me to and from.”

    Tobuqa wanted adventure and this was her chance so she nodded her head in agreement. She looked around, but her mare had run off so they took off on foot to their destined place.

    “So you want to tell me the real reason why you are here?” Jianping asked.

    “How do you know that I lied?” Tobuqa’s eyes widen in surprise.

    Jianping burst out laughing at her expression. “You are I are both the same age, yet you a more innocent and gullible to read. You don’t lie very well.” She teased her new companion.

    “I have never found a reason to lie in my life ever until now.” Tobuqa defended, but she still couldn’t stop a small curving smile on her face.

    “All right then, we shall start over with the proper greets. My name is Jianping and I’m the daughter of a man who lives in Jinyue Imperial City. I’m on my way to visit my mother’s grave.”

    Tobuqa took a deep breath as she decided to trust her companion and reveal the truth. “I’m a Pakien princess called Tobuqa and I ran away from home because my parents have arranged my life for me including my husband. I want more from life than to sit idly while life passes my by. I want my life to be worth something so that I can tell my children and grandchildren about the great adventures I had when I was young.”

    “You’re a princess who wants adventure and to experience being a regular civilian. I’m a poor person who wants to be rich so that she can give her father the life that he deserves after all that he’s sacrificed for her. We’re quite a pair to be traveling, aren’t we?” Jianping joked.

    Tobuqa smiled and nodded in agreement. “I have no friends in the palace and my maids are too afraid to befriend me for my father is a strict emperor.”

    Jianping looked at Tobuqa and smiled. “I will be your friend then for I find it hard to find friends also.”

    Both women shared a sisterly smile as they walked on and shared more sad and happy stories about their childhood. They shared their own experiences in life as Jianping told her about her adventure sneaking into the palace and Tobuqa told her about her strict upbringing to be the perfect princess.

    In the desert of the Pakien land, the palace was beginning to stir as maids prepared breakfast and clothes for the royalty. The princess’s personal maids knocked on the locked doors, but the princess didn’t answer. They finally broke in and saw that it was empty and that a rope hung by the window. They feared the worst and went to the emperor to tell him that the princess had run away.

    When the emperor heard this, he was extremely mad that his daughter had run away. He never thought that she would have the guts or nerves to do something like this. He was about to patch a group of soldiers to get her back, but Prince Shuanji came in with a determined look on his face.

    “If I may be so bold as to request that I be the one to retrieve the princess back for she is my future empress.”

    “She’s my only daughter and I will not have you scaring her off. I know that I’ve been strict with her upbringing, but it’s for her own good. Can you give me your word that you will care for her until she is back to me?”

    “I give you my word and I don’t abuse women ever. I will make her understand why she must marry me.” Shuanji thought back to the words that she spoke last night to him. He still didn’t understand why she said it, but he would understand it soon enough once he finds her. He took his stallion and went after her.

    Midmorning passed by and he found horse tracks on the ground. He followed them and came upon the mountain pass that separated Jinyue and Pakein’s border. He rode on and saw her horse eating grass by a river that flowed at the foot of the mountain range. He looked around, but she was no where in sight. Just then he saw five gruffly looking men coming to claim the horse. He stopped them.

    “Have you seen the woman who owns this horse?” He asked politely.

    A burly man who sported a large bruise on his cheeks spit out. “That cheap ***** and her companion beat us up and then left. How the hell should I know where they went?”

    “Sir, I will ask you to not call the woman a ***** or I will be forced to defend her name. She’s a runaway princess and my wife.” He told them.

    Their greedy eyes took him in with his silk outfit. “You don’t know the terrain here well. We will be glad to take you to the city for I’m sure that your woman is there.”

    “I will pay your service in gold only if we find her in the city.” With that said, he rode off after the men. “You said that she had a companion with her.”

    The bandits were still mad at Tobuqa and so they stirred trouble for her. “Her companion was the best looking man ever and it’s no wonder your princess left with her companion.”

    Shuanji didn’t know that the princess had a lover and that might be why she had run away. He will find her and then drag her back with him whether she wanted to go back or not. He wasn’t going to be embarrassed by her and he will challenge her lover. He was a fierce and possessive man that doesn’t let go easily of what is his.
    Last edited by haibinglover; 02-06-07 at 11:31 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member haibinglover's Avatar
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    Nov 2005


    Chapter3: Clue to Missing Link

    Ming Jing had been traveling for days as she finally came to Mt. Guan Ming. She tied her horse and began climbing the carved stair way on the side of the mountain. The whole mountain was covered in snow and icicles hung from the bare branches. She finally came upon a large straw hut with plants and herbs hanging outside. “My respect, I come for your help!” Ming Jing called out and waited.

    When no one answered or came out, she called again and this time an old wizened lady came out. She was no taller than four feet and she was hunched over with a wooden cane in her hand. Her long white hair was wrapped around her head as she squinted at the visitor.

    “Who goes there?” The old lady called out. She may be old and looked weak, but her voice was strong and loud like a strong young virile person.

    “My respect, I come from the Buji tribe and want to ask for your expertise in medicine.” Even though she’s the same age as master mother, how come she looks so much older now, Ming Jing thought.

    “Humph, you have come such a long way just to seek my help, but my help is not free. I must have something back in return for my medicine.” The old woman’s voice carried out to her.

    Ming Jing already heard that the woman was a stingy and cranky woman and she wasn’t surprise by her words. “I have a pouch of gold with me.”

    The old woman’s laughter crackled through the air menacingly. “Stupid girl, if I wanted gold, I wouldn’t be hiding from the world like this. What I want is not gold, but a priceless thing that can only be found in the Shanuang palace. Will you accept my terms?”

    Ming Jing had a bad feeling about this, but she had to save her people. If she was going to be the next leader, she had to risk it and not fail her people. “I accept your terms.”

    “In the bedchamber of the emperor hangs a sword. It is just an ordinary sword, but it used to belong to me before I was forced to forfeit it. I want that sword back. Get me the sword and I will give you the antidote you need, but you have only until dawn or you will forfeit the terms and return empty handed.” The old woman went back inside and slammed the door shut once more.

    Ming Jing glared at the door as she raced back to her horse and went back to town. Stealing a sword shouldn’t be hard since her gongfu were great and she hasn’t been defeated before saving for that one instance.

    By evening she finally arrived back in town and wearing an all black disguise attire with her face covered, but her eyes, she sneaked into the palace. She was on the roof looking in when she saw that a party was being held for the emperor as important people presented him with gifts and wished him a long life. She figured that it was either his birthday or a birth of another royal child. The event taking place fit perfect with her for everyone would be at the party and she was left to take what she wanted.

    Prince Tianye watched the party from his seat when he saw a shadow glide across the roof into the northern part of the palace which belonged to the emperor and empress. He excused himself and went after the night intruder.

    Ming Jing found the emperor’s bedchamber as she looked for the sword. It wasn’t hanging on the wall, it wasn’t in his drawers, and it didn’t seem to be in the room after all. She never thought about this implication and feared the worst that the emperor might have discarded the sword after so long. She searched again for the third time in case she missed something when the door opened and that aggravating man stood in the frame. She totally forgot about him and seeing him was only going to make her job harder.

    “May I ask what you are looking for?” Tianye asked as he stared into the cold pitiless eyes and he recognized them. They were the cold eyes that belong to the ice maiden he had fought a few days ago.

    She took off her face scarf and faced him. “I need your help.” She demanded coldly.

    He grinned rakishly as he saw what it cost her to ask him for help. “For someone who needs my help, you’re not very humble.”

    She narrowed her eyes at him as anger boiled inside of her. How dare that oaf play with her when she didn’t have time. “What do you want from me in order for you to help me?”

    “I have many things that I want from you, but I will not push my good luck. Tell me what you’re looking for and I will decide what I want from you.”

    “I’m looking for an ordinary sword that was stolen by the emperor from a healer that used to live in this town many years ago.”

    He knew about the sword well and the story behind it. “Why do you want it?”

    “I need it to save my people.” She said no more for it wasn’t his business to know any more than what she was willing to say.

    “Do you know the story behind it?” He asked as he circled around her.

    She stiffened her back and lifted her chin. “I don’t know, don’t want to know, and I certainly don’t care to know about it. I just need it to save my people.”

    He wrapped one arm around her slim waist as he felt her stiffen even more. His other hand reached out and caressed her soft skin and inhaled her sweet fragrance.

    “The lady who owned the sword was the daughter of a magistrate with a cunning mind. She wanted to marry the emperor for her own evil plan and so she fought with my mother, the current empress, and lost. She was forced to forfeit her sword and told never to see the emperor again.” He unpinned her hair as if came cascading down like then night sky into his hands. Her hair was so soft and silky that it felt like midnight water in his hands.

    “What do you want?” She stated again in an emotionless tone.

    He moved away from her and pulled out the jade pendent that he stole from her. She gasped for she didn’t even notice that it was gone until he showed it to her. “I will give you the sword and the jade pendent back in return for three years of your life in my hands.”

    She turned to him with a bland expression. She had expected this from him for it was what all men seemed to want from a woman. “I must save my people and if it means sacrificing myself then I accept your terms.” She had already thought of all the loop wholes in his request and she wasn’t going to let him win.

    “Then wait here for me and I will be back” A few moments later, he came back with the sword that she was looking for. He handed it to her and her jade pendent.

    “I will come back for the three years that I have promised you.” She turned to go out the window, but he quickly stopped her again.

    He crushed his mouth to hers assaulting her senses and melting her. Soon he had her melting in his arms and her lush body up against his. “Don’t break your words to me for I will find you.”

    She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. She didn’t say anything else as she rushed back to the old lady for the antidote. Dawn was fast approaching as she raced to the door, but standing a few feet back. “I have the sword as on your term.” She called out.

    A few moments later the old lady came out. She took the sword in her hand, inspected it, and then broke the long thin sword with her hands. “Very well, you have completed it and on time. I’m a bit surprised that a young woman like you could be so efficient. I hope that it didn’t give you much trouble.” She smiled as if she knew what had happened in the emperor's bedchamber.

    Ming Jing didn’t say anything about the bargain she made. She was quite astonished that the old lady broke the sword after wanting it, but she didn’t blame the woman. From the story that Prince Tianye told her, it probably didn’t bring her good memories to look a it. She held out her hand. “The antidote, my respect”

    The old woman cackled crazily until she saw the jade pendent hanging on the young woman’s waist. Her laughter died as her eyes narrowed. “Where did you get that jade pendent?” Her voice held a dark menace now.

    “I’ve had it since I was a little girl.” Ming Jing answered.

    “So it’s true after all.” The old lady said and then went inside and shut the door after giving her the antidote.

    Ming Jing wanted to ask more for it could be her missing link to her family, but she didn’t have time right now. She would have to come back another time and get the old lady to tell her. She headed back to the desert to give her mother the antidote.

    being my first FF, feedbacks would be great!
    Last edited by haibinglover; 02-06-07 at 11:21 AM.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2003


    sry but i dunt know the rules... am i suppose to comment here? if not sry...

    i juss started reading it, and it was ok, but somehow it seems like sum1 done a similar story like this b4, but thats not the problem... its ur spacing, can u leave more spaces after every paragraph and stuff so it can be easily read, my eyes/brain/heart/body is going crazy trying to read this on a white background on a computer

    o and gj w/ the story and stuff, it looks like u spent a lot of time, keep up the good work and try to add more twists to make it unpredictable/interesting
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  6. #6
    Senior Member haibinglover's Avatar
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    Nov 2005


    Chapter 4: Bonds of Strangers

    Jianping and Tobuqa had arrived at Jianping’s mother’s gravesite. Jianping took out incense, candles, and food for the dead and lit them up for her mother. She kneeled in front of the grave as so many things rushed to her head, but nothing came out of her mouth that made sense. At the end, she only ended up saying a few words about her father and missing her and then they went inside the old hut that her parents used to live in happy bliss.

    Tobuqa missed her mother and now really cherished her parents no matter how bad they were. She followed Jianping into the old shabby hut silently not knowing what to say.

    “My parents used to live here after they escaped from Black Lotus.”

    Being a princess, she didn’t know who or what Er-mei was. “What is Black Lotus Clan?”

    “They are a group of nun and that is their sector name. The master of that sec is most evil and vile. I would love to have a fight with her and see who will win.” Jianping stated heatedly.

    “Sometimes people regret what they’ve done in the past. Maybe this leader is regretting about killing your mother.” Tobuqa said softly for she couldn’t imagine killing another person.

    “Regrets or not, she must pay for her sins. They use the name of the nuns to cover up all their cold blooded kills in the past and the future.” With that said, Jianping turned away not wanting Tobuqa to see so much anger and hate in her.

    They stayed that night in the hut as they talked and shared a strong bond together. The half moon finally hung up in the sky as they prepared for bed. Tobuqa just diminished the candles when they heard soft cries outside of the hut. Jianping grabbed her sword and went out as Tobuqa grabbed a rock and followed. They saw a middle age lady dressed in a pink gown standing over the tomb.

    The lady in pink turned to face them as their presence was known to her. “Who are you and why are you here?” She stated coldly as her eyes assessed them slowly.

    “We were traveling and have come here to wait the night out. It was deserted so we thought that it was no longer in use by anyone.” Jianping lied.

    “No one has visited my sister’s grave for so many years, but me.”

    She didn’t know that her mother had a sister for her father didn’t say anything about it. “Who is the lady?” She asked pretending to have no knowledge of anything about the grave.

    “The lady in the grave was called Long Che and she was the first and favorite disciple of the master of Black Lotus. She was supposed to become the next master of the sect, but then she fell in love with a vagabond that no one knew anything about. She left the sect, her prestigious position, and her only sister behind for a man. Master found out and there was a battle here where she died.”
    “So you’re her sister in the story” Tobuqa asked coming quick to the conclusion.

    “We’re not blood sister, but martial sisters. We both came from the same poor village; same age, and grew up together under the teaching of our master.” The lady in pink turned to them and gave them another close inspection as if she didn’t believe that they were innocent travelers.

    Jianping saw a small sack wrapped in brown cloth and knew that the lady was either traveling on a mission for her master or running away on her own personal agenda. “Are you traveling also?” She asked innocently.

    “I have decided that Black Lotus is not the place for me in this world. I have witness too many killings done in the name of the Buddha and I wish to be part of it no more. I have run away hopping to find my sister’s daughter that was born twenty some years ago.”

    The lady in pink reached into her sack and produced two twin gold hairpins. She gave one to each of them. “You two seem to be good friends so let these two gold hairpins stay with you always symbolizing your love and friendship for each other.” She looked at the tomb marker as a few tears dropped. “My sister, it will be along time before we see each other again. I shall remember you until we can meet again.” The lady in pink took off into the horizon blending in with the night.

    Tobuqa put the gold hairpin in her hair and did the same with Jianping’s pin. “Why didn’t you tell the lady about your true identity?”

    “I didn’t want her to give my father any more troubles. She said that she was running away and I know that the master of Black Lotus, Xiong Che, will not let her off easily. Xiong Che will follow her on till she is dead just like my mother.”

    “Maybe I should just return to the palace for this world is so strange that I have no knowledge about it. Some day, someone will take advantage of my naive.”

    “Don’t fret or give up yet for you have me. I will not let anyone take advantage of you for I know all about it. The thumb rule for surviving in Jianghu world is that you must not trust anyone.”

    Tobuqa thought about the rule and she agreed that it was true. If you didn’t trust then no one can hurt you or take advantage. “Sister Jianping, I saw that you have great gongfu skills. Will you teach me a few stances so that I can protect myself and help you in times of need?”

    Jianping thought about it as they went back into the shabby hut. She still has a few more days to stay here before going back home in time for her marriage joust. Beside, the princess was too innocent and she wouldn’t be able to protect herself if they should separate. As they once more prepared for bed, Jianping finally spoke about her decision. “I will teach you some great stances in the morning.”
    Tobuqa gave a happy squeal as the sisters went to bed waiting for the sun to come up.

    Shuanji was staying at an inn and he had come back to his room after a whole day looking for her. She was nowhere in sight and he was afraid that she might have left town with her lover or that something even worst had happened to her while she was on her way. He had asked around town, but no one seems to have seen her or know her. Unable to sleep, he took a midnight stroll on the streets to clear up his head and thing of places where she might be. He finally stopped walking once he was in front of a blacksmith and saw that the place was still lighted. He knocked on the door and a middle age man covered in ashes opened him.

    “Can I help you with anything?” The blacksmith asked in a tired tone as if he hadn’t slept for days.

    “I was walking by and saw that your place was still lighted. I’m sorry for interrupting you, sir.” Shuanji was about to step off his porch when the blacksmith open the door wider.

    “You might as well come in for you’re as sleepless as me tonight.” Both men sat at a clean table as the blacksmith served them wine. “You’re from out of town.” The blacksmith stated.

    “You certainly have sharp eyes for an old blacksmith.” Shuanji joked and confirmed the statement.

    “Was there something that I could help you with on your mission?”

    “I’m looking for a woman. We were supposed to get marry in a few days, but then she got cold feet and ran away.”

    “Let me tell you something son, if a woman gets cold feet at the last minute, it means that she’s not the one for you.”

    “Whether she’s the one for me or not, I know that her destiny is with me. I will not stop until I find her. Besides, I don’t really have a choice in the matter even if I thought otherwise.”

    “Every man has a choice to make.”

    “Would you give up your woman if she ran away?” Shuanji asked.

    The blacksmith smiled broadly for he was remembering the days when he had run away in search for his wife. “No, I guess I would do the same thing and go after her.” They talked and laughed until the light of dawn came and then Shuanji took his leave. They were strangers talking together in the night sharing a cup of wine. They never traded names for it was safer that way for them both.
    Last edited by haibinglover; 02-06-07 at 11:02 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member haibinglover's Avatar
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    Nov 2005


    Chapter 5: Closer to the Truth

    Ming Jing arrived back at the desert camp as she gave the packet of medicine to the woman that was in charge of medicine to make it for everyone. She went to greet her master mother, but her heart and mind was some where else. Ever since the old lady in the snowy mountains has revealed those words, she couldn’t stop thinking about them. Her desire to find her lost heritage was growing greater and she didn’t know how long she could stay still and calm before she went back.

    “I sense disturbed energy around you, Jing’er.” Her master said.

    “When I was traveling to find the antidote, I came upon a person who knew what this jade pendent means and where it came from. I didn’t have time to talk with her for I had to get the medicine to our people.” She admittted.

    “You wish to go back and seek your background then.” It wasn’t a question, but the truth that was in Ming Jing’s heart.

    “With master mother’s permission, I would like to go and search for the truth of my birth.” Her cold emotionless eyes gazed straight into her master's letting her know that it meant a great deal to her.

    “Some times, it is better to not know the truth.” Her master turned her back to her student.

    “Some times knowing the truth, no matter how bad, can put demons to rest.” Ming Jing countered back for she had already decided that she was going to go.

    “Very well then, I give you permission to go, but I also have another mission for you. There are rumors that the Scriptures of Heavenly Spring Steps has emerged again. I want you to find it and bring it back to me.”

    “Yes master, I’ll do my best to find it and bring it back to you.” She bowed and then left once more on her donkey.

    Snow was falling lightly on the mountains. The old woman stood outside the porch in a thin flimsy gown. She didn’t seem to be effected by the coldness surrounding her. Her mind was somewhere else. She remembered how after she ran away from home, she had entered into a dark forest where she hard a cry deep from within that sounded like a wounded animal. She followed the sound and came upon a very beautiful woman dressed in white and the woman was about to give birth. She came out of her hiding and helped delivered the baby and the mother passed out. Morning came and the mother was gone, but the baby stayed with only a jade pendent left behind. A few years later, she chanced upon the lady that had given birth again, but didn’t say anything for the lady in white was now a leader of a powerful sect.

    A young lady in a blue gown with a long thick fur cloak came out of the hut and wrapped the old lady in another thick fur cloak. “Mother, you never take your cloak with you when you get up in the morning. You’ll catch your death some day.” Her voice was soft and full of affection.

    The old lady turned to look her daughter in the face gently. She was a cruel shrew who demanded an unfair pay for people who seek her help. She was a woman who could turn her back on those she didn’t want to help and she was very stingy, but she could never treat her daughter like that. Her daughter was the only person who received any love from her.
    “Ying Gu, have you prepared breakfast yet? Mother is hungry.”

    “Breakfast will be ready in a few minutes. I have heated up water for you and a clean fresh towel if you wish to bathe before eating. I’ll come get you when it’s ready.” The young girl’s eyes twinkled with love for her mother.

    “Ying’er, you don’t think that mother is harsh, do you?”

    “The snow is harsh, but never mother.” She hugged her mother before going in to check the breakfast food. She turned to look at her mother, Yung Xia, making sure that she was fine before disappearing around the corner.

    Tianye kept thinking about why Yung Xia had asked Ming Jing to come retrieve the sword back. Was she planning revenge on his family or did she simply want the sword back? He dressed for the cold weather in the mountain and mounted his horse and went to see Yung Xia.

    After ride for a good three hours, he finally came to the bottom of the mountain where she made her home. He began climbing the stairs when long sharp lances came flying at him. He fought them off as they clattered to the ground.

    An old lady’s voice echoed through the air even though she was far away. “No member of the royal family may step foot on my home. Go away for I have plenty of spears ready.” Her voice was filled with years of hate for his family.

    “Madame Yung, I have a few questions that I would like answer and only you can answer them.” He shouted up the mountain.

    “You wonder why I have asked the young lady to get my sword back, is that right?” She cackled as it filled the air around him.


    “I have my reasons for wanting it back and I owe you no explanations. I might want revenge, but then I just might miss my sword.” Her crazy laughter echoed in the air again.

    Tianye took a step forward when thirty some spears came out at him again forcing him to jump back down to the ground.
    “This old lady is a very cunning and cruel woman to deal with.” He thought to himself as he rode away again, but not giving up.
    Last edited by haibinglover; 02-06-07 at 11:03 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member haibinglover's Avatar
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    Nov 2005


    chapter 6: Caught in the Act

    Jianping and Tobuqa arrived at the gateway as Tobuqa took in all the details of the city. It was unlike anything she’s seen before and the sight of it awed her. She smiled at Jianping as they entered the city together.

    Shuanji was on his way out of the inn after deciding that he needed to go somewhere else to find her. He just mounted his horse when he spotted two young ladies heading in for the blacksmith’s house. He took another good look and saw that it was Princess Tobuqa. He tied his horse back on the wooden post and went over to the blacksmith’s house and knocked after the ladies have gone in.

    The blacksmith opened him and invited him in. “It’s good to see you again.”

    “I saw that your daughter has returned and she has the woman I’m looking for with her. If you don’t mind, I would like to wait her for her.” He stated in a business tone.

    “Of course” The blacksmith served wine and waited for the ladies to come down.

    Tobuqa changed into a dark yellow gown and tucked the hairpin back in her hair as Jianping dressed in white pants and a pale yellow shirt. “You can dress like men here?” She asked.

    “No, but my father lets me dress in anyway I want.” She told the princess as they went to the railing. She saw a young man dressed in a dark navy blue robe and he smelled of money and royalty. “How come there’s a young man down there with father?” She asked out loud.

    Tobuqa leaned over the railing and saw that it was Prince Shuanji as she stepped back and bumped into the wall behind her. How did he find her to fast when she had started many hours before him? “That man down there with your father is the man I was arranged with to marry at birth. I dislike him for he’s arrogant and thinks that women live to make their man happy.”

    “I have an idea if you don’t want to see him then.” They rushed back to Jianping’s room as they took out a long thick rope and flung it out the window. “I want you to hide in my clothes chest and I will come for you when he’s gone. In the mean time stay here.” She ordered the maid to get some steam buns and handed them to Tobuqa along with a jar of water. Their plan was set as she headed out the room.

    Jianping went downstairs to greet her father and their guest. “Hello father” She went to his side as she began to tell him about her adventure in the mountain side ignoring the prince. He was just like that Jinyue prince for they both sat tall and straight, had a stubborn mouth, and looked at everyone as if they were better.

    “Excuse me miss, but I saw you come in with another young lady. I was wondering if she was coming down.” His voice was calm and gentle, but it held a note of steel and impatience.

    “Oh, she said that she wanted to get changed before coming down.” Jianping lied and ignored him again as she began to talk to her father once more. They were talking for a few more minutes when a loud crashing was heard from upstairs and outside.

    Shuanji raced upstairs and burst into Jianping’s room to see a long rope hanging out the window. He looked out the window and saw a broken vase below and knew that Tobuqa had run away again for she spotted him downstairs. He jumped out the window and ran to his horse and chased after her.

    Jianping raised the chest hood up as Tobuqa came out. “Is he gone?” She asked.

    “That prince is one daring man for he jumped out the window and to his horse and took off like the wind.” Both girls laughed when her father came into the room.

    “You shouldn’t have made fun of the man like that for he won’t be happy when he finds out.” Her father told them.

    “Father, she was going to be forced to marry him and he’s such an arrogant brute. I just did him a favor by saving him misery.”

    “She’s right, sir, for I don’t want to marry him and my parents are making me.”

    “I’m pretty sure that he’s long gone by now.” Jianping said just as the door opened again and the prince stood there grinning at them.

    “Not bad for a plan” He said with male amusement on his face.

    “How did you know?” Tobuqa asked angrily.

    “I originally thought that you had jumped out and run away, but then I saw that there were no foot prints on the dirt path and knew that something was up so I returned.”

    Tobuqa crossed her arms and glared at him. “I’m not going back with you.”

    “You’ve had your fun, princess, so either you come back with me or I will tie you up and drag you back with me.” His tone of voice never changed nor falter. To him, his word was law and no one disobeyed.

    “I…how dare you do this to me. I have as much royal blood in me as you do too. Do my wants and desires have not weight with you or my father?” She yelled at him.

    “Princess, do you want to discuss this now or later on our journey?” He stated calmly.

    She saw that the man that had teased and joked at the night of the ceremony was gone and replaced with a cold ruthless man who would go at any length to get his way. He reminded her of her father with is ruthlessness and stepping all over her mother’s rights as he ruled with an iron will that no one could control.

    She didn’t want to be like her mother and under the control of her husband at all times with no rights, laughter, friends, or will to live a normal life. She turned to Jianping as she came up with her own plan. “Sister Jianping, over the last few days we have shared a bonding of the heart that can’t be broken or replace. I have enjoyed the adventure we had together in the last few days. I’ll take care of my hairpin and every time I see it, I’ll think of you. I’m sure that we’ll see each other again.”

    “I’m sure that our paths will cross again too. Take care of yourself.” Jianping said as her voice cracked. Her one true friend was going to leave with that brute of a man and she felt sad. She couldn’t imagine the kind of life her sister was going to have in the future.

    Tobuqa winked at her when she saw Jianping’s sad face. Jianping saw the wink and knew that she had something else on her mind. The girls shared a secret smile together. “Take my sword with you as a going away present from me, your older sister.” Jianping handed her the elegant sword. “It belonged to my mother and now I give it to you. It will come in handy some day.” They shared another mischievous smile.

    “It’s good that you have realized that your fate is intertwined with mine.” The prince held out his hand for the princess.

    “Who said that I’m going with you?” She answered back as she jumped out the window and using her newly taught lightness gongfu, she hopped from one roof to another quickly and covered great distance in little time.

    Prince Shuanji looked at Jianping with an accusing stare for he knew that the princess was taught by this woman. “Take care” He told the blacksmith and then chased after his bride the same way she took off. He was much more experienced than she was and was sure that she will not get far.

    “You have caused too much trouble, Jianping.” Her father scolded her.

    “She was not lucky to have a father who loved her and treasured her. I just wanted to help her.” Jianping stated as they went downstairs together.

    “Remember that tomorrow is your marriage joust, so get some rest.” Her father told her as she nodded her head. She had been preparing for this day and she would make sure that all the men coming tomorrow loose to her so that she wouldn’t have to marry.

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