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Tale of a Lost Kingdom
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Thread: Tale of a Lost Kingdom

  1. #1
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    Talking Tale of A Lost Kingdom


    Some tales are told as legends to reminiscence the brave, the young and fearless…

    Other tales are told in honor of the great, the wise, and the victorious…and to warn off the future generations the devious, the traps, lies, and mistakes…

    This is a tale, like many other tales, speaks of loyalty, patriotism, brotherhood, friendship, fate, destiny, love! Yet, in its every attempt, it seeks to venture further and beyond to the endless boundary of the human heart to explore another world beneath the facades...
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    For years, the Tang Dynasty remained prosperous and rich with fertile lands that stretched far and wide within its seemingly limitless boundaries. Under the reign of its brilliant rulers, the empire thrived to what seemed like the Golden Age of its time. Pride and patriotism stood proudly in the hearts of its brave warriors as they return home gloriously after each and every battle. Tang quickly gained dominion over all the surrounding countries. Its great power surpasses all of the neighboring countries in military, culture, and economy. And when people hear tales about the brave warriors that had defeated the menacingly large and vast armies from the east to the west, they were said to be from the Tang. When people inquire about the greatest poets of all time, such as the infamous Li Bai and Du Fu, they were said to be from the Tang. But until the last few years of the unrivalled dynasty, Tang was like a withering flower, slowly losing its power, and paling in comparison to its fellow countries.

    Due to the mysterious death of the Tang Emperor, a new ruler must be chosen to ascend the throne, but none of the two most qualifying princes was willing to claim it – the ultimate position that bows below no one, but stands above all. Yet both were willing to offer their lives, hearts, and souls only to obtain a position in the shattered heart of a young maiden, a girl merely acquainted with love, but was brutally hurt by it. A princess, cursed and tied to her fate as protector and guardian of the very people who wishes nothing more than to annihilate her.

    “I weep before the grave that rest my heart,
    For the memories that sustained,
    And the future that was lost,
    For the remnants of a dream,
    For the bittersweet fate,
    But until the day my last hope fades
    My tears will not be in vain.”

    The morning dews rested silently on the bright green leaves like glimmering beads of white jewels, waiting for the lazy sun to rise from its deep slumber. A thin layer of mist gently embraced the forest as loneliness hung thick in the air. The melancholic melody of a distance flute weaved its way through the bamboo forest, increasing the sad atmosphere. The sound came from a small cottage at the foot of a mountain. In front of the cottage were beautiful cherry blossom trees, its fragrance filled the air with an unforgettable sweetness. Nearby, a little stream was tinkling down an unknown path, carrying fallen petals of the cherry blossoms along with its journey. One would mistaken they were lost in another realm had they been fortunate enough to view this heavenly scenery.

    The sound of the flute subsided slowly, and finally ended with a lingering note. Inside the cottage, the flute player laid down his jade flute and sighed deeply. He was a man barely nearing thirty, yet his hair were of silver white, every strand was like a silver thread that would glistened under the poorest amount of light. Despite so, his strong features gave away his young age. He had eyes that could see through souls, and the depth of all emotions, with long dark lashes to contrast his silvery hair. His lips were thin and had a slightly pinkish hue against his pale skin. His nose was tall and straight, giving him the majestic air of a prince. He picked up a cup of tea and sipped in the content. The heat emitted from the cup warmed his cold hand, and he begun to feel the content surging through his body. He closed his eyes and listened to the stillness that surrounded him, allowing tranquility to calm his heart. When suddenly from afar, the sounds of hoof beats could be heard as it grew nearer by the second. Soon it stopped upon reaching the cottage, and the rider immediately demounted the horse to greet the prince.

    “Yang Ming humbly greets Your Highness,” said the voice from outside the cottage.

    “Yang Ming, why did you disobey my order? Have I not told you to not find me?” replied the prince solemnly.

    “Yang Ming begs for your forgiveness but the kingdom is in danger. You must return to claim the throne. The kingdom cannot fall under the hands of the third prince. He will cause unrest amongst the citizens. Already he has imprisoned all of the loyal officials that opposed to his rise in power. He vowed to conquer all of China, and regain its reputation amongst the neighboring countries. To receive enough funding for the military he has threatened the Prime Minister to raise taxes to the most ridiculous price. Young boys as young as fifteen years of age are forced to join the military; if anyone dares to disobey they will immediately be executed in the name of the new emperor. Not only so, robberies are now as rampant as rats, and these robbers were rumored to be under the command of the third prince. Your Highness, you must save them, and stop this nonsense before tragedies continue to occur,” Yang Ming pleaded with all his might.

    The prince sighed and responded, his voice tired with sadness, “That is no longer my affairs. I’m not befitting as king. I do not belong in chaos, in rivalries and vengeance. I am simply too tired. I belong in this peaceful place, where the hatred of mankind cannot reach. Furthermore, I do not want be another burden for Shuang Er. Do you not understand Yang Ming?”

    Silence invaded momentarily as Yang Ming replied in a heartbroken tone, “No…my prince...I do not understand. How can you be so selfish? Savoring yourself in this bliss when your people are suffering and crying for your help? Shuang Er Gong Zhu would be immensely disappointed if she were to hear these words with her very ears. I really do not understand. You were not like this. The prince that I had served for ten long years cared dearly for his people. The simple mention of his name would make any one bow down to their feet. He was their savior, and now their only hope. How should I believe that he is so selfish?”

    “But I am,” the prince said flatly, “Now go back.”

    “I cannot go back until my purpose is fulfilled,” replied Yang Ming, his words as straightforward as those of the prince.

    “Then you have come in vain,” said the prince sharply, he paused, hesitated, and responded, “there are some things you do not understand. When the time comes, they will be revealed to you. Now go back.”

    The sound of a sword being withdrawn from its sheath could be heard, and Yang Ming uttered the only thing that came to his mind, “If I could wait, I would wait as long as Your Highness wishes, but time no longer permits me to do so for I cannot bear to hear the sorrowful pleads of the citizens. I beg you to return and help them. If my life could put more value to my words, I hope that Your Highness will listen to my plead.” With that, he knelt down and took one final bow.

    From the inside, the door of the cottage flew open just as Yang Ming slashed his throat with the sword. His forlorn eyes remained affix on the prince, and even from a distance, one could see the bitter tears that welled in them. His body collapsed before the prince, and suddenly everything seemed deadly still.

    The prince stared at the body before him. Just a moment ago, that body was a healthy man alive and talking. And just a moment ago, he was listening to that man’s heartbroken words telling him how selfish he was, but now all that’s left is a lifeless body, cold and incredibly still.

    The earth felt unusually cold underneath his feet as the prince walked towards the dead body. He knelt down and placed a hand above Yang Ming’s shoulder. Blood was quickly spreading from underneath Yang Ming’s head, staining the prince’s white garb.

    “Yang Ming…why did you do that?” said the prince, his words were like broken whispers, and barely audible.

    A tear formed in the prince’s eye, and fell as he stood up. “Don’t worry, I won’t let you die so uselessly.” He raised his right hand, and with the force of his internal energy, slammed it onto his chest. Blood spurted from his mouth as his feet gave in. His body now light as a feather as he began to fall. The world of a million colors spun around him, and the many beautiful cherry blossoms passed as blurs in his eyes. As he landed, those eyes looked upward to the far blue sky as soft pink petals took turn drifting down, blurring his vision, and slowly buried him in a blanket of a thousand petals.

    -----------------------

    Hello there,

    I’m actually a very old member here and have written a few stories of which I had deleted due to the lost of interest and inspiration. However, I will try my best to finish this story at all cost. I want to be able to complete writing something I started, and not just leave everything at the middle, unfinished. I hope you guys can help me in reaching that goal . A simple comment goes a long way =P. Just let me know you’re reading and I’ll be one happy girl. lolz

    The inspiration for this story, ironically, sprouted while I was planning to write its sequel. Originally, I wanted to write the sequel first, then write this one as a short story but a few ideas popped up and I couldn’t help but pin it down first before I write the sequel. Although I’m not 100% sure if I will write a sequel. That just depends on how this story goes, and whether I have the time for it. I’m also trying to write another modern story as of the moment. Yep, there’s much to do, and I’m not sure if I could cram it all in with my homework.

    As far as the story goes, the title was supposed to be ‘The Legend of Princess Shuang Er’, but I find the title too common despite that it perfectly suits the story. However, ‘Tale of a Lost Kingdom’ has its own meaning of which will be revealed later in the story. But as of now, do not take ‘lost’ in the literal sense, think of it metaphorically. Also, aside from the fact that the Tang dynasty was indeed prosperous until its downfall, the rest of this story is very much historically inaccurate.

    And as a last note, thank you for your interest in my story. =) I hope that you will enjoy it.

    The Cast: (more will be added as the story progresses)



    Chinese/Vietnamese

    Li Shuang Er – Ly Song Nhi

    Tang Huai Shan – Duong Hoai Son

    Tang Tai Lun - Duong Thai Luan

    Tang Shao Yu – Duong Thieu Yu (Yu as in wandering)

    Yang Ming – Dương Minh

    Guo Xiao Liu – Quach Tieu Luu

    Li Zheng De – Ly Chanh Duc

    Lu Ming Chan - Luc Minh Thuyen

    Jiang Zi Rong - Giang Tử Nhung

    Lin Zi Yan - Lam Tử Yen

    Xiao Lun Er – Tieu Luan Nhi
    (horse)

    Xue Er – Tuyet Nhi
    (Messenger dove)

    Winglin: http://www.winglin.net/fanfic/LostKingdom/
    Last edited by Nightingale; 08-05-08 at 03:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member babiadorkable's Avatar
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    I love your writing style. Everything is so descriptive. Sad beginning =[ so was that the end of the story? You'll go back and retell what happens right ? update soon =]

    btw, beautiful poster =] where did you find the pictures for it?
    www.winglin.net/fanfic/Emilyy8 [Raymond Lam, Bosco Wong, Ron Ng]

    www.winglin.net/fanfic/Emilyy5 [oneshots]

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    babiadorkable: Thank you. Actually, that's not the end of the story. Perhaps it's somewhere near the climax yups. As for the pictures, I used to collect them way back when in the days so I have a humongous collection of which I downloaded from different chinese sites. I'm chinese illiterate though. I just blindly made accounts but lately I couldn't access them anymore. So...if you understand chinese I can give you the sites. There's a english forum that shares these pics though: http://z7.invisionfree.com/Heaven_Wo...ex.php?act=idx
    Most of the sites are on there.

    Thanks for reading btw.

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    Chapter One: Thundering Wheels in the Night

    8 years ago….

    The night was dark and foreboding inside the forest with numerous trees as tall as the sky itself.
    A haunting wind brushed through the dry leaves, and swirled its way into the starless sky, where dark clouds hovered menacingly above. A small carriage was seen thundering through the night, among the tall black trees, its wheels racing against the wind in a desperate speed.

    “Faster! Faster! Good Xiao Lun! Faster,” cried the driver, his words were kind yet demanding. The horse forced itself to move faster despite that it was going at an already fast pace. With only the moon as the light source, it was hard to see through the thick ghastly fog that surrounded the forest. The driver’s eyebrows knitted as he began to feel anxiety clutching at his chest, but his mind told him as long as they keep moving, they might have a chance to escape.

    “Father,” called a little voice from inside the carriage, “we’ve been running for a while now, don’t you think that we’ve gone far enough already?”

    “No, Shuang Er, they will catch us the moment we stop,” replied the driver, and turned his attention back to the road ahead just as he noticed they were approaching a split end. The horse came to a halt, and waited for its master’s order. “This way Xiao Lun,” the driver commanded, and reined his horse to the left when four figures flew down from the tall branches of the trees, and blocked their path.

    “You know you can’t escape, so why bother trying?” said one of the four black figures.

    The driver’s expression was not that of surprise, but rather disappointment. Although he had prepared for this scenario, a little hope still remained inside, and he was disappointed of the outcome. He jumped down the carriage, and walked closer to his pursuers.

    “You know you can’t get it, even if you catch me, so why did you tried?” Li Zheng De countered.

    Inside the carriage, Shuang Er listened to the conversation with intense interest in spite of her fear. She reached her small hand to lift the curtain that separated her view from the scene, and peeked outside the window.

    “Do you think you can outfight all four of us?” a feminine voice exclaimed as she withdrew her sword and charged towards the man.

    The sword came thrashing to Li Zheng De’s right, aiming directly at his heart, but his swiftness successfully dodged the fatal attack. The sword came a few more times, in different aims, each acute and precise yet the man managed to dodge pass all. He stayed defensive, and made no move to injure his opponent, until one of the other black figures flew towards the carriage. Immediately he grabbed his attacker’s arm, and twisted it until the sword fell. It landed in his hand, and he somersaulted towards the carriage. With the sword, he spanked Xiao Lun as hard as he could as the horse screeched in horror and sped off in a lightning speed.

    On top of the moving carriage, the two men fought to regain their balance, their feet edging on both sides of the carriage. Their bodies swaying uncontrollably, but the black masked man refused to settle himself as he swung his sword wildly in the empty air, hoping it could injure his opponent, even at the slightest chance. Meanwhile, inside the carriage a terrified Shuang Er clung tightly to the rim of the carriage window. She could hear the pounding footsteps up above, but was totally oblivious as to which were her father’s. The carriage was rocking so hard that that she felt like she would roll off of it if she were to let go of the window.

    “Father,” cried Shuang Er as she stuck her head out of the window in search of her father. Then from above, a sword swung down, its silver blade shining in her face, missing her head by inches. She screamed in absolute terror and quickly ducked back.

    Li Zheng De, after hearing the cry of his daughter, struck his sword at the black masked man, catching his attention. The black masked man blocked the attack with his sword, and both dueled fiercely, determined to throw off their opponent. Then Li Zheng De, having no other choice, lunged forward and grabbed the man along with him off the carriage. They fell onto the dirt packed road as the carriage continued to scud off and into the night.

    Xiao Lun’s mane rise and fell in the night wind as he galloped, taking the carriage deeper and deeper into the forest. The sound of the pounding footsteps on the carriage has stopped as an indescribable fear descended upon Shuang Er’s heart. An ultimate feeling of lost gripped her, and she suddenly felt all alone, by herself, in the darkness. Slowly, she stuck her head out of the window and looked back, only to find an empty darkness trailing behind her. There was no sign of her father, nor their pursuers. She had wondered why they did not come for her. As she brought her head to face the front of the carriage, all her prior concerns evaporated, and a new fear dawned. There, just a few feet away was a hanging cliff, ready to swallow them at any moment.

    She squeezed her eyes tightly in fear as she retreated back into the carriage and screamed. “Xiao Lun stop!! Please stop!!!” Shuang Er cried helplessly. She could feel death was approaching only several feet away. Then her body jerked harshly as she fell sideways inside the carriage. Someone was on the carriage. Someone has reined her into safety…

  5. #5
    Senior Member babiadorkable's Avatar
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    Thanks for the website Nightingale. I'm illiterate when it comes to Chinese as well. Anyways, I loved chapter 1. Wonder what they wanted from Li Zheng De. Update soon, can't wait to see who rescued Shuang Er.
    www.winglin.net/fanfic/Emilyy8 [Raymond Lam, Bosco Wong, Ron Ng]

    www.winglin.net/fanfic/Emilyy5 [oneshots]

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    I'm sorry for the late chapter. I was debating on whether I should merge chapter two with chapter three since the events in chapter two is too short to be a chapter however, I noticed the length is already too long so I decided to not merge them. Added to that I have been VERY busy lately and this is the week right before my spring break. However since next week is my spring break expect chapter three very shortly. Once again I apologize to my readers. Please do not give up with this story.


    Chapter Two: Surprise Encounter

    The carriage was now moving at a less frantic pace along the edges of the cliff, a chilly moist air clung to the night. Here, the moon no longer hides behind dark clouds, it was bright and so big that it felt reachable by the simple grasp of the hand.

    Shuang Er pushed herself up until she was back to her original position. Although her body was no longer shaking as violently as it was before, her mind was still swirling. She hesitated, then opened her mouth to speak, “Father is that you?” said Shuang Er in a doubtful tone.

    “Yes,” came an unconvincingly deep voice.

    Slightly taken aback by the answer, and the awkwardness of the voice, Shuang Er could only conclude one thing, “You’re not my father are you? You’re one of those bad people aren’t you?” said Shuang Er sternly.

    A short snicker escaped from the stranger’s lips as he cleared his throat and replied, “Yes! I’ve come to catch you! Be good or I shall kill you!”

    Shuang Er’s face contorted for half a second, and then all the confusion from it departed as she made her way to the entrance of the carriage. Her hand reached out from behind the fold and came down loudly on the driver’s head.

    “Ow! How dare you!” bellowed Xiao Liu oblivious to the fact that he’s been uncovered.

    “Guo – Xiao – Liu!” Shuang Er pronounced as she seated herself aside Xiao Liu.

    Xiao Liu rubbed his head with his right hand, his eyes looked upward as if he could see the top of head, “Li – Shuang – Er! Is that what you do to your life savior?”

    “No, but that’s what I do to people who pretended to be my father. Then threatened to kill me,” Shuang Er responded with her small cherry lips in a pout. Her aloof tone then shifted to a more jubilant one as she linked her arms around Xiao Liu’s,” Xiao Liu ge ge! How did you find me? How did you know I was here?” said Shuang Er excitedly.

    Xiao Liu brought his hand down, and replied solemnly, “I was waiting, your father sent Xue Er to me just earlier tonight. He said you would come. I just didn’t know that you’d come running headlong for the cliff. I had to risk my life to jump for the carriage, only to be returned with a smack on the head.”

    Shuang Er released a small giggle as she covered her mouth with her hand, “Ok, thank you very much. I am very sorry,” she said and patted his head in a fake attempt to make him feel better.

    “Thanks, it’s worse now. You can stop,” said Xiao Liu, he paused, and made sure he sounded deadly serious this time, “Shuang Er, your father stated in the letter that if I don’t see him, it means that he has gotten a hold of them. Although I think that we’re very far from your enemy, I don’t believe that they will let you go so easily. With the carriage’s trails, they will find us in no time. We have to jump off and make sure we’re absolutely safe. Then, we could go find your father.”

    Shuang Er’s head drooped at the mention of her father, “I wonder what happened to him. I hope he’s ok.” She brought her head up and gazed longingly at the empty road ahead, her large brown eyes deep with sadness.

    “Shuang Er…” Xiao Liu began hesitantly,” just what is it that they’re after?”

    Shuang Er’s eyes darted towards Xiao Liu as if the question startled her, then they went back and focused on her fumbling hands. “They’re after The Legendary Golden Phoenix Bow, and also this letter,” she dug inside her robe and pulled out a slightly crumbled letter.

    Xiao Liu took a quick glance at the letter then returned his eyes to the road ahead, “What does it say?”

    Shuang Er shook her head, “I don’t know either. Father –“ Before she could explain herself Xiao Liu suddenly interrupted.

    “Shuang Er we have to jump off here. Ahead is the path up to the mountains, we can’t go there, the road is much too steep, and there’s not enough place to hide. We must jump off of here and let Xiao Lun continue up the mountains. They will follow him up there while we can escape.”

    “But Xiao Liu ge ge! Xiao Lun Er –“

    As if reading her mind, Xiao Liu quickly responded with assurance,” Xiao Lun will be safe, they will not harm him. He will find his way back home.”

    “Then do we stop here?” Shuang Er inquired as she tucked the letter back inside her robe.

    “No, we can’t leave footsteps, we just have to jump off here. Hold tightly to my hands.” Shuang Er took his hands as they struggled to stand on the moving carriage. Xiao Liu then brought his hands around Shuang Er’s waist as he clung to her in a tight embrace. Eyeing the large willow tree a few feet away, he set his mind on the height of the carriage, and tightened his hands around Shuang Er, “Ready?....” Shuang Er closed her eyes, and heard Xiao Liu announced,” here we go!” They dived for the wet grass as Xiao Liu strove to land back first in the attempt to protect Shuang Er from the hard impact of the jump. They rolled several times on the ground then finally came to a stop. Shuang Er began to feel the dampness of the grass against her back, seeping into her thin robe, as the murky smell of the wet grass filled her nostrils. Her eyes were still closed when she felt Xiao Liu tugging at her hands, “Shuang Er it’s all right, let’s hide behind here.”

    They crawled behind the large trunk of the old willow tree as the carriage continued on the path towards the mountains. Shuang Er nestled her head safely on Xiao Liu’s chest as he held her protectively. His eyes remained focus on the road for any signs of danger.

    A moment passed, “Shuang Er…” he whispered quietly, his eyes still on the road,” I think it’s safe to go…”

    He called a few more times but only silence answered. Xiao Liu then drew his eyes to Shuang Er, and found her fast asleep in his arms. Her chest heaved rhythmically, her small hand curled on top of his chest, as strands of her disheveled hair laid loosely on her angelic face.

    “What a pig,” said Xiao Liu.

  7. #7
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    I'm sorry I couldn't keep to my promise this time but because of my new forum I couldn't find any time to write my story. I truly apologize. I hope that I can update the next chapter within the week. Here is my new forum if anyone is interested in joining: key.as/thesecretgarden

  8. #8
    Senior Member babiadorkable's Avatar
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    i read the last chapter but hadn't comment. hopefully you'll find the time to update soon =]
    www.winglin.net/fanfic/Emilyy8 [Raymond Lam, Bosco Wong, Ron Ng]

    www.winglin.net/fanfic/Emilyy5 [oneshots]

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    I'd like to apologize for taking so long to update but things really have repeatedly gotten in the way, and if that excuse is too old for you lolz then I'd truthfully say that I really cannot write without a muse/inspiration...which is why it can take me forever to write sometimes. However, this story has always been on my mind.

    To make it up, chapter three is indeed a very long chapter as it is really supposedly chapter two & three combined. I was indecisive at first because of this too but decided on it at last.

    I hope I can still maintain the interest of this story. Please read and leave any comments/critiques you have. It will really help my inspiration to write. wink.gif

    Once again, please don't give up on this story. I will try my very best to complete it...someday...

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    Chapter Three: Disguise

    The sun slowly crept from beneath the horizon, thousands of its brilliant rays peeked through the evergreen leaves of the forest announcing a new beautiful day. Magnificent flowers of all colors, as if awakened by the daylight, began to blossom one by one. Little birds welcomed the dawn with their cheerful song as the small squirrels climbed out of their trunks after a long night’s rest.

    The forest was still damped from an earlier cascade of a light rain that left behind droplets of water lingering on fragile leaves. A small drop of water made its way down a leaf of the grand willow tree and landed on Xiao Liu’s face, waking him.

    Xiao Liu’s eyebrows knitted for a split second before his eyes met daylight. Before him were long swaying branches that moved like curtains in a whispering wind. And behind those curtains was a beautiful forest with trees and flowers in their most vibrant colors. It was such beauty and serenity that he felt like he was still deep in his dreams. He rubbed his eyes to rid of the tiredness through the night before. He was surprised as to how he was not awoken earlier as there were signs of rain.

    Then he bought his gaze to the person still peacefully asleep in his arms. A few strands of her hair remained untouched across her face, yet they failed to hide her celestial beauty, her naturally soft pink cheeks and cherry red lips. And although her big round almond eyes were closed, her long eyelashes accentuated the image of a sleeping angel.

    “Shuang Er, wake up, wake up,” said Xiao Liu as he shook her arms.

    Shuang Er slowly opened her eyes to meet Xiao Liu, “Xiao Liu ge ge,” said Shuang Er as she greeted him with a sweet smile. Then before he could respond, something immediately struck her as she stood up and broke free from his embrace. “Father…,” said Shuang Er as she quickly remembered. “Xiao Liu ge ge, where is he?” she paused and spoke in a faltering tone, “it’s all my fault.” Tears began to well in her eyes as she thought of the possibilities of what might have happened to her father.

    “Shuang Er, don’t cry, even if we have stayed awake, we wouldn’t have been able to search for him. And besides, he only cares for your safety. If we have gone back, that would’ve not only put us in danger, it would’ve put him in danger as well looking after us. You didn’t do anything wrong. Let’s go find him. With the great Xiao Liu here to protect you, nothing in the world can get near you,” declared Xiao Liu with a cheeky smile as he beat on his chest.

    Shuang Er broke in a short laughter as she wiped her tears with her sleeves. “Let’s go!” Xiao Liu exclaimed as he grabbed her hand and started to run.

    -------

    The sound of galloping horses resounded loudly through the forest as three women in veils emerged from behind the thicket of trees.

    They rode closely to each other in a line. Each of their veils matched the color of their outfits, and each outfit, a different color with the leading rider wearing a green robe followed by a woman in a purple robe, and the last, a blue robe. Their expression, however, held the same intensity of sternness, and fierce.

    Midway through the road, the lead woman in green reined in her horse abruptly causing the horse to hiss angrily in midair. She turned to the woman in the purple robe and spoke, “Shimei, are you all right? We’ve been riding for a while. Do you need a rest?”

    Clenching her chest, the woman in the purple robe winced slightly in pain; she looked at her sister with an undying determination and replied, “No. We can’t waste anymore time. Besides, the only reason why I’m hurt like this is because of him. I have to avenge myself!”

    The women in green smiled proudly at the response of her younger sister, “Good!” then turned her attention back to the rode as she gave her horse a loud whip.

    ------

    “Xiao Liu ge ge! Xiao Liu ge ge!” Shuang Er cried panting amongst her breathes, “I can’t run anymore!” She released her grip from Xiao Liu’s hand as she frantically grasp for air.

    “We’re here!” Xiao Liu announced upon reaching the road, his hands flung across the air with a wide smile plastered on his face. He turned towards the still beaten Shuang Er, his expression contorted, “We’ve only run for a short distance and you’re already like this,” he said as he stooped down and took her hand, “Come on! Let’s go. We better hurry.”

    As they were about to approach the dirt road, a wooden cart could be heard creaking its way down the path headed towards them. An old man in a flimsy straw hat could be seen pushing the cart piled with wood. Dusts shriveled up to his feet as he continued to walk.

    “Quick, hide,” said Xiao Liu as he quickly darted towards a tree nearby, pulling Shuang Er behind him.

    “Why –“

    “Shhh…” Xiao Liu commanded as he placed his index finger on his mouth.

    The wooden cart drew nearer as Xiao Liu fixed his gaze attentively on the old wood cutter. When the wooden cart has passed them for a significant distance, Xiao Liu and Shuang Er emerged from the behind the tree and walked onto the road. Xiao Liu’s eyes remained on the wood cutter; a bemused expression darkened on his face.

    “Xiao Liu ge ge, what’s wrong?” questioned Shuang Er upon seeing his perplexity.

    Still facing the moving wooden cart, he explained, “Usually, it should be very difficult for a man of his age to push a heavy wooden cart piled with that much wood. But did you see? He pushed it with such ease…as if it was very light.”

    “Maybe he’s used to it,” replied Shuang Er, “Ge ge, we should go now.”

    As they strolled along the dirt packed road, Xiao Liu whistled along with the birds’ cheerful melodies. The haunting forest of the night before seemed elsewhere, far away, as the forest before them breathed of wondrous life. Birds of all kinds perched on the top of the tall tree branches singing joyful songs for passersby as squirrels scurried around the trees to collect nuts for their evening meals.

    Xiao Liu was well acquainted with them as he has always ventured about the forest as if it were his second home. He had learned and memorized their songs as if the songs were his. And they, they all looked at him with gentle eyes as if seeing an old friend.

    Suddenly, Xiao Liu turned around and signaled Shuang Er to stop in her path.

    “What is it?” asked Shuang Er.

    Xiao Liu smiled teasingly, “Hehe. I have some business to take care of. Turn around. No peeking.”

    “Who would want to peek at you?” said Shuang Er in a disinteresting tone as she reluctantly turned her body.

    Xiao Liu took a few steps away and knelt down on the dirt road. He grabbed a gourd that was fastened to his belt and yanked its lid off as he began pouring water onto the ground. He patted his hands on the muddy soil making sure it was moist enough so that it slid in his hands. He then scooped the mud with his two hands and walked back with an even brighter smile across his face.

    “Ok! I’m done! You can turn around now!” said Xiao Liu. As she turned around, Xiao Liu slapped two muddy hands on her face, and smeared it until the mud covered everything but her eyes.

    “What are you doing?” Shuang Er bellowed as she shoved his hands aside. She lifted her hands to her face and started to rub off the mud.

    “Eh! Stop wiping off the mud if you don’t want everyone to know you’re Li Zheng De’s daughter!” said Xiao Liu in an outburst.

    “So…this is a disguise?” said Shuang Er as she dropped her hands from her face.

    “Yes, it’s dangerous in the city, if you don’t disguise, someone will surely recognize you,” Xiao Liu explained,” Hmm…I need to disguise too. What if someone falls for my beauty?” he said as he splattered his face with his two muddy hands. “I don’t want to be responsible for any broken hearts,” declared Xiao Liu and ruffled his hair until it resembled a crow’s nest. He then knelt down and grabbed a hand full of dirt and splashed it all over his body. “There. Am I still too handsome?” he said with hands on hip. “You’re still too clean to be a pig!” he knelt down again and grabbed another hand full of dirt, this time throwing it on Shuang Er.

    “What are we disguising as? Why do we have to be so dirty?” asked Shuang Er while shielding her face from the incoming storm of dusts.

    “Beggars, of course!” said Xiao Liu and clapped the dirt off his hands. He sighed, “If only you were a bit older, we could disguise as husband and wife!”

    “Hmph, what kind of idea is that? If we’re husband and wife we would still be in the same form. How could that be called a disguise?”

    “You be the husband. I’ll be the wife,” said Xiao Liu as he batted his eyes and brought his arms around her.

    Shuang Er bonked him on the head, “Only people like you could think of something like that!”

    “Ow,” he rubbed his head and appeared as if he was really hurt, “See what I mean? You’re so violent! Just like a man!” screamed Xiao Liu as he ran off.

    “Hey! Come back! I still need to show you how violent I can get!” Shuang Er shouted as she snatched a stick from the ground and ran after Xiao Liu.

    -----------

    The bustling city boomed of life as people littered the streets browsing through market stands and shops. Merchants could be heard screaming on both sides of the crowded street as children of all ages ran after one another laughing joyously as they zigzagged through the throngs of people. A few carriages trotted along, some carried travelers from far away lands that had come to witness the spectacular views of China; others carried the wealthier upper class men, nobles and officials.

    Shuang Er’s eyes widen upon seeing the sight before her. She was rarely bought to the city and it has always fascinated her with its vivacity. The lively colors and sounds, the many people with their different expressions, ages, and appearance, the beautiful garments, the joyful atmosphere, it was like a whole another apart from the one she’s always known. Yet, today, she could not risk to savor her curiosity as the fate of her father is still unknown. She turned to Xiao Liu, “Ge ge, where do we go now?”

    “Your father said to meet him at the Lotus Inn. If we don’t see him there, that means something might have happened to him,” said Xiao Liu.

    “Where is the Lotus Inn?”

    “I will take you there.”

    They continued to walk down the street as two little beggars foreign to the territory. A sweet aroma from a nearby stand greeted their noses as they passed by. Shuang Er’s eyes followed the scent to the delicious steamed buns still inside the steamer. They looked soft and tender; delicious. She rubbed her stomach as it began to growl. She had not eaten for two days, and had unconsciously ignored the hunger from excessive worries. Noticing this, Xiao Liu smiled but remained quiet nevertheless.

    Upon reaching the Lotus Inn, Shuang Er ran inside in search of her father. She scanned the room. There were lots of people, mostly men. She stared at each one of their faces yet none registered as her father’s. Her fears heightened, he was not there. What could have happened to him? What’s the worst that could’ve happened to him? Could he have really….died?

    “Xiao Liu ge ge!” cried Shuang Er as she looked at him with tears welled in her eyes, her voice shaking.

    “Shuang Er, stop thinking of the worst. Maybe, he’s injured and couldn’t come,” Xiao Liu assured, “Let’s go.” He led Shuang Er out of the door of the Inn as tears continued to roll down her cheeks.

    They walked for a while until they reached the steamed buns stand. “Shuang Er, just continue to walk. I’ll be with you in a bit,” said Xiao Liu. She nodded languidly and proceeded on.

    Meanwhile, Xiao Liu hid himself behind a wall just across the street from the steamed buns stand. He reached inside a fabric bag, loosely tied by strings to his waist, and dug out a slingshot. He grabbed for a rock on the ground and placed it center of the rubber band. Setting his aim on the bowl of coins on the stand, he flung the shot and broke the bowl causing the coins to fly off the table.

    “Who was that?!” the vendor of the stand yelled angrily as he swerved his eyes across the street. Cackling beneath his breathes, Xiao Liu waited for the vendor to calm down. Seeing no one suspicious in sight, the vendor could only curse of his misfortune and knelt down to pick up the coins. At this moment, Xiao Liu ran at the speed of light towards the stand and snatched two buns from the steamer. He was quick yet quiet enough to have gone unnoticed from the vendor’s eyes.

    “Shuang Er! Shuang Er!” Xiao Liu called as he ran towards her,” here,” he spread out his palms with the two white buns.

    “How did you get this?” asked Shuang Er, a tint of surprise in her voice.

    “The vendor was kind enough to give it to me,” he lied, knowing full well she wouldn’t have accepted the buns had he told her the truth, “eat up,” he said as he took her hands and placed the two buns in them.

    She smiled and handed back one bun,” One is enough. This one should be for you.”

    “I’m not hungry. You can have it.”

    “But I don’t like eating alone,” she said. She waited until he has taken a bite on his bun then helped herself to hers. They continued to walk down the street, savoring themselves to the sweet taste of the buns.

    Meanwhile, a few feet back a young boy strolled steadily down the street with a servant trailing behind him. He was roughly sixteen years of age, garbed in a fancy white robe embroidered by designs of a rich golden color. In his right hand, was a white painted fan to which he used to lightly fan himself. He emitted the aura of an educated wealthy scholar with his unhurried and leisured movements. A pleasant smile remained on his lips as he took in the sceneries of the city.

    “Cong Zi (Mister/Cong Tu), can we return as soon as possible? If someone finds out, I will surely lose my head!” begged the servant, an old man nearing his fifties.

    “I will take care of it! You have nothing to worry about,” responded the boy confidently and fasten his pace.

    “But-“

    “Ay…” he said as a silence signal; the servant said nothing further.

    Further in front, two guards could be seen marching angrily towards two little beggars, Xiao Liu and Shuang Er.

    “You!” yelled one of the guards, “Someone has reported that you stole the buns!” he eyed Xiao Liu as the guards stomped their way towards him.

    “I’m…I’m sorry. My sister was hungry. We have no money. Please forgive us,” Xiao Liu pleaded.

    “That’s no excuse to stealing!” the guard roared and extended his hand for Xiao Liu.

    “Shuang Er, run!” Xiao Liu shouted as he grabbed Shuang Er’s hand and ran as quickly as he could.

    “The city is certainly such an interesting place,” said the young boy in the white robe as he folded his fan and somersaulted towards the guards.

    “Who are you?” said both of the guards, but he did not respond and instead turned his direction towards Xiao Liu and Shuang Er.

    “Run! Don’t worry about these guys! I will take care of them!” yelled the boy, and then bought his view back to the guards.

    “What a foolish boy!” disclaimed one of the guards as he pulled out his saber and swung it at the boy. Dodging the attack, the boy twirled his body and expelled a hard kick on the guard’s chest sending him falling helplessly on the ground.

    “Why you!” yelled the other guard and drew out his own saber.

    The boy flipped open his fan, and with great energy, he sent it swirling at the guard’s right hand, successfully knocking off his saber. Snatching back his fan, the boy expelled another kick, this time on the guard’s face, and finished him.

    “All done,” the boy said with a smile.

    ----------

    Under the shades of the forest, Shuang Er and Xiao Liu were once again on the dirt packed road. Heaving breathlessly, they both looked back in the direction of the city, grateful of the fact that they have escaped.

    “Who was that that saved us? He was very heroic. Do you think he’ll be fine?” said Shuang Er.

    “Judging from the fact that we’ve run for a long time and the guards haven’t reached us, he should be fine. Besides, I don’t think he would’ve risked fighting with them if he didn’t know of his own capabilities,” Xiao Liu responded.

    “Xiao Liu ge ge….we have no place to go now,” a now hopeless Shuang Er noted.

    “Hmm…we could go to my place! They don’t know me so they shouldn’t have known of it yet.”

    “Ge ge, can we go somewhere first?” asked Shuang Er.

    “Sure…” said Xiao Liu, a little surprised.

    -----------

    Her knees bent as she knelt down before an old tombstone. Despite of its age, the surrounding was well kept and weed less as every few days her father would return to this grave to reminisce this person. And it was no other person than her mother, who has died at an early age due to a fatal illness.

    Tears streamed down her eyes as she spoke, “Mother, Shuang Er is unfilial. It was because of Shuang Er that father is missing. Mother, please guide me. Please tell me where he is,” she broke into uncontrollable sobs.

    “Shuang Er…” Xiao Liu placed a comforting hand her shoulder, “you-“ he couldn’t finish his sentence when someone interrupted.

    “Ah…so there you are,” said a voice behind them.

    Turning to the direction of the voice, Shuang Er recognized it was the same woman who had fought with her father from the night before…

  11. #11
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    Character Cast List


    Main Cast (so far):

    Li Shuang Er – Ly Song Nhi

    Tang Huai Shan – Duong Hoai Son

    Tang Tai Lun - Duong Thai Luan

    Tang Shao Yu – Duong Thieu Yu (Yu as in wandering)

    Yang Ming – Dương Minh

    Guo Xiao Liu – Quach Tieu Luu

    Li Zheng De – Ly Chanh Duc

    Lu Ming Chan - Luc Minh Thuyen

    Jiang Zi Rong - Giang Tử Nhung

    Lin Zi Yan - Lam Tử Yen
    Last edited by Nightingale; 08-05-08 at 03:23 AM.

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    Chapter Four: Roots of the Past

    “Ah…so there you are,” said a voice behind them.

    Turning to the direction of the voice, Shuang Er recognized it was the same woman who had fought with her father from the night before.

    Wincing, the woman in the purple robe once again clasped her chest.

    “It’s you!” said Shuang Er in astonishment, “You!” She stood up and ran towards the woman.

    “Shuang Er!! It’s very dangerous!” exclaimed Xiao Liu as he tried to clutch her robe but failed.

    “It’s you! It’s you! It’s you!” cried Shuang Er as she repeatedly beat the woman with her two little hands, “What have you done to my father? Why did you people have to harm him?” Tears stung her now red cheeks.

    “Listen child!” the woman shouted as she knelt down to face Shuang Er. She spoke softly,”I do not wish to harm you.”

    In bewilderment, Shuang Er held back her tears and ended her attacks – she listened intently.

    “Not only that I do not want to harm you, I want to help you. I -”

    “Marvelous!” another woman’s voice declared from behind the thicket of trees. She clapped her hands several times and revealed herself as she walked out from behind the trees. It was the green robed woman, the eldest of the martial arts sisters.” You are such a fine actor Shimei.”

    “Shijie…I”

    “Shush traitor! Attack!!” the green robed woman commanded and positioned her sword.

    Leaving with no choice, the purple robed woman withdrew her sword and ran towards her opponent.

    Their swords clanged loudly amidst the still forest as they dueled fiercely. Their swift movements and foot techniques caused thousands of leaves to spring from the ground as they fought. The eldest sister attempted to expel a palm on her opponent’s chest but her arm was quickly hit aside. The purple robed woman snaked her hand around her elder sister’s left arm and attempted to twist it, but her attack failed as her opponent threatened to slash her arm with the sword. For a long moment, none emerged victorious until the woman in the purple robe suddenly began to stagger due to the prior injury. Taking this chance, the green robed woman broke from her stance and flew backwards. As she landed, she spun around and pointed her sword to the ground. Gathering her energy, she expelled it through her sword directly at her enemy. It struck the purple robed woman as she collapsed to the ground and spewed a mouthful of blood.

    The green robed woman laughed hysterically, "Shimei! You are no match for me!” She walked slowly to her opponent. She was convinced it was surely her victory and she need not hasten her pace.

    Suddenly, out of nowhere, a rock struck the eldest sister’s feet as she immediately lost balance. At the same instance, the purple robed woman took out three poisoned needles and threw it directly at her opponent’s chest.

    “Shijie, a victory is never certain until the battle is finished,” said the purple robed woman as she slowly stood up. “You do know if you don’t obtain the anecdote immediately you will surely die within one hour.”

    Consumed by anger, the green robed woman exclaimed,”Traitor! Just watch. I will never forget this!” With that, she flew away.

    The purple robed woman turned around and faced Xiao Liu whose slingshot was now in his hand, “Thank you for rescuing me. Does that mean you trust me now?”

    Hesitating, Xiao Liu answered, “I don’t know. I did it on my instinct.”

    "Are you all right?" said Shuang Er.

    "I'm fine," the woman responded as she composed herself and gathered her internal power.

    “Who are you?” asked Shuang Er.

    She inhaled a deep breath as she regained her posture and spoke calmly, “My name is Jiang Zi Rong (Giang Tử Nhung). Your mother and I were both from the Fire Phoenix Sect. I am the third disciple and your mother the second out of the four elder sisters. When I entered the sect, I did not know anyone, and so I was very lonely. Zi Yan jie jie (Tử Yen elder sister) was my only friend. We were so close we were like blood sisters. That is why I could never harm you as it would be equivalent to harming my own daughter,” she turned to Shuang Er, her eyes sought the trust of the child in front of her. She continued in the same composed voice, “In the night of the pursuit, your father was careful not to hurt me. But I purposely injured myself hoping that the others would lose focus on your father and he would have a chance to escape. However, though my sisters stayed behind, my elder martial arts brother continued the pursuit. And I, I of course could not follow him. Hence, I’ve also lost contact with your father. In fact, even my martial arts brother has not returned either. We searched everywhere in this forest but they seemed to have both disappeared.”

    Upon hearing this, Shuang Er’s hope seemed to have sunken further. She looked to the ground; her eyes bore loss and sadness.

    “Just what is it that your people are after?” inquired Xiao Liu.

    “The Golden Phoenix Bow….it is rightfully ours. Long ago, the master of our sect sent Sister Zi Yan on a mission with the bow. The bow then fell into her hands when it should rightfully be returned to the sect. Zi Yan jie jie refused to return the bow for reasons unknown and she…she never returned to the sect since then. She was then expelled from the sect without her presence, and she was never heard of again. Our sect members have ever since searched high and low for her whereabouts. When they finally found her….she had already died, but that did not stop our pursuit and thus we decided to come after your father.”

    “Do you know why she didn’t return the bow?” said a curious Xiao Liu.

    Zi Rong shook her head, “No…I never understood why she did that. But she...she has always been a mystery to the people around her. She did things without a thought of what others would think…but with everything she did there was always a reason.”

    “But you were so close to her. How could she have been a mystery to you?” asked Shuang Er.

    “She was indeed very close to me. We had no secrets but…her mysteriousness did not come from the lack of knowledge of her persona nor her background. It was how unpredictable she was. How her words were always short and how they sometimes don’t convey everything a person wanted to know. She carried a sense of indescribable loneliness that no one seemed to understand. But perhaps, we were similar in this aspect and that drew us together.”

    “How else was she like? How did she look? What kind of person was she? Please tell me everything about her!” Shuang Er pleaded eagerly.

    Chuckling Zi Rong responded, “Silly child. How can words possibly convey everything of a person? Especially a mysterious person like your mother. However, I can tell you what I know. She was very beautiful, witty, and skillful. Her skills surpassed that of our eldest sister. She was also our master’s most doted disciple. However, what I admired most about her was her strength. She was very unyielding, and never gave in to anything. But stubborn would not define her exactly as she was also flexible in her decision when she knew stubbornness would not achieve her goals. As for what kind of person she was….I can only say she is a heroine. But one that is in silence. She did not spoke of her kind endeavors but one would recognize her kindness when they’re with her. She was really like none other person that I’ve seen. But…in you I can see her,” she said and wiped a tear from Shuang Er’s face.

    “Then can you tell us about the Golden Phoenix Bow?” said Xiao Liu.

    “The Golden Phoenix Bow is an ancient weapon passed down from centuries within our sect. It represents our sect. Its legend trails back to hundreds of years before. Wang Tian Qiao (Vuong Thien Kieu) and Wang Yu Rong (Vuong Ngoc Nhung) were twin sisters born into the family of a loyal general, whose love for his country was beyond boundaries. Because he had no sons, he wished that his daughters would somehow contribute to the country and carry on his task. After his demise, Tian Qiao, the older of the sisters, who was strong, fearless, and utmost intelligent followed her father’s path in becoming a warrior and a heroine of her country. She made a vow to annihilate all those that brings harm to her country. With the Golden Phoenix Bow, she managed to defeat all of the enemy countries. On the other hand, Yu Rong was more demure and delicate in comparison with her sister. She was held Queen of the country and her duty was to aid the King in governing the country. Little was expected that she proceeded with the opposite. Ever since the day she entered the palace the King was awestruck by her beauty and lavished himself in luxury, forgetting all his duties as King. Hearing this news, Tian Qiao immediately returned from the battlefront and confronted her sister, Yu Rong. She forced Yu Rong to give up her title as Queen. However, Yu Rong refused the request and Tian Qiao, with the Golden Phoenix Bow, killed her sister with one arrow. After this, the King broke down as he terribly missed his queen. In an attempt to ease the pain, he forced Tian Qiao to marry him as she exactly resembled her sister. Expectedly, Tian Qiao refused him and left the kingdom. As the country was now in peace, she wandered JIang Hu and formed the Fire Phoenix Clan of today.”

    “Wow it’s no wonder that the Golden Phoenix Bow is so important you people,” Xiao Liu commented as Shuang Er nodded in agreement.

    “Yes…it is the most valuable object of our clan,” Zi Rong claimed just as an anonymous laughter from above the forest broke out.

    The voice was of an old man but his destination remained unknown, “Haha! So precious it is indeed! I will trade you one secret for one person!”

    “Who are you?” Zi Rong shouted as she twirled around trying to identify the speaker.

    “Haha! The Golden Phoenix Bow that you so seek is no where else but underneath that grave!”

    Baffled, Zi Rong and Shuang Er turned to face the grave. A mighty gust of wind along with thousands of dusts suddenly obscured their vision. As everything settled and they regained their sight, Xiao Liu was no where to be seen.

    “Xiao Liu ge ge!!! Xiao Liu ge ge!!!”
    Last edited by Nightingale; 08-05-08 at 03:21 AM.

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    i've left a comment on winglin but i can't help but comment here when i saw your cast poster! wow! i love it =] so the guy behind tang huai shan is Guo Xiao Liu right? i was getting worried that his character might not be as important anymore as the story continues.
    www.winglin.net/fanfic/Emilyy8 [Raymond Lam, Bosco Wong, Ron Ng]

    www.winglin.net/fanfic/Emilyy5 [oneshots]

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    Lolz thank you for being such a loyal reader.

    Yes, the person behind Tang Huai Shan is Xiao Liu. I changed the picture because I thought he was more suitable. And don't worry Xiao Liu is an important character. He is one of main characters after all. haha

    If anyone else is reading, please leave a comment to let me know you are reading.

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