The Ying Goo Affair seems, at first glance, a personal and private affair among South Emperor Deun Chi Hing/1 Deng the Monk, Chow Bak Tung, and Ying Goo, but this apparently personal, private affair actually had far-reaching ramifications for wulin in general. Most obviously, it effectively removed South Emperor as a force in wulin. 1 Deng was alive throughout LOCH and ROCH, and his martial arts abilities were physically unimpaired, but barring his brief “comeback” at the end of ROCH to rescue Gwok Seung/defend Seung Yeung from the Mongols, South Emperor was effectively “dead” as a wulin entity during LOCH and ROCH. Imagine if the Ying Goo Affair had never happened: Deun Chi Hing would likely not have abdicated the Dali throne so soon, nor would he likely have withdrawn from wulin prematurely. Imagine another Great on the side of good (other than North Beggar Hung 7 Gung, who was rendered equally useless for a time after being injured by West Poison Au Yeung Fung) during LOCH and ROCH: the presence of an active South Emperor would have given the likes of Au Yeung Fung and Kau Cheen Yan something else to worry about.
Now, a few questions/observations about the affair itself:
1. Chow Bak Tung and Ying Goo were basically honest people, and it’s unlikely they would have kept their affair a secret for very long. Then again, they could have just kept quiet about it, couldn’t they? It’s not as if Deun Chi Hing caught the pair in bed together; (according to LOCH '82,) Prince Deun found them at a Buddhist temple – very innocuous by the looks of things. Had the couple chosen to keep their affair a secret, would Prince Deun ever have known? OK, the birth of Chow Lim Tung nine months later might have complicated things, but as Gei Hiu Fu in HSDS and others in wuxia fiction have proven, there are ways around that.
2. Central Divinity Wong Chung Yeung was the head of the wulin-renowned Cheun Jen Sect, meaning he must have had a reputation for enforcing the moral integrity of his followers. In the wake of Chow Bak Tung’s very severe infraction, however (violating the concubine of Wong Chung Yeung’s good friend, who happened to be the King of Dali to boot), Wong Chung Yeung surprisingly did not punish Chow Bak Tung at all! There was no death penalty, no punitive maiming or flogging, no banishment from the Cheun Jen Sect…I don’t think Wong Chung Yeung so much as yelled at Chow Bak Tung for what Chow had done. Isn’t this uncharacteristically and dubiously indulgent and tolerant of Wong Chung Yeung?
3. Ying Goo was very unhappy in Dali in the aftermath of the affair. She wanted to seek out Chow Bak Tung. Prince Deun, for his part, even allowed her to do so if she so wished. So why didn’t she? It’s not as if she didn’t know where to find him: Chow Bak Tung was, at that point, still a Cheun Jen Sect Taoist. He could be found at Chung Yeung Temple at Mt. Chung Nam. It didn’t occur to her until years later to go looking for him, by which time Chow was stuck on Peach Blossom Island, and Ying Goo had to obsessively study mathematics to find a way to get through or around the Peach Blossom Formation and rescue him.
Just some thoughts on the Ying Goo Affair.